FIC: Hellmouth Heroes (27/?)
Jonathan licked his lips as he forced his feet to carry him up the path leading to Faith and Wesley’s house. Last night shouldn’t have happened, he adored Faith, but there was something magnetic about his attraction to Heidi, something in her blood that just called to him. He had to explain, to apologise for the way Faith had found out about him and Heidi.
He came to a halt in front of the house, swallowed deeply, then wiped his increasingly sweaty palms on his pants before knocking on the door. “Coming,” he gulped again when he heard Wesley’s voice. Then the door swung open. “Hell-,” the man’s face darkened as he registered his presence, “Mr. Levinson, you have some bloody nerve.”
He forced himself to meet the Englishman’s burning eyes. “I need to see Faith-.”
”What you need really doesn’t concern me,” the Englishman snapped.
”Look,” he licked his lips again, “I have to explain-.”
“Explain why you tore her heart out?” The Watcher shook his head disdainfully. “I consider Faith as rather more than my responsibility,” Wesley glared down at him, making him feel small. “Indeed, if I had a younger sister, I would want her to have her resourcefulness, courage, and spirit, a little less lip perhaps, but one can’t have everything. And you young man,” Jonathan backed away when Wesley advanced out of the house, suddenly intimidated by the larger, older man, “have hurt her deeply. If I had the tools available, I’d take a horse whip to you. As it is, I’ll have to settle to telling you to bugger off.”
“I don’t intend repeating myself,” Wesley repeated. “Go.”
* * *
Wesley slammed the door shut as he stepped back inside the house. His heart pounded as his fists clenched and unclenched. Bloody hell, he’d been so close to losing his temper, resorting to the sort of behaviour indicative of his dear old father. For rather better motives true, but the fact remained he’d almost unleashed a side of himself he thought buried.
“Thanks for that, Wes.”
He turned to the pale-faced brunette sat on the stairs with her arms across her knees and all misgivings about his behaviour fled. “That’s quite alright dear.”
Faith smiled wanly. “I think I’d kinda like bein’ your lil sister.” Faith’s smile evaporated as suddenly as it had appeared, leaving behind a great desolation. “I t…though he really cared, I t…thought he was the one guy I…I could really love, that didn’t think I was a worthless bitch-.” The girl’s words degenerated into a serious of body-shaking sobs.
”Now, now,” he looped his arm around the sobbing girl’s shoulder and pulled her into an uncomfortable hug, “never ever think that. No worthless bitch as you put it,” he spat out the distasteful words before calming himself, “could inspire such a diverse group to work together, my dear. Never forget that. Both myself and Giles regard you with great pride, Xander idolises you, Alonna, Tara, and Cordelia are all your friends, the Potentials all look up to you. Many people find you eminently worthy.” Even as he heard his words, he recognised how stilted they sounded. God damn his father for rearing such an emotionally stunted son.
* * *
Xander grimaced as he finished plumbing the college bar toilet, nose wrinkling in disgust. “Why does Gunn always manage to be off on nights like this?” Rising, Xander walked out of the toilets with a shake of his head. “Toilet’s done, Stan.”
“Yeah” the bar’s tubby proprietor nodded at him while glaring at the shadowy bar’s patrons. It was still early, so only one table was occupied, but it was already raucous. “Look at them damn students, think they’re better than us locals don’t they?”
“Yeah,” Xander nodded uneasily. “So I’ll put this on account, Stan?”
Suddenly Stan half-smiled and turned towards him. “Do you want a drink?”
Xander started to shake his head. Then the hairs on the back of his neck rose at a familiar laugh. “Hold that thought, Stan.” Xander put his tools down and strode over to the crowded table, heart sinking as his eyes confirmed what his ears had told him. “Faith,” he looked towards the curvy brunette sat with her arm looped around the shoulders of the man whose knee she was sat on, “I heard about you-.”
The student sat to Xander’s right started to rise. ”This is a private party, bud.”
