This kind of stemmed from something keith5x5 said a week or so ago and then I saw liz_marcs mention as well. Faith/Xander fluff. Does it exist? Can it exist with those two?
Since I'm normally all about the angst I actually found it really difficult not to have some darkness in here. Feels odd. And no, I haven't forgotten about Crimson Regret or WaDaDM, they're still being written!
Ah well, enough obsessing - here it is.
Pairing: FX - what else?
Timeline: Post Chosen
Disclaimer: not mine, never will be - I'm just playing in a pretty big sandbox.
Faith dumps the foul smelling stuff into the bowl, all the while skilfully avoiding the black-furred monster currently trying to tie itself in knots around her legs.
“I don’t get it mister. This stuff smells worse now than when it comes out the other end. Sure you don’t want some prime sirloin instead?”
The dog looks up at her and she swears it’s grinning. Yeah, she’s heard all that shit the experts write about dogs not being able to ‘express their emotions’ like that, but she’s betting those so-called ‘experts’ never met a dog like Logan.
Faith can’t help but grin back like a fool, which in turn gets Logan’s tail thumping against the floor. Laughing, she sets the bowl down and nods approvingly as the dog makes no move for it.
“Go on, eat.” The words are barely out of her mouth before Logan’s nose is buried in the food and he’s all but inhaling it.
It’s taken months for Faith to get used to having a dog around. She’s never had a pet before, never had anyone but herself to look out for. It’s an awesome responsibility, another life. Dependent on her. Her grin softens to a smile as she remembers the day Logan arrived.
It had been her birthday but she’d kept it real quiet. She’d been pretty sure no one knew. Despite everything they’d all been through together, she still felt like an outsider. It was stupid, she knew that, but she just wanted to blend in, not make a fuss.
He knew that, or at least she thinks he knew it. The whole day had been spent planning, working out details, trying to find the newbies and trying to deal with the whole ‘brave new world’ deal they’d kick-started. Same as every day since Sunnydale. She’d sat silently, not because she didn’t want to interrupt, it was just that she honestly had nothing to say. She’d never been one for plans, but she could deal if it meant she could enjoy being with them.
Xander had sat beside her the whole time, as quiet as she was. That was another thing that had changed – the motor mouth she’d known in the dark times was gone. He’d been replaced somewhere along the way by Stoic-Guy.
After the meeting had broken up they’d all drifted off to their own little worlds. She had the saddest feeling it was a pre-cursor; that soon they’d all drift apart for good and she’d be alone again.
“Faith? Can I show you something?” Xander had asked quietly, not drawing attention from anyone else.
“Not here, upstairs.”
A thousand retorts flashed through her mind but she bit her tongue and swallowed them down. It wasn’t the time. Instead she just nodded and let him lead the way.
He stopped outside her bedroom (cell) and looked down at his feet.
“Um. I’m not all that good at this kind of thing, but…” he sighed and opened the door. “Happy birthday Faith.”
She looked into the room and saw a huge hatbox on her bed with a mop of black fur surrounding a pair of deep brown eyes peeking over the top. Her heart had stopped beating. How had he known? She looked at him, then back to the thing on her bed, then back at him.
“You’ll catch flies like that.” He remarked.
”Your mouth. It’s open, like a flytrap. And I’ll shut up now before I manage to fit both feet in my own mouth.” He looked down again, all uncomfortable.
Faith gaped at him. He’d found out it was her birthday somehow and he’d gotten her a present. It was the first present she remembered getting that wasn’t a bribe. Or a knife.
She moved towards the bundle on her bed and felt her mouth quirk into a smile as she saw the puppy fall over its own feet trying to climb out of the box. She reached down and scooped it up, holding it gently as it squirmed a little. She stared down at it and felt the exact moment her heart was stolen by those big brown eyes. The puppy craned its neck a little and licked her nose.
Giggling, she turned to see Xander leaning against the doorjamb with that goofy grin of his on his face.
“What’s his name then?” she asked.
“He’s your dog, you get to name him.”
She looked back down at the dog, saw nothing but unconditional love in his eyes, and made the connection.
“Logan. That’s his name.”
Xander just lifted an eyebrow in response.
Faith curls up on the huge couch, watching the little clock on the mantel. Her prediction had been more or less accurate. Nearly everyone has drifted off to their own corners of the world, but she’s not alone.
Logan comes bounding through from the kitchen and immediately flops down at her feet. Within seconds he’s snoring. She doubts she’ll ever understand this dog – one second he’s a bundle of random energy and the next he’s fast asleep. She smiles and reaches down to scratch his ears just as the clock beeps.
She takes a shaky breath and stands slowly. Time’s up.
A few minutes later and she’s back sitting on the couch, this time perched on the edge staring into the middle distance. Logan’s at her feet again, this time he’s gazing up at her, worried. She bites her lip.
Logan’s ears lift a little and she turns to see the front door open. The dog’s clearly torn between staying at her side and going to greet the newcomer. She solves his dilemma by standing and heading into the hallway. Xander’s nearly bowled over as Logan jumps up and greets him enthusiastically. Faith leans against the kitchen door and smiles as she watches them.
“Faith? A little help?” Xander pleads.
She shakes her head, “Uh-uh. You bought him, you deal with him.”
”He’s your dog! You got to name him.” He smiles as Logan finally settles down a little. “You never did tell me, why Logan?”
“How so?” He looks confused, but this is an old argument. She won’t tell him. Not yet.
“Xander? Can I show you something?” She smiles, keeping her eyes downcast.
“Faith, I think you’ve pretty much shown me everything.” He grins at her as she glances up.
She doesn’t reply, just holds up the little white plastic stick with its telltale blue dot she’s been clutching for the last couple of minutes.
Finally she speaks. “You’ll catch flies like that.”