Chapter 7: Vanished.
~ 3 days later… ~
Willow walked out of class with a frown on her face. Three days in a row and no appearances by Jake. She knew that she shouldn’t worry, she’d only just met the guy and it wasn’t as if they were super close or anything. But he and Buffy seemed to get along and the last thing that Willow wanted was another guy disappearing on her best friend.
She had been shocked when Riley had up and left the way he had, and she knew that Buffy had compared the demise of that relationship to her one with Angel. Both break-ups had impacted on her friend, and the last thing she wanted was for Buffy to be wary of relationships because of that.
Jake’s disappearance wouldn’t help matters.
“What do you mean he hasn’t been going to class?” Buffy asked with a frown.
“Exactly that.” Willow said with a shrug. “You know Buffy, maybe he’s just sick or…”
“He’s not sick Will, if he was he’d be at home and he hasn’t answered any of my calls.” Buffy said in resignation. “He’s avoiding me, I must have done something wro--“
“NO Buffy don’t think that.” Willow admonished. “Maybe he’s been busy, or…” She was reaching for excuses, she knew that but she had to convince Buffy that Jake hadn’t disappeared because of her. “Or… or maybe he’s a little intimidated? You are a strong beau--“
“Intimidated.” Buffy repeated, her expression darkening.
“Ow! Bloody ‘ell slayer for the third time I didn’t DO anything to the ponce.” Spike defended himself, his jaw throbbing from the blow she had just sent his way.
“Well then WHY has he just disappeared into thin air? He hasn’t been going to classes, he isn’t returning my calls, he--“
Spike interrupted. “You called him?” he said incredulously. “EVEN after what I told you?”
“You didn’t have any proof.” She said emphatically. “And anyway, how do I know that you weren’t just saying all that stuff so that I wouldn’t speak to him huh?”
“We all know about your little obsession.” She folded her arms over her chest as she waited for a response.
“I’m NOT obsessed.” He said vehemently. “Dammit Slayer do you listen to ANYTHING anybody says to you?”
Buffy swung her fist again, but this time Spike caught it. She pulled her hand out of his grasp, glaring daggers at Spike as she stepped away.
“Stay the hell away from me Spike.”
His old home beckoned him to enter and for a moment he hesitated. He was already in town, there was no sense turning around now. He had to face his demons, face his past.
He was here for her…
Reaching for the doorknob, he twisted and stepped inside the old Mansion on Crawford Street.
“He’s driving me IN-sane!” Buffy cried, slamming her fists into the punching bag before her.
Giles took an unsteady step backwards as he tried to steady the bag for the next attack. She hit at it with full force again and he barely managed to keep his footing. “Alright Buffy that’s enough for now.” He said calling an end to their training session.
Buffy stopped her last attack and walked away from the bag, stretching her muscles out as Giles drew in a relieved breath. Spike had been making his presence in town more obvious of late; ever since he made his feelings for the slayer known they hadn’t been able to get rid of him, even after repeated threats.
Buffy sighed, not knowing what to do. “If it’s not Spike, then I don’t know who it is.” She said quietly.
Giles pondered everything that she had said, before taking into consideration the events of the last few days. He didn’t want to suggest that perhaps something had happened to this Jake fellow, but that didn’t stop him from thinking it.
“Perhaps he’s visiting out of town?” he offered lightly as he wiped the sweat from his brow.
“Maybe.” Buffy said her voice hushed.
Before she could delve further into her thoughts, a crash sounded from the front of the Magic Box. She shot Giles a confused look before she reached a dagger that was on a nearby bench and rushed out of the training room…
…and right into an ambush.
Spike cracked his jaw and cursed at the pain it caused him. Stubborn bint…
Taking a large swig of his whiskey he was startled by a sudden noise outside his crypt. It wouldn’t be the slayer, she was much too pissed off with him right now to pay him a visit.
