Warning: This chapter is rated Hard R. In fact, if anyone thinks it's a bit too hard R for this site, let me know so I can edit it slightly.
Faith's eyes darted to the monitor, the way they tended to do, and then back down to Dean's face. He was pale, the freckles under his eye lashes standing out. She could feel another set of eyes watching her, watching him. When she turned, Sam was still sitting in the reclining chair across the room, staring at her with confusion in his gaze.
They'd been like that for a while now. Pretending the reason they were quiet was because Dean needed to get some rest. Anything to assure they could all get checked out of the hospital the next day, before the authorities started investigating their claim of a car accident. Or found the body they'd had to stash in the cemetery. They figured the yellow-eyed-demon's host could rest easy inside the trap, and that he'd be a hell of a lot harder to explain outside it.
Bobby, despite the slur in his voice from the headwound, had done most of the talking when they'd had Dean admitted. They were keeping Ellen for observation, too, not liking the concussion that had her drifting in and out.
Dean had nearly bled out before they'd gotten Sam awake.
Faith didn't like the flip her stomach did when she thought about that blood pooling under him. Nights spent fighting monsters and days next to superhuman girls, she sometimes forgot just out fragile humans could be. One nick to an artery and too many long minutes spent talking instead of fighting, and… She closed her eyes, cutting off that thought.
He was alive. They all were. The demon was done. Hell was closed. But dread still pooled inside her, threatening to spill out.
Sam staring at her wasn't helping matters.
"You can go if you want," he said, at a near whisper.
She knew Dean was doped up and running on fumes from his transfusion, but she still looked his way again, as if to make sure he hadn't woken. She knew what Sam was offering her with those words. If she went back with them, back to Bobby's, faced them all, it would be the Spanish Inquisition. She'd have to explain everything. Then she'd have to do it all over again when they didn't believe her story. She was exhausted just thinking of the conversation. Sam was giving her an out.
"You not going to ask?" she said, when she was sure Dean wasn't going to wake up and hear them.
Sam shrugged his good shoulder. He looked beaten and worn still from Cold Oaks, but there was rosy glow in his cheeks, and energy. She worried about where that energy was coming from.
He'd told Bobby. She'd heard him, on the way to the hospital. Sam had told Bobby he'd been able to control the hellhound, just with his thoughts. Just like a demon. That was how he'd been so sure he could shoot first without getting them killed.
This was what her dream had been warning her about.
"I'm called a Slayer," she said. It spilled out, like it had been waiting for a chance. "Think super-hunter. My powers popped up like yours did, when I was a teenager, but only because the slayer before me kicked the bucket. That's kind of how it works. Used to be, at least."
"Your powers come from a demon." It wasn't a question. Sam chewed his lip. "I've never heard of a slayer in any of the lore."
"You wouldn't. I'm not from around here." At the look on his face, she sighed. "I'm not good at this part. At explaining mystical shit. Never even paid attention when Red tried to give me the mojo breakdown. Let's just say, where I'm from, things are a lot like they are here. Lots of creature features and most the same people. Same president in the white house somehow. Same AC/DC. It's the little things that seem sideways, like vampires. Those are different, and I'd know. Slayers are kind of known for their skills with vampires. It's a whole thing."
Sam blinked at her, like he wasn't quiet sure he was awake at the moment. "You're trying to tell me you're from sort of parallel world?"
"Sounds like a fucking comic book when you say it that way," Faith said. She leaned forward. "I got buddies who've seen other dimensions, places far from Earth, but they're all weird, alien like. This place is basically home. If home didn't have me in it, ya know?"
"Like a mirror universe." Sam's brow wrinkled. "How'd you get here?"
Faith's eyes widened. "You actually believe me? Shit, I barely believe me."
"I can't prove otherwise," Sam said with a crooked grin. "How'd you get here?"
