Have a Little Faith, Chapter 20

“Hello, Darling,”

Faith opened her eyes.  Doyle was standing by the bed, holding a bouquet of flowers.

“You’re back,” she said, with sleepiness in her voice.  She had just managed to get in a short nap, which was hard in the hospital because they kept interrupting your sleep to take your temperature or give you a rectal exam.

Doyle nodded.  “This morning.  Took a shower and came right here.”

“You got them off all safe, right?  The half demons?”

Doyle nodded again.  He looked down.  Faith looked at his face.  There were actual tears in his eyes.  Faith got up from bed.  She was almost fully recovered and expected to be released today.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” she said, touching his shoulder.

“I can’t believe I left you like that.”

“It was an order,” she retorted.

“We’re not in the army,” Doyle replied.

“I’m a tough cookie,” she replied, sitting on the bed.

“You are, darling.”

“Don’t you blame yourself for what happened,” she said.  “I told you to get lost and I was glad you listened.”

“I know,” Doyle replied.  “But a part of me is still guilty for leaving you there."

“I’m more guilty over losing my cell phone.  I wanted to talk to shortcake so bad.”

Doyle pulled another one out of his pocket.  “Here you go.” He said trying to calm himself.

“Shortcake must be at work.”

“He called, ya know, warned us about Angelus going after you.  That’s what Cordelia said.  She ranted and raved that he was a complete and utter hero for about three hours.”

“You’re not going to be breaking that crush any time soon,” Faith said and smiled.
Doyle shook his head.  “I thought that maybe she’d want me as a consolation prize.”

“Not as long as Lindsey is alive, although I think he would want you to take care of Cordelia.  I’ve much rather see him alive with her, than anything else--”

“Excuse me?” said a woman in uniform whom Faith believed was the nursing assistant.  She was carrying a dozen white roses. “Ms. Price?”

Faith nodded.

“These are for you.”

“Oh my god,” Faith said, taking them.  “Wow.  These are gorgeous.”

“These are pricey,” Doyle said.

“Thank you,” she said to the assistant who then left.

Faith found the card.  “Get well soon from you know who.”

“How do you know that it isn’t Angelus?” Doyle said, looking at the cheap flowers he got from the neighborhood store.

“Because there’s a picture of a cake on the card,” Faith said and smiled.  She held the roses close to her.  It made her feel close to Lindsey.

“Who gave you those?” said a voice from the door.  It was Alex.  She approached the bed slowly.
    
Oh, um—Doyle.”

“Doyle?” Alex said suspiciously.  She knew Doyle would not be able to afford those roses and Doyle already had a cheap bouquet in his hand.

“Yep, I got a friend in the flower business,” he said and quickly changed the subject.  “Ain’t she looking grand?”

“Absolutely glowing,” Alex replied.

“Nothing like nearly getting killed to make things clearer,” Faith joked.

“Are they?” Doyle asked.

“Yep, we got a mission now, all right.  We’re saving the world and we’re saving a soul while making sure he don’t kill anyone.  Are we all in?” she said and smiled.

Alex smiled.  “I’m in.  I always wanted to do something really important.”
 

Angelus was not happy about the way Faith had been foiling all his plans in the last few weeks.   In fact when she stopped his attempt at procuring a rare book by killing the owner, Angelus had enough.  Lindsey was walking by Holland’s office when he heard the crashing.

Holland immediately walked out and closed the door behind him.

“He’s a little upset now,” he explained.

“Sounds like he’s having a psychotic episode,” Lindsey said and gave Holland one of his best smiles.  He liked to make Holland feel uneasy.  The man had tried to manipulate him since they had first met when Lindsey was law school.  Lindsey was glad his conscience overcame Holland’s manipulation.

“He’s stressed,” Holland said, calmly, to a crash. “Lilah kind of leaked that Drusilla might be dead.”

“Is she dead?  Lilah, that is?”

“Nope, he decided to take it out on my office instead.”

