The Vulnerability of Faith


by Demona


**********

The next hours went by quickly and painfully. Spike retold the whole story from the minute he left the house with Buffy to the minute that he attacked me and coincidentally was saved by me. He retold the tales that Buffy told him about her torturing the Scooby gang members and such. He edited the part about B killing Willow, just saying she knocked her out and left her in the coffin to freak her out. It wasn't something that we all wanted to hear but it was what everyone needed to hear. We all needed to understand that this was not our Buffy anymore because our Buffy wouldn't have tortured and killed our friends and got off on it. It was decided that we would analyze everything that Spike told us and go over it. Each person was to come up with a battle plan using every person in the room. They would have teams selected, team leaders, weapons and such. It was a good idea and most of the people in the room agreed it was a good plan. We would take the best plan or the best parts of plans and utilize them the best that we could.

I didn't want to make up a plan that would involve sacrificing my friends at the moment. I would do that later after I had had some time just to let this all sink in. Instead I went back to Spike's room with him and we talked for hours. I really missed talking with him and arguing about things that we both knew we agreed upon. He was a good friend to me and I knew that I would miss that when he was gone. I told him of the fight that Angel and I had. I told him how hurt I was that he was so upset over Buffy's death, how he wouldn't let me help me at all, how he broke my jaw, and finally how he broke my heart and didn't realize it still. Spike didn't have a lot of suggestions but he did know that Angel was dense when it came to certain things and that was the truth, neither of us argued about that. He thought that sometime before the battle with Buffy that I should sit down with him and tell him exactly what I felt in case something happened to either one of us during the battle. I didn't think that was a good idea. I didn't want things more emotionally messed up for me before I faced a Slayer turned Vampire. Then I listened and held him as he cried for the death of his Slayer, the death of his lover, the death of his other half. He knew that he had to make sure she was stopped. He knew that she couldn't live with the guilt if she was cursed after all that she had done. She had told him that if she ever became a vampire not to curse her just to stake her because she couldn't live that way. It was the opposite of what she was born to be and she couldn't live in the dark all the time. She had grown to hate the darkness due to her fate. We talked about death and how we were both ready and awaiting it. He couldn't believe that I was awaiting death so calmly.

"What do you mean that you are ready to die? You haven't even begun to live Faith!" Spike yelled at me.

"Keep it down Spike. It isn't like I want to die. I just know it will happen soon. I just have this feeling. I know that B is going to kill me. I can't beat her. I'm not sure that even Angel can beat her. I think that I am going to just let him drain me and then go kick her ass. That is the only real option that I am seeing of her dying. You can't kill her unless you kick her or bite her to death. I mean – I'm sorry but you have no hands to hold a stake."

"A stake won't do Faith. I didn't want to tell the others this just yet. I was only going to tell you and Angel because I knew it would be one of you that finishes her and then possibly let you guys break the news. She can only die by beheading. It is fucked up. Like she is a goddess more so than ever before now that she is half demon. So you are going to have to behead to kill her totally. Keep that in mind," Spike informed me and I just nodded to him in acknowledgement. We continued to talk and finally he passed out again after I let him have about a pint of my blood.

I left him there on the bed for the remainder of the day. That day while Angel and Spike slept, side-by-side no less, the humans talked and plotted the battle that lay ahead. We decided we needed to go to the grocery store to get food for all of us for the next week or so. Only a few of us went. Cordy, Gunn, Oz, Lindsay, Methos and I went to get food for us and the other humans in the house. Angel wasn't awake but if something went wrong all they had to do was yell and he would be up and ready for battle, as would Spike. Plus Mac, Amanda, Richie, Kate, Willow, Giles, and Cassandra could take care of themselves when it came down to it.

We drove in Oz's van to the grocery store and got food. Each person made a list of food they wanted and we combined all the lists into one huge list. It took us about 2 hours to do the grocery shopping about $350.00 as well. We were all going to chip in but Methos just covered it for us. Grocery shopping was fun because we just got to get out of the house and have some fun. It was fun until I turned a corner with several boxes of cereal in my arms and I ran smack into Quentin Travers, the head Watcher from the Council. He was with 3 other Watchers and a young girl, probably 14-15. I dropped the cereal and took a step back away from them.

"Excuse me," I mumbled and quickly bent to grab my cereal boxes to leave their presence, quickly.

"There is no excuse for you Faith. You are simply a disgrace to the Council and past Slayers," Quentin said to me and I stood up slowly with my cereal boxes, unsure of what to do.

