{I own nothing. Joss owns all}

Spoilers: Through s5. But then again the AU deals with season 7.

AU: The whole blow-up-Sunnydale-and-activate-a-kajillion-slayers plot never happened, or else there wouldn't be a Sunnydale for Faith to get back to now would there?

Suspension of Beliefs: Faith gets out of a 1st degree murder charge after 7 years. I don't have the slightest idea if that's realistic or not.

Loosely based on the song "Far Away" by Nickelback

Introduction

I had been waiting for this for 7 years. Seven. Also the number of months I was a free slayer. Free to kick ass. Free to dust. Free to want, take and have whatever you liked. I hadn't dusted a vamp since I took a *ahem* temporary leave of absence to defeat the big bad First Evil. And that had been more than three years ago. Damn, no H&H for that long'll drive a girl insane.

But I'm out, and I'm five by five, so no worries about that. I got out early for being a nice little criminal, and paying my debt to society, and all that junk they tell you while you wait. It's pathetic what I've become, really. I became the quiet, sticks-to-herself kinda girl just putting up with jackasses so I can get out. (But not too much bull. No, don't worry, I put a few girls in their place when they really pissed me off and got in my face. I never became anybody's bitch in there.)

I've only been here for five minutes, hiking down the dirt road with my bag and my trusty face-stomping boots, but I could already tell I was in another world. The world of fried food and booze and leather. My kinda world. I had a thought appear in the back of my mind, a small reminder of why I was here, and not back in there. I was here to find her again. I was going to track her down and prove myself to her. I was heading back to good ole Sunny D, and there's no telling what's gonna happen once I find Buffy Summers.

I turned and looked back at my former life, with its brick walls and high fences. It pretty much sucked. To those of you thinking 'Oh, but it's a bed, and 3 meals a day', well, fuck you. I was there because I felt I should be, end of discussion. It could've been worse. I could have ended up dead. Buffy stabbed me pretty good and, being the stubborn jerk that I am, I didn't get the memo about dying and leaving her alone.

You know, that was the only thing I won't let her do to me. She can hate me, abuse me, stab me, hell, she can basically do whatever she wants to me, but I will not let her be right about me. I will not end up dead and alone and forgotten, a sad remainder of a sad life. Buffy said that to me, one of the times she visited. Even though she has since taken that comment back, it still stuck. She only saw me a couple times in jail, once before the First, and once after. Those two visits were pretty much as life altering as you can get, besides becoming a slayer and meeting Buffy.

Actually, those two meetings are why I'm here, believe it or not. I guess I can try to fill you in along the way as I head back to Sunnydale. There's not much else to do anyways, so I might as well. But, I can't even begin to describe those meetings in full detail. In true detail. Sure, I can retell what was said. I can give you all the details of the glaring, and the violence, and all the details a normal person would see observing us. But what really went on, I'm not so sure I can explain. But I'll try. Just for you, I'll try.

I turned myself in after I got outta my coma and went all psycho and tried to kill Angel. That much I hope you already knew. I was transferred to a country jail and was sentenced quite a while for killing Finch. Sucks, right? Turns out, I wouldn't have served it anyways because the council would get rid of me once Buffy eventually died. They wouldn't let the single slayer in the world sit idle in jail and not commence with the slayage, and they certainly don't want me free.

Anyways, there I was, alone in jail. No family to visit, no friends to care. Oh, except for Angel. Gotta love him. He took me under his wing, and he visited about every other week. That kept me going. I actually felt like I had a purpose when he came, and he had all sorts of redemption speeches prepared, oh, he was hilarious with those epic redemption speeches. He was the first true friend I'd had in a long time.

One day I had a different visitor. A little more than a year had gone by since I'd arrived. One o'clock in the afternoon on a sunny day is not the ideal day for a vampire visit, so I knew something was up. At first I thought something had happened to Angel, and I saw blondish hair and thought Cordy had come to say something. But it wasn't exactly Cordy. I'm pretty sure you can guess who it was.