by Kristjan Brezovnik

"Hey," Faith said when they met in their dreams.

"Hey," Cordelia replied and they kissed.

"Guess what."


"Mom's going to LA for a conference on Friday and she comes back on Sunday morning."

"Really? Really?!" Cordelia added when she realized what that meant.

"Yep. You think she could stay in your apartment?"

"Yeah, sure! I can leave the key with Angel, in case she doesn't get to my place before I leave."

"Good, I'll tell her."

"And then we can have Alice all for ourselves," Cordelia said with a big smile.


"Like a big happy family."

"Well, not that big."


"And speaking of family," Faith said and hesitated for a moment, "shouldn't you finally go visit your dad?"

Cordelia frowned and then nodded. "Yeah, I know. It's just, well, first, I was angry with him because I felt I was suddenly poor and I had to find a job. And now, well, so much time has passed that I'm. embarrassed."

Faith smiled. "I'm sure your dad would like to see you."

Cordelia nodded. "I'll have to ask Mom about how he feels."

"A good idea," Faith agreed. "And we should also ask her about how much he knows. I mean, it would be kinda weird if you brought your girlfriend with you and he didn't know you had one."

Cordelia laughed. "A good point."

"I'll ask Mom."

Cordelia smiled. "You know, it's funny."

Faith looked at her, puzzled. "What?"

"How you call my mom Mom and my dad, well, my dad."

"Oh. Well, I love your mom like she was my own and she loves me back. As for your dad, well, I've never met him before and I don't exactly feel like he's my dad. Yet, anyway. I mean, sure, I have your memories of him, but, well, you know."

Cordelia smiled. "I understand."

"But Alice might like him."

Cordelia thought. "Perhaps. I mean, all the men she had met so far were probably bastards."

Faith frowned. "Yeah." She sighed. "I hope she likes him, I'd like her to have a dad."

"Me too," Cordelia agreed.

"Any guesses about when he's coming out?"

Cordelia shook her head. "No. You'll have to ask Mom."

Faith nodded. "I will."

They quietly lay on the bed, holding their hands. "Perhaps we should visit him on Sunday," Cordelia spoke after a few moments.

"This Sunday?"

"Yes, after Mom comes home."

Faith considered the idea. "Okay."

"And if all goes well, we can take Alice to him the next Sunday."

"Yes," Faith agreed. "As a matter of fact, Mom's already said she could take Alice to him, but I said no, I wanted to meet him first."

Cordelia smiled. "He's a good man," she said.

"I know. Still."

"I understand."

Faith smiled. "Good."

"So, what's new at the Hellmouth?"


Finally Friday came and with it a storm. Faith was anxiously awaiting Cordelia's arrival, hoping she wouldn't have an accident in the bad weather. She didn't. Even before Cordelia's car completely stopped, Faith was opening the door, holding an umbrella.

"Hey, everything's fine," Cordelia said with a smile, noticing Faith's relief.

Faith smiled back. "Yeah, I know."

Cordelia got out and they kissed. "Missed you," she said.

"Missed you too. Oh, Mom called and said she got there safely."

"Good. Where's Alice?" Cordelia asked as she opened the back and took out her bag.

"In the living room, watching TV."

Cordelia smiled. "Where else?"

Faith smiled as well. "Yeah, but guess what she's watching."

Cordelia raised an eyebrow. "Cartoons?" she ventured.

"Nope, the National Geographic Channel."

Cordelia laughed. "You're kidding."


"How come she's watching that?"

Faith shrugged. "They had some documentary about some cute marsupials."

Cordelia laughed. "I'm sure none of them are as cute as you."

Faith blushed and gently nudged her. "Flatterer."

"Of course I'm a flatterer."

"Cordy!" Alice cried and came running to her.

"Alice!" Cordelia cried back, dropped her bag and picked up the girl. "How are you?" she asked her and kissed her on the forehead.

Alice smiled and giggled.

"Are the marsupials behaving?"

Alice gave her a puzzled look. "Who?"

"Those cute furry things you were watching on TV."

