Title: Return of Faith (Part 1)
Summary: Faith is released from jail. Starts life anew.
Pairings: a prelude to a F/C hookup
Rating: I'm gonna go w/ PG-13 for language.
Feedback: If you can give it I can take it.
Distribution: This story can be archived by whom ever just as long as I get all the praise.
Disclaimer: All hail Joss and his crew of geniuses, I am but a mere wannabe
A/N: Long time reader first time writer. I believe that anything must start w/ a solid foundation. So this is my ground work for any future fics. If Murphy's law hold up. The stories can only get better w/ more practice.
Things never, ever seemed to go her way. She always seemed to manage and get hooked up with the wrong crowd, doing things she shouldn't have done. She thought all of that was going to change after the "call" came. She thought it was her chance to change. Her chance at a life that held meaning and purpose, only it didn't quite work out that way.
She had a lot to think about over the past few years. She could see all of her mistakes now. She would relive all of those moments thinkin' "if only." If only she hadn't been scared. If only she hadn't been jealous. Her life might have been different now if it weren't for that one-second she can never get back. Yet part of her knew that she would have found some other way to self-destruct and in the end, she ended up in the very same place she had always feared.
Today was the day, today she was getting out. She could feel the butterflies in her stomach as she stood outside the prison walls. She felt as if she were in a dream, yet she was wide awake. She had forgotten how good the sun could feel on her face. She had forgotten what real air smells like. She closed her eyes for a second and took it all in. She was free. Today, Faith was finally free.
Part of her wanted to run as quick and as far as her slayer legs could take her. Go some place where no one knew her. A place where no one knew what she was, or what she had done. Faith wanted a real clean slate this time. But part of her knew that she had to find a way to make up for the mistakes from before. And that now was the time to do just that.
The cab dropped her off in front of a hotel. Once again the butterflies made themselves cozy within the confines of Faith's gut.
"What the hell am I gettin' myself into?" Faith mumbles.
Faith pushed the door open just enough to look in. Just incase she might change her mind and decide that now wasn't the time to start her path down the road of redemption. Upon her glance inside, Faith observed a rather attractive blonde in the lobby and an appreciative grin crept across her face.
"Hmm. This might not be so bad after all." She thought to herself.
Just as Faith walked through the door, The source of Faith's grin revealed herself.
"Cordelia?" Faith said as if in shock.
"Well, well, well. If it isn't the psycho slayer herself, kill anyone on your way here Faith?" fired Cordelia.
"Christ C, still the mega bitch ain'tcha." retorted Faith.
"Still the low class whore?" Cordy shot back.
Faith sauntered her way over toward Cordy until they stood face to face.
"You got a pretty nasty mouth on ya C. Be a shame if somebody had to shut it for ya." Faith growled.
"If you think you're woman enough Faith. But just so you know, I've picked up a few tricks since that last shot to the face you gave me." Cordy warned.
Faith let out a wicked laugh.
"Hmm C, somehow the idea of you and tricks seem to go hand in hand. Nice to see that some things ain't changed."
Before Cordy could say anything, Angel came down the stairs.
"Personally, the whole catfight fantasy doesn't really do it for me." He quipped.
"Aw, Angel, me and psycho-slut were just getting reacquainted that's all. You know catching up, reliving old times like when she tried to kill all of us, broke my nose and tortured Wesley."
"That's enough Cordy. I get the picture."
"If I were you Angel, I'd keep that bitch of yours on a very short leash."
"I got your bitch right here C." Faith said grabbing her crotch.
"Alright Cordy, Faith I said that's enough."
"Whatever." Cordy huffs as she stalks away.
"What can I say Faith, Cordelia is…"
"I get it. No big Angel. I can handle C. I just want to thank you for giving me a place to crash until I sort shit out."
"I gave you my word Faith. I meant it when I said I would help you."
"Yeah, well I've had more than my share of being screwed over, so ya know kinda makes it hard to deal when, ya know, somebody actually comes through for me."
"I know Faith. Let's just take it one step at a time. Tell you what, why don't you go pick a room and get settled. We can talk later, okay?
Angel gave Faith a reassuring smile and she made her way to the elevator all the while berating herself for allowing Cordy to get under her skin. As much as she hated to admit it, she had it coming to her. And if she was going to start making up for her past mistakes, here was the place she had to start first.
"Clean slate." She said out loud
Faith chose a room with the least amount of clutter. Just the basics, bed, lamp, nightstand, chair and wardrobe. The bare minimum made for more space in Faith's mind's eye. Space was definitely something she had very little of these past few years. Therefore she learned the value of it. The added bonus of this particular room was a window with a great view of the street below.
She tossed her backpack on the bed and walked over to the window. The only things that she saw over the past several years were concrete walls adorned with barbed wire and steel fencing. And animals trapped inside with absolutely no where to go. And now looking out the window, she saw people coming and going as they pleased and the very idea of that made Faith both happy and bitter.
