Rating: 15 for language.
Setting: In, and around Doctor Who 4x01 “Partners in Crime”.
Characters: Faith, Giles, Dawn
Word count: 2543
Disclaimer: Not mine, none of them.
Summary: Adipose Industries’ weight-loss pills certainly got around.
Author's Notes: Written for empressvesica’s birthday! Woo-hoo!
Normally, at ten past one in the morning, most people tend to be asleep in bed. However, if you’re connected with the New Watcher’s Council in any form, 1.10am would be generally considered to be smack bang in the middle of a standard working day.
Indeed, both Watchers and Slayers are normally in the middle of patrolling, writing up encounters with the dark forces of evil, having a smoke break (if your name is Faith), or researching obscene and arcane runes, desperately trying to avert various plots to gain dark power. Sometimes, even just staking the occasional vampire looking for a takeaway meal on legs.
All things considered, your Chief Watcher does not normally find his skin stretching into a lump, separating itself from the body and running off on short, stumpy legs with a very cute expression on its face.
But then, it was a Tuesday.
~ + ~
“Oh dear Lord,” said Giles automatically, feeling around his shoulder gingerly, wishing desperately he could clean his glasses. He stared off down the corridor, where the little white entity had just turned the corner. “Did everyone else see that?”
Faith stared off after it, mouth agape, until the cigarette in her hand burnt down to her fingers. “Ow!” she swore, and sucked on the finger momentarily. “Fuck me…. Just when you think you’ve seen everything.”
“I’m fairly sure that’s never been recorded in the Watcher diaries,” mused Dawn Summers also staring after it. “Um… shouldn’t we be going after it or something?”
Faith just looked at her. “D, twelve junior slayers and I just got back from graveyard patrol round the deepest darkest parts of London, all worked up and ready to… eat something. Pretty damn sure someone’s gonna notice it soon enough.”
Giles poked his shoulder experimentally once more. “Quite,” he murmured, “Perhaps someone might care to see if there is any further possibility of this occurring to me again.”
Faith smirked. “Fair nuff, G. Get ‘em off then.”
Giles blinked. Faith smirked again, and cracked her knuckles. “Drop ‘em, cowboy.”
“Ah…” said Giles, backing away slightly. “That wasn’t quite what I meant, was it Dawn? Dawn?”
Dawn was busy bending over the study desk, gently prodding the very small white footprint trail across the pages of the Codex situated there. “Yeah… I think I’ll sit this one out, Giles. Hungry Slayer in the room, after all.”
“You heard the brat, G. Don’t make me rip the tweed,” Faith said, stepping forward, her tongue flickering across her lips.
“Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee! It’s so cute!!!!” echoed from down the corridor, followed by a flurry of noises sounding very similar to a Tom and Jerry chase scene.
“See? Soon be brought back if they don’t hug it to death.” Faith gestured with her hand, and reluctantly Giles took his jacket off and placed it carefully on the arm of one chair.
“Actually, the more I think about it, I feel perfectly normal. Absolutely fine. I’m sure there is no reason- - ” Before Giles could finish, Faith was across the room and standing right in front of him.
She reached out with her hands, and slowly, softly pulled Giles closer to her by his tie. Staring into Giles’s eyes, just visible above the top of his glasses, she gently started to work the tie undone.
“Really, I don’t- -“ Giles tried to say, before Faith shushed him. “We gotta check you out, G – you know that. Now, shuddup and get this shirt off.”
Dawn pulled a face. “You know, on second thought, don’t think I’m quite up for seeing the closest thing I’ve got to a stable father figure in that amount of close-up. It’s the lack of tweed on him. I’m going lump hunting.” Politely, she closed the door behind her.
Giles didn’t move, just looked directly into Faith’s eyes. She didn’t move from her stance, just gently finished undoing the tie. “Please?” she said quietly.
He paused a moment longer, then nodded slowly. He undid the shirt buttons one by one from the top downwards. Faith felt her breath catch in her throat involuntarily as his bare chest beneath came into view.
“Fuck. So many scars,” she murmured almost without realising, “How long have you been doing this?” Her hand reached out and traced one particular long-healed gash down his side.
Giles regarded her and pushed his glasses back further up his nose. “Does it matter?” he said quietly, “In the end I chose this life, and I regret very little of the choices that have led me here.”
“I sometimes forget that other people don’t heal like I do,” said Faith just as quietly. Her hand traced another scar, this time on Giles’s arm. “That you choose to continue the fight without the advantages we Slayers have.”
