Warning: Slash, a little bdsm, sexual situations and innuendo
Spoilers: Season 3 in general and the episode 'Faith, Hope, and Trick' in particular.
Summary: Faith comes to Sunnydale.
Series: Sequel to The Collar - Story two in the 'Kitten!verse'
Xander was taking a drink when Spike spoke up. "See that right there? That is the ass of a slayer." He was pointing to a leather clad derriere leaning over the pool table at the Bronze.
"No, it's not. We know both of them and, while granted both have mighty fine asses... which you so did not just hear me say... that ain't theirs."
"Pet, I saw her walk in... that is a slayer."
"But how? Buffy's still good, and Kendra's Watcher says she's doing a lot better."
"Do I have to walk you though this, Pet?" Spike asked with a smirk.
"It's really simple, luv. What happened with Kendra?"
"You were there. Dru slit her throat, you chased her off, and we stopped the bleeding and we got an ambulance." Xander said.
"Right, Pet, but what happened while you were waiting for the ambulance?
"Um.. her heart stopped... oh son of a bitch, that is another slayer's ass."
After watching her take her shot, Spike and Xander ambled over to the table and dropped a set of quarters on the side, claiming next round for Spike. As she sunk the 8-ball, the dark haired girl took a look at the two men in front of her.
She froze slightly when she realized at least one of them was a vamp. The other one wasn't exactly normal either, but she wasn't sure just what he was. She subtlety checked to be sure her stake was readily accessible and then leaned against the table. "So boys, which one of you is gonna play first?"
Spike picked up a stick and twirled it expertly before sauntering past her to rack the balls. "Guess that'd be me, luv."
Xander's senses had been in overdrive since she'd first looked at them, and his hyena half recognized a hunter when they saw one. She knew Spike was a vampire, and since she was a slayer, that meant she was just waiting for the kill. It took a lot of willpower to calm down and not fly at her in a rage. Instead he decided to go for the truth and save the rage for if she didn't want to listen. "Look, I know you know my friend here is a vampire, we also know you're a Slayer."
"Great so everybody knows everybody, why don't we take this outside and get with the killing." Faith said twirling her own stick now.
"Cause I don't think my friend Buffy would approve of me killing you, what with her being a Slayer too and all."
"Wait, you know Buffy? So is this like that Angel guy she was dating?" Faith gestured towards Spike.
"Not hardly, and if you don't want him picking his teeth with your bones before the night's through please don't mistake him for that piece of shit. Angel is basking away in a lovely Hell dimension, thanks to yours truly, after he lost his soul and tried to end the world. This on the other hand, is Spike, otherwise known as William the Bloody. He's my mate, and as such off the dust on sight list."
"Not to mention the poncy soul his best friend managed to shove into me with a botched spell."
"Yeah, what he said."
By this time, she was looking at them both like they might just be crazy on top of evil.
"Look, why don't we get Buffy and Giles to come down here to help clear things up. Why are you here anyway? Let me guess, there's 'a dark force rising in Sunnydale'. That was always Kendra's line when she showed up."
"Nah, my Watcher went to this retreat thing and told me to come here."
Xander's nostrils flared briefly. He and Spike shared a glance before Spike easily slid into snark. "Well that's a new one. I didn't know the Watcher did babysitting duty on top of his busy, busy schedule as a librarian."
Xander groaned, "Spike please don't give me easy shots like that." Spike gave him a confused glance. "Watcher... watch her..." When Spike continued to look confused Xander just shook his head. "Never mind. My name is Xander. And you are?"
"Name's Faith." She said with a smirk.
"Good to meet ya. What say, you two make with the pool sharking, so I can settle in and watch when I get back. I'm gonna go call Giles and Buffy."
"What are you gonna call me, Xander?" A perky voice asked behind him. "I thought we were friends." Buffy said with a smirk before sitting down on a couch next to where Xander was standing.
He smiled at his friend and sat beside her. "Oh nothing much, just wanted to call you and Giles to let you know I apparently did it again."
"Huh? What did you do?"
"Apparently cost the Watchers another batch of money for the printers." Spike snarked while he finished racking.
"I say again, huh?"
