In for a Penny...Part IX

Suggested theme...Extremis...(Adagio for Strings)

The gang is driving to meet Giles...Well above the speed limit...

"It'll be alright..." Xander tells them... "Darla...old news...Buffy can handle her..."

No one wants to argue...

It's not really Darla I'm afraid of...thinks Spike...

He, even better than Giles, is aware of the leading cause of Slayer death...

***
Two vamps attack desperately as Buffy reaches the top of the stairs...She's smashed a chair leg
before coming and uses it to stake them...

She enters the room...still feeling Buffy Rebecca's presence...

"Dad?...Dawn?..."

The room is pitch black...

"Buffy...I'm so sorry we had to meet again under such sad circumstances..." Abigail...

"Who are you?..." I know that voice now...Buffy thinks...But her head is beginning to ache
again...

"The one who is going to reunite you with your family...And after you did so much to destroy
mine..."

"Darla..."

She struggles to see in the darkness...But she can feel the lethargy creeping over her again...

"It's so good to be remembered...I was beginning to think you'd forgotten me..."

Buffy Rebecca flows over her... "Buffy, don't get too close to her...She's protected somehow..."

"Where's my dad...my sister?...Give them to me and I'll let you go..."

A soft laugh...

"They're right here..."

A light snaps on...She can see Dawn on a table...not moving...

Something...someone is bending over her...

She runs towards Dawn...Two more vamps attack from the shadows...She stakes them barely
stopping...

And now she can see what...who is attacking Dawn...

She hears a scream and knows it's Buffy Rebecca...And herself...

She raises the stake...trembling...At Hank...

He moves toward her...and she can see Dawn's blood on his teeth...

"Buffy get out of here...Buffy..." Buffy Rebecca faintly pleads with her...But she is as much in
despair as her sister...They have failed...

"Dad...Dad...I love you..." Buffy pleads...Hank grabs her firmly...She can do this...She can kill
this thing...It is not her father...

Darla watches, hidden in the shadows...

But Hank Summers' soul makes one desperate effort to save his daughter...For just one moment
she can see him in his eyes...

"Buffy...go..."

It was exactly what Darla had been hoping for...Counting on...Even a weak fool like Hank, she
knew...Instinctively?...A last memory from her old life?...Had her father tried to save her?...

She couldn't remember...but somehow she knew he'd try...And that would be the Slayer's death
knell...

"Daddy!...Oh...God..."

Spike had once warned her that Slayers die when the loneliness, horror, and despair catches up
with them...And when death becomes a release...

Now Buffy Summers had reached that moment...Buffy Rebecca as well...She was after all,
Buffy...

He pushes the stake from her trembling hand...Dawn is motionless, already dead?...

"I know sweetheart...I know...It's all right...all right..." He bites her...

I'm sorry Daddy...I'm so sorry... was her last thought before she became unconscious...

Suggested theme...Darla's Triumph...Buffy's Demon (O Fortuna)
***

Darla pulled the slow Hank off his unconscious daughter...He'd never finish the job if she left
him to it...Besides...this was her moment of triumph...She threw him back and he returned to
Dawn...

Darla bit Buffy firmly but almost gently...Drusilla, released by the others, came over slowly,
pleading gently...Just for a taste...a little, little taste...Spikey always found Slayer blood
soo...Darla waved her in and Dru bit Buffy as well...Then Darla opened a vein and completed the
process...
***
Buffy died ten minutes later...Dawn, still fed on by her father, continued to linger, slipping
away...

***

In for a Penny...Part X

***
Drusilla was nervous...Something felt wrong about the new sister...to be borne so
soon...Something...

The Bad One...and...another Bad One...Not ready to go...No...

And her dolly...Still not dead?...

Darla let her open a vein and feed Dawn...She was puzzled by Dawn's resistance to death as
well...

Well...Hank Summers...failure as a vampire as well as a man, she thought...But still...Even after
she and Dru...She looked at Dawn...Strange...

Buffy transformed...

***
Giles had nearly reached the "restaurant"...

He could see that most of the lights were out...And he spied Hank's rental car in the lot...All of
the others had disappeared...

Sunnydale vampires liked their cars...And had had no intention of leaving them behind...

***
Dru approaches...Buffy draws back...

Dru screams in fright...No...

She looks at Darla who is shocked...Dru is just too spoiled she thinks...It's time she had to share
the attention with someone else...

"She won't go...The Bad One...and the other Bad One..." She shakes at Darla...

"Forgive Dru, Buffy..." Darla gently tells the quivering newborn vampire... "She's just afraid of
your old self..." She tries to touch Buffy who pulls back...frightened...

