Destiny Decided

Disclaimer: All Joss's.

Author notes: Takes place during "Choices" when Faith has thrown her knife at the spider attacking Wesley and looks back at it before leaving. Just short run of her thoughts.

Faith's eyes lingered on the knife still stuck in the wall, pinning the spider firmly beneath it just a few inches from the still-gasping Wesley's head. Her head was turned slightly, and her body was actually tensed, itchy with the urge to run back and retrieve it, to have the reassurance of it once more in her hand. She felt naked without it, almost entirely stripped of all power… she, who rarely even bothered to bring an extra or even single stake with her back in her slaying days, who almost always had operated fully from instinct and raw strength. She who now needed a /knife/ to feel assured…

Well it had been gift, that was really all it was, she tried to tell herself. The boss wasn't gonna be too pleased about how recklessly she had flung it away from her. And why the hell /had/ she thrown the thing?! So what if the spider thing was gonna attack Wesley- so what? What the hell did /she/ care for?

She wanted to stroll over and get it…but to do so would mean to walk past all of them, past B and all her friends, to lose her position at the Mayor's side. And as much as she hated to admit it to herself, Faith was uneasy at the thought of that.

She could feel all their eyes on her, but above all she could feel Buffy's. She could almost read the other girl's thought even as she avoided looking at her, could almost physically feel the anger and contempt radiating off her… but also the hurt. Buffy obviously must hate her now… it wasn't like she'd ever really liked or accepted her in the first place, whatever Faith might have tried to tell herself. But somehow she could still hurt her, and though Faith didn't understand why, this thought made her stomach tighten.

Damn, she wanted her knife back… but as she looked back at it, a sudden but intense longing outweighed her desire. She wanted her knife, but even more, she wanted to leave it where it was, to step away from the Mayor and go with them. She wanted to be a part of them like she had never really been before… she wanted them to help her, to forgive her, to help her make everything different. She wanted them to ask her to stay with them… she wanted Buffy to. She wanted the Mayor's approval, wanted all he could give her… but even more, she wanted-

"Faith!"

Hearing his voice, Faith's head snapped around, she looked up at the Mayor's authoritative tone. Of course none of that was ever gonna happen… she was stupid to even think about it. This was what she really wanted… this was what she needed. He cared, he was gonna give her everything she could want, and that was all that mattered.

But even a she turned and followed, she couldn't help but have a lingering wish that this was going differently.