Loss of Faith
Chapter 30: Roadtrip Part Two
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the recognizable characters contained within.
That would be Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, etc….
A/N: Well, this is the end. Thank you to all who have read. Thank you to all who have reviewed and commented, it really does help.
BTW – This story was written for Jinxgirl who happened to ask the right question at the right time. Thank you much! Wouldn't of happened without you.
Xander's POV –
It's been a few hours since Will made with the magic and we still haven't heard shit from either Buffy or Faith. This waiting around is really starting to bug me. I tried to leave twice already and the first time Giles shut me down saying that it'd be better if we all stayed together until we heard something. The second time, I was going to roll right over him but Joyce stepped up and asked me to wait a little longer. There's no way I could refuse her. So now I'm pacing around the room like a caged animal and starting to get on everyone's nerves.
I start in again, "Will, isn't there anyway you can tell if it worked or not?" She's sitting on the couch next to Shannon, holding her hand.
"I told you already Xander," she says with a sigh, "I felt the power build and sent it out. It was absorbed by something, but there's no way I can tell if it was them or not. Sorry, we're just going to have to wait and hope they contact us."
Yeah, she built the power all right. It took all day to get everything ready. Then at sunset we were sitting in a circle holding hands, concentrating on Faith and Buff just like Will asked us to. Willow started chanting in some language or other, Giles probably knew what she was saying, but it was all Greek to me. That's when the whole room started filling with what felt like a static electric charge. The Orb of Thesulus started glowing a deep yellow then rose in the air about six inches. In the ceramic bowl next to it, the gem of Amara flashed a bright green then dissolved into dust, lighting the other stuff in the bowl on fire. The dust swirled upwards in the smoke to join the Orb, surrounding it then appearing to sink into it, before the Orb turned dark and dropped back to the floor. As soon as it went dark, all the power that had been building left the room and it felt like it took all the air with it. There was a loud thunderclap and then nothing.
And still with the nothing. That's what's driving me up a wall.
All that build up just to have to wait on the off chance we'll find out if it worked or not. Shouldn't there be like a sign or something, a little signal that would say 'mission accomplished, it's okay to go about your lives'? Man, this waiting game is driving me crazy.
Joyce and Giles are talking quietly on the other side of the room. They keep sneaking glances over at me to make sure I'm not going to make a break for the door again. But I don't know how much more of this I can take. You know what? Screw this. I just can't do this anymore. I cannot just sit here waiting while out there somewhere, two of the girls I care for most in the world could be suffering. Or worse. Making up my mind I start for the front door again while Joyce and Giles move to intercept me. There must be something different in my eyes this time though, because both of them stop short and nod their heads. Walking to the door I reach out to throw it open while saying over my shoulder, "I'll let you know if I find anything." And walk right into Buffy.
She was just about to open the door when I slammed into her and bounced back falling on my ass. I looked at her in stunned surprise until I heard a familiar laugh from behind her, along with the smartass comment, "Damn, B. Ya still got him fallin hard for ya. Can't blame him though." Then she laughs some more.
First I'm worried, then I'm relieved when I hear Faith, then I'm pissed, then I'm back to being relieved. I finally settle on being relieved because if they're both here and joking around, then Will's spell must have worked just fine.
"Hey Buff, how come every time I see you anymore I end up on my ass?" I ask as I climb back up to my feet. She throws her arms around my neck and hugs me like she hasn't seen me in years.
"Thank you," she whispers in my ear. I look over her shoulder at Faith and see her smiling. She heard exactly what Buff said, slayer hearing and all, from the look in her eyes she knows what it was for too.
"No problem Buff," I tell her just as quietly. "Anytime."
Joyce is standing next to us and Buffy turns to hug her. As soon as she releases me, I'm grabbed up again and all I can see is a sea of dark brown hair. I know who it is a soon as I feel myself being squeezed. "Take it easy there, Faith," I say. "I thought you weren't the touchy feely sort. You're going to lose your badass rep if you keep this up."
She pulls back from me and says with a smirk, "At this point I don't care. Besides, everyone here knows I can kick your ass."
Giles and Will are behind us chuckling and when I turn around I can see even Shannon is smiling. Faith gets a nervous look in her eyes and I see that Joyce has stopped hugging Buffy and she's standing there looking at Faith like she doesn't know what to do. Faith looks like she's getting ready to bolt when Joyce steps up and drags her into an even bigger hug than she gave Buffy.
"Thank God you're alright," she says. We can all hear the tears in her voice and I see Faith visibly relax as she returns Joyce's hug. When they pull apart there's a shine of tears in Faith's eyes as well.
