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Since When Do Vampires Use Those?

Spike watched Past-Dawn from the doorway of her room. She laid on her bed with her back to him, but he knew she was crying, he could smell her tears. "Niblet, mind if I come in?"

Past-Dawn shrugged and pulled her knees to her chest. "I don't care."

Spike sat on the edge of the bed and rubbed Past-Dawn's shoulder soothingly. "We'll get him back."

Past-Dawn rolled to face him. "He's my best friend. I can't lose him. I've already lost-" her voice caught in her throat.

Spike scooped Past-Dawn into his arms. He ran his hand up and down her back as she nuzzled her face into his neck. "It's okay, Dawn, I know what he means to you. You won't lose anyone else, I swear, Dawn. No one else is leaving your life."

Past-Dawn sobbed into Spike as she gripped his shirt in her hands.

Spike's ears perked up as foot falls approached the room. He glanced over his shoulder in time to see Past-Buffy step in to the room.

"How is she?" Past-Buffy looked into Spike's eyes.

"She'll be okay when her bloody pal is returned safe and sound."

"What if we don't-" Spike cut her off

"We will get the bugger back." Spike hugged Past-Dawn a little tighter and whispered to her, "We will."

Past-Buffy shook her head. "What if Angelus already killed him? How can you know that we'll save him?"

Spike kissed the top of Past-Dawn's head. "Made a promise to a lady; one that I plan on keeping."

Past-Buffy moved to her sister's side. "Dawnie? I'm going to need Spike if we want to get... Spike back? We should assign nick-names."

Past-Dawn removed herself from Spike and dried her eyes. "Okay, just get him back to me."

Spike squeezed her shoulder. "You gonna be okay?"

Past-Dawn nodded. "Yeah, you go save my friend." She smiled sadly at Spike. "My other friend."

Spike kissed her forehead. "Right, coming down, or stayin' here?"

Past-Dawn blushed. "I'll stay here and listen to my boy bands."

Spike shuddered. "Play it quietly, maybe my vampire hearing won't pick it up."

Past-Dawn raised her eyebrow. "Does my music scare the big bad Master vampire?"

Spike smirked. "Your music and the your sister are the only things that can. I'll probably have nightmares about being a part of one of your girly, boy bands."

Past-Dawn smiled brightly. "I can see you dancing on stage already!"

Spike groaned and rolled his eyes. "Remember when you made me dress up in the god awful outfit to meet your friends last summer?"

Dawn giggled. "You looked great! All of my friends were drooling over you."

Spike chuckled. "Yeah, well I better get brain stormin' if we want your other friend back." Spike patted Past-Dawn's back. "Come down if you get tired of nancy sounding boys, and bad music."

Dawn scooped up a disc and popped it in her player. "Never gonna happen."

Spike shook his head and followed Past-Buffy out of the room. "Night, Dawn." He closed the door.

Past-Buffy stared at Spike. "How do you do it?"

Spike quirked his scarred eyebrow. "What?"

"I talk to Dawn, and all I get is the teenager treatment. You put down her music and she's batting her lashes at you. How do you make her smile?"

Spike slung his arm over her shoulders. "Easy, I'm like her older brother, only she can show me off to all her mates. Plus, we got pretty close, during the summer."

Buffy jogged up the stairs. "What's taking you two so long?"

Spike walked over to Buffy and wrapped his arms around her waist. "Just calmin' the Bit a little."

Past-Buffy shouldered her way past Spike and Buffy and stomped down the stairs. "We should get on with it."

Everyone collected in the living room. Spike sat sandwiched between Dawn and Buffy on the loveseat. Xander, Anya and Past-Buffy sat on the couch and Tara and Willow sat on armchairs.

Willow snuck a glance at Tara, her heart ached. Why can't I sit with her? Willow asked herself. Because she freaked when you attacked her with love earlier, her annoyingly intuitive inner voice answered.

Tara looked over at Willow. "Does- does something h-happen to me? I-in the f-future I mean."

Willow gazed down at her hands. "Yes."

"What?" Tara asked.

"You… die." Willow closed her eyes on the tears, and shut them out before they started. "Warren does- did it. Where I come from that is."

Xander sprung from his seat. "Then we'll stop him!"

Past-Buffy nodded. "Duly noted. But unless it happens today, it gets set on the backburner. First we save Willow, then soul Angel up, then get Spike… the other, not so present Spike."

Spike shook his head. "Not a chance. Angelus is up to something, and probably torturing the prat as we speak. Soul Angel, get me out of where ever he is, then save Red."