"Faith?" Cordelia's voice asked from behind me, confusion evident in her voice. I backed toward her slowly. "What is going on here?" She snapped, clearly pissed off now. She knew my body posture very well and therefore knew I was frightened now.

"C, meet the Council," I told her as I came to a stop slightly behind her. She moved to block me from the people that threatened me. I threw the cereal carelessly in her shopping cart. Gunn stood behind the cart, looking warily at the Watchers.

"Faith, why don't you go find Adam? Gunn and I can handle this," Cordelia suggested to me. I backed away to go look for them and ended up backing right into Adam.

"I'm here C," Adam's voice said from behind us. Adam came up behind me and placed a hand on my left shoulder with his right hand as he stood next to me on my left. I knew that he would protect me at this moment and I felt comfortable and safe just by this innocent touch.

"I think we have unfinished business Faith," Quentin said to me.

"No, Quentin you don't. She isn't under you anymore. She put in her time in jail to serve the US laws. And she has put in her time to the Council as well. She isn't any of your concern anymore," Adam boldly told them.

"Well, well, if it isn't Adam Pierson – the Immortal who got into Watcher's HQ. I should have guessed to see you two together."

"Why are you in town?"

"Same reason as you. Buffy's a vampire and planning on opening the Hellmouth. So, we are here to kill her. Are you here to join her in death and destruction?"

"No, I am here to slay B and close the Hellmouth. Same thing you are here for," I answered confidently.

"That is right you hate Buffy and will have no problem slaying her at all."

"How do you plan on slaying her?" I asked him. "You and your Watchers and your little girl?"

"Faith – I want you to meet Robin, the newest Slayer."

"The newest Slayer?" I asked, confused.

"I don't think that you understand Faith. She is the Slayer. You died." Quentin said to me and I was shocked.

"When and how Quentin?" I asked him, not believing this at all.

"She was called in the fall of 2004, after Isabelle - the slayer after you - was killed. You are supposed to be dead Faith. That is the only reason we have not come for you Faith. We believed you to be dead. Unfortunately we were wrong and not that lucky."

"So she is your plan to kill B? Do you really think that she can take B? Um...I think no!"

"What is going on here?" Oz asked as he walked up to us with Lindsay. "I smelled… well trouble," he finished as he stopped next to us.

"I sense evil on him. His aura is worse than the others," we heard the girl say to Quentin.

"Oz, I presume – the werewolf," Quentin said. Oz didn't really respond; he hardly does anyway despite the event and situation.

"He's a werewolf sir? Are you sure?" One Watcher asked Quentin.

"Yes, I am sure," Quentin snapped at him.

"How about you guys finish the grocery shopping while Faith and I continue our chat with Quentin," Methos asked of Cordy, Gunn, Lindsay and Oz.

"You sure man?" Gunn asked.

"Yeah, we'll be ok here in aisle 7," Methos teased him.

"We'll be nearby," Cordy said and then left us alone.

"So you are leading this band of merry-men?" Quentin asked Methos.

"I am," I answered. "I'm in charge of it all. We all came down here to stop a vampire and seal the Hellmouth. That is all. Since my Watcher isn't available anymore I am in charge of myself," I told them all confidently.

"You mean your Watcher is dead," one said from the back with a slight smirk.

"I guess death is the same as unavailable."

"Wesley…" Quentin started to speak.

"Shut up Quentin. You have no right to speak of him so directly. Mr. Wyndham-Price will do for you and yours. You didn't know him – you didn't know anything about him."

"I think I did – perhaps more than you. You forget that he was at the Council HQs for years before he was sent to you to be your Watcher."

"You might have know him then, in a world without demons and evil to face everyday but you didn't know the Wes that I knew. The man I knew was a brave man – an intelligent man – a man of honor and principle. He trusted me even after I almost killed him and he found it in his heart to believe in me and to know me. Few have done that. The man you knew was nothing compared to the man I knew!" I told him honestly.

"A man doesn't change over time. The Wesley you and I both knew was the same person. He couldn't have changed that much," Quentin argued.

"When I first met him he would run and hide from anything that moved. He would offer anything to save his own life. The man that died wasn't that man. I tortured him for hours and he didn't utter a scream, no protest, just sat there and took it and didn't even think about betraying Angel or Cordelia. You aren't worthy of him. He was a true Watcher, he did his job to protect good in the world and kill the evil."

"He worked with a demon."

