Author: Koos van Winden <van_winden_koos[at]hotmail.com>

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Everything belongs to the genius Whedon and his ME

Rating: PG 15 for Faith talk

Time frame: after The Zeppo, evening and before bad girls.

Special thanks for doing the Beta work, Keith

Summary: Faith got an unexpected visit

Part 1

Faith's motel room

Faith was lying on her bed, idly watching TV when heard a knock at her door. <Who the hell could that be?> She rolled off her bed. <Buffy?> She stand up her feet and went to answer it. <Nah.> She opened the door and looked outside.


<What the fuck!?> She stepped outside her room to look for the stranger as she knocks her foot to something.

She looked down and saw a basket. Her eyes widened. A warm feeling suddenly ran along her spine as she saw what was inside of it: a little black labradour puppy, curled up asleep with a plaid blanket. After a moment of sheer warmth and fuzzy feelings she quickly looked around again and ran down the stairs to outside. She looked up both sides of the road, but saw nobody and went up to her room again. Not wanting to wake up the little puppy she gently picked up the basket and went inside.

She carefully checked out the rest of the basket. There was a box beside the puppy, with food in a little plasic bag and a letter. She frowned when she read what was written.

Dear resident,

I'm sorry for the inconvience. I can't take care of the puppy and I hope you or someone you know who can be a home to her.

Thank you very much.

She stared at the letter and then back to the puppy again. Her thoughts were devided between her feelings from the past when she had begged her mother for a doggy and that of responsibility. Her life was crappy and she knew it. A puppy would deserve better. But the heartbreaking feelings of wanting to love and beloved was overwhelming. Her tough decision was made for her when the little dog opened her eyes and the sweet deep dark eyes bored into her own, straigth into her soul.

She smiled brilliantly and her eyes gratefully returned the warmth, while her heart did little flip-flops. After a few moments her conscious restored and she tore her gaze away. <Fuck! I can't take care of her . . .>

She started to walk around her room thinking, until the puppy made soft little noises which stole her heart again. She bent down and petted the black sweetness. Her eyes wettened as she gently caressed the pup with her hands and slowly a little tear rolled down her cheek. She ripped open the plastic bag and offered it some food from her hand. It sniffed carefully and than gratefully ate all the food from her hand, before it whimpered for more.

After she had taken care for the pup, she jumped up and made a little dance of joy. Then she picked up the box, opened it and saw its contents. It was a care kit, with a note of how to take care of the puppy and a little booklet about responsibilities. She quickly scanned the contents and her happy face turned quickly in a worried and most of all a very depressed one. <Damn! I can't do this.>

She looked at it again, maybe there was a way out. The first line said it all: /You and the puppy are home. This is when the responsibility hits new parents./

She wanted to scream out of injustice as she quickly took the basket and walked out of her motel room straigth into a person standing at the other side. She stopped as she saw him knocked down to the ground by her force and looked down at him. <Xander?>

"Uh, hi," he said nervously.

She stared into his face. "What the fuck are you doing here?"

"Oh, I, uh, I was in the neighborhood and I thought to see how you were doin'."

"What do you want?" she growled. "I-I . . ." he stumbled and stopped as he noticed the basket.

She saw him looking at her puppy and took a protective stance. She saw his questioning look and flipping his eyes between her face and the puppy. "It's not mine," she stated, "Someone laid it at my doorstep."

Xander stared for a moment and his face turned into one of recognition. "Oh . . ."

She saw him slowly standing up, not letting her out of side while she nodded.

"You gonna keep it?" he asked curiously.

She glanced at the brown eyed guy with a hint of disgust. <Buffy's geek boy . . .> Her eyes quickly trailed his features before she answered. "Yes." <You can ran to your little miss perfect and tell her that *I* have at least someone responsible for!>

He squinted his eyes into her motel room and than back to her. "Here?" he asked.

Her eyes narrowed a bit. "What's wrong with that?" she asked angry. <Since when do you care?>

"You can't have a dog in that place, Faith," he simply said, ignoring her intimidation.

"And I can!" she yelled.

"Well, that's up to you, Faith. But having a dog is irresponsible."

She pointed a finger in his chest, furious. "So you worry about my little dog, while I can rot inside here!"

Xander didn't back away. "You can't take care of yourself?"

"Hell, I can!" she snorted.

Xander sighed a bit. "Then why are you living in here?"

Xander's relaxing composure didn't have any effect on her. "Where else can I live!?"

