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Part 6

Willow wasn't kidding about her secret files or about Giles and Wesley being scared. Turns out what they said they gave to the IT department to decrypt wasn't given to them at all. The information they shared with me in the meetings weren't even in the encrypted files. It was just sitting in a normal research file on the main server that all employees had access to.

Willow swears she 'accidentally' overheard them talking a few days ago about stalling me as long as they could because they aren't even sure we are going to be able to get Faith back because they both feel out of their depth.

She did a little digging and was able to see the encrypted files had sat untouched for quite some time. They last person to access them was Angel himself. She downloaded them on to this nifty little USB key with something called a U3 on it which means it can't be traced or if she is using it they can't trace it.

Giles and Wes were lying! What is it with men and lying to me?

I even caught them out in a lie when I got back to the office. See neither Willow or I told them where I was going or what I was doing but when I came back to the building empty handed they questioned me on it.

"I say this must be a first, you and Willow shopping and you come back empty handed" Wesley says with a smile as I walk in to his office.

"How did you know I was going shopping?"

Giles takes of his glasses and begins cleaning them "Willow told me, she wanted to run her having the afternoon off by me"

"Oh right" You big fat liar "I did get a few things but they are at Will's. She and I talked and I am going to just chill out and hang at her place for a few days. Being in the apartment is just messing with my head...if we are going to help Faith then we need to be working together"

Oh just hand me the Oscar now!

"Will pointed out that I was thinking too much with my heart and that wasn't helping anyone. She suggested I take a few days away from here and let you guys work on all that stuff you found without me breathing down your necks...I didn't agree with her at first but when she pointed out that Faith would benefit more from careful planning than impulse planning..." I trail off as 'tears' well in my eyes.

"Buffy please don't think we don't understand what you have invested in this. We understand completely and the passion you bring with that will come in very handy when the time comes but for now we need to be delicate"

"I know" I wipe my eyes "I am so used to being in charge and having people follow my plans"

"Things are different now"

"I know...I just came by to grab a few things from my place and then I am going back to Will's...I also wanted to apologise"

Giles comes up to me and puts a hand on my shoulder "No need Buffy like Wesley said we completely understand"

"Thanks Giles" I sniffle a bit for effect and as much as it makes bile rise in my throat I pull him against me for a hug.

As I walked out of the office I was waiting for someone to call out scene or is it cut? I don't know and I don't care really.



I guess it isn't a mystery that this place we are trying to get in to is state of the art with its gadgets and doohickeys, all I wanted to know was if we get in via magic is it going to be traceable. According to Willow no, they don't use magic and for a corporation as forward thinking as theirs the knowledge they have about our world is basically non existent.

Angel was very careful about what he told them in relation to Faith's abilities and of course himself. He didn't spare any detail on us though. Told them we may come knocking one day looking for her but not to be fooled. He gave them this big bogus story about how she was his little sister and they had been in witness protection for some time now and no matter how much the Police tried to protect them we always found her. He went to them for her to disappear forever.

I wonder what they are thinking about him now considering someone hired her to kill him. Guess once the person is theirs they don't give a crap who hires them to do what.

So us going in as us is a no no but the fact they aren't to big on the supernatural world Willow is pretty certain we will be able to go in with glamour's hiding our true identities.

She is already in contact with them and has an appointment for us to visit their headquarters tomorrow. She doesn't have to stretch the truth too much in relation to herself. Told them she was a big brain who was studying to be a neurologist but didn't feel challenged enough in that field and wanted to explore the capacity of the human brain more. She had even emailed them a copy of a thesis she had supposedly done during her time at college.

My part is that of the finance. She has told them that I am willing to donate to their facility if they help her. Apparently I am not even needed. She was told in an email reply that based on her grades and thesis they would be interested in talking to her without a billion dollar sponsor but to bring me along anyway.

Yeah me a billionaire, she sent them copies of one of the council's unused bank accounts and just transferred them in to my aliases name.

What she had already put in motion amazed me. Then again the Willow who used to use her magic to search the internet back in the 'dale certainly got upgraded when we released the power of the scythe.

When we realized what had happened all those years back that our mojo had enhanced her mojo she kinda freaked out. Not cause of the black hair and veins that used to come with all that jazz but the fact that all she had to do was think of a spell and it was performed. No potions, no words just poof and it happened. It caused a few fights between her and Kennedy too cause a few times while they were making with the hanky panky Will needed to think of someone else to achieve...to arrive at her goal.

If we thought her turning into Warren was a weird day, you should have seen the shock on our faces when we saw Kelly Clarkson leaving Will's room one morning. Turns out it was just Kennedy going to get coffee.

Anyway back to the task at hand. Willow had our way in and a free pass to tour the facility holding Faith. I was kind of hoping that I would get to tour where the dolls were kept just so I could catch a glimpse of her and see how she was but I am under strict instructions to not go in with the Faith blinkers on. I have to do as I am told.

I guess we will see what happens tomorrow.

All I know is if I see Faith and they are hurting her in anyway then I cant be held accountable for my actions.

Part 7

I am in awe, this Dollhouse place is just amazing.

