Disclaimers:  I do not own Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Angel, or any of their characters.  I am making no profit
from this.  It is purely for entertainment purposes.

Notes:  As with all of my BtVS fics, I ignore everything after the 5th season except for the fact that Buffy has
been revived.  And as for the characters of Angel . . . Connor simply never happened.  Now, on with the fic.

More notes:  Xander takes Spike to Giles’ place.



Acting on Instinct



Part Two


Xander was having a tough time.  Now that Spike was clean and as bandaged up as Xander could get him with his
limited supplies, Xander was trying to get Spike to put on a pair of sweats.  At the same time, he was talking to Giles on
the phone and TRYING to convince the man that yes, calling a Scooby meeting was definitely needed.  He knew that
Spike needed more help than he could give, but he wanted to surprise the group.

He had almost succeeded in getting the shirt on the vampire when Spike went into game face and bit it, pulling back at
the same time and causing the sweatshirt to rip.  “No!  Bad boy!” he snapped, then immediately felt sorry for raising his
voice when Spike cringed away from him.

Giles’s voice over the phone sounded weary and just a tad annoyed.  “Xander, if you’re having me call the others here
just so you can show off a new puppy . . .”

Xander winced at that thought and shook his head even though he knew that the other man couldn’t see him.  “No, Giles
. . . I’m serious.  I’ll be there as soon as I can.  Have the first-aid kit ready.”  He went to his dresser and pulled out a T-
shirt.  Maybe Spike would like this better.

Giles’s voice suddenly went from annoyed to concerned.  “What?  Are you injured?  Have you come across a new
demon?”

Xander smiled as Spike grudgingly let him put the shirt on him.  “I’m not injured, Giles.  And it isn’t a new demon.  I’ll
explain everything when I get there.” he said, then added one last thing as quickly as he could.  “Oh, and I hope you have
some blood in your fridge.”  Then he hung up, not wanting to give the man a chance to question him about it.

Xander checked his watch, although he had already done so several times already.  It was well before sunrise.  Still,
Xander would rather be certain than end up with a pile of dust named Spike in his car.  He grabbed a jacket and pulled it
on, then managed to get Spike into a coat as well.  It didn’t matter that Spike really didn’t need a coat, and Spike would
probably end up removing it himself anyway.  Sighing, Xander grabbed his car keys and looked at Spike.

“Come on, Spike . . . we’re going to see some friends,” he said, holding out his hand to the frightened vampire.

Spike looked at him quizzically for several long moments before he finally stepped forward and grasped Xander’s hand.  
He didn’t seem particularly thrilled with going anywhere.  Actually, he looked downright terrified when Xander opened
the door and led him out.  Spike all but clung to Xander as they headed to his car, sticking as close to him as possible.  
Xander felt sorry for the man, his mind reeling with shock at just how scared Spike actually was.

It was difficult getting Spike into the car.  The vampire didn’t seem to like small spaces all that much.  As it was, Spike
was now curled up in a ball on the seat while Xander sped along the street.  He really didn’t care about speeding right
now . . . just as long as he wasn’t stopped by a cop.  Who knew what Spike would do to a stranger if he was
frightened.  The only reason that Spike obliged Xander as much as he did was because he recognized him somewhat.

Finally, they reached Giles’s place.  Xander parked the car and turned off the ignition, pocketing his keys.  When he
opened his door to get out, he had to fight to get Spike out as well.  Now that he was inside, he was dead set on not
getting out.  Must have been because of the unfamiliar territory.  Being patient, Xander finally managed to lure Spike out,
and they strode to Giles’s door, Spike all but plastered against Xander’s body due to terror.

Making sure that Spike was behind him, Xander knocked on Giles’s door.  He waited patiently, feeling as Spike
dropped to a crouched position, his hands clenching at the backs of Xander’s legs.  Xander sighed, twisting his arm
behind his back until his hand brushed against the side of Spike’s head.  Spike leaned into the contact, calming if only
slightly.

Giles pulled the door open.  “You knocked?” he asked, eyeing Xander suspiciously.  It wasn’t common for Xander to
knock.

“Is everyone here?  I have a surprise.”  Xander said, plastering a grin on his face, although he was terribly worried about
how everyone would react to this.

“Y-yes, everyone’s inside.”  Giles nodded, looking puzzled.

“What’s this surprise?”  Buffy asked, stepping over behind Giles.  Xander could see as everyone else gathered near the
door as well.

Xander took a deep breath, trying to steady his nerves.  He took a step to the side, uneasily maneuvering so that Spike
was in front of him.  He pulled Spike to his feet, holding his shoulders to keep him from retreating again.  

“Look who I found,” Xander said, watching as shock crossed the faces of all of his friends.

Xander pushed Spike into the apartment.  Giles had invited him in a while ago, so he could come and go as he pleased.  
No one was saying anything though, and it was making Xander nervous, not quite as nervous as Spike was, but still . . .
he didn’t like the silence.

Then, all of a sudden, Dawn stepped to the front of the group.  “Spike!  Xander, where did you find him?  What
happened to his hair?” she asked in a rush, saying it all in one single breath.

Dawn took a step forward, to which Spike recoiled.  He wriggled himself out of Xander’s hold and shifted to game face,
growling as he ducked back behind Xander once again.  Xander held up his hand to keep Dawn and the others back.

“Uh, sorry.  Spike’s . . . well, he’s not really himself anymore,” Xander explained.

