Summary: Post Buffy Season 7. Spike & Faith are on the road collecting
new Slayers X-men style while Faith discovers a new game of telling
Spike secrets on the highway. Then, someone comes to shock Faith.

Pairing: Spike/Faith
Rating: R

Author Notes: Another for the Warm Champagne Challenge!

Story Notes: Pre-Slash Only. Mild Het. Rated "R" for talk of sexual

This won 2 Shadows & Dust Awards!
Again, I'm going to nag you to go to my site:
You may have missed some stories that aren't here!

I wrote two stories for the Warm Champagne Challenge
( This and another I'll post soon. People seem to
either like this one or the other, but hardly ever both. Wonder what
is up with that? You guys should let me know. Read & Review!

By Strange Bint

They only had one bike. The second-in Command Vampire Slayer and the
second vamp with a soul were used to being first when it came to who
drove the Harley cross country. So, rock paper Scissors to decide who
rode bitch. Faith finally found someone that was a sorer loser than
her. After a while she just let him drive, not due to his tantrums
when he had to ride bitch, she kind of dug those, but because of how
things changed. They couldn't talk when they rode on the bike. At
first that silence was a freaking God-send. He never shut-up. She'd
much rather hear the constant defiant engine roar as it sped past all
those Macs or cars that wanted to be able to lay low and go fast so
they drove from dead night to early morning. But, then his lame ass
opinions and rants became something else--stories. His stories of his
life and death and unlife and death and now his life. He was like a
machine or the opposite of a machine. He never stopped fighting,
feeling, loving, living. It was some fascinating shit.

Then he asked her more about her story. He asked what really happened.
He said a girl just doesn't wake-up and decide to go bad and betray
her friends. Well, maybe she was the first that did then. No, no he
didn't buy that. Then she never would have went back to good again. He
really wanted to know what happened. He said there had to be more to
her than being able to go shot for shot with him, and knowing the
original line-up of the Ramones, and stories of her in school-girl
outfits and bull-whips--as interesting as all that was. She told him
maybe what you see is what you get. That was all there was to her
thank-you-very-much. She didn't have to tell him Jack. No one makes
her do anything she doesn't want to do. He'd be the first man to
complain, which made sense since he was one of the first ones that
wasn't getting any from her.

Faith then told Spike she had been considering giving him some. After
all she had never fucked a vampire before, and he would be a good
opportunity for her to get to really know the enemy. But, then she
decided against it because she remembered the look on B's face when
she realized that Spike and Faith were the only available ones to
recruit the "unofficial Slayers" in the United States. However, B
would never let something as petty as jealousy of an Ex having to
travel with an ex-ex-friend get in the way of the mission. B was the
first Slayer in command and as always she was all about the good fight
and the mission before anything else. That was all Faith told Spike
who seemed to listen with amused interest, but then asked if B ever
talked about him. She found herself lying and saying "yes." Faith
rarely lied, to be nice anyway.

So, Spike and Faith's mission if they chose to accept it, as ordered
down from the First Slayer and their quasi-friend, was to go and find
all the "unofficial Slayers." It was a long story, but there used to
be only one Slayer and then when she died another was called. Then
there were two B, now the first in command, and Faith, the second, who
had really been a mistake. She had made huge mistakes, but had cleaned
up and earned enough cred and seniority to be second in command. Then,
B's best-friend (not Faith) made a spell so that every girl that could
ever be called to being a Slayer was a Slayer. That meant that there
were these girls running around with super strength. B and all her
buddies had found them and gave them the skinny and they joined the
ranks to go to fight and learn by the side of B and her friends in
their schools in Rome and Prague and England. B and her ol' pal Giles
fundraised their asses off to get it all going. But, there were a few
things that they missed, like some little chicks that became Slayers
that didn't show up on their magic finding radar. Reports had come in
from all over about girls with freaky strength. B called them the
"unofficial Slayers." She sent people out to find them to see if they
really were Slayers. These girls had to know how to handle their power
and how to use it for good. They had to be given a heads up. Faith was
not loving the title "unofficial Slayers." Why were the Slayers that B
and friends had known about the only ones considered official? If
these girls were Slayers, they were Slayers in Faith's book, whether
anyone had found them or not.

When Spike and Faith got to the unofficial Slayers in the U.S. There
was to be no pushing or prodding or dragging away in chains. There was
merely to be an invite, and a real explanation to the parents if they
didn't have their head so far up their ass that they wanted to listen.
There was to be some fake cheesy story about a gifted school for girls
for parents that didn't want to know the truth. They had fake
pamphlets and real pamphlets, and of course, they always gave the kid
the truth and a way to reach people. Basically, Faith and Spike were
leather clad boarding school recruiters.

Spike was freaking horrible at talking to parents, at first Faith
wasn't much better but she learned fast. Spike was good at knowing who
was ready to hear the truth and who was not. Faith just wanted to tell
the truth no matter what, and forget the whole gifted school thing.
She learned from experience to listen to Spike. She'd rather face a
thousand Uber-vamps than one more parent freaking out.
Then, they had found Samantha in Baltimore. She was only nine. Faith
didn't think you could be a Slayer at nine. They had to corner her.
She was like a wild animal. A really scared alley cat that Faith would
try to make friend's with when she kept to the alleys. A really really
strong scared alley cat. The homeless there called her the devil
child, and it wasn't because she had red hair. She had a squatting
house all to herself. Faith knew the type of place. A house where
there were little holes in the floor because the acid from people
pissing on it was starting to eat away at it. When they tried to get
to Sam to talk to her she would break down the walls and the beams and
throw them at Spike, who kept trying to get closer to her than Faith.
Faith wanted to give her space.

"Stay away! Stay away! I am bad! I'll hurt you!" Sam screamed. She
sure smelled bad and she looked even worse. Her long red hair was all
clumped with dirt and her face was caked with it too.
Faith had eased the girl out of the corner and out of the house. She
had no clue how. It was like some saintly spirit possessed her body.
She wouldn't be able to tell the story of what was said, or in what
order things went down, or when the magic moment was that Sam had
turned around.

Faith could remember there was a beginning time. She had told Sam that
she could smash the wall if she liked. She could tear the whole shit-
ridden house down. She wasn't going to get in trouble. In fact, Faith
suggested that they tear the whole place down because Sam wasn't going
to live here anymore. It was time to go to a better place now, but no
one was going to make her do anything she didn't want to do. She
remembered encouraging Sam to yell and curse at the house and to the
people who had hurt her even if they weren't there. Faith did tell Sam
that people had hurt her body when she was a little girl. They said
that Faith was bad, and Faith believed them because they were grown
ups and the only people around. But they were wrong. Faith wasn't bad.
They were bad. Faith told her that even though people told kids that
monsters were fake, they were actually real, and they hurt people.
Faith remembered she felt like she was lying when she said even though
there were these monsters everything was going to be okay. Maybe this
is where Spike stepped in and said that she was one of a bunch of
special girls that were chosen to fight the monsters.

Then there was a middle time. Somehow they had gotten Sam to take a
bath. She was a beautiful kid really, the kind with red hair and
freckles that you see in commercials running in meadows with dogs. She
watched "Passions" with Spike and after she saw the vamps on that
cheese ass show she asked to see his vamp face. Faith remembered
buying her clothes while Spike slept, and how Faith was almost afraid
she would burst into flames by being out during the day. Sam wanted a
Jay-lo sweat suit, Jay-lo jeans, Jay-lo everything.

Then there was an end. Sam had cried when she had to go with Giles's
friends, but it was like a normal kid crying. She wasn't the devil
girl screaming about how bad she was and throwing pieces of house at
them. Faith smiled her Oscar winning fake smile and stuffed herself
with too many pieces of pizza to keep her feelings down. Faith said
that she wasn't leaving Sam. She promised that she would see her in
one month when her mission was over. Giles's friends gave her a
calendar and told her she could X off the days until she saw Faith.
About fifteen miles after the end of Baltimore, the end of her time
with Sam, Faith had been shaking with tears. Spike had been driving.
She hadn't bothered arguing about it. He stopped the bike. She told
him to start it; she wanted no drama. He said it was dangerous to
drive with her crying like that. She said that was the stupidest
fucking thing she ever heard.

