Hey all! I bet you didn't know I'd ever do something like this, yeah? Ah well. This is the introduction to Faith, the other parts would come later. Cheers, all, and please, please review, I need to know what you think about this! It's gonna be a bundle of laughs, man.

Faith hated the rain.

Scowling at the overcast sky which looked more like the belly of an enormous demon, she put a cigarette to her mouth, flicked the cheap lighter and lit it.

It's been a while since I've done this, she thought. She had sworn never to smoke again, especially since smoking reminded her of a particular dark time she had been in, but this time, she couldn't help it. She needed the release. Well, she could've just picked off any guy from the street and worked the kinks out of her system the old-fashioned way, but screw that.

And besides, in order to pick out a guy from the street, she would have to go out into the frigging rain.

And Faith hated the rain.

Her dead trailer tramp mother had always thrown her out into the cold, pouring rain, leaving her to fend for herself. And the last time she had been in this kind of weather was when she had totally broken down. Granted, it was obvious that the breakdown was coming, but what the hell. She hated feeling weak. Always had.

Leaning against the balcony doorframe, she looked out at the heavy rain. She looked out, and remembered.

She was in a rage. Whether at Angel or at herself, she didn't know. She hadn't known anything for a long time, and it felt good to be angry. To be violent. But torturing Wesley was not enough; she had made sure that the pompous bastard remembered everything he'd done to her, but that had not been enough. Oh, not even close.

But then Angel had taken the bait, hook, line, and sinker, and that was enough for her. Picking up a shattered piece of wood, she barely restrained a snarl as she lunged at him. He maneuvered himself, yanked the stake away from her, and shattered it But she was far from done. Her blood pounding, she kicked the glass topped sofa table at his face, broken glass flying everywhere.

Catching his momentary off-balance, she jumped him, wrapping her legs around his waist and using her body to slam him against the wall. Hard.

As he fell to the floor, she straddled him, too deep into her rage to notice anything else. "Come on, Angel! I thought you were bad!"

As if in response, Angel took a hold of one of her wrists and tossed her off him. They kept going, with her throwing all the blows. Finally, she sent him flying behind the sofa. "You can't take me! No one can take me!"

With a snarl, Angel leapt back up, seemingly unfazed. For every hit Faith took, he took an additional two.
She threw a sneer at the vampire. "Come on!"
Angel tackled her and they both burst through the window, falling two stories to land on a trash-container lid. Almost immediately, they rolled off of it and she, once again, threw Angel around. When he hit the ground, she stalked towards him, her scream echoing throughout the alley. She was sick of him holding back; she wanted a fight. She wanted to die. "You're gonna die!"
It was then that she felt the heavy droplets fall. Unbidden, visions of her lying helpless in the rain year ago enraged her further, dragging her deeper into hell. She was strong. She was invincible!

"You hear me? You don't know what evil is!" She punched and kicked, and yet Angel did not retaliate. Close to tears, she screamed. "I'm bad! Fight back!"
She kept hitting, not caring if he ducked or if the blows connected. She didn't care anymore. She wanted to provoke him, so much so that he would end her life with one blow. Or break her neck, she didn't care, as long as he ended her suffering. Her self-loathing threatened to suffocate her, to beat her down so that she would never stand up again.

Well, guess what? She thought wildly, whaling on Angel. You've won!!

Finally, Angel grabbed her wrist, stopping her motions. "Nice try, Faith."

He tossed her away from him, then walked towards her. Her chest heaving, she glared defiantly at him, challenging him.
He stopped and looked down at her. "I know what you want."
Faith bit back a curse as she struck out at him as hard as she could, fury fuelling her every move. How dare he look at her so calmly? Why didn't he hate her? She deserved to be hated! Hit me back. Hit me, damn it!!

And this time, he hit back.

Pain exploded in her face as she was thrown back, and she fought an insane urge to laugh. Pain was good.

Pain was always good.

But inflicting pain was better.

Faith leapt back up, hitting and screaming, but this time, her blows were unfocused, full of pure rage, bottled up inside for so long.
"I'm not gonna make it easy for you." Angel said as he dodged another hit. So he knew. He knew what she was doing.
Without thinking, she threw herself against him, wishing she could just hurt him some more so that she could get rid of what was gnawing at her from inside. To do something, anything, about the pain. "I'm evil! I'm bad! I'm evil! Do you hear me? I'm bad! Angel, I'm bad!"

