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The group of four made their way under what Darla knew to be the Crawford Street mansion. She’d made it one of her earlier missions to know and remember every square inch of the tunnels that ran beneath Sunnydale. She knew which houses had openings to the tunnels and she knew where the nearest manholes were for easy escapes. Luckily, she knew there was a direct trapdoor to the mansion that would bring them to the basement of the abandoned building.
“Isn’t this Angelus bloke her sire?” Spike asked Darla quietly. He wasn’t game enough to ask Penn anything, not trusting the male vampire for a second. Penn was upset and worried, a volatile combination that Spike was smart enough to avoid.
“Yeah, he is.”
“So…why’s her mate so worried?” Spike asked. “If he’s her sire, he won’t hurt her.”
Darla frowned, recalling the many occasions that she’d walked in on Angelus’ ‘training’ sessions with the blonde girl-vamp during the early years of Buffy’s vampirism. They’d been bloody and painful, and the unsoulled Darla had usually got a kick out of watching them.
“That’s not exactly true,” Darla replied. “He’d hurt her, alright. She’s been running from him for the last seventy five years.”
“What did he do to her?” Willow asked quietly.
Darla turned to face the gentle redhead, wondering if Willow truly wanted that question answered.
“You name it, he’s probably done it to her, and a whole lot worse. If you can picture the worst thing imaginable that a man can do to a girl and times that thought by about fifty, you might be somewhere close to what Angelus has done to her,” Darla explained. “And that little scenario would be a good day.”
Willow swallowed hard. She wasn’t particularly looking forward to meeting with Angelus. That little mental picture that Darla had just painted didn’t sound pleasant at all. No wonder Buffy had saved her the night before. The blonde vampire probably had a distaste for vamps abusing their victims before feeding.
Darla went silent and placed a lip to her fingers to indicate to the others that they shouldn’t speak anymore. She pointed to a trapdoor directly above them. Penn listened hard and nodded his agreement. He could hear voices above him, and he could feel within him that this was where he mate was.
“This is it.”
The group of four made their way up the trapdoor without being noticed. Angelus was busy taking his frustrations out on the shackled vampire, and Drusilla was dancing with one of her dolls that ‘spoke’ to her. Spike handed Willow a cross and a stake, silently telling her to stay out of the fight. She nodded, understanding his message, suddenly wishing she hadn’t volunteered for this.
Willow stayed behind Spike, knowing she would never win against the Scourge of Europe in a fight. She was also fairly certain that if the insane vampire in the corner turned her way, she’d be dead within an instant.
Penn stepped forward, his angry voice ringing across the room.
“That’s my mate, Angelus,” Penn said.
Angelus turned, a smirk on his face. He was still holding the dagger that he’d been holding to Buffy’s heart. “Penn! How wonderful to see you again. It’s been at least a two hundred years.”
“Unfortunate that it couldn’t be longer,” Penn replied. “Hand her over.”
“There’s no fun in that.”
Angelus scanned the group that lingered behind Penn. Darla with two humans, one with red head and the other was bleached blonde. The fiery red and the platinum destroyer. His eyes narrowed as he realised exactly who or what the bleached haired boy was.
“Slayer,” Angelus said.
“Poofter,” Spike replied easily.
Angelus smirked and quickly turned back to Buffy, throwing the knife towards her, hitting the girl directly in the heart. She cried out in pain, the first time she’d given way to him. Angelus grinned and turned back to the group.
Spike shifted his weight uneasily. Willow had gone pale and was staring at the knife that was now embedded in the other girl’s chest, a puddle of red beginning to stream out of the wound.
“I don’t seem to recall inviting any of you to this little soiree,” Angelus said casually. “Though I guess the Slayer and his girlfriend can join us for dinner.”
“You’re a sick man Angelus,” Penn said, beginning to step forward. Angelus backed up, until he was standing directly beside Buffy. He put a hand on the handle of the knife that protruded her chest.
“Think you’re fast enough?” Angelus asked challengingly. “Think you can save her.”
