Spike in the City Of Angels, Episode 4:


Choices


by John Cope



Part Twenty-six





"So we're lookin' for a bloke in handcuffs in 'ere." Spike looked down at a sleeping commando and regretted not being evil anymore. So much free blood just there for the sucking. Sighing, he moved on. "So what are we planning to do when we find him mates?"

"I'm gonna take his cuffs off." Angel had a growl in his voice that was frighteningly familiar to both vampires.

Chilling yes, but still Spike couldn't resist having a go. "You big old poofter you...."

"Yes, I gotta agree it doesn't sound too..." Buffy saw the expression on her Sire's face and two things happened, one - she shut up, two - she got very turned on, indeed, as her demoness started pressing buttons.

"I'm not going to unlock them first." The hint of Angelus grew stronger. "First I'm going to break every bone in his hands into fragments and then rip them off over the top."

"Hell peaches." Spike gave his Sire a hint of vocal respect for the first time all day. "Is that really soulful old you?"

"Oh I like it." Buffy's conscience was waving from somewhere out in the bleachers but her demoness' ecstatic yelps were drowning her out. "Spike, your turn."

"Well once the fluffy puppy's finished, I'm going to find a hammer and some nails and......"

"Put nails in his eyes...." Angel felt dark stirrings of old times.

"Nail his feet to the back of a truck and....." Buffy's demon had control now.

"Hey!" Spike tossed his cigarette end down and stamped on it his lips curled back in anger. "Do I try to second guess you? No I don't."

"Okay, so tell." Buffy started kicking in doors as they reached the landing on the first floor. "We're all ears, which is probably something Britboy won't be when we're through."

"I'm gonna find a beam and nail the bugger's arms to it, wrists and elbows." He grinned. "Simple, traditional, and effective."

"Is that it?" Buffy raised an eyebrow suggestively. "After all that pre-show is that the best you can do? Crucifixion?"

"Worked for the Romans." He bowed to her. "Well kitten it's your turn, impress me."

She stood in the middle of the corridor for a second or two and then asked. "Spike could I borrow your hammer?"

"Mi hammer, su hammer."

"Thanks, I take that baby and I break his ankles, his knees and his hip bones and then smash in his teeth." She smiled sweetly at Angel. "Lover you might have to lift me up to reach those."

'Lover.' The dark stirrings blossomed in Angel's mind, he still had his soul but now he had his demon too. "My turn.....ribs."

"Ribs?" Buffy looked at were her watch would be if she wore one, her mind was revolving at speed. "Do we have time to eat....?"

She brushed loose hair away from her throat and unfastened the kevlar collar her voice dropping to a seductive whisper. "But I guess if your hungry....."

Gently Angel traced her jugular with the tips of his fingers. "No, ribs.....his ribs."

"Oh please Angel can't I do the ribs?" Spike had his hand in the air and looked like he was about to start jumping up and down with excitement. "I got the boots for it and everything, please!"

"Ribs are delicate work Spike, and we don't want this man to die."

"You big poofer you saying I can't be delicate, I can be a damn sight more delicate than you."

Angel's hand closed round the back of Spike's head pulling him close so that he was forcibly looking into the older vampires yellow eyes. "Oh I remember......"

Spike wanted to break free but couldn't as so many memories came flooding back. He stayed locked by his Sire's eyes, trying not to pant.

"Jeeze..." Buffy walked round them, her hips swaying. "Tell me you boys aren't going too....."

"What?!" They both asked then glared at each other threateningly.

"You know.......vampires." She traced a finger down the kevlar covering her right thigh. "To think you'd leave me all alone and unloved and run away together......You have no idea how that would make me feel."

She smiled as she walked away conscious that she had both the guys' full attention. *Oh you wicked, wicked girl you know they're really watching your back.*

The two boys followed her scowling, but only very slightly.

"You know this is all very well and good." Spike broke the silence as they moved from room to room. He had this impression he'd searched the whole place but with no success. "But when he bleeds to death Willow will be pissed."

"True." Buffy pouted at the thought of an angry friend and the fun she was going to spoil. "Does that mean we can only hit him?"

"Not at all lover, not at all." The dark-haired vampire had stayed morphed and, for just a second, Buffy felt a trace of fear, but she knew Willow's spell would hold, and the fear turned to lust as her demoness shivered to almost see Angelus.

"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Spike had the same cruel but cocky smile on his face that Buffy recalled from their earliest meetings.

*What is happening?* Buffy tried hard to understand what the hell was going on, she had a subtle conviction that this was somehow her fault. *Is it cause I let me demoness out a little? Can she make these guys change their moods like this?"

"I'm not a mind reader my boy, maybe you better tell me?"

"What we need is a crypt." Spike looked into a previously searched room in case they'd missed anything. "Then we can set up a brazier and have a hot iron to cauterize....."

He stopped talking as Angel burst out laughing. "What's the joke mate?"

"Old times!" The vampire responded with an Angelus smirk. "Do you remember Amsterdam?"

*Now this is really worrying?* Buffy had on underwear with a lust-soaked gusset, a strong urge to kill, and two vampires accompanying her who seemed even further gone. Her reason started to gain some vague trace of authority. But still she couldn't stop herself asking, "What happened in Amsterdam?"

"Don't you bloody dare tell her......" Spike began squaring off for a second before he caught his Sire's full glare.