"I am in love with a demon and yet here I am. I still fight the ‘good fight' and hunt down everything that needs to be killed. I am not a bad person because of it. I was evil I met him, he made me good, he understood my darkness and helped me harness it and use it in a different outlet. Just because Angel is a vampire does not mean that he is evil. Do you want me to start naming the number of times that he has helped out a Slayer? Between Buffy and myself the number is probably too high to count. You don't understand about him Quentin. Because you have been locked inside the Council gates you don't understand anything that has to do with good and evil. I am the perfect example. I wasn't the model Slayer, I turned evil, I killed humans, and I did horrible things. My boyfriend is a demon and he is supposed to kill humans and wreak havoc on the world, however, he chooses to save it and protect it. Tell me now Quentin. In your world as you see it. I should be the one was still allowed to live because I was a human, but I was evil. He should have been killed because he was a demon but he was good. Tell me how that is right, how that is correct, and above all how that is FAIR! Tell me that the Council still doesn't view it that way and I will come back to the Council." I told him and he just stood there in silence.

"You know that I can't tell you that."

"And you know that I can't value anything that you have to say to me. Our truths are not the same. You see the world through tinted, jaded, colored glasses. I see the world as it is. There is no such thing as good and evil. There is no black and white world. There is a lot of gray area that no one in the Council acknowledges. Wes didn't acknowledge it when he came here to Sunnydale. He did after he realized and had his eyes opened to the events that were taking place around him!" I told Quentin angrily. "Go home Quentin. You and your Slayer are in way over your head here," I told him and he just shook his head.

"It is my duty to make sure that Buffy is stopped. I need to make sure that evil is kept in check," he told me.

"You can't beat her. You can't. Neither can she. You are going to send this Slayer to her death. One can only hope that she dies quickly and painlessly. Stay away from me and mine. You do your own thing here. You want to take her down do it. Don't interfere when we attack her though. You interfere and get any of us killed and I swear by everything I stand for that providing I survive the fight that I will hunt you and everyone else in the Council down and kill every single one of you in the same way that my friends all died. It won't be pleasant and I'm sure that you don't want to see if I will hold that promise true. I am a psycho Quentin…keep that in mind," I told him and then walked away from him to join Cordy, Gunn, Lindsay and Oz in the next aisle over. Adam joined me a few seconds later.

"They won't leave Sunnydale. They are going to get killed," Adam said to me.

"That is on them. They aren't listening to reason so they will die. I don't care," I told them all honestly and they nodded in agreement.

**********

We continued our shopping, got everything on the list and headed back to Giles's house. We made sure that the Watcher's weren't tailing us when we did that though. We unloaded all the groceries into Giles's kitchen and then called a meeting with everyone. I sat down on the couch and Spike curled up next to me and leaned into my embrace. He rested his head on my chest as we leaned on the side of the couch. I ran my hands through his soft, not gelled hair in a random soothing pattern.

"So what is up?" Richie asked us once everyone had settled into the living room area. Adam looked at me and I nodded for him to continue.

"The Council is in town. We ran into Quentin and a few of his little flunkies, and…" Adam took a breath releasing it slowly. "the new Slayer," he finished.

"The new Slayer? Why was a second Slayer called after Buffy died? She only died once?" Willow asked and everyone was immediately talking among themselves.

"The first, Isabelle, was called when Faith died in 2001. When she took that dive out of the fifth story window with Darla after the fight she died in route to the hospital, at the hospital, several times during surgery, etc. Her death, like Buffy's momentary one in 1997 allowed the new Slayer to be called. When Isabelle died in 2004 the newest one that is in Sunnydale at the moment, Robin was called. Right now there are two Slayers alive and one undead," Adam said. He rose from his seat and stretched out a little. "Quentin is being a bastard and won't leave the country till Buffy is killed, yadda, yadda, yadda," he continued in a monotone voice. "Basically I don't think that we have to worry about them slaying Angel and Spike, but we might have to worry about them interfering the fight with Buffy. However, after Faith's threat I'm not so sure that we will be seeing them around for the final fight. I think that the Slayer peed herself and Quentin looked pale," Adam said and I smiled a little.

"Since when do you threaten people, luv?" Spike whispered to me.

"When I need to get the point across, I get graphic, no big," I told him quietly and then returned my attention to Methos.

