April 14th 2000
After a day of verbal blunders, catatonic flashbacks, murder fantasies and naps, Faith finally felt safe.
Faith was up that evening, sitting watching television in Angel’s living room. Abstractedly she was munching popcorn while channel surfing.
She didn’t notice the assassin demon sent by Wolfram and Hart scuttle behind her.
A wet and steaming Angel stuck his head out of the bathroom. "Is everything okay in there?" he touched base with her.
"It was touch and go for the four minutes you left me alone, but somehow I got through it." Faith replied sarcastically. She was feeling much better.
Angel went into his bedroom to finish dressing. Angel was going to save Faith's soul if it killed him.
The demon crawled on the ceiling, pausing above Faith’s head.
Faith frowned at the old black and white movie showing a couple fighting. Too much like her childhood. She changed the channel to a police report.
Faith spilled her drink in shock, an unflattering picture of her flashed on the TV screen.
With his acute vampire hearing Angel heard the glass fall just as he was putting on his shirt.
"Faith?" Angel called, “What is it?” he could hear the news. Oh god was it about Faith?
Angel entered the living room. "Faith," he repeated. “What is it?"
Angel saw Faith's picture on the television, and crouched down beside her chair.
He made his voice sound as soothing as possible. “Faith, it's okay, alright? We knew about this. Nothing's changed, alright? Nothing's..."
Aghast Angel noticed Detective Lockley on the television. Oh crap, the one member of the LAPD who would be open minded about the possibility and tracking down of a Rogue Slayer. Angel grabbed the remote and switched off the television.
"Listen to me Faith.” Angel continued reassuring her. ”You're safe here. You hear me? You're safe."
Following the Murphy’s Law that governed both Faith and Angel’s lives, the demon hanging on the ceiling chose that moment to leap on top of them.
It threw Angel off Faith, proceeding to toss Faith onto the couch overturning it. Angel launched himself on top of the demon. The demon threw Angel towards Faith.
Angel shoved Faith brutally into the kitchen to get her out of harms way. Wrestling with the demon, Angel took hold of an overhead beam, swinging both his feet into the hideous creature's maw.
Adrenaline flooding through her system, Faith grabbed the large knife she had noticed this morning. Angel came sliding past the opening to the kitchen. The demon charged forwards toward the slightly dazed Angel. Faith reared behind it, stabbing it with the carving knife repeatedly.
Convulsing the demon died on the floor.
Faith stared transfixed at the bloody knife in her hand, as Angel picked himself up.
“No!” Faith flinched, she dropped the knife and stared at her bloody hands. She gasped and shook her head. Nowhere was safe, she was still being punished. That demon had been after her. Faith was clearly destined to kill and kill, until she ended up with a knife in her guts again.
Angel led her over to the day bed soothing her. They held each other. Faith careful not to touch him with her bloody hands. It was a compromising position to be discovered in, if someone had not known what had just gone on.
So following Murphy’s Law once more naturally that was how Buffy Summers found them.
Angel got up and buttoned his shirt. Faith was almost unaware of what Buffy and Angel were saying to each other. There was something important she had to tell Buffy before her nerve failed.
"Buffy.” Faith began. Buffy looked at her like she was a piece of dirt. “Oh God.”
Buffy walked closer to Faith, who cringed away from her.
"You didn't think I was going to find you, did you?" Buffy spat to Faith.
Angel and Buffy continued fighting about her. Buffy thought she should be in jail. Maybe that was a good idea thought Faith. Wasn’t jail safe? And Faith couldn’t harm anyone in there.
Slowly Faith got up. “Buffy.” Faith tried again.
Buffy spun round furiously from her verbal fight with Angel, to glare at her.
“I’m sor...” Faith attempted.
Buffy interrupted her swiftly. “Apologize to me and I will beat you to death."
Thank God thought Faith, anything to make the pain stop. “Go ahead.” She consented quietly.
Angel stepped in front of Faith, "This is not gonna happen."
Buffy’s fury increased. How could Angel stick up for this psychopath, who had hurt her mother, and slept with her boyfriend while using her body?
