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Story Notes:
Gunn is wounded so badly that Spike isn’t sure he’ll survive. Illyria is holding her own, but she’s no match for the dozens of demons that just seem to be multiplying. Peaches is injured but still fighting as if he’s not. And Spike. Well, he’s trying to think of any possible way they can survive this, not even focusing on victory right now. Just survival. There’s a wound on his abdomen from claws of some creature, he can taste the coppery flavor of blood on his tongue, and he thinks his leg might be broken, so he knows there’s not much fight left in him. Well, physically, at least, since his mind is still raring to take down these demons.

It’s too bad Wesley isn’t here. He’d probably think of a quick plan, and they’d somehow manage to get out of this mess. Instead, it looks like the Senior Partners are going to win this battle. Looking around the group, he can’t help but see the missing faces and feel a sense of regret and loss. It’s not the time or place to slip into melancholy, of course, but he feels like this could very well be their last moments on Earth, and he wants to think about whatever he wants to, damn it.

Suddenly, the air feels electric and everything just stops. It’s startlingly quiet, like they’re in the eye of the storm, and he sees a confused look on Angel’s face when he realizes that the demons they’re fighting are totally still. “What the bloody hell is going on?” he whispers, not wanting to speak up in case he somehow breaks the spell.

“I don’t know, and I don’t care. Can we kill them when they’re frozen?” Gunn asks, holding his side and grimacing as he tries to stay on his feet.

“I do not understand this,” Illyria says, poking at one of the demons who is in mid swing next to her.

“Don’t let your guard down. It’s probably some kind of trick,” Angel warns. He steps closer to Spike. “Do you smell anything?”

“Do I really need to answer that?” Spike snorts and motions to the various demon carcasses around the alley.

“Angel, I’m really sorry that you started the party without me.” Spike looks up and blinks when he sees Willow leaning against a fire escape. The cute smile on her face fades as she looks at the remaining members of their ragtag band. “I’d have been here sooner, but I didn’t know. Where’s Wesley? Lorne?”

“The watcher’s gone, Red. Didn’t make it. Lorne took off after filling his debt,” Spike says, feeling a frisson of hope as he watches her climb down the ladder. “You’re a bloody beautiful sight.”

“I bet you say that to all the girls.” She winks at him before squaring her shoulders. “I’ve used a rather powerful bit of magic to stop them, but it’s not going to last a lot longer. What’s your plan?”

“How did you find out?” Angel asks, being typical Peaches with his stupid questions instead of actually doing something productive. “We didn’t have time to even contact Buffy about this.”

“That’d be me, Boss!” Harmony prances into the alley and looks curiously at some of the demons, giggling as she jumps over one’s tail. “I read my letter of recommendation, and it was the sweetest! So, obviously, I couldn’t just sit around and let you die. That’d be totally rude of me. I knew you needed back-up, quick, so I decided to call Willow to see if she could do that magic teleportation thing like Cordelia said she could. She’s just like Harry Potter! Only a redhead female so maybe she’s really a Weasley?”

“Harmony? Love. Those are fictional books,” Spike explains. “We need to get rid of these demons while they’re all magically frozen, Red. Anything in your bag of tricks that could do that or would it take more power than you can spare right now?”

“I can behead them all?” Illyria suggests hopefully. “I would like to send a message to those who dare attack us. In Wesley’s honor, I will how did you put it?” She looks at Gunn with a confused expression on her face.

“Slice and dice?” Gunn laughs before cringing. “Can we figure something out because I’m bleeding out over here?”

“Harmony, take Gunn out of here. Get him to the hospital. Illyria, get the sword. We’ll make quick work of these then we can reconvene and figure out the next step,” Angel decides. “Willow, can you keep them in stasis for a bit longer?”

“Oh, sure. I might fall over when it’s done, but just get me some OJ and a lot of sex, and I should be good to go soon enough.” Willow grins when Angel does a double-take. “What?”

“Since you’re saving our asses, literally, I suppose I can make the sacrifice to do the healing sex magic thing,” Spike drawls, winking at Red before he picks up one of the swords. “It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.”

“Blondie bear, you shouldn’t do anything too physical until you’re healed.” Harmony smirks at him when he glares. “C’mon, Charles. Let’s get you to the hospital. They’ll get you fixed right up. And, if they can’t, don’t worry. I’ll just bite you and make you my new baby!”

“Harmony, what have we talked about regarding your interest in siring me?” Gunn grumbles as he allows Harmony to help him walk out of the alley.

“You’d rather die with a dozen hot pokers stuck in your heart?” Harmony laughs. “But you’re really about to die now, so you might change your mind. Offer’s on the table, Grumpy bear.”

Spike almost feels sorry for Gunn, but he’s got demons to slaughter. Illyria has already been making quick work of them, giving him a judgmental look when he joins the sword slinging party. “Don’t look at me like that.”

“If you were focused on the task at hand instead of thinking with parts of your anatomy who seem interested in both the strange redhead and Angel, we would complete this much faster,” she mutters crossly. “Vampires are worthless.”

“Oh, shove it,” he says, glancing over to see Angel smirking while sneaking looks at an oblivious Willow. Thinking about the variety of ways they could end up celebrating a surprisingly successful battle, he can’t help grinning as he beheads the demons and wondering how they’re ever going to live it down that they have Harmony to thank for getting Red here in the nick of time. What a life.