Duty Bound

February 22 1999

Tonight I plan to observe Faith as she patrols. As I wish to see her natural behaviour – she has a tendency to 'show off' a little for an audience, I've noticed – I shall do so without her knowledge.

Of course, it is possible that she will detect my presence as I track her, but I flatter myself that I can be quite stealthy when the occasion arises and she will, most likely, be far too occupied with her duties to see me.

And, going by past events, she's rather good at ignoring me.

I can be of assistance. I know I can. She has flaws in stance and technique – glaring ones. She gets by on what I have to admit is an impressive amount of sheer determination and strength, but she could be better.

She's my Slayer. Giles has Buffy's training well in hand – I'll grant him that – but he does little to address Faith's deficiencies.

I'll not be so lenient. Nor so lax in my duty.

Sunset was an hour ago. I told her to begin her patrol at Restfield, two hours after sunset. I plan to find a suitable hiding place lookout spot and be waiting when she arrives.

I find myself quite looking forward to some field work and to Faith's reaction to my report when I see her tomorrow and she finds out that unbeknownst to her I was present as she Slayed. I think she'll be touched that I went to this much trouble and perhaps I will see some slight amelioration in her poor attitude towards me.

I really cannot condone the varied, but equally disrespectful, versions of my name that she's employed over the last few weeks. It simply won't do.

Right. To work.

"Anyone ever tell you that ugly just doesn't go with that jacket?"

Wesley sighed, tutted, and jotted down another note, hoping that he'd be able to read them later. The fitful gleam of an overhead moon might be romantic but when it came to providing sufficient illumination for him to chronicle his thoughts it was proving sadly inadequate.

He settled for abbreviating and trusting to memory to reconstitute, 'Quips. Avoid.' into, 'Faith, far too frequently in my opinion, engages in conversation with her opponent. Whilst such badinage can prove useful at times as a means of distraction and what is colloquially know as 'faking out', it can also distract the person coming up with the 'witty' repartee and Faith, unlike her primary opponents, needs to breathe...'

The vampire growled and slammed a fist hard into Faith's face. Wesley's pencil snapped with a crisp, bitten Granny Smith sound, and he sucked in an indignant breath.

"Relax, Wesley," Faith called, turning her head. "Got it covered."

Wesley swallowed his chagrin, stood, and began to make his way out of the bushes with his dignity impaired a trifle by tripping over a root. His self-congratulatory thanks that he managed to stay upright were curtailed abruptly when his staggering stumble with outstretched arms sent Faith staggering.

"Most dreadfully sorry," he murmured, pushing his glasses back into place. "I was just..."

"He got away," Faith said, regaining her balance. "Bastard."

"I must ask that you not – oh. You mean –"

"Mean both of you," Faith said staring after the fleeing vampire. "Mind telling me what the hell you're doing?"

"I, ah... taking notes?" Wesley confessed.

He hadn't known a face other than his father's could hold such disdain.

"Right," she drawled. "Taking notes. That's what they call it back in England, do they, Wes? Following girls and spying on them from the bushes?" She took a step closer, dark eyes glittering. "Ever find yourself hanging 'round my room at night with a pair of binoculars, Wes? Just tell me and I'll make sure I leave the curtains open. Really give you something to steam up your glasses." She took another step and she was close enough to wind her arms around his neck, breathing chewing-gum mint at him even as he shook his head in a frantic denial. "Hey, it's cool, Wes. Man's got needs, I get that."

"I... don't...have..." Oh, but he did. He took a calming breath that did no more than bring the scent of her cheap shampoo to him and reached up to clasp his hands around her wrists and break her hold on him.

"You assaulting me, Wes?" she said, not even bothering to pretend to sincerity. His hands dropped away from her slender wrists and he swallowed hard. She pouted, full lip jutting forward. "Or were you lying when you said you wanted to get to know me better?" A hand wandered across his chest and down, dear Lord down. "Goes both ways, doesn't it?" A wicked smile told him what he already knew, that he was hard, achingly hard. "Guess there's still some..."

"If you finish that sentence with 'lead in your pencil' I'll have you running laps all day tomorrow," he snapped, goaded beyond endurance. "I've spent the past hour listening to your increasingly excruciating puns and I'm in no mood for more. Step back. Now."

"Now that's more like it," she said approvingly, staying exactly where she was. "But you made me lose my kill, Wes, and I'm just all –" She wriggled against him, moaning throatily, with enough sincerity behind the theatrics to hold him in place. "Get wound up when I'm slaying, Wes. Killing burns it off, but I didn't get to do that, did I? Gonna have to do something, Wes. Really do."

"Then do whatever it is that you have to, but let go," he hissed desperately. If she kept squirming like that he was going to – God, didn't she have enough weapons to use against him?

"Fine," she said abruptly, stepping back. "But you've gotta stand watch then." Her tongue slipped slowly over her lower lip. "'Cause I'm gonna be all kinds of distracted, Wes."

She took three steps to a tree and leaned against it, undoing the button and zip on her jeans and thrusting her hand down inside them, gasping softly.

"Here?" His voice went bat-squeak high as he realised what she planned but he didn't care. "You can't do that here, Faith! Have some respect!"

She giggled. "For the dead? In this town? I bet most of the graves are empty."

She had a point.

"I won't watch." He turned away, closing his eyes for good measure.

"Don't want you to. Grab your stake – no, I mean it – and keep watch. Shouldn't be long – ah fuck, yes – "

That gleeful, happy whimper was so unlike her that he had to turn back, had to look. A second later and he was sliding to his knees in front of her, pushing her hands aside and mouthing slick-wet skin with tongue and lips and even, as she squirmed and writhed, his teeth.

She tasted of sex, dirty and sweet, and he rubbed his fingers between her legs, wanting the smell of her on them, finding her so soaked that his fingers find the inner heat of her on the second pass. She was so wet, so open, that he knew she could take more than two fingers or three, so tight that he could imagine how she'd feel, flexing around him.

She encouraged him with a stream of profanity that he supposed she meant fairly kindly, tilting her hips and grinding against his face until he couldn't breathe without tasting her far back in his throat, couldn't breathe at all and didn't care with his tongue chasing his fingers and her juices there, sticky and thick, coating his lips.

Peach juice dripping. She's like that, he thought. Just like a peach –

He came when she did, a hidden, distant climax, triggered by nothing more than the fact that as she came, she said his name. His cock was pressed against his trousers, painfully so, as it had uncurled to stiffness with no room in which to do it. He could have sworn it was bent double, if that wasn't physically impossible. The throb of release was a relief, rather than a pleasure, leaving him messy and gasping. He stared up at her, wiping his mouth with a handkerchief, his breath catching.

They looked at each other for a space of a heartbeat and then she reached down and hauled him up, kissing him with her hands going down to fasten her jeans, so that by the time she'd finished tasting herself on him with teasing little flicks of her tongue, she was dressed again. His mother would have said she was 'decent' but it wasn't an adjective that really applied to Faith.

"Better go and finish your report, Wes," she murmured, eyes gleaming. "Gonna give me an 'A'?"

"No," he said.

"Oh? Why's that, then?" Her lips tightened and he felt something very much like satisfaction seep back in.

"I'm waiting to see how you deal with the vampire approximately twenty feet away who was watching us the whole time. I'd really prefer it if he didn't survive to tell a somewhat lurid tale in Willie's Bar, wouldn't –"

She'd taken off at a dead run before he'd finished speaking.

He clicked his stopwatch and started it ticking. Any longer than two minutes and he'd have stern words with her...


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