DISCLAIMER: Buffy and characters are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy etc. I may have borrowed one or two lines from Angel but I needed them.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Death by Darkness
By Angie


Chapter Thirteen

Andrew quickly found Willow and hastily filled her in on their progress so far.

"So all I have to do is find the shell and once it's destroyed this is all over? Not that I'm complaining but seems a tad simple don't you think?" Willow asked.

"That's correct, well as long as we can get to it before he does!" Andrew replied smiling nervously.

"Left that bit out didn't you Sherlock." Faith interjected upon seeing Willow's shocked expression as she came out of the bathroom.

"What happens if he gets there first?" Willow asked growing more worried by the second.

"We find a way to strip the slayer's essence from him and banish him, neither of which will be easy!" Buffy offered making her way over to the door. "We should go see Giles, figure out some kind of plan!"

Willow followed nodding "He'll have to call Angel too and tell him about Fred, he needs to know where she is."

Wesley frantically paced his book strewn office, wishing for an update from anyone. If only there was something......dragged from his thoughts by the telephone ringing he almost ran to pick it up.

"This is Wesley.......but then you called me so you're probably already aware of that," He babbled "Sorry who is this?"

"It's Giles, we've found her Wesley!"

Wesley felt his knees buckle as he sank to the floor, the phone falling from his grasp.

"Wesley, are you there?"

Angel entered Wesley's office to find him crumpled on the floor, silent sobs coming from him. Upon seeing the phone lying on the floor he picked it up and looked at it, with a mounting feeling of dread due to Wesley's behaviour he spoke.

"Hello, who is this?"

"Angel it's me!" Giles answered "We found Fred, is Wesley ok?"

"Sure, he'll be fine, where is she and how do we get her back?" Angel asked eagerness tingeing his voice.

"She is in the demon wasteland along with the slayers, if we can find a way to return the slayers' souls to their bodies I can't see any reason why we can't do the same with Fred's!"

Wesley stood and snapped himself back to reality. Could it really be, can we really get Fred back? He took the phone from Angel and listened to what Giles had to say, a smile curling his lips for the first time since Fred's untimely demise.

"Thank you Giles, we'll do all we can at this end to find a solution and will call when we have something." Wesley told his former fellow watcher before hanging up the phone.

"Ok Giles, we're ready for the locator spell," Willow announced as Giles hung up the phone.

"I believe Xander has everything ready for you if you'd like to get started!"

"Sooner the better, I want my girlfriend back!"

Substantia Custos could feel his link to the souls inside him growing stronger with each passing hour, soon he would be able to sense where their shells lay and destroy them all. I won't go back there, I can't go back there, feeding off the souls of lesser demons, I want flesh!


Chapter Fourteen

"Oh dear!" Willow exclaimed once she completed reciting the chant for the locator spell.

"No oh dears, I don't like oh dears Willow!" Buffy almost shrieked. "Please tell me you found it?"

"Oh I found it, course I found it. It's in Wales. Trouble is it's moving and unless the shell is on a boat or the back of a lorry I'm going to take a wild stab and say that's not good!"

"I'd say you were right Willow. Looks like we're too late, he's already in his shell!" Giles replied ominously.

"So what now boss?" Faith asked, trying not to sound worried but failing miserably.

"Plan B. Andrew, Xander research please, we need to find a way to strip the slayers' essence from him so this whole thing can be reversed!"

Andrew and Xander stood up simultaneously and nodded before making their way to the library.

"Buffy, Faith, we know where this thing is and we know where it's heading. I'd say we have a day at best before it gets here!"

"I could try a beefed up protection spell?" Willow offered.

"Yes, that may buy us some time, then you should rest, all of you. We're going to need our strength!"

Buffy and Faith walked towards the bedroom, neither of them speaking, the gravity of the situation fast taking hold. They arrived at Faith's bedroom door and Faith turned to look at Buffy while opening the door. In 24 hours we could all be dead, why wait? She pulled Buffy into the bedroom with her and kicked the door shut behind them, pulling Buffy towards her she kissed her hungrily, feeling Buffy respond she started hurriedly removing hers and Buffy's clothes, eager to taste her.

