Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infrigement is intended. I am only keeping the fandom alive in our hearts.
The alley end of season 5 of Angel the series:
It was almost dawn when Spike felt the stake stab into his back and pierce his heart. Bollicks, he thought as everything around him melted away. He was happy that this time at least there was no pain.
Then he saw Candle, his cosmic intervention caseworker. She was arguing with a demon. “He’s mine,” she said. “He went thought the demon trials and won his human soul back. He has merged with his demon and no longer belongs to you.”
“He’s killed humans since his soul was returned,” the dark demon said, “and so belongs to us.”
“He killed without free will and without knowledge of what he was doing. He was used as a tool of the first. It leaves no stain on his soul. He is coming with me.”
Spike watched in disbelief that she was actually arguing with a demon over his soul. It made him feel like it wasn’t all for nothing. That it had counted, he had counted for… something.
The dark demon tried to grab Spike, but Candle stepped in front of him and the demon’s arm disappeared into Candle’s glowing body.
The demon screamed in pain as soon as it touched the light and Candle’s glow began to dim. Spike pulled the demon off the caseworker and threw it aside. The demon continued to scream for a moment longer and then it burst, and was gone.
“Are you all right?” Spike asked. “You look less glowy.”
“I’ll be fine,” Candle said. “We need to get you out of here.”
“Exactly where do you plan on sending him?”
Spike looked up to see that the voice came from a ball of golden light hovering above them.
“Supervisor Beacon,” Candle said. “I wasn’t expecting you to attend this retrieval.”
“You are under review, Caseworker Candle, the council was not happy with your previous placement of the William/Spike soul aspect. You placed him too far along in sentinel evolution. He remembers being a vampire and has told others about his placement in that universe.”
“He is a champion, the demon within him chose to merge with a human soul.”
“That makes no difference,” the supervisor said. “All the sentinels have chosen to merge with a human soul.”
“Hey,” Spike said, “What are you two goin’ on about? I’m the only vampire that fought to get his soul back. Angel was cursed with his. And what do sentinels have to do with vampires anyway?”
“Your charge has asked you a question,” Supervisor Beacon said to Candle. “Please answer him.”
Caseworker Candle sighed as she began. “Millennium ago, in your time frame, there were two factions on the Earth. One, the men believed that to fight against evil they needed to give the power of darkness to the light. These men imbued the first slayer with dark powers; the men became the first watchers. That is the Earth that you come from.
The second faction was the women. They believed that to win against evil they needed to bring light to the darkness, so they merged the vampires with the light and made sentinels. But sentinels were unstable so the women bonded with them one on one. They stabilized the sentinels and guided their souls to enlightenment; they became the first guides. With each lifetime a sentinel passes through a level of enlightenment and is further and further removed from his vampire past.
“So all sentinels used to be vampires?”
“Yes, if a vampire learns to love during its un-life it is eligible to become a sentinel. But you went further. You chose to merge your human soul with the demon while you were still un-dead. The others merge with a human soul at reincarnation.”
“Do you understand now?” the supervisor asked.
“Yeah, that other Spike wasn’t as enlightened as you thought.”
“There is no other Spike,” the supervisor said. “All aspects of you are truly you. You are simply having different life experiences.”
“So where does that leave me now?” Spike asked.
“If you still want to be a sentinel you will have to start at the first level of attainment; if you choose not to be a sentinel we will remove all the demon from your soul and you will be reborn as a fully human infant.”
“And the other part of me, the one that is already a sentinel, what will happen to him?”
“The demon will be removed from your entire soul,” the supervisor said.
“What does that mean?” Spike asked.
“From your point of view,” Candle said, “all the Spike’s in existence will die and be reborn as human infants, your soul will have a clean start.”
He thought about it for a moment and he remembered Buffy telling him she needed him the way he was, the fighter that didn’t hold back, and deep in his soul, his human soul, he knew he needed the demon part of himself too. Also, somehow he knew that if he chose to be reborn as a human infant important things would be left undone by the other Sentinel Spike, and he would lose a part of himself forever. “But I won’t be me anymore,” Spike said, to Supervisor Beacon. “I need all of me, I want to be a sentinel.”
