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.

Since I have already stolen Drogyn and hopefully given him a better death than Joss did; you won't be all that surprised that I am playing with the Angel timeline. I'm just borrowing one more character. But I promise to give him back in the same condition I got him in.

Dialog taken from "No Place Like Home" by Doug Petrie. Dialog taken from Triangle, written by Jane Espenson. Spike's speech is taken from "Touched" by Rebecca Rand Kirshner.

Many thanks to my beta No_Promises.


After helping Spike and Dawn finish packing the three Summers' women walked back to the house while Spike took the sewers. "I was hoping that I imagined this." Joyce sighed as she looked at the mess in the house.

"We'll get it all cleaned up mom. The gang should be by soon and we'll all help." The back door slammed open as Spike dashed in, his blanket smoking from the sun.

"Thank you honey but the couch is destroyed and the dining room table and chairs need to be replaced."

"Joyce let me sell a few of these jewels and I'll give you the dosh to replace it all."

Joyce was about to tell Spike that it wouldn't be necessary when the rest of the group walked in; a movement in the corner of her eye had Joyce looking over at Buffy. Her daughter seemed to shrink a bit stepping closer to Spike and in the next second moving away. When she started twisting her hands together digging her ring into her finger Joyce started to get angry. She knew that trusting a vampire usually was a deadly thing to do. But Spike was different he had proved himself at least to Joyce in these last few weeks, even longer if Joyce was being honest. Thinking back on her behavior just that morning she cringed a bit remembering how she had jumped to conclusions.

Straightening her shoulders Joyce decided the best way to deal with this was to face it head on. "Buffy you should show everyone the ring Spike gave you. We have so much to do yet! Have you two decided on a date? We have to find you a wedding dress and dresses for the girls."

The shrieks from Willow, Anya, Tara and even the Bit went a long way towards drowning out Giles and Xander's yells of shock. The two men were practically knocked over by the rush as the girls ran over to Buffy. Oohing and aahing over the ring the girls didn't pay any attention to Giles and Xander. Wesley stood off to the side watching the reactions of everyone to the news.

Joyce however heard both men and drew them into the dining room. "She's happy. Happier than I've ever seen her and neither of you will do anything to mess that up." Wes followed the trio from the living room.

"Joyce I understand you're desire to see Buffy happy, I feel the same way. But to allow her to enter into a relationship with William the Bloody is foolhardy at best."

"You listen to me Rupert Giles. You have no idea what that man has done for us the past month. While you Xander and Willow were running around with Kaledena trying to end the world Spike was making sure the rest of us were safe. He made sure I was able to see a doctor and helped get Dawn somewhere safe and to someone that could help teach her what she needed to do. He kept Buffy, Tara and Anya safe. He helped come up with the plan to banish Kaledena."

Xander looked like he was going to protest but gave a resigned sigh. "Trust me I heard all this last night from Anya. Plus she told me exactly what she would do to me if I tried to keep the Buffster from bleach boy. Let's just say she can be very scary when she wants."


"You're okay with this?" Buffy asked her friend.

"Tara and I had a talk last night. When I was dating Oz, after we found out he was a werewolf, you never said a thing. You went out of your way to help him and me. Then when Tara and I started dating you were just great you know?" Turning to Spike Willow looked him right in the eye. "Tara told me what you did for her this month. You kept her safe, even from me that makes us square for the kidnapping and stuff. But if you hurt Buffy I'll… I don't know what I'll do but it wont be pretty you hear me buster?"

"If I ever hurt her I'll let you Red."


"Besides you know my daughter once she sets her mind on something she doesn't stop. And just so you know the wedding? It's a formality; they did a mating ceremony last night. You can't separate them and if you try you'll have to deal with me."


"How's your mom? OMG with everything that happened she never got to the doctors did she?" Willow gripped Buffy's hand tightly with worry.

"We got her out of town. Wes got her in to see a doctor in LA. She came back just in time to help against Kaledena. I don't even know what the doctors told her." "MOM!"

Joyce entered the room at Buffy's yell. The next half hour was taken up by Joyce explaining what the doctor had found and the treatment Joyce was on.

