All I wanted to do was make her suffer for how sick she made me feel. How she made me feel when I was full of my soul! She made me love her, and I loved her like I never loved before. Then when I was able to see how pathetic she had made me, when they plotted against me to take my soul...I began to see what I had almost become. A puppet for Good. A puppet to be a bleeding heart for those who could not help themselves. I'm not a puppet. I'm not Good. I'm going to show her how so Good I am not and she will suffer.
I believe I more than accomplished that. I wanted her dead, but not right away. Not quickly. For her, I wanted her to suffer every day knowing that I was doing it because of how human she had made me feel. Now, the mere thought of her sickens me. I am filled with a rage so deep that not even her death would bring me satisfaction. And that is the reason she must suffer so. And, oh, yes...there is only one way to cause her great anguish.
It's simple really.
I'll just take one of her friends and she'll fall a part. But not Xander. Oh, no. He'll eventually meet his death but now is not his time. Perhaps the Watcher, or the one the Watcher loves, Jenny Calendar. Again, nah. Not yet. You see, I could kill them one by one and it would be effective enough to hurt her...but not in the degree I would like. So I think upon the one friend who is kind of like the glue that holds them all together. Take that one, they all come unglued. I know it will hurt them the most because then they will all react.
It's pure genius really. She's the perfect choice, and I'm not talking about the Slayer this time. I'm talking about the picture of pure innocence. The girl who has not lost her virginity. The sweet girl who only sees the good in the bad. The one who is so pure that to look at her makes me want to spoil her.
And I will.
I think it's time I pay Little Red Riding Hood a visit. After all...she did invite me into her home.
Willow Rosenberg was ready for bed. She was wearing her favorite long pullover shirt and was lying on the bed with her bare feet up in the air. Her face was all smiles as she talked on the phone with the one boy she couldn't get out of her mind these days.
"Oh, Oz!" she exclaimed. "You're just suffering from some type of mild paranoia. There aren't any cats following you around."
"But think about it, Will," Oz said on the other end of the line. "Cats and dogs are like natural enemies, and that's the way it has always been for centuries. I mean it's not like you can change that about them. That's just the way they are. But now, ever since I've been going through my...changes..."
Willow mimicked howling like a wolf.
She couldn't see it, but she knew he was smiling. "Wow," he said. "You're getting good at that."
"Yep, I am, you bet'cha. I can bark like a dog if you want me to."
Oz hesitated. "Uhm, I don't think we're quite ready for that stage of our relationship just now."
She frowned. "We're not?" Then she realized what he was thinking. Her eyes widened. "Oh, oh, oh, no...er, I-I didn't mean that kind of barking like a dog!"
"It's okay. You've given me something to dream about."
"Oh, I did?" She paused. "Oz...you dream about me?"
"All the time. Even when I'm awake, I dream about you."
She smiled. "Th-that is so sweet!"
"Do you dream about me?"
She closed her eyes. "I'm even dreaming about you right now." Then she remembered that Oz had been talking about cats and dogs. "Oh! I interrupted you, Oz. I'm sorry. Y-you were talking about going through your changes, and how you noticed something about cats."
Oz continued. "Well, ever since then, I've noticed that cats watch me whenever I'm near them."
"Maybe they like you."
"I think they don't. I think they know what I am. Cats can be dangerous. I have to stay away from them."
Willow tried to give him assurance. "Oh, well...don't worry, Oz. I'll protect you from the little kitties. Oh! And the big ones, too."
"I knew I could count on you."
"Of course, you can, Oz. You can always count on me. For everything."
There was a pause. "You know, ever since I met you...a lot of things have been changing. Uh, not about the wolf thing." He hesitated. "I never met anyone like you who can make such a difference in my life."
"I'm glad we met."
They talked awhile longer until finally, they said their good-byes and hung up.
Willow lay back on her bed, stared up at the ceiling, and sighed a dreamy sigh. She was thinking of Oz.
Then there was a knock on the French doors.
