"All aboard" Oz said as he stopped his van outside Buffy's house.
Buffy and Willow stood on the curb ready to Trick or Treat.
"What are you Buffy?" Xander asked as he got out of the passengers side door to open the side door of the van for the two costumed girls.
"Well I made sure to stay away from gowns this year. I really wanted to go as a vampire slayer but Willow wouldn't let me."
He gave her an inquiring look. She lowered her head.
"I'm... a cat."
"To be a cat you'd need a tail and ears."
Buffy held up her cat ears and Willow grabbed behind her for the tail.
"She said she wanted to humiliate herself as little as possible so she's putting them on in the van. What are you?" Willow inquired.
"Ah, me, well, uh..." Xander stammered.
Oz said though the window of the van, "He's a dragon."
"Like Puff." Willow giggled.
"Who?" Buffy asked, with eyebrow raised.
"Puff the magic dragon... who lived by the sea." Buffy giggled again. "You don't know him?" asked Willow.
"Yeah. Just... Xander the magic dragon boy who lived by the hellmouth is a mouthful." Buffy grinned.
Oz interrupted, "Come on, guys. We've still got to pick up Angel and the others."
"Hop in, Catwoman." Xander said as he glared at the giggling duo. "Watch it, Zelda." He added as Willow, dressed as a witch, went to touch his green tail.
Once everone was seated they slowly drove off to get the others.
As they approached Angel's mansion Buffy let out a yelp.
"What?" Willow asked as she looked out the window to where Buffy was staring.
Buffy's mouth dropped even further than it already was. "Hottie at 12 o'clock." She said as she pointed to the person dressed as a baseballer. He had tight blue pants, white and blue striped shirt, a baseball cap and long socks pulled up to the knees. Angel was talking to him as the man's back faced the approaching van.
Xander snorted "Him? Yeah right. Everyone knows dragons are cuter than baseballers."
"Don't worry, Xander. We still love you." Willow reassured him.
Xander got out and opened the side door again for Angel and the mysterious man. "Hey, Dead boy. Hey..." His mouth dropped as the baseballer turned around "...Spike?"
"What's your problem?" Spike asked as he hopped in the van with Angel follwing behind him.
Willow smiled and nudged a very shocked slayer with her elbow. "You're not wearing your duster. He's in shock." Angel told Spike as the both took their seats.
"I told you I should've worn it." Spike said.
"Spike?" Buffy said with eyebrows arched and eyes blinking furiously.
"Yeah. What?" He knocked his cap back to show his face more. "I do have more than one pair of clothing you know, Slayer." He chuckled when she shook her head.
Angel said to Xander, "And you are...?"
"He's Puff the magic dragon." Willow giggled again.
"Puff, 'eh? And instead of living by the sea you live by..."
Buffy interrupted, "The hellmouth. The joke has been done, Angel. What are you supposed to be?"
Spike smiled and shook his head, looking down. Angel glared at him.
"Our Angel boy here is... a member of the M.I.B." Spike said whilst chuckling.
"It's okay, Angel. Oz is a guitarist." Willow said.
Angel glared at Spike again then growled. "Back off. It wasn't my idea." Spike said.
"It was a joke!" Angel said, trying to pass the blame back to Spike. Xander hopped back in the front next to Oz.
"Let's go, Oz-man, before they explode."
"Sure. I don't feel like wiping blood out of the back. Next stop, Amy's to pick up Amy and Cordy."
He started the engine and they drove off.
After an hour of driving, and Cordelia's hysterical laughter after seeing Xander's costume, the van finally stopped on the side of a dark, deserted road.
Xander spoke up, "Hey, uh, Oz, I know this might be a bad time but, um, where are we?"
"I don't know." He said, purely calm.
"So, what do we do now? And why can I hear ticking?"
"Don't know and the van is cooling down."
"And why might that be? No, I mean... why have we stopped?"
"Because we've run out of gas."
"Because we didn't stop at a gas station."
"Yes. Right. So, what now? Should we tell the others?"
"Yeah. I think... maybe. We could always say we start here."
"Oh, and the van would be doing what while we're gone?"
"Well, it won't drive off. I think it'd be safe."
"Okay, so, don't tell the others we're gas-less and the fun starts here. Let's do it." They both simultaeneously got out of their doors and headed for the van's side door. With one quick action it was open.
"We're here." Xander said.
"And here would be...?" Cordelia asked as she took one step out of the van.
"Where we start." Oz added.
"Aren't we supposed to start where there are houses? I mean, unless we have possessed trees that give out candy." Buffy said with a sarcastic tone. She hadn't been able to keep her eyes off Spike the whole trip, except for the occasional glance she'd give Willow or one of the others.
"Right, ha, ha, possessed trees. Next thing you'll be telling me there's going to be a..." A flash of lightning lit up a three story house behind Xander as he spoke, "...haunted house. What's everyone staring at?" He turned around and saw. "Oh, this is fun." He added, dripping with sarcasm.
"Why are we here? Really. Tell me the truth." Amy said, standing beside the other girls.
"We ran out of gas." Oz said plainly. "We didn't stop because Cordelia wanted to get this over and done with quickly so we didn't have time." He added.
"Oh great! So blame this all on me then!" Cordelia shouted and started walking towards the house.
"Where are you going?" Angel asked her, walking up beside her.
"I'm going in to ask if they have a phone. Why? Think I'm going to get attacked by a monster? I think not." She said dryly then continued her way up the long path towards the house... make that... mansion.
"This can't be good. Now we have to follow her." Amy said.
"We don't have to. We could always let her get eaten by whatever's in there. That would be a fun sight." Xander commented with a smile on his face.
"Xander!" Willow said sternly. "We have to look out for her. She might get hurt. As much as I want to see that happen I don't think her parents or Giles would be very happy that we just let her go alone."
"Yeah. Besides... it looks like it's about to rain and we should get shelter other than the van. We could be stuck here for a while by the looks of that storm." Buffy said, pointing to the dark grey clouds above them.
Spike sighed. "Yay, now I can spend my night in a gloomy house with you lot. I'd say the fun is just beginning." He trudged off infront of the others and they followed closely behind him, up the path to the dark, gloomy relic.
As they walked up the steps to the front door, the Scooby gang found the mansion to be much bigger than it looked from the road.
"Big." Xander said as he admired the height.
"Yes." Buffy added, amazed.
"I've seen bigger." Spike said, with arms crossed. "Can we bloody well knock now?" He continued impatiently.
Angel grabbed the ornate knocker and knocked three times. No answer. He knocked another three times. No answer again.
"Maybe you're doing it wrong." Cordelia helpfully said.
"Is there a right way? I mean, like a genie in a lamp. Do we knock like that?" Oz asked.
Getting impatient, Spike shouted at the group "It's just a knocker. Knock!"
"Hey! Don't get your fangs in a twist, Dead boy junior!" Xander shouted back.
Cordelia sighed as a fight broke out amongst the group, not including Oz or herself. They both exchanged tired looks and she leant back against the door. A few seconds later she found herself sitting on her backside after falling back through the gloomy door. Everyone stopped their fighting and stared at her.
"Ow, much?" She said. "Can I get some help here? I can't get up in this tail."
"Serves you right for going as a mermaid." Xander grinned at her helplessness.
Oz and Angel helped her up and she glared at the brunette teen. "At least I didn't get my tail stuck in the door, Puff." She answered back with venom.
"Okay, guys. Enough's enough. Let's just get in there and see if anyone's home." Buffy added as she pushed past the group and walked into the house.
"You okay now, Cordy?" Oz said as he watched Cordelia dust herself off.
"Fine. Thanks, Angel. Thanks, Oz." She gave Xander a look that could drill holes in a person. "Two perfect gentlemen. Unlike you, lame brain."
Willow and Spike looked at each other. "This'll be a long night." Willow finally said.
"And one we're never going to forget." He replied.
The semi-large group shuffled into the darkened mansion. No one noticed the door had clicked closed behind them, without assistance.
Inside, directly infront of the door was a wide foyer with a grand staircase further back. At the top of the stairs it could go left or right onto the second floor. On the end of the rail on the staircase, first floor, were two griffin statues.
"Nyagh." Buffy said as she looked them over. "Cat-bird thing. It's got claws and can fly. Icky."
"You've fought worse, Buffy." Angel said.
The two had been seperated for almost six months and weren't planning on getting back together.
"Maybe we should split up. Go in teams." Willow said, a little unsurely.
"I agree. Pair or be paired. Willow? Do you want to go with me?" Angel asked the witch.
"Ah, yeah. Sure." She replied.
"Amy?" Oz said to Amy, dressed as Little Red Riding Hood.
"Yeah. We'll go left." She said to everyone.
Buffy glanced at Spike then back at the group. "I'll go with Spike. I don't want him snacking on any of you."
He gave her a mock hurt look and sighed dramatically. "My heart. You broke my heart." He said, acting as if he were in pain.
"It was already broken, Spike, and if you're wondering I'm not fixing it either." Replied the slayer. "We'll go upstairs to the right.
Angel looked at Willow. "Right down here?" She nodded in reply.
"Woah, that means I have to go with Flipper." Xander said before everyone could leave. "I don't want to go with her."
"Yeah. I don't want to go with a loser." Cordelia commented.
"But you look in the mirror everyday, Cordy." He shot back at her.
"Listen, just put it behind you. Meet back here in two hours and report what you've found. If you're not back by then we'll give you another half an hour to set up a search party and the different places to go then start the search. Got it?" Buffy asked. Everyone nodded. "Good. Let's go."
Everyone went their separate ways. Amy and Oz to the left, Angel and Willow to the right, Buffy and Spike upstairs to the right and Cordelia and Xander upstairs to the left. This was going to be one very long night.
Amy and Oz opened the large doors as they went to the room to the left. "Um, gym?" Oz asked the girl beside him.
"Looks like it. Why a gym?" She asked back.
"Keep fit. I don't know. Let's see what we find, Little Red." He started to walk to one side of the room.
"Since when have I been Little Red?" She asked, moving to the other side of the large room.
"Since tonight. You're supposed to be Little Red Riding Hood aren't you?" He said as he hit an old fashioned punching bag.
"Yeah. That must mean you're the big, bad wolf." She grinned when he punched the bag as a reply. She picked up a fencing sword and studied it.
"I'm a small, good werewolf. Not a big, bad wolf."
"Mmhmm. I bet the 'good' part is a lie." She said to him grinning mischievously.
"I don't lie. I mean... I can be bad. I can be Spike bad. I can be Xander bad." He said, shrugging. "I can be bad bad."
