"In a way, Willow. You see, Buffy is the Immortal." Giles said to the hacker.
"WHAT!" Buffy yelled, astonishment written all over her face. "ME?"
"Yes, Buffy, you," Giles said, smiling at his protťgť. "It took me a-awhile to figure it out. Remember when Kendra appeared and-and you were all upset because there was suppose to be 'only one' Slayer?"
Buffy nodded. "Yeah. She arrived because I had technically died, even though Xander brought me back to life."
"Well, Buffy," Duncan MacLeod said, standing. "You would have come back to life even without your friend Xander's help."
"Oh, my god!" Buffy exclaimed. She ran up the library stairs and through her arms around Angel. There were tears in his eyes as he held her closely, the news seeping into his brain. His Buffy was going to be with him for a very long time.
Giles cleared his throat. Buffy turned. "Sorry, Giles. It's just...this is such great news! I mean, how often can a girl with a boyfriend who's a vampire say that she can live as long as he does, without becoming a vampire, too, that is."
That night, Angel pulled Buffy into his arms, knowing that he'd be able to hold her like this...forever.
"Ungh!" Buffy said, flopping onto the couch. "You think after 114 years there'd be no more vampires."
Angel looked up from his paperwork and smiled at her. "Rough night?"
"Went for a record of 22 in five hours," she replied, stretching her arms over her head. "It's this stupid Hellmouth. I swear its more potent than a roach motel."
The immortal couple had decided to stay in Sunnydale even after the new Slayers had come and gone to help with the large vampire population that continuously descended on the small California suburb. They bought a large, Victorian style home with the money they accumulated over the years with the help of Duncan MacLeod, Methos who was once again going by Adam Pierson, Amanda DuPrey and the other Immortals they were friends with and who were still in the 'Game.'
It had been hard for Buffy, watching her friends grow old and die as the years passed, while she and Angel stayed young and fit. But they had gotten through it together, still very much in love as the day they first kissed, long ago. She now lived in the night, sleeping the days away with him at her side. No one really noticed that they never aged, and they kept up appearances by changing the names on any paperwork every thirty years through lawyers who were also Immortals or their friends.
"Do you think something is going to be happening?" Angel asked, concerned for the new Slayer. Samantha Crindell was a wisp of a girl who reminded him of Willow - shy and reserved, but with an underlying passion that swept everyone away. She was currently the longest lived Slayer, not including Buffy, having just turned 20 and was enrolled at the Community College studying Mythology.
"Maybe," Buffy replied. "I'll go visit Jordan tomorrow, find out if anything's written in the books." Jordan Tremaine was Samantha's Watcher, who had followed in Giles' footsteps by taking a position as the high school librarian. In fact, all who followed in the legendary Watcher's wake had done the same. Buffy was a legacy as well, having changed some of the methods and rules concerning Slayers. She even got to help rewrite the Handbook.
She stood and walked over to her best friend, her protector, her lover for over a century and slipped her arms around his shoulder, kissing him on the back of the neck. "Want to help me relax?" she asked seductively.
His lips quirked into sexy grin. Turning, he pulled her down onto his lap for a long, passionate kiss.
"There is a gathering," Jordan said, loosening the tie around his throat and opening the top button of his shirt. "Vampires from across the world will be heading for the Hellmouth to attend."
"A big vamp party?" Buffy asked, quirking a brow at the young man before her. Of course, almost all men were younger than her. Jordan was in his late twenties, dark haired, dark eyed with the body of an Adonis. It was a good thing he worked in the library where no students liked to venture, or he'd be swamped with teenage females.
"Basically," he replied. "The details are sketchy, but I do know it has nothing to do with opening the Hellmouth."
"That's a relief," she said. "You won't believe how many times Iíve had to stop some big bad vamp from opening it."
"Er...yes," Jordan responded, setting the book he was holding on the desk. The Watcher's may be computerized, but the main references are still the books. The high school housed the most extensive occult library in the world.
"Hmm," Buffy frowned, wondering what the gathering could be for. "I'll ask Angel to see if he can find out any more."
"That would be most appreciative," he replied. "Samantha's duties have been close to overwhelming of late. I'm glad she has your help."
"Being Immortal does get boring after awhile," she joked. "Had to do something to pass the time."
"Well?" Angel asked upon her return from the library.
"No hello? No kiss?" Buffy said, hands on her hips, trying to look peeved.
He smiled. "Hello, woman," her said, kissing her soundly for several minutes. She blinked rapidly when he finally broke it. "Now, what's up?"
