Title : Redemptions Author : Tenhawk


Character Death.

This is *not* part of the Journeyverse.


Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners... none of which are me.

Summary: Xander confronts Spike after the events of Seeing Red

Rating : PG-13 to PG-16; for mild cursing, violence, and demonic horror content... in other words a bit more grown up then the series... but only cause I don't have to suck up to censors.


Buffy Summers was laying on the floor of the bathroom when Xander crossed the threshold of the small room. He looked down at her, his mind not really processing the scene at first. A look of puzzlement crossed his face for a second, then his heart began to drop and his stomach twisted even before his conscious mind started to compile the images he was seeing.

The bruise that was visible on her inner thigh.

His first thought was to wonder what could have made a mark that ugly on the Slayer.

The haphazard mess of a robe she was wearing, it had been torn slightly and he saw a piece ripped out of it just above her thigh.

It was her face that did him in though. He'd never seen the look of utter devastation on Buffy's face before, and hoped to god he never would again. His guts twisted as he slowly began to understand what had happened, and the only question his mind could present was... who?

He cast about, unaware of the transformation that was occurring on his own face. It was rapidly becoming a mask of fury as his mind finally clicked on the last piece.


Xander instantly turned and headed out the door.


He paused, looking back. Her voice was hurting, it was so plaintive that Xander stopped and took a half step toward her. "Buffy... he..."

She shook her head, her eyes more dead then alive. "Please don't."

Conflicting emotions roared through him as he blinked, trying to make a decision. He should stay, he knew that. He should do as she asked. She was the Slayer, the was strong enough to watch out for herself.

But she was his friend. His hero.

Xander couldn't stand to see her laid low by anything. That it had been Spike, of all people, had him trembling with anger. Spike, the man that Xander had known couldn't be trusted. That made this situation his own fault in Xander's eyes. He had bowed to the group pressure, letting them keep Spike around like some semi-useful pet. After a time, when Spike showed a modicum of humanity in his protection of Dawn, even Xander had begun to think of him as a useful guardian.

The problem with guard dogs, though, is that if they ever turn on their master... even once... they have to be put down.

Still he hesitated, long enough to hear Willow coming up the stairs.

Willow's here. Xander finally let the anger out, turning to leave again. She can look after Buffy.

"Don't!" Buffy moved again, pulling her robe over the bruise finally as she saw Willow come into sight.

"Xander?" Willow looked confused. "What?"

Xander brushed past her, his eyes stone cold. She heard his voice drift back over his shoulder, "I'm going out for a bit, Will... Errand to run. Check on Buffy will ya? She slipped in the shower."


Spike straddled the stolen motorcycle, looking down over the town, his eyes finding the Slayer's house by instinct. He casually flicked away his cigarette as he looked over the lights of Sunnydale.

"When I get back, Slayer... Things'll be different." He muttered, kicking the bikes engine over. "Oh yeah, things'll be really different."

He kicked the bike into gear and twisted the throttle, spinning the back tire on the gravel shoulder as he turned the motorcycle onto the road.

He hadn't gone far when the bike suddenly bucked like a living being and he was thrown over the handle bars, and sent sprawling to the ground. He rolled instinctively, cursing as he came to a skidding halt on the shoulder.

"Bloody hell!" He muttered, climbing back to his feet. "What the hell was that!?"

His eyes came to rest on the bike and the front tire. Jammed in the spokes was a three and a half foot long length of half inch iron pipe. He snarled, spinning around. "Who!?"

"Me." A cold voice declared, as a fist smashed into his face and sent him reeling back.

Spike hit the ground on his ass, rolling back end over end until he came to rest on his face. He didn't pause for any length of time, instead quickly rose to his feet. He felt an icy chill as he recognized his assailant. He didn't show it though, instead merely sneered. "Hello Droopy, You really need to work out a better greeting. This one's gettin old."

Xander didn't say anything for a time, he just waited for the bleach blond vampire to stand up. Finally he broke the silence. "You know, if you'd asked me a few months ago I'd have said that you'd have died before you ever hurt her. Don't get me wrong, I know that you're not a good guy. I know that you'd cheerfully rip my guts out if that chip wasn't holding you back... pretty much everyone else's too. But I never thought you'd hurt her."

"You think I wanted too!?" Spike growled, wiping away a spot of blood from his lip. Droopy had a hefty punch for a normal human. "She's been coming to me for months now, saying 'oh this is wrong, we shouldn't be doing this...' and all that rubbish, but do you think it ever stopped her before!? How was I to know that she meant it this time!?"

Xander snarled stepping forward, his fists coming up again.

Spike backpedaled. "Hey! I'm leaving town, alright! I know that I hurt her... I know that."

Xander shook his head, "You just don't get it do you? You *raped* her Spike!"

"I did not!" Spike practically screamed, "She stopped me! I left!"

"Not tonight." Xander agreed, "But you've been raping her for months."

"She wanted it!" Spike said, growling now. "She never said no. She came to me!"

The two men circled each other as they spoke.

"She was traumatized, Spike." Xander replied, "She'd just been ripped out of heaven, or something close enough to make no difference. She was hurting, confused, and in pain. She wasn't mentally *fit* to give consent, Spike... and you KNEW IT."

Spike faltered for a moment, being hit with the same argument that he'd considered in the darkest corners of his own mind. But he pushed his doubts aside, shifting to the offensive because defense wasn't his style. He sneered, "Right, Droopy. Like you'd have passed up the chance."

Xander flashed in, his left fist smashing into Spike's jaw, snapping the vampire's head around.

"You arrogant piece of crap." Xander said coldly, his anger causing his voice to tremble. "Do you really think that you're the first person in this position? Or that we all have your lack of a SPINE!?"