Then he went into some story about LA where there had been a crazed
Slayer there. Faith knew nothing of this story, and she should have
being the Second Slayer and all, but she wasn't shocked no one had
told her. B had this other crazy Slayer taken to be under her care
after Spike and Angel captured her. Spike told Faith how he tried to
handle the girl, but he "bullocked" the whole thing up.

Spike told her he wished The Slayers had sent Faith to help instead of
Andrew. Well, yeah! Why the fuck had B sent Andrew? Faith was
surprised Andrew hadn't accidentally killed someone. Spike told her he
almost had, but he came through in the end.

Spike said the point was he wasn't sure there was a chance for that
particular crazed Slayer, but because of Faith there was more than a
chance for Sam. Sam was saved. Faith wondered if there were more
fucked up crazy Slayers. Spike said if there were that Faith would be
the one to call. He told her she had done "brilliant" work and that
she was a true hero. She tried to say if she was any kind of hero, or
person, she wouldn't be leaving the kid with strangers, but instead
she puked on him. It was the look on his face that made her start
laughing. He looked nothing like a person who had just been puked on.
He had a look on his face like she had just done something endearing
like drew him a picture or bought him a drink. It was the oddest head-
tilted sweet puppy dog face that really had no place in a being puked
on situation.

"So, that made you feel better now?" he asked totally straight faced
as if she wasn't laughing or if there wasn't reeking clay colored puke
all over that duster she knew he loved.

The day after that she started to let him drive all the time.

"I can hear you on the bike," he told her that day, "So, anything you
want to tell me, any questions that you want to ask. I'll always hear
you, love."

He had never called her that before that day, and then she
wanted to always ride bitch so she could say things in his ear. He
probably could have heard her from the front, but she became stuck to
the idea of saying things in his ear.

How did he know she had questions? It didn't matter the point was she
did. Questions- about things she was afraid to know, or was
embarrassed she didn't know: Does B still hate me, you think? What was
the other crazy Slayers name? You know Slayers still die. Not as
often, but they do. When they die B and Giles send everyone letters
about a requiem. What's a "requiem"?
It was So easy to ask when you weren't really asking. When you didn't
have to hear your hard ass sounding voice giving a shit about any of

She spoke a few thoughts she was having. It was cool having them go
out of her head and disappear on the road: I didn't know you could be
a Slayer at nine. I figured the spell only started working when chicks
got to be thirteen at least. Maybe it starts when you get your period.
That sort of makes sense. I wish a girl that young wouldn't get her
period. Men seem to know when a girl "becomes a woman" whether she's
ready or not, and they start messing with you. They are attracted to
the blood like fucking sharks. I wonder what happened to Sam's mom. I
think if a Mom was there she would know how to stop that kind of
thing. I've decided I'll never be a Mom. I'd screw it up.

Spike never pinned her to the wall with anything she had said or asked
on the bike. The first time she did it she was totally expecting him
too, but then he hadn't. He would just slip the things into casual
conversation. All of a sudden, in the middle of a beer:

"Buffy doesn't hate you anymore than she hates herself. Maybe that's
not the best news, since sometimes she does, but she mostly likes
herself. I suspect that she will like you and herself more and more
with you being the mothers of this new age of Slayers. So, I suppose
that even if you never wanted to be mothers--you are. That's how it
happens to a lot of bints I suppose. It seems you'd be a decent
mother, a bit over protective maybe. Not ALL men hurt little girls
when they come of age, you know. Only the evil ones do that. I'm not
an expert on that particular type of evil , but I'm sure men mess with
girls of all ages. Again that may not seem like the best of news, but
it has nothing to do with anything a girl is doing."

Well, this was a fun game, not the funnest game she ever played with a
punk boy on a bike, but it surely was the most interesting.
She decided to dare herself to up the stakes a little: Today Mom is
dead for 15 years, and it still hurts. I wanted to play "Blondie" in
memory of her, but I don't have it.
Her voice whispered this in between Ohio and Idaho, those boring ass
states everyone forgets. But, did it really? Faith never had to hear

Spike came back to the hotel:
"I got this 'Blondie,' thought you might like it today... You know a
requiem is when you remember someone whose dead, hold a little party
for them or something. It doesn't have to be something sad or a big
official hum-drum with flowers."
They had given Mom an unofficial requiem by playing "Blondie" last
night and drinking a lot -even for them. Spike had told Faith the
story of his Mom. Faith was dumb-literally. She couldn't think of what
to say, other than she was sorry. He should have known what a great
honor it was. Faith never really said she was sorry for anything, even
for things she could do nothing about.

Spike was trying to teach her to play poker, but then they just ended
up taking turns flipping the cards into a hat. He said teaching her
poker was no fun because she had:

"The worst bloody poker face in history. I don't know how you ever
lived a live of crime. You could never fool me."

Faith had insisted she was the best actor ever. This led to rough
housing, and accidentally breaking the TV, and then the card toss into
the hat since they couldn't watch TV.
So, it had been a good unofficial requiem. Kinda expensive with the TV
breaking, but it had been the best one. The only one she had not had

Thank You, she said and she held tight to his chest. She hadn't
remembered ever thanking anyone officially, not even Angel. This
wasn't official either, since she couldn't hear herself say it, and
especially since he hadn't officially done anything that special other
than buy her a CD, and tell her what "requiem" meant for no reason.
Since this was all unofficial Faith decided to say more just to be
clear on things. I don't mean thanks for paying for the TV. I mean
thanks for the CD for my Mom and me. Thanks for listening to my sorry
ass stories and questions. Thanks for telling me I could ask questions
and, you know, say things. No one else ever did that. Except my
shrink, but she was paid by the prison. No one ever asked for my
story. Not that I would tell it to anyone. I don't think B even knows
my Mom is dead. It' s not her fault. There is no time for it in our
world. But, now all we have is time. Poor Spike. You told me the story
of your Mom and what did I give you--nothing. Just that I was sorry,
which is fucking nothing. That's why I never say it, ya know? It does
nothing for nobody. But, you-you do something. You're a dude of
action. You bought me that CD, told me what a requiem was so we could
have one--for my Mom. I would have just sat around thinking about it
and not done shit. My mom was sick, like yours, you know. That's what
they say, that being an addict is a sickness. I didn't think she was
sick. I just thought she was a bitch. I sat there and watched her kill
herself. Not you, you tried so hard to save your Mom. But, you're
right, that wasn't your real Mom. It's like what they told me when my
Mom was drunk she didn 't mean the things she said, they weren't her.
Your real Mom would have been proud of you, you know? How could she
not be? You acted to save people when you had no fucking soul. I
killed people when I had a soul. We're really the last people that
should be working together. I'm the last person that should be
gathering up kids. You're probably sorry you ever game me the
invitation to talk now. I bet you wish I'd just shut the fuck up.

She felt something. Spike was grabbing her hand. He was shaking his
head. Faith felt icy-hot inside. Like she swallowed a tube of Ben-Gay.
All that she just said to him, she had really just said it. He wasn't
pretending she hadn't said anything anymore. The son of a bitch was
changing the rules in the middle of the game. Well, she could do that
too, easily enough. No one made her do anything she didn't want to.
You know, Brit Boy. You've been a real champ about all of this. My
shrink got paid for listening to all this crap and she didn't act as
well as you. She tried to make me face up to stuff or some bull shit.
There are other ways I can unofficially thank you for all you're
unofficially doing. No body would have to know, so if B ever wanted
you back it would all be under the table or on the bike with the
engine roaring so no one would ever hear about it but you. Whatever
turns you on. You know what I say, if you can't beat 'em beat em' off
on a Harley.

