Xander put a hand to his chest. "Gah, you scared me," he said. He was startled more than afraid, though he didn't like the weapons pointed at him or Spike. "What's with the arsenal? And how did you find us?"
"I've mastered the locating spell,"
Spike flicked his cigarette into the stream. "This is your show, mate," he said to Xander. He pulled the Hawk's keys from his pocket. "I'll be at Willy's."
"You're not going anywhere, blondie," Buffy corrected. Her crossbow was leveled at Spike's chest. Beside her, Riley held a rifle, which was aimed at Xander.
Spike snorted. Xander stepped between them, making him the prime target. He gathered the electricity around him, pushing as much as he could into Spike. "Buffy, don't."
"You really did go bad." Buffy's expression twisted into sorrow before hardening into the Slayer's determination. "I'm sorry. I can't let either of you leave."
"Don't you mean 'live'?" Spike piped up from behind Xander. He started to move, but Xander moved with him, keeping himself between Spike and Buffy. Spike released a disgusted sigh. "I can take care of myself, Xander."
"I know," Xander said. But the idea that Spike could be hurt by Buffy had latched itself into Xander's brain and wouldn't let go. He kept pushing electricity into Spike's shield. If Buffy killed Spike, Xander would... he would...
The world around Xander stopped for an infinitesimal second as realization washed over him.
Xander didn't like Spike, as he'd thought. Xander was in love with him.
And if Spike was killed, Xander would be destroyed.
Xander reacted without thinking of the consequences. He shot lightning from his hands to the ground in front of Buffy and the others, causing dirt to fly upon impact. "Spike, go," Xander ordered as the others shouted in the distraction.
Xander could feel Spike's hesitation and he glanced over his shoulder with a pleading expression. Spike nodded and darted off into the woods.
When the dirt cloud cleared, it was just Xander facing four very unhappy evil-slayers.