Title: Nowhere Fast
Summary: Faith is out of control and Wes takes it upon himself to bring her back. Set in Season 3 of Angel between "Sleep Tight" and "The Price"
Disclaimer: Not mine, never mine. They belong to Joss and Mutant Enemy and bunches of other people that aren't me. The song lyrics here belong to Incubus. Thanks for the inspiration guys!
A/N: Thanks to Rachel for her beta work on this and helping me figure out a season 3 Wes. I really had no clue how to write him and she spent probably hours analyzing him with me and helping me figure him out. This story wouldn't be what it is (whatever that is) without her.
This was written for ludditerobot in the Wes/Faith ficathon. Requests/Requirements at the end.
Will I ever get to where I'm going?
Will I ever follow through with what I had planned
I guess it's possible that I have been a bit distracted
And the directions for me are a lot less in demand
Nowhere Fast by Incubus
She crouched behind the stand of bushes. The guards sounded like a herd of horses as they traipsed over the dry ground. Their words seemed to echo in the desert night.
"Jose swears he heard something out here."
"Yeah but it ain't Jose that's out here lookin' for the wetbacks, now is it. Hell no, he's in his nice comfy guard house watchin the rest of the Rangers game, sends out the grunts to do the dirty work."
They fell quiet and a flash light beam played over the stand of trees. She held her breath. It would only take one tiny movement to alert the border patrol of her hiding spot.
"Oh hell Bob, there ain't no one out here. Let's get back to the game."
Apparently Bob decided that was a good idea because the pair of men turned. She listened as their footsteps grew more and more distant. Faith let out her breath in one long whoosh. She was lucky the officers hadn't gone further down the river bank. She'd left the bodies of two Fyral demons crumpled there. The Fyral's were bounty hunters and she had been the bounty. She'd also been a little more then they bargained for.
Faith slipped out of the bushes and down the river bank, sliding on her butt into the dark water. It wasn't deep here, only reaching her waist. She waded across and scrambled up the other bank. She let out a sigh of relief as she crept across the border into Mexico without mishap.
She paid for a room in a fair sized villa with some money she'd taken off a biker in San Diego. The nice thing about Mexico was how far American money went. A little more of the biker's money went to some fresh clothes, toiletries and food. After a long bath, dinner and a couple of slugs of Mexican tequila, Faith felt like a new woman, a new woman who wanted to celebrate her new found freedom with lots of tequila and maybe a handsome Mexican or two.
She slipped on a pair of tight jeans, leather pants had proved almost impossible to get in Tijuana. She added a skimpy black tank and gathered her dark, wavy hair on top of her head.
"Hmm. You know what I wish? I wish you'd pull your hair back. I know, I know, fashion's not exactly my thing, but gosh darn it, you've got such a nice face. I can't understand why you hide it."
The mayor's words came reeling back to her so fast and so clear it made her dizzy. She white knuckled the edge of the cheap dresser and closed her eyes until the room quit spinning. She swallowed the thick knot that she refused to call tears in her throat. She knew Richard Wilkins had been evil but for a little while she hadn't felt second best. She hadn't felt like she didn't quite measure up to everything she was supposed to be. For a little while, Faith had felt loved.
Faith opened her eyes and shook her hair out. It fell in dark waves around her shoulders and down her back. She raked her fingers through it and pushed away from the dresser. She locked the door behind her and deposited the key in her pocket.
It didn't take long to find a bar. It took even less time to find a handsome Mexican to share her tequila.
She was surprised when he walked into the bar three days later. She hadn't thought he'd care enough to come looking for her. That immediately made her question why he'd come, to take her back to the stuffy suits no doubt. She almost snorted out her tequila in distain. It would have been a waste of good tequila.
He sat down beside her and she glanced over. He'd changed drastically since she last saw him. He had several days' growth of stubble. The glasses were gone and instead of carefully pressed slacks he wore a pair of faded jeans that look like they'd seen better days. The suit jacket and tie she'd become so accustomed to had been replaced by a dark gray rumpled tee shirt, definitely not terribly clean.
