Faith opened the door a
crack, frowned, and stepped back to let Giles
and Wesley in. “What is this? You’re making house calls now?”
Giles closed the door behind them and flicked the lock. “Your Slayer isn’t aware of a scheduled training session, Wesley? That’s either remiss of you, or careless of her. Do tell me which.”
He moved to the curtains and twitched them closed, dimming the room.
Faith shook her head as if she had water in her ear. “What? Yeah, training, sure; but that’s usually at the library. Take a look around; do you see any books?” She swept out her arms. “And look; not enough room to swing a cat, let alone a good punch.” Her lips pouted in a mock apology. “Not that I’d ever do that to a cat. I like them. How about you. Wes? You like pussies too? Or do you just get left with the dogs?” She smiled at Wesley, who returned her look with a bland smile of his own and didn’t answer.
“Wesley came to me today with a little problem, Faith,” Giles said.
“Yeah, I bet being little causes all kinds of problems, doesn’t it?” Faith ran her tongue teasingly across her lips and widened her eyes when Wesley failed to react. “Oh, you’re just no fun tonight, Wesley. What’s up?”
“I was never inclined to doubt you, Wesley, but it’s good to have independent confirmation,” Giles said, folding his arms across his chest. “She really is being tiresome.”
“I’m being what? Look, I don’t know what the deal is, but if Wes here can’t deal with me not being all butter wouldn’t melt, like Little Miss Perfect, and goes crying to you, that’s not my fault.”
“Wesley reported a discipline problem to me as senior Watcher. He was right to do so.”
“Newsflash, Giles; you got fired.” Faith managed to swagger, though fitting it into two steps was tricky, and shoved her face up close enough that her breath misted Giles’ glasses. “Or didn’t the memo arrive yet?”
“Let’s deal with reality, shall we, Faith?” Giles took off his glasses, gave them a polishing that was perhaps a little more energetic than normal, and slid them back on with one final jab of his finger to settle them into place. “The Council isn’t here. I am. Buffy answers to me and no one else. You’re also my responsibility because I’ve noticed that you have a little more influence over Buffy than I like to see. Thus – are you following me so far? – if you fuck up today, she may fuck up tomorrow. That’s not acceptable.” Giles straightened and nodded towards Wesley, who stood, silent and relaxed, watching them. “He’s your Watcher. He gets respect because of that and if he earns more, fair enough. You speak to him politely, obey his orders with regard to training, and stop wasting time trying to get him hard and then sneering at him when you do.”
Wesley bit his lip at Giles’ terse summary, but didn’t seem particularly flustered. Faith’s eyes darted between them. “That’s it? You came slumming to tell me to watch my mouth? Un-fucking-believable!”
“That and the rest of it, yes. It stops, Faith.”
“And now we get to the fun part,” Faith murmured, dropping to the bed and lying back against the headboard. “How do you plan to make me? Can’t hurt me; I’d tear you to pieces and we all know it. Can’t kill me; your job’s to take care of me, right?”
“It is, yes,” Wesley said. “To take care of you. If you won’t take training seriously, you’ll die, sooner rather than later. I’d be failing in my duty if I let that happen.”
Faith arched her back and yawned. “Still not clear what you plan to do, Wes – oh, sorry; should I call you ‘sir’ now?”
“I don’t think that will be necessary. And I should have thought it rather obvious what we’re here to do.”
“Not to me.”
“Then take a look at the badge you’re wearing that says, ‘I’m not getting any and it’s making me remarkably cranky’ and perhaps it’ll give you a clue. You can read, can’t you?” Wesley asked politely.
Giles rolled his eyes. “God, I hope she picks you, Wesley. If she’s this slow on the uptake, well...”
Faith sat up in one fluid rush. “What? Pick what? Oh, tell me you don’t think you’re going to fuck me!” She laughed. “Oh, you kill me! And, hey, guys, no offence, but you’d have to, before you can get inside my panties. You’re both –” She looked at them, pursing her lips in an appraisal that turned honest midway. “Well, you’re not bad, but so not my type. Besides, whichever I picked, I’d wear you out and that’s a hell of a way to die on duty.”
“Then pick us both,” Wesley said, with a small smile, ignoring the muttered curse from Giles.
