After an hour they hadn't come up with much of a plan at all and Buffy could tell Faith was getting frustrated. Giles said he would dedicate the next couple hours on making some calls and doing some research on what spell Devon might be using but the process was going slower than normal. They were lacking people to help Giles with the research and the two slayers didn't want to sit around and read.
"B, let's go," Faith suddenly said, standing up and walking toward the door. "I have an idea."
"Faith, we can't just leave." Buffy stood up but didn't make a move toward the door. "We need to figure out exactly what Devon plans to do with our blood."
"But we also need to know how to take out as many vamps and those demons as possible and we both know where we can get some info on that."
Buffy smiled and walked toward the door. "Giles, we're gonna do a little recon."
"Do you think that's wise?"
"G, I think I know where we can get some info about Devon's operation, maybe even get some help," Faith said.
He looked thoughtful for a minute before nodding. "Go but please be quick. Once I find out a little more we need to formulate a plan."
The two of them nodded before walked out the door and down the street quickly. Buffy had thought of asking Giles for his car but even in this situation he probably would've said no, likely with a mention that he didn't need his slayers dying in a car accident right before an apocalypse.
"Do you think this will work, Faith?"
Faith shrugged. "Gotta try something. In case you didn't notice, I'm not big with the reading and researching."
Buffy didn't say anything for a minute before turning her head to look at Faith. She realized she looked at her differently now, more like a lover and less like a friend. The thought didn't scare her either. She liked it. "I meant what I said earlier."
"What was that?"
"I can't lose you."
"I know, B," Faith said as she smiled. "I got no plans of leaving ya, not when I finally got you naked."
Buffy laughed. "You sure know how to put it in such heartwarming terms."
"It's what I do."
They shared a smile and Faith took Buffy's hand the rest of the way. The action made Buffy's heart skip a beat and she knew she was falling hard. That only made what they were trying to do all the more scary. She really didn't know how she'd react if anything happened to Faith.
Since they were walking as fast as what would appear normal they arrived at Faith's favorite little diner quickly. Buffy could see the waitress that knew Faith helping customers from behind the counter as she looked through the window. She breathed a little sigh in that there weren't many customers since they would probably be causing a scene.
Sara noticed them walk in and smiled warmly. "Wow, the two of you are gonna become regulars at this point."
Faith took a step forward, a serious look on her face. "We need to see your boss, Sara."
Her eyes darted from Faith to Buffy and back again. "He's not here, Faith. You know that." She looked to the customers in the diner, noticing they weren't paying any attention to them. "He stays out of sight during the day."
"We need to see him now," Buffy put in. "Where is he?"
"What is this all about anyway?" Sara asked, her expression turning more worried. "You know he doesn't want any trouble. He doesn't hurt humans."
"I want to hear that from him and I want to hear it now," Faith said and Buffy could tell she was growing impatient. "Some friends of his are helping do some bad things and I want to talk to him about it. We will cause a scene if we have to, Sara. We're not waiting for him to show up."
Sara's expression changed from strictly worried to nervous and maybe a little scared. "I really need this job, Faith. He pays well and makes sure I'm safe. You know how hard it is to feel safe in Sunnydale."
Faith closed the distance so she was only on the other side of the counter. "If he's not the problem we won't do anything to him. But we need to see him right now."
She sighed. "He lives under the diner. There's a door around the back."
"We won't lay a hand on him if he answers all our questions," Faith said. "I promise."
She only nodded and Faith turned and walked out of the diner, Buffy following close behind. They stayed silent as they walked around the diner to the back. Sure enough next to two half full dumpsters was a door. Faith turned the knob, noticing it was locked.
"What do you think?" Should we knock?" Faith asked with a smirk before jumping up and kicking the door in.
"He could've answered the door."
"But now we don't have to wait." Faith grinned and winked at her, already walking into the small apartment.
Buffy followed and by the time they walked through the short entryway they were met by one of the largest green demons she'd ever seen. She almost wanted to describe him as Kermit on steroids but that might be an understatement since he was built more like the Hulk wearing a short-sleeved shirt that was unbuttoned down the front and a pair of baggy shorts. Buffy almost wanted to laugh at the fact he was able to find something that was actually baggy on him but the thought went away when she realized he was far from happy to see them.
