Spike in the City of Angels, Episode Two:
Welcome to Sunnyhell


by John Cope





Part Thirty-two

As she crossed the lot of the factory, Buffy felt that nasty old tingling up and down her spine again. She looked towards the road and her eyes opened wide in horror.

"Oh shit." First there was a blacked out car, then a van then two more cars, a damn big limo and..."A bus!"

Scrambling for change, Buffy ran for a nearby phone. It was too late to get the cops back and the vehicles were probably too many to handle before nightfall even if she had the means."Gonna have to change plans and locations."

Rapidly she punched in Jenny's cellphone number. "Please be there...Hey, it's Buffy...look I know we are but don't go there...the Master's reinforcements are arriving now, that's why...yeah."

Looking up at the sun as it rapidly disappeared towards the horizon, Buffy wondered what to do. "Ok get all your people to your house...give me your address and I'll bring my person round there?...1630...huh?"

" 1630 Revello Drive." Jenny shook her head at the loud 'Oh my god.' "What's so strange about that? You just follow the road...oh you know the address ok...fine I'll get ringing the troops...and the Mayor as well for all the use he is."

Buffy ran for the factory, her foot slammed the door open. "Ok Spike we got to..."

Two Spike's were sitting on the table both with stakes in their belts, both we're looking at her with that same cocksure grin. The Alternate Spike must even have trimmed his hair down to the same length as his doppelganger.

"Oh look it's the Billy Idol twins." Buffy did not have time for this. "Look Dum and Dee we got to motor."

"What's the matter Pet?" they both asked together before exchanging a hard stare."How can we help?"

"Great stereo, Spike." Buffy morphed and coming over to stand between them sniffed the air before punching the one who smelled least of drink on the arm.

"Ow!" Original Spike grinned at her as she sniffed at him again. "Do you have any idea how much of a turn on that is?"

"Sorry no time for sex, get your stuff, we're leaving now." She turned back to Altie. "If you're coming with then get the sheets off the bed. We need to leave before sunset."

"What the hell's the matter kitten?" Spike stood up and walked with her towards her open air wardrobe, she stripped whilst he watched her. "I thought we was huntin' tonight not runnin' and why are you changing luv?"

"The Master's reinforcements are arriving." Buffy explained as she exchange black leather bra for sports bra and grey vest. "I just took out the first six cars but there are a whole lot more coming so we go fort up with the mortals tonight, and as they're respectable people..."

"You're gonna dress like a human not a vamp." Spike felt like sighing as skin-tight denim was replaced by looser tan combats. "As you saw, I got Alternate Spike on our side, which increases our chances."

"You trust him?" Buffy saw the hurt look in his eyes and added, "It's not just our lives that are on the line if he turns on us."

Then he was in the room with them his arms full of bed linen. "This stuff stinks like somebody's been trainin' for the sex Olympics on em."

"Gold medal winner three games in a row." Spike winked at Buffy as she packed her clothing quickly away. "Best get ourselves wrapped in em, mate. M'Lady wants to be on her way."

"I'm off to get the wagon, pile my weps as near to the door as you can get them." With that Buffy took off again. *I sure hope Spike is right.*

"Your mate really does trust you." Alternate Spike said as he tied a sheet round his neck so that the cloth would hang down over his hands.

"There any reason why she shouldn't?" Spike's voice had an air of menace in it. "We have a deal don't we?"

"Do you think I'd lie to myself..." Altie shook his head at how stupid that sounded. "Look old son..."

"Come on guys." Buffy was back in the building before either vampire had a chance to go on. "We need to get gone. The Master will hit this place at sunset, I guarantee it."

Spike's exchanged a look and got moving. Wrapped they headed for the door even as Buffy got her weapons loaded with her clothes. "Get in the side away from the sun and I'll throw blankets over you."

The first step was the worst, but once the sunlight failed to penetrate their protection their confidence rose and they climbed into the back of the vehicle. "Ten minutes guys and you can come out."

