The Many Faces Of Faith, Part 2
Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy, but I do own Sophie :)
Meanwhile, Sophie had found herself in what appeared to be a mall. Being the intelligent and observant little girl she was, she had guessed from her parent's words before she ended up here that she was somewhere lost in time. But, however intelligent and observant Sophie was, she was still only four years old, and after twenty minutes of wandering around different stores and finding no sign of her mother or aunties, the little girl began to cry. Nearby, a fourteen-year old Faith Lehane had been stealthily tucking items inside her jacket. She tried to ignore the cries of the child standing a few metres away from her, but found she just couldn't.
"Damn my conscience" she muttered to herself, making her way over to the little girl. "Hey kid, what's wrong?" Sophie's jaw dropped, surprised by the sight of her teenage favourite aunt, but she quickly recovered.
"I losted my Mommies" she replied, wiping tears from her eyes.
"Mommies? As in more than one?" asked Faith, confused. Sophie nodded. "Boy are you gonna get teased at school. What's your name, kid?"
"I'm Faith" she held her hand out for the little girl to take. "Come on, I'll take ya to the customer service desk, they can help you find your moms." Sophie's eyes lit up.
"Sure" said Faith, leading Sophie through the mall. "My Mom was losin' me in here all the time when I was little. The customer service chick always helped out." The pair soon reached the customer service desk, and Faith sat Sophie on a bench nearby. "Stay there kid, okay?"
"Okay" Sophie replied. The teenage Faith walked up to the desk and began explaining the situation, unaware that Sophie was beginning to fade away behind her. When the future Dark Slayer turned around to check on her, the little girl, through no fault of her own, had completely disappeared. Faith panicked. The woman at the customer service desk looked annoyed.
"It isn't funny to joke about lost children" she said.
"I'm not joking, I left her sittin' on that bench a minute ago!" Faith cried. "Sophie! Where are ya kid? Come on, this isn't funny!" Faith spent the next hour frantically searching the mall for the missing child, but eventually gave up. Why did she even care anyway? If the kid was lost, it was her own stupid fault for wandering off again. Not her problem, never had been. Still, Faith couldn't help feeling a little guilty.
"As soon as I get home, Dawn is so dead" Buffy thought as she wandered around an unfamiliar grocery store. Turning a corner, Buffy spotted a woman reaching for a box of cigarrettes with one arm while a baby dangled dangerously from the other. The baby was slipping, but the mother didn't seem to notice, or maybe just didn't care. Buffy dashed forward, grabbing the child before she fell. Her mother turned, mildly surprised.
"Thanks lady, that could have been messy" she said, before turning back to continue rummaging through the cigarrettes. "You mind holdin' her for a sec?" Buffy had already decided that she strongly disliked this woman. What kind of mother almost drops their baby and then hands them off to a total stranger? As the baby attempted to pull a handful of Buffy's hair into her mouth, giggling, Buffy looked at her properly for the first time, and as she registered the deep brown eyes and growing mop of dark hair, she felt a lump in her throat, now knowing exactly who's mother could almost drop them then hand them off to a total stranger.
"She's um, a beautiful baby" Buffy managed to get out. "What's her name?"
"Faith" said Faith's mother, finally locating the cigarrettes that she wanted. "It was more my mom's idea than mine, she adores the bloody kid." She turned back to Buffy. "Well, thanks for holdin' her." After a few seconds Buffy forced her arms to move, reluctantly handing baby Faith back to her mother. Buffy felt as though her heart was being ripped into millions of pieces when the baby began to cry, stretching her tiny arms out towards the slayer. Resisting the overwhelming urge to snatch her infant soulmate back, Buffy bolted from the store, dropping to her knees outside as magic pulled her away.