The many, dimly lit candles illuminated the room. She stood there in silence, waiting, thinking. This was a common yet unpleasant thing for her. The family had left an hour before her arrival, but the man working the Funeral Parlor let her stay until it was time to close. Buffy slowly inched toward the white casket, gently slid her hand along the blue lining as she kept her eyes on the body within it.
In the light of the many candles the room was tranquil and affected Buffy. She too was slightly calm, but it was also that she would get to do this without a fight. It was like shooting fish in a barrel, only staking hearts in a box. A noise occurred. It attracted her attention as she looked to her left and hid the stake behind her back. She turned toward the man in with surprise.
He was a portly man dressed in a black tuxedo. He was hard to look at, as his face wasn't the most sightliest, but Buffy did not want to seem rude and especially didn't want the vampire to get away. He stepped closer and looked down at the body before back up to Buffy. In a slightly apologetic voice he spoke with a high pitch tone.
"Friend of yours?" The man asked with an almost practiced melancholy in his voice.
"Yeah." Buffy strained with a slight whisper, dismissively.
"It's a shame, you know I have heard rumors that the dead rise when they have unfinished business, or disrespected." The portly man remarked.
"Who wouldn't." Buffy replied, she kept the stake out of view.
"Well, if you don't need anything, I'll be in the back reading." The man slowly backed off.
"I won't be long." Buffy replied, giving a slightly responsive smile as he walked off behind the double doors.
A groaning sound cracked the moment of silence like a whip. Buffy looked to the casket and saw the eyes of the body flicker awake from a deep sleep. She gazed down at the vampire as it looked up at her and smiled with evil intent. With one swift strike, she drove the stake down into the vampire's chest. The carved wood pierced through the red dress, which slowly powdered into a dusty substance.
The skeletal shape of the dust soon continued to fade as only specs were left to litter the white cloth of the inner casket. Buffy backed away and turned to leave the Funeral Parlor.
It was new in Sunnydale, but to her it seemed like a normal funeral home. It had definitely looked different, but many places tend to make changes to attract customers. This was the one place she hoped she would never have to see again, unless on patrol. Buffy was still suffering from the loss of her mother.
The death was tragic and was not helped with Dawn's behavior. She had tried to raise Joyce from the dead, only to have realized that her mother was not what they expected. The time was slow and the process painful, but she had to go through it, going through the motions was something Buffy was always forced to do. With Angel, Riley, her mother, and now Glory.
Glory was the new big bad in Sunnydale and was not a normal demon Buffy had faced in her past. She was a hell god that was banished from her dimension. Trapped on Earth Glory searched hungrily for the key, which had been fashioned into a human – Dawn. That knowledge could not get into the wrong hands, Buffy would not know what to do if Glory had her grasp on Dawn, like she did with Tara.
Buffy vs. The Undertaker
Willow looked up to see Buffy at the door. The ringing of the bell was something only Anya had grown to love, for it meant customers. Buffy stepped over to the counter where Giles seemed exhausted and frustrated. They had gotten a new shipment of items and had a hard time getting Anya to go down and see what they had gotten. Giles was hard at work trying to figure which order belonged to who. The previous shipment was of various mummy hands and they were rather a handful to deal with. The only way to get them sold properly was to special order it for the customers.
"They're biting me! No, the bugs! No," Tara whimpered and squirmed in her chair as Willow rushed over to comfort her.
"Is she ok?" Buffy looked over toward the two as Tara rocked back and forth in Willow's arms.
"She's fine." Willow replied in a depressive tone and stroked Tara's hair. She wouldn't say, but it was mostly to soothe herself than Tara.
She had been angry and sad since this had happened. One fight resulted in the loss of Tara's stability. It grieved Willow to see Tara in this state. She was locked in darkness and insanity, a feeling only given to by Glory. Tara usually whimpered, though sometimes Willow could see her and know things were going to be okay. She was her everything, Glory would die for what she did to Tara. Willow would see to it, if Buffy could not.
Willow had given the hell god a taste of her power the night before. Buffy had saved Willow from any further destruction, but the promise brought out by Glory's mouth kept them alert. Glory told them it wasn't over, she would find them and find the key. The more they encountered her, the more Buffy and her friends felt unsafe in Sunnydale. Dawn was the most frightened as her presence was more and more a burden. She felt responsible for Tara, and for Spike's brutal injuries.
Dawn was not at the Magic Box this night for she was kept at Spike's. Buffy did not like it and Xander was always against anything to do with Spike, but Dawn felt safe with him. Buffy had to let her stay there.
"An urn, a few slug scented candles and an amulet." Anya said in disgust as she stepped out from the doorway leading to the storage room under the Magic Box.
"That's it?" Giles turned to her.
"We can sell them online, I made a website for the Magic Box, Giles, we should use it." Anya urged the idea as she stepped behind the counter next to Giles.
