Author: Willow Watcher
"Alright, we have some things to go over. Willow, you are going to be the negotiator. I want you armed as well as you can without it being noticed. Tara, you need to cover her to make sure that there is no one that can get to her from the sides or back. Cordelia, you are going to film all of this but stay out of sight. We need evidence and that's about all we can do for right now. Buffy, you are there only to get Lacey. Spike you watch Buffy and Lacey like a hawk. Faith will guard the outside. Xander, Anya, you are going to watch post. Be well hidden so no one sees you. There can't be any outside interference with this. They generally have one of the major players do their job for them and two body guards. Our mission is to get in, get out! I hope that's clear." Angel handed out the instructions.
All of them looked around at each other.
"Well, is it clear?" Angel asked.
Yes's and yeah's came from everyone.
"Good." Angel said as he motioned for Spike.
Spike placed a silver briefcase on the desk.
"This is something like what Willow used on the Maclay case, except the tracking device is located in the handle instead of the inside of the case itself. It's more reliable."
"Is the money in there now?" Faith asked.
Everyone looked at her. Then back to Angel.
"Yes. If the money is in there, I would like to see it. I have never seen a large amount of cash on hand before." Anya piped in.
Angel shook his head. "No. The money is still in the safe."
Anya sighed. "I guess I'll never see my dream come true."
Xander patted her on the back. "It's O.K. sweetie."
"Yeah boss." She said as she approached Angel's desk.
"I want you to go ahead with Anya and Xander and set everything up. Weapons and walkies are in the security room. Faith, there are fresh batteries in the drawer in the metal desk. Cordelia, get your gear together and go with them. This is not going to go down wrong."
They started to head out the door.
"Thanks guys. You don't know how much Buffy and I appreciate you putting your necks on the line for us." Angel said with a small grin.
"No problem. Anything for family." Xander said smiling back.
They all nodded agreeing and walked out of the room.
Angel turned to the rest. "Willow, Tara, you all ready?"
"Ready as can be." Willow replied. She looked over at Tara who seemed quite nervous. "Got butterflies baby?" She took the blonde's hand in hers.
"More like bats." Tara said as she rubbed her stomach.
"Well, you tell those bats that everything is going to be alright. I'll be right there and I won't let anything happen to you." Willow looked around to Buffy. "And I'm not letting anything happen to you or Lacey and if I can help it, anyone else for that matter."
Buffy walked the short distance to the redhead. She hugged her tight. "I know you won't. Please make sure nothing happens to you too."
"Got it." Willow said as she pulled back.
Buffy grabbed Tara and clung to her. "Be careful and thank you again."
"You're welcome. Like Xander said, anything for family." Tara pulled back and gave Buffy a kiss on the cheek. She took Willow's hand and led her out of the office.
"You ready Buffy?" Spike asked.
"Give me a minute with her Spike. I'll need you to help me upstairs, if you would." Angel asked but he looked at his wife while speaking.
"Right O." Spike said as he stepped out.
"Tara, I'll ask one last time. Are you sure about this?" Willow asked while looking around in the weapons closet.
"Willow, yes baby, I am sure." Tara said as she strapped a pistol around her ankle.
Willow took in a deep breath of air and let it out. "O.K. I love you."
Tara walked over to the redhead. "I love you too. I'm sorry if I hurt you downstairs earlier."
"Think nothing of it. I basically asked for it and I'm sorry too." Willow said as she looked into the blonde's blue eyes.
"I've had worse." Tara said pointing out the fact.
Willow kissed the blonde just to feel those soft lips on hers. She embraced her and held tight.
Willow pulled back. She smiled as she continued to look around. "Here, take this." She said handing Tara a .38 special. "Put it in the back brim of your jeans."
Tara did as she was told.
"Baby, have you seen the Kevlar vests?" Willow asked looking in cabinets and in closets.
"Sure I have. What's a Kevlar vest?" Tara asked confused to what her lover was talking about.
"Bullet proof vest." She answered continuing her search.
"Oh...umm...no." Tara checked other weapons out that were encased in steel cages.
"Damn. Have to go without 'em." Willow said as she turned to the blonde.