She scrunched her nose at him for ruining a very pleasant diversion, but explained anyway. "Hellmouth rendition of the Vampire Prom," she replied. Angel quirked a brow. "That's all Jordan knows."
"I take it I've been volunteered to find out more."
"Of course. It's not like they're gonna tell me," Buffy said. He sighed dramatically, earning a swat on the arm. "Be careful," she said as he went to leave.
Buffy heard the kitchen door open and headed out of the bedroom for the stairs, anxious to find out what Angel learned. She and Samantha had gone on patrol together, dusting another twenty-some vamps before calling it a night. Voices floated up the stairs, causing her to pause as her mind vaguely recognized the other two with Angel.
She waited. Angel soon came out of the kitchen followed by two vampires she would know anywhere. Growling under her breath, she practically stomped down the stairs to the family room they'd just entered. "I can't believe you invited them into our house!"
If she wasn't so furious with Angel, the expression on his companion's face would have had her in tears. Angel held back his own laughter as his peroxide blond childe opened and closed his mouth several times, his eyes wide in shock. "Spike, Drusilla, you remember Buffy."
"She's not like us, but she is," Drusilla said in her far off voice.
Buffy glared at the female vampire, then back at Angel. "I want answers now or you'll be finding yourself on the receiving end of my sword!"
"Honey, calm down," Angel said, walking to her. "They have information that we need, and Spike's not too happy with what's going on."
"Slayer!" Spike finally spit out, causing the two lovers to turn and give him a strange look.
"You're still alive!"
"Seeing as I'm standing in front of you, I would say duh," Buffy said sarcastically.
"But youíre not a vampire," he said, confused.
Buffy shook her head. "Vampires donít have the exclusive on immortality, Spike."
She went over to her favorite chair and flopped down, legs over the arm. "Since Angel ever so nicely invited you in to kill us, why don't you take a seat."
Angel closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose, a habit he picked up from working with the Watcher's Council. "Buffy..." The look she shot him could melt steel, and he sighed, ready to do some heavy groveling. He'd gotten pretty good at it over the years. He gestured for Spike and Drusilla to sit. "Why don't you fill Buffy in while I run away before she pokes my eyes out."
He'd gotten the response he'd hoped for as Buffy giggled, and he went to perch on the edge of her chair as the other two vampires sat down. "So, Blondie, how's unlife been treating you? I see you're still with the skanky ho."
Spike glared at her. "Very funny, pet," he said, remembering the last time she'd said those words. "The same could be said for you and your lap dog. Last time I saw you, you two were battling to the death."
"What can I say? Love makes you do the wacky," she replied, grinning. "So, spill. What's with the vampire hoe-down?"
"The blokes running the show captured one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse," Spike told her. "That's the word, anyway. Don't know how, seein' as they're a bloody myth. But they say he's gonna destroy the world, and we all know how much I want that to happen."
Buffy and Angel looked at each other in surprise. They knew who the remaining member of the infamous deathbringers was, and if he was turned, he'd be the oldest, most evil being on the planet. "I'll call Mac, tell him to get his 500 year old hiney down here," she said, jumping to her feet. "Use the cell to call Amanda. We're gonna need all the firepower we can get."
Spike watched as the Immortal Slayer rushed out of the room and his sire pulled a small phone from his pocket. "I take it this is worse than I thought," he said. Angel nodded, then began speaking into the phone.
"Amanda? Angel. We have trouble."
"When are you two not in trouble?" the Immortal asked.
"It's Methos," Angel said.
"Methos! What happened?" Amanda demanded.
"The local vamps have him," he told her. "They're planning on resurrecting the Horseman."
"I'll be there in five hours," she said, hanging up the phone. Buffy walked back into the family room as Angel put the cell away.
"Mac will be here in three," Buffy said. She looked at the two on the couch. Drusilla was playing with the doll in her hands and Spike was looking at her with questioning eyes. "If they do have Adam, Spike, you might want to stay in the sun before he's turned."
"You mean to tell me that it's not a myth?" Spike said incredulously.
"We know the Horseman in question," she replied. "He's older than recorded history and if he were turned..."
"We'll all be knee deep," Spike finished, glowering at nothing in particular. "I don't fancy that. Do you, ducks?"
"He'll be evil, like my Angel was," Drusilla said in her child-like voice. "With the power of the gods. Can I have some cakes to go with my tea?"