Then she motored. A blacked-out Mini van nearly cut her up as she left the lot. *Every vampire on the west coast, I think that could be the understatement of the century.*

*****************************************************************************************************************************

The Master walked out of the Bronze and looked around him, some fifty vampires stood there, heads bowed properly and respectfully before him. "My friends welcome, it gladdens my heart to see so many who have answered my call."

But the smell that filled the air did not, the smell of fire, the smell of dead vampires.

He looked at the burned out cars. "That she should dare to strike at my very doors, it is enough. I will tolerate her existence no more!"

Pointing to a vampire in dusty, mud-bespattered clothing with his long fingernails, he asked harshly. "Colin have you broken through yet?"

The vampire nodded nervously. "Yes Master, we are through to the main sewers."

"Well what are you standing there for? Take your force through to the Factory." Dismissing the running minion from his mind, the Master signaled the twenty vampires standing in the Bronze to come out and join him. "Come my Bretheren whilst Colin and his...how can I put this...volunteers sell their lives to distract the enemy. We will storm the front door."

Seventy vampires walking before him, the Master smiled down at Darla, who tripped along at his side. "Or rather they will whilst I stand well back. Do you have the item?"

"Yes Sire." Darla pulled the stake from her pocket and tapped it against her chin. "But are you sure?"

Giving the tire of a burned out Dodge a kick as he passed it, the Master, grim faced, gave the world a look of evil malice. "I cannot believe what vampirism is coming to. You would think that girl would be grateful for eternal night but you see how she chooses to repay us. One world is enough if this is what the alternative is like. I don't want any part of it. You'd think she had been sired by Angel she's such a do-gooder."

"And Spike." Darla tried to keep the sorrow out of her voice but the Master still heard it. His clawed right hand caught her round the throat.

"You would bed down willingly with a vampire killer," his laughter filled the night. "You always were a daring creature but I did not see you as a suicide."

"Master I didn't mean..." Darla felt the hand loosen to become a caress.

"You know how much I like to hear you beg." The Master released his hold. "The outworlder dies, I'll let you keep our boy though, if you can find him."

*Great,* Darla thought as she followed after him trying to conceal a major pout. *Back to over-in-a-moment screwing with vampires who use their fangs...unlife sucks!*

***************************************************************************************************************************

The station wagon screamed to a halt in front of Jenny's house, or Mom's as Buffy usually called it. Oz's van was already on the drive and people were moving around inside.

Spike and Spike jumped out of the back and ran up the path, hands incongruously full of shopping bags. Buffy followed behind carrying the weaponry. At the porch she fixed them with an unnecessarily steely gaze from her hazel eyes. "No morphing unless you absolutely have to, that understood?"

Then she walked up and rang the bell.

Jenny answered it straight away. "Buffy hi, you got your..." Jenny's eye's widened as she took in the identical twins. "Tame vampires with you I see."

"Yeah well they come in handy." She crossed the threshold without feeling even a shred of resistance. Jenny gasped out loud at her action though. "Wiggy I know, but that part's true as well."

"Makes me real glad you're on our side." Jenny looked at the two vampires on her doorstep and fear almost stilled her throat but she squeaked out. "Please come in."

"Thanks Luv." Original Spike said as he entered the house. "So nice to see you lookin' so...well again."

Altie just smiled uneasily. He had several cases of attempted vampire hunter murder he really hoped weren't going to get mentioned.

"Kids all get here." Buffy noticed Larry watching her cautiously a crossbow held nonchalantly in front of him. "And armed."

"Oz had them on their way to our original rendevous. I just rang him and he rerouted." Jenny patted an unloaded crossbow that lay on the hall table. "I keep an absolute arsenal in the cellar, so we're good to go."

"Got two spare bows for the boys?" Buffy looked around her and restrained the urge to tell Jenny she liked what she'd done with the old place. "I think they're gonna need em."

***********************************************************************************************************************

Twenty seconds after Colin and his assault force poured up out of the sewers a torrent of vampires charged through the doorways into the factory, flooding the interior.

