Moonlight and Mohra
Timeline: Takes place after the Buffy ep "As You Were," and the Angel ep "Loyalty". "Hell's Bells" and "Sleep Tight" haven't happened and won't happen in this little fic-verse.
Disclaimer: Buffy belongs to Mutant Enemy and UPN, blah, blah, blah. Angel belongs to Mutant Enemy and the WB, yada, yada, yada. Its Joss's toy box; I'm just raiding it for fun.
Summary: Spike encounters a Mohra demon and poof, he's human. Who will he run to? Maybe Buffy, maybe not.
Classification: S/B, some W/T
Notes: I want a crossover!! So I figured if Joss wasn't gonna give me one, I'd make one myself. And while I'm at it, I'll make everyone live happily ever after, because that's what fanfic is for. Many thanks to Ashleigh for the beta.
Buffy aimlessly wandered through the cemetery, stake in hand. It had been a slow night and she was about to head home when she felt that familiar tingle. Vampire. She spun around and raised her stake.
Spike reflexively backed away and put his hands up.
He looked ridiculous to Buffy, like a criminal begging the cops not to shoot.
"Spike," she sighed, lowering her stake. "What are you doing here?"
"I live here." He cocked his head to the side and studied her. "My crypt's about ten yards away." He stalked a few steps toward her. "What are you doing here, luv?"
"Patrolling." She turned from him and began to walk away as she muttered, "And don't call me luv."
"There's lots of cemeteries in Sunnydale, luv. Why'd you choose mine tonight?"
"I'm not changing my patrolling schedule just so I can avoid you, Spike. You're not that irresistible," she proclaimed, not bothering to turn and face him.
Before Buffy could react, Spike grabbed her, spun her around and pulled her close to him. "I'm not?" If he could breathe, they would have been sharing oxygen, their faces were so close. It took every ounce of Buffy's willpower to keep from diving in for a kiss.
Buffy squirmed away from him, and his intense gaze. "You're not."
She began to walk away again when he called out. "I forgot, we broke up," he mocked. "How's that going for you, pet?"
Buffy rolled her eyes and continued walking away, determined to ignore him.
"I did it for you, you know."
Curiosity got the better of her and Buffy stopped reluctantly and turned to face him again. She sighed wearily and asked, "You did what for me, Spike?"
"The eggs. I was selling them for you."
"How romantic," she replied dryly.
With a distinct 'duh' tone he added, "To get you some money."
Buffy stared at him, blandly.
"So you wouldn't have to work at that place anymore. So you wouldn't smell like dead cow grease."
"Stop, I can't take it. Your words of woo are driving me right back into your dead arms," Buffy said in monotone as she crossed her arms.
"Why do you have to be such a ... " but he didn't finish. Instead, he yelled with concern, "Behind you!!"
Buffy spun around to face a demon. It raised its sword at her but she quickly kicked it in the chest and set it flying. It rose again and backhanded her. He tossed her like a rag doll into a nearby crypt. Buffy grunted as she hit the concrete and slid to the ground.
Spike cried out her name and rushed the demon. They fought while Buffy regained her senses. She shook herself off in time to see the demon slice Spike from belly to throat with his sword. Buffy paused in horror as butcher blood flowed from Spike's wound and he fell backwards onto the ground. Then she jumped on the demon's back and at the same time grabbed the arm that held the sword. The demon, stumbling for balance, loosened his grip and Buffy wrestled the sword from his hand. She jumped off the demon's back and he turned to Buffy just in time to see her swing the sword with Slayer strength.
The demon's head rolled down the slight hill in the cemetery and its body fell onto Spike. Its blood flowed into Spike's wound.
Buffy stood over Spike and kicked the demon's body away. Spike continued to lay on the ground, looking like he was in shock.
"You ok?" she panted, out of breath from the fight.
Spike looked at her with surprise, as if he had forgotten she was there. "Huh?"
"Are... you... okay?" she said slowly. Then she rolled her eyes at him again.
"Yeah. I think so." Spike felt for the gaping wound on his chest. It was gone.
"Damn, but you vampires do heal fast." She held her hand out to help him up.
Spike continued to lie there, dazed.
"Spike? Gonna get up this year?" Buffy asked.
"I am not going to play Nurse Hathaway to your Dr. Ross if that's what you're thinking, so stop being a big baby and get up."
"Buffy... I'm not teasing."
He looked serious and more importantly, scared. Buffy softened her tone. She knelt down next to him. "What's wrong?"
"I feel weak. Really weak. And everything's off.... I... I can't smell you."
"No Doublemeat Palace jokes, Spike. I'm not in the mood." She stood and glared down at him.
"Oh for crying out loud Slayer, help me up."
Buffy pulled Spike to his feet and he swayed unevenly. Buffy wrapped her arms around him to steady him. "Okay, now you're starting to scare me Spike, so if this is a joke..."
"No joke, Slayer. Something's deadly wrong with me."
