Series written for: Summer of Giles 2012
Pairing: Faith & Giles
Rating: PG, FRT for some language and adult situations/concepts
Setting: Post "Chosen," no comics. Any similarity to the comics is coincidence as I haven't read them, though I have read some synopses of them online.
Disclaimer: I own nothing in the BtVS universe and no one pays me for my fan fiction either (sadly).
Summary: Sometime after Sunnydale imploded, Faith has left Cleveland and Robin and come to England to find Giles. Giles has been working to rebuild the Council, and Faith is hoping she can be of some help to him.
Note: Recommend you read Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 first.
Whether you believe in God or fate or predestination, or you just want to chalk it all up to coincidence, sometimes events coalesce in such a way that suggest it’s all happening by design.
Rupert Giles was in a dark place in his life. He was descending into severe alcoholism and depression -- which came first is really a chicken or egg thing -- and does it really matter? Basically, it’s more than likely that his self-destructive behaviour would have resulted in his death. Passive suicide.
Faith Lehane was feeling restless and needed space from a relationship and lifestyle she wasn’t ready for. Too much 'togetherness' for that lone wolf. She needed change (escape?). She had a lot of healing to do to become as strong in her heart and mind as she was in her body. So she travelled to England to see an old... colleague.
Her arrival in London meant Rupert Giles’ survival. Faith doesn’t know this. And Giles himself doesn’t really know how close he came to non-existence, though he may suspect. He does know that things have turned around for him.
Regardless of how or why, these two people were headed for another significant juncture in the courses of their lives. One Friday night events unfolded for Faith Lehane and Rupert Giles that led them into a perfect storm of violence, alcohol, music, and sex. That this will come to pass is certain. Who will survive or what the ultimate consequences will be remains to be seen.
When Giles began the work of rebuilding the Watcher’s Council, he took the opportunity to implement changes to the way the organization operated. Having been a field man for years before he became a bureaucrat, Giles brought a different set of priorities to the table. The Council had always had a strong research division. However, under the leadership of Rupert Giles, the research division expanded to become more responsive to field agents.
Not infrequently when he was working with Buffy and they sought the Council’s help they were told that what they were facing simply didn’t exist, and/or that the Council couldn’t help them. This of course left the scoobies to find answers for themselves. Thankfully, Giles was an extremely intelligent and resourceful researcher. He used whatever was needed to keep his slayer as informed, and therefore as safe, as he could. He drew information from fairy tales, legends, unsavory humans and demons, and other non-council-approved resources. In addition, he often used non-council-approved methods to help his slayer and his friends, including using magiks. He knew the importance of being flexible when it came to following policies and organizational rules, and of trusting his field agents to use their own judgement. He also knew that a re-imagining of how the Council operated could mean the difference between life and death for the slayers out on the front lines. He therefore redirected some of the research to respond to current and recent events discovered and reported by Watchers and slayers.
One such research project based on his own work with Buffy invovled understanding and analyzing the enchantments that Ethan Rayne had used on the band candy in Sunnydale several years before. Because Giles himself had been subjected to the magik chocolate, he was tapped to test the prototypes the Department of Magikal Research came up with to see if they had successfully replicated the original magiks. Once they discovered what Rayne had done, they could begin the work of developing antidotes and derivatives (wards) that could be used to protect field agents and counter-act similar magiks.
The testing process sometimes meant that Giles came home feeling ill, and/or acting strangely. He was quite grateful on some of these occasions that Faith was there to help him or keep an eye on him. One night in particular she stopped him from leaving his apartment in drag, though he remained in one of her dresses, make-up and heels for the entire evening. Another night it was his idea to take her dancing, and he kept Faith in stiches all night doing a seemingly unending series of “moves like Jagger”. The popularity of the Maroon 5 song at the time meant that most of the club-goers also enjoyed Giles that night, but he was decidedly embarassed about it the next day, and Faith wasn’t sure she’d be able to get him to go out clubbing with her ever again.
When Faith had been in London for nearly 2 months, the research division finally got the magikal combinations correct, and Giles ingested something that brought out the Ripper inside. When he came home from work that fateful Friday, Rupert Giles was, once again, an impulsive young man whose rage and violence were much closer to the surface. Though the magik would wear off in time, the matured and more under-control Rupert Giles would not return before things happened that couldn’t be taken back.