"I followed a demon down a rabbit hole. It was a weird trip. In and out and I can't even remember most if it, but when I hit land I was in that old ghost town." Faith hesitated. It would be easy enough to leave the story there, but she didn't want to. A part of her wanted to see what she expected on Sam's face, that look of fear and distrust. That's what he should be feeling right now. "I got a lead, one that told me to take that plunge, though. Sometimes I have dreams, like not normal ones. Usually they're vague, maybe a vision of some battle to come. Cosmic riddle shit, ya know?"
Sam huffed. "Yeah. I do, actually. Mine were related to the yellow-eyed demon." He looked down, finding his knees suddenly interesting. "I guess we know why now. It's his blood in me. Still in me. That's the connection."
"Yeah, well." Faith shifted, uncomfortable. "Some people might think that makes you evil or something. I think it's bull, personally. Power corrupts and all that, but doesn't have to, especially if you don't use it… Someone in the universe thought yours would corrupt you. I think."
Sam had a question in his eye. "It wasn't an accident, you landing in Cold Oaks."
"No. It wasn't. Some of my dreams, I hear from this being. She's the spirit of the first girl who became a slayer way back whenever, ya know? She's wild, more beast than babe. Her own people thought she was too much like the demons she'd saved them from and kicked her out of society. She showed me an image of you. Asked me to kill Sam Winchester."
Sam stared at her, and she waited to see that fear behind his eyes. Instead, there was that kicked-puppy sadness he'd been sporting since the demon had snatched him. Faith wanted to reach across, slap him just to get a different reaction.
"My dad…" Sam swallowed hard. "When he knew he was dying, my dad told Dean to save me, and if he couldn't save me, he'd have to kill me. You wouldn't have been the first hunter set on killing me. So, why'd you save me instead?"
Faith's eyes flickered to Dean. He'd rolled slightly in his sleep, his stitched up leg still propped high, but she could see his chest moving as he breathed. He was still out of it.
"I've been thinking about that," she said, quietly. Then she looked back to Sam. "I told you shit was complicated with the slayers, right? I've got sister slayers, living ones who still have our power, back where I'm from. Long story. But my point is, I thought Sineya, that first girl, I thought she'd picked me because she could see who I really was. I hurt some people, Sam. And I killed some people. Humans. I lost my fucking mind. Went dark. Then someone stopped me, and I had to face myself. I'll spend every day of my life trying to make up for what I did back then, but it won't be enough. I'm still the Dark Slayer to the people who give a damn. So I thought this spirit chose me for the mission because she knew I had that monster inside me."
She straightened, reaching out to touch the edge of Dean's bed. "But the thing is," she continued, "that bitch knows all of me. So she knows I'm not very good doing what I don't want to do. Self control being an issue and all. If she really wanted you dead, she should've picked another toy soldier. I don't know if she just sucks at her job, or if I'm right and there's some other reason she wanted me here. She's quiet when it matters, ya know? But any way around it, I think I was put here to lend a hand."
"Things would have gone differently without you, I'm sure … I don't know why," Sam said, shaking his head, "but I actually believe you. Every bit, Faith."
"Shit's too crazy to make up?"
"Something like that." Sam let out a long sigh, rubbing at the back of his neck. "How did she do it, that first girl? How'd she not become a monster?"
Dean liked bars. It was no well kept secret. His favorite part of walking into a new one was the way they always felt the same, no matter what small town he was rolling into. He knew how to blend in there, with its patrons, like he was at a family reunion, so he was glad that Faith Lehane had felt like a shot of whiskey tonight.
He nursed a warming beer, watching her from a booth seat as another half-drunk fool worked up the courage to walk up to her barstool. The woman whispered something in the guy's ear and he stumbled back, suddenly more interested in finding a seat far from hers. Dean smiled into his glass. That woman sure had a way with words. He would have loved to have heard what she told the guy.
Another long minute passed, and he wondered if tonight was a good night. If he'd get another chance to make a move before she packed up and ditched this town. The revenant she'd been after was toast once more, and it had taken him only a cursory glance to know she'd done the job right. Not that he doubted her abilities.
Sam had, after all, told her what she was, what she really was.
