In a Kingdom Far, Far Away
DISCLAIMER: Listen up and Listen good, because I’m only saying this once! OC stuff, not mine. Buffy stuff, not mine.
SUMMARY: the OC/BtVS. Faith was taken from her family when she was ten. Now the Watchers Council is gone she’s free to go back, but it’s not that easy when over ten years have past and nothing’s the same as when you left.
RATING: PG-13 for language.
THANKS TO REVIEWERS: As a big thanks to everyone who reviewed, I’ve got the next chapter up quickly. Keep on reviewing!!
A/N: This chapter takes place in 1994.
Distant Elephants by Kiara
1- IN A KINGDOM FAR, FAR AWAY
She stamped her foot, watching as her mother went back up the stairs. “I’m going to be late for sch-oool!”
“We’ve got plenty of time. Seth Ezekiel, you have until the count of five to get over here.”
Kirsten took her eyes off her son to look at her daughter. “Faith, I’ll get you there, I promise. But your brother is covered in cheerio’s, as soon as he’s changed we’ll leave.”
“Yeah, yeah.” As her mother shooed Seth up the stairs she shifted her bag on her shoulders and began to pace the width of their stairs.
One minute passed… then two…then four.
Kirsten Cohen finally reappeared at the top of the stairs, dragging Seth behind her who was carrying a pair of trainers and skidding all over the polished floor in his odd socks.
“Okay, let’s go.”
“Finally.” Faith muttered, knowing not to risk her mothers temper by saying any louder.
Kirsten grabbed her keys and briefcase and opened the door; Faith practically ran out after her and jumped in the car. As they were pulling out the driveway, Seth pointed to a black car.
Faith looked towards the car. It had blacked out windows, but she thought she could see the shadowy outlines of two people inside. It had no number plates, only a silver logo on the front reading ‘I.W.C.’ Although it wasn’t uncommon to see cars outside the Cooper house, one of Jimmy’s clients perhaps, something about it made the hairs on the back of her neck stand up.
“Probably one of Mr. Cooper’s clients.” Kirsten passed off easily, not giving the car another thought.
When the car pulled up alongside Harbour Junior High, Faith jumped out, running to catch up with the last of the children hurrying inside the building.
Kirsten shook her head in amusement and turned to her son. “One day that sister of yours is going to land herself in trouble with all that rushing about.”
Faith stormed out of her school, scowling for all she was worth- Stupid Katie Fisher and her stupid birthday party. Just because Faith had accidentally spilt a tiny bit of coke on her sweater…it wasn’t as if her dad couldn’t afford to buy her a new one. And now she’d been officially been uninvited to THE birthday party of the year.
Not to mention that she now had to walk home because there was no way she’d share a car with that evil little cow.
This explained why she was walking down the perfectly kept roads of Newport Beach, school bag slung over her shoulder, arms crossed over her chest sullenly. She never saw the car crawling behind her until it overtook her and stopped a little way ahead of her.
Two men got out and leaned casually against the car. As Faith passed them, one of them grabbed her.
Instinct took over and Faith began to shout and wriggle, trying to get free from his strong grasp. The man clapped a hand over her mouth to muffle the shouts, looking around to check that they were still alone.
Faith had bit his hand causing him to drop her, but the second one grabbed her, pinning her arms to her side.
“Help me!” Faith yelled uselessly. But no one came.
“Get the shot!” The one holding her growled.
She flinched as the first man injected her with something, but her struggles soon died- her kicks became useless taps, not hurting anyone. Unconsciousness came and she was driven away from Orange County.
Kirsten picked up her ringing phone. “Kirsten Cohen... Oh hey, Marie…What do you mean Faith’s not home yet? She was meant to be getting a lift home with Suzi Fisher over two hours ago…She’s probably just at one of her friends houses…I’ll give them a call and ring you back…Okay, bye Marie.”
Kirsten put the phone down. She’d be having serious words with her daughter about not telling the nanny when she’d be home. She picked up the phone and dialed through to her PA.
“Beth? Can you put me through to Suzi Fisher, please? Thanks.” She tapped her pen on the desk as she waited. Something about this wasn’t right; Faith knew that she could go over to see her friends after school; she just had to call first. So why wouldn’t she?