Not surprising, Darla thinks...My soul fought a little last time as well...Just a little patience and
her demon will win out...as always...

A few good kills will settle the matter...

And it will be nice...her retaining some humanity...Not like crazy Dru...Someone to talk to about
the bad dreams...the attacks of shame...

Someone who'll understand those flashes of humanity that are so painful...

She brings a cat she's kept just for her new daughter over to Buffy...No need to push her too
fast...

"You need to feed, sweetheart..." She offers the cat...Breaking open a vein with her nail...

She can see the demon rising in Buffy's eyes...But...even she can sense...Something unusual...

Buffy grabs the cat and drinks...

Dru, still frightened...The Bad Ones will not go...She crouches by the back window...

And spies Giles in the parking lot, making his way to the front door...
***

"The Watcher..." Dru calls out...

Darla goes over to her window...Buffy remains...trembling ...

Suddenly she jumps over at Dawn, throwing Hank back...

"Buffy..." Darla calls...Well, if she wants to start with Dawn...but she can't be allowed to try and
finish her...It's too soon...

Then she sees Buffy's face...Human with hideous anger...Even Darla feels a clot of fear...

Buffy picks up Dawn...

"Get away from my sister..."

Hank cowers and runs to a corner...

"Buffy...Buffy...She's our sister too now..." Darla tries soothing her and Buffy calms a bit but
her anger is still visible...

"It's all right...You can have her..."

Buffy looks at her, and holds Dawn tightly...

Darla is surprised to see that Dru makes no protest about her "dolly"...She is still really
frightened...she notes...

Buffy lays Dawn down gently...

"Let it come Buffy...Just let it come...Let go..." Darla tries again...

Buffy jumps at them, in a killing rage, and Dru screams...

Not a jolly time at all...

Suggested theme...Darla and Dru (Girls Just Wanta Have Fun) ***
Giles is rattling at the front door...

No luck...
***
Suggested theme...Darla's Triumph...Buffy's Demon (O Fortuna)
Darla realizes now that something is definitely wrong...And in her fright, Dru becomes a little
more lucid...

"She won't leave for our sister...Neither of them..." She jumps back from Buffy...Who lunges for
her...But stays near Dawn...

"We're going to kill you, Darla..." Buffy says to her...

We?...Someone else is there?...Her mother?...Darla has heard of deceased relatives summoned to
a new vampire, helping the human soul to fight for a brief time...But there was no time to
summon Joyce...

Still whoever it is...no one outlasts their demon...even with help...

And a Slayer's demon at that...

However Darla also knows the better part of valor...And backs far off...

***
No one without a chip that is...

"Dr. Walthrop" and his assistants had reached the "restaurant" parking lot...
***
Giles had broken into the building...No sign of anyone so far...

They heard him moving around...Looking for more light...

Darla thinks...A good kill...that all she needs...Besides...the more human...the more
suffering...All the better...Let her mother or whatever it is prolong her agony...

"Buffy..." she calls to her...Still protectively hovering over Dawn...

"Giles is here, Buffy...Don't you want to see him?..."

Buffy looks at her...Giles?...

They watch her run to the stairs...

But Dru is still shaking in fear...
***
Cordelia and Wesley were closing the office for the evening...

Wesley showed her the card Angel had sent... from Nepal... "Greetings to you...From
Kathmandu..."

"Cute..." Cordelia said...Nepal...I thought he was in Tibet...

She had a vision...

Buffy, a vampire...attacking Willow...Spike...defending Willow?...Spike?...

The sad story of Spike's redemption had not yet reached them...

She told Wesley...

"If Spike is defending Willow against Buffy...Your vision must be backward...Willow must be
the vampire..."

"But...Spike's chip?"

"I never had much faith in that thing myself...At the Watchers' Council you heard about things
like that all the time...People are always trying to cure their vampire relatives...Never works
permanently..."

He pauses...Well...

"Excepting the boss of course..."

"Either way...We'd better call Giles..."

***
In for a Penny...Part XI

"Giles!..." Buffy and Buffy Rebecca screamed out to him from the stairs...

Suggested theme...Extremis...(Adagio for Strings)

He didn't need her to tell him what had happened...One look...

He approaches her...She waves him back desperately...The demon is rising inside...

"Go back, Giles!...It's too late..."

But she was still there...Not off to limbo...Could there still be a chance?...

"Buffy...let me help you..."

"Buffy Rebecca is here..." She points at herself... "Buffy is trying to hold on...She's helping
me...We can't hold the demon down..." Both were trying to speak at once...

