FIC: Faith The Series: Season 3 Ep 1 (28/???)
"The Scourge has been eliminated."
"Excellent," he nodded. "And our clan daughter?"
There was a long, heavy silence before the inevitable dreaded reply. "She fell in battle."
"But her companions?"
"The Slayer and the Watcher live."
"But our Janna died?" his minion nodded. "Someone must pay for this most grievous hurt," he decided.
"Sir, what must we do?"
"It is a man’s responsibility to protect his woman. The Watcher failed in his duty," he looked around his fellow elders, sitting with him around their campfire. Seeing they were all nodding, he continued. "He must be brought to account."
* * *
"G," Faith bounded into the house. "Have I got news for you!"
"Please Faith," her Watcher held up a hand as he looked up from his position slouched on the couch, his face pained. "Don’t shout, I have a sore head."
Faith cut off her instinctive response that maybe her guardian wouldn’t have such a sore head if he didn’t drink so damn much in favour of staring at her Watcher. It was a long six weeks since they’d defeated Angelus and his cronies. Six weeks since Jenny had died.
The first two weeks had been the worst, G had been practically catatonic. Then he’d started to function again on some level, although there was a complete listlessness and lethargy to his actions. But she had something that might spark his interest. "Cor invited us all to this shindig at her parents’ place, her parents have got all this old African stuff they’ve bought from an art dealer. Maybe you wanna come, show off that Watcher brain?"
Her Watcher wearily shook his head. "Thank you for the offer, but I don’t feel up to it, but why don’t you go, enjoy yourself?"
"But if you went, you might find something wicked interesting." Faith pressed. "I brought some literature about the artefacts."
"I said no Faith."
Faith hid a flinch at G’s tone. There was a harshness in it that reminded her of her mom when she was about to fly at her. When G was usually angry at her, his tone was still controlled, but right now… She could handle G, but that wasn’t the problem, if he attacked her she’d be heart-broken. "Sure G," she whispered. "I..I’m sorry for bothering ya, I just figured it was your thing."
G looked up at her tremulous voice, eyes filling with concern. "Faith," the Watcher opened and closed his mouth twice before speaking again. "I’m sorry for my attitude, perhaps you could leave the information for me to look over while you’re out?" She nodded and dropped the leaflets on the table before turning to leave. "Faith," she glanced over her shoulder at the Englishman. "I do appreciate your efforts. You’ve been a real help this last month."
Faith forced a smile. "Thanks G."
* * *
"I don’t think I should go," Jesse shook his head. "Your dad put a hit out on me!"
"That was just a rumour," Cordelia shook her head. "Grow a backbone."
Jesse’s eyes widened in outrage. "Hello, I battle forces of evil in my spare time."
"Then my dad should be no problem," Cordelia pointed out. Defeated, Jesse slumped down on his bed, looking up at the brunette in bewilderment. Didn’t she realise her father WAS the force of evil. "Good, now I’ll be around at seven-thirty. Make sure you’re ready."
Finally he nodded. "Yes, Cordelia," he muttered in defeat.
* * *
"I look okay?" Faith asked as she stepped out on the landing, dressed in a knee-length, black sequined dress with a v-shaped neckline and no sleeves.
"You look great," Xander assured her.
"Thanks," Faith smiled at her boy-friend. She knew logically she looked as hot as hell, hell like a catwalk model. But there was something deep inside her, planted there by her mom, that always expected people to laugh at her in a classy dress and yell ‘look it’s Faith Lehane, the trailer trash playing at being better than she is!’.
Shoving away her feelings of inferiority, she smirked at her boyfriend, running a quick eye over his hired tuxedo. It pleasingly showcased the shoulders, chest, and arms her honey had built over the past two years training with her and G, turning him from a scrawny kid to a fine hunk of manhood. "You look pretty damn hot in the tux," she lowered her voice to a husky croak. "Kinda makes me wanna rip it off." She grinned at X’s so predictable blush, he was so easy.
Her smile withered at the sound of Giles walking through from the kitchen to the lounge below. "Maybe I shouldn’t go," she said. "G needs me."
"Come on Faith," Xan took hold of her elbow. "It’s been six weeks, all you’ve done is patrol and look after G-Man, you deserve some time off. ‘Sides," Xander’s eyes glinted with merriment, "Cordy would be ‘wicked pissed’ if her homie doesn’t have her back at this happening with her ‘rents, ya dig?"
Faith scowled playfully at her boyfriend. "You ever try talking street again and it’s your kneecaps," she warned before unwillingly smiling. "Well we wouldn’t want to face the wrath of Cordy would we?"
Xander winked at her. "Believe it or not, that’s what Jesse said…"
* * *
Jesse shuffled uncertainly at the edge of the party, deeply conscious of both the expensiveness of the furniture of the room and the exclusivity of the clothes worn by the well-heeled guests populating the grandiose lounge. "Hello Mr. McNally."
Jesse turned towards the speaker, Cordy’s dad. "Thanks for inviting me, sir." Mr. Chase was a tall, daunting man made even more imposing by his custom-made suit that cost more than Jesse’s pop made in a month and the strongly disapproving look on his face.
"Yes," the older man nodded. "Cordelia insisted. That you and your," their less than gracious host sniffed when Xan and Faith entered the room, "friends be invited."
* * *
"Do you want a glass of punch hon?"
"Sure," Faith nodded at her boyfriend’s question. She needed something to get her through this party with a crappy mood music that no chick could dance to. Xander grinned at her before striding into the thong and towards the refreshment stand. Faith glanced with disinterest at the African artefacts on the exhibit table, unable to prevent her heart tightening painfully. Damn, she just bet G would have a cow examining them. If only he’d come.
Shaking off her depression, Faith looked around. Aside from her gang, there were a few kids from school here, and all looked like they’d rather be at a Hanson concert than at this party.
"Why, I must say you look divine dear, simply divine."
Faith glanced warily at the benign looking man in his mid-fifties smiling at her. When older guys like him paid her a compliment, it was usually a precursor to them asking her somewhere quieter. "Thanks, I think."
"Gosh, no," the man’s face crinkled in a smile. "I’ve no ulterior motive, just giving a beautiful young woman the praise she so richly deserves. I saw your young man with you, a fine boy." The middle-aged man looked around the crowded room. "But I haven’t seen your Mr. Giles?"
"Who are you?" Faith demanded, this creep knew altogether too much about her and her friends.
The man’s smile widened. "Oh I’m sorry dear," the man stuck out a hand, after a second Faith took it. "I’m Mayor Richard Wilkins III, always a pleasure to meet one of my constituents. Especially one as pretty and civic-minded as you."
"Civic-minded?" Faith looked at the man. "What’s that supposed to mean?" How much did this weirdo know?
"Oh," the public servant smiled disarmingly, "only that there aren’t many children your age would come to a stuffy shindig like this."
"Right," Faith stared suspiciously at the man. Somehow she had the feeling that wasn’t the public servant meant at all.
The Mayor’s smile didn’t shift an inch at her glare. "Well gosh I wish I could stay and talk. I only came because," the Mayor tapped the side of his nose with his finger, "Mr. Chase is one of my major contributors, but duty calls. Goodbye Miss. Lehane."
"It’s Giles," the correction was out in a half-second.
The public servant stared at her for a second. "But of course is it. Good-bye Miss. Giles."
Faith stared after Wilkins as the public servant strode over to Cordy’s dad and spoke briefly before leaving. "Another of your admirers, honey?"
Faith glanced over her shoulder, her taut mood dissipating at her baby’s reappearance. "Aren’t all men, babe?" Faith looked around, her nose wrinkling in distaste as she saw the African artefacts. Boring, she’d rather be down at the Bronze or in a graveyard getting her Slay on. Her eyes narrowed when the eyes in one of the masks seemed to glow then shook her head a half-second later. Trick of the light.
* * *
"But seriously?" Stein queried. "There’s no cameras here."
"Seriously sir," Patrolman Jeffers confirmed. "It was an accident. Man
swerved to avoid a cat, hit a man, killed him."
"We’ll I’ll be damned." Stein shook his head. How unlucky did you have to be to die of a car accident in Sunnydale. "What’s the victim’s name?"
"Make sure his next of kin are informed."
"Yes sir," Jeffers nodded.
Stein paled suddenly. "Jeffers, you sure he’s dead?"
"Yes sir, the medics " Jeffers’ eyes filled with puzzlement. "Why?"
"Because he’s getting up!" Maybe this death was a ‘normal’ one for Sunnydale after all.
* * *
"Not much point hurrying Clive," Joe warned from the back of the ambulance. "This guy’s toast."
"Damn it!" Clive growled. Joe heard the sound of his colleague’s fist thumping the steering wheel. "I hate it when we lose one!"
"I know," Joe agreed as he glanced down at the destroyed body, beaten to death by a gang. His eyes widened when the corpse sat up. Before he had chance to even utter a syllable, the corpse\man had him by his throat. Even as he reached for something, anything, he could use as a weapon, the re-animated corpse flung him through the ambulance doors. The last thing he saw before his head hit the tarmac was the man leaping from the back of the ambulance.
* * *
Giles sighed listlessly as he sunk into his armchair. He reached for his whiskey bottle, eschewing the glass as usual. He knew he wasn’t setting Faith a very good example at the moment, but he couldn’t find it in himself to care, all he wanted was the fiery anaesthetic of the whiskey to block out Jenny’s loss.
Seeing the leaflets Faith had left on the lounge table, he picked them up instead, knowing she’d only ask if he’d looked at them. He hated seeing the light in her eyes dim when he replied in the negative, so he’d skim through them. Opening the leaflets up, he looked down at a tribal mask "Oh lord," a gnawing terror twisted his insides, making it difficult for him to breathe.
Swallowing slightly, he rose on shaky legs. He couldn’t lose Faith too, he couldn’t. Grabbing his car keys, he rushed out. He had to get there and fast.
* * *
"Breathe. Breathe." The doctor pleaded as he gave a cardiac massage to the burns victim’s chest before turning to her. "Nurse Standford, the defibrillation pads!" Just as she stepped forward the heart monitor flat-lined, monitor letting out an insistent beep while the cursor moved flatly across the line. The doctor sighed. "Alright. These burns are too extensive. It's 7:43. Let's call it."
Nurse Standford sighed as Doctor Jones walked off, his shoulders slumped. Poor man, he was one of the good ones, working in medicine wasn’t just a job to him, it was a calling. She glanced down at the corpse, twenty years a nurse and the sight of an extensively burnt body still gave her the heebie-jeebies. "Oh my god!" She gasped when the corpse’s eyes shot open and a charred hand grabbed her wrist, its dry touch making her scream helplessly, eyes bulging in panic. The body sat up and flung her across the room, the last thing she saw before her head smacked into the wall was the body throwing off the sheet covering him and walking off.
* * *
Giles looked left and right as he roared through Sunnydale’s darkened streets, for once agreeing with Faith’s forthrightly put opinion that his Citroen CV was a ‘piece of crap’. "Unbelievable!" He shook his head. "The idiots have managed to buy a mask that raise the dead! As if we don’t have enough problems in this town, the bloody yanks have to import them!" His eyes widened as he looked ahead to see a figure lumbering up ahead of him. "Oh bollocks!"
He slammed on the brakes, but it was too late, the car skidded into the man, propelling him onto the vehicle’s hood and bouncing off of the windshield before tumbling to the ground as his transport screeched to a halt. The man rolled a few times before coming to a graceless stop. "Oh my god!" Giles stared at the man for a few seconds before opening his door.
"Are you alright?" Climbing out of the car, he rushed over to the man and felt for a pulse. "Are you hurt?" Giles gasped as the man rolled over, revealing he was in an advanced state of decay. "Ah," Giles swallowed. "I see my question was rather redundant."
The zombie grabbed him by his coat lapels, lifting him off the ground as it stood. Giles struggled desperately to get loose but found the zombie’s grip inescapable. Hearing the sound of footsteps behind him, he turned his head to shout for help. His shout died on his lips as he saw the newcomers were yet more zombies. "Oh yes Rupert," he muttered sarcastically. "One had to chose tonight for going for a pleasant drive. Well, done old man. Brilliant idea."
* * *
Faith nudged X in the ribs. "Look at Jess," she whispered. "Poor guy looks miserable, maybe you should go speak to him."
"Good spot," Xander kissed her on the head. "That’s why I love you. Just be a minute."
Xander had barely been gone a minute when Faith heard a voice behind her. "Hi Faith."
Forcing a smile, she turned to face the speaker, a tall, handsome but undeniably dumb as dog-shit senior from school by the name of Owen Thurman. "Hi Owen," she said with false brightness. God, she hoped he wasn’t gonna start quoting poetic crap about death, it might get some chicks wet in their panties, but that brooding crap didn’t work for her. In fact it bored the hell out of her, life was for living. "How ya doing?"
"Life’s just so," the youth sighed. "Wanna dance?"
Faith cut back a smart ass remark that she’d rather dance to the funeral march than the crap played by the string quartet for fear the prick would take her seriously. "No thanks, can’t dance to this stuff," she lied easily, ignoring the lessons G had given her in ‘proper dancing’.
"Oh," the hulking teen looked vaguely bemused before nodding. "Well see you later."
"Later," Faith agreed. Much, hopefully.
* * *
"Bugger!" Giles groaned as the zombie bent him back on the hood of his car. Giles grunted as he brought his knees up into his chest and kicked the zombie in the chest. The demon grunted and stumbled awkwardly backwards.
Taking his chance, he rolled off the car and to his feet, scrambling back into the car. Giles winced when the zombies crowded around his car and began pounding the windows and shaking the car. Hand shaking slightly, he reached for the ignition. "Oh bloody hell!" For a second he stared at the empty ignition before hurriedly searching through his pockets. No keys. He looked wildly around, his desperation growing.
Nothing. He looked out onto the street, and there they where. "Oh, good show, Giles."
