Points of View
Rating: Hard to tell really, as I don't particularly agree with the
American ratings, but I'd say you probably have to be at least 18 to read
Summary: A new threat has arisen, this time in England. The gang
arrives to help Giles and defeat it, but are distracted by life, death,
and new alliances.
Notes: This piece takes place after the end of "Chosen" season
7 and I'm pretty much excluding most of the developments on Angel's latest
season/seasons since I wasn't happy with that. Also, English isn't my native
language, so bear with me if I suddenly misuse a preposition!
Print Version: Adobe Reader PDF
I block deftly, about to deliver a smartass comment followed by a nasty
deep-set punch, when my legs are swept away from under me and I land hard
on my ass instead. Damn, he's annoying. I look up and he's grinning down
at me while slowly backing away, out of reach for any retaliatory moves.
Damn, he's not only annoying but knows me too well.
"Faith, concentrate please."
I hear Giles' world-weary voice coming from behind me but ignore it, too
engrossed in finding a way to kick the crap and then some out of his son.
His son, yeah. That blond, grinning, scrawny - but way cute - wannabe-Watcher
currently besting me in one-on-one combat is Giles' son.
Don't know who was the most surprised, me or G-man. I'd left L.A. to catch
a much-needed break from...well, Cordelia mainly, and somehow ended up in
England. Once there, I decided to pay Giles a visit, slightly worried as
to how he'd react. But I hadn't needed to bother. He was freaked out way
before I got there. Turns out he had a one-night-stand years ago while he
was still in college. In the 'Ripper' era. Turns out that it resulted in
a child he didn't know about for twenty-five years. Turns out that the child
grew up and came looking for him. Turns out- Fuck it!
He's just nailed me again and I'm starting to feel pissed. He's not as strong,
not as fast, not as tough or has as much endurance as me - goes without
sayin' really - but he's damn good nonetheless. He's got about three or
four black belts in various kick-ass genres, but that's not why he's puttin'
up such a good fight against me. It's because he reads me. It's like he
knows where I'll attack before I even know it myself and he's takin' full
advantage of it. I hate it. I don't hate him, although he pisses me off
a lot - father like son and all - I only hate that he anticipates my every
friggin' move. It's almost like fighting with B. Without the Slayer strength
of course, or the frenzied pace.
Or the pain. Or the hatred.
Laken - yeah, that's his name, fuckin' queer, I know. Whatever his mum was
on at the time I want some - doesn't look at me with hatred in his eyes.
Not even when I do finally pull my act together, start concentrating, and
throw him across the room or nail him against the wall; he's always got
a kinda genuine laugh in his eyes. Like he's having a good time.
I don't see that look a lot in other people's eyes. Angel's, yeah, but he's
hardly 'people'. Cordelia tolerates me because Angel has told her to, while
Wes mainly ignores me and Fred and Gunn just hover around. And Connor...
Don't get me started on that one. It doesn't suck, but it could be better.
Of course any of their looks are better than the ones B shoots me. Or shot,
as I haven't seen her for a while. Not since Sunnydale was sucked into the
Hellmouth and we all went our merry ways after avoiding yet another world
apocalypse. Last I heard she was in 'Frisco, would probably have chosen
L.A. if I hadn't been there. But- aargh! All right, that's it! I'll have
to kill him now.
That was my original Black Album Metallica t-shirt he just tore.
He's so graceful. I know it's a sentimental, trite and sappy thing to think,
but he is. My Son. Laken Giles Sebastian. My very own flesh and blood.
The very same blood that is as of now oozing from his nose - courtesy Faith.
"Be so kind as not to hurt him too much, Faith."
I know it hurt him when I had to confess I had no recollection of his mother.
He tried to hide it, but I could tell. I sought to explain that a lot of
things were different back then; that I was going through a difficult time,
drinking, smoking and inhaling too much, but it still hurt him. Heck, I
don't blame him, I would have given anything to be able to tell him something,
say something about her, me and our time together. But it would have been
"Retreat, Laken! Retreating's always good. No shame in that."
