FanFic - Crossovers
"Six of One"
Part 1
by Aesop
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters from Roswell, BTVS or Angel. I'm just borrowing them. No profit is earned and I'll dust them off before I return them. This crossover is rated PG-13 for mild violence.
Category: Crossovers
Rating: PG-13
"I'm not sure I understand Mr?"

"Wyndam-Price. Wesley, please."

"Wesley. You say you're a private investigator?"

"I work for one," the very proper British gentleman responded. He sat diffidently in the Sheriff's office, looking rather uncomfortable at being there. "Mostly I do the background research for him and rarely go out in the field. Circumstances however, dictate a slight change in routine. My employer is stuck in L.A. on other business, and asked me to come."

"What circumstances are those precisely? You said this involved a dangerous fugitive?"

"Yes, here." He handed over a manila folder. "This contains the relevant information, but it does not tell the whole story, and it would be quicker for me to summarize. Her name is Faith. She was arrested and sentenced for a string of violent crimes, two counts of murder and, um, countless counts of assault and aggravated assault." Valenti looked up, clearly disturbed by the contents of the folder.

"She has quite a history. She escaped?"

"Not exactly. This is the part that will be difficult to accept. I know it was difficult for me." Valenti raised a questioning eyebrow and waited for his odd visitor to compose himself. "You see, Faith turned herself in. She confessed to all of the charges brought against her without attempting a defense. This is peculiar for Faith, especially since I know that one of the murders she is charged with was actually an unfortunate accident. But she accepted the sentence without comment."

"Guilty conscience perhaps?"

"Had you asked me even a month ago I would have denied that Faith had a conscience." He shook his head wonderingly. "Now, I'm not sure. Especially after her 'escape.'"

"What happened exactly?"

"She was on a bus with several other prisoners, being transported to a women's correctional facility in L.A. County. The bus was attacked en route. Three men armed with automatic weapons disabled the bus and shot the driver. They demanded that Faith be released, promising no one would be hurt if the guards complied."

"Sounds like friends breaking her out." Wesley shook his head.

"Faith doesn't have any friends. She does have quite a few enemies though. She got out of her chains and left the bus, taking a guard's gun with her. The reports are a bit confused, but they all agree that Faith tackled one of the guards as the attackers opened up, quite probably saving his life. When she left the bus she began shooting at the three men, and wounded one of them, before taking off and leading them away from the bus."

"And what do you make of this?" Valenti asked. He didn't know what to think himself, but it sounded as if his guest was personally acquainted with Faith.

"I'm not sure. Faith can be very clever, but I do not believe she orchestrated this. In fact I'm sure she didn't. I believe that those men were attempting to kill her, leaving her no choice but to run."

"And what exactly is you're interest in this?"

"It was largely due to my employer's efforts that Faith turned herself in and cooperated with the prosecutors. When he learned what had happened he began to track her. I believe her current course will bring her through your town."

"Someone tried to kill her and she's headed here?"

"Probably just intending to pass through, but yes, this is on her route if she holds true to her present course. There was a report of her in Tucson."

"Any idea who tried to kill her?" His guest thought for a moment.

"Two possibilities. Faith used to work for, er a group of men who valued her special talents. They didn't appreciate her turning on them and offering her talents for sale. The second possibility is a law firm in Los Angeles."

"A law firm?" Valenti wasn't sure he'd heard correctly.

"Wolfram and Hart. They paid her $15,000 to kill a man who has put several of their richest and most prominent clients behind bars. She took the money, but didn't complete the contract. They might want to kill her on principle alone, or they might be concerned about her telling the authorities what little she knows about them. Being lawyers you understand, there was no formal or verifiable arrangement. Frankly, I think the former possibility is more likely."

"General principle?" The Englishman nodded.

"I know this is rather bizarre sheriff, but I assure you time is of the essence in this."

"It's all a little hard take in," Valenti commented, "especially when I see her picture. How old is she? Eighteen?"

