Disclaimer: These characters were created and are owned by Joss Whedon. Unfortuately, all I cna do is play with them with words.

Warnings: this fiction has strong sexual content. If you are not old enough, don't read.

Chapter One

Spike stood on the lonely square of pavement outside the shop. Through the window he could see Anya and her demon friend- the one who had royally mucked up the Slayer's birthday. Behind the bird he saw a number of magical ingredients lining the shelves, and books with useful spells.

He craved a solution, and as the only non-magical one he had access to was his own dusting, he was rather inclined toward the acceptance of magic.

But magic had consequences. He knew that, and he'd bleated the fact to the children umpteen numbers of times. Usually to no affect. Arrogant lot! But the pain sliced deep within him; he could feel himself bleeding on the inside and knew he was on the edge of tears every time he thought of her.

Bitch!

He hated her for the way she had treated him. Used his body, burned her imprint so deep he could never get her out of his system. He didn't even have to close his eyes to feel the scorching reminder of her skin flush against his, his hands stroking her to writhing, pulsing pleasure.

He'd done good by her. Fair enough he might get a bit tongue-tied and make some really piss poor comments and observations, backing her into a corner of outraged fear and confusion. But he did his best, and really, demon! Evil! She couldn't expect bloody miracles.

He couldn't help but bow his head, though. It was a big fat hairy lie. He didn't hate her. Couldn't. He had so much love for her pushed down inside him that he could feel it viciously abusing his empty heart crater for a 'get out'. He wanted her, true. He would do anything to enclose his cock within her heat and thrust her into sensual madness. He knew he could do it, too. She craved his love. Craved the salve the pain of his love brought her. And now she had cut him off. Distanced herself from his passion, removed herself from his support. Replaced him with judgmental bloody Scoobies before they could find out and tell her she was more wrong than she already thought she was.

But she wanted him. How could he help but know it? The night she came to him- the night Finn re-entered all their lives, the destructive little prick. He'd seen it in her eyes then. She'd stamped her way through his door and stopped before him, her voice low and unsure, almost begging him to love her. She said she was using him. He knew her, though. Always bloody had. The chit couldn't hide a thing from her Big Bad. And it wasn't that the mighty beefcake had bombed his way back into Sunnydale that brought her to the edge of commitment to him. She had come to Spike because the git was another one who'd left her behind, and she was terrified that he would, too. No way was it mere upset at Finn's obvious moving on. Even if it did bash at her ego. She wanted Spike and his love, not just the shagging. She wanted to connect.

The connecting freaked her out. Especially when she was reminded of what he was. She'd connected so much his demon didn't matter. Until she was confronted with someone who figured out her dirty little secret. A human someone. A human someone who could tell all her friends.

Spike slumped in defeat. Thinking of how much she denied him made his head hurt. Really, he had no one to blame but himself. He'd set the scene years ago. Set the beat that their association was forever going to follow. All his death threats- and well hell, actions- had tainted his existence for the Scoobies. And if that group couldn't accept you, Buffy had no chance of changing her mind.

So, the real problem was because he'd started out her enemy. Started out wanting to bag another Slayer. Of the 'making her dead' variety. If he knew then what he knew now… Well, he woulda done things plenty different. Not let her shag and get bitten by the bloody poof for one.

But, there was no point fixating on the unchangeable. Magic was his only option now. He had to stop the pain. The hurt. When he could numb himself enough that he could think about his future; see where he should head now that the one great love of his life had kicked him in the balls with her stupidity and ignorance one last time. So she thought it was real for him! The bint still couldn't accept that he could really feel love. So maybe it was time he took the problem away. Took his debilitating love away, so he could get out of this bleeding town and make something of his unlife.

Yeah, Spike. That's the spirit!

And he turned again to the birds that he could see through the window, and wondered about consequences. What if a spell not only wiped out his feelings for the Slayer, but those for Dawn as well? What if he wanted to be all demon again, and wasn't there to protect them like he'd dedicated his unlife to doing? Well, those were a few consequences that gave him pause.

With an abrupt shrug of his very masculine shoulders, he dismissed the concerns and entered the shop. As soon as he was inside, the demon Halfrek came over all jittery, and a little flirty. He found it disturbing.

He sniffed suspiciously and narrowed his eyes. Demon girl was all vengeful, for Harris. Not that the wanker didn't deserve a good dick shortening, or a new eruption of the funny syphilis.