"Spike and I were torturing a girl, pretty red head, we'd used her all day but by evening we were bored. So Spike stokes up the fire and we start to brand our names on her with a poker." Slowly as he spoke Angel lost his vampire ridges and a sick sensation formed in his guts. "He stood to close to the blaze though and his breeches caught fire. If the rooms window hadn't overlooked a canal....."

There was a silence in the corridor, the three vampires standing still as if in a tableau as the horror of Angel's words sank in. He went pale, pale even for a vampire and seemed to sag at the shoulders then turned away unable to look at his Childer anymore.

"Ok, I think that's enough for now Angel. Let's go find this Watcher." Her demoness hissed somewhere, but Buffy the Slayer was suddenly back in full control of the vampire and able to move on. "We searched all these lets try the loft."

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"Home sweet home." Buffy strolled into the mansion ahead of the rest of the Slayerettes. "I'll just go and see what.....hey."

Taking the alternate firmly by the arm, Willow led her off towards the computer. "You can eat when you get home, we have some school work to do here first."

"But......" Buffy saw the resolve face for the first time.

"Sit, take a pen and paper and get ready." Willow got a stack of new floppy discs ready for downloads. "There's a whole heap of stuff you need to know Missie and you're going to start learning it now."

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"Oh." Spike gently turned Jason's body over. "Poor bloke."

"He has a head start." Angel tugged at the knotted sheet rope. "Pity this didn't break."

"I s'pose we're going to have to run the bugger down."

Spike and Angel exchanged a look at Buffy's choice of swear word, obviously she'd spent to much time with the Englishry. She added, "But we're in a familiar place and he's not, he's on foot and a stranger and we'll beat him to it plain as that."

She turned to see that Spike was staring at the corpse particulary at the head wound. "Spike I can't hear a heart beat, he's gone I know he was one of yours but....."

"Dead as a doornail." Hhe probed around the ragged tear in the Enforcers skin with a finger. "Literally in his case."

Spike looked up at the Slayer. "Kitten go back outside would you? Angel and I need to have a chat, man to poof."

"No!" She morphed for a second then just as easily morphed back, remembering what had happened last time. She was confused though, Spike wanting to talk to Angel alone was a first for her. "Who do you think is running this outfit?"

"Buffy go wait outside."

She looked at Angel open mouthed at his tone of voice. "What?"

"Wait outside." He wasn't even looking at her he was looking straight at a grinning Spike.

A chorus of answers were running round her head, most of them involved Angel being told to do stuff that was anatomically impossible even for a vamp, but he was still her Sire. Scowling she retreated to the door to the loft and, stepping through onto the landing beyond, slammed it, too.

"Men!" She leaned back against the wall arms crossed over her chest and her bottom lip stuck out. "Just cause they've got a set of balls they think they can tell you what to do, well there's no way either of them are going to be getting it from me for......."

"WHAT?"

*Angel?* Buffy's ears pricked up. *Angel doesn't usually shout.....well not unless I'm.....* She closed that thought off and tuned in more carefully.

"There is no way that's going to happen.....anyway if we did, there wouldn't be time."

"Two Master Vampires and the Vampire Queen, ten minutes tops." That was Spike all over, arguments demolished with one sentence. "And I'm too knackered to chase this bastard half way over town, I mean who has better cause......"

"We don't do that anymore, we're......"

"Good? You were going to tear that bloke apart five minutes ago, with all the post torture brooding that would entail . Look at it like this: the guy gets dead and you don't even 'ave to watch, it's a bloody great idea."

"But Willow...."

"Willow smirrow, we tell Red the bloke got away, we went after 'im but in the meantime 'e met a nasty demon and the vicious brute killed 'im."

*Are they going too....?*

"Do you seriously think that a body that's taken a head trauma like this one has can be successfully turned?"

*They're going too.....*

"Only one way to find out, look if he turns out to be unable to do the job, I'll just stake him........now 'old your hand out you naughty boy."

"I hated music hall."

There was a pause.

"Look I just need a little bit of blood, it's not going to hurt a bit. Just open up your palm a little and let me drink, won't you."

"You think I'm going to let you......"

"Oh come on you're the bloody Sire round here even if your are less evil than your average postman......Actually we're in America so maybe I take that back, but you know what I mean, look let's get on eh!"

There was an even longer pause. "Right you nip outside and send in Buffy......" There was a low murmuring. "All right then mate if you daren't leave her alone with me you can watch......"

Angel came out and slammed the door almost as hard as Buffy had, there was blood on the palm of his right hand. "Buffy morph and just make a small cut on one of your hands."

"Angel there's no way." She backed away from him towards the stairs. "We are not creating a vampire here."

"Spike's right about this." Angel's eyes narrowed as he realized what he was saying. "It had to happen eventually I guess, and here it is an actual instant in which Spike's right."

"Why?" The Slayer threw her arms up in the air. "Why should we suddenly go against everything we stand for?"

"You're becoming human again tonight Buffy and that is going to be a traumatic ordeal for you, you'll need your strength." He grabbed hold of her arms. "You can't afford to spend all night trying to find a guy who we've never even met."

"But the man he killed knows him." She shuddered at the thought of such justice. "Angel it's wrong."

"You're right, but Spike will take care of the Childe, he guarantees it." He looked at her grimly. "And you know that ill discipline is something I don't stand from my Childer. If he promises me he'll do it, he'll do it."