"I don't know. Why not with Buffy? Haven't you ask . . ."

Faith's eyes openened at the most ridiculous thing she had ever heard. "What !?"

Xander almost backed away from her by the increased fury in her tone. "Uh . . ."

"That bitch doesn't care a damn thing about me!" she yelled not listening to Xander's little protest. "She fucking pushed me out of her house and from her precious mom the very first day I arrived here." She calmed what when she saw the puppy looking terrified from its basket at her.

Xander blinked and paled a bit. "Faith, . . . I-I," he sympethatically tried.

She walked back into her room, but before she could close the door Xander quickly put his foot in between. "Faith, you are not going to take care of the puppy alone."

She didn't raise her voice as she was afraid to scare her little dog even more. "I fucking will. I am gonna take care of her," she exclaimed as she pointed to the basket.

She walked back into her room, but before she could close the door Xander quickly put his foot in between. "Faith, you are not going to take care of the puppy alone," he said seriously.

She didn't raise her voice as she was afraid to scare her little dog even more. "I fucking will. I am gonna take care of her."

Xander stared her in her eyes, ice-cold. "If you keep her here than . . ." The sudden cold in his voice and look made the tough girl actually shiver. He swallowed his words and calmed himself. "Faith, I mean it. You can't keep a puppy here, 'cause Buffy didn't accept you . . . And you know it."

Especially the last four words rang to her mind. "Fuck it, Xander. I have no place to go and I won't give my doggy up."

"Why not with Giles?"

"Yeah, right."

"What's wrong with him?"

She lowered her voice in a mocking one as she narrowed her eyes. "Nice Watcher for his lack of interest in me," she snarled, "Not even once he asked me how I lived or what my past was like."

"Hey," Xander defended, "He might be a stuffy old brit, but he isn't bad. He means it well and was even willing to offer his life for B . . . " He stuck in the her name as he realized his mistake when she saw her eyes narrow. "Faith, I-I . . ."

But Faith was really pissed when he made her point himself for the way Giles favoured Buffy and had ignored her. She pushed him out, "Out!" she snapped furiously.

"Faith, I'm sorry. I just . . ." He suddenly found himself lying on the ground while Faith had a quick glance at him. She narrowed her eyes again. "Ah, now I get it . . ." she hissed, "You wanna offer yourself for this noble mission, don't you? So that you can show your parents and geek friends your latest conquest."

Xander's eyes widened. "Faith, no . . ." he tried as she slammed the door shut.

Part 2

Faith took care of the puppy for a few more hours. She played with her. First stubbornly and mad, proving herself how well she could take care of the pup, but that changed quickly into the joy and love from a little kid. When time passed she realized more and more again that this wasn't meant to be. Not for her. No matter how much it meant to her. The sun was almost rising as she pulled herself into her leather jacket and gently laid the sleeping black cuddleness in her basket. The dark Slayer looked for one long time at the cute little doggy and sighed as she bit at her lowerlip. <You're meant to be alone, girl,> she thought to herself and opened the door.

She stepped out and not onto the floor as she lifted herself up in the air when she stepped on something soft. She looked down and recognized Xander lying on the ground. He groaned, turned around and looked into her stunned gaze. <What the fuck?> she thought. "What are ya still doin' here?" she asked as she allowed him to stand up.

"I was waiting," he simply answered, cool and calm.

"Waiting? For what?"

"'Till you got out, of course."

Faith blinked. <Huh?> This was the first time she actually had seen a guy waiting whole night long for her to get out of her room when she had the door shut in his face. Especially when she had done it already before with him only a few nights ago. She quickly restored her composure. "Why?" she asked.

"If you think you gonna get away with this than you're wrong."

"With what?"

"The dog, of course."

She looked into the basket and than back and Xander resolved face.

She shook her head in unbelief. "You're so messed up, I simply can't believe it."

"Then don't. I don't care. But I will follow you where ever you go, until I know for sure that that puppy is in good hands."

She had to chuckle a bit. "You must be kidding me."


"Well, than go ahead and stalk me. But I am not giving this puppy up." She pushed him aside and walked away.

Xander quickly followed her and grabbed her by her shoulder. "Faith . . ." She grabbed his hand and shove him away. "Faith, I know you wanna take care of it. And if I knew how I could help you . . ." he shouted. She turned around and stared at him. "Not my basement, Faith," he tried as convincingly as possible.

"Oh, where then?"

"I don't know. But at least let me help you to find something."

