Categories > TV > Buffy the Vampire Slayer > Choices We Make

Chapter Four

by Plshade 0 reviews

Xander has a run in with the Initiative that could break up the gang.

Category: Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Rating: R - Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, Drama - Characters: Anya, Buffy, Drusilla, Faith, Giles, Joyce Summers, Riley, Spike, Tara, Willow, Xander - Warnings: [!!] [V] - Published: 2005-09-23 - Updated: 2005-09-23 - 5916 words

Disclaimer: Disclaimer: This is a fictional story. Joss & ME own the characters, I own nothing and make nothing from this story. In other words; Don't want them. Don't need them. Couldn't afforded them if I did.
Note - thoughts

Chapter Four

Willow, followed closely by Tara, exited the kitchen to find Giles looking after Anya by himself. Glancing around the room Willow asked "Where is Buffy?"

Giles stiffened slightly. "I sent her to see if Spike knew where Xander was."

Willow walked up to Giles. "What makes you think that Spike would know where Xander is?"

Giles stepped away from her as he pointed to the sleeping form on the couch. "Anya," Giles removed his glasses and began cleaning them. "She kept mentioning both Xander and Spike in her sleep so Buffy and I thought it would be best to track down Spike and see what he knew of Xander's whereabouts."

Willow's face darkened. "Why? So Buffy can have another shot at gift-wrapping him for Riley?"

Giles shook his head and sighed loudly. "Willow, you're not the only one worried about Xander."

"No? So I'm just the only one who believes in Xander," Willow said bitterly.

"Willow, I never said-"

"Then why didn't you help defend him when Buffy started in on her 'Xander must be possessed' rant. Why is it so easy for you to believe the worst of Xander?"

"I don't. I just-"

"Just what? Believe everything that Buffy tells you?" Willow crossed her arms in front of her.

Tara stayed in the background as Willow and Giles stared at each other. She could tell that Willow's emotions were running high but hoped that neither would end up saying or doing something that would be regretted later.

"No," Giles moved closer to Willow and placed his hands on her shoulders. "Willow, I understand that you're upset and angry but we need to stay calm and objective." Giles could feel some of the tension in the young woman drain away and he hoped that his next question wouldn't make Willow's anger flare up again. "Now I want you to honestly ask yourself a question. Can you say with one hundred percent conviction that what we have heard about Xander's activities are of the norm for him?"

Willow stared coldly at her elder before answering. "No. But can you say the same about the Initiative? That they wouldn't lie to us?"

Giles stern gaze faltered slightly and Willow nodded her head in satisfaction when Giles looked away.

Willow sank into the chair by the couch and closed her eyes. Despite her faith in Xander she was afraid, plain and simple. Afraid for her friends, herself and their families. Regardless who is right, everyone she loved would be in danger and that weighed heavily on her soul. She needed to find Xander before anyone else and she had an idea on how to do it. "Willow," Her thoughts were interrupted when she heard Tara say her name. Willow opened her eyes to see Tara standing next to her with a compassionate look on her face.

Giles could see the unshed tears in Willow's eyes along with the fear of losing both her friends. "Don't worry Willow," Giles said. "I'm sure that we'll be able to work everything out."

Willow stayed silent as she nodded absently. Her thoughts turned inward and she excused herself claiming the need to use the bathroom. After Willow left, Tara went into the kitchen and kept herself busy making more tea. With both girls out of the room, Giles returned his attention back to Anya. The ex-daemon began to moan fitfully as she slept.

Giles was worried about what was going to happen to what he considered his 'family' over the couple of days. "Hopefully Buffy will be able to extract some useful information from Spike."


Inside Spike's crypt, things were not going like Giles hoped.

Instead of learning what Spike knew about Xander, the vampire had Buffy pinned to a wall and was gorging himself on Slayer blood. Spike had her pressed tight against the wall preventing Buffy from hitting or kicking him. Buffy's only weapon was the small cross that hung around her neck but it had no effect on the vampire except to leave cross shaped burns on Spike's face.