"Oh," Alice said and smiled.

Cordelia kissed her again and put her down.

"Hello, Cordelia," Maria greeted her.

"Hi, Maria." She looked at Faith. "I think I'm gonna go shower right now."

Faith smiled. "Feeling cold?"

"Yeah," Cordelia confirmed and shuddered. "Just the thought of that weather makes me cold. You gonna stay home tonight?"



Faith smiled. "You bet."


They went to bed earlier that evening, right after tucking Alice in. They were in the middle of making love, both completely naked, and Faith was about to dive between Cordelia's legs when the door suddenly opened and Alice burst in, holding her favorite teddy bear. Faith and Cordelia immediately covered themselves, surprised and a bit embarrassed, and Alice stopped, shocked.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean." she started and began to back off.

"Hey, it's okay," Cordelia said and smiled, noticing Alice's fear.

Faith smiled as well. "Come here," she said and offered her her hand.

Alice hesitated for a moment, still scared, and then slowly started to approach.

"That's it," Cordelia encouraged her. "You know we won't hurt you."

Alice nodded and approached a bit more boldly. When she got to the bed, Faith picked her up and caressed her.

"Afraid of the storm?" she asked and Alice nodded. "Do you want to spend the night with us?" Alice nodded again. "Okay."

"Alice," Cordelia said and the girl looked at her. "We're not angry at you for barging in like that, but we would appreciate it if you knocked before entering, okay?"

"Unless it's really, really important or if you're really, really scared," Faith added.

Alice nodded, not afraid anymore, and her sisters smiled.

"Okay, let's get dressed then," Cordelia added and got up.

She quickly put on her panties and a large T-shirt and then closed the door. Then she returned to bed and lay down. Faith gave her Alice and then dressed herself. Alice cuddled up to Cordelia and Faith then cuddled up to both of them.

"Night, Alice," she whispered.

Alice mumbled something, already half asleep. Faith smiled.

"Night, Cordelia," she said.

"Night, Faith."


While she was on patrol the next evening, Faith was thinking about Cordelia, as usual. Suddenly a demon crossed her path. He looked pretty pathetic, but Faith took her stake and immediately attacked him anyway.

"Hey, watch it!" the demon protested. "That thing is sharp."

Faith paused for a moment, surprised. "That's the point," she said.

"Yeah? Well, keep it away from me."

"No can do. I'm a Slayer, you're a demon. I kill demons, therefore I have to kill you."

The demon rolled his eyes. "Damn Slayers," he complained, "no manners."

Faith was baffled, but she attacked him anyway. The demon sidestepped and she barely avoided getting hit in the head. They traded a couple of blows, but none got the advantage. Faith did notice, though, that the demon seemed to be a bit stiff.

"What's the matter," she taunted him, "been lying in a tomb for too long?"

"As matter of fact, I have. Some moron wanted to become a demon and the locals dropped Mauna Kea on him. Unfortunately, I've been around then and got caught. So you'll excuse me if I'm not at my peak."

"Of course," Faith said, grinning, and attacked him again.

"Anyway, why do you have to kill me?"

"Because you're a demon."

"So you said, yes, and in case you have any doubts, I knew that before you pointed it out."

Faith couldn't believe her ears. "You're a smart ass, ha?"

"I'm smart, yes, but the last time in checked I wasn't an ass and I'd appreciate if you refrained from insulting me."

"Ooh, touchy, are we?" Faith mocked him and barely escaped a kick in the head.

"No, not really. It's just that I have this, how shall I call it, a delusion that good guys don't swear and stuff. But then things must have changed since the last time I've been around." He jumped, avoiding Faith's sweep. "So, anyway, do you think we could call it a draw? Not that I mind the workout."

Faith stared at him, surprised. "What's your problem, anyway?"

The demon blinked. "I'm a demon, I thought that fact was obvious to you."

"Yeah, so?"

The demon rolled his eyes. "That's my problem."

Now it was Faith's turn to blink. "You don't like being a demon?" she asked with disbelief.

