Faith and Wes(and the principal characters they're thinking about) are the creations of Joss Whedon and owned by 20th Century Fox(and at this time the WB, but that may change at any minute).

Spoilers for 'The Body'(but if you don't know what happened there, you are clearly not even remotely interested in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so what the hell are you doing here?)

Author's note. This story is a prelude for a six-parter I'm working on called "Sic Transit Gloria Mundi". I'm writing an alternate season five finale, which will involve a lot of what's been happening this season(but not all; Spike and Buffy? EWW! What's next? Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lechter?), and suggest a hopeful conclusion of the whole Glory storyline. I'm not posting any of it until I'm done with the whole thing. That way I won't get yelled at for excessive cliffhangers(the Kimber-Shyfox syndrome, I believe it's called)

This story was inspired by a song I downloaded on MP3; a cover of the XTC hit Dear God by Sarah McLachlan. Cool or wha? The song is included in the story, and copyrighted by XTC.

Oh, and I apologize in advance to anyone with deep religious beliefs. These words reflect what Faith is feeling, not anything I believe. I am not an active churchgoer, but I do believe in a just and benevolent God, and trust Him to look out for us.

And thanks aplenty for my fellow Co-conspirator, Shyfox, for looking at pieces of my new epic, and putting up with my babbling. I know, Willow's cuter when she does it.

Rating; R. Prison violence and character death.

Faith gets the news from Sunnydale, and does something to help. Told from Faith POV.

Dear God
(Prelude to "Sic Transit Gloria Mundi")
By Kirayoshi

Wes was sitting on the other side of the partition, he looked wicked nasty. Like he hadn't slept since the last Olympics. Last time I saw him, he and B's ex had parted ways, and there was some pretty bad feelings all around.

"So, Mr. P," I asked, "How's things?"

"Things are fine," he said in that shy, formal, slightly nervous and sexy-as-hell British voice of his. "I think we've finally managed to mend fences with Angel, and we're dealing with Wolfram and Hart. Cordelia's still a little guarded around him, but well..."

"That's the Queen C for ya," I finished for him. Yeah I knew the ol' homecoming queen well. "Hey, you ever hear from B and the Scoobs?"

Wes fumbled a bit at first, "Um, ah, yes, Buffy," he straightened himself up slightly, I could tell he was uncomfortable talking about B, but I still wanted to know. Things haven't been anywhere near five-by-five between us, but I still wanted to know how she's doing.

"Well," Wes continued, "not so good, really. Buffy's been up against a terrible new foe, or so Rupert tells me. Some kind of mad goddess named Glory. She's been after Dawn for some reason."

"Whoa, Junior G-Man," I stopped him. "You mean Kid Slayer? B's sis? Whoa, wicked ugly, Wes. I hope that B nails Callisto."

"Uh yes," Wes muttered; I guess he doesn't watch Xena in his spare time. "I hope so too. Buffy and Dawn have been through a great deal together. Especially since..." he stalled suddenly.

"Since what, Watcher boy?"

He glanced around nervously and tugged at his collar. He then looked at me with a serious look in his eyes, a tired look. "Faith, Buffy's mother died a couple of months ago. A brain tumor, I understand."

Dear God,
hope you got the letter, and...
I pray you can make it better down here.
I don't mean a big reduction in the price of beer
but all the people that you made in your image,
see them starving on their feet
'cause they don't get enough to eat
from God,
I can't believe in you

The next thing I know, I'm in the prison infirmary. Some fat nurse is trying to stab me with a syringe that looks like it was designed to take down an elephant at ten paces. "Whoa, Nurse Rachett," I shouted quickly, "What's with the pig sticker?"

"Oh, forgive me, Miss Spencer," the nurse said with a surprisingly sympathetic tone of voice. "You were hyperventilating in the visitor's ward, and had fainted while talking to that nice Englishman. He must have said something to upset you."

"Oh, that," I fumbled as the shock hit me all over again. "Just got some bad news from home." Hooboy, that didn't even begin to cover it.

Oh my God! B's mom? Mrs. S? It can't be!

Dear God,
sorry to disturb you, but...
I feel that I should be heard loud and clear.
We all need a big reduction in amount of tears
and all the people that you made in your image,
see them fighting in the street
'cause they can't make opinions meet
about God,
I can't believe in you

Look, whoever's up there, I know I don't pray a whole helluva lot(like at all!), but after this one, well, You can figure out why. I mean, You screwed this one up big time! I mean, who the hell dies of a tumor in beautiful Downtown Hellmouth? You're supposed to die of vampire attack, or be killed by a demon or something like that. Not a bloody tumor! And Mrs. S! One of the few people left who was willing to give me a second chance!

