Boston, Early August 1998, Cemetery, midday.
The sun was shining, it was a warm summer afternoon yet, it felt wrong. It felt almost disrespectful to have any sort of warmth or brightness today. Faith and Kennedy Lockley stood with a small crowd of mourners next to a fresh grave and a gleaming coffin. There were flowers all over the coffin and the priest was saying the final blessing. Faith and Kennedy didn't hear any of it. The shock of the events leading up to this moment had left both girls too numb to notice much of anything.
Finally, the priest offered his final words and turned to Faith. Faith snapped out of her trance to step forward and place a hand on the coffin as she whispered her last farewell to the woman who was like a mother to her. Faith stepped back and Kennedy repeated her gesture and placed two roses on the coffin, one from each of them. One by one the few mourners who had gathered to say goodbye came forward and laid a rose and said their good-byes. Finally, when the last person had stepped back, the priest gave a signal to a man who worked there and the coffin was slowly lowered into the ground. Faith broke down and began crying openly against Kennedy's shoulder as she watched the coffin make its descent. When the coffin was settled in its final position, Faith and Kennedy stepped forward and each grabbed fistfuls of dirt and threw them on the coffin. Then they stepped back and watched as a few others did the same thing.
Finally, Faith couldn't handle it anymore and turned to Kennedy and in a silent gesture let Kennedy know she wanted to leave. Kennedy understood and put an arm around her sister's waist and led her to one of the waiting limousines. They both got inside and sat for a moment in silence as Faith thought about what had led to this moment.
Two Weeks Ago...
Elizabeth Pritchard walked into her small apartment completely exhausted. Training a young Slayer with endless energy always left her completely exhausted. All Elizabeth wanted to do was take a hot bath and go to bed. Elizabeth lived in a small cottage on the grounds of the Lockley estate. She'd moved here two years ago to train her potential slayer and a few months ago, her slayer had been activated upon the death of the Slayer named Kendra. Faith and Kennedy, sisters by blood and, unknown to anyone who wasn't a watcher, sisters in the slayer legacy. Shortly after she'd begun training her potential slayer the Watcher's Council had contacted Elizabeth to inform her that Faith's sister Kennedy was also a potential and it was uncertain which of the two would be called first. It was unprecedented for sisters to both be potential slayers but that's what had happened. From that moment on, Elizabeth had allowed Kennedy to train with Faith, as a precaution to prepare the younger girl, without telling either of them that Kennedy was also a potential. As it turned out, Faith was the first one called but Kennedy continued to train with Faith.
That night though, Elizabeth had just come back to her place after an intense training session and she'd filled the tub with hot water and scented bath beads. After a 30 minute, relaxing soak she dressed for bed and slipped between the sheets. Elizabeth Pritchard was asleep the moment her head hit the soft pillow.
FAITH'S POV THOUGHTS:
According to the Fire Marshal, the fire had started in the small kitchen. Though no one could figure out how when we all knew Liz never cooked. She always either ordered in or ate at the main house with us. A week later, investigators had labeled it accidental and closed the case. That angered me more than anything else... except Liz's death. She'd died in that fire and something told me it wasn't an accident. But there was no evidence that the fire was anything but an accident. Liz was like a mom to me, something I really needed after my own mother died of a drug overdose. I waited three years for someone to come along and fill that void she left behind and when Liz came she did. Even with her crazy story about me being chosen to fight vampires, I felt a connection to her. And after her claims of vampires and being the Slayer were proven accurate, that connection just got stronger. And now, she's gone. And here I am, in a limo at her funeral. A handful of mourners, mostly people she'd met since coming to town, like the maid and butler who work for my father. Funny, they came but I guess the old man couldn't be bothered... prick. I turn to look at Kennedy; at least he did one other thing right. My half sister Kennedy is my best friend, really the only friend I managed to keep in this town. When I first came here, three years ago I did the whole high school thing. I went to class, got decent grades, made some friends, the popular crowd, even became a cheerleader for a few months. I had my first real boyfriend then too, he was sweet and nice and normal. Quarterback of the football team and every girl's dream and he'd chosen me! Everything was good until his senior prom, we went together (the only sophomore invited to the senior prom) and it was perfect. Until the end of the night when he expected me to put out and I said no, and he didn't take no for an answer. After that, I dropped out of school and went a bit wild. In order to prove I wasn't affected by the rape I went to the extreme and began sleeping with random guys. It was Kennedy who saw how messed up I was and brought me back from the brink. She made me see I wasn't a bad girl or worthless or any of the other things that were floating in my head, brought back from what my mom used to call me when she was high. Kennedy saved me and I don't know where I'd be without her. Too bad daddy dearest wasn't here, Kennedy could've used him to lean on. She really was daddy's little girl, totally devoted to him...guess that comes from being raised by him since birth. Kennedy's mother, from what Kenn told me, left when Kenn was five and never came back. She just left her little daughter with her father and disappeared. I'm just glad I never met the woman cuz I'd be forced to beat the crap outta her for what she did. Our father told me, when I first showed up that Kennedy still sometimes had nightmares about her mother's abandonment, this was after I'd been woken up by Kenn's screams in the middle of the night.