"Like it? What's there to like? Oh, don't get me wrong, I liked being a demon, at least for the first couple of thousand millennia, but then this routine of trying to rule the universe got lame. Not to mention that the boss is. Well, you don't want to know what I think of him. And Hell, well, it's kinda boring, just pain, pain, pain and pain. Did I mention pain? Anyway, Heaven is also boring, but at least there they have all those cute angels and their boss, mmm."

"Their boss?" Faith asked as she continued to try to do her duty as a Slayer.

"Goddess." The demon was distracted by his thoughts and Faith kicked him in the head. "Ouch!" he said as he staggered. "That was not very nice of you," he complained.

"Sorry," Faith said with a grin and avoided a vicious blow to the ribs. Then she frowned. "Goddess?" she asked and ducked.

"Yes. The so-called supreme being is not male as those stupid Christians think, and others as well, it has no sex, but it prefers the female characteristics to contrast my boss."

"And that is?"

"Devil, who else?"

"Right," Faith said and tried a roundhouse, but the demon stepped out of range. "So, you didn't like it in Hell and they obviously didn't let you into Heaven, so now you're here. Right?"

The demon laughed and paid for it when Faith kicked him in the stomach. "I'm crushed," he said. "The world must've gone downhill, there's no chivalry left."

"Yeah, life's a bitch," Faith said.

The demon frowned, but still managed to block Faith's roundhouse and push her back. "That's an interesting expression," he said.

"Oh brother," Faith said, "a demon who's interested in linguistics."

The demon ignored that. "To answer your question, I didn't leave Hell, I was thrown out."

Faith frowned and then started to laugh. The demon used that and kicked her in the groin and then in the head. Faith dropped to the ground and barely avoided being stomped on by the demon. She quickly got up and shook her head. She was a bit dizzy and she decided to keep her distance until her head cleared. "You got thrown out?" she asked, curious, trying to buy some time.

"Yes. Embarrassing, isn't it?"


"Well, the boss thought it would be an educational punishment if he put me in this pathetic form and sent me here. A bad practical joke, if you ask me." Someone kicked him from behind and he staggered forward, barely avoiding Faith's kick. "Hey!" he said and turned around. "Who the hell are you?" he demanded when he saw his new opponent.

"I'm Buffy. A Vampire Slayer."

The demon looked at both Slayers. "More? I thought there was supposed to be only one."

"Yeah, well, shit happened and now there are two."

"Brother," the demon said and Buffy looked at Faith, curious. "You said you're a Vampire Slayer?" he asked.


"Then go slaying vampires and leave me alone."

Buffy's jaw dropped and she looked at Faith again, surprised. Faith laughed when she saw Buffy's expression. The demon used their distraction and knocked them both down.

"I thought you were complaining that there wasn't any chivalry left," Faith said, rubbing the spot where he demon had hit her.


"You're not being very chivalric."

"That's because I'm supposed to be a bad guy and bad guys aren't supposed to be chivalric. I thought that was obvious. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm outta here."

"You don't want to kill us?" Buffy asked, surprised.

The demon blinked. "Why would I want to do that? After all, you are only doing your job and somebody's got to keep other demons in line."

Buffy's jaw dropped again and she stared after the demon as he left. Then she looked at Faith. "Who the hell is this guy?"

Faith shrugged. "Beats me."

Buffy looked at the demon again. "He sure has a weird attitude for a demon."

"Tell me about it," Faith agreed and moaned as she tried to get up. "But he sure hits like hell." She stretched. "So, I heard Oz came back."



Finally Sunday came and Cordelia and Faith got ready to visit Cordelia's dad. They were both nervous, Cordelia because it had been a long time since she had spoken to her dad and Faith because she had never met the man and she didn't know what he was like, even though she had all of Cordelia's memories of him. They held their hands as they waited for the guards to bring him to the visitors' room.

Finally he came. They both got up and Cordelia approached him. "Dad," she said, not quite sure how he felt about her.

"Cordelia," Mr Chase said, smiling, and hugged her.