Time together. It was a one-night-stand. No more, no less. And he knows
that. As much as he would like for it to have been, and mean, more, that's
what it was and we're both clear on that. Iris. I didn't even remember her
name before he told me. Wonder if I knew back then?
Iris, the mother of my child. My only child. My son. I didn't know. For
twenty-five years I didn't know. And if she hadn't been dying, she wouldn't
have told him and I still wouldn't know. Is it fair to hate the dead?
"No sharp objects, Faith! I'm not going to tell you again!"
He's tall, handsome, I think, and he looks like me and it's not just selfish
wishful thinking. Even Faith has commented on it, saying we have the same
exasperated smile and superior air that just gets her itching to hit something
or someone. But she said it with a grin, thankfully. I've been a father
for less than two months and am already trying to make up for more than
two decades of absence and neglect. Just glad it doesn't involve protecting
him against a pissed-off Slayer. My body has barely healed from my last
outing to the now extinct Sunnydale.
Not that Faith would hurt him, more than she already does when they're training
that is; she likes him even if he drives her nuts by being so well prepared,
always one step ahead of the game. I'm proud of him. I don't really know
him, but I can appreciate a good fight so I'm proud of him. Actually I'm
afraid where that may lead. If I start loving him, it'll be like with Buffy
all over again and I don't know if I can handle that. Again.
"Let him go now, Faith, training's over and you know his leg's not
supposed to bend that way."
So, here I am, going to England. And not because I want to. Angel sent me.
Apparently he's in contact with Giles - seems like they talk a whole lot
more than Giles and I do, but I'm not gonna be upset about that - and apparently
hell's breaking loose over there. Makes a change. Or not. Guess since Sunnydale
went to hell in a hand-basket, all the evil forces had to find another location
to feast. Guess England's as good a place as the next one. I don't mind
really, it's been almost a year since I last battled truly great evil and
a girl has needs. God, that sounded gross, but it's true. I do need the
action, I do need the fight to feel alive and appreciated, I need the adrenaline
rush and the-umm-free drinks. Gotta love first class!
Is it just me, or does a gin & tonic taste better the closer you get
to London? We're almost there now, circling the airport, waiting for permission
to descend, and I can almost make myself believe that I can feel her. Of
course I know she's there. Angel and then Giles told me that much. Why she's
there, however, I can't fathom; perhaps she instinctively knew I'd be going
and decided to get there first to screw with my mind? Okay, I know I'm being
paranoid. You would be, too, if you'd had Faith happening to you. Hey, that
It's not that I really hate her anymore. Not after she helped me out with
that pesky First Evil problem. She really came through for me there, I admit
it. I just never wanted to see her ever again. Didn't think it was too much
to hope for. Guess the other kind of fate hasn't been paying attention.
I've convinced myself it'll be all right. Giles will be there and I'm extremely
anxious to see him again. Even though he's not my Watcher any more, or has
been for a long time, he's still the one I turn to and depend on when the
going gets tough. And it pretty much always does. I know he wants me to
manage on my own, but I also know that he'll never be able to back off or
walk out of my life completely. We've been trough too much together for
that to happen. And I doubt anyone of us would allow it to happen either
way. But why she has to be there...?
We left things on a pretty well footing. She apologized, she kicked evildoer
ass and she went back to L.A. I listened, didn't punch her, much, and forgave.
More or less.
I can appreciate someone working for forgiveness and redemption as much
as the next one - I'd hardly be in contact with Angel if I couldn't - but
there's just something about Faith that irks me. Always has. I guess it
just gets a little too close to home occasionally.
Not that I'd ever admit to anything of the sort. They probably all know
anyway. I turn to look at Willow in the seat next to me, she's fast asleep.
Xander, on the other hand, is busy flagging down a stewardess to get one
more free drink before landing. He grins at me and I smile back. They insisted
they come with me, saying they missed Giles as much as I do - which is true
- but mainly because I know they want to look out for me and watch my back.
They always have, even if I haven't always appreciated it or at times even
resented them for it. They've had so many opportunities to say 'screw you'
and leave, but they never have. Not without quickly coming back afterwards
anyway. They must know I need them. Perhaps it's time I tell them more often.