"Dawn is upstairs...Not dead yet...But you have to...get help first...I can't..."

Her face distorts...

"Giles...go now!...I'll try to keep Dawn safe..."

He nods and moves back slowly to the door...I've failed her, but this is not the time...not now...

"Giles...my father...he tried...please...help him..."

"I will, my dear child..."

She runs back up the stairs...

She and Buffy Rebecca may not be able to hold the demon...but they can redirect its rage...

After all...it just wants...survival first...and, second, to hunt and kill...And is not particular about
who or what it kills...

***
The gang found Giles at the door...shaking...

Spike knew immediately...but...Giles was still alive...

He told them...

Buffy Rebecca inside her...helping...

There might...just might be hope...
***
Darla hadn't survived for so long in her first time by not taking precautions...She and Dru had
moved to the window...To await Buffy's return...If she had made her first human kill, all well
and good...If not...

"Grandmother...I want to go...She's the Bad One still...And the other Bad One..." Dru pleads...

Buffy comes running back...And halts, looking for them...

She sees Dawn...still motionless...So helpless...So...

"No..Buffy..." Buffy Rebecca pleads...They force the demon back, trying to focus only on Darla
and Dru...

Hank is still cowering in his corner...

Seeing Darla and Dru...The three Buffies in one... leap at them...the demon sister happily in the
lead...

Darla and Dru break through the window, and land on the grassy field below...They run off to the
nearest trees, pursued by Buffy...Buffy Rebecca...and their demon...

***
The gang charges up the stairs, hearing the breaking glass...

Dawn...somehow still alive...Barely...

Spike sees Hank in his dark corner and motions quietly to Giles...Don't let them see this...

Giles has them take Dawn downstairs...and returns to join Spike, "searching" the upper floor...

And they fulfill Giles' promise to Buffy...
***
Darla and Dru lost Buffy in the woods and, killing a passing motorist who stopped for
them...returned to LA...

Darla was still fairly pleased...She had all but destroyed the Slayer...In fact, her agony would be
even greater than her own...And, in time, with kills...The demon would win out...

Dru sobbed...A very bad night...And no dolly...

Darla cheered her by reminding her how terrible Spike would feel...And Buffy's friends...

Besides...they'd be coming to them...They'd want to try to save Buffy...not just to release her
soul...And there was only one way known...

Proprietary property of Wolfram and Hart, Inc...

***
They took Dawn to the Magic Shop...She needed more than medicine could provide...But there
was someone they could call...Who was a trained doctor...

Benedictus was still at Sunnydale Hospital, arrangements for him to join Glory and Dreg in the
Byzantines' monastery in Greece not yet complete...

If ever there was need for a god of Mercy and Healing...

***
In for a Penny...Part XII

Ben had hurried over to the Magic Shop...He was understandably nervous but they greeted him
as warmly as they could under the circumstances...

After all, he'd spent over a thousand years trapped on Earth as a mortal to prevent its destruction
by his raging sister...And here he was again, ready to help in any way...Even if his sister was a
maniac...

You had to cut a guy like that a break...

***
While Ben did what he could for Dawn...

Suggested theme...Scooby March (The Great Escape)

Giles, Tara, and Willow began tearing books and computer records apart to find anything that
might help Dawn or Buffy...

And Spike consulted with his fellow "cybergenius", Warren...

They had Buffy's last neural recording...Was there any way they could help strengthen Buffy's
hold over her demon...Could they somehow block the demon...A chip, maybe?...

All of this left Xander feeling helpless...And enraged...

He'd known this would happen...someday they'd lose her...And what help we all were to her...

Anya tried to comfort him...

He pulled away and went over to Dawn and Ben...

Ben looks at him...He's not a god of Mercy for nothing...And one didn't have to be to see what
Xander is going through...Able to do nothing...

"What's your blood type?..." he asks...

"O negative..." You keep track of things like that when you work in the Slayer business...

"Then we're in luck...get on that table..."

***
Buffy found herself back in Sunnydale...walking down a street she didn't know well...

She'd lost Darla and Drusilla...And gone blank to find herself here...But...

Maybe...maybe it was all a dream...

She felt like Buffy...Not like a monster...

Then she heard Buffy Rebecca speaking to her...No dream...

"Buffy, we should go to the crypt...wait for Spike...He'll come...While it's quiet..."

She knew what "it" was...Now at last...she knew...
***
There was a movie house on the street...showing older films...

Suggested theme...The Godfather

Somehow she couldn't bring herself to follow BR's advice just yet...She needed...No...

