“Faith? You still there?” asked Willow nervously.
Faith nodded and then realised that she was on the phone and that the Witch couldn’t see her. “Yeah, I’m here Red.”
“I just…just…” she trailed off, unable to find the words.
Faith sighed. “Just need to know that she’s alright? That she has a chance of being happy? She does.”
“Thank you,” replied Willow simply before hanging up.
Faith turned to Wes. “Since when do I play go-between in a tragic lesbian relationship?”
The Watcher smiled slightly. “Being able to comfort friends is a sign of emotional maturity.”
“Whatever,” said Faith dismissively. “When can I see your new place?”
“Right now if you like.” Wesley smiled. It seemed that his permanent presence in Metropolis was not only accepted but actually welcome.
“Damnit!” exclaimed Faith, as they began walking. “I almost forgot. I just have to make a quick stop.” Faith walked into an antique furniture store while Wes waited outside. A few moments later the Watcher heard his Slayer’s voice: “What do you mean he’s not here! He’s a chair! He can’t have just walked out!”
Inside the upsholsterer was giving Faith a LOOK. She had the good grace to be sheepish. “Ok, so maybe he did just walk out. Any idea where he went?” The upholsterer shrugged. He was eighty-seven years old and he’d seen weirder things than walking chairs in his time. “Thanks anyway,” said Faith. “How much do I owe you?”
“I put it on Mr Luther’s account, just like he told me,” replied the upholsterer, getting back to his work. Faith thanked the old man again and left the store.
“Not here?” asked Wes with a smile.
Faith frowned. “Where could he be? I asked him to wait here until I came to get him. It’s not safe for him to be walking around the city at night by himself.”
“I’m sure he can take care of himself. He had a great teacher.”
Somewhat comforted, Faith allowed Wesley to take her hand as they walked to his new apartment.
“Hey Lois?” asked Tara as they danced together at Trinity. “Isn’t that…?” She trailed off.
“Isn’t that what?” asked Lois. Tara had stopped crying and agreed to try and have some fun so they’d drunk their cocktails and moved onto the small dancefloor where they were swaying gently to the tunes of Velvet Rope.
“Nothing,” replied Tara, smiling. For all her bluster and interrogation, Lois was turning out to be a good friend. She listened when Tara talked, hugged her when she cried and distracted her when she started getting depressed. She was even paying for the drinks.
The song came to an end and they sat down again. Part of Trinity’s charm was the mix of couches and mismatched chairs. Lois found herself sitting in a chair that seemed oddly familiar. “Giles!” she exclaimed, leaping up. She turned to Tara. “That’s who you saw while we were dancing?”
Tara nodded. “I…I wasn’t sure it was him, but yeah.”
Lois turned back to the errant chair. “What are you doing here? Faith must be worried sick.” Somehow, without shoulders, Giles managed to convey a shrug. He inclined his back as if asking Lois to follow him. “Giles,” began Lois in a whiny voice. “We fought an evil witch and a lower being last week. Don’t we get any time off?” Giles shook. “Ok, ok,” conceded the reporter. “We’re coming.”
Tara retrieved their jackets and they followed Giles out the door. No one else in the club seemed to notice a chair wandering off the premises. Sunnydale syndrome, thought Tara as she walked out into the street.
A few blocks away, near an enormous and expensive apartment building, the girls lost Giles. Tara turned in a slow circle, looking fo the errant chair.
“How does a chair move so fast?” wondered Lois aloud. Tara shrugged. Suddenly, Lois brightened up. “This is Lex’s building. If he’s home he might know where Giles is.”
“You moved in with Lex?” Faith was incredulous. She looked around the living room admiringly but couldn’t help frowning.
Wesley sighed. “It’s not like we’re living in the same flat,” (after all his years in America, the Englishman still couldn’t bring himself to say “apartment”). “We’re two floors apart in the same building.”
“A building which Lex owns,” pointed out the Slayer.
“He’s not such a bad landlord,” explained Wes, putting his arms around Faith. “The rent’s pretty cheap and it’s a nice area. Close to the university.”
“I’m just not sure I’m comfortable with you owing Lex favours,” replied the Slayer, returning the embrace.
Wesley frowned. “It’s just a business transaction. Anyway, I’m not the only one.”
Faith was confused. “What do you mean?”
“Your scholarship. The one that pays your tuition and board? It’s funded by Lexcorp.”
“Way,” said another voice from the doorway. Faith and Wes turned to find the subject of their disagreement standing right there. Behind him were Lois and Tara. Both waved at Faith. Ignoring the Slayer’s embarassment, Les said, “I have something to show all of you.”
The group followed the billionaire to the elevator and stood silently as he pressed the button for the roof. Lois hummed along to the elevator music until Faith elbowed her and made her stop. The doors opened and Faith thought she could hear splashing. Stepping out, she saw that the building had a rooftop swimming pool.
“How does he…?” began Tara.
“When it comes to Giles, it’s best not to ask,” whispered Lois.
Giles the Chair was in the pool, apparently swimming laps.