We're descending now; I can see the runway approaching fast and feel the
downward surge in my gut. And then I feel something else.
I can't believe Giles sent her to pick us up.
We're all jetlagged and antsy, especially Buffy. I'm glad we didn't have
problems getting through customs or I think someone would have gotten hurt.
Good thing Buffy left her arsenal back in San Francisco, certain items are
difficult to explain. Like the double-headed battleaxe she's been favouring
lately. We left Kennedy and Dawn in charge of the slaying back home. Dawn
was excited whereas Kennedy wasn't too happy about having to stay behind,
but I made sure to make up for it the night before we left. She may not
be a happy camper, but she's not an unsatisfied one. I grin to myself, then
turn to say something to Buffy, but she's frozen mid-step, staring directly
ahead of her.
Oh God, here we go...
I turn to look in the same direction as Buffy and I see Faith, casually
leaning against the wall. The expression on her face is the usual devil-may-care,
but her eyes give her away. I could have seen the apprehension from miles
She looks good. I notice she can still pull off wearing leather pants. As
we approach, she moves away from the wall, absentmindedly crossing and uncrossing
her arms as if unsure what to do with them. That's the problem with wearing
pants that tight, no pockets to speak of when you need them. She smiles
hesitantly, looking at Xander and at me, all the while shooting not-so furtive
glances at Buffy.
"Bloody brilliant, mate!" Xander exclaims in the god-awful British
accent he's been torturing Buffy and me with since the news of our journey.
"Free drinks galore!" He takes a step forward and puts out his
hand, Faith smiles gratefully and shakes it vigorously. I follow suit and
receive a smile as well. Then we all turn to Buffy.
She blinks quickly as if suddenly returning from wherever place her mind
just took her and shakes her head lightly, putting on a small smile.
And with that I guess the heartfelt greetings are over for now, because
in an unspoken agreement we simultaneously begin to sidle toward the exit,
Faith leading the way and us following closely behind. Buffy's still looking
Well, I guess that went okay. No insults or punches exchanged. That must
count as a success. Of course if looks could kill...Nah, I'll be fair. It
really wasn't that bad, she merely looked as if she'd found somethin' mildly
unpleasant in her drink and that's probably one of the better looks I've
received from her in a long time. In a very long time. And she did smile.
Or was that a muscle spasm?
We're driving in Giles' rather nifty sports car, Red's in the front with
me and B and Xander are cooped up in the back. No words are spoken, but
the tension is palpable. I can see the white of Red's knuckles where she's
gripping onto the side handle.
All right, so I haven't quite gotten the whole driving-on-the-left-side
part down yet, but there's really no need to mutter protection spells like
that. It's kinda insulting actually. I catch B's eyes in the rear-view mirror.
Oh yeah, that was totally a smile I just got. Tiny, but still a-
"Faith! Eyes on the road! Eyes on the road!" Red shrieks, hiding
her own eyes behind her hands.
"Sorry," I grin bashfully, making a large swerve to avoid the
truck ahead. "Don't worry, Will, everything's under control."
"Uh-huh," She only says, her eyes remaining hidden.
I risk a glance back at B, but she's looking out of the window now, seemingly
lost in thought. I sigh inwardly.
I'm already waiting in the driveway when they pull up at the curb. And no,
I didn't have some supernatural premonition telling me they were getting
close, I simply heard Faith turn the corner on screeching tyres.
Why do you think I wasn't in the airport to greet them? Exactly. I have
a son now, life's dear to me. Speaking of Laken, he's coming up behind me,
peering curiously over my shoulder. I can tell he's excited about their
He already knows about me, about the others and the things we've done. Couldn't
really hide the fact that Faith was something else when she suddenly turned
up on my doorstep, and I didn't want to lie to him either. Besides, he's
got the gene; that pesky little Watcher gene that automatically makes him
a target and puts him in danger from anyone who's opposed to the Slayer
and Watcher arrangement. That's actually a rather large quantity of the
undead - and occasionally living - population of the world. That's why I'm
having him stay here with me for a while; I want him to be aware of all
the repercussions this new life can bring with it. At first he outright
refused, claiming university responsibilities, independence, being able
to take care of himself and what not, but I know the main reason is that
he hasn't decided yet what to make of me. Whether he resents me or is happy
to have found a father. To be honest, I haven't quite decided what to make
of him either.