Cordelia hugged him back, glad that he wasn't angry. "I'm sorry," she said when they stopped hugging.

"What for?" Mr Chase asked, confused.

"For not coming for a visit sooner. I was. angry at you."

Mr Chase smiled. "I know. I'm sorry for what you had to go through because of me."

"Well, I'm doing better now. Dad, this is Faith, my girlfriend." She turned to Faith. "Faith, my dad."

Faith came closer and offered Mr Chase her hand. "Nice to meet you."

She trailed off, not quite sure what to call him. "Nice to meet you too, Faith," Mr Chase said with a smile. "Why don't we sit down?"

They sat and Faith moved closer to Cordelia so they could hold hands. "Em, Mom said you already know everything that's going on in Sunnydale," Cordelia started carefully.

Mr Chase nodded. "Yes."

"And?" she asked anxiously.

Mr Chase smiled. "Where to begin?" he said thoughtfully, rubbing his chin. "Well, I hear you have become very independent. That's good. I don't mind you having a girlfriend and that she lives with us. From what your mother tells me, she's a nice girl," he glanced at Faith. "And very special. I'm proud of you, both of you. It takes courage to do what you two are doing," he said and both girls blushed. He thought for a moment. "Ah yes, then there's Alice. Where is she, by the way?"

"Home," Cordelia said.

"I wanted to meet you first," Faith added.

Mr Chase smiled. "You wanted to make sure I'm okay."

"I already know that, but all the memories I have of you are old. I just wanted to meet you in person first and make sure you're still. you."

Mr Chase smiled again. "I'm still me, but I have changed. For the better, I hope. Anyway, about Alice." He thought for a moment. "It's been a long time since I've seen your mother so. vibrant," he told Cordelia.

Both girls smiled. "Yeah, she is. She even spends more time with me that she did before."

She trailed off and Mr Chase nodded, understanding. "Yes, she told me." He smiled. "I just can't wait to get home."

"Me neither."


"Well?" Faith asked as they met in their dreams that night.

"Well what?" Cordelia asked, puzzled.

"Your dad."

"Oh." She thought for a moment. "I'm so glad we visited him. He's. changed."

"I know."

"I mean, before, he would have been very upset, he probably was, but Mom never told us, but now, he's."

"A really nice guy?" Faith suggested.

Cordelia nodded. "Yes." She thought for a moment. "I really wish he would get home soon."

Faith rested her head on Cordelia's shoulder. "Me too," she said. She hesitated for a moment. "Em, I'm sorry."

Cordelia looked at her, confused. "What for?"

"For assuming you love Alice any less than I do."

"What?" Cordelia asked, still not comprehending. "When?"

"When we were visiting your dad. I said that I wanted to make sure that he was still himself."

"Oh," Cordelia remembered. She smiled and kissed her on the temple. "It's okay, Faith, I understand. As a matter of fact, you took the words right out of my mouth."

Faith smiled back. "Thanks."


The next day, Cordelia drove Faith to school before going back to LA.

"Hey guys," Raelee interrupted their last kissing session for the week.

"Hi," Faith said when she and Cordelia stopped kissing.

"You're still here?" Raelee asked Cordelia.

"Yes," Cordelia said. "I was visiting Dad yesterday and I decided to spend the night."


"I haven't seen her before," Faith said.

"What?" Cordelia said and looked at her, startled.

"Her," Faith said and pointed at a girl.

The other three girls looked at her. "She must be new," Raelee said.

"She looks."

"Angelic," Cordelia finished Faith's thought.

Faith looked at Cordelia, surprised, and then they both smiled. "Yeah," Faith agreed.

"She's an angel," Lara said quietly.

"What?" Raelee asked, surprised.

Lara looked at her, confused. "What?"

"What did you say?"

Lara thought for a moment. "Nothing," she said, puzzled.

The new girl looked at them and smiled.

"I like the way she dresses," Cordelia commented.

"I didn't know you like ravers," Faith commented with a smirk.

Cordelia smiled. "Not really, but I like her style."