“How?  What do you mean?”  Buffy asked, the group gathering in front of Xander.

“I don’t know.”  Xander replied, exasperated.  “I was kinda hoping Giles would have some answers.  I mean, I’m
getting ready for bed, and this big portal opens up in my bedroom.  Next thing I know, I have the missing link here sitting
in one of my corners growling at me.  He hasn’t said a word.  I don’t think he CAN say a word.  And well . . . just look
at him.”  He stepped to the side, but Spike followed the movement and hid again.

“Hm . . . well . . .”  Giles spoke, taking his glasses off and polishing the lenses.  “This actually fits in with what I was able
to find out about that portal.  It seems as if the demon that emerged comes from a hell dimension of some kind.  If my
calculations are correct, then Spike would have been there for roughly two centuries . . . give or take a couple decades.  
It’s natural for him to have reverted to a primitive state, especially if he has been in the company of a rather large demon
for all this time.”

Xander couldn’t help but gasp.  “Two hundred years?  You’re kidding me.  Why didn’t you tell us this before?”

Giles cleared his throat.  “Well . . . I-I . . . that is to say . . . I didn’t feel it was important to discovering how to retrieve
Spike.  If I had found something detailing how to open a similar portal, I would have warned you.  But I felt it wasn’t
necessary to worry anyone.”

“Whatever Giles did or didn’t tell us . . . although it was wrong of him to keep this from us . . . doesn’t matter now.”  
Willow said, smiling.  “We have Spike back now.  That’s all that matters.”

Xander nodded.  “Yeah, but he is little more than a dog right now!”  Xander winced when he felt Spike cringe behind
him, as the vampire retreated to a corner of the room and began watching them all carefully.

“W-what are we going to do?”  Tara asked, speaking quietly as she always did.  “We have to help him.”

“I don’t see why we should,” Buffy stated coldly.  “He is a vampire.  Maybe we should just put him out of his misery.  
He might be better off.”

Xander’s eyes widened, watching as Buffy took a stake out of her jacket pocket and stalked toward Spike.  Just as
Xander would have gone to stop her himself, Spike started growling again, obviously having taken note of the weapon in
Buffy’s hand.  He all but launched himself at her, pinning her down by the shoulders as he snarled.

Buffy brought her legs up underneath Spike, kicking him off of her.  Spike landed hard on his side, but didn’t seem too
phased.  He got up and shook his head, his eyes locking with the nearest person to him . . . Willow.  With a ferocious
growl, Spike swiped at her, scratching open her blouse and arm in the process.  She quickly moved away from him,
Tara hastily coming to her side to look at the injury.  Spike then retreated to a corner and crouched down on the floor,
waiting for anyone else to stray too close to him.

“Did you see that?”  Buffy gaped.  Sadly, Xander knew exactly what she was talking about, and it didn’t look good for
the welfare of the vampire.  “He attacked Willow!  And the chip didn’t do anything!” she exclaimed, pointing to Spike
and then Willow’s bleeding arm repeatedly.

“Well, naturally . . .”  Giles said, quickly moving further into the room.  “He has been in a hell dimension for the
equivalent of two hundred years.  The chip probably shorted out by now.”

“Well, we have to stake him now.  Who knows how many innocent people he’ll kill,” Buffy said, making a move to
approach Spike again.

This time, Xander stepped in front of her, blocking her movement.  Before Xander could put up an argument, Willow
blurted out one single word.

“Angel!”

Everyone turned to look at her, wondering what the hell she could possibly mean.  “Will, what are you talking about?”  
Xander asked.

Willow took a breath, her hand clenched over the shallow wounds in her arm.  “I just . . . Buffy, you can’t just kill Spike
because he’s reverted to . . . well, a ferocious puppy.  I mean, you didn’t kill Angel when he was like this . . . Spike’s
been fighting alongside us for years.  You owe him enough to at least make an effort to help him get better.”

“And there’s one more reason why you can’t hurt him, Buff,” Xander said quietly.  He motioned for Dawn to approach
and carefully led her to where Spike was crouching.  “Don’t worry.  If you don’t look like a threat, he won’t lash out.  
He was just scared earlier and Willow was too close,” he assured her as she tried to back away.

“Xander, what are you doing?”  Buffy demanded.  “Keep that thing away from my sister!”

Xander ignored her, kneeling down in front of Spike and urging Dawn to do the same.  He smiled at the teenager.  “Put
your hand on his chest and tell me what you feel.”  Xander whispered, too low for anyone else to hear.  “Don’t worry,
he won’t hurt you if you move slowly.”

Dawn nodded, although she did gulp nervously.  Slowly, she inched her hand toward Spike, watching him carefully.  
Spike leaned forward a bit, sniffing at her curiously, watching her just as carefully as she was watching him.  Finally,
though, she set her hand against his chest.  She looked confused for a few moments, then her eyes widened and she
turned to look at Xander with pure disbelief written on her face.  Xander smiled and nodded.  She knew, they both
knew.

Dawn slowly backed away from Spike, a smile quickly spreading over her features.  When she was a good distance
away, she turned to Tara and hugged her.  Xander couldn’t help but smirk at the slight jealous glare Willow tossed
Dawn’s way, but kept his mouth shut.

“Dawn . . . w-what’s got you so happy?”  Tara asked quietly.

“Spike . . . he . . . he has a heartbeat!” she exclaimed.



To Be Continued . . .