Spike sauntered confidently into the warehouse, in full demon face.
He looked around and saw no one. Maybe this was some kind of a trap. Did they suspect that Buffy had a vampire helping her? If Dawn was right and this was someone who knew her, they might assume that a vampire giving warning was why the other vamps hadn't returned from their attempt on Buffy's life. After all, Buffy had associated with both he and Angel in the past.
No that Spike minded being caught in a trap. Might be a bit of a laugh.
Nevertheless, he lightened his step a bit to see if he could sneak up. He rounded a corner and saw a group of vamps standing around under an industrial light that hung from the ceiling.
"Look here, you," Spike said. "Turn your bloody walky-talky off. I'm sick of hearing about your little plans."
He had decided that if he came in pretending to be all gung-ho to kill Buffy, and the guy in charge knew him, it wouldn't exactly work out. So he was going with just being annoyed with the voices in his head, which anyone who knew him would believe.
"Spike? We meet again," said a vamp with dark hair and thick muscles. His clothes were about ten years out of date. Why couldn't other vamps learn the trick of wearing clothes that were timeless?
Spike looked at the man closely. "Nope. I don't think I know you. Am I supposed to?"
"I fought you and Buffy in Sunnydale. Repeatedly," he said.
"Did we?" Spike asked. "Never mind. I'm sure she'll remember you, when you make your big move. What is that, by the way?"
"The big move was me using the Bloodsong Orb to get you all here and then we attack you. But you came alone. Why is that?" the man asked.
"In case it was a trap," Spike said. "But Buffy's outside. I could text her if you want. Or I could just kill you all now."
"No need to start the party without me, Spike. I decided we didn't need any recon for this small fry," Buffy said from behind him. Xander and Dawn were standing on either side of her, but slightly back, and all three of them had stakes.
"He says he knows us, Slayer," Spike said.
"Which one?" Buffy asked.
"You don't remember me either?" the man asked incredulously. "What about you, Xander? You have to remember me. We were in shop class together."
"Shop? Really? Maybe it's the demon face," Xander said.
The man shook off his demon face and now looked like a relatively average-looking, well-muscled man.
"So this shop class we were in, it was in, like, high school?" Xander asked.
"What is with you people?" the man asked. "I knew you guys pretty well, and then I died, and we fought all the time. You killed so many friends of mine—and then I left, to get tougher, and build my army. I knew I had to be strong to defeat you."
"I think I remember him," Dawn said. "You seem pretty darn familiar."
"We never met!" the man snapped.
"Oh," Dawn said. "Sorry."
"I heard all about all the people who went up against you. Glory, the First Evil, the Turok-Han army, and everything in between. I knew I would have to have do something incredible to finally defeat you."
"So you decided to use something that's slightly less effective than a cell phone?" Buffy asked.
"Why less effective?" one the vamps asked.
"It broadcasts indiscriminately," Dawn said.
"Oh, right," he said.
"Enough!" the man said. "That wasn't the whole plan. I have this!" he held aloft a carved staff that looked like it might hold an ancient power.
"I remember that!" Dawn said. "It was one of the things that came through the magic shop and Giles thought was too dangerous to sell, so he had Willow and Tara make it completely harmless," Dawn said. She smiled apologetically. "I hope you didn't pay too much for it."
"Oh I remember that staff. It was supposed to summon a demon that would be invincible for like, a week or something. That would have been really scary," Buffy said.
The man, who still hadn't identified himself, looked in askance at Buffy. "You can remember this staff, but you can't remember me?"
"God, I'm sorry. It's not like you were my date to the prom or anything," Buffy said sarcastically. "Like you said there's been a lot of things happening in my life—wait a minute, why am I apologizing to someone who's trying to kill me? Can we just fight already? These are new boots and the heels are killing me".
"So your boots are so far one up on the super villain?" Spike asked.
"That's it! Now you die," the man said.
The fight was rough and dirty. None of the assembled vamps were particularly well-trained except for the main guy—whatshisname—so they were taken out pretty quickly. All too soon there was only whatshisname and Buffy fighting.
Xander, Spike and Dawn settled in to watch some elaborate martial arts.
"He's not bad," Xander said, ducking to avoid a chair that flew dangerously close to his head.
"As a fighter, sure, but as a schemer and plotter? He's rotten," Spike said. "I came up with much better plans than this. I mean, I usually got bored halfway through and just made some mayhem, but my plans, if I ever stuck with them, were way better than this one."
"You really sound like you're missing the Big Bad business, Spike. Should we spend tomorrow scanning the local real estate pages for empty warehouses?" Xander said.
"I could probably get Giles to tell me the name of one of those black market ancient artifact auctions. Auctions are so cool," Dawn said.
"It's just such a shame, to let all this glorious talent go to waste," Spike said, grabbing Buffy as she was thrown into his arms, and then catapulting her back towards the man she was fighting with. "Look what we're reduced to fighting these days."
"He didn't know the staff thingy was out of juice. He's not so bad," Dawn said.
"Well, there's such thing as waiting too long to get your revenge," Spike said. "And then there's waiting until no one you're trying to get revenge on even remembers you. It's kind of sad, really."
Buffy staked the man and then, just as he was about to disintegrate into dust, she said, "Oh no, wait! I don't even know your—"
"Name," Dawn finished after the dust cleared.
"Um, anyone hungry?" Buffy asked.
"I could eat," said Xander.
Later on that night, Spike was standing by the fridge packing up his cooler of blood.
"You're going already?" Buffy asked in a small voice.
"Yeah. I thought it wasn't fair, what with the boy here and all. He wants to have a proper visit without me mucking up the works," Spike said.
"So, you want to come back later? Maybe next weekend?" Buffy asked.
"Why not come to New York? We could go dancing, kill a few vamps, and then have all the privacy we need to, um, get reacquainted," Spike said.
"You think the neighbours won't complain? We once wrecked a house," Buffy said.
"What do you say? Want to come stay with me, see what happens?" Spike asked.
"See what happens, eh? A minute ago it sounded like you knew exactly how the night was going to end," Buffy said. She put her arms around Spikes neck and kissed him wickedly. "A promise of things to come," she murmured, kissing him again softly.
"Oh I never count on anything going the way I plan it, not with you around, Slayer," Spike said.
"I like to keep you on your toes," Buffy said.
"I like to keep you on your back," Spike smirked.
Buffy looked skyward and sighed. They really shouldn't talk. Like, ever.