Soulful

BY : obsessivecreature
Category: AtS/BtVS Crossovers > General
Dragon prints: 762
Disclaimer: I do not own BtVS or, its characters, they belong to others. I am not making any money from this story.

Soulful

W/S. Some making out and touching. Rating: PG-13.

Description: Willow receives a diary from a fellow witch and finds out more then she bargained for.

Timeline: 4th season Buffy and 1st season Angel. W/S- PG13

FYI: I read Soulless, by “Katie”, about five years ago and was never able to get it out of my head. Back then I had printed the whole thing out on paper so that I could read it like a book when ever I wanted but, like many good things, it was short lived. I was never able to find the story again online. Now, five years later, I have decided to physically retype the whole story over and, while still staying true to the concept and plot, input my own ideas and dialoged. Thank you Katie, wherever you are, for thinking up the best W/S fanfic I have ever read. It is my hope that by posting it again that many others, like me, can become enlightened, entertained, and enthralled with the Jossverse for a second time.

*****

Willow thought for a long time that she and Oz were soul mates, that no matter what, they were meant to be together… and then all that changed. Willow had grieved, reeked havoc, and finally accepted her fate as a single collage-bound schoolgirl when Oz had split.

Then Willow had found Tara. Tara couldn’t replace Oz, not by a long shot, but at least the red heads Magic’s could be practiced now… a notion Oz had always opposed.

Then one day, at Tara’s request, Willow had gone to visit Eliana Mishna . Eliana was a “new” self-proclaimed witch who had recently bought a home in Sunnydale.

Coming up to the front door, Willow timidly knocked, and an almost ancient looking woman answered. The witch had the entire customary expected gypsy garb on: the long skirt, the bandana, the thick necklaces full of beads, and of course, the white stringy hair. New witch in town, Willow thought, that’s what passes for new?  “H- hi, I’m Willow Rosenberg… one for Tara’s friends.”

 

The old woman nodded. “Oh yes, Tara said you might come to see me.” She spoke in a thick European accent. To some, the accent might not have seemed such a strange thing coming from a woman of her profession, but for Willow it rang a few unsettling bells for some unknown reason now. “Please come in.” Willow walked into the dimly lit house. She saw a table in the middle of the living room with a large, very stereotypical, crystal ball on it. “Please sit down.” Eliana said. Willow remained obedient and walked over to sit in one of the chairs at the table.

The old woman did not join the red head; instead the witch very slowly went to a bookshelf behind her and began to look through the volumes one by one. “Let me see….” The old woman muttered as she gazed back and forth, her old and wrinkled eyes squinting at the dusty text. Instead of a book, Eliana pulled out a smaller purple crystal, walked over, and handed it to Willow. “Hold this.” The crystal in Willows hand started to glow. “Hum. I see you have not been a witch long. You know, I have seen crystals like that broken into a million shards by the mire presents of a powerful mage… held by you it is weak… for now. But do not fret, it pulses, showing great potential.”

“Well, it’s only been a year or two.” Willow handed back the crystal to Eliana’s open palm, and as the old witch went to grab the small crystal, also did she grab Willows hand… hard. Eliana closed her eyes for a moment. “Hey!” Willow protested.

The old woman spook sternly. “You have lost a love.” Willow gave up the urge to pull her hand back and instead nodded at the mention of Oz. Eliana continued to talk without pause. “But he wasn’t the one.” Willow jerked her head up in surprise. “Your true love is close… closer then….” The old witches eyes opened and there, admits the irises flowed a spectrum of pale lights and colors. Eliana, frankly, let go of Willows hand and turned back to her bookcase. She chose a thin leather bound one this time, walked back to the table as quickly as she could, and handed it to Willow. “This belongs to you I believe… that is all I can tell you.” Willow was baffled, she got up with the book and Eliana escorted her (or more like pushed her) out the front door. “Thank you for coming,” she said.

As the red head turned around, the door shut in her face with a quick rush of air. Willow looked down to the book, turned towards the street, and began to walk back to her dorm. “Well, that was interesting.” She said to herself as she looked at the small dark book with no title. Willow opened the book and saw that this was no ordinary book, but in fact a diary. The words are hand written anddamn- in another language.

*****

“Hum, some fortune teller.” Buffy said after Willow had gotten back to the dorm. The slayer flipped through the pages of the old book and could make no sense of them either.

Willow nodded, taking back the book into her own hands.

“You didn’t pay for that did you?” The slayer asked. Willow shook her head no. “Good, cause it would have been a rip off.” Buffy glanced at the clock by her bed. “ Oh, I got to go to class. Hey, look at me… you know, with the class going to. Talk to you tonight O.K.?”

Willow nodded as Buffy grabbed her bag and raced out the door, waving a goodbye. Willow sighed; she was in a bit of mild distress because she, unlike Buffy, did NOT have class today. “Some get all the luck.” She muttered to herself before looking to the diary. Maybe she would start to decipher it… that would be slightly educational for her wouldn’t it?

Willow picked up the book and went to the U.C. Sunnydale Library to start on the personal project. It wasn’t until Willow had arrived inside the library, looked up the foreign language section, and had opened the identification book, did she realize that the script was now in legible English. Maybe she had misread the first few pages wrong the first time. Then again…gypsy-magic-duh. Willow walked over to a near by table and began to read. At the top of the yellowish parchment was written the numbers 1- 7- 3- 1... “Oh, 1731, gosh. It’s really old… and probably very valuable.” Willow began to scan the pages, reading the first entry.

*****

March 1731

I am in hopes that they shall meet and talk today. He had been avoiding her in the village but the time will come, Adriana and Jeremy shall be together, it is their destiny. My daughter pretends she does not care for boys…but I have seen her notice Jeremy so that is how I chose him… he is the one.

*****

March 1731

Jeremy has been coming to see her all the more. As I have hoped, they have fallen unto Cupids spell. It was inevitable really for, I have discovered, they are soul mates. What a rare thing! She likes him, I can tell these things. She is singing to herself love sonnets that she reads in books… ah, young love is a most wonderful thing to witness. Times are at their most happy in the village.

*****

August 1731

After a long time, and a little hesitation, Jeremy has finally asked her.  It took a spell of courage for him, but I am not to meddle with them too much more, I just want to see them happy together. They WILL be happy, I will see to it, my daughter will have the best man in the clan as her husband, make no mistake of it.

 

*****

September 1731

The shadow of death had befallen my people. Many of the family have been taken ill with a disease that seems incurable with all of my spells and herbs. The worst of these is Adriana. She is at deaths door and I can feel its cold hands taking her.

*****

September 1731

The tragedy has happened. Alas the day that the powers should take my daughter to the grave and I am not in heaven to meet her. And if this were not enough, her lover Jeremy has also died… but by his own hand. When he saw Adriana take her final breath he took his dagger and thrust it into his broken heart. They shall be buried quickly so that the disease cannot infect the living… but I know what is at stake. Soul mates, once finding each other, cannot be separated before achieving true happiness. I WILL find a way for the soul mates to be together again so that my daughter’s immortal soul is not left in limbo… no matter how long is takes.

*****

Willow was slightly confused by the entries, but they saddened her. The mother of Adriana, although a little controlling, had so much love for her daughter. Willow sighed. “So where’s my true love.” She muttered. A librarian walking by and hushed Willow quiet in one harsh mean gesture. Willow cowered in her chair as the lady walked off. Maybe it was time to leave and finish the diary’s entries in her room; after all, this story was turning into quite the confidential tale.

Willow stood, gathered her book bag, and began to walk back to her dorm. She continued to read on her way back and saw that the next entry was dated almost thirty years later.

*****

February 1762

I have found my daughter’s new life. Her name is now Yvette and she is a beautiful French maid. Jeremy is here close by in France too, as soul mates often are on the material plane, but now he is known as Jean-Luc. Jean-Luc, disappointedly, is a lover and takes many women but will not settle on which to marry. It will be difficult to get the two together without my direct meddling, but I believe I can rest the spirits at last.

*****

March 1762

That damned boy is just a rat born with a beautiful face.  He does not know that he and Yvette belong together, so he simply strings her along for convenience. She will not see his evil ways being blinded by passion and I fear she shall be hurt because of that.

*****

April 1762

He has found a new woman… a woman of the night; she is not human by day but the devil herself. She is of pure evil… she is everything that Yvette is not, which is why I believe this devil woman wants Jean-Luc.

*****

April 1762

As I had feared, Jean-Luc has become one of there kind.  His first victim was Yvette. She did not know any better. I was too late to save her… but I turned the boy into dust easily with my Magicks. His soul is not gone but in the hands of fate now... and if strong enough is the will to be together, Jean-Luc’s human soul will come back to Yvette again in another life. As soon as I had killed him the Devil-tress, Darla, entered of course. She was prepared to kill me quick for having dispatched her new lover…. But I held a cross up to her and cursed her, cursed her to be killed by her own love one day as Yvette was killed by hers. The spirits are still restless and I do not have much time left.

*****

Willow stared in shock at the pages as she sat on her bed. This woman had met Darla, Angel’s Darla, the same vampire that had tried to kill Buffy’s mom. This woman had cursed Darla to be killed by her love… as Angel had indeed done. This was too much to believe, she almost didn’t believe it, was it possible that the reason Angel had killed Darla was because of a curse? Caught up in the story, Willow continued the read.