Spike scooted up further into my embrace and started to purr a little. I held him a little tighter so that he wouldn't slide down my body and he started to gently kiss and lick on the junction on the left side of my neck where my neck met my shoulder. I felt blunt teeth bite into my shoulder and I closed my eyes at the feeling. This wasn't supposed to be happening. I wasn't supposed to let another vampire near my body, I wasn't supposed to let Spike do this to me, I didn't need this right now, but the sensation felt too good, too familiar and too comforting. I didn't stop him. I didn't stop him when I felt him change into game face. I didn't stop him when I felt his fangs enter my neck and gently suck enough to get blood to come out but not enough to hurt me. He did this for several minutes, biting, feeding, licking the wound, and then repeating the process. I didn't realize that everyone in the room was talking to me and now staring at me until I felt Spike being pulled roughly off of me. Thankfully he didn't have his fangs in my neck at that time or I might have had my neck ripped open yet again. You don't get too many free tickets to get out of death and I think that mine were all used up at this point; I was on borrowed time and a half. I opened my eyes to see a pissed off Angel beating Spike's face in with one hand while Spike was held down on the floor by the other hand. I was angry. I jumped up off the couch and tackled Angel. We both went rolling away from Spike and into a nearby wall, shaking it. I landed a punch to his face before he realized what was going on. He grabbed ahold of my throat and twisted my head to the right with his left hand, held my body down with his own, and gently fingered the bite mark on my neck with his right hand. I couldn't believe this was happening. I hated him for this so much.

"Get off of me Angel," I yelled at him angrily.

"Do you really hate me that much that you would do that with him in front of my face?" Angel yelled at me. I caught movement out of the corner of my eye and saw Spike kick Angel in the face causing Angel to release his hold on my head but not my body. Spike kicked him again this time causing Angel to hit the wall next to me and bounce back off of it towards Spike. I managed to get up from under him.

"Spike, knock it off!" I told him.

"No. This bastard just beat the shit out of my already beaten face. He kneed me in my non-existent balls and I am in pain right now. So shove it Faith!" Spike yelled at me. I punched him in the face causing him to fall to the floor and look at me in complete shock. Angel stood up as well behind me and I backhanded him across his face too, causing him to stumble and grab onto the wall for balance.

"This is ridiculous!" I said to them both. "What the hell is this over Angel? Just tell me - don't throw in anything else opinion wise."

"You are letting him feed off of you right in front of my face. He was fucking purring and getting intimate with your neck. You were enjoying it Faith. You should have seen the look on your face and the noises that were coming out of you and out of him. The two of you were getting off on it!"

"You are jealous!" I exclaimed completely shocked. "You are jealous aren't you?" I asked him and he just frowned. "This isn't about Spike this is about me isn't it? I wasn't intending to get off on it Angel. You and I both know that I get off when you feed from me. I'm sorry that I let him do it. I really wasn't thinking and I'm sure that he wasn't either. It just has been too long since you and I have been anywhere near that comfortable with each other. Things were shitty before Cordelia's vision and they went straight to hell after that. I just needed to feel loved, needed to feel something other than the coldness that is closing in around me. I needed to feel Angel…I just needed to feel," I told honestly and moved away from him. I grabbed a hold of Spike's forearm that he held up in the air for me to help him up with. "I'm sorry for hurting you both," I told them and walked out of the room.

The rest of that day was a total bust. I stayed down in the basement and worked out for about 6 hours. Giles came down and trained with me for a little while until he got too tired and hurt. Oz came down for an hour too but he didn't want to get the hell beat out of him any more so he left and Methos came down to be my last victim of my training session.

"You feel like you are doing something positive here? You send Giles and Oz up beaten up and you are still down here breaking things and beating the shit out of yourself mentally," Methos said to me.

"I don't need your psychotherapy Methos. Can it!" I told him as I punched the punching bag that had been mounted in the wall. I guess it had been done like that so Buffy could train without someone holding it.

"I don't want to 'can it' Faith. You need to hear it. Beating up poor old Giles is just wrong and Oz said that he was all wolfy and still got his ass kicked. Perhaps you need a break yourself. You aren't going to be able to take Buffy if you wear yourself out now," Methos suggested to me.

"Leave Methos. I told you I don't want to hear it. I am going to get all this shit out of me right now. I have been having problems lately and this isn't making it any better. My friend, my Slaying sister, my blood, she died and I have to cut her head off to kill her. I don't think that this is in any way fair or just. I hate this Methos. I have to go up against her. I am going to lose too. I am going to die when I face her – I can feel it. She kicked my ass on a regular basis when she was only a Slayer. She is like super Vampire now, a turned Slayer. I am going to die. I only hope that Angel can take her once I am dead. I need you to promise me that if I died and he can't kill her that you will cut her head off. You can do it, you might not be able to beat her with strength but you can beat her with skill. Promise me Methos. Promise me you will finish her if Angel and I fail," I looked at him completely serious.

