Scene 1 – Talk Weapons

As soon as the doors swung shut behind her, Faith called out loudly, "Yo, Giles."

She waited by the desk for him to show from wherever he was hiding. She hadn't been in town long, and part of her was trying to make a good impression. Patience was not a virtue that Faith possessed, so it didn't take long before she was bouncing from one foot to the other, eyes roving the large room in search of something interesting.

The desk she stood by was bare. The wood was unmarked, not even a knot to look at. She turned her head to look restlessly around the rest of the room, but her eye was caught by her own reflection in the shiny varnish. As she studied herself, the dark clothes and her dark, loose hair, her face seemed to float, bodiless and pale, in nothingness. Her lips, covered in blood-red lipstick, were the only things that really stood out; even her dark eyes were lost in the background. 'Like a vampire,' she thought, 'the better to eat you with.' Shuddering, she strode across the room to pull a tissue from the box precariously perched atop a pile of papers and books on a larger table and wiped the lipstick off.

With perfect grace, Faith spun on her toes to throw the Kleenex in the garbage can. A glint, mostly hidden by the papers, caught her eye. She stumbled slightly, but recovered enough to still send the crumpled tissue into the trash, bouncing it off the wall on the way. . "She shoots, she scores!" she said quietly, to no one in particular.

Garbage disposed of, Faith's attention returned to the table, and she pushed the papers aside until the hilt of a sword was revealed. "This could liven things up," she thought to herself.

Giles was ensconced in his office, with his feet propped on the desk, a cup of tea on his right and was well into the latest Ian Rankin mystery when he heard Faith call out his name. Quickly he tossed the novel into a drawer and pushed it closed, grabbed an appropriately heavy and serious-looking tome, his tea and walked out to greet the slayer.

He spotted Faith by the table, hefting a sword and giving it a few experimental swings. He set his tea and the book on the desk, leaning back against the wall to watch her form. He noted her stability, a solidity that Buffy lacked. Her attack was strong and confident. A frown crossed his face as he continued to watch. As she moved through the motions of an attack, Giles noticed that she often failed to defend herself, leaving her open to attack. She kept pushing forward, on the offensive, failing to protect her back, relying on her own superior strength to survive. With a final flourish, Faith ended her swordplay.

Faith turned towards Giles with a toss of her dark hair and a challenging smile on her lips, her confidence apparent, where it came from, or what it had to do with, Giles' couldn't be sure. It could have something to do with her ability to attract a man's attention and her certainty that he would be impressed with her fighting skills.

"That sword is a piece of crap," Faith said, tossing it back on the table. "The steel is weak, the balance is way off and whoever made it paid more attention to how pretty it is than how well it works." Faith flashed Giles her killer smile again. "I said we'd talk weapons."

Giles picked up his mug to hide a smile. Her brash, overt sexuality might work on most of the men she met, but Giles wasn't most men. As Ripper, Giles was an expert in the use of sex to manipulate and lure. As a Watcher, he'd been trained to deal with the sexual tension that working with the Slayers could generate. Watchers were as much taught to be psychologists as researchers and martial arts trainers.

Giles led the way to the cage without speaking. Resisting the temptation to open the weapons chests with the same drama as Faith employed in her demonstration, Giles simply lifted the lids and stepped aside. He didn't bother to hide the smile that escaped this time. Faith's enthusiasm for the weaponry was genuine, leaving her oblivious to Giles' indulgent look. Like a hungry puppy, Faith wriggled past him, falling to her knees to sort through the weapons displayed.

Faith pulled out axes, swords, knives, and crossbows, rapidly emptying the boxes holding the weapons collection. As always, her eyes were particularly drawn to the brightest and sharpest weapons. Giles noticed her glance returning again and again to a short throwing axe and a bright silver hunting knife.

"Go ahead and take whatever weapons you prefer, Faith. Buffy already has a collection at home. It's dangerous to walk around Sunnydale without being prepared, even for a slayer."

Faith glanced up through dark lashes, and Giles saw the indecision flicker briefly, but then, apparently deciding he was genuinely offering, she grabbed the axe and knife, somehow secreting them in her skintight outfit.

"We have an hour or two before Buffy is out of class; why don't we train a bit? If I'm going to be your watcher, I need to get to know your fighting style." Giles asked this casually, somehow sure that any attempt to pressure or guilt Faith as he did Buffy would send the skittish brunette running. Giles walked into the center of the library, snatching up kicking and punching targets on the way.