Shaking his head, he reached underneath the dashboard and tugged out some wires. He quickly unravelled and stripped the appropriate ones, wincing when a zombie punched through the window and reached in for him. Ducking away from the zombie, Giles touched the wires together. "Oh go on!" Giles exulted when the wires sparked and the engine started up. "Like riding a bloody bicycle!" he roared triumphantly as he slammed the accelerator down and raced off, leaving the zombies lumbering in his wake.
* * *
"Man this is dull," Faith muttered to her boy-friend. "This party could seriously do with liven-." Her voice trailed off when a lumbering zombie punched its way through the lounge window and began to climb inside, a number of its companions following it.
Xander glanced at her. "You were saying?"
"Asshole," Faith shook her head as she lunged towards the exhibit table, grabbing at the staffs there.
She glared at Cordy’s father. "Can it!" Taking the staffs, she flung them at Xan, Jess, and Cordy, keeping the knives for her. "Xan, Jess, cover the Wiccas, Cordy, get everyone out of here." She winced as a party-goer was grabbed by a zombie, his neck snapped, and his corpse flung to the ground. In seconds, the party-goer started to rise.
Suddenly Cordy screamed. "They’re coming in everywhere!"
"Damn!" Faith threw Oz a staff. "You swing a wicked ax, try a staff!"
Suddenly a zombie charged her. Faith launched a hopping side kick to his gut, sidestepping a wild haymaker and connecting an uppercut to the re-animated corpse’s jaw that didn’t faze him. A wild backhand caught Faith on the side of the head. Shaking it off, Faith retaliated with a pair of fast rights into the undead’s face before ducking past her opponent. The demon turned to face her but Willow smashed a vase over its head. "Thanks Red!" Faith hollered as she leg-swept the demon down to the ground.
* * *
"Just another night on the Hellmouth," Xander muttered as he led some of the party-goers into a sprawling kitchen a world away from his parents’ cramped and practically derelict one. A zombie smashed its way through the back door. Xander raised his staff and smashed it into the demon’s head. The blow knocked the zombie’s head sideways but it kept coming.
"You hit like a girl!" Cordelia accused him before swinging a saucepan, he was surprised little Miss Rich knew what one was, into the zombie’s head, knocking it back a step.
"Oh!" he sneered. "’Cause you did so much better." Changing tact, he swung at the zombie’s legs, taking them from underneath it.
* * *
Faith roundhouse kicked the zombie in the head, knocking him out of the door. She spun around, seeing Oz struggling with a ghoul, she rushed over, grabbed the walking corpse around the waist from behind and belly to back snap-suplexed him out of the open door. Faith nodded at Red as the Wicca slammed the door shut. "Barricade the front door!" She yelled. "We need some help in here!"
In a second Jesse rushed in and joined Oz in dragging a small table before the door as Red and her leaned across it, holding it closed against the reanimated corpses pounding on it.
But even as the two boys reached them, a zombie punched its way through the door. "Fuck!" Faith screamed. "Upstairs! Now! X!" she screamed at the top of her voice. "Get your ass in here."
As she waited for her boyfriend, she occupied herself with a dropkick on the most advanced ghoul, knocking him back into two of his companions. "You okay?" X asked.
"Oh yeah," she drawled. "Just peachy keen. Any idea how we’re going to stop these mothers?"
Faith shot her boyfriend an amused look. "Somehow I doubt that’ll work." Faith sobered. "Let’s get upstairs."
"To the bedroom!" Xander joked as they rushed upstairs.
"One track-mind," she deadpanned. As they reached the top of the stairs they found Rosa the house-maid, out cold. "Damn it!" Faith joined Xander in lifting her under her arms and dragging the unconscious woman through the nearest door. "Man," Faith muttered as she glanced around the master bedroom and the people crowded there, "my crib in Boston wasn’t this big."
"What are those things!" blustered Cordy’s father. "Don’t they know I’m a friend of the Mayor’s?"
"Really?" Faith raised an eyebrow. "Call me crazy, but I really think they’re past caring."
"Who do you think you’re talking to you little tram-!"
"You watch your mouth," Xander interrupted, his fist slamming into the man’s jaw, knocking her abuser on his ass. "Faith’s in charge, any argument?" When nobody spoke, he turned to her. "Faith?"
Faith grinned at her honey, heart warming at his support. "Cor," she pointed to the unconscious maid. "You and Red take care of her. X, you and Jess join me at the door. Rest of you, watch the window. And listen to Amy and Oz." What the hell, the guitarist showed he could wield a mean staff and seemed cool as ice.
Faith scowled as she noticed something on the four-postered bed. The greedy bastard had stopped long enough to collect his artefacts. "Un-fucking-believable," she muttered.
* * *
Willow looked at Cordy after failing to find a pulse on Rosa. "She’s dead," she whispered.
* * *
A zombie smashed into the door, knocking Xander back and into the far wall. Faith shoved the door back shut. "What do we do if they get in?" Cordelia’s mom screamed from behind them.
"Die mostly," Xander supplied helpfully.
"And leave hideous corpses," Jess chipped in.
"Speak for yaself," Faith drawled. "I’m one hot mama, dead or alive."
* * *
Cordelia’s eyes widened when Rosa’s eyes widened. Willow was wrong, they wouldn’t have to go through the trouble of finding a new -. She paled when she realised something. "Oh crap," she whispered. "Fai-!" her words were cut off by a back-hand knocking her to the ground and the zombie flinging Willow onto the bed before reaching down and putting a carved wooden tribal mask on her face. The eyes glowed briefly and then the mask somehow melded itself to Rosa’s face. "I’m guessing, not good."
* * *
Faith looked towards the commotion, eyes widening at the mask-wearing maid. "What the -?" The door crashed open, knocking her back a step, and Xan and Jess to the floor. Faith screamed as the zombie grabbed her hair and flung her to the ground.
Next thing the zombie fell to its knees, screaming and cowering before the demon. "Oh, boy," Faith muttered. "And just when you think things couldn’t get any worse."
Leaping to her feet, Faith raced towards the mask-wearing demon. The demon turned to her, its eyes flashed, mesmerising her. It backhanded her, sending her crashing into the closet door. Faith shook her head, the blow had hurt like hell but it had also cleared her head. Seeing her boyfriend rising and charging the demon, Faith let out a shout. "No, X!"
The demon’s eyes flashed at her honey, freezing him. The mask-wearing zombie strode over to Xan and grabbed him by his jaw, forcing his head back. Rising, Faith lunged at the demon, grabbing it around the waist and propelling the pair of them through the window, onto the porch, rolling off that to the front lawn.
* * *
With the demonic version of Mask no longer there, the zombie quit its cowering and began attacking them again. Shaking off his shock and worry about Faith, Xander joined Jesse in grabbing the zombie’s arms. His eyes bulged when he saw Cordy pick up a baseball bat and charge towards them. "Remember who you’re meant to hit with that," he pleaded.
"Don’t tempt me Harris!" the cheerleader screamed before smashing the bat into the ghoul’s back. The corpse roared, flailing wildly, flinging both Xander and Jesse to the ground. The demon took a step towards Cordy. "Big mistake mister!" The cheerleader began battering the zombie with her weapon.
"You’re dating her?" Xander said incredulously while shaking his head. "You’re braver than I thought!"
"Shut up Xander," Jesse retorted. "Go for its legs?"
"Sounds like a plan," he agreed.
* * *
Giles screeched to a halt outside the Chase mansion. His heart leapt into his throat at the sight of his daughter fighting with the Ovu Mobani. "Faith!" he shouted, his face averted so not to fall under its spell. "It’s power lies in its eyes. But they’re also its weakness!"
"Got it!" his daughter roared back.
Peeking through his fingers, he watched as Faith snap-kicked the demon off her, knocking it across the lawn. Taking advantage of her respite, Faith scooped up the pitchfork left lying on the garden and flung it, javelin-like, at the rising demon. The pitchfork sailed into the beast’s eyes. Light exploded from its mask and the demon slumped to the ground.
Smile parting his lips, he raced over to his Slayer.
* * *
Jesse gasped as the zombie backhanded him across the face, knocking him to the ground. The ghoul turned to him before slumping to the ground. Jesse glanced across at his friend. "What just happened?"
"My guess," Xander beamed proudly. "My girl won."
* * *
"Are you alright?" Faith nodded. Suddenly her guardian had her in a crushing bear-hug. "Oh god," the Englishman muttered in her ear. "I’m not going to lose you. Ever."
"I’m not going anywhere G," Faith whispered. For once she didn’t care about the audience to her being all girly, all she cared about was her dad was on the way back.
* * *
Mayor Wilkins tapped thoughtfully at his office desk. He’d only gone to the Chase party to get a look at the Slayer. And he wasn’t disappointed. The beautiful young woman had a core of steel hid deep within her, she was a formidable young lady. He smiled slowly. "If I didn’t have a worthwhile enemy well gosh, it wouldn’t be interesting."
Throwing back his head he began to laugh, the sound echoing around the shadowy office.
FIC: Faith: The Series S3 Ep 2 (29/???)
"Is everything ready for our guest?"
He was gratified by his underlings’ nods. "Then, all we need to now is to get our target."
"It’s already arranged," he turned his head and smiled at the apple of his
eye, a tall, striking young woman with raven-dark hair that rested on her
shoulders, and pool-like eyes. "An invitation has been extended."
"And he’ll accept?"
His eldest surviving daughter smiled. There was nothing warm in the facial expression. "We know our target. He’ll have no option."
"Wonderful," he beamed. "Then all we’ll have to do is wait."
* * *
Giles groaned as he awoke. For a second, depression nailed him to his bed and he laid there, staring up at the blank ceiling. Then his ears picked up the sound of his charge in the kitchen beneath him, compelling him to roll out of bed. He glanced at the framed photograph on his bedside table, heart tightening. It was of him and Jenny at a fairground some four months ago. He smiled sadly, as he remembered he’d protested vociferously about going, but when he’d got there he’d enjoyed himself immensely. But then he always did with Jenny.
"No maybes, old man," he muttered as he rose, pulling his woollen dressing gown on. "Doesn’t do to dwell." Except that was what he’d been doing for two months now. The fear of losing Faith the night of the Chases’ party had briefly motivated him, but in the fortnight since he’d dropped back into his melancholy. Not to quite the same depths but still….Sighing slightly, he showered before dressing and making his way down.
His charge beamed at him as he entered the kitchen. "Hey G," the beautiful teen shoved a plate of crumpets in front of him. "First day of school. Me, a senior! Imagine!"
Despite his mood, Giles managed a smile. He found it impossible not to when confronted with his Slayer’s boundless enthusiasm. As well as her spirit and sheer guts, Faith had an intensely loyal heart and a quick mind.
And what sort of life would she have if not becoming at least a potential?
Once again Giles’ mood darkened. The world wasn’t fair, he knew that already, he wasn’t a fool. But to be confronted with its rampant unfairness in the form of his beautiful girl-friend and gorgeous daughter’s fates was galling. "G, you five by five?"
"I was just thinking," he forced a smile, "that I never doubted your graduation for a minute."
Faith smirked. "Don’t know about that G, there’s still the little troll to deal with."
"Please," a second, more genuine, smile tugged at his lips. "Don’t refer to our mighty leader as that."
Faith raised an eyebrow. "You knew who I was talking about," the Slayer pointed out.
Giles took a bite of crumpet. "Didn’t say I didn’t agree," he retorted.
* * *
"Thanks G," Faith said as her Watcher pulled up outside the school. Faith
looked up at the school, her last year. She hated going but had to admit she
couldn’t wait to get her certificate, to graduate, to see the pride in G’s eyes
and to have something to prove everyone who’d said she was worthless and stupid
wrong. Faith twisted her head to face her Watcher when she realised he wasn’t
getting out. "Aren’t you coming, G?"
"Uh, no," her Watcher shook his head. "I received a brochure," the Englishman reached inside his jacket and pulled out a glossy magazine, "for a new second-hand bookstore. It’s their opening today. It’s really quite exciting."
"Yeah," Faith drawled as she glanced at the front of the catalogue. "Gets my panties wet just thinking of it." Giles glared at her, Faith reddened. "Sorry, well have fun."
* * *
"’Learned Codices’," Giles smiled as he pulled up outside a small brown-stoned building, its name written in yellow on its lightly-tinted window. "Much better than one of those infernal Borders stores. Might as well as buy your books at a bollocking supermarket."
Leaping out of his car, he hurried inside, pushing the pristinely painted door open. He looked up at the door as his entry was announced by the ringing of a bell. Hearing someone behind him, he held the door open to let a pair of old ladies enter. Once the women had shuffled through the doorway, he eased it closed before looking around.
The shop was discreetly lit and filled with intricately crafted shelves heaving with books of all sizes. Giles nodded in approval as he read the subject headings on the shelves. "Excellent, most satisfactory."
"So glad you approve," a husky voice commented from behind.
Surprised, he turned to face the speaker. His breath caught at the sight that greeted him, a tall, curvy brunette with pool-like eyes, olive skin, and a slightly mocking smile. "Jenny," he muttered, his voice hoarse with desire.
The woman’s smile wavered before returning. "Are you alright, sir?"
Giles shook himself. He couldn’t go into shock every time he saw a woman who looked like his Jenny. Although the resemblance was uncanny. "I’m sorry," he apologised. "You look like someone I lost recently."
"Ah," understanding flickered in the olive-skinned woman’s dark eyes. "Sorry."
"One should never apologise for being beautiful my dear," Giles replied.
"Ah," the woman’s eyes sparkled. "An English gentleman, how refreshing. I’m Nadia."
"Giles," he nodded at the woman before tapping his clung-to brochure. "I understand you have a section devoted to ‘Magic Cultures & Beliefs Of The World’?" He didn’t expect to find anything of any real use in a non-specialist store, but occasionally one found unexpected nuggets.
"We have," Nadia confirmed with a smoking, inviting smile. "But there’s plenty of time for that. First," the woman stepped to the side and made a sweeping gesture behind her, "a complimentary cup of tea."