"I wish we could take Spike's picture," Buffy said as she settled back against Angel in bed. "Seeing him and Amanda standing together, both with peroxide blond hair was a definite Kodak moment."
"Scary thing is they're a lot alike, as well," Angel commented. The couple had invited the two vampires and two Immortals to stay in their guest bedrooms after much protesting from the others. "Both cocky to the core."
"I still find it hard to believe that Spike is still with that psycho-loony," she said. "He must really, really love her."
"He does. When I lost my soul, I made it a point to use his love for her to my advantage, taunting him, flirting and doing other things with her," he said. It was no longer painful for them to talk about the past, and although Angel would never forget, they concentrated on the 'now' not the 'then'.
"Do you think the vamps really have Adam?" she asked.
"Itís a possibility," he replied. "Duncan hasnít been able to contact him, and the Immortal Watchers havenít seen ĎAdam Pierson the fourthí in awhile either."
"Iím scared, Angel," Buffy admitted. "I thought that the possibility of going against an Immortal vampire was the worst thing I could ever do, but to combine that with one of the Four Horsemen of the ApocalypseÖ"
Angel kissed her brow, holding her close. "I know, sweetie. I know."
"Ok, the plan goes like this," Buffy said to the other seven seated at her kitchen table. Samantha and Jordan had joined them as soon as the sun had set, much to the blond vampireís dismay. "Spike will go on to wherever this shindig is being held, try to see if they do have Adam or not, then let us know. If they donít, then weíll just ignore them. If they do, we have a major rescue mission to go on."
"How will we get close enough to him?" Amanda asked. "Itís not like the vamps are going to let a bunch of quasi-humans crash their party."
"Leave that to me," Spike said, standing. "The only thing I want is for Dru to be kept out of harms way."
Buffy nodded, then looked at Jordan and Samantha. "Thatíll be your guysí job."
"Right," Jordan acknowledged, looking worriedly at the insane female vampire playing with her doll.
"I should go with you," Samantha said stubbornly.
"No. If you die, you donít get back up again," Buffy told her. She turned to Angel. "Neither do you, which is why youíre backup."
"Donít, Angel," she said. "Youíre too important for me to let you come with, just like Dru is to Spike. He can get in and out without a problem. You, on the other hand, are too well known with the other team."
Angel nodded reluctantly, seeing the wisdom in Buffyís statements, but not liking them. "I take it then Iíll be guarding whatever exit you choose?"
"Correct," she answered, then turned to Spike. "Are you ready?"
"Iím off," Spike replied, kissing Drusilla on the cheek. "Iíll be back in a little while, kitten. You be good for Spike, ok?"
"Are you going to bring me back a present?" Drusilla asked, looking up at him with her clouded, dark eyes.
"Of course, pet," he responded. "A nice companion for your dollies." He straightened, nodding to the other occupants of the kitchen, then left.
"Heís there," Spike said a few hours later pointing to the map. "Looks a little ragged around the edges, but alive." The blond vampire began to pace in the kitchen, casting a loving glance at Drusilla every so often as he spoke. "Thereís an access tunnel through the mausoleum, we can get in through there."
"That was the site of our second date," Buffy recalled suddenly, giving Angel a grin. His face showed puzzlement, then laughter as he remembered.
"Before the Harvest," Angel said. "You asked me if I had any friends."
"And you stood there like a fish," she said.
"Please, people, can we get to work here?" Spike interrupted. "I have better things to do than to hang around listening to your sappy stories."
"Rude much?" Buffy said to him.
"All right, children, knock it off," Duncan said. Spike glared at him, but he ignored it. "I take it the plan is to go in, swords swinging, and bust Adam out?"
"Unless you have a better one?" Buffy shrugged.
"Canít say that I do," Amanda said. "Between the three of us, we should be able to do it."
"What about the guards?" Angel asked Spike, looking over the blueprints of the sewers Jordan provided.
"Theyíre stationed here, here and here," Spike replied, pointing to the plans. "Probably some guarding the other entrances, too."
"Now, hereís the tricky part," Buffy said, looking pointed at Spike. "Whoís side are you going to be on once we get down there? I know youíd rather not have the vamp population on your heels for helping the Slayer - again."
"You got that bloody right," Spike said, digging out a cigarette and lighting it before anyone could protest. Not that he cared, most of the people in the room wouldnít die from cancer. "How Ďbout this. Iíll go in first and get to the other side and block the other entrances and you concentrate on getting your mate?"
She nodded. "Ok. But double cross us and Iíll make sure Drusilla sees the light of day."
