Chapter 1: Exodus, Part One
Summary: Faith’s adventures at the Massachusetts Academy. (Sequel to Things to do in Boston when You’re Supposed to be Dead and occurring roughly a month following)
Disclaimer: Still don’t own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or X-Men, they’re still property of Joss and Marvel respectively… Anyone feel like helping with a Kickstarter for a buy-out and joint ownership? No? Damn, well enjoy.
Chapter One: Exodus, Part One
Faith Lehane had been mostly silent in the passenger seat of her cousin James Foley’s truck as he’d driven them to the cemetery. It was the last day that the former slayer would be in Boston until at least Christmas and Faith had wanted to say goodbye to Diana before she departed.
It had been twenty-eight days since the sixteen year old had killed Kakistos on the roof of the warehouse that he had made his home and the subsequent burning down of said warehouse along with five other surrounding structures due to the fire that James had started to cause a distraction. Thankfully and to the immense relief of both of the cousins from South Boston, there had been no human casualties aside from those unlucky souls that had already passed on into the next world.
It was about a week following the battle that the Boston police had discovered a hidden basement beneath the shell of the warehouse, containing a couple dozen bodies in varying states of decay, and among them had been the body of Diana Dormer, Faith’s late watcher and one of Kakistos countless victims.
Faith hadn’t gone to the funeral.
It wasn’t that she’d not cared or wanted to, but as she was no longer a slayer thanks to the entity known to her as Whistler, and it was likely that there would be other council operatives in attendance, she figured that it’d be best for all involved if she didn’t re-open the doors to her old ‘destiny’. Plus, she really didn’t want to deal with any of them and felt it best to let them believe she had perished in the blaze. The existence of the third slayer would help with that.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” James asks her as he pulls to a stop on the narrow road that passed by where Diana’s burial plot was, and fixes his younger cousin with a concerned look.
“Yeah, it’s something I need to do before I can really move on.” Faith replies with a firm resolution to her tone and nods as she turns to face him. “She deserved better than she got, and after everything she did for me, it wouldn’t be right to leave without saying goodbye.”
James gives her a nod back as he turns off the truck. “I’ll wait for as long as you need then.”
“Thanks.” She says with a small smile of gratitude to her cousin, before grabbing the single black rose from the dashboard and getting out of the passenger side to make her toward where Diana’s plot was.
It only takes her a couple moments to locate the grave, and a single tear rolls down the side of her face as she sinks down into a crouch before the engraved stone, placing the rose atop it and running her hand down and then over the name carved into the stone.
“I’m sorry I wasn’t strong enough to save you.” Faith whispers to the stone, her voice filled with sadness and self-blame for what had happened. Deep down she knew that there was little she really could have done, but it didn’t make it any easier. James had called it Survivor’s guilt, but then having been killed twice now, Faith hardly felt like a survivor. In her mind she was just a girl whose DNA refused to let her remain dead.
Shrugging out of her morose thoughts, she focuses her gaze back on Diana’s headstone.
“I got him back though Di, he’ll never be able to hurt anyone else again.” She says as she wipes at her cheek to clear it of the solitary tear. “It was for you, all of it.”
She pauses for a moment and emits a heavy sigh before continuing. “I wanted to come and see you before I.. Well, I’ve decided to leave Boston and it didn’t seem right not to come and tell you first. I miss you, and hope that wherever you are now, you’re happy. I won’t forget all that you did for me, who knows where I’d be otherwise. Just thought yah should know..”
The former slayer looks like she wants to say more, but doesn’t seem to have the right words for how she feels, so she opts to lean in close to the stone, and presses her lips against the cold marble for a light kiss before pulling back and rising to her feet.
“Goodbye Diana.” She mumbles out and then turns and walks away from her old life as a slayer for what is likely to be the last time.
To Be Continued…
Note: Since it was asked almost a half dozen times in reviews for Things to do in Boston when You’re supposed to be Dead, I figure I would clear it up once and for all. Faith is Sabretooth’s daughter, and Wolverine’s niece, though this will not be known to her for quite some time.
Thanks to Allen Pitt and Peanut Gallery from FFnet, and Traveller, MistOfRainbows, CrystalBlaze, Raxadian, Hecatonchires, JediKnight and MarcusRowland for their reviews of the epilogue of Things. An extra special thanks to Traveller as well for the post-fin Rec and much love to you all!