"I didn't think you would still like me," she says to Joyce quietly while looking at the ground. "What with being undead an all."
Joyce gives her a confused look and says, "I told you before honey, how can anyone help but love you. No matter what." Now Buffy has tears running down her face, but at least they're tears of joy this time. I can live with that. I think we all can.
Giles finally speaks up, "Why don't we move this inside?" He asks.
We all agree and start moving back into the living room. Everyone is talking at once, wanting to know what happened to Buff and Faith and why it took so long for them to come home.
"Well, long story not quite so long?" Buffy says, "I took Faith back to the aqueducts and she woke up. We had a little disagreement about my behavior at the warehouse. Then we made up. We went out for take out, then got hit by some major mojo." She looks over at Willow at this point and gives her a small smile. "Then we figured we should come back here and find out what the what is. So, Will, what did you hit us with?"
Will's looking more than a little nervous and says, "Xander told us what happened at the warehouse when you went to get Faith. I……We thought that if what you did worked, it would be better if Faith had her humanity back instead of having to try to fight off the demon."
Faith and Buffy look at each other then Faith nods at Willow to continue saying, "Thanks Red. That was really good thinkin."
"I felt that part," Buffy says. "But what was the rest of it?"
Willow answers, "Well it wasn't just an ensouling spell. See, we were talking earlier, before Faith was taken, about how the curse has that whole 'no moment of complete happiness' clause and how it wasn't fair to you and Faith. Xander is actually the one that brought it up and I……..we figured that we might be able to anchor the spell so it wouldn't be broken. So I added into the ensouling spell and there you go. You're both anchored and won't have to worry about it anymore."
"Howdya do that?" Faith asks not quite willing to believe just yet that her and Buffy could actually be happy together without the world coming to an end.
"It was Shannon," Will says, giving the young slayer a smile. "She suggested using the gem of Amara as a cohesive to anchor you guys. It was made to make a vampire impervious to physical attack, so I modified it to make you impervious to spiritual attack."
Both Buff and Faith look over to Shannon and I can see her shrink back from them some. Then they both give her a grin and she relaxes again.
"So that was it?" Faith asks still suspicious.
"There may be a little more to it," Will says.
"Come on Red, stop dickin around and give," Faith says. I can see she's getting tired of pulling the information out of Willow piece by piece. Not very long on patience is Faith. Surprise there, huh?
"The spell was designed to anchor one vampire's soul, not two, Willow continues hesitantly. Faith has started to glare at her now. She must be thinking that there's a 'but' about to come out that's going to bite her on the ass.
"SoIhadtoanchorthetwoofyoursoulstogetherforittoworkonbothofyouandI'msorryifyoudon'twantitbutit'sdoneandcan'tbechangedbacksopleasedon'thurtme!" she finishes in a rush.
I can see the girls running what Will just blurted out back over in their heads and it looks like Faith gets it first because she breaks out in a brilliant smile and walks over to Willow. She wraps her up in a huge hug and actually lifts her off the ground and spins her around. "Hurt ya? I oughta kiss ya, Red," she says while still smiling. "Ya just gave me everything I always wanted. Thank you!" She puts Will down and struts over to Buffy, giving her just as big a hug.
Faith says, "Hear that Twinky? You're stuck with me for all time now. Just when ya thought it couldn't get any worse, right?" Then they both start laughing. It's good to see them happy and I hope it lasts for a long, long time.
As the night wore on we talked in different groups but always came back together. At one point Faith got me off to the side. She looked like she had something to say and didn't want anyone else around. She starts off looking kind of shy, which for Faith is a totally new look. "Xand, I just wanna thank ya again for all ya did for me and B."
I start to protest but she keeps talking over me. "Yea, I know I don't hafta say nothing, but I wanna, alright?" she says and gives me her smirk. "Anyway, I was thinkin. The place needs some work and I wanted you to do it for me. Give ya a chance to use those 'Handy Harris' skills, ya know? I figure you could stay here while you fix up the place. The bank account numbers and stuff are over in the telephone table drawer, so just help yourself to whatever ya need."
"Faith," I tell her, "I don't know what to say."
"Just tell me ya can fix that big ass hole in the concrete over on that wall and it'll all be good," she says and laughs. "How the hell did it get there anyway?"
I look back at the wall she's talking about and am just about to explain Buffy's interrogation techniques when we overhear Shannon talking to Giles.
"Don't worry Mr. Giles, I'll be gone in the morning," she's saying. Faith and I move over next to them to hear what's going on.
"Whatever are you talking about Shannon?" he asks.