That had been nearly two months ago, when he'd woken up in a hospital, already griping about being stuck there before he'd fully opened his eyes. It had all come flooding back to him, the hellhound, the demon, the blood on his brother's lips.
He was still amazed all of them had made it out of the battle alive. Some nights, he woke up thinking the demon was out there, trying to destroy what was left of his family. Sam was the same way, heavy sweats and bizarre withdrawal symptoms from the blood in his system taking the place of his painful visions, but he still shot up asking if it was real most nights. Dean was glad to remind him. Glad to tell him the bullet worked.
It was hard to believe that part was over. It was harder still to believe the story Sam had told him, while Dean was still high on pain meds and hooked to a machine. Sam had given him and Bobby the blow-by-blow, and while they'd both voiced their speculation, a shared look between them said they didn't doubt the possibility that she was telling the truth.
A slayer. A demon-powered demon hunter.
His stomach had done about fifteen flips during that story, and it wasn't until after that he realized the real kicker. She was in the wind. Gone by sunrise without a trace, without so much as a goodbye.
"Do we hunt or thank her?" Bobby had asked.
Dean was still trying to answer that question. While he was healing up at Bobby's, he'd started keeping tabs, putting out feelers to people in the hunting community about a girl who was new to the job. One of Bobby's old hunting buddies, Rufus Turner, had been surprisingly helpful at finding her. From there, Dean had simply followed, keeping an eye on her work. Dropping the tail long enough for Sam and him to finish up a hunt before picking up her trail again. The last hunt they'd been on had sent him toward an old flame, but he hated himself for thinking about Faith every time he looked at Lisa's dark hair. It had probably been a good thing the kid hadn't been his.
Dean was pulled out of his thoughts when Faith threw back her shot, then stood up, pulling up the jacket laid over the next stool as she moved to leave. Another town gone, time to move on. Dean pulled out his wallet, laying a twenty on the table as he moved to follow her lead, but he hesitated when Faith suddenly turned around, locking eyes with him. There wasn't a bit of surprise on her face.
She strolled toward him with a small twitch at her lips, like she wasn't sure if she should grin or scowl. "I saved you a seat," she said, "waited half the night for you to sit in it. What's you deal, Winchester?"
Dean opened and closed his mouth, lost for a moment. "Just admiring you from afar," he finally answered.
"How 'bout you don't," she suggested. She tugged something out of her pocket, tossing it onto the table. "I asked for two when I checked in. Thought I might need it."
Dean caught the card. It was a key to a room at the motel next door. "You know, a guy could take this the wrong way," he noted, holding it up between two fingers.
"Let's hope so," she said, turning her back to him. "I'm getting tired of waiting."
She walked off without another word, drawing eyes from around the room, including Dean's. Dean swallowed, his mouth suddenly wet, and he tapped the key card on the tabletop nervously. He'd been expecting a fight when he finally confronted her. He'd even expected himself to be the one picking the fight. But now he'd forgotten whatever his plan had been. He'd told Sam, and himself, that he was keeping up with her to make sure she was hunting and not hurting people, to look for hints that she was working with another demon or that her powers were out of control. Bobby had even given him a damn list of questions to ask when he spoke to her next, the old hunter enjoying a somewhat frustrating rabbit hole of research from what she'd told Sam.
Sam had joked about Dean just wanting to get in her pants. Little brother was half right. Not that he'd admit it, but part of him had already concluded that she really was from another version of their world, and that meant she was alone her. Dean didn't want that for her. He knew what loneliness could do to a hunter.
He sighed, pocketing the card before sending Sam a text: don't wait up.
Faith wasn't expecting to wait. She'd stripped down to her panties and tank top, lounging back on the bed to watch television, and she was through half an Evil Dead movie before she realized she'd been stood up. The son of a bitch had been in the running for Stalker of the Year for weeks, and now that he had an invitation, he was taking his sweet time.
"Just like a dude," she muttered, turning off the TV.
The rasp on the door almost startled her. She raised a brow, barely moving to sit the remote on the side table.
"I gave you a key for a reason," she snapped.
