Chapter Twenty One
Disclaimer: I don’t own these characters and never will. BtVS belongs to Joss Whedon and Legacy of the Altendata belongs to John Ringo. I can only claim ideas that come from sleep deprivation and overdosing on caffeine and nicotine.
Author’s note: Once more I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read and leave a review of this story as well as my other works. Without your feedback I doubt whether this story would still be going. Olbear.
Chapter twenty one
The two vampires walked down the corridor. They were supposed to be guarding City Hall, making sure that no undesirables got into the place but at the moment the pair were more concerned with getting to the break room and helping themselves to the pigs blood that was kept there for the ‘Night Staff’.
As the two vampires walked along neither of them noticed that the door to the Mayor’s office was slightly ajar and a single green eye was watching them as they walked away.
Finally they turned a corner and inside the Mayor’s office Buffy Summers let out a sigh of relief.
“Phew! They’re gone.” She said as she silently shut the door and turned to where Faith was busy going through the Mayor’s desk. “Have you found anything Faith?” She asked, crossing the room.
“Nah B.” Faith said in a whisper. “I wasn’t expecting to find something that says ‘Hey I’m a bad guy and this is my plan to conquer the world!’ but the only thing that I can find is a drawer full of hand sanitizers and a Day Planner with a reminder he has a game of golf tomorrow.” She got to her feet and looked at a very fancy cabinet set against a wall. There was something about it that gave her goose bumps and for a moment she considered forcing the lock to see what was inside but decided not to. If she did then the Mayor would know someone had been here.
What Faith didn’t know was that if she had tried to get into the cabinet the wards that Wilkens had placed on it would kill her before she even got the door open.
“C’mon B let’s get out of here.” She said. “This whole building’s making my skin crawl.”
Buffy nodded in agreement, feeling nothing but bad vibes from this room in particular and the building in general. “Let’s hope that we don’t have to fight our way out of here.” She said as she carefully opened the door and checked to make sure the coast was clear.
The two made their way down the corridor and were just about to go into the stairwell that led to the roof when they heard voices coming closer and they paused. They shared a look and quickly ducked into the stairwell though Buffy made sure that the door was open enough so that she could hear what was going on.
“So Mr Trick do you have any new information?” A voice said that Buffy recognised as belonging to Mayor Wilkens echoed down the hall.
“No Boss.” Another voice that Buffy had heard before but couldn’t place till she saw the look on Faith’s face. Then it came to her, the voice belonged to ‘Mr Trick’ the chief lieutenant of Kakistos. The Boston born Slayer looked ready to kick down the door and Buffy placed a hand on Faith’s shoulder and silently shook her head. She knew that Faith wanted to bury a stake into Trick’s chest as payback for what the vampire had done to her first Watcher. But from what Giles said Wilkens was a powerful and skilled sorcerer who could probably freeze the pair of them in place with nothing more than a word and a gesture. Faith’s revenge would have to wait for another time.
“That is very disappointing Mr Trick. Who or what this ‘Threshkreen’ is has come to my town and started killing without so much as a by your leave.” Wilkens said. “With my plans so close to fruition I don’t need complications.”
“I’ve put a call into some of my contacts on the East Coast Sir.” Came the voice of the vampire. “If there is any news about a demon with green shoulders that likes to kill other demons they’ll know.”
The voices faded as the two walked down the hall until there was silence. With a shared glance Buffy and Faith quickly made their way to the roof. It was no problem for the two Slayers to jump from City Hall to the roof of the next building and then they made their way down to street level.
Once they were on the street Faith turned to Buffy, fire in her eyes.
“Why did you stop me B!?” She snarled. “I could have given Trick what he deserved if you hadn’t stopped me!!” She turned as though wanting to charge back into City Hall only to have Buffy grab her arm
“But you wouldn’t have faced just Trick. The Mayor was with him and it looked as though Trick was working for him.” From experience Buffy knew that mages were not to be trifled with. In her first year on the Hellmouth she had faced Catherine Madison in the body of her daughter. If it hadn’t been for Xander distracting the witch at the crucial moment the spell that the former cheerleader had tried to cast at her would have sent Buffy to whatever Hell it was that Catherine now inhabited.
“Besides we’ve got other problems now.” Buffy paused. “A green shouldered demon that kills other demons? The last thing we need is another wannabe ‘Big Bad’ in town.”
She stopped when Faith went from spitting fury to laughter in seconds
“What’s so funny?”
Faith finally got her giggles under control. “B, think about it. Who do we know that looks like a demon and has green shoulders and goes out of his way to kill demons?”
Buffy paused and then her eyes widened. “You don’t think..?”
“Yeah Buffy I’d say that the Colonel has been going out hunting on his own.” Faith smirked.
“What!! No!! That idiot he’ll get himself killed!!” Buffy half shouted only to stop when Faith burst out laughing again and Buffy suddenly remembered the fight against Balthazar’s vampires and the night Xander returned to Sunnydale.
“Alright fine Xander knows how to fight.” She growled. “But I’m still going to have words with him about it.” She huffed and crossed her arms across her chest. “C’mon we’d better go tell Giles that Mayor Wilkens has vampires working for him.” She said as she stalked off down the street.
“Sure B, but the next time we run into Trick you’d better not stop me.” Faith replied as they headed for the Englishman’s apartment.
