So, B's decided to take off and leave me in charge of the troops for once. Trippy. Okay, so I get that the girl might need a little break from the slaying, what with the pulling a me and all, but it just seems strange for B to be the one running off while I'm sitting pretty with my head screwed on straight for once. Though I gotta admit, it doesn't suck. Not at all. It's just.... weird. Running was always my gig, you know?
Guess it just proves that we all get dealt a shitty hand once in a while. Even little miss perfect can't handle a trip to the dark side without having to take a serious look at herself. You know, it might sound whack, but it's actually kinda comforting to know that I'm not the only one who cracks under pressure. My girl's a regular head case and I'm loving her all the more for it. Granted, I'm not exactly equipped to deal with her baggage on top of mine, but hopefully Giles shrinking her out in the desert will do the chick a world of good.
I know I could've used a major breather like that back when I killed the deputy doofus. What kind of idiot goes prancing around in dark alleys like he owns the place when they know the `truth` is out there? Fuckin' dumbass. Guy almost deserved the fate he got. If not me, it would've been some bloodthirsty vamp or stray demon looking for a little fun. I did the dude a favor by making it quick and easy. I'm not saying I was right in offing him -- I wasn't -- I'm just saying that it would've happened sooner or later. Boss always said the guy was wicked careless.
At least, that's what I tell myself to get through those nights when all the guilt's so bad it hurts to breathe. Peace ain't an easy thing to find. Me and Angel are prime examples of that.
All this stuff with B just stirs up the shit I put on the backburner long ago. Training's one way to get out the aggression -- poor Wes is living proof of that -- but it's a far cry from healing those old wounds. They're like scabs, you know? First they're raw and sting something awful, so you cover it with a band aid and it soothes some. Makes you feel better and covers up the hurt. Then it starts to itch, just a little twitch every now and then that's more annoying than painful, so you tell yourself to buck up and ignore it. It's no big. You're better than some tiny piece of scar tissue. Eventually though, the itch grows to be something fierce and soon enough you give in, ripping that band aid open like a Christmas present and scratching until it's raw and bloody again.
God, Freud would have a fucking field day with me. Here I am, the high school drop out known more for her boobs than her brains, trying to philosophize or whatever it is I'm doin' with all this scab talk. Maybe Wes and his stuffy books are finally starting to rub off on me. I've been put on research duty more than once in the past week.
Speakin' of, he's just the guy I'm expecting to show up any second now. See, we got ourselves this mad training schedule all mapped up. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are work out days. Mondays got me working on the brute force stuff -- you know, pumping metal and kicking the crap out of the punching bag the Boss set me up with back when he leased this sweet crib to me. Wednesdays are for endurance. We usually hit up (or more realistically, break into) the Sunnydale High swimming pool and Wes times me while I swim laps. It's not so bad, it's low on the sweat factor and I get to strut my stuff in bikinis.
I'm starting to think Wes might be getting the hots for me. Fuck knows I make it hard for him not to end up with the lusty thoughts when I'm around. I make a good show of wearing next to nothing and throwing out the usual sexual puns. I can't help myself; I fuckin' love rubbing this guy wrong. It's nice to see stuffy Wussley has a sex drive too. I was beginning to think that maybe they clipped off his noodle at birth. Hey, you never know, he was pretty much raised since day one to be this perfect watcher dude. Not his fault he got stuck with the slayer from Hell.
Gotta say, I think that in the long run, it was good for the dude. People that uptight need to learn to live a little at some point, you know? I just gave him that boost he needed to cut the prim and proper and get down with his badder self. He's a decent guy with the personality makeover. Man, if I wasn't head over heals for B, I'd so break every watcher/slayer taboo there is and jump his bones. I always did get off on that whole forbidden fruit concept. Before I dropped out of school, I got bouncy with my biology teacher. Let's just say it was the only class I ever got an A in... besides gym. Not my proudest moment, but you know, I was horny and he was there. He wasn't as bad as teachers go. Guy was young and straight out of college with a killer bod. He doubled as the wrestling coach. Most girls had his name written all over their notebooks. Whenever they called me trashy whore, I just flashed the pearly whites and told them to keep dreaming about Mr. Mackey, 'cause I knew what his cock tasted like. Vulgar? Yea. But those girls are vicious, man! I had to break out the big guns.
Okay, enough trippin' down memory lane. That left Fridays as my favorite -- weapons day. Wes is kind of lacking the manpower right now, what with the broken arm and all, but he's been getting on my case about technique, so I've been learning as much fencing as Lefty can handle with one arm. It's kinda cool, not really what I would have expected when he said fun with weapons, but I can dig some swordplay action.
Tuesdays and Thursdays are the days I dread. God, it's like being in school again. Wes has this thing where he thinks I need to start cracking books to be a better slayer. He doesn't know it, but I got this thing where I sneak my comic books in between the pages. I got some pocket sized ones from this place Harris showed me. So while Wes thinks I'm reading about demonic curses and shit, I'm actually checking out the X-Men and Catwoman. That bitch is hot stuff. Kinda reminds me of me too. She's got that whole darkness thing flying with her and rocks the black leather like none other. I gotta get me one of those outfits sometime.