Xander kept his gaze on his friend as he elbowed the teen in the stomach and reverse leg-swept him back into the chair. “I was talking to my friend,” he coldly warned, then smiled as three of the other youths started to rise. “You boys are really having a really bad day.”
“Fuck!” Faith leapt up and grabbed his arm, pulling him towards the bar. “Be right back, boys!” she shouted over her shoulder. Then the coal-eyed beauty spun to face him. “I’m just havin’ some fun-.”
“With them?” Xander shook his head. “You can do better than those lowlifes.”
“Jonathan doesn’t think so.”
Xander winced at that, and Faith’s outfit of a leather mini that broke several decency laws with a slash up the right leg and a short-sleeved lace-hemmed black midriff top. Nothing good could possibly come from his friend looking so darn edible. “Jonathan’s a fool,” Xander replied, “but that doesn’t have to mean -.”
”Leave it Xan,” Faith shook her head, “you might have missed patrol but I didn’t. I did my duty, and now I’m gonna have some fun.” Xander opened his mouth. “Just butt out, kay.” With that his friend spun on her heel and headed back to the cheering table.
Xander shook his head as he strode back to the bar and sat on one of its stools. “This can’t end well,” he muttered before looking towards the barman, “I’ll have that drink now, Stan.”
”We’ve only got one beer on tap,” Stan warned.
”That’s cool because I just want a coke,” Xander replied. He was Tony Harris’ son and as such gave booze a very wide berth.
Two hours later he was passing past the table on the way back from the toilet when he noticed that the table’s occupants were acting in a very cavemanesque manner, which was hardly surprising given the five students.
“Okay Faith,” Xander decided to take his life in his own hands and grab her arm, “you’ve had your fun, I’m cuttin’ you off.”
Faith looked up at him, her usually bright eyes blank. “Did it hurt?”
“No,” Xander sighed as the five boys’ chairs flew back, “but I think it’s going to.” His voice trailed off as he suddenly registered the youths’ uniformly unfocused eyes and hunched over postures. This was something slightly more than ordinary booze-fuelled aggression and he should know. “Look-.”
“Leave girl!” One of the men jumped over the table at him, Xander twisted and threw the man off and into the bar behind them, scattering stools.
“Girl ours!” snapped another as he lunged at Xander from his left in an attempted waist takedown that he blocked with a knee to the face that shattered the man’s nose and flung him back on his chair, the chair splintering under his sudden impact and flinging him to the floor. Xander scooped up a half-drunk glass and flung its contents into the face of another man lunging at him from the right then followed up with a left hook to the youth’s jaw. Sensing the youth to his left lunging back up, Xander back heel-kicked him in the stomach.
Xander fell forward when a chair crashed into his upper-back and shoulders, knocking him head-first into the table before him en-route to crashing to the dirty floor. “Damn!” Xander grunted as he hit the ground, foot kicking out at the man behind him. Head ringing he struggled to his knees, sweeping the legs out of the first man to charge him, but before he could get any further up, the rest of the gang were on him, kicking punching, and stomping him into a bruise.
“Boy! Friend!” Suddenly Faith was in amongst her attackers, grabbing one by his collar and flinging him into the bar counter, wood splintering under the impact. “Not hurt!” Another was folded up under a side-heel kick that knocked him into and through the nearest table. Another had his right-handed haymaker caught in the Slayer’s fist and flung over her head into ceiling’s lights, glass showering them. Another lunged at his friend from behind only to be doubled up by an elbow to the gut, then grabbed in an overhand head-lock and flung over her shoulder and into a nearby post. The second man to be downed by the Slayer staggered to his feet, grabbed a handful of hair, and slammed a right into her jaw. “Play punch.” Faith grabbed the man by the front of his shirt and threw him into the final remaining man, momentum propelling the pair into the jukebox by the door. “I not play.”
“Wow, I feel so grateful yet so emasculated.”
“You friend.” Xander gulped as Faith looked towards him. “I like friend.”
