Reunions and Murder
Sunnydale Book One: Ripple Effect
Summary: Faith’s accidental staking of Alan Finch is interrupted by two certain someones from her past, and then the world turns upside down for everyone in Sunnydale. AU Season 3.14 and onward BtVS. Includes some elements from Lost.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Buffy or Angel, Joss does. Lost is property of ABC, Abrams, Cuse and Lindelof.
Note: There was an episode in Season 3 of Lost, where Richard tells John that the Island is one of several special places in the world, but other than the landing spot where Ben and John came out in the present, the concept was never touched on again. In this universe, Sunnydale is one of these other ‘Special’ places.
Chapter 1: Reunions and Murder
Buffy grabbed the man as he jumped out from around the corner, shoving him forward to where Faith grabbed him and pinned him to the wall. In a split second, she recognized the man as the deputy mayor, from his occasional visits to the high school.
“Faith, No!” Buffy screamed, already knowing it was too late as Faith’s stake descended. Her eyes went wide as two figures suddenly leapt from the shadows of the alley, knocking the brunette slayer away from the deputy mayor. Buffy bursts into action, surging forward and grabbing the two as Faith struggles to get up.
Buffy pulls the two off her sister slayer, and Faith moves up to strike then stops short as she recognizes her ‘attackers’.
“James, Ava?” she exclaims, her eyes wide and belaying her shock, as two people she’d thought dead months ago are hauled up by Buffy.
“Aye Faith.” The male, James, who is clearly Irish replies, and Faith’s face brightens and she launches herself at the two, grabbing the both in a tight hug.
“Uhm, what’s going on Faith?” Buffy questions, the confusion clear in her tone.
“It’s cool B, I know these two from Boston. I had been under the impression that Kakistos had killed the both of you.”
“Nah. He wanted us to suffer.” The girl- Ava replies, holding her wrist up in the light and both Buffy and Faith can see the scars from a bite.
“Had both of us infected with lycanthropy.” James finishes grimly, his own bite scars on his shoulder remaining covered by his shirt.
“Shit, I’m sorry.” Faith says, her eyes downcast. “It’s my fault, bringing you into the fight with Kakistos.”
“None of that Faith, we’ve embraced our wolves.” Ava tells the brunette slayer, her eyes soft. “Don’t be feeling bad or any of that shit. Sides, we heard tell on the underground that the two of you killed the prick, so good job.”
“E-e-excuse me?” Alan Finch stammered, causing the two slayers and two werewolves to turn and face him, almost having forgotten about the man that Faith had just nearly killed.
“Sorry about that man.” Faith apologized suddenly, her face contorting in turmoil once again as she realized what she had nearly done. “You really shouldn’t be getting in the middle of vampire attacks, it could end badly.”
“I’ll be sure to endeavor to air on the side of caution from now on, miss Lehane.” Finch says, composing himself enough to speak more fluently.
“How do you know my name?” Faith questions, suspicious now. She wasn’t well known about town, maybe twenty people in total even knew who she was, although she supposed she could take that up to twenty-three now, with Finch and the reappearance of James and Ava in her life.
“It’s kind of a long story, and one much better shown than told.” Finch replies cryptically. “I know each of you to be honest, and everything that happened on this night occurred exactly as it was intended to.”
“What the hell did you take boyo?” James asks the deputy mayor, his eyebrow raised as all three women present stare at Finch in confusion.
“There’s a crypt in Crestview, the four of you and the rest of her friends need to go there.” Finch tells them, motioning at Buffy when he references the blonde’s friends.
“What are you talking about.” Buffy demands, looking slightly annoyed in addition to her confusion.
“Elizabeth Summers, Faith Lehane, James Foley, Ava Rivers, Alexander Harris, Willow Rosenberg, Daniel Osbourne, Rupert Giles, Wesley Windham-Pryce, Cordelia Chase, Liam O'Connor and Dawn Summers must be present at the crypt tomorrow night at eight pm or there will be- URK!” Finch’s explanation is cut short as an crossbow bolt whizzes downward into the alley that the five are standing in, and impacts the man in the chest.
“Fuck!” James yells as Finch collapse backwards towards him, quickly grabbing the wounded man and dragging him into the cover of the warehouse. The three girls quickly join them, both Faith and Buffy keeping an eye on the alley in case the shooter came at them on foot they could have the element of surprise.
James lays Finch out on the floor of the entryway, wincing as the deputy mayor coughs up blood. “We gotta get this guy to the hospital real quick, he’s not gonna last very long by the look of things.
“No, no hospital. If the shooter was who I think it was, then the poison will be kicking in shortly and I’ll be dead long before the ambulance could even get me there.” Finch says, refusing to allow them to waste time trying to save him. “Listen closely, all of you. There are forces at work here, that you don’t even know about. The Mayor, he’s planning to ascend into a demon, come your graduation day, but he’s not the worst of what’s coming, you need to be prepared.”
Buffy and Faith finally decide that the shooter has fled, and slowly come over to where James and Ava are crouched down next to Finch.
“All eleven of you need to go to the Von Hauptman crypt tomorrow night, there are certain things within that will help you discover the other secrets in this town.” Finch says, his voice clearly weaker as he speaks.
“You’re crazy if you think I’m going to bring my younger sister into a house of the dead.” Buffy retorts.
“Oliver Pike said as much.” Finch says softly, and the blonde slayer’s eyes go wide as saucers.
“Bull, Pike’s dead.” The ex-cheerleader snarls, angry that the man mocked his memory.
“He told me to tell you that he tracked down Horace and staked him.” Finch says softly, his voice cracking as he feels the life fleeing him, and knows he has little time left. “Listen, he also said you need to protect Veruca from herself. I can tell you more, but I-”
Finch’s words come to an abrupt end as he feels his throat fill with blood, and begins gasping. The eyes of the four teens are wide and horrified as Finch convulses for a few seconds and then lies still, his chest no longer rising and falling as it would if he was still breathing.