"I promise you. I will make sure she dies when we fight her," Methos said and took off his shirt and shoes. "Lets go a few rounds Faith. You have my permission to attempt to kill me. I don't care how you do it just make sure that if you snap my neck put it back in the right position after I die please," he told me and I just nodded to him.

The two of us fought heavily for about two hours and I finally got him into a "death" position. I didn't kill him though because he had told me on several occasions about how he hates to die and then come back. After the 6 hour training session I had I went back upstairs and took a shower in the bathroom adjoining Spike's bedroom. After a 45-minute shower I came out feeling much better. I had relaxed all my muscles and got a lot of stuff straight in my head. After I toweled off I pulled on a sports bra, underwear, and a pair of Angel's ratty sweat pants that had been packed for the trip down here, and tightly braided my hair. (Everyone minus Methos, Gunn, Cordy and myself had ransacked Angel's and my room, and Oz's and Lindsay's room to take clothes and stuff for the time that they knew they would be here for.) I walked out into the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of water and an apple out of the frig. I headed over the window that overlooked a park.

"You going to be ok?" I heard a very familiar and at times like this annoying voice question me.

"I'll be fine Cordy. Don't worry about me," I told her.

"I do though. You are my best friend Faith. I never thought that I would say that, but you are. Please just let me in right now," Cordy admitted to me and I reached my hand back over my shoulder and let her take hold of it and squeeze it tightly to let me know that she was here for me. "You wanna talk about the whole comment about how things between you and Angel weren't good before my vision. I was under the impression, along with everyone else, that things were great between you two," she asked me. I sighed.

"I have been just really restless lately. I don't know, perhaps just feeling my mortality slipping away. Especially when I would come back night after night completely beaten along with Angel and that he healed overnight while I was left to heal for a longer time period and resulted in prior injuries leading to new injuries. Angel is just healing faster than me, and he is just better than me. That bothers me a lot Cordy. But yet I still continue to let him feed from me because I don't want him to die. I want him to be strong so that he survives the final battle. But I don't know Cordelia. Something just doesn't feel right to me anymore. I think that he knows that too. Perhaps I'm just pulling away so that when I die he will have it easier or something," I answered honestly and sighed.

"You know that your death is coming?" Cordelia asked me.

"As do you. I know about the vision you got about my death Cordy. I can read you like a book. I saw fear in your eyes when you looked at me the day after it. I knew. It is ok though. It just confirmed what I already knew was going to happen. I can't change the future. I will die when I fight B and I don't really care. Angel is my main priority. I must make sure that he survives to beat this apocalypse. It is his destiny."

"And what about you and your life Faith? You don't care if you die?"

"I was born to die Cordy. Sooner or later I will die permanently and there is nothing that either one of us can do about that. I don't want to die Cordelia, God I don't want to die, but I am a Slayer. I accepted my destiny long ago. I have had too many chances and opportunities to relive my life after near death experiences. I don't have much time left on my card. I think that I'm actually running on borrowed time," I told her honestly.

"We are going to do everything we can to keep you safe Faith," she told me and wrapped her arms completely around my neck and shoulders, leaning over my shoulder to look out the window into the park.

"Don't worry me Cordelia. Others are more important. I won't survive this battle but the other people are more important than me. Make sure that the innocents survive. They are the ones who will create the future. Teach them the ways of good, lead them away from evil," I told him and she rested her head on my left shoulder and just held me. We rested that way for a few hours, just staring out watching the night recede and the sun rise over the horizon of Sunnydale. Cordelia went to bed after the sun rose and I was left alone while the others still slept until they woke up several hours later.

**********

Later that morning shortly before noon we got unexpected visitors to Giles's place. I had informed the other people in the house that the Watcher's Council was there, but we didn't really expect to see at all after our incident with them. I was in the kitchen cooking lunch with Lindsay, Methos, Kate, Dawn, and Spike. Well Spike wasn't exactly helping, more like a hindrance, but he was there to keep himself entertained. We were cooking the lunch for everyone else in the house so we could all maintain our strength for the fight that was going to come. Dawn and Kate were placing the dishes and silverware on the table so everyone could grab their stuff and go wherever they wanted to eat. Methos and Lindsay were putting the food into the dishes and Spike was annoying the hell out of me by just standing behind me at all times and playfully biting on my neck with blunt human teeth as I tried to get the rest of the food cooked and prepared.