Buffy dropped her cross and desperately grabbed Spike by his hair and brutally pulled him away from her neck. Her actions caused Spike's fangs to rip her neck open and Buffy nearly succumbed from the pain. Doing her best to stay conscious, Buffy brought her free hand up and was about to punch Spike when movement by the door distracted her.

By the door, Buffy saw the outline of a man highlighted by the fading sunlight.

Buffy was trying to focus on the man when a bright light was shone in her face. Buffy shut her eyes tightly to keep from being blinded but Spike wasn't so lucky and he flinched as his light sensitive eyes was burned by the light. When Buffy felt his grip slacken, she grabbed Spike's head in both hands and head-butted the vampire, pushing the vampire away from her.

Spike tried to grab her once more but before he could touch her, the vampire was enveloped in a bright flash of light. Following the stream of light back to the door, Buffy saw that the mystery man had a gun that looked like one of the Initiative's blasters and was giving Spike everything the weapon had.

Buffy grew alarmed as sparks of electricity started to jump from Spike to her. At first, a small corner of Buffy's mind wondered why she wasn't feeling anything but then her body was racked by a searing pain that left her muscles feeling like putty. Buffy's remaining energy was sapped by the electricity and she collapsed to the floor. She could dimly feel her body twitch slightly before she lost consciousness.


Marcus lowered his weapon as he watched Buffy Summers collapse against the wall. The vampire was thrown from her and was lying on the floor a few feet away. Marcus regretted that the girl got caught in his weapon's electrical discharge but he figured it was better than letting the vampire have another chance at draining her.

He made his way over to check on the blonde and was surprised at the damage the vampire was able to do. From what he was told, Buffy Summers possessed enhanced speed and strength and was believed to be more than a match for a single vampire.

Marcus decided to worry about that later and deal with what was in front of him. Not wanting to take any chances Marcus kept his weapon trained at the vampire. Then he dropped his flashlight and pulled a field dressing patch from one of his pockets. Still holding his weapon in one hand, Marcus tried to bandage Buffy's neck with his free hand before she bled to death.


Willy's bar was unusually quiet as Forrest calmly stared at the bartender from across the table. Willy's eyes twitched nervously between Forrest and the gun on the table.

"Now Willy." Forrest leaned back in the chair.

Willy looked up at the man. What was his name? Forrest? "What?"

"What can you tell me about Xander Harris?"

"Harris?" Willy asked, confused. "Why do you want to know about him."

Forrest leaned across the table and stared coldly at the bartender. "I'm the one asking the questions here."

"Hey! No need to get all hot and bothered."

"Then answer the question."

"What can I say? Other than running around with the Slayer, Xander's a decent enough kid who, at least pays me for information."

Forrest just shrugged. "Not my concern. What else?"

Willy glanced briefly at the back entrance. The man standing there, was looking into the back hallway. "Sir!"

Forrest turned in his chair. "What is it Soldier?"

"I think I heard a noise in the back room."

Forrest stared at Willy as he picked up the gun that was lying on the table. "Check it out," Forrest said as he motioned the other man to follow. Focusing on Willy again, Forrest asked, "Who's back there?"

"Back there? There's nobody in back."

Forrest was about to argue when a loud crash could be heard. Jumping out of his chair, Forrest turned around in time to see his two men being thrown back into the room and land at his feet. Forrest leaned down to check if his men were still alive.


Both Willy and Forrest looked up to see a man and a woman enter the room from the back. The man was dressed in a very expensive looking suit while the woman was draped in a hooded cloak that covered most of her body and head, leaving the lower part of her face exposed.

Forrest leveled his gun at the two 'people' that was responsible for his soldiers current condition. "Who the fuck are you?"

The man stepped forward and said. "Us? We're no concern of yours or should I say that in a few minutes we won't be of any concern of yours."

The woman move with supernatural speed toward the remaining soldier. Before Forrest could react, she knocked the weapon from his hands and grabbed him by the throat. The woman then lifted him up with one hand until his feet were dangling a few inches above the floor and then she threw him into a cluster of tables and chairs, sending broken pieces of wood everywhere.

