Faith tries not to think too much. She figures that's not really what it's about, anyway. She does her time, waits it all out, and does what she can to help out people who need it. It's easier, during the day -- with the scheduled hours here and there and every fucking where, like she's in kindergarten, but she signed up for this, so what right does she have to bitch?
She doesn't sleep well. Not because guilt keeps her up, because then she'd never sleep at all, but because her body knows that she's not supposed to be snug in her bed. She gets restless because she needs to hunt; it's like she can feel every unnatural thing in California, swarming against the walls of her cell.
Anyway, her whole body tenses up, and her hand remembers what it feels like to hold a stake, and she usually ends up boxing her shadow until she's too tired to keep going.
When she lies back on her matress, her hair sticks to her skin because of the sweat, and Faith remembers how Buffy always used to make that face when she got sweaty. The way her nose would wrinkle, and her upper lip would curl, and she'd wipe her forehead with the back of her hand, and dive for the nearest shower.
Buffy even *sweated* dainty.
Faith doesn't have a dainty bone in her body. She doesn't know if it's because she's too impatient, or if she's just too big to be dainty, but hey - she's not really that much bigger than Buffy. She remembers fighting Buffy -- for real, and for practice, and sometimes the two blend together a little, because they always meant it a little more than they should have, didn't they? -- and she remembers how it was kind of surprising to be blocking kicks that weren't coming from someone like, five times taller than her.
Vamps and monsters seemed to come mainly in Big & Tall & Fucking Huge.
Dainty's just a Buffy thing, then. Like pastels, and family, and control, and of the four, Faith figures she's probably got the best chance of pulling off pastels.
Then again, maybe Buffy hasn't always been so controlled. Maybe Buffy's got her wild side, and of course the only person to see it is Angel, who's got his own control issues, which Faith gets but Buffy must *really* get. Faith wonders what it's like for her, how it's got to be to keep yourself so closed and stitched tight together like Buffy is. Angel's like that because if he's not, then he's killing everything with a pulse, and probably molesting furniture. Buffy, though, Faith can't quite figure.
Maybe it's because she's an only child. Maybe it's because she's a Virgo. Maybe it's because she died.
Faith's nearly died a couple of times, but she's never actually done it all the way. Buffy was only dead for a few seconds, but Faith's pretty sure that's enough to really change a girl. Especially somebody like Buffy, who probably didn't take anything too seriously up until her heart stopped beating, and who woke up to found out "Oops, yeah, you are mortal, and you have to fight until you die, and when you die, you're pobably going to go just like that: alone, and scared."
For Buffy that must have been a hell of a mean intrustion on her candy coated little world. Being a slayer was probably a shock at first, but Faith can just see Buffy turning it into just another part of her fairy tale life. Popular girl turned deep, fights for fate of the universe with trendy shoes and supernatural strength -- Buffy wouldn't have gotten death until she *died*. She wouldn't have any reason to.
Faith's never been so lucky. She was six years old for the first funeral she can remember, and eleven when there was a kid who hung himself from the bannister of the stairway one flight above where she and her mom lived. Besides, first thing her watcher did was take her out and make her watch a vampire kill some girl. Buffy probably saw something similar, so Faith gets that she can't complain too much.
Except, she was twelve, and she was so scared, and crushed behind the dumpster that smelled like bad meat and puke next to this weird tall women who told her someday she'd be strong, and clamped a hand over Faith's mouth so that Faith would have to watch. And Faith did watch, and she saw the way the girl tried to get away, and the way the vamps teeth tore into her skin, and how scared the girl was, and then after her Watcher pulled a crossbow and shot the vamp, but Faith couldn't stop crying. Because the girl was still dead, and there was this huge tear in her neck, and she had wanted to try to put it back together somehow, but it was impossible.
Anyway, Faith got death.
And she got that she was vulnerable, too: she'd been slaying before she was a Slayer, which Buffy never had. There's nothing like being chased by something you *know* deep down can kill you to teach you that you're mortal. Then there was Kakistos -- and Faith remembers the way it sounded when her watcher's bones crunched, how she'd screamed as he --
The point is -- Buffy was drowned, and her heart stopped, and so then Buffy learned that she was going to die someday and that it was going to suck, which Faith already knew, and maybe had always known.
So Buffy clamped down, and Faith never did, because she never had this big revelation. She never really had to open her eyes to the danger she was in, because she didn't ever think she wasn't in danger. But she got why Buffy would want to, she got how Buffy would feel like, maybe, if Buffy was able to run every little detail of her life down to a 'T' then maybe Buffy'd be able to avoid death.
