Giles was researching again. Sometimes it seemed as if that was all he did. He sighed and took a sip of his tea before turning the page of an ancient book.
He had received a rather disturbing phone call earlier that day from Joyce Summers. Buffy was missing.
It also seemed as if there were vampires operating in Seacouver and Buffy had managed to run into them. That, at least, wasn't surprising. The Slayer attracted demons like a magnet.
Her Watcher was worried. He knew that Buffy was more than capable at handling the more mundane threats of the twentieth century. She could fight lesser demons without even breaking a nail most of the time. She only had trouble with the more powerful ones.
Giles sighed again and turned his attention back to the book he was supposed to be reading. He translated the words slowly. They were in an unusual dialect of Greek that he had trouble with.
He was reading them in a half doze until he finally realized what they said. He stopped short and his face became a shade paler.
"Oh dear," he murmured.
"Drive, drive!" Duncan shouted to Joyce. She fumbled with the keys while he pulled his car door shut, then locked it. Joyce started the car and slammed her foot on the gas just as the pursuers reached the car.
They had been attacked by vampires. Joyce had gotten away without injury, though how she did it, she didn't know. Duncan, on the other hand, didn't. He had been the hero and tried to save his damsel in distress. He quickly realized that their attackers weren't normal, a fact that was confirmed when the vampires put on their game faces.
It was then that Duncan decided running would be their best option. He had shouted at Joyce to get to the car and tossed her the keys.
They made a safe getaway and had been driving for a few blocks before Joyce slowed down a little. She glanced over at Duncan.
"You're hurt," she cried out, worried. She pulled the car over to the side of the road.
Duncan's shirt was soaked with blood. He looked down at it, worried. "I'm fine," he started to say.
Joyce interrupted, "We have to get you to a hospital."
"No," Duncan shouted a little too loudly and quickly.
"Duncan, you're bleeding badly. You need to get a doctor to look at it."
"No doctors," Duncan insisted.
Joyce relented, but added, "At least let me look at it."
She leaned over and pulled his shirt back before Duncan could object. She stared at the wound with frightened fascination as it healed before her eyes. She finally pulled her eyes away from the spot where the wound used to be. Joyce was so shocked she couldn't even speak, only stare at Duncan in horror.
"I can explain," he began.
"Oh my god," Joyce said as soon as she found her voice again. "You . . . you," she stuttered, "What are you?" She backed away instinctively.
Duncan closed his eyes, sighing. He gave into the inevitable and began to tell Joyce his secret. "I am an Immortal," he said. "I was born in Scotland in 1592 and I cannot die."
Joyce was staring at him again. "That's impossible," she said.
"You saw what happened," Duncan reminded her. "You saw my wound heal. I can't get hurt, I can't get sick, I can't grow old. I'm Immortal."
"But how's that possible?" Joyce asked. "I mean," she couldn't think of anything to finish her sentence so she just repeated, "How's that possible?"
"I don't exactly know," Duncan admitted. "I'm not sure anyone does."
"You mean there're more like you?" Joyce asked.
Duncan nodded, "Hundreds, probably. I'm not exactly sure how many."
"Of course," Joyce said. "There would have to be more people like you." The shock hadn't been letting her think things through, but when she thought about it, Duncan's answer made a lot of sense.
"Did Tessa know?"
Duncan felt a flash of pain go through him at the mention of this dead fiancée's name. "Yes," he said simply. "I told her just before we moved in together."
"Oh, I'm sorry," Joyce said when she realized the pain she made Duncan feel. "I shouldn't have brought her up."
"No, it's okay," Duncan reassured her.
Joyce didn't bother asking why he hadn't told her before. She knew from first hand experience that those with secrets to hide rarely told anyone unless it was absolutely necessary, not even their own mothers. Besides, she and Duncan weren't even that close.
Duncan sat thinking for several minutes while Joyce drove on in silence. The he frowned, suddenly remembering the reason Joyce had found out about his immortality. "Who attacked us, and why?" he wondered aloud.
Joyce glanced at him, puzzled. She had assumed he knew. "Vampires," she said, matter-of-factly.
Duncan scoffed at her. "You don't believe in them, do you?" he asked in disbelief.
"I don't really have a choice," Joyce muttered before saying louder, "I'm taking it you don't."
"No. They're just a silly superstition. A real vampire would be impossible."
"Are they any less impossible than men who live forever?" Joyce asked him.
