Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Supernatural Crossover
Characters: Bela Talbot/Faith Lehane, Dawn Summers, Xander Harris.
Warnings: Canonical Character Death.
Spoilers: Through season 3 Supernatural, through season 7 Buffy.
Word Count: 1312
Written For: pervyficgirl
Prompt: "Change always comes bearing gifts."
Author's Notes/Summary: Thanks to bellatemple and egregiouslypink for their beta help.
The first time, it was a chance encounter.
It was one of those little bars, where even though the state had passed a smoking ban everything still reeked of nicotine and tar. Where the glasses are only half as dirty as the usual clientele. The sort of bar where an attractive woman stands out like a sore thumb. So when there are two, they are drawn together. Strength in numbers, fortifying against the sea of creeps and losers who really aren't about to get any action.
The first to speak is a Slayer. Not the Slayer, of course. She's one of many, now. For Faith Lehane, its a bit of a relief. She used to rebel against that sense of responsibility, fight against that sense of fate and destiny.
After certain events that lead to Sunnydale becoming a sinkhole, well, being a Slayer was like being part of a neighborhood watch against evil. You had backup and you had time to get on with your life in the meantime. For Faith, that meant trashy bars, most nights.
"You have got to be in the wrong part of town," Faith joked. "I know for a fact, I'm supposed to be the prettiest thing in this bar."
"Is that so?" replied the other woman, her accent obviously British. Faith wondered if she was one of the few survivors of the Watcher Council, though the woman didn't seem stuffy enough for that kind of thing. "Well, I suppose it's your unlucky night."
Faith chuckled, muffling her laugh against the neck of her beer bottle. "Depends, could mean its just the rest of the bar's unlucky night." The woman raised an eyebrow, but said nothing. Faith merely shrugged it off. "Or maybe I was just hopeful. Not often I see someone interesting step in this trash hole."
"Well, you won't have to worry about a repeat performance," the woman replied, obviously losing patience. "I'm not here for pleasure."
"Nobody's here for pleasure," Faith said. "Ninety percent of the sad bastards in this place are just here to drink away their terrible lives."
"And some are here for far less innocent reasons," the woman said. "I have business to conduct. I would appreciate if you left me to it."
Faith put up her hands. "Everything's five by five. You do what you gotta do."
With that, Faith walked away and sat on her own. But she didn't take her eyes of the woman. Faith watched her go out back, then two men follow moments later. She finished her beer and casually made her way out that back door as well.
"Too bad we don't plan on paying for it, bitch," the first man said. Then he and his buddy vamped out. Faith shook her head. The woman, on the other hand, didn't even flinch. She side-stepped the vamp's assault and shook her head.
"If you're going to be dumb enough to try and kill the saleswoman of something that can kill your kind, at least be smart enough to get the merchandise off her before you try," the woman said.
Faith was rather impressed, but that didn't stop her from stepping in and staking the two dumbfounded vampires in short order.
The woman raised an eyebrow, an expression that just made Faith grin. "I did have that under control."
"I just wanted to steal the fun, I guess," Faith said with a shrug. "You're a black marketeer, huh?"
"I'm an independent entrepreneur," the woman said.
"Hey, now," Faith said. "I'm totally not the law or anything. Woman doing it for herself and all that, I gotta respect. You got a business card or something, cause I might need your... services some time."
The woman rolled her eyes, but she reached for a pocket. She had a card with a number, which she held out for Faith to grab. Faith looked at the card, and smirked.
"Bela Talbot," she read off the card. "Not a bad name."
"And yours?" Bela replied.
"Faith," she said.
Bela merely raised an eyebrow.
* * * * *
Xander was the one who laughed when Faith talked about her encounter at the bar.
"I don't remember telling any jokes," she said, a little put out by his reaction.
"You do realize it's a fake name, right?" Xander said. "Bela Talbot."
"Of course it's a fake name," Faith said. "She works with the black market. You don't exactly put your real name on things."
"Well, I'm just saying, your new girlfriend's got a sense of humor," Xander said.
"Say what?" Faith said. Her hands went to her hips, she wasn't in the mood for any teasing from Captain Xander, Mighty Construction Pirate.
"Bela is obviously from Bela Lugosi. And Talbot's the name of the Wolfman."
"So, she's a were-vampire?" Faith said.
"...I don't think those exist. I hope those don't exist. Not that we'd have to worry about them, with the whole GI Slayer thing we've got going on, but that would just be really inconvenient to deal with. They're only vampire on special occasions?" Xander started rambling.
Faith rolled her eyes and reached into her pocket for that business card.
* * * * *
It started with a real business transaction. Someone had stolen something from The Magic Box, and it was the sort of thing that shouldn't stay out there on the black market. It was probably cheating to just try and use the market against itself, but Faith never really cared about rules too much.
Of course, she didn't plan on paying Bela, either.
They met at the same bar again, exchanging pleasantries before going out back for business.
"You know, I'm starting to wonder where you're keeping the six thousand," Bela said, on her guard.
"Oh, I don't show you the money til you show me the goods," Faith said. "...and wow, that sounds pretty terrible. Good thing I know you're not a hooker."
"If you're going to just make jokes, I have better offers on--" Bela didn't get to finish.
"Whoa, whoa," Faith said. "I'm just teasing you." She raised her hands a bit. "No need to get all huffy."
"I don't really cater to the goody-goody crowd," Bela said. "So either pay up or I'm on my way to another buyer."
"Well, looks like we're going to have a problem," Faith said. "Because I planned on just taking it. Consider it a gift."
Bela reached for her gun, and Faith had to make her move.
* * * * *
Xander Harris, on the other hand, was sitting in a car watching the events unfold through a set of binoculars.
"You know, maybe we could get you one of those telescopes that the old timey explorers had," came the voice in the passenger seat.
"...Dawn, you know I only let you come because--" Xander started.
"Because you knew otherwise I'd tell Faith you were just being pervy and spying on her," Dawn said.
"This is not being pervy," Xander objected. "I'm her unrequested, highly unwanted back-up."
"You can say that again."
"Besides, she looks like she actually needs our help..."
"She does?" Dawn said, her joking demeanor dropping away. "Don't just sit there, we need to--"
"Go home," Xander said, lowering his binoculars. "That's not a fight anymore."
* * * * *
The third time, it was for pleasure. Passing through town and dialing a number she was almost certain wouldn't be answered.
But Faith was there to answer the call. They had found something in each other. Something without judgment for who they were, what they'd done, just two people who saw something in each other. A sort of solace. It didn't have to be physical, it didn't have to be anything.
It was what they made it, and that's all they wanted.
* * * * *
The fourth time... wasn't.
Faith wasn't able to answer the call.
She heard the voice on the message, the fear in Bela's voice. She tried to dial the number back, but to no avail. She had no location, no idea, no way of helping even if she wasn't already too late.
She didn't cry, not then.
She headed down to the basement, to where Xander was seated.
"So, you got any Bela Lugosi movies, geek commander?"