Alternate Universe: Gift-less
Story Title: Turn Me On

Chapter Title:


Come and Save Me

Chapter Summary:


Buffy goes into the desert on the Quest with Giles. What will the guide tell her about her inner demon? How will Buffy interpret it?  Glory goes on the offensive and places one of Buffy's friends in danger.


Episode Covered:


Thanks: To YOU for reading and to Anona for her grammatical and punctuation corrections and final review. All mistakes are mine because I simply cannot stop fiddling right up to the last moment.
Rating / Warnings:

SPOILER ALERT: This story is a cross-over with the 'Miles to Go' story in the Unexpected Universe Series. If you have not read that story, but intend to, then you should read it first! You do not have to read it for this spin-off to make sense. There is a *lot* more detail of what lead up to this story there, much more than is contained in the prologue, however. If you have read that story, then this prologue will be review for you.

NC17. Content is only suitable for mature adults. Contains explicit language, sex, adult themes, and other adult situations that some people may find objectionable. If you are under the age of 17 or find any of these themes objectionable – GO AWAY.

The night of Joyce's Funeral:

Glory’s trusted minion, Jinx, crept unseen away from the cemetery and headed back to report his findings to her most magnificent and benevolent Glorificus. It was clear who the Key was. The peroxided man had been at the Slayer’s side now for three nights in a row. Obviously the Slayer was protecting him above all others. Her Most Glamorous Yet Tasteful One will be most pleased.




A couple of days after the funeral:


“So, how long ya reckon big sis’ll be gone, then?” Spike asked Dawn as he fiddled with the TV in his crypt trying to find something for them to watch.


Dawn shrugged as Spike finally settled on a re-run of ‘Star Trek’ – the original one with Spock and Captain Kirk. “Giles didn’t know for sure. He thought they might be back by tonight, or tomorrow at the latest.”


“And just where is it she’s run off to exactly?” Spike wondered, grabbing a beer from the fridge for himself and a Coke for Dawn.


Dawn rolled her eyes and sat down on the floor in front of the TV, taking the Coke from Spike’s hand as he dropped down into the easy chair near her.  “To find John Cleese and live out ‘The Quest for the Holy Grail’ or something. I don’t know exactly. It was all pretty mysterious. She just said that it was something she really needed to do.”


Spike quirked a brow at her. “Reckon she knows the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?”


Dawn laughed. “I doubt she knows what a swallow is.”


Spike smirked, his mind going somewhere far away from Monty Python or birds, but didn’t comment on that further. “So,” he asked after a moment, his voice growing somber, “the resurrection spell didn’t work then?”


Dawn frowned and shook her head. “I’m sorry I got you hurt for nothing,” she offered. “I swear I didn’t tell Buffy who helped me.”


“I knew you wouldn’t, pet. Trust you, I do.  And no worries – been hurt worse, I have … mostly by your sister. Sorry it didn’t work, though; Joyce was a good lady.”


Dawn nodded and sighed. “I’m sorry too,” she admitted mournfully. “So,” Dawn began changing the subject, “how did you talk Buffy into letting you babysit while she’s gone?”


Spike shrugged. “Told ya before, me and the Slayer have been … getting on better of late.”


“Plus she thinks you’re the only one of her friends that has any chance in a fight with Glory, huh?” Dawn posited sagely.


Spike rolled his eyes. “Coulda been a factor, yeah,” he agreed.


“I still don’t get why we couldn’t have stayed at our house. We have cable,” Dawn complained.


“’Cos that Glory chit knows where you live,” Spike explained. “She don’t know me.”


Dawn sighed again and took a drink of her Coke. “Where am I gonna sleep if Buffy isn’t back tonight? This floor isn’t the … softest.”


“Got a bed downstairs you can ‘ave,” Spike offered.


Dawn’s eyes went wide. “You never told me you had a downstairs! Can I see?”


“Yeah, alright,” Spike agreed, standing up. He headed over to the trap door and opened it for her, then followed Dawn down the ladder into the basement bedroom.


“This is soo cool!!” Dawn exclaimed as she looked around.


“Yeah?” Spike asked hopefully, looking around also. He had tidied up, even washed the sheets and dusted a bit, when Buffy had asked him if Dawn could stay with him for a while. She’d been a bit secretive about where she was going, simply saying that it had to do with learning to live with the demon inside her.


“Oh, totally!” Dawn gushed. “The floor’s so … soft. How many rugs do you have down here?”


