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Shadows Of The Past

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Chapter One

 

Willow sat with her feet on Andrew's knee; he was painting her toe nails. She was flipping through a book on computers a feeling of excitement in the pit of her stomach. This book was part of her computer course at college. She was going away to college very soon and Willow could hardly wait. Aside from the fact she loved school and loved learning; it would be a blessing to leave Sunnydale and get far away from Buffy Summers and her one time best friend Xander Harris.

 

It was a Saturday night, and they had all gathered together at Warren's house for pizza and a movie marathon. They had started with Star Wars; it wasn't Willow choice, but she had been over ruled by Jonathan, Warren and Andrew. The next movie was her choice and she fully intended to pick something extra girly as pay back.

 

There was a large bowl of popcorn sitting between Jonathan and Warren. Warren kept dipping into it every five seconds, throwing the popcorn up into the air and attempting to catch it in his mouth. He was failing miserably, there was more popcorn on the floor than anywhere else. Suddenly he spoke, "Anyone want to team up and take over Sunnydale?"

 

Jonathan, his eyes glued to the screen nodded distractedly. "I suppose so."

 

"How are you planning to do that?" Andrew didn't look up, he was busy examining Willow's nails. "This town has a Slayer, remember?" He winced when Willow's toes curled into his knee. "Sorry, Wills. I didn't mean...."

 

"The Slayer is the reason we should do this," Warren interrupted, sitting up straight, an almost defiant expression crossing his face. "We need to show her just who this town really belongs to."

 

Willow considered, speaking slowly. "Take Sunnydale back for the human's you mean?"

 

"Exactly." Warren clapped his hands together for emphasis. "So, whose with me?"

 

"I'm in," Jonathan said.

 

Andrew nodded, "Me too. Willow?"

 

A smile as cold as sleet curled Willow's lips. "Buffy Summers will be as sorry as I am that she ever came to Sunnydale. "

 

XxX

A year later Willow was back in her home town of Sunnydale, having returned from college with her friends Warren, Andrew and Jonathan. It was convenient that they all attended the same college, although they did not all take the same classes. She and Warren excelled with computers and technology, more so than Andrew and Jonathan; although she did share her English class with the two of them and they had managed to secure a space on the folklore and mythology course.

 

Andrew and Jonathan did have some working knowledge of computers, but they, unlike Warren, possessed some magical ability. Willow far outstripped them; but they could hold their own and they were useful if she needed to channel someone for a magical boost.

 

When it came to science they were all pretty much on an even footing and enjoyed sitting down together to discuss ideas and perform experiments. Willow, Andrew and Jonathan were working on ways to incorporate magic into science for maximum effect.

 

Not one of them had forgotten that Saturday night in Warren's room where they had pledged to re-take Sunnydale as their town. For a year they had plotted and planned, devising strategies and working on their chosen skills to hone and enhance them.

 

They were up against a Slayer after all.

 

The fact that Buffy Summers was a Slayer did not worry them too much. After all, there were four of them and they would all be considered complete geeks. They knew what they were doing, they used their brains; unlike the Slayer who appeared to rely upon a middle aged man and Xander Harris to provide answers. Willow had been able to supply that titbit of information. From one of her rare conversations with Xander just before their friendship completely fell apart, he had told her that Rupert Giles the high school librarian was a Watcher and did most of the research for Buffy and that he helped out. Willow had been, and still was, rather scornful when it came to Xander "helping out". She'd known him all her life and had never willingly seen him pick up a book and research anything, even when his grade hung in the balance.

 

Willow was, at the present time, sitting on the sofa in her living room end to end with Andrew, their feet meeting in the middle. They were surrounded by magic books, busy researching a spell. It didn't worry Willow to have these kind of books lying around the house, her parents, both notable psychiatrists were never at home. They were once again on their never ending travels and Willow had the house to herself. Warren had deemed it the perfect place for their headquarters.

 

The door opened and Jonathan arrived with a bag of take out. "Got the Chinese!" As he passed the door to the basement he called out, "Warren!"

 

"Did you remember my egg rolls?" Warren shouted back.

 

"Yes. I got them. Come up and eat before it gets cold." Dumping the bag in the kitchen Jonathan poked his head into the living room. "Where do you want to eat?"

 

"Dining room," Willow said glancing up from the book she was reading. "I don't want to risk anyone spilling anything on these books."

 

Andrew marked his page and jumped up. He grinned boyishly at Willow. "Having our own headquarters is great! Our very own Baxter Building; just like a real life Fantastic Four."

 

Willow smiled good naturedly and rolled her eyes. She was used to the boys and their super hero references. Knowing them as well as she did, Willow understood they had, during their childhood and adolescence, immersed themselves in a world of fantasy to escape from the reality of being ridiculed and scorned by their peers. She could identify, she was used to being mocked by her peers too.

 

"So," Jonathan unloaded the take out as Andrew set out the plates. "What have you two been doing?"

 

"We've been studying this spell to summon a M'Fashnik demon," Andrew replied, licking his lips as he eyed his carton of special fried rice. His stomach voiced its approval of the aroma.

 

Jonathan frowned. "Which one is that again?"

 

Willow gathered the soda and the glasses together trotting back and forth from the dining room to the kitchen. "The M'Fashnik demon is a mercenary demon. He'll perform acts of slaughter and mayhem for the highest bidder."

 

"Warren!" Jonathan called again, helping Andrew to take the carton's of food to the table. "Why do you want to summon that demon in particular?"

 

Andrew slid into the seat opposite Willow reaching eagerly for his food. "Willow thought it would be a good idea to keep the Slayer busy with demon stuff so we can get a better gauge of her abilities. Besides, it gives us time to perfect our own gadgets; and then we lead her into an ambush the way Captain America ambushed Iron Man during the Civil War of the Superhero Registration Act."

 

"She was never all that smart at school and science and technology just went straight over her head. Demon's are her forte." Willow said, scooping some chicken chow mien on to her plate. "That's not the way to take her down. We have to be cleverer than that."

 

The basement door swung open and Warren appeared, his shirt opened at the neck and his dark hair in disarray from where he kept running his hand through it. "I think its finished, Willow. Before we all eat could you come and look at it?"

 

As Willow rose and followed Warren down the basement Andrew gave his food a longing look. With a sigh he got up and trotted after Jonathan. Their footsteps echoed on the wooden stairs as they went down into the basement. The Rosenberg basement wasn't a place to store junk, Willow's parents didn't believe in wasting space. Instead they had bookcases lining the walls housing their old psychology books and there was a desk set up where an outdated computer had once sat. Willow and Warren had taken that computer apart and the desk was littered with other computer parts, wires, a soldering iron and micro chips.

 

In the middle of the room stood a girl. A slender pretty thing with long dark hair, her green eyes staring straight ahead. She didn't move as they came in and crowded around her, she simply stared ahead unseeingly.

 

"A humanoid robot," Andrew breathed, his eyes widening. "Like Awesome Android in Fantastic Four."

 

Jonathan's lips pursed, his head cocking to the side as he watched Willow examine the robot. "Is it creepy that I think she's hot?"

 

"I'm not going to answer that," Willow said, her fingers tripping lightly over the motherboard stored in the back of the robot.

 

"You're like our very own Mad Thinker," Andrew said looking across at Warren, his mind still on The Fantastic Four. "What's she for?"

 

"She's a test subject," Warren said. "We need to see if she works properly and what we need to fix. And," he grinned wryly. "I prefer to think of myself as Doctor Doom and her as my Doombot."

 

"But," Jonathan looked confused. "What exactly is her purpose?" As Willow was the only one totally unsurprised and unfazed at finding the robot in the basement, Jonathan could only surmise that she had known all about it. They were meant to be a team and shouldn't the concept of a robot have been discussed before Warren went ahead and built it? Not that he hadn't done a good job, but Jonathan did rather resent the fact that he hadn't even been informed about it.

 

Willow emerged from behind the robot. Hard green eyes met Jonathan's over the robot's shoulder. "She's going to help us destroy the Slayer."

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

The Bronze hadn’t changed. Somehow Warren had expected it to be different having been away at college for so long. It was the same sort of high school crowd as it had always been. The same type of music; the same popular people holding court on the dance floor and the less important people hiding away in the corner. He had been one of those hiding away in the corners, but now he sat with Jonathan a little closer to the stage where he had a better view of the band. They were nothing to write home about, but they weren’t bad at all.

 

Jonathan finished his drink and looked around. “Makes me feel a bit old,” he admitted.

 

“We’ll change things when we take over,” Warren replied.

 

Jonathan stifled a sigh at the note of bitterness in his friends voice. Taking over Sunnydale was not going to erase the past no matter what Warren might think. Jonathan knew what it was like to be ignored by everyone in his orbit. He knew was it was like to be laughed at by his fellow students who never seemed to realise that their jokes and pranks weren’t funny; they were humiliating and cruel. He wasn’t the only one to have suffered, Andrew and Warren had too; but he had moved on from it. Unfortunately those memories would always be with him, those experiences had hurt and still did if he thought about them; but he wasn’t in high school any more. Jonathan couldn’t say he was different now, because he wasn’t. He was still the same nerd he had always been, it was just that college was different. He was surrounded by people who wanted to do well, who wanted to get ahead and succeed in life and being smart was considered an asset rather than something to mock.

 

Warren however just wouldn’t let it go. Whether he couldn’t let it go or he simply wouldn’t let it go, Jonathan hadn’t quite worked out. He understood Warren’s need for acceptance, and taking over Sunnydale would be super cool, but Jonathan couldn’t see it bringing the about the sort of closure Warren seemed to think it would.

 

As for Willow, he let out a heavy sigh this time; all Jonathan could say about Willow was that she still wasn’t over it.

 

“Are we ready to leave?” Jonathan asked. “I promised Willow I’d help her and we’ve been gone for a long time.”

 

“Yeah, let’s go.” Warren put his empty glass on the table and took up his coat.

 

Moving through the crowded room Warren squeezed between two groups of dancers and stumbling over his own feet, he found himself in the slightly quieter area of the pool tables. As he waited for Jonathan to emerge from the crowd he heard a familiar voice.

 

“Aren’t you a few centuries old to be hanging out at The Bronze? Oh, but you can’t got to Willy’s can you, because none of the other demons wanna play with you now that you aren’t a real vampire anymore.”

 

“You wanna watch how you talk to me, whelp or I’ll…”

 

“You’ll what? Glare at me? Scowl at me? Say mean things to me? That’s about all you can do now, isn’t it.” Xander laughed. “Face it, Spike. You can threaten me all you like but you can’t do anything to me, you’re just a neutered pup now and you can’t hurt anyone.”

 

Anya let out a groan. “Do you have to have the same argument with him all the time? Can’t you fight about something new for a change?”

 

“Oh come on, An, it’s not as if…” Xander trailed off when he saw Warren standing nearby. He blinked when Jonathan arrived at Warren’s elbow and they stared at each other for a long moment. “Hey,” Xander shifted his weight from foot to foot. “What are you guys doing here? I thought you’d gone away to college?”

 

“We're back now,” Warren said shortly. “Summer vacation.”

 

“Oh yeah,” Xander nodded. Silence fell between them for a beat, stretching thick and taunt. He cleared his throat. “Um, do you guys still keep in touch with Willow?”

 

Warren’s shoulder’s tensed. Sometimes the bare faced cheek of people astounded him. That Xander Harris of all people could stand there so casually, looking so innocent and ask after Willow. He was behaving as if time just fell away and nothing had happened. Warren had the sudden urge to hurt Xander. He got protective over Willow sometimes, she had always had his back and he would always have hers. That was friendship. Something Xander knew very little about.

 

“Of course we do. We go to the same college and have a lot of the same classes. She's one of my very best friends,” Warren said, taking great pleasure at the hurt look on Xander’s face.

 

Jonathan shifted uncomfortably. He looked curiously at the man Xander had been arguing with. He was tall with bleached blonde hair and blue eyes, he wore head to toe black, his leather duster looked pretty cool, and was leaning against the pool table a cigarette between his fingers. “So,” he gave a little nervous laugh. “Still vampires and demons around then?”

 

“Yeah,” Xander scowled at Spike. “Some just can't take the hint and don't realise when they aren't wanted.”

 

Warren’s voice dripped with icy sarcasm, “Seems your Slayer's still doing a fine a job as ever.”

 

Xander flinched, his face tightening and lashes sweeping down for a moment, veiling his eyes. “Buffy's always done her best. She's great at what she does.”

 

Warren snorted. “ Funny how she's so great and yet people still die.” He nudged Jonathan’s arm, glanced at the tall blonde guy as he passed him and disappeared into the throngs of people with Jonathan at his heels.

 

Annoyed he couldn't think of something to say in Buffy’s defence, Xander glared at Warren’s retreating back. He let out a little sigh, tossing the cue on the pool table, no longer interested in playing. A weighted feeling of bitterness settled on his shoulders, he was sad and hurt that Willow still blamed Buffy for something which wasn't her fault.

 

Anya tugged on Xander’s arm to get his attention. “Who were they? Why didn’t you introduce me? That was rude. You said it was polite to introduce people at a social gathering.”

 

Usually, Xander was more than willing to help his girlfriend, the ex-demon, make as smooth a transition into a life as a human as he could and would have been pleased she remembered the important points of being polite and how to act around people she was meeting for the first time. Right now however he rather wished Anya would just let it go for once. But he knew her well enough to know she wouldn’t and he felt he’d rather explain things to her than have her ask Buffy about it.

 

“We all went to school together,” Xander explained. “We didn't hang out or anything. I was busy helping Buffy, and they were the smart kids anyway, always top of the class, and the things Wills and Warren didn't know about computers weren't worth knowing.”

 

Spike had retreated into the shadows to listen without being seen. He smiles slowly as the whelp’s words conjured an idea in his ever plotting mind. Turning away from Xander and Anya, he slipped out of The Bronze, scanning the street until he spotted Warren and Jonathan up ahead and began to follow them.

 

XxX

 

When Warren and Jonathan arrived back at Willow’s house they found both her and Andrew sitting at the coffee table in the living room. The lights were off and two large candles sat at either end of the table, a leather bracelet between them. Willow and Andrew held hands, their arms creating a circle around the candles and the bracelet.

 

“What are you doing?” Warren asked, taking a seat in the arm chair.

 

“Shh,” Jonathan hissed. “Don’t interrupt them when they’re working.”

 

Warren frowned. “But what are they supposed to be doing?”

 

“It was Andrew’s idea, pretty good actually,” Jonathan said, perching on the arm of the sofa where he could see everything Willow and Andrew were doing. “They’re trying to enchant that bracelet with super hero powers.”

 

Warren’s eyebrow lifted a fraction. “Come again?”

 

Jonathan laughed and shook his head. “Well you know how super hero’s have special powers; like enhanced strength or the ability to heal really fast, that type of thing? Well, the idea is to use magic to enchant some jewellery which will give us those same sort of powers.”

 

“That’s….” Warren paused, a look of surprise crossing his face. “Actually a really good idea. We could have the ability to regenerate damaged or destroyed areas of our cellular structure just like Wolverine!”

“Yeah, that’s the general idea.”

 

“I could be like Magneto and shape and manipulate magnetic fields. That would be awesome.”

 

Willow suddenly turned towards him. “We’ll see what we can do.”

 

“How’s it going?” Jonathan knelt beside Andrew and peered closely at the bracelet, but it didn’t look any different to him.

 

“I felt something that time,” Andrew said. “But I don’t think we’re there just yet.” He smiled and sat back on his heels. “We’ll get there though, won’t we, Willow?”

 

Willow nodded and reached for her bottle of water. “All we need to do is channel and focus.”

 

“And I’ll be part of the circle next time,” Jonathan promised. “Sorry I’m later than I said I’d be.”

Willow shrugged. “It’s okay.” She grinned, “You’re allowed to take a break.”

 

“It’s probably my fault we’re running late,” Warren admitted, ignoring the warning look Jonathan sent him. “We ran into Xander.”

 

Willow went quite still as Warren proceeded to give her a blow by blow account of his conversation with her ex-best friend. Of course she had figured Xander would still be in Sunnydale, he never had been very ambitious and was probably spending his day asking people; would you like fries with that?

 

Still, it felt a bit surreal to know that Warren had seen and spoke to Xander. She hadn’t spoken to him since she left for college and she hadn’t seen hide nor hair of him since graduation. Her lips formed a tight line; another catastrophe for the Slayer; she may have killed the demon but a lot of people had died too.

“He was all about defending the Slayer,” Warren continued. “Not that surprising really.”

“He didn’t mention that he was still involved with her or anything,” Jonathan added quickly.

Willow gave Jonathan a disbelieving look. "Why would he be talking to vampire's if he wasn't still involved with her. Besides, I know Xander better than you do. If he didn't walk away from her before he won't ever do it. Just a smile from a pretty girl is enough to enslave Xander Harris for the rest of his life."

Drumming his fingers on the arm of the chair Warren smiled smugly. "Well, that's his problem. He made his bed, huh, Wills?"

"That's right," Willow said. "He chose her. Now he'll live to regret that choice."

Jonathan's eyes darted from Willow to Warren and back again. They were his friends, but sometimes they unnerved him, worried him. Andrew didn't appear to share the same feelings, in fact, Jonathan sometimes thought that Andrew was rather in awe of Willow, especially where magical skills were concerned. Jonathan readily admitted that Willow's magic far exceeded any spell he could cast, but sometimes he wondered if they should really be messing about with so much magic. Magic wasn't like technology, it was hard to control and could so easily destroy everything instead of helping it.

Still, Jonathan acknowledged magic was essential if they were going to take over Sunnydale and beat the Slayer.

A knock at the door brought Jonathan out of his thoughts."Do you think it's Xander?"

"I'll go and see," Andrew said getting to his feet.

Warren and Jonathan followed him, both curious and ready to stand between Xander and Willow if they had to. They are both surprised to find Spike on the doorstep.

"Yes?" Andrew peered at the scary looking man on the doorstep. Black leather duster, black combat boots, black t-shirt, black jeans, bleached blonde hair and an expression which screamed self assured arrogance. Andrew's stomach knotted. Something told him that this man would snap him in two without blinking.