Two instances of being over her Sire's knee whilst he spanked her came to Buffy's mind. She knew that if she wanted to she could beat Angel in a fight, but there was just something about the way he acted when he came over all Sirery that made her go so weak at the knees. "But....."

"Buffy." He let go off her right arm and gently adjusted her left so her hand was pointed towards him. "It's the fastest way."

She took an un-necessary deep breath. "Do....ow."

She hadn't even seen him morph he was so fast, his taloned thumb cut across her palm causing the red blood to pool there.

"Spike!" The dark haired vampire shouted. "Get out here."

"Hullo luv." Spike had really wanted to bite her, to give her a raging orgasm right in his Sire's face, but of course the poof wasn't that dim. "May I?"

"Angel?" Buffy looked at her Sire questioningly as he let Spike take her hand, she wanted to protest but her mind could not pass the words past a demoness suddenly so strong.

*Don't you feel it Buffy, the passion, the strength? And Angelus came back near to the surface, you could have him, you can break the spell. Think of it ruling the night together.....*

The violent frown on Buffy's face as Spike tilted her palm so that the blood would flow between his lowered lips wasn't aimed outward but inward. She mentally looked her demoness up and down and snarled. *Bite me!*

Spike had fed on Buffy before and so knew what a kick Slayers blood had to it. But his previous fix had occurred straight after the Slayer had fed and was nothing compared to this blood which had time to mature in her body. He felt the kick immediately as the blood entered his system. His senses heightened, his brain seemed to buzz and the crotch of his pants tightened considerable as he developed the raging horn.

His eyes crossed slightly at another discovery. Kevlar isn't designed to give.

Hungrily he began to suck at the cut trying to get as much of the elixir as he could. A hand thrust against his forehead though, pushing him back savagely. Yellow locked with yellow as Sire and Childe stared each other out. "Why Angel I didn't think you'd be that mean?"

"You're only making one Childe Spike." Angel held up his own blood stained palm. "With what I gave you only need an eggcup full not half an arm."

"Alright peaches." Spike turned the hand he was still holding over and kissed it. "Play nice with Daddy, I'm off to do something evil."

She hadn't felt anything, Spike had been drinking her blood and nada! *What the.....*

*No fangs duffus.* Her demoness supplied with more than a hint of a sneer. *Last chance for one of those spine unraveling megacums too.....unless that is you get Angel to....*

The bitter mental counter attack Buffy was about to unleash was halted as Angel recaptured her hand in his and morphing bent to use the long tongue his demon form granted him to lick clear the smeared blood Spike had left behind on the palm of the Slayer's hand.

She stood as if rooted to the spot for a second or two as her lover cleaned her skin his tongue catching fresh drops that ran from the cut. Then raising her free right hand and in a gesture that brought back floods of memories for both of them she caressed the ridges about his eyes and nose. "Do I taste good Angel?"

"You know you do." He kissed the cut, letting his saliva enter it to seal the wound. "Every part of you tastes good to me."

A Slayer's blood, he let go off her hand and dropped his hands to her hips. The lift was effortless and their mouths met as Buffy's arms went over his shoulders and her legs opened to wrap around his waist. She felt the banister rail pressing into her back as his talons tore the material covering her hips. Her tongue and lips were scored lightly by the tips of her lover's fangs, the tiny pin pricks adding even more blood to the saliva they exchanged.

"Angel," she gasped between kisses. "Put me down."

"Buffy..." He growled not letting her go. "Why would I ever want to do that?"

"So I can take off," kiss. "My boots," kiss. "My belt," kiss. "My overalls and as much of this armour....." A long forceful kiss from a suddenly unmorphed Angel. "As it takes for us to be able to fuck...."

"Buffy don't you mean...."

"Am I Anya?" She grinned to show she was teasing as reluctantly he let her down onto her feet. "We aren't going to have time to make love." Her boot laces came undone as she saw her boyfriend start to loosen his clothing. "So we're going to....." Her eyes widened as he got the front of his overalls open and moved the groin protection of his kevlar suit to one side.

"Need a bigger landing." To say than Angel was engorged was an understatement, he looked to have gained half an inch on top of an already impressive eight plus. "Slayer's blood did that!?!"

"I guess so." Angel was so glad to be rid of the clothing. "Though perhaps it's the sight of you in the overalls....." The Slayer in question looked at him fiercely as her second boot hit the planks. "No it's the blood."

Buffy nearly tore the zipper at the front of her overalls in her haste to get the garment open, her waist belt hit the planking with a solid thud and then her overalls were down round her knees as she began to work on the velcro that secured her armour.

"Just the groin and leg guards should do it." She grinned as Angel pulled the strings on the sweat pants and starting to ease them down even as she was on the first thigh guard. "If we get that far that is........."

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"Sisterhood of Jhe?" Buffy looked up at the Wiccan from the ever lengthening list. "Do they really eat their enemies?"

"Only if they win." Willow moved a plate out of her way so she could reach the next Journal. "And as we won it's a moot point, we sure didn't eat them though."

They had made good progress, Buffy now knew what to do against a long list of enemies and Giles would know where to look for additional information. The girls were fed and watered, and Willow figured that within the hour, if her indigestion didn't get any worse, she'd be able to send the alternate back.

Curry wasn't the best of meals this late at night.

Joyce was in the kitchen, Joyce had come with supplies, Joyce had been at the mansion when they got back conversing with a chained up farm boy from Iowa.

They hadn't left a note but she'd had the sense to grasp that the Slayerettes didn't chain guys up without good reason. So Riley was still sulking by the fireplace, gagged to silence because of his quite frankly tedious threats.