Chapter 2: Exodus, Part Two
Chapter Two: Exodus, Part Two
The ride back to James’ house was as quiet as the trip out to the cemetery, save for the light emission of AC/DC’s ‘The Razor’s Edge’ album coming from the speakers of the truck via an old cassette tape that Faith figured that James had probably had since it’s initial release years earlier.
When they arrived and the truck pulled to a stop in the small driveway along the side of the run-down house, Faith wasted no time in jumping out and heading for the side door into the basement without waiting on her cousin. She knew it was rude, considering that he’d allowed her to move in the day after she had slain Kakistos, but with her currently emotional state she didn’t really care. The last thing she wanted was to have her cousin see what she considered a weakness. After all, Lehanes weren’t supposed to cry.
Behind her, James watches her disappear inside with a conflicted look on his face before turning and heading up the narrow walk to enter through the front door into the main floor of the house. He knew that she’d come and talk if she really needed to, or when she’d calmed herself down.
Faith just managed not to slam the door shut behind her before making her way over to the far corner at the back of the basement where she’d set up her stuff in the small den that she’d taken up residence in and drops heavily onto the twin-size bed that was pushed up against the wall.
Most of her belongings were still stuffed in the crates and boxes she’d brought over from Diana’s still, and with her plans to leave for Emma Frost’s school, the Massachusetts Academy out west come the next morning, she had seen no point in unpacking when she’d never planned to stay with her cousin long-term. She’d made a promise to Monet and Tabitha that she would go if they’d helped her with Kakistos and while it may have been a bit of an impulsive decision on her part, she wasn’t going to back out on her oath.
Especially since it was almost a month since Diana had died, and the familiarity of Boston was still as much of painful reminder of what had happened. It seemed that everywhere she’d gone in the city since that day only served to rip the festering wound open further and all she wanted to do was get away so she could heal her mind properly and it was clear, both to herself and James that it would only get worse the longer she stayed.
Turning her head to the side, she catches sight of the small picture frame containing an image of herself, James, Tabitha and Monet that had been taken shortly after she’d awoken from her second ‘death’ at Kakistos’ hands, and she gives a short sigh as she sees the smile on her face, back when she’d just been relieved that the whole ordeal was over and before her depression had taken hold a day or two after Tab and M had gone back to the school.
After a few moments, she can no longer bare to look at the picture and with a quick flick of her wrist she tips it over to lie flat against the surface of the bedside table, and then slumps down on the mattress with her head landing heavy on the pillow.
From her vantage point on the bed, her gaze falls upon the katana that had once belonged to her two-time murderer, retrieved by Monet at the same time that the older girl had flown up and gotten her then-lifeless body off the burning warehouse roof, and with an audible sob, Faith bursts into tears and clutches one of her pillows to her chest as her body begins to shake as she breaks down for what must have been the thousandth time, using it to muffle her cries.
She didn’t even know why she kept the damn thing, remembering all too vividly what it felt like to have it stuck through her not once, but twice. But still, for reasons she couldn’t fathom she’d not been able to get up any real desire to dispose of it, and so it sat atop the stack of sealed crates just a few yards from where she slept for the past few weeks.
Not wanting to look at it at this moment, she turns herself over to her other side, and stares blankly out the small window that looked out over the fenced off yard at the rear of James house, watching the sunset with little to no enjoyment.
After a couple more minutes of now silent sobbing, her eyes drift shut and she’s asleep within moments.
She’s awoken hours later by the shrill ring of her cell phone as it vibrates on the surface of the bedside table and she blinks a couple times as she shoots up into a sitting position, eyes darting around wildly for a moment before she remembers where she is.
“Shiiit..” She mutters out, running her hand through her hair as she turns to look at the alarm clock which read 5:47 am, and with a quick grab, she has the phone in her hand and flips it open before holding it up to her ear. “Hello?” She asks tiredly into the receiver, not having bothered to check the caller i.d. before answering.
“Faith, hey!” Tabitha’s all-too-cheery voice filters through and into her ear and she pulls the phone away at the sudden loudness for a moment before she brings it back to her face to speak.
“Tab? It ain’t even six..” Faith replies back, her voice belaying her lethargy.
“Yeah, sorry ‘bout that.” Tabitha says, still sounding cheery and to Faith, not at all repentant for waking her up at such an ungodly hour. “Thought maybe you’d be up already, it being moving day and all.”
“I wasn’t, but guess I am now.” Faith says with a shrug to herself as she pulls herself back a foot or two to rest her back against the concrete wall. “What’s up?”
