Disclaimer: I do not own these characters.
Faith’s eyes flickered over slyly to the prison cell across from hers, as they so often had since the newest prisoner had arrived. Most of the women in this place were of the typical prisoner variety- heavy and/or muscular, with straggling hair and coarse, unpretty, sometimes butch or mannish features. No one caught her interest; it was hardly worth teasing them, let alone anything more. Sometimes the long hours inside could seem so dull and colorless, with only her guilt, her memories, and these women to keep her company. True, Angel came to see her when he could, but the rest of the time…
On some days, the routine of each day gave Faith a sense of comfort, a kind of peace and security in knowing what to expect. On others, she felt anxious and restless, as if her skin was itching and crawling with her desire for change.
But a few weeks ago, she had finally received one of her wishes. The newest prisoner was definitely a change… for she looked, spoke, and acted not at all like all the other women prisoners, including Faith herself.
Her name was Ingrid Magnussen, and she had killed her ex-lover by the poison of white oleanders. That right there would have been enough to fascinate Faith; her murder was so much more original and intelligent than all the others who had stabbed and shot and strangled. There was poetry in the thought of it, even if, as Faith had quickly told herself over and over, there was nothing beautiful or redeeming about murder.
Ingrid was an acclaimed poet, intelligent, more intelligent than anyone Faith had ever known. But not in a way that made her awkward or stuffy, like Rupert Giles. No, Ingrid was the coolest, smoothest, most self-assured woman Faith knew, her words dripping with her sometimes apparent, sometimes skillfully concealed disdain of all around her. She was an ice queen in manner as well as in appearance, and Faith had instantly nicknamed her Queenie.
Queenie, as Faith called her, had beauty going for her along with everything else. She was tall and lithe, with long, silky pale hair and piercing sky-blue eyes. At times she reminded Faith of B in the looks department, only less wholesome, more dramatic. This, of course, was not a bad thing. The thing was, Ingrid was in her early to mid forties. Of course, this wasn’t a bad thing either. Faith had a thing for older women.
Faith stretched her arms behind her head lazily as she cast a slow grin in Ingrid’s direction. The guards would be letting them out to the exercise yard soon, she knew… time for some verbal foreplay.
“Damn… is it really hot in here, or is it just you, Queenie?” she asked sultrily, slowly fanning her face.
Ingrid slowly turned her head in the brunette’s direction, her expression icy.
“As a poet, I will not deem to respond to such a clichéd, unintelligent remark,” she said coldly.
“Hey, what can I say? I go for the classics,” Faith shrugged, leering. “I guess I’m just a romantic girl at heart.”
“I suppose that sentiment is rejected when you finger yourself at night,” Ingrid snapped. “You think no one knows your game, little girl? Your variety disgusts me, not for your sexual proclivities, but for your unoriginality.”
Faith’s eyes widened with surprise, and she couldn’t hide a satisfied grin. She had made Queenie slip a little, got both anger AND coldness from her. Score two for Faith, 0 for Queenie.
“I don’t care,” she said, deliberately lowering her voice- not because she cared if the guards heard, for who cared if she brightened up their fantasies a little? She was lowering her voice because she knew it made it raspier, sexier. “As for fingering, I don’t’ have to. And as for unoriginality… well, you never been with me, have you, Queenie?”
Just then one of the guards announced in a loud, bored tone that it was time to go out to the exercise yard, and they began to corral all eligible to the gated area outside. Ingrid walked at a deliberate distance from the other women, head high, thin shoulders drawn up straight, stiff, and arrogant. In spite of herself, she could not stop thinking about and being irritated by the innuendos of the younger woman. The cheap little whore thought herself so clever… Ingrid could scarcely believe that her fate had directed her to such a place, to live among such creatures. It was a tragedy so great that she, Ingrid Magnussen, could not yet even find the words to express it in writing.
She felt her jaw muscle work, her spine go even more rigid, as she heard the easy footsteps behind her, and Faith’s husky voice, close to her ear in the exercise yard.
“There must be something wrong with my eyes, Queenie,” the dark-haired woman drawled, eyes heavily lidded and suggestive from what Ingrid had glanced of her. “I can’t take them off of you.”
“You,” Ingrid said coldly, not giving Faith the satisfaction of seeing her cringe or move away from her but rather holding herself still before the younger woman, “are a sputtering fountain bubbling over with rampant moronism.”
Faith’s eyebrows lifted in amusement, and she laughed, eyes crinkling, warm breath stirring fine strands of Ingrid’s hair. Ingrid gritted her teeth, steeling herself to ignore it. She was all too aware of the guard nearby’s watchful, interested gaze.
“Hey, I got poem language out of you! I’m impressed. I must be getting to you after all,” she smirked. Faith casually fingered a strand of Ingrid’s long pale hair, making the older woman want to grab her wrist and snap it.
“So Queenie… when you gonna admit that you’re actually attracted to me?” Faith asked her huskily, slowly twining the pale hair around her finger.
Ingrid took the shorter woman’s hand, firmly and with barely concealed anger, and pried it from her hair. Faith grinned, seeming to enjoy the fact that the blonde had touched her voluntarily, whatever the reason.
“How about never?” Ingrid said, thick emphasis upon each word. “Is never good for you?”
Undeterred, Faith only continued to smile widely.
“Depends on how soon your idea of ‘never’ is, Queenie.”
Unable to take the incessant bantering and insinuations that the younger woman seemed so set upon throwing at her, and finding herself too perturbed to be able to pretend it didn’t faze her, Ingrid abruptly began to walk away from her briskly, as though they had never spoken at all. As she could have predicted, Faith followed, easily matching her stride.
“I can tell what you’re really thinking, Queenie,” Faith remarked casually, as though Ingrid’s attempt at escape was not only okay, but expected.
“Maybe so,” Ingrid snapped, fed up, “but can you comprehend any of it other than the ‘fuck you’ at the end?”
Faith guffawed, still managing to easily keep up with the taller, slimmer woman’s longer strides.
“Hey, Queenie, just name the time and place, and I’m there, five by five.”
Ingrid just shook her head in disgust- there was clearly no stifling the girl. She wondered again in spite of herself what the stupid phrase she so often slipped into conversation was supposed to mean. Hell if she’d ask the woman though.
“Queenie, one of us is thinking about sex,” Faith drawled, still keeping in pace with the older woman as if they were strolling, rather than half running. “Okay, it’s me…”
It was a very long hour before the guards finally began to round the prisoners up to return to their cells. Ingrid hurried to meet with them, relieved, wanting to at least temporarily lose sight of the irrepressible Faith. But of course, the brunette sidled up to her so quickly it seemed she had never escaped her in the first place.
“Hey, Queenie, aren’t you forgetting something?”
Ingrid spun to face her, her pale cheeks flushing as her usually controlled emotions finally threatened to burst forth.
“WHAT?” she hissed, her blue eyes shooting icicles.
Unbothered, Faith grinned, casually slipping an arm through the older woman’s.
“Me, of course.”
As Ingrid roughly jerked away from her, moving closer to a guard, further from Faith, her aristocratic features were pinched with rage. Faith’s grin broadened, and her dark eyes danced. She loved this…
She was the only one who could rattle Ingrid’s chain, the only one who could shake up her carefully preserved emotions. The only thing that could make this more satisfying would be if the woman actually tried to fight her- or better yet, discovered her latent lesbian side. Hey, it could happen… and Faith had time to wait.