So, i thought it would be just a simple replace the washer scenario. The brass is so old, the handle has a setscrew and then it unscrews, then there's a cap with the threads destroyed then a porcelain skirt and finally a packing nut and below that a pull out the valve core nut. So i unscrew the valve core nut, pop out the valve, replace the washer (almost down to the metal here and the washer needs a little sanding to fit) and pop the core back in BUT after tightning, the valve just spins freely with nothing happening.
Well, it turns out that the valve screws into a floating seat and i don't know how to secure it. I've done this type before and got away with it through blind luck i guess.