Today was a Tuesday and Wes would no doubt be knocking on my door with a backpack full of demonic texts. Just as expected, he shows up right on the dot at three PM. Gave me enough time to sleep off last night's slay and be in good enough a mood to answer my door without a string of curses and possible hitting of things when I got frustrated.
I'm still in a pair of boxers and a wifebeater when I open the door, a slice of leftover pizza in one hand and can of cherry coke in the other. I dig the sweet drinks, okay? Cope. I smirk when I see him standing there, huffing and puffing while I'm the picture of relaxed.
"Damn, Wes, what happened to you?" I ask, half concerned and half amused. I'm tryin' my best to hold in the laughter that wants to bust out at the sight of him all disheveled and half dead looking. "Get chased by a book eating mountain lion on the way over? Or maybe just a demon that wasn't down with you teaching the rogue slayer her demonic ABC's?"
"Your elevator was out due to maintenance," he grunts out unhappily. Okay, now I get it. I'm up on a high floor and Princess Margaret can't handle a little jog up the staircase when he's equipped with books that make the dictionary look like Dr. Seuss.
A grin forms on my lips as I shove the slice of pizza in my mouth and use my right hand to take the bag from him. Damn, that is heavy! What's he got in here? Bricks? "Cuh mah ih," I say with my mouth still full of pizza crust.
"Is that a new form of slayer speak?" he teases me, some of his bad mood already seems to disappear.
I drop the books and remove the pizza from my mouth, taking a mo to chew up the piece I bit off. Just for shits and giggles, I decide to see if kids in England pull the same lame tricks that kids in the good old US of A do. "Hey Wes, do you like seafood?"
I can see him mentally scratching his head at my question. Random, I know, but he'll get it soon enough. "Yes I do actually. I enjoy a fair bit of salmon on occasion and breaded shrimp is simply delightful."
I was happy with the yes part; I couldn't give a rat's ass about the rest of the sentence. I stick my tongue out at him, revealing the bits of chewed up pizza still inside my mouth. "See food!"
"Faith!" he berates me, shaking a finger at me in the old Wes manner. I roll my eyes and take a gulp of my soda. "You can be such a child sometimes. I had hoped you'd be past childish pranks like that by now."
"I had to grow up fast," I reply good-naturedly. "So sometimes the kid stuff creeps back up on me. You know, as like a second win or something. That was always my favorite trick to gross people out."
'Course, the time I did it to a guy my mom brought home I almost got my tongue ripped out of my mouth. It was worth it though, the guy was a real jerk and I was Hell bent on gettin' rid of him. Guy got a little too friendly with me when he'd "tuck me in" at night. So, I took measures to be a real brat and scare him away. It worked. Fast. I wasn't about to become some pedophiles fantasy before I even got a training bra.
"Well, it works surprisingly well," Wes murmurs with a slight shudder. I know it's all show though, there's laughter in his eyes. They're practically twinkling. "Now, today's matter of business -- The Chronicles of Feuer-Entlüfter."
Watcher man pulls out a wicked intimidating looking book and I just gawk. I can't even pronounce the title, let alone read passages from this thing. Maybe now would be a good time to fake sick. I'll blame it on the pizza being bad shit that's been in the fridge for weeks. If I act all sullen and monosyllabic, he's bound to get all paternal on me and ask me what's up. Then I'll lay it on him big time.
"The Chronicles of what?" I spit out, bug-eyed and skeptical looking as I take a seat on my couch. I make a show of leaning back and rubbing my stomach some, as if I'm just now starting to second guess my chosen meal of the day.
"Feuer-Entlüfter," he repeats, slower this time and stressing each syllable as if I'm stupid or something. "It translates into Fire breather. It was a demon that inhabited Germany and surrounding areas for hundreds of years in the Middle Ages."
"Let me guess," I drawl out, tryin' to prove that I'm at least brainy enough to get what kind of demon this was. "It breathed fire and torched medieval towns, killing everyone but a few lucky survivors who lived to tell the tale. If it were present day, they'd be front page on the National Enquirer."
My brow arches up at him and I continue to casually rub at my stomach, making sure to frown occasionally like I got cramps or something. Wes seems satisfied enough by my description and nods his head at me. There's a little pride laced in his voice when he tells me I'm dead on.
"He was quite the troublemaker. He was known as a terror back then, the devil incarnate to some. No one even dared to battle him until a Germanic slayer was called in the year 1509. Unfortunately, they both died in battle, the slayer having too many substantial injuries to survive after she defeated the beast."
"Fuck Wes, way to kill the mood," I grumble from my spot on the couch. Hearing about past slayers biting the big one is never a cheery subject. Just makes my eventual demise seem even more... eventual. B and I once had a big talk on the subject. We decided that is was always a bummer to hear about the slayers before us. "What's so important about this book, anyway? The thing's long gone, why read about it? The Cliffnotes version is enough for me."