"And...? You're starting to sound like you have no good in you." She said, swinging the sword infront of her. "God, this place seems familiar."
A gust of wind blew through the room. The doors clicked shut. Both teenagers turned at the sound and saw the now closed door. He looked over at her. "Just the wind." He returned to looking around the room.
"Okay, where are we?" Cordelia shouted at her partner with her arms slapping against her sides. "Once again you lead me to a dead end."
"Hey! I'll have you know this is the first dead end we've been to. The first room even." He told the girl.
"I was referring to our relationship." She shot back at him as she walked further into the room.
"Well go and be Miss.I-like-dating-my-friends-watchers-that-I-know-are-older-than-me. I didn't make you stay."
"Yeah. That's why we broke up!"
"On Valentines Day? And I thought Dead boy was a demon." He said the last parts to himself.
"I heard that and Angel isn't a demon. He's kind and sweet and look at what he did for Buffy even though now he likes Willow and I think he'd be great for her." The last words slipped out without her even knowing. Once she was aware she slapped her hand over her mouth in shock.
"Cordy, sounds like you're growing a heart for your friends. I never would've guessed." He then backspaced to the other part of what she said. "He likes *Willow*? Since when? If he hurts her I'm gonna... I'll... I'll kill him. Again." He said as he sat in a large, plush armchair.
"Hmmm." She said, preoccupied by touching a large music box. She started to hum a melody to herself as she opened it. The song was a lullaby and Cordelia hummed along to it as if she knew it by heart.
"Cordy? Uh, Cord? Cordelia? Earth to Corde-li-a." He started to look scared and confused when she didn't respond. He got out of his chair and walked over to her. "Cordy?"
"I remember my mother played this to me when I was little. God, that was so long ago. I can't find the music box she played it from now." She closed the lid and put the box down. "This is so weird. Mom wrote that song for me and had the box specially made. How can this play the same tune when only three people ever knew it?"
"What if the guy that made it made two and we're in his house?"
"No. My grandfather made the box. He doesn't own this house. I've never even been here before."
"Secret rendezvous place?" He said whilst grinning.
Cordelia looked at him unbelievingly. "I don't want to think of my grandparents playing hanky panky. It's just bad."
Willow and Angel opened the large doors to the room. Willow gasped.
"It's beautiful." She whispered.
"That it is. It looks like a room to a house a broke into once before I was turned." He replied as he admired the grand piano to the right of the room.
"Is this the ballroom?" She asked as she sat at the piano.
"Most likely. Do you know how to play?" He pointed at the piano infront of her.
"No, but I wish I did. It makes such a beautiful sound. All my notes would be flat."
"I'll teach you." He gave her a small smile. She smiled back as he sat beside her on the stool.
"Can you just... play something first. If that's not... bad or anything."
"Ofcourse. What would you like me to play?"
He thought for a moment. "I'll play something you'll know. Something... modern." Then started to play 'My Heart Will Go On' by Celine Dion. Willow sighed as she listened to the notes surround them in the warmth of the song.
"Ow! Watch it!" Spike yelled at the slayer as she stepped on his foot.
"I'm not the one walking with their eyes closed!" She snapped back.
"I have my eyes open, unlike you, Slayer. You must have two bloody left feet."
"Fine. Cry like the big baby you are. Just don't blame it on..." They open a door to a nursery. "Wow."
"I don't think 'wow' is something I'd..." He looks into the room infront of them. Two childrens beds are on either side of the door with two rocking horses at the foot of each and a cot beside a mirror.
"Cute." She said as she picked up a handmade rag doll.
"Aww, shit." He replied.
"What's wrong? I don't care or anything... but... I want to know." She said then quickly went back to picking up toys in a chest.
"Just bloody perfect." He said sarcastically. He dipped into his pocket to pull out his packet of cigarettes only to find he had no pockets. "Oh just great."
"What? Lose your baseball bat?" She said, grinning as he suffered.
"No. Just my cigarettes."
"Why would you need 'em anyway? You don't look stressed."
"I'm not but I'd rather be stressed than be where we are."
"What's so bad about being here?"
"I broke into a nursery that looked exactly like this once. This was before I became a vampire. I watched as these vamps, I didn't know vampires were real yet ofcourse, anway they came in and drained the kids dry then turned and went for me. I knew something was different about 'em. Their faces were their demon's."
"What happened next?" She said, getting up from her crouched position by the chest of toys.
"The kids just fell to the ground, the vamps came after me and I ran. I was a few blocks away when I ran into Angelus and got turned. Out of the frying pan into the bloody fire."
"It must've been awful to see that happen."
"It was." He remembered who he was talking to. "But anyway, let's see what we have here." He walks past a mirror to look at a dressing table and had a reflection. Buffy gasps. He turns quickly on the alert. "What? What's wrong?"
"Y-y-y-you had a-a-a reflection!" She finally stuttered out.
"Don't be ridiculous. Vampires don't have reflections." He stepped to his side where the mirror was with his back facing it. "See? No bloomin' reflection." Her mouth dropped. "What now?"
"Just turn around." She said trying to stay calm.
He turned around and jumped back a few steps in fright. "Ahhh! Jesus!" He paused then looked more closely at his mirror image. "That's me?"
Buffy, still in shock, replied "Yahuh."
"It's been so bloody long I've forgotten. Hey," He smiled devilishly "that *is* me. Makes me wish your watcher was here so he could tell us why this happened." He starts to straighten his cap and the rest of his clothes. "So, that's why Cordelia said I looked hot tonight."
"Oh puh-lease." She said, sitting on the rocking horse on the right of the room.
"Well, can't help it, Luv. We both look smashin' and I'm not about to pass up the chance to say it."
She smiled unconsciously and closed her eyes in thought. She whispered to herself "You should see yourself in your normal clothes."
His enhanced hearing picked up her words. "Why thank-you, Pet." He grinned at her.
"What?" She opened her eyes to look at him.
"I heard it, Luv. Don't deny it."
"You're hearing things. I didn't say anything."
"Sure, Luv." He sat on the bed opposite from her rocking horse. "Whatever you say."
Oz walked over to Amy. "Find anything interesting?"
"Nope. I'm beginning to think we won't either." She replied as she jumped off the small trampoline. A ghost appeared at the closed doors. It was a young girl with short blonde hair. Amy saw and stepped back in shock.
"What?" Oz looked to where she was looking but saw nothing.
"Don't you see it?"
Oz looked back at where she was looking. He still saw nothing. He looked back at Amy with a confused expression. "What?"
"The-the-the ghost! It's right there! Don't you see her?"
"No. Should I?"
The ghost disappeared. "It's right..." She saw the ghost was gone "there. Well, it was. Why... where'd it go?"
"Why don't we just finish up with this room and go back to the foyer. We're a bit early but we'll wait. Maybe we can see another ghost."
"So you did see it?"
"No." He started walking towards the door to the foyer. He stopped and turned. "Are you coming?"
Amy still looked where she saw the ghost. "Yeah. I'm coming." She looked up at Oz then followed him.
Cordelia sat on a long lounge near a window. She looked out as the lightning flashed again and again. Rumbles of thunder sounded through the room. She continued to stare out the window. The ghost of a young girl stood outside in the rain. Cordelia sat up and squeaked when she saw her.
"What? What is it, Cord?" Xander said as he walked over and looked over her shoulder.
"Ghost! It's a ghost!"
Xander looked at her as if she were going crazy. "Uh, yeah. Where?"
"There! Right there! Can't you see her?" She said as she stepped behind him for safety.
"There! Are you blind? She's out there in the rain!"
"Nice try, Cordy, but I don't see it. Maybe you should invite it in for cookies and tea." He said mockingly as he stepped back into the middle of the room.
"You really don't see her?"
"Tell me what she looks like."
"Brown hair. Flowing, white dress. See-through. The usual ghost things!" Cordelia shot back, when she lost her temper.
"Okay, okay, we can settle this. You're seeing things. It's just because we're in a strange house and you're not used to it."
"Xander, I saw her. She was real."
"Yep, that's what they said about the boogey man. Wait, we live on the hellmouth. I think I just jinxed us."
"You *are* a jinx." She snapped then looked back out the window. The ghost was gone. "She's not there."
"She's gone. As in 'poof' not there."
"So your imaginary friend went bye bye's, huh?" He looked at his watch. "Well, we'd better get back downstairs. You can tell the others about your little casper."
He chuckled at her scowl then they both left the room to head back to the foyer.
Willow was staring at Angel as he was near the end of his third song of the night. She had a small smile on her face and was watching his facial expressions as he concentrated on the music. He hit the final note of the song and she snapped out of her daydream. She gave him a small applause. "That was great."
"Well, I haven't played in a while. It hit a few off-keys." He replied modestly.
"It's better than I could ever do." She said. He smiled at her.
"Okay, I'm going to teach you how to dance before we go." He got off his chair and held out his hand.
"What? N-no. I can't. I don't know how to."
He chuckled. "That's why I'm teaching you. Come on."
She took his hand and the both set out for the middle of the room. "We can't. We need music."
He searched the room for a possible cd player but found only a grammaphone. He went over and put a record on. He cranked it and beautiful music began to chime. He walked back over to Willow and held her in position to waltz. The steps flowed easily through them. He would lead her into a graceful step and she would follow. They turned and stepped their way over the floor. Her hair would sway at each turn. At that moment he saw him. A youth no older than fourteen standing by the piano. A ghost. He stopped and Willow followed. "Is everything okay?" She asked. Looking in the direction he was staring but only seeing the piano.
"Pardon?" He asked, looking down at her flushed face.
"Are you okay? You just stopped." She began to worry.
"The ghost." He looked back over at the piano and there the boy stood.
"Where?" She said, clutching his arm.
"There. By the piano. Don't you see him?"
"No. Are you sure?"
"Yes, I'm sure. He's plain as day."
"Well, you haven't seen day in a while." She commented teasingly.
He looked at her then back at the piano. The ghost was gone. "He's gone."
"I believe you, Angel. I didn't see... him but I'm sure that if you say he was there, he was." She clutched his arm tighter to reassure him.
He gave her a small smile. She looked at her watch and sighed. "Time to go?" He asked.
"Yeah. The others will be there soon so we'd better go before they call out the search party."
"But we'd only be next door."
"But if we're not there we might not be able to help if someone else is missing."
He gave it some thought then they both left the room.
Buffy straddled the rocking horse and began rocking back and forth from her boredom. The horse began creaking from the lack of use. Everytime it creaked Spike cringed. It creaked again and again and finally he got up and held the horse still. "Slayer, that is beginning to get annoying."