Actually, perhaps he should consider helping her out with that…could be worth him hanging around town to watch. And laugh.

He grinned with suddenly amusing possibilities. He could wish for the great donut consumer to swell from protracted association with the dough until he exploded. Or made sure only demon girls wanted a piece of him. Wait, that wouldn't be any different to the norm. Forget that one!

Finally, he offered a greeting and asked for help in finding a spell. He may have said he needed a 'thing,' but this was a magic shop, he was sure that Anya was onto him about what he needed. And that was when things got way out of hand.

He could see them talking together at the other end of the counter, occasionally shooting him looks of consideration as they nattered about something obviously important. Not to him, though. He just wanted to get nice and numb, and right quick like.

He felt prickly and on edge when Halfrek up and left them alone, and by the time the alcohol had found a permanent flow toward his mouth, he felt like he was on the edge of monumental carnage to his peace of mind. Or maybe he just felt like the world as he knew it was about to become rather intense in its difference.

His guard had dropped after the first half of the bottle disappeared, and he felt himself moving on to bitter moments of self-reprisal. How could he seriously have expected to have a chance with her? Too much history- really bad history- and not all of it connected to him. Too much had happened in the Slayer's past to allow her to consider what they had together in any way but disaster and heartache.

He could hear Anya egging him on, trying to get him to wish vengeance against Xander, and bloody hell, was he tempted. The ignorance of the berk burned his gut. Hypocritical little shit. If he had to wish the boy harm he'd…and he could see Anya straining toward him, eager to hear him and relish the words of personal torture that his mouth had been about to release.

He chuckled as she sat back, and chuckled again at her disappointment.

Another bottle was placed between them, and the contents quickly consumed. He could feel the conversation turning back to the whelp, and he was disgusted that the boy took up so much thinking space.

"He's not worth the brain power to wish him harm, luv. No, if wishes…I'd wish…well, if anything I'd go back, back to where it all got cocked up, where I started her really hating me. Not trusting me. I'd change it, be different, help her. Support her, you know? But she'd see, I'm not just evil, and just cause I don't have a soul doesn't 'cessarily mean I'm soulless. Yeah, go back and do it all over again. That'd show her."

Spike smiled sadly and looked up at his drinking partner and saw her face set in the obvious features of her demon.

He had a split-second of cold realisation.

"Oh shit!" he screamed just as she chanted, "done".

His head was spinning and he suddenly thought that he was hyperventilating. Funny thing for a bloke that didn't need to breathe.

Everything was all dark, though he could hear a heartbeat right in front of him. And something else, a presence he was not in the mood to face right now.

Feeling like a girly git, he realised that his eyes were squeezed tightly closed. Probably in fright from seeing Anya as a demon. He hadn't come up against many Vengeance Demons before. Now he knew why: she was not the prettiest gameface on the block. He opened his eyes and frowned. He had no clue exactly what he had just wished for, or how Anya had chosen to interpret it. His belly felt like it was doing a lot of flipping before it got flopped.

"Angelus. And Harris. Fancy seeing you here."

The two paused in their show offering of the whelp's neck and looked at the vampire in front of them in puzzlement.

"You okay, Spike?"

He stood for a few more minutes in silence, contemplating the pair and sensing the couple of support vamps at his back, and finally realised exactly where he was. He should have been able to tell, what with the special brand of 'keep it up' nancy hair gel the ponce couldn't do without…and those lifts…made Harris look short. Oh yeah, the early days…

"This Sunnydale High?" he asked them almost conversationally, then nodded as they looked at him like he was losing his feeble little mind.

"Oi, Peaches. Did I do the Yoda speech yet?"

Angel shook his head slowly, feeling swept away in a moment that felt like it was straight out of the Twilight Zone.

"Yeah, right…sorry 'bout that. Not missing much, I'll wager…So, Dru's here, and still weak." He muttered the last to himself in an effort to acclimatise to the situation and time frame he found himself in, and sucked in a breath for forbearance. Then he caught a glimpse of the lights reflecting off Harris's nummy looking neck. He licked his lips in perverse enjoyment. "How about a bit of blood to celebrate being back with the family?"

Xander's heartbeat rose in sudden anxiety, not completely secure with the belief that Angel wouldn't let anything harm him.