She looked at the posters... "The Godfather" was playing...

"Neat film...you going in?..." A short guy...about her age...looking at her...

She brushed a little grass off her dress and smiled at him...

The demon was raging...demanding...Buffy Rebecca's pleading voice faded...
***
The film was running...

Stu, who had met Buffy outside...was only to happy to take a seat with her in the back row...Not
often a pick-up worked out so well for him...

She seemed a little nervous...He decided to take it slow...
***
Dawn was fighting for life...

"Her life force must be exceptional...To lose all that blood..." Ben reflects to Giles who had
come over...

The unquenchable force of Glory's Key...now strengthened with two pints of grade A Xander...

But still contaminated with Drusilla's blood...

***
Suggested theme...Darla's Triumph...Buffy's Demon (O Fortuna)
Buffy was weakening...She couldn't hear Buffy Rebecca...And it was the demon's time...
Stu could see that this girl was ready...for a little Stu action...He reached over...

That stupid grope was perhaps the smartest thing Stu was ever to do in his life...

"Let go of me!...Get out of here!...Get out!" Buffy raged at him...Tossing him out of the seat and
to the floor...

"For Christsake!?..." Stu looked at the gaggle of grinning faces...The crazy...She was gone...

Buffy had run to the ladies room...Buffy Rebecca calling to her...But the demon was strong and
raging...

In the ladies room she looks at the mirror...and a demon face appears...Her demon... "This time is
mine..." It says to her...And Buffy Rebecca's voice faded, pleading...

A horrified shriek...A large middle-aged woman looking at her "face" in fright...Buffy returns to
normal and looks coldly at the woman...large...frightened... The demon exults...

She killed the woman and leaving her body in the room, headed for the street...

***
Giles had gotten Wesley's message about Cordelia's vision from his answering machine...It
made sense...If the demon won out, even for a brief time...It would only be logical for it to try to
destroy those most likely to have any hope of driving it back...

As Angelis had killed the gypsy leader to prevent him from restoring Angel...

***
The demon was quiet again...Buffy could hear Buffy Rebecca...not accusing, just frightened for
her, pleading...Blocking her from slipping away...

"Let me go..." Buffy begged her... "Let me die...I want my mother...My dad...Just let me die..."

"It won't be that way, Buffy...We know that...You'll be trapped in limbo...Watching it use your
body...Until...someone releases you...or they can restore you..."

"Buffy, I can't hold it back alone...It's not my body...You have to stay and fight with me..."

They headed for the Greenwood crypt...Dawn was not that far away...

***

Warren had gone to get his blood synthesizer from their office...The model he'd constructed for
Spike, based on the one he'd installed in Buffy Rebecca...In case Dawn needed more blood...

Spike stood by Dawn, watching her...

He couldn't lose her...Fail Buffy Rebecca on his first time out...

But...Drusilla's influence was still strong...Dawn's teeth had sharpened...

And she remained unconscious...
***

Willow was watching him...As she paused from the frantic search...

Poor Spike...So desparate to save Dawn and Buffy...From the same curse...

Now she knew why William the Bloody constantly baited Slayers...Threw himself in their
path...Hoping that one would be strong enough...

And why he had called out to Buffy...

Would Buffy be like that?...soon...Attacking them constantly...Doing whatever she could to get
them?...To release her...

Giles had warned her of Cordelia's vision...She agreed...It was only logical that demon Buffy
would come after her...

After all she knew one way to drive the demon down...Not that she wanted to put Buffy through
Angel's torment...Now that she understood it better...

Even with Spike and Drusilla, Willow hadn't been able to bring herself to do that...

But maybe there might be a way to use the curse...temporarily...

Warren and Spike meant well...but it wasn't likely they could catch Buffy long enough to install
a chip...Even if the "cybergeniuses" could come up with one...

If she could help Buffy...And Buffy Rebecca restrain their demon sister...Just until they could
find an answer...

No, she couldn't call "it" that...Not a sister...And yet...the demon was Buffy, too...

She knew in her heart it was true...
In for a Penny...Part XIII

Suggested theme...The Greenwood crypt (Love Shack)

Buffy and Buffy Rebecca had reached the Greenwood crypt, BR's old home with Spike...The
demon had not fought them, it being near dawn...Its primary interest, even over killing, was
survival...

As much as it was pure instinct, the demon was clever enough to wait...and listen...

BR feigned confidence to Buffy...But they were both Buffy and both couldn't help
wondering...would he figure on them being here?...

He could be a little dense at times...

Buffy and Buffy Rebecca waited...for Spike...
***
Wesley had reached the office early that morning...And looked through the mail...

