Season 2 Episode 1
FIC: Faith: The Series S2 Ep 1
Title: Faith The Series: Season 2
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.
“Good night hon?”
“Yeah,” Faith looked up at Xander, loving the comfort she gained from his arm around her shoulders, the warmth she felt from his body nestling against hers as they walked through Sunnydale’s darkened streets after finishing their patrol. Not that, she grinned inwardly, they’d done much patrolling. No, these days their non-Giles patrols consisted of finding a secluded spot and spending a couple of hours making out. The last few weeks had been heaven. “Damn.” Hushing her boyfriend to silence, she drew her stake and stepped towards a near-by tree. Suddenly a thick-set vampire leapt out from behind the tree. Surprised, she barely had time to duck its clubbing right hook. Quickly rallying, she feinted with a left jab. The moment the beast moved to parry her attack, she plunged her stake home.
The moment the vampire burst into dust, she turned to Xander. “What ya looking so worried for stud?” she queried. “Vamp went boom, not even a challenge.”
“How long is it since we saw one?”
Faith crunched her face up in thought. There’d been a hell of a lot of activity immediately following the Master’s death, but after a frantic few days, nada. “Shit, must be nearly a month,” her eyes widened in realisation, “ah hell, best go and see G.”
* * *
“Yo G! I hope you and JC aren’t going hot and heavy at it on the sofa!”
“Faith,” Giles sighed long-sufferingly. He and Miss. Calendar hadn’t spoken a word since the end of the school year. And yet the couple of dances they’d shared were enough to have Faith they were convinced they were ‘an item’. He’d accuse Faith of being a romantic, except he feared such a suggestion would leave him an amputee. “Please don’t judge me by yours and Xander’s standards.”
“Nah, we’re young G, we don’t use sofas, we generally just do it on the ground.”
That was enough to get him glaring at the youth who followed his daughter into the living room. “Chill G,” Faith laughed. “We don’t do it on the ground. Not when we’ve got a nice comfy be-.” His Slayer gulped when he turned his glare on her. “Jeez, just having a little fun G, just trying to lighten the mood.”
“We ran into a vampire,” Xander put in.
His ire was instantly replaced by concern. “Both of you sit down,” he instructed. As the teens obeyed, he cast a worried eye over both of them. “But you’re both alright?”
“Didn’t lay a finger on either of us G,” Faith reassured him. “But he’s the-.”
“First vampire in five weeks and four days,” he finished heavily. It appeared the breathing-space that the Master’s death had gained them was over. “When the Master died, it created a power vacuum here. At first there was general bedlam when those of the Master’s minions,” although not Darla, no she hadn’t shown her face, “who survived attempted to take over. However when the last of them either fled or was slain, other vampires became interested in taking over the Hellmouth.” He glanced at his intently listening daughter, and killing you. “For now they’ve been content to bide their time, wait until one of their number made a move. But now..”
A long silence followed his words. “What we gonna do?” Faith asked.
“More training,” he ignored Faith’s groan to continue. “And you will no longer patrol alone. I will accompany you,” he glanced at Xander, “there is no obli-.”
“I’ll do it.”
He nodded gratefully. “I’ll also ask Jesse and Cordelia to accompany us on special occasions.” All three students had progressed nicely over the past few months. Jonathan and Willow were a disappointment, but academically they were a considerable assistance. And Willow and Amy were hugely promising mages. All in all, they were a good team and it made him wonder why the bloody hell the Council had insisted on the Slayer working alone in the past. “Xander, given that it’s late and the streets are active again would you like to stay over,” he didn’t need to look at his Slayer to know she’s readying herself for a smart comment. “Xander will be on the couch Faith.”
“You’re no fun.”
“I’m your guardian, I’m not meant to be fun.”
* * *
“This is the area?”
Darla nodded at Colin’s question. “This is the grave,” she confirmed as she stared at the small path of grass in front of them, a quartet of crosses marking out its corners.
Colin stared at their six companions. “Dig.” In seconds, the three shovel carrying vampires were hurriedly digging, but the others were just standing around. “Don't just stand there. Dig! We have to hurry.”
Immediately the other three dropped to their knees and began to dig, soon smoke is coming up from the ground. One of the vampires let out a shriek. “It is consecrated! It burns!”