"Right, what's the condition?" Giles replied.
"Needs a cleaning, maybe you should go down there and I'll keep watch on the money, so no one takes it." Anya proposed this brilliant idea, but received a look of ridicule by Buffy and annoyance from the retired Watcher.
"As interesting as that sounds, I need to finish this. So, when I'm done Anya-" Giles began to say, before being interrupted by Buffy.
"I'll do it. Doesn't seem like much, besides I need something to keep my mind off Glory. Buffy the cleaner, ready for duty." Buffy said with a joking smile, but sincere.
Glory had been on her mind ever since the walk from the Funeral Parlor. Glory was always on her mind since their last encounter. She knew Glory was close to discovering the truth about her sister, the key. Dawn. Buffy also needed money, and felt a slight chance of getting pay from the experience, but Anya quickly replied to quell those possible thoughts.
"Great! They're in a box labeled 'Online Stock.' Thanks for volunteering, but you can't have my job, or Xander, nor the store!" Anya said, believing Buffy might actually do such an action.
"I won't." Buffy rolled her eyes.
Anya annoyed her most of the time, but everyone had to deal with her for she was Xander's girlfriend. Anya was also very knowledgeable with demons, as she had been one for thousands of years. She was known as Anyanka after being recruited by D'Hoffryn to become a Vengeance Demon.
A long time ago, Aud was not taken kindly in the village she lived in. Her curiosity and irksome ways separated her from the others. Her only friend was her boyfriend Olaf. Even he gave her thoughts she feared. She just knew he was cheating on her. Drunken and dismissive Olaf always tried to push off the subject and push on Aud.
When her suspicions were proven, Aud transformed Olaf into a troll, which got the attention of the lord of Arashmahar. Anyanka was always on the job, and a vicious Vengeance Demon she was. Thousands of years of vengeful wrath, but Anya became human once again and to her confusion could not resist Xander. She was always at his side when he was not working, and always had a comment for everything if her brain was thinking it.
Each step seemed to creak more than the last one. The shop was definitely aging, as the dust in the storage room did not help the situation. She saw a table revealing an opened cardboard box. The merchandise was laid out on the table over a fabric of cloth that covered it. She noticed that it really was rather dusty and looked around for a towel.
When she found one on the table, she stepped over to the items and picked it up. The first item she thought she'd clean was a golden urn. It was shiny even though it was dusty. She noticed a symbol on the bottom. It was a large dagger like 'T' with two crossing lines as with a thin, spiked 'X' just at the bottom of the 'T'. Suddenly, it fell at the sound of a voice.
"Buffy." A deep familiar voice broke the silence.
The urn shattered against the dusty wooden floor, which startled her, it also angered her as she knew whose voice it was. He stepped forward out of the darkness. His blonde hair, the trench coat and the face she knew had no soul. His eyes pierced her body with need.
"We have to talk Buffy." Spike urged forward, but her look of disgust kept him where he stood.
"Where's Dawn!" Angered that he would leave her sister at a time where she should be kept safe, Buffy said, Spike's voice pinched a nerve in her. Heck, it pinched all of them.
"Upstairs, I thought you knew. We have to talk Buffy, there is something between us." Spike continued to push into the subject of his love for the Slayer.
Spike loved her. He hated that he did, but he did. It happened whilst Riley was still with her, and he had eventually gotten a robot constructed to look and react just like her. Spike was angered and hurt at the fact she would not accept him, nor care for his love of her.
"You didn't tell Glory about Dawn and that's all I'll like you for." Buffy glared at him.
"Fine, slayer. I'll go, but don't go calling me for help. Maybe next time I won't come." Spike replied, angered and hurt once again before he slipped back into the shadows.
She herd the door slam, which startled and relieved her. Buffy looked down at the broken urn. Anya was going to be furious.
Glory sat down, her long royal blue dress matching the big chair she was comfortable in. Her minions were an odd race that was easy to control. They had worshipped Glorificus for centuries and had been overjoyed when she was in their dimension. They had helped her work around her handicapped condition of being inside Ben, but even they had certain doubts. Glory was unstable. Her connection to Ben was ruining her mentally and she would eventually break down. During these moments of insanity, the minions had nothing to do but suck up to the hell god, it was all they knew. Eventually they figured out she got better when she drained the energy of others.
"What can we do for you, oh splendiferous one?" The minion that worshipped at her feet eagerly said.
"Shall we find who the key is? It is most certain that we cannot fail a second time! We will get you the vampire!" A second minion urged on, to Glory's annoyance.
"Enough! I don't need the vampire! Impure, pathetic and dirty." Glory mumbled as if she felt uncomfortable and then her spirits were lifted on a dime. "But don't worry, every thing's all better. I told the Slayer it wasn't over, I have one more trick up my sleeves. The Key will be brought to me, by him!"