"No," Duncan admitted, "But what proof do you have that they exist? In my four hundred years, I have only seen fakes."
"Not anymore," Joyce told him. "Those things that just attacked us were definitely vampire."
"How can you be so sure? Have you ever even seen one before?"
"Yes," Joyce said, "Actually, I have."
"What," he asked. Joyce could tell Duncan didn't believe her and that bothered her a lot.
"Plenty of times," she answered defensively. "What? Why do you believe in people that live forever so easily, but think demons can only be something from fairy tales?"
Duncan looked uneasy at the mention of demons. "I never said I didn't believe in demons, I just said I've never found anything that proved to me vampires exist."
"Well, you do now. Those things that attacked us were vampires."
Duncan decided to suspend his disbelief for the moment so they could actually do something other than debate the existence of the creatures of the night. "Okay, let's say vampires do exist," she started, putting up his hand to stop Joyce's protests. "How do you know that those things that attacked us were them?"
"Their faces, mostly," Joyce said.
"Their faces?" Duncan repeated.
"Didn't you see them?" Joyce asked. "They were rather unique."
Duncan had seen hem, but their unusualness had momentarily slipped from his mind. "Yeah," he agreed, "They are. How'd you find out about vampires?"
"Buffy is a vampire slayer."
"Buffy is a what?" Duncan exclaimed incredulously.
"A vampire slayer," Joyce said again.
"How'd she get to be a vampire slayer?"
"I don't know exactly," Joyce admitted. "She was born one, or something, I think."
"Yes. In every generation there's one vampire slayer. She's the only one with the strength to kill vampires, or something like that. I wish Giles was here. He'd be able to explain better than I can."
"Who's Giles?" Duncan asked.
"The school librarian. He's also Buffy's Watcher."
"Watcher?" Duncan all but shouted. "Her Watcher?" he repeated, this time trying and almost succeeding in keeping the surprise out of his voice, making it sound like an idle curiosity. In reality, he was very interested in finding out if Giles was Joe's type of Watcher, and if he was, why Joe had never mentioned vampires or slayers before.
"Yeah. He trains her and researches the demons and other stuff like that. Buffy always goes to him to find out what she should do. He always seems to know exactly what's going on."
No, Duncan decided, Giles was definitely a different type of Watcher. He obviously never had to take the non-interference oath.
"What he the person you called this morning?" he wondered.
"What did he say?"
"He doesn't know what happened or what to do," Joyce said, tears threatening her again.
"I thought you said he always knows what to do?"
"No, I said he always seems to know. There's a difference. He said he would look in his books, but he didn't sound too hopeful. I'm supposed to call him again tomorrow morning if Buffy still hasn't shown up."
"So until then there's nothing we can do." Duncan said.
"Not unless we find out where the vampires Buffy went after are."
"What makes you think Buffy went after vampires?" Duncan asked.
"I saw her bracelet this morning in the alley way and that girl was killed by vampires. I'm guessing that Buffy came across them and followed them back."
"I don't think so. If Buffy is with the vampires, I really doubt it's of her own free will. Something must've happened in the alley. Adam's sword was there and he would go anywhere without it." As soon as he said that, Duncan could have kicked himself. He rarely made slips like that. The events of the last 24 hours must have been getting to him. There was no need to tell Joyce about Adam, but it was too late now.
"His sword?" Joyce's voice rose an octave higher on the last word.
"Yeah," Duncan said casually, as if carrying a sword around was an everyday occurrence. "Adam's an immortal, too."
"He is?" Joyce asked, shocked. She knew there were others, but she didn't really expect to know any at all.
Joyce continued, "Do you carry a sword around too?"
"For protection," Duncan said without elaborating. He didn't really want to explain the Game to his friend.
"What do you mean?" Joyce frowned.
"It's a long story." Duncan looked at Joyce's resolved face and sighed. He knew she wasn't going to give up until she had the whole story. Resigned to the fact his secret was now going to be out in the open, he began to explain. "What I said earlier wasn't entirely true. There is one way I can die. By beheading."
"Beheading," Joyce interrupted, her voice and her face mirror images of disgust.
"Yes, beheading," repeated Duncan patiently. "The sword is to protect myself from those who want to kill me."
"Who would want to kill you?" Joyce asked, puzzled.
