author: Lucinda

rating: pg13

main character: Tom Cassidy

minor appearances by Cain Marco, mentions of Faith (the Slayer)

Disclaimer: I hold no legal rights to Faith (creation of Joss Whedon for Buffy the Vampire Slayer) or Tom and Cain - creations of Marvel Comics.

Distribution: Paula, Twisting the Hellmouth, Quickfics, Wic - anyone else ask. If I've said yes for a previous short BtVS/X-Men crossover, you can have this if you want.

note: for those unfamiliar with the character of Black Tom Cassidy, he is an Irish criminal (and mutant). His partner in crime is the Juggernaut (Cain Marko) and they have had a fairly long and colorful criminal career spanning much of Europe. Tom has a cousin named Sean Cassidy (Banshee of the X-Men) who worked for Interpol for a while.

set during season 4(BtVS), after Faith turned herself into the police in Los Angeles. After OZT, Before the High Evolutionary tried to muck things up.

Tom Cassidy stared at the paper in front of him, the words blurring together. It had arrived with a short, angry note from Eileen, his ex wife, and the mother of his only child. At least, as far as he knew, Faith was his only child. They'd had a painful and messy divorce when Faith was still in diapers, and Eileen had left the country, moving from Ireland to America. Part of that had been to get away from the memories of their time together. That had hurt, especially since he couldn't argue with some of her words. He was a criminal, after all. She hadn't even known about the mutant part at the time...

There had been a newspaper clipping in with the short note. Just a little article, very short, with a picture of his daughter. Apparently, Faith had killed someone, and had turned herself in to a Los Angeles police station. Her dark hair and eyes reminded him of himself, but her nose and mouth were all Eileen. A murderer? His daughter?

It was the oddest feeling, as if someone had just hit him with some sort of stun gun, leaving his insides twitching and numb. Faith had killed someone. His daughter was a murderer... Well, he was hardly a man able to cast stones for her deeds, he was a wanted thief, mercenary with a fine disregard for laws and government boundaries, and had several ties to the Irish Republican Army. But while there had been violence in his deeds, none of them had been solely aimed at killing people, that had always been a side effect.

What sort of woman had his daughter grown up to be? Would she have done better or worse if he'd been allowed to have more of a part in her life than postcards and a Christmas and birthday gift each year? Did she have a firm code of personal beliefs? Did she believe in God? Did Faith make plans for the future that had now been shattered?

A large hand rested on his shoulder, and a deep voice asked a question. "Who's the girl?"

"My daughter. Faith." The answer slipped out as a soft whisper, crackling with pain and confusion.

There was a pause as Cain looked down at the article, reading it over Tom's head. "Murder? What happened?"

Tom shook his head, uncertain if he'd even be able to put everything into words. "I don't know. I don't know if it was accidental, or deliberate. I don't know if whoever it was deserved to die or not. All I know is that my precious baby girl is going to be sent to prison. She turned into a woman, and now they're locking her up."

"We could bust her out. No ordinary prison built that can keep me in or out." The offer was made with a little smile that hinted at Cain's glee in being the Juggernaught, ten feet of indestructible muscle. The man had been hit by missiles and it had done no more than fling him backwards.

"That might be something to consider. I thinkā€¦ I think I'd like to go to California, visit my daughter. It's been far to long since I've seen my baby girl. And if they aren't taking good care of her, we can break her out." Tom looked very thoughtful. "She's changed a lot since she was a year old. Time to meet the grown up version."

And the Lord have mercy on them if they'd been treating her badly, because he surely wouldn't. One hand gripped his shillelagh, and Tom Cassidy smiled. Faith was his family, after all, and you just didn't turn your back on your own flesh and blood.

End My Daughter, After All.

footnote: a Shillelagh is a type of club, originating in Ireland. Tom Cassidy's Shillelagh (as depicted in the comics) is of a length so that when he is standing relaxed, one hand rests on the top of the Shillelagh, and it touches the ground.