"You have both your slayers back and don't need me here. I'll find somewhere else to go," she says. "But I'll not go back to the Council. There's no way I could serve them in good conscience now."
Giles looks at her gently and says, "Shannon, there's no need for you to go anywhere." He looks around at the rest of us for any objections and not hearing any goes on. "Beside, in all likelihood the Council will come here looking for you. Now that you have helped us, it is almost inevitable. In fact, we should probably start thinking of a defensive posture."
I see Faith look over at Buff and there's something that passes between them. Then Buffy says, "You know, Shannon you need to just stay here, with my mom. I don't think you guys are going to have anything to worry about. Right Faith?"
Faith is starting get an evil grin on her face and she raises an eyebrow at Buffy as she says, "Whaddya say to a roadtrip B?"
Buffy has a smile that exactly matches Faith's and she says, "Just what I was thinking."
I'm standin in the shadows of a dark, barely lit room. There're bookcases on three of the walls and the guy who calls this home must be part bat, cause there's hardly any light. Not that I need it anymore. In fact I prefer it this way. I can see B clearly over on the other side of the room. She's hangin in shadows of her own and we're both just waitin for the asshole we've come to see to show up. It better be soon too, for his sake. The longer it takes him, the more ways I come up with to make his sorry existence an exercise in pain. Havin nothing to do but stand here waitin while thinkin about all the pain and sorrow he's caused is really not in his best interest. Maybe we shoulda made an appointment?
B breathes out my name. Barely a sound at all and I hear what she already picked up on. The soft sound of footfalls down the hall and headed this way. I feel myself getting charged up with the anticipation of finally getting to dish out some payback. I just hope this guy's not a wimp and faints dead away when we confront him. That would sooo suck. All this build up for nothing? Reminds me of bed buddies I had in the past.
B's lookin at me with a little smile on her face while shakin her head and I can tell she knows exactly where my thoughts have been runnin. She seems to get the biggest kick outta bein able to get in my head anytime she likes. Course, I try and return the favor, usually anytime she's in the shower without me. I like to pop in and provide some commentary while she's washin, that if she had a pulse would have her blushin like a virgin. Heh, heh that thought knocked the smile offa her face. Paybacks a bitch, huh baby? That's something our unknowing host is gonna find out in, Three, Two, One and enter our mystery guest.
The door opens and in he walks, like he's the master of the universe. Freakin bastard. I feel the rage spring up and I have to stop myself from movin. I gotta thank G when we get back for all that meditation and self-control trainin he gave me. Yea, imagine that, me havin self control. Scary thought, huh?
He moves over to his desk and sits down while pullin a folder over to him. He's just openin it up to read when B steps outta the shadows and says, "Hiya Travers. I've been waiting for you." He looks up at her and I gotta tell ya, the way his eyes almost popped outta his head was priceless. It almost made all this waitin around worth it. Almost.
"You," he says. I can see him tryin to get his shit together. "What are you doing here? How did you get in?" he asks. Not really good under pressure is our head Watcher.
B's sorta sauntering over toward him and says, "Well, you know, semi-public building and all. You really shouldn't have that sign over the door that says 'Enter Ye Who Wish to Gain Knowledge', it's kinda like a standing invitation." Then B goes on, "I just thought I'd drop in and see how you've been doing. I mean, you've taken such a big interest in Sunnydale and what's going on there, I thought I'd return the favor." She leans over the desk and gives him her best innocent little girl grin and I hafta cover my mouth to keep the laugh from escapin. This is too much fun to spoil my surprise already.
Travers sits back in his chair and tries to give B the old 'I know what's best' attitude as he says, "Really Miss Summers, I would think that you being a former slayer would realize the futility of trying to escape your fate. Why don't you let us help you? We can give you your final rest." As he's talkin his left hand moved to the top drawer and I see him reach in for a pistol. Yea, a gun ain't gonna stop B, but it might slow her down and I can see a stake layin in the drawer next to the gun. Okay, play times over as far as I'm concerned.
I move in a blink of an eye and use my leg to slam the drawer shut with his hand still caught inside. I keep the pressure on as I lean over him. "Now, now Mr. T. That's no way to show proper hospitality to your guests, is it?" I ask.