"You know that isn't a good idea Spike. If Angel was to wake up and find you on her neck again…lets just say it wasn't a happy ending last time. I don't think that he will suddenly change his mind and think it is ok for you to be all over his girl," Methos told Spike and Spike froze.

"I'll be damned if I am going to be threatened by that Poof that calls himself my Sire. I can bloody well do as I please when it comes to Faith. I know how to treat her, I know what she is thinking pretty much all time; I know her. The Poof doesn't even know that. You worry about your own shit Old Man. I'll worry about mine," Spike hissed at Methos and left the kitchen angrily, but not before he "brushed" past Methos sending him into the refrigerator to catch his balance. I was amused by Spike's childish behavior.

"Methos, was that really necessary? He wasn't seriously doing anything with me!" I asked him, a little perturbed.

"I think that it was. You don't need another fight between you and Angel. You don't need to let Spike to nibble on your neck," Oz said from the living room where he was just sitting down reading a book. I growled in frustration and threw my hands up.

"Damn wolfie, do you have to hear everything?" I asked him angrily, he just chuckled in response. "You aren't funny furball," I retorted childishly. This caused everyone to laugh and it made me realize this was all dumb. Lindsay and Methos finished putting everything on the table and Kate and Dawn had finished putting out silverware and dishes for people to eat with.

"LUNCH IS READY!" I yelled obnoxiously. People began to filter out of the various rooms in the house. Angel came out as well looking completely oblivious to everything that was going on around him. Spike came out a few minutes later. I had semi-fresh blood ready for them both. I had been able to drain about a pint for both of them from myself for lunch today. It was kind of a peace treaty I was trying to reach with the both of them. Angel sat down in a chair and I handed him the tall mug filled with warmed blood. He took it from me and took a sip and almost spit it back out.

"What the hell are you thinking? This is like a pint of your blood and there is another mug there for Spike! Are you insane? You need this more than we do," Angel yelled at me and I just looked at him.

"Drink up Peaches. She did this for you now drink it. Don't you think that you are going to need a little Slayer blood to get through this upcoming fight," Spike told him as he sat down in front of his mug and I placed the straw in his. I bent down next to his ear.

"I would have put Wheatibix in there but you can't exactly suck that up through a straw. So you are just you are just going to have to deal with good ole fashion Slayer blood," I told him and he chuckled.

"Thanks for the thought Luv, really, you are too good to me," Spike said and kissed my lips gently and then I walked away from him. Angel glared at the both of us at the same time somehow. I continued to get food on the table as everyone else dug in. I was the last to eat. I had just sat down to eat my lunch when the doorbell rang. Cassandra stood up and headed for the door.

"Sit Cass, I'll get it," Giles told her. She nodded and returned to her seat. Giles walked over to the door and opened it up. I didn't pay attention to who was there this one time. I didn't think that B was going to be dumb enough to attack so I really didn't pay attention.

"You aren't welcome here," I heard Giles angrily tell whoever was at the door. I was on my feet immediately, grabbing my knife off the counter in one movement as I headed for the door. I was behind him ready to attack when I got to the door.

"Well, well, if it isn't Faith. So we meet again. Really now, do you think that is anyway to greet an old friend? With a knife of all weapons?" Quentin Travers asked me. I growled deep in my throat and lowered my knife. He was with his flunkies and his little Slayer.

"What do you want?" Giles asked him, still blocking his entrance to the house through the door.

"She is trying to open the Hellmouth and cause an Apocalypse. I think that it is necessary for us to combine our efforts and stop this threat to the world," he told Giles and I just continued to glare at Quentin unhappily.

"You have 10 minutes to convince me this is worth my time," Giles said and stood back away from the door. I backed up towards the table. The Watchers and Slayer came in. They all pulled out guns and held them aiming at the whole group of us.

"You are all by order of the Watcher's Council of England under house arrest until this threat to the world is dealt with. We are not going to let a Renegade Slayer, two renegade Watchers, and a whole lot of misfits be responsible for destroying the world," Quentin told us and we were all in a little shock. I didn't expect this at all.

Angel snarled when he realized that it was the Watcher's Council who was bothering us. He rose quickly from his sitting position at the table, completely awake and alert now as he came up behind me. He moved off to my right and threw his arm around my waist and held onto me tightly. Despite the fact that I was still extremely pissed off at him I was happy that he was here to protect me and defend me.