Faith grinned. "Looks like the bitch club is already in action," she commented and Cordelia grinned as well. "I wonder if she'll join them."

"Let me know," Cordelia said and glanced at her watch. "Em, I really should be going now, Angel's pretty helpless without me."

Faith laughed. "See you tonight then," she said and they joined for one final kiss.

"Yes. Bye guys."



Cordelia got into her car, blew one last kiss to Faith and drove away.

"Shall we go in?" Faith said when the car disappeared behind a corner.



"Hi, I'm Cassandra," Cassandra introduced herself to the new girl. "We're a sort of an unofficial welcoming committee. So, what's your name?"

The new girl observed her for a moment and then smiled. "Gabrielle."

"Well, Gabrielle, I."

"Cassandra," Gabrielle stopped her, "I'm not here because of you."

"What?" Cassandra said, confused, and Gabrielle smiled.

"You're a nice girl, but you have to face your fears."

"What the hell are you talking about?" Cassandra said, puzzled.

"I'm talking about the fact that other people's opinions matter more to you than your own. You've already lost friends because of that." She looked at Cassandra's companions. "You know, it's warm in the sun," she said and smiled when the two girls looked at her, confused. "You don't have stand in Cassandra's shadow and try to be another Cassandra, just be yourselves." She looked at Rochelle. "And don't be afraid of your gift." She looked back at Cassandra. "I'll see you around."

She left and the three girls stared after her, confused.

"Who the hell does she thinks she is," Cassandra finally said, Gabrielle's words strangely touching her.

Rochelle and Denise looked at each other but said nothing, both still thinking about what Gabrielle had said, especially Rochelle, who didn't understand what Gabrielle mean with the gift.


As they changed for gym class, Raelee bumped into Gabrielle. "Hi, I'm Raelee," she said.

Gabrielle looked at her and smiled. "Gabrielle," she said and they shook hands.

"You new here?"


"Where're you from?"

"New Heaven."

"Oh." She glanced at the bitch club. "You're not hanging out with them?"

Gabrielle glanced at the three girls. "No. They." She thought for a moment for an appropriate response. "They're a bunch of airheads."

Raelee laughed. "Yeah, they." She trailed off, noticing the tattoo on Gabrielle's back. "Wow. Nice tattoo," she said and looked closer. "Does it go all the way down?"

"Yep," Gabrielle said and let Raelee have a closer look.

"Angel's wings?" Raelee asked.


"Must've hurt, having your back, butt and thighs tattooed."

Gabrielle shrugged. "No, not really." She glanced at her watch. "We better hurry. I don't want to get on the Coach's bad side on the first day."

"Yeah," Raelee agreed, grinning.


In the afternoon, Jesse came to Monique's house with his girlfriend. "Hi, Monique. Is Renee home?"

"Yes, sure. Come in," she said, eyeing the woman with him. "Renee! Your brother's here!" she called.

"I'm just changing the diapers!" Renee called back.

"It might take a while," Monique said, grinning.

"Yeah," Jesse agreed. "Anyway, this is my girlfriend, Aysha. Aysha, this is Monique."


"Hi," Aysha responded and they shook their hands.

"So, you came to stay?" Monique asked Jesse.


"Great! Renee will be so happy."

"I bet."

The main door opened and Monique's parents came in. "Hello, Jesse," Mrs Dion said with a smile.

"Mrs Dion. Mr Dion," Jesse responded with a nod. "This is my girlfriend, Aysha. We just moved into Sunnydale."



"Okay, we're done!" Renee called.

Mr and Mrs Dion left and a few moments later, Renee came downstairs with Hope. She smiled when she saw Jesse. "Hi," she said.

"How are two of my favorite women?" Jesse said with a smile.

"Just fine," Renee said and they hugged.

Jesse then caressed Hope. "Hey, little one."

Hope touched his face, giggling and babbling. "Yes, I know," Jesse said, smiling. Then he turned to Aysha. "Aysha, this are my sister Renee and her daughter Hope. Renee, this is my girlfriend Aysha."

"Hi," Renee said.