“The usual chaos of orientation weekend and a bunch of new snobs to deal with, which if not for the need for secrecy I wouldn’t mind knocking off a couple of those prissy bitches with a bomb or ten. Thank god I was able to talk Emma into letting us be roommates.” Tabitha’s voice answers as Faith shakes her head a few times to try and get rid of her drowsiness. “Monet said to say hi, by the way.” The blonde mutant adds as an after-thought and Faith gives an instinctive nod before realizing that Tabitha couldn’t see her.
Normally, Faith would have little patience for anyone waking her up at such an early hour, but between joint warnings from both Tabitha and Monet about the training schedule that the mutant students of the school followed, and the tight bond of friendship that she and the blonde had formed over the course of the past month, Faith holds her tongue save to reply to her friend with a ‘yeah’ to belay her agreement. The two of them had a lot in common as it had been revealed through their various conversations over the phone during the past month. Both came from poor, under-privileged families, the products of drug-addled and now deceased mothers and absentee fathers, and although Faith did feel a tiny bit of resentment over the fact that Tabitha at least knew who her dad was, she’d decided it would be best to keep her jealousy to herself so as to not end up losing the girl who was quickly becoming her closest friend.
“Tell her hi back for me, and that I’ll see her later today.” Faith replies, still unable to shake off her tiredness.
“So what time are you heading out?”
“About noon, I think. James is gonna drive me up. Hey Tab, not that I don’t like talking to yah and all but I’m still really tired..” Faith trails off, hoping that her hyper-active friend would take the hint and let her go back to bed.
“Right, sorry about waking you up.” Tabitha replies, still cheery, much to Faith’s relief. “I’ll see you when you get out here.”
“You’ll be the first one I look for, promise.” Faith swears.
“Have a good sleep Fay.” Tabitha says at last before Faith hears the click that indicated the other end of the call had been hung up and she flips the phone shut and tosses it haphazardly back onto the bedside table before collapsing sideways back onto the bed and letting slumber take hold of her once again.
To Be Continued…
Note: Thanks and Props to Syed at FFnet for the review and the idea for Faith to have kept Kakistos’ katana as a ‘trophy’.
Thanks also to Gnurd, Raxadian, JediKnight, Michaelangelo and Daveykins at TTH for the most recent set of reviews, both for this story and ‘Things’.
A second and special thanks to Gnurd for being the third person to give ‘Things’ a recommendation.
Chapter 3: Exodus, Part Three
Chapter Three: Exodus, Part Three
“That’s the last of it.” Faith announced as she pushed the crate she’d just carried out of the basement into the covered truckbed of James’ pickup and closed the doors after it. “Let’s get on the road.” She adds as she turns to face her cousin as he comes over after locking up the basement door and gives her a nod.
The pair of them quickly get into the cab of the truck, with James in the driver’s seat and Faith riding shotgun as the truck pulls out of the driveway to begin the three hour or so drive to where the Massachusetts Academy was located in the Berkshire mountains.
“Gonna miss havin’ yah around Fay.” James comments a short while later, as the truck clears the ‘Now leaving Boston – come back soon’ sign, and the former slayer stares at the silver backside of it from the side mirror, on which ‘Blood Clover Gang’ has been spray painted onto it by persons unknown.
“I ain’t leaving forever.” Faith replies, turning away from the window to look at her cousin for a moment, before stealing his lit cigarette right from his mouth and holding it up to her lips to take a drag. “I’ll be back for Christmas and all.”
“I know.” James nods as he pulls out another cigarette, not bothering trying to get his own back from Faith, figuring that with her recently acquired ability of regeneration that it would be highly unlikely that cancer would be a threat to her. Plus with what she’d gone through over the past summer, he wasn’t going to deny her the stress relief that came with smoking.
They fall into a comfortable silence for a long while, with the radio playing on low as the truck passes through town after town. Every so often Faith would catch James giving her a quick but concerned look before he would turn back to face the road ahead when she caught him doing it, and after the fifth or sixth time, somewhere just outside Pittsfield she decides that enough is enough.
“What?” She demands, more curious than anything as to what the looks he kept giving her were about.
“I don’t know if this is the best move for yah.” James tells her after a short pause. “Going to a mutant training ground fronting as a school, and some of the things I’ve heard about that Emma Frost from other mutants around Boston over the years. I don’t think she can be fully trusted.”
“What do you mean?” Faith asks, a little confused as to what her cousin might have heard. “And just how many mutants do you know in Boston anyways?”
“Two or three.” James admits with a shrug. “Rumors have it that she used to work with a Nazi collaborator back in the early to mid-sixties.”
