Later on, Spike went upstairs to check on Buffy and found the sisters asleep, hands entwined. He smiled at the sight of his girls. He lay down on Buffy's other side and entwined his fingers with her free hand. He fell asleep as well. A few hours passed and the remaining people in the house went upstairs to make sure everyone was okay. They found Buffy nestled against Spike, their entwined hands on his stomach, and Dawn curled up on Buffy's other side. Xander look annoyed and started to say something, but Willow shushed him. They quietly headed back downstairs. Not much later, Spike woke. Buffy's head was resting against his shoulder. He breathed in her scent and kissed the top of her head. Gently, he nudged her. She mumbled, than sleepily opened her eyes. She was sandwiched between Spike and Dawn, and she was content as could be. "It's getting late, luv. How do you feel?"

Cautiously, Buffy stretched. "Mmm, a tad sore yet, but much better." "Do you feel up to doin' this plan tonight? We can always wait until tomorrow."

"No. As much as I'd love to stay here, we really need to get it done." He nodded and reached over to poke Dawn. She grumbled and reluctantly opened her eyes. They all rolled out of bed and went downstairs. Willow was using her laptop, while Xander and Giles looked over a few papers. "Ah, Goldilocks, Key Girl, and Dead Boy decided to grace us with their presence! How ya feeling, Buff?" Xander smiled at her. "I'm better. Ready to go and get this done." Giles explained that at precisely 11:00 p.m. the coven would perform their spell. Then they had to recite a few words, and they would have the power. Willow was to lead the spell. Xander and Giles went to get a few books from Giles's apartment, while Dawn, Willow, Spike, and Buffy headed to the Magic Shop for a few supplies. Dawn and Willow walked ahead, talking about the spell, while Spike and Buffy walked behind, arguing.

"I know you have those fast healin' abilities, Buffy, but I don't want you getting too close to her right off. You're still kind of gimpy." Spike shot her an annoyed look. "I'm the SLAYER, Spike. I can handle myself. It's my job." "Stop bein' foolish. You're going to stay behind until the magic takes effect."

"What, now all of a sudden you think you can tell me what to do because we're involved?"

"When you're bein' an idiot and won't listen to reason, yeah." Letting her temper get the best of her, feeling cranky and sore, she took it out on Spike. She punched him in the nose, causing him to stumble back. "Still feel I can't handle myself?" She felt bad immediately after, but crankiness and worry stopped her from apologizing for over-reacting. She strode into the Magic Shop ahead of him. Willow assembled a few herbs and set a power circle. As she was mixing a few herbs together, Xander and Giles arrived. She gave everyone a pinch of it. Willow positioned herself at the head of the circle. Everyone got into position and linked hands. Willow murmured softly:

"We come before you now We seek the magic the coven offers Bless us with your power On this day and at this hour We are your humble servants"

Willow sprinkled some kind of crystallized stones and everyone followed suit with the herb mix. The circle glowed pale blue. Holding their hands out over the circle, they closed their eyes. Buffy felt her skin tingle. A blue mist rose and circled around them. She felt nervous having some kind of mist about to enter her body, but she knew it was in preparation of the coven's power. Without it, the power boost from the coven might be too much for them. The mist enveloping them slid inside. Buffy felt a tingle deep within, and her body jerked slightly as if having an orgasm. She felt kind of embarrassed at having a sexual reaction to the power. 'Well, come on, it slid inside me, much like something else does.' She felt warm and sleepy like after a good 'bout of the rough and tumble'. She sneakily cast a look at Spike. He was watching her. She blushed. He still looked rather annoyed at the nose punching, but she could see it affected him the same way, and he couldn't take his eyes off her. Clearing her throat, she noticed everyone had shell-shocked expressions. Maybe they had been affected the same way, too. No wonder Willow loved the magic so much. Buffy's eyes fell on Giles, and she immediately turned away. 'Ew, gross!!'

"Okay. Everyone ready to put the big hurt on Celestial?" Xander looked up, slightly flushed. They all kind of avoided each other's eyes and headed out.

"How long do we have?" Buffy looked over at Giles.

He checked his watch. "Five minutes." They reached the street that the mansion was on. Celestial was standing in the street, demons lined up at the ready behind her.

Spike turned to Buffy. "I love you." He vamped.

Smiling at him, glad he forgave her the nose punch, she decided that the time was right. "I love you, too."

His golden eyes widened and a smile twisted his mouth. His fangs glinted at her in the moonlight.

"Well, well, if it isn't the little girl that doesn't give up, with her wannabe slay brigade to try and defeat me." Celestial sneered.

At that moment, the power hit them. Everyone jolted at the impact of pure magic. Buffy felt heat, and her eyes felt as if they were shooting sparks. She felt powerful, even moreso than normal. She saw everyone smiling at the feel of the magic coursing through. Smiling now, she turned to Celestial, who in turn looked worried. "Try? This will be a piece of cake. You're in for a world of pain, bitch."

Spike threw back his head and roared like a wild animal. Chaos erupted like an exploding volcano. Demons came at them from all directions. As Buffy headed straight for Celestial, she saw Dawn land a punch on some huge, hairy beast that sent it flying backwards. Celestial struck first, her fist connecting with Buffy's face. Buffy smiled and launched a roundhouse kick to Celestial's midsection, sending her flying up in a spin. She crashed onto the ground. Celestial raised and arm and called out, "Thicken!"

