|Chapter Title:||Blood, Chapter 45|
Early February 2003. Annie will be 4 years old on Valentines Day.
Buffy died in early May 2001, brought back in September 2001.
Buffy turned 22 years old on January 19th, 2003.
|Summary:||Buffy is on a suicide mission into the Hellmouth. She can't stay with Spike. She knows that, eventually, she will dust him and she couldn't live with herself if that happened. If she's going down, she plans on taking as many of The First's foot soldiers with her as she can.|
|Rating / Warnings:||
NC17. Content is only suitable for mature adults. Contains explicit language, violence, sex and adult themes which may include rape, attempted rape, blood play and other adult situations that some people may find objectionable. If you are under the age of 17 or find any of these themes objectionable – GO AWAY. Parents, it is up to YOU to control what your children are reading.
When Buffy had finished digging, she’d unearthed a large round disk, about eight feet across. It was made of some kind of metal. She knew immediately that it was the gateway into the Hellmouth. Buffy tried digging around the edges to lift it up, but that didn’t work. She banged on it, kicked at it, screamed at it to let her in, but nothing worked.
Buffy sat down in the center of the emblem, wrapped her arms around her legs, pulled her knees up to her chest and laid her head down on them. There has to be a way in she thought. The First didn’t want you down here. That means you can get in there. Just think! she admonished herself silently. Then, she thought of the scythe. Jumping up, she grabbed it from her bag and started banging on the gateway to hell with it, but still it didn’t open. The scythe didn’t even make a dent in it.
Buffy raised the scythe up over her head one last time and brought it down hard in frustration. The blade hit the impenetrable emblem and bounced back, hitting her on the calf and cutting into her.
“FUCK!” she yelled as she dropped the weapon and grabbed her injured limb. Blood flowed out of it and through her fingers as she pressed her hand against the cut to get it to stop bleeding. Then, a drop of blood hit the emblem. It made a hissing sound and the emblem began to glow; another drop hit and the glowing got brighter. “Son of a bitch,” Buffy muttered, taking her hand off the cut in her leg and allowing the blood to flow onto the gateway.
“Buffy, why are you doing this?” Angel asked her, still standing near the furthest wall. “You really don’t want to go down there! It’s suicide!”
Buffy looked up at him and smiled. “Yeah, well, I guess I’ll see you in hell, then.”
Giles opened the front door of the mansion and spoke to the person who’d been banging on it for the last five minutes. “Can I help you!?”
The man on the other side of the door was a black man, perhaps thirty years old, with a shaved head and closely trimmed goatee. He appeared to be very fit, was well dressed and carrying an old leather duffle.
“I’m looking for Buffy Summers. I was told she lived here,” he replied to Giles.
“Well, indeed, she does, but she’s not home at the moment. Perhaps you can leave your name and number and I’ll have her call you when she returns,” Giles suggested.
“I really need to see her,” the man said. “Are you her Watcher?”
Giles eyes went wide. “Who are you?”
“My name’s Robin Wood. I, well, I have something that belongs to the Slayer and I understand that she really needs all the help she can get right now,” the man replied.
Giles eyes narrowed suspiciously as he reached out and touched the man in the doorway. Corporeal and warm; not a vampire, not The First. “How do you know about the Slayer?” Giles asked.
Robin sighed. “Look, it’s a long story, but I have something that belongs to her. Can I come in and wait for her? When will she be back?”
Giles considered this a moment and finally decided to allow the man in. After all, Faith and Spike were here as well as Willow. If the man tried anything, they should be able to handle it.
All eyes looked up from the research table as Robin Wood followed Giles into the mansion.
Spike and Faith had combed downtown Sunnydale for a couple of hours, asking shopkeepers and pedestrians if they’d seen Buffy, but no one had. Finally, they’d given up and come back to the mansion. Now, they sat around the research table trying to figure out where to look for Buffy next.
“Who’s this, now?” Spike asked, standing up.
“He says he has something for Buffy, something she needs,” Giles offered. “Robin Wood, this is Spi, umm, this is William, William Weckerly, Buffy’s husband.”
“The Slayer’s married?” Robin asked, extending his hand towards Spike. Spike eyed him suspiciously before taking it in a firm handshake.
“Yeah, Slayer’s married. So you can just give whatever it is to me. I’ll be sure she gets it and you can be on your way,” Spike said as he pulled his hand back from the handshake.
“No, sorry. I have to give it to the Slayer,” Robin countered.
