1. Not Helpless
I know I'm terrible for starting something new when I haven’t even finished anything else but the Anita Mommy challenge started this whole series of events and I hope can drag you along with me! This is a look at what's going on with Faith after Long the Bridges. It's a pretty lengthy chapter, and I hope you read and review.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Anita Blake characters they belong to Laurell K. Hamilton, and all the BTVS characters belong to Joss Whedon.
Death and Destruction was pretty normal for me growing up. My ma was an alcoholic and I never new my father. My childhood was filled with different men, screaming and fear.
My mom loved me, I know she did, but sometimes I didn’t think she cared. If she did she would have believed me when I told her that sometimes her friends hurt me. She had a new boyfriend every week and sometimes they were worse than any demon I’ve ever faced.
I think god is punishing me; maybe what happened to me was because of what I did in the other world. I was a bad girl and bad girls have bad things happen to them...
A hand brushed my hair and I cringed before I could think about it, Anita smiled softly at me.
Raising my hand, I rubbed sleep from my eyes, I was in her room. Since I got out of the hospital I’ve been in her room when it’s time to go to sleep. Micah and Nathaniel never complained when she asked them to leave so it was just us, it was to make me feel better, but I still felt bad about it.
She was already dressed for the day, and I knew she woke me because she was going to leave. I didn’t want her to leave me here alone.
“How do you feel?” her voice was soft, barely above a whisper, it was her careful voice.
My side was still sore and my knee was throbbing faintly, when my body started to wake up it would hurt worse. Lillian said my body was still recovering from shock and my knee might not heal back to normal because of nerve damage.
I’ve been out of the hospital for two weeks and since then my fear
has yet to go away. I was a Slayer...bad ass, I shouldn’t be scared anymore, but I was.
“I have to go to work.”
She brushed my cheek softly with her finger, and I turned my face into the touch.
“I don’t want you to leave.” My voice was clouded with sleep, I had gone to bed early but I was still so very tired.
“Micah and Nathaniel are here.”
But they weren’t her, and even though I knew they wouldn’t hurt me, my body didn’t believe it and sometimes it got hard. She leaned over me to kiss my cheek and then my forehead; I was suddenly wrapped in the fruity smell of her hair. I wrapped that smell around me and fought not to beg her to stay.
“I’ll be back later, Nathaniel and Micah are downstairs.”
Sometimes when the nightmares come Anita will find me or I’d
find her. The guys would bunk in with Delia and Willow, not once protesting. I know they wouldn’t hurt me but when I’m scared it’s hard to believe that.
I hated feeling so alone and helpless on nights like those. Sometimes there are too many people when we go out and I feel like I can’t breathe. It gets hard not to scream and in my head I can hear my slayer screaming and it hurts to be touched and I just want to die.
The adults try to understand, they try to make it better but they don’t understand, they didn’t feel like I felt, ripped apart, broken from the inside.
She kissed my cheek, ran her hand through my hair once more before sitting back up.
“Go back to sleep.”
She was leaving me, I didn’t want to sleep and even as I struggled to keep my eyes open, sleep tugged me under.
Micah was on the phone when I got up. He had his back to me sitting on the couch in the living room; I headed past him to the kitchen slowly because my knee was giving off little sharp shooting pains.
I could take my pain medication only after I ate something. The sun streamed in through the double glass doors, illuminating the dining table. I couldn’t reach the cereal, usually I’d just climb
onto the counter but I couldn’t. My gaze found Micah, he was still on the phone; I didn’t want to ask him for help.
My muscles felt like jelly and it was kind of hard to move the chair, it made a lot of noise. Micah came in just as I was trying to climb onto the chair. He smiled at me, wearing dark jeans and a grey muscle shirt. I could tell just by the outfit he was staying home today.
Really I did because bending my knee so high hurt like a bitch, but it hurt worse to have to ask for help.