"He's the vampire Xander was talking to," Jonathan said, pointing at Spike.

"That's right. Name's Spike. Thought you might be able to help a bloke out."

Andrew cleared his throat, his body twitching nervously. "What can we do for you?"

Spike's head tilted. "Well now, I don't much like discussin' personal business on the front porch."

Warren returned to the living room where Willow still sat and told her it was Spike rather than Xander on the doorstep. Willow considered for a moment before calling out for Spike to come in. She knew she would be able to uninvite him later if she chose to. Her curiosity was aroused by Xander's comment of Spike being neutered and why he had suddenly turned up on her doorstep.

"Don't mind if I do." Spike stepped into the foyer, sauntering past Andrew and Jonathan into the living room. The first thing Spike saw was Willow sitting on the floor by the coffee table, the candle light flickering over her skin. He was struck first by her eyes; how deep and green they were, almost gleaming in the light from the candle. The look of curiosity on her face was rather endearing.

Warren moved to stand at Willow's shoulder, he figured it was best that the vampire know straight off that the humans stood together and would not be intimidated. "Well, what do you want?"

"I 'ear you're 'andy with computers an' what all."

Warren nodded. "That's right."

Willow's curiosity deepened. "Why do you ask?"

" Got myself a problem," Spike said. "Got captured by some Government Solider boys who planted a micro chip in my noggin'. Stops me hurtin' people. I'd like it gone."

Jonathan's arms crossed over his chest, feeling braver now he knew Spike couldn't hurt him. "Any particular reason we should help you?"

Spike smiled and Willow couldn't help but noticed how that smile enhanced his good looks. She was pretty sure she had never come across a man who looked like Spike. How could she? There weren't many built the way he was.

"Well, I got the impression you aren't all that fond of the Slayer," Spike said.

"Ah," Andrew nodded once. "The Slayer. The Loki to our Avengers. The Dr Doom to our Fantastic Four. The Brotherhood to our X-Men."

Spike's eyebrows quirked, an amused look crossing his face.

Willow bristled, her eyes narrowing. "What's she got to do with anything?"

"She's a Slayer an' I'm a vampire. The Slayer of Slayer's actually. Killed two in my time. Now this chip stops me from rippin' her throat out. You help me out with the chip an' she'll be out of all our lives."

Spike's statement was met with a heavy, loaded silence as the four friends exchanged looks. It was almost too good to be true. They wanted the Slayer gone and fate had dropped a vampire in their laps who was looking to get rid of her as badly as they were.

Jonathan finally broke the silence. "What do you want us to do?"

" I don't know," Spike snapped impatiently. "Disable it, or fry it, or whatever you computer geniuses do to stop things from workin'."

"I think we'd have to look at it first. What do you think, Warren?" Willow looked up, her eyes meeting Warren's.

Warren stared down at her, his eyebrows drawing together in thought. Even though he had known Andrew and Jonathan longer, it was Willow who understood him. If Willow had an idea it was usually mirrored in his own mind. Today was no exception. "Probably be best. Maybe we can get a surgeon to open him up."

"I've had a Doctor do that," Spike told them. "He said he couldn't take it out, it was too close to my brain."

Willow made a dismissive motion with her hand. "That shouldn't matter. We don't need to physically remove it."

Jonathan cleared his throat nervously. "Are we sure we want to do this?"

Willow ignored him and looked up at Warren again. "Perhaps we could reprogram it. We should be able to, we've been working on programming computers lately."

Warren give her a meaningful look. "Yeah, I think we'd be able to manage it. It's bound to be a little thing if its in his head. Should be easy enough for someone who knows what they're doing."

Spike listened with growing excitement. "When?"

Willow smiled at him. "Meet us here tomorrow night, we'll fix the Slayer together."

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Night could not come soon enough for Spike. He stood at the window in Giles living room, a section of the curtain held between thumb and forefinger as he peered out into the street; the roofs and street lights a jagged serrated horizon against the pink and salmon of the setting sun.

Agitation corded Spike’s muscles. Blue eyes watched impatiently as little fingers of darkness crept across the town of Sunnydale. He was itchy in his skin tonight as nerves and excitement battled in his veins.

Tonight could be the night. Tonight he could return to what he was supposed to be. Tonight he could once again be the demon he knew he was; strong, powerful, vicious.

There was also the possibility that his dreams would crumble down around him. Suppose the little geniuses couldn’t fix him? Spike gave a spare shake of his head. He refused to think about that. The girl had been confident enough and she seemed to know what she was talking about.

Spike’s mind wandered towards the girl. Willow; with her deep green eyes and copper locks, she was a tasty morsel make no mistake. And, she wanted rid of the Slayer. That only added to her fascination so far as Spike was concerned, for the girl was undeniably human and yet there was a coldness about her when the Slayer was mention, a dislike so apparent it took over her entire face before she could stop it.

He wondered what had happened between them. He disliked the Slayer on principle. She was a bloody Slayer, it was her job to kill him after all. But more than that he found her holier than thou attitude rubbed him up the wrong way. She had the nerve to look down on him for being a vampire, a destiny which had chosen him in much the same way destiny had chosen her to become a Slayer; when she had shagged a vampire herself. Spike grinned at the thought of Angel, all cursed and brooding with his precious little soul and his pathetic doomed love for the One Girl In All The World.

Thoughts of the Slayer didn’t linger long with Spike, he preferred a more pleasant train of thought; like Willow. When he had dispatched the Slayer and her body was nothing more than a rotting corpse in the grounds of the Hellmouth, surely the girl would be grateful to him for eliminating her problem.

Oh so grateful.

She was such a polite little thing, inviting him into her house like that; she would want to say thank you to him. A sinful smile curled Spike’s lips; over and over again.

He had been raised a gentleman, to always be polite to a lady, and he would not refuse her offer. Oh no. He would show her instead how grateful he was to have the opportunity to rid the world of another Slayer. After all, Willow would be the one permitting him to be what he was; a vampire who could hurt humans. Only right he showed his appreciation. It was the gentlemanly thing to do and his dear mother had been nothing, if not dedicated to teaching him the finer points of correct behaviour.

His tongue stole out to lick along his lower lip. Just how much of a gentleman he would remain with his hands on Willow was another matter entirely. Just thinking about sinking his fangs into the soft skin of her slender neck made his fangs throb and his body ache.

It had been too long.

Not just the loss of his bite but…. Just too long.

Night had now fallen, the sky a strange mixture of tar-heel and Egyptian blue, the stars were beginning to surface. Spike let the curtain fall back into place and crossed the small room to the front door.

Giles chose that moment to speak to him. “What are you up to, Spike?”

Spike paused, his fingers on the door handle. He glanced at the Watcher who was peering at him through the hatch from the kitchen. “Nothin’. Just goin’ out is all. That is allowed, ain’t it?”

Giles frowned at the vampire, his distrust evident. “You’ve had the fidgets all day. I’ve never seen anyone stare out a window as much as you. What are you up to?”

“Nothin’,” Spike said again, allowing his displeasure at being questioned bleed through into his voice. “Just rather not be cooped up with you every minute of the day an’ I’m not in the mood for the moron or the Slayer tonight.”

Giles didn’t bother to correct the use of Spike’s nicknames for Xander and Buffy, it was a waste of time with Spike. “If I find out you’re lying to me, Spike.”

Spike gave a dismissive flick of his wrist. “Oh that’s alright.” His eyes narrowed, his top lip curling slightly, “No chance.”

He didn’t give Giles time to respond, he’d wasted enough time with the Watcher as it was. He had a big night ahead of him. Giles apartment opened out into a court yard, there were stone steps off to the left which led down into the street and Spike jumped these two at a time, landing neatly on the pavement, feet together.

Setting a brisk pace he headed to Willow’s house, lighting himself a cigarette to smoke on the way in an effort to calm himself; with each step he took his excitement intensified and Spike could hardly wait to get to the house.

 

XxX

 

“Are we sure we should be doing this?” Jonathan asked worriedly. He looked from Willow to Warren. “I’ve read up about Spike. He’s not a nice guy.”

Warren rolled his eyes. “He’s a vampire, Jonathan. He’s not supposed to be nice. Demon’s aren’t nice, remember?”

“Do you know he’s part of what’s known as The Scourge of Europe? His list of victims is endless!”

“Yes I know,” Willow replied shortly. “I know all about him. Xander told me when Spike was first in town about two years ago.”

Jonathan was nonplussed for a moment. “When he was first in town?”

“Hum,” Willow nodded. “Buffy had a boyfriend, a vampire named Angel. Years ago he went by the name Angelus, very evil. He killed a gypsy girl and the clan the girl belonged to cursed him with a soul. Years later he comes to Sunnydale, falls in love with Buffy, she jumps into bed with him, he achieves perfect happiness, soul goes bye bye and Angelus returns. Buffy then sends Angelus to hell. Apparently he returned later with his soul intact, I don’t know much more about it.”

“Like Gandalf The White,” Andrew murmured, a look of awe on his face.

“Fascinating,” Warren said dryly. “But what does this have to do with Spike?”

“Spike was sired by a vampire named Drusilla. She was sired by Angelus. They’re family. Sort of. The other part of The Scourge of Europe is Angelus.”

“Buffy’s Angelus?” Andrew asked.

Willow nodded. “That’s right. Spike and Drusilla were in town when Angel’s soul disappeared. Xander told me about him then, he wanted me to be careful with vampire’s like that in town.”

“See,” Jonathan said softly. “He did still care about you.”

Willow’s eyes, hard and cold swivelled to Jonathan. “I never said Xander didn’t care about me. It’s not me he betrayed. I’m still here.”

“Back to Spike,” Warren interjected quickly. “You don’t have to worry, Jonathan. Willow knows all about him and we know what we’re doing. Don’t we, Willow?”

“Yes we do,” Willow nodded. “Its dark now, Spike should be here soon. Just leave it to us, Jonathan.”

Jonathan sighed and shrugged. “Alright. If you’re sure you know what you’re doing. But I still don’t like the idea a vampire like Spike on the loose. How do we know he won’t turn on us?”

“Why would he? We’re helping him,” Andrew pointed out. “Talk of the devil,” he added when a loud wrapping came at the door. “I’ll go and let him in.”

Warren followed him into the foyer. “No need,” he collected his jacket off the peg beside the door. “We’re all ready to go. Jonathan, are you coming or are you doing to stay here and hide under the bed from the big bad vampire?”

Jonathan scowled and Andrew sniggered as he opened the door. “Spike, welcome.”

Spike eyed the youth a feeling a contempt washing over him. The boy was pathetic, and unfortunately, he reminded Spike of how he had been as a human. The less time he had to spend with the boy the better. Spike had no desire to be reminded of the type of man he had once been. It would almost be a kindness, he reflected as he watched Andrew struggling into his coat- the one sleeve had tucked itself into the arm of the coat and Andrew couldn’t get his hand through- to kill him off.

All thoughts of killing Andrew vanished when Willow appeared. She wore a gypsy skirt and a peasant blouse, her shoulders bare; all round and creamy and tempting. She glanced at Spike as she quietly reminded Warren not to forget the bag. She hadn’t imaged his face, he really did look like that.

“’ello, love.”

Willow faltered in the doorway, his voice all rich and thick like warm honey melting over her. She swallowed. “Hello, Spike.” There was a slight quaver in her voice, but there wasn’t much she could do about it. “Ready?”

He turned on the full extent of his charm and smiled at her. “Was born ready, love.”

The smile had the desired effect. Willow’s insides quivered. She strove to remain business like. “Warren has spoken to the surgeon you saw previously. He’s going to see us tonight.”

“Right you are.” It had been the only thing she had asked him the previous night, the name of the surgeon. The boy Warren had asked all the other questions about the chip. She had simply sat quietly and listened, interest sparking in her eyes.

“Got the bag,” Warren said, hoisting a back pack on his shoulder. “And the keys. I borrowed my dad’s car for tonight.”

Andrew looked apprehensive. “You’re driving, are you?”

“Yeah,” Warren gave the other boy a shove to get him moving. “I can drive you know. I passed my test first time.”

“It’s how you managed to pass that’s always bothered me,” Andrew muttered, following Warren down the front steps and into the drive way.

Jonathan trailed behind them looking just as nervous as Andrew was. “I’ve never been good with rollercoaster’s.”

“What have rollercoaster’s got to do with anything?” Warren stowed the bag in the boot of the car.

“Rollercoaster’s are good practice for your kind of driving.”

Willow let out a little sigh and stepped onto the porch. Spike never moved, ensuring she had to half turn into him in order to lock the door. He inhaled deeply, leaning into her slightly. He felt her freeze, a little smile twitching at the corner of his mouth. “You smell good.”

Willow took a swift step back from him. “Are you sniffing me?” her eyes went wide, an incredulous look on her face.

“Uh huh.”

Lack of an explanation rather threw her off and Willow just stood there staring at him for a few minutes. They were delicious minutes for Spike, there was nothing to detract from the steady thump of her heart and the shallow little breaths she took; he could almost hear her blood rushing through her veins.

All too soon Willow came to her senses and turned away from him. “We should go.”

Spike followed her to the car, extremely disappointed to find he was sharing the back seat with geek and geekier while Willow sat upfront with Warren. Still, in such a confined space her scent was easily picked out and indulged in.

Not often behind the wheel of a car, Warren was less than a competent driver. The car jerked a lot under his hands starting off, but once he got on a straight road he put his foot down and they zipped along quite nicely. At least the speed didn’t bother Spike. What bothered Spike was every time they turned a corner Andrew was thrown up against him. At one point, determined not to have to stop and start at the traffic lights Warren floored the gas, the car hurtled forward, Andrew cried out and grasped Spike’s knee.

Spike scowled at him, but at that point Andrew seemed to find Spike the lesser of two evils when compared to Warren’s driving.

They arrived at the hospital in record time and unscathed. The humans, Spike noticed, were all a bit shaky and couldn’t wait to get out of the car. Once he was standing in the car park he helpfully cupped Willow’s elbow to steady her. “Alright there, pet?”

“Yes,” she managed to give Warren a strained smile over the bonnet of the car. “It’s alright for you, you wouldn’t have died,” she muttered, and Spike laughed.

“Come on,” Warren waved them towards the doors. “This way.”

“I think I’m going to be sick,” Jonathan moaned, taking deep breaths. “Living in Sunnydale is hazardous enough to your health without adding him to the list.”

“You’ll be alright,” Willow slipped her arm through Jonathan’s. “We’ll get you a drink of water when we’re inside. Maybe it’s best if you wait outside the door when the surgeon open’s Spike up. It might not be good for you on top of the ride here.”

If it was possible, Jonathan went even paler. “Actually, I think I’ll just sit out here for a few minutes.”

Willow deposited him on a nearby bench, examining his clammy face critically. It was a cool enough night, she figured Jonathan would be right as rain in a few minutes. “Andrew, will you get him some water and stay with him?”

“Yes of course.” Leaving Jonathan on the bench, Andrew fell into step beside Willow as they entered the hospital. Warren was standing by the elevator tapping his foot impatiently. “I hate the smell of hospitals,” Andrew wrinkled his nose.

“Me too,” Willow made a face. “And everything’s always so drab. You’d think they’d brighten the place up a bit. Sick people could do with a bit of cheering up.”

Spotting a water fountain up ahead, Andrew trotted off leaving Spike and Willow with Warren. The three of them stepped into the elevator and Warren pressed the button for the third floor. They stood in silence, and Willow wondered about it, why was it people never spoke in an elevator?

The elevator beeped and a female voice announced they were on the third floor. Warren led the way down the corridor. There was a wall of windows on the one side overlooking the car park. Off to the right Willow could see the entrance to the accident and emergency ward, there was an ambulance outside with a team of people in uniforms bustling about. She wondered if the accident was demon related; another stunning win for the Slayer.

They passed a man in grey overalls mopping the floor. A triangular yellow sign stood in the middle of the corridor warning them of a wet floor.

The door they were looking for was at the end of the corridor, they were met by the surgeon who shook Warren’s hand and eyed Spike. He remembered him alright. “Nothing’s changed,” he babbled nervously. “I still can’t take it out.”

“Didn’t Warren explain?” Willow looked confused. “We don’t want to take it out. We’re just going to reprogram it. All we need you to do is open him up again.”

Spike frowned. He wasn’t all that fussed on the idea of his head being cut open again and people peering in at his brain. But, needs must. He wanted their help and they needed to see the chip to do anything with him. In an ideal world the bloody thing would be removed, but Willow and Warren were computer geniuses not surgeon’s, they could only do so much.

“Ah, what about fryin’ it?” Spike asked.

“It might be dangerous to do that, what with it being so close to your brain,” Warren said. “We’ll know more when we see it.” He patted the operating table. “Up you get.”

He was hardly a child, Spike thought crossly. The boy would be offering him a lollipop next. Still, he hopped up onto the table and settled back, determinedly not looking at the array of medical tools set out neatly on the metal tray to the left.

“We’ll just give you an anaesthetic first,” the doctor said, snapping on a pair of latex gloves and picking up a syringe from the table.

Willow went white, her hand coming to rest on the side of the operating table. “I don’t like needles.”

“Just don’t look,” Warren advised, his eyes tracking the doctors every movement.

The doctor worked swiftly and silently, his confidence returning at he went through the motions without Spike watching him like a hawk. Finally he had Spike all opened up and stepped back. “He’s all your’s.”

Warren examined Spike with undisguised fascination. “There it is, you see it, Wills?”

Willow came to stand beside him, her nose wrinkling. “Yes,” she tilted her head and leant close to get a better look. “It’s small than I thought it would be.”

Kneeling at her feet, Warren rifled through the contents of the bag. He produced a syringe. “You’re up, Wills.” Carefully, he inserted the needled into Willow’s arm.

The scent of blood was so unexpected that Spike growled softly. Fresh human blood. He licked his lips, desperate for a taste. Willow suddenly appeared at his side, she touched his temples lightly, four little pads of gentle warmth on his skin.

