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I tell you I suck, You Agree, oh, and Fic.

I missed two birthdays!! SO SO sorry, to my new friend and funny-girl sweet_ali and to sooper keyoot buddy who is getting ready to travel,marlo! Happiest of days, I hope they were wonderful, and I am terribly sorry these wishes are so belated. *hangs head in SHAME, yo* And today is sdwolfpup's b-day! Happy birthday!! You share my love of good music and Deadwood, and I hope your day is great.

[ETA]: I got a package in the mail from _divya_!! Due South! OMG. My hed asplode from the loving of new fandoms. AHHHH!! thank you so much, Di!! Will report on the love for them.

*cough* In other... things... remember when I mentioned things I believe? And one of those was that I believe without a doubt that when Faith heard about Joyce's death, that she-. Well, now I'm getting ahead of myself.



Author: Stoney321
Title: Lights-Out
Rating: TV acceptable
Summary/Spoilers: up to S5 of BtvS. Faith, in prison, gets a delivery. Short, not sweet.
A/N: Not beta'd, feel free to email or comment if you find errors. Or, you know, if you like it. I take that, too.

*~*~*
Faith pulled the ball made of rubberbands out from under her mattress' edge and bounced it against the far wall, caught it as it richochetted off the floor and bounced it again. Over and over to pass the time until lights out. She wasn't allowed a television, due to her violent tendencies, and she wasn't much for picking up a thick book without any pictures from the prison library.

Thump-thump thump-thump thump-thump

"Hey, Faith. Some dumb ass sent you a newspaper. I didn't think you knew how to rea- ."

Faith caught the ball and tossed it without looking at the mouthy broad standing in the doorway. The paper fluttered to the floor as the large-heavy set woman gasped and clutched her forehead.

"Aw, hey, thanks, Jackie. That was real sweet of you to hand deliver this. Now why don't you get your stink out of my cell before I get mad? You do remember what I'm like when I get mad, don't you?"

Jackie flexed her hand, curled her two remaining fingers on her mangled hand, and nodded coolly to Faith before stepping out of the small concrete room.

"The hell..?" Faith picked up the paper and hopped back onto her bunk. Someone had sent her a Sunnydale Sentinel. She quickly scanned the pages looking for a note either handwritten on the paper or attached, but there was nothing. She checked the index for the number of sections, checked the paper again - maybe someone had swiped the funny pages? If this was sent from Wesley, that'd be the first place he'd stick a note.

"No, Cathy's still lame and I still don't give a shit about Marmaduke," she muttered. Why would someone send her a newspaper, a paper from Sunnydale, no less, and not give a reason? Maybe Angel wants to smarten me up. Heh. Maybe Buffy does.

With thirty minutes to lights-out, and the rubber-band ball-game not the most stimulating of ways to pass the time, Faith shrugged, sat back on her cot and started reading. Or rather, started skimming. On page 10B a huge ad for a gun show caught her eye.

"Bet ya two packs of smokes that the guys going have never fired any of the guns they- "

Below the half-page ad were the obituaries. At the top right column read:

Joycelyn "Joyce" Michelle Summers, beloved mother of Buffy Anne and Dawn Summers passed away without pain after suffering complications from brain surgery. Joyce was the owner of a small, but competitive art gallery in downtown Sunnydale where she was respected among her peers. A single mother devoted to the raising of her daughters, she had become a surrogate mother to many. She was greatly loved and will be missed. In lieu of flowers, her family has asked that a small donation be made to the Children's Hospice Fund to assist those children without health care in our community. A private family service will be held at the family's plot in Sunnydale Memorial.

Faith didn't realize she had been stroking the page with her thumb, reading it over and over, looking for the one word that would negate the fact that Joyce, Buffy's mom, Buffy's mom had died. Moms don't - she checked the first line again - pass away. Pass away? What the hell does that mean? There was a small picture of Joyce next to her obituary - she was outside, laughing and her mom-hair was blowing in the breeze. Complications from, Jesus, brain surgery?

B must be going out of... Faith quickly looked up at the ceiling and blinked several times, laughing at herself. My old man drowns in his own puke in front of me, don't shed a tear. But the woman who gave me extra helpings of friggin' peas and- . She bit her lip hard enough to draw blood. There were still a few minutes to lights out. She stood, took the page with Joyce's picture and carefully tore the complete obit out and put it under her pillow. The rest of the paper was folded neatly and placed just outside the heavy bars of her cell. Four minutes until lights out.

