Title: Reconciliation

Author: Hope

Rating: R for language

Disclaimer: All characters, aside from Hope, are © Joss and ME.

Summary: Post-Grave. Spike's spent the past three years raising a young Slayer on the streets of New York. When a call from the Council summons them to the Hellmouth to help destroy a deadly foe, Spike is forced to face the problems he's been avoiding for the past three years, in particular, a blonde Slayer by the name of Buffy Summers…

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"Bloody great…" Spike muttered, catching a glimpse of the three vampires approaching him from the side. Turning, he gave them an unamused look. "Look mates, I'm runnin' a bit late. Let's say we make this quick, 'ey?" Growling, the vamps lunged at him. He caught the first and second in the head with a roundhouse kick and ducked as the third swung at him. Grabbing it's arm as it swung again, he snapped it and hurled the creature into the wall.

"Where's the Slayer?!" The first growled, coming at him again.

Rolling his eyes, Spike socked him in the jaw, sending him stumbling backwards. "Right, and I'm gonna tell you anything with an attitude like that." He muttered sarcastically, producing a stake from his coat pocket and plunging it into the creature's chest. Spinning around, he plunged it into the second one's heart as he tried to jump him from behind. "Well mate, just me and you then."

The third vampire scrambled to his feet and eyed Spike nervously. Panicking, it made a dash, trying desperately to get away.

"Now that's just bloody pathetic…" The blonde muttered before hurling his stake after the vamp. It buried itself in it's back and the creature exploded into a pile of dust, his stake clattering to the floor. Sighing, Spike walked over and collected it, placing it safely back inside his pocket. Catching a glimpse of a clock in a nearby store window, he groaned and began to run, his duster swirling behind him as he dashed through the city.

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Hope sighed, glancing down at her watch. He was late… again. Letting her arm fall back to her side, she leaned lazily against the side of a building, her eyes watching the bugs swarming around the streetlight a few feet away. It flickered a few times before going out, leaving her to stand in the gloomy darkness of the building's shadow. Sighing, she pulled a stake from her pocket and began to spin it absently between her fingers.

A Slayer.

Most fourteen year old girls wouldn't be caught dead in this part of New York at this time of night, but not her. She stood there, comfortable in her jeans and black hoodie, not the least bit intimidated. The girl stood less than five feet tall and weighed no more than one hundred pounds, but her training had started early and she was one of the strongest beings alive.

Hope had killed her first vamp at the age of ten.

"'bout time you showed."

"Sorry kitten, got a bit tied up." The vampire apologized, sauntering up to the girl.

"Oo, bondage. Always fun." She said in mock excitement.

Spike smirked. "Don't talk like that."

"Aye aye, Cap'n." She said, saluting him. He grinned and threw his arm around her shoulder, leading her back down the dark city street. "So where we off to, oh great one?" She asked, brushing a stray piece of her blonde hair from her face.

"There's s'posed t'be somethin' big goin' down on east ninth." The vamp explained, releasing his hold on the girl and pulling a cigarette from his pocket.

"Big? Big as in what?" Hope asked, walking alongside him quickly as to keep up with his brisk pace.

"Just a bunch of vamps wantin' t'perform some sacrifices and whatnot." He explained, blowing a thick stream of smoke from his mouth.

"Sounds fun."

"Loads of fun, Little Miss." He agreed.

"The tape in the VCR went all wonky t'day." She said out of the blue, flipping her head upside down and pulling her hair into a ponytail as she walked.

"No it didn't…" Spike said in disbelief, looking down at her.

"Did too. It made that weird crunchy noise and when I took it out it was all ribbon-y." She said matter-of-factly.

"Bugger…" The vampire muttered.

"Don't worry, Bleach Boy, I had an extra tape in my room and I used the VCR in the extra room to tape your stupid show." She said with a grin.

"That's my girl." He said fondly, throwing his arm back over her shoulder and giving her a hug as they walked.

"What is it with you and Passions anyway? I mean, it's completely stupid."

"Is not."

She snorted, rolling her eyes. "Yeah, whatever. Plus there's Timmy, he's just creepy. Why can't you just wake up for an hour during the day and save me the indignity of taping it for you."

"You're fourteen, you don't have any dignity." He said simply, earning a punch in the arm. "Oh, come off it, you little scamp. I was kidding."

"I know, but with you being a vampire and all I'm required to hit you at least once a day." She said with a nod.

"S'that so?"

"Yep."

"Why was I never informed of this?"

"'cause no one likes you." She replied simply.

"Not even you?" He asked with a grin.

"Nope, I hate you. With a passion." She said sarcastically, nodding.

Rolling his eyes, Spike tossed his cigarette to the ground and pointed to a building. "Tha's it."

"Why can't they perform sacrifices in some nice hotel or something? Why is it always some rundown old building?" Hope muttered, her nose wrinkled up in disgust.

"'cause we vamps aren't the brightest creatures alive…erm, well, you know what I mean."

The girl smirked, pushing open one of the rotted wood doors. "Yes, I've picked up on the whole stupidity factor."

"Thanks luv." Spike muttered, winking at the girl.

