Hospitals and Indiscretions
Same disclaimer-- I own nothing, not SG-1-not BTVS- not ATS
Standard lazy author apologies-- sorry I am slow, busy, uninspired-- but suddenly bored hence... an additional chapter. I will try to post as soon as I have something worthwhile to post. I hope you like this chapter!
They got back on the bus. Faith remembered the moment clearly as was expected as she had only just experienced it. Such a simple thing climbing up 4 grooved steps back into the bus. Such a simple thing made difficult by all the bruises, cuts, and the dripping blood. As she sat in the brown cracked vinyl seat, Faith leant her head against the bus window feeling the cold glass against her bruises. One side of her body was chilled by the metal and glass of the bus. The other side of her body burned as her slayer healing sent extra blood and whatever else to her injured parts. She felt a groove settle between her eyes as she remembered the truth. She had told her first lie of her new life today.
She had let the principal—no Robin believe they had a future. They didn’t have a future. There just was no “them”. Robin was just the man she had released her frustrations on… in the moments when she was sure she didn’t have any sort of future. There was no love. No future. No worthwhile memories. The sex was decent—Faith assumed. The body was good but he was just a body. She thought for a moment, I wonder what it is like when the man is more than just a body. I wonder what it is like when it is love. Unconsciously her mind flashed back to her memories of Riley and being in Buffy’s body. She didn’t want those memories to inhabit her mind but no matter. She pushed them downward but they still rose and expanded like water boiling or freezing.
Riley had said the words, “I love you”. He had said those words to her… no matter if he was speaking to Buffy or not. He had said those words to her, to Faith. Faith’s mind had heard, tried to accept and ultimately discarded those words. Didn’t really matter anyway—considering he left B. a few months later after nightly allowing himself to be vampire food. There are so many things need will birth in you. Riley needed to be loved—he sought out that need and mistook hunger for love. She wondered: what have I mistaken for love? Nothing. I just could not see love. I could not see friendship. I could not see a future. I could not imagine that anyone could desire my friendship, that anyone could value my presence in their life.
She mumbled under her breath, “I know I have changed. This lie is not the end.” The question in her head behind all her thoughts was what if the lie she told Robin was the beginning of a downward spiral. What if all it took was that lie to send her backwards—out of her rehabilitation and back into darkness?
Faith wondered how long it would take for her to stop feeling as if she were living on the edge of a knife.
She turned her head from the window and looked down the aisle. She saw legs and feet sticking out into the aisle wearing bloody jeans. The bus lurched a little as Giles navigated it towards LA. Faith knew they were heading to Wolfram and Hart or the Hyperion or some random hospital. It seemed that most were stabilized. Their slayer healing had kicked in and they were well on their way to making a life of demon fighting and such. As she looked around she realized she wouldn’t mind if she never saw a single SIT or newbie slayer again. They had looked at her with worship in her eyes as if she had all the answers. Faith new she was destined to be a foot soldier—not a leader. Slayers were meant to be alone and she could only lead by keeping that example and staying alive on her own—or rather with one sidekick. She snorted to herself—murderer me having a superhero sidekick!
Faith looked downward towards a pair of black boots moving in stiffened legs towards her.
It was Buffy. As she approached her Faith heard the words, “is this seat taken”.
Buffy looked tired. Her eyes shone with happiness or maybe it was unshed tears. There was an understated lightness in her tone as she had spoken. Faith responded to her tone by staying positive. She had to clear her throat before she spoke the words aloud. “Have a seat, B”.
Buffy slid into the seat carefully so as not to aggravate her wounded side. She looked at Faith. There were questions in her head but she was somewhat loath to break the silence or even to speak. The entire bus was dead calm and quiet as all were relieving moments of the last few days and also as all remembered their shared grief. She looked at Faith wanting to speak but she realized just being there with her was enough. This moment was like all the times after graduation day when she wanted to go to the hospital and sit at her bedside but she just couldn’t. This moment was a one where she felt. She wanted to completely feel but she was handicapped by not hate but maybe just longings for true sisterhood. Buffy had thought she had found this feeling with Dawn but she had not. Some things were just lies…as she had so completely found out after the fiasco with Dawn asking her to leave. She knew she would have a close relationship with Dawn again--the present was just not the right time.
