Disclaimer: All rights to Joss Whedon

Chapter 2: Warrior

Spike wandered through the cemetery. He wasn't really going anywhere, just wandering. Spike was hoping to keep his secret longer when he returned to Sunnydale. He never wanted people to find out, especially one of the Scoobies. Now Anya knows and was probably going to tell the whelp. It was bad enough that his grandsire knew and now the whole damn town could know by sunrise. Spike thought at first that he could trust Anya because of her desire to be a good human, but now that he knew she was a demon once again, all that trust went out the window. So here he was, alone, well besides the yammering going on inside of his skull, smoking a cigarette and hating the world. "Great job, Spike. Come back to Sunnyhell, that's a great idea!" he said to himself. He flicked the remainder of his cigarette on the ground and stomped it out, if he could just do something, it would all be better. Suddenly, as if the Powers that Be were actually listening, he heard a scream.

Running in the direction of the noise he saw a large vampire crouched over a small woman. Slipping into gameface he sauntered over to the predator and his prey. Spike leaned up against a nearby headstone and pulled out another cigarette, the sound of his lighter opening alerted the vampire. "Now, what do we have here?" Spike asked glaring. The vampire looked at him and there was something about him that Spike recognized. "Do I know you?" The younger vampire backed away slowly, eyes never leaving Spike. The vampire's eyes were wide as he took in the condition of the blonde vampire.

"Y-Yes, Master please, I am willing to share." Spike's scarred eyebrow lifted as he realized what was happening. A left over from the Order, it seems. Spike walked towards him and maneuvered himself so he was in between the vampire and the woman. She sat there whimpering.

"What's your name?"

"Trevor, Sir." The vampire was shaking and looking around as if he was planning his escape.

"Well Trevor, obviously you have missed something. You do realize where you are, right?" The vampire nodded.

"Hellmouth." Spike stomped his cigarette out and opened his duster slightly to give the vampire a sneak of the wooden weapons he kept in his waistband. Trevor's eyes got large and avoided looking anywhere, but the ground.

"Right you are, and in case you forgot I am the Master of said Hellmouth and I remember having the Order leave town about four years ago. So why would a ponce like you being lurking around in my cemetery?" Trevor snuck a peak at the woman and Spike blocked his view. "An answer, if you would."

"A rumor."

"Brilliant! A rumor! Now what does said rumor speak of? Hmm?"

"That you and the Slayer are working together." Spike froze for a second before relaxing back into his façade. So vamps were hearing about him and Buffy. Spike shrugged and picked at his already chipped nail polish.

"The Slayer and I have an agreement. I sent the Order away and she didn't kill my sire line."

"Why don't you just kill her? You can, can't you?"

"I could, but the little thing is just so entertaining. You should see the way she fights, bloody awful at times. It's like the Slayer has two left feet, plus she's been getting rid of my enemies. She's like my own assassin, she just doesn't know it." Trevor laughed and nodded.

"Got it boss, I guess I didn't get the memo."

"Are you alone?" Trevor nodded.

"Yeah, I hadn't realized the Order had left. Assumed you were still in power, I guess I was right, huh Boss?" Spike nodded.

"I guess so."

"Well, I'll just take my dinner and be on my way then." The woman cried out as Trevor advanced on her. Spike rushed forward and grabbed him.

"Sorry mate, can't let you do that. You see, something else you don't know, I don't play by the rules anymore." Pulling a stake out from behind him, he stabbed Trevor in the heart and he was dusted.

"Why didn't you do that five minutes ago?!" Sighing Spike shook his demon face off and faced the poor woman. She shied away from the injured man, but he offered her his hand and pulled her off the ground.

"Had to get information, love. Now are you alright?" She nodded.

"Yes, thank you!" He smiled at her as she kept thanking him.

"Don't worry 'bout it, love. I wouldn't recommend coming back out here at night, you never know what's lurking around." She nodded and thanked him again before she ran off in the other direction. Spike's head was a lot quieter as he sulked back towards his home, well his crypt. Clem had been staying there while he was away so he could only guess what the place looked like. As he approached the iron door he heard two voices arguing and one of them especially sent a chill down his spine.

