Mithras Chronicles Chapter 1
FIC: Jan\Jun ’99 – Leavin’ Sunnydale (1/1) F/X R
Title: Leaving Sunnydale
Rating: R (For Language later)
Feedback: In lieu of a Faithbot yeah.
Disclaimer: If I own the chars, why don't Faith and Cordy do as
their master tells them? Woe is me. None of the Mutant Enemy
characters used in this story belong to me, nor do I intend to make
any profit from this story.
Faith resisted the urge to shake her head as the three of them hurried through the town’s hushed and darkened streets. If she and B didn’t have enough problems trying to rescue G and Wussley from Balthazar, Harris had to tag along.
Fuck, ever since they’d screwed he’d been following her around like a whipped puppy. Like it actually meant something. Hadn’t her throwing him out straight after the ‘great’ event been proof of that? “Shouldn’t have shit in your own sand-pit girl,” she muttered. Next time she got an itch, she’d have to pick up a boy-toy she didn’t know. She chuckled to herself, well at least that let out the Wuss – not that he’d ever have got near her.
Not, she smiled unwillingly, that it hadn’t been nice. She was used to guys telling her she was a ‘hot lay’ or when they’d finished telling her to grab them a beer. Xander though, he’d been different. After what had been soft and gentle instead of her usual frenzied style, he’d looked at her with a sort of amazed affection like it had really meant something. Stupid bastard, didn’t he realise fucking was just -.
Suddenly vampires were all over them. A grin on her face, she joined B in mowing through the bastards. Then B let out a scream. “Faith, incoming!” Out of the corner of her eye, she saw her blonde counterpart throw a shape towards her. Her stake came up.
And then a body barrelled between her and her target knocking her off balance and catching her shot in his shoulder, causing blood to spurt out of the wound. Faith’s eyes widened. “Damn it Xander! What the fuck ya -.” Her voice trailed off as she realised her original target wasn’t a vampire at all but a living breathing human that she’d have killed but for Xander’s interference.
As comprehension began to set in, she started to shake. God, she’d nearly killed a human, become a murderer, no better than a vamp. Suddenly she felt an arm around her shoulders, looking up she saw Xander with his good arm around her. She paled as her eyes were drawn to the ugly gash on his opposite shoulder. “Hey don’t worry about it. I knew the risk when I dived in, I stopped you from killing,” the male Scooby glared at the man climbing to his feet. “This idiot. That’s the important thing.”
Suddenly Xander winced. “Fuck Xan, you five by five?” Faith asked, her voice trembling.
“It’s nothing major, but I’ll best go home. I’ll drop this fool off on the way.”
“Wait!” As the idiot babbled something about working for the Mayor, Faith stared open-mouthed at Xander. She’d treated him like shit but he’d still cared enough to risk his life to save her from a terrible mistake. Maybe he was different from all the other guys she’d known. Maybe she should ask him for another chance.
Finally the deputy mayor finished talking. Xander nodded. “See you guys later.”
Faith watched as Xander dragged the older man away, still awed by what the male Scooby had done for her just minutes ago. A strong hand grabbed her by the shoulder and spun her round to face an angry looking B. “You stupid bitch! You hurt Xander and -.”
The blonde’s voice trailed off when she caught the open-handed slap swinging towards her cheek. “Not gonna happen B,” Faith shook her head for emphasis. “Xman’s got the right to take it up with me,” she knew he wouldn’t Xan didn’t blame people otherwise he’d have kicked B and Red to the kerb months ago. “But in case you’ve forgotten B, you threw that asshole to me. You might be able to sidestep the blame for all the shit Angelus did last year but I’ve realised something. I’ve tried to play nice but I don’t need your friendship anymore, but I will have your respect.” Faith stepped towards the shorter Slayer, backing her off. “Even if I have to beat it out of you.” She turned away from the blonde and towards a retreating Xander. “Wait here.”
* * *
“X! Wait up!”
