Prompt #39: Letter


It’s not an apocalypse or a demon infestation that sends the gang for their next tailspin. No, it’s something a lot simpler than that, but something they’d never expected. Something they didn’t even know was possible.

Faith got a letter in the mail.

It’s from her father.

Not only did they not know that she had a father in her life, but they didn’t know that he’s still alive either. Faith makes it a habit to not talk about her past other than short tales or funny stories. Not even Buffy knew about Faith’s dad and Faith can tell that it’s bothering her girlfriend. She knows everything about Buffy; still, she just feels like she wants to keep her ugly past in the ugly past.

While the gang tries to quietly discuss it in the kitchen, Faith heads upstairs to her room for some peace and quiet. It’s not that she doesn’t want to talk to them about it; she just doesn’t want to talk to them about it right now. She needs to wrap her head around it first.

When she gets up to the room she now shares with Buffy, she finds Buffy already there, apparently waiting for her. Faith feel almost guilty for a minute, but then she realizes that she has nothing to hide. If Buffy wants the whole sordid truth, she’ll get it. Faith walks over to the bed and climbs up on it, sitting opposite Buffy with her legs crossed Indian-style, copying Buffy’s position.

“I grew up thinking that he was dead,” Faith begins. “Ma thought it’d be better to think that than to know my old man was in the clink for murder.”

“Did you ever think about him?” Buffy asks quietly and Faith shrugs.

“I was a kid. He was gone when I was four. Just kinda forgot about him.”

“And this is the first time you’re hearing from him since then?”

Faith shakes her head. “Nah. Found out the truth before I became a slayer. My watcher, Diana – she thought it’d be good for me to see him. Went to the jail and the bastard actually cried. Asked me to forgive him.”

“Did you?”

Faith shakes her head again. “Lied through my teeth. Sat there and told him we were fine, but the whole time I kept thinking how much I wanted him dead. My home life was never exactly what you’d call great.”

“And you thought having him around would have made things better?” Buffy asks.

“Honestly” Faith thinks about it for a moment. “No. Just kinda want someone to blame for all the bad, yunno?”

Buffy nods and interlaces the fingers of her right hand with Faith’s left. “So why the letter now?”

Faith takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly.

“He got out. Won some kind of appeal, got his charge reduced from life to twenty-five years. Already served twenty, got out on good behavior. He’s on parole so he can’t leave the state. Wants me to come and visit.”

“Wow,” Buffy says after a minute, both of her eyebrows raised.

“That about sums it up,” Faith replies with a nod.

“Are you gonna go?”

Again, Faith shakes her head. “No. I already closed that chapter, said my goodbyes. My ma’s long gone, my gramps is too. Boston ain’t got anything I want anymore. I dunno how he even found me.”

“If you don’t reply, he’ll just keep sending letters, baby. And he won’t be on parole forever. One day he could just show up here.”

“Already thought about that. And that’s why,” Faith pauses as she leans over and pulls the letter from her back pocket. It’s back in the envelope and sealed with a piece of tape. There’s some handwriting on the front of the envelope and it reads No Known Addressee. “I’m sendin’ it back.”

Faith tosses it on the bed beside them and Buffy picks it up, looking at the worn envelope. It looks obvious that Faith has opened and read it several times. Her dad will probably know that too. This is just Faith’s way of telling him that she’s not interested.

“You’re sure?” Buffy asks.

“Fuckin’ positive.”

“Well okay then.”

At that, Buffy gets up from the bed and leans in to give Faith a kiss on her temple, then stands up straight and smiles.

“I’m gonna go for a walk, drop this in the mailbox. You wanna come?”

Faith stands up and pulls Buffy into a hug, then lets her lead them through the hallway and down the stairs.

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