“Doesn’t mean it’s true though.” Faith replies, doubting very heavily that either Tabitha or Monet would be so endorsing of the school if the headmistress was a hate-monger. “Plenty of people back in Boston said plenty of bullshit about our family. Some of it was true, most of it wasn’t.”
“I just want yah to be careful, whether or not there’s any truth to any of it. She’s still well-known to be an opportunist and I wouldn’t put it past her to not have some kind of ulterior and self-serving motive behind this school thing. Just.. don’t let your guard down around her, the woman’s like a pit viper that can read minds.”
“Now that sounds more like you’re speaking from experience.” Faith replies and turns to face her cousin, frowning slightly at the serious expression on his face.
“I am.” He says shortly, not turning to meet her gaze. “Never told anyone this, but years ago when I manifested my ability to generate and control fire, a couple people came out to try and recruit me and she was one of them, along with some guy called Summers and a Dr. Essex, both from other ‘schools’.”
“Why didn’t you go?”
“It was back when my mom was really sick with her diabetes, maybe three or four months before she died when I was fifteen.” James replies somberly. “Wasn’t no way I was going to leave her by herself, plus we needed the money from the job I had back then when I was working towards becoming a mechanic. After she was gone, Emma tried again, but by then I had no intentions of leaving Boston and had decent enough control to not have to worry about any kind of exposure incidents. She wasn’t too happy at my refusal.”
“Huh.” Faith comments as she turns away to stare out the front windshield, seeming to get lost in her thoughts for a moment. “Well if she tries to pull any kind of shit I’ll just leave, ain’t like she can keep me there against my will.”
“Fair enough I guess, I just want yah to be careful is all.”
“Thanks Jay.” She says, grateful that he cared enough to watch her back, especially when most of their family was more or less solely out for themselves. She falls silent for a couple moments before speaking again. “Hey James?”
“Who are the other mutants that you know of in Boston?”
“Cessily Kincaid, Everett Thomas and Ava Carver.” James replies, and Faith’s eyes widen at the mention of the last name he mentions, being that James and Ava had dated in high school before she’d gone off to New York City for college. She’d gone from there to parts unknown following her graduation two years ago, and had not been in contact with him since.
“Ava’s a mutant too?” She asks incredulously, not having suspected that, though it was hardly surprising to her in the end as she’d not even known that James was a mutant until last month. “What could she and the others do?” She asks, now immensely curious.
“Ava’s a telekinetic and slightly empathic, she knew I was mutant even before I did. Everett, well he copies powers I guess, that’s how he described it.” James answers and then pauses for a moment. “Cessily had the weirdest one I’ve seen though, her body is actually composed entirely of liquid mercury.”
“Wow.” Faith says before nodding slowly. “That’d be a cool power to have.”
“Never really gave it much thought.” James shrugs and then once more focuses back on the road, and then it hits Faith.
“You’re still in love with Ava, aren’t you?”
“Never stopped, though it’d have been nice if she had felt the same.”
Faith doesn’t know what to say to that, so she falls back into silence, and both of them spend the remainder of the trip lost in their own thoughts.
Twenty minutes later, they drive by the sign that announces their arrival in Snow Valley.
To be continued…
Notes: Ava Carver is another of my original characters and is loosely based off of the Ava from Roswell. Everett Thomas and Cessily Kincaid are the canon mutants known as Synch and Mercury, for those who didn’t already know.
Thanks to Allen Pitt from FFnet, and JediKnight from TTH for the reviews of the last chapter.
Special thanks also to grd and demonichellfire for the recs, much appreciated guys. XD
Chapter 4: Arrival, Part One
Chapter Four: Arrival, Part One
It hadn’t taken long for Faith and James to find their way from the Snow Valley town sign to the dead-end road that housed the Massachusetts Academy, the directions that Tabitha had given the former slayer over the phone having proved to be easy enough to follow, and it was about seven minutes after they’d passed the sign in question that they found themselves at the closed gates that barred entry to the general public.
“Maybe you should call Tabitha or Monet?” James suggests after a couple moments of waiting, and no indication that the gates were going to open for them.
“I just tried to.” Faith replies with a shrug as she turns to face her cousin. “Tabitha didn’t pick up and I don’t know Monet’s number.”
She turns away from him to look around the area outside the car, and spots an intercom system worked into the stone and concrete wall that surrounded the school.
“I’m gonna try to see if that thing works still.” She says, pointing the intercom system out to James before opening the door and getting out to walk over to it. With a quick look over the connected keypad, she finds the ‘transmit’ button and presses it inward. “Hello?”
