by Padre

"Um, Faith, if I may?"

Faith broke away from her rather intense solitary knife-fighting drills to see Giles standing in the doorway behind here. Dripping with sweat and with not a light touch of irritation in her voice, Faith's only response was "What?"

"Your technique."

"What technique?"

"Your knife-fighting. It's..."

Faith, being Faith, became instantly defensive. "What's wrong with it?"

"Actually, well, to be blunt, it does appear a bit amateurish."

For a slight moment, Faith looked at Giles as if he had suddenly grown an additional head. "Uhhhh-huh." she finally allowed. "Is that right? Well, you know, it's done me pretty well so far, wouldn't you think?" Faith's face carried a plastered forced smile.

Giles saw the smile and was well aware of what it meant. "Well, yes-"

"I mean," Faith continued, while counting off on her fingers and walking towards Giles, "I did help a little with fighting The First. I seem to remember you being there as well."

"Please, Faith-"

She drew closer. "And do I even have to remind you of my crazy antics around the Cleveland hellmouth? I closed it, didn't I? Yeah, that's right. Me. I think I did pretty well there, too."

"Yes, you did. No one is suggesting-"

"And, after all the Wannabe's got themselves all slayer'd up and flown the coop, and all the new Watcher's are running around after them, who's the uber-dumbass with nothing else to do other than hang around in here in Old Fogy Central and make sure the pipes don't freeze when it get's cold?"

Giles looked rather offended. "I think that the, ah, 'uber-dumbass', as you so put it, would be you." The Englishman took a deep breath and sighed. "And, I must admit, that applies to me as well, does it not?"

She was now really up in his face, yet she spoke softly. "Yeah, that kinda spells it out. So, then, Giles, what are you really saying?"

It took a second or so, but slowly, a noticeable chill entered into Giles' eyes. The chill rapidly spread all over his very presence, cumulating in a distinct and cruel sneer. "You could be better."

"How's that?"

Ripper repeated himself. "You could be better, my dear girl. Deadlier than ever." He gazed deeply into Faith's eyes. "I could show you how."

The Dark Slayer grinned from ear to ear. "Teach me."


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