This is the part where I shake my fist at nikitangel . I saw on her LJ that there was a Faithficathon. I'm not great at writing on demand (as my never-written When the Clock Strikes fic attests), but I couldn't resist cruising by.
My sad little Faith/Xander shipper whined at me because at best only one or two of the offers had them even in the same story, so, I put myself in with a request, which means I'll have to write something in return. (EEEEEP!) If you're interested, you can find it here: http://www.livejournal.com/users/cookie_
Anyway, new Living History part, as prodded on by ludditerobot . Promise to get them fighting by the end of the week. Heeee!
Up to part 47 can be found here
Continued from here
Xander had an overwhelming urge to seek out and strangle Rod Serling as the meeting broke up. Andrew was right. His life was beginning to resemble a very badly run D&D game. All he needed was a singing sword and a pocket full of magic, and he’d be back in junior high with Jessie’s maniacal grin staring at him over the DM screen.
And Faith…what the hell’s going on there? What was she thinking? He watched the dark-haired Slayer out of the corner of his remaining eye as she scooted out of the room in an effort to make herself scarce, cutting off any chance for him to pull her aside and start asking some questions.
Considering that they had a million things to do before their assault on grail central tomorrow night, there was a very good chance that he wouldn’t be able to catch her alone.
Maybe a good thing. I’m not sure if I’m annoyed or just confused, he thought.
“Do you need to talk?” Robin’s voice said in his left ear.
Xander startled. Will he stop it with the blindside? He shook his head and turned around to face Robin. “About what?” he calmly asked.
Robin studied him through narrow eyes and Xander had a sneaking suspicion that the Woodster was sizing him up for a straightjacket.
Xander felt a flash of irritation. Jesus. His life was messy enough. He really wasn’t in the mood to talk things through, especially since it really wasn’t going to help. “I’m good. Could use a few weeks’ more sleep, but I’m good.”
Robin nodded and dropped his voice. “Let’s try not to let personal problems spill over into business.”
Xander dropped his voice as irritation simmered to slow boil. “Do I look like I’m 12?”
“Just so we’re clear,” Robin replied, still nodding.
This is the beginning of one hell of an ice age, Xander thought as he gave a curt nod back. As he watched Robin leave the room, he could feel anger turn to disappointment. Somewhere in there he failed, although god knows he’s not sure how he failed. While he never fooled himself into believing he was the center of the universe and universally loved like Queen C, he usually didn’t earn the active, personal dislike of anyone or anything.
Mostly because you never mattered enough to people or demons for them to dislike you for you, his mind cheerfully voted. “Unless you count Anya all of last year,” he muttered to himself.
“How are you doing?” Buffy asked behind him.
He turned around and gave Buffy a strained smile.
She seemed to fold on herself. “I heard you mention Anya,” she quietly said. “Are you okay?”
Xander was about to answer when the sounds of a first class squabble cut him off.
“Charlie…” Catherine began.
“And once again, yes I can.” Charlie looked like a bulldog that wouldn’t let go of bone.
“Trouble in paradise,” Dawn said as she slid between her sister and Xander.
Catherine was trying again. “For the last time, we are not allowed…”
“And for the millionth time, in matters of medicine, I outrank you, Watcher.” Charlie cut her off.
Catherine’s back stiffened and she threw a look in Xander’s direction. “In most instances, I agree, but…”
“No buts.” Charlie pulled his keypad out of its holder and he began fiddling with a series of buttons. He turned and marched over to Xander, Buffy, and Dawn, with Catherine ineffectually trailing in his wake.
“Look, I’m not saying that I don’t agree with you. I do,” the Watcher Honoria said. “But the timeline…”
“Is not going to be any more screwed up than it already is if I take care of this,” Charlie shot back without looking at her as he stopped in front of the trio. “Show me your hand,” he ordered without looking at Xander.
“Ummmm, what are you going to do?” Xander asked.
“Fix it,” Charlie replied shortly.
“Oh in the name of the Founders!” Catherine shouted in exasperation.
“He’s standing right there. Why don’t you ask him what he thinks? Better yet, why don’t you also ask…”
“Here’s my hand,” Xander practically shouted as he shoved the bandaged appendage under his nose while Catherine stiffened. “Pulling Giles into this is a pretty bad idea.”
Catherine gave him the eyebrows of what-the-hell while Charlie winced and muttered an apology about his temper.
“Giles?” Buffy prompted.
“Well, because he’s, like, a Watcher Founder,” Xander fumbled while his mind raced to come up with something. “You know? Founder is a big ol…well, it kinda applies to everyone in this house. Sort of. Because, you know, I’m a Founder, you’re a Founder, Giles is a Founder, and hey! Wouldn’t you like to be a Founder, too!”
Dawn rolled her eyes.
“Thank you Dr. Pepper for that commercial announcement,” Buffy said with a wince.
Charlie was already working at the bandages. “Who wrapped this?” he snapped.
“I did,” Dawn said.
Charlie gave her a half-smile. “Nice work. Looks like you’ve had a lot of practice.”
“Then what’s with angry voice?” Dawn crowded closer to get a better look at what Charlie was doing.
“Our medic isn’t exactly known for his bedside manner,” Catherine growled. “That’s why we’re stuck with him.”