There is silence for a couple of moments before an unfamiliar female voice filters through the speakers, asking what Faith’s business was here.
“I’m a new student, Ms. Frost is expecting me.” Faith replies quickly as she presses the button again, and then her gaze flickers further up the wall to find a camera by the top of the gates and she stares up into it for a moment so that whoever is watching has a clear view of her.
“Name?” The voice requests a moment later and Faith turns back to the intercom, and holds down the button again.
“Faith Lehane.” The ex-slayer identifies herself without pause.
There is silence for a few seconds after that and then the voice speaks one more time. “Yes, your name is on the list, drive through and don’t block the gates.”
Faith gives a nod up to the camera and then rejoins James inside the truck as the gate begin to open slowly, allowing them onto the grounds. James drives through and begins up the narrow road ahead of them, keeping the speed to a minimum and Faith turns as they clear the gate, and watches as it closes up behind them.
The narrow road goes in about a quarter mile, a thickly wooded forest lining both sides of the lane and Faith watches the trees as they pass by from the passenger seat and a couple minutes later the truck comes clear of the woods and out into a clearing with several large and old looking buildings, as well as a newer domed structure at the back of the cropping in full view of both her and her cousin.
“Damn.” Faith says with a bit of awe to her tone, having spent the majority of her life within the city limits of Boston. “I think this is going to take quite a bit of getting used to.”
“Missing the city already?” James asks, slightly teasing his younger cousin, who realizes almost immediately and punches him in the shoulder playfully and laughs at his wince. “Thought yah’d given up that slayer strength Fay.”
“I did, been working out like crazy since then, didn’t want to lose what strength I’d built up naturally. Figured that if this whole school thing didn’t work out I could always go back to hunting and would need to rely on more than just these claws I got now.”
James gives a nod back and continues to drive up the road, and then around the circular parkway before pulling to a stop behind a silver Porsche that a couple of uniformed men are working to unload boxes and suitcases from the backseat and trunk.
Both cousins get out and make their individual ways around to the front of the truck and as both come to a stop, one of the uniformed men turns to look at them for a moment, before taking in the sight of the less than classy vehicle behind them before his gaze returns to Faith and James.
“Special class student?” He asks knowingly and Faith and James share a quick look between themselves, acknowledging that both of them were coming to the same conclusion and reading ‘special’ as ‘mutant’, and then Faith gives a nod in response to the man’s question. “You can find Ms. Frost in her office on the second floor, if you need help finding it just ask someone inside. We’ll get your stuff unloaded and brought up to your dorm room.”
“Thanks, I guess.” Faith replies a little uneasily at the thought of someone else handling her property, but in the end she shrugs off her worry and starts up the steps that led to the front door, James following just behind her. She reaches the door and pauses for a moment, unsure if she was supposed to knock first.
“Just head on in, it’s not locked!” The man who’d just spoken to them calls up and Faith gives him a quick look before turning back to the door, twisting the handle and pushing it open.
She enters the building swiftly and James joins her in the entry-way, before she closes the door and turns to take a better look around the area when she suddenly lets out a surprised yelp as she’s grabbed in a tight hug by a blond figure that suddenly comes running out of one of the adjoining rooms with a yell of enthusiasm.
“Hey to you too, Tabitha.” She groans out, feeling more than a bit uncomfortable with the sudden physical contact and Tabitha backs off immediately before giving her a look of apology.
“Sorry, I keep forgetting.” The blonde apologizes, letting her hands fall to her sides. “I saw you pull up from the window and thought I’d be the first one to welcome you. I’m so glad you’re here, been bored off my ass since Boston.”
“It’s good to see you too. The guy outside said that Emma was waiting to meet with me, but I don’t know where her office is.” Faith tells her friend, who gives her a nod.
“Come on, I’ll show you.” Tabitha replies, grabbing Faith by the hand and leading her towards the stairs that led up to the second level, with James following after the two girls a couple feet behind them, with the older mutant wondering how well Emma would take finding out that Faith was his cousin, or his presence here following their last encounter eight years prior, but guessed he’d find out soon enough.
To be continued…
Note: Thanks to DreamSmith, Deathgenous, Slayerstorm, Gnurd and JaCee from TTH for the latest round of reviews, much appreciation to you all.
Chapter 5: Arrival, Part Two
Chapter Five: Arrival, Part Two
Faith allowed Tabitha to pull her up the stairs to the second floor and then down a couple interlocking hallways with the awareness that James was following right behind them. Finally the blonde came to a stop outside a door and Faith quickly mirrored her sudden halt so as to not crash into the suddenly stationary girl.
