Disclaimers on Ch.1
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Faith is so fucking angry; at Brian for deciding to come into their world with his neat little ideas of what’s right and wrong, at Dom for inviting this kid into where he didn’t belong, at Mia for loving the asshole that’s ripped their family apart. But most of all, she’s angry at herself. Because even as the slayer, even with her whole souped up little package of gifts from the powers- she didn’t see this coming, she didn’t prevent it.
Mia is silent as Faith glances at her, the wind is blowing her bangs back a little bit. She says nothing as the atmosphere of hurt in the car hangs between them.
Her older sister is the first to take the slayer’s hand, she’s still looking ahead, at the road in front of them, her voice is quiet, filled with unsaid emotions “I’m so sorry.”
Faith glances at Mia in surprise, her dark brown eyes are filled with pain and unshed tears as she whispers “I fucked up so badly.” A tear slips on her cheek, the sight of it somehow more painful than if Mia was throwing a fit or going all Toretto batshit insane with anger.
Faith squeezes her sister’s hand, “don’t blame yourself for this. If anything, blame Dom. Cause you know, he didn’t have to adopt every dog that comes his way.”
Mia snorts in watery amusement as she wipes her cheek from the moisture, “Letty’s right, he’s really a big pussycat inside.”
They both laugh as the scenery whips past them, it is left unspoken that they have to hurry home before the cops have a chance to come with their arrest orders. Neither Mia nor Faith know what’s going to happen, but they’re pretty sure that they’ll have to hide out for a bit. Get an alibi maybe, people that'll say the girls were with them during the hijackings.
Mia’s phone rings, she looks at the screen and grimaces. Faith notices her sister’s pained face, it’s probably Brian- God only knows what the pig wants from them now.
She raises an eyebrow, “you can pick it up if you want to. I’m not going to tell Dom.”
Mia shakes her head, “I’m done with him!” she sounds adamant, sleek black ponytail shakes with the force of her emotions.
Faith blinks as she swerves onto their road, “alright then. Cause I got words I need to have with loverboy, and I’m pretty sure Dom’s going to get violent too.”
Her sister’s silent, there’s really nothing more to be said here. Brian’s betrayed them all; he lied, weaseled his way into their confidence only to turn on them. He’s saved Leon’s life, yeah, but at what cost?
The car’s tires squeal as Faith flies onto their driveway, Dom’s car is just in front of them. Their brother is nowhere to be seen.
“Get packing with our stuff, I’mma find Dom see what’s going on” Faith says to Mia who’s too tired and numb to argue, she begins running up to their room taking two steps at once.
Faith moves through her house like a predator, it’s empty, she can see evidence of people raiding the fridge for road food. There’s clothes strewn all around, she can smell the people they belonged to- Letty, Vince.
There’s nothing here of Leon’s except for an old undershirt he usually wore in the garage, it’s most likely that Leon will be out of jail by the time they’re back. The crew has contingency plans for this type of shit, if one of them gets bagged by the cops and the time is less than three years, then they make sure to let the others know. There’s no need to go stealing prisoners and attracting a nationwide manhunt for a measly couple of years, they’ll deal. And when they come back, their family will be waiting for them with open arms and hearts full of acceptance. It's not like they're all free from the taint of prison, free to cast judgments on their astray brethren.
She opens the door to the garage, there’s a shotgun barrel staring her straight in the face. It’s dropped as soon as her brother sees her surprise at being threatened with a firearm.
“Sorry Fai,” he growls out and returns to unearthing hidden treasures from his ‘workroom’.
“Eh, piggy’s bound to come back with friends- at least this way I know you’ll be ready for him,” Faith shrugs and moves to run her hand on the chrome of poppa’s car.
It’s beautiful and deadly, like the promise of death after a long torture session. It scares the shit out of her and Dom, Mia just refuses to look at the car that killed their father.
“When are you coming back?” she asks him in a calm voice.
It was never a question of whether he was leaving, Dominic’s a little too broken to come back to Lompoc and that’s where he’ll go if Brian’s superiors have anything to say about their little extracurricular activities.
“As soon as I can,” Dom’s head isn’t even turned to look at her direction.
“Huh... what about Mia and me?” Faith’s fingers dig into the leather upholstery of the car, Dom had painstakingly returned the car to its original condition. One thing he couldn’t bring back was the upholstery that was there when poppa died. It’s a little too macabre even for them to be driving around on the same leather that their father burned to death on.
