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Everything's Catching Up

After Wesley explained the situation to the group, and had their situation explained to him, he agreed to do the spell to protect the house.

Everybody stood in the living room, watching Wesley as he sat cross-legged in the middle of a circle of red sand. Flaming black candles surrounded him, and he read from a large must book. "Protege hanc domum, defendite his qui intus de periculo. Clausus malum de ingreditur. In hoc malum ex opposito domus. Protege omnes a nocentibus. Sic erit. Sic erit!"

The air stilled and Xander looked around. "Did it work?"

"Well something bloody happened. I can feel the magic in the air, its thick," Spike muttered as he eased himself onto the couch. "Better 'ave worked, Percy."

Buffy sat by Spike and rested her head on his chest. "I'm so tired."

Spike glanced at Xander, who was glowering at him from an armchair. "Well then, luv,

maybe we should take a nap." Spike pressed his long fingers against her neck, working out a kink.

Xander growled. "I thought we agreed no touching?"

Spike leaned his head down and trailed his lips across Buffy's neck. He nipped at her pulse point, earning him a soft gasp from Buffy. He glanced up at Xander. "No, Whelp, I believe you whined about us not touching. I never agreed to anything."

Xander drew in a deep breath. "I really don't like you. I hope something cuts off your-" A bang from outside interrupted Xander.

Tara moved to the window, peeking out front. "Th-there's a group of d-demons out there. I g-guess W-Wesley's spell worked, they can't g-get in."

Willow moved to her side, their arms brushed, skin against skin. Willow stopped dead and sucked in air. "Um…" She shook her head. "Can I see?"

Tara stepped aside, a light blush on her cheeks, and nodded.

Willow murmured her thanks, but kept her eyes on the window. "Tara's right. There's eight of 'em. Oh—Buffy, you need to take a look at the leader."

Buffy looked out the window. "Hey, that's the jerk that attacked us! He's the one who took Willow… the… other Willow."

Xander dug a sword from Past-Buffy's weapon chest. "Then we get the S.O.B., force him take us to Willow, and kill whoever gets in our way 'til we get her home."

Spike grabbed Xander. "Harris, think about it. You're a bloody human, they'll tear you apart."

"And Willow's just a human. She could be hurt, right now, crying out for us. We've gotta save her!" His voice chocked and softened. "I've gotta save her, she's my best friend, I love her."

"Oh bugger," Spike silently cursed. "Right then, give me a chance to grab a weapon, eh?"

Xander's mouth opened. "Y-you're going to help me?"

Spike scooped up a battle axe from the floor and tossed it from hand to hand before balancing it on the tips of his fingers. "Not in a bloody good condition, and I can't guarantee that I'll be able to save your arse, but I'll try."

"Why?"

"Can't you say thank you and leave it at that?"

Xander shook his head. "Thanks." He smiled grimly. "For Willow?"

Spike tapped his axe to Xander's sword. "For Red."

Buffy caught them just before they opened the front door. "Two things; One, do you think I'd let you go alone? And two, haven't you guys heard of the art of surprise? We're going out through the backdoor."

Spike smirked. "That's my girl."

Wesley stepped forward. "I'll come as well."

"Not a chance. Someone needs to take care of the girls."

"But—"

"No, Wesley. Stay."

Wesley sighed and went back to the living room. He muttered, "It would be better if I bloody well helped them."

Buffy looked to the others. "Ready?"

XxXxXxXx

Angel, Lorne, Illyria, Past-Buffy and Past-Spike made their way towards Revello Drive. Angel chuckled softly as Past-Spike, who had found his clothes, batted Illyria's hand for the fifteenth time.

"I'm warnin' you, you bloody loon, don't touch me, and stop callin' me your bleeding pet!" Past-Spike stomped his booted foot. He hissed in pain and grabbed his wounded side.

Lorne wrapped his arm around Past-Spike's back and helped elevate some weight. "Angelus did quite a job on you, Sweet Cakes."

"I swear, if I ever get my hands on him…"

Lorne patted his shoulder. "Poor Blondie Bear."

Past-Spike went ridged. "Where did you hear that?"

"From my little Harmonica," Lorne sighed. "So you don't want me to call you it either?"

"Bloody right I don't. Say it again they'll be finding your pieces for weeks."

Past-Buffy asked, "Aren't you supposed to have a soul?"

Past-Spike watched his boots as he walked. "Yeah, what of it?"

"You don't act like you do."

"What, I'm supposed to be cryin' about the evils I've done? Tryin' to kill myself maybe, or eatin' rats?"

She shrugged. "Yeah, something like that."

"Well it's not gonna happen, luv."

"Which is why I wonder whether you have a soul or not. The other Spike seems a lot more soulful."

Past-Spike shrugged Lorne's arm off and stomped ahead, ignoring the pain that came from the aggressive move.

"Great going, Buffy, you pissed off Spike," Angel said.

