By Estepheia and Marcee
Part 39 - On Your Mark
“I believe we have something that is yours,” the voice said pompously.
“I beg your pardon?” the Watcher said with a frown. A sudden sense of foreboding hit him and he put the pen down.
“The little girl. I presume you’d like her back, wouldn’t you?”
Giles felt a sudden chill. Instinctively he looked at the door of the shop, as if part of him was hoping Dawn would walk in and contradict the voice on the phone. He was furious with himself for not having foreseen that Dawn’s mysterious blackmailers might actually snatch her. But when he spoke, his voice only betrayed his genuine worry: “Dawn? What do you mean? Is she alright? Who is this? What do you want?”
“Who we are is really no concern of yours. What we want, well, that’s a bit complicated. You see, we’d like you and your witches to do a spell for us. That’s all. Do a bit of mojo and you’ll get the girl back.”
“Spell? What are you talking about?” Giles asked, playing dumb.
“Don’t insult my intelligence by pretending you don’t get it, old man. You may be a good librarian, but you’re a lousy liar. Now shut up and listen. We don’t have much time…”
Giles jotted down the instructions, then checked his watch. Two hours. They had about two hours till sundown.
“Look at them, it’s like poking a stick into an anthill,” Warren smirked and put down the receiver. He nodded at the surveillance screen that showed a visibly nervous Giles looking at his notes and talking to Anya, then using the phone to round up the other Scoobies.
“Yeah, cool,” Andrew agreed, even though he knew nothing about outdoor-y things like anthills.
Jonathan found it hard to concentrate on the monitor. His eyes were drawn to the tied up figure that sat in the middle of the room with a dark pillowcase over her head.
Cordelia was holding on to the glowing map with one hand and the back of Angel’s shirt with the other.
“Why does every lair have to be underground? It’s smelly and dark. Why can’t our creepy blackmailers have a lair in a nice hotel or in the mall or something?”
“Which way?” Angel asked.
“Keep going straight,” she answered. Then continued, “I mean, really. Evil can be just as scary in Bloomingdales. Well, actually, I knew this girl who worked the make-up counter at Bloomy’s… there IS evil in the mall.”
“Are we close?”
“Yea. Almost there. This tracking device thing is so cool. It’s just like the GPS in Mom’s Lexus.” Cordy made a face. “Until she had to trade it in for the,” she swallowed, “Corolla.”
“It must have been quite a tragedy,” Angel mumbled.
They wandered through the dark passages in silence for a few more minutes. Then: “Ooh, stop!” Cordy said. “Right here.”
“Right where?” Angel answered. “Dead end.”
“No, the book should be right in front of us,” Cordy said and shoved the glowing map in front of Angel’s face. “See?”
There was a beeping sound and Angel brandished his cell phone. “Angel here,” he answered in a lowered voice, then listened intently, his face grave. “Could you repeat that?” He shook his cel phone. “I hate these things,” he mumbled and put the phone back to his ear. “Yes…Yes. Okay, we will.” He turned to Cordelia. “They didn’t just take the book. They snatched Dawn,” he said gravely.
“Why am I not surprised? Maybe it’s because I said all along Giles’s plan wouldn’t work,” Cordy said with a patented sigh. “What do they want?”
Angel wordlessly passed her the phone. Cordelia repeated her question. Then smiled. “Are you sure? When? Can I make a suggestion?”
Willow, Tara, Anya and Giles were waiting patiently on the floor inside their newly created gem circle when the trio arrived. Maeve was handcuffed to a chair behind the counter. The boys flounced into the Magic Shop with a flourish. Andrew was wearing a lopsided grin. Jonathan was in a cape. Warren…now Warren was a sight to be seen. He must have invaded the local Salvation Army Thrift Store. He had on high top green Converse sneakers and a pair of black parachute pants with zippers just about everywhere. He was wearing a ripped up Coca-Cola T-shirt and a stone-washed studded denim jacket. The Ray Bans looked way to big for his face and there was a black Adidas bag slung over his shoulder. The spellbook that Dawn had stolen from the shop could be seen tucked under his arm.
“Good. Good boys and girls,” Warren patronized. “I can see you followed my instructions to the letter.”
“Jonathan?” Willow exclaimed incredulously. “How can you be a part of this? We know each other! We went to high school together! I mean, it’s not like we were best friends or anything, but…But Buffy, she saved your life!”
Jonathan looked uncomfortable in his skin, but didn’t answer. Willow shot him an icy glare.
