The next day, when Buffy and Spike had barely managed to fight their way out of a large group of Glory’s minions, they were very grateful for Max’s wards. Spike shoved Buffy onto the small lawn around the building and, after decapitating another scabby little creature, fell backwards onto the protected area himself. They lay there for a few moments, panting and watching the remaining minions flinging themselves against the invisible barrier.
“She must be getting desperate, sending them out in broad daylight.”
“Reckon she figures they’re expendable, and won’t be around long,” Spike agreed as they watched the headless bodies seem to dissolve into the pavement, as the remaining live servants began to trudge away. “Look at them. Already working on their excuses.”
Buffy snorted in agreement, then gave a rueful glance at the groceries they’d had to drop when they were attacked. “What are chances any of our food survived being thrown from the middle of the street?”
She stood up and went over to gather up the items that were still reasonably intact. The split open milk carton went into a separate pile for the trashcan, along with one of Spike’s containers of blood. The pile of things that were salvageable was surprisingly big, but the bags they’d carried them in had split apart, so Buffy went into the apartment to get something to carry things in.
Spike glanced up to see Max coming down the steps with an inquiring frown.
“I would have done something to help, but I didn’t want to give myself away as long as you were holding your own. Which it seemed you were.”
“Noticed that, did you?” Spike snorted. “We were holding our own, but we were bloody glad to be able to leave the fight when we did.”
Max nodded. “It was a good idea to jump through the wards to safety. And now we know her… helpers… can’t get in.”
“Seems not,” Spike agreed, meeting Buffy and taking one of the tote bags from her. “Guess that means we can put our things away in peace.”
Buffy had already filled her bag and walked over to talk to Max while Spike picked up the rest of their groceries.
“How did last night go?” she asked. “Is everybody okay?”
Max smiled at her. “It went well. They were fairly receptive to our suggestions by last night, and I suspect when we check with Willow later today, she will have found them preparing to leave Sunnydale.”
“Is she watching them for you?”
“Through her computer skills, she is. She checks on their purchases from time to time, so she’ll know if they make travel plans almost as soon as they do. It’s been quite helpful.”
“I’m surprised she didn’t want to use magic to do it,” Buffy said, apparently not hiding her suspicion as well as she’d hoped, when she saw Max give a small smile.
“I believe Winston has convinced her that not only does she need to keep all her skills sharp, but she shouldn’t be wasting magic on things she can do by other means. Should I assume from your disbelief that you have reason to suspect that?”
Buffy sighed. “Well, yeah, I do. But that’s based on stuff this Willow hasn’t done yet, and probably won’t with Winston keeping an eye on her.” Buffy shook her head. “In our time, Tara broke up with her because she was using so much magic for so many little, unimportant things. Bringing me back from the dead made her feel pretty powerful, and she went a little nuts from it.”
“I can understand that. It was a quite amazing piece of magic for someone untrained and unmentored. However, if one is going to indulge in dark magics, the hellmouth is certainly the place to do it. I doubt she would have been able to succeed in such a remarkable feat had she been anywhere else in the country.”
“So she used the hellmouth to do it?” Buffy cringed inwardly at the thought.
“I’m quite certain that’s where the power boost came from. She had to call on some very dark forces in order to do what she did—however poorly it may have gone at the time.”
Buffy made a face. “Yeah, digging myself out of a grave was pretty much one of my nightmares—although, in my old nightmares, when I dug out I was a vampire. So, all things considered, I guess being me was better… eventually….” She smiled as Spike walked up and took the filled bag from her.
“Nothin’ like living a real nightmare to put the old ones where they belong,” he said with a trace of growl.
“Were you sorry I was back?”
“Don’t be daft,” he said, including Max in his eye roll. “That’s not even funny. But as chuffed as I was to have you back in my life, I never want to see you that unhappy ever again.”
“And that’s why we’re here,” she said. “So there’s no chance of it happening again.”
“And on that note….” Spike smiled at Max. “How’s the magic team today?”
“If you mean Winston and me, we are quite fine, thank you. I don’t believe either one of us is feeling particularly stressed, although we would like to have another day of recovery, just in case.
“Not that it’s necessary,” he hastened to assure them. “Should something happen to Buffy, we are prepared to go into action at a moment’s notice.”
