Title: Bikini Faith and her Cyborg Gorillas take on the RIAA
Author: Bastard Snow
Rating: Uh. M, I think.
Author's notes: Don't ask. Just… just don't ask. Accept, and your life shall be easier.
Spoilers: Accurate spoilers for Star Wars: New Jedi Order: Vector Prime. NO, this is not a crossover.
"SON OF A FUCKING BITCH!"
Buffy, Willow and Xander tore their eyes from the television and looked at the ceiling.
"Uh," said Xander. "I think Faith's angry at something."
"What was your first clue, Captain Obvious?" asked Buffy.
"Excuse me," Xander said, plainly offended by the comment. He pointed to his eye patch. "That's Cap'n. There's a difference in style and piratey-ness."
"Jeez, Buffy," Willow said, shaking her head. "Have some sense."
"Sorrrrr-ry," Buffy said sarcastically. "I'll be more careful."
"Goddamn sons-of-whores," Faith muttered as she stomped down the stairs and into the living room. "Can fucking eat my ass, is what they can do."
"Uh," Xander said. "Who?"
"The goddamned RIAA, that's who," Faith said, waving some papers in their faces. "They're fucking suing me for like a hundred thousand dollars."
"They're what!" the others asked as one, jumping up from the couch.
"I know!" Faith yelled.
"Why?" asked Willow.
"Because I beat up P. Diddy. What do you think?"
"Uh," Xander said, looking at the papers. "You downloaded Abba?"
Faith snatched the papers from his hands. "Who cares what the hell I got, the point is they're suing me!"
"I think the other girls might care," Xander said. "There's whole respect issues involved."
"Shut up, Blackbeard," Faith said.
"So," Willow said, "let me get this straight. You stole some music, got caught, and are being sued for it, and you're mad because… what?"
"Because it's fucking bullshit!" Faith said.
"That… you got caught?"
"What the hell do they need my money for?"
"I think it's cuz you stole things," said Buffy.
"Come on!" Faith said. "Don't you guys wanna stick it to the man? Don't you wanna make him stop picking on the little guys?"
"Faith," Xander said, "The Watcher's Council is richer than God. We're not the little guys anymore."
Willow smiled. "I'm sure one of the lawyers Giles keeps on retainer could…"
"What the hell happened to you guys?" Faith asked, interrupting the redhead. Her eyes were wide with incredulity. "When I rolled into Sunnydale, you guys were the outcasts. The downtrodden, hated by that fucking troll, looked down on by the 'popular' kids. Your parents thought you were trouble makers, if they even cared at all. They didn't know what to make of you."
Faith took a step back. "Now look at you," she said, raising one hand in a disgusted, dismissive gesture. "You're all a bunch of tools."
"Faith," Willow said. Faith turned and walked off, leaving them to think about what she said.
"We may be tools," Xander said, "but damned if we don't have a big TV."
"Yeah," said Buffy. "And anyway, we're not the ones with the Dancing Queen addiction."
"Abba has ruined so many lives," Xander said, shaking his head. He hooked his arms with Buffy and Willow, and they sat down together to watch their High-Definition television as the tools that they were. It was, in their minds, a fair trade.
"I understand that you're having some problems."
Faith looked up. She was on her bed, in her room, reading. She had been that way for the last half hour, and nobody had entered her room. She got off of her bed, went to the closet and flung the door open.
"Andrew, goddammit," she said. "That's the third time! I told you, if you wanna borrow something, ask me!"
"I wasn't trying anything on!" he said. "Honest!"
"So what the hell were you doing in my closet?" she asked. "I swear, if you were sniffin' my panties –"
"No!" he said, pouting. "I was trying to be dramatic."
"Yeah, well, it just turned out creepy. What do you want?"
"I want to help you," Andrew said, his eyes wide. "I understand that you have had an… encounter with my nemesis."
"Your nemesis?" Faith asked. "You… have a nemesis?"