"How do you think I feel everytime I'm near you." She told him with a smile.
He scowled at her then sat back on the bed. "Why do I put up with you lot?" He asked himself.
Buffy answered "Well, because you like to pay out on Xander and Angel as much as possible, you like to bribe Willow and Cordelia, Amy does all your spells that you want done and you hang around me because if you don't Giles'll do bad stuff."
"Giles? The watcher? He couldn't do anything to me. I'd over-power him in a second."
"So, he didn't bribe you to watch my back?"
"Nope." He looked heavenward and let out a sigh "Stupid chit." He said under his breath.
"What?" She asked. His words to soft for even her enhanced hearing to pick up.
"Now you're hearing things. I didn't say a word." He then grinned and added just as softly as before "I said two words."
"If you're going to say stuff say it loud enough for me to hear."
"Now where would be the fun in that, Luv?" He asked with a devilish grin.
She just gave him a growl. A ghost of a young man of about twenty stood by the window. Spike looked over and jumped back a bit on the bed. "Holy..."
"What? Spike? Tell me." She said, jumping off the rocking horse and scanning the room for danger.
"It's a bloody ghost."
"Where? I can't see it." She gave him a look then sat back on the horse and slumped her arms. "Nice try, Spike. You almost had me with that one."
"What one? Can't you bloody see it?"
"See what? There's nothing there. There's nothing anywhere. Like in your head. Nothing." She added, crossing her arms over the horses head and resting her chin on them.
He looked at her with wide eyes. "You don't see him?"
"Nope." She got off the horse and grabbed his arm, looking at his watch. "We'd better go. Search party will be starting soon." She walked over to the door to wait for him.
He looked back over at the window and the ghost was gone. His mouth dropped in disbelief. "What the..." He looked puzzled.
Buffy sighed and went back over to him. She grabbed his arm and dragged him out of the room. "I don't know why I put up with you." She groaned and they started back towards the foyer.
Everyone was standing in the foyer talking as they waited Buffy and Spike. Buffy smiled as she and the vampire came down the stairs. "I thought I said two hours."
"Yeah, well, you're early too." Xander said.
"Maybe I should give less time." Buffy said as she stood with the group. "I guess no one found anything then?"
"We found so the opposite." Cordelia announced, making Xander groan. "What?" She asked her ex. She the turned back to Buffy and said, "I saw a ghost."
Spike and Buffy's mouths dropped in synchronisation. Spike's finally closed but only to give her a smile. "A ghost? But..." Buffy trailed off.
"I saw one too. A little blond girl. She couldn't have been any older than 10." Amy told the group.
Cordelia looked at her. "Well, mine was a brunette and she was standing outside in the rain."
"That wouldn't make any sense. I saw a brunette boy." Angel then admitted.
"No, no, no, no, no. There are no such things as ghosts. Well, ther are but please not here. Not again." Buffy told the group. Angel gave her a knowing look.
Spike ignored her comment and told them of his encounted. "I saw a brunette man. About 20 or so. Even though Buffy didn't believe me." He turned to her a gave her a look to say 'I told you so'.
"Well, Xander I guess this house really is haunted." Willow told her friend. She then took on a look of panic. "There are ghosts in here. They could do stuff to us. What do we do? I can't stay here. It might not be safe." She then clutched on to Angel's jacket and he held her arm reassuringly.
"Calm down, Will. We'll just sleep in the van tonight and go for help in the morning." Said Buffy. She walked over to the front door and tried to open it. It was locked. She tried again and still nothing. "Spike, don't just stand there. Help me!" She ordered the bleached blond vampire. He sighed and tried to open the other door beside it as she tried again. Nothing.
"Maybe they want us to stay here. The ghosts I mean." Oz suggested.
"We can't. What if they make us all icky. We might get scars and have deformed faces. Oh, I'll never be able to show my face at school again." Cordelia worried aloud.
Everyone looked each other. "Okay, why don't we stay here tonight. Nothing that bad could go wrong." Buffy said.
"We saw some bedrooms and they looked normal. Beds, dressers and the usual stuff." Xander added.
"Okay, should we start up there?" Amy asked.
"We'll separate into girls and boys, and vampires." Xander said, taking charge.
"Okay, Cordelia and Amy, you can go in one room. Willow and I can go in the other. Guys, you figure it out for yourself." Buffy told them.
The girls walked off and up the stairs to the left. Spike looked at his sire. "We saw some bedrooms on the way, only two though."
"Okay, well, you're going with me. Like Buffy said 'I don't want you snacking'." Angel told his childe and the four men walked up the stairs to the right.
The fours girls walked along the long hallway to the two rooms across from each other. Cordelia and Amy took the one to the left and Buffy and Willow took the one to the right. Walking in the door, Buffy found that there were two beautifully made beds set out like they were in the nursery minus the cot and toys. "It's wow." Buffy commented.
"Yeah. I feel like I've gone back in time or something. Oh look." Willow walked over to one of the beds and picked up a case. Buffy sat beside her as she opened it. Inside was a spell book. "This must be my lucky day." She said, beaming in happiness.
"You're not going to start going all hocus pocus on me, are you?" Buffy asked.
"Hmmm... I'll think about it." She replied, giving her friend a mischevious grin.
"Okay, I get the one on the... what's this?" Amy picked up a case on her bed.
Cordelia looked around the room then sat on her bed next to Amy's. "Soft."
"Hmm." Amy said, preoccupied with the design carved into the case. "What have we here?" She asked herself as she opened the box. Inside she found the same spell book Willow had found.
"What is it?"
"A spell book. I've never seen this one. It's old and... Giles doesn't have it."
"Well, give it to him for Christmas or something."
"We're only up to Halloween, Cordy."
"Early Christmas present?"
"I don't think so. I'll keep it until I want him to have it."
"Yeah. Be the Samantha or Sabrina or whatever it is you are." She looked curiously over at her. "Does it have... beauty spells? Not that I need one... I'm just... curious."
Amy gave her a smile then started flipping through the pages. "Yep. Want me to do one for you? I noticed you were looking at Xander that way again." Cordelia gave out a huff and turned her vision to the door. "Bad topic, huh? Okay, I'll just do this for you and see what he says."
"Just a practice though." She told the witch and sat on the end of Amy's bed.
The guys walked along the hall. Spike was the first to speak but directed his words at his sire. "Did I tell you that I had a reflection?"
"Yeah, so did I. I was about 26 and..." Angel's words were cut off by Spike's continuing.
"Nuh, Mate. Tonight. Buffy saw my reflection in the mirror and told me to look. There I was. Plain as night."
"Does this mean Fang can go out in the sun now too?" Xander asked. Hoping it wasn't true.
"That would be good. Then it would mean he won't have to drink blood." Oz said.
"Or us." Xander added. "Then again, that's where our blood lives. In their little blood cell houses." He added, jokingly.
Oz and Xander walked to the door of the room on the left and opened it. "Okay, this one's ours." Oz stated, walking into the dimly lit room.
"Okay, be careful." Angel said then ushered his childe to the room oposite it.
"Am I becoming human?" Spike asked, ignoring the other conversation.
"Try putting your demon's face on." Angel said.
Spike did it with ease. "Okay, scrub that idea. What's up with me, Angelus?" He finally asked as they both entered the room.
"I don't know. Could be the ghosts' work. We'll find out in the morning." He said, closing the door behind them. Once inside they saw two cases on each bed in the room. They both took one each and opened it to find packages of blood.
"Someone's being nice." He said in his happy but cautious voice.
"Someone was expecting us." Said Angel.
"Oh, look at this one!" Buffy pointed out a page to Willow.
"Splash. What about it?" Willow asked.
"Well, it sounds like fun. Unless it starts a flood. Then that would be bad."
"Didn't you read the description?"
"No. That's what you're here for." She gave her friend a smile.
"Alright. Splash. Make water appear in amounts you desire. Sounds alright."
"Can we try it?" Buffy said, getting excited.
"Maybe we should try something else first." She said, turning the page.
"I don't know. This one." She pointed to another page. "Darkness falls. Sounds a bit scary but it doesn't look bad."
"That's what you said when you tried to change your clothes and..."
"Please, don't finish that sentence."
"They disappeared, Wills. I can't just let that go."
"Can we just try this first. It's only for this room."
"Okay. Go ahead."
"Hold my hand." Buffy held Willow's hand. "Darkness and light, gloomy and bright. Bring forth the makers to make lightning night."
The candles blow out and a ghost of a young, red headed girl appears infront of them. They both scream. "Ghost! Ghost! Ahh! No!"
Spike and Angel look up from where they sit. Angel has only his pants and unbuttoned shirt on and Spike sits with only his baseball pants on. They both run out of the room to run into Xander and Oz. "What happened to the lights?" Said Oz.
"Blackout." Xander replied.
"With candles?" Spike asked.
"Big gust of wind?" He asked again.
They all run down the hall to find the girls.
Cordelia flicks on her lighter. "There they go. Lights are now gone."
Amy said, "Well, At least we have the proper mood to do this one. Cower shadows, breathe the air. Give what now is and return what was there." The candles in the room return to show a glowing flame. "Much better."
Buffy and Willow clutch each other on the bed. "Chuck water at it, Willow! It might melt!"
"Splash with water, attack this ghost. What is now there water thy most." She chanted a swirl of blue appeared infront of Buffy and Willow and directed at the door where the ghost stood. The water is ready to move forward. The door opens, the ghost disappears and the water, with the force of a flood, pounds onto the barechested Spike. He flies back against the opposite door and gets swept down the hall towards the stairs. Angel is standing in the path of the water and gets swept along with Spike. Xander and Oz are standing at the stairs and see the approaching water.
"Hello, Niagra." Xander said with a fascination that got him swept off his feet by the water. Oz was carried away too. As if the water had a direct path it went straight down the stairs and didn't continue along the halls. The guys were thrown against the floor with water up to their necks. The girls all ran to the top of the stairs only moments later when the water journeyed to the first floor.
"Uh oh. This isn't exactly what I planned." Willow said.
"So you did this? Way to go, Willow." Amy said.
"Sorry." Willow called down to the incredibly drenched guys below them.
The water subsided and started beading on every bare inch of the males. Angel was sitting, as was Spike, Xander had been pushed against the front door and Oz was laying on his stomach. Spike coughed a bit. "Okay, what's the big bloody idea?" Spike said.
The girls walked down the stairs with caution because of the slippery state of the stairs. "Uh, well, spell that didn't quite work. No biggy." Buffy answered.
"Who did it?" Angel asked. A little surprised by what had just happened.
"Ask your witchgirl." Cordelia said to him.