"Faith?" he said is a low, raspy voice. "What are you doing?"
"Only way I could be sure you'd give us the answers we need to know, Galen," Faith said, a very unapologetic look on her face.
"I don't hurt people," he said as he walked back into his small living room as if he knew that's what she was going to ask. He sat down in his chair and looked at them, likely resigned to the fact they wouldn't be leaving.
Buffy and Faith followed him but didn't sit down. There wasn't really anywhere else to sit. Besides his chair and a TV crudely set up on a couple of crates there wasn't much else in the room. Buffy wasn't here to chat anyway. They needed information.
"Do you keep in touch with the rest of your kind that's in Sunnydale?" Faith asked. "Your clan, brothers, cousins, anything like that?"
"'Cause they're in a world of hurt right now," Buffy said. "Some demons that look a hell of a lot like you are working with a vampire that kidnapped our friends."
"You must be Buffy." He looked to Faith and smiled. "She's just like you described."
Buffy raised an eyebrow but didn't say anything about it. They would get off track. "Answer Faith's question."
"There are nine of us in Sunnydale and yes, they are all my family. I know where they all are but not what they do."
"Your family helped to kidnap our friends," Faith said. "Obviously, they don't follow your lead on not hurting humans."
"How do you know they hurt anyone?"
"They're with a vampire who's trying to open the hellmouth and kidnapped three people to get to us but yeah, they're still fucking boy scouts."
Galen looked confused, maybe a little sad, too. "I try to live the best I can and try to be a good example, just live amongst humans, but my younger brothers don't think the same as I do sometimes."
"You need to help us here, Galen," Faith said and Buffy could tell she was trying to stay calm so he would help them without any resistance. "Your brothers can't be at the warehouse they were at last night. They're helping a vamp named Devon to open the hellmouth."
"I don't know if I can do that."
"If you can't or won't, we will kill your brothers," Buffy said. "I don't think you want that, not if you want your family to remain intact."
He stood up and looked down at the two slayers. "Is that a threat?"
"Just telling ya what we're gonna do if you won't intervene," Faith responded. "We're not gonna take it easy on 'em just 'cause you want us to. If they stand in the way of us stopping Devon and getting our friends back we will take them out."
Galen didn't say anything for a minute and it made Buffy think he might not help them. Even though she hated it, she knew they might need to rely on the demon for at least a little help. If he could at the very minimum get his brothers to not show up at the warehouse she knew it would help a great deal. That way Devon wouldn't have the extra muscle.
"I'll help you," he finally said. "They will listen to me."
Faith let a small smile show. "Thanks, big guy."
"What do you want me to do?"
Buffy and Faith shared a look and Buffy gave her a nod, letting her know to continue. "Think you can get out of here in the daylight?"
Buffy and Faith left Galen at his apartment, letting him sleep since he had worked the entire night at the diner. Buffy had wondered if that was wise since whether or not he was friendly he was still a demon but she let Faith take the lead. She trusted that she knew enough about the demon to know if he would do what he said.
They were silent until they reached the front door of Giles' condo when Faith stopped them and leaned in to kiss Buffy lightly. "Must not have a chance to do that again for awhile."
"Yeah, can't exactly make out while Giles is with us," Buffy said with a smile. "We really need to get a plan together."
"Think Giles will be okay with Galen coming here?" Faith asked. "I guess I didn't think about whether or not he wanted a demon in his place."
"If he helps us, he'll be fine." Buffy paused. "Is Galen his real name?"
"Nah, his real name isn't pronounceable in English," Faith said. "Galen is the closest he thought he could get to it."
"You talked to him a lot, didn't you?"
Faith shrugged. "He's all right. He really doesn't like vampires so I think that's part of the reason he's gonna help us. He thinks vamps are beneath demons. If anyone of 'em get near the diner, he's goes after them."
"And you helped him?"
"Common goal, I guess. Plus, he's a great cook."
Buffy laughed and shook her head as she opened the door and walked inside. They immediately saw that the living room had been overrun with old books and Giles was pacing, looking as though the phone had been attached to his ear since they left. He didn't look too happy either.