That was when Spike pulled the bike over. Okay, so he wanted more than
a hand-job. Fine. That made sense, but that was really the only way
they could do it and keep the game going, like it was all dust in the
wind. Maybe doing it on the side of the road like this could be like
it never happened too. She could play it that way. Faith opened her
pants, if they were going to pull over and make a thing out of it she
was going to get something out of it too.

"What in hell are you doing now?" he asked as if they had been in the
middle of some conversation.

"Relax. I'm on the pill, and I'm clean. Can't catch much in prison
with all girls, unless you really try," she said as she hitched her
pants down just far enough. It was kinda cold and she wasn't all into
being naked in front of him after she had been telling him stuff.

"Congratulations, but tell someone who cares," he sighed.

"Oh, right. You're already dead and shooting blanks," she laughed.

"I'm not--Listen---you--Pull up your knickers! I don' t want it to be
like this, " he stammered angrily.

"Wha? You want to be the one to make the first move, and I'll act all
surprised. I can try it, but I'm not really good at that sort of
thing," she said. He had spent too much time with B.

"No! I don't want to shag you now," he said.

"Well, fine!" she grumbled, "I was just tryin' to say 'thanks!'"

"Wanking someone off on a bike while going 80 on the I-90 is not the
way you thank them. It's the way you cause a 20 car pile-up," he said
as he rolled his eyes.

"Okay, whatever," she said, "So now we're pulled over. What's the

"We're pulled over to talk this out," he said through gritted teeth.

"Talk what out?" she asked, "Look, the more we talk the less
unofficial this is going to become. We don't want it to become a whole
thing, that would just screw everything up."

"Bloody hell!" he grumbled.

He turned around and kicked the dirt and stomped away. Then he came
stomping back and pointing his finger at her. Faith just stood there
confused as she felt her brow crease.

"I was finally all right. I was fine with it all- the occasional pick-
up at a bar, the shagging of a crazy evil Ex every now and again. But,
you--you have to ruin everything and then you want to just put it all

"Um, Dude," Faith said, "You're the one whose putting it off with this
talk-fest. If it was up to me we'd be right in the middle of it now."

She looked at his pissed off chiseled face in the pinkness of the
highway light hoping that if she stared hard enough she would get what
the drama was about. He stared back at her his face tried to stay all
twisted in anger, but then it seemed to change into something else.
Something that made Faith look away.

"Look, you're ruining this," she said quickly now. She got on the
bike. "Just forget it, okay?"

"I'm ruining this you say? I'm the one bloody ruining this! You know,
just when I think I've lived long enough to have seen all the coldest,
most heartless, ball-busting bitches around you have to come along!
Let me tell you, you win the prize on insanity. No other Slayer has
anything on you. The really crazy one? Her name was Dana. She thought
I was the man that made her the way she was. But, you--you are more
far gone. You know that I'm not the man who hurt you, but you hurt me
anyway. Treat me like I'm nothing, at least she had the decency to
hack my hands off!"

"I'm starting to get decent enough to wanna rip your tongue out! I--I
never told you about any guy that hurt me. I never told anyone about--
anything like that. No one makes me do anything I don't wanna do. I
know I didn't tell you anything like that. I'm not crazy!" Faith

She felt something grip all of her insides. Had she told him
something? Something she let slip out on the bike, and she didn't
realize it because she hadn't heard herself say it? But, he heard it
and now he knew, and he was using it against her.

"You don't have to tell me anything. You're sodding life story is in
everything you do. It's in every word you say to keep people away.
It's been in every bull-whip you've held and in every punch you've
thrown. It's in every cheap quick slap and tickle you offer, and I
don't sodding want that!"

He had been stalking up to her as she sat on the bike. By the end of
his tirade he was an inch from her face. She belted him as hard as she
could and he fell on the dirt and gravel road side.

"What part of my life story was in there?" she spat, "I think it's the
part where I say 'FUCK YOU!' and 'You better not show up around me
again if you like your face the way it is'"

"Ow!" he answered bitterly from the ground.
She started the bike and revved the engine loudly.

"If you didn't want the hand job you could have just said so. You
didn't have to be such a dick about it. I guess you think I deserve it
because you think I'm trying to hurt B. But, I'm not. That's why I
wanted to keep it unofficial," she said even though she couldn't hear
herself saying it. She hoped it came out really mad.

She drove away leaving his skinny ass on the dirt. She didn't look
back. She should have known better than to trust a guy, or anyone. Now
she would do this mission alone. But, first she'd stop at a local bar.

They were in Iowa now, or she was in Iowa now. There was no "they."
Spike was in Iowa too, but he wasn't with her. He was lying on the
side of the high-way bleeding. The old her would have run over him
with the bike too. It wasn't like he would die. Still that would have
been really cruel. He had called her cruel, and fucked up, and he said
things--things that made him the cruel one. Why was she cruel? She
just wanted to say 'Thanks.' OR maybe she wanted a way to end the game
of the motorcycle talk. It was getting too weird. Still- ending a game
with a hand-job wasn't cruel. Maybe it all went back to B. Spike
really thought Faith was trying to mess with another one of B's men.
But, he wasn't one of her men, not officially. Not like Angel or the
Joe-college guy had been. Maybe he was. Faith didn't know the official
story on that, or on a lot of stuff that went down.

Faith was surprised Iowa was pretty cool. Once you got past the corn
husks there was Iowa city. It wasn't really a city as far as Faith was
concerned, but she guessed it would be considered a city if you were
from Iowa. It was more like a shieker, friendlier Sunny D, minus the
demons. Maybe that was why it was friendlier. There were mostly
college kids in this bar. There were the hippies with their dreads,
the hipsters with their T-shirts of 80s TV shows, and the art snobs in
their black. It was a lot like Sunny D, there weren't enough real
punks or non-white people for Faith's taste. They weren't as hip as
they thought, but Faith surprised herself by appreciating their
friendliness. She told them she was ",passing through," driving across
country, taking a vacation from her job.

"Yeah, I could tell you were a cross-countryer," a few of them had
said. How? How could they tell? Why didn't she just blend? What else
could they tell? That people had messed with her in her life? That she
was a cold heartless bitch? Instead of getting bitchy with them like
she wanted to she just accepted their drinks and let them drift away.
Faith found that she was too tired or old to find the truth out. When
did college age kids start looking young? She could give them hell, or
let them wonder back to the life that she would never know. She let
them wander back; they'd never know how close they came to the great
hero, the heartless psycho, the "other" Slayer, who could save their
life or rip their head clean off.

Most of the kids had left, but there was a girl who still had not.
Faith had noticed her before. She was kind of hard to miss. She had on
a red satin unitard that was as tight as the skin on a grape. Her
lipstick matched her so-called outfit. Faith knew an outfit had to be
out there when even she found it slutty. She also had black boots, and
most whacked out of all she had black gloves on to match. She never
took the gloves off. She had danced with Faith in the way that you
unofficially dance with a stranger. You are dancing closer and closer
to them and then you are dancing with them, but they never spoke. In
fact the only speaking Faith thought she heard from this chick was
when she was talking to a guy. She said something like: "You don't
want to touch me."

The guy had touched the girl's hair, which Faith could understand. It
was long and wavy most of it looked golden brown, but there were
pieces she streaked red like cherry candy. Faith had a hard time
thinking that there were people that didn't want to touch this girl in
some way. If she was trying to keep people away, with the smug sneer
that just made her look sexier. Faith bet no guy would turn down a
hand job from this girl, even if they had once been with B. This girl
had the face of an Angel or a Princess, unlike Faith. Faith knew she
was hot, but she also knew she had the face of a stripper or a porn
star, and her sneer worked.

Faith wondered why the girl was still here. Why she hadn't left with
her girlfriends. Surely a girl like this had friends, even if she
didn't listen to them when they said the unitard and gloves were
weird. Maybe the gloves come in handy for all the hand jobs people
accept from her.

The girl slid next to her at the bar. She moved like a ballerina

"So, what's you're story?" she asked Faith.