"Willow? Is this a new hobby that we should be worried about? Making water parks inside." Xander asked his friend.
"We were trying to get rid of the ghost." She said, with her head down.
"How? Trying to water it to death?" Cordelia snapped.
"Ghosts are usually dead first, Cord." He told her. "Don't mind her. She's just a bit cranky from missing some sleep." Xander told Willow.
"Don't you answer for me, Xander Harris."
"Is it safe for us to stand up now?" Spike asked. He looked directly at Buffy who was checking out his bare, wet abs. The muscles were beaded perfectly with the water that 'attacked' him. His white skin came close to matching his pants which were also soaked but not only from the flood. He knew long ago that Buffy was watching him. "Slayer?"
Buffy snapped out of her daydream when he called her. "Yeah? Oh, yeah, slippery. Yes. Bad, Willow." Buffy said, still only just recovering from her daydream of the wet, bleach blond vampire.
"We can't change clothes so what are we supposed to do? I doubt there's going to be a washer and dryer anywhere." Oz stated.
"Maybe you should look for one. I can handle being wet." Angel told the werewolf.
Willow mumbled under her breath, "I can handle you being wet too."
Spike, who was closest to her, heard her. He dropped his head to hide his smile. <The witch and the ponce. What a couple. Never would've guessed. She probably did this just to see him wet.>
"Spike, maybe you should get your shirt back on. You're making Buffy stare." Amy told him when Buffy continued staring. She looked up at Amy in horror and started blushing bright red. He gave her a quick smile then got up and started walking towards the stairs.
"I could say the same thing for Angel and the witch." He gave Willow a wink as he passed her. She dropped her head in embarrassment as she too started blushing. Angel got up and helped Oz up too and all four males walked up the stairs to their rooms. The girls remained downstairs.
As soon as the men were out of hearing distance Buffy yelled at Amy, "You couldn't help yourself, could you? You just had to go and embarrass me infront of Spike! Great. Just great. Now he thinks I'm perving on him." She started to daydream again. "Even though he really did look good all wet and half naked" She snapped out of her daydream when she realized the others were still in the room, "but that's not the point!"
"What is the point?" Amy asked her.
"I forgot." She said, trying to imagine what she possibly could've been raving about.
Cordelia let out a sigh and started walking back up the stairs to their rooms. Amy followed and Willow stayed behind to make sure Buffy was okay. "At least he smiled. He heard me say that I liked Angel wet. He winked at me when he walked past."
"At least he was subtle." Buffy said.
"You call" she mimics his accent "Angel and the witch" returns to her normal voice "subtle?" She shook her head.
"Can we go back upstairs now? I'm pretty tired."
"Yeah sure." They both started walking up the stairs.
"Hey do you think that ghost looked familiar?"
"It's funny. I think I've seen her before. Like I've seen her all through my life. It's as if I know her.
"Great. Just bloody great." Spike said as he touched the wet leg of his pants.
"Calm down, Spike. It's just a little water." Angel told him as he shut the door behind him.
"Just a little water?" He turned to his sire, unbelieving of what he just heard. "We were just washed down the bleedin' hall by a flood. You can't tell me that was just a little water." <Because I know for a fact it isn't *just water* on my pants>
"Getting upset won't make things better. It'll dry."
"Yeah and I'll freeze." He leant up against a wall.
"You can't freeze. We can't feel the cold. Or any other temperature for that matter."
Angel sighed, "You just felt like complaining?"
"I have the bloody right, don't I?" Angel started to chuckle at his childe's reaction. "You try getting slammed up against a wall by vicious water and taken down the bleedin' rapids *then* let's see who's laughing."
"You're being childish."
"Not, not, not."
"To, to, to."
"Now look who's childish."
"You started it." Angel opened a wardrobe door and found Spike's duster and normal clothes inside. "Ahhh, Spike? Did you bring your clothes and not tell me?"
"No. Why?" He walked over to the wardrobe and looked inside. "What the-..."
"I don't know." He pushed Spike's clothes aside and found his own normal clothes. "Ah, this is... unusual."
"This is more than unusual, Angel. First ghosts, then blood, little niagra and now this."
"Ask later. Take now." He grabbed his clothes and started to change into them. Spike grabbed his also and began changing.
Once Spike had his duster on he dug into his pockets for his cigarettes. Angel watched as his childe began to throw out everything but the kitchen sink. First it was a cd, then a pair of leather gloves, then a pen. He pulled out a railroad spike and smiled, "I've been wonderin' where that went." He threw it to the floor with the rest of the things he pulled out. He threw a rubber fish to the floor and Angel gave him a look. Spike just shrugged. He finally reached his cigarettes and lighter. He lit up and took a long drag.
"Do you have to do that in here?"
Spike blew the smoke in his sire's face. "Where else am I going to go? The door to outside is locked and I can't go in the halls because the smoke'll drift."
"Well, go downstairs. There has to be other doors to get outside."
"I'm not goin' alone. Bloody ghosts everywhere. I don't want what happened to you to happen to me. Never know who they'll bloody pair me with."
"Just go. Stop being a nuisance and go find another way out of this house."
"Bloody pillock." He grumbled as he left the room.
In the halls he ran into Willow. "Well, well, if it isn't the little witch. Gone to give the old dog a spankin'?" He grinned when he saw her blush. "Secret's safe with me, luv. Give him a good ol' slap upside the head for me, will ya?" He chuckled then started to walk along the hall past her.
She then took in the state of his clothes. Being exactly that- clothes, not costume. She turned around and said, "Spike, your clothes. You found them like us, huh?"
Spike answered her, "Yep."
"Spike, where're you going?"
He straightened his posture and duster. "Out. I've been sent on a mission to smoke outside." He turned. "I might ask someone to go with me."
"She'll be out in a minute. She's just changing into the clothes we found. She's going to be looking for a way out."
"She stares sometimes. You stare all the other times. You both stare."
"I'm not that obvious, am I?"
"Only to every girl. Except Buffy. Buffy doesn't know. Giles knows though. Oz got it as soon as I did. Straight away."
"That bad, huh? Wait, Buffy was staring before tonight?"
Willow nods. "Gotta go. I've been given a mission to slap Angel upside the head." She grinned then went to open the door.
"Luv," She stopped. "Which head did you think I meant?" He smiled then continued on his way."
She created a new shade of red when she blushed this time and opened the door.
Spike walked down the halls and stopped at the grand staircase. He thought how she'd react when he appeared at her door. <Alright, 'Slayer, let's go for a walk. I wanna kiss you so bad it's makin' more than my fangs grow.' No. Bloody hell! It's just the damn slayer. Jesus. Where's a stake when you need one?> He blew out another puff of smoke and looked down the stairs. Buffy walked up behind him while he was deep in thought.
"Hi, Spike." She said cheerily.
He came out of his thoughts quickly but didn't give her the reaction she expected. "Ahh!" He turned around quickly and realised who it was. "Bloody hell, Slayer."
"Geez, and my mother said I couldn't sneak up on a corpse. Now I can do walking corpses." She grinned.
"Very funny, Luv. I should've killed you when I had the chance." He took another drag and blew it down the stairs as he took a step.
"Where're you going?" She asked.
"The wanker told me to smoke somewhere else. Stupid pillock." He said.
"He's not stupid." She said in Angel's defence. "He's actually quite smart." She added.
"Yeah. Sure, Slayer. Now you know how I'd love to stay and chat but... you're wrong a lot. So see that door over there?" He pointed to the front door. "I want to find another one of those that actually opens." He walked down the stairs and she was right behind him.
"Good. I'm coming."
He mentally rejoiced. <Great. As long as we don't fight this can go well.>
She started walking beside him and said, "I guess you found your clothes like us?" He kept walking just a little bit faster. She caught up and walked beside him again. "You could've waited. *Gentlemen* like Angel usually do." She then started walking a step infront of him. <Prove me wrong.>
<I'll show you bloody gentle. Just you wait.> They both stood at the bottom of the steps.
She started looking at the front door and the decorative, antique wallpaper that was on the walls beside it. <What's taking him so long? Shouldn't he have done something by now?>
<Just kiss the chit. She stares remember?> He blew out another puff of smoke and put the cigarette out on one of the statues at the end of the rail of the stairs while Buffy wasn't looking. He took a deep breath and grabbed her arm, yanking her to him. It was seconds later that he slowly lowered his head to let their lips meet, just barely. He hesitated just before they kissed, then closed his eyes and kissed her.
She felt his lips brush over hers and knew what would happen next. All her thoughts were muddled as he started the tender kiss. It was if a gentle breeze passed over them and she was swept away with it. <Mmmm.>
<Damn it.> He felt himself start to grow under his leather pants and pulled away from her. She was shocked when he did it and immediately took a step back. He turned away from her to try and calm himself. <Not bloody now.>
<What'd I do? What'd I do?> "What?" She asked trying to regain his attention.
"Nothing, Slayer." He turned around when he'd calmed down and started walking behind the staircase hoping to find something. He did. He found a door. "Slayer." She walked around and saw the door.
"Cool." She opened the door and walked into it. She noticed the only way you could go was left so she did just that. Went left. In front of her was a large sauna room. "Double cool."
"What, Slayer?" He walked up behind her and saw it. The tiered room had a light mist throughout it. He looked to the left and saw a door to the shower room and then looked to the right and saw a door to the swimming pool.
"Swimming pool?" Buffy asked him wondering how they'd fit such a large pool inside a house.
"Yeah. Well, the way Angel described the ballroom it would only just fit there."
"That would mean the your rooms are above the swimming pool and ours are over the showers and gym."
"Yeah. Amy and Oz found it."
"Little Red and the small, good wolf." He gave her a small smile.
She rolled her eyes and took a step towards the pool room. "You could say that. Since when has Little Red Riding Hood been a witch though?"
Spike followed her and opened the door and took a step aside so she could enter. He walked in after her. The room wasn't very well lit. Flame torches were lit every two or so meters around the walls and a few every one meter around the edge of the pool.
Oz and Xander were just sitting around the room. Oz had found their clothes in the wardrobe a little while before and Xander had practically sprinted over to them to change. It was bad enough that Cordy hated him but for her to hate, and even express that hate, towards his choice of costume was worse. "Oz-man, aren't you bored?" Xander asked, after his 100th pace around the room.
"Yep." He said as his eyes glanced over at Xander then back at the open window.
"You don't seem like it."
"That's the thing. I'm not expressing it."
"Oh. Teach me." He practically begged him.
"Then we can be bored about a whole new thing." He slumped into one of the cushioned couches to avoid pacing again.