"Of course," Giles said quickly into the phone. "Call when you receive them." He hung up and looked at the two slayers. "Any success in what you left to do?"
"Yeah," Faith answered, nodding. "I think we just found a way to take the demons out of the battle."
Giles sat down in a chair and Buffy and Faith sat on the couch as close to each other as they dared. "What have you come up with?"
"I noticed the demons were the same type as one who owns a diner I go to," Faith said, "so we paid him a visit."
"You frequent a place that's owned by a demon?"
"Completely different story, G," Faith said. "The point's that the demons that are helping Devon are this guy's younger brothers and he's not happy they're helping a vampire."
"What will he do to help us?"
"Uh, we were hoping you could help with that." Buffy looked at Faith then Giles. "He's coming here."
The most surprising part of how their plan was coming together was that Giles and Galen were getting along as though they'd known each other for years. The watcher was impressed at how much Galen knew about the hellmouth and how he liked to talk about his clan and the other types of demons he knew.
"Are you sure you can make sure all the demons won't fight with Devon tonight?"
"I am the head of my clan so they have to listen to me. If you need other demons to help kill this vampire I think I can find a few. There are several of us who own businesses in Sunnydale and do not wish to hurt humans. We also share the same distaste of vampires."
"And they'll be okay with helping slayers?" Buffy asked.
"We share a common goal," Galen said. "It would be foolish for any of them to think Devon would be fair to them if he is victorious."
"They also know that if we think they're against us in all this we got no problem taking 'em out," Faith said. "If we have enough of them on our side this'll be a lot less hard."
"The reason this vampire wants my brothers to help him is that we are very hard to kill." Galen shifted uncomfortably on the couch and Buffy was surprised the furniture hadn't broken under his weight. "I'm sure he knows that you would have a hard time fighting them."
"All the more reason for them to be on our side," Giles said.
"So this is the plan . . ." Buffy started and hoped for her friends' sakes it would work.
Giles had offered to drive them but Buffy and Faith agreed that a car driving through a street full of rundown or abandoned would draw unwanted attention to them.
Both of them carried a weapons bag as they walked down the street to the warehouse but not for any complicated or overly sinister reason. It was only to keep the weapons hidden as they walked through town. The last thing they needed was someone stopping them because they were walking through downtown Sunnydale with crossbows in their hands.
"Think this will work?" Buffy asked as they stopped in front of the warehouse.
"Even if it does nothing won't doing a little damage to Devon's warehouse make you feel a little better?" Faith commented, a small smirk on her face. "Are you sure this won't hurt the gang?"
Buffy nodded. "If Devon is as smart as he thinks he is, he wouldn't put them by a window. Xander, Willow and Oz are smart enough that they would break one during the day if they had the chance. Devon would never allow that to happen."
"Then let's do this."
The pair moved to stand on the opposite side of the street and pulled out their crossbows, making sure they were ready to go. Buffy looked across the street and wished they could storm the building right away but knew that would be foolish. They had no idea how many, if any, vampires were inside. They weren't even one hundred percent sure their friends were being kept there.
When they had discussed their options with Giles and Galen both Faith and Buffy mentioned that they had noticed that while some of the windows in the warehouse had been completely boarded up, most were simply blacked out. That meant if there were any vampires in the building during the day a broken window might cause a little chaos. From what Buffy remembered from the previous night, the interior of the warehouse was open so light would travel a good distance inside.
"Should we make a game outta this?" Faith asked as she got ready to shoot.
"What kind of game?"
"You know, if we can shoot a window completely out in one shot, if we can hear the vamp screaming and burning after the shot . . . that kind of thing."
Buffy eyed the building, wondering which one to aim for first. "And what does the winner get?"
"Well, when I win I know what I want," Faith said, showing off her dimples as she turned to Buffy. "You."
"Why don't we talk about who gets what once we've damaged some property?" Buffy smiled and winked at her.
"No fun." Faith shook her head in disapproval before aiming and firing, shooting an arrow toward the top of one of the front windows. It broke through, shattering the entire pane. "I half expect vamps to start running out screaming."
Buffy didn't respond, only shook her head with a smile and fired, breaking a pane in a different window. They broke a few more before they started to hear grumblings and shouts from inside. For a moment Buffy though Faith might be right in that they would see vampires run out on fire but that didn't happen. It did sound like whoever was inside was scrambling though and hopefully that meant it would stall whatever they had organized for tonight.
