Title: Second Nature
Series: The Second
Post BtVS Season 7, Pre-Season 8 comics. Pre- end of OotP in Harry Potter.Disclaimer:
I do not own, nor do I claim to own, any of the characters, settings or concepts presented in this story which originated in Joss Whedon’s “Buffy” or J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series. I do hold claim to the words written here, though I make no profit off of it.Warning: This chapter makes great mention of sexual violence, underage sex, physical abuse and drug use.Second Nature:
I don’t remember a lot of stuff about when I ran away. Just a couple things. Some guy named Jackal (I’m guessing that wasn’t his real name, though) filling me up with drugs. People told me that he sent me out on the streets so the perverts could have turns with me. God. I was fuckin’ 11 years old... that’s just nasty. I’m glad I don’t remember it...
Actually, I’m still not sure it happened, since I only got told about it. I mean, I might have just got beat up.
Between my legs. ...Right.
I also remember this older girl. Lucy. Had all these tattoos - looked like a total badass. Long light brown hair that swung around every time she moved like she was just daring you to touch her. She had a knife she’d always play with. She had sex with all these different guys cause she was so hot and they all wanted her. She said “Miss Lucy had A Steamboat” was about her. And she taught me how to smoke. She was awesome.
Well, she’s probably dead now, but back then I thought she was awesome.
The cops caught Lucy when they found me. We had a whole bag of ‘zoom and I was off my ass seeing unicorns or something. They almost charged her with kidnapping when they realized I was a “missing persons”. But she was 15 and a junkie, so nothing ever came of that. Least not involved with me.
Anyway, I got to the station and my mom was there. The police were asking her all kinds of questions. Like... why didn’t Mom report me missing sooner? Hell, I didn’t notice she was missing. She's a quiet kid.
Where might I have gone? Shouldn’t YOU people be figuring that out?
Did she know a girl named Lucy? Shit no.
Where was my father in all of this? Don’t know, don't care.
All these questions and she was just staring at them looking annoyed and angry and coked up...
...But the moment she saw me outside the door, she dropped everything, ran over to me and hugged me, crying like the end of the world had come and we’d lived through it. She held on to me, crying “Faith! My baby, my baby! My Faith, my little girl!”
I could feel her tears all over me. It was gross. She smelled bad. Her hair was ratty and dyed bright red and she was dressed for business.
But I’d never felt more loved by my mother. Never.
I think I cried too.
The police were so pleased with having found me that they let us go home. Mom said we’d celebrate; she ordered a pizza and turned on the TV. Let me choose any channel I wanted, too. I chose Nickelodeon. After about 10 minutes of this, she changed her mind, said “What is this shit?” and turned it to Maury
. She grabbed a drink and seemed to forget about the celebration.
The sensation I’d had when she hugged me - that false hope that she’d be my Mommy instead of... this... it was gone.
The social worker - Marcia - came the next day. The police’s job may have been finished, but she sure as hell looked interested ‘my case’. She was surprised there’d never been a file on me or nothing. She said they were gonna take me away - my mom started crying saying she’d “have nothing left” if they took me. I don’t know what she meant. She didn’t notice when I was gone anyway. After the social worker left my mom started packing her bags and things, saying we were gonna run for it while they were busy getting a court order. That lasted a whole 2 hours before she forgot what was going on and sat down to drink and watch her stories.
The last night I spent there - the second in three months.
Marcia came back the next day with two other guys in case my mom got violent. She asked if I’d packed my things. That’s when I ran inside to take some of my mom’s shit. I took a fiver and a bracelet before looking in her jewelry box. There wasn’t any real jewelry in there. Costume earrings, condoms, and that weird nickel.
I told you about the nickel, right? The French one?
Anyway, I took those, shoved them in my pockets, and looked over at my mom. She was still passed out on the couch. I walked up to her. And as much as I hated the bitch - hated that she ignored me, hated that she let her Johns touch me, hated that she didn’t even try to fight for me now - I wanted more than anything for her to get up and at least say goodbye. Just a moment when she would get up and say “Nice knowing you” or “I’ll miss you” or even “Take care of yourself, Faith.” Maybe she’d give me a hug. Promise to get better and come take me back someday. Promise she would visit. I waited for two minutes, hoping she’d find it in herself to get up even for a moment. I know it’s stupid - she was out like a light. Wasn’t just gonna wake up on her own. But I thought... maybe if she loved me enough... ya know? It’d just happen...
I couldn’t help it. She was my mom.
It didn’t happen, needless to say. I left, got in the van while Marcia went to wake my mom up and talk to her. I saw them through the front kitchen window. My mom was crying and shouting and bitching. She looked ready to kill.
Why couldn’t she have done that before?
Marcia quickly left the house when my mom started throwing things. She got in the car with me and the two other guys.
I watched mom throw her cigarette in the ground and smash a glass on the floor, tears streaming down her face, and I started to cry. I started touching the car window as if it could somehow let me fall through into another word - pawing at the glass and whining “Mommy, Mommy, I’m sorry, don’t let them --”
Then we drove off. I never saw her again.
Maybe that’s for the best.