Elaisias


by Saber ShadowKitten



Part Twenty





"I know we wanted to get to the dungeon quickly, but not this quickly," Buffy said, wincing as she stood.

She looked at the area Willow's spell lit up. The stone walls, the same distance apart as the hallway they had just been in, were moist, indicating they had fallen underground. The floor beneath them was packed dirt and there didn't seem to be any doors.

"Any ideas on how we get out of here?" Spike asked, feeling along the walls for a trigger mechanism.

"I don't think we're suppose to," Angel said without inflection. He kicked at a pile of bones that looked as though they'd been gnawed on.

"Shudder," Willow said. She rubbed her arms with her hands.

"Listen," Buffy said sharply, holding up one hand. She cocked her head slightly and concentrated. "Hear that?"

She could detect two distinct sets of footsteps and what sounded like chattering coming towards them out of the darkness. Instantly on guard, she moved counter to Spike.

When two, slightly shorter than her, pale-skinned humanoids walked into the light, she did not relax her posture. If anything she became more on guard. Something about them just didn't seem right. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Spike adjust his footing in preparation of an attack, and she knew he felt it, too.

The two newcomers stopped walking and studied them. "Well, well, what do we have here, Smallfry?" the taller one said.

"Looks like dinner to me, Spider," the shorter one, Smallfry, replied.

"Just what I was thinking," Spider said. He looked at his companion and nodded.

Buffy's eyes grew larger when on the two faces appeared ridges, fangs and yellow eyes. Then she burst into laughter.

"V-V-Vampires!" she gasped out between uncontrollable giggles, pointing at Spider and Smallfry. "Oh n-no, what are we going to-to-to do?"

She heard Spike chuckling and Willow's light laughter from behind her. Buffy couldn't believe it. After all they'd fought so far in Elaisias, with the creatures supposedly getting tougher the closer they got to the end of the game, that last thing she expected to face was a pair of vampires. And they were short vampires, too!

Spider and Smallfry exchanged confused glances, which only served to fuel her laughter more. She leaned heavily against the wall, trying not to fall to the floor. She heard Willow clear her throat and the Slayer pressed her lips together, trying to suppress her giggles to allow her friend to speak.

"Um, Spider and Smallfry, correct?" Willow said. The two confused, game-faced vampires nodded. "I have a proposition for you. If you take us to where the Princess is being held, we'll let you live...er, keep unliving."

"And if we don't want to?" Spider asked.

"Oh, I think you'll do it," Willow said. "Because our vampires are bigger than the both of you."

Buffy saw Spike shift into his true face and glanced behind her to see Angel do the same. When she looked back at the two vampires in front of them, the laughter she was suppressing burst from between her lips again. The expressions on Smallfry's and Spider's faces were priceless. The Slayer wished she had a camera.

"I-I, er, that is...uh...th-that...," Smallfry stuttered. Buffy bit on her knuckles as she continued to laugh, wondering if the vampire was going to hyperventilate. She watched as he took a purposeful breath and said in a rush, "Wecandoitnoproblem."

"Good," Willow said regally. Buffy glanced back and saw her nod to Angel, who's face immediately slid back into its handsome planes. She saw that Spike did the same and smiled goofily back at the twisted grin he gave her.

"Lead on, but no tricks," the redhead warned, sweeping by Buffy as if she was a queen, with Angel less than a step behind her to one side, so as not to trample on the witch's dress.

The Slayer shook her head in amusement, her laughter finally under control. She was about to start after her friends when she found herself pressed between a stone wall and a peroxide-blond vampire. "Wha-," she went to ask, but it was cut off by Spike's tongue plundering her mouth.

He kissed her breathless, then raised his head to look at her with dancing blue eyes. "You're beautiful when you laugh," he murmured.

Buffy felt her face heat up. "Uh, thanks," she said, embarrassed and pleased all at once.

"Are you guys coming?" Willow called back to them.

The smile that spread across Spike's lips made Buffy's vaginal muscles tighten and her sex tingle. "Not yet," he said quietly. "But very, very soon. And that's a promise."

Buffy was surprised she didn't melt into a puddle at his feet.

*****

"She's in that cell," Smallfry whispered, pointing across the enormous, surprisingly well lit, open room below them.

They were looking through a window-like cut in the stone a floor above the dungeon. A multitude of identical, wooden doors lined the room, with small, barred windows set in each one. The floor of the dungeon was made of the same stone of the walls, and they could see deep scratches marring the surface.