"Let's get you to the house." They walked out of the cemetery with Spike's arms around her shoulders and her arm around his waist. Buffy tried to ignore the way their close proximity made her feel.
"Will!" Buffy called out as she hauled Spike into the house. Instead, Dawn came flying down the stairs.
"Buffy? Oh my God! What's wrong with Spike?"
"S'okay Nibblet." He reassured her as Buffy deposited him on the couch. "Got knocked for a loop is all."
Willow emerged from the kitchen.
Buffy explained, "Willow, something's wrong with Spike. I need you to break out the books and research the demon we just killed."
"I'll get right on it." Willow cast a suspicious glance Spike's way as he slumped on the couch.
Dawn sat down next to him and took his hand for reassurance. "Oh my God." she murmured. "Buffy!"
Willow and her older sister both stopped.
"Buffy," Dawn paused dramatically, "his hands are warm."
"What? Dawn, don't be stupid, he's dead." she strode over to Spike and, not so gently, grabbed his hand. "Oh my..."
Dawn pressed her head against Spike's chest. "Whoa!" She sat up and looked at her sister. "Heartbeat."
Willow pressed her hand where a beating heart shouldn't be. She looked at Buffy with a startled expression.
Spike glared at each of the three women that were hovering around him. "Are you three off your bird? Hello? Vampire? My heart doesn't beat."
Buffy grabbed his hand and fiercely pressed it against Spike's chest. Even with his hand between hers and his heart, she could feel its steady rhythm.
"Bloody hell," he whispered.
"This is big time wiggy," said Willow. "What the hell happened tonight?"
Buffy shook her head in shock.
"How do you feel?" Dawn asked with a big goofy grin on her face.
Spike concentrated on his body for a minute. "Hungry."
"I think we have some blood in the fridge..." Willow stopped her journey to the kitchen and turned to face Spike. "Which you probably don't want now that you're all not dead."
Spike made a face and then asked excitedly, "Do you have any of those little chicken wings?"
Buffy sighed. "This is not TGI Friday's, Spike."
"Ooo, Ooo." Willow raced to the kitchen and returned triumphantly with a bucket of chicken that she held in front of her excitedly. "Cold fried chicken!"
Spike dug in ravenously as Buffy looked on with disgust, Willow with disbelief, and Dawn with giddy excitement.
Willow snapped her fingers. "You need something to wash it down with!"
"Hot chocolate!" exclaimed Dawn. "Mom always made him hot chocolate."
Willow rushed into the kitchen. Spike called after her with a mouthful of chicken. "With the little marshmallows."
Buffy merely expressed, "Ew."
Willow proudly produced the glass of hot chocolate. Spike took a swig and a look of ecstasy washed over his face. "I had no idea this was so good."
"You should totally see your face right now," said Dawn.
"Oooh, Mirror!" Willow dragged Spike to his feet and hauled him into the bathroom.
He stood in shock in front of his reflection. He touched his scar that cut through his eyebrow. "Well," he sighed, "I'm dead sexy, aren't I?"
"Alive sexy." corrected Dawn.
"Someone should have warned me about the hair though."
"Xander tried." Insisted Willow.
"Damn, Harris. I ought to..." Spike stopped, "Hey, I wonder if..."
"You're still all BBBZZZZTT?" completed Willow.
"Only one way to find out," Dawn said.
"He is not hitting you!" insisted Buffy.
"Here!" Willow stuck out her arm, "Pinch me!"
Spike gave her a good, hard pinch. Willow yelped. Spike didn't.
"Great," said Buffy, "Now you can be all mayhem and destruction guy."
"Yeah," said Spike with very little enthusiasm. "Fat lot of good it does me now."
Spike lumbered back to the couch and threw himself down upon it.
"What's wrong?" asked Dawn. "Aren't you happy?"
Not being able to stand the look on Dawn's face, Spike answered, "Be alright, Nibblet. Just takes some getting used to is all. That and I'm bloody exhausted."
"Maybe you should get some rest," Willow said.
"You can take my room." Buffy conceded. "I'll bunk with Dawnie."
Spike hauled himself to his feet. "Thanks luv, but I don't want to put you out. I'll just head back to my crypt."
"You can't!" insisted Dawn. "It's not safe for you there."
Buffy allowed some of her sister's concern to infect her. "Dawn's right. You can't defend yourself out there. Something might happen to you."
"So what if it does? Do you care?" Spike retorted, staring Buffy down.
"Take my room." She stared right back at him.
Losing the face off, Spike dropped his eyes and headed upstairs.
"Buffy, what's wrong with him?" Dawn asked worriedly, "He was so happy a minute ago."
"You better get used to 'broody Spike' Dawnie," explained Willow, "Cuz if I'm right, now that Spike is alive..."
Buffy finished, "He has a soul."
Buffy was sleeping comfortably in her sister's bed until Dawn rolled over and smacked Buffy across the face, startling her awake. Buffy glared at her snoozing sister. She tried to settle back into sleep when she heard it. Sobbing, coming from her bedroom.
