Faye Chamberlain finds herself sitting in a booth at the coffee shop having what she considers a rare thing now here in Chance Harbor: A perfectly normal afternoon. She doesn’t pay too much attention to that fact though; she figures if she thinks about it too much, Cassie Blake will come storming in, (she’s not working today--Faye only came in when she was working the one time, but after that, just--no. No Cassie Blake unless absolutely necessary) eyes wild, yammering about next big threat to the circle. At one point Faye was sure she would have welcomed any new and interesting thing that came her way, but since Shit-storm Blake rode into town she’s finding that she needs more and more time to just breathe. She didn’t think she’d miss the ability to just sit down in a booth and catch up on her homework, but she does. It’s not long though, before a shadow falls over her calculus book and she feels a familiar pool of warmth in her belly.
“Jacob,” she says, eyes not straying from her page.
"Faye,” Jake answers back, and moves to slide in the seat across from hers. After a few moments, she hasn’t stopped looking at her homework and Jake hasn’t said anything. She can practically feel his smirk in her bones though. They play this game often, and each time she swears she’s not going to give in, he can just wait until she finishes this--
“What?” she bites out, her head snapping up to look at him for the first time, “Did you need something, or are you just here to waste my time because Cassie won’t you give you hers?”
Jake flinches, a blink-and-you-miss-it flinch, but Faye catches it, like she catches the corresponding swirl of emotions inside that she knows have absolutely nothing to do with her. She feels bad. It was a low blow, and wholly unnecessary but she can’t help it sometimes. Ever, really. She feels bad, but can’t do anything but wait for Jake to say what it is he wants because she refuses to apologize, and it feels physically impossible to do sometimes. Two words, I’m sorry, and when she is forced to say them, she spits them out bitterly, like something foul on her tongue. It takes too much away from her, and no one knows like Faye how mere words can diminish a person.
“I need something from you,” Jake continues.
“It concerns the circle.”
Faye perks up a little at that. “What about it?”
“Issac,” Jake begins, but immediately stops when he sees Faye freeze up. “I know, I know,” he continues, putting his hands out placating, “I know he’s bad news. The witch hunters--
“Are all bad news, as you should know well,” Faye hisses. “Why are you still---what are you doing still in contact with them? How damaged are you?”
“I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but we keep getting blindsided,” Jake bites out. “We have no idea when we’re going to be attacked or what exactly will be attacking us. Aren’t you always tired of being caught unaware? Wouldn’t you rather be proactive than just sitting around and waiting to be ambushed or for one of us to get kidnapped?”
“Okay, one, the only one of us who is constantly getting kidnapped is Cassie, and that sounds like a personal problem to me,” Faye replies, “and two, how on earth is working with one faction of people who want to kill us being proactive?”
Jake hesitates a minute before answering, “Issac...I don’t know--he treats me like a son or something--I mean he’s never--he stopped coming after us once--”
Faye puts a hand up. “Stop. Just. Stop.” she says. “I, irritatingly enough, know what you’re getting at. You have to know that whatever you and Issac have done or been through, that doesn’t make you allies now. You defected, friend. And just because he holds a soft spot for you now doesn’t mean he always will."
“Which is why we need to use the information he’s giving us while he still has bigger problems,” Jake insists. “And he’s given me information.”
Faye sits back and processes this. So much for a normal freaking afternoon. “Why are you telling me this? Why not go to Cassie or Adam or Diana, Lord High Commander?” Faye asks, rolling her eyes.
“I don’t need to tell you that the idea of us listening to something a witch hunter says would be a hard thing to get someone to do,” Jake says, “especially if I’m the one doing the asking.”
“Yeah, well it’s not like they hold me in such high esteem either,” Faye remarks, and she’s not pouting. She’s not.
Jake gets a look on his face, like he’s about to say something he really doesn’t want to have to say, and Faye feels a thrill because she knows it’s going to be something about her, and if he looks like that while saying it, it’s not going to be an insult.
“You..see into things,” Jake finally gets out. “You know how to read us. Really well, actually. It’s pretty horrible. I think the reason we all get so pissed when you open your mouth and start pouring out crap is that some of it, you know, the bits that aren’t covered with your self-centered brattiness, is true. No one wants to be easy to read.”
Faye sort of already knew all this, and it’s both kind of cool and a little horrifying to have it validated. She’s been on a quest for her own power for a while now, but she’s starting to get the idea that while she may not be the most powerful witch around, she has her own special talents. She suspects they all do.
“So what makes you think I’m going to get behind this idiotic idea anyway?” She asks. “I mean, just because I know that you think it’s a good idea and trust it, doesn’t actually make it a good idea.”
“Maybe I just need you to trust me,” Jake replies, all business. Faye looks him over, and with an almost unconscious effort, feels him out, and finds him to be true. “Fine, whatever,” she replies, rolling her eyes. “It doesn’t mean anything will happen. I make no promises because I still think you’re crazy.”