"The stairs at the end of the hall lead down into the dungeon," Spider said, gesturing with his hand to his right. "And now that we've showed you, goodbye."

Spider grabbed Smallfry's arm and the two darted back up the hallway the way they had come, disappearing before Willow could ask about the Gorgon. The redhead mentally cursed. She would have liked to find out what they knew about the creature she knew they had to fight to rescue the Princess.

"So, what now?" Buffy asked. "We know rescuing the Princess can't be this easy."

"It won't be," Willow replied. "Gorgon, remember? Giant, invisible creature that probably made those big scratches on the floor, who's ready to eat us like we're people-sized pork chops, except that we're not pigs...well, maybe Spike is...but the rest of us-"

"Willow," Angel interrupted. "We have the Bands, right?"

"I have them," Buffy said, opening her bag.

"According to Nester, whomever is wearing the Bands should be able to see the Gorgon," Angel said, taking the silver coils from Buffy. "Which means to the rest of us she'll be invisible."

"I have an idea," Spike said. "Let's forget the soddin' Princess, go back to the Inn, and shag non-stop until we're zapped home."

"And just who do you think you're going to 'shag?'" Buffy inquired with an arch of her brow.

"Ioana," Spike replied without missing a beat, smirk on his face.

"You touch that wench and you're going to find out personally if vampires can regenerate certain limbs or not," Buffy told him.

"Fine, fine," Spike said with a dramatic sigh. "How 'bout this? While the poof and Willow free the chit, we double up and keep the Gorgon occupied. You remember how to fight an invisible opponent, right?"

"Yes, Obi-Wanna-Be," Buffy replied, giving Spike a short, mocking bow. "I am strong in the ways of the force."

"No, no, pet, it's 'yes master,'" Spike corrected. "Better fix it before I have to punish you."

"Turn around," Buffy said.

Spike frowned. "Why?"

"Because I am a little too polite to laugh in your face," she replied with a saccharine smile.

"Alright, Alice and Ralph," Angel interrupted Spike before the blond could continue bickering with Buffy. "Save it for after we rescue the Princess."

"Angel, you made a funny," Willow said, a grin on her face.

"No, he didn't," Spike disagreed, glaring at his Sire.

"Who are Alice and Ralph?" Buffy asked.

*****

Spike looked out into the empty room from the stairwell that had led to the dungeon. His and Buffy's bags were on the steps off to one side, as were Buffy's bow and quiver. She held his short sword in her hand, waiting for him to proceed. Angel and Willow were a few steps above them, ready to do their part to free the Princess.

The blond vampire glanced over at his partner of six years. Her face was alight with anticipation, her breathing slow and calm in opposition to her muscles, which were tensed in readiness. He'd told her just a short while ago she was beautiful when she laughed.

When she fought, she was breathtaking. And he didn't even need to breathe.

"Ready, Slayer?" he asked quietly, feeling the buzz of excitement under his skin, a feeling he always got when they were about to fight.

"Oh yeah," Buffy replied, her eyes blazing with fire. "Let's kick this puppy."

One side of his mouth curled up and he looked back at his Sire. Nodding once, he licked his lips then strolled out of the stairwell into the open.

Buffy turned away from the opening and tore a strip from the hem of her shirt under her tunic. Her short bow was resting on her foot, the top of her quiver of arrows was open, slung across her back. She gave Angel and Willow a cocky grin that equaled one of Spike's, then tied the strip over her eyes.

"Be safe, guys," she said in their direction.

"You too, Buffy," Willow said.

When Spike reached the center of the large room, he slowly turned in a complete circle, his eyes searching for the purportedly huge creature that he wasn't supposed to be able to miss. The two bands pushed up around his forearms glinted in the vast amounts of torchlight, the rubies sparkling.

His eyes ran over the stone walls, the multiple cell doors and the gouges he saw in both, until he was facing the same direction that the stairwell was located. There, cut into the wall, was an enormous entry that ran up to window he'd been standing at a short time earlier.

And standing in that entry was the gorgon.

Spike summed up its size, threat factor and what he felt about the upcoming fight in one single word.

"Bugger."

Willow exchanged a worried glance with Angel when she saw Spike's eyes grow round and he took a few steps backwards. "That can't be good."

"Don't focus on him," Angel instructed quietly. "Focus on our part of this plan."

"Right. Focus," Willow said with a nod. She looked back out into the large room and saw Spike take off running. Loud clip-clops and snorts reached her ears, and she gulped. "Easier said than done."

