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Story Notes:
This is the second Spike story I started.
FAMILY


Disclaimer: Once again, Joss', not mine. Still a lucky man.

Warnings: For explicit m/m stuff, and violence, and remembered abuse, and language, and lots of other stuff.

Summary: AU! Spike isn’t in ‘love’ with Buffy, but has told Giles’ the story of Drusilla turning him. He has the chip, but no soul. Angel’s in LA. Anya doesn’t exist. I moved forward the ‘meltdown’ of Spike’s chip a bit.     STORY: Spike’s little story of his turning isn’t the exact truth... Angel loses his soul - or does he? and starts gathering his scattered family. Spike insists that isn’t going to include him. He’s so very, very wrong...



CHAPTER ONE

Spike scowled at the large man who’d nearly run him down. "Watch where yer walkin’, mate!" he snarled, brushing off his duster like it had been contaminated. Stupid humans; just because some of them had turned out to be - not so bad - didn’t mean he didn’t want to drain most of them. If it weren’t for the little bit of silicon and wire in his head, that fat block would be dinner.

"Spike!" The Slayer’s voice shouted angrily behind him. For one horrible moment, he thought she’d become psychic and heard that thought. But when he turned, she just had her normal I-hate-you-so-much scowl on. "You’re supposed to be patrolling with me!"

"Why?" Spike scowled right back. He’d patrolled with her two days ago in exchange for some blood and smokes; he wasn’t quite out of supplies yet.

"Giles said you were due to come by again! C’mon, I want to get this over with quick tonight! I have a date with Riley."

"Didn’t make no deal, pet," Spike said happily, turning his back on her and continuing on his way back to his crypt. "No blood, no help; you know the drill."

"But you come by every third night!" Buffy grumbled, hurrying to catch up with him. "Everyone knows that! How come you’re not coming by tonight, when I need to finish up fast?"

Spike scowled yet again. He hadn’t realized he’d become so predictable - good thing he’d decided to try living on a little less blood than usual. He was already thinner than he’d ever been and constantly hungry, but the Scoobies had no idea how much blood he needed and he didn’t need their horror at the amount to cause them to try and stake him - again. He hated being dependent on them while they looked for any excuse to kill him; that was the reason he was forcing himself to cut back even further than he already was. If he could get down to two bags of pigs’ blood and one pack of cigs a day, he could pretty much support himself. He got enough with gambling and pool hustling to purchase that much.

It wasn’t easy. Hunger made him fidgety, made him want to chain-smoke. When he tried cutting down on the cigarettes, he became ravenous. He snickered. Yep, it was a vicious cycle, it was.

"What are you laughing at?" Buffy demanded. She’d been explaining just how wonderful her date was supposed to be, and how Spike had to help her so she could meet Riley on time. She didn’t appreciate the laughter.

Spike just heaved a sigh. He hadn’t been listening. "Look, Slayer. You go to your Watcher’s and fetch me some blood, yeah? You meet me at that cemetery on West Street in fifteen minutes, with the blood and some cash, and I’ll patrol with ya. Otherwise, nothin-doin."

"Why should I play delivery-person for you?" Buffy protested, glaring at him.

Spike rolled his eyes. "C’mon, Slayer, you can’t have it both ways. You want me to patrol so much, you oughta be glad to fetch me a bit of blood. Ain’t goin’ after it meself. Sick and tired of your nosy Watcher, I am." The last time he’d gone by Giles’, he’d been questioned for three hours about Angelus’ relationship with Drusilla - not exactly something he wanted to think about - so that Giles could update some musty file in the Council’s archives.

"Giles isn’t nosy," Buffy said snippily, "He just has to know these things. How else am I going to get the information I need to stake you guys?"

"And that just makes me feel wonderful ‘bout givin’ it to you," Spike muttered, shoving his hands deep into the pockets of his duster.

"Don’t be snotty," Buffy snickered at him, "what else are you good for? Fighting and some old information nobody but the Watchers really cares about. Other than that, you’re useless."

"Oh, ta," Spike said, "just for that, you can forget about patrol!" He turned in a swirl of leather, and went stalking off into the nearest alley.

"Spike! Come on, don’t be such a baby!" Buffy called after him. "I’ll get your stuff, okay? See you at the cemetery!"

Spike kept walking, not looking back to see if she had left. "Bloody useless... bloody right." He already knew he’d show up like she wanted. He needed that blood. Willy wouldn’t even consider selling him any after the last time the Slayer beat him up for it, and the other places to buy blood in Sunnydale were a lot more expensive. If it wasn’t for the bloody soddin’ chip in his head... ah, who was he tryin’ to fool? He’d already learned that the humans were more than just ‘happy meals on legs’ like he used to fool himself. He felt like he was a bleedin’ fledge again, worried over hurting his victims or leaving their families in mourning. He remembered pleading with Angelus to just let him drink a little from three or four humans instead of draining one completely.

"And didn’t that get me a lovely beatin’?" he muttered, leaving the alley and walking slowly toward the cemetery. He could be there in two minutes if he really wanted to, but he rather fancied making the Slayer sweat a little. Still, he couldn’t be too late, or she’d leave with his dosh. Maybe he could get there first, find a nice crypt to perch on top of, and watch her until she started getting impatient. Yeah, that would work.

He stopped in mid-step, something tickling the very edges of his enhanced senses. He looked around slowly, and saw a vampire watching him from the shadows at the far end of the street. Just standing there, watching, not making any moves in his direction.

