W&D Banner

Pain, Inc.

by Anneli
Rating: R

Note: This is AU fic where Faith didn’t go after Buffy when waking up from the coma because she received word that she’s got a whole company waiting for her – Wilkins Industries.

PROLOGUE

The vampire grinned at the terrified expression of the girl in front of him and prepared to sink his teeth into her neck, when he heard a suspicious whoosh! behind him. He looked over his shoulder where his buddy was supposed to stand, only to find some setting dust and a stranger standing there. Growling, he let go of the girl and turned around to attack, but the stranger suddenly produced a sword out of nowhere and decapitated the other vamp, too.

The blonde girl that was about to become a snack looked all that, eyes wide in fear. She observed the stranger closer – dark hair, pale face and very pretty, dressed in black leather pants and a dark blue vest.

“You okay?” she asked.

The blonde nodded, not all that certain. “I… I think so… what the hell just happened? Who were these guys? What did they want from me? Why did they disappear after you killed them?”

The brunette smiled and held up her hand. “Whoa, one at a time, please! You were just almost eaten. These guys were vampires, who, as you just witnessed, are very much real. They wanted to suck your blood, and they disappeared because all killed vampires turn to ashes – it’s evil’s way of protecting its creation.”

The blonde’s eyes were wide. Part of her told to run screaming, ‘cuz the other girl was mad, another said that the stranger is right, she just witnessed it. “Umm… Umm… okay…”

“What are you doing here, anyway? That’s not a nice surrounding to be in,” the brunette asked, looking around. The half-abandoned buildings, trashcan fires and the lowest of lowlives that always looked the other way – that was the surrounding, and the girl in front of her didn’t look like a homeless person.

“Well, I’m kind of forced to live here. At least for time being. Monetary problems.”

“Ahh… ‘kay. Well, then, in this neighbourhood, I’d say you need some tips on self-defence. Against both fanged and non-fanged foes. What do you say we go somewhere to eat and discuss it there? ‘cuz I’m hungry.”

“Umm… okay.”

“The name’s Faith, by the way.”

“Anita.”

*****

They sat in a café, with Anita still not being quite if she was dreaming or not. But the stranger here seemed very real and completely in her own element with these vampires.

“How old are you?” Faith asked suddenly.

“Umm… 16. Why?”

“Just wondering. Got any family?”

“Uhh, no, not here.”

“You mentioned monetary problems. Do you have a job?”

“No.”

Faith smiled, or more like grinned. “Would you want one? ‘cuz I got a job opening and you’d fit right into it. Doesn’t involve drugs, stealing or working on your back, either.”

Anita raised her left eyebrow suspiciously. “You know me for a whole lot of five minutes, and you already know what jobs I would do good?”

“I don’t, but someone else, who was apparently too nosy for their own good, knew, and I learned that from him.”

“Who was that?”

“A nasty guy. Named Quentin Travers – he’s looking to ruin two lives. I’m looking to save more.”

Anita raised her hand. “Hold on now, you’re not making much sense here – ruin lives how? Save how?”

“He wants to kill me and make your life extremely miserable. Imagine that – a bunch of guys in tweed suits come to you one day, say that from now on, you are to do their bidding without questioning the orders of a stuck-up sorry son of a bitch who doesn’t know shit about real life, yet orders you around like he’s the wisest guy on the Earth? Who betrays you on your 18th birthday just to test you?”

“Umm… That’d suck. But I got the feeling that you’re a loony.”

Faith chuckled. “Maybe. Sometimes I’m not quite sure. Maybe I am. But what if I’m not, and all I say is right – these tweed guys come, take you away and you will die probably before you reach your next birthday? Are you willing to take that risk?”

“Umm…” was all Anita could muster.

Faith calmly ate her last pie and downed the last of her Pepsi. “Come on. I’ll show you a few things. You’re not in a hurry, are you?”

Anita shook her head and they headed outside. Strolling down a street, they noticed a gang attacking a woman. “Vamps. Watch,” Faith said, pulled a crossbow from her backpack with one expert move, aimed briefly and shot. One of the vampires yelped and turned into dust. The others looked around, noticed Faith and charged. She calmly reloaded her crossbow, killed another vamp and grabbed a wooden stake. “Stay back,” she told Anita.

The vamps reached Faith and the fight began. Anita witnessed as Faith easily overcame the 6 foes and remembered how one of them had pinned her against the wall as if she was a rag doll. Right now, though, Faith kicked them around and staked the vamps at a quick pace. Two minutes later, 5 out of six were dust and the remaining one was pinned to the ground. Faith produced a pair of handcuffs and cuffed the vampire and then knocked him out, just in case.

“Now, I believe you already felt how strong the vampires were,” Faith said in her lecturing mode. Anita nodded. “And you saw how easily I kicked them apart.” Another nod. “I am what they call a Slayer, or a Vampire Slayer. With capital letters. There’s one in every generation – if the last one dies, another one comes. By a strange twist of fate, there are two Slayers at this time – one was drowned, but her friends did her CPR and she came back to life. That activated another Slayer, and when the other one died, I became the Slayer. Oh, yeah, and the Slayers are always female. We are the superhuman weapons built to kill vampires – I can see in the dark, smell and hear things that others can’t, I am stronger, faster and more endurable, I heal faster and wounds that would kill most everyone may be really light on me. You can shoot me with that crossbow for proof if you want.”

“Umm… no thanks,” Anita said. “Okay… so you’re Wonder Woman. What’s that got to do with me?”

Faith stood up and grinned. “When I die, YOU are gonna be the Wonder Woman.”

“Okay, that’s it!” Anita said, backing away. “You’re insane! This whole thing, it’s not real!”

“Isn’t it? Why did these guys turn to dust, then? Why can I hear that cat running behind me?” Anita glanced pass Faith, and indeed, there was a cat hurrying across the back alley. The woman that the vamps had attacked was long gone.

“Holy shit… What do you want from me, then?”

“As I said, I want to help you. The Slayers are mostly controlled by an organisation called the Watchers Council. They take the Slayers and train them, so they would be strong, but mindless drones. They train golems for their use. They tried to do that with me, too, but I managed to get myself big enough friends to kick the Watchers’ asses.” Faith took the wooden stake and handed it to Anita. “This is what the Watchers will give you to fight vampires.” Then she took her sword and crossbow, and handed them to the blonde as well. “And this is what I offer you.”

“A… And what if I don’t want to fight these vampires?”

Faith shrugged. “That’s five by five with me. But the vampires will still be swarming you, so it would still be good if you could defend yourself. That’s what I’m offering you – come with me, you’ll have free training, free place to live, free food PLUS you will be getting paid. Not much at the beginning, but it will increase.”

“You remember when I said you are insane?” Anita asked. Faith nodded. “Well, I still think you are, but I’m probably more. I’m in.”

The brunette grinned wider. “Ohh… yeah. Well, lesson number one – what vampires fear. Metal can kill vampires only one way – decapitation. The most common ways to kill vampires are, in fact, putting a wooden stake through the heart or cutting off its head. For non-Slayers, a good way to protect themselves are crosses.” Faith took a cross and put it against the vampire’s skin and smoke erupted. “That’s what happens when vampire and cross make contact. They know it, too, so they are afraid of crosses.”

And the brunette started a lecture on vampires and killing them to her heir.

...to be continued...

:HOME:BACK TO FANFIC: