Rating: NC 17 (overall)
Spoilers: AtS Series Finale
Summary: Wherein saving the world is merely a coincidence, bickering eventually leads to moments of pure genius, and completely unhinged and utterly doomed various personae manage to pull off a staggering moment of heroism. And how the Apocalypse isn't averted. A Comedy told in various parts.
Pairings: Faith/Illyria, Angel/Spike (minor: Illyria/Wes, Faith/Wes, Angel/Buffy, Buffy/Spike, Lilah/Wes, Wes/Fred)
Author's Notes: A plotbunny came and clobbered me on the head. And this is a dreaded WIP, but I'm going to finish this in a timely matter, come hell or the Apocalypse.
Warnings: violence, language, sexual content, slash
Feedback: Uh, please? Sorry, I was begging there. Feedback's always appreciated.
Prologue can be found here.
I wish to do more violence
Sitting around in a busted warehouse isn't exactly what Faith expected.
Hell, last time she was brought into a choice hotel.
Yeah. Last time.
That's in the past though. Wes is in the past. Whatever it was, it's in the past, 'cause past tense, get it?
Faith isn't laughing either.
It got boring, she admits now. New York City's a great place to be, but eventually, you just gotta go out and kill a bunch a demons, especially with the odds stacked against you. And New York just wasn't cutting it. Among other things.
Ah, so that's where the suicidal prognosis came from when she went to her mandatory shrink appointments in jail. Good to know.
Faith flips through a badly charred book unable to make out whatever she's supposed to be reading. Seems like everything's been shot to hell.
That's nicer than she'd put it, but she's feeling generous.
Angel's face says it all. The boy might not be expressive, but Faith had begun to get the man after her breakdown (okay, that's a little too generous), and the man? Was down.
Everyone's sitting around except for Illyria. The Blue Woman had pretty much stopped speaking since the car ride. She now hovers around, occasionally staring at Faith for way too long than Faith likes.
She wants to say something about taking a picture, but she'd never live that trite line down.
"You are fucking awful with planning, Angel," Faith suddenly says, not really intending to say it.
"Here, here," Spike agrees, and she has to keep herself from hurting him. Only a little, just a little and it would feel really fucking good, but everyone needs to be as full strength as possible. Dammit.
So no senseless beating of Spike despite the fact that Spike's been staring at her weirdly. She is never going to live down that pass she made at him, is she?
Gunn sits across from her, his shirt off and the heavy bandages around his torso are pretty wicked. He's sustained heavy damages. He's living on borrowed time, she observes.
Faith wonders where he borrowed it.
"We managed to slow down the first wave of their armies," Angel manages, tiredly. He's sitting slightly slumped over, and his voice rasps just slightly, as though he's trying to cover it.
"And nearly got yourselves killed in the process," Faith says pointedly, nodding to Angel's half-healed scars decorating his body. "You couldn't beat a bright pink Peep at the moment. You're about a week away before you'd kick a Twinkie's ass."
"Hungry?" Gunn interjects.
"Hell yeah," Faith says, sighing in relief as he throws (but rather weakly, huh, his arm's damaged too) a bag of chips. Pulling open the bag with a satisfying rip and biting into a crunchy chip, she declares, "Mmm."
"S'what Angelus gets for picking on the dragon," Spike says a little too gleefully.
Faith raises an eyebrow. No one mentioned a dragon. That's pretty kick ass.
"We can't stop," Angel says, forcibly ignoring Spike. "And as for the dragon, it did help kill off that bunch of demons ready to separate your head from your body."
Spike snorts in response. "Besides of you soddin' around with the damn dragon I nearly lost my coat. Again."
"Well, I was aiming for the coat," Angel mutters under his breath.
"Boys," Faith says loudly, itching to get up and knock their heads together, "Behave. We're strategizing here."
"Great, we're gettin' scolded by the crazy Slayer," Spike bitches.
Spike's in the best shape, next to Illyria and it pisses Faith off that he'll have to fight along-side her. He's done nothing but attempt to ask her about Buffy without saying (and what was up with that? Hadn't he ever heard of the fucking telephone?) and making lewd suggestions about her own lewd suggestions back in Sunnydale since she's arrived here.
Hey, Faith may like fucking, but fucking conceited assholes? Well, she liked 'em damaged, not full of it.
"Look, you guys may think you have some time, but you don't. I say we get reinforcements. I mean, Buffy-"
"Will be shagging the Immortal a bit more, right?" Spike bitterly announces and Faith stares at him, surprised. "Bleeding Slayers."
"Hey," Faith gets up from her seat, easily grabbing Spike by the neck and slamming him against the wall. No one moves to help him. She's not surprised. And she's enjoying this far too much. "What are you talking about?"
"Buffy's moved on," Angel says, shortly. "She found someone in Italy."
Thinking about the calls she'd had with Buffy (and the long distance cost was, admittedly, a bitch, and not a fun one), Faith frowns, lets Spike go, and finally says, "Well, she was trying to bring down some corrupt demon ring, or something. Said she'd gone all Alias-style. Mentioned some Eurotrash that was slobbering to get into her pants and how she couldn't wait to kill his immortal ass. Never mentioned his name though."
With that, she returns to her seat, happily munching on the vaguely tasteless chips. After living off of prison food, anything else is fucking delicious. Even airline food.
Spike and Angel stare at each other for a moment, clearly confused. They simultaneously (which when heard in real life is really fucking creepy) say, "But Andrew said-"
"Oh God, Andrew?" Faith laughs, tossing a chip at Angel, it hits him square in the chest, "Buffy found out he was using her place while she was out and boy, she sounded *pissed.* Totally steamed about skanks or whatever and didn't even hear my objection on behalf of skanks everywhere. Had to tell her I was losing the connection or she'd keep me on the phone for hours. Andrew pretty much fled back to England, probably annoying Giles right now. I'm lucky he hasn't tried scamming a visit to New York."