Buffy stepped out of the bathroom. She had taken a shower to give herself time to think and she had gotten dusty from the storage room in the Magic Box. The mist in the bathroom slowly cooled and faded into the air.
She shut the door and held the towel close to her as she scurried over to her room to change into clothes. The shower door had been kept open. The moist drops of water sliding down the glass. It was fogged enough that you could barely see behind the glass door until it happened. The fog started to write into the glass as if someone was pressing their finger along the surface. A symbol was created, the symbol Buffy saw on the urn. As soon as it had faded into the glass, the water droplets covered it.
Buffy walked down the steps, she had heard a noise coming from the living room only to find Dawn with popcorn and sat by the television. It had not given Buffy a happy look on her face, but she could understand why Dawn couldn't sleep, she couldn't either.
"Dawn, why aren't you in bed?" Buffy voiced in a sharp, motherly tone.
"I was just about to, but I was hungry." Dawn replied, but it was all just excuses to Buffy.
Buffy seemed hard on Dawn. She had to fit into the place of her mother, be the slayer, and a sister at the same time. It was too much for her, and it had gotten to her a few times. Buffy replaced the stress with anger toward Dawn when she did not do what was needed, or did anything at all. She was there to push Dawn out of harms way, but could not stop nagging toward her to know what not to do. Dawn had done many things wrong in her short life as a human and Buffy's pushing did not help, but to force Dawn into a cornered and aggressive attitude when confronted.
She was always alone. She hated being alone all the time. She used to spend time with her mother Joyce, but since the death of her, Dawn began to feel left out and ignored. Everyone had their own lives to live and no one bothered to care for her. She felt if they could just spend time with her, things would be right. She wished no one would leave her. In time, that wish would come true.
"I just can't sleep–," Dawn looked to Buffy and knew that her sister felt the same.
"I know." Buffy replied, her weary eyes revealed just how helpless she felt.
Dawn looked surprised. Her eyes were locked on the television. It had started to go into the scratching black and white lines that scrambled across the screen.
"That's odd." Dawn commented.
The television returned to the normal show. It was on a commercial, but then it happened again. It flickered from show to scratching lines, it started to freak them out. Once the lights went out one by one, they knew something was wrong. There was something in the house, but what? The screen of the television went to a dark blue color, which illuminated the darkness of the living room.
Buffy slowly stepped into the kitchen as the last light bulb died out and enveloped them in darkness. The sound of thunder and strikes of lightning brightened all the rooms in the house like the full moon reflecting on a lake. This scene was not as beautiful though. The split second the light flashed inside the Summers' home, the two were quickly out of the house.
"Giles, something is happening." Buffy said as she rushed to the counter.
Dawn shut the door behind her as she noticed Xander, Anya, Tara, and Willow were all there as well. Giles had asked Buffy to rest while they try and figure out what to do. The research was useless for they could not find much on Glorificus.
"What is it Buffy?" Giles said, after wiping a napkin against his glasses. Buffy explained the brief synopsis of their intriguing incident.
"Let's mount up!" Xander motioned to the weapons on the table where Willow had placed with books on Glorificus.
"Or we can be smart." Willow commented in a quick reply after Xander.
"We should find out what this is, it's possible you just have a routine poltergeist Buffy. These things do happen." Giles answered, not making Buffy feel better or knowledgeable about the current situation.
"Giles, I can't handle a ghost and Glory at the same time. Willow do you think you could do a spell?" Buffy wanted to take the problem into other hands beside her own. "Giles, I need you to handle this, I have to protect Dawn."
"I could probably do a spell to exorcize the demon from your house." Willow replied and held Tara tighter as her girlfriend smirked blankly at the ceiling.
"No. That might make things worse, we are not even sure what this could be." Giles replied sharply, he was also frustrated that Buffy rushed him in charge.
Giles saw Buffy's need in him. She wanted him to take full helm of what she couldn't. Ever since the death of her mother, Buffy had a hard time with many things. The responsibility was too much. Giles was the only father figure she had and had looked to him for all the answers. Answers Giles hoped Buffy would have to learn. He wanted her to take control of her own life, he had even thought of leaving for England, but it would have to wait until after the battle with Glory.
"Maybe a ghost is after you because you broke an the urn, which could have belonged to it. I mean, spirits do have a connection with personal items at times and Buffy being the store wrecker, she could have unleashed something. I'm just saying," Anya made her presence known and she knew Buffy broke the urn for she thought that the Slayer was the only one in the storage room. "That was going to get us money!"
"It was an accident – Spike – was," Buffy began to reveal, but she bit into her lip and the words fell silent before her.
"One of these days, I'm just going to stake that man." Xander complained
"Oh no! The eyes! No, Willow!" Tara whimpered in Willow's arms.