The same Friday that Giles ate the Council-made band candy, Faith awoke mid-morning in her room in the apartment they shared, made herself some breakfast, and then dove back into her current readings on caltrops. Though it wasn’t immediately clear to her that such weapons would be of much use to a modern-day slayer, Giles frequently reminded her that one never really knew when particular knowledge would come in handy. He’d left her some raw materials so she could work on creating caltrops of her own, and she was looking forward to tonight’s “show-and-tell” before they went on patrol. She just got weapons. She actually enjoyed learning more about them. And she loved how excited Giles got about her new interest in learning. It was cute.
The phone rang in the early afternoon, and Faith answered assuming it would be Giles checking in on her about dinner. She was going to tell him to pick up some champagne tonight as she felt like celebrating her 2-months-in-England anniversary.
It took Faith a few seconds to catch her breath and to make her tongue work so she could speak. She felt like the wind had been knocked out of her.
“Robin,” she whispered. Although he’d never really been far from her thoughts, she’d successfully mentally separated Robin and her life with him from her existence in England so compeltely that hearing his voice violently cracked open her current reality like an egg, and showed it to be rotten and stinking inside.
“Faith,” Robin said. “I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch. I thought... I assumed you wanted some space from me...” he paused.
“Robin, look, I--” she started, but he cut her off before she could finish: missed you.
“Look, Faith, I don’t need an explantion. Really, it’s okay. What we had... it came out of an intense situation. We never made any promises to each other. You don’t owe me anything. And I want you to know, I’ll always be here if you need me. From my perspective, we’re good. But, I felt like it would only be fair to tell you that... I’ve met someone. She’s a new slayer, but older, you know, not a kid, obviously,” he laughed uncomfortably, then continued, “I just wanted you to know, and--”. Faith hung up the phone. Then she ripped the cord from the wall.
When Robin realized they’d been disconnected, he immediately called back but couldn’t get through. So he tried the operator, but still couldn’t get Faith. He thought he’d better call Giles and give him a heads-up, and ask him to get Faith to call him (Robin) when she was ready. He was sure Faith would be fine, but, he better talk to Giles... just in case.
He had to leave a message with Giles’ assistant, but Robin felt sure Giles would get it. The Council was nothing if not efficient. And at this point, Giles would know Faith’s state of mind well enough to be able to prepare himself appropriately under the circumstances. So, Robin let it go at that. The next move was up to Faith. He wanted to talk things out with her, but, if she wasn’t ready, he could be patient.
What Robin didn’t know was that because Giles was testing prototype magikal candy that day, he’d given orders, as he usually did, that any calls or messages be kept for him until Monday, and emergencies be redirected to the appropriate people. Giles didn’t want to risk jeopardizing any lives when he wasn’t in his right mind. Especially since, it wasn’t until the effects of whatever he’d tested had worn off that he was able to recognize that he had been... mentally altered in some way.
As a result, Ripper went home to Faith that night with no forewarning about the state of mind Faith might be in.
He felt energized, and he was really hoping they’d meet up with some demons or vamps who needed a god ass-kicking when they went on patrol, as he was very much in the mood to dole out some violence.
He would get his wish, though not in the way he had imagined.
Robin's call had been the impetus for a mental collision that broke something in Faith. Something that could be healed again, but was currently a raw and gaping maw. A lifetime of rejection takes time to get over, and Faith was not even a year into a new phase of her life where she was learning to trust people again. To count on them. She too had experienced something today that kicked her back in time to a former version of herself.
I feel... special, like I'm just wakin’ up, kinda... [Joyce Summers]
Ripper stopped on the way home to pick up tequila and cigarettes, and wished like hell he still had some connections so he could get his hands on some grass, hash, or even some coke. He was feeling in the mood to party like he hadn’t in... years. He was sure Faith would be up for it. She was probably tired of him holding her back. When had he become such a boring old fart? he wondered to himself. Maybe they could find/take something when they went out tonight. He smirked to himself in the rearview mirror in anticipation.
He squealed into the parking lot of his apartment building, leaving tire marks, and parked crookedly, taking up nearly 3 parking spaces. He grabbed his supplies, and headed in, running into his neighbour, Allister, just getting home from work as well.
“Oi mate!” Ripper called to him cheerfully.
“Mr.Giles,” Allister nodded curtly to him.
They could both hear the rhythmic thumping of music as they entered the lobby.
Allister paused in annoyance, saying, “Seriously? What the hell?”