"Please, what ever you do be careful. I want you and Lacey back in one piece." Angel said in a pleading voice.
"I will honey. I promise." Buffy said reassuring her husband"
"I know I was stupid for going out to the Giotti's like that. I wish I could go with you." Angel lowered his head.
Buffy walked closer and lifted his chin. "Yeah kinda out there with that idea, but you thought that you could prevent something like today from happening. I'm proud of you for taking a stand, but the next time you do something like that, I'm gonna kick your ass."
Angel laughed. "No problem."
Buffy kissed him softly. "I love you."
"And I love you." He said stroking his hand through her blonde hair. "Now get going and get our little girl back."
Buffy nodded her head and left out of the room.
Buffy walked down the hall where Spike was leaning against the wall.
"Get him upstairs and make sure he's comfortable. I'm going to go over everything with Willow and Tara before we leave. I'll fill you in on the ride over. Will you get the money out of the safe?"
Spike nodded. "Got it."
"Thanks and thanks for being here." Buffy said sincerely.
"You know me love. Couldn't keep me away from a good fight." Spike smiled.
Buffy walked into the weapons room. "Hey guys."
"Hey Buff." Willow responded making sure everything was in place on her and Tara.
"Is Angel alright." Tara asked turning around so Willow can check over her.
Buffy sighed. "He's disappointed that he can't go. Are we about ready?"
"Yeah, just making some last minute adjustments." Willow propped her foot on a bench and strapped on an ankle pistol.
Buffy walked over to the cage. She pulled out a .44 Magnum. She opened the chamber to make sure all the bullets were in place. She slapped it back in. "I'm ready."
Willow's eyes widened. She walked over to the anxious blonde and took the gun out of her hands. "Alright Dirty Harry, let's find something that won't break your hand when you fire it. O.K."
Willow looked in the cage. "Here ya go." She held out a Ruger 9 mm. "That'll do the job, if it comes down to it. That is if worse comes to worse. O.K."
Buffy nodded. She put the gun in the back brim of her pants. "Spike is taking Angel upstairs and getting the money. He should be back in a few."
Spike helped Angel in the bed. "You need anything before I get?"
Angel shook his head. "You better protect them Spike."
"I'll give my life for 'em if I have to." He said pulling the blankets over Angel's legs.
"I'm holding you to it." Angel said pointing his finger.
"Rest yourself. We'll be back before ya know it." Spike said heading out the door.
"Anya, Xander there's a small building just right inside the gate. You two hide in there. I've got my post spotted out." Faith said.
Xander nodded and both headed out to the building.
Faith led Cordelia inside the warehouse.
Faith looked around. She pointed at a set of stairs leading to a landing. "You go up there. Set up your stuff and keep an eye out for anyone else. Whatever the case, be careful."
"You got it Faith." Cordelia carried her equipment up the stairs.
Faith turned around and walked outside.
"Xander, I don't like this place. Can't we hide out someplace else? This place is dirty. There are probably rats in here. I hate rats." Anya shivered as she looked around.
"Ahn, Faith told us to wait here and that's what we're going to do." Xander said as he scoped the place out. "No windows? How are we supposed to look out?"
"Oh, here's a small hole in the wall. We can see the gate." Anya peeked out the thick metal wall.
"Let me see." Xander said as he took Anya's position. "Well, I suppose it will have to do."
Xander heard a clicking noise outside of the door. He put his finger up to his lips for Anya not to speak.
"Who is it?" Anya whispered.
Xander shrugged his shoulders. He tip toed over to the hole in the wall, but the limited viewing prevented him from seeing around to where the door was. He saw a shadow of someone running away.
Xander walked over to the door. He turned the knob and pushed. "Uh oh." He tried to push the door open again. "Come on!" He said as he slammed his body into the door, but it wouldn't budge.
"Move." Anya demanded. She went over and turned the knob and pushed the door. "Nope. Someone has locked it from the outside."
"And you couldn't have come to this conclusion when I was throwing myself at it."
"I just wanted to make sure." She looked around the room and picked up a broken crow bar. "Here." She said as she handed the tool over to Xander.