“Mia and you,” Dom raises his eyes to meet hers and Faith can see the pain, the terror, the absolute rage in her big brother’s face, “will go to your Council. There are people there that can make the cops think you’ve been with them for the last week right?”
He deliberately does not say the word ‘witches,’ Dom is not a coward and yet the existence of magic taps his hidden core. It makes him wary, makes him think twice about messing with some of this world’s forces.
Faith slowly nods, there’s Willow of course. After Sunny D, the scoobs and her have come to a kind of truce. She’ll always be welcomed back to the new Slayer Central, and if they need her help- her favorite sword is coming out to play. It’s a two way street, a good one.
It’s funny, cause with during the time she had helped them set up in Cleveland- Faith had managed to befriend the one person she never thought would forgive her past transgressions. Eighteen year old Dawn, B’s little sister, the pain in the collective Scooby butt.
“Where will you go?” Faith asks Dom who’s now stuffing the smaller bags he found into one large duffle.
“Far, Letty and Vince are already on their way,” Dom is succinct as ever.
Her heart clenches, of course Vince has gone. Why wouldn’t he? He has a lifetime of loyalty to Dom, a lifetime of following his leader. She’s only been back for two months, the lost sister, the constant reminder of a ten year old divide between the past and present.
“Get gone, I’ll find a way to contact you when it’s safe to come back,” Dom looks at her seriously. It hangs unsaid between them that the garage needs to reopen after the hoopla with the police dies down a bit. It’s mommy and poppa’s legacy, what they worked so hard for and what Dom has gone to hell and back to keep.
“Alright, come back to us you hear?” Faith steps in for a brief hug just as the door bangs open and Mia’s there with two suitcases behind her. As ever, mommy’s little girl is fast when she needs to be, she’s already packed both of their stuff, essentials near the top and heavier things on the bottom.
“Oh Domi, just stay safe please? And tell Letty we love her,” Mia throws herself into their three way embrace, shoulders shaking silently. In times of great emotional confusion, she reverts back to her childhood habit of speaking for both her and Faith. It’s ‘us’, ‘we’. Never ‘I’ anymore. Mia is never going to be alone as long as her sister is by her side.
Dom squeezes both his sisters tightly once more and kisses the tops of their heads, Mia’s straight, black hair that reminds him of mom and Faith with her wavy, thick curtain of a chestnut auburn mix that’s so like poppa’s.
“Come on,” Faith takes both suitcases and the girls leave the garage.
“Mia!” Dom calls out.
His sister turns back just as he tosses a pair of keys her way, they’re the spare to the house and the garage.
She smiles at him sadly, it’s a promise that they’ll be back as soon as they can to keep the Toretto legacy alive.
Dom watches his sisters drive out, Faith’s behind the wheel again, the speed of Mia’s car is impressive as the tires squeal in protest. He throws the duffle in the backseat of the car, parks it in the driveway and methodically begins closing up his house, the shotgun lays on the car’s hood just in case.
Faith drives as usual, except there’s a current of urgency adding fuel to her fire.
“Where are we going?” Mia takes a sip of the water bottle she grabbed from the house.
“Cleveland, got some friends there. We’ll lay low for a while and then come back,” Faith gives her sister a reassuring wink. The mirth in her general demeanor never quite reaches her eyes.
Mia looks at her thoughtfully, maybe she’s the only one that knows her sister completely but even she’s not stupid enough to go commenting on Faith’s mood. So she lets it go.
As they drive for five more minutes of relative silence, there’s a rev as a familiar black Honda Civic pulls in from a side road.
Mia twists her body around to look out the back window, it’s Vince. It looks like he’s been waiting for them to come this way, parked behind some enclosures to give himself time for a clean getaway if cops start looking. This is the road that the crew usually uses for clean and quiet access to the highway, it’s deserted this time of day.
“Pull over, V’s behind us,” Mia tells Faith who eyes her side mirror as she maneuvers the car to a full stop.
Mia sits in her seat as her sister gives her a look, “aren’t you coming?”
She shakes her head, “nah, I think he’s here for you anyway.”
Faith looks at her seriously and then gets out, slamming her door loudly as the echo bounces off the dusty road in front of them.
Vince looks tired, grimy, there’s blood stains on his shirt from where he held on to Leon before the helicopter came. And even so, the sight of him is still enough to make Faith’s heart beat faster.
She saunters up to him, “what are you doing here? I thought you’d be halfway to Mexico by now.”
Vince scratches his stubble as he squints at her, “I should be. If your brother knew I was still in LA, he’d probably think I’m insane.”
Faith slips both of her hands into her jean pockets, “so again with the previous question. Why *are* you here?”
