Disclaimer: I don’t own Buffy, Angel or Good Will Hunting.
Rating: PG-13. (Talk of child-abuse.)
A/N: 20 minutes with Faith crossed over with Good Will Hunting. Inspiration from Matilda, by Roald Dahl...
No matter how badly Faith was treated she never squealed about it.
Bruises were explained with an extra fall or two during gym class, she was pretty sure that the teacher thought she was the clumsiest kid ever.
The scars from the cigarettes were harder to explain, but easier to hide.
Every day was walking the tight rope. Hoping that nobody would find out, and take her away.
Because she had seen what happened to kids who wound up in the system.
And while staying with her mother was nerve-wrecking, at least she knew what she had to relate to then.
In the system… there were people like the Joneses across the hall.
When Will stayed there, he’d had more bruises than she did. But he didn’t avoid people like she did. He was friendly and smart, although he talked back to the teachers and got loads of detentions for it.
Will used to bring her along with him to the library on Saturday mornings when the adults slept. If he found her lurking around school when he finished there, he’d bring her along with him then, too. He was older than her, so the librarians would often pat her on her head, and tell her she was lucky to have an older brother like that. Faith scoffed at them, but felt like she belonged somewhere when they said it.
Will would read the big dusty books, eager to learn. Faith had started with the picture-books, but during the six months Will Hunting stayed with the Joneses her reading skill accelerated and at the end she was reading Nancy Drew and the Baby-Sitters Club. Will never teased her for it, but helped her to find more and more difficult books.
Neither of them ever brought books back home. They hadn’t the money to pay for it should something happen to the books, and they knew it.
Some days Will couldn’t take her to the library. Some days Faith couldn’t go. But it didn’t matter, because there were always other times.
Until somebody discovered what the Joneses were doing to Will, and moved him away.
Faith cried, into her pillow, when nobody could hear her. But she didn’t stop going to the library.
Will Hunting taught Faith two things: Stay out of the foster system, and you don’t need to go to school to get an education.
Later, in Sunnydale, she stayed away from the research at the High School library. Instead she found the public library and spent most of her days there, when the Scoobies or the world didn’t need her.