Faith got down on the hard, cold floor and started doing push-ups. The intercom blared overhead and the cell doors all over the prison began sliding shut with a heavy scraping sound and clang. Only when the main lights were shut off and the cool blue back-up lighting system flickered on outside in the quad did she stop working her arms. She laid her cheek on the cool floor, not caring about the grit that dug into her skin.

Clackclackclackclack The prison matron's baton slid across the bars of Faith's cell. "Get your ass in bed, or I'll PUT you in it, do we have an understanding?"

Faith flexed her fingers on the floor and pushed up so fast, it looked like she was pulled up on a string. She flung herself at the bars and forced a wide smile on her face. "Sorry! I like to keep fit. Keep my girlish figure," pointedly to the large woman, "You should look into that."

The matron poked through the bars and landed a blow to Faith's stomach. "I'm warning you."

Faith waved her hand dismissively and climbed into bed. The soft blue glow of the lights outside gave off just enough light for Faith to see her old pal and playmate, Mr. Crack on the Ceiling. She lay still, slowed her breathing, and tried to focus on the ambulating path the crack took. Tried to focus on the three mold stains to the left of Mr. Crack on the Ceiling, and not how Joyce had bought her a charm bracelet for Christmas that one year. Think about the chunk of plaster missing at the end of the crack and not how she had laughed and rolled her eyes, then wore it every night after she found the small heart charm that read, "we love you." How she hadn't minded when Joyce got a sad face when Faith told her tales of being kick ass and awesome. How sometimes Joyce would just put her arm around her and sometimes Faith hadn't minded.

She definitely tried to not think about how the last time she had seen Joyce, had been when Faith had hit her. The baton to the belly was nothing compared to this. Faith curled onto her side, faced the wall, covered her face in her hands and sobbed. She pulled her pillow to her face and buried it in her mouth, to muffle the noise. After a few moments, she realized the squeaking noise was her cot - she was shaking it with the force of her grief.

Faith forced herself to take deep breaths, to blow them out slowly, and to get herself under control. She slid her hand under her chin and the edge of her pillow and touched the paper there. "I'm so, so sorry B. God, I'm sorry." She closed her eyes and tried to sleep. After several hours, she did.

Comments

( 72 comments — Leave a comment )
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sdwolfpup
Aug. 31st, 2005 07:50 am (UTC)
Oh my. That is sad, but so perfect for Faith. I love how you establish her little bits of history in the prison, like the crack in the ceiling and Jackie.
stoney321
Aug. 31st, 2005 07:53 am (UTC)
Thanks, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! <-- pretend that's poinging. I'm in a hurry to wish it to you. *squishes you*
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beadattitude
Aug. 31st, 2005 07:56 am (UTC)
I'm crying, too, yo.

I mean not like I didn't know what was coming....but the charm bracelet? And the arm? And kinda making sure she got a punch in the gut?

::sniffle::
stoney321
Aug. 31st, 2005 08:15 am (UTC)
Dude, Joyce's death STILL upsets me. She was the perfect mom. *sniffs*

Thanks, S. *hugs you*
killabeez
Aug. 31st, 2005 07:56 am (UTC)
Oooh, cool story. I like that, a lot -- I really believe it happened that way. Thank you for sharing!
stoney321
Aug. 31st, 2005 08:15 am (UTC)
Thank YOU! I appreciate your taking the time to tell me!
*big grin*
inlovewithnight
Aug. 31st, 2005 08:03 am (UTC)
Oh, Faith.

That fits so well. New sekrit canon.
stoney321
Aug. 31st, 2005 08:16 am (UTC)
Ha! *preens from the compliment*

I'm falling in love with Pirate fiction, did you see? Soon enough that may include Horatio. GAH! What am I doing???
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lynnenne
Aug. 31st, 2005 08:04 am (UTC)
Make me cry first thing in the morning, why don't you? This is just beautiful, Laura. I love all the little details you work in: the ball made of rubber bands, the crack in the ceiling, the mold stains, her memories of the charm bracelet. You write a great Faith. Wonderful job.

(There's a problem with the formatting where the italics don't close, right at this part: Complications from,>/i> Jesus, brain surgery?)
stoney321
Aug. 31st, 2005 08:18 am (UTC)
Thanks! Caught that through emailed replies.

