Rating: R (for sexual situations, language, and violence, including torture)
Disclaimer: All of the materials borrowed from Buffy the Vampire Slayer belong to Joss Whedon and to the entities and companies associated with their creation. I have borrowed them for creative and entertainment purposes only. No compensation has been or ever shall be received for the writing below. No copyright infringement is intended.
My Website: http://www.dragonwriter17.net/
Feedback: Yes, but only if it’s of the non-flamey variety: DragonWriter17@aol.com
Distribution: The Watchers Forum, The Mystic Muse, and my personal site (If you are interested in posting my story on your site, please contact me first for permission.)
Spoilers: BtVS Season 3’s “Bad Girls” and “Consequences”
Author’s Notes: (1) This chapter is mostly original material, although I have borrowed a line or two here and there. (2) I’m still sticking with the use of alternating first-person points of view. Although it’s been difficult to pull off at times, I think (hope) it’s working. (3) And thanks, as always, to Lilly for the beta read and edit!
Number of Chapters: 5
Story Premise: Buffy and Faith become involved with each another, but Faith’s accidental killing of Deputy Mayor Finch threatens to split them up.
Summary for Part 01: Buffy finally succumbs to Faith’s enticing sexual charisma but doesn’t know how to handle the aftermath.
Summary for Part 02: Just as Buffy and Faith begin to realize that their feelings for each other are more than just lust, disaster strikes.
Summary for Part 03:
In the wake of Finch’s death, Faith and Buffy admit their true feelings.
Their happiness proves fleeting, though, when Wesley’s betrayal comes to
I felt a lot better after talking to Giles, so I guess it was good that Buffy made me go.
I was still nervous about the cops, though. Buffy kept saying the police didn’t have anything on me, that there was no way they could connect me to Finch’s death. I wanted to believe I was safe, but…it just didn’t feel that way.
Oh well, at least the Council wasn’t coming down on me.
After a lengthy phone conversation, Mr. Travers and I made arrangements for Faith’s official ‘recall.’ A retrieval team would arrive in Sunnydale within a week to take Faith into custody and remove her to England.
In the meantime, I was to continue my duties as watcher without breathing a word to the others. I would ‘play along’ with their arrogant rejection of centuries-old protocol and keep them none the wiser.
But they would see. Yes…when the team arrived, Mr. Giles and his unruly group of misfits would finally see where I stand in the Council. And they would give me the respect I deserved.
When we left Giles’s office, Faith and I headed over to my house. I talked Mom into letting me stay home with Faith that day. It didn’t take much convincing—one look at the dark circles under Faith’s eyes and the slump in her shoulders did the trick.
So, after Mom left for work, Faith and I settled in the living room. Even though things had gone well with Giles, Faith still seemed shaken. She just sat on the couch and stared at her hands, not saying anything. I wanted to help her, but I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know if I should just leave her alone or try to cheer her up or what. I finally decided to just ask her. If I was bothering her by doing that, she could always tell me buzz off.
I eased beside her on the couch and reached over to touch her shoulder. I told her ‘hey’ and smiled at her. She smiled back but only briefly, and she still didn’t say anything. So I moved closer and began stroking her hair. “Tell me what to do,” I said. “Tell me how I can help.”
She shot me a stricken glance, then leaned up and rested her elbows on her legs. She ran her hands through her hair several times before stopping and looking back at me. “Can you turn back time?”
“I wish I could,” I sighed, leaning forward, too. “I’d roll it back to that alley, and I’d call out to you sooner so you could—”
She stopped me with a shake of her head. “No. Further back,” she said. “To my place.” She raised her eyes to mine and added, “Before you left.”
I knew exactly which moment she was talking about, and my face must have shown it. I felt like the wrecking ball of Faith’s laughter had hit me all over again, this time right in the stomach. I couldn’t speak; I just sat there staring at the floor.
Then I heard Faith say “I’m sorry,” and her voice was breaking so much I had to look up. “I didn’t mean it, I swear,” she said. “I was scared, and I just…freaked out…I’m sorry.”
“Why were you scared?” I asked her.
She didn’t say anything, but it was clear she was trying. When the words wouldn’t come, she jumped up and walked a few feet away. She stood with her back to me for the longest time before finally turning around.
