Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Challenge/Prompt: fffc r18.04: Meek
Word Count: 1,119
Date Written: 20 February 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission.
She hates this feeling. She’s only four years old, and already she feels like her life is falling apart. Her mother is crying again. She’d do anything to make her stop, but she can’t. All she can do is hold her while she cries.
Her daddy should be able to make her mother happy, but he’s the one who makes her so sad instead. He’s the reason there’s a big, black bruise swelling up on her momma’s face. He’s the reason her mother cries so much, and the reason, really, why Faithie’s world is falling apart.
“I don’t like this,” she whispers against her mother’s hair. “I don’t like this!” Her chin wobbles. Tears spill from her eyes.
She’s crying, too, when her mother pulls back to look at her. She sees her mother’s eyes bat back her own tears and feels her hands tremble as they caress her hair. “I’m sorry, Faithie. I’m sorry you had to see that. I’m sorry you had to see me -- “ She gasps a little, and her chin wobbles much like Faithie’s. “I’m sorry. You shouldn’t have to see all this. You shouldn’t have to see me -- “
She still can not bring the words out of her mouth to tell her daughter she is falling apart. She can not form any more lies, either. She can no longer keep up the brave and strong face that she’s been trying her best to wear ever since she married Faithie’s father. She reaches out, with shaking hands, to bring another beer can closer to her.
Faithie’s hands stop hers. Her daughter pushes her hands away from the gold-colored, aluminum can of beer and opens the beer herself. Her mother’s glass was broken; there’s still a piece of it in her. Faithie scrambles to the kitchen. She returns and pours the beer for her mother, who’s now looking vacantly at the world passing by her.
Silent tears roll down Faithie’s face as she empties the can of beer into a new glass. She hopes her father won’t break this one too as she places it into her mother’s shaking hands. She closes her hands around the glass of beer and waits for her mother to stop drinking. Satisfied her mother can now care for herself, Faithie turns and runs from everything.
She runs until she can throw open the door to her little room. She throws herself upon her small, unmade bed and grabs her favorite stuffed animal in the room. It’s a large, plush dog, like the one she’s so often asked her mother to buy her a real one of. She’ll never have a real dog, Faithie knows. She’ll never have anyone who really loves her. She’ll have people of whom she needs to take care. She’ll have people who need her, but noone will ever really love her.
Tears spill down Faith’s face as she buries her face into the plushie. Trembles shake her body, but no one comes to look in on her. Her mother’s back in her cups, and her father’s gone to God knows where . . . not that God cares about them. How can He when this is their life? She knows the Ten Commandments. She knows she’s supposed to honor her mother and father, but how can she when she has to take care of her mother when her father beats her and there’s no one left to take care of her?
“Just make it stop,” she whispers to the stuffed dog in her arms. “Just make it stop.” She trembles and shakes throughout the night. Her tears never seem to end. But when they do, it’s with the knowledge of two things.
She knows the kind of woman she’s going to become, and she looks forward to being that person. She looks forward to being strong, not meek like a lamb being led to slaughter. She’ll be the tough one; she’ll be the strong one. No one will ever be able to hurt her again, least of all any man, including her own father. She’ll have all the power, she thinks, wiping the tears from her soiled face. She just her to make it to that time and never, ever trust a man again. She knows the woman she’ll be. She just doesn’t know that all she will become comes with slaying Vampires and being Chosen.
That was over fifteen years ago. Faith blinks now through unshed tears and watches all the girls filing back onto the bus. She doesn’t know where they’ll go from here, but the destination isn’t really the question. It doesn’t matter. What matters is what they are. “They’ve got the strength,” she whispers, smiling.
“Women always do,” Robin speaks beside her, surprising her.
She’d forgotten he was there, but now she looks away as quickly as she looked toward him. “No,” she whispers, wrapping her arms around herself and feeling a sudden chill in the breeze. “No, they don’t.”
She looks at him to see if he’s lying. She can tell now when people lie, regardless of their gender.
“Yeah,” she answers, agreeing and shaking her hair back. Women should have the power, and they’re going to make sure they do have it from this day forward. She grins. She’s become the woman she wants to be at last, and no man -- no person -- is ever going to change that.
Smiling, she bounds the steps into the bus and turns to face the girls. They’re all so different, but there is one thing they all have in common. They’re all going to live -- not forever, but for a while at least. They’re all survivors, and the power is theirs rather they know it or not. Faith will make damn certain they know it and they know, too, that they can become whatever kind of woman they want to be. Slayers, teachers, nurses, doctors, cops, writers -- whatever they want to become, they can be. Whatever they want to do, they can do it. The world truly is their oyster, and Faith’s gonna crack that sucker open for them all.
Robin follows behind her mutely. Faith’s fiery strength and enduring determination remind him of his mother. She would have liked this Slayer. Watching her tear this world apart for these girls is going to be the adventure of a lifetime. His mother would have liked to have seen that too, and Robin knows he’s lucky to be one of the few who will.
He sits beside Faith and doesn’t try to take her hand. He doesn’t slide his arm around her or over her shoulders. He just keeps her company and watches, waiting patiently, to see what badass move she’s going to make next.