FIC: Faith Wayne (2/?)
Faith licked her lips as she and Xander crept through the port, clinging to the walls of the dock’s crates and containers, their shadows cloaking them. According to their information there wouldn’t be more than a handful of vampires, five or six at the most. Like she’d said to the kids, a milk-run.
‘Cept whenever anyone just mentioned Orpheus her blood iced.
Faith reached out a hand and dropped it gently on Xander’s shoulder. Xander glanced towards her, but she was already holding up her fingers, indicating there were exactly half a dozen vamps stood on the far side. Xander nodded as he drew his double-bladed axe. Faith pointed to her right, at the two vamps away from the others, and drew one of her favourite stakes, the grip lovingly carved for her by Xander.
Then she sprang into action.
* * *
The Batmobile purred to a halt, Batman leaping out of his vehicle and starting towards the dock where the drugs were supposed to be unloading. He glided through the shadows, passing within inches of various oblivious dock workers and the like. His eyes narrowed as the sound of fighting reached his ears, was there a double-cross going on, or had the police beaten him to his prey? Whatever the reason, he picked up his pace and leapt up onto a container to get a better vantage point, wanting to aid the police if they needed it or pick up the scraps from the double-cross.
What he found was quite different.
* * *
The first vampire was dead before they realised she was there, her stake driving through its back. The second demon swung a left at her, but she wasn’t there when the blow was supposed to connect, snaking underneath the punch to thrust her stake at the demon’s chest.
Faith scowled as the vampire wriggled away from her attack and caught her with an elbow to the side of her head. Her head snapped to the side as she parried a hook at her face on her shoulder before butting the taller demon square in the mouth. Faith leapt up into the air, her knee pulling up into her torso and shooting out in a jumping side thrust kick that slammed into the vampire’s stomach, knocking her rival back two steps.
Faith shot out her other foot to the left, catching another on-rushing vampire square in the face, knocking him on his ass, then glided into a back-flip that ended with her landing in a crouch. The fourth vampire charged in, swinging lefts and rights that Faith bobbed and weaved away from before slamming a stake into the advancing blood-sucker’s chest.
Sensing one of the downed vampires coming up behind her, Faith rear heel-kicked him in the nuts before spinning around and driving her stake down at the vampire’s chest. The vampire’s arm came up, blocking her attack, the vampire screaming as her stake impaled his forearm. Even as the blood-sucker clawed frenziedly at his injured arm, Faith kicked him in the gut, doubling him up again, drew her back-up stake and rammed it home.
Then things got wicked strange.
* * *
Xander burst out of the shadows a half-second behind his super-powered girl-friend. The two vampires spun to face him, he feinted with his axe, the one to the right reacting by ducking even as the vampire to the left leapt forward into the attack.
And ran his throat across the fine edge of his axe as he deftly reversed his swing.
Even as the left vampire burst into dust, the right one leapt at him, attempting to tackle him around his waist. Xander’s knee shot up, catching the demon against his face, snapping his head to the side, but he still crashed shoulder-first into Xander’s belly.
Fortunately though, although the impact was enough to knock him back a step, it wasn’t enough to bundle him from his feet. The vampire dropped into a crouch as he stepped back before leaping back at him. Xander took advantage of the demon’s step back to ready himself, then sidestepped, his axe sliding to the side to take the vampire’s head.
* * *
Batman readied himself to leap off the crate’s roof to aid the foolish kids then stopped, eyes narrowed as he peered down at the battle. To his practiced eye, the girl moved with a primal grace that indicated she had to be a meta-human of some kind. Her companion on the other hand wasn’t a meta-human to judge from his fighting, but could be best described as competent.
As for their adversaries…. Thanks to his alliances with Dr. Fate, Jason Blood, and others he was well aware of the supernatural, but vampires?
Then he saw one of the vampires sneak around the back of the brunette, and thought gave way to action.