His eyes are flicking back and forth between B and me so quick he looks like he's watchin a tennis match. He has sweat starting to form on his brow as he says to me, "You……your dead. You were shot at the warehouse when this abomination tried to come for you." Guess some of the Council goons made it outta there alive after all. Too bad. I see B flinch some at the description he used and press harder with my leg. I can hear the bones in his wrist start to break as he lets out a small scream of pain. I figure if I keep pressin, sooner or later I could sever his hand completely. I take a moment to think whether I wanna go ahead and do that or not. Hmm, decisions, decisions…………
Nah, I guess not. Beside, B would be pissed if I made him pass out from the pain already. We're just getting started. I let off on the drawer and slide up to sit on the desk so we're facin one another. He pulls his hand out and holds it to his chest. Not gonna be usin that hand for a while. Good thing he's a righty. B 's hand flashes out and rakes her nails down the side of his face leavin four long scratch marks. The instant pain makes his head snap around to look directly at her and she says, "I was speaking to you Mr. Travers. It's not polite to ignore someone when they're addressing you." B's still usin that sweet little innocent girl voice and I swear that's gotta be freakin Travers out. But I kinda like it.
B has this whole dominatrix vibe goin on and to tell ya the truth it's startin to turn me on. She's starin him straight in the eye and keeps her voice low and calm as she says, "You and your Council are no longer welcome in Sunnydale. You are not to have any contact with the current slayer until and if she contacts you. We will be taking care of her from now on. Do you understand?"
"That's preposterous," the jackass sputters out. "Shannon is my niece, I am her legal guardian and you have no right to interfere with us."
I put a foot up on his arm and start pressing down as I say, "Shannon is a poor girl that you stole from her family. You kept her isolated and tried to brainwash her. Then you truly fucked up and tried to have her capture me. You're not her family, we are. You're nothing to her." As I finish speakin I give a hard, sharp, thrust with my foot and enjoy the sound of his elbow breakin. He gives a high pitched scream and I hear footsteps runnin down the hall towards us. That's alright though, we're almost done and personally I don't mind a few witnesses.
A big guy comes through the door and as soon as he sees us he pulls a freaking canon outta a shoulder holster. I'm offa the desk and over to him before he can aim the thing, then grab him in an arm lock. I got full control of his arm and have the canon pointin toward his boss. I tell the big guy, "Easy there fella. You don't wanna accidently shoot your boss, do ya?" He shakes his head no and is tryin to hold in the whimpers of pain. Okay, so maybe I'm usin a little more force than is strictly needed. So what. He's just another Council asshole as far as I'm concerened. No different than the creeps they sent to kidnap me.
B reaches out and turns Travers' face back towards her. He seems a little startled like he forgot she was there while he was watchin the show I put on. She looks him in his eyes and tells him, "From now on the slayers and potentials have someone else to watch over them. We are now the protectors of the slayer line. You can find them, you can train them, but if we ever find out that you are trying to use or abuse them again, we will end you. Do you understand?" Toldya my girl can be wicked scary sometimes.
Travers nods his head since he's too scared to speak. And I think he might need to change his pants after we leave. Sometimes the enhanced senses are not of the good. B looks over to me and asks, "Think we can trust him?'
I look at him real hard and think about all the shit he's put us through. Then I shake my head and squeeze the guy I'm holding's arm. The gun in his hand goes off and blows a two inch hole in Travers chest, right through his heart. I look up at the guy I'm still holdin and ask, "Can we trust you to pass on our message?" When this guy nods I believe him and look over to B to let her know we can go now. We just have to make a quick stop in the basement to take care of some pesky vermin they keep down there. Then we can go home. Before we leave I twist up the barrel on his canon as I tell him, "You need to remember, we'll be watchin the Watchers so Do. Not. Fuck. Up."
B's standing at the back of the jet we chartered brushin the last of the vamp ash outta her hair. Getting the jet for a coupla night flights was a pretty sweet deal. All we hada do was tell the pilot we loved watchin the stars as we flew and he was more than happy to make them night flights. Of course the five grand tip we gave him probably helped. B finishes with her hair and comes over to sit on my lap. She's such a girl sometimes, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
"Whatcha thinking about?" she asks.
"Just things, B," I answer her.
"What kind of things?," she says. She's got her hands runnin through my hair and it's causin small tremors to start shootin from my scalp down to lower areas.
"Ya know, the normal shit. What are we gonna do now? Do we hafta stay on the Hellmouth with the newbie there and all? Why isn't there a bed on this plane?" I say back to her.
"Well," she says leanin her body into me. "We could do some traveling. We would be like rogue demon slayers or something. And we don't have to stay in Sunnydale, we would just need to check back in from time to time. Make sure that Giles and the new kid have everything under control. As for your last question," she starts reclining the seat back as she runs her tongue along the edge of my ear, "Who needs a bed?"
Have I told ya how much I like this new and improved Buffy? It's gonna be an interestin trip home. Ya know what? Anywhere B is, is my home now. It's gonna be a great un-life.