“Fine,” Faith stood up. “I’ll take it, then.” Faith held her hand out towards Robin, but he stepped back away from her.
“Who are you?” Robin asked Faith.
“Faith, the Vampire Slayer,” Faith said. “Hand it over.”
“I was told Buffy Summers was the Slayer,” Robin countered, looking at Giles.
“Well, actually, there are two Slayers at the moment. Buffy and Faith,” Giles told Robin as he removed his glasses and began polishing them.
Now Robin looked suspiciously at the group. “There can’t be more than one at a time and I was told . . .”
“Yeah, yeah,” Faith interrupted. “You were told its Buffy, well, surprise!” Faith said, throwing her hands up in the air.
Faith continued. “We really don’t have time for this right now, so hand it over and we’ll take care of it when Buffy gets back, ‘K?”
“I’ll wait,” Robin said, backing away from the group.
“Fine! Go in there and wait!” Spike spoke up and pointed towards the training room door. “Like the girl said, we don’t have time for this now.”
Robin shrugged and started walking towards the training room to wait for Buffy’s return when Spike’s phone starting playing the familiar theme to “Charlie’s Angels”. “Bloody hell,” he muttered as he retrieved it from his pocket and pressed the talk button.
“I don’ have time for you, either,” Spike started.
Angel interrupted him. “Spike! It’s Buffy!”
“She there?” Spike asked hopefully.
“No. Cordy had a vision. Buffy’s being attacked by those same vamps that were in the dungeon,” Angel explained.
“Where?” Spike asked.
“Cordy couldn’t tell for sure, said it looked like a cave or something, but she said it felt like the high school,” Angel told him.
“Bloody hell! She’s gone into the fucking Hellmouth!” Spike dropped the phone on the table without saying any more to Angel and started for one of the weapon’s chests. Faith beat him to it, though, and had already started pulling weapons out. She handed a broad sword and a couple of stakes to Spike and a cross bow, along with a stake, to Giles. She stuffed a dagger into the waistband of her jeans before pulling out a stake and a sword for herself, as well.
“Tara, you’ll stay with Annie, yeah?” Spike asked. Not waiting for an answer, he, Faith, Giles and Willow headed for the door.
The gateway to the Hellmouth was opening below Buffy’s feet. The blood that had come from the gash on her leg had awakened it and now pieces of it started moving and shifting. Buffy stepped back off the emblem as it opened. She quickly grabbed some stakes from her duffel and slid a couple into the waist of her jeans at her back and stuffed one in each boot. Buffy picked up the scythe and waited as the gateway finished opening.
Suddenly Spike was standing next her. “Buffy, please come home, luv. Me and Annie, we need you, pet. You know I can’t live without you. You’re my everything, my world.” With tears in his eyes Spike pleaded with her to come with him, to not go into the Hellmouth.
Buffy smiled at him. “Make ya’ a deal. If I die, Willow can bring me back. Again.”
“Buffy, please!” he begged her.
Buffy reached a hand out towards him and he backed away from her. She nodded her head knowingly; this wasn’t Spike.
Buffy started down the stair case that had been revealed when the gateway opened. She walked slowly, deliberately, holding the scythe at the ready. If there really were Turok-Han in here as First-Angel had said, she was in for a hard battle, a battle she knew she would not win, but she’d rather go down fighting and take as many of the sons-a-bitches with her as she could.
As she reached the bottom of the staircase, the first Turok-Han charged her. Buffy swung the scythe at its neck and the beastly vampire exploded into dust as the weapon decapitated it cleanly.
“Whoa!” Buffy exclaimed. It was the first of the monsters she’d been able to kill directly. The only way she’d ever killed one before was by dusting Spike, or First-Spike, actually, in the dungeon.
Suddenly, two more of the beasts came at her, she used the stake end of the scythe on the first one, driving it cleanly into its hard chest and it dissolved into dust, as well. In one motion she pulled the scythe back and swung the blade at the second Turok-Han’s neck and it disintegrated just as easily.
Now I know why it didn’t want me down here! I can actually win! she thought as another wave of vampires came at her. There were more now, though, and five of the primal creatures surrounded her. The vampires reached in, taking swipes at her with their long, talon-like nails, cutting her skin and clothes, as she turned in a circle, swinging the scythe at them. She connected with one and then another of the beasts, decapitating them, but more seemed to appear from nowhere to take their place.
