Take a Number

Part 1

Setting: Post-S6. Ignoring S7 and the events of AtS during that time.

Disclaimer: None of the BtVS characters belong to me.

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Giles was jolted out of his doze by movement next to him. He glanced to his side and smiled. She was still asleep. She looked simply like a girl lulled to sleep by the steady hum of the plane engines. Not a girl exhausted from horrible misuse of dark majicks.

Had it really only been hours since she slammed him from floor to ceiling in the Magic Box? He gently touched a cut on his forehead and winced. Yes, it had. He had left the hospital as quickly as possible, only getting the bare essentials in treatment. He would have time to heal once he got Willow to safety.

She shifted position again and moaned softly. He reached over to brush a strand of hair away from her closed eyes, and she shuddered away from his touch. He sighed and stretched, making sure not to disturb Willow. Off to England again. And just after he had gotten back to Sunnydale, too. He would have liked to stay and visit with all his young friends, but certain things could not wait. He had to get Willow to the coven.

"No…please," she whimpered, curling tighter. He placed a hand on her shoulder and she withdrew at first, but slowly, subconsciously, her own hand came upward to rest on top of his.

"You'll be all right," he reassured her, as well as himself, "You will."

Faith walked down the halls of her 'correctional facility', very curious. 'You have a visitor.' Who could that be? No one came to visit her. And, in a strange departure from regular protocol, the meeting was to take place in an empty office. She would actually be face-to-face with her visitor. That was extremely odd.

Her escort opened the door and allowed her to enter before closing it behind her with a heavy thud. She turned to look into the room. A man was bent over the desk in the corner, but he turned when she came in.

"What're you doing here?" She asked Giles.

"Pleasure to see you too, Faith. How are you?" She smirked at him. "Five by five?" He ventured.

"You know it," she leaned up against the wall, pretending she was not deathly curious about why he had come, "How's B? Red? The gang?"

"Well…that's what I've come to talk to you about," he removed his glasses and began to clean them with his handkerchief, "Do you remember Tara?"

"Tara…Tara," Faith thought for a few moments. She snapped her fingers when it came to her, "Tara. Mousy girl, Red's witchy friend. What about her?"

"She's dead." This shook Faith up a bit, but she was determined not to let him see.

"Too bad. My heartfelt condolences and all that. We both know you didn't come here just to break the unhappy news." Giles began to clean with a new rigor.

"Right again, Faith. You are a very perceptive young woman."

"That's what they all say," she said with a dismissive wave of her hand.

"The thing is Faith…Willow took the loss rather, well, rather hard."

"Say it plain American, Jeeves."

"She embraced darker forces than one should ever attempt to and tried to destroy the entire world." This time, Faith stood up, eyes wide. But Giles continued, "Luckily, Xander stopped her in time. However, she is still quite shaken and needs help."

"So," Faith screwed up her nose, "you decide to use the age-old method of bringing in the unbalanced murderer to set her back on the right path."

"I realize how ludicrous it sounds, believe me. But Willow needs someone to talk to. Someone who will understand…"

"Someone who knows what it's like to turn bad," Faith supplied. Giles looked away, embarrassed. Faith shook her head, "I'm not offended. You can't really be offended by the truth, can you?"

"No, I suppose not. I know you have an…aversion to this sort of thing, but will you do it? Help Willow?" Faith snorted and leaned back onto the wall.

"I'd love to, but in case you haven't noticed, I'm pretty well incarcerated here. You planning the big jail break?"

"Actually," Giles slid his glasses back onto his nose, "I am."

That really made Faith stand back up.

That's it for the first chapter! This one is going to be more of a miniseries. Probably 3-4 chapters. I'd love some feedback! Oh, and I'm looking for a good beta. If you're interested, please tell me.