“If this is your final decision,” the supervisor said, “you will be sent to the sentinel world at the level of first attainment. The sentinel’s of that world still have fangs to mark their guides, they bite them and they drink their blood. Are you prepared to drink human blood again?”
Spike couldn’t deny that a part of him wanted to sink his fangs into soft flesh, he was aroused by it and at the same time part of him was repulsed by his reaction, so repulsed he decided that he would never claim a guide. “I’ll do what I have to do,” Spike said.
“Very well,” Supervisor Beacon said. “Your caseworker will find a place for you and send you along. You will not remember any of the conversation we had today for as long as you are alive on that world. Because you are not merging with a human soul at reincarnation memories of your past life may bleed into your consciousness if they are needed for your soul to progress to the next level of enlightenment.”
Xander was not a happy man. He came into the bank to make a simple withdrawal and the bank gets robbed. Now he was stuck here until the police got around to questioning him. Well, at least the ambulance had taken away the hysterical woman. He tried to look at the whole thing philosophically. If he hadn’t been in the bank, the gunman would have shot her. It was his level 9 empathic abilities that quieted her. Level nine’s could see and hear emotions and a few, like him could have a comforting effect on distraught people.
Being empathic was a mixed blessing, as far as he was concerned. There were two kinds of people in the world. The ones that thought he was an easy mark and tried to walk all over him and the ones that got squeamish when he was around and didn’t want to have anything to do with him. His parents fell into the latter category. He was identified as empathic at age eleven. After that, he wasn’t allowed in the same room with his dad and his mom never again made eye contact with him. He tried to make it go away. He closed his eyes so he couldn’t see feelings, and then, two days later, he started hearing them. But once and awhile, very rarely, something good came of it. Like today, he saved a woman’s life. Of course, she vomited all over his gloves as soon at the bank robbers left, but at least she had the good grace to turn away and better his gloves got ruined than his shirt and pants.
He was exhausted though; using empathic abilities to keep an hysterical woman from going into an uncontrollable panic and most likely getting everyone in the bank shot, took a lot of energy. Xander looked at the police, who were still questioning the bank employees, and wondered if he needed to remind them he was still here. He decided he had better not say anything. They were still busy and it looked like they’d be a few more minutes, so he leaned his head back against the wall and closed his eyes, I’m just going to rest for a moment, he told himself, as he drifted off to sleep.
Sentinel Detective William Spikeman was not a happy man either. As soon as he walked into the bank his senses were assaulted with the smell of vomit. He managed to dial back his sense of smell to almost nothing but that only made his hearing dial up and he was having trouble sifting out background noise. He finished questioning the bank teller, but there was one more person to be questioned, a customer, who had spent most of the time on the floor during the robbery. Spike was reasonably sure he wouldn’t have anything to add to what happened, but the man still needed to be questioned. Spike stood in front of the customer shaking his head. The guy was actually asleep.
“Hey, buddy wake up,” Spike said, at a level that would not injure his sensitive hearing, but it wasn’t loud enough to rouse the sleeping man. Spike leaned over and tapped the man’s hand.
The result was instantaneous. Something that felt like painless electric shock sped up Spike’s arm and burst through out his body. “Guide,” Spike whispered, as the realization of what just happened hit him. He had just accidentally bonded with a guide. The last thing he wanted was a bond. He had been a sentinel less than a year and was getting along quite well. Blair, a guide at work, was teaching him how to control his dials. He had gained enough skill that he had no zone outs. It wasn’t perfect but it was good enough. He would be a very happy sentinel if he never had to claim a guide. In fact that was his plan. No guide, ever.
Xander was catapulted out of sleep as he felt the sentinel’s energy course through his body and mind. He sat up and gasped, “Sentinel?”
Spikes looked down at his hand and then back at the guide he had just accidentally bonded with. He nearly lost control of his scent dial, but managed to keep it dialed down. The last thing he needed was to scent the guide along with a bond touch. “Bloody hell, Guide,” he said, in a voice that seethed with anger. “Why aren’t you wearing gloves?”
