Turning away from the hotel window where she'd been impatiently scanning a night skyline of a gloriously illuminated San Francisco, Faith Lehane had started to snap out her annoyed question of when things would "start fuckin' happenin'," only to hastily close her mouth, to instead warily examine the other person in the middle of the room.

There, Willow Rosenberg was sitting in the lotus position, legs crossed and hands resting on her knees, eyes closed and her face bearing a truly placid expression, all while floating in mid-air several feet above the carpeted floor.

Sidling to the nearest armchair by the hotel room coffee table, Faith plopped down into this seat, folded her arms across her chest, and sighed in total exasperation, as she waited some more. She'd been doing that a lot, ever since the New Council had finally gotten things organized a couple of years after the Sunnydale collapse, with the newly-created Slayers gathered together from all over the world and trained at the Scottish castle headquarters, to use their superhuman talents to fight against vampires and other demons.

Thankfully, Faith hadn't been chosen as one of the school instructors, considering that the dark Slayer knew full well she didn't have the patience to put up with even more teenage girls feeling frisky concerning their newfound abilities. Rather, that woman on her road trips around the country, that had her enthusiastically looking for trouble and then giving various creatures of the night a thorough ass-kicking, also had her occasionally teaming up with assorted Sunnydale survivors having their own jobs of setting up Slayer Houses throughout North America.

Basically consisting of several Watchers, about a dozen Slayers, and additional support staff, these Houses would allow the New Council to hopefully create a measure of control for the supernatural activity in the cities these residences inhabited, all without having the big secret of magic and unearthly beings becoming known to the populace at large. However, before this could happen, the organization first had to find the perfect location to permanently and discreetly accommodate a crowd of young woman that spent a lot of their time outdoors at night while lugging along a great many razor-sharp hand weapons.

Once this had been done, before the actual moving-in occurred, there usually took place several meetings and conferences between the New Council representatives and the friendly or neutral demon population, along with the humans involved in the supernatural world such as witches, wizards, mages, sorcerers, and anyone else that for their own reasons knew about what went bump in the night. During these get-togethers, it would eventually be slipped into the conversation, politely enough but always quite firmly, by the New Council envoy that their secret army of Slayers was going to come here, they would be decisively dealing with anyone or anything that might object to this, and it would truly be a shame if things just couldn't be worked out among beings of good intentions before any unfortunate blunders happened that resulted in numerous decapitations. For them.

At that point, an up-to-then silent Faith usually lurking behind the seat of the New Council spokesperson would now ostentatiously clear her throat, and then send her most evil grin towards the paling humans and demons that certainly knew all about the fiercest Slayer of them all.

So, basically, in her teamwork with the other New Council members, they did all the diplomacy crap, getting whatever information they needed about their newest home, soothing down any ruffled feelings and feathers (which wasn't just a metaphor with some of those avian demons), telling how cooperation by everyone would lead to a more peaceful and non-apocalyptic life for them all, and in effect being the carrot.

Faith was the stick. Or rather, the big, spiked club with matted hair, blood, and traces of brain tissue clinging to the pointed metal barbs.

Hey, she was perfectly fuckin' fine with it. Faith didn't even mind the reunions with the various Scoobies sent to work with her by the big boss hisself, Mr. Tweed, also known as Rupert Giles, director of the New Council. Ever since the massive California sinkhole had happened, the Boston-born Slayer had been on far better terms with those people who'd first met her as a young woman having the world's biggest chip on her shoulder and thought that was all she seemed to be instead of the terrified fifteen-year-old girl that had seen her Watcher murdered and was then chased across the continent by a monster intent upon finishing the job.

To everyone's surprise, after the events with the First Evil and the destruction of Sunnydale, tolerance and trust had been cautiously offered to Faith, and that woman had finally met the others halfway, with the air cleared at last between them all. There were still dark memories not easily forgotten, but in the end, there had been forgiveness and even friendship, as there should have been so long ago.

In her chair inside the San Francisco hotel room, Faith wryly smiled to herself, as she watched Willow still floating in the air while that meditating witch was performing her magical search. *Case in point, Red there. We're actually tight now, with that stuck-up bitch Kennedy haulin' her ass off to Australia after their big breakup, and it's been fun workin' with Miss Magic. She did a damn better job with those three sisters than I woulda.* The Slayer's expression then became a bit more sardonic, as she continued reflecting, *Still, wonder if boss-man sent her here 'cause of the Charmed gals, or if it was another reason, him wantin' to get Red outta his recedin' hair.*

Faith's beginning snickers were quickly cut off by Willow's abrupt opening of her eyes, with the red-haired witch still hovering above the hotel floor then revealing something absolutely uncanny to the Slayer now sitting bolt-upright in her seat. Instead of her normal appearance of a pair of green-colored human eyes, Willow's orbs currently glimmered with a silvery light, with the former Sunnydale resident also whispering in an eerie voice that caused Faith to abruptly develop gooseflesh on her forearms.

"It's starting."

Hurriedly twisting in her armchair, Faith stared out the hotel window, right into the glowing full moon that had just arisen over the horizon, to shine its pale luminosity onto the sleeping city.

At the same time in a Victorian house in San Francisco, six pairs of eyes opened as one, and as they all stared up from their beds at the room ceilings, these particular organs of sight were pure black.