by Strange Bint

Summary: Part Three of this Series. William and Drusilla's daughter is coming of age in Victorian England. Her mother wants her to have a Birthday Party, but she has a vision that someone will betray her daughter.

Rating: R

Author Notes: Again thank you so much to people who supported this 'Verse!!

Story Notes: People who like Spike being a Daddy will love this series and story. Also people who like the history of Slayage

Disclaimer: Just wanted to give some of ME's most tragic characters each other.


By Strangebint

"I can't believe you are traipsing around with that Git when there is work to be done!" William pounded on the table angrily. Faith knew her father's anger would pass. It always did. He always hated every man at first. He wasn't even used to her Watcher, Percy, who had been in the family for a little shy of a decade.

"Actually, it seems there is no work to be done, not by me anyway. I no longer have any slaying powers. So it is a perfect time to traipse, wouldn't you say?" Faith smiled

"Faith's heart can finally have some real fun...not just idleness. Look, it is so pretty. Blue, blue like the boy's eyes. Your birthstone is blue." Drusilla said holding the girl's hand to look at the ring.

"That is why he got it! No one has ever inquired about my birthstone before!" Faith exclaimed to her mother, and they both laughed, as if it were a joke. Faith knew for the first time it wasn't.

"It wasn't that no one else wanted to ask about your birthstone. It was just that all the boys never thought of you as being born. You were like a Goddess that always existed," her mother told her. That was her mother always telling her that she was too special for an ordinary man, and any man who had wronged Faith was of course ordinary.

"Now I am no longer a Goddess, Mum. I am a girl with a regular birthday," Faith said.

"Ooo! And it's coming up! What kind of flowers would you like for your party? What kind of cake?" her mother asked with excitement.

"Mum, I don't have enough friends for a party," Faith sighed. Her mother was always telling her she was special, but then she acted like she was a girl who had gone to finishing school.

"Faith that is just not true! We could have the grandest party ever...Though, I keep feeling that there will be lost love and trust at your party," Drusilla frowned.

"Best not have it then," Faith said.

"Are you birds blind? Dru, you have been saying that someone is to have a horrible falling out with Faith on her birthday. Then this new Romeo whisks in and talks about taking Faith to America. It's obvious it's him, and he is manipulating her to get what he wants! And no doubt he has already gotten it."

"That is it! I am so bloody sick of you eating up every bit of joy around here and crapping it out of you're arse! Do you think I am some naive little lamb? Do you think he is my first lover or even my second! I am no fool. You're little girl is a seasoned veteran. I just now finally have the time and the life to do it right," Faith snapped. Drusilla began to laugh.

"Sorry, sorry." She said. "I just picture your father eating up joy and crapping it out. It's quite a funny image, really. Sorry, as you were with your terrible argument."

"If you are no fool then why are you acting like it? Why are you scampering about giggling over this Sod and not trying to find out who stripped away your bloody powers?"

"William- the- bloody- vampire- hunter misses having his favorite weapon to slaughter with! It made you feel like a big man having a Slayer in the family. I was such a fun little girl. You're favorite little adventure toy. So sorry that I turned out just to be an ordinary woman. "

"You are an ungrateful little brat! I have revolved my life around keeping you safe. The whole time I made it look easy, so you would feel safe. Well, it wasn't easy. Do you know how many buckets of blood and sweat went into keeping you safe and here with us? Don't you think it would have been easier to send you off to live with the Council like they wanted? You think you'd have made it to be an ordinary woman if not for me! Do you think your little watcher boy Percy would have fought by your side in the rat invested shipping docks? Do you think his clumsy lust for you would have been enough to dive into to the sodding ice cold channel to drag out you body, walk two miles with it, and put a knife to the doctor and DEMAND that he keep working until you bloody breathed? Percy would have had another chosen one to watch over in two weeks time, and so would this John if you weren't so insistent on him. The twit could never understand who you are, what you do!"

"Oh! Look at William the great! So more knowledgeable than John, and so much stronger than Percy! It is I, good man, who kept you fresh in the fight. I kept you from falling back into being a Percy. But, even so, Pop, you will always be a Percy and never a John!"

"Are you going to allow her to speak to me this way, Dru?" William laughed.

"Sweetie, she can't rattle you. You know who you are. Now let her find who she is. It's what you could become that troubles you most," Drusilla said quietly. William continued to laugh over his Drusilla's comment.

"You have no idea who I am, little girl, and no idea who you are," William told Faith. "You have done all your fighting with power. Before you had the chosen power, you had the power we gave you. It's been so bloody easy for you because of us! You've never known real fear! You've never had to face what I've had to face- who we've had to face. You are spoiled rotten! I built up my power on my own. You're right. I was weak and a Git! I had nothing but your Mum. So, I made it all my bloody self to protect everything that even meant anything to me. That's real strength! You Slayers have it easy." William chuckled.

"William, how dare you say that to her! You know that-" Drusilla was interrupted by Faith as she rose to stick her face in her father's.

"Us Slayers have it easy, huh. Like that bloody Yank Joan! The one you are so quick to compare me too all the time? The one who makes her mooneyes at you? The one who you gush for every time she comes to town. You wanted a Slayer to have it easy, or do you really want an easy Slayer? I'm sure if Joan is an easy Slayer, like me, she'll take any man she wants no matter how forbidden." Faith yelled.

"Don't." Drusilla whispered.

"You're a home wrecking little bitch! You think having a Slayer in my house doesn't remind me the most hellish times in my life?" William roared and reeled back and smacked the girl.

Faith only felt his hand for a second, like a hot stovetop that you pull away from. Her powers had left her, but pain had felt no different, no more or less painful- until now. Perhaps, her resistance to pain had been the last power to go.

"Well, it's your lucky day! I'm not the sodding Slayer anymore and I'm leaving your house!" Faith gasped as she grabbed the table to keep from falling entirely.

"And that is what you can become! That is what you can become, William. And I don't want that thing in my house!"

Faith was aware her mother was yelling.

She was aware that her mother had stepped between her and her father, and there was yelling and pleading. The pleading was coming from her father, and the yelling was coming from her mother. Her mother was shoving her father, and he was backing up as if he were really shoved. Faith never thought of her mother as very strong. Of course she wasn't strong enough to shove her father, a vampire hunter, out the door, unless it was done with emotional will. But, Faith hadn't thought her mother that emotionally strong. Faith had expected her mother to be crying over an event like this. But, Faith was aware, as she was in her own bubble of thoughts, that her mother was the only one who was not crying. *Little girls tear like paper. * When Faith was about 13 her mother had a vision or a nightmare, as it was hard to tell which was which at times. Her mother had gone briefly mad. Little girls tear like paper. Faith's mother cried and repeated over and over as her father held her and sent Faith next-door as he always did in times like that.

