When Faith moves to Sunnydale she brings her... dog. For Sheildage’s Faith & Stitch Challenge.
A/N: The rating is for swearing. Sailor thy name is Faith. Also, I didn’t watch Angel or read the comics, so if I change Faith’s history just go with it.
Disclaimers: Don’t own BTVS or Lilo&Stitch. Don’t even own the challenge, because this is so
Sheildage’s fault ;-)
Everyone’s Left Shoe
By: Cousin Mary
Faith stood on her crappy motel balcony and watched Giles’ taillights disappear down the road. She rubbed her eyes, probably smearing her make-up all to hell, but whatever. Three days in Sunnydale and things were already going down the crapper. And everything smelled like sunscreen, even miles from the beach. What the hell was up with that?
She sighed and fished out her key. Not that it mattered much, her door was “locked” in the sense that something was holding it closed, mostly grime. As she entered the 14 buck a night room her shoes crunched over the dirty shag carpet.
“Hi honey, I’m home.” She shut the door and flipped on the light. Her “dog” lifted his head from the orange and brown bedspread and looked at her for a moment before rolling over for a tummy rub. Faith chuckled and walked over to oblige. She knew she shouldn’t have brought him. He obviously wasn’t a dog, the good money was on some kind of demon, but she hadn’t been able to help herself. Something about the little screw-up just worked for her.
“You been a good boy?” She asked, glancing around the room. The table was knocked over and a chair broken, there were places where the wallpaper had been scratched off and the mirror over the dresser was cracked. “I’m gonna go with ‘no.’”
He cocked his head to one side and seemed to giggle, sounding a bit like a chittering monkey. Faith ignored it, scratching him between his ears and watching as he started to happily drool on the spare pillow. Faith smiled to herself, no matter how bad she fucked up at least she could always make her dog happy.
She remembered when she’d first found him. He’d been this tiny ball of blue-gray fur with six feet, two horns and tongue that perpetually went up his own nose. And he’d growled, like, constantly. If Diana had been alive there would have been no way she could have kept him, but her Watcher had been dead for weeks at that point and Faith had been on her own. She’d been squatting in an abandoned truck-stop when she’d found him, curled up at the bottom of an old barrel, slicked up in congealed cooking oil. It’d taken her three tries to fish him out and when she’d finally managed; he’d bit her. For the life of her Faith couldn’t remember why she hadn’t ended the little monster then and there. But she hadn’t, and now he was hers.
She stopped scratching when she was sure he was good and asleep. He snored like a tiny buzzsaw. The Slayer leaned back and looked him over with a critical eye. He could pass for a dog… if you didn’t look too close. He only had the four legs now, somehow he’d managed to lose two. And the horns weren’t visible most of the time, though he could pop them out if he wanted. Yeah, he could be a dog, a wicked funny looking dog, but still a dog. She’d even got him a collar. It was red, with a copper tag that read: Stitch. She’d been running three days with no sleep and two with no food when she’d come up with it. She picked ‘Stitch’ because he was the same faded denim color as the patch on her favorite jacket. Sewing on that patch had been the last nice thing her mom had done for her. Anyway, when she’d named him, ‘stitch’ had sounded hopeful, like something broken being fixed. Faith chuckled, well, in her delirium it’d made sense.
Leaving Stitch on the bed, Faith headed to her tiny motel bathroom. It smelled like bleach over mold, but at least the water out of the tap was hot and clear. She scrubbed off her make-up and brushed her teeth. She tried to drag a comb through her hair, but it got caught on her split ends. Faith glared at her reflection, she needed a trim. She gathered her hair in one hand and grabbed a dagger from her bag with the other. She swiped the blade across the last inch or so of her hair and let it fall to check the results. A little jagged, but not horrible
. She sighed, Buffy’s hair had been perfect. Her mom probably took her to a salon or some shit.
Faith blew out a breath and walked back to the bed. She tugged off her boots, socks and pants. Then, unhooked her bra and pulled it through her armhole. She’d sleep in her tank top. Stitch always migrated to the middle of the bed if she wasn’t there so she had to shove him aside. She laid down and stared up at the ceiling. Buffy’s mom had offered to let her stay with them. Mrs. S was classy like that. Faith had been tempted, but-
Stitch let out a pig-like snort/snore, covering his eyes with one stubby blue-gray leg.
“Yeah, yeah, I’ll get the light.” Faith swatted the switch. Her eyes found her dog in the dark. He glowed a bit, but it had to be pitch black to notice.
As tempting as the idea was, she couldn’t play house with the Summers. First off, Mrs. S owned an art
gallery, everything she owned was nice and tasteful and shit. Stitch would mow through it like a pint-sized bull in a china shop. And second, there was no way Buffy would let a probable demon anywhere near her mom. Not that Faith blamed her. Of course she could always leave Stitch… No, she wouldn’t even think that. They would be fine at the motel. It wasn’t that
bad. She’d stayed in worse.
