Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Many thanks to my beta Leon Stryfe who stepped up when I was stuck and helped write more than a few chapters with me. For all your help you have earned the title of Co-Author for this story and my sincere gratitude. Thanks to my wonderful friend Sweetprincipale who listens to me and encourages me. And the wonderful ending was all her idea!

I have played with the time-line a bit in this story. The Angel episode "The Trial" actually aired a week after the Buffy episode "Shadow". For the purposes of this story "The Trial" happened first. I have taken quite a bit of dialog from a few episodes of season 5. Shadow written by David Fury, The Trial written by David Greenwalt, No Place Like Home by Doug Petrie, Checkpoint by Jane Espenson and Doug Petrie, Blood Ties by Steven DeKnight, Spiral by Steven DeKnight and Intervention by Jane Espenson.

I hope you enjoy the story. This is the longest piece I have ever done and hopefully I did it justice.

"Oh, yes. We were told Dr. Ben Wilkinson was in this room."

"As you can see, he isn't. This room is for employee's only; I have to ask you to leave before I call security."

"Sorry luv. It's just the good doc was takin' care of a friend of ours the other day and we had a few questions. Someone told us we could find 'em here." Spike poured on the charm hoping to stop the female intern from calling the guards.

"Okay. He's in the on-call room on the 4th floor sleeping. I can have him paged and you can meet him in the waiting room in lobby."

"Oh no my dear that won't be necessary. We weren't aware he was sleeping. We can come back tomorrow, if he's on duty?" Giles asked, hoping to deflect her suspicions.

"His shift starts at 10am tomorrow. Just go to the front desk when you arrive and they can page him for you."

"Ta pet." Grabbing Giles by the arm, Spike led them out of the room. The two men walked over to the elevator and Spike pushed the down button to take them to the first floor under the watchful eye of the doctor. When the doors opened both men got in and watched as the doctor walked away, glancing over her shoulder at the two of them as she neared the end of the hallway. Holding the door open for other passengers, Spike waited until the woman turned the corner and he and Giles slipped back out. They made their way to the stairs and quickly went to the fourth floor.

"Gotta make this fast watcher, not sure she bought our story. Don't want her warning the doc or security."

"Yes, I quite agree. We need to hurry." Giles found the room and after a quick glance to see if anyone was watching the two slipped into the room. After injecting the doctor they appropriated a stretcher and placed the doctor on it, covering him with a sheet. Stealing a few essential clothing items from the extras in the room they quickly managed to get their cargo down to the basement. Things were back on track after that until they were carrying the doctor through the tunnels towards Giles car. Ben started to come out of the drug induced sleep and began struggling. His hair went from the short brown of the doctor to the long blonde and curly style of Glory. Spike quickly banged the half god half human's head against the wall knocking him back out as Giles yanked a vial and syringe out of his pocket.

"Shoot him up quick! This stuff won't keep him out for long!" Giles injected the entire vial into the young man, not believing how quickly he had come out of the original dose.

"I don't believe it. The first dose was large enough to knock out a 300 pound man! We need to get his done quickly."

Hoisting their captive over his shoulder, Spike led the way out at a fast clip. Within moments the three were in the car on their way to their destination. Arranging the doctor in the alley behind a bar known for its nightly brawls, Giles forced some booze down the unconscious man's throat pouring the rest on his clothes. Seeing the watcher hesitate with the knife in his hand, Spike took it from him.

"Go make sure no one's coming." With a grateful look Giles headed towards the mouth of the alley.

Just a moment later Spike joined him. As the two walked back to the car parked a block away Giles stumbled.

"Dear Lord! Ben is Glory!"

Spike quickly grabbed his elbow stopping him from falling.

"Guess her mojo wore off when he died. Time to make a phone call." Spotting a pay phone up the street Spike quickly called 911 and reported seeing a body behind a bar off of Maple Court.

Giles and Spike made their way to the car to wait for the police to arrive. A few moments after the first officer walked down the alley another patrol car appeared. "Let's move watcher, before they spot us." Nodding in acquiescence Giles started the car and the two men drove back to his apartment.