Faith followed hesitantly. "You train here? Aren't you worried about getting caught?"

"Really, Faith," Giles said sardonically. "This is a high school library. Who's going to come here?"

"Sarcasm. Nice," she said, snapping her foot out at the target in a perfectly executed roundhouse and following it up with a reverse punch.

"My dear, the English invented the concept of sarcasm and don't let your leg drop on that kick."

Watcher and Slayer fell into an easy rhythm. Giles ran Faith through kicking and punching, warming her up gently then ending up with a series complex combo kicks, both praising and correcting as they went. By the end, they were both breathing heavily.

Only a few minutes remained before the bell rang, the bell that would signal the imminent arrival of Buffy, Willow and Xander. Faith and Giles sprawled in chairs around the table, still covered in papers, but now stacked with weapons as well. They sipped at water bottles, for long moments too tired to speak.

Shortly however, Faith jumped up. "Well, thanks for the workout, Giles." She headed for the door.

Giles was stunned by her sudden departure, and Faith made it almost to the door before he found words. "Aren't you going to stay? I was hoping you and Buffy would work out together, get used to each others moves." He struggled to sound nonchalant, despite his weariness and worry about Faith's abrupt exit.

"Got shit to do, you know? Thanks for the workout." The door swung shut behind her.

Giles stared at the still swinging door, willing Faith to come back. He had things to teach her, things that could help keep her alive. He had to get her to trust him, to trust Buffy. The door stayed stubbornly shut. With a sigh, Giles delved into the pile of papers, coming up with his Watcher's journal from the bottom. Opening to a clean page, he started making a list of things his new slayer needed to work on.

Scene 2 – Talk Prison

As Giles sat on the hard plastic prison chairs, waiting impatiently, his thoughts began to drift to what brought him here.

Since Buffy's death, the Rogue Slayer had often been on his mind. Giles knew it was only a matter of time before he found himself behind prison walls.

The weeks since May had been filled with pain and planning. Burying Buffy was the first duty, and the grieving was an ongoing process, but there were all sorts of arrangements to be made, issues that needed to be taken care of.

Issues such as the fact that another Slayer would not be called.

Before Giles could even consider leaving Sunnydale, he needed to make sure that Dawn would be okay. Her custody arrangement was the first problem needing his immediate attention.

Some quiet investigation revealed that Hank Summers seemed to have disappeared. Giles supposed he should be concerned about the man, but he couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief that he wasn't going to be a problem. Giles feared that he would show up suddenly, wanting to take custody of Dawn. That hadn't happened, and Giles couldn't have been more relieved.

For the first week or so, Dawn had slept on Giles' couch, unwilling to face the empty house. That arrangement came to an abrupt end when Social Services came looking for both Buffy and Dawn. Giles instinctively covered up Buffy's death, claiming to be watching Dawn while Buffy took care of some family business out of town. It was a fortunate ruse; for the social worker made no secret of the fact that she was looking for any reason to remove Dawn from Buffy's care.

Then there was the hellmouth itself. Sunnydale was bound to be overrun with vampires and demons without a resident Slayer. Everyone did what they could in terms of patrol, but even when Buffy was alive it took all of them to keep Sunnydale safe. Without Buffy, two witches, a Watcher, an ex-demon, a vampire and a couple humans wouldn't be able to protect the town for long.

Fortunately, Willow had been working on something that would solve both problems. Despite the Bot's decapitation, it wasn't that badly damaged, certainly nothing that couldn't be repaired in due time.

Within a week, Willow had it rebuilt and reprogrammed. She had made so many changes that it was real enough to fool both social workers and vampires alike. The Bot's strength and appearance, even if it lacked Buffy's instincts and passion, was enough to keep demons and vampires wary.

Now, six weeks later, Dawn was settled comfortably back at home with Willow and Tara, the Bot providing legitimacy to the arrangement.

Sunnydale was still quiet. They had poked around, trying to find out if anything terribly evil was on the way, sensing the town now lacked a slayer, but they found nothing out of the ordinary.

Spike was still hanging about, being a friend to Dawn and being an extra strong arm on patrol. He did it on his own; Spike certainly didn't receive any sort of encouragement from most of them.

Well, except Anya and Tara. They accepted Spike's help gratefully, and Dawn was his staunchest supporter. The most the rest of them were willing to go was to avoid overt hostility towards the bleached vampire when they realized that. Spike wasn't going anywhere.

