Amanda ran up to MacLeod just as the other Immortals walked in. He glanced around and saw her and nodded at her with a question in his eyes. She nodded back, "Yes." He smiled and turned back to face Marcus as Willow got up from her second death and brushed herself off. She loosened her arms up and drew her sword.
"Well, well, well. It seems my little fly has escaped my web," Marcus taunted and drew his ancient gladius from its sheath.
"MacLeod, I want that son-of-a-bitch Marcus," said Amanda.
"It's too late Amanda," he replied. "The challenge was given and accepted. You know the rules."
"Well, kick his ass for me!" she replied and dropped into her fighting stance. "All right my little friends, which one of you is my meat?" she taunted the younger Immortals.
A diminutive and younger looking man stepped forward and pulled out a rapier and dagger. He bowed low and settled into his fighting stance. "At your service, Madame," he said.
"We don't really have to do this do we?" Amanda asked him.
"Of course we do. There can be only one," he replied. "Besides, I get money for your pretty little head," the man said as he attacked.
Amanda parried his first thrust easily and the follow up with the dagger as well. She circled around him probing for openings when suddenly she feinted a body rush and made a small cut to his arm. He stepped back nursing his arm and hissed, glaring at Amanda.
Seeing this, Methos lunged at the biggest of the remaining Immortals and Richie took the next in size leaving Willow with one more suited for her size. They all began the dance and metal clashed with metal, as the combatants themselves were quiet with concentration.
Willow's opponent was a woman about her same height but with broader shoulders and more developed leg muscles. The leather pants she wore accented these features nicely but Willow found them to be a disadvantage.
Willow thought as she parried and riposted several times in quick succession. Willow advanced upon the woman and suddenly the woman bolted to the other side of the room. Willow stopped for a second and analyzed the situation before jogging after her.
Richie grinned suddenly as the taller man tried to bring his sword overhead in a blow designed to crush a man. He quickly sidestepped and responded by slashing the bigger man across the chest and stepping back. "Come, come," he taunted and made a beckoning motion with his middle finger.
"Screw you," the man said with a think German accent. The man stepped back for a moment looking for another angle. He suddenly feinted a thrust to Richie's stomach. Richie took the bait and parried downward and did a boxer's sidestep to his right. At the last second the German switched his attack angle and drew a cut on Richie's right forearm. Then he grinned as Richie growled at his stupidity and set himself for another attack.
Meanwhile, Methos was having the best fight he'd had in years. He dodged and parried. He slashed and jabbed. He weaved and toyed with his opponent. As big as he was, the Immortal had no skills as a fighter.
The big Immortal gasped for breath and back off warily. "How old are you anyway?" he demanded.
Methos grinned and said, "Let's just say that I know that Rameses didn't look like Yul Brenner." With that, Methos plunged his sword into his opponent's stomach. The man went to his knees in shock and Methos pulled out his sword.
"Heads up!" he yelled then more quietly he said, "There can be only one." He swung downward and the headless corpse fell over as a mist began to rise.
Richie cursed and advanced quickly on his opponent and he could see from the corner of his eyes that Amanda and Willow were doing the same. Finally disarming his opponent, Richie felled the bigger man with a cut to the tendons behind his knees. The man fell just as the mist stopped flowing and the crackle of lightning began. Richie didn't hesitate to behead the man and waited for his own light show.
Amanda also took full advantage of the very young Immortal in front of her. She gratefully remembered that Spanish rapiers were only sharpened for a few inches from the tip. Knocking the dagger from his hands and grabbing the sword up near the hilt, she impaled the young man by pulling him with his sword onto her own. Pulling free Amanda cut upward and relieved him of his head.
"Should've listened when I offered you a way out," she commented.
She glanced over at Willow who was faring better than her opponent. She gasped as the mist enveloped her and the young woman in front of Willow pulled a small revolver. Hearing Duncan shout she looked at Willow again and saw lightning fly from her fingers and disable her opponent. Willow stepped to the side, swung and the woman's blond head went flying. The gun and sword clattered to the ground and Willow was sprayed with blood.
The quickenings started to build up. Duncan held up his index finger to Marcus and then ran to the side of the building for shelter. He knew this one was going to be big. Lightning crackled all around Methos and the mists enveloped the others. Finally as Methos' quickening began to crescendo the others were going. All at once however, the quickenings joined among the four Immortals. The screamed in unison and were levitated off their feet. The lightning began to circle around the four in the air and at the crescendo of the remaining quickenings the electricity charged to the center of the circle and distributed to the Immortals and they fell to the ground unconscious. The remaining vampires looked at each other and fled into the night.
