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Faith Comes Back

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Faith Comes Back

 

Prologue

In a dark alley, after dusting several vamps, Buffy and Faith were running toward Balthazar's warehouse hideout when Deputy Mayor Finch stepped out of the darkness. Thinking he was another vampire, Buffy threw him against a wall, and before she realized he was human, Faith staked him in the heart, killing him. They both ran off and were separated. Faith went back, got the body and dumped it into the harbor. But it was found by fishermen and the death was reported on the news.

Buffy tried to convince Faith to tell Giles what happened, but she refused. After telling Willow about it, Buffy went to Giles. But Faith beat her to it and told Giles it was Buffy who killed Finch. After Faith left, Giles told Buffy he knew Faith did the deed but not to let anyone know. Wesley overheard them and called the Watchers' Council. They captured Faith to take her back to England, but she escaped.

Buffy went to the docks looking for Faith, and found her. While they were talking, Mr. Trick and other vamps attacked. Mr. Trick almost killed Buffy but Faith staked him, saving Buffy's life. Faith then went to see the Mayor.

 

 

The Mayor

Mayor Wilkins was leaving for the day. With a final touch, he straightened one of the two pens in a holder on his desk, picked up his briefcase, went to his office door and opened it. Faith was standing there.

"You sent your boy to kill me," she said matter-of-factly.

"That's right. I did," he replied.

"He's dust."

"I thought he might be. What with you standing here and all."

"Guess that means you have a job opening," Faith said with a little smile.

Mayor Wilkins stood aside to let Faith enter the room. He went back to his desk and set his briefcase down. "So you want to work for me. What about Buffy and all your friends?"

"Got no friends. Not after Buffy killed your buddy and they blamed me for it. Then they tried to get me locked me up."

"So it was Buffy that killed Finch? For some reason I thought it might have been you."

"Nope. Buffy all the way -- threw him against the wall, then staked him right through the heart, pretty as you please."

"I see. And just what is it you think you can do for me? You know, Mr. Trick had quite a few, well, tricks up his sleeve. He was a valued employee."

"Yeah, well, he's gone and I’m here now. So whatever you need me to do, I’m your girl."

The Mayor wasn't entirely convinced. Faith could have been sent to spy on him. But, on the other hand, if she was sincere, he knew just how she could help.

"Well, there isn't much around the office here for someone with your talents. But I do know where you can do the most good."

"Whatever it takes, wherever you need me."

"I need you to go back to your friends. I need a set of eyes and ears to keep tabs on them, and then report back to me anything that might prove helpful."

Faith didn't really like the sound of that. "I just told you, they're trying to have me put away. How am I supposed to make nice with them?"

"You strike me as smart girl. Use your imagination. I'm sure one of them would be sympathetic enough to side with you."

"Well, Buffy did say, over and over, she wants to help me be a goody two shoes like she is."

"Well, there you go!" the Mayor said with a big grin. "Put on your most pitiful face, come up with your saddest story, and make her your own."

"I could do that. Yeah! Not a bad plan – BOSS. I'll make you proud. You'll see."

"That's what I wanted to hear." Wilkins picked up his briefcase again and walked Faith to the door. "Give it a week or so before you report back to me. Make sure they trust you again first. Don't want them following you back here, now do we?"

"Okay, a week it is."

And with that, Faith left the office heading toward the elevator. As Wilkins watched her leave, he still wasn't sure if she could be trusted. And if she couldn't, he'd rather she was with Buffy and company rather than snooping around his office and into his business.

 

 

Buffy

Faith waited until just after dark before she went to Buffy's. She circled the house, looking in the windows until she saw what she was looking for – Buffy and Joyce were eating dinner. She waited and watched until they cleared the table and Buffy headed upstairs, probably to get ready to patrol. Joyce was in the kitchen and Faith made her move.

As she was washing dishes, Joyce heard a tapping at the back door. She was surprised to see Faith there.

"Is Buffy home?" Faith asked, a worried, almost panicked look on her face. "I really need to see her."

"Yes, she's upstairs. Are you all right?"

"No, not really. I got myself in this jam and I need Buffy to help me out of it. Can I go up?"