Everything seemed to be going well. Giles still experienced moments of extreme grief and he assumed the others did too, but it wasn't the crushing, soul-destroying guilt and sorrow of a few weeks ago. He hadn't expected to slip back into his old routine so easily. Only a few adjustments were necessary to accommodate the loss of Buffy. As the pain eased, he found himself remembering Buffy fondly, but wondering intensely about Faith.

Giles knew that Willow had told Angel about Buffy. He had also heard that Angel played a big role in Faith's redemption.

Finally, his curiosity about Faith had driven Giles to contact Angel directly. Angel was evasive, asking about everyone in Sunnydale, even Xander, trying to avoid talking about Faith.

Giles finally forced the issue, asking outright if Faith knew about Buffy's death. Angel hadn't told her. Stumbling and stuttering, Angel eventually admitted that he was worried that Faith would break out of prison if she knew, that she would feel responsible for saving the world. "She's finally taking responsibility for her actions," Angel finally told Giles. "And I'm not going to jeopardize that."

For another few days, Giles had gone about his business in Sunnydale, bowing to Angel's superior understanding of Faith. Eventually, however, he started to remember the Faith he knew; the girl who seemed so strong, so independent, but was really so fragile. The secrets and misunderstandings that normal teens used to protect themselves had shattered Faith's delicate trust. If Faith was really getting better, Giles wasn't willing to cause a setback by once again keeping things from her.

He'd contacted the prison the next day, finding out what was required for him to visit. It had taken another two weeks for him to get a background check and to be approved, and almost another week for an open visiting day. Yesterday, he'd told Willow and Xander that he was going to visit Faith. They both seemed uncomfortable, but didn't say much.

Dawn had overheard the conversation. In her typical teenage melodrama fashion, she accused Giles of trying to replace Buffy. Once she was sufficiently reassured that Faith would not be leaving prison, she'd shown a surprising generosity of spirit, wondering if there was anything they could send her from 'outside'. Giles believed that Dawn was just grateful that Faith wouldn't be coming back to Sunnydale to take her sister's place.

Giles had called the prison once more, and collected a small box of items that were acceptable within prison walls.

When he'd arrived, he'd been searched, his wallet, keys, belt, shoelaces, even glasses confiscated 'for his own safety'. He wondered why. He and Faith would be talking through bullet proof, reinforced Plexiglas. Sure, Faith could break through easily, but how were they to know that? His box of gifts was taken as well, sorted and examined for contraband.

Once passing inspection, Giles sat to wait in this windowless, cheerless room, feeling naked and cold without his glasses.

Where he was still waiting.

A tap on the door alerted him to the guard's return. He followed the burly man down a narrow hall to a large room, lined with cubicles, split in half by the clear plastic barrier. It looked exactly like a scene in a movie. The guard pointed at a specific booth and Giles was once again left to his own devices.

Visiting day wasn't much of a celebration for Faith. The only visitor she ever had was Angel, and his attendance was sporadic at best. However, many of the other women were visited regularly by family from outside, and no one was willing to risk losing those privileges by getting in a fight too close to the last weekend of the month, so at least she didn't have to watch her back as closely.

She hadn't seen Angel in a couple of months, so she wasn't too surprised when she was told she had a visitor. She was shocked and wary when she read Giles' name on the notification form, her mind racing, considering and discarding various circumstances that could bring Giles to visit her after all this time.

Nothing about this visit made sense to her, but it left her with a vague sense of dread. Until the day he was supposed to show up, Faith was jumpier and more watchful than usual. Even the biggest, baddest bitches in the joint stayed away from her.

What scared Faith the most was that she had been feeling extremely uneasy for a while now. With Giles showing up, she had a feeling she was about to find out why.

The day finally arrived. As usual, the cellblocks were at fever pitch. The expected scuffles broke out around the mirrors, everyone fighting for space, trying to look their best. Faith stayed out of the fray as best she could, opting for a simple ponytail and well-scrubbed face. She sat on her bunk, foot tapping impatiently, waiting for the guard to escort her to the visiting room.

It seemed to take hours. Time moved slowly in prison, Faith had found, but anticipation just made things worse. Finally, she was led into the visiting room and directed to a cubicle.

As she drew near, she could see that Giles was there already, looking uncomfortable and strange without his glasses. It was comforting; if Giles didn't have to be the same, then neither did she. Instead of stalking to the chair, focusing on Giles like a predator with prey, hiding all her insecurities and worry, she could be real, keep working on being the person Angel seemed to see in her.

