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Gifts Chapter 2
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Chapter 2: Wolfram and Hart

The figure curled up on the couch flinched, then turned wide, shocked eyes towards them. “H..harris?  What’re you doing here?”


Angel smirked. “Xander is here to keep an eye on you Spike.”  Angel pressed a set of keys into Xander’s unresisting hand, “Have a good time, boys.”


Xander barely heard Angel leave, he was too focused on the improbable sight of Spike being undead, again, and here in L.A.  Shakily Xander made his way over to the couch and sat down opposite Spike.  “So, uh…”


Spike rolled his eyes and flopped back onto the couch.  “So, did his great poofiness decide to fob me off on you?”


Xander shrugged, “Something like that.  Spike, how…I mean, how are you…”


Spike snorted, “How am I back?  I don’t rightly know.  Last thing I remember was burning to ash beneath the Hell Mouth, then nothing, until I wound up back here.  Something about the amulet I wore.”


“What?  It was just like, ‘poof’, here you are?”


“Not really.  Angel received the amulet in the mail, I came out of the amulet. I was a ghost for a while, then about a month ago…” Spike waved his hand to encompass his now corporeal body.


“Wow.”  Xander took a moment to check out the new corporeal Spike. The Vampire had deep circles under his eyes, his hair had grown out and was now a two toned honey blonde, right now it was messily pulled back into a short tail.  He was wearing an old but comfortable looking pair of black sweat pants and a tee shirt that seemed to hang off him.  He looked gaunt.  “No offense, but being solid again isn’t doing too much for you, you look like shit.”


Spike laughed harshly.  “Yeah, well.  Being ‘solid’ s’not all it’s cracked up to be.”


Xander rubbed his hands nervously on his jeans.  “Um, so…got anything to drink around here?  Of the non-blood variety I mean.”


Spike gave him an odd look but gestured to one side of the apartment, “Kitchen is in there.”


Xander gratefully went in search of drinks.  He really just needed a few minutes to himself to deal with the feelings warring inside.  How was Spike back?  Why was Spike back?  If Spike got to come back, why not Anya?  Spike’s return, coupled with the news of Cordy’s death, was just too much to deal with at once. 


After several minutes and a lot of deep breathing, Xander blindly grabbed a couple of beers out of the fridge and made his way back to the couch and Spike.  The Vampire was where he had left him, curled up on one end of the couch, idly twisting his shirt in his hands and staring off into space.  Xander handed him a beer.  “Earth to Spike.  Come in Spike.”


Spike jerked slightly and grimaced at Xander, before reaching for the beer being offered him.  “Thanks, mate.”  Spike looked him over as he sat down.  “So, why are you here Harris?”


Xander shrugged.  “Don’t know, really.  I was in Africa till a few days ago, traveling around and rounding up slayers.  Then Giles called me and told me he needed me to come to L.A. and see to things here.  I don’t know why, I’m not trained to be a Watcher or anything.  Hell, Andrew would have been a better choice, at least he’s been training Andrew.”


Spike glanced down at his hands, “How is everyone else?  Are they…okay?”


Xander understood what Spike was asking.  “Yeah, everyone’s good.  Buffy and Dawn are in Europe, Italy I think.  Dawn’s in school and Buffy’s going back to college.  Willow and Kennedy got sent to South America, they’re based in Brazil.  The go to Rio to party a lot.”


Spike smiled at that.


“Faith and Wood took a bunch of new slayers to the Hell Mouth in Cleveland. Giles and Andrew are back in England rebuilding the Watcher’s Council and training new Slayers.”


Spike looked at him curiously, “What about your bird?  Anya?”


Xander winced and a look of sorrow dawned over Spike’s face.  “Anya didn’t make it, Spike.  She died in the final battle.”  Like you hung in the air between them. 


Spike grimaced, “Your girl died, but now here I am back, and you wonder why she didn’t come back too.  I’m sorry, whelp.  If this is too hard, you don’t have to hang around.”


Surprised by the understanding from the normally self-involved Vampire, Xander shook his head.  “No, it’s okay.  I’ve had time to deal with her being gone.  It still hurts, but I know she got to go to a better place.  I’m trying to move on, it’s hard but I’m trying.”


Desperate to change the topic, Xander focused again on the reticent Vampire, “So, Spike, tell me more about being back…”


Suddenly Xander froze.  Words forgotten, he watched, silently, as Spike took a breath.  The Vampire was breathing.  “Um, Spike…are you…” Xander reached out a shaking hand and grasped one of Spike’s pale hands.  It was warm.


“Oh my god.”