Xander stuck his finger at Spike. "No way, ass. Willow first, the Fang gang second."

Spike bit back a crude comment about Xander's nether regions, and took a deep breath. "Listen, I promised Dawn that we'd get her mate home safely. The lack of a soul made Angelus real unstable the last time he lost it, he could be doing anything right now, there's no way of knowing how bad the damage is without checking it out. He needs to be souled."

Willow shook her head. "I'm using too much power keeping the portal open."

Buffy waved her hand in the air. Wait, wait, wait. I thought Dawn kept the portal open?"

Willow sighed. "She helps, and from our dimension I can use her to open the portal, but it still takes my power to do this. I can't split it, or our gate will close."

Dawn spoke. "But can't you use me to reopen the portal?"

"Yes, the portal to this dimension, not to ours."

"Yeah, but what about the other me?"

Willow shook her head. "You're the Key, you're essence is… multidimensional."

Buffy raised her eyebrows. "explain-y?"

Willow rubbed her temples. "I used the Key. The Key breaks dimensional barriers. The Key's essence is exactly same. Just like gods." Willow glanced around the group; annoyed that Spike and Anya seemed to be the only ones to understand her.

"What about Glinda?" Spike asked.

Tara stuttered and shook her head. "Wi-Willow is the strong one. I c-can't do that m-agic yet."

They heard the front door crashed open. The door splintered against the wall, and sent pieces of wood flying.

Angelus' voice rang out, his body hidden by the wall that separated the two rooms. "Who missed me? Be honest now, don't be embarrassed."

Both Buffy and her double leapt to their feet and advanced into the front room. They stopped beside the stairway.

Angelus pulled a pistol from behind his back. He leveled the barrel at Buffy. "I thought that you still might be a bit sore, so I got something to settle everyone's nerves. How does it work?"

Spike moved into the room and placed his body in front of the gun. "Gonna shoot a vampire, mate? Think it will help? Can't kill me with that toy."

Angelus pushed his tongue against his cheek. "Ya know what? I really can't kill you. Thanks for pointing that out." He squeezed the trigger.

The bullet tore through Spike's thigh. A second hit him mid ribs on his left side, and a third went through his throat and hit Buffy in the shoulder.

Spike fell to his knees; one hand clutched at his neck, he used the other to brace himself.

Buffy leaned against the stair railing as Past-Buffy zipped into the living room. "Do vampires even use guns?" Buffy asked Angelus. "It seems wimpy to me."

Angelus rolled his shoulders. "What can I say? It was three to one, and not in my favor." Angelus moved to Spike and kicked him in the face.

Spike's head flung back and he fell backwards. He coughed out blood and gritted his teeth against the pain.

Angelus spun and backhanded Buffy as she jumped at him. He kicked her in the side and brought his foot down on her back. "That was fun, but next time I go with the gun." He whistled as he strolled into the living room. He dropped into a crouch as an axe flew towards his head. He pointed the gun at Dawn, but kept his eyes on Past-Buffy; who stood a foot from him with an axe in hand. "How many of your friends do you think I can kill before you stop me?"

Past-Buffy looked around the room. Her friends and Dawn all sat in the same spots they were in before. She glared down at Angelus. "What do you want?"

"You could start with dropping the axe, and not on my head or your sis gets it."

Past-Buffy dropped the axe at her side. "What now?"

Angelus stood up. "Now," He whacked her in the side of the head with the butt of the pistol. "you come with me." He kick her in the head for good measure.

Xander jumped at Angelus. "Bastard!"

Angelus fired twice. Both shots slammed into Xander's right shoulder. "You're all very lucky that I'm letting you live… for now."

Anya glowered at Angelus from Xander's side. "Why are you letting us live? I've heard stories about you, you're not a 'leave survivors' kinda vampire."

"Not that we're complaining!" Willow added.

Angelus picked Past-Buffy up and tossed her over his shoulder. "I'd rather Buffy kill you herself. Ciao." He turned and glided out of the house and disappeared into the night.

Anya held Xander's head to her chest. "We must get Xander to the hospital. It's custom to do so after one is shot."

Willow grabbed the phone. "I'll call an ambulance."

Buffy poked her head into the room. "Is there still Slayer blood in the freezer?" Her voice was pitched with worry, and her eyes burn with fury.

Tara nodded. "I- I think s-so. I'll get it. I-is Spike…?"

Buffy shook her head and fought back the need to scream. "I don't know. He's lost a lot of blood, he's sheet white and not responding."

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