Chapter Two: A Leap of Faith
Asleep on the Frontlines
Chapter Two: The Leap of Faith
Disclaimer: I don’t own Buffy or X-Men.
When Faith woke up to the early morning sun streaming through her window it was easy to pretend that the last eight and a bit months hadn’t happened that today was her day like the Mayor had always said it would be. Maybe in a way it was, she thought feeling uncharacteristically philosophical. Today she would make the most important decision of her life.
“No pressure,” she told herself.
The sound of her own voice was mildly shocking. Not only did it break through the silence of the morning like a rock shattering glass but it was hoarse, husky, and unfamiliar. She shouldn’t have been surprised, she’d spent the better part of a year not talking it made sense that her vocal cords needed a bit of time to readjust. At the same time it was an uncomfortable reminder of what she’d been missing out on and a ready-made flash of rage went through her towards Buffy.
It was gone as quickly as it had come and Faith felt empty and drained as it left her. Her illusion of peace was gone; her quest for vengeance meant nothing.
What was she supposed to do now?
She lay blank-faced and depressed in the middle of the tangles she made out of her squashy blue comforter for a long while. Then her stomach, having had enough of her pity party decided to voice its opinion loudly and obnoxiously.
The rumbling gurgle surprised a short laugh out of Faith that was no less startling because it was involuntary and sincere.
Getting up Faith had a quick shower and grabbed the first things lying at the top of her box of packed clothes. Tight black jeans that fit like a second skin and a plain black t-shirt. Her shoes and jackets were in the boxes in the front hall and she found that her wallet was empty.
“No good, thieving leeches!” Faith snarled to herself.
The secret roll of twenties she kept in the liner of her favorite jean jacket, however, was untouched. Faith smirked, growing up street smart paid off in the end apparently. She pocketed one of the crisp green bills and left the others in their hiding spot she then sauntered down the block to her favorite little breakfast dive and ate waffles with peanut butter, whipped cream, chocolate sauce a side of perfectly done bacon and a massive cup of coffee. She felt instantly better for having some food in her stomach and the comfort foods were doing wonderful things for her outlook on life.
She decided to try and go for the ritual. At least no one would be trying to arrest her then she thought ducking into the Magic Shop just in time to avoid the patrol car’s notice. Faith browsed the store picking up the few simple ingredients she would need to call up the demon or whatever. When she ducked out of the store the cops were thankfully gone but rather than risk another run in Faith hurried back to her apartment the familiar surroundings, sound-proof walls, and heavy dead bolt making her feel instantly safer.
Scoffing at her own weakness Faith tossed the brown paper bag onto the bureau with the coin, box, and instructions the Mayor had left her. She then proceeded to take stock of her possessions. It was kind of like what she remembered leaving home was like when she’d found out she was a potential. Her room with its safe familiarity and little momentos was a part of her now and the thought of leaving it was severely uncomfortable no matter how screwed up and bad the world outside her room had suddenly become for her.
Shaking her head Faith found her large gym bag that was empty except for a few longer knives and the ill-fated long bow. She tossed that little bit of weaponry into the back corner of her closet and began filling the bag with clothes and shoes and toiletries and the little stashes of money she’d hidden from her fat paychecks. The vamps had found some of them, having gone through her whole apartment, and wasn’t that just a cheering thought? She resolved to wash all her clothes when she got where she was going.
Faith took a deep breath and before she could think it through again and decide not to go she made the salt circle, painted her floor with the appropriate hieroglyphs, gave the token blood offering and lit all the candles then she gathered her bag, the coin, and herself and plunked them down in the centre of the circle and began to chant.“O Guardian of Ways
I summon thee.
O Opener of Doors
I summon thee
O Walker of the Paths Beyond
I summon thee
Come forth and answer
So mote it be,”
The creature arrived with the typical fanfare of light and smoke and Faith remained unmoving and observed him. He actually looked like a very young Yoda. He was short and green with wispy black hair and serene yellow eyes and he was wearing grey robes and a black, ninja-esque costume.
“Why hast thou summoned me Slayer-Mortal?” he demanded with narrowed eyes.
“I want to redeem a favor, given to me by another,” Faith said holding the coin up at eye level but not offering it to the creature.
“Hmm, its mortal flesh is clever, like the one who gave it this,” he said amused.
He accepted the blood offering drinking the small goblet down.
“Speak Mortal-Slayer, what is it you wish of Rata-Guardian?”
“I want to leave this world, and go somewhere I can be happy,” Faith said fixing him with a look that was meant to say ‘and if you dare repeat that sentence you’ll be forced to eat your own ears’.
Rata did not look intimidated, rather he smiled wickedly and asked, “Is that its desire?”
“It is,” Faith said firmly.
“Hand Guardian-Rata the coin Slayer-Girl-Child, the coin is the portal the magic is that of the Way,”
Reluctantly Faith handed the little green thing the coin ready to leap into action if he sprung a trap, but he calmly took the coin said a few unintelligible words over it and flipped it as if tossing for heads or tails. Rather than catching it mid air though he let it fall and it stopped, still spinning end over end, two feet from the floor. Faith watched as it spun faster and faster and then expanded into a whirling circle of red and gold light that crackled along the edges with tame lightning.
“Hurry Mortal-Slayer-Child, before the Door closes and the debt is paid,” he said laughing.
Faith gathered up her duffel bag and flung herself into the shrinking portal without a second thought, Rata’s laughter echoing behind her as she spun and spun and spun.
AN: A second chapter up finally! What will Faith do in the X-Men's world? Who will she meet first? The Brotherhood? Or the X-Team? Find out next time!