"Nothing!" The Master snarled as Colin made his fearful report. "Eric screamed very specifically as your tortured him that they were hiding out here. Colin...did you let them escape me?"

"No Master." He looked around him terrified but found no volunteers to help him. "They must have moved. I can go find them for you."

"Excellent." The Master's hand shot out and patted Colin on the cheek. "She will be with the Calendar woman, take all these vampires to the school then to her house. Leave nothing alive at either place."

As Colin turned to lead his eighty strong force away the Master shouted after him. "And Colin unless you want to be another roof decoration don't fail me on this."

Seeing that his troops had been properly motivated, The Master took Darla's arm and steered her back towards the Bronze. "Well that's that taken care of, this place becomes tiresome the sooner we leave it the better, don't you agree?"

"Its had it's moments." She shuddered with delight as she remembered the specific screams. "But the sooner it burns, the better I'll like it."

"Then maybe I'll hand you the matches." The Master considered a spell he had been researching. "Perhaps a demon or two shall be let out. Let them have the place...yes a nice nine-headed one to start..."

****

The school was empty, it didn't take the vampires long to discover, and very quickly they were off running as one mass towards Revello Drive.

Fear cloaked Colin's mind for all that he so strong a force at his command. Vampires did not work well together, each wanting their own share of blood and glory and their attitude was the devil take any plan. Humans on the other hand, when they fought vampires, fought together.

*Quite a few of us are going to die,* he thought grimly, the rooftop crucifix in his minds eye. *And if we fail I hope that includes me.*

********************************************************************************************************************

"That must be it." Buffy put the map down and took in the view of Sunnydale. "You were right to pull off here so we could get a good view." She looked away from Giles so he wouldn't see her smile."Just hope nobody sees us up here together and gets the wrong idea."

"Buffy please!" Giles tried and failed as usual to impersonate a stern person. "We're here to observe what we can of the town not to...do things we wouldn't do anyway. I suppose, really, getting here in daylight would have been a better idea though."

"Nice night like this you'd think there would be kids smooching up here." She looked down at the town harder than before. "You'd think a nice night like this there would be people driving down there."

"It does look rather quiet you're right..." Giles voice tailed off as he realized the implication. "Ah!"

"Quite." Buffy took a stake out of her jacket pocket and set it on the dashboard. "Either they have a curfew or they have a problem, or both."

"A town overrun by vampires but the fact unknown to the world." Giles shook his head sadly. "Who would have thought it possible in this day and age?"

"Obviously not you or you would have got us here in daylight." Buffy started putting her hair back into the ponytail she always wore in battle. "Well let's just hope we live long enough to reach that motel. Then I'll ring Mom and Marty and tell them not to expect me to be home by Christmas."

"It may not be that bad..." Catching the look Giles frowned. "What is it Buffy, don't tell me you can feel a vampires presence already?"

"There's a wave of evil coming up from that place Giles." Hairpins slotted into place as she twisted. "If I can feel it from here..."

"Good grief..."

***************************************************************************************************************

"Well then Willow." Giles smiled reassuringly at the Wicca. "Once more into the breach eh?"

"I guess." She held up the sheet of paper to him for the twentieth time since she'd finished it. "Are you sure that my Latin's right?"

"Absolutely positive." His glasses came of for a wipe. "I've dotted the i's and crossed the t's and I think we have every right to expect success this time."

"But if we don't have it right vampires." Willow tried to keep the fear out of her voice. "I want Buffy back as much as anybody but if we pull a whole mess of them through we die and so does the town."

"Well if we don't get her back Treat will kill us all this weekend anyway." Giles shrugged leather clad shoulders. "So we may as well give it a try eh?"

That was another thing what had happened to Giles. *Ok library gone but still I'd have expected the cardigans to stay even if the suit went. Goddess change the jacket for a duster and he'd be Spike!*

"Giles." Willow picked up her weapons bag as she spoke to cover her embarrassment at the question. "When did you last get hit on the head?"

"What on earth do you mean, Willow?" Giles put his glasses back on. "You know it's been..."