Spike moved forward, lowered his fangs to the exposed throat, and began to whisper.

"Peaches, I know about the soul. Get Harris out of here. I have to kill these twits behind me so the Annoying One doesn't know I turned on his minions. Don't worry 'bout the Slayer. Not going to 'urt her."

Mere moments after Angel realised that Spike was volunteering information about the Anointed One they had all been concerned about, Spike pulled a punch to Angel's jaw, merely bruising where he could well have dislocated.

Stepping back, Spike couldn't help but feel disappointed that he hadn't plowed his fist right through his annoying sire's chest and ripped out his heart…dust ahoy! But he knew Buffy would have his head…and he had no desire to be dust now. He felt uncomfortable with this sudden opportunity to change the past, but relished the excitement zinging through him like racing cars speeding around a bendy track before they crashed into the walls and burned.

She was close. And he smiled in delirious anticipation. His body reacted to the signals of excitement filtering down from his brain to his feet, and he felt himself bounce. He felt all springy and loose, and charged. He couldn't wait to go to her, but for now the show needed to go on.

"You think you can fool me? You were my Sire, man! You were my…Yoda!" Spike winked at the two lumping brunettes in front of him, giving them an encouraging nod to indicate it was all a ploy for the vamps behind him.

Angel looked at him shocked and rubbing his jaw. He could sense the near jubilation affecting his progeny and wondered what the hell he was on.

"Things change," Angel muttered.

The muscle in Spike's jaw clenched hard, almost in punishment as he contemplated what the Slayer's response had always been to that charge. Only the chip, not him. Just the chip. Now he could show her different.

"You're right. Demon's can change. We aren't mindless automatons. We can choose not to kill." And once he'd said it out loud, he felt stupid for not thinking it earlier. Of course he had bloody changed. That bleeding chip did nothing but give him excuses. And not the ones the Slayer credited him with. Not the 'no bitey, no dead happy meals' ones. More like the 'hello Slayer', 'can I help, Slayer', 'I love you, Slayer' excuses. Without the chip, he might have felt forever obliged to carry on as the evil vamp. No, the chip, as annoying as it was, gave him the chance to be in her circle. A little bit on the inner.

Not that she was bright enough to understand the difference.

Angel and Xander stood in stunned amazement as Spike seemed to nod in agreement with himself. They all jumped as he shouted to them to move, 'this isn't a spectator sport,' and fists and fangs flew as vampire minions became vampire dust and ash littering the empty corridor for the cleaners to vacuum in the morning.

The three remained standing, eyeing each other warily.

"What are you up to, Spike?"

Spike smirked at the vampire that he considered to have ruined his life. He felt childish and spiteful, but invigorated about the prospect of doing a spot of ruining himself.

"I've come to make some changes. How 'bout you?"

"I changed a long time ago. Do you have a soul?"

Spike looked on his elder in horror.

"What do you think I am? Do I look like a poof?"

Xander launched into a mirthful belly laugh. It came to an abrupt end as Angel flashed him some fang.

"Tut tut, Daddy! The boy is just 'ppreciatin' good humour. Speaking of, Dru's here an' she's not well. You should go see her. She's missed you."

Spike's voice had lowered in a sincerity that rocked him. In this timeframe he was still devoted to his wicked plum, his princess was his everything. But with the switch of his timeline, he brought with him the intense love he felt for the Slayer.

He wasn't too stupid to look a gift horse in the mouth. Here was his chance, and he was gonna do what he'd hoped. He was gonna make everything right, including Dru. Maybe Angel could help her in a way Spike had never been able to.

Diverting the souled vampire's attention had other benefits, too. His biggest priority was to keep the other away from Buffy as much as possible. Do something to dim their affection. Cut this soulmate crap. Hopefully in the process he could have it diverted from the poof to himself.

"You get the boy outta here while I take care of the others. I have to get back and deal with the Annoying One." Spike's eyes glinted with amused hindsight, which was now foresight…bloody hell!

Angel followed the instruction from Spike with a hesitant glance before finally following Xander Harris from the school. It wasn't till he had passed through the heavy door that he wondered to himself why he was listening to his numbskull excuse of a grandchilde. Shaking his head, he meandered over to give Xander a hand in fighting the remnant vampire guard.

