Chapter 9.5.

Faith eased herself into the chair across from the watcher and accepted the coffee that was slid into her hands. She was sore. Not as sore as she'd ever been, but it was certainly up there on her list of favorite nights. They'd even managed one of those simultaneous climaxes you read about so much in bad smut. The kind of thing that rarely happens in real life and were more a result of luck and just fucking a lot; though practice did seem to improve the chances. "So, how do you like my husband?" she grinned.

"Ahh. I see." Diana raised an eyebrow and nodded. "Well, he certainly is... enthusiastic." she allowed. Those two kids had been at it half the night, keeping her awake. She wanted to be annoyed but it was hard to be mad when she finally saw her charge truly happy. "So, you left behind a husband? Why didn't you tell me?"

"For that matter, why didn't you tell me?" Xander came down the stairs. "You have a husband? After what we did last night, and now I find out you have a husband?" he was furious.

"Alexander Lavelle Harris. Sit down and I'll explain." Faith gave him a steely gaze. Xander looked between the two women but eventually complied. "Would you like something to eat? Coffee?" Faith asked in a much nicer voice.

"Just an explanation." Xander shook his head.

"My name isn't Faith Lehane. It's Faith Harris. You're my husband. We were married for over ten years before I got sent back in time." Faith stated calmly.

"I'm gonna need that coffee now." Xander started rubbing his temples.

After Xander had his coffee and was reasonably more awake, they tried again. "The best reference you're going to understand is Terminator. Or maybe Quantum Leap since I leapt back into my younger body. The thing is, I did this already. Lived my life. Came to SunnyD. Didn't get off on the right foot with B since she was dealing with that Angelus shit. I wasn't nice and mature either. I did some things I'm not proud of, but in the end, everyone came together to close the Hellmouth." Faith explained. "After that, I ended up with you as my watcher, and eventually husband."

Xander looked into his coffee. "Prove it. Tell me something no one else knows."

"Until Tony beat the idea out of you, you wanted to be a dancer when you grew up." Faith said quickly.

Xander's jaw dropped.

"You had an identical twin brother growing up who 'disappeared' when you two were seven." she made the air quotes around disappeared. "No one ever talks about him though. Just like Jesse, who you haven't mentioned since I arrived, I'm pretty sure. Willow had an older sister who also 'disappeared' when she and Willow were ten and seven, respectively. The two of you bonded in your grief and added Jesse to the group when he lost the second of his sisters a couple years later."

"Enough." Xander said softly. The memories were bubbling up and threatening to fall into his coffee.

Faith reached over and took his hand. "Sorry. But you believe me now, right?"

"Yeah. I don't think I have much choice, do I?" Xander swallowed.

"Of course you do. No fate but what we make and all that shit. But on the upside, I have a lot of really wicked stories that are never going to happen this time around. Like how we closed the Hellmouth. Cause, you're never going to believe this, but you just dusted the hero that closed the Hellmouth." that got Xander to look up so Faith went on. "Yeah. Spike turned white hat... eventually; and went down while closing the Hellmouth. Still I'm glad you dusted him. Cause you probably saved a lot of people and we can get someone else to close the Mouth. Plus, a whole lot of really unlikely events would have had to go down just right for him to turn.

"I also know that you're much smarter than you give yourself credit for. That you could have almost doubled your SAT scores if you hadn't been such a slacker in high school." she added.

"Faith, I'm not-" Xander started.

Faith jumped up. "If you're about to say 'you're not smart', I'm going to go to your folk's house and break both of Tony's legs right now." she growled. "Which reminds me, I'm not letting you live there any more."

"Faith." Diana broke in.

"You have to meet Tony before you think about objecting." Faith pointed at her watcher, who acquiesced to the request. "And you," she turned to Xander, "are not allowed to be a slacker any more. My husband was a famous demon fighter in his own right, a really good carpenter, and a viking in the sack. And you need to apply yourself in all three areas to come up to snuff. Well, I don't care if you want to be a carpenter this time around or not. But the other two are non-negotiable."

"Faith, do you understand how this sounds?" Xander pleaded. "You take me home, do things to me I never thought possible, and tell me I'm your long-lost husband. And sure, you know a lot of personal and frankly private stuff about me, but how do I know this isn't a trick? Or some kind of spell?"

"It is a spell." Faith admitted. "On me. By a vengeance demon. And there's one scheduled to visit soon. Not sure if it will though, since the way you and Cordy broke up was a little different than last time. Last time you didn't kill Spike and Cordy got a piece of rebar shoved through her gut along with your cheating on her with Willow. She was a little upset. Called down dark vengeance on Buffy's head."

Xander blinked for a moment. "Wait. On Buffy's head? Why Buffy's head. That makes the kind of sense that isn't."

"Yeah. Don't ask me how her mind works but Cordelia got it in her head that she only dated you because helping Buffy made you look cool. Anyway, my plan was to go back to my time once the demon showed up. But now, I'm rethinking that. I mean, I've got you and I've got better friends than I had the first time around since I made sure not to tell B to go fuck herself. Plus, I don't know what would happen if I ended the spell, what happened when I left, and what would happen to this universe if I left it. So, I might stay. But that would mean you've gotta shape your ass up. And I mean that literally, cause my husband works out and trains a lot." Faith crossed her arms under her breasts.

