Nail Polish

Author notes: Takes place some time in third season.

She dipped the little brush into the small glass bottle again, her eyes hooded as she tried to spread the slightly cold, runny polish evenly over her nail. It didn't seem to want to do so; it was stretched thinly in some areas, too thick and clumpy in others. Of course what could she expect from 99 cent nail polish from Dollar General… an impulse buy Faith had been surprised she had enough spare change in her pocket to cover. She hadn't planned on buying it… hell, she'd planned on buying a candy bar or two, something that would serve as both dinner and treat. But she had seen the little bottle, at the very end of the brightly colored row, and been struck with an impulse to have it so strongly that she couldn't stop herself from reaching out to take it into her hand.

And now she was stuck with it- this cheap, shitty polish, in place of food. She really was an idiot sometimes.

Finishing her right hand and screwing the cap back on, Faith pulled her knees up to her chest from where she was sitting on the motel bed, resting her chin atop them. Stretching her arm slightly before her, with her hands down flat on the thin, faded bedspread, she stared down at the not-yet-dry finished product of her making.

It looked stupid, she thought to herself darkly. On her callused hands and short, stubby nails, with the torn cuticles surrounding it, nail polish of any kind would look entirely out of place and inappropriate. But HOT PINK nail polish?! What had she been thinking?! If anything at all would have looked okay on HER hands, it would have been black. And now she was sitting here with her stomach growling, and all she had to show for it was a bottle of nail polish she'd never use again. Damn, she was stupid sometimes…

Faith wanted to scratch it off her fingers suddenly, to throw the bottle off of her bed, deny the evidence that it existed, that she had cared at all, enough to make her buy the damn thing for herself. She wanted to blame all the anger she was feeling on the nail polish, to focus on how ridiculous it made her look, how dumb she had been to buy it. But she knew that this wasn't the reason she was really so upset…at least, not the main reason. No…what was really bothering her, irrational and stupid as it was, was that she was sitting here, alone, and none of them even knew, none of them realized…

It was stupid to care. Why the hell should she? She didn't need anyone or anything- hadn't she been proving that to herself repeatedly, for as long as she could remember back? And why should THEY care? It wasn't important, it wasn't like it was a big deal. Especially with exams going on, and Christmas right around the corner… why should they care, really? They had a lot going on, and it really wasn't a big deal. Never had been before, never would be…

But still there was a tightness in her chest, a tension in her face and posture that she could not deny as she stared at her newly painted fingernails. Whatever she told herself, she was feeling the hurt regardless.

Of course they don't know, idiot- you never told them. How could they know if you don't tell them?

But they never asked either…they never cared enough to ask…

Sighing again, Faith wrapped her arms around her knees, not caring if she smeared her fingernails. It wasn't like they could look any worse to her than they already did. She let her eyes narrow, trying to tell herself that it was from anger. Stupid cheap nail polish…

"Sweet sixteen," she muttered aloud, her voice heavy with sarcasm. "Yeah right. Happy birthday to me…"