Spike shrugged. “A few … Top ones are the nicest; the others are just for padding and kinda like insulation. Keeps a bit of the damp out.”


“The coffins sticking out of the walls are very … avant-garde,” Dawn continued.


Avant-garde?” Spike questioned, quirking a brow.  “Where the bloody hell did ya learn that, Niblett?”


Dawn shrugged one shoulder. “Art class. It means …”


“I know what the bloody hell it means. Never thought of myself as avant-garde,” Spike asserted. “Just … opportunistic.”


Dawn shrugged. “Well, I think it’s cool.”




Dawn and Spike spent the day watching TV, playing cards, and talking. She got Spike to tell her more ghost stories and he got her to tell her stories about Buffy. That evening, he ordered in pizza for dinner with the money Buffy had given him, and Dawn did a little homework by candlelight, then went downstairs to bed.   Spike pulled a heavy urn over the trapdoor to make it less noticeable, just in case, and he slept on the sarcophagus in the center of the room upstairs. Sometime during the night, Spike was awoken by a noise outside the crypt. He jumped up and started for the door, but it opened before he could get there. Xander stalked in, completely ignored Spike’s expression of incredulity, and headed for the fridge. Xander casually helped himself to one of the German beers that Buffy had given Spike and looked around, as if just seeing the crypt for the first time.


“Where’s Dawn?” Xander asked after he’d perused the crypt with his eyes.


“Safe and sound,” Spike retorted, crossing his arms angrily.


“Where?” Xander persisted.


“Where gits like you won’t bother ‘er in the middle of the soddin’ night,” Spike shot back. “What d’ you want … other than to steal my bloody beer?” Spike snarled at him, wondering if the chip would fire if he knocked the beer out of the younger man’s hand. “Or are ya here for your dance floor etiquette lesson?”


“I’m here to tell you something,” Xander replied, deliberately taking a long, slow drink of the beer.


“Oh … I’m all a-twitter,” Spike mocked scathingly.


Xander set the beer down on a table and shoved Spike back against a pillar – hard. His face was a study in rage as he kept Spike pinned against the stone. “I’m on to you. You may have everyone else fooled, but I know what you’re up to,” Xander growled at Spike. “Buffy’s gone through some stuff lately that... well, it's affected her, and you're taking advantage.”


“She's upset about her mum. And if she turns to me for comfort – for a strong shoulder t’ cry on, well, I'm not gonna deny it to her. I'm not a monster.”


“Yes! You are a monster! Vampires are monsters! They make monster movies about them!” Xander asserted sagely.


“Well, yeah, you got me there, monkey boy,” Spike agreed sarcastically, shrugging.


“Whatever scheme you have brewing in that little pea brain of yours you need to just forget, Spike,” Xander told him in a deadly calm voice. “The others might not see it until it’s too late, but I know you, and I’ll do whatever it takes to protect Buffy. Now if that means killing you, then, well, that's just a bonus.”


“Ooooo … the big manly-man’s gonna stake the helpless vampire. I’m shakin’ in m’ boots,” Spike taunted.


Before Xander could retort, the door to the crypt opened again and several of Glory’s minions streamed in. The two men barely noticed, so engrossed were they in staring each other down, until one of the warty demons spoke: “Gentlemen! I'm so sorry to intrude, but I wondered if I might beg a moment of your time.”


“Friends of yours?” Spike asked Xander, giving the minion that had spoken a nonchalant glance.


Before Xander could answer, one of the minions punched the younger man hard in the jaw. Xander fell in an unconscious heap on the floor at Spike’s feet.

“Guess not,” Spike smirked as he swung at the one nearest him, but several more minions were converging on him quickly. He fought and struggled against them, but there were too many.

“Tie his hands! Glory will want him restrained. Careful with him. She will want her Key intact,” Jinx ordered.

“Key?  You think I’m the soddin’...” A gag shoved into Spike’s mouth cut off his protest as they dragged him out of the crypt, leaving Xander sleeping soundly on the floor.




Buffy sat on a boulder in the middle of the desert and felt herself dozing off. This Quest of Giles’ left a lot to desired so far. Maybe he hadn’t done the dance right or shaken his magical gourd properly. Suddenly she jerked awake. A giant bonfire burned in front of her and something was moving, smooth and cat-like, on the other side of it.


“I know you, you're the first Slayer,” Buffy realized, sitting up straighter as she eyed the other woman near the fire.

