A/N- Okay…um…wow. I never meant to take so long to get back to chapter two. Really, guys, I'm so sorry. However, this is currently in the running for one of my most planned out fics. I think it ranks number three, with Years After at number one and All Fall Down at number two. So, here's chapter two.


Chapter 2

It didn't take Spike long to lead Sherman back to the flat that he and Illyria shared. It was right upstairs from the pub. Sherman was quiet for the short walk, staring intently at Spike. Spike stared right back at him as he opened the door to the apartment.

"Trying to read my mind, or something?" he asked, pushing the door open.

Sherman jolted, like he had not been paying attention. The two entered the room. It was dark and very messy. Spike groaned. Chunks of the furniture were missing, and various different packaging to various products—food, cloths, home goods—lay scattered about the floor.

"Sorry 'bout the mess, mate. Blue is a curious one. Not very neat, though," Spike explained as he shut the door with a snap.

As if in response, Illyria drifted out of another room, moving slowly with her head cocked to the right. She looked mildly annoyed as her eyes drifted to Sherman.

"Who is this human?" she asked…demanded was more like it.

"Name's Sherman. He's got a bit of interestin' info for us, Blue," Spike answered. Turning to Sherman, he added, "Sherman, this is Illyria."

"Glorious," Sherman muttered, beginning to move towards her. Spike placed a hand on his shoulder to stop him.

"Not too close. Not terribly fond of humans, you see. Well, there's a few…but it takes a while."

"What information do you have for us, Slime? Did the Slayers send you?" Illyria asked.

Sherman blinked a couple of times at her. Finally, Spike nudged him. "Means you," he said.

"Oh, right. Sorry. Well, I never did finish re-explaining my souls theory to you."

"Nope never did."

"Souls theory?" Illyria asked.

Spike nodded. He gestured for Sherman to sit on the couch. Just before the middle aged wizard did so, the vampire darted forward to wipe a pile of plastic wrappings out of his way. Blinking in surprise, Spike smiled and patted the seat.

"Sherman will play catch-up with you," Spike said to Illyria, taking a seat in the recliner across from Sherman. "Won't you, Sher?"

Sherman nodded eagerly. "Of course. Well, Miss Illyria—" At this, Illyria blinked once and in a way that made him backtrack, "Um, Illyria…I was telling Spike here about souls. You see, souls cannot be truly destroyed."

He paused, as if expecting some great reaction from the Old One. When he got none, he sighed and continued.

"The reason for this is because they are not tangible, and they don't belong to us. The Higher Power gives us the soul as a loaner. And depending on what we do in our lives, how dirty we make our souls, tells us where they go when we pass on."

At this interval in information that Spike already knew, Sherman suddenly got very excited. He leaned forward in his seat and locked eyes with the vampire, a smile slowly spreading across his face. He put his hands out like he was about to grasp a bowl from underneath.

"It's like…a car. We buy a brand new one. We run it, eat in it, decorate it, etcetera. And, if we decide to sell it to a used car dealer, what condition it's in depends on the price we get for it. For an excellently kept car, we get a pretty good price. For bad, beat up cars, we get a low price. Just like souls! Good souls go to Heaven, Bad souls go to Hell."

"And now that Illyria is all caught up, you never did get around to telling me about those who lose their souls wrongly. And what qualifies as wrongly?" Spike asked.

Illyria, for her part, showed no emotion at Sherman's words. The way she looked on the two it was almost like she was watching two squirrels chattering over nuts.

"Well, a soul that qualifies as wronged is a soul that was forced from the body mystically. A vampire's soul, for example, would be a wronged soul. But a victim of murder, by human means, does not count as a wronged. With me so far?"

"Yeah. Not stupid. So, where are the wronged souls, if they aren't destroyed?" Spike asked.

"They're in purgatory."

Spike an arched eyebrow. "Are you Catholic?"

Sherman laughed. "I get that all the time when I mention this part. Actually no, I'm Baptist. Purgatory isn't what everyone thinks it is. Most think of it as a waiting place for souls, waiting to be judged. Not the case. Purgatory was created by demons who feed off the energy of wronged souls."

"So, Fred's soul would be in purgatory?" Spike asked.

This time, it was Sherman's turn to arch a brow. He turned to stare at Illyria. He eyed her a bit before saying, "Fred? I thought she was in a woman's body."

Spike sighed. "Short for Winifred."

"Oh. Yeah, then. Her wronged soul would've been sent to purgatory."

At this, Illyria threw the chair nearest to her shattering into a wall. Sherman jumped and backed up as far away from her without leaving the apartment.

"You mean to destroy me!" she raged at Spike, who was standing also.

"No! No, I don't! We're gonna find another way to house your soul, that's all! Right, Sher?"

Sherman nodded quickly. Illyria eyed the both of them. "Deceivers," she muttered. "All of humankind. Neither of you are sure of the ability to save me."

She paused, still staring at them both. Crossing her arms stiffly, she continued, "But both of you speak the truth that you will try."

Illyria backed away to her spot that had previous been behind the shattered chair. Spike sighed and turned to Sherman.

"So, is there any way to get a soul back from Purgatory?"

At this, a goofy, almost lopsided grin spread across Sherman's oval face. "Spike, you've hit the nail on the head as far as my experimenting goes! As a matter of fact, I do believe that I have a way into Purgatory!"


End Notes: Okay, so I hope that that chapter was worth the wait. As far as Sherman is concerned, I'm quite fond of him, so he'll be with us the length of this fic. I hope everyone enjoyed this chapter! Please review!

Additional Note made April 15, 2009: This story has not been abandoned. However, it is one of many in the works. If anyone out there has an interest in me making this story one of the older ones I finish up first, please go and vote on the poll on my profile. I have other stories there to choose from as well. Thanks!