"Oh I know," Willow said hurriedly and without thinking carried on. "It's just either your brains got jarred and that's why you've completely changed your whole look or being with Karen has given you a new outlook on life, which is better...and completely nothing to do with me. Bye."

"Willow!" Giles shouted after the running girl, then gently ran his fingers through his hair checking for bumps. "Well actually I think it might be Karen, love can make you feel young again. Either that or Ethan's done something to my Earl Grey."

Smiling despite the worries that had multiplied since Buffy disappeared, Giles headed downstairs to the ground floor of the Bookstore where everyone waited for their next Buffy-Spike rescue mission to begin.

"Here we go then, let's see what rabbits get pulled out of the hat tonight." With that dubious battle cry ringing in their ears, the Slayerettes set off for Weatherley. Hammersmith would be too crowded this early in the night for them to work their Mojo safely. "And Xander please don't put Willow off."

"Me!" Xander hastily folded the list of stuff he wanted Willow to try for and put it back in his jacket pocket. "As if I'd do that G man."

***************************************************************************************************************************

Buffy stood on the road, crossbow held quiet prominently. Nobody stuck their heads out of the nearby houses to look at her though. The residents huddled inside behind their crucifixes and their garlic waiting for the sun to rise confident that nothing could penetrate the defenses they and nature had set against vampires and not caring about anyone stupid enough to be caught outside.

She was stood between the two Spikes, sending out her mind, scoping for vamps. The sick taste in her mouth suggested to her strongly that soon she would be meeting them in person. "Coming closer."

"How many kitten?" Her Spike asked her calmly. "Can you tell yet?"

"No just that it's a lot." She turned towards Jenny, who was standing on the path with five of her hunters all armed with hunting crossbows. "Best get inside when these guys get here. They'll be traveling."

"Slayer," Altie hissed. "Look into the shadows at the end of the street."

They came like wraiths a tide of them. Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty more than Buffy could count. "Jenny run!"

Reluctantly the hunters ran back into the house joining their friends at the front windows.

"Don't wait till you see the yellows of their eyes guys." Buffy took aim and watched the vampires intently trying to spot the leader. "The Master's not with them."

"He won't be." Spike's demon was desperately shouting at him to morph for the extra speed and strength but he held the urge back. "He doesn't fight unless his unlife depends on it."

"Time to convince him that it does." The vampires screamed war cries and charged. "But then again saving our unlives comes first."

They fired and ran like hell for the door.

Two vampires dusted and a third halted as it tried to pull a crossbow bolt from its lungs. Colin ran on screaming with the rest, they had met other blacked-out vehicles on their journey across town and now he had almost a hundred vampires with him their voices filled the night even as their charging feet thundered along the road.

Fearful fingers twitched curtains to one side and them closed them hurriedly as the population of Revello Drive saw their darkest fears go storming past. They went and huddled together for the most part though others picked up stakes or the phone to dial 911.

"Don't shut the door," Buffy shouted as she hurtled into the house the vampires close behind.

She loaded rapidly even as the first vampire thudded into the invisible boundary that marked the line an uninvited vamp couldn't cross. "Oh look they're stuck."

As others slammed in behind him the vampire was flattened against the barrier. "They can't enter but stuff we have can exit. Want to see what I mean?"

Buffy put her crossbow an inch away from the trapped vampires heart. His yellow eye stared at the arrowhead he was trapped solidly unable to move a muscle as his comrade tried to push him through into the house. Then Buffy fired.

The vamp opened his mouth to scream even as the bolt tore through his chest. Then the doorway disappeared into a cloud of dust as everybody else took the point and picked a vampire to shoot.

"Shoot for the heart, stay inside don't put so much as a hand outside the walls. They can't get it but they can pull you out..." Rapidly the hunters dispersed to their assigned windows smiling for once, their battles had been grim but this night looked like it would be a turkey shoot.

Outside Colin watched from behind the station wagon as vamp after vamp was hit. He wasn't the smartest of vampires but something had to be done.