“This is it.” Tabitha announces to Faith and James before she reached out and gave a couple sharp knocks against the wood of the door.
“Come in Ms. Smith.” A woman’s voice, presumably Emma, called through the barrier, and Tabitha wasted no time following the request in opening the door to step inside. As the blonde cleared the threshold, she turned back and beckoned both Faith and James in as well. Faith entered first, her cousin shadowing her and then following a pointed look from the older of the two blondes, Tabitha leaves the office, shutting the door behind her.
As she came to a stop inside the office, Faith turned toward the offending window as sunlight hit her and had no issues in spotting the blonde woman sitting behind the massive mahogany desk below the window in question.
“Thought yah’d said she was around back in the sixties?” Faith whispered back to James so that only he could hear as she glanced over Emma’s features. She figured if not for the fact that she’d already been informed otherwise, Faith would have guessed Emma’s age somewhere in her early-to-mid thirties. Idly Faith wonders if maybe Emma possessed some kind of similar mutation to her own rapid healing ability.
“I was indeed.” Emma confirmed from where she sat behind the desk, then motioned from Faith and James to two of the chairs opposite her on the other side of the desk. “Ms. Lehane, good to finally meet you. Mr. Foley, so kind of you to finally grace our halls. If you’re looking to enroll finally however, I am afraid this time I must be the one to refuse you. Bit too old for high school these days, no?”
“Funny.” James grunted out in response, and Faith noted only the slightest traces of any humor in her cousin’s tone as both of them take a seat facing the headmistress of the school.
“So I’ve been told.” Emma snipes back, then turned to focus her gaze on Faith. “So this is the infamous Faith Lehane, hunter of vampires.”
Faith’s mouth dropped open for a moment in shock, before she remembered that James had said earlier that Emma was a telepath.
“I was, but I’m mostly retired now.” Faith said after a short pause as she composed herself somewhat.
“Likely a wise choice, from what I’ve seen here and there over the years, too many of those who fight in that war have nasty habits of dying young.” Emma voiced, the older woman having had a number of run-ins with the occasionally demon or vampire, her ability to shift into a living diamond giving her a decent measure of protection against the bloodsucking undead. Most of the demons she’d encountered had been peaceable anyways and so hadn’t been much of an issue. “Now as I understand it, retired or not, I owe you no small amount of gratitude for saving Ms. Smith’s life in Boston last month?”
Faith is silent for a moment, still a bit uncomfortable with the idea of all her thoughts and memories being subject to free view, whether it by Emma or anyone else with that particular power set.
“Yeah.” The ex-slayer finally admitted, not seeing much of a point in trying to deny the allegations. “One of the vampires I was hunting thought she’d make a good meal. Ran him down with an old Chevelle I’d taken off one of his friends earlier that night.”
“So I’m assuming that with your retired status, I won’t have to worry about vampires coming out this way looking for revenge on the slayer, maybe stemming from incidents that may have occurred from before you walked away?”
“It’s doubtful.” Faith says with a small shrug, as she tried to think of any of the vampires that had gotten away from her, mostly non-member’s of Kakistos’ empire and whether or not they would have the cajones to seek her out again. “I took care of one of the worst on the east coast, and with a bit of help his entire crew as well. That should be enough to keep the vast majority of them thinking twice about coming at me. Plus it’s unlikely that they’d come this far out into the woods like this, not enough people around to hide among and still have free reign over the night without being found out.”
“Avoidance via fear, I like that.” Emma comments with a wry grin, before she rose up from her seat and leaned forward a bit to offer Faith her hand with the intent of an official greeting. “I think we’re going to get along just fine, Ms. Lehane. Welcome to the academy.”
“Thank you, ma’am.” Faith replied, rising herself and taking Emma’s hand in a firm shake before both of them release and Faith’s hand fell back to her side.
“If you wouldn’t mind however, I would like to speak with your cousin for a few minutes. I believe Ms. Smith is still waiting for you out into the hallway and as she was so insistent on the two of you rooming together, she can show you there without the worry of getting lost along the way.” Emma told her and Faith gave a quick nod in reply before getting up again and exiting. She tried not to look overly eager to get out of the office, but she was fairly certain that Emma would know by now that Faith had never really gotten on well with most figures of authority in her life.