Maybe she was questioning Faith for staring at her. Honestly, Faith
was too drunk to care.

"My story? Can't you tell, girlfriend? Isn't it in the way I move or
walk or talk? Isn't it in fucking everything?" Faith laughed.

"Yeah, kinda," the girl smiled and grabbed her hand. So, it was like
that. Faith ran her own hand through the girl's hair

"Really? Fuck! What can you tell?" Faith laughed.
Maybe it was just written all over her that she was damaged somehow.

"I can tell that you're a freak like me," the girl said.

"Really how? What did I do? I haven't even offered you anything yet,"
Faith said.

"Oh Cherry, I would love to see what you would have to offer me,
because it would have to be something pretty fan-fucking-tastic for me
to let you go." The girl was laughing with her Princess sneer.

"Well, I am fan-fucking-tastic, you should be able to tell that with
what I do, right?" Faith asked as she got closer to the girl's face.
Any closer and she'd be touching the Princess button nose.
The girl had taken off her gloves. This had to mean something. There
was going to be some action right here at the bar.

"Right," The girl said as she grabbed both of Faith's hands. Faith's
hands felt funny and she tried to pull them away, and found she

"Like the fact that you're a psycho and you kill people and beat them
to bloody pulps- all really great on a resume. It totally surpasses
mine. I just take things, like I'm taking you back to the good guys.
MY good deed for the year...Okay maybe they are giving me a huge pile
of green, but still. I usually don't do people," the girl said smugly.

Shit! A bounty hunter, Faith really thought that Angel wiping out her
record with his law firm took care of these things.

"And you're not gonna do me either, lovely. No one gets me to do
something I don't wanna do," Faith said as she flipped the girl over
her head.

Whatever the hold was the girl had on her it broke. Faith felt like
she was a fridge and a magnet got pulled away from her. This was
starting to freak her out. The girl came at her again and Faith
blocked the punch. She hit the girl straight in the face and she
looked like she was about to fall back until some force pulled her up.

"Okay, cherry. They said you wouldn't go quietly, but hitting my face?
Now I'm really pissed," The girl said.

Faith stared at her wide eyed as the girl shot some blue force at her.

Faith hit the wall and slid down. She felt more than hit. She felt
like her whole body wanted to jump out of it's skin. "Mama, the storm
got into my insides!," she remembered whining one summer when she had
been sitting in a metal chair at the block party when a storm came.
Faith felt like she had been hurled through time to that moment. Hell,
stranger things had happened to her. She was thinking of the softness
of her mother's Huesker Du tank top as her mother hugged her with the
storm buzzing her insides. She was thinking of all the things she
could fix. Until:

"Why do the people from out of town always end up being the ones
fighting?" some hippy kid asked his friend.

"'Cause they try to drive cross-country to forget about their problems
and they just end up bringing them," the friend said.

"I mean, I could be in the Caiman Islands right now scoping out
Trump's summer home, buying Jade monkeys, but no, instead I'm in
freaking Iowa collecting your ass. Doyle better appreciate this that's
all I'm saying," the girl said as she hand-cuffed Faith and dragged
her off the ground.

Maybe Faith had really lost it this time. Other than complaining about
being in Iowa Faith had no idea what the girl just said. Faith wasn't
too out of it to realize that she had to get away from the chick. She
had the power to make her feel crazy and horrible, worse than Spike.
Faith kicked the girl's legs out from under her and ran.

"Oh that's just great!" the girl snapped, "I'm asking for extra green
for every bruise I get. Great thing about diamonds is they don't put
up much of a fight."

Apparently one thing the girl couldn't do was run very fast. She
didn't even seem to try to go after Faith. Faith pulled on the chains
of the handcuffs and she felt tears of frustration when they didn't
break. What good is super strength if it can't break free of
handcuffs? Her writs were sore from pulling.

Okay. What the fuck? Faith was just trying to do her mission, and it
was all going fine. So, how had she ended up in handcuffs and called a
psycho by two people she thought she was gonna get some from? Of
course, Faith knew that the girl was after her from the minute she saw
her, and everything she had said about Faith was true. If some
information had leaked back out to the law maybe Faith should just go
back to jail. It seemed no one was able to forget her past anyway. Not
even Spike who was the only one that seemed not to judge her for it.
Why did he ever invite her to talk to him when no one could hear?
Making it all unofficial like that had really tricked her good. He had
really been judging her all along. Everyone connected to the mission
judged her. Why should she even give a rats' ass about any of this?
There were all these Slayers now. She wasn't needed. Faith could go
back to jail and be "the bad example" like she had been in school. So,
she had done a few good things. Angel, helping B with the saving of
this suck ass world, helping the hurt baby Slayer- Sam.

Sam! She had promised Sam that she would see her. That she would help
her learn how to be a "real" Slayer. Sam was waiting Xing off the days
in the calendar. Faith could NOT go back to jail. She could not be the
bad example. Faith grated the metal chains against a metal pole near a
closed gas station until she screamed. She sat with a thud breathless
from the grating and screaming.

"It's okay," she whispered, "You're still okay. No one has you. You're
still free."

She felt some hands firm on her shoulders and she pushed her elbows
back into their gut. Faith was waiting for the electricity of that
girl's again. It didn't matter how bad or scary it felt Faith would
have to fight. Faith mouth was covered as she was screaming and trying
to get up to run.

"Shhhh! There's some bint tailing you. I don't think she's up to any

Faith smiled. It was Spike. Then she frowned. It was Spike.

"No shit. Sherlock," Faith spat angrily and showed him the handcuffs.

"God, what happened?" Spike asked.

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," Faith sighed.

"So, she's another psycho Slayer? I guess you didn't get lucky enough
to be in a place where you could tell her it was okay to trash it," he

"The girl's no Slayer. She's come to get me for being the horrible
bitch you said I was. So, you thought I was just fucking lucky when I
calmed down Sam? The truth comes out. You don't think I'm a hero, you
were just trying to encourage me to do your dirty work. I wish that
other psycho Slayer had cut off more than your hands. I'd like to see
the latest technology reattach that back as good as new," Faith said.

"You are--- I never called you--- You know I should just leave you
like you left me!" he said.

"Go a head no one is stopping you!" she snarled.

"Yeah, well I'd love to see you last two seconds with this--
this...What is she? Why has she come to get you? Who would want you?"

"You're right no one wants me, except the US government for murder.
Remember?" Faith demanded.

"That wasn't murder. It was an accident. You thought he was a demon,"
Spike sighed.

"Try telling that to a judge. Besides, it was my fault," Faith laughed
as she felt her eyes stinging.

"It will all be all right, love. I won't let them take you," He said
this way too softly like he was talking to a girl that was flipping

"I can take care of myself," she grumbled, "I said I wanted you out of
my life, remember?"

"And look how bloody well you've done with out me," he said as he
rattled the chain on the handcuffs. Before she could start to yell
various obscenities he was holding the hand-cuffs with her writs in

"Now pull," he said and she pulled her sore writs apart again as he
pulled them too, and the chain snapped.

"Tomorrow we'll go to a garage and borrow some soddering tools, and
get those things off your writs. I don 't think they'll have any
problem believing we're a couple that got a bit out of hand with hand-
cuffs," he smirked.

"In your dreams. You're not even man enough to take a hand-job from
me, and you think you seem like the kind of guy I'd let top me," Faith

"Why are you fingernails charred?" he demanded before she could make
another snide comment about him seeming to be in this hand-cuff
situation before.

She held her fingers up to the closed gas station light to see that
they were blackened like Cajun fish. She laughed bitterly.

"Tell me, Brit. Is my hair sticking up too like one of the stooges? I
mean one of the three that would stick their finger in a light socket
or something, not Iggy's band. I guess the band works too. They were
sporting Mohawks once, right?" she asked.

He had this huge stupid grin on his face.

"Why the fuck are you looking at me like that?" she spat, "It's a
legit question. Is my hair sticking up or not?"