"Bored now, this is no fun, what will be fun though is when the Master kills you?" Willow grinned evilly from her seat on the ground beside him. "I 'spect he might burn you slowly thats always good for a scream or two."

"Shut up you little bitch...burn did you say?" Colin put his morphed face within an inch of hers. "That's a very interesting suggestion."

"Leave her alone dude." Xander put his hand on Colin's shoulder. "You hurt her and..."

"Oh I wouldn't dream of it, clever little girl that she is." Colin shook the hand away and in a voice that he hoped brooked no opposition added. "Xander, you and Willow go back to the stores and get me bottles, empty ones."

"Heidie, Rhonda." He shouted to two vampiresses who were sheltering behind a hedge further down the street. "Find me some cloth and a length of hose." Then he shouted really loud. "Everyone back into cover."

Vampires were looking at him funnily, and not moving. "Don't you see they arn't gonna invite us in so we have to make them come out, petrol bombs don't just scare vampires you know."

Lights went on in dimly lit skulls, and for once in his rather miserable unlife Colin saw vampires running to do his bidding. "The Master will honour me for this, when I bring him the Slayer's ashes he will raise me on high above them all."

Then Colin ran as well to find a car with a full gas tank, he had work to do.

*****

"Think they'll come again?" Alternate Spike looked pale even for a vampire. He'd killed three of his own kind, not an unusual thing, it was true vampiring was a rough business, but he'd never done it for mortals before. "This is worse than bloody Madrid."

"Yeah that was a bit dicey, you're right." Original Spike remembered how shocked he'd been when his moonlight hunt had ended with a Mauser thrust into his hands and a place being made for him on a republican barricade. "But not as bad as that roof top chase round Prague. All the Civil Guard did was shoot as us...me I mean. Something about a professionally held torch singeing your arse that'll really give you the willies."

"What about Paris in 71 then?" Both vampires automatically knocked off a century. "When the bloody Communards set light to building after building we were hiding in."

"No." Spike shook his head. "With a nice old sewer system like Paris's available it wasn't a patch on Prague mate count on that."

It felt weird to Spike, here he was in Buffy's bedroom, were he'd always wanted to be and it wasn't. No Buffy bed to shag Buffy on, instead a computer and desk and an extensive array of paraphernalia to go with it. Bookshelves filled the area where the wardrobe should be and he suspected the new age pictures weren't anything like what Buffy had up either.

Also in his scenario he wasn't covering the front of the building from vampire attack whilst a mortal stood at the side window whistling tunelessly as he waited for a vampire to kill.

Percy had been nervous at first but the dudes hadn't tried to eat him yet, so he figured maybe Ms Calendar was right after all and they were good vampires. *Of Course we were working on the theory that the only good vamp was a dead one but then I guess they are all dead to begin with...man that's intense."

*************************************************************************************************************************

The officers of the SPD were sitting around playing cards, since no mortal being was dumb enough to do crime in Sunnydale at night anymore the late shift was quiet. Very occasionally they'd patrol in six car convoys every car crucifixed and lined with garlic but not very often, they might see vampires at work and get tempted to do good.

Tonight wasn't such a night.

Gerry Seymour had a pair of Kings and a pair of Eights, he had a dollar in nickels riding on no one holding anything better when the Sergeant walked in.

"Hell of a fight on Revello so I hear, sounds like the Calendar woman's finally gonna find out why it don't pay to mess with vamps."

The Sergeant inhaled on the cigarette he was smoking in the building completely contrary to several by-laws. "Though from what her neighbors are screaming she isn't doing to badly so far."

"You mean they're fightin vamps and winnin?" The cards closed up in Gerry's hands. "An you only just get to tellin' us this now?"

"What the hell?" Sergeant Stefanto watched in shock as one of his officers picked up a chair and went and prepared to break it against a wall. "Hold on Gerry."

"Sarge is right Gerry." Dave Eddings put his own cards down. "There's no need to go breaking up the furniture."