Past-Buffy whined, "Hey! I didn't mean to, but look at how he acts. Do you believe that he definitely has his soul?"

Angel nodded. "Yes, I do. Spike's a proud man. Do you actually think that he'd cry in front of you? Or me? Or anyone?"

"No," she admitted.

"You can tell that he's hurting. His voice breaks when he makes threats. He trembles, and his eyes are troubled. You just have to look close to see how bad off he's becoming."

Past-Buffy pressed her palms against her eyes. "Of all people, I never expected you to stand up for Spike."

Angel grimaced. "I know, but we're both souled vampires, we gotta stick up for each other, right? He deserves to be stuck up for, he's a good man, was even before the soul. Plus, you're not the Buffy I have to worry about."

"Yeah, I guess—"

Illyria interrupted Past-Buffy. "There are many demons ahead. Some are attacking my pet." She looked at Angel. "They will die for harming what is mine." The demigod took off, head first into the battle that was waging in front of Past-Buffy's house.

Angel looked out in the distance. Both Spikes, Buffy, Xander and Illyria were locked in battle with a group of demons.

"Buffy, Lorne, stay here, I'm going to—"

Past-Buffy took off full sprint in to the fight.

"Dammit," Angel cursed and started off after her.

Lorne shook his head. "I need a seabreeze." He sighed and started forward again.

XxXxXxXx

Buffy dug her axe out of her demon chest and glanced up to check on Spike and Xander. Xander was slashing at a twelve foot green demon that had pinned Spike against a tree.

"Let him go, dammit!" Xander growled and swung his sword at the demon's calf.

Instantly the demon dropped Spike and turned on Xander, swinging its massive hand at him. Xander yelped and dropped to his stomach.

"Over here, you barmy git," Spike yelled at the demon.

The demon moved back to Spike just as Spike swung his battle axe at it. The blade imbedded itself half way through the demons thick neck, orange blood burbled and slid down the body before it crumbled to the ground.

"Take that you nancy-boy." Spike put his hand out for Xander. "Thanks, mate, was in a-" A four legged demon with purple and pink fur hurled its self into Spike.

Xander went to help Spike, but before he could scramble to his feet, Past-Spike jumped on the back of the demon dog, and wrapped his arms around its throat.

"Wha-?" Xander muttered in confusion, but moved off to cover Buffy instead.

Spike jabbed the demon dog in the face with the handle of his axe. "Will you move your bloody arms so I can kill the blighter?" Spike yelled at his double.

Past-Spike's hands flashed out and latched onto the axe. He hauled it forward, burying it in the demon dog's collarbone. It howled and dropped limply to its side.

Past-Spike climbed off it smugly. "Guess my 'bloody arms' weren't a problem. Killed it, didn't I?"

Spike pointed behind his lookalike. "Can't rightly say you did."

The demon dog crashed into Past-Spike from behind and sent him sprawling to the ground. As soon as he was down, Past-Spike felt the weight of the demon dog lifted from him. He turned in time to see Illyria drop the headless demon to the ground.

"Right, thanks," Past-Spike said.

Spike flashed Illyria a smile. "Gotta say, it's nice to see you Blue."

"A filthy underling attempted to harm my pet. I took it as an attack against my power; that is all."

Spike scrunched his nose. "I bloody well told you that I'm not your bleeding pet."Illyria ignored Spike and grabbed a demon. "I do only what pleases me."

Angel yelled, "Duck!"

Spike dropped to his knees and Angel flew over his head, tackling a demon that was about to give Spike the axe.

In minutes the fight was over. Spike and Buffy leaned wearily against one another. Past-Buffy stood by Angel and Lorne, eyeing Illyria, who was hovering by Spike and Buffy. Xander was checking the bodies franticly, in search for the man who kidnapped Past-Willow.

Past-Spike hung back by the tree in Past-Buffy's yard. He leaned heavily against it, his head was spinning and his soul had caught up with him. He wanted to rest, he wanted to die, he wanted to break down in tears, but most of all he wanted was to be wrapped in somebody's arms. The most basic human instinct was the need to be held when emotionally or physically pained, and Past-Spike's need was so great he almost collapsed.

Past-Buffy caught movement from the corner of her eye. She turned and watched Past-Spike move down the street, toward town. Her eyebrows knitted together when she noticed he left a trail of blood.

"I—gotta go." Past-Buffy excused herself and went after Past-Spike.

Xander growled in frustration. "Dammit! Where the hell is that guy?"

Buffy looked around. "I don't see him, maybe he escaped." The thought made her lean heavier against Spike.

Xander's shoulders slumped. "Are we ever going to find Willow? I- I can't—"

A pop of lights flashed and Past-willow stood in the middle of the group. "Hey, guys, I've got some news." She smiled nervously, her eyes passed over the future and past scoobies and two vampire Champions. "Big news."

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