Lindsey did not laugh even though it was what he wanted too.  That and he no longer felt guilty about putting Lilah in danger.

“So,” Holland said over the sound of glass breaking. “You doing anything for the holidays?”

“Don’t really have anywhere to go.  I don’t have any family.”

“Slayer!” he heard Angelus screamed and the door flew open.  “I want her dead!” “That’s what we are working on,” Holland said, calmly.

“It’s not working, every time I tried to do something, the slayer is there.  Because of those stupid visions.”

“Visions, oh yes, the seer. What is his name?” Lindsey said.   “Dennis or something?”

“Doyle—“ Angelus said.  “Damn those Powers that Be and their damn visions.  How come it’s my seer that gets staked?”

“Get rid of Doyle,” Holland said, “get rid of the visions.”

“Oh, we need to do better than that.” Angelus said.  “After all, it’s Christmas, the slayer needs a present of cutting her connections to the powers that be.  I’m talking killing Doyle, these annoying singing guys, I’ll even kill her watcher and that bitch Alex Taylor for free.”

“When?” Holland asked.

“Now,” Angel said.  “Come on, Lindsey, let’s go.  Bring Lilah and Lee with you.  I want to show you how the master does it.”

“We should wait,” Lindsey said.  “After all, there is no way we can completely cut the connections.”

“But wouldn’t it be fun to try?”

“It’s Christmas Eve.”

“You are not becoming human on me Lindsey?” Angelus asked.

“No, I want the slayer dead.  For Russell, my plans and my goddamn nose.”

“Then all the more reason to do it now.  I’m tired of waiting,” Angelus said
grabbing Lindsey by his tie. “Let’s go.”
 

“Hey, B,” Faith said on the phone.  “Merry Christmas.  How’s your holiday going?  Oh yeah— you don’t say.  He what? What a fucking jerk.  No, he sounds like he was just trying to get into your pants.  He sounds like jerkoff like that Hope guy.   No, this new guy Riley sounds real cute.  If you don’t take him I will.”

“Ahem,” Wesley said, pointing at his watch.

“Hold on B, I think Wesley wants to talk to you.” Faith shoved the phone into his hand.

“Oh—um—Hello Buffy.  How are you doing—How’s college?  How’s Giles?  Oh really, a girlfriend.  Is she nice?  No—okay.  Here’s Faith.”  Wesley handed the phone back to Faith.

“So yeah, B, it’s been really cool here with my insider and Doyle.  We’re keeping Angelus out of trouble so we can re-soul him—yeah, I know.  Giles learn anything new? That’s a bummer-- Oh, you gotta go?  Well. It’s been great taking to you.  Say hi to your mom and Giles, Willow and Xander and the others--”

“Finally,” Wesley said after Faith hung up the phone.

“What?  You needed to use the phone?  Why didn’t you say so?”

“Long distance.”

“Oh, come Wes, lighten up.  It’s Christmas Eve.  And I talk to Buffy like what? Every couple of months.  We slayers have to stay connected.  We’re the chosen two.”

Wesley did not reply because there was a knock at the door.  He went to answer it.  He frowned when he saw that it was Doyle.  He was holding something wrapped in tin foil.  “I suppose you want to come in.”

“Hey ya Darling,” he said, coming in.  “I have brought over the famous Doyle Christmas fruitcake.”

“Ooh,” Faith said.  “Give it here.”

Doyle handed her to cake and sat on the couch next to her.  “So it’s just you and Wes for the holidays?”

“Yep.  Cordelia’s gonna visit her family, so is Alex.  Kate’s gotta work, but she’s spending the holidays with her dad.  Wes and I are gonna watch It’s a Wonderful Life.  I used to watch it every Christmas Eve with my mom.”

“No family?” he asked Wesley.  He had already gotten the idea that Faith had none.

“In England,” Wesley said, a little uncomfortably.