Angel turned his eyes to Buffy, who was standing perfectly still, facing away from the open room. He saw that she was completely focused as opposed to the redhead he was rapidly falling in love with. When he looked back towards Spike, he saw that his Childe was to the far left side of the room, waving his hands in the air.

"Ready?" Angel asked Willow.

Willow gathered up her skirts. "Ready."

Spike's arms dropped to his sides.

"Go!"

Angel and Willow dashed out of the stairwell entryway, running straight across the room. The witch forcefully made herself ignore the sounds of the invisible gorgon that seemed to have grown louder now that she was out in the open. She pushed back the thoughts of what would happen if Spike and Buffy couldn't keep the gorgon distracted and tried to focus on her and Angel's goal -- the Princess's cell door.

The moment Willow and Angel left the stairwell, Buffy's entire body tingled from the adrenaline coursing through her. Her calf muscled tightened as she prepared to join in the fight. All she had to wait for was her signal from the vampire she was so in tuned with when it came to fighting, it was as if they shared the same mind.

The instant she heard the clap under the hoofbeats on the stone floor, Buffy kicked her foot up. The short bow sprang into the air and she caught it deftly. In one smooth motion, she spun, cocked an arrow and let it fly, all the while blindfolded.

The gorgon bellowed. Direct hit behind the ear she could literally see in her mind's eye. Her other senses were going haywire, overcompensating for the loss of her sight. She fired arrow after arrow at her unseen target, keeping the gorgon's attention away from the opposite side of the room where the Princess's cell door was located.

Spike watched as every arrow the Slayer shot sunk into the gorgon's body. The fifteen-foot high, bull-like beast roared in anger with every hit to its bluish-black hide. Its red eyes blazed in anger, the sharp black hooves scraping the floor in front of him. Two sharp, curved horns of pure silver gleamed in the torch lit dungeon, rising from the gorgon's massive head.

The vampire would hate to see what the male gorgon looked like if this was the female.

Willow and Angel skid to a halt outside of their objective. The dark-haired vampire peered between the iron bars over the small window and saw a young woman sitting on a far bench. "Princess?"

The Princess raised her head, her long, midnight hair falling away from her oval face. Two vibrant blue eyes defiantly met his. "Who are you?"

"'I'm Luke Skywalker. I'm here to rescue you,'" Angel said dryly.

Willow looked up at the man she'd fallen fast and heavy for in shock. "Luke Skywalker?!"

Angel glanced down at her and smiled sheepishly. "Sorry."

Spike quickly found out that the gorgon was indeed a living, breathing, pissed-off creature. That meant it was up to Buffy to make the killing blow -- and made him the vampire-flavored bait.

He darted forward towards the gorgon, who had turned in Buffy's direction after the third arrow, and he leapt into the air when he was close enough. His hands grasped the coarse hair on the angrily flicking tail and he held on tightly as his weight yanked the tail downwards.

The gorgon spun amazingly quick for such a large creature, sending Spike flying across the room when the beast's tail flicked like a whip. He crashed into the wall next to the entryway from which the gorgon entered. Pain lanced his skull as he cracked his head on a sharp piece of stone jutting from the wall.

Buffy practically flew from the stairwell when she heard the unmistakable sound of Spike hitting a wall. She'd heard his grunts of pain often enough to know that this time he wasn't serious hurt, but that didn't stop the indescribable anger that screamed through her system.

She launched herself at the creature she was blind to, instinctively sensing how high she had to go. She used her entire body like a battering ram, one arm extended forward, her hand clenched in a fist. It felt as though she'd punched a steel wall when she hit, but the gorgon made a satisfactory bellow of pain.

Angel heard the tiny click of the tumbler under the loud sounds of the fight and he straightened. He pulled the door open and Willow cast a quick detection spell to find out if there were any protective wards. When she hurried inside, he figured it was safe.

"Princess Kalika," Willow said, approaching the raven-haired young woman. "I'm Willow. We'll get you out of here in a jiffy."

"Thank goodness," the Princess sighed. She lifted the hem of her dirty pink skirt and set her foot on the only bench in the room. A rusty-looking manacle was around her trim ankle. "I've been here for what seems like an eternity."

Angel entered the cell at Willow's beckoning and quickly went to work picking the lock on the manacle. "When you're free, we're going to run really, really fast across the room to the stairs, okay?" Willow said.

"I understand," Princess Kalika replied. "But what of the gorgon who guards the dungeon?"