"Aw c'mon guys," Willy whined. "Do you really need to destroy my bar?"

The woman turned to Willy and wagged a finger at him. Willy instinctively backed up when he saw a pair of yellow eyes glowing brightly from within the darkness of the hood.

"Undead bitch!" Forrest yelled, holding a broken chair leg like a stake in both hands and tried to stab her through the back. The woman spun around and stopped his attack by grabbing both of his wrists in her hands. Her hood fell down during in the process revealing the demonic features of a vampire. Before Willy could see her face clearly, it was quickly obscured by her long, brown hair.

Willy held his breath, watching the soldier stare defiantly at the vampire. The man in the suit moved next to him. "You don't need to worry about them anymore." He said, motioning to the other men on the floor.

"Them?" Willy was incredulous. "You and your girlfriend are costing me more money than they were."

The man chuckled. "I wouldn't say that the relationship between me and my 'girlfriend', as you called her, is that close."

"Whatever," Willy just shook his head. "Just make sure she doesn't get blood all over the place."

"Oh, she's not going to drain them. She is going to... well let's just say that she's telling them something very important."

Willy returned his attention to the struggle between the vampire and human and was surprised to see a completely blank look on Forrest's face and was swaying slightly from side to side as the vampire began speaking softly. Soon the man started smiling like an eager little boy and moved to his friends, waking them up roughly with hard slaps. Then the vampire locked eyes with the two soldiers and soon had them eating out of her hand as well.

"Are we done here yet?"

Willy jumped as a mousy little man appeared at the doorway leading to the back room. I gotta get a lock for that sewer entrance. The man standing beside Willy simply motioned the smaller man to be quiet as he addressed the vampire. "Will they do as instructed?"

The vampire left the three soldiers and walked over to the man she came arrived with. Willy was shocked when he finally got a good view of the vampire. He recognized who she was and tried not to stare as she stopped to watched the three soldiers leave the bar.

"Oh yes. They will be good little boys," she purred.

The man then turned to the newcomer. "We're almost done here Ray. Please escort my companion back to my office," the man said.

Ray nodded and placed his hand on the vampire's arm. Then he closed his eyes and both him and the vampire disappeared in a cloud of gray smoke.

Willy stared at the fading smoke before quietly asking. "Who are you guys?"

"That doesn't matter. We're here to let you know that if anyone comes asking about Alexander Harris, we would appreciate it if you lead them to believe that he's a just normal kid. A nobody." The man pierced Willy with a hard stare. "Understand?"

"Yeah. Sure. No problem."

"Good boy." he said condescendingly, as if he was talking to a puppy. "Here's my card. Call me when you have a dollar amount for the damages that my 'girlfriend' caused."

Willy stared at the card and hardly paid any attention when the short man, Ray, suddenly appeared beside the other man. He didn't even notice when both men vanished into a similar cloud of smoke.

Willy stared at that business card, thinking that maybe it was time to relocate his business to a more friendly neighborhood.


Buffy found herself floating in a sea of darkness. Her body was limp, unable to obey her mental commands to move. The darkness was cool and comforting. A shield from life and all her problems. Buffy felt herself beginning to surrender to that numbing darkness. She didn't know how long she floated there before a small light appeared in the darkness.

"..uffy Summ.."

Whaa.. Buffy could've sworn she heard somebody say her name.

"Wake up.." The far away voice came again.

In the darkness surrounding her, the small light became a blinding flash forcing her to wake up. Even though her vision was unfocused, Buffy could make out the dim features of Spike's crypt. Suddenly, a blonde-haired man moved into her field of vision, startling her. Without a second thought, Buffy let loose a solid punch to the man's jaw.

The man was lifted up into the air from the pure force of the blow and was thrown backwards several feet. Buffy ignored the man she just punched for the moment as she tried to clear her vision. She could make the sounds of groaning. Both in front of her and off to her right.