A letter for them...from Buffy...? Wesley was startled...But, probably a thank-you for the
flowers...

To all of them, but especially to Angel...Telling them of Buffy Rebecca...And Spike...

Spike?...Redeemed?!...By a robot copy of Buffy?!!...Think of him as Buffy's "brother-in-
law"...?!!!

This is as crazy as Angel's Tibetian excursion...

He checks the answering machine...Giles, calling for any information on Darla...Buffy
transformed...Watch out for her...Dawn near death...

A lot of news to pass on to the boss...

***
Buffy Rebecca was getting impatient...Where was that idiot vampire of hers, anyway?...Where
else did he think they would be hiding?...

"Buffy...I may have to go...to get Spike...Find out what's going on with Dawn...Can you hold on
without me?...You've got to..."

"I can try...But if someone else comes?..."

Buffy Rebecca decided to give Spike a few minutes longer...

His willingness to wait for all eternity for her was all well and good...But a little common sense
right now...
***
Darla returned the Montir pendant to Wolfram and Hart, reaching them via sewer and basement
tunnels...

She reported her success with the Slayer but held back most of the little details...Like the Slayer's
soul's refusal to hand over control...

She didn't mention the possible actions of the Slayer's friends...No need to get the firm all stirred
up...She wanted Buffy's friends...especially Spike and with luck, Angelis...to get a chance...Just
enough to put them in her...and Buffy's demon's power...

Besides, a periodic shake-up of personnel at Wolfram and Hart seemed good for the company...

***

Buffy Rebecca's "confidence" in her former in-live was actually justified...He was planning to
check out the Greenwood crypt...In daylight...when Buffy would be trapped...

Courtesy of Willow and Xander...and a bandaging worthy of "The Invisible Man"...

But first...they had to have a plan of action...And...the strain of the night was getting to his
human compatriots...

"Willow, can you do anything with that curse?...Can Buffy's demon be restrained?..." he asks
her...

Willow is exhausted but hopeful...She has some ideas...

But Xander has reached the edge...Buffy's demon?!...Buffy's?!

"That thing is not Buffy!..." he yells at Spike...

Anya tries to calm him...After all, honey...

Spike looks at him coolly...

"That thing knows everything about everyone of you...Everything Buffy knows...It knows...And
it will use that knowledge anyway it has to to survive..."

Xander has had enough...

"You oughta know... I'm surprised you're not with her right now...It's what you've always
wanted isn't it?..."

"Xander..." Willow tries to stop him...
"You and your Darla...your Grandma...You did this to her..."

He pulls up to Spike...

"You thing...you..."

Spike grins at him...

"Harris, you can be such a clod..."

Xander whales him one...Spike goes down...

He turns to the others...

"I've had enough...Buffy is dead...I don't want anymore of this...If I see her, I'll stake her...That's
it..." He heads for the door...

Giles tries to stop him but he leaves too quickly...

Anya runs after him...

Spike staggers up, regaining consciousness...The bandaging at least offered some protection...

"Is Harris feeling better now?"

***
Giles decided to take Spike over himself...It was best that Willow keep working and Ben might
need help with Dawn...

Besides...Xander would return...and it would be easier for him if he only had to apologize to
Willow and Tara...

"We both failed her, Rupert..." Spike says quietly through his bandage cocoon as they drove
toward the crypt...

"I appreciate your concern, Spike but I have no intention of drinking myself to death, or any other
form of suicide, if that's what your thinking...At least not until we've exhausted every possible
avenue..."

Brit pluck...thinks Spike...Nothing like it in the world...
***
Giles agreed to wait outside while Spike checked...

Inside he found a trembling Buffy...Again in mourning...

But as sad as she also was...Buffy Rebecca couldn't hide her joy at seeing him...

Suggested theme...Come Softly to Me
Especially in those ridiculous bandages...
***

"If Wolfram and Hart could resurrect Darla...We can save you..." Spike tells Buffy...

Buffy Rebecca does her best to support the idea and strengthen her sister...

"I killed a woman last night..." Buffy says quietly...

"No..." Spike says firmly, looking at her...

"No..." Buffy Rebecca echoes...

"Can you just stake me?...Let me go...To Mom..."

"What about Dawn, Buffy?..." Buffy Rebecca inside...

"What about Dawn?..." Spike asks, not able to hear...

"If she lives...you'll all take care of her...It would have happened anyway...It's my fate..."

"Girl, if I chose to believe in fate..." Spike looks at her, frowning...

"Listen to him, Buffy..." Never thought I'd say that about Spike...Buffy Rebecca thinks...