"In order: I just thought was a very interesting question filled with
knowledge I appreciated. But, as interesting as the question was I
don't know where on earth it would be considered legit at this moment.
And lastly, no your hair's not sticking up. It's a bit wind whipped
though," Spike told her.

"I'll tell you where on earth it's a legit question- in fucking Iowa
City, where that bounty hunter chick tried to electrocute me!"

"God, are you all right?"

"No, my finger nails are black and I feel like shit, but maybe it will
mysteriously cure my depression, because I' m too fucking pissed to be

"How in hell could that little thing with the big knockers electrocute
you, a Slayer?"

"She has powers, dumb ass. She's like Thor or Zeus. Which is the God
of lightning? "

"You were right it's Thor, or is he just thunder? It doesn't matter.
This is brilliant."

"Look, I know she's hot and she has powers but this is no time to be
getting turned on. She's a bitch that's trying to haul me back to

"I'm not turned on. I was saying 'brilliant ' because--- Do you think
I get a stiffer for every woman that walks by?"

"I dunno. I know you don't get one for me, but you didn't have to be
such a dick about it. Maybe this girl is your type. She's got the
whole morally superior thing going. She called me a psycho and said I
was no good. You seem to have a lot in common."

"I never said you were no good. I think you're -- Why do you twist
everything I say? And for you information I was saying 'brilliant'
because if all she has is electricity, she can't hurt me. So, I guess
you'll have to stay with me now," he smiled.

"I don't have to do anything! No one gets me to do something I don't
wanna do," Faith said.

"You're really that bloody daft, aren't you?" he yelled, "You'd fry
your own ass just to prove a point to me. Well, you're staying with me
whether you like it or not," he grumbled.

"Oh really?" Faith said, "Why? So, you can keep me in check for your
precious B who is never coming back to you? I'd love to have heard you
talk this way to her, but your mouth was too busy kissing her ass. I'm
the Second Slayer and I deserve a little respect."
"If someone told you the real tale of Buffy an' me, the unofficial
one, you'd know I don' t give respect to anyone who acts like a bloody
idiot and is trying to hurt themselves."
"I don't care about you and your stupid life stories anymore! You just
used them to get me to trust you, and if you try to get me to go with
you the only one that is going to be hurt---" as Faith was yelling
Spike was hurled across the parking lot. "is you."
"Hello, cherry," the girl was standing there in Spike's place smiling.

Faith's eyes widened in fear.

"Bloody hell!" Spike laughed in pain from across the parking lot, "My
heart's racing."

"You hurt him," Faith said her eyes narrowing with anger now, "Only I
can do that."

Faith ran to a pile of tires and threw one at the girl. She was
surprised when the girl got hit by the tire and fell.
"Well it's kind of my job to stop you from doing what only you think
you have a right to do to people, --Nothing personal," the girl said
as she got up.

"You're job is to stop me from hurting Spike?" Faith asked as she
hurled another tire at her.
The girl jumped out of the way.

"No, it's my job to stop you from hurting anyone. Whose Spike?" she
asked and zapped Faith with a painful jolt of electricity.
Faith fell back into the tires but her head hit pavement.

Spike smelled that the bitch was human, and he had ceased to care. He
ran up and wrapped his hands around the girl's neck. She threw him off
with that sodding electricity. It was a neat trick, and she had her
fighting skills down, but that was all she had, and Spike could take
her down eventually.

"You have powers too? What? Do hot freaks couple off? Why wasn't I
notified? Where do you go to meet each other?" she asked after she hit
Spike in the face.

"Try hell, bitch," he said and hit her with a tire.

"God, why does everything have to be so hard?" she grumbled as she hit
the pavement.

"It's not going to get any easier. Bet you never thought you'd be
beaten to death by a tire," Spike said.

"Oh I get it," the girl said as she jumped up quick, "She's the
homicidal maniac in the couple and you're the soft creative
misunderstood one that gets into a life of killing after the bitch led
you along."

"Try again," Spike said as he changed into vampire face.

"Crap! You're a vampire. I'm really not in the mood for a vampire.
Word on the street is none of you play fair. Except the one I know,
when he's in a good mood, which is next to never," the bitch said
smoothly, but Spike could smell her fear that wasn't there before.

"None of us play fair. The electricity isn't the only juice I'll take
out of you to find out who you're working for. A girl like you has too
much style for the government," Spike said.

"I suppose, since you're just as much as a psycho as she is that
telling you I'm taking her to people that want to help her be a good
guy again won't help," the girl said.

"No, a pack of sodding lies won't help you with this psycho," Spike
said as he ran after the girl with a tire as she was slowly backing

"Spike!" Faith called, "Where are you? Spike!"

"You're cherry is paging you. She sounds scared," the girl mock

Faith did sound scared. She had sounded fine enough at first, but the
last time she called out to him her voice lost that hardness and had
gotten shrill. He'd rather hear the gates of Hell for him open again.
This electric slut smiled because she knew that.

"If I see you again you're dead," Spike said to her.

"We'll see, baby," the girl said and she ran away.

"I'm here, love. Are you okay?" he asked as he pulled her up so she
was sitting on the gravel.

"Do I look okay?" she grumbled, "What happened to Mr. Electricity-can't-hurt-me?"

"It didn't hurt me; it just threw me," he said.

"Well, in that case it didn't hurt me either it was really gravity
that hurt me when it made me fall back to the ground," she said.

"No, it's different for you, I imagine. It fries up your insides, and
you need your insides. I don't. It made my heart beat though," he told
her as he pulled her up.

"I need my insides? I thought I was a cold heartless bitch," she said jerking her arm away from him.

"Look, I don't know where you're getting this from, but I'm too bloody
tired for it. Now let's go find a room before it's day light. We need
to get you into a cozy bed," he said lifting her up in his arms as she
was leaning on a car so she wouldn't fall.

"I'm so not cool with this. I thought my life story was in everything
I did. Then you must know I've felt much worse than this and I did
fine on my own," she grumbled.

Spike knew it was because she was too weak to fight him, and she
wasn't the type of girl to carry on screaming "Let me go!" a hundred
times when she knew it would do no good. She was sensible in that
respect. She had pride.

Spike smiled when he saw those big doe eyes open, even though it was
immediately followed by a scowl. Faith closed her eyes again and
stretched her hands over her head. Her bones popped and she frowned
like this was an unfamiliar sound. The custard yellow blanket was
twisted around her. It matched the curtains that were closing out Mr.
Sunshine who was very bright today. Faith rolled in towards Spike
where he sat on the other bed. She was still in her black halter top.
He couldn't imagine it being very comfortable to sleep in, but he
wouldn't have dared to help her take it off last night. Not that him
not taking it off would change his fate. She had told him that the
first thing she was going to do was kick his ass when she woke up. She
seemed to be only looking at him with mild distain now. She probably
was still feeling the beating of that little staticy bitch.

"Staring problem?" she asked.

"No, jus' taking stock of your wounds--how you feeling?" he asked with
a casual air.

"Like a hostage," she snorted as if it should have been obvious.

"Fair enough. Just featured you'd still be sore," he said as he slowly
approached her.

"I'm good. Better than when you dragged me in here, and apparently
still breathin' so, can't really complain."

"You were tossing about all night, you sleep okay?"

"Not really, pain kind'a an intrusion on the whole sleep concept.
What's with you and the twenty questions anyway?" she asked.

"Just askin'. Wouldn't want to start the real talk if you were still
all fried," he sighed.

Her feet hit the floor with a thud. She was in her underwear. She must
have taken her jeans off when he fell asleep. He shouldn't have fallen
asleep like that, but getting punched by a Slayer and fighting some
lightning bounty hunter was surprisingly tiring. Plus, there were
those eight rounds of shots he drank after Faith had left him on the
side of the road, they could have made him tired. She was bending over
in her skives now. Unfortunately she did not wear thongs, she hated
them. But, he still got a great afternoon show of her fine round ass,
complete with just the right amount of hips. She grabbed her jeans
that were splotched with mud and blood and jumped into them. They'd
have to wash those. He'd have to be the one to look for an all night
laundry mat. She would never think of doing it.

