Somewhere to go...
Disclaimer: I don't own Stargate SG1 or Buffy, I'm just borrowing some of the characters for a while.
Author's Note: Thanks for all the reviews! Just wanted to quickly mention here that some may think Faith's behaviour in this chapter is a little out of character, please remember that in this story she's 3 years younger than when she came into Buffy and not a slayer. A little unusual behaviour is to be expected I think especially considering the fact that she's pregnant and hormonal. Anyway, on with the story...
Who knew buses were so pricey? Faith barely had eighty-five dollars...a one-way bus ticket to Colorado was one hundred and eighty dollars. She had two choices, she could either find some way to get the hundred she was short, or she could call her uncle and hope he believed her. She slumped down onto the nearest bench to think.
Faith knew there were ways she could get the money, she’d seen her mother use those ways to pay the rent often enough, but the thought sickened her. Especially after what had happened... ‘No,’ she thought, shivering slightly in revulsion, ‘that’s not an option.’ She didn’t look old enough to get even a halfway legit job, so that was out too. As far as she could see she was out of options.
“What the fuck do I say? ‘Hi, my name’s Faith, I’m your niece, I need a place to stay. Oh, and by the way can ya loan me a hundred so I can get there?’ Yeah, that’ll go down well!” Faith ignored the sideways glances as her muttering got slowly louder. “Mustn’t forget to add that I’m pregnant too! Don’t wanna forget that lovely little detail!” Faith let out a small giggle; she couldn’t believe the mess she was in! Panic started to set in properly and Faith’s giggles turned to sobs, wracking her body as she wrapped her arms around her legs and cried.
She vaguely registered that someone had taken the seat next to her, and could hear faint mutterings over her sobs. She jumped when a hand rested softly on her shoulder, her head shooting up to see what was happening. Glistening eyes still streaming tears stared at the woman in front of her, slightly out of focus – ‘that would be all that pesky water in your eyes Einstein!’ Faith thought derisively. Faith realised the woman was speaking, and forced herself to try and calm a little, to listen to what the kindly looking woman was saying.
“...me to get someone for you dear? Is your mum here with you? Oh, please try to calm down, you’ll make yourself ill crying like that...” It was clear to Faith that the woman was quite worried, and she wondered briefly how long the woman had been trying to speak to her.
“’m okay...” Faith managed to choke out, breathing slowly to try and stop the tears which still threatened to spill forth.
“What’s that dear? You seem far from okay to me, so let’s be having none of that nonsense...now what’s got you all upset here then? Isn’t anyone with you?” Without pausing for Faith to answer she continued. “Is that it? You’re lost, aren’t you hun? Well, no worries about that, we’ll find your folks for you in no time!”
“’m not lost...just stuck. My uncle’s in Colorado, and I gotta go there but I don’t have enough money, and I can’t just ring him ‘cos he don’t even know I exist, and I don’t know what to do!” Faith punctuated this outburst with another bout of tears, feeling stupid for crying, but unable to stop herself.
“Oh dear, please try to calm down a bit...that’s quite a pickle, but I’m sure we can sort something out...” The woman reached out an arm to pat Faith’s back reassuringly. Faith jumped at the contact, but slowly managed to get herself under control again. As soon as she noticed the calm the woman continued. “Your parents aren’t with you?”
Not trusting her voice again yet, Faith shook her head slowly.
“And this uncle of yours, you say he doesn’t know you exist?”
“He’s mom’s brother, she hasn’t spoken to him since before I was born...” Faith didn’t know why she should trust this woman with all this, but she just seemed so kind, and she wanted to help, and Faith really didn’t know what to do right then. “I’ve got his address, and a phone number, but if I ring why would he even believe me?”
“And you can’t go home?” At the panicked look in Faith’s eyes, the woman rushed to reassure her. “I’m not going to try and force you to, just had to check dear...what is your name by the way? I’m Julie...”
“Faith,” she replied softly.
“Right, well, how about you tell me what I need to know, and then I’ll call your uncle for you, how does that sound? Might sound a bit more believable coming from an adult, don’t you think dear?” At Faith’s surprised nod she continued. “Yes, I think that’s probably the best plan, can’t be leaving you stuck here after all, can we?”
With that, the woman wasted no time in getting all the information Faith had, and found a payphone. Faith read out the number slowly, watching with trepidation as the woman dialled.
