Author's note: This is Part One of a four to five part novel-length story. This first section deals exclusively with Spike's human self, William and it contains very little violence. Spike as a vampire will appear in Part Two and the nature of the story will change thereafter. This will be a very long character driven story with a lot of plot. If you're looking for a PWP this isn't it. Also...please note that this story begins during season 5, after the events of Forever but before Intervention

Special thanks to Patti (slaymesoftly) for becoming my brand-new beta. She's editing Chapter 22 on out, so I'm sure you'll see a definite improvement in my writing from here on out.

Part One

Oh, faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you?

Mark 9:19


"You know, I am getting really tired of your selfishness."

"Tell it to someone who cares, hell bitch," Buffy snapped back, picking herself up off the floor and trying to ignore the throbbing ache where her back had collided with the wall. "I, for one, am getting really tired of you showing up at my house, spouting threats. You got a beef with me, then do something about it already!"

Glory folded her arms over her breasts, looking both amused and irritated by this display of audacity. She cocked her head to one side thoughtfully.

"You know…I think you're right," she said. "I've tried to be the nice girl….I've tried to meet you on middle ground. All I want is what's mine and all I'm asking is that you give it to me. But if you wanna play rough then I can do that, too."

She raised her arm and Buffy cringed, not knowing what was coming but knowing it was going to mean a world of hurt for her.

What was Willow doing? She'd found a spell in one of the Magic Box's more archaic texts; one which she assured Buffy would be just the thing to rid them of Glory forever. Willow had sworn left field and right that she could do the spell just fine with a little help from Tara, so Buffy had orchestrated an attack on Glory's minions, which would be sure to incite the bitch's wrath.

Well, that part of the plan had worked anyway.

But now here she was, vulnerable, Glory preparing to attack…and Willow was nowhere to be seen. The plan had been to keep Glory talking while Will and Tara did the chanty thing; then they would burst in at precisely the right moment to mojo that bitch into the third dimension. But Buffy had been talking circles around Glory—and taking the brunt of her frustrations—for some time now. If the two witches didn't show up soon, Buffy had a feeling they would be spending the following day scrubbing Slayer bits out of the living room carpet.

But just as this thought crossed her mind, Buffy heard the sound of a door opening somewhere behind her. Willow's voice was chanting something in Latin, low and quick, and Tara's voice screamed out: "Buffy! MOVE!"

She dove off to the right just as a blinding sphere of light burst from the palm of Willow's extended right hand. It rocketed straight for Glory, but the ex-god was quick and she ducked the spell with ease.

Just as quickly Willow shot another spell and this time Glory wasn't so lucky. She tried to avoid the magic by darting to one side but she moved a second too late. The hex hit her full force and she shrieked her rage even as her body dissolved into a burst of light. Willow immediately collapsed in an exhausted heap at Tara's feet.

Buffy turned to Willow, a wide smile on her face. She could hardly believe it, after so many months she was gone. Glory was gone. She opened her mouth to thank her friends—both of whom were looking extremely drained—when suddenly something struck her with all the force of a freight train. She hardly had time to realize what had happened before the room around her disappeared, replaced by a light so bright there wasn't room for anything else.

It was Willow's first spell. When Glory ducked it had hit the hall mirror, ricocheting onto Buffy. And before anyone had time to react—least of all Buffy herself—she was gone.