"I said 'I'm five by five.' All right? Where's all my stuff? My
money?" she demanded.

"No worries, pet. I got the bike and all," he said. Of course there
were worries, but he would deal with those. He' d have to get
information about lightning girl. He'd have to kill her. He knew she
was human, but the girl had picked a dangerous line of work.

"Where's my wallet?" Faith asked roughly. She was still very brassed-
off at him, of course.

"Couldn't find that I'm afraid. Think the Electric Bugalo Bitch got
it," he answered.

"God damn it!... That's a good name for her though," she scowled and
then almost smiled. The girl had a lot of almost-expressions that were
almost as fun to look at as her actual ones.

"I stuff," she muttered as she looked at the custard carpet
and picked up her boots.

"I already canceled all the cards," he told her.

"Why in the hell did you do that? I'm gonna get my wallet back from
her and kick her ass," she looked at him with that raw indigence

"Not bloody likely. She was already usin' them like they were burning
a whole in her pocket. She was smart too used them to get cash
advances so we couldn't track what stores she went to," he laughed.

"Like we don't already know she went to Spandex Ho' Hut," Faith sighed
as she flopped down on the bed.

"Didn't know they had one of those in corn country," Spike answered

"Oh yeah, they're totally a chain, and don't you dare ask how I know.
How in hell did you cancel MY cards anyway?"

"I said I was your man, and that you got mugged and you were too
banged up to come to the phone," Spike answered.

Of course, this made
her bolt up from the bed, but she didn't seem to be glaring at him.
She looked more inquisitive.

"And they fell for that bullshit? Damn, you could go around canceling
everyone's cards just to piss them off," she said. Her eyes got the
faraway look.

Spike loved her brain. Faith liked to think about her own
hypotheticals, which were mostly about what she may be able to do in
the world under the radar.

"Wasn't really bullshit though, was it? I had all the information, the
codes, the secret questions, Mother's maiden name. I knew it all," he

"You mean all the FAKE stuff that we made up to hide my past, that's
all you knew. I'm gonna jet." And there was the glare. She got up and
headed towards the door.

"You can't. Not after the fling you had last night," Spike said.
She froze and turned with folded arms. Her long chocolate mixed with
caramel hair fell to her breasts. It seemed to have a wave to it
today. It always seemed to get blown straight on the bike. Maybe that
bitch giving her a zap had curled it up some.

"What? What fling last night?" she demanded.

"Hello? Girl with a body to die for and you almost did--because it had
lightning shooting out of it," he rolled his eyes.

"She didn't fry my memory. That's why I'm jetting," she said and
turned to leave.

"She's gonna come at you again. You need my help," Spike said.

"I don't need your help. Help obviously only gets in my way. I'm not---
like other people you know."

"You got that last part right. You hold some kind of world record for
being so bloody oblivious. You do so need my help."

A month ago he would not have been so sure. She was quite a force to
be reckoned with. Buffy was wrong to think she would not last long out
of prison. She took down every vampire that came along in the towns
they stopped in. She was so sure of herself that sometimes she even
brought one of the new little Slayer girls along to show them how it
was done. Faith took on things that Spike would rather not--parents of
the new Slayers. He never knew what to say to them. A lot of them were
just Moms as Dad had taken off for greener pastures. That always made
him mad and he would end up doing something stupid like asking where
the bastard was or saying something bad about him for not being there.
Faith made him stop doing that.

Most of them were people with white pickid fences and kids. Sure, they
all varied in some way, this was America. The families were all
different colors and had their different ways about them. Of course,
some of the white fences were way more chipped and broken than others.
They met one family with a house made out of recycled cans. But,
everyone was trying to live out their version of the dream. Faith had
just wanted to come in and barrel ass over everything. She would tell
the parents what was what, and she didn't care that people like this
were not ready. Faith said they had to face the truth sometime and it
was better for the Slayer daughter if they did it right away. Spike
completely agreed. But, Faith didn't seem to care that Slayers would
always stand apart from their families no matter what. She was trying
to jam a square peg into a round hole, and sometimes she seemed to
manage to get it. Some families seemed like they would come around--
someday. But, this work of dealing with hysterical parents seemed to
take its toll on Faith's fighting spirit, and she began to listen to
Spike about keeping things under raps and only telling the truth to
the Slayer. Spike was almost sad that she listened to him, and began
to do it the way it had always been done.

Then, she surprised him again, by doing something that he was sure no
bloody Watcher ever did. She rescued a little Slayer from herself.
Spike thought for sure that little Sammy would be another one for the
Slayer-Looney-Bin. But, Faith had turned it all around in the space of
one night. It was the most amazing rescue he had ever taken part in,
and he had saved the whole bloody world. Faith talked to that little
girl like they had their own language. He had felt so horrible when
they had to part. If only Spike could tell Faith that he could go out
on his own and get the rest of the little Slayers himself Faith could
stay with little Sammy. But, he couldn't do that. Spike needed Faith,
and it wasn't really because he was scared to talk to mostly Mom's of
Slayers. There was some kind of loneliness that had been lifted from
him. He hadn't felt this complete since he had been with Buffy, or no,
since before that.

Spike felt complete even when his heart was breaking when Faith cried
and got sick over leaving Sammy. How could he not? Faith had laughed
after she had gotten sick, like it at all been a surprise to her that
she had feelings. Faith did have so many feelings and questions. Most
of them she wished she didn't have. Spike couldn't understand more.
She had looked so hurt when he told her about the first crazy Slayer,
and she was right to be. Buffy should have called her in and trusted
Faith to do a better job than Andrew. It indeed was infuriating that
Buffy was a phenomenal woman, who only let people she saw as harmless
close to her. Spike wanted to tell all of this to Faith, but he knew
she wouldn't want to hear all of his opinions on Buffy, any more than
he would want to hear hers on Angel. So, he told Faith to talk to him,
and just ask what she liked. He knew it would be easier for her if she
did it on the bike. Most people had shouted to him on the bike, even
when he told them he could hear them. Faith didn't. It was because she
always knew when a fact was a fact, and because she was not sure she
wanted to be heard.

The minute she started talking Spike knew he had been given a great
gift. One that he had never been given by any woman he ever loved.
Buffy and Drusilla never talked about their troubles directly. Dru
literally talked in rhymes and Buffy may as well have about all the
reasons why he could only get so close to them. Faith told him things
she didn't say by asking him to read in between the lines. He thought
he was a bloody genius in figuring all this and then having enough
sense not to bollix it up. He treaded ever so lightly around the
things she said under the roaring engine, and he was rewarded with
many wide smiles.

More importantly, Faith kept talking. Her raspy yet young voice was so
much more powerful than the engine, even though she made sure to keep
it under the it. Spike discovered he was no genius. This girl was more
complex than he ever realized. Of course she was powerful and a street-
smart mastermind, but she was also terribly nave. She thought women
were more powerful than they were, that it was they who were
responsible for their own powerlessness. He knew that a girl getting
her monthlies wasn't what made a vampire want to feed on her, a
vampire wanted to feed because he was a vampire. Spike was sure it was
the same with rapists. Faith thought that mothers could protect their
daughters from predators, and daughters should be able to protect
mothers from death. Spike could tell her a million tales proving
otherwise, but he chose not to. Let her keep one last piece of

Yep, Spike was a regular brain, or so he thought until yesterday.
Something went wrong. Faith had said something that really brassed him
off. So, he told her how stupid she was being, and now she was a in a
state to go off without him and get fried by Electric-Chair Girl. What
had made him so angry?

"I don't need your fucking help!" she yelled. Now she was the angry

"You think because you tricked me into talking to you about some lame
stuff that means I can't take care of myself?" she demanded.