"Calm down? How? We're going to be stuck in here all night with no girls, no t.v. and no... girls."
"You don't usually *have* girls anyway."
Xander tried to regain the little pride he had, "That's not the point. I can have t.v. and girls at once. The girls being on the t.v. screen at the time but... I am so bored."
"Yep." <He should just go out with her again. This is driving me insane.> "Ask her out."
"What? No. She'd laugh. And why do you know? It hasn't been broadcast has it?" <Oh god. Say it hasn't.>
<Phew.> "Okay, so how do you know?"
"I pick up stuff from Willow. She taught me how to know things. Did you know about Spike?"
<Spike? What about Spike?> "Spike? Oh yeah. Sure. Ages ago." He tried to sound clued in on the situation but failed miserably.
"He likes Buffy."
"What?" He screamed at the top of his lungs. "He what? No. No. Buffy would never. He wouldn't... wouldn't dare. She'd-she'd stake him." He started to babble. He got out of his chair again and started to pace around the room as thoughts flew around in his mind like rush hour on the hi-way.
"No she wouldn't."
"What? Why not?"
"She likes him too."
"What?" This time the sound echoed through the entire house.
Angel and Willow looked up from sitting on the floor infront of each other. Willow raised an eyebrow as she looked towards the door. Angel did too then looked back at Willow and smiled widely at her. His smile widened and laid his cards on the floor to show a straight. Willow showed her cards- a royal flush- and his smile faded but her smile was enough to light up the room.
Spike and Buffy looked in the direction of upstairs as they stood around the pool room.
"What was that?" asked Spike.
Buffy shrugged and they continued to look around.
Cordelia sat by the window when she heard Xander. Amy looked up at the same time as her.
"What was that?" Amy asked, still facing the door.
"That was Xander. Probably just got told his subscription to Playboy expired." She said, unimpressed.
Amy turned around to face her. "Why don't you go out with him again?"
Cordelia laughed as she tried to focus even harder on something outside rather than answer the question. She found it impossible and turned to face Amy. "Because, I think he's the most idiotic, unattractive, lame, bad dancing, unromantic guy I know."
"You forgot to say you love him."
"I know." She sighed and fell back onto her bed. <I also forgot to say I can't live without him and I watch everytime he enters a room and that I really think he has a cute costume.>
"Why do you pay him out then?"
Cordelia sat up abruptly. "Well, duh, because aggression is the first sign of attraction or whatever the saying is."
"Well, I like Oz but I don't go and whack him over the head with his guitar. I was going to ask him out tonight but we got stranded here."
"You should ask him out now."
"So should you."
"I can't believe I'm having a heart to heart with you."
"I can. We all know you're not really the snotty, high-strung b-i-t-c-h you make yourself out to be."
"I'm not a bitch." Cordelia said in her defense.
"We know. You just make yourself look like you are."
"I won't. They'll find out eventually."
"Why don't you just tell them?"
"And let them go all mushy? Not even!" She then went and stood by the window again.
Amy walked over to her and stood beside her. "The least you could do is not be so bitchy around us. I mean, we can take it when there are other people around but when it's just us..." She trailed off, thinking Cordelia got the message.
"Can I still pay out on Xander?" She asked hopefully, as she turned to the blond witch.
"Why would you want to?"
"I get such a good reaction." She smiled then looked back out the window.
Willow picked up her cards. Angel gave her a look and she smiled sweetly at him. "Your turn."
He grumbled. "Fine."
"Oh come on. You've had all your unlife to perfect your skills."
"Yeah, but I spent most of that... killing."
"Don't get yourself down about it. You can start now." She grinned "I'll teach you."
Now, he'd had enough. Someone that was centuries younger than him was beating him at cards and now said person was offering help. "No." He stood up and sat in a chair.
"Ooooh, someone's a bit grumpy. Sore loser." She said. She smiled at him just to tease him a little more.
"I'm not grumpy."
"Brooding?" He growled playfully at her. She giggled at him. "Fine. Be that way."
He cracked a smile at her. "I will."
"Want to play another ga-..." Her words were cut off by Angel grabbing her around the waist and hauling her over his shoulder. She started to laugh hysterically at his actions as he spun in circles. "Put me down." She said.
He stopped spinning. "No."
"Put me down. I'm dizzy." He face started going red from the blood rushing to her head.
"Beg me." He said, playfully turning slowly in a circle.
"No." She replied with defiance.
"Okay, suit yourself." He said then began to spin faster in circles.
"Okay, okay." He stopped spinning. "Pretty please put me down." She begged.
He stood still for a moment then said, "Hmmmm." As if he were thinking about it.
"Just put me down, Angel!" She demanded with a playful tone.
"Okay." He then dropped her back onto her feet and gave the dizzy redhead a smile. "At least I can do one thing you can't do."
"You can do more than one thing. You can pee standing up."
"Actually, that's one thing you can do that I can't. I'm undead. I don't need a bathroom."
"Oh." She blushed when she realised.
"But I can also do this." He growled at her while smiling, ready to pounce on her.
"Uh oh." She was aware of the game he was ready to begin. It was punishment for her beating him in cards. She hated being tickled.
Buffy picked up a towel that was hanging over a chest high beam. Spike took off his duster and put it over the beam. "What now, Slayer?"
"I don't know. Have you ever been in a house that wouldn't let you leave before?"
"Only this one. Otherwise I wouldn't be here."
"Well, wouldn't it do something stupid and hide the open door in a weird place?"
"Where do we start?"
"Luv, this house is huge. It would take a while to do it just by ourselves."
"Okay. I'll go get Cordy and Amy. Will was going to see Angel. You can get them and Oz and Xander."
"Why do I have to get the dragon?" He whined as he picked up his duster.
"Because, you're closer to them. I'll be on the other side of the house."
"Fine." He sulked then trodded off out of the room. Buffy followed behind him and they walked out of the pool room together.
Buffy and Spike walked into the foyer and up the stairs together. They parted and went their separate ways to their different locations on the second floor. Buffy went left and Spike went right.
Buffy turned the corner and looked straight ahead, noticing something that wasn't there before. At the end of the hallway was a staircase that led upstairs. She wrinkled her brow in confusion. <That was *not* there last time. Okay, Buff, get Amy and Cordy then tell the others. Could be the way out of here.> She walked on to where the door to Amy and Cordelia's room was. She knocked lightly on the wood and was greeted by Amy.
"Hi, Buffy. Something wrong?"
"No. Ah, am I seeing things? I can see a door down there." She pointed to where the door at the end of the hallway was. Amy looked out and saw it.
"Only if I am too. I didn't see it last time."
"Neither did I. Oh, by the way. We found a pool, sauna and some showers. Spike's gone to get everyone else and we're going to try and find a door out of here."
"Okay. Well, we'll just get our stuff and we'll come out. Meeting in the foyer again?"
"Yep. See you soon." She walked away from the hall and back down the hallway to where she came from.
Spike knocked on the door to Oz and Xander's room.
"Just a minute." Xander's voice was heard through the door. He opened it and saw Spike standing there. He immediately tried to close it again but Spike's foot shot out and blocked the door from closing.
"Listen, *mate* we're going to start looking for a door. Be downstairs in a couple of minutes." He took his foot away and the door was closed straight after. Sighing, Spike turned around and faced the door to his room that he shared with his sire. He went for the doorknob but stopped and smiled. He knocked instead.
A girl's squeal was heard and he shook his head. Angel opened the door with Willow not far behind him. Angel's smile turned to a frown as he held back Willow from trying to tickle him. "Oh, what do you want?"
"I get such lovely greetings from you people. At least I got a 'hi' from Buffy."
"She's Buffy now? Not '*slayer*'?" Willow asked with a tinge of happiness in her voice.
"She's always going to be 'slayer', Witch." He told her.
"I don't think she likes that." Angel said as he took an un-needed breath.
"What makes you say that?" The blond vampire asked.
"The pointy, piece of wood aimed at your back would be one reason." Angel told his childe.
Spike inhaled without need and turned around to see Buffy, looking very unpleased, with a stake pointed at him like Angel had said. "My name is Buffy."
"Now, you're not really going to use that on me now are you, pet?" He said, giving her one of his heart-melting smiles.
"No, guess not." She lowered the stake and put it back in her pocket. "Amy and Cordelia are down there waiting."
Oz and Xander emerged from their room with their coats and some candybars they had found on their beds in their hands. "Bye now." Xander said as he saw Buffy and Spike.
Xander led the way for everyone as they walked down the hall, down the stairs and into the foyer.
Amy was standing in the centre of the foyer and Cordelia was walking around waiting. "And at the last minute. I can't believe that. Is that a record?" Amy teased Cordelia.
"No. I'm not a total fashion nut." She replied.
"It was pretty much the only thing in there. Well, the beds and couches too but that's it. The last thing you go for is the wardrobe." She paused and smiled. "Who are you and what have you done with Cordelia?" She grinned, awaiting a burning response.
"Nothing and I am Cordelia. I just thought that since it's an old house it'd have old clothes."
"Anything would be better than walking around as a mermaid."
"Not. Mermaid's are cool. They have tans and great... scales. I take that all back."
"Why are you holding your costume then?"
"I like the costume I just don't want scales."
"Oh." The rest of the team came walking down the stairs. Xander had decided that he should keep his costume. He held it in one had and some candy bars in the other, even though the pockets of his new clothes were stuffed with them. Oz did the same with the candy bars even though he wasn't going to eat as many. He brought them along for everyone else.
"Here we are." Xander said as he joined the two girls in the foyer. "In all our non-costumed-ness."
"And proud of it." Buffy admitted. "And now I can give my mom the excuse I'm allergic to cats."
Buffy looked at her watch again and sighed. Xander had been yelling at Spike, who was being good enough not to give a reaction. Being good in the sense that his reaction would be pounding on the teenager until his head showed on the other side of his body and his face was inside out. Being good in the sense also that he didn't yell back at the teen 'At least I got to kiss, Buffy'. That wouldn't go down well with the slayer. She had a way of hiding what she really wanted and she did it well. Did she want him to yell that they kissed or did she want to wipe all memories of the kiss from her mind? <God, what lips. Kissable. So kissable.> Buffy thought. <God damn kissable and I should know. Oohh, kissable.> Her thoughts were all around one thing. Her hormones were obsessed with what happened. <Kiss. Kiss. Kiss.> Her mind chanted. <Now. Now. Now!>
"And who invited you to come anyway?" Xander's words echoed through the room.
"Xander, maybe you should let up." Amy's words were soothing but yet frightened that he'd turn his anger on her.
