Summary: The third stor in my A Creature I Don't Know series.
The first part is here: s/8467907/1/A-Creature-I-Don-t-Know
and then the second story Busy can be found here: s/8575381/1/Busy

A/N: This story will follow, vaguely, along the lines of series 6. Buffy died.

Disclaimer:Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, 20th Century Fox, UPN and WB Television Networks own the television shows, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel". Dark Horse and IDW own the Comics. No copyright infringement is intended, no money is being earned by myself. The title of each chapter, and the story as a whole, come from a Regina Spektor song title.

Thank you all for your kind words and support for my last story. I hope you enjoy my continuation of it. I would love to hear your thoughts on my thoughts. Many thanks.

1. Open

He found her at the bar. Found would be the wrong word. He knew she was going to be there. A girl matching her description had sat at the bar, drink in one hand a cigarette in the other, winding up the last hours between daylight and dusk every day for the past fortnight.

She had acquired quite a reputation in trying to lay low.

As he sat down besides her he found little comfort in the fact he was sat next to the only other human in the dark pub. The slight acknowledgement she made to his presence was by ordering him a drink with a simple wave of her hand. She muttered her thanks to the bar tender in before she returned her attention to her own drink before her.

If the couple of glasses around her were anything to go by she hadn't been here that long. By the ease in which she sat amongst the demons he assumed his first instincts were wrong and that she had, in fact, been sat on that stool since she'd woken.

He looked down at his dirty glass and contemplated the drink before him. He had a double whiskey, straight. She was drinking the same. He assumed she had been for quite some time.

"If you've come to take me back, I'm not going anywhere." She said simply.

"It would have be naive of me to think you would."

"Do I want to know how you found me?"

"You left quite a trail of devastation in your journey below the boarder." He told her. "That, and Cordelia now works for a detective company." He ignored her scoff and downed his drink.

He wasn't sure he'd been in a building this bleak since his university days and his friends had called him Ripper.

"Do I want to know how you're financing yourself?" He eventually asked after ordering another drink for them each.

"Drug lords hire vamps." He looked across at her for the first time and saw past the hair she was using to hide her face. She pale and badly beaten.

"You haven't- you're not..." He couldn't finish either question.

"I kill the vamps, steal their wage." She shook her head, her hair hid her face once more. "Do you not think, if I'd died, you'd of found out by now? A nice young 15 year old sent to the Hellmouth all bright eyed and bushy tailed?"

He hadn't seen her like this for many years now. So lost, so alone, so dark, so hell-bent on her own self destruction.

He finished his second drink and pushed back his stool. He could sit here no longer. He could watch her fall no more. He couldn't lose her. Not another one.

He threw a fist full of peso onto the counter in what he hoped would settle both his and her own bar tab. The keeper lapped them up gratefully. Gracias. Gracias.

He dropped the reason he was here besides her drink. She looked down at the ticket before her. MEX-LHR.

"Use it. Don't use it." Giles sighed as he made to leave. "Just don't die down here. I can't lose you as well."

She didn't use it. She couldn't. Returning to London with him would mean starting a new life. A life without her. Their relationship hadn't been conventional. There had been violence, torture, near deaths. But there had also been love. For Faith that was all that mattered. She'd found someone to love her; not because they had to, not out of guilt, not out of loyalty but simply because they could.

When Faith first found him besides her she'd assumed he'd been there to take her back to California. Back to his house, his home. Back to her grave. Back to work. She'd known he would come, she'd known what she would say to him. She'd thought of little else than spitting a barrage of bitter words at him and sending him on his way. She'd assumed she would pick up again, head further south. Keep travelling, keep moving. He couldn't follow forever. He wouldn't follow forever.

Then one day she would die and a new little girl would have her life ruined.

What he had offered her was far worse, though. He had offered to take her back to England. He'd offered her an opportunity to start her life again. To move on, to forget. She could build a new life, meet new people - ones that thought vampires existed only in children's books - she could live again.

He'd come into the bar to offer her the chance to move on and to forget.

She'd rather he'd not come at all.

The telephone call had come from the American Embassy in La Paz. He was to board a plane. She was safe. She would be flown to Miami in the morning. He'd be best to get a flight there.

The man never mentioned how she'd come to be in Bolivia, nor did he say how he'd known to call him in Bath. Giles suspected he wouldn't have been told even if he'd asked. All he knew that Faith was in a military hospital and about to return to the United States of America.

It was Xander that Giles called. He would be able to fly out east far sooner than Giles would be able to apply for his visa again. He had never expected Xander to tell him he couldn't. He couldn't because Buffy was alive and he didn't want to leave her. Not yet. She was still so vulnerable.

But then again so was Faith. Did no one else care for the other slayer. Had they been too quick to resurrect the dead to forget about those already living.

He listened to Xander babble his – more likely Willow's – reasoning. Hell, torture, punishment. Yet she was already dead, how much more suffering could she be going through. Could they not leave her this once. Could they not let her rest this one time.

Yet they'd always been the same. Ever since her first days in Sunnydale they'd looked to her for answers, for leadership, to swoop in and save the day. They'd abandoned Faith to the sidelines, just as they were doing once more.

Faith was gone. Faith was forgotten. Nobody cared that she was very much alive too.

And there we have it... Thank you for reading A Creature I Don't Know and Busy. I hope you enjoy Begin To Hope.