Had her mother had a vision of this moment? Because Faith had torn like paper. Her lip was cut from was single open hand hit. It was pathetic. How DID normal people get along in the world? They were so fragile. It HAD been easy for her. Of course her mother's vision had not been about her! It had probably had been about awful disgusting things that happened to girls. Things Faith had only seen snippets of and was never forced to experience like her poor Mum. Once Faith and her father had chased what they thought was a simple vampire back to its lair. It was before Faith had been chosen to be the Slayer. Her father never would have taken her to fight a vampire like this if he had known. There had been butchered girls at the vampire's lair. There clothes torn to bits still on their bodies. Some of their parts had been chopped off. The vampire had knocked her father down, so that he couldn't get up. The vampire only wanted her. Maybe he wanted Faith's father alive so he could see what he would do. This was no gang fight or bar brawl where non-people turn to dust. This was death and hurt where bodies stay and smell. Faith had started to cry, and she was losing to him.

"Don't cry, Bit. Get mad. See what he did to them doesn't make him powerful, just a coward. It takes no power to cut a girl, only hate. Hate him back. He's just a vampire. You have the power." William said weakly. "I say. Do be quiet, old man." The vampire said, and with that Faith had killed him.

"It's over. These girls aren't suffering anymore." He father as he managed to stand. Faith struggled to help him up. She used all her strength of her fourteen years at the time.

But, then the horror really occurred. One body hadn't been all that mutilated and it rose and turned to Faith.

"He is so very wrong. It's all just starting for me and now I am alone." The vampire girl said. She looked like a girl Faith had went to Elementary school with, but she was too young to be that girl. Faith allowed the vampire girl to back her up against a wall.

"You can be my friend. My very first friend. My friends will be my food and then they will die. Like me. Like you." She said. Her father had staked her from behind as Faith cried.

"Mummy!" Faith had cried as if her mother had been the one staked.

"These are the things Angelus would do! That is what he wanted to do to Mummy." Faith realized it for the first time. She had known it before but she felt it then and it was terrifyingly painful.

A week later she was still a bit distracted. Some man had knocked her out and threw her into the channel. She had felt a bit conscious when she hit the water. She argued with herself to wake up, but decided to float instead. When she awoke she found a man that looked like he'd seen a ghost.

"It's a miracle! She lives," he said.

"Some would say this is where her life truly starts, or is it just closer to ending? When we become women we are more alive than ever, but closer to our deaths" Her mother said. Her mother had this was of talking to everyone, or no one. But, Faith knew her mother was taking to her.

"It's happened now, Mummy, hasn't it? I am chosen. I am the Slayer now." Faith smiled.

"You already know the answer" Her mother smiled back. Faith saw her father staring numbly at her with a large knife in his hand, and her watcher Percy was struggling not to weep.

"Oh, God. Is she really alive, Doctor?" Percy asked the petrified looking man, as if he held the answer.

"Of course I am alive, Percy! Pop, what the matter with you? Didn't you hear Mum? I'm the Slayer now" Faith tried to make contact with her father's blank eyes.

Faith grabbed the knife out of her father's hand. He was holding do weakly she was surprised it didn't drop. She grabbed the blade and bent it. She laughed. It was like bending hardened pull-taffy. She went to tell her father this but before she could she heard the sound of terrible weeping. She thought it was Percy, or maybe the Doctor because when Faith bent the blade he looked so frightened. She felt arms around her waist and look down and saw that it was her father weeping, like she had died. He was on his knees.

"Daddy?" She pleaded. "Have I done something to displease you? I am the Slayer now. I thought you'd be happy. You said that this would be a good day. Do you not think I'm ready?" She held his head.

His hair was wet with seawater. She realized that she was actually holding him up on his knees as he cried. If it wasn't for her head of sunk to the floor. She grew very afraid.

"We can have real adventures now. You can teach me how to fight like the Yank Slayer. You can take me to America to meet her. It will all be just like you said it would be. This is our best day. Daddy, please!" She was crying now. She realized she had almost drowned in the channel and she thought that somehow this had ruined everything.

"No, it's not our best day." Her father whispered and for a second she thought maybe she had died and gone to Hell.

"It's just one good day. There will be a lot more" He smiled through tears. Then he got up, and in doing so he picked up Faith in his arms. It had been a few years since he had done that without reason.

Then it was Faith who began to weep. She didn't really know why. She blamed it on her father being a master of turnabout. He was. He would be fighting under a vampire. It would look like he was a goner for sure. Then, all of a sudden the vampire would be the one under him and it would be the one to die. To this day she didn't know how he did it, and she was the Slayer.

It was like all of these events were happening now. Faith cried for the vampire girl, for her mother, and girls who tore like paper and for herself floating in the channel. She cried for having to hold her father up and the way he took her in his arms. She realized she was trapped in a bubble with things that were over. They had happened years ago. Faith knew something else really bad had just occurred, but she didn't want to face it.

"It's over, Baby." Drusilla said to Faith breaking her bubble as she touched her face.

"Yes, it's over. I'm no longer the Slayer- a Slayer. And I shall go off with John, and you and Pop can have some peace." Faith sniffed.

"Oh Sunshine, no! I mean it is over, as it seems we have found out who the turn coat is." Drusilla laughed sadly as she cleaned Faith's lip. It wasn't as if William had split her lip, it was just a little cut. Lips just bleed a lot when they get cut.

"Daddy didn't turn on us. I drove him to it." Faith began to sob.

How could he say such nasty things about him and the other Slayer? So what if he had a crush on a strong woman? It made sense with all of the caretaking he had to do around here between her mother's bouts with madness and Faith being...well just being Faith.

"Listen to me Divya Ellington!" Drusilla said sternly. Faith's real name was rarely used. It seemed to only be brought out for special occasions.

"One thing I do know is that no woman can bring out anything in a man that isn't already there. It is a man's responsibility to control what other people bring out in him...And...And it goes for us women too. Sometimes I think the whole purpose of my life is to learn that lesson." Drusilla had begun firmly and ended sighing.

Faith had gone to sleep with "Peter Pan" and her lamb doll she had since she an infant. She had heard pounding on the door. She jumped out of the chair quickly and her legs felt like mush. Yes, she was not the Slayer anymore. Her mother and she were in this house all alone. At least her mother knew not to invite any strange people in. Faith grew panicked as she heard loud voices. She stalked closer wonky legs and all.

"Baby please! Let me in! I'm sorry. You know I'm sorry!" It was her father. She was so relieved.

"No! You go off and be sorrier. Think about that beast in you for a few days. Have a debriefing retreat of your own," Her mother said. Faith thought it wasn't wise they needed at least one fighter in the house.

"Drusilla! At least let me tell her I am sorry," William pleaded. Faith knew he was crying.

"If my baby doesn't know that you are sorry then her Mummy can't help you," Drusilla sang.

She was being cruel to him. It wasn't fair as she could get anything SHE wanted out of him by crying. Faith was going to let him in.

"You know I am not in love with the other vampire Slayer. You know I only love you." William sobbed now. Faith was frozen with anguish. Why was she chosen to be the Slayer if she had such evil in her to hurt the people she loved?