"Oh, certainly. If there's anything I can do…."

"You'll be the first to know," Faith said as she pushed past Joyce to the stairs.

Buffy turned around to see Faith standing in the door of her bedroom.

"Faith," Buffy said. "I expected you to be half way to Some-Place-Else by now."

"I was. I started to go. The freighter was pulling out, but I…." Faith took a harsh breath and started again. "I – I'm afraid, Buffy. The mayor's vamps I can handle, but the Watchers' Council, I don't know. When they had me chained up I had this feeling that I'd never leave the country alive."

"They wouldn't do that."

"No? Think about it. Which is more valuable to them – a rogue Slayer they have to keep locked up, or a new one they can control and keep on a leash?"

Buffy thought for a moment. "You do have a point. They're certainly not famous for appreciating the finer points of breaking their rules. But even so – out and out murder?"

"It wouldn't be murder – I'd just be killed trying to escape. Who would believe otherwise?" Faith was sounding more and more desperate.

"Again, a valid point. But what do you think I can do? I've got no control over the Council's actions. Giles certainly doesn’t, and I don't think even Wesley could do much."

"Look, I hoped I wouldn't have to bring this up, but I thought that saving your life would mean a little something to you."

"No, it meant a lot. I showed me that somewhere inside of you there's still a sense of right and wrong."

"So you'll help me?"

"I can call Giles. He's still on your side, somewhat. Maybe he can think of something."

Faith rushed up and hugged Buffy, who after a second or two, returned the embrace. Buffy and Faith went back downstairs to the telephone and Buffy dialed Giles' number.

"Giles, hi, it's me. Look, we have a situation here, at my house. Faith is here. And she says she's scared of what the Council might do to her if they catch her and she wants our help. Do you think you could come over and we could brainstorm something up? Great. Okay. 'Bye."

Buffy turned to Faith. "He'll be here shortly."

 

 

Giles

Joyce was at the door to let Giles in. Their meetings were always a bit awkward.

"You're looking well," he almost stammered.

"Thanks," she answered with an uneasy smile. "The girls are in the living room. Can I get you anything?"

"A spot of tea would be nice, if you have any."

"I think I do. I'll bring it in when it's ready."

"Yes. Thank you."

They separated – Joyce went to the kitchen and Giles entered the living room. Both Faith and Buffy stood up when he did.

"Buffy tells me you have concerns about the Council's intentions towards you," Giles said without preamble.

"Yeah, I do. Big concerns," Faith answered. "I understand why they think they have to lock me up. But it'll never happen. I doubt if I'd make out of Sunnydale alive."

"She thinks the Council would rather have a Slayer they can control than one they can't," Buffy added.

"I wish I could dispute your reasoning, but you may have a legitimate argument. The Council isn't known for its tolerance when it comes to uncontrolled defiance. Rogue Slayers are not tolerated, not even for a moment."

"So, what can we do?" Buffy asked.

"Well, I'm not really sure. If I was still a member of the Council, then perhaps I could plead your case and possibly convince them to give you another chance, under the strictest supervision, you understand. But as it is…."

"What about Wesley?" Faith asked. "I know I made him look pretty stupid when I escaped, but maybe if you could talk to him he might come around."

Giles took off his glasses and began to clean them with his handkerchief. "I'm afraid trying to talk Wesley into trying to talk the Council into anything other than your recapture and transport to England borders on the impossible."

Giles put his glasses back on and continued "You know, if you had come to me just as soon as this unfortunate incident happened, you and Buffy, we, Wesley and I, could have investigated it, and no doubt would have had things completely under control. But hiding it, and then lying about it as you did only exacerbated the Council's concerns about your trustworthiness."

"Yeah, I know that now. But I was – scared. I never killed anyone one before. I've beat the hell out of people, plenty of times, but nobody ever died."

"I understand…." Giles was about to say when Joyce came into the room with a tray carrying a steaming cup of tea and two cans of soda.

"I’m not interrupting anything, I hope. You all sound so serious."

"It's nothing very interesting," Buffy told her. "It's just Slayer stuff."

"But Faith said she was in some kind of trouble."