"Tricked you? I bloody tricked you? That wasn't what you said last
night. In fact, you wanted to take it out in trade. Pay back. I'm not
quite sure what conversion table you were using as all that going on
about this and that equals one wankering--"

"I'll show you pay back!" she roared, and went to hit him. This time
he ducked.

Well, now he remembered why he was so bloody angry. Faith wanted to
give him a sodding hand-job! Right, well he wasn't angry because she
wanted to give him a hand job. It was like she wanted to get rid of
him. It was nothing more than an exchange of goods and services to
her. Had she been friends with Anya? No, it wasn't Anya he had been
reminded of by her suggestion. He didn't want to be involved in a
mutual using again, at least not with her. He had worked so hard to
earn her trust only to be told he never really had it, and that he was
just worth an unofficial tug in the dark.

"Tell me again how you don't need my sodding help!" he said. He had
gotten on top of her and pinned her to the ground. Of course, he had
taken a few hits in the face, but this would usually be a lot harder
to do, if he could do it at all.

"This is pitiful. You're still hurt. You need to stay with me or the
Electric Boogulu Bitch will fry you up and serve you to whoever it is
that wants you so bad," he said as she struggled under him.

"If I'm so fucking pitiful why did you agree to work with me? As if I
didn't know why!"

Spike didn't answer. He knew she was going to say it was because he
had wanted to shag her. Well, he did, but it wasn't the way she
thought it was. He just kept to holding her down, which was an arduous

"Billy thinks he's the great hero now and he's going to help the poor
little poor girl just like all the other good guys." Faith said.

"What?" he said, as she glared at him, "Seriously, I have no bloody
idea what you just said. Who's this bloke Billy now?"

"You just feel sorry for me. I think you're just doing all this as a
big favor to B," she looked away from him as he sat on top of her now.

"Okay, listen," he rolled his eyes, "I'm going to start saying a lot
of things, and I want you to promise that you won't try to leave, or
say anything , until I'm done...Oh, and don't bloody hit me either,
especially in the face. I'm right sick of that."

"Window!" she shouted and flipped him over and put a blanket on him.

This girl was always surprising him.

"What the hell are we playing at now?" he grumbled, "Look, it seems we
always play your games. Well, I--"

"Hi Sweeties!" another girl voice chirped, "Miss me?"

"Oh bloody hell!" Spike pushed his way out of the blanket to be met
with the sensation of burning.

"Ow! Ow! OW!" he spat.

"Spike!" Faith snapped at him and pulled the blanket on top of him.

"Did the bitch climb through the window?" he asked.

"What do you think?" Faith snapped.

"Now. Now. No name calling, you hardly know me," the girl said.

"Should have locked the bloody window, sorry love," he said.

"I'm not your god damned responsibility!" Faith yelled.

"Bloody hell! What is it with you? The nicer someone is to you the
meaner you are to them. I should just let the bitch take you," Spike

"And I should have let you burn. No one is taking me anywhere." Faith

"I beg to differ. Thank God you two are so loud with all the Sid and
Nancy fighting or I never would have found--- "

Spike gave out a yell and jumped the girl landing on top of her while
he sizzled with Mr. Sunshine and rapped his hands around the girls
neck. Fire and lightning. It almost felt as bad as when his soul
started burning.

"Geez, Brit do you have to be so dramatic about everything? Stop
chocking her. We can work this out for Christ-sake." Faith grumbled.

She threw the blanket over him and the electric girl.

"How in the hell are we going to do that?" Spike demanded from under
the blanket as he let go of the girl. Spike felt himself being thrown
off the girl with a charge. He hit the night stand and it fell to
pieces with the lamp.

"She doesn't seem very reasonable," Spike said as he laid flat out on
his ass now.

Faith threw the blanket over him like she was a matador, but he didn't
need it. He was in the shadow of the two beds.

"With money of course," Faith said calmly, "That's all this chick
talks about."

"Sorry, I don't make deals with homicidal maniacs especially after
they try to strangle me," the girl was coughing.

"Well, what do you expect? You tried to kill my---Faith," Spike
snapped at her.

"I tried to kill your faith? Oh, you're one of those people. I had
nothin' to do with that Jasmine thing. I was just there in the
beginning. You want to complain to someone go to the head of Wolfram
and Hart," the girl said.

"What?" Spike demanded.

"You know Angel?" Faith demanded.

"Yes, I know Angel, and while he may be a bit of a tease I'm really
not going to make any deals with psychos who try to kill him. I don't
care how much money you have," the girl said.

"What?" Spike demanded again.

"I haven't tried to kill Angel in years. How is he? Did he get the
snow globe I sent from Circus Circus?" Faith asked.

"That's who you bought that ridiculous thing for?" Spike grumbled.

"Doyle said you would pull this. That you would claim that you were
good and all, but he never said anything about Angel and a snow globe.
Nice touch," the girl said with her hands on her spandex hips.

"What the hell are you talking about? Whose Doyle? I am all good, well
not all good, but pretty much. Better than you. I don't go stealing
people's wallets!" Faith said.

"Listen--" Spike began.

"I'd say stealing the wallet of some skank and her soulless greasy
boyfriend who are doing some 'Natural Born Killer' cross country thing
counts as a good deed," the girl said.

"I don't know who you think you're messing with you slut-bag version
of Storm, but you got the wrong skank, " Faith said as she stood with
her hands on her hips.

"Look--" Spike tried again.

"No, I'm pretty sure I have the right skank. Tough talking, probably
really good at scaring the poor normals, but when the shit hits the
fan she splatters with it," the girl stared down at Faith.

"What the fuck is that supposed to mean?" Faith demanded.

"Hey---" Spike yelled.

"It means that I kicked you're ass, and the ass of your slime-ball
vampire man!" The girl said.

"You didn't even come close to kicking my ass, and you just leave
Spike out of this. Don't think I'll forget how you tried to kill him
with daylight," Faith said.

Well, this wasn't going to end anytime soon. They were both having too
much fun. Spike rolled his eyes and picked up the hotel phone and
started dialing. He got Harmony and before he could argue she put him
on hold. God! Who picked this sodding music? Probably Angel.
"Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head" was going to be in his sodding
head all day now. Maybe Angel hoped some of his more evil clients
would be waiting on the phone and hear the bloody music and then kill

"Like you would be wearing sack cloth and ashes for him if he died. I
heard you arguing and if I hadn't come in you'd have just killed each
other. People like you are just like vamps you only care about you,
and that's why I'm taking you back to Doyle. He says he can make you
into something worthwhile, but Ill believe it when I see it. Which
will be never. I'm just going to take my money and get gone," Spike
could hear the girl saying as he waited on the phone.

"Lemme tell you if I were to wear the sack cloth and ashes it would be
better than whatever it is you have on! I really hope you were
planning on buying a better wardrobe with all the dough you thought
you were getting for giving me over to some asshole with a simple
rouse that any idiot could see through! Only a moron or a sell-out
would take some guys story that some chick needed to be taken down at
face value," Faith said.

"Hey!" Spike yelped in offense.

"You didn't seem to have any complaints about my clothing last night,"
the girl said to Faith.

"Maybe I just wanted you naked any way I could because the outfit was
so bad!" Faith said.

"What?" Spike raised his eyebrow, of course this was when Angel
decided to come to the phone.

Spike began to tell the story, that it looked like someone had gotten
played by Lindsay again, and it was one of Angel's friends. Spike
began to demand why Lindsay would want Faith. Angel insisted that
before they go any further that he describe this girl. Easy enough.
By the time Spike was done talking to Angel the two girls were sitting
across from each other on the beds. He thought for sure there was
going to be more fighting. Instead the girl was saying:

"So, he said 'no' to a hand-job, huh? That's shady. What guy would
turn a girl down for a hand job unless she was me and he was afraid
he'd get a nuked wiener."

"Gwen," Spike said with a hint of surprise. What were they doing?

"He didn't just turn me down, he said I was psycho and stuff. I was
just trying to be nice. But, yeah that must really suck to be you.
What do you do about that?" Faith asked.

