a/n: Betas: Mabel_Marsters, Tanit, and Slaymesoftly. Three great ladies who help me tremendously. Thank you!
And thank you to all who have reviewed so far. It really means a lot to me.
This chapter runs a little long compared to most of my chapters. I almost broke it in to two small ones, but changed my mind.
Enjoy and let me know what you think. :)
In Harm’s Way
Chapter Thirteen: Peas
Adam’s clear voice rang out across the dark street as he lumbered towards them. “Buffy Anne Summers. The Vampire Slayer. I must engage in combat with you and determine how strong you are. Then I must kill you and report back to Mother.”
Buffy stopped walking. Her friends, her watcher, and her…Spike fanned out behind her. Adam’s demon green skin looked ashen grey in the pale light of the moon. A slight breeze ruffled his hair and broke the silence of the night as the leaves on the large trees lining the street on both sides rustled above them.
“Sorry to break the bad news to you, but you killed your mother. You have no one to report to now.”
Adam paused, tilting his head as he tried to process what she'd said, but then continued to make his way down the street. “I must kill you.”
She‘d almost forgotten how big he was. It would have been better if she‘d told them all to stay in the house. “Don’t put yourselves in danger,” she told the group behind her, without taking her eyes off Adam, ”unless you really think I’m in trouble. Until then, all of you stay back.”
Buffy sliced her sword through the air, preparing for battle. Using her injured hand, she waved the group behind her to get out of the way.
“I’m looking for a good protection spell, Buffy,” Willow told her as she stepped on to the sidewalk, holding a large book open and frantically flipping through the pages. Xander stepped onto the curb on the other side, pointing a crossbow at Adam. Giles and Spike stood side by side, with weapons at the ready, refusing to budge from their position behind her.
“Let’s do this already.” Buffy fell into her habit of trying to psychologically mess with her opponent.
Adam didn't seem to even register her taunts and posturing, and did not answer her back. He picked up his pace, letting his Polgara skewer drop. With a quick jab, she plunged her sword into his side. He halted, glanced down, and then looked up at her with cold indifference.
Buffy backed up and yanked the sword free . It surprised her when he didn’t even flinch. This was not good. Her instincts were telling her to run, but she knew it wouldn‘t accomplish anything. This thing was going to keep coming after her, and it was very possible that more people would get hurt. She steeled herself to the task at hand. Adam must be stopped.
She spun around and kicked him. Like all the times she’d kicked him while fighting in the Initiative building, he didn’t budge. With calculated precision, Adam landed a punch up and across Buffy's jaw, sending her flying back into Giles and knocking him down with her.
Giles should not have been there. She got up quickly, and scowled at Giles, still sprawled on the pavement. “I thought I told you to move back.” Her eyes fell on Spike, who was glaring at Adam as he stepped forward. “Both of you; get out of my way,” Buffy ordered as she picked up the sword with her injured hand, ignoring the pain.
She watched Spike help Giles up, before turning her attention back to Adam. As she charged forward, thrusting the sword and delivering a couple of quick kicks at Adam's midsection, she didn’t have time to dwell on how weird a sight that was.
All of a sudden, she was up in the air, her sword flying in one direction, while she flew in the other, landing with a bone jarring thud on her neighbor’s grassy lawn. Shaking her head to clear her thoughts, Buffy now knew what they meant by never knowing what hit you. It had happened so fast.
Spike let out a piercing war cry as he embedded his axe in Adam’s shoulder. The grotesque creature kicked Spike away and sneered at the axe, before yanking it out and throwing it at him. She breathed a sigh of relief when Spike, using his amazing reflexes, ducked. The axe landed in the street with a clank.
Adam snarled, “Must kill Buffy.” Their eyes met, and she was more fearful of the cold, dead calm she saw there, than she had ever been of any angry, hateful demon.
Her boots slipped on the damp grass as she scrambled to get up, using her one good hand. He hadn’t even made it to the curb before Xander shouted, “Hey, Frankenstein! Over here.”
The monster halted, turned slowly, and glared at Xander on the other side of the street. When her friend aimed the crossbow at Adam and pulled the trigger, Buffy shot to her feet and got out of the way. The bolt pinged off Adam’s metal side and landed a few feet away. Adam began a slow march towards Xander who fumbled with a new bolt with shaky hands.
Buffy jumped on Adam’s back like an angry cat and tried her hardest to twist his neck, her injured wrist protesting the use. His head wouldn’t budge. Adam tried to shake her off, but she held on as the monster continued across the street towards Xander.