Spike took pity on the shocked man and pushed him into a chair. Grabbing the bottle of scotch, he poured a glass for both of them.

"How's it feel to know you helped take out a god?"

"Surreal." Downing the glass of scotch, Giles signaled Spike for a refill.

"Might wanna pace yourself there, Rupert. Remember, the two of us spent the night researchin'."

Just before sunrise Spike took his leave and headed back to Revello Drive. Smoking slightly, he entered through the kitchen and headed straight downstairs. Screams woke him a few hours later. Startled, he ran upstairs, forgetting that he was only wearing his jeans.

"Whats all the yammerin'?"

The three women yelped and turned at Spike's entrance to the living room. Buffy was unable to speak for a brief moment, her eyes drawn to Spike's naked torso. Taking note of that fact, Spike ran his hand down his chest and looped a thumb in his waist band, watching her eyes follow his movements.

"Um, Oh!" With a blink and a small shake Buffy came back to the conversation. "Ben is Glory and Ben's dead! That means Glory's dead!" The slayer pointed to the newscast on the TV. The three women started hugging and jumping up and down. Realizing that there wasn't any danger, Spike retreated to the basement to catch more sleep with a smile on his face.

It was soon obvious that the entire gang had come over. Spike could hear everyone upstairs talking and celebrating. Knowing he wouldn't be able to catch anymore sleep he went upstairs. Xander was the first to notice Spike's presence.

"You can leave now, fang face. Glory's dead so we don't need you anymore."

"A bit too sunny for my tastes, Whelp."

"Not for mine."

"Xander, could you please be quiet." After reprimanding the boy, Giles turned to his slayer. "Buffy, we should try to find Glory's followers. We don't know what sort of trouble they could cause. They could also have information that might prove useful."

"The TV said Ben died last night and his body was discovered a little before midnight. Up to your old tricks again, Spike?"

"Xander," Giles responded, taking off his glasses to clean them, "Spike was with me the entire night."

"You sure about that, G-man? He could have slipped away from you, killed Ben, then gone right back to your place."

"I picked him up last night and we were together the entire time. Spike was never out of my sight." Putting his glassed back on, Giles directed a stern gaze at the boy. "And I have asked you repeatedly not to call me that!"

Spike was grateful that no one questioned the watcher. The two shared a quick knowing look and Giles moved the conversation to another topic.

Patrol for the next week consisted mostly of tracking down Glory's minions. Buffy and Spike dispatched them quickly and with little fuss. Without their leader, they didn't put up much of a fight. Spike moved back into his crypt and Buffy announced soon after that she was moving back home and out of the dorms.

"Guys, really, I want to." She had explained. "After all this, I want to spend time with my mom and Dawn. Plus," she added, turning to Willow, "you spend practically every night with Tara anyway." As Willow had started to stammer out an apology, Buffy stopped her. "Wills, it's okay. Really. You two should share a room. But with my luck, I'll get another soul sucking, Cher obsessed demon roommate." Just thinking about gave Buffy the willies.

Things settled into a routine after that. After a few starts and stops and a few punches to the nose, Buffy and Spike patrolled together every night. Some nights they split up and each took one end of town meeting in the middle. Other nights it was a concentrated sweep together.

The two often found themselves at the Bronze. Buffy told herself it was just because the Bronze was a great place to find vamps looking for an easy meal.

"So, are you and Spike, like, dating now?" Dawn asked with an impish grin as Buffy was leaving for patrol one night.

"What? Dating? No! No. We patrol together. That's all. No dating."

"So that's what you call going to the Bronze and having drinks, patrol?" Using air quotes at the word patrol, Dawn watched Buffy blush. "Do you always get so dressed up for patrol?"

"Blending! Yeah, blending. Just trying to blend in with the crowd."

"Does blending include dancing?" With a knowing smirk Dawn turned to go to bed. "Well, have fun on patrol tonight."

"I'm not dating Spike." Buffy said firmly.