And what about B and D? B's gonna have to look after the kid herself, no way that scuzzoid dad of hers is gonna lift a finger to help! She's on her own, I heard Beefstick's left town on her. The second stringers'll pitch in, they're just that sort, ain't they? But she's still gonna have to deal with the cold realities on her own

She can't look after Kid Slayer, hold down a job, go to college, and be the Slayer at the same time! Someday, that screwy schedule's gonna catch up with her, some newbie vamp's gonna catch B when she's distracted by juggling her bills, or worrying about Dawn having a flu or something, then...

And then I guess G-Man'll take over. And Dawn'll have lost her entire family.

Did you make disease, and the diamond blue?
Did you make mankind after we made you?
And the devil too!

I was in a real pissy mood when I hit the courtyard. Was running laps with the other inmates when it happened. Big bitch name of Martha, in on grand theft auto, started throwing her weight around, pushing around some newbie who just got locked up for shoplifting or some such. Newbie's scared enough to be wetting herself, but Martha kept hounding her, trying to show the new kid who's boss.

I couldn't take it anymore. Something about Newbie reminded me of Red. Never did manage to set things right with her, maybe I could help the newbie.

So I walked over to Martha, and told her to leave off. The kid's okay, I said, she didn't do nothing to her. Martha just glared at me, looking like she wanted a fight.

"Just back off, Martha," I said calmly. "Don't start none, won't be none."

I didn't notice that Martha had her posse flanking her. The skinny one that always tagged along with her, never got her name, slipped in behind me, and stuck a shiv in my gut.

Dear God,
don't know if you noticed, but...
your name is on a lot of quotes in this book,
and us crazy humans wrote it, you should take a look,
and all the people that you made in your image
still believing that junk is true.
Well I know it ain't, and so do you,
dear God,
I can't believe in
I don't believe in...

I was in pain when I woke up, no big surprise there. Nurse Rachett told me that I was lucky to be alive after taking the shiv. Nicked a kidney, she said. I'll probably be on antibiotics for a while, may feel weak for a while.

Heh, didn't you ever hear of a thing called Slayer healing? I'm a badder baddass than that Wolverine dude from the X-Men.

But at least he did something good with his life, helped save the world every so often. Me, I nearly get the world blew up real good, me and my sugardaddy, Hizzonnah, Mayor Richard Wilkins, may he roast in Hell! It occurred to me then that things would be a lot easier if my healing factor didn't kick in. Let me flatline now, and a new Slayer would be called. She could take over the business from B, so B could look after Dawn and have something like a normal life.

Yeah, like she'd want that. Who are you kidding, F?

I won't believe in heaven and hell.
No saints, no sinners, no devil as well.
No pearly gates, no thorny crown.
You're always letting us humans down.

I heard the infirmary door open, and saw her move in as silent as she could. I think I'd have been able to track her without my Slayer senses, she moves with all the stealth of a rhino doing Riverdance.

Martha stood above me, I was restrained on my gurney. For my own health. Yeah, right.

"So," I ask her, calm as a dead lake. "You here to finish what you started?"

Martha just glared at me. "No one messes with me and gets to brag about it, sister." She took her shiv and stabbed me in the heart.

The wars you bring, the babes you drown.
Those lost at sea and never found,
And it's the same the whole world 'round.
The hurt I see helps to compound

As my eyes closed for the last time, I saw guards rush in and grab Martha. She'll probably go up on a murder rap, never see the outside of a prison again. I couldn't care less.

I knew what was happening. My eyes were fading, I couldn't lift my finger, and all I wanted to do was lie down forever.

As the knife point hit my heart, I found myself remembering my old Catholic school readings. A line from one of the Gospels came to me as I lay dying; something about how no one has a greater love than someone who will sacrifice his or her life for a friend. I figure that's what I was doing; taking a bullet for B, even if she didn't know.

There'd be a new Slayer. Hope she gets it right. I figured she had not choice but to be better than I ever was. B could go on with her life. Take care of Kid Slayer. Get the hell out of Scummiedale.

Laugh of the month, no one would know that I managed to help B. My last act on this world, and no one would know.

That Father, Son and Holy Ghost
Is just somebody's unholy hoax,
And if you're up there you'd perceive
That my heart's here upon my sleeve.

And I could tell off the PTB in person for what they did to Mrs. S, before I got plunged into Hell.

My last thought as I left this world was, I'm five-by-five with that.

If there's one thing I don't believe in...
it's you... Dear God.