Thanks, Lynne. I love Faith. I love everything about her - such a great character. I'm glad you thought I did this justice - your writing is superb.
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spikendru
Aug. 31st, 2005 08:25 am (UTC)
This was lovely! Sort of puts things into perspective; Buffy spent her time killing the Big Bads in Sunnydale, while Joyce loved and mothered them. Damn, I miss Joyce! Thanks for this.
stoney321
Aug. 31st, 2005 08:41 am (UTC)
I always thought of Joyce as the kids' mom - not like Willow and Xander had anyone that cared for them, you know? I mean... even Anya lost it over her death.

*pets Joyce* Thanks for commenting! *hugs you*
likeadeuce
Aug. 31st, 2005 08:31 am (UTC)
Or something. Or maybe I'm the Naomi to her WYNONA. And that will only be funny to about three of you, because I'm shooting for obtuse.

I get it! Both parts!

*is geek*

and poor Faith. . .

and hey, I know you want my super-depressing doomed-ship Wes/Lilah, Wes/Fred mix CDs, right?
stoney321
Aug. 31st, 2005 08:53 am (UTC)
Music? want? Pfft. DUH! (Can you upload them to megaupload or something? Save you trouble of burning, etc.?)

Ah, it pleases me that both the biblical and c&w joke stuck. Hee!
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julia_here
Aug. 31st, 2005 09:03 am (UTC)
I get the first part (except the shuffling of generations makes me a little dizzy) but, as for the fic:

WOW, woman, maybe it's a good thing you write so much humor if you can smash my heart to little bits with that few words of straight gen. Sharp, hard, bright, and precious, every word of it.

Julia, would burble more, but must go get offspring out of bed

julia_here
Aug. 31st, 2005 09:34 am (UTC)
Oh? And? Pimped this to the main thread at the S'cubie board and have so far six, at least, extremely positive comments, plus a round of speculation and discussion as to who sent the paper.

Julia, was always the kid who had to show a pretty rock or new shoes to everyone
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desoto_hia873
Aug. 31st, 2005 09:04 am (UTC)
Poor Faith. Well done, that reads like canon.
stoney321
Aug. 31st, 2005 10:01 am (UTC)
*cuddles Faith*
*hides from the shiv*

Thank you!
marlo
Aug. 31st, 2005 09:21 am (UTC)
^_^
Thanks so much for the birthday wishes!! ::hug::
marlo
Aug. 31st, 2005 09:26 am (UTC)
p.s. God, that fic was sad. ::sheds a tear:: I think the paragraph where she's studying the ceiling is my favorite. You're so good!
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timeofchange
Aug. 31st, 2005 09:21 am (UTC)
So lovely and real. Very nice.
stoney321
Aug. 31st, 2005 10:02 am (UTC)
Thank you so very much!!
bitchygrrl
Aug. 31st, 2005 09:30 am (UTC)
That is Faith, how she tries not to think about and how those little details just come back. Well done.
stoney321
Aug. 31st, 2005 10:03 am (UTC)
Thank you!! *hugs you tight* *tickles your side*
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a2zmom
Aug. 31st, 2005 09:35 am (UTC)
Came here from lynnenne. Just lovely. I love how you catch Faith's vulnerability, her guilt and her genuine grief for the loss of the only person who was nice to her with no other motive.
stoney321
Aug. 31st, 2005 10:04 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! I appreciate you taking the time to feedback. I adore Faith. Such a great character... *curses the lack of a Faith spin-off*
ponders_life
Aug. 31st, 2005 10:43 am (UTC)
Totally believable characterization, and well-crafted. Ok, I admit to getting a little choked up there. Gooooood story.
stoney321
Aug. 31st, 2005 11:10 am (UTC)
(OMG, will you think I'm weird if I tell you I got choked up too? Joyce breaks my HEART. Faith, too. It was the obit that did me in... Imagining Buffy being strong, and Dawn with her back turned but correcting Buffy with a snippy-voice if she thinks B left out something important...)

Thanks, sweets. *points to my beautiful icon and beams!*
cherusha
Aug. 31st, 2005 10:56 am (UTC)
Faith. I loved her, I did. I want to say Angel sent the paper, but ah. hmmm.


Also... I'm being waylayed by the Pirate community. Ahoy. And Argh. Can't... join... more... fandoms... *sigh* *looks up everything about Sparrington*

*looks innocent*
stoney321
Aug. 31st, 2005 11:08 am (UTC)
Faith could quite possibly be in my top three characters, period. Her relationship with the Mayor (IMO) is the best daddy/daughter relationship on TV. Okay, tied with Veronica/Keith Mars.
I think Angel did, too. Bit cruel, but...