"You're gonna stop me?” Buffy demanded to know. ”Because you're gonna have to."
Faith shook her head, why wouldn't they stop? "Don't… do this."
"Faith, go upstairs, now," Angel commanded.
"You think I'm gonna let her out of my sight?" Buffy yelled at him.
"Buffy, just back off." Angel replied heatedly.
"There is no way I'm letting her out of my sight." Buffy repeated angrily.
"Faith, go!" Angel instructed her firmly.
Faith started up the stairs, unaware of Buffy moving to stop her. She could hear Buffy and Angel start hitting each other. God this was like when she was a little girl. Faith couldn’t deal with it. Buffy was right she belonged in jail.
Sitting defeated in a chair in a Los Angeles police station, waiting to speak to Detective Lockley, Faith reflected on the evening’s events that had brought her to this point.
Really after the Watcher Council Hit Squad had come after her yet again tonight, what was Faith to do? Get all her friends eventually killed by the bastards?
Only Angel was really her friend of course. But Wesley and Buffy could have been if Faith had done things differently. Well this was Faith’s big chance to stop causing people pain.
Prison, women’s prison. Faith could be quiet there, she could think. She could be safe. She would never be able to get pregnant there. Even the Watcher’s Council would give up on her if she was safe in prison.
She could hear the kerfuffle going on behind her. Angel was about to be incinerated for her crimes.
Buffy stepped in between Angel and Detective Lockley as they reached the detective's desk. Wesley tagging along in their wake. They didn’t notice Faith sitting at another desk. Faith didn’t feel very noticeable.
"Wait. This is murder." Buffy protested to Detective Lockley.
Angel was taking his proposed impending doom like a man, or a souled vampire Faith supposed. Thinking Faith had run out on him. Leaving him to face the music. "Buffy, it's alright."
"It is ‘not’ alright." Buffy contradicted him.
"Get her out of here!" Detective Lockley said impatiently to a uniformed policeman.
'Yay' thought Faith. Sometimes Buffy could be really irritating, like now.
Buffy pushed the cop off her, betraying her superhuman strength. "You are not taking the fall for her, Angel."
Faith wondered idly why B. never seemed to get fingered for being a slayer. While she Faith always did it seemed.
"Out!" Detective Lockley shouted exasperatedly.
Angel finally spotted Faith sitting at another desk with her back to them. He had smelled her.
"Buffy." Angel pointed Faith out.
Everyone in their group turned to look, shocked to see Faith in the police station. A policeman tried to pull Angel off to a cell, but Buffy pushed his arm away.
Faith glanced over her shoulder at Angel, Wesley and Buffy. Slowly she stood up.
“I’d like to make a confession.” Faith sighed defeated, to the approaching Detective Lockley.
“No she wouldn’t!” a familiar male voice yelled across the room. “Faith, stop that damned B.S. this second!”
Krycek strode across to Detective Lockley’s desk. He was wearing a suit, a black wool overcoat and had on a Russian fur hat. “Alex?” Faith was stunned. “What the fuck are you doing here?”
“You’re meant to start working for me tomorrow remember?” Alex reminded his young lover crossly. “Not rot in jail.”
Detective Lockley regarded Krycek hostilely. She could always tell when a suspect was going to get away with murder.
Alex calmly handed her papers.
“Alexis Krycek, Russian diplomat?” Detective Lockley narrowed her eyes, skimming over the proffered documents. The fur hat was complete overkill. She recognized when a stage was being set, “So what?”
“My driver here falls under the same diplomatic immunity I have. Please be so kind as to release her.” Alex suddenly had a strong Russian accent today Faith realized trying not to laugh hysterically, as opposed to the rest of the time when Alex sounded vaguely Canadian.
“Not when she commits murder Mr Krycek.” Detective Lockley pointed out.
“But she didn’t. Miss Lehane is mentally unwell. The real culprit has just come to turn herself in. Miss Lehane is merely an innocent victim of identity theft.” Krycek smiled at the Detective affably.
“What real culprit?” Detective Lockley snapped.
Alex pointed to a girl Faith's height, with dyed brown shoulder length hair, who was entering the room under police escort. The young woman looked very ill.
