Heyy Everyyone! Hope yall liked the last chapter! PLEASE keep reading kk? &&& make sure to leave ~*LOTS && LOTS*~ of reviews! It makes me sad that yall haven't reviewed lately! BuT…Hope you enjoy this chap! I did lots of research to make sure I got parts of this chap just right! Lemme know whatcha think!

~Much Love~


Chapter Sixteen: It Begins…

For the past week, we'd been training every day for hours upon hours trying to make sure that we were ready for whatever Angelus and Drusilla would throw at us.

Leo, Rochelle, George and Annabelle had come by to bestow some wisdom specifically on Spike and myself. Thankfully, they were staying for the fight and wanted to help as much as possible. Their experience would prove to be useful.

While the group trained with Giles during the daytime, doing one on one sparring, we trained with them in the basement. George and Annabelle focused on making sure Spike and I knew how to use the secret power that was used to close the portal. It was dangerous, and if not controlled, deadly for not only us, but also those around us. Unfortunately, Spike and I hadn't done to well at the beginning. For some reason, we just couldn't get the rhythm right…


"No! That's not right! Your minds have to connect as well as your body, hearts, and souls. The two of you have to become one in every way. There must be complete trust."

I did trust Spike, somewhat. It just wasn't easy trusting him with everything. It was unfortunate that my daddy issues still affected the way I handled relationships. As hard as I tried, I couldn't seem to let it go.

"Get the witch down here. If neither of you is willing to give in and tell us what the hell is going on then I will take care of it myself!" I wanted to growl at George and his insistent bitching. This wasn't going to help Spike and I get any closer to perfecting this.

"What is it George?" I heard Willow ask as she descended the basement stairs. She wore blue jean shorts, a tank top, and tennis shoes. Her hair was in a ponytail and she was drenched in sweat, signs that she was still training. I wanted to tell her to go and get some sleep but knew it would do no good.

"I want you to watch their auras when they try to harness the power again. They aren't connecting with one another because the trust and dependency is not there. I can't physically see it, but I can feel it." She nodded and took a deep breath before closing her eyes. When she re-opened them, they were black as night. I still felt a little fearful of her in that state but knew it was the source and place of her real power.

"Again!" he yelled. Spike and I nodded as we took our places in front of the other. With our left hands joined, we said the incantation and focused all of our energy on it. A white light started to form in between our hands. I closed my eyes and focused harder, putting all my willpower into it. The light grew and formed a ball around our hands, but quickly diminished before anything could happen. I cursed loudly and let go, feeling aggravated because nothing was happening. All this work and no results. If we didn't master this, in the end, we would fail if it came down to it.

"Buffy. You are focusing with your head, not your heart. This isn't about focusing your slayer abilities, powers, and your strength. This ancient power comes from the connection of love between you and Spike." I growled and turned to face her. My vampire visage was up front and center for the argument. I was tired of always having to fix myself. Why were they just picking on what I was doing?

"What? I'm the only one here? Spike is not to blame for anything?" Her solemn look turned angry and she walked over to where I stood, coming within inches of my body.

"No. He isn't. You are the only one pigheaded enough to mess this up. Get your head out of your ass and fix this! I don't have time to mess with you right now. You're my best friend Buffy and I love you, but this is where you need to let things go and give into how you feel." She started. I felt my anger grow, and even though I wanted to smash my fist in her face, I needed to listen.

"Everything else is connected except your heart. Stop holding back. Love Spike…fully. Let your daddy issues that we all hate, go." My face shifted back to my human visage and all the anger left my body. Willow was never this angry with me so unfortunately it had to be my fault, even if I hated to admit it.

I met his angry gaze and sighed, feeling like a complete bitch. "Spike, I'm sorry. She's right; it's my daddy issues. It's just hard for me to trust someone completely."

His angry gaze wavered and turned soft, "It's okay love, I understand, but you have to trust me. I love you and nothing is going to happen. Trust me, believe me, okay? We won't be able to do this if you don't." I nodded and looked over to Willow who was standing beside George and Annabelle again.

"Let's try it again." They all nodded and stood back. Spike and I put our left hands together once more and started reciting the words. When it was done, I met Spike's eyes and remembered the way he kissed me, held me, made love to me.