“I was scared because…because nobody’s ever said that to me, a-a-and I don’t know what it means, a-a-and I don’t know how I’m supposed to react.”
I stood up and went over to her. “Just…tell me how you feel.”
She let out a sad huff and instantly dropped her gaze. Then she brought both of her hands up to her face and shielded her eyes with them. After a moment, I saw her chin start to tremble. I wanted to hug her so bad, but I just waited instead. Eventually, she sucked in a breath and lifted her head to answer me.
“Like I’d die if I lost you…” she whispered.
I didn’t wait any more. I pulled her into my arms and held her close. “Me too,” I told her. “Me too.”
The next few days were pretty cool but a little weird, too. I mean, once I got over myself and actually admitted that I really liked Buffy, we just clicked again, but in a whole new way.
That whole week, we were practically glued to each other. It kinda blew everybody’s mind when they saw us that way, but we didn’t care. We were happy, and as far as I was concerned, if they didn’t like it, they could kiss my ass.
And, see, that was the weird part. For me at least. Normally I woulda hated all that cuteness and closeness. But not with Buffy. With her, I actually liked it. Couldn’t get enough of it, in fact.
She made me feel…special. She made me feel…loved, I guess.
I shoulda known it wouldn’t last.
Buffy and Faith were soooo cute together! And, yeah, I was still feelin’ like the Green-Eyed Greedy Gut sometimes, but…they were just so cute!
Of course, they weren’t using the little four-letter L word yet, but all of us could see that they were head over heels about each other. It was funny, actually, seeing how everybody reacted.
When Oz and Cordelia figured it out, they did the exact same thing: a shrug plus a single word. Except Oz said “cool” and Cordy said “whatever.” Xander just giggled and started drooling over them all the time. Giles and Wesley both went into lens-polishing overtime. Must be a watcher thing.
The best part, though, was Buffy’s mom. She didn’t freak out or yell or judge or anything like that. She just opened up her arms and added Faith to the family hug. She even decided to let Faith move into the house. It was downright beautiful.
Which only made things that much harder when the Council came to town.
It was nearly a week after the Deputy Mayor’s unfortunate death. Willow and Xander and I were over at the Summers home helping Buffy and Joyce get Faith moved into the guest room. In truth, we were mostly celebrating since Faith’s meager belongings had easily fit into only a handful of boxes and had taken very little time to relocate.
We were enjoying some pizza and punch in the dining room when the doorbell rang. Xander immediately rose from his chair and went to answer it.
I heard Xander say, “Wesley…nice of you to drop by…after all the moving’s done.” Then I heard Wesley mumble something like “my apologies,” followed a scuffle of feet and Xander calling out in alarm. We all rushed to the living room and found Wesley standing there with five other men: Quentin Travers and four armed bodyguards.
“You son of a bitch…” I growled at Wesley, but when I tried to accost him, one of the guards trained his weapon on me, and I was forced to step back.
“What’s going on?” Faith asked uneasily.
“Just a misunderstanding,” Buffy told her before stepping protectively in front of her. Then she turned to Quentin and glared at him. “Isn’t that right?” she emphasized, letting the implied threat drip from her voice.
“The only misunderstanding here is yours,” Quentin said imperiously. Then he turned his eyes to me. “Did you really think that you could keep the truth hidden? That you could circumvent the authority of the Watchers Council?”
At that, Quentin nodded to Wesley. Wesley nodded back and then stepped forward, pulling a pair of heavy cuffs from his coat pocket. Two of the armed guards followed him as he moved to where Buffy was standing in front of Faith.
“You are not taking her,” Buffy warned him.
Wesley ignored her and turned his attention to Faith, who was now backed against the wall with complete panic in her eyes.
“Faith Lehane, by order of the Watchers Council of Britain,” he recited, “I am exercising my authority and removing you to England, where you will accept the judgment of the Disciplinary Committee.”
The moment Wesley made a move toward Faith, Buffy leapt into action. She felled Wesley with a single jab and then took on the two armed guards who were with him. When the other guards tried to aid their comrades, Xander and I rushed to stop them. As the room filled with the sounds of punches landing and furniture smashing, Willow and Joyce joined the melee.
The battle raged on for a full minute before a single gunshot startled us all into freezing in place. We slowly turned toward the source of the shot and saw Quentin holding a pistol in one hand and Joyce in the other.