Buffy eased her bedroom door open. Spike was standing at the window, clad only in jeans, tears running down his face. He heard her door creak open and he turned from Buffy as he fiercely wiped the tears away. "Bloody hell, Slayer, don't you knock?"
"It's my room." She moved to stand beside him, desperately avoiding the temptation to take him into her arms. "How are you feeling?"
"I'd feel a lot better if everyone would stop asking me that."
"Well, you have to give us a break, Spike. It's kind of a shock."
"For no one more than me, pet."
"May I?" Buffy placed her hand on Spike's bare chest, reveling in the sound and feel of his heartbeat against her hand. "Its nice."
"Yes it is," he murmured. For the first time, Buffy could feel his hot breath against her face.
Buffy quickly backed away. "Why aren't you sleeping?"
"Too many thoughts rattling around."
He sighed and stared out the window.
"I don't understand. I thought you'd be happy."
"You've got me confused with the poof, pet. I liked being a vampire. I liked the power, the freedom..."
'The lack of conscience,' she thought but did not say.
"Now I'm weak, my senses dulled... so you tell me, what should I be happy about? Unless... " He turned to her and took her chin in his hand. "Could you love me like this?"
"Spike..." Buffy dropped her eyes.
"Answer the question, Buffy."
"You really should get your rest Spike." She started to leave but he still held her arm captive.
She turned her body back toward him.
"I'm sorry," he murmured. His face had never seemed that sincere. Not even when he told her that he loved her.
"For?" she asked as the heat of his breath warmed her face.
"For everything," he whispered.
She impulsively reached up and touched his face, warm and damp from tears. "Goodnight Spike."
" 'Night luv."
"There isn't anything in the books here at the house, Buffy. I think we need to head into the magic shop." Willow said as she cracked an egg in the skillet and then picked out the shells that had fallen in.
"Yeah, okay." Buffy slumped on the stool. "Is he up yet?'
"Yeah, I'm up." Spike lacked his confident swagger as he slid onto the stool next to Buffy.
"Good morning, Spike," smiled Willow. "Omelette?"
"I don't want to be a bother."
"No bother, I already made one for Dawnie."
"Yeah, okay then. Where is the little bit this morning?"
"Off to school," explained Willow.
"Harris take her?"
"Huh uh, friend of hers picked her up."
"This a responsible friend?"
"Janice? As in set Dawnie up with a vampire, Janice?"
"Don't worry. Her mom was driving."
Buffy found the situation disconcerting. Spike and Willow were chatting like a married couple. So she tried to inject a shot of normal. "How are you feeling?" she asked.
"Still human you mean?" He reached up and grabbed the cross around Buffy's neck. No smoke. "Fraid so."
"Maybe... we should call Tara, see if there was any magic involved." said Willow hopefully.
"I really think it had something to do with the demon ,Will."
"Oh." The redhead was crestfallen suddenly.
Spike shot Buffy a look. "No, I think it would be a good idea to call your friend. She might be able to do some kind of magic locator spell or something."
"Great. I'll have her meet us at the Magic Box. Your omelette, sir." She slid the omelette onto his plate and rushed upstairs to call Tara from her phone.
Buffy gave Spike a questioning look. "What are you doing?"
"At least someone deserves to be happy." He shoved several forkfuls of egg into his mouth.
"This is really hard for you isn't it?"
"What do you think?" He spat. "I'm going to got take a shower. I smell bad." He left his food half eaten and darted upstairs.
"Thank you for shopping at the Magic Box." Anya handed the customer his sack as Buffy, Spike and Willow came in. "Please return soon and buy more."
"Hey guys." She smiled warmly at her friends and then froze and redirected her gaze at Spike. "Wait a minute. Why isn't Spike smoking, Why aren't you smoking?"
"Human now." Spike headed to the table and slumped into a chair.
Anya, as usual was unfazed. "Neat. Join the club. Why is Spike human?"
"We don't know. We're here to do some research," explained Willow.
"We battled some demon last night. We're thinking it had something to do with it." said Buffy.
Xander entered the store. "Morning ladies. Spike? Decided to come crawling through the sewers to join our Scooby meeting?"
"No, you nitwit, I'm the cause of the blasted Scooby meeting."
"Spike's human now, honey, try to keep up." Anya patted her fiancée and smiled. Xander simply looked confused.
The research had already begun when Tara came in. Willow flashed a brilliant smile and Tara gave her a half grin. Tara made a beeline for Spike who was nonchalantly flipping through a book.
"I brought you some things. Toothbrush, deodorant... you know stuff you might need now."
Spike was genuinely touched. "Thanks ducks."
"You should probably use that deodorant now," she teased.
Spike was shocked.
"Kidding." She asked everyone, "Any luck on the research?" .
"Not yet" said Willow, "we thought maybe you could do a locator spell, see if anyone put the whammy on Spike."