"For my Quickening." At Joyce's blank look he explained. "Every Immortal has a power, a life-force, that is released when they are killed. The Immortal who kills them gets this power. It's called a Quickening."
"Do you mean that you immortals go around chopping each other's heads off?" Joyce exclaimed.
"Some of us do," Duncan said. "Most of us just live a relatively normal life, only fighting if they're challenged."
"So you have to carry your sword around with you at all times," Joyce half asked, half stated.
Joyce continued. "And you saw Adam's sword in the alley."
"So if, as you say, he wouldn't leave it behind if he could help it, something must have happened to him in the alley," Joyce concluded, her face pale once again.
"Yes, and since he left with Buffy, I think we can safely assume that she's with Adam."
"But we don't know where Adam is, so that doesn't help us at all," Joyce said, the frustration clear in her voice.
"Okay, so we know there were vampires involved. They killed that girl in the alley," stated Duncan.
"Right," Joyce agreed.
"And we know that Buffy and Adam were in the alley. The police found his sword and her bracelet. And that also proves that they didn't willingly leave the alley because Adam would never go anywhere unarmed. So, unless something else turns up, I'd be willing to bet that whatever vampire or vampires that killed that girl also took Buffy and Adam."
"But why would they do that?" Joyce asked.
"I don't know. You're the vampire expert here."
"Not really," Joyce said. "I don't really know anything about vampires."
"But your daughter's a vampire slayer. You have to know something."
Joyce laughed bitterly. "Buffy doesn't tell me anything. The only reason I even know is because a vampire attacked and she dusted it right in front of my eyes."
"Dusted it?" Duncan asked, startled.
"Put a piece of wood in its heart and it burst into dust," Joyce elaborated.
"Does anything else kill a vampire?"
"Umm," Joyce thought for a minute about what her daughter and Giles had told her. "Sunlight. Beheading, too, I think. Holy water and crosses hurt it, I know. I think that's it."
"That's what I've heard. Then they'd need a place to keep their coffins during they day."
Duncan regarded his friend curiously and not without some annoyance when she burst out laughing. "What!" he demanded. "What's so funny?"
"Vampires don't sleep in coffins," Joyce told him.
"But they do in all the movies," Duncan protested.
"Well they don't in real life. But they do need a place to keep out of the sun," Joyce responded.
"Let me guess," Duncan said dryly. "They often have their secret lairs in abandoned warehouses. It seemed like all bad guys, in real life and in stories, favoured abandoned warehouses. Duncan wasn't at all surprised when Joyce nodded.
"Yep. And sewers, too, apparently."
"Sewers?" Duncan was surprised at that. He didn't think any creature other than a rat would want to live in a sewer.
"They're supposed to be good for staying out of the sun and a great way for getting around the city."
"I suppose," Duncan said doubtfully, "But I don't really think these vampires are living in the sewers."
"Then that leaves warehouses. We should start looking. There can't be that many in Seacouver."
"You'd be surprised," Duncan muttered. As hopeless as it sounded, searching the empty warehouses of Seacouver seemed to be the only option right then other than sitting at home and doing nothing.
"Here," Duncan said, "Give me the keys. It'll be easier for me to drive there myself."
Joyce gave him the keys and they switched places. Duncan started the car and began driving. He said, "You do realize that there isn't much chance we'll find them like this. Not to mention the fact that even if we do, it's extremely dangerous."
Joyce cut him off before he could say anything else. "This is my daughter we're talking about," she said. "I don't car how dangerous or how much of a wild goose chase this is. I'm not going to sit around and do nothing. So don't even think about trying to talk me out of doing this."
Duncan did think about it, but wisely kept his mouth shut. In his four hundred years he had seen fierce maternal instincts and knew better than to fight with a woman whose child was in danger. It was like talking to a brick wall. Actually, a brick wall usually listened more.
So they began their most likely futile search for Buffy and Methos.
"Shh," Methos said, putting his finger to his lips. He waved his hand, motioning Buffy to stay behind him. She did.
Now that they had stopped, they could hear the frantic footsteps of the searching vampires coming closer. Buffy and Methos turned around and hurried back down the hall, ducking into a room while the vampires passed.
"Another one," Buffy whispered in disgust. "How many of these guys are there?"
"Too many for my taste," Methos responded, also whispering. "It looks like they're all searching for us, too."
"Why couldn't they just leave us along," Buffy moaned softly.
"That would be too easy. It never happens that way in real life. Murphy's Law," Methos whispered with fake cheeriness.