Behind them, Buffy could hear Willow mumbling and whimpering as she tried to recite a spell. If there was any time that Willow needed to come through with a great spell, it was now. She tried not to think of all the possible ways Willow could mess one up. She had to think positive. Positive thoughts.
Buffy was flying again only this time she landed in the middle of the street. She could not believe how strong Adam was. He’d thrown her off as if she was a pesky fly! Giles attempted to come to Xander’s rescue and was punched in the face for his efforts. He went down, but miraculously, he was able to stumble away.
As Buffy got up, Spike stomped by her with his axe now in hand. She wrenched it from him. “Help Giles.”
Adam punched Xander, who had gotten one more shot off with the crossbow, but it had done nothing to slow the monster down. Xander went up into the air, already unconscious, and landed on the hood of a parked car. Horrified at the thought that Xander might be dead, Buffy charged Adam with her axe raised.
She buried the weapon into Adam’s lower back. He arched as he spun around, trying desperately to remove the axe, and while he was distracted by that, she kicked him in the knee. He forgot the axe and came at her again. “Must kill the Slayer.”
She watched as Spike went around and behind Adam at a wide angle. She was thinking that Spike was going to check on Xander, which didn’t make any sense, because Spike was evil and couldn‘t care about her friend. Instead, Spike yelled out, “Hey, you stupid piece of scrap metal! Wanna piece of this?”
As Adam turned, Buffy yanked the axe out of his back and kicked him in the back of the knee. He stumbled, faltered and then righted himself, turning around and grabbing the axe just as she was arching it towards him. He twisted the axe, and she had no choice but to let go when her arm began to burn with pain.
Her back hurt, she could feel the swelling of her eye, and the Slayer was certain that it wouldn’t be long until the swelling got so bad that she wouldn’t be able to see out of it. But, she couldn’t give up.
She ducked as he swung the axe at her. Then, she swiftly turned to the side and kicked at the Polgara skewer as he jabbed at her.
Giles yelled, “Now!”
Spike rushed Adam from behind, punching in rapid succession then kicking, coming at the monster with all he had. Giles came from the side with his sword raised. Buffy felt the first stirrings of confidence in a long while. If they all came at him at the same time, this just might work.
Willow continued to chant, her voice growing louder. Then she faltered. “No. No! That’s not it! Stink.” And then she went back to flipping through the pages.
Adam kicked Buffy, landing a blow to her jaw. She stumbled back and watched in horror as Adam grabbed the tip of Giles’ sword with his bare hand and didn’t even flinch as it sliced his bloodless hand open. Spike might as well have not been behind Adam, as his punches and kicks did nothing to stop the monster. Adam threw the sword down and stared at Giles with impassive eyes.
Her mouth had quickly flooded with the awful metallic taste of her own blood. The feeling in the pit of her stomach that always came over Buffy when she knew she was helpless to stop something came over her now. She watched in horror, even as she went forward ready to kick the monster away, as Adam swung his arm, slamming it across Giles’ stomach. Her watcher went flying across the road, landing on the sidewalk directly across the street from the car where Xander still lay, unmoving.
“Giles!” she yelled out.
One of his legs was in a weird position and he didn’t stir. She turned back to Adam in time to see Spike get pierced in the stomach with the skewer. He yelled out in pain but pushed himself away from the skewer and stumbled back. Spike had taken many hits to the head, and red welts and deep purple bruises covered his face.
As Adam turned back to her, she futilely tried again to land a blow to his head with her fist, then backed up and ran at him, leaping into the air, kicking him in rapid succession with both feet before landing firmly. Now, she was running on pure adrenaline and was able to use her injured hand to land a one two punch to his midsection.. She did not feel the pain.
She was doing well until she got a look at her friends. Xander was still knocked out on one side of the street. Giles was either dead or unconscious on the other side and…and Spike was doubled over in pain behind Adam. It was too much for her. She needed to be on the top of her game, but her anger and grief had taken over.
She couldn't get away fast enough, and Adam sliced her jeans open with the Polgara skewer, jabbing it in to her thigh. She yelled out in pain, but had no time to dwell on it as Adam picked her up with one hand and threw her. She heard Spike scream her name and then everything went dark.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Spike screamed, “Buffy!” as she flew through the air and hit a tree trunk. Her body fell to the ground just a few feet away from Giles. She was out cold, and it was now left to him to get rid of this freak of a monster. Forgetting the pain in his side where the skewer had pierced him, he let out an enraged howl and charged.