Spike’s laugh, short and pain filled, broke Xander’s awed silence.  “Something like that, though I’m more inclined to think curse rather than blessing.”


“Spike, you’re human!”


“Bloody Hell, Whelp!  Did it really take this long for you to figure it out?  Didn’t the Great Poof tell you?”


Xander shook his head, “None of the others told me.  They didn’t even tell me you were back.”


Spike snorted, “Figures, Peaches is doing his bloody best to forget I exist.”


“But, why?”


Spike rolled his eyes.  “When I came back, as a ghost, well, let’s just say it was bad.  Not being able to touch anything, anyone, just drifting around…” Spike seemed lost in memory for a moment, then shook himself, shuddering.  “Fred was working on a way to bring me back.  Before she could come up with anything, I got a package in the mail.  I opened it, there was a flash, and next thing I knew I was a Vampire again. I was back for about a day before the Powers That Be decided that having two Vampires with souls running around was too dangerous.  I guess they thought I’d interfere with their chosen Champion’s Shansu.”



Spike scowled.  “Some prophecy about peaches, a Vampire with a soul fights for humanity and when he redeems himself he becomes human again.  The PTB decided I’d be less trouble human than undead.”


Xander ran his hands through his hair, trying to wrap his head around what the ex-Vampire was telling him.  “But doesn’t that just fulfill the prophecy anyway?”


Spike shook his head, “No, I’m not redeemed.”


“What the hell does that mean?  Redeemed?”


Spike adverted his eyes.  “It means I have all the memories from my time as a Vampire.  It means that I’m friggin’ haunted by my victims, worse than with the First.  I hear their voices all the time.”


Xander stared, open mouthed at the blonde in front of him.  “Haunted?  Do you hear their voices?”


Spike shrugged, “Most of the time.  It’s not so bad when I’m with other people.”  He looked thoughtful for a minute.  “They’re pretty quiet right now.”


Spike laughed at Xander’s horrified expression, but the laughter was pained sounding.  “So here I am, human again, but fit only to be locked in a loony bin.  Hearing voices, not strong enough to fight demons, or humans for that matter, no purpose left, I’m just…” Spike stared off into space and waved his hand, at a loss for words.


“Lost.” Xander filled in and Spike nodded.


Despite their history, or perhaps because of it, Xander felt a sort of kinship to the now human Spike.  They were both floundering in a post-Sunnydale world, both trying to find a purpose and adjust to a life turned upside down.  Lost was definitely a feeling Xander could relate to. He quickly made a decision.


“When did you last eat?”


Spike looked confused at the change in topic.  “I…I don’t remember, why?”


Ignoring the question, Xander went on. “When did you last sleep?”


Spike looked guilty, “A couple hours the other day.  I don’t really sleep much anymore.”


Nodding, Xander stood.  “Wait here.”  He wandered into the kitchen and began checking the cabinets.  There wasn’t much, but he found pasta and sauce and even some ground beef in the freezer.  “Spike!  When did you last go grocery shopping?”


Spike’s voice floated in from the living room.  “I don’t.  I haven’t left the building, Fred brought me some stuff last week.”


Xander paused and walked out to stare at Spike.  “You haven’t left the building since you’ve been human?”


Spike shook his head and scowled, “His high and mightiness thinks I’m too unstable to go out on my own.  Plus it’s one crisis after another around here so no one has any time to go out with me.”


Xander frowned, “You’re not a child.  You can take care of yourself.  Are the voices really that bad?”


Spike shrugged, “Only at first, they become more manageable as time goes on.”


Suddenly, Xander grinned.  “Hey, your accent is different!”  Then he had to laugh, because Spike actually blushed. 


“It’s not.”  The blonde grumbled.


“Yeah, it is. You sound more like Giles now.”


“Sod off.”


Laughing, Xander went back into the kitchen and started making dinner.


Spike’s voice floated in from the living room.  “What’re you doing in there?”


“Cooking.  I’m hungry, aren’t you?”


“Since when can you cook whelp?”


“Hey blondie, I can cook just fine!”


To prove his point, Xander whipped up a big batch of spaghetti and meat sauce and brought two heaping plates out to the main room, presenting the shocked looking ex-Vampire with one.  “Eat. You look like you’re about to disappear.”


Spike took the plate gingerly.  “Why’re you doing this Harris?”


Xander took a big bite of pasta and chewed thoughtfully.  “Well, cause you helped me figure out one of the reasons I’m here in L.A.”


“Why’s that then?”


Xander grinned at the man. “Spike, I may not have Slayer powers or Witchy magic, but if there’s one thing I know how to do, it’s how to help an ex-demon learn to be human again!”

Chapter 3

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Chapter 1


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