“Enough with the reminiscing,” Warren snapped. He examined the shop quickly and turned to his apprentice, Andrew.
“Scan for any spells, booby traps or other funny business,” he ordered.
Andrew nodded and proudly whipped out some kind of mini hand-held computer that looked uncannily like a Star Trek tricorder and made the same whine-y noises. He tapped the screen with a pen and then stretched out his arm and swung the machine back and forth in a large arc in front of him. Then he spun around and repeated the procedure.
“You’d better hope he doesn’t find anything or that little girl might grow up faster than you’d like,” Warren threatened, flaunting his XXL sized ego.
“Did you just fall out of a Banarama video?” Willow asked coldly.
“I’ll have you know, I did my research,” Warren answered harshly. “There’s no way I’m going to end up naked in the middle of a city in 1986.”
“It’s clean,” Andrew confirmed.
“Why 1986?” Giles wondered aloud.
“Like he’s going to tell you,” Jonathan whined.
“Whatever you think you're doing, it's dangerous. You are rank amateurs meddling in things far beyond your control,” the Watcher mumbled.
Warren rushed over to Giles and backhanded him across the face. The expression on the Watcher’s face hardened, but he didn’t otherwise respond.
“I’m not sure we can do the spell,” Willow interrupted, trying to divert Warren’s attention.
It worked, because he turned around and stepped towards her menacingly. “You’ll do as you’re told, bitch.”
“I mean, of course we can,” Willow explained. “Like, we’ve done it before and everything, but it’s pretty tiring, you know, the burn-out factor is wicked, and I’m not sure we should try this again so soon.”
“Well, aren’t you just lucky I brought my own warlock along. Take your place in the circle, Andrew,” Warren said with a smug grin.
“Microsoft went public March 13th, 1986 at a share.” Warren dropped his bag on the ground beside Giles. “Open it.”
Giles unzipped the bag. In it, there were wads of bills. s, 0s…
“There must be a quarter of a million dollars in here.” Giles was dumbfounded.
“I plan on buying 10,000 shares,” Warren smiled.
Buffy was weary. She hadn’t slept in how many hours? She couldn’t remember. But since then she’d been out on a stake out, had investigated the events at the asylum, been subjected to all kinds of physical and mental exercises and tests, kissed Spike *Nice memory*, and now she’d spent all night patrolling and keeping watch, making sure everyone inside the inn was safe.
Safe from who? She wasn’t quite sure. The Council? Maybe. They were dangerous, no matter the century. Angelus? Maybe. One of her worst fears was the possibility of having to fight him again. Just thinking about Angel or Angelus hurt. Or safe from Spike? No, she wasn’t worried about what Spike might do, but… *What’s going to happen when we get back?*
“Fourteen hours, Buffy” Spike said. “Another fourteen hours or so and you’ll go home.”
Buffy shrugged. She knew she ought to be happy to get out of this century. Part of her was, but another part of her dreaded going back. Everything was so complicated.
“What is it?” Spike asked softly. “You have that look again.”
“What look? I don’t have a look.” She scoffed.
“Sit. Have a drink. Tell me.” He offered her a bottle of brandy.
“You remember what happened the last time you gave me alcohol?” But a tiny smile played around her lips.
“Yeah, you cost me a bunch of kittens. Go on,” he urged. “A little drop won’t hurt.”
“Those kittens weren’t yours by right anyway, you cheat,” but she accepted the bottle, took a swallow and stuck out her tongue in disgust. “Bleagh!”
Spike smiled, totally smitten. She looked like Maeve, but every move she made was pure Buffy.
“So tell me, Buffy. What’s bothering you?”
“Who says something’s bothering me?”
“It’s not the Council,” Spike hazarded a guess. “Cause that would be a first. Bunch of nimrods.”
Buffy smiled weakly. “You’re right. It’s not them. I dunno, I was just thinking, what if I’d never come here? I mean, I know all that chosen one blah, every generation, blah, long line of warriors of the people, stuff. I read about other Slayers, I even met two. But until I got stuck in Maeve’s life I always felt alone, like I was the only one who had to go through all this. Turns out, I’m not so special after all. Except, that’s not true, I AM special, because all Maeve has is her Watcher and I have friends who know about all this stuff and are okay with it. I mean, they even help. They're like family to me.”
Spike nodded, wondering if she included him in that group. He didn’t want to interrupt her, so he fought down the urge to ask and took a swallow from the bottle instead.
