Gah! I can't believe the time! I've been typing for almost all three hours since I got home! I'm with nikitangel...how the hell does everyone keep up with their own journal, journal comments, and FList when RL pulls you away? AARRRGHHH!
On the good news front, my Faith-fic-a-thon is something like two-thirds done. And the more I write, the more nervous I get. Yet another fic that's gotten away from me. That'll probably settle in at 40 to 50 pages. Linking the story to Moby Dick may not have been my wisest move. Let's just say I'm grateful the deadline has been pushed to mid-July. It'll give me time to finish it, let it sit fallow, and then go at it like a copyeditor. I've never written something this dark before and I'm not sure how it's going to go over.
For people just tuning in or wanting to go back to the beginning, you can find the run of parts here.
Continued from here
“Ooooh, such a pretty ass.”
“Eeeep!” Faith squeaked as Willow reached down and took two handfuls.
She got a moan and an ass massage in response.
“Look, not so much do I mind you copping a feel, but can you do this shit when we’re in private?” Faith asked as she stumbled out of the narrow passage into cavern beyond.
“Aaaaah, yesssss,” Willow hissed as wandering fingers went for a back entry.
“That is it.” Faith said as she got into the cavern where she left Xander, Robin, and the others. She plopped Willow on the ground with a glare. “Ain’t like I’ve had my share of fun time with the ladies back in the day, but these days I prefer the ladies to have dicks if you get my drift.”
Willow gave a good writhe and moan in response.
“Great, you’re fucking getting laid while I’m trying to save your sorry ass.”
Faith turned around and saw Xander jogging over to her followed by a phalanx of Slayers, their shadowy faces recognizable in the light of their headlamps. She was surprised to see Robin wasn’t with them and she scrunched her eyes an effort to notch the superior Slayer eyesight up. All she could see beyond the group coming at her was a mound that probably was Robin on the ground and leaning against the cavern wall. Whatever they were fighting was nowhere to be seen, although she could hear a distant growling and hissing echo that seemed to get closer and retreat.
A million questions she had, but right now she had a situation, so she squelched the urge to charge over to probably-Robin mound to see if he was okay. “Yo! Keep the kids away from this shit. We got ourselves a huge problem,” Faith shouted.
Xander halted and glanced behind him. “You heard her. Vi, go stay with Robin. Rest of you, stay on alert,” he ordered. “The snake may be trapped for now, but there might be other surprises and I’m not in the mood to get blindsided. You hear anything, you yell, okay?”
While the girls didn’t quite salute, they definitely did has he ordered without question. Vi went and stood by Robin while the other three approached the entrances with swords at the ready.
Xander jogged the rest of the way over, his crossbow hanging from his right shoulder but not loaded. He didn’t bother to look behind him to see if they did as he said.
“Dayum, way to go masterful there,” Faith couldn’t resist teasing. “Where’s our trap?”
“No worries. Snake breath got itself stuck, so it’s under control at the moment.” Xander skidded to a stop and kneeled down next to the writhing Willow, placing his crossbow on the ground. “What happened? Is she hurt?” He recoiled and looked at Faith. “Her eyes…what…Faith?”
“Unh, it’s a little complicated,” Faith began. “See…”
Willow looked up. “Oooooo, you brought me a pretty boy.” She looked over at her invisible partner. “You naughty, naughty girl.”
“Willow?” Xander looked down and tenderly touched the witch’s face with shaking fingers. “What’s going on?”
“That’s what I’m trying to tell…” Faith began.
Willow reached out and grabbed a handful of male crotch, resulting in the most surprised expression on Xander’s face that Faith had ever seen. Now that is fucking impressive. I thought I’d seen shocked when I screwed his brains out but…
“Ahhhh, Willow?” Xander choked as Willow began to rub.
“It looks sooooo, delicious. I just want to eat that pretty cock right up,” Willow groaned.
“And yeeoooooow!” Xander moved so fast that he was cowering behind Faith before the Slayer even registered that he moved. She was pretty sure that if scientists somewhere on planet earth were conducting experiments measuring the ambient irony in the atmosphere, this one moment probably shattered all the instruments in an impressive explosive display.
“What the hell is she doing?” Xander demanded as he peered at Willow over Faith’s shoulder.