He gave me a careful eyes, I’ve seen him give those careful eyes to Anita when she was being difficult. I almost fell off the chair trying to get up but he didn’t try to help me, I think he was giving me a chance to help myself.
Point for him.
He moved over to the sink to grab a bowl.
When I was safely back on the ground he took the cereal and poured it in the bowl for me. He always served us and it never bothered me, but it bothered me now. It was dumb but I had to show him that I wasn’t helpless that I could take care of myself...I wasn’t helpless.
The table looked too big with no one there to fill the chairs.
My lucky charms sat heavy in my stomach, the taste absent.
“Where is everyone?” the question seemed loud in the empty silence.
“They went to the mall.” He answered from his spot against the counter.
“Why didn’t they wake me up?” the hurt showed in my voice, I didn’t want to be left out. Were they going to treat me different because of what happened?
“Would you have wanted to go?” He asked with a tilt of his head.
Pushing the cereal away I nodded, being left out wasn’t a good feeling at all.
Micah looked at me for a long time and then nodded once, I think to himself.
“Finish your cereal we could meet them at the mall.”
“Really?” he nodded and I sighed pulling the bowl back towards me.
The mall was crowded with people because it was the weekend. More people than I thought there would be. Someone brushed past me and my grip on Micah’s hand tightened. He was walking slowly because it was hard for me to keep up.
Maybe coming wasn’t such a good idea.
The smell of Food reached my nostrils, the sound of children laughing and people talking pressing against me from all sides.
Too close for comfort.
Nathaniel was sitting close to a McDonald's stand with Delia and Willow, food spread out in front of them.
I wasn’t very hungry but Micah bought me a cheeseburger anyway. I sat down in between Delia and Willow, they were familiar and it helped my nerves just a little, enough that it was easier to breathe.
“Look what Nate bought us.” Willow bent over and pulled out the board game, Operation with a large smile. I smiled back but didn’t feel like it on the inside.
“We can play when we get home.” Delia stated around a mouth full of fries, I picked up the hamburger and took a bite.
It was good, and silently I thanked Micah for buying it for me even when I said no.
“I was going to pick up some more things for their room.” The auburn haired man told Micah, he nodded glancing briefly at me and then back at Nate.
Across the food court I caught sight of a man looking at our table. He looked away just as quickly and it shouldn’t have bothered me but it did and I didn’t want to be here but I couldn’t ask to leave.
“Can we go play in the play area?” Delia asked and I felt my heart stop. Nathaniel nodded and before I could do anything she had grabbed my hand and we were going towards the corner of the food court where all the kid stuff was. They had oversized plastic drinks and lady bugs coming off the ground so that we could climb and run and jump and play but it was too far away from Micah and I couldn’t relax.
Willow and I crawled under a large plastic can of soda that looked like it had melted into the ground halfway. She turned worried eyes to me.
“You okay?” her voice was soft, and I almost didn’t hear her.
“Yea.” I smiled as I said it but I don’t think she believed me. Delia poked her head into the hole.
“Let’s play tag.”
Her excitement chased away some of my fear and soon it was gone altogether as Delia chased Willow and I around the play area.
It felt good.
I could hear the worry in Anita’s voice, it was her mommy voice. She didn’t realize she did it but I did and it was nice.
“Was she okay today?”
Nodding, I stirred the pot of spaghetti sauce before realizing she couldn’t see me.
“She was fine...We took the girls to the mall and got some stuff for their room. She was kind of nervous at first but it got better-“
“Are you sure?” she asked, “Because you know Faith likes to keep things inside.”
Faith was sitting on the porch with Cherry, the two were blowing bubbles, and it was the small Slayer's favorite pasttime.
“Yes, she’s with Cherry now.” I turned the stove off accepting the pot holder Willow handed to me so I could take the garlic bread out of the oven.
“What about Willow and Cordelia?”
“They’re fine.” I replied with a smile, she was cute when she did this.