Unsteadily, she got to her feet and staggered forward to check out who it was that she punched. The only light in the room was a discarded flashlight but it was enough to confirm that the guy she hammered was not only human but was also from the Initiative. A blaster rested on the ground next to the man. That was when she realized that this was the man that entered the crypt when Spike was feeding off her.

As if on cue, a moan reverberated out from behind Buffy causing her to turn around. Grabbing the flashlight off the ground, she aimed it at the source of the noise. The light revealed the shriveled form of Spike. His head snapped up and Buffy could see the light reflected in his vampiric eyes. Before she could say his name, Spike growled and charged at her.

Bringing the flashlight up, Buffy viciously backhanded the vampire with it. Spike stumbled backwards from the force of the blow giving Buffy time to reach for the blaster at her feet. Before Spike could attack again, she leveled the weapon at him and fired. The bright electrical charge lit up the room once more as it struck the vampire in the chest.

Buffy exhaled loudly when she saw Spike fall to the floor. She leaned back against the wall behind her and tried to get her heartbeat back under control. Thinking that the worst was over, Buffy searched for her cell phone. When she brought up to the flashlight and found that it was completely fried. "Oh great."

Stifling a scream of frustration, Buffy threw the ruined phone against the wall, shattering it. Buffy then moved to the commando to check if he had a phone when she heard a noise to her right.

Bringing the light back up she watched in disbelief as Spike slowly stood up. An idle corner of her mind remained detached and counted the many wounds on Spike's face and neck in morbid fascination as Spike raised his head and looked at her. The only recognition she saw in his eyes was for the weapon she still held. Spike gazed at her, then the fallen commando and then finally at the open door. With a snarl, the vampire ran for door with all his supernatural speed and vanished into the night.

Buffy swore heatedly as she dropped the flashlight next to the soldier. Then, with the blaster still in her grip, she took off after Spike.


Xander was currently laying on the roof of one of Sunndydale's many crypts. He stared up at the cloudless, night sky as he absently counted the stars in his view. While Xander kept his eyes to the sky, all his other senses were sampling the area around him. The stray breeze that brought smells from the college that borders the graveyard. The sounds of insects that would start up but then disappear when a larger being would come close. The steady beating of a bat's wings as it searches the night for insects. These and other little bits of information were collected and processed in the back of his mind.

Once Xander had come up from the tunnels, his body shut down as his mind worked overtime to understand and adapt to what was happening to him. Xander had noticed that since he chose to relive the memories of the 'Hyena' and the 'Soldier', his senses seem to have grown sharper and he was fighting a little better than normal. Xander was worried that the sources of those memories were trying to take over his body again until he realized that he, Xander Harris, was still in complete control.

Xander first instinct was to go to Willow or Giles for help. He knew that of everyone, they would be able help figure out what was happening to him. That they would be able to find some explanation for what he was going through. Unfortunately both of them would be under the watchful gaze of the Initiative and even if they weren't, he was pretty sure that the Slayer would be with them. Xander wanted to avoid the Slayer for now since he wasn't sure what good would come from a meeting with her yet. That left only one person that Xander might go to but he didn't want to get Father Michael involved.

A light breeze brought the sound of hushed voices to Xander's ears, prompting his mind to focus on what was happening around him. Moving silently onto his stomach, Xander carefully scanned the area around the crypt. Off to the west, a group of people was moving slowly in his direction. As they got closer to his position, he realized that they were commandos. Xander stayed completely still as the five soldiers passed underneath him into the bushes to his far left.

In his mind, a high pitched laughter echoed loudly as he wondered exactly what kind of training the Initiative gives their people these days. This crypt is barely a dozen feet tall, and they never bothered to look up. Xander just shook his head, wondering how the Initiative managed to stay in business this long.

Suddenly a tingling sensation ran up the back of Xander's neck. Xander tensed up as he tried to identify the reason for what he was feeling. It feels like someone's watching me. Turning slightly to look behind him, Xander could see no one but he had a strange feeling that he shouldn't be looking on the ground but in the air.

