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Author’s Note: Sorry this chapter took so long. The next chapter should be up quicker since I’m halfway through it now. I hope people are still interested in this. I’m still going to finish it, it’s just that real life responsibilities come before fanfic now a days. Btw, I’m placing Rush into Darkness on Hiatus because I have no inspiration for the story. Hopefully the muse will start working on that one as soon as this one is out of the way. Thanks for your patience and a big thank you to Jill for her beta job. And as everyone here should know, I do not own these characters. They belong to the wonderful genius Joss Whedon.

Chapter Nine

Silence. That was all Buffy heard as she took a stepped into the seemingly empty park. Taking in her surroundings, she looked for clues of where Angelus and Dawn could be. She knew that her sister had to be afraid. The last time she had seen Angelus, he had almost ripped Dawn’s throat out…or rather…that was how she remembered it. Really, it had been Willow Angelus had grabbed in the hallway of the school. Not Dawn. Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath, pushing all memories aside. She was here on a mission and she wasn’t leaving until that mission was done. Dawn or no Dawn.

“Hello lover.” Angelus stepped out from behind the trees, a gleam of amusement in his gaze. “Knew you ‘d come. Especially for the girl that shouldn’t exist.”

“Where is she?” Buffy’s voice was tight with anger. If he had laid one hand on her sister, Buffy would do more then just stake him.

Angelus just grinned and backed away into the darkness. “Come find her, slayer. She’s waiting for you.”

Damn it. She wasn’t in the mood for a game of hide and seek. She wanted to save Dawn and stake Angel as quickly as possible, so it can be over before Spike even knew she was gone. Taking a deep breath and readying her stake, Buffy followed her ex into the darkness and prayed that he led her to Dawn.

“Coming Buff? We don’t have all night! Time is running out for poor Dawnie…”

“I’m going to kill you. You know that, right? No more games Angelus. This is going to end.”

Laughter came from all directions. He was so predictable. Playing with her like this. “Ah, love. It’s never over. Not between you and me. Sent me to hell, yet I came back…”

“No. That was Angel. He came back.”

“Is that what you think? That he came back? Got news for ya darling. That wasn’t Angel. That was me. All of it. When you fed him your blood…that wasn’t him you were feeding. It was me. Thank you, by the way.”

“You’re lying.”
“Am I?”

Buffy rolled her eyes. She had enough of this mind game Angelus was playing. She wanted her sister back, and she wanted her back now. “Enough! Where is Dawnie!”

“Oh. You mean her?” Angelus stepped into a pool of moonlight, hold a bound and gag Dawn by her shoulders. It was obvious that the girl was frightened. Buffy forced herself to stay calm. “Let’s hear what she has to say,” Angelus pulled the tape off Dawn’s mouth.

“Buffy! He’s insane! You have to do something! Please!” Dawn pleaded, trying to wiggle out of the vampire’s tight grasp, but it was no use. His hold was just too #9; strong.

“Aw, but we’re having such a good time,” Angelus planted a loud kiss on Dawn’s cheek, grinning at the angry gleam in her eyes.

“Let her go Angelus. Your deal is with me. Not her. Let her go,” Buffy crossed her arms, glaring at the vampire. Oh yes. Angel or no Angel. Angelus was dead.

“But she’s so cute…,” Angelus pinched her cheek, grinning at how red with anger, Buffy’s face got.

“I am so going to kick your ass,” Buffy growled, taking a step forward, ready to push Dawn out of the way so she could drive the stake through Angelus’s heart.

Sensing the danger, Angelus untied the teen. He knew what the Master’s plan was, and his getting dusted before anything could happen, was not part of that plan. “Ok. Fine. She’s gone.” He pushed Dawn away from him.

“Buffy!” Dawn flew to her sister. “Buffy, he’s insane and he keeps talking about a master.”

“Shut up Dawnie,” Angelus growled, kicking himself for his need to brag. Buffy was not to know of the Master’s return until it was too late. It wouldn’t do for the kid to spill the news.

Buffy frowned. Something was off here. Something she was missing…but before she could figure it out, she needed to get Dawn to safety. “Dawn…go now. Go get Wes or Willow. I’m going to need back up.”

“But Buffy…” Dawn tried to protest, having a very bad feeling about all this. Something was going to happen…and it wasn’t going to be good.

“Go on. Get out of here,” Buffy pushed her sister towards the exit, wanting her as far away from this confrontation as possible.

“But…,” Dawn opened her mouth to protest, but by the look her sister threw her, she knew that it was useless to argue. The only thing she could do now was do as Buffy had asked. “Ok. Fine. Be careful,” Dawn hugged Buffy one last time before running off into the darkness, determined to get help.

Buffy watched Dawn go, trying to push back the feeling of doom that had suddenly settled into the pit of her stomach. She shook her head, wondering why all of a sudden she felt so scared. This was only Angelus after all. She had faced him before and won. She’ll win again. For her sister…and for Spike.

“Alone at last,” Angelus grinned. “What shall we do now, that it is only the two of us?”

Buffy turned to face the monster that wore the face of the man she had once loved. “Let’s dance.” She kicked his feet out from under him. Soon Angel was back on his feet and the battle was on.

“Is that my Childe I smell on you, Slayer? Ah, knew it was a matter of time. William was always a sucker for my leftovers.”

“Shut up!” Buffy threw a left hook, knocking Angelus back. She didn’t want to talk about Spike. She only wanted to kill Angelus so he could be out of their lives forever.

“Got to admit. You have good taste. Spike was always a good fuck. I should know. I’ve had him a number of times. Just couldn’t get enough. His blood tastes of Vanilla. Of course, you probably already know that.”