They all looked to Tara confused by he outburst until the lights quickly dimmed to black. A flash of lightning struck the outside of the Magic Box. Tara huddled herself in the fetal position at a corner whilst the others watched the door as it bursted open. A gust of wind whipped through the Magic Box, strong enough to lift Buffy's hair in a waving motion. Xander extended his hands out onto the table until he found the sharp blade of the axe. He picked it up, ready for a fight.
A silhouette of a tall, long coated man in a big, wide hat formed within the air. The silhouette was looking to its side, downward onto the doorway floor. The lights flickered back on with the disappearance of the shadowy figure.
"They tar tax collectors!" Tara chuckled, which caught a look of confusion by everyone.
A scent swept over Spike. He could hear the movements and feel her essence. Spike touched the door of his crypt as if to listen close. With a slight push, the door opened and Spike stalked outside of the crypt. He threw down his cigarette to the earth and looked around, smoke still flowed like a waterfall from his nose and lips.
Spike saw her. Buffy was on patrol. He kept his distance, lurking to watch her from the shadows. She was wearing a white shirt and tight jeans, a sight he found pleasing. Spike loved her, if she could not accept that, he might as well just stalk her since she put the kibosh on his Robo-Buffy. Buffy looked down to her left, she could smell something rank in the air. A vampire, or demon, or, well, Spike! He hid behind a cross shaped grave and hoped his black clothes would mesh with the darkness if she was to get too close.
A hard tug threw Spike onto the ground. He saw dirt until his head lifted up and noted the annoyed anger in the Slayer's face. He pulled himself up and backed a step, he gazed at her like she was the one doing something wrong.
"Were you spying on me, Spike?" Buffy glared at him in disgust.
"Oh, you stupid git! I'm a vampire, what a guy can't sit around in a cemetery wasting time?" Spike defended his false position.
"Yes, Spike, you're a vampire. You smell like death, which sadly is not something easily ignored. Just go away!" Buffy replied and glared upon the vampire with seething hatred.
Buffy stormed off to get away from him after he refused to. Spike stood and watched her. He grimaced bitterly as he wiped the blood from his nose. He twitched his head to the side and yelled as he kicked a gravestone in anger, breaking it.
There she was! His pale face reddened with anger. He excused himself away from the mourning family and made an exit out of the Funeral Parlor.
Buffy stepped down the sidewalk, thinking of her current situation with the mystical spirit and her main problems with Glory. She heard a noise as she walked by the Funeral Parlor.
"You!" The portly man shouted and wagged his finger toward Buffy.
Buffy turned to see an angry, plump man rush toward her. She was confused as to why the owner of the Funeral Parlor was angry, and especially toward her. She waited for him to speak again.
"How dare you!" The man shouted when he stopped a few feet from Buffy.
"Huh?" Buffy replied, confused.
"The urn! Where's the urn! You broke it missy! You will rest in pieces for that! Oh, yes!" The man shouted, suddenly Buffy's face went to a gaze of suspicion.
Buffy grabbed the man by his tie and pushed him hard against the Funeral Parlor's front glass window. He winced from the pain of being pushed hard against the surface. Buffy glared at the man and began to speak.
"Who are you?" Buffy groaned in anger, ready to punch the round man.
"Paul Bearer! You broke the urn and now you're going to pay!" Paul Bearer replied in his high-pitched voice trying to threaten her.
"How do I stop the spirit? What is it? Tell me or I will make your face uglier!" Buffy threatened him with her fist up while her other hand clenched tighter on Paul Bearer's tuxedo collar.
"Undertaker!" Paul Bearer said slow and loud, looking behind Buffy. A smile wormed across his slimy looking lips.
Buffy noticed his eyes were not fixed on him and slowly turned around. There it was. A tall man in dark clothes and long, black trench coat with a big black hat shadowing his face as far as his stone-like lips. He stood there and stared, he dared not move, heck he hadn't even taken in a breath. She looked up at him, slightly in fear at his height and unknowing of what he was. Buffy threw a right punch to his face, it was the only course of action she knew.
The punch did nothing to the tall, pale, yet darkly clothed man. He slowly turned his head to face her after the punch. His arm lifted.
"Undertaker!" Paul Bearer yelled, behind the two and as if he did not wish him to kill her.
The Undertaker had Buffy by the throat and three feet off the ground. She struggled in his cold grasp unable to release from the chokehold. Buffy ripped hard at his arm and still could not release herself.
"Undertaker!" Paul Bearer yelled, as he held something up.
It was the symbol on the urn that she had accidentally broken. The base of the 'T' was glass, filled with ashes. The top of the 'T' and the 'X' were made of solid gold. It was like a casing for the ashes inside. Undertaker tilted his head to see Paul Bearer from his left. Undertaker looked back at Buffy with his deathly white eyes and released her.
Buffy ran. It was all she could do. She could not risk a fight with this being, not now and possibly not ever. She ran and never looked back. The experience burnt into her mind. There was another creature as strong as Glory and she had no idea what it was, nor what it wanted. This monster could haunt her and possibly kill her in her sleep. She knew now she was not safe from anything. Defending herself from this new threat, and keeping Dawn from Glory was starting to seriously tear at her mental state. It was research time.
