Author's Notes: This series
started with my "Angel" stories "Almost Call it Coping", "Someone to look
Forward", "Gaining Perspective" and "Bonds of Friendship", but since this one
takes place totally in Sunnydale and doesn't directly deal with the characters
of "Angel" at all I'm posting it here.
Please, please go read the earlier parts and send me feedback.
But if you're a strictly Buffy person here are the relevant
developments: Following Willow's news
in "The Gift" Angel tried to get the PTBT to bring Buffy back, they told him
they couldn't, but it turned out to be a test to see if he continue as a
warrior for good even with Buffy dead. Eventually
he did and they brought Buffy back. She
saw him with Fred and decided he was happier not knowing she was back since he'd
moved on. He goes to her grave once
went things get ugly in LA and they talk but he assumes she's a ghost. After he returns to LA he gets depressed,
Fred kidnaps him back to Pylea, because she sees the FG as the source of his
depression. Cordelia, Wesley, Willow
and Spike go after him. It is
discovered that all vampires have souls in Pylea, before they leave Spike askes
Willow to curse him because he doesn't want to go back to being soulless.
All eyes turned to the door of the Magic Box and stayed
Spike fidgeted nervously under their combined stares.
Finally Buffy broke the silence. "Wow, that's a new look." Once more, as if she couldn't quite
believe what she was seeing she swept her eyes over the newly souled
vampire. Tan slacks, a white button
down shirt and a tan jacket, gold rim spectacles and sandy blonde hair falling
across his forehead in soft curls, if it weren't for his sharp cheekbones, the
ones a model would envy, she would have doubted his identity.
"What's with the Gileseques look, Fangless?" Xander asked.
"This is how I look," Spike said quietly. "Before, that was how the demon looked, the
tough-punk thing, that wasn't me. You
said we were having a meeting Willow?"
"There's a new demon-lord, Deamora, in town," Willow
"We're going out patrolling for minions while the others
research," Buffy said taking charge.
"Couldn't I help research?" Spike asked.
"You, research? In
what alternate reality are you living?" Xander asked. "I mean glasses don't make you smarter, believe me I tried it."
"I could do it," Spike insisted. "I was only a few months from graduation when I was turned. I would have been third in my class."
"Fagan's school for pick-pockets" Buffy asked
sarcastically. "Come on let's go
"Oxford," Spike replied, for the first time since he'd been
cursed there was pride in his voice.
"Wow," Willow said, clearly impressed. "You probably could help, or take over the
Research Guru opening Giles left. Why
didn't you tell us you were smart?"
"Look Spike," Buffy sighed.
"Whether or not you're good at research we're still the only ones with
super-human strength, reflexes and healing.
So we patrol."
Spike nodded, his lips pressed tightly together. "I'm sorry, I didn't think," he said
unhappily. Spike carefully removed his
glasses, slipped them into their case and followed Buffy into the night.
"Okay, I tangled with one of these guys earlier," Buffy
said. "Found him in the Restfield
cemetery, we'll start there."
"Alright," Spike agreed.
Buffy gave Spike a curious sideways glance as they
walked. "So what happened to 'I was
Spike looked away from her shyly. "I lied. The demon was
embarrassed by who I was. I hate what
it became. I was a poet, not a good
one, but still a poet."
"That's… not what I expected," Buffy said. "So you asked Willow to curse you?"
"I had my soul then, the only possible choices were to keep
it or to die," Spike replied firmly.
"Even though you know about the clause?" Buffy asked. "Cause if this is just another attempt to
get me to like you it's really moronic."
Spike hissed, gesturing subtly to two furred ape-like demons.
"Time to remind people that this is my town!" Buffy
whispered back fiercely. She slipped
into the shadows. Spike watched her
stalk the two demons. When she was
close enough she launched herself into a spinning kick, knocking one of the
pair to its knees.
"Now I know the tourist bureau works hard to get people to
come to Sunnydale, but you aren't the type they were looking for," Buffy
Spike reluctantly approached the fight. He watched Buffy and the demon trade blows.
When the first demon recovered it's feet and prepared to
launch an attack on the Slayer's unguarded back Spike took a deep unneeded
breath and grabbed it by the shoulder.
"Leave her alone," he said.
The demon snarled and took a swing at Spike. The slender vampire dodged. "That's all you've got?" he taunted skipping
backward, leading the demon away from Buffy but never returning a blow.
Enraged by it's elusive opponent the demon's strikes became
wild, easier to avoid. Spike grinned
confidently and stepped backward missing the curb.
Seeing him stumble the demon snarled with feral pleasure and
pounced on the blond vampire.
Crouching over Spike, pinning him to the ground with its
weight, the demon rained blows down on the helpless vampire.
As pain suffused his body Spike smiled. "Oh yes," he sighed.
A few seconds later Buffy kicked the demon solidly in the
side, sending it rolling off Spike.
When it climbed to its knees she kicked it again, in the jaw, flipping
it onto it's back then slamming a stake through it's chest.
For a moment she watched the body then sighed. "I hate it when they don't clean up after
themselves, that's the one thing I really appreciate about vampires, no muss,
no fuss," she commented off handedly before turning to Spike.
She offered him a hand up then in an angry voice
demanded. "What the hell were you
thinking? Our job is to kill demons,
not play punching bag for them."
"I don't like fighting," Spike replied pressing curiously
against the bruise forming across his cheekbone until he gasped with pain.