Title: Tainted by Death

Author: Hilary

Rating: R

Pairings: S/Dru, S/B and Dru/Aus

Summery: What if Buffy had really died at the end of Season 1. What if The Master had sired her? This is how Season 2 would have gone.

Disclaimer: I don't own the rights to any of these characters. If I did, I'd be very rich.

Feedback: You know I want it, so give it to me

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Part 1

As another dusk settled upon Sunnydale, Buffy awoke and glanced around her rather dank surroundings. It had been several months since she had been turned and she was enjoying her experiences as a vampire, current living conditions aside. Her Sire was dead now, the Master had been killed by Angel and Xander shortly after he had killed her. A small part of her mourned his death; there was so much she could have learned from him. But that time was past, there was much to be planned for the future. She currently served the Anointed One, sat at his right hand was closer to the truth. After the Master had died, he had been keen to have the former Slayer as his second in command. Her strength and agility from life had been carried over into death and were useful assets in the vampire colony. Both she and the Anointed One were feared for their power and she liked that. Currently they were reduced to living in an abandoned factory at the edge of town. It wasn't exactly a five-star hotel, but it served its purpose. Things would change soon enough.

Preparations were currently underway for the Night of Saint Vigeous. Their power would be at its peak and then would be the time for them to establish themselves as the new rulers of Sunnydale. Buffy was aware that after she had been killed, a new Slayer had been called but as of yet, she hadn't made an appearance in town. When she eventually showed up, Buffy was ready, what better way for a Slayer to die than at the hands of a vampire who used to be one.

The Anointed one had set up a kind of court in the main area of the factory. He sat on a large chair, which served as his throne and Buffy sat on a stool at his side. A few vampire minions gathered in front of them as they planned for the upcoming ritual. One of the vampires stood before them, fear and respect in his voice.

"As long as Angel continues to work with the Watcher, we will all join the Master in death. He's powerful, and his friends make him stronger still."

Buffy rolled her eyes; she had loved Angel when she had been alive. Now she despised him for what he was, a vampire with a soul. It was pathetic. She stood up and circled the cowering vampire.

"I will deal with Angel soon enough, the Night will see a great many things, including his death. When the time is right, I will strike him with a force he can't even imagine."

One of the bolder vampires stepped forward.

"Why wait until the ritual? The longer Angel is alive, the more of us he will kill," he walked past Buffy and stood in front of the throne. "Let me kill him for you. It will be the greatest event since the Crucifixionand I should know, I was there."

"You were there?" a laugh emanated from the doorway. "Oh please, if every vampire who said he was at the Crucifixion was actually there, it would have been like Woodstock."

All eyes fell upon the vampire who had walked in and was now making his way forward. Buffy looked at him appraisingly. He had bleach blonde hair, tight black T-shirt, red shirt on top of that and a long leather coat. A cigarette hung from his lips as if he'd been born with it there and there was fire burning in his eyes. She instantly liked him; he sort of reminded her of herself.

The vampire who was being addressed growled. "I ought to rip your throat out."

The blonde vampire merely smirked and carried on walking forward.

"I was actually at Woodstock. That was a weird gig. Fed off a flower person and spent six hours watching my hand move."

The other vampire rushed him from behind. Without even looking, the blonde raised a fist, smashing him in the face and knocking him down and out. Buffy smiled, this guy was strong, and a good fighter at that. Not to mention that he was the first vampire she'd met since she'd turned who was actually not bad looking. She glided over to him, fascinated.

"Hello cutie," he said. "And who might you be?"

"Buffy." she replied simply.

"And who are you?" called the Anointed one from his throne. He had watched Buffy with the new and arrival and could sense her attraction to him. This time was too important to let his second-in-command's hormones run away with her. He needed her to destroy Angel.

"Spike," said the vampire, turning to face the young child. "You're that Anointed guy. I read about you."

Buffy listened to him talk; his accent was British. She wondered where he'd picked up his name from. One or two images were going through her mind and she made a mental note to ask him later. Suddenly Spike turned his head, his face morphing back into his human features. Buffy followed his gaze and her eyes came to rest on a dark haired girl stood in the doorway. She guessed she was a vampire, although she looked paler than most.

"Drusilla," he said softly, walking to her side. "You shouldn't be walking around; you're weak."

Buffy saw nothing but adoration in his eyes and she swore under her breath. Typical that the one interesting guy that she meets is blatantly in love with someone else. Still, there was plenty of fun to be had with or without Spike.

"Look at all the people," Drusilla cooed. "Are these nice people?"

"We're getting along." Spike replied, shooting a quick glance at Buffy. Drusilla took a few tentative steps towards the Anointed One's throne.

"This one has power," she said to Spike. "I can feel it from the outside."

"Yeah. He's the big noise in these parts; Anointed, and all that."

Drusilla suddenly got a distant look in her eyes. She addressed the Anointed One as if he was the child he had been in life.

"Do you like daisies? I plant them, but they always die. Everything I put in the ground withers and dies."

The child vampire looked confused and Buffy rolled her eyes. She was getting the distinct impression that this girl was a little on the crazy side. This wasn't what they needed right now. Drusilla's gaze suddenly fell upon Buffy and she moved over to stand in front of her.

"This one here stinks of death. She has killed many."

Spike suddenly looked interested again and walked over to stand next to Drusilla.

"What's that, pet?"

"I used to be a Slayer." said Buffy matter-of-factly.

This caught Spike by surprise, but he also seemed impressed.

"Really?" he asked, almost delighted. "I've never met a Slayer before, well, apart from the two I killed, that is. But I've never met a Slayer who became a vampire."

"Well you have now." Replied Buffy, playing it cool. So Spike had killed two Slayers, she'd have dismissed it as lies if she'd heard it from anyone else, but from what she'd seen so far, she was pretty sure he was telling the truth. That put him up another notch in her opinion.

"You and me'll have to have a talk sometime." Spike grinned and Buffy couldn't help but smile back.

"Spike," said Drusilla softly. "I'm cold."

Instantly the smile left his face and was replaced with concern as he pulled his coat off, draping it over her shoulders and holding her close to him.

"I got you." he whispered soothingly. Drusilla reached up and ran her finger down his cheek, her long fingernail slicing through his skin and drawing blood. Buffy unconsciously licked her lips at the sight of the small crimson drop running down his almost white face. As if she had read Buffy's thought, Drusilla leaned up and licked the blood from Spike's cheek causing him to sigh with pleasure. They moved in as though they were about to kiss but turned their heads away at the last moment so that they were facing the Anointed One.

"Me and Dru, we're moving in." said Spike as though the issue couldn't be questioned. Buffy glanced back at their leader, wondering how he'd react. He may have the body of a child, but he was still powerful and Buffy had no doubt he could kill Spike where he stood if he chose to. The boy merely nodded.

"That settles it then," grinned Spike, clapping his hands together. "I'll get us settled in and then I'll bring you something to eat, baby." He was addressing Dru now, and she merely smiled as he took her arm and lead her downstairs. When they were gone, Buffy reclaimed her seat at the Anointed One's side.

"What do you think?" she asked, already suspecting what the answer would be.

"I don't trust him," the boy replied. "He's reckless and is in danger of ruining the ritual if he acts too soon. Watch him closely. He can do what he likes when we've established ourselves, but not until then. Remember, if you see Angel, he is not to be harmed. It must wait until Saturday. "

Although the child could sense Buffy's attraction to Spike, there was no one else he trusted enough to make sure nothing went awry. Buffy nodded at his request and tried to will away the pleasure she was feeling at the thought of spending time alone with Spike. After a few minutes the blonde vampire emerged from below.

"Buffy will go hunting with you," said the boy, his tone indicating that this was an instruction and not a suggestion. "She'll show you the best feeding areas in town."

Spike knew that the boy didn't trust him and that Buffy wasn't tagging along to keep him company. She could see in his eyes that he knew the truth although his voice betrayed nothing.

"Alright then, pet, let's move out. I don't like to keep Dru waiting for her supper."