Colin looked up at her. Shaking her head, Darla stepped forward and slammed her stake into the complaining vampire’s back. “Dig.” Within a few minutes the diggers unearthed a skull. “Soon,” Darla whispered. “Soon the Master will return.”
* * *
“Hi G,” Faith smiled at her Watcher as he entered her bedroom.
He smiled at her before sitting on her bed. “You look worried dear.”
“Me worried?” she shrugged nonchalantly. “Don’t do worried.”
Giles chuckled. “Oh I’d worry. I've killed you once, it shouldn't be too difficult to do it again.”
Faith’s eyes widened. “Wha-.” A backfist slammed into her mouth, knocking her to the ground. Heart pounding, she tried to rise, her hands pushing at his face. Her terror deepened when her guardian’s face slid away to reveal the Master beneath. “I killed you!”
“Do you seriously think death would keep me from you?” the Master taunted, his hands clasped around her neck, choking the air out of her. “That boy of yours won’t save you twice.” The vampire laughed. “I’ve promised him to Darla.”
“Noo!” she flicked out a fist, smashing her hand into her attacker’s ribs.
Faith blinked, eyes widening as she noticed a stunned looking Giles looking up at her from the floor. Shit, it had just been a nightmare. “Sorry G,” she leapt to the floor and pulled her Watcher up. “Bad dream, ya know?”
“Quite,” Giles winced. “But you’re alright?”
“Yeah,” she nodded, “sorry for ya know.”
“Don’t worry about it dear. Bruised ribs heal,” her Watcher grimaced. “Eventually.”
* * *
Faith glanced at her friends seated around their usual Bronze table, her heart tightening. Finally she came to a decision. Standing, she forced a smile. “Guys, gotta go patrol.” Her heart sank when Xander and Jesse started to rise. “Sorry, me and G are flying solo.”
“Listen X,” she forced her tone to harden. “You mean well, but face it you’re pretty much amateur hour,” she hated herself for the pain she saw in her friends’ eyes. “I’m were it’s at. You guys, well you’re just light relief, help for research and shit, but when I’m out there, I’ve gotta concentrate on the fight ya know, can’t carry passengers.” Not giving Xander or the others a chance to answer, she strode from the club, forcing herself not to cry. She’d died once, she couldn’t risk her friends. The dream of last night had taught her that, this wasn’t a game. Shoving the door open, she walked out into the cold night air.
* * *
The Bostonian groaned before turning to face her. “C, not the time.”
“Make the time!” Cordelia was good and pissed. “Xander’s a dweeb but he’s crazy about you! And how do you treat him? Like he’s dirt!” She was relieved by the guilt that flickered in her friend’s eyes. “And then you attack us all! What are you trying to do, push us away?”
“YES!” her friend screamed back at her making her step back before continuing, her voice softer and her eyes fixed on the ground. “Best case scenario, I die and you guys survive and grieve. Worst case scenario, I take some of you with me. Either way I hurt you! You’re better off without me.”
Her best friend’s words hit her like a hammer. Her anger was instantly replaced with shocked sympathy. God, how alone Faith must feel. “Faith, we can help you-.”
“Not interested,” Faith spun away and raced into the darkness.
Cordelia muttered a word that her mother would have been shocked to hear her immaculately reared daughter use. She opened her mouth to shout after her friend only for a pain explode in her head and her knees buckle beneath her.
* * *
“His skeleton is gone.”
Giles winced at the terror in his daughter’s eyes. Tearing his eyes from the violated grave he turned to her, grimacing at the paleness of her face. He reached out to put a hand in her shoulder. “Fai-.”
“Don’t!” the look Faith shot him was venomous to say the least. “They're gonna bring him back. They're gonna bring the Master back to life, and I seem to recall you telling me he was history.”
Giles attempted to defend himself. “I-I-I've never heard of a-a revivification ritual being successful.”
“But you've heard of them? Thanks for the warning.” Faith spun away from him.
“We’ll need to research -.”
“It can wait!”
* * *
Cordelia grunted as two vampires shoved her down some steps. “Oh,” she groaned as she hit the ground.
”Are you alright?”
She looked up to see two women stepping out of the shadows. Her eyes widened in surprised recognition. “Amy? Ms. Calendar?”
