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surely you'll stay

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Brendon pushed his glasses back up his nose and stared at the woman staring at him. Normally, beautiful women didn't stare at him unless they were also giggling, or wanting him to fix their computer -- usually with a 'it totally ate my essay, o-m-g brendon, you are totally a lifesaver!' and a flip of their hair as they started texting their boyfriends while he worked.

Normally, Brendon didn't take shortcuts down stinky alleys, and normally monsters didn't erupt from the trashcans, and normally beautiful women wielding swords did not come out of nowhere to save him.

That had all changed this week. Brendon tightened his grip on his messenger bag, and waited. "Are you insane? Or do you just have a deathwish?" the beautiful woman snapped at him. "This is the third time I've saved you this week! You know, normal people, when they almost get eaten the first time, go inside, lock the doors, and go cry under their beds! What are you doing out here?"

Brendon opened the flap on his bag. "I...I found some books, in the library, I was doing research on those..." he gestured at the settling cloud of dust. "And I found this book, really old, and it had these instructions, and I realized, maybe with some compression values, you could scale up the model, so I came out here to test it."

The woman came closer. "You came out here to...test a gizmo?" She sounded disbelieving, and maybe a little condescending. That, at least, was familiar territory as far as Brendon was concerned.

He sniffed and pushed his glasses back up his nose. "It's the scientific method. Idea, hypothesis, test, revise, result."

The woman glanced over her shoulder. "Didn't seem to be working, whatever it was."

Brendon shrugged. "I'm still revising," he admitted.

"You were nearly dinner!" she snapped and she took another step forward.

"I think I know what I did wrong!"

The woman was mere paces away now. She gave him a calculating look. "You think?" She paused, then smiled, and it changed her whole face. "Giles and Xander combined," she muttered, looking him over. "Okay, but next test, you call me first, just in case I'm late for meal time. Phone!" She snatched it out of Brendon's hand and tapped at the keys with lightning speed. Brendon heard a faint buzz as she called herself. "Remember," she said, tossing him the phone. He caught it. "Call, then science. Got it?"

"Got it." In the time it took to blink, she was gone.

Brendon looked down at the glowing screen. "Faith," he read aloud. He smiled, pushed up his glasses again, and headed back to his room to work on version three.