"Who is this? Your boyfriend Faith?" Quentin asked me. "Let me guess the only guy you could get is a criminal and probably a murderer?" He teased me and I just glared at him.

"So this is the new Slayer huh?" Angel asked and I nodded to him. He laughed a fully body laugh.

"What are you finding so amusing about this? Who are you?" Quentin asked Angel, slightly angry.

"Who am I? You mean you don't know who I am? You haven't studied my face and told your children not to go out at night for fear of running to me?" Angel asked, his voice slipping deeper and darker. He was completely mocking Quentin for not knowing him.

"I have no idea who you are."

"Do you know me Slayer?" Angel asked her. She shook her head, confusion evident in her facial features, and I smiled at this one.

"You should," he told her and then redirected his attention to everyone. "Well, she is a piss poor Slayer," Angel said to Quentin.

"And why is that?" Quentin asked in return.

"Because her vampire detectors haven't gone off yet."

"Why should they?" The girl asked smartly. Angel took a few steps around and in front of me and smirked at them.

"Because I'm a vampire," he said and vamped out.

The reaction was immediate. She reached for her stake, I grabbed Angel and pulled him behind me and then blocked the attack that was coming for him. I grabbed her wrist knocking the stake out of it. It clattered to the floor and Cordelia grabbed it and held onto it tightly, as she still stood in a fighting position. I snapped her wrist in two and then punched her in the face. Her head snapped back with the impact. I grabbed her and spun her around using her confusion of the moment to get her in position. I put the knife up against her neck and cut into her flesh a little, leaving a small line of blood.

"That is how you plan to stop B?" I asked him. "I don't think that I am powerful enough to stop B and you think that this *child* will do?" I spat at him. Robin clutched her broken wrist close to her body and put her other hand up to stop the blood from running down her face. She didn't even bother to fight with me; she was too worried about her injuries.

"Let her go Faith. You are just signing your own death warrant," Quentin threatened me.

"Don't play games with me Quentin. You know me, and you know what I am capable of. I don't care about the fact that she is an innocent child here. I will kill her and you know that," I threatened him. He nodded to me in understanding but refused to back down at all.

"Give her to me and you will be killed quickly."

"Don't play games," I hissed at him and tightened my hold on the girl, pulling the knife up higher, choking her and applying pressure with the blade, cutting a little deeper.

"Mr. Travers…" she begged with a choked voice.

"Let her go Faith. We'll leave," Quentin said and I nodded to the door.

"Back out! Leave us Quentin. Don't even bother trying to help out in killing B. Take your sad excuse for a Slayer and go back to the motherland," I snapped at him completely pissed off that he was planning on sending this incapable girl out to fight Buffy and knowing that she would die.

"I'm not leaving until what I came here to finish is finished."

"And you are going to send her into battle to die? Knowing that she can't take B at all?" I asked him in complete shock.

"She was born to die."

"You are just going to go up against a vampire slayer turned vampire? Do you have any idea how good she was before she was killed? Do you know that she was the longest living slayer and that wasn't just by chance? She was the best. Do you have any idea what you are asking for because she is a now a vampire? Do you really want to die this soon?" I asked the girl in my arms.

"I can take her!" Robin insisted even though she was in a vulnerable position.

"Sorry, I don't believe you at all. I just broke your wrist and your face and now have you in my control, and I'm not even a vampire, let alone a slayer turned vampire. Try again child! She will kill you and when she figures out you are the new slayer she will play with you. I already know she is fucked up since she tortured and almost killed her now ex-boyfriend."

"Buffy had a boyfriend?" Quentin asked.

"Yeah perhaps you know of him then. William the Bloody, Spike, the vampire, my childe?" Angel said to him and smiled cockily.

"You have got to be kidding me. You are Angelus?" Quentin asked me. "What the hell are you doing here dating Faith?" he laughed loudly.

"I am dating her because I love her. She is my other half, my equal. I am nothing without her; she is nothing without me. We complete each other and we make sure that the other is still heading for the light, still fighting the good fight," Angel told him. "Don't insult me Quentin. Just because I have a soul doesn't mean that I don't kill humans. I'd say ask the W&H lawyers from 2001 but well they are dead. Dead people usually don't talk much. I let them all die by the hand of two other vampires. I didn't care that they died, and I still don't. Don't tempt me to have you killed as well old man, I have friends and even then I'd be tempted do it myself, and you would rather me not kill you. It will much more pleasant if someone else does it to you," Angel hissed at him. "Don't threaten my girlfriend ever again Quentin. I'm sure you read about me. I'm sure you know that I am not the sanest vampire out there. I suggest that you leave the United States," Angel snarled at them.