"We sit here." Seymour put the chair down and looked at his collegues. "Whilst people, kids, are fighting evil and you say do nothing. There's good and there's evil, you can be one or you can be the other. Now I didn't join this force to be evil but by standing by and letting evil happen isn't that what I've become. Today I killed vampires, they can die and so can we I know, but a part of me dies with every body I help remove from the streets of this town at sunrise so why not just get it done or win and live free. They can be fought I aim to fight them..." He looked around at the fifteen officers who had stopped looking at their cards, their papers and their magazines. "Who fights with me?"

"You still don't get it Gerry," Dave said as he saw his partner raise the chair again. "Captain Burkalski stashed the wooden nightsticks we used to use in a room down the hall. You don't need to be breakin' furniture for stakes we can just go kick in that door."

"Shit." Officer Murphy threw down his cards his chair creaking as he moved his eighty pounds of surplus body fat from it. He'd moved from LA to a force where he was less apt to get shot and regretted the decision every day. "Let's go get the sons of bitches then, I just hope none of them bastards has a cam corder cause this ain't gonna be a pretty sight."

"Boys..." The sarge couldn't believe it he'd been here twenty years and looked the other way quite happily "What the fuck?"

"Come with us Bob," there was no pleading in Gerry's voice just hope. "Don't tell me you ain't had a belly full of it cause I know you have."

"Ok," The sarge squared himself off. "But we speak to the lieutenant and the guys up in the detective squad, and that way I'm not looking when Dave vandalizes City property."

Bronx cheers echoed down the corridor outside. Cops started to strap on their guns.

**************************************************************************************************************************************

The vampire spat as the foul taste of gasoline filled his mouth then he shoved a bottle under the end of the hose and began to fill it. This was the third car that they had drained of fuel soon they would be ready for action.

Colin had his first squad of bombers lined up. Six of them with two bombs each they would all die but with the house being made of wood and the fall so far dry. "Just one hit should do it. Never mind waiting for more bombs attack."

Willing hands lit the petrol soaked cloth and with a roar the vampires jumped the hedge they had sheltered behind and charged.

"Oh shit!" Buffy fired on reflex and took a vampire down his bottles bounced on the grass of the lawn and burning gas spilled across it. "Smart ass vampires, not a good thing, not good at all."

The vampires dusted almost simultaneously but the smoke from Jenny's burning garden blocked even the Slayer vamp's eyes and through it ran another vamp with two blazing bombs held beside him.

As he emerged through the smoke a bolt took him but a molotov was already flying and it exploded in a shower of glass and fire on the wooden tiles of the porch roof. The fire caught and flared sending sparks up into the night air.

"Bucket chain now!" Buffy looked round at her force. "Or rather two of you get buckets and come with me."

***********************************************************************************************************************************

"Come on mate." Alternate Spike stepped out on to the end of the porch furthest from the fire. "Better view from out here."

"Of what?" Spike shouted. Then he saw a vampire explode as his doppelganger hit a bomb in a vampires hand, the hedge went up and several vamps went with it. "You bloody show off, or rather shit my shootin's good."

He stepped through the window and balanced on the sloping roof outside, he couldn't resist leaning back in and shouting "Rustle up some marshmallows would you son?" to a perplexed Percy West.

Then Buffy was with them and water started being thrown on the fire from the next window along. "How you boys doing?"

"Not bad pet." Spike took aim carefully at a vampire using the house across the street as cover even as he sang softly. "I've been in your bedroom."

"Bed's not in there." Buffy tried to screen out her two comrades whilst ignoring the vamps below it was hard but. "So it doesn't count."

Then she wheeled round and shot the vampire who was about to jump off the roof above them straight through the heart. "Poor little sneak, I don't think I wanna see the garden right now thanks."

"Guess they won't be coming through there in a hurry." Devon shouted through the next window. There was laughter as a vampire ran back into cover his legs ablaze. "They blocked themselves off."

"Till they think of something else." Buffy shook her head as fire rapidly extinguished she climbed back in. "Keep your eyes open team, this ain't over yet."

