moscow_watcher: (Faith)
[personal profile] moscow_watcher
Title: Black Magic White Lies
Author:[personal profile] moscow_watcher
Chapter 15 - Light! Camera! Aaand - Action!
Timeline: BtVS, alternate season 5
Genre: drama, mystery, action
Characters, pairing: general, Xander/Faith
Rating: R (for intense situations).
Summary: Xander thinks he has a little secret. He doesn't know that his little secret is a part of a big fat conspiracy.
Disclaimer: They all belong to Joss. He said I could play with'em, so there.
Author's notes: Much thanks to my wonderful betas [personal profile] lusciousxander and [personal profile] deird1 who encourage me, help me with character voices, fix my bad grammar and style. All mistakes are mine. This is my first plotty multi-character fic, so concrit is very welcome.



The story starts here

He hardly remembers how they got to the hospital, where he parked his car. What the hell is the receptionist talking about? Water? What water?

"My water broke half an hour ago," Faith says impatiently to the receptionist. She looks around. "Mind if I sit down? I think I've got another one..." She lowers herself into a wheelchair, moaning and cursing.

The receptionist says something about documents. Xander starts to explain about Faith's medical insurance and suddenly he notices that the receptionist isn't listening. She's staring in disbelief at something behind his back.

"A green ball of energy!" a patient in a straight-jacket shrieks hysterically, pointing at Faith. "She has a green ball of energy inside her!"

Distracted by the cries, Xander doesn't see them at first. Them. Three little demons in monks' robes, with black eyes and wrinkled faces. As they approach, he can see that they have knives in their hands.

Thankfully, Xander brought a small axe - just in case. He barely manages to stop the first demon's attack and then the second one comes at him from the right, and the knife is aimed at his chest and he realizes that he doesn't have time to counter his strike...

A well-aimed lamp hits the demon in the head and he falls sprawling on the floor. Stunned, Xander sees Buffy storming towards them. Behind her, Spike matter-of-factly twists the neck of the third demon.

"Buffy? What are you doing here?"

"Visiting Mom. Willow and Giles are also here, with me, and Spike - I don't know - he might be stealing blood or something..." She looks with concern at Faith who is writhing in pain in her chair. "What happened? Is she wounded?"

"She's in labor."

"Oh." Buffy looks slightly awed. "Um, Faith? Everything will be okay, they won't bother you anymore. We slayed them."

That's when it happens.

A woman appears.

A beautiful woman in a red dress, on high heels and with a shock of curly hair. Grotesque and ridiculous among the white frocks and hospital equipment, she looks like she arrived at Sunnydale hospital straight from a fashion show in Milan or Paris - not that he has attended fashion shows in Milan or Paris...

"Glorificus, most beauteous and supremely magnificent one," the demon wails. "These contemptible humans and despicable half-breed impertinently refuse to return the Key they purloined from Your Elaborate Marvelousness! They even dare to kill your worthless servants!"

The woman brushes him away like an annoying fly as she makes her way to Faith. Xander resolutely blocks her way.

"Hey, lady, I don't know who you are or what you want, but..."

She moves him aside like he is a balloon; he staggers from her light touch and realizes that she might be as strong as Buffy.

Maybe even stronger.

The next moment Spike, who's trying to stop her, flies across the hall, bouncing from the wall with a distinct thud. Buffy hits the woman in the chest, but her punches don't affect the woman at all. She looks slightly annoyed and squeamish as she grabs Buffy with both hands and hurls her at Spike, right into his arms.

"Glorificus, the Most Shiny Special One," the demon squeals as he hands her his knife. "Your Creamy Coolness is honoring me with an opportunity to assist you during the extraction of the Divine Key from a worthless human body..."

They are after the baby. Furious, Xander jumps at the demon and knocks him out before the Most Shiny Special Bitch backhands him viciously and he goes down, down, down, and it hurts like hell, but he doesn't close his eyes, because this is a sight to die for...

...Faith slowly rises from the chair and, before the Most Shiny Special Bitch has time to react, hits her right in the face with a force of a freight train.

"You know what, skank? I'm tired of people thrusting knives in my gut!"

Obviously, the Most Shiny Special Bitch has never been hit by a freight train before. She crashes into the wall, leaving a big dent, slides down and lands on her back, unconscious. Dazed, Xander feasts his eyes upon Faith, formidable in her fury. Maternal instinct, my ass.

The Most Shiny Special Bitch convulses, tries to raise herself onto her elbow and falls again, right at the feet of Giles and Willow who happen to come out of the elevator at that moment.

"What the hell is happening here?" Giles looks around, anxious and confused, until his gaze falls on Faith, who's still standing in a fighting pose. "Faith - who is that woman?"

"I was about to ask you the same question."

"Listen, Watcher," Spike growls. "I don't know what kind of demon the bloody skank is, but we'd better scarper as soon as possible. Because this blasted thing is incredibly strong."