“Shhh, Spike.” Her eyes met his, big and green and beautiful; hypnotising. They filled his vision. Those eyes filled his world. Her voice floated over him, speaking softly in Latin, words he couldn’t quite catch but didn’t need to, the sound was enough; beautiful and calming. Spike’s eyes fluttered and he fell asleep.

“Is he sleeping?” Warren craned his neck to catch a glimpse of Spike’s face.

“Yes.” Willow took another syringe from Warren and siphoned off some of Spike’s blood and allowed Warren to inject it into her as she injected her blood into Spike. Her eyes closed as she concentrated on the spell. She would have preferred to have Jonathan and Andrew present for such a big spell, but she was pleased to discover she didn’t actually need them. She was able to perform the spell on her own.

Cracking an eye open she found Warren. “Time to reprogram the chip.”

A small bubble of magic enveloped Willow and Spike. Linking her hands with Spike’s, she continued to chant, feeling her magic ebb and flow from her body to Spike’s. It took a while, but she could feel him, which meant that if he had been awake he would be able to feel her. It was important she was a presence in his blood. It would not be obvious to him, it was not something that would disrupt the day to day, or rather, night to night, aspect of Spike’s life, but her magic was there, sitting quietly dormant in his veins until she needed to utilise it.

It took some time for Warren to over ride the program the Imitative had used on the chip, but he was able to wipe the chip clean and start again. There were little wires running from the chip into a lap top and Warren tapped the keys busily. “Alright Wills, all that’s left is for you to activate the voice recognition. Ready?”

She nodded.

“On three then.” Warren counted down and Willow spoke in a cool clear voice.

“Spike, I want you to...”

Warren clicked to store the file in the chip. A satisfied smile crossed his face. “All done. You can sew him back up now,” he told the surgeon.

Willow let her magic dissipate and took a seat on a nearby plastic chair. “Magic makes this so much easier. All I had to do was give the basic command.”

Warren nodded. “We’d have been here for ages recording everything if we didn’t have magic. Now all he has to do is hear you say “Spike, I want you to” and he’ll do whatever you ask him to do. A year in the planning and Spike shows up and changes everything.”

Eyes drifting to Spike’s sleeping form Willow stared at him before answering, a light blush gracing her cheeks she let her hair fall forward to hide her face. “It’s not so bad.”

“Nope.” Warren grinned rubbing his hands together. “It’s all coming together.”

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 4

 

Spike came awake slowly. Indistinct voices drifted to him from his right. Gradually he was able to identify Willow and Warren. His head titled ever so slightly to bring them into his eye line, his eyelashes fluttering lightly. They were sitting on hard plastic chairs against the wall, Willow’s body was angled towards Warren listening to him as he talked and waved a hand around for emphasis.

“I’ll talk to them. Andrew will be easy to deal with, it’s Jonathan climbing up on his high horse which might cause problems. He was all for it last year,” Warren snorted. “He picks a great time to grow a conscious.”

Willow rolled her shoulders. “Well, if he doesn’t like it, in his defence we have changed the plan without discussing it with either of them. Maybe we should have said something before just going ahead with it?”

Warren shook his head. “No, our way was best. Jonathan won’t like what we’ve done and discussing it wouldn’t have made a difference.” He snorted, “How did he think we were going to take over the town? Go up to the Slayer and politely ask her to leave?”

“I don’t think he really thought too much about it at the time. But he’s our friend, Warren. He’ll stick with us because that’s what friends do. They stick together. It might take a bit of persuading to get him to see things our way, but I’m sure you can manage it.” She shifted in her seat, suddenly becoming aware that Spike was watching her. She stood up and crossed to stand by the table, looking down at him. “How’d you feel?”

“Just fine, pet.” Spike sat up slowly. “Don’t feel any different. Did it work?”

“No reason to think it didn’t,” Warren got to his feet and picked up his backpack. “Now he’s awake let’s get going. I’m starving.”

“Yes, we should go,” Willow agreed. “Do you think you’re okay to walk, Spike?”

Spike was touched by her concern. It seemed like such a long time since anyone had shown any genuine concern for his wellbeing. The Slayer, the Watcher and the biggest moron on the planet merely tolerated him while rejoicing in his misfortune. They had no intention of helping him and Spike knew it. But fate had a way of taking care of those who were resourceful enough to use what came their way, and he had been provided with Willow.

She had fixed him. He would kill the Slayer and then, Spike smiled slowly; then he’d have all the time in the world to devote to his new project: Willow.

“I should test it out,” Spike said, his eyes sweeping the room until they landed on the surgeon who cowered back against the wall. He advanced on the surgeon an immense feeling of satisfaction uncurling inside him at the wide eyes and the heady scent of fear in the air. It had been too long since he was able to elicit a response like this.

Spike took a moment to image a similar look on the face of the Slayer when it became apparent to her, way too late for her to react, that he was a fully fledged vampire again.

Grasping the surgeon by the lapels of his coat Spike hauled the struggling man closer to him.

“Help me!” The surgeon cried out piteously. “Are you just going to stand there and let him kill me?”

Willow didn’t respond, she turned away and headed for the door, her mind was on Jonathan as she wondered if he was feeling any better. Watching Spike kill a man was not something she felt she needed to see. It did not occur to Willow to demand that Spike stop what he was doing, after all, he needed to eat too.

Warren stayed behind, morbidly mesmerised as Spike’s face changed, his human features melting away and the face of the demon coming forth, fangs gleaming cruelly in the harsh light of the operating room.

Spike’s fangs struck at the exposed, helpless neck of the surgeon, sinking in deep. Spike groaned as the surgeon’s life’s blood spilled down his throat. The artery pulsed as the man struggled, fear racing through his veins to flavour the blood. The surgeon’s hot breath came in short harsh bursts against Spike’s face and his voice clogged his throat, stopping that scream from escaping.

As Warren watched, the body of the surgeon went limp and Spike’s head came back, his neck arched. How would it feel to be like Spike, to hold someone’s life in his hands, to have power over life and death; like a God.

Spike licked his lips, revelling in the ability to bite again. Yellow eyes gleamed and he dropped the man to the floor grinning. “I’m back.”

“We should catch Willow up,” Warren said, his eyes on the dead man. He’d not seen a dead body before. He’d not seen someone die, or more precisely, be killed, before. It was fascinating to see the life drain from a man.

Spike followed Warren from the room. He couldn’t help but wonder if Willow had left because of what he was. Did seeing the demon in him disgust her so much she couldn’t be in the same room as him? Could it be the killing? Had killing the surgeon killed any chance he might have had with her?

She was waiting by the car with Andrew and Jonathan when Spike and Warren left the building and cross the car park. Warren dug his keys out of his pocket and opened the boot to put the back pack away.

“All sorted?” Andrew asked, eyeing Spike with interest.

“All sorted,” Spike said. His eyes slid to Willow. “Appreciate you helpin’ a demon out, pet. Know you didn’t ‘ave to.”

Jonathan was watching Warren, an almost resigned look on his face. “Maybe I’ll walk back.”

“Can’t,” Warren said. “We need to talk. There’s been a slight change of plan.”

“Well,” Spike inclined his head towards Willow. “Betta get goin’. Got a Slayer to kill.”

Her hand shot out and she caught hold of his arm. “Um, actually, would you come back with us? There’s something we need to talk about, Spike.”

“Guess I could,” Spike agreed. “Night’s still young yet.” He turned to Warren and plucked the car keys out of his hand. “I’ll drive.” Unlocking the car he opened the passenger door for Willow. “I’m not havin’ you sittin' up front if you're gonna throw up," he glanced at Jonathan. "Get in the back."

Willow settled in the passenger seat, and the boys crowded into the back with Jonathan by the window. Spike revved the engine and sped out of the car park. He handled the car much better than Warren had and the others all relaxed with him behind the wheel. The car was nice enough to drive but it wasn't his beloved Desoto. Spike had never loved a car the way he did the Desoto, it had taken him and Dru all over the world, they'd had plenty of adventures in it and there'd been lots of shagging too.

"Now," Jonathan said when Spike had parked in Willow's driveway. "That's how you drive a car, Warren."

Warren huffed and threw the back door open. "I do alright. I'd be better if I had more practice but I don't need a car in college." He took the back pack out of the boot. "You two had better come down to the basement with me, we've got some work to do."

"You said you had something to talk about," Andrew reminded him. "What's going on?"

Spike got out of the car and fell into step beside Willow as she went to the front door. Fumbling in her bag she produced the front door keys and let them all into the house. The boys, Spike noticed, were very much at home here. Relaxed, they hung up their coats and toed off their shoes, chattering back and forth about nothing in particular. It was mundane and normal and Spike envied them their closeness.

There was no mad rush to find a way to save the world like there was with the Slayer. There was no feeling of being deliberately excluded and merely tolerated the way there was at the Watcher's place. It made him nostalgic for Angelus, Darla and Dru. For whatever else they had been, they had also been a family.

"Pizza tonight?" Warren suggested as he headed for the basement.

Willow nodded, "I'll order it later." She waited until the three boys had descended into the basement before closing the door on them. Taking a steadying breath she turned and smiled at Spike. "Let's talk."

"All yours, love." Spike followed her into the front room, his curiosity at an all time high; although he didn't think she was about to offer herself to him on a plate, Spike reflected that would be rather nice.

Perching on the arm of the chair Willow gave Spike a long look. He couldn't hurt her if she told him not to, but nerves still twisted her gut, a tingling of fright in her fingertips. Spike wasn't going to take it well and Willow knew it.

He didn't sit, so Willow stood again. She was smaller than Spike anyway, but sitting while he stood just brought out a feeling of intimidation, which was stupid because she was the one in control. Squaring her shoulders and steeling her spine, Willow began to explain. "I did something." She paused and frowned at her own ineptness.

Spike's eyebrow lifted slightly. "Oh?"

"Your chip. I had Warren reprogram it, only not exactly in the same way I led you to believe."

Spike was confused. "But it worked. The chip didn't stop me from killin' that surgeon."

"Well, no," Willow agreed "It wouldn't stop you killing. We did do what we said we'd do. We did, help you with the chip. It doesn't function the way it did, you are free from it in that way. But it has been reprogrammed to, in a way, compliment a spell I did while you were asleep."

"You put me to sleep," Spike recalled slowly.

"That's right. It was easier that way," Willow said. "After the exchange of blood we..."

Spike held up a hand. "Hold on. What exchange of blood? Did you wipe my memory, because I'd remember drinkin' from you, love."

"Oh. No." Willow shook her head. "I used a syringe. No biting. I exchanged our blood and did a spell and combined with the new programme in the chip, well, you'll have no choice but to do what I say when I give you a specific command."

Spike's eyes narrowed to slits. "Come again."

"It won't affect you, Spike. Not until I want you to do something. It's a bit like you're a computer program, a robot," she paused and smiled suddenly, "A Spikebot, if you like..."

"I bloody well don't like!" Spike was incensed.

Dark. Dangerous. Deadly. Angry blue eyes clashed with her green stare. He looked so ferocious it was frightening; in spite of knowing he could do her no harm. His cheek bones were sharp and his jaw clenched tight, fury washed over his face. A handsome face it was, his beauty wasn't even marred by the scar above his eyebrow; it added mystery and character to him. Spike was appealing on so many levels, especially the carnal, sensual sort. Willow could almost feel the intensity vibrating from his body into hers and a wave of heat swept through her.

"Undo it!" Spike demanded.

"No." Her voice was startlingly cool and calm in the face of his anger. "I can't risk you messing things up. Once we have our town back I'll reverse the spell and I'll destroy the chip for you. But until then, you're stuck with me."

"I don't trust you."

Willow’s eyes widened incredulously. "You've got room to talk. You don't even have a moral conscious."

"You're lookin' to kill the Slayer, love, an' anyone who stands with her. You've got little room to judge me. In fact, you're worse than me. I don't 'ave a soul, I'm not human."

Willow shook her head. "You're wrong, Spike. I have my reasons for doing what I'm doing. I'm not a mindless killer. I've thought long and hard about this and I've spent an entire year planning and practicing my magic. What I meant about you messing things up, is that I don't want you going off and killing Buffy straight away. She has to suffer first. She has to feel the same pain I've felt."

His head tilted slightly, his tongue curling into his cheek. "Got a bit of darkness in you, don't ya, pet?"

"Everyone has darkness in them, Spike."

She was intriguing this girl. There was more to her than her pretty face and book smarts. There was more than his physical attraction to her; he hadn't known her long and hardly knew her at all, but, Spike realised, he liked her. She was a refreshing change to the goody goodies he was used to.

He stepped up close to her, invading her personal space, her scent tickling his nose, invading his body, heading straight to his cock. His eyes found hers, his voice low and husky, "Like a bit more darkness inside you, love?"

Spike was taken completely off guard when she swung up on to her tip toes, holding his arm to steady herself, and kissed him. Spike had expected her to back away from him or use her new found hold over him to send him away. Even though kissing her had been forefront in his mind, Spike hadn't imagined for a moment the same thought would be in Willow's mind.

Her tongue pushed against the seam of his lips insistently and Spike let her in, but he didn't let her take. His arms went around her, pulling her flush to his chest as his tongue tangled with hers; owning her mouth with demanding strokes. A quiet whimper came from her and Spike moaned into the kiss, overwhelmed by the taste of her.

Willow’s fingers flexed on his shoulders as her chest expanded, and then she wiggled in his arms, pushing at him to force him away from her. When his mouth lifted from hers she gasped greedily for air.

Spike watched her through lowered lids; her face was flushed and she looked confused, but she kept her hold on him, as if she needed the reassuring strength of him to get her bearings.

“Y… You should leave.”

“Leave?” Spike smiled slowly, “Why would I wanna do that? Things are just gettin’ good, love.”

Willow couldn’t deny he was right, things were getting good. But is wasn’t part of the plan. She had other things to concentrate on, Spike was a part of that and it was best she didn’t get herself all muddled when it came to him.

“First comes the kissin’,” he nudged her temple with his forehead. “Then comes the shaggin’,” he let his hands caress her back, the heat from her skin warming him even through her blouse. “An’ then comes the screamin’…”

“The sha…” Willow couldn’t bring herself to say the word out loud.

“Hum,” Spike dropped his head into the crook of her neck, breathing her in. “It means…”

“I know what it means,” she replied sharply. “But that’s not… no…” she cleared her throat, untangling herself from his arms. “No,” she said firmly. “That’s not going to happen.”

Stung, but unwilling to let it show, Spike simply smirked at her, catching her face in his palms, touching his thumb to her lower lip. “Sure it is, pet. You wouldn’t let me touch you like this if it weren’t on your mind.”

She looked affronted that he could read her so well and a spark of angry irritation flared in her eyes. It transformed her for a split second, enhanced the quiet, freshly pretty face into something dark and beautiful. If she ever got truly angry Spike knew she’d be a magnificent sight to behold. And if she let herself go, if she let pleasure cloud her eyes and take her over; she’d be glorious.

He wasn’t wrong, and it frightened her. Determined that Spike shouldn’t know how much he shook her to her very core, Willow stood a little straighter, taking his wrists between thumb and forefinger she pulled his hands from her face. It was time to take back the control. “I think you should go. But, before you do, Spike, I want you to listen to me very carefully and do exactly as I say.”

The atmosphere changed instantly. Spike’s eyes blazed and narrowed. He knew what she was doing. The activation of the chip and the spell wasn’t a physical awareness in him, Spike didn’t feel any sort of magic at work; instead he felt, against his will, the need to obey her.

“Spike, I want you to keep quiet about meeting me and the boys. You aren’t to tell anyone about it. Spike, I want you to behave towards Buffy, Xander, Giles and anyone else in your life the way you always have. Spike, I want you to refrain from hitting Buffy, Xander and Giles. Spike, I want you to come here every night as soon as it gets dark, we’ll have things to discuss.”

Spike was livid, his face a strange mixture of demon and human. He was barely keeping his anger reigned in. “You want a lot of things, witch. What about what I want, hum?”

“You’ll get what you want,” Willow promised. “You’ll be free of the chip and you can do what you want with the Slayer. But not until I say so.”

His fury was like a physical being in the room, so acute was it. It threatened to suffocate her, take her over, and Willow just wanted him gone. Spike made her skin prickle and it was unsettling.

“You can leave now.”

Spike was incredulous. “I’m not a soddin’ school boy in a classroom! You can’t just dismiss me!”

“I think you’ll find I can,” Willow stared him down, determined not to show any weakness. All this power and control was new to her, she hadn’t got the hang of dealing with it just yet.

“Who the hell do you think you are?”

“I know I’m the one with the power. Spike…”

His nostrils flared, Spike knew what was coming next.

“I want you to leave.”

“Fine.” It wasn’t as if he had a choice. It was almost mindless, the way he was prepared to do as he was told like a child. He wasn’t a child, he was a man, a demon; and yet he was powerless against this slip of a girl who had hijacked his free will until further notice. But he didn’t have to go quietly. He’d give her something to think about.

Grasping her shoulders, Spike hauled her closer, his mouth descending and capturing hers; crushing her lips beneath his, forcing her into submission. Willow grabbed his arms, surprise and shock rendering her totally incapable of any reaction other than to submit.

He released her before she could full grasp what had happened. “You can kick me outta the house,” he spoke softly, his eyes holding hers, a finger smoothing lightly against her temple. “But you can’t kick me outta ‘ere so easy.”

The front door closed quietly behind him and Willow sank boneless into the chair. This was so not what she had expected to happen. She’d have to get a hold on herself before tomorrow night when he’d be back.

Rage sizzling away beneath his skin Spike stormed down the street away from Willow’s house, intent on finding someone, human or demon, at this point it didn’t matter, to take it out on.

He cursed the Initiative for chipping him. He cursed the Slayer on basic principle. He cursed the witch for doing this to him and above all, Spike cursed himself because he wanted her. In spite of what Willow had done to him Spike still wanted her.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Spike had a glorious night, full of blood and screaming. It wasn’t quite enough to wipe Willow from his mind completely, but it did go a long way in wiping out memories of being a useless pathetic excuse for a demon.

He could feed again.

He could kill again.