Giles smiled as he noticed the silver tea tray, filled with bone china crockery and porcelain teapots. "How delightful," he complimented the shop owner. "I am a little parched."
The woman smiled at him before turning towards the tray, her back to him. After a minute, she turned back to him, a cup of tea in hand, steam wafting up invitingly. "Looks delicious, thank you," Giles took the tea and sipped politely. The tea had a bite to it, but was far from unpleasant and in a few moments he’d drunk up. "Now," he blinked as his eyes momentarily blurred. He shook his head clear, too many sleepless nights mourning Jenny were obviously catching up with him. "N…now," he licked his lips, his tongue strangely heavy. "W…what a…bout." His eyes widened as he realised he’d been drugged. The cup clattered to the ground, falling through suddenly nerveless fingers. He stared accusingly at the blurred shop-owner. "W…why?"
The woman’s whispered one-word answer hit him like a thunderbolt. "Janna."
* * *
Nadia let out a well-feigned hysterical scream as her victim pitched forward, the drugs she’d stuck into his tea working masterfully. Seeing the shop’s other customers approaching, she waved them back even as she pulled out her phone. "Give him room," she screamed. "He said he’s got a weak heart," she lied. "I’ll ring an ambulance." Nadia quickly dialled her brothers, her eyes fixed on her cousin’s incompetent lover. "Yes," she whispered when the phone was answered. "Bring the ambulance, I have him." She turned to the watching customers and smiled apologetically. "I’m terribly sorry every one," she apologised. "But once the ambulance has come, I’ll have to close up, you understand, I just," she allowed tears to form in her eyes, "don’t feel up to it."
* * *
"Yo G!" Faith bounded into the library, eager to get her training under-way. She stopped in puzzlement when she realised the library was completely empty. Faith smirked as she realised her Watcher must have got engrossed at the new bookstore. "Damn bookworm’s blown me off for a shop," she groused. Secretly though she was pleased that G had found something that interested him, maybe it would be enough to snap him out of his funk.
"More time to spend with me, then," her companion commented.
"Yeah," Faith turned to Xander, a smile to match the one on her companion’s face tugging on her lips. "There is that. A free lunch hour. However will we fill the time?"
Xander smiled as he placed his arms on her shoulders. "I’ve got a few ideas."
Faith’s smirk widened as she pressed her body against Xander’s. "I really hope they’re wild ones."
* * *
Giles groaned as he woke, his head thumping. He squeezed his eyes shut for a second, concentrating on focussing. At first, everything was blurry, unfocussed, but then it cleared to reveal he was in a cellar with two thickly muscled thug-like types and the woman from the shop, Nadia was her name he remembered. Giles decided to go to the heart of the matter. "Why...why am I here?"
Nadia smiled, a cold one lacking the warmth of her previous ones. "We are of the Kalderash," Giles’ heart dropped at the mention of Jenny’s true name. "Our clan cries for justice. You were the mate of our blessed daughter, my cousin. You must pay."
"I must pay," it was an effort but Giles managed to keep himself under control by reminding himself the odds were not in his favour. "And what about the Clan Kalderash? Where were they when Jenny needed them?"
One of the men, a hulking brute with long blonde hair, snarled and stepped forward as if to hit him. "No," Nadia placed a hand on the man’s seemingly armour-plated chest while staring at him. "Stevo this is not our way. We wait for the trial."
"Can hardly wait," Giles growled sarcastically.
Again the man stepped forward but Nadia stopped him with a bark in something he guessed was Romany. The woman scowled at him. "Our tribe takes the notion of vengeance very seriously."
Giles smiled dryly. "Vengeance, not justice?"
The woman’s scowl deepened. "Later."
"Look forward to it, dear," Giles muttered as the woman and the two thugs left, locking the thick wooden door behind him. Giles looked around the light-bulb lit room. It was sparse, consisting only of a bunk-bed and a bucket that was presumably supposed to serve as his toilet. How delightful. With nothing he could use as a weapon and no way out of the room save the door, he was stuck. "American hotels," he grunted. "How hospitable." There was nothing to do but wait and hope that Faith got here before he was brought in front of some kangaroo court.
* * *
"Yo G!!!!" Faith’s voice trailed off when, for the second time that day, her shout was met with silence, she stared around the dark, musty library with mounting worry. Lunchtime had been no big deal, but now? He’d been missing all day? Not even G could spend all day in a bookstore.
"Everyone, spread out, look in the stacks."
Faith nodded at Cordy’s suggestion, grateful for her input. "Xan, with me," she ordered. "We’ll check the office, see if he’s come back and left a note or something."
"Sounds like a plan," Xan agreed, his face grave.
Ten minutes later, they’d turned his office upside down. Nothing. Faith shot Xander a look. "X," she heard and conceded to the tremble in her voice. "Where is he?"
In an instance, Xander had her in his arms. "He’ll be okay."
"While you two are making out, we have a missing librarian to worry about!" screeched Cordelia from the doorway "Instead of doing that, use your lips more positively. Phone his cell."
Faith shot Cordy a look that switched between anger and amusement. The cheerleader had a point. Pulling out her phone, she quickly dialled G’s number only to shake her head, worry growing. "Nothing."
"When was the last time you saw him?"
Faith glanced towards the red-headed witch. "Huh, when he dropped me at
"And where was he going?" queried the witch.
"A new bookstore in town."
Willow’s eyes brightened. "There’s a new bookstore in -," Willow trailed off at every-one’s stare. "I know, I know, so not the time." Willow looked around. "Someone needs to ring the hospitals, check if he’s not been in an accident."
Jesse raised a hand. "I volunteer Cordy."
Cordelia beamed. "I like shouting at the working man or woman."
"We’ve noticed," Xander muttered.
"Don’t worry," Cordelia sniffed. "You’ll never qualify."
Willow looked towards the rest of them. "The bookstore? What’s it called?"
"Learned Codices, it’s on Cardwell Street," Faith remembered from the
"Let’s go," Xander ushered them out.
* * *
Giles looked up as the cell door opened. A short, fat man in his late sixties with watery eyes and wild, white hair waddled in, flanked by a pair of hulking brutes in their mid-twenties. So, with the two from before that meant a minimum of four hoodlums, far too many for him to handle on his own. Giles guessed the older man could only be the Rom Baro, the ‘Big Man’, the Clan’s chief. "We’re ready for you," the Rom Baro announced. "It’s time for the trial."
"Ah," Giles smiled as he sat up. "So, Rumpole’s arrived as he?"
The man stared blankly at him, not getting the British cultural reference. Bloody philistine. "Ah," Giles nodded. "Not a fan, then." He stood and smiled at the two thugs. "Tell me, have these fine lads evolved to eating with a knife and fork?"
One of the thugs growled and stepped towards him only to stop at a gesture from the Ron Baro. "Come on you damn gajo!" the Rom Baro barked.
"No sense of humour some people," Giles muttered. Shaking his head, he was herded out of the doorway and up a set of eight steps that lead into a room with a trio of elderly men sat behind a desk. They, he knew, would be the judges. Two of them were dressed in dark business suits, the middle one of the three was dressed ironically enough in tweed.
Giles readied himself for what was to come. "Are you ready to answer the charges against you?"
Giles smiled. "Are you?"
* * *
"It’s closed," Willow said before trying the door. "And all locked up." She glanced towards Giles’ car. He’d made it this far.
"Not now it isn’t." Before she had chance to protest, the Slayer was past her, the Bostonian’s combat booted foot slamming into the door at the handle, sending it crashing open. "Let’s go!" Faith, Xander, and Amy hurried inside. After a second, Willow followed them, thoughts of all the colleges turning her down because of her criminal record and being made someone’s ‘jailhouse bitch’ swirling around her agitated mind. "Nothing," Faith’s voice shook slightly as the Bostonian looked wildly around the shop. The shop’s furnishings were in place, but the shelves were completely empty of stock. "NOTHING!" Faith snarled before kicking one of the shelves, her foot powering through the wood.
"Calm down," a pale-faced Xander gingerly put his hands on the Slayer’s slender shoulders. "It’ll be alright," Xander whispered in the pale-faced brunette’s ear. "We’ll find him." Xander looked at the girls. "Girls, make like Cagney & Lacey."
"Cagney & Lac-, oh," Willow nodded as she got the reference. "Sure." After a quick nod, she joined Amy in searching the shop. After about ten minutes, she found herself in the back room. Her eyes widened as she found a piece of paper sticking out from under the sofa. Crouching down, she pulled the sheet out from under the furniture. "A rent receipt," she whispered. For a second she was struck speechless breathless "Guys! I’ve got a lead!"
* * *
"I don’t get it," Faith repeated for perhaps the hundredth time. "Why would they want Giles?"
"Perhaps they blame her for Jenny," Xander’s voice faltered, "you know."
"Why not try a locater spell?" Cordelia put in. "It worked when Angelus kidnapped Giles."
Amy and Willow exchanged looks. "We have tried, on the way back here," Amy replied. "Something’s blocking us, some witches."
"But not to worry," Willow powered up her computer, "if they’re stupid enough to rent the shop under their own name, they might have rented wherever they’re keeping Giles."
"If they’re still in town."
Willow ignored Cordelia’s pessimistic comment. They had to get lucky soon.
* * *
"What is that supposed to mean!" demanded tweed judge.
"I mean," all suggestion of amusement left his face. "I mean, where was the mighty Kalderash when Jenny needed them? When the Scourge of Europe was running havoc, where were you? "
"Tradition demanded," one of the suited judges attempted to interrupt.
"Damn tradition!" he roared. "The question that needs answering is where you were! I tried," his voice shook, "we all tried." He glanced accusingly around the judges. "You were hiding behind her skirts."
"Silence!" roared the tweed judge.
Giles continued on his rant. "The ironic thing is I was feeling guilty," he laughed harshly. "But now I realise I’m not the one who should-." He grunted, falling to his knees at a punch in his kidneys from one of his guards.
"Thank you," the tweed judge had regained his composure. "This trial is to judge you, not us."
His assailant grabbed him and dragged him into a chair opposite the judges. "So," he sneered. "Does this court come complete with kangaroos?" Giles winced as his assailant raised his fist.
"How about," he smiled when his Slayer strode into the temporary courtroom, her friends following behind. One of the guards, Stevo he thought it was, attempted to tackle her, only to be grabbed around the throat and flung into the wall, Jesse finishing the youth off with a right hook to the head that dropped him to the ground. "You let my," a crescent kick to the jaw sent a second guard crashing into the wall. "Watcher go. The third guard went down to a knee to the stomach, an elbow to the side of the head, and a punch to the throat, all applied expertly by Xander. Good to see his training coming in handy.
His eyes blazing, the farmer judge rose and confronted by his daughter. "This is Clan- ugh."
He chuckled when his Slayer cut off the tweed judge by virtue of picking him up by his throat. "Did I say you could speak?" Faith asked the gurgling man, eyebrow raised. "Thought not." Faith flung the judge to the ground. "Got anything to add?" she asked the other two judges. They both shook their heads. "Senility hasn’t set in yet then." Faith grinned at him. "Hey, G."
"Hello, Faith." Giles looked at the guard. "I demand trial by combat."
"Hey!" Faith scowled. "I just rescued you."
"Yes, my dear," he nodded. "I appreciate that, truly. But I’d like to put this situation to bed, once and for all. Ensure these people don’t return."
Faith looked around and sniffed. "We can handle these -."
Faith gulped at his tone before joining the others behind the judges. Giles scraped his
chair back and stood. "Seeing as you’re the only one left standing, it’ll have to be you I’m afraid old chap," he apologised to the man. He looked up at his opponent, the gypsy was perhaps 15 years younger, four inches taller, and sixty pounds heavier. It shouldn’t take too long.
Giles assumed the classical English boxer stance. His rival swung a right haymaker. Giles ducked the blow and countered with a straight left to the gypsy’s well-muscled stomach. The gypsy just grunted before throwing a left hook that smashed into his shoulder.
Giles growled at the pain, deciding to let Ripper loose. Blocking the gypsy’s follow-up right hook on his left forearm, he stamped down hard on the gypsy’s foot. The Romay howled before stumbling backwards. His retreat gave Giles the opportunity to leap into a standing dropkick, his feet cannoning into his rival’s well-muscled chest, knocking him onto the back.
Landing on the dusty ground beside the downed gypsy, Giles was first to his feet. His rival was on his knees, helpless to avoid a knee to his nose, exploding it in a spray of blood. Giles laughed darkly as the man fell back down. In a second he was straddling the larger man’s chest, grabbing a handful of his thick wavy hair. He drove the back of the man’s head into the tarmac, hitting the ground with a wet smack even as his other fist drove into the man’s face, bludgeoning it. The anger that had been building in him since Jenny’s death erupted, driving his vicious attack. After four such blows, he realised the man was unconscious. Taking a breath, he forced himself to stop and stand. After kicking the unconscious man in the stomach, he turned to the judges. "I believe I won?" he sneered.
* * *
"How come he never trains like that with me?" Faith wondered.
"Y..you want him to?" Xander queried, his face pale.
After a second, Faith shook her head. "Not especially."
"Smart decision," Jesse muttered. "Remind me to bring my overdue books back tomorrow."
"Yeah," Faith stepped towards the judges. "Yo." The judges turned towards her. "You couldn’t be assed to come here when we needed help. So you can fuck off out of my town and not come back, you dig?"
"Faith," Giles reproved. "What have I told you about your language to strangers?" Shaking his head, he turned to the judges. "Thank you, gentlemen. I was languishing in a pool of guilt. But now, I realise where the guilt should have lain with you. So, now our business is complete. And," Giles’ tone hardened. "What my Slayer said goes double for me. Piss off." The Watcher smiled at Faith. "Shall we leave, my dear?"
FIC: Faith: The Series S3 Ep 3 (30/???)
"Hey, Jeff!" Jed laughed as he shoved his brother into the near-by hedge. "You heard the rumour? They reckon Giles might be breaking up with Harris!"