Kenn and me had formed an instant bond and became the best of friends. A week after I arrived, the nightmares stopped and never came back. I like to think I had something to do with it.
"I can't believe he didn't show." Kennedy whispered softly, bringing Faith back to the present.
"It's not so surprising Kenn, after all, he didn't know Liz that well. Not like we did." Faith tried to reassure Kenn by making excuses for their father, even though Faith would never forgive him for not coming.
"But Faith, you're his daughter! He should be here, for you if not for Liz. I really thought he would make it."
"I know. But I'm ok with it." Faith lied. She didn't want to be the one to ruin the illusion Kenn had of their father. Let him do that on his own.
A few days later...
Once the shock of Liz's death had worn off, Kennedy had decided that Faith should get back to training and patrolling to keep her mind off of Liz. Faith agreed and they fell into an unspoken agreement where Kennedy acted as Faith's watcher. Faith listened to Kennedy, indeed Kenn was the only person Faith would take orders from now. But...something was wrong.
Everynight, Faith went out and patrolled but when she found a vampire she fought without care. Almost like a part of her wanted the vamp to kill her. But, in the end, a stronger part of her wanted to live so she always dusted the vamps. After that, Faith was always too wired up to go home so she'd go to a club and pick up a random guy and go back to his place (or a dark alley) and screw his brains out. This was Faith's way of dealing with her loss. She did this every night for a week before Kennedy got up the nerve to say something.
It was late one night, after Faith climbed inside her bedroom window after being with yet another random guy, Kennedy was waiting in the dark room for her. Faith finally got all the way into the room and was halfway to her private bathroom when the lights came on. The look on her face would've made Kenn laugh in other circumstances but Kennedy couldn't laugh.
"Kenn! What the hell? Why you in here in the dark? Waiting up for me?" Faith asked after she got over the scare of thinking it was her father who'd caught her sneaking in this late.
"Where were you Faith?" Kennedy asked simply and quietly.
"What do you mean? I was doing my job, you know, patrolling, killing vamps. Why? What is up with you?"
"Me? Im not the one who comes home every night smelling like...that." Kennedy couldn't even describe the odor Faith always brought home. But Kennedy knew what the smell represented...sex.
"What? Listen Kenn, graveyards ain't the best smelling places I'll admit that but cut me some slack ok? I always shower when I get home." Faith was trying not to let Kennedy know about the guys. After all, Kenn was still her little sister.
Kennedy wasn't buying Faith's act. Not after seeing with her own eyes what Faith did after patrol. "Please don't lie to me Faith. I know where you go after your patrols. I know about the clubs, and the random guys, and the sex. I know about the close calls you've had lately. So be straight with me, I deserve that much after everything we've been through don't I?"
Faith sighed as she realized that Kenn wasn't going to let this go. "What's the big deal Kenn? I mean this is what I was born for right? Slaying? Well, I've noticed that slaying has an affect on me...and the only way to make it go away is by finding someone to help take the edge off ok? It's no big deal...like I said, this is what I was built for so chill."
