Hope to be a bit busier posting now I'm feeling a bit better.
TITLE: I Know Why The Caged Bird SIngs
LENGTH: 1, 360
CHARACTERS: Faith Lehane; Xander Harris; Robin Wood; Buffy Summers; Angel;
PAIRINGS: Faith/Wood; Faith/Buffy; Faith/Angel; Faith/Xander;
A/N: This is not the title that I was working with, until I began looking for a picture to put at the bottom of this post. Then it could be titled nothing else. This is set in the 22'verse and was originally intended to be a companion piece to the Buffy Decameron drabbles that I really must get back to posting; most having been written, if not redrafted yet.
She could hardly recall ever wanting to wake up beside the same person she'd gone to bed with.
It seemed she always had though.
After Sunnydale there'd been Wood; no Robin anymore; just plain Wood again.
There'd been sadness, of course, when they'd separated (somewhere in her mind the words melancholy and bittersweet also formed) but there'd mostly been acceptance that they'd run their course, and they'd both be happier going separate ways. He'd wanted to go back to teaching; had had enough of demons; vampires and, she felt very intensely, slaying. She'd wanted... something else; though, at the time, she'd not even realised.
Sadness had been the winner, or seemed likely to be; she'd have put money on it if she'd been a gambler. If there'd been anyone to run a book ~ in the back of Faith's mind she pondered the possibility of there being a real god of gamblers; then filed it away for another time ~ or if she'd have been allowed to bet on the outcome, which she doubted; or if it would even have been ethical.
Somewhere a ledger was marked noting the fact that Faith Lehane had used the word ethical, even if only subconsciosly, and the marker went back to the game of checkers they were playing with a giant snake demon. They would, if anyone had been listening, have been heard uttering 'Gosh' as the snake responded with a devastating move.
So they'd shook hands and made love one last time; he went back to New York, and she followed her heart; rejoining Buffy in the fight against what she had so nearly helped win (she never referred to Evil; or Good, for that matter, anymore). She'd also read Wood's Terry Pratchett collection; his parting gift, and found more apt metaphors for life, and living it, than any damned 'good book' she'd ever heard of.
There been compensations; 'B' being not the least of them - as it turned out - though they'd never been in love. Certainly not in the way she'd felt close to with Wood; she wasn't even certain she'd have called them friends, which she realised now, she'd never really been with him.
But the sex had been good; better than now if she was honest; better even than with Angel or Wood - which had surprised her; even more than the knowledge that sex wasn't enough anymore.
In fact the sex with 'B' had even been great. Even helped them both forget themselves in each other; forget Death, and their parts, successful and not, in it.
But what it Was, the sex and the death, had always been, ultimately, inseparable; for her anyway.
She'd needed something.
With Angel she'd managed a whole long easter weekend. She was supposed to have been showing him around Boston (they'd both found themselves, romantically, single) but all they'd seen of her hometown was from the cabs to and from the Logan airport.
And Fenway Park.
He would always be her guide; mentor; sponsor; teacher... Yoda (she always grinned when she thought of Andrew walking in on them); Deadboy had never told her why that admission had made him giggle like a schoolboy.
The G man had just done the guppy thing and backed out as gracefully as he could.
That was one she'd fancied learning some lessons from, but she'd been too fond of his squeeze to try.
She knew she'd been right, but at the time? Not so sure.
But at least she and Deadboy had parted laughing.
This was different; felt different, but she could never figure out why.
Not at first; until he'd asked what she'd never thought to be asked. Never thought about until he asked. Never wondered about, anymore than what it would be like intentionally to go to bed with someone; expecting them to be there in the morning.
Wanting them to be there in the morning.
She realised that she'd come to expect Wood and Buffy, in their turn, to be there in the morning; never thought about it though.
And Angel had really had nowhere else to be; nor had she, though she regretted missing the ball game.
The sex was; never had been, stellar. She'd rarely got off, though it had never mattered as much as she'd once thought it had. He wasn't about that; they weren't. It was about... them; being with someone.
She'd just never expected it to be him.
They spent very little time together, outside their rooms; not even eating out all that much. She was always slaying; he was always doing his Spooks thing. Or was it..? Actually she still couldn't recall what that comic book guy he liked was called. Certain Andrew would know; she'd be fucked (by him) before she'd ask.
Chuckling in her dreamlike state of mind, she imagined him trailing along like a puppy as she and...
They went on a date.
He took her out on dates.
She'd never dated before.
Never even considered it.
She'd also never seen Star Wars before. Popcorn; Ice Cream; Sitting in a darkened theater and NOT screwing. Just enjoying being around each other; drinking sodas and laughing at the idiocy of anyone thinking Han Solo would let anyone get the drop on him; not knowing there'd been an earlier version, she was glad she'd not seen the souped up one first.
She took him to see the Sox win the World Series, and he'd actually enjoyed the game. With him, for the very first time, she just enjoyed hanging out; instead of hanging around; enjoyed a pint by a sunny Thames; instead of drinking herself into a stupor; seven years before she was legal, before heading...
She'd enjoyed long hours not catching anything by a lake in Minnesota; not getting the joke until very recently; watching whole seasons of Star Trek in one go (he loved the original show; hated DS9; not that that stopped them enjoying the fights, or the aftermaths); doing nothing more than eating pizza; drinking sodas and chips as they listened to music; separately, on headphones; each getting, drifting between tracks, a bit of what the other was listening to.
This, she found, was what she'd been fighting for her whole life; never knowing it really existed; simply living for the sake of it.
He loved her and, to a certain extent, she found she loved him too. He understood, and she forgave herself for holding herself inside; for not being able to be naked with even him, who loved her in spite of everything she'd done; not least to him.
But some things would never be hers; but he loved her anyway, and she could love him for that.
And they found they could be content with that.
Which was not nothing.
But he was also something she had not known before; she understood now why Red, 'B' and Red's girl had all loved him.
He was a companion; a partner; a friend.
She stirred; not wanting to accept that reality was creeping up on her with the dawn.
"You have a flight to catch."
She resisted kicking him as he pinched her nipple; growling at him, at which he just chuckled.
"One more day would have meant a whole month."
"Don't wanna go," she pouted; she actually fucking pouted!
"We. Don't. Do. Christmas. Remember. Plus. It's. Too. Cold. To. Sleep. Outside. And. They. Need. You."
Then the bastard stopped with the kiss punctuating every word and stood up, adding, "And there's always next year." Then he left her there, heading for the kitchen.
"I suppose you're just going to leave it there, and finish that off next year!"
Hearing the coffee start; then the sound of chopping, she sighed; swore and accepted the inevitable. Just as she was about to turn on the shower, she heard Xander call through the wall.
"We're alright; we can pick up. I marked my place."
Remembering a pinprick of a nip, Faith glanced down to see a lovebite an inch above her groin.
And stepped into the shower laughing.
For Maya Angelou (1928-2014)
Goddess watch over us all,
'tis ok to be Takei,