“Well, so far today, besides being jumped in our front yard by her scabby little minions, it’s been a slow day. I think we’ll keep a low profile for the rest of the afternoon, maybe go to Mom’s for dinner, and just hit a couple of graveyards on the way home. Tomorrow, I’ll go out and about a little more, and we can see what happens.”
“That sounds like a plan. Have a pleasant evening,” Max said as he waved and went back to his office.
They thanked him and continued around the building to their own door.
Groceries put away, Buffy sighed and fingered her torn shirt.
“I guess we’ll need to clean up and try to look less like we had to fight our way out of gang of ugly little demons,” she said.
“What’s your rush, love? We’ve got hours before we need to leave for your mum’s.” He patted his knee. “Why don’t you sit down and tell me all about how much you enjoyed throwing the big poof out on his arse?”
She smiled at him, but instead of sitting down, she began to unbutton her shirt, saying archly, “I think I’ll just go take off all my clothes and get into the shower….”
Before she had even turned to enter the bedroom, he was beside her.
“Let me do that for you, sweetheart. In fact, why don’t I join you and help you get clean?”
She giggled and pulled on his belt as she backed into the bedroom.
“Looks like our minds think alike, even when we aren’t trying to connect our thoughts.”
“My mind is always thinking like that. And you bloody well know it, you little minx.”
She giggled again. “It is one of the easier things to get you to do,” she allowed. “It’s a good thing I like that particular little character flaw.”
“”S not a flaw, it’s a gift,” he growled, as he finished unbuttoning her shirt and pushed it off her shoulders. He nuzzled his mark, sucking on it just enough to stimulate it, but not enough to break the newly healed skin.
Buffy’s only response was a breathy “mmmmmm” as she tilted her head for him. Her hands were busy unbuckling his belt and unfastening his jeans. Only when they were both as naked as they could get while standing in that position, did Spike take his mouth off her neck. As soon as they’d finished undressing, he scooped her up and carried her into the bathroom, leaving their clothes on the floor.
He set her down while he turned on the shower and waited for it to get warm. As he bent down to adjust the temperature, Buffy brushed her hand over his bare ass, sliding her fingers into the crack, and then up to nudge him right behind his balls.
His gasp and sudden clenching made her smile and continue to caress him, bringing her other arm around to hold his cock, which she began to squeeze gently. With one hand on either side of his body, she held him in place, knowing he would have to make her stop one or the other of her activities if he tried to turn around.
“Someone’s feeling naughty,” he purred.
“I thought I was feeling you? Are you naughty?”
“I could be…. would you like that?”
“I don’t know… maybe?” She continued her assault on his cock and his ass, teasing, but never quite putting her finger where he wanted it. “Are you going to be naughty to me?”
“I am,” he gasped, pushing back into her hand. “Any time now…. ready or not… in a second or two….”
The cheery ring of Buffy’s phone made them both start, but Spike shook his head vigorously.
“Don’t answer that. It’s probably just the big poof wanting to see if you’ve changed your mind.”
“You know that’s my mom’s ring,” she scolded, having already let go of him. “Just let me go see what she wants and we’ll pick up where we left off.”
“You’re going to leave me here like this?” He sent her a mental picture of him crying, causing her to snicker.
“I’ll be back. Amuse yourself somehow.”
Grateful that she hadn’t moved under the water yet, she ran to grab her phone off the bed.
“Hi Mom, what’s up?” Her entire demeanor changed. “She what? They what?”
She was already pulling on her clothes when Spike burst out of the bathroom and grabbed his jeans. Even without the claim connection, he would have known something was wrong. With it, Buffy’s terror and need to rush off had come through loud and clear.
“The Bit?” he asked, almost unnecessarily,
“Dawn walked home from school and ran into a brain-sucked knight. He started talking about how she was glowing, and she ran. By the time she got home, there were two more following her. I’ve got to get rid of them before Glory or one of her minions notices them.”
“We’ll take the car, it’s faster,” he said as the went outside. Buffy shook her head.
“No. You get Max and tell him what’s going on. I’m going to try to get them away from the house. Maybe I can lead them out into the desert. If Glory does see them, maybe she’ll follow me. This could be our chance.”
