Buffy finally woke up to find herself in some sort of cabin, her hands bound in chains that extended down from the ceiling. What the hell? Where was she and why was she still alive? Where was Angelus? Where was Spike? Was he out looking for her? Was he confronting Angelus that very minute? Was any of them going to get out of this alive? Buffy closed her eyes and pushed all of those questions back for a later date. They could wait. What couldn’t wait was a way out of these chains. She cursed as she pulled on them without any effect. Obviously the chains were strong. She wasn’t going anywhere…yet.
“Angelus! Come out here?! What? Couldn’t keep a girl with you without chaining her up?!” Buffy sneered, her anger growing by the second, but all that anger turned to terror when it wasn’t Angelus that stepped out of the darkest corner of the cabin…but the one vampire that she had hoped never to set eyes on again. “No…you’re dead. I killed you….”
The Master just grinned cruelly as he approached the chained slayer. He licked his lips in memory of the sweet elixir of her blood. So full of power and strength. The power that had obviously increased now that he looked into her eyes. She was the strongest of them all and soon, she’d be a part of his family, ready to wreck havoc on this pitiful world. “It has been too long, my sweet. And how you’ve changed from that scared little girl. Now you’re a woman and ready for the gift.”
“Gift?” Buffy frowned, trying again to yank the chains from the ceiling as The Master stepped behind her. “What gift could you possibly have that I’d want?”
Another gleeful laugh. Buffy’s skin prickled with goose bumps as he ran his cold hands down her arm and back up to her neck, pushing her hair aside. “I didn’t say anything about you wanting it. Actually, it’ll be a gift that your sweet William will give you. Once he arrives to save the one slayer he couldn’t kill.”
Buffy really wasn’t liking the sound of this. A gift that Spike could give her? He had already given her everything. There was no more to give…unless…horrified understanding filled her senses. She suddenly knew what The Master had planned and her heart broke, knowing that as of now, there was no way for her to stop it.
“I’m wanting my family back. I have Angelus…but sadly William has deviated from the line by intentionally regaining his soul. Turning you will break the boy. Corrupt that ‘good and noble’ permanent soul that you had him regain. He will see what his true place is and join me.”
“Spike will never join you! Soul or no soul. He was never one for following orders. I’m surprised that Angelus didn’t share that with you. As for turning me. He wouldn’t. He’d never do that to me.”
“If he had no choice he would,” The Master grinned evilly, sliding his tongue down her neck, tasting the salt of her skin. Ah, she was totally delicious. “It’s amazing what a man would do for love. And you, my dear…I think you shall be my favorite. A turned slayer. The power of both. Unstoppable. Soulless and evil.”
“No. H-he won’t…he…”
“Have no choice. Now my dear…relax. This will only hurt for a second,” The Master grinned before sinking his teeth into Buffy’s neck. She screamed and silently prayed that Spike would refuse to turn her. That he was strong enough to resist what ever The Master planned to use against him. Turning her would destroy him completely. . She felt consciousness leave her once again as she prayed to TPTB that Spike wouldn’t find her. That he’d go far away and take all her slayers with him.
The image of Buffy in a lifeless heap before The Master kept running through Spike’s head, urging him onward. This was it. Tonight Angelus was going to be gone for good. Hopefully Red would have restored his soul in time enough to save Buffy…but if it came to staking the elder vampire…he would. No question about it. He’ll do the deed and he’ll do it with a song in his heart. Nobody hurt his slayer and got to live. Nobody.
Dawn stopped in her tracks and pointed to towards the woodsy area ahead. It was dark and foreboding. It was as if the combined evil of Angelus and The Master had saturated the place. “There! They were in there. Follow me!” The girl continued on the path. Spike wondered if he should just tell her go back, but he wasn’t sure if she’d listen. Dawn was never one for doing the smart thing.
Angelus was waiting for them when they arrived. His smile told of victory and darkness and his eyes…they made Spike’s blood run cold with an oh so familiar gleam. A gleam he had only seen in his early years of a vampire. If he lost…if Angelus got the best of him…no. That wasn’t going to happen. He wouldn’t allow it. Red was restoring the soul right that minute. So whatever plans Angelus had in store for him…they would have to remain unfulfilled. First thing first. He wanted Dawn out and away from danger. He couldn’t fight his best and worry about her too.
“Niblet…go on. Get out of here. I’ll take care of brood boy here,” Spike didn’t take his eyes off the elder vampire. If he looked away, Angelus would grab Dawn and use her as leverage against him. He couldn’t have that either.
