Faith was getting out of the shower when the three of them portaled into her apartment. After she dressed, they caught her up on everything.
“Okay, let’s go.” Faith said quickly. “I want to save Angel.”
“Seeing as how this is pretty dire and all, should we split up? One groups finds Angel, the other finds Spike? It’d be faster.” Willow asked her.
“Um, yeah, yeah. You’re right,” Buffy said. They all paused for her to continue, but she didn’t.
“So, Buff, who do you want to go after?” Willow pressed her.
“Um…” she paused, thinking. “Um…”
“Look, no offense or anything,” Faith interjected, “But I could really care less what happens to Spike. Sure he’s a champion and all now, but I owe Angel my life. I’m not gonna risk it not saving him.” Buffy slowly nodded.
“Um…” Willow started to say slowly, “Not that I still have any problems with Spike, because I don’t, but if it comes to who I care for more between him and Angel, it’s not really a contest.”
“O—Okay,” Buffy choked out.
“While you all are sharing you disgusting human emotions, it might be worthwhile for me to mention I do have a fondness towards the blonde one.” Illyria said. “And we do not have much more time to waste. We were able to restore me to full glory because of the hellish enchantments put onto LA. Outside of those enchantments this body can’t contain my essence. My powers grow uncontrollable and my status turns fatal. We must return to LA with haste.”
“Okay, well we should probably stay even teams right? So Faith and I will save Angel, and Spike will saved by Illyria and you, Buffy.” Willow said slowly.
“Um… Alright.” Buffy said finally.
nbsp; Illyria waved her hand and a portal appeared. The four of them all stepped into it. When they stepped out they were in an alley between two large buildings with the sun beaming down on them.
“This is the last place Angel was seen by some of our allies. Progress with caution in order to succeed. It can be assumed he’s being heavily guarded so travel in the direction in which the demon concentration increases. Travel to the Hyperion when you’re finished,” Illyria instructed. Faith and Willow both nodded and Illyria and Buffy disappeared into another portal.
nbsp; They both peaked outside of the alley. Nearly every building’s windows were smashed in, doors broken, many were on fire. The entire sky had a hint of red to it. There was a group of red skinned demons huddled together in front of one building.
“Go check the other end, I’ll watch here,” Faith said, nodding towards the other end of the alley. Willow did, and when she peaked around the corner of the building she saw ten green scaley demons standing in a horizontal line in front of one building. Faith was alternating between looking out on to the street and back over at Willow. The next time she looked towards Willow, she motioned her over. Faith began walking towards the witch.
“There’s ten of them over here,” she said once Faith was in ear shot.
“Looks like they’re standing guard too,” Faith said after she peaked around the corner. “Think Angel’s in that building?”
Willow closed her eyes and thought. She pictured the scene in which she had seen Angel chained up. “No. He is being kept in a building, but it’s bigger than that one.”
“Alright, according to Blue Mama we need to still head that way,” Faith said nodding towards the group of demons. “How hostile do you think these guys are? Like are they gonna attack us on sight?”
“I don’t know. Won’t know till we try I guess.”
Faith looked around. “Okay, we’ll just make a run to that alley,” she said pointing across the street to an alley slightly to the right of them. “If they come after us, run. We’re too outnumbered to take them on.” Willow nodded. “Okay, go!”
nbsp; They both bolted. They were nearly half way there when Faith saw a couple of the demons turn to them out of the corner of her eye. They continued until they made it to the alley. They continued to run down the dimly lit, long passageway. When they were near it’s end, Willow grabbed Faith’s wrist.
“Stop,” she turned around to face the demon’s catching up to them. “Vis agro!” she yelled pointing her hand towards them. A blue wave of energy flew from it, and grew until it expanded to the walls surrounding them. A demon ran straight into the new blue wall of energy. A couple behind it followed its lead, and they began to bang on it with their fists.
“We’ll kill you witch!” one of them yelled.
“Nice Will. Didn’t think to ask if you could do anything.” Faith said.
“I don’t want to rely on it. We still need to get out of here soon, that won’t hold forever.”
Faith turned to peak around the corner onto the new street as the demons continued to yell at them. “Okay, there are only a couple demons, there to our right.” Willow looked out and saw an alley in that direction. “Go!”
nbsp; Illyria and Buffy walked out of a portal and on to the beach. Buffy looked around to see the destroyed pier. There were large holes and gaps in the bridge that balconied over the beach, buildings were destroyed and some were on fire. She was horrified.