"You think the mother hasn't known for years what her child is just learning. You have a crush. But, I know your true love and loyalty is with me. What I do care about is what I foresaw -your turning on your own blood!" Drusilla insisted.

"Well, it is all your fault if you knew it was me and didn't bloody tell me! You know how I bullocks up everything up unless you keep on me! Now, please let me in and bloody warn me next time." William whined.

Faith no longer felt frozen with her own sins. Was this how it was between them? Was it all on her mother? Her father should at least blame Faith for saying such filthy things. Faith rolled her eyes. Blaming this on her mother was the biggest load of bullocks she ever heard. She hoped he was drunk.

"Aren't you the sneaky little spider? But not sneaky enough. I didn't know it was you that would turn on us and if I did I would have thrown you out before you could do it! Go now! Sometimes you have to stumble on a path to learn things, William....Oh and kiss my arse...Telling me it's all my fault." Drusilla insisted.

William sat at the bar shaken yet again now. He was just drunk enough to feel relaxed and Alex, the Git, had somehow found him. He tried to get William to come back home. No matter how much William repeated that his wife and daughter did not want him at the house Alex kept acting as if it was William who didn't want to come back. This grew very tiresome quickly.

Especially when Alex started giving him reasons he was needed at the house. Faith was crying and it scared Alex because he hadn't seen her cry this much since she was a Niblet. Yet, she and Percy were packing her bags for this whole Council debriefing retreat. Faith insisted on going on this final Council trip with Percy alone. She did not even want John Barrymore along. Well, no kidding? How was she going to keep up the lie that she was going on some sort of spiritual retreat if she brought the boy?

Alex told William he was worried about Faith traveling with Percy alone with no powers. William scoffed at this; Percy wouldn't know how to do anything against Faith's will if he wanted to! Alex retorted by saying:

"No shit! But what of vampires?" William said he was sure the Council had thought of that. Alex was outraged, since when did William trust the Council?

"Since they started doing a better job than me, Mate. Since they are more welcome in my house than I am...Now, please, please, bugger off. Don't waste your time on me. Go see my daughter off as you've been the better father," William had said, and that was what finally worked.

The girl at the bar who began talking to him was pretty in that innocent doe-eyed way, though she wasn't acting very innocent. None of the women William ever fancied even looked innocent. Drusilla and that Yank Slayer had a mischievous quality about them. There was one innocent looking one William had fancied, Cicely. God, William hadn't thought of her in a dog's age. Word was she never married, but became a nanny. Maybe he was reminded of Cicely when he smiled at this woman. That was all he seemed to have to do, and she was all over him, as if a drunk bastard was a grand prize. At least someone wanted him, albeit for all the wrong reasons, and he wouldn't be giving this woman what she needed either.

William wondered if it was this way for his daughter. Did she merely have to smile to get all the lover's she pleased? Of course. Thank God she was the Slayer, so she could fend of the ones she didn't want. Or at least she had been the Slayer to fend them off. Faith was such a naive girl in some ways. Did she really think William hadn't known about all of her lovers? Did she forget her father's cunning and his awesome powers of perception, not to mention her mother's seeing powers? Did she really think it would trouble him? Make him love her any less or not want her with him- forever?

It was a good thing his daughter was no longer a Slayer if she was going to be that obtuse and underestimate the selfishness of men. Of course he had known, and the less she had cared about each lover the happier he had been. There was no way that you could raise a girl to have her wits about her in the lowliest parts of the streets, the night, the evil, and the horrible injustice and ignorance of life and not expect her to take on at least one vice. He had told himself he had been proud of her independence and her unconventionality to toy with these stupid boys. She was going to have to be strong to survive as a Slayer. By being in control of her men and treating them as inconsequential she would have the comfort and release sex brings, but she would not be compromised in needing to please some twit. But, it was never that. It was never that at all. It was the fact that the less she needed these men the more she would need him. The less she took these men seriously, the less likely she would take off with one, and the less likely he would have to worry. Not worry of slaying, vampires, and demons that would chop her to bits, but worry of some Wanker that would really rip her heart out.

This John Barrymore would surly do that. A bloody actor! A god damed bloody boxer of all things! How cheap! Oh, but, no it was all okay because all he really wanted was to be a sodding writer! A fighter, a performer that really wanted to write-that was the most controlling kind of man. This was a man that pounded on the world and manipulated it. When that didn't satisfy him he would make up a new world all together by writing it. If he couldn't love the girl properly he'd write a bloody poem or story of how he should love her. William knew the type well enough.

So, all this time William pretended to himself that he was raising his daughter as a good Anarchist would. He raised her to pay no attention rules of society. Virtuous girl marry, and close their eyes and think of England, and wear corsets. Faith would be dead with-in a week of being a Slayer is she worried about all of that rot on top of slaying the demons, he had insisted. Proper sweet girls go to the slaughter everyday, just ask his poor wife, as she had once been one.

That is what the bloody Council wanted of a Slayer. They wanted to teach a girl to close her eyes and think of England while slaying vampires. The Council wanted proper girls, lest she attract attention. If she attract attention the people might get suspicious, and bloody ignorance is what the sodding Watcher's Council depended on to control the battle against Evil their bloody way! It looked like the Council was just as bad as the bloody vampires!

So, the good father refused to let his daughter go off to the sodding Council school, live in their majestic aristocratic Council headquarters. Boy, did it get their knickers in a bunch, that William and Drusilla knew what their daughter was. Did it ever brass them off that Faith's parents were not part of the clueless masses! He could imagine the files that some poor Git clerk had to take care of on just him and his wife alone. The only Slayer parents in history that insisted they be involved in every part of the operation. The only Slayer parents in history that had lived after battles with Angelus when the Slayer herself was a mere babe, or a mere dream in their heads.

How just he and his wife alone tied the Council up in knots. Was Drusilla a seer or just mad? Was William some sort of male Slayer in his own right whose powers did not come about until he met his wife? Did they know more of Angelus, the scourge of Europe then the Ever-Great Council themselves? William and Drusilla had refused to answer any of these questions. Let them squirm. The answers were all open to interpretation anyway and there was nothing that the Council hated more.

William had allowed his daughter to have a Watcher, as he was no fool. They needed a lifeline to all the information on the big bads of the world that only the Buggers had. (Actually, it was Drusilla that convinced William that the watcher was unfortunately necessary.) But, he only let the Council get their mitt's on Faith when it benefited her. No matter how the Council insisted doing it the Ellington's way, of letting her stay with her insane parents, was putting her and the world in danger.

William's way of child rearing seemed twisted. He made sure the moral, proper; influences were standards set to rebel against. Meanwhile, all the lovers, drinking, and killing were just accepted. It was a far cry from how William himself had been raised. But, it wasn't as if he had an ordinary daughter. He wanted her to be able to live life and also keep her alive. So, what if his own mother would die of shock if she knew how the family really was? He had to keep his own mother as one of the clueless masses. This was all the way it had to be! This was the only way it could be done!

A Council member who had followed William and Faith on training one night when she was merely a baby had said that very thing to him about the Council's ways: "The Council handles matters is the way they have to be done. I know you are a smart man and you won't compromise your daughter's future for your own selfishness."