*****

August 1824

I am old, ninety-six, and this journey has taken all of my strength. I have adopted my younger sister’s daughter, my niece Diana, who is named after the Greek goddess. She is as lovely as the moon itself. The girl is young but impetuous…much as Adriana was. She will be twenty in three days time… and then I will hand down the burden of these unresolved spirits. She will now try and make peace with the spirits of Adriana and Jeremy for I will not be able to finish.

*****

 

October 1827

My aunt Liana, the last blood relative I had, has died. This is my first entry into her “soul diary” as she called it. She has made me promise to continue with her spells and her journey… and I reluctantly shall. I have promised to keep her curse upon the undead and rest the spirits of my cousin and her love. It is my mission now, for if I do not try as my aunt had… who will carry out our family legacy now?

*****

October 1834

Oh what a happy day. It is my wedding day, as I have always wanted. I have married into another clan, the Kelderash of Romania. They travel a great deal so I will still be able to continue my Aunts mission and be with my love and Husband Fernando. The spirits will rest at last.

*****

December 1844

I have given birth to a beautiful baby girl and have named her Anna. Some good news in a family with such a shadowy past.

 

*****

August 1873

I have finally found them, in a village in Northern England. I recognized the souls eventually. They know each other but do not love. William and Emma are hesitant to love I fear… both are from different social classes and do not want to anger their parents. I shall cast a spell and perhaps they will see what needs to be seen.

*****

January 1875

Their families are separating them. William has gone to live in London with his mother, and Emma has secretly scheduled herself to move to London as well, despite her parent’s demands. Emma wishes to be with William, but I can already see that William sees Emma as only a friend. What can I do to savage this?

*****

August 1880

William has fallen in love with another, but I can tell that it is not real… almost trivial; although I’m sure he believes it is real. This is a sort of love that is overwhelming and uncompromising. He wants only what he cannot have… it is as simple as that. Emma still waits for him in London, living with another relative, and is aware of this new girl that William adores. But Sicily will never love William as much as Emma does

*****

September 1880

I shall kill every vampire that roams this earth and I promise that! William has been changed as Jean-Luc before him. However, interestingly enough, unlike Jean-Luc, I do not think William will kill Emma. Through my spell of sight I could see that he knew he still cared for Emma…. even without a soul he knew… and I could not believe it. There may be hope yet but I have to work quickly. The time is short and there are many deceptive women in this day and age.

*****

Just then there was a knock at the door. Willow groaned, sat up, and walked over to the wooden door leaving the book opened and out on the bed. Of all the times for people to visit! The red headed witch opened the door and found, waiting for her, an impish sort of grin.

“Ello red.” Spike looked up from the lighter he held in his hand, leaning against the doorframe.

Willow sighed. “Hey Spike.” She said before turning back and walking to her bed to sit.

Spike casually walked in and closed the door, simultaneously putting the lighter away in one of his leather duster pockets. “Some greeting.” He snorted, Willow smirked, and he smirked at her smirking. There was a lot of weird looks going on.

Willow looked up to him from her seat on the bed. “What are you doing here? Do you need blood cus Buffy doesn’t-”

“Bored I s’pose, not a lot you can do as a killer with no means to ki-” He stopped himself before going too far. The real reason he had come was to attempt to make nice-nice with the scoob’s finally. He couldn’t survive any longer without a friendly relationship and, although Buffy wasn’t here, the witch was a good start. But how would one go about sucking up to red in the non blood way? Start simple, he thought, something honest… the truth. “Actually…” He started uneasily, looking towards the bed and briefly remembering that he had once almost tried to kill the witch there. “I wanted to ah… sorta thank you for Thanksgiving…. putting me back up to the table after the tumble…. taking the arrows out… being the only one who stood up for me in your whole lot.” It was true.

Willow was barley-paying attention; instead she glanced outside the window to the dusk settling into night. “You… thank me? I’m supposed to believe that?” Willow sighed, what a bitch she was being. She turned back and looked at him in the eye, giving him the benefit of the doubt. “OK, then how’d you get here?” she said softly.

Spike turned to the window, watched the budding hours of darkness with her, and then sighed to himself. Bugger, well, what did you expect? Not like you could actually make a friend with one of them! He began to walk over to the bed, giving up but at the same time determined to wait for Buffy. “I’ve been here all night.”

Willow stood; when she got up Spike was directly in her way. Ignoring him Willow pivoted around and went to the front door, grabbing her toothbrush and her pajamas from the drawers. “I’m going to the bathroom to get ready for an early bed time. I’ll be right back.” And with that she walked out of the room and off to the community bathroom down the hall with her toothbrush.

Spike turned and watched as she left before sitting down on her bed and looking around the room in curiosity. A few minutes went by before Spike turned downward to find the leather bound journal on the bed opened. A quick head tilt and he was able to make out a date and a name. “1880…. Emma.”

Willow walked back into the room with her toothbrush in one hand, wearing her monkey pajamas, and looked to Spike reading the book. “What’re you doing?” Spike stood up very quickly and looked to her. Willow walked to the bed, bent down, and snatched up the book. She quickly closed it before standing back up to her full height and, again, coming to within inches of the vampires face.

Both stared into one another’s eyes, and then something strange happened… despite the fact that this stand off had started almost as immaturely as a child’s staring contest, Willow could feel something happen… a supernatural pulse magic coming from on or around Spike. He looked oddly at him, these sensing’s of magic always an odd feeling to her as she slowly got more powerful every passing day.

Spike must have felt this supernatural wave of energy too for, in that exact moment, the blond leaned forward bridging the gap between their lips. Willow stalled as long as she could before finally looking to the ground from habit. “Find anything interesting?” She said quietly.

Spike shook his head, coming out of that spell like daze, and looked down at the book in her hands. “No. I don’t read too much you know.” Willow looked to him and raised an eyebrow, suspecting the obvious lie. Spike shrugged off the notion and became himself once again, swagger, confidence…the usual. “I told you I was bored.”

Willow nodded, accepting his answer, for that brief moment. Then it clicked, something wasn’t right here… the dates! She couldn’t believe it, why hadn’t she thought of it before? Although she was sure that there must have been a few other vampires in the world named William….still. “Spike, can I ask you a question?”

“Another?” He smirked… she didn’t.

“What exact year were you sired?”

In that moment panic set in and Spike moved toward the front door. “Oh, I forgot, got something to do tonight, guy stuff pet and all, Tah!” And as quickly as he had come, Spike was gone; Willow didn’t even have a chance to protest.

The red head sighed to herself as she walked back over to her bed with the book. She sat down onto the pastel colored sheets and thought for a moment. The scenarios almost seemed to fit but she couldn’t be sure yet. Spike, she had always thought, was an interesting sort of vampire. She had to admit, it would’ve been interesting to find out a little bit more about his past. When she would go over to Giles’ home she had always turned to Spikes section of the book…. although unsure why. Maybe she just liked looking at that old black and white eighteenth century picture of him, his hair all natural blond and tucked back behind his ears with that old-fashioned collar and glasses. She had always meant to ask him about those glasses but had never gotten the chance. Willow shrugged to herself and once again opened the book to give it a quick read through, the chapters are short so it won’t take too much time to solve this mystery, she thought.

*****

Even though it was dark now, Spike decided to take the sewer passages back to his crypt. He didn’t know how Willow had gotten hold of that book, but he did know that if she continued to read it she was about to find out more the he wanted her to. No one alive knew about that early part of his life, and he wanted it to stay that way, although… then Spike thought a second time.

Suddenly Spike stopped dead in his tracks. Unexpectedly the vampire realized that he wouldn’t have minded if Willow knew about his past. Willow was polite to him and she had treated him much like Joyce had, with an un-judgmental sort of benevolence one rarely ever found in people of the non vampire variety. Willow was one of the good ones, a real posh bird, but how much was he himself willing to let her know before she found out his dark little secrets on her own?

*****

September 1880

Emma is dead, I have no idea who has killed her but I know it was most certainly a vampire. I am not willing to believe William had anything to do with it, but that seems like the only logical answer. I saw him leave her home, and when I went in I saw her dead. I cannot believe it, he is only an animal, which is what they all are!

*****

October 1894

I have given up my aunt’s search for my cousin’s spirit. The clan is going back to Romania, and I am as well with my daughter Anna and her three daughters. I am not going to pass this awful burden to them for they do not deserve it.

*****

November 1898

My burden had changed somewhat; I now vow to make sure that the vampire suffers! He killed Gabriella and he deserves a punishment worse then death. My little granddaughter was so beautiful, and she died so violently. The vampire will pay, I will see to that, Angelus and his minions will never find peace as long as our family lives on.

*****

In utter shock Willow reread the last entry to make sure she had read it correctly… and she had. This was the part of the diary that belonged to the woman that cursed Angel. Suddenly it all clicked, everyone in this story was connected; Darla, Angel, the gypsies, and Spike. Willow picked up her phone by the side of her bed and called Giles’ number.

*****

The watcher picked up the phone on the other end within two rings. “Hello?”

“Giles, it’s Willow, can I come over and do some research?”

“Of course Willow, you are welcome any-“

“Thanks,” She interrupted, “I’ll be there as soon as I can.” Quickly she hung up the phone, grabbed the diary, slipped on some sandals, picked up her things, and walked out the door still in her monkey pajamas.

*****

An hour later Giles was reading the diary while Willow had meanwhile started the research through some of his old books. The Watcher was fascinated; the council had no records of the gypsy’s accounts of the curses, so this was a most important document to him indeed. Just after finishing the entire diary, Giles walked over to Willow and held out the book. “Willow, did you read the last few entries?”