He walked over to the door and wedged the metal in between the door and frame. He pulled and pushed with all his strength. "It's...not...budging." He grunted out. He tossed the bar on the floor and leaned against the wall. "I don't know what to do."
Anya pulled out her walkie talkie from her pocket. "Faith." She waited for a response. "Faith." She spoke again. "Cordelia." She said. She smacked the radio and tried again.
"Is it on?" Xander asked, knowing that sometimes his fiancÚ could forget the tiniest of details.
"Yes Xander." She rolled her eyes. She turned the knobs for different frequencies. She spoke out the names again.
Xander held out his hand. "Let me try."
"What makes you think that if I couldn't get anyone that you can?" She said putting her hand on her hips.
"The same way that you thought you could open the door after I already tried it." Xander answered.
"Fine." She handed the radio over to him.
"Faith...Cordelia...Hello!" He sighed. He turned the radio and opened the back to the battery compartment. "Damn it!" He yelled out.
Cordelia looked through her camera. She checked out the angle and tightened up the screws on her tripod.
She heard a click of a gun hammer being pulled back. She turned her head. "Oh you gotta be kidding!"
Buffy, Willow, Tara and Spike drove through the gates to the warehouse.
Buffy sighed. "Alright here we are. Is there any sign of the Giotti's?"
Everyone looked around out of the windows.
"I don't see any." Tara answered.
"Nothing." Spike responded.
Willow shook her head as she looked at Buffy.
"Then we'll wait inside."
They all exited the car and walked inside.
"Cozy little spot." Spike commented.
Buffy walked through. She looked up and saw the landing. She smiled when she noticed the slight glimmer off of Cordelia's camera.
"I'm gonna go search around." Spike said as he was walking away.
"Buffy, why don't you go with him?" Willow suggested.
"No. I'm staying here with you guys." Buffy said crossing her arms.
"You are only supposed to be here to get Lacey. Angel said to keep you safe and that is exactly what we intend to do." Willow pointed out.
Buffy turned on her heels and walked away with Spike waiting for her. "We'll be back in five minutes."
Willow put down the briefcase and took Tara's hand. "It'll be fine baby."
Tara took an audible gulp. "I know. I just wish this was over with."
"Same here." Willow said. She got closer to Tara. "I love you."
"And I love you. It's just..." Tara said looking around.
"Just what?" Willow asked.
"What are you going to do when this is over? Are you going back to San Francisco?" Tara asked concerned.
"I really haven't given it much thought. I was totally wrapped up being with you that I didn't really think about it." Willow said uncertain.
They both turned to the entrance when they heard a car pull up.
"Can we talk about this later?" Willow asked.
"Count on it." Tara gave her a quick kiss. "Showtime guys!" She yelled out.
Buffy came running through the building.
"Where's Spike?" Willow asked looking behind the approaching blonde.
"He said he's gonna keep over there. He's watching everything."
"Alright, hide over there." Willow said pointing to a stack of crates in the back.
She ran over and ducked down.
"Tara, stand over there behind the stairs." Willow said to the blonde.
"If you think that I am moving from this spot, you are crazy." Tara said in a stubborn tone.
Willow sighed. She knew it was useless to argue at this point. "Alright. I love you."
"I love you too." Tara said as she reached behind her to adjust her gun making sure it could be grabbed quickly.
Xander looked out the hole in the wall. "There they go."
"The Giotti's?" Anya asked getting up from the floor.
Xander nodded. He leaned against the wall. "Well, once again the Xan man is left out of the action."
"Well, I'd rather have you safe and sound, with me." Anya said as she approached him and wrapped her arms around his waist.
He pulled her into a hug. "I love you."
"I love you too." She said and gave him a kiss.
Anya screamed and jumped into his arms when she heard a noise. "I told you there were rats in here!"
Xander put her down. He listened to a repeated sound.
"I don't think its rats." He bent down and followed the noise with his ear.
"It's in here." He whispered out pointing to a box in the floor.
"Well don't open it. It's probably a whole hoard of the rabies infested things." Anya said, picking up the broken crow bar.
"It's beeping." He carefully opened the lid.
"Oh shit." He said as he saw a remote controlled detonation device duct taped to a block of C4 explosives. He looked at the numbers on the timer.