Spike took a moment to contemplate current events. He felt younger. He had been transported back four years to a time when he was on a fresh diet, no wonder he felt like a spring chicken. Pigs blood was flavourless, no hint of fear or arousal. He missed the hunt, and the kill. But a lesson had been learnt his last visit with Dru. Buffy was his future, and killing humans was not going to endear him to her. And she'd need him. He wasn't going to skip out on her when she was up against some major Bads. And Dawn. She'd need him to protect Dawn.

No…he was in time to stop his continual death threats. Would stop attacking her. He could help her out with patrol, make with the friendlies with her mates and her mum. Even try cosying up with her Watcher if he had to. Show them all that it wasn't just a soul that could make a vamp good.

As long as he didn't have to watch too many of her snog sessions with the brooding poof, he could be patient.

For the first time that night he felt the pain in his chest ease, and the possibility of his love rejoice. His time for finding her, seeing her was beyond late and he set off to locate which corridor she was hiding in, an almost feral grin twisting his lips.

He smelt her before he saw her. And what he first saw was legs. Long glorious smooth flesh of legs. He'd forgotten she had worn short skirts back then. Didn't realise how much he had missed them. He was so caught up in the memory of those legs that he almost missed the vamp behind his Buffy raising a fire-axe.

"Watch out!" he called in near panic, reacting much faster than his mind could work. He knew she got past this stage to fight with him the first time this scenario went down, but fear grew legs and he propelled himself into the brunette. He violently disengaged her grip around the handle of the weapon and used it to detach her head from her shoulders. He grinned as the dust made a little inconsequential pile on the floor.

Too quick for him to notice Buffy standing against the wall in surprise, he was on the other vamp who had come round the corner. The axe engaged in a beautiful swinging arc and claimed another casualty.

"Now that was fun!" he shared with her as he turned around to face her.

The first connection of their eyes was electrifying, and he sucked in a breath to better prepare himself for taking in her gorgeous face. Here she was, not bitter from fighting Angelus, not broken from having cast Angel to the pits of hell, not craving death due to her tired devotion to the mission. And best of all, she was filled with pulsing life, not resurrected by incompetent and arrogant witches. He felt entirely overcome in the blessing of being in her presence.

Here was his chance.

Buffy.

Knowing him, he'd bollocks the whole thing in a matter of seconds. Right then, keep it simple.

"Hello cutie."

He waited, wondering if she was going to use her old stand-by and bop him good in the nose. The nostalgic thought had him almost hoping she would, though a power snog would go a lot better on his bones. Not to mention his heart. Or other parts of his body that worked.

She continued to stare at him, dumbfounded. She seemed lost for words.

"You killed Sheila."

Right, knew it couldn't last forever.

"She was about to split your head in two," he reasoned, trying to placate.

"She dusted." Eyes wide, her mind trying to grip onto anything that might make some sense.

"She was a vampire, luv." Spike tilted his head to the side, and memory poked into his happy moment. "Er, yeah, sorry 'bout that. Might have been responsible. Think I fed 'er to Dru." He lowered his eyes to the ground, appearing almost…bashful?

"I thought you were here to kill me!"

He raised his eyes to hers once again and hoped that she could see how not all right he was with that notion.

"Nope. Made a mistake. Changed my mind. No killing for this vamp. Not anymore." He shared his hopeful look, kept his face straight of any snarky innuendo or smirks that might influence her to distrust. Then, "I want to help you," popped out of his mouth as he rocked excitedly back on his heels, hands in pockets…and thought of that miserable episode where he thought he was the souled Randy Giles. Without connection to the present situation, he grimaced. Bloody ponce, and what had he been thinking with that suit? And the hat...he shuddered at the memory, before zeroing in again on the present, and his girl who seemed a hell of a lot blonder, and slightly more cuddly.

"Huh! Are you for real? Cause vampires offering the help? Not so much. Unless you're Angel. Which you so are not."

His cloud darkened and he had to check himself against revealing his very real and violent hatred for his sire.

"No Angel, pet. No soul, either. But I can help you. I want to."

She shook her head against his offer, and he felt the challenge get harder. He stayed determined, though.

"Please, give me a chance to prove it. I'll take out the Annoying One for you. Piece of bloody cake." He offered her the grin she had unwittingly informed him recently that she found incredibly sexy. The one with the tongue curl and the inspired twitch of his eyebrows as his eyes flashed a little wider. He was hoping that without all the baggage, it might have a better effect on her now.