Xander could see the anger, razor sharp, jagged peaks of rage vibrated across his inner eye. “One of the customers went hysterical during the robbery,” he said, in as calm a voice as he could muster when faced with an enraged sentinel. “I had to take them off to help her. She needed skin-to skin contact. Afterward she barfed all over them. I’m sorry.”
“This goes no further,” Spike said, through a clenched jaw. “You understand me Guide?”
Xander understood; the sentinel didn’t want him, would not be claiming him. “I understand,” Xander said, looking down at the floor. “Are you going to arrest me?”
“If I arrest you I’ll have to do the paperwork,” Spike growled, “and I never want to see your face again.”
Xander nodded still looking at the floor. It hurt to have his sentinel reject him. It shouldn’t hurt, not like this. But it did, the bond resulting from the energy exchange was instantaneous and it had told Xander everything about the sentinel. How he was usually slow to anger. How hard he worked to help people. He was tenacious; he would stick with a case once he started it, he would not give up. He was the kind of man Xander could love, did love, beyond reason. He knew the sentinel had no idea how much it hurt to be rejected by him, he was too angry with what happened. It’s my fault, Xander thought. I know the law. I should have tucked my hands into my sleeves or sat on them, or something.
“Rafe,” Spike yelled, as he left the bank “You question the customer, I’ve got to get out of here.”
Spike paced around his apartment. The craving to mark and claim his guide was nearly overwhelming. His breath came fast, his heart pounded, his palms sweat and his fangs itched. Somehow, he could sense that the man was in Cascade. That was the worst part, the sense of the guide, his guide. He forced the thought of his guide out of his head for what seemed the hundredth time. The guide was hurting and he was a sentinel bound by nature and DNA to protect guides. Spike wanted so much to go to him and sink his fangs into the soft flesh of his neck. He wanted the taste of his guide’s blood. He wanted it too much. There was a savageness about his want that horrified him. Spike decided he needed to put some distance between them; he would do anything to give this accidental bond a chance to fade. He got into his car and started driving away from Cascade.
Xander could feel his sentinel’s distress; it pounded through his body. All he wanted to do was to give his sentinel comfort. He had hoped that he could go home and ignore the bond and it would fade, but his sentinel’s distress was more than he could bear. He needed to do something, anything to help the sentinel. Xander knew empathically that the sentinel’s rejection of him wasn’t personal. The sentinel simply didn’t want a guide; he didn’t want any guide. He felt revulsion at the act of claiming. It wasn’t the act that he abhorred, but something within himself. The sentinel simply didn’t trust himself. He feared loss of control, he feared he might seriously injure or kill his guide. Xander called the Guide Hospital help line for advice.
The self-righteous woman on the phone gave Xander a lecture about the legal requirement that all un-bonded guides wear gloves in public to keep just this kind of thing from happening.
“Yes,” Xander said, annoyed that this sanctimonious woman was charged with giving help. “I realize all that, but right now my sentinel is suffering. I need to know what I should do.”
The woman became even more aggressive at the sound of Xander’s annoyance “First of all, he is NOT your sentinel,” she said in her snippy tone. “He has rejected you and the bond. You need to stop thinking of him as yours and remove yourself from the bond.”
“But how do I do that?” Xander asked.
“Through meditation, don’t you know anything?”
Xander had all he could take of the rude woman whose objective seemed to be to give as little information as possible while causing the maximum amount of emotional pain and hung up the phone without saying anything more.
The woman looked at the phone when she heard the click. “Asshole,” she said out loud, as she hung up the phone. She knew she should call him back and tell him to get into the hospital. A guide should not attempt to break a bond by himself. But the bastard hung up on her, so, as far as she was concerned, he could just suffer until he figured it out for himself.
Xander was emotionally devastated. His body ached and he felt as if he were carrying a huge weight on his shoulders. He walked into his bedroom, lay down on the bed, and closed his eyes. As painful as it would be he had to do this, sever the bond.
