A/N: And now… The moment we've all been waiting for/dreading. There's going to be a lot of jumping back and forth between characters in this, so try to keep up? I'm going to try to make it as non-confusing as possible, but there's only so much I can do without taking away all of the mood by writing "-BuffyPOV-" or something. So… Hope you like this chapter! Reviews please?
"Well sweety," Buffy whispered into her sleeping demon's ear. They were alone in the dark bedroom. The sun was just rising in the distance. Spike's hand rested on Buffy's arm, just over the bruise she'd received while patrolling with Angel a few hours earlier. "Look's like we're going back." She kissed his forehead gently.
Catching up: "This succubus, she's called Marfach from a more recent clan called the leanaí bás a fháil. It seems that she is trying to resurrect her brother's and sister's, so that she can take rule over a small vulnerable place like they once had. So that would mean, that she didn't want Spike to feed off of, it would mean that she needed him superior soul to use in her ritual." Giles explained.
"Guys did anyone see Spike and Buffy leave?" Xander questioned to no one in particular.
Everyone glanced at each other, exchanging glances of wonder.
"They aren't upstairs?" Willow asked nervously.
Everyone looked around the room, questionings growing inside. No one spoke as they walked up the stairs in a hesitant group and peeked into Buffy's bedroom. Empty. As if they'd disappeared. The sheets on the bed had fallen as if they hadn't been pushed back upon being left. The lamp on the side table was still on, and Buffy's jacket lie where she'd left it on the floor beside her bed. The window was closed as it had been when they'd left for the night and the curtains were pulled across them to keep the sunlight out for Spike. Though no one was there.
"Buffy over here!" Spike shouted from behind a large chalky red boulder.
"What, did you find something?" She queried.
"Yes, check this out." He put both hands flat on the side of the rock and heaved. Huffing out a breath, he looked to see how far he'd moved it. About a half a foot. Cursing at the ceiling and taking a deep breath, he shoved against it again. Buffy's hands found themselves beside his while she pushed along side him. Together, they rolled the large bolder over enough to see a hole in the ground with a rope ladder attached to it. An enormous grin appeared on Spike's face, spreading some light over the horrid place they would be in for who knows how long. "After you." He said offering her his hand. After all their time apart, he still remembered her leader – must be in charged attitude.
She took his hand lightly, squeezing it once before she let him help her into the hole. He was right behind her – or on top of her really – as she made her way down into the dark depths of hell.
"Buffy, there's a ledge there love, on your left." Spike told her, game face forward to let his demon see into the darkness.
"Thanks, think it's safe?" She tested it with her hand, checking it's sturdiness.
"Doesn't matter, won't let you fall." He held her by the waist as she clambered onto the cold rock that jutted out of the wall. They'd been climbing for quite some time now, not seeming to be getting anywhere. Despite the bellow freezing temperatures of the never ending tunnel, Buffy still felt sweat beaded across her forehead and her neck.
Spike climbed beside her and rested back against the wall. "How much longer to you think it is?" The slayer whispered, not really wanting to hear the answer. It seemed like a new torture – the endless climb to the center of hell – though any hell with Spike in it, was heaven to her.
He put his arm around her while he looked down into the pit of despair calculating. "Not too much love, about half a mile at best." She moaned and buried her face in his chest, reaching around to wrap her arms around him. He held here there for a while, waiting for her to catch her breath until they would continue their trek down to find the succubus. And they knew she was here. How else would Spike's humanity have found him? It had jumped him out of the blue. Barely a second after they'd appeared in the dimension his humanity had leaped into him. And thank the heavens for that. He kissed the top of Buffy's head, stroking her hair to comfort her.
Xander perched on the arm of a chair in the Summers' living room. "Alright, so how long do you think we have?" He asked Willow.
"I'm thinking I'm thinking!" She flipped mindlessly through the paged of her leather bound book, searching for the spell that she was sure she'd read in the text only a few weeks ago. "ha! There it is!" She showed the spell to Tara who looked at it sparingly.
"It looks hard, but… But we've got to try." She took the book from her lover and set it on the ground and motioned for everyone to gather around her. Willow sat beside her, holding out her hand to the girl as they mentally prepared themselves for hell.
"Ready guys?" Willow forced her lips into a small smile. Each nodded in response.
Head spinning from dehydration, Buffy looked up to Spike who was gazing down at her over his shoulder. "Spike," she whispered, nodding her head downward. They'd come to the end of the tunnel, and she could hear the voices of many demons.
Spike nodded and climbed around her to get to the bottom of the hole. They hadn't rehearsed this, but they'd gone over it enough times since they decided they were going back to hell. Buffy climbed up a few rungs to give him space while he lowered himself down enough to hear what the demons were saying.
"I don't know where it is," he heard Marfach saying. "It's just gone." She exclaimed. Probably disgusting my soul. Spike thought bitterly.
"Well then they must be here! Have my minions not yet found them?" The devil grunted annoyed.
"If they'd found them we'd know about it already."
"Just be patient Marfach, they will not ruin the plan."
"Why are you helping me?" Marfach asked the devil. Oh good, Buffy thought. I've been wondering that myself.
"Because I want revenge on that master vamp for what he's done, and I want that slayer back in my hell!" He nearly shouted.
Buffy threw a questioning glance to Spike, but he only shook it off.
"Then I wonder why you didn't just summon yourself a vengeance demon." She mused humouredly.
"Because the slayers got herself working with some powerful witches and an ex vengeance demon. They'd see it coming!"
