"I can remember." came the whisper from the mattress.
Diana jumped just a bit but Faith turned smoothly. "Welcome back, big guy. You want some more blood?" At a nod she ran and got another cup. She handed it to him and let him drink it himself.
After he finished, he wiped his lips. "Who are you?" he asked as he handed the cup back.
"I'm Faith. This is my watcher, Double D. But you can call her Diana." Faith said as she took the cup.
"You're a Slayer? How long have I been gone?" Angel queried.
"Yes and a little less than six months." Faith replied.
"That's it?" Angel was astonished. "Where's Buffy?"
"You can't see Buffy." Faith said sadly.
"What happened?" Angel asked sadly.
"Nothing. Except that I'm from the future. And I can tell you that seeing Buffy only makes both of you really sad and no fun to be around. So you need to leave for LA before she hears about you." Faith explained.
"The future?" Angel asked incredulously.
"You spent a couple hundred years in a hell dimension and came back less than 6 months later. You want to argue with me about time travel? Or the future?" Faith laughed.
"Is seeing someone. A human. Who makes her happy. And breaks up with her after you make her all mopey again. Cause, I love you Angel. But you take the mood of any room down 5 degrees. And I ain't talking about your body temperature." Faith said forcefully. "Do her a favor and let her be happy." She continued gently.
Angel's shoulders sank. "Do I know you? In the future?"
"Yeah. We fought together for a bit. So I returned the favor when your soul went walkabout again." Faith said.
"Again?" Angel was alarmed. "If that's going to happen, you should just stake me now."
"Ain't gonna happen, bud. I'll just give you this warning, you chose to take it out and it didn't really work. So just leave it in this time." Faith advised.
"Absolutely. I'll remember that." Angel agreed and raised his hands. "Now, can you unchain me?"
"Depends. Are you going to go straight to LA?" Faith raised an eyebrow.
Angel took a breath he didn't really need. "OK."
"Good. DD can drive you tonight." she started unlocking the manacles.
"Tonight?" Angel looked a little shocked.
"Faith are you sure that's wise?" DD asked from the couch. Not entirely at ease driving more than an hour with a vampire in her car.
"We wait and we risk B going back into full-blown depression." Faith eyed Angel, who nodded. "When you get to LA, you and DD should stop by this demon karaoke bar called Caritas. Sing for Lorne. Do Lorne a favor and don't sing Barry Manilow."
"How did you-"
"Future, remember?" Faith tapped her head. "I never heard you sing, but I heard about it. And both of you should practice in the car."
"Faith are you sure?" DD asked.
"I've never heard you sing either. But a little warm up can't hurt." Faith grinned.
"No. I mean-"
"I'd trust my life to Angel. And I have, too." she assured her watcher. "Give this envelope to Angel. It has details about an upcoming Big Bad named Glorificus we'll need his help with. Only vampires are able to remember her true form. I can for now, but there's no telling if I will once we meet. Anyway, I'll see you when you get home."
After they left, she went hunting again.
Faith arrived at school early the next morning and checked to see that the councilor was still alive. At lunch Faith sat with the majority of the Scoobies while Buffy ate a large lunch with Scott and his friends. At Faith's table Xander and Willow were acting strangely. If she hadn't known about The Fluke (with capital letters) she wouldn't have thought anything about it. But she and Xander had talked about that incident in depth. How Xander, who had thought of Willow as a sister for almost 15 years had suddenly and temporarily had very unsisterly thoughts about her. After hearing about Cordelia and her role as the mother to Jasmine, Xander more or less laid the blame for the incident at the sort-of-goddess' feet and swore that he no longer had any feelings for Willow in that way. Faith ignored their flirting like she ignored Xander and Cordelia because changing those relationships could cost her her way home. But it was weird seeing Buffy happy with a normal boy; though it was a distant second to seeing Cordelia and Xander together. But she barely remembered this guy. She definitely remembered Riley. But after that, Buffy had basically given up on humans and gone for vamps instead. And from there to less and less human boyfriends.
"If you stare any longer, Scott's going to start getting jealous." Cordelia said.
Faith smirked and looked at Xander instead of the cheerleader. "Or maybe invite me in for a threesome." she said before going back to demolishing her lunch. Leaving Cordelia fuming and Xander blushing. Faith took another glance over at Buffy's table and blinked the other girl looked awfully familiar. Like she should know her. But Faith was pretty sure she didn't know her except in passing. She finished her lunch and put her tray away. Looking back at Buffy's table where B and her boy were now alone, she spotted the backs of their friends heads leaving and had a flash back to when the back of the same head, in the same outfit even had pushed Buffy's gun and caused her to shoot Giles with the tranq gun.
She marched over to Buffy. "I had a dream."
"Huh?" Buffy looked up at her. "Does this mean we'll have to march on Washington DC?"
