Currently: August 2003.
Annie turned four in February.
Buffy and Spike have been married four years.
Buffy turned 22 years old in January.
All the Potentials were endowed with full Slayer power in February 2003.
Buffy and Spike learned of the other dimensions in May, 2003.
Buffy is back in her own dimension, but Spike's been called by the Council to go and contain the deranged Slayer Dana down in L.A. Can Buffy get there in time to keep him safe?
|Notes:||References to the Angel episode "Damage" is in this story; but I don't think I'd call it a spoiler, exactly.|
|Rating / Warnings:||
NC17. Content is only suitable for mature adults. Contains explicit language, sex, adult themes 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.
Buffy’s car roared up in front of the old distillery down by the docks; the transmission grinding in objection as she threw it into park and turning off the key before actually coming to a complete stop. She grabbed a stake from between the seats of the car, the only weapon she had with her, as she flung the door open and jumped out. In a full run, she headed towards what she hoped and prayed was where Spike and Dana would be – the basement of the old building.
She knew Spike was there as soon as she got out of the car. She could feel his presence tingle down her spine and silently said a prayer of thanks to the PTB for that small favor. As she got to the stairs leading down to the basement, she slowed and tried to listen. Taking the steps silently, she could hear someone moaning in pain and another tingle went down her spine . . . different, not Spike . . . ANGEL! Angel was here, too! Spike wouldn’t have called Angel. What is he doing here?
About half way down the stairs the smell of blood assaulted her nostrils. Even without vampire smelling, the smell was undeniable and overwhelming. Fear gripped her stomach, tying it in knots and she struggled to keep her breath steady as she continued to descend the stairs silently.
Near the bottom of the stairs she could see the blood – more than she’d ever seen before. It practically covered the floor in front of her and she had to swallow back the bile that threatened the back of her throat as the smell and sight of it nearly overtook her. As she stepped out of the stairway she could see the source of all the blood . . . someone had cut his hands off at the wrist and his blood, more than she thought could be in a single body, was what covered the floor.
“ANGEL!” She cried, rushing to him as he lay moaning in agony on the floor. “God, Angel!” Buffy couldn’t say or do anymore before the contents of her stomach came up. She fell to her hands and knees as the nausea overtook her; the contents of her stomach heaving up in waves. When she could finally breathe again, she moved back over to Angel – he was white as a sheet – all the blood apparently drained from his whole body – and completely incoherent. How he was even conscious enough to moan was beyond her.
Buffy had no idea what she could do to help him – he had long ago stopped bleeding . . . Oh, God! Where’s Spike? “SPIKE!!” she screamed as she got up, now covered in Angel’s blood, and started moving further into the basement. She found Spike sitting on the floor chained to some pipes in the center of the room – also incoherent, but apparently uninjured.
“Don’t hurt the girl . . . Didn’t mean . . . to . . . hurt . . . the girl,” Spike was mumbling, his head lolling back and forth against the pipes he was chained to.
“Spike, oh God, baby . . .” Buffy said, as she started to unchain him. “Spike, can you hear me? Where’s the girl?! Spike?”
Before she could get him fully unchained, Buffy was yanked backwards away from him and thrown back against some old equipment a few feet away. The small amount of air she’d managed to get back into her lungs after her nausea, was knocked out as she hit with an “Ommmpph.”
When she looked up, she saw that it was Dana who had thrown her. Dana had some kind of a bone saw in her hands – she was also covered in blood and was bending over Spike with the blade of the saw at his throat.
“William the Bloody . . . heart . . . and head. Stab the heart, cut off the head. Only way to be sure,” she was saying in a low voice as she pressed the blade against Spike’s neck. “Keep cutting till you see dust.”
“NO!” Buffy screamed as she forced herself back up and threw herself at Dana, knocking the other Slayer down and sending the saw flying across the room. The two Slayers grappled on the dirty floor of the basement, each trying to get control of the other, for what seemed an eternity.