This angered Kenn and she finally couldn't hold back. "Who the fuck filled your head with that bullshit? I know it wasn't Liz, or was it? Did Liz feed you this line of crap? Cuz if she did, Faith she was wrong! You are more than that! You are more than just a slayer, more than a vamp killing machine, more than a sex toy! Faith, you're not just a body! You're not just made for fucking and slaying!" Finally Kennedy ran out of steam and just stood there staring at Faith, waiting to see how she'd respond.
"Don't you dare talk that way about Liz got it? She was like a mother to me and I couldn't even keep her alive. Do you know how that feels? To know I could've saved her but I didn't? Kenn, fuck! You know what? I am sooo not in the mood for this so get the fuck outta my room and let me shower and sleep. We can yell about this in the morning ok?"
Kenn could see that Faith was close to exploding so she agreed and left.
The next afternoon, Kennedy walked into Faith's room with a plan. She'd spent most of the morning reading the books that Liz left behind in the training room in the east wing. Kennedy was trying to find some sort of clue or solution to convince Faith that she was more than what she thought she was and she'd finally found it. So, Kennedy took the book and brought it with her to Faith's room. Kenn walked into the room and wasn't surprised to find her sister still asleep. Faith never woke up before noon on a Saturday, not even to train with Liz. Liz always respected this and used Saturday mornings to train Kennedy. Kenn never knew why Liz insisted on training her too but she didn't complain.
Kennedy walked to the foot of the bed and stared down at her sister for a bit before she kicked the bed...hard, causing Faith to wake up swinging. That's why Kenn stood at the foot of the bed, well out of Faith's reach. Finally Faith woke up completely and glared at Kennedy.
"What the fuck Kenn? I was sleeping! What's with the goddamn wake up call?" Faith half screamed irritably. She'd been in the middle of a good dream. Liz was alive and they were training again, like nothing had ever happened.
Kennedy ignored the tone in Faith's voice and began telling Faith what she'd found. "Faith! Listen, I think I know how to prove to you that there's more to being a slayer than just slaying and sex. It's all here in this book." Kenn shoved the book under Faith's nose with the pages opened to reveal what she wanted Faith to see.
Faith focused her eyes on the page in front of her and realized it was one of the watcher diaries that Liz had brought with her. Wait, no, this one was a new one, one that was shipped to the house recently. Faith studied the inside cover and saw the watcher's name and the name of his slayer: Rupert Giles and Buffy Summers. Faith didn't get it.
"So? How's reading about another dead slayer gonna change anything?" Faith asked.
"Simple. Faith, this slayer isn't dead. She's very much alive and living in Sunnydale, California."
"What? She's not dead? She's alive? Ok...confused now explain please?" Faith's brain couldnt process this without more details.
"According to this, the Slayer, Buffy Summers, died in early June of 97. She drowned but was revived within minutes. Her death activated another Slayer, named Kendra. Kendra apparently died in...oh May of 98. But that's when you were activated wasnt it?" Faith nodded, more awake now that Kennedy was explaining about...what was Kennedy explaining?
"Kenn, what does this have to do with anything? How will reading about..." Faith looked again at the name of the slayer, "Buffy Summers change anything?"
"I don't think you should read about her Faith." Kenn said but Faith cut in.
"Confused again, explain?"
"Well if you let me finish I will. I don't think you should read about her because I think you, well we actually, should go to Sunnydale and meet her. Get to know her and see what her life is like. What do you think?"
Faith could only look at her sister as her sleep-fogged brain tried to process what Kennedy was saying. Travel to the other side of the country, to a place called Sunnydale and look up a slayer? A Slayer who probably lived a secretive lifestyle and would be wicked hard to find even in a small town. There was no way to tell if they would even be able to locate this slayer and if they did, what kind of reception were they likely to get? Faith doubted this Buffy person would be happy to meet another slayer cuz that would be a reminder that she'd died and also cuz...it means she's not unique.