Faith took a bite of the fruitcake and made a funny face.  She resisted the urge to spit it out.
 

Angelus, Lindsey, Lilah, and Lee were in the limousine.

“Tell me where they are Lee,” Angelus asked.  “I want those Oracles dead.”

“Give me a minute,” Lee said.  He was looking over his files on his laptop.  “The writings say a they’ll be in a place where communication comes together.”

“The phone company,” Lilah suggested.  She wished that Angelus had not insisted she come along.  She was anxious to get to a Christmas party.  She never really liked dealing with the assassination portions of the business.  She considered this fieldwork.  She preferred staying at the office and monitoring things behind the scenes.

Angelus smiled.  “On the right track.  The post office.”

Lee smiled. He typed in a few keys.  “There’s a post office on Sunset Blvd that has a weird inscription on it that reads Gateway for Lost Souls.”

“Excellent, Lee,” Angelus said and smiled.  “I knew you wouldn’t let us down.  That’s our place.  I need you three to help me find the key to get inside.”
 

“Well, anyway, every Christmas Eve, my buds and I get together like we do every year and celebrate Jesus’ birth by getting loaded.”

Faith laughed.  “Maybe you can come by tomorrow?”

“Sure, Darling.”

“Christmas isn’t that big a holiday for me,” she explained.  “But last year, Buffy was real nice and invited me.  I got to spend it with her and her mom.  It was kind of cool in a dorky kind of way.”

“Family doesn’t have to be blood,” Doyle said.

Faith smiled. “Next year—Next year it will be all of us.  You, Wes, me, Alex, even Cordy and Lindsey.  We’re all family.” She laughed.  “Hell, maybe we’ll even celebrate it with Angel.”
 

“Here it is,” Lilah said, as the limousine pulled up the post office.  “Gateway to lost souls.”

“Looks cozy.  You get me the key yet, Lee?”

“Almost there.” He said typing.  “Got it.  We’re in.”  He showed Angelus the computer screen.

Angelus looked it over.  “All right, let’s get going.”

Angelus got out of the limousine, followed by Lee, then Lilah, and then Lindsey.  While they weren’t looking, Lindsey turned on his cell phone, muted the sound and dialed Faith’s number.
 

“Hello,” Faith said, concerned.  Only Lindsey had this number, but she could not hear him.  “Hello, Shortcake?”

“What’s wrong?” Wesley asked.  Doyle looked on in concern also.

“He’s not answering, but I’m hearing voices.”

“Perhaps he can’t speak. What are the voices saying?”

Faith shrugged her shoulders.  “It sounds like a ritual or something.  We beach thee to enter or som—“

“Oh shit,” Doyle said.  “The oracles.  They are trying to break in.”  Suddenly he cried out and screamed.  It was a vision, one that more painful than usual.  Doyle fell to the floor. He saw Angelus breaking the necks of the two oracles.  When it was over, instead of recovering, Doyle collapsed to the floor.  His demon face was still showing.  Faith and Wesley rushed over to him.

“Doyle!” Faith screamed out.  His eyes were closed and he was breathing heavily.  His eyes suddenly shot open.  He returned back to his human face.

“You have to get to the Oracles, quickly, before Angelus kills them.”
 

They had already broken in.  Angelus came forward while Lee, Lindsay and Lilah stood a step behind.

“How dare you enter this place?” the woman said.  She looked over Angelus, then shook her head.  “You are not the right one.  You are only the body.  You are not our champion.”

Angelus smiled.  “And the body can do a good killing.”

Lindsey could not let Angelus hurt the Oracles.  He did not care if Angelus died.  He moved forward. Suddenly the male oracle nodded his head and Lindsey flew back and slammed into the wall.  He fell to the ground into a heap of unconsciousness.

“Hey,” Angelus said.  “You damaged my lawyer.”

“We can stop you and your minions from hell. Now get out!”

Angelus smiled.  “Not until I take care of some business.”
 

Chapter 21

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