[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.
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.