DISCLAIMER: Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel the syndicated series and all other characters who have appeared in both shows are the sole property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy & UPN. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies of this story may be made for private use only and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices. All song lyrics are used without permission and for my own amusement. There is no intention to profit from them in this work or to defraud the composers and publishers.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks are due to a little dragon who insisted I post and made it readable.
SPOILERS: Series 3 up to Helpless (are spoilers for BTVS still possible??)
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
A Friend in Need
Walking into school that day was tough for Buffy. Faith had begged off coming, opting to bodyguard Joyce who had immediately put her to work carrying statues of an African fertility goddess out to the Jeep for transport to the Gallery. Faith didn't seem to mind and in fact had told Buffy she had nothing better to do and how it might be better if she stayed away from Sunnydale High for a while. She still couldn't promise not to hurt Giles if she saw him.
As Buffy had wanted, despite Giles' change of heart, to hold the watcher down and point out his most sensitive bits for her while she did it, they both agreed it was a good idea. Still as Buffy saw Giles waiting for her at the main doors, it was all she could do to not just ignore him and walk past when he called to her. Faith's angry comments in the motel had haunted her dreams for much of the night and the more she thought about them the more truth they seemed to hold.
"Buffy " Giles started hesitantly and was immediately cut off by the flat, unfriendly stare of the Slayer.
"Save it Giles," she growled. "Forgiving and forgetting? Not so high on my to-do list right now. I'll see you after class and you can tell me then why it took you so long to choose sides."
Then his slayer and her friends marched resolutely past, turning back as a group to give him the same look, one so filled with a sense of betrayal that he took an involuntary couple of steps backwards.
A nasty chuckle from close behind made him jump.
"Trouble in Paradise then?" snickered Principal Snyder. "You know, I still can't figure what you think you see in that delinquent and her peculiar friends."
Too upset by what he had seen Giles simply ignored his boss and turned and walked away, not trusting himself to reply. He was followed all the way down the corridor by Snyder's sneering laugh.
As soon as the British librarian had turned a corner, Snyder pulled out his cellphone and punched a button. "Sir, you asked me to directly inform you about anything significant regarding the Summers girl and her bunch of troublemakers. I think you'll like this."
Faith had had a great day with Joyce. The work at the Gallery had been interesting and Joyce had been good company, even buying lunch in a local café. But it was a chance remark from Joyce about Buffy getting back late and hurt with her own stake from patrol a few days ago that sent Faith's rage back up to boiling point. Joyce soon joined her there after Faith had explained just why she had punched a hole through a brick wall.
By late afternoon Rupert Giles had fond thoughts that his day couldn't get any worse. He soon had all his illusions shattered when Faith silently stalked into the library followed by a lividly angry Joyce and without a word frog-marched him painfully into his office where she lifted and pinned him to the wall, a forearm across his throat. Then she talked.
"You lousy piece of shit", Faith grated out, her voice thick with fury. "Joyce just told me how you let B go out on patrol after you pulled that sick Council crap on her. You knew she was down on power and you still let her go. She could have died for nothing, you bastard."
Faith was almost shaking with the adrenaline rush of her anger. "And do you know what makes it even worse? She thinks you love her, thinks you actually care. Even I thought you were different, I was gonna give you the benefit of the doubt and after that Post bitch I should'a known better. But Buffy, shit, she thinks the world of you and you're just the same as the rest. We're just things to you and those fucks you worked for aren't we?"
Then, not waiting for an answer and ignoring the tingle that told her the other Slayer had come into the library, Faith lifted the now sweating watcher a little higher and continued, "Well its over Watcher man. No more. We're finished taking orders from you or anyone like you. No more being told when to fight, what to kill, when to take a dump, when to fucking die. Just think yourself lucky I got to you first. I'm not gonna kill you. B wouldn't like it and well, we're kinda cool right now and I don't wanna screw that up, but if B ever put it all together, how you didn't just try to kill her in that test but let her patrol like that just so some newbie could tag her? Well your ass is hers."
Just then Faith felt a touch on her shoulder and turned her head to find Buffy looking not at her, but at her captive, a tear rolling down her cheek. .
"Put him down Faith", Buffy said softy. "He's not worth your time."
"Buffy I, she " started Giles the moment his feet touched the ground.
"Is Faith right Giles?" interrupted his Slayer. "Did you let me patrol knowing what could happen?"
Giles refused to look at her and Buffy's heart sank, as she knew she had her answer. "Why?" she asked simply, voice devoid of all inflection.
Giles sounded almost desperate as he replied "I had no choice Buffy. The Council would have had you killed out of hand if I hadn't. This way I thought you'd have at least a fighting chance."
"And you didn't tell me because ?"
Giles grew even more shamefaced," I .wanted to but I I..., couldn't disobey my superior. Buffy please understand," Giles almost wailed," My family have been Watchers for the last 300 years, I couldn't betray "
"Me?" whispered his former charge. "And Faith, would you have done the same to her when she turned eighteen? Left her as a meal for some vamp? Yeah you would have," she sadly, answering her own question. "What would you have done to stop me helping her? Hypnotised me again?"