MacLeod stepped out from his shelter and Marcus got up from the ground where he had been blown backwards by the force of the joined quickenings. They walked toward the side of the room across from the unconscious Immortals to begin his own battle.
"You will pay for the evil you have done here," MacLeod stated coldly. "Innocent people murdered over the millennia just tops off the list. Taking Amanda and Dawn was too far. If you wanted a challenge, you should have done so. Now more innocent people are dead and I will avenge them."
"Talk is cheap MacLeod," Marcus retorted. "Just fight," he said and swung.
MacLeod switched into a reversed grip and parried. Circling his opponent he feinted a frontal attack, rolled beside him and leaping up, he slashed Marcus' back. Turning around to face MacLeod, Marcus didn't visibly react. MacLeod gave him another cut to his arm with no consequence except for a bloody sword. Confused MacLeod studied Marcus again.
Marcus saw this and smiled evilly. "Did you really think I wouldn't come into this fight without several advantages MacLeod? What kind of fool do you think I am?"
"A stupid one if you think some kind of magic spell will get you out of this one," MacLeod replied.
With that MacLeod attacked with a cold rage. Marcus was forced into parry after parry and was in constant retreat. raged Marcus internally.
In retreat Marcus slipped on some vampire dust and fell hard losing control of his gladius. He looked forlornly at it as it slid across the floor out of reach. MacLeod stood over him waiting and then nodded toward the sword. Marcus got up, walked over and picked it up. He suddenly spun around and threw it at MacLeod like a knife. MacLeod blocked it and strode purposefully toward Marcus.
"I see honor is not something you know," said MacLeod shaking his head. He stepped up to Marcus and stabbed him. Marcus fell to his knees and MacLeod said the ancient mantra, "There can be only one."
The quickening was long and painful. During the first few seconds, MacLeod was tortured with images of Marcus' chosen brutality to women, animals and anything else he could turn his hatred to. His screaming brought the other Immortals into consciousness and Willow watched in awe even though she had just been through one herself. Outside Buffy, Xander, Giles, Dawn and Joe watched silently. Finally after what seemed like eternity it was over and MacLeod fell to his knees.
Buffy, Giles and Xander walked into the obliterated warehouse and helped the others to their feet.
"Lets' go home," Buffy said. She walked Richie outside to where Joe was holding Dawn in a hug and helped him and her onto the back of one of the trucks. The rest followed suit.
Dawn walked in to the back room of the shop where she heard voices and laughter. Lounging on the mats was the whole gang minus her talking and passing the bottles of Scotch between them.
"Dawnie," came the general cheer from the half-drunk adults before her.
"Have a seat," invited Methos and he tossed her a coke from the cooler by his head. She accepted the invitation and sat next to MacLeod who ruffled her hair. Amanda lay with her head in his lap and her feet in Joe's. Joe was grinning and arguing with Giles about the benefits of American beer over European beers. Methos was taking alternating drinks out of his glass of Scotch and his bottle of import beer while offering lewd and snide comments into other conversations. Richie, Xander and Buffy were trading shots trying to outdo each other while Willow laughed hysterically and sipped on at her Rum and Coke. Dawn sighed in contentment as she leaned back against Giles who stroked her hair like a good father figure would and she drifted off into sleep in contentment with the sun full on her dreaming face.
The gang walked silently through the busy airport as they headed toward the departing gates. Duncan, Amanda and Joe stopped at their entrance.
"Well, you guys call me if you need anything," MacLeod said and went the rounds giving hugs and handshakes all around.
"Me too you guys," said Amanda wiping a tear from the corner of her eye. She hugged Dawn for an extra long amount of time.
"Joe, I'll be in contact," said Giles shaking the other Watcher's hand. "And don't worry, my Watcher's will never find out from me about your branch."
"Thanks Giles," grinned Joe and gave Dawn a little squeeze around the shoulders.
"Rich, be safe and keep in touch," said MacLeod shaking his former student's hand.
"Sure thing, Mac," replied Richie. He hugged Amanda and Willow then shook Methos' hand.
Methos and Willow heard their flight being called and collected their baggage. "I'll call you Joe when we get to where we're going," Methos said.
"And where is that exactly?" queried Joe.
"Not here, that's for sure," replied Methos with a grin. "I'm going to show her the world and then we'll see what happens." Willow smiled as she hugged Buffy fiercely. Dawn sniffled and got just as big a hug from the red-haired Immortal witch.
MacLeod's group waved by and boarded their plane. Methos and Willow ran off to theirs and the Sunnydale group waved both groups off.
Buffy looked to Richie and Dawn and smiled. Xander sighed and said, "Let's go home."