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Adjustment Phase

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Scoobies & Stargates". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: When Willow joins the SGC, you might think they'd ease her in a little. But no, she's pushed into the deep end with an Atanik bracelet. And it's not until after that that things start getting really strange.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Willow-CenteredEnergyBeingFR133964,81428444,7192 Sep 123 Feb 13Yes

Chapter Thirty-Five

Although the sun hadn't entirely set by the time Spike left the demon bar, it was low enough on the horizon to be obscured by the surrounding buildings, so Spike didn't have to wrap himself in a blanket. Which was good, seeing as how the idea of making an apology was bad enough in itself, never mind having to make it whilst cowering beneath a blanket.

While Spike made his way to Giles' house, he found that, despite the extrovert nature he had gained when Drusilla had sired him, he was wondering what had caused him to run away in the first place. After all, being electrocuted was hardly the first dangerous and painful thing he'd done - he'd killed two Slayers, after all - and he hadn't flinched from anything else.

Which, although Spike tried not to think about it, meant that there was another reason entirely for why he had acted the way he had. And Spike had a sneaking suspicion that he knew what it was, and he wasn't keen on facing it.

Always before, Spike had only been out for himself, him and Drusilla. He hadn't helped Buffy stop Acathla out of any altruistic motives, but merely because it would lead to the end of his fun. And he couldn't be having with that.

But Spike was struggling to see where the selfish motive was in helping to stop Adam. After all, the thing apparently only wanted to kill people and wreak havoc, which Spike was normally all in favour of.

Which meant that the only reason that Spike was going to go through with it, the only reason, was because Sam had asked him to.

Was Spike willing to change the habits of a life time - more than a life time - solely because a woman that he happened to fancy asked him to?

Apparently, Spike thought as he knocked on Giles' door, the answer was yes.

~*~

When Willow heard the sound of knocking, she strode over to the door, opened it, saw that it was Spike, eeped and promptly closed it again. Then Willow hissed at the others who were gathered in Giles living room "It's Spike!"

The group instantly began talking amongst themselves about what they should do about this situation - although babbling might be a more correct term - and just as quickly stopped when Sam got up, cradling her injured wrist, and walked out the room, down the corridor and opened the door.

Although none of the group had followed Sam, she felt no doubt that they were doing their utmost to eavesdrop on what she was going to say. Sam didn't really care.

"You're back." Sam said, although it sounded more like a question than a statement. Spike couldn't blame her for that.

"Yes. Yes I am." Spike said simply.

"Staying?" Sam asked, looking at a point six inches to the left of Spike's face. She couldn't bring herself to look at him directly.

"Do you want me to?" Spike responded.

Sam didn't answer. She couldn't, because she didn't know whether she wanted Spike to stay or not. She'd had mixed feelings when Willow had told them that he was at the door.

However, even if she didn't know the answer to that question, Sam did know that Spike was their best chance of stopping Adam. Which meant that he had to be around for at least a while longer. She hoped that she would be able to figure out what she felt about him by then - although she doubted it, given how long it had taken her to figure out how she felt about Jack.

So Sam settled for saying "Come in." and heading back to the living room, not looking back to see whether Spike would follow or not.

Spike hesitated a moment, before giving up - he'd come this far, he wasn't going to disappear into the night now - and followed Sam into the living room.

Naturally enough, feelings in the room were somewhat mixed about Spike's reappearance.

Xander wasn't pleased. He didn't like any vampires, and the only reason that he liked Spike somewhat more than Angel was because Spike had never dated Buffy. Added to that was the fact that Spike had knocked him to the floor on his way out and Xander wished (although he would never wish aloud, of course) that Spike hadn't come back.

That was not to say that Xander didn't understand that Spike was necessary for this particular plan - although he didn't quite understand why, only that he was - but that didn't mean that he wanted him around.

Giles, on the other hand, felt differently. Perhaps it was his recent run-in with Ethan, but Spike reminded Giles a little of what he had been like when he had been younger.

Both Giles and Ethan had caused their fair share of chaos, but Giles had found his way out, become a good man, whereas Ethan never had. So Giles recognized the face of someone who was trying to change - he'd seen it often enough in the mirror - and Spike had that face. So Giles was glad that Spike had made the choice to come back, it would be good for him.

The rest of the group, to varying degrees (although the other members of SG-1, not knowing Spike nearly as well as the Scoobies, definitely felt it to a lesser degree) felt a mixture of what these two felt. Buffy for example, despite her dislike for Spike, couldn't help but be surprised that he was still around, and wondered what that said about him.

However, despite that, the fact remained that without Spike their plan simply wouldn't work, so whether they wanted him around or not, he had to stay at least until the plan came to fruition.

However, in order for the plan to come into fruition in the first place, the gang had to come up with some way to lure Adam close enough to the Tesla coil for it to cause him to overload.

Buffy, however, had an idea on that front.

Adam had, for whatever reason, broken into the Initiative to speak to Riley. Now, Riley wouldn't - or couldn't - tell Buffy what Adam had told him, but, at the moment, that was irrelevant.

The fact was that Adam wanted Riley for something, and wanted him alive. Buffy had no doubts that Adam could've killed Riley without a second thought, but had only stabbed him to take him out of play, so that Adam could talk to him without Riley running away.

Which meant that if they could get Riley to the Tesla coil in a couple of days’ time, there was a good chance that Adam would turn up to take him back, or something. Buffy wasn't too sure what, but she was pretty sure that it was the best chance that they had at the moment.

"So, who's up for helping me break Riley out of the Initiative?" Buffy asked of the group in general.

"I thought that we agreed that it would be best to leave him there for the moment." said Giles, frowning.

"Yeah, I'm all for leaving Riley in the care of other crazy soldiers until he stops being crazy." said Xander. For all that Xander preferred Riley to any of Buffy's previous boyfriends (well, it was hard not to when one of them was a vampire and the other had left her after a one night stand), he still wasn't any too fond of someone who would pull a gun on Willow, although he was willing to accept that that had been Walsh's fault for secretly drugging him.

Buffy sighed, and briefly outlined her reasoning behind her proposal.

"What guarantee do we have that Adam will come for Riley in the first place? Your reasoning is tenuous at best." said Teal'c mildly.

"Got a better plan?" Buffy said, looking at him.

"I do not. But I do feel that your feelings for your boyfriend may be affecting your judgement." Teal'c answered.

Before Buffy had a chance to say anything, Daniel said "No, she has a point. Adam clearly wants Riley for something, so there's no reason to suspect that he wouldn't come for him."

"Anyway, even if Adam doesn't turn up, it's the only plan that we have. So we might as well go for it." said Willow.

"So you're up for it, then?" Buffy asked.

Everyone answered something on the theme of "Why not?"

Except for Spike. He said "Can I help?"

Buffy gave a long, calculating look, before saying "Sure." Spike grinned.

Sam felt the sudden urge to kiss Spike, but it went as fast as it had come, leaving her shocked.
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