"I'll do whatever I can." Tara reached under the table and gave Spike's hand a gentle squeeze.
"Got it!" exclaimed Xander, "This ugly guy your man?"
Buffy looked at the picture. "That's our ugly guy."
"Mohra demon. His blood mixes with a vampires and it sort of purifies it and voila human evil dead."
"Is there a cure?" asked Spike
Xander scanned the page. "Huh uh. It appears your condition is permanent, liveboy."
"Bloody hell." He slumped down into his chair.
"It'll be ok," smiled Tara reassuringly.
Xander added, "Uh, Buff, one more thing. You said you killed this guy?"
"Well, you didn't."
"Xander, I decapitated him. He's definitely dead. Headlessness tends to do that."
"Not unless you busted his little jewel thingy power center. You've still got a Mohra demon running around Sunnydale. A stronger but still equally ugly Mohra demon."
"Well we better kill 'em before he gets his mitts on any other innocent vampires." said Spike.
"According to this, he's after Buffy." Anya said reading over Xander's shoulder.
"You are so not going." Buffy said to Spike.
Willow asked, "Why's it after Buffy?"
Spike insisted, "Like hell I'm not. S'not like I'm gonna fry in the sun now is it?"
"Isn't that the truth?" said Anya. "Its always Buffy, Buffy, Buffy. What about us? Aren't we special enough to warrant an assassin?"
"You don't have the strength you used to." said Buffy.
"She's a warrior, Will. That's what it targets." explained Xander.
"I can still fight. I'm going," insisted Spike.
"I could be a warrior," Anya said to no one in particular, "I just don't want to."
"Call yourself 'Mister not Going'.." Buffy insisted, her hands on her hips.
"I prefer to be a Capitalist." Anya explained.
"Try and stop me," Spike said as he left the Magic Box.
While Anya continued mumbling under her breath about the power of the dollar, and Buffy conferred with Xander, Willow turned to Tara. "Do you want to have dinner tonight at the house. Dawn would love to see you."
Tara considered before answering, " Um, Sure. That would be... that would be nice."
Buffy caught up to him about halfway down the block. "Xander said it'll head somewhere salty."
Spike didn't give Buffy as much as a sideways glance when he asked, "The beach?"
"Great, Maybe I'll get a tan while I'm at it."
"I still don't like this, Spike."
He finally stopped walking and turned to her with indignation, "Well you are not the boss of me."
Buffy threw her hands up to her mouth, "Oh my God, you ate Dawn."
"I didn't... " Spike continued his beach ward trek, "you know you think you're funny, but you're not."
"I am funny. I'm wicked funny."
Buffy stopped to shake the sand out of her shoe. "I hope big ugly is around here somewhere."
"Harris said it needed salt to rejuvenate right?"
She slid her foot back into her shoe. "Yep, so he should be around here... Down."
She threw Spike to the ground and went after the marauding Mohra demon. They fought blow for blow until the Mohra picked Buffy and tossed her twenty feet down the beach. Spike went after the Mohra. With one punch to the eye, Spike was down. .He picked himself back up and went for the demon again. The Mohra was more powerful but Spike was quicker. He punched at the power center between its eyes, several times, each time avoiding the Mohra's return blow. As Buffy ran back into battle he twisted the Mohra's arm behind its back attempting to hold the demon for Buffy. Instead the Mohra flipped Spike over its head knocking Buffy down with the ex-vampire's body. Quickly, Spike grabbed the demon's leg and yanked it out from under him. The Mohra was flat on its back. Buffy scrambled to her feet and stomped on the jewel, shattering it.
Spike looked up to see Buffy's hand reaching down to him to help him up. "Come on Spike, let's go home and get some ice on that eye."
Spike's mood through dinner had been sullen and he only managed to show a small amount of joy over the chocolate cream pie that Tara had bought from a local bakery. He had retreated to the back porch for a cigarette as soon as the meal had ended. Willow, Tara and Dawn were having an animated conversation over their desert. Buffy, however was distracted. Despite herself, Buffy found herself exiting the house through the screen door.
"Those things'll kill you, you know." Buffy said as she sat down beside Spike on the back porch.
Spike took another puff of his cigarette. "I should be so lucky."
"Please don't talk like that." she murmured.
Buffy raised her eyes to see that Spike was regarding her with that annoying, penetrating gaze of his. They stared at each other for several seconds until Spike broke eye contact. He snuffed his cigarette out on the porch.
"Red seems happy," he said as he flicked the butt out into the yard.
"Yeah. Well, Tara is here. Tends to make her one with the happy."
"Mmm, I'm rooting for those two crazy kids." Spike gave a slight smile.
They sat in uncomfortable silence for a few minutes. When Buffy could stand it no longer she asked, "How's the eye?"
"It'll be all right. I've had worse beatings." He looked slyly at her.
Ignoring the comment she said, "You know, you did really well today for..." she paused
"For a human? You can say it."