As much as she tries not to think, Faith's got nothing but time, and that much she's figured out about herself, about Buffy.
There are a couple other things she's maybe got figured, but most of the time she doesn't even like to think them. Sometimes, though, her mind gets as restless as her body, and she knows that she's never going to earn anything like forgiveness if she can't even admit the truth to herself, and she hates those nights. Tonight's one of them, and Faith covers her eyes with her hand and blows out a breath at AC grate which hums back at her.
Faith spends more time thinking about Buffy than she should. If she's really here to think about what she did wrong, and to who, she think about Wes. She should think about any of the people she beat up, broke, tortured or killed. She should think about that first guy, the Sunnydale guy, who she staked accidentally, and who she pretended not to care about but who she still sometimes has nightmares about. Because, fuck, what's the worst she did to Buffy? She slept with Buffy's boyfriend, and wore Buffy's clothes, and pissed off her friends, and felt her up, and gave her a hell of an orgasm.
Faith did that much to other girls before anybody started thinking her name and "evil" in the same sentence. She did that much before she was licensed to drive.
But, then that's not really the worst she did to Buffy, and yeah, this is about honesty, isn't it? She rolls over onto her side and traces patterns on the cinderblock wall, and the worst she did to Buffy -- objectively -- was steal her body and her life, and try to make her watch the man she loved die. But what Buffy will never forgive Faith for is understanding things about Buffy that even Buffy doesn't get.
And she sure as hell isn't ever going to forgive Faith for falling for her, because that's not the kind of thing Buffy lets people do lightly. Yeah, Faith gets that she's with that Riley guy now. And yeah, she was with Angel before, but Faith knows that Buffy's never going to make it easy to love her. Not for anyone, and sure as hell not for anyone who Buffy hasn't approved beforehand.
Faith doesn't like the way she feels about Buffy. It's too much, and it's fucking useless and it hurts, and it's also kind of inevitable, if you think about it. Which Faith doesn't, often.
But for Buffy, who isn't stupid no matter what she acts like, Faith falling for her is the kind of thing that deserves as much payback as she can give. Because Faith knows things about Buffy that aren't pretty, and aren't noble, and aren't even very good, and Faith can admit them, and Faith still cares. Buffy can't really deal with not being good, and not being noble, and so she hates herself almost as much as she hates Faith. But because Faith can overlook these things, Faith's always going to unstrustworthy. Faith's always going to be somebody that Buffy can look down on.
Which is maybe *why* Faith loves her, but that's the kind of thing that makes Faith remember why she doesn't think more than she has to these days. Makes her head hurt.
So Faith thinks about Buffy too much. She thinks about her almost to the exclusion of everyone else, except for Angel, who she spends a good portion of every day thanking in her head, but it never comes out right when she talks to him. "Thanks for not killing me when I tried to kill you," or "Thanks for not giving up on me just because I tortured your friend," or "Hey, listen, you really changed my life even though I shot you with really deadly poison and made you drink your girlfriend's blood that one time" are all a little too weird to sound as sincere as she means them.
But it's Buffy' who's become the central point of everything Faith's done wrong. Buffy's why she's here, as much as Angel. She dreams about Buffy. She wakes up and stretches, and wonders where Buffy's waking up, what clothes Buffy's going to wear. She showers, and she soaps up her body, and she thinks about Buffy's skin, Buffy's little breasts, how they fit in her hands. She runs around the track, and thinks about how Buffy always pursed her lips when she was running.
Faith's never going to get anywhere in the whole penitence game if she doesn't give Buffy up. She's never going to start thinking about the things she's done really wrong, if she doesn't stop thinking about the things she wants to do right for Buffy. She's been in prison a year, and she feels a lot more stable than she was when she showed up, yeah, but she doesn't feel like she's becoming the kind of person who's ever going to be told by whatever unimaginable powers that control the universe that she's been forgiven. That she's good again. Faith's never going to *be* good again. Maybe she wasn't good to begin with, but maybe it doesn't matter what she is, only what she does.
Faith's given up her her freedom. She's given up her pride. She's given up her control.
Maybe it's about damn time she gave up Buffy, too. After all, she doesn't have anything else left to give up.
I don't know what my deal with writing Jossverse is. I mean, I know the characters pretty well, I think. But sometimes I freak out, and just convince myself there's no way I can write any of them, so why even try!? Then fox1013 (among others) beats me up and encourages me all at once. So if you wish to blame someone for encouraging my rampant Faith-fic tendencies, she's the one, mis amigos.