Faith The Series: Prequels
Title: Faith The Series: Prequels
Feedback: In lieu of a Faithbot yeah.
Disclaimer: Joss Whedon owns Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel. Nor do I intend to make profit from the writing of this story.
The blood tasted glorious, bubbling over her lips and into her mouth, filling her with an ecstasy that only the carnal skill of her dear Angelus could come close to matching. Darla heard the heartbeat of the young man she’d tempted into the alley wane and die as she drained him, the youth’s struggles pathetically futile against a demon of her age and power.
Then she sensed something indefinable in the alley’s far end. Teeth bloody red and eyes a golden yellow; she spun to face the intruder, angered that her feeding had been intruded on. “Luke,” she hissed hatefully as she recognised the formidably-built vampire.
“The Master requires you return with me to Sunnydale,” the powerhouse sniffed.
“Ha!” Darla hissed disdainfully. “Perhaps you are not the competent servant you think you are?”
Luke’s eyes glittered but he did not otherwise react to her taunt. “The Master is aware of your estrangement from Angelus,” Darla’s eyes hardened as she recalled the arguments between the two of them about him and his countless lovers. If ever there was a vampire who took advantage of his celebrity, it was her Irishman. “And wishes to offer you a place back at his side.”
Darla forced a smile even as she felt a bitterness at the back of her throat that the blood she’d just consumed couldn’t hope to match. Luke left unsaid the certainty that a refusal would only end in the Master sending assassins, perhaps even The Three, after her. He’d have no choice, the refusal would be too big of a blow to his ego for him to ignore, if he did so his reputation would be irrevocably damaged. “It will be an honour.”
* * *
“You can go in.”
Giles looked up at the secretary’s dry voice, the elderly woman peering at him from over the top of her horn-rimmed glass. “Thank you.” Ignoring his heart’s fluttering and resisting the temptation to wipe his sweaty palms off on his tweed pants, he rose and walked through the wood-panelled door to the right of the secretary.
The gloomily-lit room beyond was long and narrow; the room’s four walls were adorned with portraits of stiffly-proper men who all stared down disapprovingly at him. As well they might, he was after all the scoundrel who’d at one point walked out on his calling, using his skills for debauchery and violence on a seedily grubby stage.
“Please,” the man sat centre of the quintet sat at the long table at the far end of the room spoke, “take a seat.”
A long silence followed his seating. “The seers have found a potential in,” Travers looked down at his notes, “Boston. Given the fact she’s now fourteen, it’s unlikely she’ll be Called,” Travers chuckled darkly, “the Council’s betting pool have Kendra Young and Kennedy Lucas as front-runners to be the next Slayers.”
“One wonders about the morality on betting on such a thing.”
Giles clamped his mouth shut at Travers’ glare. It didn’t matter how old he got, he still managed to put his foot in it. “The young ‘lady’, and I use the word in its very loosest sense, has quite a reputation – arrests for shop-lifting, vandalism, and under-age drinking.” Travers smirked at him. “She’s quite the hellion.”
Ah, Giles got it now. He’d initially been bemused, elated but very bemused, to hear he was to be given a potential. Not only had he his own bad reputation to consider, but there was a long history of Travers antipathy towards the Giles’, some old grudge that no-one remembered. This girl was a poisoned chalice, a girl who while probably causing him no end of trouble and probably never being Called, would also transport him across the pond and far out of Travers’ hair. “I assume,” he kept his face bland, “this young lady has a name?”
“Yes,” Travers glanced down at his file, “Faith Lehane. An unusual name.”
“Lehane is Gallic for ‘grey’, I believe,” Giles commented.
”Yes,” Travers looked like he couldn’t care less. But then Travers was hardly known for his warm heart. “You have forty-eight hours to organise your affairs. We’ve organised a ticket to America for you, the girl’s adoption, and a stipend to cover her care until she turns eighteen. By then she’ll be too old to be Chosen anyhow.”
And then, if she’d not been condemned to a life filled with unimaginable horrors and concluding in a far too early death, she’d be cast aside as useless, forgotten. What a bloody system, no wonder he’d rebelled.
Forcing his distaste from his face, he rose with a nod. “If that’s all sir, please could I have the file so I can get to work packing?”
* * *
Samuel nodded approvingly as he watched his Kendra practice. The sun blazed down on his charge, bathing her in sweat. Yet despite the flagging heat the dark-skinned
beauty continued doggedly on, moving flawlessly through the katas he had taught her, no matter the effort.
When and if she was Chosen, she’d be ready.
* * *
“This is the third time this month you’ve been caught out after curfew!” snapped the home’s administrator. “Have you anything to say in your defence?”
“Yeah,” Faith stared rebelliously at the portly man sat opposite her; her slouched posture and couldn’t give a shit air just more examples of her defiance. “If you bought us better sneakers those pigs would never have caught me. My left sole split, I was practically hoppin’ home!”
The man’s piggish face reddened. “You ungrateful brat. All the hard work we put into looking after you, if this was a couple of decades ago I’d teach you-.” The man shook his head, grey eyes glinting spitefully. “Well you’re off our books now. Some idiot has been approved as your legal guardian-.”
“Say what?” Faith straightened, eyes narrowing suspiciously. “I’ve not had any interviews or shit?” Somethin’ stunk, and for once it wasn’t just the home’s administrator.
“Interviews?” the civil servant chortled. “One conversation with your gutter mouth and any-one would be running for the hills.” The man shook his head. “Well the papers have been signed. And I can finally wash my hands on you.” The administrator pressed on the intercom. “Send Mr. Giles in.”
