Judge wasn't sympathetic to her plea; they figured the world was better off with one less crazy gambling fool that accidentally got a little trigger happy. Girl should've lied and made up a self defense story. Not like there were witnesses to say otherwise. Guess she'd rather own up than live a lie. I can get that. Story sound familiar? Yea. Kind of reminds me of another young girl that got caught up in a bad time and made with the accidental killing, too. Girlfriend and I are one and the same.
Anyway, I'm basking in my newfound friendship and mourning the loss of my last pack of smokes when I notice Ty's got his eyes back on me. They flash something strange and suddenly I'm cramping up wicked bad again. Something's gotta give here, I'm starting to feel like vamps are near... but that's impossible, right? First of all... the daylight? Not exactly a party for those sportin' a cold shoulder and a pair of fangs. Secondly? Prison's supposed to keep out the supernatural. It's got enough evil without the things goin' bump in the night to crowd up the cells and give the taxpayers more to bitch about.
"Faith, you okay?" A worried voice queries at about the tenth time I've spaced out today. Man, if I don't get a grip on myself soon, I'm gonna develop a rep as a space cadet.
I tear my gaze away from the creep's and flash Trina an apologetic grin. "Okay? You kicked my ass, girlfriend. The pride's smartin' some but other than that I'm five by five."
I laugh, amused that no matter where I go, nobody gets my trademark phrase. "In other words, I'll live." I smirk some in her general direction, making sure she's getting a load off of my patented smart ass look. "You're safe from the wrath of Faith... so long as you teach me those hot moves of yours. I'm short on smokes and a few cheats could cover me from now until my parole comes up. So what do you say? Help out your hero?"
The word `hero` comes out laced with the bittersweet. I do my share of good deeds, but I'm far from balancing the scales yet. I'm still paying, still guilting, and still regretting everything I did from the time I set foot in that alley to torturing my wannabe Watcher Wussley. Man, I wonder what the guy is up to these days. I hear he went through some rough times with stealing Angel's kid and all.
I'm still trying to wrap my head around Soul Boy being a daddy. Guy just doesn't strike me as the daddy type, you know? It's like me saying I like pink and really, really want that white picket fence and two point four kids. How do they even figure point four kids anyway? I get that it's just a statistic, but dude, at least make it believable! Ends up sounding like you get two normal kids and one missing an arm, a leg, and maybe a finger or two. Not exactly the prettiest picture to paint when making up the perfect family. Nobody wants a gimp.
"Only if you swear not to use it against me," she replies with a little smile of her own that gives me a nice feeling inside my jittery stomach. "But it's fair game against the rest."
"Wouldn't dream of it," I grin, a real one that manages to reach my eyes. That's been happening a lot more lately. Funny how a place meant for misery is one of the only places that's ever brought me any sort of happiness. "I think it's safe to say the student won't be outdoing the master anytime soon."
The whistles blow then, signaling for us bitches to get a move on. I start to march along with the rest of my compadres when I get those cramps again. At this point I'm beginning to wonder if I got a daywalker in the crowd or if I'm just suffering from a bad case of prison slop disagreeing my with my system. I make a sweep of the yard with my eyes, just checking to see if there's anything out of the ordinary.
"What are you looking for?" Trina speaks up when she notices my search and destroy routine in its first stages. I'm still the slayer, even behind bars. If there's a vampire here, I'm gonna take it down.
"I got a bad feeling," I admit as I rub at my stomach. "Something's not right here. Something's going on and I'm -- " I halt abruptly when I feel something burn through my left shoulder. The sheer force of it pushes me forward and I stumble into the chick in front of me. It's a new kinda pain for me. "FUCK!"
I look dumbly at the ground when something small, shiny, and bloody hits it a split second after the burning sensation. It's a fucking bullet! I got shot! The anger in me flares up and I barely feel the pain when I turn around with fire in my eyes for the bastard who decided to shoot me up out of nowher. The entire yard's focused on me now. Trina's face is paler than a freakin' ghost's at this point. Everybody else is looking at me with either awe that I'm still standing after getting shot or satisfaction that somebody had the guts to take me down a notch.