“This is a form. I am the Guide,” the primal Slayer purred back as she prowled gracefully around the raging fire.


“I have a few questions. About being the Slayer. What am I made of? What about the darkness in me? What about love?”

“You think you're losing your ability to love,” the guide stated.

“I didn't say that,” Buffy asserted, before sighing, “Yeah.”

“You're afraid that being the Slayer means losing your humanity.”

“Does it?” Buffy asked. “I’m … having these dreams and … uhhhh … there’s this vampire…” she stammered out.


The guide gave Buffy a knowing look. “Our power comes from the darkness, but this does not mean you cannot love. You love with the power of the Slayer. You love with your entire heart and soul. It’s brighter and hotter than the fire, blinding, all encompassing. That is why you pull away from it.”


“Blinding,” Buffy repeated slowly. “That’s what Spike said,” she murmured, more to herself than the Guide. Then, focusing her attention back on the first Slayer she asked, “But … what about the darkness? What about … Spike? He says…”


“He says he can show you how to keep your demon battling. He does not lie. You are not the first to find comfort in the dark, but you must not let it consume you. You are not wholly darkness, nor are you wholly light.”


“What … what does that mean? I can’t ever …” Buffy bit her lip and blinked back tears of frustration. “I can’t ever give in to my … ummmm …” Buffy cleared her throat uncomfortably. “I can’t ever be … me?”


“Others have done so and have been engulfed by the darkness of the demon. To fulfill his promise, your vampire must be willing to step into the light with you. Without that concession, he will simply pull you into the darkness. Your humanity will be forever lost,” the guide advised.


“What do you mean by ‘into the light’? Not the sunlight, right? ‘Cos, dusty Spike would be of the bad. You mean … light as in ‘good’, right?” Buffy asked hopefully. “Because Spike’s been…”


“Just as each human soul has a soulmate, each demon has a match – another half to which it is drawn,” the guide interrupted her. “The men took the power, the spirit, from the demon, divided it, and placed half inside the Slayer. Just as Zeus spilt the humans to reduce their power, men split the demons. Only the demon’s mate, its other half, would hold enough power to pull a vampire into the light. But, be warned, the opposite is also true: your other half could just as easily pull you into the ebony depths of evil.”


“Uhhhh … ok,” Buffy stammered, looking a little confused. “How … do I know …”


“Your demon will be drawn to its match, like a magnet to steel.”


Buffy frowned again. “This demon, does it look like multi-colored leopard print fabric by any chance? Because I kinda thought that was a bit of Spike’s soul, but I guess…”


“The demon is darkness … you must simply look into your true heart to see.”


“Ya know, I’ve been trying to look but all I get is lots of fog and static … and leopard print fabric,” Buffy asserted.


“You have been looking with your mind,” the guide purred in a silky voice. “You must look with your soul. You are full of love. Let your love guide you to your gift.”


“My gift? What gift?”


“Death is your gift,” the guide continued in a slow, even tone.


“Death? Like … undead death? … Spike is my gift? Or something else? Someone else’s death?” Buffy asked, still confused. “I’m not really thinking that death is much of a gift. My mom just died and, gotta say – death is not high on my Christmas list to Santa. Oh! Unless it's Glory's death! Is that it? My love will help me kill Glory?”


“Your question has been answered,” the guide stated, finality in her tone, and she was suddenly gone.


“Great,” Buffy moaned, rubbing her eyes tiredly and feeling just as confused as before she came.  "More riddles."



Xander moaned, wishing the infernal banging that seemed to be rattling his brain would stop. BAM! BAM! BAM!


He rolled over onto his back. The banging got louder and now seemed to be physically lifting him up off the floor. BAM! BAM! BAM!


The giant urn next to him wobbled and teetered dangerously, threatening to tumble over atop him. “Spike! Spike! Are you alright?? Let me out!” Dawn yelled from somewhere under Xander.


Xander rubbed his jaw, then shook his head, trying to clear it and get the floor to stop moving. “Spike!” Dawn’s voice called again as the floor jumped up a couple of inches before slamming back down. Xander finally realized that it wasn’t his woozy head imagining the floor was moving – it was actually moving. He rolled to one side and stood up gingerly. The floor rose up higher and the urn tumbled backwards. Then the trapdoor was flung open and Dawn emerged from beneath the floor of the crypt.