“Come with me,” his voice is crackly, gravelly with the request he would never have the courage to ask in different circumstances.
But Vince is terrified that she’ll leave with her sister and he’ll follow Dom to only God knows where and the next time he’ll see her everything will change. It’s taken him ten years to admit his feeling to himself, he’s always been a little dimwitted when it comes to women but he’ll be damned if he’ll let her leave without saying something.
“What?” Faith’s eyes widen and again Vince is hit with a wave of emotions so strong that he can’t breathe for a moment.
The merciless California sun is beating down on them, he feels like absolute shit dragged through the mud and blood. Faith’s crisp white tank top stands out against her tanned skin, she’s gotten bronzed working outside with her brother and friends. Her hair is in a low bun, face scrubbed free of makeup- she’s freaking beautiful. And Vince realizes that he’s probably loved her since he was fifteen, when twelve year old Faith dragged his drunk ass home from a party at Leon’s, cussing him out the whole way.
“We’ll leave together, I still have my share from the other jobs- we’ll be fine,” Vince takes her small hand into his large, calloused one.
“Please Faith, I can’t lose you again, just come with me,” he begs her as his thumb strokes the soft skin of her cheek.
She’s in shock, for him to ask this of her is like the ultimate confession of his feelings. Vince isn’t the romantic type, he’s a brute, more likely to demand a date than woo you with flowers and candy. But he’s willing to turn back on his best friend, turn back on his crew, his family if she just comes with him.
“What about Mia? Dom, Letty?” she asks him as her eyes fill with tears.
Vince smiles sadly, “they’ll be fine. Dom’s Dom, he’ll always win. Letty’ll follow him to the end,” it goes unsaid that he wants Faith with him, wants the loyalty he sees between his best friend and the girl he’s been with since he was seventeen.
He licks his lips, “we’ll go with Mia, set her up wherever you guys were going. If you don’t want to leave her, fuck- we’ll take your sister with us. I just don’t want to lose you, I’ll do whatever you want if you just come with me.”
The tears are flowing freely now, it’s like there’s a small hammer chipping away at her heart. Her walls are completely broken and Vince is inside her, molded with her soul like a bizarre combination of love, pain, pleasure, family. She’s known him for most of her life, sixteen years to be exact and this is what it all comes down to. The moment when Faith knows completely how much she loves him; the gruffness, the brutality, the loyalty and the gentleness in the way he’s holding her hand.
“I can’t V, I promised Dom that we’d stay here. I can’t let him down again, I can’t” for the first time in her life, Faith’s crying out loud. Her vocal chords aren’t used to the strain of her soul being torn apart, her sobs sound like they’re being churned through machinery, they’re slow to come to the surface and they sound heartbreaking once they reach the air.
Vince steps closer to her, his hazel eyes bore into her, there’s so much pain within him and Faith knows that she’ll destroy him with her next words “please Faith, I love you. Come with me,” he whispers.
“No,” she’s sobbing out loud, breaths coming out erratic and loud as she loses control of herself.
Vince closes his eyes for a long moment and a tear slides down his grimy cheek leaving a trail behind as evidence for the world to see. It’s a desperate scream of ‘See, I have a heart. And it’s fucking broken!’
He roughly wipes his cheek as he brings her face closer, Vince kisses her, an attempt to savor and bring pain in one silent gesture and whips around to go back to his car. He slams the door as he peels out and drives past Mia who’s getting out to help her sister.
The black car leaves a trail of smoke in his haste to put distance between them and Faith drops to her knees as the sobs overwhelm her body, she’s shaking with the pain of it, it’s too much. She can’t breathe as her body struggles to overcome this pain. This is why she’s never let the scoobs inside, her soul belongs completely to her family, to her crew. It’d take too much out of her if she loved the Sunnydalers as much as she loves the people she grew up with.
And then her sister’s gentle hands are there, she’s lifting her up and dragging Faith’s unyielding body to the passenger seat of the Mazda Dom’s given for their use.
“Come on, just a little more, please,” Mia grunts as she hefts up her sister.
She’s gentle as she buckles her inside and tucks a strand of her hair behind her ear. “I’m so sorry,” she whispers as she kisses Faith’s forehead.
Mia gets behind the wheel and begins driving to the highway. They need to make it to Cleveland as soon as they can.
There’s silence in the car as the Toretto twins leave a huge part of their life behind. Mia’s puts her foot on the pedal as she adds speed, for once she’s the speed demon in their duo.
It’s time for Mia to take care of Faith.