The sucking sounds coming from the prone witch’s general direction weren’t so much disgusting as they were hilarious. Or at least Faith thought they would’ve been hilarious if the setting weren’t in the middle of one fucked-up situation.
“At a guess,” Faith said, “I’d say she’s having a threesome. You go girlfriend!”
“Goddamn it, I’m being serious!”
“So am I.”
“Look, there’s been a bit of a screw up…”
“Calm your shit down!” Faith turned around to face Xander, who was obviously exerting a hell of a lot of willpower to remain fixed on her face instead of looking over to watch his friend. “Willow touched the Grail and her brain went kablooey. Her eyes went dark and she just started saying shit.”
“You mean she’s having nonstop sex-a-thons since…”
“No, no,” Faith waved her hands. “It’s like she’s skipping around having these conversations with people I don’t know. Xander, Charlie thinks she’s seeing the future.”
From her location on the ground, Willow growled and whimpered and moaned and babbled words that Faith was shocked Willow even knew existed.
Xander took a step back and his face went white. “If that’s true, that’s a problem.”
“No shit,” Faith said. “Dawn and Andrew are still tied up with a translation on the cavern’s walls and Catherine’s people are trying to figure out what went wrong with the Grail in case Willow triggered something. So that left me to pull a 911 and get her the hell out of there in case proximity was the problem.”
“Good thinking,” Xander agreed. “Can they do something? For her?”
“They’ll be able to heal her, but we’ve gotta get her someplace quiet so J’Nal and Charlie can do some sort of double-team healing.”
“Right, right,” Xander nodded. “I’m sure it’ll be all…”
Willow let out a squeal and next thing Faith knew Xander had a clinging redhead hanging from his neck.
“Oh, no. Not again,” he moaned. “I can’t take…”
“Xander! You’re alive!” She let go and stared up into his face, eyes spilling over with tears. “When we lost track of you in Nunavut, we thought they got you.” She reached up and tenderly touched his face. “You grew a beard!”
“None of it?” Xander asked Faith.
Willow swatted him playfully. “Fine. Couldn’t shave. On the run for your life. Excuses, excuses. What? You can’t call me and ask to send a razor?”
“I can’t see me in a beard,” Xander remarked.
She reached out to Faith and captured the Slayer in a hug. Faith froze and looked at Xander over Willow’s head.
“Faith, thank god you’re alive, too. I didn’t mean to leave you out,” Willow said. She lowered her voice, “Thank you for taking care of him. No. No. Catherine and Jason are fine. As far as Catherine knows mommy and daddy were on a secret mission and would be home and Jason’s too young to know anything, so they don’t know that we thought you guys were…” the sentence ended with a sob.
“Mommy and daddy,” Xander deadpanned.
“Aw, shit,” Faith agreed. “That answers that question.”
“You’re being calm,” Xander remarked.
“Says the guy who isn’t doing an impressive display of a screaming mee-mee, so let’s can the comments and find a way to duct tape her mouth.”
Willow leaned back with a laugh. “You’re kidding! You’re pregnant again? Xander, what is it with you and the danger sex?” Willow whirled away and shouted, “Someone get Catherine!”
Released from Willow’s embrace, Xander and Faith backed up until they felt rock behind them. They leaned against the cavern wall side-by-side as Willow began having the kind of conversation with someone named Cat that you’d have if the other person were a five-year-old. If Faith had her beloved Camels, and if Xander actually smoked, one of them would’ve lit up and passed the butt to their neighbor in that defeated way that only over-tired soldiers have.
“You know,” Faith finally said as she drew very hard on the imaginary cigarette in her head, “it’s not so much the pregnant that bugs the shit out of me. It’s the again.”
“Scary. You’re starting to read my mind.”
“Cyclops? Two words: Vas. Ectomy.”
“Slaygirl? Four words: You. And. What. Army.”
Willow had changed tact and was now dancing some sort of waltz with an invisible partner, laughing in a coy, giggly way that announced she was flirting.
“We’ve got to get her out of here, not that she knows she’s here,” Xander said. “If we run into more trouble…”
“She’ll be in more trouble than we can deal with, gotchya,” Faith agreed. “And we have to keep her the fuck away from everyone else until Charlie and J’Nal can fix her. The shit she’s saying and those fucking eyes…”
“Yeah, scare the piss out of me, too,” Xander agreed.