"It's important to learn about history, Faith," he answers all prissy-like. "The past can often help deal with the present."
"Yea, well, I'm not big on reading about my fellow sisters in the slayerhood dying, so why can't we stick with actual demons that we're dealing with now instead of some lame flashbacks that aren't doing shit for me now? I'm cool with the knowledge thing, I've been a good sport about getting a little book friendly, but I can't read stuff for the sake of reading, Wes. It's just plain depressing to hear about all these chicks dying before their eighteenth birthday. I've got enough negative thoughts as it is, I don't need one more crowding up my mind."
Wes makes a little `hmmph` noise and closes the book in hand. Thank fucking god for that, I thought I was gonna have to run off to the bathroom and start making sounds like I was turning up my lunch. He lets it drop back into his bag and then he comes to sit beside me, looking a little uncomfortable to be getting cozy on the couch with me. Hell, I'm a little freaked by it myself. We don't usually get this close unless we're sparing or I'm trying to ruffle his feathers up with a little flirtation.
"Alright, no more history lessons," he gives in softly. I guess he understands why I wouldn't want to read about a bunch of dead slayers. Maybe Watchers get a kick out of it, but us slayers sure as fuck don't. "Tell me about last night's patrol then."
"It was your average night of slaying, nothing special," I shrug. Truth is, it was so dead out there I was practically falling asleep on the headstone I had staked out as my look out point for vamps on the rise. "Two newbie vamps fresh from the grave tried to throw down with me. They were quick to go down and even quicker to dust. I didn't even break a sweat."
"Nothing that could warn of an upcoming apocalypse then?"
"Nada. It was dead out there. I checked out the Bronze too, since vamps like to feed on the chicks dumb enough to go outside for a little hanky panky and the only thing I slayed there was a couple of drinks. Scored a few numbers too, but we both know I won't be calling them back."
Wes chuckles and leans back, the amusement twinkling in his eyes again. "Have you ever called anyone back, Faith?"
"Why, you in the mood for a little Faith action?" I tease, sneaking my finger out to poke him in the chest. I'm surprised to find that he's actually got some muscle up there. Good for him, been working out I see. He'll need it when we can finally spar at full strength. I'm gonna kick his ass *so* hard.
"Well, I would be more in the business of asking you if you wanted some, as you put it, `Wes action` with the way you've been behaving lately."
I almost cough on my soda when the tables are turned on me. So what if I've been shamelessly flirting? It doesn't mean I'm crushing on him or nothing. I got B and she's all the woman I need to keep me satisfied. "You wish, Wes."
"Do I?" he challenges me, his eyebrow raising up as he tries to gauge my reaction.
"You tell me," I challenge back. I turn my body inwards to face him, burning my gaze into his. You can't deny the kind of smoldering looks I can give a person. I lift my hand up once more, this time my finger trailing down his chest instead of poking it. He doesn't squirm the way I'd expect him to. He just grins at me, a shit-eating one that tells me he's getting a kick out of this. "No one would blame you, I *am* hot stuff."
He stares up at me, unblinking and unreadable as he grabs my wrist to stop my wandering hand. "And so humble my slayer is too." He releases my hand and I let it drop down beside me. "You don't fool me for a second, Faith."
"What do you mean," I ask cautiously. I hope he's not gonna give me that speech again about how I'm confused and desperate and use sex as cover up so I don't have to face my real feelings. I could go without hearing that lecture a second time around. It was bad enough the first time. Just salt to the wound, is all I'm saying.
"This flirtation," he signals between us with his good hand. "You only do it because you can and because it's proven to be a game you can win at."
Okay, so he's not wrong about that. It also makes up one Hell of a distraction from studying demon names. I roll my eyes at him and back away, accepting that this game is over. For now. "Fine, maybe I do like to play with you, Wes. It's only 'cause you're so damn easy to tease. I gotta get my kicks in somehow, you know? B's not around so..."
"You need some distraction," he interrupts with an amused smirk on his face. Since when did Wes get to be such an expert on all things Faith?
"More or less," I confirm. "You don't hate it though; I know that for a fact."
Wes just shrugs at me, his expression as stoic as Angel's used to be. Man, he's really picked up a lot of qualities from the big guy. I'm almost freaked out by it.
"Then there's no need for me to confirm or deny either way," he says with a devious tone to his voice. I'm thinking it's safe to say that watcher boy here gets off on playing me as much as I do him. There's no way he's gonna admit to having the hots for me.
"So, you want some pizza?" I ask, going for the subject change. I got a feeling that if I keep pushing it, I might end up actually jumping him just to prove that he wouldn't say no to me.
He smiles gratefully at me, obviously aware of the same things I am. You see? We're on the same page now. "What the Hell?" he says enthusiastically, surprising me that he actually broke the mold and swore. "Heat me up a slice."