"No. I had that kind of dream. I only saw them from behind, but it was your two new friends. Well, him. But she helped."
"What are you talking about?" Scott asked.
"No. You have got to be joking." Buffy insisted.
"In my dream, Platt was the next target. Today." Faith said and walked away. She signaled the other Scoobies to follow her to the library where she told them and Giles about her 'Slayer dream' and seeing the fight but not seeing any faces, only the back of Debbie's head and a monster fighting Oz.
"Why didn't you tell us earlier?" Giles chided.
"Dreams are hard to remember, even Slayer dreams. Plus, I only saw the back of the chick's head as she pushed the tranq gun your way." Faith covered for her cover story. Slayer dreams were often prophetic. It was a good cover for knowing the future. Great for having come up with it on the walk from the busing area to Buffy's table.
"Why would Oz be out of his cage in his woofy form though?" Willow complained.
"That's just what I saw." Faith shrugged. Truthfully she hadn't bothered to ask why the first time around. She was kind of wishing she had been more involved the first time around. Perhaps things wouldn't have gotten so out of hand then. She shook her head to clear the 'what if' thoughts. "I'm going to go check on that Platt guy again. You guys see if you can't find this Pete guy and bring him back here without confronting him. I'll check in here again before I go to class."
Faith arrived to find a battle already in progress. Buffy was battling a hideous monster that was wearing the same clothes Pete had been. Platt was also there, with some vicious scratches across his face, but still alive. He hit the Pete creature with a large textbook, sending Pete backwards towards the secretary's desk. Faster than anyone but Buffy could have seen, Faith slid the message spike towards that part of the desk. Pete fell backwards over the desk and his head was impaled on the spike, stopping the fight very suddenly.
"Oh god." Platt fell to his knees.
"Call the paramedics." Faith calmly ordered the secretary who had been hiding under her desk. She then nodded to Buffy before walking back to the library.
This time around Homecoming was a lot more fun. She didn't have to steal her dress either. Her dress wasn't quite as good this time, but it was a gift from DD (who she was now sometimes calling DeeDee instead of Double-D since she'd received the dress) made it much more special. And no one got shot at, which was always a plus at any Scooby gathering. Buffy and Scott made a cute couple. Willow and Oz made an odd couple to her eyes with the him being male and all. And she controlled herself very well by not strangling Cordelia as she danced with Xander. She distracted herself by dancing with some kid she'd been sure was a freshman. Until she realized it was Jonathan. She hadn't really known the kid very well. Only really met him that time he'd taken a rifle up into the clock tower and had heard about him one last time when Andrew Wells had killed him trying to open the Hellmouth; before she had arrived.
"Th- Thanks." he muttered, his eyes downcast. Far below where he could have possibly been staring at her tits.
She smiled. "Hey. I don't do charity, Jono. I danced with you because you're one of the best dancers here." which wasn't saying much but it was true enough to pump the kid's ego up a bit. "Plus, you're pretty easy on the eyes and I didn't have to wear my heals. All leads to a better than average night in my book."
"Wow. You know my name." he brightened. "Do you think-"
"Sorry. I got a guy." she cut him off before he could embarrass himself too much. "He just can't be with me right now." which was also sort of true.
"Oh. Well, he's a lucky guy." Jon smiled and actually kissed her hand at the end of the dance. It was pretty suave for a kid. She saw a couple girls lining up for the next dance and she pushed him towards one she knew was the nicest.
She hadn't known about the Band Candy having been cursed. She hadn't been around at the time and no one had mentioned anything about it to her. But they saved the babies and killed the demon, which she hoped was as good as things had gone the first time around. Giles as a young man had been a hoot, as had Joyce. She herself had been the old her. Pretty wild and uncontrolled, not doing much planning, but willing to fight the good fight once they figured out what the hell was going on. DD had been a rather shy and reserved school girl who she hadn't had much interest in getting to know at the time.
Then came one of two days she'd been dreading and hoping for since she came here. Gwendolyn Post came to Sunnydale claiming to be doing an audit of their watchers' abilities as well as looking for the glove of Myhnegon. After claiming to represent the council and disparaging both watchers' research abilities as well as Diana's combat abilities, Faith was feeling about ready to pop... and not in the good way.
"So this Lagos guy sound pretty tough. I guess Buffy and I outta start searching for him." Faith said through clenched teeth. She got up, grabbed Buffy and left; ignoring Mrs. Post's calls at her back. As if anyone would actually have married that shrew.
As soon as they were out the doors, Buffy disengaged herself. "Oww." she complained as she shook her arm. "I take it you're not a fan of Gwen?"
Faith apologized slightly abashedly, "Sorry." she took a breath. "Listen. Do you trust me?"
"Of course." was the instant answer.
Faith waited until they were outside and across the street before speaking. "Listen you might not believe me, but I got a weird vibe off her. Plus, I had a Slayer dream." Faith began.