"You aren't a killer, Buffy Rebecca...I'm a monster now..." Buffy looks in despair at her hands...

Spike is having some difficulty following the Buffy-BR talk as he can't hear BR when she
doesn't speak through Buffy...But he makes the best of it...

"If you were a monster...you wouldn't know it...The killing would be perfectly natural to you..."
Spike tells her...

After all, he is an expert...

Buffy Rebecca thinks...She is Buffy after all...

"Did you ever think Spike would be trying to comfort us over our killer instincts?..."

Buffy laughs a bit...

"You know...Willow is right...You two do make a nice couple..."

***
Willow is speaking to Wesley over the phone from the shop...

"But can you tell me anything about how they resurrected Darla?..."

"Only that she was human when their ceremony was finished..." Wesley tells her...

"We have to get that ceremony...Whatever it takes..."

"Can you still control Buffy?...Will she come here with you?..." he asks.

"I don't know...But we'll find a way...We'll come soon as we can..."

"I'll try to reach Angel...He's still trying to get information on Wolfram and Hart from the
Tibetian monks..." Wesley says good-bye and hangs up...

Tibet?...thinks Willow...

***
In for a Penny...Part XIV

Suggested theme...Scooby March (The Great Escape)

Xander sheepishly returned from his "walk" a few minutes after Willow had finished her call to
Wesley...

Ben, still tending the unconscious Dawn, did his best not to notice anything...

Anya, tactful as always...

"Willow, Xander wants to apologize for abandoning all of you..." She pushes Xander...

"Xander would never ‘abandon' us, Anya...We understand how he feels..." she grins at Xander...

He swallows... "Will, is...what's his name around?..."

"Giles took him over to Greenwood...But he did want to know if you felt better after socking
him..."

Wouldn't mind another chance actually...Xander thinks...

Giles called to say that they've found Buffy...with Buffy Rebecca still protecting her...

He has a construction job for Xander...
***

Giles cautiously enters the crypt...Spike and Buffy are talking...
He makes a short throat clearing sound to alert them...

Buffy runs back to the ladder descending into the depths of the crypt...She can't face Giles...And
she fears for him...

Giles halts and tells Spike that Xander is on his way...And that Wesley and Cordelia have been
alerted...He calls to Buffy that Dawn is still the same, but no worse...

Then he leaves to await Xander...
***

Spike is finally getting a chance to tell his Leningrad war stories...Buffy is so desperate for
distraction...

"You met a Soviet Slayer?...And Stalin?... You never told me..." Buffy Rebecca speaks through
Buffy...She is a little guilty...Maybe she should have listened to his stories before...But she didn't
think they'd be so...

"Well, sweetheart...you didn't have time to listen before..." Spike is getting a little back...
So...she didn't think his stories would be quite so...

Buffy, feeling a little better, can't help making a wordless crack to BR... "Starving Russians...no
wonder he went after Nazis..."

Although it's exactly what she had said to Spike when he had tried to start his story in earlier
days...BR can't help being a little defensive...

"Well, Buffy...he still could have been killed..."

Just what I would do...if it were Riley or Angel...Buffy thinks...My God, she is me...
***

Xander arrived with enough materials to build several homes...He and Giles set to work at once...

If Buffy was to be transported to LA...With a raging demon inside her...They would need
something sturdy...preferably wooden...

***

Warren had returned to the shop...

Ben was suitably impressed by Warren's blood synthesizer...Perhaps it might offer a chance for
Dawn...If they could remove all the blood tainted by Drusilla...And if she could survive the
procedure...

With Warren back...Willow gave her notes to Tara and headed over to the crypt...She had a
procedure of her own to try...

***

Wesley briefly reached Angel by phone in a small town on the Nepalese-Tibetian border...

"Wes...Great to hear from you...How's things..." Wesley could hear Angel shouting...

Over a very static-filled connection, Wesley tried to give Angel the bare details...

"Buffy's been what?...Say that again Wes..."

"Transformed, Angel...Transformed..." Wesley shouted into the phone...

"Sounds great...Glad she's recovering from her Mom's death...Well, gotta go...The Lama is
giving me an audience in..."

The connection broke down...

***

Inside the crypt, Buffy had grown quiet...Spike could sense a battle was beginning...

He tried to keep her talking...Or at least to keep Buffy Rebecca talking...

Not a difficult task...with two Buffies on hand...

Buffy was still curious...Did Spike sense his own demon? He seemed to have only one person
within...Yet...even before the chip...He had an unmistakable degree of humanity in him...And
now, even considering the change in him...He was still Spike...How was that possible?...