Buffy couldn’t remember any of the other new Slayers that she’d worked with at the Coven being nearly this strong. It didn’t seem to matter what Buffy did, she couldn’t get control of the other girl. Buffy reached behind her and pulled the stake she’d brought with her out of the waistband of her jeans and, the next time they rolled over and Buffy was on top, she came down with the stake into Dana’s shoulder.
Dana screamed in pain, but didn’t waiver from her attack – if anything, it made her stronger. She kicked Buffy up, over her head and off. Dana yanked the stake out of her shoulder as she scrambled on top of Buffy, pinning the elder Slayer to the ground and pressing the stake against Buffy’s chest.
“Stab the heart, cut off the head. Only way to be sure . . .” Dana said in a deadly calm voice as she pressed down with the stake over Buffy’s heart. Buffy grabbed Dana’s forearms and pushed with all her strength against her, but the stake kept going deeper into her flesh. Buffy could feel it when it hit a rib as she kicked and pushed against the other Slayer with renewed power; putting every ounce of energy she had left into trying to dislodge her. And still the stake went deeper. Buffy screamed out in pain when it slid between two ribs, cracking them and threatening to pierce her heart.
Suddenly, Dana slumped down, all her strength apparently gone. Buffy pushed her off and closed her eyes to try and stop the renewed bout of nausea that threatened her from the pain of the stake which was still lodged in her chest.
“Are you ok!!!?”
Buffy looked up to see Charles Gunn standing over her with a tranq gun – apparently he had shot Dana with it. Buffy couldn’t answer. She just closed her eyes again and nodded her head one time before wrapping both hands around the stake and yanking it out of her chest with a blood curdling scream. When Buffy could move again, she crawled back over to Spike who was still incoherent and mumbling about hurting the girl.
“It’s ok, baby . . . you didn’t hurt the girl,” she whispered as she finished unwrapping the chains from around him.
“Looks like I missed a helluva party!” came a female voice that Buffy didn’t recognize from the stair way. Buffy forced herself up to her feet and looked at who was speaking. An attractive brunette in a designer dress and high heels stood at the bottom of the stairs, trying not to get blood on herself.
“No one called you Lilah!” Charles Gunn was telling the woman as he knelt over Angel trying to help him.
“Well, actually, that’s not true – someone did call me – and it looks like it’s a good thing, too,” the woman retorted, looking down at Angel.
Buffy walked slowly over to her, holding a hand over the wound in her chest to try and stem the bleeding. “Who are you?” Buffy asked her.
“Lilah Morgan, Wolfram and Hart,” the woman said, holding out a business card to Buffy.
Buffy ignored the card and studied the woman a moment. “Can you help him?” she asked, tilting her head towards Angel who was still lying on the ground moaning; his severed hands laying in pools of blood next to him.
“We don’t need her help, Buffy!” Gunn told her as he continued to try and make Angel more comfortable.
“Oh, I think you do need my help,” Lilah countered as she stepped gingerly around the blood on the floor and further into the room. “We can re-attach those,” she informed them, tilting her head down towards Angel’s hands.
“Why would you do that? What’s the catch?” Gunn asked from the floor next to Angel.
“Well, call it a personal favor,” Lilah said with a fake smile on her lips as she looked at Buffy but answered Gunn.
“Bullshit! Buffy, she’s with Wolfram and Hart! All the favors they’ve ever done for us have ended up with us getting fucked in the ass!” Gunn informed her.
Buffy grabbed Lilah around the neck and shoved her back against the closest wall. “Why would you help Angel?” Buffy demanded.
“Do you have any idea how hard it is to get blood stains out of silk?” Lilah asked calmly as Buffy pressed her bloody hands and body against the lawyer. “This dress is ruined!”
“Why would you help Angel?” Buffy asked again through gritted teeth.
Lilah rolled her eyes and sighed heavily before answering. “The Senior Partners have an . . . interest . . . in him,” Lilah told her. “Personally, I think we’d all be better off if he was a pile of dust, but apparently there’s some prophecy about his involvement in some future apocalypse . . . and we’ve been ordered not to dust him.”
