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chapter 1

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The New Watcher's Council, Cleveland, OH
The hallway outside the Gym
******

 

“Look, I know it seems like I’m being a pain in the ass,” Xander said to the newest member of the watchers council, “but, everyone here needs to know some self defense.”

“Why me? I'm a seer and empath,” she said. “I'm not a slayer.”

“Julie, you're a demon magnet,” Xander said. “Trust me, I know. You need to know self defense. You’d feel pretty bad if a slayer got hurt protecting you because you didn’t know anything about how to protect yourself.”

“I guess there is nothing I can say to dissuade you,” she said.

“Fraid not,” Xander said. “The Slayers have finished their class, we'll be able to use the gym now.”

“Xander,” one of the slayers said as she left the gym. “I was just going to come looking for you. I have a huuuuuge favor to ask.”

“The Xanman's here, ask away” he said with a little bow and a big smile.

Spike stood in the doorway, quietly laughing at the young slayers obvious crush.

“I accidentally put my fist through the wall in my room,” she said. “Can you fix it before Mr. Giles finds out. Pleeeeeese?”

“What's your room number?” Xander asked, “I'll come over as soon as I am finished here.”

“Oooo,” the slayer said grabbing Xander's hand and pulling him down the hall. “We're having room inspections in an hour; I need you to come now.”

“Okay, I'll come,” Xander said. “Stop pulling on me.”

Spike gave a final chuckle and started sauntering down the hallway.

“Saved by the slayer,” Julie said.

“No you're not,” Xander said. “Spike,” he called.

Spike turned and looked at Xander.

“Spike, Julie. Julie, Spike” Xander said. “She's new here and needs some lessons in self-defense, just beginner lessons. Thanks.”

“Didn't say I'd do it,” Spike said.

Xander walked over to Spike, “She really needs this,” Xander whispered. “She's a demon magnet.”

“Bloody hell, Harris,” Spike said, “You think I don’t know that.”

Xander looked confused for a moment and then, “Oh, oh yeah I get it,” he said. “But you're around me all the time and it doesn't seem to bother you.”

“I've got a soul now, Harris,” Spike said.

“Yeah, you do,” Xander said with a smile.

“Bollics,” Spike said. “I'll do it but just this once; you're not going to pass this off on me again. You understand?”

“Got it,” Xander said as he walked away with the young slayer.

“Come on, Pet,” Spike said as he held the gym door open. “Lets see what you got.”

“Look,” Julie said. “I know you don't want to do this. I can come back tomorrow with Xander.”

“Too late for that now,” Spike said, “I already said I'd do it. I make a promise I keep it.”

“I'll come back tomorrow,” Julie said. “I won’t tell.”

“Don't be a stupid git,” Spike said. “Get in here now or I will carry you in.”

“You’re serious, You really don’t break your promises?” Julie asked as she walked into the gym.

“I broke a promise once and someone I loved died. I won’t do it again. I’ll die first.”

“But you don’t love me. So why does it matter?”

“Don’t need to love you to do my part of keeping you alive. The stakes are over there, in the box, get one,” Spike said.

“Why?” Julie asked.

“Bloody hell, seer” Spike said, his patience gone, he changed into vamp face and grabbed Julie as if to bite her. “Feel that, Pet,” he said. “That's a vampire at your throat. If you were lucky, you'd be dead within minutes. But you're not one of the lucky ones. You're what they call a keeper and what my kind would do to you, you don't want to know.”

“I know what a vampire would do,” she said.

“I doubt that,” Spike said as he pushed her away from him.

“When you caught one you would drink just enough to make her week, too weak to fight but not too weak to cry or beg.” She said.

Spike cocked his head and looked at her, “Who are you?”

“A seer, an empath,” She said, “I've seen it all, lived it all.”

“Stop it,” Spike said as he headed for the gym door.

“Please stop, please,” she cried.

Spike froze in place as she cried out to him. It was one of the voices that haunded his nightmares. He turned slowly and looked at the young woman. His head tilted to the side his mouth was open and his eyes were filled with pain.

Julie walked slowly toward Spike. “I was a virgin, one of your favorites,” she said. “You raped me and then drink from me. The taste of your cum and my virgin blood was intoxicating and hearing me cry as you lay between my legs and licked my blood was music to you. You gave me water to drink, not out of pity, but to keep me alive longer. You bit me in the most sensitive places, my breasts, my thighs. You didn't drink, I would die too fast if you did, you'd lick the droplets of blood and then bite again in a sensitive area. You wanted to hear me cry and beg. It made you laugh, It made you hard so you could rape me again. And when I was too weak to cry anymore, you rolled me onto my belly, and ripped me open as you bit into my neck and drank until I was dead.”