I pictured the day of our wedding and how happy he had been when he spotted me walking down the aisle. I recalled the nights he sat beside my bed when I was sick and dying, and how we talked. My heart swelled and I felt tears sting my eyes at the memories that flowed through my mind. He loved me, truly loved me, and I'd been so blind for so long.

"Love, look!" he whispered, motioning to our hands. I looked down and noticed the white ball of light growing brighter and brighter. Our eyes met once more, and I let the memory of the first time I knew I was in love with him run through my mind. The day he took me to the beach and spent that time had meant everything.

A hot, blinding white light shot out of our hands and towards the sky, putting a hole in my roof the size of a beach ball.

When we pulled apart, the knowledge that we had mastered it made me feel more powerful than I ever had before. Finally, things were looking up for us.

End Flashback…

That was a good night. I felt everything then. The love, pain, and pleasure of a marriage, of a real relationship. It was much better now between Spike and I, much better than I could've ever imagined.

"You have to be faster love. Drusilla has been doing this for hundreds of years. She will have one up on you before you can blink."

I growled and came at him faster than I ever had before. I wanted to be angry with my mate, but considering that he was looking out for me, I let it slide. I hated to think that she would have the ability to take me away from the world I loved so much; the world that held my friends, family, and him.

Spike and I had gotten so much closer than we were before, and I was beginning to feel that a life without him would have no meaning whatsoever. When he wasn't around, I felt empty, like something was missing. It was strange to feel this way about a man I hated for so long. I couldn't help but love him though. He was addictive. His laughter, those deep cerulean eyes, and that smile were going to be the death of me.

The big fight was two days away and we still had a lot of work to do. With the full moon drawing closer with each minute that passed by, the stress of the uncertainties was putting everyone was on edge. The mood in the house was solemn. Everyone stayed quiet and kept to themselves, trying to prepare for the fight. We were all a little unsure of what was going to happen.

Drusilla and Angelus had planned this whole thing perfectly. They kept us busy and on edge enough to know that our group wouldn't have much time to spy on them and figure out their plans. All we knew was a time and place that it would start. We had no idea what we were up against or what the hell would go down. All we could do was hope for the best.

"That's right baby, give me that fire I love so much," he said, grinning wickedly.

The memory of the conversation we'd had the weekend before in the basement ran through my mind. The look in his eyes whenever he'd told me of his fears still shook me to the core. I'd never seen such love and raw passion in the eyes of a man before tangled in with fear. It sent chills down my spine to think of the possibility of loosing him in the fight and not being able to fully express how I felt.

I stopped and backed off, not wanting to focus on this any longer. We had two days until we left to go and fight, and sparring with my lover was the last thing on my mind. We had plenty of training time left.

"Buffy? What's wrong?" He asked. I smiled wickedly and pulled my shirt over my head before jumping into his arms and crushing my lips to his. I would take this time to show him exactly how much I loved him and that no matter what happened, I always would.

Willow breathed heavily as she dodged a hit from Giles. "Is that all you got?" she asked, smiling wickedly before dropping down and sweeping her leg out to connect with the back of Giles' knees. He fell flat on his back. Oz and Danny laughed at the sight they made. Giles, who wore black sweatpants and a grey t-shirt, lay on the floor taking time to recuperate from the fall. "That was much better." He said breathlessly.

Willow, who wore some short shorts and a black spaghetti strapped shirt, nodded and extended her hand to help her sparring partner up. "Well, I did learn from the best! Want to go again?" she asked, feeling high from the adrenaline pumping wildly through her veins. He shook his head and sat down in a nearby chair.

"I'll go!" Willow turned to see George standing on the front porch steps. She smiled and nodded before motioning for him to join her. She took a moment to look around and notice that nighttime had finally fallen. The wind picked up and the air cooled down as the sun disappeared into the horizon.

"Ready?" He asked. She nodded as she watched him spread his feet apart and crouch down in a fighting stance. She followed suit and waited for him to make the first move. One thing Buffy had always taught her was never to go into a fight blazing fire. It seemed better to let the opponent come to you. Gave you more of an advantage.

George clenched his fists tightly before disappearing and reappearing in front of her and landing a swift hit to her face. Not feeling dazed, Willow turned and brought her foot up to connect with the left side of his face. He staggered on the uneven ground and looked up to meet her satisfied gaze.