“Xander!” Dawn exclaimed when she made it up the ladder. “What happened? Where’s Spike!? I heard voices!”


“The guys that work for Glory, didn’t Buffy say they're kind of like hobbits with leprosy?” Xander asked her, still rubbing his jaw.


“Yeah – they’re like all warty,” Dawn agreed.


“Well a whole flock of hobbits just grabbed Spike. I think they're taking him to Glory,” Xander explained.


“Oh my God! That’s what I heard! They think he’s the Key!” Dawn realized, the disjointed words that she’d heard through the door finally making sense. “We need to get him back!”


Xander snorted harshly. “Noooo,” he drawled slowly. “What we need to do is get you somewhere safe that Spike doesn’t know about.”


“What? What are you talking about?” Dawn asked, on the verge of panic.


“Spike is evil. Spike knows you’re the Key. Spike saves himself and turns you over to Glory. It’s simple math, Dawn,” Xander asserted as he grabbed her arm and began to lead her out of the crypt.


“Spike would never do that!” Dawn argued. “He saved me from Dru! He wouldn’t give me to Glory.”


“Dawn, it’s really time you grew up and stopped looking at Spike through rose-colored glasses,” Xander advised her. “He’s an opportunist. He saved you from Dru to get into your sister’s bed. And, apparently, he’s succeeded. But Buffy will see him for what he truly is now. Mark my words: he’ll turn you over to the hell-god faster than you can say ‘Captain Peroxide’. Now – c’mon, we need to get you somewhere safe.”


Dawn huffed but went with Xander, not because she thought Spike would turn her over to Glory, but because she was frightened and didn’t want to stay in the crypt without Spike there. “We need to get him back,” she continued to insist. “Glory might … hurt him.” She actually thought that Glory might dust him, but she couldn’t bring herself to say the words.


“Oh, well … that would be a shame,” Xander snarled sarcastically as they headed out of the cemetery and back towards Xander and Anya’s apartment.


“You’ll see,” Dawn muttered angrily. “Spike would never do anything to hurt me or Buffy.”


Xander blew out a derisive snort and shook his head. “Yeah … we’ll see.”




Back at the apartment, Xander called Willow and Tara. Before long the two witches had shown up and they were all discussing what to do next. “We need to rescue Spike!” Dawn insisted for the hundredth time to the group.


“Dawnie,” Willow began in a patient tone. “We really need to get you somewhere safe – then worry about … what to do about Spike.”


Dawn huffed and crossed her arms over her chest. “You think he’s gonna give me up too!” she accused, glaring at Willow.


“Well … he … it is Spike,” Willow stammered.


“You people do not get it at all!” Dawn ranted, pacing back and forth like a caged animal. “Spike would not tell! He’d … he’d dust before he gave me up! We have to get him back before …” Dawn’s voice broke and she closed her eyes, trying to keep her fear for Spike’s welfare from overtaking her.


“Ok … ok – we’ll … ummm …” Willow began, looking at Tara for help.


“We’ll do a locater s-s-spell,” Tara offered brightly. “We’ll find Spike then …”


“We’ll rescue him,” Willow assured Dawn in a tone that was a bit too bright.


Anya huffed. “How are we supposed to take on a god? Really? Willow’s barely gotten over the last fight with her. We need the Slayer,” Anya insisted. “And a nuclear bomb or two.”


“We’ll find a way,” Xander ground out through clenched teeth at his girlfriend. “But, in the meantime,” Xander continued, looking at Dawn, “we need to get you somewhere safe.”



“Xander’s r-r-right, Dawnie,” Tara agreed. “What about my dorm room? I don’t think Glory could possibly know about that.”


Xander snapped his fingers and pointed at Tara. “Perfect!”




At Tara’s dorm room, the two witches gathered ingredients for a locator spell to find Spike. “Oh shoot, I forgot!” Willow exclaimed as she spread a map on a table. “We need something of Spike’s to make this work.” She sighed. “Someone will have to go back to his crypt…” she began, turning to face the waiting group.


Dawn took a tentative step forward towards Willow and began to pull a dog-tag type ball chain out from under her shirt. “Will this work?” she asked pulling it off over her head and holding it out to Willow. On the chain was a heavy silver ring – a skull ring. “It’s the ring Spike gave Buffy that time … you know … when that spell went wonky. Buffy threw it away … I …” Dawn cleared her throat uncomfortably. “Well … it’s silver, right? I thought … I could … pawn it or something.”


