Drive / Hungry
Disclaimer: Same thing
AN: Here's the second half of the four.
Wesley had always been a driven individual.
Top of his class, he was an expert in ancient languages and cultures. Unfortunately certain aspects of his personality, possibly his desire for results, sometimes alienated him from others. But he'd always had a sense of direction, knowing what he wanted to do, what he needed to do—but not now.
His Slayer had committed murder. In the recorded history of all Slayers, only a few Slayers had broken the tenant and killed a human being. There was a clear line to be drawn between fighting the supernatural and dealing with human crime. The Slayer was to leave criminals of a human nature to the proper authorities. Although the line blurred a little when dealing with magic users, this case was clear. Faith had murder an innocent bystander.
But it was an accident. Thankfully, Giles had taken lead in the discussion, getting the story from both Slayers.
"... and then I turned, thinking he was a vamp," Faith concluded. She looked so ashamed at what she'd done, unable to meet their eyes. Clark walked up and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. Wesley shifted uneasily at that, conflicting emotions running through him. He was glad that Faith was coming forward and confessing to her crimes, but the Council's policy was clear. He wasn't sure if Faith deserved the comfort.
"I tried to help him," Buffy took up the story now, her demeanour completely at odds with her normal cheery self, "But he pulled the stake out, and then there was too much blood."
Giles nodded understandingly and Angel stood their unmoving, a completely solemn statue. It still unnerved Wesley to be in the presence of The Scourge of Europe, despite the alleged changing of his ways; the Watcher would only admit it to himself, but being in Angel's presence also gave him the thrill. Danger-induced, blood pounding, adrenaline rushes weren't the same in Council controlled environments.
"Well, I'm glad you've come out and talked to us about this matter," Giles began and Wesley waited for the bomb to drop. It never came. "We will need to discuss this matter more thoroughly later, but you all seemed exhausted. Perhaps a short break before we continue discussing our next move?"
Surprised, Wesley only managed to gape at Giles. Clark on the other hand smiled at the older Watcher with a great deal of relief, "So you won't be contacting the Council?" He was aware of at least some of the Council's policies then.
"No," Giles' voice was firm, "I do not believe that will be necessary at this juncture." He shot Faith a small smile, "It was a terrible and unfortunate accident, but an accident nonetheless. Faith has made great strides these past few months. It would be a shame to endanger it all over this."
Wesley, coughed into his hand, about to object. The Wynden-Pryce name was a traditional Council family and he would not be the first in their long line to fail in his duty. But then his Slayer caught his attention.
"Thank you," she managed to croak, her eyes suddenly filling with tears. The strong self-assured woman Wesley had saw moments ago, was completely gone. Left before him was a broken young woman. Overwhelmed by her emotions, Wesley watched as Faith broke down and began sobbing hysterically into Clark's arms.
The sympathetic looks that Angel and Buffy shared were not helping to strengthen his resolve. Beside him, Giles maintained a stern, but surprisingly understanding look, which continued to undermine the Council's reports on the Watcher’s incompetence. Completely out of his depth, Wesley elected to remain silent, schooling his features.
When Faith finally managed to regain her composure, she stood up straight, away from Clark. The only hints at how upset she'd been were the redness of her eyes and the dampness of Clark's shirt.
"I'm good now G-man," the brunette whispered softly, "We can keep going."
"Are you sure?" the man asked softly, clearly concerned for her wellbeing.
Surprising himself, Wesley heard himself offer, "Are you sure you don't need another few minutes or so?"
Rewarding him with a small smile, Faith shook her head, "Naw. We gotta move on strong right?" At this point she shot Angel a look. Not completely understanding, Wesley was able to grasp the connection between them from her eyes. Although completely untraditional, he was beginning to understand the benefits of a Slayer’s extrapersonal connections.
"Quite right," Giles continued, it seemed that he wasn't going to coddle or comfort Faith unnecessarily. Meeting his eyes, Wesley noticed the other Watcher motioning subtly between him and Faith. The younger man gave a small nod; he understood Giles’ meaning and would support her as best as he could.
The librarian looked straight at Buffy before looking back at Faith, "We need discover why the Assistant Mayor was down at the docks to begin with. Clark has already brought to our attention several troubling facts regarding our local government."
"We're on it Giles," Buffy replied, her bubbly cheer returning. Wesley was beginning to think it was facade she used to annoy people. Mostly him and sometimes Giles.
"Do be careful," the librarian cautioned as Angel and the blonde headed out of the library.
As Clark and Faith made their way to the door, Wesley called out, "Faith, a moment of your time please?"