The man who entered wasn’t at all what Faith expected. Instead of some leering sleaze who’d seen a pretty face in a file and decided he wanted a piece of it, the man was tall and lean, with an educated air about him. Almost like one of those Arthurian knights she’d most definitely never admit to reading about. “Hello Ms. Lehane,” Faith blinked, another surprise, the dude was English. “My name is Rupert Giles, I’m an employee of an international charity for the care of troubled teens.”
Sounded like a sweet set-up for kiddie fiddlers to her. On the other hand, there was a chance, a slight one, that this guy was on the level. And even if she wasn’t, she’d just about burnt her bridges at this shit-hole, and she could look after herself. If the guy wanted her to do stuff she didn’t do, she’d just run away. Faith stood. “We ready?”
The Englishman blinked. “Don’t you have bags or anything?”
”I travel light,” Faith replied.
“Very well, I imagine we can go,” the Englishman’s face fell, “shopping tomorrow. Come along.”
Come along, she felt like a freakin’ dog.
* * *
Wesley hurried out of the library archives, the texts piled up above eye-level, and the archives’ dry mustiness clogging his throat. His training had finished four months ago and he’d been assigned to the library staff, his current assignment a fascinating paper detailing the bloodlines of the major vampires. It would take him years to complete but would hopefully become revered in academic circles.
“Ooooof!” he gasped as he turned a corner, someone crashing into him and knocking him on his backside, papers falling everywhere.
“Ah hell,” the powerfully-built black he’d crashed into grabbed him by his forearms and pulled him up to his feet. “I’m sorry.”
“Oh don’t mention it,” Wesley replied as he crouched and began picking up the books strewn across the floor. “I couldn’t see where I was going, entirely my fault. Who are you?” Wesley asked as the shaven-headed black man helped him pick up his texts.
”Robin Wood,” the obvious African-American shot him a gleaming smile.
“Oh,” Wesley stared open-mouthed at the man. The Council was afire with whispers of the new apprentice Watcher, the actual son of a Slayer. Somehow, he doubted there wasn’t any other apprentice Watcher with as many eyes on him, expecting him to fail. It was almost as if he was a Giles, Travers, Post, or Whnyndhm-Pryce.
* * *
“This is our house,” the Englishman shot her a nervous look, “our home.”
The house almost took her breath away. It wasn’t anything special, no mansion or Englishman’s castle, just a simple two up and two down. But even so, it was the sort of place that other people lived in, not her. There were no broken or dirty windows, no crumbling brickwork, or tiles missing from the roof, and most of all no air of dereliction surrounding it. And, her host was different than she’d expected, no faked attempts to get her confidence, to learn about her. Instead the Englishman seemed even more ill at ease with their arrangement than she was.
She suddenly realised the Englishman was looking expectantly at her. Probably wanting her to tell him what a palace it was. Screw that, she wasn’t gonna make it easy for him, gush with praise and shit. “Wanna go in?”
“Of course,” the man’s face dropped slightly, but quickly recovered his English reverse.
The hallway was painted a nauseatingly bland yellow. “Your bedroom is upstairs, would you like to see it?”
Faith tried to look as nonchalant as possible. “I guess.”
“Excellent,” the man half-smiled before starting up the hallways’ carpeted steps. The man led them into a cream-white wallpapered and carpeted room with a made-up bed in the centre, a wardrobe and chest of drawers at its foot, and a desk and chair by the window. “I know it looks bland now, but as I said we’ll go shopping tomorrow, I imagine you’ll want an idiot box, ” Giles sighed wearily, “and some sort of Hi Fi.” Faith stared incredulously at the Englishman, a TV and a stereo system? Even if she had to put out occasionally this was beginning to sound like a pretty sweet deal. “Perhaps one of those blo-, computers to help you with school.”
“I don’t do school,” Faith snapped.
She swallowed inwardly when the Englishman’s eyes flashed. “You do now,” he firmly replied. “And there’s no argument, you’ll be starting at a new school on Monday and you will get your high school diploma.” The light in the man’s eyes dimmed and his tone softened. “I imagine you’ll want to put up some posters of pop stars or something to make it feel more at home. That’ll be fine.” Giles stared at her. When all she did was stare back, he sighed, shoulders slouching slightly. “Well if you need me, you only have to call.” The Englishman turned to the doorway.
For some unknown reason Faith felt compelled to throw the Brit a bone. “I like Motley Crue and Skid Row.”
“Motley Crue, Skid Row,” the Englishman sniffed and shook his head. “What edifying names for rock bands. Good night, Faith.”
* * *
“No! You can’t! Get off of me!”
“What the bloody hell,” Giles grunted as he heard Faith screaming, the young teen’s voice filled with horror. Leaping to his feet, he hurried out of his room and into the potential’s room, flipping on the light as he did so. His eyes alighted on the girl thrashing wildly in the bed. “A nightmare,” he muttered as he stepped towards the distressed child, “Faith are you-.”
The girl awoke the moment his hand fell onto her arm, shooting up even as her other hand flashed beneath her pillow. Giles’ eyes widened as the raven-haired girl leapt up with a speed that a Slayer would have envied and flashed a switchblade in his face. “Back off English!”
Giles raised his palms. “Calm down, young lady,” he placated, noting the tears streaked down her cheeks. “You were having a nightmare and crying, I only came in to check-.”
“I don’t cry!” the potential snapped. “Now get out!”
Giles opened his mouth then nodded reluctantly, realising there was little he could do that wouldn’t escalate the situation, he backed out of the room, the young girl petulantly slamming the door shut behind him. “Oh Faith,” Giles’ heart bled when he heard the girl dragging her desk behind the door.
This was going to be even harder than he’d imagined.