The youth turned towards her, his expression questioning. “Faith?”
Suddenly Faith’s resolve to ask Xander out crumbled. After the way she’d treated him, why would he be interested? “I just-, I never said thanks for stopping me killing him,” she tore her gaze away from her fellow youth’s bruised shoulder and to his eyes. “So, thanks. And,” she swallowed. “You know how you said we should go for a pizza sometime? I’d like that. Just as buds,” she added hurriedly as her nerve failed again.
“Yeah,” Xander grinned. “I’d like that.”
* * *
Faith grinned as she dropped her stakes into the open drawer and looked around her dingy hotel room. For the first time in a long while the leering hotel manager didn’t seem quite lecherous, the noise from the whore servicing her clientele in the next room quite so loud, or her lumpy mattress quite as uncomfortable.
Why? Because she had a friend. And maybe, her heart warmed at the hopeful thought, maybe something more.
* * *
Xander stepped backwards and sighed. He’d already put some stuff in the car but even so, the two duffle bags he’d just flung onto his bed were pathetically meagre reward for eighteen years of life. Grabbing the bags he let out a yell. “Mom! Dad! I’m going!” Xander waited for a second. His eyes misted over when, as expected, his farewell was met by silent indifference.
Slamming the door behind him, he hurried for his car, Uncle Rory having given him his beaten up Dodge Charger as a going away present, ruminating on his decision to leave Sunnydale for good. Originally he’d only planned to leave for the summer but events over the past years had caused a rift to form between him and the others.
First there’d been Buffy’s running away and then returning, seemingly expecting them to fall on their knees and collectively thank her for returning. Then concealing Angel’s return. The way she’d pushed him out of patrolling, the only thing that made him useful, different from his worthless folks. And the only thing he was to blame for – cheating on Cordy. Not only had he hurt a really great girl for no good reason, he’d also wrecked his oldest friendship.
Saying his good-byes had only strengthened his resolve to leave. Buffy had been more distracted with the ‘terrible tragedy’ of her demon lover leaving. Willow on the other had been pleased to see him go, desperate to do whatever it took to save her crumbling relationship with Oz. Cordy, Xander grimaced, well he hadn’t had the nerve for the goodbye.
The only one he was really going to miss was Faith. After the incident with Finch, the raven-haired Slayer had started to let him in, begun to trust him. And as he expected he’d found a kindred spirit, someone with the same shitty sort of home life, sense of humour, and outlook on life. As they’d grown closer he’d noticed but discarded the jealous looks both Buffy and Willow gave him. Well, they’d decided his friendship was unimportant, they couldn’t have it both ways.
He’d even asked the Bostonian if she wanted to accompany him, strictly no strings attached, but his bud had declined, saying she’d love too but couldn’t leave her sacred duty. He understood but he was going to miss her like hell.
He turned to see Giles stood under the tree at the corner of the road. “G-Man.”
The Watcher half-smiled before starting towards him. “I never thought I’d be sorry not to be hearing that name again.” The former Sunnydale High librarian turned serious. “Are you sure about this?”
“About leaving?” Xander shrugged. “Not really, but it’s not like I’ve anything to stay for. No home, friends aren’t interested, and nothing but low-level employment beckons. I’d rather be anywhere,” he glanced around. “But here.”
The bespectacled Englishman sighed and nodded. “In that case,” Giles passed him a thick envelope.
Xander’s eyes widened as he looked inside the envelope. “There’s nine thousand bucks here!”
The Watcher shrugged. “Call it long over-due payment for your assistance over the last three years.”
“T…thanks,” Xander stuttered. With the money he’d saved from his summer jobs he had over ten thousand dollars, more than enough to keep him going for a few months at least.
“Think nothing of it son.” His surrogate father reached out to shake his hand but Xander ignored the gesture, choosing instead to engulf the Englishman in a hug. “I’m going to miss you,” the Watcher whispered.