He snatched the bottle of tequila from her and gulped several long, sloppy draughts of the golden liquid. He slammed the bottle on the bar and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
Faith had never been one for waiting. "Lookie lookie at the big bad watcher man, you look good Wes."
"So do you, Faith. Being a fugitive agrees with you," he commented.
She arched an eyebrow and poured tequila in her shot glass. She tossed the shot back, sans salt and lime. "Fugitive, that's kind of a strong word isn't it?"
"That's what you call someone who breaks out of prison and crosses the border," Wes said.
She shrugged. "You always were book guy, I'll take your word for it. You found me awful quickly," she said.
"You made it rather easy. I followed the trail of demon corpses and broken men," Wes said.
"Yeah well, what's a girl to do when she's got a string of professional hit men after her," Faith said.
"Not to mention the authorities," Wes reminded her.
"Funny thing, never did see many police after me," she said taking another shot.
Wes paused. He took another long drink of tequila and let what Faith had said turn over in his mind. Now that she mentioned it, he had noticed a lack of news broadcasts about the prison break. He wouldn't have even known the dark haired slayer had escaped if it hadn't been for Lilah and her connections at Wolfram and Hart.
"The old English guys send you all by yourself?" Faith asked.
"No one sent me, Faith. Wolfram and Hart informed me of your escape. I came to talk to you," Wes said.
"Talk? You always were about talking things out Wes. I'm not going back and I don't want to hurt you again but I will if you make me," Faith said.
"I guess words like redemption were just that, words," Wes said.
The next thing he knew she'd slammed his face down into the bar, breaking his nose. She leaned low over him and hissed in his ear. "You don't know a damn thing about redemption so don't go trying to psych 101 me."
She released him just as quickly as she'd grabbed him. Wes sat up and swiped his wrist over his nose, wincing just slightly. His forearm smeared with blood and the bar back slid a dirty, greasy towel down the bar. Wes caught it and held it to his nose. They were both silent as he waited for his nose to stop bleeding.
"Actually, I've learned quite a few things about redemption since I last saw you," Wes said.
"What enlightened you? Did you buy the wrong coffee at Starbucks? Queen C musta had you running fetch and carry for weeks," Faith said sarcastically.
"All the way to a hell dimension," Wes almost whispered to himself.
Faith arched an eyebrow at him in askance and then shrugged. She poured another shot of tequila and watched out of the corner of her eye as Wes dabbed at his nose with the towel.
"Perhaps we could go somewhere more sanitary for me to bleed?" Wes suggested.
Faith cocked her chin at him and looked him up and down. She stood up and tossed a couple of bills on the bar. She grabbed the bottle of tequila and threaded her way through the bar, not looking behind to see if Wes was following. Faith walked through the bar without any doubt that every man was following her, either physically or with their eyes.
It was a short walk to the small villa Faith had rented. They were both silent. Faith stayed on edge, on guard, still unsure exactly why Wes had trekked over several hundred miles and across one border to find her.
Once in the small house, Wes took the liberty of settling in the living room. Faith tossed him a clean, wet washcloth and then sat across from him on the edge of a chair.
"Exactly what are you here for, Wes?" She finally asked.
"I'll tell you but I'd rather like it if you didn't break anything else," he said.
Faith shrugged and sat back slightly in the chair. She templed her fingers and waited for Wes to talk.
Wes sighed and removed the wet cloth from his nose. "As I told you in the bar, I came because of redemption, yours and mine."
"Alright, I'll bite. What have you done that needs so much redemption?" Faith asked.
A painful look flitted across Wes' eyes for just a moment until he closed the gate on it and made his eyes as blank as the rest of his face. "Lilah told me about your prison break almost three weeks ago, hours after you'd escaped. I wasn't going to come, after all I'm not your watcher anymore, not that I was ever much of one." He pauses and holds the wet cloth to his nose, giving himself time to form his words.