Buffy’s face became serious and her lip trembled. “I haven’t forgotten, what they did. They shouldn’t have brought me back, but now that I am…” She squared her shoulders and took a deep breath, trying to leave all thoughts of gloom and doom behind.
“Well, now that I’ve seen that what you were like when you were alive, some things are gonna change,” she said in a brave attempt at chirpiness.
“Is that so?” Spike asked, eyebrow arched.
“Yup. Next time we hit the books for research, you’re gonna be stuck with it, just like the rest of us, William.”
“Well, people? What are you waiting for? Get on with it!” Warren ordered, when all the wards against possible Chronoth demon appearances were in place.
“Oh, oops, I kinda forgot the chalk,” Willow said innocently.
Warren glared at her. “Stop stalling, witch. Get what you need and start the spell. Remember, if anything goes wrong, we’ve still got the girl.”
“Yea, I know. I’m sorry. But, you know, nervous,” Willow babbled. She went to the counter and opened a drawer to retrieve the chalk, then returned to her place in the circle. Warren glanced nervously at his watch. Willow held out her hand towards him. “The spellbook?” she reminded him. He squinted at her suspiciously and checked all the preparations for the spell. Everything seemed to be in order: The circle, the purplish powder that twinkled in the little glass vial and last but not least the chalk that was needed to draw the portal.
“Andrew? You up to this, man?”
“Sure, with her power to draw on, I can do it,” the blond warlock replied with a nod in Willow’s direction. “It’s simple really, once you understand the basics - like wormhole technology, only with magic.”
Warren handed him the spellbook. Andrew found the right page and placed it open on his lap. Then he held out his left. Willow took it reluctantly and reached for Tara’s. Tara took Giles’s hand, he in turn held Anya’s, who grabbed Andrew’s right hand, closing the circle.
“Showtime!” Warren said.
“I have to use the restroom,” Anya suddenly said, letting go of Andrew’s hand.
“What? No bathroom breaks!” Warren screeched incredulously.
“But I have to go,” Anya stated. “I can’t concentrate when my bladder is so full.”
Giles suppressed a smirk.
“Fine then. If the spell messes up because of me, you just remember why.”
“Just let her go,” Jonathan whined
“Fine. Make it quick.”
“Thank you,” Anya smiled sweetly. “Don’t worry. This doesn’t make you any less evil.”
By the time Anya was back in the circle, Warren was fuming. “Showtime,” he repeated, even though it didn’t sound half as cool as before. He went to the big shop window and adjusted the curtains, letting through a thin yellow shaft of light. Anya set the little glass vial into the sunbeam’s path. The light of the setting sun caused the powder to sparkle.
“What about finding the right time?” Willow asked.
“We’ll do the calibrations when the portal is stable enough to see through,” Andrew answered. “It’s gonna be cool, like watching a videotape backwards - we’ll just rewind till we’re there.”
“Enough,” Warren snapped. “The light is fading. Get on with it!”
Andrew nodded. He glanced at the open pages in his lap and began to chant. His voice was shaky at first, but he grew in confidence, as he felt the combined power of the circle surging into him. It was a heady experience, more power than he had ever felt before. His whole body stiffened. His eyes turned black. He didn’t have to look into the book any longer, he was one with the spell!
He reached for the chalk and painted a large square on the floor. Something like an electrical current made everybody’s skin prick.
Andrew closed his eyes and started with the final incantation that would call the portal into being. He did not speak the words out loud. He didn’t have to. They echoed in everyone’s mind.
The shaft of sunlight faded away, but the purple powder in the vial still sparkled, woken by the sun’s final touch.
“Now!” Andrew commanded. Anya let go of his hand and took the vial. She spilled its content into the chalk square. Moments later, a small blue square of light appeared, hovering over it. It began to grow, very slowly and bright light erupted from it. Andrew felt the energy pouring out of him and into the growing portal. He greedily sucked power through his link with Willow to replace it, but it felt like her power was trickling through him. Was she resisting him?
The other two thirds of “The Trio” watched the proceedings, Warren with impatience, Jonathan with apprehension. Andrew’s blackened eyes made the Caped Crusadork more than a little nervous.
“Sun’s down. Let’s go,” Angel said to Cordelia. She nodded in response. He helped her up the ladder, following right behind. He couldn’t help taking notice of her perfect ass…ets. When they got to the top, he reached past her to push open the manhole cover. They both stepped out into a small residential neighborhood.