“So, why help him?” Buffy pressed her, tightening her grip on Lilah’s throat.
“Points,” Lilah said simply.
“Points?” Buffy questioned.
“Yeah, points! Get points with the Senior Partners – get noticed – get promoted . . .” Lilah retorted with wide eyes and raised brows, as if Buffy had asked the most stupid question ever.
Buffy nodded and let her go. She liked that explanation better than the personal favor reason - if Lilah was doing it for her own personal gain, then it was less likely to be a double cross.
“Fine – fix it,” Buffy said, ignoring Gunn’s objections as she stepped back from the lawyer.
“Go with them,” Buffy instructed Gunn. When Lilah started to object, Buffy grabbed her by the throat again. Standing with her face just inches from the lawyer’s, her voice low and threatening, Buffy said, “Gunn is going with you. In a little while, I’m gonna be there, too – and if anything goes wrong, then the next time we meet, the blood on your dress will be your own.”
Lilah shrugged her shoulders as she held her hands out to the side in surrender and Buffy let her go. Grabbing the tranq gun from Charles, she turned on her heel and headed back over to check on Spike. He was still mumbling, “Don’t hurt the girl . . .” with his eyes fixed on the deranged Slayer that lay motionless a few feet from him.
“Spike,” Buffy said as she knelt down in front of him. “Spike, look at me.” Buffy took his face in her hands and forced him to look away from Dana and at her. “Spike, you didn’t hurt the girl.”
Spike’s eyes went wide, “I did! I hurt the girl! I hurt Buffy!”
“Oh, God, Spike . . . you . . .” Buffy closed her eyes and sighed heavily before starting again. “It’s ok, it’s the drugs . . . everything’s ok,” Buffy told him as she drew him into a hug, wincing through the pain when he pulled her into a tight embrace and buried his face against her shoulder. “It’s ok, Spike,” she told him again. “Everything’s ok, now.”
Buffy called Giles and had him contact the Council to get someone to pick up Dana and take her somewhere that she could be contained and, hopefully, treated. She had to shoot her twice more with the tranq gun while they waited for the Council to show up, but finally, Dana was on her way out of the dirty basement that had been her childhood torture chamber.
Buffy took Spike to the Hyperion and asked Fred to watch him. He wasn’t nearly as incoherent as he had been when she first got to the distillery; he was just groggy now, so she felt she could leave him a little while to go check on Angel.
Before she left the Hyperion, Buffy questioned Cordelia to find out why Angel had been in the basement at all.
“The Council called him,” Cordelia said after Buffy told her what had happened.
“The Council!? That’s who Tara said called Spike. Why would they call both of them? Why would they call them at all to go after a psychotic Slayer?” Buffy asked, more to herself than to Cordelia.
Cordelia just raised her eyebrows and shrugged. “A little while after he left, I had a vision of a whole lotta blood. So gross, ewwww!” Cordelia said, shaking her entire body and flinging her hands out to the side, as if to get the grossness off . “I called Gunn and sent him after Angel.”
“Well, at least someone was on our side today,” Buffy said with a sigh.
“You know, speaking of blood and gross . . .” Cordelia said, making a face and looking Buffy up and down, “you could really use a refresher course on the meaning of personal hygiene.”
Buffy looked down at herself. Her clothes and skin were caked in dried blood and black sooty dirt. She wondered if they would even let her in the W&H hospital looking like this. “Do you have somewhere I can clean up . . . and some clothes that might fit me?” Buffy asked her.
Cordelia sighed heavily, but lead Buffy up to one of the rooms and found some clothes that would do for her. Buffy took a shower, changed into the clothes that Cordy had left, and cleaned as much of the blood and grime off her shoes as possible before heading out to check on Angel.
When she got to his room in the W&H “hospital”, Angel was awake and sitting up in bed. His hands were, apparently, re-attached although he couldn’t move them yet. Gunn was there with him.