Not knowing what do, Faith walked back down stairs to see what Angel was up to.
"So what now Angel?" Faith let out in a bored tone
"So like I what, wait until something happens?
"It's kind of what we usually do."
"Oh great. What kind of Mickey Mouse op are you running here dude?"
"C'mon Faith, it isn't like that. It's not like we can go door to door doing this line of work."
"So this is what, down time?"
"If you want to look at it that way. Sure why not. What do you feel like doing?"
"I dunno. Kinda the first time in a long time I've actually had that option."
"Tell you what, why don't you go out for a while. Get a feel for the place. Probably been some changes since you've been away."
"Okay. Actually, I can hang with that idea. Check ya later Deadboy."
As Faith leaves, Cordelia returns to the lobby.
"So…" she sighs.
"So, where's the poster girl for the criminally and fashionably insane?"
"Cordy." Angel lets out, exasperated.
"Oh come on Angel. How do you expect me to react?"
"I guess I was expecting you to be a little more tolerant. You know, you've changed a lot since Sunnydale. You've grown a great deal Cordy. You're a whole lot more understanding now than you were then. Let's give Faith the benefit of the doubt."
"Please don't make with the flattery Angel. Faith is incapable of change. Besides, it's going to take more than an apology and girlie talk to make me change my mind about her."
"I'm not asking you to be her pal, Cordelia. I'm just saying, try not to go out of your way to make it hard on her, that's all. Trust me, she's doing a good job of that herself. And after all, aren't we suppose help the helpless here at Angel Investigations?"
"That's the spirit."
"Oh, just bite me. Um…on second thought…"
As Faith is walking, she thought, that she's never walked just for the sake of walking, but walked only because she had to get from point "A" to point "B."
A scream from the shadows interrupts Faith's thoughts
"Help!" a frantic female's voice cries out.
It came from the alley behind a tattoo parlor, Faith feels her legs start to move, her heart pump, and her adrenaline rush. A familiar feeling resurfaced for Faith. The feeling that told her, that the game was on.
"Lookie what we got here. Hey handsome, how's 'bout you forget the skirt and dance with me instead?" Faith drawled
"Huh…" grunted the clearly confused vamp.
Before he could figure out what was going on, Faith charged him and knocked him to the ground. She rolled off of him and planted her left heel square into his chest. She could hear something crack and that was all the incentive she needed to drop another blow.
"Um, you might wanna run, like now!" She said over her shoulder to the young woman who was attacked.
The woman takes Faith up on her advise and tears down the alley. And Faith went back to doing what she did best. However, the slight interruption gave the bloodsucker a chance to regroup, and he had quickly turned the tables. She hated to admit it, but she was a little rusty. She felt a little off, in terms of her timing.
"This son of a bitch would have never gotten the drop on me so fast if this were a few years ago. No big though, just means we're gonna dance a little longer than I expected," Faith thought to herself.
She gave him a head butt to the face. The sweet sound of bones crushing rings in her ears again. That gave her a moment to grab his wrist and give it a slight twist to get enough leverage to flip him over, pulled out her stake and put the poor bastard out of his misery.
"God, how I've missed my job."
Faith began to head back to the hotel. And she was feeling pretty damn good at the moment even though the slay had been far too easy. But to Faith, it still felt good. It felt like being home again.
Before the smile could cross her lips She felt a whack on her head and fell face first into the pavement.
"How's that taste slayer?"
Faith was a little dazed and tried to make sense of what just happened, but the vamp repeatedly kicked her in the smalls of her back. The pain shot through her body and she felt the rising of her anger.
Faith could hear him preparing to deliver another shot, so she rolled out of the way and managed a foot sweep to bring him down. With a quick shot to the trachea, Faith was able to stun him. She pulled out her trusty stake once again and lunged forward, but he blocked her, then grabbed her wrist and with is feet, flipped her over with enough momentum to send her sailing into a brick wall.
Faith's back hit the wall with more thump than she had expected. Probably thinking it was his lucky day, the vamp walked over to Faith with a little swagger to his gait. So before he could get any closer, Faith did a forward shoulder roll and dusted him.
Although she was hurting, Faith was alive. And to her, that was a good thing.
"Gee, Faith looks like you been rolling around in the gutter. Didn't think you would take it to heart when Angel told you to make yourself at home."
"Not in the mood for your shit C."
"What, the big bad psycho-slayer can't handle what a mere ex-cheerleader dishes out?"
"If you must know C, I was just in a scrap with two vamps, and I am a little more banged up than I'd anticipated, so I'm just not up to for it now."
"Oh." Cordy's voiced slightly softened.
"Look C, I know you don't like me, never have, probably never will. And it's not like I'm that crazy about you either, but seein' hows we're gonna be around each other sometimes, do you think you could at the very least not break mine every chance ya get and especially right now?