He controlled his breathing and cleared his mind, and then he saw it, a large intricately braided rope pulsing with energy. One end was attached to him and the other was attached to his sentinel. No, not his sentinel, the sentinel, and the sentinel was trying to get away, trying to put distance between them in hopes of lessening their agony. But the rope just kept growing longer. Xander knew what he had to do, he had to be strong. An axe appeared in his hand as a tear rolled from his eye. Xander raised the axe high above his head and brought it down on the rope with all the force he could muster and he felt the blow vibrate through his body. When he raised the axe for a second blow he saw a small cut in the rope, and some of the energy seemed to bleed away.
Spike was on the highway driving away from Cascade when he felt the blow. It hit him in the chest and felt as if a small part of his life force escaped with his exhale. He swerved the car into the breakdown lane and hit the breakes. “Holly hell,” he said out loud, and then he felt another blow. Something was attacking him and his guide. Spike’s eyes turned to the blue/black of a sentinel in thrall. He got back onto the highway and turned around by crossing the meridian strip. He broke the speed limit in his desperate race to get to Cascade and his guide.
Xander raised the axe a third time intent on severing the bond. He brought it down fast and hard.
“No,” Spike screamed when he felt the horrible sensation hit him again.
Xander heard the sentinel’s scream in his mind and the axe turned to dust as the meta-physical sound vibrated through him. Xander looked up with his third eye to see the sentinel speeding toward him. He came out of the meditation and waited, he knew the sentinel would be there within a few minutes.
Spike did not know where he was going on a conscious level. He followed the bond with the ancient instinct of a sentinel; he drove straight to Xander’s apartment building and pulled into a parking space. Spike got out of the car, and without bothering to lock up, he ran into the building and started banging on Xander’s door.
Xander had no choice but to open the door. The sentinel was in a bonding thrall and with his scream of ‘no,’ had forbidden him to sever their bond.
Spike pushed his way in and grabbed his guide’s arm, pulling him along as he began searching Xander’s apartment for the danger to him and his guide. “What happened?” he demanded. “Something was attacking us.”
“It was me, I was trying to break the bond.”
Spike stopped his search in the bedroom. “You were trying to get away from me?” Spike dropped Xander’s arm and grabbed him by the shoulder, pulling him close. With his other hand he closed his fist in Xander’s hair and pulled his head back.
Xander could see Spike’s claiming fangs had dropped. “You said you never wanted to see me again. Remember at the bank, you said it wouldn’t go any further.” Xander was desperate to bring some control to the sentinel. He wanted this to be real and not an uncontrollable bonding thrall. All he had was a small hope that the sentinel had changed his mind and wasn’t being driven by instinct alone.
“You’re mine,” Spike growled and sank his fangs into Xander’s neck.
Xander felt the piercing bite and then the warm sensation as Spike pumped the sentinel blue ink through his fangs that would forever mark Xander with the two blue spots of a bonded guide.
Spike sucked his guide’s blood into his mouth and felt elated at the taste. When he stopped the bite he licked repeatedly at the wound, savoring every drop of blood until the bleeding stopped. Then Spike laid Xander on the bed and began removing his clothes.
Xander lay still; he knew any movement at all would be looked on as resistance by the Sentinel and would most likely result in another claiming bite. “Am I really yours?” Xander asked. Hoping that the sentinel had come out of the thrall enough to answer the question and quiet the voice in Xander's mind that was telling him this wasn’t real.
The pain in Xander’s voice pierced Spike’s psyche and his eyes softened a bit as he looked at Xander and dropped the last of Xander’s clothing on the floor. “We need lube,” Spike said, as he pulled off his own shirt.
“Bedside table drawer,” Xander said with a sigh, realizing that Spike hadn’t answered the question.
Spike finished removing his clothes, took the lube from the drawer and climbed onto the bed. He began running his fingers over Xander’s body, followed by sniffing and licking.
