DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all its characters are property of NBC and Dick Wolf. BtVS/Angel is the property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy, original characters belong to the author.
FANDOMS: Law & Order: SVU / Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
PAIRING: Olivia/Faith.

A Matter of Faith
By Acathla


Chapter Twelve

"I was starting to think you weren't coming Slayer." Lucky said as Faith walked up to her usual table, this time though, it was empty save for the vampire. She didn't want to have to send them away again so she made sure no one bothered her until the Slayer arrived.

"I'm a little late I know, don't go waiting for an apology, that ain't my style."

"I suspected as much, not to worry Slayer I'm not interested in an apology. Besides, we never did set a specific time though I was hoping you'd be here before sunrise and here you are, so it's all good." Lucky smiled, wanted the slayer to know that it was ok and that she still wasn't interested in fighting her.

"Good, let's go to the back and talk ok?"

"Whatever you say Slayer."

Lucky again led the way to the back room. After they were settled in Faith began to speak. "What else do you know about the vampire I am looking for? The one who killed those girls?"

"What makes you think I know anything other than what I already told you?"

"Because you're not a very good liar Lucky, or should I say Natalie?"

The change in Lucky's expression was hard to miss as she heard the name she hadn't heard in years. "H-how did you find out about Natalie?"

"I did my homework and I did the math. You are Natalie Woodson aren't you?"

"I was, when I was alive. After Angelus though, Natalie ceased to exist. I became Lucky after I survived not being dusted by my own sire. What else do you know about Natalie?"

Faith found it interesting that Lucky referred to herself in the third person, as if talking about someone else and not her former identity. Faith recalled the details that Casey had shared with her over lunch earlier. "Just what I've found out from the public records. According to the police reports, Natalie Woodson was raped and murdered by her boyfriend David Morgan. Morgan was tried, convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life for the crime. He's still in Sing Sing serving his time. Now, Lucky if Angelus killed and sired you then how did Morgan get collared?" Faith knew the case against David Morgan but she needed to hear it from Lucky—from Natalie.

"I wasn't raped, and David never hurt me. We were together that day, he'd just asked me to marry him and I was so happy I said yes. We spent the whole day in bed celebrating. Then I suggested we go out to dinner to celebrate some more. We went out and had a nice dinner, then I was so tired from everything we'd done that day that I couldn't walk the three blocks to the car so I told David I wasn't going to walk. He told me to wait by the front doors of the restaurant and he'd go get the car. I wandered away from the light from the restaurant and that's when someone grabbed me and took me into a nearby alley. I was so scared I thought he was going to rape me, I never thought he'd do what he did. He became a monster right before my eyes and while I was in shock, he leaned down and bit me. Next thing I remembered was waking up in my coffin. I broke my way through and climbed out. Angelus was there, waiting for me with a stake in his hand and a look in his eyes like he was sorry…he told me who he was and then we fought, and Angelus had me on my back and he was about to drive the stake into my heart when he looked into my eyes and stopped himself. He got up and stumbled away. After he'd left I got up and got out of there. I found a few places where I could hide from the sun during the day and I walked the streets at night."

"How many people have you killed?"

"Only five, and I regret them all but they had to be done. For the first few years I lived off of rats and stray animals, not the best way to survive but I managed."

"Why? Why didn't you kill more? What stopped you?"

"I don't know. But every time I thought about killing a human for blood I would literally get sick and wouldn't stop throwing up for a whole day."

"That didn't stop you from killing those five, but I think I know why you couldn't kill any more."

"Those five were unavoidable. Why do you think I couldn't kill any more humans?"

"Because you were sired by a vampire with a soul. I talked to a friend of mine who knows about these things and he told me that in the unlikely event that a vampire with a soul were to sire another vampire, that vampire would retain enough of their humanity to act as a…leash of sorts. A vampire who was sired by a vampire with a soul would still be able to kill but not as mercilessly as a vampire without any of its humanity left. There's still enough of Natalie inside you to stop you from mass slaughter but as evidenced by the five you've admitted to killing, not enough to prevent all killings. Wanna tell me who the other two were?"

"Angelus had a soul? If he had a soul to keep him from killing then how'd he manage to sire me?"

"I don't know, but I can find out if you really want me to."

Lucky thought about that and realized she really didn't need to know. It was in the past and it was done. "No, that's not necessary. But thank you slayer. I have a question for you."


"Why were you so ready to trust me? To trust that I wouldn't try to kill you or set a trap for you when you came back here?" It wasn't asked in a way to make Faith think she'd done the wrong thing just a curious question. Lucky had heard tales of slayers who were merciless when it came to vampires. The closest one she'd heard of was one in Boston who'd taken on Kakistos, a really powerful vampire, then fled to parts unknown. Lucky had heard the tales about that one but never a name or description just that she was the best anyone had ever seen. Rumors came back to the east coast that the slayer had killed Kakistos out west somewhere. Lucky never wanted to meet that slayer.

"Because I figure if you really wanted to kill me, Lucky, you would've done it the second we came back here last night. If you were really any kind of threat, you would've surrounded yourself with real vampires and not kid wannabes."

"I also might not have turned my back on you as I led the way."

