Pacing back and forth in her cell, Faith couldn’t seem to expel her nervousness. Angel had promised he was going to try and come visit her today. She had something to tell him, something she needed his help with, but she wasn’t sure how he was going to take the news.
How could she have gotten herself into this predicament? Nothing like this had ever happened to her, she’d never even come close amazingly enough. Instead it had to be now, after waking from an eight month long coma and then landing herself in prison. It was insane is what it was.
Where was he already? It was driving her insane. The sooner they got this worked out the better she’d feel. Until then she couldn’t stop herself from pacing. She didn’t know what she’d do if there was some big emergency he had to take care of and he couldn’t come today.
The jump suit she was forced to wear began to feel stifling as her anxiousness intensified. Her breathing was becoming labored and she was fighting to control it. Plopping herself down onto her military style bunk, she tried to calm herself. She’d never had a panic attack before, but was sure this is what one felt like.
A guard came to her cell just as she began to feel more like herself. “Lehane, you’ve got a visitor.” Oh thank god. He was finally here.
As she made her way down the corridor behind the guard several cat calls were made. By now the news of her predicament had made its way around the prison. Wasn’t surprising since all the girls really had to do around here was gossip, but still it was kind of annoying. No one needed to be in her business, especially when it came to this.
Reaching the visitor area couldn’t come quick enough. She breathed a sigh of relief as soon as she saw the souled vampire on the other side of the thick plated window. The phone connecting her to the only real friend she had, was in her hand before she even sat down.
“Angel, thank you for coming so quickly.”
He nodded his head as if to say, “of course,” before letting himself speak. “It’s always good to see you Faith. Now what is the big emergency?”
It was now or never, “I’m in a real mess Angel, I need your help.”
6 Months Later…
The day had been long and exhausting but Buffy was almost finished with all her Christmas shopping. The day had been emotionally straining as well. Riley’s departure a few days ago had left her feeling out of sorts. She knew she wasn’t as upset as she should have been, but it was still bugging her.
Trying to forget about the whole thing, she had spent the whole day at the mall trying to find presents for her friends and her mom and Dawn. It was so weird to think that this was the first time she had bought anything for the younger girl. Stupid monks and their bright ideas, screwing with her mind.
A change in her life was coming again, she could feel it. She just didn’t know what it was. There had been a low hum to her slayer connection with Faith the last few months and she wondered if it had something to do with that, but she couldn’t think of what it would be since last she heard the girl was still safely tucked away behind bars where she should be.
She wanted to feel smug about that and hate the other girl, but she just couldn’t. Not after the talk she’d had with Angel a few months ago. She always knew the brunette was troubled, she just didn’t know how tortured a past the girl had. It really made her step back and look at both their actions when everything went down with the Mayor.
She wasn’t ready to forgive her yet, but she was trying.
She was pulled out of her thoughts when she realized she had almost passed right by her house. Walking up the steps she was surprised when her mom yanked the door open before she could even attempt to with all the bags she was carrying. “Thanks mom. Wasn’t sure how I was gonna get that open with everything.”
“Buffy is there anything you’d like to tell me?” Joyce Summers asked as nicely as she could. She wasn’t sure what was going on, but the ‘delivery’ that came for her daughter was a shock and surprise to her.
Not knowing what her mom was getting at, she treaded carefully. “I said thanks, I think?” Just as she finished her sentence she swore she heard a small whimper coming from the other room. “What was that?”
“Follow me,” Joyce told her daughter as she began heading back into the kitchen. Sitting on top of the bar was a baby in a car seat.
“Where did…?” Buffy trailed off unsure of what was going on.
Sighing “I’m not sure, I heard a knock on the backdoor about twenty minutes ago and when I went to check she was just sitting there, nobody else was around. An envelope with your name on it was taped to the handle of the seat.”
Approaching the baby carefully as if it was going to attack, Buffy moved to stand in front of her. The baby seemed to smile at her in a familiar way, and her eyes looked like somebody’s she knew, she just couldn’t place whose. She had just a bit of dark, curly hair.