Xander knew that the sentinel was patterning his body, committing it to memory so that he would know his guide even in total darkness. Xander hoped that Spike had changed his mind about bonding with him. He had heard terrible horror stories in guide school about sentinels that rejected a guide after an accidental bond had driven them into a claiming thrall. Xander put up empathic screens to try to limit the claiming. He wanted to give the sentinel what his body needed on a physical level but he wanted to wait until he was sure that the bond was what the sentinel wanted before fully opening his mind to him.
Spike tried to pattern the guide’s mind the way he had patterned his body and came up against the guide’s mental shields. He pushed against them but they were strong and held fast. Spike once again let his fangs drop and lightly bit into Xander’s shoulder. He gave a warning growl and Xander knew that it was useless to attempt to keep the sentinel out. He opened his mind and the sentinel dove into Xander, savoring the feel of his guide’s empathy; at the same time Xander was enveloped in the sentinel’s protection. He relaxed, and accepted the claiming, he couldn’t believe that the sentinel didn’t want him when he felt so cherished.
Spike gave his guide oral pleasure and he soared with every sound of delight his guide made. Spike eagerly drank down his guide’s offering as his fingers brushed Xander’s sweet spot. When Spike entered his virgin guide he took him slowly and deliberately. His long, leisurely strokes had Xander panting with pleasure. It was when all their senses merged into one joyous sensation, sentinel and guide became forever fused, that Spike was sent over the top, carrying his guide with him, he exploded pumping his seed deep within the willing body. Afterward, exhausted by the claiming, he held his guide close as they fell asleep.
Their hearts beat and their breath came in unison as they slept and when sleep left their minds they awoke together. Spike jumped out of bed and growled at Xander. “What did you do?”
“You were in a bonding thrall,” Xander said trying to reason with the angry sentinel. “I had to let you in or you would have broken down the door. I tried to talk to you, but you…”
“I told you I never wanted to see you again,” Spike growled, as he got dressed.
Xander could see the sentinel’s anger again, so different from the way he had been cherished a few hours before, he'd never felt so naked. “There was nothing I could have done to stop you, I tried to keep you out of my mind.”
“You did something to trigger the thrall, you said so last night.”
“I called the Guide Hospital help line, I just did what she told me.”
“The help line?” Spike said sarcastically. “Fine lot of help they were. This time go to the hospital and talk to a doctor, not some glorified operator. I want this bond gone. Do whatever it takes. Have them lock you in a room so I can’t get to you, and put an end to this. Do you understand me guide?”
“Yes, sentinel,” Xander whispered, looking down at the bed, it felt as if his whole being was caving in on itself. Over and over again he seemed to implode. He felt himself getting smaller by the second until all that was left was a small black rock of despair.
Spike left the apartment and slammed the door on his way out. He could feel the guide’s pain but refused to respond to it. The doctors would break the bond and it would be over soon enough.
Doctor’s office at the Guide Hospital:
“And those were his exact words?” Dr. Roberts asked, “I want this bond gone, do whatever it takes?”
“Yes,” Xander whispered.
The doctor had emotionally removed himself from the situation. It wasn’t that he meant to be cold to the guide it was just that he needed to protect himself. He had never had to write up an order to sever. Accidental bonds were rare and when they did happen, while not easy to break, could be overridden. It had been nearly a hundred years since a sentinel had signed an order to sever. He doubted that the sentinel would know what it meant.
One thing was for sure; he would see that the woman on duty at the help line was fired. She should have told the guide to come into the hospital right away. She was as much to blame as anyone for this.
“Technically you’ve been claimed,” the doctor said. “Even though he has not registered the claim, the law states I need to get his signature on the order to sever this bond. I’ll need his name.”
Xander panicked. “He never told me his name,” he said. “And I don’t want him to know that the only way to break the bond is… Please, don’t tell him.”
“It’s not uncommon for a sentinel to go into an irreversible zone coma when his guide dies,” the doctor said. “He’ll need to have a healing guide with him to keep that from happening, it’s for his own safety. I can’t lie to him, even if he doesn’t know now he will figure it out.”