Anyway the gang had expected food, mansion cooked and aromas various had filled the building leading them to believe this to be so.

It had been a shock therefore when an apron wearing vampire had entered the room bearing a tray and preceded to plonk a plate in front of each of the room's occupants.

"What is it?" There was meat in a yellow sauce within a domed circle of rice. Willow looked at it curiously having never seen anything like it before. "I mean it looks....."

"Yellow." Xander supplied.

"It's a Chicken Tika Massala with Pilau rice." Browne replied looking at the teens like he was amongst the heathen. "Most popular dish there is the other side of the water." He nodded towards Giles and Wesley who were already sampling the meal. "As you can see."

"This is very good Browne." Giles took a mouthful of the rice as Browne beamed with pride. "You...you really must write me down the recipe, I'd often wondered how it was made."

"But I thought that..." Willow pictured greasy fish and chips in newspaper. "Isn't.....?"

"No luv not anymore." He pulled a face. "Go on tuck in before it gets cold."

He'd wrapped the cutlery in a paper towel too she noticed. *He's going to make us eat it isn't he?*

Giles seemed however to be eating the meal with a degree of relish but Wesley had stopped his hand raised as if unsure how to address vampires. "I say.....errr Browne, is there by any chance Naan bread? Or Poppadoms failing that? You know an Indian just isn't the same without...."

"There is both, they're in the oven....I'm fetchin' um now." He looked darkly at the Americans." But only those what is eatin' up will be gettin' some...And don't be thinkin' you can have what Mrs Summers is cookin' neither. That's just for the Slayer, stuff to 'elp 'er get 'er strength back once the spells been cast."

Slowly, reluctantly hunger won out over caution, and the group 'tucked in'.

"Oh, sorry. Pardon me." Willow flushed slightly after once again suffering the after effects of the unfamiliar spices. "Now where were we?"

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"Lukewarm blood." Spike let the body drop back to the floor and wiped his mouth with every sign of disgust. "Cold I can tolerate, hots great but lukewarm."

Anyway he'd done what he had to do, he'd taken some of the corpse's blood in to mix with his, Angel's and the Slayer's, now he did the next step in the process and slashed the palm of his left hand open and let the blood run into the wound in Jason's neck. "Now just add the magic ingredient and leave to simmer for......."

A rhythmic thumping noise filled the room. Something was going on on the landing outside. Something that involved loud moaning and shouts of "Yes!"

*What the fuck?* He looked in horror at the wall as plaster flakes began to drop away. *They aren't are they? Why on earth would they....*

*I've been allowed to get away with turnin' someone. We were going to find a bloke and torture him to death and now 'ere I am preparing a fiend from hell to do it for us and the Slayer an' the poof are now shaggin' in my earshot. Now that's somethin' I'm positive they wouldn't normally do.* He looked round wildly for the invisible evil monster that had bewitched them but saw nothing. "This 'ouse is fuckin' cursed."

The moans and sighs and shouts grew louder as Spike tried to plug his ears against the sounds. He could almost feel Buffy's toned body surrounding him, taste her kisses. *This is hell, I can't stay 'ere, I've got to get out of this fucked up town.*

But he didn't use the rope, he didn't climb out of the building to escape his fate. He lit a cigarette and stayed waiting for his Childe to raise, he had a job to do no matter how others chose to pass their time. *God how I hate that Wanker Angelus.....*

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Angel's fingers were pressed deeply into the flesh of her buttocks as he gripped her. His hands serving both to hold her steady and to protect her tender flesh from the woodwork he was thrusting her back against.

And boy was he trusting, her thighs had been slick with her juices even before he had literally torn away the thong that was all she was left wearing on her lower body. Foreplay had been minimal, the desire to be used by her Sire had already overwhelmed her senses and he had penetrated her in one smooth fluid motion her walls easily stretching to welcome him.

He had lifted her up in the and driven firmly home even as her legs wrapped round his waist. The sex that followed was the most animalistic she had experienced with Angel. The only reason his back wasn't ripped to shreds was that he still had his back and shoulder guards on. Browne was not going to be very pleased when he saw the state of the overall's he'd provided them with, but she didn't give a damn.

With each hard thrust Buffy relaxed and the contracted her inner walls milking Angel hard. His strokes where hitting her g-spot every time, whimpers of pleasure were coming louder and louder as her own orgasm was building to an explosive arrival.

Spike was forgotten, the fact that he was listening to this never even crossed the Slayer's mind. Her demoness drowned all such thoughts out.

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"Can you believe it?" Spike addressed the body coldly. "Some people 'ave absolutely no bloody shame. I mean to say it's disgustin' shaggin' like that right next door to someone who......."

"OH ANGEL!"

"BUFFY!"

"....Has a hard on threatening to do 'is pants serious damage cause he's had Slayer's blood." Spike had tried counting to one hundred, thinking about Margaret Thatcher and the other usual erection killing technics available to an Englishvamp but it was no use. *Soon as I get out of 'ere there's nothing else for it.....Unless.* He pictured his partner in undeath and shuddered. *Oh not even as a last resort, the smelly bugger.*

The plaster on the wall was falling away in pieces now and a sudden amusing thought came to Spike. "I swear if he drives her arse through there I won't hesitate. I'll look on it as an invite and never mind the splinters....."