“That was over a year ago,” Xander pointed out testily as Willow took the ring from Dawn’s hand.


Dawn shrugged. “Turns out minors can’t pawn stuff,” she defended.


“So you’ve been wearing it ever since?” Xander continued, looking affronted.


Dawn shrugged again, but didn’t answer him. Instead she looked at Willow. “Will it work?”


Willow nodded and set the ring down in the center of the map. “Yeah, I think so – I mean … it should, although technically he gave it to Buffy. But it was done under, well kinda … duress. I guess if it goes flying off the map towards the desert, we’ll know.”


The two witches each took a handful of colorful, glittering sand, recited the spell, and blew their sparkling sand over the map. The ring began to vibrate and move jerkily over the surface of the map, as if searching for something. To Dawn it looked kind of like the pointer on a Ouija board as it searched for the right letter – only this was for real, there were no fingers guiding it.  Finally, after about a minute, the ring settled near a park at the edge of town and stopped vibrating. Everyone leaned in and looked closely.


“It’s one of those big mansions on the north side of the park,” Willow observed.


“Yeah, but which one? That ring is covering like a whole block,” Xander pointed out.


Willow shrugged. “I guess we’ll just have to knock on some doors – if one’s answered by a hobbit with leprosy, then we know we found the right one.”


Xander rolled his eyes. “Swell. I was kinda hoping for more of a surprise attack. I really doubt they'll just invite us in and let us sta..." Xander faltered under Dawn's gimlet glare, which rivaled the Slayer's at her most deadly. "Errr ... save Spike.”


Willow shrugged. “Yeah well, if you want to go back to Spike’s crypt and get me a hair or something like that, then…”


Xander held up his hands. “That’s close enough,” he declined.


“Tara, can you stay here with Dawn?” Willow asked her girlfriend.


Tara nodded. “S-s-sure. We’ll be fine.”


“Ok – let’s go to Buffy’s and get some weapons,” Xander suggested as Willow, Anya, and he headed for the door.


“Be careful,” Tara called after them as they left.




At Buffy’s house, Xander began pulling out weapons from the chest and handing them to Willow and Anya.


“Do you have an actual plan?” Willow asked as she took a crossbow from his hand.


“Find Spike and keep him from talking, whatever it takes,” he stated as he picked up a stake and shoved it meaningfully into his pocket before retrieving an axe.


Willow grimaced. “I don’t think Buffy would approve of staking Spike,” she offered meekly.


“Yeah, well, Buffy’s not here, is she?” Xander shot back.

“I think the more important questions is: what do we do about Glory?” Anya pointed out as she took a stake from Xander’s hand.


“We’re just gonna have to try and avoid her – just try to get to Spike and shut him up, then run like hell,” Xander advised.

“Whoa! Group hang time?” a new voice called brightly from the foyer.


“Buffy!” three voices exclaimed at once, relief washing over them.

Picking up on their worried vibes, she asked, “What's wrong? Is Dawn okay?”

“Dawn's fine,” Willow assured her. “She’s with Tara at Tara’s dorm.”


“But Glory has Spike,” Xander added quickly.


“What?!” Buffy exclaimed in horror. She felt her chest tighten and her heart clench in fear.


She’d been pondering what the guide had said the whole way home. She still wasn’t sure what most of it meant exactly – what it meant about Spike and her. She really thought she’d have more time to figure it all out, but if Glory dusted Spike … She refused to finish that thought. “We have to get him.”


“Exactly! We have to shut him up before he goes blabbing about the Key,” Xander agreed. “Whatever it takes,” he added, handing Buffy a stake.


Buffy looked at Xander for a moment before the full meaning of his words dawned on her. “Noooo … we are not staking him, we are rescuing him,” she clarified.


Xander sighed and rolled his eyes. “What is it with you women and the Evil Dead? Why am I the only one that remembers what Spike’s done and what he’s capable of? I get that Spike’s strong and mysterious and sorta compact but well muscled, but…”


All three women gave Xander a funny, questioning look.


“Xander, I didn’t know you felt that way about Spike,” Anya said after a moment. “If I had known, we could’ve invited him to…” she shrugged a shoulder and raised her brows suggestively, “… you know. Being a vampire, I'm sure he's well beyond the sexual stigmas this society favors of 'gay' and 'straight'. He'd certainly have the stamina for the both of us. A three-way with Spike would be...”