Buffy would have ripped the throat out of any other man who had dared to call her pet, but it seemed to flow so naturally off Spike's tongue that she let it slide. Soon they were out in the cool night air and heading towards the center of town. Buffy loved to hunt; it was one of the many characteristics, which she had carried over from life into death. When she was alive, she had hunted vampires and now it was humans she hunted. She found the hunt itself almost as exhilarating as the kill, requiring her to use all her predatory skills.

"That's quite an interesting little set-up your boy's got going there," observed Spike as they walked. "Was he the one who sired you?" He knew that it would take a vampire of great power and strength to sire a Slayer. Buffy rolled her eyes at the mere idea of it. The Anointed One was powerful but even he was no match for the Slayer.

"I was sired by The Master." she replied with an air of haughtiness in her voice. Spike raised his eyebrows in surprise.

"Yeah? I heard of him, heard he was pretty powerful."

Although Spike had never met The Master, he knew his blood flowed in his veins, mixed with that of several others. Someone had tried to give him the details of his lineage once, but that sort of stuff bored him. As long as he was out having fun, he didn't really care about the rest of that crap.

"He was the most powerful vampire to walk this earth," replied Buffy, annoyed by the lack of respect in his tone. She was used to any mention of her sire being met with awe. Then she sighed. "He's dead now."

This did capture Spike's attention. He'd heard that something big had gone down in Sunnydale recently, but he'd never imagined that someone had actually managed to kill The Master. Clearly Buffy hadn't done it, so who could it have possibly been?

"Who?" was all he asked.

"Me." a male voice replied

The two vampires looked up and found themselves facing a third. Angel. Spike's look of annoyance quickly turned to recognition mixed with delight.

"Angelus! I'll be damned!"

Angel continued to look grim.

"I heard you were in town Spike, you still hanging around with Dru?"

Spike's smile fell a little. "Yeah, things changed once you left. She's not the same as she was."

Angel nodded. "I think we've all changed."

"Not me, mate, I'm still the same old Spike."

Angel sighed loudly. "I didn't expect anything less."

Before Spike had time to react, Angel whipped out a stake and plunged it towards his chest. Spike barely had time to deflect the blow. Knocking the stake to one side, he punched Angel, sending him staggering back. Buffy watched for a moment before recalling the Anointed One's words. She grabbed Spike and pulled him back as he lunged at Angel again. Spike whirled round and pushed her off of him.

"Stay out of this," he hissed. "This isn't your fight."

Buffy immediately grabbed him again. "It's too soon, you can't hurt him yet. It's not time."

Spike immediately slipped into his demonic visage. "You think I give a toss about you and your bloody ritual? This is personal so stay the hell out of it."

Angel used the distraction to lunge again, this time at Buffy. He punched her hard, knocking her to the ground and stunning her momentarily. Spike growled.

"What the hell happened to you? You were my Sire, my Yoda. We're demons, we don't change!" Beneath the anger there was the smallest hint of hurt and betrayal and Angel sensed that.

"It's complicated." he said quietly.

"Complicated my arse, you've just turned bloody soft. I always knew you were a poofter and I guess you're proving it now," He took a deep breath and heard Buffy climbing to her feet behind him. He ignored her for the moment. "I know we've been through a lot together, Angelus, but if you think I'm going to let the fact that you just tried to kill me slip by, then you're very much mistaken."

Angel didn't move. "Spike, leave here. I'm offering you that chance. Take Dru and get out."

Spike snorted. "Not bloody likely, I just got here. What are you going to do anyway? Kill me?"

"If I have to."

"Not if I kill you first." Without giving Angel the chance to respond, Spike hurled himself at the vampire, knocking him to the floor, straddling him and raining punches down on him.

"You bastard!" he yelled, not letting up on his punches but not making a move to kill him either. Eventually he picked up the stake, which Angel had dropped and raised it over his head for the kill. Buffy immediately kicked the stake from his hand and pulled the blonde to his feet.

"That's enough!" she said with a cold calmness. "You've done your damage and if you kill him now, you'll have ruined everything. Save your fight for another time."

Spike glanced down and saw that Angel was now unconscious, his face more of a bloody pulp than any actual recognisable features. That, at least, was satisfying, although he probably would have felt better if he'd killed him. Still, as Buffy said, there would be another time. He shrugged and slid his human features back into place.

"Alright, pet, I'll play it your way for now. But when the time comes for me to kill him, I don't want you or your flunkies interfering."

Buffy nodded and they continued their walk into town in silence. After a few minutes, they arrived in Hammersmith Park, one of the prime feeding areas for vampires. There were rumours spread amongst the humans that the park was haunted, and the main people who went there now were kids who were trying to prove their courage. Sure enough, there was a group of about ten or so crowded around a bench, drinking and laughing. Buffy and Spike allowed their true faces to show, the bloodlust overcoming them both.

"I don't know about you," grinned Buffy. "But all that talking and violence has made me hungry."

Spike allowed himself to smile although he could still feel the rage from the fight with Angelus boiling inside him. He'd feel better after a good kill, no doubt.

"Me too, pet. Don't kill them all though, I need to take something back for Dru."

Buffy's eyes darted back to the group.

"There's plenty to go around." she replied, and with that, she ran forward and drained a boy before the rest of the group even knew what was happening. She laughed as they screamed and ran in all different directions, desperate to escape. Fear only made them taste better. When she and Spike had drunk their fill, Spike punched and knocked out a girl to take back with them.

"I hope Dru likes take-out," grinned Buffy as Spike hoisted the girl's limp body over his shoulder. "I prefer dining out myself."

Spike couldn't help but laugh. Despite all that stuff with Angelus earlier, this former Slayer was a lot like him.

"You know, pet," he began as they walked. "You don't strike me as being the sort of girl who goes in for all that ritual crap. Why do you let that kid tell you what to do?"

Buffy shrugged. It was true that she was at her happiest when she was out killing and generally causing mayhem. It was just the way that there was a natural hierarchy in the vampire community. The Master had been at the top until he had died and now that role fell to the child. She did things his way purely because that was how it was meant to be.

"Things will be different soon," she said. "After the Night of St. Vigeous, it will be a bit less ritual and a bit more fun. I'm looking forward to that day."

They walked in silence for a few minutes until Buffy could no longer contain her intrigue.

"What's the story with you and Angel? Seems like you two have a bit of a history."

Spike flinched, the memories of Angelus' betrayal still gnawing at him. He pushed it to one side.

"Well, he was going by the name of Angelus the last time I saw him, and that was nearly 100 years ago. There was a group of us that used to travel together. Me, Dru, Angelus and Darla."

"Hmm, I met Darla. Angel killed her."

Spike stopped and turned to face her.

"What? He killed his own Sire?" He felt his temper flare. He'd never been one for rules and conventions but there were some things that you just didn't do; killing your Sire was one of those things. What the hell was he thinking? "Alright, pet, you obviously know more than you're letting on. What's with Angelus? Why is he attacking vampires all of a sudden?"

Buffy stared at Spike for a moment. "You don't know, do you? Angel has a soul."

Spike had prepared himself for many reasons for Angelus' behaviour but this hadn't been one of them. He had a soul, a disgusting soul. This changed everything.

"How?" was all he asked.

Buffy sighed, remembering how much the Slayer had loved him, it was sick. "He said something about being cursed by gypsies."

Spike laughed. "Yeah, those gypsies always did know how to do it with gusto. Well, this is bloody marvellous. We've got the scourge of Europe working for the enemy."

"Not for much longer. He'll die soon enough, along with the rest of this town."

They arrived back at the factory and stepped through the door to find themselves facing the Anointed One and all of his minions. Buffy looked confused, he never gathered them all together like this unless there was something serious. She walked over and took her seat next to the throne.

"What is it?" she asked. The child kept his eyes on Spike, who had unloaded the unconscious girl and dumped her body on the floor. He could sense something wasn't right. Drusilla came up and took his arm.

"Is that for me?" she cooed, gesturing at the girl.

"Dru, pet, what's going on?"