"That too." Faith smiled, knowing they were getting closer to trusting each other. She had to be sure that the killings would stop before she could decide what to do about Lucky, Casey, and the cops. "So, you gonna tell me who the other two people you killed were?"

"If you really wanna know it was my parents."

"Your parents? Man, do all vamps go in for that family blood thing?"

"I don't know if it was about family blood or not but I killed them because they were abusing my brother. After I died, my parents started drinking and when they got drunk they would hit Robert. He was only a kid, fifteen and a typical scrawny kid. He was no match for my father who was a former bodybuilder. My mother just let it happen, and when I went to find Robert one night after one of his basketball games I saw the black eye and the bruises on his arms. After he got over the shock of seeing me and I told him what I was now he told me what our parents had been doing to him. He was seventeen by then and about to graduate. I told him to hold on until he turned 18, that once he was an adult I'd handle it. I made him swear not to tell anyone and that's when he told me about David being in prison for killing me. And that my parents, who'd never liked David, testified against him at trial. It was their testimony that really sent David to prison. Their lies over how he abused me."

"David never hit you?"

"No, never. David was the gentlest man I'd ever known. The bruises my parents would see on my arms came from the martial arts class I was taking that they didn't know about. No one knew I was taking them, not even David."

"So David is sitting in jail for a crime he didn't commit?"

"Yup, and if there was a way I could clear him of that crime I would do it and get him out of there. He doesn't deserve what's happened to him but there's no way for me to help him."

"You killed your parents but, why did you let your brother live?"

"I loved Robert, there's nothing I wouldn't do for him. When I saw what my parents were doing to him I couldn't take it so I did the only thing I could think of to protect him. After they died, Robert inherited all their money, he used it to go to college and get an education. He also used the money to help me."

"Help you how?"

"He bought this building for me, he pays the utility bills and during the day, he sometimes visits me. My brother looks out for me and in exchange, I stay out of trouble and keep on existing."

"Does Robert know about the three girls you killed?"

"Not yet, he hasn't been around for a few weeks. He sent a letter by courier that the cops had been to see him to ask him questions about me. He decided he'd better not come around in case the cops were watching him. Any idea why the cops were talking to him, Slayer?"

Faith stopped to think. Casey had told her earlier about the cops talking to Robert Woodson. Faith decided that telling Lucky about the evidence that led them to Robert wasn't going to make much of a difference now. "Yeah, see Lucky, the third girl you killed had saliva on her thigh from the bite mark. The medical examiner tested it and matched it to your DNA from your case ten years ago. Since the cops are all outta leads, they decided to talk to the only remaining member of your family. They also went to the prison and talked to David."

"They talked to David? Why would they talk to David?"

"Honestly, I don't know. I guess they were just following every lead they could."


Faith sat quietly for a moment as Lucky absorbed the new information. It occurred to Lucky that she'd left evidence tying her to the murders but that the cops couldn't ever use that evidence because as far as the world was concerned, she was dead.

"So what's your next move Slayer?" Lucky asked, breaking the silence in the small room.

Faith took a moment to think about that and realized that as far as Lucky was concerned, she had only two choices: kill her or cure her. If she killed her, Faith would lose her only link to the darker side of the City but she would be stopping a killer. Lucky's lack of a soul would always mean that she could kill again, regardless of her unique circumstances regarding what's left of her humanity. The only way to cure her was to contact Willow about restoring Lucky's soul. But that was a tricky issue, mainly because Olivia had a valid point earlier… having a soul doesn't stop someone from killing just makes them feel guilty about it. Faith wished there was a third option. Possibly even one that could get an innocent man out of jail.

"Right now Lucky, I'm not sure. The way I see it there are two options, neither of which I am comfortable with."

"What options?"

Faith took a deep breath. "Stake you, or restore your human soul."

"I see. You're a slayer though, why aren't you comfortable with staking me?"

"Because you're not exactly evil Lucky. Thanks to Angelus, you have enough humanity inside you to stop you from being evil, but you're still a demon and there's no indication that the humanity you have retained will last forever."

"True. But how would you restore my soul? I mean, is that even possible?"

"Yes, I think it is. I have a witch friend who's done it before. But having a soul, to me, doesn't guarantee you'll never kill again, just means that if you do you'll feel guilt over it."

"And there's no third option?"

"None that I can see. I have a favor to ask of you."


"I need you to give me a few days. I am going to contact some friends and see if there's another option that I'm not aware of, ok?"

"Ok, not sure what you're asking of me yet."

"This will mean that I might not be able to come see you for a few days. I don't want you to think that my absence is a declaration of war."

"Oh. I see. Ok Slayer, on one condition though."


"If I am going to trust that you're not going to plan an ambush and raid this place I need a show of trust on your part."

"What kind of show of trust?"

"Your name." Lucky asked, knowing that slayers rarely gave their names to vampires, something about once the vamps know your name, the slayer is no longer the hunter or some crap like that. Lucky didn't want to hunt the Slayer, she knew better than that, she just wanted a show of trust.