"Oh yeah?" His brother pulled himself out of the hedge a grin on his face. "Man, she’s fine!"
"Truth," he agreed with a nod. "Must be easy as hell too. A hot piece hanging with a loser like Harris. I just bet we could both get some action off her."
"Oh yeah!" his brother gave him a high-five, narrowly missing the head of a short man passing by.
"You damn kids," the old man muttered. "Always getting in the way, making a racket. No respect."
Jed’s good temper faded. He spun to face the intruder, a small, snow-haired man in his late-sixties. "Listen gran-pa!" he prodded the man in his flabby gut. "We walk where we want and do what we want, you get me?" he hid a grin as his brother stepped around the back of the man and drew his switchblade before slicing through the bottom of the man’s plastic shopping bag.
"Yes!" he threw his head back and laughed as the man’s groceries fell through the bag, tins, bottles, and packets hitting the ground. "Come on Jeff!" Hee hawing like a pair of hyenas, he and his brother ran off.
* * *
"Damn kids!" Hewitt Alden shook a helpless fist at the two boys as they rushed away. Sighing slightly, he crouched down and began picking up the dropped groceries, groaning slightly at the pain in his arthritic knees and elbows. Once, those kids wouldn’t have dared confront him. And if they had….
Hewitt stood, scowling as he stared after the two thugs. "But I still have some power," he muttered as he stuffed his groceries into his pockets. "They’ll pay."
* * *
"Damn, damn," Faith muttered as she rushed through the empty corridors. "Late again." For all G’s nattering about the importance of education, sometimes their training sessions went on for far too long, cutting into class time.
But then Slaying was a matter of life and death.
Faith rolled her eyes when one of the Driscoll brothers stepped out from his position lounging against the corridor lockers. Great, one of the school’s biggest sleazes. "Yo," she racked her brain for a second for his name. "Jeff. How’s it hanging?"
She could have kicked herself for her greeting at the man’s leer. She swore him and his brother had only repeated three times so they could impress fresh tail with how ‘cool’ they were. "Why don’t ya check for yourself?" the man offered.
Faith looked up at the man, not at all fazed. "Really not that bothered."
She tried to step around the older student. Her fellow senior blocked her route, a skin-crawling sneer on his face. "You sure?" the man pressed. "Only I heard you and Harris had broke up. ‘Figured you might have an itch."
Faith’s eyes hardened. That again, she was getting damn sick of all the jocks and tough guys thinking because she was hot she should be with one of them like some fuckin’ trophy. "Me and X are five by five, thanks."
"You sure?" Faith groaned inwardly at the sound of Driscoll #2, Jed, behind her. "’Cause a babe like you deserves only the best. And Harris, well he don’t measure up."
"Look, guys," Faith stiffened at the feel of Jed stroking her hair. Hair that only her Xander could touch. Faith jerked her head away. "Back the fuck off," she warned.
"Ooooh," Jeff made to grope her chest. "We like ‘em feisty."
"Like this!" Faith drove her knee into Jeff’s groin, the youth groaned and doubled up.
Faith swung the same leg backwards in a hook kick, her heel likewise catching Jed between his legs. "Yep." Spinning around, she grabbed the doubled-up youth by his hair and drove his head into the lockers. "And don’t you forget it!" Still steaming, she spun away from the groaning thugs.
And straight into a malignantly sneering Snyder. "In trouble again, Giles?"
Faith opened her mouth to protest then closed it again. After all, what would be the point?
* * *
"Detention, all fucking week!" Faith’s fist smashed into her practice dummy, knocking it over.
"It’s not your fault." Giles soothed his raging charge. "The Driscolls will be remonstrated with. I guarantee it," he promised.
Faith shrugged. "Don’t worry about it, G. I can handle two asses like that with my eyes closed. Could do before I got powered."
"Nonsense," Giles hid his anger beneath his usual composed mask. When he got his hands on the two buggers who’d dared to lay a hand on his precious daughter, they’d wish they’d never even seen her. "It is my duty as your guardian."
Faith’s eyes sparkled at his show of concern. "Yeah, thanks, G. Only," the Slayer’s eyes darkened. "Don’t tell X. He’ll only do something dumb that gets him expelled or something."
"Mr. Harris doing something dumb." He raised an eyebrow. "I couldn’t imagine him ever doing that." He raised his hands at his Slayer’s unamused glare. "I wouldn’t dream of it."
* * *
Hewitt hobbled into his tiny lounge, the sum of seven decades’ life, a cramped, one-storey apartment in small-town America, its only attraction its close proximity to the Hellmouth, allowing him to hold onto the remnants of his dwindling power. Taking a hold of the careworn sofa, he pushed it against the far wall, his muscles protesting at the effort exerted. Taking a piece of chalk from the top drawer of the set by the door, he knelt down and began drawing on the carpet.
Hewitt Alden looked at the Pentagram of Protection and smiled. Everything was ready. For weeks now, his friends had all been complaining about having their walls graffitied, rowdy kids keeping them awake all night, and various other acts of vandalism. His friends were helpless to deal with them, but not him. No, he smiled as he remembered his halcyon days of the sixties, seventies, and eighties he wasn’t the man he’d once been, but he had enough.
After stepping into the pentagram, he closed his eyes and began the summonsing spell, the complex words coming easy to his practised tongue. Opening his eyes, he sat and waited.
After a few minutes the air filled with a swirling grey mist, crackling with energy and power. Eventually, the air solidified into a grey, bearlike beast, its head scraping the ceiling. For a second, Alden took in the monster that he’d summonsed, its thick muscles, gaping mouth filled with jagged teeth, and paws that ended in jagged claws. Most satisfactory. "You know why I summoned you," he said. "Go, do your duty."
* * *
"You see the look on Snyder’s face when he was dragging Faith off, guy’s got a hard-on for her!" Jed cawed as he flung a beer bottle at the kids’ swing thirty feet away, the bottle smashing into the child’s toy, shards falling to the ground. Laughing, Jed continued on through the darkened park.
Jeff grinned at his brother. "Haven’t you?"
Jed laughed. "Oh yeah, but she’s a little wild. A real fuckin’ handful."
Jeff smirked. "I did a couple of deals today, bought some stuff," he reached into his inner pocket and withdrew a tablet. "Slip that in her drink and she’ll be putty in our hands."
Jed laughed. "Teach that bitch to get smart with us."
"Truth!" He high-fived his brother.
"You hear that?" he queried, glancing towards the woods.
"Hear what?" Jed asked.
After a second, Jeff shook his head. "Nothing." He must have imagined it. "Say, how about we head down to the Bronze? Faith and the rest of her -."
Jed paled as his brother looked over his shoulder. "W…what’s that?"
Jeff looked over his shoulder towards the shadowy woodland. His heart stopped and bladder loosened at the massive monster charging out of the woods. Towards them. Turning to his brother, he squeaked. "Run!"
Before Jeff had begun smoking five years ago, he’d been a good runner, represented the state at meets and everything. Even now, he was decent over short distances.
Despite that, he’d barely covered half the distance to the swings when he heard the beast’s growling in his ear and felt it its fetid breath on his neck. He screamed as the monster’s claw severed his right arm from his body and then its teeth closed on his neck.
* * *
"They’re dead?" his servant nodded and smiled, showing him his blood-stained fangs. Hewitt Alden beamed. "Excellent, excellent." It would appear that Sunnydale’s elderly had a new protector. "Tomorrow night you will patrol again."
* * *
"You seen the paper today, G?" Faith commented as she sat down at the table, took, and tore into a piece of crumpet with a most unladylike eagerness. "The Driscolls got torn apart."
"You read that?" he raised an eyebrow before supping at his tea. "I’m surprised you got past the funny pages."
Faith momentarily glared at him before caving in. "K, you must know. I dropped the paper on the floor when I was getting it out of the porch; saw the headline, so I read. It demon related?"
"The report says a pack of wolves, which is unlikely. However given the damage done to the bodies," he grimaced, "it wouldn’t be vampires."
"You think," Faith ploughed two pieces of crumpet into her mouth, "that we should get Red to check the coroner’s office?"
"Dear," Giles shuddered at the ghastly sight before him. "Close your mouth while you’re eating."
* * *
"Got it!" Willow’s glee was replaced by a look of nausea. "Oh. That’s disgusting, he’s torn his head clean off."
"You want to watch Faith eat, that’s true horror." Faith glared at her Watcher. "On so many levels." G crouched over the Witch’s shoulder and began reading before turning away, his face slightly green. "Yes, I’d agree, quite disgusting. Also, definitely not human, the force required is far more than any human could manage. But not a vampire either, definitely demonic. You’ll have to patrol," the Englishman fixed her with the stare she’d dubbed as his ‘I’m English and therefore know better than you’ look. "But be careful."
"I’ll take X with me," Faith promised.
"Oh, excellent," Giles nodded, his expression scoffing. "I feel so much better."
* * *
"Nothing happening X?" Faith queried.
Xander glanced from left to right, eyes searching the darkness of suburban Sunnydale. "Nothing," he confirmed.
"Good," Faith crouched down by the tyres of a car parked by the kerb and pulled out a knife.
"Faith!" Xander looked from left and right. "What are you doing?"
"Slashing Snyder’s tyres," Faith calmly replied. "You’re my lookout."
"What!" Xander crouched down beside his girl-friend. "You can’t-."
"Can too," Faith retorted. "Asshole gave me detention for standing up for myself when those Driscolls were hassling me. Well, the troll’s gonna find out payback’s a bitch, and I’m the biggest bitch of all."
"You never told me about them," Xander straightened and turned to lean against the car.
"Don’t lean against the car. Jeez," the Slayer shook her head, hair whipping in the cold night air. "Anyone would think you’ve never done this before."
"Strangely I haven’t."
"Jesus, now I’m breaking you in on this too!" Faith growled. "Fuck, what have you done?"
"Obeyed the law?" he shot back.
"Stop pissing and moaning," Faith scolded. "It’ll only take a minute."
"But-," his voice trailed off at the hiss of Faith’s knife entering the tyre. Worried now, he cast a look around. His mouth dropped open. "Uh, you know how told me to watch for any intruders?"
"Shit," Faith cursed. "Someone coming?"
"Uh," Xander forced his teeth to stop chattering. "More something."
* * *
"What-," Faith’s question died on her lips when she turned to see as huge bearlike creature lumbering towards them. The grey-furred monster stood seven and a half feet tall, its broad frame bristling with massive muscles and its clawed paws shining in the night. Finally she found her voice. "Fuck me."
"Not right now," Xander muttered. "I’m too busy wetting myself."
Faith snorted as she crouched and picked her hand-ax up off the ground. "Stay back."
The monster let out a roar as she charged it, claw sweeping out in an attempt to decapitate her. Faith didn’t pause in her charge, rather she speeded up, pulling her head into her shoulders so that the creature’s attack sliced the air above her and not her head itself. Now inside the monster’s guard, she swung her axe over her head and down, burying it deep in the monster’s barrel chest.
The creature roared again before catching her with a clubbing backhand to the head that sent her crashing to the ground. She stared up fearlessly at the monster standing over her, conscious that her ax was lying behind the monster. She was fuck-.
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
The monster’s head snapped towards her pale-faced boyfriend, standing beside Snyder’s car having just set off its alarm. Faith took advantage of the distraction to forward-roll to her ax, snatch it off the ground, and leap to her feet. Seeing the monster moving towards her boyfriend, Faith raised her ax and flung it into the back of the creature’s head.
The ax connected with a grotesque thump, ripping through the monster’s skull and spraying blood everywhere. The monster howled before falling forward, hitting the ground with a thump. Faith hurried forward to be met by the monster’s corpse by her honey. "Thanks X," she yanked the axe out of the monster’s head before hurriedly beginning to decapitate it.
"Taking trophies now?" Xander turned green. "This is gross."
"Really?" Faith raised an eyebrow. "Hadn’t noticed." The creature’s head came away with a squelch. "Let’s go," she looked around, scowling as she saw Snyder’s porch light going on. "The troll’s up."
* * *
Giles scowled as he looked at the severed head resting on his newspaper-covered dining table. "What were you two up to?" he demanded, fixing the duo in front of him with a steely glare.
"Uh," Faith looked nonplussed, "demon killing?"
"Faith," he pinched his nose. He was going to get a headache, he was sure of it. "Don’t lie to me. I know you were up to something."
"How do ya know?" Faith challenged.
"This," he pointed at the demon’s head, "is a bugbear." Seeing the duo’s bemused looks, he elaborated. "The bugbear is one of the English hobgoblins. Having the appearance of a bear, hence its name, it was considered quite fierce and it was common to use the fear of it to coerce children into good behaviour. It would only appear to children involved in acts of wrong-doing or sent there by the summonser. So," he glared at his daughter, "what were you doing?"
"Ah, crap," he heard Faith mutter under her breath. After a second, his daughter spoke up. "I was letting the air out of Snyder’s tyres."
"Oh," it was an effort but Giles managed to hide a smile. It was strange how they weren’t blood-related, she so reminded him at the same age. Instead, he scowled at his daughter. "Don’t let this happen again. Understand?" Faith nodded with a rare meekness.
"But it’s dead now, right?" Xander queried. "Problem over, right?"
"No," Giles shook his head. "There’s still the question of who brought this over here. If there are more."
"What we gonna do, G?" Faith queried.
"You are going to your room." Giles nodded towards the Bostonian. "Xander," he looked towards his Slayer’s boy-friend. "Given the lateness of the hour you’re more than welcome to spend the night on the couch. I’ll have Willow do a spell with this," he nodded towards the severed head. "See if she can use that to track it back to its den. Now, good night."
Faith pouted. "It’s kinda early, can me and X just hang-."
"Now," Giles pursed his lips together, and looked up and spoke into the air. "Just where did I put Mr. Snyder’s number?"
Faith gulped. "See you in the morn X, I’m going to bed," the beautiful teen capitulated.
