Title: A New World
Rating: R (For Language later)
Relationships: Not Applicable
Feedback: In lieu of a Faithbot yeah.
Disclaimer: I don’t own the characters just worship at their altar. All the characters contained within this story belong to Mutant Enemy.
FIC: A New World (1/?)
“The artefact has been secured?”
Agent F nodded at his leader’s enquiry. “Yes sir. Your instructions were followed to the letter, they don’t have a clue we’ve taken it.”
“Excellent,” his boss nodded. “In that case, it’s time to put Operation ‘New World’ into action.” The older man’s gaze took in Agent F and all his companions. “One hundred thousand pounds on the heads of each Slayer. Quarter of a million sterling for the heads of Rosenberg, Giles, Wood, and Harris. Half a million for Miss Summers and either of the ensoulled vampires. Two million for Faith Martin.” The massed room broke out in shocked whispers at this last bombshell. After a minute or so, their leader’s cultured voice cut through the mutterings. “But the money for Miss. Martin is payable on her capture and NOT her death. I have some issues to discuss with that young lady before I have her disposed of. The person who kills her will take her place in the dungeon. Understand?”
Agent F beamed as the meeting ended. Giles, Buffy, they’d all pay for what they’d taken from him.
* * *
“Oh honey,” Wood whined as he watched the heavenly sight of his girl-friend’s beautifully taut butt wriggling into her black g-string. “Don’t go.”
”Sorry Nottingham,” Faith looked over a bare shoulder and winked. “But you know it’s Sunday.”
“I know,” Wood hesitated. “But he’s made it clear he doesn’t want your help.”
He regretted his words when Faith’s eyes filled with hurt. “I know,” the east coast native admitted before pulling her t-shirt and leather jacket on. “But I gotta try, you get?”
“I get it, but it’s cold out,” Wood decided to try his final gambit. “Get back in bed.”
His Slayer chuckled. “Sorry lover.” The Bostonian pulled her calf-skin boots on and zipped them up. “But if you get the whipped cream ready, I promise I’ll be back in a hour and a half max. K?”
“K,” he finally conceded.
He was rewarded with a dazzling smile and a tender kiss on his lips. “Thanks Robbie.”
* * *
Faith’s smile disappeared the moment she closed the door behind her and stepped into the Watcher Keep’s corridor. Her life ever since Sunnydale’s fall had been pretty good, the best ever in fact. Pardoned for her crimes due to the Council’s influence, she’d served as the Council’s roaming trouble-shooter travelling to places she’d only read about in the prison library – Argentina, Japan, India, Australia, France, Spain, and Germany. She had a man who cared about her and had reached understandings with Wes, G, and Red.
There was just one problem – Xander. B still hated her, but she didn’t give a fuck about that. She had enough smarts to realise that with the older woman it came down to B hating to share either the spotlight or Fang. They’d never be friends and she was down with that.
But Xan, that was down to her. His life in Sunnydale had take a lot from him – his best friend, surrogate mother, eye, and the love of his life. But it was what she’d taken from him that still haunted her.
The night she’d torn his virginity from him had been bad enough, not at all the way someone’s first time should be – although a hell of a lot better than her first time had been. But what worse was what had followed. The way she’d treated him that night he’d come to her, offering to help her. He’d believed what had happened between them had meant something, that they meant something, that they were friends
And how had she’d repaid his kindness and loyalty? She’d tried to strangle him. If not for Fang…. Of all the things she was grateful to her mentor for that was the biggest.
It had taken her two weeks after Sunnydale’s fall, while they were recovering in San Diego, to gather the courage to try and talk to Xander. Her attempt had bombed spectacularly with the glassy-eyed former carpenter shaking off his grief for long enough to coldly tell her that ‘he preferred his friendships to come without nasty rashes or painful infections’.
Despite the abuse her first effort had gained her, she’d persevered, she never had learnt when to quit, but Xander’s reactions had ranged from disinterest to aggression. After two months she’d given in to Wood’s pleas to give Xander some space.
But on the four times they’d returned to the newly-constructed Watchers’ Keep they’d found Xander plunging ever deeper into a listless depression. He’d even been deserted by his closest friends, B & little sis had gone to Italy, Red and her girltoy to Rio, and G was too involved in resurrecting the Council to spare much time for Xander.
Not that she blamed them. B had fought for eight years and Red was still consumed with guilt over her evil phase. Seeing X the way he was now probably reminded them of the past. She understood how hard confronting the past could be.
On each return she’d tried to talk to X, but had gotten precisely no-where. He wasn’t abusive anymore, just non-responsive, almost as if the anger had been leeched out of him, leaving behind an empty shell. Which left her with only one course of action. “Hi Faith.”
Faith glanced to the corridor opening to her right. “Rona, Vi,” she nodded to the two Slayers before melting into the darkness beside them. “He leave yet?” Faith relaxed at the duo’s simultaneous headshakes.
Most of the Slayers who’d fought at the Hellmouth battle had left, either returning to their families or had been assigned Watchers. But Vi and Rona had stayed, their families murdered by the Bringers, and were now the teachers of rookie Slayers as well as unofficially serving as the Xman’s shadows. “Any change yet?” she whispered.
“No,” Vi shook her head. “The same.”
“Damn,” Faith muttered. She hated this. If Xan hated her, well she didn’t have to like it, but she could live with it as part of her penance. But she wanted him to be the sweet, kind man she remembered with the others. The world needed good guys like Xander. It was her experience there were all too few of them.
Her thoughts were interrupted by a door opening down the corridor. Her breath caught at the chubby figure that shambled out of the room. “Xander,” she whispered. Her former boytoy was a complete mess. Unshaven and wearing clothes that looked like they hadn’t been washed in a month. His remaining eye was bloodshot and he looked to have put at least twenty pounds on.
Faith felt her eyes sting with tears of frustrated anger. This wasn’t right, she hadn’t known Xan’s ex well but she was pretty sure the former demon wouldn’t want Xan to fall apart like this. “Hell of a memorial you’ve given her Xman,” Faith whispered. Collecting herself she turned to her companions. “Let’s motor.”
* * *
Xander’s eyes watered as his fingers traced the etched letters of his former fiancée’s name on the stone memorial. “God,” his voice shook. “I miss you.” He’d been coming to the stone cross Giles had set up as a memorial to those who’d fallen every Sunday since they’d relocated to England.
He and his shadows.
He didn’t need to look up to know they were there. Just behind the tree to the left some two hundred paces there’d be Rona and Vi, and Faith unless he missed his guess. Watching in case some demon tried to snatch him in the early morning, he guessed.
Why the hell they couldn’t take the hint he had no idea. Putting their presence to the back of his mind he continued to talk to his love.
* * *
“How goes it?”
Faith looked behind her in surprise. “G?” she whispered. “How come?”
The Council head smiled sadly. “Faith, I might have failed spectacularly to get through to Xander, but I can at least keep an eye on him.” She nodded in understanding. “Have you spoken to him since your return.”
“Nah, last time was enough,” Faith shrugged. “He wants to talk, he knows where I am.”
The Englishman nodded. “I quite understand. One can only help someone who wants to,” the Watcher’s face paled and his head snapped towards the Keep. “What the bloody hell?”