He swore the Sod had been wrong, wrong, wrong. William had discovered the joys of fighting and rebelliousness when he was forced to fight off vampires. For the first time he felt that everything that was his he truly owned, because it had been fought for. More importantly he was finally able to PROVE his love. Something he had always wanted to do with words and never could. Love tasted so much sweeter when you knew things you were not supposed to know, did things you were not supposed to do to prove it and feel it. Didn't he want his daughter by his side so she could discover it all in HIS way, even if his way was the dangerous way? Didn't he want to keep her with him so he could prove his love, and not be some Idiot he saw at Christmas time that asked how the fighting of evil was all coming about?

The worst selfishness had been allowing the lovers. Allowing her to only see men as boys to be toyed with so he could remain the real man. If he had given her to the Council and they had only taken her in and out of the night to slay she would be proper and naive. She would know love with her little watcher boy, Percy. She would think he was as worldly as he thought he was. She would not have teased him, and threw him away for the mere sap he was. Maybe they would have married when she lost her powers, as a sap like that wouldn't marry a girl with more power than he. But, she would know some sort of love and safety.

Instead William had kept Faith for himself. He made a reckless, passionate, willful little up-start. A more powerful version of himself. And now she was off with a boxing actor for some nomadic life that would probably be full of heartbreak. A vampire would probably kill her, as they would take joy in killing a weak former Slayer. All because of his aching selfishness.

He had slapped her while she was powerless! Funny, he had never taken a hand to her when she had the power. How he wished she did have it still to rightfully beat him silly for ruining her life. But Faith has no more power, so his wife stepped in for her.

The Council was so weary of Drusilla. They knew better than to ask anything out right like: Was she a bit of a witch? There was evidence Drusilla survived some sort of relationship with Angelus, the great big bad. Was she a bit mad? Was she a bit compromised? Would she hurt the Slayer or abuse her in some way? They really were such idiots! Drusilla changed the girl's name because she thought it may give her a better life. Drusilla would throw herself and William to slaughter, lest Faith be harmed. William didn't know if he could say the same. He wasn't sure if he could really hurt his wife on purpose, even if it was to save Faith. Though he had hurt her many times accidentally all in the name of keeping her "safe", but wasn't it really just about keeping her? Wasn't that when his hands and tongue got a little too harsh on both his wife and daughter? It was always in the name of safety but it was all about owning.

"Do you need a match for your cigarette?" The girl he smiled at asked. She was a Yank of all things, and her name was Maggie. She had finally stopped her yammering about going to some coming out ball of a very famous debutante. How odd, a bargirl was going to a debutante ball? Well, maybe class lines were finally blurring.

"Yes, I need a lot of things." William smiled.

"Well, I am sure I can get you what you need." Maggie winked. No, she couldn't.

How can you need a daughter when you don't even need a Slayer? Faith had asked him when she was so young she could only see his need for Drusilla. She didn't see his need for her because she hadn't yet tried to pull away. Nothing wrong with a bit of needing. He had said right before she had asked him how he could possibly need her. He was wrong. Need was ugly. Faith had finally seen his need for her tonight. It made her never want to see William again.

"Need makes you do really foolish things." William said to Maggie as the bartender put two shots of bourbon in front of him.

"To need." Maggie toasted.

"There you go. You're a sharp one." He winked and drank.

William laughed as the woman slammed him into the side of the pub. He was very impressed that he was able to keep hold of his whiskey bottle he bought off the bartender before he threw his arse out.

"You know what I like, Love." William told the woman. What was her name? Mary? Weren't all the Yanks named Mary due to the Puritan ancestors?

"Even if I'm getting a bit old for the ruff and tumble...Why are you visiting the mother country again?" He asked her.

"I told you." She whined. "I'm going to a party. My friend had to go, although he didn't really want to. So, a whole bunch of us decided to go, so he wouldn't be alone." She smiled. She had her arms around him. She felt odd to stout to be his wife, much to small boned to be Faith.

"My daughter is traveling to America alone...with some Sod...If I had met you under different circumstances, perhaps I'd ask you and your friends to travel back there with her...I seem to be found of Yanks, despite myself. My wife and I are best friends are a Yank couple...that bloke taught me everything about fighting. Before I met him I had no idea how to hit, or even stab." William told the girl when she wasn't kissing him.

"Did his wife teach you how to kiss?" She asked.

"Not bloody likely." William laughed, "She is one of those birds that fancies other birds...She's in America now visiting that spitfire Slayer I fancy. You heard me! My daughter is right! She gave me a stiffer, that one! It's not as if I shagged her! She's the only one who ever gave me a stiffer other than my wife. Maybe I get stiffers for women who save my life repeatedly in a literal or metaphoric sense. I can't control my wanker's ever move, you know!"

"Indeed." The girl whispered and pressed her breasts against him.

"I didn't know it was so cold out here." He smirked.


"Well, I'm getting you point...You two points...Women only make those two points when it's cold out, right?" He burst out laughing at his wittiness. "And you're not even giving me one point. That doesn't seem fair." She pouted. She pulled him closer and cupped his crotch.

"Hey now, fight fair...I said I only get a stiffer for my wife." He grinned.

"And for the American...And I'm American." She insisted.

"Alright. Alright. I'll give you my big ol' point." He sighed. "Women." He took out a stake from his sleeve.

"Now who is not fighting fair?" She said and turned to vampire face, and grabbed him by the throat.

"Ha! I knew it! I bloody knew it! I knew I was getting too old to have some pretty little thing crawling all over me for one drink!" William choked and laughed.

"Aw. Don't be so hard on yourself. I was going to sire you. I figured you had about five good years left and then all that handsomeness would sour...Couldn't stand to see that happen, and this way I'd have an escort to my party...Of course, I still could be your Sire. It could take you away from all your troubles that you are trying to drowned much more effectively." She told him. William knew he was sod off drunk, but she still looked pretty even as a vampire.

"Ha! Sired by a bloody twit who has been prattling about a party all night...I even dropped a hint I know the Yank Slayer. I'd have to spend eternity with a woman has a bit more depth and is a better listener." William spat and kicked her. She fell back a little and let go of him, but the bitch got the stake. Too bad women don't have balls.

"You come on all nice, but you really are very hurtful." She cried as she lifted him up by the throat.

"Yep." He managed to choke. Suddenly, he fell flat on his ass with his legs spread out before him. Baby, liked to play with her food before she ate it? No she was turning to dust. A broad shoulders man stood over him now with a stake. His big brow all crinkly.

"Hello, William." He said seriously. "It's a foolish endeavor to go around trying to kill a vampire drunk off your bleedin' ass. Even the tiniest lass can be as strong as an ox."

"Oh Bugger me blind!" William laughed for a good thirty seconds at the ridiculousness of his life. "This has been an abominable day! And I so wanted to die on a good one. Well, cheers mate."