In the dim light of his headlamp, Faith could see that Xander was pale and his features drawn with worry, although given everything since she’d helped him down those stairs she wasn’t entirely sure if he was worried about something happening to Willow or Willow happening something.
Willow froze and next to her she sensed Xander tense. The witch slowly turned, her face frozen into a furious snarl.
“No,” Xander whispered. “No, I can feel it…” And with that mysterious statement he was off and running, not in the opposite direction like any sensible human being, but straight at the redhead.
He made it halfway to her when Willow’s hand flew out and pinned him against the cavern wall. His headlamp flew off his head, landing on the ground, light still shining.
“Tell me.” Willow’s voice was furious, insistent, and murderous.
“Will--” Xander’s voice chocked off as Willow’s outstretched hand turned into a fist.
“Xander!” Vi screamed.
Faith broke out of her paralysis and charged with some vague hope of distracting the woman.
She didn’t get very far before she, too, was pinned against the wall next to Xander.
“Wait…wait…” Faith began.
“Silence!” Willow floated closer, borne by some incomprehensible fury. “Since your mate is being uncooperative, you are going to tell me where they are.”
Faith saw Vi sneaking up on Willow from behind and did her best to keep her eyes straight ahead. “Yo! I think you got us confused with someone…”
Willow spun around and knocked Vi backwards with a flick of her wrist, sending the Slayer hurtling into her teammates.
Too soon those cold black eyes were fixed on Faith’s face. “Soooooo, thought you’d get one of your mindless minions to blindside me. Not. That. Easy.”
She looked over at Xander, wondering why the hell he wasn’t saying anything. The clenched jaw and wide staring eyes of someone in a hella lot of pain pretty much told her everything she needed to know. If Xander opened his mouth, it was only going to be to scream.
“Look, just tell me what the fuck you want,” Faith said. “I can play games with the best of ’em. Just give me a little clue, y’know, Catholic school uniform, bigger than a breadbox, something so heavy that even God can’t lift it. I’m all fucking ears over here.”
Willow floated closer stopping just inside the circle of Xander’s lost light. “Your minions are frozen in place. Since they’re innocents, I’ll let them live, but you…” Willow let the unspoken threat hang there.
“I’m not a goddamn mind reader!” Faith exploded in exasperation. It was blindingly obvious that Willow wasn’t hearing a damn thing she was saying.
“I can make this quick, or I can make this slow,” Willow continued, her voice dropping into a danger zone. “You’ll stop your lying and you will tell me where they are.”
“Who? Just throw me a fucking bone…”
“Liar!” Willow snapped. She brought her hand up and closed it in a fist, causing Xander’s mute form to jerk like he was being electrocuted. Faith looked next to her and fought back a gasp.
His jaw was clenched and he wasn’t yelling because his mouth was gone.
“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,” Faith whispered.
“Tell me what I want to know, or I will tear your mate apart in front of your eyes.” Willow tilted her head and then burst out in a rough laughter. “Let me get this straight: You dissected 15 children and are hiding another 20 so you can perform your little ritual and I’m inhuman?”
“Ohfuckohfuckohfuckohfuck,” Faith’s breath hitched as she struggled to get out of the magical hold. No dice. She could move her head and breathe in shallow gasps, but she couldn’t break free. She looked over at the other Slayers but as promised, they were frozen in mid-flight, if she could judge by the way they seemed to float in the light of their headlamps. She wasn’t even sure if they were aware of what was happening.
“Thank you,” Willow said in a voice dripping with irony.
The sudden release collapsed Faith to the floor and she immediately tried to get to her feet. Nothing doing. Her bones felt rubberized and she could just barely move her head. Xander had likewise collapsed to the ground right in her line of sight, his mouth--praise Jesus I’ll never take the Lord’s name in vain again--was back. There was a blank look in his face that Faith didn’t entirely like, mostly because it was the look of someone who was in so much pain that their mind had checked out for the duration.
“Since you were cooperative, I’ll make it quick instead of slow,” Willow said as she raised her hands.</p>