"I do," Andrew said. He balled one fist and looked dramatically up into the sky – er, ceiling. "They have been after me ever since I began the first ever peer-to-peer service for people to share MP3's. I called it… Napster."
"I thought that was some dude named Shawn something," Faith said.
"Well… technically, yes," Andrew said. "But I totally had the idea first."
"I see," Faith said.
"Listen," Andrew said, taking Faith's arm. She was so surprised at the gesture that she forgot to beat the crap out of him for touching her. "I've been researching the RIAA for a long time. There's a lot more to them than just record companies."
"They are?" Faith asked, pulling her arm from his grasp and smacking him on the head.
"Ow," Andrew said. "Sorry. And yes. If you'll come to my room, I can show you what I've compiled on them."
"Uh," Faith said. "Your room."
"I thought you wanted to do something about them," Andrew said, leveling a glare at her. "They're evil, Faith. Make no mistake. You have a chance to strike a blow for, for freedom, for the poor, huddled masses, people who never had anybody to stick up for them. Fight for the underdog, Faith. Who else can?"
"Andrew," Faith said, rolling her eyes, "they're dicks, yeah, but I don't think –"
Andrew leaned in close to Faith. "They're evil, Faith. I can prove it, if you'll just let me."
Faith leaned back and regarded him with caution. "Ten minutes," she said. "Once I'm in your room, you've got ten minutes to convince me."
Andrew nodded. "I'll only need eight."
"Jesus, Andy," Faith said. "I'm surprised you don't have naked ladies all around this place."
"I'm above all that," Andrew said.
"Yes," Andrew said. He kicked a floorboard, and it popped up. Inside, Faith caught a glimpse of one magazine. She read the words 'All Anal' and stopped right there. "Cuz I keep it in the floor."
"Above," she said, valiantly holding her lunch in. "Clever."
Andrew kicked another floorboard and pulled out some packets of paper and a big cardboard tube.
"Here," he said, handing her the essays. "This is a list of crimes against humanity the RIAA has committed. It was compiled by a group of conspiracy theorists I'm familiar with."
"Conspiracy theorists?" she asked. "Like those guys who think we never went to the moon?"
"Those guys are hacks," Andrew said, almost spitting the words. "These guys are the real deal."
"Yeah?" Faith asked, skeptically.
"They were mostly right about why Sunnydale collapsed," he said. "They're good."
Faith shook her head. "All right. What do they say?"
"The RIAA has been in the business of stifling creativity and homogenizing music almost since the day it began," said Andrew. "And they're willing to kill people to keep their power."
"Kill?" Faith asked.
Andrew handed her another packet of paper. "A list of people in their employ, people who disagreed with their policies, who died under mysterious circumstances."
Faith looked over the pages. "Damn," she said. "That's a lot of… is this all real?"
"Every one," Andrew said.
"Jesus," Faith said. She pointed to the tube. "What's in there?"
"I can't show you," Andrew said. "Not yet. But come over here."
Andrew led Faith to his computer, clicked through half-a-dozen folders, opened another folder and entered a password. A long password.
"Twenty-four alphanumerics in a random sequence," Andrew said, as he clicked through yet more folders.
"And you memorized that shit?" Faith asked. "Damn, kid. Wastin' brainpower."
A few moments later, a video appeared on Andrew's screen.
"These," he said. "are a couple of goons from the RIAA."
"Okay," Faith said. She leaned in closer. "Who's that?"
"An artist who tried to go outside the system," Andrew said.
Faith winced at the damage being dealt out. The screen cut to the same two goons and a few more people.
"The artist's band," he said. The screen shifted. "And his manager." The screen shifted. "People who went to his concerts."
"Jesus," Faith whispered.
"And finally," Andrew said, as the screen shifted again, "his parents."
Faith slapped her hand to her mouth to stop her lunch from coming up. She ran into Andrew's bathroom and unloaded, as Andrew waited patiently for her. A couple of minutes later, when Faith's stomach was empty, she stumbled back into his room.
