Angel crouched down next to Buffy and tapped her shoulder. She turned to look at him and he pointed over the bushes they were behind. With a frown, she stood up just high enough so that she could see.
"What's Nicholas doing there?" she whispered.
Angel shrugged. "I don't know," he replied in a whisper. "But we have to get her out of there now. Who knows what he has planned?"
"You'll get no argument from me. Let's go."
Buffy started to stand up again, but Angel grabbed her hand and pulled her back down. "You can't just go out there like that. You need a plan," he argued.
With a mock hurt expression, Buffy's eyes widened innocently. "I have a plan."
"Oh?" Angel raised his eyebrows.
"Yeah. I go there, I kill Nicholas... and Matt," she added with distaste, "I get Lynn out and we leave." She shrugged. "Let's go."
Angel shook his head. "That's not a plan."
"Sure it is!" Buffy exclaimed just a bit too loudly. "It's worked a million times before. No biggie. I didn't exactly have a plan when I went to rescue you from Spike and Dru that time when they wanted to use you to get Dru's strength back. I managed, didn't I?"
Angel sighed. "We're wasting time, Buffy..."
"Quite right," a voice said from over them.
Angel looked up to find Nicholas standing there and he swallowed hard. Now that his hiding place had been found, Angel decided to stand up to his full height, but motioned for Buffy to stay. Nicholas had already seen her, but didn't seem too interested with her at the moment.
Buffy looked at them, marveled. Nicholas dressed similar to how Angel dressed, leather jacket and all. He spoke with a small trace of an Irish accent, stood as tall as Angel, had the same built as Angel, but had an evil gleam to his shining emerald eyes. All in all, he reminded Buffy of Angel's alter ego.
"Fancy meeting you here, Angelus," Nicholas said.
Angel narrowed his eyes. "What do you want from Lynn?"
Nicholas smiled. "What do I want from Lynn?" he repeated. "I want a child that I can destroy and get more power from. But that can be later." He waved his hand carelessly and Buffy stood up, almost as if against her will.
Immediately, Angel turned to look at her. "Run, Buffy."
Buffy couldn't even shake her head.
"She can't move," Nicholas explained.
Angel blinked, having completely forgotten about Lynn and Matt. Lynn was now standing beside the car with Matt holding on to her arm tightly. But Angel knew she should be able to shake him off.
"Break away!" Angel cried to his daughter.
Lynn shook her head, looking desperate. "I can't!" she answered.
"She has been sedated," Nicholas explained conversationally. "Magically, of course. The strength that a daughter of a vampire and a Slayer possesses is not taken away easily. I must tell you, I must've spent several weeks looking for that damn spell."
"Your fight is with me and Buffy," Angel said, trying to sound calm. "Let her go. The prophesy doesn't refer to her."
Nicholas blinked in mild surprise. "Oh, I know," he said. "But you know me better than that, Angelus. I don't want your unborn child. Didn't you know?" He paused dramatically. "It isn't your unborn child the one the prophesy refers to. It's Evelynn."
Amy jerked slightly and her eyes snapped open.
"Amy? What's wrong?" Giles asked as he crouched down next to her. Willow followed suit.
"Did you break the connection?" Willow asked worriedly.
Amy shook her head. "No, I'm still in. But I can't help her. He's too powerful, Willow."
"What's he doing?" Xander beat Willow to the question.
"He froze her," Amy said. "I can't counter it. At least, not that easily. This guy's powerful. He can easily kill them all off if he wanted to."
"But he doesn't," Oz stated.
"So... what? Do we stay here and wait?" Jade asked.
"I believe there's really nothing we can do," Giles said, standing up and wiping his glasses. "With someone as... powerful as Nicholas, I believe that not even Willow and Amy's combined forces can help."
"But they're in danger!" Jade protested. "My best friend, her parents, and possibly my brother are all there. There has to be something we can do!"
"So, we beat him some other way that's not magic," Oz said.
"Right," Cordelia said sarcastically. They had explained to her what was going on and she now knew enough to be scared for her friends. "We face a guy who hung around Angel in his evil days, who's had four hundred years to tune in on his magic stuff, who's a vampire, who is hell-bent on killing all our friends... without magic."