"It's a stupid law," Buffy grumbled.
"Well, I didn't write it," Methos said. He decided to get back to the topic at hand, "So what are we going to do now? They seem to be wherever we go."
Indeed, they did. Three times already had vampires come across the fugitives. Now armed, Buffy was able to kill them before they could give the alarm. Luckily, the vampires were searching in groups of only two, sometimes three. Buffy knew she would be able to handle larger groups, especially considering most of these vampires seemed to be young, but it would be hard and would take too long. So far, none had expected Buffy or Methos to fight back.
"Why are you asking me?" Buffy asked.
"Because," Methos reminded her, "You're the one who insisted on leading."
"I did not," Buffy protested.
"Well, I take it back," Buffy said, a little childishly. "There seem to be vamps wherever we go. I don't want to be blamed for running into them again."
"No, instead you're going to make me lead so you can blame me if we run into vampires," Methos said.
Forgetting to keep her voice down, Buffy said, "You did it to me!" He had, too. Each time they ran into the vampires, Methos reminded her which one of them had suggested that way.
"So, it doesn't mean you can do it to me," Methos retorted, also temporarily forgetting the need for silence.
"That's hardly fair."
"Life's not fair."
"Oh, shut up," Buffy said viciously. "Shut up and pick a direction."
"I can hardly do both." Buffy glared at Methos. He decided to stop wasting time and answer her question. "Well, there are vampires everywhere we go. We know we can't escape the other way, so we may as well keep on going the same way we were."
Buffy realize the logic in what he was saying, but refused to tell him that. She was still mad that he seemed to blame here for running into the vampires. It wasn't like she wanted the demons to find them. But the way he was acting, you'd think she did.
If she had known more about Methos, she would have found out the reason that he had been acting like he had been was because he had known other Slayers. He knew of their abilities. He knew that Slayers had the ability to sense vampires, a talent that wasn't one of Buffy's strong points.
In fact, if truth be told, she sucked at it. There had never been any real reason to improve that sense. Living in Sunnydale she always had more than enough targets who would put on their game faces and real their demonic identity at the drop of a pin.
Most other Slayers, on the other hand, lived at one point or another in their lives, in a place with a lot fewer vampires that were more cautious about showing themselves. These Slayers needed to hone their sense to find any vampires.
Of course, Methos didin't know this. He thought Buffy was just being careless. That was why he was so annoyed when three times Buffy led them straight into vampires.
They continued along the maze of halls for another half-hour or so. True to her word, Buffy mocked Methos when he led them straight into two vampires. After she staked the, of course.
They hadn't seen or heard any vampires for a full ten minutes when Methos suddenly felt a familiar presence. An Immortal was nearby.
Buffy looked at him, startled, when he sword softly cursing their luck. Methos had seen Immortals that worked with vampires before. It was always an ugly sight and never a good thing, especially for him.
"What is it?" Buffy whispered urgently.
"Quick," Methos said, not explaining. "We have to go back."
"No," Buffy said stubbornly. "We've already been that way. There's no way out back there."
She started to go forward, but Methos stopped her.
"Don't be an idiot," he said as he pulled her back. We can't go that way."
"Why not?" Buffy asked, her jaw set with determination.
"Because," Methos lied, "There're vampires that way." He continued to pull Buffy back the way the came.
"There are not," Buffy said. She pulled away from him and started walking in the opposite direction.
"Are too," Methos grabbed Buffy again and tried to pull her back. It didn't work this time.
"Stop it," Buffy said. "There aren't any vampires that way."
"How can you tell?" Buffy asked.
Methos hesitated and Buffy continued before he could come up with a good answer. "You can't," she said. "If you could, you wouldn't have let us walk into all those others."
Once again Methos was interrupted before he could respond. This time it wasn't his companion who kept him from talking. It was voices. Vampires were coming from the direction in which they had come. The direction Methos had wanted to go two seconds ago.
"Hurry," Buffy whispered and she pulled Methos down the hall towards the other Immortal. She dragged him around the corner, coming face to face with the other Immortal.
"Mom?" "Buffy!" "Methos!" "MacLeod?" the four of them shouted at once. Then, almost in unison, Methos and Buffy yelled, "What are you doing here?"
"Buffy," Joyce exclaimed. "Are you okay?" She ran over and hugged her daughter tightly.