Batman powered through his legs and leapt off the crate. His cloak billowed behind him as he fell, his knees crashing into the vampire’s lower back, knocking the demon face down to the ground, the pointed edge of his Batarang thrust deep into the vampire’s neck and yanked across, slicing its head from its shoulders. Even as the vampire burst into dust he was rolling backwards and up to his feet.
“What the-.” The dark-haired beauty paused in a spin around, her dark eyes widening in recognition.
As did his own, but for slightly different reasons. Where did he know the girl from? The brunette was a little under average height, but with curves in all the right places, her full, rich mane cascading onto her shoulders to frame her heart-shaped face, dark eyes smirking impudently. She wore a black silk blouse with the top two buttons undone, displaying a hint of deep cleavage, her hands covered by black, fingerless weight-lifting gloves, and her painted-on leather pants were tucked into her calf-skin cowboy boots. “Um,” he glanced at her babbling companion, surprised to note he had a missing eye to go with his mass of uncombed black hair and pugnaciously square jaw. “Hello Mr. Batman, I’m a big fan-.”
“Oh lord,” he heard the sound of a palm slapping forehead. “Please god, don’t let him embarrass me even more than usual.”
Batman felt a glimmer of amusement at the sleekly-muscled brunette’s comment despite his normal nature. “You’re vampire hunters?”
”Well duh,” the girl snarked, Batman instantly recognising her accent as east coast, no Boston, make that she was a transplanted Southie, “what gave it away to the great detective? The dust on the ground?”
Batman raised an eyebrow. Most were intimidated by him, but this woman was matching him stare for stare. And who the hell was she anyway? “Who are you?”
”Tell ya what Bats, you show me yours,” the brunette blew him a mocking kiss, “and we’ll show you ours.”
“Whoever told you you were a diplomat, lied,” muttered the one-eyed man. “And if there’s any showing to be done, count me out.”
For once Batman didn’t know what to say. Instead he nodded. “And what where they here for?”
“They were bringing in a drug called Orpheus,” the one-eyed man replied. “It’s a mystical drug, used by vampires who feed on humans who inject it, giving them both a high like heroin.”
“Use too much,” the brunette’s face briefly darkened, “and it can kill you, and not in a good way, you relive all your worst moments before dying.”
Batman took that all in with a nod. It was a drug he hadn’t heard of, but then he had only a passing familiarity with the supernatural. “If you operate in my town, I’ll be watching you.”
“Ohhh,” the woman smirked, “a fan. You wouldn’t be the first, probably won’t be the last.”
Realising there was no answer to that, he melted back in the shadows and started back to his car, still wrestling with just where he’d seen the brunette before. The ebony-eyed stunner wasn’t the sort of woman a man easily forgot.
He missed a step in his usually sure stride as it suddenly hit him, her accent the last piece of the puzzle clicking into place. Of course, it wasn’t her he was recognising, it was someone he remembered who looked very much like her.
Heart pounding, he picked up his pace, almost running to his Batmobile. It looked like he wouldn’t get much sleep tonight.
* * *
“That was the Batman!”
Faith smirked at Xander’s awed gasp. Only time she heard that sound outta of him was when she modelled some new lingerie for him. Faith’s brow furrowed, she only hoped that wasn’t caused by the same emotion. “I got eyes, Xan. One more than you to be exact.”
“Yeah, but the Bat!” Xander gasped again. “I’ve always wanted to meet him.”
”Yeah,” Faith’s grin widened, her dimples deepening. “And what did you say when you did? ‘Hello Mr. Batman, I’m a big fan.’” Faith winked at her reddening man. “It’s those smooth moves that get my panties off every time.”
”Ha, ha,” Xander’s flush deepened.
”Ahhh,” Faith cooed as she reached up and ruffled her boy-friend’s hair. “I still love ya, sweetcakes. Now patrol’s over, let’s burn this stuff.”
“Burn it?” Xander queried. “Wouldn’t it cause problems with fumes?”
”Nah,” Faith shook her head as she began stacking the Orpheus blocks. “It don’t work like that, it has to get directly into the blood to effect humans.”
“Okay, then build the bonfire high.”