"The who huh?"

He rolled his eyes at her before offering the full title in correct form. "The Anointed One. You know, sired by the Master himself. Prophecy yadda yadda…"

Her eyes grew wider and the green seemed to fire. "You would do that?" she asked in a breathy voice.

"For you, luv, I'd do a hell of a lot more besides."

"This isn't happening, is it? You've got me in some freaky thrall or something, right?"

"That'd be Dru, Buffy. Honest, let me show you that you can trust me."

She considered his offer, never taking her eyes away from his. He bounced while she watched, hands tucked in his jean pockets hoping that she would take a chance. He could feel heat pulse through his body and excitement burn his veins. At her hesitant nod he felt himself explode as he launched forward and gathered her in his arms. He buried his face in her hair and almost wept in relief.

"You won't regret it, baby. I'll show you how good I can be for you."

Not until he drew back slightly, still holding her body pressed up against his front, did he feel the sharp point of a stake against his back.

But the sight of her luscious lips barely centimetres from his wiped the danger from his mind as he felt drawn to her, captured and hauled in like a prized catch. The second their lips met, all thought was blown from his mind. This was a kiss like those passionate, 'in-love' ones they had shared during the fake engagement, not the animalistic, 'fuck-me-now' ones they had shared since she came back from death. This was young, and fresh and love. He couldn't ever give this up.

His lips moved softly over hers, lost in a gentle rub rather than a hostile takeover. The moment she opened her mouth and allowed his tongue to lick her own he felt prickles erupt over his entire body. He allowed one hand to raise and tangle in her hair, holding her secure for him to continue his exploration. She had never allowed him to be this soft with her. Well, at least not unless under the influence of a spell.

He felt one of her hands curl around his waist and he pushed his body a little closer, not hard and fast, but enough to brush the compact form of himself against her softness. God, he was hot. She burned him with her fire, with her purpose.

He was completely lost in her taste when his mind registered that her own tongue had taken up exploring his mouth. He moaned as she brushed against the soft padding of his inner cheeks. He could feel his cock hardening in response to her swipe against his teeth, the flicking over the shields of his fangs. Both arms were around him now, her tiny hands exploring his back underneath the cover of his T-shirt as her mouth told him how much he was hers. The stake seemed to have disappeared as nothing but tiny Slayer nails scraped over his skin, flooding his dick with blood.

He moaned in his throat as he pushed her against the wall, his kiss getting more passionate, searching, claiming. One leg curled around his and he caught her behind the knee, raising her leg to clamp around his hip. His hand followed the smooth surface of her leg to the raised covering of her skirt and let his fingers brush round the pantyline of her bum. He wanted so much to seek further, to let his fingers dive into hot gooey wetness until he had her writhing, but it was too fast and she wasn't yet seventeen.

He forced his hand to remain immobile, moving no further to explore her mysteries. He stroked the line he had already claimed and let his lips do the talking. He drank her in, the taste of her making him giddy with adolescent type hormones and he felt the rush like nothing ever before.

Too soon he could tell that she was struggling to breathe and he released her lips with a little sucking pop. He rested his forehead against hers and copied her frantic intake of air, though his lungs weren't as productive. He continued allowing his fingers to skim the succulent skin at her backside and prayed that the day when he could feel more of her to be extremely soon.

"I'll prove to you that you can trust me," he whispered to her, mindful of walls with ears. They pulled just far enough away for him to see the uncertainty in her eyes before offering her the most gentle, awe-filled smile of his existence. He reserved it for such occasions as sincerity made him lose his mind. Knocked down protective barriers. "I won't disappoint you." This time he bestowed upon her a cheeky wink and he revelled in her sudden flush.

As she became aware of her raised leg holding him so, so close to her lower body she eased it down and away from him, looking down in embarrassment.

"Um, that was a m…"

He put a finger across her lips, preventing her from finishing the first denial of this repeat of his past.

"None of that, pet. It was fantastic, wonderful, and beautiful. But it was no mistake."

His fingers trailed away slowly, his eyes locked on the bruised red of the softest flesh he had ever known before lowering his own lips once again. The kiss was brief, to the point, a promise.

And even as hard as it was, he walked away to call back all his minions that hadn't witnessed his defection. It was time he killed a little vamp child.

And proved, once and for all, his loyalty.