"You know that pretty little 'One girl in all the world' speech that they had to change to include Kendra? How it went to 'Two girls in all the world'? Well thanks to my boy here, it's now 'Three girls in all the world'. All you lot need is a speaker phone with a mysterious bloke named Charlie and you'll be in business for sure."
Buffy looked confused for a moment or two, her eyes tracking from Xander to Spike to the new girl. Suddenly she screeched out "She's a Slayer?"
"Fan! Yes she certainly likes her 80's metal, that's for sure." Xander said loudly while his three companions gave him looks that clearly asked after his sanity. He gave them all the 'You people are idiots' look before continuing. "Faith here is a Slayer fan, since being a fan of rock music isn't exactly a secret identity."
Finally Buffy got the patented 'I'm such an idiot' look on her face. "Oops. My bad. So is there something going down here in Sunnydale that we need to deal with?"
"Na, my watcher went to this retreat thing, ya know, and I cut out. Figured I'd come meet the famous Buffy. Thought the two of us could have a blast, you know all footloose and watcher free." Faith said missing the look Xander and Spike shared.
"She's definitely lying about the reason she's here, and there's something going on with her watcher. Something more than a trip to England." Xander said as he snuggled in close to Spike.
"You're right about that, pet. The chit stank of fear and pain. She's got some heavy baggage she ain't wanting to share."
"We gotta do something about it, Spike. I just don't know what."
"You gotta get some sleep is what you gotta do now. You got school in the morning. I didn't spend all those hours this summer without you while you caught up so you could just sleep through school. Ya got a decent brain on that head o'yours, and you're gonna make use of it. Or else."
"Or else what?" Xander asked, amused.
"Or else no sex." Spike said with a leer.
"You do realize if I get no sex then you get no sex."
"Er yeah right didn't think that one out... I'll um... yeah, I'll hide all your sweets." Spike smirked.
"That was a low blow, and just for that you won't be getting blown."
"Er, pet, I told you you need to get to sleep, anyways."
"Right and you were gonna do without sex before this all important sleep?"
"Well now I might want to share a cuddle and maybe a little..." Spike started, desperately trying to talk his way back into sex.
"A little nothing, love. You think I need sleep, I guess I'll just have to get sleep. Goodnight." With that Xander pulled the sheet up over himself and laid down.
Spike watched him for a full minute, his mouth opening and closing as he tried to think of something to say. Instead of talking, Spike slowly inched closer to Xander's side of the bed. He started to run a hand up Xander's side but found it caught before he got to any of the interesting bits. "You said I need sleep Spike. If you aren't going to keep your hands to yourself I'll have to go look for some of Deadboy's old chains."
That's how Spike found himself chained up on tiptoe with Xander kneeling between his legs. Needless to say neither got to sleep early.
"Rupes, according to the buzz, there's a new vamp in town." Spike said as he boosted himself up onto the check-out desk.
"Oh, someone we should be concerned about?" Giles asked distracted as he tried to get a hold of someone at the retreat. Bloody inconsiderate wankers were probably off kayaking.
"You could say that, Watcher. Ugly cloven bloke named Kakistos, and he came to town with a right shit load of minions and at least two childer." Spike continued grimly.
Giles dropped the phone and stared at Spike. "Good Lord. Are you quite certain?"
"Pretty sure. The boy and I were patrolling with the new bird last night. A couple of his pug uglies got the drop on us not too far from the warehouse. Right before my boy introduced one to the pointy end of his stake, the bloke started pontificating 'bout living for Kakistos. We took a run at Willy, which naturally turned up shit all, but an old contact of mine let me in on the demonic rumor mill. Seems Kakistos is in town for some kind of revenge thing, but his favored childe is trying to talk daddy into sticking around."
"Is there anything about who he might be wanting revenge on?" Giles asked.
"Official like I don't know, but unofficial like, there's a lot of talk about him sporting a nasty scar over his right eye, and he's been in town roughly two days. Oh and his old hunting grounds... Boston."
Xander, Willow, and Buffy were settled into the lounge swapping out snacks and people watching between classes. There were a few changes that stumped Xander immensely.
"You know as little as I like even mentioning her name, I've noticed Harmony is going out of her way to avoid snarking in our direction lately, and not in that 'loser cooties' sort of way she had before. Any idea why?" Harmony hadn't missed a chance at putting him down in ten years, so Xander was a little wigged.