Unlife was good again.

He made sure he was clean and presentable before heading back to the Watcher’s place and even the sight of the Slayer sitting at the table couldn’t dampen Spike’s good mood; in fact, Buffy only increased his good humour. The silly bint sat there thinking he was harmless when really he was plotting her demise, because he could. The witch had seen to that and promised him free reign to kill himself a third Slayer.

He owed the witch big time. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad having her in charge, she showed a damn sight more promise than any other human he knew. The girl didn’t even know him and she had mastered control of his weakness; his impatience and hate for the Slayer.

Spike knew himself well enough to know that it was a distinct possibility he would lash out and kill the Slayer at the most inopportune time merely because she pissed him off. The idea of seeing her suffer, of seeing her brought to her knees had much more appeal.

He was still mad Willow had complete control over him, but Spike soothed himself with the knowledge that it was only temporary and Willow didn’t seem to want to interfere with his life, what he did on a day to day basis was his own affair. In that sense being chipped by her was much better than being chipped by the soldiers.

“Where have you been?” Xander demanded as soon as Spike walked through the door.

“Out.”

“Out where?”

“Out havin’ a life. You should try it sometime.”

“I went to Willy’s,” Buffy said, turning in her seat to glare at him. “You weren’t there.”

“Unlike you, my social life doesn’t revolve around one bar. I’ve got friends all over the place.”

“Aw,” Buffy smiled sweetly. “You’re lying to impress us.”

Spike frowned. “No I’m not.”

“Sure you are, Spike. You don’t have any friends. Nobody likes you,” Buffy said scathingly. “While you’ve been skulking around doing nothing all night, I could have used you in the cemetery. We came across a nest of vamps and….”

“You would have been more use than Xander who got knocked out,” Anya finished with a firm nod of her head for emphasis.

Spike snorted, grinning at Xander who was sitting in the arm chair with an ice pack held to the back of his head. “Kinda sorry to ‘ave missed that, but, dunno why you want me there. After all I’m not one of the good guys and,” he shot a sly look at Buffy, “I’m sure as hell not your friend.”

“No, you’re not,” Buffy agreed. “But you are supposed to be helping us considering we’re helping you.”

“Helpin’ me are ya?” Spike leant against the arm of the sofa, crossing his arms over his chest. “Gonna get rid of the chip then?”

Buffy frowned, a slight pink of guilt colouring her cheeks, she was aware that Spike expected their help in that department considering he now offered his assistance in fighting other demons and keeping the world safe. Buffy also knew she had no intention of ever finding a way for Spike to get rid of the chip. “Of course not! Did you forget that I am the good guy? The good guy doesn’t help the killer to kill. You asked for help to survive and that’s exactly what we’ve given you. The only reason you’re still standing here instead of living in a vacuum bag in because you’re helpless.”

Spike’s jaw clenched so tightly a muscle in his cheek started to tick. He hated this Slayer more than he’d ever hated anyone in a hundred and twenty six years on Earth. All she did was belittle him under the guise of helping him. “You think you’re so much better than me, don’t you?”

Buffy eyed him warily. Spike could wound without drawing blood. The worst part about Spike was that his wounds did not only cut deep, but they cut true. He could wield a persons’ weakness like a sword and use the truth as a mirror; forcing a person to see themselves as they really were and leaving them no place to hide. Buffy really didn’t want to have that particular Spike experience tonight if she could help it.

"I'm the good guy," she repeated. "I fight to keep the world safe from your kind. I risk my life to help people."

Spike smiled pleasantly. "And I bet the day you decided to become so selfless an' devote yourself to the good of mankind is etched so clearly in your memory. Share it with me Slayer, did the epiphany hit you when you woke up? When you were havin' breakfast? When you were sittin' in math class? When? When did you decide to sacrifice your normal teenage years to fight the good fight?"

Colour rose from Buffy's neck into her cheeks, her fingers clenching into an impotent fist. "I don't kill..." she stopped abruptly when Spike's smile turned knowing, his eyebrows lifting, almost daring her to finish her sentence. She did kill and everyone in the room knew it. "I don't hurt people," Buffy amended.

"Don't you?"

"No!" Buffy looked outraged. "I don't. I protect people."

"And people are the only ones who matter?"

"If," Giles began, stepping forward to stand beside Buffy, "You are going to suggest that people and demons are on par with each other, I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with you, Spike."

Spike shrugged "Doesn't surprise me. The last thing you'd wanna face is being wrong all your life. You're never wrong, are you Watcher?"

"I'm frequently wrong," Giles replied, "and I'm man enough to admit it. But I am not wrong about this. Demons lack humanity which is what makes them demons in the first place."

"Not all are evil though," Spike pointed out.

"That is true," Giles agreed with a nod. "And we ensure not to harm those who mean us no harm. We do not engage in battle with those who have no desire to fight. We are always happy to invoke a live and let live situation where it is warranted."

"But we do live on the Hellmouth," Buffy added. "Most demons here are evil and a danger to the people here and ...."

"And you think people are more important, don't you? You think because demon's don't 'ave souls they fall far below the lofty sights set by humans. Well I came 'ere to help Dru, cos she was ill an' needed help. We'd been together for over a century, she was my world. Everythin' she needed I gave her. Everythin' she wanted I handed to her. And not because she was my sire, but because I loved her. I'm not the only vampire to love. I'm not the only demon to form a bond and a family. You know all about my family. We were together for longer than you've been alive." Spike's head tilted slightly. "Do you think Darla, an' me an' Dru didn't feel the loss of Angelus just because we aren't human? Do you think when you drive a stake through a vamp's heart you aren't destroryin' a relationship, that you aren't tearin' a family apart? I got news for you, Slayer, that's exactly what you're doin'. No demon can forge relationship's like a vampire, we can live forever an' our love can last. An' then you come along an' take it all away when all we're doin' is tryin' to survive. You'd 'ave a lot to say I suppose, if someone came along an' took solider boy from you or the moron over there," he waved in the general direction of Xander.

Buffy stared at Spike, unsure what to say after such a speech. She was willing to admit she'd never thought about it that way before. She was less willing to admit that Spike's words had shaken her a little. Spike and Angel were the only vampires she had known personally and they were completely different what with Angel having a soul. Somehow, even though she sort of knew Spike, she didn't look at other vampires in the same way, Spike was Spike, harmless now but undoubtedly evil even with the chip, but she knew he had loved Drusilla without him saying it. It had never occurred to her to attribute that ability to the other vampire's she fought.

She couldn't afford to do it now and Buffy knew it. Spike had set out to shame her and he had succeeded. Still, Buffy knew what she had to do. Demons were by nature stronger than humans and human's deserved to have someone on their side who could match the demon's blow for blow; that was where she came in.

Perhaps she wouldn't have chosen to be a Slayer, Buffy was honest enough to admit that about herself, but she had been given this destiny; a destiny with a long line of strong women behind her and Buffy was proud to be a part of it for as long as she could survive.

"The human's need someone to fight for them," Buffy spoke quietly. "It's my job to protect them and I take it very seriously. I'm proud to be the Slayer."

"Well said, Buffy," Giles nodded approvingly.

"You're doing a great job, Buff," Xander said, shooting a death glare at Spike. Spike always had to try and ruin everything.

Pushing off from the arm of the sofa Spike headed into the kitchen to prepare a mug of blood. It would arouse their suspicions if they didn't see him drinking. "You do realise that "Slayer" is just a fancy word for "killer" don't you?"

"He's got a point," Anya spoke for the first time. She always found it difficult when the conversation turned to morals and demons and right and wrong. Maybe it was because she could see both sides of the argument having been a demon herself. She understood where Buffy was coming from, but she had also seen human nature at its worst. Humans could be just as bad, or even worse than some demons, something Buffy, Xander and Giles seemed to refuse to accept.

"An!" Xander complained.

"Well it's true," Anya replied crossly. "Besides, humans aren't as innocent as you like to think they are."

"We're fully aware of the evil of human nature," Giles said. "That is for the police to deal with."

Closing the microwave and setting the timer, Spike peered through the hatch at them all. "And how would you categorise the Initiative?"

"Foolhardy," Giles said after a moment. "I understand the premise behind it, but it's not right."

"Yet you still won't try to fix what they've done to me," Spike said. He laughed and shook his head, "Bloody hypocrites the lot of you."

The desire to rip apart each and every one of them hot in his veins, Spike turned back to the microwave when it beeped. He would enjoy seeing them helpless. He would enjoy bringing them down off their high horse.

But Willow did have the right idea, Spike smiled slowly. They should suffer, and he would be the one to orchestrate that suffering.

He found his mind wandering to Willow and he licked at his lower lip, searching for a lingering taste of her; but there was none to be found. There was a tingle at the base of his spine as he remembered the feel of her warm lips against his, her slender body pressed up against him and the little sounds of pleasure she had made.

Squeezing his eyes tightly shut Spike bit back a groan. He knew what he was going to dream about today; that was if he managed to get any sleep at all.

 

XxX

Pouring herself a drink, Willow yawned and wandered out of the kitchen. She felt exhausted. Arguments with her friends tended to bring that reaction out in her. Where Andrew had calmly accepted the change in the plan to include Spike, albeit with a lot of reservations as to how Spike was going to pay them back when they did fully deactivate the chip, Jonathan had not been so understanding.

It wasn't as if Willow couldn't appreciate where Jonathan was coming from. She supposed it wasn't morally right to take away Spike's free will; but it was only temporary and they wouldn't have had a hope in hell of controlling him without it. He would either have gone and killed Buffy outright or he would have left town; neither option helped their cause in the short term.

Jonathan was starting to worry her though. He seemed very uncomfortable with the whole plan these days. They were supposed to be in this together, take over Sunnydale together; but Jonathan seemed to almost be judging them. He was not a happy camper.

She found Warren sitting at the dining room table. It was just the two of them, Jonathan had left first looking angry and confused and Andrew had left about an hour ago to go home and sleep. Warren looked up as she came into the room.

"I think I've done it, Wills."

Bending over his shoulder Willow studied the lap top program with a puckered brow. Everything seemed straightforward enough. Using the blueprint from the chip the Initiative had planted in Spike, Warren had tried and actually managed to re-create the programme on their own lap top.

"Yes," she clapped him on the shoulder with a small laugh. "Great job, Warren. You did it. You really did it." She frowned suddenly. "Jonathan isn't going to like this."

Warren snorted. "We can't g up against the Slayer with humanoid's only. We need to create confusion, we need to stop her before she gets started. A half humanoid and half human army is the best way; she won't know who to fight and she can't fight human's."

"I get it," she assured him. "And Andrew will back us up. But Jonathan still isn't going to like it, Warren."

"Well then," Warren's fingers ran along the top of the lap top screen. "Perhaps we give him the honour of being the first to try out our newly developed chip."

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 6

 

She was a tried and cranky Willow and she glared at the leather bracelet sitting on the table in front of her. It was still a leather bracelet, just there, normal. Nothing magical about it at all. Scratching her head, Willow let out a heavy sigh and bowed over the magic book again, there was something she was missing, but she couldn’t figure out what it was.

“Everything ok?” Jonathan took a seat opposite her at the dining room table. “You’ve got that face going on. You know, the one where you look like you’re about to make something explode.”

Willow smiled and sighed again, pushing the book across the table. “No matter what I do I just can’t enchant this bracelet. Something’s happening, I can feel magic sort of bubbling away under my skin but it won’t release itself into the bracelet, even with Andrew’s help. I guess spell modification isn’t my forte. Some witch I am.”

“There’s probably just one little thing you’re missing. Let’s have a look.” Jonathan pulled the book in front of him and considered the spell.

“I can do magic. I can do math. I can do chemistry. Its all one and the same thing; formula’s. I can write computer programs’, you’d think I could manage a simple modification to a spell.”

“You’re probably just trying to hard and sending your focus well, out of focus. It happens,” Jonathan soothed.

“How’s Warren doing down there?” Willow asked, her eyes drifting to the floor, where below her Warren was holed up in the basement.

At that moment Andrew came into the room dragging a large wooden didgeridoo behind him. “Oh he’s like Dark Kat in his secret underground lair down there,” he said, propping the didgeridoo against the wall and wiping dust off his hands.”All that’s missing are the monitors showing the happenings in Megacat City. Or, well, Sunnydale City. Town.”

“Hey,” Jonathan clicked his fingers. “That’s not a bad idea, Andrew.”

Andrew frowned. “What’s not a bad idea?”

“Setting up monitors. We could be like Dark Kat and have hidden cameras over Megacat City. I mean Sunnydale. Think about it, we could rig the Slayer’s place and her frequent hang outs. We would know where she is and what she’s doing every minute of the day.”

“That’s…” Willow paused and beamed. “That’s a great idea. Why didn’t we think of that before?”

“In our defence the technology aspect of our plans are Warren’s department,” Jonathan pointed out. “Its up to him to figure those things out.”

“He’s too busy turning the air blue to worry about hidden cameras,” Andrew said with a grin. “His humanoid isn’t exactly right. She does everything and she works, it's just that she sort of walks like a penguin. It’s a bit of a giveaway.”

Willow giggled and Jonathan laughed. She smiled at Jonathan, glad that they were all on the same team again. Whatever misgivings Jonathan had felt yesterday were gone today. Perhaps he’d had a good night’s sleep and realised that sometimes you had to push the boundaries to get what you wanted. Although, Willow admitted his worry about Spike was a worry they should all have. It was possible Spike would lash out at them when this was all over, but Willow hoped that having disposed of the Slayer in his own bloody and gruesome way would put Spike in a good enough mood that he wouldn’t deem it necessary to break their alliance.

After all, with the Slayer gone and his chip gone, there was no reason Spike couldn’t stick around in Sunnydale and run the demon community side by side with them.

Willow squeezed her eyes shut and bit her bottom lip. What was wrong with her? One little kiss and she was devising strategies to keep Spike in town. It was just a kiss. A great kiss. An amazing kiss. A kiss that left her wanting so much more.

She couldn’t stop thinking about him. About Spike lips. About Spike eyes and Spike hands and Spike cheekbones and Spike lips; Spike lips. Willow ground her teeth together. This was so not the way to get things done. No wonder her focus was all out of whack. Spike was a means to an end and that was all he was.

Although, Willow couldn’t deny the idea of having him with her, all that raw animal strength and power under her control ; completely at her mercy begging and pleading beneath her was a fantasy which would not leave and hovered on the periphery of her mind. It had kept her awake, all hot and bothered for most of the night.

“So, what are you doing with that thing?” Willow asked Andrew, indicating the didgeridoo.

“I’m going to need it to summon a demon,” Andrew sat at the table, tucking a leg beneath him. “I found a demon which might really be able to help us. It’ll really screw with the Slayer’s mind.”

“I’m liking it already,” Willow leant forward her eyes gleaming. “Tell me more.”

“I’m thinking of Rwasundi demons,” Andrew said. “They’re very rare, and funnily enough, humanoid.”

Jonathan frowned. “Are humanoid’s a good idea when we’re working on our own prototypes? We don’t want to tip our hand to the Slayer, do we?”

Andrew considered for a moment. “Well,” he said at last. “They don’t look like our humanoids, they look like demons. And I’m not sure that really matters, you see,” he leant in closer, almost bouncing with excitement, this was his favorite part. “They have the ability to create vivid hallucinations. The Slayer doesn’t ever need to see what they are, but she will see whatever they deem she should see. Or more precisely, whatever we want her to see.”

Jonathan let out a low breath. Mind games he was quite comfortable with. It was the bloodshed which worried him. He took a moment to consider Buffy; strong and formidable, a Slayer. To have someone like her under their control, seeing what they wanted her to see and therefore doing what they wanted her to do, like a puppet on a string; it was a heady feeling. He understood a little better now how Willow must feel being in control of Spike.

“We can make her do anything,” Jonathan whispered softly.

“Anything,” Andrew agreed. “She’ll be trapped in her own head. The only way out is through us.”

Willow caught her bottom lip between her teeth. Buffy Summers would be at their mercy, Willow had not anticipated this happening so quickly. “And if we set up the cameras, we can watch it all.”

Andrew rolled his shoulders. “I don’t know about that. I’m not sure that we can see the hallucinations. But I’ll see what I can negotiate when I raise the demon. I think a lot of them are just happy to be summoned and have a chance to wreak some havoc, negotiating should be possible.” He got up from the table. “I’d better go and tell Warren what’s happening and see if he has any cameras.”

“If he does have some it won’t be enough,” Jonathan predicted. “We’ll have to buy more and take the time to set them up. Better hold off of the demon summoning for tonight.”

“Right-ho,” Andrew headed to the basement, excitement racing through him. He’d summoned demons before, but not on this scale. He could hardly wait to see how this was all going to pan out. For someone who had spent his high school years stripped of control of his own life by his peers, bullied and forced to kowtow to those more popular than he, when he had discovered he had the ability to communicate with demons and have them carry out his will against those who had made his life such a misery, Andrew had felt like a king and that feeling remained with him. He held it close to him, enjoying every second of it.

Jonathan sat back in the chair and tapped the magic book with the tips of his fingers. “I’ve worked out your problem, Wills.”

“Oh?” she leaned forward on her arms. “What have I been doing wrong?”

“Nothing much, it’s just that this spell doesn’t work on inanimate objects. Right here, look,” he used his finger to underline the passage of the spell. “The spell can’t be modified, it’s locked into itself so to speak.”

Willow rolled her eyes. “I can’t believe I missed that.”

Actually, she could believe she had missed it. Spells had not been on her mind at all today. She’d had Spike on the brain instead. Willow gave her head a spare shake. She was turning into a male obsessed air head like Cordelia Chase or Harmony Kendall or Buffy Summers. She, Willow Rosenberg was not that kind of girl. She was smart and sensible and had a brain in her head which she did, in point of fact, enjoyed using.

“Easily done,” Jonathan said, absently flicking through the book.

Feet sounded on the steps from the basement and Warren and Andrew came into the room. Warren was red in the face, a fierce look in his eyes. Willow knew that look, it was his nothing-is –going-my –way –and –I –want –to destroy-the-world look.