"Yeah, I'm fine, mom," Buffy said, struggling to get away from her mother. "But what are you doing here?"
"Looking for you," Joyce said.
"How did you find us?" Buffy wondered.
"You're sure you're not hurt," Joyce asked.
"I'm sure, mom," Buffy said again, exasperated. "But, what are you doing here?"
"We here to rescue you," Joyce said.
"I think what Buffy meant was how did you find us?" Methos said.
"Well, it was actually dumb luck," Duncan admitted. "We were searching all the empty warehouses of the area. This one had a lot of activity going on considering it's supposed to be abandoned, so we decided to check it out."
Methos sighed. Only MacLeod would stumble across this almost by accident. "Why were you searching empty warehouses?"
"We were looking for you," Joyce answered.
"No, I meant why were you looking in empty warehouses?" he repeated, stressing the last word.
"Well, Buffy says that vampires often hide in warehouses."
"Of course. Buffy says vampires hide in warehouses," Methos muttered. He saw Joyce about to explain so he quickly said, "Never mind." Then, to Duncan, "I thought you didn't believe in vampires."
"Well, I had a change of heart," Duncan admitted.
"You guys are so going to explain after we leave," Buffy said.
"What happened to you?" Duncan asked.
"Long story short, we were kidnapped by vamps, escaped, got lost, found you. Now, we can leave," Buffy chirped.
"Okay," Joyce said. "So, which way do we go?"
Methos and Buffy stared at her. "You don't know?" Buffy asked in a weird voice.
Joyce and Duncan exchanged a guilty look. "Well, umm," Duncan started, "We kind of got lost on our way in."
"You kind of got lost. Perfect," Buffy said.
"How did you manage to get lost?" Methos asked, annoyed.
"When we first got in, someone spotted us and chased us for awhile. We managed to loose him, but lost our way as well," Duncan explained.
"We were trying to find our way out when we ran across you," Joyce added.
"I guess you don't know the way out, then," Duncan said.
"If we knew the way out, we wouldn't have wandered around the place for the last four or five hours," Methos told them angrily.
"Look," Buffy said, "Let's not get into a fight here. Mom, Duncan, can you remember anything?"
They both shook their heads. "Okay," Buffy continued. "I guess we just have to keep going the way we were."
"Which is?" Duncan asked.
"Guess and hope we get lucky," Buffy said in mock cheerfulness.
"Are you serious?" Joyce asked in disbelief.
Buffy and Methos nodded solemnly.
"So, MacLeod," Methos said. "Which way shall it be?" Neither Buffy nor Methos wanted to lead, knowing the other would jump all over their mistakes. MacLeod didn't know this so he gladly took lead.
"This way, then," MacLeod said, referring to the direction from which he and Joyce had just come.
"Let's go then," Buffy said.
"There they are!" a voice shouted. The entire group turned towards it and saw three vampires running towards them.
Buffy responded immediately. She aimed her crossbow and let loose the arrow. Right away she reached for the quiver on her back and took out another arrow. She loaded it and shot it at the second vampire. It missed his heart, embedding in his shoulder.
"Damn," she swore as she prepared her third arrow.
Meanwhile both Duncan and Methos had drawn their swords and Joyce had taken out a cross. Both men headed for the two vampires. Duncan managed to swing twice before one of the vampires kicked his sword halfway across the hall. Methos, who knew how vampires fought, stabbed one through the heart.
It laughed. "That won't kill me, you stupid mortal. Only wood kills me."
"Beheading does," Methos said. He pulled out the sword and quickly beheaded the demon.
"Duck!" Buffy yelled. Methos did and Buffy shot another arrow right over his head. This one got its target. It exploded into dust.
"I see why you say you 'dust it'" Duncan said. He picked up his sword and examined it, making sure it was okay.
Buffy ignored him, instead turning to Methos. "Don't block my way," she said.
"I was killing a vampire," he said.
"I could have done it myself," Buffy responded defensively.
"Really? You could have fooled me. I never knew a vampire's heart was in his shoulder."
"Oh, sorry. I missed one shot out of twenty."
"It could have meant our death," Methos argued.
"It didn't, did it?" Buffy yelled.
Joyce and Duncan looked on with amazement. Joyce decided to jump in before they brought our weapons. "Umm, guys?"
Buffy and Methos stopped glaring at each other and looked over to Duncan and Joyce. Realizing what they had been doing Buffy began to blush furiously. Methos merely stepped back, his face showing no emotions.