He smiled smugly and said, “Now that I have your undivided attention…”
Once I had reminded the lot of them exactly who I was and exactly who was in charge, I ordered them to take their seats. I spread the guards around the room but kept Mrs. Summers close to ensure the group’s continued cooperation. I meant her no harm, of course, but her daughter didn’t know that and was consequently forced to comply.
“The role of the Council is clear,” I told them once they were all seated. “When a slayer kills a human, the Council is required to take that slayer into custody in order to determine the level of her criminal liability and to evaluate her fitness for duty.”
“Now, based upon our preliminary investigation, Deputy Mayor Finch’s death indeed seems to have been accidental. He was collateral damage, as it were. However…given Miss Lehane’s violent past, we cannot assume that, after this incident, she is fit for a return to society. She will therefore be escorted back to England, where she will undergo a rigorous and lengthy program of rehabilitation. If, after its completion, she is found to be fit for duty—”
“No!” Miss Summers objected. “Faith is fine! She doesn’t need your so-called ‘rehabilitation.’ If the death was accidental—and you just said it was—then leave her alone and let her do her job. Let her get back to her life.”
By then I had simply lost all patience. I should have known it would be useless to attempt to reason with them.
“Let me put this into terms even you can understand,” I told them. “Miss Lehane has two choices. One, she can come to England for a minimum of six to twelve months of rehabilitative incarceration, or two, she can be sent to the California State Penitentiary for twenty-five years to life for first-degree murder.”
“But…it was an accident,” Miss Lehane said, finally speaking up for herself. “I didn’t mean to kill him…How can that be first-degree murder?”
“Because the Council will say that it is,” I stated unapologetically, “and we have a very strong influence here. Not that your case will be that difficult. After all, Allan Finch was a public official, meaning that special circumstances will apply. Combine that with our connections, and I’d say you’ll be lucky to avoid a lethal injection.”
I paused a moment to allow the gravity of the situation to sink in. Then I asked Miss Lehane, “So…what’s it going to be?”
I felt like I had fallen forty feet and landed flat on my back. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t think.
I could hear Buffy pleading with me not to go. I could hear Willow and Xander and even Mrs. Summers telling me to stay and fight, that the Council couldn’t possibly make good on their threat.
But when I looked over at Giles, his expression told me everything I needed to know: the Council wasn’t bluffing. If they wanted me put away for life, then that’s exactly what would happen.
I hung my head and let out a long breath. When I glanced back up, I looked directly at Quentin Travers.
“Okay,” I told him, getting to my feet. “I’ll go with you.”
“Faith, no,” Buffy begged as she jumped up and grabbed my wrists. “Don’t do this.”
“I have to, B,” I told her. “I don’t have a choice.” When I saw her start to cry, I tried to put a positive spin on things. “Look, it’s only a year, maybe less if I work hard, right?”
I pulled her close and leaned my forehead against hers, waiting until she nodded back her answer. Then I reached up and held her face with both of my hands.
“I love you,” I whispered.
“I love you, too,” she whispered back.
Then we kissed, but it seemed like it was for only a second. Before I knew it, I was being snatched away from her. I felt my arms being pulled behind my back and heavy cuffs being locked onto my wrists. I saw Xander and Giles having to physically hold Buffy back. As my eyes met hers for the last time, she called out to me.
“Faith! You’re strong, okay? Remember, you can face anything!”
I didn’t have time for a reply. The guards jerked me away and dragged me from the house.
In less than a minute I was slammed face first against a van door. As one of the guards held me still by pressing his body weight against me, Travers made his way into my line of sight. Calmly he pulled a syringe from his pocket and filled it from a small vial.
“It’s not that we don’t trust you,” he said as he tapped the syringe and then tested it.
At a nod from him, the guard grabbed me by the hair and pulled, exposing the side of my neck. I struggled to find my footing, to get some leverage, anything, but it didn’t work.
“Actually, it is just that,” Quentin said snidely before plunging the syringe into my neck.
I felt the jab of the needle, then the burn of the injection, and then I felt nothing at all as everything went black.
Our journey back to England was uneventful. Since we were flying by private jet, we were able to avoid the insanity of the international airports. On Quentin’s orders, Miss Lehane was kept both chained and sedated for the duration of the flight.