“Everything go ok?” Buffy asked them.
“Appears so, I just wonder what kinda favors we’re gonna owe Lilah and Wolfram and Hart now,” Gunn told her.
“Angel, you ok?” Buffy asked, walking over next to his bed.
Angel sighed heavily, closed his eyes and leaned his head back against the pillow behind him, “Yeah,” he said wearily.
“Why were you there?” Buffy asked him.
“Council called, said they had a rouge Slayer killing innocents and no one else available to go after her,” he informed Buffy.
“Who exactly called, did you get their name?” Buffy asked.
“It was one of those ones from headquarters . . . Collins I think his name was,” Angel told her.
Buffy frowned, she’d never heard of a Watcher or member of the Council named Collins, but that didn’t necessarily mean anything – there were probably lots of them she had never heard of. They were like ants at a picnic – too many and most definitely annoying.
“Did he tell you that he called Spike, too?” Buffy asked.
“No, said I was the only one close enough to get to her in time,” Angel sighed, holding up his bandaged arms. “I didn’t ask in time for what.”
Buffy blew out a long breath and just said, “Yeah.” After a moment she asked, “Will you be ok here? Do I need to get you back to the Hyperion?”
“I think we’re ok – if they wanted to dust me, I’d be dust by now,” Angel told her.
Buffy nodded and told Gunn to call her if anything happened before leaving them and going back to the Hyperion to pick up Spike.
Spike was still a little groggy from the drugs he’d been injected with. He had some bruises and cuts on his face and a red line across his throat where Dana had started to press the saw blade against it, but other than that, he seemed unhurt by his encounter with the psychotic Slayer.
When Buffy asked him who had called him to go after Dana, she got the same answer as Angel gave – some guy named Collins from the Council, which was disturbing to say the least. Buffy could’ve almost understood if the right hand didn’t know what the left hand of the Council was doing (after all – communication wasn’t one of their strong suits). If two different people had called the two souled vampires, it may have been understandable, but the same person calling them both sounded, well, fishy.
Buffy helped him to her car and he fell into a fitful sleep before they’d even gotten out of L.A.
“Bloody hell! The car!” Spike exclaimed, suddenly jerking awake. “Go back! Gotta get m’ car!”
“Spike, we’re halfway home. I’ll get Xander and Anya or somebody to go back and get it tomorrow. I’m too tired to go back now and you’re in no condition to drive, anyway.” Spike mumbled something about his driving in any condition being better than Buffy’s driving at her best, as he fell back into a nightmare filled sleep. Buffy rolled her eyes and just kept going.
Two weeks later:
“How’s the tea? Probably not as good as merry ole England . . .” Buffy said in a pleasant tone to her guest.
“Quite . . . well, you simply can’t expect the comforts of home in California, Miss Summers,” Quentin Travers replied taking a sip of the tea she’d made for him.
They were sitting at the research table in the mansion, just the two of them. The rest of the Council members that had made the trip to California with the Council head (since they always traveled in packs, like hyenas) had somehow been detained between the airport and Buffy’s home. It certainly couldn’t have been because Xander, who had volunteered to chauffeur them, had driven them to the city dump instead, could it?
Giles had checked in on who this Collins person was that had called Angel and Spike to go after Dana and found out that he wasn’t actually a member of the Council or a Watcher, at all. He was, in fact, a hired gun – often used by the Council for some of its less ethical missions. He reported directly to Quentin Travers. Buffy had Giles arrange a meeting with the Council head here, in California, under the false pretense that she had figured out a way to endow all the Slayers with even more power – making them nearly untouchable – but she wanted to talk with Travers about it first, in person.
“So, Miss Summers, you have a way to make the Slayers even stronger?” Travers was asking her as he sipped at his tea.