"The Undertaker?" Willow looked to Buffy confused, hearing the story of what happened.
"Yeah, well that's what that Funeral Parlor guy yelled to him. Will, he was as strong as Glory. I hit him and nothing happened!" Buffy broke down in the horror of not being able to fight back at something that was at her hard for vengeance.
The Undertaker was a phenomenon. The phenom. As a child Mark was caught in a fire with his parents and brother. Paul Bearer was a friend of his parent's and had found Mark near death. Paul had brought Mark out of the burning building, unsure if he would live, but remembered one thing; his brother was still inside. His brother was consumed by flames and permanently burnt.
The firefighters rescued his younger brother, but Mark had died along with his parents. Mark promised to protect his parents in life and death. His promise did something not even Paul Bearer believed could happen. The boy had returned from the grave, but he was not the same. Attached to the ashes of his dead elders the boy did not even respond to his own name and Paul Bearer had soon started calling him The Undertaker.
Undertaker never knew of his brother Kane until years later, he had encountered his now magic consumed and demonically controlled brother. Kane was a monster, a machine of anger and hatred toward Undertaker and Paul Bearer for letting him burn in the fires that killed his family.
Kane soon realized the source of Undertaker's power and had buried him alive in the grave. Taking the urn, Kane escaped and had never been heard of since destroying his brother, Undertaker. Paul Bearer had found the urn once again, but Undertaker seemed to have truly been put to rest, until now. He would seek out revenge on the slayer who disrespected and destroyed the urn, which held the ashes of his parents.
"You, your most terrific one, what is it?" A minion walked up to the curious Glory as she stood by the window.
"What's going on with that Slayer? I hope she doesn't believe that witch's barrier is going to keep me in here for long! I have a promise to keep!" Glory remarked.
"Why, she's fighting a new power in the city! Something strong." The minion replied.
Glory glared at the ugly minion and then turned her anger into a snickered smile.
"So, the slayer is held up with a new evil huh? Just the opportunity to find my Key!" Glory smirked.
"Here it is! The Undertaker." Giles said aloud as he lifted the ancient book to show everyone a drawn out picture of the Undertaker.
"So, he's a demon?" Dawn questioned.
"No, actually it just says he was the leader of a dark cult that spilt hell's wrath on those who opposed him. Not too long ago actually, in the early 1900's." Giles replied, informing them of what little he had.
"It doesn't say anything about how to kill this guy? Giles, I hit him and it was like hitting a brick wall, nothing happened! He's just too strong." Buffy begged for more information.
She did not know why this being was after her or how to stop it. If it took too much of her time, Glory would be released from Willow's barrier and Dawn would again be in danger. Her priorities were always the well being of Dawn, whether or not she would show it. That was Buffy's motives in this fight against Glory.
"Try killing it with a sword, that always works, just not with vengeance demons of course." Anya blankly blurted, sitting closest to Xander while Willow was with Tara and Dawn at the other end of the table, researching The Undertaker online.
Tara seemed quiet today, it was pleasant to not here her cry for it broke Willow's heart and was hard for everyone to see Tara in this condition. Dawn pointed out sites to Willow, but nothing they found on the lap top was anything relevant to their situation.
"I can't handle this right now! I'll try and find that guy. He seemed to control him. Some Paul Bearer!" Buffy grabbed a sword from the table and started for the door.
"You shouldn't be alone, Buffy." Xander got up, an axe in his hand.
"Really don't, Xander." Buffy turned to them. "This thing seems to have a vendetta with me, so I'll give it a reason to have one!"
Buffy slammed the door as she walked out. She headed straight toward the Funeral Parlor, but it was closed and she had noticed no one in the building. She wanted to skip to the big finish. She had no time to play mind games with her villains any more and Glory was the one thing she had to get through. Undertaker was only a boulder blocking her road to Glory.
She wasn't ready to fight this new big bad. She was slightly happy that no one was at the Funeral Parlor for she felt she probably would have lost. She knew nothing of this being and rushing into the big fight was hit or miss.
"She seems to be taking it hard." Willow said unknowledgeable of what Buffy could possibly be going through.
"Well, you know, sometimes she just needs her space. Do her thing." Xander replied, he drew a sword out from the weapon box, then added, "andd if her demon who's oh say haunting her, comes by the Magic Box then it won't be my fault that we got involved."
"She needs our help, she just won't admit it. I mean, I can only imagine what she's going through." Willow got up, a Wiccan book on neural stability spells clutched close to the chest.
"How's Tara doing?" Xander got slightly silent and depressive at the subject.
"No change yet, but I think know getting better. It's just, I don't know what to do." Willow replied, almost welling up in tears at the subject. "I should have killed Glory when I had the chance!"