“Three-what!? No! No three! No Spike!!” Xander objected vehemently to her suggestion, shuddering at the image. “I’m just saying that I see how he could fool those of you who … might find him … physically attractive.”


“I don’t know – sounds like that includes you, Xander,” Buffy pointed out, cocking a brow at him.


“Plus, hey – gay now,” Willow offered, raising her hand. “No physical attraction here, and I kinda think Dawn was right – I don’t think he’d do anything to hurt her. Although …” Willow sighed, conflicted. It was Spike after all.


“He wouldn’t,” Buffy assured everyone as she grabbed a crossbow for herself. “We are rescuing Spike. Anyone not down with that plan doesn’t need to come,” she stated unequivocally, glaring at Xander with the same ferocity that Dawn had used earlier.


Xander rolled his eyes and sighed, but finally nodded. "Fine."


“Do we know where we are rescuing him?” Buffy asked, looking from Xander to Willow.


Willow nodded. “More or less … within a block.”


Buffy nodded as she headed for the kitchen; she was back in just a moment tucking two sliver packages into her coat. “Space Blankets,” she answered their unasked question. “Dawn bought them for Spike – for getting around in the day. She forgot to take them with her yesterday. We’ll need them to get him out of there. No sense saving him from Glory just to have him get all dusty in the sun.”


Xander rolled his eyes while Willow muttered, “Cool.”


“Did anyone call Giles? We’re gonna need all the help we can get,” Buffy asked.


They all shook their heads and Buffy headed for the phone.




The group walked slowly down the sidewalk in front of the large mansions that lined the north side of the park. Buffy would stop in front of each house and try to sense demons inside, hopeful that they could take Glory and her minions by surprise rather than ringing the bell and announcing themselves.


She was starting to think her Slayer senses were on the fritz after making it halfway down the block with no tinges or tingles. But, at the very next house she got something – the hair on the back of her neck stood up and a shiver ran down her spine. She held her hand out to stop everyone in front of a large white, three-story house. The house was set high up on a hill overlooking the park. That, combined with the medieval-esque architecture that included large, circular towers on either side, made it look more like a castle than a house. Buffy closed her eyes and concentrated on the sensation. The Guide’s words came back to her as she tried to clear her mind of worry and just feel. ‘Just as each human soul has a soulmate, each demon has a match – another half to which it is drawn.’


The shiver that had slithered down her spine seemed to have settled firmly in her chest. She felt like she was being pulled toward the house by a string attached to her heart … or her ribcage … maybe her lungs, she couldn’t be sure which. “This is it,” she announced confidently as she opened her eyes and surveyed the house.


“Are you certain?” Giles asked, readying his crossbow.


“Completely,” Buffy confirmed, looking at her friends. “We are here to rescue Spike. You guys keep clear of Glory, leave her to me. While I distract her, you guys get Spike out,” she commanded in a voice that allowed no room for argument. She handed one Space Blanket to Anya and the other to Willow. “If we get separated, then you get him out and back to my house. If I get delayed, I’ll meet you back there as soon as I can. Got it?”


Her friends all nodded, even Xander.


“Ok, let’s go.”



Spike fought to remain conscious as he dropped through the emergency door on the top of the elevator and thudded down into the empty lift. His only thought was that he had to get out before the hell-bitch dusted him. He could take all the pain she wanted to dish out – he’d had plenty of practice with that over the years he’d spent with Angelus, Darla, and Dru – but he couldn’t keep his promise to Buffy if he were dusted. He wouldn’t be able to stand beside her; he wouldn’t be able to fight anything as a big pile o’ dust.


The elevator lurched to a stop and the doors slid slowly open on the ground floor. Spike struggled to his feet and had just begun to move out of the lift when one of Glory’s warty minions stepped in front of the doors.


Bloody hell. Spike squared his shoulders and clenched his jaw against the pain, which radiated from every cell in his body – better to put every ounce of strength he had left into a fight with a minion than be taken back to Glory.


“Spike!” he heard Buffy’s voice call from somewhere behind his adversary. For a moment he thought he’d imagined it, then she was there, slamming the minion square in the jaw with a round-house kick and dropping the hobbit like a sack of potatoes.


“Stay there!” she ordered as she knocked another warty hobbit away. Spike sighed as relief washed over him.  The final bit of adrenaline he’d been running on waned and faded in that instant. He stumbled back against the wall of the lift and sank down onto his ass, unable to find the strength to even remain standing another second.