For people that do shitty things they really keep the people they do it to living in luxury. However for all the amazing I see there is about 10 times more disturbing I see as well.They have these people just wandering around with these blank faces.

I have been told they are dolls that aren't currently on a mission.So if they aren't programmed to be doing anything why are they just left to wander around aimlessly?I did ask that and I was just laughed at.I guess the fact that I have a lot of money doesn't matter to them.I know if I was trying to get a lot of money off someone I would not be laughing at their questions.

"Do you allow the dolls to do anything on their missions?" I ask.

"We try to keep them programmed to do what is needed of them"

"What happens if the person that hires them tries to veer them off course?"

"Each person that hires one of our dolls signs a contract.One that is specific to each mission.If our dolls are used for any purpose other than the mission we know and our clients know we know.We deal with them in our very own special way"

"What if someone wanted to hire them for a night?" I know I do not want to hear this answer.

"We have dolls that are specifically for that kind of night"

"And the people they were before they became a doll are okay with you selling their body?"

"The people that are signed up here know exactly what can be asked of them.We go over every possible scenario with them before they sign on.They can choose what they are hired out for.Very much like one signs up for college classes"

"Yeah because it is the same as that" I snort in response.

We continue the tour through the ground floor.There are people doing Tai-Chi in what looks to be some kinda of Feng Shui garden, more people wandering around aimlessly and a small group of them in a cafeteria.

So far there is no sign of Faith.And this Adelle De Witt I am walking around with is just making my skin crawl.

"Do you have favourite dolls?"

"What do you mean Miss Montgomery?" Adelle stops walking and looks at me.

"Please call me Roxy, I mean favourite dolls.Ones that seem to get more jobs than the others or are they sent out in some kind of order"

"Our clients see a catalogue of dolls with outlines of the kinds of missions they have done and also what they will do.They are chosen that way"

"Do you give them a rating, like a success rating?"

"We do like to let prospective clients know that kind of information.Rest assured though that all our dolls complete what they are hired for.We aren't in the business of losing"

"Now I know the brain side of it is more down my friends alley but I am just curious as to what kind of method is used.Whether it is painful for them"

"They feel as if they are asleep.They are monitored through the entire process to make sure nothing goes awry"

"Have you had any cases where it has gone wrong?"

"We wouldn't be doing what we are doing if things could go wrong, we are very careful about the well being of the people in our employ"

"It seems to me you have no problem in using people as vessels to do others dirty work"

"This is a business Miss Montgomery"

"So profit line before people?" I can feel myself getting angry.

"Please don't get me wrong Miss Montgomery.I feel you are taking offence to the answers I am giving you"

"I am just having a hard time understanding how you can sleep at night knowing you are wiping people's mind blank and hiring their body out to the highest bidder.How you can stand there and calmly answer each of my questions without once thinking about the person you are doing these things too!"

"They are not people!"

"Yes they are!You may take away any scrap of humanity they have but they are still people"

She folds her arms across her chest "Your friend gave us the impression that you knew what we did and were perfectly okay with this"

"My friend told me she wanted to further her education with neurological studies and this was the institute that did it"

"She was right.We can teach her more"

"At the expense of others lives?"

"You don't have to take any part of this if you feel uncomfortable with what we do Miss Montgomery.Of course when you leave here we would have to alter your memory of being here"

I get right up in her face "Are you threatening me?"

"Not at all.You understand that we have to protect ourselves"

I notice in my peripheral vision a couple of guards standing to attention waiting to see what I do but I step back from her when I feel the all familiar tingle running down my spine.I try not to play to obvious knowing that Faith is near me.

"Sorry, I just…I'm the money she is the brains"

"Relax Miss Montgomery.Your friend Gina seems to be the kind of person we need here and if she shows the same compassion you have then she will certainly be an asset to this organization.The passion you show is what we look for, the questions you have asked we encourage"

I let out a shaky breath as I feel the tingle getting stronger.

"Would you like a moment Miss Montgomery?" She asks looking over my shoulder.

"Yes please"

"Please excuse me" She says then walks off.

I turn and watch her as she makes her way up to Faith and a tall looking African American man.

Faith's eyes lock with mine and I am done for.I swear if they turn around right now they are going to see a Roxy shaped puddle.

My pulse is racing and my breathing is shallow and erratic and it is taking all I have to not walk up to her and just be near her, to breathe her in.

She is making her way over to me and this puddle shaped alias is shitting bricks.

She stops in front of me "I know you"

"I-I-don't think s-s-s-so"

"Your eyes, I know I know them…the rest of you I don't" She says so soft that I know only I can hear her "You have a different body"

"No" I say just as quietly.

"You know me.In a place full of people that know nothing you know me" She steps right into my personal bubble "You know who I really am"

"Echo is everything okay?" The tall man is beside her.

"I saw her with Adelle, I was making sure she wasn't here to cause any trouble" She says stepping back.

"It's okay Echo.Miss Montgomery here is taking a tour, seeing what you and the other dolls do"

They are telling her what I am doing here? Do they treat all the dolls like this?