Twisting suddenly onto his back, Xander gazed up at the star-filled sky and hanging not more that six feet above him, was a faint ripple in the air which caused the stars behind it to wobble. The distortion wasn't large but when Xander pointed at it, he thought he heard a sound come from it like a sharp intake of air then the distortion blinked out of existence.

Gone. Xander waited but it didn't come back and the feeling of being watched had also vanished when the distortion disappeared. Someone was watching me magically and unless the Initiative are starting to use non-traditional means of surveillance, the only other person that would be trying to find me is..


Willow was breathing heavily and her heart raced as she leaned heavily against the far wall of Giles' bathroom.

How did he... Willow couldn't complete that thought as what she just experienced replayed in her mind.

Earlier, after having locked the bathroom door, Willow prepared to cast a simple enchantment to scry for Xander's location using the mirror on the wall. Willow knew that she shouldn't try any spells until she had a better control of her emotions. Strong emotions could either help or hinder the effects of any spell and hers made Willow feel like she was on a roller coaster but that didn't matter to Willow. Finding Xander was her main concern.

Almost immediately after Willow started to recite the words for the spell, the mirror's surface began to ripple and an image began to appear. As the image came into focus, Willow saw Xander. He was in one of the graveyards, laying on top of one of the larger crypts in the area.

Focusing more on Xander's surroundings, Willow saw a group of commandos that were approaching her friend's location. Willow's heart tightened in fear and she thought about calling for Giles but she knew that even if they left now, they wouldn't get there in time. All she could do was hope that they wouldn't find Xander or that he didn't go after the commandos.

After what seemed like hours, the commandos literally walked right underneath Xander and continued past him. Willow's body slumped forward against the bathroom sink in relief but what really threatened to stop her heart, happened after the commandos left.

Xander started looking around himself then suddenly he flipped onto his back, looked straight at her and pointed his finger. That broke her concentration enough to cause the spell to end. When that happened Xander's image faded away, leaving Willow to stare at her own reflection.

Willow had stood there for several minutes wondering how Xander knew she was watching him. Reasons that her mind came up with to explain how Xander could sense her didn't offer any comfort to either her scientific mind nor her mystical.

Willow had to admit to herself that since Xander was able to sense her spell, there might be some credibility to Buffy's claims of Xander being changed. Willow's thoughts turned briefly to the time when Xander was possessed by the Hyena but Willow wouldn't let what had happened in the past, paralyze her now. In fact Willow became even more determined to find out what exactly had happened between her friend and the Initiative. Her only decision now was if she should she tell Giles what happened or not before going after Xander.


Willow. Xander thought. If that was her then I better move before she tells - All thoughts about the red-headed Wiccan vanished when Xander heard more noise coming from behind him. Moving back onto his stomach, he turned slightly and patiently waited for the source of the noise to make it's appearance.

As the sounds got closer, Xander got a glimpse of a blonde-haired man with the prominent facial features of a vampire. Spike! A multitude of emotions threatened to overwhelm him at the sight of the vampire. Many were connected to the scene that played out not too long ago in Spike's crypt between the vampire and the ex-daemon. The emotional roller coaster Xander was riding momentarily stopped when he was able to see Spike more clearly.

To say that Xander was stunned at the vampire's physical appearance would be an understatement. Xander knew that Spike would be seriously hurt by holy water that he put into the blood bags but even Xander didn't think that the physical consequences would be this severe. He gives new meaning to the phrase 'nothing but skin and bones'

Xander stayed silent and observed the reckless way Spike moved. It looked like the vampire was operating on instinct, following some scent in the air like a dog going from tree to bush to headstone. Xander silently watched the vampire's actions, wondering if the scent Spike was following was his own but before Xander could decide what to do, Spike's head shot up and he began running in the direction of the Initiative operatives. "Well, it looks like the hunters have just become the hunted," he said with a smirk.

More sounds alerted Xander to yet another presence in the cemetery. What is going on? Is everyone out tonight? Not moving a hair, Xander watched as a blonde woman emerge from the same path that Spike came from. "Slayer." His voice was flat, almost devoid of emotion.