Spike scowled at her, but agreed.
After securing Drusilla in the basement with many crosses and holy water drenching the door, the five immortal beings left Samantha and Jordan at the house as they headed for the cemetery and the mausoleum.
"This is where you two had your second date?" Amanda asked quietly. "Talk about morbid."
Angel rolled his eyes at Buffy, causing her to chuckle under her breath. She gave him a quick, hard kiss, then followed Spike into the crypt, leaving the soul-filled vampire to guard the entryway.
"Give me two minutes," Spike told her. "Then follow." Buffy nodded and looked at her watch as he sauntered into the tunnels, acting like a master vampire coming back from the hunt.
"Amanda, your main priority will be to get Adam," Buffy said. "Duncan and I will take care of the fang gang."
"Just remember," Duncan warned as they prepared to enter the tunnels. "If they kill you, thatís fine. But donít let their blood pass your lips."
"Duh," the Slayer replied. Amanda laughed and Duncan sighed.
"Vamps, one oíclock," Duncan whispered as they rounded a corner. The two vampires in question heard the trio and charged without so much as a warning. Raising his sword, the Immortal Scot cleanly cleaved off the first head, sending a shower of dust into the air. He engaged the other one, moving him to the side so Buffy and Amanda could rush past.
The two females jogged down the hall, not waiting for their comrade, knowing he would catch up as soon as he was able. Up ahead was a split in the tunnel, and they knew from Spikeís recon, two more vampires lay in wait. With a grin to Amanda, Buffy jumped into the opening of the split. "Hey, guys? Wanna play?"
The two vampires were startled by her appearance, but didnít let that deter them. With a growl, one attacked and Buffy shot her leg out in a brutal side kick, sending him back into the other one. She followed them further into the tunnel and saw Amanda run by out of the corner of her eye, then Duncan.
The vampire sheíd kicked came at her again, and she turned her attention to dusting them as soon as possible. Her punches and kicks that she had taken years to perfect were fluid and graceful, and both vamps found themselves at a loss when the stake plunged home. Not even waiting for the dust to settle, she spun on her heel and ran the same way her two Immortal friends went.
She caught up with Duncan at another intersection, fighting off four vampires on his own. Glad to see that Amanda had continued on as planned, she jumped into the fray, knocking a vampire down and immediately staking him. Being careful of Duncanís swinging blade, she rolled forward and shot her fist up into another opponents crotch, sending him howling back against the wall. It the tightly enclosed space, he hit with a loud crack, falling bonelessly to the floor. With an expert flick of her wrist, she let loose the stake, and watched as it sank into his chest, turning him to dust.
By that time, the other Immortal was brushing himself off, cocking his head towards the sounds of running footsteps. He gave her a hand up, then took off down the tunnel towards their final destination. The masterís lair.
When Buffy stepped into that fallen church, it was as if she jumped back in time. There was the place she shot her crossbow bolt, there was the place the master had sank his fangs into her neck, there was the water she drowned in, and there was where she looked up to see Xander and Angelís worried faces as she came back to life.
"Buffy?" Duncan called as he helped Amanda saw at the ropes that held their unconscious friend.
The Slayer shook her head, clearing the visions and ran over to them. "Sorry. This is where IÖdied." They both nodded, having been in the same position before. "Here, let me," she said, grabbing the rope and pulling with her might, breaking it quickly. "Nice to have super-human strength at times, isnít it?"
Spike came bounding into the room, cursing up a blue streak. "Time to fly, kiddies," he said, not stopping as he headed back the way they came.
Buffy didnít hesitate in grabbing Adam and hoisting him over her shoulders in a firemanís carry, allowing Duncan to lead and Amanda to cover their tail as they hurried out of the masterís lair. "God, Adam, gaining some weight?"
Up ahead, she saw Spike leaning casually against the split in the tunnel, one leg propped on the far wall. When he saw them, he put on his demon face and growled loudly, falling into a fighting stance. "He must be playing guard," she said, practically throwing Adam at Duncan. "Take him and get out, Iíll deal with Spike."
Duncan nodded as Buffy scrambled by him, leaping at Spike, sending them both to the ground in a heap. They other two Immortals ran past before she was thrown back, hitting the wall with a thud. Landing in a crouch, she sent her leg out, sweeping the blond vampireís feet from under him as he stood. He fell to the ground again, and she pushed herself into a fighting stance, mimicking his earlier one.