"This isn't going to be as easy as I thought."

She put on her wicked trademark smirk and got back into her fighting stance.

"No. It won't. I may look weak, but I've been through more than you know." He nodded, straightened back up, then charged her again.

This time, he ran towards her. He swung. She ducked. He kicked. She twisted. She swung back and connected. He hit the ground with a roar of pain.

She smiled with a sick fascination, feeling more powerful than ever. No longer was she the dorky kid from high school. She felt stronger in every sense.

George stood up, brushed the dirt of his clothes then moved swiftly behind her. His fist connected with the back of her head and sent her flying to the ground before she could think twice.

"How the hell did you move so fast?" she ground out, rubbing the knot that was sure to form. He put on the trademark cocky smirk and shrugged.

"Chop it up to experience. I'm a little younger than Spike so I've had decades of it."

She growled and lunged towards him with her fist raised high. He expected a punch, but she jumped up the last minute and rammed her feet into his chest. The sound of a rib cracking hit his ears before they both fell to the ground. She moved swiftly and straddled his waist, aiming the stake at his heart.

"Experience my ass. One false move can make or break a fight in my opinion."

He nodded, then groaned at the pain exploding in his chest. He knew she'd definitely cracked a rib.

"Is everyone ready?" I asked, seeing everyone, save a seething Dawn, armed with weapons. The thought of the upcoming fight was making the demon inside purr with satisfaction.

"Everyone is but me. It's not fair that I have to stay home! I could help Buffy! Spike has been teaching me things and training me. Please let me go?" I glared in my mate's direction, seeing him smile in response.

"Ducks, the nibblet needed to be prepared for anything. She's eighteen now and well equipped to fight on her own. She's really good!" I groaned, but looked into my sister's eyes, seeing the mature grown adult I'd feared for a while. It was hard to view Dawn as an adult considering she'd always been my little sister. It was time that changed.

"Okay, grab an axe or something big and dangerous. I don't want anything or anyone touching you, got it? You stay with Willow. She can use her mojo to protect you." She nodded in response and grabbed an axe I'd used a few months earlier on some demons. It looked so big cradled in her small hands, but I felt proud that she was taking this so well. She was really becoming a woman, a strong and powerful woman.

We stepped outside, and the unusual quiet of the night signaled that something was definitely going to happen. Nights like this were few and far between, and usually ones I wanted to avoid. I looked in the direction of where the hellmouth sat underneath the high school and noticed an eerie green glow. The skin on my arms rose with goose bumps, and my body tingled in its usual way whenever a demon or vampire was close. My slayer radar was growing frantic and signaling things all around the area as we drew closer.

"Wait, I smell something." Oz said, turning around. I followed suit and saw three werewolves walking over to the group. They were bigger than any werewolf, save Oz and Danny that I'd seen. Two of the wolves were a dark brown color, where the other, bigger one was black as the night.

"What in the world?" I whispered before hearing Danny speak up. "It's Ronnie, Cadence, and Kotare!" He ran over to welcome them, shortly joined by Oz. I wanted to let them have their time to meet and greet to catch up but we were wasting precious time.

"Oz, we need to keep moving. You'll have time to chat later. Just make sure they take the front line with you and Danny. Fill them in on the plan on the way." He nodded in response before we kept walking.

Spike's hand found mine and we laced our fingers together. It was a small action, but it brought with it a comfort I desperately needed and welcomed. In my mind, I kept going over the battle strategy Spike and I had devised together the night before. While he handled Angelus, I would take on Drusilla and stop at nothing to make sure neither of them left that battlefield. We only hoped that our friends could handle the other part of the fight.

Willow and Tara would go hand to hand, which I knew she wasn't happy about, but there was no one else to do it. The rest of the group would fight with the demons and vampires that Angelus and Drusilla collected.

I looked to my left to notice Willow clenching her fists. I worried that she couldn't do what needed to be done when it came to taking down Tara. She'd become a threat, which was unfortunate, yes, but something we had to deal with. "Are you okay to take on Tara tonight?" I asked, keeping my voice low to where only she and Spike would hear me. The rest of the group, though solemn, was keeping up the conversation, trying to stay positive. She unclenched her fists then turned to look at me. Her eyes were that charcoal black color I hated to see.