Willow continued to scan the book she was reading as she answered. “No, only up until November 1898.”

Giles flopped the opened diary in front of her other book. She turned up to him in puzzlement. He spook clearly and without pause. “I think you had better have a looked at them.” Willow looked down and began to read.

*****

December 1898

The curse is done, but it is not enough. I shall punish him as long as it takes. Angelus will live only as long as I say and will find no happiness in that time. The ritual to restore the two spirits shall take place during the vernal equinox of the new millennia. It is the only time. He shall be the sacrifice to restore the two spirits to the spirit world so they will roam no longer… and that will be the end of it… finally.

*****

July 1920

My grandmother Diana passed a few years ago. I found this book and understand it to a point. I shall continue the curse on Angelus for her and for our family. Angelus killed my sister and for that, I agree, he should suffer. I know nothing of the two spirits that my grandmother speaks of, but I shall figure it out and then complete the ritual for her when the time comes. They were my family as Gabriella was my sister.

*****

August 1920

I have done a sight spell… and the research. The soul of Adriana will be born again after another 60 or so years… in America… and that is when I will confront her… years from now. I do not know where her soul is presently, I have no location spells of that sort, but fates willing all will be resolved. The soul of Jeremy, however, is sadly lost in the nether realm. William is a vampire so the only way to complete the ritual will be to restore his soul when the time comes. I say let him live out whatever fate has in store for him for now…maybe I will get lucky and he will be dust sooner then expected. I will head to America in due time, for that is where Adriana will be and where Angelus has now fled. He still suffers, as he should.

*****

February 1999

The bastard! He has killed my sister’s old husband Augustus… and my niece Janna! Angelus has come back, the curse has been lifted and I do not know why. Thank the gods I know that it is not Angel's fault… otherwise I might have been inclined to do something rash. He had been doing good deeds… it is a difficult situation. I will attempt to do a spell of courage, but I do not believe it will help matters. I trust in fate.

 

March 2000

The time of the equinox is near but I have not found the soul of Adriana yet. I can feel that she is close, and that is good, but it is more important now then even that she emerge from the masses. William is here, which helps, but as for Angel, re-souled now- as it were… he is not far. I must not let my personal feelings get in the way of doing the right thing. I will call upon them all to save their souls… when the time comes.  So little time and I must still find the girl.

*****

Willow saw that the 2000 entry was the last one in the whole book. “I don’t understand completely.”

Giles grabbed a book from the side of the coffee table and opened it, flipping through pages. “It appears that the sister of the gypsy girl Angelus killed is planning on sending the souls of Adriana and Jeremy to the spirit world to be together for all eternity. This can only be done on the first day of spring in the year 2000.”

Giles kept skipping pages to find what he was looking for while Willow started to panic. “But that’s in two days Giles.”

The librarian finally found the page he was looking for. “Now, the only way to act out the ritual is to use a soul possessing demon, like Angel, as a sacrifice. The soul of Jeremy must also be restored to the hosts’ body, this vampire named William, before the ritual can be preformed. Now, when the two “soul mates” are put into a sacred circle, Angel must be slain for the portal to the hellish spirit world to open. A larger force from the spirit world will then, literally, grab the two soul mates’ souls from the hosts’ body and suck them up into a vortex. This includes anyone else unfortunate enough to be caught in the circle… like Angel.

“So Angel is killed and the two soul mates souls are sucked into damned oblivion?”

“To cut it down to the lowest common denominator, yes.” Willow gazed back at the Watchers front window… it was night out. Her head went down, she sighed before turning back to Giles and gazing into his perceptive eyes. He spook again, softly. “And I know why this sister is in Sunnydale, specifically.”

Willow nodded in agreement, knowing the answer already. “It’s because Spike is the William vampire isn’t it?”

He nodded. “Now we have to find Adriana’s soul before she does. We can call on Angel… but we need Spikes help now.”

*****

Willow, now in jeans and a simple long sleeved t shirt with collar necklace, walked into the crypt Spike had been staying in for the last few months or so. Sadly, she could tell as soon as she walked in, that he wasn’t there. She would wait. Tired, the red head sat down in his chair, but immediately felt something uncomfortable under the cushions. The witch pulled a book out from its place under a cushion and saw, when she had gotten it into the light, that it was another diary. This one was small and old, yet lined with a blue clothe, instead of leather like the other one. What the hell? she thought, it seems to be a good day for prying into other people’s personal affairs through literature. She opened the book and inside the front cover she read the title: The Diary of Emma Worthington.  Again Willow found herself in a state of mild shock, this was the diary of the girl William had killed back in 1880. She flipped through the book and saw that most of it was about daily life and such, but it wasn’t until the date 1873, did the little Wicca stop to read.

*****

July 1873

Dear Diary,

William shall never catch my hints. Tonight we went to the social in town and just sat. We talked of course, but he wouldn’t dance with me at all. He just kept complaining about his glasses getting dirty and how he didn’t have a girl to dance with. What did I look like to him, a cow? He shall never understand.

*****

August 1873

Dear Diary,

I give up! He is an idiot! Tonight I kissed him and told him that I loved him. He looked at me like I was crazy and ran off. Not only do I now never have a chance to be with him, but I have also lost my dearest friend.

*****

August 1873

Dear Diary,

He spook to me again… finally. He said that he just wanted to stay friends and that he thought staying friends would be the best for both parties… which is fine. I don’t care if we are only friends as long as he is still a part of my life. More then anything I wish for him to be happy… that is how I know that I am in love, I care for his happiness more then my own.

*****

June 1880

Dear Diary,

I have not written in this book for a long while because, to be perfectly honest, I had lost it in the move to London. Something has happened that I wish to write down. My William has fallen in love with another girl. She seems to be a lady of some sort but has no love for William. Try as he may to woe her, she turns him down at every turn.

*****

June 1880

Dear Diary,

All is lost, my world is gone, my William Pratt is…. has passed. London is thick with rumors of demons killing off unfortunates and streetwalkers… I believe William was killed in this fashion… although not by demons obviously because I do not believe in such rubbish. Besides, the manner in which he was killed is of no consequence to me, I have lost my true love and now nothing else matters. A man witnessed the attack and reported it a fort night ago to the station. I was lucky to discover the information. No body has yet been found. I hope that William is found so that his mother and I might give him a proper burial. There was a large house fire at Thomas’s the night of the disappearance, so not many of Williams’s friends went looking for him in the days that followed. He is truly lost to me. I pray the witness statements are false, but also for William’s soul. I hope that I will meet him again in heaven… my heart is with him.

*****

Willow was about ready to close the diary, convinced that she had seen the last entry, but she was wrong. On the last page, towards the back of the book, was one final entry written by a different person.

*****

June 1880

This was Emma’s book but I will finish it for her. She is dead, that is all there is to say of it… and of her. I am dead too but not in a way that will never return like she. Drusilla, Darla, and Angelus are my new friends. They tell me to forget about my old life and the ones that were once in it. As for Emma, she was the only person that really meant something to me. She was my beautiful red haired first morning light, a girl who worried about me, despite my reluctance and inability to act on my feelings. I am not human now and I have no heart so, like my Dru tells me, I should not care wither Emma is in heaven or not. I don’t care about a lot of things now… I can’t.

*****

Willow ran her fingers along the bottom of the page where she could see a tearstain had been dropped. She turned back to Emma’s last entry and saw another tearstain Willow hadn’t noticed before… and suddenly understood everything.

“I did love her.” Came a deep-set voice from behind. Willow was startled out of her thoughts, she turned in the chair and looked up to Spike standing in the doorway of the crypt, then the blond walked forward and gently took the book from Willows hand.

“But you didn’t say anything to her.”

Spike looked to the book again. “I knew Emma all my life. We were neighbors and then mates. That was all I saw in her… but then there came the day she kissed me.” The vampire smiled to himself. He remembered how Emma used to pull her hair into a tight bun… and how it had untangled itself and then swished from side to side as she leaned forward for that kiss. “I was young, and had never been in love, I didn’t know what she meant by the whole mess. I ran. When I saw her again I asked her if we were friends. She looked so sad but nodded a yes, and I had thought that the end of it. When I grew up I started to understand the mistake I had made, but I was never given the chance to fix it…to be with her… or perchance I simply didn’t have the bullocks to go through with it proper. Perhaps I even thought she had done it out of pity. Instead, all the love I had for Emma went to others… like me mum, Sicily, and then Dru. Drusilla changed me into a vampire… and when I came back from the dead I saw…the first person I saw… was her.” Spike closed the book and shut his eyes tightly.

“You didn’t kill Emma, did you?”

Spike began to walk around the room and then put the book down upon one of the sarcophagi, his hand on top of the book. “No, I couldn’t, Emma looked so scared of me when I grabbed… I ran from her- again. I thought Emma would be safer if I just didn’t stick around. I wanted out of England. I got into brawls and.... mostly for fun…mostly to piss of Angelus and get us run out.”

“Who killed her?”

“I never let Dru out of my bloody sight… but I was new, I didn’t know how these things worked. Dru told me the truth before we separated. She said she woke up one night before me and killed Emma then, tricked me into thinking that it was another vampire. She said all she could see around me then was the slayer and this town, and then she left and I came back here.” Spike took the book and threw it across the room in frustration before falling to the ground and putting a hand to his head.