* * *
Hewitt Alden gasped as he felt the connection between him and his demon severed, a pain slamming into his head like a drumstick into a drum. After a second his head had cleared. Alden scowled. "I don’t like this, I don’t like it at all."
* * *
"It’s," Willow shuddered. "Ugh. It’s…."
"Really ugly?" Cordelia said helpfully. "Although," the cheerleader tilted her head to one side as she inspected the head sat on the library. "Did you skin it?" Everyone turned towards the high school beauty queen. "Only I think it would make a fur coat to die for."
"As I recall, I nearly did," Xander shot back.
Cordelia smiled sweetly. "Small price to pay."
Seeing Xander’s mouth open, Giles jumped in before the two of them began bickering. Again. Sometimes he was tempted to lock the pair of them in a closet and leave them to it. "Please, no more." He turned to Willow. "Can you do a locater spell, trace it back to its summonser?"
Willow nodded. "I’ll trace it using the magical trails."
"Excellent," Giles beamed at the Witch. "And then we’ll set off and have a word with the caster."
"G?" Faith followed him into his inner office, a nervous look on her face. "What we gonna do about this mage?"
Giles pursed his lips. That very question had been troubling him. "I don’t know my dear," he admitted. "We’ll just have to work that out later."
"I’ve got an address!"
The two of them exchanged looks. "Let’s get weaponed up," the Slayer said.
He grimaced at Faith’s butchery of the English language before nodding. "Let’s."
* * *
"That’s right," he muttered as he finished his Pentagram and cast the summonsing spell. When his enemy arrived, he’d be ready. He smiled at the Bugbear he’d summonsed. And so would his protector.
Hewitt Alden cursed at the sound of his doorbell being rung. He looked through his remote viewing mirror. His watery eyes widened as he recognised the man stood with a group of revoltingly-youthful teens. "Ripper." Dazed, he stepped forward, out of the pentagram.
And screamed at the Bugbear’s roar and its claw tore through him.
* * *
"Fuck!" Faith exploded. She looked towards her Watcher. "You hear that?"
"Indeed," Giles’ face was taut. "Break in."
"Way ahead of ya." Her foot splintered the door open. Racing inside, she found herself confronted by a demon even bigger than the one she’d defeated the previous night. Licking her suddenly dry lips, she leapt forward, sword in hand.
The bugbear’s claw raked her down her face, sending waves of pain through her. "Ahhh!" A second blow knocked her to her knees. The beast loomed over her.
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
The sounding of Giles’ bike horn turned the demon’s attention away from her. Seizing her chance, she grabbed the phone table and smashed it into the beast’s thickly-muscled leg. The monster howled as it stumbled forward. Faith scooped up her sword and thrust at the monster.
The bugbear slapped away her attack and grabbed her around the waist. Faith groaned at the sound of her ribs protesting under the crushing pressure. "Ah," she moaned. "Hurts."
"Get him!" she heard Giles yell, and heard him, Xan, and Jess charged forward.
Distracted, the demon dropped her and turned towards the guys, who immediately retreated. Faith took her opportunity and thrust her blade deep into its back, through its heart. Blood bubbled out of the wound, staining her sword. Faith dragged her blade out and beheaded the monster, sending its head flying across the room. Exhausted, she fell to her knees.
And shrieked in an embarrassingly girly manner when she found herself looking down at a decapitated old man. "Uh G," Faith licked her lips. "My guess, we don’t have to worry about what to do with the mage any more."
* * *
"Indeed not," Giles stared faintly at the man.
"You okay, G?" Faith queried.
Giles forced a smile. "Yes dear, it was just a rather close call."
"Shit, my ribs already knew that." Faith snorted. "Day off tomorrow?" she
Giles laughed. "I think I can arrange that." His laughter died as he stared at the corpse again.
"You sure you alright, G?" Faith queried.
Giles nodded. "Yes, thank you my dear," he lied. After all, how could one tell his adoring daughter that they looking at the corpse of the man who’d taught him all things dark magic? Some things were best left in the past.
* * *
Walsh looked up as her new assistant turned up and smiled. Handsome young man, fit too, he was prime experimental material. Her smile withered when the young man made to salute. "Stand down, officer," she warned. "Remember this is an undercover operation. You’re a TA, not a soldier."
The youth smiled apologetically. "Sorry, professor."
Walsh smiled. "No problem, just don’t let it happen again. Please, Riley, take a seat."
FIC: Faith: The Series S3 Ep 4 (31/???)
"And this," Juliana spread her hands. "Is our new home!" Tegan sniffed, unimpressed by the three storey house in one of the small, backwards, California town’s most exclusive neighbourhoods. Exclusive? It was hardly Greenwich. Her mother glared at her sniff. "Don’t start, dear. With your father taking the coward’s way out, I barely had enough left for this place and the art gallery. If he’d taken his punishment like a man, we’d have had his Cayman Island accounts, but with him dead, we have to make do with what I have under my name."
"Yes mom," Tegan’s cheeks burnt at just the mention of the weakling that had been her father. The idiot couldn’t even embezzle properly. And when caught, he’d killed himself, making sure that mom couldn’t get hold of all his lovely millions. Stupid bastard, momma was right, you should never marry below yourself.
"Good girl," Juliana nodded and patted her on the head. "Remember you’re a Austin-Meadows now, not a Charleston any more. Be proud. And don’t let anyone push you around at school."
"Yes mom," Tegan hid a smile. With the powers she’d had for the past few months, no one would dare. And with that pesky Englishwoman dead, she was home free.
* * *
"This," he smiled as he breath in the air, savouring the power that crackled through every atom. "Is the Hellmouth, ah," he took another breath. "Our new home."
"Yes, sir," replied his oldest childe, a former black slave he’d sired three hundred and twenty years ago with a strange love for power-dressing. "But the Slayer is formidable. She killed both Lothos and the Master."
He laughed, the rumble echoing out towards the shadowy outline of the town ahead. "Yes," he replied with a nod. "Write a note, Trick. I’ll have to thank her for that." He chuckled. "Before I kill her."
* * *
"Ah, that’s tremendous news," Giles took a pen, "and her name?" He listened to the man on the other side of the phone and the Atlantic. "Her Watcher?" He grimaced at the man’s reply. Not good. "And she wasn’t a potential? No, so we know very little about her. Could you organise for me to be sent her Watcher’s reports?" He smiled at the reply. "Thank you Robson, old chap. Goodbye." Upon hanging up the phone, he heard his charge rooting through the porch for the mail. "Faith, could you come through to the kitchen."
"Sure, G," his pride and joy jauntily replied. "I was figuring on some bacon and eggs before school anyhow."
His mouth dropped open when his Slayer walked in. "Don’t tell me you’ve been in the porch dressed like that!"
Faith looked down at herself, her face puzzled. "What’s up with the way I dress?"
He opened his mouth to explain that a flimsy black wife-beater tied around the middle of her mid-section and a pair of panties were hardly suitable attire for walking out into the porch in. Realising it would result in an very embarrassing conversation as to why not, he closed his mouth again and wearily shook his head. "Never mind. Just wear your dressing gown from now on." The teen shrugged and nodded. "Now, I have something important to discuss."
* * *
"Whatever it was, I didn’t do it," Faith quickly interrupted. She found it best to get her denials in first.
"Um," her Watcher’s eyes crinkled with amusement. "I’m sure. No, don’t worry," G shook his head. "You’re not in trouble," the Englishman paused. "Have you done something to be in trouble for?" Faith shook her head. Man, he was so suspicious, just ‘cause she was usually in trouble. "Yes, well." The Watcher stared at her evenly for a second before continuing. "Anyway, I was just on the phone to the Council. They’ve informed me that a new Slayer has been called," Faith’s stomach constricted at the oblique mention of Kendra’s death. "And is permanently in Sunnydale."
The bottom fell out of her world. A Slayer in Sunnydale permanently? Man, sounded someone was surplus to requirements. "Wicked cool," she muttered.
"Yes," Giles beamed at her. "Another Slayer here full-time. Excellent. With the two of you working as a team, well I can’t see any demon getting the better of my girl!"
Faith hid a grin. ‘His girl’. Sounded like she wasn’t going anywhere. "Damn straight," she agreed.
* * *
Giles beamed as a young blonde student glided into the library, just minutes into the lunch hour. She was a tall, willowy thing with long, flowing hair, startling green eyes, and dressed in what he guessed was the year’s most exclusive fashions, although he’d have to ask Cordelia to be sure. She moved with an unusual grace, less predatory than his child’s swagger yet somehow similar. She could be the one. "Hello -?" he left the question open for the model-like beauty to supply her name.
Bingo. Seeing the tall beauty glancing around his library, he lifted the ‘Vampyr’ book up from behind the counter, grunting slightly at the weight. "Now dear, I’m far from sure just how far Miss Channer got in your teachings."
"No," the girl backed off from him, eyes wide. "I’m through with you stuffed shirts."
"Dear." He put the book down. "I understand it must have been hard for you, Slaying on your own," he walked around the counter. "But here, it’s different. My Slayer, Faith," he smiled fondly at his daughter’s name, "has a team of very capable people helping her, myself, her boyfriend, a pair of very skilled Wiccas, Faith’s best friend," although he was unsure what Cordelia did other than offer fashion tips, "and her boyfriend. I’m sure they’ll all be more than happy to make your-."
"I said no!" the girl’s hands shot into his shoulders, lifting him from his feet and catapulting him into the counter, the back of his head slamming into the hard wood. The last thing he saw before passing out was the blonde rushing out of the library, the last sound he heard was the door swinging shut.
* * *
"Finally!" Xander rolled his eyes as he entered the corridor to see his girl-friend stood impatiently by his locker. "What time do you call this?"
"Uh," Xander glanced at his Mickey Mouse watch. "Ten minutes before end of recess." A grin on his face, he reached in for a kiss.
Faith pushed him away. "No time for that," the Slayer scolded. "We gotta go see G!"
"We do?" he groaned.
"We do," the gorgeous Bostonian grabbed his wrist and dragged him towards the library.
* * *
"Hello," Cordelia looked up to see a blonde almost as hot as her and Faith, and far more fashionably attired than her best friend, stood over her. "I can tell by your clothes, you’re just the right person to know."
"How perceptive," Cordelia beamed. Compliments on her fashion. At least someone noticed. "You want to sit down?"
"Of course," the blonde sat down before smiling and leaning towards her before smiling at her, displaying perfectly even and dentist clean teeth. "I’m Tegan Austin-Meadows. And I just bet you can recommend this burgh’s few decent clothes shops?"
"Yes," Cordelia smiled. "It’s hard. But I am the shopping expert. I’m Cordy by the way."
* * *
"So I said-."
Faith heart stopped as she opened the library door, Xander’s words fading into the ether as she saw her Watcher lying crumpled on the ground, his upper torso propped up against the counter, head lolling on his shoulder. "G!" In a second, she was by his side, hands reaching to shake him awake.
"Don’t." Faith glanced up at her worried-looking boyfriend. "If he’s injured internally…"
"Yeah," Faith thought for a second. "Get me a glass of water."
"Sure," Xander hurried into the office and returned with G’s watering can. Faith reached for the can. "Can’t I do it?" Xander flinched at her glare. "Uh, here you are." Xander passed her the can. Faith nodded before throwing the water into G’s face.
"Oh, good lord," her Watcher spluttered. The Englishman’s eyes flickered blearily open. "That hurt." The middle-aged man rolled his left shoulder, wincing slightly at the movement. "Oh bugger."
"Ya okay, G?" Faith anxiously blurted out.
The Englishman grinned wryly as she helped him to his feet. "Okay would be stretching it, but I’ll survive."
"Who did this?" Faith demanded. When she found the demon who laid a hand on her Watcher, she’d rip his arms off and beat him to death with them.
"It was the new Slayer," Giles smiled ruefully. "I’m afraid I rather-."
"I’ll rip her fucking head off!" Faith roared.
"Ooh," Xander muttered beside her. "Cat-fight."
Even as she shot her boyfriend an unfriendly look, Giles spoke. "I appreciate your concern, but it was an accident."
"An accident?" Faith flared. "She threw you across the room!"
"Faith," G winced. "Don’t shout." She fumed under her Watcher’s disapproving look. It wasn’t her fucking fault that G had a headache. It was some bitch who came to HER town and attacked HER Watcher. Why was she always the bad girl? It wasn’t her fault, she was trying to look after her guys. "I appreciate your concern, Faith but it seems Miss. Austin-Meadows is reluctant to continue being a Slayer. Hardly surprising given she had to watch her Watcher killed," Faith shuddered at the image that G’s words summonsed up. Her Watcher smiled. "I think a little understanding is required, don’t you?"
Faith nodded. "I guess. Should I go find her?"
Giles beamed. "By all means my dear."
* * *
Tegan laughed at Cordelia’s joke. Oh she was alright. If only the rest of this backwards town was as refined. "Hey C," Tegan looked up to see a gorgeous but undoubtedly low-class, leather brunette stood to their right. She sniffed, the girl’s dress practically yelled ‘trailer-trash’. The brunette’s eyes hardened at her sniff, but when she spoke her tone was civil. "Hey, Tegan, right?" the girl nodded. "I’m Faith, the other Slayer-."
"The other Slayer," she giggled. "You? What in the world were the powers that be thinking when they picked you? Couldn’t they at least have picked a fast-food worker? Did they have to go for a street hooker?"
She smiled as the other Slayer paled and shrivelled at her words, her lips thinning and fists clenching so much that her knuckles whitened. Hah, firmly put in her place. She turned back to her newly-made friend, dismissing the more experienced Slayer from her thoughts. "You bitch, who do you think you are talking to my friend like that?" Cordelia glared at her. "Faith’s saved the world like four times in the years I’ve known her and you come to our town and think you can insult her?" The cheerleader’s lips curled up in a sneer. "Dear, you might have the clothes, but you don’t have the class."
