Prologue

Spike watched intently as Buffy goaded her prey.

"Thanks for the relocate. I perform better without an audience."

The best way to describe her was…flawless. She flowed as effortlessly as Shakespeare penned poetry.

"You're gonna get heartburn. Get it? Heartburn?" The vampire turned to dust, giving her no reaction. "That's it? That's all I get? One lame-ass vamp with no appreciation for my painstakingly thought-out puns. I don't think the forces of darkness are even trying. I mean, you could make a little effort here, you know? Give me something to work with."

"Watch your mouth, little girl. You should know better than to tempt the fates that way. 'Cause the big bad is back. And this time, it's...hang on. Grow a pair, Spike," he muttered to himself. "Oi! Slayer!" he called out, stomping down the hill.

Buffy stopped, looked up, and rolled her eyes in exasperation.

"Well, two lame ass vamps. Guess I can't complain now," she muttered. "Could've sworn I was rid of you, Spike," she said with irritation, watching him with her arms folded, hip cocked to the side, and gripping her stake as he approached her.

"Yeah? Well you guessed wrong. You stole my ring, bitch."

"Oh? The ring that you stole? I mean, grave robbing is still a crime, isn't it?"

"And to add insult to injury," he continued as if he weren't interrupted. "You just up and give it to that soul having wanker. Who destroyed it, by the way."

"He did?" Buffy asked, confusion written all over her face.

"Of course he did. Bloody tosser." Spike sighed as he stood before her, pulling out his pack of cigarettes. He popped one into his mouth, and then took out his lighter, setting the ignited flame to the end of it. He inhaled, staring at her with open disdain.

"Some people just don't know how to have fun anymore."

"Oh, and you do?" Buffy asked, straightening to her full height. Spike's response was blowing a plume of heavy smoke into her face. Buffy's eyes grew, and then her face closed off.

"That's it, bleached boy. Enough chit chat."

And with that, Buffy threw an upper cut, throwing his head back and knocking the cancer stick right out of his mouth. Spike circled his jaw.

"Ow," he said dryly, touching his jaw.

"It's gonna hurt a lot more."

"Promises, promises," Spike responded before throwing a right hook.

They sparred for awhile, trading silent blows, though it was clear that neither was going for the kill. It was more of a "who's got the bigger stones?" kind of fight.

"Come on pet—give it to me good."

"Oh, I'll give it all right. Question is, can you ahh!" she screamed in pain, as electricity pulsed through her body. Spike frowned as she collapsed, seeing a masked man in army gear suddenly behind her.

"Uh, thanks mate. But really, I had her on the ropes, so—" Spike was stopped mid sentence as he too felt electricity pulse through his body from behind. His teeth involuntarily gnashed as he fell to the ground opposite Buffy.

The two warriors, immobilized, were dragged away side by side into the unknown…


Chapter One

"All right—keys. Where are my bloody keys?" Giles mumbled to himself as he frantically searched the top of his table. Then he paused, patted the left and right pockets of his jacket, and then pulled the keys out of the left one, rolling his eyes at himself.

"Right then."

Giles was late. Not that there was a time he had to be at the Bronze. Not that he was actually invited to go in the first place—he just happened to hear Buffy and Willow mention it, but still. He just knew that he had to not be home. And since he didn't have a job or adult friends, he didn't have much of an option. All he knew was that he had to get out before she arrived.

It was all an honest mistake that got out of hand, really. So it had been twice, but I'm only a man. Besides, quickies didn't count, right?

They do if you do them enough times.

Giles shook his head, trying to rid himself of those musings, and went to his door. Just as he unlocked and opened it, there she was, standing on the other side with her fist raised up.

"Oh. Hey. I was just about to knock." She stood there, smiling at him brightly.

"Yes, of course. Actually Anya, I was just on my way out," Giles said, attempting to sound regretful as he closed the door behind him. He just knew that if she somehow managed to get him back into his flat, that he would end up naked and horizontal. Or vertical. Either way, she'd be impaled upon him.

"Okay. Where are we going?" she asked, walking beside him.

Giles sighed, knowing that trying to escape her was pointless. Anya had been on him like white on rice, and he was beginning to think it wouldn't change anytime soon.

She had come to him a few weeks before—lonely and confused as to what her place was. Suddenly, she stopped her diatribe short, and turned to him.

"You know, all of this uncertainty causes an awful lot of stress. Tension. I hear that sex is a great way to relieve such a thing."

"What?"