"So what happened? What caused the big revelation that made you decide I needed rescuing? News flash Wes, I'm not a damsel in distress. I never was," she said.
Wes grabbed the tequila bottle from the coffee table. He slugged down a mouthful of it before speaking again. "What happened? I got a prophecy wrong," he started.
Faith snorted with laughter and bitterness. "You know, Watcherman, that may be big business in the stuffed suits council but here...go back to LA, Wes, or wherever you're staying now."
Wes glared at her and for a moment raw anger crept into his eyes. "I got a prophecy wrong and sent Angel's son to a Hell dimension."
Faith's eyebrows jumped in surprise. That was a bit darker then she expected. She knew Angel had a son. He'd told her about him during one of his visits, in fact it had been on his last visit. She had just assumed fatherhood had taken all his time and he'd forgotten about her.
"I'm guessing Angel didn't take that well," Faith said.
Wes grimaced. "No, and who could blame him."
"So that's why you're here? You think by 'saving' me and taking me back to prison you'll somehow save yourself?" Faith asked.
Wes shrugged. She'd pretty much gotten it in one. He took another swig of tequila and chuckled dryly to himself. There was so much he needed redemption for but he wouldn't find his behind bars or even in his friends, or rather the people he used to call his friends. He leaned his head back and closed his eyes.
"I'm guessing Angel gave you the ear to ear on your throat there," Faith said.
Wes' fingers went to his throat. He traced the scar that he knew was still angry and red. He shook his head, not ready to go into everything that had happened.
"So if you're not going to take me in, I'm going to grab some sleep. The couch is comfortable," Faith said. It was her way of offering the former watcher an invitation.
The sun was just beginning to set and a shaft of it niggled its way through the drawn drapes. Faith pulled her pillow over her head in irritation. There was also an annoying rapping sound. It took a moment for her to realize the sound was someone knocking on the door. She spilled out of bed, dragging the sheet with her and half pulling it around her. She glanced through the peep hole, she'd become a lot more cautious these days, and opened the door to a slight Mexican man holding a cowboy hat in his hand.
"Mizz Faith," he said in a heavy Mexican accent.
"Yeah, Pablo what's up?" Faith asked.
"You told me to come tell you if anybody came into town asking for you," Pablo said.
"Some men came today, quarto men, they had your picture," Pablo said.
"Shit," Faith cursed. "Thank you, Pablo. I'm gonna leave some money on the table for the villa owner. Make sure she gets it. There'll be some extra for you too."
"Gracias Mizz Faith," he bowed and then scampered away.
Faith tossed Wes' shoes at his sleeping form. He grunted and woke up.
"Move that skinny ass, Watcherman. We're gonna have company in a few minutes," she said.
To his credit, Wes didn't ask. He put his shoes on and he was moving by the time Faith got her things together. She glanced at him warily a moment before handing him a small hand axe. She sheathed a wicked looking dagger in the waistband of her pants.
They crept through the alley almost silently. Faith jerked her head toward the street and Wes nodded. He could hear them too. They're asking about her, probably showing her picture and they have a decidedly English accent. There was the sound of the door being slammed shut and then Faith grabbed him by the back of the neck. She pulled him into her body, angling his body toward the mouth of the alley. Her lips hungrily devoured his, nipping and licking at his mouth, begging and pleading for more. He pressed her harder up against the wall, one palm flat against the warm adobe of the building, the other hand digging fingers into her hipbone. Faith tasted so different from Lilah. She was all fire and warmth and need. Lilah was ice and desire and want. Lilah wanted him, but she didn't need him.
Faith pushed him away abruptly. She dusted off her hands. "I think they're gone now. Let's hit the road before we run into them again," she said.
Wes blinked at her and then cleared his throat. He shook his head. He had been a cover for her, of course he'd been a cover. The only need she'd had for him was to save her own ass. He chuckled dryly to himself. A woman like Faith didn't need a man like him. A woman like Faith didn't need a man.
