Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters except for the ones that I created like Hope and Dominic.
CHAPTER 10-TICK TOCK
24 Hours and Counting…
She laid on the bed sobbing uncontrollably into the pillows. The only man that she had ever truly loved now lay in a body bag in the morgue. The memory of those last few seconds kept playing over and over again in her mind. A large part of her swore that any minute now he would walk through the bedroom door and take her up in his arms and reassure her that everything would be alright. But when she would open her eyes he wouldn't be there, only empty space and hollow words spoken by friends in the hopes of comforting her.
23 Hours and Counting…
"What are we going to do," Kate asked with a very impatient scowl on her face as she glared around the table at those assembled.
"We have to find that thing and kill it, before the window is up and we lose Wesley forever," Oz replied with a very grim frown on his face as he took a deep breath and tried not to dwell on the gravity of what he had said.
"Do we have any leads," Groo asked with a uncomfortable look on his face as he silently wished that the problem was as easy as hacking something to death rather than trying to find an invisible creature in a city the size of Los Angeles.
"Unfortunately no, and I don't think that I need to say it but time is of the essence here," Kate replied with an unhappy and nervous frown on her face as she sifted through the disorganized mountain of files on top of her desk, hoping that one of them would miraculously give her the answer that she was seeking.
"What if we went back to where it attacked Wesley and," Willow started to say with a hopeful and optimistic look on her face before Kate cut in angrily.
"That won't work, we've already established that the demon never strikes in the same spot twice, it's already long gone, the only ray of hope that we have is if the tech boys and girls can get anything off of that hair sample that we found at the sight of the attack," Kate interjected with an upset scowl on her face before she calmed down just a bit and forced herself to speak slowly.
"Wait a minute, that hair really could be the key to saving Wesley, if I could figure out some sort of tracking spell using the hair then we just might have a chance," Willow exclaimed with a very suddenly excited smile on her face as she bolted up to her feet and turned quickly from Oz to Kate and then back to Oz.
"What do you mean," Oz asked with a confused but invigorated and hopeful expression on his face as he stood up beside Willow and laid a hand on her shoulder.
"Come on, I'll explain on the way," Willow quickly replied with an anxious look on her face before she feverishly collected her books and then raced out of the room, leaving Oz to have to run to keep up.
20 Hours Left…
"Is this going to work," Kate asked with an unconvinced look on her face as she turned to Willow and frowned.
"We'll find out soon enough, okay Willow we're all set," Oz replied at first with a nervous shrug of his shoulders before he turned to Willow and gave her the thumbs up sign. Across the room Willow nodded her head and then began to cast the spell, only glancing up at Oz a couple of times before a spot on the map that was laid out in front of her caught on fire. Kate immediately started to turn to grab the fire extinguisher but Oz grabbed her arm and pulled her away, asking her with his look to stay calm. Kate was about to wrench her arm free when the fire went out just as suddenly as it had started, leaving only a small hole in the map and a grinning Willow behind.
"It worked…yes, that's where we'll find the Tavivosh demon, how many hours left," Willow exclaimed triumphantly at first with an excited smile on her face before she remembered why she had done the spell in the first place and turned to Oz.
"Enough, come on lets go," Oz replied with a nervous and even a bit scared tone to his voice as he checked his watch before he turned and raced out of the room, heading for the squad room.
15 Hours Left…
"Are you sure we're in the right place," Oz asked with a concerned look on his face as he looked around the old warehouse and saw nothing.
"The spell worked Oz, this is the right place, it's here…somewhere," Willow grumbled back with a sarcastic pout on her face as she momentarily looked over at Oz before returning her gaze to scan for any sign of the creature. She hoped that she would be able to sense its aura while it was still invisible, thereby giving them a leg up on it.
"Okay people look alive, this thing could be anywhere, it won't become visible until right before it attacks, anyone see anything don't waste the time to tell us, just fire," Kate ordered the other officers loudly as she drew her own gun and scanned the ceiling of the building before Willow added her bit.
"But be sure that you're not aiming at anyone before firing, we don't want to lose anybody," Willow added with a very serious look on her face as she pulled her own gun and clicked the safety off.
"You try not to lose anyone you're going to lose everybody," Faith stated blankly, without even the slightest hint of emotion in her voice or expression on her face as she suddenly appeared in the warehouse's open doorway.
"Faith, what are you doing here," Oz exclaimed in a harsh whisper as he spun around and saw her standing there.
"Saving my husband, you got a problem with that," Faith growled back with an angry scowl on her face as she drew a wicked looking axe out from behind her back and stepped over the bottom part of the door and into the warehouse.
"No…no problem at all," A scared and nervous looking officer said as she slowly backed away from Faith and made sure to give the slayer a wide berth.