"I believe so, yes. You can verify this with the authorities in L.A. if you wish. The detective she surrendered to is an acquaintance of my employer."

"I will verify it. I believe all the information I need is here." He tapped the folder. "Let me review it and I'll contact you." Wesley gave him the name and number of the hotel where he was staying and left.

He hadn't told Valenti everything of course, he would never be believed, but he had given enough verifiable information to ensure the sheriff's assistance. Hopefully, Faith would still be willing to cooperate.

Her path between L.A. and Tucson had been strangely devoid of violent incidents. It was only in Tucson that things went wrong. She had been spotted near the bodies of a homeless woman and an uniformed police officer. It was that report and a few rumored sightings after that, that had drawn him to Roswell New Mexico.

When he returned to his hotel room Wesley booted up the laptop computer he had brought with him and checked his email. There was one from Cordelia. He perused it eagerly, hoping for word of Faith's whereabouts. Instead he found a new puzzle.

The two murder victims in Tucson had not been beaten or stabbed. With Willow's help, Cordelia had managed to look at the coroner's report though. Apparently their blood had been heated to the boiling point. The only outward sign of violence was a strange silver hand print on both victims.

"Silver hand print?" Wesley considered this carefully. It sounded familiar, and he turned to one of his more indispensable tomes. He couldn't bring his entire library, but he had brought along a few general references. Cordelia had been rather sarcastic about his choice of carry-on items, but Wesley had ignored her. He was competent with a crossbow and one or two other tools of the trade it was true, but knowledge had always been his weapon of choice.

***********************************************************************

How had it gone so wrong? He cursed his rotten luck as he drove. Then clucked his tongue and chided himself. Emotions were for the weak. Anger at the situation would not help resolve it.

He had had to kill Loessing when the man began to suspect him. It should have been easy to make the humans believe that an alien assassin was trying to pick them off, but his bad luck had not yet run it's course, and they had discovered that Loessing had been moved after he'd been killed.

That hadn't fit with his story. The situation was still salvageable though. He had to convince them that the killer was someone else. Being in two places at once wasn't that difficult for a shape-shifter if he planned carefully, and he had.

The next agent died while 'Pierce' was in his office across town and another agent was spotted fleeing the scene. It wasn't enough though. Stupid paranoid creatures, Nasedo fumed as he drove. Fortunately there were adequate numbers of humans to use as diversions. It was all they were good for anyway. Being spotted in Tucson by the cop had been unfortunate but unimportant. After all, 'Pierce' was in Denver following up a sighting.

Since he was in the area anyway, relatively speaking, he decided to finish some business in Roswell. He should also look in on his charges.

***********************************************************************

"Why are we doing this again?"

"He pissed me off." It wasn't the whole reason, or even the most important one, but it was the only one her traveling companion would probably understand.

"Okay." He cranked up the radio, listening to one of those retro stations he liked so much. Faith held onto her temper with an effort. Why was she hanging out with this loser? True he had a car, but she could have easily swiped one herself.

Misery loves company, she thought morosely. It certainly had been a miserable few weeks. Ever since those Council bastards had ambushed the prison bus, things had been going down hill for her. That thought alone was depressing, to think that she had been looking forward to prison.

She almost counted it as a stroke of luck when she ran into Spike in that hole of a bar trying to drink himself into oblivion. He had his own reasons for being depressed, not that Faith cared what they were, but it gave her someone to commiserate with. The idea of the two of them having anything in common made her sick, and he freely admitted the same to her, but for some reason they had stuck together.

They were both at the absolute nadir of their existence, or as Spike had so poetically put it after the fifth round, "We've both hit bottom and are busily digging holes for our stinking corpses." Faith had considered killing him at that point but decided it would take too much effort. She had actually cheered him up by saying that she would consider killing him tomorrow.

"Yer a pal," he had slurred, slapping her on the back. Faith didn't remember anything beyond that point until they had woken up in the alley shortly before dawn. Apparently the bartender had decided that it was easier than calling a cab or the cops to have them tossed in the drunk tank. The two had been together ever since.