There was a sudden convulsion in the body at the vampire's feet. Jason's face transformed, ridges rose above his eyes and along the bridge of his nose, fangs jutted from behind his lips. His eyes which had been staring sightless turned yellow and took on new unlife. The cut in the now immortal beings forehead healed in a second to a white scar as the marks on his neck disappeared without trace.

"Well hullo again mate." Spike looked the vampire up and down and liked what he saw. This was no ordinary fledgling but a really dangerous looking bloke, and that was no wonder with the combined blood of two Master vampires and the Vampire Queen inside him. "How are you feelin?"

"Hur.....hun......hungeeerr." Jason struggled to get the words out and found that though he was able to think clearly he could not speak them. The last few seconds of his life came back to him and he growled low and menacing as he looked at the knotted sheet rope dangling from the window. "Bl...."

"Blood?" Spike grinned and nodded towards the window. "That's right mate your tea went that way."

The growl grew deeper, Jason felt the bloodlust rising as he battled his demon for control. He wasn't some teenager who could easily be ruled, he had an established personality and the being that now tried to possess him was not going to have an easy time establishing it's self in its new home. The pull of loyalty he felt towards Spike a vampire he knew by repute and now by blood was strange and it irked him deeply to feel love for this creature he would earlier have staked without a seconds pause.

"Pissed off eh?" Spike nodded with supposed sympathy, and held out his open cigarette packet. "Have a fag me old mate and I'll tell you how it's going to be."

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Buffy sagged back against the wall, her shoulders resting against it even as Angel gently let her slide down so that her bare feet touched the floor.

She felt exhausted by an orgasm that had gone on and on for what seemed like hours, but at the same time dirty for having surrendered to her demon, for having had sex in such circumstances, for..... *Oh my god Spike must have heard all that!*

Grabbing her sweat pants from the floor Buffy began to pull them on. She was uncaring about the combination of her own and Angel's emissions that were oozing from her sex and running down the already damp skin on her inner thighs. She might wind up stinking badly enough of sex to turn on every vampire in town but that did not mean she needed Spike to see her like this.

"Buffy are you okay?" Angel was slumped back against the railings panting from his exertions, his body still demanding oxygen at such times despite 247 years of unlife. "That was......."

"Something else, I noticed." She scowled as she got back into her overalls. "What the hell is happening here Angel? It's as if we're out of control. We just shagged like bunnies....." *I can't believe I just said shagged.* "Errr had sex right where anyone could have walked in on us, and.....and Spike's siring a vampire."

As she grabbed for the door handle the Slayer came fully back into possession of her mind. *This house is messing with my mind but there is no way that......"

Spike was on his own in the room the fledgling gone. She ran to the window through which her sometimes lover was looking, a dark shape was running through the gardens of the Sunnydale Arms. "Damn it."

"Oh hullo Buffy, finally stopped shaggin' eh." There was a degree of bitterness in his voice such as she'd seldom heard before from him. "Decided to get back on the job. Well as you can see......"

"Spike!" Buffy balled her fists in anger and frustration. "Why the hell did you just.....?"

"We luv." She stank of their Sire and of lust, the scent wasn't helping. "Remember your blood?"

"Hey you bled into him." She stopped as she recalled one of Giles' boring lectures. About how if a group of vampires shared their blood the vampire who did the siring was only partly the new minions parent all the vampires involved having a share. "Oh my god you mean that....."

"You're a Mum, congratulations, ow....." His cheek stung from where she'd slapped him. He scowled, then sneered and turned and without a word to her walked out of the room.

Buffy stood looking at her right hand as if it weren't really hers. Then her left came up to her mouth. *Oh god why did I do that? I stood out there and I let him do this and now I slap him. Oh god what have I done?*

Pouting wasn't going to help but she did it anyway as with slumped shoulders she followed him. *Rats!*

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"Buffy I hope everything works out for you." Joyce hugged her second daughter tight, she had known the girl for hours but liked her all the same. "Take care of Giles and give your Mom my love."

"I will." Buffy was standing out in the garden next to a pentagram that she was to stand inside whilst Willow cast the spell. As a protection for her and also for the vampiric Buffy who certainly wouldn't appreciate being zapped out of the world again. "And thank you for all that you've done for me."

They exchanged smiles and then Joyce went back to the house to join the others leaving the wiccan and the Watcher behind.

Giles had a worried frown on his face, whether for her or Willo,w Buffy didn't know, nor did she really care. She was going back, back to her world, back to a chance to be with the people she loved.

And with a chance to survive Sunnydale. She had a long list and six computer discs in a carefully wrapped parcel in her pockets. She was ready.

"Good luck." Giles nodded. "And try to remember not to call me Rupe."

"Sure thing Rupe." She flashed him the broadest smile he'd seen so far. "Okay sis do your thing."

*Sis!* Willow sighed and held the small syringe of her own blood low as she dripped it inside her own pentagram. "Janus keeper of the gate......"

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They were silent as they walked through Hammersmith Park, two blond figures out for a night time strowl. Only their weird looking clothing and the fact it was two in the morning made them noticeable. Not that there was anyone around to notice.

Somehow Buffy had persuaded Angel to go after Jason. He was to watch the vampire and make sure he didn't kill any passing innocent person, and if he didn't head out of town after killing Albany to stake him straight away

He had looked grim-faced at her request, looking back at the two blonds suspiciously. But he had trusted her and gone, adding guilt on top of the guilt she already felt.