Faith hid her surprise well. She, of course had heard the warning of her first watcher about letting the vampires know her name but in this instance, it didn't matter. She realized that she might be opening herself up for a fall if Lucky recognized her name from her time in Boston but she didn't care. If she wanted Lucky to trust her enough to give her some time to figure things out, she'd have to make the first move.


"Faith." Lucky repeated, letting the name sink in. "Where are you originally from Faith?"

"Born here in New York City." It wasn't a lie, and Faith didn't want to reveal her Boston origin just yet. "So, do I have your word that you won't start thinking I'm out to kill you if I don't show up for a few days?"

"That's a lot for a Slayer to ask of a vampire."

"Lucky, when I am out to kill you, I'll let you know before I go after you. And I won't bring a raiding party into a club full of humans. So, we have a deal?"

Lucky studied her carefully. "Deal Slay—I mean Faith."

"Good." Faith checked her watch and realized that it was almost morning. "I gotta go Lucky. The sun's coming up and the City awaits. I'll be back in a week ok?"

"Ok. See you Faith."

Faith left the room and the club and made her way back home. It was 7am and still way too early to call Willow in Long Island but Angel might be awake still. Faith pulled out her cell phone and dialed the number to Angel's hotel.

With an irritated impatience in his voice Angel answered after two rings, "Angel Investigations."

"Hey, big guy! It's Faith. Sorry about the early call. Got a minute?"

Angel, upon hearing it was Faith, relaxed and smoothed his voice out, not wanting to take his current frustrations out on the young slayer. "Hey Faith, yeah I got some time. What's up?"

"It's a little complicated but…" Faith trailed off before launching into a detailed account of her interactions with Lucky and Angel's part in it all.

Meanwhile… across the city …

Detective Olivia Benson woke up from a night spent plagued by dreams of vampires and Faith. Olivia had gone back home after her 'date' with Faith and picked up her vampire book again and, after getting ready for bed, she propped herself up in bed with pillows and continued reading. When she could no longer keep her eyes open, she dropped the book next to her on the bed and slept.

As Olivia opened her eyes, the first thing she saw was the spine of the book and the word Vampyres and was able to rationalize why she'd dreamed about vampires and Faith the night before. She ignored the fact that this explanation didn't cover the other times she'd had the dreams.

Olivia slid out of bed at 7:30 and headed for her shower. As the hot water cascaded down her body she let her mind clear of everything but the events of the previous evening. She had to admit that she'd not had as good a time as she had last night since Alex left. It had been a while since someone had come along and made her feel so comfortable and relaxed even after they knew what she did for a living. Alex had been the first one and now, Faith was the second person. That made Olivia smile. Luckily, Olivia had Sunday off and she only had one thing on her agenda, lunch with Faith. Until it was time for that, she'd decided to clean her apartment and then continue reading the rest of her vampire book.

Faith sat in her bedroom, wearing just a towel having just gotten out of the shower. Her conversation with Angel had given her way too much to think about, the main thing being that Angel couldn't (or wouldn't) tell her over the phone why he'd sired Lucky. He remembered it though, very clearly but insisted on making a trip to New York to tell Faith face to face. Faith wasn't sure if she wanted Angel in New York right now. It'd be hard to explain to Casey if she ever saw Angel. Why he could only go out at night and also why Faith was friends with a vampire. Then there was the issue of Olivia. God help Faith if Olivia found out that Angelus was real. Faith truly didn't know how she'd be able to explain it all to the detective and the ADA. Faith wasn't even going to think about how she'd explain Angel's presence to her father.

However, Faith also didn't know how she'd be able to convince Angel to stay in LA. He may have a soul but he also had a stubborn streak and there was no guarantee that he wouldn't bring Buffy along for the ride. It was too much for Faith's brain to handle right then so she decided to get dressed and call Willow on her way to pick up Olivia for lunch. Faith looked at the clock by her bedside and realized she only had an hour before her lunch date with the sexy detective.

Faith dressed quickly and grabbed her elevator key before heading out the door. Her father had left Saturday afternoon for his other house to 'open the house up' or something like that. Faith didn't mind having the place all to herself and it also allowed her to come and go without having to explain her movements. Faith was riding the elevator to the garage when her cell phone rang. Looking at the call ID she recognized the number and smiled as she answered the call.

"Hey C, s'up?" Faith said by way of answering, knowing her cousin was on the other end.

Casey smiled, she was getting used to Faith's way of answering a phone. Made a nice change from the detectives who usually answered with their last names in a terse voice. "Hey Faith, was actually wondering if you had plans for lunch. I know Martin's not there so I thought I'd see if you wanted to join me for lunch."

"Damn, C I'd love to you know that but I kinda have a lunch date."

"Really? You didn't mention it yesterday, you holding out on me Faith?" Casey teased, curious who Faith was having lunch with.

Faith laughed, "Nah, C you know I'd never do that. These plans were made last night over drinks after we talked."

"Oh yeah? Mind if I ask who with?"

Faith hesitated, not sure if Casey knew about Olivia or not. "Um… Detective Benson." Faith waited for the shocked dismay, or worse the disbelief.