“And you,” Xander admitted before pulling away.
“Yes quite,” the Englishman struggled to regain his poise. “Now remember, just because you’re not in Sunnydale doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take precautions. Particularly,” a smile tugged at the former dark mage’s lips. “Considering your propensity for attracting unsuitable paramours. “
Xander winced at the reminder of his romantic misadventures. “I will. And thanks.”
Giles smiled. “My pleasure. And stay in touch.”
* * *
Xander whistled to himself as he jumped in his car and began fiddling with his radio dial. He smiled in satisfaction as he discovered Johnny Cash singing ‘Get Rhythm’. “Ah,” he smiled to himself. “An oldie but a goldie.”
“Fuck Xan,” a highly disgusted voice commented from behind him. “No way am I travelling with you if I’ve gotta listen to that shit!”
A beaming smile illuminating his face, Xander looked behind him to see a smirking Faith wearing a pair of Daisy Dukes and a halter top stood by the trunk, a knapsack slung over one shoulder and a thumb held out as if hitching a ride. “You want to come?”
A rare uncertainty entered the brunette’s luminous brown eyes. “Offer’s still open right?”
“Offer’s still open,” he confirmed. “But I thought-.”
“That I wasn’t interested?” the east coast native shook her head, raven tresses dancing at the movement. “Nah. I figured if B or Red found out I was leaving they’d rat me out to the Wuss and then I’d be dead meat.” The Bostonian snorted in disgust. “Like I’d wanna stay here without my best bud for those two snooty bitches to sneer at me. Ten months I’m eighteen, no-way am I staying around for that. Besides, there’s demons in other places ‘sides Sunnyd.” His friend reached into her rucksack and threw him a thick envelope. “Twenty K to our travelling fund. We’re gonna live large.”
“Twenty K?” Xander’s eyes widened as a troubling thought occurred. “How did-.”
“I get the cash?” Faith finished his question for him. “Fuck Xan, I know I get around but I’ve too much self-respect for that. How do you think I financed my trip from Boston to Sunnyd? By stripping or whoring, or with a rich sugar daddy?” Faith shook her head again. “You have gotta be shittin’ me. Nah, I’d hit a vamp den, wipe out its occupants and take their cash. Been doing it since I hit Sunnydale to pay for my room, food, and shit.”
“Faith, that’s dangerous!”
His friend shrugged before throwing her army knapsack onto the backseat before lithely vaulting into the passenger seat. “Newsflash Xan, being a Slayer is dangerous,” the Bostonian’s sensual mouth twisted in disgust. “Shit, it wasn’t like B was any sort of decent back-up, always taking the night off to be with Fang, leaving the stand-in to do the scut work. So,” the brunette forced a smile. “Where we off to first?”
“Faith,” Xander grinned. “The open road’s our friend.”
Faith chuckled. “Sunnydale quips, you’ve gotta love ‘em.”
* * *
“Mr. Travers, there’s a call from Mr. Whyndham-Pryce on the other line.”
Travers raised a bushy eyebrow. Young Pryce’s monthly report wasn’t due for a week yet. Either Faith or, more likely, the Summers bint given the fact there had been no reports of a new Slayer being called, had died. Excellent, Travers smiled slightly at the thought of freezing that arrogant bugger Rupert Giles out before picking up the phone. “Wesley! Good news I trust!” his smile evaporated at his countryman’s bumbling reply. “You’ve lost your bloody Slayer? You blithering idiot!” he roared, spittle cloaking the phone hand-set. “You’re fired!”
After slamming the phone down he fumed for a few seconds – one Slayer wilfully disobeying the Council and the other a bloody runaway! This was an unheard of situation, and under his stewardship to boot. Suddenly his smile returned. Although given Faith’s past and her reputation for wildness there were perhaps advantages – that low-class trollop demeaned her Calling. Picking the phone back up he dialled the outer office extension. “Mrs Reynolds, put me through to the Council Executive Action team.”