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From Something to Nothing in 50 Sentences

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This story is No. 1 in the series "All Things Faith/Giles". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: (Non-Crossover) Written for the 1Fandom Challenge, this is a post-season 7 look at the development of a Faith/Giles relationship.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
BtVS/AtS Non-Crossover > Romance > Faith/Giles(Past Donor)VesicaFR1312,259121,19522 Jan 0722 Jan 07Yes
1Fandom Claim: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
1Fandom Prompt Set: One
Rating: No more than PG-13
Disclaimer: Just me mucking about in other people’s sandboxes.
Author’s Notes: The challenge of 1Fandom is to use a given prompt set and write 50 one-sentence fics for that fandom. I shuffled the prompts around some and got a full fic exploring a post-season seven relationship between Faith and Giles. Super shocking for me – I know!

Also, how did something as simple as one-sentence fics necessitate footnotes?!

17. Lost
Sunnydale was gone, swallowed by the earth itself, and any future there was lay out there, down the road and somewhere beyond what Faith had almost begun to think of as home.

09. Winter
It was winter when they arrived in Cleveland, refugees unsure which was more barren and unwelcoming, the landscape outside or within.

03. Vanish
Being on the outside, it was easier for Faith to see some things, like how the once unshakeable bond between the Scoobies had been worn thin in the years she’d been gone and how it faded a little more each day in this overcrowded house, in this dark, dingy city.

07. Soon
At the start, they were a team, united by a common purpose and working towards the same goal, but all too soon the shock of what had happened wore off and the old cracks and knicks in their relationships started to show.

25. Hard
Buffy was a lot of things but forgiving wasn’t always one of them and the ghost of Spike hung between them accusingly; Giles pretended he couldn’t see the steely hardness in her eyes when they spoke now.

34. Words
They said they hated to go, were sorry to leave, but there was nothing behind the words, said by rote, empty words tumbling from Willow and Kennedy’s lips.

20. Road
After they’d gone, he often found Buffy staring down the road, listening to some far away call that was pulling her towards a future he couldn’t sense.

24. Flight
When Buffy and Dawn left, it was more like running away - bags packed hastily and the goodbyes kept short – than heading out to meet new challenges.

21. Weep
Some of the younger Slayers cried when Buffy left, which was to be expected, but Faith never expected to walk in on a rather red-eyed Giles, going over his past diaries.

26. War
They were fighting a war, a long, ill-defined, terrible war, Faith realized, as unwinnable as it was unending.

19. Villain
He was young for a vampire, practically newborn, and Faith found it fitting – a second-rate villain for the second-rate Slayer (a).

14. Wait
Another late check-in from a midnight patrol and all they could do was wait, hoping against hope that she’d been home soon enough.

01. Mortal
It was Faith who found her, frail body twisted as if they had been wringing the very mortality out of her – another Slayer lost before her life had really even begun.

40. Closet
She was calm and clear-eyed as she explained the circumstances to the others, but he knew otherwise and searched, room by room, until he found her, hiding behind the coats in the back of her closet, and fished the inconsolable Faith from the dark, holding her until she could again pretend bravery for the others.

05. Ocean
Sometimes it seemed to Giles that evil was like a great tide, rolling in, push after push, a relentless force that could be deflected but never stopped, not even by a powerful dark-haired warrior, sword in held high, commanding the waves retreat (1).

50. Dust
Ashes to ashes and dust to dust; How many more times would He have to listen to those words and which among them would be next?

18. Cell
She couldn’t do this – couldn’t lead, couldn’t keep fighting against something that would win in the end – and looking at those hopeful young faces she felt something far more confining than those prison bars had ever been.

16. Black
What could he else could he do when she’d come to him, revealing the blackness of her soul hesitantly, a beaten dog expecting another kick, but tell her the truth – that he’d done so much more and with much more pleasure than she’d ever imagined?

45. Well
She supposed he expected her to shrink from him, appalled at his misdeeds of the past; instead she simply listened, wondering why she’d never seen the deep well of guilt and reproach, so like her own, that had been within him all this time.

38. Irony
Considering all they’d been through, all the different roles they’d played, he couldn’t help but note the irony – that knowing the truth of how far from the light he’d strayed was the one thing that made her trust in him complete.

15. Shrine
He trusted her - to lead, with the truth, with his secrets - and he might have been the only person to ever trusted her like that; Maybe that was why she took every encouraging word, every confidence, and tucked it away, building a secret shrine in her heart.

22. Blind
He didn’t know how to tell her - that she shouldn’t be so sure of him, so trusting, that he was just as unsure as she - but every time he tried to make her understand she’d turn those huge brown eyes on him, the words would wither in his throat and he went on – the blind leading the blind.

30. Sudden
Love came on her without warning, like a mean right hook or punch to the gut, knocking the breath from her one random morning as she looked up and saw him, really saw him for the first time, there, across the breakfast table.

49. Drink
He was slow to accept the realization he found at the bottom of each glass of scotch, poured freely and often after each late-night planning session with Faith, reluctant to admit what was as obvious as the blue sky or green grass.

43. Knot
He knew it was purely practical, her new habit of taming her long hair into a braid, but watching her hands, playing a silent song as she wove the strands, he suddenly thought of Bess, plaiting a dark red love knot into her long dark hair (2).

48. Lure
She knew he watched her doing little things, bits of the daily routine, and she was grateful, knowing no other way to cast a subtle enough lure to draw him in.