They found an old pickup in the next alley. There was a bobble Virgin Mary on the dash. Wes found it sacrilegious somehow. Faith found it funny. They got out of Tijuana without mishap. Faith drove and somehow Wes expected her to.
Wes paid cash for the room in Santa Rosalia. He left a fake name and tipped the desk clerk well to forget he had a brunette with him. If the men in Mexico were who he thought they were, they weren't going to give up easily. He waited until they were both comfortable in their shared room to confront Faith.
"Perhaps there's something you'd like to explain to me," Wes said.
Faith shrugged. "What's there to explain? I told you I had professional hit men following me," she said.
Wes crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against the door jamb. "Indeed. I didn't expect English hit men."
"Last time they sent Fyral demons," she said.
"They?" Wes asked.
"Yeah, the English dudes," she said.
Wes sighed and scrubbed his hands over his face. Faith was going to make him work for every answer he got.
"Who are they?"
"What the hell are you asking me for? You used to be big buds with them," Faith snapped.
Wes cocked an eyebrow at her. "The Watcher's Council?"
"Yeah, you think I just fled the coop for no good reason? Man, I was clocking good behavior time and everything. I mighta even been up for parole in five or six years," Faith said.
Wes walked over to the bed and sat down. He leaned up against the headboard and vainly wished for some of the tequila they'd had last night or even better the eighty year old bottle of Jameson tucked in his snug bar at home. He started to ask why the Watcher's Council wanted her dead, and then it dawned on him.
"They want you dead so that a new slayer will be called," he said almost in awe.
Faith tapped the end of her nose. "Right in one. I'm guessing B is rockin the boat up in old Sunny D again. They figure they can't control her so they'll get an active slayer, meaning not locked up in the Big House, that they can control," she said.
Wes shook his head. "No, I know they are corrupt and have fallen far but surely they haven't fallen that far."
"Hey you heard 'em in Tijuana. I'd say it's safe to say they've fallen," Faith said.
Wes stood up and walked to the window. He moved aside the drapery and glanced out into the daylight. "Oh how the mighty have fallen," he whispered.
They moved from Santa Rosalia to La Paz to Cabo San Lucas. Somehow along the way they ended up having sex. Faith couldn't remember how it happened, or even what night. Sex was a hobby to her, something you did when you were bored or horny. She didn't remember being either that night, just incredibly needy. She growled to herself and pushed that thought out of her head. She wasn't needy. She didn't get needy. If you were needy you ended up being trampled over. People used you. No one abused Faith, not anymore. She was strong, slayer strong.
"Slayer strong," she whispered to herself. It was a mantra she'd repeated to herself every night in bed since the night she found out what a slayer was.
Wes rolled over at the sound of her voice. He gave her a half smirk and reached out to run his fingers over her bare shoulder. She glistened with perspiration. He couldn't explain why he'd ended up in bed with Faith. Of course she was beautiful. The only answer he had for himself was that he liked the way he felt about himself when he was with Faith. He felt needed, useful and maybe a little forgiven. Oh Faith went out of her way to make sure she made biting remarks about not needing him. She was always just letting him tag along, keeping him around while it was fun.
Faith sat up in bed not bothering to draw the sheet around her body. She raked her fingers through her hair. She cut her eyes toward Wes, letting her gaze linger on him. She'd never had guessed that body had lain under all the starch and tweed. Sometimes she wanted to linger in bed with him. She wanted to run her fingers along his chest and neck. She wanted to brush her lips over his mouth and linger at his jawbone. She wanted watch him sleep. Those were the times that she forced herself to get out of the bed and to get dressed. Sometimes those desires even had her contemplating leaving him behind. She always dismissed that idea quickly. She said it had nothing to do with the way that she felt around him. She told herself that it was merely coincidence that Wes felt like a calm center to her, the eye of the storm. She hadn't felt that way in a long time, maybe ever. In Wes' arms she felt a little bit forgiven. She told herself the only reason she kept Wes around was A) the sex was damn good and B) keep your friends close and your enemies closer. It was a tactic that had worked well in prison. It was bound to work well in the real world.