I considered questioning the necessity of such security measures given the fact that Miss Lehane had freely agreed to accompany us, but I decided that Quentin surely knew what was best.
The first thing I remembered was being really thirsty. My throat was so dry I could hardly swallow. The next thing I realized was that I was face down on some kind of metal surface and that my whole body hurt like hell. I felt like I’d been sleeping on rocks for three days. I went to use my arms to push up from the floor, but then I realized they were still cuffed behind me.
I curled onto my side and blinked my eyes into focusing. I realized I was in the back of a van, and the same four body guards I’d seen at Buffy’s house were around me, glaring. The nearest one pulled a radio from his pocket.
He keyed the device and said, “She’s awake.”
“Understood,” came the answer. He put the radio away.
I muscled myself into a sitting position and scooted back until I could lean against the back inside wall of the van.
“Where are we?” I asked.
“You’ll see soon enough,” said the guard with the radio. Then he turned away from me like he didn’t want to hear another peep outta me, so I didn’t say anything else.
As the van kept moving, I felt a deep, black fear twist inside my stomach, and I wondered if I’d made a huge mistake in turning myself over to the Council.
Rattled by my doubts, I closed my eyes and tried to focus on Buffy—on what it had felt like to be held in her arms, on what she had said to me before I left. All I could do was pray that she was right—that I really was strong enough to face this.
It took forever before we got word that Faith had arrived safely. It was nearly eighteen hours after Faith had been dragged away that Wesley finally called.
“She’s doing fine and getting settled in,” he told me in a voice that was way too cheery. “She’ll begin her program tomorrow after she’s rested from her flight.”
“Let me talk to her,” I demanded.
“I’m afraid I can’t do that,” he said. “Faith isn’t allowed to have any outside contact. At least not at first.”
“What?!!” I practically yelled. “What do you mean ‘no outside contact’? How am I gonna know she’s okay?”
“You must understand that Faith needs to focus on herself right now, without any outside distractions,” he said in that condescending tone of his. “But don’t you worry. I’ll make daily or at least weekly calls to Mr. Giles to report on her progress. And when she’s reached a certain point in the program and proven herself, she’ll be allowed to earn privileges, such as phone calls. I’m sure she’ll do just fine and will be calling you in no time.”
If I could have reached into the phone and strangled that little twit from long distance, I would have, but I decided it was a little early to burn any bridges, not if I wanted to talk to Faith at some point in the future.
“Well, tell her that I love her and that I’m waiting for her.”
“I will,” he promised before ending the call.
As I hung up the phone, a shiver of dread came over me. I didn’t trust Wesley, I didn’t trust the Council, and I sure as hell didn’t trust Quentin Travers. But I trusted Faith, and I believed in her, and that would have to be enough.
It only took me a few days to realize that the Council rehab thing completely and totally sucked.
It was barely a step up from prison. My room was like a cell: a twelve-by-twelve room with concrete block walls, no windows, and no color. All it had in terms of furnishings was a platform bed that jutted out from the wall, a built-in shelf and bench that served as a table or desk, a toilet, and a sink. I had a foam mattress, a pillow, and a blanket, and that was about it.
No, I take that back. They did grace me with a few luxury items: a set of towels, a bar of soap, and a toothbrush, and oh boy, toilet paper! Yeah, they really knew how to spoil a girl over here in the mother country, let me tell ya.
I didn’t have any privileges: no TV, no phone, no radio, nothing. I didn’t even get to go outside or go slaying at night. My whole day was programmed with shrink sessions and classes and training. And they actually made me do homework! I had to read about all kinds of demons and write reports on it. Ugh. If I’d-a known they were gonna make me do school stuff, I’d-a taken the twenty-five to life in the state pen.
Not really, o’ course, but it was definitely no picnic. I did the best I could, though. I figured that’d be the only way I’d get out of there early. Every time I felt like slappin’ the crap out of my instructors, I just repeated my new mantra to myself: ‘What Would Buffy Do?’ or in this particular case ‘What Would Buffy NOT Do?’
The only thing about rehab that I really liked was the physical training. They set me up with this ninja-like sensei. Even without super powers, that dude kicked my ass on a daily basis. Every time I thought I’d have him, he’d be ready for me or he’d counter with some unbelievable move that came outta nowhere.