With a snarl, he ran upstairs, stuck his head into the office. “Call everyone. We may have a situation. I’m going to follow Buffy to her mum’s.”
Without waiting for a response, he tore down the steps and ran to catch up with Buffy who was already a block away. Using their supernatural speed, they were at Revello Drive just in time to see a nightmarish scene unfolding.
Standing outside the wards around the house, the brain-sucked knights were moaning and crying about “the light”. Surrounding the house, were Glory’s remaining minions, at least twenty of them, unable to break through the invisible barrier, but shouting that the Key was in the house.
Buffy placed herself just inside the wards, facing the knights. “Get out of here. Now.”
Ignoring her, they continued to moan and carry on, making it very obvious what was attracting them. Spike grabbed them one at a time and punched them into silence. He waved a hand at Buffy, and managed to half-carry, half-drag all three men down the street and into an open garage. He pulled the door shut on them and hurried back to Buffy.
“Nope. But they won’t be waking up any time soon,” he said. “Now what, Slayer?”
“I’ve got to get these creeps away from here before—”
She never got to finish as, with loud pop, Glory appeared behind her minions. They immediately began shouting that her Key was inside. She watched them futilely try to penetrate the invisible barrier, then waved her hand. The barrier vanished, allowing her servants to tumble through onto the grass.
Buffy immediately began whacking off heads and reducing their numbers, as did Spike, although without a sword, he was limited to biting and breaking necks.
“Give it up, Slayer,” Glory said. “I know my Key is in there. Let me have it.”
“Over my dead body,” Buffy growled, decapitating another minion.
Glory shrugged. “Have it your way,” she said, stepping easily into the space and slapping Spike away from Buffy. He hit a tree and was still, but Buffy could feel that he was still conscious.
“You know how this is going to go, Slayer. Let me have my Key and I’ll let you live.”
“That’s not how this is going to go,” Buffy said, swinging her sword at Glory’s head, just missing her neck but slicing off a chunk of hair.
“You bitch!” Glory shrieked. “Look what you did to my hair!”
She waved her hand again and Buffy found herself flying through the air to land in the neighbor’s yard. Glory walked to the door, ripped it off its hinges, and reached inside to grab Dawn before she could scramble away from her vantage point at the window. Glory dragged her outside as if she weighed nothing, and began to walk away.
“Keep them here,” she ordered just before vanishing with Dawn. She’d pointed to Buffy and Spike just climbing to their feet, and the remaining minions immediately rushed them. They swarmed over her in an attempt to prevent Buffy from using her weapons. Spike, however, went into game face, roaring as he began flinging them off in all directions.
“Have you got this?” Buffy demanded. “I’m going after them.”
“You don’t know where she’s going.”
Buffy’s shoulders slumped, but she took out two more minions without even looking at them.
“I can’t just let her go!”
“And we won’t, love. Here comes the cavalry,” he said as Giles’s car pulled up and he, Winston and Max got out.
“Willow and Tara are on their way,” Giles said. “What’s our situation?”
Buffy was now seated on the porch steps, staring into space. Spike gave her a worried frown, but responded to Giles.
“The bitch showed up, figured out where the Bit was, and took her. We’re right back to where we were in our time, except that there’s no tower to throw anybody off so we don’t know where to look.”
“That’s it!” Buffy leaped to her feet, suddenly re-energized.
“What’s it, love?”
“She doesn’t need a tower. If she’s still living in that high rise that she took you to in our time, then all she needs to do is use the roof. Do you remember where it was?”
“More less,” he said. “Wasn’t exactly taking notes, but I did pay attention in case we—you—wanted to come back and pay her a visit.”
Buffy turned her attention to Giles. “When did the Council say it was going to be time for the portal to open?”
“Not for a while yet, although they were very clear that they are making an educated guess based on very old prophecies. Even so, we should have plenty of time before she has to…. use….the Key.”
“I’m not leaving Dawn with her!”
Spike snarled his agreement.
Giles sighed, saying, “She needs the Key alive in order to use her, is that not true? I’m sure she will take good care of Dawn until she needs her.”
“All she needs is the Bit’s blood,” Spike growled. “She needs her to be alive enough to bleed, not in good condition.”
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