Spike rapidly rose to his feet, letting the human mask descend on his features and giving her a wink. She smiled back and ducked as his foot came flying towards her face, spinning in the small area to send her own kick to his chest. He caught it and shoved her back, causing her to hit her head on the wall. "Um, ow," she said, rubbing the large bump forming on her skull.
"Sorry, pet," he whispered with a grin. Glancing over his shoulder, he noticed no other vampires present. "Come on, letís blow this hell hole."
"Gladly," Buffy replied, taking off down the tunnel at a run, Spike on her heels. If any vamps were to follow, theyíd think he was hunting her down. Before they knew it, the entryway to the mausoleum was in view. Smiling, she hurried through to see Angel nervously pacing outside the crypt doors. "Hello, lover."
Angelís head shot up and he gave her a relieved smile. "They went back to the house," he said, catching her up in a hug.
"You two are just so cute, I think Iím going to heave," Spike said as he came out of the mausoleum. Buffy rolled her eyes, then the three of them made their way back to the house.
As soon as they got back, Spike immediately went to the basement to be with Drusilla after Samantha cleaned up the door so he could pass unharmed. The Slayer and her Watcher bid them good-night and left soon after. Adam was laid out across the couch, still unconscious, with Amanda hovering nervously around him.
"Amanda, sit down," Duncan chided. "Heíll come around soon. His headís too thick for him to be really hurt." Amanda glared at him at the same time Adam groaned. "See?"
Adam Pierson, also known by very few as the oldest Immortal Methos, pried his eyes open. "Did someone get the name on that truck?" he asked, putting a hand to his head.
"Are you alright?" Amanda said, perching on the edge of the couch. Buffy came in from the kitchen with a glass of water and handed it to her.
"Iím fine," Adam said, accepting the water as Amanda gave it to him, next. He took long, greedy swallows, then handed the empty glass back to her. "What happened?"
"You mean, you donít know?" Buffy said, sitting in her favorite chair, Angel perched next to her on the arm.
"No. I got hit over the head with something, then zip," Adam said.
"You were kidnapped by some vampires," Angel told him.
"Really?" Adam said, clearly amazed. "Whatever for?"
"They wanted to resurrect the Horseman," Duncan replied.
Adamís face paled to match the white walls. "How did they know it was me?"
"We donít know," Amanda said. "Maybe they have a psychic, like Drusilla."
"Drusilla," Buffy supplied. "Sheís one of Angelís childer."
Clearly perplexed, Adam just shook his head. "Well, then. Iíd guess Iíd better disappear for awhile," he said in his usual calm voice.
"That you should," Duncan agreed.
"And Iíd suggest staying in for awhile at night," Angel said. "Less chance for the vampires."
"Iíve always wanted to see Cyprus this time of year," Adam said, whimsically. The others laughed, relaxing for the first time that night.
Amanda, Duncan and Adam all left with the morning, wanting to get as far away from Sunnydale as possible. Buffy couldnít blame them. At times, she wanted to do that, too, but the thought of leaving the current Slayer on her own gave her the wiggins, especially since Samantha didnít have Willow, Xander, Oz, Cordelia or Angel as she did all those years ago.
"Well, Angelus, this has been a ball," Spike said as he and Drusilla came up the stairs from the basement where theyíd spent the day. "Letís not do it again sometime, eh?"
"Took the words right from my lips," Buffy said to him. He scowled.
"Are we leaving?" Drusilla asked, clutching Miss Edith to her.
"Yes, luv, we are," Spike responded, his voice going soft.
"Can we go to London?" she said. "Miss Edith says that the clock is calling her name."
"Anything you want, pet," he replied, then turned back to Angel and Buffy. "If youíre ever in the neighborhood, feel free to kill yourself."
"Good-bye, Spike," Angel said, ushering the vampire couple out the door. He shut it behind them with a firm click, then leaned back against it with a sigh.
"It wasnít that bad, was it?" Buffy asked, coming up to him and giving him a hug.
"Yes," he replied, earning a swat from her. "If weíre lucky, we wonít see them again for another hundred or so years."
"I anxiously count the days," she said, sarcastically. "Of course, they could come back and kill us now that they have an all access pass to our house."
"Never happen," Angel said confidently.
"And why not?"
"Because Dru would get mad at him, again. And if there is one thing I know about Spike, he loves that woman," he replied.
"Either that, or he is seriously in need of professional help," Buffy quipped, then thought for a moment. "Do you think weíll be that much in love when we hit our two hundredth anniversary?"
"I think thatís a definite," he answered, bringing his head down for a long, passionate kiss.