"How do you know they're from the RIAA?" she asked.
"Some people tracked them," Andrew said. "People who were later visited."
"Jesus," Faith said. "They are evil."
"Just as I said. Now… what do you want to do about it?"
"I don't think I can do anything," Faith said.
"Because you're just one person?"
"No, dipshit, because they're human."
"Yes," Andrew said. "The goons are. The board, however..." He punched a few more keys on his computer and popped up a picture of some of the nastiest, most vile looking demons Faith had ever seen.
"That's them?" she asked.
"That's them," he confirmed. Faith's eyes narrowed. "I think," Andrew said, "that you are ready for the tube."
"Hey, Faith," Willow said, cheerily, as she passed Faith in the hallway.
"No time to talk, got a project," Faith said, brushing past the witch brusquely. She was carrying a full load of mechanical and electrical parts. And for a Slayer, a full load was a hell of a lot. Faith was also carrying what looked like…
"Are those gorilla suits?"
"Gotta use something!" Faith called.
"For what?" Willow wondered aloud. Her curiosity piqued, she followed Faith to the mansion's basement, and found a very scary sight. Andrew was wielding a plasma torch.
"What's going on down here?" Willow shouted over the noise.
"We're building!" Faith said.
"Building what?" asked Willow.
"Can't tell you," Faith said. "It's secret."
"You guys aren't, like… building a sex cage, are you?"
Faith put her load down. "A what?"
"A… never mind," Willow said, blushing. "What are you guys doing?"
"I told you," Faith said. "I can't say."
"Did you buy that stuff with the council's money?"
"Nah," Faith said. "Don't worry, this all comes from independent sources."
"Oh," Willow said. "Uh… okay. Well, hey, I wanted to talk to you. About the RIAA."
Andrew's plasma torch shut off. He set it down and flipped up his welding mask and turned to Willow. "What do you know?" he asked, fiercely.
"Um," Willow said, regarding him oddly. "Giles and I had a talk with some lawyers. They said that the RIAA is kind of all bark, very little bite. They think you'll be able to get out of this, pretty easily. The RIAA isn't used to people being able to bite back, bring as many lawyers as they can."
"What about the next guy?" Faith asked.
"Huh?" Willow asked.
"The next guy," Faith said. "The little guy, who can't stand up for himself. Who doesn't have corporate lawyers to get his ass outta the fire. What about him?"
"He's not our responsibility, Faith," said Willow.
"Bullshit!" Faith said, slamming her fist down on a table.
Willow looked at the broken table and furrowed her brow. "Are you okay?" she asked. "You seem a little tense."
"I'm fine, Red," said Faith. "Anything else?"
"Um… nope. That's it."
"Great," Faith said.
Willow stood there for a second as Faith passed some material to Andrew. "Okay," she said. "Well… so long."
Neither Faith nor Andrew noticed her leave.
Willow went back upstairs, looking for Buffy and Xander. She popped the door open to Xander's room. Buffy and Xander rushed apart from each other, and Xander wiped some lipstick from his mouth. Willow was shocked, but tried to hide it.
"Hey," she said.
"Hey, Will," Xander said, nervously. "Didn't hear you there."
"Yeah, Will," said Buffy. "You're uh… sneaky."
"Whatever," Willow said. "Hey, do either of you guys know what's going on with Faith and Andrew?"
"Faith and Andrew?" Xander asked. "I didn't know they even talked to each other."
"Well, apparently they're building something in the basement. With gorilla suits."
Buffy and Xander exchanged a look. "It's finally happened," Buffy said.
"What has?" asked Willow.
"Andrew cracked and dragged someone down with him," Xander said, shaking his head. "I just never thought it would be Faith."
"She never was that sensible," Buffy said. "We'll just have to make sure they're well taken care of."
"Uh?" Willow replied.
"Will, I'm sure it's nothing," Xander said. "Or, well, nothing important. Andrew's forever tinkering with new stuff, maybe he just convinced Faith to help him. I'm sure it's harmless."