The Anointed One stood, answering both Buffy and Spike. "You were told not to harm Angel, yet I hear that he was attacked tonight and has since gone into hiding. The night of St. Vigeous is ruined."

Buffy frowned. The only way he could have known all this was if he'd had her followed. Evidently the boy no longer trusted her.

Spike walked over to the throne and knelt down, looking up at the boy.

"Ioffer penance."

"You failed us," snapped one of the minions. "You should lay down your life."

Spike lowered his head a fraction. "I was rash, and if I had to do it all over again" He began to laugh and stood up. "Who am I kidding?! If I had to do it again, I'd have done it exactly the same, only I would have done this first."

He grabbed the boy and walked over to a cage in the middle of the room, punching out one of the minions who tried to stop him. Buffy jumped to her feet more out of surprise than of the desire to protect the boy. Spike threw the child inside and hoisted him halfway towards an open window where the first rays of dawn were now flooding in.

"From now on we're going to have a little less ritual" He pulled the chain once more and the cage swung into the direct sunlight. The child screamed, a high-pitched agonised cry, and then disintegrated. "and a little more fun around here."

Buffy watched with fascination as Spike swaggered back over to Dru, scooping up the human girl with one arm and wrapping the other around his lover. As the two walked downstairs, Buffy sat back down. Thing were going to get very interesting around here.

Part 2

For Buffy, the weeks that followed the death of the Anointed One were fairly quiet. Little had been seen of Angel since their attack on him, which had left them with more or less free reign of the town. They'd run into Giles and his white-hats a couple of times but they weren't stupid enough to try anything without Angel there to back them up. Buffy was enjoying her new life. She was free to hunt and kill wherever and whenever she wanted and for the first time since she'd been sired, she didn't have to worry about rituals and chanting. The first couple of weeks in particular had been fun. She'd gone hunting every night with Spike and shown him all around town, the best places to hunt. It had been good.

Lately though, Spike had been out less and less, only leaving the factory when he needed to feed or to bring something back for Dru. He'd managed to get hold of some sort of ancient scroll, which apparently had something to do with restoring Dru back to full health. Buffy wasn't actually sure what was wrong with her anyway, Spike had mentioned something about a mob in Prague but had been reluctant to go into any details. So now Buffy was reduced to hunting alone, she didn't mind, but it wasn't as fun. She enjoyed hearing Spike's stories about the places he'd been and the people he'd killed, but she'd barely heard two words from him in the last few days and she knew better than to push him.

Finally, after almost a week, she returned home to find him waiting for her. She was immediately struck by the fact that he looked tired. He obviously hadn't been sleeping and his face was a little thinner, indicating that he hadn't been eating either.

"You look like hell." she observed as she walked into her room and found him sitting on the bed.

"Thanks, pet," he smiled. "This isn't a social call, though. I need a favour."

"Shoot." she replied, sitting down next to him.

"Well, it turns out that scroll we dug up is in some sort of code. I need this cross thing from the Du Lac crypt on the other side of town. I'd send the boys but you know what idiots they are, if Angel or his cronies turn up they'd hightail it straight out of there."

"Consider it done." she immediately replied. Whilst having her run of the town was fun, Buffy found that without Spike to keep her company, she got a little bored. At least this task would keep her amused for a short while and if she had a run in with Angel then all the better. He couldn't stay hidden forever, eventually his poor little soul would force him to come out of hiding and start helping people again. Buffy intended to be waiting for him when he made his move.

"I'll go out as soon as the sun sets tomorrow." she added, knowing that the sooner he cured Dru, the sooner he'd be back to his old self. Spike nodded and stood up, without further comment he turned and left. As soon as he'd gone, Buffy climbed into bed and closed her eyes, as she drifted off to sleep, she wondered how different things would be once Dru was restored.

******

True to her word, as soon as the sun set the next evening, Buffy made her way to the Du Lac crypt. She soon found what she was looking for, a cross, wrapped in velvet and sealed in the tomb with the last member of the Du Lac family. Clutching her prize, she turned to leave and found herself facing Angel. She smiled.

"I was hoping I'd run into you. I guess you've heard that things have changed over in our neck of the woods. Speaking of necks, I must remember to pick up a bite to eat on the way home. I've had such a wide choice since Spike kicked the crap out of you," she lowered her voice as though she were telling him a secret. "You can't even tell he did it anymore." Then she giggled. "I bet it was killing you; knowing that your pretty face was all messed up."

"Buffy, what are you doing here?" Angel asked wearily.

"Just looking for a few trinkets," she replied. "You know, I just can't seem to find anything that goes with this outfit."

Angel's face had that sorrowful, brooding expression which made her feel sick to the pit of her stomach.

"I don't know why you feel sorry for me," she snapped. "You should know better than anyone how alive becoming a vampire makes you feel. I mean, come on, it's not as though I had much of a life before this anyway. I was stuck in a destiny I couldn't escape and I was living a life I didn't want. For the first time I'm actually free."

"Free to take innocent lives." Angel replied sadly.

Buffy scoffed. "And what's a few of their lives compared to the hundreds that I've saved? Do you think any of those worthless humans ever actually thanked me for saving them? No, they just carried on with their meaningless little lives and soon forgot about the whole thing. I don't think I owe humanity a thing, do you?"

For once, Angel was at a loss for words. He'd known that Buffy had always struggled to accept her fate as the Slayer, but hearing the demon speak the raw truth made him realise just how hard it must have been for her.

"That doesn't make it right." he eventually said.

Buffy just laughed and pushed her way past him.

"Stay out of my way, Angel, or I'll finish the job that Spike did."

When Angel made no move to stop her, she headed back to the factory; stopping only to feed from a teenage boy who had made the fatal mistake of thinking she was human and tried to come on to her.

******

"Special delivery!" she called as she walked into the main room of the factory. It was unoccupied, save for Spike, Dru, and Dalton, who was the resident scribe. Buffy handed the cross to Spike who immediately passed it to Dalton.

"Get on with it!" he barked, sending the smaller vampire scurrying away in fear.

When he'd gone, Spike moved over to Dru and pulled her into his arms, capturing her mouth in a passionate kiss.

"It won't be long now, ducks," he smiled. "Once you're strong again, the Streets of Sunnyhell will run red with blood."

Dru giggled, running her fingers through Spike's hair. "My naughty, wicked, little Spike, what games there will be."

Buffy glowered throughout this entire interaction. What Spike saw in a total head case like Dru she would never know. Dru glanced up at Buffy, and as if she knew what she was thinking. She pulled Spike back to her and kissed him hungrily. Dru's eyes never left Buffy's while she did this and immediately Buffy saw what the dark vampiress was doing. She was marking Spike as her own, a 'keep your hands off' gesture.

Buffy scowled as the two vampires parted and almost as an afterthought Spike remembered she was still there. He turned to face her while Dru continued to caress his cheek, a small smile on her lips as she continued to keep her eyes on Buffy.

"Any problems?" Spike asked.

Aside from the fact that you're with her when you could be with me? she thought, then she shrugged.

"Ran into Angel."

Both Spike and Dru looked interested at this.

"You saw my Angel?" Dru asked dreamily, finally removing her hand from Spike's cheek. Her whole tone of voice reminded Buffy of a girl suffering from a teenage crush.

"Dru," said Spike exasperatedly. "He's not your Angel anymore, he's our enemy now."

He turned back to Buffy.

"Did you kill him?"

She shook her head. "Thought I'd save that little job for you."

Spike grinned. "Now that will be fun."

After a moment of relishing in the thought of killing Angel, Spike became aware of a dull ache gnawing at his stomach. Thinking about it he couldn't actually remember the last time he'd eaten properly. When he went out, he always made sure he got something for Dru, but he was so preoccupied by looking for the cure, that more often than not he forgot about himself.

"Do you want to go and get someone to eat, pet?" he asked Buffy.

"Sure." she smiled.

As soon as the word had left her mouth, Dru began to whimper and Spike immediately turned his attention back to her. She slumped into his arms; her whole body weak and he scooped her up as though she were a small child. Cradling her in his arms and holding her close to him, she buried her face in the crook of his neck.