She crumbles up the now-empty bag and tosses it in a wastebasket. Smiles when it goes in and Gunn dutifully says, "Three points."
"Fuck yeah," Faith says, drumming her fingertips against the arm of her battered chair.
They take a moment swallowing this in, and Spike turns to Angel, "Knew you jumped to the wrong conclusion."
Angel wants to argue the point, but this time Illyria breaks in, swooping out of some dark corner, "Your petty attachments to this woman are nauseating. We are still outnumbered and being hunted this very moment. I would prefer to kill those who would dare attack me and die fighting while being torn apart by the never ending onslaught of the army than listen to this inane prattling."
No one says anything and after a moment, she adds, "And I do not wish to wait any longer."
"I like her," Faith replies. She looks back at the book she was supposed to be reading and suddenly, she gets it. Looking up at the battered group, she announces, "I think I have an idea."
Her 'idea' was more of an excuse, really. She and Illyria would try to figure out a way to wipe out those still looking for Angel and they'd get some fighting in the meanwhile. It's a band-aid to the severed arm, but hey, anything to ignore the missing limb.
"This is a pathetic plan," Illyria declares, neatly pulling off the demon's head, none of the foul ooze spilling onto her body. She sidesteps an attack, a look of disgust on her face.
"But hey, at least we're doing something." Faith spins quickly, and plunges the sword deep into the...whatever's...heart. At least, where the heart should be. It dies, so points to her.
Illyria shakes her head, fighting with a fluid ease that impresses Faith. "They will all die in a matter of days, if fortunate. Hours, if honest. I am surprised we have lasted this long. I still do not understand why you came."
Faith disposes of the last demon and attempts to wipe away the mess. Her shirt's a lost cause, but she frankly doesn't care. She's missed this. "I was asked. Never turn down a party invite. Even to your own funeral."
Stripping off a piece of her shirt, she wipes the blade clean.
"Do you think it that?" Illyria cocks her head, face clear in the poor light of the alleyway. Faith suddenly gets why Illyria's eyes are so creepy. The pupils don't change and she rarely blinks. "A funeral? I doubt they will leave any remains."
"Now there's the spirit," Faith says with a nod, smiling as wide she can. Illyria doesn't respond. "You know, I don't even know how you all made it out that night. The details have been skipped over heavily. Not the most encouraging introduction to an Apocalypse. Where's the brains around here to give me the info? All I got is that Wolfram and Hart's got smacked up bad and now they're making to crush you under their boots. Which I imagine to be pretty fucking big."
"That is a metaphor, isn't it? Ridiculous, this language," Illyria coldly declares. "Angel had a moment of insight. The dragon was controlled, briefly, and wiped out many, and while we should have continued until we expired, Angel's wounds left him worthless as a warrior. Instead, we managed to escape and we have stolen time." Illyria pauses at that. "I despise being bound by time."
"Sucks huh?" Faith responds with mock-sympathy. "But speaking as a former lifer, sometimes, you get break the rules. Even without a get out of jail free card."
"You are puzzling to figure out." Faith can tell that's a lie and she doesn't like it one bit. This Illyria's much more dangerous than she thought. Which usually is a good thing, but she's got a bad feeling. "You are unhinged, but steady. I do not trust you."
"Believe me, I don't trust your blue ass either." She pauses. "It is blue, right?"
Illyria almost smiles. She's sort of hot to be honest, even though she's still fucking blue and hasn't blinked for a long, long time. "That is an answer better seen than heard."
"Well, I do think I might have a plan. And not just going around picking off the demons stupid enough to track us," Faith shakes her head at that. She swears, sometimes it's just so damn easy, like they want her to personally kill 'em. And she's never gotten the
'standing around until it's their turn to fight her' plan.
"I will destroy whatever gets into my way, girl," Illyria bites out. "I only wait for there is more damage that I must wreak before my final moments in this pathetic world."
Faith smiles at that. Gotta love an optimist. "It's crazy, but then, I am crazy. Even if it doesn't work, there will be a lot of damage to the bad guys. And explosions. Which are always fun. BYOAKP."
"I know not what you mean."
"Bring your own ass-kicking powers. Yeah, I know, better work on that. But hey, if we're not dead, we're gonna be five by five."
Now this is the time for that.
Illyria's smile is sharp and honest. It almost unsettles Faith. As they walk out in the open, ready to take out any more demons, Illyria says to Faith, "You are confounding, dishonest, and an unrestrained warrior, however-"
"I have a great personality?"
Illyria stops and reaches out a hand, and Faith freezes, letting her gloved hand wipe away splatters of demon blood. "You would die without fear."
"Hey, I'm a Slayer. Know for checking out early. 'Sides, I've lost people and enemies, and sometimes both. I know how it goes, got the picture and the memo. Just gotta keep on going."
"You mentioned Wesley," Illyria begins and Faith sees Illyria blink, slowly, purposely. Hesitating, "Did you-"
"It's a long story." One she doesn't want to tell. She's not even sure any of it would make any sense. Except to her. And Wes.
And he's dead.
"All human stories are," she says, her voice again detached.
"C'mon. It's almost sunrise, we better head back."
Faith can still feel Illyria's fingertips touching her cheek and she closes her eyes just a bit, the growing light of early sunrise not a comfort at all.
She longs for the night.
To Be Continued.