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Character Question: Faith, Contrite Spirits

Unh. Still up to my eyeballs in paperwork at work, and still fighting a hellacious cold.

But, I'm pulling in another Faith question.

Then I'm gonna go take more drugs and go right to bed.

All previous 'Ask the Character Questions' are listed here.

Question 2 from bastardsnow

To Faith in Contrite Spirits: Do you ever regret your mother's wish?



Nope. Never.

I mean, that's assuming the whole thing Mommy Dearest told me was true.

Harris seems to think it's true, which I guess means that it probably is true. He should know, right?

I probably should've kept my mouth shut, but, see, I saw ol' St. Anyanka there in the cathedral and got completely taken by surprise, 'cause, y'know, she was de-sainted an' everything. Officially, because no one could prove she was real. Unofficially...

Well, between you an' me, I think one of the Pope's buddies figured out they fucked up and crowned the wrong chick with sainthood. It only took 'em, what? A thousand years, give or take?

How I know this shit, I can't figure it out.

But anyways, there we were in the cathedral, and there was that altar complete with statue, and there I was wondering, "What the fuck? Did no one around here get the friggin' memo?"

Then the question just popped into my head, y'know?

Actually, that's not true. I mean, it's true I was knocked off my pins, an' it's true the question popped into my head, but I didn't actually have to ask, did I?

Okay, I didn't actually ask a question — the question if you get what I mean. I just had it in the back of my head when I told Harris about — well, y'know.

Christ, he went pale. White. As. A. Ghost. It was weird, seein' the color just drain right out of his face. If I didn't know no better, I'd think some vampire was doin' a suck job on him.

Well, maybe there was, 'cept instead of a vampire with fangs it was a Slayer who don't know enough to keep her mouth shut.

See, the thing is I'd heard about Anyanka. Anya. Whateverthefuckhernameis. After the whole deal in the SunnyD. Waaaaay after. Maybe, what? Six months after?

It was Robin who found out about her while we were Vengeance Demon hunting. I mean, Vengeance Demons. There really is a demon for everything. I'm just waitin' for the day when we find out the common cold is really caused by demon possession.

Shit, I'd love to see the ad on T.V. for that one. "Tylenol Cold & Sinus, now with added 'Get Thee Behind Me Satan' healing power!"

Heh.

You might wanna make sure you're not standing near me when there's thunder storm brewing. Take that as fair warning.

Anyways, Robin with his books figured out it was ol' Anyanka's M.O., y'know? Pissed off women. A few wishes. Lots of dead bodies. That kinda drill.

When I first heard that name and her calling card....hoooo boy. I kept thinkin', "No way. No fucking way. A saint? Mommy Dearest's all-time-fave saint was really a demon? Are you shitting me?"

Then I thought, "Well, doesn't that figure."

Didn't say nothin' at the time. Mostly 'cause I thought...

Dunno what I thought. Put it down to coincidence, I guess. Convinced myself that it wasn't the same Anyanka at all. For all I knew "Anyanka" could've been like bein' called "Smith" or "Brown" or "White" back in the bad ol' days, right?

Then Robin calls G about how we think we got our suspect and her name's Anyanka.

And that's when we find out that for Anyanka, read Anya, read, "Bits and pieces of her are probably fertilizin' the bottom of the Sunnydale crater." So whoever this Vengeance Demon was, it was Anya's replacement.

We never did catch her, in case you're wondering. Just blew out of town leaving a trail of bodies behind her. But at least G and the Council are on the lookout now, so that's somethin'. I guess.

I still sometimes get this jolt of, "Holy shit! Anya was a fucking saint?"

I mean, you couldn't tell by me, and I met her. Couldn't tell by anyone else back in the SunnyD, neither. Or, as it turns out, anyone who's alive or dead, which is not surprising all things considering.

Always meant to ask Robin to look into the whole Anyanka-Anya dealie. I was curious, y'know? I know it wouldn't actually change anything, but I just wanted to know for my information.

Never got a chance. Things just kinda went south with Robin right after that. Don't know what happened really. One day things were going peachy, next day it turned to shit.

Well, it didn't turn to shit, just kinda...dunno. Something went off. Like that brand new gallon of milk in the fridge that goes sour overnight.

You'd think the second G thought to put me 'n Harris together I would've asked, or at least hinted, right? But you'd be wrong.

Like I said, wouldn't change nothin'. Besides, Harris these days...not exactly a chatterbox. Pretty much keeps things locked up and locked down. Some days the only way you know he's alive is 'cause the lights are on behind the eyes.

I mean eye. Keep forgettin' that one of those eyes is fake.

