Changed Out look

Changed Outlook

Author's Notes:  This series started with my "Angel" stories "Almost Call it Coping", "Someone to look Forward", "Gaining Perspective" and "Bonds of Friendship", but since this one takes place totally in Sunnydale and doesn't directly deal with the characters of "Angel" at all I'm posting it here.   Please, please go read the earlier parts and send me feedback. 

But if you're a strictly Buffy person here are the relevant developments:  Following Willow's news in "The Gift" Angel tried to get the PTBT to bring Buffy back, they told him they couldn't, but it turned out to be a test to see if he continue as a warrior for good even with Buffy dead.  Eventually he did and they brought Buffy back.  She saw him with Fred and decided he was happier not knowing she was back since he'd moved on.  He goes to her grave once went things get ugly in LA and they talk but he assumes she's a ghost.  After he returns to LA he gets depressed, Fred kidnaps him back to Pylea, because she sees the FG as the source of his depression.  Cordelia, Wesley, Willow and Spike go after him.  It is discovered that all vampires have souls in Pylea, before they leave Spike askes Willow to curse him because he doesn't want to go back to being soulless.

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All eyes turned to the door of the Magic Box and stayed there.

Spike fidgeted nervously under their combined stares.

Finally Buffy broke the silence.  "Wow, that's a new look." Once more, as if she couldn't quite believe what she was seeing she swept her eyes over the newly souled vampire.  Tan slacks, a white button down shirt and a tan jacket, gold rim spectacles and sandy blonde hair falling across his forehead in soft curls, if it weren't for his sharp cheekbones, the ones a model would envy, she would have doubted his identity.

"What's with the Gileseques look, Fangless?" Xander asked.

"This is how I look," Spike said quietly.  "Before, that was how the demon looked, the tough-punk thing, that wasn't me.  You said we were having a meeting Willow?"

"There's a new demon-lord, Deamora, in town," Willow explained.

"We're going out patrolling for minions while the others research," Buffy said taking charge.

"Couldn't I help research?" Spike asked.

"You, research?  In what alternate reality are you living?" Xander asked.  "I mean glasses don't make you smarter, believe me I tried it."

"I could do it," Spike insisted.  "I was only a few months from graduation when I was turned.  I would have been third in my class."

"Fagan's school for pick-pockets" Buffy asked sarcastically.  "Come on let's go patrol."

"Oxford," Spike replied, for the first time since he'd been cursed there was pride in his voice.

"Wow," Willow said, clearly impressed.  "You probably could help, or take over the Research Guru opening Giles left.  Why didn't you tell us you were smart?"

"Look Spike," Buffy sighed.  "Whether or not you're good at research we're still the only ones with super-human strength, reflexes and healing.  So we patrol."

Spike nodded, his lips pressed tightly together.  "I'm sorry, I didn't think," he said unhappily.  Spike carefully removed his glasses, slipped them into their case and followed Buffy into the night.

"Okay, I tangled with one of these guys earlier," Buffy said.  "Found him in the Restfield cemetery, we'll start there."

"Alright," Spike agreed.

Buffy gave Spike a curious sideways glance as they walked.  "So what happened to 'I was born bad'?"

Spike looked away from her shyly.  "I lied.  The demon was embarrassed by who I was.  I hate what it became.  I was a poet, not a good one, but still a poet."

"That's… not what I expected," Buffy said.  "So you asked Willow to curse you?"

"I had my soul then, the only possible choices were to keep it or to die," Spike replied firmly.

"Even though you know about the clause?" Buffy asked.  "Cause if this is just another attempt to get me to like you it's really moronic."

"Buffy!  There!" Spike hissed, gesturing subtly to two furred ape-like demons.

"Time to remind people that this is my town!" Buffy whispered back fiercely.  She slipped into the shadows.  Spike watched her stalk the two demons.  When she was close enough she launched herself into a spinning kick, knocking one of the pair to its knees.

"Now I know the tourist bureau works hard to get people to come to Sunnydale, but you aren't the type they were looking for," Buffy quipped.

Spike reluctantly approached the fight.  He watched Buffy and the demon trade blows.

When the first demon recovered it's feet and prepared to launch an attack on the Slayer's unguarded back Spike took a deep unneeded breath and grabbed it by the shoulder.  "Leave her alone," he said.

The demon snarled and took a swing at Spike.  The slender vampire dodged.  "That's all you've got?" he taunted skipping backward, leading the demon away from Buffy but never returning a blow.

Enraged by it's elusive opponent the demon's strikes became wild, easier to avoid.  Spike grinned confidently and stepped backward missing the curb.

Seeing him stumble the demon snarled with feral pleasure and pounced on the blond vampire.

Crouching over Spike, pinning him to the ground with its weight, the demon rained blows down on the helpless vampire.

As pain suffused his body Spike smiled.  "Oh yes," he sighed.

A few seconds later Buffy kicked the demon solidly in the side, sending it rolling off Spike.  When it climbed to its knees she kicked it again, in the jaw, flipping it onto it's back then slamming a stake through it's chest.

For a moment she watched the body then sighed.  "I hate it when they don't clean up after themselves, that's the one thing I really appreciate about vampires, no muss, no fuss," she commented off handedly before turning to Spike.

She offered him a hand up then in an angry voice demanded.  "What the hell were you thinking?  Our job is to kill demons, not play punching bag for them."

"I don't like fighting," Spike replied pressing curiously against the bruise forming across his cheekbone until he gasped with pain.