Chapter One

Faith wasn't exactly sure how she was feeling when she first went to prison. A million thoughts were going through her mind all at once.

Part of her was pissed off. She went to LA to escape the trouble she'd made for herself in Sunnydale. Sure, she had wreaked a little havoc once she'd arrived in LA, but then Angel had gotten through to her. He offered his help and said that he would see her through to the end, knowing from his own personal experience that the road to redemption was a rocky -- and lonely -- path.

With the arrival of the goons from the Watcher's Council and the ever-growing police threat, she knew that her days were numbered. After an emotional evening facing Buffy and having way too many close calls for her liking, she turned herself into the police and was sent to prison, twenty-five years to life.

She was bitter at first, thinking that her incarceration was due in part to Angel's influence. Still, that wasn't exactly fair. After all, Angel had tried to help her, like a true friend. He couldn't help the fact that her past had finally caught up with her.

It was her own damned fault, and she was learning to accept that.

On the other hand, part of her was relieved. Sure, she was a Slayer and could escape if she really wanted to. But she had no intentions of leaving. Faith didn't have to run this time. She could take advantage of her time in prison and confront the darkness and demons that had haunted her for so long. She wanted to redeem herself, and if that meant rotting in prison, then so be it.

She had nothing but time on her hands now.

Still, something was nagging at Faith. She'd let so many people down. She'd lied, stolen things, and hurt many people more than just physically. She'd toyed with people, broke them down and made them miserable, and just when they thought they were as low as they could get . . . she broke them just a little bit more.

And she'd liked it.

Her time in prison could be used to confront her demons, but still -- how was she going to make amends with those that she'd wronged? How could she redeem herself to all of the people that she'd hurt if she was sitting in a jail cell?

Six months had passed and Faith continued to think about it. She decided that in order to break the ice, she would write a couple of letters.

After much agonizing over where to begin and with whom to start, the first and most obvious person was Buffy.

Buffy had been the one person who had really tried to make her feel like she belonged, and Faith had taken total advantage of her. She was so jealous of Buffy; from where Faith was standing, Buffy had everything in the world but it still wasn't good enough.

She'd betrayed her at the first opportunity, doing the most horrible things to her family and friends. How could she apologize for that?

'Hey B, I'm sorry that I picked the Mayor over you. Oh, and that whole body-swap and sleeping with your boyfriend thing? Total mistake. My bad! Hope ya can forgive.'

Yeah right.

It was looking to be a more difficult task than she'd imagined, but she needed to start somewhere. Baby steps.

Sitting in her cell, Faith pulled out a spiral notebook and a pen and began to make a list. Buffy was at the very top, but she wanted to wait on writing her a letter, knowing that she had to do some serious thinking about what she wanted to say. Just below Buffy's name, she added Giles, Joyce, Willow, and Xander.

But the list didn't stop there. She also had to add Angel, Wesley, Cordelia, and various other people that she'd crossed over the last couple of years.

As the list continued to grow, so did Faith's apprehension about writing the letters. She couldn't help but think that it was a silly idea; that a letter couldn't do anything to alleviate the pain she'd caused. Angel, though, had assured her that it would help in her quest for redemption, even if she wrote the letters and didn't send them. The simple act of getting those things off of her chest would help her in her own journey.

Faith appreciated the visits from Angel, no matter how sporadic they were. Playing the good guy and saving the world on a weekly basis tended to put a damper on his social schedule, no matter which city he was in.

LA, Sunnydale; it was all the same. Bad guys were everywhere. Faith saw one every time she looked into the mirror.

One thing that Faith appreciated about Angel was that he was always kind and caring when he came to visit her. He'd fill her in on the happenings around LA and Sunnydale, which always made her time in the prison seem a little bit more bearable. Knowing that life continued on the outside? Made her feel a bit less guilty that she hadn't fucked up everything for every person that she ever came across.

Angel would also just listen to her when she needed to spill. He never judged her, which made it that much easier for Faith to empty her heart out to him. No interruptions, no lectures; just a shoulder to lean on, and an unbiased ear to listen.

For the first time in Faith's life, she learned what it was like to trust someone with her thoughts.

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