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Becoming Kate
By NautiBitz

Info and Author's Notes: See introduction.

Chapter summary: Kate Lockley, the Vampire Slayer, suffers the consequences of sleeping with her ensouled vampire lover, Faith.

Kate shimmies into her bedroom window just before midnight.

"Katie?" Her father, shouting as he opens the apartment's front door.

She kicks off her shoes, sheds her jacket, and ventures out into the hallway, assuming the casual pose of someone who's been lounging in her bedroom for hours.

"Hi, Dad," she greets, before noticing his redfaced rage.

He advances. "Who did this?"

He shoves a sheet of paper in front of her. At the center of it, she recognizes a polaroid of herself, nude, dozing on Faith's bed. Real blood dots the crotch area of the photo and the words GUESS WHO GOT THERE FIRST, POP are scrawled across the page.

Kate trembles, the paper floats to the floor. She backs away, staring at it.

"Who did this?" he snarls.

She can't speak. She can't think. She can just vaguely hear him shouting, "Katie! Don't you protect this piece a' shit, you hear me? Tell me who it is and I'll make him sorry he was ever born! He'll be at the bottom of the Pacific with cement boots on, time I'm done with him!"

She trembles, shaking her head, staring at Faith's portrayal of her in post-coital sleep.

"Goddammit!" He holds her at arm's length, shakes her until she looks at him. "What'd he do to you? Don't you protect him! Tell me!"

Still in shock, she whispers, "Dad, it's not..."

"What? You're trying to tell me it's some kind of sick joke? Do you have any idea what it was like for me to get this at work -- to have the whole precinct see my daughter...?" He shook his head.

She snaps out of it, looks at him. "You... This is about your embarrassment?"

"No!" he blurts, and runs his palm over his face.

Same old story. Same old Dad. "Yeah, thanks a lot, Dad. Thanks for caring so deeply--"

He slaps her. "Dammit, Katie! I thought you were dead! You hear me? I thought this shitbastard killed you!"

Eyes wide, she touches her stinging cheek. He's never slapped her, not once. She turns to leave.

"Katie!" He grabs her, hugs her fiercely. "I'm sorry, Katie... I can't lose you too."<BR