He lifted his head slightly, scenting the air. Minion, definitely - a Master’s minion, not the usual pathetic things they dusted every night. Not a scent he really recognized, though his nose told him that he’d met this minion’s Master somewhere before. Interesting - wonder if the Slayer knew there was a new Master in town? Minion was probably sent to look out for other Masters... well, he wasn’t much of a threat, but hopefully, they didn’t know that. He snarled at the vampire, showing a gleam of white fangs, and it faded respectfully into the darkness.

Spike continued on his way, wondering if he should tell the Slayer about this, or if he could get some money out of Giles for ‘information’ first?



In the street behind him, the minion flipped open a cell phone and dialed a familiar number.

"Yes?"

"I’ve located him."

"Good! Still in Sunnydale?"

"Yes, Master."

"Condition?"

"Thin, sir, but healthy enough to sense me."

"And did he know who you belong to?"

"I don’t think so, Master."

"Excellent. Your High Master will be pleased. Keep watching, but don’t let him see you. They’ll be finding out soon, and all hell will be breaking loose. Hourly reports."

"Yes, sir."

The connection cut off.



Spike lay sprawled across the crypt’s roof, dangling one arm over the edge as he rested his chin on the other arm. Damn, but he was hungry! What was taking the Slayer so long? Probably decided to change her shoes - it could be days before she showed up if that was the case.

He was just about to give up and wander back to his own crypt when he saw Buffy come flying down the road, Xander and Willow hard on her heels. They stopped at the corner and immediately started arguing.

"He’s not here! I told you we were taking too long!"

"Hey, Buff, it’s not our fault! It took Giles forever to explain what was going on!"

"And we’re not as fast as you, you know that!" Willow was still gasping for breath.

"Yeah, yeah. So, we’ve got to find him. Wonderful. Okay, if you were Spike, where would you be?"

Spike stared, eyes going sharp and wary. They were this upset over his not being there? Great. On the Hellmouth, that could only mean bad news. Probably needed him for bloody cannon fodder again. Well, he might as well ‘show up’ and find out what was going on before he was caught clueless in the middle. That had happened far too often for him to want it happening again.

He crawled to the far side of the crypt and leapt easily to the ground. He dusted off his clothes and then strolled casually around the stone edifice, interrupting the fight over going to the Bronze or Willy’s first. "Oi, Slayer! Where’s me dosh?"

"Spike! Where were you?! We’ve got major trouble; stop worrying about your precious blood! We have to go to Giles’, now!"

"Oh, no, Blondie!" Spike growled. "Told ya I was sick of your damn wanker of a Watcher. Just tell me what’s goin’ on."

"We don’t know exactly," Willow said, her soft voice a relief from the Slayer’s strident tones, even if she was babbling. "Cordelia came in a few minutes ago, with Wesley - you remember him, right? - and they said there was something wrong with Angel, and it was really bad and they needed to talk to you. That’s really all we know so far."

Spike stared at her, trying desperately to hide his worry. "Somethin’ wrong with Peaches? What the hell they wanna talk to me for? Can’t do much to help the bloody poof."

"They said they needed you, and Giles said to get you," Buffy growled, "so you’re coming whether you want to or not."

"What, you gonna drag me there?" Spike already knew he was going, but saw no need to let them know he still cared - why he had no idea - about what happened to his Sire. GrandSire. Had to remember that; GrandSire.

"If I have to, I will! This is Angel we’re talking about!" Buffy appeared to be torn between acting concerned and haughty. Spike thought she just looked constipated.

"Thought you was over him," he pushed, more than ready to take out some stress on her. "What about poor ol’ Soldier Boy?"

"Don’t you involve Riley in this! This is about helping someone that I ...used to care about! Angel and I are ...friends!"

That was news to Spike; it was apparently news to Xander and Willow, too, with the way they were blinking.

"Um, Buffy, the last time Angel was here all you two did was fight..." Willow said uncertainly.

"Yeah, and when you went to LA..."

"That doesn’t mean anything," Buffy said, tossing her blond head. "Angel and I still care about each other. All couples argue, you know."

"But you’re dating Riley?" Willow was beginning to frown.

"Yeah - but Angel’s my soul mate," Buffy said, her voice going soft and wistful. Her eyes widened, gleaming with gentle tears, and her bottom lip trembled slightly. She looked very much like the heroine in a tragic romance movie.

Spike swallowed down the snicker that tried to escape, settling for rolling his eyes instead. He wasn’t in any hurry to have the Slayer beat the stuffing out of him. Beside him, Xander grinned, matching the eye roll. He and Spike were slowly - very slowly, true, but still - becoming not-quite-enemies, maybe-even-friends. He found Buffy’s little performance about as meaningful as the vampire did.

"That’s so romantic," Willow breathed, completely taken in. "I don’t know how you can stand it."

"Not real sure how we stand it," Spike murmured, making Xander snicker. Buffy and Willow stared at them suspiciously, and both males gave them their best innocent looks.

"Don’t even start," Buffy ordered. "Come on, we’ve got to go to Giles’. We’ve already been gone longer than we were supposed to, because someone wasn’t where he said he’d be. We have to find out what’s wrong with Angel, so we can fix it." She reached out and grabbed a handful of Spike’s lapel, and started dragging him in the direction they had come from.

"Oi, Slayer, watch the coat!" Spike protested as he was yanked away into the night.

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