"Don't leave me." she whispered.

"I'm not going anywhere, baby." he replied softly before carrying her towards the bedroom. "Let's put you to bed, you need your rest."

When they were out of sight, Buffy rolled her eyes. She was beginning to wonder how much of Dru's 'weakness' was actually genuine. It seemed to get worse just when it suited her and Spike was so blinded by love that he couldn't even see it. She sighed. It looked like it was going to be another night of eating alone.

******

"I don't bloody believe it!" exclaimed Spike as he looked at the sheets of paper in his hand.

"What?" asked Buffy as she peered over his shoulder. Spike was holding full details of the ritual, which would restore Dru back to full health.

"Well, it's a good job you didn't kill Angel last night, it seems we need his blood for the cure."

Buffy looked amused by this, irony had a way of rearing its head at the strangest of times "You're kidding!"

Spike grinned. "And the best part is: we cure Dru and it's 'bye bye, Angel.'"

It just kept getting better. "It'll kill him?" she smiled. Spike nodded.

"Let me get him for you," Buffy asked excitedly. "I promise I won't hurt himmuch."

"Alright, pet, but don't rough him up too much, remember, we need him alive for the ritual." He disappeared into the bedroom for a minute and returned with a small box, which he handed to Buffy. She opened it to find a syringe filled with a bright green substance.

"What's this?" She asked.

"Enough sedative to knock out a herd of elephants. When you've finished having your fun, stick him with that and he won't cause you any more problems."

Buffy nodded and headed for the door. "Get everything you need ready, I won't be long."

Without looking back, she ran out into the night and headed straight for Angel's apartment. Tonight he would pay for betraying their kind.

******

Buffy was surprised to find Angel's apartment unlocked, either he was expecting someone, or he was getting really slack with his security. Stepping inside, she took a moment to look around; it hadn't changed at all. The same minimalist decor. From what she'd gathered from Spike, Angel was the complete opposite of Angelus who liked everything to be lavish and beautiful.

She was disturbed from her thoughts by the sound of the door opening behind her. She turned. It was Angel.

"Hello, lover." she said chirpily.

He looked at her nervously, almost as if he knew why she was here. "What do you want, Buffy?"

"Well, it seems that you weren't entirely honest with me when I was alive. Tell me, is it true what you did to Dru? Did you really turn her into the nutty head case that we all know andknow?"

The look of pain and sorrow in Angel's eyes gave her her answer. Buffy laughed.

"That's brilliant!" she exclaimed with delight. "I never would have thought you had it in you."

She took a step closer to him and whispered in his ear. "You can be like that again you know."

Angel gasped and pushed her away. "What are you saying?"

"Come on, Angel, why do you fight who you are, what you are. You're a killer, soul or no soul. You should accept that. You could join us, me, Spike, Dru. We could do anything, go anywhere, kill anyone."

"Buffy, you know I can't."

She sighed loudly. "Well, it was worth a try. I guess we go for plan 'B' then."

With lightening speed, she was at his side and quickly stuck the syringe in his neck, pressing the plunger down fully. Angel barely had time to react before he slumped unconscious to the floor.

Buffy stared at his still form for a couple of minutes, making sure the drugs had done their job effectively. When he didn't move, she looked around the apartment. No phone. She looked back down at Angel and wondered if she'd be able to carry him alone, probably not. It was his size rather than his weight that was the problem.

She had an idea. Rolling him onto his back, she went through his pockets until she found what she was looking for. Pulling out the mobile phone she quickly punched in the number.

"Spike? It's Buffy. I'm at Angel's, send the boys over will you?"

******

Buffy sighed as Angel's screams resounded throughout the building. Dru had been at it for hours now, insisting that she be left alone to 'play'. Spike had agreed of course, not wanting to deny his beloved anything, but Buffy was now getting the impression that Spike wasn't happy with the decision. For the last hour he'd been pacing up and down, smoking cigarette after cigarette. It was beginning to make Buffy dizzy.

"Spike, will you sit down? You're making my head spin."

Spike merely growled at her and continued to pace, flinching every time he heard Angel scream. Ok, time for a different approach.

"Look, just relax. The sun is nearly down and in a couple of hours Angel will be dead, Dru will be restored and we can do whatever we want."

Bingo. Spike pulled out a chair and dropped down into it. Buffy walked up behind him and began to massage his shoulders; she'd always been good at it, even when she was alive. Spike let out a small murmur of pleasure as she kneaded the tension out of his muscles. After a few minutes she stopped.

"Better?"

Spike opened his eyes and looked at her. "Bloody hell, pet, where did you learn how to do that?"

Buffy shrugged before glancing up at the window. The sun was down.

"Time for church." she said quietly. Spike looked up and nodded before getting to his feet. He disappeared into the bedroom and emerged a few minutes later with his arm around Dru. Two minions followed, carrying Angel, or at least what was left of him. His shirt had been removed and his entire upper body was a mass of cuts, bruises and burns. Dru certainly knew what she was doing when it came to torture.

Spike stopped in front of her.

"We'll be back as soon as the ritual is complete, then the real fun will start. Keep an eye on things here while we're gone."

Buffy nodded. Dru said nothing, merely rested her head on Spike's shoulder. As Buffy took one last look at Angel, she sighed with the knowledge that once he was gone she'd be free from the final tie to her human life. It felt good. Part of her was annoyed that she was going to miss seeing his death, but Spike had insisted that someone stay in case the idiot librarian and the others somehow came looking for Angel. As the doors closed, Buffy took on Spike's role. She began to pace.

******

Something was wrong. They had been gone for over 24 hours and Buffy had heard no word. She couldn't go and look for them because she didn't know where they were. For the first time since she'd been turned, she felt useless. Letting out a cry of frustration, she punched one of the chairs, shattering it.

Moments later, she heard the main doors open and she looked up. When she saw who it was, she jumped to her feet in shock. It was Dru, fully restored and well, carrying an unconscious Spike in her arms. His white-blonde hair was the only thing that enabled Buffy to identify him. His clothes were burned and torn and his face was covered in soot.

"What the hell happened?" she demanded.

Dru ignored her and carried Spike into the bedroom, placing him gently on the bed. She sat at his side whimpering softly.

"I said 'what happened'?" repeated Buffy, who had followed them. Finally Dru turned to face her, her vampiric visage in place.

"My Spike made me all better." she said with a smile.

Buffy lost it. Grabbing Dru by the throat she pinned her against the wall.

"Who did this to him?" she ground out.

"My Angel's friends came and rescued him, they left us to feed the fire."

"Well, you seem to be alright." Buffy spat, releasing her grip on Dru. The dark-haired vampiress began to laugh.

"The poor little Slayer is in love with my Spike. Naughty girl, trying to take what's not yours."

Suddenly they heard the door open again.

"Well, this is nice, a little drab for my liking but I can learn to deal." a male voice called. Buffy and Dru went to investigate.

"Hello, lover." said Angel, who stood in the middle of the room taking in his surroundings. Buffy shook; numb with rage.

"I can't believe you were actually stupid enough to come here." she finally managed to say.

Angel shrugged. "I was in this part of town and I couldn't not stop by and say howdy. How are you anyway, Buff?"

"Buff? What the hell is wrong with you?"

"Angel?" breathed Dru in awe. He grinned.

"Yeah, baby, I'm back."

Part 3

"How did this happen?" Asked Dru with delight.

Angelus kept his eyes locked on Buffy the whole time, even though it was Dru he was talking to.

"Well, it seems the ritual had some interesting side effects. One minute I was trapped, then all of a sudden it was goodbye soul-boy," he grinned. "The funny thing was, if Giles and his crew hadn't gotten me out of there I'd have been dust. They didn't realise I was free until it was too late."

"You killed them?" Buffy asked incredulously.

He sighed deeply. "Nothing is more satisfying than the sound of a human neck snapping. They tasted good too."