It took all day but with the entire gang pitching in the house was finally cleaned and put to rights. The next few hours were spent explaining to Willow, Xander and Giles everything that had happened while they were being controlled. Giles was impressed with the way they had kept their heads during the crisis and stuck together. And although he would never admit it he was similarly impressed with Spike's actions as well.

Giles made a call to the council telling them the situation was under control. Travers wasn't happy to hear that the watcher of the active slayer had been placed under the control of a former PTB. But the fact that Buffy had managed to stop the threat went a long way to sooth his ruffled feathers. Buffy and Joyce thanked Wesley profusely for all his help before he left to go back to LA. "It was my pleasure to assist you. If you ever need further help please do not hesitate to call. I assume that you do not want Angel to know of the situation here?"

"Not really. I can't say I'm looking forward to him storming in to tell me how this isn't the life he wanted for me. But I won't ask you to lie either."

"To be frank Buffy, Angel has been quite distant from us lately. He has been convinced that he has seen Darla recently. He has become almost obsessed with the matter. He barely noticed my absence when I was assisting your mother and Dawn and never questioned my disappearances. I doubt he will at this stage either."


"Watcher, need you to suss somethin' out for me." Spike announced as he strode into Giles apartment a few days after the battle.

"Spike, while I have accepted you as Buffy's mate simply because the two of you left me no choice that does not give you the right to barge into my flat whenever you wish."

Waving aside Giles' comments Spike started to describe what had happened to him. "Fell on the seal fighting that bint right? Was right when the nibblet did that cleansing spell. The Jr. Watcher said the spell was supposed to change the nature of an evil object. But it would only last a few minutes. Seems to have been a bit more permanent in my case."

"I, what exactly are you trying to say?"

The vampire started pacing the room, running his hand through his hair. "Jus' something's different yeah? Ever since I fell on it the demon's been acting a little strange."

"How?"

"'S like the idea of drinking from the tap disgusts it, or even hurting a human at all." The vampire flopped onto the couch propping his elbows on his knees Spike dropped his head into his hands. "Made me a bloody white hat is what it did."

"Perhaps I should call Wesley and find out more details of the spell they used. There could be other repercussions. We should also investigate if the changes you claim are permanent."


Everyone was gathered at Joyce's house, Giles had called earlier to say he and Wesley would be coming. The ex watcher had travelled from LA to attend the meeting. They had discovered what happened to Spike when he fell on the seal during the battle with Kaledena. "The cleansing spell was intended to temporarily change the nature of an inanimate object, in this case the hellmouth. But only long enough for it to be used by the side of good to open a portal to the deeper well. The hellmouth itself is inherently evil so it took the power of the key, boundless energy, to call upon the powerful forces needed to make that change." Giles paused to polish his glasses and Wes took up the narrative.

"The moment Spike fell on the seal was the exact moment Dawn finished the spell; all the forces of good that she harnessed rushed into the seal and Spike at that moment. What had us stymied for quite a while was the fact that Spike while technically is dead he is not an inanimate object. His demon animates his body. Our research took so long because it is rare for anyone to attempt to change the nature of a demon in such a way. But it has been done before in the 1500's. That attempt was unsuccessful. The demon rebelled and the vampire walked into the sun. After extensive research we have determined that since Spike was not an inanimate object and he landed on the seal at the culmination of the spell the changes in him are permanent."

"But you said the last time anyone tried this it didn't work, so why did it work now for bleach boy?" Xander questioned.

"We think it worked this time because Spike had already started changing. He has been actively helping Buffy for months before this incident. He has gone to great lengths to assist us recently therefore his demon was able to accept the changes without conflict." Giles replied.

"So he has a soul now?" Willow asked.

"No." Wesley spoke up. "No he does not have a soul. In Spike's case a soul is not needed. His demon no longer wants to cause harm to humans. The easiest way to explain it is that his demon has been cleansed; all the evil in the demon has been removed."

"And you're sure this isn't some big fake out by Spike to get our guards down before he attacks? Cause he's done it before remember against Adam?" Xander pulled back at the hostile looks coming his way. "Hey don't shoot! Someone's got to ask."

