Title : Wicked Ones

Author : Tenhawk

Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners... none of which are me. If they knew what they were doing I wouldn't have to write this stuff.

Summary: Willow is feeling down and abused after her sessions with her new Whitelighter... and help comes from a VERY unexpected direction.

Warning : I'm a B/Xer and this will be a B/X Series... Eventually. But this story is not about Xander or Buffy... well, Xander anyway. Buff will undoubtedly have an important role to play in this one people.

Warning : Crossovers ahead. (Yes Plural.)

Rating : PG-13 to PG-16; for mild cursing, violence, and demonic horror content... in other words a bit more grown up then the series... but only cause I don't have to suck up to censors.

*****

December 28th, '99

Sunnydale California

Willow slammed the door to her dorm room as she stormed out, her face was red and her eyes were watering in rage, frustration, and pain.

"Willow!" Tara's voice echoed through the door plaintively.

"Leaver her be." A much softer voice sounded, barely reaching Willow's ears. "She needs time, Tara."

Time. Willow thought angrily. Time for what? To admit that I can't handle magic? To admit that she's right!?

She stormed out of the dorm house, an aura of rage clearing the path ahead of her as people unconsciously edged away from her passage. She kept walking until she reached a bench situated by the side of the road, a bus stop. There she collapsed onto the bench heavily, glaring across the road at the Park with eyes that saw nothing but red.

She had sat there fuming for nearly a half hour before her own doubts and inner voice began to assault her convictions. As the rage bled off her doubts began to eat at her until her eyes were watering again, not with rage but with despair.

I'm never going to make her... them... happy. I can't be what they want. I don't know how...

Her face was buried in her hands and her mind was reeling from the assault of doubts and fears, she didn't hear the roar of a powerful motor approaching her. She didn't notice the engine power down, or the low purr come to a stop. She did hear the unwelcome voice sound out, crisp and clear in the morning air.

"Damn, Red. You look like someone just ate your cat."

*****

Faith got up in a good mood. The sun was bright and clear, the weather was just comfortable outside. And it was the perfect morning to really give her christmas gift a spin.

She thumbed the remote to the garage door and winced as the bright rays of sunshine slipped into the dark room. She smiled through the light pain and slipped her black helmet on over her head, looking at the world through the tinted visor.

"Damn. I like my life." She grinned as she straddled the first of the three BMW racing bikes and hit the starter. The engine roared to life and she kicked it into gear, roaring out of the garage even as the big door closed behind her.

Her bike was black and red, a color scheme she had found oddly fitting when Jarod had unveiled his Christmas gift to her and Xander. Xander's was silver with black tones, and Jarod had adopted a Black and gold scheme that matched Miss Parker's classic Harley.

She was racing through the empty post-dawn streets, whooping occasionally as she cut an occasionally sharp corner. She had just slowed for an intersection when she spotted something odd. A flash of red hair caught her eye and she flickered her attention in its direction for a brief instant.

Red? She wondered, What's the Wicked Wiccan doing out this time of day?

She slowed the bike and took it around the block, approaching Willow from the opposite side as she did. The young witch never noticed her approach, and faith finally cut the engine and set the bike on its stand.

"Damn, Red." She said, half amused and half concerned, "You look like someone just ate your cat."

*****

Willow glared at the Dark Slayer as she watched Faith smoothly slip off her bike. "Go away, Faith."

Faith smirked, "C'mon, Red. You look like you need some company... and since I'm here."

Willow's eyes flashed, "I would NOT choose to spend time with you if you were the last person on the planet."

"Watch what you say, Red. Around here that 'last person on the planet' gag could come true."

Willow just glared at her.

"Jeeze, Red... No sense of humor. So, who ate your cat?" Faith asked, grinning.

Willow was silent, but her glare was gone as she was reminded of what she had been thinking about before Faith's interruption.

Faith didn't back off, she just kept grinning. "So who was it?"

"Who was what?"

"Who ate your pussy?"

Willow still wasn't paying much attention, and answered the question as she originally heard it. "Jenny."

"Oooh... does Tara know?"

"What?" Willow snapped up as he mind provided an instant replay. She flushed, first in embarrassment, then in anger. "Get OUT OF MY FACE!"

Faith grinned, and nonchalantly dropped into the space next to Willow on the bench. "Relax, Red. I'm just yankin your chain. Seriously, what's up?"

Willow took a deep breath, "You wouldn't understand."

"Ah... Miss Angelic is riding you about magic again, huh?"

Willow growled, but nodded.

Faith slapped Willow on the back, "C'mon, Red. Buck up! You'll get it together, you always do."

"This is different." Willow mumbled, "It's not about skill or brains... Knowing *when* to use magic is harder then actually using it."

To her surprise Willow could feel Faith nod in agreement beside her. "I hear that."

"What do *you* know about it?" She asked scathingly.

Faith snorted, "Hello? Mystical Warrior here."

"What does that have to do with anything?"