Willow stood up and quickly walked over. She put a hand to Spikes back in an attempt to comfort him. Spike turned to look to Willow, and for a second he could’ve swore he was looking at Emma from more then a century ago…  and then the image turned back to Willow again. Willow smiled sadly at him, then spook softly. “It wasn’t your fault. I know that’s probably what you expected to hear coming from me… but it’s true. ”

He felt odd, he had never felt so… what was the word…. guilty before. He hadn’t felt guilt in over a century… and he didn’t understand why he was feeling it now but….

…Willow unexpectedly wrapped her arms around Spikes neck and began to hug him.

*****

Cordelia Chase was bored as she sat at her desk sorting pencils, she sighed, L.A. was a tough town. “I’m so bored.” She said out loud to no one. Then immediately there was pain with a capital P.

The brunette fell off of her roller chair and onto the office wood floor, groaning and writhing within the knife-like aches of her visions; Angel rushed through the door and picked her up. “Cordy, Cordelia what do you see?” He said.

“Trees,” She began, “Ah, a forest, and a clearing on top of a hill with gypsies… they’re older gypsies, there is a lot of fear… and Miss Calendar… and Willow…. and someone else… a man…!”

The pain subsided. Cordelia sighed and pushed Angel off of her to stand and get some aspirin out of her desk. She turned and looked to Angel, who had his usual concerned look on. “Hey!” She started. “Don’t give the face just cus your curse might be caught up in this case pale, it still might be a paying job… even if we do have to hit up your ex.” She swallowed the painkillers whole with no water, Cordelia had gotten use to the constant taking of pills by now, even though she couldn’t understand how Doyle had done it.

Angel walked over and started flipping through some of his pencils on Cordelia’s desk. Cordelia shot the vampire a glare for messing up the arrangement she had so meticulously organized. He turned up looked to her. “You saw Jenny?”

Then it hit her; Cordelia had seen Jenny Calendar, the woman Angel had killed. “Yeah, that must be weird huh?”

Angel turned and looked to the windows and knew that night would not last for much longer; he could start the drive now, and be in Sunnydale for an early dawn. Angel grabbed Cordelia’s hand. “Lets go, don’t bother calling Wesley for this one.”

*****

After a moment of Spike letting Willow hold him, she watched as the vampire finally pulled away and turned to look back at her. He scoffed at himself, separating, and then began to stand up. “Don’t hold your breath Brainiac, me blubbering on your shoulder doesn’t mean we’re mates.”

In her position, still kneeling on the floor, the witch smirked. She knew that he was trying to make himself feel better by laying it tough. “I’ll take that as a thanks coming from you.” She turned and looked to a near by candelabra, still down on the ground.

He stuck a hand out then, offering to help her up off the ground. She smiled and took his hand, lifting herself up off the ground yet, once again, coming within inches away from the blondes face. How many times are we going to do that? she thought. Again she looked to the ground in another one of her habitual shy maneuvers.

She was about to turned away and separate when all of a sudden Spike slipped his hand under her chin, lifted her face up, and kissed her gently on the lips in one smooth gesture.

Willow could have tried to stop the kiss, but she would’ve been lying to herself by saying she had never thought about what it would feel like… and it wasn’t that bad.  He pulled away and both opened their eyes to look at one another.

Spike was a little confused at himself by his actions … but without regret. He had wanted that kiss for a very long time. It hadn’t been about lust or wanting to feed, it had been about something else he had always felt was between the two of them, a connection. “I’m… sorry for that.” He muttered hesitantly, pulling back.

“Sorry?” She said coming out of her daze… before realizing the time. “Oh, ah, I have to go back to Giles’. I’ll come back later.” She rushed over, picked up the diary, and then began to leave.

Spike let her turn and rush out of the crypt door without another word.

The front door on the crypt slammed shut behind her as she walked out into the bright afternoon cemetery. “Oooooooooo K.” She said before taking in a deep breath, smiling to herself, and walking off.

*****

Giles looked up from his desk and took of his glasses off as the front door opened. “Willow.” He said as she came in.

Willow walked in slowly and continued to head towards the couch in a mild daze. She sat down on his couch with her back to him. “Yeah?”

Giles squinted to the collage girl. Goodness, he though, if someone didn’t know any better one would think she were in love. “Did you discover anything of interest?”

“Oh.” She blinked and came out of her thoughts. Willow turned around on the couch to face the watcher. “We were right, Spike is the William.” She didn’t bother mentioning anything else she had learned… or done over there.

“Well, we may have a little more trouble with this ritual then we first thought.”

“What do you mean?” She asked as she stood up and walked over to the desk beside Giles. Giles turned the book he had been reading toward her to display a picture. The picture was a drawn, black and white lithograph of a large gray demon spirit exiting a portal. The demon had no mouth, multiple eyes on top of his large skull like a spider, and thick claws for fingers. “Oh.”

Giles nodded in agreement. “When the spirit world is opened, that is what comes out to claim the souls within the circle. We’re going to need Buffy’s help too on this, and even then I-”

Suddenly there came a knock on the door and Willow walked over to answer it. The largest smile Willow had ever made exploded onto her face at this moment, for standing in front of her was Angel and Cordelia fresh from L.A. The red head turned and faced Giles, letting him get a full view of the new arrivals.  “And help arrives.” Cordelia and Angel began to walk into the small apartment.

Willow closed her eyes. “I wish I had a million dollars.”

As Cordelia walked in she shot Willow an odd look. “What are you talking about?”

The witch opened her eyes, looked around, and shrugged. “Just checking.”

Angel walked to Giles and peered over his shoulder at the book, then shot him an anxious gaze. “What’s going on?”

Willow walked over to the couch, where she had left her bag, and began to pull out both diaries to explain.

*****

It was a little after sunrise the next day when Willow and Cordelia knocked on the door of Eliana’s house. She didn’t think it would be a problem bothering her this early, considering the circumstances. Eliana opened the door and smiled. “Come in.” She stood aside and let both girls into her home before closing the door. The home looked and felt just as Willow had left it, old and full of magicks. Eliana had her hands folded in front of her long dress. “I suppose you want some answers, among other things.”

Cordelia looked to the old lady. “You bet we do lady, answers and resolutions right now! You know where I’m from? I come from 26 hours without sleep and some bad gas station coffee, that’s where! I’m crazed! I could do anything right now!”

Willow turned to the drama queen and groaned, “Cordelia…”

Eliana shook her head. “No, it’s alright.” The old woman turned and went to her bookshelf, taking out an old, large, dusty book, and putting it on top of the table with the large crystal ball.

Willow looked at it cautiously.  “I don’t know if I want any more books.”

“I beg to differ.” Eliana began. “This is the book that was used by my grandmother to curse the vampire Angelus.” Cordelia and Willow both stared at it awe. “It would have also been used to restore the spirits to the spirit world tomorrow… but hopefully not now. My mother Anna gave it to me after my Grandmother Diana had died. It was my Grandmother that made my sister Marina and me promise her to do the ritual tomorrow night… and I did promise. But as time went on I realized what consequences came along with doing the spell, the kinds of things I would unleash upon the world if I did cast it… so I gave up magicks. But my sister Marina, Janna's mother, did not.” The old woman smiled sadly.

Willow took a step towards the gypsy. “You mean Janna…. As in Miss Calendar?”

Eliana nodded. “Yes, Marina discovered that Angelus had killed Janna, our sister Gabriella, and her husband. Mariana promised to do everything in her power to destroy him and to complete the ritual of restoring the spirits of Adriana and Jeremy.” Then she looked to Willow with a fond, kind eye. “When I saw you I recognized the soul instantly. I do not have the strength to stop my older sister, so I gave you the soul diary. I want you to help me to stop Marina from completing the ritual.”

Willow was confused. “You mean I am the spirit of Adriana… and Yvette, and Emma?” Eliana nodded yes. Suddenly Willow became excited… and then exceptionally worried. The image of that gray demon unexpectedly popped into her head… which was then followed by a quick shudder.

“Where’s your sister....um....Mrs. Calenders mother?” Cordelia demanded.

Eliana shrugged. “I do not know, but she will be trying to collect Angelus and this book for the ritual tonight. She will track him and capture him.”

Willow nodded. “We’ll find her.” She turned her hazel eyes to the book. “And what about the book?”

Eliana grabbed the dusty old volume and held it in both of her old tired arms across her chest. “I will try and keep it safe with my limited magicks. I will hide it and make sure it is not found by my sister.”

“Thank you.” And with that Willow and Cordelia turned and walked out the door.

*****

Buffy walked into Giles’ home sometime in the afternoon after she had gotten done with the majority of her classes. The watcher had called her at the crake of dawn and had insisted that she would be needed at once. Buffy wasn’t about to argue his stubborn British-ness, so the blond skipped her last class of the day to come over pronto. She walked right though the watchers front door as soon as she got there, knowing full well that when there was crisis Giles’ door was always open. “Giles, are you here?” She called out, looking about the seemingly emptied loft apartment, but no one answered. She walked in and, on pure solidified routine, sat down on the couch.

“Ouch!” Came the couch’s voice. Buffy stood, turned, and looked down in shock at Angel catching some Z’s.

Buffy shouted almost at the top of her voice. “What are you doing here?”

Angel sat up and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. “Good morning to you too.”  He said, sarcasm dripping from his mouth like dew from a leaf on a bright early morning…. which it was… morning that is.

Buffy remained unamused however. “Sorry, I just wasn’t expecting you to be there is all.” He looked up at her and smiled. She smiled with him, remembering how he had used to smile like that back when she was still a sophomore…. and he was still just Angel, pre vampire Angel who would come by once a week and warn her of danger coming. She shook those thoughts away, they didn’t have that anymore… and nor would they ever have that ever again. “So what are you doing here?” She sat down onto the couch next to him.

