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Act Of Contrition

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This story is No. 8 in the series "But Never Broken". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Faith finally breaks her silence. Written for August Fic A Day.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Star Trek > Star Trek 2009 > Faith-CenteredgrundyFR131775032,3696 Aug 116 Aug 11Yes
Disclaimer: Buffy belongs to Joss. Star Trek is Gene Roddenberry's creation, though this particular flavor owes much to Abrams, Orci, and Kurtzman. I just like to play in their sandboxes now and then.

Faith stared out the window at the planet. Earth. Not her Earth, though. This one had never known a Slayer. She could tell. So there wasn’t even that for her here.

She pushed the thought away. She couldn’t handle one more loss right now. Not when she’d already lost so much.

There was someone standing behind her, she knew. The last few days of the Enterprise’s return voyage had been spent limping along, with too little to fill most of the non-Engineering crewmembers’ time. The medical personnel had taken it in turns to try to get her to talk. She had ignored them all.

Turned out she had learned a thing or two from B and Giles. The discipline was there. She just normally ignored it. But she needed it right now. It was all she had left.

The closest she’d come to talking was when the man who’d done this to her had tried to talk to her. She didn’t know his full name, though she'd heard the doc call him Jim, and she didn’t really care. She knew that it would have hurt far less if she had died with the rest of the Narada, and she wished he had.

“I’m sorry,” he’d said.

She recognized the voice, and turned toward him almost involuntarily.His face was bruised and haunted. She knew the look. Saving the world always had a price, and it was often higher than you expected it to be. If the price of Earth had been a few bruises and a slightly guilty conscience, he’d gotten off lightly. If only she could say the same.

“I… I killed Ayel,” he continued. “It was a fair fight, though. I thought you should know that.”

That was when she’d actually looked him in the eyes. Everything else he’d done, and this was what was weighing on his conscience?

She had no idea how he knew about her and Ayel that he thought she deserved an apology from him for that. She’d nearly laughed. She couldn’t even be angry at him for Ayel’s death, because she knew now where Ayel had stood. Even if he’d argued against it, he’d still gone along with Nero’s plan. And he hadn’t told her.

She had no idea what the Starfleet man saw in her eyes- and he was looking, with an expression close enough to puppydog as to be ridiculous on a ship’s captain- but whatever it was, he backed up half a step before he caught himself.

If he’d stood his ground, she might have told him it was ok. She might even have said that she’d have found it forgivable if he had just left her where he found her. But he didn’t, and she had turned back to the window. If he wanted forgiveness, he could have it, but she didn’t know why he thought he needed it. She was pretty sure his duty had been clear, just like hers should have been.

That had been yesterday. At least, she thought it had been. It was hard to tell in space. No sunrise and sunset to anchor your timekeeping by, and she’d been sleeping so little that using her sleep periods to demarcate days was laughable.

Earth was pretty, though. Maybe it still had some spots a person could get lost in. If not, she’d just have to find another planet. She knew there were plenty of them out there.

If she stared out the window long enough, kept pretending she didn’t know he was there, maybe whoever was in the doorway this time would go away. But whoever it was didn’t. Almost like they knew they were being ignored and were determined to wait it out.

“Ready to talk about it yet?”

The tiredness she could hear in the voice told her it was the man she’d talked to on the Narada. The one who had been the first clue that something wasn’t right.She turned to find him in a mobility chair. Couldn’t call it a wheelchair- no wheels. Unlike the others, he let the silence draw out. Didn’t try again. Just waited quietly. No challenge, no sympathy. Patience. Discipline.

Finally, Faith shook her head. She started to turn back to the window, but he spoke again.

“You’ll have to talk again sometime, you know. Might as well be now. Tell us what happened. Otherwise, you’re likely to find yourself in a cell if Starfleet decides you were complicit in Nero’s atrocities.”

Atrocities. That was the word for what she’d let happen. Billions dead while a Slayer stood by and did nothing. She startled even herself when she replied.

“But I was.”

The End

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