“Guess this is the place,” Cordy said. They hurried up to the front door and Angel knocked. “Let me handle this,” she whispered. “Just follow my lead.”
An older woman came to the door. “Hello? Can I help you?”
“Yes hi,” Cordelia said pleasantly, taking the woman’s hand and shaking it. “Pleased to meet you. I’m Cordelia Chase and this is Angel Vanderwhedon.” She spoke so fast and confidently Angel was caught slightly off guard. But he remembered to keep his mouth shut and only smiled and nodded at her side. “Our production company sent us here to scope out the perfect suburban house for the TV series we’re working on, ‘Benjamin’s River’. Maybe you’ve heard of it?” Cordelia didn’t wait for the woman to answer. “Anyway, they gave us your next door neighbor’s address, but Angel,” she motioned to her tall dark counterpart, “he’s the director. He thought the look of your house was so much better. The lighting, the landscaping. It’s perfect. Isn’t that what you said, Angel?”
Angel nodded hurriedly, and then in his most flamboyant voice, he added, “The structure is architecturally magnificent.”
“Really?” The woman seemed slightly overwhelmed.
“Anyway,” Cordelia continued. “The production house pays very well for these types of things so we thought we’d come over and take a look.” She produced her most captivating smile, not letting her impatience show.
“Well,” the woman pulled on her lip in consideration. “I’m not sure.”
“Oh, that’s too bad. I guess we’ll just go next door then.” Cordelia turned to Angel. “Mr. Harris will be pleased that we went with his suggestion.”
“That’s so unfortunate,” Angel pouted. He turned to the woman in the doorway, “You have such a lovely home, Miss…?”
“Mears. Mrs. Mears,” she responded.
Angel took her hand and placed a dainty kiss upon it. “Thank you for your time, Mrs. Mears.” He took a step back and admired her house. He shook his head. “Shame.”
Cordelia turned to leave but Mrs. Mears stopped her. “Wait. I mean, I guess you can take a look,” she said. “They’ll really pay me just to film my house?”
“Oh yes, most definitely,” Cordelia said as she walked through the doorway. “Come on, Angel,” she called over her shoulder.
“Never without the lady’s permission,” he said smoothly.
“Oh please, Mr. Vanderwhedon. Come in.” She took his hand and led him through the front door. “I’ve never met a real life director before.”
As they walked through the house, Cordelia pretended to take notes on a piece of paper. Angel rambled colorfully and occasionally stopped to inspect rooms with one eye closed, through a small square he created with his fingers. "Of course that half-wall by the kitchen has goooooot to go. It disrupts the whole flow of the room," he babbled merrily. Cordelia glared at him, but a smirk was playing on her lips. As they passed through the dining room, Angel couldn't help himself, "Oh, a tapestry on that wall, maybe something floral, but not toooooo floral, would be faaaaabulous! Oh, I'm tingling! Are you tingling? Tell me I'm not the only one tingling."
When they came to the closet in the hallway, Mrs. Mears shook her head. “Oh, I don’t go down there. That’s my son’s private clubhouse. He and his friends play cards and video games down there.”
“Oh that’s great,” Cordelia gushed enthusiastically. “A teenage hangout. Exactly the kind of thing we’re looking for on ‘Benjamin’s River’.”
“But I promised him I would never go down there. And everything I’ve read says that parents should respect their children’s privacy.”
“Mrs. Mears, wouldn’t he be thrilled if his room was chosen to be the backdrop of a popular television show? I mean, that’s gotta be every kid’s dream, right? His friends would practically worship him,” Cordelia persuaded. “Maybe we could even score him a part as an extra.”
“Well, he does watch a lot of movies,” the woman contemplated. “His friends would be impressed.”
“You don’t have to break your promise, you know. You promised YOU would never go down there. But you never said anything about us,” Cordy gave her a dazzling smile, flashing perfect teeth. “You’d still be keeping his privacy intact.” *I deserve an Emmy for this,* she thought.
Mrs. Mears smiled. “I guess it would be okay, then. I’ll just go make some coffee.”
After Mrs. Mears walked into the kitchen, Angel slowly opened the basement door. He reached under his coat, behind his back, pulled out a small axe and passed it back to Cordelia. “I thought she’d never leave,” Cordelia whispered. As they quickly made their way down the staircase, they took in the marriage of toys and technology. There were action figures everywhere and comic books galore. But there was also heavy duty computer equipment, video monitors and electronic components. Even something that looked like a periscope. Weird.