*whistles*
*goes about chore list*
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
Aug. 31st, 2005 01:34 pm (UTC)
HEEE!! U R wilkommen!
amybnnyc
Aug. 31st, 2005 01:03 pm (UTC)
::snifflewhimper::

That was really just gorgeous... nuanced and wonderful!
stoney321
Aug. 31st, 2005 01:33 pm (UTC)
*hands you tissue*

Thank you!! *hugs*
crayonbreakygal
Aug. 31st, 2005 01:15 pm (UTC)
I've never cried so hard during a show either. I imagine Faith just losing it after finding out about Joyce's death. Joyce seemed to be the only one to reach out to her, just like Joyce reached out to Spike.

Thanks for sharing this lovely piece.
stoney321
Aug. 31st, 2005 01:33 pm (UTC)
Joyce hurts me so deeply... She's my dream mom. Stern, loving, supportive, NOT Buffy's friend... Poor, poor Faith.

Thanks.
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
Aug. 31st, 2005 01:32 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Anne. You know of my love for Faith...

And as to the pirate slash, I don't WANT to like Sparrington, but DAMMIT! Sooooo vunderbah. Just dipping my toes in. Have gotten a few recs and plan on curling up on a rainy night with some pirate/commodore *ahem* fic. I always start off with the porn, but want the gen fic after a few *cough* thrusts and parries. :-D

(And I'm definitely a girl with a kink for authority figures over bad boys. Commodore more than Sparrow, in other words.) Well, now, that may not be true... Hee hee!
flurblewig
Aug. 31st, 2005 01:57 pm (UTC)
Here via lynnenne - fabulous job. Raw and touching.
stoney321
Aug. 31st, 2005 03:40 pm (UTC)
*takes a moment to stare at your icon....*

Thank you very much! And seriously: icon of hotness.
_divya_
Aug. 31st, 2005 04:12 pm (UTC)
OMG Faith. Okay, I really love this, and I'm not much of a Faith girl, so that's saying a lot right there.

And omg, dS mail! YAY. I'll totally understand if it has to get in line behind Sparrington research. *G* Remember, you don't HAVE to watch it. Just, you know, it's there whenever you feel like you need some sweet sweet cop love. ::uses handholdy icon::
stoney321
Sep. 1st, 2005 06:53 am (UTC)
My husband doesn't care for Faith, either, which BLOWS MY MIND.

Sweet cop loving! *melts* Thank you again, I'm so excited!!
ex_dovil323
Sep. 1st, 2005 02:29 am (UTC)
You have a perfect Faith voice. Remind me not to ever mess with you.

The details, the voices, all fabulous. I'm such a sekrit gen fic lover and this was just wonderful.
stoney321
Sep. 1st, 2005 06:54 am (UTC)
*stops making personal weapon of rubberband ball arsenal*

I love gen fic most of all, I think. (thank you.) Oh! And I'm all for the sciency exhibit thingy. I've been to SF before, so IMO, I'm there to hang with you and Di and have fun. You can be the captain of our ship.
nikitangel
Sep. 1st, 2005 07:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow. That's just ... wow. Gut-wrenching. So perfectly in character. I'm very picky about my Faith, and you've got her down. I fully believe this is what happened. That charm was just the finishing touch. I'm bookmarking this for later. Thank you!
stoney321
Sep. 2nd, 2005 05:24 am (UTC)
Thank you! Faith is one of my favorite characters from the show. I'm glad you thought I did her justice. *hugs*
cadence_k
Sep. 1st, 2005 08:24 pm (UTC)
I was pointed here by nikitangel. This is incredible! I love this look into that period of Faith's life. Great job!
stoney321
Sep. 2nd, 2005 05:24 am (UTC)
Thank you! I would have loved a Faith spin-off - such a great character.

*squishes you, pops a cookie in your mouth*
:-D
violethamster
Sep. 1st, 2005 09:37 pm (UTC)
*adores you*

This is amazingly beautiful, you know that, right? Just enough hard edges and just enough emotion. Your Faith is so wonderful.

How she hadn't minded when Joyce got a sad face when Faith told her tales of being kick ass and awesome.

And that line is just a perfect summation of what it is to be Faith.
stoney321
Sep. 2nd, 2005 05:26 am (UTC)
TRISH!! *squeezes your guts*
*wipes hands, because guts are squishy*

Reason why I love you more? MORE THAN THE OTHERS? - you picked out my favorite line.

♥ you. (Doing okay? Getting geared up for school? Work beating you down? Think about you and hope you're well!)
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( 72 comments — Leave a comment )

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Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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