"Well since Cordy laid the smackdown I don't think she'd dare." Buffy said, munching an apple.
"Huh?" Xander asked before stuffing a cookie in his mouth whole.
"A while after you disappeared Harmony was running her mouth about one less loser cootieing up the school." Willow explained.
"Cootieing? Only Harmony could turn cooties into a verb." Xander said following the cookie with a handful of skittles.
"The Cordettes started snickering for like half a second, and before me or Buffy could do anything, Cordelia hauled off and decked her. Laid Harm right out, and told her if she EVER said another bad thing about you that Cordelia would rip 'that rat's nest you call hair' right out of her head."
"You know if it weren't for my sexy, sexy undead boyfriend, I would probably find that idea incredibly hot." Xander said before swiping a few chips from Willow's bag.
Buffy and Willow smirked at each other over his head.
Buffy and Faith stood facing each other across the mats. Faith was bouncing in place, while Buffy stretched.
"Come on B, I wanna see what'cha got." Faith said with a smirk.
Buffy smirked back for all of half a second before she launched at Faith. They traded vicious blows with smiles as they moved back and forth across the library.
A half hour later they were lounging in chairs cooling down from their workout while Xander and Spike sparred.
"So mom's got this dinner thing with her friend Pat tonight. You guys wanna hang?" Buffy asked Willow and Faith.
Willow smiled but shook her head. "Me and Oz have plans tonight. There's this band he's been hearing good things about, and Devon wants him to check out the competition."
"What about you, Faith?" Buffy asked.
"I'm there." She said with a smile.
"Cool, just one thing, um... if you run into my mom no slayer talk." Buffy said, her cheeks a little red.
"Woah, so your mom don't know about our gig, huh?" Faith asked.
"That would be a world of no. What about your family, do they know?" She asked.
"My watcher is the only family that means anything to me." Faith said quietly.
"Oh, did your family send you to the Watchers when you were young too?" Willow asked. "That's what happened with Kendra."
"Nah, nothin' like that. My dad just decided one day he didn't want a family. After a while mom stopped giving much of a shit about anything, and then she was gone too. My Watcher found me and then I got called." Everyone had gone quiet not knowing what to say. "I'm gonna head out and do a quick patrol. I'll catch you later, B." Faith said before rushing out of the library.
After she left Xander called a stop to his and Spike's fight. "I gotta go take care of something, guys. I'll see you at home, fang face. Buff, Wills, I'll catch you guys tomorrow." Determination on his face, he rushed out of the library before anyone could reply.
Xander trailed her from the good side of town to the bad side of town and right into the sleaziest motel in Sunnydale. He slipped up to the door and knocked after a moment or two.
"X? What do you want?" She asked when she opened the door to him.
"Just thought we could have a little talk, is all. You left so quick I didn't have a chance to say anything, besides I figured this sort of conversation should be had in private." Xander said quietly.
"Well, well, well, Boytoy. Does your happy hubby know you're out looking for a ride back to the land of the ladies?"
Xander ran an eye up her body; the hyena part of him appreciating her power, the Xander part her form. "Neither of us is against a little vacation, now and again. Of course we always travel together." He said with a wicked leer.
Faith smirked back while taking her own once over of his body. "Well now, I might just have a... look can we drop the travel shtick, it's kinda freaksome?"
Xander grinned at her. "Yeah I know what you mean, nothing worse than taking a bad joke too far. Anyway we'll deal with the innuendo and threesome jokes later, cause right now we got serious stuff to discuss."
"Why'd you really leave Boston, Faith? And does it have something to do with a really ugly vamp named Kakistos?"
Her whole demeanor changed. "How do you know about him?"
"Word is he's in town, and looking for someone. We kinda figure he isn't looking to wine and dine whoever it is he's trying to find, plus he's sporting a really wicked new scar, sort of like souvenir a talented slayer might give him to remember her by. Ring any bells?"
Faith rushed around Xander grabbing her duffel bag and shoving things into it just as quickly as she could. "I've got to go."
"You don't have to run, Faith." Xander said in a quiet voice, trying to sooth her. It didn't work.