Spike was still pissed though, all her efforts at small talk disregarded. Pouting wasn't helping either their communications had completely broken down. And the fact she knew he wanted her wasn't helping matters either.

The body language was simple and easily recognized from Highschool.

Their helmets and rifles where to obvious to carry so Spike had secreted them in a holdall which he was carrying. A holdall he was carrying in a particular way.

She'd noticed it at Sunnydale in her Junior year. The Cheerleaders had been walking down the corridor ahead of her and were just passing a group of Sophomore boys when it happened, every single one of them moved his satchel or his folder or his books so that they covered the front of their pants.

She'd blushed and run the other way but a new hobby had been born.

It wasn't like she stalked the cheerleaders, no she just happened to walk close enough behind them to see what the boys did and up to senior year the reaction to their passing was universal.

It had fascinated her for a fortnight till she'd discovered something else.

It was all the fault of that leopard skin skirt with a slit to the hip. Her Mom didn't know she owned it and now in her adult years she had to admit it was more the thing to wear on street corners than in a classroom, still there she'd been walking down the corridor wearing said garb with a spray on top and brown leather knee boots.

She'd passed a large group of boys without a cheerleader in sight and as had become her habit did a quick visual pass for bag movements.

That lunchbreak Buffy had snuck off campus to go home and change......having half the school mentally contemplating jumping your bones did not make for a conducive educationally process. She'd then filed the study away and forgotten all about it. And thank god she'd never looked at Xander that day.

Spike had the holdall in front of him at waist height.

Despite the anger Spike still wanted to jump her.

"I'm sorry ok?"

"Sorry pet....Sorry for what?"

"Sorry for slapping you, sorry for letting things get like that, sorry for being a bad Buffy."

"And you think that's enough do you, that that makes it alright?" The wheels were whirring in Spike's mind as he considered how far to play this. "After the way you've wounded me to the very soul."

"Wounded!?!" Buffy stared at him open mouthed her hands on her hips in a stance he found very sexy. "How have I.....And hey you don't have a soul!"

"Metathingie." He dismissed her argument with a waft of his hand. "You brought physical violence into our relationship, you abused my trust and you struck me in a fit of temper. And now you ask me to forgive."

"Huh!" Buffy stared even more open mouthed. "You've hit me lots of times, haven't I forgiven you?"

"Fightin for me unlife." Dismissively he turned to walk on, thus concealing an evil grin. "Completely different context ducks."

"Mr don't you dare walk away from me in mid-fight." Buffy ran after him meaning to grab his arm before realizing that might just compound her crime so instead running past him to stand in his way. "So slap me back."

She was standing there arms crossed under her chest ready to take whatever he threw. Spike just smiled and answered, "I don't hit girls."

"You rat you....." She realized this wasn't getting her anywhere. "Come on Mr Superior just give it your best shot!"

"Do you really think your getting out of this that easily?"

"You bastard."

He bowed. "At your service. Now we're going to pay a nice game kitten."

"A game." She pouted. "What sort of game?"

"It's called how low will you go, guess how it works."

"How low......you ratbastard."

"That's a dirty mouth you have there pet." He walked round her again. "I got better things to do than..."

"You can spank me." Buffy ran on towards a bench they were approaching and knelt on it her ass thrust back invitingly. She saw him pause and his eyes widen. "Go on Spike I know you'd like to."

"Nah, I think spankin's overrated," he lied. "Even with a cute bum like yours."

*Shit.* She wiggled some more. "Ok you can use your belt." She crossed her ankles behind her and stuck her bottom out wiggling it from side to side. "Six of the best on my bare skin."

Spike swallowed hard and moved the holdall lower. "And you think that that makes up for what you did? It's not low enough."

"A dozen."

"Nope," he grinned at her. "And don't make a meal of it by offerin two dozen."

"I'll go down on you." She slipped off the bench and onto her knees patting the woodwork. "Then you'll forgive me won't you Spike?"

Gripping the holdall like a shield Spike resisted manfully. "Kiss your Mother with that mouth Slayer?"

"What?!"

"You want to bet Joyce won't be at the mansion." He looked at her disheveled overalls. "And you stink like a hook...."

"BASTARD!" Now it was Buffy's turn to storm off for a few yards. "That is so not a nice thing to say Spike, okay so I hit you but there's no need to go saying stuff like that."

"Sorry pet," he had overdone it that was definitely true, but at the same time she had stopped. "Course with your becomin' human again this making it up business might have to be delayed."

"But after I'm human again I'm Angel's girl......" She stopped as she realized what he was suggesting. "Your trying to get some post rehumanized sack time aren't you."

"Bout a day should do it, you naked except for a collar and leash in one of Browne's posher hideouts ought to be enough to work off your guilt." He grinned as he walked past her. "I think next time you come to see Hank on a vacation you should be able to spare me the time. Don't you?"

*Evil, evil, evil vampire you were supposed to make it easy, to give me up.* Her mind whirled with the things he might do to her, things that would never happen with Angel. *Oh god great now I'm going to have lusty Spike thoughts everyday till I die unless I do it, be his fucktoy to get them out of my system.......EVIL VAMPIRE!*

Pouting, her hands in her pockets, she walked after him. Knowing he was smirking in that irritating manner of his, knowing that he thought he had won.

*************************************************************************************************************************

"Where the hell is that bloody hospital?" Albany had wandered for hours lost in the wilds of Sunnydale a town for which he foolishly had no map. "It must be round here somewhere."