“Leave? But what about Buffy? Where is she? Maybe I can go find…” Dawn began to protest. She couldn’t leave without Buffy. Wherever she was, she was in trouble she knew that. She could feel it. It was as if they were still on top of Glory’s tower and Buffy was about to jump again. “Spike please. Let me stay. I can find Buffy and help her.”
Angelus began to laugh. He couldn’t help it. The two of them were just so pathetic. Spike thinking that he can beat him and Dawn…thinking that she could help her sister when it was already too late. There was no help to be had for the slayer. He just loved watching them flounder like this.
“Listen Niblet. I need you gone. I can’t fight and save Buffy and have to worry about you as well. Wherever Buffy is, I’ll find her and bring her home. I promise. Now go. Go tell Red to hurry with that spell,” Spike pushed Dawn behind him, straightening his shoulders as he readied himself for the fight.
“You should listen to Spike, Dawnie. Because I’ve already eaten your sister. After I’m done with William here, I’m coming for you. So if I was you…I’d run,” Angelus leered at her.
“I’m not scared of you!” Dawn yelled, tears of determination in her eyes. “Spike please…”
“Bloody hell, Dawn get out of here!” Spike growled, losing his patience. If she didn’t leave now, he’ll eat her himself.
“Promise you’re bring Buffy home,” Dawn’s voice was small and scared. She knew Spike was angry with her, but she needed to be reassured. She had lost her sister once…she couldn’t lose her again…not when she may have been able to stop it.
Spike’s voice softened, his anger fading from him. He could never remain angry with Dawn for long. Now was no exception. “Promise. Now, get out of here, pet. Don’t make me tell you again.”
Dawn nodded, trusting in Spike’s ability to best Angel. He always kept his promises. He said he would save Buffy. Well then he would. There was no doubt in her mind. “I love you, Spike,” She whispered before turning and dashing back to the apartment complex, hoping that Willow had the spell done in time.
“How touching,” Angelus grinned, stepping forward. His eyes ran down Spike’s body, remembering the years when he could force the younger vamp into submission. He couldn’t wait to do that again. To have that much power over someone else…it was like a drug. William had been like a drug that he had not wanted to kick. If it hadn’t been for Darla and that damned gypsy curse…”Waste of time though. I’m going to eat her for dessert after I’m done with the main course.”
“You son of a bitch. You’re not going to come near her ever again. It’s over Angelus. It ends now. Tell me where the slayer is and I’ll make it quick,” Spike’s fingers wrapped around the wooden stake in his pocket, muscles tensed to spring into action. Oh yes. His sire was going down tonight.
Angel laughed darkly, his eyes still moving over Spike in dark desire. “You’re too late. She’s meat for the beast now boy. You might as well give up and give in. The slayer is no more and now you’re…”
With a furious roar, Spike attacked, throwing punches and high kicks, taking advantage of Angelus’s surprise…but that shock didn’t last for long. With a left hook, the tables were turned. Angelus’s fist pounded into Spike, knocking him back to a bench a few paces behind him. All too soon, Angelus spun Spike around and had him pinned down to the bench. Spike gripped the bench, hoping to knock Angelus off, but all movement stopped when he felt Angelus’s erection press against his back.
“Been a long time, hasn’t it Spikie. Time for old traditions to resume,” Angelus whispered into his childe’s ear, unzipping his pants. He had waited years for a chance at this. At last, he was getting what he had wanted for so long. “Now be a good boy and stay still.”
Spike closed his eyes, as he felt Angelus grip his jeans. He had hoped that Willow had the spill all ready to go by now. Obviously, she wasn’t able to do it, and now Spike was about to again experience the humiliation of Angelus. A humiliation that he had tried to forget. He bit his lip, waiting for Angelus to enter him, but it never happened. Just as the brunette had Spike’s pants down, the spell hit. Angelus flew off of Spike and layed in a heap, gasping for air. Spike got up and looked into a pair of tortured brown eyes. Angel. He was back and obviously knew what he had just done. Thank the powers! Red’s spell worked just in the nick of time.
“Oh god, Spike,” the elder vamp got to his feet, his hands trembling. “I-I’m so sorry…I…”
“Save it Peaches,” Spike pulled his pants back up and did the required adjustments, not daring to look at Angel. After what happened here…he didn’t know if he could even look Angel in the eye again. But that wasn’t important right now. Finding Buffy before The Master did something to her was important. Everything else had to be pushed to the back burner. “We need to get to Buffy. Now. Take me to her.”
Angel’s face went ten more shades of pale as he remembered resurrecting The Master and handing the slayer over to the despot to do with as he pleased. Spike was definitely going to kill him…that is if he didn’t kill himself. All he could do now was follow Spike’s orders and take him to the abandoned building where The Master and Angelus had set up shop. “Follow me.”
