Disclaimer: I own nothing, simple as that. * * * * * November 13, 1986 A few more hours, she told herself, a few more hours.
Nine months had slowly whittled down to a few hours and she was glad. In Newport Beach, the summer after graduation was one big party - actually - in Newport everything was one big party. And while Kirsten Nichol wasn’t a partier it was a rite of passage. A rite of passage she had missed, and for what?
It wasn’t as if she didn’t like children. She found them to be cute, adorable, all those fluffy little words, but she wasn’t ready to be a mother. She knew that. Her mother knew that. Six months ago, she was going to take the easy way out, she was going to nip this whole thing in the bud. She went to the clinic, put on the cheap gown they provided her, and realized that she couldn’t go through with it. She wasn’t a devote Christian or anything, she frankly didn’t care about abortion, she was pro-choice, despite her generally conservative views. But at that moment, she felt selfish. She wasn’t ready to be a mother, but out there someone was, she could be their saving grace.
It was her mother’s plan that kept her away from Orange County’s scrutiny. Her mother’s carefully calculated scheme. She postponed Berkley one semester. Her father thought she was out exploring the world, experiencing life outside the southern California bubble, but her mother knew better. She was at their vacation house in Cape Cod, waiting to purge herself of her sins.
Jimmy Cooper was probably living it up with some USC slut, and she was in some tiny hospital wearing a gown that barely covered her protruding stomach. This was not how things were supposed to be happening. She didn’t want to give birth. She didn’t want to be in a place where there was snow on the ground. She just wanted to go home. She sighed, this was her fault, she was a liar. A wave of pain attacked her. Another contraction.
A few more hours, she repeated, tears flowing down her cheeks. * * * * * January 2005, The Present
When she found out about Lindsay, she flipped out. It was as simple as that. Her rich father, who rarely had good taste in women, cheated on her mother and produced a Nichol heir as old as her son. Each time she played it in her head, it sounded less ridiculous, but even still, this was not a one o’clock soap opera, this was her life.
She had spent her whole life under the impression that she was one of two. She had spent her life under the impression that her younger, screwup sister was her only sibling, but when that Chrismukkah secret came out, a whole can of worms was unleashed. How many affairs had her father had? How many possible half siblings could she have? She probably shouldn’t have worked herself up over it, but it seemed like a legitimate question.
Not too long ago, her son had taken little Lindsay Gardner on a date, and thankfully things got switched around, but what if they hadn’t? How could you tell your son that he was swapping spit with a blood relative? Now it was her foster son’s turn to date the girl, her sister, and while that was fine, it still reminded her Julie Cooper and Riverside.
She couldn’t help but be scared for the future. What if her son fell for one of Caleb Nichol’s bastard children, or better yet, what if her son fell for the daughter she had given up? That’s what it all probably boiled down to, the child she had given to another. The child that haunted her everyday. Her father was a liar, there was no question about that, but was she any better?
She took a sip from her chardonnay; she knew she shouldn’t have let them place her in her arms. * * * * * All her life she had heard so many bad things about epidurals, that she almost felt like less of a woman. She let them stick that giant needle into her spine and she was glad, because even with the drug it still felt like she was in a horror movie. Small cramped delivery room, flickering lights, all by herself. The doctors kept telling her that she was doing good, that everything was all right, but it wasn’t. Nothing was right.
They told her congratulations, it was a beautiful baby girl. And that was the plan. In Jimmy Cooper’s detailed map of their lives, they had a girl first, and a boy second. He was right. Why was he always right?
She felt woozy, she wanted to go to sleep, she wanted to walk away, she wanted to practice the lies she was going to tell her father. According to her postcards, she was in Italy right know, hanging out with some guy named Fabio. Stupid romance novels.
Everything was in suspended motion. They were washing off the little girl, her little girl, who was soon going to be someone else’s. She hadn’t met them, but she hoped they would be good parents. You were supposed to get qualified parents through adoption, weren’t you?
When the doctor finally came back, it felt like it had been hours. “It’s a beautiful baby girl,” he repeated. “Well done.”