“Look, I don’t know why you think just because you two haven’t had sex in like, forever, I’m going to give you a pity fuck, but –”
“Did it ever occur to you that as men who have, as I’m informed at least once a week, a cute accent, getting sex isn’t exactly difficult?” Giles said, raising an eyebrow and grinning. “Faith, teasing Wesley might be because you’re a bully or a bitch. In which case, we’ll just let you get sloppier until you die on patrol and hope the next one up’s better behaved, and don’t even think that has happened before. Or it could be because you’ve got all this energy and no one to screw who knows why you leave bruises and don’t want to commit, and really doesn’t care about anything but fucking you into a better frame of mind for the sake of peace.”
“You make it sound so simple.” Faith nibbled at her lip, looking intrigued.
“Better than that,” Giles said a little dryly. “Traditional. It’s not common but it’s not exactly rare either; just another element of the relationship between Watcher and Slayer. And you’re a very traditional type of Slayer, you know.”
“Me? Got the wrong girl, Giles. Buffy’s the one who does it your way.”
For the first time they moved towards her, coming to stand by the bed and then sitting on either side of her. Giles shook his head. “The high regard I have for Buffy aside, she’s about as far from the model of a Slayer as it’s possible to get. Remarkably effective, mind you, which gives me pause for thought, even if the Council doesn’t agree...but, the fact remains, Faith, that as Slayers go, you’re fairly normal. You have nothing but your calling, no friends but your Watcher – I use the term ‘friend’ loosely here, as I think it’s going to be a while before Wesley sees you in a positive light – and you enjoy what you do, am I right? It fills you with pleasure when you slay, when you play – and with no satisfactory outlet for that you get –”
“Tiresome?” Faith said, with a twist of her lips that might have been a smile.
“Indeed,” Giles said.
Faith shook her head. “This is crazy. What the hell do you want with me? I’m not the kind you go for.”
“Stop making this difficult, Faith,” Wesley said. “I think we’ve made it quite clear that this isn’t about anything but making you a better Slayer. That’s something we both want and it comes before any other consideration, for me, in particular.” He smiled at her. “And you can’t think me...indifferent to you after the number of times you’ve ground your arse against me. Or did you just think that’s where I kept my spare stake?”
Faith grinned and patted his leg. “Wesley, you made a joke! Hope for you yet.”
Giles stood up. “Think about it, Faith. Whatever you decide doesn’t have to be final.”
He sighed. “I do wish you’d use complete sentences. Simply put, in this matter, it’s all down to you. You call the shots. I’m fairly certain it wasn’t always that way in the past, but that doesn’t concern me. This can last for as long as you need it, or it can never begin.”
Wesley was still sitting beside Faith and she turned to look at him. “I really been bugging you, Wes?”
He nodded. “Oh, very much so. Does that make you happy?”
She pursed her lips. “Little bit. Sorry.”
“Somehow I doubt that.”
He stood and walked over to Giles, raising his eyebrows. “Giles? Are we done?”
“Think so. Good night, Faith. Oh, and Buffy’s over on the east side of town, if you want to join her on patrol.”
They were at the door when she finally spoke. “That’s it? You come here, tell me I can swap cross bow practice for fucking the pair of you –”
“You most certainly cannot!” Wesley said. “Not with your tendency to pull to the left, anyway.”
“You don’t give an inch, do you?” she murmured with an admiring smile. “Gotta love the dedication. Okay. Get your asses back here then. Let’s do it.”
Giles folded his arms and stared at her. “This is supposed to be helping to build a better relationship between you and your Watcher, Faith, in part, at least,” he reminded her. “Try again.”
“What, you want me to beg?”
Wesley smiled. “Don’t think I haven’t thought about it in my dreams,” he said. “No; just – ask nicely. A ‘thank you’ wouldn’t hurt.”
She laughed up at him. “Wesley, get me off good, and then I’ll thank you.”
“I’m still waiting, Faith,” Giles said softly.
She jumped off the bed and came towards them. “Hey, cut me some slack here; I’m in shock.”
“You seem to be dealing with it well enough,” Giles replied.
She looked between them. “Tell me one thing?”
They exchanged glances and Wesley said cautiously, “Yes?”
“Buffy never got this offer? Never got the two of you?”
Wesley opened his mouth, but Giles, wiser, forestalled him.
“This is just for you, Faith. It’s not something Buffy will ever have, ever be offered, ever know about.”
Faith smiled. “If you think two out of three ain’t bad, let’s go.”
Go to sequel 'Having Faith'
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