Title: Fade to black
Category: TV Shows » Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
Author: Norwalker
Language: English, Rating: Rated: M
Genre: Drama
Published: 02-29-04, Updated: 02-29-04
Chapters: 1, Words: 4,928


Chapter 1: Default Chapter


Fade to black

Disclaimer: Joss owns them. Not really news. But I like to repeat myself.

Authors note: First in a series of stories about Faith "Pre – Sunnydale". The order of stories is Fade to Black, Providence, Chosen, Ashes and Run!

WARNING: Please be aware. This story is rated R for a reason. Some of the scenes below are explifcit... to the point of repulsive. And foul language is used throughout. So, if this offends you, stop reading right here. You've been warned.

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Fade to black

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Home, sweet home. Yeah, right.

The young girl stood in the yard of the group home. She'd been here before. Many times before. Ever since her mother had abandoned her when she was 12(well, she was really gone before then. 12 was just when they caught on she was gone), the young girl had been in , and mostly out of, foster care. And this is where you go when they don't have a place for you in foster care. The group home. Kiddy Prison, is what she thought of it as. Only the hard cases lived here. The unwanted, the troubled, or the troublemakers(myself, thank you very much, she thought.). She looked around at the institutional green buildings, and wanted nothing more than to puke…then run away again.

The girl turned, and she looked far older than her 14 years. She had the body of a woman, and the attitude of a hard case. One who'd been through way too much, too early. Her eyes were particularly telling: they looked like they belonged in someone 3 times her age. They'd seen things most kids her age couldn't even imagine. Things many adults couldn't imagine, or wouldn't want to. Her mouth was curved into a perpetual smirk. Whether it was to signal she was a wiseass, or to hide her fear, it was always glued to her soft, sensual lips. Her hair, black as a raven's wing, fell beyond her shoulders in lustrous waves. She was young in years only; in all other ways, she was old…too old.

She looked around, and contemplated escape. She was tired of Kiddy prison, and wanted out. Into the world. She knew she could get by on her looks, could hook up with some people, and party like forever. Because, that's all she had to look forward to, all she wanted. To dance her ass off, to party til she couldn't remember who or where she was, and to get in, get some, and get out. Want, take , have. That was her philosophy. And that certainly didn't include spending time here…back in the home.

"Well, well, well. Look what they dragged back here. Just can't keep a good bitch out, can they?" An all too familiar voice broke in on her thoughts. Oh, great. Just fucking great.

The girl turned around to look at a tall rawboned red-headed girl. Kalle Jones. Her pain in the ass. She smirked even harder at Kalle…showing fear wasn't a good idea around this bitch. She was ugly inside and out. Kalle was a particularly hopeless hard case. She'd been in group home since she was 5, and had never known anything else. She figured she ruled the place now, and made everyone's life here as miserable as hers…at least, if she got the chance.

"So, Faith, fucked up again, didya? Whatcha do this time? Get caught stealing again? Or maybe hooking, ya slut?" Kalle sneered at her.

Faith just grinned. "Well, Red, at least I don't have to give it away, like you do, ya butt ugly bitch"

The redhead flushed a deep red, making her even more unattractive. " Keep it up, DeMarco. But you're back on my turf now. I own this place, and all the little bitches in it. So get in line, bitch, or you're gonna be sorry".

"I'm already sorry, dumbass. Problem is, you're being here just makes it sorrier. So, whatcha gonna do to me, Red? Breathe on me with that stinko breath of yours? I know that'll make me sorry…and pukey."

"Always the smartass, aren't ya , Faith? Well, I haven't forgot how ya stole from me the last time you were here. Betcha you thought ya got away clean, since they shipped ya out the next day to a foster home. But I see ya screwed that up, too. So, slutty, I'm here to get my money back…or a piece of you" Kalle flashed out a small, wicked looking knife." Ya won't be so pretty when I'm done with ya, smartass."