"Alright everyone, let's do this," Kate said softly with a very serious look on her face as she turned away from looking over at Faith to start her search, with an intense looking Groo at her side
They split up into teams, Willow and Oz slowly made their way down the north wall while Kate and Groo took the south wall. The majority of the other officers fanned out through the large empty space in the middle. Faith spat out a joke under her breath before she gripped her axe tightly an slowly crept up the stairs towards the second story, hoping to come face to face with the demon and not have one of the officers get to it first. Even though they were all moving slowly it didn't take any of the teams long to make their way down the walls and to the other end of the warehouse. When they got there the lead officers in the middle turned and looked to Kate and Willow to ask what to do. First Willow and then Kate used a simple hand gesture to tell the officers to stay calm and keep fanning out over their area, hoping that they'd get lucky. Faith on her own upstairs hadn't had any better luck, slowly becoming more and more angry as she went without encountering the demon.
She was just about to turn around and go back downstairs when she glanced down towards her feet and saw the demon through the hole in one of the floorboards, it's tentacles wrapped tightly around one of the building's main beams. She stayed silent as she watched it, carefully watching Willow and Kate and the others on the base floor like a casual spectator at a major sporting event. Just when Faith was about to strike she saw the demon loosen its grip on the beam and start to slide down it. It hadn't gone to far when one of the officers spotted it and started to fire. Though the officer was far to green and to nervous to aim correctly as his bullets missed hitting the demon completely and pinged harmlessly against the other beams.
Grinding her teeth Faith ripped open a hole in the floor while hearing the sounds of the officers screaming and shouting and bullets going off. She didn't take the opportunity to check to see where Kate or Willow were but inwardly hoped that they were alright. After finally wrenching away the last board Faith climbed up to the edge of the hole, gripped her axe firmly with one hand, and then leapt onto the same beam as the demon, barely keeping from slipping. At first the demon was to concerned with not getting shot to notice Faith's actions, but just as she was about halfway to it the demon looked up and she could see it bare its teeth at her and start to scramble back up the beam towards her, murder in it eyes.
"Suck on this shit-face," Faith growled with an almost insane sneer on her face as she let go of the beam and went into a freefall. Thanks to her slayer training she was able to tightly grip the axe and get one swing off, severing the demon's head from its body. Her time to celebrate was limited as she physically collided with the demon on her way down before physically bouncing off of it and then plummeting towards the ground. The only thing that she could do was cover up her face and turn to the side, casting the axe far away, before she crashed through a stack of several wooden pallets. She could feel each and every splinter as she fell, crashing through them one at a time until somewhere in the middle of the stack her force of her fall wasn't enough and she crashed to a stop. She could tell that she probably had a couple of broken ribs and she looked like shit but Faith dragged herself out of the pile of pallets and coughed up some blood just as the officers whose souls had been drained by the demon began to come to.
From the look on Willow's face Faith knew that her injuries were probably severe, but at that moment her injuries were the least of her worries. Faith violently flung away any and all officers that tried to help her up before she wiped the blood oozing from her mouth off on her sleeve and staggered back towards the door of the building. Willow could barely choke her name out before she disappeared out of the door.
13 Hours Left…
He instantly recognized the ceiling of The Hyperion when he opened his eyes. Almost as quickly he howled in shock and covered his face, rolling off of the gurney and crashing to the floor. Hissing in pain he slowly pushed himself up until he was seated. He looked all around and didn't recognize any of the officers that were all to startled at his sudden movement to do anything more than stare openmouthed at him.
"Will someone tell me what the hell is," Wesley started to growl with a completely confused scowl on his face before he felt her more than heard her. He snapped his head around and saw Faith limping into the old hotel, all bloodied up with tears in her eyes. With tears welling up in his own eyes he shakily got to his feet, using the gurney for support, before he began to lurch towards Faith while she did the same towards him. They met in the middle, and after some hesitation where Faith hesitantly reached out and touched him to make sure that he was real, Faith forcefully pulled Wesley down into one of the sweetest kisses that she would ever have in her life. When they finally broke it off to take in some air Faith looked up at him with tears cascading down her cheeks.
"You ever do this again and I'll…I'll," Faith started to stutter back with an angry scowl on her face before her emotions overwhelmed her and she pulled Wesley back into another kiss.
"I'll never leave you again," Wesley finally whispered softly to Faith as they changed from kissing to a powerful hug, one that Faith could barely keep from crying out at the pain of being squeezed, before she pulled back slightly and grinned.
"I'm going to hold you to that, because our shitty luck has struck again…I'm pregnant," Faith said with an almost threatening scowl on her face at first before she couldn't help but grin like a giddy school girl at the end.
END OF CHAPTER 10