"Faith, puh-leeze. What am I suppose to do? Feel sorry for you now just because you got your ass kicked? Not after everything you've done to Wes, to my classmates, and to me? You should be so lucky to be a little 'banged up' after what you did to my face." Cordy spat.
"Is that what'll take to get ya offa my back?"
"What?" Cordy said slightly confused.
"You want pay back for the busted grill? Go ahead, give me your best shot. That way we'll be even."
Faith could see Cordy thinking it over. She could even see her picturing what it would be like. How it might make her feel. And Faith couldn't help but smile. She got a perverted sense of pleasure of watching Cordy's inner conflict play out before her very eyes. And if Faith were being honest, she would admit that she got pleasure just watching her.
"I don't have to sink down to your level Faith. I'm better than you are. I don't have to inflict pain on others just to make me feel better about myself. That's your trip, not mine." Cordy finally lets out.
"Hmm…I guess so, Queen C. I guess you can afford to be better than most folks when you develop selective memory. But thanks for the news flash C. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a hot bath with my name on it. Night."
With that, Faith walked upstairs. She could feel the rage stoking from deep down. Although Cordy had a legitimate beef with Faith, she knew she wouldn't be able to continue taking Cordelia's scathing remarks without eventually doing some major damage. Faith hated that Cordy stuck her nose in the fact that was she better than Faith. But she was going to show her, she was going to show them all. Faith was going to prove to them that she had what it took to do it the right way this time around.
Faith was thinking how funny it was that most people took some of the simplest of pleasures for granted. She found contentment just lying there in the bathtub feeling nothing more than the heat from the water. It sure did beat the hell out of a lousy fifteen minutes in a communal shower.
She finally got out when the water became tepid. She felt 110% better than she did about an hour ago. Grabbing a towel from the door knob, She started dry off and walked back into the bedroom but, just as she tossed the towel at the foot of the bed, the door flew open.
"Um C… I know I've been in the joint and all, but last I checked, I distinctly rememberin' that it is customary to knock before enterin' someone's room."
"Sorry." Cordy said, clearly embarrassed.
"Uh, think maybe you can shut the door? Kinda drafty."
"I don't freakin' believe it. C's blushin'. And if I didn't know any better, I'd say she was checkin' me out too. Nah, couldn't be, not Cordelia Chase, friend of sperm." Faith thought to herself.
"Faith, um, think maybe you could slip something on?" trying to shield her eyes.
"Aw, c'mon C, I'm sure I ain't got nothin' you've never seen before." Faith said in an almost lewd tone.
"Please Faith. I just want to say what I have to say and leave. Just humor me and spare me the peep show." A now flustered Cordelia warbled.
"Well, how can I say no when you said 'Please'."
She couldn't help but grin as Cordy turned around to give her a moment of "privacy." As she slid on a pair of old shorts, Faith also couldn't help but admire the form before her. Faith studied Cordelia's long legs and the expanse of her hips, the firmness of her backside. To say that Cordy was beautiful would be an understatement. She most definitely was a vision of physical perfection, from well coifed head to pedicured toe.
Faith could see Cordy's shoulders tensing up. She thought that maybe the other woman could feel her eyes boring into her. And that thought turned her on. Well, actually anything right now would have turned her on, given that the slaying made her both horny and hungry. But Faith knew this was a little different. The feeling she had right now looking at Cordy, it was…electric.
"Okay princess, I'm decent. So, what is it that you had to tell me that was so important for you to bust in here unannounced?" breezed Faith.
"You were right earlier when you said that I didn't like you…"
"Hardly a' earth shatterin' revelation C…"
"Can I finish please?"
"I don't know C, can you?"
Cordy lets out a sigh and rolls her eyes. Faith grins, which seems to more so annoy the hell out of her.
"C'mon C, I'm just jerkin' your chain a lil'. I'm listenin'" Faith chuckles slightly.
"As I was saying, we don't like each other, but you were right when you said that we were going to be around one another. We should at the very least find a way to coexist relatively peacefully."
"By the way C, I said I wasn't crazy about you. I didn't say I didn't like you."
"Oh. I'll make note of that then."
"Just sayin', if ya gonna go 'round quotin' me, at least get it straight."
"Whatever Faith." Cordy rolls her eyes
"Truce, for now. But if you so much as…"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, trust me I know the drill."
"Just so that we understand each other."
"It's all good C."
"Good. So are you okay?
"The fight, are you okay from the fight?"
"Oh that. Yeah, I'm five by five. The soak did me good. Gonna hit the sheets now. Been a long day."
"Alright. Goodnight then."
Cordy turned around to head out the door but hesitated for a second before she opened it and walked away. Faith didn't know what just happened, but all of a sudden, for the first time, She felt like things might actually be okay.