Faith felt an icicle of fear in her stomach. She's seen the results of Kalle's little knife fights. Most had lived. And everyone here was too afraid of her to do anything about it. Including the guards. But, she also knew showing fear was just an invitation to make it worse. So, she stood her ground, and dropped almost instinctively into a fighting stance. She taunted the older, taller girl.

"C'mon, tall , red and ugly. Let's party down. See who's got the most." Faith mocked. The two girls began circling each other, looking for an opening. Faith noted out of the corner of her eye, that there were more girls looking on in the shadows…away from the yard. They wanted to see the fight, but smart enough not to get too close. Finally, thinking she saw an opening, Kalle lunged in on faith, waving the sharp little knife. But to her surprise, Faith was quicker, and stronger than she looked. Faith grabbed her wrist, and with the knife blade pointed up, forced the other girls arm back, so her knife stabbed her in her own shoulder. Kalle screamed in pain and rage.

"You fucking bitch. I'm so gonna kill you now!" She snarled, as she pulled the knife out of her own shoulder. She was bleeding pretty badly, but she got a lucky one in, and stabbed Faith in the thigh. Faith grimaced in pain, but didn't make a sound. She just grabbed the knife out of her thigh, and pointed it at the redhead.

"C'mon, ugly. What's the matter? Scared now?" Faith mocked her. The pain in her leg was enormous, but she wasn't going to show weakness. Not now.

Kalle backed off. Her knife was gone, and like most bullies, was more than a little bit of a coward. She hissed at Faith.

"This aint over, Bitch. I'll get you when you're not lookin' for it"

"You're right. It aint over" Faith said. She dropped the knife, and broke it under her boot. " We're gonna finish it though. NOW!"

With that, she attacked the older girl. She kicked her hard in the stomach, sending her flying back onto the ground. The other girl, having lost a lot of blood, and weakened, just lay there. Faith jumped on her, and , with the encouragement of the shadow audience watching, started beating the crap out of the other girl. Faith was really whaling away on her, knowing her only chance was to hospitalize the girl, when she felt a sharp blow across the back of her skull. One of the guards had come up behind her and given her a good hit with his club. She went flying forward, and everything did a fade to black.

It was still black when she woke up. She knew where she was. In the hole.

The hole was the punishment place for the group home. It wasn't exactly on the guided tour. It was an isolated shed, way out back of the main buildings. It was officially a "tool shed" but it had never had a tool in it. It was 8x10 foot, concrete room with a corrugated tin roof. It had no windows except for a small peephole in the door, and a slot beneath it to shove through a tray. That's where they fed you, if they remembered to feed you. Supposedly you were supposed to get two meals a day…but that wasn't always the case. It was a miserable little rathole, which could get up to over 100 degrees in summer, and near freezing in winter. Punishment times usually were for a day or two, but a week wasn't unheard of. And Faith suspected she was in for more than a week. Great, just great.

Someone had bandaged her leg before they brought her in here, at least. It looked ugly, and would probably scar. More than likely, it could infect too. Damn. She'd fucked up this time, for sure.

But what the hell was I supposed to do? Let Red make me hamburger in the yard? Oh, yeah, that's so gonna happen. So I had to fight the bitch. But of course, Red won't get nothin for attackin me. She's the guard's favorite. Probably because the butt ugly lets em fuck her whenever they want. The guards around here are pervs…almost as bad as my mom's 'boyfriends'. One of the guards had tried to fuck me once…and I kicked him in the balls. Ha, prick went down like a stack of bricks. Spent 2 weeks in the hole for that one…but it was so worth it.

Faith began to think back on her past. She had lots of time to do it.

Not like I was some little virgin when I came here. Hell, no. Some prick boyfriend of my dear old mom's took care of that for me.