"Hi," Aysha said and they shook their hands. "How old is she?" she then asked Renee.

"Almost six months."

"She's so cute," Aysha said and caressed the baby, who giggled.

"Looks like she likes you," Jesse said, noticing Aysha's excited look.

"Yes," Aysha said, nodding.

"Well, we just wanted you to know that we have moved into Sunnydale," Jesse then told Renee.

"Really?" Renee said, excited. "That's great!"

"Em, if you ever need a babysitter." Aysha offered.

Renee glanced at Monique and then smiled. "Sure. Thanks."


"Oh, no, not you again," the demon groaned when he saw Faith.

Faith grinned. "Don't tell me you're afraid of me."

The demon raised what passed for an eyebrow. "Hardly."

"So, who the hell are you?"

The demon observed her for a moment. "I tell you, you're gonna be on my tail for the rest of eternity and I can live without that."

"And if I promised I won't go after you."

The demon snorted. "Fat chance of that happening."

"You seem like a nice demon."

"Too nice, if you ask me. Look, I want no trouble from you and I won't cause any for you."

"I wish every demon would say that and mean it," Faith said.

"Well, I do. As a matter of fact, I could easily crush you, but I choose not to."

Faith grinned. "Yeah, right."

"Want me to prove it?"

Faith started to have a bad feeling. The demon jumped her with such speed that she barely had the time to react. It took him twenty seconds to knock her down, but she had a sinking feeling that he was still holding back. But to her surprise, the demon stepped back and offered her his hand. She stared at him for a few moments, surprised, her body screaming in pain, and then accepted his hand and got up. "Believe me now?" the demon asked.

"Yeah, I guess so," Faith said, trying to hold her hands all over her body to ease the pain. "So now that we're clear that I don't stand a chance against you, you mind telling me who you are? It's not like I'm gonna go after you or anything."

The demon smirked. "I am Violator," he introduced himself.

Faith blinked. "Yeah?"

The demon grinned. "Before I was banished from Hell and trapped in this pathetic form, I was the number two demon in Hell, right after the boss. I was the terror of mortals. I had once slaughtered so many of them that Goddess had to send a flood to clean Earth for the survivors."

"Flood?" Faith said and thought. Then she frowned. "You're not talking about the Flood, are you?"

Violator grinned. "That's the one."

Faith shuddered. "So how come you got kicked out?"

Violator shrugged. "I got bored with killing, it was too easy."

"And the boss didn't like that and he kicked you out?"

Violator grinned. "Precisely."

"So what are you doing here in Sunnydale?"


Faith raised an eyebrow. "For what?"

"For who," Violator corrected her.


"I don't know yet. All I know is that someone evil is coming."



"You're not very specific," Faith said dryly.

Violator shrugged. "You know as much as I do."

"And then what?"

"One of us dies."


"Me or the person I'm waiting for."

Faith thought for a moment. "What do you care?"

"I don't. Much. I'm just trying to score enough points to get a job in Heaven."

Faith laughed. "You're kidding!"

Violator glared at her. "Faith!"

Faith turned and saw a group of demons chasing Renee and Monique. She took her stake and attacked them. Violator was right behind her. As the Slayer and the demon plunged among them like justice from Heaven, the vamps quickly retreated, leaving only the dust of the dead behind.

"I know you," Renee said and everyone looked at her.

"You do?" Violator said and gave her a once over. "I'm sure I would remembered seeing such a busty mortal young lady lately."

"You helped my daughter."

Violator raised an eyebrow. "I did? How nice of me."

"No, not now. I mean. It's a long story."

"I'm all ears," Violator said and Faith grinned, noticing the fact that he had no visible ears.

"Well, in another time line, my daughter was kidnapped by a sorcerer, who opened the Hellmouth and allowed the demons to come to Earth. You helped my daughter to find a way to come back through time to prevent that from happening. Thank you."

Violator stared at her for a few moments and then scratched his head. "Been watching too much Star Trek, have you?"

"No, I don't watch Star Trek. I'm serious."