Xander noticed the angry and determined expression on her face but what really caught his attention was that her neck was wrapped in a white cloth. The sight of her neck wrapped up like that pulled an image from the part of his mind that held his 'Soldier' memories. He could vaguely remember watching a Medic as he worked on a injured soldier. The Medic used the same type of white bandaging that Xander saw around the Slayer's neck.

A vampire got lucky enough to bite her? Xander was incredulous. The only times that he knew of her getting bit was when the Master opened the Hellmouth and the time she let Angel feed off her since only a large amount Slayer's blood could save the vampire from a poison that Faith had infected him with.

Then Xander realized that she came from the same direction that Spike came from. If she's tracking Spike and she's been hurt, does that mean that .. Spike bit her?! Xander's hatred for the vampire simmered just below the surface of his thoughts. How could he bite her? His chip should've stopped him cold before he got close enough to breathe on her neck.

Xander continued to watch the Slayer as he mulled over this new development. The only reason Xander could up with was that the pain Spike was in had somehow overpowered whatever pain the chip could inflict. And that meant that Spike may no longer be affected by the implanted technology. Which means that he'll need to be eliminated.

The Slayer paused, cocking her head to the side as if listening for something. Xander's muscles tensed up as he hugged the crypt's roof. Despite the success he had against Spike and the vampire underground, Xander instinctively knew that right now, he was nowhere near her level of fighting ability and he didn't want to press his returning abilities against a real fighter until they improved.

When Buffy started to move away from his position, Xander quietly slid off the crypt. He followed hesitantly, noting that she was taking the same route that the Initiative and Spike took. Xander let her get a little further ahead and climbed a nearby tree. The tree was fairly tall. The highest branch that Xander found was a good twenty feet above the ground, letting him see a couple miles in every direction.

A bright flash caught his attention. A short distance ahead of Buffy, between the trees, Xander could faintly see two commandos firing their blasters at an unknown enemy. Because of the trees, Xander couldn't see who the commandos were fighting but he could guess who it was.

With a grin, Xander dropped to a branch halfway down before jumping the rest of the way to the ground. Then he ran to the fight.


Buffy had been following Spike's trail for the last few minutes when she was distracted by screams coming from off in the distance. "Oh great." Buffy ran in the direction of the screams and nearly collided with a body that came flying through the darkness at her. Diving out of the way, Buffy watched the body land hard onto a flat grave marker.

Getting back to her feet, Buffy move to the body of whoever it was that had tried their hand at flying. She recognized the dark clothing and gear that the Initiative wear in the field and Buffy briefly thought about the absence her new boyfriend but taking care of Spike needed to be done first. Once she did that then she can question the commandos about where Riley was.

Buffy reached down and placed her hand on the man's neck, checking for a pulse. Her fingers found a faint but steady pulse. Alive but unconscious. When Buffy stood back up, a strong sense of vertigo washed through her, sending Buffy to her knees. Lifting a shaky hand to her neck, Buffy could feel that the bandages were very wet. Must've opened it up when I was dodging flyboy here.

Trusting her enhanced healing to take care of her neck, Buffy staggered forward. She saw two men down. Another was on the ground in pain, his right leg was bent at an unnatural angle. Spike was holding the last one by the neck and was noisily sucking the man's blood.


The vampire looked at Buffy with the bottom half of his face covered in blood. "Slayer." An ugly sneer formed on that face as he sniffed the air causing Buffy to unconsciously bring her hand up to her neck. Spike dropped the soldier and advanced towards her. After two steps Spike stopped and sniffed the air again. Spike growled menacingly as he scanned the area as if he was looking for something.

Buffy aimed her blaster at the vampire and fired. Man-made lightning arced from Buffy's weapon and slammed into Spike, driving him to his knees. The commando with the ruined leg also fired his weapon but Spike was able to roll to the side, avoiding the blast. Spike then charged at the wounded man, knocked the weapon from his hands and grabbed the man's neck, snapping it.