Then he shrugged. "None of that really matters anyway. Why don't we go and get something to eat? It's been a good half hour since I tasted human blood and I'm making up for lost time here."

Dru clapped her hands with glee. "Oh goody, we can go hunting as a family."

Buffy stared at her in disbelief. "What about Spike?"

Angelus looked around. "Where is the bleached one anyway? I really should thank him for setting me free."

Dru gave a small whimper and took Angelus' hand, pulling him into the bedroom. Buffy followed closely behind them. Spike hadn't moved from the position Dru had left him in. It chilled Buffy seeing him like this. He was normally so animated and active, now he just looked like the corpse he was.

"Hmmm," frowned Angelus. Then he smirked. "Well, it looks like Spikey boy won't be joining us tonight. Shall we go, ladies?"

He wrapped one arm around Dru and made to put his other around Buffy, she moved away.

Angelus' face expressed a mixture of annoyance and surprise; he wasn't used to women resisting him.

"Come on, Buff, the souled-one is well and truly gone. I'm not going to go all mushy on you."

Buffy said nothing, merely glanced back at Spike. Dru leant up and whispered something in Angelus' ear.

"You've got to be kidding me!" he exclaimed. "You're a Slayer-turned-vampire, Buff, you can have your choice of any creature you like, and you want him?"

Buffy scowled, she wasn't used to being told what to do, least of all by her former lover. "At least he hasn't been soul-whipped for the last 80 years." she snapped.

Angelus grinned. "Still got that fire, I see. I always liked that about you."

He reached out his hand to caress her cheek and she slapped it away, growling. Angelus growled back.

"You should learn your place little girl. I may not have been sired directly by the Master, but his blood still flows in my veins. I've walked this earth for over two centuries and you'd do well to show some respect."

"Respect? You killed the Master and you killed your own Sire. I ought to return the favour right now."

Angelus walked over to Buffy so that he was stood mere inches away from her.

"Yes, I killed the Master," he said softly. "You don't tow the line and the same thing might happen to you."

His voice resumed its normal tone.

"Well, if you want to stay here and play nursemaid, then that's just fine. Dru and I will go alone, right, baby?"

Drusilla made no reply, just snuggled closer to Angel. Her actions speaking volumes. Buffy was disgusted; vampire or not she couldn't believe that Dru was just willing to drop Spike now that her bastard of a Sire had returned. It was evident however, that Dru had no qualms about doing just that.

When she and Angel had left, Buffy sank down on the edge of the bed next to Spike. This was not the way she had imagined things going. After a minute, she turned her attention back to the injured vampire, since no one else was going to do anything she may as well sort him out.

******

An hour or so later she'd managed to get Spike cleaned up and into some new clothes. He'd remained unconscious the whole time, which had saved any embarrassment on either side. Looking down at him she realised that he was going to need to feed in order to start recovering. Angelus and Drusilla still weren't back and Buffy was pretty sure they wouldn't have brought anything for him anyway. She'd just have to go and get something herself.

Stepping outside, she grabbed the first human she came across, a night watchman who had been patrolling the area around the factory. Buffy quickly immobilised him with a blow to the back of the head before dragging him inside and into the bedroom. This was where things got awkward. Spike was still unconscious and Buffy had no idea how she was going to get him to feed. Finally she had an idea.

Chaining the man to the wall, she retrieved a mug from one of the other rooms before taking his arm and biting into his wrist. Holding the wound over the cup she allowed the blood to flow until it was full. She then bound the man's wrist, she had no idea how long Spike was going to be like this and the longer she could keep the man alive the better.

Sitting on the edge of the bed, she lifted Spike's head and held the mug to his lips. Instinct kicked in and he began to drink, quickly draining the cup of its contents. When he'd finished, she set his head back on the pillows and spent a few minutes just watching him. How Dru was willing to give him up for Angelus was completely beyond her. He began to stir, his eyes flickering beneath his lids but not opening.

"Dru?" he croaked, his voice barely above a hoarse whisper.

Buffy opened her mouth to respond but then closed it again. Somehow she couldn't bring herself to tell him that Dru was off, cavorting with their former enemy. Instead, she reached out her hand and lightly brushed her fingers down the unburned side of his face. A small smile played at the corner of his lips and shortly after that, he seemed to drift back to sleep.

A few minutes later she heard the door bang open and she walked out into the main hall to see Angelus swagger in, his arm wrapped around Drusilla's waist. Even from where she stood, Buffy could smell the blood; they had obviously fed well.

"How's the invalid?" Angelus asked coolly, still angry about his earlier rejection.

"He's asleep." Buffy replied with an equal lack of emotion.

"Can I go and see him?" Dru asked quietly.

Angelus pressed a kiss to her cheek. "Go on then."

Dru scurried into the bedroom leaving Buffy and Angelus alone. Buffy scowled at him.

"I see you've got Dru eating out of your hand already."

Angelus shrugged. "She's just a crazy girl. Come on, Buffy, I don't know why you're fighting this. Both of our souled counterparts are gone; there's no reason why we can't pick up where they left off. "

Buffy said nothing, which just enraged Angelus further.

"There's no point saving yourself for Spike," he snapped. "There's only ever been one woman in his life: Dru. And there'll only ever be one woman in his life: Dru. You may as well just accept that now and take what's on offer. I promise you'll never lack anything with me; I always make sure my women live like queens. You can have anything you want, just say you'll be mine."

Buffy stared at him for a moment. He honestly expected her to come crawling just because he said so. She'd never been one for following orders when she'd been alive and she was damned if she was going to start now. Flicking her hair over her shoulder she walked into her room, slamming the door behind her.

Angelus stared at the closed door for a moment. He'd have her eventually, he always got what he wanted one way or another. In the meantime he have to make do with second best.

"DRU!" he roared.

******

Buffy spent the next couple of weeks doing her best do avoid Angelus. It wasn't actually as much of a problem as she'd had thought. He was busy keeping himself amused with Dru, and Buffy spent most of her time watching over Spike, who had still not regained consciousness after the ordeal with the ritual. Dru would come in and sit with him occasionally but more often than not, she was occupied with Angelus. After the first couple of days, Buffy practically moved into Spike's room. Dru spent the days with Angelus and Buffy hated the idea of Spike waking up alone.

She made sure that Spike fed regularly, using the same methods she'd used on the first night. She found that she could make a human last two or three days as long as she bound the wound after she'd bled them. That way she only had to leave when she wanted to feed herself, or when the latest 'blood on tap' ran dry.

After feeding Spike and herself, she settled down on the bed next to Spike, flicking through a magazine she'd found on the girl she'd just killed. There was nothing really worth reading but it passed the time. She was just getting bored of the fashion tips when she felt Spike stir next to her. A moment later he moaned.

"Spike?" she called softly.

His eyes half opened and he looked up at her.

"Buffy?" he whispered weakly.

"Yeah, it's me. How are you feeling?"

"Like someone dropped a bloody organ on my head." His eyes opened fully and he began to take in his surroundings. He was back at the factory, in his room. But he had no idea how he'd gotten there. The last thing he remembered was trying to carry Dru out of the church before the damn librarian dusted him. Dru. He lifted his head a little and looked around the room.

"Is Dru?" his words trailed off, not able to bring himself to say it.

"She's fine," Buffy answered absently. "The ritual worked and she's back to normalwell, as normal as she can be anyway."

"Where is she?"

What was Buffy meant to say? 'She's having sex with Angelus who you managed to bring back and has now stolen your girlfriend'?

"She might be out hunting." she replied vaguely.

Spike's face fell a little and he tried to sit up, getting halfway before a look of shock and horror crossed his face. Buffy noticed this.

"What is it?" she asked with concern.

"My legs, I can't move my bloody legs." he gasped, falling back on the bed and doing his best to blink back the tears he could feel stinging his eyes.

For once Buffy didn't know what to say. It was more than likely that his paralysis would only be temporary, he was a vampire after all, but what if it wasn't? He'd taken a lot of damage; more than she'd ever known a vampire had taken before.

"You'll heal, you just need some time." she said as convincingly as possible.