For a second, Tegan stared at the cheerleader, amazed that anyone would DARE speak to her like that. Then she raised her fist. "What flowers you like?" she turned her head to see Faith smirking at her. "See, G told me to take it easy with ya, only reason I haven’t laid you out for hitting my Watcher and trash-talking me." Faith’s eyes chilled, sending shivers through her. "But you lay a hand on my best bud and I’ll just tell G you were abusing your powers and well, I’d sorta like to know what flowers you’d want for your funeral."
Tegan unwillingly clenched her fist, intimidated by the ferocity in the raven-haired teen’s stony black eyes. "You can’t talk to me like that," she whispered.
Cordelia laughed. "Newsflash. She just did." The recess bell rang. Cordelia looked to Faith. "History."
"History," Faith’s eyes didn’t shift from her. "We’ll be in the library for training after school." The Slayer smiled. "Please don’t turn up. I’d love to have to chase you down."
"Come on Faith," Cordelia took the smaller brunette by her shoulder and led
the Slayer out. "Bye loser."
Tegan let out a breath she didn’t realise she’d been holding. "She’s such a loser," Tegan looked up to see herself being watched by a blonde surrounded by a group of similarly fashionably attired girls. "Cordelia used to be someone, but now all she does is hang about with that biker bitch, Faith, and her gang of losers." The other girl shuddered. "Two dykes too. I swear I caught Willow checking me out in the locker room the other day."
"Oh yeah," Tegan quickly inspected the blonde. Not too bright, but at least she had dress sense. "Tell me more?" Mother had always taught her, know your enemy.
* * *
"Tegan!" Juliana shrieked as she heard her daughter arrive. "You’re late, it’s almost half-six. This just won’t do young lady."
Tegan walked in, her face shadowed as if nervous. "I’m sorry mother," Juliana’s ire dissipated as her daughter talked, explaining about her day. "We’ll have to run."
"No," Juliana smiled and shook her head. "It appears this Council has the ability to track us down, so…. If this Slayer has friends, why not use them?"
"Mother?" Tegan looked confused.
Juliana stroked her daughter’s hair. "Bodies to put between my dear girl and danger."
Tegan smiled slowly. "I never thought of that."
"That’s why you have me dear, to look after your best interests," Juliana looked at the table. "Casserole, dear?"
* * *
Faith yawned as she glanced at her watch, the illuminated dial allowing her to see the time in the darkened library. "She’s late."
"Yes Faith," her Watcher sighed. "You did point that out five minutes ago. And you are hardly one to lecture anyone on punctuality. Give her a chance to settle in."
Faith scowled. She thought uppity-Slayer was getting way too much leverage in her book. Even as she opened her mouth to say so, the door swung open and her blonde counterpart swaggered in, snub nose in the air. "Hey Tegan!" Willow called out cheerfully. Faith’s eyes narrowed when the blonde didn’t reply to her friend’s welcoming, just sniffing. She was getting fucking tired of that sniff.
Faith jumped off the table she’d been sat on and turned to G. "We ready, Tweed-Guy?"
"Faith," Giles sighed. "A little respect would nice in front of our new team member."
"Nah," Faith shook her head and smiled. "Not that good an actress." Faith’s smile died as she walked up to her taller counterpart and muttered. "Just for the record, you ever sniff at one of my buds like that again and I will kick your ass."
* * *
Tegan shivered at her fellow Slayer’s coldly-delivered threat. It was apparent she was being far too obvious about her disdain for her companions. While she didn’t consider her fellow Slayer especially intelligent, her lack of breeding practically oozed out of her, she was the more experienced Slayer. She didn’t want to fight her. "I’ll bear that in mind," she coolly retorted as they walked through the school’s shadowy corridors and into the streets.
As they patrolled, Tegan inspected her companions. The Wiccas held no interest for her, she wasn’t interested in lesbianism. The Englishman? Seducing him away from his doting child would be wonderful, but he was so old. Harris? A good looking boy, but she didn’t want to get between the other Slayer and her man, destroying her would be fun but she might get damaged in the fall-out. McNally? A small smile played on her lips. Oh yes, humiliating that Chase bitch would put her back in her place. That would be divine.
"What ya smiling at?"
Tegan almost sneered at the Slayer’s suspicious voice. God, the low-rent bitch couldn’t even talk correctly. "I was just thinking how ironic it is the Hellmouth is located in a small California town," she smoothly lied.
"Yeah," Faith nodded in grudging agreement. "Got that right." The brunette skidded to a halt. "Vamps!"
Tegan cursed as the other Slayer rushed off towards a quartet of figures. She didn’t want to join in, but with the others watching, she didn’t have a choice. Cursing again, she raced after the other Slayer.
The first vampire to lunge at her was a tall, powerfully-built, shaven-headed black in gym gear. Tegan dodged under his clumsy but undoubtedly powerful haymaker, and side kicked the demon in his distended belly. The demon grunted before responding with a swinging left hook that she blocked on her shoulder before spin kicking her adversary in the side of the head.
The vampire fell to the ground. Before he had chance to rise, Tegan had crouched over him and slammed her stake home.
Sensing another vampire behind her, she shot out a backwards hook kick, catching the demon between her legs. Spinning around, she found herself facing a tall blonde in her late twenties. The demon charged her, throwing a wild right. Tegan grabbed her wrist, threw her into the wall behind her, and spun around to face and stake her in one smooth motion. Turning, she looked around to see how trailer-trash was doing.
* * *
Faith side-stepped a knife slash from a towering white guy. After kicking his knife out of his hand, she moved in for the attack only to be tackled from the side by the other demon, the impact of the fat vampire hitting her, knocking her off balance. Cursing, she threw the demon from her and spun to face the white demon.
And caught a left to the eye. Faith stumbled backwards, she guessed she’d have another shiner in the morning. Scowling furiously, she feinted with a left hook to the face. The moment the demon’s guard went up, she plunged her stake home with her right.
Sensing fatso running at her, Faith leapt into the air, catching him with a dropkick to the face. The moment he hit the ground, her stake was slamming through his heart. Even as he burst into dust, the demon spoke. "Cheese Toast will kill you all!!"
"Well done," she looked up to see G approaching her and Tegan, the others following close behind. "Four vampires in less than a minute. Only," the Englishman looked at her, his eyes stern. "There is no ‘I’ in team, understand? I don’t want you running off on your own again."
"Sure, G," Faith nodded obediently. She didn’t bother to voice her suspicion if she’d waited for Teg as she’d dubbed her, all four demons would be half-way to Texas by now.
"Let’s go, four vampires is more than enough for one patrol," Giles decided. Faith grinned at that, looping arms with X, she started away only to stop and look around, eyes boring into the shadows. "What’s wrong dear?"
Faith shook her head at G’s query. "Nah, nothing."
* * *
"What do you think, Master?" Trick queried as the Slayers and their companions walked away. The brief skirmish they’d just seen had shaken him. He’d killed two Slayers in his three centuries, one in New Orleans in the 1870s and another during the second world war in Mexico. His master had claimed six Slayers, but the brunette one was different, filled with a confidence and savagery that was frightening.
If his Master shared any of his misgivings, he didn’t show it. "I think tomorrow, we kill them. A hellmouth deserves a worthy demon as its master. "
* * *
"Yo G," Faith stopped in her skipping to speak to her Watcher as she remembered something from the previous night. Plus it gave her an excuse to refuel with some bottled water. These early morning, pre-school sessions were hell. "Last night, the second demon yelled something about cheese toast killing me, that make any sense to you?"
"A warning about the danger of high cholesterol diets?"
Faith looked over her shoulder at her avidly watching boyfriend. But then, who could blame him? Sweat rolling down her and dressed only in black lycra shorts and a soaked through white gym shirt, she looked fucking a and knew it. She was half tempted to spill the water over her, but didn’t want to give G a heart attack. "Dick-head," she grinned at him before turning back to G. "Well?"
Her Watcher had the cute, miffed look she loved seeing on his face. "Contaray to popular belief, I can’t just plumb demon information out of thin air, I’ll have to -."
"Research!" Faith and Xander chorused in unison.
"Exactly," Giles agreed.
* * *
"What your vampire said was 'Kakistos'. Kakistos is Greek. It means the worst
of the worst. It's also the name of a 1,000 year old vampire with cloven hands
and feet. He’s commonly accompanied by Trick a slave he’s believed to have
turned around 300 years ago. He’s commonly considered to be the equal of the
Master or Lothos."
"That’s not good," Faith commented.
Giles glanced at his daughter. Despite her nonchalant tone, he noted the flicker of fear in her pool-like eyes. But then, one of the demons he’d just mentioned had killed her. "No," he admitted. "But there are two of you now." In truth, he was less than sure of Tegan, the new Slayer had a serious superiority complex and was liked by none of the other children he secretly considered his charges. But she was the Slayer and he could only hope she settled in eventually.
"Yeah," he noted Faith’s sideways glance at the other Slayer and scowled. Faith’s past made it difficult to trust anyone, in fact he doubted that the teen trusted anyone outside of her group which was tragic but understandable. And Tegan’s attitude didn’t make it easy for her to be liked. Not easy at all. "What’s the plan, G?"
Giles shook himself at the Slayer’s question. "The plan is, we patrol tonight. I think it’s time Kakistos learnt just who’s town this was."
Faith grinned at him, his Slayer’s customary spirit kicking in. "Damn straight."
* * *
Faith swallowed as a huge, hulking figure stepped out of the shadows ahead of her, flanked by a number of vamped-out demons. They were on the docks, rumours of a number of deaths in the past week leading them there. Looks like they’d hit paydirt.
"Lucky us," Faith muttered. Eight vampires, two Slayers, four decent fighters, and two wiccas, more than doable. Except one of the demons stood close to seven tall, with a blacksmith’s physique, had cloven heels and hands, and a face that was something like a hairless cross between a man’s and a bull’s. Damn, he was so ugly, not even Harmony would screw him. Kakistos. "Damn," she put a note of bluster into her voice, conscious of the battle going on about her. "You’re ugly."
The Master vampire let out a rumbling laugh and bared his teeth in a chilling smile. "And you are very beautiful. I only hope you taste as good as you look."
"You’ll never know," Faith fought back a shudder before attempting a leaping spin-kick. The demon laughed before grabbing her by her feet and flinging her backwards.
Faith grunted as she crashed into some crates stacked behind her, the crates splintering under her landing. Not that she fat or anything, just the impact. Grabbing a splinter, Faith rolled to her feet and shoved the splinter into the advancing monster’s chest.
Or at least tried to. The splinter shattered on impact with the demon’s thick chest. "What the fuck!" Faith’s mouth dropped open.
And was filled by a fist that knocked her back on her pretty, little ass. "Silly girl," the vampire laughed before reaching down, grabbing her by her throat, and lifting her off the ground. "And I thought you’d be a challenge."
Faith kicked the demon between his legs. "Ain’t over yet," she blustered as the demon gasped, dropped her, and stumbled backwards. Rising, she pulled out her stake, noting the sweatiness of her palm almost made her drop the weapon. The splinter of wood had to be rotten. Hadn’t it?
"Such spirit," Faith shivered at the demon’s laugh. "If only I had the time to properly break it." Suddenly the vampire charged her, throwing an overhand right that pummelled the air above her head even as she darted inside the demon’s guard and kicked him on his left knee.
The blow jarred through her, but had even more effect on the demon, causing him to roar in pain and knocking him back a step. Next, she threw a trio of left jabs into the vampire’s nose, alternating with a trio of knees to his mid-section. Grinning viciously, she followed up with a crescent kick to the towering vampire’s chin, felling him like a mighty redwood, knocking him onto his broad back.
In a second, Faith was straddling the demon. "You lose!" She slammed the stake downwards only for it to splinter on Kakistos’ chest. "Oh fuc-, arggggh!" she screamed as the demon roughly groped her, his paws grabbing her chest, pinching deep into the soft flesh and twisting. Breath coming in pained gasps, Faith attempted a headbutt that only resulted in her seeing stars. Helpless, she could nothing but punch weakly at the demon as he tortured her chest for what seemed an eternity before flinging her from him.
Dazed, she hit the floor, the back of her head cracking against the concrete ground. The demon stood over her, kicked her in the side of her already battered head, and looked down. "Foolish girl-. Owww!"
Faith was showered by blood when an axe ripped into the vampire’s head, tearing all the way down to his left eyes. The demon’s hands flew up to his face as he staggered backwards, roaring in pain. Suddenly a figure was between her and her attacker. "Back off Bull-Face," Xander warned, voice shaking.
"Foolish boy," growled the demon. "You will die a thousand deaths."
"Not on his own, he won’t," declared Giles as he and the others stepped between her and the demon.
Kakistos started forward only to be grabbed by a black, suited vampire. "Not now, Master you’re wounded and we’re out-numbered." Kakistos growled before following the black vampire into the darkness.
* * *
Giles knocked on his Slayer’s door before walking in. She was silhouetted sat on her bed, Giles winced at her black eye and swollen face. Even with Slayer healing that would take a couple of days to heal. "And how are you feeling, dear?"
Faith shrugged then grimaced. "X won’t be playing with my nips for a while."
Giles shuddered at the images. "I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that. But seriously?"
"I’ll be okay, but," Faith shivered. "G, I couldn’t stake him!"
"That was a shock," Giles nodded. "There was a legend that some vampires lived to be so old that staking no longer worked on them. But when you were successful with both the Master and Lothos, I assumed that was all it was."
"But how do I kill him?"
Giles had no real answer. "Fire, beheading, but that’s not important. He’s gone now, dear."
* * *
"My eye!" Trick winced as Kakistos slammed a ham-sized fist into the wall of the apartment Trick had tricked his way into before, he glanced at the corpses in the corner, killing the owners. Plaster shattered under the blow. "My eye! That bitch will pay!" His sire spun to face him. Trick was unable to prevent a shudder at the hideous scar where his master’s eye had been. "We’ll head back tomorrow night."
"No sire," he swallowed at when his master’s head snapped towards him, the glare in his single eye terrifying. His sire did not like being questioned but then he didn’t want to be staked. "Sire," he tried again. "We need recruits."