Her thoughts were so intent upon Oz that she reflexively got up, went to her door, and opened it. The second it was open, she immediately regretted it. Angel was standing there just outside her bedroom.
Willow gasped and went to close the door, but when she heard the sobbing, she stopped.
She hesitated as she looked at Angel closely. "Uhm...A-Angel?" Why was he crying? Could it be? Dare she hope that he could have somehow regained his soul?
"W-Willow!" Angel cried out. "I-I don't know what to do. I-I don't know who to turn to!"
"Uhm, are you...? Do you...?" She took a deep breath. "A-Angel, are you good again?"
He looked at her with desperation in his eyes. He seemed to have a difficult time controlling his emotions. "I don't know how it happened." He shook his head, a look of shock on his face. "I don't understand it but my soul...i-it came back to me!"
Willow thought about that. She had heard Miss Calendar and Giles talking about some kind of restoration spell. Maybe they had done it and now Angel was back with his soul restored. Whatever it was, it must have worked. She was suddenly filled with hope and a hesitant smile began to spread on her face.
"W-well...come in." She stepped out of his way.
Angel came in and Willow closed the door.
He glanced at the bedroom door. It was wide open. Willow had the bedroom door open because her parents weren't home. They had gone away for the weekend. Angel already knew about that.
Willow clasped her hands together nervously. "Uhm...maybe I should call Buffy."
Angel kept his back to her. "D-do you think she'll forgive me?"
"W-well...I think she will, Angel. I mean, the things you did when you were bad...well, you did them when you were bad. But now...now you can do good things again, uhm, because you're good." She went to her phone. "Buffy will want to know if you're okay."
He hung his head. "Yeah...Okay. Call her for me."
She nodded and dialed the number to Buffy's house. After a fourth ring, Buffy picked up. "Hello?"
"Buffy! It's me!"
"Willow? What's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong. Buffy, Angel's here and-"
"What? Willow, has he hurt you?"
"No! He's here because he's good again. His soul has been restored and he came to see me. He wanted me to call you."
There was a pause. "Is he right there?"
"Yes, Buffy. He's-"
"Give him the phone."
Willow handed the phone to Angel. "Buffy wants to talk to you." She stood beside him as he raised the phone to his mouth and right ear.
He swallowed. "Buffy?" he said softly.
Buffy didn't hesitate. "Please tell me this isn't a trick, Angel, because if you hurt her, if you so much as touch one hair on her head, I'll kill you."
Angel paused for affect. "You know, Buffy...I'll tell you what's not right about this. You and Willow."
Willow looked at him as she tried to figure out what he was saying.
"What do you mean?" Buffy demanded.
Angelus slowly turned to look at Willow, but this time there was a predatory look in his eyes. Even his voice became deeper, more menacing. "Well, it just doesn't make any sense. I mean, you have blonde hair and Willow has red. But that's crazy because Willow acts just like a blonde and you! Well, you would be smart enough not to fall for the old 'my soul has been restored' routine. I mean, come on. How stupid do you have to be to let yourself fall for something like that!" He let out a cruel laugh.
Angelus continued to laugh. "Ah, well. Women! Who the hell can figure them? Right?" His face suddenly turned and he ran his tongue over the tip of his fangs. "Oh, and, Buffy? You can hurry all you want to, but it'll be too late by the time you get here." He hung up the phone and then ripped the cord from the wall.
Willow backed up and screamed.
Angelus grabbed her by the throat and picked her up off from the floor. He held her face close to his own. "I've always wanted to do this." He opened his mouth and sank his teeth into her throat.
Buffy got to Willow's house and found the French doors wide open. But there was no Willow, and there was no Angel. There was a message though. Written in blood on Willow's computer screen was the word...YUMMY
Buffy fell to her knees and cried.
After she managed to get her emotions in check, she realized she had no choice. She called Giles and then Giles called the others. A short time later, Xander, Cordelia, Giles, and Oz showed up. They found Buffy sitting on the floor beside the computer.