Casey smiled on her end, knowing Faith couldn't see the look on her face. Of course Casey'd heard the rumors about Olivia and her predecessor the late Alexandra Cabot being more than friends, but she'd never lent much credence to office rumors. After all, there were already similar rumors about herself and Serena from Homicide (thanks to one innocent lunch that ended with Serena's hand on her thigh wiping off a sauce spill) and heaven knows that there was nothing between them but friendship. Not that Casey didn't want there to be more but she couldn't seem to get her act together around the beautiful blonde.

"Casey? You still there?" Faith's voice cut through Casey's reverie and brought her back to the present.

"Yeah Faith I'm still here. Sorry about that I guess my mind ran away with me. So, Detective Benson huh? This a date date, or just a friendly lunch?"

"I dunno yet but I am treating it like a real date. You sure you're ok with this? I mean you guys work together."

"Faith it's fine. Maybe you can get more information about the case during lunch."

"Maybe." Faith didn't want to admit to Casey yet that she had the case all but figured out. All she needed now was to figure out what to do with Lucky. "Listen I gotta let you go. I am on my way to pick up Olivia and I still have to try to call a friend of mine for some help. So can I call ya later C?"

"Yeah sure. Have fun Faith." Casey said then hung up the phone. With the whole day looming in front of her with nothing to do and no one to hang out with Casey decided to rent some movies and make some popcorn and just relax all day.

Faith ended the call and dialed Kennedy's number on Long Island. The phone rang twice before a male voice answered, "Preston residence, hello?"

"Um, hello is Kennedy there please?" Faith asked uncertainly, not sure if she'd reached the right house. She never thought to ask Kennedy her last name.

"Just a moment, whom may I ask is calling?" The voice had a definite English accent though not as pronounced as Faith was used to hearing from her watcher and Giles and Spike.

"Her friend, Faith."

"One moment please I'll get her. Please hold." There was a pause then a low hum of what could only be described as tinny classical music. Faith rolled her eyes at the sound, who had hold music on a house phone? Faith waited patiently as she drove to Olivia's building, still 20 minutes ahead of schedule. Finally after a few minutes the music ended and Faith heard Kennedy's immediately recognizable voice.

"Hello, Faith?"

"Hey K! Who was that that answered the phone? Sounded like a watcher."

"Oh, that was Leonard, the butler. Anyway, what's up?" Kennedy talked fast and tried to change the subject. She always got uncomfortable talking about her parents' wealth.

Faith got the hint and got right to the point. "Nothing major yet but I wanted to get Red's opinion on something. Is she around?"

"Yeah one sec." Kennedy turned away from the phone to where her red headed girlfriend was sitting on the couch reading a book. "Hey Will, Faith wants a word." Kennedy called Willow over in the vaguest way she knew how. Willow looked up and after placing a bookmark in her book she made her way over to the phone. With a quick kiss on Kennedy's lips Willow took the phone and spoke with Faith.

"Hey Faith, what's going on?" Willow, with Kennedy's help, had managed to get over all her negative feelings about Faith and now accepted her as a friend and one of the good guys.

"Hey Red, I uh, actually ran into a problem down here that only you can help me with I think."

"What's the deal?"

Faith took a deep breath then began an explanation similar to what she told Angel but without mentioning who sired Lucky.


Chapter Thirteen

Faith hung up with Willow before parking on Olivia's street. She checked her watch and saw she had ten more minutes. She sat in the car hoping that Angel wouldn't bring Buffy and that he could help her and also that she could pull it all off without revealing the truth to Olivia about vampires and slayers. Faith was lost in thought when her cell phone rang again. She checked the number and saw it was Angel's number so she answered it.


"Faith? Is that you?" Buffy's voice right in her ear like that came as a shock and stole her words for a moment. "Faith? It's Buffy."

"Hi B. What do you want?" Faith finally recovered and reverted back to her normal attitude.

"Angel asked me to call and tell you he'll be at JFK airport tonight at nine pm local time, and to please pick him up ok?"

"Yeah ok. Is that it?" Faith tried to sound impatient and indifferent, not wanting Buffy to know how affected she was by hearing Buffy's voice.

There was a pause on the line, then the sound of a deep breath being taken, then, "I miss you Faith." It was a whisper but Faith still heard it. "I wanted you to know that. To know that…that I'll be here whenever you decide to come ho-back."

"Thanks B. But I am home and I don't see myself going back to California. Too many memories, too much pain, too much water under the bridge. Look I gotta go. I'll call you sometime ok? Bye."

Before Buffy could reply, Faith ended the call then turned the phone off. She'd waited so long to hear Buffy admit she meant something to her and now that she had she realized that…it was too little too late. Faith checked her watch and with less than five minutes to spare she left her car and walked down a few buildings to Olivia's. The short walk helped clear her head of Buffy's voice and Faith rang the bell at exactly 11:30am. She smiled at her timing. Olivia's voice came from the intercom.


"The one and only, you ready?"

"Almost, come on up. Second floor, 2F"

The buzzer rang and Faith pushed open the door. She took the stairs up to Olivia's apartment, smiling. There was something about Olivia Benson that Faith couldn't help but be drawn to. Something that told her maybe this was the start of a new chapter in her life.