“She’s willing to confess everything. Including how she kidnapped my poor driver over a year ago and subjected her to emotional and physical abuse. That’s when the identity theft started. I just found this out. Naturally I had to come down here and prevent this gross miscarriage of justice.” Alex explained earnestly.
“Naturally.” Detective Lockley didn’t believe a word the guy was saying. This whole situation stunk to high heaven of a set up.
“We’ll be leaving now,” Alex put his hand round Faith’s left arm, firmly pulling her away from Detective’s Lockley’s desk. “Thank you for your time Detective.”
“Who the hell is that Ruskie asshole?” Angel asked Wesley, disbelieving the events unfolding before his eyes.
“I’m buggered if I know Angel.” Wesley replied equally astounded. “But he’s getting her out the door.”
“Faith wins again!” Buffy could not believe it. Buffy was going back to Sunnydale this minute. Los Angeles was somewhere Buffy never wanted to set foot again.
Cautioning Faith not to speak until they were clear of the building, Alex led her to his parked car, some distance down the street from the police station. Angel and Wesley dashed after them. Alex turned impatiently as he unlocked his car doors.
“What?” he demanded of them. “Faith, get in the passenger seat. I’m driving.”
“Who the hell are you?” Angel insisted on knowing.
“Faith’s employer. We’ll drop round later this evening to your office okay? I presume Faith will want to say good bye. You did save her life after all.” Alex frowned. “Faith and I have things to discuss.”
Faith looked pleadingly at Angel. “Please Angel, I’ll come round later. After all lover it’s not like you sleep at night.”
Faith got in the car and Alex started the engine.
“I sincerely hope that undead demon isn’t your lover.” Alex said coolly. Checking behind him, he pulled out of his car park. Angel’s reflection didn’t show up in Krycek’s driving mirror, which was rather unnerving. “Do up your seat belt by the way.”
“We’ve never banged pelvises.” Faith reached for her seat belt wearily. “I’m not saying I’m not glad to see you, but how did you find me?”
“I was contacted in Europe. You hadn’t boarded the plane to Boston in Seattle. People checked the hotel. There had been a mysterious fire and you were missing." Alex had been worried out of his mind about her.
"The hotel had called in the police. The mystery deepened, when it was revealed you’d left all your belongings behind. A positive pregnancy test was found in the waste paper basket in the bathroom.”
Faith bit her lip. Well at least she didn’t have to stress about how to tell him about that. She just had to tell him about the miscarriage.
“I thought you’d run out on me. Mistakenly terrified I would have forcibly ensured you terminated the pregnancy, except for one thing.” Alex explained. “You’d left the two thousand dollars behind, now what pregnant woman would go on the run leaving that amount behind? We instantly suspected foul play.”
Alex turned a corner and parked in another street. “So my thoughts naturally turned to those British goons who were stalking you before. I called in a favor from an opposite number of mine in the British Secret Intelligence Service. After four days I had the information I needed. The Watchers Council’s Special Operative Squad had captured you.”
“That’s right.” Faith confirmed. Did he know the rest or did he think she was still pregnant?
“But in the detailed if misspelled report I got hold of, I noted you’d taken advantage of the fact of someone giving you paper towels for your 'period' to escape. Ipso facto you must have miscarried. I’m sorry about that by the way.” Alex was sincere when he said that. Faith could tell. “It must have been horrible for you.”
Faith nodded, tears hot in her eyes. Surprised at the compassion in his voice.
"I've called a lot of favors in this week, from associates and contacts Faith." Alex went on. "I put a trace on the Watcher Council Squad knowing they'd find you eventually, at the same time receiving reports from an insider in the Californian police of your increasingly psychotic, violent assaults on people. Which led me eventually to you here tonight."
“I went a little crazy. I still am a little, maybe a lot.” Faith confessed. “I didn’t know what to do.”
“Of course you went crazy Faith. You hate any reminders of physical mortality.” Alex leaned over and stroked her hair. “You need to wash your hair Faithya.”