“Just here to help you out… this time without the sneaking and hiding. Cordelia had a vision and, well, we really didn’t have any other case’s to work on-”

“Ok, so the big, bad, vampire detective Angel comes to help us defenseless girls with… wait, so what’s the thing? And Cordelia has visions?”

He smirked. “Giles is asleep upstairs, but I guess when he wakes up he’ll fill you in. It’s sorta a long story and I don’t really want to try and remember all the details Willow crammed down my throat last night… its too much. I could try and give you the over-all though if you want?”

“So Giles calls me up to come over and then falls asleep?”

The vampire yawned, leaning against one of the arms of the couch. “In his defense, I think he might have meant for you to come over later tonight.”

The slayer was slightly frustrated… although, in every situation, she though, there is always that silver lining. She turned and looked into Angel’s deep set piercing eyes… and found that they were closed. “Angel?” She poked him in the shoulder, but he was already fast asleep… again. “Damn.”

*****

Cordelia had heard nostalgia was good for the soul, but had never put that belief to the test. Cordelia was now wasting time by walking around Sunnydale. Sure, there were only five sites of interest she could go see, but she hadn’t been back for a year now and was embarrassed to admit she had missed the place. Besides, Willow had wanted to go back to Spikes crypt alone to tell him about Eliana, and she really didn’t want to go back to Giles’ yet. Further more, that coffee in her system was still kicking and Cordelia didn’t much feel like talking to more stuffy older types. The next site of interest on her tour of the fabulous hills of Sunnydale Cal was the Espresso Pump. And yep, there it was, right where she had left it; complete with- “Xander?”

The recently promoted hot dog stand guy turned, a donut still stuffed into his mouth. “Cordepha?” He managed to spit out.

“Hi Xander.” She walked up and gave him a light hug around the waist.

Xander flinched abruptly at the hug, as was customary with tender affections coming from Cordelia, but he eased down after the first few moments of not feeling any knife stabs in his backside. He swallowed the rest of his dounut and smiled. “How have you been? What brings you back home?”

They pulled apart and started the expected small talk that old friends, and some ex’s, sometimes do when they haven’t seen each other for a while. She nodded, her hair bobbing in the wind gracefully. “I’m fine… and its not home, I want to make that clear! I’m here with Angel…. It’s a long story…which Giles will probably tell you tonight anyway.”

“Tonight? Evil Session?”

“You didn’t know?”

“No…no I totally knew. Well, how about we catch up today, I’ll supply the cappuccino (low fat, extra foam, and with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top)-“

“You remembered.”

“-and you can give me the inside scoop on your year in L.A. and tonight’s little adventure.”

*****

Willow had just gotten done explaining, almost everything about the gypsy family timeline, to Spike now. He sat in his chair, his eyes to the ground, and thought for a long moment before standing up and pacing back and forth across the dusty floor of his dark crypt.

Willow had not gotten to the best part yet… the part about her being the reincarnated soul of Emma. She spoke softly as to not arouse that exocentric passion he was oh so famous for. “So…. what do think?”

He turned to her and smirked in disbelief. “I think that this fortune tellers got one sick sense of ‘umor.”

“You don’t believe me?”

“I don’t believe her! I can’t believe that, on top of everything that I am meant to be with some random bint someplace in this bloody town, who I don’t even know, just because a gypsy said it was going to be so, two hundred years ago. That my soul was some sort of reincarnation of a gypsy bloke who couldn’t be with his one true love, and because he went and did himself in I got to pay for it in the present… and that Emma really was my soul mate, which means that I must have been too stupid to figure it out! No, I don’t really believe ‘er pet.” Spike continued to pace back and forth in the crypt like an angry caged animal that hadn’t been feed for days.

Willow sighed, her eyes now glaring into his in a most serious nature. “Spike, it’s true, her story checks out. The dates, the gypsy genealogy, Jenny, Angel’s account, the diaries…. including Emma’s, all confirm with one another. I don’t think Eliana is lying. Is it so horrible to think that your soul mate might be… somewhere in town? Wouldn’t you be a little curious or…excited to know who you were meant to be with and that that person was- near by?”

Spike was starting to calm, he sat down and ran his fingers through his hair in a nervous gesture. “I don’t have a soul so I can’t have a soul mate can I?”

“But what if you did have your soul?”

“What, and be a bloody pounce like Angel!”

“Just go with it… pretend you care and tell me what you would think in a situation like that…. hypothetically?”

There was a great pause, and then he began again, calmly. “I, knowing all of this… and realizing my “soul mate” could be someone else in town, and someone that I don’t know…………….. you got no idea’r what its like to know that you, apparently, are once again going to defy a prophecy for your own…. desires. It would be a different story if I were the one choosing the one I loved instead of some ancient fortune teller.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Even if I had my soul back, whoever this “Emma-souled” girly is, I know I wouldn’t like ‘er…unless-” He looked off past Willow, determined not to glance directly into her eyes for fear that he might not be able to say this.

“Unless what?”

He looked at the floor, “Oh, come on red, like you didn’t see this coming? Unless…. it was you I wouldn’t give two sods about some bloody prophecy.” Quickly the blond vampire stood, walked over directly in front of her, and held hold of her shoulders. “Willow, you’ve always been good to me, the only one since Emma that I’ve been comfortable enough to talk to, and the only once since Dru that was ever on my side. I thought of you all day today after you had left… and I know that were no match made in heaven… but I cant deny that I am fascinated by your character, your sweetness, your smile, your innocence, even the person underneath all of that I see you try and hide. I haven’t felt this way since I was alive and I can’t control it, so the hell with ‘em, I don’t want to control myself now because some old bint says I’m destined to be with another. I choose you, not any one else.”

Willow backed up, fearful of his sudden gallantry. “We can’t go any further.”

“Why?”

“You said it yourself, we’re not really meant for each other… and despite what some prophecy says you have to be with the one that you care for. Even if you do care for me Spike… I… I don’t really feel that for you.” Spike looked as though a semi truck had just hit him. She continued, “We kissed, OK, but I’m sorry Spike. I do like you… but I can’t be with someone with no soul. Sure, the demon thing…. not a stranger to it, my last boyfriend was a werewolf, but you can’t love whole-heartedly without a soul. You’d probably just turn me into a vampire… remember when you offered me that?”

“Vampires can love but that’s not the point. It’ been months since I got the chip in… and it must be changing me because… I can’t explain it but.... I feel as though I can understand why the things I said to you then were wrong. I’m sorry red… for everything I did. I’m sorry!”

“Stop saying that! You’re not sorry! The chip isn’t a soul… this conversation has been had already with the others; you’re still the same lying demon. Your just saying that your sorry for…. well, I don’t know why, but what ever it is, your not saying it for the right reasons!” The witch turned and began to rush towards the door, but she was stopped suddenly when the vampires’ hand reached out and gently pulled her back into his arms with a spin.

As Willow spun back into his chest, she did something she had never really had the chance to do before…. she paused, looked up, and kissed Spike softly on the lips.... for no one else...just her. He didn’t protest at all; instead he kissed back, softly as first, but them steadily faster and harder as the kiss continued. Soon the hefty and unaccompanied lone kiss had turned into multiple kisses, necks bending back and forth, moans exiting both parties lips.

He couldn’t stand it, instinctively the blond wrapped one of his arms around her waist, lifted her up, and sat her down on the top of a near by stone sarcophagus lid.

Pleased by the extra leverage, Willow uncharacteristically took her now free hands and wrapped them around Spike head, pulling him in closer as the kiss continued. She wrapped her knees around his rib cage as he bend into her, her own hands roaming across his upper legs and hips.

He had begun to travel down her neck with the kisses… It wasn’t until Spike realized that Willow had, out of the blue, begun to lie down on the coffin lid............. did he stop slowly..... and step back.

He knew she wasn’t in love with him and, despite his more then nagging male urges provoking him to continue ever further with this incredibly quick witted and sexy woman, he did whole heartedly love her too. If they continued… it would be meaningless, and end as quickly as it had begun. Spike didn’t want meaningless.

Willow glanced up from her position, confused. He didn’t want to continue? Willow didn’t wait; she hopped off the coffin and rushed at the door again just like before. This time Spike let her go, he was almost at the brink of going physically sick from this new unnecessary hope that welled on the deepest recesses of his insides. WHY? Why was he feeling this way? It almost felt like a spell. Could it be?

Willow opened the door with a quick tug; light streamed in from the suns rays. Spike stode out od the streams of light, yet he never let his eyes stray from the girl who now was silhouetted in that life-giving glow. He looked up at her as she stood in the illumination. Indirect sunlight, which was now bouncing off the white walls of the crypt, illuminated the vampires face giving him a deep-set, yet virtuous, unnatural glow. “I’ve fallen for you red.” He muttered up at her.

She mumbled, “Be at Giles’ after the sun goes down. We’re going to have to keep you safe.” Willow walked out letting the door close behind her. As she stood outside the crypt, moving onward onto the sidewalks of Main Street, tears began to roll from her face onto the thick pavement. What kind of person was she turning into? Things seemed hopeless.

*****

(All dialog translated from Romanian)

Eliana wanted to curse herself! She wanted to help Willow but couldn’t, she wasn’t even trying because she feared Marina so. “Marina, why must you continue with this?”