"Oh," Willow said. "Okay. Anyway, Giles wanted to talk to us tonight about this new cult. Around six?"
"Be there with bells on," Buffy said.
Xander nodded. Willow smiled at them and backed out of his room, closing the door behind her. She paused at the door and listened.
"That was close," said Xander's muffled voice through the door. "Do you think she suspected anything?"
"She would have said something," said Buffy's similarly muffled voice. "Now come here and finish what you started."
Willow suppressed a gleeful squeal and ran off to her room to call Dawn.
"Damn, kid," Faith said. She was looking over Andrew's first completed model. "That shit actually work?"
"It should," Andrew said. "I followed Warren's instructions on the construction, and inserted my own programming and personality logarithms."
"So, they make their own decisions?"
"They'll follow your instructions, or mine," Andrew said. "Nobody else. And now that I've got the one done, and seen how it goes, it shouldn't take me long to finish the rest."
"How many can you build?" Faith asked.
"Seven," said Andrew. "With the parts we have here, I can build seven. Here, let me turn it on. You tell it to climb the wall, or pick up a box or something."
"Wait," Faith said. "What do I call it?"
"Gorilla 1," said Andrew. "I thought we should keep it simple."
"Gorilla 1?" Faith asked. "That's surprisingly non-geeky of you."
"This is serious business," Andrew said. His face was completely straight. She stared at him. His expression broke. "Okay," he said. "I couldn't think up a good name."
Faith smiled. "Turn him on."
Andrew moved behind the gorilla and depressed a button at the base of its neck. The machine, which had been slumped over, rose to its full and impressive height of seven feet, and its well-muscled arms tensed.
"Damn," Faith said. "They're big."
"Bigger than real gorillas," Andrew said. "Which are intimidating enough. I wanted them to be massive."
"Mission accomplished," she muttered. Faith pointed to a box a few feet from the robotic beast. "Gorilla 1. Pick up that box."
"Yes, Faith," the gorilla growled. It lifted the box she had indicated and turned back to her. "What now?"
"Whoa," said Faith. "Uh… just hold it for a few minutes."
"Yes, Faith," said the gorilla.
"You like?" asked Andrew.
"Absolutely," Faith said, grinning. "These things are gonna be badass in a fight."
"I haven't told you the best part," said Andrew. "I changed the interface, and now, if one of the gorillas gets into single combat, I can control it with my X-Box controller. I programmed them with Jin's moves, from Tekken? I think he's the most versatile."
"Uh, cool," said Faith. "All right, you get workin' on the rest of 'em. I'll take the tube and go work on it in my room."
"Okay," Andrew said with a quick nod.
Faith grabbed the tube, went to her room, and studied its contents until she fell asleep.
"That is a damned odd sight," Xander said. He and Buffy were on a balcony that overlooked the courtyard behind the mansion. Andrew had set up a console in the courtyard, running lots of wires from the mansion to his machines. He looked like he was plugging away on an X-Box controller.
Faith, on the other hand, was fighting a cyborg gorilla.
"I don't get it," Buffy said. "Why's she fighting a gorilla? Is that what they've been working on? Andrew's been making cyborg gorillas to train the girls with?"
"Guess so," Xander said. He pulled out his cell phone and started dialing.
"Well, how come she's doing the testing and not me?"
Xander shrugged. "What can I say, Buff? Faith's the poo… so take a big whiff." He held up a finger to hold off any comments. "Hey," he said into the phone "Come up to the third floor balcony, and bring Giles. You guys have to see this. And bring popcorn!"
Xander flipped his phone closed and shoved it back in his pocket, then looked at Buffy. She was staring at him like she didn't believe he existed. It was so convincing, he poked himself to make sure he actually did.
"What?" he asked.
"What? WHAT? Xander, you just called Willow on your cell phone."
"Sweetie, she's one floor downstairs," Buffy said. "You can't be that lazy."