"Well, we don't really know how Will', you might've been," Xander continued, but was interrupted.
They turn to see Buffy at the door. The look on her face was bold yet defeated.
"Buffy!" Glory groaned. "I hope this works because I can't stand the fact that the slayer lives. Go find the key, boys! Bring him, her, who ever it is, just get me my Key! Tonight, Buffy dies and her wacky pals die!"
The minions rushed out of the room in a hurry. They were off to the Magic Box, but Glory knew it was only a distraction. Not the Minions, but the other situation Buffy had been going through. She saw it as a distraction to keep the slayer away from ruining her motives until the witch's barrier came undone.
Glory got up, caught in the moment and thoughts of Buffy dead while she bleeds the Key to go home. As soon as Glory started to smirk, an immense pain overcame her. She turned around, into Ben.
"I won't let you kill her Glory!" Ben complained, he desperately tried to keep Glory subdued within him.
Ben turned around into Glory. She strolled leisurely to the window and folded her arms as she watched her minions run the streets with swords.
"Oh, Ben, and here I thought you were sleeping for good. You can't save her, you know if you found her I'd just come out and rip her lips off. Assuming she'll have lips after The Undertaker deals with her." Glory spoke the truth.
"You're really that gullible aren't you?" Ben whipped around, but his surfacing was short as he whipped backward into the wall as Glory.
"Don't fight this Ben!" Glory groaned grasped her hair in a ball of pain. "You're nothing! You wouldn't be living if it wasn't for me!"
"And I'll die if you succeed! I won't let you bleed her!" Ben pushed away from the wall, suddenly stopping and realizing what he said.
"So, my Key is a girl, Ben? Don't worry baby, you can tell me, in fact if you help me get my key their can be a big reward for you." Glory slid her hands back up to her face, she caressed herself with sexual tension to sway Ben.
"I didn't mean that!" Ben whipped around, his hands grasped the window seal. Glory turned shut the window and turned with an evil smile.
"You're not being honest with me, Ben, and I don't like being lied to! It makes me feel dirty; ashamed; and used!" Glory, back to the wall slid down as if she was filthy and ruined.
Ben jolted up to his feet and rushed to the door, but the barrier kept him away.
"I won't help you Glory!" Ben shouted.
The phone caught her by surprise. Buffy had been on her way to the Magic Box, but this stalled her for the moment. She gripped the cell phone and brought it to her ears.
"Oh, yes! The Undertaker fights when he wants to! You can't go to him missy, he comes to you! He will bury you alive!" Paul Bearer shouted through the phone and then hung up.
Buffy's face twitched in anger. She put the phone back into her pocket and changed her direction. She went straight to the cemetery. Buffy would do something she could not imagine doing ever again, but this called for his help. She would have Spike help her find Paul Bearer.
Paul Bearer was the only one who knew how to stop The Undertaker. He had been destroyed once before, but this was not known to Buffy. She stepped into his crypt and rolled her eyes to see that Spike was not there. He had probably gone to her house or on another blood run at the hospital. She didn't care she just had to find him.
As she stepped out of the cemetery, something wasn't right. The smell and taste of the air was stale. Dead. She slowly walked forward and turned her head to look around her. There he was. Undertaker was knelt down on one knee. One arm was lifted high to the dark sky above and toward the moon. His head tilted downward until he had slowly risen up from this position.
Buffy didn't care for the major entrance. She rushed to The Undertaker and threw her hardest high kick to his face, only for him to grab her leg in motion. He lowered it and grasped her throat with his other heavily tattooed arm and his clenched fist got tighter around her. She looked deep into the soulless, white eyes of the Undertaker and struggled to get away.
Then it happened. She had kneed him in the mid-section and released from his grip. Undertaker stumbled backward a step, but did not seem phased by the low kick. He lifted his right hand and tightened the black glove with the clench of his fist. She ran, tbut to get him to follow, which he did.
Undertaker slowly stalked forward, surprisingly fast for someone who was walking toward a running slayer. It was due to his supernatural abilities. Every third step he made, he appeared closer to her as if he was teleporting to catch up with her. Buffy ran into a golden object smacking her across the forehead.
"Xander!" Dawn cried out as a Minion swung its sword at her.
Xander stabbed the minion in the back with the sword he retrieved back at Buffy's house. Willow kept the minions away from Tara and Anya with an electrocuting magic that surged into them, burning them from the inside. Giles fought two minions until Xander managed to get toward one from behind and cut it's head off with the sword. Dawn rushed behind Willow but could see she was not able to hold on much longer.
"Undertaker! Kill her!" Paul Bearer yelled, his hand high, which held the Merch symbol with Undertaker's parent's ashes locked inside.
Undertaker grabbed Buffy by the throat and pulled her up to her feet as she struggled and tried to kick away. Buffy had surprisingly good reach toward Paul Bearer and used it to her advantage. Undertaker did not expect her to kick his confidant to the stomach, so he had released her.