The dark haired, yet bizarrely younger-looking Marina, stood in Eliana’s living room looking through her Grandmothers book of Magick’s. She turned to give her younger, but older looking, sister a deep glare of hatred. “Because he killed my daughter. You do not know how it feels to lose a child, to out live them! I will finish the journey of our Grandmother. I will rejoin the spirits… wither they want it or not!”

Eliana sighed, gazing upon her youthful looking sister, out live them, she thought, you and my husband were bound to outlive them anyway with as much magic in your system keeping you young.  Eliana ignored her jealousy and continued to plea. “Its not worth it… you shall kill three people, yourself, and let God-knows-what loose into the world all in the name of revenge.”

Mariana shut the book with a cloud of dust and looked to her white haired sister. “ I will be killing myself, yes… and that girl, she does not deserve to die, but in the end, right will be made from wrong. The vampires, well, one of them killed his true love, and the other has been hurting our family for centuries. Why do you not wish to join me in this, our most glorious of days?”

“The girl is young, she has her whole life ahead of her to look forward to. You shall be taking that before she has had a chance to live it. The vampire Angelus, he is different now. He has suffered enough without you doing this to him as well. The other vampire, he can’t now hurt humans… and he didn’t kill Emma! In fact, I can almost sense that he may love this new girl… this Willow who now holds Adriana’s spirit.”

Marina looked to Eliana in disbelief. “It isn’t possible… not for almost 300 years has any of the other couples succeeded in.... rejoing.....loving each other.”

“Oh yes, it is possible that there is something that big sister does not know! William retained much of his humanity when he changed, including much of his ability to love like a human, which is why he could not kill Emma. You see? At first he did love this girl Willow… so when I gave him back his soul yesterday, it only intensified that love. We have almost rejoined the soul mates, after 3 centuries or work.... and now you wish to force there union together by condemning them into purgatory? How stupid can you be!? Yanna would never have wanted this. She loved this girl and her friends, you know that, you were her mother!” Eliana stared at her sister. “I have forgiven Angel for my own husband’s death, so now I will ask you, are you doing this to help the two spirits or because you are wounded from the deaths in our family and too stubborn to admit it?”

Marina slapped Eliana’s face, the white haired gypsy fell to the floor; Marina walked over and stood above her younger sister still holding onto the book that contained the ritual. “How dare you say such a thing!  Never the less, you will not stop me.” Mariana turned and left.

Eliana picked herself up off of the ground and turned to her bookcase. She walked over and carefully picked out a folder. Inside the folder were several old parchments, one of them with red inked inscriptions… it read at the top: To Control Asmathra Demons. 

“I can try.” She whispered.

*****

Willow walked into Giles’ and smiled at the sight of Cordelia and Xander arguing, Buffy and Angel talking, and Giles reading his books. The sight was one she had missed seeing ever since the gang had split up almost a year ago.

“Hey Will.” Buffy greeted her friend cheerfully, very cheerfully, more cheerfully then the slayer had been greeting her friends these last few days. “Angel filled me in a bit on what’s been going on. Did you find the girl spirit?” Willows smile disappeared, she nodded solemnly as she walked to a chair next to the bookcase across from the rest of the gang.  She must have really been putting out some sort of miserable vibe because everyone, even Cordelia and Xander, stopped talking to hear the witch’s answer. Buffy walked over, kneeled beside Willow, and put a hand on top hers. “Will, what is it?”

Willow looked to the ground. “The other spirit is… I... I am the other spirit.”  It felt weird to say it.

Angel leaned forward and raised an eyebrow to the witch. Willow could sense it coming before he even said it. “You mean you are Spike’s soul mates?” He asked, trying not to smile. Willow looked to Buffy, she had on the same face Angel did… they were both trying not to laugh.

However Xander, not much for being discreet, laughed out loud.

Willow stood up abruptly and walked to the bathroom. Buffy got up and followed, sensing her friend’s anger, and grabbed Willows hand. “Willow…”

The witch’s eyes flared in angry, Buffy had never seen this face on Willow, and it scared her. “I don’t find this funny!”

Buffy shook her head no. “It’s not. Will, we won’t laugh, it’s just a lot to take in… and Spike….well... it is Spike.” Willow turned then, yanking her arm from the slayers grasp, and rushed into the bathroom, slamming the door shut. Buffy hurried over to the door and put her ear to it. “Willoooow.” She whined, but it was too late, Buffy could hear Willow crying inside. Disappointed, the slayer started to walk back into the living room, giving Xander a good punch on the shoulder as she entered.

“Ow!”

Buffy continued. “She seems a bit sensitive on the subject. She might be scared for her life… and I don’t blame her. Giles!” The watcher looked to his slayer. “We need to take care of this.”

Rupert nodded his head. “I agree. I, ah, earlier today preformed a spell to discover what the ritual will require... and I discovered something quite interesting.” He put his book to his lap and folded his arms over it, remaining calm. “I discovered that the witch who is intending to perform the ceremony will not be Eliana… but Jenny Calendars mother, Eliana's sister… who apparently still lives somewhere in town.”

Buffy looked to Angel, then back up to Giles. “Of course, that explains everything.” She looked to Angel. “You… I mean Angelus, killed her sister and her daughter, and her brother in law right?”

Cordelia looked to Angel. “Is there anyone you haven’t pissed off?”

Giles turned to Buffy. “This is precisely why we must be careful… but swift… in our resolve. This gypsy woman is out for vengeance… which can be a very powerful alley.”

Xander looked to Cordelia and, thinking of Anya, subtlety took a step away, putting some distance between him and his ex girlfriend.

Giles continued. “I suggest we-” At that moment there was a knock on the watchers door. Buffy gave Giles a strange look before following him to the door to answer it. The watcher opened the door and Spike was standing there, hands in pockets, waiting. Giles sighed. “I can’t say it’s good to see you, but its better that you’re here.” Giles stood back as Spike entered with his head pointed to the ground, much in the same manner Willow had entered.

Angel stood up quickly and hurried over as Spike walked into the house. The vampire nonchalantly grabbed the edges of the blonds leather duster in one swift tug, thrusting him up against a near by sturdy plaster wall.

“Hey!” Buffy rang out, getting behind Angel. “Angel, don’t!”

Spike squinted at the big brut and then turned to the blond slayer. “Why shouldn’t he? He wants to. He deserves to.”

Angel glared. “Last time he was in L.A. he caused me a lot of anguish... and a little bit of hot-poker-like torture, So, yeah, I aim to get a little even at one point in this trip Buffy.”

Buffy pulled Angel off of Spike in a quick tare and threw her ex to the other side of the couch, walking over, and pointing a finger in his face when he had landed. “You don’t touch Spike here…. Ok? Spike’s my problem now… and we need him safe so we can figure this spell thing out for Willow… after that… well, you still won’t hurt him. He has that chip, remember? I told you!”

“So, because he’s defenseless means I can’t get a little payback?”

“We’re all here right now because some gypsy wants to exact a little vengeance on you…that doesn’t mean vengeance is the right thing to do just because it’ll make you feel better.” Angel couldn’t argue with that. Angel glanced over at Spike and did not see the expected puckish smirk, but the vampire’s features pointed to the floor looking worried and miserable. Well… at least he was miserable… but for what? Well, as long as he was miserable. Angel turned back to the slayer. “Fine, but he doesn’t talk to me!”

As Angel stormed over to sit in a chair Buffy rolled her eyes and turned back to Spike… but saw Willow standing in the kitchen hallway out of the corner of her eye. The slayer turned back to the witch and saw that she was staring at Spike.

Buffy walked over to Willow, who in turn eased back into the kitchen away from the slayer to avoid talking. Buffy began to look very distraught at this cold gesture.

Giles spoke up. “The spell calls for the two spirits… and Angel, I ‘spect… The best time suited for kidnapping them will be tonight.”

Willow rang in. “Eliana told me and Cordy that she thinks her sister, Marina, will be looking for Angel tonight so that she can prepare for the ritual tomorrow morning.”

Giles nodded. “Well, then we had better hurry.”

Buffy stepped forward. “I have a plan.”

*****

Buffy walked quietly through the dark graveyard that night, but she was not alone, this time it was different. It was the first time, in a long time, that almost all the Scooby gang was working together. It felt good knowing that her friends had her back, and trusted her judgment enough, to make this plan… she hoped it worked. It wasn’t a difficult plan really; let Angel get captured by Marina so that they could catch her. Giles was off somewhere in the woods doing a spell of protection around Angel… so all angles were covered… or so they thought.

*****

Willow watched as Angel sat on the park bench in the middle of the park from her position in the bushes in front of a clearing. Spike sat beside her watching as well, he didn’t know what he could say to comfort Willow, or if she needed comforting, or if she even wanted it… or cared for it or… damn it all! He turned to look at her in the shadows. “Red?”

She sighed before turning towards him. “Yeah?”

He looked down to the ground, took a moment, then back into her hazel eyes. “I meant every word.”

Willow shook her head. “I’m afraid.”

Spike turned to look at Angel who was still sitting on the bench, and then back to Willow. “He’s still ther-“

“No no, no…. I mean I’m scared of this.” She pointed back and forth between the two of them. “Knowing what Buffy and Angel went through… I don’t think I’m ready for a relationship, maybe not ever. That is what I meant by saying that I knew we were not destined for each other. I ran from you today because I knew I couldn’t help myself… I’d fall again if I wasn’t careful… and only get hurt. You have had a tendency to cause people pain you know?”

He nodded. “No arguing that.”