“’If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh?’ Shakespeare was a very wise man, Faith. We’re all only human in the long run whether we have bonuses or not to help us.”
“Yeah, but still… you don’t have to do it you know. Your age ‘n’ all – what keeps you going out each night, makes you keep on each when part of your body’s detached itself and run off down the corridor?”
Giles reached up and took Faith’s hand in his. “Because I can. And I refuse to let people that I care for fight the darkness alone.”
He ran one finger down the zip of her leather jacket. “And what about you, Faith? That heart you hide away inside that brash exterior… we all know it’s there, even if you won’t admit it. You could walk away from this anytime – you’ve more than earned the right. What keeps you here?”
Faith swallowed down the lump in her throat. “I kinda like it here. I like the way we run this thing here. I… it feels like home should be.”
She paused. “And I kinda like some of the people here. A lot.”
There was a silence between them for a moment. Not an uncomfortable silence, merely a silence more akin to a peaceful calm before a storm. All Faith could hear was the beating of her heart pounding in her ears. All Faith could see were those gorgeous brown eyes of Giles studying her.
His head tilted slightly and moved forward towards her. In a moment that flashed by and seemed to last forever, she knew he was going to kiss her. And god, she wanted him to do so. Her lips parted a fraction too, as she leant forward.
“Guys?” came Dawn’s voice from the doorway, “Lou captured it, but there’s a slight problem…”
The slayer next to Dawn looked even more embarrassed than Dawn if that was possible, but she obediently lifted up her hand to show the small white creature impaled on her stake, its tiny eyes looking upset and its arms and legs waving about weakly.
“Oh…. Fuck!” swore Faith very loudly.
~ + ~
Faith glared at the two junior slayers in front of her. “I am not in a happy mood,” she said through gritted teeth. “Think very carefully about what you tell me in the next few minutes, because I am tired, cranky and you really don’t want to know what I wish I could be doing right now.”
She tapped the transparent cooking bowl upside down next to her on the desk. Inside it, the entity looked up at her and rubbed its stomach reproachfully. Fighting down the urge to apologise to it once again, Faith redoubled her glare.
“There’s no magic attached to…,” she paused, trying to think of a good way to describe their latest problem.
“Lumpy?” offered Dawn behind her, and waved at him in the bowl.
Faith closed her eyes momentarily, breathed deep and managed to count to six before continuing. “Lumpy… isn’t magic. In fact, turns out he’s solely consisting of fat. And human fat at that. In short, Giles’s fat. Anything you want to say right now?”
The two junior slayers frantically shook their heads.
“Funny thing. Once Giles turned out to have no new marks on his body, we thought to weigh him and you’ll never guess just how much lighter he appears to be right now.” She glared at them again.
“And given I hear that someone was joking around yesterday about how they were going to get start running to seed if they didn’t manage to get out with the patrols more often, I found myself having an idea.”
“So, given all this, I want to know what the hell you gave him, where the hell you got it from and why the hell he thought it was a good idea to take it in the first place?”
Even Giles blanched. The much less hardened slayers broke instantly.
~ + ~
Adipose Industries was a very, very tall central London building. Still, with two Slayers coming in at it from each direction, no way was it gonna present that much of a problem.
Maybe they should do some kind of background check on it if they had time. It was all posh and shiny, and kinda reminded Faith of several Wolfram and Hart buildings she’d busted into before (and in one notable case, set fire to).
The phone in her pocket buzzed for her attention. Still intently staring at the building, Faith flipped it open. “Yo. Make it fast, I’m in the mood for mayhem.”
“Found somethin’ over north side you should see.”
~ + ~
Faith ran one hand down the side of the TARDIS, feeling the soft hum of machinery through her. “Heya girlie, nice to see ya again,” she said quietly. If anything, the TARDIS hummed a little louder for a few seconds in acknowledgement.
Faith glanced at the slayers next to her in the alley. “You did good, Joey,” she said, “You’re off the shit list. For the moment, anyhow. Nice catch.”
She pulled out her phone and speed dialled 1. “Yo, D? Screw the research party on Lumpy. It ain’t magic.”
Wedging the phone between one shoulder and her chin, Faith pulled out a cigarette and lit it. “Nah, listen. Joey found the TARDIS parked in an alley. Smart girl, she remembered I’d been on it.”
She took a deep drag. “Look, TARDIS means the Doc, and that means aliens, right? Nothing to do with magic or the regular shit.”
