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Sitting in the conference room at Wolfram & Hart, awaiting Angel’s arrival, Andrew had time to reflect on his new station in life. He’d gone from being a Super-Villain, along with Warren, and his late-lamented best friend, Jonathan, to Junior Watcher and trusted right hand man to Rupert Giles in less than a year’s time.

No, that wasn’t exactly right. Turning his eye inward with his new policy of absolute honesty, Andrew corrected himself. He’d never had more than delusions of grandeur in the Super Villain game, and he’d murdered Jonathan. He’d never be able to forgive himself for that one act; there was no way to justify following Warren/the First’s orders.

And as for being Mr. Giles’ trusted right hand man? Perhaps severely tested right hand pinky finger would be more accurate.

Shifting uneasily in his seat, Andrew tried to maintain an outward appearance of calm and order. He had a part to play here. He’d come to retrieve the traumatized Slayer, and bring back information about Angel and his involvement with Wolfram & Hart for the new Council, and Buffy. Nobody trusted his new alliance with the mega-evil law firm.

Trust is a delicate issue, and once it’s been broken, takes forever to be rebuilt. Andrew was trying his best to be deemed trustworthy in the eyes of his compatriots, and most of all, himself. He knew he had a long road ahead of him, and was determined not to fail in his quest for redemption.

Self esteem had always been his downfall – he simply never had any. That was the reason it had been so easy for Warren to lead him down the garden path to hell.

However, all of that had begun to change at Revello Drive. Oddly enough, Andrew had managed to worm his way into life at the heart of the battle against evil, with the Slayer, and the stranger than fiction association with one William the Bloody.

If there was ever a more evil character in the world than himself, it was Spike. Over a hundred years of killing and eating people to his credit, yet he was ensconced in Buffy’s home, fighting the good fight with the team. Of course, there had been trust issues. Mr. Giles and Principal Wood had tried to murder the vampire because they were sure he was under control of The First, and would probably murder them all in their beds, or betray them at the worst possible moment in battle.

How wrong they’d been.

Trying to alleviate his boredom, Andrew drew his authentic Sherlock Holmes pipe from his pocket, and began to chew on the stem. His nerves were getting the better of him, and he was afraid his strong façade would crack before he’d have a chance to confront Angel. He was just moments away from getting up and pacing around the room when his attention was drawn to the commotion coming from the hallway.

Finally, he thought, as the doors to the room swung open and Angel strode in, closely followed by…

Spike?

A quick double take revealed the so totally not dusted platinum blond vampire in all his glory. Not stopping to think, Andrew ran towards Spike, grabbing him around the shoulders.

“It’s you. It’s really you!” he sobbed, hugging the bewildered vampire. “My therapist thought I was holding onto false hope, but... I knew you'd come back.” Sniffling, Andrew released Spike from his grasp and looked into his eyes.

“You’re like Gandalf the White, resurrected from the pit of the Balrog,” he said, touching his palm to Spike’s cheek, “more beautiful than ever.” Grasping him firmly around the neck, he hugged Spike closer. “Ohhh… he’s alive, Frodo.” he sobbed. “He’s alive.”

In a moment of perfect clarity, Andrew knew that things would work out. If Spike, the one-time Big Bad - could go out in a blaze of glory, defending the people he cared for as the rest of the world hung in the balance – and come back unscathed, then he, Andrew – the former sort-of-evil Big Bad – stood a chance at being a decent man.

Giving one more look to Spike before launching into his prepared spiel for Angel’s benefit, Andrew had one final thought. Spike was back, more beautiful than ever… and all was right with his world.