For the first time Willow looked into Spikes eyes and saw sincerity, maybe he was being truthful in his words, maybe this wasn’t just an act… but her protective feminine instinct deep within her subconscious couldn’t let the past betrayals die. Spike was clever, deceptive, and above all stubborn… he’d do anything to get what he wanted… and Willow wasn’t sure what that was yet. Just then she brushed all thoughts of his would-be-genuine-concern out of her mind. She couldn’t let herself trust him. Just then Willow thought she heard a twig crake behind her in the woods, but it was too late, she sensed the sleeping potion just as she passed out.

Angel heard the noises of a struggle, and then the screech of demons, and knew something was going wrong. Angel jumped from his bench and ran into the woods to his left towards where Willow and Spike were supposed to be watching and saw Willow on the ground passed out. Spike was up on his feet fighting the good fight with one of the other winged gargoyle like demons as another demon, of the same species, started to tie up Willow wrists with twine. Spike looked to Angel, “Help Willow!” he yelped before getting knocked in the face with a small bolder. Spike went down for the count.

Angel was already on it, but just as the dark haired vampire rushed over to the witch, a pair of talons had grabbed his arm. The demons flew were fast, eerily fast, almost as if they were being aided by magic. He struggled to get the talons off; finally just giving up and slipping out of his jacket and falling to the ground. Angel quickly got back up and hurried to help, but the demons were flying. Willow was to far away to grab hold of now. Spike was being lifted into the air too, the gargoyle held the helpless blond vampire in his feet talons above Angel, hovering in the air just out of reach before speaking. “The sacred circle, tomorrow as dusk half breed!” The two gargoyles flew off into the night, disappearing above the treetops as Buffy, Giles, Cordelia, and Xander all rushed into the clearing.

“Willow!” Buffy yelled out in terror up at the night before dropping her stake to the ground. She turned to Angel. “They knew we were here… all of us, they wanted Willow and Spike… not you!” She was mad at herself for underestimating the enemy. “What did Willow and Spike ever do to her?” he asked herself.

Giles stepped up and put a hand to her shoulder. “Marina is thinking she’s helping everyone by doing the ritual.”

Buffy shook her head. “No, she’s helping herself and we’re going to stop her!”

*****

 

Willow woke up… and saw nothing… oh god, was she blind? She couldn’t see anything and had no idea where she was. Slowly her eyes adjusted to the lack of light. She looked around and saw only four walls, a ceiling, a floor, and a slightly glowing door. She turned forward to the wall across from her and saw that there was someone in the room with her… with very visually loud hair… Spike! “Spike!” She yelled out at him as she crawled forward. He groaned; before too long his eyes fluttered and opened, he looked around and instantly turned to Willow. She scoffed at his luck, Vampire night vision, how nice for him! “Spike, what’s happened?”

“A rock.” He groaned. “And a trap.”

Willow crawled over and noticed a red wound on his head; the blood trickled from the wound down his forehead and into the collar of his black shirt. “You’ll be O.K. It doesn’t look too bad.” She nudged it gently to see if it was healing.

Feels real bad… what with the poking.”

“Don’t be a baby.” She bent down and kissed his forehead.

He looked to Willow; dizzy, he remained seated. “Why are you-”

“Helping? Well, since this may in fact be the last few hours of our lives, I thought it couldn’t hurt to at least try and push aside the-

“No, why are you here? The gypsy wouldn’t have wanted anyone but me, Angel, and the person who embodied within her... the spirit of Em.” Willow blinked; Spiked continued to glare at her. “Willow?”

Willow looked to the ground. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. I wanted to know how you felt about your soul mate first… and then it got complicated… so I pan-” He grabbed her around the neck, pulled her forward, and kissed her hard on the lips. Willow fell forward onto the floor next to him. Spike turned and moved to the side of her body, cradling that thin frame of hers as he sustained the kiss into the minutes. After a long moment both pulled apart from one another. Willow looked up to him and smiled wide, enjoying his company, even if it was only going to be for a few more hours until the ritual. She sat up and sighed. “Look, Spike, if we ever get out of this… or even if we don’t, I just want you to know that… that, I would have liked the chance to get to know you better. I feel I could have learned alot from you, and not just because your 5 time older then I am.”

He looked back, putting his hands on her sholders, and staring her in the eye seriously. "I'll do whatever it takes to make that happen Pet. I didnt wait over a century to find you only to slip at the finish line."

Willow nodded, and began to stand up. She sighed and looked around the room.

He smirked to himself and began to stand with her. “We’d best start to find our way out.”

“I don’t think were going to. The only door,” She pointed, “looks as though it’s magically sealed.” Spike turned and walked up to the door, touched his finger to the handle and a small lightning bolt shocked him. “See?” she said.

Spike sighed and walked back next to her. “I’ll figure something out.” Willow nodded solemnly, looking to the ground. “Hey!” he said, she looked up at him. “Be the strong Willow… the mysteriously dark Willow.”

“Strong, mysteriously dark Willow’s not in right now, but if you’d like to leave a message-“

“Hey! I’ll make the sarcasm, a’right?”

Willow smiled, reached out her hand, and held Spike’s. They both sat down into a corner together and held each other… waiting.

*****

 

It had taken all day to gather up weapons, plan out an attack, load the supplies up, and head out. Now it was an hour before dusk. Giles talked loudly from the backseat of Angels black car to Buffy sitting in the passenger’s seat. “The sacred circle,” Giles began, “Is in Breakers Woods on top of a sacred hill which, incidentally, was once inhabited by a tribe of pagan witches. They sanctified it years ago, it’s the only place within a thousand mile radius that Marina can go to perform the ritual. I’m not sure exactly where it’s located, since it’s in the middle of a forest, but I get on map quest.”

Cordelia took the rape whistle she had bought in L.A. off from around her neck and handed it to Xander. “Here, in case you need it.” Xander looked somewhat unamused.

Buffy turned in her seat to look to Giles in the back with Cordelia and Xander. “So Willow and Spike will be there?”

Giles nodded his head. “Yes, it’s a very powerful energy source stemming from all of the collective meditative energies from the various modern day cults who visit.”

Buffy smirked. “And who says they don’t believe in magic anymore?”

Xander turned to Giles “How are we going to take the gypsy lady out again?”

Giles turned to his book he held in one hand. “According to this, if the ritual has started already, we can’t.”

There was a moment of pause before Angel spoke up from his seat in the driver’s seat. “What do you mean we can’t?”

Giles rolled his eyes because he had to explain it so many times. “Because, sometimes, to interrupt a spell can be more dangerous then completing it. Take my word, if she has already started, there is a way to alter the spells basis of function.”

Cordelia poked at Giles. “So don’t keep us in anticipation… what is it?”

Giles sighed again. “I can’t tell you. If I do then whatever happens might not happen for the right reasons, but I will tell you that it is nothing that any one of us in this car can do. When we arrive, the only thing that can be done is to defeat the demons that will no doubt be protecting Marina and, if she has not begun the ritual, keep her from doing so.”

Buffy deflated. “Doesn’t seem like a whole lot for us to do.”

Giles shrugged. “There’s more then you think.”

*****

 

A book under one arm, her two gargoyles like pets dragging Willow and Spike behind her, Marina quickly walked through the woods towards the sacred circle.

Willow had no idea where they were going, but wherever it is, she thought, it couldn’t be good.

Spike, his mouth, legs, and hands both bound like Willows, was meanwhile furiously attempting to break free of his bonds as he was being dragged. The fair-haired vampire turned to look to Willow to see if she was doing all right, but she looked scared… and he understood why.

Finally all five slowly departed the curtain of forest and entered a large clearing with an unusually placed large hill in the middle of it.

Eliana stood at the base of this hill, watching as the five walked out. Marina walked up to her younger sister. Eliana just smiled and nodded a greeting. “My, aren’t we looking unnaturally youthful today?”

Marina scowled. “I thought you said you were not going to help?”

Eliana shook her head no. “Oh Marina, I am not here to help, I only wish to bare witness to the (almost assuredly) beginning of earths final days. Do not fear, I will not try and disparage you from your goal now. Not as if I could.”

Marina turned and signaled for her demons to put the two prisoners on the top of the hill. She turned back to Eliana. “Fine, do as you wish.”

Willow saw that at the top of the hill there was a large pentagram shaped assortment of large stones and boulders. In the middle of the pentagram stood a large wooden post jetting up from the ground. The demons dragged both Spike and Willow to this post and began to tie their ropes to it. Marina made her appearance at the top of the hill just then, going over to Willow, kneeling, and releasing her gag. Marina looked into Willows eyes. “I am sorry girl.”

Willow looked to Marina confused. “You’re sorry! You’re about to kill me, and your sorry! What, you want me to forgive you so you can have a clean slate? I only wish I had a pencil right now you ugly cow!”

Spike, on the other side of the post, smiled under his gag at hearing Willows remark. Marina walked around the post and took the vampires gag off, continuing to tower over him. He looked up at her, “What, no apology to me?” he said.

Marina knelt down. “Yes, actually. Before you had your soul back I probably wouldn’t have said anything.”

Willows eyes grew as wide as they had ever been. “He has his soul back?!” He wasn’t faking the guilt, or the love? He does really love me!

Marina continued, ignoring Willow. “But now, now that you’re both William and the vampire, and no doubt should feel accountable for the murder of you’re late love, I will say to you that… it is too bad. A shame that such a waste of time and human life was exhausted on a scoundrel like you to enjoy.”

Marina got up and began to walk to a large flat stone. She stood on top of it as Spike shouted to her. “I didn’t kill Emma!”

