Of course I don't own any of the characters and don't make any money with this fiction
English is not my native language, but I hope that with the help of my Beta Laura, I got all mistakes removed.
Here I'm lying, on an examination table of that bloody Initiative, a place where I never wanted to be again. But the pain is driving me crazy, I can't stand it any more, I think I would agree to everything - just to stop it. And it seems like they are the only ones to help.
Through my pain and dizzy mind I hear Buffy and a soldier talking just outside the room, but I don't really care - until I hear him say "All decisions regarding Hostile 17 are to be left in your hands. This chip...we can either repair it... or remove it."
I must be hallucinating by now, because after a few seconds I hear her merely whisper "remove it...". That can't be true; I can't believe she trusts me enough to have the chip removed, it must be some trick The First is playing on me.
Another wave of pain stops all thoughts except the wish that it would end and by the time it receeds, Buffy and some men in uniforms and others in doctors robes are standing around me. She is giving me a reassuring look and takes my hand into hers, giving it a barely noticable squeeze. "Everything will be alright, trust me" I hear her say, then I feel the sting of a needle and get dizzy immediately. As I slip into the darkness, the last thing I feel is her hand still holding mine firmly.
When I come out from anaesthesia again, the pain is gone, but the Slayer’s hand is not. She is still sitting beside the examination table, holding me, giving me something to focus on until the narcosis is losing the last of its grip on my mind. I can imagine her, a weary look on her beautiful face, looking at me for signs of consciousness, perhaps even for signs of me being evil again or for signs of pain, who knows. I don't dare to open my eyes, don't want to meet her gaze, don't want to look at her, but she must have sensed that I'm back. Her hand is squeezing mine more tightly and she is whipering "Spike, I know you are awake, no need to hide, everything will be okay..."
Her voice is drifting off, I open my eyes and just find worry for me in her gaze, nothing else. "Is... is it really gone? Why..." I can't look at her, can't bring myself to finish the question, my mind is racing. It can't be true that the chip is gone, she must have ordered them to repair it, it's impossible that she trusts me enough, she would never.... "Yes, it’s gone. I know that you’ve changed, I trust you not to storm out and be evil again." Her voice brings me back, but still I can't believe. "How can you trust me, after all I did to you?" - "I don't know, I just do"
When I see the truth of her words in her eyes, a smile is stealing its way on my face. Using her hand still entwined with mine, I sit up, ready to face the world again. I'm back, finally not controlled or tamed any more, just myself. Yet she is right, I have changed, I will never get lost in the pleasure of hunting and drinking human blood again - I decided to fight on her side a long while ago and I will not change my mind now. But it feels good to be whole again, that I'm able to decide on my own which side I'm on.
Still smiling contentedly, I follow her outside, now my life can start again.
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