***********************************************************************************************************************************

"This time we can't fail." Colin looked at the twelve vampires who didn't seem like they agreed with him as much as the last batch had. "Remember you do this for the Master."

Willow waved her fingers in the air to dry the red nail polish she had just finished applying. "I could get them out of there with one bomb."

Xander looked at her like she'd gone mad. "Willow..!"

"Really?" Colin suddenly didn't give a fuck whose Childe she was. "That I'd like to see, your pretty ass is no less expendable that anyone else's here so take a bomb and do the job if you can."

"Willow!" Xander hissed again only to receive a snarl in response.

"I think I'll get the Master to make you lick me out in front of everyone for that." Willow stretched and rose to her feet. "They're heroes moron, you don't need to burn 1630 to get them out." She pointed to the houses across the road. "Nice defenseless mortals right in front of us, what do you think they'll do when they come running out to escape the fire...?"

She licked her lips relishing the moment. "Stand back and watch us eat."

*****

"Ok herbs, spell, crossbow just in case." Willow looked around at her friends who were all looking at her, their confidence in her clear on their faces. It didn't make her feel much better. "Guess I better give it a try."

"That's the spirit." Giles had the small fire they would need going and had the candles lit. The pentagram was carefully set out on the ground. Willow would stand inside it as she cast the spell. Protected from evil and with an additional focus for her powers. "We'll soon have them back."

"Go Willow man you can do it," Xander had canceled all negative comments and jokes for the duration. Giles had made it quite plain what might happen if he didn't.

"It'll work." Oz's smile lit up something in Willow's head she stepped inside the pentagram and began to concentrate on the Latin she had memorized on the way over from the mansion. They would try for their friends one at a time and everyone had agreed Buffy should come first.

*Please Willow make it work.* Angel stood silently hoping to see his girl again. *Bring her back to me please.*

"Janus, he who knows, I summon thee. Janus, keeper of the gateways open a path so that she who is lost may return to us..."

*************************************************************************************************************************************

Willow and Xander had sneaked around the back of 1627. "We set the back of the house on fire then the mortals will have to run out right in front of the Daywalker's eyes, bet that'll get her attention."

"Willow you rock." Xander pulled her to him, their tongues clashing as they battled for dominance. Willow's small hands began running over Xander's leather clad body even as he broke free. "But there is the war thing."

"Oh do we have to do that now," Willow sighed. "I was hoping you'd fuck me."

"Later baby." Xander pulled a zippo from his jacket pocket and flicked it alight. "Lets light em."

"Ok." Still pouting a little, Willow watched the flame take on her bomb's fuse without much interest. "I hope this gets to be fun soon. I wanna proper fight and some blood."

Then the bombs hit the back wall of the house and fire lit up the night.

************************************************************************************************************************

"Ok this looks bad." Spike said to Spike. "I hope your feelin' stronger mate cause the shit's about to hit the fan."

Buffy was back downstairs with Jenny, the two women stared in horror at the flames that seemed to be sweeping along the roof of the building. "Oh my god the Gundersons. There's five people in there." The computer teacher went pale. "Two of them are elementary school kids."

"I hate clever vamps." Buffy made sure she had her stakes readily accessible and her katana blade loose in its sheath. Shortening the stock of her crossbow to make it a pistol, she shrugged and added, "But if that's the way they want it."

"We'll probably die." Jenny thrust two stakes into the belt she wore and slipped a third up the sleeve of her coats left arm. "But the Gundersons don't deserve to and I brought these vamps here."

"We're coming with." Larry stood behind them suddenly his friends gathered behind him. "We take enough of em with us town might finally get the message and take the Master out."

"Are we goin' luv?" Spikes were standing on the stairs, Altie was quiet and grim faced but Spike smiled and Buffy's heart went out to him. "I could just do with some violence right now."

"I love you, Spike." She saw the light that lit up in his eyes as he realized it wasn't just the demoness talking if in fact she was there at all. "Angel is just gonna have to like the idea, cause if he won't share..."