“Hi, Suzi? It’s Kirsten Cohen…I’m fine thanks. Is Faith with you?” There was a pause. “What do you mean ‘they had a fight’? What about?” Another pause. “So you didn’t give her a lift home, she walked on her own…no, I understand. And you have no idea where she’d be? Okay. Thanks Suzi.”
Kirsten tapped a few keys on her computer, bringing up an address book. She refused to panic yet- there was probably a perfectly reasonably explanation. She began to dial the numbers of Faith’s friends.
Half an hour later, she put the phone down again. It had been three hours since school had finished and no one had seen Faith. She called home one last time. Still no sign. So, forcing the feeling of nausea down, Kirsten called the one person who could make everything okay.
“Yes hello, can you put me through to Sandy Cohen please, it’s his wife…well get him out of the meeting! It’s important.” A tuneless melody played in her ear as her husband was tracked down. It stopped after a few minutes with a click.
“Sandy?” Just hearing his voice made her worry surface.
“What’s wrong?” He asked, sensing her tone immediately.
“Faith’s missing. She never came home from school.”
There was a pause as Sandy tried to take in what he’d just been told. “Have you called her friends?”
Kirsten nodded, despite the fact that he couldn’t see her. “All of them. She had a fight with Katie Fisher this afternoon and refused to get a ride home with her.”
“A fight? You don’t think she would have, you know, left?”
“No, it’s not like her.”
“I know. Okay don’t worry. She could just be at the mall.”
“She hates shopping.”
“Or at the beach.” Sandy continued without a break. “I’ll have a drive round and be with you in an hour.”
“She’ll be okay, Kirsten.” And with that he hung up and went to find his daughter.
Kirsten put down the phone, surprised to see that she’d started crying and hadn’t even realized. She blinked back the tears, trying to focus back on the report she’d been writing and tell herself that everything would be okay. Even if she couldn’t really believe it.
The phone rang. “Hello?” Kirsten said, desperately hoping to hear her daughter’s voice.
“Kirsten, come home.”
“Sandy? What’s happened?” A pit of dread formed in the bottom of her stomach.
A long pause. “I walked the way she would have to come home from school. I found her school bag… she’d dropped it in the gutter. I’ve called the police.” He finished quietly.
“I’m coming home.” She put the phone down, picked up her bag and walked out of the office.
“I’m going home, Beth.” She said, never breaking her stride.
She had no idea how she got home. It was a total blur. When she entered her house, Sandy met her at the door.
“There’s a police officer who wants to talk to us.” He said quietly.
“He’s upstairs with Marie… I couldn’t tell him.”
“We might not have to.”
Sandy nodded. There was still hope. It had only been a couple of hours.
Grasping her husbands hand for support, Kirsten sat down opposite a woman in uniform who smiled sympathetically at them before asking her questions.
“Has your daughter ever run away?” “Is there any problems at home?” “Did she seem happy?” “When did you last speak with her?”
They answered the questions robotically for what seemed like hours until the officer stood up to leave.
“Please try to stay positive, Mr. and Mrs. Cohen. It has only been a few hours; Faith may turn up all on her own. We’ll contact you with any news and a liaison officer will be with you in the morning.”
Sandy nodded. He knew the drill.
“Thank you.” Kirsten whispered. Her gaze drifted to the phone, willing it to ring.
The police woman smiled again before leaving the house.
Sandy closed the door behind her and drew his wife into his arms. “It’ll be okay.”
He felt her shake with sobs. “It’ll be okay.” He repeated more for himself than for her.
“We should talk to Seth. He’ll be wondering what’s happening.” He said after a long moment.
Kirsten nodded, wiping the tears from her eyes.
“We have to be strong for him.” Sandy said as they made their way up the stairs. He shot one last look towards the door, hoping for his daughter to knock on the door.
He waited for that knock for ten years. But it didn’t come. And eventually, he stopped jumping whenever there was a knock at the door; his heart stopped missing a beat whenever the phone rang. Eventually, he gave up and stopped waiting.