Faith sighed as she realized that he wouldn't give this so quickly. "Okay, *suppose* you have helped me," she said calm., before she snapped. "Would you then get the fuck *out* of my life!?"

The door next to Faith's room opened and a big man stepped out, furious. He walked toward Xander with his fist balled. "Hey, calm down. I'm sorry for the noise. We gonna go . . ." he said with an apologizing tone as he barely was able to dodge the swing of the man arm directed at his face.

"I will make sure of that, stalking asshole," he growled as he moved his arm for another swing.

Faith pushed the guy to the ground and took Xander by his arm, almost ripping it off. "Time to prove yourself, buddy."

Before the man could follow, they were gone.


They jumped in Xander's Chevrolet and took off.

"Where are we going," Faith asked.

"Uncle Roary . . . he letted me rent this baby 'till he's mobile again."


"Stacked up the DUIs"

Faith frowned. "He has a place?"

"Not really. But I am sure he knows a way to help."


"I don't know? It's the only person I know who might help us."

Faith looked at his face and thought about the words. <No Red, no C . . .> She chuckled inwardly <Yeah, right.> Then she frowend a little. <Not his parents?>

"Why not Red?"

"Willow? No, her parents won't allow it. Besides, its not that you or Willow are exactly friends."

She stared in front of her and slashed a sly smile. "No, that's right."

Xander turned his face to her. "Look, I know you are not very fond of . . ." He paused.

She faced him again, quickly. "What? Who?"


Faith rolled her eyes.

"He is pretty nice. I'm sure he will gladly take you at his home and . . ."

"I don't care, Xander."

Xander sighed. "Alright . . ."


Xander waited for a while before he broke the silence again. "Joyce?"

Faith gave him a look that would make the Ripper run away.

"Just joking," he defended himself, holding up a hand.

"Not funny."

"Joyce is a nice woman, you know that."

Faith stared at him and nodded. "She is the best." She moved her gaze to the road in front of her again. " And miss 'I wanna have everything' can't appreciate that even a little bit."

"I'm sure Joyce would wanna help . . . She is better than uncle . . ."

"Joyce would wanna help?" Faith quickly interrupted. "You believe that? You know what B is gonna say about that?"

"Faith, if you think I am that naive, than you are wrong. Of course she is gonna be angry. But Buffy can't say everything to her mom. And when she knows how you live then . . ."

"I am NOT going!"

"Faith, this is your puppy, remember? See that little doggy there? She needs a home, a good home. Not a 'I hope my uncle Roary has a place' kind of home."

Faith turned her head unconsciously around. <That damn dog! Why did he have to show up for Christ's sake!?> A pair of little puppy-eyes scanned her features - showing her the same desperation, the same fear she once felt, but most of all the same hope she still had - were enough to convince her. Those feelings she had almost given up, even though that fire still smoldered deep inside of her heart. She surpressed it, with the power of her will, to let it flame again as she had felt the devastating hurt of extinguishing it in one smash too many times now. But this was for her and not for her little friend as she hadn't experienced the same pain yet. She sighed as she ripped herself out of the unwanted thoughts. "Okay, Joyce."

Part 3

It was still very early in the morning when they arrived. But Joyce was already up as Xander knocked quietly on the door, not wanting to wake up Buffy.

"She is a morning person," Xander explained.

"Hello, Xander . . . Faith," she welcomed the two with surprise, but her tone gentle as usual.

"Hello, Miss Summers. Uh, I and Faith . . ."

Faith pushed the basket with the puppy in it in front of Joyce's eyes. Joyce stared at it. "Awwh, what a sweety . . . How, uh, how . . .did you find it somewhere?"

"Someone took the wrong door to deliver her child," Faith said.

"Someone brought this sweety to you?"

Faith nodded. "With a letter to take care of her."

"Come in," Joyce welcomed her, "Let's talk about this in the living room."


The two explained the whole situation to Joyce and Faith was forced by Xander to tell her about the crappy motel-room. They easily convinced the mother that the dark Slayer really wanted to keep the puppy. Before she knew it he stood up and walked away. "I have to go, Faith."

"Hey! You said you wanna make . . ."

"I am sure now and I really have to be back before my parents wake up."

"It's alright, Faith," Joyce interjected. "He is right, you are going to stay here. Don't worry about Buffy."

Faith turned her glare to the wonderful mother smile and reluctantly nodded.

When Xander was gone, Joyce's face went serious again. "It's good that he is gone. Now we can talk about your past."