He twisted the knife mercilessly, Buffy again crying out in pain. Willow looked away, unable to watch anymore. Spike however couldn’t tear his eyes away from the scene. He’d never seen anything as horrible as what he was watching.
“What do you say Angelus,” Penn began. “How about a dance? Just you and me. We’ll finally see who’s got the biggest wrinklies.”
“Winner takes all,” Angelus said.
Penn nodded, fairly confident that even if he ended up losing, Darla or the Slayer would hopefully be able to take Angelus out.
Angelus smirked evilly and nodded. Without warning, he yanked the dagger out of Buffy’s flesh. Again, Buffy screamed, her breathing becoming ragged even though she had no need for breath. It gave her something else to concentrate on.
Angelus licked the blade clean and placed it back on the table. While his back was still turned, Penn rushed towards him, grabbing the slightly taller vampire by the scruff of his neck and sending him crashing forward, knocking over the table with the silver implements of death that he’d been using on Buffy. The table shattered beneath the weight of the dark-haired vampire.
Angelus growled and jumped to his feet, kicking Penn in the chest. Penn retaliated with a left hook followed by a right-handed backhand.
Penn was the stronger of the two vampires, motivated by the sight of his bleeding mate in chains, as well as stronger because of his age. He was over a hundred years older than Angelus and was far more disciplined in the ways of fighting.
Angelus was forced to his knees, and Drusilla rushed into the fight to help him. She scratched across Penn’s face with her long claw-like finger nails, leaving three deep marks on his otherwise unblemished skin. He pushed her towards Darla who grabbed hold of the brunette vampire.
Darla grabbed the stake from inside her jacket and went to plunge it into Drusilla’s chest. Drusilla realised what was going on and pushed Darla backwards, making her stumble into Spike. Spike caught her easily and kept Darla from stumbling to the ground. Spike quickly rushed forwards and hit Dru with everything he had. Drusilla wailed, a high-pitched squeal that made everybody in the room wince.
Willow had had enough and stepped forward, staking the insane vampire quickly. Drusilla’s eyes widened in fear and she let out another ear-splitting scream before she crumbled to dust, doll and all. Willow stepped back, shaking badly. She’d just dusted a vampire! Not just any vampire either! The Scourge of Europe’s second childe!
She could only hope that Angelus hadn’t been watching. Luckily for Willow, he was too intent on trying to gain the upper-hand in the fight with Penn.
Penn ducked under a punch and managed to hit Angelus with one of his own. Angelus stumbled backwards and fell over a piece of the table that he had broken earlier. With a sudden flash of inspiration he grabbed a piece of the shattered table leg and threw it, dead on target, at Penn’s chest.
Penn gasped as the wood penetrated his heart. He shot a look to his mate “Buffy!” before crumbling to dust.
Buffy struggled with her chains, trying to get to where Penn had only seconds ago been standing. Tears ran down her cheeks as she thrashed about, trying to set herself free.
“Well, would you look at that,” Angelus said casually, turning to Buffy, his back facing the Scoobies. “Guess that means I win, right.”
Angelus didn’t notice the Slayer advance behind him, stake raised. Buffy did however and fought to compose herself for a second, so that Angelus’ death would still be a triumph.
“Wrong,” Buffy replied.
Angelus’ face fell, and he suddenly felt a very close presence behind him. He turned and a stake entered his heart. Angelus, the Scourge of Europe and the most vicious vampire ever sired crumbled to dust.
Buffy broke into a bout of sobs, still pulling against her bonds, trying to get free so she could at least touch Penn’s remains. She didn’t believe it. Angelus had killed Penn! Penn was dead!
Spike managed to get the blonde vampire unchained, the girl practically falling on top of him, too weak to stand. She stumbled her way over to Penn’s ashes, touching them cautiously. The dust stuck to her bloody fingers, driving home the truth. Penn was gone.
She collapsed atop the dust and Darla raced to her, gathering the girl into her arms, rocking her back and forth gently as Buffy sobbed. Willow and Spike could only watch in discomfort as the tiny blonde vampire cried out her pain and anger for all the world to hear.
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