Faith shoved herself out of bed and tugged on the jeans and lacy black bra Wes had left pooled on the floor the night before. She glanced around the room for her shirt.
"What's on the agenda today?" Wes asked.
Faith shrugged. "I thought we might take in another day at the beach and then head off to somewhere else," she said.
"You're going to have to stop running eventually, Faith" Wes said.
Faith didn't miss that he'd said "you're" and not "we're".
"What do you want me to do, Wes? They just keep sending more guys. If I stay in one place it's going to throw me into a fight against them," she said. Her voice trembled slightly and the implication that she might have to kill a human, again lie between them.
Wes got up and tugged on his jeans. "I've got a contact at Wolfram and Hart. I could talk to her, see if they could offer you some protection for awhile," he said.
"And exactly what would that cost me, Wes? Do I become their resident slayer? I'm betting they aren't real particular about what or who gets slayed. How much did it cost you to get in good with the bad guys?" Faith asked.
Guilt fell over Wes' face like a shadow. He refused to look at the dark headed, rogue slayer. His words were directed to the floor. "Possibly my soul," he whispered.
"Yeah, well I see how hard Angel fights for his soul every day, the things he gives up, the sacrifices he makes. If he's willing to fight that hard, I figure a soul is probably worth keeping," Faith said.
Wes swallowed hard. Faith had a point. He nodded. "Then maybe I could call Giles. He's still in good with the council. He could help rectify the situation," Wes said.
Faith didn't get the chance to answer. The door shattered inward and four men in black poured in. She and Wes exploded into action. Faith kicked the gun out of one man's hand and twisted the other man's arm around and up behind his back. She heard bones pop and break. The man screamed and dropped his gun. She grabbed his other wrist and spun him around, throwing him into two of the men. She watched in horror as Wes slashed a dagger across one man's throat. He grabbed a knife from the man's pocket and tossed it toward her. Faith stared down at the dagger in her hand. She swallowed hard and tried not to see blood staining her hands.
"Faith!" Wes screamed. It came out strangled because he was being shoved hard against the wall. Faith grabbed the man by the back of the neck and tossed him across the room. Wes tried to catch his breath and nodded his thanks. Faith didn't have time to say anything because the last guy left had recovered his gun. She hit the ground and literally heard the bullet whistle over her head. She watched in slow motion as Wes dodged but not quite enough. He crumpled as the bullet bit into his leg.
Faith windmilled her legs and swept the hit man's out from underneath him. He hit the ground with a thud and his head cracked against the floor. Faith grabbed the gun from him and tapped him hard enough on the temple to send him into sleepy land for a while. She got to her feet and noticed the man whose hand she'd broken had whimpered off somewhere not her hotel room. She tried to ignore the guy in the corner who was staring sightlessly and quickly making a large pool of blood on the floor or the one across the room that looked like he had a broken neck.
"You okay, Wes?" Faith asked as she watched the man struggle to his feet.
"Indeed. It just clipped my thigh and missed the artery," Wes said. He snatched a tee shirt, her tee shirt Faith noticed, from the floor and ripped it to tie around his leg. She walked over to where Wes had sat back down and crouched beside him, using her hands for balance.
"I'm fine but we need to get this mess cleaned up before the authorities start looking into it," Wes said.
Faith swallowed hard. Two men dead, one unconscious and Wes calls it a mess to clean up. Yes, the watcher had changed. She stood and glanced down at Wes. She held out her hand, offering to help him up and that was when she noticed it. The dead man's blood had pooled over a large corner of the room, not only was she standing in it, her hands were covered in his blood. She paled and her body, her hands, started shaking of their own accord. She could feel the tears building in the pit of her stomach and rushing up into her throat and then her eyes. Her breath was coming in ragged, fast pants.