That was kinda how Faith was feeling right then, a bit deflated at finding out she wasn't the slayer but a slayer. Second choice slayer, an accident of circumstance, an aberration that shouldn't have happened. Like knowing she was an unplanned baby wasn't enough of a burden now she had to deal with being an unplanned Slayer? Oh well, she'd dealt with worse, especially when her mother was drunk, and this time there was no drunk mother to deal with. Faith looked up and saw that Kenn was waiting for an answer. What the hell, she had nothing to lose by going to California, but she didn't think their father would allow Kennedy to go with her.
"I think its a good idea but you know dad'll never let you come with me if I go."
"He will, I'll use my charm on him, besides, even if he says no I am still gonna come with you. You need me and he knows it. So...does this mean you're in?"
"Yeah. Yeah I'm in. But only if dad gives you the ok to go. If he says no then we both stay got it?"
"Ok deal...one condition though."
"No more guys Faith. If slaying makes you seek them out then no more slaying either ok? Not until we get to California, deal?"
Faith sighed at Kenn's attempt to keep her from the 'dark side' and nodded. "Deal. Now, lemme go back to sleep and you can go talk to dad ok? Maybe we can be in Sunnydale before the school year starts so you can finish school there ok?"
Kennedy smiled and turned to leave, "You got it. Sleep and I'll talk to dad. See you later!" With that, Kennedy left Faith's room and closed the door behind her. She then went to their father's study and found him in his usual spot behind his desk going over some papers. Kennedy knocked on the open door to get his attention.
"Ah, Kennedy dear, what can I do for you?" Carson Lockley smiled up at his younger daughter standing in his doorway. She was his favorite daughter simply because she was the one he'd raised from birth. Faith had been poisoned against him by her mother, his first wife, after they'd divorced and she'd gotten custody, not that he hadn't fought her for it but he'd lost. He kinda lucked out with Kennedy, her mother hadn't wanted custody.
Kennedy smiled back at her father then said, "Can we talk daddy? It's important."
"Of course sweetheart. Come in, sit down." Carson always had time for both his daughters but Kennedy was the only one who ever sought him out.
Kennedy walked into the room and closed the door behind her. She went over to the sofa on the right hand side of the room and motioned for her father to join her there. Carson got out from behind his desk and sat next to Kennedy on the black leather sofa and waited for her to begin.
Kennedy took a deep breath before she explained about Faith. "Dad, Faith needs a change of scenery. Liz's death hit her very hard and she's going to destroy herself unless she gets out of Boston." Kennedy told her father.
Carson couldn't believe his ears. Kennedy wanted him to send Faith away after she'd just lost her watcher? Yes, Carson knew about Faith's whole Slayer deal. He supported her by virtue of being her father. "Kennedy, I don't think it would be a good idea to send Faith away right now. She's still grieving for Miss Pritchard and I think if I sent her away she would view it as another rejection and it would damage her even more. No, Kennedy, Faith is not going anywhere." Carson stated firmly. He didn't want his older daughter anywhere but in his home where he could protect her and keep an eye on her.
Kennedy couldn't believe her ears but then she realized that her father thought she'd meant to send Faith away on her own. No wonder he was against it, Kenn knew,even if Faith didnt, that their father loved them both. And of course he didn't want it to seem like he was kicking Faith out. Kennedy rushed to explain.
"Dad, no. I didn't mean send Faith away. Not alone and certainly not against her will. Dad, there's another slayer in California and I think Faith could benefit from meeting her. And since I'm the only one Faith takes orders from, I would go with her. I could finish high school there and keep Faith out of trouble. Dad, she's lost." Kennedy's voice softened, "She just lost her watcher, who was like a mother to her, she thinks that all she's good for is slaying, that that's all there is for her in this life. I can't stand by and watch her self-destruct, dad. Can you? Can you make her stay and watch her slowly die inside until all that's left is a slayer where your daughter used to be?"
Carson listened and realized Kennedy was right. "No, sweetheart, I can't stand by either. But, California? Couldn't you two just go to the house in the Hamptons?" Carson saw the look on his daughter's face, that stubborn look that always made him cave. "No, I guess not. Very well then but I insist on paying for everything."