"Slayer," I hear a voice growl from above. When I look up, I see Ty up in one of the towers they got set up with sharp shooters to take down any possible escapees quick and easy. Sure enough, he's sporting a still smoking pistol and grinning at me with a very nonhuman face. Aww, fuck me! I knew something was off about the guy! Looks like I'm paying now for the ignore him and maybe he'll go away 'tude I've been rockin' lately. "Are you ready to play?"
"With you?" I snort, taking his jab as a sexual thing just to piss the pants off him. "Maybe in your dreams, but not here. Gotta tell you, the higher ups ain't gonna be pleased with this little stunt you just pulled."
Then again, I doubt the higher ups are down with the equal opportunity employment when it comes to demons in the guise of a human. I can hear shrieking by some of the girls that are seeing what I'm seeing. Next thing I know the cramps kick in double time when a whole group of demons charge the yard.
I continue on in my rant, touching on the lame fact that a demon's using bullets against a slayer. "And bullets? Never met a shot gun wielding demon before. What's wrong? You ain't got the goods to take on a slayer at her full strength so you gotta cheat? Or maybe you're just lacking demonic skills and gotta stoop to human levels."
"There won't be anybody left at this prison by the time I'm done here!" he shouts back at me viciously. He points at me and then nods to his groupies. "Get her and bring her to me. I want the satisfaction of killing the slayer."
I can't help it, I gotta wonder... why me? I mean, B's the slayer still actually slaying. I'm nothing but a defender of prisoner rights against the chicks that think it's cool to beat on those weaker than them. If they want glory, why not take her on? They must really be desperate for some recognition if they're stoopin' to rogue slayer levels. Hell, at one time, these guys would be working for me. Just one more cosmic fuck over by the Powers that Screw. I really shouldn't even be shocked at this point. It's routine to make my life as hard as possible. I knew I was gettin' too happy. Smile and you get hurt; that's how it's always been for me.
The demons come at me full force, ready for a head on collision with the slayer that's bleeding buckets on the pavement. I'm feeling slightly lightheaded but not nearly enough to make me go down without a fight. They want a fight? I'll give it. I'll give these guys the ride of their lives. I'm riding high on adrenaline and I'm not going down 'till the fat lady sings.
The slay comes back to me ina rush of primeval power. The first demon comes at me and I throw a roundhouse in his direction. My foot connects with his chin and he goes down with a loud `thwack`. God, I love the sound of demon smackin' on concrete. It's like music to the slayer's ear, man. I grab him by what I think is his collar and start body slamming him into the pavement. I got no other means of a weapon here. No stake, no daggers, no crossbows. Just me. Just Faith. My bare hands are all I got against these guys. So what do I do? I snap his nap like a fucking twig. When you can't stab, you break necks.
"Alright," I grin maliciously at the demons coming my way. There's too many for me to handle so I decide it's high time to try my hand at a little game I like to call diversionary tactics. "So here's the thing, I'm a little rusty and I got a gaping hole in my shoulder, the way I see it, I'm easy pickings. What's with this football line of defense you got going on? I'm thinking one good fighter is all you guys need to take me down. So why don't you cut the crap and send your best man?"
The demons stop for a tick, mulling over my proposition. I got good at this game when facing rowdy bitches. I always tell 'em I'll fight their best and it always ends up in some power struggle over who's the biggest butch among them. I'm hoping demons got the same ego problems as people do.
"I'll take you on," A big green guy with slime dripping off him says. "I'm the best."
"No, I'll take you on," another demon speaks up and steps forward to push Swamp Thing aside. I think this one's a polgara demon but I never was one for reading the dusty books. I just remember killing something similar to it once in my Boston days. "I'm the best."