Suspecting it was a visit of the demon kind, he threw off his duster and approached the steel door. He threw it open and stepped outside…
To his right he heard the sounds of a fight, and immediately began moving towards it, figuring the slayer was about taking her anger out on his kind and figured he’d join in the fun.
Buffy eyed the six vampires that stood before her with caution. None of them were moving… they were all waiting. What for she had no clue.
“No Undead allowed. Didn’t you see the sign?” she mocked as she took a step towards the vamp nearest her.
That got a reaction. The tallest vampire with a balding head who was wearing an outfit right out of the 70’s raised a hand to quell her before speaking. “We mean you no harm slayer.”
“Yeah!” she scoffed. “Didn’t you get the memo when you were turned? Vampire = evil, slayer = evil killer. It’s pretty simple really.”
“It is not time for you yet.” He replied calmly.
“Not time for what?” Buffy asked, her curiosity piqued. The rest of the vampires stood still, silent, eyes all trained on her. What were they waiting for?
“Your death.” Baldy replied simply.
Rage coursed through Buffy’s veins. “Sorry to disappoint but I don’t plan on dying, especially not by any of you…” she said taking the time to glare at each of the six vampires.
Baldy laughed. “We are not here to kill you. She will come when it is time.”
Again with the mention of she… Buffy thought.
“She whom?” Giles voice interrupted.
Buffy didn’t turn her attention away from her watcher, but she felt his presence as he moved alongside her. A side wards glance and she saw that he was fully armed, crossbow loaded and ready to be fired.
“It’s not your time. She will come for you. First the bleached ally, and then you!” A youngish looking female piped up.
“SILENCE!” Baldy roared.
The bleached one… Buffy thought.
“Spike.” She identified.
Baldy took two steps towards the fledgling and wrapped his hands around her neck, tearing her head clean of her shoulders. She exploded into dust in his hands before he turned on Buffy.
“Giles!” she yelled giving the signal.
Giles aimed and fired, taking out the vampire to the left of Baldy as Buffy launched herself at the leader. She slammed a right hook into the vampires face and his head snapped to the side with the force of it.
The other vamps stood still, mute. Whomever it was they worked for, was obviously more threatening that she was, and Buffy watched as Giles took them out one by one without so much as a flinch.
Moments later Baldy was the only one left standing. His response to his entire crew being dusted was not one that she expected. He laughed. A low, belly rumbling laugh that resonated from deep within. “The ally of the leader of the light will be struck down and she will come to dance on his grave.”
“Ally?” Buffy repeated. “You need to fire whoever you’ve got doing your intel. Spike is not my ally, he’s a pest, an annoyance.”
The vampire’s speech was cryptic, and he wasn’t making a lot of sense.
Buffy had her stake poised to strike yet still the vampire did not move. When it appeared that he wasn’t going to say anything else she lunged forward.
He chose that moment to speak…
“The reborn will strike vengeance upon the leader of the light and the blood of the key will flow freely to destroy the prodigal.”
Buffy’s stake pierced the vampire’s heart and she screamed. “NO!”
The vampire exploded into dust.
She turned to Giles, her eyes filled with panic. “Giles!?” The vampire had mentioned the key. The key… Dawn. And Spike death was a… what? Trigger? He couldn’t die… not if Dawn’s life was in the balance.
“Go.” Giles urged.
Buffy didn’t need to be told twice as she broke into a run for the door…
Spike weaved through the headstones, following the sounds of the fight, but the sounds became no closer. He quickened his pursuit, breaking into a jog as he ran towards the south end of the graveyard. Now they were sounding closer.
He rounded the Jones Mausoleum at a speed to fast to slow down and couldn’t avoid the fist that struck out from nowhere, knocking him against the edge of the mausoleum.
His head hit the stone and everything faded to black.
Buffy pumped her arms and legs harder, her speed kicking up a notch as she darted through the gates of Restfield Cemetery and towards Spike’s crypt.