"Yeah, for a human." She awarded Spike a rare smile which she expected to lighten the mood. Instead, Spike grew more sullen.
"Nearly got us both killed."
"But you didn't. We're fine."
"Yeah," he sighed, "fine."
She resisted the urge to draw him in to her arms. Cocky Spike was exciting and sexy, but despondent Spike was heartbreaking. "I'm sorry, Spike."
"Sorry for what, luv?"
"Sorry you're so unhappy. Is there anything I can do?"
Spike raised his eyebrow at her.
"I mean anything other than, you know, that."
Spike chuckled at her.
"You're getting a second chance Spike."
"Don't really deserve it though, do I?"
"Why do you say that?"
He stood and paced around the yard "God you have no idea. No idea of the things I've done."
"Yes I do." She hung her head. "You did some of them to me."
"Bloody hell," he whispered.
"But I've forgiven you Spike. For everything."
He stopped in front of her. "Why? Why would you?"
"Because of the things you did for me that were decidedly un-evil. You protected my mother, my sister..."
"Don't think for a minute that I did those things out of the goodness of my heart, Slayer. My motives were completely selfish."
"Spike," she insisted, looking deep into his blue eyes. "You're forgiven."
"Well that's all fine and good that you've forgiven me Slayer, because you are the only one who can."
"What do you...?"
Spike dropped his hands onto her shoulders. Their faces were centimeters apart. Buffy reveled in the warmth of his breath even as he hissed, "Because the rest of my victims are dead, Buffy. They're dead because I killed them. Over a hundred years of death by my hands. Who's going to forgive me for that?"
"I do." She found herself leaning in for a kiss.
Instead, Spike stood and glared down at her, "I'm sorry, luv, but that's not good enough."
"You're pissed at me?" she seethed. "This isn't my fault."
"Oh, but it is. Everything is your fault. You made me love you. Made me care about your kid sis, the Scoobies. Your damn soul infected me, and now I've got one of my own, eating me up inside. Newsflash, pet. I don't want it." He stormed past her, into the house.
It was a long night for Buffy, and it wasn't just because her little sister was a kicker. She was sure that even with her Slayer strength that she would be sporting some shin bruises from Dawn's nocturnal soccer practice.
The reason for the sleeplessness was the blond ex-vampire in the next bedroom. All night she had mentally gone through the reasons why it was a bad idea to climb into bed with him. Evil and vampire were obviously off the list. But really depressed and way broody were making a quick entrance into the number one and number two spots. Of course she could comfort him. "Bad Buffy" she had silently berated herself. So as soon as the sun came up she bounded down the stairs, removing the temptation to crawl into her own bed with her ex-lover. She was surprised to see Willow up as well, making pancakes.
"Good morning." Willow sang out.
"You're all glowy."
"Oh yeah. Definitely glowy. I'm expecting cartoon bluebirds to start flying around."
Willow continued to silently beam.
It took very little for Buffy to figure out the source of her friend's giddiness. "It was nice having Tara here last night."
"It was wasn't it?"
"So you think you guys can work things out?"
"I want to. I really want to."
"Buffy!!!" called Dawn. She ran down the stairs. "He's gone. Spike's gone."
Cordelia Chase dramatically strode through the front door of the Hyperion. Her long legs covered the distance to the front counter quickly, her brown hair blowing out behind her as she walked.
"Cordy, I thought you were on vacation with the Groosalug," asked Gunn as he sat a little farther away from the tall, thin brunette next to him.
"So do not want to talk about it. Where is he?" She looked around the hotel lobby.
"Angel?" asked Fred, pretending that she had not been snuggling with Gunn on the job.
"No stupid, my little bundle of love."
Gunn smiled in understanding. "Connor is upstairs with Lorne. "said Gunn
"I'm sure they will be down soon," said Fred with her slight Texas accent.
Wesley came out of his office and stopped in shock when he saw Cordelia. "Cordelia, I thought you were..."
She held her hand up to him like a demented Supreme. "Don't want to talk about it."
The front door opened and with a rush of air Spike rushed into the hotel. Cordelia grabbed a crossbow from behind the counter.
"Where is he?" asked Spike, out of breath.
Cordy calmly pointed the crossbow at him. Gunn, Wes and Fred stood there, slightly shocked. "I'm not afraid to use this Spike, get out."
Spike rolled his eyes. "I need to see him."
"Who's that?" asked Gunn.
"Spike, Vampire, Evil." Cordelia explained.
"Cool." Gunn went back to his morning newspaper.
"Get out Spike," spat Cordy.
"I need to see Angel."
"Well, you're not gonna."
A deep voice echoed through the lobby. "Hello, William."
Spike looked desperately at the vampire that had stalked to the middle of the lobby to stand before him. "I need your help."
"I can see that." Angel placed his hand on Spike's shoulder and steered him out of the lobby. "Wes, we'll be using your office."
"All... All right." he stammered.
They went in and closed the door.