He stepped in a moment later, giving her a long, lingering look before his mouth dropped open. "Guess I didn't misread that invitation," he noted.
"Got to spoon feed it to some guys," she complained. "Jesus will you get in here and take your pants off already."
Dean cleared his throat and found the seat beside the room's small round table. "I can't believe I, Dean Winchester, am saying this, but we need to talk, Faith."
Faith lowered her eyes, suddenly feeling every inch of skin she was showing. She crossed her arms over her chest. She resisted the urge to say something to get him riled up and pissed. That was what old Faith would have done, she reminded herself. Get angry over rejection. Do anything to get some satisfaction. She didn't want to be that person in front of Dean.
"So I'm guessing Sam told you about me."
"Wasn't supposed to be a secret, was it?" Dean asked.
"Not from you." She shrugged, propping her head against the board behind her pillows. "Would have told you myself, but you were busy being half-dead and whatnot. Plus I figured Sam had a right to know first." She looked up, a question in the air and from the deep frown on Dean's face, she knew the answer. Sam had told him the part about her being sent to kill him. Big bro couldn't have been happy to hear that she'd been thinking murder from the get-go. Maybe that had been what was killing his boner.
"He took it well," she added, still shocked by Sam's response.
"We've seen some shit," Dean explained.
Faith tried to put herself in their shoes, and, yes, she knew that if they'd knocked on slayer headquarters with that story, believing them would have been the easy part. If their lives were even remotely like hers, they'd been in weirder situations before.
"So did I pass your tests or whatever?" Faith asked.
Dean narrowed his eyes at the lamp, shaking his head at whatever he was thinking. "When did you notice me?"
"That car is a beauty, but she ain't exactly inconspicuous." Faith grinned at him, liking the way his eyes crinkled at the edges when he was amused. "So did I pass or not?"
"A-plus in Hunting 101," he assured her.
"I meant the part where I'm human. Did I pass?"
Dean gave her a strange look, like he was confused. "I… That's not what I was looking for, Faith. I know you're a hundred percent woman." He tried to make that last part sound flirtly, but his voice was too serious for her to take it that way. He ran a hand across his mouth, as if to stop whatever he was about to say. "Listen, I know what you are, okay? I don't fully understand it, but I know. And wherever you get your power, well that makes you a lot like Sammy. And I'll never let anyone tell me my brother isn't a person, so don't think for a minute I see a demon when I look at you, Faith."
Faith didn't like the way her face felt hot. She sat up straight, curling her legs beneath her until she was kneeling at the end of the bed. She reached out, grabbing Dean by the sleeve and tugging. He stood up, following her over and bent down, catching her lips with his. The kiss was chaste, lingering. It felt small and bright, like a match.
Faith let out a breath against his cheek before gripping the sides of his shirt and twisting him down onto the bed beside her, leaning over him for another kiss. He returned in full force, but she wanted more so she smothered his body with hers. She slid a hand between them, trying to find a way through his shirts and decided to roughly tug his belt out of its loop instead. He reached down, grabbing her hand suddenly and pulling it up to his chest. She could feel the fast beat of his heart beneath her palm.
He was staring up at her with wide, blown pupils, lips parted breathlessly. Beautiful, if a guy could be called beautiful.
"We're not doing this," he said, sounding pained.
She lifted up off him. "Kinda feels like we are," she disagreed.
"I want to see who you are," Dean said, his throat pulsing as he swallowed. "I want to see Faith."
What did that even mean? She wanted to bite those lips. "You're fuckin' looking at her."
"We're not having sex tonight," he said. "You just finished a hunt. I know where your brain's at, because I know what I'm like after a hunt. You want a distraction from all the ugly, and I want you here with me when I'm inside you. I don't want to just screw you like it's a bad habit, Faith."
"If I'd known you were such a tease-"
Dean cut her off, arching forward to catch her in another kiss. He wrapped an arm around her waist, turning her onto her back so he could lean over her.
