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Return to You by Thianna
8 - Demons
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Disclaimer: The characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer are owned by Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and Fox studios. This story is not meant to infringe upon anyone's rights, only to entertain.

A/N: There is a possible character death.

Chapter 8 - Demons

The wind blew gently and the smell of fresh cut grass hung in the air. Collin dumped his quiver of arrows on the ground as he crouched behind some bushes. He made sure his glove was snug before grabbing his bow and an arrow. He peeked up from his hiding place and quickly surveyed what was going on.

Buffy was fighting a couple of vampires. Dawn and Emily were doing their best fending off vampires away from Amanda who had fallen unconscious after hitting her head against a large tree.

Collin took a deep breath and focused his senses, choosing a target and letting the arrow fly. He hit his target square in the chest, through the heart. The vampire had an expression of shock as he looked down at the arrow sticking out his chest before he was reduced to dust. One by one, his arrows found a mark. He tried his best to aim for their hearts but it was difficult with their quick movements and at the same time trying not to hit anyone else. He had been lucky so far but he knew that he couldn't keep hiding for long. They would soon pick up his location and the only reason they haven’t yet is because both Slayers were keeping them busy. What worried him the most was the number of vampires coming at them. It seemed like an endless stream of vampires, one after the other, and he could only hope that Emily could hold out.

He heard some rustling behind him and instinctively dropped the bow and grabbed the stake he had hidden in his coat pocket. But before he could raise it up, he felt something hit him squarely on his left cheek, sending him a couple of feet away. He shook his head as he scrambled to his feet, blinking his eyes to focus them. He felt strong hands grabbing him by the shoulders and locking his neck between its arms. The rancid smell of sewer and sulfur wafting to his nose and he grimaced both from not being able to move and the putrid stench.

“Slayer!”, the creature shouted, adding more to his discomfort, “Which one of you would like to hear his bones breaking?” Collin could feel the adrenaline rush through him and he struggled, trying to kick behind him but it was to no avail. The creature just held his neck tighter, making it even harder for him to breath. His eyes searched frantically for Emily, more worried still for her safety than his own. He saw her running towards Buffy, the two Slayers exchanging words. Then Emily yelled something inaudible as he saw Buffy holding her back. His hands tried to pry the arms that held him so tightly and with each labored breath he hated himself for getting caught. He never wanted to put Emily in this situation. His duty as a Watcher was to train and observe her, but he settled for nothing less than to fight by her side. His responsibility as a brother was to care and protect her, and he had done so ever since she was born. He had wanted to see her happy, wanted to see her grow. Despite the fights, teasing and bickering, he loved her and could only hope that Buffy would take over where he failed. Buffy … His eyes wandered over to her form. The defiance on her face was beautiful and he wished he had one more chance to wrap his arms around her waist. Maybe Spike was right, he should have … he should …

The thought was incomplete as he felt a sharp searing pain near his abdomen. He managed to look at Emily’s tear-filled eyes and hear the sound of the creature bellowing out bowls of laughter. He could hear his heart beating loudly in his head as the creature released him and slumped to the ground. His lungs forced his body to breath, but it hurt, everything hurt and then he felt cold, as his blood slowly seeped out from him.

Emily looked on in horror as her brother’s clothes turned a dark shade of crimson. She fell to her knees in disbelief as the tears welled up obstructing her sight. She could faintly hear Dawn in the background telling her to stand. She turned her head to the left and felt Buffy move in to protect her. The vampires grew fiercer with blood lust as their senses picked up Collin’s sweet essence.

Buffy edged closer and between kicks dragged Emily to her feet. “Emily ... you have to fight!” But the young slayer was mute. Buffy afforded a glance at Collin's now still body and her heart cried out. "No, please!" But she knew this was no time for emotions, so she buried whatever hurt she felt and focused on getting the rest of them out of here alive.

From a distance Dawn screamed as the vampires were trying to corner her and Amanda away from the two Slayers. “Emily! FIGHT!”, Buffy yelled but all the young Slayer did was slump down in defeat. Dawn screamed Buffy’s name again and she was torn between her sister and the Slayer by her feet that had just lost her Watcher and her brother.

Buffy felt that familiar knot in her abdomen which meant danger was closing in. She looked up in desperation toward Dawn to see a figure edging toward the fray of vampires that Dawn was barely holding back with a pointed wooden staff. She grabbed Emily and half dragged her towards Dawn, trying desperately to save both sister and slayer.

Dawn tried her best to remain calm as she saw the vampires leering and taunting her. It was a game to them and it was obvious that they didn’t think she was much of a threat since they didn’t even bother to shift into vampire guise. But then she heard a vicious hiss and a growl that sounded angry as well as irritated. The vampires scattered from her, finding interest in something else. The figure drew the vampires towards it and now found itself in the same predicament that Dawn was just in. The vampires hissed and lunged at the newcomer but he deflected them away easily. When he broke one vampire’s neck with his hands then crushed down on another's windpipe with his boots, the others started to back away cautiously.

As the others sensed Buffy’s arrival, they hissed at the figure and ran away. Dropping Emily beside Amanda, Buffy quickly went to her sister, spitting “I’m sorries and are you okays”.

The figure turned around to face them and Buffy stood her ground, slightly pushing Dawn behind her.

“It’s been a while, love.”

Buffy could hear the distinctive English accent and quickly looked over to where she last saw Collin only to find the figure in front of her wearing his face.
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