Faith reached Olivia's door and paused a moment to collect herself, certain that the tone for the rest of the date would be set by Olivia's first impression of her right now. Faith took a deep breath then knocked on the door.

The sound of footsteps approaching the door could be heard as Faith waited for a reply to her knock. The door swung open and a smiling Olivia faced Faith. For a moment, silence prevailed as Faith waited to be invited in and Olivia waited for any part of her brain to tell her this was wrong. So far, it was remaining silent. Finally, Faith regained her usual attitude and broke the silence.

"Do I rate an invitation inside?" The question unintentionally took on a double meaning in both their minds. Faith knew she was asking about more than just being allowed inside Olivia's apartment and Olivia heard the unspoken meaning in Faith's words but she decided to ignore it, for now.

"Of course you do. Come on in." Olivia said, stepping aside to let Faith walk by her into the apartment.

Faith walked past Olivia and a small smile creeped over her face. She saw an opportunity to tease Olivia while at the same time providing a much needed lesson in Vampire Avoidance 101.

"Just like that Detective you invite me inside? What if I was a vampire?"

The look on Olivia's face was such a mixture of uncertainty and skepticisim that Faith couldn't help but laugh a little. "Relax Olivia, I am definitely not a vampire. But I thought after our discussion last night you'd know better. A vampire can't enter your apartment without an invitation."

"I knew that...well I think I knew that but Faith, vampires aren't real. So what does it matter if I know about the invite rule or not?" Olivia asked, wondering where this was coming from and where it was leading because suddenly Faith's face got too serious for Olivia's comfort.

Faith remembered that to Olivia, vampires weren't real and that the thought of them being real was so far out of Olivia's world that it wasn't even a possiblity. Faith relaxed, realizing that if she wanted Olivia to take her serious she'd have to tell her about a world she didn't want Olivia to be exposed to... her world. A world of vampires, demons, witches, werewolves and slayers. A world where those things were all too real. It never occured to Faith that these things were already a part of Olivia's world, as evidenced by Faith's presence in Olivia's apartment.

"Casey told me about this case you're working on. Three dead girls all drained of their blood. I guess I let my imagination get away from me with it and I let that seep into this day. I'm sorry."

Olivia visibly relaxed. "No need to apologize Faith. We all let our imaginations run away sometimes. So what else did Casey tell you about this case?" Olivia asked, wondering if she'd have to have a talk with Casey about discussing cases with civilians, regardless of their family status.

"Enough. But enough about that, you ready to go to lunch?" Faith tried changing the subject, she didnt want to get Casey into any trouble.

Olivia saw Faith's change of subject for what it was and decided to drop it. She also really didn't feel like discussing Casey with Faith. She wanted today to be about her and Faith and fun. "Yeah, let's go."

They left Olivia's building and had lunch at a small cafe. They talked about all sorts of things that had nothing to do with vampires or Olivia's job. Faith had just signaled for the check when her cell phone rang.

Faith frowned at the intrusion as she checked the call ID. Seeing Kennedy's number she wavered for a second before she said to Olivia, "damn, I have to take this can you excuse me for one second?" At Olivia's nod Faith stood up and walked to a quiet corner where she could talk and keep an eye on Olivia at the same time. Faith felt very protective of Olivia.


"Faith, it's Willow. Sorry to interrupt but, I think I figured out how to restore Lucky's soul without the happiness clause."

"Hey Red, wow that's good. That was fast too, who'd you call for help?" Faith knew Willow was a great witch but even this was out of her league.

Willow took no offense. "The coven in England. They have ties to the gypsy clan that originally cursed Angel. It's a long story for another day but as soon as I get the necessary ingredients and the word from you I can be down there and restore Lucky's soul."

"Sounds like a plan Red, but I wanna wait a bit. Angel's coming to town tonight and I wanna hear what he has to say before I act ok?"

"Your call Faith. Wait, how's Angel coming here without worrying about the sunlight?"

"Turns out Wolfram and Hart have a private plane specially built to accomodate flying vampires. He'll get in to New York after sunset so he'll be safe until I get him to my dad's place. Which should be a fun thing to explain to dad, being friends with a vampire."

"Wow, but your dad knows you're a slayer right?"

"Yeah he knows. Still..."

"Yeah I get it. Well, when he gets in have him call me so I can stay in the loop about what we're going to do. Also, if he wants I think I can fix his curse so that he doesn't have to worry about that happiness clause. Maybe then, he and Buffy can be together finally." Willow, who was unaware of Faith's feelings for Buffy, only saw Buffy with Angel. She didn't know that a few weeks ago Faith would've given anything to have Buffy for herself. Now, Faith could only hope that Buffy would go back to Angel if they didn't have to worry about him losing his soul.

"Sounds like something he might be interested in Red. I'll tell him about it tonight but I gotta go now, my date's waiting on me ok? Talk to you later Red."

"Oh ok, later Faith."

Faith hung up and walked back to Olivia who was sitting at the table pretending she wasn't curious as hell about the phone call Faith just took.

Olivia, with her hearing honed by years as a detective, strained to hear what Faith was talking about. She caught the name Red and thought maybe Faith had given Casey a new nickname but when she heard the words 'vampire', 'soul', and 'angel', she knew it couldn't be Casey Faith was talking to. There was definitely something that Faith was hiding from her.

