Disclaimer: I don't own the characters or their world, they belong to Fox and Whedon. I think.

A/N: Beta'd by Baphrosia.


"'What is an ionic bond?'" Xander reads, his voice crackling through the speaker of the walkie-talkie around Buffy's neck.

Ionic bond.

Bonds of ions?

Buffy struggles, thrashing her shoulders to try and unpin herself from the seriously-steroided grip of this Gvarklianaf or Garvanlinoff or Gravinalinaf or whatever demon. Big, slimy, oozy, with a face like a fangy starfish lizard and a real passion for the whole 'end of days' thing that's about to get a little too nigh if Buffy and the rest of the Scoobies can't kill the whole pack and get back the mystic bangle.

And Buffy's own academic end is gonna be upon her if she can't pass this test, especially after what happened with the last chem test she had. At least Xander had been willing to sit the fight out and hang back at a safe distance with Willow's flash cards.

"Ionic bond," says Xander. "Buff?"

Good thing stealth isn't required for this mission or she'd never get to study.

The demon that has her pinned opens its mouth—mouths.

Buffy kicks desperately but its legs are long and spread and she can't hit it.

Some drool falls from the demon's mouth and splatters into her hair. The demon closes in, hungry and in desperate need of a lot of breath mints, before its torn suddenly away from Buffy and thrown to the ground.

Angel wrestles on top of the demon, snarling and keeping it pressed into the dirt of the cave.

"Buffy!" Giles calls.

When she turns to face where he stands, guarding the exit where Willow is working on her anti-enchantment spell for the bangle with/despite Wesley, he throws her a new sword to replace the one she'd lost when the demon had grabbed her.

She catches the sword in one hand and grabs her walkie-talkie with the other. "Ionic bonds are bonds between ions?" she asks Xander, then drops the walkie-talkie and lunges to Angel's aid.

Just before she stabs it in the throat, the demon says, in five different voices from its five difference mouths, "The transfer of valence electrons between—" Then it pukes up a spurt of blood that melts her walkie-talkie. Because of course it does.

She pulls the melted lump of her walkie-talkie from around her neck and throws it at the next demon. She pegs it in the face and it actually falls down. As she and Angel charge, she asks, "Do you know anything about electrons?"

Angel grabs the demon by the neck before it can fully get to its feet and throws it into the wall. "Are you asking me or them?"

Buffy points her sword at the throat of the demon and holds it there. "Either, but you have a little more time to answer."

The demon swings its fist to knock her sword away and so it ends up going the same way its buddy did, except this time Buffy ducks away from the splash zone.

"Okay. Now I'm asking you."

"Sorry," says Angel. "It's not really my area."

He turns around and Buffy turns to and they find themselves facing off against another half-dozen of the Grvavwhatevers.

"But maybe one of them knows."