"I'm as ready as I'll ever be." She started. I nodded as she took another deep breath in, and then let it out, "I know it's going to be hard considering how I've felt about her for the past year, but there are other more important things going on Plus, I can't let her get away with what she's trying to do. Spell or not, this ends tonight." I felt my adrenaline kick into gear at her words. I wanted to take her place so that she wouldn't have to fight with her lover, but my situation wasn't much better either. Spike and I were going to kill each other's ex-lovers. That in itself would be a difficult thing.

"I'm sorry you have to do this tonight. I wish we could have saved her." She nodded in response and wiped one lone tear from her cheek before holding her head high once more. I respected Willow for her courage because deep down, this was ripping her apart.

"Buffy, we need to split up here. The high school is only a block away. We have to come at them in different directions." I nodded then motioned for everyone to gather around.

"They probably think we will all come at them together, but I think it'll be a surprise if we split up into two groups." Spike continued. The feelings I felt at the moment were so strange.

My adrenaline rush felt higher than it ever had. If I were still human, my heart would have been pumping wildly in my chest. I felt more than ready for this fight. It was time to get things done and over with for good.

"Willow, you and Dawn will come with us to where Tara is. Something tells me that Tara is where the green light is. Angelus and Drusilla will be protecting her to make sure the sacrifice is done correctly. The rest of you will go with Oz, Danny and their friends. Let them take the front line and get rid of the demons. You are strong enough to handle the vampires, but I'm not so sure about the demons."

"I'm going with Willow. They might have a few demons or vampires protecting her too just because of you and Buffy. They want to be prepared." Oz said, interrupting Spike's plans. I wanted to tell him to just listen and do what was necessary, but the fact that he loved Willow made me rethink my words, plus, his reasons were sound. I thought Spike was about to object, but he just nodded. The action surprised me.

"Okay, then you make sure things go smoothly there while Buffy and I take down Angelus and Drusilla." He nodded in response then took Willow's hand in his.

"Everyone, please stay safe. Danny, once you can, get to where the green light is." He nodded and took his group with him. I said goodbye to my watcher, Xander and Anya along with Danny and his friends then watched them head in the direction where my slayer senses were going off the most. I said a silent prayer to the Powers to keep them all safe and alive. I didn't want to loose anyone in this fight.

I felt my heart race as the powers swirled inside of my body. The darkness I'd kept dormant for so long was fighting and gnawing to get out. Tonight, I would unleash it.

I turned and met Oz's deep, brown eyes. They held so many emotions that it was hard for me to see them all. Anger, confusion, passion, and most importantly…love. Over the past couple of weeks, I'd spent the time preparing for the fight and trying to figure out a way to stop the Orb from opening the portal. I felt a little guilty for not spending any time with him. Unfortunately, now was not the time to focus on that. I would get time to be with him and get to know him.

Right now…Tara was my main concern and problem.

She had gone to far by trying to kill those children a week ago and I couldn't allow her to open that portal. I would use every spell I knew of to thwart her plan. With my lover by my side, there was no one and nothing that would stop us.

"Buffy, wait love! Look, before this starts, I just want you to know that I love you." She smiled then leaned up to kiss me slowly. The feel of her lips on mine was the most comforting feeling I had yet. It didn't get better than this.

"Kind of sounds like you are saying goodbye." She whispered as she pulled away. I shook my head and took her hand in mine, "Never mate, just wanted to make sure you knew."

"Just in case?" she asked. I simply nodded, not knowing what else to say.

"I love you too William, and I can't wait to spend eternity showing you exactly how much you mean to me." I smiled wider if possible, and pulled her close before crushing my lips to hers.

"That's enough you two! We have a battle to get to. Seems like Danny and Katore have already started from what Oz says." Dawns voice broke our kiss. I hated having to leave this moment. I feared what would happen once we got to the fight. I did know that Buffy would be the most important thing to protect. Nothing would get in the way of that.

"Annabelle! Be careful!" George yelled as he watched his mate fighting her way through the mass of demons and vampires.

She vamped out, nodded then turned to face the three newly turned vampires. Annabelle caught a glimpse of a fourth young boy moving stealthily behind her, and chose that moment to strike. She feinted forward, then dropped into a crouch and swept one outstretched leg around behind her. Her foot caught the fourth vamp's ankles and yanked his feet out from under him. The man pitched backward, arms flailing, and smacked his head on the hard ground. In the same motion, Annabelle pounced onto the fallen man, ramming a stake into the man's heart, turning his body to dust.