His master stopped in his pacing. "What do you suggest?"
"Sunnydale is surrounded by Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco. There are plenty of vampires in those cities."
After a second his master began to smile. "Then we’ll raise an army. And we’ll march to the sound of that bitch’s screams!"
FIC: Faith: The Series S3 Ep 5 (32/??)
Jesse carefully watched his opponent, the clamour of the spectators unimportant next to winning. Suddenly his opening was there. Even as he saw it, he moved, dropping to one knee, allowing his rival’s palm-strike to woosh over his head before elbowing him in the side of his knee. His opponent gasped with the pain before falling face-first onto the ground.
Before his adversary had a chance to rise, Jesse was on him, knee pressing between his shoulder-blades and arms wrapped around his neck. "Fight over! McNally wins!" The referee, a tall lean man with hard grey eyes and shoulder-length black hair peppered with grey, looked at him disapprovingly as the crowd exploded in cheers. "That hold was close, boy. I almost disqualified you."
Jesse dropped his head even as he released his grip and climbed up off his wheezing and wildly-tapping opponent. "Sorry sir." Sometimes it was hard to remember he wasn’t fighting for his life but a trophy.
"Just keep that in mind, boy," the referee reproved before smiling at him. "But you’ve got some good moves kid. What’s your belts?"
"Uh," Jesse thought quickly as the man led him towards the trophy podium. "Black Belts in Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, Shotokan, Jeet Kune Do, and Judo."
The judge gaped at him for a second before speaking in his gravely voice.
"Five belts at your age, kid?" the judge commented. "You’ve done well for a
teen, that takes discipline."
"I go to a rough school, sir," Jesse joked, embarrassed by the praise. It was cheating really, after all he’d got these powers from Ironfist at Halloween. But he loved the pride in his parents’ eyes when he brought a trophy home and it was good practice for Slaying. Plus, it impressed Cordy. And an impressed Cordy was a happy Cordy which made his life a lot simpler.
The judge chuckled as he passed him a silver trophy of a gi-wearing martial artist side-kicking into the air. "Don’t put yourself down son, you did well, MMA state high school champion. I wouldn’t be surprised to see you at the Nationals later in the year, Jesse."
"Uh," Jesse reddened. "Thanks sir."
"In fact," the man passed him a business card. "I’m Jeff Curtis-."
Jesse’s eyes widened. "The sixth dan Tae Kwon Do black belt and four time national light-heavyweight champion?" Jesse enthusiastically pumped the man’s hand. "A pleasure to meet you, sir!"
The champion chuckled. "Thanks kid." The man sobered. "You ever want to try a few moves, see if I can improve that black belt, give me a call. I’m always looking for promising students."
* * *
"You totally destroyed him, Jess." Tegan hid a smile as the man started at her voice while running a desirous eye over his lithe body. She nodded to herself as she stepped out of the shadows engulfing the school gymnasium, yeah this didn’t have to be just about getting even with Chase. "How come the others didn’t come with you?"
"Patrol," Jesse shrugged. "And Cordelia had cheerleading practice."
"She’d rather shake her poms poms, than cheer her boyfriend on?" Tegan shook her head. "I mean the others have to patrol, but practice?"
"Why aren’t you on patrol with the others?" Jesse pointed out.
"Ah," Tegan thought quickly. "I figured I’d skip training to watch you, drive you home," she waved her rattling car-keys around, "and then meet up with the others."
"Oh, thanks," Jesse looked at her. "Did you tell the others?"
"Nah," Tegan shook her head. "I just figured they’d be here. You ready?" She glanced at the trophy. "Man, that is a beauty!" she cooed. "I feel all safe with a big tough champion like you around!" She hid a grin at the boy’s blush. Men, they were so easy, a couple of weeks and she’d be breaking that uppity bitch’s heart. No-one messed with her.
* * *
Curtis skulked through the night’s streets, heart racing. Suddenly a seven-foot tall, yellow-eyed, purple-scaled humanoid with upwards curving horns, clawed feet and hands, and drool-dripping fangs, stepped out of the shadows, the spiked ball at the end of its tail scraping the ground. "Hello."
Curtis skidded to a halt. "Hey," he weakly greeted, a sheen of sweat appearing on his forehead as he regarded the demon stood before him. He feared no man and when he had got into gambling debt, hadn’t been worried until Thwack had turned up to collect his debt. If he hadn’t managed to come to an arrangement with the demon he’d be dead for sure.
"Have you got another candidate for me?"
"S…sure," Curtis reached a shaking hand into his jacket and pulled out a photo that he passed to the demon.
Thwack glanced at the photograph he’d given the demon. "He is young."
"Yeah," Curtis nodded. "That’d be the attraction see. A fighter that good, with his looks and youth, he’d be a sure-fire attraction, tons of bets on him."
The demon stared at him for a long second. "He is good?"
"Five black belts."
Finally the demon nodded before passing him a brown envelope stuffed with money. "He’s local?" Curtis nodded. "I’ll take him at your gym." The demon turned away from him, then turned back, yellow eyes shining in the half-light. "What is his name?"
* * *
"Hey guys," Faith glanced towards the shout, eyes narrowing as she watched Jesse jump out of Tegan’s two seater sports car. What the fuck was he doing with that bitch? Faith grimaced as she noticed the predatory way Tegan was looking at Jesse. Jess seemed oblivious though, seemed to be one-way. So far. If the bitch got between her best bud and her man, she’d rip her fucking head off. "I won!"
Shoving aside her own misgivings, Faith joined the others in cheering Jesse. "Hey! Not bad at all! State champion, uh? Wicked cool." She decided to add a subtle reminder. "Cor will be wicked pleased with that."
"Yeah," Jesse’s grin remained undimmed, proof to Faith he didn’t have anything to be guilty about. At least, Faith glanced towards a smirking Tegan, not yet. "I’ll go see her after patrol. Uh," the man hesitated before turning to Giles. "Sir, when I was there I ran into a former multiple time national Tae Kwon Do champion and sixth dan black belt. He offered to train me. I’d like to work with him rather than train with you, I’d still patrol of course. Training with a human would probably do more for my skills than a Slayer."
"You’re correct," Giles interjected before she could speak. "And I believe it is too good an opportunity to pass up."
"Makes sense," Faith reluctantly nodded. "But remember you ain’t super-strong, you need to keep up the defensive stuff too."
"I will," the teen nodded.
"Who’s this guy anyhow?" Xander interjected, his arm around her shoulder.
"Jeff Curtis," Jess fell in beside them. "Like I said, multiple national champion in the late eighties."
"Cool," Faith commented. "I’d still kick his ass though."
Xander laughed before kissing her forehead. "Never doubted that for a second."
* * *
"Curtis’ Martial Arts Know-How." Jesse looked up at the sign above the front of the door of the long, one-storey building with growing excitement. Shoving the door open, he hurried in to see his newly appointed sensei working the till behind the counter. "Sensei Curtis," he bowed his head.
The man laughed hoarsely. "Don’t worry about that shit, kid. We’re not in Japan. Just treat me with respect and listen to what I say. That’s enough." The former national champion turned serious, reaching across the counter, the man took the sports bag Cordy had bought him for Christmas and placed it behind the counter before walking through to the reception area. "You wanna come through, Jesse?"
Jesse nodded, too nervous to speak. His host and new teacher chuckled before opening the inner door, the portal creaking open. The smell of days-old sweat hit him with a physical force as he walked through into the gym proper.
Upon entering, he noticed two doors to the left, the male and female dressing rooms. The first third of the gym was filled with fitness training equipment. Several chin-up bars hung from the ceiling, while rows of medicine balls, treadmills, rowing machines, exercise bikes, and sit-up boards lined the floor.
The second third was filled with a combination of striking equipment, heavy and speed bags hung from the ceiling. A selection of well-used body shields, kicking shields, mouth and head guards, and punching mitts was neatly stacked against the wall, together with a selection of oriental weaponry. All around, its walls were decorated with framed and autographed pictures of the movie heroes of martial arts – Jackie Chan, Steven Seagal, Chuck Norris, and the like. Something for the trainees to aspire to.
"It’s big," he commented in awe. What the gang couldn’t do with a set-up like this, of course they couldn’t weapons train, swords and stakes would stand out even here, but it looked good.
His newly-acquired teacher smirked at his praise even as he walked through the gym, towards the door at the far end. "Yeah, I sunk my money from my title wins into this place, used my rep to build it. I don’t just train Tae Kwon Do, either, I myself train Shotokan, I’m a third dan in that, and hapkido to second. I’ve also got Aikido and judo instructors."
"Wow," Jesse’s wonderment grew.
"I’ve had a couple of state champions, even a junior national," the man opened the door through and ushered him through into the room and onto the practice mat covered floor capable of taking maybe twenty students at once. "But none of them had your talent, which is why I’m doing this." Jesse’s blood chilled when a hulking, purpled-scaled demon stepped out of the corner to his left. "Sorry kid."
Remembering what Mr. Giles had always said about dealing with the most immediate or most dangerous threat first, Jesse charged to meet the demon, his side kick catching his surprised adversary full in the chest.
The monster grunted as his blow hit home, but other than that its only reaction was to slam a backhand slap into the side of Jesse’s head, the impact of the blow lifting him off the ground and sending him cart-wheeling into the far wall.
* * *
Thwack looked at the boy’s crumpled body. "He wasn’t shocked by my appearance," he hissed.
"I told you," Curtis shuffled from foot to foot, his guilty conscience stopping him from following the demon’s gaze. "Boy’s got nerve. He do?"
Thwack nodded. "Satisfactory." The demon strode over to the crumpled youth and lifted his limp body by his shirt collar. "He will fight. And he will die."
* * *
Jesse groaned. Head thumping, he opened his eyes. Looking around, he found he was in a grey-barred cage set on the floor. "What happened," he muttered dazedly, face tightening as he remembered Curtis’ betrayal. "Bastard sold me out."
Looking around, he found he was in a large, shadowy room, surrounded by similar cages. Creeping to the side of the nearest cage, he whispered to the man next to him, a huge, shaven-headed black with bazooka sized arms covered in eye-watering prison tattoos. "Uh," he licked his lips. "Excuse me, sir. Where are we?"
The hardness in the African-American’s eyes made him gulp. Why couldn’t he get kidnapped by sorority girls or Playboy centrefolds? "Don’t know why you’re here kid," growled Barry White’s deeper-voiced brother. "We’re all fighters. We got kidnapped by some demon, name of Thwack. He runs this place, we fight for him and his customers, to the death."
"To the death?"
"That’s what I said."
"Demons," he muttered. "What a surprise." Somehow he felt sure that mentioning he knew the Slayer wouldn’t get him a luxury suite.
* * *
Faith concentrated as Tegan came in fast, determined that the bitch wouldn’t show her up in front of G. It was their first training session with just the two of them, no way she was going to let this blonde haired bitch show her up in front of her mentor.
The library door crashed open. "Jesse’s missing!"
Distracted by her best friend’s screech, Faith looked towards the doorway. "Shit!" she cursed when Tegan foot swept her legs from beneath her, sending her crashing to the ground. Hitting the cold library floor on her left shoulder, she rolled up, eyes hardening. "You fucking bitch!" she exploded. "I wasn’t ready!"
"A warrior must always pay attention," Tegan smirked.
That was it. Faith started forward. "Now, Faith," Giles’ voice stopped her in her tracks. "Tegan has a point." Faith glanced at her Watcher, unable to believe his betrayal. "However Tegan, we generally don’t take advantage of our team-mates." The Watcher turned to Cordelia, a pained expression on his face. "What’s the meaning of this interruption?"
"Jesse never rang me last night. And he didn’t meet me at my locker!" Cordelia exclaimed.
Giles had a look of stunned disbelief on his face. "You interrupted us for this?" Giles held up a hand as Cordelia opened her mouth. "Have you rang his parents? Checked if he’s turned up for class?"
"Well," for once Cordelia looked uncomfortable, "no."
Giles rubbed at his forehead. "If Mr. McNally hasn’t turned up by the end of the day, we’ll talk. Until then, we’ll chalk this down to teen forgetfulness, alright?"
* * *
"I told you!"
Giles winced at Cordelia’s screech as the cheerleader burst into his library, his ears still ringing to the end of school bell. "Let’s give the triumphalism a rest shall we?" looking around HIS children’s faces, seeing the anxiety on their faces, in particular on Xander and Cordelia’s. Pushing aside his own concern, he continued. "Now, what do we know? Where was Mr. McNally seen last?"
"He said he was going to Curtis’ dojo for his first training session," Cordelia tearfully replied.
"He said he’d ring me last night, tell me about it," Xander put in. "But he never did."
"Uh, uh," Giles pursed his lips together in thought. "Faith, you and Cordelia go to this Curtis gym. The rest of us will head to Willy’s, see if a demon’s been boasting about getting their hands on a Scooby."
* * *
Faith glanced at her worried friend as the cheerleader’s sports car screeched to a halt outside the gym, heart pounding. Cordy was an erratic driver at the best of times, but the ten minute journey, which had taken five, had been freakin’ terrifying. "Remember," she said as her breath returned to something resembling normal. "Discreet, let’s not make waves."
"Sure," Cordy snapped, her eyes flashing as she unfastened her seatbelt. "Discreet."
Faith took a deep breath as she entered the gym, 80s power ballads pounding out over the sound system. She just loved the smell of sweaty men. "Can I help you girls?"
Faith looked towards the speaker, a tall, lean man around G’s age with the body of a much younger man. "Yeah," she rolled her tongue over her lips and leaned forward, grateful that she’d changed into one of her skimpiest tops before leaving the school, perfect seduction gear. "Streets are wicked rough ‘round here, too rough for two helpless girls like us, so," she beamed, displaying her world-class dimples, "my bro recommended you to us for self-defence classes."
"I can do that. Who’s your brother?" queried the gym owner, his eyes flickering from her to Cordy, avidly devouring them both.