"Honestly Xander, I have spent the last month researching this trust me, it is a permanent change one that wouldn't have been successful if Spike hadn't already been changing on his own before this." Giles huffed.

"Okay I get it dead boy jr. is on our team."

"So now that that's settled we need to talk about the chip." Buffy spoke for the first time since the meeting started.

"Whoa! Hold up there. No one said anything about the chip."

"Xander you heard what Wes and Giles said, Spike's a good guy now forever. The chip should come out. It's pointless now and it's just stupid."

"Slayer" Spike put his arms around Buffy trying to calm her down. "Let it be. The chip can stay."

"No it can't!" Buffy blushed remembering what had happened earlier that week that decided her that it had to come out. The two of them had been in their apartment; Buffy had jumped up wrapping her legs around Spike's waist. He slammed them into the wall for an afternoon quickie when the chip had fired effectively ending the fun they were having. "It needs to come out and I already called Graham. He agreed to take it out; he's coming in two days with a medic to remove it."

"So dead boy can go back to snacking on the populace and none of us can defend ourselves against him because of the wish! Great just great. You start boinking the dead again and now all of our lives are in danger again."

A slap rang out in the room. "Xander Harris if you don't apologize to Buffy and Spike right now you will be sleeping on the couch for a month! Spike had the wish reversed weeks ago! I summoned Hallie and she reversed it! I've explained this to you over and over again. You should be grateful to Spike. He kept me safe, from you! When you went all evil or don't you remember feeding Kaledena all those people to eat?"

Xander was too busy holding a hand to his very red cheek to reply to his girlfriend. Spike slipped from the room as Anya was berating her boyfriend. Buffy found him smoking on the back porch. "Call the soldier boy back tell 'em not to come."

"Spike we talked about this. I love you and trust you I know you won't hurt anyone without the chip. Xander will come around."

"When? A year from now? Two? He's your friend Buffy or at least he's supposed to be. When he spouts off rubbish like that to you I want to hit him cleansing spell or no. Best leave the chip. It's the only thing that makes him okay with us, me being neutered." Spike flicked his cigarette out into the yard. Rising he turned and gave Buffy a kiss. "I'm going to patrol; I'll see you at home."

Buffy watched as he disappeared into the darkness. Taking a deep breath she opened the back door and entered the kitchen. Willow and Tara were having a whispered discussion by the sink. "Let's hear it. I know you have something to say about me having Spike's chip taken out."

Before Willow could speak everyone filed into the kitchen. Giles looked thoughtful; Xander had an angry defiant glare on his face. Anya was brimming with anger as was Dawn; Joyce and Wes kept their features blank. Buffy took a good look at everyone assembled. "Here's the deal people. I'm the slayer and I'm Spike's mate and soon to be wife. It's my decision and I made it. If you don't like too bad, deal with it." Not waiting for anyone to comment Buffy turned and opened the back door. "I'm going to find Spike."

Looking back over her shoulder she tossed out one last remark. "For your information, after Xander's little rant Spike told me to leave the chip in. Not because he wants to hurt anyone or that he even would but because he doesn't want to make me sad, and having you guys mad at me makes me sad. So not only does he love me but he's a better friend to me than you are. And that just proves to me that the chip should come out." With that parting shot Buffy left the house slamming the door behind her.

The room was quiet for a few minutes after Buffy's exit. Joyce was the first one to speak. "You heard her. The chip is coming out. You can either be her friends or not. But if you really are her friends you would stand by her not make her have to choose between you and the man she loves."

"But I wasn't! Really." Willow squeaked. "Tara and I were talking about doing something for them like an engagement party or something! I told Spike we had a fresh start after he saved Tara. She told me what he did for them. Tara trusts him and that's good enough for me."

Dawn piped up, "I always trusted Spike and that chip was a stupid thing to do to anyone."

"Dawn, he's a vampire. An undead killing machine." Xander tried to make Dawn understand.

"Then why even when he was evil and unchipped didn't he hurt me or mom? He had an invite for years; he could have killed us in our sleep."

"All this is quite pointless." Giles interrupted before the two could start arguing in earnest. "Buffy is correct she is the slayer and his mate. She has made her decision, whether we like or not." Turning to address Xander directly Giles continued, "Buffy did not ask you to suddenly become best friends with Spike. She asked that you respect her decision regarding the need for Spike to continue to live under the confines of the chip."