Spike had heard enough. He leaped down through the hole, golden eyes gleaming and fangs bared. He landed with a crouch, growls growing louder by the second from deep inside his chest.
Buffy was quick to follow. She jumped before he'd hit the ground, landing beside him before he could recover.
"Fools!" Marfach screeched. "You've taken my soul!" Of course she was referring to Spike's. She lashed out at them, finding a long whip embedded with spikes and some sort of hissing acid. It hit the wall behind them when they threw themselves out of the way, leaving a bubbling gap where it had struck. The rock sizzled and small bits of it fell to the floor.
Note to self, Buffy and Spike thought in sequence. Avoid the long scary whip.
Buffy kicked her leg up and brought it down hard into the succubus' face. She then whirled and landed a hard fist to her back.
Spike took the advantage of a shocked Devil to land a few punches at the red beast of his own. He bit into the devil's neck harshly, ripping out flesh as he did.
"Buffy!" A familiar voice shouted.
"Quick, they need backup." A strong British voice sounded from near by.
The gang appeared in the court, taking up their own defensive positions and aiding their friends in battle.
"Spike, keep your demon forward, she cannot take your soul so easily if you hide it." Giles warned over the sounds of thrashing arms and legs. Spike obliged, grateful for the information.
The devil disappeared in a wisp of red smoke.
The succubus cursed angrily. She grabbed Spike around the throat with crushing strength, and dove for a bubbling cauldron that no one had noticed.
"Fine, if I can't put your soul in it, I'll just have to settle for you!" She threw him down hard into the hissing liquid stepped back with a face of victory.
"No Spike!" Buffy screamed.
Xander took up his ax and threw it into the skull of the succubus. She fell to the ground, unmoving. The skin began to pull itself over the large thrash wound, and she pulled herself up from the ground. All eyes fixed on her, terrified of the creature they couldn't kill.
Terrible moans filled the court, sending shivers up all spins but that of Marfach. She grinned wildly, turning to survey the cauldron excitedly. "Brothers! Sisters!" She cried rejoicing as figured began to pour out of the cauldron.
Willow began to mutter an incantation, one that Tara recognized as one to prevent a spirit from taking a corporal form.
"You!" Marfach screeched. "You're hurting my brothers and sisters!" With eyes like daggers, she sent her whip through Willow's exposed flesh, knocking her to the ground, writhing in agony as the acid ate away at her.
"Willow no!" Tara cried.
"Willow!" Xander knelt beside her, watching in horror as the acid chewed away the flesh from her arm. "Oh god."
"I've seen this before." Anya quipped. "I used it on an angry mob once. It hurts a lot." She looked down at Willow sympathetically. "Unfortunately there isn't anything we can do until her skin stops bubbling."
"But she'll live right?" Xander asked in a pleaded voice.
"Yeah, yeah, she'll be fine. The mob didn't survive because they didn't have anyone to administer the treatment. But she'll heal quickly."
"Oh thank god." Xander and Tara lifted Willow into a sitting position against a wall.
From behind Marfach, a creature stirred within the cauldron and the scoobies braced themselves.
"Buffy here!" Faith tossed a sharp silver dagger to Buffy.
Angel rushed alongside the blonde to lay a harsh blow to the succubus that knocked her backwards. From inside the cauldron, Spike reached for her hair, snapping her neck as he pulled down forcefully on it. Faith used Buffy's shoulders as an aid for flipping over the small crowd, and sliced the succubus' head of with all her force.
"Well now," Giles said after a silent moment. "That should do it." They all stared at the head that was still in Spike's hand, being held up by the hair. "So long at the two pieces don't touch, they should never heal."
"We'll burn them then." Spike snarled.
"You're alive?" Angel said with an unhappy roll of his eyes.
"Yeah, sorry to disappoint." Spike shoved against him as he walked passed to envelope himself in Buffy's tight embrace.
"No disappointment here." She whispered tearfully. "God Spike I thought you died." He squeezed her tighter.
"So then," Dawn looked at Giles. "What about the other succubus girls and guys?"
"Succubi, and incubbi," he corrected lightly. "Well, it seems that without Spike soul they couldn't be resurrected. And now with Marfach gone, they have no one to bring them back. And so they're gone."
- Quite a number of hours later -
"How ya feeling Wills?" Buffy handed her friend a cup of hot chocolate. Everyone was sitting in the living room, lights off, holding each other and watching the fire burn in the fire place.
"Oh, pretty good." Willow smiled up at Buffy. "My arm still tingles a little, but it doesn't really hurt any more. Oh and look!" She flexed her arm outward. "I can move it now too." She grinned largely.
"I'm so glad Will." Buffy hugged her affectionately before moving to curl up in her vampire's lap.
"So…" Dawn said, breaking the comfortable silence that had filled the room. "Who burned the body?"
No one said anything, waiting for someone to claim their place in destroying any chance of the succubus returning. No one did.
Outside the crickets chirped loudly, enhancing the silence growing inside.
"Damn." Xander voiced.
A/N: And there is the end of my first Buffy fanfiction. Hope the end was intense enough. Hope you all enjoyed? Reviews please! Pretty please? With a cherry on top? I dunno, I'm kind of sad that this is over. I was enjoying writing this… Oh well. Thank you all so much for reading this, and for reviewing, and for adding this story to your favorite stories list and for adding me to your alerts! I love all of my readers! I just hope that you loved this fanfiction as much. :)