“I wouldn’t have kept the baby Alex. I would have had it adopted.” Faith promised. “I don’t want to have kids. I’m only nineteen.”
Alex pulled her to him. “I feel there’s a 'but' in there somewhere.” He kissed her forehead.
“But I feel real sad about having lost it.” Faith burst into tears on his shoulder. God it was such a relief to finally share that with someone, Alex in particular. She could feel Alex kissing her cheeks and hair, rocking her back and forth like a child. It was superior to being comforted by Angel, because Krycek was so warm and alive.
“It’s my entire fault too.” Faith sobbed. “I drank, I smoked, I had sex with both you and Kenny in the same month.” God that sounded bad. “You were definitely the father Alex.” Faith quickly added.
Alex rubbed her back calmingly, never ceasing kissing her hair. He had never had a second’s doubt he would have been the father considering the time frame of everything that had taken place in March.
“The miscarriage was all my own fault.” Faith choked into his shoulder.
“How do you work that one out?” Alex disagreed strongly. “It’s my fault for giving you that damn vaccine probably, or my semen was genetically coded wrongly from a cocaine binge I did one weekend three months ago. Or possibly you aborted the pregnancy because those Watcher Council bastards electrocuted you in the stomach, how is it your exclusive fault you miscarried? These things spontaneously happen sometimes Faith. Nature isn’t fair.”
“I think God must be punishing me for being a bad person.” Faith admitted, easing her crying.
“I don’t believe in God. I know you have lots of dealings with the supernatural. It must confirm your faith in your religion. But honestly baby stop being a narcissist,” Alex kissed her on the forehead tenderly, to take the sting out of his words.
“What’s that?” Faith gulped. She searched along the dashboard of the hire car for the complimentary tissue pack, and blew her nose.
“Someone who thinks the world revolves around them.” Alex explained. “If God wanted to really punish you, he’d make you blind and cover you with hideous boils. Is a miscarriage (sad as it was) the best an omniscient, all powerful being can do to you?”
“Jesus you’re blasphemous Alex.” Faith gasped, shocked.
“And yet the car was not struck by lightening.” Alex affectionately stroked her face. “You alright to say good bye to your friends now?”
“Yeah,” said Faith sitting back calmly. “I have a question first though.”
“I might not be able to answer it.” Alex warned.
“How come you’ve gone to all this trouble for me Alex?” Faith wondered aloud. “I mean I get you like me, but you’re not in love with me I don’t think. I’m not in love with you, that’s for real. You know I’m not pregnant with your child, so why go to all that freaking effort you must have gone to, to get me out of that police station?”
“God, how can you be so stupid, do you not ever listen to what I tell you?” Alex exclaimed incredulously, slapping the steering wheel for emphasis.
“You are the best driver I have ever had!” Alex praised her enthusiastically. “I have to have a driver for insurance purposes with the F.S.B. because of my arm. This car we’re in at the moment I’ve rented privately for myself tonight.”
So that was why Alex was driving Faith clicked. God, Alex had always been telling the truth about insurance?
“Every other driver I’ve ever been assigned has been insufferable.” Alex closed his eyes against the painful memory of them. “Talking crap continuously, chewing and cracking gum, fiddling with the CD player all the time. Having one night stands, arriving late for work hungover and unfit to drive. All morons and then you came along. You can shut up, you can follow instructions, you can use your initiative in dicey situations. Faithya I need you! Don’t ever leave me. You’re my sun.”
He pulled her to him and kissed her hard on the mouth in a passionless but loving kiss.
Faith could live with that explanation.
“Hey knock, knock.” Faith called into Angel’s office. To her discomfort Cordelia was there, making coffee for Angel and Wesley. Thank god there was no sign of Buffy.
Faith and Krycek came into the main room. Alex had taken the overcoat and hat off. Now he was looking relatively normal, and very handsome Cordelia immediately noticed.
“Your bag is in the corner Faith.” Angel told her in a friendly fashion.
“Thanks. I just came by to say goodbye and say thank you Angel and Wesley.” Faith looked at Cordelia’s black eye. Ooh it looked nasty.
“Cordelia I’m truly sorry I hit you.” Faith apologized.