"That's the point! That's what's keeping him from going on a rampage and killing everyone!"

Anya had finally had it; with fury in her voice she let Xander feel the full force of her anger. "No it's not! Spike is what's stopping him from killing everyone. All you see is Spike screaming in pain if he hurts a human on purpose and you like it. It makes you feel safe or superior or whatever. But that's stupid! He could have found minions to bring him fresh kills. He could have taken that treasure when we first hid down in the caves; he could have left us and went to find someone to take the chip out. And we would have all died because Kaledena would have won. But you don't get it do you? He can't walk down the street without having the chip fire. If he accidently bumps into someone or steps on their toes the chip goes off. He can't even dance at the Bronze with Buffy because people are always bumping into each other. And all of that doesn't matter. Buffy wants it out so it comes out." Anya stormed from the house at the end of her tirade.

Wesley cleared his throat before speaking, "I have to say she is correct. Buffy did not ask for our opinion on the matter. She stated her intentions to have it removed and was informing us of that fact. I am sure Buffy knows your opinion of Spike and I don't believe she was asking for you to be anything other than civil to him when you are in each others company. This change in him is unprecedented. The fact that his demon didn't try to end its existence after the spell can mean only one thing. That it accepts this willingly. If you continue in this vein I am certain that you will lose the friendship that you share with Buffy. You have to decide if your hatred of Spike is worth the cost."

Wesley walked over to Joyce after his speech to Xander. "I need to return to LA. Cordelia called me as I was leaving. Something is going on with Angel; he has fired Cordelia and Gunn and told them that I was unwelcome as well." Turning to Giles he asked, "I have no idea what is happening at this point but if necessary can I count on your assistance if the situation warrants?"

"Of course Wesley, call if you need anything." After shaking Giles hand Wes left the house. Leaving an uncomfortable Xander faced with a group determined to support Buffy and Spike.


Graham was surprisingly easy to convince to have Spike's chip removed. "It's your call Buffy. You're the slayer and this is your town, if you want the chip out I'll have the medic remove it. But that means if Hostile 17 starts killing humans it's your responsibility to dust him. Once we do this he's in your custody."

Buffy thought about telling Graham everything that had happened but the soldier, while not as rigid as Riley had been, relied on technology and was still skeptical of the mystical. Explaining it would have taken too long and he probably wouldn't believe her anyway. "Thanks Graham, I really appreciate it."


Cars were parked up and down Revello Drive. In the dark a path from the street to the backyard of house number 1630 was lighted with alternating pink and black luminaries.

Nine at night was an odd time for a wedding, even in Sunnydale but the bride was taking no chances that the groom would go up in flames during the ceremony from a stray summer evening sunbeam. The backyard was lit with the same luminaries that formed the path from the street. Guest seating was split by a pink runner with a black border. At the end of the runner was a gazebo, a wedding gift and peace offering from Xander, decorated in roses the same shades as the luminaries.

Soft strands of Pachelbel drifted out into the semi-darkness as the bridesmaids made their way down the aisle. Their dresses were a one shouldered chiffon A-Line in pink with beading at the waist. The bouquets they carried were a mix of black and pink roses with baby's breath. The maid of honor had one red rose in the middle of her arrangement.

The groomsmen wore black tuxedos with a pink rose in the lapel. Standing at the bottom step to the gazebo, Spike waited for Buffy to make her way down the aisle. To the outside observer he looked calm and collected. But on the inside he was a mess of nerves. He wasn't worried that Buffy would change her mind. The two had claimed each other already. But this moment was everything he had ever wanted as a human; he only wished he mother could be around to see it.

Dawn, the maid of honor, had just completed her walk and took her place next to Tara and Anya, her smile threatened to split her face. Willow stood nervously in the gazebo ready to conduct the ceremony. Because of their unique circumstances, the bride and groom couldn't have a traditional ceremony. Willow had graciously agreed to officiate for the couple after being ordained online. She had spent days looking over various wedding ceremonies to find one that would be perfect.

