It had been far too long and she had many unanswered questions, so Faith took matters into her own hands. She sat down at the desk in her father's study and started plunking away on the keyboard, pulling up directories, background checks and even hacking into the school's files until she found what she was looking for.
"Bingo," she muttered, grabbing her keys and running out the door.
Her electronically pilfered directions lead her to the doorstep of a rather large and imposing estate in the middle of a murky swamp area outside of town. The house was certainly nice enough, but she didn't think she'd want to be caught wandering around here after nightfall, alone.
What greeted her at the door was a massive anger fueled tirade.
"Look who decided to show up!" Drake yelled at her.
Faith cowered away from the Vampire as he unleashed his wrath on her, for what she wasn't quite certain.
Even though she was clearly afraid of him, Drake continued spitting venom at her, "How dare you show your face around here, you bleeder? I should drain you right here," he growled, starting to move towards her.
"You stop right there!" She roared at him, her own anger rising.
Drake pulled back, flinching from the normally quiet woman's outburst.
"Who do you think you are, talking to me that way?" She said to him in a barely controlled voice. "Do you have any idea what I've gone through for you? All the work I've put in? You completely disappeared on me, I haven't seen or heard from you in years! How dare you!" she finished in a huff.
Drake's face fell, the ancient Vampire seemed on the verge of tears. Faith immediately felt bad for him, "Hey, hey, what's going on? What's wrong?" she asked him.
He could only look down, hiding a face full of shame. "I, fed again last night. I tried to ignore it, to fight the feeling of hunger, but I lost control. It was some poor homeless girl. She never saw it coming. Afterwards, I erased her memory, making her forget the attack, but that was mostly so I would not feel as guilty," he replied, as Faith comforted him as much as she could. "I hate this, I hate to harm people. I am a monster."
"Listen to me Drake," Faith said, looking the downtrodden man in the eyes, "I want to help you. I've been doing so much research since we met, at times it seems that's all I've ever done. I tracked you down because I wanted to share it with you. I never abandoned you," she said.
The Vampire looked even more ashamed, "I thought you had forgotten about me," he said, his eyes on the floor. "I have seen you with that Pete guy and spending time with your father, as well as all the hours you put in at the laboratory," he said, finally looking up to meet Faith's eyes. Seeing the look on her face, he realized his mistake. "I do apologize for my lack of faith," he finished.
It took a moment, but both of them broke into uncontrollable laughter at his unintentional pun.
After she recovered, Faith motioned to him, "Come, sit, let me show you what I've been working on."
They sat and went through the numerous journals for several hours, Drake pouring over Faith's impeccable notes and diagrams in a state of wonder, her trying to explain in layman's terms what she'd discovered. He seemed pleased at what he was reading, even if he didn't quite understand all the details.
"There is quite a bit of information here," he said to her, closing the final notebook and handing it back to her. "Do you think this is really possible?" he asked, the faintest glimmer of hope in his voice.
She didn't want to lead him on, in case the experiment ended in failure, but she was confident in her research and how much she'd put into it. "Yes," she answered, smiling, "I do."
Faith also took the opportunity to physically examine Drake, something she hadn't been able to do since he'd disappeared on her. It was important that she learn about the differences of his species in order to fine tune her experiment. Surprisingly he didn't mind her prodding and poking and endless stream of questions.
"How is it, after all these years, you look exactly the same?" she asked him, noticing his flawless skin and complexion, no wrinkle or sign of aging at all.
Drake let out a sigh, "We do not age," he said regretfully. "I have been two days shy of my birthday into adult hood for as long as I can remember. I will never know what it is to graduate from that blasted school, or hold a job. Or get married. I will be a teenager forever, in body, if not in mind," he finished.
Faith's heart went out to him. She couldn't imagine living a life that denied so many things, with seemingly no advantages. The thought of never being able to marry or have children, it was heart wrenching.
"I'm sorry, Drake," she said, trying to console him, "I can't imagine that kind of pain." His temper, his outbursts, his fits of rage all becoming clearer to her. His own life was torturing him.
He shook his head, as if shaking off a bad dream and smiled, "Thank you," he told her, putting his darkness aside. "I do appreciate all you are doing for me, and my kind. I promise to keep in touch and not lose... Faith, again," he laughed.
She smiled, "I'd like that."
As he escorted her to the door and they said their goodbyes, Faith looked back into those large sad eyes of a boy who didn't want to hurt people to stay alive, and knew she was doing something good.
Title / Spock's Beard