She made a frustrated sound, “I wish I was there...”
“So do I-“
“Micah,” I looked down at Willow who was peering closely at the garlic bread.
“Did you put some of them without garlic?” she blinked large emerald eyes at me and I nodded knowing she didn’t like taste of the seasoning.
“Yea, there at the corner.”
She grinned brightly before helping me set the table. They liked to do household stuff. Maybe it was because of their old life, but I noticed that they almost needed to help around the house and have lots of hugs and kisses, to be loved and needed.
“I’ve got to go, my first appointment finally arrived. I love you.”
“I love you too.” I replied and then we hung up.
“Can we have soda with our spaghetti?” Cordelia asked as she waltzed into the kitchen. The seer was already dressed for bed in purple silk pajamas courtesy of Jean-Claude. Her name was embroidered in the right breast pocket. Her long hair was brushed dry and fell in a frothy mass past her shoulders.
“No more soda.” The brunette had more than enough sweets earlier and she had a tendency to bounce off the walls when given too much.
“Can we have apple juice?” Willow asked, her auburn hair was thrown in a messy bun, the Scooby Doo shirt she wore stained in front from purple paint.
“I think we can swing apple juice.” I replied stirring the spaghetti into the sauce.
Dinner was filled with laughs and stories from their old world. Things they could remember anyway.
Willow told us about the time she broke her yellow crayon and how devastated she’d been. Delia opened up about her rich background which explained her I’m above you attitude she uses when she’s angry.
Faith was the only one who didn’t say anything about before they fell into our laps. She stayed quiet, pushing the noodles around her plate. Tomorrow she had an appointment with a therapist; the doctor who worked on her after we found her said it would help her heal.
“Aren’t you hungry?” I asked the slayer, she turned wide brown eyes at me and even though there was no relation to Anita the resemblance was there.
“Not really, I’m full from earlier.” She responded pushing more noodles around the plate.
“You haven’t eaten very much today Faith.” My voice was careful; she was upset easily since she came home from the hospital.
Faith glanced up at me and then down again, “I’m full.”
“You’ve gotta eat.” This from Nathaniel who looked a little worried, the Slayer shrugged again.
Her appetite has been dissapearing, a couple of times I found her throwing the food away.The doctor was concerned about the five pounds she'd lost.
“I won’t let you leave the table until you finish at least half of what’s on the plate.”
Willow and Cordelia exchanged looks and then looked down at their plates; I’ve never forced them to do anything they didn’t want to.
Faith pouted then pushed her plate away.
“I’m not hungry!” she exclaimed, crossing her arms over her chest.
“I don’t care Faith you have to eat.”
She glared at me, “You can’t make me.”
I said nothing.
By time I got home it was half past four and my body ached with soreness. I was tired; all I wanted to do was crawl into bed and lay between Nathaniel and Micah for at least a week.
Micah turned over as I entered the room; I smiled at him before stripping off my jacket and dress I had on from work.
When I was ready for bed I crawled in between Micah, Nathaniel turned to me, instinctively burying his head in my shoulder and flinging one of his legs over mine; it was his second favorite sleeping position.
Micah kissed me softly, a brush of lips that had me shivering. He always affected me like that since the first moment we met.
“Faith wouldn’t eat her dinner today.” His voice was soft but wide awake, almost as if he’d never been asleep.
“She said she wasn’t hungry. I sat at the table with her for nearly three hours. She was falling a sleep so I sent her to her room...”
He sighed then ran a hand over his face.
“I don’t know what to do with her...Her eating habits are getting worse and she keeps things bottled up inside.”
“Did you try and ask her what’s wrong?”
“I know what’s wrong.” He replied, so did I but sometimes a person needed to be asked.
“I’ll talk to her in the morning.” He nodded and with a sigh I turned onto my side, Micah’s arm wrapped around me from behind. I turned my face into Nathaniel’s hair and fell a sleep wrapped in his vanilla scent.