“So you should be bitch.” Cordelia replied. “Do you want coffee?”
“No thanks. We need to be leaving.” Faith declined politely. Cordelia had character. Faith decided, she had definitely changed for the better, as had Wesley. Yet Cordelia and Wesley weren’t an item, life was strange, couples were strange.
“Who was that girl who confessed at the police station?” Wesley asked curiously.
“Someone who needed to be in prison more than Faith did.” Krycek smiled enigmatically.
“You don’t sound as Russian as you did before. I’ve had contact with the Watchers Council. You’re F.S.B. or S.I.S. aren’t you?” Wesley told Alex. “Some one’s stolen all the documents relating to Faith back in London.”
“What are initials really? I know I lose track.” Alex remarked neutrally. “I warned Faith to terminate those guys from your organization back in Boston, and she didn’t. If I see them round her again, I’m not hesitating to pull the trigger myself next time. Would you be so kind as to pass on that little message to them?”
“You are a bigger sociopath than she is.” Wesley breathed disquieted.
“I’ve been called that before by others, but what is that word, but another label for a patriot?” Alex shrugged dismissively. He smiled down at Faith fondly. “Or an occasionally misguided heroine.”
“And you’re going to guide her on the right path?” Angel spoke skeptically to Alex for the first time. “You smell of each other now. You've been all over each other.”
“It’s a vampire thing. It’s gross.” Faith explained to Alex’s startled look.
“I’m just Faith’s employer. Nothing more, nothing less,” Alex informed the vampire pleasantly enough.
“I find that hard to believe.” Angel scoffed.
“You are of course free to believe what you wish.” Alex stated coolly.
Cordelia put the coffee pot down fascinated, and looked from Faith and Krycek back and forth. She supposed it took all sorts. She would never have picked Krycek as Faith’s type or visa versa.
“So what do you do for him exactly?” Cordelia asked Faith.
“Drive him places, sometimes save his ass.” Faith replied lightly.
“I bet.” Cordelia insinuated, but it was said without any horror or disgust.
Three people now knew Krycek was her lover, and she didn’t give a shit. Faith would never have believed it of herself.
The couple said their final good byes and left.
“You and Angel didn’t like each other did you?” Faith asked, putting her arm round his waist as they walked back to the car.
“No I don’t think we did.” Alex glanced down at her arm, raising his eyebrow.
“I’m not acting like a girlfriend am I?” Faith caught herself. “Putting my arm round your waist in the street?”
“No not at all. You’re probably doing that because you’re cold right?” Alex teased her. He leaned down and kissed her sensuously on the mouth. Faith could sense his desire for her, yet she couldn’t return it at the moment.
“Yeah,” Faith looked up at him. “I’m sorry Alex, I don’t feel like having sex tonight. It’s too soon after, well everything.”
“I never wanted you as a sex worker. I’ve always said that.” Alex stroked her face gently. “Would you prefer to just sleep with me, seeing as how it’s such a cold night? There’s a separate room for you of course if you want it.”
“Yeah seeing how it’s cold, I’d like to sleep in the same bed as you.” Faith cuddled into him closer, “Only reason pal.”
They reached the car and got in.
“Have I told you the revised rules for South America?” Alex mentioned to her, starting up the car.
Faith shook her head, doing up her seat belt.
“It occurred to me on the flight here from Paris, after watching people in the duty free outlets.” Alex told her cheerfully. “You might want to clutter the car with souvenirs. Well no souvenirs. Also Central America is very hot, you should wear sun screen on your arm if you drive with the car window down, to stop the risk of you getting melanoma. Thirdly everyone speaks Portuguese in Brazil, so I've concluded an hour of language tapes in the car every day would be good for both of us.”
Faith rolled her eyes. “Have I told you lately to kiss my ass?”
“Thought you didn’t want sex tonight?” Alex deadpanned back.
“You know where you can stick your sun screen Alex.” Faith retorted.
Her resistance was only token, Faith knew she was going to end up doing every one of Alex’s demands and be happy doing them. After all, it all came down to resist or serve at the end of the day.