...Five minutes later they pass the "You're leaving Sunnydale. Come back soon" sign at the outskirts of the town. Spike hotwired an ambulance car and now he's driving it like a madman or like an NFS addict, or whatever. The brakes screech as the car skids at every turn. Xander holds Faith who half-sits, half-lies on the stretcher, propped against him. She tenses again, pants, squeezes his hand and lies to him that she's okay. He knows her pain should be growing stronger with each contraction. These last few days he has read everything he could find about pregnancy and childbirth and he knows it should be painful. But it's normal, isn't it? It's not like some beast is devouring her from inside and nobody had realized it until it's too late...

"They called your baby a Divine Key," Buffy says.

Xander averts his eyes. Could they have an apocalypse, pronto, so that he could fight demons or stake vampires, or get hit on the head and drop in a corner unconscious and inconspicuous? Getting hit on the head and dropping in a corner is seriously underrated.

Giles watches him closely. "You're sure? A Divine Key?" He talks to Buffy without taking his eyes offXander's face.

Buffy nods. "Uh-huh. And I thought Xander specialized in demons."

Xander squirms under Giles' scrutiny. "Giles, the thing is..." No. He can't.

"You knew," Giles says, slowly and ferociously. "You saw it when you were under the spell."

Xander hides his face in Faith's hair.

"What is it?" Giles asks sharply. "Who is that woman in red?"

Xander shakes his head. "I don't know," he whispers. "I only know that the night we spent together we actually didn't. Spend together, I mean."

Faith snorts. "Somebody wanted us to believe that the baby was Xander's," she says gloomily.

"Somebody?"

"My baby is human," she says defensively. "My guess is I did - I dunno - some wizard? A human wizard not particularly popular among the demon population. He wanted to protect his kid by giving us false memories."

"But why did they call it a Divine Key?" Willow asks, concerned.

Faith gasps and hunches, nursing her belly. She doesn't say she's okay anymore. Xander squeezes her hand, tense with the spasms of pain, whispers stupid words of comfort and tentatively strokes her abdomen. He has read that massage relaxes stomach muscles and alleviates labor pangs. But his efforts don't help much, because Faith pants and groans, her face contorted with suffering.

Buffy watches them with the mixture of sympathy and embarrassment. And guilt. Xander still isn't aware of the details of their ill-fated fight - but, apparently, watching her ex-enemy clutching at her gut, moaning and wriggling in pain is waking up a lot of memories Buffy would love to forget.

He looks at his watch. The contraction only lasts a minute but it feels like an hour. Faith arches in Xander's arms and cries out through clenched teeth.

Buffy flinches involuntarily and hugs herself. "Hey, Will," she says nervously. "Could you inject her with a magic painkiller?"

Willow hesitates. "I'm afraid I can't do anything there," she points at Faith's belly. "My magic only hurts her."

"Come on, Will, you're - you know - clever! You can figure out something!"

Faith moans with pain again and Willow winces in sympathy. "I could try to block the signals in the brain. If Faith's okay with it."

"Yes, please," Faith grunts and Willow gently massages her temples. Xander sighs with relief when Faith slowly relaxes.

"You have a magic touch, witch," she says, grinning weakly. Willow grins back, removes a strand of hair from Faith's cheek and Xander briefly ponders if he should get jealous, after all.

But Buffy doesn't give him time to think it over. As soon as she sees that Faith is okay, she switches to Xander. He discovers that guilt and embarrassment make her doubly aggressive.

"Why didn't you tell us as soon as you found out? Why did you lie to us?"

He is too tired and scared about Faith to play games. He can be aggressive too. "Because I was terrified! Why are you pretending that Spike isn't your boyfriend?"

Buffy is mortified. "You know? How do you know?"

"Spike is your boyfriend?" Willow exclaims, flabbergasted. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"Buffy, I'm stunned by your recklessness," Giles murmurs. "After everything that happened between you and Angel you should have been more prudent, learning the hard way about possible consequences..."

"What consequences?" Buffy snaps. "He doesn't have a soul to lose."

Faith barks a laugh. "Somebody pass me popcorn, please. And, by the way, where are we going?"

"I'll go ask Spike." Giles stands up. "Does anybody have any other shocking confessions to make?"

"I studied the Lambersart codex," Willow says in a small voice. Giles glares and she ducks her head. But he leaves without a word.

Buffy looks at Xander guiltily. "Does it upset you?"

"What?"

"Me and Spike."

The absurdity of the situation strikes him. "We're about to get killed and that's what you worry about?"

Faith laughs hoarsely. "And you're shocked? We're about to get killed on a daily basis, but a boyfriend is wicked serious business."

Their car jerks, stops, then starts off more smoothly. Spike joins them a few moments later. Speak of the devil.

"The Watcher drives like a 90-year-old granny," he grumbles. "Actually, a 90-year-old granny drives better. Why the hell did I get involved with your bunch of losers?"

"'Cause you got it bad for our little B," Faith says and winks. Willow grins and Buffy blushes profusely.

"Yeah, right. I'm here because she pays me!"

Buffy rolls her eyes. "Don't, Spike. You're only making things worse."

"Worse? What could be worse than this bleeding running away from nobody knows what..."

Thunk! Something breaks the window. Stunned, Xander stares at an arrow-head stuck in the wall inches from his head.

"Dammit, Spike!" Buffy hisses. "You shouldn't say any words! At all!"

Next: chapter 16 - In Which Heroes Discover Some Secrets Readers Already Figured Out
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