You know what I mean, right?

Besides, if you don't wanna know, don't ask says I. That's how I ended up with an ex-Robin instead of a current-Robin.

Still asked, though, even if it was in the most pussified way possible. 'Cause right at that moment, I had to know. I was curious to see what he thought about it.

I got my answer, right?

Well, I didn't get an answer answer, if y'know what I mean. I just got one guy's opinion.

And that's all it is. An opinion.

I don't care who that guy is. I don't care if he was boning some ex-not-a-saint and makin' her sing arias on a nightly basis. It's still just an opinion, 'cause he wasn't there an' he don't know. Not really.

Besides, it ain't like he said one way or the other. An apology ain't an answer, that's for shittin' sure.

Which is as good as an answer, right?

Right.

Or not.

Not too sure, if you wanna be honest. Maybe I don't wanna be sure.

He's pretty sure, though. I can tell.

For a start, after we got back to the hotel he came knockin' on my door bearing a bottle, two glasses, and a file folder.

That right there is trouble. Unless we're working, Harris and I don't hang out. After hours he goes his way, I go mine. We're strictly business. Harris making a social call? Not good news.

He didn't say anything when he came in. Just put the glasses down on the table and broke out the bottle.

Single malt Scotch. The good shit. None of this pissed-through-a-water-buffalo-and-stored-in-a-gas-can crap.

So, anyways, we sit there sipping away, not sayin' nothin' to one another. We get half-way through the bottle when Harris finally looks at me.

I think, "Here it is. Sour milk." Don't know why I thought it. I just did.

Then Harris says, "Thing about wishes. Everyone gets hurt. 'Specially innocent bystanders."

Well that just pissed me the hell off. I says to him, "Do I look like an innocent bystander to you?"

He doesn't say anything. Instead, he just stares into his glass and swirls around the dregs a bit. I grab the bottle and pour me another drink.

When I finally sit my ass back down, Harris says to me, "Well, I know I'm not." Boom. Just like that. Like he knows shit, right?

Except, I kind of think he does know shit, and maybe that's what I don't like about what he said.

Then Harris looks at me and taps the file folder. "Giles wants us to stick around for a day or two until the locals are done with the dog-and-pony show with the new Slayer. Then we're off for an all-expenses-paid trip Branson. That's in Missouri. You been there yet?"

I just shake my head, 'cause I'm wondering where he's goin' with this.

He winces, like he's sufferin' from grevious bodily harm. "So I'm guessing the usual?"

"What usual?" I ask.

"Y'know. Work ourselves to death here. Get on the plane. Sleep on the plane. Wake up grumpy. Then go harass some newbie Slayer who isn't actually happy to see us," Harris says. "The usual."

I shrug. "It's a plan."

Harris just nods, gets up, and heads for the door. He hesitates just a little when he opens it.

Me, I get into a crash position, because I figure he's gonna say somethin' about the Ex and I'm not sure how I'm gonna react.

"You're gonna love Branson," Harris says. He's even got this half-a-grin on his face when he says it. "I hear it makes Nashville look like an exercise in good taste. I'm thinking a glow-in-the-dark talking ashtray from Taiwan."

It takes me a sec to catch up because the ears sure as hell didn't expect that, y'know?

I tell him, "I can beat that."

He gives this little groan as he waves and walks out.

Leaving me with with a half-a-bottle full of the good shit and my brain.

I should probably go out and work off some tension. Dance up a storm somewhere. 'Cept, I'm tryin' to figure out if I got me a gallon of good milk, or if the milk's gone off.

I keep chasing it around in my head, y'know?

And I'm not sorry about Mommy Dearest's run-in with Whoever-She-Is.

I'm not.

The whole Slay thing didn't really change me. Just made me more me, if you get my drift.

I mean, I come from a long-line of fuck-ups. You know the kind, right? The kind that goes along until life falls to crap and then they snap. Next thing ya know, they're in cuffs heading off to Bridgewater for a psych eval because they well and truly fucked someone's shit up.

Difference between me an' them, I figure, is I get a life after, y'know? Can't fix what I done. It's like Angel says, you can't ever make up for blood on the hands.

But you might be able to make things better for someone somewhere, right?

I mean, I can do that much. If I didn't have the whole Slay deal, I don't think I could do it.

But the way I am? I'm pretty sure I can.

And this time, no more innocent bystanders will get hurt.

Well, here's hoping.
Tags: character: faith, character: xander, el jay: meme, fanfiction: 2007, fanfiction: ask the character, fanfiction: buffy the vampire slayer, fanfiction: contrite spirits
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