For The Love Of Spike
Chapter 16

Buffy and Giles rushed down the fourth floor hallway of The Woodside to Spike's apartment.

Giles knocked urgently, breathing a sigh of relief as the locks clicked.  The door swung open, and the two looked anxiously at Spike's expressionless face.

"Well?!" they asked in unison.  Spike smiled slightly and gestured them in.

"Can I get you anything?" he offered, his back to the other two as he walked toward the bedroom.  Buffy and Giles both refused.  Spike called back, "Are you SURE?"

Before Giles could respond, Buffy yelled impatiently, "What do you WANT, Spike?!"

"Oh, nothing," he called back.  "But thanks for offering."  He laughed, still out of sight, as if he knew that Buffy's eyes were narrowed in anger.  The sound of his footsteps, accompanied by the sound of something being dragged, reached their ears.  "Anyway, I just thought that you might appreciate me getting you two something you'd like.  Like Angel."

Out of the dark room came a rolling bundle.  Spike stepped out after it and gestured the other two closer.  They leaned down as Spike pushed his cargo over.

"Oh my god, you did it," Buffy breathed.

"Do you like it, baby?" Spike murmured.  Giles pulled off his glasses as Buffy looked from Angelus' battered face to Spike's amused one.

"Oh, Spike, thank you!" Buffy cried, throwing her arms around his neck.  Giles' eyes widened while Spike froze, stiffening in surprise.  Buffy felt this and quickly withdrew.

"Sorry," she said sheepishly, and straightened, as did Giles and Spike.  "But this is so great!  Now we can finally change him back!" she said, excited.  Giles smiled at her enthusiasm.

"Well, then.  Shall we, ah begin?" Giles suggested, and pulled out a small crystal sphere. It glowed brightly from within as it lay in his cupped palm.

About halfway through, after the trio had burned herbs and chanted Latin, something very strange happened.  A strong, cold draft blew through the room, and at the precise moment that it hit them, Giles, who was performing the main role in the ceremony, shuddered, jerked, and began chanting louder, in a different voice.  Something, apparently some spirit, had possessed him. After a few minutes, the orb began to glow and swirl.  Orange-ish light shot out in a stream directly to Angelus' still form.  The energy swirled around him for a moment, then absorbed into his body.  It was over.

"Is that it?" Buffy whispered.  Spike snorted in amusement.  He walked over to the form of Angelus, still slumped on the floor, and leaned down.

"C'mon, mate.  Your pet's getting anxious.  Wake up."

As if obeying, Angelus began to stir.  Spike stepped back to allow Buffy to move to Angelus' side as his eyes slowly opened.

"Buffy?" came a soft, low voice.  Buffy's shoulders began to shake with sobs of relief.  Spike turned away as Angel and Buffy embraced.  Giles stopped him with a hand on the shoulder.

 "You aren't going to kill him?"

"Why?" Spike answered wearily.  "What he did wasn't his fault.  It was his demon side. And besides," he added, turning to glance at the pair.  They were still wrapped around each other, now kissing softly.  Giles colored slightly at the sight.  "She wouldn't let me if I tried."

Two weeks after Buffy, Giles, and a weak yet back-to-normal Angel had left his room, Spike turned to the phone and punched the number for Katherine's old dressing room at the Bronze. But by the fifth ring, he was starting to get nervous.  When the phone clicked and he heard a breathless, laughing "Hello?", his heart jumped.

"Kathy?" he asked, and held his breath.

"Spike?" she responded, immediately serious.  "What do you want?"

"I was hoping you could come over, so we could talk."

"I don't have anything to say, but I'll come."

"Thank you," Spike said, but she'd already hung up.

Katherine stepped out of Spike's private elevator and pulled her keys from her purse, noting that she had yet to take off the key to Spike's loft apartment.  Mentally reminding herself to do so, she used it, and pushed open the door.

The first things she saw were several arrows on the floor, made from red rose blossoms. She followed the trail into the master bedroom, where candlelight flickered softly.

Spike turned from the CD player.  Her favorite Sarah McLachlan CD, the one that had been missing since she'd moved out, began playing.  He was wearing fitted black trousers and a black silk buttoned-down shirt, different from his usual jeans, tee-shirt, and red silk over-shirt. He still wore boots, but they were a new, soft, supple leather.  Walking towards her, the heels clicked softly.  Spike stopped in front of her, almost touching her, looked into her eyes, and reached over her shoulder to push the door shut.

"Thanks for coming," he said simply, and surprised her by turning away.  She'd expected that he'd try to kiss her cheek, or...or something.  She gave him a look that plainly said that he was being odd, and hung up her jacket in the closet.