She wanted to savor the vamp's downfall, but his three comrades swooped in, enraged at their friend's death. She got up quickly and flew towards another one, a girl, landing a well-executed kick to her face. The girl's body flipped around in a circle before she hit the ground.

The next one came head on towards Annabelle. She clenched both fists and sidestepped, blocking the kick to one side. She swept her arm around and hit the vamp, a shorter male, in the back sending him flying forwards. She grabbed his neck and slammed his head into a nearby tree. His head bounced off like a ball. She smelled blood instantly and smiled, showing off her fangs. The metallic scent smelled like heaven to Annabelle, who wanted desperately to sink her fangs deep within his neck.

Unfortunately, the last vamp, another dark headed male, came up trying to throw a very weak punch. She rolled her eyes and turned her head quickly to one side, the blow shooting past close enough for her to almost feel it. She grabbed the passing forearm in one delicate hand and threw him to the ground with a satisfying thump. She quickly dusted all of the vampires and turned towards another two-horned demon with a joyful expression.

George grinned widely before twisting the demons neck, instantly breaking it. The demon hit the earth, making it shake from the impact of its large body. He turned and noticed Danny and Katore fighting off five vampires at once. They were ripping limbs from the bodies and tearing their insides out. George could do nothing but look on in sick fascination. He'd always loved the thought of a good battle.

"Hey there cutie! Care to tango?" he heard a sweet, sultry say from behind. He turned and met the most gorgeous woman he'd ever seen besides his own mate. Her platinum blonde hair, deep blue eyes, and angelic facial features gave her a unique and innocent look. Most men would come into her trap willfully, not knowing what they were getting themselves into.

"I'd love too Cara Mia!" He whispered, starting to circle her. She grinned, showing off her pearly white fangs, then went to strike.

She hit. He ducked. She hit again and it connected. He recovered, growling loudly at the annoying way she laughed.

"Is that all you got big boy? I heard you were an older vampire like Angelus! I'm kind of disappointed!"

"Well why don't you come and find out baby girl!"

She smiled again then jumped into the air, intending to land a kick to the chest. George remembered Willow's move and side stepped, causing the girl to land on the ground. She recovered quickly.

"Bastard!" She ground out. She hit, but missed. George grabbed the passing wrist and twisted it. The loud snap cut through the noise of battle and made the girl cry out in pain. With her wrist broken, she went to run. George acted quickly, grabbing her hair and ripping it back, making her land flat on her back. She screamed before he embedded the stake deep within her heart. Dust exploded into the air and floated off into the sky. George grinned widely and took off to help Annabelle with a group of demons that were attacking.

Meanwhile, Leo and Rochelle were double-teaming two larger demons. The demons resembled a Minotaur with their heads shaped like a bull's head. Their horns were oozing some kind of green, sticky liquid.

Leo and Rochelle were back to back as the two demons advanced on them. They joined arms before he flipped her. Her feet connected with the first demon's head, sending him flying backwards. She bent forward, giving Leo leverage to lift up and land a roundhouse kick to the other demon's face. The demon flipped in a circle and landed on his face.

The first demon stood up and ran towards them. It's hoofed feet sounded like a herd of horses as it thundered towards the two lovers. Leo pushed Rochelle out of the way and crouched low. When the demon got close, he lunged forward and embedded the sword he carried deep into the demon's stomach. The demon roared in pain and fell to the ground.

The other demon lunged at Rochelle, angry with his fallen comrade's body. She dodged his lowered head easily and jumped onto his back. Wrapping her hands around its neck, she twisted it, and grinned at the sickening cracking sound.

When the demon fell, she wiped the green ooze off her hands and rejoined her lover.

"You okay baby?" she asked. Leo smiled then kissed his mate, feeling turned on by her display of wit. She was much smarter than people gave her credit for.

The sounds of battle were rang in my ears and pulled me from my thoughts. I could feel the air thicken with the scent of fear. I hated that the emotion excited my senses. I didn't want to be like normal vampires, I wanted to be different, special, and create my own destiny. The demon within could not rule my life and what happened to me.