As Emma had predicted, Tabitha was still lurking outside the door. Without giving Faith much of a chance to protest otherwise, had proceeded to link arms with her as she offered to give the former slayer the ten-cent tour of the school. Faith quickly agreed, if only to appease her new roommate’s enthusiasm, and they’d been off from there.
Later on that night, Faith’s mood had soured considerably. She didn’t know what had been said between Emma and James after she had left with Tabitha, but whatever it had been ended with James tracking her down a mere twenty minutes later to inform her that he needed to go. He’d said that he’d gotten a call from a friend back in Boston about one of his other friends having been in an accident, and that he wanted to get back quick since it didn’t look as if he was going to make it. He was gone moments later, heading for home back east in the truck and going a high rate of speed.
Faith had thought it was bullshit from the moment the words had come from her cousin’s mouth, and that maybe Emma had done something to his mind to having him suddenly running away from her. In the end though, she decided that there was nothing to gain out of it really. If James was just a human, maybe it would have made sense, but with how it seemed that Frost had obvious interest in allying with other mutants, even employing others. It didn’t make sense that she’d want to run off a firestarter.
As she laid in her new bed much later on that night, she finally decided that James would tell her whatever had really happened and been said in Emma’s office when he was ready and until then she’d just have to be patient, much as she hated to not be left out of the information loop. As she drifts off into dream-state, she finds herself imagining what the future of living here at the school had in store for her.
To be continued…
Note: Thanks to Draconis, JediKnight, AllenPitt, Deathgeonous, Gnurd, and Slayerstorm from TTH for the latest round of reviews between this fic and it’s predecessor. Much appreciated guys
Chapter 6: Of Scottish Werewolves and Spirit Warriors
Chapter Six: Of Scottish Werewolves and Spirit Warriors
“So what exactly is this hellion thing all about anyways?” Faith asked Tabitha the next morning as they took up occupancy at an empty table in the far corner of the cafeteria, keeping her voice low enough that only the blonde would hear the question. “Cause while I do want better control over these claws, and whatever else my messed up DNA might have hiding inside it. I dunno if I’m completely comfortable in training to be a soldier and at Emma Frost’s personal beck-and-call.”
“It’s not quite like that.” Tabitha replied, looking a little uncomfortable with Faith’s blunt comments. “Emma’s with the Hellfire Club out of New York City, and sometimes they offer membership to mutants that graduate from the Academy. Monet’s likely to be the one to get the honor, of those members of the senior class with the X-Gene. They’re really exclusive, and entry into the Club’s ranks is rumored to come with secret trials to prove that one is worthy. I’m guessing a lot of the training is for that, so that we’ll all be ready should any of us be the one, or among the ones, to get tapped by the club… Well, that and defensive purposes, the world being such a dangerous place and all.”
Tabitha kept her voice to a whisper as well, ensuring privacy from any eavesdroppers among the other students that were sitting at surrounding tables. Faith listened and gave the blonde a couple short nods of understanding as Tabitha spoke, seeing the logic behind such. She’d seen a couple movies about secret societies and Tabitha’s explanation seemed sound enough as far as the initiation process went. In the end, Faith decided it didn’t matter, as there was no way in hell she’d ever be offered entry or even want it.
“Well, that’s well enough, I guess.” The former slayer told her friend after a moment or two of thinking it over.
Nothing more is said on that particular subject and both the girls fall silent as they start in on their breakfast. A couple minutes pass and the combined attentions of Faith and Tabitha are drawn to another girl, sporting red hair and Scottish features, topped off with a hesitant and shy look as she made her way over to them from the table where she’d been sitting by herself.
“D-da ye mind if I sit ‘ere?” the girl asked, her (hopefully somewhat accurate) Scottish accent heavy enough to mask the insecurity that was clearly visible on her face for Faith and Tabitha to see with ease.
“I don’t mind.” Faith replied with a shrug, then glanced over at Tabitha to see the blonde give a quick nod before the redhead gave a wide smile before dropping down upon one of the unoccupied seats, taking the one to Tabitha’s right.
“Thanks, I was a wee bit worried about having trouble trying to find out who the others were.” The girl says, her tone now reduced to a whisper as well. “Couldn’t help but overhear your conversation from over there, and the whole thing about hellions in particular.”
Faith and Tabitha share a brief look, both having taken a quick glance at the distance between the two tables and seem to have come to the same conclusion, that the girl must be mutant to have heard their purposefully low voices from where she had been sitting.
“Welcome to the academy.” Tabitha says after a moment, her gaze returning to look at the redhead. “I’m Tabitha Smith, and this is Faith Lehane.” The blonde introduced, indicating first herself and then Faith.