They had hit the road for lack of anything better to do. The Council was still looking to kill her and despite what she may have said to Spike while binging, she wasn't ready to just roll over and die. It wasn't till they hit Tucson that Faith had found something to divert her from her deep funk.

Faith had heard a woman scream, and she'd been in motion before she realized it. Spike hadn't been with her at the time. They had parted company earlier in the evening when he'd said something about raiding the bloodmobile. Faith had sent him on his way with a 'bon appetit' and a lurch of her stomach.

For once she had been happy not to be soused. When she had rounded the corner at full tilt she found that she hadn't been the only one to hear the scream. There was a cop pointing his gun at a well-dressed man standing over a woman's body.

"Move away from her now! Keep your hands where I can see them." Neither one had noticed Faith slipping into the shadows.

"Of course officer." The man had meekly complied and the cop had moved forward to cuff him. Before he could even close one bracelet though the well-dressed man had turned and placed his hand on the cop's chest. There was a brief glow and a strangled scream as the cop fell. Faith's eyes had narrowed in the almost instinctive hatred that came with being a Slayer. Demon.

She waited until the creature had left and then went to examine the bodies. She needed to know what it had done to them before tackling the thing herself. Both were dead, and there was no outward sign of injury. Maybe the damage was all internal. Taking out her knife, she had briefly considered checking the skin at least for some sign of what the demon had done to them but didn't get the opportunity. The cop's partner had arrived and seen her kneeling by the bodies with a knife.

Someone must be having a great big laugh at my expense, she thought bitterly as they sped on down the highway in pursuit of the demon. Spike didn't know what the big deal was, and Faith wasn't too sure herself. Perhaps it was just something to do, a diversion. Or maybe one lost Slayer was looking for some kind of redemption. Whatever.

***********************************************************************

"Yeesh." Wesley reviewed what limited information he had on the creature that left the silver hand print. It was a recent phenomenon by the standards of his profession. The first occurrence had been just over a century ago. The frequency of incidents had jumped dramatically starting around 1955. Not all of those incidents involved the death of a human, but most did.

Very little was known about the creatures themselves, but there had been a few direct encounters with them. It seemed they were shape-shifters and vulnerable to "Well, that's new."

Wesley leaned back in the desk chair in his hotel room. "Odd, but fairly easy to arrange." He reached for the phone book.

***********************************************************************

"Detective Kate Lockley speaking."

"Detective Lockley. This is Jim Valenti. I'm the sheriff in Roswell New Mexico. I'm calling about a young woman, you have a fugitive arrest warrant out for. She's just listed as Faith." Kate sat up straight, focusing her full attention on the phone call.

"Faith, long brown hair, dresses like a hooker, completely psychotic?"

"Ah, I haven't actually met her, a man came to see me earlier today with information that she might be passing this way though."

"Who?"

"His name is Wyndham-Price."

"I see. Angel's man."

"Angel. He's the P.I.?" She gave a short bark of laughter. "He provided me with quite a bit of information about her, but suggested I call you. There are some gaps in the file, and I got the impression that the official records don't tell the whole story."

"You got that right. Look sheriff, I don't know what he's been telling you, but Faith is extremely dangerous. Angel may think he can coddle her, but she put three patrolmen and a number of civilians in the hospital. Why don't you send me what information you have and I'll see what gaps I can fill in?"

Twenty minutes later, after an exchange of faxes and verifying information, they were talking again. "I hope the information I sent you makes it clear sheriff. If you get the chance to take her down don't waste it. I guarantee you won't get another."

"That's a bit extreme. She's just a teenager."

"She's a murderer," Kate said flatly. "I reviewed the case from Sunnydale, where she killed a university professor. The man was butchered."

"Why do you think this Angel or his employees would coddle her?"

"He hid her for a time. The only reason he's not in jail is that she turned herself in and insisted that he was the one who convinced her to do so."

"Hmm. I'm looking now at the account of her escape. This makes it sound like she could have left at any time. I don't like the idea of harboring fugitives, but what if she did need convincing?"