Another demon, this one with horns and scales suddenly charges into Swamp thing and whacks him a good one over the head. "I'm the one that will kill the slayer!"
To cut a long story short, all twenty of these guys started stepping forward with declarations of their greatness. Give me a break, already. Anyone with half a brain would get what I was trying to do. Next thing you know there's a break out of demon warfare -- on each other -- going down in the prison yard. The guards and the girls all look on with a mix of fear and awe at what's happening in front of them.
Why do I suddenly get the feeling that those soldier boys B's ex boy toy used to be a part of are gonna come swooping in with a mindwipe for the entire prison sometime real soon? See, the gov don't want us civilians knowing that the world ain't the pretty place they'd like us to think it is. You see an alien? You're just another whackjob fit for the nuthouse. You see a demon? It was just somebody trippin' on PC. No biggie, right? The supernatural is for the superstitious. There's no such thing.
Nice try, boys, but I know differently.
"ENOUGH!!" Tyrone in his full demon gear shouts out once half the demons are dead on the ground and the rest are looking a little worse for wear. "You're letting this little hussy ruin our plan? What kind of demons are you? Attack her! NOW!"
I just roll my eyes at Ty. "Hussy? Is that the best you can do, lover? I've heard a lot worse in my day. You're gettin' soft in your demon skin, Ty."
Our banter is cut short when the demons go into attack mode on me again. I'm suddenly surrounded by them and put into battle mode whether or not I'm ready to fight in my weakened state. My white tank's stained with blood by now and I can feel my skin clamming up. Just looking down at my hands makes me realize how much of my color is gone. Fuck, I'm so screwed. I'm gonna bleed to death before a demon gets the chance to put out the lights for me.
My legs feel like lead but I keep on trucking. I elbow one from behind as I kick out my leg to meet the midsection of the one coming at me from the front. My teeth are gritted as I bite back the pain from the bullet wound. The adrenaline rush I had before is down to some dangerously low levels and I don't know how much of this shit I can take. Everything's gotten blurry and I'm fighting on pure instinct. Taking blows when they hit and lashing out before I'm recovered. Something hits my head at one point and I go down, earning myself some sound kicks to my ribs. I grab the foot in question and twist it, smiling when I hear bones crack and another thud when the demon goes down in a fury of pain. I'm back on my feet and punching anything I can get to with what's left of my strength.
I only vaguely hear my girl Trina when she starts shouting at the other girls to come to my defense. I'd object and say this is my battle, but I doubt they'd listen at this point. There's only about four demons left, most are either in some deep pain or dead. Then there's another voice, one I don't recognize as prison scum.
"Everybody get down!" Guy sounds like a street kid I'd probably hang with in Boston. Don't sound like he's against me, so I do as the man says. I'm down on the ground in no time flat. "Open fire!"
I look up just in time to see a rain of arrows from crossbows take down the demons that are still standing after our little brawl. I don't know what's goin' on, but whatever it is, I'm digging it. Even Tyrone ends up with an arrow straight through his heart. With him down, I feel safe enough to let my head drop into the grass. Ever have one of those days where you just feel like you've been hit by a truck... repeatedly? Yea, that about sums up the kind of pain I'm in right now. Besides the shoulder, I took a lot of bad hits.
Somebody rolls me over onto my back. Is that Angel? What the Hell is he doing here? It's daytime and I'm... in a shadow cast by the prison building. Okay, making a little more sense here but not enough to make me get what he's doing out here instead of in that swanky hotel of his.
"Hey, you came for the party," I mumble out, half delirious from all the blood loss. "You missed all the fun, Big Guy. Major rumble here today."
"We heard you were in trouble," Angel says with a softened tone to his voice. "We're getting you out of here."
With the big hero speech said, he picks me up and starts rushing me back into the building. Gotta say, I'm not big on the damsel routine; but it feels beyond good to have somebody caring about me again, so all I can do is hold on and grin stupidly as Soul Boy rushes me over to the prison doc.
