Part 4

The repetitive uniformity of patrol was a marvelous sleeping pill, more than ever when there was not even the dumbest of fledglings around to slay. Plonking herself down on the nearby gravestone, Buffy sighed audibly and endeavored to fight off the yawn that was threatening to divulge her boredom with the task at hand, the duties consigned to her by a wretched twist of fate.

Hearing the familiar sounds of a fight coming across the breeze from somewhere in close proximity, she jumped up on the spur of the moment and almost stumbled from her modification of velocity. Breaking into a run and going as expeditiously as her slayer abilities would allow her, she reached the periphery of the fighting and saw something that shocked her down to her very core.

In the clearing was a brunette, clad in strips - if you could even call them that - of leather and she was kicking the undead shit out of some indiscriminate vampire. It did not take much for Buffy to construe that this was her sister slayer, Faith. Somehow Buffy felt disenchanted, not with Faith's fighting style - that was more than sufficient despite her unruliness -, but because she seemed to be the total opposite of herself.

Sinking further back into the adjacent shadows as she decided against revealing herself to the new girl. Part of her decision was based on the fact that Faith could evidently handle the situation, but the rest was unadulterated vanity. Next to her sister slayer Buffy felt like a ten-year-old in her white tank top and navy blue track pants.

Turning rapidly around Buffy headed back towards her house and allowed herself to be distracted by her random thoughts, never did she notice the two lustrous amber eyes that followed her every movement. Before too long had passed she was hoisting herself up the large tree that grew ever-so opportunely outside her room and quietly - as to not wake her mother - she made her way to her bedroom window. As she began to climb through, she placed her hand on the window sill where it encountered something cold and metallic in origin.

With alacrity she entered her room and got her first good look at the item she had inadvertently touched. It was a delicate gold chain, so emaciated that it was almost like intertwining of a spider's web and attached to it was an adornment. Not a cross, but something comparable in shape. Buffy was as you would expect confused as to how such a beautiful and yet inexplicable item had arrived on her window sill, but there was nothing that she could do about it that night.

Placing the extraordinary necklace in her jewellery box for the remnants of the night, Buffy didn't bother even stripping off her patrol outfit; as an alternative she climbed into her comfortable double bed and fell into a deep sleep as soon as her head touched her feather pillow. She did not notice that she was under intense examination still by the barer of the gift.

Angelus was feeling reasonably self-satisfied after seeing his gift acknowledged so enthusiastically by the slayer - hadn't her watcher ever warned her about accepting the inexplicable, after all you never know what sort of demon might be out there waiting to lay claim to that nubile young flesh. It had taken him quite a few days, but he had diffidently come to acknowledge that providence - and the immeasurably dim-witted Watcher's Council - had presented him with an extraordinary opportunity, a slayer with the capability to wield unlimited power. To own someone - even a common human - with all that potential could guarantee his period of influence for all of perpetuity.

Sighing a thoroughly superfluous sigh, Angelus unenthusiastically moved away from the slayer and her emanations of raw power; heading off in the direction of town for his accustomed dinner of a vapid high schooler. As he walked the fleeting distance into the centre of Sunnydale's so-called township, he saw no one but old ladies and a bunch of frat boys hanging around. As he was not an obtuse vampire, Angelus headed for the one place he knew would be crawling with over-sexed horny teenagers; The Bronze.

Upon entering the establishment he noticed that some of the more inexperienced vampires had chosen to congregate near the club's foremost exit and he held back the malicious hilarity at their fledgling mistake caused within him. Instead he simply took a seat at an empty table and observed the room with a hunter's gaze, searching for the perfect victim.

It did not take him long to find one - his accustomed type - with lengthy dark hair and pale almost translucent skin. He watched her in soundless deliberation of what the next few hours would bring and how pleasant her fear and her unqualified terror would taste as her blood rolled across his waiting tongue.

In due course he tired of playing the watcher and made his silver-tongued line of attack, it took him less than two minutes to learn everything that he would ever need to know about her. Her name was Lucy Miles and she was a senior at Sunnydale High, just like his diminutive slayer. All of a sudden an inspiration struck him; he could kill two birds with one stone as it were; have his dinner and give another present to Buffy.

It took the bare minimum amount of time for him to talk the gormless young girl into leaving with him and he took her to the old Crawford Street Mansion - his most recent abode. After the de rigueur phony seduction, he moved her into his bedroom and sadistically knocked her out with one of the many sculptures he had collected in his long vampiric unlife. Then he simply stripped her naked and chained the young girl to his bed, sitting there beside her, awaiting her awakening with immense anticipation.

After waking up much later than she had intended, Buffy raced through breakfast and dressed in the first matching items of clothing she found - a pink and black designed short-sleeved top and black mini skirt. Grabbing her aging Prada book bag, she suddenly paused and without thinking put on the mysterious gift she had received, before she dashed off for another day of torture at Sunnydale High.

She made it to her first class precisely as the bell rang and tried to a great extent to pay attention all the way through the mind-numbing and to some extent ineffectual class. By the time the lunch bell rang, she was more than ready for a break away from what passed as learning, so when she met up with Willow and Xander outside the library she was relieved for the sense of normalcy it gave her as they entered Giles' domain.

Her relief did not last long because when they walked in they saw Giles, Wesley, an eye-catching lady and a pissed-off techno-pagan seated at the library table. The three teenagers stared at the woman and Giles as they talked; more or less finishing each others sentences. It was one of the scariest things Buffy had ever witnessed and she had seen some unnatural shit since her calling.

Suddenly Giles looked up and smiled at his teenage charges, "Good afternoon. I see that you finally have all arrived."

"What?" Xander countered stunned by Giles' assertion. "This is the usual time we show up."

"Unless you want Buffy to come in earlier," Willow added trying to be helpful.

Giles flushed bright red with embarrassment, "Yes, well -"

The woman stood up and cut Giles' next avowal off. "Then let us begin. I am Andrea Cartwright and I am Faith's watcher."

"Well, duh," Buffy muttered under her breath.

Andrea continued either not hearing Buffy's derision or not caring in the slightest. "Faith is resting right now, but she will be here this afternoon around half past three for training. I suggest that we adjourn until then."

"Agreed," Giles answered as Jenny elbowed him in the stomach. "Come back here immediately after classes let out."

"Maybe we have plans, G-man. Did you ever think of that?" Xander enquired his young face flushed with exasperation.

Giles smiled more or less evilly, "Because you never do. Why should today be any different?"

Less than an hour later Andrea walked into the undersized hotel room that she was sharing with Faith and found her charge right where she had left her earlier, lying across the double bed and snoring lightly. She shrugged out of her maroon wool blazer and stared down at Faith, remarking the changes in her since they had met less than a year beforehand.

The watcher that had been in charge of Faith up to that time had been Ronald Anderson-Smyth and he had audaciously used Faith for his own sexual indulgence since she was twelve and ordered into his care. As you would expect when the council had discovered his perversion they had without more ado removed Faith from his care, regrettably by that time the girl had endured nearly six years of this atrocious treatment.

Andrea could not help but wonder what long-term emotional effects it would have on the girl, besides the observable. Faith's wild, sexy clothing and her widespread promiscuity were of course signs of the trauma, but as of late Faith's activities had toned down to a round about socially tolerable level. Slipping off her shoes, she grabbed her watcher's journal set to record her observations of the watcher Giles and his slayer, Buffy while she awaited Faith's awakening.