The following morning. Faith’s apartment
Wesley looked at the door in front of him with trepidation. He raised his hand to knock but stopped before his fist made contact with the door and he half turned away.
“Oh grow a spine you moron!” He muttered to himself, turning to face the door again. “You need to do this for her sake and yours.” Raising his hand again he rapped smartly on the door and waited.
Inside the small apartment Faith lay in her bed asleep until the sound of someone knocking on her door disturbed her sleep. Blearily she raised her head from her pillow.
“Go way, em sleeping!” She slurred before letting her head collapse onto the pillow again only to hear another series of knocks on her door. Grumbling she forced herself out of bed. Whoever it was outside her door they were going to were going to find out why it was a bad idea to disturb a Slayer when she wanted to get some sleep.
Leaving her bedroom she stomped to the door, ready to rip into the salesman or Jehovah Witness that dared to disturb her rest. Swinging open the door she blinked in surprise to see her Watcher, Wesley Whyndam-Price standing there. For a second she wished she was wearing something more than a pair of boxers and a thin white singlet but quickly decided that her Watcher should be happy that she didn’t answer the door in nothing more than a G-string and pasties.
“Wusley.” She asked. “What brings you here?”
“I apologise for disturbing you so early Faith but I needed to speak with you.” Wesley said, making sure that he kept his eyes level with Faith’s face. He did not need to be distracted at this moment. “May I come in?”
Faith looked at Wesley for a moment before stepping out of the doorway, silently inviting him to enter.
Inside Wesley looked around. The apartment wasn’t large, nothing more than a main room/kitchenette with another door probably leading to a bedroom. It was sparsely furnished with only a couch in front of a small screen TV and a couple of bar stools near the bench that separated the kitchenette from the rest of the room. It was also a little messy with a pair of leather pants draped over the couch, a small stack of well-thumbed martial arts and motorcycle magazines and some dirty dishes in the sink.
“Sorry about the mess.” Faith said as she kicked a pair of boots out of the way. “But it’s the maid’s week off. I’ll be back in a minute.” With that she darted into her bedroom.
Wesley waited for Faith to return, what he wanted to talk to Faith about wouldn’t be easy but he knew that it had to be done. Finally Faith appeared again, this time dressed in a pair of sweatpants and a worn T-shirt with her hair pulled into a loose pony tail.
“So Wesley, what’s so important that you got me out of bed before eight?” She asked as she crossed to the kitchenette to switch on the kettle and hunt around for a reasonably clean cup. “Is this about me and B going to City Hall last night cause if it is I’ve already told Giles what happened there.” She said, still a little peeved that she hadn’t had a chance to deal with Trick.
“Yes Faith I would like to talk about what you and Miss Summers found but it is another matter that I wish to discuss.” Wesley said. “I came here this morning to apologise to you.”
“Say what now!?” Faith blurted. When Wesley had appeared on her doorstep she expected him to try and tell off for neglecting her ‘Duty’ in some way, not this.
“Ever since my arrival here in Sunnydale I have neglected my responsibilities to you as your Watcher.” Wesley said. “I never enquired about your living arrangements or even how you managed to keep yourself fed without a job. My only concern was the number and type of demon you defeated. For that I am sorry.”
Faith regarded the Englishman warily. “What brought this on Wesley?”
Wesley seemed to shrink slightly but took a deep breath. “Your friend Mr Harrison and I had a long talk on the way back to Sunnydale. He made me realise that while you are a Slayer you are also a young woman and I shouldn’t try and treat you as some mindless drone.”
Despite himself Wesley felt a shiver of fear run through him as he remembered the ‘conversation’ he’d had with Alexander Harrison. The young man who had been introduced to him as a friend of Miss Summers had been excruciatingly polite, never raised his voice during their little chat but by the end of it Wesley knew that unless he took a more active role in the life of his Slayer he would end up as a ‘Sunnydale Statistic’.
And to be honest Mr Harrison was correct. For all Wesley’s boasts that he was the best trained and prepared Watcher for the position of Watcher to Faith he hadn’t even bothered to enquire about his charge’s wellbeing. For all he knew Faith could have been living in a cardboard box and rummaging through dumpsters to find something to eat.
If he had treated the family dog the same way that he had treated Faith his father would have birched him and forced him to sleep in the kennel as punishment. But now he had a chance to correct his mistake.
“So what now Wesley? Do you expect me to move in with you?” Faith asked. She had a lot of experience with guys wanting her to move in with them and none of them good. It always ended with them trying to get into her bedroom or joining her in the bathroom and with her running out, usually with only the clothes on her back if she was lucky. She’d rather live under a bridge than have to go through that again.
Wesley shook his head. “No Faith it’s obvious that you prefer to live here. So I’ll be talking with Ms Summers today in order to take over the rent payments for this apartment.” He reached into his coat and produced an envelope and laid it on the table. “Normally a Slayer doesn’t receive payment for doing her duty however her Watcher does receive a stipend to help cover expenses. I’ll be speaking with the Council on having that money paid directly to you. This should help tide you over till that can be arranged.”
For a second Faith was tempted to throw the money back in Wesley’s face, thinking that he was trying to bribe her. But she saw the look on his face and realised that he was being sincere. Finally she nodded and tucked the envelope in a drawer.
“Okay Wesley you want to be my Watcher? So where do we start?” She asked.
Wesley sat down on one of the stools and produced a notebook and pen.
“For starters let’s go over what happened at City Hall last night?” He said.