He speaks to me in a hushed tone as we go, explaining the plan to me. "You're not safe here, Faith. Cordelia saw that much in her vision. We're taking you out of here. Fred's taking care of the security with hacking, Wes is doing some simple magic, and Gunn's taking care of the demons and the guards. Cordelia will be coming to check on you in an hour. By then we'll be ready and all you have to do is follow Cordelia's instructions."
"Whoa there, Soul Boy," I back him up. Is it just me or does this plan sound whack? "You mean you guys are breaking me out? I can handle myself here, Angel. I just got a little banged up but the demons are dead and I'll be healed up in no time and ready to go back to my cell."
Angel sighs some and gives me a meaningful look. We're about 10 feet away from the doc on call that's waiting by the open doors. Somebody must have given him the heads up. "What about the next time this happens? We won't always be here, Faith. One of these times they're going to get lucky."
I'm too tired to argue with the big guy. On some levels, it sounds like a dream come true. Freedom. But at what cost? Am I ready to be out in the real world again? According to Cali state law, I won't be ready 'till I'm 40. I'm seeing things a little more righteous these days, but I'm far from being anything like good girl Buffy. Sometimes my moral compass pulls a 180 and tells me wrong is right and I end up in some sticky situations. Guess if I screw up again, I can always go back to my cell.
"Fine," I agree to the plan tiredly. "Play the hero. Save the poor pent up slayer from the big bad demons. Right now I just want an Advil and a nap."
Angel laughs at my demands before putting me on the awaiting gurney. "You'll get those soon, I promise."
"And I'll give you Hell if you break that, Angel," I call out to his retreating form. I look up at the doc and flash him a crooked grin. "Stitch me up, Dr. Carter."
If only the docs in this place looked anything like the hunkworthy dudes of ER. I'd be gettin' in a lot more fights if they did. I'm still a sucker for eye candy.
About 40 minutes later, I'm stitched up and doped up on something strong. I'm wearing a very fashionable hospital gown and an even more in style sling on my left arm to keep me from moving the shoulder with the bullet wound much. Doc says I'm lucky it didn't pass through anything major, like muscle or bone. The rest of my wounds are nothing short of ordinary and with slayer healing kicking in, the cuts are already closing up on their own and the bruises are fading fast. Doc thinks I'm something extraordinary. I just tell him I drank a lot of milk as a kid.
He leaves me alone to check up on some other patients. I'm obviously not high priority with my good progress and all. Good. If I'm gonna be breaking out of this joint, I don't want to have to knock out the doc that just worked so hard on putting me back together again. I'm silently grinning to myself and poking at my shoulder wound that I can't really feel when Queen C herself walks in, right on time. Gotta say, I never expected to see her in a prison.
Girl's looking the same more or less. A little older, a little softer, but still with a look of `I'm too good for you` sketched on her face. Man, it must be killing her to have to lead me outa here while Angel joins up with Gunn in being the manpower of this break out plan.
"Nice hair," I comment, unable to stop myself from smirking at the shoulder length tresses. She used to have this Rapunzel look going for her.
"Nice outfit," she snaps back when she takes in the sight of me. "Nice accessories too. It really compliments the polyester. I actually think it could be a step up from that biker babe magazine look of yours."
I just snort. I could say a lot about her choices in the past, but part of being the good girl is keeping your trap shut. Besides, she was doing me a favor here. Best to just bite my lip and get on with this thing, you know?
"So what's the plan?" I ask, getting down to business. "Are we just gonna walk out of here or what?"
She nods her head. "Angel and Gunn have everybody outside still. Fred's unlocked the front gates and Wes put some kind of masking spell on the both of us to keep us from being noticed while I march you out of the front gates."