“Oh my god, Dawn!” Cordelia gasped as she ran past Angel, down the rest of the stairs. Dawn was bound and gagged, sitting uncomfortably on a chair in the center of the room. There was some kind of dark pillowcase over her head.
Angel followed behind Cordelia, scanning the room for any threats.
Cordy rushed to the chair and dropped her weapon on the floor, then pulled the hood off. Dawn was shaking her head violently. “What sweetie? What’s wrong?” Cordelia began untying the cloth gag. “Mmnnn! Mmnnn!! Nooo!” Dawn shouted as the gag came off. Suddenly a yellow bucket fell from above her.
“Cordy!” Angel ran to her aid.
Cordelia found herself covered in a thick clear substance. As she looked up to see where the attack had come from, something else over her opened up and dumped glitter and feathers down from the ceiling.
“Look out,” Dawn mumbled belatedly from her seat.
Angel stopped just short of the sparkling bird fiasco, a lazy grin planted firmly on his face. “Nice look.”
Cordelia shook her head and tried to wipe off the offending confetti, but it was no use. “This is just great. So much for my Versace.” She rolled her eyes and tried to run her fingers through her hair. “Oh god, my hair!”
“Um, a little help, please,” Dawn struggled with her restraints.
“I think I might pass out,” Cordy complained.
Chuckling slightly, Angel began untying the intricate knots that kept Dawn secured to the chair.
“How did you find me? I got so scared when those guys left here with that book.”
“We tracked it here and waited for them to leave. Figured it was safer,” Angel told her.
“You know, these guys are really weird. Kind of lame. And I think I actually know one of them. I know I heard his voice before.”
Cordelia was urgently trying to pluck the feathers out of her hair. “Whoever they are, they’re so gonna pay for this,” she fumed. She turned back toward Angel, "I bet you think this is just faaaaabulous?"
“Let’s get out of here,” Dawn suggested.
“Yea,” was all Cordy could muster.
“You’re not going anywhere.” Warren stepped out from behind a large dry erase board.
“Sun’s up,” Spike said. “Time to wake the others. You should go and get some sleep, luv. Before you pass out…”
Buffy parted the curtains to peer through the sooty dining room window. It was true, the sky was still dark, but it had a strange rusty hue, as early morning light filtered through polluted air.
“I’m alright,” she lied, squaring her aching shoulders. She readjusted the curtains to keep the light out. “Not sleepy. How about you? Morning equals bedtime for vampires. So, YOU go.”
“I’m not going to sleep without you,” Spike protested.
She folded her arms, pursed her lips and gave him a pitying glance. Spike blinked and did a verbal back-pedal. “Um, that’s not what I meant.” He paused, then rapidly changed gears. “Although,” he drawled, prowling towards her, “although, it doesn’t sound half bad. Come on, Buffy, how about we find ourselves a nice comfy…”
“A big no to that.” Buffy interrupted him, her determination only slightly contradicted by a slight blush that crept up her cheeks.
“Whatever you say, luv.” Spike smirked, unfazed. “Look, we’ve been patrolling through and around this sodding place all night. You KNOW you’re not as sharp as you should be. If you don’t let up, you’ll be no good to anyone.”
“Yeah, I know. Maybe I should lie down,” the Slayer considered. “You promise me they’ll be safe.”
“I promise,” he smiled at the redhead. And then, as he walked toward the room Xander was dozing in, he added quietly, “And I never break a promise to a lady.”
Andrew continued chanting inaudibly, causing the portal to grow until it was large enough to allow a person to step through. Then - like he’d predicted - an image began to appear, an aerial shot of L.A. at night. Like a camera zooms in on its target, the portal seemed to swoop down, towards the city, and into its network of streets and alleys. The sky alternated between light and dark, faster and faster, until the blur of day and night made everything gray. Finally, Andrew found what he was looking for, a newspaper stand. The images changed too fast to make out humans, but every now and then he slowed down his search to look at the headlines, checking for the dates on the newspapers.
When the LA Times showed “March 12th 1986 - 6 More Die; Soviets Punish 3 for Delaying World Alert,” Andrew froze the portal in place.
“What? He’s one of them. But you’re…you’re gone,” Dawn stuttered as she backed away from her assailant. “I heard you leave.” She turned to her saviors, “I heard him leave.”
Cordelia squatted and picked up her weapon. “Angel?” she said, without taking her eyes off her enemy.
“I got this.”