The next morning, well, noon, but morning by Slayer standards, Faith woke to a cold little paw digging into her back. She opened one eye, squinting against the bright California sunshine streaming through the crack between the curtains. Stitch was asleep on his back, practically spread eagle. His tongue was lolled out and visibly drying on his fuzzy little chin. She groaned and nudged him, “come on beautiful, time to wake up.”
He made a noise halfway between a bark and a groan and rolled over, burying his head in his soggy pillow.
“Whatever.” Faith rolled her eyes. She needed a shower anyway. Stumbling into the bathroom, she started the water going. She tried to remember if she had anything specific planned for the day, but all that came to mind was the need for coffee. She stripped off her clothes and got into the shower, letting the hot water wash away her grogginess.
She couldn’t believe Buffy managed to slay and
go to school. When did classes start anyway? Nine? Eight? Not that it mattered; noon was the crack of dawn as far as Faith was concerned. She braced herself before turning the shower knob to cold, the icy blast jolting her to full alertness. “Goddammit!”
Her yell woke Stitch, who walked in to check on her. Walked, like a human on his back legs. He sort of had to, since he was rubbing his eyes with his front two. She pulled back the shower curtain to look at him, he blinked his glittering black eyes up at her, not looking overly concerned.
“Morning,” she said.
“Mermph,” he ‘said’ back.
Faith shook her head and grabbed her towel. Sometimes it was like he was almost talking. The noises were never the same though, so it wasn’t like he was speaking another language or anything. But, at the same time, he always seemed to have the tone
right, if that made sense. Which it didn’t, not really.
She finished toweling dry and dug through her bag for something to wear. She’d have to hit a laundromat soon, there wasn’t much left on the ‘clean’ side of her duffle bag. She found a pair of jeans she’d worn only once and a fresh tee-shirt with a logo for an ex’s band. The band’s name had been Sonic Decay
, she couldn’t remember the guy’s name. Phil? Dan? Something like that.
Stitch started licking water off the bottom of the shower, which made her feel as guilty as hell.
“Aw, fuck all, Stitch. Here.” She pulled him back by the collar, which he hated
and grabbed his empty bowl. She filled it in the sink and made sure he drank. He glared at her for a full minute before he gave in and lapped at it. She found his food dish jammed under the bed and filled it with his usual, half Alpo, half Fruit Loops. Adding cereal was the only way she could get him to eat dog food at all. “Breakfast.”
No hesitation on diving into that.
Faith had to sort of straddle him so she could get close to the mirror, but that was okay, he only came up to her knees anyway. She grabbed her eyeliner and took care of that first. Lipstick and mascara next. She used to wear blush, but Stitch always seemed to find and eat it. Something about pink powder… maybe it reminded him of Fruit Loops? Faith frowned, who knew what went on in that pointy little head. Once she’d finished, she looked down at Stitch, who was gnawing on his empty bowl. “Still hungry?”
He didn’t answer, just kept gnawing.
“All right then,” she shrugged. It took her twenty minutes to find his leash. He always hid it, although once she got it on him he’d wear it, usually. “Okay, come on Stitch. Man up.”
“I’m not kidding ‘round here,” she told him. “We have to look normal. And you’re a dog
He hated when she pointed that out, but it worked more often than not. He grudgingly let her attach the red plastic leash to his collar. Once it was on he tugged her towards the door. Their unspoken agreement seemed to be that he’d wear the leash, but only if they were going somewhere. They left the room and bounded down the cement staircase towards the street. The motel was in the middle of nowhere, even by small town standards, and it was a ten minute walk to get to anything resembling civilization. And by civilization she meant a place that had coffee.
The diner she found was called Mom’s, the guy behind the grill had an eagle tattooed on his bicep and a panther on his forearm. “No dogs,” he warned as she walked in with Stitch in tow.
“He’s a seeing eye dog,” Faith argued, “law says he gets to go where I go.”
“You’re not blind,” the cook scoffed.
“I came in here, didn’t I?” Faith shot back. “Look, I’m not looking for trouble. I just want some coffee. Maybe a burger.”
He grunted and gestured to the counter. It wasn’t like there were any other customers anyway. She picked the stool near the wall and sat, Stitch curled up next to her feet.
“You want cheese?” He asked, apparently Mom’s didn’t bother with waitstaff.
“It cost extra?”
The cook gave her a look, “nah.”
“Cheddar,” Faith shrugged, “and a coffee.”
Stitch made a noise and she shushed him. She usually got him his own coffee when it was to-go, but they were sitting down.
“You new to Sunnydale?” The cook brought her a cup and poured her some of the blackest pitch she’d ever seen.
“Yep,” Faith eyed him. He was an older guy, maybe sixty. She noticed all of his knuckles were scarred over. “What of it?”
“Nothing,” the cook shook his head and turned. She heard meat hit the grill. Over his shoulder he asked, “just passin’ through?”