"Oh-ho, I beg to differ," Xander said. "I can be exactly that lazy."
"And also, you quoted Bring It On at me. That's, like, seven lashes with a wet noodle right there. And Faith is not the poo, I am."
"Buff, two things."
"First, I would like to point out that you remembered the quote was from Bring It On."
Buffy frowned. "What's second?"
Xander looked down at her and grinned. "You called me sweetie."
Buffy grinned. "Yeah," she said, leaning closer. "I really di –"
"Hey guys!" Willow said, grinning as she stepped onto the balcony. Buffy and Xander quickly turned to look over the balcony. "What's up?"
Xander pointed down at the courtyard. "See what you think."
Willow squeezed – evilly, and purposefully – between Buffy and Xander, and looked over the balcony and her eyes shot wide in surprise.
"What's going on?" Giles asked as he joined the crowd. He held a bowl of freshly popped popcorn.
"Take a look," said Buffy. Giles stood on the opposite side of her and looked over the balcony.
"Good lord," he said, offering some popcorn to Buffy. "Is that what they've been doing in the cellar?"
"Guess so," Xander said, reaching across Willow to grab a handful of the delicious snack.
"Is Andrew controlling it?" Willow asked.
"Looks like," said Buffy. "Hey, who's more the poo, me or Faith?"
Giles dropped the popcorn.
"We almost ready to do this shit?" Faith asked. She was pacing in the basement, smacking a baseball bat with her palm.
"Not yet," Andrew said. He opened the cardboard tube and pulled out the papers inside. Grabbing some putty, Andrew stuck them to the wall. He and Faith looked at them, a set of blueprints to the RIAA's secret hideout in Texas, or RIAA-SHIT, as Faith liked to call it. "We need to be sure of our plans, and I need to get these blueprints uploaded to the gorilla's memories."
Andrew was able to make seven gorillas out of the parts they bought, using donations from other conspiracy theorists. Some of them were surprisingly wealthy.
"Fuuuuck," said Faith. "I wanna do this shit!"
"Patience, my padawan," said Andrew. Faith glared at him, and Andrew shrunk away from her.
"Three days," he said. "Why don't you make preparations to rent a U-Haul. One with air conditioning. It's a long drive from here to Houston."
"Gonna get something I can hook my iPod up to," she said, as she left the basement. "No fuckin' way I'm listening to your ass for that long."
Xander snuck down the darkened stairs, hoping that nobody would hear him. In a house full of Slayers, that was extremely unlikely, even in the middle of the night, but he was trying anyway. He made it to the cellar without being seen. Something weird was going on with Andrew and Faith.
Not sex weird. He couldn't, wouldn't wrap his mind around the idea that sex between them was even a possibility.
Although he'd had sex with Faith, and it wasn't like she was the most prudish – NO! No, there was definitely no Andrew/Faith sex happening. Besides, Andrew was gay, right?
He didn't really care, truthfully. He was, apparently, with Buffy now, and that was awesome. But if Andrew was with Faith, well, things were simply not right with the universe. Honestly, some things were against all laws of god and man. He shook his head, clearing it of all thoughts other than the task ahead.
Xander opened the cellar door, confident that it would not squeak. He had just oiled it earlier that day, knowing he would be attempting the intrusion of Andrew's and Faith's lair. He crept down the stairs slowly, not daring to turn on a light.
It had been a while since anybody had seen either Andrew or Faith do anything other than eat, sleep, work in the cellar, or attend to… other bodily functions. He put his foot on the last step, and a blinding light flashed in his eyes.
"Someone's in my fruit cellar!" screeched a horrid, ancient and evil voice. Xander screamed. "Someone with a fresh soul!"
Xander scrambled back up the stairs as quickly as he could, his heart beating a mile a minute. He reached the top of the stairs to find Faith and Andrew standing there. Faith's arms were crossed over her chest, and she glared at him, angrily. Andrew did the same, but it came off much more comically.
