Return to War Chapter One


Author: Vamp_fangs
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: All Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy.

"Alls I need now is cubby." A dark haired woman nodded, gripping two suitcases filled with clothes and heavy books. She made her way to the study but jerked to a stop as a cold voice called her name. She turned around with trepidation in her movements to find Tara leaning against the door way, her hands on the hilt of her sword.

"Going somewhere?" The blonde mistress asked, drawing her blade. The leader of the Sangrine clan was trapped in a corner and the scent of fear in the air was intoxicating. The blonde stalked towards the dark-haired woman, a long sword in her right hand, while Drusilla struggled to put as much distance as between them as best she could. Her brown eyes scanned the room as if looking for an exit.

"What are you looking at, Dru? Can't be a way of escaping, can it?" The blonde asked mockingly, her dark blue eyes never leaving Drusilla's form.

"Heh, you think you actually won? I'll be back and I'll get what's mine." Drusilla hissed. The dark haired mistress whispered a barely audible and her head dropped to her chest. Tara's eyes widened and she lunged forward, her sword aiming for the woman's chest. She skewered the dress.

"Damnit!" Tara shouted in disbelief, stabbing the wooden floor with her sword. Drusilla was gone, it was a inactivity spell. The blonde muttered under her breath. All that was left was the objects she was wearing, the dress, hair pins and her rings. "Shit." The blonde scowled, picking up her blade and stabbing it into the dress's waist. Tara picked up the rings on the ground, examining them closely before she placed one on the middle finger if her left hand and the others in her breast pocket. She flexed her left hand to feel the weight and stood, gripping her sword as she heard hurried footsteps.

"Mistress!" Faith called from behind her. "Did you get her?"

"No. She used an Argon spell. So she won't be bothering us for a while." Tara replied, turning to her second in command. Faith nodded slightly, a frown on her face. "What's wrong now?"

"No worries, T. Anya sent me cause we found something you might like.

"Oh goodie, spell books?" Tara asked, sheathing her sword and headed toward the hallway. Faith shrugged.

"Anya?" The blonde asked, knocking on the door. She tried the knob but found it locked and enforced by a magickal shielding. "Anyam I'm not playing. Open up." Tara called frowning, she glanced at Faith who was fidgeting. "Are you sure she's in here?

"I'm out here." Anya called, running towards them, a bundle in her hands. "I just needed to grab my kit. The door protected by dark magicks, so back up while I work." Tara and Faith moved back and watched as the smaller blonde kneeled before the door opening her kit.

"So what did you want to show me again? A locked door?" Tara asked, crossing her arms across her chest.

"Oz said he smelled ancient books, scrolls and blood. It safe to assume, because of the magick guarding the room, that Drusilla considered these things precious to her. If we have her things we will have an upper hand when she comes back."

"How'd you know she was coming back?" The brunette asked, scowling. "You don't think Tara didn't kill her?"

"Oh I have no doubt that Mistress Tara could kill her. But the magick says that she is still alive. So we'll have to break it and jimmy the lock." Anya replied, placing a small light between her teeth so she could work with both of her hands. "Recludere... Unlock... Almost... almost... there!" The lock clicked. The blonde grinned over her shoulder and turned the knob. "It's a wonder what a simple spell could do. And I'm just a beginner.

"That was very good, Anya." Tara replied, smiling at the blonde. The door swung open, revealing a large room. Bookcases lined three walls, the fourth wall had a closed metal door. Scrolls were stacked on a wooden table in the middle of the room. Tara stepped in and took in a deep breath of the air. She grinned as she ran her fingertips across the books.

"Oh, Goddess. These are so old. Special." She murmured to her companions. Anya looked around excitedly, her eyes taking in the vast amounts of books and scrolls. Faith nodded slightly not paying attention to the objects in the room but to the door, the hair on the back of her neck prickled.

"Anya, you said Oz smelled books, scrolls and blood right?"

"Yes, he did." Anya replied, her fingers touching the table that held the scrolls.

"We got the books and scrolls... Where's the blood?" Faith inquired. Tara tore her gaze from the books and moved towards the door. Faith followed, pulling out a dagger. Tara gently touched the door, stroking it with her fingers. A strong magickal barrier throbbed underneath her hands.

"Unlock." The blonde whispered, light blue sparks spreading into the surface of the door. "Apertus." She continued, when the door refused to budge.

"Hmm, apparently something is in there more valuable to her than the books." Anya surmised, moving forward. "Shall I go get th-" She frowned as she noticed that Tara and Faith were not paying attention to her.

"Tara? There is a hole here like a key hole, I think. Wait... didn't you say that to have the signet is to have the key? Maybe you should try using the ring?" The brunette asked, rubbing her finger over the only mark on the door.

"But... Yes, Faith... Keep it simple." The blonde mistress nodded, she glanced at the door and the ring she had placed on her hand after Drusilla's disappearance and smiled. "You are a genius, Faith."

"Hey! What about me? I was the one who jimmied the lock and broke pass the spell." Anya pouted, crossing her arms over her chest.

"You did very well, Anya. We will talk about rewards when we are done." Tara replied, with a smirk and pulled off the ring. She examined it again before placing the signet into the small indent in the door and turning it. The door jerked with a gasp, opening slightly. The blonde glanced at Faith and nodded, slowly pushing the door open, revealing a small room. Tara's eyes widened when she saw a thin, unconscious, redheaded, bleeding girl leaning against the wall in a corner.

"Faith, go get Joyce and Dawn. Hurry." The blonde Mistress commanded, the brunette nodded and sprinted out of the room. Anya moved closer, examining the box and its spilled contents a few feet away from the redhead. She picked up a bottle and sniffed it cautiously before turning to Tara.

"Mistress... This is a highly addictive drug, from the scent of it. It is Liquid Bliss as they call it on the Magic Markets. It is like a heavy sedative and narcotic all in one bottle. Get enough of it and you could be a vegetable." Anya explained, watching a scowl form on Tara's lips.

"Joyce. Dawn. How is she?" The blonde Mistress asked, stepping into the infirmary and towards two avian hybrids. A mother and a daughter both of the Sparrow race. The mother with long blonde brown hair tied in a bun shook her head grimly as she watched her daughter apply a soothing poultice on the cuts along with thick strips of gauze on the redhead who was lying in a high cot, on her stomach.

"We took some blood samples and we can confirm she is a cougar hybrid like the others and that she has the Liquid Bliss within her system. Which I think Drusilla gave to her, but I am confused, with the amounts she was given she should be withering away in a comatose state. Since she isn't I plan to put her on a eating schedule, she's quite malnourished. About four-five meals a day." Joyce reported, speaking softly as if not to disrupt the redhead. "She has a scar exactly nine inches and two centimeters on her side and many others near her thighs, wrists, back and chest. The cut on her side is clean which meant that she did not take it in battle or get it from a whip, meaning that she was held down as someone, Drusilla I suspect, sliced through her." Tara eyes widened as Joyce continued, "She's not declawed and in her state I think it is best we restrain to place her for safety reasons."

"I agree, restrain her. Notify me the minute she wakes up." Tara replied, letting her eyes linger on the redhead's body.

Continue to War Chapter Three

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