“Do you want to hold her?” A petite nurse asked, she didn’t remember this nurse, maybe it was the drugs. Maybe it was the fact that she was trying to repress the memory even before it became that.
“I don’t.” She stammered, “I, um, can’t. I.”
“Come on,” the nurse said with a smile. “It makes it worth it.”
She rolled her eyes at the comment. Her hands were sweaty, her body was shaking, and her hair was sticking to her forehead, and for what? Yet, for some reason, when the woman said worth Kirsten’s arms unfolded and within a second the child was in them.
Her eyes opened, small and new. Dark brown, like Jimmy’s, like her mother’s. She stared in them, trying to suppress a smile. Trying not to make the situation any harder, but it was too late, she was in love, and she didn’t want to let go. * * * * *
Good girls played with dolls.
Good girls had mothers who cared about them.
Good girls had people watching after them, people they could trust.
Maybe that’s why Faith wasn’t a good girl. She was nineteen years old: motherless, fatherless, watcher less. Nineteen and she had no one she could truly call a friend and certainly no place she could call home.
When their mother’s died, good girls became emotional. When her mother died, she remained apathetic. Sixteen years of abuse ended. Her mother’s drunken stupor finally lured her to eternal slumber and she should have been free. She should have been free to do anything. For once it should have been sunshine and rainbows.
Adoption was supposed to be a process that gave innocent children good homes. Adoption was supposed to take children from their shitty households and give them shiny new parents. Not the other way around. Maybe she was just cursed, because foster children were supposed to be slapped around. It was sad to say, but it was excepted. The goal was to beat the system and she did just that. She beat the system, in fact she bypassed the system, she got shiny new parents; at least they must have seemed it. In reality, they were dull, bruised apples.
At her mother’s funeral she met the woman that would change her life, her watcher, the only person she knew cared about her. And like everything else, that got screwed up, that got tossed away, and that emotion, compassion, was locked away with it. The day she became the slayer, was the same day she found out she wasn’t a Lehane. She had a mother somewhere, probably a real mother, a good mother. No one was cursed to have two horrendous mothers, were they? At the time it didn’t matter because she had Diane, she had a mother-figure, but she screwed that up, she screwed everything up. Why did she have to be the slayer?
Buffy Summers had it all: the mother, the friends, the perfect suburban house. When Faith slayed in Boston she was a lone wolf, a wild card. Buffy on the other hand had a routine and people to help out. Sometimes Faith couldn’t help but think if she was B., Kakistos wouldn’t have killed her favorite Harvard grad. Sure, she was badass, but Buffy had people who remembered her name, people who were a phone call away.
In Sunnydale, Xander Harris was the Zeppo, so what did that make her? She certainly wasn’t Groucho. She wasn’t really anyone. They had their circle and she wasn’t a part of it, she didn’t fit. She tried to, but she didn’t. They laughed at her stories, some true and some false, but she was different from them, a different that didn’t click in quite yet.
She grabbed her duffel bag from the curb. She looked at the sign greeting her and the lightly colored sand behind it. Newport Beach, it proclaimed. Beautiful women pranced around in bikinis and men fondled them. Chivalry was dead. She probably didn’t belong here either.
She pulled out a crumpled piece of paper from her back pocket. Kirsten Nichol was crossed out and Kirsten Cohen was written in its place.
“Hello Mommy Dearest,” She muttered. * * * * * * * * * Note
This story takes place in season 2 of The OC to The Power of Love and in season 3 of Buffy to The Zeppo.
If you know Buffy and you know The OC, then you know that dates are screwy in this. Season 3 of Buffy was 1998 - 1999. Whereas season 2 of The OC was 2004 - 2005. Frankly, the dates aren’t pivotal to either series, so I went the main series for this story which is The OC.
People generally think that Buffy is the older slayer, but that was never officially said, so I made Faith older for the sake of the story. Which makes Faith nineteen and Seth sixteen going on seventeen, which works in the context of the show, believe me I tried desperately to make it work in my head. No easy feat.
Anyway, thank you for reading, I hope that you will review, even if it’s two words. I’ll take what I can get. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them. If you have any ideas or opinions, I will accept them and possibly take them into consideration. Thanks a lot!