"Jesse McNally, said he met you at some tournament -."
At Jesse’s name, the man’s eyes flickered. "Don’t know any McNally."
Faith nodded even as she decided the guy was definitely trying to bullshit her. "So," Faith winced at Cordelia’s strident tone, "why is my boyfriend’s bag, the bag I bought him for Christmas stood against the wall behind you?"
Faith groaned as the gym owner’s eyes hardened. "Discreet ring any bells, C?"
* * *
"Look, look!" Willy babbled, panicked by the raging Englishman randomly picking up bottles off the table and flinging them at his customers cowed both by the crossbows levelled at them and the smirking blonde Slayer. "I don’t know anything."
"Now, Willy," the Englishman waggled a finger at him before picking up a bottle and pitching at him. "You always know something."
Willy dived to the ground, the impact driving the air out of his lungs, glass shattering against the wall behind where he’d been stood and falling on him. "Okay! Okay!" Willy clambered up from his position on the floor, legs shaking. The English guy was a complete fruit-loop. "Your kid, he’s a fighter, right?" Not waiting for an answer or another glass thrown at him, he hurried on. "There’s a rumour that some demons are running a fighting ring, humans against humans."
"Yes?" The Englishman stepped towards him. "And where is this ring?"
Willy thought he was frightened before, but now, looking into the Watcher’s eyes, he was terrified. "I..I don’t know, only that its run by a Caden demon."
The Watcher grimaced. "Oh, bugger."
* * *
Jesse swallowed as a pair of apelike but scaly demons herded him down a tunnel. As the dark tunnel cambered upwards he could hear the blood-chilling sounds of cheering, hissing, and squawking. Jesse blinked as he was pushed out into an octagon about thirty paces wide, its floor consisting of sand up. He looked up to see a hideous selection of demons looking down at him, chanting and yelling in a dozen unintelligible languages.
He grimaced. The walls were maybe twelve foot high and smooth, impossible to climb. And even if he could, he was hardly a Slayer, he couldn’t fight through a mob of demons.
Suddenly he heard Thwack’s voice above, looking up, he saw the demon sneering down at him. "And a newcomer to our arena! Yes, he’s young, but he’s also deadly with five black belts to his credit, he’s Jesse McNally! And his opponent," Xander looked up to see a muscular man with a battered face coming through the entrance he’d used less than a minute ago, "unbeaten in four fights. The former 90 kilos amateur national boxing champion, Dan ‘Dynamite’ Douglas!"
Gathering his courage, he shouted up. "I won’t fight for you."
"Then," the demon smiled, "then you’ll die."
* * *
"Fuck!" grabbing the counter surface with both hands, he vaulted over the obstacle and into a flawless dropkick at the smaller brunette’s face. They’d both have to die, shame really, they were a pair of babes, he wouldn’t have minded getting sweaty with them.
His eyes widened when the raven-haired kid smirked at him before reaching up, grabbing his feet, and flinging him into the door. The door burst open at the impact, flinging him into the gym proper to hit the ground with a thud. Groaning in disbelief at the fluke that had just occurred, he looked up at the advancing girl, shuddering slightly at the coldness in her eyes. He looked around at his gym’s stunned patrons, frozen in shock at his graceless arrival. "Get her!"
The girl chuckled. "What? We re-making Fists of Fury, now? Wicked cool." One of his students, a second degree Judo black belt a foot taller and about sixty pounds heavier than the girl was first to charge the intruder. Curtis gasped when the girl shot out a blindingly-fast, yet somehow casual-looking, side kick that smashed into the man’s midsection, taking him down to his knees. "Doesn’t have to be like this," the teen commented.
The girl shrugged as two students charged her, moving smoothly into a flawless spin kick to their face, knocking both men to the ground. Another trainee got behind the girl and stepped towards her only to hit the ground, victim of a perfectly executed heel kick to the groin. A fourth threw a side kick at her face, the girl grabbed his foot at the ankle and kicked the man’s grounded ankle, breaking bone. The brunette released her grip on his airborne foot, allowing the injured man to crumple to the ground. "Boring," the girl sang as she approached him. The buxom brunette stopped when one of his students picked up a pair of Escirma sticks and charged her, sticks cutting a flawless pattern through the air. "That’s more like it," she smiled.
The martial artist missed a step at the girl’s confidence. Taking advantage of the man’s hesitancy, the teen covered the space between them at an unbelievable speed, grabbed the man’s wrists and drove her forehead into his mouth, knocking out teeth. Even as her defeated opponent fell, the girl’s leg snapped backwards, her booted heel catching another would-be assailant full in the mouth, sending teeth flying and the man falling. Another man got a hand on her right shoulder, but the girl just stepped towards him and drove her elbow into the man’s chest, bone cracking under the blow, and flinging him across the dojo.
The girl shook her head as one of his trainees charged her with a pair of kamas in his hands. "What are you, fucking retarded?" At the last second, the girl sidestepped to the left, backhanded a man charging her from that direction, and toe-kicked the kama wielding trainee in the stomach. The kamas fell from the suddenly paling martial artist’s hands as he crumpled.
Blood dripping from his nose, the man the girl had just backhanded attempted to grab her by the neck. "Naughty, naughty. Just lookee, no touchee," the teen’s hands snatched up to grab the trainee’s wrist, lift him off the ground, and fling him over her head into the right wall. Another trainee tried a sideways charge at the brunette, she just kicked at a heavy bag. The kick tore the bag from its steel ceiling attachments, propelling it into the charging trainee’s body, knocking him to the ground.
Curtis gulped when one of the few remaining trainees managed to smash a Bo staff into the top of the girl’s head with little apparent effect. "That hurt," the girl said mildly before snatching the staff out of the stunned Martial artist’s head and without turning around, drove it backwards the bottom of the stick smashing into the man’s nose, shattering bone. The last two martial artists charged the girl but in a half second, she‘d put them down with a pair of brutal staff swings to their heads.
The brunette looked around the room, now filled with groaning or unconscious bodies before throwing the staff to the ground by his feet. "Looks like you’re out of protectors." The girl looked at him. "Either pick that up or talk," Curtis looked around, over a dozen experienced martial artists out cold or whimpering in agony, before kicking the staff away and shaking his head. The brunette chuckled. "Smart move, now talk."
* * *
"We don’t have to do this," Jesse attempted to reason with the older, bigger man circling him. The man just growled before throwing a left hook that Jesse ducked under. He grunted when the man poked a right into his midsection. Backing off, he shook his head. "Please," he pleaded. "If we don’t fight, they’ve got no show."
The former pugilist grunted again before throwing a powerful overhand right that Jesse just barely managed to sway away from while blocking the follow-up left hook on his forearm. Wincing slightly at the impact, he was barely able to duck beneath an overhand right. The boxer stepped inside and threw an uppercut that smashed into his jaw.
"K," Jesse sprang back. Realising his back was touching the octagon wall, he
stared at the man. "That’s enough."
The moment the man came in with another attack, Jesse feinted a sidestep to the left before moving forward. Blocking the boxer’s right on his shoulder, he drove a palm strike into the man’s flat’s nose.
The boxer’s eyes widened as he stumbled backwards, blood pumping down his face. The pugilist attempted a left hook that he blocked on his elbow before driving a knee towards the man’s groin. The boxer gasped as he blocked the attack on his thigh before retaliating with a left hook. Jesse leaned away from the attack, grabbed the man’s wrist, twisted at the waist, and threw his rival face first into the wall. Before the boxer had a chance to recover, Jesse shot a couple of sharp kicks into the man’s lower back. The man groaned before sliding down the wall to the ground
His ears filling with the cheers of the crowd, Jesse stepped towards the helpless man.
* * *
"For three years, the bastard has been feeding human fighters to this blood sport," Faith raged as they got weapons out of the secret compartment in his car, parked outside the warehouse that his daughter’s information had led them to.
"Will he inform his contact?" Giles queried.
His daughter’s answering smile was bone-chillingly. "Nah, the asshole’s too busy packing to get out of town before I get back. ‘Sides, if he tells the bastard we’re coming, he’ll have to explain how we found out."
Giles nodded. That made sense. "Xander, take Cordelia and go round the back, get the fighters out of here. We’ll rescue whoever is fighting." Once the bickering duo had left, he turned to the others. "Willow, Amy, stay with Tegan, and Faith," he glanced at his daughter, knowing her tendency to heedlessly run into danger, "stay with me."
* * *
"Sure G," Faith nodded as she stared at the looming building ahead of them, the clouds and rare rainstorm give it a brooding presence. Her eyes hardened. A demon thought he could kidnap her friend and use him in a sick game. "Big mistake."
"Do slow down."
Faith glanced over her shoulder. Realising she’d been quick-marching, she smiled in rare embarrassment. "Sorry. It’s just, he’s one of us. And I ain’t losing no-one, not after Jona-." Her voice trailed off as she realised what she’d been about to say.
She was relieved when Giles just smiled sadly. "I understand and share your concern, Faith. But let’s not be reckless, uh?"
Faith nodded. "Sure, G." Stopping by the thick wooden door, Faith sent her double-bladed axe splintering through it before kicking its remains through and striding inside to the roaring demons . "Yo, which one of you mothers gets sliced and diced, first?"
"Dear girl," she heard Giles sigh when he followed her through the door. "When will you learn to be subtle?" Suddenly she heard Giles take a breath. "NO! McNALLY!"
* * *
"I can’t believe I’m following a Harris plan," Cordelia muttered as she strode down the corridor, heart pounding with terror. If there was more than one guard they were both dead. "Heck, I’m probably dead already. And," she missed a step as a troubling thought hit her, "I paid my credit card bill yesterday!"
She swallowed as she reached the door, noting the tall, gaunt man slouched against the wall beside it, noting his grey skin and shell-suit. That combo shrieked vampire. "Hey, honey," the demon stood and leered at her from top to bottom before continuing. "Come to party with Alvin?"
Alvin? If she was vamped, her name would be something dark or glamorous, maybe Charisma, she liked the sound of that. But Alvin, who could take a vampire called Alvin serious? "Thwack sent me as a present for the boys," she was so killing Harris for this. "But afterwards." She reached up a hand to stroke the demon’s face.
And pressed her taser to his face. The demon roared in pain, vamping out as his head shot backwards. Suddenly Harris burst from the shadows, tackling the demon around the waist, knocking him to the ground. The demon snarled but was helpless to prevent her best friend’s boyfriend from slamming his stake home. "Right," Xander rose. "Let’s get the keys and get them free."
"He still had them," Cordelia looked down at the dust.
"You didn’t take them off him?" Xander groaned as he stared at the thick door. "Oh man. Cordelia!"
"Wasn’t my fault!"
* * *
Thwack turned, irritated by the interruption. "You dare break in here?" he growled.
"Hey," a short brunette human female stopped in front of him. "Newsflash, big guy," she glared up at him. "My town, some asshole demon doesn’t run fights involving humans on my ground."
"Really," he sneered. "And how do you intend to stop me, little girl. We outnumber you and your pathetic group."
The brunette grinned. "Like hell you do it." Suddenly the female threw her axe to a blonde before smashing a left hook into his face, knocking him back a step. "It’s just me and you. Let’s see if you’re demon enough."
Roaring in fury at the unexpected attack, Thwack attempted a wild haymaker that the girl ducked under before delivering a side-kick to his stomach. Thwack groaned as two of his scales cracked under the ferocious attack. "What," the girl blocked a left on her arm before catching him with a leaping crescent kick to the jaw, "are you?" he demanded.
"Me?" the brunette’s grin was stomach-hollowing, "I’m the Slayer!"
Thwack’s eyes widened at the pronouncement. A Slayer? He’d heard rumours. "I will wear your skin as a cloak!" he promised.
"Damn," the Slayer ducked a punch, came on in his inside and kneed him in the side "you’re such a potty-mouth, ugh!" The Slayer grunted when he finally caught her with a punch, connecting with a left to her side. The brunette groaned and stumbled backwards.
"You can be hurt!" he growled, eyes shining with victory.
"Not by you," the Slayer ducked a backhand swipe to throw a thrust kick he blocked on his arm. "You’re strictly amateur hour!"
"Arrrghhh!" Driven to fury by her taunts, he grabbed the Slayer’s long hair and threw her over the railing and into the pit. His eyes widened when the Slayer grabbed hold of his wrist, carrying him over with her.
Thwack attempted to claw at the Slayer’s face with his free hand as they fell only to have it knocked away. He gasped when the Slayer wrapped her unbelievably strong thighs around him, squeezed, and laughed. "You should be flattered, I only usually do this to my honey."
The Slayer twisted her legs, ensuring she landed on top, the impact of the collision making him gasp. Ignoring the pain, he slammed a fist into the Slayer’s nose, splattering blood everywhere and knocking her onto the ground beside him, her eyes glazed. Leaping to his feet, he swung his tail at her, meaning to have his spike bash her brains out only for her to roll out of the way and to her feet, blood still dripping down her face.
Frustration growing, he lunged forward, grabbing the Slayer around her throat and flinging her into the far wall. The girl hit the wall with a thud before sliding down. "Finally!"
The teen he’d captured the previous night launched himself into a dropkick, Thwack contemptuously knocked him out of the way. The boy attempted to rise, Thwack kicked him full in the ribs, lifting him up, and propelling him into the wall. Satisfied the boy was dealt with, he turned back to the Slayer.
"That was your last mistake."
Thwack looked up in time to see the Slayer’s feet cannon into his face, knocking him in the wall behind him, the wall cracking under the impact. Body aching, he threw a right that the Slayer took on her right temple before driving her foot full into his groin. He doubled up in pain. The last thing he felt was the Slayer’s hands around his head and then there was a crack.
* * *
"Thanks for the assist," Faith winked at Jesse before throwing aside Thwack’s head and looking up to the silently watching demons. "Hope you enjoyed the show. It was the last." Her voice hardened. "Leave. Now." She smiled as the demons stampeded out of the warehouse. "Yep, still got it."
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