"No. I want to know. Who invited him?" Xander's voice raised even more.
"I don't think you want to know, Xand. Just leave it alone." Oz cut in. Trying to calm the boy down.
Xander shot a glare at both Oz and Amy then turned his fury back to Spike. "Buffy should've dusted you when we first met you."
That's it. Spike had had enough. It was okay when it was just about him but when he brought Buffy, innocent, little Buffy, into it he was going to far. "Well, Puff, maybe you didn't remember but you had the chance. You were going to be my dinner at the time but why didn't you do it then? No guts. If you had some I'd slit your belly and play pizza place with them right now! Go on. Stake me!" Not quite what he wanted to say but with Buffy in the room he had to be on his best behaviour. Also, incase he said something he'd regret later.
"Fine. I'll do it now!" Xander pulled a stake out of his pocket. Spike pushed his duster back with his hands so he could rest them on his hips. He waited for the wood to pierce his heart and he closed his eyes. The boy wouldn't have the guts. He thought either way he'd win.
<If Buffy wants me she'll save me and if she doesn't I can die for not having her anyway.> He thought and he took an unneeded breath. The next sound he heard wasn't charging feet but a loud thump on the floor. He opened one eye in curiousity and saw the brunette lying on his back on the floor holding his left eye. "Did I miss something?"
Cordelia was by Xander's side in a second. "You really did deserve it, Xander. God, you can be so pathetic sometimes." She helped him up.
Buffy looked angrily at Xander. "Grow up! I invited him so leave him alone." Not the truth but that would keep Xander off his back for a while.
Willow looked at Buffy with question. <She didn't invite him. Angel did. What's... oh.> Willow smiled at Buffy, knowing her plan.
"Can we start searching the house now?" Angel said, surprisingly impatient.
"Sure. This time let's go in bigger groups. Four in each." Buffy told them. She walked over and stood beside Spike to 'protect' him from Xander.
"Whatever." Xander growled.
"Buffy, I wanna go with you." Willow grabbed Buffy's arm and jumped up and down anxiously.
"Okay, okay. Wills, you're a bit over-excited." Buffy said, trying to regain her wits.
"Sorry. Angel and Spike too." She grabbed Spike's arm and smiled at Angel. Angel smiled back and shook his head.
"Alright, Red. No need to pounce." Spike said, trying to reassure Willow.
"There is need. I don't want you running away." Willow said.
"Yeah, she might want you to play barbies." Cordelia smirked.
"Bollocks." Spike said.
"Shouldn't we start now?" Oz said, seeing how anxious Angel was to leave. "I think we're all ready."
"Okay, we're the east side of the house. You guys can go the west." Buffy said. "Upstairs first or downstairs?"
"Upstairs." Spike said.
"Yeah upstairs. We've searched the ballroom. Not much there." Willow said.
"Okay, let's go." Amy said.
"Finally." Angel started walking back upstairs. Willow pulled Buffy and Spike along behind her and the other team headed up behind them then the teams seperated to follow their different paths.
Cordelia lead the way with Amy behind her. Xander and Oz stayed to the back, Xander grumbling and Amy trying her best not to yell at him to leave Buffy and Spike alone. "There it is." Cordelia pointed towards the mysterious door at the end of the hallway.
"So that's the ghost door?" Oz said.
"Yeah. We wanted to have a look before we went downstairs but..." Amy looked at Cordelia.
"But we got scared so we waited for you." Cordelia finished for her.
"Have no fear... Xander is here." Xander said, stepping infront of the girls and acting like a super hero.
"Isn't that a reason to *be* afraid?" Cordelia asked. "I mean, out of all the scarey things I've seen from hanging around you people you would have to be the scariest."
"I don't know, did you see your school photos?" He smirked.
"Yeah. Did you see yours? You looked like you were doped up on drugs." She pushed past Xander and started walking down the hall towards the door. Amy followed behind her with Oz by her side.
Xander started to feel bad. He'd let her get away without a come back. He looked up, "Yeah, well, how's about that... that hair? Yeah. Bad hair day girl." He mentally started kicking himself. No come back was better than a come back as lame as that.
<Cordelia two, Xander... well, lame come back equals minus one. Oh, Cordelia two, Xander none.> Cordelia smiled to herself in triumph.
Buffy, Willow, Spike and Angel all walked in single file along the hallway. Willow caught up to Buffy and walked beside her. <Hey, Buffy, Spike likes you. No. To direct. Hey, Buffy, Spike's got the hots for someone you know really well. To... not direct.>
"What are you thinking, Wills?" Buffy's voice broke Willow's concentration.
"Uh, nothing. Just, something."
"Gee, that made sense. Care to vague that up a little?"
"Willow." Buffy gave her friend a 'I'm not going to stop asking until you tell me' look.
"It's about Spike." Willow said.
Buffy's attention was immediately put on all things Willow said and will say. "Yeah?" She said, trying to urge more from the witch.
"Yeah. Well... I can't actually tell you what but..."
Buffy interrupted Willow as she finished saying 'what', "That is so mean! I tell you everything! Tell me! What is it?" Buffy demanded so loudly Angel and Spike heard. Spike started getting suspicious of what the red head was about to tell the slayer. Willow turned around, a bit uncomfortable by how loud the slayer spoke, and checked behind her to see Spike giving her the 'what are you up to, Red?' look that he did so well.
"Nothing." Willow replied without taking her eyes off Spike. She then turned back around and tried her best not to look at Buffy because she knew Buffy would be staring, glaring or all of the above at her.
Cordelia stopped about a metre from the door. <Freaky much?> "Okay, go." She told the boys.
"Huh? We're your slaves now?" Xander asked as he approached the three waiting.
"Yes. Go." She replied.
"Yes, Ma'am." He said and reluctantly headed for the door. He grabbed the handle and made his grip more comfortable. He turned the knob slowly and opened it. Everyone peered in. There was movement in the darkness.
Buffy lead the other three into a room. "Okay, and this *wasn't* here last time."
Angel came in last. "Well, it is... roomy."
"Yeah. Roomy." Spike added as they both admired what they could see of the high ceiling and spacious floor space. They could tell it wasn't a small room from the echoing their voices made throughout the room and by the amount and volume of the echoing... and by the way every step and voice echoed... this was one big room.
The room was very poorly lit. So poorly lit that even Angel and Spike couldn't see very well, even with their enhanced seeing. It was as if only two candles were lighting the entire room. And this room was huge. There was movement not too far infront of them. If only they knew what.
A figure lept out of the darkness towards the teenagers. Cordelia screamed. Amy screamed. Xander screamed. Oz stepped back a bit in shock. He took a step forward and looked at the tiny figure that landed gracefully on the floor. He knelt down and picked it up. "Who's a pretty kitty?" He said as he stroked it's black fur.
Xander was panting heavily from the scare and said, "Kitty? As in cat? As in *not* a monster?"
"Oh grow up, Xander!" Cordelia told him even though she too was only just recovering from the fright they recieved. "It's just a fur-ball. What can it do?" The cat took one look at Cordelia and hissed.
"Oh look. It likes you." Xander chuckled at the cat's reaction to Cordelia.
Cordelia huffed and stepped into the room mumbling, "Stupid cats. Probably one of Buffy's relatives."
"But she has a cool costume, Cordy. You said it yourself." Amy started saying as she followed the brunette into the room with Oz and Xander behind her.
The movement came back infront of the four. "What's that?" Willow said, latching onto Angel's arm for protection.
"I'm sure it's nothing. Probably just a cat." Angel reassured her.
The figure lept out from the darkness and knocked them both to the ground. It growled from deep in it's chest and scratched Angel across the face. The wound already started healing. Willow tried to scream but came out choked. Buffy and Spike were by their sides in a minute. Spike grabbed Willow and dragged her to the safety of the door then charged back into the room to help Buffy and Angel battle the mysterious thing. "Ow!" Buffy yelled as it scratched her abs.
"Buffy!" Spike yelled into the darkness to try and find where she was.
"Here." She replied. Spike followed her voice and found her pinned under the beast. He heard Angel walk up behind him.
"Angel, here." He said. Angel walked up beside him and they both threw the demon off her. She started panting heavily. "Angel, get rid of him while I help her." He told his sire as he helped Buffy up and over to the door where their friend sat. As he brought her into the light he noticed a large gash running across her stomach. "You're hurt."
"I'm okay. Go kill that thing, would you?" She said, nursing her wound with the help of Willow.
Spike ran back into the darkness and went straight over to where the sounds of Angel battling the thing were. "Angel?"
"Yeah." Angel replied. He heard Angel, or the thing, swing and the other demon go flying.
"Uh, Angel?" Spike said again, not sure of whether his sire was conscious. No answer. "Just bloody great." He took another step into the darkness and ran smacking into the beast. He fell back which was just as well, the demon swung and only missed Spike by an inch or so. Spike kicked out with his foot and hit it again. It growled again. He kicked again. Same result. He kicked again and again and got kicked towards the door which was around ten metres away. He slid up on his back, looked up and saw Buffy and Willow looking down at him. "Hello, Cuties." He gave them a grin then got up again and ran back into the fight. Angel was up and fighting again as Spike arrived. They both swung and hit it. They swung again and hit again. The beast was growling angrily and Spike reached into his pockets to find something to help them. He grinned in the darkness. "This is more like it." He pierced the demon heart and it let out a painful scream. He stabbed it again and it fell to it's knees.
"What'd you do?" Angel asked.
"Just something you're going to thank me for later." He replied. Willow stood and put her hands up and down on the inside of the doorway in hope there would be a lightswitch. Nothing.
"Just light a few candles, Will." Buffy told her friend as she watched her wounds healing.
"Uh... cower shadows, breath the air. Give what now is and return what was there." The candles in the room lit up. The room was bare except for a table that sat at the far end and a door that was next to it. Buffy and Willow looked up to see Angel shaking his head. Wondering why, they looked over at Spike who was smiling widely at his... railroad spike? "Where'd that come from?" Willow asked him.
"Just got it out of my pocket. Don't ask. It was just there." Everyone looked down at the now very dead beast.
"Ick." Buffy said as she saw the blood covered thing and the pool of blood around it. It reminded her of chewbacca from Star Wars, except this beast wasn't as hairy and had lots of horns.
"Yeah." Willow added.
A loud boom sounded through the room. "Survive and leave. Don't survive and you'll suffer eternity in hell."
"Say what?" Buffy asked.
The voice sighed, "Ameteurs. Okay, here's the deal, this is a haunted house, get it? Good. Now you're here because... well you're just here. You have to survive. One of you dies, or if one of the vampires re-die, then you'll all go to hell. Only your ghosts can help you."