I finally asked him how he did that. I mean, I was a slayer; I wasn’t supposed to be gettin’ my ass kicked by a mere human. He started showing me how to use all of my senses in a fight and to observe my opponent’s tendencies, how all of that could help me anticipate my opponent’s next move. He said I was practically broadcasting all of my moves to him. So he started teaching me a bunch of his little tricks. It wasn’t long before I finally got the drop on him in a session. After I smacked him down on the mat, I jumped up and pumped my fist.
“Lehane for the score!” I crowed before helping my sensei to his feet.
He stood up and bowed. “Well done,” he told me.
I returned the bow and thanked him. I was smilin’ so big I thought my face was gonna crack. Then I saw Q-Tip glaring at me from across the room.
Jesus! I thought. What does that man want from me?
As I watched him leave the gym, I got the sneakin’ suspicion that I wasn’t ever gonna measure up. Not in his eyes.
At first, Faith did very well, and I had nothing but good words for her when I called to give Giles my reports. She excelled at her physical training, she was applying herself to her studies, and she was even cooperating with Dr. Stahl in all aspects of her psychotherapy.
She was still rather saucy, of course, particularly with Quentin.
She, em, ha-ha, she took to calling him ‘Q-Tip.’ Ha-ha...I had no idea what that meant, but it infuriated Quentin to no end. Ha-ha...ahem, but, um…a-a-as I said, all in all, I was quite pleased with her progress.
Unfortunately, things soon began to change...
I tried to play along with their whole psychotherapy routine, but after a while it just...it just started to rub me the wrong way, ya know? I didn’t feel like I was being rehabilitated; I felt like I was being reprogrammed, like they were trying to brainwash me or something.
I may not be smart, but I know when somebody’s tryin’ to fuck with my head, and that’s what Dr. Stahl was tryin’ to do. So I just stopped cooperating with him. I’d give him stupid answers to his questions or make up shit.
Last thing I was gonna do was let the Council turn me into their little ‘Stepford Slayer.’
After getting yet another disappointing report from Dr. Stahl, I realized that stronger measures were going to have to be taken. I called a meeting of the Disciplinary Committee and announced my intention to implement the Alternate Program.
I was completely shocked when Quentin announced that we’d be taking a harsher approach with Faith. I couldn’t stay silent any longer; I simply had to speak up.
“Excuse me for interrupting,” I said, “but don’t you think a more lenient approach would have a better effect? Why don’t we reward her instead of punish her? Give her a reason to cooperate? For example…let her call Buffy. Tell her that the more she cooperates, the more calls she’ll get. I think you’d find her very receptive to such an approach.”
“No, no, it’s too late for that,” Quentin grumbled, getting a nod of agreement from Dr. Stahl. “The bone has already set in the wrong position.” He narrowed his eyes and stared off for a moment. Then he said grimly, “No, there’s only one thing we can do now: we have to break her.”
I literally felt a chill go down my back as he spoke those words. I didn’t know exactly what Quentin had in mind, but I knew it couldn’t be good. For the first time since we’d arrived, I was afraid—not for myself, but for Faith.
I wasn’t exactly sure when the nightmares had first started, but when I ended up having a slew of them three nights in a row, I knew something was up. The details of the dreams were always different, but they all had the same theme: Faith screaming, Faith hurting, Faith crying out to me.
I marched straight over to Giles’s apartment that morning and told him what I’d been dreaming about. I told him how worried I was that something bad was happening to Faith…or was going to happen to her.
He confessed that he was worried, too. The latest report from England had convinced him that Wesley wasn’t being entirely truthful.
As we wracked our brains trying to come up with something we could do, Giles’s fancy new phone rang. When the caller I.D. indicated that Wesley was on the line, he punched the speaker phone button to answer the call.
“Hello, Wesley?” Giles said. “I’m so glad you called. Buffy is here with me, and frankly we’re concerned about—”
“You need to come,” Wesley said urgently, cutting Giles off. “You need to come now.”
“What’s going on?” I demanded. “What have you done to Faith?!!”
“I haven’t done anything to her,” Wesley said. “It’s Quentin. He’s…I’m afraid he’s going to kill her!”
TO BE CONTINUED IN PART 04...