The kick was hard on Paul Bearer for he was human. He fell down, dropping the Merch symbol. Undertaker stood and watched as she grabbed the golden container of ashes. He would not attack her as long as she held it.
She raised it over her knee and threatened to break it. Paul scurried up, coughing and out of breath from the kick.
"No! Don't do it!" Paul cried out in pain.
Paul Bearer lunged at Buffy! He tried to grab the Merch Symbol, but she stepped back and lifted it into the air.
"Look who has control now." Buffy smirked, she had the power over Undertaker as long as she held the container of his parent's ashes. "So this is the source of your power, huh? I wonder what would happen if I break it – wait."
She looked at the ashes in the glass base and remembered. There was no dust or ash inside the Urn. It was empty and had only been dusty from being in the storage room for a few hours. She looked to Paul Bearer in anger.
"You planned this didn't you? You planted this in the Magic Box thinking you could have your big zombie toy take out the Slayer? Well, now you know what happens when you take on the Slayer." Buffy said as she crossed quickly over to Paul and smacked him across the face with the 'T' of the Merch Symbol.
"I was under orders!" Paul whimpered out, his hands held in front of his face with fear of being struck.
He was forced up by Buffy, whom had pulled on his tie to choke him up onto his feet.
"Who gave you orders!" Buffy threatened to punch once again. "Tell me, or I'll have your own monster destroy you!"
Giles looked around, worried about the condition of the others. The others were fine, but surprised the minions had come after them without Buffy being there. Her death would have meant more than theirs.
"Is everyone ok?" Giles questioned, turning to see Willow and the others and then he turned to spot Xander with the sword pulled out from the Minion.
"From now on, I'm carrying some rope! That seems to get them running." Xander remarked.
"Why did they attack us?" Dawn asked. She stepped over a dead minion to get to the round table where a few weapons still lie.
"Do you think they know who the Key is?" Anya blurted out from her mind "Dawn does say things she's not supposed to."
"Anya!" Xander stopped her talking.
"Glorificus! She wanted to distract you so she could get to the Key!" Paul Bearer said, out of breath and in wheezing pain from the hard hits by Buffy.
"Oh god!" Buffy realized where Dawn was and moved to run.
Paul grabbed the Merch Symbol and a smile was soon back on his face.
"Oh, yes! Soon I will be rewarded with power and riches I could ever imagine! I control The Undertaker! I am his master, and now you will be buried alive! Yes!" Paul gloated with victory, behind the protection of Undertaker.
"Really don't have time for this!" Buffy spat back at the power hungry Paul Bearer.
"Undertaker!" Paul Bearer yelled out and the dead man began to stalk forth.
Buffy flipped into the air and kicked Undertaker in the face as she came back down to her feet. Undertaker didn't flinch or move from the kick. He grasped her by the throat and pierced a glare through Slayer.
"Kill her! Do it Undertaker! Glorificus wants a dead Slayer, and now she'll get one! Hurry Undertaker!" Paul shouted at The Undertaker. However, Undertaker did not move. He was as still as a gravestone.
Buffy could tell what she said got to him. Paul Bearer had purposely gotten the urn destroyed so he could use Undertaker for his selfish greed. Undertaker did not like being betrayed. He grasped Paul Bearer by the neck. The robust man yelled in fear and anger as he felt the grip tighten.
"Paul," Undertaker said in his deep, husky voice. "You will rest in peace!"
Buffy pushed out of Undertaker's grasp and saw the Merch Symbol still in Paul's possession. Undertaker slowly lifted the heavy man up to stare at him with his deathly white eyes, which were fixed on the fear Paul Bearer released through those beady pupils of his. Buffy ran off in the direction of the Magic Box. She felt she was already too late and knew that the situation here was now under control.
She ran as fast as she could, like a cheetah to the Magic Box and arrived within short minutes. Out of breath, she looked around to see the others fine. What caught her by surprise though were the bodies of Glory's minions scattered across the floor.
"What? You think we need you to kick some minion butt?" Xander joked.
Paul Bearer raised the Merch Symbol high in an act of desperation. Undertaker was ready to drop Paul Bearer hard onto a tombstone. The choke slam would break the portly man and Undertaker would do anything to destroy the man who betrayed him. Destroyed his parent's urn and used him for selfish motives.
Paul Bearer disrespected his parent's and for that he would pay. He slammed the glass base of the Merch Symbol down onto Undertaker's head. Undertaker dropped Paul Bearer and stumbled backward, suddenly groggy. Having fallen to his knees, Undertaker looked up at the overjoyed Paul.
"How dare you turn your back on me, Undertaker! I should have helped Kane destroy you! Oh, yes!" Paul Bearer smacked Undertaker across the face.
