Chapter Six

Faith saw the knife fly across the room as Angel tackled her to the floor. She was emitting anger in the same way that the sun emits heat. The feeling was so strong that Angel was almost choking on it.

"Faith!" Angel yelled as he pinned her to the floor. "This isn't you. What the hell is going on?"

"You don't know me, Angel. No one does," she grunted as she struggled against his tight grip.

"Okay. Why don't you tell me who your are then?"

"I'm the bad one. The dark one. The disobedient one. The killer. The thief. The slut. The screw-up. The mistake. The dark secret. That's who I am, Angel! I'm just doing what I'm supposed to do, what I'm expected to do." She was screaming now. Her words were rough and broken, and each one came out louder and more feral than the one before it. Her eyes were unnaturally dark and she was struggling ferociously. It was as if she was building up to her boiling point and she was about to pop.

Angel could sense this, so his course of action changed from a mission of elimination to one of salvage. After all, he had embraced the darkness before, and knew that it could be lethal. She needed a light in the dark, and he was going to be that light.

Angel stood and pulled Faith up with him but kept a firm grip on her shoulders. When she raised her head, he saw that her eyes were as black as night. He could feel the anger coming off of her in waves. Something was wrong, but he didn't know what.

Faith took advantage of Angel's distracted state and struggled free. She ran from him across the room and jumped out the window. She fell three stories to the alley below and tried to pull herself together.

Before she even had the chance to get to her feet, she heard a thud behind her and turned to see Angel standing there. Thunder was roaring in the distance.

Full of rage, she pulled herself up and stood before him. After a brief moment, she thrust herself forward and began pummeling him with everything that she had.

"Get away from me, Angel!" she screamed. "I'm bad! I'm evil!"

Angel didn't fight back; he merely tried to block her assault.

"No, Faith, I won't leave you. You need help. You need my help."

"You're wrong. I don't need you. I don't need anyone! I don't deserve anyone!!" she screamed as her assault on Angel became fiercer. "Fight back!" she ordered.

Angel refused her request and continued only to block her attack. Sheets of rain began to fall around them.

"I said fight back, Angel! C'mon! Hurt me! Kill me! Just like everyone else wants to!"

"No. I won't fight you, Faith. I only want to help you. I care about you, Faith."

Faith halted her attack for a moment, almost as if something had come over her and caused her to stop. The thunder struck again.

Faith shook her head slightly and resumed her attack on Angel.

"You don't care, Angel. No one really cares. C'mon! Fight back!" she shrieked, her voice becoming hoarse. Tears burst from her eyes but she kept attacking in spite of them.

When Angel saw her tears, he knew he was getting to her. He decided to try even harder. He was going to play on her emotions in order to touch her humanity.

"Faith, I do care. Buffy cares. Joyce cares. Giles cares. We all care, Faith. We want to help you. We don't want you to disappear."

He managed to grab both of her arms as she tried to hit him. He continued speaking.

"We need you, Faith. You're important. Please, let us help you, Faith. Let me help you."

Angel knew exactly what he was doing now. He tried to say her name as many times as possible. He brought up names of people he knew that she cared about. He held her close and looked into her eyes as he spoke.

Whatever he was doing was working, as Faith slowed down her attack and was now only mildly struggling against him.

"I already told you Angel . . . I'm poison. There is nothing good about me! I'm dirty. No one can help me."

"I can help you Faith. I've been almost exactly where you are now. I can help you. We need you. We . . . I care about you, Faith.

She struggled a little, but then fell against Angel, sobbing.

Angel wrapped his arms around the shaking girl in a protective embrace.

"Shhh, it's okay, Faith. I'm here. I care. I'm going to help you. I care, Faith. I won't let anyone hurt you," he repeated over and over.

Just like always the dream ended there. However, like her other dream, there was a little more that she was always blocked from seeing:

Angel continued to hold Faith as she sobbed uncontrollably in his arms. He rested his chin on top of her head and repeated the words that he had been saying over and over again. He was consciously taking unneeded breaths so that she would feel the rise and fall of his chest.

Suddenly, Faith's eyes turned black as oil and then transformed into a brilliant white color. The remaining anger left her body in a flash and she went limp in his arms.

Angel hadn't noticed what happened to the sobbing girl as her face was tucked underneath his chin and buried against his chest. The rain had also served as a large distraction, seeing as that it had turned into a torrential downpour as Faith was crying.

When Angel felt Faith go limp, he scooped up the now unconscious girl in his arms and carried her away from the alley . . .

. . . and away from the darkness.

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