“This is the last location Spike was seen. We too will travel in the direction the demon population increases.” She then turned her head in the other direction and sniffed. “This way.” She began to walk without waiting for Buffy to follow. Buffy sped up to be next to her.
“So, you said they talk about me?”
“Yes. They mostly argue. They both claim they obtain the majority of your affection. It is bothersome and nauseating.”
Buffy wasn’t sure how to respond. “They saw you in Rome. They’re rivals with the one you have coitus with. The Immortal.”
“What?” Buffy’s jaw dropped. “I have not had… coitus… with anyone in Rome! I’ve never even been to Rome!”
“That’s not what the vampires perceive.”
“Well it’s not true… Oh my gosh, I bet it was one of my decoys!”
“We have fake Buffys planted all over the world. I’ve sorta become demon’s number one most wanted so we thought it would help keep me safe and confuse them all.”
“This topic has begun to bore me.”
“Oh… Um… Well was it like being an Old One? Did you ever meet—”
nbsp; Buffy was interrupted by a group of seven demons jumping right in front of them from a rocky cliff that hung over their heads. They were tan with long, dragging skin. They reminded Buffy of Clem slightly, except for the claws and the evil expressions they were wearing. They lunged towards the two of them. Buffy blocked a hand swung towards her then threw that demon into another one coming at her. With him bent at the knee she swiftly kicked him in the back of the head. The second demon had gotten back to his feet and swung his claws towards Buffy. She moved backwards avoiding each of his swipes until her back hit the rock wall. The next time he swung she darted under his arm, and while he was still facing the rock wall she slammed his face into it. He fell to the ground still. The other demon then grabbed her around the neck from behind her. She grabbed his arm and used the rest of her body to lunge him up into the air so he collapsed on his back in front of her. She squatted down and repeatedly punched him in the face until he was out. She stood up panting and turned to Illyria. The other six demons were lifeless on the ground all around her.
“We need to travel upward.” Illyria said looking up the rock wall before them.
“How are we supposed to do that? I’ve never been rock climbing.”
“I can jump that distance.”
Buffy stared at her plainly. “I can’t.”
“I will hold on to you if I must.”
“So yeah, there are about two thousand slayers globally.” Willow said to Faith just after darting into another alley. “We’ve found and talked to around fifteen hundred of them.”
“That’s crazy. It went from two to two thousand.”
“And how’s your team in Cleveland?”
“We’re five by five. Hellmouths suck but with eight slayers there it’s bearable. I even get off nights,” Faith said enthusiastically.
“Oh, wait,” Willow said when they reached the end of the alley. They both stared out at a wide building with at least twenty demons standing in front of it. “That has to be it. It looks like it could be the one I saw, and with it being that heavily guarded…”
“Alright, so how do we get past that demon guard party?”
They both paused and waited.
“I could create a distraction from the other direction. I know this spell that causes one small isolated explosion, maybe it will draw them away.
“Go for it.”
Willow closed her eyes. “Segregatorum combustion.”
Faith peaked out of the alley to see a random eruption of fire and smoke accompanied by a loud boom occur far from their position and the building. The demons all turned to look in that direction. In moments a large group of the demons started to walk in that direction.
“Okay, I’ve got another idea. Run when I do,” Willow instructed. “Duo vis agro!” This time a wall of blue energy came from both of Willow’s hands and created a path directly from them to the door of the building. Willow bolted and Faith followed. The remaining demons started to yell and bang on the force field walls. “Hurry!” As soon as they entered the building Faith closed the door behind them and threw herself against it while Willow looked around to find they were alone in the room. “There’s too many of them, I can’t hold it for long,” she said when she turned back to Faith.
“Is there anything else you can do?”
Just then she felt the force field break, and the demons started to push at the door.
Faith held it shut for the moment. “Willow, think! I can’t hold this door forever!
“Instanti foramen!” she yelled pointing at the ground. Right where she was pointing a huge hole grew where there was previously floor, around fifteen feet deep and directly in front of the door.
Faith couldn’t hold up anymore: she leaped sideways away from the door. The demons instantly came pouring through, running, and instantly falling down into the hole. Willow and Faith watched as their plan succeeded. When there were only a couple demons left they stopped themselves right in front of the hole and looked towards the two and smiled menacingly.