"Our friends are taking care of her," Willow said. She winced at a roar from the gorgon that shook the cell door and added a whispered, "I hope."

Buffy rolled directly under the raging beast and slammed her fist up into the gorgon's belly. Then, she quickly dove into another roll, coming up onto her feet on the opposite side of the large creature.

"Slayer catch!" she heard Spike shout. Her hand opened up and she caught the hilt of the short sword Spike tossed to her, all the while still blindfolded. She was going to kiss Giles when they got home for all his instances that she train sightless.

Spike darted in front of the gorgon after throwing the Slayer his short sword. He flicked his wrist and a handful of broken stones from the wall landed directly in the massive creature's left eye. She roared in anger and pain, swinging her head wildly.

Angel, Willow and Princess Kalika ran from the cell towards the stairwell, their hard footsteps almost silent compared to the gorgon's bellowing. Angel kept himself between where the creature had to be and the two women, wishing he could see the threat to his friends' lives. But all he saw was Buffy standing at the ready, blindfold on and sword in hand, while Spike dashed from one direction to another.

The three of them made it to the safety of the stairwell, the two girls panting heavily. Angel hovered in the entryway, watching the on-going events unfold.

"Thank you," the Princess said between gasps of breath.

"We're not free yet," Angel practically growled.

"He doesn't mean to sound so...mean," Willow apologized to the Princess. "It's just that his two old loves are out there fighting the very loud and scary-sounding gorgon."

"Old loves?" Princess Kalika said.

"Yeah," Willow said. "Angel once loved them both...not at the same time, though, at different times. But he loved them, only now he loves them like friends and they love each other...but I don't know if they told each other yet...and Angel now loves me...at least, I think he does..."

"You are all very lucky to have known such emotion, for it is rare in Elaisias," Princess Kalika said. "There is an old proverb that my mother once told me about love."

"Really? What is it?" Willow asked. She darted a glance at Angel. She knew he wanted to go and help, just as she did, but their job was to free and protect the Princess and leave the fighting to Buffy and Spike.

Buffy felt the air move around her and she shifted her stance. She heard a quiet swish that grew louder then dissipated in a small rhythm under the gorgon's roars. On the fifth swish, she struck, the short sword in her hand cracking against something hard.

"'Love is the most powerful spell in the world.'"

Spike saw Buffy's sword fly out of her hands. He started to run towards the beast again as the large creature shook her head another time.

He knew instantly that he was too slow.

"'And it's only enemy is not the fire...'"

Buffy felt something whiz toward her after the sword was knocked from her hands. She ducked and she knew she'd just avoided by being hit by whatever disarmed her.

But she straightened too soon.

"'...Not the water, not the earth...'"

"SLAYER!!!" Spike screamed as he witness the gorgon swing her lowered head back towards him. He saw the sharp tip of the beast's silver horn pierce Buffy's skull, lift her off the ground and toss her body over his head. Buffy hit the stone wall of the dungeon in almost the exact spot he'd first been thrown with a sickeningly hard smack.

"'...It's time.'"





Part Twenty-one





"Buffy!" Angel yelled, running from the stairwell towards the lifeless young woman. He barely caught the Bands of Kimara that were hurled violently at him by Spike before he saw the blond vampire drop down to his knees at Buffy's side. Angel quickly slipped them on over his forearms and the gorgon appeared before his eyes. With a vicious roar, he leapt at the creature, his yellow eyes blazing with an unholy fury.

"Oh baby, don't you dare leave me," Spike said hoarsely. He reached out and carefully turned Buffy's twisted head. He lost control of his human mask when he saw all the blood, and he let out a low cry of pain.

Everything grew silent around him, the sounds of Angel fighting the gorgon fading away. Gently, he brushed Buffy's red-stained hair back from her face. Her features were soft and peaceful, as if she were sleeping.

Spike's fingers moved back over her head until his palm covered the punctured part of her skull. Blood flowed freely beneath his palm, coming up between his fingers to make patterns on the back of his hand. He leaned forward and kissed her softly on the lips, his heart screaming out in pain because of her lack of heartbeat.

"This had better work," he mumbled, putting his other hand over the tattoo on his wrist. Spike looked at Buffy's serene face and said the words he'd longed to tell her for years. "I love you, Buffy."

Under his hand, his tattooed wrist began to tingle. He watched with fear and hope as a pale green light slowly spread over Buffy's entire body.