There was a can of soda sitting at Willow’s elbow and Warren took a swing from it. “I need a break. Her one leg keeps flicking out.”

Willow’s lips twitched but she managed to keep herself from laughing. “Get some fresh air and help Jonathan and Andrew set up the cameras. We’ll take a look at her together when you get back, ok?”

Warren nodded, groaning and running a hand through his hair. “I bet Reed Richards doesn’t have this problem.”

“Reed Richards doesn’t have any problems, he’s a comic book character,” Willow reminded him.

Andrew huffed, his hands coming to rest on his hips. “That is not the attitude a member of the real life Fantastic Four should take.”

“You’re right,” Willow held up her hands as a sign of surrender, she had learnt the hard way; the long, hard way, not to get into an argument with any of them when it came to comic books. “I’m sorry.”

Just as the boys were ready to leave the front door swung open and Spike sauntered into the house. Willow’s gut clenched at the sight of him. He was striking. If Willow was going to be honest with herself Spike was probably the most beautiful man she had ever seen. Even the love she had once had for Xander and for Oz wouldn’t allow her to pretend they could match someone like Spike. He was tall and broad; dangerous. And he appealed to her on a raw, primal level which shocked her.

“Hello Spike,” Andrew greeted him with a smile. “We’re going to buy cameras.”

Spike gave him a blank look. “Why?”

“So we can watch the Slayer.”

“Oh,” Spike nodded. “I did that when I first came to town. Set her up with some vamps and ‘en videoed her figthin’ em. Got a good look at her technique that way. Know your enemy, that’s the first step in takin’ ‘em down.”

“Well we don’t intend on fighting her,” Warren said. “We have other uses for the cameras, but I do like the idea. It might help. I mean, it can’t hurt, can it?”

“Nothin’ you know about your enemy can hurt,” Spike told him. “The more information you got the better equipped you are.”

“Spoken like a true warrior,” Andrew said admiringly.

“Uh huh,” Spike rolled his eyes.

“Well, let's get going,” Jonathan said, heading to the door. “We’ve got a lot of work to do tonight.”

Willow waved goodbye to them as they left, her eyes on Spike, completely absorbed in him. He didn’t stay where he was, Spike moved in on her, coming to stand as close as he could, invading her personal space, forcing her to look up into his face. Willow resented the play for power, even if it was only limited and Spike did in fact have zero power when it came to her. She held the reins, not him.

“Hello, Spike.”

“Evenin’ love.”

“Any problems with the chip?”

Spike shook his head. “No, it’s workin’ like a charm. In a manner of speakin’.”

She was as aware of him as he was of her, Spike knew it from the way her heart rate increased and the subtle change of her breathing. She felt him all over her as he felt her, but what would it take to make her give in and give herself over to him. Spike had played the fantasy out over and over in his head all day; Willow, hot, naked, writhing Willow, begging, pleading, moaning, screaming his name.

“Spike….” She began thoughtfully.

His voice was low, almost a purr. “Yes, Willow?”

Hearing him say her name had an even stronger effect than the endearments he used. No one said her name like Spike did. It wasn't just the accent. It was something in his tone. He made it sound as though he was savouring the taste of it on his tongue. As though her name were something delicious he took great delight indulging in.

Willow refused to be sidetracked by the one track her mind had taken lately. “You’re an animate object.”

Spike’s eyebrows quirked. “Can’t say I’ve ever been called that before. But yeah, I guess. What’s goin’ on in that pretty little head of yours, pet?”

Determined eyes lifted to his and the expression on her face changed to one that Spike took to mean business. He knew what was coming before she opened her mouth but he was powerless to stop it and he boiled with rage at her audacity.

“Spike, I want you to be very still while I try out this spell.”

“Spell?” The last time she had performed a spell on him she had turned him into her slave.

“Yes, it’s an experiment. I’m not sure if it’ll work or not.”

“You can’t do that!” Spike yelled, his eyes flashing. “You can’t just go castin’ spells on me hopin’ for the bloody best. What if it goes wrong?”

Willow ignored him, but she still bristled on the inside at the slight against her magic powers. She wasn’t just float-a-pencil girl any more. She had honed her magic and knew how to use it. “I know what I’m doing. I even had a mentor.”

“Well doesn’t that make me feel better,” Spike snapped. He watched helplessly as she created a circle around him with some sand and then placed a candle at each side of his legs just outside of the circle. “I’m warnin’ you, witch. Don’t you bloody dare.”

“Oh hush! I need to concentrate.”

“Hush!” Spike was incredulous. “You’re performing spells on me without my agreement and you’re tellin’ me to hush!”

Those green eyes closed against him and Spike was left standing in his circle the hated feeling of vulnerability that had accompanied the chip back in full force. He hadn’t thought of this. It hadn’t occurred to him that Willow would be so heartless as to use him to try out her spells. While there was a part of him which admired that merciless quality in her, Spike would much prefer it was aimed at someone else.

As she chanted, Spike could feel little tendrils of magic probing his body, but he didn’t move, not a muscle. Willow had told him not to and he could no more resist her command than he could resist her.

Her magic washed over him, wrapping around his muscles, coating his skin, bleeding to every pore and Spike cried out in pain, his face changing instantly to his demonic nature. The pain didn’t last long, but it was enough to take his anger to a red hot fury.

The spell worked this time, Willow could feel it in the very marrow of her bones. Excitement zinged through her, but it didn’t last long when she opened her eyes to encounter the infuriated glare Spike was giving her.

The candles had extinguished on their own and Willow picked them up, putting them on the table out of the way. She would have to get the vacuum for the sand, next time she did a spell she would put paper down she decided, although she could just imagine Spike’s reaction if she asked him to stand on newspaper like a puppy being toilet trained.

“Are you quite through, witch?”

He spat the words at her with so much venom that Willow flinched. “Yes, you can move again now. Thank you, Spike.”

“For what?” he demanded. “I didn’t help you do anythin’. You held me there against my bloody will.”

“If you just let me …”

“Let you!” His eyes darkened dangerously and Willow knew in the very depths of her soul that at that moment Spike really wanted to kill her. “I didn’t let you do anythin’. You force me to bend to your bloody will, to be a soddin’ slave for your depraved ideas. You restrain me with magic, leave me exposed to your whims and experiment on me. Do you ‘ave any idea what’s that like?”

She looked suitably guilty and contrite, but Spike still fumed, silently adamant that he would not let her off the hook for this latest stunt.

“They shot me with a taser. They locked me up. The drugged me. They cut me open and they broke me. An’ now you’re experimenting on me too.”

The Initiative had left him weak and helpless, vulnerable to any human he came across, unable to feed or protect himself; and he didn’t remember any of it. He had no idea exactly what they had done to him. They had cut open his head and used him. He was nothing to them but an experiment; expendable, disposable.

When it came to the Slayer he was nothing more to her than cannon fodder. She probably hoped he’d be taken out during a fight to save her from having to do it or keep him around.

It was stupid of him to think Willow would be any different just because they had shared a toe curling, core shaking kiss. He didn’t know her. He had only just met her. But Spike couldn’t help feeling disappointed at her treatment of him.

“I’m sorry,” she spoke quietly, hoping to defuse some of his anger. She didn’t blame him for being mad, Willow knew she would be mad at her too. “But it's not like that. I mean, I’m not like them, Spike. I didn’t break you. I fixed you.”

“Fixed me to your bloody liking,” he snapped back.

“Not just to my liking.”

She went into the kitchen and returned with a knife. Spike watched her warily. Although a knife couldn’t kill him, being stabbed was no bloody picnic. He did nothing as she approached him. She had told him he could move again, but Spike held his ground, there was nothing stopping him from killing her and he would bet his very unlife the girl had no more idea than the man in the moon when it came to hand to hand combat. He would let her come to him and if he had to, Spike would kill her.

“Spike, I want you to stay still.”

“Bitch!” He hissed through clenched teeth.

She smiled. “Trust me, Spike.”

Willow took his hand and drew the knife across his palm, her face turning white as the skin split and the blood began to ooze into his palm and drip down his wrist. Spike wondered if she might actually faint when he saw a triumphant smile come to her face. He glanced down at his hand, watching in complete astonishment as the wound began to knit itself back together.

Removing his hand from hers, Spike brought it up close to his face, peering at his palm from all angles. Not a scratch. Not a mark. Nothing to show he had ever been hurt except for the blood smearing his skin. As a vampire he didn't scar unless he was wounded by magic and he healed quickly, but not instantly the way he just had.

“It’s only the beginning, Spike.” Her eyes met his. “When you go up against the Slayer, you won’t lose. With your natural ability and my magic, you’ll be unbeatable.”

Fickle as he was, his fury had dissipated and he examined his hand with interest. It was a right handy little spell she’d used on him. “Guess it makes up for you rending me helpless.”

She suddenly seemed to be everywhere, her scent invading his senses and her body moving into his all warm and inviting. Her hands came to rest on his chest, fingers stroking lightly. She looked up at him, her eyes bright, her heart beat quickening. “Maybe it's not that bad, being helpless. Maybe it can be a good thing.”

Spike was stunned. She couldn’t possibly mean what he thought she meant; but her heart beat told a different story and her scent began to change, indicating the first stirrings of arousal. Spearing his fingers through her hair, Spike’s lips crashed down on hers.

 

Chapter Text

Winding her arms around Spike’s neck Willow kissed him back, a little sound of pleasure vibrating in her throat.

A chair upended as they staggered backwards. A vase toppled to the floor when they crashed into the sideboard, but they managed to make it to Willow's room without any further destruction to the house.

Spike kicked the door shut behind him and her hands were on his shoulders, shoving the duster off him. It landed on the carpet with a muffled thud.

Willow felt fear mingled with excitement, both emotions warring within her, neither one quite winning out. It was a possibility she was about to make a huge mistake, but her body throbbed with wanting him, so she determinedly put that thought out of her mind.

Hurried hands pushed his t-shirt up and over his head, and then she slowed, her hands resting on his chest, palms pressing into the muscles, fingers splayed. There was no heart beat beneath her palm, it was a little disconcerting and Willow caught her bottom lip between her teeth for moment.

As her hands moved across his skin, Spike grit his teeth, the juxtaposition of her warmth against his cool flesh was far more intense than he would have thought it would be. He felt her that much more keenly.

She stroked his chest, tracing the muscles beneath the skin, fingertips smoothing over pebbled nipples. He was soft and firm and strong; Willow could feel his strength right down to his core, it showed in the way his body went taunt and his muscles strained as he took control of it and kept it in check. Power; Spike had power and she was drawn to it as she was drawn to him.

Arms drifting back to his neck Willow kissed him again, her lips hard against his as his body was hard against hers. His erection pressed against her and Willow rocked into him; her body taking over, shutting off her mind.

Spike's hands fisted in the back of her t-shirt, the fabric straining against her shoulders. When she broke the kiss to take in a deep panting breath, Spike pulled the t-shirt over her head, snapping her bra at the same time, desperate to feel her skin on skin. He drew her to him, the softness of her breasts pressing against his chest as she kissed him again; hard and demanding her will controlling him, forcing him to comply with her demands as the weight of her body pushed him back towards the bed.

She wanted him. She wanted him inside her, his scent on her skin. She wanted to know what it would feel like to be dark and unprincipled, and merely take what she wanted.

His hands framed her waist, arrowing up to cup her breasts, squeezing intently, circling her nipples, making her moan softly.

Tumbling him back onto the bed, her mouth disengaged from his and her lips touched to his throat, trailing over his chest to lick at his nipple, her fingers caressing the rounded biceps of corded muscles in his arms. She shifted down his body to a rippling abdomen, her tongue tracing the waist band of his jeans before she sat back to undo them.

Spike watched her, anticipation curling in his gut and a smug smile curling his lips when she got his jeans off and her eyes fell on his erection, widening a little. Sitting up, he reached for her, needing her to be as naked as he was. Needing her beneath him. Needing to be inside her.

Willow tingled when he brushed a kiss across her stomach. Kisses whispered across her body as he removed the rest of her clothes with the calculated slowness of a predator. She shuddered when be brought his hand between her legs, a little gasp leaving her when his fingers stroked lightly against her wet opening. Her body pulsed in response to his touch, as though she were already squeezing tighter around him.

Spike groaned, his face pressing into her stomach. She was so wet, so ready for his total possession and he could hardly wait to lay claim to her. Cupping her behind, Spike gave her a little tug to encourage her into his lap. She went to him willingly and Spike took the opportunity to kiss her again, deep and thorough, his tongue flirting with hers until she was breathless.

Rolling her panting onto her back, he caressed her thighs, taking in the pink of her cheeks and the softness of her lashes resting on her cheek. She was glorious in the first flush of arousal, Spike knew she'd be magnificent in the throes of her orgasm.

Tongue following the curve of her hip, Spike pressed a kiss to her inner thigh before burying his face between her legs, feasting on her warm, wet flesh. She cried out, her hips bucking upwards, pleasure washing through her. His lips tugging on her clitoris made her legs tremble and his tongue stroking her made her gasp; and when he slid inside her, she arched her back, pushing herself harder against his mouth. Lashing at her clit, fingers pressing inside her, Spike felt her tighten around him and she came with a loud cry, her body shaking.

Licking his lip, Spike crawled up her body, fully intending to sink inside her and ease the almost painful ache of his erection. The next thing he knew, Spike found himself on his back, his legs tangled with hers. He blinked, she was human, she didn't have the strength to overwhelm him, but there it was, he was on his back, her hand on his chest as she leant over him, rubbing herself against the hard length of his cock as she licked at his skin.

Her eyes met his, blazing with desire. Catching his hands she lifted his arms above his head. "Spike," her voice was a throaty whisper and his cock jumped in response. "I want you to stay like this."

Unbridled lust crawled up his spine and Spike's nostrils flared as her nails dug into his arms, licking at this throat, blunt little human teeth scraping along his skin. Lifting her head, Willow crushed her mouth to his, tongue thrusting between parted lips, unwilling to allow him to take control of the kiss.  When she finally drew back even Spike was panting. She bent to take a nipple into her mouth, her fingers seeking out his cock, wrapping around him, kneading the hard shape of him. Spike groaned, eyes closing.

Anticipation shuddered through him when he felt her holding him steady and her hips lifted above him. Finally she sank down on him. She let out a long exhale as he slid inside her, back arching as she took him deeper.

She started slowly, letting her body get used to him; the contrasting sensation of her heat closing over his cool flesh made Spike moan.

Spike hissed as she rocked down on him, squeezing him tightly. "That's it, love. Take it. Take it all."

Willow couldn't speak, pleasure fogging her mind, clutching at her throat until all she could do was make soft, satisfied sounds as she moved faster, her fingers digging into Spike's shoulders as each downward motion became more intense.

Little sparks of magic skipped across Spike's skin and he groaned, the light painful sensation amplifying his pleasure. Automatically his hips bucked up and Spike was delighted to find that he could in fact move his hips.

Spike met each of her downward thrusts, dark blue eyes clashing with shining green eyes, perfecting the intense contact with her body so that each wave of pleasure stretched out longer and harder, rocking him to his core.

It was the most intense sexual pleasure Willow had ever experienced. Her body had dissolved into a million blissful pieces and she was unable to think past the pleasure which was pulsing in her body in time with her heart beat.

It became a sudden desperate race, Willow pushed down hard and Spike thrust up even harder. She was panting and Spike was panting and when her orgasm hit Willow screamed, her nails scoring his chest as her body quaked and shuddered on top of him.

"You can move now," she said breathlessly.

Spike did move, flipping her on to her back and driving into her hard and fast; each thrust was almost violent. Willow clutched at him, tears gathering at the corners of her eyes as the intensity of her pleasure mounted again quickly, bordering on painful.

Spike roared, his fangs sinking into her neck as he exploded inside her and she made similar marks on his back as she had on his chest when she came again.

Willow was gasping and boneless when Spike flopped beside her, exhausted himself. Her body felt like a gigantic raw nerve, as though one touch to her skin would result in an outburst of tears. She simply couldn't take any more.

Turning his head towards her, Spike observed her as the tension drained from him. He had been right, she was magnificent when she climaxed, her eyes glowing like twin emeralds and a warm wash of colour made her skin glow.

They lay quietly for a while, Willow's harsh breaths and rapid heart beat the only sounds in the room. Spike basked in the sound knowing he was the reason behind it. Twisting on to his side he ran a hand over her stomach, pressing a soft kiss to her shoulder. Her skin was warm and damp, concerned she might be cold, Spike shifted about to get her into the bed and cover her up. She smiled gratefully, and didn't object when he brought her into the circle of his arms.

"So," he rubbed her back gently. "What brought on your dislike of the Slayer?"

Startled, Willow looked up at him. "You're asking me about that now?"

"Curious is all."

"She wasn't born here you know,” Willow began slowly. “She moved here when we were in high school. Everything was fine before she got here. It was just me, Xander and Jessie, best friends. We were always together, like family. She did save my life," Willow admitted, she was not ungrateful for that and would, even in her dislike of Buffy, give her the credit she deserved for that act of Slayerism. "But she didn't save Jessie. Not only did he die but he was turned into a vampire. There was something going on at the time with the vampires, something call The Harvest. It was when The Master was alive. Do you know about him?"

"Yeah," Spike said. "I know all about The Master. Only met him once though. Pompous arrogant git. Old school. Wanted vampires to remain underground. Bollocks to that."

"Anyway, Xander ended up staking Jessie. They were best friends. We were best friends. The Three Musketeers," she said softly.

"And the Slayer bollocked it all up."

"Yeah." Willow let out a sigh and pressed her face into his shoulder for a moment. "I don't understand what happened next. I mean with Xander. It was like he just erased Jessie from his memory. He never spoke about him, never spoke about how he felt about Jessie turning and dying. And more to the point, Xander having been the one who killed him. It was like nothing had happened, like Jessie never existed. Like the last sixteen years of our lives were nothing. Jessie died. Our best friend died. He turned to dust and was just gone and all Xander was interested in doing was drooling over the Slayer."