"Don't mention it." She said, making her way up an old staircase. Upon coming to the top, she found herself at the end of a long narrow hallway, a dim light coming from underneath a door about halfway down the corridor. She elbowed Spike and pointed. He nodded, walking ahead of her. Giving her a quick glance, he kicked it open, the old wood shattering and falling to pieces under the force of his kick.

"I wouldn't suggest staking yourself." She said, giving him an amused smile as he shouted a string of curses at the falling pieces of wood.

"Don't make me kill you." He warned. She just smirked, following him into the room. "Well now, what do we have here?" Spike questioned, looking around at the confused vampires. He counted off ten, then there were the four human girls bound to chairs in the center of the room. From the looks of it, they were most likely hookers.

"Ssslayer." One vampire hissed, eyeing Hope evilly. He stalked towards her, passing up one of their hostages. The girl in the chair yelled something, but it was muffled by the gag in her mouth.

"You must be the brains of the group." Hope commented, eyeing the large creature standing in front of her. The vampires behind him hissed. She snorted. "Hell, would it kill you to be nice every once in awhile?"

"Hope, vampires." Spike said. "Already dead."

Shrugging, she backhanded the vamp standing before her. The others attacked almost instantly, some going after Hope while the others took to fighting Spike. "Spike, down!" She called, dodging a swing by one of the vamps and slamming a stake into his chest as she stood.

Spike ducked, narrowly avoiding a kick to the head from behind. Swinging his legs under the opposing vamp, he sent him sprawling to the ground. Hopping back to his feet, he nailed another in the jaw with his fist and spun around to kick another. Pulling a stake from his coat, he dusted the two before burring his weapon in the other's chest as it stood.

Hope grinned at the vampire holding her by her shoulders before kneeing him in the groin. He let go instantly and she kicked him in the chest, sending him flying backwards, his body impaled at the shattered doorframe. He exploded into ash. Her ears picked up on a muffled scream and she turned to find one of the creatures preparing to slit one of the girls' throats. Pulling another stake out, she threw it, lodging it in the creatures back. The girl screamed once more as the vamp exploded, covering her in ash.

"Hope, catch." Spike called, staking another vamp as he swung another around.

The blonde Slayer turned in time to grab the vamp Spike had shoved towards her. Smashing it's head through a window, she pulled it back out and lifted the window open. Slamming it's head against the sill, she stuck it out the window and closed it quickly, decapitating it.

Spike and Hope both turned to find the two remaining vamps standing in the center of the room, giving them wary looks. Grinning, Hope lunged forward, grabbing the larger of the two around the neck and slamming him to the ground. Kicking up a fallen piece of the door, she staked him and looked up just as Spike finished off the last one.

"Well don't we look all sexy." She commented, noting his vamped out features as she took to untying one of the girls.

"Don't I always?" The vampire remarked, pulling the gag from one girl's mouth. She screamed and he quickly put it back. "We'll take that off last." He said with a nod, his face shifting back to it's human visage.

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"This is the last of the blood." Hope stated, handing a glass of the red liquid to the blonde as she flopped down on the couch beside him, a plate of pizza in her other hand.

"We'll get some more t'morrow." He said, flipping through the television channels as he sipped his dinner. Hope settled back into the cushions, watching as he flipped through every channel imaginable, barely catching a glimpse of each station before deciding that whatever was on wasn't worth watching. She sighed, picking the pepperoni off of her pizza.

The phone rang.

She reached over and grabbed it from the stand beside the couch, not taking her eyes from her food. "Hello?" She listened a few moments before rolling her eyes and handing it over to Spike.

"Who is it?" He asked, setting the remote down as he took the phone.

"Travers." She answered simply.

"Oh goody." Spike muttered sarcastically. Both of them shared a mutual hatred for the head of the Council. "Well, mate, seeing as you stopped calling to check in on us last Christmas, I'm assuming this is a business call."

Hope watched as he listened, his face falling. After a few minutes, he hung up. "What'd he want?" She asked, giving the vampire a curious look. He looked a bit shaken, which was unusual when he talked to Travers. Usually the vampire was rather perky after a spout of verbal abuse against the stuffy Englishman.

"Ever hear of the demon Glasya?" He asked, turning to face her.

"Nope." She said simply, munching on her food. "Why?"

"Real big dog, the thing is. Bloody huge wings too." He explained. "Thing incites homicidal tendencies in mortals, makes 'em crave bloodshed."

"So he turns people into serial killers?"

"Basically. Travers said one of the Council's seers saw him coming, wants us to help take 'im out."

"Where, somewhere in the city? Like the subway?" She asked.

"No." He said, his eyes falling. "Sunnydale."

Hope stopped chewing. "The Hellmouth?"

Spike nodded. "Looks like you get to meet your predecessor…" He mumbled, already dreading going back.

"Buffy?" Hope questioned, her eyes twinkling a bit. She had heard of the girl, the oldest living Slayer ever. When she had died at the hands of the Hell God, Hope had been called, but not summoned to the Hellmouth. A year later her and her watcher were captured by a vampire cult. Her watcher was killed, but Hope had been saved. Saved by a newly souled vampire by the name of Spike. She hadn't left his side ever since, refusing to listen to any of the new watchers the Council assigned her. Eventually they gave up and Spike had agreed to fill the position. He hadn't been to Sunnydale in more than three years…

"Buffy Summers." Spike muttered. "The one and only…"

TBC…