Angel slid across the hard floor, scooping up the short sword that had been knocked from Buffy's hands. He jumped up to his feet and spun to face the charging gorgon. When she was almost upon him, Angel leapt upwards, using the creature's muzzle as a springboard to vault onto her back.

Raising the sword high above his head, the raging, game-faced vampire plunged the steel tip first into the back of the massive beasts's neck. The gorgon roared as Angel jumped off the back of the creature. He watched as she bucked once, twice, then collapsed onto the stone floor. It let out one final bellow of pain, then went still. The gorgon was dead.

Spike felt tears slip from his eyes and his heart grew more and more pain-filled as the seconds continued to go past. "Come on, baby," he whispered roughly, his gaze never leaving Buffy's face. "You can't leave me. I'm going to win our bet and you have to be here to pay up. Please, Slayer..."

He trailed off when the pale green glow brightened for a moment. Then, it suddenly disappeared.

"No," he protested, bending forward to press his ear to Buffy's chest.

He heard nothing.

"Oh god, Slayer, no," Spike cried softly. He shut his eyes tightly as the first sob wracked his body. He continued to speak raspingly between each uncontrollable hiccup as he gasped for air as grief consumed him. "No, Buffy, you can't go...," hic, "I can't lose you...," hic, "I love you...," hic, "I love you...," hic, "I love you...," hic, "I love you...," hic, "I love you...," hic, "I love you..."

Angel dropped down to his knees behind Spike, bent over his Childe and wrapped his arms around his grieving boy's body. He shook with each sob, a whimpering-purr emitting from the back of his throat as he tried to soothe Spike's pain despite the tears that enveloped him, too. He pressed his cheek to his Childe's back and saw Willow running towards them through his blurred, golden eyes.

Willow threw herself down onto the floor on the other side of Buffy's prone body, opened the spellbook in her hands and began to rapidly flip the aged pages. "Healing spell, healing spell, healing spell, healing spell, healing spell...," she repeated over and over, tears streaming down her own face.

"Um, hello?"

Willow's eyes shot to Buffy, and Angel and Spike abruptly straightened at the familiar voice. Three mouths were parted in shock as Buffy looked from face to face.

"What's going on here?" Buffy asked, sitting up. She groaned and lifted her hand to her head. "Ugh, headache. Bad headache."

"Buffy?" Angel gasped. "But- but-"

Spike yanked Buffy up against him abruptly and, before he could stop himself, he instinctively buried his fangs in her neck in a show of strong vampiric emotion.

There was no pain in his skull.

"Spike!" Buffy squeaked, her hand clutching at the front of his shirt-tunic.

Angel's golden eyes widened even further as he was hit with a larger shock. He could hear only one heartbeat in front of him -- Willow's.

The dark-haired vampire immediately put his hand on Spike's shoulder and pulled hard. "That's not Buffy!" he growled.

"What?!" Willow exclaimed.

Spike removed his fangs from Buffy's neck and turned his head, blood lining his mouth. "Mine," he snarled at his Sire, as the older vampire continued to try to pull him away from the Slayer.

"Spike, you bit me!" Buffy exclaimed in surprise. "You bit me!"

The blond vampire blinked twice as Buffy's words sunk into his brain. He slowly turned back to look at her stunned face. He moved one of his hands from around her to press his fingertips on the side of her neck. He felt no pulse beating beneath her skin.

"Slayer?" Spike questioned in utter confusion.

"What is it?" Buffy said in alarm. "What wrong? Why are you looking at me like that?" She put her hand up over his on her neck. "What's going on?"

Spike moved his hand so his fingers were pressing hers to the side of her neck. He watched as panic gave way to confusion and then to fear.

"I have no pulse!" she exclaimed loudly. She pulled her hand from under Spike's and put it over her chest. "Oh god, what did you do to me?! Am I a vampire?!" Buffy's voice grew more and more shrill with each question. "What did you do?! Why don't I have a heartbeat or a pulse?!"

Willow looked at Angel in horror, who shared her emotions. She quickly stood and backed away from Buffy in case the Slayer was a vampire and decided she would make a tasty first meal. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the Princess walking towards them. "Keep back!" she called in warning.

Angel stood and moved to put himself between Willow and Buffy. "Spike, get away from her," he ordered, trying to protect his Childe, too.

"Get away from me?!" Buffy shrilled. "I didn't do anything!"

"Oh bloody hell!" Spike cursed. He looked towards the ceiling and shouted as if his voice would carry to its intended target. "This wasn't what I meant, Ellie!"