"Go be with B," Faith said, darkly. "What's down there's private."
"Yeah, and don't try it again!" Andrew added.
"I think that was kind of implied by the 'it's private'," Xander said, glancing at Faith and squirming uncomfortably.
"Oh," said Andrew, frowning. "Yeah. Well, still. Don't."
"How did you get down here so quick?"
"You tripped my sensors," Andrew said. "There's alarms in our rooms."
"You guys aren't getting into any trouble, right?"
"Nothin' we can't handle, ace," Faith said.
Xander nodded and started back up to his room. "Hey," he said to Faith. "How did you know me and Buffy are uh…"
"Everyone knows," Faith said. "Jesus, I been locked in the cellar for three weeks, and I caught you guys like a half dozen times."
"Yeah," said Andrew. "Me too. You guys aren't very clever."
Xander shook his head and went back upstairs.
"So," Andrew said, turning to Faith. "Do you always sleep in the nude?"
"Pretty much," Faith said. Her unclothed state didn't seem to bother her in the least. "You gay?"
Andrew glanced down at his pajamas, back at Faith, then back down. He shrugged. "Guess so."
Faith nodded, patted him on the shoulder and went back to her room. She needed to get a lot of sleep. They had some serious driving to do.
Before dawn, Faith was up. She had called a cab the night before, and it picked her up at the end of the mansion's too-long driveway. The cab took her to the nearest U-Haul place, where she picked up the truck she and Andrew would be using to get to Houston, to stop the evil machinations of the RIAA.
When she returned with the truck, Andrew was on the lawn with all seven gorillas. He loaded them into the back of the truck as Faith ran inside and hauled out his equipment, loading it up as soon as the gorillas were in.
The pair of them hopped into the cab of the truck, and Faith gunned the engine, taking them out of the city and towards Houston.
Day 1: Ohio
Faith was surprised to find that Andrew wasn't actually a bad traveling companion. He was smart enough, and could actually carry on a decent conversation. He had insights into political issues that interested her, he had perspectives on issues that she hadn't considered.
Andrew Wells, Faith soon came to realize, was actually a pretty okay guy. Sure, he was a bit nerdy, but that was okay.
She was looking forward to the rest of the trip.
Day 1: Indiana
"And then he went back to get the people off, and he got them and put them on the ship. But the moon was about to crash into the planet, and Anakin knew that he wouldn't be able to get out if he waited any longer, so he left, leaving Chewbacca standing on the planet's surface, his fist raised in one final act of defiance against the dying world."
Faith stared ahead out of the windshield, unsure if she wanted to just ignore him or smash his head into the dashboard.
'Remember, he controls the gorillas. You need him to take out the demons. The demons are evil. Andrew can help kill the demons,' was Faith's mantra. It kept her, if not calm, at least in control.
"And so Anakin knew his father was going to be distraught, he thought that Han would hate him. And Han kind of did, for a while, because Chewie had been his best friend since even before he met Luke, and that was even way before he and Leia had kids."
'He controls the gorillas. He controls the gorillas. He controls the gorillas.'
Day 1: Illinois
Faith had allowed Andrew to choose their music for a while, if just to shut him up, and now she had some fucking boy band pussy music stuck in her head. She glared at him as he sang with gusto some lame-ass song. His music time was over in ten minutes, and she was gonna hold this against him for the rest of the trip.
With a grumble of frustration, she tried to think of something – anything – to get the goddamn music out of her mind.
Day 1: Missouri
Faith: "I want it that way!"
Andrew: "Tell me why!"
Faith: "Ain't nothin' but a heartache!"
Andrew: "Tell me why!"
Faith: "Ain't nothin' but a mistake!"
Andrew: "Tell me why!"
Faith: "I never wanna hear you say…"
Both: "I want it thaaaaat way!"
East Skelly Drive
Faith dragged her self up to the counter after a long day of driving. She was not, generally speaking, a vain woman, but numerous hours in the cab of a U-Haul did nothing for her hair, her clothes, or her odor. She was exhausted. Andrew hadn't done any driving all day, and she was about ready to pass out right there in the lobby.