I was like…10 years old when he did me the first time. Mom, as usual, was bagged and snoring it off in the other room. Perv Boy came in, and started …groping me. Fucker. Then the prick pulled out his buck knife, and put the tip to my throat. Said if I ever said anything, he'd kill me and my mom. Well, at that point if he'd done the last, I wouldna been too broken up, ya know? But since I wanted to keep breathing, I let him screw me. Then the fucker, when he recovered, forced me to suck him off…if it hadn't been for that knife, I woulda bit it off. But, oh well.

That fucker hurt me bad. Real bad. I was sore forever. But he did it a few more times before I got smart enough to sleep with a knife under my pillow. The next time he came by, I pretended to 'get ready' for it, then reached under and stuck the knife under his chin… cut him a little, but I didn't give a fuck. He squealed like a pig, and backed up. I came at him, and nicked his wing wang. You shoulda heard the noise that pig made. I tole him that if he didn't get the fuck outta there now, I was gonna cut his thing off. The bastard was like gone in 5 minutes. Whoo hoo, I was a bad assed kid.

Mommy drunkest couldn't understand why her big guy disappeared. I just told her he probably got sick of her. She slapped me, but I didn't give a fuck at that point. The prick was gone, and not comin' back. That's all I cared about.

Of course, mom didn't stop there with boyfriends. And of course, a few came on to me. But I kept my knife handy. There were no repeat performances… and they usually disappeared after a day or two, anyway.

Worst part though was when mommy drunkest decided to trick me out. I was already developin pretty good by 11, and she saw how her boyfriends leered at me. So, she brought some guys by to …screw me. My choice was, screw em, or get the fuck out. I was too young then to figure I could live by myself, so I did it. I don't like to think about it. They were all pigs, fat ugly and smelly. But I did it, and mommy got her booze and drug money. Me? I got slapped around for my trouble, thanks very much.

Then, one day, miracles of miracles. The bitch left. No note, no nothin. Just up and gone. I was 12, and alone. I lived for a few months like that, scrounging what I could from here and there, when some nark busted me, and found out I was living on my own. So, I got turned over to the tender mercies of the State of Massachusetts. And been in and outta foster homes since. And now here I am again, in group home. Big fuckin' whoop, huh?

At that moment, the door to the hole opens. Faith backs up. She's so not liking this. No way she's going to get out this early. Probably some of the guards deciding to play Rape the Hole. She wasn't gonna let em do it without a fight, though. Some of them would be hurting before they hurt her.

But amazingly, they didn't come to rape her. Seems she had a visitor.

Yeah, right. Sure. The tooth fairy had a day off or somethin', right? Ya, I so believe that one. But what the fuck? I mean, least get me outta here for awhile. That can't be too bad.

They took Faith out of 'the hole', brought her into the main complex. They had her shower, and gave her new clothes to wear. 'whoa, must be some fucking VIP or somethin' checkin' em out'. After she'd finished dressing, they took her to a small room used for receiving guests, or for receiving potential foster parents. In either case, Faith was more than confused. Because there was no way she was gonna be getting back into foster care this quick. So, what's the deal, anyway?

Faith sat nervously, picking at her hands. Waiting. After about 20 minutes, the door opened, and an elegantly dressed middle aged woman entered. Faith quickly sized her up. ' Probably some rich bitch here to do her charity thing. Great. So, what now? Pictures and some lame lunch or somethin'? Swell. But, at least not rotting in the hole, so better be on my best behavior…ha, ha.'

But instead of getting hauled out to some charity function, the woman just looked at her for awhile. Now Faith was getting nervous. ' What the fuck does she want, anyway? Is she the female version of a perv?. God, just what I need…some lesbo comin' on to me'. But Faith just sits and takes it, figuring if she makes a ruckus, she'll just be back in the hole again. Even being checked out by the dyke is better than that, she thought.

Then, after a few minutes, the woman sat down in a chair across from Faith. ' Swell, here it comes'

"Your Faith DeMarco…yes?" The woman asked, with a faint British accent.

"Yeah, so?" Faith replied, maybe a little surly.

"Well, I see no time was wasted on teaching you manners" The woman smiled.