Spike wasn't listening, he'd never been like this before; he was useless. What if his legs never healed? He'd be stuck like this for the rest of eternity, or at least until someone took advantage of his weakened state and dusted him.

He barely noticed as Buffy got up from the bed and returned a few minutes later with a mug full of blood. This was what he had been reduced to, taking handouts because he was too useless to hunt for himself. He glared at the mug in his hands before draining it of its contents and then hurling is across the room where it shattered.

"Just leave me alone." he said quietly, closing his eyes. There was silence for a moment. Then he felt the bed shift and heard the door close. He wasn't sure how long he lay there for, just contemplating his new state of life, but he must have drifted off because the next thing he was aware of was a muffled cry coming from within the room.

Opening his eyes, the first thing he noticed was a wheelchair next to the bed. For a moment he'd thought that his paralysis had been some sort of horrible nightmare, but the chair was a glaring reminder that this wasn't the case. Still, reminder or not, anything beat lying around on the bed like a piece of useless meat. Even if he couldn't walk, at least he'd be mobile.

Sitting up, he noticed the source of the cry that had woken him; a hospital orderly, chained to the wall and gagged. Just hearing the moans made Spike realise how hungry he was. Levering himself off the bed, he lowered himself into the chair and wheeled himself over to the orderly. He was a young man, in his mid-twenties and healthy. Just right, Spike thought as his bit into the man's wrist and drank deeply. He drank until there was no more blood to flow, and then wheeled himself into the main room, wondering where everyone was.

Buffy looked up at the sound of the bedroom door opening and smiled when she saw Spike wheel in. She really hadn't been sure how he was going to react to the wheelchair, but she'd guessed that he'd want to be out of bed and moving around again. She could also smell the blood on him, indicating that he'd fed off the man she'd left for him too.

"Hey," she greeted. "Good to see you up and about."

"Thanks, pet," Spike replied. "The chair your idea?"

Buffy nodded and Spike wheeled over so that he was just in front of her.

"Tell me exactly what happened. The last thing I remember is being in the church."

Buffy took a deep breath and told him. Everything. She didn't even leave out the details of Dru and Angelus, figuring he was better off knowing the truth straight away. He stared at her in disbelief; she was seriously telling him that the woman that he'd loved for over a century was now sleeping with her Sire. He'd always known that Dru had had a fixation with Angelus; when he'd disappeared after losing his soul she'd insisted that they search for him, never willing to accept that he was gone.

As if on cue, the doors opened and Angelus and Dru emerged, their hair and clothes rumpled. It didn't take a genius to work out what they'd been doing.

"Spike!" Dru exclaimed, but made no move to approach him. Angelus kept his arm wrapped around her.

"Good to see you mobile again," he glanced at the wheelchair and smirked. "So to speak. As you can see I've been taking care of Dru for you while you've been resting."

Spike's entire body stiffened with rage. Buffy squeezed his hand reassuringly and he relaxed a little, continuing to glare at Angelus. Releasing his grip on Dru she walked over and placed a kiss on Spike's cheek.

"You can't blame a girl, Spike. I have certain needs."

"I was in a bloody coma, Dru!" Spike yelled. "You'll have to forgive me for not tending to your 'needs'."

"Come on, Spike, look at you," chipped in Angelus. "You're not much good to anyone like this. You may as well let a real man do the job for you."

Dru smiled. "My Angel's been looking after me," she cooed dreamily. "Besides, you've had the little Slayer sitting at your bedside. My Angel needed someone."

"No, Dru, he didn't," snapped Buffy. "You're just too much of a ho to give a damn about anyone but yourself."

"Watch your mouth, little girl," Dru growled. "I may have to teach you a lesson about stealing one of my boys."

"Your boys?" Buffy laughed. "What's the matter Dru? Scared of the competition?"

With a snarl Dru hurled herself at Buffy who easily dodged the attack, sending the dark-haired vampiress sprawling across the room. Dru quickly recovered herself, ran at Buffy and tackled her to the floor. As the two women wrestled, Angelus watched on, partially annoyed and partially amused to see the two women fighting; but it should have been over him and not Spike.

As he watched her fight, Angelus felt himself wanting Buffy more than he ever had before. She was an amazing fighter, his equal in every way. He would have her; he was going to make sure of it.

Buffy finally managed to pin Dru to the floor, snapping off a chair leg ready for the kill.

"Bloody hell, Peaches!" Spike yelled. "Do something."

Rolling his eyes, Angelus walked over to the two women and hoisted Buffy away from Dru, pulling the stake out of her hands at the same time.

"Now, we'll have none of that." he chided, not releasing his grip on Buffy's waist, enjoying having her this close to him and savouring her scent. Buffy glared and pushed him away.

"That wasn't your fight," she snapped as Angelus helped Dru to her feet. "From now on you stay out of my business."

Dru buried her face in Angel's chest, sniffling quietly. "Can we go out?" she murmured.

"Alright." Angelus agreed and he led her outside, knowing that a good hunt would probably make Dru forget all about it.

Silence descended in the room for a few minutes. Buffy was still infused with rage and Spike was trying to digest everything that had just happened.

"What the bloody hell was that all about? You were going to kill her!"

Buffy shrugged. "You're telling me you didn't want her dusted, even though she's screwing around with Angelus?"

"No! This thing with Angelus is just a mistake; she'll come around. Just stay away from her."

Spike wheeled himself into his bedroom and slammed the door. With a dejected sigh Buffy sat down. That hadn't gone as planned at all.

******

"I say we get out of this dump and move somewhere decent." said Angelus.

It had been a couple of days since Buffy and Dru had fought, and no one had mentioned it since. Dru continued to share a bed with Angelus and occasionally with Spike when Angelus wasn't in the mood. Buffy pretty much kept herself to herself, going out only to feed and to bring something back for Spike. She always made sure they were alive and just threw them into the room, leaving him to take it from there. He hadn't spoken to her since she'd tried to dust Dru and it bothered her more than she'd liked to admit. This was the first time all four of them had been in the same room together.

"What's wrong with this place?" asked Spike with a sigh. He'd hoped that Dru would have come back to him now that he was starting to recover, but this hadn't been the case.

"What's right with it?" Angelus retorted. "It's got no class, no finesse. This isn't the sort of place we should be living. It almost as bad as that mine shaft you had us hauled up in that time."

"Look, Angelus, we're vampires. This place serves its purpose, we don't need to move."

"I'd like a new house," said Dru. "Full of pretty things and whispering secrets. This house has nothing to say."

"Well, that settles it then," Angelus replied, ignoring Spike's earlier protests and not bothering to ask Buffy her opinion. "I have the perfect place."

******

"Oh, Angel, it's beautiful," gasped Dru in awe as she looked around the main room of the Crawford Street Mansion. "It's fit for a princess."

"Well, that's what you are, my sweet." Angelus replied with a grin.

Buffy and Spike looked slightly less impressed.

"We're going to fry," Buffy stated. "Look at all these windows."

"As I said before," Spike agreed. "There's nothing wrong with our old place."

"Look," Angelus snapped. "If you two don't like it, you're more than welcome to go back to the factory. Me and Dru, we're staying right here."

Buffy and Spike fell silent at this, Spike had no intention of leaving Dru and Buffy had no intention of leaving Spike. Seeing that they'd given in, Angelus grinned.

"Right then, let's get moved in."

******

Buffy found that she adjusted to life in the mansion quite well. She had a large room to herself and the house was so big, that it was quite easy for her to avoid Angelus and Drusilla altogether. She continued to bring people back for Spike, since the other two seemed to more or less have forgotten he was even there. It was just the same as it had been in the factory, she'd throw whoever she'd caught into the room and leave Spike to it. She'd then go back in while he was asleep and get rid of the bodies.

The sun was just setting as she went in to retrieve the body of Spike's latest victim. As usual he was lying on the bed sound asleep and the drained corpse lay in a crumpled heap in the corner of the room. She walked over, hoisted the body over her shoulder and was almost at the door when she stopped.