"You're serious about this?" Xander asked. "What did you say about the timeline you left?"

"Well, if I'm here, then this Faith might be there. Suddenly having Slayer powers and waking up next to a one-eyed demon fighter claiming to be her husband. So, future you might be dead. Or this is some sort of replacement timeline and going forward just means there was no me during those years. Or I could have just disappeared or died there and you've already mourned me." Faith tried to explain her theories. "The thing is, vengeance demons are powerful. They have to be to turn back time 20 years. And I don't have anything they might want. My basic plan was to kill and/or threaten to kill them all, one at a time, until one of them undid the wish."

"The wish? And one eye? What happened?"

"You lost it in a fight. But the eye patch made you look badass." Faith told him, but didn't explain in-depth. She then gave Xander a quick but in-depth history of vengeance demons, the wish powers, demon power sources, smashing said power sources, and her own accidental wish. "So, never, ever say the words 'I W-I-S-H' ever again." she finished with a warning.

"That was not a very viable plan, Faith." Diana said when Faith had finally stopped specking.

"When I first came back I was so angry, I'da destroyed the whole vengeance clan. No telling if it would have taken me back or not." she looked at Xander, "But suddenly, I'm feeling a lot less angry. Must be all that fucking we did last night. 'Sides, things are going better this time around. I'm not going to fuck it up this time, and I'm not going to let Buffy bench you."

"Bench me?" Xander asked.

"Yeah. Listen, all this took a long time for B to admit, but she wanted to live vicariously through you and Red. She knew slaying was a death sentence and she wanted someone to live on. To remember her outside of some stuffy watcher's journal. 'Cept she didn't know you very well. So, originally, just after B's 18th," she gave a hard look at her watcher. "There was another apocalypse. It didn't look good so B sent you away so that you'd 'be safe'. Course, with your luck, you ran into a zombie named Jack O'Toole."

"O'Toole is a zombie?" Xander interrupted.

"Maybe not yet. I dunno. Chop off his head and find out." Faith shrugged. "Anyway, he raised a little gang of zombies and tried to blow up the school while the rest of us were busy closing the Hellmouth. You saved everyone and then never told a soul until a couple years after we were married."

"Wow. That's- that's a lot to take in." Xander admitted.

Faith stood up and went to the fridge. "I know. You think. I'll make breakfast. Scrambled, right?" she started cracking eggs into a bowl while waiting for Xander to nod. She scrambled up a whole dozen while getting out two pans. She poured the eggs into one and threw some bacon in the other. A few minutes later she set the plates of cooked food in front of Xander. "Just like you like. Eggs, slightly overdone and bacon slightly underdone but not cold."

"Actually, I like my eggs runny." Xander admitted.

Faith's eyes widened in shock as she stood up and started pacing. "That no good- He said he- Ughhh! All those years and he never said a thing. I outta slap you."

Xander raised a hand defensively. "It wasn't me. And I'm sure the other me was just being nice."

"Well you gotta tell me this time, or you'll be eating overdone eggs for the rest of your life." Faith sat back down and started eating, taking half of both the bacon and the eggs and leaving the two mere mortals to split the other half. Once she started eating and calmed down she changed the subject. "First thing we do is move you outta that shit hole."

"Thanks for the offer. But I'm only 17. Not sure we can do that." Xander said between bites.

"Like they'd care." Faith waved him off. "'Sides, we'll do it slow. A couple bags at a time and they'll never notice. If they do, just tell them you're sleeping at a friend's. That's true, right?"

"We should discuss sleeping arrangements." DD put in.

"I'll sleep on the couch." Xander quickly.

"Like hell! You're sleeping in my bed." Faith stated.

"Faith, I'm not going to let you sleep on the couch." Xander insisted.

Faith chuckled. "I sleep where you sleep, husband." she emphasized the last word. "Unless you do something stupid. Then you sleep on the floor."

"What about when you do something stupid?" he asked... stupidly.

"Honey. I'm the woman, and a Slayer. So I'm doubly right all the time." Faith gave a saccharin smile. "And you had better learn that fast this time."

"Got it. Faith is always right." Xander nodded quickly.

"Bet your sweet ass." she gave a real smile.

A/N: "Come with me if you want to live." is from the Terminator series. About a hero who travels back in time. Don't own. Don't own Quantum Leap, which is also about time travel.

A/N2: There seem to be a lot of only children in Sunnydale. The idea that the children of Sunnydale are the only surviving children isn't exactly canon, but it does sort of fit the facts. It also sort of explains the apparently rampant parental non-involvement. The parents of Sunnydale slid into depression after losing a child or children and forget to give due care to their remaining ones. Xander had a twin because Nicholas Brendon has a twin brother (Kelly Donovan) who played the other Xander when Xander was split.