Clem, the best man, was repeatedly patting his jacket pocket, checking that the rings were there. Next to him Wesley pulled a piece of lint from the back of Spike's jacket and Xander shuffled his feet waiting for the bride to walk down the aisle.

The music changed bringing the guests to their feet and Buffy appeared on Giles' arm. Joyce held a handkerchief to her eyes as Buffy proceeded past her to the waiting groom; the bride never once taking her eyes from the man waiting for her at the end of the aisle. Once everyone settled back into their seats Willow began the ceremony.

"Buffy and Spike are here today to celebrate the commitment they share. These beings walk in two worlds, the human and the supernatural. They have already exchanged vows declaring themselves to each other in the supernatural world. Today they wish to do the same for the human world they inhabit."

A smile graced Willow's face as she looked over to Tara. "Love is often found in the most unlikely of places and with the most unlikely of people. All of us search for that one person who completes us. Some of us have been blessed to find them. Most would look at Buffy and Spike and focus on the reasons why they shouldn't be together." Willow shot a quick look in Xander's direction before continuing. "In each other Buffy and Spike have found love, respect, friendship and a true partnership. Their path hasn't been easy. The obstacles standing in their way were many. But together they have found their way here and ask you to join them in celebrating their love for each other."

Taking a few steps closer to the couple she joined their hands. "Repeat after me. I take you to be my beloved, to have and to hold, to honor and treasure, to be at your side in sorrow and joy, in good times and in bad, to love and cherish always. I promise you this from my heart, for all my days."

As Buffy and Spike recited their vows Clem handed Willow the rings. Placing the rings in the bride and groom's palms she looked out at the congregation. "If anyone knows of any reason these two should not be together speak now or forever hold your peace." As one the Scooby crew looked over at Xander.

.

The young man smiled sheepishly, "I'm good." Xander might never trust Spike completely but in the months since the chip had been removed everyone in the group had made it clear that he better except the relationship between Buffy and Spike or he would lose Buffy as a friend. Privately he admitted that Buffy had never looked happier since her and Spike had been together. If Buffy being happy meant he had to accept Spike so be it. It could be worse he thought. It could have been Angel.

With a nod from Willow, Buffy slid the ring on Spike's finger. Taking her hand Spike planted a kiss on her knuckles before placing the ring on her hand.

"I wish you many years of happiness together. Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce Buffy and William Summers."

THE END


Challenge:Season 5

Sick and tired of getting beaten on by Buffy (despite recently discovering he loves her) and the Scoobies after getting smacked around again after trying to help them, Spike gets a spell done on himself so that any human that attempts to attack him will suffer the same pain he feels when the chip goes off. He does this mainly to try and teach Buffy to treat him decently (which she does eventually). The Scoobies try and have the spell reversed despite Anya telling them that only the caster or the person who requested the spell can have this spell reversed.

Glory can make an appearance but that's not required.

Should take place pretty soon after Out of My Mind.

Must have's:

Dawn & Joyce exempted from the spell (maybe also Tara) as Spike likes and trusts them. (Maybe demonstrate this by having Dawn lightly smack Spike in front of the others without anything happening.)

Buffy returning home to find Spike with Joyce & Dawn and helping Dawn with her history homework.

Buffy punches Spike and discovers the spell that sends excruciating pain through her head and sends her to her knees. Spike tells her what he's done and he's not going to be her punching bag anymore.

Riley (or Xander or both) attempting to attack Spike and getting zapped by pain.

Riley leaving after Buffy breaks up with him after discovering he's been helping the army keep tabs on her and her family. (Spike can be her unknown informant.)

Buffy standing up for herself against her friends on her decision to date Spike.

Spuffy ending with Buffy, Anya, and Willow getting excluded from the spell as well. Xander and Giles I'll leave up to you.

Possibilities:-

Watchers Council pay a visit and some of them attempt to attack Spike.

Anya congratulating Spike on his inventive method of vengeance in front of everyone and saying that if she was still a Vengeance Demon she would have made an exception in his case to grant his wish.

Can't have's:-

Buffy/other love scenes or Spike/other love scenes.

Excessively out of character behavior by the Scoobies.