Changing the subject slightly, Methos asked, "How many arrows do you have left?"
Buffy looked. "Not many. I've used half of them already."
The group had started to walk again.
"Damn. Well, we should have enough to last us until we get out. Unless something happens, that is."
Buffy stared at him in disgust. "You just cursed us, you know."
"What do you mean?" Duncan asked, curiously.
"It's a known fact," Buffy said. "If you talk about something bad, especially if you say it won't happen, it will happen."
"Oh, that's really childish reasoning," Methos said.
"It is not," Buffy said.
Methos didn't have to reply to that. He just gave her a look that said it all.
"Don't look at me like that!" Buffy exclaimed.
"What are you talking about?" Methos asked innocently.
"You know what she's talking about," Duncan said.
"Will you two stop bickering?" Joyce asked.
"Yes, it's getting very annoying," Duncan agreed.
"We are not bickering," Methos and Buffy both protested.
"Oh!" Joyce said suddenly remembering the other contents of her purse. "I probably should have given this to you before the fight, but I kind of forgot." She reached in and pulled out a wooden stake. She gave it to her daughter.
"Where'd you get this?" Buffy asked in amazement.
"We stopped by Duncan's place and got some stuff before we came," Joyce told her.
"Why didn't you tell us?" Methos asked.
"I kinda forgot," Joyce admitted.
Methos shook his head but kept his mouth shut.
They came to the end of the hall. They could go either left or right. "Which way should we go?" Duncan asked.
"It's your choice, O wise and fearless leader," Buffy said.
"Buffy," Joyce warned.
"Sorry," Buffy apologized. "It's been a long day."
"Speaking of which," Methos said. "How long have we been here?"
Duncan chose the left hall. "Well, you left the bar around nine last night. Did they get you soon after?"
"Almost right away," Buffy told him.
"Then that would make it about thirty or so hours," Duncan told them.
"Thirty hours?" Buffy exclaimed. "It didn't seem that long."
"We must have been unconscious for a half that time," Methos reminded her. "And we've been wandering around lost for almost six hours."
"I didn't think we were out that long," Buffy admitted.
"Neither did I, but we must have been."
"So, Duncan, Joyce, what happened to you?" Methos asked.
Duncan explained, with Joyce adding the parts he forgot or didn't know. He had reached the part when the vampires had attacked them outside the restaurant when the hall came to an end again. This time, however, it was a dead end. Except for two huge, menacing doors in front of them. The whole group stopped and stared at the doors.
"I guess we should try the doors, then," Buffy said. She didn't mean it though. She didn't like the doors.
"It is the only way," Methos agreed.
"Well, what are we waiting for?" Joyce asked. She went over and pulled the doors open.
"Uh oh," Buffy said when she got a look inside the room.
"My thoughts exactly," Methos said.
It was the "throne" room Buffy and Methos had been taken to earlier on. In the middle of the room, surrounded by a half a dozen vampire guards, was the master. He was looking right at them.
"These are the mortals that have been so hard to find?" the master asked. "The ones everyone has been looking for? Do I have complete morons working for me?"
The vampires all looked ashamed, and a little scared. "Well," the master continued, "What are you waiting for? Get them, you idiots."
Everyone in the room leapt into action, except for the master himself. He was content to let others do the dirty work for him.
"Mom!" Buffy yelled, "Get out of here!" She kicked the closest vampire back while firing her crossbow at another one. It hit its mark and the vampire exploded. "One down, six more to go," she muttered to herself.
Joyce ran out of the doors, Duncan and two vampires on her heels. Methos and Buffy also tried for the door, but one vampire still in the room was smart enough to close and lock the doors. She lost her life for that when Buffy reached her.
There were three vampires left, not including the master. He was starting to look concerned, but still didn't make any move.
Methos killed one of the vampires, and moved in on his second vampire. He tried the tricked he used to kill the vampire earlier. He plunged the sword into the vamp's chest and then, when he wasn't expecting it, beheaded it. It worked perfectly the second time, too.
Outside the room, Joyce fumbled with some holy water, trying clumsily to take the lid off. She splashed it on the nearest vampire, which ran away, screaming like a baby.
Duncan was fighting with the last vampire. It was blocking all his swings. Finally it knocked the sword right out of Duncan's hand. It stood there with a wicked smile on its face, gloating for a moment before it moved in for the kill.