Giles had come to and was trying to drag himself to Buffy. Willow moaned and whimpered off to the side, frozen in place, not knowing who to go to.
Adam easily tossed Spike aside and he landed in the street near Giles and Buffy.
“I can’t move. I think my leg is broken,” Giles told him with a grimace.. “Buffy’s losing a lot of blood from her thigh. I think she tore an artery.”
Spike glanced over his shoulder to see Adam lumbering their way. He quickly shed his jacket and winced as he whipped his t-shirt off. The smell of slayer blood in the air was heady and sickening at the same time. This was his slayer that was dying and he felt sick to his stomach. “Use this to staunch the flow of blood.”
Buffy groaned as Giles quickly pressed the t-shirt, with all his strength, onto her thigh wound and did his best to elevate her injured leg. She slowly opened her eyes, which got suddenly wider when she saw Adam coming their way. Spike’s unbeating heart clenched when she turned those beautiful green eyes on him.
“It’s…It’s…gah…in the peas,” she stuttered through her pain.
“Hey!” Xander yelled weakly, from the other side of the street. Spike glanced behind him just in time to see the crossbow hit Adam on the back. Changing directions, Adam marched towards Xander, who was barely holding himself up in a crouching position.
“What’s this about peas?” Giles asked.
Buffy took a few short breaths, closed her eyes and then opened them to stare directly at Spike. “The freezer. It’s in the peas. Get…it,” she said weakly as she faded into unconsciousness once more.
Spike exchanged confused looks with Giles while shrugging back into his coat. “Peas?” Giles asked. “Why does she want you to get peas from the freezer?”
With eyes wide with hope, Spike stood up. He knew! He just knew she was talking about the Gem of Amara. That would explain why she was acting so strange in the kitchen earlier in the day, when he went to get his blood out of the freezer!
He let out a soft laugh and Giles frowned at him.
“No time to explain, old man. Just keep our Slayer alive.”
Adam was moving closer to Xander, who was now on the dark porch of a neighbor’s house. Spike’s attention was drawn to the end of the street. Three commandos were running with guns in hand.
“There he is!” one yelled. “Adam!”
Spike turned and with strength that he didn’t know he had left, he ran and tackled a whimpering Willow. He tossed her over his shoulder, her book flying onto the street, and ran the best he could, ignoring the burning pain in his side. Willow didn’t help as she pounded on his back.
“Everybody, take cover,” a commando ordered. And then shots rang out, ricocheting off cars and trees.
Spike dumped Willow, non-too-gently, on the floor of Buffy's living room and threw the phone at her. “Call 911.” When Willow just stared at the phone, he added, “Buffy is losing a lot of blood. If she doesn’t get to the hospital soon, she will die!”
That snapped Willow out of her shock. He left her there punching in the numbers with trembling fingers.
Gunshots continued to go off outside.
He raced to the kitchen and yanked the freezer door open. Spike honed in on the microwavable box of peas and grabbed it. Bringing it to the counter, he realized, upon closer inspection, that it was a fake. A contraption used for just this purpose, to hide valuables where a thief would not think to look. He made a note to himself to always check the freezers of any houses he ever ransacked.
He shook the plastic box and could hear the ring. After fumbling with the thing, he got it open and quickly shoved the ring on his finger.
The feeling was amazing!
All over and all at once, his wounds began to heal. The warmth he’d felt before tingled over his body, taking over the flesh and making him feel alive again. He pulled his coat to the side and caressed the bare flesh on his side. Now, it was perfectly healed up. At first, he gently touched his face, but when he felt no bruising pain, he laughed and roughly slapped himself.
Tilting his head, he listened as the gun shots died down to nothing, like a fully popped bag of microwave popcorn. As Spike raced to the front door, he told himself that he could celebrate later.
Willow was still on the phone. “The…the ambulance is on it way.” Her fear and stress rolled off her in waves. “Where are you going?”
He smirked at her. “There’s a Frankenstein out there that needs to be put back into parts, and I’m just the vamp for the job.” He held up his hand for her, flashing the ring and whirled around to the door.
The receiver dropped to the floor and she followed after him. He was just down the steps when he realized that she planned to go with him. “Go back inside, Red. The Slayer will not be happy if something happened to you, too.”
“Go!” he roared and morphed into his demon form.
She meeped and ran, slamming the door behind her. Spike cracked his neck and smiled wickedly. It felt good to be back in form.
He came up behind Adam, just as he was breaking the neck of one of the soldiers. The other two were dead, lying in a heap not too far behind this one.