She was dressed in plain pink onesie and purple shorts, and the car seat was pink as well so she was sure her mom was right about it being a girl. Either that or whoever dressed the baby was a cruel bastard if it was a boy.
“Oh, she’s so cute,” Buffy exclaimed, reaching out to run her hand down the baby’s chubby little cheek.
Joyce smiled at her daughter’s interaction with the baby. She always knew Buffy would make a great mom if she ever made it to that point in her life, but with the Slaying she was never sure if she would have the chance. “Maybe you should see what’s in the envelope.”
“Oh right. Might explain where this cutie came from,” she responded, not taking her eyes off the baby for a second. To say she was enamored was a gross understatement. She fell in love as soon as the baby smiled at her.
Ripping down the side, she pulled out the letter closed within and began to read.
I know this is going to be quite a shock that I’m doing this but I didn’t know who else to turn to. This is my daughter, her name is Nevaeh Lehane. Nevaeh is Heaven spelled backwards and she’s the closest thing I’ve ever felt to that so it seemed fitting. I knew there was no way I was going to get to keep her since I’m stuck prison but I couldn’t see her thrown into the foster care system so I had Angel pull some strings for me. I’ve been in the system and it is not some place I want my daughter, not after what happened to me with some of the families I was with.
I sent her to you because you’re the only one that can keep her safe. I know we’ve had bad blood between us, but don’t take that out on my daughter please, she’s innocent. What I’m really asking is not just to take care of her, but to care for her as if she’s your own. I’m going to be in here a long time and I need to know she’s safe. I’ll understand if there’s still too much between us for you not too, but I’m going to ask anyway.
The only thing I do ask is that you never let her forget me. She’s the best thing I’ve got in this world. You can spin it anyway you want, just let her know that there is someone out there who loves her with everything she’s got.
Speechless, Buffy turned to her mother with her mouth hanging open. She wasn’t even sure what to think now. No wonder the baby’s eyes looked so familiar. They were identical to Faith’s.
“Buffy, what did the letter say?” Joyce asked slowly, unsure of her daughter’s reaction. Instead of answering, the blonde simply handed the letter over for her mother to read. “Well this is certainly a surprise,” she exclaimed after she finished reading.
“That’s an understatement. Why would Faith do this? We practically hate each other. Why would she give me her baby? I can’t believe she had a baby in the first place, I can’t even imagine a pregnant Faith. I bet she was cranky the whole time. So not the point I guess.”
“I don’t know Buffy. Maybe this is her way of trying to make it right. She’s trusting you with something so important to her. That’s a big deal for someone of her background who doesn’t trust easily.”
Buffy sighed knowing her mother was right. This was a big deal to Faith. But she wasn’t even quite twenty years old yet, too young to care for a baby, especially Faith’s child. She didn’t know what she was going to do now. Maybe her mom could take her, I mean she was already a mom. She could just be big sis. Yeah, that sounded good.
Seeing her daughter’s mind work overtime, Joyce feared where her daughter’s thoughts were going. “So what are you going to do Buffy?” she asked already figuring what her daughter would say next.
“Well I was thinking, I’m really too young to have a baby, I mean I’m in college…or at least trying to be. So what if you take her and I’ll just help you out when I can?”
Shaking her head no, the older woman spoke determinedly to her daughter to make sure there was no room for argument. “While I’m glad you didn’t just say hand her over to the foster care system despite Faith’s wishes, this is not an option either. She didn’t ask me to take her, she asked you. You are the one she has trusted with this. I’ll help you where I can, but this is all on you.”
Defeated she knew her mother was right, and when the baby began to cry, Buffy pulled her out of the car seat without a moment’s hesitation and held her close to her shoulder. She was so tiny, and she smelled so good.
“She’s probably hungry. Grab the bottle and formula out of the diaper bag and I’ll help you make a bottle. After you feed her, I suggest you call Giles and the gang and let them know what’s going on.”
Doing as her mother asked, she rocked the baby back and forth trying to keep her calm while concentrating on what her mother was doing. Once the bottle was filled, she moved into the living room to get comfortable on the couch while she fed the little girl. Smiling down at the baby, she knew her life was never going to be the same again.