Ok this is it. Buffy thought as Faith pushed her on to the bed. God I'm so nervous, I don't know if I'm ready, there's no time, I am ready, I have to be. Buffy decided if this was going to happen now it would be on her terms as she flipped Faith over and onto her back despite her resistance.

"Me first," Buffy said with a grin.

Faith smiled and relaxed, happy to let Buffy take the lead, after all, she thought, It's not like I know what I'm doing.

Buffy's lips greedily took Faith's in her own, kissing her deeply, her tongue flicking over Faith's lightly. Moving her hands over Faith's hardened nipples Faith let out a moan, she'd never been so horny before and she hadn't staked a vamp in months. Buffy's lips started to trail down, first planting soft kisses on Faith's neck, lower to her breasts where she flicked over each nipple with her tongue causing Faith's groans to become louder. Lower still to her stomach where she traced circles around her belly button with her tongue. Her hand running up the inside of Faith's thigh before she found her centre and slid her fingers inside to warm wetness.

"Please Buffy, I can't take it anymore!" Faith growled through gritted teeth.

With that Buffy smiled before burying her head between Faith's legs, her tongue sliding slowly over her clit at first. Her fingers sliding in and out, gaining speed while her tongue worked faster and harder made Faith cry out, her hands gripping Buffy's head while her back arched off the bed. Buffy smiled to herself as she felt Faith start to shake. I'm doing that Buffy realised as Faith's shakes turned to shudders. Her muscles tightening around Buffy's fingers before contracting several times, then Buffy felt her relax and looked up from what was now her favourite spot in the world to see Faith looking down at her, red faced but smiling.

"Shit B, no way you're going to try and tell me you haven't done that before, that was astounding!" Faith said breathlessly.

"Guess I must be a natural then cos I haven't. Anyway, I'm sure you can give as good as you get!" Buffy replied with a grin before lying down next to Faith. "I believe it's your turn to give me a happy."

"Yes ma'am." Faith purred while positioning herself on top of Buffy.

Faith took hold of Buffy's arms, raised them above her head and held them there. As she went in for a kiss she stopped, teasing Buffy who squirmed underneath her, looking up at her pleadingly.

"Come on, don't wind me up. I want you so much!"

With that Faith kissed Buffy hard and passionately, releasing Buffy's arms so she could run her hands over her soft breasts. She could feel Buffy shake underneath her with every touch as she slid one of her legs in between Buffy's. She could feel how much Buffy wanted her but decided to have a little fun. Hell she made me wait for years, few more minutes won't hurt her. Slowly grinding her thigh into Buffy's center she felt Buffy rise up to meet her as she moved. Kissing slowly down her neck to her breasts, her hands grabbing Buffy's buttocks, lifting them off the bed she ground into her. Feeling Buffy push her shoulders down Faith understood what she wanted and obligingly moved down to taste her. Slowly running circles around her clit with her tongue Buffy let out what Faith could only describe as a squeak she decided she was going to make her fellow slayer lose control. Her fingers sliding inside they immediately found Buffy's G spot. Faith's tongue working in time with her fingers was doing the trick as Buffy squirmed under Faith's control, her moans getting louder with each thrust of Faith's fingers. Wetness slipping out and running down Faith's hands told her Buffy was close, she stopped and looked at her much to Buffy's annoyance.

"Awe come on, please, I'm begging here!" Buffy whined.

With a cheeky grin Faith obliged, soon feeling Buffy come around her, her body straining against Faith's free arm holding her down, her moans piercing the quiet room, with one last shudder Buffy was still and as Faith looked up, a silent tear fell down Buffy's cheek.

"What is it babe, did I hurt you, I tried to be gentle."

Buffy laughed. "No you didn't hurt me, it was just the best fuck ever!"

"Glad to hear it, you didn't do too bad yourself." Faith smiled as she took Buffy in her arms ready for a well earned nap.