“Thanks.” The redhead says again, her tone genuinely friendly. Faith had met enough scumbag cons to tell the difference between real and fake, and from Faith’s first impression of the girl it was doubtful to her that the girl would be able to pull off malicious deceit on any level.
“I’m Rahne Sinclair.” The redhead introduced herself after a slight pause following Tabitha’s words, and then the three girls fell into companionable conversation, now that the connection shared by the three by way of their status as mutants had been discovered.
During the conversation that had followed, both Faith and Tabitha had explained their powers to Rahne, and the Scottish girl had returned the favor. The redhead was a shapeshifter, and could take a number of lupine forms, the most favored by Rahne’s admission being a red furred wolf.
To Faith it brought back the memory of the werewolf she’d unfortunately been forced to have to ‘put to sleep’, following the transformed human’s savage attack on a group of homeless kids in an old factory. It had been during her very first days of her tenure as a slayer, and she still hadn’t mastered her suddenly enhanced strength. She’d worked her ass off to get a firm hold after that night, when an attempt to grab the werewolf in a chokehold so Diana could hit it with the tranquilizer had ended with her accidentally snapping its neck.
The three of them finished up their breakfast fairly quick, and then at Tabitha’s suggestion, went over to the admission office as a group to get their class schedules. After discovering that the three shared a class or two together, they’d broken up to go off to their separate first classes.
Faith’s first few classes went fairly well, though mostly due to her claims on seats as far removed from the front of the class as she could, and keeping silent during any of the verbal discussions that had occurred. She had never been one to call unnecessary attention to herself, and certainly wasn’t about to change her ways now.
It was in her third class, the course of European History, that she felt the burn of someone else’s eyes on her, a seeming side effect of the heightened senses that she still seemed to retain from her days as a slayer, though she wondered if it was completely due to her mutation now that she was still able to do such things. A glance to her left is all it took for her to find the person staring at her, her gaze falling upon a tall Native American teenager sitting against the opposite wall.
The teenager holds her gaze for a long moment without a blink or even the slightest facsimile of anything but an expression that fell somewhere between calculating and assessing, until he finally gives a slow but purposeful nod in her direction. As she was the only one looking, she was the only one to see and so Faith was positive that she wasn’t misreading anything and that his nod could have only been to her, and as if to say that he knew full well who she was.
The former slayer wasn’t wrong, as she’d looked up from gathering her things at the end of the class, to find him walking over toward her.
“Hi?” She said hesistantly, unsure what to make of the guy but a bit uncomfortable with the foot and a half or so that he had over her own height. “Hellion?” She guessed half-heartedly, figuring if she was wrong that she could explain it off as first day nerves having caused her to mispronounce a different word.
To her relief however, the boy had given a nod in response and then proceeded to introduce himself.
“James Proudstar.” he’d stated, as he held out his hand in a casual greeting, and Faith figured he at least seemed genuine enough, and took his offered hand with her own to shake a couple times, and not at all missing the tall boy’s steely grip.
“Faith Lehane.” She’d said back, and after a couple moments of awkward silence, he’d asked about what class she had next and was even then so kind as to offer to walk her there. Faith said why not, figuring if he knew the way already it would at least save her the time.
Deep down though, she was secretly thrilled that she seemed to be on the way to securing another friendship. She hadn’t had many back in Boston, and even among the five or six that she knew she could count on, two were lost to her forever by way of death.
She just prayed that she would have better luck here.
A true fresh start.
To be continued…
Note: After a full day of consideration I have decided on the full roster of hellion students at the academy, numbering 13 out of the roughly hundred or so students in attendance of the Academy.
In addition to Faith, Tabitha, Monet and now Rahne and Proudstar, the remaining hellions to be introduced as the story progresses on as follows: Sally Blevins aka Skids, John Allerdyce aka Pyro, Gwen Raiden from Angel, Sam Guthrie aka Cannonball, Paige Guthrie aka Husk, Manuel de la Rocha aka Empath, Julian Keller aka Hellion (Yes, the Hellion known as Hellion… this won’t get confusing), and Jono Starsmore aka Chamber (done up AOA style, at least for his academy days and barring any horrific events of partial spontaneous-immolation of the chest.. or something.)
Special thanks to Traveller for the new Rec. Much appreciated.
Thanks also to Demonichellfire, Incubuschained, JediKnight, Deathgeonous, Slayerstorm, AllenPitt and Rafestark from TTH for their reviews and suggestions for the other hellions. Hope you all continue to enjoy. XD