Oh, they had done that thing that women do. They were friends as well
as enemies because they understood each other. They would love and
hate each other for it.

"Well, I have a regulator now that allows me to turn off my juice, but
it doesn't always work, and even if it did...It's hard to find guys
who understand the whole living between the lines of the law Super-
Power thing. I think I need to find another freak, which is hard,"
Gwen said.

Spike was glad he wasn't a woman. He wouldn't know what to do with
friend-enemies. Hating Angel and taking his money was hard enough.

"Um, Gwen," Spike said even softer now.

"Finding a freak hard!" Faith laughed, "That's all there are is

"I mean a good one," she said.

"Well, now you're asking way too much," Faith laughed again.

"Faith! Gwen! Gwen bloody Raiden!" Spike yelled.

Now he was brassed off. So, no men were good. They had decided this
here and now and he didn't get a vote.

"What do you want, Spike?" Faith grumbled.

"Oh nothing. I got Angel on the phone and he wants Gwen to call him to
save your ass is all," Spike grumbled.

"Why did you call Angel?" Faith asked.

"To prove that you weren't an evil killer so Gwen wouldn't drag you
away to Lindsay who probably has some diabolical plot to make you evil
or turn you into a cyborg or some such," Spike scoffed. Wasn't he at
least a decent man saving them from the evil butch and all?

"I thought you said he was a good listener," Gwen said to Faith.

"That's only when you're talking right to him. He doesn't do well in
groups," Faith said, "We already figured all that out while you were
on the phone, dumb-ass. Did you ask Angel if he got his snow globe?"

"No, I did not ask Angel if he got a bloody snow globe!" Spike

He had just saved her from God knows what and all she cared about was
if the big poof got his presents!

"Wait," Gwen said suddenly and moved towards Faith. Spike got up and
stood between them.

"Don't touch her, or being friends with Angel will become just another
reason to kill you!" he said.

"God Damn it! You are such a pain in the ass," Faith said and pushed
him out of the way. He was the pain in the ass?

"I get it. He's jealous, over-protective. He's all sweet on you," Gwen
said to Faith. This Gwen was the pain in the ass.

"No, he loves B. B and Angel had a thing that's why he's jealous. Guys
who like you don' t say no to a hand-job and call you a psycho bitch,"
Faith shrugged.

"They do if they wanted it to be all romantic, and then it doesn't go
their way, and they are at the emotional age of twelve," Gwen said.
Why couldn't the two of them have just kept on fighting?

"I never bloody said that you were a psycho! And why are you talking
to her? She obviously isn't that bright getting played by that Lindsay
Wanker. He told her you were the big bad, and he was the big good, and
she never bothered to check it out. She doesn't know bollocks about
real men, or their bloody emotional age. Probably fell for that whole
baby faced butch thing Lindsay has going on," Spike grumbled.

"Aw, is that what happened to you when you fell for him?" Faith asked.

"I never--he---you don't--- Shut-up!" Spike stammered.

"Yep, I think I nailed it at twelve, they aren't secure with their
sexuality yet. Lucky for you, he ' s a bit older and hotter looking
than your average sixth grader," Gwen smirked.

"I'm tellin' ya ,G. He's not into me. I fucked it up like everything
else, and after this we'll totally part ways. It's cool. There are
plenty of men in the rest of the country that I have to tour through.
It's true none of them can hear you on a motorcycle, but I think I've
learned it's better I don't talk to the dumber sex. I'll stick to what
I'm best at with them," Faith said.

"Let me get this straight. I'm part of the dumber sex and you think
I'm going to let you go off on your own? It's obvious Lindsay wants
you and he's obviously working for something higher than himself. He
tried to send Static Cling Slut after you, so he'll send more. You'll
need my help," Spike said.

"I do not want or need your help, even when I get my ass kicked and
you force it on me I'm able to work stuff out myself," Faith yelled.

He smiled. He loved his naive girl, and she was his. Angel might be
able to wipe records clean and sit at his desk and get snow globes,
but who else could help her where she belonged- on the road?

"Right," Spike laughed, "You would have been toasted and buttered and
cut up into bloody pieces by now if not for me! Lindsay would have you
back to your ol' self."

"You mother fucker! You want to see my old self!" she roared.

He smiled and waited for the fists of his girl. He might not ever be
able to call her his girl, but she would always stay with him, if only
to settle a never-ending fight in her head.

"Kids, kids, kids," Gwen shouted, "Okay, so we all seem to be in
junior high here. So, I' m gonna do this like junior high. Sweet and
simple with a million complications that you won't think of until
later in study hall. "

"Spike, do you like Faith?" Gwen asked. Electric Girl was trying to
give things a spark.

"Of course I like her! Why do you think I'm--"

"No! I mean do you like like her? Do you want to go steady?" Gwen

But, they already had the spark. They just couldn't fire it up, or
Faith would get scared. Like she was last night after Gwen zapped her.
He knew he couldn't live like that forever, but....

"Slayers don't seem to go steady very well, not officially," he said

"That wasn't my question. How do you feel about her?" Gwen asked.

"I love her, but---" Spike began.

"Oh, c'mon! You are so full of it. Yeah, you love me in the way you
love the world you saved. You kind of feel sorry for it, but you gotta
love it. I don't need that crap!" Faith grumbled.

"You see what I'm dealing with. Look what happens when I lay it out,
but I'm very bad at holding it back so it comes out a bit wonky,"
Spike sighed to Gwen, "Don't let her leave I don't know what I'd do
without her. "

"Faith, Spike doesn't want you to leave. He doesn't know what he'd do
without you," Gwen repeated.

"Tell him he'd just do the same thing he does with me. Roam around and
drink and save people from vamps and freaks. I don't need this drama,"
Faith said.

"Sure you do. You're just chicken shit about it," Gwen said.

"What did you say?" Faith snapped.

"You heard me. You've been such a freak your whole life you can't
imagine anything working out with another person, even if it's another
freak," Gwen said.

"Well, it takes one to know one," Faith said.

"It sure does, and you don't want to be me. I do it so much better,
but I gotta say you would fill out my outfit nicely, right Spike?"
Gwen asked.

"Faith, don't go," Spike said a bit too pleadingly. He was so afraid
that would scare her off. If it did he would want to blame Electric
Bitch, but he knew that one day everything would get sparked and burn
anyway. Electric Doxy was just hurrying it along.

"Maybe I could stay. We could have fun. See how well I fill out her
outfit when she takes it off. I could get everyone I set out to get
last night, and it would just be a good time, that was all I wanted. I
don't want to change your life or anything, Brit boy, " Faith said.

"You already have. I don't want to be with anybody else, and I don't
want some wank off while I've got the hammer down on the highway so we
can pretend it never happened...Well, not the pretending it didn't
happen part anyway, and not for the first time," he said stepping
towards her.

"What-what do you want for the first time?" Faith asked wide eyed, but
then her eyes quickly narrowed again, "Because, I don't do the whole
romantic fire place or the whole beach thing."

"Me neither. That's all too dangerous with the sun and the fire. I
think I just want it to be official. So, I'd have to leave speeding
bikes and second girls out of it, as much as I normally fancy them,
they can make a mess of things," he said.

"We don't need a twenty car or a three person pile-up on top of
everything else," Faith said.

"See, was that so hard?" Gwen demanded. "Well, as nice as it was being
apart of and not being apart of your thing-- almost, this third person
is leaving. I have Texan ass to kick and things to fence."

She slipped out the door with a wink.

"I can't bloody believe it," Spike laughed.

"I know, you past up a threesome. You want to call her back?" Faith

"No, not that. She stole my wallet," Spike said.

"That bitch," Faith said and went to run after her. Spike grabbed a
hold of her arms.

"No, I let her have it. Small price to pay to get you to stay," Spike

"I wanted to stay on my own.No one gets me to do something I don't wanna do," she said softly and
looked down.

"I know," he said and lifted her chin up and she kissed him.

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