“Faith,” Xander’s Adam Apple jumped as the brunette bombshell straddled and alternated between sniffing him and kissing his neck. “Faith.” Xander gulped when the curvy beauty cupped his head in her face, thumbs stroking his cheeks. “This is all very nice, but I’ve got someone.”
Faith pressed her forehead to his, eyes staring into his. “Not want girl?” she queried, full bottom lip jutting out.
Xander wriggled uncomfortably. “Huh, I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anyone more,” he honestly replied. “But I’ve got a girl-friend, you’re under a spell-.”
“You not boy-friend.” Faith’s eyes turned to ebony stone. “Boy-friend hurt me.” Faith’s sudden smile was the thing of nightmares. “Me hurt boy-friend now.”
Xander’s eyes widened. “Faith no, you wouldn’t want to-.”
“You no tell me what to do!” The Slayer was suddenly off him and leaping through the bar’s window glass, showering everywhere.
Stan let out a shocked shrill. “They wrecked my bar!”
Xander groaned. “You think you’ve got problems.”
* * *
“You’re telling me, knowing the vulnerable condition Faith was in, you let her drink?” Wesley demanded
Xander rolled his eyes. The meeting between him and the two senior Watchers was going about as well as he expected. “I didn’t let her do anything. And I didn’t know this was going to happen.”
“But you knew she was drinking,” Giles accused.
Xander shook his head. “Well excuse Mr. ‘I spent the sixties in an electric Kool-Aid
funky Satan groove’.”
Giles shot him a venomous look. “It was the early seventies and you should know better than to let Faith do this.”
Xander looked from Wesley to Giles and back again. “Have either of you actually tried to tell Faith what to do?”
Wesley cleared his throat. “Much as I loathe to admit it, Xander has a point. Faith makes a virtue out of obstinacy.”
“What he said,” Xander agreed.
Giles shot him a final glare before nodding reluctantly. “Very well,” Giles paused for a second. “From your description it appears Faith is under some sort of a spell. As such, I’ll have the best chance of restraining her thanks to my telepathic powers. At worst, I should be able to knock her out with a mind blast. Wesley, I want you to round up Gunn and Cordelia, and attempt to guard Heidi and Jonathan from Faith. Xander,” Giles looked towards him, “get Willow and head back to the bar, see if you can find what caused this mess.”
* * *
Xander’s hand crashed repeatedly against the door. “Willow! Willow!” He thumped the door again. “Willow!”
“Xander!” The red-haired witch flung the door open, her bottom lip jutting out, and a hastily thrown-on towelled robe around her. “You’ll break the door.”
“Yeah, sorry,” Xander hurried into the dorm room the witch officially shared with Tara but in fact stayed in with Oz. “But there’s a sort of crisis going on.”
“Crisis?” Oz sat up in the bed, eyebrow raised and the sheets thankfully covering him from waist-up.
”Yeah,” Xander hurriedly explained what had happened at the bar, “so we need to go back and find out what caused all this.”
“Okay,” Willow nodded as soon as he’d finished talking. “You step out, we’ll get dressed and head down.”
* * *
“What’s the use of having mobiles if you don’t turn them on?” Wesley cursed as a still-grumbling Cordelia followed Gunn out of their apartment and into his car.
“Can’t say I’m excited ‘bout getting lumps protecting Heidi and Jonathan after what they did,” Gunn groused.
“Then look at it as protecting Faith from doing something she might regret if you prefer,” Wesley suggested as he put his keys in the ignition.
* * *
“How are you doing, Rupert?”
Giles shrugged as he drove through Sunnydale’s hushed night streets. “It’s frustrating,” he finally admitted. “I’m trying to reach out to Faith’s mind, but it’s not there.” He chuckled darkly. “Even less there than the average American teen.”
”As a previous American teen can I say hey!” Jenny protested before sobering. “You’re really worried about what she might do aren’t you?”
“Given what Xander said about her behaviour I’m bloody terrified,” he replied.
