Working through

Disclaimer: I do not own these characters.

Author notes: Faith's letter to her deceased mother. Takes place post Sanctuary in Angel, while she is still in prison.

Hey,

So you can probably guess that this was in no way my idea. I think it's stupid. What good's it gonna do anyone now, it would have been stupid any time, but especially now, it's really not gonna help anything now. If you ask me it's a waste of time and hand cramp. But the shrink the prison sends in twice a month said to write you a letter, and if I want to stay on this redemption track, follow along like a good girl and do whatever shit they tell me to, I guess writing a letter to a dead woman is part of the gig and won't kill me.

Even though I think it's really stupid.

Seriously, what is the point? You're obviously never going to read this, you won't even know I wrote it. You're six feet under, it's kind of dark down there, I'm assuming, and your eyes are shut anyway. Fuck, I hope so anyway. Okay, getting off that now, not like I need to be thinking that, see what I mean? What the hell good is this letter gonna do except stir stuff up again that was perfectly okay with sitting there not being stirred?

Plus I was never one for writing people letters to say something. Or writing, period. Or reading, or school, but that's a whole different story and you probably already know. Can't be sure, of course, you didn't exactly notice my life the last five or six years or so of yours. But yeah, if I'm going to say something to someone then I say it to their face, or I just shut up and don't say anything, I don't write it in a letter like a pansy. This is stupid.

The shrink says she's not going to read this. Well if no one's reading it then what's the point is what I want to know. She says it's supposed to be for me, not you, that I'm supposed to be "working through my feelings." Or something. Whatever. Don't I have enough to work on without adding my feelings to the mix?

Guess if I'm going to do this though I better get into it, get it over with as fast as I can. Wonder if there's a minimum page requirement?

So here goes. Hi, Mom. What's up? Still dead? Right. Sometimes I think you're missing out. Something I think you're just lucky.

Oh my god this is stupid.

Okay, for real this time. Right, so I'm in prison now. You know, like you always said I would be. It's not for being a stupid worthless little whore, like you always predicted, but hey, that part I carry out as an added bonus. No, I'm not dead yet either, though that wasn't for lack of trying. I just had an immortal demon snake as my boss, is all, and when he told me to kill I did it. Loved it. Screwed up trying to repeat it. Consider me an overachiever, I always did like to go above and beyond the plans you had for me. I deserve credit for that, right?

I'm not going to ask about being dead or heaven or hell or God or any of that. I don't know and that's the way I like it. Kind of leaves it as a choose your own adventure, you know? Plus unless you're gonna start ghostwriting back at me across the page it's not like you'd answer. That's the kind of thing that happens to Buffy, not me.

I bet Buffy's mom would find a way to do that for her, if she was the one who was dead.

This is so STUPID!

Okay. Look, I know none of the things I did later were your fault. I mean, you were dead, you couldn't make me do anything, obviously. No one can make me do anything I don't want to do. It was my fault. Everything I did, everyone I hurt, that was my choice. But I kind of feel like it happened because of you. Like if it wasn't for you dying, maybe none of this would have happened. Maybe I never would have ended up with Diana. Hell, maybe I wouldn't even have been a Slayer. Maybe she wouldn't have been killed. Maybe I wouldn't have come to Sunnydale, and then I wouldn't be here in prison. Maybe. Whatever. It's stupid to bother thinking about that. Not like we can change anything now.

But damn, Mom, why? That's really all I want to know. That's all I ever wanted to know. Why did you change? Why did you just stop trying?

I mean, I know there was a lot of shit in your life. Single mom, crappy apartment, having to pay the rent and bills and all. And I wasn't a good kid, I know I was a pain in the ass even when I was a little kid. I could have been better, helped more. But that didn't use to matter as much. You used to be okay. It seemed like it anyway. You'd get pissed off at me and stressed out, but sometimes you would smile. And you called me Firecracker. Your little Firecracker.

When did you stop saying that? How old was I the last time? I don't remember. But it had to mean something, didn't it?

It was probably when you really started getting into drinking, wasn't it? Probably around the time the few beers after work every night became a six pack or a bottle of wine or both, or more. Probably when you started passing out and going into work hung over or not at all and I had to start taking care of you instead of the other way around. Probably when I had to start making excuses for you and covering your ass so DSS wouldn't get on our case. Probably when all the men started coming and you started hitting me when you got pissed off instead of just yelling, and not as a spanking either. Probably when you started telling me what a massive bitch I was and how I had totally ruined your life.

Yeah, it was probably about then.

You don't know that I'm a Slayer. You don't even know what a Slayer is. Ever since I've got called as one there's only been one scar that didn't heal on me. All the others, from before then, those didn't go away completely. And some of them, they're from you.

Does that make you happy, MOM?

Remember how you would pull my hair until my eyes watered, MOM? Remember how you slapped me across the face so hard my nose started bleeding? Remember how you took your cigarette and ground it against the back of my neck until the skin blistered? Do you even give a damn that you are the reason I don't like to wear my hair up much, just in case someone sees? Do you care that before the guy that got me to kill people took me to the dentist, I hadn't gone in a decade, that I hadn't gone to a doctor either, just in case someone smelled your breath or noticed one of the marks YOU gave me?

No, you don't, do you?

I didn't go to school, did you know that? I used to like school when I was really young. But I guess it would be hard for most people to concentrate or care about school if they'd been out all night just to stay out of the house, away from the drinking, screaming mother and whatever boyfriend of hers was trying to fuck them, huh?

How did you not know, Mom, that's what I fucking want to know. Were you sleeping, or passed out, every single time they'd slip out of bed and come crawl into mine? Did you even notice the way they looked at me, or the way I looked at them the next morning? Did you notice the way I looked at you? I was just a fucking kid, why the fuck didn't you know, why didn't you stop it? Or did you know? Did you just not care? Were you too selfish, did you just send them to me whenever you were too drunk or tired to screw them yourself? And when I told you what they'd been doing, why the hell didn't you believe me? Why did you make me fight them off on my own?

You bitch, you never took care of me, you never cared, you never wanted me, you didn't do anything, you didn't care about anything! You just shoved me aside, all you wanted was your men and your booze, that was all you cared about! Didn't you have any kind of conscience at all? I was your KID, I was your fucking KID, how the fuck could you be like this, how the fuck could you do this, and then you left, you left me, you died on me! You left me, you died, and I was the one who had to find you, do you know what that did to me, to see you like that? Do you know what it's like to have that in my head, that as the last picture I see every time I think of you? I was living on the streets, I didn't have anything! How could you do it, how could you do that to me? I hate you, I fucking hate you, I HATE YOU!

Okay…okay, obviously a rage freak out thing just happened there. I'm sorry. I didn't mean that. Sort of. I don't know. Damn, why am I acting like you can hear this? Or read it, whatever. Don't tell me that shrink and her feelings talk is getting to me.

I just want to know though, Mom. Well maybe I don't but I have to ask, even if you don't answer. When you don't answer. Because of course you won't. I hope anyway or else we're talking zombie time and I'm so not in the mood for that now. Anyway…yeah.

When did you stop loving me.

I hate you. I hate everything about you, everything you did to me and all the things you wouldn't do for me. Everything.

But I still love you.

Why couldn't you love me even if you hated me too?

Oh screw this, I'm done with this shit. Who the hell will even read it?