"Buffy, I tried " Giles started but again Buffy interrupted him.
"Save it Giles. We both know what would happen. Faith and I agree, and what I said to Travers stands, The Council and us? We're finished. Now you have a decision to make; who do you stand with? Us? Or them?"
Giles stood a little taller and his chin rose as he looked Buffy in the eye. "You already know the answer to that Buffy. My actions were completely reprehensible and I will regret them until my dying day, all I wish for is a chance to restore your trust in me. I stand by my Slayers and always will." Then all the starch drained out of him and he simply looked at his Slayers as he slumped, "Buffy I am so sorry. Please believe me if I had it over to do again, well anyway ., but I can promise you it will never happen again, you have my word on it."
Buffy and Faith both looked at him with varying degrees of hostility and suspicion and then at each other. Faith nodded reluctantly at Buffy who turned back to the Watcher, all traces of crying gone.
"OK Giles heres' how it's gonna be. Faith and I accept your word for now. But there's going to be changes and the first one is that we'll need you to keep the Council from goofing off again. They will send a new one won't they?"
Giles nodded." Quentin informed me of as much by telephone today. "I expect him to be here within the week." He stopped briefly to remove his glasses and rub them with his handkerchief, and then continued "It seems they've sent one of the younger but more ah traditionally trained Watchers. His name is Wesley Wyndham-Price. I suppose this was to be expected, given the circumstances."
"Good!" said Faith forcefully, "the less human he is, the easier he'll be to tell to um, "she glanced at Joyce and obviously changed what she was going to say, " go away. Anyway Mr ex-watcher, its gonna be your job to wise Weasel or whatever his name is up on what's happening here, and if he's got a problem with that then you just send him to us and we'll give him a dose of reality."
Seeing no support in Joyce's stony expression, Giles just nodded in helpless acquiescence then rubbed his glasses a little harder and bravely ventured a reply, "But what if he can help ?"
Buffy cut him off ruthlessly, "then we'll tell him what we need; maybe even nicely. And then we'll do what ever we think needs doing. If he decides to be helpful that's fine, if he wants to throw his weight around then you can tell him what happened to the last Watcher that played games with us."
Giles paled, "you wouldn't, .."
Buffy interrupted ruthlessly, "cut off his arm so he's blown into little squishy bits by lightning? No, not this time" she said regretfully. "But if he threatens us or ours I'm sure Faith and I can come up with something just as good!"
Faith grinned back viciously, as she casually draped an arm across Buffy's shoulders, "Oh yeah B, that we can, and just as painful too. "
She stopped and then glared at Giles for a second, "one thing I forgot, hand over the crap you used on B. I don't want anybody getting any funny ideas."
Giles looked helplessly at her and then went to a draw and pulled a leather case handing it to Faith.
The Buffy added, "and the crystals too. They're what he used to hypnotise me, "she explained to the other Slayer and her mother."
While Giles was retrieving those, Faith had been examining the drug case; "Well this looks like a sweet set up, all the dope bottles and needle in their own little places," then her gaze sharpened again, " So G-man does this come as part of the standard watcher package?"
Giles fumbled with his glasses a moment, "Yes, and I understand what you mean Faith."
"Good, "stated the dark slayer, "then you know we want all Weasels little mind fuck kit as well and any replacements don't you?" Then she reddened and looked at Joyce apologetically, "whoops sorry Joyce, forgot you were there for a sec."
Joyce grinned back at her, "I've heard worse Faith, and it seems a good description."
Buffy chimed in, "Well Giles? Cos if you don't get it we will and we won't be gentle."
Giles looked back resolutely at his Slayers, "there won't be problem. I'll ensure you get it."
Faith nodded back at him, "Glad we're on the same page," then she put her arm back around Buffy "Come on B let's grab your Mom and go home. I've had it with Englishmen for today. And I need some of her great cooking before I go out tonight. I'm gonna need the extra energy covering for ya busted ass."
"Hey" protested the blonde as the Slayers turned away together her arm reflexively going round Faith's waist to balance Faiths, "my ass is just fine."
Faith looked back over her shoulder, "damn B you're right, it really is fine, especially in those pants" she added with a wicked leer and dropping her hand to give a hard squeeze of the firm, shapely body part in question before laughing, freeing herself and running out of the library, a blushing Buffy hot on her tail and loudly vowing revenge on Faiths own rapidly moving ass.
Joyce's expression had softened at the girls behaviour, but chilled again as she glanced then merely nodded to Giles and then followed the Slayers out, her expression still showing some surprise at just how friendly the girls had suddenly become.
Giles just stood and watched them leave adding sotto voce "Welcome to Sunnydale Wesley and may God have mercy on your soul dear boy, because these women surely won't."
To Be Continued
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