"I've got a feeling," he said, into her mouth, "that you like to do things rough. Get it done. And we can do that, but not today. Because I don't want this to be a one and done. Gonna leave you wanting more." He sealed it, pressing his lips to the corner of her mouth and letting them trail down to the nape of her neck. His words tickled at her collarbone. "There's no one else like you, Faith."
"Not in this world," she breathed, enjoying the sensation.
"Not in any world," he said, his voice husky, heated.
She could feel him even through his jeans, pressed against her thigh, but he didn't make so much as a move toward himself. Instead, his rough fingertips, circled her inner thigh, edging into her panties. She buckled against him, hoping for contact, and he raised up, his eyes wide and glassy as they looked down at her.
"Just want to see you," he said, like the words made sense.
She could barely hear them when his fingers slipped inside her, hard and needy and deep. She whimpered but didn't dare move to stop him. His thumb rolled against her clit in wide, lazy circles.
"Harder," she growled. "Faster."
"No," he said, quietly, keeping his slow pace. It was murder. "I got you, Faith."
The seconds passed, every one of them torture until she felt it building inside her, that pulse rocking against his hand, promising a tight squeeze and scream. He pulled his fingers free, letting them work her from the outside in. Her body arched, electricity rolling from her toes to her lips. She pressed her head against the mattress like she could make her body curl back in on itself, and shook against him like she'd been struck by lightning.
"I see you, Faith."
His fingers stayed hard at work, his lips moving down to greet them. Her eyes closed, and she let her body ride out another storm. Dean Winchester was going to be the death of her.
The dream came, like it usually did, but instead of a bright desert, it was night and there was a playground laid out in front of her. It took Faith a moment to recognize it, but she finally did. It was one of the places she'd taken the junior slayers hunting in Cleveland, when there was a rumor of something hungry sneaking through the nearby sewer entrance. Faith spotted the woman on a swing, the chains creaking as the moved back and forth slightly, the toes of her boots staying on the ground.
"It reminds me of the one in Sunnydale," Buffy said, sounding bored. "Do all playgrounds look this much alike?"
"Pretty much," Faith said. "Of course, I wouldn't really know since I'm not some perv who spends her days playing with strange children."
Buffy blinked, as if she hadn't realized anyone would be replying to her question, and straightened, bringing her swing to a full stop. "Faith? I can't believe that worked."
Faith's eyes narrowed as she looked the other woman over, like she couldn't figure out what was different. "Your hair's longer," she said, quietly. "You're not the first slayer. Buffy?"
"In the flesh," Buffy replied, "well, not actually in the flesh. More like, in the astral projected spirit." She waved a hand, brushing off the comment. "Willow did a thing."
"Like she does." Faith nodded. "So you found me. Guess I have some explaining to do."
"First slayer sent me to kill a guy doomed to end this world."
"Ah." Buffy was silent a moment. "Fast story."
Faith shrugged. "I didn't kill him. Banging his brother in the morning though."
"Hot?" Buffy asked.
"Oh yeah." Faith eased over to the swing next to Buffy's, plopping down. "So, not that I hate seeing your face, distance making the heart grow fonder and all that shit, but is there a reason you're here?"
Buffy turned from her seat, giving Faith a hard look. "We were afraid for you," she said, quietly. "You just into a hole and we don't know if you're headed to Hell-verse or just taking a vacation. It was rude."
"I'm not a sharer," Faith said.
Buffy sighed. "We learned some things, while we were looking for you. Willow, she's so connected to what we are not, but even she didn't know how to reach you to the essence of the first slayer to find you. Sineya wasn't giving you up without a fight. So, Will tried a different approach. She thought if she could focus on the power itself, she could figure out where you were."
"And here I am."
"Here you are." Buffy smiled slightly. "Will's got talent. She learned some things, about the demon we were made from. Some things our visions were keeping from us. Faith, those shaman, the ones who tied Sineya down, we don't think they were human, and they didn't pick just any demon to rip to shreds either. It was evil, that thing, and they put it in us so that they could make something good from it. To restore a balance."
"I kind of know this story," Faith pointed out.
"It was the demon's fault. The creatures that roamed the earth back then, it was the demon's fault they were there."