"No one said he wants to kill anyone," Oz replied. "We don't really know his plan. And if there's anything I've learned, it's that the mind is the most important part of the body."
"I don't see what your point is," Xander said.
Willow grinned, proud of her husband. "I do," she said. "He wants to outsmart Nicholas."
Giles nodded. "It's a possibility. But it won't be easy," he warned. "Nicholas is a smart man."
"That's okay," Willow said. "We're smarter."
"Lynn?" Angel said incredulously.
Nicholas nodded calmly. "Oh, yes," he replied. "Oh, you don't think I am actually powerful enough to twist a prophesy like that, do you? No, no. How else would I make a baby powerful enough for me? What a better combination than two offspring of vampire and Vampire Slayer?"
Angel blinked in surprise. He had obviously missed something, but, at the moment, he didn't care.
"I felt power emanating from Lynn and that's why I chose her," Nicholas continued. "Your unborn child cannot be the One. You're technically not a vampire anymore."
Matt suddenly let go of Lynn's arm. "You didn't tell me this," he said in surprise. "You told me that I would be the father of the One."
Nicholas turned to his nephew and shrugged. "I lied." He turned back to Angel again and was about to speak.
But Matt would have none of that. He narrowed his eyes. "Well, then, so did I."
Surprised, Nicholas turned back to face Matt. "About?"
In answer, Matt snapped his fingers and suddenly, Buffy could move again. She fell to the floor with a thud and Angel immediately crouched down to help her up.
Nicholas was outraged now. "You..."
Angel took the opportunity from Nicholas' lack of concentration to deliver a punch to his old companion's jaw. Nicholas was too distracted to even realize that he could've used his magic. He stood up again and circled Angel. With a grunt, he lashed out with a kick at Angel. Angel ducked and threw a punch, which Nicholas blocked. Again, they circled each other. But before they had a chance to continue their fight, a flash of lightning lighted up the sky.
"I've had time to tune in on my skills," Matt shouted over the roar of thunder that followed.
Nicholas decided to ignore Angel, and turned to Matt again. Angel took the chance and ran to Lynn, who surprisingly was now being supported by Daniel.
"You okay?" he asked them.
Lynn nodded. "We're good," she answered. "But I'm so weak..."
"I just got here right now," Daniel said. "She looked about ready to topple over, so I got her."
Angel pursed his lips, took her from Daniel gently, and gathered her up in his arms. "I never had the chance to carry you, so I'll do that now," he said with a grin.
"Sounds good," Lynn murmured.
They made their way over to Buffy, who was already on her feet and ready to bolt out when needed. He motioned with his head for her to come with him and, together they ran away from the bloody fight they knew was about to happen between the warlocks. They passed cars where couples were making out, oblivious to the storm raging outside.
"Sunnydale," Buffy muttered when they were far away enough to slow down. "Always oblivious to everything." She stopped and turned to Angel, Lynn, and Daniel. Angel had set her down now, but she was still leaning against him and Daniel. "You okay?"
Lynn nodded. "Yeah, but I feel like I'll fall at any moment."
Buffy smiled sympathetically. "We'll take you home and you can rest," she told her daughter. "Hopefully, this thing will wear off by tomorrow."
"That'd be good," Lynn replied. "Hey, guys, I'm sorry I disobeyed. I don't know what came over me..."
"The important part is that you're safe now," Angel interrupted.
Lynn nodded again and started trying to walk, leaning against Daniel this time, toward their car, which Angel had parked several blocks away from Lover's Lane.
"Well, that was a weird turn of events," Buffy commented when they were seated at the car. "Hey, do you mind if we go to the library first? I need to tell them we're okay."
"Sure," Angel told her. He pulled out and started toward the library.
"Hey, guys?" Amy interrupted Willow's plan. "We can forget about it now. They're fine."
Willow blinked. "They are?"
"Yup," Amy replied. "And they're headed this way now."
Willow frowned and pouted momentarily. "That's not fair," she said. At everyone's shocked stares, she hurried to explain. "I was enjoying taking charge, storming in, and rescuing them, just like we used to."
Oz patted her arm sympathetically. "That's okay, baby," he told her. "You'll get another chance."
Willow's smile suddenly turned into a grin. "Hey, they made it out! C'mon, let's go see what happened!"
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