Angel approached Warren with little regard. “What do you think you’re gonna do?” the vampire asked him. Warren punched Angel so hard that he went flying back into the opposite wall. He crashed to the ground.
“Huh?” Cordelia gasped and brandished her axe.
“It must be some kind of spell,” Dawn said. “He made himself strong.”
Angel got up and dusted himself off. “Okay, I didn’t like that at all. It almost hurt.”
Warren was fast approaching Cordelia, but Angel was faster. He ran up behind Warren, swung him around by his shoulder and punched him in the face. “Ow, he’s hard!” Still, Angel punched again, this time in the stomach. “Must be some kind of golem,” Angel said after landing a third punch to his face.
Warren grabbed Angel by the neck and lifted him off the floor.
“Ow, hey,”Angel struggled.
Cordelia moved slowly up behind Warren and raised the axe above her head. She closed her eyes and swung it down in a hard arc. The axe connected and showered sparks all over the floor. Warren’s hand loosened and the vampire was dropped to the ground.
“A robot!” Dawn exclaimed. “He’s a robot! Oh, I get it. The guy who built the buffybot - he must be one of them.”
“Buffybot?” Cordelia and Angel echoed as one.
Cordelia tried to dislodge the weapon, but it was stuck. Angel scrambled to his feet and rained several right crosses to the robot’s torso until it was almost backed up against a wall. Sparks were still flying and it seemed there might be some wires loose, but the damned android was still fighting back. It swung, hard, and sent Angel crashing into a bookshelf. He crash landed in a pile of Battletech books.
Cordelia ran up and hurled a powerful sidekick at the Warrenbot. It crashed backward into the wall, sending the axe deeper into its circuitry. It twitched, but then lunged for Cordelia. It grabbed her by both shoulders and threw her across the room. Dawn ran to her.
Angel was up again and casting about for another weapon. Leaning against a small display case, he noticed a metal replica of a lightsaber. Angel ran toward the display case, tripped on bookshelf debris and ended up crashing into the glass, shattering it. Action figures tumbled onto the floor and were crushed underfoot as Angel thrashed about trying to regain his feet. The Warrenbot armed himself with a piece of a broken wooden shelf and made his way toward the vampire.
"Your powers are weak, old man," the droid said. His voice was a off a bit, and half of his face looked slack.
"Huh?" Angel responded, reaching behind him for his new weapon.
"What are you talking about?" Cordelia interrupted. "He's ageless." She reconsidered, "Alright, so he's put on a little weight lately, but..."
"What?" Angel gasped and glanced down at himself.
The Warrenbot suddenly raised his arm to plunge the stake into his enemy’s chest, Angel quickly and fluidly raised the saber and impaled the bot with it. There were more sparks and wires. The robot backed away from Angel, twitching, and fell to the ground in a sitting position. He looked around at the mess of his maker’s lair and shook his head. Then, he noticed something on the floor beside him amongst the shattered glass. He lifted it carefully in front of his face. It was a broken action figure.
“Oh no. Not Boba Fett.” And then his eyes rolled back and his head fell forward.
Warren shouldered up his fortune and approached the portal. “Catch you on the flip side,” he quipped, when the high pitched beep-a-deedle-beep of a cel phone broke his stride with an electronic rendition of ‘Que Sera Sera’.
That’s when Maeve burst into action. She jumped to her feet and threw herself against the counter, with enough force to smash the chair she’d been cuffed to between the counter and her body into a pile of splinters. A few graceful contortions later she was able to swing her cuffed arms in front of her. She rushed Warren.
Distracted by the crash he took his eyes off the portal for a few seconds. When he saw the Slayer rushing towards him, he panicked. Still clutching his bag he ran towards the portal. It was now shimmering strangely, kind of swirly and cloudy, maybe because Andrew was distracted. Warren only had a moment to decide. “You’ll pay for this,” he shouted.
And jumped. Blue sparks crackled. For a moment it looked like the portal literally sucked him in, then Warren was gone.
Jonathan backed away, towards the door. The portal was still there. Something wasn’t right. He turned around, unlocked the door with trembling hands and flew out into the night.
In the circle Willow pulled her hand out of Andrew’s grasp. Immediately, Andrew’s eyes lost their blackness. Blood gushed from his nose, as his primary power source was cut off and the portal sucked everything he had left out of him. He tried to break free but before he was able to, he fell over and passed out.
Continued in Part 40 - Get Set
Many many thanks to Mikelesq for several very funny lines.