"If he's a big bad vamp, why didn't Angel stake him?" asked Gunn
"I don't know." said Cordy as she pressed her ear against the door. Gunn & Fred quickly followed suit.
"Some modicum of maturity would be too much to ask, I suppose?" begged Wesley.
"Yes, it would," said Cordy
Angel sat behind Wesley's desk with his elbow propping his head up. In Spike's opinion he was taking the entire matter way to casually. "How did it happen?"
"Demon, its blood mixed with mine, and poof, instant human"
"Mohra demon," nodded Angel.
"Yeah, how'd ya know?"
Spike paused for a second before he asked. "I need you to turn me back."
"Not gonna happen." Angel scoffed.
"Please," Spike said angrily. "I can't ask anyone else."
"You've been given a second chance..."
"And I don't want it. Now turn me back."
"I can't," sighed Angel
"You won't" Spike accused.
"You're right, I won't"
"You owe me! The thing with Dru…"
"Spike, you had me tortured! The way I figure, we're even."
Spike stood and paced around the room. "I can't live like this."
"You have a chance to come to terms with all you've done."
"I can't live with it, damn you. Turn me back!" With the last word, Spike swept several books off of Wesley's desk.
"I can help you Spike..."
"Damn right you can."
"But not like that."
"I can't... " Spike stopped tearing through the room and quietly stated, "I can't protect her like this."
Stung, Angel didn't answer. But he didn't give Spike any indication how close he was to breaking through Angel's defenses.
"Turn me back."
He grabbed Angel by the shirt. "Turn me back," he yelled.
Angel didn't answer.
"Turn me back... Turn me back." He shook Angel hysterically. With his former strength he could have tossed Angel across the room but now he was as effective as a petulant child. Tears were streaming down his face when Buffy crept into the room.
"Don't. Please don't," she quietly begged Angel
"Bloody hell." Spike slumped into Wes's chair. "How'd you find me?"
"Wasn't too hard. Couldn't go to any vamp in Sunnydale, they'd drain you dry."
"What do you care?" he snapped.
Patiently she stated, "I care."
"You said it yourself, Slayer. You don't love me. You can't."
Angel watched their exchange until Buffy asked, "Angel would you give us a minute alone, please?"
Angel nodded and left the room.
Spike stood again and began to stalk around the room once more. "No. No more, Slayer. No more of your condescending bullshit."
"I'm trying to help."
"I don't want it," he spat, "I don't want your bloody help. All I want is his help."
"He won't do it."
Spike changed tactics and began to plead. "He might if you ask him to." Spike moved close to her, breathing on her face. He murmured, "Please Slayer. Ask him to."
His proximity was making it hard for her to breathe and harder to refuse him. She whispered, "No."
He quickly grew angry again. "Damn you to hell! Do you have any idea what this is doing to me?"
"I know this is hard."
"You don't know anything you stupid bitch!"
Buffy instinctually did what she always did when Spike pissed her off. She decked him. But this time instead of hitting her back, he slammed into Wes's desk and crumpled to the floor.
Angel burst in the door. "What the? You hit him?"
"It was instinct!" she explained.
"You can't go around hitting humans, Buffy. He doesn't have the strength to take it."
Angel looked at her with disbelief. "Well, you could have killed him!"
"I'm sorry. Jeez. He's gonna be ok, right?" She asked as Angel tended to Spike.
"Cordy, get her out of here. Gunn, Wes, help me get him upstairs."
"Hey." Tara said as she opened her door to reveal a red headed ex-witch.
"Hey. Can I?" asked Willow, gesturing inside.
"Yes, of course, come in. Um, how's Spike?"
"Oh, big running away drama, but he's ok. Buffy thinks he's with Angel in LA. She went after him."
"I hope Angel can help him." Tara said sincerely
"I think he can. You've been awfully nice to him."
"I feel sorry for him. Plus he helped me out once. You know, by punching me in the nose."
Willow smiled. "I'd almost forgotten about that."
Willow took a deep breath. "This thing with Spike has got me thinking. About second chances? And I know that I really don't deserve one, but I'd like one. A second chance, I mean. With you?"
"I know I did a horrible thing and I'm so, so sorry, Tara. And I'd love to say I'll never hurt you again, but people that love each other sometimes hurt each other. And I still love you. So much. Can we please try?"
"We can try... but I need to go slow."
"Of course, slow is good." Willow was beaming.
"I need to learn to trust you again."
"So where do we start?" Willow looked at her former lover with intense hope.
"How about dinner?"
"Dinner! Dinner's good. Dinner's the most important meal of the day. Wait, that's breakfast.. but dinner's darned important. And lunch? Gotta have lunch."
"Sweetie, you're babbling."
"I am. I'll stop now."
"That's ok, I kind of like it when you babble."
Buffy sulked on the bench of the courtyard. She was angry and guilty and she hated it. Her reverie was interrupted by a sweetly accented voice. "Coffee?"