“It’s Friday night old man, loosen up!” Ripper quipped, clapping him on the back.
As they neared their apartments it became clear to both of them that the racket was coming from Giles’ apartment. Rupert Giles, if he was himself, might have been embarrassed by this and rushed to assure Allister that he would deal with it. But Ripper only gave his neighbour a wide grin, wiggled his eyebrows comically up and down, and headed into the din.
Allister stared at Giles' closed door in frustration for a few moments debating his next move. Finally he sighed, resigning himself to not causing a fuss, went inside, put in ear plugs and turned up his favourite classical music. He had dinner, then enjoyed a good book for the rest of the evening, and forgot (for the most part) that his neighbour Mr.Giles and his “friend” even existed.
Ripper stepped inside and smack-dab into a wall of music. As he turned to close the door he hit something with his foot that skittered across the floor. He glanced down to see several bits of twisted metal around the entrance. He stooped to pick one up and examined it. "Caltrops!" he realized aloud, though he couldn't hear his own voice over the blaring tunes. He examined the several examples Faith had made that day, impressed, then tossed them back on the floor. He seemed oblivious to the fact that when he had entered his home, if he had stepped slightly to the left or right of where he did, the metal would have gone through his shoe and into his foot.
Geezerz need excitement
If their lives don't provide them this they incite violence
Common sense simple common sense
Geezerz need excitement
If their lives don't provide them this they incite violence
Common sense simple common sense*
Ripper went straight to the kitchen and dropped his bag on the counter. He started to get out a smoke as he listened to the music playing. He didn’t think he’d ever heard this song before, but he thought, Eh, this is decent, nodding to the beat.
“Faith,” he called out, “Who’s this playing?” He dug through drawers looking for a lighter, holding the cigarette between his lips. He hadn’t smoked in weeks, and wasn’t sure where he’d put his lighter last time he’d used it. “Have you seen my lighter?” he yelled.
No answer from Faith. He thought maybe she hadn’t heard him over the blasting stereo. He popped his head into the living room. Faith was standing with her back to him at her laptop (he’d bought it for her to aid in her studies, but she ended up using it for all kinds of extra-curricular reasons as well) which was connected to the surround sound speakers he'd recently purchased for them (Faith thought it would enhance their movie-watching experience), and was searching through her music catalogue.
“Fai--” he started, then quickly reacted as his lighter was absently but incredibly accurately whipped at his head. She hadn’t even turned towards him. He deftly grabbed it out of the air and lit his smoke. Taking a drag, he said loudly, “Thanks.” But she still didn’t look at him or answer.
All aboard! Ha ha ha ha...**
The place was a mess. It looked like Faith had been going through some of his records. It also looked like she’d been trying on a bunch of her clothes, and discarding what she didn’t want all over the place. She’d shredded some clothes too. A voice in his head told him he should be ticked off about the mess, but the truth was, he didn’t give two shits. He felt he could go for a little less ‘neat and tidy’ than had been his habit. She’d gone through an entire bottle of whiskey on her own too. He grinned at that thinking, I guess I’m not the only one in the mood to party tonight.
I’m goin’ off the rails on a crazy train...
He ducked into his room to change out of his work clothes which suddenly felt far too stuffy and old-fashioned, and slipped into a pair of tight black jeans, a black silk button-down shirt that he tucked in, a simple chain, his earring, and he slapped on some Axe cologne that Faith had picked up for him but he hadn’t worn until now. He slicked back his hair, but didn't feel like shaving so he decided to leave the stubble on his face. Birds find that sexy, don’t they? He left his glasses on the dresser.
Then he pulled on his ass-kicker black leather boots and his leather jacket. He got out a couple of stakes, a gun, and a switchblade to take with him when they went out. Even if they didn’t patrol, he wanted to be ready for a fight. Ripper checked himself out in the mirror, briefly wondering if it was too much black, then he thought, Fuck it, no such thing, and went to get his drink on, lighting another cigarette as he walked.
Mental wounds not healing,
who and what’s to blame?
He fetched the tequila from the kitchen and two shot glasses, then swaggered over to Faith. He set the shot glasses down in front of her next to her laptop and poured.
“Care for a shot, my lady?” he said smugly into her ear as the song ended.
She turned to him, startled, as if she’d forgotten he was even in the apartment. Apparently he'd interrupted her little pity-party for one. He could see her eyes were red from crying as she stared through him, agitated. Her hair looked a bit wild. He took in her outfit. He hadn’t seen her dressed like that since he’d first met her. Kind of white-trashy.
