Coming Home

A Divergent Destinies Story (Set After Lonely Letters)

By IceWing (icewing@one.net)



The sun was high in the mid-day sky as the pale blue convertible passed the sign welcoming one and all to Sunnydale. Inside, the each of the two occupants had vastly different expressions. The driver was rather calm, although a touch of apprehension lurked beneath his subtle smirk. He knew that for once, things were going to go his way, even if he had to pummel the Fates themselves to insure it.

The passenger, a dark haired beauty who had left town under circumstances that she wasn't exactly proud of, more than a bit nervous. Her eyes followed the sign as the car moved past it.

The driver could sense it, and took her hand in his, gently squeezing it. "I'm right here beside you Faith. Its going to be ok."

Sighing, Faith replied. "I know, Xander. Its just that, I mean, look how badly I screwed up. Not even just the last time I was here, but before…" Her voice wavered for a moment before she continued. "Before Graduation. I completely went off the deep end and people, good people, died as a result. I just don't know if I'm ready for all of this." She paused again, "Hell, I don't even know if I deserve a second chance."

"You do, and you know it. Sure, you made a mistake, and some bad things happened because of it. Nobody knows that more than you do, Faith. But, you're only human. You're not perfect, no more so than I am or anybody else for that matter. And, as a point in your defense, you've also saved the world more times than about six billion people combined."

"I've only done that a couple of times," said Faith. "And both times I wasn't the only one involved. Hell, I wasn't even the big gun."

"But the fact remains that you've helped Save the WORLD Faith. That means that you've saved the lives of a few billion people."

Faith looked down, clenching her hands in her lap. "But it doesn't bring back either that Professor or Finch."

"No, it doesn't. No matter what you do in your life, you're right. You have still killed two people who didn't deserve it. One was an accident. We both know that…"

"But the other wasn't."

"You're right. It wasn't. But you have put that path behind you Faith." As he made a turn onto a relatively nice street, he glanced over at the insecure young woman beside him. "You're not that person anymore. You're doing good now and you know it. So no brooding or doubting yourself. You're back on the right side now, and you're going to stay there."

Faith looked over at him, still unsure of herself. "You really think I can do this?"

"If I didn't think you could do it, if I thought you were the person you were in danger of becoming, then I wouldn't be here Faith." He squeezed her hand softly. "But notice, I am here. And I'm not going anywhere."

Faith changed the subject in order to try and push her doubts down. "By the way, if you don't mind my asking, where we headed to?" The raven haired Slayer looked around, noting the large and huge houses nestled back on lots the size of city blocks back in Boston. "Doesn't exactly look like the kind of neighborhood that houses apartments."

Xander grinned. "What can I say. I'm a moving on up."

Faith groaned at his bad singsong of the theme song. "I'm on probation Xander. Please don't make me kill you," she joked as the car made another turn. Catching a glimpse of the street sign and recognizing the area a bit, Faith quickly turned to Xander, disbelief on her face.

"I take it you recognize the area?" Xander said with a smirk as he turned the car into a driveway.

"How'd you get Angel to let you stay at his mansion?"

"See, there you go making assumptions," he said with a grin as the both of them stepped out of the car. "Let me just start by saying that the next time Angel comes to town, if he wants to stay here, he'll have to ask the owner for permission to crash. Which of course, I'll let him."

"You'll let him?" Faith couldn't keep the disbelief from her voice.

"That's right. I picked it up from the city for a steal a couple of months ago. Seems that they wanted to unload it, and not too many people were interested. Something about wild animal attacks and 'really ugly squatters' in the area." He was almost beaming as he grabbed her duffle. "We'll have to use the side door. I'm still working on a lot of things inside and out." Leading the way, he continued speaking. "I've been working on it in all of my free time, but there's still a lot of work I need to do." He reached into his pocket and handed her a small key ring. "You want the honors?"

Faith looked at the keys in her hand, then up at Xander in disbelief. "These aren't your keys," she said.

"No, those are yours." He set her duffle down carefully and wrapped his arms around her. "Welcome home Faith."

End Coming Home

Ok Folks, there the next installment… I have a whole lot more slated for Divergent Destinies, including a followup to the Zeppo, Xander's first visit to Caritas, and a whole lot more… Also, I have been working on An Eternal War again (but chapter 18 is a bear) as well as the next chapter of Fallen From Grace (have the next several chapters mapped out and they all rock.) So, I've been doing my part… So, keep my muse happy and leave some feedback. I know you folks are reading so please take a moment and let me know what you think. It only takes a tiny bit of time and feedback feeds my Muse (and man, does she get cranky when she's hungry). Anyway, enough prattle. Go read another story.