He laughed as he crawled over to the whiskey bottle and drank the remainder of it. He closed his eyes and only opened them when he felt the man kicking his foot lightly.

"Bloody Hell! What do you want? We've been through this all before! Do you expect me to beg or get all-religious with Hail Mary's? You know that isn't my style. I'm too drunk to feel any pain right now, so if you want that just tie me somewhere 'till tomorrow." William told him as he sat himself up against the wall. Suddenly his face was overcome with insight, and he smiled.

"Oh, you expect me to beg for my life because you think that my wife will become mad with grief with out me... Sorry too late. She finally realized she's better off with me gone with no help from you. And she won't blame herself neither. Drusilla knows it's all my bloody fault, even if she did let you go those times...And lemme tell you somethin', Mate. She did NOT let you go because of some hidden lust-lorne-love-hate fffeeling. She had a vision you'd somehow save our daughter's neck. Sometimes her visions are a bit off. Seeing is not bloody calculus, you know...Oh, oh I get it! You do save our daughter! You kill her no good bastard father, lest he smack her around and ruin her life some more...Oh, it's all so Greek...I love it!" William laughed.

He closed his eyes again and after a moment opened them to see the man still standing there.

"...And by the way if you try to Sire me to get me after my girls I just won't drink the bloody...blood and if you somehow get it down me my daughter knows if I asked to be invited in to kill me on sight...So, sod you there is everything!...Now on with our tragedy, which is really more Roman actually the fall of the Git emperor who turned to be his own worst enemy."

"Please shut-up. You haven't changed at all. Yap, yap, yap and I have the reputation for torture?" The Irishman said flatly to him.


Faith smoothed her skirt something she had been doing a lot of since her powers had left her. It was surprising how restless one's hands can be when the old things you used to do with them you could no longer do with them.

"Here is your tea, Love." Percy said softly.

He handed her the warm cup and touched her face where her lip was almost all healed with his soft hands. Faith closed her eyes as they misted. Percy's actions made her miss her parents, and that was pathetic. It was good that she was no longer the Slayer. The other Slayer had been on her own for ages. The other Slayer had completely rejected the Council by the time she was Faith's age, as her father often reminded her. When Faith set off with John she would never have to hear her father or Willa or Alex talk of Joan the vampire Slayer again.

"This time with you has been so restful, Percy. When will I meet some other members of the Council? I would really like to meet a female watcher! I am so glad to hear that the Council is allowing it finally, to me it only makes sense." Faith said sipping her tea.

"Well, I'm not sure if I agree. Women, who aren't chosen of course, are weaker than men, and are therefore just more physically vulnerable to attacks."

"Oh Percy! This is why I can only tolerate you for so long!" Faith said good-naturedly

"My mother somehow survived the scourge, and my father used to take me out to slay the minute I reached twelve. It is more than just physical strength."

"You have a very good point, Love. I completely agree logic and intelligence are just as important as strength and they should be tested above and beyond physical strength. That is why your father was such a bloody fool, if we had you in our care we would have spent those years giving you the proper mind set not just throwing you into the breach. It could have made you completely crude."

"Well, it doesn't matter anymore, does it? Half or completely crude I am not and should not have been a Slayer, and I am to take off with John and be in my own care."

"Faith...if things were different...if the Council could find a way to get your powers back... Would you stay here with me- with the Council- for a time and study with us? It would be wonderful. We could stay here for a while. Take a break from those horrid streets. Do more research." He said.

"The Council could bring my powers back, so I can stay here and research?"

"Forgive Mr. Windom, Ms. Ellington. He is getting rather a head of himself." An older man came in.

"Mr. Price! It is Mr. Price, right? The head of the entire Council!"

"Of course! What Mr. Windom is trying to ask you is would you be interested in getting your powers back?"

"Yes! Of course! It would be bloody brilliant to feel myself again. I suppose I could not go off with John for good, and I suppose I would have to mend things with my father...I mean, anything else would be irresponsible, right?"

"Wrong. Miss Ellington." Price said firmly

"Well right about going off with that Barrymore fellow, that would be terribly terribly bad...for the world." Percy stammered.

"What is going on here?" Faith demanded looking between the two men.

"What is 'going on', is your true coming of age as a Slayer. You're powers will return to you in time, but we hope that in light of recent events that you have come to realize that your place is here." Price said grandly.

"What do you mean my powers will return in time? How would- YOU! You used some sort of magics on me to take away my powers!" She bellowed and stood in the man's face. Price rolled his eyes.

"Yes, you didn't think the Council had the power to do that did you? Well, we do. You are very lucky, Miss Ellington. We usually don't inform our Slayers who reach their 18th birthday of the test that we perform." Price sighed regretfully.

"This is your idea of a test? You could have gotten me bloody killed!" Faith gritted her teeth.

"Oh Divya, Please! Your father almost gets you killed nightly by either running ahead like an impulsive fool too quickly or holding you back. The counsel is made of men of intelligence and has been testing Slayers for ages in a carefully moderated fashion." Percy snapped.

"My father is a good honest man with more intelligence in his finger than you sods have in your whole bloody Council!" Faith spat.

"You say your father is a good man, Miss Ellington. But, who's given you your biggest bruise since you have lost all your powers and become a defenseless woman?" Mr. Price asked smugly.

"You told him? He told you?..Of course! He tells you everything, doesn't he? Unless you already knew..Unless you worked some magics on my father to make him hurt me!" Faith roared as un-spilt tears came into her eyes.

"We did no such thing." Mr. Price sang.

"I don't believe a sodding word you say!" Faith sobbed now and covered her mouth.

"I think you do." Mr. Price said lightly.

"Miss Ellington, I've afraid you've inherited your parents' over sensitivity. Percy has told me that your father has encouraged you to fight with your emotions rather than learn to put them aside to concentrate on you approach in battle...I can see from the way that this argument with us is going how your emotions can leave you compromised in battle." Price lectured.

Faith couldn't imagine how she would have survived schooling here. In fact she did not want to survive one more second of being here. She would demand her powers back and go. She wouldn't tell her parents what the Council had done. She didn't want to see her father murder human men, especially men who weren't worth it. She could tell Percy had just been led along, but she was to angry to think of forgiving him now.

"My father has taught me plenty about approach, and he taught me how to channel my emotions to my advantage. I am never compromised in battle. If you keep pushing me I shall show you both how uncompromised I am, even being a physically vulnerable woman." She threatened Price and glared at him.

"Don't worry you will have your opportunity to do that. You really are quiet the special girl- more headstrong than that Yank what's-her-name that we lost control over. I would not want to lose you, Divya. So, I have created these special circumstances." Price smiled at her unblinking as she glared at him.

He was an academic who had probably seen battle in his day. But, certainly not a free-thinking academic. She knew when her father grew old and tired looking like Price he would somehow do an even better job at staring down threats.

"If you would really like your powers back you can have them, but you have to be under our instruction...Of course you can still see your family whenever you like...We are not a jail, but I don't know why you would want to. But, you're free to do as you please." Price continued.