"Oh, sorry. Yeah, so, ma'am?" Faith mocked her.

"But, sarcasm hasn't escaped you. Good " She smiled.

Faith couldn't figure her. 'She was like… nearly cool. I mean, she didn't get all bent when I was rude. Not my experience with grown ups, ya know. Mostly they have a stick up their butt. But this one seems nearly…nawww…she wants somethin' is all.'

" My name is Ms. Ellen Haversham. You can call me…Ms. Haversham" She said, grinning now.

Oh…funny huh?

"So, what do ya want, Ms. Haversham? Come to check out the local talent? Maybe gotta little house you need girls for?" Faith says, snidely. She aint puttin up with no crap, hole or no hole.

"House…girls? I…oh, my…NO, I don't …do that kind of thing" Ms. Haversham blushes. Then smiles :"Though, I certainly have to say you're … pretty enough…but a little young, don't you think?".

"The johns like 'em young. Figured you might be recruitin'" Faith says, smirking.

Ms. Haversham is taken aback. This girl is young…too young to be knowing stuff like that. What exactly has she been through in her young life?

" Well, I can assure you, Faith. I'm not here looking to recruit ladies of the evening. That's not my purpose at all" Ms. Haversham says.

"What's the haps then, Ms. H? Maybe a few pics with the orphan, do lunch, do your charity gig? That it?" Faith says, not without some bitterness. She is tired of this crap already.

"Not at all, Faith. And call me by my full name, please." Ms. Haversham says.

"Nawww… I'll just call ya Ms. H. So, exactly what DO you want? Maybe a little action honey? Not exactly my thing, but hey, you're not too bad for an older broad, ya know?" Faith grins. She'll piss this fussy brit off yet. Heh.

"Faith, please!" Ms. Haversham nearly chokes, and gets flustered. God, what kind of life has she had that she's so cynical? She's all of 13 or 14, and sounds like a street hooker.

Faith just grins and sits back. She feels like she's in control now. Boy, this woman must be totally sheltered. What a wimp.

"So, Faith" Ms. Haversham continues, recovered." Do you like it here?"

Ok, I'm so done with this PR crap. I'm gonna shock this bitch, and get my ass back in the hole. I can't take this crappy game anymore. Then, when I'm done with the hole, getting outta this place, once and for all.

" Gee, golly. Ms. H, it's just so swell here" Faith's voice is dripping with acid. " I mean, we get 3 meals a day, all tasting like dog food with gravy. Yum. Then, if we're real lucky, maybe one of the older girls'll make us a girlfriend, so we don't get beat up or nothin'. But hey, if that don't work out, ya can always get fucked by the guards. They'll protect ya. Just ask Kalle…big ugly redhead? She does em all the time." Faith grins at her, waiting for her reaction. And is slightly blown away by it

"So, I take it you'd like to get out of here, then?" Ms. Haversham says, coolly. Whoa, bitch took it without battin an eye. I'm impressed, Faith thinks.

"Gee…ya think?" Faith asks, mocking.

"Yeah, I think" Ms. Haversham shoots back. Faith is rocked back a little on her heels. Little fire in the belly, after all. Ms. Haversham continues. " I have a proposition for you, Faith". Yeah, baby, here it comes.

"What would that be, Ms. H?" Faith asks, pretty sure of the answer.

"I'm going to adopt you, Faith. You'll come live with me" Ms. Haversham says. Faith is knocked back on her ass this time. Ok, so didn't expect that one.

"Adopt me? Why?" Faith asks, genuinely interested now. Never come back to this hole? Who do I have to kill?

" Because, Faith. You have a destiny. You're the Chosen one" Ms. Haversham states quietly.

Ok….maybe…I get killed. Forget that one, sister.

"Ummm…you know where you can put that destiny, don't ya?" Faith says." Nothing personal…but your loony tunes"

Ms. Haversham smiles." I know it's hard to accept , Faith. But it's true. You have a destiny… a purpose in life."