He was walking past another cemetery, (the town seemed full of them), a stake he'd made by the simple means of snapping a tree branch in his hand. He'd heard noises behind him a few times and was beginning to wonder if all the vampires were as dead as he'd been led to believe.

Still he seemed now to be heading in the right direction now.....as far as he could tell.

The noise was sudden and came from behind him. He reacted like lightening slamming the stake into the chest of the vampire that sprang on him.

It hit the mental plate in the centre of Jason's flak jacket and exploded into splinters in Albany's fist.

Jason grinned as his clawed hands racked the watcher's face. Then he headbutted his murderer and, throwing his stunned victim over the cemetery wall, set off to find a crypt to get down to the serious business of revenge. Feeding could wait, he could spare an hour or two to build up a hunger.

Angel watched from the shadows till the vampire and mortal disappeared from sight then went on his way. Jason was boxed in till morning when he was certain he'd be able to find volunteers from amongst his mortal friends to come out and deal with Spike's latest Childe. *Or maybe Buffy.....if she's feeling up to it.*

************************************************************************************************************************

"So it will work?" Buffy asked Giles for the fifth time since he'd finished explaining that it would work. "Absolutely no doubts?"

Buffy was sat beside her Mom on the sofa. Joyce was just holding her hand and smiling unable to put her happiness into words. And beaming seemed to be the order of the day looking round the room, ok Spike was leering but she assumed it was a well-meant leer.

"Gotta say Buffy lovin' the rehumanizing." Xander looked like his face might split his smile was so broad. "Not just on you being back to full Buffosity but it also cuts back on the number of demons we got on our....."

"Hey!" Anya suddenly interrupted and before they knew it that corner of the room was back to squabbling and the making up that went hand in hand with it.

*Normal is so nice, and that's what I'm going to be again!*

"Yes Buffy I'm sure." Giles patted his wards hand reassuringly. "Neither Willow or I would take any risk with your well being."

"Darn tootin!" Willow tried to project an image of confident spell caster who has absolutely no qualms and considers that there's no way she can fail. However as she had failed in the past her bold front was hindered by the fact she knew she could, but did Buffy know? She didn't look like she knew, but then Buffy's expression had been strange ever since she got back.

*Evil, evil vampire!* She pictured Angel and then Spike. *I mean why would I still want Spike, he's nothing like Angel. I mean Angel would never lock me in a cellar and use me as a sexual plaything for a whole day......would there be chains? Chains might be do-able but not whips, he tries coming near me with a whip and I'll kick the crap out of him. But then I'm supposed to be submissive.....ohhhh.*

She frowned as she realized that violence was what had gotten her into this situation in the first place. *I'm trying to be good but now look what's happened......I could welch, hey it wasn't even a bet of course I could welch. But then again there's so much stuff...."

She had the images flashing before her again, of being had in every way possible by the vampire. Of being dominated by him, of being tied up and mercilessly used. *Sick, sick, sick. Oh damn I can't wait.*

*Bet she welches.* Spike was drawing up a mental list of the kind of things he was going to have to buy to ensure Buffy had a day she'd never forget, but even as he did so he had his doubts. *Angel walks in through the door and the seeds I've planted will wither and die......God I sound like Dru.*

Then Spikes mouth went dry as the Slayer sent him the most smouldering look she'd ever given him. *Oh bloody hell.*

"I wonder what on earths keeping Angel?" Giles looked at his watch for the fiftieth time. "We really need to get on with the spell. Buffy are you sure.......?"

"I want Angel here when you cast it." She looked at him calmly as she added the words no one else would. "Just in case it...."

A shout from the hall interrupted her. "The poofters back."

"I heard that." There was menace in the dark-haired vampire's voice.

And nothing but contemptuous humour in the vetala's reply. "You was supposed to my old son. Now in you go your 'oldin' up the magic show."

As Angel walked into the room and saw Buffy's worried face and all thoughts of what he might need to say to Browne later vanished. She looked scared, it wasn't a look he expected or liked to see on her face. "Well?"

"Yes Angel it will work," Giles answered for everyone, knowing what it would mean to the vampire. "We were just waiting for you to return before Willow casts the spell."

Buffy alive again, the guilt he felt over what he had done gone from his shoulders. The thought filled his head but another thought was there too right along side it. *If it goes wrong, if she dies you'll be to blame, not Willow, not Giles, you."

He felt like running, like abandoning his responsibilities, like hiding so he wouldn't have to see his lover die if the spell didn't work. For he knew something, something that the others might avoid saying but that he knew in his still heart was true if Buffy died it would be his fault, Willow might technically have turned Buffy but if he had left town straight away Buffy wouldn't have had to take the risk. It would be his fault.

She looked up at him now though, a look of such love and trust that it nearly broke his heart. He reached out both his hands to her and she took them gratefully. "No regrets Angel, not for what happened or for what we've shared. There's one thing I'd take back...." She didn't look at her Mom, she still didn't know about the one human she'd fed on. "But it's nothing to do with you and me."

"It'll be okay Buffy, we'll still have a lifetime together." He smiled even though he felt closer to tears. "Soon you're going to be back to being you, my warm breathing girl."

"I know my love, and hey bright side I get to look seven months younger than my real age for always." As rejoinders went it was weak and strangely Cordelia-like, but the spirit was good. "But then again I guess every bar I go in their going to look at my ID and compare me to the age and come away thinking it's fake."