Buffy lifted her arm and said, "Deflect."

Celestial tossed her head, silvery hair flashing like bolts of lightning.

"Well, well, someone knows how to do some magic." She curled her lip in annoyance. "Lets see just how well." Chanting in Latin, she lifted her arms, gathering force. Sparks flashed and danced around her, and she threw her hand out, emitting a red streak headed straight for Buffy. Feeling the magic practically bubbling inside her, Buffy felt her body come alive. She could feel the pureness of it in every pore, in her crackling hair, and in her tingling fingertips.

' I can see why Willow got so addicted. It's an amazingly indescribable feeling.'

Pure power surging, Buffy lifted her own hand and absorbed Celestial's power. She released a blue streak in turn, bright as a sapphire. Power zinging through the air, they stayed locked in the magic slinging. Meanwhile, Dawn and Willow seemed to have developed major fighting skills, as they kicked the living crap of out quite a number of demons. Xander was using magic and slinging demons right and left with a toss of a hand or his head. Giles was using his smarts to outmaneuver them.

Spike was in a world of his own. He was a raging animal, tearing demons apart right and left.

The number of demons had dwindled severely, and the rest knew they were fighting a losing battle, so hey took off. Willow threw a tremendously powerful fireball in time to stop Celestial from casting a body-binding spell on Buffy, to be able to copy her power. As everyone started gathering around Buffy, Celestial, in a last ditch effort, gathered all her power. She went rigid and a lightning bolt shot out of her fingertips, headed straight toward Buffy.

Spike threw himself in her path.

"Spike! NO!" Buffy cried out.

"Protect!" Willow called out, and every single one of them used their power to lessen the impact of the lightning bolt hitting Spike. It was still incredibly powerful, though, and it made him fly back, tumbling over and over. He got up and staggered back. After Willow knocked Celestial back and off-guard, they all linked hands.

Willow chanted: "Gods and Goddess's hear my plea"

Buffy intoned: "Send this Sorceress back to where she should be"

Spike chimed in: "Put things back to right"

Dawn finished: "Open the portal and send Celestial to hell on a one-way flight."

Dawn released Spike and Giles's hands and held hers up and out. A blue flash of light shot up out of the pavement and went straight up, piercing the velvety night sky and lighting everything around them with a bright blue light. Dawn was encompassed in the light, sweat on her brow glistening. Her eyes were fierce and steady as she concentrated.

Everyone watched Dawn as she reached into the blue light. An opening appeared in it. Celestial, still on the ground, was being pulled toward it. Hair whipping around her face, her eyes wild, Celestial screamed. It pierced the night like a dagger and made everyone wince. They were still cringing even after Celestial was gone, and the unearthly scream had been silenced. Dawn slid a hand into the light again, and it curled up on itself, and with a flash, it was gone.

They all stood there, in a daze. Buffy realized she had a death grip on Spike and Willow's hands. She let go and turned to Dawn. They hugged, and Buffy said, "You were incredible. Are you okay?"

Dawn nodded. Buffy turned to Spike. He looked pretty beat up. He had scratches and scorch marks all over, and he was limping. Buffy gently cradled his face in her hands. She pulled his head down gently to press a kiss to his lips. She wrapped her arms around him, and he rested his head on her shoulder.

"Did you see everyone? They protected me." He looked grateful at the fact.

Buffy smiled. "Yes. You're one of us." Then she felt tears gather in her eyes. "I'm sorry." They leaked down her cheeks, creating a wet, salty path.

He understood. "Emotions were jus' runnin' a bit high is all. Your punches to my nose are love taps to me."

She gave a little snort. They continued standing there just hugging.

"I am wiped out, but man was that power boost fun!" Xander commented.

Willow grinned. Dawn said, "Yeah! I totally kicked some ass!"

"Dawn," Buffy interjected. Dawn rolled her eyes.

"Oh come on, Buffy. That was a blast!"

Smiling, Buffy said, "Okay, okay, it was fun."

While everyone chattered on, Buffy turned to Spike. "Are you okay? You shouldn't have jumped in front of her bolt, you know."

He shrugged and smiled wanly. "I had to, and I could use a soft bed right about now, but I'll be okay, luv." He stroked a hand through her golden hair.

"We'll go home and go to bed in a minute." A smile brightened his face at her choice of words.

They were so lost in each other that neither of them even heard Dawn say, "Buffy, lets go home now." The scoobies watched Buffy pull Spike's head down to hers and kiss him again. Their love for each other was plain to see. Giles cleared his throat and cleaned his glasses. Xander rolled his eyes, but didn't look too upset. Willow and Dawn smiled.

Spike pulled away and saw everyone watching them.

Xander said, "Okay, no more seeing Buffy and the Undead macking on each other. Lets go home and go to bed." Seeing the look exchanged between Spike and Buffy, he amended, "To sleep."

They headed down the road to the Summers' home, and Spike smiled. He felt that even Xander and Giles were beginning to accept him. He looked down at Buffy, and he knew that having a relationship would be rough, especially to his nose, but it would be worth it. She loved him.

THE END