"Huh?" Buffy asked again.
The voice growled in frustration at her. "Blondes! Read the paper on the table! Good luck!" It yelled, then the booming sound returned and there was silence.
Cordelia and the others looked around their now lit room. Oz was still holding the cat and Amy was patting it. The room was like the other room, one table and one door. They walked over to the table and picked up a piece of paper. It read...
"Through the door, a trap for you. Survive this round then go to two. Cryptic much?" Buffy said.
Spike snatched the paper from her. "It means we go through the door and there's a booby trap. We survive the trap and we go on to the next room."
The booming sound came back. "At least one of you are smart." The booming sound returned and silence resumed.
"I really hate that." Angel said.
"You? Hate? Right. I thought you were the king of all things good and soulful." Spike mocked. "So, you've turned in your crown, Sir Poof?" He added with a mocking smile.
"Shut up, Spike." Angel warned. "We've got to get started or we'll never finish to find the others."
Another piece of paper flittered to the ground at Angel's feet. Willow picked it up. It read...
"Something deep, and something rare. Hides something that'll give a scare. White and brittle, human and old. Gives you the key to what's untold." Amy read out.
"Huh?" Cordelia asked. "Something deep? Like a river or something?"
"Let's figure it out when we get in there." Amy said and they all walked in the door.
Inside the next room was what looked to be a dungeon. There was a cage infront of them with human skeletons. To their right was a well and the contents was bubbling. To their left was a door.
"What now?" Willow asked. Everyone just scanned the room again from where they stood.
Xander opened a candy bar and took a bite. He offered it to Cordelia when he saw her eyeing it. She refused. "Okay, what are we looking for?" He asked, his mouth still half-ful.
"Something deep." Oz said. Their room looked exactly like the dungeon the other group were in. "The well." Everyone followed him over to the well and saw a deep red liquid bubbling inside it.
"Okay, I've seen it enough to know what it is. Blood." Xander said.
"Ick. *Ick*. Ugh... ick." Cordelia finally said, stepping back from the well.
"That just about sums it up." Said Oz.
"Well, it's deep. As in colour and depth." Amy offered.
"But what about rare?" Xander took another bite of his candy bar, despite the blood freely bubbling beside him.
"How can you eat at a time like this?" Cordelia asked, wide eyed in disgust.
"Something rare." Amy interrupted, knowing there would be a long conversation if she didn't interrupt.
"Well, solving the riddle would be a good start." Buffy said.
"Well, blood. Some blood types are rare." Spike said as he lit up a cigarette.
"And where pray tell is the blood?" She asked, putting her hands on her hips.
Angel replied, "In the well."
"And how do you know that?" She furthered the conversation with her questions.
"They can smell blood, Buffy." Her friend answered for her.
"Oh. I knew that." Buffy walked over to the well and leant against it. "Okay, so we have rare blood in a well that hides something scary."
"What kind of scary?" Willow asked.
"Yeah. Monster scary or bad test paper scary?" Buffy added, turning her question to the two vampires.
"How the hell should I know? I'm not the bloody answer man here. Ask the grand high poof ball." He said, taking another puff.
"Heal, Fang." Buffy said to Spike. Spike growled at her in response. "Well, Angel, it looks like you're going to have to work this out."
"Well, blood, rare, scary. I guess we just look in and find what's so scary." He said.
The booming sound returned.
"What do you want *now*?" Cordelia looked heavenward.
"I just wanted to tell you another rule." The voice said.
"Well, what is it?" Amy asked, also looking at the ceiling.
"Well, if one team figures it out first the other team automatically passes too."
"Oh, well, in that case, let's just sit back and relax... and wait for Buffy and the others to figure it out." Xander said, sitting on a large brick.
"Uh uh uh. Tsk tsk. This is a game for all of you to play. No one sits out. You have to At least try. Whoever figures it out first gets easier questions in the following round."
"There are rounds?"
"I can't believe I'm sitting in a dungeon talking to a voice that has no body. Have I gone completely insane?"
Xander did his best to growl at the intruding voice. The voice laughed then the booming sound returned.
"Well, this is a weird halloween." Buffy commented. She peered into the well and saw her mother slowly decomposing. She gasped and stepped back in shock. Willow and the two vampires looked into it and saw the same thing except Spike saw Buffy and Angel saw Willow. Willow saw her parents.
"Mom! Dad!" Willow cried. Tears started falling from her eyes and streaming down her cheeks.
Angel took Willow in his arms and stroked her hair while saying, "Shhh, Willow, it's okay. It's what's supposed to scare us. It's not real."
"But-but... I saw it." She stated between sobs.
Spike walked over to the stunned slayer and put a reassuring hand on her shoulder. "Are you okay?" He asked.
"I saw my mom." She sobbed. "What if that thing can show us what's happening outside of this house?" She looked into his eyes.
"It can't. I saw you and you're not rotting." He said, giving her a weak smile.
"You saw me?" she asked.
Angel broke their talk. "I think I understand what it means now." He said. "Check the bones in the cage." He ordered.
Spike and Buffy walked over to the cage and looked at the bones of the skeleton leaning against the wall. He looked at her. "Want me to do it?" He offered. Buffy nodded in response. He took a step forward and took a close look at the bones. Willow brushed a tear away as she and Angel watched, his arms still tightly around her. Spike checked the bones for any clues then looked into an eye hole in the skull. He picked the skull up off the top of the spine and removed a rolled up piece of paper from it.
"Well, look in it. See what's there. Apart from blood." Cordelia ordered Xander, pointing to the well.
"Hey, if you wanna know what's there you look at it! I don't want something jumping out and grabbing me." He yelled back.
The booming sound returned. "Okay, go on. Tell us how pathetic we are." Cordelia shouted at the ceiling again.
"I'm not here to tell you how pathetic you are. Okay, I am, but not just that. Just wanted to give you a hint. Look in, see something, then work out what it means." The voice faded and the booming followed.
The four teenagers looked at each other then simultaneously peered into the well.
"What does it say?" Buffy asked, walking up behind Spike as he crouched by the bones of the human.
"Ali Baba found his gold. Behind the door are treasures untold." He read.
Angel let go of Willow and walked over to the door. He tried to open it but found it was locked. "Willow, can you unlock this door for us?" He asked the witch.
"I'll try." She took a lock of her hair and put it in the kephole of the door. "Lock of mine, break the lock. Metal break and cages not." Suddenly the door of the cage slammed shut, locking Buffy and Spike inside. Buffy grabbed the cage door and tried to pull it open. She tried again with all her slayer strength and nothing happened. Spike helped her but the door wouldn't budge.
Then came the booming sound. "Tsk, tsk, tsk. No cheating. Now how do you suppose you're going to get them out?" The voice asked with curiousity found throughout it's tone.
"Well, I know what *I'm* going to do when we *do* get out. I'm going to find you and shove every bone of that skeleton where..." Spike's threat was cut off by Buffy covering his mouth with her hand.
"He didn't mean it. Let us out." Buffy demanded.
"I didn't do it." The voice said innocently. "It's all the little wiccas fault. She said one word that shouldn't have been in there. Cages. She said that when she should have said bones."
"Ofcourse." Willow exclaimed. "I knew I should've said something else in the room but I only saw the cage." <How stupid am I?>
"Nice, Red. Now get us out of here." Spike said, his voice was coated with a friendly impatience.
"Oh. Right." She walked over to the cage and put her hands on the bars.
"Do it right this time or you'll be here longer than you'll want." The voice said.
"I know." Willow said. "Metal, break, lock..."
The voice interrupted, "Don't say stake. There are vampires in the room."
"Good idea." Willow said. "Well, I can't say anything else or we'll have a lake or an earthquake."
"Try starting again without saying 'break'." The voice helped.
"I have it! Metal, break, lock, bend. What's in the cage, out here, send." She said, bouncing slightly. The cage door didn't move but Buffy, Spike and the skeleton appeared outside the cage.
"Thanks." Spike said to Willow. He looked up to the ceiling and said, "Now go away!" with anger in his voice.
"Fine. No skin off my back." The voice said then silence took over the room once more.
"Go! Now!" Spike demanded again.
The voice huffed and the booming came back and left just as quickly.
Cordelia was sitting on the ground rocking back and forth with tears streaming down her face. Amy had her arm around her and was also crying. Oz sat on the edge of the well and was staring blankly and the ground. Xander stood from leaning against the wall and started walking. "So," his voice choked "that's it? They're dead?"
Cordelia let out another choked sob at his words. Oz looked over at Xander. "I don't think so. I mean, if we have the same 'round' as the others who would they do for Angel and Spike? Angel killed his family and Spike's family would be too. All of us got our parents. I'm guessing so did Willow and Buffy. But Angel and Spike..." He trailed off in thought.
Amy looked up at Oz. "Angel saw Willow. Spike saw Buffy."
Xander looked at her in a criticising way. "Yeah, sure. Why? And how would you know anyway?"
"Willow and I have been working on feeling each others feelings. If something major happens we can feel it." She replied.
"But how do you know who they saw?" He asked again, criticising her beliefs.
"Can't we just wait? Wait until they figure it out?" Cordelia said between her sobbing.
The booming came back. "I guess I should change the first round next time. Everyone gets so caught up by that."
"Go away! Just leave us alone!" Cordelia shouted again. Her sadness struck Amy and she automatically held her tighter.
"If it makes any difference... it's not real. It's just a clue to get out of this room. The rotting and stuff." The voice said.
Buffy and the others in the room looked up at the ceiling, shocked by what they'd just heard. "See, Slayer? Told you it wasn't real." Spike told her, giving her a small smile. She smiled back weakly.
"Why? Why are you toying with us? Just let us go!" Cordelia screamed. "Why won't you let us go?" She sobbed again.
"Hey, I already said the rotting wasn't real." The voice replied in defense.
Buffy looked at Spike with confusion. "Who's he talking to?"
"Probably the others." Angel answered.
"Why can't we just leave? We're not here to amuse you." Amy said plainly.
"I know. But this is kinda a... test. Everytime someone gets through to the finish without cheating... or dying... or going to hell gets something very special. The last winners got the end of the Vietnam war. If your groups finish you'll receive a very special prize." The voice said, trying to make them happy again.
"Why should we listen to someone that's holding us captive?" Amy asked.
"Well..." The voice had no answer.
"And what the hell is your name?" Xander asked with aggression.
"You'd never believe me."
"Yes, we would." Oz said.
"No, you wouldn't."
"*Yes*, we would." Xander said.
"*No*, you wouldn't. Believe me, you wouldn't. My name is a little too familiar for you to believe."