"Cool," I breathe out with appreciation. I can't believe they're doing all this for me. I got a lot of questions, like how did they know and why are they doing this. I get it with Angel. I get why he'd be all gung-ho about breaking me out. But what about the rest? Sure, Gunn and Fred don't know much about me, so they got no reason to object... but what about Cordy and Wes. Why would they wanna help me out? They fuckin' hate me.
"There's also some clothes waiting for you in the car," she says with a slightly malicious tone to her voice. "Wes and I had a lot of fun picking you out a little something. Think of it as payback for the black eye you gave me."
I'm gonna be in a pink dress aren't I? I don't know if that's better or worse than hospital gowns and jumpsuits. I hold back the groan that wants to come out. Play nice, Faith. Play nice. "Great," I drawl out sarcastically. "Can't wait to try it on."
Cor checks her watch, probably some wicked expensive brand name type, and nods for me to come with her. I guess even with the masking spell, we gotta be stealthy. Not a problem for me. It's not like I got a whole lot to say to the chick. I could say I'm sorry about her face, but I doubt she's much in the mood for forgiveness.
We manage to creep past rows and rows of cells without so much of a problem. Girlfriend was right, the front gates were opened and the guards posted there didn't even blink when we strolled past. Gotta admit, I was holding my breath the entire time. It's not that I don't trust Wes to do the spell thing; I just think magic's bogus. It's not something you can control, you know? Spells backfire. The Mayor was big on the spells. Tried to get me in on it but I just told him I'm a slayer, I don't need to be a witch too. Besides, chanting in Latin and burning incense just isn't my idea of a good time. Give me a vampire and I'm happy.
By now it's dark outside. I can see Angel sitting up front in a convertible. Damn, Angel's got himself a sweet pair of wheels! I can't help but grin at the sight. There's a truck next to it. It's your typical beat up macho machine. A good looking black dude sits behind the wheel with a nerdy looking white chick beside him. Guess that's Gunn and Fred. Wes is beside Angel in the passenger seat and if I weren't so grateful for them doing this for me, I'd so comment on the homoerotic vibes I'm getting from two clean cut guys like themselves cruising around together in a convertible. Wes is a little scruffier than I remember. Now that he's lost the tweed, he actually looks something decent.
"What's so funny?" Cor inquires at the sound of my quiet snickering.
"Nothing," I reply but when she gives me a pissy look, I figure it's best just to tell her. "Angel and Wes... they're not, you know..."
I trail off, wiggling my eyebrow at her suggestively.
"Oh god!" she shrieks in disgust. "Ugh, no, Faith, they're not... so very not doing anything near that. I would know if Angel were that way and I can definitely say he is not. What's with you anyway? Angel said you were supposed to be good now."
"I am," I shoot back angrily. "But I can't joke around? Geez, C, get a sense of humor already. I was just trying to break the ice. What are you getting so defensive about anyway? Almost sounds like you got a little thing for our friendly neighborhood vamp. Taking pointers from B now, are ya?"
And man, if looks could kill...
"I knew this was a bad idea," she says through gritted teeth. "First of all, my personal life is none of your business. And second, you're on thin ice as it is Faith. Anymore cracks like that and I'll forget that the powers that be sent me that little vision of you being in trouble and you can march right back into that prison."
I cross my arms across my chest,looking like a scolded child and shrug as if I couldn't care less. "Whatever."
She opens her mouth like she wants to say something but lets it slap back shut. I know I was wicked harsh with the crush thing. Even more when I mentioned Buffy. Cordy doesn't like B anymore than I do. They were rivals in high school, even a drop out like me could spot that much from about a mile away.
Once we reach the cars, Angel flashes me a toothy smile. Scary. I smile back weakly, finding it hard to be cheery after my little verbal throwdown with the prom queen. Wes doesn't even look at me. Not that I blame him, I did torture the guy.
"Everything go okay?" the big guy asks.
"Perfectly," I reply with more fake cheer than an entire pepsquad has when their team's losing.
"Okay then," he smiles and motions for the two of us chicks to hop in. "Let's roll."