Listening to the radio

A change of tune

Author: Norgco <norgco[at]>

Series: Follows ‘Listening to the Radio.’

Couples: Faith/Xander, and the rest as in season 3.

Disclaimer: I own none of these

Feedback: Please.

Sunnydale High School Library, after school

"Where's Xander?" Willow asked, wondering about her oldest friend. He was always here after school, or at least he always had been until 'The Slut' got her claws into him. 'Damn dark haired sex bombs, with their sexy smiles and nice tits, what…'Ok Willow, ease up and explain to yourself where the hell that came from' she thought. And now the red headed would be Wicca had another thing to feel insecure about, 'was Faith right after all.'

"He's working." Faith said proudly. And she was proud, in particular because his attempt to be a good friend to her was working out so well for him. And she was partly responsible for it, which was weird in a good way; she had never been considered a positive influence on anyone before.

"Where does he work, Double Meat Palace?" Buffy asked. Faith looked at her annoyed.

"Don't worry, looserboy will get fired come running back with his tail between his legs before the week is out." Cordelia added. She really did still have a major problem with the breakup, and Xander had told Faith to go easy on her about it. He said she had every right to be bitter. Still, he didn't have to put up with insults like this from his so-called friends when he wasn't here to defend himself.

"No, he has the renovation and repair contract at the motel I live at."

"You mean he works for the repair firm." Giles said. "He can't be the actual contractor, he's too…"

"What, inept, stupid, clumsy?" The Boston slayer said in an accusing tone.

"Well, yeah, I mean ok, he does alright in shop class but he's Xander." The blonde slayer responded. None of the others seemed inclined to argue, they liked him but he was not really very useful.

"GOD, FOR HIS SO CALLED FRIENDS YOU DON'T THINK MUCH OF HIM DO YOU." The dark slayer angrily slammed her fist onto the table, causing it to smash into pieced. "A week or two ago some stuff in my room broke and Xman offered to fix it for the weeks rent."

None of them except Willow was aware that the dark haired boy did things like this all the time. He was, after all, the only sober one in the Harris household, and therefore the one who kept the place going on the limited funds his parents would spare from their booze money. She didn't think about it much, she had her parents disdain for manual labour and thought it was embarrassing.

"Anyway he found and fixed a whole bunch of stuff, they've been spending as little as possible on maintenance for years and its run down." She was calming down, remembering the next scene well; it had been worth having to sneak into Xander's room during the renovations to see. "Anyway he fixed the room and then painted it, and ya shoulda seen the look on the owner's face when he came in and looked around. He said if the rest of the place looked that good he could double the rent, so I talked him into letting boytoy jazz the place up."

"And so Mr. Harris was asked to renovate the whole motel I take it?" Wesley asked. He knew perfectly well what had happened, since he had loaned the boy Council funds to pay for materials. Xander, concerned her recklessness would get her killed, had persuaded the dark slayer to take her training with the younger watcher more seriously, and helping him was a reasonable compensation for that effort. Not that he was telling the Council he needed anyone's help to get his slayer to listen to him. "Where does he get the time, given his attendance at school and so on?"

"Well, he's doing the renovations a room at a time, as people leave." That wussly was the only one with a less than insulting thing to say about her lover was still making her angry. "And of course he subcontracts, he has this guy called Tito the Magnificent who does the plumbing."

Giles decided to let the situation be for the moment. He had, after all, been trying to persuade the boy to stop patrolling with them, and if his reason for doing so was likely to secure the youth's future so much the better. He did think of the lad as a son, it was just that he thought of him as the son you always worry about. The one you fear will wind up in a gutter or an early grave.

"So, courtesy of Faith's, uh, interrogation, of one of the Mayor's minions, we know the Box of Gavrock is arriving tonight." The older Watcher announced. Planning went on from there.

Faith's Motel room, that night.

"Gotta tell ya boytoy," The dark haired girl said as she toweled herself off. The initial post-slayage sex had led to a shower, which led to one of the patented Harris 'fuck her into the shower tiles' sessions. "When ya said Giles Junior could teach me something useful I thought you'd inhaled too much paint fumes."

Wesley, it developed, was exceptional with any ranged weapon. Crossbows of course, but pistol and rifle as well. The last two skills were considered about as useful as being able to teach Koala's to tap dance, both by the Council and the Scooby's. Xander, by contrast, had felt that with the 50 caliber Barrett sniper rife he had acquired and its armor piercing incendiary ammunition fun things could be done. Faith, as a slayer, wielded the weapon, which would shoot through an armored personnel carrier at 400 meters, like a toy.

The man in her life was lying on the bed watching her, feeling utterly at peace with himself for the first time in his life. His tactical sense had told him, rightly, that he could do more for Faith and his friends by organizing things better than he could by patrolling. Or that it was the most productive thing he could do while he learned to fight, anyway. And, of course, there were his friends.

"How could you take up with that skank?" Willow had asked him, a day or two after he had gone over to Faith's to get her side of the 'Deputy Mayor Finch' mess.

"How could I NOT take up with her?" He had angrily responded. "SHE NEEDS ME, and she has no one. Buffy has all of you, and all of you say you don't want me around."

"We need you, I need you." His oldest friend responded in a small voice, close to tears.

"BULLSHIT." He had thrown back, loudly enough for people to turn around in the lunchroom. "You had a choice between me and Oz and you chose Oz. You have no right to lean on me about my love life."

"Is she really that good in bed."

"Find out for yourself if you want." He grinned at her evilly. "Me and Oz will go bowling or something and I'll crash at my parents place."

"I'm not into girls Xander."

"Sure Will, sure."

So lying in the motel room these weeks later, the former Zeppo relaxed. He would be back in the fight, back on patrol, but his first priority was Faith. She had never said, 'I love you', and neither had he. To be honest it didn't matter, what mattered was being able to help, and have someone willing to help him for a change.