Undertaker fell back stiffly, but not dead. In fact, he suddenly started to look redder in his skin. Undertaker, unable to move, blacked out. Paul Bearer looked at the shattered Symbol and the ashes scattered over the face and hair of Undertaker. He made a hasty exit for his size, not taking any chances. He knew Undertaker was not dead, but something did happen to him.
"I will get you Undertaker!" Paul threatened as he ran off.
Glory slowly stepped through the barrier as it finally faded.
Within the UC Sunnydale campus, Tara, Dawn, Willow, and Buffy sit in Tara's room. Making them selves an indoor picnic. The group sat on the bed and look to the paper bag where the food is. Tara stares blankly in front of her as Willow puts her hand on Tara's knee. Buffy took something out of the paper bag.
"Chicken salad?" Buffy looked at the three.
"Right here." Willow voiced up and received the sandwich from Buffy as the Slayer continued to take things out from the bag.
"Eggplant, that's me, salami with –" Buffy smirked, and then frowned in disgust "Ew, peanut butter? Dawn."
Buffy handed the gross sandwich to her sister.
"Yeah, like eggplant is normal. It's what, half egg, half plant? 'Cause that's just unnatural." Dawn remarked.
Buffy continued to unpack the contents of the paper bag including a thing of grapes. Willow looked over into the bag and turned her head to Tara.
"What's Tara got?" Willow said, curious and depressively
"Oh, I got her tuna, does she like?" Dawn held up the sandwich
Buffy noticed Willow draw Tara's attention to the sandwich.
"Tara?" Dawn said gently, unwrapping the sandwich to show to her.
Tara looked at the sandwich anxiously and then back at Willow.
"Plastic, and their six sisters. Six sick sisters. Willow?" Tara said with a worried expression. She seemed uncertain by the idea of Tuna.
Willow looked to Tara and then saw a jar of applesauce in Buffy's hands. "It's okay. Let's just start slow today. Um, Buffy could I have that?"
Buffy extended the jar to Willow and a plastic spoon with it. Willow opened the jar.
"Here you go." Willow spooned some applesauce to Tara's mouth, which she ate more calmly. "That's my girl."
It was sad to see her like this. Buffy had a sad expression on her face as she watched Willow feed Tara.
"Can I help?" Dawn questioned her and received a nod from Willow.
Willow handed the jar and spoon to Dawn. Anxious, Tara looks to Willow, but accepts the food from Dawn. Buffy sees Willow look to her and then turns her head to look at Willow.
"What are you gonna need?" Buffy said softly.
"I don't know, they gave me a lot of stuff to keep her calm." Willow said as they both watched Tara being fed by Dawn. She then spoke quietly "They said I might have to restrain her at night, but sometimes she's fine. She looks at me, and she's fine."
After an unhappy look from Tara, Buffy stared downward, the moment was depressive and unsettled her.
"I'm sorry I couldn't–," Buffy started to say.
"It's okay. I can do this. I'm gonna take care of her. Even if she never," Willow replied. Dawn looked up at her after her words were spoken. "She's my girl."
Sympathetic, Buffy looked from Willow to Dawn and extended her hand to twist a lock of her sister's hair.
"I understand." Buffy ran her fingers gingerly through Dawn's hair.
Willow nodded, "I know you do." Receiving a smile from Buffy, Willow then looked to Tara. "Hear that, baby? You're my always."
As Willow kissed Tara on the forehead, the wall suddenly ripped from the room. Glory was revealed to them she held her hand up to the ceiling and smirked at Buffy. Dawn and Buffy jumped up in alarm.
"I told you this wasn't over!" Glory smirked at Buffy, ready to fight.
"No. The place is cracking! It's cracking! Cracking, no, no, no!" Tara cried out in Willow's arms.
Dawn looked to Willow, worried as Willow tried to calm Tara.
"No, Tara it's okay." Dawn tried to help calm her.
Tara suddenly gazed up at Dawn and gasped with a stare. "Oh, look at that, look at that. The light," the words got Buffy's glance off of Glory and onto Tara. "Oh, it's so pure! Such pure green energy!"
Glory finally knew. She grinned almost ear to ear at this radiant information. She now knew who the key was, that and her key was right before her eyes.
"Oh, it's so beautiful!" Tara continued to ramble on.
Dawn looked to Buffy as the Slayer glared at Glory. Glory moved quickly to get closer.
Elsewhere, in the Sunnydale hospital, he was found in the cemetery and brought there., the strange man, this, John Doe the staff called him. Unaware whether he was alive or dead, the hospital kept him there in his coma-like state. Undertaker could not move, nor awaken as he had been in a deep coma after the destruction of his parent's ashes. As he lay helpless and out of consciousness, a black, leather glove covered hand extended down toward his forehead and slid along his cold face toward Undertaker's throat.
"In due time, brother!" The deep, almost robotic voice promised.
The voice soon released an evil cackled laugh.