The trek to The Master’s lair was silent and full of tension. Angel had the need to beg for forgiveness. A number of times Angel opened his mouth to apologize for what he had done to Buffy and for what he had almost done to Spike, but then closed it again, thinking that Spike didn’t want to hear anything he had to say. Which he couldn’t blame him for. After all, it was his alter ego that had risen The Master.
Spike needed avoidance, good spot of violence, and to find his slayer safe and alive. He had to believe that she was ok. It was the only thing that kept him going right now. He had made a promise and he was going to keep it. He was going to bring his slayer back to the people that loved her. Nothing was going to stop her. Not even The bloody Master.
“Here,” Angel stopped in front of a boarded up building. From the outside the building looked deserted, but both vampires sensed differently. The scent of evil surrounded them. “I took her here. To the basement with The Master.”
“Son of…,” Spike stopped and took a deep breath. Anger was not going to get him Buffy back. He needed to remain calm and refrain from any violence against Angel. “Ok. Let’s go in and get Buffy and get out.”
All plans to be calm went out the window when a bloodcurdling scream came from the basement. Both Spike and Angel raced into the house and down into the basement to find The Master draining Buffy. Her eyes were wide in terror as a red streak of blood ran down her neck.
Spike’s horror and despair was all consuming. For a moment, he was frozen, his mind denying the sight before him. No. This couldn’t be happening. She loved him back…they had just consummated their relationship, not a few hours before. This couldn’t be happening…not to his Buffy. Not to the woman he loved. “Nooo!” He screamed as the light in her eyes began to fade. He rushed to her as The Master retracted his fangs out of her neck and let her body fall to the floor in a lifeless heap.
“Buffy, no,” Spike pulled her into his arms. Her brushed golden strands of hair out of her face and sighed in relief as he noticed that she was still alive…barely.
“Spike?” She blinked the tears out of her eyes, wanting to get a clear picture of him. “You came…”
“Of course I did, pet. Should know that I wouldn’t let these wankers get you without a fight.”
More tears. They were leaving her, just as quickly as the blood flowing from her neck. He pressed his hand to the wounds, trying to keep the little blood she had left inside of her. “Shhh, Luv. You’ll be ok. We got Angel back and now we’ll get you back home, as good as new.”
Buffy’s grip on his hand was growing weaker by the second, her voice had no strength at all. She was dying and they both knew it. All Spike could do was hold her and try to be strong for her. Wouldn’t do to break down when she needed him to be strong now more then ever. “I didn’t want you to have to stake Angelus…I…”
“Shhh, pet. I know. Save your strength, Luv. You’re gonna need it,” Spike placed a gentle finger against her lips that were now as pale as he was.
Angel watched them from the doorway, glaring at the Master that was circling them, probably contemplating his next move. Angel looked around for something wooden. He wanted to send the despot back to the hell he came from, but sadly nothing wooden was in sight. Darkly, he wondered if he could take The Master himself. After all, he was the one that resurrected him. It would make perfect sense. Just a simple twist of the head, and the old vampire was dust. His mind made up, Angel stepped forward but came to a stop when the master took his fist and knocked Spike unconscious. He was even more dismayed to watch The Master take Spike’s wrist and slit it with his fangs, causing blood to swell to the surface, and press the bleeding wrist to Buffy’s mouth.
“Nooo!” Angel howled as he watched the Master force Buffy to swallow Spike’s blood. His soul died just then, knowing what was to come. Buffy would rise a monster and Spike wouldn’t have the strength to kill her. Neither would he.
The master stared at Angel, evil glee in his eyes. “Ah, Angel has reawakened. Too bad. I shall return for what’s mine,” he glanced down at both Buffy and Spike and disappeared as fast as lightning, just as Angel made a move to rip his heart out. Angel came to a stop in front of Buffy and Spike, his heart crying out in despair. Spike will awaken soon enough and as for Buffy…best to get her back to the apartments and talk decide what to do then.
Looking at her, one would think that Buffy was a sleeping angel. Capable of only light and love. But Angel knew better. When this angel awoke, she would be a creature of darkness and blood with the power of two demons. And Spike…his repentant childe…he would never forgive himself for this deed. He would want to meet the sun or demand that one of the others stake him. But Angel will not allow that to happen. If they were going to get through this…they were going to need Spike. Sinking down to the floor, Angel waited for Spike to wake up and darkness to fall. They had a week. After a week, Buffy will awaken and if she was soulless…there will be no stopping her.
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