“Um, Faith?” said one of the slayers with her, looking upwards.
Faith waved her off impatiently. “For fuck’s sake Dawnie, what else do you want for proof ? Giant alien spaceship? Invading horde of Daleks again?”
The other slayer in the alley with them waved one hand in front of Faith’s face and pointed upwards frantically. Faith rolled her eyes, but glanced up anyway.
She stared, swore and almost burnt her finger with the cigarette once again. “Gotta run, D. Looks like we got that giant alien spaceship you wanted after all.”
~ + ~
“Look dude,” Faith snarled impatiently at the policeman, “Do I look like I’m from fucking Torchwood? I’m a damn professional! Watcher’s Council – W, A, T, C--”
The policeman pursed his lips, flipped his notebook shut and shot a glance at the paramedic tending to Faith. “Perhaps I’ll come back a little later, miss. When you’ve calmed down a tad.”
Faith pulled a face at him as he strode off, then winced as the paramedic finished sewing up the stitches on her head. “Ow! Careful with that!”
“I see you’re developing your own set of scars now,” said a familiar sounding voice from beside the ambulance.
“Giles!” exclaimed Faith, and jumped up to hug him.
The paramedic rolled her eyes. “Fine. Any chance you can keep her still long enough to finish this up, mate?”
Giles’s lip twitched slightly. “I assure you it’s a problem many, many people have failed on before, but I’ll give it a shot. Now, Faith… sit still for the nice lady. Please?”
Faith pouted and tried batting her eyelashes. No effect. “Fuck it,” she shrugged and sat back down.
“Play nice and we can compare scars later,” Giles said mildly. He stared out across the busy scene in front of the Adipose building. Multiple flashing lights from the emergency vehicles parked there illuminated the chaotic flurry of activities. “Lucy tells me that for once we had nothing to do with this.”
“Yeah, well it was looking like the normal kind of night there for a moment. Big-ass alien spaceship, honking great big searchlights, horde of cute, cuddy Lumpys waddling down the street – y’know : Tuesdays.”
Giles raised one eyebrow. “So, how precisely did you end up like this? Lucy became impressively vague whenever I pressed her on the details.”
Faith flushed and looked away. “Somethin’ hit me, okay. Wasn’t expecting it, k?”
Giles raised his other eyebrow and waited. “Fine! Whatever. I got hit by a falling nanny, okay,” she muttered.
Giles snorted unwillingly. “A…nanny?” he managed to say with a commendably straight face. The paramedic caught Giles’s eye and mouthed “concussion” at him.
Faith raised her hands in exasperation. “Whatcha gonna do? Light goes off, I charge in, nanny with three inch fucking high heels drops out of the sky and lands directly on me. Go directly to pavement, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars.”
She looked at the paramedic. “Can I smoke yet?”
“No,” said the paramedic, and rapped Faith’s hand before peering closely at the cut on her head. “Okay, you’re good to go, but no driving any cars for a while and get some rest.” Packing up her bag, she shooed Faith away from the ambulance.
“Man, I love England,” Faith said, shaking her head, “Even your ambulance crew are stroppy.”
Giles smiled. “Regardless, I believe we should be returning to the Council now that everything appears to be resolved.”
Faith looked at Giles and smirked. “Just the one loose end as far as I can see, G.”
Giles regarded her quizzically. Somewhere, deep in his subconscious, alarm bells were ringing. “Indeed?” he ventured. Faith grabbed him by his tweed jacket lapel and pulled him down to her level, kissing him hard.
Fuck! The adrenaline raced through her veins, nerves blazing wide open with the sheer exhilaration of the moment. And then he was kissing her back, and everything went up a whole other notch.
She pulled herself away somehow, body still tingling. “Whoa,” she murmured, “One loose end all tied up. And where the hell did you learn to kiss like that?”
Giles smirked back at her. “Misspent adulthood.”
She couldn’t help but ask “And you don’t mind that I just… y’know, with the kissage and all - -”
The second kiss was just as good and even longer. When they separated this time, Faith couldn’t stop the sappy smile spreading across her face. “Wanna go back and check out my scar collection?”
Giles’s lip twitched once more. “Milady, I would be honoured. Your carriage awaits.”
As they strolled arm in arm past the police barriers, Giles’s brow furrowed. “Actually Faith, I do have one more question.”
“Do you think Dawn let Lumpy go, or have I got a new pet?”
~ Fin ~
Twisting The Hellmouth : here.