"You aren't understanding what I am saying here Angel. I am not leaving. Your empty threats mean nothing to me. I know you. You are Angel, the vampire with a soul. You defend the innocent and all that jazz. I am not afraid of you," Quentin said and Angel got pissed. He rushed him and threw him up towards the other Watchers. Everyone fell down around Quentin, and the other Watchers quickly worked to get up off him and him up as well. Angel wasn't finished, however. He threw the other Watchers out the door of Giles's home away from Quentin. He dragged Quentin out and then slammed him again the floor. He got right down in his face, with his game face on. "Don't fuck with me Watcher. I am not what I seem. I might be Angelus the souled vampire. But I wasn't a nice human with this soul, don't think that I will regret killing you, your Watchers, your pitiful Slayer; I won't regret it at all. I'll do it in a heartbeat," Angel growled at Quentin and then kissed his forehead before getting up and standing my side, his mask slipping away. I tossed the Slayer towards the Watchers still standing outside the doorway. Quentin slowly climbed to his feet.

"This isn't over by far. You will pay for your insolence!" Quentin threatened us as he backed out the door.

"Watch out for B, she's pissed," I suggested to them and slammed the door in their face. I turned the deadbolt and walked a step before I faltered and almost fell from nerves. Angel had me in arms before I hit the ground.

"You need rest. Giving us your blood wasn't a good idea. Someone grab her a plate of food and something to drink. We'll be in the other guest room," Angel told everyone and pulled me up into his arms. I was too weak to protest as he carried me down the hall. He put me down gently in the bed where Spike and him were sleeping earlier. "You wanna explain about that little stunt? You took out two pints of your blood and gave it to us. I can understand me but Spike?"

"Spike deserves it just as much at this point as you do. He is severely injured and he needs my blood so that when we fight Buffy he doesn't get killed instantly. I need him around for the fight. I need him."

"If he needs blood then feed him another Immortal. Don't feed him your blood."

"My blood is stronger. You know that as well as I do. Draining Methos didn't help you recover as fast as one drink from me. Don't yell at me. Just because I can't beat your ass doesn't mean that I won't try."

"I'm just saying that you could have been injured in that fight with the Slayer because you weren't at your best. You collapsed after they were gone…what if you had collapsed in the middle of the fight? She could have hurt you or one of the Watchers could have hurt you before I could have gotten there to save you," Angel tried to reason with me.

"You don't have to always save me. I'm not a fucking porcelain doll damn it. Every time something hits me I am not going to go down. I am the fucking SLAYER Angel. I don't need your fucking help!" I yelled at him as I rose up to a sitting position on the bed. He flinched from my words and I immediately regretted saying them to him.

"I'm sorry that you feel that way. I'm sorry if I came off as the overprotective vampire boyfriend Faith. But I love you and I don't want to see anything happen to you," he confessed to me and stood to leave the room.

"I'm going to die someday Angel. You can't save me from that. Death is inevitable for me Angel. I can't run from that. It is the destiny of every Slayer. Spike told Buffy once that every Slayer has a death wish. He wasn't lying when he said that. B knew he was right and that is what scared her so bad. I know I have no aces to pull out of my sleeves anymore. My cards are all down on the table Angel and I still don't have enough to beat death this time. The next time that I have a run-in with Death will be the last time. I will lose," I told him calmly as he walked out of the room. He paused at the doorway.

"I won't let that happen," he told me with his back still to me, as he stood halted in the doorway.

"You can't always be there Angel. Someone has to finish the fight. One of us has to live to fight tomorrow. You have that option, that opportunity. I don't. You still have to get your gift from the Powers That Be. Don't throw it all away for a mortal Slayer destined to die either way."

"You are more to me than just a mortal Slayer. I thought you knew that," he told me as he walked out of the room never turning around to look back at me. I collapsed back on the bed. He was right, I shouldn't have given out that much blood but Spike and Angel needed it. They would need it again before we fought Buffy. They needed to be strong enough to beat her when I failed, as I knew I would.

As I laid in that bed changes were made around the house. Giles took control and had shifts arranged so that someone was always keeping a lookout at different areas of the house for anyone that was approaching it. He didn't want any more surprise visits from unwelcome guests. Shifts schedules were made, assigned and implemented. Everyone in the house knew that that final fight with Buffy was coming. Each was preparing for it in their own way.



Continued