Buffy Rebecca found herself interested in that as well...

"I don't know...I've never really sensed a separate person within me...Maybe I was a bad lot from
the start...Maybe my demon has been so much a part of me that I've never noticed..."

"But...you were a good person, Will...And you are now..." Buffy Rebecca, supportive spouse...

"Sweet, if I knew the answer to these questions...I could probably help Buffy right now..."

Buffy resumed the conversation...

"Will, does that mean that I will merge with my demon?..."

"We won't let that happen, Buffy..."

"But I can feel it pulling inside...And when it's dark again or I need to feed..."

Spike grinned...Dr. Walthrop the "cybergenius" can handle this...

"Here, whenever you're ready...Courtesy of Warren..." he hands Buffy a blood packet...

She looks at it...fearful...

He's goofed?...He reassures her quickly...

"It's artificial, Buf...Same system Warren designed for my own true...To keep me in line..."

A great man that Warren...

***
Willow arrived at the crypt to find Giles and Xander hard at work constructing...a coffin?...And
not an ordinary coffin...

"The outer box has secured stakes running to the inner coffin...er..chamber...After we perform a
sealing ritual no vampire would try to break through it...It should even hold a Slayer's demon..."
Giles told her...

"You may not have to, if this restraining spell works..."

***
Willow entered the crypt...Buffy backed away...

Spike motioned to Willow...Careful...

"Hi, Buffy...and Buffy Rebecca..." Willow called to them...

Buffy looked at her... Spike...and Willow could sense the demon rising within her...

Before they could do anything to calm her, she attacked...

***

In for a Penny...Part XV

Suggested theme...Buffy's Demon (O Fortuna)

The demon within had sensed the threat Willow represented and was determined to survive...

Spike managed to throw Willow off to the side and grabbed Buffy...

To his surprise the chip fired...mildly...

Buffy Rebecca was calling to Buffy...But the demon was enraged and determined...

She threw Spike off and lunged at Willow...

***
Giles and Xander, hearing the sounds had run over to the entrance...

Buffy, in "demon" face was on top of Willow...Spike threw her off...And Willow rolled over to
the side...

Giles sprayed the area in front of Buffy with a small spray gun...Water?...thought Willow...Oh...

Holy water...

Buffy dropped back and the face receded...

"Will?...I'm sorry...I couldn't..." Buffy looks sadly at her friend...

"It's alright, Buffy..." Willow shaken, moves a little toward her...

Spike rushes in and blocks her...No...

Buffy charges with a hideous snarl...But she can't get through Giles' barrier...

Willow drops her head, horrified...and sorrowful...

But she has a job to do...

***
Willow met with Giles and Xander outside...Spike remained inside with the shaken Buffy...now,
seemingly, herself again for the moment...And in despair...

"It's based on the gypsy curse...but it should only help to hold the demon down...not drive it
out...And it won't last..." Willow told them...

"But it could help us get her to Los Angeles..." Giles nodded...

Xander wonders...He has to ask...

"Why not just do the curse?...At least...She'd be free of that thing..."

"She'd still be a vampire, Xander...Is that what you want?..." Willow looks at him...

"Well, can't you remove it...when we find out what the folks at Wolfram and Hart did?..."

"The curse was meant to be permanent...There's no guarantee we could remove it...And whatever
the Wolfram-Hart people did, it's almost certain the curse would screw it up...In ways I couldn't
imagine..."

***
"Spike...I'm sorry..." Buffy Rebecca...back and ashamed at her failure...

"Nothing to be sorry about, dear heart..." Spike smiles at her...

"I didn't realize how weakened Buffy was...And how prepared the demon was...for Willow..."

"Can Buffy speak?...Let me talk to her..." Spike asks...

"Spike...thank you..." Buffy, weak but Buffy still...

"Slayer, I expected more from you than that...BR can't do it all alone, you know... And after all
that self-righteous Slay speech down through the years..."

She manages a weak grin... But she's angry now...The Slayer is not about to surrender to a
vampire demon, even her own... She will not give Darla that satisfaction...

Willow re-enters, cautiously and begins the ritual...

Buffy smiles at her...Willow grins back...And the demon is held...

***
Just before dusk they crated Buffy in her new coffin and box and loaded it into Xander's truck...

Spike came out just after dark...

And they headed out to LA...
***
Lilah Morgan, dressed to kill, as always...headed for her car...was congratulating herself on her latest coup for W-H, the acquisition of a Scroll of Immortality...guaranteed by its vampire discoverer to confer immortality on any human reader...