Spike noticed that she rarely called the Slayer by her given name, but always by her title, just the way he did. There was a lot hate in her for the Slayer, it came through clearly in her tone when she  spoke about her and Spike could feel it almost vibrating inside her.

"Xander had a crush on her. It hurt for a while because I'd loved him since, well, since forever. And yeah, I was jealous, but I wasn't jealous of her exactly, because I knew she would never look at Xander that way. It was just painful loving him when he didn’t love me back. Besides, when it came to her, Xander could never compare to Angel and she was obsessed with Angel. It was that obsession which led to Miss Calendar's death. She was my favourite teacher, someone I could talk to about computers and wicca stuff. I got into magic through her, I found some websites on her computer and she made it sound so exciting. Then she died. Your friend Angelus killed her."

Spike nodded. "Yeah, I know about that."

"A Slayer and a vampire,” Willow rolled her eyes. “Any idiot could see it was a recipe for disaster," she made a sound of disgust in the back of her throat. "Disaster doesn't really begin to cover it, does it? Angelus killed Theresa too, just another person in a long line the Slayer failed to save. There's also the swim team, they all turned into some sort of fish demons."

"The whole swim team?" Spike's eyebrows lifted in surprise.

"The whole swim team," she confirmed. "I admit I wasn't friends with the swim team, and I wasn't exactly friends with Theresa, but we did talk. And I'll never forget the time Xander got possessed by a hyena animal spirit, even if he doesn't remember it. He killed Herbert the school mascot, he was a little piglet. And the others who were part of Xander's possession pack ate the principal!"

Spike gaped. "Ate the principal?"

Willow nodded. "Xander wasn't part of that, but that doesn't really make it any better. She managed to fix it, you know, reverse the spell, but not before an innocent man died. Principal Flutie was really nice." She laughed shortly. "It never seemed to matter to Xander what she did or what type of mess or life threatening situation he found himself in because of her, the Slayer could do no wrong in his eyes. He chose her."

"Honestly, I'm still tryin' to get my head around the fact that you 'ad feeling's for the moron. Its bloody Xapper Harris."

Willow smiled, readjusting her head on his shoulder. "I didn't have them for long after Jessie died. It wasn't  Xander killing Jessie that was the issue exactly, it was more that Xander acted as if Jessie was never part of our lives and chose her. Even when I had a boyfriend, Oz, he ended up on her side too. He was a werewolf and she helped him out, locking him up every full moon so that he wouldn't hurt anyone. Which, you know, was a good thing and he really appreciated her help. But the more time he spent with her and Xander the more we drifted apart. I was glad she was willing to help him, but she ended up dragging him into her life too. After Jessie it was just too hard to wonder if tonight was going to be the night she got Oz killed too."

"A werewolf huh?" Spike chuckled. "You don't shy away from the darkness do you, pet?"

"He wasn't dark, not Oz. He was lovely. I think that was the reason he got sucked into the Slayer's life. He was a good guy. A nice guy." Willow fell silent for a few minutes, her fingers absently tickling his stomach. 

Spike smiled, it was a nice sensation, like the way her warm body fitted to his. He hadn't felt so relaxed since before he had returned to Sunnydale.

"Amy was the final straw for me. A demon turned up in town, I'm not exactly sure how it worked, but the parents of Sunnydale all banded together to rid the town of evil. Evil being witches and Slayer's. My friend Amy was a witch, she was good, she could have been so powerful if given the chance."

"What happened to her?"

"Mrs Summers, my mother and the rest of the town were going to burn Amy and the Slayer at the stake. Amy cast a spell and accidently turned herself into a rat. I don't know how to undo it so she's living in a cage downstairs."

Spike had noticed the cage and what he had assumed to be Willow's little pet running around in it. "That rat in your front room is your friend Amy?"

"Yes. The only reason Amy was targeted was because of the Slayer, she'd helped her out once or twice and I guess her witchy status came out. Yet again an innocent person has suffered because of the Slayer. My friend suffered because of the Slayer." Willow scowled, the familiar anger that always surfaced when she thought about Buffy Summers rushed through her. "There are people the Slayer may have saved, but there are many she hasn't saved and some deaths she is directly responsible for."

"Guess that's true enough," Spike agreed. "Slayer's not as wonderful as her little groupies think she is." He twirled a strand of long red hair around his fingers. "Why don't you just use magic to take the bitch down?"

"Because I want her to know she's not as special as she thinks she is. She may have supernatural strength but that's all she has." Willow's eyes narrowed and her voice dropped. "I want her to suffer. I want her to know what it feels like to be helpless and I want her to feel the overwhelming grief of losing someone she loves." She pushed up onto her elbow. "Now do you understand why I want all those things?"

"Yeah, pet," Spike tucked her hair behind her ear. "Now I understand. You were right, you're not like me, you're not a mindless killer." He grinned suddenly, "But I'm glad you got use for one in your plans."

"She's all yours, Spike. Just be patient."

His grin deepened, fingertips trailing down the valley between her breasts. "Got somethin' to keep me occupied now, don't I."

Willow's stomach clenched and her core fluttered, she couldn't deny his appeal. Being with Spike was like nothing she had experienced before and she wanted more of him. Covering a yawn with her hand, Willow settled herself back down in the crook of his arm. All that vigour and intensity was catching up with her.

Spike's tongue swiped along his lower lip, being helpless with her had been a spine tingling, delicious experience and he wanted more. He wanted her to know what it felt like to be helpless with him. Sexual power play was like an aphrodisiac for vampires.

More than that, there was a darkness inside her that she didn't even attempt to hide and it caused a powerful lust to claw at his insides like a caged beast. Her hate of the Slayer stemmed from love and loyalty; it was about family and friendship. Willow's attack on the Slayer had nothing to do with power, or trying to end the world, she was not like the threats the Slayer was used to, and that made his little witch the most dangerous foe the Slayer had ever faced.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

The house was quiet when Warren, Jonathan and Andrew returned. The lights were on but all was silent. Warren carried the pizza boxes to the basement and Jonathan went through to the kitchen to find some glasses and something to drink.

Shrugging off his jacket Andrew went to the living room looking for a note from Willow, he was surprised to find a broken vase on the floor and a dining room chair upended. He frowned, a feeling of panic washing down his spine. "Warren. Come here. I think something has happened."

Warren, who was half way down the basement gave a grunt; balancing the pizza in his arms he made his way back up the stairs. Standing in the doorway to the living room he peered around the pizza boxes. "What? What's the matter, Andrew?"

"Look."

Warren followed where Andrew pointed, a frown creased his forehead. It wasn't like Willow to make a mess and leave it. "Perhaps she had to leave in a hurry?"

"Well that can't be good, can it?" Andrew pointed out. "Jonathan! Anything unusual going on in the kitchen?"

"Unusual?" Jonathan appeared with a bottle of soda and three glasses. "What do you mean?"

"There's signs of a struggle," Andrew said, waving his arm around to encompass the room. "No sign of Willow. No sign of Spike. No note. I don't like it."

"Can't say I like much either," Jonathan admitted, looking around the room uncertainly. "Maybe we'll be able to find her on the camera's."

"Good idea," Warren agreed. "We'll log into the network and see if we can find her."

"Or Spike," Andrew added. He wrung his hands together nervously. "What if he's done something to her?"

Spike's voice cutting into the conversation made Andrew jump. "I 'aven't done anything to her she didn't want."

Warren's eyebrows lifted slightly; Spike was standing in the hallway in jeans slung low to his hips and his chest was bare. His tousled hair left no doubt as to what had been going on. "Where is she?"

"In bed," Spike said. "Sleepin'. If you don't keep the noise down you're gonna wake her up."

"We don't want to do that," Jonathan said quickly. "She hasn't been sleeping all that well lately. Come on, lets get on with setting up the camera network, let her sleep."

Spike watched surprised as the boys headed down to the basement. Their lack of interest in him and Willow was somewhat disconcerting; especially since the Slayer and her entourage were always sticking their noses in to his business. It was actually quite nice to be left alone to get on with things without a barrage of questions and highly suspicious looks. He padded into the kitchen and took a carton of juice from the fridge before heading back upstairs.

Willow was up and dressed when he walked into the bedroom. Spike's mouth dipped down at the corners, he had rather been hoping to have another go around; show her exactly how much pleasure he could bring her.

She glanced up at him as she ran a brush through her tangled hair. "You're still here?"

Spike looked pointedly at the rest of his clothes till littered across the bedroom floor. "You think I make a habit of wandering around the streets of Sunnydale like this?"

She gave a short laugh and shook her head. "I didn't notice your clothes. I woke up and..."

"And you assumed I'd got what I wanted and then buggered off." He was annoyed, did she think so little of him? Why did it even matter? But it did matter, what Willow thought of him mattered a great deal to Spike. He chose not to examine the reasons for that too closely.

In her defence she hardly knew him, Spike figured she really couldn't be blamed for not knowing that he had never skipped out on a woman in his life, he wasn't like that. He was a strictly bite them, drain them and leave their corpses behind kind of vamp.

Willow shrugged. "You might have."

"Well I didn't."

"Yes. I see that."

"I brought you juice." Spike put the carton down on the bedside table with a thump. Here he was trying to be all nice and thoughtful like, and her indifference was infuriating.

"Thank you." Willow drank the juice just for something to do, while Spike pulled his boots on with a vigour that matched the tension in his shoulders. Willow knew instantly she had done something wrong, upset him; misjudged him. "Are they back yet?"

"In the basement. They were going to connect up to the cameras they've installed I think," Spike said tugging his t-shirt on and running a hand through his hair. His gaze never left her, as if he was simply drinking her in, and it made Willow hum with an anticipation she could hardly fathom.

She swallowed nervously, her fingers flexing around the carton of juice. She wanted to put her hands on him again. Willow stood quickly, she could not afford to get swept up in raging lust and bone meltingly satisfying sex. She had work to do, and so did Spike.

"I should see what they're up to." She had to put some distance between her and Spike, or at least have someone else present in the room to stop herself ripping his clothes off again.

Spike followed her from the room and down to the basement. He was rather curious himself as to what the little brainiacs were up to. He kept close behind her when she descended the stairs to the basement, a smile tugging the corners of his lips when he caught the faint scent of arousal drifting from her. She was not as immune to him as she would like him to believe. Too bad for her that her scent told him the truth.

"Hey Wills, you're up," Jonathan smiled when he saw her. "We got pizza."

"Oh good, I'm starving."

"Not surprised," Spike murmured in her ear, satisfied when she flushed.

"We got the camera's all set up." Warren waved a slice of pizza at the monitors. "All in perfect working order. Now we can watch the Slayer all the time," he snorted. "Like she's that interesting.

Spike looked around the room in amazement. There were computers and work benches and wires and camera's and books and all kinds of other junk he couldn't put a name to. There were also limbs, a torso and a head on a nearby bench and a girl standing in the corner.

"It's like Frankenstein's work shop down here. What's with the girl?" He could tell instantly she wasn't human, but he had no idea what she was. She stood silent and still with her eyes closed and was so perfectly formed she could easily be thought of as human by someone who did not have his supernatural senses to detect breathing and heart beats.

"She's our humanoid," Jonathan said. "Just one in a long line we'll be creating to go up against the Slayer."

"That's your big plan?" Spike looked sceptical. "You're sending robots after the Slayer? You're gonna 'ave to do better than that if you wanna take her down." He turned on Willow, anger flaring in his eyes. "You said I could kill the Slayer."

"I'm not going back on my promise," she assured him. "Once she's suffered you can take her out."

"How is a robot gonna make her suffer?" Spike demanded.

Willow's lips curled into a chilling smile, her eyes turning hard. "You'll see."

Lust crawled up Spike's spine at the sight of her. "Can hardly wait, love."

"Spike," Warren swivelled his hair towards him. "I have this for you," he offered Spike a small camera. "If you set it up in the Watcher's apartment then we'll have all bases covered. It was the one place we couldn't get into."

"I guess I could." Spike took the camera.

Willow stomach tightened. She could come down here whenever she liked and see Spike. He would be on the monitors all day at Giles place and at night when he went patrolling with the Slayer she could watch him. Irritated with herself, Willow turned her attention to the humanoid. It wasn't Spike she was supposed to be watching. Although if she was honest with herself, Willow wasn't sure she could spend her time watching the Slayer; just thinking about her brought up such feelings of intense hatred Willow could feel her magic boiling in her veins, desperate to extract vengeance.

Meditation helped with to calm those feelings. Meditation helped her a lot when it came to controlling and honing her magic. She was no longer afraid of her power as she had been when she first discovered she had the ability to do magic. Thanks to her teacher and mentor she was now able to connect with her power, it was a part of her and she was completely in control of it. Willow honestly didn't know where she would be today if it hadn't been for Ethan Rayne.

Andrew hopped up and down on the spot, breaking into her thoughts. "Is it time for the demon summoning now?"

Willow looked up, and Spike saw something slide into place behind her eyes. "Yes. I think so."

Face flushed, Andrew almost wiggled with delight. "Rwasundi time!"

"What do they do?" Spike asked.

Andrew was happy to explain and show off his knowledge to an actual demon. "Their presence in our dimension cause Localized Temporal Disturbances. Any human affected by the disturbances will experience vivid hallucinations."

Spike rolled his eyes. "What's the bloody point of that? So you manage to send the Slayer doolally for a day or so, the Watcher will figure out what's happenin' an' fix it."

"That's where you come in."

Spike looked at Willow, his eyebrows drawing together in a frown. "Me? What are you gonna use me for now?"

"You'll like it," Willow said with a smile.

"Well?" Spike prompted.

Willow touched his arm gently. "Tomorrow, it's time for you to kill Giles."

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

The humanoid was fixed; its leg no longer flicked out awkwardly when it moved; Warren was in a celebratory mood. Now he knew the machine worked Warren was hell bent on getting his robots up and running as quickly as possible. Huddled over his desk he sipped at a bottle of beer while he worked with painstaking accuracy on the small microchip in front of him. It was nearly ready. He glanced over his shoulder at Willow and Jonathan, it was nearly time.

Jonathan was eating a packet of chips and swigging from a can of soda sitting beside Willow watching the TV monitors. Spike had set up the small camera in a perfect spot in Giles apartment, although nothing of interest was happening at the moment. Giles and Spike were the only ones in the apartment; Giles was sitting at the table with a fair few books open in front of him and Spike was stretched out across the sofa .

Willow watched Spike avidly, her eyes ran up and down his body, taking him all in; remembering him.

Jonathan crunched the chips nosily. “Are we sure about this, Wills?”

“Hum?” Willow broke out of thoughts of Spike.

“Well, killing Mr Giles.” Jonathan gestured towards the monitor. “Is it really necessary?”

Somehow the idea of killing Rupert Giles felt different today than it had the previous night. Even though Jonathan had met Mr Giles when he was at school he had barely exchanged a dozen words with the man and he had been just the librarian. When he had discovered Mr Giles was Buffy’s watcher, he was just that, just the Watcher. But now he was looking into Giles apartment, seeing the man’s home and watching him go about his daily routine Giles somehow became more real to him. Rupert Giles was a living breathing human. He was a man with a life and a home and pretty cool wooden figures on his shelf and interesting books all over the place, and Jonathan really liked that rug on the floor.

Killing Mr Giles felt all wrong. Even if he wasn’t doing it personally, even if his friends weren’t actually doing it either; they had ordered it to be done. They were going to let Spike kill a man.

Willow looked sadly at Jonathan, he was their friend, part of the Sunnydale Fantastic Four; but they were losing him.

“It’s time, Willow.”

Willow nodded, and passed her hand in front of Jonathan’s face. Jonathan’s eyes closed and he slumped back in his seat fast asleep.

Willow knew Warren was right; Jonathan was becoming a liability and he had to be dealt with.

Together they set him face down on the floor and rolled up the back of his sweater and T-shirt until they were bunched around his neck. With a careful hand, Willow’s finger moved between Jonathan’s shoulder blades as she chanted quietly. The skin split and opened up, enough that Warren was able to fit the small microchip into the cut.

“The soldiers have been more of a help than they’ll ever know.” Warren wiped his bloody fingers, watching as Willow used magic to close the wound; it did not heal instantly but left a little scab behind and he could see the lump where the chip sat just beneath the skin. “We were right to pick that spot,” he mused. “He would have noticed a lump on his arm or something.”

Willow murmured her agreement, righting Jonathan’s clothes and gesturing for Warren to help her put him back in his seat. “Is it working? Is he registered on the computer?”

Warren typed away on the laptop, pulling up the program he had lifted from Spike’s chip and altered to suit himself. “Yes, there he is.” Warren tapped the screen and Willow peered over his shoulder to see that “Jonathan” was up and running on the system along with their humanoid, “Bot 1”.

“What now? Have you programmed him?”

“Yes, he’s all sorted. If he does suffer an attack of conscious he won’t be blabbing to the Slayer.”

She didn’t particularly like going behind Jonathan’s back like this, but these momentary slips of his were staring to concern her. They couldn’t run the risk of him breaking down and confessing all to the Slayer.

Willow felt a sudden shift in the air, magic which was not her own had been released. She glanced up at the ceiling, Andrew was upstairs going through the spell and ingredients he would need to raise the Rwasundi demons later that night. “I think Andrew’s raised the demon.”

Warren let out a sigh. “He was supposed to wait for us in case something went wrong.”

Willow smiled and squeezed Warren’s shoulder. “Don’t have a go at him, he’s been dying to do this for ages. “

Warren rolled his eyes and sighed. “I know. I know. He’s been excited all day. I don’t think Andrew ever thought he would find something he was good at. We couldn’t do this without him. Come on, lets go and see what he’s up to.”

“I’ll be right there. I just want to check on the Slayer.” Willow watched Warren leave the basement before turning back to the monitor screens. It took her a minute but she found Buffy walking the streets near the park; she was alone. Her eyes drifted back to Spike, it was like some sort of compulsion; she had to watch him, she had to look at him. Willow made a face; stalker or what!

Picking up the phone she had installed, Willow had figured it was easier to have a phone in the basement than have to run up and down the stairs all the time if all four of them were working down there, she dialled Giles apartment.