Xander looked around without saying a word but it was clear that something was on his mind. Everyone assumed it was about Willow so they didn't ask him about it.
Instead, Giles went to Buffy. "A-are you all right?"
Buffy glanced up at him and the tears came again. "Angel took her, Giles. He took Willow."
Behind them, Xander grimaced in rage and shook his head.
Giles glanced at the computer where the word in red still dripped on the screen. "L-listen to me, Buffy. Angelus may be playing a game and that could give us time to find Willow."
Oz looked at him with a small ray of hope. "But...isn't this Willow's blood? That means he bit her. She's going to become like him."
"Not...not necessarily, no. Vampires can keep humans around for a long time and feed from them. Angelus might be planning to do this with Willow." He hesitated. "Be-besides, a person doesn't become a vampire unless the vampire sucks the victim's blood and the victim sucks the vampires blood." He glanced at Buffy. "So-someone once told me that it was rather a big sucking thing."
"But you mean if we can get to her...we can still save her?"
"Ye-yes." He looked down at Buffy. "But we have to find her first and, Buffy...I'm really afraid you can't do that sitting on the floor."
Xander let out a sigh. "Would you help her up already?"
Giles glanced at him, and then he helped Buffy up. That's when Xander walked over to her and belted her one across the jaw. Oz quickly grabbed him and pulled him back as Buffy stumbled and fell against Willow's desk. Buffy was the Slayer so she knew that it would take a lot more than that to put her down. Especially from Xander.
But it was the fact that he had actually struck her.
He had made a fist...and punched her.
Buffy stared at him as the tears renewed. Her heart was hurting so badly it was on the verge of breaking.
Giles put himself in front of her and glared at Xander. "Have you gone mad? You have no right to do what you just did, and for your sake, you'd better have a damn good reason for it!"
Xander brushed Oz off and returned the glare. "You want a good reason? How about this one? You should fire her ass and find a new Slayer. One who will slay all vampires. Including the ones who have souls! Vampires are for slaying, not making the Happy!" He continued to glare at Giles. Then he turned his glare at Buffy. He shook his head in disgust and stormed off.
"Xander..." Buffy fell a part. "I'm so sorry!" All she could think about was Willow. How none of this would have happened if she would have simply slain Angel. Had she not fallen in love with him, her world would not have fallen apart.
There was a knock on her window. With sleep still in her eyes, Amy Madison opened her window and was surprised to find Oz outside.
She was stunned. "Oz?"
Oz let out a sigh. "Look. I need a really big favor from you."
"It's a matter of life or death. And no matter what, you can't tell anyone."
Intrigued, Amy nodded her head. She quickly got dressed, grabbed a few things she needed to make a spell and then she took off into the woods with Oz.
Willow was picked up and tossed to the floor like property. She landed hard and found herself gliding across the floor until a beam stopped her. Breathing hard, she tried to sit up but felt so weak. There was a throbbing pain in her neck and she felt sick to her stomach as fresh blood dripped down her throat. She swallowed and turned her head, hearing her tormentors approach.
Angelus walked toward her and reached down for her to pick her up. He shoved her back against the beam and with ease, placed shackles around her wrists.
"There!" he exclaimed. "We now have a new decoration for our happy home!"
"Why, it's lovely, Daddy!" Dru exclaimed as she purred with delight. She sauntered toward them and studied Willow intently. "Oh, but Daddy has had himself a little nibble." She looked at Angelus. "Can I have a bite?"
Angelus shook his head. "No. I took just enough not to kill her."
"Not to kill her?" Spike inquired as he rolled into the room on his wheelchair. "Are you certain you don't have your soul? Because the last I knew, vampires did not spare their victims any mercy, you git."
"You think I'm sparing this girl mercy, Spike?" He grabbed Willow by the chin and forced her head up.
Willow cried out.
"Look at her, Spike!" Angelus declared. "Look at the fear in her eyes! There's no mercy here. If we kill her, then that would be merciful."
Spike shook his head. "You want to make her bait, is that it? You think the Slayer will come for her."