The lunch date turned into a walk in Central Park before Faith realized she had to get home and make sure the apartment was vampire friendly for tonight. With great eluctance, Faith drove Olivia to her apartment and insisted on walking her up to her door.

At Olivia's door, Faith leaned in and kissed Olivia good bye, asking before she left if they could have dinner the next night. Olivia said yes and gave her directions to the station. Faith agreed to pick her up there (despite her reservations about being in a police station) and then Faith left.

Olivia went into her apartment and settled for watching a movie with the rest of her day off.


Chapter Fourteen

Faith left Olivia's and headed home. She walked in and noticed the light on the answering machine was blinking. She played the messages.

The first one was from her father saying that he was going to be staying at the other house for a few weeks to supervise some construction being done. He gave her directions to the house in case she wanted to drive up on her own. Faith dutifully wrote down the directions and address but she knew she wasn't going to be going there anytime soon. Angel's visit just became easier. Without her father around, she wouldn't have to worry about explaining his presence to her father.

The second message was from Angel, reminding her of his flight and asking again to be picked up. Faith smiled at that one. Despite being over 240 years old, Angel still managed to sound like a lost little kid sometimes. Faith knew that Angel could've easily hired a limo with the money from Wolfram and Hart but that having Faith come get him would be easier and a lot less high profile. Faith didn't mind picking him up though, he'd done so much for her over the years that she felt she owed him more than she'd ever be able to repay. Luckily he never took advantage of that in a bad way.

Faith went to one of the empty bedrooms and began covering the windows with heavy blankets, blocking out the sun and making it safe for Angel to be there during the day. Faith went through most of the apartment doing the same thing, not wanting to restrict Angel to just the bedroom. The only rooms kept off limits were her father's bedroom and bathroom and her own bedroom. After her time in prison Faith vowed to never take the sunlight for granted.

Faith made a trip to a small butcher shop in Brooklyn that Lucky had told her about and bought a few gallons of blood for Angel. Being a slayer made it easier for her to be around that much blood than it appeared to be for the young man who was working behind the counter who handed her the containers. She offered no explanation for wanting them and he asked for none. This was New York, strange was a given.

Faith got home and put the blood in the fridge in a clearly labeled section she'd set aside for Angel and his blood. Finally it was time to leave to the airport to get Angel. Faith drove carefully and got there with a half hour to spare so she headed to a newstand and bought a magazine to read while she waited.

Ten minutes later, Faith's slayer instincts began to tingle. There was a vampire near by. Faith thought maybe Angel's private plane came in early but when she looked around she saw that the vampire who'd set her tingles off wasn't Angel... it was Lucky.

Lucky walked over and sat next to Faith quietly. "Hey Faith."

"Hey Lucky, what are you doing here?"

"Looking for you actually."

"Why?" Faith wasn't in the mood for games and if Lucky found out she was waiting for Angel, Faith was unsure how the young vampire would react.

"Would you believe I missed you?"

"Nope, try again."

"Ok fine. I got tired of waiting around for you to decide my fate."

"Lucky it's only been one day. These things take time I wanna be sure I've checked all the options."

"Is that what you're doing here? 'Checking all the options'?" The sarcastic tone in Lucky's voice told Faith more that the words.

"Yes, someone's flying in tonight that will have some answers I need. But you can't be here when he gets here so can you please go home?"

"Who is it? The Pope?"

Lucky's presence was making Faith nervous and also getting on her nerves so Faith slipped and said, "No not the Pope. Your sire, Angelus. And I would really prefer you not be here when he shows up, I don't need a fight to break out and draw attention to us."

Lucky's eye widened as she listened. She suddenly got a scared look in her eyes. "You're waiting for Angelus? You know how to contact him? Is that why you sought me out? Did he hire you to find me and deliver me to him?"

"What? No. Angelus, or rather, Angel is my friend. Like you are my friend. And since he's your sire I need his help in figuring out what to do with you. He says he has a better solution to the situation that doesn't involve dusting you or restoring your soul. I need to hear him out."

Faith let slip more than she'd intended to but she needed to keep Lucky on her side.

"You promise you're not going to kill me unless it's the only solution?"

"I promise. Now can you please leave before he gets here?"

"Yeah ok. Bye."

Lucky got up and left, quicker than Faith thought was possible even for a vampire. Lucky seemed to be running more from Angel than towards any destination. Faith wondered if Lucky would always be afraid of Angel.

Thankfully, before she could stress herself out over that thought, Angel appeared at the terminal gate, with a young woman behind him. Faith smiled as she recognized Winifred Burkle, Fred to her friends, standing with Angel. Faith walked up the the pair and greeted them with hugs.

Once they were in Faith's car, Fred spoke up from the backseat. "So Faith, I hope you don't mind that I tagged along. Angel said he could use someone to talk to on the flight." Fred was nervous, she'd always had a tiny crush on Faith, knowing nothing could ever come of it once she saw the way Faith looked at Buffy.

"Nah don't worry about it Fred. You can keep Angel company during the day when I go out."