"Tell us anyway." Said Amy.
"I'm the Wizard of Oz."
Amy looked up, disbelieving and said, "Uh... huh".
"See? Told you."
"Is this guy a quack or what?" Buffy said as she leant against the door.
"Come on, Buffy. We have to concentrate." Willow said.
A tinkling sound echoed through the room. "Who's this? Your wife?" Spike asked the voice.
"No." Replied a female voice.
"Well, who are you?"
"I'm Tellina. I'm the guardian of the ghosts. Just give us a bell when you need help."
"Bell. Help." Buffy and Willow both said.
"Alright. Who's ghost do you want?"
"Fine. I'll choose."
The booming rang through the room again. "Tellina, are you helping them already?"
"Yeah. So?" Tellina replied.
"You know they're not supposed to have their ghosts help until the second round.
"They haven't gotten the hang of the game yet." Tellina debated.
"Game?" Spike asked in shock. "Listen, Lady, we aren't pawns in your little..." A figure of a red-headed lady appeared behind Spike. She had a white dress on made out of light material. "...game!"
"I'm sorry." She said.
"This is getting very weird. Now I can hear you like you're in this room." He said, still looking at the ceiling. Buffy and Willow tried their best to stifle their laughter. "What?" He turned around to look at the girls and saw the woman.
"I *am* in this room." She said with a smile.
"Tellina, don't intrude." The voice boomed again.
"Try and stop me." She replied. She looked at Buffy and walked over to her. "Hi. How did Ali Baba get into the cave of wonders?"
Buffy thought for a few seconds. "Uh, he said 'Open Sesame'?" She asked more than said. The door opened just as Angel was about to lean against it. He lost his balance and fell through backwards like Cordelia had done when they first arrived.
"Good. Get it now?" Tellina asked. Buffy nodded. Willow raced over and helped Angel sit up. He started rubbing his head. Spike walked over chuckling. He stepped over his sire.
"This makes up for you being such a wanker, Angel." He said as he stepped over.
The door opened. All four of the teenagers looked up and over towards it. "They must've answered it. Let's go." Oz said as he helped the two girls up. Xander walked over to the door and inspected it. He showed that everything was clear and they all entered the room together.
Cordelia was clutching onto Amy for support. Amy was clutching onto Oz for support. Xander was holding a big stick. Not for support but he felt manly because he had a weapon. Inside were two sets of bunks, and to the left was a small olden day kitchen with the exception of a modern refridgerator. Xander headed straight for the fridge. Amy helped the still-in-shock Cordelia sit down on one of the beds. Cordelia laid down and Amy walked over to the kitchen with Oz.
"Hey, soda!" Xander said, grabbing a can and opening it. He guzzled it down and let out a refreshed sigh. "So, what are we doing?"
Tellina appeared in the room infront of the resting Cordelia. No one else noticed. Tellina stroked her hair in a comforting way. Cordelia's eyes were still closed. "Thanks, Amy. You're a real pal." She opened her eyes and saw the strange woman. "Who are you?" She asked in a scared whisper.
"I'm Tellina. Guardian of the ghosts... yada yada yada. I'm here to help you through here."
"Well, the ghosts you've all seen were the ghosts that will help you to get out of here. I'm in control of them. You saw yourself as a child. She can help you."
"Why do you want to help us when you've got us locked up in here?"
Tellina sighed, "It's not my decision. The games have gotten easier since I played." She said, then stood up.
"Who are you talking to, Cord?" Amy said, just as she turned around Tellina disappeared. The ringing sound echoed through the room.
Spike, Buffy, Willow and Angel forwarded into the next room (in that order). The room was the same as the other, two sets of bunks, an old kitchen and a fridge. "Wow, how home-y, except... not." Buffy said with a little sarcasm.
"Do you think we should have a rest? Or eat?" Angel asked, more to Buffy than anyone.
"We can eat then rest, can't we?" She asked.
"No." The voice boomed. The ringing sound came back.
"And *who* asked *you*?" Tellina asked the voice but she didn't appear.
"I *own* this game, Tellina. Back off!" The voice thundered through the room.
"Someone's got his knickers in a twist." Spike said to the others with a smirk.
"Willow, grab something out of the fridge, have a snack, then sit on the bed." Tellina said again.
"Don't, wicca. One or the other." Said the voice.
"Tairis, you may own the game but I own helping them, and regenerating their systems is helping." Said Tellina.
"Who's Tairis?" Angel asked the ceiling.
"Good one, Tellie! Now they know!" Tairis said.
"Partners in crime." Buffy said as she grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and opened it.
"Hey, if you get throught this you get a prize. It's all worth it." Tairis said with a small frown, trying to make himself decent to them.
"And how many groups exactly have passed this... game?" Angel asked them, suspecting the worst.
"Uh..." Tairis said.
Tellina appeared again. "Well, there have been around 500 groups come here in the past 600 years. This house has changed a lot. Ah, well, about 20% die from being kept in one room. Well, that happened after they went insane and killed each other but I took pity on them and didn't send them to hell. It's a nasty place."
"Tell me about it." Angel said as he took a blood bag Spike had just gotten out of the fridge. Spike huffed and opened the fridge and took another for himself after his was taken by Angel.
"Wanker." Spike said under his non-existant breath to his sire.
"Around 30% of the groups pass. The rest seem to go to hell for various reasons." She said, playing with her hands and avoiding eye contact with the people in the room.
"Tellina, get back up here." Tairis ordered.
"No." She replied.
"I order you to!" He told her.
"Since when have I listened to your orders?" She stated more than asked.
"Uh, hello? People in the room. People who want to finish this game before we go old and grey." Buffy said.
"Or-or-or before we-we, uh, before we die." Willow added.
"Gee, Wills, you sure are a confidence booster." Buffy said with sarcasm.
"Slayer, it's not the witch's fault." Spike looked at Tellina and said, "I have two questions. 1... do we need to solve a riddle to get out of this room and into the next one and 2... are you going to be helping us throughout this... game?"
"No and yes." Tellina replied.
Tairis boomed again. "Tellina, please get back here. Help them later."
"He begged." Angel said. "I think he wants you up there." He then said to the red-headed woman.
"He doesn't usually beg." Tellina thought with a little worry etched on her face. "He must be feeling a little sick. Hmmm." She started fading and then was gone.
Cordelia looked at the other three in the room who were giving her strange looks. She pointed to where Tellina was and tried to say a few words but none came out. "Sh-sh-I... but..." She stammered.
"Are you feeling okay, Cord? Maybe you should have a little rest." Amy walked over to her and tried to get her to go to sleep.
Oz took a step closer to Xander and whispered to him, "Do you think she's seeing things now from what happened in the other room?"
"Could be. After the creepy things that have happened here already I wouldn't be surprised if she *did* see something." The brunette replied.
Spike finished his blood bag and threw the packet into a wooden bucket that was being used as a bin. Angel looked over at him then finished draining the remaining contents from the plastic. "What?" Spike said as his sire gave him a look.
"Nothing. You seem different. You *are* different." He replied.
"I'm not different. I'm the same as I was before we got here."
"No you're not. You've changed." Angel said as he inspected Spike with a quizzical eye. Angel started to circle Spike as he inspected him.
Spike started getting frustrated being eyed. "What are you doing you ninny?"
"Well, be a chum and tell me." Spike said with a strong vibe of restlessness and discontent as his sire made yet another round around him.
Buffy and Willow looked over at the two and noted how Angel was walking around Spike and looking closely at him. Willow leaned over to Buffy. "Don't animals do that before they attack?" She asked.
"Yeah but why would Angel attack Spike?" The slayer asked back.
"Well, maybe it's a territorial thing."
"But Spike hasn't stepped on his territory."
"He has more than you know." Willow whispered to herself with a sigh.
Spike slumped his shoulders in impatience and looked to the ceiling with a great sigh. "Done *yet*?" He growled.
"No." Angel smiled; knowing his childe was getting irritated the more he circled.
"Cut that out, Peaches, you're making me dizzy!" He said as he glared at his sire.
"I'll do what I want, my boy." He grinned as he went around the back of the blonde.
Spike whipped around and punched Angel. "Stop it!" Angel started chuckling as he dabbed the corner of his mouth where Spike hit him.
"I don't think this is territorial." Buffy said.
Willow smiled as Angel kept on circling even though everyone in the room could tell Spike was slowly reaching the end of his tether. "I think Spike's about to blow a fuse."
"Angel sure knows which buttons to push." Buffy said, a frown marring her face as Angel kept circling.
"He should. I mean Angel is his sire."
"Yeah but Angel has a soul. He shouldn't be this cruel even if it is to Spike." She said.
Willow smiled at Buffy but she didn't notice. The witch started planning to get her friend to confess her feelings for the peroxided vampire, "You don't want Spike to suffer?"
"Ofcourse not. He doesn't deserve to. I mean what has he done to Angel? Or any of us for that matter. Well, tonight anyway." She looked over at her friend who had a wide smile on her face. Buffy coughed, "I mean, Spike's a vampire and vampires are-are supposed to... suffer."
"Uh huh." Willow answered, not believing a word her friend said.
Spike started tapping his foot. "Listen you pillock," Angel stopped infront of Spike with a satisfied smile on his face, "if you walk around me one more time I'm going to find very painful ways to torture you. I still have that railroad spike in my pocket." Angel's smile widened. "What?" He growled.
"Nothing." He said teasingly.
Spike slammed Angel up against a nearby wall and kept him at bay by putting his arm across his collarbone. "Tell me, nancy boy."
"Someone has a crush." Angel said with a sing-song voice, teasing his childe.
Spike turned to his demonic features. "Listen, Soulboy, only little girls have crushes!"
"When are you off to ballet practise then?" He asked playfully.
Spike growled and punched Angel in the stomach. Angel doubled over from the impact and after a series of other punches he fell to the ground unconscious. Buffy and Willow ran over and knelt beside Angel to check to see if he was alright. Buffy looked up at Spike, who now looked happy, and gave him a disapproving look. He just gave her a proud smile and took a step around his sire and laid down on one of the beds. He shut his eyes in relaxation.
"I never said he could do that." Tairis said as if bickering with another invisible someone.
"Oh do hush up." Tellina replied with limited patience.
"Oh great. They're back." Spike said with his sarcastic tone. "What now? Going to riddle us again?"
"No. We were just leaving. Weren't we, Tairis?" Tellina replied.
Tairis sighed. "I never get any fun."
"Because you're always being such a fuddy duddy." She said. The ringing sound reverberated through the room and the booming followed, echoing yet again.