However, where the Watcher/Slayer issue is concerned, he seems pretty unperturbed
by it all, but then again, he's only had Faith's war stories to relate to.
He has still to experience it for real himself. I desperately hope it'll
never come to that, but my instinct and experience tell me otherwise. Life's
never that simple.
The car doors are practically thrown open and I see Willow and Xander scramble
out in a great hurry. Both of them a considerably paler complexion than
when I saw them last. I hear Laken snicker beside me. He had the pleasure
of first introducing Faith to driving on the left. That's why he wasn't
in the airport either.
"G-man!" Xander exclaims, stumbling towards me and throwing his
arms around me in an exaggerated hug. "I've never been so happy to
see anyone in my life! Please tell me the nightmare's over."
"The nightmare's over, Xander," I oblige with a smile as I pat
his back, looking past him at Buffy who's making her way towards me, a huge
smile spreading on her face. By God, I've missed her!
"Save some for the rest of us." She quips good-naturedly, pulling
Xander away from me so she can take his place in my arms. I'm near tears
as I hold her. Must be turning into a sentimental old sod these days.
Dinner's great, although not much is actually being eaten. We're all too
busy being jetlagged or catching up to have time to eat. Drinking, however,
is another matter. Isn't it always?
It was tense at first, but the tension quickly got mixed up with shock and
curiosity when Giles casually mentioned that the blond, blue-eyed hunk standing
next to him was his son. Could have knocked me over with a feather and I
think Buffy forgot to breathe for a few minutes. Xander was - and is - just
ecstatic about the revelation, delighting in the extra testosterone that
has been injected into our little group. I swear, he's looking at Laken
the way he used to look at Buffy. And Cordelia. And Faith. And Anya, but
let's not go there.
Giles had Laken tell the story and I couldn't help but watch him as Laken
related the events of the past few months, seeing the myriad of emotions
crossing his face. Regret, sadness, joy and... love? Wonder if Buffy noticed
it, too, but she must have. Would've taken a blind man not to.
However, I think they'll be all right. I was anxious at first - knowing
how Buffy handles any kind of competition, emotionally or otherwise - but
I could see the look on her face soften when he told us about his mother.
Iris was her name. She died from cancer three months ago and he's spent
the better part of the last year nursing her at home. At least Joyce went
quickly. I shudder slightly and see Buffy do the same.
It wasn't until she was at death's door that she finally relented and told
her son about his father. She always refused to talk about it before and
Laken had gradually resigned himself to the fact that he would never know.
Whether it was guilt or a last minute effort to have no unresolved issues
between them, Laken didn't know, but she had told him and he was glad about
that. I can tell Giles is glad about it, too.
It's almost too much. No, fuck that, it is too much! First Faith, then Laken.
I don't know how to handle all of this. Preferably I'd get up and flee the
house in search of the nearest cemetery, stake in one hand, Jack Daniels
in the other, but I can't do that to Giles. I turn a little and can tell
Faith feels the same way, but for different reasons altogether. She's just
bored out of her mind, eyes distant, the drink in her hand halfway forgotten.
In only lasts a few seconds, though, then she snaps back to reality and
looks straight at me. She could feel me watching her. Our eyes lock for
a moment and it is as if a silent exchange is passing between us because
she suddenly stands up.
"Think it's time for a little slaying, G-man. As gripping as this reunion
is, it ain't going keep the vamps from gettin' down and dirty tonight."
She turns to me and looks at me pointedly. "Wanna come, B?"
I'm already out of my seat, sending apologetic smiles all around as I breeze
past them and out of the house.
"Do be careful!" Giles barely has time to shout before the front
door slams shut behind us.
We've walked in a relatively comfortable silence for a few minutes when
Buffy says almost inaudibly, "Thanks."
