I know it wasn't due till July the third, but it was done, others had already posted theirs, and otherwise there's a chance that I'll forget all about posting it on time. ;)
Written for carebear173 who wanted Faith in prison, with Buffy and Angel visiting her, Angel friendship, and Buffy semi-friendship, with tension. And no femmeslash or too fluffy. Hopefully, this will please. :)
Title : Maybe Someday
Author : Booster
Rating : 15 for language.
Summary : Even Faith occasionally got visitors in prison.
Disclaimer : Buffy and the gang belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Not me.
Setting : The end of Buffy season 5 and Angel season 2.
Feedback: Yes, please.
She never was sure if they knew about each other, but hell if she was going to be the one to bring it up.
It always provided more of a fillip as she walked along the dark and dirty hallways of the prison, wondering whether it was Buffy or Angel that would be waiting on the other side of the glass for her. Turning that last corner and into the visiting rooms, she wouldn’t have to look to know which one of them it was waiting for her. She might be out of practice, but her special senses were still working well enough to recognize her ‘sister’ in slaying, or the vamp.
So, she would stroll along to her seat in a deliberately relaxed and carefree manner if it were Buffy she sensed, or just walk as normal to see Angel. She’d figured out one night when she couldn’t sleep that half the problems with Buffy was that both of them had fallen into a routine within minutes of meeting each other for the first time back in Sunnydale. She was the bad girl, the wild, free and damn-the-consequences girl. Buffy was therefore the innocent Miss Goody two shoes, who just happened to run away from home, lie about her vampire boyfriend and be a bitch.
Angel, on the other hand, just accepted her as herself. No roles to fall back on, no tried and tested routines to run through together. And much, much harder to be.
First time that she’d walked this route, she’d been puzzled and a little worried. She, of all people, getting a visitor?
She’d only been in for a week at that point, still getting used to the routine. The other inmates had already learned to leave her alone. The guards too had noticed that something was off about her by that point. All that she had wanted was to be left alone to sort though the jumbled mess of feelings that had been running through her mind. Buffy. Wes. Angel.
And there he was in front of her, sitting across on the other side of the glass. Numbly, she sank onto the seat her side, and stared at Angel.
“Um… hey,” he started off with.
Faith blinked, and realized that he was just as lost and as nervous as she was. Something tight in her chest relaxed, and the tension that was holding her rigid stopped. Slumping fully onto the chair, Faith smiled. Her first real smile for months. “Hey, yourself,” she answered back.
He looked at her for a moment, and a smile twitched at the corner of his mouth too. “So..” he said, “Found what you’re looking for yet?”
Faith considered this. Somehow, she didn’t feel like lying to him, or evading the question. He’d seen her at her lowest, on her knees in the pounding rain, begging him to kill her. And he still wanted to help her. At the very least she owed him complete honesty.
“Not yet. I’m still not sure what I want. Or even who I am without the Slaying thing.”
He’d nodded understandingly, and switched the conversation to safer, more trivial topics for the rest of that visit.
Faith waited patiently for the complex system of gates and locks to open and let her into the visiting section. She’d learned that in prison – patience. Everything eventually passed, and eventually indeed, the gate swung open, and she continued her walk towards her visitor.
The next time she had a visitor, she’d happily assumed it was Angel and merrily tripped along this same route to meet him. She’d rounded that last corner and had craned her neck trying to get a glimpse of that brooding figure, only to physically recoil at the sight of her.
What the fuck was she doing here?
She’d thought that the two of them would almost never lay eyes on each other ever again. She’d have put money on that, even after being released from prison. And now she was visiting?
When in doubt, fall back on old habits. Faith swaggered over to the chair on her side and straddled it as offensively as possible. “Decided to come slum it down with the bad girls then, B?” she sneered.
“Like I don’t run into enough skanky bitches ‘round the Sunnydale graveyards,” Buffy sneered back almost instantly. The two settled down on their chairs, watching the other intently, almost probing each other’s defences. Faith could afford to wait – she had all the time in the world after all.
Buffy cracked first. “So, you remember my little sister Dawn, then?” she said, casual tone of voice betraying that it was not a casual question at all.
Dawn? Who…oh, Dawnie! How the hell could she forget the only person in Sunnydale that had unconditionally accepted her? Oh crap… did that mean Buffy had found out how Faith had introduced the subtle art of shoplifting to Dawn? She didn’t care about herself anymore, but Dawnie?
“Sure do, B. So what’s the little brat gone and done now?” looking Buffy straight in the face and covering as hard as possible.
“Huh,” came the not at all reassuring reply. Buffy settled back into her chair, mind obviously thinking hard on something. Okay – just what was going on here?
“You came all the way up here just to check on your little sis then, B? Or was it to see how I’m doing?” Faith said in what she hoped was an off hand manner. Maybe she could distract Buffy from whatever she was thinking so hard about.
It worked. Buffy’s eyes narrowed, and she finally looked at Faith properly for the first time since the two of them had sat down. “Like I want to come visit Skank Central,” she sneered back at her fellow Slayer. “I want attitude, I can get enough of that from Dawn.”
“Yeah, yeah, B” sneered Faith back in response. “Like you’re not loving seeing me behind bars here.” She leaned forward, slapped one hand down on the tabletop and caught Buffy’s gaze, “Don’t you forget, B – we’re two sides of the same coin. Dark. Light. Fun. Duty. Order. Chaos.”
Faith smiled grimly, as Buffy looked away first. “Heads and Tails, B.” She snorted in mild humour. “And face it, Buff - I was always about the tail.”
Buffy settled back into her chair, and folded her arms. Regarding Faith carefully, she eventually sighed and relaxed. “I… I just… I’m not fond of prisons, okay? Couple of years back, I thought for sure I was gonna end up in one.” Her turn to smile in that grim way. “Not so different, after all, I guess.”
Faith tried not to let any of the surprise she felt show on her face. “You? Princess Perfect? What the fuck did you do?”
“Pushed my mom’s new boyfriend down the stairs. Turned out not to have a pulse after he landed.” Buffy said, flicking her blonde hair out of her eyes.
Whoa. “Yeah. That would get you a one way ticket to a place like this, alright. So… spill. Why aren’t you here?” asked Faith, intent on Buffy now.
“Eh,” Buffy shrugged, “Guy turned out to be a robot with no pulse anyhow, so it wasn’t like I’d actually killed him. Sure put me through hell for a while though.”
Faith smirked, secretly fascinated by a glimpse into the past. “Eh, Sunnyhell. What else you gonna expect?” The two Slayers smirked at each other across the table, before realizing just who they were laughing with. They stopped smiling at the same moment, and just stared silently at each other across the table.
Buffy stood up, and pushed the chair back under the table. “Look,” she started, “Maybe we are two different paths taken and all that other literary crap Giles keeps trying to get me to read, but we do have the same power and the same responsibility to use it right.”
She looked Faith firmly in the face once more. “Maybe if we can forgive Angel for what Angelus did, then maybe one day…” She broke off, unable to finish her sentence. “I might, y’know, pop in. Next time I’m passing. In LA.”
She turned and left the room, shooting one last look back over her shoulder. “You know... maybe.”
Faith had just sat there, and stared into space for a while afterwards.
God, she needed a cigarette.
Turning the corner, and into the room, she knew it was Angel and moved to their usual table. Swinging herself onto the seat, she looked up at him, and froze, her sardonic quip never uttered. He looked like shit… haggard, almost haunted and staring at his hands.
And suddenly she knew.
Why he was there, why he looked like that, and why she’d woken up that morning feeling odd.
Her mouth moved, without saying anything before the words came out of his.