“I do!” Buffy smiled sweetly at him. “Here’s my plan,” Buffy leaned forward, keeping the smile on her face, as if to impart a wonderful secret to the Council head. “We’re gonna recruit a whooole bunch of vampires who’d like to be re-ensouled. Willow will do her hocus-pocus on them and then we’ll pair them up with Slayers – every Slayer gets to choose one to help her fight evil! What do you think, Quentin? A whole army of Slayers with souled vampires at their side – fighting the good fight; they’d be practically untouchable, don’t you agree?”
Travers sputtered tea across the table as he tried to compose himself. “Miss Summers . . . that’s . . . that’s a . . . well, a very novel idea,” he stuttered out. “But, I hardly think it’s workable . . . I mean, really, vampires – souled or not are, well, vampires.”
“Yeah, they are.” Buffy’s voice had suddenly turned cold as ice. The smile on her face replaced with a dangerous look of loathing for the Council head. “And do you know what people who fuck with me and my family are, Quentin?” Buffy paused, as if waiting for an answer before saying, “Mostly, they’re dead.”
“Buffy, I assure you I don’t know what you’re talking about . . .” Quentin started as he began to stand up from the table. Before he could get fully unfolded from his seat Buffy had her hand around his throat and had pushed him back against the nearest bookcase, raining books down around them when he hit.
“I think you know very well what I’m talking about,” Buffy said slowly, in a voice low and threatening; her face just inches from his. “Now, here’s what’s gonna happen. I quit. I don’t work for you anymore. You won’t call me again; you won’t come here again; you won’t fuck with with my family again; hell, I better not even get a fucking Christmas card from you! Because if I do, dead will be the least of your worries, Quentin.”
“Buffy . . . I assure you . . .” Quentin started to stammer out and she tightened her grip on his throat, effectively stopping him.
“I’m not joking. You want to know what it’s like to be a vampire? ‘Cause that can be arranged. Then, you can know what it feels like to be dusted, because I assure you, that will be my pleasure. Are we very clear?”
Travers’ face was turning purple from lack of oxygen and Buffy relaxed her grip on his throat slightly before asking again, “Are we clear?”
Travers nodded and Buffy released him. He bent over, gasping for breath, rubbing his throat to try and open his nearly crushed airway. When he’d recovered enough to speak, he said, “Mr. Giles will be coming back with me, then.”
“No, Mr. Giles will not,” Giles retorted from behind Buffy. Buffy backed up so Travers could see who had joined them. Giles, Spike and Angel had entered the room when Buffy had Travers pinned against the bookcase and they stood in a semi circle around the Council head now.
“You’ll be fired, then,” Travers told him.
“That won’t be necessary. I quit,” Giles told his boss in a voice more like Ripper than Giles.
Buffy stepped back towards the Council head, her voice still low and dangerous. “If I wasn’t clear before, my family, includes Giles, Spike, all my friends, Angel, and all of Angel’s crew. I’m sure if you really try, you can figure out someone else in this world to fuck with that I don’t know.” Even though Buffy still wasn’t one hundred percent sure about how much she could trust Angel, that would be for her to decide, not the Watcher’s Council.
Buffy leaned in even closer to Travers, her mouth hovering next to his ear and whispered, “Don’t test me. The Big Bad in this house isn’t the vampire, Quentin. It’s me.”
Buffy stepped back and smiled ruefully at the Council head. Waving an arm towards the door she said, “Your ride back to the airport should be here soon. Why don’t you go meet them at the street?”
When Travers didn’t move she said with raised brows and wide eyes, “Or, I’m sure Angel would be happy to give you a ride . . . wouldn’t you Angel?”
Before Angel could respond, Travers started moving quickly towards the door. “No, no that won’t be necessary . . .”
Buffy followed behind Travers out into the garden to watch and make sure he left. She knew Xander would be by any minute with the rest of the “hyenas” to pick the leader up and take them all back to the airport.
“When did she get so scary?” Angel asked Spike when Buffy was out of earshot.
Spike shrugged. “When people started fuckin' with ‘er family, mate.”
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