"Good evening, miss," said an all-too-chirpy desk attendant. "How may I be of assistance?"
"Two rooms," Faith said. "With showers."
"All of our rooms come with a full bath, including a shower, bathtub, toilet and sink. Do you have any preference as to –"
"Two rooms," Faith said, slamming her credit card down on the counter. "With showers."
The desk attendant saw a small crack appear in the counter.
"Two rooms," he said. "Right away."
Ten minutes later, Faith was luxuriating under a stream of scalding hot water.
Fifteen minutes after that, she was asleep.
Day 2: Oklahoma
They had agreed to alternate days. It was a long drive, but Andrew didn't complain. Faith had driven all day yesterday, with barely a break, all that way from Cleveland. Andrew didn't know how she did it.
Of course, she was a Slayer, and they had lots more energy than he did.
He checked his mirrors, clicked on his turn signal, switched lanes, and passed an eighteen-wheeler like it was standing still. A nerd he may be, but Andrew Wells loved driving fast.
Andrew looked down at his lap, where Faith's head lay peacefully. She was sleeping soundly, her mouth slightly open. His gazed tracked down her body, noting the curve of her breasts, the smooth, taut line of her stomach that was exposed by her shirt riding up. He saw the top of her thong exposed above the leather pants that showed off her perfectly sculpted ass, and clung closely to her beautiful legs.
"Yup," he muttered to himself. "Definitely gay."
Day 2: Texas
"This is a lot browner than Ohio," Andrew said.
"Yeah," said Faith. "Warmer though."
Andrew nodded. Faith was oddly silent. Not that she was overly talkative yesterday, but today she barely even responded to anything he said. Andrew drove on, wondering what was bothering her, but not having the courage to speak up.
Plus, he was replaying Attack of the Clones in his head. He sighed. Amidala truly didn't know what she had.
They stopped at a small diner on the outskirts of Houston, and stayed there until night fell. They went over their plans again, each of them having committed the layout of the headquarters to memory.
Andrew traced a general schematic of the building on the back of a paper placemat, and went over the plan point-by-point, each of them repeating it to the other until neither made a single mistake.
When the sun had gone down and the moon had risen, they hopped back in the U-Haul and drove to a steakhouse. Each ordered a large, rare stake with all the trimmings. They considered it might be their last meal, and Andrew was moved to prayer when it was over. Faith stayed silent, and when Andrew was done crossed herself.
They hopped into the U-Haul and drove to the RIAA's secret headquarters. They parked on a side-street devoid of people, but oddly full of vans, and got ready for what might be their own personal Alamo.
"Give me a minute back here," Faith said.
Andrew shrugged and by the back of the truck. Faith rolled the door down and left him alone on the darkened street. He went to the cab of the truck reached onto the seat and pulled out a small white box.
He nodded to himself, steeling his nerve, and pulled out one of Faith's cigarettes. He grabbed her lighter, lit, and inhaled before he could change his mind.
When Faith got out of the truck, Andrew was bent over at the waist, coughing and hacking.
"How can you do that?" he asked, spitting the taste from his mouth. "That's atrocious!"
Faith shrugged. "Acquired taste," she said.
Andrew stood and looked at her. He looked confused. "Doesn't that chafe?"
"Leather sewn in," Faith said, grinning. "So what do you think, is it a statement?"
"Absolutely," Andrew said.
Faith spun around, showing off her newly-purchased chain-mail bikini. Andrew applauded.
"Okay," she said. "Let's unload these gorillas and get crackin'. We got some demons to kill."
Andrew slid open the back of the truck, hopped up and activated the gorillas.
"Gorillas!" Faith called. "Off the truck!"
As one, the gorillas marched forward and jumped off the back of the truck, each landing with an impressively loud thud.
"Andy!" she said. Andrew, who was completing his equipment set up, re-appeared at the back of the truck.
