Chapter III: Hiding Out
A week after their talk, it happened. The vision hit Cordelia with the
force of a battering ram. It wasn't painful, but it did knock her off her
feet, her back sliding up the wall of the lobby as a force more powerful
than she was took hold of her. Suspended twelve feet off the ground she
kept eerily quiet about the things she saw, her eyes unfocused and far
Not one of the companions dared to breathe as they waited for the vision
to stop. When she got to the last scene, she suddenly collapsed, whatever
demony power in her system shutting down completely and leaving her with
no strings attached. Angel caught her with ease and she took a steadying
breath, head buried against his shoulder.
"Well that was new." Gunn said, his eyebrows looking like they would slide
to the back of his head if they went up much further. Fred shushed him
with a hand to his chest and peered at Cordelia from under a curtain of
thick brown hair.
"Are you okay?" Angel asked her, wincing as she shot him a deadly glare,
teeth gritted as she rubbed at her burned backside. Angel set her down and
lifted the back of her shirt with no sense of propriety, one grave-cold
hand soothing the wall-burn and the other holding her steady. "What did
"There was a girl running down an alley. Dark hair and she was bleeding.
Vampires, two of them." Cordelia told them, grimacing as she shook her
head. "She's near Elysian Park...about a block west."
"Let's saddle up people." Gunn said, rubbing his hands together and
walking toward the weapons cabinet. Lorne suddenly stepped into his path,
stopping him from going any further.
"Just Wesley." Was all the lounge singer said, his blood red eyes
seriously sober as he glanced over at the former boss of Angel
Investigations. Wesley looked up from his notes, his shadowed eyes and
stubbled cheeks sunken in from too many sleepless nights.
"What are you talking about?" Wesley croaked out, avoiding the stare of
the others as they turned their questioning gazes toward him. His hand
rose to his throat in a newly acquired habit, tracing the slash wound
"I mean, this vision was meant for Wesley. Just him." Lorne said, glancing
over at Cordelia. She furrowed her brow and nodded, realizing that she had
gotten the same impression, only not as strong.
"Sorry, doesn't work that way." Angel said in a stony voice, not taking
his hands away from Cordelia, his eyes focused just to the right of
"Why? I can handle two vampires surely. If it was meant for me, then I
will take it." Wesley asked, standing up from the little corner he had
made his own and had been hiding out in. His gaze shifted from Lorne to
Angel, seeking approval perhaps; he didn't know.
"Yes, but I'm not sure you can handle it Wesley. I'd rather not
risk another inno--I'd rather not risk it." Angel choked off the last
word, eyes lighting on the ceiling and staying there, as if he was asking
for strength from some higher being.
"I'm going." Wesley said with a force he didn't realize he possessed. He
pushed past Lorne and Gunn and grabbed two stakes and a sword from the
cabinet. Without a backward glance, he walked out of the hotel, jaw set
and eyes blazing. He was only too glad to get of there.
"Wes!" Lorne's voice was persistent and Wesley stopped, turning back to
face the green anagogic demon with a face schooled to a mask of
"This vision, be careful. And don't overreact, bro. This girl needs you,
even though she thinks she doesn't. And you need her; in a big way." Lorne
said in his usual cryptic manner, tilting his spiky head at the
Englishman. Wesley's eyes narrowed and he shook his head.
"What do you mean?" Wes asked, thoughts jumbled into a vortex of confusion
at his words.
"You'll find out. Watcher." Was all Lorne said as he turned on his heel
and headed back into the hotel, the front door slamming behind him. Wes
watched him go and then turned and headed back to his motorcycle. Whatever
Lorne had been talking about, he would soon find out.
As he rumbled down the street, wind whipping around his body, he prayed it
didn't present more problems than he already had to deal with; he didn't
think he could handle anymore surprises.
"Come out, come out wherever you are!" Came the rasping, growl-filled
voice of one of her followers. Faith rolled her eyes and felt pain spider
across her neck, where a puncture wound was sluggishly seeping blood. Dirt
and other refuse stuck to her sweaty skin and she tried not to breathe in
too deeply. She jumped as the vampire kicked at the Dumpster, the thump
echoing through the metal container. She winced and wished he'd walk away
long enough for her to recover. She flashed back to how she'd gotten here
in the first place and groaned in her mind.
A routine patrol had turned into her finding a nest of vampires, one that
had noticed the sudden increase in dusted vampires around the city in the
last few weeks. Ones that were looking for someone just like her. When
several of their brethren had spotted the lone girl walking through the
streets where she had no business being, they had devised a plan and
At least twenty vampires had been dusted in the ten minute fight in a
darkened alleyway, no few of those finding a vulnerable spot on her and
taking advantage. She had to give them credit, they knew how to work as a
team, not even killing the presumed leader had broken up the band of
ragtag vamps. But it had served her time to escape, left shoulder bleeding
and limbs bruised so much she didn't know how she was going to explain it
away at work the next morning. Assuming she was even going to make it to
the next morning.