"Of course, she'll come for her." He released Willow and she slumped against the beam. "That's what Slayer's do."
But he was wrong. The Slayer didn't come for Willow.
"Now this is your new home," Angelus said to Willow as he walked toward her. "You are no longer free, Willow. You are property. You belong to me."
"And me," Dru said with a gleam in her eye and a bounce in her step.
Angelus smiled. "And Dru," he agreed. He looked at Willow. "Do you understand?"
Willow feared for her life. She nodded.
"You can live a long happy life." He suddenly laughed. "Well, a long life anyway, but not a happy one. Just know that every now and then, I'll feed off you and Dru will feed off you. Oh, and if Roller Boy behaves, he can have a nibble, too."
"Gee, thanks, git," Spike grumbled through clenched teeth. He glanced at the other three vampires who were just standing around laughing like idiots.
Angelus stood in front of Willow as he ran his hand through her hair. "We'll feed you. We'll give you plenty of things to do whether you want to do them or not but your life is ours to do with as we please."
Willow couldn't stop the tears. "An-Angel, please!"
He pulled her head back forcefully. "Don't you call me that!" He shook her for emphasis. "Not ever! Do you hear me?"
And then there was a voice. It said, "Get your filthy stinking paws off my girl."
Angelus froze. He didn't turn around. He grinned and shook his head "Now that doesn't sound like Xander...so it must be Oz." He looked at Willow and laughed. "Well...I guess you get to watch your boyfriend die, because we all know it was incredibly stupid of him to show up here." He turned around and looked at Oz.
Then he looked up at...Oz?
It wasn't exactly Oz as he had thought it would be. It was Oz the werewolf, which now towered above him, glaring down at him with red eyes.
Angelus' mouth dropped open. "What the hell...?" He could have sworn he had heard Oz's voice...not a werewolf growling at him.
The werewolf bared his teeth. With Oz' voice, it said, "I told you to keep your hands off." Suddenly, he picked Angelus up and bit him on the neck. Then he glared at him. "How do you like it, dead boy?" In anger, he tossed Angelus aside. Angelus landed hard on the floor and stared up at the wolf in astonishment. Dru got to his side, helped him up, and then they took off.
Spike had already wheeled himself out of sight, but he hung around in the darkness to watch the wolf tear apart the other three idiotic vampires.
When it was all over, Werewolf Oz approached Willow. She stared at him in wonder. Because of his size and, well, his wolfiness, Oz made his approach real slow so he didn't frighten her any more than she was.
She looked up at him. "O-Oz? I-is that...you? I mean...really really you?"
The wolf nodded. "Howwwwllllllll," he said. Then he hung his head at the look on her face. "Sorry." He took the chains and pulled them apart. He looked at Willow. "Are you okay?"
She hesitated. "I-I don't know...A-am I dreaming this? Are you Oz, or a wolf?"
"I'm a little of both actually." He looked at her. "I was scared for you."
"I was, too." She touched his arms in wonder. It was the strangest thing to watch the wolf's mouth moving as Oz spoke words. "How did you...?"
"Well...it's a long story. But I had some help from Amy who used a spell. And the others..." he trailed off.
She looked at him with concern. "The others what? Oz. Tell me."
"They weren't in any shape to find you, Will. Buffy fell a part and Xander hit her."
"Xander hit Buffy? W-why did he do that?"
Oz hesitated. "He blamed her for Angel taking you."
"Oh...But...he shouldn't have hit her." She looked at his wolfish face. "Oz...you s-saved my life. I-I want to kiss you...but not right now." She shuddered at the thought of her kissing a wolf. "Ugh. Gross!" Then she said, "Sorry. B-but that's just not right...you know."
"I understand." He licked her face.
She looked at him in surprise. "Eeww! Th-that felt really weird!"
Oz hung his head. "Sorry. I acted a bit impulsively." He picked her up. "Let's get you home."
Willow put her head on his shoulder as the wolf carried her home.