Chapter Fifteen

"Will that work?" Giles asked into the telephone.

"Hopefully." Was all Wesley could reply.

"And once the slayers essence is returned......."

"If their essence is returned!" Wesley interrupted.

"If there essence in returned then!" Giles agreed "Willow then performs the banishing ritual and its over? Seems almost too easy!"

"Its not, there is every chance that Willow will be sucked in with him Giles. You have to ask yourself if its worth the cost?"

"I don't see what choice I have, unless we banish him he will suck the whole world and everyone in it into the wasteland!"

"What do you mean unless we banish him?" Buffy quizzed as she entered the room followed by Faith and Willow.

Giles looking up from his conversation, "Thank you Wesley, I'll be in touch." "Wesley has come up with a spell to strip the essence of the slayers from Substantia Custos and return them to their rightful owners and also managed somehow, that I'd rather not know about, how to banish him back to the wasteland."

"So what's the problem?" Asked Willow.

"You are.....Welsey thinks there may be a chance that in performing the ritual you too will be sucked into the demon wasteland!"

"Oh..." Was all Willow could say.

"Find another way!" Demanded Buffy.

"There is no other way Buffy!"

Substantia Custos could feel each soul inside him, hear their pleas for freedom. He was only interested in one soul, Ethan's. Even inside him he could still serve him and he was. Substantia Custos was on the way to a warlock, pointed in the direction of by his faithful servant. A teleportation spell would get him to the slayers bodies far quicker than his enemies anticipated, they wouldn't be ready. He decided then that he would take them all.

Xander and Andrew finally made an appearance and after being filled in on recent events Xander was decidedly displeased.

"Andrew, you and me, research now. There has to be another way, even the world isn't worth the life of my best friend!"

Raised voices pierced the quiet library as the gang argued on how to proceed. Buffy and Faith feeling that nobody should be sacrificed in this fight, Giles giving his for the good of the world speech and Willow staring blankly before speaking.

"I'm going to take these spells and go down to the infirmary and sit with Kennedy. Maybe with a little peace and quiet!" Cue her pointed look at her three friends, "I can figure something out, if not you'll just have to find a way to bring me back!"

"Will wait!"

"Buffy its ok, sometimes we have to make sacrifices, you know that better than anyone."

"It won't come to that, I promise!"

Willow smiled at her friend knowing full well that there was every chance it would come to that but what choice did she have. She was the only one powerful enough to perform the spell.

"Xander this is pointless, there nothing here to help us!"

"Andrew, remember when you came back to Sunnydale and we tied you to a chair?"

Andrew nodded uncertainly.

"Well if I loose Willow that will seem like a walk in the park, comprende?"

"Yes sir!" Andrew mocked.

"I had a feeling you'd show up here!"

"I have somewhere I need to be!" Substantia Custos told the warlock.

"Yeah sure but this is going to cost you!"

"It will cost your life if you do not obey!" He warned.

Shakily the warlock rose to his feet and began to gather ingredients for the teleportation spell. He knew what the outcome would be but if he refused the big scary demon would just kill him and find another warlock to help him.

"Here we go, ready?"

"I am!"


Chapter Sixteen

"We are wasting time arguing about this, there is no other option, if there was do you really think I would even consider allowing Willow to do this?"

"There has to be boss." Faith exclaimed. "This isn't right."

"I know, but its the only way, can you go to the infirmary and ask Willow to come back, we need to prepare!"

Oh Kennedy, I love you so. All I want is to hold you in my arms but when you come home I might not be there. Please understand, I do what I have to do for the greater good.

"Will, you ready?"

"No but doesn't really matter huh, we have to do what needs to be done!"

"Xander and Andrew are still trying to find another way and Buffy is calling Wesley to see if he can come up with something." Faith offered as they made their way back to the library.

"Thanks but if Wesley couldn't find anything the first time then its safe to say there is no other option." Willow answered with a defeated smile.

Oh no, he's getting closer. He's going to kill us all. Willow where are you?