But still hot, he thought casually as the opening bars of the next song began.
I walk a lonely road,***
the only one that I have ever known...
His self-involved arrogance fading for a moment, he reached out to comfort her, but she slapped his hand away with such force he struck the two full shot glasses and they smashed against the wall.
“Ahhh, don’t waste the booze! I got the good stuff!” he lamented loudly, competing with the music again. He took a drink from the bottle, then gave an appreciative growl as the warmth flowed from his mouth to his throat to his stomach.
“Sorry.” Faith said absently without feeling, and too quietly to be heard. But he saw her lips move.
My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me...
Taking a long drag on his smoke, he looked her up and down, then took another swig of tequila. “What’s going on?” he said loudly. He extended the bottle out to her.
She looked him in the eye for a second and grabbed the bottle, leaning in close so he could hear her, “I really don’t want to talk about it.” She plucked his lit cigarette out of his hand, took a drag and went to sit on the couch. He shrugged and lit another smoke, then joined her on the couch, wanting another taste of that tequila.
Read between the lines,
what's fucked up when everything's alright...
Faith sat on the edge of her seat, rocking slightly and chewing her nails in between sips of tequila. Her eyes were wild and unfocused. Ripper kept his eye on the bottle, dismissing (ignoring?) Faith's behaviour, and waiting like a kid playing double-dutch for a chance to get the booze back out of her hands. He crushed out his half-finished cigarette into the floor, then thought he saw his chance to nab the to-kill-ya, he chuckled to himself.
I'm tired of being what you want me to be,
feeling so faithless...****
Faith's alcohol-infused body was vibrating with rage and confusion. Her mind was spinning with what Robin had said... Am I that fuckin' easy to just throw away? No, no! She screamed in her mind, I don't want to feel this! It was at this moment Ripper gripped the tequila bottle and tried to wrench it from Faith's hand.
She was on edge -- to put it mildly -- and reacted like a wildcat, punching Ripper so hard on the jaw that he flew off the couch and landed on his side on the floor. But, he had what he wanted. His eyes narrowed, he shook his head, and tested his jaw. Sore but not broken.
I've become so numb,
I can't feel you there...
Ripper sat up and took a substantial drink. Might as well self-medicate before it starts to hurt, he thought, stretching his jaw. Faith was standing over him, breathing heavily, her arms hanging at her sides like a gun-slinger waiting to draw in a shootout. Ripper just looked up at her and blinked, unperturbed. He took another drink, then put a cigaretter between his lips and lit it, still sprawled on the floor, and apparently quite content to stay there.
Frustrated, Faith began to pace. Ripper leaned back on one elbow and watched her while he smoked and downed the tequila like it was water and he had an unquenchable thirst.
I'm tired of being what you want me to be.
Faith paced, becoming more and more agitated. She wanted the feelings inside her to stop. That’s what the whiskey was supposed to accomplish, but it hadn’t worked. She felt like her mind was breaking apart, like her soul was being ripped in two, and FUCK IT HURT! She fisted her hands in her hair nearly tearing it from her skull in large clumps.
I feel like I wanna smack somebody.
Turn around and bitch-slap somebody...*****
Faith stomped over to the whiskey bottle she’d drained that afternoon, picked it up, saw it was empty, and launched it with incredible force across Giles’ apartment. It smashed into a thousand pieces against his front door.
Across the hall, Allister, still with his earplugs in, and Carmen playing, was momentarily startled by the sound. He looked up from his book, listening carefully for a moment, then shrugged and went back to his Chuck Palahniuk novel.
My blood’s boiling,
it’s beatin’ out propane.
My train of thought’s more like a runaway train...
She let out a primal scream. The violence of breaking the glass bottle hadn’t relieved her at all. Rather, it had only fueled the rage that was consuming her. The rage that was a relief from the pain of rejection, self-loathing and worthlessness she'd been drowning in.
I don’t fear none of my enemies.
And I don’t fear bullets from Uzis.
I’ve been dealing with something that’s worse than these...
Ripper was drinking fast and hard. Fairly drunk now, he felt like he was watching everything happening on TV, rather than live and right in front of him. Suddenly the real and surreal collided when Faith strode over to him and grabbed the tequila bottle. Ripper didn’t release his grip on it so when Faith yanked it she pulled him to his feet in the process.