"Buffy?" Spike called. She turned back and saw him sitting up in bed, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes.

"The sun hasn't set yet," she said quietly. "Go back to sleep."

"Wait," he said. "Don't leave."

Dropping the body by the door, she walked back over and sat on the edge of the bed.

"What?"

"Dru, that mistake I thought she was going to come around from, looks like she isn't," he sighed. "Not that I can blame her, I'm not a lot of use to anyone while I'm like this. Anyway, I guess I just wanted to thank you, for bringing me food and stuff. I might as well be dust as far and Dru and the bloody pouf are concerned."

"Yeah, well, what can you expect from a lunatic and the guy that made her that way." Buffy replied with a small smile, happy that she at least had someone to talk to again.

"True," Spike replied. "You know, pet, I was thinking. When I can walk again, what's say we get out of here? Leave Dru and Peaches to get on with it, and we'll go someplace new. I'm fed up of Sunnyhell; nothing good comes out of this damned town."

"I think that's why they call it a Hellmouth," Buffy grinned. "But yeah, I'd like that."

"Good," Spike smiled. "It's settled then."

"I should go," Buffy said, standing up. "I'll bring you something to eat a little later."

"Alright, pet." Spike said, settling himself down to get another couple of hours sleep.

Buffy quietly left. Having some time to kill before the sun completely set Buffy sat on one of the couches in the main room and flicked through one of Angelus' many books. She wasn't much of a reader herself, but it passed the time.

She was just flicking through the pages, not really paying attention to the words, when suddenly someone grabbed hold of her hair and yanked her backwards over the back of the couch. She found herself facing Angelus but barely had time to cry out before he buried his fangs in her throat and began to drink deeply. By the time her self-preservation instinct kicked in, she was too weak to fend him off. Everything around her began to fade and dim until, finally, she was aware of nothing.

Angelus continued to drink until he felt Buffy go limp in his grip. He lifted her up and dumped her unceremoniously on the couch. A lesson needed to be learned here. He still couldn't believe that he'd overheard her and Spike planning on leaving. No one left him unless he gave them permission or threw them out. He certainly wasn't about to let Buffy leave. Hearing her moan he looked down to see her eyes open. She'd come to a lot faster than he'd expected, but he'd drained her enough that she wouldn't be going anywhere in a hurry.

Buffy awoke to find herself lying back on the couch. As her blurred vision began to clear she saw Angelus leering down at her. Her first instinct was to run, fight, anything, but she couldn't move. Blinking back the tears she realised with grim irony that this must be how Spike felt all the time.

Seeing the look of fear in her eyes only made Angelus smile.

"So. Buff, you and Spikey were thinking of leaving us were you? I'm afraid I can't allow that to happen. You see, Dru wants us to be a family, and what Dru wants, Dru gets."

He leaned down and began to lick the blood from the wound he'd inflicted on her. When it was gone, he sat back up.

"You know, I always told myself I was going to have you one way or another. I was kind of hoping that you'd come around and offer yourself to me."

He sighed deeply.

"But I can see now that that's never going to happen. It looks like this is the only way."

Stretching out his hand, he traced his fingers down her cheek and then continued to move his hand down her body until it came to rest on her thigh. With a small smile he began to slide it up the skirt she was wearing.

"Hey, what's all this?"

Angelus whipped his head around and saw that Spike had just wheeled into the room.

"Stay out of this, roller-boy," he hissed. "It's no concern of yours."

Buffy gazed at Spike pleadingly, begging him to help her with her eyes. Angelus' hand remained just under her skirt but he made no attempt to move it any further.

"Yeah, well I'm making it my concern." Spike rolled closer. "I mean, what is it with you Angelus? Dru not enough for you?"

Angelus smirked.

"So that's what this is all about. Don't like the fact that I'm taking all your women away from you?"

"I hardly call forcing yourself on her taking her away from me."

"It depends on how you look at it. She might decide she likes it."

Spike raised his voice a little. "Yeah, and she might not."

"Well, there's only one way to find out. Now, if you don't mind, you're interrupting my fun here."

Angelus turned his attention back to Buffy and Spike pulled out a wrench, which he'd been hiding under his coat. He cracked Angelus over the back of the head, knocking him out and sending him sprawling to the floor.

"Fun's over, mate."

Spike gently lifted Buffy from the couch and pulled her into his lap. She looked up at him and gave a small smile before her eyes closed and she slipped back into unconsciousness. Spike wheeled them both into his bedroom, locked the door and placed Buffy on the bed. Wheeling round to the other side, he pushed himself up so that he was sitting beside her.

This was a problem. Buffy needed blood to recover from being drained, but neither of them was in any state to go hunting. Clearly there was only one solution. Shifting close to her he bit into his wrist and held the wound to her lips. For a moment there was no response.

"Come on, pet," he urged. "This will help you get strong again."

After a moment, he felt her begin to suck on his wrist and he relaxed a little, allowing her to drink until he began to feel quite weak himself. Finally he detached his wrist and looked down to see that Buffy was sleeping. Realising he was quite tired himself, he lay down and allowed himself to fall into an exhausted slumber.

******

Buffy wasn't sure how long she'd slept for, but the first thing she became aware of when she woke was that she was nestled in Spike's arms. Glancing across, she saw that he was still sleeping peacefully, his arms around her waist and his head resting on her shoulder. For a while she just lay there, enjoying the feeling until she felt him begin to stir. His eyes opened and his smiled up at her.

"How are you feeling, pet?"

Spike's words brought the memories of the previous night crashing down on her. Reaching up her hand, she felt her neck to find the wound nearly healed.

"I'm going to kill him." she said, her voice full of venom.

Spike was immediately awake.

"Don't be so bloody stupid!" he exclaimed. "You won't stand a chance against both him and Dru."

"Fine," she replied calmly. "You can help me."

"I'm not going to be much use while I'm like this, pet."

"I don't care!" she yelled. "I'm not going to let him get away with what he tried to do to me."

"Alright, pet," Spike said gently. "But you're not going to achieve anything but just rushing out there and getting yourself dusted. Angelus is going to be expecting us to make some sort of move, so for now I suggest we focus on getting out of here so that we can come up with a plan."

After a moment, Buffy allowed her tense body to relax and she nodded.

"Alright, but when the time comes, you let me kill him; no interfering."

"Fine by me, pet."

"So, what's the plan?"

"I'd say our first concern is getting out of here. Can you drive?"

"Not well, but yeah."

"Right, my car's in the garage. Fully sheltered and the windows are blacked out. We wait until Dru and the pouf are asleep, take the car and get out of here. We'll find a motel or something and stay there until we come up with a plan."

"It sounds like you've been planning this for a while." Buffy smiled ruefully.

"I might have been." Spike replied.

Buffy took Spike's hand and looked down at the watch on his wrist. It was 3am, a good few hours until sunrise.

"What are we supposed to do in the meantime?"

"I guess we just wait."

And for the next few hours that's what they did, they lay in each other's arms and waited.

******

"Come on." Buffy whispered harshly as they made their way through the mansion towards the garage. Sure enough Spike's car was there waiting for them, the keys in the ignition. Buffy helped Spike into the passenger seat, folded up his wheelchair, and put it in the back. She then started the engine and a few minutes later they were on the road.

Once they were a reasonable distance away from the mansion, Buffy found a side lane and pulled the car over. It wasn't safe for them to book into a motel while the sun was out, they'd have to sleep in the car until nightfall.

"Do you think Angelus will come looking for us?" she asked Spike.

"Maybe." he replied.

"Well, I'll be ready for him." she murmured sleepily.

"Too right." Spike yawned. They were both asleep before they could utter another sentence.

Awaking just after sunset, Buffy drove them to the nearest motel and booked them in. She then helped Spike out of the car and the two of them settled down to focus their energy on bringing down the vampire who had made both of their unlives miserable.

******

Angelus hadn't been surprised to wake up that evening to find Buffy and Spike gone. He seriously doubted that they'd gone far. They'd make their move soon enough, all he had to do was be ready for them. In the meantime he had other things with which to occupy himself.