* * *
Heidi sighed as Jonathan pulled away from their kissing. “You’re not changing your mind are you?” She hated how wheedling she sounded, but they’d gone through so much, incurred so much disapproval and caused so much hurt, what they had had to mean something.
“No, no, no.” Her heart leapt when Jonathan shook his head. “We just fit together, but Faith was the first girl to ever notice I existed and I betrayed her. There had to be a better way for her to find out. I really messed everything up.”
“It’s okay to feel guilty,” Heidi comforted.
Jonathan smiled weakly. “Good, because that’s all-.”
“Goddddddddd!” Heidi screamed as the door imploded inwards, crashing to the ground as Faith walked in over the top of it, eyes dead.
”He mine.” The Slayer pointed at Jonathan and shook her head. “You steal.”
* * *
“What’s this?” Oz asked as Xander passed him a gun.
”When I left the bar, Faith had laid out all her fellow cave-people, but if they’re coming around, these tranqs should put them out,” Xander explained.
”Should?” Oz climbed out of the car. “Comforting.”
“Whoa,” Willow whistled as they entered the wrecked bar with its broken tables, shattered glass littering the blood-splattered carpet, and broken jukebox, “when you and Faith decide to wreck a place, you do a really good job.”
“Oh heck.” Xander groaned. His companions glanced at him as they climbed over the crumpled bodies. “I just realised we’ve probably lost the contract to look after UC. Sunnydale’s out-lying buildings, Gunn will not be happy.”
Willow shook her head. “Focus.”
“You, you!” Suddenly Stan’s potato-shaped head peeked up from behind the bar. “This is your fault!”
“Look Stan,” Xander hurried over to the barman. “We've got a problem. The guys they they're some of the patrons are turning into cavemen.”
Stan shook his head. “It wasn’t supposed to end up like this.”
“End up like this?” Willow pointed at Stan. “What does that mean.”
The barman flushed. “They've had it coming. I've been taking abuse from snot nosed kids for twenty years. They're always coming in here with their snotty attitude,
drinking their fruity little micro brews and spouting out some philosophy like it means a damn thing. Thinking they're different than us.”
“Well they are now,” Oz commented.
“No,” Stan grinned, “they ain't. That's the great thing about beer. It makes all men
the same. My brother-in-law's a warlock. He showed me how to do it.” Stan laughed. “Relax. It will wear off in a day or so.”
Xander shook his head. “In a day or so someone is going to get killed. You're a bad,
bad man.” Xander cracked his knuckles. “We’re going to have a talk, and you better talk fast.”
* * *
Jonathan pulled away from Heidi and rose from the lounge couch, sweat beading on his forehead as he noted the coldness in his ex’s eyes. “Faith, I’m sorry, I -, uggggh!”
Jonathan gasped as the dead-eyed brunette grabbed him around the throat, steel-cord fingers digging deep. “You hurt Faith!” she snarled as she lifted him off the ground. “Faith hurt you!”
Jonathan gasped and wheezed as he grabbed a hold of the Slayer’s arm but failed to shift it. “Hey!” Heidi leapt at Faith only to be flung into the wall by the Slayer’s back-hand to the jaw.
Her fingers still digging deeply into his throat, Faith spun around and dropped him through the glass coffee table. Jonathan groaned as he rolled away from a stomp that would have caved in his chest if it connected. “Her first, then you.”
Heidi jumped at Faith, leading with an overhand right that Faith caught in her hand before flexing her arm and tossing the former X-23 back into the wall. Jonathan’s girlfriend squealed as she rolled away from the Slayer’s attempted side-thrust kick to the head.
“Faith,” Jonathan rasped, his throat aching, “please -.”
The Slayer’s full mane whipped around as she spun into a roundhouse kick that would have taken his head off if he hadn’t dropped into a squat under it. Seeing his chance, Jonathan lunged forward, shoulder-charging the Slayer’s grounded leg at the knee.