* * *
Giles attempted to ignore the pantherish figure of his Slayer pacing the library floor as he studied. “Alright, I've got something. It's Latin, so bear with me. Uh, to revive the vampire they need his bones, which they have, and the presence, this is very unclear, of the closest person... uh, someone connected to the vampire.”
Faith stopped and turned to him, her face pale but resolute. “Probably their first kill to firm up the resurrection right? That'd be me.”
“We were close. We killed each other. It really promotes togetherness.”
Suddenly Xander, Jesse, Willow, and Jonathan crashed through the library doors. “Faith!” Xander exclaimed, the poor boy looked heartbroken. “Is there anything on when the ceremony might take...” They all hit the floor when a brick came crashing through the window. “Whoa!”
Giles looked up to see his Slayer had caught the rock in her hands and was reading the attached note and brandishing a bracelet. Jesse let out a shocked yell. “That’s Cordelia's.”
Faith glanced at Jesse. “I did wonder, for a classy chick like Cor, this jewellery did suck. 'Come to the Bronze before it opens, or we make her a meal.’” Giles watched as his Slayer grabbed her weapons.
“What do we do?” asked Willow.
“We don’t do anything,” Faith exhaled. “I go to the Bronze and save the day. As usual.”
“I don't like this,” Xander commented.
“Nor I!” Giles agreed.
Faith shrugged. “Yeah? Well, you guys don’t get a vote.”
“What do you mean?”
“I can't do it anymore.” Finally Faith turned to them. “I can't carry any more passengers.”
“Well, what about the rest of the note?” challenged Willow.
“What rest of the note?” Faith queried, her face puzzled.
“The part that says, 'P.S. This is a trap'?” exclaimed the red-head.
“You'll be playing straight into their hands.” Giles agreed.
“I can handle this.” Faith shook her head.
“Stop saying that! God, what's wrong with you?” Willow exploded with a ferocity that made him blink. “Cordelia’s our friend too!”
“This is my fight,” Faith exclaimed. Before any of them had a chance to speak the Slayer was out of the library.
* * *
Faith’s heart was racing as she sneaked into the darkened Bronze. What if they’d already resurrected the Master and he was waiting for her? Seeing a girl crying in a corner, she crept towards her, keeping to the shadows, only to stop, heart freezing, as the girl laughed and turned towards her, revealing her demonic face. “Cordelia couldn't make it.”
“Where is she?” Faith demanded, she noted the whiteness of her knuckles as she clung to her stake.
The Vampire giggled, she was nuts. “I'm not supposed to tell.” Suddenly the demon lunged at her. Faith sidestepped the attack, grabbed a handful of the vampire’s hair and flung her down onto her back, pinning her there with a foot across her throat. Faith looked around, confused. Where were the other vampires?
* * *
“Cordelia’s my girl-friend!” Jesse raged as he paced the floor. “We should have gone with her!”
“When she’s in this sort of mood, it’s best to leave her alone,” Xander didn’t look convinced by his own argument.
“Xander!” Willow exclaimed. “You know it's a trap!”
Giles attempted to cut out the youths’ arguing as he and Jonathan researched. Suddenly the diminutive youth let out a cry. “The Latin is poorly translated from Sumerian. Closest to the Master actually translates as 'nearest'. Physically. The person or persons who were with him... when he died.”
Giles felt the blood drain from his face. “It is a trap.” He looked up to see several vampires appear on the mezzanine above. “It just isn't for her.”
* * *
“Tell me what’s going on!” Faith ordered as she forced her crucifix into the screaming vampire’s mouth for the third time, holding it there as steam billowed out of her captive’s mouth. Ignoring her queasiness, she pulled the cross out. And shoved the end of it into the demon’s right eye. “Tell me!” Her heart chilled as the vampire babbled on for the next couple of minutes. “Son of a bitch.” Gathering her composure, she slammed the stake into the vampire’s heart. “Thanks.” Turning, she raced out of the Bronze. She had to make it, she had to .
* * *
Faith flew through the library doors, stopping dead at the terrible sight that greeted her. Tables and chairs flung all over the place, books scattered on the floor. Seeing Xander and Jesse helping a dazed looking Jonathan to his feet, all three boys looking dishevelled, she hurried over. “X!” she reached to put his hand on his shoulder but he pulled away. Ignoring her hurt, she spoke. “What happened?”
