Chapter One: Push and Pull
I don’t own Buffy, The Sentinel, or Dark Angel. That’s Joss Whedon, Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo, or James Cameron. Author’s Notes:
Takes place 6 months to a year after A Watcher’s Charming Adventure.
Faith had grown used to men that were easily affectionate with one another. (Giles and Xander; Xander and Oz; Xander and pretty much any man he’d ever met except Tony Harris.) So it took her while to realize Jim and Blair were in a relationship
relationship. And it didn’t bother her that her bio dad had a thing for Blair. She regularly slept with two dudes that regularly slept with each other; she didn’t throw stones.
But James Ellison
, former Army Ranger, clean cut, all American macho man detective? Having a relationship with squirrelly little Blair Sandburg, who’d managed to make her smile the first time they’d met? Yeah, that fucked with her a little bit. Jim seemed so vanilla and straight-laced. Gods knew that he reacted to the news that she was in a committed threeway relationship like Xander and Oz were corruption her. (Which was hilarious, after the fact.) Yet, he and Blair were a comfortable fit, like old jeans that’d had time to wear in just right. It was curious.
So, being who she was, Faith asked. “The gay thing? Is it a Sentinel/Shaman thing?”
Jim pursed his lips, studying her and ignoring whatever he was stirring up that smelled so good. Finally, he shrugged and said, “Maybe. Mostly I think it’s a Sandburg thing.” He turned his attention back to the food and asked, “It bother you?”
“The Sandburg thing?” she snorted, taking a sip of her (nonalcoholic because Xander’s issues had been showing lately) drink. “No. You’re just not what I expected.”
He smiled and said, “Since I didn’t expect you at all, I guess that’s fair.”
Faith grinned into her glass, glad they’d finally gotten past the initial freak out stage of ‘Oh my gods, my dad’s a cop
’ and ‘Oh my God, I have a preteen supersoldier son and a Slayer daughter who has already given me grandchildren
,’ respectively. Strangely, Faith wasn’t sure whose freak out lasted longer.
“I think I’m going to bring Zane up this weekend,” she said and watched his hands momentarily stutter in their practiced movements. She bit back a grin, trying to be polite and give him a moment to suppress his panic.
Zane had come up with a reason to stay behind every time Faith came for a visit. At Blair’s urging, no one had pressed the issue. Faith was pretty sure that patience was making the issue worse, though. Zane’s freak out mostly seemed to consist of actually having family that wanted him and Faith figured putting this off was only letting his anxieties grow. (She should really stop hanging out with Heightmeyer. Shrinks had a way of sinking into the subconscious.) So, listening to instinct, she was going to put boot to butt, figuratively, if she had to, but her patience was officially at an end.
Jim, having collected himself, nodded. “Alright, I’ll make sure to have enough for everyone to eat.
Faith glanced around the apartment, comfortably cluttered with the lives of two men and made a snap decision. “On the other hand, I think maybe it’s time you came to visit the Council.”
Jim’s eyebrows rose. She’d been the one making up excuses for why he shouldn’t visit the Council, after all. But he just nodded and said, “If you think that’s best.”
She shifted, uncomfortable. Truth be told, she didn’t really want to mix Jim, Blair, and the Council. Jim was all by-the-book cop, Blair his backup that kept him from being too stick-up-the-butt, but the Council was Freaks-R-Us, your one stop shop for all your world saving needs. But Zane wouldn’t feel comfortable here. It’d taken Faith a while to figure out where she belonged in this apartment that had a decade of detritus going on. Zane wasn’t nearly as able to figure out where he stood with people. The Council was his stomping ground, where he felt the most comfortable. Probably that was what they’d been doing wrong since the beginning, expecting Zane to come to Jim and not the other way around “Yeah,” she finally said, nodding.
She just hoped Jim didn’t run for the hills when he found out how weird they really were. It was one thing to be told; it completely different to see the weird in action.