"Dad...ok. But you're going to have to sign over guardianship of me to Faith so she can enroll me in school there, can you do that?" Kennedy asked her father.
Carson thought about it and realized Kennedy had thought things out. He also knew Faith had never adjusted to the fact that he was very wealthy and very willing to share. Faith and Kennedy each had trust funds that would be released to them when they turned 21. He trusted Faith to protect Kennedy and he knew Kennedy was the only one who could keep Faith in line now. So what choice did he have? To save one daughter he'd have to let them both go and hope for the best.
"Ok Kennedy, the two of you can go to California and meet this other slayer but, Kenn, one school year do you hear me? Next September you are back here to finish your senior year do you understand? And, since Faith has made it clear she's not comfortable spending the money I give her, I'll be putting the money for the trip into a special bank account in your name. I'll deposit a grand a month for your living expenses and if a grand isn't enough you call me and I'll raise it ok? You are both my daughters and I want only the best for you both but Faith won't let me help her outright so I have to do it through other methods. Also, I want you to promise to call me every now and then and let me know my daughters are ok got it?"
Kennedy smiled, able to accept all of her father's terms...even the one school year time limit. She leaned over and hugged him as she answered him, "Yes dad, and thank you so much. You won't regret this I swear." Kennedy let go and stood up, "I'm going to go tell Faith the good news ok?"
ONE WEEK LATER...
Kennedy and Faith took a cab from the house to Logan Airport and after checking in, they board a plane for L.A. Kennedy got to her seat and immediately buckled up. Faith was a bit more relaxed, she's not afraid of flying like Kennedy. Faith suddenly realized what a big thing it was for Kennedy to leave her home, her father, her friends, everything she's ever known to FLY across the country to help her with the whole Slayer thing. Faith decided not to tease her little sister about her fear of flying but rather decided to try to distract her. Faith sat down next to Kennedy and began talking.
"Kenn, you ok?" Faith asked quietly.
Kennedy looked at Faith and saw the effort she was making to be nice and not make fun so, "Kinda, just...ya know, not a big fan of flying."
"Thanks for coming with me Kenn, it means a lot to me. Now, ya wanna talk about why ya dont like flying?"
"You're welcome Faith and no, I wanna talk about California, ok?"
"Yeah, ok. What about California exactly?"
"I dunno...ya think we'll see any celebrities? Like Sandra Bullock or Halle Berry or oooh Nicole Kidman or hey, Julia Roberts?"
Faith smiled at Kennedy's list of stars. Faith knew Kennedy preferred girls and that she had since she was five...something about Gone with the Wind. Faith didn't care cuz she loved her sister and she always would so it didn't matter to her who Kennedy preferred as long as she was happy.
"Maybe, ya never know. Personally, I'd prefer Ben Affleck, Jude Law, or Matt Damon, ya know? Still, the weather should be better than Boston. No snow, very little rain, lots and lots of sunshine and beaches." Faith grinned at the thought of beaches and buff hunks in swim trunks.
The sisters continued talking about California and speculating about what it would be like. By unspoken agreement they avoided talking about anything Slayer related. They talked so much that Kennedy never noticed when they took off and she was sleeping by the time they landed. Faith let her sleep until after they were safely on the ground again. Kennedy was genuinely surprised, and secretly pleased, that she'd managed to sleep through the landing.
The Lockley sisters caught a cab from the airport to the nearest Greyhound Bus Station and caught the next bus into Sunnydale. On the bus trip, they discussed enrolling Kennedy for classes at the local high school and the need to rent an apartment if they could because living in a motel for the whole school year wasn't a good idea.
It was nighttime by the time the bus pulled into the Sunnydale Bus Depot. Kennedy and Faith stepped off the bus, got their luggage and took a cab to the nearest motel, the Sunnydale Motor Inn. Since it was still early, they checked in and then walked around the town looking for a place to eat. They came across a Happy Burger and decide it was better than nothing. After dinner they headed back to the motel and crashed for the night, the jet lag suddenly catching up to them both.