“You’re disgusting,” She lounged at him again, just for him to grab her by the throat. “You didn’t say that our first time, love. I should take you now. Just like I took William. The way I’m going to take him again when he comes to save the girl. It’s about time he learns some respect.”

“You stay away from him,” Buffy hissed through clenched teeth, trying to hide her fear. She had to get out of this somehow. More now then ever.

“I don’t think you are in the position to make threats, slayer. I hope he was good, since most likely, it’ll be the last time you’ll see him again. My master has great plans for you. Just as I have great plans for Spike.”

“Go back to hell.”
Angelus just laughed, before slamming her up against a nearby tree, knocking her unconscious. It was time to take her to the Master and make a request of his own…one he hadn’t thought of until now. Total control over his childe. Make Spike pay for all those years of disrespect. “Got big plans for you both,” Angelus hefted the unconscious slayer into his arms and disappeared into the darkness to appear before The Master.

~*~

Spike awoke with one phrase running through his head. “She loves me. She really loves me.” Just that thought alone made him completely and truly happy. For once, the woman he loved returned those feelings and there was nothing better then that. For the first time since Angelus lost his soul, Spike felt light and hopeful. As long as he had Buffy by his side…he could do anything…even kill his sire.

Sighing happily, he reached over, expecting to find a warm body next to his, just to be met with a cold sheet and paper addressed to him. Frowning, he picked the paper up and read. His eyes widened in terror as he realized where his love had disappeared too. Bloody hell! He should have known she would do this! And to make it worse, she did it for him! So he wouldn’t have to stake his own sire! “Damn you, Slayer!” Spike growled, feeling a mixture of love and anger.

Dropping the letter back onto the bed, Spike began to pull on his clothes, determined to find Buffy before she ran into Angelus. He had promised to take care of her, to protect her from Angelus, and that was one promise he was going to keep to Angel. Not only because he loved her, but because he loved his sire as well. Angel would never be able forgive himself if he hurt Buffy.

He had just pulled on his shirt when a blood-curdling scream rang out from the foyer. Rushing out of the apartment, he came up on the sight of Willow’s new bird, collapsed on the floor, cuddled in her lover’s embrace. Bloody hell!

“What happened?” He ran the rest of the way down the stairs to kneel down next to her.

“B-Buffy!” The girl cried out, clinging to Willow and sobbing uncontrollably.

“Buffy? What is she going on about?” Spike looked at Willow, trying to hold back the fear in his voice, but knew that his eyes told all. He was scared.

“Paige has visions. She must have had another one. She’s been having them all week. This one must have been about Buffy,” Willow frowned, trying her best to soothe her girlfriend, but to no avail. “Paige…what did you see? What about Buffy?”
“Tell us,” Spike placed a gentle hand on Paige’s arm, trying not to be so impatient.

“Buffy…she is in terrible danger…she’s going to die soon…she’ll be so shattered,” Paige sobbed, burying her face in the crook of Willow’s neck.

Spike fell back in desperate fear. Whatever was going to happen with Angelus, was most likely happening now. He had to get to them. Now, before anything could happen…before Paige’s vision could come true. Spike got to his feet and headed for the door, his jaw set in determination. It was Wesley who stepped into his path.

“May I suggest you take time to plan what we’re going to do, Spike? You’d be no help to Buffy if you run head first into this.”

“You heard her, Wes. I don’t have time. My girl is in trouble, and I’m going to go get her out of it. Now get out of my way before I move you myself.”

Wesley opened his mouth to protest when Giles rushed through the door, holding a box.

“I have found an Orb of Thesulah,” Giles held up the box, a bit confused. Why was Paige and Willow on the floor? And why did Spike look like he was going to pummel Wesley.

“Good. Red. Get that soul spell started. I’m off to retrieve my slayer,” Spike pushed Wesley out of the way and rushed past Giles, not looking back to see if his instructions were being followed. He knew they were. Willow loved Buffy too, and would do anything to make sure she was safe.

He was a few feet away from the house when he collided with a hysterical Dawn. He inwardly cursed. Dawn’s appearance meant only one thing. Buffy had found Angelus and was facing off with him that very minute.

“Spike!” Dawn sobbed, clinging to him as if she was afraid he’d disappear. “Spike! It’s Buffy! You have to get to her! You have to save her! Oh god, it’s all my fault! She told me not to go out by myself and as always…”

“Niblet, take me there. Show me where they are. The sooner I find them the better,” Spike took a step back, holding her at arms length. There was no more time for hysterics. He had to find Buffy now! “Can you show me?”

Dawn nodded, sniffling back her tears, knowing that she had to be brave now. Brave for not only herself, but for her sister as well. “Yes. Follow me. But Spike…Angelus…he wasn’t alone. I saw him talking with this…thing…I guess he was some kind of vampire because he had fangs. He was bald and he…”
“Looked like a bloody bat?” Spike asked, his dread growing at the description. He hoped to the powers that be that Dawn wasn’t describing who he thought she was describing…if she was…then they were all in for a world of trouble.

Dawn nodded, a bit surprised that Spike summed up his description so simply. “They were talking about the slayer. Angelus kept calling him master. Who is he Spike? What does he want with Buffy?”

“Fuck! That bloody wanker resurrected the master!” Spike let go of Dawn and began to pace.

“The Master?”
“Head of our line. The sire of Darla, Angelus’s sire. The vampire that killed Buffy the first time, and if we don’t hurry, he’ll kill her again! Hurry. Take me to where you were held and pray that Angelus didn’t get an upper hand on your sister. I don’t even want to think of what could be happening to her if he did.”

Her face ten shades of pale, Dawn nodded and took off back to the park, knowing that Spike was right behind her and would save her sister. No matter what.

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