"What is it?" Anya said standing on her toes from her current position.
"Remember when I said I was left out of the action? Well the action just came to me." He said still looking at the numbers counting down. "We have less than ten minutes before we go kablooey."
"WHAT!" Anya asked running towards him. She looked over his shoulder at the device. "Oh this is just great!"
Angel lay in his bed staring at the ceiling. He tried to get up but the pain wouldn't allow his body to move. He jumped when his cell phone rang.
"Hello!" He answered excitedly.
"Angel, Giles here." The British voice came over the line.
"Hey Giles." Angel answered happy to have something to do besides just laying there.
"Have Willow and the rest left yet?"
"Yeah they left out a little over an hour ago. Why?" Angel asked.
"Good lord." Giles said.
"Giles what is it?" Angel said as his heart skipped a beat.
"Cordelia asked me to trace the call that was made last evening after the events that happened to you. It appears that it was at a pay phone right outside an apartment building located on the other side of town."
"Alright. Well, that really doesn't help out much. I mean there has to be hundreds of phone booths out there." Angel said.
"Allow me to continue. The voice was synthesized. Apparently Cordelia recorded the call. She sent the tape to us to analyze. With the programming we have, we were able to break down the analysis and match the voice."
"Who is it?" Angel asked swallowing a lump in his throat.
Three large men entered the warehouse. They cautiously looked around and saw the redhead and blonde standing there with a silver case sitting on the floor.
"I am Leo Giotti. We were supposed to meet Angel. Where might he be?" He said and smiled.
"Well, the little incident that happened to him last night kinda put him out of commission. I'm here to take his place." Willow said standing absolutely still.
"And who might you be." Leo asked.
"A friend of his, Willow Rosenberg."
"And who is the beauty right beside you." He asked eyeing Tara up and down.
"She is my girlfriend." Willow answered giving him a death stare.
All three men laughed. "Alright then little one, why did Angel ask for us to be here?"
Willow looked at Tara and she looked back at Willow with confused looks. "You asked us to come here."
"For what?" He asked. He lightly nudged one of the large men standing beside him with his elbow.
The man reached into his jacket and pulled out a gun and held it down in front of him.
Willow and Tara both backed up. "Now look. I don't know what kind of game you all have planned, but we have your money. All we want is the girl back."
Leo and the other men looked at one another. "Our money?"
Willow rolled her eyes. "The one point five million you all said you wanted for Angel's daughter Lacey. Ya know, the money James Maclay owes you." Willow said curious to why she had to explain what the meeting was about.
"Oh yes. That's right. You give us the money and we'll hand the little girl over." The man looked at his guards and shrugged his shoulders but smiled and raised his eyebrows.
"The analysis came back with only one voice match. The apartment building is located at 1529 Toner Avenue."
"Oh god no." Angel hung up the phone and got out of the bed with all his strength. He grabbed his jacket out of the closet and headed down the steps as fast as he could. He walked out to the garage. He opened the doors and strapped on his helmet. He was about to mount his motorcycle when he noticed both tires were flat. "Fuck!" He screamed out.
He pulled his cell phone out of his jacket. He dialed three numbers.
"911 What is your emergency?" An operator asked.
"There's a fire at the Kenwood factory on Lansing Drive!" Angel screamed into the phone.
"Are there people inside, sir?" She asked.
"Yes! Please hurry." Angel said pleadingly.
"Alright sir, we have units on their way to the scene right now."
"How long before they get there?" Angel asked.
"Approximately five minutes." The operator answered.
Angel hung up the phone. He stood on the curb and tried his best to wave down a cab.
Willow bent down and put her hand on the case.
"Easy there little one." Leo said.
The guards took a step forward.
Willow nodded and slid the case over.
One of the guards bent down and picked it up.
"Now where's Lacey." Willow asked.
Three shots were heard. Tara and Willow ducked down. Willow peered up from her crouching position to see all three men lying on the floor with blood coming out of their heads.
Willow looked around but couldn't see anyone. She patted Tara on the shoulder. "You O.K.?"
Tara nodded and looked at the men in the floor.