So here she was, the Slayer, hiding out in a Dumpster. All she wanted was
to get of there. Faith seethed with anger at the turn of events; anger she
quickly turned into adrenaline. As the vamp went to raise the lid of the
dumpster, the scent of blood tickling his senses, she leapt out at him.
He was pulled, kicking and screaming, into the refuse filled dumpster. His
mouth met her fist several times, the knuckles beneath the sharp teeth
splitting open upon impact after impact.
"No. One. Makes. Me. Afraid." She grunted with each successive hit,
enjoying the pain-filled yellow eyes that stared up at her from atop the
pile of garbage. A rat scampered across the vamp's blood belly and back
into the recesses of the trash. Disgust crossed her features and she spat
out a mouthful of blood. "Time to die."
With those three words, she shoved the stake into the vampire's chest and
felt the almost orgasmic surge as he turned to dust, the wind of his
passing pushing her blood-clumped hair from her face. She swayed on her
feet for a moment and bit her lip, adrenaline surging to her brain in
Suddenly she was grabbed from behind and hauled out of the dumpster before
she could resist. She hit the pavement, foot twisting under her as two
vampires grinned ferally down at her. The stake was kicked out of her
fingers and she watched it roll across the broken ground.
"What have we here?" One of them said, sneer twisting his pierced lip as
he wrapped one clawed hand in her hair. She winced and tried to move, foot
protesting loudly in the form of a pain-filled surge up and down her leg.
"You've got one pissed off Slayer, asshole. I've killed about twenty of
you fuckers; care to make it twenty-two?" She said boldly through gritted
teeth, one hand sneaking to the back of her pants, where an extra stake
was tucked into the waistband of her panties. She ignored her fear as she
found the stake had fallen out in the battle, unnoticed until now. In the
distance, she faintly caught the sounds of a motorcycle rumbling along.
"The Slayer, eh? They said you were blonde!" The second one said, peering
down at her quizzically, thick football player neck riddled with
blue-green veins. At his words, Faith felt a stab go through her heart and
she welcomed the pain, turning it into much needed adrenaline. She broke
free of their grip, wincing as a clump of hair was left behind, clutched
in Pierced's pale fist. Her twisted ankle screamed at her, but she ignored
it, half-running down the alley, blood streaming from the wound on her
Pierced and Football quickly recovered and followed her, legs much
fresher, lungs not needing the air Faith was frantically dragging into her
lungs. She knew they'd have her soon and she'd better think of some
drastic tactics soon.
As she turned the corner, foot splashing into something she'd best not
think about, the sounds of the motorcycle came closer and she watched as
it rushed past her, a blur in the corner of her eye.
"Fuck!" She cursed and turned, knowing the rider was about to get a very
nasty surprise as soon as he rounded the corner. She brushed a strand of
bloody hair from her face and called after the rider, eyes widening at the
sight of the two vamps standing in the bend of the buildings, waiting on
To her surprise, she saw a sword flash as it caught the light, the rider
holding it aloft as he steered the motorcycle straight at the vamps.
Football ducked out of reach, but Pierced was caught in the backswing,
head toppling off his shoulders with the sickening sound of wet meat
hitting steel. Pierced dusted, but the rider was already focusing on
Football, seeing the odds against him were stacked at best, charged Faith,
fear and his hunger overcoming any good sense he possessed. Faith met his
charge with a booted heel to his chin, hearing and feeling bone crunching
beneath the steel soles. The vamp reeled backward, but recovered, blood
streaming from his between his teeth. He reached once more for Faith,
nails slicing through the thin cotton tank top and snagging her belly. She
cried out and punched him, but he kicked the side of her head, sending her
toppling to the ground.
She landed and looked up at the beast, her belly on fire as blood stained
the white tank, her fingers flexing and unflexing as pain crashed against
the barricades in her mind. She waited for him to leap on her. He did, but
the weight atop her was double what it should be and she realized the
cyclist had leapt from his bike onto the back of the vamp, stake finding
its mark with ease.
She looked up into the vampire's face and smiled.
"Fuck." Football-neck said before his lips crumbled to ash. The cyclist
suddenly fell on top of her, filling the space the vampire left behind.
Silence stretched between them as Faith tried and failed to find words.
Finally, he broke the silence, voice soft, as if he wasn't sure he was
really seeing what he was seeing.
"Faith?" He said, blue eyes imploring as he searched her face over, the
smell of vanilla and cinnamon assaulting his senses.