Watching the screen she saw Giles lift his head, a surprised look crossing his face when Spike leant over and picked up the phone.

“ello?”

Willow shivered at the sound of his voice. “Hello, Spike.” He shifted on the screen, body angling towards the camera, he looked straight at her, even though he couldn’t see her. “It’s time, Spike. Kill Giles.”

“Who is it?” Giles rose from his chair just as Spike replaced the receiver. “Spike?”

“Wrong number.”

Giles huffed. “How do you know that? All you said was hello.”

“They told me they had the wrong number. You expecting a call or somethin’? Got yourself a randy piece of fluff hidden away we don’t know about or what?”

“No,” Giles snapped.

“Figures.”

“Shut up, Spike. I just like to know whose calling me.”

“No bugger was callin’ you. I just told you, wrong number.”

Giles scowled but didn’t continue with the pointless discussion. He headed into the kitchen, ignoring Spike completely as he began to root around in the weapon chest. Giles made himself some tea and cut himself a sizable slice of cake. He deserved a treat having to put up with Spike every minute of the day. He wished the vampire would move out already. On the other hand, it might be best to keep Spike close, keep an eye on him.

He glanced up at the clock, Buffy was due shortly. He hoped she had a quiet trip over, it had been relatively quiet lately for the Hellmouth and it was nice for her to half a break of sorts, she worked so hard all the time; it was nice to see the lines fading from around tired eyes.

“Buffy will be here soon. I don’t want you disappearing again tonight.” Giles placed his tea and cake on the table. “If you want to stay here you had better start pulling your weight, Spike. I expect you to patrol with her tonight.”

“Do you?” Spike turned and smiled pleasantly. “Sorry, Rupes, got other plans for tonight.”

Giles snorted. “What other plans?”

“The killin’ you kinda plans.” A stake dropped out of Spike’s sleeve, before Giles could register the implication of Spike’s words the stake was plunged into his chest, meeting his heart with a sharp painful movement.

Giles gasped, his eyes wide. His body jerked like a fish on a hook and his hand grasped at the stake; but Spike was stronger and pushed the stake even deeper into the Watcher’s heart. A bubble of blood popped at Giles lips and his knees gave way. Spike stood over Giles as he slumped to the floor, falling forward on his knees, his forehead coming to rest against Spike’s legs.

Willow watched the scene unfold, fingers gripping the table top. Spike looked up, looked straight at the camera and she moaned. She realised suddenly that she was panting, that she was squeezing her thighs tightly together; that watching Spike be himself, be the demon he really was made her want him with a fierce desperation that threatened to consume her.

Her hand was shaking when she reached for the phone and dialled Giles number again. She watched Spike answer the phone, his voice, smooth and rich coming over the line. “Yeah?”

“She’s near the park. Take him there.”

“Will do.”

“Oh and Spike,”

“Yeah?”

“When you’re done, can you come over?”

“Yeah, I guess. Why?”

Willow took a steadying breath. “Because I want you.”

Spike looked at the camera, a smirk curling his lips. “Do you now?”

There was an arrogance about him, as though he had never expected anything else from her. It should probably irritate her, but Willow found that it didn’t; it made him more appealing. “Yes.”

Spike enjoyed the fierce whisper, tongue stealing out to lick at his lower lip with anticipation. “Just see to the Watcher an’ I’m all yours, pet.”

“Hurry.”

She hung up. Leaving Jonathan to sleep Willow hurried up to the front room where Andrew and Warren were stood with three demons, they were of average height and build of a human and wore flowing black hooded cloaks; deep set eyes stared at her from faces all pink and wrinkled.

“I was just going to explain what we want,” Andrew said, his excitement clearly showing.

Willow nodded, moving to stand beside Warren. Andrew knew what he was doing, she wasn’t going to interfere at all. This was his moment to shine and he deserved it.

“Should we wait for Jonathan?” Andrew looked around confused, he had been sure Jonathan was at the house too.

“He’s asleep. Headache,” Warren said. “Best leave him alone.”

“But,” Andrew persisted.”He’d want to be a part of this, wouldn’t he?”

Warren scowled. “Just get on with it, Andrew. We haven’t got all damn night.”

“Yes. Alright,” Andrew looked a little miffed, but he turned to the trio of demons who were waiting patiently to hear why they had been summoned. “We need you to create a specific hallucination for the Slayer.”

One of the demons spoke up. “What type of specific hallucination?”

Andrew glanced at Willow who nodded to let him know everything was in place. “We need her to believe she killed her Watcher.”

Chapter Text

The streets of Sunnydale were quiet and Buffy enjoyed the silence. It gave her time to think about her assignments. She was glad she had made the decision to have as normal a life as was possible for a Slayer and attend college. Becoming the Slayer had forced her to mature much faster than Buffy would have liked, it was inevitable when she dealt with darker side of the world every day. It was impossible to sweat the small stuff when she was fighting the forces of evil. Somehow though, college made her feel grown up and that always lifted her spirits, to think that as a Slayer she had survived long enough to feel grown up.

There was a strange sense of freedom about college. Sometimes, when she was sitting in class or having lunch Buffy felt like a normal student, her Slayer destiny far from her mind. It was invigorating and gave her a chance to decompress after a hard night patrolling. Even if an apocalypse wasn’t on the horizon the vamps of Sunnydale never let up. They were always loitering around the cemetery and causing havoc in the streets.

Buffy grinned, being the Slayer would be a piece of cake if it wasn’t for the vampires.

A shrill scream brought Buffy out of her thoughts. Removing a stake from the top of her boot, she doubled back to the gates of the park and went to investigate. She hadn’t gone far when she came upon two vampires, one male and one female accosting a woman.

Buffy let out a sigh. “Just for once I’d like an uneventful walk to my Watcher’s place.”

The vampires both looked up and the man groaned. “Aw, not the Slayer.”

Buffy rolled her eyes. “If you’re going to attack people in my town you kinda have to be prepared for me to show up.”

“Yeah, I guess.” He pushed the woman into the arms of his companion. “So, we going to fight or what?”

“I’m thinking, yes.”

XxX

Jonathan was just coming round when Andrew, Willow and Warren went down to the basement to check on Buffy. He yawned, looking around with a confused expression on his face. “Did I fall asleep?”

“Sure did.” Andrew bounced into a seat next to him. “How’s your head?”

Jonathan touched his head lightly. “Fine.” He didn’t remember having a head ache. He didn’t remember falling asleep either. “Sorry, Wills,” he gave her a sheepish smile. “Guess I fell asleep on you.”

“It’s not important.” Willow smiled and sat next to Andrew, leaning forward over her knees, eyes darting from one monitor to the other. She found Buffy fighting in the park, and saw the cloaked figures of the Rwasundi heading towards the park, but she couldn’t see Spike anywhere.

It was Andrew who spotted him. “Wow. Spike’s car is really cool!”

Then Willow found him, he was getting out of a shiny red sports car; it didn’t surprise her Spike would drive something like that. She watched him retrieve Giles from the passenger seat and hefting the dead Watcher over his shoulder, Spike entered the park. He stood still for a moment, head cocked, and then he made his way towards the fight.
“Did… did I miss it then?” Jonathan’s voice quavered as he took in Giles prone form dangling over Spike’s shoulder. “Is he...?”

“Yes.” Warren made himself comfortable in the spare seat next to Jonathan. “Spike took care of it. Andrew’s raised the demons and the show is on the road.”

Andrew wiggled in his seat. “I can’t wait to see how it goes.”

Not having been awake for the execution call to Spike did not make Jonathan feel any easier about matters. He hadn’t anticipated being a party to murder. Jonathan doubted Spike saw it that way, Spike had probably killed loads of people, but Jonathan wasn’t a demon like Spike. He glanced across Andrew’s shoulders to Willow, had she forgotten that she wasn’t a demon? Didn’t it affect her at all?

XxX

Spike could sense the Slayer and hear the sound of her fighting. He came upon the scene a few minutes later and found her engaged in battle with two vampires. So engrossed was she in kicking some vampire ass that she didn’t notice him, nor did she notice the trio of hooded demons separating from the shadows of the trees opposite her.

Buffy staked the female vampire and turned swiftly to the male who was, at that moment, lying on the ground where she had dropped him after throwing him over her head. Stake in hand Buffy advanced, driving the stake through his chest.

Spike moved quickly. He crept up behind her and drop Giles on the ground. Melting back into the shadows Spike watched with interest. It all happened so fast. He saw Giles standing behind Buffy reaching out and touching her shoulder. Buffy whipped round, stake high and sent it home; right into Giles heart.

Buffy screamed as Giles staggered back, breath rasping in his throat.

“Giles!” Buffy reached for him with panicked hands, pulling the stake free and dropping it to the floor. “Oh my God! Giles!”

Giles wheezed, eyes flickering wildly before slumping to the floor, the hallucination becoming reality as the two Giles melded together.

“Giles!” Buffy was hysterical. Kneeling beside the fallen Watcher she shook him violently. “Wake up, Giles. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. Please, Giles.”

Panic, fear, guilt, grief; the emotions poured off her and Spike closed his eyes to bask in it all. He watched the frazzled, frantic Slayer try to revive her mentor for a few moments before making his presence known.

“What the hell did you do, Slayer?”

Wild eyes stared up at him from a tear streaked face. Buffy shook her head, unable to speak past her choking sobs. Finally she managed to control her breathing. “I didn’t mean it. I thought he was another vampire.”

“Well I didn’t think you’d done it on purpose,” Spike offered generously. “What’s Harris gonna say?”

Buffy let out an agonised groan, wrapping her arms around her middle as though she could squeeze away all the pain. She rocked back and forth on her knees. “What am I going to do, Spike?”

Spike figured she was in a right state if she was asking him for help or advice. Whether he had Willow waiting on him or not, Spike wasn’t inclined to help Buffy out. As it was, he did have Willow waiting for him and the anticipation of being with her was humming wildly beneath his skin.

"You just killed the Watcher. Not a lot you can do."

Buffy whimpered, squeezing her eyes tightly shut. She felt sick, cold, terrified; and completely useless. Giles was lying dead beside her and it was her fault, she had done this, she had ended Giles life and Buffy had no idea how she was supposed to deal with that and carry on without him.

Spike bent at the waist to whisper softly into her ear. "Said you were a killer, didn't I?"

Buffy sucked in a sharp breath. Before she could respond Spike walked away, disappearing into the darkness, leaving her there alone with Giles.

She wished Spike had stayed.

XxX

Willow was pacing around the dining room waiting for Spike. She had left Jonathan, Andrew and Warren in the basement, they were keeping an eye on Buffy and working to complete the second humanoid. Willow however couldn't concentrate and she couldn't keep still, there was an itch under her skin; she needed Spike.

She had seen his face change to its true form before, and he had even bitten her. Willow's fingers brushed against the scab on her throat; but seeing his demon out in full force, watching the cold, ruthless way he had taken care of Giles affected her in a way she could never have anticipated.

Rounding the table Willow stopped short when she saw Spike standing in the doorway. A wave of desire slammed into her body and her knees threatened to buckle under the look of lust on his face. The heat passing between them was so intense it made Spike's skin prickle and his cock throb.

Willow went to him, wrapping her arms around his neck, her fingers gripping the back of his head as she kissed him. Her scent filled the air; Spike wanted it covering his body.
She pushed him backwards until he stumbled into the nearest chair, straddling his lap, hands dropping to fumble with his jeans. She could feel how hard he was through the rough denim and a little moan left her lips.

Brushing her hair from her face Spike sought out the scab on her throat, mouth closing over it he used his teeth to dislodge the scab and coax her blood to the surface. It might reside in her body, but her blood was his.

With a guttural moan Willow took him inside her, fingers sliding through soft blonde hair. Spike moaned against her throat, head lifting, mouth sealing against hers, his tongue delving inside her.

Her heat engulfed him as she rocked in his lap; there was nothing slow or gentle about it, she was wild and wanton in his arms, his presence driving her passion to an almost unbearable level. He tore at her blouse as she rocked down on him, her fingers clutching at the shoulders of his duster. He brought the lace cups of her bra beneath her breast, pushing them upwards, dusky pink nipples now more accessible to his mouth.

Willow moaned, arching into hands which supported her lower back as Spike's tongue flicked across a hardened nipple. He held her steady, planting his feet firmly on the floor to enable him to thrust upwards, burying himself deep inside her with a groan.

His mouth on her sensitive skin caused Willow's senses to fire like lightning bolts. Her head fell forward, cupping his face in her palms. "Show me," she was breathless with a yearning for more. "Show me who you really are."

Growling softly, Spike let the demon out. She smiled with pleasure, a sound of aroused satisfaction passing her parted lips. Spike's eyes flashed, the rest of the world disappearing as he focused every ounce of his being on her. He could hear her heart hammering wildly and each breath she took was a little harsher and heavier than the last.

The pressure inside him increased as Willow's pace grew frantic, his hands tightened on her hips as she thrust downwards one last time the hot wetness between her legs clutching at his cock, squeezing him, demanding he give all that he had. Spike emptied himself inside her with deep rumbling roar and Willow came apart with a mindless cry, her head thrown back.

"Bloody hell, pet." Spike caught her face in his hands, mouth seeking hers, kissing her softly as she calmed.

She kissed him back before sinking against his shoulder, eyes closing as her arms rested lightly around his neck.

There was movement from the basement and Willow struggled to her feet, pulling her torn blouse across her chest before scurrying from the room to change. Spike righted his jeans and ran a hand through his hair just as Andrew arrived in the room.

"Oh, hi, Spike. I like your car."

"My car?" Spike's eyebrows lifted.

"The red sports car."

"Not mine. That's the Watcher's. I drive a Desoto. Its a classic."

Andrew shrugged. Cars were not a topic in which he excelled. "Did the Rwasundi disappear after they performed the hallucination? They haven't come back here and I'm sure I don't have to send the back." He went into the living room and rifled through some books.

"I didn't see where they went," Spike admitted.

Jonathan arrived then followed by a yawning Warren. Warren rubbed at his tried eyes. "It's been a long, eventful day. As much as I'd like to stay here and work on the new bot I don't think I can get my eyes to focus."

"I'm hungry." Jonathan went over to the cage in the corner and peered through the bars. "Hey, Amy. How you doing today?" The rat squeaked in response and came over to sniff at the finger he inserted between the bars. "Shall we grab something to eat before going home?"

"Yeah, good idea." Warren looked about him. "Where's Willow?"

"Gone to her room." Spike guessed the swift exit had to do with changing her top. He was slightly surprised to see she was wearing a small pair of shorts and a tank top when she reappeared. She was all ready for bed.

"Are you guys leaving?" Willow looked from one to the other.

"Hungry," Jonathan said. "I guess you aren't going to come with us to eat?"

She laughed and shook her head. "I'll fix some toast or something. You guys go on. I'll see you tomorrow."

They said their goodbyes and left Willow alone with Spike. She swallowed, a little embarrassed at her earlier actions, but not regretful. How could she be sorry when she felt so content and satisfied? She cleared her throat. "You should stay."

It wasn't exactly how she had planned on phrasing it, but she had said it now and Willow could tell by the gleam in Spike's eyes that he wasn't adverse to the suggestion.

"Should I?"

"Yes, you should."

His tongue rolled behind his teeth. "Why's that then?"

"There’s a couple of reasons, but I don't really feel like getting into them now. Do you want a drink?" Willow went into the kitchen and Spike followed her, admiring her long creamy legs.

"No thanks, pet." He watched her as she poured a glass of milk and sipped at it. "If I'm gonna stay, I'm stayin' with you."

She glanced up at him over the rim of the glass. "Yes."

There was no need to say more. He would spend the night in her bed, she would spend the night in his arms. They would enjoy each other over and over again.

"Did you see it?"

The question confused her almost as much as the hint of uneasiness in his tone. "See what?"

"Me killin’ the Watcher. Did you see it?" Just because she had been the one to call him didn't necessarily mean she had been a witness to Giles death.

"Yes," Willow nodded. "I saw it."

Spike licked at his lower lip. "An’ you still wanted me?"

"Yes."

"I was right, you don't shy away from the darkness, do you, love." He was impressed, awed and aroused all at once.

"I suppose I don't." Willow finished her drink and rinsed out the glass. "I just want to check the monitors once more before...."

Spike's lips curled into a knowing smirk. "Bed?"

Ignoring him, a cross look on her face, Willow brushed passed him and went to the basement. Chuckling, Spike went after her, curious himself to see what the Slayer was doing and if the moron was in the mix yet.

There wasn't much action on the monitors. There were vampires in the cemetery, a dog walker or two and the Slayer on campus. Willow frowned, leaning in closer to the monitor; Buffy was talking to a boy. He was handsome, tall and broad with floppy brown hair and kind eyes. He was moving in close to Buffy who looked close to breaking, her arms waving in the air. As Willow watched, the boy put his hands on Buffy's shoulders and drew her into his arms, kissing the top of her head.

"Who’s he?"

"Captain Cardboard. Riley. Slayer's boy toy. Solider boy."

"She has a boyfriend and you didn't think to mention it?" Willow was annoyed and it showed in the way her nostrils flared.

Spike shrugged. "Would 'ave gotten around to it I expect."

"What did you mean by “solider boy”?"

"He's part of the Initiative. You know, the ones who chipped me."

"Spike," Willow reached out and smoothed his cheek. "How would you like a little revenge?"

His eyes narrowed a smile on his lips. "Wouldn't say no, love."

"I'm going to need you to bring me Riley."

Chapter Text

Dawn was breaking beyond the bedroom curtains, Spike could feel it. It was nice to be tucked up in Willow’s bed, her head pillowed on his shoulder and her warmth permeating his skin as she dozed beside him. She hadn’t slept much, too much shagging going on, but now her mind was busy, Spike could tell. Her fingers moved restlessly over his chest in what Spike had at first thought were odd fractured patterns, but the more he concentrated on the little pads of warmth, the more he noticed their touch wasn’t random, she was testing out his muscles and skin. His curiosity was at an all time high, but Spike didn’t question her, he knew Willow well enough now to know she would tell him everything when the time was right.