******

"Pet, come out here for a second, will you?" Spike called.

Buffy poked her head around the bathroom floor where she had been washing her hair. Vampire or not she still liked to make sure she looked good. What she saw made her jaw drop. Spike was stood up. He was stood up unaided and his wheelchair was sitting behind him uselessly.

"Spike!" she gasped.

"Felt a little twinge in my legs, thought I'd try it out and presto." he grinned.

"Have you tried walking?" she asked with a smile.

Spike looked down at his feet and then back at Buffy. Finally, he lifted his foot and took a shaky step, then another. He was in the process of taking a third when his legs buckled. Buffy was at his side in an instant, catching him before he fell.

"Well, that was a start at least." she smiled, before becoming aware that her lips were just inches away from his. Without thinking she leaned up and kissed him. Spike responded immediately and they fell back onto the bed where they made love with a passion and fire that neither of them had felt in a long time.

That evening, Buffy managed to lure two teenage boys back to the motel, which made an easy meal for her and Spike. They spent the rest of the night walking up and down the motel room, Spike leaning on Buffy when he was too tired to walk unaided. He could feel the strength returning to his legs slowly. It wouldn't be long now. As long as he fed regularly, he was pretty sure that his vampiric healing would do the rest.

******

Sure enough, a week later, and after regular 'training' sessions with Buffy, Spike was back to full strength.

"So what's the plan?" Buffy asked one night after an exhilarating hunt with Spike. It was good that they were finally able to hunt together again, she knew how frustrated he'd been while he'd been stuck in the chair.

"Simple, really," he replied. "We walk in. You kill Angel. I kill Dru. We leave."

Buffy raised and eyebrow in surprise. "You're going to kill Dru?"

"Bloody right I am! You think I owe her anything after the way the crazy bitch has treated me?"

"Fine, when do we leave?"

"No time like the present, pet. Sunset tomorrow."

Buffy nodded grimly. It was time to finish this once and for all.

******

"What the hell is that?" whispered Buffy to Spike as they crept into the mansion. It was about an hour after sunset and although there was no sign of Dru or Angelus, there was a large statue in the centre of the main room, a sword sticking out of its chest.

"That, my friends, is Acathla," said a voice from behind them. They both spun around to find themselves facing Angelus, who was smirking. "You picked the perfect time for our little reunion. We're about to unleash hell on Earth."

Spike rolled his eyes.

"I hear Hell's not all it's cracked up to be, mate."

"Shhhh," a voiced cooed from behind them. Buffy kept her eyes on Angelus while Spike turned around to find himself facing Dru. "Naughty Spike," she chided. "It wasn't nice of you to go away and leave our little family. I am very cross, and you shall have to be punished."

"Yes indeed, and he's not the only one who needs punishing." Angelus added, and with that he punched Buffy, sending her flying back. Dru seized that moment to launch an attack at Spike, hurling herself at him with such force that she knocked him to the floor.

Buffy and Angelus continued to fight, both of them easily matched and able to block whatever the other one dealt. Neither of them seemed to be gaining the upper hand and they continued to fight.

Spike managed to buck Dru off him and they too were more or less evenly matched as they fought. Finally after a few minutes Dru seized her chance. Dodging a punch, which Spike threw, she kneed him in the groin. Before he could recover she grabbed one of Angelus' precious Ching Dynasty statues and brought it crashing down on Spike's skull. He slumped to the floor, out cold.

Angelus, however, wasn't faring as well. Buffy now had him on the defensive, raining kicks and punches down on him which he could barely deflect. Finally, she pulled a stake out of her pocket. He couldn't help but grin.

"Still a little bit of the Slayer in you I see, Buff."

This only enraged her further and raised the sliver of wood, ready for the kill. At that point, Dru grabbed her and spun her around so that they were facing each other, making sure their eyes locked.

"Beme." she droned, wafting her fingers in front of Buffy's face. Buffy's eyes glazed over and she began to sway in time to Dru's movements. Her arms fell loosely to her sides and the stake she'd been holding clattered to the floor.

"Impressive," commented Angelus. "I never get tired of watching you do that."

Dru smiled but kept her eyes locked on Buffy's. Angelus' eyes flicked over to Spike who was still out for the count. No danger in that area. He then looked down at Buffy's stake but quickly dismissed the idea. Although there was a certain amount of irony in an ex-Slayer getting staked, he wanted her to die in style. Finally his eyes came to rest on the sword protruding from Acathla's chest and his face lit up. What a way to kill two birds with one stone, Buffy's death - again - would also see the opening of the portal to Hell. Plus, he couldn't remember the last time he'd decapitated anyone.

With three large strides, he was at the statue and he pulled the sword out, having uttered the incantation shortly before Buffy and Spike had arrived. He turned to walk back and noticed that Spike was on his feet. Before he could utter a warning, Spike had brought the same statue that she had used on him down on Dru's head, rendering her unconscious.

Buffy put her hand to her head as the fog that had been holding her lifted. Her eyes focused and came to rest on Spike was stood in front of her, he was bleeding from a head wound but other than that he seemed ok. Her gaze drifted past him and came to rest on Angelus who was stood a little further back, sword in hand. She moved Spike to one side, indicating that she didn't want him to interfere. Spike stepped back.

"Come on, Angel," Buffy coaxed. "Let's get this over with."

With a snarl he lunged at her, Buffy dodged his attack easily, grabbed his arm and sent the sword spinning across the floor. She then punched him twice in the face before he finally managed to free himself from her grip.

He gripped her forearms violently before she could take another swing at him and lifted her off the ground slightly so that she was on her toes, looking deep into her eyes and saw a hint of something. Was it lust? Her chest heaved taking in much uneeded breaths and the parts of her skin, which were exposed, were coated in a thin sheen of sweat.

Angelus smiled at her wickedly as he brought his head to kiss her. She gazed up at him, smiling slightly, waiting for him to bring his head down closer. When the timing and placing were right, she head butted him. He howled in pain and Buffy took the advantage. Stepping back, she gave him a scissor kick that made him do a 360, and then continued with two shots to the breastplate.

Angelus staggered back with each blow and the next thing he knew he had his back against Acathla, with nowhere else to go. Buffy smiled, knowing that victory was just a small step away. She looked around for a weapon to finish the job.

"Buffy!" called Spike, tossing her the sword. Buffy caught it and turned back to face her foe. What she wasn't expecting to see was the mouth of the statue open and a whirlpool type vortex start to form. Angelus seemed oblivious to this.

"Come on then, Buff, finish me off," he panted, exerted from the fight. "Still, at least I got a taste of you, I told you I would."

"Taste this!" she spat and rammed the sword into his chest. Angelus hadn't expected this, he thought she was just going to take his head off and have done with it. As it was, the pain was excruciating, and he realised that she'd intended this to be as painful as possible.

Spike watched the scene unfold with fascination, only to be distracted by a moan coming from the floor. Looking down he saw that Dru was beginning to stir. Not sure if he should knock her out again or not, he readied himself just in case. Her attention was on other things though. Seeing Angelus pinned to the statue and seeing the vortex forming behind him, she let out a loud cry and ran over to him. As she began to tug at the sword, Angelus peered over his shoulder and saw why she was making a fuss. Now he was starting to panic.

"Come on, Dru, pull it out!" he yelled.

"I'm trying." she whimpered, continuing to pull.

Buffy was about to step in and stop her when a white light resonated throughout the mansion. She shielded her eyes and when the light faded Dru and Angelus were gone, the sword back in the statue's chest.

"What the bloody hell happened there?" asked Spike who had walked over to join her, and was now voicing her own question.

"I have no idea," Buffy replied. "I guess they got sucked into that vortex thing."

"You mean they're in Hell?"

"I guess."

Spike shrugged. "Best place for them I suppose. Well, there's nothing left for us here. You still want to go someplace?"

Buffy nodded and wrapped her arm around his waist. Spike in turn put his arm around her and they walked towards the door.

"I hear Brazil's nice at this time of year."

The End