And big bad Faith, the renegade Slayer, began to break down, her sobs now echoing throughout the empty alley, anguished and tormented. "I'm ba-ad. Do you hear me? I'm bad! I'm bad! I'm bad. Please. Angel, please, just do it. Angel please, just do it. Just do it. Just kill me. Just kill me."

I just want it to end. Is that so hard?
She felt him wrap his cold, cold arms around her shoulders, pulling her against him. Her knees buckled, and he knelt with her, never letting go, holding her tightly as the walls came tumbling down on her. "Shh. It's all right. It's okay. I'm here. I'm right here. Shh."

It felt like decades, even though Faith knew that it was only a little more than a year ago. So many things had happened since then, catching Angelus, re-ensouling him and kicking his kid's butt while she was at it, destroying the First with the Scooby Gang and the Potentials back in Sunnydale, ditching Wood and coming to L.A. once more to search for--and train--Slayers, Wood's death at the hands of Branhichorian demons she had later dispatched…

It's nothing personal. It's just after I get bouncy with a guy, there's not that much more I need
to know about him.

That's bleak.

Way of the world, Wood.

That's good to know 'cause for a second there I thought it was more defensive, isolationist slayer crap.

And he comes out swinging.

Faith, there's a whole world out there that you don't even know about, and a lot of the men in it are pretty decent guys. They'd surprise you.

Guy looks at me, let's just say his priorities shift.

Why, because you're so hot?

It's what it is, yo.

Ah, happier days. Faith stubbed out the current cigarette and lit another one. She had actually been miserable when Wood had died; he was the first man she had actually trusted in, and the Powers that goddamed Be had taken him away from her. But then again, she figured it was retribution for all the evil she'd done, and it wasn't like she was in a position to make them feel as bad as they made her feel. Besides, the time for that was long over.

Where're you gonna go? Back out in that darkness? I once told you that you didn't have to go out in that darkness. Remember? That it was your choice. Well, you chose. You thought that you could just touch it. That you'd be okay. Five by five, right, Faith? But it swallowed you whole. So tell me, how did you like it?

Help me?

Yeah.

She wasn't bitter about it anymore. Well, not really, anyway. She was out of the darkness. Not exactly in the light--she knew that she would never be in the light--but she was on her way to redemption. It was tough, tougher than she'd imagined, but at least it was something.

So, Angel, how does this work?
There is no real simple answer to that. I won't lie to you and tell you that it'll be easy, because it won't be. Just because you've decided to change doesn't mean that the world is ready for you to. The truth is, no matter how much you suffer, no matter how many good deeds you do to try to make up for the past you may never balance out the cosmic scale. The only thing I can promise you is that you'll probably be haunted. And may be for the rest of your life.

Yep, definitely haunted. She had originally been asking how to work the damned microwave oven with Angel hovering behind her, but the answer he'd given had been to something else, something else she had really wanted to ask, and had hit closer to home that she would ever admit. She looked out at the downpour and exhaled, watching the smoke get beaten down by the fat droplets of water. For some reason, that particular tendril reminded her of Angel. Angel and his sidekicks. His bratty kid, Wes, a cute brunette called Fred, and Gunn.

Gunn was cool.

Last she heard, Fred, Gunn, and Wes had died from the latest apocalypse ever to hit L.A.. It was tragic, but she understood that good could only triumph over evil when good gave up everything to fight it. As a direct result, the Shan-whatever prophecy was fulfilled, and Angel became human.

It was then that the prophecy paid a trick on her savior. By being 'human', it meant taking the demon away, and without the demon, the 250 year old vampire was dust. He had fought the good fight, and he had won. Last she heard, he'd been elevated to some kind of higher power.

Now that Angel was gone, this was her city, and it fell to her to protect it. To be honest, she had never expected this day to come, but it did, and she would deal with it the only way she knew how.

Which would be to kick as much demon ass as possible before it kicked hers.

City of Angels, huh? More like City of Fallen Angels.

Tossing the cigarette outside, she sighed, turned away and slid the glass door shut.