“Okay. Twelve of us. We don’t know how many of them,” Angel said quietly as they neared the cave.
“There’s going to be a lot,” Willow said. “Is everyone ready?”
“Are we just going to storm in there and start kicking ass?” Faith asked, swinging her hair out of her face.
“We’re going to be careful,” Buffy said.
“So this is what it’s like to have the fate of the world resting on your shoulders,” Gunn said, almost to himself.
“You get used to it,” Xander told him.
“I’m not sure I like this whole cave thing,” Cordy piped up. “I mean, there’s once entrance. We all go in at once, and you just know they’re going to have us surrounded.”
“We don’t have a choice, here,” Wesley said, sighing. “This is the best we can do. We just have to make sure we’re all ready to fight.”
“Are we?” Spike said, stepping up to the mouth of the cave.
“I think so,” Buffy replied, stretching. Okay. I want Faith and Spike to go in first, and Angel and I will bring up the rear.”
“I think I’ve changed my mind,” Dawn said quietly. “I don’t think I want to be here.”
“We’ll protect you,” Giles told her.
“Okay. Everyone ready? Remember, don’t do anything stupid. We all have to make it out.”
“Count of three,” Angel said, stepping behind the group.
“One…two…” Faith and Spike jumped up and ran into the cave. Buffy rolled her eyes. “Go!” The group stormed into the cave, and directly into a large, empty cavern. They all stopped, looking around mistrustfully.
“This can’t be good,” Tara whispered.
“We’re not alone,” Spike said, sniffing the air. “I can smell them. Vamps.”
“Lots of them,” Buffy whispered, grabbing her abdomen. “They’re all over the place. But where?”
“Spell,” Willow said, her lips barely moving.
“Of course. An invisibility…” Wes said before he suddenly went flying back.
“Crap! We can’t see them!” Buffy said, as an invisible fist swept across her jaw painfully.
“What do we do?” Faith cried, fists swinging wildly.
“Tara!” Willow cried as her girlfriend suddenly flew back from the force of an unseen hit.
“We have to cast a counter-spell,” Giles said, looking around wildly.
“Can you cast it?” Xander asked Willow.
“I…yeah! Just, give me a sec,” she said, thinking hard, looking around.
“It has to be now!” Angel cried as he swung his fist out, apparently catching one of the vampires.
“Okay, okay. Um…Appareo manifestus!” Suddenly, the group was greeted with the sight of about thirty vampires, surrounding them.
“Can we go back to not seeing them, please?” Xander said weakly. Faith stepped forward and plunged her stake into one of the vampires’ chests.
“I think it’s time to kick their ass,” Buffy said grimly, punching a vampire in the face.
“We’ve got to get to Kellan,” Willow said.
“Okay. Spike, get Willow and Tara through, deeper in. Kellan will probably be in another room somewhere,” Buffy replied.
“Right,” Spike replied, kicking out at one of the demons. Willow and Tara followed quickly after him.
“How many do you think there are?” Angel shouted as he ducked a punch.
“Thirty, maybe?” Wesley replied, his sword glinting in the faint light of the cave.
“Thirty. My lucky number,” Faith replied, striking out again.
“Let’s go, Bints! Hurry it up!” Spike shouted, kicking out wildly at one of the vampires blocking their way through the caves.
“We’re trying,” Willow said, running behind him. She looked at one of the vampires in their way. “Decolo!” she cried, and the vampire’s head was disconnected from its body, effectively turning it to dust.
“Watch it with that stuff!” Spike cried, staking one of the demons. “Don’t you be aiming my way, or you and Glinda’ll be lacking an escort.”
“We have to get through, Spike,” Tara said, still running.
“Yeah, yeah. Okay, tell you what. You go ahead, I’ll keep ‘em off your tail.”
Willow and Tara wordlessly ran ahead, leaving Spike to deal with the vampires. “Be careful,” Tara shouted back at him before they were out of sight.
“Can you find him?” Tara whispered when she and Willow found themselves alone.
“It shouldn’t be too hard,” came a deep voice from in front of them. The witches looked up, and right at Kellan.
“Kellan,” Willow breathed.
“It’s amazing,” Kellan said, a chuckle in his voice. “I thought perhaps you’d be smarter than to try and take me on alone. Or at all.”
“Suffoco,” Willow said, intending to use her magic to stop him. Nothing happened.
“Did you think you were stronger than me?” Kellan laughed. “How quaint. You have no power over me. I command the greatest magics. Perhaps if you’d taken the time to learn more about me, you might have had a chance. But you don’t.”
“Why did you bring us here?” Tara asked.
“Because I need you. To do my spell. It’s ironic, isn’t it? You’ve come, thinking you were going to stop me. When it’s your lover’s powerful blood that I need to complete my spell.”
“My blood?” Willow replied, taking an involuntary step back. With a wave of his hand, Kellan literally froze her to the spot.
“Why, yes. You’re the key, Willow Rosenburg. You’re going to kill all of your friends.”