Drive It Like You Stole It
ANGEL: You go out that door now and you'll be running for the rest of your life. My bet is, it'll be a pretty short run.
FAITH: Doesn't matter.
ANGEL: You know what? It does matter. It matters to me.
FAITH: Why are you doing this? Why are you being nice to me? Just... stop it. You gonna step aside or do we throw down? I mean, am I your prisoner here?
ANGEL: No. You're not my prisoner.
FAITH: So I'm free.
* * *
Faith drinks too much, even with that Slayer constitution. Champagne when they have it; after a bottle or two she even laughs sometimes. She says champagne isn't like booze, it doesn't get you drunk, it gets you high.
Lilah's not sure exactly what happened between Faith and Angel, but with some quick changes of plan everything turned out for the best. Holland Manners is happy with the result as long as Angel is in despair - apparently, he’d invested a lot of himself in her - and Wolfram & Hart always need super-powered enforcers. So Faith goes out and kills what Lilah tells her to kill. She never says no. She shrugs a lot, "sure, whatever," happy to let Lilah take the responsibility. Then she comes back to Lilah's apartment, Lilah's drinks cabinet, Lilah's bed. Kill, drink, fuck, repeat; it seems Faith only has so many gears.
Faith clearly isn't used to living like this. Lilah tells her to just think of it as comfortable; there's no reason to feel bad for having it easy. Restaurants (not pizza places, actual restaurants) that deliver, personal shoppers, limos, silk sheets... Wolfram & Hart take care of their own. They're the winners in this game, they have a huge bulletproof panorama window overlooking the city far below, and nothing to do but earn and enjoy it. For Faith, the former seems to come easier than the latter.
Lilah takes pictures of her. Faith laughing with eyes closed; Faith poking at her foie gras in an expensive restaurant; Faith killing; Faith sprawled smoking and naked across her bed; Faith huddled in a chair with a bottle, staring out into space. Faith never asks to see them, never asks what in the name of Professor Higgins Lilah is up to. Never lets on if she knows that the useful photos end up where Angel will find them, to show him where the path of redemption leads, how much of a difference he can make. If she did ask, Lilah would lie. Say they were about her, something she'll look back on one day, after she's made it. Whatever “it” is.
One day, Holland calls Lilah into his office. He congratulates her on her work, promises her a bright future with the company... Oh, and by the way, that new recruit of hers is getting sloppy; her last hit was a mess, and there's never any shortage of people prepared to get their hands dirty. The point was to get a message to Angel, mission accomplished; Lilah's come too far to risk her career on a pet project. Lilah promises him she can handle it. He has no doubt she can, he says, as kindly fatherly as always.
So now what?
The morning sun seeps through the blinds in thin shafts, traces of champagne dried on her belly, Faith's lipstick smeared across bite marks in the pillow. Lilah gets up, opens the balcony door to air out the apartment. Shower, aspirin, caffeine, makeup, Armani, gets in character. Faith jolts awake as Lilah puts her shoes on; the Slayer stares wild-eyed around the room before she remembers who she is and drifts back into hungover boredom.
"Want me to kill something today?" she asks, rummaging around for a cigarette.
Lilah promises she'll check. For some reason, she walks over to the bed and sits down next to Faith, runs her fingers through her hair.
“Careful,” Faith says. “I’ll mess up your warpaint.”
Right. There’s a war. “Will you be here when I get back?”
Faith shrugs. “Where else would I go?”
* * *
The limo pulls away from the curb as Faith slams the door.
"I'm glad you called us," Lilah says. "You know, we were just thinking it might be better if - "
"Just drive. Get me out of here." The girl huddles up on the back seat like a wounded animal, staring out at the dark city passing by. "You got anything to drink here?"
"How about a toast to your freedom?" Lilah pours.
"Right." Faith tosses the champagne back, grimacing. "So now what?"
She flinches when Lilah reaches out and runs her thumb over her split lip, the shiner around her eye, but doesn't pull away; not that there's anywhere for her to go. "You did the right thing. Let me guess; Angel told you you were just like him, you needed to suffer for your sins, take the narrow road, wallow in humility..."
"Shut up." Faith takes the bottle and helps herself to more.
"Because that's crap and you know it, Faith. Look around." She leans back against the leather seat, takes a sip, a picture of luxury. "The world belongs to those who take charge. What have you got to lose?"
Faith shrugs, still looking out past her. Then she drinks.
The black limo weaves through traffic, so sleek it's almost invisible, windows tinted to prevent people seeing what goes on inside. Wolfram & Hart's driver needs no instructions; he knows a thousand routes through this city to where they're going.