“Vampires.” Xander turned to glare at her. “The ones you could handle yourself.”
“Where are the others?”
“I don't know.” Xander’s glare intensified. “I don't know what your problem is, what
your issues are. But as of now, I officially don't care. If you'd worked with us for five seconds, you coulda stopped this.”
Her guilt overwhelming her she turned away. Suddenly Xander pulled her around, his eyes gleaming dangerously. “If they hurt Willow because of your arrogance, you won’t have to say another word. You and me are through!”
“X, please, I’m sor-.”
“Save it!” Suddenly it was Jesse who was in her face, barely held back by a pale-faced Jonathan. “You stupid bitch! We tried to help you, but you were too damn good for us!”
Faith ignored the tears brimming in her eyes. God what had she done, pushed away those who cared about her the most, made them hate her. “I know what’s going on. They needed people who were close to the Master. Physically close. When he died.”
“Ms. Calendar and Amy never turned up today,” Jonathan put in.
“Odds are they've got a complete set by now,” Xander commented.
“And we’re going to stop them,” Faith said, her eyes determined. Nothing was happening to G.
* * *
Darla watched hungrily as Colin carried a black case past the Master's skeleton laid out on a table. Soon, her sire would return, and unfettered by his prison, he’d take his revenge on the Slayer. And she’d sit by his side as he ruled his dark kingdom. The black preacher vampire by the name of Absalom took the case from the Anointed one and nodded. “Begin.”
Another of her childes started pulling on a chain. Darla chuckled to herself as she watched the Slayer’s upside-down companions be pulled along an overhead conveyor to hang unconscious above the Master's bones. How fitting that they be the ones her Master fed on upon his return. ”Behold, these five mortals,” Darla smiled as she settled down to listen to the preacher. These ceremonies tended to be long-winded, but this one was most certainly worth it.
* * *
Faith eased the warehouse side door open. Her heart leapt as she heard the vampire intoning, they weren’t too late. She turned to her companions. “You three get them,” she pointed at the swinging bodies of her guardian and friends, “out of here.”
“We’ll need a distraction,” Xander hissed. “What are you gonna do?”
“I'm gonna kill them all.” Faith smiled. “That oughta distract them.”
“For the old one. For his pain. For the dark,” the black demon intoned.
“For the dark!” the demons chorused.
“Hey!” Faith fired her crossbow, the bolt slamming into the black demon’s heart. “Is this like a private party?” Discarding the crossbow, she stepped into the circle of demons and thrust her stake rapidly right and left, staking a pair of vampires. “Or can any hot babe join?”
* * *
Xander cast his girl-friend, she’d been a bitch recently but he kinda hoped they were still dating, a worried look as he led Jesse and Jonathan up the steps to where the conveyer belt and its controlling pulley originated. There were so many vampires.
At the last second the vampire standing watching the fight became aware of their presence and began to turn towards them. Too late to prevent his stake from plunging home. “You guys get them out from over there. I’ll keep guard,” he ordered. He turned back towards the fight and forced himself not to run to help his girl.
* * *
For a second after her entrance there was a shocked silence. And then violence erupted another vampire launched herself at her. She leapt into a spinning roundhouse kick that smashed into her adversary’s face, knocking her to the dirty warehouse floor. Before the demon had chance to recover, she’d thrust her stake home.
A beefy arm grabbed her round the neck. “Bitch!” a gravely voice growled in her ear.
”Kiss your mother with,” Faith bent forward, throwing her attacker over her shoulder and to the ground. “With that mouth?” The moment she’d slammed her stake home, she looked up and smirked. The chain was moving, her friends would soon be safe. Sensing a demonic presence to her right she shot out a side thrust kick.
* * *
Darla snarled at the Slayer’s entry and Absalom’s subsequent demise. “That little slut,” she snarled under her breath. She glanced around and growled again as she noticed Colin fleeing through the back door. “Coward.”
Despite her words she had half a mind to join the pipsqueak. Then she noticed the bodies moving towards the landing and the boy nervously guarding the entrance. The Slayer’s boy. Darla smiled. She might not be able to kill the Slayer, but she could break her heart.
* * *
“We’ve got them!”
Xander glanced over his shoulder at Jesse’s shout. He was relieved to see his friends loading G-Man and the others onto the landing platform. “Now sugah,” his blood froze at the poisonous purr. He forced himself to turn to the southern belle striding towards him. “You should be paying attention, a girl likes to make an entrance don’t ya know?”