"Your saying you will only let me be the Slayer again if I stay here and continue working with you Sods. The great bloody Council who have lied and spied on and insulted my family over the years and I am no longer to work with my family who have never lied to me?"

"In a manner of speaking--"

"Well, you can bight my sodding ass! All of you Goddamned Wankers!" Faith spat.

"Divya please be reasonable!" Percy pleaded.

"Oh goodness!" Mr. Price laughed. "I really don't know what is occurring in the world. Did we just hit a bad batch for this generation of Slayers, or is it a sign that the whole world has gone wonky with the changing times...I thought it was a Yank problem with that other girl. I was so happy when she died, albeit temporarily, to have a girl from our Great Britain chosen! At first I was overjoyed that her family had fought off the scourge of Europe. But, clearly it is better to have a naive simple girl be chosen. Remember that Chinese one, she was lovely-"

As Price spoke he walked from the reading room to the lobby of the mansion and into a steel cage that had been sitting there. There had been many stakes, swords, crosses, chains and other devices around the otherwise lavish like mansion that was the Council's estate. Faith had seen them and thought nothing of them. When you work in this business you had all kinds of accessories for it lying around. She did not have a cage though. She was the take no prisoners type. Even though she did not have one, she knew one rarely oneself in their own cage though.

"Shut Up!" Faith barked. "It is interesting that you bring up my family's history with Angelus. You want me to stop working with my family. My parents and their friends have fought off the scourge three times. One time they even had to contend with his Sire bitch."

"Darla, She was turned by the Master himself in a Virginia colony where she-"

"SHUT-UP, Percy!" Faith yelled.

"Well, you really should know this, Divya." Percy insisted.

"You don't even have a photo of Angelus. He could walk right up to you and say he was a delivery boy and you Wankers would invite him in! My father survived his fists. My mother survived...she survived more...My family has survived the scourge three times! Three times more than any of your damn Council!"

"Not all of your family, Dear," Price said smugly.

"Mr. Price!" Percy yelped in shock at the man's insult.

"I think I understand why you put yourself in that bloody cage!" Faith said as she stalked up to the cage.

"Yes, Angelus killed all the men in my mother's family, including her first fiancé' and the servants...He wanted to be the only man in her life...He wanted to drive her insane! So he could use her power for himself!...He told her it was all for the best...He would provide her with all she needed of the world...It all sounds very bloody familiar, doesn't it, Price?"

"Your mother is said to be a little mad. I suppose you inherited that too, because I don't see any familiarity in this story, though I am sorry-"

"Sir, I think she is saying that we are like Angelus with wanting to have her power-" Price interrupted Percy sharply.

"I know what she is saying, Boy and it is ridiculous! Our main purpose is to direct and guide these girls, not for the good of them and their Mummies and Daddies, but for the good of the bloody world! And this girl is too bloody selfish to understand that!"

"Sir, if I am may be so bold as to say that it is in the world's best interest that the Slayer also be well cared for and protected." Percy insisted.

"Yes, yes and that is why we are doing this." Price returned to his dignified manner.

"Doing what? What more of your foolish rituals do I have to partake in? I've already told you, I am not interested in the slaying power if it's yours to give." Faith insisted.

"We will be releasing a very special vampire in a moment. You have friends in common. You have been staying here for two days, Ms. Ellington. You know these surroundings by now, or you should. There are tools here to fight with." Price said.

"Divya, you know I love you, more than I should, but I am afraid for you...if you don't learn to focus without emotion getting in the way you won't make it much longer...And I think the scourge is your biggest emotional pitfall...And this is why Divya... This is why we are doing this. It has to be done. There is no other way...Please don't be emotional! Please focus! I know you can do it!" Percy insisted. He smiled sadly as he got into the cage.


"I don't think she is off to a very pleasing start." Price sighed.

"Percy, tell me you haven't released Angelus on me when I have no power." Faith demanded between outrage and fear.

"The Council thought it best that you handle a vampire with out your power. You said that you had done it since you were twelve. You can do it, Divya!" Percy said in a strained voice.

"Percy! Tell me you didn't release the vampire who's tortured my parents on me! You have no idea what you've done! Did you make a deal with him? Did he tell you he had a soul? He's tricked you! He'll kill us all! You think a cage can protect you? He owns that cage you're in now! He'll use me to get at my parents! He'll kill my father and- and- do worse to my mother! Give me my powers back! It's our only chance" Faith pleaded as she grabbed Percy's hand through the bars.

"Dina, your parents aren't the center of the world. You are far more important than they are and you should know that...Just stay calm it is one vampire in very controlled circumstances."

"Percy! Stop talking to the girl! We've already made this test way too easy for her!" Price snapped.

"You're the one being controlled! My parents are the center of the world because he will start with them at the center and attack the rest of the world from all the way around. Give me my powers back, you Buggering Fuck and I will save you life in return!" Faith had grabbed Price by his remaining hair through the bars.

"I do have the control here, Miss Ellington. But, I cannot give you your powers back now even if I wanted to. Unfortunately, they will return slowly in the next few days. Percy took them away with modern medicine-muscle relaxes. We stopped using magic to take away the Slayer's powers long ago. It was too risky. It was a bit of a fib that I could keep your powers away forever. I was just trying to get you away from that family...But, I guess we can't control you...Of course if you die tonight, there will be another."

"She will not die tonight! She will get control of herself. Won't you Divya?" Percy tried to save soothingly.

"None of us have control here!" Faith cried and let go of Price's hair.

"What is taking this vampire so long?" Price grumbled at the delay of the vampire.

"The scourge is probably rapping your wife to death!" Faith spat.

"My God!... This girl is so vulgar, Percy. Couldn't you have tried to discourage that a little?" Price grumbled.

"Hello!" An American voice exclaimed on the top of the stairs about thirty feet above the cage.

"You are American." Faith said sternly.

"You say that like it's an insult. I am very offended." The impish boyish man said as he jumped down the balcony of the stairs. Faith grabbed a sword from the wall.

"What is a girl to do with a sword she can barley hold up?" The boy asked.

"I may not have a lot of strength, but when you hold a big sword you have a tendency not to need it." Faith said as she swung at him, but he jumped away and laughed.

"I don't know if that is true." The boy said and grabbed the sword by the blade and pulled it away from her.

"Look! I've cut my hands." He tisked." Better make them nice and neat." The boy then stabbed the sword through each of his palms.

"You're not Angelus." Faith let out an odd laugh.

"He wouldn't hurt himself to impress me. He would only hurt me or someone else for that...and he's a Mick" She threw the tea tray at him.

"You mean that didn't impress you at all? I can cut holes in my hands just like Christ had. Only I barely suffer. I am a real God!" He said his elfish face turning into a vampire's.

"We'll I wasn't raised with religion." Faith told him.

"What?" He demanded. Turning back into human face.

"I wasn't raised to believe in God or Christ. Maybe it would be more awe inspiring if I had...Though, I don't know it may still have just been disgusting." She said backing up the stairs as she threw a stake at him.