"Um, yes," Giles agreed. "The new Watcher, Wesley – a conflict of personalities. You understand."

"Oh, sure. I guess teenagers are the same everywhere, Slayers or not."

After several seconds when no one responded, Joyce made an excuse to go upstairs and then did so.

"So," Faith said, "you gonna help me, or do I have get the hell outta Dodge?"

"No. No, I'll talk to Wesley in the morning. Maybe by then I can formulate an argument of some kind in your defense. Buffy, whatever the outcome I'll call you here."

Buffy and Faith walked Giles to the door and said goodnight.

"Well, I guess I'll take off, too," Faith said to Buffy.

"Do you have someplace safe to go? You know they'll be watching the motel."

"I'll be all right. You know me."

"Look, why don't you stay here tonight? It'll be safer, and you'll already be here when Giles calls."

"You sure? I don't want to put anybody out."

"It's not a problem. If you don't want to sleep up in my room with me, you can have the couch. It's almost comfortable."

 

 

Wesley

The next morning when Wesley entered the library, Giles was already there, a cup of Wesley's favorite tea ready for him.

"We're the only ones here?" Wesley asked. "Odd."

"Well, they do have classes to attend."

"Ah, yes. I suppose they do," Wesley answered, and accepted the cup of tea from Giles.

"Any word from Faith?" Giles asked.

"Unfortunately, no. It appears she has gone into hiding. Or, more likely, has left Sunnydale altogether. We've had vague reports of girls of her description at the bus station and at the docks, but were false alarms."

Giles, nodded, trying to think of some way to broach the subject.

"If, uh, you do capture her again, she'll be taken straight away back to England?"

"Unquestionably. Why do you ask?"

"I have – certain concerns about her arriving there safely. After all, she is dangerous, and I'm not entirely convinced that the Council wouldn’t find it more convenient to – dispose of her and await the rising of another Slayer."

"I hardly think the Council would stoop to such a barbaric course of action," Wesley replied, offended that Giles would insult the integrity of the Watchers' Council.

When Giles didn't answer, Wesley grew suspicious.

"Is there something I should be aware of?" he asked. "Perhaps something you wish to tell me?"

Giles took a breath and decided he would chance it. "I have been in contact with Faith. And she…."

"Mr. Giles! I insist you turn her over to me immediately! I cannot believe you would act so irresponsible as to completely disregard the wishes of the Council."

"That was my intention."

"Oh. Oh, well, sorry for the outburst. When should I expect her to arrive? Or are we to acquire her at a more suitable location?"

"No. She will come here when the time is right. However, there are several conditions that must be met before she will surrender to you."

"I'm sorry, but I cannot in good conscious allow her to dictate the circumstances…."

"Do you want her to surrender, or would you rather she, as she so succinctly put it, get the hell out of Dodge?"

Wesley didn't answer right off, trying to make a decision. Finally he said, "What are her demands?"

"Well, first, she insists that it only be the two of us. If she sees, or suspects, any of the Council's agents are present, she will simply disappear."

Wesley nodded. "Very well, that sounds acceptable."

"Secondly, she wants to you listen to, and to try to understand her side of what happened."

"Agreed. I will listen to her side of the story."

"Without prejudice and without interruption."

Wesley nodded again.

"And thirdly," Giles continued. "If you believe everything she and Buffy tell you about the incident…."

"Buffy? You never said Buffy would be involved in these negotiations."

"Nevertheless, Buffy is a part of it. It was she Faith went to before they came to me. But as I was saying, if they can convince you it was just a tragic accident, compounded by Faith's fear and uncertainty, then you must do what you can to persuade the Council to allow her to remain here under your supervision until such time you are confident that she is the kind of Slayer that can be trusted and depended upon."

After several seconds Wesley agreed to the terms and Giles made the call to Buffy.

 

 

Faith

"So, where are they?" Wesley asked. "It's been almost an hour. Surely it doesn't take that long to get here from wherever it was they were hiding."

"No doubt they are scouting the surrounding area. Surely, you didn't think Faith would just waltz in without taking precautions."

"If she doesn't trust me, then how can I trust her?"