Jake grins and Faye feels the warmth pool in her stomach again, cut that shit out, she tells herself angrily. lock it right the hell up. “Thanks, Faye. Seriously. We’re meeting at Cassie’s dad’s house at seven.”
“Yes, yes. Now let me get back to my homework.”
Faye feels it the very moment he leaves the cafe and absolutely hates it.
In all honesty, things have been better between Faye and the circle. It’s not like she doesn’t downright loathe them at times, she totally still does, but the loathing has taken a familial turn, where now, even as she wishes Diana would fall off a cliff sometimes and would love to see Cassie Blake humiliated, the urge to protect and defend them is stronger. They’re family now, in all the ways that really matter. She doesn’t have to like them, but she owes it to them to do all she can for them and they owe her the same. That’s what the bond really means.
That’s why she’s really going along with Jake’s ridiculous plan, she supposes as she heads over to the house. She can genuinely sense that Jake wants nothing more than to protect his circle and is trying to do that anyway he can. It’s admirable, really. Faye is the last one to arrive and she takes a minute to look over her circle, the only people in the world who really know her. Adam and Cassie are huddled in a corner, trying to be close, but not too close for the sake of Diana, who’s putting on a good front of not being bothered by their proximity. Faye would smirk at that, but she takes a closer look at Diana, reads just a little deeper and finds that while Diana still hurts, she’s actually...okay. She’s getting over it, and for some reason, the idea of Diana being okay outweighs the chance to be cruel to her about being miserable. Damnit. Melissa is sitting on the couch, her thoughts seemingly wandering. Faye doesn’t need to worry too much about Melissa, but she’s glad all that ridiculousness with Callum is over and done. Before long, Adam manages to pry himself from Cassie’s side and stride over to Jake, glower firmly in place.
“You called us here,” Adam says. “What’s this about?”
Jake shoots a quick glance at Faye and she nods back imperceptibly, or she thinks so, but catches Diana giving them a questioning look.
“I have information about another coven coming into town,” Jake starts. “Our not-so-secret-circle is attracting some pretty dangerous attention.”
Faye opens her mouth to say something about how she’s pretty sure that it has everything to do with Crazy Cassie and her Satan Father when Jake turns and looks at her like he knows exactly what she’s about to say. The words dry up in her mouth. She can’t hear his voice inside her head, that would be too weird, but she can feel what he’s thinking and it something along the lines of, grow the fuck up, we don’t have time for this, and then faintly, be better than this, Faye. You know you are. She blames her sudden shock at this for her next words, which are not aimed at Cassie, but rather, at Jake: “So, are you going to elaborate, or what?”
Jake goes on to tell them about a group of water witches called the Maediris--not dowsers, but a clan of witches who take a good deal of their power from water and being in close proximity to it. (“Well it’s a good thing we don’t live in a city by the water, right? Oh. Wait.” Faye says but Jake just shoots her another look.) He explains that he doesn’t know what they’re coming for but he wants to make the circle aware of the possible danger, “I mean, so far, our visitors haven’t really been the very friendly.”
Diana is the first person to ask. “So how did you find all this out?”
Jake breathes. “Issac.”
The room explodes. “What?”
“Are you out of your mind?”
“Clearly it’s a trap.”
“What are you even doing still speaking with Issac?”
“Knew you couldn’t be trusted--”
“Enough!” Faye yells over the din. “Stop. Just stop for a sec. You have to stop thinking of Jake as the enemy. Do I think this Issac person can be trusted? No, not for a second. But I do trust Jake and if he says the intel is good, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Plus, even if he is lying and this is some kind of freaky witch hunter trap, it’ll give us time to research this new coven ourselves, figure out what their deal is. If they come, they come. If they don’t we can at least do some studying up on their relationship to the witch hunters and figure out why they’d want to come with us with this sort of trap.”
Everyone is quiet. Apparently no one can find fault with that logic, which is ridiculously hard in this group. Faye’s ridiculously proud of herself. And...so, apparently is Jake, judging by the feelings he’s giving off. Faye frowns. Something’s wrong.
They all split up, promising to do research and come back together with whatever they find. Jake stops Faye with a hand as the rest of them file out.
“Thanks for backing me up,” Jake says.
“Yeah, no worries,” Faye replies, and turns to leave again. She’s too tired to respond with something biting and clever. She just wants to get home and figure out what’s going on with her.
“It was nice to see you show a little restraint tonight,” Jake calls out. “I know exactly what you wanted to say when I started talking about the witches.”
Faye turns. “Why do you care?” she asks. “If anything, your precious Cassie would have come up with some self-righteous remark and you would have felt even prouder of yourself for being in love with her and willing to sacrifice yourself to save her.”
Jake’s mouth hardens. “Yeah, well, its just sort of sad to see you embarrassing yourself all the time, acting like a kid. I feel sorry for you.”
And yikes, that hurts. “Fuck You.” Faye turns and walks out of the house. She is so over this. She needs to be over this. Why can he get to her like no one else can?
That night, Faye dreams of water, of hands pulling her down beneath the waves and she wakes up choking on a half-wail, the sound of Jake screaming her name still in her ears.