Turning off the freeway, Faith stopped at the first traffic light. Her Santa Monica hotel by the beach was a few miles further on. This was too far away for even a Slayer to hear over her car and the street noise the sound of breaking waves, but Faith could still smell the Pacific Ocean through the open driver's side window. Her mood quickly improved. In just a little while, she'd finally get back to her interrupted vacation, and be out on the water with her surfboard, judging which were the best waves making landfall to catch and then skillfully ride inshore.
Beginning to cheerfully hum to the tune of the Beach Boys' Surfin' USA, Faith broke off in mid-tune to grin through the windshield. The Slayer suddenly remembered there was something more to be happy about concerning what she'd just been thinking, her various doubles.
Among these lookalikes, Faith had a tendency to keep a mental list of them. All of these were ranked by how much she was partial to the other women, who'd hopefully never know about being magically based on the one and only sexy bitch in the car. Given the latest doppelganger had been discovered just an hour or so ago, a certain FBI Agent Page, this meant Faith hadn't yet decided where to put the new double on that list. There wasn't at this time enough information for this decision so for the nonce she'd keep that Fibbie off to one side, in a manner of speaking, away from the other four ladies who were mirror images of Faith.
Right now, the rankings were as they'd been since the last inner review. Missy and Danielle were at the bottom of the imaginary list. Not due to anythin' they did, but, well… Cheerleaders. 'Nuff said, 'kay?
Then there was Alice in the middle, which was fine and dandy. Faith respected this older lady for sure, if only 'cuz she'd still have her looks years on, just like the writer. Hey, they were her damn reasons, if ya didn't want 'em, then fuck ya.
Now almost to the beachside hotel, Faith's smile grew even wider, as she contemplated the number one double on her list, who'd definitely stay in this top level forever. Naw, even if the Page gal turned out to be some kinda hell-on-wheels law-woman kickin' ass and takin' names of every crook and fugitive in sight, she still wouldn't ever surpass the standing of Sophia Durante, the Ultimate Bad Girl.
Not when that specific lookalike had done what Faith was in totally awe of, in completely getting away with it.
At first, when they'd learned about it a while back, Faith had ground her teeth in silent aggravation when the other Scoobies wouldn't stop giggling over the aliases used by four women in their small gang of female crooks. At the far end of the conference table in their Scottish castle headquarters, Xander scoffed, "Okay, I might buy 'Justice', but 'Missy', again? Then the rest had to pick rhyming names for themselves? Like 'Chrissy' and worse of all, 'Sissy' for our little Faithie's twin? Who're they anyway, a bunch of eight-year-olds specializing in stealing chocolate chip cookies?"
After having a good laugh over that, the New Council's inner circle soon learned this was quite untrue. Their derision quickly changed into actual wonder at finding out exactly what Sophia aka 'Sissy' and the others had been up to lately. Rather than penny-ante robbery, the four girls pretended to be an animal liberation group. Under cover of this front, they expertly broke into jewelry stores and diamond depositories to then clean out every sparkling valuable in these places.
In the course of this, the soft-hearted Justice fell for a foul-mouthed guy making a road trip to Hollywood with his mute pal. Sissy and the rest just saw these two men as the perfect patsies for their next job, somebody too dumb to avoid being framed for the women's crimes.
Even with the increasingly ludicrous particulars soon afterwards, that cruel scheme worked perfectly. The innocent guys necessarily went on the lam, and Sissy, Chrissy, and Missy celebrated in grand style a very lucrative diamond theft. However, Justice wasn't happy about this. She took the diamonds and went off on her own to help the men blamed for what the gang had done.
Pursued by her former friends determined to get back what they'd just stolen, Justice and everyone else eventually wound up in Hollywood. Considerably more silliness ensued, resulting in Justice rapidly making a deal with the authorities. In exchange for the accused men being exonerated of any crimes, plus shorter sentences for the actual lawbreakers, Justice turned in the diamonds, herself, and the other girls who'd also been brought to bay.
Sissy, Chrissy, and Missy were remarkably amenable about surrendering to the cops, which should've made people genuinely nervous about this. Still, after several peaceful hours in detention had lulled everyone's suspicions, Sissy and her two friends not only escaped together from custody, they also for the second time stole the diamonds in there waiting to be returned to their proper owners. On the way out, Sissy paid a very quick visit to Justice in this woman's cell.
During their terse discussion over the sounds of sirens, alarms, and gunshots, Sissy made it clear she wasn't interested in a little payback here and now against Justice. On the contrary, since the imprisoned woman had until a few days ago dependably been one of the girls, doing her job well and being loyal to the gang, Sissy would cut Justice a little slack. For betraying them over a couple of dumbass guys, making off with their loot, and sticking everyone in jail, it'd end with only Justice remaining behind. She'd have to face on her own whatever came next, but at least even the most dim-witted lawman would understand Justice had nothing to do with the others' getaway. So, the authorities couldn't go back on their deal with her.
In return, Justice quickly agreed she was quits with Missy, Chrissy, and Sissy, just before the latter woman dashed off to join the jailbreak done by the remaining pair of their former quartet. This indeed came to pass, with Justice never seeing nor hearing of her previous friends again.
On the other hand, an extremely impressed New Council learned about the successful flight out of the country by Sissy and her comrades with every bit of their ill-gotten gains, all the way to Brazil. Where, due to plans laid out years before, they were already citizens of this country under their real names, and they couldn't ever be extradited back to America to stand trial for anything they'd done.
Turning her car into the hotel driveway, Faith laughed out loud at again feeling prouder than she'd ever experienced before. Just like when she'd stood in her magical disguise with the other Scoobies inside the foyer of the newest and most spectacular nightclub in Rio de Janeiro. In the main room ahead, with music blasting at eardrum-shattering levels from there, dozens of partygoers exuberantly danced with each other. At one particular spot in the room, three fabulously wealthy and very beautiful young women toasted themselves with the most expensive champagne in the world at their owners' table. There, someone else with Faith's face was clearly having the time of her life.
A half-hour later, the Slayer laid flat on her stomach atop the surfboard she'd picked for today's waves. She steadily stroked with both arms to send her further out in the Pacific. At last getting to the proper spot a few hundred feet from shore, Faith sat up on her board, letting her spread legs dangle in the water. Eyeing the ocean ahead with its oncoming swells just begging to be ripped, this elated vacationer grinned to herself.
Damn, but life was fuckin' good. Maybe when she had enough for the day and went back to the hotel for dinner, it'd be a real fine idea to find someone with a camera and get a picture taken of her, just to remember it all.
Yeah, that'd be cool. Hang it up on the wall at the left of her bed back in Cleveland. Not at the space right in front on the other wall, though. Nope, she still loved wakin' up and havin' the first thing she saw every mornin' be the life-sized, framed photograph of the only double that the New Council had ever found for B, greatly to her sulking sister Slayer's immense chagrin.
Just before catching the first wave of many, Faith evilly smirked at the magnificent Los Angeles seaside panorama surrounding the woman with five of her own mystical doppelgangers. All of them who'd forever be a helluva lot better lookin' than someone dazedly starin' at the Bedford Hills guard takin' the mug shot of Kathryn Merteuil, now under arrest and facin' serious time for multiple drug offenses.