"What happened?" Buffy asked eagerly.
"Post was the bad guy." Faith stated.
Buffy's mouth collected flies for a full minute as she contemplated the implications. She turned back to the school. "Giles-!"
Faith stopped her. "Will be perfectly safe until she has the glove." she assured the other Slayer. "But I'm worried about Lagos."
"What about him?" Buffy queried. "Was he tough? In your dream?"
"That wasn't what I was worried about. In the dream, we killed him before he had a chance to find the glove. But if Post was the bad guy... it makes me wonder if he was the good guy."
"The demon?" Buffy asked incredulously.
"There are good demons. I've heard of two in LA. One's named Doyle and one's named Lorne. I could put you on the phone with Lorne and you would think he was one of the nicest guys you've ever talked to." Faith insisted.
"Gosh, two whole good demons in all of LA." Buffy said sarcastically. "I guess we should give up being Slayers."
"There's probably a lot more that I don't know about. I didn't spend much time in LA on the way here." Faith insisted. "But even in a short stay, I learned of two. Look, all I'm sayin' is that I don't want to go in shooting with this Lagos guy, kay? You can hang back, ready to fight, if anything goes wrong. But I just want to try talking to him first. Maybe it'll be a stupid idea and he'll attack me outright, but can you at least let me try?"
Buffy sighed. "Alright. We can try it your way first, but if he so much as twitches in a way I don't like, he's a goner."
They found the demon in the same place that Faith had first encountered it, defiling someone's tomb. "Hello?" she called.
#"Hello?"# she tried the grunt which should be its native language.
That got the demon to stop searching and turn around. #"What do you want, little girl?"# it grunted.
#"Me Faith."# she introduced herself and pointed at the other Slayer. "Buffy. Do you understand English?"
The thing nodded and grunted #"yes."#
"Why are you looking for the glove?"
Faith didn't speak much of the language he was grunting at her but she knew #"Wolf, Ram, and Hart."# in over 500 demonic languages and another 30 human languages.
Buffy didn't understand anything the demon had said but she spoke body language just fine. She saw Faith's body language shift into a fighting stance. She didn't even wait for Faith to give the order to 'get him' before she was charging forward. The distance Faith had insisted on stopping gave the demon time to draw its ax but the warning from Post and Faith's dream had given them plenty of time to arm up at Buffy's. Buffy had a sword and Faith had a sword as well as one of her ubiquitous spears. Buffy wasn't quite sure what a spear would do against the ax Faith had said Lagos would be carrying, but she was eager to find out.
Sure enough, the ax had been exactly as Faith had said. She charged in before Faith could bring her spear to bear but not before Lagos could start his swing. She caught the blow on her sword and quickly wished she hadn't. The weight of the ax combined with the strength of the demon made for a very powerful blow. It took both her hands on the sword just to parry the blow. She jumped back quickly and Faith's spear quickly took her place. Poking and probing at the demon's leather armor while avoiding taking any blows from that wicked, but relatively slow, ax. A blow went by and the spear went in low this time, stabbing the demon's unarmored legs. It went down to one leg, but came back up quickly with only a slight limp. Faith drove another blow right through the demon's armor and Buffy could see dark blood oozing out. But Lagos was far from done, he grabbed the spear with one hand before Faith could jerk it back and used his other hand to bring his ax down on the spear, smashing it in half.
Buffy and Faith danced away a bit while Faith threw the rest of her spear away and drew her sword. Their enemy was alive and mortally wounded. If they could get him to take the broken shaft of the spear out, he would probably bleed out fairly quickly so they started circling, forcing the demon to move and jostle the wound. But he didn't remove the wood. Buffy rushed in first, aiming an overhand blow for the thing's head. The monster got the handle of its ax up quickly enough to block but Buffy was appalled at where her sword had hit, three inches left of where she'd intended. The thing had bent her sword!
As Lagos' ax went up to catch Buffy's overhand blow, Faith's blow went in flat and straight underneath the block. She struck his throat and severed the demon's windpipe and spinal cord. He went down like a puppet who's strings had been cut.
"He bent my sword!" Buffy cried.
"Let me see." Faith ordered setting her own blade aside. She gave a whistle after a short examination. "Ouch. It's dead, B. Bent it right at the shoulder." at a look from Buffy she pointed. "Right here where the blade meets the tang. You can bend it back, but next time you take a hard blow, it might just snap." she handed it back and started cleaning her own blade before sheathing it. "That thing is now a nice wall hanger. Though, it could be an interesting conversation piece."
A/N: Yes, I know last chapter I said that Lagos was probably a good guy. (surprise) And I really do believe that. I'm not sure if anyone noticed, but he only said that the reason he was looking for it was WR&H, not that he was actually working for them. Also, the Slayers attacked first again.
But in this story, I really didn't need another character and I have another story that I'd like to write a good Lagos in without repeating my own work. So, down he goes.