I smile to myself. "No problem, B." I don't have to ask what she's
referring to, I'm surprised any of the others didn't notice by the amount
of squirming she was doing in her chair. Can't blame her really, it was
overwhelming. First me and then the whole deal with Laken. Woulda blown
me outta the water, too, if I'd been her. But I'm not and never have been,
except, of course, for the time when-whoa, wrong line of thought, stoppin'
"So," I start hesitantly, searching for something to say to bridge
the suddenly mounting tension between us. "How ya been?"
Out of the corner of my eye I see her shrug, "Oh, you know...slaying
That's not what I wanted to hear. I know she's been slaying because that's
what we do, what I wanted to know is how she has been. How she's been feeling
and thinking and everything in between since we last saw each other. But
I don't say that. I just say, "Cool." And we continue walking.
"This is usually a good place." I say a few minutes later, as
we pause in front of the gothic looking gate that marks the entrance into
Chesterfield Cemetery. "Lots of newbies runnin' around."
She only nods and I can feel her silence starting to really bug me as we
swiftly climb the fence, taking out our stakes the moment our feet hit the
soft, moist grass. I can't decide whether it's my presence or the news about
Laken that's affecting her so much. Probably a combination.
Suffice to say, I pity any vampire we run into tonight.
And I'm dead on. I barely get to see any action at all as B practically
shoves me away every time, throwing herself at whatever comes our way. I
don't really mind that much, I had a good night's slaying yesterday and
I've always liked to watch B kick the crap out of the undead. Better than
late night wrestling on TV in my opinion. At first I stay on my toes, though,
ready to jump in should it become necessary, but after a while I relax against
a headstone, reaching into my leather jacket to fish out a cigarette.
"Smoking's bad for you, Faith." B whirls past me, snatching the
cigarette from my lips before I can even light it and tosses it away.
"Oh man! That was my last one!" I complain, but only half-heartedly
as I can't help but grin.
"Good." B says with emphasis, staking the poor vamp below her
and leaping to her feet. She turns to me and is about say something when
she's tackled from behind by another vampire.
"It's mind bogglin' really," I say, hoisting myself up to sit
on the headstone as B proceeds to leisurely pummel her latest attacker,
"that after watching you stake five of 'em already, there's always
that last sucker who thinks they can take you despite all evidence of the
"Tell me about it!" Buffy gasps as she's thrown against the side
of a crypt. She practically bounces off of it, her entire body connecting
with the vampire's chest and bringing him down with her.
Struggling, struggling and...puff! No more vamp. It's too easy really.
B gets up, wiping vamp dust and grass from her jacket and jeans. She's all
flushed and sweaty. She looks hot. I say so before I can stop myself.
To my surprise she just grins at me, looking genuinely pleased. "Thanks-look
out! Behind you!"
I've already ducked, feeling the whoosh of air from the punch that went
straight over my head. I sigh and reluctantly slide down the headstone,
guess I'll have to work a bit tonight after all.
Laken's awesome. He gets my jokes! And he laughs at them! Really, he does!
Most of them at least. He can get all Gilesy and look at me like he's dissecting
something strange under a microscope, but most of the time it's like having
found a long lost brother. A better looking, smarter, British-accent-speaking
long lost brother, but still. I love Buffy, Will, Dawn and all, but sometimes
the pms-vibes get just a little too high.
I've been entertaining him with Slayer stories since the two actual Slayers
left to patrol and he appears to have been listening. Willow was on the
phone with Kennedy and then went to bed shortly afterwards and Giles hovered
for a while in the background before going to bed as well. So now he's all
Ew. Not like that.
But it's fun. I've never really had another guy to hang out with like this.
Oz and I did a little, but then that became all awkward and even after he
and Will got back together, we never really picked up the thread before
he left. And since then there's really only been undead guys to hang around
and bond with, and even I haven't been that desperate. I prefer company
with a heartbeat. And yes, I'm including Riley in this.
"So... witches, werewolves, demons, vampires, Slayers and near-death
experiences have pretty much been part of your life for close to a decade?"
I nod importantly as Laken continues to study me, speaking slowly, "Fascinating."I
smile modestly and begin telling him about the time I single-handedly stopped
a gang of zombies from blowing up Sunnydale High. It's such a great story.