"Yeah…to live til tomorrow, thanks. Nothing personal, but this just sounds… nuts." Faith says, getting up and backing away.

Ms. Haversham digs in her purse, finds what she's looking for. She takes it out.

"Here, catch" She says, throwing the stake at Faith. Faith, without thinking, catches it…and then drops it like it's poisoned

"Whoa, lady. What's your deal?" She says. She bends over and picks up the stake." What's this about?"

" Call it a gift. You'll be using that… a lot" Ms. Haversham says.

"What? I'm going to build fences for midgets?" Faith asks. Ok, really nutso here.

Ms. Haversham laughs." I see you don't lack in wit. That's good, Faith."

"Fine. But what's the deal. What are you trying to pull?" Faith , despite herself, is curious. So far, it hasn't involved sex or drugs…so…

" I'm not trying to pull anything, Faith. I know that's hard to believe, considering your history. But it's true. I'm here to take you home, and train you for your destiny" Ms. Haversham lays it out for her.

" And, if I refuse this 'destiny'?" Faith asks.

"You really can't , Faith. It's not a choice. The current slayer is Buffy Summers. She's just become the slayer. After her, in succession, is Kendra , from Haiti. And then, you."

"Slayer? What the hell is a slayer?" Faith asks…ok, now I know… we're talking psycho nut job here.

"In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer." Ms. Haversham quotes.

" Guards….GUARDS…I want to go back now….let me outta here, please!" Faith calls out. Now she's getting scared.

Ms. Haversham comes over, and takes Faith by the arms. Faith struggles, and breaks away. She backs off, goes into a fighting stance, and brandishes the stake…without even thinking about it.

"Very good, Faith. You're working on instinct…and they are solid" Ms. Haversham says, approvingly.

" Street fighting, psycho woman…now, leave me the hell alone!" Faith says, backing up. But Ms. Haversham doesn't back off…she corners. Faith. Faith, out of pure instinct, throws a leg sweeper kick…when Ms. Haversham goes down, she jumps on her, and pulls the stake.

"Excellent, Faith. You're a natural…like Ms. Summers is, I'm told" Ms. Haversham gently moves the point of the stake away from her heart.

Faith is confused. Her head is telling her that this woman is a whack job. She outta be in a loony bin. But her gut is telling her that she's not lying, that she's being straight with her….and that idea scares her even more.

" Ok, lady. I'm tired of the bs. I want the straight scoop…now!" Faith says. She looks like she's going to punch Ms. Haversham.

" Straight scoop? Oh…truth…ok, here's the truth. You're destined to be a slayer…like it, or not. It's not a choice, Faith. It's your destiny…what you were born for. Whether you come with me, or not, it's going to happen. You'll know it when it does, because you'll all of a sudden get a whole lot stronger… though, I must say, you're no weakling as is" She smiles at Faith." Now, could you let me up so we can talk in a more civilized fashion?"

Faith reluctantly lets her up. Ms. Haversham brushes herself off, and sits. She motions to Faith to do the same. Faith does so…after moving her chair a distance away.

" Right now, Ms. Summers is the Slayer. If something happens to her, Kendra takes up the role. And, if something happens to her…you're it, Faith. You're the slayer. So, like it or don't, it's going to happen. Now, you have a much better chance of surviving if you're trained. As I said, you're a natural. Rare. But , even as naturally gifted as you are, you're going up against forces that are very dangerous. Training will help even the odds somewhat."

"C'mon. This is just nuts" Faith says." Vampires, Demons? Forces of darkness…geeze, what movie did you walk out of?"

"There are more things on heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy" Ms. Haversham quotes.

"Ok, nut job, why the Shakespeare?" Faith says, really getting weirded out.

"Ahhh…so you know Shakespeare?" Ms. Haversham is impressed. Most unexpected.

"Yeah, well…I'm not a total dufus, ok?" Faith says. Anyway, she heard it in a program somewhere, and looked it up.