Reluctantly, Faith waved Clark out the door and turned to face both Watchers, somewhat wary. Giles was giving him a questioning look.
Ignoring his fellow watcher, Wesley stood up and walked over to Faith. He stood in front of her somewhat awkwardly, wrestling with what he was about to say, "I know we haven't always gotten along, I mean to say, we didn't start on the right foot..." meeting her in the eyes, Wesley was comforted to see she was afraid of what he might say. It meant that she cared what he thought, "But my job is to support you, no matter what..."
Running a hand through his hair, Wesley tried to continue, but couldn't find the words.
With a small smile, Faith laughed at him, "Got it. You're my Watcher."
Elated at her quick understanding, Wesley continued eagerly, "And you're my Slayer. We're going to make sure you go down as the most... kick-ass one in books."
"Wicked," the brunette offered him a smirk as she began exiting the library.
Turning back, Wesley was pleasantly surprised to see an approving look on Giles' face; although he bristled on the inside that he should need approval from his peer. Still, it was nice to have rediscovered a direction to focus all of his drive. It may have been completely unorthodox and against tradition, but for the first time since coming to Sunnydale, things were beginning to feel right.
"Hey Wes?" his Slayer was calling to him.
With a grin on his face, Wesley turned, "Yes?"
"You should mess your hair up more. If you weren't so uptight all the time, you'd actually be kinda hot. Girls would be jumping your bones all the time."
Spluttering, Wesley couldn't think of a reply before the library doors closed.
Yes, thing were going to be alright, if Faith didn’t drive him insane first.
Clark waited anxiously for Willow after school. With Faith and Buffy's recent confirmation of the mayor's nefarious associates, he'd need her help tracking down more detailed information electronically. He was well versed in the more traditional forms of research, but the internet and other electronic phenomenon were new to him.
"Willow?" he spotted her exiting the building.
She probably hadn’t heard and so had kept walking. Taking off at a light jog, Clark quickly caught up with his cousin.
"Willow?" he called out to her. She kept on walking. Well then, she probably had heard him after all.
Frowning, Clark blocked her path, "Willow? What's going on?"
Crossing her arms, the redhead frowned at him, "Why don't you tell me?"
Puzzled, he replied, "I need your help. Faith and Buffy found out something about the mayor yesterday..."
"Oh?" she replied, somewhat disbelieving. Scowling she asked, "Is that all you have to say? You need my help?"
Knowing he was missing something, Clark tried to mollify her, "I'm sorry?" he offered.
"You bet you are buster," she scowled, pointing an accusatory finger at him. She then put her hands on her hips, "You don't tell me that the skanky hoe-bag is a murderess, let Buffy drown in her guilt about it, and make me think you all just hate me!"
At first surprised at her anger, Clark didn't process everything she said, "I'm so sorry Willow, I know I should have—" and then his brain processed it all. "I'm sorry, but did you just insult Faith?"
Crossing her arms, she refused to budge, "You heard me. Skanky hoe-bag murderess."
His mood quickly darkening, Clark replied, "I don't appreciate you talking about Faith that way."
Willow began, "Clark, just because she gives amazing smoochies-"
He cut her off, "What we have is more than just physical, Willow. Even more importantly, is that Faith isn't a murderer, skank, or a hoe-bag."
The redhead jutted out her chin, "Buffy told me about what she did."
Trying to fight off his anger, Clark reminded himself they were family. Gritting his teeth he asked, "And did she tell you what happened after? And how we sorted it out with Giles and Wesley?"
Looking decidedly less sure, Willow offered, "I think so?"
Taking a deep breath, Clark tried to release his anger along with his breath as he breathed out. It took several breaths before he was calm enough to talk regularly. "Willow, what's important is that Faith never meant to do anything of the sort and she regrets it even now. We've sorted out with everyone. Besides, it turns out that the assistant mayor being down at the docks isn’t likely a coincidence."
"So, you're absolutely sure, that Faith isn't turning to the dark side?" she asked tentatively, struggling with her own prejudices.
Sighing, Clark responded, "Definitely no dark side for Faith."
"Alright buster, but I'm getting the full story from Buffy later," Willow warned, still not completely willing to believe Clark.
Ruffling his hair, he responded, "Fine. Whatever. I just need your help, something is going on with the mayor."
The next morning, Clark answered the door, only to find Willow carrying a tin full of cookies. She seemed thoroughly ashamed and was looking very morose.
She offered him a timid smile, "I baked 'I'm sorry cookies'... hungry?"
AN: Feedback is greatly appreciated! Let me know what you think.