"Thank you." Buffy took the simmering mug from the wisp of a girl. "Fred, right?"
"Yeah, Fred." She smiled sweetly at Buffy, "Its decaf. Didn't think you needed more adrenaline pumping through you, you know."
"Thanks." Buffy half-smiled.
"So you're Buffy? Ex-dead, ex-girlfriend, Buffy?"
"That would be me," she sighed.
"Neat. How are you?"
Buffy regarded Fred. "Ok, all things considered."
"Spike, human. Always thought that Angel..."
Buffy interrupted. "Yeah so did I."
Angel strode into the courtyard and placed a hand on Fred's shoulder. "Fred? Would you leave us alone?" Angel asked.
"Yeah." She gave Buffy's shoulder a gentle squeeze as she went inside.
"How is he?" Buffy asked while staring intently at her cup of coffee.
"Concussion. Cordelia's looking after him."
"Cordelia playing nursemaid?" Buffy raised her eyebrow at Angel.
"Actually, she's pretty good at it." Angel paused, fearing Buffy's reaction to what he had to say next. "Spike's gonna stay here a while Buffy."
"No, I'm taking him home."
"No offense, but you and the Scoobies aren't prepared to deal with this."
"Might be able to help him adjust to the human condition, but not with the sudden emergence of a soul. A hundred and twenty five years of guilt, Buffy. He needs someone who can help him weed through it. Buffy, you have to trust me."
Buffy took a deep breath and conceded "I trust you."
"Buffy?" This pause was longer than the last "Are you in love with him?"
She shook her head.
"But he loves you."
"And so you feel that he's your responsibility."
"Yeah. I guess I do."
"He needs some time Buffy. Take a room tonight. I'll have Gunn drive you home in the morning."
"You took my sister to Vegas?" Buffy asked the other inhabitants of the Magic Box incredulously.
"Well, they needed witnesses," explained Willow, "And I couldn't leave her alone at the house."
Buffy turned to Xander and Anya. "I still can't believe you guys eloped."
"I've seen the bridesmaids dresses, Buff, be grateful, be very grateful," whispered Willow
"Well. Xander told me about Vegas, and I was like. I'm there, wedding shmedding. You know that in Vegas, you give them some money and they turn it into more money?" Anya asked giddily.
"Only if you win, honey." Xander patted his bride's arm.
"But I did! I won a lot. We're buying a house."
Buffy gasped, "you won enough to buy a house?"
"Yes, we did. Oh and here's ten thousand dollars, for you."
Buffy moved to take the check, which Anya wouldn't release. Each girl stood holding an end in a ridiculous face off until Xander warned, "An... "
Anya released the check with a flourish. Buffy stared at it, "I forgive you for taking my sister to Vegas."
"I thought you might." said Xander.
Willow leaned and whispered to Xander, "Still haven't told her that your Dad pulled the plug on the cash when he met her 'family'?"
"Didn't see the need... she's happy," Xander whispered back as he watched his bride rummage through her purse.
"Oh, and here's a picture of the Elvis impersonator who married us. He's name is Ramon."
"He was so cool." said Dawn.
Anya continued, "And we saw the gay men with the big cats."
"Seigfried and Roy," explained Xander.
Anya said to Willow. "You should get a cat."
"I have a cat."
"I've never seen a cat."
"Then you should get a better cat. One that jumps through fiery hoops and stuff. You could make a fortune selling tickets to something like that."
One Week Later
"I'm going out." Spike said as he leapt across the lobby.
"Is that a good idea?" asked Wes.
Spike turned to Wes, his hand already on the doorknob. "Its broad daylight, no danger in me getting a suck job, is there?"
"Let him go Wes," insisted Angel. "By the way, could you pick up my blood for me? I'll write down the address."
Spike made a face.
"Oh like you haven't been drinking the stuff for the past hundred years or so," scoffed Gunn
"Ring the back door, they'll have it ready for me."
Spike was never as polite as Angel was, instead of ringing, he let himself in the back door of the butcher's shop. He stopped when he heard voices.
"Isn't this kind of odd?"
"For fifty thou, I'll do odd."
"But why does that Morganstern chick want us to spike pig's blood with someone's lab work? 'Connor Angel' weird last name."
"Morgan, Lilah Morgan."
"Whatever, she's quite a dish..."
Spike snuck out and ran back to the Hyperion
Spike ran through the lobby when he saw Angel holding a cup of blood. Just as Angel raised it to his lips Spike yelled, "Don't drink that!" Spike knocked the blood out of Angel's hand. Blood went flying everywhere.
"Hey!" yelled Angel.
"You are cleaning that up Mister," Cordy shook her finger at Spike.
Still winded Spike asked, "Who's Lilah Morgan?"
"Where did you hear about her?" asked Angel.
"At the butcher's shop. They're spiking your blood with your kid's."
Fred snatched what was left of the blood from Angel's grasp.
"I'll analyze this."