All eyes turned to him. He shook his head in disgust and anger, with embarrassment thrown in as well. "My tat," Spike explained. "I had Ellie put a spell on it in case something happened to you, Slayer. I told her to make it so I could never lose you."

Spike brushed Buffy's hair with a shaky hand where her fatal injury had been. There wasn't even a bald spot remaining. "I can't lose you, Buffy," he said in a low-pitched, slightly choked up voice. His gold eyes met her large hazel ones. "I love you so bloody much. I can't lose you. I can't."

Buffy's lower lip started to tremble as tears of joy filled her eyes. "You love me?"

"Every second of every soddin' day," Spike answered. "I'm worse than the poof-"

Buffy cut him off with a kiss. She heard him purr once loudly as her tongue slid between his lips to caress his. His hand entangled in her hair and he angled his head to deepen the kiss. He slowly lowered her back onto the floor and she went willingly, lost in the sensations of his mouth pressed intimately to hers.

"Um, guys?" Willow said, peeking at the two blonds from behind Angel's large form. "Guys?"

Spike moved partially over Buffy, his leg between her thigh, as his tongue twined with hers. The hand not tangled in her hair up the side of her body to covered breast. He growled lightly at the obstruction of the material, both over her breast and between his rigid erection and her soft body. He pushed his hips forward, rubbing the hard bulge beneath his hose against her.

"Buffy? Spike?" Willow tried again. "You're going to make me really blush if you don't stop now."

Buffy slid one of her hands under Spike's arm and around to his back. Her fingertips caressed him through his shirt-tunic as she moved her hand downward. She then cupped his taut, muscular backside, rubbing her hips upward in a circle on his upper thigh.

"Angel! Make them stop!" Willow said, poking the dark-haired vampire in the side.

Angel barely stopped himself from growling at Willow for interrupting his witnessing the tender and erotic moment between his Childe and old love. Instead, he spun around, yanked the redhead to him and crushed his mouth to hers. He kissed her passionately and thoroughly, until she began to tremble in his arms.

Then he raised his head and looked into her beautiful green eyes that were filled with surprise and desire. "I love you, Willow," Angel told her. His highly charged emotions from Buffy's death, amazing resurrection, and the display behind him were driving him to tell Willow how he felt, because the chance could be taken away as his Childe's almost was. "I need you to know that I love you."

Willow's face lit up with happiness at his words. "Really?"

"Yes, really," Angel replied. His face slid back into its handsome human planes, and he smiled softly at her. "I love you."

"This is so great!" Willow exclaimed, throwing herself into his embrace. "I was so worried that you really didn't love me and that it was all one-sided. One-sided love is not fun, believe me, I've been there before. But you love me and I love you and Spike loves Buffy and Buffy... Buffy's dead!"

Angel threw back his head and laughed, breaking into Spike and Buffy's private world and drawing them back to the dungeon. They both frowned in Angel's direction, then met each other's eyes again, small, loving smiles crossing their lips.

"I love you, too, Spike," Buffy said softly. Her eyes roved over his true features without disgust or loathing. "Vampire parts and all."

Spike's ridges vanished and his blue eyes sparkled with happiness. "I have a certain vampire part," he thrust his hips forward against her, "that wouldn't mind some loving."

Buffy smacked him on the ass. "Pig."

"Cow," Spike growled back playfully.

"Jerk."

"Wench."

"Moron."

"Lover," he purred.

Buffy wrinkled her nose at him. "Cheater."

Princess Kalika cleared her throat loudly. "Ahem? I hate to interrupt, but are we going to escape from the castle or should I go back to my cell?"

"A sarcastic computer game," Spike commented. He reluctantly climbed to his feet and held out his hand to help Buffy up. "How very droll."

Angel tucked Willow under his arm and nodded to the Princess. "You're right. We should get going."

"But Buffy's still dead." Willow looked over her shoulder at the Slayer. "You're still dead, right?"

"As a doornail," Buffy replied after checking her lack of pulse again. "But I walk and I talk-"

"Do you make Julienne fries, too?" Spike asked with a wink.

"-And I wonder why I haven't staked Spike yet," Buffy finished.

"Well, I can't help you with the last part," Angel said, smirking at his Childe. Spike scowled at him. "But we shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. Once we get back into town, we'll figure out what's going on, alright?"

"Then what are we waiting for?" Buffy said. "Let's motor."



Continued to NC-17 Version

Continued to PG-13 Version 1