“No he won’t,” Xander said. “He’s too angry, he won’t let himself think about it.”
“Is that why he never told you his name, because of the anger?”
“Yes, it overrides everything. He never asked my name either.”
“I can call the liaison officer, Sentinel Ellison. He knows all of the sentinels in Cascade. We’ll find him. I’ll avoid mentioning the euthanasia, but if he asks I will not lie to him. Sentinel Ellison will most likely know what an order to sever is. His guide, Blair Sandburg, will know for sure. He’s a doctor of anthropology and specializes in sentinel/guide relationships. Sentinel Ellison will feel that the discussion is none of his business, but Guide Sandburg will see it as guide abuse. I can’t predict how he will react.”
“What’s more abusive, doctor, forcing me into a guide relationship that neither the sentinel nor I want or allowing me to die with dignity? I don’t want him to take me out of some sense of guilt. He’s rejected me twice. I don’t think that it would be good for either of us to attempt a relationship at this point. I can feel he doesn’t want me.”
“There are a few more things we need to discuss,” Dr. Roberts said. “Who would you like notified? We can bring them here to say good-by before the severing.”
“There’s no one,” Xander said. “My family pretty much disowned me when they found out I was a guide.” Xander could feel the doctor’s resolve to remain distant evaporate with the news that he had no family. “It’s okay, doctor. The sentinel is within his rights to order a severing. I just want to get it over with, for both our sakes.”
The doctor forced his reserve back into place. “Certainly, however, you do have some choices. You may donate your organs, in which case you will go into surgery and have them removed, or you may simply have an injection that will put you to sleep. Do you have a preference?”
“I think I’ll opt for organ donation,” Xander said.
“I thought you might; standard procedure for guides without family is cremation and scattering of the ashes. Will that be okay?”
“Yes, anything, fine.” Xander said letting anger at the constant barrage of questions creep into his voice. “I don’t want to talk about this anymore. I just want to go to my room now.”
“Yes, of course… and… I’m very sorry about all of this,” the doctor said. “If there were any other way…” and then called a nurse to escort Xander to his room.
When Xander left, with the nurse, Dr. Roberts took a bottle of brandy out from his bottom desk drawer and poured himself a shot. It was bad enough when a sentinel lost a guide in the line of duty, but this… There had been research, two decades ago, trying to find a chemical erasure for the mental pathways that were laid down at claiming, but the sentinels put an end to the research, fearing that guides would start breaking bonds at will. Laws were passed to limit the possibility of accidental bonding and they worked to some extent, there was an average of only ten a year. Information about what to do when they did occur faded from common knowledge and guide schools taught only how to avoid an accidental bond not how to deal with one if it happened.
Claiming a guide was a different story altogether. A bond was the exchange of life force energy and was meta-physical in nature. It could not be erased altogether but it could be made to fade and pushed into the background and then the guide could bond with another sentinel. Claiming was a physical reaction to the bond. Neural pathways were laid down in the telepathic and empathic centers of the brain. Guide and sentinel synchronized their vital signs. Death was the only way to stop the bond once a sentinel and guide were in sync. Xander said he had tried to keep the sentinel from synchronizing with him, but the sentinel had insisted on getting in. “A pity.” Dr Roberts said as he picked up the phone to call Sentinel Ellison.
Cascade Police Department, Bullpen:
“That would be Sentinel William Spikeman. Hold on.” Jim said. He put the doctor on hold and turned to his fellow detective. “Spike, did you mark and claim a guide last night and order him to have the bond severed this morning?”
“I told him to go to the hospital and get it done. I don’t want to talk to him, Jim.”
“It’s Dr. Roberts from the hospital,” Jim said, “You need to confirm what the guide told him and sign the order to sever.”
Spike took the phone.
“Did I just hear what I thought I heard?” Blair asked Jim.
“It’s none of our business, Chief.”
“You can’t let this happen, Jim.”
“I can’t force him to take a guide he doesn’t want, Blair. Now, come on let’s go.”
