Isn't this what she wanted? (set during Touched.)
Faith lets the door shut behind her with a soft click.
The house feels warm; humid, in a way. Maybe it's just the damp, sticky feeling still lingering between her thighs, but somehow she feels as though she's entered the afterglow of a thunderstorm, where everything -- most of all the silence -- is hot and heavy.
It isn't how she expected it would be, life out of prison. Somehow she assumed that the sky would be bluer, the breeze cooler, the people more understanding than she remembered. Instead she feels a depression pressing down on her shoulders, far worse than the sudden panic that would leave her heart thudding at night with the ache to /just leave just get out of here/, than the knowledge that she was a Slayer reduced to begging for a few crappy cigarettes and it was all her fault. Her physical freedom, that which she longed for on countless sweaty nights, is useless here.
Here there is Responsibility, in all its glory, like a sandbag wrapped around her neck.
The staircase announces her presence with small creaks beneath her feet. She has the strangest feeling that no one will notice.
The girls -- ten or twelve of them, anyway -- are scattered about the living room, their shorts rolled up and their tank tops slipping off of their shoulders. It comforts her slightly, seeing that she isn't the only one suffocated in this house. Her nose wrinkles as she comes closer to the room, and she suddenly understands why at least half of them are bent into strange positions, examining their feet. Nail polish.
They have possibly one last night on this earth, and they're spending it painting their toenails orange.
She leans against the doorframe and sniffs slightly. Eleven heads immediately whip towards her, and she raises her hands mildly in the air. "Whoa there. I come in peace."
The potentials exchange looks, and Faith swallows. "Can't sleep?"
A blonde girl in front of the coffee table shakes her head gravely. Amanda glances towards the kitchen, and scrunches up her face. "We think we heard Xander and Anya having sex."
"You..." Her throat traps the words as she realizes something.
They're children. Little girls. Innocents; virgins.
And now they're in her hands.
Run. Get out of here now. Leave before you're tied to it, don't let this suck you in, you still have a choice, save yourselves -
She coughs, easily passing off her emotion as a tickle in her throat. "You're surprised by that?" she says lightly, raising her eyebrows. "You've heard Anya. She's hornier than a fifteen-year-old boy in the Playboy mansion." There are a few snorts around the room, and Faith forces a smile, if only for a moment. "No, seriously, guys, get some sleep. Big day tomorrow. I need you at full potential strength, 'aight?" They nod slowly, shifting, reaching for blankets and pillows strewn around the room. "And put away that nail shit. Too much of it can get you high or something, y'know."
"Maybe we can dump nail polish all over the vamps and hope the fumes knock 'em out."
"Vampires don't /breathe/. Duh."
She smiles for real this time as she turns away to return upstairs, but a small voice stops her as she reaches the staircase. "Faith?"
She turns and sees Vi looking up at her from an armchair, a blanket resting over her feet. Her hair is slightly mussed and in the candlelight the hollows in her face look deeper. "Yeah?"
Vi smiles at her nervously. "Thank you."
Faith stares at her for a long moment. She forms her words carefully. "Don't thank me until it's over."
As she climbs the stairs one by one, she can't help but think that even if they survive the battles to come...they'll never have true reason to.