"Well, that is just awful! I was a Puritan. How can a Slayer be Godless?" He sang in dismay as he caught the stake.

"I don't know. The same way a vampire can be raised a Puritan, I suppose." She said as he lunged at her.

She jumped back a kicked him down the stairs, but before he fell he grabbed her and they both fell. Faith landed next to the vampire who grabbed her by the hair. She held her cross necklace up to his face. He let go of her when his face started to smoke.

"Now that is very ironic." He said as he felt the cross shaped scar on his face.

"Why do you have a cross, Godless girl?"

"Why do you think, Wanker?" She rolled her eyes as she scrambled up the steps.

"You're doing wonderfully, Divya!" Percy called.

"Sod off!" She snapped to Percy and turned back to the vampire, "And by the way! Christ didn't get impaled by the hands, but by the wrists. They just show it though the hands in all the bloody paintings because it looks prettier, I suppose."

"Well, there is just no impressing you. You know no one likes a know-it-all!" The vampire said. There was a loud banging coming from downstairs. Faith realized someone was knocking on the door.

"What it that?" Price demanded from inside the cage.

"Percy!" Faith demanded.

"Why is everyone asking me?" Percy pleaded.

"Maybe it takes a lot of friends to impress you." The vampire smiled. As he began walking down the stairs. Faith stood out of breath at the top of the stairs. It seemed her ankle was twisted.

"You dirty backstabbing...Ha! Your friends can't come in, Penn. They aren't invited by us- the owners of the house!" Percy spat. As Faith began to run towards the bedroom door she heard Price say:

"Actually, Percy they only have to be invited in by people who live in the house...and since no one actually lives here...They can come in!"

"How is this bloody possible? How was he able to tell them where he was going! Oh God, Divya! Divya...Faith, Faith...run!" Faith heard Percy panicking as she locked the bedroom door behind her and struggled to push a bureau in front of it.

It was very difficult. She didn't think a girl with a twisted foot could accomplish such a thing, but she had. The minute she did she heard them pounding to get through the door.

There was a fire escape down to the ground but her ankle was twisted to bits. When she was so little she had yet to know of anything other than her mother or father Faith would bump her head or skin her knee and cry like the world was ending. Her mother then would take her into her arms and say:

"Look at me. Look at me, Faith. Be in me." And something would happen and the pain had stopped and her mother was smiling. Of course, nothing had really happened. It was just a mother's trick of convincing a child that there was nothing to cry about. Faith was crying now, as she thought of her mothers face. She would never see that crazy beautiful woman again. Drusilla would probably try to pretend Faith hadn't died. Drusilla would pretend to talk to Faith until William couldn't take it anymore and he would snap at her and she would cry.

Faith thought of all this as she forced her way to the window she opened it and screamed as there was a vampire growling in her face. With out even thinking she pushed it off the fire escape and locked all the windows.

She heard the door giving. "Come out little Slayer! Don't you want to come out for your birthday party?"

She opened the dresser drawers to find bottles and bottles of holy water. She was surprised the Council made it this easy and there wasn't some kind of puzzle lock to open each bottle. She soaked herself in the holy water and put the remaining bottles in her pockets. She grabbed Percy's pencil.

"Little Slayer." One of the vampires said as it came crashing through the door." I met the real Slayer in America once...I think you're prettier."

"You mean pretty deader." Another one joked and grabbed her as he pulled his hand away she punched him.

"Her skin burns!" He screamed.

"I am so tiered..of hearing...about the other Slayer!!" She wailed and she staked one with the pencil.

"Bitch! That was my lover!" The other one screamed and threw her on to the bed.

She struggled with the vampire. The holy water wasn't burning as badly as before. The vampire got on top of her. She heard the sound of breaking glass behind them.

"Who are you? Shit!" The vampire grunted. Faith heard a blade go through the vampire's neck. Blood was about to pour all over Faith's own head right before it turned to dust.

"Hi Daddy." She smiled.

"Hi Bit!" He smiled back.

"Didn't hurt breaking through the glass like that?" She asked.

"I've got a spell special delivered from Auntie Willa that gives me a bit of Slayer strength...But, yes, yes it hurt a bit...The spell was to be for you, but everything went a bit wonky and-"

"Oh Daddy! I was so awful to you! I think this whole time I've been most afraid that I would never see you again to tell you how sorry I am!" Faith allowed herself to cry now.

"You shouldn't be sorry am the one who should be bloody sorry! I am an awful awful man sometimes, Bit. I've done a lot of things wrong...I just thought if I kept you with me I wouldn't lose you, and that was bloody selfish of me." William cried.

"Where else would I have gone? Here? Do you know what they've done?"

"Yes! Yes! And it's all my bloody fault not figuring on them being the one's behind this. Not doing my homework on them! No-"

"Daddy how can you say that? If anyone is to blame for this it's me! I was trying so hard to get away I didn't stop and think-"

"I can tell the Lass is your daughter she goes on about pointless subjects in dire times. She looks like her mother though thank God. Now would you mind helping here, Will?" A tall man good-naturedly chided William from the hallway.

He had been the only thing keeping the vampires from the bedroom. But, he seemed to be all that was needed. A vampire charged him and he ripped the thing's head off with his bare hands. Faith's mouth dropped open. Once or twice, she had gotten lucky and she broke a vampire's neck, but she had never seen anyone rip off a head.

"Yeah, I'd weep if you went down savin' my arse. It just wouldn't be just!" William snapped and he did not do so good-naturedly.

He looked furious at the man. No one would have ever guessed he'd been weeping.

"Daddy, who is this?" Faith questioned. There were about five vampires on the stairs whispering the same question probably.

"You're hurt." William said as he noticed her hobbling.

"I can manage."

"Get her out of this house!" William barked at the man.

"I won't leave you alone!" Faith yelled. As the man continued to fight with the vampires. Each one seemed convinced they could take him on a different way and they were always wrong.

"Hi Faith! Happy Birthday! I hope you like your present. I'm sorry I'm borrowing it." A voice said climbing threw the broken window.

"Uncle Alex! Oh, I love my present!" Faith smiled as Alex shot the crossbow at the vampires fighting with the tall man.

"Sorry!" Alex grimaced as he accidentally hit the man in the shoulder. The man merely shot a glare at Alex and pulled the arrow out of his arm and staked a vampire with it.

"Nice shot!...I'm not alone anymore now go with him." William demanded. The man walked gingerly up to Faith as if she were a snake, even though he was twice her size and she probably couldn't take him if she had her powers.

"No, let him stay here. I don't know how many more there are and he seems to be very capable. I'll be fine here."

"Don't worry!" A voice called from the bottom of the stairs. "There is only one more." Drusilla was standing with a vampire's hands wrapped around her throat. Everyone started panicking and yelling at once.

"Drusilla!" The tall man yelled in concern as if he had always knows her mother like the rest of them did.

"Quiet! No one move!" Drusilla yelled sharply and everyone listened.