“Maybe Batman will see the fire come back and investigate, then you can ask for his autograph,” Faith needled.
“Keep laughing Faith, keep laughing.”
* * *
Alfred looked up at his master’s car purred into the Batcave. “You’re home early, sir.”
Bruce pulled off his cowl and strode towards the computer console, his gait as purposeful as ever, but with a touch of anxiety that Alfred wasn’t used to seeing
“I ran into a complication tonight,” his boss grunted.
“A complication sir?” Alfred queried in an attempt to get clarification.
“The drugs I’d heard about weren’t of the usual sort,” his boss explained as he turned the computer on, the screen flickering into life as his master tapped his password in. “They were mystical drugs to be used by vampires. However, I wasn’t the first to the dock-.”
”Beaten to the punch, sir?”
“So it would appear.” Batman half-smiled at his gentle teasing. “However, the woman who beat me to it was both super-powered and a stranger.”
”Oh,” Alfred blinked, a terrible suspicion forming. “And not someone you’d met before?”
“That’s a rather more interesting question than you might suspect.” Batman cryptically replied before growling into the iron-grey microphone. “Oracle, are you there?”
”And good day to you too, Bruce,” the former Bat-girl replied.
“I need you to do a search on an Eliza Lehane,” Batman said. “Specifically if she had any children.”
“That’s a little vague Bruce,” Oracle commented. “A rare surname so I can probably find something, but it’d help if you could narrow down the search a little.”
“Try Massachusetts first,” Batman replied.
“Okay, give me a moment.”
“Sir,” Batman looked towards him, “if I might have a word?” Bruce nodded mutely. “Might as I inquire to what sort of powers this young woman you encountered has?”
“Strength, reflexes, and speed above normal,” Wayne’s eyes narrowed. “You seem to know something about this?”
”Perhaps I do,” Alfred admitted. “Sir, how old was the girl?”
“Um, early to mid twenties, no younger than twenty-two, no older than twenty-seven,” Bruce grimaced, “although I have reason to suspect she was born in ’82, which would make her twenty-four or twenty-five.”
Alfred sighed. “Ah, then it’s unlikely I’m correct.”
“Correct about what, Alfred?” Bruce patiently pressed.
“My older brother was quite the adventurer sir, a former OSS agent in the war and an operative in Kenya,” Alfred began. “When he retired from the forces, he was approached by an organisation called the Watcher’s Council to run one of their operations teams.”
”The Watcher’s Council?” Bruce raised an eyebrow. “Can’t say I’ve heard of them.”
”Watchers are devoted to tracking and combating malevolent supernatural entities, especially vampires. The Council itself is based in England and its primary function is the location and training teen girls with the talents required to fight such beings and win. More specifically, Watchers are assigned to Slayers, girls that are part of a succession of mystically powered individuals who are destined to face said foes.” Alfred grimaced. “These girls have enhanced power, speed, reflexes, and healing, as well as an instinctive grasp of weaponry. However these Slayers only live short lives and upon a Slayer's demise, her powers are transferred unto a new girl.” Alfred paused. “Each potential Slayer is assigned her own Watcher - a Council employee who is responsible for training the Slayer in combat techniques as well as researching demons, vampires, and magicks. Watchers also maintain diaries chronicling the lives of the Slayers under their charge.”
“Grown men hiding behind young girls? That sounds like a barbaric system,” Bruce commented.
“I agree, as did my brother, that’s why he turned down their offer,” Alfred paused. “However, this young lady you describe is a little too old to be a Slayer, as they usually don’t live to reach twenty.”
“I’ve got your information, Bruce.”
His master’s attention sprang back to the screen. “I’m listening Oracle.”
“Eliza Lehane was born April 23rd 1962, she had a quite extensive criminal record, nothing major Public Indecency, drug possession, shop-lifting, and prostitution, died of a drug overdose May 1997, her solitary child having been taken into care a year previously.”
“Her daughter?” There seemed to be a hitch in his master’s normal growl. Alfred also noticed Ms. Gordon hadn’t specified a gender. “Show me!”