She was standing right in front of Spike now, looking into his eyes. “You,” he said.

“Yes, me”

“I'm sorry,” Spike said as a tear ran down his cheek, “I'm so sorry.”

She lifted her hand and wiped away the tear. “I know,” she said. “I came to give you a message, it's important to both William and Spike. So put it in your heart and put it in your soul.”

Spike tilted his head, “A message?” he asked

“I forgive you,” She said. And then she faded away and was gone.

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Chapter 2

*******

Spike burst into Giles' office.

“Spike I'm in a meeting,” Giles said. “You'll have to wait.”

Spike was not about to wait. “That new seer, Julie,” he said. “She's a ghost.”

Giles could see Spike was too agitated to wait. “Please excuse us, Ladies,” he said to the Senior Slayers in the room. “Buffy, you know what to do.”

“I’ll take care of it, Giles.” Buffy said with a worried look toward Spike.

Giles watched Spike pace and run his fingers through his hair. When the Slayers had all left the room he spoke again. “That's not possible, I shook her hand she was solid and warm. She can’t be a ghost.”

“And she had a heart beat,” Spike said.

“Then why do you think she's a ghost?” Giles asked.

“Because I killed her,” Spike said.

“You did what?” Giles asked. “What happened? Where's the body?”

“Not now you Git,” Spike said, “Eighty seven years ago.”

Giles breathed a sigh of relief. “Maybe she just looks like someone you killed,” he said.

“She knew things, things that she couldn’t have known unless… Bloody hell. She disappeared, right in front of my face,” Spike said.

“Than we've got a problem,” Giles said. “A vengeful ghost strong enough to become corporeal is nothing to trifle with. What I don't understand is why I didn't sense it. That much anger is hard to hide.”

“You didn't sense it Watcher, because she's not vengeful.”

“Then I don't understand,” Giles said. “What did she want?”

Spike began to pace around the office again. He ran his fingers through his hair and moaned as if in physical pain.

“Spike,” Giles said in his firmest watcher voice. “I need to know what she wanted.”

Spike stopped pacing and look up into the watcher’s eyes. Giles was taken aback by that look. He had never seen a human soul in so much pain. He hadn't realized how much Spike suffered for what he had done as a vampire. He thought Spike had simply put it behind him and moved on.

“The things I did to her, Rupert,” Spike said, “ I kept her alive for days.”

“I know what vampires are capable of,” Giles said. “I've seen the bodies.”

“How could she come here and say that to me?” Spike moaned.

“What message, Spike?” Giles asked.

Spike just looked at Giles still unable to say the words.

Giles sighed; he pulled out a handkerchief and began cleaning his glasses. The simple action gave time to collect and organize his thoughts. “Spike, I don't know what it is she said to you, but you're not the same person you were then. You fought to get your soul back; you gave up your life to save the world. Even before you had your soul you let Glory torture you rather then give her Dawn. You fought beside Xander, Willow, and the Buffybot all summer before Willow brought Buffy back. Buffy said you could become a good man and you have, even I can see it. From what you tell me, this Julie person died horribly. It's no wonder she can't rest in peace. We can help her, Spike. I'll have the coven do a prayer circle tonight, we will ask her guide to come and perhaps we can get her to crossover, or at the very least give her some comfort.”

“You're missing the point, Rupert,” Spike said. “She didn't come here because she needs comforting. She came here to comfort me.”

“What did she say to you?” Giles asked again.

Spike looked into the watcher's eyes. He felt a tightening in his throat as if it were being held by a vice. He couldn’t say the words.

Giles gasped when everything fell into place. “She forgave you,” he whispered.

Spike nodded his head and the tightness in his throat gave way. “What am I supposed to do?” Spike whispered.

“Accept it,” Giles said.

“How?” Spike asked. “She told me to put it in my heart and in my soul; how can I do that?”

“There is only one way that I know of. Forgive yourself,” Giles said.

“That's not going to happen, Rupert,”

“It's what she wants for you,” Giles said. “If you want to honor her it’s what you need to do.”

“And what about the hundreds of others?” Spike said. “Is it what they want?”

“Think about it Spike, she came here in corporeal form, she was warm and had a heart beat. That takes a tremendous amount of energy. She couldn't have done that alone.”

“What are you trying to say, Watcher?” Spike asked.

“The Powers sent her.”

“Bollicks,” Spike said, “They don't give a bloody hell about me. Not like that. They just want to use me.”

“You’re a Champion of The Light,” Giles said. “What happened proves The Powers do care, they care very much.”

“Do you really believe that, Watcher?”

“Yes, I do.”

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The End