"Fuck the guilt, Wes. Who said I had any to begin with?"
It had taken all my might to keep from laughing in her face. As if anyone in the entire damn world, Angel included, could understand the mind of the black sheep sitting beside me as the car barrelled down the 101 freeway, headed back to Los Angeles. She may not know the specifics of just how things had come to be the way they were, but that wasn't important just yet. I'd gotten her in the car. That was the first step.
We'd stopped at a fast food joint-- In'n'Out Burger, Faith's insistence-- at which Faith proceeded to order the most appallingly large cheeseburger I'd ever seen, a double order of french fries and a massive chocolate milkshake. The food seemed to suit her mood, as it kept us from having to argue further for at least another half hour.
After her meal, Faith promptly went to sleep, again ending any chance of my further convincing her to my side. Fair enough, I thought, and continued driving in silence, organising my thoughts and preparing for any arguments Faith might make.
I considered for a long time just why I'd approached Lilah with the request that Wolfram & Hart assist me in bringing Faith into the equation. There was something about the Slayer, especially now, being back in her presence, that was important to me. What she'd done, both in Sunnydale, and then later in Los Angeles, had changed me irrevocably, and part of me wanted to thank her by setting her free.
I also knew that most everything that I fought every night was much stronger than I was, and no bullets and no gadgets would stop the inevitable moment when that would win the fight, and I would be dead. But it would be a very different story with a Slayer involved.
And if ever I needed to cross Angel directly...
Shaking off that last-ditch scenario, I continued plotting. Finally, we arrived in Los Angeles, at my apartment building. Nudging Faith awake, I nodded to her.
I led the Slayer up to the door and the lift, until we reached the top floor. When the State of California deemed Faith fit to release only if it were into my custody, I'd again flexed Wolfram & Hart's muscles on my landlord. Within a week, I was moved into the three-bedroom, two and bath 'luxury' apartment.
Opening the door, I ushered Faith into her new abode.
"Common areas-- living room, dining, kitchen, laundry. My office and bedroom are on the left. Your bedroom is on the right. Furnishings are sparse for the moment, but I'm sure you'll change that soon enough. You'll use the common bathroom."
I crossed the apartment, throwing my jacket onto the couch. Unlocking a bureau near the sofa, I drew out a few items which I carried over to Faith.
"Your cell phone. I won't burden you with my presence at every waking moment, but I and the court require that I know your location at all times." I handed her a credit card, with both our names on it, and a small wad of cash. "For shopping, and your first month's stipend."
With all that done, I turned and walked back across the apartment, picking my jacket up as I went toward my rooms.
"Make yourself at home."
((Open to Faith))