Violator shrugged. "Whatever." He looked at Faith. "Now that you know we're both on the same side, I assume you will leave me alone."

Faith raised an eyebrow, knowing full well that he could easily kill her. "Yeah, sure, why not?"

"Good. I'll go back to waiting then. See you around."

Violator left and the three girls stared after him, not quite sure what to make of him.

"Renee?" Monique asked.

"He's the demon who helped Hope. But that is not his original form, he is much bigger and much more ugly and has wings and horns."

"Fascinating," Faith said, imitating Spock.

"What's he doing here?" Monique asked.

Faith shrugged. "Waiting for someone."


"He has no idea."


"And what are you two doing out?" Faith asked them.

"We went to the movies," Monique said.

"Oh. Want me to walk you home?"

"Yeah, sure, we'd appreciate it."

Faith grinned. "Let's go then."


Alice, Cordelia and Faith were all nervous when Mrs Chase, Cordelia and Faith took Alice to Mr Chase for the first time, Alice because she was told she would meet her new daddy and Cordelia and Faith because they didn't know if Alice would accept Mr Chase.

"Hi, Dad," Cordelia greeted her father when the guards brought him to the visitors' room.

"Hi, Mr Chase," Faith added.

"Hello, Cordelia, Faith. Hello, dear," he said and kissed his wife. Then he looked at Alice and smiled. "Hello, little lady. You must be Alice."

Alice hugged Cordelia even tighter, a bit scared of Mr Chase. "It's okay, Alice," Cordelia said, "he won't hurt you, he's your new daddy."

Alice observed Mr Chase, curiously, but Mr Chase didn't push her. "Let's sit down," he said instead and they sat.

Cordelia turned Alice around so she could observe Mr Chase while sitting on Cordelia's knees.

And Alice did. She was afraid of him at first. Sure, he was supposed to be her daddy, but he was a complete stranger and she had known too many men her old mommy had brought home who were bad. This man, however, seemed different. She didn't quite understand the fact that he was in jail, but Mommy had told her that he had done something wrong and was now paying for it.

As she watched him when her sisters and Mommy talked with him, she saw that he was completely different from the men her old mommy had brought home. She also noticed that her sisters and Mommy were completely at ease and that they weren't afraid of him. She started to like him, especially because he didn't force her to like him. She also liked that he called her little lady. She wasn't quite sure what that meant, but she had a feeling that it was a good thing.

When she was sure that he was a good man, she finally started to listen to the conversation he was having with the rest of the family. When she giggled at something he said, Mr Chase looked at her, smiling. "I thought you'd never smile," he said.

Alice smiled shyly. "It was funny," she said.

"Yes, it was," Mr Chase agreed. "You know, you remind me of Cordelia a bit, she was also shy with strangers when she was little."

"I was?" Cordelia asked.

"Oh yes," Mrs Chase confirmed with a smile.

"I like you, Daddy," Alice said shyly and Mr Chase smiled.

"I like you too, little lady," he said and Alice giggled. "Do you want to sit on my knees?"

Alice hesitated for a moment and then nodded. Cordelia gave her to her dad, who sat her on his knees and then gently caressed her. "Are you happy?"

Alice nodded shyly and Mr Chase smiled. "Good. Will you come back next week?"

Alice hesitated for a moment and then looked at Mrs Chase. "Mommy?" she asked.

"If you want to," Mrs Chase said, smiling.

Alice nodded.

As Mr Chase talked to Alice, Cordelia gently squeezed Faith's hand and smiled when Faith looked at her. Faith, smiled back, knowing what Cordelia was trying to say. They were both happy that Alice had accepted Mr Chase as her father. All that was left now was for Faith to accept him. Faith looked at Mr Chase as he talked to Alice. He was indeed a nice man, but she would still have to get used to having a father. She liked him and she felt that she would eventually think of him as her father, like she considered Mrs Chase her mother. She smiled as a thought occurred. She had been alone most of her life and now she had a big family, a mother, a father, a sister and a girlfriend. Life could hardly get any better.