She relished Giles surprise when she finally did sit down. She knew she'd changed drastically since Sunnydale, but the transformation had been so slow and natural that she sometimes forgot. Despite prison and the inherent dangers in a maximum-security facility, she was more open and accepting now than she had been when she was supposedly free.

When she'd first arrived, she'd used weightlifting and working out to keep her mind occupied. Eventually though, she realized that the whole point of being here was to use her mind, to accept the things she'd done, the person she'd been and try to avoid making the same mistakes. She'd started reading, even studying. She'd used the counsellors and advisors the prison offered, really working at resolving the issues that had led to her incarceration. 'And I use words like incarceration now,' she thought with a smile.

When the silence had dragged on a little too long to be comfortable, Faith picked up the phone and motioned Giles to do the same. With a little smirk, and a bit of the old Faith attitude, she greeted him. "Yo, Giles."

Soft, slightly unfocused eyes blinked at her through the plexi, then a slow smile spread across his features. "You're looking well," he replied.

"Still British to the core, aren't you?" Faith laughed. A guard approached and she fell silent. He delivered an opened cardboard box to the desk in front of her, eyed her carefully, and then made his way back to his post. Talking loud was frowned on, even during visits.

"Did you bring me something?" Faith was genuinely excited, but nothing could stop her from sounding sarcastic. Giles just nodded, motioning for her to open it.

"It's from everyone, but it was Dawn's idea."

That took Faith aback. Dawn could hold a grudge. Of all the Scoobies, Dawn was least likely to forgive and forget, even if she'd been the least hurt by Faith's betrayal. She hesitated, but finally opened the flaps, encouraged by Giles' gentle smile.

The first thing she pulled out was a bottle of hand lotion. "That's from Dawn," Giles said. "She wanted to get you some lipstick, but it wasn't on the approved list."

"Yeah, they don't really encourage you to pretty yourself up in here. It just causes jealousy and fights," Faith said absently, still staring at the bottle in her hands. The thoughtfulness of Dawn's gift surprised and touched her. Touched her, and gave her sudden hope for a future outside these walls.

Next she pulled out a huge bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos. She didn't need Giles to tell her who sent those. "Xander," she said with a smile. "He always remembered the post-slaying hungry and …" Suddenly she remembered who she was talking to, and stopped talking before she said anything too incriminating. She sent Giles a sheepish grin.

A soft package wrapped in brown paper was next. Faith knew it had been opened by the guards, but they had carefully rewrapped it. She opened a flap at the end and peered inside.

"Willow said she'd send you something … personal, to make up for Xander's gift of food," Giles said, blushing. Faith could just imagine that conversation, and Giles' discomfort.

"Tell her thanks. It's always nice to get a … personal gift."

She had reached the bottom of the box. Pulling out the last item, she glanced at Giles. "This must be from you." Tied together were several paperback novels, all by an Ian Rankin.

"Yes, Angel told me you've been reading a lot. I wanted to get you something more interesting and less uplifting."

Faith gaped at Giles' description. Less uplifting?" she queried.

"Mystery novels. British mystery novels at that. I used to read them in my office at the high school when I was bored with my research."

"I never saw you reading novels, Giles," Faith teased.

"Yes, well, that's why I read them in my office."

They smiled at each other, all discomfort between them long dispelled. Still, Faith had to ask the question that had been bothering her since she emptied the box.

"Nothing from B?"

Giles sighed. "That's one reason why I'm here Faith. I did want to see you, to see for myself that you were doing as well in these surroundings as Angel claimed. However, I was spurred to action by" Giles trailed off, groped for his missing glasses, and then let his hands fall to his lap. "Buffy's dead, Faith."

Faith stared at Giles for a long time. His voice was raw when he'd told her the news, and his eyes glittered with unshed tears. Her first instinct had been to challenge him, demand proof, but looking at his face she knew she needed no more proof than the naked grief etched on this man's face. She wondered how she could have missed it before, now that it was so obvious to her. Faith thought that part of her had known all along.

Dangerous thoughts began percolating through her head, so she drowned them out by asking the simplest question she could think of. "What happened?"

She listened to Giles' explanations, sometimes asking for clarifications but mostly sitting silently. A few tears escaped when she heard of Joyce's illness and eventual death, and she rolled her eyes at Spike's attempts at wooing Buffy and professions of love. By the time he got to the end, though, she was just listening. His pauses got longer and longer as he tried to describe Glory, the fight, the failure and then finally Buffy's sacrifice.