Faith frowned. "It made the monsters? Vampires and werewolves, oh my?"
Buffy shook her head. "No, no that's not what Willow says. She said she asked the void and the void told her the creatures were there, the Mother's Children, it called them, but this demon decided to get creative and it released these Hell beasts. Things so rotten that, and I quote, "Lucifer himself," refused to let roam. The uber-demons mated with the Mother's Children, and suddenly Earth was overrun. Heaven and Hell both intervened to fix the mistake. They couldn't put the creatures back in the box, so they decided to even the playing ground."
"By creating the slayers," Faith finished. She swallowed hard. "Always a balance," she muttered. "As cool as this history lesson is, I don't think I'm getting the point of this visit. What are you trying to tell me, B?"
"Willow called out, trying to find the essence of the demon we were made from," Buffy replied. "It had a name. Only, she didn't just find you when she called out. The world you're in, that demon still exists. Whole. As in, there wasn't a reason for him to torn apart and shoved in a village girl thousands of years ago. Asmodeus the Punished, he's still kicking in that world."
"That's comforting." Faith swallowed hard, thinking of the yellow-eyed demon, of what he'd said about her being another demon's creation. There was a reason the yellow-eyed bastard recognized something in her. "Better keep eyes on my six, then."
Buffy tilted her head in a short nod. "If that creature felt Willow's summons, it might start looking for you…And another thing. That demon never released those super creatures from that world, if he's still standing. Which means they're there somewhere."
"They're not getting out," Faith assured. "We'll make sure of it."
"We?" Buffy smirked. "End of the World guy and his hot brother?"
"They're good at this job," Faith mused. "So if we manage to stop what ever Apocalypse is headed this way, we'll look into the uber-demon lair thing, 'kay? Which, by the way, I can't believe you're still trying to give me assignment from another universe?"
"No escaping Bossy Buffy." Buffy gave Faith another look over, somewhat somber. "You seem… lighter."
Faith chuckled. "I'm happy here." She shook her head in wonder. "It's been blood and doom and destruction since I arrived, but it feels like home, ya know?"
The words faded, like the wind had caught them. Faith found herself blinking at a white sheet.
"Way to drop a bomb and run, B," Faith muttered.
Someone groaned against her hair, and Faith remembered where she was, who she was with. She felt him flush against her back. Faith shifted her body up the length of the bed, enjoying the hard prod she felt against her hip. She resisted the urge to wiggle a bit, get him worked up in his sleep, and carefully lifted the arm he had around her waist and rolled over instead, so she could see his face.
She'd lost her panties in the night, but he was still decidedly too dressed, his jeans unbutton but still pulled up, his wrinkled undershirt hiked up to his belly. Faith reached down, tugging his zipper the rest of the way down, and slipped her hand into his jeans. He was throbbing and hot under her touch, and it made her light up from the inside. When she looked back up, his eyes were blinking to awareness.
"Faith," he breathed, his voice husky.
She could listen to her name on his lips all day. "My turn to see you, Dean Winchester," she said, at a whisper.
He smiled softly at her, and she leaned forward, licking it off his lips. She could wake up every day like this, she realized: a warm body beside her, a welcoming grin, beautiful eyes that wanted to see more of her. This must be what it felt like, belonging somewhere. Having a home.
Faith sucked in a shallow breath. She had a home. Right here, right now. And she'd be damned if she let any evil demonic asshole take this from her.
End Notes: End of the story, for now. Obviously, I hope to write another story, after this set-up fic, to see how things go in the SPN verse after this big change in events, since we all know the Apocalypse is still looming in the background. And there are some questions to be answered from the Buffy 'verse, as well, since, with the introduction of Heavenly and Hellish duplicates, we have some misplaced Archangels and princes in their world, don't we? Well, not exactly misplaced...I plan to do a quick tag to this story about a certain demonic influence, and I might just put it here as the epilogue so it's easier to find. But, until then, thank you for reading my story. I really do value all your comments and suggestions, and maybe I'll even be able to work a few in to the sequel.