It never got the change. Joyce sneaked up behind it and staked it in the back. A horrible look of comprehension was on its face before it exploded into dust.
"Thanks," Duncan smiled.
"You're welcome," Joyce replied.
Buffy staked the last vampire inside, turning around just in time to see the master sneak up on Methos, who had just killed his vampire. "Watch out!" she yelled.
Methos turned his head to see what Buffy was warning him about. He instinctively ducked when he caught sight of the master. He wasn't fast enough. The master ripped the sword out of Methos's hand and ran it through his chest.
"Adam!" Buffy screamed as Methos fell first to his knees, then to the floor. He was dead.
Buffy furiously ran over to Methos and yanked the sword out of the body. She twirled it around a few times, trying to get the feel. Then she attacked the master.
He grabbed the sword that was hanging above his dais. He wielded it, fending off Buffy's frenzied blows perfectly. He soon managed to disarm Buffy, who wasn't a very good swordsman. He grabbed Buffy by the back of her neck and drew her closer.
"I would have rather waited for the ceremony, but I'm not too picky," he said.
Buffy was struggling a lot, trying to get free, but the vampire only tightened his grip on her. She tried going limp to catch him off guard. The master was able to recover quicker than Buffy expected and she didn't get free.
"Stop struggling!" he ordered.
"You're used to getting your own way," Buffy remarked.
"No one ever crosses me," the vampire leader boasted.
"Well, get used to it," Buffy shouted as she finally twisted out of the master's grasp. She pulled a stake out of her sleeve and slammed it into his chest.
The vampire's shocked and horrified look soon turned to one of relief when he realized the wood had missed his heart.
"You'll have to try harder than that," he said, mimicking the exact words Sunnydale's dead Master had once told Buffy. For a second she panicked, remember how close to dying, well to dying forever, she had come that night two years ago.
A second was all this master needed. He grabbed Buffy again, with a grip so tight Buffy knew the marks would be there for a week. Assuming she lived that long. For the first time in a long time it looked like she was going to seriously die.
The vampire master had pulled her in close and his fangs were millimetres from biting her neck when a gunshot sounded.
The master lost his grip on Buffy and she ducked out of the way, letting Methos shoot the vampire several more times, right in the chest. Buffy stared at the man she had seen dead just a few minutes ago.
"Don't just stare," he said, annoyed. "Kill the bastard."
Dumbly Buffy picked up the stake which had fallen to the floor and threw herself at the vampire. For the second time that evening she slammed the stake into the master's chest. She didn't miss the heart this time and the vampire was no more.
"Adam," Buffy said, her voice quivering. She knew he hadn't been turned; no vampire had drained his blood and he had tasted none himself. Once again her thoughts turned to Angel and his deception when they first met. "I thought you said you weren't a vampire with a soul," she joked, shaking.
Methos gave her a weird look. "What is it with you a vampire's with souls. Vampires don't have souls."
"I know that," Buffy said absently, still unable to tear her eyes away from her "dead" friend. "But how . . . what . . ." She didn't know what to say, how to phrase the question that was burning to be asked. "You were dead," she settled for.
"I know that," Methos said, letting his voice sound annoyed in hopes that it would help Buffy understand and accept the fact that he was alive. "I'm Immortal."
"Immortal?" Buffy asked
"You know, someone that lives forever, a person that can't die," Methos said.
"But, but . . ." Buffy trailed off.
"But?" Methos asked.
"I honestly don't know," Methos said. "All I know is that I recover from all mortal wounds."
"How old are you?" Buffy asked curiously. She had finally gotten over the shocked. It was easier for her to accept it than a normal person, whose whole life didn't revolve around fighting the forces of evil and killing supernatural beings every night.
"Old enough," Methos said evasively.
"You didn't answer my question," Buffy accused him.
"You're right," Methos said in his infuriating way. Then, to keep her from asking any more questions, he said, "Shouldn't we go check on your mother and MacLeod?"
Buffy's eyes widened in horror as she remembered the vampires that had run out of the room after her mother. "Mom," she said as she ran to the door.
The Slayer unlocked it and threw the doors open. Both MacLeod and Joyce, who had been trying their best to find a way back inside, stumbled in.
"Are you okay, mom?" Buffy asked.
"I'm fine, honey. Are you alright?" Joyce asked, looking Buffy over to see if her daughter had hurt herself.