Jack groaned as he sank onto the sofa. It had been a difficult few days, and he wasn’t really sure what to think about how it had all ended. Merrin was a shadow of her former self, reduced to infancy, perhaps to remain that way for the rest of her life...and yet she had possibly helped save future generations of Orbanian children from similar fates. With her knowledge of teaching and learning the ‘old-fashioned way’ the Orbanians were reconsidering their methods of learning.
Missions involving children were never easy for him, often dredging up painful memories. Maybe he should call Daniel and see if he fancied a drink or something? He could use a little unwinding...
Jack got up to reach for the phone, and jumped when it suddenly started ringing.
“O’Neill.” He answered abruptly, hoping it wasn’t a recall to the mountain – he could really use an evening off right now. He listened to the person on the other end of the line with no small amount of confusion, dropping back into his seat as the woman told him things so unbelievable he had almost no doubt they were true. Finally she finished her story, and the line went silent. He realised that she was probably waiting for a response, and said the first thing that came to mind.
“Huh?” ‘Oh real eloquent Jack!’ he mentally chided. “I mean, uh, are you serious ma’am?” After being sternly reassured that she was indeed serious, he asked if he could talk to Faith. Some murmuring on the other end of the line that Jack couldn’t quite make out, and then a new voice came on the line.“Hello...?”
Faith’s voice sounded shaky, her nerves clear.
“Faith? My name’s Jack, and your friend Mrs Stevenson’s just been telling me some rather surprising things, I just wanted to ask you about some of them if that’s okay?” Jack didn’t know what he was supposed to be saying here, what was the procedure for dealing with upset children who were your long-lost relative?“Sure, but she already told you everything...”
“I just want to clear up a few things, that’s all...what’s your mom’s name kid? How do you know I’m even who you’re looking for?”“She told me about you once, your name and that you were in the Air Force...”
she trailed off, suddenly unsure. What if she was wrong?
“That’s not a lot to go on, Faith. I personally know of another Jack O’Neill in the Air Force, although he spells his name a bit different...”“O ‘ n e i l l”
she spelled out slowly, “is that you? ‘cos that’s how my surname’s spelt... And her name’s Ana.”
“Okay, so you’ve got the right guy. Has something happened to your mom?” She was his niece. He had a niece, and Ana hadn’t even told him. Where was Ana when her daughter was crying her heart out in a bus station? Why wasn’t Faith safe at home? All he could think was that something horrible had happened to his baby sister...“She’s fine.”
“She know you’re running away?”“She might notice next time she sobers up...she’ll probably miss the money I took more than me though.”
The venom in Faith’s voice shocked him, and he found himself remembering the rebellious irresponsible girl who’d run away at 17. He had hoped that maybe she’d settled down since then, grown up, but apparently not...he hated to think what Faith’s childhood had been like...
“Right, Faith, I’m going to sort something out, I promise, but I need you to put Mrs Stevenson back on the phone for a minute okay kid?” Faith mumbled something, and then Julie’s voice greeted him once again. Jack quickly found out that she was local to Boston, had a car handy, and was more than willing to drive Faith to the airport, although she refused his offer to pay her for her help. He got her address and phone number just in case and asked her to call again as soon as they reached the airport. He told her he’d have a ticket waiting for Faith when they got there, then asked her to put Faith back on the phone.
“Faith, I need you to go with Mrs Stevenson now, she’s going to take you to the airport, and there’ll be a ticket to Colorado Springs waiting for you, got that kid?” After getting a shaky reply, Jack went on... “You need to stop worrying and calm down, okay Faith? I’m going to take care of everything, and I’ll talk to you again when you get to the airport.” With that they said goodbye and Jack hung up the phone, in a slight state of shock. He rang information and got the number for Boston airport, then quickly arranged Faith’s ticket, noting down the flight times carefully. It looked like his long day was going to get longer, he thought, his mind spinning with everything he’d just learnt. Should he try to contact Ana? Or should he wait until Faith was there, so that he could find out exactly what had happened to make her run?
A/N: please review, I do really appreciate your comments, they help the ideas flow...However I would appreciate it if anyone else who disagrees about Faith actually being Faith simply because I'm changing her past a bit and thinks this shouldn't count as a crossover would keep their opinions to themselves, as these comments are not at all constructive, and have already been voiced now anyway.
As I said though, everyone please review, I'm hoping you're enjoying the story so far?