"Faith, slow down, you're going to hyperventilate," Wes said. He took her shaking hands in his own. He glanced around the room and shook his head. He led her out of the room, watching her face, her eyes to make sure she didn't go into shock. He paused only to close and lock the door behind him. He led her toward the hotel office and paused before walking inside.
"Listen to me, Faith. Stay right here. I'm going to get a different room. Then I'm going to take you in there and run you a hot bath. I'll take care of things in other room. " He braced his hands on her shoulders and watched her eyes. Faith nodded slightly. Wes leaned her up against a wall and walked with a limp into the front office.
He returned a few moments later with another room key. He guided Faith into the room, clean smelling and blessedly empty of dead bodies. He washed her hands and drew her bath while she stared emptily.
Faith stared at her clean hands long after Wes had exited the room. She could still see the stain of blood on her hands. It seemed like no matter how far she went, she was always going nowhere fast.
I take a look around
It's evident the scene has changed
And there are times when I feel improved upon the past
Then there are times when I can't seem to understand at all and yes
It seems as though I'm going nowhere... really fucking fast
Quentin Travers looked down at the three body bags lying on the conference room table. His conversation with Wesley Wyndham Pryce rang in his head. It had been a very civilized British conversation but the implication below all the civilized words had been clear. Call off the watch dogs or more watch dogs end up dead. Normally Quentin wouldn't have cared about dead watch dogs. They were just dogs but he was beginning to lose face in front of the Watcher's Council. First there had been the business of Faith going bad and then Buffy quitting the council and then Buffy telling them how they were going to work for her. Now this, the council was beginning to wonder if there wasn't a better person for Quentin's job.
Quentin picked up the phone and dialed a number. It was picked up on the other end. He gave his password and the phone receiver was given to the head of Security.
"Call off all assaults on the rogue slayer," Quentin said.
Quentin paused and listened to the man on the other end. He nodded.
"You heard me correctly. Call off on assaults on Faith. I've consulted the Prison Warden. She's doing well and they expect her to be fully reformed upon her release. Until then we will work with the Sunnydale Slayer," Quentin said.
He waited, confirmed his orders and then placed the phone back in the cradle. He closed his eyes, feeling like a tired old man. Maybe it was time his reign ended but it was going to end his way. He would not be forced out of his position.
Lilah slinked across Wesley's bedroom. She grinned lazily and flicked the Cat o' Nine tails in her hand. The ends flicked across Wes' bare skin and he arched up into the manacles that held him in place.
"Oh yes, you've been a very, very bad boy. I told you that great big favor was going to come with a price," Lilah purred. She flicked the whip across Wes' back again this time hard enough to leave a thin trail of blood.
Faith sat in her cell. She didn't know how Wes had done it, but he'd gotten the council off her back and Wolfram and Hart had come up with papers to prove she hadn't escaped from prison. She'd been on leave, working for them and providing an invaluable service to her country. Faith shook her head. She'd even gotten good behavior points for it. She glanced at the bars of her cell, a cell she had all to herself now. It was good she had at least five more years before coming up for parole. She had a lot of thinking to do about where one found redemption and exactly what it meant. Maybe she'd give Angel call and talk to him about it. She smiled to herself. Angel wasn't the only one in LA she could talk to about redemption, not anymore. She closed her eyes and laid down, trying to recover the feeling of forgiveness in the arms of man who had no right to forgive her.
Two things you definitely want included in your fic:
Sex. Violence. But wait, this is a Faith-related ficathon. Those are
guaranteed. I want to see what would happen if a post-S3 Angel Wes had
to take down an out-of-control Faith. Faith doesn't have to be out of
control, but Wes has to think so.
One thing you definitely don't want to see in your fic: smoop
Preferred rating: R. Sex is violent, says Jane's Addiction, but I don't need all the details