Disclaimer: Everything is Joss's, yadi yadi yada... except for Terry, yet another prophesized Fuffy child. Not usually fond of them, but hey, what can you do, right? Oh! Song, Humble Me, belongs to Norah Jones and her crazy sidekick whose name I can never get right.

Pairing: Buffy/Faith, Faith/Other (or so they say... (strokes chin gently) hmm...)

Summery: Post Chosen, NFA, Buffy is stuck on the side of the road with her six year old daughter. Who' she gonna call? (Spike was right. That sentence will be forever unusable.)

Rating: M? I guess... Not too familiar with these ratings. So yeah, M for language.

A. N. I don't really know where I'm going with this... I was listening to Norah Jones' Humble Me and got inspired. But the inspiration left me and now I'm stuck with this. So feedback would be nice... Let me know if its worth it to keep going!

It's been five years. Five years since I've seen her face. I'm not gonna lie and do the denial thing saying that those five years were short and sweet. 'Cause quite honestly, I've got nothing to gain from spreading a lie. Truth is I can't remember doing anything as hard as not waking up and seeing her face, even just once, let alone for five long years. And the kicker? It simply got harder every fucking morning.

I never used to swear before her. Now it's in my vocabulary right next to 'peachy' and 'unmixy'. Yup, now things are usually 'fuckin' peachy'. This is how I would describe my morning so far.

At around 4:30 this morning, I was stealing glances at the alarm clock, killing off another sleepless night when I was hit with an epiphany. Terry had never seen the ocean. Well, hot damn (another thing I picked up from her. God, I'm such a fucking sponge), today was the day for that. So I got dressed, woke Terry up and got an earful.

"But Mommy, it was such a nice dream. Daddy was there."

Huh, imagine that. Daddy. Well, I smoothed that over nicely with a:

"We're going to see the ocean, Ter. Then we can get ourselves an ice cream cone and walk along the beach."

That worked for like 30 seconds before the whining started. I swear to god, if she got any traits from me, it was my goddamn lip. It just kinda sticks out, quivers a bit, and the rest is history. She's got it down pat.

So anyway, after a quick breakfast, I strapped her into her car seat in the back of my rusted Dodge Neon (hey, no poking of fun here. It's a perfectly respectable vehicle) and we were on our merry way.

When you become a parent, you learn quickly. They say the parent is the teacher and the kid is the Padawan, or so Andy keeps telling me during his weekly visits. Truth is, it's the other way around. Terry's got me wrapped around her little chubby fingers like a first prize golden ribbon.

"Are we there yet?"

"Not yet, Ter."

"I'm hungry."

"Terry, you can't be hungry. We ate 10 minutes ago."

"I need to go pee."


"I really need to go."

When you've got a six year old, you learn from past experiences, past road trips. So before we left the house, I made sure I had everything. Sippy cup with Welch's white grape juice? Check. Game Boy? Check. Fresh batteries? Check. Sesame Street count with Count von Count? Check. Granola bar? Check. Blanket? Check.

So this morning I felt relieved when we drove past the "You are leaving Lenwood" road sign and Terry stated:

"Mommy, I'm cold."

Easy enough.

"There's a blankie in the bag right next to you, Ter."

But that was this morning at about 5:30. Fast forward to 7:00, and you've got me, standing on the side of the road, hands on my hips (my foreman pose, or so Xand keeps telling me), staring blankly at the flat tire my trusty Neon has just suffered. Fuck.

So let's recap, shall we? I'm awake during the early morning thinking about my ex, when I get the bright idea to bring my six year old daughter to see the ocean. After an hour and a half of uneventful driving, I wind up on the side of the road with a flat tire, and no spare. Thank god Terry is fast asleep. Hope she's dreaming of better days.

What do you say when it's all gone away? The sun's been up for 'bout an hour, and I'm sitting on the hood of the car, smoking a cigarette, considering my options. I could flag a car down for help, but the highway seems completely deserted, save for the last car I saw... driving in the opposite direction, 20 miles ago. I could catch some random tumbleweed and fashion some sort of patch for my tire, but let's face it, I'm not Macgyver, and I don't think he's around.

Then the answer buzzes inside of my coat pocket. Literally. I dig in my pocket and find my mobile (I lived in England long enough for me to earn the right to call my cell phone a 'mobile', thank you) and look at the screen. Missed call at 6:47AM and You have (1) new message(s) flashes on. Swell. Who the hell calls someone, especially me, at this time, on a Saturday? Only one way to find out.

"Hey Buff. You're probably still in bed, but I was just wondering what you and Ter are up to tomorrow. Dinner? Call me."

I miss Dawn. Haven't seen her in what seems like ages. She calls once in awhile, but it's never enough. Mental note: Call Dawn back.

Meanwhile, let's get back to our problem, shall we? I'm 45 minutes away from Pasadena, with a flat tire, with no spare, on a deserted highway, with a sleeping six year old in the backseat. Sounds like the plotline of a really bad independent chick flick.

Pasadena. I was hoping I could drive right through, without stopping, but I guess this little incident changes a few things. It's not that I don't like L. A and it's outskirts. Hell, if you could give me a choice of big cities to live in, I would choose L. A. in a heartbeat. But I don't have the choice. I live in the boonies, and that's fine with me.

The thing with Pasadena is that... She lives there now. Or so they say. I have her number right here, on the contact list on my mobile. To point a fact, it's even the first number on there. Ironic, since I've never called her. Not to say I'm the only one who hasn't taken the time and effort to do call, since she hasn't either, but hey, I'm just saying.

I could call Giles, and shoot the shit for a while, "How is Teresa's Sumerian coming along?" "Giles, she's six years old." before finally informing him that I need help. "Good Lord, what kind of help?" "I have a flat tire and no spare." Yeah, that'd go over well. Especially since Giles is in London right now.

I could call Will, and have her teleport herself all the way from Nepal to Pasadena, just so that she can look at me and say "Oops. I forgot the spare in Singapore on my way here."

Xander's in Madagascar with Riley, Sam and... Spike. Don't ask. You really don't want to know.

So my options have dwindled down considerably. Calling Andrew isn't an option since he's down in Me-hi-co (as he dutifully calls it) and Angel's well... who knows and who cares. So, basically, it's been narrowed down to AAA, to which I don't have the number, and... And Faith. Who lives in Pasadena. Whom I haven't seen nor spoken to in five years. Whose daughter is sitting, sound asleep, in the backseat of my fucking Neon. Whose phone number is number one on my contact list.

Well shit.

A. N. 2: "Xander's in Madagascar with Riley, Sam and... Spike. Don't ask. You really don't want to know." Or do you? Hmm... sounds like the premise for a great spin off...