Spike stumbled back, snarling as he surged back and swung at Xander.

Xander didn't flinch as Spike's chip kicked in, bringing the vampire to his knees in pain. "Aaahhhh!"

Xander casually knelt beside him as he held his head in pain, speaking almost softly if it weren't for th tremble of anger. "She came to me once too, you know. Under a spell that was my fault, wearing nothing but a raincoat... I turned her away. I said no. She wanted me because of the spell, she was coming to me... but it still would have been rape, Spike. Because she wasn't fit to give consent."

Xander straightened up as Spike climbed back to his feet, snarling at the other man. Spike reached out at shoved Xander back heavily, "Stop preaching to me, droopy! You and me, we're nothing alike, and nothin you've got to say means anything to me!"

Xander stumbled a bit, but regained his footing and got back in the vampire's face. "What makes you think you're special, huh Spike? The number of people you murdered? The Slayers you've killed?"

Xander lashed out with a right cross that snapped Spike's head back and again dropped the vampire to the ground. Xander stood over him, fists clenched and anger written across his face.

Spike scrambled back, damning the chip in his head over and over again as he did. "What? Are you gonna stake me, Droopy? She send you here to do her dirty work?"

Xander stepped forward, viciously kicking Spike in the side and sending him rolling across the open road. "*She* was sobbing on the bathroom floor when I walked in, Spike! You fucking put *BUFFY* on the floor of her own bathroom, cringing and sobbing! BUFFY!"

Spike flinched back with ever pronunciation of her name. "I didn't want to do that!"

Xander kicked out again, but this time Spike rolled clear and got back to his feet. "How much do you really think that matters, Spike!? You did it. That's all that matters to me."

Spike growled, blocking a punch from Xander and letting his anger drive him to trying to respond. He connected with Xander, knocking him back, but the chip sparked in his head and he was driven to his knees by the pain in his skull. "AAAAAHH!"

Xander recovered, walking back slowly as he rubbed the blood clear of his lips. "Nice shot, Spike. You know that I'm going to stake you, right?"

Spike scrambled back to his feet as Xander pulled a stake from his coat. Spike scrambled back quickly, holding his hands up to ward the attack off, and thought fast as he tried to defend himself. "Wait! Wait a damned minute droopy! Being a little hypocritical here, aint ya!?"

Xander didn't pause, hefting the stake.

"It's not like you've never tried to do the same." Spike sneered nastily.

Xander paused at that, his eyes narrowing.

"Yeah. Angelus told me all about it a long time back, Droopy. All about the Hyena deal," Spike sneered. "He told me how close to killing you Angel was over that, even though you all thought he didn't know. How you tried to screw the Slayer in the school! Forgot about that, you did, but it happened."

Xander stopped long enough for Spike to grin at him, then spoke softly.

"I forgot nothing." Xander said calmly. "I've tried to make up for that ever since. I've shielded Buffy from everything I could, saved her when I could. Did everything to earn redemption."

Xander hefted the stake again, stalking closer.

Spike backpedaled, thinking furiously. "You remembered!? Angelus said..."

"Said exactly what Angel thought he knew." Xander finished for him. "I lied."

Spike actually chuckled nervously at that, "Yer no better then me, whelp."

Xander shrugged, "You could be right, you could be wrong. I'm not in a position to judge that. Frankly, I don't care."

"Oh, so you get to earn redemption, but I'm not allowed!?" Spike demanded as he kept moving back.

"You don't want redemption, Spike." Xander said flatly, "You've killed thousands and don't give a damn. You sold us out to ADAM and only regret getting caught. Spike, you don't want redemption."

Spike snarled, "I am sorry I hurt her! I am!"

Xander nodded, "I know you are. Even a rabid dog can come to love someone I suppose. But redemption isn't about paying back one debt, it's about paying them all."

Spike shook his head, still backing away. "You can't pay everything back! You can't!"

"I know." Xander lunged at Spike, driving the stake at the vampire's chest.

Spike rolled to one side, snarling as he dodged. "You can't do this!"

Xander whipped the stake back around, barely missing his target as he did. "Hold still and we'll find out."

Spike snarled and belted Xander with a backhand that lifted the construction worker off the ground and sent him back into the ditch. He cried out in simultaneous pain and fell to his knees again before looking up and sneering. "Yer no different than me, boy! You tried to do the same thing!"

Xander slowly crawled to his feet, stumbling out of the ditch. "One difference, Spike. Only one."

"Oh yeah?" Spike shifted nervously. "What's that?"

Xander lunged forward, tackling the vampire to the ground, sending the two of them sprawling across the asphalt. Xander managed to get on top, hammering a fist down into the vampire's face. "Though I accept the responsibility, it took the Hyena to bring that side of me out. You hurt her all on your own."

Spike parried a blow from Xander's stake, snarling. "I'm a bloody vampire! It's what I do!"

"And that, is why you die." Xander said softly, his voice barely carrying over the sound of the struggle.

With that proclamation he brought down the stake, piecing the vampire's heart at a stroke.

Spike's eyes widened in shock, his free hand clasping at the stake embedded in his chest. "Bloody hell."

The vampire's body turned to dust under him, dropping Xander to the ground. He fell over to his side and then turned over onto his back and looked up at the night sky.

"Ashes to ashes." He said quietly, "and dust to dust."

For a long moment he laid there, looking at the sky and thinking. Then he rolled to his feet and walked off the open road, heading back to town. He paused briefly and looked back at the dust that was blowing clear of the road.

Spike, William... whoever... Xander thought, I hope your soul rests in peace, and your demon burns in hell.

He turned back to the town, speaking softly. "You never understood, Spike. Redemption isn't a destination... It's a road."