“Come on then, you stinkin’ piece of rubbish,” Spike taunted with a cocky brow raised. “Are you up for a real fight?”
Adam glanced over at Giles and Buffy and then glared back at him. “That’s right. Over here.” Spike backed up, hoping Adam would follow. Spike wanted to be far enough away from Buffy, just in case he or Adam ended up on the ground. He didn’t want to take the chance that they might land on her and hurt her any more than she already was. “You’re going to have to go through me first, if you want to kill the Slayer.”
Adam stopped and with a look of confusion, asked, “Why do you protect the Slayer? You are a vampire.”
From one side of the street, Giles stared at him with the same expression of confused curiosity as Adam. On the other side of the street, Xander glared at Spike from behind a bush.
Spike sniffed. “That doesn’t concern you, you pile of rotting flesh.”
Adam let his Polgara skewer out again, turning towards Giles and the still unconscious Slayer. With a yell, Spike charged at him. Adam whipped around and Spike grabbed the skewer, broke it off with a snap, and plunged it into one of Adam’s eyes.
As the monster pawed at his eye, Spike gripped him by the metal plate on his chest, yanking him down the street and away from Buffy. His white chest gleamed in the moonlight in stark contrast to his black leather coat. By the time Spike had them on the other side of Buffy’s house, but still in the middle of the street, Adam had the skewer out and had stabbed the vampire in the neck.
Spike winced, but easily pulled it out and grinned at Adam. “That tickled.” Then he spun around, his duster swirling out around him and landing a fierce kick to Adam's thigh. Adam got in several good hits, but Spike just kept getting back up and going at him.
They continued to trade blows with fists and boots, but the vampire was getting frustrated. Nothing he did even put a dent in the metal or wore down the monster. Adam was starting to growl with his own frustration, as nothing seemed to work to get the vampire to back down. With full force, Adam hauled back with both fists and punched Spike in the gut .
Spike when flying back, but he sprang up in an instant. “That’s it!” Spike growled at Adam. “This is over, now!”
At a full run, Spike charged the monster and with a scream of anger, he punched Adam in the gut. So hard was the force of his fist that it went right through the monster’s demon tough skin. Spike’s knuckles hit something smooth and hard.
As Adam looked down in shock, Spike pulled his hand back just enough to open it and get it around the small cylinder shaped object. He yanked it out and stared in disgust at the clear plastic container with glowing green fluid inside.
Just as Adam clutched his stomach and fell to the ground, another set of three commandos rounded a corned and came down the block.
Spike tossed the cylinder to the ground where it cracked, leaking fluid onto the asphalt. He held his arms out in mock welcome. Coming off a good hard kill was like ambrosia to Spike. He was ready for more, and commandos were just the thing he’d liked to kill right now.
Xander had just made his way over to Buffy and Giles. Spike watched the commandos get closer. He didn’t want Buffy to be shot by a stray bullet. He had to get those wankers far away from her.
He could hear the ambulance sirens, and then it was turning down the street. The headlights shone on the backs of the commandos, making their black forms stand out in the night.
If the paramedics saw those guns, they wouldn’t get out of their vehicle to help Buffy.
“Hey, soldier boys!” Spike yelled. “Hostile Seventeen, right here.”
They ran towards him even faster, and he took off running, laughing with glee.
When he was down a block and into the back alley of a set of houses, he stopped and waited for them to catch up.
“Took you long enough,” he told them when they stopped and aimed their guns at him. One of them walked in an arc, moving to his left side. Spike slowly took a step toward the two standing together. One of them shot a tranquilizer dart at him. He laughed, pulled it out and kept walking towards them.
With fear in their eyes, they started shooting at him. Without any pain, he felt each bullet pierce his skin. His coat was going to be a bitch to repair. When he was close enough, he grabbed both of the guns, yanked them away and tossed them to the side.
Before the two stunned soldiers could react, Spike slammed their heads together and they crumpled to the ground.
The soldier to the left continued to shoot at him. Spike turn to him with a scowl. “Watch the coat!” he ordered peevishly.
As soon as Spike began walking towards him, the soldier threw his gun down and ran away down the alley and disappeared between two houses.
“Heh, heh,” Spike chuckled lightly. Then, he laughed with abandon before it turned into a victory shout that rang out into the siren-filled air. Police, fire engines and Initiative vehicles now joined the ambulance near Buffy’s house. He turned the corner just as an ambulance sped off.
His smile quickly faded into a concerned frown.
The Slayer. Buffy. Was she going to be okay?
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