"Yeah, I do, X. You don't know what that son of a bitch is capable of, I do." she slammed another handful of clothes into the bag before zipping it up.
"He killed your watcher, didn't he, Faith?" She stood with her back to him, shuddering, the 'fearpreyrun' smell coming off of her was almost enough to choke Xander in the closed room.
"Kill is too kind of a word, X. I don't even know any words that cover the things he did, the things I saw him do, it was..."
Just then a knock sounded at the door. Faith moved to answer it, but before she could get close Xander grabbed her wrist hard. When she looked at him, ready to start cursing him out, he shook his head hard, gesturing towards the door, then towards the window. Her eyes big as saucers she rushed to follow him as they slipped out the window of her hotel room.
Just as they dropped to the ground, a fist started punching its way through the door. "So much for your security deposit." Xander muttered before leading her through the alley intent on getting to the school, where he hoped they would find help.
Xander pulled her to a stop. He could hear running feet in several different directions. They needed to go to ground, call in help. As quietly as he could, he started climbing up a rusty fire escape. Faith followed after him. When they reached the roof he pulled her down next to him, as he tried to get a glimpse of the teams he knew were tracking them.
"You gotta just let me go, Xan. I'll head out of town and he'll come trailing after me, like he did here." She was practically begging.
"And what are you gonna do Faith? Run forever? Think about that for a minute. If you run he'll always be right on your ass. If there's one thing I know it's predators, Faith, and he will run you down, chase you until you're so tired of running you'll stumble just to end it."
"Maybe that's all I deserve." She muttered, trying to catch a glimpse of their attackers.
Xander grabbed her and jerked her up to look right into his face. "You think you deserve to die at the hands of an abomination? Tell me, what did you do to earn that?"
"I let him kill my watcher, I let him kill her right in front of me. The things he did..."
"So you let him, right? You just gave up and didn't try to protect her?"
Faith looked at him as if he'd just smacked her. Cold fury bled into her hopeless dead eyes. "I didn't fucking LET him. I tried, I tried so hard, I just wasn't enough."
"Maybe you got off on watching him work, is that it? Did you enjoy the show he put on to break you, to torment you?" He asked, his grip on her solid as steel.
"Of course not you sick bastard. I'll fucking kill you for saying that." She was rage incarnate in his arms, no longer trying to pull away, but trying to attack instead.
"No, you're a slayer, and you fought, didn't you Faith? You fought with every breath in your body, with every ounce of strength. You would have traded your life for hers in a heartbeat, but you couldn't, because you were one person against an army, alone. Weren't you?"
"Yes!" She sobbed the fight going out of her as she let him pull her into a hug. "I tried so hard, but I couldn't save her."
He held her tightly for a moment or two and then whispered in her ear. "You're gonna beat him this time, Faith. Wanna know why?"
She looked up at him, eyes red, makeup running, and a question in her eyes. "Why?"
"Cause you're not alone any more." She looked at him for a minute not understanding what he meant. "You're not fighting a war all alone anymore. You have another Slayer to back you up. You have a potentially kick ass witch and a werewolf to back you up. You have a Watcher and a bad ass vampire, who'll both back you up, and you've got me. So all you need to do to beat this bastard, is decide you're going to."
She froze for a minute or two, looking at him, and then seemed to grow taller in front of him, as her determination and her will to fight came back, and her fear subsided. "What are we waiting for, let's call in the cavalry and get those bastards."
Xander grinned and reached for his cell phone.
Once the others were in place, Xander and Faith dropped down to the ground and let themselves be herded through the streets until they ended up in a warehouse decorated in ways only a vampire could love; corpse chic.
Faith panicked a little when they started fighting through Kakistos' minions, but let herself flow into the thrill of the fight. She stayed that way right up until the cloven one himself showed. The stench of her sudden overpowering fear made Xander nauseated.
"Fight him, Faith. You can do it, we both know you can." Xander was fighting a snazzy dressed black vampire, who was too strong to be a minion, when he realized Faith was freezing up. "Faith, kick his ass."
Faith was backing herself into a corner, her head shaking from side to side while her body quaked in fear. Xander could tell the others were coming, but not fast enough to make any sort of difference with Kakistos. She turned to Xander a whine in her voice. "He's too strong."