"That's beside the point and you know it."

"True. Anything on the people who attacked the bus?"

"No. The guards claim that the man who spoke to them had a British accent, but that's all we have to go on. I checked on the whereabouts of Angel and his associates and they all had solid alibis." At least Angel did, she fumed. It had been broad daylight.

"You suspected them of breaking her out?"

"It occurred to me. They have a history with her, and despite the trouble she caused him he refused to add to the list of charges."

"What would Angel have accused her of?"

"According to his associate, Wesley, Faith had been hired to kill him." There was a stunned silence at the other end of the line.

"Say that again." She did. "Let me get this straight. She was hired, by Wofram and Hart, to kill this guy, and instead, he hides her from the police while convincing her to turn herself in?" Valenti's tone spoke volumes about his ability to accept this story.

"Yeah, actually. Angel's a real piece of work."

"You don't sound very fond of him."

"I'm not. He skates along the edge of the law at the best of times. I suggest you take whatever his associate tells you with a grain of salt. He has no reason to do any favors for Faith, considering what she did to him, but he is loyal to Angel."

"I'll bear that in mind. Thank you detective, you've been very helpful."

"Let me know if you catch her." Curt farewells were exchanged and Valenti put down the phone. Oh man, he thought wonderingly. What sort of mess was headed his way now? As if the aliens and the FBI weren't trouble enough, he now had what sounded like a psychotic amazon on his hands, and what was the trouble between Lockley and the Brit's employer? It sounded more personal than professional if her tone was any indication.

He set that aside. That wasn't relevant at the moment, but he should keep it in mind when dealing with the Brit in the future. Which reminded him, he had agreed to call Wesley as soon as he had any information. He had one more call to make though. Picking up the phone, he began dialing.

***********************************************************************

The contrivance was crude, but it should be effective. It had taken Wesley time to assemble the necessary equipment. Actually, the equipment had been easily obtained, it was getting it to work the way he needed it to, a way in which the manufacturer had never intended, that proved the problem. Wesley had burned himself twice before getting the contraption to work properly, but he kept at it, knowing he would get one shot at the creature at best. If he failed it would almost certainly kill him.

While he worked he pondered Faith's connection to the demon. Was she actually taking up her proper work again? Or had she found a new ally? Given her history and erratic nature, either was possible. Wesley wasn't prepared to rule out any possibility when it came to the rogue Slayer.

***********************************************************************

Valenti was angry. He managed not to slam down the phone, but just barely. It was almost sunset and Max Evans would be home by now. After the talk he'd had with the coroner in Tucson, Valenti had some hard questions for Max. It wasn't impossible that Faith had killed those people, but it seemed unlikely. At least it was unlikely unless Faith was a lot more than he'd been told.

It would, he realized, explain how she had escaped with such evident ease and the Brit's reference to her talents. At the time he had taken that to mean her fighting skills and her evident love of violence. What if there was more to it? He shook it off. He would know soon enough. Grabbing his keys, the sheriff headed out the door.

***********************************************************************

"You did what?!" Nasedo actually flinched at Max's tone. "You were supposed to monitor and direct their activities, not kill them off!" Max turned away in disgust. How could he have let this happen?

At the time, putting Nasedo in charge of the special unit had seemed brilliant. He hadn't counted on the fact that the shape-shifter was a bloody-minded psychopath. Angrily, he paced back and forth across the living room. Liz and Isabel were the only ones present, their parents being away for the evening.

Both of them stayed quiet and out of the way. They were as angry as Max, but for him, it was worse. It had been his idea. Those men were dead because of him. Max wondered if the shape-shifter would obey an order to stop killing people. It seemed unlikely. The alien had absolutely no regard for human life. To him, his actions were expedient, nothing more. Max had suspected as much before, based on what Liz had told him about her time with Nasedo, but it was only now sinking in.

"I have taken steps to allay their suspicions. You needn't be concerned about my cover." Max rounded on him, staring incredulously.