"Look, I don't know where he is! He asked me to watch over the place while he was away. I am just the housekeeper!" Clem's voice echoed throughout the stone building. Buffy stood with her arms crossed.

"I know he's back in town, Clem. Just tell me where he is I need to talk to him."

"I told you! He hasn't been back here. If he's in town then he's off being Spike, not watching TV with me!" Buffy shoved the demon into the wall by his throat.

"Why should I trust you?" Spike decided to intervene then.

"If you're going to beat someone up, pet, I'd prefer you do it outside." Buffy whirled around to see Spike standing in the doorway, arms crossed.

"Spike." She breathed at the sight of him. He looked even worse in person, it was if he'd been run over by a combine. Buffy cleared her throat and quickly let go of Clem who grabbed his jacket and ran to the door.

"We'll catch up later buddy." Clem clapped him on the back, which caused Spike to wince in pain, and disappeared out into the night. Spike took off his duster and went to the mini fridge. He had just sat down with a blood bag when he noticed Buffy hadn't moved a muscle.

"Buffy?" he asked, mildly concerned. She was just staring at him. He clicked his fingers at her. "Slayer?" Buffy came back to her senses.

"What?"

"Where did you go, love?" Spike lounged in his armchair as Buffy approached him slowly. She sat down on the stone in front of him. Buffy was trying to find any obvious difference in him, but he still looked like her Spike. Bleached hair, scar on his left eye, defined cheek bones, and those ice blue eyes. It was still him even under all of the injuries and shredded clothing. Buffy reached out and touched a gash on his right shoulder.

"You're hurt." Spike shrugged away from her and she dropped her hand.

"I'll heal. Vampire, remember." She tried to touch him again, but he got up quickly and turned away from her.

"Spike." She tried to think of words to say to him, but none would come.

"What are you even doing here Buffy? We both know it's not for some cold comfort, so unless the world is ending you should just leave." Buffy's heart was hurting, but she knew she had to get him to talk to her.

"It's well, Dawn, she—" Spike turned on her.

"What's wrong with Dawn? Is she alright?" No of course not, you failed to protect her, Spike. Spike grabbed his head and leaned against a sarcophagus. "No. Kept her safe, I did." You failed and Buffy died. It's all your fault. Spike growled and threw the blood clean across the room before collapsing to the floor, grabbing his head again. Buffy rushed to his side and tried to pull his hands away.

"Spike, stop it!" He pushed her away.

"I failed. I failed her. I failed her. He kept whispering to himself. Buffy got to her feet again.

"Who? Who did you fail Spike?"

"Dawn. I failed her." Buffy shook her head and reached for the vampire again.

"No, Spike, you didn't. She's okay, she's safe. Dawn is alive because of you." He stopped moving and looked up at her.

"Bit's okay?" Buffy nodded.

"Yes, I was only going to say that she heard you were back and wants to see you." Spike removed his hands and took an unnecessary breath.

"I'm sorry." He grabbed her hand and squeezed it lightly. Buffy was shocked at the simple gesture. He got up and offered her a hand, she slowly took it. "How did the Bit know I was back in town?" He leaned against the wall avoiding her look.

"We know, Spike." His eyes shot up and he started getting anxious. Spike started pacing around laughing. Buffy stayed back, clutching her stake inside of her jacket.

"Bloody demons, can't tell them anything anymore! The stupid bint is going and telling everyone! Well she lasted longer than I expected." He looked over at her and Buffy had tears in her eyes. "What?"

"Anya didn't tell us." He laughed.

"So it was the great poof, huh? Look, I don't know what he told you, but that crying thing was all an act." Buffy went up to him and took his face in her hands. For the first time she saw some warmth in his eyes. She was looking at him and not a demon.

"Is it true?" He looked away from her, but she wasn't giving up that easily. Buffy backed them up until he was against the wall. "Spike, tell me. Did you get your soul back? C'mon, it's me." He looked down at her small frame and sighed. He leaned his forehead against hers and started crying.