Faith sat silently for a while, giving Giles a chance to collect himself. She was unsure what to say, what sympathy to offer. Before she could think of anything, Giles broke the silence himself.

"We're all starting to do better. It's been several weeks, and we're starting to get the kinks worked out. Dawn's getting settled in with Willow and Tara, and we're all working together to patrol. Having Spike around is helpful in that respect at least, though I'll never admit it beyond this room."

"Is there anything I can do?" Faith finally asked. She looked Giles dead in the eye, letting the seriousness and hidden meaning of her question be easily seen. She was completely prepared to break out today if necessary, though a nagging voice in her head screamed 'not ready yet!'

"No Faith, but thank you for offering." Giles stared back. She could see that he was just as serious as she was. "You needed to know, and I needed to tell you in person. We're doing fine." Another long pause as they stared through the glass. "I'll let you know if we need you."

A weight she didn't realize she'd been feeling lifted from her.

Ever since Giles' name showed up on the notification form, she'd expected trouble. As much as she chafed at her incarceration, she knew this was the right place for her, both as a punishment for her poor choices, and as an opportunity to learn to make better ones. Leaving wouldn't be the right choice right now, and she was capable of seeing that. She also knew that if she was needed, the choice would be moot. She was glad her choices weren't being taken away quite yet.

Scene 3 – Talk Life

The distant ring of a telephone slowly woke Faith from her slumber. Not a deep sleep; life hadn't changed enough to make that possible. Fighting the last of her drowsiness, she lay in the semi-darkness, unmoving, taking in the familiar night sounds of the house.

Padding of slippered feet moving down the hall caught her attention, and she smirked in the darkness. A phone in everyone's room made perfect sense to Faith. Giles on the other hand, not so much.

She heard the footsteps stop by the little table in the hall. Giles' low tones that were mostly inaudible soon took over the silence, but she could still hear the frustration in his voice.

Having Slayers all over the world made for a lot of late night phone calls, but Giles never seemed to be any less pissed off about it, no matter how many times he got woken up to answer the phone. He never knew what it was until he answered it. It could be a problem anywhere from Timbuktu to Phuket to their own backyard.

It wasn't even five minutes before he hung up and padded back down the hall. But instead of returning to his bedroom, he stopped outside Faith's door and began gently tapping.

Faith hopped out of bed quickly, tossing a robe over her t-shirt in the process to spare Giles' her near nakedness, there would be no doubt he would be a little freaked. Past experience had taught her that, and if Faith was about anything nowadays, it was learning from her past.

She opened the door, and was about to step out into the hall, when Giles, very uncharacteristically, touched her shoulder softly and ushered her back into the bedroom.

Questioning with her eyes, Faith looked up at Giles. He just sighed and ran his hand through his hair, then went and sat on the bed.

His voice was a whisper as he began to speak. "There's been a situation, major magic usage, sightings of an army of demons."

"So someone needs backup? Am I right? Who's going? I'm guessing me since you're here."

Faith paced the room, trying to mentally assemble a team, based on the sketchy details Giles provided. "Lots of slayers. At least a full contingent, and preferably an additional half of another."

They'd long ago started using military protocol and terminology to deal with the multitudes of slayers that were still turning up, though no one ever got discharged from this army.

"Since there's been magic use, I'd like Willow, which means Kennedy, which means Kennedy as my second. I can handle that; it's only when Ken and B try to run an op together that things get ugly," she said.

Slaying had changed drastically since Sunnydale. In a typical Andrew fashion, he'd dramatically named it The Dispersal, the power of the Chosen One dispersed throughout the world.

Ironically, it was not only the slayers that were scattered worldwide – the Originals (another overly dramatic Andrew word) – B, Giles, Willow, Xander, Dawn and Faith were also separated. Willow and Kennedy were finding and training slayers in South America, while Xander was doing the same in Africa. Buffy and Dawn had settled in Rome and were the least involved with the slayer organization. B took some much needed time off after things started settling down and plans began to solidify. She still patrolled and protected her area of the world, but she'd always been better on her own or with a small, closely knit strike force.