“Shit.” James curses a moment later, as his hand pulls away from Finch’s neck, having not found a pulse. “He’s dead. We, we gotta get out of here.”
The other three nodded in agreement, quickly turning and running out of the warehouse, and heading through the labyrinth of alleyways after Faith signals the coast is clear. The four teens slowly make their way to where the motel that Faith had been living at since she came to Sunnydale. The brunette unlocks the door and they quickly file in, with Ava shutting and locking it behind them.
“Okay so does anyone else think that the deputy mayor was on LSD or something?” Buffy asks the other three with hope in her tone, and grimaces at the shaking heads of James and Ava, and the ‘are you serious?’ look from her sister slayer.
“Did you get a look at the shooter?” Ava asks, dropping into a seat at the small table with a small sigh, but both slayers and the other werewolf all shake their heads.
“I’m inclined to believe the man, the fact he knew me and Ava is too much of a coincidence, we only got here this morning.” James announces, taking the seat opposite Ava and resting his elbow on the table. “I think he was probably the one who sent me and Aves the message that the werewolf that bit us was here, if the people he wanted at that crypt really did need to be there, I can sort of see the logic of his actions.”
“This is crazy.” Buffy argued, still fully against any notion of bringing Dawn with her, even as she decided internally to investigate this crypt. By the looks of intrigue on the faces of the others, she surmised they’d also come to the same decision. “I’ll talk to Giles and the others, we’ll figure this out.”
The blonde went silent, and finally allowed herself to take a real look around the derelict motel room that Faith was calling home, and a disgusted look came over her face.
“Please tell me that you haven’t been living here the whole time?” the ex-cheerleader exclaims in horror. Faith gives her a blank look for a few seconds and speaks.
“Lived in worse places, James and Ava can tell you.” Faith replies, giving a non-committal shrug.
“This is bullshit, the council should at least be giving you a place to live, given what they make us do.” The blonde says indigantly. “Does Giles know about this?” She asks darkly a moment later, already formulating the words she would be screaming at the British watcher shortly.
“You have a watcher in this town?” Ava suddenly asks, her eyes darkening, James’ expression also souring from where he sits, and both Buffy and Faith give a nod.
“Worse, we got two.” Faith replied, “Second one showed up a few days ago. Wesley, the other one that’s been here a while is Giles.”
“What’s their stance on werewolves?” James questions gruffly. “Me ‘n’ Aves ran afoul of one in New York a couple months ago.”
“Giles won’t mind you, he’s never shown any ill will to Oz, and we’ve known about him being a werewolf for a year now. Wesley on the other hand, I can’t say.” Buffy answers, glancing out the window overlooking the parking lot, past where the werewolves from Boston are sitting.
“Wesley’s a pansy ass, anyone in this room could put him on the ground easily.” Faith adds, not having very high regard of the younger of the two Englishmen. “And as for this place, don’t worry about it. Like I said, I’ve been in worse.”
“You’ll be out of here in two days anyways.” James announces, causing Faith’s gaze to snap to him, the brunette’s eyes reflecting both curiousity and annoyance. “Me and Aves got more’n enough money between the two of us rolling the vampires we’ve taken out while we were traveling across the country. We can get an apartment in town.. If you don’t mind us sticking around, that is.”
Faith gave a shrug. “Hell I definitely wouldn’t mind you stickin around, but it’s B’s town.”
“Faith, I’m not interested in saying who can and can’t live here. S’long as they aren’t running wild during full moons, and mauling people we wont have no problems.” Buffy replies. “In the meantime, we need to decide what to do about Finch.”
“Cops will find him.” Ava says, pulling out a pack of cigarettes and taking one out as she passes the pack to James. Both of them light up, and blow the smoke out the roll-open window.
“So how do the three of you know each other?” The blonde questions curiously, her gaze moving between the three Bostonian transplants.
“We grew up on the streets together, in Boston.” Ava answers, before either of the other two can open their mouths to speak. “Watched each other’s backs, that kinda thing. I’m sure Faith told you all about it?”
“Actually no, she hasn’t told me much of her life before she came here.” Buffy says with a regretful tone.
“Don’t sweat it B, I’m not one for reminiscing.” Faith says, attempting to assure the other slayer. “You should head home, I’ll come by the library in the morning.” She says to the blonde, who nods after glancing down at her watch and realizing it was almost one in the morning.
“Yeah, my mom will prolly throw a fit when I get home.” Buffy says, turning to face the two werewolves. “You gonna stay with her?”
“Of course they are.” Faith answers for her old friends, before either can open their mouth. “We got mad catching up and shit to do, we'll meet you and the others at the library.”
Buffy nods, quickly making her way over to the door and pulling it open. “It was nice to meet you.” She says, throwing a glance at Faith's werewolf friends before leaving the room.
“So that's the other slayer?” Ava asks after Buffy is gone from earshot. “Thought she'd be taller.”
“Everyone says that.” Faith replies with a shrug, then a serious look comes over her face. “Wait, so how did you two even find me?”
James and Ava share a brief look, then turn to face the brunette slayer. “Someone was following you around about a month back, we got sent an email with a bunch of pictures of you around town, along with a date, time and location. What happened tonight was either carefully planned or the person who sent the message could see the future.”
“I would have killed Finch if you hadn't stopped me, only it seems he was destined to die.” Faith comments, her face ashen.
“Really odd you used destined, cause there was one other thing at the end of the email, and we still aren't sure of what it means.” James tells her, taking a deep drag off the cigarette. “A word. Destiny.”