"That's all I needed to hear baby." The vampire rushed down the stairs and swinging her up in his arms, kissed her lips loaded crossbows or not. "Now let's get to it."

"Blaze of glory," Jonathan whispered. "I never wanted to be a hero. But if I gotta die like this..."

"Hope the girls are out there." Kyle put holy water bombs in a shoulder bag he intended carrying. "I made these special."

"E flat would have been good." Oz made sure his crossbow's bolt was secure as he spoke.

"Maybe they got a band in Valhalla." Devon wondered where the hell that had come from but when Oz nodded realized he must have said the right thing. "Yeah I guess they must."

Buffy looked around at the determined faces and restrained the tears that almost came then readying the weapon walked towards the open door. "Let's go."

*********************************************************************************************************************************

"Something's on fire over there Giles." Buffy pointed to the light she could see flickering through the palm trees they were driving past. "Couple of blocks away."

"So I see." Giles put his foot down as he took in a column of police cars heading up behind him. "Are the vampires you're feeling in that direction?"

"Do you mind? I don't feel vampires, I'm not that kinda girl." She got the Watcher look but laughed none the less."Sorry, Slayer joke. What I can't make with the funnies?"

"Buffy please."

"Yeah." Leaning back she maneuvered her crossbow from the back seat. "Whole heap of trouble. Think those cops are heading that way, too?"

"Yes Buffy." Giles grimaced. "Back in the old days vampires would try to take over towns, have the people as their cattle but it always ended the same way."

"How?" Then the answer hit her. "Torches, people waving pitchforks that kinda deal."

"Yes," Giles left the rest unsaid, always there had to be a hero, the one who went into the vampire's lair with the stake. "That's the general idea."

*******************************************************************************************************************************

The first time had been a bust, a roar of wind yes but no Buffy.

Willow was trying again her voice cracking with emotion as she spoke the words.

"Janus, keeper of the gateways we beseech you restore that which is lost, open a path..."

******************************************************************************************************************************

"Kill them!" Colin screamed as the hunters emerged from the smoke of the burning garden.

The minions around him sprang up as expected. Fourteen crossbows fired almost as one and vampires died.

Then at a spoken word "Attack," the old vampires, the battle hardened bodyguard that had helped keep the Master alive for so many decades charged.

******************************************************************************************************************************

"Sir." Alan burst into the Mayor's office to find him not sleeping behind his desk as was normal this late at night but standing in comfortable old clothes regarding a sword he was holding out before him. His gaze was puzzled like he couldn't quite put his thoughts straight.

"You know Alan it's nearly a hundred years since I drew this blade." He grinned as he usually did these days when he mentioned the immortality thing. "Big fat old demon thought he owned the place, I sure showed him a thing or two and yet here we are again with the same choices and the same answer. This is what it always comes down to I guess -- a sword. But in a just man's hand or an evil one's I would not like to guess."

"Are you ok?" Finch tried not to look to worried, he hadn't been as afraid of the Mayor since the Ascension hadn't happened but that didn't mean that the man didn't terrify him.

"Never better." Picking up a leather sheath from the floor Wilkins slipped the blade into it. "I'm taking just a few of the security staff with me. You should easily be able to hold this place with what's left. Put the cross outside and don't let any of us back in before daybreak unless we touch it first."

"You're gonna go and fight?" Alan shook his head in disbelief. "I was gonna tell you that the cops have..."

"Gone mad." Wilkins laughter filled the room. "I hired those guys for the specific quality of looking the other way guess they got tired of it. Well there comes a time in every political career when it all hangs in the balance Alan my boy and that time for me is now. Election next year, electorate to impress."

As the Mayor walked towards him Finch felt an overwhelming desire to say. "Let me come with you." But the Mayor shook his head before he could get the words out. "I need you here, if I don't come back get the people out and burn this place to the ground. I want the Master to have nothing but a heap of ashes I didn't build this place for the likes of him to rule. I enjoy doing that too much myself."

"I'll do it." Finch stood there for a few seconds after the Mayor had left. "You can count on me sir, you can count on me."

Continued

1