44. Low
Silently, he looked in on them all, pulling up blankets, turning off lights, and lingering perhaps a little longer than he needed to listening to the low mumble of Faith, fretting out the problems of the day in her sleep.

29. Deep
She was well aware she wasn’t a particularly deep person and thus had no problem understanding her physical attraction to him, but the way his patience with the girls or kind rebukes of their endless floundering made her gut flutter – that was a little disturbing.

02. Broken
He shouldn’t have been surprised really - he’d already broken every other Watcher’s vow including caring about his Slayers - but somehow this felt like a bigger sin than all the others combined, his yearning for her a cold stone in his gut (b).

32. Burn
Desire, lust, wanting – she understood those, but this feeling, this slow burn of love singeing her insides was new and both so painful and so wonderful that she found herself craving more fire – from hot peppers to liquor to scalding cups of coffee – anything to hurry the fire along.

06. Tense
Faith loved the nights she could patrol on her own, letting the familiar burn of her muscles as she jogged and the rhythm of the city at night lessen the constant tension of being in that house.

46. Token
She ran her fingertips over the hills and valleys of the engraving of the ring in a ritual of sorts, worrying the silly little good luck token she always tucked into her pocket before patrols, borrowed from someone who had no had need of the crest of an organization that had failed him – once in it’s rejection and again by vanishing all too soon (c).

10. Fallen
Two hours since she should have returned – the phone silent, the girls watching him pace the porch wide-eyed and worried – and he could only pray that she wasn’t another name to be added to the list of the fallen.

39. Sky
The earth lurched in that moment, sky and earth changing places in a dizzy whirl and thinning out the air, as she rounded the corner, limping but very alive.

35. Fast
She barely had time to register what was happening; he was off the porch, arms wrapped around her and his lips warm against hers before she even finished thinking she had no idea he could move that fast.

13. Flash
The kiss was over almost before it began, a flash of pent up fire and fears, all hunger and relief and need, and then nothing, nothing but second-guessing and uncertainty curling in the shared breath between them.

37. Place
They had no idea, Faith and Giles, that the girls had seen it all and, listening to some inner prompting, had turned from the window one by one, understanding that it wasn’t their place to witness such a private moment.

33. Clock
She lay in bed, listening to the tick of the clock, willing herself to throw back the covers and go – quickly - before she could imagine every details of his refusal, before she could hear nothing but regretful words - but every night it was the same and she didn’t.

28. Unknown
She had no idea how to do this – well, she knew exactly how to do this, she probably had a few tricks up her sleeve that he’d never even heard of – but she didn’t know how to do this, offer herself to someone she knew, someone she loved (d).

11. Storm
Late at night, his thoughts turned to her, guilty, secret thoughts, until the night he realized there was only him; no one remained to point a finger or dole out punishment and his grand dilemma was nothing, a storm in a teacup.

12. Door
She stood outside his door, hand raised to knock but frozen by her doubts and prepared to shuffle back to bed like so many nights before, when he threw the door open, intending to come find her.

27. Deed
They might have stood there forever had someone not taken the first step; Faith often thought to herself that, despite the shaky hands or wobbly knees at the time, that moment when she reached out and gently pushed him back into his room was, hands down, her bravest deed ever.

08. Why
She wanted to ask why - why he had kissed her, why he even wanted her in the first place – but when it came to them, she had no words and left the questions unasked.

36. Three
Three times – three separate times he said “I love you” and really meant it before Faith could wrap her tongue around those words and say them back.

47. Ugly
He hated his scars, thought they were ugly, rather than a testament to his sacrifices and Faith took great pleasure in showing him, in as many ways as she could think of how wrong he was.

04. Rain
Her hair was still wet from the rain, damp curls cascading over his bare shoulder as she hugged herself to him; She smelled like the green newness of spring, but there was also a faint trace of the loamy must of death.

42. Fair
She couldn’t have wished for this if she’d tried because she’d had no idea life would ever give her something that was more than only fair (3).

23. Pact
They never discussed what happened between them in the night or in the quiet moments before the next Apocalypse, but left it, an unspoken pact, to let this be whatever it would be for however long they had.

41. Real
Years later, when they had long since left behind the front lines and nightly patrols, they still spoke of their relationship only rarely, the most either of them would say is that it had made the endless dark of chasing shadows and averting disaster a little more solid and the rare moments of daybreak a little more real.


Actual Footnotes
1) Yes, this is an allusion to the often misinterpreted legend of King Canute. And yes, it is misinterpreted here. Hey, even Giles makes mistakes sometimes.

2) Kudos to those that recognized bits of “The Highwayman” here.

3) Yes, this is from “Call and Answer” by the Barenaked Ladies. “You think…It's only fair to do what's best for you and you alone. You think…It's only fair to do the same thing for me when you’re not home. I think…It's time to make this something that's more than only fair.”

Me Blathering On
a) I think part of Faith’s appeal for me as a writer is just how profoundly broken she is in some ways. Her path back to wholeness could take an endless number of routes…about ½ of which I feel like I have written by now.

b) I do love that when looking at this pairing, Faith and Giles are like two sides of the same, rather dented coin. She would find the feelings alien and a little terrifying while he would be totally okay with caring about her very deeply, but have his own panic attacks over the degree of his sexual attraction to her.

c) This is so teenage crush – to steal something from the person you like and take comfort in just having it with you. Somehow it seemed right.

d) I guess this kind of gives away my suspicions on how it would go down when these two finally hooked up. Sure, Faith probably has just as much experience as him (okay MORE), but she doesn’t have a clue really…and damn will that be fun to write someday.

The End

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