They separated after a minute, Buffy taking one side of the warehouse and Faith the other, and concentrated on any window that wasn't boarded up and would let light in. Buffy kept her distance from the actual building as she did, still not liking the unknown their actions would cause. They weren't sure if demons were inside with any vampires and that would likely be a problem for them if there was. Demons wouldn't have any problem running out to attack them.
The yells got louder until Buffy ran out of arrows and quickly walked over to Faith, who was already on the other side of the street putting her crossbow away.
"I think we rattled them a little."
Faith looked at her and grinned. "Yeah, they sound pissed. How many windows did you break?"
"Enough," Buffy answered, shrugging. "I think I got all the ones that will let sunlight in."
"I think I'm gonna declare myself winner by default then." She helped Buffy close her weapons bag then looked into her eyes, causing Buffy to hold her breath for a moment. Now that Faith had let all her walls down around her it was like Buffy was finally seeing the real Faith. It made her eyes all the more striking. "Guess I get to pick how we celebrate our future victory."
"If you're going where I think you are with this I hope it's a private party." Buffy raised her eyebrow as they began walking. "Group participation is this celebration is . . ."
"Definitely not where I was headed," Faith finished for her. "I want you all to myself."
Buffy felt a blush coming on but didn't say anything else as they walked to the diner. She hoped that whatever went on inside the warehouse didn't involve hurting their friends. It was her thought that even with their preemptive attack on Devon's location he wouldn't be foolish enough to do anything to his captives. He had to know that would hurt his negotiations with them.
Of course, Buffy had no plans of handing over Faith or herself for that matter. With what they were trying to do prior to Devon's midnight deadline, she hoped it wouldn't come to that at all. She didn't want Faith to think she needed to be the bait and sacrifice herself for the rest of them. Faith needed to realize she was a fully a member of the Scooby gang and Buffy hoped to convince her of that.
It didn't take long for them to get to the diner but they didn't go inside, instead walking around the back to the door of Galen's place. Both of them laughed when they realized that not only had the door Faith had kicked in been repaired but there was also a note on it.
"Slayers, the door is open. Please don't make me buy another one."
"He knows me so well," Faith said, laughing as she opened the door for Buffy and followed her inside.
They walked into the small apartment and Buffy's mouth dropped slightly as they reached the small living room. It was crammed full with Galen and his brothers. She didn't know how they even were able to fit into the small space.
"I see you have company," Faith said as she eyed all of them.
"These are my brothers." Galen gestured to the eight other demons in the room. "They will not be helping the vampire."
"Do they speak for themselves?" Buffy asked.
"Devon was paying us for protection and to watch out for when your friend returned to Sunnydale," one of them said. "He doesn't trust that many of the vampires can protect him from you like we can."
Buffy narrowed her eyes. "Are any of you responsible for Devon having our friends?"
The demon who spoke nodded and Faith shook her head. "All of you need to realize right now that the only reason you're alive is 'cause of your big bro here."
"They understand," Galen said before any of them could and they all nodded their heads in agreement. "We will help to destroy the vampire."
"Do you think you can get anyone else in on this?" Buffy asked. "The more we have on our side the better chance we have."
"Devon said that one of you will be sacrificed so the hellmouth will be opened," the brother closest to Galen said. "He found a spell that he will recite when he pours your blood onto it. It will make it so the hellmouth can never be closed."
"How do you know that?" Faith asked.
"He talks a lot and doesn't realize how well we hear."
Buffy turned her head and Faith met her eyes. She had no idea if Faith fully believed the rest of the demons but it looked like she believed Galen when he said all of them would help in destroying Devon's plans. Since they didn't have time to find any other help, Buffy knew she needed to place the same trust in Galen Faith had.
"I think there are three or four other demons who would be willing to fight against this vampire," Galen said, answering Buffy's previous question. "They are good fighters but nowhere near what we are."
"Gonna hold you to that," Faith put in. "We're gonna need to meet here tonight after the sunset. I don't think all of you will be able to get to Giles' unnoticed. This is closer to the warehouse anyway."
"We will be ready."
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