Chapter Five

A couple of weeks later . . .

Faith sat inside of her cell, never having had the chance to go outside today like she was supposed to. There had been some sort of commotion among the general population and all outside time was temporarily halted.

Just when Faith needed her outside time the most to get rid of some of her nervous energy, she was forced to stay in her cramped cell.

After about two hours of meditating on the floor with her back to the cinderblock wall, Faith was anxiously looking for something to do. As she reached forward to stretch her sore back, her fingers grazed along the edge of the notebook under her cot. After hesitating for a moment or two, she grabbed the notebook and hopped up onto her cot.

"Now's as good a time as any," Faith mumbled to herself. She opened the notebook to a fresh page and began a new letter.

After about two hours, Faith had successfully written to Angel, Cordy, and Wes. She had already made her peace with Angel, but she figured that she should include him on the list, seeing as that she'd hurt him too and it felt wrong leaving him out.

She found that the letter to Wes was especially difficult to write. She had tortured him almost to the point of death, very undeservedly. He had only ever tried to make her a better slayer. Even when she came to LA all messed up and psychotic, he still tried to talk her down.

But she didn't want to hear it from him. Not from someone who had never been in her shoes before. She took pleasure in torturing him, and probably would have killed him if Angel hadn't showed up.


"There are five basic torture techniques, Wes. We've already done blunt. That leaves sharp, cold, hot . . . and loud. Let's try . . . sharp," Faith taunted.

A bruised and bloodied Wesley stared back at her impassively from his tied-up position on the chair. He knew that Faith was beyond help at that point. Still, he was having a hard time giving up on her, so he tried one last time.

"Faith, why are you doing this? I won't turn you in, or fight you, or even scold you. You've made mistakes. So have I. We all have. You can be rehabilitated. It's not too late for you. Let me help you."

"Aww, you gettin' all paternal on me now, Wes? Well, give it up. You don't wanna help me. You're one of them. You'd kill me at the first opportunity. Who wants a rogue slayer when they can get a fresh new one to mold to their liking?"

"This is no longer about being a Slayer, Faith. This is about being a human. Human beings do not torture and kill one another, monsters do. Tell me, Faith: are you a monster?"

Wes was getting a little bold now, but he figured that he didn't have much to lose.

Faith laughed.

"Umm, Wes? Are you sure you wanna ask me questions like that? I think you're forgetting that I'm the one with the power here. I'm in control of this show."

"That's where you're wrong, Faith. You gave up control a long time ago. You have no power any more, you gave it up when you lost control of yourself."

Faith rolled her eyes and yawned, pretending her best to look bored.

Wes realized that this was a losing battle, so he quit trying to be Mr. Nice Guy. His voice suddenly turned harsh and full of malice.

"You're pathetic. A shadow. A hollow representation of what you used to be, what you could have been. The Faith that we all knew died a long time ago, and whatever crawled into the void where your soul used to be has rotted you from the inside out. Now either kill me or let me go. I'm obviously wasting my time trying to help you."

Faith couldn't hide the anger and the hurt that she was feeling. Her emotions were battling with each other; anger and hurt, hurt and anger.

Tears sprang to her eyes, but she fought them back, blinking them away before they had the chance to fall.

Anger was winning this battle.

With her knife in hand, she lunged at Wesley. Wes saw the attack coming and closed his eyes, waiting for the end.

However, before the knife could make contact, Angel had crashed through the door and kicked the knife out of Faith's hand.

**************End Flashback**************

Faith was still sitting on her cot when she was roused from her flashback.

Faith felt ill, and it wasn't the first time. She had been feeling this way since she'd finally broken down in LA. Between the dreams, nightmares, and flashbacks, she was starting to feel like she was drowning. Her body had been under constant duress, varying from uneven and ragged breathing, to a racing heartbeat, to profuse sweating, to cold sweats.

The meditation and Tai-chi exercises that she'd been doing gave her only a mild and temporary relief. Faith wanted to believe that it would help her though, so she tried to convince herself to keep it up. At least it took the edge off.

Still, she was restless and she longed for a little relief. She grabbed the three letters that she had just finished, put stamps on them, and placed them at the end of her cell to be picked up by the mail cart. She then turned and laid down on her cot, hoping that she could block out her thoughts and meditate a little once again.

After an hour or so, she involuntarily fell asleep.

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