"Yeah?" he asked.
Faith walked up to the back of the truck and extended her hand up to him. "Been good workin' with ya, man."
Andrew smiled, knelt and held his hand out to her. "You too," he said.
Faith turned around and walked back to the head of the gorillas.
"Oh, and Faith?" Andrew called.
She turned around.
"Your nipple's showing."
Faith looked down at her chest, slipped her breast back behind its covering and gave him the thumbs up.
"Wardrobe malfunction," she yelled back to him.
Andrew grinned. "The FCC we'll take on next month, Faith! One thing at a time!"
Faith stood in front of the RIAA's secret headquarters, her radio headset connecting her to Andrew in the back of the truck.
"Gorillas!" she called out. "You know your assignments. Attack on my command!"
Faith looked at the building with anger in her heart.
"Give 'em hell, girlfriend," Andrew said.
Faith thought back to Gladiator, a favorite movie of hers, and looked to the sky. She placed one fist over her heart.
"We who are about to die," she started.
"Really don't want to," Andrew finished through the headphones.
Faith chuckled and prepared to call a charge. All of a sudden, people started running out of the building.
People, she realized, who she recognized.
People who were running very quickly, straight at her.
"Down!" yelled Giles, keeping up with a half-dozen slayers as best he could. "Get down!"
One of the younger slayers in the group dove at her and tossed her to the ground. They rolled behind one of the gorillas.
"What the FUCK are you –"
Faith ducked her head down as the building exploded, throwing debris everywhere and severely damaging many of her gorillas with falling concrete. She stood up, and dodged around a couple of times to avoid falling pieces of building.
To her left, Giles groaned, holding his back as he stood up.
"Every time," he said. "Every single time we rely on Xander for explosives a building gets blown up. That boy does not know the meaning of the word 'enough.'"
"Giles!" Faith yelled.
Giles turned and looked at her, and got quickly shoved to the side as a glob of former-demon fell from the sky.
"Ah, thank you," he said to the girl. He looked at Faith again. "Faith, where have you been?" he asked.
"Giles!" Xander yelled, as he and Buffy ran up to them. "Did you see that? It was awesome! Faith? What are you doing here?"
"And what are you wearing?" Buffy asked.
"Well, I –"
"Why haven't you been answering your cell phone?" Xander asked.
"Because!" Faith said. "Me and Andrew…" she paused, and spoke into her headset. "Andrew, get your ass out here!"
"What were you doing?" Buffy asked, her arm firmly around Xander's waist.
"We… we were gonna take this place down!" Faith said, gesturing to the gorillas. "They're evil."
"Uh, yeah," said Xander. "We know."
"You know? And you didn't tell me?" Faith asked, almost yelling.
"We tried," Xander said. "But the law firm – the one that got your lawsuit dropped? They only informed us yesterday. We tried to call you, but you were nowhere to be found. So we saddled up and here we are."
"What are you guys doing here?" Andrew asked as he walked up to the group. He and Willow were helping a couple of limping slayers join everybody up front.
"We raided the place," Buffy said. "It was real easy, too. Somebody had left some blueprints with an attack strategy on them in the basement."
"Yeah," said Willow, handing her injured slayer off to one of the other slayers.. "Once we got past the little distraction at the bottom of the stairs, the whole thing was set out for us."
"So basically," Xander said, grinning, "we took your idea, did it faster, better, and with more panache than you guys could have."
Faith and Andrew looked at each other. Andrew turned and punched Xander straight in the mouth. He and Faith strode back towards the truck. As they walked, Andrew lit up another cigarette.
"You know," he said, "I could get used to these."
Faith hopped in behind the driver's seat, without changing back into her normal clothes, and turned to Andrew.
"What's next?" Faith asked.
Andrew looked at her and shrugged. "I don't know about you," he said, "but I could use some waffles, and maybe tell you my theories on the MPAA?"
Faith nodded, turned the ignition, and drove off into the night.