"Do you have a job or something Faith?" Angel asked, curious.

"Not really, more like a hobby. My cousin is an ADA and I've been hanging with her during the day trying to learn more about the law. Besides, the City's too cool to be left unexplored during the daylight hours. Helps me not get lost when I patrol at night."

"You patrol? In New York City?" Fred sounded skeptical, like she didn't think vampires hunted in big cities like this.

"Yeah a few nights a week. Nothing hard core mainly because vamps tend to hunt in thinner crowds where the picking's easier and they're less likely to be seen. Besides, I've been pretty busy dealing with Lucky and her situation."

"Yeah, about Lucky, Faith."

"Chill Angel. It can wait til we get to the apartment. I don't need to be worrying about anything beyond driving right now ok?"

"Fair enough."

Silence took over the car as Faith guided it the rest of the way home. Faith, Angel, and Fred took the elevator directly up to the Penthouse apartment, avoiding unwanted passengers by overriding the call button. Once the doors opened Angel felt the barrier around the apartment. Faith had never actually invited him in, so as Faith and Fred walked in Angel waited calmly in the elevator. After a few seconds though he got impatient.

"Ahem Faith? You forgetting something?"

"No I don't think so... oh oops sorry big guy. Come in." Faith turned towards the elevator as she spoke and when she realized that she'd never really invited him in she quickly, if sheepishly, invited him in.

"It's ok Faith, just been a while since I've felt that barrier. So, this is where you live? No wonder you told Buffy you weren't coming back." There was no malice or really anything negative in Angel's tone but Faith stiffened a little as his words hit her.

"Angel, you know as well as I do there's nothing back there for me to go back to." At the slightly hurt look on the vampire's face Faith immediately altered her statement. "I mean, there's you but you don't need another slayer around. Besides, it's not like the people you work with trust me you know. Except for you Fred." Faith said as she saw Fred begin to contradict her, though sometimes Faith wondered if Fred truly trusted her or if her trust was an extension of her trust in Angel . "At least here, I got my father and my cousin and even a new friend. I'm home Angel, finally I feel like I am home. I can't give that up just because Buffy finally realized she could stand to be in the same room with me. I'm sorry." Though Faith didn't know exactly what she was apologizing for.

Angel just waved it off, realizing that any hope he may have had of Faith and Buffy mending their friendship would be in vain.

Faith gave them the tour of the apartment and showed Angel and Fred their rooms. Angel smiled as he saw the blankets on the windows. It had been a while since he'd had to worry about sunlight, having customized the hotel he owned to block the sun. Once they were all settled in the living room, Faith and Fred drinking beers and Angel drinking...well the only thing he could drink that would give him any satisfaction. Faith and Fred somehow managed not to cringe when he drank, mainly because every sip left a slight reddish residue that could only be likened to a milk mustache on Angel's upper lip.

"So, Angel, what's this big solution that you just had to tell me face to face?" Faith decided to get right to the point, anything to get her mind off of what Angel was drinking right there in her father's living room.

Angel placed the cup down, well out of sight of the girls, knowing if they had to look at the blood inside it'd be harder to them to focus on his words. "Before I flew out here I located a demon who deals in black market items. This demon was able to locate for me the blood of a Mohra demon. While you were still in a coma Faith, I came up against a Mohra demon. The blood of a Mohra demon, when mixed with that of a vampire can make the vampire human again."

"Wait, you're telling me your big solution is to what? Mix Lucky's blood with a Mohra demon's and make her human?"

"Yeah that about sums it up."

"Wow, that's...something I never thought about. But, why not use the blood for yourself? Become human again and you can be with B right?"

Angel paused, knowing he'd have to tell Faith,and Fred, the truth about that day four years ago that only he carried a memory of. "I did. When I came up against the Mohra some of the demon's blood mixed with a cut on my hand and I became human. Long story short, I realized that if I stayed human I would be putting Buffy in more danger than when I was a vampire because she'd have to protect me as well as fight the demons. So I told the Oracles to fold back the fabric of time and erase what happened. I'm the only one who remembers what happened that day." Angel paused before switching gears. "Lucky isn't fighting for redemption, if she became human again it wouldn't affect the balance of good and evil because she's already caught in the middle. Making her human would actually restore the balance by removing an ambiguous threat."

"What do you mean an ambiguous threat?"

"Lucky, from what you told me Faith, is trapped between being soullessly evil and good because of a soul. There's nothing but her fragile humanity holding her back. When that goes she'll be evil. If she became human, neither good nor evil would notice it. This is the best solution Faith."

Angel's confident tone spoke louder than shouting ever would. He was convincing Faith of the truth of his statement. But there was still one issue Faith needed to clear up before she could get behind his idea.

"Ok big guy, sounds like a good plan but there's one thing I gotta clear up first. Lucky killed three girls in an investigation that is still active. She left saliva at the scene of the third victim. If she became human and revealed herself to clear her fiance, which you know she'll do because he doesn't deserve to be in jail for a crime he didn't commit, she'd end up being arrested. I can't see the fairness in punishing the human for what the vampire did, do you?"