As Substantia Custos looked up at the domineering building of the watchers council he knew without trying that he wouldn't be able to just walk in. With everything they have at their disposal they'll have pulled something out the bag. As he got closer to the less conspicuous side door he felt the weak resistance from the building. This won't take long he chuckled to himself.

"Willow!" Xander shouted as he and Andrew arrived back in the library just in time to see Willow double over in pain.

"Something's not right, there something trying to get in!" Willow exclaimed.

"It can't be him, I thought we had more time, Giles?" Buffy asked looking at her watcher.

"So did I. Willow, hold on as long as you can. Xander, Andrew, where are we with research?"

"Nothing I'm afraid, we couldn't find any other way!" Andrew answered.

"Wait a minute, can't Willow just be further away when she does the spell?" Asked Faith.

"Even I'm not strong enough for that Faith." Said Willow painfully.

"Wait a minute!" Giles interrupted, "Faith may be on to something here, its that simple I don't know why I didn't think of it before!"

"Think of what? And make it snappy Giles, she can't hold on much longer!" Buffy demanded while holding her friend.

"The combination spell we used on you when you defeated Adam, same spell but on Willow?"

"Could work, Andrew supplies, now!" Buffy Charged. "Hold on Will."


Chapter Seventeen

Substantia Custos finally broke through the barrier and made his way towards the shells of the souls he now owned. A smile on each of his faces, knowing that soon he would have the power to suck anyone and anything into the wasteland and leave them there, free to roam this universe as he pleased.

"Ah, a witch. I wondered when you'd show up. Not a bad barrier you put up there, little too weak for my tastes though I must say." Said Substantia Custos as Willow appeared in front of him.

"I was saving myself for you brick face!" Willow retorted before beginning to chant.

"Ha ha ha, you really think you have the power to banish me witch. It took three of you last time and I only see one of you!" He laughed.

"Oh I'm not going to banish you, We're going to kill you!" Willow exclaimed.

As willow continued chanting white lights flew from his stone body going in all directions, murmurs were heard coming from the infirmary. It was working.

"No, you can't do this!"

"We can and we will." Willow said before chanting a different spell.

Substantia Custos made his way towards her, determined to stop her before she finished the spell but it was no good, he was held back by invisible forces, stronger than him and he knew, they weren't coming from her, she had help from somewhere.

Suddenly Willow's eyes turned black as she looked at Substantia Custos from across the room. "Bye bye!" was all she said before he exploded spewing a red mist that travelled downward and seeped into the earth.

Back the library the slumped bodies of Xander, Buffy, Faith and Giles started to stir as Andrew watched on.

"Did we do it?" Faith asked.

"Willow!" Xander exclaimed before heading off to find his friend.

Buffy, Faith, Andrew and Giles rose to their feet and followed Xander, all afraid of what they might find.

Xander saw Willow lying motionless on the floor and as her ran over to her he knew, before he even touched her, he knew she was gone. He sunk to his knees as Buffy and the rest of the gang stopped in their tracks. The demon was gone but despite there best efforts it had taken Willow with him.

"Willow?" Kennedy exclaimed from the door way of the infirmary.

Angel hurriedly picked up the ringing telephone. "Angel here?"

"Its Giles, its done, the essences were successfully removed and returned." He told him blankly.

"Is everyone else ok, is the demon gone?"

"Yes he's gone, he took willow with him." Giles answered, his voice beginning to waver with emotion.

"I'm sorry." Angel offered. "If there's anything else I can do?"

"Thank you but no."

With that Giles hung up and Angel ran to Wesley's office.

"Illyria, where is she?"

"In the lab last I saw her, speaking to a petri dish. Why?"

"Giles called, the spell worked, slayers are awake!"

Wesley looked at Angel for a moment, taking in what he was saying, finally realising that if the slayers we're awake, Fred may be back. Pushing past Angel he ran to the lab, terrified that when he got there he would find that it hadn't worked, that she was still gone.

"Illyria?" He asked upon entering the lab.

Receiving no reply, this time he tried speaking a different name.


"Over here...................."

The End

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