She never noticed the gentle-looking young red-haired woman across the street...Or her pale,
blond-haired companion...

***
Willow knew that this was crossing a line...To help Spike put a human being in thrall, even an
employee of Wolfram-Hart...

But she was determined to save Buffy Summers...If it could be done...And these were the people
who had made Buffy's suffering possible...In many ways worse than Darla herself...

And Spike, while possibly, with concentration...and at considerable cost in suffering...able to bite
Lilah...could not fight and restrain her...

***

Buffy was in the basement of the building of Angel Investigations, secure for the moment in the
specially built coffin Giles and Xander had built...Her demon repressed by Willow's temporary
version of the gypsy curse...And her robotic sister with her...

As was her ever-faithful Watcher...

Cordelia was present as well...and reeling from the weight of events...

Spike, now a trusted ally, Buffy's "brother-in-law"...Risking his existence to save Buffy...

"Husband" to her robot sister...now dead but guarding her transformed sister in spirit...

Buffy, a vampire...Killed in part by her own father...Barely restrained by Willow's efforts and her
"sister"...

Buffy's sister Dawn...facing her own death and transformation...

Well, at least Cordelia didn't know about the Key thing...
***

In for a Penny...Part XVI

Ben was hopeful...He'd replaced Dawn's Drusilla-tainted blood with Warren's artificial cocktail
four times...And included a few cleansing rituals for the victims of vampires that he had run
across in his plus 1600 years of medical practice...

Dawn's teeth had returned to normal...and she was sleeping, again, normally...He and Warren felt
she could be moved to Sunnydale Hospital where Ben could continue to control her care...

With Dawn relatively safe in Ben's charge, Warren felt free to act on his own initiative to help his
friends...Locked in their terrible struggle with the forces of evil...

He had decided his friends needed a powerful ally...One with three times the normal strength of a
Slayer...

The Greatest Slayer of All Time was about to rise again...
***
Giles and Cordelia tried to speak to Buffy in her box...She and Buffy Rebecca called out to them
from time to time, trying to reassure them...

But Willow's spell was fading...

Giles could sense Buffy becoming more tense and agitated...He was prepared for this...The
demon knew all too well the danger it faced...

"Giles!..." Buffy screamed... "I've got to get out...Let me out!..." She banged against the coffin...
"Please, I can't stand it in here!..." On and on...

Cordelia couldn't take it anymore...

"Giles, we have to help her!..." She went to the box...Buffy screaming for help...

Giles pulled her back...

"Cordelia, I will break your arm if you try to open that box..."

***
Suggested theme...Extremis...(Adagio for Strings)

Lilah found she had made a ridiculously wrong turn...into an blind alleyway...Without thinking...

Two idiots blocked her way out...A young red-haired woman and a pale, blond young man...

They weren't moving...She got out and stared at them...

"Do you know who I am?" Lilah looked contemptuously at the young woman...Who simply
stared back at her...

Yes, Willow thought...I know who you are... Someone who caused all of this suffering...Buffy,
Dawn, their father, even Darla...And not even for anger or revenge like Darla...Only for a little
money and power...

Do you even remember my friend's name?...

She smashed at Lilah's jaw and knocked her unconscious with one blow...

Spike was quite impressed...

Willow smiled at him as he stared at her...Gentle Willow...

"In for a penny, in for a pound..." She grinned at him...

What a vamp Red would have made...he thought...

***
Spike bent over the unconscious Lilah...Paused...and paused...What had happened to him?...He
could do this...He just needed to get in character...He had to do this...

Thank the powers that be...Those lovely...characters...Their delightful, jovial boss...who seemed
to love this...Sentencing William Walthrop to eternal hell for bad poetry, condemning Buffy
Summers for succeeding all too well in the fight against evil imposed on her...Robbing them of
their loved ones...And now, not even allowing Walthrop to make use of the curse placed on
him...to save the innocent woman God had demanded so much of... What a charmer...What a
card...

"If you won't let me do this...Give me five minutes alone in a room somewhere with You...so I
can smash your smug, self-satisfied face in, You miserable..."

His "demon" face came back to him and he was able to bite her...
***
After she had recovered a bit, Lilah moved her car and then came back with them to Angel's
building...

She was extremely eager to impress her new employers...And was quick to suggest ways to
penetrate Wolfram and Hart and obtain the information on the resurrection ceremony...

And naturally she was quite enthusiastic to be fighting on the side of right and good...

So much better than evil...

And if Spike asked her to murder a room full of five year olds, she'd do it happily, sighed
Willow...
***

***

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