“Well,” he lifted his shaking stake, sweat beading down his face. “You’re technically not a girl.”
Darla pouted and waggled her finger reprovingly. “Did your mother not teach you any manners young man?” the blonde vamped out. “I guess I’ll have to teach you some.” Before he had time to blink, the vampire had leapt the five steps separating him, knocked his stake aside, and grabbed him by the throat. “Feeding time.”
“Find another meal bitch.”
* * *
Faith grinned as she thrust her stake through the last of her attackers. Her grin faded as she noted Darla grabbing her man. Her lips dry with fear, she raced over to the bottom of the steps. “Find another meal bitch.”
* * *
Darla glanced over her shoulder and snarled defiantly. She had time. Baring her fangs, she turned back to the struggling boy intending to rip his throat out. And caught a foot in the face. She looked up into the pale-faced short one, his heart pounding loud enough to rupture her eardrums. “You heard her.” As she watched, the youth was joined by the Watcher and the other boy. In an instance, she was over the stair railing and racing towards the door. There’d be other chances.
* * *
“Hey baby,” Faith leapt up the steps and grabbed Xan in her arms. “You five by five?” Xander nodded dazedly. She glanced up at G. Too ashamed to meet his eyes, she looked away. And towards the skeleton. Spying a sledge-hammer resting against the far wall, she stood. “Look after him for me,” she instructed.
At Giles’ nod, she strode over to the sledge-hammer, grabbing and walked over to the skeleton lying on the table. Taking a rattling breath, she lifted the hammer over her head and brought it down on the vampire’s skull. The skull splintered under her attack, but she was far from satisfied. Lifting the hammer again she proceeded to smash the skeleton into bits.
“It’s alright dear.”
Hearing Giles’ voice behind her and feeling his hands on her shoulders, she turned and slumped into his arms. Fat tears rolled down her face as she pressed her head to his chest. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”
* * *
“Faith,” Giles entered his Slayer’s bedroom. “Aren’t you ready for school?”
”School?” Faith looked terrified as she shook her head. “I can’t go to school, not after what I did.”
“Punishing yourself is pointless,” Giles reproved. “I understand your guilt but -.”
“My guilt!” the Bostonian exclaimed. “I nearly got you all killed!”
“Yes, I’m quite aware you made mistakes. But believe me, that was hardly the, the worst mistake you'll ever make.” Faith raised an eyebrow. “Uh, that wasn't quite as comforting as it was meant to be.”
“Yeah, well thanks for the uplifting pep talk but I ain’t going,” Faith crossed her arms, a look of defiance on her beautiful face.
“Not to get all ‘Watchery’ on you, but you are!”
“Fine!” His Slayer leapt to her feet, eyes gleaming. “But don’t say I didn’t warn you!”
* * *
Faith trudged down the busy school corridor, her heart heavy and her eyes downcast. She’d had friends for the first time in her life, decent friends who’d treated her like she was worth something. And what she had done? She’d hurt them. “I’m such a screw-up,” she muttered.
”Yep,” a cheerful voice agreed, “but,” she felt a hand on her neck. “I guess you’re our screw-up.”
She looked up at Xander and saw the others were with him. “I’m sor-.”
“Hush,” Xander put a finger. “Friends don’t need to apologise.”
“Well I for one would like to hear it,” Cor broke in. “Faith apologise? A sure sign of the apocalypse!” The grin that accompanied her friend’s words robbed them of their malice.
Xander groaned. “Cordelia, I was trying for classy.”
“Classy,” Cordelia let out an unladylike snort. “You wouldn’t know classy if it showed up at your local 7 – 11!”
Faith laughed at Xander’s comically distraught face. “Oh baby,” she cooed, “let me kiss it better.”
* * *
The Mayor hid his nervousness as he stared at the figure seated opposite him in his lamp-lit office. He was a powerful mage, but not even he took a four hundred year old vampire lightly. And if she ever found out his castings were responsible for the quake that had trapped her sire a century ago, there would be literally hell to pay. Quelling such distressing thoughts, he smiled at the blonde. “Miss Darla, I’d be honoured to hire you as head of my security.” After all this was the nineties, equal opportunities and all that.