"I think you'll do. You're middle aged—"

"I most certainly am not—"

"And clearly experienced. I mean young guys are eager to start and quick to finish, which is entertaining for all of five minutes. Men your age are better at the finessing. I have to admit that the accent is a bit of a turn on as well."

"Anya—"

"So, what do ya say? Let's give this stress reliever a try. At the very least, it'll be fun!"

And then she stripped off all of her clothes, pushed him onto the sofa, and straddled him.

"Let's make our interlocking parts…interlock."

She kissed him, caressed him, and it was only seconds before he stopped resisting.

The second time was Halloween. After they had defeated the tiny monster, she followed him home. She explained that being scared and then helping to save the day worked up her sexual appetite, and it needed to be worked off immediately.

"Anya, you're a lovely woman. Really. But you're much too young for—"

"Young? Rupert, have you forgotten how we met? I'm over a thousand years older than you. I just haven't aged in eleven hundred years."

"Oh. Right."

He was duly placated, and gave into her advances once again. Which was probably a bad idea considering he wasn't interested in…well, he wasn't fully sure what it was that she wanted. Just intimate relations? An actual relationship? Either or, he was fully certain that he didn't want it.

"Uh, Rupert? Giles? Hello?"

"Oh, right. I'm heading to the Bronze actually."

She wrinkled her nose at that.

"Isn't that scene a bit…youthful for you?"

"Yes. Thank you, Anya for pointing that out."

"Oh, no need to be sore about it. Just thinking aloud. It's nice to go out," she said, holding onto his arm, walking closer to him. Giles sighed and gave in, removing her small hand from his bicep, and instead, wrapped his arm around her. She looked up at him and smiled, leaning into him.

*****

Buffy opened her eyes groggily, and saw nothing but white. She moaned, attempting to focus, and realized that she was face down on a cold, white floor. Slowly, she dragged herself upward to her hands and knees, and then sat back.

"Good to see you finally up and about."

She whipped her head behind her, and then hissed at giving herself a crook in her neck.

"What the hell is this Spike?" she asked, slowly turning to look at him. He was sitting against a stark white wall, staring at her blandly.

"Don't rightly know, do I? I was given a tase right after you, Slayer. Bloody G.I. Joes," he groused.

"G.I. Joes?"

"Some bastards in army gear with not only too much time on their hands, but plenty of funding."

She frowned at him, not sure what he meant, and he gestured with his hand for her to turn around. When she did, she lost her breath for a moment.

She stood up, and walked to the wall made of glass.

"Don't touch it pet—it's electric."

Buffy frowned, and looked left and right, seeing nothing but rooms just like theirs, with demons of all shapes and sizes locked inside.

"What is this place?" she whispered, leaning as close as possible without touching the glass. And then her eyes narrowed. She spun abruptly, back stiff.

"This is all your fault."

"My fault?"

"They were probably after you."

"After me?"

"Can you stop parroting my questions?"

Spike glared and stood up slowly.

"It seems to me that when it comes to demons, they have their fill. But you sweetheart…Well, there isn't anyone out there quite like you, is there? A human imbued with the power of a demon? Now that's something worth testing."

Buffy looked scared then, wrapping her arms around herself as she looked at him.

"I wager that it's because of you," he pointed at her. "That I'm now stuck in this hell hole. Waiting for them to do god knows what to us." His steely gaze slowly began to crack as he saw her shrink into herself. He rolled his eyes, sighing. "Either way, at least we're not alone, yeah? The two of us will bust our way out in no time. No worries."

Buffy nodded her head, though she didn't look so sure. She shook her head, and gave him a look of sheer determination.

"I'm not worried. You're absolutely right, Spike. We've taken on bigger things then this before. So, we're locked in a box. We will break it open."

Spike gave her a devilish grin. "That's right, pet. Looks like we're allies again. You know, till we get the hell out of here."

Buffy nodded, reaching out to shake his hand.. "Well, let's attempt to make this the shortest alliance ever."

Spike arched his scarred eyebrow, but nodded in agreement, shaking on it.

*****

"Well, Miss Summers and the vampire seem to be getting along quite well. There's an air of familiarity between them. And you said you found them fighting?"

"Yes, Professor. She had this inhuman strength. We've never seen anyone take on a vampire alone in hand to hand combat like that. It was quite extraordinary."

"Yes. But the question is…what is she? She's clearly more than human…I'd like to explore that."

"Yes Professor," the team chorused.

"Also, I'd like to know the extent of their relationship. You did well tonight boys. This should be most interesting." The Professor smiled, truly excited about this latest experiment.