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BtVS: A Robot without Knees (Faith/Veruca)

carlyinrome organized femslash_minis: Wishverse. I was assigned escritoireazul, who requested Veruca/Faith with Oz being awesome and friendly, waking up with superpowers, and the feel of leather on skin.

Title: A Robot without Knees
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Pairing: Faith Lehane/Veruca
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Imaginations must give them arms or legs or eyes to know the world.
Notes: Set within the Wishverse, but after the events in 3.09.



When Faith opened her eyes, Diana and a paramedic were standing over her, and they looked surprised. Faith groaned as she sat up, cursing as she felt her left side spark and throb. "What the hell hit me?" she asked, squeezing her eyes shut as she managed the pain.

"A car," the paramedic said.

"What?" Faith turned her head sharply, then cursed again as her ribs protested. She looked at Diana, who was clearing her throat awkwardly. "What?" Faith echoed, and she realized the pain was fading.

Diana folded her arms. "You should see the other guy," she said, and Faith followed her gesture to the street.

"Oh." Faith swung her legs off the gurney. Her jeans were shredded, and jagged scars were prominent beneath them. She hadn't had scars before. "I should be dead, right?"

"Yes," the paramedic said. "We need to get you to a hospital."

Diana shook her head. "Thanks, but no." She dug through her purse, finally extracting a worn-looking envelope. She handed it to the paramedic.

He read the enclosed letter, and Faith watched his eyes widen. He handed the letter back to Diana, then turned to Faith, his jaw set. "But you can't leave until I do an exam."

Diana raised her eyebrows, but shrugged. "Fair enough."

Faith wiggled her fingers and toes, and over the paramedic's shoulder, the remnants of the car and its vampire driver smoldered, the smoke wending through the air.

*


Faith felt like a sardine in the bus, despite being one of only a handful of passengers. She leaned her head against the window and let the glass chill her skin. "California's a death zone," she said. "You're the worst guardian ever."

Across the aisle, Diana smiled. "Watcher," she corrected once again.

"And I'm your Slayer," Faith replied. "Which is why you're dragging me to a Hellmouth."

"You're the Slayer," Diana said. "And I share your concern." She drummed her fingers against the book in her lap. "We lost the last two Slayers in California. I know you've just barely been chosen--"

"Activated," Faith interrupted.

Diana frowned. "--chosen, but the situation is urgent." She looked over at Faith, and the tense lines of her face softened. "I wish we had more time to train."

"Hey, anything that gets us away from Kakistos," Faith said. She put her back to the window, stretching her legs across the seats. "Thanks for the clothes, by the way." She bent her knee, the leather supple and alien against her skin. "The vamp car trashed my favorite pair of jeans."

"Your only pair of jeans," Diana said. She opened her book. "Get some rest, Faith."

"Whatever," Faith said, but she closed her eyes.

*


The other Watcher, Giles, got all weird and twitchy when he read Diana's letter, but his eyes were kind, and his weapons cache was pretty kick-ass. One of his posse offered to take Faith on patrol while the Watchers got all proper at each other in their office.

Giles nodded. "Yes, thank you, Oz." He tossed a set of keys over, and Diana shot Faith a look that said, clearly, No trouble.

Faith saluted, and Oz grabbed a crossbow while she tucked another stake in her belt.

They drove a circuitous path, radiating away from the downtown area. Faith's fingers twitched whenever she gazed down those empty, winding streets. "There's bad shit out there," she observed.

"The first factory," Oz confirmed. "We think they're building a bigger one near the university, but those buildings have a better defense."

"Yeah?" Faith looked at Oz. "More like you?"

Oz shook his head. "Not exactly." He turned abruptly, taking the van into a park area. He pulled up to what looked like a toolshed and parked, grabbing a bag of food from behind Faith's seat.

"What, we're stopping for a picnic?" Faith asked, jumping out of the van. Oz shouldered open the gate to the shed, and when Faith's eyes adjusted, she realized the floor sloped down to a larger space, what might have been a garage twenty years ago. Then she saw the cage. "What the hell?"

Oz shoved the food through the bars of the cage. "You need more water?"

"I need you," the prisoner said. "Why don't you come inside?"

Faith stalked up to the cage. "Oz, what the fuck is this?"

The prisoner grinned, sauntered over. "Veruca," she purred. She was wearing a tank top and panties, and she reached through the bars, just barely scratching the cloth of Faith's top. "You look tasty."

Oz tugged Faith back. "She's a werewolf."

"Werewolf?" Faith frowned. "It isn't the full moon. What's with the cage?"

"Veruca," Oz replied, "has tried to attack somebody every full moon." He glared at her. "Including me."

"Come on, Oz." Veruca settled against the bars, twining her arms around them. "I thought you wanted to play."

Oz turned his attention to Faith. "Giles thought it would be safer to keep her here until we found--"

"A cure?" Faith asked. "Why not just put her down?"

Oz's face went blank, and he said, "She sings."

*


Diana let Giles convince them to wait while the moon waned, some aspect of a spell, though Faith didn't really pay attention to the details. In the meantime, she fell into the rhythm of training and patrols, wandering the corridors of Sunnydale High and being thankful she didn't have to learn calculus on top of fighting for her life.