Spike lifted a dark bottle in one hand, two goblets in another.  "Blood?" he offered, and poured at her nod.  When he passed her one goblet, she received it with two hands, and he noticed a large diamond on her ring finger.  His stomach clenched, Spike turned away.

"What's the whole set-up for?  I thought I just came to talk," Katherine asked.

Spike glanced at her and said, "It's for a woman I'm having over."  He tried not to smile in satisfaction as Katherine's features hardened.  The knuckles of her hands whitened as they clenched the goblet she held.

"I see.  Well, what do you want?" she turned to an armchair and sat.  Spike remained standing, one hand in his pocket, swirling his drink.

"I wanted to apologize for treating you so badly.  It was unconscionable of me.  I was wondering if we could, ah, try again."  He glanced at her face in appeal.

Katherine slammed down her goblet onto an end table and fairly sprang to her feet.  "Are you kidding me?  I come here, find you preparing for an evening with another woman, and you ask me to come BACK to you?  Well, screw you, love," she said venomously.  "I'm out of here."

Spike's voice stopped her dead in her tracks towards the door.

"You're not going anywhere.  The door, besides being locked, is reinforced steel, and only I have the key."  Katherine slowly turned around to face Spike.  He hadn't moved a muscle. "Do you think that you're the only one in your situation?  Do you know how much guts it takes to ask a woman to come back when she has a ring on her finger?"  At her blank expression, he nodded at her hand.  "How was the honeymoon?  As fast as the courtship?  Or were you really married, and just playing me along the whole time?"

Katherine shook her head.  "I don't have to listen to this.  Unlock the door."  She spun towards the closet and grabbed her leather jacket.  She spun back at a loud, sudden clang.

"Goddamn it!" Spike roared.  He'd flung his heavy, metallic goblet across the room, hitting the stone fireplace.  Blood was spattered everywhere.  "This was for you!  Why can't you see that?"

Katherine's jacket fell from nerveless fingers.  "For me?" she whispered.

Spike turned away and braced his hands on the windowsill.  "It doesn't matter.  The key is on the dresser.  Take it and go."

Katherine was still a couple of sentences back.  "You did this for me?"  She smiled slowly, and finished, "That's so sweet!"

Spike could feel himself start to lose his anger, and he backed away as she approached. "No.  You're not going to use your wiles on me, woman."

Katherine stopped, and laughed.  "So, aside from the incredibly Southern phrase, what's just changed?  Now you DON'T want me back?"

Spike shook his head.  "I still do.  But you haven't explained the ring."

Katherine looked down at her left hand.  She raised it and adjusted the gold band.  "It was my mother's.  I started wearing it to..."

"To what?" Spike prompted when she trailed off.

Katherine raised her eyes solemnly.  "To pretend you gave it to me."

Spike stared.  Katherine fidgeted with her ring.

"What?" he whispered, shocked.  Katherine lifted her eyes to the ceiling and turned away, taking a deep breath, as if on the edge of control.

"Nothing," she whispered back, almost making no sound.  Spike grabbed her shoulders and pulled her back to face him.

"No.  No, it's not nothing.  You wanted to get married, or, or whatever, and you never said anything?"

Katherine raised angry, jewel-green eyes swimming with unshed tears.  "Me?  You were the one who never showed anything more than affection for me!"

"Affection?!" Spike shouted, incredulous.  "I loved you like a demon shouldn't be able to!!"

"Oh, yeah," Katherine shot back mockingly.  "Like you ever showed it!"

Spike could think of nothing more to say, so he bared his teeth and growled at Katherine. She growled right back.

Then, to Katherine's curiosity, he dropped his expression and laughed, throwing his head back.  He hugged her close, almost smothering her.

"Oh god, I love you," he said into her hair, still chuckling.  Then he quieted, and drew back to frame her still slightly confused face between his hands.  Spike kissed her then, softly, sweetly, while the candles flickered, the music played, and the scent of the roses filled the air.

Katherine rose on her toes slightly and combed her fingers through Spike's hair while his arms tightened, hugging her flush against him.  But when his hands began to run over her body, she pulled away and said breathlessly, "Wait.  Just a second."

He let her go, moving back a step as she sank into the armchair.  "Now what do we do?" she asked, reaching for her forgotten goblet.  Spike shrugged.

"Get married?" he offered.  She sputtered, coughed, and cleared her throat as he continued, "Just kidding.  I don't think the Church would look highly on a couple of demons tying the old knot.  And since God and His laws don't apply to us, nor the human's ones, why don't we just agree to be together, forever, and all that?"

Katherine nodded, warming to the idea.  "But how would we seal such an agreement?"

Spike smiled slyly and started unbuttoning his shirt.  "I'll show you."

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