“Please. You’d walk all over someone who didn’t yell back, Cat-a-rat,” Charlie responded as he revealed the hamburger that passed for Xander’s knuckles.
“Cat-a-rat?” Xander asked.
“What the students used to call me when I taught combat back at the academy,” Catherine responded with a half-annoyed, half-amused smile. “They didn’t know I knew, but…” she let the thought hang with a shrug.
“That’s because you never fought fair,” Ruda bounded into the conversation, watching Charlie as he worked. “She used to trick us into these situations we couldn’t win? And then—whack—next thing anyone knew we had bruises.”
“I was not that bad, little girl,” Catherine sniffed.
“What’s important is that you believe it,” Ruda giggled, “Cat-a-rat.”
“You taught Slayers,” Buffy said slowly. “In a school-like setting?”
“This is where I interrupt,” Charlie said, giving Buffy a meaningful look. “Bad enough there’s too much information about us floating around here.”
“It’s just that…” Buffy began.
“Well, I must say, Dawn, not a bad job here, all things considering,” Charlie interrupted, a clear move to shut down any more questions.
“You going to stitch him up?” Dawn asked.
“I’ve got this,” Charlie held up his medical scanner. “Now that I know the problem, hold on.” Very soon his fingers flew across the numbered pad on the scanner’s surface inputting a series of numbers and equations. In between all this, he asked Xander some quick questions about height, weight, time of last meal, last major injury, and any chronic conditions with such lightening-fast speed that Xander found himself answering before even registering that the question had been asked.
A few moments into the Spanish Inquisition, Charlie allowed himself a smile of triumph. “Got it!”
“Got what?” Xander asked.
Charlie hummed as he fished a clear tube out of a pouch hanging from his belt and snapped it into the scanner. A light, pink-ish liquid boiled into it, filling it completely. When the scanner beeped a completion, Charlie snapped the tube out and ordered, “Hold still.”
“Wait…” Xander began, but his protest was cut off as Charlie slapped the tube right on his injury, forcing it into the skin.
“YEOOOWWW! OW OW OW!” Xander hollered as he snatched his hand back and clutched it to his chest. He felt someone brush past him and heard a thump accompanied by the sounds of one pissed off Slayer.
“WHAT DID YOU DO TO HIM?”
Xander looked up to see tiny Buffy holding Charlie up against the wall in a way that made it difficult for the doctor to breathe. Catherine and Ruda broke out of their paralysis and rushed to pull Buffy off their teammate. Ruda grabbed an arm while Catherine crouched into a position that suggested she was about to let loose with a kick at the back of Buffy’s knees.
Ruda yanked one of Buffy’s arms, forcing her to let go of Charlie, while Catherine backed off.
“You sure?” Buffy asked as she shook herself free from Ruda.
“Yeah,” Xander assured her. It was then that he realized that his hand had stopped hurting completely, not even a reminding twitch of its forceful meeting with the mirror. He looked down at his knuckles and added with wonder, “More than, actually.”
Dawn let out a low whistle. “It looks like it’s already healing.”
Giles burst into the room. “Good lord! What is that racket?”
“That’s what I get for practicing modern medicine,” Charlie hoarsely grumbled as he clutched at his throat.
“Next time explain what you’re doing when you do it to the natives,” Catherine said, as she checked Charlie over. “No lasting damage, but you’re going to have one lovely bruise.” She spared a glare for Buffy. “And next time, ask before you attack. Or at the very least use your brain. Considering who I am, do you honestly believe any of us would hurt Alexander?”
“Well, it looked hinky,” Buffy huffed with arms crossed. “What was I supposed to think?”
“Guys!” Xander cut in. “Dawn’s right. My hand is already healing.”
“What?” Giles was still out of sorts, considering he came in at the end of the argument. Xander could practically imagine Giles’s big brain was desperately casting about to latch on to something and miraculous healing seemed to be just the ticket.
Scuffle forgotten, Buffy and Giles crowded close and watched as cuts on Xander’s knuckles seemed to knit themselves together.
It was Buffy’s turn to let out a low whistle. “Almost as good as Slayer healing.”
“How does it work?” Dawn demanded.
Catherine cleared her throat in warning.
The doctor caught it and deflated slightly. “I really can’t get into the science of it because the pharmacological technology is, ummmm, not accessible at this time, but,” he gave Catherine a slightly defiant look, “the basic idea is that I merely created a chemical compound that kicked his healing factors into overdrive.”
“I’d hate to see this thing cross a Slayer,” Dawn said.
“Works even better on a Slayer,” Ruda teased, the earlier physical confrontation already forgiven and forgotten.
“Wow,” Buffy said softly.
Charlie snapped to all business. “However, Alexander is not a Slayer, which means it will take something out of him. I recommend a good meal this evening and tomorrow morning, eight hours rest…”
“But…” Xander began.
“…with no excuses that you don’t have time, geez Catherine, he really is one of your relatives, and drink lots of warm fluids. By the time we hit the cemetery tomorrow, you and your hand will be right as the precipitation on Novous.”
“Or right as rain,” Giles said, as he held Xander’s rapidly healing hand closer to his face for inspection.
Charlie, Catherine, and Ruda exchanged glances. “I like ours better,” Ruda finally announced. “You haven’t lived until you’ve felt the precipitation on Novous.”