Angel stopped to think about that. Fred, realizing she wouldn't have much to add to this conversation, had gotten up to use the bathroom. Faith and Angel were left alone in the living room. Angel thought about making a case for having Lucky pay for the crimes she committed but then thought about all the people he killed since he became a vampire.

Faith realized that, in a way, Angel was in the same position as Lucky. Even though he hadn't been sent to jail, Angel had been made to pay for his crimes by being cursed with a soul. But Angel was still free, he could walk the streets, granted only at night but still... and he was able to decide when he ate and when he slept. Faith remembered the total loss of freedom that being in jail entailed and didn't think that Lucky would survive that. However, Faith knew that it would be a hard task convincing the police not to arrest Lucky after she became human and cleared David.

"Faith, maybe you should let Lucky decide what she wants to happen?" Fred came back into the room and decided to say the one thing neither of the them would let themselves say. She knew, as an outsider, that a compromise on this issue would be hard to come by. Angel would want Lucky to pay for her crimes like he had to pay for his and Faith would want to avoid sending Lucky to jail if she could.

Faith and Angel both let Fred's words sink in before they locked eyes and nodded in agreement. Faith decided that she didn't want to ask Lucky until she could talk to Casey about the legal side of it first so she told Angel that they'd go see Lucky tomorrow night to talk it over with her.

"Ok Faith, we'll wait until tomorrow night but right now, the Mohra demon's blood needs to be kept in a dark cool place."

"No problem, I put a small mini fridge in your room Angel so you could keep some blood there for during the day. Will that work?"

"Yeah that should do."

"Oh there is one more thing. Willow called me today. She found a way to remove the happiness clause from your curse Angel. She wanted you to call her so she could talk to you about it more. Here's her number." Faith handed Angel the scrap of paper that Kennedy had first given her at the airport when they'd landed in New York.

The look an Angel's face was a priceless mix of disbelief and curiosity. He thought about what it would mean if he could find happiness with Buffy without losing his soul. His mind went back to that one perfect day he'd had with Buffy when he'd been human. Life could be like that day if Willow really could remove the happiness catch.

"Thanks Faith. Can I use your phone tonight?"

"Sure, it's right over there. Fred and I will just go into the game room to give you some privacy ok?"

Angel just nodded as Faith led Fred to the game room.

Meanwhile across town...

In a small, quiet apartment, a man sat on his couch in the dark. He was hoping it was all just a coincidence. The nature of the murders, the evidence left behind, and the xeroxed pages he now held in his hands. Detective John Munch closed his eyes just as his phone began to ring. On the second chime, he reluctantly picked up the receiver and prayed it was a wrong number. No such luck.

"Detective Munch?" The voice on the other end of the line inquired, its British accent clearly evident.

"Yeah it's me. What do you want this time?" John knew this voice. Knew the man attatched to it wouldn't be calling if it wasn't important. He also wished he didn't owe this man his life, it'd make it easier to say no when he called with a favor or seeking information.

"I am calling to help you John. I am sure you must have some questions about the things that have been going on in your city lately. I know you've been wondering if you should call me about them. So ask your questions." The voice spoke with taunting confidence, almost as if it knew how much John Munch wished he'd never been pulled into this...world.

"Only one question this time. The three dead girls, am I chasing a vampire or a human?"

The voice chuckled. "Oh most definitely a vampire John. One sired in fact by Angelus after he acquired his soul."

"How was that possible? I thought the soul was going to prevent that." John couldn't help but ask, knowing that the information about Angelus was too important to pass up.

"That's more than one question John but I'll answer it anyway. I don't know how it was possible. Only Angelus knows. Sorry John."

"I have one last question. Did you have anything to do with one of my colleagues getting her hands on a vampire anthology which details Angelus?"

"You mean Vampyres 1025AD to Present Day?"

"Yeah that'd be the one."

"Sorry John, but I had nothing to do with that. Though I imagine the whoever did had a reason for it." The voice wasn't about to admit his role in that situation. Placing that book in Detective Benson's hands was easier than he thought it would be. He just hoped he was doing the right thing. After all, that book wasn't really supposed to be read by the public.

John Munch sighed as he realized that there was no real way of knowing the truth of how Olivia had gotten that book. He could only hope that she would continue to think of it as a work of fiction.

The voice, sensing an end to the detective's curiosity and cooperation spoke softly. "Well John, if that is all, I bid you good night."

The call disconnected before John could say anything else. As usual, there was no way for John to find out where the call came from. All he'd ever been able to find out was the call originated from a prepaid cell phone that couldn't be traced to anyone. John sighed again as the thought occured to him that he'd better refresh his memory about Angelus. If he was linked to these murders, even if only by a vampire he'd sired, then John was afraid they'd never catch this vampire.

John stood up from his couch and walked over to his bookcase. It was a good thing no one ever came to visit him here. He'd have a 'fun' time explaining why his shelves included obscure text on demons, vampires,and slayers. John Munch selected a copy of the same book the Olivia had been reading at the station. The wry smile on John's face was indicative of his own reluctance to read about Angelus again. He wasn't ready for the nightmares to begin again. But he also knew there was no other choice. Not this time.

Part 15

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