"Are you kidding? We can't just go off to face no one knows what just because Mistress Crazy spouts some drivel which seems to mean we should!" cried Xander.
"Dru's a psychic, remember? If she says this Caelus is up to something, I'd think it safe to assume he is." remarked Spike, obviously trying not to insult the other man.
"A psychic, really? I thought she was just crazy. How does it work?" asked the ever-interested Daniel.
"Now's really not the time." answered Willow, putting her hand on his arm. Buffy's eyebrows shot up at that.
"No, I guess not." he answered sadly.
"Anyway, it's our job to stop aliens from destroying Earth, and it's your job to stop people opening the Hellmouth. Caelus has been here for hours already, so we really need to hurry up and stop him, before he destroys the world - or the stars, or whatever Mistress Crazy was on about." said Jack. He got a quick grin from Xander for using his new nickname for Drusilla.
"I agree." said Buffy, a little put out she hadn't had a chance to say it first. "Everyone who wants to help save the world, raise your hand."
All of SG-1 raised their hands, as did Willow. Xander tried to, but Anya pulled it back down and surprised him with a kiss to stop him putting it up again. Buffy, of course, put up hers.
"I don't feel I'd be much use on an expedition such as this." said Giles, and Buffy nodded understandingly. No need to put Research-Guy in the front lines. Although Daniel, seemingly Giles' counterpart, looked like he'd do just fine in a combat situation.
"Speak for yourself, you ponce! I want to come, I'm just having trouble with the hand raising. I want to kill aliens." said an excited Spike, trying to escape his ropes.
"You can't even kill humans, and there's no way-" began Buffy before Sam interrupted her.
"Why can't we bring him along? He can't hurt us, but it's possible he could hurt Jaffa, and we need all the help we can get. Anyway, it's his planet too. Willow told me he helped save it before."
"Thank you! I never get any credit for that, no, everyone was all "Boo-hoo, Peaches has been sent to hell." but no one remembered that I helped stop everyone else from going there too." Spike responded with just a hint of bitterness.
Buffy looked surprised that anyone would stand up for Spike, but she seemed to see the logic in what Sam was saying, because she nodded once, sharply, in agreement.
She turned to Xander, to see why he hadn't done anything, and went right on turning. Anya with her tongue down his throat was not something she ever wanted to see - even though Anya's strange social sense meant she'd already seen it far more than she ever wanted to. Which was never.
"I'm assuming you have weapons and things?" Buffy asked SG-1 vaguely as she headed for the weapon cabinet - there was one in pretty much every room in Giles' house, and pulled out a sword and a crossbow. She already had Mr Pointy secreted about her person.
"Our armaments are located in the car." stated Teal'c in his deep voice.
Buffy offered Willow a long knife - which she was somewhat reluctant on doing, she knew how clumsy her friend could be - but to her surprise, Willow turned it down, saying "No, I've already got a weapon, Jack got me this thing called a Zat, apparently you just point and shoot. It doesn't even kill on the first shot."
Buffy shrugged, using the knife to slash through Spike's ropes, who then bounced up like a jack-in-the-box, before darting over to the weapons and heaving a large double-headed battle axe - no one even knew where Giles got these things - one-handed. Buffy was about to take it off him, but then she thought he wouldn't be any good without a weapon, so he might as well take that one.
So, at last, it looked like the group was ready to go. And go they did, right to the car parked outside, to get the rest of the weapons. Willow, Sam, Jack and Daniel took the same, strange-looking weapon they called a Zat, and Teal'c got his staff weapon.
Unfortunately, there was simply no way all of them were going to fit into that car, so they had to walk. Fortunately, in Sunnydale, nothing was more than a couple of minutes away, and the remains of Sunnydale High were no exception.
Drusilla was standing outside it, apparently waiting for them, leaning on an ornate weapon similar to Teal'c's staff weapon, but of a more bluish hue, and with a metal spike on one end and without the paddle on the other.
Spike called out to her "Where'd you get the weapon, love?" and Sam felt an irrational burst of jealousy as she remembered Willow telling her that Drusilla and Spike had been lovers for about a century. Which was odd, given that she had known Spike for all of five minutes and had barely spoken to him.
But Drusilla ignored him, saying instead "We can't get in. The volcano bubbles from beneath, burning away the air, so hot, so hot. We can't get in, and the star people will vanish like they've never been."
Buffy, however, was never one to put up with cryptic nonsense, and so she made her way to the school doors, throwing them open, before reeling backwards as a fountain of steam burst forth. Seemed as though Drusilla had been speaking some sense for once.
Fortunately, her Slayer reflexes were good enough for Buffy to escape the worst of it, merely getting mildly scalded. Unfortunately, that still meant that there was no way in.
"Guys, you might want to come over here!" shouted Willow, who had ambled over to the car park. The gang trotted over, to see dozens of cars (belonging to the parents who had died on Graduation Day) sitting there, gutted. No one came here, not even vampires, which meant Caelus must've raided them for parts, for whatever he was building.
Which, the gang found as they walked further into the car park, was apparently a glass cube filled with a tangle of wires and some water. Now, Buffy was no scientist - and apparently Caelus had mastered a technology more advanced than any even Sam could contemplate, and she was
a scientist - but she had a sneaking suspicion that this device might be responsible for the steam blocking their way in.
Sam bent down and peered at it. "The water in that should be boiling, but it isn't. So-"
"It must be some kind of resonating device. Instead of the water in the box boiling, the water in the air is!" finished Willow.
"Right." said Spike, lifting the axe in preparation to smash the box.
"No! If you smash it, you could be electrocuted, or worse! No, we need to diffuse it safely..." said Sam, still intently examine the device. Which begged the question how had she known what Spike was going to do?
However, the box wasn't a problem for much longer, because Teal'c levelled his staff weapon at it and fired. The box fizzled and cracked, water spilling everywhere and the wires destroyed.
"...or we could do that." Sam conceded. At least now it looked as though the path to the Hellmouth was open. They went back to the doors, and Buffy cautiously threw them open. This time, there was no eruption of steam, and the gang let out their collected breaths that they didn't know they'd been holding - well, the members who needed to breathe, that is.
The group crossed the threshold, and as soon as they had done so, Jack, Willow, Sam and Spike froze in their tracks. Teal'c looked them curiously (for Teal'c) and Buffy waved her hand in front of their faces, but got no response.
The pair spun around when they heard a noise behind them, to see Drusilla change into a constantly-morphing figure, and her weapon into an enormous scythe.
"Check-" Caelus began, in a voice that changed as much as his appearance, but he got no further than that.
Because Buffy ran him through.