“Didn’t tell … didn’t say nothing,” he croaked out, unsure if he’d spoken loud enough for Buffy to hear.


“Just stay there,” Buffy called to him as she moved from his rapidly-dwindling field of vision. “I’ll be back.”


Spike grunted out a painful laugh. “I’ll be baack,” he groaned out in his best Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation. It was the last thing he remembered before the world went black.




“But how do you know?!” a voice exclaimed much too loudly and much too near Spike’s pounding head. It seemed to cut directly into his brain like a screeching band saw. He lifted his arms and covered his ears with his hands, trying to block it out and keep his head from exploding.


“Because he told me,” another voice insisted, just as loudly. It was Buffy’s voice, Spike realized. He tried to open his eyes, but they wouldn’t cooperate. He finally managed to get one open by manually forcing it with his fingers.


He was in Buffy’s house, in the living room, apparently lying on the couch. The room was full of people: Buffy, Xander, Giles, Willow, Anya. Buffy and Xander seemed to be doing all the talking … or screaming.


“Oh, and now we’re taking Spike’s word for things?” Xander shot back. “You’re willing to bet Dawn’s life on the word of a monster?!”


“Yes, I am,” Buffy snarled back, her voice low and dangerous. Spike wasn’t sure he’d ever heard Buffy quite so angry – even at him.


He blinked the one eye he had propped open to get it to focus. He found that Buffy and Xander were standing toe to toe right next to him, glaring at each other. “It’s my call, Xander. I’m the Slayer, I’m her sister, and I trust Spike.”


“You’re delusional!” Xander shot back. “What will it take to convince you? Dawn dying? Hell on earth? C’mon Buffy, get a grip on your hormones! Spike’s a monster! He’ll say anything!”


“My hormones are none of your concern and have nothing to do with this!” Buffy shot back. “Spike wouldn’t do anything to hurt Dawn. Period.”


“Buffy, if I may…” Giles tried to intervene.


“Oh, are you gonna talk about my hormones too?” she spat, glaring at her Watcher.


“Errr … no. I simply thought I should point out that Spike has been known to … say things that weren’t strictly accurate in the past,” Giles offered, trying to be diplomatic.


“He has had a lot of practice at lying,” Anya agreed matter-of-factly with the two men.


Buffy shot her a glare, then turned her eyes to Willow. Willow looked away, unable to meet Buffy’s eyes. “You too, Wills?”


Willow shrugged and gave Buffy a sympathetic look. “It’s just … well … I know you think he’s changed … and … I want to believe him … but…” she stammered, glancing away again.


Buffy stood and glared at all her friends for several long moments, her arms folded angrily over her chest. No one said anything, and the tension between them grew faster than kudzu in Georgia.


Finally, in a voice so calm and cool that it seemed to lower the temperature in the room by ten degrees, Buffy spoke, “I need Spike to help protect Dawn. He’s the only one, other than Willow and me, who stands any chance against her. I believe him when he says he didn’t tell Glory who the Key is. You guys can either accept that I know what I’m doing or not. If not – you can go, the door’s open. If you stay, then you stay with the understanding that I’m the Slayer and the monks gave Dawn to me to protect – not you. I will use every means available to do that – including Spike.”


“Buffy … when did it become ‘I’? We’ve always been a team,” Willow asked with a tinge of hurt in her voice.


“It became ‘I’ when you guys decided that I’m ‘delusional’ and controlled by my ‘hormones’. Spike stays. Anyone that has a problem with that can go,” Buffy replied, her voice still deadly calm.


The others shifted uncomfortably in their stances, but no one left.


“Fine,” Buffy said at last. “Willow, can you go to Tara’s and tell Dawn that Spike’s alright?”


Willow nodded. “Do you want us to keep her there tonight … you know … just … in case Glory comes here looking for … Spike?”


Buffy glared at her a moment but then nodded. “Yeah, that might be a good idea. I’ll come get her in the morning and take her to school.”


“What do you want the rest of us to do?” Xander asked, the tone of anger gone from his voice, replaced with grudging resignation.


Buffy sighed heavily as several ideas popped into her mind, none of them very nice. Finally she just said, “Go home and get some rest. Glory’s getting impatient now – that must mean something, like time is getting short. We need to find something we can use against her. She has to have an Achilles heel – we need to find it, hit the books some more.”


The others nodded and filed out the front door, leaving Buffy and Spike alone.


“Thanks,” Spike mumbled feebly from the couch.


