Begining a long journey

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Title: Begining a long journey (In Harms Way {1/?})
Series : New Beginings
Author: Kathryn Merteuil
Disclaimer : The characters used are owned by Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, WB, Fox and probably some other people. I'm just borrowing them for a while.
Copyright :

All parts not copyright to another entity (see disclaimer) -- including content, presentation and xHTML -- are copyright Kathryn Merteuil © 2000.

Spoilers : Late S4.
Notes : Tara moves in to Giles' house for the summer. Willow and Tara try to solve the 'Spike Problem'
Feedback : Yes please.
Rating : PG-13

Willow awoke , even through the thick curtains she could see the reflection of the early morning sun. She raised her head a little and could see the glowing red digits of the radio alarm clock past the blonde to her right, 07:15. She turned to her left and the other blonde. 'Who would have thought it' she pondered and cast her mind back to how it had all started.

It had been late evening, a little over a week after the 'primal slayer' dreams. Tara had decided not to return to her parents home for the summer and Giles had offered his spare room as soon as he heard that she was looking for accomodation. The rest of the gang had left after helping move the last of Taras belongings from campus. Willow and Tara had been discussing the Spike situation whilst Giles finished off clearing the debris left by his young proteges, they had offered to help but Giles had insisted that Willow help Tara settle in.

"So, even though he saved us from the demons in the end, I don't think we can really trust Spike"

"Well uh what do you think we can do? Stake him?" Tara replied diffidently.

Willow thought for a moment "No, I don't think Buffy could do that. And, well we know him and.. OK yes he makes a big show of being evil and he has killed people but I really don't believe that he's that bad. Maybe there's still some good left?"

"Perhaps" Tara became lost in thought for a moment then suddenly her face brightened as an idea hit her "Maybe if we restored his soul? It might seem cruel but at least he'd not be a danger. From what you and Buffy have told me Angel seems to have come to terms with it and we'd all be there to help him through."

"I'm not sure we could. When I restored Angels soul it took a lot out of me, I was weak for days afterwards. Anyway we'd need an Orb of Thesulah, I don't know where I could get one from."

"Uh, well, I've been reading up on the spell and I think the two of us together could do it. And I think we don't actually need an orb, we could channel the soul through ourselves."

Willows watch beeped discreetly "I promised Mom I'd be home for half seven, she wants to do a big family dinner. I think it's something to do with this paper she's working on about 'The Disintegration of the Nuclear Family in Contemporary America'." with a resigned smile, "Promise me you won't try anything!"

"Oh, OK" Tara kissed her girlfriend gently and walked her to the front door. "Bye" she whispered.

"Bye" Willow returned the kiss then called out more loudly "Bye Giles, see you tomorrow."

"Goodbye Willow" Giles called from the kitchen "Be careful."

As Willow stepped out of the door she suddenly turned around and placed a firm kiss on Taras lips before skipping away into the diminishing light. Tara began to walk back to her room.

Giles stepped out of the kitchen "Would you like a cup of tea? Willow said you like Camomile and Honey."

"Thank thank you Mr G-Giles"

Giles smiled at Tara comfortingly as he returned to the kitchen to put the kettle on. He had been a little unsure at first but he felt that Willow had made a good choice, not an easy choice but it was clear that the two of them were strong together.



A few days later Willow had been walking home after dark having first walked Tara to Giles' following a night of at the Bronze. The normal summer lull had been enhanced by the massacre of the undead in the Initiative 2 weeks ago. Buffy had sounded almost Faith like in her complaints that she needed some action. Still Willow carried a stake just in case. As she rounded a corner a shape leapt from the towards her. She was just about to plunge her stake home when she realised that it was Spike. "Spike! What on earth are you doing?"

"I need money for blood and smokes."

"So you've turned to petty mugging? Isn't that well.. a bit petty?" Willow enjoyed turning some verbal barbs back on Spike who had caused her more than a little pain recently.

"Well it works! Well usually" Spike said as Willow noticed that his eyes seemed a little bloodshot.

"What happened with your eyes?" she asked.

"Damn woman, had pepper spray! Took me 2 hours before I could see clearly again. Look I really need some blood"

Willow sighed even with all the pain and trouble Spike had caused her kind heart wouldn't let her see him suffer. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a ten "That's all I've got, it should keep you going for a few days"

Spike took the money with a smile, as he turned away Willow clearly heard him say "The old puppy dog act, gets em every time!".

Willow fumed silently and continued home muttering curses.

The following day she told Tara about the encounter.

"I can't believe that he did that. Or that I fell for it."

"It's just the way you are, you're kind and thoughtful and I love you for it. Unfortunately Spike took advantage." Tara hugged Willow "You can't let him get to you."

Willow smiled and returned the hug.

"I did research that spell, the soul restoration one." Tara continued "If we wanted to we should be able to cast it together."

"I couldn't use it for revenge" Willow replied.

"Not revenge, goddess no. It would stop Spike from being able to pull tricks like that again though."

"I'll think about it"


For the following weeks Willow considered the spell Tara had suggested. Spike had tried to pull his 'Puppy dog act' again but she had resisted. A few days later she heard a report of a woman being attacked and her purse snatched by a man with short blond hair wearing a leather jacket who had running holding his head as if in pain. It appeared that the need for blood had driven Spike to the point where he could bear the implant induced pain long enough to snatch the money he needed. Resolved she went to Tara.

"Tara, I think we should do the spell. We should restore Spikes soul."

"I'll get the ingredients. Mr Giles is out, he said he'd be at the Expresso pump and not to go there unless it was the apocalypse." Tara said then continued "He took his guitar with him."

She quickly assembled everything they needed and they soon were holding hands with the dolcite crystal between them to focus their energies. Tara began to chant and Willow picked it up on the second repitition. She recognised most of the words from when she had restored Angels soul so long ago but noticed some differences. willow thought about Spike and wondered what he would be like with a soul. Would he brood like Angel? How would a soul fit in after such a long absence from his body? she considered what had happened over the past year. How her own abilities had moved on. How she had met Tara and chosen her over Oz. How she had discovered that of the three terms she had used to discribe her vampire self only evil and skanky were yet to be found to be true about her. Her mind returned to Spike and how he had returned after a long absence running from his failed relationship with Drusilla only to land up with Harmony of all people!

Suddenly she felt a force move through her, far more intensely than the time in the hospital with the orb. it felt different as well as stronger but Willow could quite put her finger on it. Together Willow and Tara collapsed spent from the power they had just expelled.

In a crypt on the cemetery just off the UC Sunnydale campus a blonde vampire writhed in bed and kicked off the covers before falling to the floor and screaming. "What the. Arrgggghhhhhhhhh" shouted Harmony as her soul was forcibly returned to her earthly form. She fell silent for a moment but as her memories of a year as a vampire returned she screamed and ran to a mirror. As the truth hit her and she realised that she didn't have a reflection she screamed all the louder.