Buffy knew her heart was guarded but she found she did not consider her heart guarded from Faith. Maybe it was because they had caused each other so much pain. Maybe you cannot guard yourself against another who knows the names of all your demons all your pains, all your hurts, all your losses. Since she had gotten back from heaven and began using Spike and had seen so many fall and crumble around her Buffy realized she had truly gotten in touch with her darkness. She felt closer to Faith than she had ever before.
Buffy looked right at Faith. Without a doubt in her mind she knew the truth. She had to ask the question: “How soon can we leave”. Buffy knew it was over. The Scoobies had disbanded themselves. All she wanted was to live and be free.
Faith smiled a small smile. “Soon”, she said. “Let’s do this the right way. Go to the hospital, get the potentials—slayers patched up, ship them back out to their parents and then we can head on out.”
They had begun their goodbye’s in the hospital. Faith had brought Robin flowers. When she had arrived with her $5 roses from a street vendor there was already a table filled with vases and roses. It seemed that many of the parents of Sunnydale students who had evacuated earlier and made a life in LA had sent him flowers when they realized he was in the hospital.
When she walked in she realized that maybe she hadn’t been his only ‘girl’. With bravado, she strode right in. “So Robin you opening up a flower shop or what?” Faith plastered a fake smile on her face.
She looked at Robin. It took him a moment longer than the truth takes to answer. “Oh, the flowers are from parents of Sunnydale high school students”. “They are praying for me”.
“Oh really? That’s great. I had no idea you could touch so many parents as a principal. You know… touch?”
“Touch?” Robin looked as if he had deliberately gotten confused.
“Yes, touch! Screw? Boink? Bang? Shag? Any of these words ringing a bell”.
Faith looked at Robin. She had wondered why she had considered him so what is the word… debonair. As if he was some sophisticated man of the world. How could he be. All he was a high school principal. He hadn’t climbed mountains. He hadn’t slayed demons. He hadn’t done much except going to college graduated and gotten a job. Big deal.
“Faith”, Robin began with a longsuffering groan as he scooted his upper body to sit up against the pillows. What makes you think? I am sorry for your assumptions but you cannot assume these things. And anyway what does it matter? Can we actually commit to be anything to each other if we begin with assumptions of wrongdoing or cheating?”
Robin gave her a look. He wanted her to just let it go. To accept his words as truth and to allow him to just spin her around his little finger. Robin knew with a little polishing, with a little honing down—Faith was a catch. She just couldn’t ever know she was worth anything. For his purposes he needed to keep her thinking she was a little street urchin seeking redemption.
Robin closed his eyes. He knew she would come to believe his words. He knew that she would not doubt him and that soon he would feel her perfect body sliding into the hospital bed next to her. He didn’t need to see this happening because he had already seen it in his mind. He would control Faith and have her at his beck and call for as long as he had desired.
Faith looked at Robin. She thought for a moment that she wanted to slap him but this was not the truth. If she evaluated the emotions she knew she wanted to yell a bit and tie him to a chair and berate him. He needed to know that his assumptions were completely wrong. Robin needed to know that his ploy was completely transparent. Faith walked to the table of flowers. She picked up one card. It was written in a curly cursive script. The note read:
I was not shocked to hear about your daring rescue of those students in Sunnydale! What a man you are that you would risk your own life to save others!
If only I could call you my own man…
I recently joined the LA County PTA, I will write up an immediate recommendation for you to be considered for a position at my daughter’s new high school!
Call me at 555-555-5555 if you need a place to stay. I would love to nurse you back to full strength!
Ms. Trudie Johnson
Faith read the note a second time just to make sure she fully understood the words. Robin was screwing a PTA mom??? Robin was probably screwing a few PTA moms if she carefully considered the flowers and the cards. Robin was a liar. Robin was… smug. Robin was… self centered. Robin was history.
Faith had thought if she left Robin she would be saying goodbye to her first real adult relationship. The truth was she would be just saying goodbye to another piece of scum. The truth was there was just no need to say goodbye… so Faith just dropped the note and walked out the door.
Robin never even opened his eyes. He heard Faith moving—he assumed she was moving towards the door. “Honey, could you ask the nurse for another pillow for me”. Surely Faith would be back shortly, after all he was a fine catch. All the PTA moms knew so.
Preview: Next Chapter
Faith and Buffy say goodbye to the Scoobies. Willow ‘fixes’ Faith’s record. Faith and Buffy get in a car and just go, go, go!