"Echo has just returned from a mission.I was taking her to see Topher"

"Right well I will let you continue on your way then" Adelle says "Thank you Echo"

I look at her and her eyes are still on me.

She sees me, Buffy.

And I see Faith…

And Faith is scared.

Part 8

I am still trying to calm down and don't notice that Adelle is talking. She is all Roxy this and Roxy that then I realize I am supposed to be Roxy.

"Sorry, Could you repeat the question" I ask Adelle slowly coming back in to focus.

"I was just apologizing for Echo and her behavior"

"Right…right. No need to. I guess she saw me facing off with you and got a bit protective"

"Was she rude to you?"

I shake my head "Just reminding me that you are doing me a favour by showing me around and I should mind my manners"

"Echo is one of our most remarkable dolls. She has speed and agility that would amaze…well most people. She is very intuitive and very much a go getter. No matter what we imprint her with she always seems to be her own individual self"

Sounds like my Faith I think to myself holding back a smile.

"Should we see how Gina is fairing?"

I nod and follow her.

When we find Gina/Willow she is with this lanky blonde guy and in a room with the infamous 'Blue Chair'.

"Hey Roxy, how was the tour?" Willow asks.

"I had a great tour. I was kind of skeptical at first but after chatting with Adelle and actually getting to interact with one of the dolls I think my mind has been put at ease"

"You interacted with a doll?" Lanky blonde guy says.

"It was totally unintentional. Boyd was escorting Echo back after a mission. Echo witnessed words between Roxy and I and she came to my defense"

He shakes his head "Echo never ceases to amaze me"

'Will why are we in this room?'

'I have the feeling our minds are going to be wiped of this trip. I spent 2 hours with this geek and nothing'

'Well my interaction with Faith was interesting. She recognized me'

'What? Did she say anything?'

'Not so they could hear'

"Gina, Topher here tells me you have quite an aptitude for all things to do with the brain" Adelle says cutting off our telepathic conversation.

"I guess…I just like to be challenged"

"Do you think we would do enough here to challenge you?"

"I think so"

I feel the tingle again and turn to the doorway. Faith is there with this Boyd person.

"Ah we meet again" He says looking at me.

"I guess so" I give him my best fake warm smile and use all my strength not to look at Faith.

"Adelle perhaps our guests would like a beverage and I will join you as soon as Echo has been debriefed" Boyd suggests.

Debriefed…debriefed. Oh please you are going to put her in that chair and fuck with her head you asshole.
I feel Willow's hand on my arm 'I won't let them hurt her'.

"Actually I want to see if these girls are as serious as they make out to be. Would you like to see just what we are all about here?" Adelle asks.

I look at her. She is issuing us a challenge.

"I'm up for it" I say.

I feel a wave of fear hit me. I know that it came from Faith 100%.

"I have been waiting to see what this baby can do since the moment I laid eyes on it" Willow says running her hand over the chair in kind of gross sexual way.

"Echo" Boyd says to her and she makes her way to the chair and lies down.

She looks me in the eyes as they attach the monitors to her. I try to convey to her that she is going to be okay. That I am going to protect her.

"B…B" I am being gently shaken.

"5 more minutes Mom"

I hear a husky chuckle and hot breath over the back of my neck.

I roll on to my back and blink a few times to focus my eyes. They focus on a pair of deep chocolate eyes and a warm toothy smile.

"Morning Princess" She leans over me.


"Yeah, who else were you expectin'?"

"What happened?" I frown.

"Red and some wicked mojo" She kisses my forehead, her way of getting me to stop frowning.

I pinch her.

"OUCH! What was that for?"

"I wanted to make sure I wasn't dreaming" I smile.

"You are meant to pinch yourself doofus"

"Doofus? Doofus? DOOFUS?"

"Yeah, you are a doofus" She begins tickling me.

"Faith no!" I start to squeal "Please Faith NO!"

The phone starts ringing and I thank the powers that be for that small mercy.

"Saved by the bell" I pant out as she lets me up to answer it "Hello"

"Hey Buff"

"Xander hey"

"I know you and Faith are probably all with the getting reacquainted again but Giles has called a meeting. He wants to discuss a few things"

"Cant this wait?"

"Well it has been two days since you returned and he thinks that is enough to time to…for you and Faith to talk"

"Until 2 minutes ago I was asleep there has been no talking"

"Or screwing" Faith says into the phone leaning over me.

Xander chuckles "Half an hour, Wes's office"

"Fine" I click off the cordless with a huff and flop back on to the bed dramatically.

"Let me guess. G Man is putting a kink in us getting our groove back"

"Yep. I have been out of it for two days?"

"We both kinda have. I think I must have built up immunity to the mind control bizzo but with the kinda mojo Red put out it was enough to shut all of LA down for a few hours"

"Instead it just got me?"

"And those Dollhouse fuckers"

Is it wrong I even missed the way she said Fuckers? I push some of her hair behind her ear "We do have half an hour till we have to be present and accounted for"

"Well I suggest you spend at least 15 minutes of that in the shower"

"And the other 15 minutes?"

"Well, you will be spending them in me."


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