When the first scent of human blood reached my nose, I feared for my friends. I couldn't tell whom it was coming from, but the thought left my mind once I caught sight of the girl who had once been my friend in the deepest trouble I could imagine.

Tara was dressed in all black and suspended high in the air above a huge pentagram lit up in a bright white light. Surrounding the pentagram was a circle lit up in green that must act like a protective shield.

"Tara! Don't do this!" I yelled as I watched her lift the knife to her wrist. She smiled, then laughed wickedly.

"Buffy! Watch out!" I heard Dawn yell before dust went flying in front of my face. I turned to see the axe covered in the dark colored substance and a surprised look on my sister's face.

"What the hell is wrong with you? Did you not see him?" I shook my head and turned towards Tara once more, watching her look on with excitement. This was the moment we'd all been waiting for. She had to be stopped.

"Look out!" I yelled, seeing two more vampires jump out from behind some bushes. Spike and I took action. I could tell how young they were. Their eyes were red with a lust for death and food. Angelus and Drusilla must have starved them.

I dipped low and swung my hand up to wrap it around the man's throat before slamming him on the ground and shoving the stake I held into his heart. Dust went flying into the air and off into the distance as the wind blew. I turned to see Spike turn the other vamp around and get him into a headlock before ramming his stake into the man's heart. The look of terror on his face turned to dust, but the memory was embedded in my mind.

I shook it off and ran towards the arc where Tara was lowering herself until she was eye level with us.

"Oh look! It's the slayer and her lap dog along with the lying whore and the mutt! Oh, and we can't forget sweet, little innocent kleptomaniac!" I heard Dawn gasp from behind me and knew she'd hit a sore spot, which she was trying to do. Tara was playing with fire. I just hoped she didn't expect special treatment because we'd been friends for a year. We had already been pushed enough by the attack on those innocent kids. Now was not the time to try her luck.

"Don't test me Tara!"

She laughed, mocking my statement, "Or what? You're going to kill me? I thought slayers didn't kill humans?"

It was my turn to laugh now. I felt the demon rise and stir within me, "They don't, but I don't have any problem doing what is necessary to protect my friends and family, so don't try what little bit of luck you have left."

She stood still for a moment, just glaring my way. I thought for a moment that she might consider, but then realized that would be too easy.

"Buffy! Look!" Dawn yelled, catching my attention. I turned to see a group of five vampires coming at us from the woods next to the school. Oz transformed and took off, killing them one by one.

"Buffy, we don't have much time. The full moon is almost done rising to its highest point!" I felt panicked for a moment at Willow's insistence, because I still didn't know what to do. I had to think of a way to stall Tara.

"Wills, distract her. Do anything possible and necessary to stall her." She smiled wickedly and nodded. I wondered wildly what she had planned, until her next statement made my demon purr.

"This is really pathetic you know. The only reason you're doing this is because you're jealous. Can't you see that I love Oz and not you? Suicide would have been a whole lot easier and quicker!"

Tara seethed with anger, and I felt the air physically shift. Willow was using reverse psychology to make her forget her task. She was Tara's one weakness. She screamed loudly in frustration, and for the moment, the plan was working.

"You traitorous bitch! How dare you say that to me! I'll make you pay for ever doing this to me! That filthy mongrel cheated on and left you! How the hell can you love him and let him degrade your body that way? Oh yes, I saw what you two were doing! You disgust me whore!" Willow just laughed in response and kept arguing with her. Good girl.

Love, Angelus and Drusilla are to our right. I can feel her. I felt a little jealous at the words Spike whispered into my mind. How in the hell could he feel her? And why?

Buff, it's because she is my Sire. I'll always be able to feel her when she's this close. The only way our bond will break is when she dies. I sighed, feeling stupid. Once again, I'd looked like a teenage schoolgirl getting jealous for nothing. He was my Sire, my husband, and my mate. He wasn't going anywhere. I wanted to curse the issues that would forever haunt me.

I'm sorry my love, it's just a natural reaction now. Why do you think they are just watching? How do we get them to come out and play?

He smiled.

"Willow, do your thing! It's time to finish this!" She nodded and put her hands together before reciting a spell she'd learned the night before.

The green circle of protection flickered in and out, and the panicked look on Tara's face made my demon purr. Any minute now, the real fight would start, and I was ready.