“No,” Blair said. “Spike wouldn’t do this. He can’t know what it means. If he does then he’s not the man we think he is.”
Spike put the doctor on hold and turned to his co-workers. “Blair, the doctor seems to think I may need a healing guide when the bond is severed. He needs to confirm with you that you're willing to do it.”
“No, I’m not,” Blair said with so much venom in his voice that Spike was startled. “I’m not going to help you. If you do this, man, I’m never going to speak to you again.”
“Blair, that’s enough,” Jim said, and then he turned to Spike. “Get another guide for this, Spike, Blair can’t help you.” Jim started to lead Blair away.
“What the fuck is the matter with you two? You act like I’m killing the guy, all I’m doing is breaking an accidental bond.”
Blair pulled his arm away from Jim and turned to face Spike. “You claimed him, you’re in sync with him. How the fuck do you think the bond is broken?” Blair said, with seething anger.
Spike expression changed at the realization of what Blair had said and he stared at the guide in disbelief. “I don’t want him dead, I just want him out of my life.”
“You marked him and claimed him,” Jim said, with sympathy only another sentinel could give. “He’s either in your life or one of you is dead.”
Spike looked at Jim, his eyes pleading for more than sympathy but understanding as well. “It was an accidental bond, Jim.”
“It had to be broken before you marked him and claimed him,” Jim said quietly.
Spike shook his head. “There has to be some other way.”
“After you sync with a guide there isn’t any other way,” Blair said. “Sentinels outlawed research to find another way twenty years ago.”
Spike couldn’t let the young man die. He'd probably saved everyone’s life in the bank during the robbery. He didn’t deserve to die because of an accident. He didn’t want a guide, but this young man was brave and kept his head under pressure. Now he was willing to give up his life because his sentinel had told him to do whatever it takes, the guide was willing to give his life to set his sentinel free. Whether he wanted a guide or not he had one and one worth having. Spike looked into Jims eye’s, he had made a decision. “I need time off, Jim, I need to get my guide.”
“You’re in no shape to drive,” Jim said, recognizing the distress in Spike’s voice. “I’ll give you a ride to the hospital.”
The two sentinels and Blair left the bullpen, forgetting that the doctor was waiting on hold.
Jim dropped Spike at the hospital door and went to park the car.
“I’m here to pick up my guide,” Spike told the receptionist.
“What’s your guide’s name, Sentinel?”
“I don’t know,” Spike said, “he never told me his name.”
“You don’t know your guide’s name?” she asked, confusion clearly showing on her face.
“Never mind I’ll find him,” Spike said, before she could question him further. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes searching for the path to his guide. He had done this before; he had located him in a whole city, surely he could do it in one building. He turned his sense of scent up, along with his hearing. He sniffed the air constantly, searching for even the tiniest hint of his guide and he listened to every heartbeat. He knew it would be in perfect sync with his own.
He climbed stairs, turned corners and followed corridors until he picked up the scent. He knew his guide has passed that way, and then he heard the heartbeat. He walked over to the door and pushed. It was locked.
Spike returned to the nurse’s station. “I need to pick up my guide in room 327. The door is locked, open it,” he said, in the voice of a sentinel giving a command.
“I’m sorry, Sentinel,” she said, as she pressed the button for security. “We have strict orders not to let you into his room.”
“Yes, I know. I told him to give you those orders and now I’m revoking them, so open the door and let me take my guide home.”
Spike saw security walking down the corridor. He turned to face the two sentinels. “You don’t want to come between me and my guide,” he said with a warning growl.
Jim, Blair and the doctor came around the corner. “Stand down, sentinels,” Dr. Roberts said. “I’ll take care of Sentinel Spikeman.”
“You,” Spike growled. “Why didn’t you tell me that an order of severance was an execution order?”
“Because your guide requested I not tell you,” the doctor said.
“Why would he do that?” Spike asked.
“To prevent exactly what is happening now,” the doctor said. “He doesn’t want to belong to a sentinel who feels trapped into a bond.”
“I’m not going to let you kill him,” Spike said.