Then she heard it. “Early one morning, just as the sun was rising . . .” Buffy turned and saw what she knew was First-Spike standing off to one side of the cavern, singing the lullaby in an attempt to distract her from the Turok-Han, to give them the upper hand. Buffy began swinging wildly at the uber-vamps that surrounded her. She had to get to Spike and they were in her way.
The monsters took shots at her, landing blows and then backing off as she swung the scythe around in a circle. She was dusting more and more of the vampires, but they seemed to never stop coming. She could still faintly hear First-Spike singing in the background as she fought the beasts. Suddenly, her feet were knocked out from beneath her and she fell to the ground hard. One of the uber-vamps was on top of her, the scythe trapped uselessly between them. Buffy reached under her, pulled out a stake from the waistband of her jeans and thrust it has hard as she could into the Turok-Han’s shoulder. The vampire screeched in pain and rose up slightly to extract the stake, allowing Buffy to pull the scythe free. She swung her weapon up at the monster, catching it in the throat and dust rained down on her as it disintegrated.
Buffy kicked her legs out and knocked two of the Turok-Han that were still surrounding her to the ground. Jumping up, she leaped over their prone bodies and ran towards First-Spike, who was still standing against the far wall singing the lullaby. Before she got to him, two of the beastly vampires caught up with her, but she dusted them easily, staking one and decapitating the other. She kept moving, now walking deliberately towards First-Spike. The uber-vamps kept coming at her and each time one came within range, she dusted it. As she approached First-Spike he was still softly singing the lullaby, but three of the uber-vamps stepped in front of him, blocking her path. Buffy walked up within range and, without hesitating, she swung the scythe from left to right and dusted them all: boom, boom, boom - right down the line.
Buffy stood face to face with First-Spike now. “Only you can stop it, Buffy,” he said to her. “Dust me and your pain will stop.”
Buffy raised the scythe, but instead of thrusting it at First-Spike, she turned in a quick circle and dusted the uber-vamp that was creeping up on her from behind.
“You’re right,” she said to First-Spike, as she swung back to face him. “Only I can stop it.” Buffy gave The First, who still appeared to her as Spike, a small smile before she began to sing softly to back to him. “Early one morning, just as the sun was rising . . .” Buffy turned away from First-Spike, as she continued softly singing Spike’s lullaby, and began walking back towards the stairs that led out of the Hellmouth.
As Buffy walked away from First-Spike, another Turok-Han suddenly came scrambling up over the ledge to her right and rushed her. She flipped the scythe around in her hand effortlessly so the stake end was pointed at the uber-vamp and easily dusted him when he got to her.
She hadn’t noticed that ledge before, having been occupied with the Turok-Han that attacked her almost as soon as she entered the Hellmouth. Buffy walked over to the edge and looked down. “Oh God!” she said involuntarily. Her eyes wide, as she saw thousands, perhaps tens or even hundreds of thousands, of Turok-Han below her in the cavern – they spread as far as the eye could see.
Buffy felt her heart jump in her chest as she looked out over the sea of uber-vamps below her. She was having a hard time breathing and her hands started to tremble as she took a step back from the ledge.
When she came down into the Hellmouth, Buffy was fully prepared to fight to the death, but that had been before she’d conquered the trigger The First had embedded in her. She knew that her death was the only way to avoid the inevitable: Spike being dusted by her hand. Now, that was no longer true. Tears stung her eyes as she realized that it was too late to change her mind. She may have won the battle, but she was going to lose the war. She most certainly would never get out of the Hellmouth alive.
Buffy continued backing slowly away from the edge, towards the stairs and the gateway out, but it was too late. More Turok-Han had seen her and were climbing up over the ledge and advancing on her. Buffy turned and started running towards the stairs, but the uber-vamps were too fast for her and one tackled her. The scythe went flying from her hands when she hit the ground. Buffy turned onto her back underneath the beast and kicked the vamp up and over her head, but no sooner had she gotten free from that one than another took its place atop her, pinning her down hard on the ground. The Turok-Han that was on top of her was trying to sink its fangs into her neck as she struggled and squirmed under it. Suddenly, more of the beasts were on her, pulling at her legs and arms, each one trying to claim her blood for themselves. Buffy realized she was about to be torn into little pieces. This was it. It was over.
Tears spilled from Buffy’s eyes as she thought of Spike and Annie. All the things that she’d never get to see her daughter do and the hell that Spike had been in when she was dead before, flashed across her mind. She mentally sent what she knew would be her final words to her husband, I’m so sorry, William. I love you.
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