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Love Conquers Most

Past-Buffy had finally caught up with Past-Spike on the edge of Restfield cemetery. "Spike." She grabbed his arm, forcing him to face her.

"What?" he asked impatiently.

"I—" She wanted to apologize for earlier, and to thank him for risking his life to protect her from Angelus, but as she looked at his battered, pained face, the words wouldn't come. "You're bleeding."

"Really?" his voice dripped with sarcasm. "Think I should go to the doctor?"

Past-Buffy pursed her lips irritatedly. "The smell could attract demons."

"Well then, I better keep moving." He went to turn, but Past-Buffy caught his arm again.

"What about Angelus? What if he comes after you again?"

Past-Spike jerked his arm away from Past-Buffy before he could let the warmth of her hand pull him in. "Maybe, if I push just the right buttons, he'll stake me."

"So you do want to die."

"It's what you want, isn't it?" Past-Spike squashed the hope that wanted to rise. It is what she wants, mate, she doesn't care about you. How could she?

Past-Spike shook his head. "God, I can't take this right now, Slayer."

"I believe you."

"What?" Past-Spike's brow furrowed in confusion.

"I believe that you have your soul. I believe you."

Past-Spike rolled his eyes. "So a death wish equals soul to you? Must be bloody interesting in your noggin."

Past-Buffy hissed air through her teeth. "I hate it when you act like this. You are so annoying!"

"Slayer, I need blood, and worse, I need alcohol. If you could be so kind as wait to detail how much you hate me, that'd be great."

"I don't hate you," she whispered,"Could have bloody well fooled me."

Past-Buffy breathed deeply and prepared to tell him the truth. "I—I never hated you, not really. You scare me. That's why I… treat you the way I do."

Past-Spike stared at her incredulously. "I scare you? Are you bloody kidding me?"

Past-Buffy forced herself to continue. "You don't scare me physically."

"Hey!"

"Shut-up. I'll never get this out if you interrupt me."

Past-Spike sighed. "Fine."

"I— every man I ever let in has let me down. My Dad left me—"

"That wasn't your fault."

Past-Buffy stuck her finger at him, signaling for silence. "Then Angel left me. I wanted normal, so I went for Riley, but he left me too. I can't even keep my Watcher."

Past-Spike moved his hand towards her face, but let it drop to his side. "None of that was because of you."

"That's what I keep telling myself, but I can't help but think that it's something about me. That there's something wrong with me."

"There is nothing wrong with you."

"But I still have that fear, and that's why I acted like I hated you."

"Because… you're afraid I'll leave? There two things wrong with that. The bigger one being that you don't care about me."

"But—I could. You're charming, you're handsome and you love me. Isn't that what every girl looks for? I could care about you, but I'm afraid that you'll leave me, just like-" She broke off.

"Like Angel? I'm not him."

"I know, but now you're a souled vampire. Maybe you'll decide that it would be best to leave me. That I need someone that can give me… normal."

Past-Spike grabbed Past-Buffy's hand and squeezed it. "You could never settle for normal. I know that, I'm not as stupid as Peaches. If I got you, any of you, I'd cherish it. Besides, we have two different curses."

Past-Buffy raised her gaze from their clasped hands to his eyes. "How?"

"Me an' Red got rid of that pesky little happiness clause." He cocked his head and smiled. "I didn't plan on giving up shagging. Besides, I'm a lot easier to please than the Poof, this moment right here, it might have taken the damned thing away."

Past-Buffy opened her mouth, but Past-Spike swayed on his feet, their hands the only thing that kept him up. "You need blood."

Past-Spike suck in a sharp gasp of air and fell to his knees. "It's—oh god." His pulled his hand from Past-Buffy and clutched his head. "Angelus. He's… the claim."

Past-Buffy dropped to his side. "Spike. Spike, are you okay?" She pulled his head to her shoulder and hugged him to her. "What's wrong, Spike? Please tell me."

He shuddered against her, gripping her tightly as his tears moistened her skin. "He's—he's tryin' to control me. It hurts, god it hurts so bad."

Past-Buffy rocked him slowly. "It's okay. We'll figure this out. It'll be okay. What is he trying to make you do?"

"He wants me to… to hurt you." He gritted his teeth against the pain and a choked sob vibrated through his chest.

Her grip on him tightened. "How long can he do this to you?"

He gasped in pain. "Too long."

She pulled back. "Then hurt me."