Marina smirked, turning on top of the bolder to look back at him. “Your lies won’t save you now vampire!” She closed her eyes and put her hands into the air, raising them to the night sky. “Oh spirits would I seek thee!”

*****

The gang had split up, Xander was the first to hear the chanting, he began to run from his position in the woods towards the voice, blowing the whistle Cordelia had given him.

*****

At that moment Buffy, Angel, Giles, and Cordelia all began to run in the direction of the whistle. They all broke through the clearing at nearly the same time and looked up at the hill seeing Willow and Spike tied to the post at the top.

Cordelia looked panicked. “She’s started already!”

Angel was the first to go down when he was sliced through the chest by one of the gargoyle’s large talons. Buffy kicked the demon to the side, turned, and faced the other… who was sitting still on the ground in a stationary dog-like position. Eliana stood next to the beast with a glowing hand on its shoulder. One wave of her other hand and the gargoyle who had wounded Angel sat to the ground in the same obedient manner. “Leave.” Eliana said, and they obeyed, running off into the woods. Giles rushed over to Eliana, she looked to him seriously. “Can you help?”

Giles took his glasses off. “According to my research only Willow and Spike can help themselves now.”

Eliana nodded, noticing the group begin the walk up to her, she turned to Giles again. “You are right… do you know if the two are truly in love?”

Xander raised an eyebrow. “I really doubt it.”

Eliana shook her head and looked to Xander. “Then we can not help them I’m afraid.”

Buffy was standing next to Angel, bloody slashes in his shirt; she looked up to Eliana. “But doesn’t she need the souled demon… Angel?” Suddenly Angel dropped to the ground, on to his knees in pain, yelling as loud as he could. The vampire held on to the area of his chest where his heart lay.

Eliana frowned. “The souled demon is here.”

Giles turned and looked to Willow and Spike in the center of the sacred circle. An air stream had just then began to pick up around them; the winds tossed each other’s clothes about wildly. Giles turned to Eliana. “Wait… Willow is in love.”

Cordelia was kneeling next to Angel with Buffy now; she turned and looked up to Giles. “What, with Spike?”

Giles nodded. “Yes, she went to see him the other day… and when she came back she was in a sort of daze. I thought at the time it seemed as though she was acting oddly, as if in love.”

Xander shook his head. “I really don’t think it’s Spike.”

Eliana turned to Xander. “No, I sensed it a while ago too… long before this began almost a year before. I believe he’s right.”

Angel moaned in pain, then again yelling out in pain, Buffy turned to the rest of them. “Angels hurting guys! Can we hurry this up!?”

Marina turned to Giles, assuming he was the leader, being the oldest. “ I shall stop my sister, in the moment that she stops chanting they both must declare their love. That is the only way I know how.” Giles nodded and both set off in opposite directions. Buffy slowly began to stroke the side of her lovers face, they had better hurry, she thought.

*****

Success! Spike finally was able to untie the ropes around his wrists. He stood quickly and turned to Willow, untying her wrists as well. Finally both started to hurry out of the circle… but both bounced back as they reached the edges, as if they had hit some sort of invisible force field.  As Spike began to feel around the invisible wall for any flaws in the magic’s, Willow noticed Giles rushing up the hill to them. Panic set in for Willow, she screamed at him, “We can’t leave! Giles!”

Giles nodded, “I know” as he looked to his favorite student with the up most amount of sincerely. “Do you love him?” He asked quietly. Spike turned, hearing Giles, and was startled by the question. Willow knew the answer in her heart, but how could she admit it to herself… and to him? Giles must have seen a certain look in the red heads face, because he nodded and started to walk backwards towards the forest.

Willow shouted at him. “Giles, what do you mean? What do we do?”

Giles looked to Marina chanting, and then turned back towards the woods. “You’ll both know what to do.” He called back. Willow watched as Giles disappeared into the ever-growing cloud of dust that surrounded them. The wind began to pick up again; above the circle a lightning bolt struck… a portal to the spirit world was opening.

*****

Marina looked up to the sky, still chanting, and smiled. “Help me oh spirits, restore these lost souls to the world of there creation.”

 Eliana walked up behind her sister just then and tapped on her shoulder. “Oh sis?” Marina turned, Eliana smiled and then in one swift lunge…. she punched her one hundred and six year old sister to the ground in front of the large bolder.

*****

Willow turned to face Spike, they both looked into each other’s eyes yet neither one said a word for a few moments. Above them the portal was beginning to open wider.

*****

At the bass of the hill Buffy held Angel in both of her arms, she began to feel him slip away. “Hurry…” She pleaded.

*****

Spike gently placed his hands to Willows cheeks; she stared into his blue orbs and melted, forgetting for that brief moment that they were about to die. “I love you,” she said before kissing him up on the lips. Willow felt a rush of energy flow through her as the windstorm began to subside. Spike too felt a powerful energy travel through his body all the way down to his toes, yet he never opened his eyes. Both slipped deeper into each other arms.

*****

A scream ripped though the air just then, it was Marina. “No!” She screamed from her position on the ground just inside the sacred circle. Suddenly an extremely large demonic hand reached out of the portal and ignored Willow and Spike. Instead the hand went straight for Marina, it swept her up and carried her into the spirit world. The portal closed quickly with a crackle of thunder, and then everything was quiet… the world itself was still.

*****

 Willow and Spike both opened there eyes, looked to each other, and smiled.  They turned, looked around, and began to walk out of the circle hand in hand.

*****

Angel opened his eyes and smiled, watching as Buffy lay on his stomach, crying into his shirt. “Do you have to cry every time I come back?”

Buffy sat up, looked to Angel, and took in the deepest breath of her life. “Angel!” She bent forward and kissed him so hard she thought a tooth was going to wedge loose.

*****

Eliana traveled down the hill, just in front of Spike and Willow, and stood before Angel and Buffy. The rest of the gang gathered around and looked to Eliana as well. She smiled at all of them, thanking each with direct eye contact one at a time. “Thank you, all of you. You have helped me end a three hundred year old burden.” She looked to Willow and Spike. “You two have defied destiny, and in doing so have earned the right to be together.”

Willow looked to the ground, Spike turned and noticed her sad state, he was becoming quite accustomed to that particular subtle hint of hers. He turned her around to face him. “What’s is it?”

Eliana answered for her. “She is sad because she knows that you will stay young while she grows old and dies. She is thinking that in her next life she might not be able to find you again.”

Cordelia turned to the woman. “You can read all of that from just looking at her?”

Eliana smiled. “No… but was I wrong?” Willow smiled, tearing up, and shook her head no.  Eliana kept her smile wide though, walking over to Willow, and placing a hand onto her shoulder. She whispered into the witches’ ear something that only she and the two vampires could hear. “ His time to live again will come… with the deliverance of a certain prophecy.”

Angel turned his head up to Eliana as Buffy held him up under one arm. He shook his head in disbelief at what he had just heard. She couldn’t have been talking about the Shan Shu… no its still mine, he told himself, but if what she is saying is true, then that would mean- Angel looked to Spike and saw the smile on his face, the manner of his composure, the uncertainty in his eyes from Eliana’s remark. “You have you soul!” He said, looking to the blond.

Xander and Cordelia both turned there heads and looked to Spike. “I don’t believe it,” Xander said.

Eliana smiled to Willow, let go of her shoulder, and began to walk away. “Thank you again.”

Everyone looked to one another, but mostly Spike. Giles was the first to speak up. “Well, all in a nights work I’d say.”

Cordelia was beginning to take her whistle back from Xander. “I guess its back to L.A. with us… back to good ole fancy pants.”

Xander raised an eyebrow. “Is Wesley there?” Cordelia groaned as she began to walk off into the woods.

Xander held her back for a moment. “Oh com’on Cordy, you enjoy visiting us don’t you?”

She huffed and then looked to Xander with a fake smile, “About as much as I enjoy the company,” she said before walking off into the woods again. Her puppy followed.

Angel and Buffy began to walk into the woods together, the blond slayer nearly holding up all of her ex’s weight on her tiny shoulders. Angel looked down at her. “So, what was the kiss for?”

Buffy shrugged. “Think of it as your goodbye, thanks, and good luck kiss.” She smiled up at him, and he nodded in return, understanding their predicament.

Willow and Spike, meanwhile, walked hand and hand. Spike was the first to stop when he could no longer see the rest of the gang and was sure that they were all alone. “So, this soul looks good on me?”

She smiled and nodded. “Definitely your color, although I’m afraid of the side effects.”

“Side effects?”

“I’m going to assume that there is going to be periods of brooding involved with taking this soul?”

Spike thought for a moment, and then he turned back to her. “The way I hear it, might be more in store for me then just a soul, and if that means growing old with you love… no way the guilt is going to make me less of a vampire like Angel. I think I could grow into enjoying this human sorta thing.” He took Willow into his arms just then and kissed her deep. She pulled away in a daze, not afraid anymore to enjoy the delirium that came with knowing she was loved. “I love you.” He whispered.

She turned up and looked into his eyes, thinking, duh. “I love you.” She whispered back. She turned into his coat and gave Spike the largest hug she had ever given another man. Putting her head against his chest she could feel no heart beat, yet, but they still had a long life… (and part of an unlife) to live.

Both walked into the woods slowly, still holding each other as hard as they could. Spike turned to look at her and laughed. “Aren’t we one hell of a match made in heaven?”

The red head shrugged. “Who knows, we might end up changing history for the better after all.”

He whispered to her. “Hey red?”

“Hum?”

“How are all of us going to fit into Angel’s car?”

 



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