Faith snagged his lit cigarette from between his lips and placed it between her own. Then she backhanded Ripper, splitting his lip and causing him to lose his grip on the bottle as he fell backwards, landing on his back this time, and banging the back of his head on the floor.
The sane and the insane rivalry...
This time he felt the old familiar rage rise inside him. And he relished it. Bitch.
Ripper got to his feet. Faith had turned her back on him and walked over near the dining room table. She was drinking from the bottle. He stalked confidently up behind her, grabbed the bottle out of her hand, and spun her around to face him. Then he returned the favour she'd done him earlier and punched her in the face.
Off-balance from being spun around, his blow knocked Faith back. She hit her hip against the corner of the table, and flipped over it and onto the floor landing on all fours.
And the sky was made of amethyst...******
Ripper downed the last of the tequila, and nearly choked on it laughing at Faith. She got herself back up on her feet and slowly crushed out the last of the cigarette that had fallen when he hit her.
You should learn when to go...
Faith looked at Ripper out of the tops of her eyes through her long black eyelashes. An evil grin slowly spread across her face. Finally she had something -- someone -- to direct her rage at. No. In that moment she was her rage incarnate.
When they get what they want,
they never want it again...
Ripper was still laughing. Faith moved so quickly, suddenly she was right in front of him. She snatched the now empty bottle from his hand and smashed it over his head, stopping his laughter up short.
And the sky was all violet...
He teetered, but didn’t fall. His blood was in his eyes. Faith punched him hard getting his blood on her fist and sending a spray of droplets. He'd have a wicked shiner to show for it tomorrow. He stumbled back, and put his arms up in an attempt to protect his face and head. She pummeled his midsection, knocking the breath out of him and causing him to bend forward in pain. She grabbed his head and brought her knee into his face, then pushed him to the ground, and kicked him.
I wanna give my violet more violence...
Curled on his side, in agony that was only slightly numbed by the alcohol he'd consumed, Ripper tried to catch his breath. He reached up to wipe the blood from his face, and blinked his eyes to clear them. Out of the corner of his eye he saw an opportunity, and swept Faith’s feet out from under her. She landed heavily next to him on the floor, the wind momentarily knocked out of her.
And I’m the one with no soul...
He rolled onto her, grabbing her wrists. She struggled against him, starting them rolling over and over across the floor, through the broken glass from the tequila bottle. Ripper was mostly protected from they glass by his leather jacket. Faith, however, was in a skimpy top, and shards of glass dug painfully into her back, adrenaline, slayer-strength, and high blood-alcohol content allowing her to ignore her injuries for the moment. They were both bleeding now, as each of them tried to gain the upper hand.
One above and one below...
Their rolling finally came to a stop with Ripper on top still holding Faith by the wrists, and trying desperately to still her. Suddenly he realized that, drunk or not, Faith could kill him in a heartbeat if she wanted to. She was a fucking slayer. So, how they hell was he the one that ended up with the upper hand? Faith was stuggling against him, but clearly she wasn’t using all her strength or she would have tossed him off of her by now.
Go on, take everything,
take everything, I want you to...
Faith stilled. He held her wrists above her head against the floor. His face was centimeters from hers, and they were breathing heavily into each other’s mouths. A drop of blood mixed with sweat fell from his face onto hers.
Go on, take everything,
take everything, I dare you to...
He became aware of the way their bodies were pressed together, their chests heaving and muscles trembling from the exertion of their fight. She moved her hips and rubbed her groin against his. He was staring into her eyes. She lifted her head and kissed him with the same level of violence as when they’d been fighting. She tasted his blood from the split lip she'd given him. After a second to get past his surprise, he kissed her back, also tasting blood, and sweat, and feeling the heat of her breath.
I told you from the start just how this would end...
As their kiss deepened, he began to harden, and he instinctually thrust his hips violently at her, sliding them a few centimters across the floor. This caused Faith to tear her mouth from his and cry out in pain because of the broken glass in her back. The adrenaline that had been coursing through her veins, numbing her pain, was fading now and she could feel every piece of glass that was penetrating her skin. He let go of her wrists and rolled off of her.
Faith and Ripper's finite playlist had ended.
*Lyrics from “Geezers Need Excitement” by The Streets.
**Lyrics from ”Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne.
***Lyrics from ”Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Greenday.
****Lyrics from ”Numb” by Linkin Park.
*****”Lyrics from Anxiety” by Black Eyed Peas.