Please be okay…
Spike’s eyes blinked open for a moment as the world spun before him. A blonde head leaned towards him but his vision was too blurry to identify them.
“Buffy…” he mumbled.
“Not quite.” The smug voice replied.
Everything was falling into place.
The blonde stood up, tearing her eyes away from the vampire at her feet and scanned the trees and head stones ahead. “Change of plans boys…” the voice purred.
“Get the girl.”
Buffy ran out of the empty crypt, her desperation growing. If keeping Spike safe would help protect her sister, then she would do anything in her power to keep him out of harms way, even if meant keeping him under 24 hour surveillance in her basement.
“SPIKE!” she yelled as she ran for the opposite end of the graveyard.
Vampire dropped from the trees, surrounding her in a circle. Buffy’s head whipped around as counted them. Eight, no, make that 10…
“Uh guys, I don’t exactly have time for this.” She addressed as the vampires attacked as one.
The vampire was coming to and the blonde turned away from him to hide her identity. She did not care whether he lived or died, he meant nothing to her and her plans. He was but a pawn.
Hearing the sounds of fighting, a malevolent smile spread across her face as she turned towards her transport and left.
“SPIKE!” Buffy cried out as she ducked an attack from one vampire, thrusting out with her stake and stabbing another in the neck as she tried to fight her way out of the pack of vampires that were converging on her.
She had dispatched two of them, injured a couple but they never stopped coming.
He’d better still be alive...
The sound of his name being called broke through Spike’s foggy brain. His attackers had fled and the sounds of fighting could be heard not far from his current position. He considered ignoring them and returning to his crypt, when his name was called again.
He would recognize that voice anywhere.
As Buffy’s desperation grew, her attacks became sloppier, and the vampire’s attacks hit home more and more. There were seven left…
She caught the glint of something metallic shining in the moonlight, and she franticly tried to avoid the weapon but it kept switching hands. A fist shot out and knocked her in the head and the world faded to black.
She saw the flash again and moments later intense pain radiated upwards from her abdomen before the darkness overcame her.
Spike found the group seconds before it happened. A flash, a punch, and then a stab.
He could smell it in the air… the blood.
“BUFFY!” he screamed as he launched himself at one of her attackers, savagely slamming his elbow into the vampires face, crushing his nose.
She hit the ground and he knew immediately that she was unconscious.
A primal growl erupted from within him as he assaulted the vampire with the knife. His movements were a blur of speed, right hook, left roundhouse, right jab, right jab, and left uppercut, left spin kick…
On and on he went, fighting them back, keeping them away from her. He could hear her heart beat weakening as her blood flowed from her body. He had to get her out of here.
His eye caught a stake on the ground not far from where Buffy lay unconscious, and Spike threw himself at it, rolling to his feet as he swung his right arm backwards into the chest of one of the vampires. A second soon followed and the remaining five eyed him with more caution.
One of the larger ones pushed another forward, and Spike grinned menacingly as he staked it without opposition.
“Come on boys I don’t have all night.” He growled as he took a step towards the next one.
“Let’s get outta here!” A vamp called to the others desperately.
“You’re life will be worthless if you abandon the mistress.” Another admonished.
The arguing two continued to argue between themselves as the two who had kept silent turned and ran towards the cemeteries exits, figuring if they got far enough away they had a fighting chance.
Their disappearance didn’t go un-noticed, the last two taking one look at the fury etched on face of the blond vampire before them before taking off after the other two deserters.
Spike’s attention instantly turned to Buffy who was still unconscious.
Lifting her from the ground he cradled her in his arms as moved at a pace as close to a run as he could, the exit in his sights. He needed to get her to a hospital.
He was not without wounds himself. Blood poured freely from a gash in his arm, and he was limping on his left leg even as he ran, each step sending pain shooting up his leg. But he continued on.
A figure stepped out of the shadows, stalling Spike’s movements.
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