"I'm not concerned about your cover. I'm angry about the people you've killed. Don't you understand that?"

"Frankly, no. The humans are simply not that important." He broke off when he saw the look on his leader's face. "I know how attached you are to some of them, but they are not your people."

"You're dead wrong there," Max gritted. "They are. Up to now I've considered you a necessary evil. Now I'm starting to doubt the 'necessary' part."

"You are letting your emotions get the better of you. You need me to-"

"That's just too bad for him." Nasedo whirled to see a teen-aged girl he didn't recognize barging into the room. "'Cause you've got about a minute to live." She lashed out with a speed that astonished him, and he found himself lying on his back half-way across the room with his jaw throbbing horribly.

"That was for that homeless woman in Tucson." Nasedo cursed silently, noting that the leader was backing away from the confrontation. It was the first smart thing the boy had done that day. Nasedo raised a hand to focus his energies on his attacker and screamed as a new pain tore through him. He stared, dumbfounded, at the knife hilt that seemed to have sprung from his palm, the blade neatly impaling his hand.

"That's for the cop who caught you killing her." She stepped forward as he scrambled to his feet, backing away. A snap kick to the jaw put him down again. "And that's for any victims I don't know about."

Max watched the stranger beat Nasedo, but didn't intervene, instead he worked his way toward his sister and girlfriend, intent on getting them to safety. He didn't know who she was, but it sounded like a personal grudge, not a general hate for aliens. Max wasn't sure if he should feel guilty about not helping. Frankly, the shape-shifting murderer seemed to be getting just what he deserved.

The three teenagers were almost out of the room when the front door burst open and Valenti came in.

"Freeze!" He leveled his gun at Faith. She turned to look, becoming distracted at a critical instant, and in that instant Nasedo struck back. His outstretched hand glowed, and the presumptuous human was hurled through the front window with crushing force.

"No!" Max yelled. Not again, he swore. Not another death on his conscience. He raced for the window and went through, Liz right behind him. They found her on the front lawn, barely breathing.

"Cover me," Max whispered and dropped to his knees next to the stranger. Liz moved so that her body blocked the slight glow from his hands as he started to work. The stranger grasped her hand in a crushing grip. Liz started to cry out, startled and in pain. The sound never passed her lips. Connection.

This isn't like it is with Max. She was oddly calm. Instead of a series of images coming at her at lightning speed, she was standing in a hotel room or small apartment, she wasn't sure. The room was a mess, and very cluttered. The rumpled bed sheets drew her attention for some reason. Liz walked to the bed, unable to decide what it was that drew her attention. She didn't hear the other enter.

"It's a mess, but it's my own." Liz jerked around, startled for the first time since she'd found herself there.

"Who?"

"Faith. I'm Faith." The other girl came toward her, sort of swayed actually, and Liz took an involuntary step back. "No need to be afraid, least not of me."

"What's going on? Where am I?" Faith shrugged.

"I dunno really." She looked around. "My head I think. Feels familiar anyway. This happened once before."

"What did?"

"This place, a talk like this." She shuddered and her form blurred for a second. Liz stared in shock. "I don't think I have much time. We better get on with it."

"Oh, yeah I guess we should." Liz didn't know what she was talking about, but it felt right.

"I'm sorry. I wish this didn't have to happen to you, but there is a way I can help."

"Help how?"

"I can give you this." Faith gestured at their surroundings. "You can see I made a mess of it, but it's all I have. Maybe you can learn from my mistakes; God knows I never did." She reached out and placed a hand on Liz's cheek.

Liz gasped and sat back, staring down at Faith. Max looked up, startled.

"Liz?"

"Max I I think she's dead."

"NO!" Both looked up at the angry shout. "No!" A stranger in a black duster dropped to the ground next to them. "Oh damn!" He glared at them. "Who?" then he followed their glance toward the broken window. Then his eyes went to the door and he was on his feet.

"Wesley! Invite me in!" He started to run.

Index | Part 2
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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