XxXxXx

Everyone stared at Past-Willow. "What?" she asked.

Xander tackled her with a bear hug. "Your back!"

Past-Willow smiled and patted his back. "Yup."

Spike groaned as he shifted. "Can we take this in the bleedin' homestead? I need to sit."

Past-Willow nodded. "That would be best. I've got big news."

They piled into the living room. The two teenagers on the floor, Spike and Buffy on an armchair, Willow, Anya, Xander and Tara sat on the couch. Angel sat in a straight backed chair from the dining room, Wesley, Lorne and Illyria shared the love seat uncomfortably.

Past-Willow stood in the middle of the room. She turned slowly and looked at each face. "Guys, I didn't escape."

"Well duh," Anya said. "We're not stupid. Nobody escapes D'Hoffryn."

"Wait," Xander held up his hand. "You didn't escape?"

"Well at least I'm not stupid," Anya muttered.

Spike raised his hand. "Neither am I. I knew Red, this Red, couldn't 'ave escaped."

Buffy smacked Spike in the back of his head. "Are you saying I'm stupid because I did—"

Past-Willow interrupted Buffy. "Guys my story," she whined.

"Sorry Wils, go on." She looked at Spike. "This isn't over."

Past-Willow made a face as Spike sucked on Buffy's earlobe. "Gross guys. When did you two get so gross?"

Spike rolled his eyes. "Just get on with the bloody story, Red."

"Right." She shook her head clear. "I had to make a deal in order to leave."

Xander leaned forward. "What deal?" His eyes widened. "He did make, you know, with him?"

"Ewe, Xander! No, he made me a Vengeance Demon."

Everybody except the vampires and ex-demon gasped.

"I knew it!" Anya yelled, pointing at Past-Willow. "You are so lucky. I wish I were a Vengeance Demon again."

"Honey, hush," Xander said. "Willow, explain-y."

"Well, I figured I'd be of better use to you guys here, as a Vengeance Demon, than not at all. So I made the deal with him. It's actually pretty cool. I can dimension hop and teleport. All without getting a nose bleed, too." She smiled enthusiastically.

"Willow, how could you?" Xander reprimanded.

"But I'm back. Now I can help. What's up?"

Willow sighed. "It turns out that Angel lost his soul when you gave Spike back his. Now D'Hoffryn's goon and Angelus are after us. Buffy, Dawn, Angel, Wesley, Lorne, some blue girl and I came here to find the Spike from our dimension. But before we go home we have to fix what we ruined. And right now Buffy and Spike from this dimension are out doing only God knows what. Clear it up at all?"

Past-Willow looked at Willow with her jaw hanging down. "Spike and Buffy are together?"

"That's what you took from what I told you?"

"Well, it's Spike, and Buffy. Those two aren't supposed to… do stuff."

Buffy cried, "Hey! I happen to love Spike. And we can do stuff if we want to do stuff. It's none of your guys' business who I do stuff with."

Spike patted Buffy's thigh. "That's right. Love conquers, and all that rot."

Dawn raised her hand. "Can you give Angel his soul back?"

Past-Willow shrugged. "I think so. We'll need all the ingredients. Do you have them at the Magic Box, Anya?"

"Uh… no. I don't have the orb of Thesulah, and somebody stole my runic stones."

"How do you-?" Past-Willow stared bewilderingly at Anya.

"I didn't see them this morning."

"I thought you stayed to watch the fight."

"Oh, I did, I checked on the shop before I came here, you know, to make sure everything was there. The runic stones weren't."

Past-Willow giggled nervously. "Funny thing, Spike borrowed them to do the spell."

"So you know where they are?" Anya asked.

"Yup. It's in my backpack with the rest of the supplies; which I accidentally left in Arashmahaar."

"Where?" Xander asked.

"It's the dimension D'Hoffryn rules over." Anya explained. "She can get there easily enough, though. All she has to do is the chant."

"I- uh, don't know the chant. But you do, don't you?" Past-Willow said hopefully.

"No, why would I remember that? You're just going to have to pop around until you find new runic stones and orb."

"Fine." She pouted. "This sucks." With that she popped out of the room.

"When w-will she b-be back?" Tara asked Anya.

"She's new at it. I give her a couple of hours."

"We should rest up," Spike said as he rose from the chair and led Buffy towards the basement.

Past-Dawn looked at future Dawn. "You and Willow can hang in my room."

"I guess we're resting," Xander said. "Those two better not be doing stuff."

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