“NO!” Faith screamed as she hit the carpet on her back.
”Help me hold her down!” Jonathan leapt at Faith only to crumple in a heap when Faith’s feet caught her in the stomach, doubling up. He gasped as Faith kipped up and Heidi grabbed her by the hair only to be being driven backwards by an elbow to the face.
And then things got really chaotic.
* * *
“Rupert, we’re just pulling up outside Heidi’s,” Wesley spoke tersely in his cell as his car screeched to a halt, and he followed Gunn and Cordelia in hurrying to the house. “The front door has been kicked in, so we can only assume Faith is inside. I’d recommend you got here post-haste.”
“Oh bloody hell!” Wesley dived to the ground as he raced into the lounge, a leaping Faith connecting with a side thrust kick to Gunn’s chest that flung the unfortunate LA street-fighter through the lounge doorway and onto the hallway carpet.
Cordelia grabbed Faith from behind the moment she landed. “No stop!” barked Faith as her hands snaked up to grab the former cheerleader’s wrists, lift, and fling the taller brunette up over her head, tearing the lampshade off the ceiling, and onto Heidi, the two women collapsing to the ground. Wesley swallowed as he leapt at the rampaging Slayer from the left while Jonathan did the same from the right.
Wesley grunted as the Slayer caught her with a backhand to the face that knocked him to the knees while shooting out a side heel kick that doubled up Jonathan. “Faith,” Wesley shook his head, trying and failing to clear it from the bludgeoning blow, “you know me, I’m-.”
“Friend?” The Slayer’s head tilted quizzically to one side as she regarded him, then Faith shook her head, eyes narrowing to slits. “Friend not stop Faith.” And just like that, Faith was grabbing a hold of Jonathan’s collar and flinging the boy into him, flooring the pair of them.
Faith charged over to where Cordelia and Heidi were both reaching their feet. The enchanted and inflamed supernatural warrior caught Cordelia with an uppercut to the jaw that lifted her from her feet before snapping off a kick to Heidi’s left knee that sent the blonde pitching to the floor. “You hurt me!” Wesley gasped as he and Jonathan struggled to their feet to see Faith lifting the weakly struggling Heidi overhead, one hand on her neck, the other on her belt. “I hurt you!”
And then Cordelia clotheslined the Slayer from behind, knocking Faith and Heidi to the ground. Gunn charged through from the hall, leaping on the snarling Slayer, joining Cordelia in trying to hold her down.
Giles rushed in. “Good lord!” The Watcher exclaimed. The Englishman paused for a second before shaking his head. “Bloody hell, it’s not working.” The Englishman paused again. “Oh come on!” Suddenly Faith’s wild struggles abated. “Thank god,” Giles turned to him, pulling him to his feet. “It took three mental blasts to knock her out. I’ve just spoken to Xander, he says the magic was in the beer Faith drunk and the effects will wear off in the morning. Gunn and Cordelia, could you guard her tonight?”
* * *
Chains clinked as the leg and arm manacled man left Sunnydale jail, flanked on either side by a burly corrections officer that dwarfed the captive. The driver’s door to the prisoner transport truck swung open as the third member of the escort climbed out to greet them.
The guard on the right missed a step, doughy face blanching. “You’re not Jack, where’s Jack?” he squeaked.
Warren’s face lit up with malignant glee. “Jack’s dead,” his hands came up filled with silenced S&W .45 ACPs, his fingers tugging on the triggers, guns jumping in his hands as blood blossomed on the men’s chests, flinging the pair of guards onto their backs, bodies jerking in their spasmodic death dance. “And so are you.”
The chained prisoner didn’t move but stared dazedly as he strode towards him, fear in the man’s eyes. “W…who? W….why?”
“Tucker Wells?” Warren grinned at the man’s nod. “I bet after your run-in with Faith’s little gang you’re just the sort of man who wants revenge on those do-gooders?”
After a second the prisoner nodded and smiled. “Oh yeah.”