Faith came running inside. "You guys alright?"
"Faith!" Willow screamed out. "What the fuck did you do?"
"What? I did what I had too." She said looking at the redhead.
"What do you mean? They were about to give Lacey over." Willow said as she walked closer to the brunette.
"Looky, looky what I found." Spike came out of a room with Lacey in his arms.
Buffy ran out from behind the crates.
"Mommy!" Lacey squirmed her way loose from Spike. She ran as fast as she could.
"Oh baby." Buffy said as she picked up the child and kissed her all over her face. "Oh god!" Buffy cried holding her daughter tight.
Spike came over and put his arm around them. "She was in the back with queen bee. Both got locked in a closet. Cordy got a bump on the head. I tried to wake her, but she's not coming around."
Buffy looked up from her child's shoulder. "What?"
Lacey pulled back from her mother's embrace. "Mommy, Faith."
"What honey?" Buffy asked.
"Faith cut my hair." Lacey said pulling at her hair where the lock was missing.
"Xander, try harder!" Anya screamed looking at the timer on the bomb. "We've got two minutes left!"
"I'm...trying!" He yelled back pushing the crow bar through the hole in the wall, breaking away bits and pieces of the metal down.
Everyone looked wide eyed at the smiling brunette. "Out of the mouth of babes."
"Why?" Willow asked.
"You of all people ask me why? Let me tell you why. You all made my life a living hell. I spent five...long...years in a shit hole because of you." She pointed her gun directly at Willow. "I was your partner goddamn it! You don't turn your partner in!"
"Faith, you broke the law." Willow said in a calm tone.
"Screw the law! You think the law gave a shit about me when I was being beaten within an inch of my life practically everyday?! Do you think the law cared when I was being raped by big Bertha's all the fucking time?! Let me tell you something about the law Red. You broke the law. You broke the bond that partners share. I'll scratch your back...you scratch mine!"
"Faith I couldn't let it go. I'm sorry that you had a rough time, but don't do this, please." Willow pleaded.
Faith laughed. "Fuck you Willow! You damn bitch! You just don't get it. You were my best friend. I loved you. Hell, I was in love with you. But you didn't care. You said you were waiting for the right person." Faith rolled her eyes. "I suppose you found her." She held her aim firm with her gun.
Sirens were heard in the back ground and getting closer by the second.
"You aren't going to get away with this." Willow said flatly.
"If there's no one left to tell, yeah I think I will." Faith pointed her gun at the case and shot off the handle.
Faith saw Willow reach behind her. She quickly took aim at her again. "No, no, no now Red. Take the guns out nice and slow and throw them over to me."
Willow pulled her gun out behind her jeans and did as Faith said.
"You too blondie."
Tara did the same as Willow.
"Why did you go through all this trouble?" Tara asked.
"Why not? It was the perfect plan and you and James gave me the grounding I needed. Took a lot of planning, but I figured I did pretty good. Red taught me how to bend things to my will. No wonder you two make a good team."
Willow and Tara both smiled at each other.
"Too bad it's not going to last." Faith smiled as she watched their smiles fade.
"Faith, please." Buffy said from the back.
"Shut up bitch!" Faith yelled out.
Everyone ducked when they heard an explosion but Faith stood still.
"What the hell was that?" Willow asked.
"Xander and Anya." Faith answered.
"Oh god." Tara whispered out. Tears sprang to her eyes.
"You all took my life, and now I'm taking yours." Faith pointed her gun at Tara and fired.
Willow ran and knocked Tara out of the way.
Faith pointed her gun towards the back and fired.
Spike quickly wrapped his body and duster around Buffy and Lacey. When three bullets hit him in the back, his body quickly fell down on top of them.
Tara looked at Willow. "Baby?" She looked as blood quickly stained the front of redhead's shirt. "Oh god Willow!" Tara screamed. She looked up at Faith, who stood there grinning from ear to ear.
"Well that'll do. Sorry Tara, I kinda liked you." Faith raised her gun.
"You talk too much." Tara held up the gun she had strapped to her ankle.
Faith's body jerked when six bullets shot into her chest. She had a brief moment to look down then back at Tara, before she fell dead on the floor.