"Look at me, Dearie...Look at me! Be in me. Be in me." Drusilla cooed to the vampire as she looked in its face. The vampire let go of her and stared into her eyes. That is when she let out a yelp and staked it. Everyone looked shocked accept for William who smiled.

"Mummy!" Faith called and went to run down the stairs and forgot her sprained ankle. The large man caught her and carried her the rest way down.

"Mummy, why are you here?" Faith cried.

"What and miss my girl's party? Oh look hands burnt you're pretty dress. He'll have to get you a new one." She smiled. Faith saw burn marks in the shape of hands on her wet dress.

"Are they really all gone?" Price was asking her mother from the cage.

"Most are dead...The smart ones ran off...including your little boy. He misses his Daddy." Drusilla was saying to the tall man with a smile. The man looked at her like she was making fun of him.

"I don't understand any of this! How did they know where we were? How did YOU know where we were? How on earth did you kill that vampire, Mrs. Ellington?" Percy demanded weakly.

"So much for your controlled little test!" Faith barked. But then she saw that Percy was beaten.

"Percy, what happened? Did they get in the cage?" She asked.

"No-no...It was I who got out...When they were coming in I ran out to help. I think I got one, but there were too many. Then that he came through the door and he did very well, I must say. If he hadn't got me back to the cage, I'd have died...Who are you? A rogue demon hunter who is a friend of William's?" Percy asked.

"He's neither. He's just a gutter rat who owes us big." William spat.

"Are you using witch-craft to fight? Because I'd advise against it." Price told the man. The man just glowered.

If Faith hadn't heard him speak before he would have thought he was mute. This wasn't the first time her parents had pulled up a mysterious friend. They had seemed to spend time learning ever corner of the hidden streets he could before Faith was born. William said he HAD to in order to protect Drusilla from Angelus. He may have been right, but Faith knew he enjoyed the reckless courage love had given him. Still it was bravery with out any given power other than quick lessons from Alex. And what power did her mother possess to survive? Unlike her father she had to do it long before she had his love. Faith didn't like to think about it, and couldn't fully understand why.

"So, now we know who the REAL lost traitor is, Percy. You should have told me it was you Percy instead of letting me believe it was my William." Drusilla said as she grabbed the bars of the cage. Price backed up.

"I am not a traitor, Mrs. Ellington! I was trying to give Divya her independence!...I know it all went a rye ..and I'm terribly sorry!" Percy pleaded handing Drusilla the key to unlocking the cage.

"Silly Percy! He's like a Yank that owns a plantation with peach trees. You can't give a thing to someone that was already theirs even if you were the one that was keeping them from it!" Drusilla laughed.

"Um, Percy...Do you really want to step out of the cage now with that mad woman there?" Price asked.

"My mother is not a mad woman!" Faith spat.

"I know that Mrs. Ellington seems a bit..touched. But I have known her for years, and I can assure you that she is the gentlest of---" Before Percy could finish Drusilla sprang on him.

"Traitor! You hurt my girl! You hurt my little girl! I'd rather you strike her than play with her mind! But, you can quit all that tiresome breathing for either!" She was screaming shrilly as she began strangling Percy.

"Drusilla! Dru, no!" The tall younger man was saying gently. He had tried to lift Drusilla off of Percy, buy Percy just came with her hands as the man lifted her.

"Don't you fucking touch her! You stay away from her!" Faith's father was screaming as he ran down the stairs with a stake with Alex after him.

Even her father didn't swear that badly. But, Faith was more concerned with the totally beat red Percy. Percy was right her mother was such a gentle person. Drusilla was like the gentle child that Faith had never been allowed to be. When Faith came home filled with blood and dirt Drusilla had her world of flowers and dolls waiting for Faith to visit. Faith did not want to think of her mother in any other world. It was too painful.

"Mummy no!" Faith cried and began sobbing. Drusilla looked at her daughter and let go off Percy's throat.

"Sunshine, what's wrong? We have to kill the monsters, don't we?" Drusilla asked coyly as she was hugging her daughter as Percy gasped for breath on the ground.

"Mum! Percy is not a monster he is a man...He made a mistake. He loves me in his own way." Faith pleaded.

"I know, Pet...But, maybe he is the worst kind of monster...The kind that gets in here..and in here." Drusilla said touching Faith's head and her chest where her heat lay underneath racing.

"But, he has a soul." The tall man said sadly.

"Ah, like you...I am too old for you now, anyway." Drusilla said to him as she hugged Faith.

"No!...I-I mean yes...I mean no...I am so so sorry. I'd do anything I could for you to make things right." He said painfully. Faith saw her father stalk over to the cage now with Alex in tow.

"Miss-ter P-rice." William sang.

"Umm..Hello...Mr. Ellington...I suppose I should apolog---" Price was interrupted by William slamming his head into the bars of the cage.

"William! You have never forgotten how to make the most bleak times fun!" Drusilla called to him as Price was trying to hold the door of the cage shut so William couldn't get into it.

"That is because I never stopped loving you, Poodle." William smiled as he went into the cage and hit Price clean in the face.

"Remember! You promised to stop when I told you to." Alex said to William as he leaned outside the bars and kicked through them at Price when he fell.

"But, you didn't make me promise that I couldn't get a shot in too."

"I do love a good cage match! Don't you, Love!" Drusilla squealed to Faith.

"You will be going to jail for this you know." Price gasped.

"Great! I do hope we're cell mates. I think it would look a lot like this, don't you?" William asked as he pushed the man up against the bars.

"You can be in jail for murdering heroic young girls!...And I can be in jail for murdering a pompous, yellow-bellied...Wanker, who locks himself up in cages to protect himself against his sodding..Filthy crimes!...Wait that doesn't quiet work, does it?" William said as he hit the man repeatedly.

"I am not a criminal you crude twit! You are! I keep my distance to fight the monsters, so I don't become like them! Like you! Look at you, Ellington! I know of you! We all know of you! That disgusting Gothic poet... The crass opportunist that wrote about his times with the scourge of Europe as bloody fiction!.. The dirty demon fighter who took the Slayer to the streets too soon! You were an Oxford man, an intellectual! Look at what you are now!" Price spat as William let him go on with out hitting him.

William smiled widely. "Yeah, I'm an Oxford man who improved on his writing skills and boxing skills after he graduated...They love it when you improve on something they taught you and get all famous. They take all the bloody credit! It's very irritating." He punched Price harder than ever.

"Oh God! He's going to kill him, isn't he? And you all are just going to watch like animals!" Percy demanded as he still sat on the floor.

"Don't worry. I have it under control, Win...Nice shot, William. I think the ass finally lost consciousness!" Alex cheered.

"Mummy, don't let Daddy kill the head of the Council. We'll never get to read any of their books that way and I really want to learn more about the 15th century Greek Slayer." Faith said to her mother.

"William! It's time to go! We are pekish and tiered!" Drusilla called.

"In a moment, Poodle." He called. "Yeah, just one more minute." Alex said.

"Daddy!" Faith snapped. "William, right now!" Drusilla snapped. Faith saw that the young vampire fighter had left.