Rating: PG-13, naughty words and implied sexuality
Genre: BtVS/Lost crossover
Characters: Faith, Sayid
Disclaimer: Faith belongs to Joss Whedon, Sayid belongs to ABC network and the writers of 'Lost', all recognizable names, settings, etc., belong to their respective creators, and are not mine. Please don't sue, I'm broke already.
Summary: Faith’s musings on inner change.
Survival is the farthest thing from Faith’s mind.
This, in and of itself, isn’t exactly new – she thinks she was probably born with the conviction that she was bulletproof, and nothing so far in her life has given her cause to change her mind. She survives; it is perhaps the one and only thing she is truly good at. Takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’. Bounces back. Bounces back and kicks some ass on the way, it’s what she does.
But somewhere between Boston and a prison cell, she’d discovered in slow bleeding increments that there was a price for this. That somewhere down in her, there is something made of spun glass and tissue paper and printed in ink that runs and bleeds at the first hint of the tears she doesn’t cry, not out where anyone can see them. There is a piece of her that does not survive, not whole, not sane, and she has no choice but to drag it along inside the sturdier shell.
This is why Buffy dies and comes back, she decides, while she comes closer and closer and closer and never quite dies. She’s not sure there’s actually logic in that, but it makes sense inside her head, and outside in the gray light of pre-dawn the rain pounds down like it will drown the world.
Slayers don’t need much sleep, and so she is awake already; on most days she would be out hunting already. It’s become a routine; she wakes before dawn and slips away while he sleeps – though he sleeps lightly, and more than once he’s woken as she went. The first few times this happened he asked where she was going, and when she answered, he had provided useful little bits of information – that Locke came in from the East the previous evening, towards the valley, and the boar were likely there. Or that he’d seen tracks, fallow deer, to the north.
She knows this all already, and tells him so, but without ire. He never scoffed and never told her to be careful, and that was enough to earn him that much; that she didn’t lash out simply because of the way the sight of him, half-asleep and yet sharp-eyed, made her stomach turn over. She would have in the past. The conversation moves on, easy and unaffected, and he makes no move to get out of what passes for their bed – he is human, and needs his sleep. He trusts her enough to go back to sleep when she has gone; she will wake him in an hour or two, sweaty and exhilarated and needy, and by the time they emerge from the cave, Jin or Locke will have cleaned her catch and the camp will be full of the smell of roasting meat.
It was his acceptance in those first few mornings that allowed there to be more mornings, and more, until the domesticity of it suddenly dawns on her with frightening clarity. She’s hunted in the pouring-down rain before, and likely will again, any minute now, but something has her feeling inexplicably cornered and cagey.
She wants to go, go and not come back, to go find a fucking polar bear and rip its head off with her bare hands and wash the blood away in the rain – and the tiny whispering voice in the back of her head that wants her to stay considers that, and weighs it, and decides that it would make the island safer and that a little variety in their diet would be good. And she tries to tell that voice that if she goes, she’s gone, she’s fucking *gone*, she’s not hauling some bear carcass back to bring him breakfast in bed – and the little voice laughs.
Her legs are still twined with his, and though he has a presence that makes him seem larger, he’s not so much taller than her that it’s awkward. She is warm and languid and caught, and she tries even to breath quietly, for fear of waking him. Awake, he might finally say something wrong, something to set her off, something to shoot her out into the whipcord rain and find her sleeping somewhere twenty miles away the next night, alone and safe, and cold.
She can survive on the island on her own, she knows this – the ability of the others to survive without her is worthy of more consideration, but fuck that, just fuck that, she decides. If she’d never woken up or not been on the plane at all or not survived – they’d have figured it out. He would figure it out, if it weren’t for her and Locke, he could hunt if there was a need to – he’s hunted men before, as she has. They’ve whispered of their ghosts in the dark, something she never thought to do with anyone, but she’s done it – lay there sweaty and replete and let the wounds bleed, and let him see it.
She is jealous of the picture he still keeps, but he is jealous of the half-angry, half-worshipful way everything she says tends to come around to Buffy sooner or later, and it’s fair. In a way it’s another string, another knot, binding them. She’s never felt that way about a woman before or since, not even in prison when it would have been damned convenient if she could, and Buffy is so far beyond the realm of possibility that it’s safe. He confesses that he doesn’t think he could actually touch Nadia, even if he found her, that he could never feel worthy. There’s a round, puckered scar in his left leg that says otherwise, Faith thinks, but she’s not enough of a masochist to point this out to him. Besides, she gets it – it’s not about him, not about his shame. If he could touch her – Nadia, that is, not Faith - he wouldn’t want her anymore. If Buffy would let Faith kiss her, Faith thinks it would break something inside her. It’s not about them. It’s about there being something better than them.
Faith he can touch, and want, and she keeps waiting for the wanting to run out, and it doesn’t seem to. The first morning was months ago, and he’s still there, and she’s still there. Michael and Hurley rigged up a smokehouse a few weeks ago, so there is venison jerky and cured fish even if there isn’t fresh meat. She doesn’t have to hunt this morning; no one will go hungry if she lays in bed until it’s light, or until the rain stops, or until the world stops spinning ‘round in dizzy circles in her head.
She brings him breakfast in bed every morning, that’s the point she keeps sticking on. Bloody and primal as the process may be, that’s what she’s doing. The knowing way he smiles when she wakes him up in one of a thousand creative ways, all of them lewd, is printed indelibly on her brain, and it occurs to her that she’s as good as married. This is the longest she has ever been with a man, and all that she can find wrong with it is that it’s been too long – that she’s grown too accustomed, begun to feel too safe.
If he wakes up to find her gone, he will expect her to come back, will trust her to come back, and the part of her that wants to prove him wrong just for the hell of it is far smaller than the part of her that wants to protect him, and is panicky and ashamed at the goings-on in her own brain. She is petrified of admitting this is perhaps the best she’s ever had it, fucked-up as that might be – wouldn’t it figure it’d take a plane crash. Wouldn’t it just figure.
And the tiny voice in the back of her head reminds her that she hasn’t had a period in going on four months now, and sooner or later . . sooner or later she’s going to have to tell him, and she’s going to care what he says.