"That's right, Slayer. I am going to rip you apart piece by piece for what you did." He sneered, stepping towards her.
"Dammit, Faith," Xander said while dodging his opponent. "are you going to go out cowering in a fucking corner like a victim? Or are you going to fight for every second of life?"
She glanced over at him quickly. "He's going to kill me." she said, absolutely sure of his victory in that moment of fear.
"So what, I'll just bring you back." He yelled dodging a nasty swipe from his opponent.
Kakistos was letting his childe Trick play with the slayer's companion, while he enjoyed the rich scent of her fear, savoring his revenge.
"You'll bring me back?" Faith asked, not sure if she could laugh through her fear at the bravado of her strange new friend. "Just like that, huh X?"
"Reviving Slayers is apparently what I do, although if I keep this up we're gonna have to start a bowling league or something." Xander said, getting in a shot that drove Trick across the room.
"You're just gonna bring me back, huh? Guess I better get fighting then." Faith said, her fear strangely slipping away in the face of Xander's decidedly odd reassurances. She grabbed a length of wood and dove into a fight with the vampire who'd haunted her every waking thought and stalked her nightmares for too damned long.
A blond vampire threw herself at Xander just as he was about to stake Trick. By the time Xander had dusted her, Trick was almost to the door and on his way to freedom. He ran straight into Spike, who smirked and slid a stake into his chest. He swaggered in to stand by Xander who was watching as Faith and Kakistos danced back and forth.
"Should we?" Spike asked, gesturing to the fight.
Xander just smiled not taking his eyes off a slayer in the zone. "Nah, she needs this. Speaking of, once she's killed him, do you mind if we bring her to stay with us. She's staying in a total fucking dive of a motel, and apparently motel's don't exactly keep out the riff raff, if you get my drift."
Spike sniffed at Xander, as he stood, eyes locked on Faith's battle, and frowned, but kept his voice steady. "Sure, luv. Whatever you want."
Just then Faith slammed the thick chunk of wood forward, stabbing it through the chest of a very shocked Kakistos. Xander rushed forward and swung her around in with a whoop and then led her back to stand between him and Spike. "Wanna crash at our place?" He asked, trying desperately to make it no big deal.
Faith glanced up at Spike almost shyly behind her hair. "If you guys are sure it's ok, I could definitely use a place to crash."
Spike forced out a thin smile. "No problem at all, pet."
The wind was howling around a group of cowled creatures. Flames guttered in the many sconces and a faint chiming of bells was heard, as well as an rising wail of the damned. A dark haired woman in an expensive and impeccable suit was reading over a file, ignoring the scene playing out around her.
A vortex opened, leaving two creatures standing in the middle of the intricate pattern carved into the floor of the marble room. The cowled individuals turned and left the room as one, while the woman slipped the paperwork into her briefcase and then stepped up to stand before the new arrivals.
"Angelus, Drusilla, welcome back. My name is Lilah Morgan and I'm here as a representative of Wolfram & Hart. The senior partners of our firm have a, shall we say, vested interest in your case, Angelus."
"Have they now?" He purred, eyes roaming over the tasty morsel in front of him.
"Yes there are certain prophesies that refer to a souled vampire and the apocalypse. I realize you don't qualify for that particular status at the moment, but my firm would like to offer you up a deal."
Dru ignored Lilah. As she finished speaking, Dru let her body flow in a dance around the room; Spinning, dipping, and twirling, she began humming a tune and finally spoke to Angelus in a little singsong voice. "The Wolf and the Ram and the Hart all want pieces of their savior, and their destroyer. They wish to bind the nasty soul and keep me with daddy always, but they haven't the power to bind the unwilling soul. They are thieves and liars." She hissed at Lilah, finally acknowledging her mere seconds before lunging at her.
Angelus caught her by the waist and spun her around. "Now, now my Dru, what have I taught you?"
"A shallow cut or two while it's still alive helps to flavor the blood properly." She said while wiggling her body against Angelus.
"That's my girl," He smirked at her, "but I meant about lawyers?"
"Unless you have them on retainer be prepared for indigestion." She answered promptly before slipping out of his hands and latching on to Lilah's neck.