When Spike looked at her, Buffy could tell that there was something different about the vampire. The blind animalistic hunger was gone from his eyes and the sores and lesions on his skin had begun healing. Ignoring Buffy, Spike twisted around and yelled out, "I know you're here Droopy. I can smell you."

Droopy? Buffy's eyes widened and looked around. Xander!

"I told you that I would make you pay for what you did to me."

Buffy didn't know what the vampire was talking about. "Spike!"

Spike looked at Buffy. "Wait your turn Slayer, I'll deal with you soon enough." Spike turned away from her.

Buffy grabbed him by the arm and punched him in the face. "No. You'll deal with me now."

"Oh I don't think so," Spike shook off the punch and backed away. "I think you should be more worried about droopy."

"You better stay away from Xander."

"Me stay away from him? Maybe if you had kept the little wanker on a tighter leash, he wouldn't be so unstable."

"What are you talking about?"

Spike's eyes widened in realization that Buffy didn't know that Xander found Ayna in his crypt after they had sex. He decided he could have some fun with the Slayer and draw out Xander. "Maybe you weren't paying attention ducks but did you notice my complexion?" Spike pointed to his face and neck. "Droopy did this."

"Xander did that?" Her voice had almost a child-like quality to it. "No. There is no way that he would be able to do that." Visions of the fight between Xander and Riley flashed in her mind. A part of her could accept that Xander, by himself, could win in a fight with her boyfriend. After all, they're both human but for Xander to be able to beat a vampire like Spike. Even with the chip working, Spike could have avoided anything Xander tried just with his demonic speed alone.

"Oh he did, and more." Spike started to circle around her. "You should have seen what he did to Anya," he whispered.

Buffy was trembling inside. Fear like she hadn't felt since Angel became evil, coursed through her. That was what she was feeling. Fear for her friends.

"Oh it was sweet, Slayer" Spike continued. He couldn't remember much of what happened. Actually most of the details were hazy but some highlights did stick out in his memory. "He made her cry. He made her beg. He was ruthless, vindictive, cruel." Spike didn't bother to mention that as far as he knew, Xander didn't lay a finger on the girl but what the Slayer didn't know only made his story that much more fun to tell.

"You should have seen her," Spike paused dramatically. "Angelus would've been proud."

Buffy felt like she had been kicked in the gut as pictures of Xander hurting his girlfriend flooded her mind. What Spike said only cemented her belief that something was wrong with Xander. Now his change in attitude towards her made sense. The real Xander wouldn't hurt Anya anymore than he could hurt me or Willow. Lost in her thoughts, Buffy didn't realize that Spike was now standing in front of her.

"And you Slayer." Buffy jumped at the sound of his voice. "It's time you were re-introduced to the Big Bad. And since Droopy is too scared to face me now, well..." Spike reared back and let loose a series of punches. Some Buffy managed to block or avoid. Some she didn't.

Before she could retaliate, Spike backed away from her and grinned, "I do want to thank you for helping me get rid of that annoying chip."

"Me?" Buffy asked.

"Well if you didn't come to me when you did," Spike shrugged unconcerned. "Who knows what would've happened to me but then... I got a taste of your sweet blood." He smirked. "Slayer blood." Spike stretched his arms out wide. "With that power coursing through me, I was able to heal much faster and endure all those shots you people hit me with. I'm guessing all that electricity was too much for the chip and the little bugger got fried."

Buffy felt guilt well up inside of her as she remembered what the Master had told her the night of the prophecy, right before he bit her, 'If you hadn't come, I couldn't go'.

"After I'm done with you, I think that I will pay a special visit to Willow. I'll bring her out here to find your corpse and then, maybe, I'll turn her." That broke Buffy from her thoughts and she glared at the vampire.

"You touch her or any of my friends and I'll-"

"You'll what, ducks. Stake me? Ooohh I'm shivering in my boots," Spike mocked.

"Shiver this," a familiar voice said before the sounds of gunshots drowned out everything.

Buffy ducked for cover as Spike was hit by several bullets. She looked up, shocked to see who was holding the smoking gun in his hands.


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