Faith shook her head, "You are so full of yourself, you know that Red? I'm the Slayer... Ya know? Super fast, strong, agile... I could earn a gold medal in the Olympics without breaking a sweat. I could make a small fortune in fight tournaments with my eyes closed. I could do anything I want, but I'm still hunting vampires and living off a friend."

"So?"

Faith sounded disgusted, "You never think of why B never joined the track team? Why she didn't become a cheerleader? Hell, she could have *run* that school, but instead she hung out with you in the library."

Willow still looked confused, "She did try out for the cheerleading team... she didn't make it."

"Didn't make it?" Faith laughed loudly, attracting the attention of several passers-by. "Please. She's a Slayer, she's hot, and she had experience from her old school. Tell me again that she didn't *make it*."

"But she didn't... she was an alternate..." Willow trailed off as she tried to figure out *why* Buffy hadn't made the cut.

"Let me guess, she was trying to rile someone... or her mom was pushing her to try out?"

Willow nodded, "I think she signed up to annoy Giles."

Faith smirked, "So there you have your reason. She didn't want to be on the team. Otherwise she'd have OWNED the team."

"But... why?"

Faith actually sighed, not sure how to explain herself. "Its like... When you start using magic.. Whether it be spells or magical abilities... to help yourself you're only a couple steps from using magic in an evil way. Evil is selfish... that's the definition. Using your gifts to help yourself. It starts out small... a little boost here, a jab there... but the line gets real blurry real fast... trust me on this one, Red."

Faith trailed off, her face growing a little sad as she had an unguarded moment.

Willow stared at the Dark Slayer in shock. She hadn't considered it that way before.

Faith continued talking. "Even if you don't hurt anyone else by doing it, its still 'evil'... its just a small evil. You cast a spell to give you and edge in school... its an evil spell. Not because it hurts someone, but because the only person it helps is *you*. For me its like... using Slayer speed to win a race, or strength to win a fight that I didn't have to get into... it's 'evil'... because that's not what the gift is for."

Willow leaned back, her eyes wide in shock as she considered the words of the Dark Slayer. Am I... evil?

"It's a petty kind of evil... it doesn't hurt anyone but yourself.. And even that is indirect. Cause what it really does is blur the line to the next step... So that pretty soon your casting spells or doing things that you would never have considered before... because you never saw the line when you crossed it."

Willow finally found her voice, "I... I never saw... that before."

Faith nodded, "I know... cause I never saw it until I was so far over the line that I couldn't see any way back. It took someone coming after me and dragging me back to bring me to where I am now."

Willow stared at the Dark Slayer for a long moment, who smiled a little and stared back.

"Wow..." Willow said, "I mean... wow."

Faith shrugged.

"Faith... I..." Willow tried to process what she had just heard. "I... I guess I'm sorry..."

"For what?" Faith seemed genuinely confused.

"I haven't been very nice to you... even before you turned evil and all that."

Faith shrugged, her face uncaring. "I'm used to it."

"No... no. You shouldn't be used to it... its not fair." Willow said.

"That's life, Red."

The two girls sat back for along time, watching the cars pass along the road. Finally Faith shook off the black mood and grinned across at Willow. "C'mon, Red, lets have some fun."

"Huh?"

"You, me," Faith fished out a plastic card from her leather pants, "and Xander's credit card."

Willow stared at her, dumbstruck for a moment. "Where did you get that!?"

Faith grinned, "From his jeans this morning when I got up."

Willow blinked. "Uh... Are you and Xander... dating?"

"Nah." Faith said easily, "After his breakup with Phoebe I don't think he's up to it yet... and I'm not the steady type anyway."

"But.... but... why?"

Faith leered at the Red Witch. "C'mon, Red. What's the first thing you do when you get home after patrol?"

Faith chuckled when Willow turned red. "Yep. And B's the same. Her and the Ken Doll rock the kasba every damned night as soon as they get cleaned up... if they wait that long. You think that Xan-Man and myself are any different? Slaying gets you hyped up... you stare death in the face and kick his ass... gotta burn the juice off somehow."

"Yeah..." Willow said slowly, "but... its not..."

"What? Not right?" Faith asked, grinned again when Willow confirmed it with a nod. "You know, for a Wiccan Lesbian you sure are uptight."

Willow flushed again as she realized that Faith had a point. She wasn't exactly in a position to judge another persons choice in relationships. "So... you and Xander aren't..."

"In love?"

"Yeah."

Faith shrugged, "Who knows? We like each other, we enjoy each other... but love? Don't think I'd recognize it if it bit me on the ass. Which it has if love is anything like the X-man."

Willow cringed at the mental image but actually chuckled. "Please... too much information."

"Fair 'nuff." Faith grinned, "C'mon, Red. We'll hit L.A. and burn some of X and J's cash."

"On that thing?" Willow looked at the BWM racing bike with trepidation.

Faith considered for a moment, then pulled a set of keys from her pocket. "Nah."

Willow stared at the keyring in shock. On one side it was clearly marked 'Ford' and on the other she could see and wild horse frozen in a running stance. A Mustang in fact.

"You didn't..."

Faith grinned, "Oh you wanna bet I did."

*****