“You have put the guide through tremendous emotional pain,” the doctor said in a perfectly reasonable tone. “You have rejected him twice, once at bonding and again after marking and claiming him. He no longer trusts you and he cannot be a guide to a sentinel he cannot trust. Please respect his wishes and allow him to die with some dignity.”
“Let me talk to him.” Spike said.
“I cannot allow you to continue to emotionally torture this guide. A guide, I might point out, that you did not care enough about to learn his name or to tell him yours.”
Spike’s eyes suddenly turned bright yellow and his claiming fangs dropped as memories of another life, on another world were instantly perceived. “Open the bloody door, doctor,” Spike said in a low growl and with a perfect English accent. “Or I will tear your throat out and go through the wall. Xander Harris is mine and I’ll not allow you to kill ‘im.”
“Doctor,” Jim said, attempting to be the voice of reason, and knowing Spike was more than capable of doing what he threatened. “I think you should open the door.”
“On one condition,” the doctor said. “You and Blair go into the room with him.”
Spike gave a low growl.
“I don’t think you're in any position to make conditions,” Jim said. “but Blair and I will wait right outside the door, incase Xander needs us.” Jim looked at Spike. “Will that be satisfactory, Spike?” he asked.
Spike nodded and the doctor walked to the door and swiped his key card. Spike entered Xander’s room.
Xander sat up in the bed and scooted as far away from Spike as he could get. “I told them not to let you in. Just like you told me to,” Xander said, in a nervous voice as he looked at the yellow eyed sentinel. He was still angry, but it had changed direction somehow. The sentinel’s anger was no longer directed at him.
“I know, Pet,” Spike said, his yellow eyes still glowing. “I had to threaten to rip the doctor’s throat out before he would open the bloody door. Where are your clothes, Xan? We’re going home.”
“No,” Xander said. “I know you don’t want me. This is just guilt because you found out what they have to do to sever the bond.”
“I do want you, Pet. You’re mine, bonded, marked and claimed; we’re in sync.”
“And when your eyes turn back to blue and you lose the English accent, when whatever crazy state you’re in now disappears; what then? Are you going to tell me that you never want to see my face again?”
“I’ll never say that to you again, Pet, I promise.” Spike’s eyes turned back to blue and when he spoke it was without the English accent. “Please come home with me, I want you and I need you.”
“How am I supposed to believe that?” Xander asked.
“I know I’ve been a major asshole,” Spike said. “All I can do is ask you to give me another chance.”
“I don’t think I have another chance in me,” Xander said.
“Sure you do, just get dressed and come home with me.”
Xander looked into Spike’s eyes. “I’ll come home with you if you can tell me why you want me. Convince me that this isn’t some guilt trip and I’ll consent to be your guide.”
“Xan, how am I supposed to put something like that into words?”
“Yeah, I thought so,” Xander said. “Just leave. This is my choice, it’s what I want.”
Spike grabbed Xander’s johnny and tore it open and then he put his hand on Xander’s chest. “You feel that, Guide, feel that energy between us. How am I supposed to put that into words? I’ve been a fool, an ass, an idiot, or anything else you want to call me. I made two horrific mistakes sending you away when I should have got down on my knees and thanked every deity that exists that we found each other. You’re no trap, Xander, you’re the best thing that has ever happened to me or could ever happen to me. So, please come home, Guide. Please!”
Xander was overwhelmed with emotion. He could feel the sentinel’s energy pouring into him and healing his pain. “Are you sure?” he asked, as he looked deep into Spike’s eyes, not believing that it could be true, that his sentinel could really want him, could cherish him.
Spike smiled, “I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.”
Xander felt the warmth and love the smile conveyed and opened his arms to his sentinel
Spike opened his own arms and moved in to envelop his guide in a hug.
“I’m so sorry,” Xander said. “I didn’t know. I thought you didn’t want me.”
“No, Pet, it’s my fault,” Spike said as he kissed Xander’s face. “I’m so sorry I hurt you.”
Thirty minutes later Spike carried Xander over the threshold of his new home.
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