They'd fallen into a shifting pattern of patrols, two and three rotating, depending on who'd been injured the least. Faith was the only one who could go off on her own, alone, and after a week and a half passed--the point when Kendra, the last Slayer, and her Watcher had been attacked--they stopped looking so tense.

Sometimes Faith wandered into the park with a sack of cheeseburgers. She sat across the bars from Veruca and split the goods with her, and the moon rose high and fell again.

Faith was taking a long pull from her bottle of water, watching Veruca lick her fingers clean all the while. Veruca winked at her, and Faith set the bottle down.

"I like the pants," Veruca noted, her gaze tracing Faith's legs with avarice. "I used to have a pair like that."

"They do the job." Faith quirked a smile at her, glancing from Veruca's bare feet to her bared thighs, to the low scoop of her tank top. "You get rid of yours when you went all earth mother?"

Veruca sneered. "I tore them off the last time I got loose." She clutched the bars, arching her back too artfully. "They like this look better."

"I doubt that," Faith said. She shifted into grasping distance, hooked her fingers under the hem of Veruca's tank top. "I think the boys stay as far away from you as they can." She tugged, and Veruca pressed forward, looped her thumbs around Faith's belt. "You must get lonely in here," Faith taunted.

Veruca smiled. "Maybe." She licked her lips, and tilted her chin up, just barely catching Faith's lips with the tip of her tongue. She drew back, nodded her head to the faint moonlight spilling through the window. "It's far from the full moon," she observed. "Why don't you let me out?"

Faith laughed. "You'd like that, wouldn't you?"

"Yeah," Veruca said. Her fingers tightened on Faith's hips. "Or you could come in here." Her voice dropped to a whisper. "You're bored, too." She pushed against the bars, and Faith cocked her head, caught her mouth in a kiss.When Faith pulled back, their breath echoed harshly against the concrete walls.

"Come in here," Veruca repeated. She slid her hand past the waistband of Faith's pants, twisting her fingers awkwardly. "I promise I won't bite."

At that, Faith jerked back, landing awkwardly on the floor before she stood. Veruca snarled.

"Maybe tomorrow," Faith said, keeping her voice even. "Maybe I'll bring a muzzle."

Veruca settled back on her pallet, and her eyes seemed to glow in the dark.


###

A/N: I haven't read Go Ask Malice, but Wikipedia tells me in that book, Faith's first Watcher was named Diana Dormer. I've appropriated the name; apologies to any who find her characterization inconsistent with the novel.

Title and summary adapted from Marvin Bell's Sutures. Link courtesy of breathe_poetry.


Nominated for Best AU and Best Slash for Round 21 of the .

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
ghostrunner7
May. 27th, 2010 12:34 am (UTC)
This is stupifyingly awesome. I always love Faith, and Oz, and the Wishverse, but this is just really, really cool.
aaronlisa
May. 27th, 2010 12:47 am (UTC)
This was really good. I think you did a good job with Diana. It's been a while since I read the book but I recognized her.
carlyinrome
May. 27th, 2010 01:14 am (UTC)

This kicks all available ass. An excellent opening, a sharp Faith, a mesmerizing and feral Veruca. I love the quick conversation between Faith and Diana, and Oz's reason for his reluctance to put Veruca down.

(Deleted comment)
slartibartfast
May. 27th, 2010 06:46 pm (UTC)
What an excellent pairing! And a brilliant fic to do it justice. I love it.
brutti_ma_buoni
May. 27th, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
This is brilliant! I almost never get the appeal of Veruca in fic, but here she's so dangerous yet self-consciously appealing. The Wishverse background is so lightly drawn, but it's all there. Faith's Slayer awakening is still so new we can feel its raw edges.

Oz is just marvellous: Oz's face went blank, and he said, "She sings." Enough said; and it says a lot.
brunettepet
May. 27th, 2010 09:33 pm (UTC)
This is a sharp, entertaining story. This newly called Faith is spot on and her reaction to Veruca feels right. The werewolf was charismatic and sinister and you really captured that here. You did an excellent job sketching in the wishverse without letting it bog down the story.
enisy
May. 27th, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC)
That was good! Very in-character, for such an unusual pairing.
exx_cecilegr
May. 28th, 2010 12:49 am (UTC)
Really fab fic! Nice job!
escritoireazul
Jun. 13th, 2010 11:36 pm (UTC)
I love the way the main 'verse echoes in the Wishverse here in such lovely, subtle ways, (Kendra's favorite/only top and Faith's favorite/only jeans being destroyed, Kakistos stalking Faith, etc.) and Faith changing the words to things that make more sense to her (guardian and activated).

Oz turned his attention to Faith. "Giles thought it would be safer to keep her here until we found--"

"A cure?" Faith asked. "Why not just put her down?"

Oz's face went blank, and he said, "She sings."


God, this scene. I love the subtlety of it and how perfectly in character it is for both of them.

"Come in here," Veruca repeated. She slid her hand past the waistband of Faith's pants, twisting her fingers awkwardly. "I promise I won't bite."

At that, Faith jerked back, landing awkwardly on the floor before she stood. Veruca snarled.

"Maybe tomorrow," Faith said, keeping her voice even. "Maybe I'll bring a muzzle."

Veruca settled back on her pallet, and her eyes seemed to glow in the dark.


GOD. So good and deliciously sensual and dark.

Thank you for writing this story for me.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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