"I'm fine, mom," Buffy said.
"I hate to break up this touching reunion," Methos said. "But I for one would like to find a way out of this god forsaken place."
The group finally arrived at Duncan's place. Buffy immediately collapsed on a chair. Methos followed her example after stopping off at the fridge for a beer.
"I told you so," Buffy suddenly said out of the blue.
"You told me what?" Methos asked.
"You cursed us and I told you so," Buffy explained.
"I did not curse us," Methos said indignantly.
"You did too," Buffy argued. "You said things couldn't get any worse, and they did."
"First of all, I said we had enough arrows unless something happened, and second, that was in no way cursing us."
"See!" Buffy exclaimed. "You admitted you said it."
"Of course I said it. I can hardly argue differently. You all heard me say it. But I didn't curse us. Besides," Methos added, "we would have been fine if you had better aim."
"I said, we would have been - "
Buffy cut him off. "I know what you said," she said icily.
"Then why'd you ask?"
Buffy clenched her teeth. "What I meant was, what do you mean?"
"I mean we would have been fine if you had better aim," Methos said.
"My aim is fine!" Buffy yelled.
"If your aim is so good, why did you miss the master's heart? You were less than a foot away."
The phone rang, interrupting the argument.
Duncan answered it, "MacLeod."
He listened for a minute before handing it to Joyce, saying, "It's for you."
"Hello?" Joyce said into the phone. "Giles!"
"Giles?" Buffy asked, surprised. "Why would he be calling?"
"Your mother phoned him when you disappeared," Duncan told her.
"Who's Giles?" Methos asked.
"My Watcher," Buffy told him.
"We found Buffy," Joyce was saying. "Yes, she's fine."
"Hey Giles!" Buffy yelled to the phone.
"I'm going to put you on speakerphone," Joyce said.
"Buffy?" Giles' voice sounded a little weird over the phone, at least to Buffy.
"I'm here, Giles," the Slayer answered merrily.
"Thank God you're alright," Giles said, his relief noticeable. "What happened?"
"Got kidnapped by vamps, escaped, killed them, came home. How was your day?"
"Are they all dead then?" Giles asked.
"Most of them."
"Is their leader still alive?"
"No," Methos said.
"Who's that?" Giles asked.
"A friend of mine," Buffy told him. "He was there."
"Oh. Well," Giles said, "I guess you don't need to know now, but I found out who kidnapped you, and why."
"You did?" Buffy asked, excited. "Who?"
"An old vampire, named Kykiote. It was part of a prophecy calling for Slayer's blood."
Joyce's face became very pale as she realized how close her daughter had come once again to death.
Buffy was upset, too, but also confused. "But I wasn't the first choice for the ritual. They were supposed to bring in another girl."
"Yes, Catherine Waters, the girl that died. She was a potential slayer," Giles explained.
"A what?" Duncan asked.
"In every generation there is a chosen one. She's the only one with the strength and skill to kill vampires. But there are a lot more girls with the potential to be a slayer. When the old one dies, one of the potential slayers becomes the Vampire Slayer."
"How'd the vamp know this Catherine girl was a potential slayer?" Buffy wanted to know.
"There are many indications of a potential slayer. Many vampires, at least the older ones, can tell who they are. The Watcher Council also needs to be able to find and train these girls," Giles explained.
Suddenly Buffy yawned and it was contagious. Giles heard them and said, "I think I should get going. I'll see you when you get back, Buffy."
"Bye Giles," Buffy said sleepily. He hung up.
"I'd better get going, too," Methos said. "It was nice meeting you Joyce, Buffy."
"Will you be around tomorrow?" Duncan asked.
Methos glanced at Buffy. "I don't think so," he said.
"Yeah," Buffy chimed in. "To quote the Simpsons, once you've been through something like that with someone, you never want to see them again.
"Good bye, Buffy," Methos said, smiling.
"Bye," Joyce said. Buffy smiled and waved. Despite her words, she did like him and they both knew it.
Adam left and Buffy went to her room to sleep, leaving only Joyce and Duncan.
"Well, this wasn't exactly the nice, relaxing vacation I promised you," Duncan said.
"No, it wasn't," Joyce replied. "But at least everything turned out okay in the end."
"Good night, Joyce," Duncan said, giving his friend a kiss on the cheek before going to bed himself.
"' night, Duncan," Joyce said.