When the van turned the corner, Buffy stepped out of the bushes, making sure Oz and Kendra would see her. "Thought it was up the street," Oz said.
"I don't want them to see us coming. Where is it?"
"In the back," Oz replied, nodding toward the rear of the van, "but I'm coming with."
"No," Buffy said, shaking her head. "It's too dangerous."
"Angelus, Drusilla. Spike. Willow." His voice choked on the last name. "Enough vamps to keep both of you busy. You'll need someone to get Giles out."
"If he's still alive," Kendra added.
"I think he is," Buffy said. "They took him for a reason. They won't kill him quickly." Climbing into the back of the van, Buffy added, "Third driveway on the left. Get us as close to the house as you can."
Kendra leaped out of the van before it had rolled to a stop. Buffy, burdened with her weapon, followed closely with Oz trailing in the rear. As Kendra kicked in the door, sending it flying open, Buffy started up the rocket launcher, it's high-pitched whine reminding her of battles won. "No heroics," she shouted to Oz as she stepped into the mansion. "Get Giles out and get gone."
Oz, sniffing the air, headed right, working his way down a side hallway as Kendra and Buffy walked straight ahead, making their way to a large room lit both by torches and the flames blazing in the fireplace. "Torches?" Buffy called out to Angelus. "What is it with vamps and the whole Goth-chick look?"
Angelus, his eyes lighting on the rocket launcher, shouted "No" as Buffy's hand pulled back, releasing a rocket. The three vampires ducked for cover as Acathala shattered into tiny bits.
"No getting sucked into hell today," Buffy added.
"The Slayer is mine," Willow shouted, racing toward Buffy.
"I guess you'll have to settle for me," Kendra told Angelus, leveling her sword straight at his throat.
Angelus, with a quick quarter-turn, rolled across the floor, grabbed the fire poker in passing, leaped back to his feet, and turned to Kendra with the poker raised high in an attack position. Shifting into vamp-face, he said, "I can live with that."
As Buffy and Willow paired off, Buffy pulled out a stake. "I'm sorry, Willow."
"Don't be," Willow replied, shifting into a fighting stance. "I'm not. I was always the little sidekick: boring, dull, dependable. Now I'm a power in my own right, and I'm about to bag my first Slayer."
"If you're all superpowery, how did Xander die?"
As Willow kicked at her, Buffy, with "seems like I touched a nerve" on her lips, stepped to the right, just enough to miss being kicked, turning as she moved, positioning herself to jam an elbow into Willow's torso. As she was slamming the stake toward Willow's chest, Buffy jerked her head to the right as she caught a glimpse of Giles, covered in blood and leaning heavily on Oz as they made their way to the door. Willow, taking advantage of Buffy's distraction, swept her arms down, blocking the strike with such force that the stake fell to the floor. A headbutt to the ear sent Buffy sprawling downward.
"This is too easy," Willow sneered. "To think I used to be impressed."
Buffy leaped to her feet into a fighting stance, ready to defend herself, only to see Dru knocking Willow to the floor, raining blow after blow with a flaming torch, keeping Willow down as her hair caught fire. Over the explosion of dust, Buffy called out, "I thought you said only I could kill her."
"Don't be silly," Dru replied. "I knew she'd be listening so I made that up."
Both heads turned at a scream from the other side of the room. Kendra, blood running down from her temple, was trying to get up off the floor while Angelus stood over her, poker raised high. "Leave it to a Slayer to die hard," he said, slamming the poker down.
"No, you will not hurt Daddy." As Dru lunged forward, Buffy stepped out of the way, grabbed Dru's arm and, with a hand at the small of her back, shoved her at Angelus. The two of them went down in a tangle of arms and legs.
"Gotta go," Buffy said, racing across the room to help Kendra up.
Staggering, held up by Buffy, Kendra wiped enough blood from her face so she could see. "What about Mr. Giles?"
"Oz got him out. With any luck, they're well out of here."
"Or they could have waited," Kendra said as they stepped out the front door.
"Not that I'm complaining," Buffy called out as she glanced back to see Angelus and Dru start after them, "but why didn't you get Giles to a hospital?"
"He said to wait," Oz replied.
"OK," Buffy said as she shut the car door behind them. "We're in. Go, go, go."
"Already gone," Oz replied.
Angelus and Dru reached the doorway just as the car roared out of sight. "This is all your fault," he shouted, smashing his fist into her face. She took a few steps back but didn't fall. "Acathala is a pile of rubble." He hit her again, punching her in the stomach until she doubled over. "Willow is dead." Grabbing her hair he yanked her until she was standing, held up by his hand. "Buffy escaped." His fist hit her face. She fell. The scent of jasmine, night-blooming, was overwhelmed by the tang of blood as she hit the ground. Her eyes turned toward him. "Get up," he whispered.
"My Angel?" Dru asked as she raised herself off the ground.
The black lace of her dress tore under his fingers as he grabbed her shoulder, yanking her to him. He accused her, each word accompanied by a blow that send her head reeling from side-to-side. "You." Her her head flew left. "Ruined." He punched her again. "Everything." He threw her to the ground, and this time she did not look up. "What a pitiful, mewling thing you are. You don't even try to defend yourself."
When she heard his boots clicking against stone, stepping oh so far away, she looked up and whispered "Daddy" so quietly that even she didn't hear it.