Dawn's giggle floated down the stairs.

Muttering to herself, Buffy started up the stairs.

"I am not dating Spike." Reaching her room, Buffy made a beeline to her closet. Pulling out a pair of old faded jeans and a sweat shirt, she changed. Looking in the mirror she pulled her hair into a sloppy ponytail and wiped off her makeup. Satisfied that her outfit no longer said 'Date' she turned to leave the room.

"A little lip gloss means nothing. No point in getting chapped lips, right?" Walking back over to her dresser she applied a quick dab of pink lip coloring. Walking back downstairs she grabbed a stake and opened the front door, bumping into Spike.

"What are you doing here! This isn't a date! You don't pick me up at my door to go patrolling." She cried in an exasperated tone.

Spike quirked an eyebrow tilting his head taking in her attire.

"Ok slayer. I'll go away and we can bump into each other later."

"No, no, it's fine. You're here already. Let's just go." Buffy pulled the door shut behind her.

Patrol was quiet with nothing more challenging than a few fledglings. It wasn't until they reached Shady Hill that they had a real fight. A large demon charged them as soon as they entered the cemetery. Spike stood back and watched Buffy work. Things were going fine until the demon picked her up and tossed her into a puddle of mud. After checking to see if she was okay Spike stepped into the fight and quickly stabbed the demon with a knife from his boot.

"Ugh. Am I glad I changed out of my skirt!" Buffy said with disgust. Accepting Spike's hand, she let him pull her up off the ground. "I can't believe this. We could have gone to the Bronze, I had this really cute top I wanted to wear too. But Dawn had to make those stupid comments about us dating and I changed. So instead here I am, looking like I crawled out from under a rock!" Buffy tried fixing her hair and only succeeded in getting a smear of mud on her forehead.

"Now look here, luv, you look lovely. All battle tousled." Spike smiled and tried not to lick his lips as his eyes wandered all over her. He liked her fierce, but she didn't need to know that. He continued. "As for the clothes, well I've been wearing the same thing for 30 years." Spike reached over and wiped the mud off her face.

"That's not exactly a point in your favor, you reject from an 80's punk band." A slight blush creeped up her face at the compliment. "Lovely, huh?"

"You know I think you're gorgeous." Realizing the danger of that statement Spike quickly added, "Except for the whining and sniveling; that bloody annoys me."

"I don't snivel! And look who's talking about whining!" Before Buffy even realized it the two had made their way to the center of town.

"What are we doing? I can't go to the Bronze looking like this!" Buffy protested.

"We're not, you dozy bint. I figured with the way you're carryin' on I'd take you for some ice cream." Pulling open the door Spike ushered Buffy in. Walking up to the counter he looked over the choices. "Chocolate. No, mocha. You're a mocha girl aren't you?"

Buffy nodded, "How'd you know that?"

"I pay attention. Don't care what you wear, what you look like. I care about what you do and say, Slayer." Spike concentrated on the board sneaking a glance at Buffy. "Why don't they ever have a whiskey flavored ice cream? Or A positive? Even some jalapeƱo?"

"You are so gross." Wrinkling her nose, Buffy sighed, "You know, for-not-a-date, this night turned out pretty good. Can I get two scoops? Slaying makes me hungry."

"Was a bit of an all right. Do it again sometime?" Spike said as he handed Buffy her ice cream.

She smiled straight ahead, a cautious flutter in her stomach.

"Pick me up at eight."

"Anything for you, sunshine."

The End

Challenge Requirements:

authors choice by reaper


When Spike goes through the trials (the ones Angel went through to save Darla) to save Joyce, the Powers decide to make him their Champion instead of Angel.

-Starts before Buffy learns of Spike's feelings.

-Spike has to have a big fight with Angel and kicks his ass.

-Buffy and Cordelia team-up to verbally rip into Angel.

-Anya dumps Xander for being a bigot and still wanting Buffy more than her.

-The Council accepts the Powers decision.

Categories:Season 5
Characters: Ensemble