"Buffy the amount of drinking you do I don't think that'll be a problem." Joyce put her hands on Buffy's shoulders. "I really can't tell you how I feel about this."

"Would happy cover it?" Joyce just smiled as did everyone else though the Slayer Vampire saw the concern in all their eyes. "So, lets get it done."

******************************************************************************************************************

"OH MY GOD!"

Angel broke free from Spike and Browne's restraining arms and ran for the smouldering pentagram in which Buffy convulsed, her limbs were thrashing as she gasped in air. He had almost reached her when she suddenly rolled on her side clutching her stomach and spewed noisily all over the scorched grass.

"BUFFY!" Angel knelt beside her and pulled her to him. He could hear the wild beating of her heart but her breath was coming so frantically and her heart racing so fast. Then Angel looked at the ground. "Giles she's vomiting blood."

Giles ran forward Willow beside him from the pentagram within which they had cast their spell. They joined Angel in a huddle beside the vampire. Giles held up a hand to tell Joyce to stay back.

"Buffy, Buffy can you hear me?" The girl's face was contorted by pain, but there seemed to be no bloodstains on her clothing or signs of any further bleeding. "Buffy......?"

"It's pigs."

Giles looked up at Spike, the vampire looked almost as worried as Angel. "The blood it's pigs. It's her supper."

"You let her drink blood knowing what we were about to do?"

"She's an adult, she was hungry, we ate." Spike shook his head, amazed at the stress he was being subjected to, he was shitting it as it was, why did Giles have to choose now to be a hard arse. "Watcher is she going to be ok?"

Buffy's eyes opened wide and she stared at them for a few seconds before going into further convulsions her body shaking wildly.

"Damn it!" Not caring what Angel thought Giles picked Buffy up from out of his arms carrying her slender weight easily enough. "Joyce we'll need your car, Buffy must go to the hospital now. Willow you come too, do what you can to calm her till we get there."

Three vampires came on after him till Oz stepped in there way. "Guys I'm sorry but have you seen the time."

Half an hour to sunrise.

Three vampires exchanged glares. Then voiced their opposition to their plight almost to the same second.

"FUCK!"

***************************************************************************************************************************

It was dark in the basement and it smelled odd. Spike knew that a certain vampire had been down there on his own earlier and now had a broad suspicion why. Browne was currently asleep or pretending to be which prohibited Spike from asking him why he'd snuck down here for a sly wank and if it had been Buffy in her Buffyness or Willow in one of her tight sweaters he'd been thinking off.

But he would bide his time, and sooner or later the vetala would get the interrogation of his unlife.

Now however his problem was his Sire. It was like watching a bloody tennis match seeing the poor bugger pace back and to. Spike actually felt sorry for him, but just a little bit.

"Can't you give it a rest mate, it's makin' me bleeding sick watching you?"

"No." Angel looked at him wildly.....Well wildly for Angel. "The woman I love could be dying and there's nothing I can do."

"Dying." Spike laughed with extremely false bravado. "The Slayer's not gonna die, she's tougher than the two of us and that curry eatin' old bastard thrown together. Completely invincible....." He pulled a cigarette from his current packet and lit it without thinking. "I've absolutely no bloody worries on that score."

"You know Buffy..." Angel took the packet from Spike's hand and took out a cigarette. He held it to his lips as Spike lit it. "...Doesn't like you smoking in the house."

"Well peaches aren't we going to be in bad trouble when she gets home." He watched curiously as his Sire drew in the nicotine. "Nerves really that bad?"

"Aren't yours?" The question was put without menace or threat.

"Can't say as I wouldn't miss her." He shrugged and lost the unconvincing innocent look. "Come on don't prat about you know what I feel for her."

"I know." He jabbed a finger at his Childe. "But don't forget Spike she's mine and she always will be. There's no way you'll ever take her from me." The voice changed a little taking on more than a hint of Angelus. "Not and live anyway!"

*It'll go down like this, 'e kills Spike for bonkin' Buffy, I kill Angel for killin' Spike, Buffy kills me for killin' Angel then off's 'erself in sheer despair at the in'umanity of it all.* Browne sighed soundlessly. *If Shakespear 'imself ad' of written a play like that nobody would believe it......Silly sod.*

***************************************************************************************************************

"How is she doctor?" Joyce was pale with worry and fear as Doctor Meadows walked down the corridor to were she was sat with Willow and Giles. "Is she going to be okay?"

"Mrs Summers whilst having to admit that I don't have the faintest idea what can have caused your daughter's attack." He was completely flummoxed but looking forward to the extensive course of tests he had planned for the morrow. "You can rest assured that she has responded to treatment remarkably well and is even now complaining about being in a hospital......"

Doctor Matthews found himself talking to empty air as three people ignored the no running signs and raced for the door of the room Buffy was being treated in.

They stood by the glass tears streaming down their faces as Buffy waved to them, the monitors she was still hooked to beeping away merrily beside her.

Giles found himself once again the centre of a group hug. *I knew we could do it. God bless you Don Diego, if Watchers have their own heaven I'll buy you a drink in the bar then we'll tunnel out together because that would have to be the most hell-like afterlife known to man.*

Then still musing Giles smiled properly for the first time since the previous May, he had a new lover, he had a new life. But above all else he had the person he could not regard in any other way than as his daughter back.

"Welcome home Vampire Slayer," he said aloud returning the hugs. "Welcome home."


Continued

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