Actions

Work Header

Book Two: The Sword and the Fist

Chapter Text

Prologue:

From the Diary of Rupert Giles, Watcher:

 

Much has been written in our diaries and journals of Faith, the Vampire Slayer. My own experiences with her are chronicled here, both of her descent into evil, and of her brave and invaluable service in the war against the First and the army of the Turok-han.

Wesley Windham-Pryce once confided to me that he was glad Faith had not had the careful and nurturing environment for which we as Watchers had always been told to strive. “Buffy is a diamond, Rupert, and you will spend your life polishing her. Faith is forged Wootz steel, and it’s the fire that will make her what she is destined to be.”

This was somewhat before she tortured him near to death.

Much less is known about her companion, Robin Wood, to whom she was recently wed. My experiences and those of Buffy Summers revealed him to be both complex and resourceful. We know that he recently traveled with Faith to Chicago, and returned shortly thereafter to California with Xander Harris, Dawn Summers, and Faith. Our sources indicate that there was some considerable violence done to some men of poor character and long rap sheets there, but whether by Faith or by Robin, we do not know.

Wood’s motives, much of his history, the full the extent of his ability, and even the severity of the wounds he received during the Battle with the First, remain clouded in speculation and uncertainty.

 

I.

 

Faith, the vampire slayer, lay on top of her sheets and glared at her husband, Robin Wood. It still seemed strange when the thought sounded in her head, ‘her husband.’ She rolled over and pulled a pillow over her face.

“I’m not getting up. It’s early. Evil is still sleeping. We’ll fight Evil later, ‘kay?” The pillow muffled her voice, but the wheedling was unmistakable.

Wood stood at the end of the bed, regarding the young woman who was burrowing deep under the pillows. Her legs were bare, and her arms, but she wore a tank top and boxers which somewhat masked her more feminine charms. That was a good thing. Wood had discipline, lots of discipline, but Faith had an uncanny ability to distract him by using what he disparagingly referred to as ‘her wiles.’ 

“Evil doesn’t sleep, Faith. Evil hits the snooze four times this morning, I grant you, but I assure you it does not sleep. Perhaps if Evil had not kept you out clubbing last night so late, Evil would even now be up and eating breakfast.”

“We weren’t clubbing.” Faith peeked an eye out to glare at him again. “You asked me to check out Delecto, so I went. It’s not like I have a ton of girlfriends to hang with, so Dawn went too. What’s your beef, Ricky?”

“Well, Lucy, I asked you to see if this new place was anything like Caritas. The last thing we need is a demon bar where they hand out destinies. You told me when you got home if you can recall that Lorne wasn’t even there. So why stay?”

Faith shook her head and sat up, then turned and slipped off the sheets like a whisper of silk across silk. For all her strength and her blunt approach on some subjects, the girl could move. Wood took a breath, held it a moment, then continued.

“If the anagogic demon is a silent partner, we know what we needed to know. So, why were you there until last call?”

“Hey, we got a deal. No big words before breakfast unless the world is ending. Then, not before lunch.” Her tone was joking, but he knew she was a little sensitive about her abbreviated schooling.

Faith was limbering, doing some little stretches that preceded her morning workout. She raised one leg, turning on her planted foot like a ballerina crossed with the karate kid. Her balance and awareness of her body in space were literally supernatural. He watched with a mix of affection and awe, as always.

“Honey, when was the last time I went out? When’s the last time Dawn went out? She’s been cracking the whip at the community college, taking extra classes, doing summer school. The only time we saw them since they got settled in the new place, what did she do?”

“Um, read a book while Xander grilled things. I see your point. Okay, I’m not upset you were out with your friend… but it ever occur to you I might want to know when you were coming home?”

Faith, bending nearly double, her hips popping and her lovely backside wagging slightly at him, looked back at him between her legs.

“Golly, Daddy, next time I’ll call so you won’t wait up.” She straightened and reached for a robe to wear into the dojo for some real exercise.

Wood made his move, two steps of his long legs, sliding next to her and pivoting so his shoulders led him between her and her robe, and her reaching arm slid around his waist. He grinned at her surprise.

“If I had known when you’d be home,” he told her with an arched eyebrow and a little hitch in his smile, “I would have been a lot more awake.” He kissed her forehead.

She went to close her arms around him and leaned up to kiss his lips. She never really noticed how tall he was until she was this close to him. He moved so smoothly you somehow forgot to notice he was that size. He proved her point by stepping with a little spin away from her, so she was left reaching for him and he was left holding her fingertips. He bowed dramatically and kissed them.

“Too late, sleepyhead. Not time enough for love today. We have a new client to meet, so you need to hurry up and get dressed.”

She blew a strand of dark chestnut hair away from her face and regarded him a moment. “Get naked, get dressed. Get in bed, go to work. I wish you’d make up your freakin’ mind,” she said. But she said it with a great deal of charm.