Faith blinked. She felt trapped, but the kindness of Joyce and the constant reminder of her puppy made her stay. "I don't want to talk about it."

"Faith, I'm not going to force you. But, I can see that something is very wrong and . . ."

"Look, I appreciate this. But I can't talk about it, ok?"

Joyce nodded as she sighed. "Okay."

Faith looked a bit uncomfortable about this whole situation, especially when she heard someone coming down the stairs. "I'm going to pick up my stuff . . ."


She had left the house with her puppy to get her things and was walking outside when she heard the little rant from Joyce to Buffy start. Faith smirked as she enjoyed listening to it. Faith revelled in the discomfort Joyce was putting Buffy through. It was sweet revenge, and even though she knew that it was a very wrong, she still loved it. And now she had a careful woman protecting her and a little friend who she adored. Only when she heard Buffy burst into tears and go to her room after a few sentences did a tiny bit of guilt and sorrow slipped into her happy feelings. <Damn, she can't handle much . . .>

The guilt for Joyce however was bigger and she wanted to help her somehow. She considered it for a moment and thought that is was better to let it go and walked further until she heard the biggest miracle ever when Xander had knocked on Buffy's door.

<I thought he had left?> she wondered as she heard Buffy yell his name when Xander had asked if he could come in. She went closer so she could hear it, very curious as she was. She heard him try to calm her down with gentle words and understanding, until Buffy asked him which side he stood.

Something must have snapped inside of him because Faith heard his voice going ice-cold. "You knew how she lived. You knew what drama she had gone through before she came here. You never told us about her Watcher and how she had to run to this place. You apparently also knew how she thought about guys. You never told me. And you can scream what you want, but the fact is that you were just intimidated by her presence and your position as being the only Slayer . . . First you let Kendra die and now this. Fuck! Did I save you for *that*!" he suddenly snapped.

Faith heard him continue in the same cold tone as before after this outburst. "Well, let me tell you this. I saw her face tonight. Her real face. A desperate and lonely face, and if you think I will walk away from her than you are sadly mistaken."

Then she heard a door slam following with another yell, "And this is not the way you treat your own mother!" as a response to a deeply hurt Buffy calling for him in a cry.

Faith saw Xander step out of the house and quickly hid herself from him. She saw him walked stubbornly away, his face angry, until he was out of sight.

<Wow, who could have thought that,> she thought stunned and quickly decided to follow him.


Highschool Library
Ten minutes later

Faith had followed Xander into the Library and listened carefully to every word.

"Xander, how do you dare to speak like that to me," she heard Giles speak with an unusual tone, which made her shiver. <Wow, another surprise.>

"You left her in that shit!" Xander bellowed, completely ignoring Giles' scary tone.

"I didn't know!"

"That makes it only fucking worse, Giles. You are her fucking Watcher! Buffy I can understand, but you . . . And why the hell didn't you even know she existed in the first place!?"

"I wasn't informed!"

"Wasn't informed? Kendra died. You never even fucking thought to find it out. Your so-called brilliant mind didn't even thought about the remote possibility that another Slayer was walking around?"

Faith heard him actually sigh. "Of course you wasn't informed. The Council hate Buffy."

A pause followed, before Giles finally asked, "Are you finished? . . . Good. Look, I am sorry that I didn't find out about her situation. There was so much going on. Buffy, Angel and. . ."

"Buffy! She is the only one on your mind, Giles . . ."And the return of Angel is all your fault too."


"You fucking agreed with the ensouling-spell."

"Now don't you dare to go there . . ." Faith heard him in a tone that made her skin scrawl.

"We were almost sucked in Hell, Giles! Only by so much . . ."

"How would you know?"

"You never have met Angelus. Never!"

"No!? He killed Jenny. He tortured me. How dare you . . ."

"Twice, Giles. Twice I saved Buffy from him. And one time he tried to kill me."

Another pause followed and again Faith heard Xander sigh. She was completely drawn into this fight. "Look, Giles. I have met him, the real him . . . the monster . . . And if I-I . . ."

A silence fell again. Faith was more intrigued than ever.

"I . . ." he said, his tone desperate.

"What?" Giles said gently.

Another pause.


Faith sat down and started to pet her little puppy as she let the conversation sink in. The little dog barked softly and snapping her out of her trance. Faith looked at her. "Hey, I am still there . . .Wimpy."

The puppy barked again as she petted her.