“Thought I might stick around,” Faith shrugged nonchalantly.
“Sunnydale ain’t…” he started to say something, but trailed off. “You want fries? Before you ask, they ain’t extra.”
“I like fries,” Faith sipped at her coffee and made a face. Bitter didn’t begin to describe it. She waited until she was sure the cook wasn’t looking and passed Stitch the cup, he drained it. “So, your given name Mom, or what?”
“Mom owned the place, I got it from her,” he told her as he flipped her burger. “Name’s Mack.”
“Well Mack, care to help a girl out?” she held up her empty cup for a refill. That she’d actually finished it seemed to earn his respect. Absently, she wondered when he’d made it. Last night? Last month?
He plated her burger and brought it over with the coffee pot. He put both directly on the Formica. “Eat up. You’re too skinny.”
“Now you sound like a mom,” Faith smirked, dousing her burger with ketchup.
He grunted and wandered off towards the back. “Call out if anyone comes in, will ya?”
“Sure thing, Ma,” Faith nodded, waiting until he was gone before giving Stitch a handful of fries and another cup of coffee.
That night Faith and Buffy patrolled the five or six warehouses that made up Sunnydale’s industrial “district.” One wasn’t even a warehouse, more of an oversized carport, stacked with crates and open on one side.
“I get the feeling Red doesn’t like me much.” Faith announced. She was walking along side Buffy, twirling a stake in her hand and kicking at cement chips with the toe of her boot.
“Willow likes everybody,” Buffy told her, then seemed to think about it. “Except Cordelia and, you know all the other girls on the cheerleading squad, Mr. Donovan the French teacher and… okay, yeah, Will kinda has a type.”
“She don’t like whores?” Faith asked with a wicked grin.
“You aren’t a whore. You’re… uh, friendly?” Buffy laughed, “And besides, by that reasoning Mr. Donovan is like the biggest whore in the world. Will hates
“Maybe I should sign up for French,” Faith snorted.
“Oh, hey, I’m supposed to-” Buffy paused and scanned the distance. Maybe she’d felt something, but a second later she started talking again. “Giles wanted me to ask if you wanted him to find you a place. I guess there’s an empty apartment in his building. Everyone who lives there is like, really old but you know, you’d be next door to Giles, which wouldn’t be of the bad.”
Faith couldn’t help but imagine Stitch chewing through a wall to get at scones or something. “Nah, I’m five by five. A girl needs her space, ya know?”
Buffy didn’t look convinced, but nodded. “Yeah, cool. You want to try Willy’s? See if anyone’s feeling chatty?”
“Sounds good,” Faith smirked, she liked chatty. “Lead the way.”
It was a few miles to Willy’s, but it went quick enough. Walking with Buffy made her feel normal. Which was hilarious because they were both super powered and armed to the teeth, but there you go. Maybe it was because most of the time Buffy gave off this vibe that’d fool just about anyone, but then she’d move in a certain way and then BAM! there it was: Slayer with a capital S. It was nice not to be alone in that.
The sound of nails taping on asphalt sounded behind them and with a sinking feeling Faith turned. Buffy was already on it though.
“What’s that?” The blonde tilted her head, listening. Her hand started to creep towards the stake hidden in the small of her back.
“Uh,” Faith’s eyes narrowed, looking for a familiar outline. Sure enough, Stitch was slinking behind them a few hundred yards away. “It’s just my, uh, dog. He must have got out.”
“You have a dog?” Buffy’s hand dropped and the Valley girl was back. She smiled brightly. “Aw, how cute! I love dogs! Call him.”
Faith tried to smile back, but secretly she was vowing to buy off brand Fruit Loops for the next year. She cleared her throat, hoping against hope that he’d be on his best behavior. “Stitch! Come ‘ere boy!”
Stitch came trotting out, luckily on all fours. He stopped a few feet short of Buffy and sat on his fluffy blue butt. All right, at least the little Casanova was playing up the cute angle. Maybe he could keep his loops. Faith snuck a glance at Buffy and winced. Yeah, blondie wasn’t buying it.
“Yeah?” She wasn’t admitting a goddamn thing.
“You said ‘dog,’” Buffy pointed out rather needlessly.
“He’s a dog,” Faith cringed, yeah, that didn’t sound believable to her
ears. Hell, you’d think after the life she’d led she could manage one tiny white, blue, whatever, lie!
“Uh huh,” Buffy’s hands were on her hips, which, all things considered was better than on her weapons. Stitch was sitting quietly, tongue lolling, just happy to be there. “You had him long?”
“Yeah, for a while now,” Faith took a step closer to Stitch, but didn’t get between him and Buffy. The other slayer’s eyes were laser focused on the ‘dog,’ assessing.
“Huh,” and just like that the Slayer seeped out and Buffy was on her knees by Stitch. “Who’s a good boy? You’re a good boy, aren’t you?”
Faith rolled her eyes, Stitch was already on his back for a belly rub. He was such a whore.
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