Buffy turned to him, unaware that he was awake, and knelt down. “God, Spike … are you ok?”


“Right as rain,” he lied, coughing up some blood as he spoke. “How do I look?”


Buffy snorted slightly. “You’re covered in sexy wounds … I can barely contain my hormones.”


Spike nodded and settled back against the pillow under his head and let his eye fall closed again. “‘Give us a minute, luv. Got some bones need mending then we'll see 'bout your hormones.”


“When you were with Glory, did you see or hear anything that could help us?” Buffy asked him, changing to a serious tone.


“Gets riled up easy, she does. Told ‘er you were gonna kick her skanky, lopsided ass back to whatever place would take a cheap, whorish, fashion-victim ex-god like her, and she bloody lost it,” Spike told Buffy proudly.


Even with his injuries, Buffy could hear the snarky swagger in his voice – a tone she was well familiar with – which she knew was how he'd delivered that news to Glory. “You didn’t!” Buffy laughed. “No wonder she beat the hell out of you!”


“Can’t beat the hell outta ole Spike, luv. Goes all the way through, it does.”


Buffy laughed again and shook her head, rubbing her tired and worried eyes with one hand.


“Think you’re right though,” Spike continued in a weaker voice. “She’s losin’ her patience. I reckon she’s gonna be looking double-hard for the Key after this.”


Buffy took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “So far, she's just been ... dancing. I don’t know how long we can avoid a real confrontation. When that happens, we're not all gonna make it. You know that.”

“Yeah. Hey, I always knew I'd go down fighting,” Spike agreed, coughing up more blood from his ravaged lungs.

Buffy bit her bottom lip as that fear of losing him before she had a chance to figure out what the Guide meant surfaced again. “You’re the strongest of all of us, Spike. No matter what happens to me, I'm counting on you to protect Dawn.”

'Til the end of the world, luv,” Spike assured Buffy, reaching a hand up to touch a teardrop that had slipped from her eye. He hadn’t seen it – he just knew it was there somehow.


Buffy nodded and sniffed, then took Spike’s hand in hers and dropped a soft kiss on his palm. “I’ll get some water and bandages and get you cleaned up,” she offered, getting back to business and standing up.


Spike grabbed her hand before she could move away. He forced one eye open again with nothing more than willpower. “Thank you for believing in me,” he said, his throat tight with emotion.

Buffy nodded, but couldn’t speak – her own throat had closed up completely. She leaned down and touched a soft kiss on his lips before turning away to go retrieve the bandages.




End Notes:


Sorry there wasn't more Spike in this chapter, but I thought Spike's behavior with Glory would've been basically the same here as in canon. I didn't see the need to simply rehash it, despite the classic, snarky dialogue and his bravery. The main change, of course, is Buffy's willingness to believe him at his word and trust him even if her friends don't. Just where will that trust lead? We'll find out next...

Next:  Will Buffy be able to lead Spike further into the light as the Guide advised she needed to, or will Spike pull her into the darkness, with him?



Turn Me On, David Guetta ft. Nicki Minaj




Doctor, doctor, need you bad, hold me babe
Doctor, doctor, where ya at? Give me something
I need your love, I need your love, I need your loving
You got that kind of medicine that keeps me coming
My body needs a hero, come and save me
Something tells me you know how to save me
I've been feeling feral, oh I need you
Come and rescue me

Make me come alive, come on and turn me on
Touch me, save my life, come on and turn me on
I'm too young to die, come on and turn me on
Turn me on, turn me on, turn me on, turn me on (2X

Oh you make it make it right
my temperature is super high If I scream if I cry,
It's only cause I feel alive
My body needs a hero, come and save me

Make me come alive, come on and turn me on
Touch me, save my life, come on and turn me on
I'm too young to die, come on and turn me on
Turn me on, turn me on, turn me on, turn me on (2X)
Something tells me you know how to save me

You’ve got my life in the palm of your hand (palm of your hand)
Come and save me now I know you can (I know you can)
D-d-d-d-Don't let me die young
I just want you to father my young
I just want you to be my doctor
We we can get it crackin', chiropractor
I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I I-I-I-I-I know you can save me and make me feel alive

I've been feeling real low oh I need you to come and rescue me

Make me come alive, come on and turn me on
Touch me, save my life, come on and turn me on
I'm too young to die, come on and turn me on
Turn me on, turn me on, turn me on, turn me on


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