"That explains why Connor's been smelling..."
"Like lunch?" finished Spike.
"Yeah." Angel said sheepishly.
"Blood, the third part of the prophecy," murmured Wesley.
"What prophecy?" asked Cordy.
"The one I believe our friend Spike has just averted."
"It's beautiful, isn't it?"
"Hmmm?" Spike turned to see Cordelia. She joined him on the courtyard bench.
"The sunset," she explained.
"You did a good thing."
"Everything gonna be all right?" Spike surprised himself when he realized that he really cared.
"Yeah, I think so. Angel's a little creeped out and well, pissed. But Wes thinks you really screwed up Wolfram and Hart's plans."
"Which was to turn Angel's kid into a snack? You need to fill me in on these Wolfram and Hart people."
"Well, if you're gonna live in LA, its probably a good idea."
"Hey," Gunn interrupted, "Wes and Angel are knee deep in prophecies, so they gave us the night off."
"We're gonna get food." smiled Fred.
"Food?" asked Spike.
"Yeah" said Gunn, "You two come along."
Cordelia looked Spike up & down
The employees at Angel Investigations were enjoying a dozen donuts when Gavin walked through the doors of the Hyperion. They all turned to him, amazed at his impertinence.
Spike took in the sharply dressed attorney and asked, "Who's this guy?"
"Lawyer. Evil." explained Cordy.
Gavin took his opportunity to look over the new meat. "William the Bloody. So the rumors are true then?"
"What are you doing here?" seethed Angel.
"I need to talk to you."
Angel gestured toward the office.
Gavin took in the view from the roof before he said, "My apologies about your son. Lilah has a lot to answer for."
"What do you want, Gavin?" seethed Angel with little patience. He found Gavin's apology ridiculous. They were using his son to manipulate him and that was unforgivable.
"I want to warn you. About what Lilah has planned next."
"Why would you want to help me?" Angel's voice was tinged with distrust.
"Lilah's objectives and the firm's aren't the same is this case. She has been so blinded by her hatred of you that she has lost sight of Wolfram and Hart's real goals."
"Which are? Besides general evil doing.."
"Angel. I'm here to talk about Lilah. She's looking for something called the Key. Do you have any idea what she's talking about?"
"No" growled Angel.
"Well, it's powerful and I want to make sure she doesn't get her hands on it."
"I'll be on the lookout then." Angel snarled.
Angel stalked away. Gavin picked up his cell phone and dialed out. "Its me. Yes he got the message. Plan B is in motion, we should have the Slayer soon. The Shaman has concluded his preparation for Plan A, I trust? Good, then Angel's granchilde and the Slayer should be having some very interesting dreams."
"William, a word?" Spike stopped eating his donut midbite and followed wordlessly as Angel led Spike into the sewers. "Who else knows the truth about Dawn?"
"I don't know what you're talking about." Spike crossed his arms across his chest. He wouldn't reveal Dawn's secret, not even to Angel.
"Spike, I know about the Key. Buffy told me."
"And who did you tell?" accused Spike.
"No one. This stays between you and me."
"Why the sudden interest?"
"Because Dawn is in danger."
Spike stood under her window, as he often had. Her face appeared from behind the glass and she smiled at him and then disappeared. He strode confidently toward the front porch, knowing she would come out to greet him.
She flew through the door and into his arms. "Oh God, I've missed you!"
"Buffy," he said reverently. "I love you so much."
She ran her hand through his golden hair, no longer stiff and slicked back. She reveled in the warmth of his touch. "Never leave me again."
"Never," he promised as he held her tight in his embrace.
"My sweet William." Buffy murmured
The body that he held in his arms grew cold and a familiar voice whispered, "My pretty Spike."
Spike pushed Drusilla away.
"Did you think she'd love you Spike? You silly boy. I'm the only one who ever has. But now you have betrayed me, made the poor moon cry and she says that you must be punished."
Drusilla plunged a stake into Spike's chest. His eyes widened in horror as blood soaked through his shirt.
"Silly boy, don't bleed everywhere, just turn to dust and float away."
"I'm human," he croaked.
"No, my love, you are a killer." Drusilla blew a kiss at Spike and he disintegrated into dust and blew away.
Spike woke with a start in his bed at the Hyperion.
Parched and glistening with sweat, he dressed and headed downstairs.
He quickly downed a glass of water and was pouring himself another when he heard Angel's voice beside him.
"Bloody awful one."
"They'll get better."
"Before they get worse?"
"Buffy?" Dawn called, pulling Buffy from her dream.
Buffy's sister was at her bedside, smoothing the hair on Buffy's head. "You were yelling in your sleep. Are you okay?"
"Just a nightmare."
"Do you want me to stay with you like Mom used to?"
Buffy scooted over and let her baby sister crawl into bed with her.
"Do you want to talk about it? Sometimes that helps."
"No," she said, knowing the dream would upset her sister. "Just stay with me Dawnie."
End of Part One.