Illyria punched one last demon and it fell to the ground with the several others. She and Buffy now stood at the mouth of a cave after taking out another horde of demons. Illyria led the way. As they traveled further the sunlight began to fade but lit torches fastened to the rock walls replaced the light. Buffy walked on her toes with caution. They made a turn and were met by a group of vampires.
“Go on ahead, he can’t be much further!” Illyria ordered as she shoved a fist through the chest of a vampire.
Buffy dashed past the vampires and continued on. In moments she entered part of the cave that was wider than the narrower walkway prior. She braced herself as she entered this new territory. Once she got further into it she saw from across the way a man chained up to the wall behind him. His shirt was missing, his head was down, he had cuts across his torso, and blood all over himself but his muffled blonde hair was unmistakable.
He slowly raised his head and looked at her plainly. He rolled his eyes and dropped his head back down.
“Spike? It’s me. I’m here to get you out of here.” She said as she walked closer to him.
“What is wrong with you?”
“Drop the act. You’re not real, and I bloody stopped falling for it the third time you tried.”
“Spike,” she said as she reached him and lifted his chin, “what are you talking about?”
He looked into her eyes with wide eyes and a slightly dropped jaw that morphed into a half smirk. “I—”
He choked on his words as he continued to stare through watery eyes.
nbsp; Buffy reached for the chain on one of his hands. She began to undo the lock when a hand grabbed her from behind and threw her in the other direction. She got back to her feet and saw Drusilla standing between her and Spike.
“He’s my pet now. Again. You tried to let him go. That’s a bad slayer, very, very bad slayer.” Buffy rolled her eyes as she closed the distance between them and punched her in the face. Dru retaliated with a punch to Buffy’s face. Buffy swung again but Drusilla caught the fist in her hand and began to squeeze it, pressing her long nails in to the flesh. Buffy’s other hand grabbed Dru’s arm at the elbow as she spun them both around quickly, throwing the vampire’s grip off of her. Spike began to wriggle against the already loosened chain on his arm, and banging it on the hard rock wall behind him. Drusilla pounced towards Buffy and successfully pinned the slayer to the ground. Both of Dru’s wrists held both of Buffy’s hands to the ground as she switched to her game face and leaned towards the slayer’s neck. Buffy unsuccessfully writhed against the hands holding her down, then quickly head-butted the vampire in the face, knocking her back enough for Buffy to free her hands, get to her feet and then kick Drusilla in the face.
“No, no, no, this is all wrong! All wrong!” Drusilla yelled from her hands and knees on the ground.
“My god, and I’m the one with the reputation for talking too much during pivotal fight scenes?” Buffy said as she picked Drusilla up by the shoulders of the dress she wore. The vampire quickly shoved her palm upward and into her face, knocking her back a little. Before Buffy could retaliate Drusilla waved her hands in front of her face as she stared deep into her eyes. Buffy was stilled.
“You, you troublesome girl.” Dru said as she continued to wave her hands and motion the slayer’s eyes into her own. “You ruined dad, you ruined my pet. Tainted them beyond repair. I poke and I prod and try to make them see but their eyes have gone light. Too much light. And you, slayer, their sun. No! No! You ruined our family.” She pulled her hand back and stretched her fingers out as she aimed towards Buffy’s neck. Her hand swung but before it connected her body turned to dust and collapsed. Buffy’s trance ended as Spike appeared through the dust in front of her. He dropped a torch as he fell onto Buffy. She caught him, and helped him back on to his feet as she wrapped his arm around her shoulder.
“I guess saving my life can mean you’re off the hook for not telling me you were alive,” she said. Spike half smiled.
nbsp; After killing the three demons left and discovering the building was empty Willow and Faith found a staircase and walked to the basement. As soon as they entered, Faith looked to Willow and she nodded. They looked around the empty, dark basement.
“Angel!” Angel raised his head up to see Buffy. She ran towards him. “I’m here to take you home!” Angel stared at her as a slight smile appeared on his face.
“Angel!” Angel looked in the other direction to see Faith and Willow running towards him. He looked back and Buffy was now staring him with a devilish grin. They quickly freed him of his chains and held him up.
“Where’s Cordelia?” Willow asked.
Angel looked up at her confused. “No… It’s not… It’s the First.&rdquo