"Do you understand what it means?" Ms. Haversham asks gently

"It means, there are things I don't know about. DUH!" Faith , not so gently, answers.

Ms. Haversham smiles. Despite her abysmal school record, Faith is no fool…and no stranger to books.

" Faith, I don't have to tell you there's a lot of evil in the world. I can tell you've experienced your own hell. Thing is, do you want to do something about some of it?" Ms. Haversham asks.

Faith can't make head or tails of this woman. She's never been asked what she wants. Always been told. Her head is screaming at her to run, run now… run fast. This woman is whack. And she'll be the death of you. But her gut, and strangely, her heart tells her that this woman is being straight with her. She's the real deal. Faith goes with her gut…as usual.

"Ok, I still don't believe in Vampires and monsters…except the human kind. But say I …buy into this. What do I gotta do?" Faith asks. Whatever it is , it can't be worse than what she's got now.

"Come with me, Faith. Let me prove I'm not a 'nut job' as you so colorfully put it. In exchange, you get a place to live, food, clothing. You will train, and train hard. And when your time comes, you will fulfill your calling." Ms. Haversham says.

" You talk like it's a sure thing" Faith says…suspiciously.

"Faith, I won't lie to you" Ms. Haversham says. That'd be a first, Faith thinks. Ms. Haversham continues." A slayers life is usually short. There is only one known slayer that has lived past 30. All the rest died by the time they were 25. Most die before 20. But frankly, Faith…the course you're leading right now? I don't think you'll make that".

"Cheery, aint ya?" Faith says. " News Flash. That isn't the way to sell the job".

" Like it or not, Faith, it's your destiny. I've told you that many times now. Make a choice. Come with me, be trained, maybe live longer. Maybe beat the odds. Otherwise, it happens anyway, and you're guaranteed a short life. Choose." Ms. Haversham is getting to the end of her patience.

"Ok, OK. Give me a minute here. This is MY life we're talking about" Faith says.

Faith sits, looking at the ground, thinking. She knows that her life now is totally crappola. And, she's smart enough to know it's not getting any better…only worse. The other choice is, go with Ms. Spooky music here, and 'train'…whatever the hell that is. But, I get free food, room, and clothes. And there's no prison can hold me, so nothing she can come up with has a chance. If worse comes to worse, I book my ass outta that place. And hey, if she's totally nuts? I can handle her. And I'll be outta this crap hole. No contest. Go with Ms. Creature features. Piece of cake.

"Ok, make ya a deal. I'll go with you. If you can prove to me that Vampires and "the forces of darkness" exist, I'll be good, and do the training stuff…whatever that is. But, if no oogy boogys, I'm outta there…deal?" Faith grins. She's so got her now. Vampires…right. And I'm the tooth fairy.

"Deal" Ms. Haversham agrees. Clever girl. Sure to win, she thinks. Too bad I've got it rigged already. She's going to be a bit surprise, our Faith is.

Faith arches her brow….now she's just a little hesitant. She agreed way too fast… way to fast. Think there might be something to what she says?….Nawww…nut job! Easy pickings. I'm so outta here, she grins to herself. Bye-bye, group home.

"So, do you want to pack? I would like to get out of here, and back home as soon as convenient" Ms. Haversham says. She really hates this place…reminds her too much of where she grew up.

"Nothin to pack, babe. Nothing I want from this place" Faith says. Except out of it.

" Fine." Ms. Haversham says." First stop is we get you some decent clothing"

"Cool" Faith says, the adds," my taste, not yours"

"Right" Ms. Haversham says, rolling her eyes. We'll see about that.

The two women get up, and start for the door. Faith stops.

"What about the paperwork? Don't you have to like, sign me out or something?" Faith asks.

"Done , Faith. Already done" Ms. Haversham replies.

"Pretty damned sure of yourself, aint ya?" Faith asks, sarcastically.

"Oh, yes. Very much so" Ms. Haversham replies, as they walk out the door.

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Fin.