"Wasn't it you who told Buffy that a good Slayer is a cautious Slayer?"

Before Wesley could answer, Buffy, followed by Faith came into the library, both looking around to make sure things were safe.

Wesley turned to face them, his arms folded over his chest. "I understand I’m to listen to your side of the story," he said.

"Without prejudice," Giles reminded him.

"Can we sit?" Faith asked, then went to the chair facing the doors. Buffy sat next to her and Wesley sat across the table from them, his back to library doors. Giles remained standing several feet away, leaning against the door jam of his office, and letting Wesley feel as if he was in control.

"Very well, begin."

Faith looked over a Buffy who nodded slightly, indicating she should do the talking.

"Look, I know I screwed up, big time. But it was an accident. I thought Finch was a vamp, we both did."

"Why don't you start at the beginning," Buffy suggested.

Faith took a short breath and began again. "We were all looking for that demon – the big fat one…."

"Balthazar," Wesley said.

"Yeah, him. Well Buffy and I found him, but there were too many vamps guarding him, so we left to find some weapons. So we broke into a hunting store, but the cops got there and arrested us."

Wesley sat up straighter in his chair. "Why am I just now hearing about this?"

"That's not important," Buffy said. "Faith, why don't you jump ahead just a little bit?"

"Oh, okay. Anyway, the next day we were heading back to the warehouse with some serious weaponage when some vamps attacked us. After we dusted them we kept on going when another vamp jumped out at us. Buffy threw him against a wall and I staked him before we realized it was Finch…."

Faith continued her narrative. Buffy interrupted only to clarify or explain some point or other. Buffy ended the story.

"And if Faith hadn't staked Trick he would have killed me! She didn't have to save me. She could have just run off and let me die, but she didn't. And I don't know about you, but that puts a great big red check mark in her Plus column for me."

"Mr. Giles, is there anything you'd care to add to this tale?"

"No, other than to remind you that Faith could have killed the both of you when she escaped, but she let you live."

"That's right!" Buffy exclaimed. "That proves she's not a killer."

"Well, perhaps."

"Come on, Wes, give me a break," Faith pleaded. "I can be a good Slayer. I know I can. I just need – Watching."

Wesley sat stone-faced, not giving any indication what he was thinking. After a while he stood up.

"If I can convince the Council to remand you into my custody, you will be expected to do exactly as I tell you, when I tell you, with no argument and none of your habitual sarcastic commentary. Do I make myself clear?"

"Clear as crystal. Whatever you want, whenever you want it, I'm there!"

"Very well. I shall call the Council, with the understanding you must abide by whatever decision they make."

"Make the call."

"You can use the phone in my office," Giles told him, then joined the two Slayers at the table to give Wesley privacy.

They could see him, but couldn't hear any of the conversation he was having with whoever it was he was talking to.

"It's most likely he is talking to Quentin Travers. You remember him, Buffy."

"Oh yeah. I remember. It was a good thing he left when he did."

They sat in silence for another ten minutes until Wesley came out of Giles' office. At first he didn't say anything and they all feared the worst.

"The Council has agreed to allow you to stay here for as long as I see fit. You will be under my constant scrutiny and evaluation. And should you prove to be less than exemplary in either action or attitude you will be taken into custody and transported back to England for rehabilitation. Are these terms acceptable?"

"I'm your girl. What do you want me to do?"

"You will come with me. I wish to see where you are living, and if the accommodations are unacceptable, we shall find you another place to live."

Faith gave Buffy and Giles a small smile as she followed Wesley out of the library.

 

 

Epilogue

As soon as they were gone, Buffy asked, "Do you think Wesley can be trusted, or is he leading her into a trap?"

"I believe he's honorable enough to be trusted. But to tell you the truth, I'm not entirely sure about Faith. When she first came to me with the lie about you killing Finch, it was obvious she wasn't telling the truth. But now I'm not so certain one way or the other."

"Yeah. I think I know what you mean. But I have to believe she's sincere about wanting to change."

"I understand. I just hope she doesn't disappoint you yet again."

"Well, we'll just have to keep an eye on her. And hope for the best."

 

 

The End