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I have boldly lifted bits of dialog from "After Life" and following episodes. These show up in red. Footnotes are at the end of each chapter.
Giles returned. He was very grateful to Spike. Buffy could see the bond between the men Spike had mentioned. He helped Buffy return to patrolling, which she did only with Spike at first. Giles tended to Willow. Eventually, it was decided he should take the witch to England for some proper training in magic. Giles used his connections to help Buffy get a job at the museum gift shop. Tara worked part-time at a bookstore to help with rent. Giles also pulled some strings with the Watcher’s council to get a rather large check from them.
Spike came and went, but he was always there when she woke up. Buffy insisted he did not have to be there all the time, but at first she woke up afraid more often than she let him know. She did not want to be completely dependent on him. Some nights they talked. Sometimes they laughed. Other nights they were like an old married couple with Spike reading in the light coming through the window, or sneaking in after Buffy was asleep. The waking up became easier and Spike less often sported a fresh morning bruise. Buffy worked through her feelings, and became more grounded. Everyone took Buffy’s request to heart and saw Spike with open minds. Spike found himself accepted for the first time in many long years. A number of demons were fought, vampires slain, and a trio of evil nerds was disbanded.
Note: I may flesh out this time period one day. For now, It is the beginning and ending of Buffy's journey which matter.
To see more of the Spike and Giles bonding read Exchanges 1.
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