"Yeah, you are Wimpy," she said calm. She heard the conversation continue again as the Watcher spoke in a soft tone. She heard the conversation continue again as the Watcher spoke in a soft tone.

"Xander, she pushed him in Hell and then he came back. You must understand that this needed my attention and . . ."

"No, Giles, I don't," she heard him say with a harsh tone.

Faith shook her head. <Wow, what's happening here?> She listened carefully to what Giles had to say as she heard a voice from behind.



Cordelia saw the small pup and stared at her. "I don't picture you with a puppy, Faith."

Faith's eyes trailed the cheerleader as she stood up with puppy in her arms. "Need someone to love . . . and men, they can be. . ."

". . . Assholes," Cordelia finished for her.

". . . Surprising," Faith corrected before walking away, leaving Cordelia staring at her and then shrugged it off.


Faith's room

The puppy felt her emotions perfectly as Faith picked her stuff together. The dark Slayer's feelings were mostly sadness or anger. But every time her boss had her attention directed at her, she felt warmth and love.

Wimpy saw her boss crouched down beside her and felt how she ruffled her fur and layed a gentle kiss directly on top of her soft head. She felt her hand slid over her head with care, but a little trembling.

"We will visit the pet store. Will get you an ownership tag and some toys and . . ." she whispered, a little nervous. ". . . I will protect you from the big bad world . . ."

The puppy felt her generousity and thanked her by first sniffing her hand and then gently licking it. She felt her boss instantly relax.

"Aaaw, what sweet." Together with another ruffle was the reply.


Faith came back from her room and walked with the puppy in her basket and a backpack of her stuff towards the Summers' residence as she passed April Fools. Absently she just glared into the dress shop as she saw Cordelia with a dress talking to a costumer.

Faith walked further. <Damn, those rich bitches can have everything . . . Customer?>

She quickly stepped back and looked again. <Damn, what is this !?> Her surprise changed into a wicked grin and she moved into the shop. Instead of confronting the employee directly she just started to browse like a potential buyer.

She heard the owner ask Cordelia to come over and help her, as the other girl approached she turned and smiled. Cordy's eyes widened. "Faith! What are you doing here!"

Faith smiled slightly. "Oh, hello. I think . . . Yes, you could help here, I just can't make up my mind. See this dress and that black one over there. What would fit me more?"

"Faith, you can't pay that."

Faith looked at the label. "Oh, no prob, really."

Cordelia rolled her eyes. "Yeah, right!"

Mrs. Finkel watched the two and her eyes scowled at the brunette. Cordelia sighed and stared Faith's figure and her looks with fake interest. "Black," she said curtly.

"You really think so?"


Faith showed her the blue she was holding next to her body and smiled. "I think this one is so nice on me, don't you agree?" she asked in a girlish tone with hints of decadency.



She nodded quickly as she saw the shop's owner staring at her.


Cordelia rolled her eyes to the blue dress. "It's a beautiful dress and fits perfectly with your waist. The black dress suits better with your form and your *dark* image," she gently explained. Faith grinned a bit and then her eyes trailed to the same beautiful dress Cordelia was admiring to when she entered the shop.

She obeserved the dress for a moment while at the same time Cordelia's reaction. <Oh, this is getting funny.>

"Can I see that dress, miss?" Faith asked interested.

Cordelia stepped in between. "It's not for sale."

"Oh? What a shame. It looks really nice, I think I might wanna buy it."

"Didn't you hear me?" Cordelia mildly growled.

"Why not?" Faith pouted a bit childish as she petted her pup."

Cordelia scowled. "Because *I* am trying to buy that dress, you bitch."

"Look what you did?" Faith reacted upset, "You scared little Wimpy." She sighed and smiled. "Oh, well, I don't want to have a lousy prom dress on layaway anyway. I'm not a name tag person . . ." Cordelia's mouth dropped as Faith continued with high air in her tone while she walked towards the door. ". . . My daddy *has* money."


Cordelia stared with wide eyes at the door until after Faith had left. She briefly looked at the dress and then turned to the counter, looking directly into the angry eyes of Mrs Finkle. "Miss Chase, you are fired."


"You heard what I said."

"You can't do this to me!"

"Your behaviour cost me a costumer again . . . a wealthy one. I can't tolerate it anymore. You are fired."

"But, that unfair . . . She . . ."

"You can keep your pitiful excuses with you. I live from this shop and I don't have to deal with teenage girls who think they can own the world. You are out."

Cordelia rushed out of the shop and ran after the dark Slayer.