Faith remained at Headquarters with Giles. For all her early antisocial tendencies, Faith had become a much better leader than Buffy. People followed B because they loved and believed in her, people followed Faith because they respected her and trusted her command. That didn't mean Faith wasn't well liked; the original Scoobies had made their peace with Faith and they were all as tight as the miles allowed. The slayers and watchers stationed at HQ were all friends as well, though those posted throughout the world were virtual strangers. She also had friends outside of the slaying circle; neighbours and people she met through various activities. She'd never imagined being stable and trusted enough to have this kind of life.

As military commander, she traveled a lot. However, she still made time to continue the study she'd begun behind bars. She took psychology and sociology courses through the local university, determined to understand the hidden pressures that made people act they way they did.

As Faith paced and consciously planned, she noted Giles' tense body and sorrowing, guilty looks. She could see he was holding something back; she just had to wait for him to spit it out.

Giles watched Faith pace and plan, still stunned by the news he'd just received. He knew he'd have to stop her soon, give her the rest of the information. This wasn't going to be a military operation, the battle that Faith lived for and excelled in. This was clean-up; hide the evidence, contain the fallout, and comfort the survivors. He'd just decided to start with the survivor in the closest proximity.

Finally, he reached out and grasped Faith's slim wrist, pulling her to a stop in front of him. He hauled himself off the bed, feeling his years in a way he hadn't felt in a long time. Looking directly into her dark eyes, he spoke solemnly. "It's LA."

They stood like that for a moment and then Faith pulled away. She sat heavily on the bed, took a deep breath and asked Giles to explain. "You were right all along Faith," he told the shaken young woman. "Angel was working from within. He managed to take down the entire LA branch of Wolfram & Hart. I don't know much yet, but apparently they went after the Black Thorn. That brought the wrath of hell down on them. I know that…" he paused, "Wesley is dead. Charles Gunn as well."

"Aw shit," Faith said softly, obviously fighting the tears that began to well up in her eyes. Giles waited for her to compose herself before continuing.

"We knew about Miss Burkle's condition. The Ancient One inhabiting her body apparently survived. I imagine she would be hard to kill. Angel," Giles had Faith's full attention now, "is still an unknown. He hasn't been seen, but…" Giles trailed off, uncertain how to approach this part of the tale. "Andrew returned from LA claiming that Spike was back and working for Angel. At the time, I took it for face value and had every intention of checking on it…I have a contact in LA and they tell me that Spike is still alive and that he is convinced that Angel is as well, that he can feel him through the familial connection."

Giles moved to the bed and sat beside Faith. Her slight weight leaned against him. He took her hand for his own comfort as he continued his tale. "The final battle was staged in the alley behind the Hyperion. Wave after wave of the enemy attacked, but somehow, Angel and his team beat them all back. They managed to keep the world from ending." Giles spoke those words with awe, though his mind churned with guilt. Ways he could have helped kept occurring to him. One thought kept coming to the surface; he should have trusted Angel. Despite this disturbing notion, his voice was steady as he related his knowledge to Faith. Giles felt that he was part of the reason Angel never asked for help.

"Now you know as much as I do. Obviously, we are sending a team to LA, and of course, you will be leading it. However, instead of the backup team we would have sent had I not stupidly cut all ties with Angel, it will be nothing but a clean-up crew. Dispose of any unexplainable bodies, disperse any accumulations of magic, and try to restore peace. In addition to those standard procedures, you will look for Angel. Finding him alive or, god forbid, confirming his death, will be your number one priority. Take Willow and Kennedy; Kennedy can take charge of the clean-up operations while you, Willow, and the surviving members of Angel's team focus on him."

Giles could see the wheels turning in Faith's head as she started to plan out the LA operation. Her ability to command a mission made her an invaluable member of the team. However, she had other skills that were just as useful, and he needed her to put one of those to use first. He cleared his throat awkwardly, gaining her attention and a suspicious glance.

Giles stood to leave. "The rest of your team will be going onto LA ahead of you. Before you start any additional planning for the mission, we have one more duty to undertake. Pack for Rome; in your unofficial roles of psychologist and grief counsellor, you need to help me with Buffy."


After Giles left her room, Faith, still dazed, began to pack. How could Angel be gone? Not Angel. Angel had meant too much to her, had helped her get to where she was.

Where she was? Who was she? According to Andrew, she was a Military Commander. Giles had called her a Psychologist and Grief Counsellor. Faith? Her?

In that moment, Faith had truly understood how much she had changed. She had understood her total metamorphosis.

And she was going to find Angel if that's the last thing she ever did.