Title: Apples, Trees and Roots
Disclaimer: J.K. and Joss own all. I own battered copies of their collected works.
Spoilers: Season 7, book 5, my ficlet Numb the Pain
Summary: Faith never thought she’d become somebody’s family or The collected Black family reacts to their newest ‘misplaced’ member.
A/N: So, I wasn’t going to include Sirius in this story at all…yeah, that worked out well. His fate is still pretty much set in stone, but he has a good reason for not being there - not that Faith will know that or see it as being an excuse. Apples, Trees and Roots
Sirius prowled behind the hedgerow at the border of the Council property Rupert ‘Ripper’ Giles had taken over for his girls. Dumbledore had made a big show of sending off Remus and Tonks to approach his daughter. Sirius shook his shaggy head, still trying to wrap that one around his mind. Him - a father. He’d never really imagined it before.
No, that wasn’t true. He had imagined children in his future - James and Lilly’s children, Remus’s children, hell, even Peter’s children had been in that imagined life. He was to have been the doting godfather, the one who took the kids for the day so their parents could bond, and then return them at the end of the evening. Followed by him and some random witch imitating the baby making process without actually making the baby. “I’ve been to a Seer, Sirius. It doesn’t end well for us
His cousin Andromeda’s words from when they were barely more than children echoed in his memory as he watched the back door creaked open. A shapely brunette slipped through the door, shrugging on a denim jacket over a skimpy top. Her heavy boots made little noise as she stalked across the lawn. He’d have known her in a heartbeat. Her stance, that was all his mother’s. Walburga owns the world, he used to call it. Walburga had run the home with an iron fist, but once long ago, she’d loved both
her sons. Until Sirius learned to speak for himself.
The girl - his daughter
- stopped at the swing set that had seen better days and sat down in the one closest to the hedgerow. His too sensitive ears heard the rhythmic slap of a cigarette box against flesh, heard the snick of a faithful Zippo lighter and smelt the tang of the tobacco.
He hedged forward on his belly, squeezing in the tiny opening, trying his damnedest to ignore the odd little multihued squirrel that was sniffing around the little tree planted less than four feet away from the swings. Sirius spared her a glance, but the girl’s eyes were locked on the squirrel as well.
“Fuck!” Faith stabbed her cigarette out on her boot. Definitely his daughter. “Fuck! I am not
gonna let her mind games fuck me over. Oh, I‘m a poor little witch-slayer. Oh, I‘ve got fucking amazing powers. Be my cousin, Faithie. I have no one. Got more than me, now didn’t she?”
Sirius bit back a growl. Tonks had blown her cover. She should have known better. It was that damned Hufflepuff streak in her. The damned need to be useful and loved. Hell, he’d felt it a time or two as a child. The Black family made you grow up cold. Sirius crawled closer, laying his head down in the sand at the edge of the swing set. He was trying to make himself appear much smaller. Considering her skill set as a slayer, it was to his benefit that she not be surprised by his appearance. Surprised equaled dead doggy, and he definitely did not want to be dead, not now that he’d found out about his daughter.
To her credit, she only raised an eyebrow at him. Perhaps she could sense he was trying to be non-threatening.
“I ain’t a stupid kid you know, Wolf-boy,” Faith snorted, turning her face up to the sun, as if that could explain the sudden sheen to her eyes.
Sirius’s head jerked up, his ears perking up. She thought he was Remus
? He cocked his head to the side, pretending to be a big dumb old dog. Faith glanced down at him.
“Whatever. I’m not gonna spill my guts so you can run back to - whatever,” Faith sniffed at the cool breeze. “I can feel
you’re off, you know. I’m not fooled by the damn dumb dog trick.”
Sirius belly-crawled forward, resting his head on her foot. Faith cocked the brow again, and he was reminded of pretty Marni’s own face when he’d mocked her that one time.
“You doubting my ability do a J-turn, Rich Boy? Oh, you have sadly misjudged what a Southie girl can do.”
“You think just because you’re wearing a dog’s face I won’t kick you for putting your head on my boot?” Faith’s voice even sounded a bit like Marni’s. She eyed him for another minute. “You got balls, man. I’ll give you that.”
There was even a little admiration in her voice. She’d be looking at Moony differently now, and the old wolf wouldn’t have a clue why she admired him. Sirius felt a pang of jealousy. She should be admiring his
boldness, not his best mate’s. But if he transformed into himself, Faith wouldn’t know him, and she would very likely lash out at him before he could admit who he was.
“Cut from the same fuckin’ cloth,” Faith shook her head. “Goddamn shrink in the joint. Got me talking to a fuckin’ dog boy. What the hell did my pops
ever give me? Inferiority complex, abandonment issues, daddy-fuckin’ issues, and an inability to cope well with grief. Grandparents - either set, apparently - didn’t want me, two of my uncles were just too fuckin’ dumb to care. They were the kind of idiots to get put away for robbin’ a liquor store and as soon as they got out, hit up the one next door to the first one. Ma died of cancer keepin’ me
fed because she was too proud to beg for help. My watcher finds out about my ‘family’ and gets me neutered as a witch. And then I
get her killed because I freeze up against a big bad. Only to find out, I’m not the only one and big bad Buffy is the bestest slayer around with the happy life, and awesome watcher, and I’m just the back-up dancer.”
A large decorative birdbath about fifteen feet away suddenly erupted, water splashing in every direction and chunks of cement imbedding themselves into the fence. Sirius’s dog eyes widened, and the scrunched up cigarette fell limply from her fingers. Tonks raced out the back door, wand at the ready, Rupert just behind her. Sirius hoped that Remus was too busy to come out, because then she would be exploding him
a she had with the birdbath.
“What the fuck was that?”
Apparently, Tonks never got around to explaining that when the Wiccan had given all girls with potential the powers of a Slayer, that she had also ‘popped’ the suppressing spell the Coven had placed on those potentials who were witches as well. Which included Faith.