Forgive us our trespasses

Author: SHAWN DORCA <norgco[at]>

Series: Final of the pardoned, etc timeline

Rating: Pg

Summary: A mistake in judgement lead to a hospital visit, and what led Faith to be Faith?

Disclaimer: I own none of them except Keph and Ranger Hart.

Feedback: Please

Authors Note: The reference to Colonel Custer is historical except for Keph's involvement. As I understand the history, anyway.

Chapter 1

The hospital ward full of slayers was depressing to Xander, but then they always were. And honestly he couldnt decide if the fact that it was just a training accident made it better or worse.

But the briefing said Mortain demons werent dangerous! Chelsea, the team leader for this part of training said. Team leader position was rotated after each exercise, as part of the leadership skills requirement. Buffys lack of such skills was always a problem, but her lack of understanding that she lacked leadership ability was nearly catastrophic.

No, it said they were not HOSTILE. Was Wesleys exasperated response. The use of the word hostile implies intent to do harm, dangerous simply means the capability to do harm.

One of the downsides of a British public school education is an inability to understand how people who did not attend them think. The Englishman had been educated in a place where no-one would ever say farther when they meant further, and could tell when to use present perfect tense instead of imperfect tense in Latin without having to think about it almost before he could tie his own shoelaces. Consequently he had no idea why Chelsea, who had never been taught the difference between a noun and a verb, failed to grasp the difference in meaning.

Personally I would have assumed anything that was eating a Grizzly bear it killed with its own claws was dangerous, but maybe Ive been a park ranger for too long. The speaker looked like exactly what he was, someone who had lived his whole life in the outdoors. He was speaking quietly to the one eyed man as they stood a distance away from the now heated conversation between former watcher and slayer.

Originally the mission was non-contact, it was just supposed to involve a long hike through rough terrain with a time limit for pickup. The idea being that the leader had to balance the need to maintain a steady pace against the need to avoid causing blisters and strains that would also slow them down, all in the context of varying individual temperaments and walking pace. Teaching slayers to work as part of a team was a new idea and the training course borrowed heavily from various militaries.

It was not supposed to be testing to destruction. Or not quite destruction, due solely to a demon with more sense drunk than Xander's parents had ever shown sober.

It never would have occurred to me to try to take a drunks whiskey away while it was still conscious. Was the slayerettes response. He had been called in to start the inquiry into this mess, a role he had been picking up some experience at as part of his work. And I probably wont be demanding you put up a do not attack the things that eat the bears sign.

As if demons werent bad enough, now we have moonshine whiskey making demons to contend with. He thought. Well we learned two things already. Chelsea has a major judgement problem and there really are demons with enough brains to not play hopscotch in a minefield.


Son, we need to have a LONG talk about all this, cause I agree with the general idea o what your tryin to do but the execution needs work. Given that Ranger Hart was, before getting into the protecting the birds and trees thing, a whole other kind of Ranger into the they let me blow shit up and shoot people thing, his advice was probably worth having in this regard. Oh, and old Kleph gave me two jars of his finest as his way of apologizing for yesterday.

Old Kleph?

Yeah hes been making his hooch out of the berries here for, oh I dont know exactly but apparently he sold a big batch to Custers boys on their way through once.

The demon who did this claims to be responsible for Little Big Horn? Xander looked at the man incredulously. Thats what youre saying, he got Custer tanked and that led to the last stand?

No it was years before that, and anyway he says everybody knew Custer was a homicidal idiot, except the brass in Washington and the eastern newspapers. The Seventh still hate him you know, I worked with them once or twice. The ranger countered. Look Keph avoids hurting humans because it causes trouble for him and hurts his business.

Which Xander already knew from having talked to the big green guy before coming to the hospital. And he really had to see if its bear meat marinated in chilies and homemade rocket-fuel recipe works with beef and Jack Daniels. Because it had been a really interesting crack of dawn breakfast.

Ok, so can I see you in your office tomorrow?

No but Ill pick you up from your room and you can help me work out what to put in my report of this fiasco. He was the parks service liaison, he had a lot of paper to fill in over this.


Xanders regular shrink session, a month later.

The thing you have to keep in mind is that Faith is an artificial construct.


Shes a robot? The man with the eye patch responds doubtfully. Hed been sleeping with her for a while now, presumably hed have noticed.

No. Faith is not just an alias Mary McCormack used when she was trying to avoid Kaikistos, she is a complete character she had to play to be able to do what was necessary.

Because Fa sorry Mary was a nice convent educated girl who wouldnt do any of that stuff? Such as exchanging her virginity for transport, food and spending money from a bunch of bikers. Mary COULDNT have done that, Faith was a horny street-smart girl who got to Kansas City that way and felt fine about it.

Apparently her father was a method actor, and she picked up the living the role idea from him. By the time she was in Sunnydale Faith had done too much for Mary to ever be able to live with it. Prostitution, theft, drug use and sale, seducing anyone of either sex whom might be of use to her

Doc, I appreciate this but arent you breaking confidentiality or something? Why are you telling me this?

Because you are one of the people she kept being Faith for. Was the response. You are important to her as a friend. She cant accept herself, which is why shes still Faith, everyone she knew as Mary was dead except the nuns who Faith would never trust and Mary is convinced will spit on her if they know the truth.

But the nuns called her Faith this was WAY too deep for the x-man. He preferred problems solvable with planning, negotiation, a joke, or a large, sharp, axe. Ah the joys of gaining a part time management degree.

They were told she was known only as Faith, so they used that. Besides nuns take a new name on ordination, so theyre used to the idea. And the law does not recognize split personalities, so they just list Faith as the alias shes currently using.

So she keeps being someone she cant stand because she thinks Ill reject her if shes nice? Thats The former construction worker was lost for words for the moment.


Faith eventually recovered, but never was Mary again. She was a little like both and a bit like someone totally different, but also Xander Harriss wife and the mother of his children.

Willow Rosenburg, with the aid of Kennedy, slowly recovered her sense of being a worthwhile human being.

Buffy Summers became Mrs Elizabeth Luthor, she always did have a preference for men with a dark side to them. Lex and Clark Kent remained friends, although there was a lot of shouting when they eventually found out each others secrets.

Dawn Summers became an archaeologist, eventually proving that the Sphinx really was from a totally different and much earlier civilisation than the one that built the pyramids.

Keph the moonshine brewing demon made friends with Chelsea, who was actually a very good slayer as long as she had someone else to think for her. His marinade recipe was turned into a best selling sauce thanks in partnership with Xander.

Giles married a Welsh woman he met in Kenya and started a family a little later than most.

The End