"It hurts Buffy. Why didn't you tell me it hurt?"

"What hurts? Spike where is the pain?"

"In my past, Buffy. I feel all of it, what I did, who I was." Buffy finally realized what was happening.

"You're experiencing grief. All a hundred whatever years of you being a vampire is catching up with you. This is what people go through all the time." He separated from her.

"How do I make it stop?" She dragged him back to the chair and squatted in front of him.

"I don't believe you can, you'll just have to live with it." Spike put his head in his hands as he tried to drown out the voices.

"Can you help me?" The vampire looked up, pleading. Buffy was still waiting for the snide remark about her ass or something, but it never came. He reached out and placed a hand on her cheek. "Will you help me?" He nodded.

"Yes, I will. Has it been this bad the whole time?" Spike shook his head and took a deep breath.

"No, it comes in and out, depends on what I'm doing. It hurts when I think about something I've done or when I think about Dru…" The psychotic vampire's face appeared in his mind and suddenly her voice was speaking to him. Spike…look at the wonderful mess you've made…it's like the dog tipped over the bowl and I'm swimming in it. He shook his head as he tried to get rid of her.

"Drusilla? Why would it hurt thinking about her?" He grabbed his head and laughed again.

"Dru did this to me, she made me William the bloody. I destroyed half of bloody Europe for her!" Jumping out of his seat he threw a nearby bottle of brandy against the wall.

"You loved her…" Buffy couldn't believe she was defending their relationship.

"I did, probably always will. A crazy bird, she was, but she never loved me as much as she loved everything else in this world. I was never her first pick, it was always the stars or Angelus, or even a bleeding chaos demon!"

"Spike calm down! Now you said you went to see Angel, what did you do when you were there?" He settled down quickly.

"Helped him raid a Ghora nest, forgot how many heads that beasty has. A bunch of vamps were feeding humans to it. Barely got them all out." Buffy nodded and observed a few bite marks on Spikes forearm.

"Okay and how did you feel saving those people?" Spike thought about it for a moment then had an epiphany.

"Nothing, I didn't feel their pain!" Then something else came to him. "Earlier, on my way here I interrupted an Order member's meal and I didn't feel anything!" Buffy stopped him at that.

"Wait, did you say Order? As in Order of Aurelius?" Spike brushed her off.

"Yeah, don't worry about it, I dusted him. Not the point, pet! The point is, the more I save the bloody humans, the better I feel. Don't you get it?"

"So you're not evil anymore? You haven't been evil for a while, you know, cause of the chip…"

"Oh forget the sodding chip!" Buffy smiled as he was getting back to himself.

"Alright, so I guess that means I can welcome you back to the team." Spike's eyebrows rose.

"If you ever call me a Scooby, soul or no soul, I will kick your ass." Buffy laughed and grabbed his hands.

"This changes a lot, Spike. You may not see it yet, but I see you now. Things are going to change."

"I'd like to believe so, pet. I am here to help you, no strings attached. Just muscle, a hauntingly sexy muscle, but muscle nonetheless." She touched his chest and he flinched.

"How about we get you back into fighting form first?" Spike nodded.

"Agreed."

"Although, you have to come with me first." He raised his eyebrows at her.

"Why…?"

"Dawn wants to see you, remember." He smiled and laughed at the Bit's request. "C'mon we got about an hour till the sun starts coming up, we have to get you inside before you go all crispy." Spike heaved himself up and pulled on his duster. He looked half dead and struggled to stay standing after all the pacing and walking the night before.

"Alright, Slayer, lead the way." He said trying to be tough. Buffy shook her head and put an arm his waist and pulled his arm around her shoulders. He immediately leaned into her as she supported him. "That obvious, love?" She nodded and then the two warriors headed back to Revello Drive in the early hours of the morning.

A\N: Chapter 2! I'm just going to keep writing till I want to finish it, not ending point at this point in time, but I am glad a few of you are liking it!