He stroked her hair absently, winding the strands around his fingers and releasing them over and over again. Coupled with the sensation of her fingers on his skin it was soothing. “Aren’t you tired?”

“My body is.” Willow replied, shifting her head a little on his shoulder. “I don’t have the stamina of a vampire.”

Spike chuckled. “Pity. Could always go for another go ‘round, love.”

“Later,” she murmured, stroking his nipple with her thumb.

“After you’re done thinkin’?”

“I think I’m nearly done thinking.” Willow frowned at the jumble of words and Spike chuckled again.

“Why did you want me to stay ‘ere?” Spike wondered. “I know it wasn’t all to do with the shaggin’.”

“No,” Willow admitted slowly. “I needed you to be here for maximum effect. When the Slayer goes to the Watcher’s apartment she’ll expect you to be there, won’t she?”

“Safe bet,” Spike agreed.

“If I had to guess, I’d say she’ll go there alone. She won’t be able to stop herself. But when she goes there she won’t expect to be completely alone, she’ll expect you to be there, and she’ll want you there. She’ll want a buffer between her and the silence.”

“That’s why you wanted to get me out of there.”

“That’s right. I want her to hear the silence, Spike. I want it to deafen her. I want it to be all that she can hear and I want her to feel it in the very depths of her being. Do you know what it’s like, to walk into the room of someone who’s gone; someone who has been ripped from your life with such violence? It’s crippling, Spike. You see everything, absolutely everything. Even things you never noticed before.” Willow paused, curling herself closer to him, hooking her leg over his and cradling his thigh between her own.

“You’re talkin’ ‘about your mate Jessie, aren’t you?”

“Yes,” she whispered, catching her bottom lip between her teeth for a moment. “Do you know what it’s like to see your friends’ unmade bed and know he’ll never sleep in it again? To see the comic book on the nightstand he’ll never finish. The new sneakers he saved up for and was so proud of but will never wear. Do you know what its like to see the both of you together, smiling, and knowing you’ll grow up, grow old, have a life and he’s not only frozen in time but a scattered pile of dust; gone, as though he had never even been there?”

Willow pushed her hair from out of her face with an impatient hand. “It’s like you’re trapped in some deep dark dungeon somewhere and there’s no getting out of it, there’s only darkness, only blackness and you can’t feel anything except hate. At first it was all hot and raging, burning inside me all the time, but then as time went on it got cooler, until it was like a large slab of ice in my chest; and I could see clearly for the first time. I wanted her to hurt too.”

Spike kissed her forehead gently. There was nothing else he could say, no words to offer. There was no comfort to give. But she wasn’t looking for comfort, Willow had something else in mind, she was after revenge, and Spike knew she would get it. This delicate little witch in his arms would crush the Slayer when she was finished with her. He smiled; and he would be there to witness every glorious moment of the Slayer’s defeat.

She looked up at him. “I want her to know, Spike. I want her to know what it feels like.”

“She will,” Spike assured her.

“Perhaps I’m wrong,” Willow said with a little sigh. “I know how it feels to lose the people I love so perhaps I shouldn’t be inflicting it on her.” Her fingers dug into his side for a moment. “But I want her to feel it. I want her to know what it’s like to suffer like the rest of us.”

“You’ve suffered, why shouldn’t she?” Spike figured it was reasonable enough, but then again, he would. He was a demon and didn’t think the same way humans did, but he did think the way Willow did. There was no denying his attraction to her, but it went deeper than that, the darkness in her drew him like a moth to flame. He understood her on a basic primal level which was exciting and interesting and infinitely arousing. Now that he had her Spike didn’t want to let her go.

“You do realise that what you want and what your boys want are two different things, don’t you, pet? Takin’ over Sunnydale isn’t for you. Once you’ve got your revenge you won't want to be stuck in this two horse town. You’re better than this place, an’ you won’t want you memories crowdin’ in on you all the time. We should leave your boys to it an’ take off together. You an’ me, we’ll ‘ave a right time of it.”

Willow didn’t respond immediately, she was surprised that Spike could see her so clearly. “I guess Sunnydale hasn't been the best place for either of us.”

Spike’s eyebrows lifted, a zing of excitement working its way along his spine. “That a yes?”

“Yes, Spike.” She nodded and smiled. “That’s a yes.”

He shifted over her, letting his body cover hers. “That’s a smart girl.” He lowered his mouth to hers, startled when her fingers pressed to his lips, effectively halting his progress. He frowned. “What’s the matter?”

“Spike,” her tone was light, but there was a glint in her eyes Spike was familiar with. “Do you think you could get me some of the Slayer’s blood?”

Spike’s eyes widened in utter shock, he hadn’t been expecting that. “What’re you up to, pet?”

She gave him a secret smile. “You’ll find out.”

Chapter Text

Willow didn't Spike for the next couple of days. At least he didn't come to the house. She watched him on the monitors in the basement. She watched him sleep at Giles apartment and she watched him patrol and fight at the cemetery. He really was a magnificent specimen no matter what he was doing.

This need she had to see him was almost impossible to fight. She missed him and that frightened her. Since Jessie's death and Xander's abandonment of her, Willow may have made friends with Warren, Jonathan and Andrew, but she didn't rely on them. She wasn't close to them the way she had been with Xander and Jessie. Willow refused to allow herself to get that close to someone again; love made her vulnerable.

Then came Spike. She liked him well enough and the attraction she felt towards him was off the scale. Sex with Spike was mind blowing. The kind of pleasure she hadn't known existed. But there was something else, something niggling at her, something hovering on the edge of her subconscious that she wasn't willing to put a name to. Labelling this feeling would make it real and if it was real she was vulnerable. Willow couldn't afford to be vulnerable. Not when she had important work to do.

She still missed him.

She still ached for him.

She still slid her hand between her legs with Spike's face floating behind closed eyelids and cursed her inability to come.

It was not her hand her body wanted.

Spike had gotten under her skin.

Willow was currently in the basement with Warren, Andrew and Jonathan. Spike was not on her mind at this moment, she sitting on the edge of her seat watching Warren as he made one final adjustment to the computer program he and Jonathan had been working on.

"All done." Warren straightened up. "You're up, Wills."

"I have the exact spell we need." Willow's fingers smoothed softly over the yellowing pages of a magic book she held in her lap. This was one of her favourite books; it was very old and had been given to her by her friend and mentor Ethan Rayne. Ethan claimed her ability far exceeded his and she would get more use out of the book than he ever could. He had warned her to use the spells wisely and she would get what she wanted: revenge.

"You want me to set up the candles?" Andrew asked.

"If you could just..." Willow trailed off when she heard the front door open. She glanced up at the ceiling, the sound of heavy footsteps crossing the foyer. Her stomach flipped over when she heard Spike's voice calling out to her. "Spike!" She left the basement, scurrying up the stairs.

She found him in the living room, he turned to face her, his eyes gleaming at the sight of her.

Spike wanted to grab her, press against her, feel himself inside her. He wondered if Willow felt any of those things when she looked at him. She'd been on his mind a lot over the last few days. "There you are, pet." He hoped his voice didn't betray his feelings. "Been in the basement?"

"Yes. Warren and Jonathan have created a new computer program."

"What's it for?"

"Riley."

Spike grinned. "So, you've been a busy little witch, 'ave ya?"

Willow smiled. "I've kept busy. Maybe not as busy as you, I saw you dealing with some demons at the cemetery last night. Looked like a big fight."

A smile curled his lips. "Been watchin' me?"

Willow swallowed. That smile of his, it gave her goosebumps. Simultaneously, she wanted to slap it off his handsome face. It was irritating that he seemed to read her so easily. "I've been keeping an eye on the Slayer."

The smile turned into a smirk. "Uh huh."

Willow took a deep breath, a flush colouring her cheeks. "I have!"

Spike nodded. "Missed you too, pet."

The surprise on her face told Spike he had made the right decision to speak his mind. He'd had a lot of time to think being apart from her and Spike realised his little witch wanted to keep him at arm's length, probably because she didn't trust him to chose her. After all, her best friend had walked away from her. Willow had elements of his human self within her and Spike recognised them easily. He saw her vulnerability and uncertainty as much as she tried to cover it with magic and chips. If she didn't want to be with him Willow would never have agreed to leave Sunnydale with him.

"I brought you something." Spike pulled a wad of tissues out of his pocket and handed them to her. "Slayer's blood."

Willow's face lit up. "Spike, you got it."

"Course I did. Took a bit of time, needed her to get real battered an' bruised. Luckily she got her arse kicked last night before she saved the day. Is it enough for what you got planned?"

"This is great, Spike." Willow opened up the tissue to find another bloody tissue folded inside it. "I think so."

"Usually they flush this kind of stuff, but Harris is a lazy sod an' couldn't be bothered to walk to the bathroom last night after he patched her up."

Willow's head snapped up. "What? I've seen Xander on the monitors but not all the time. He's still around?"

Spike nodded. "We took on a nest of vamps the night after I last saw you. Harris got his arse kicked, landed badly on his arm an' done something to his shoulder. Put him out of commission for a few nights. But he's still fightin' the good fight."

Willow's jaw clenched. "Does he know?" Her voice was strained. "Does he know what happened to Giles?"

"Yeah. I wasn't there for the big reveal but Anya told me what happened. He broke down cryin' in the Slayer's arms."

Willow's eyes went wide, her lips parted as rage washed over her face and she screamed. She still held the magic book, her fingers gripping it tightly. Her anger, pure emotion, opened up her defences and Willow could feel the magic from the pages of the book seeping through her skin into her blood, firing around her system.

Magic poured from her in a wild fury shattering the ornaments on the shelves, upsetting the furniture, throwing Spike back against the wall as the window exploded into little shards. He stared in horrified fascination as her hair turned black and what looked liked writing began to wash over her whole body. Her eyes bled black and her magic filled the room. Spike had never been witnessed to such power before. Lust crawled up his spine.

“Wills!” Andrew appeared in the doorway with Jonathan and Warren. “Willow! What’s happening? What’s going on?”

As suddenly as it came, the magic disappeared. Willow stood in the centre of the room, little veins popping out across her face. She seemed to have reigned herself in. She tossed the book onto the sofa.

“Love?” Spike slid down the wall, staggering a few steps as he got his bearings. “You alright?”

Warren glared at Spike. “What did you do to her?”

“Nothin’,” Spike insisted. “She asked ‘bout Harris an’ I told her. He’s ....”

“Like a whipped dog,” Willow spat viciously. “It doesn’t matter what she does he just crawls back to her for more. Jessie is dead!” she whipped round and glared at Warren. “He’s dead and now she’s killed Mr Giles and Xander’s still crawling at her feet!”

Understanding crossed Warren’s face. “He’s always been an idiot. No reason to think he’ll change any time soon. He’s blinded by her, Wills, that’s all. A pretty girl spoke to him on her first day at school and he became infatuated.” Warren rolled his eyes. “He still thinks of himself as that loser from high school who somehow managed to befriend a girl like Buffy Summers. Let’s be honest, if she was normal, if she wasn’t the Slayer she’d have been one of the most popular girls in school and probably wouldn’t have given him a second glance.”

“Maybe he won’t ever walk away.” Jonathan cringed when Willow turned furious eyes on him. He swallowed. “What I mean is, Xander’s one of the good guys, right? He’s fighting because he thinks it’s the right thing to do. I don’t think it matters what the Slayer does, Xander will always be there because he’s doing the right thing.”

“That’s right,” Andrew soothed softly. “It’s nothing to do with the Slayer. Xander’s doing the right thing. It doesn’t matter if the Slayer is Buffy or someone else. Xander’s always going to be there.”

Willow scowled. “Enough!” She brushed passed them. “Spike, I want you to come with me.”

It was Spike’s turn to scowl. He would have gone with her if she’d just asked, there was no need for her to use her little command and active the chip. He resented her power game, especially in front of these three.

He went with her down to the basement. Glancing around Spike was surprised to see things had moved on within the last few days. They had more of those human looking robots and there was a computer on the table with wires linked up to a chip. Willow bypassed the computer going straight to the shelves of magic books. She stood before the shelves with her arms outstretched, and Spike watched in amazement as the writing reappeared, moving up and over her body.

“What’s she doing?” Jonathan hissed.

Spike glanced behind him where Jonathan, Andrew and Warren were huddled on the stairs.

“She... she’s somehow absorbing the magic from the books,” Andrew whispered.

Warren grinned. “Cool.”

Spike hadn’t been aware that was even possible. She’d had power before, but what Spike felt coming from her now was on a whole other level. It infused the room, almost taunting his demon to come out and play. Spike let his face shift; his attraction to her increasing as the darkness in her intensified.

Spike watched with interest as she placed the bloodied tissues on the table and waved her hands over them. The blood disengaged from the tissue, little red droplets hanging in the air.

“Spike, come here.”

He was mollified that she hadn’t used her little magic command. “What is it, pet?”

“Take off your coat and your top.” She glanced up at him, her tongue touching her bottom lip when she encountered his fangs and ridges. “Stay like that. I need the real you for this.”

Spike shrugged off his coat and took off his top. Absently he scratched at his bare stomach. “What exactly are we doin’?”

She gave him a smile Spike was more than familiar with; cold, calculating. It spoke of exciting things to come. “Spike, I want you to stay absolutely still.”

The familiar feeling of his will being stripped away washed over Spike. Last time she had made him stay still like this she had performed her little instant healing spell on him. It had hurt, and looking back Spike understood why she had commanded him to remain still. The pain may have forced him to move during the spell and bollocked everything up.

Willow began chanting and Spike watched the drops of Slayer’s blood float closer. The drops merged together to form a glowing ball of blood and then the ball flew at him so quickly Spike didn’t realise what was happening until the ball of blood hit his chest, right over his heart. He grit his teeth at the burning sensation. Looking down Spike watched in amazement as the blood seeped into his skin. He could actually feel it in his heart. He could feel Slayer blood burn its way through his veins. His body shook and Spike growled.
Suddenly the burning began to ebb away until it was gone completely.

“There. All done, Spike. You can move again.”

Spike rolled his shoulders, touching a hand to his heart for a moment. “What did you do?”

“A combination of a binding and mimicry spell.” She smiled, fingers brushing against his bumpy forehead. “I bound the Slayer’s blood to yours and...”

“Wills! Did you do what I think you did?” Warren scrambled down the rest of the stairs. “Substance mimicry?”

Andrew’s eyes widened. “Like Carl Crusher Creel. Absorbing Man.”

Spike frowned. “What? Who?”

“Comics." Willow made a dismissive gesture.

“Marvel Comics,” Jonathan corrected. “Absorbing Man first appeared in Journey into Mystery volume 114 in March 1965. He was only created by writer Stan Lee!”

“Uh huh.” Spike gave a spare shake of his head. “And what does that have to do with me?”

“Absorbing Man has the power to take the form of any material he touches,” Andrew explained. “He literally absorbs the property of the material itself.”

“The spell doesn’t work quite like that,” Willow said quickly. “This spells allows Spike to absorb the properties of Slayer blood." She looked at Spike. "For all intents and purposes you’ll be a vampire whose a Slayer. Just without the pesky saving the world destiny.”

Spike’s eyes widened and his jaw dropped. “The Slayer won’t be faster or stronger than me anymore?”

Willow shook her head. “In fact, you’ll be faster and stronger than her. Her blood coupled with yours gives you the duel effect of all the properties of vampire and Slayer blood. And of course you’ll heal extra fast since I already gave you a little boost.”

“Bloody hell.” Spike laughed softly. “Can’t wait to see her face when I send her reelin’.”

“Bide your time, Spike. We aren’t ready for that yet.” Willow turned towards the small chip on the table. “Riley comes first.”

Spike pulled his top back on. “What’s the plan, pet?”

“We’re going to be just like Ultron,” Andrew said excitedly. “It was Warren’s idea.”

“If you don’t get to the point within the next five seconds I’m gonna bite you.”

Andrew shuddered. “Ultron is the super villain of Marvel Comics.”

“He’s the ultimate foe of the avengers,” Jonathan added. “His first proper appearance was in 1968.”

Spike folded his arms. “Three seconds.”

“Ultron came up with a program transmitter that allowed him to transplant his consciousness into robots. That's what this program does, with a little help from Willow's magic.” Andrew finished hurriedly. "It'll let our bot's have a stream of consciousness."

"We won't have to worry about them shorting out or programming all their actions this way,' Jonathan explained. "We can program them to go after the Slayer without worrying she'll do something our program won't know how to respond to."

“So what's this got to do with solider boy?”

Willow touched a finger to the chip. “We're going to implant him with a chip and force the Slayer to kill him.”

Chapter Text

The one last pump of a heart before it gave out as the last drop of blood swept over his tongue had always been Spike's favourite part. It actual kill, it made him feel alive. It made him strong.

He let the girl go, her body slumped heavily to the ground. He experienced no pangs of conscious as he walked away, leaving her body beside the rubbish bin around the back of the campus. She had so willingly gone with him. She would so willingly have dropped her knickers for him. Bint deserved all she got. The last thing he wanted was to fuck some random blonde. He had Willow, and he wouldn't betray her.

Spike swiped the smear of blood from the corner of his mouth and headed out into the grounds of UC Sunnydale. The campus was fairly busy, by the groups of students milling about, shouting to each other all dressed up Spike guessed there was a party going on somewhere. He chuckled, not that the Slayer or solider boy would be there, oh no, they were too busy being serious and boring and saving the people of the most oblivious town in the world.

The Slayer was out on patrol, she was out all hours since the death of the Watcher, desperate not to do anything that would stop her thinking about what she had done. Spike knew he didn't have to worry about any inference from her. It took him a bit longer than anticipated, but Spike finally found Riley, he was striding across campus, heading towards the parking lot. Spike quickened his pace, a little smile curling his lips at how much faster he could move.

He spared a fleeting thought for Angelus, the bastard was trapped in a hell dimension somewhere, sent by the Slayer to stop him destroying the world. It was too bad, he'd love to see the look on the wanker's face at finding out that Spike was stronger and faster than he was. There would be no more humiliation at Angelus' hands. But, as much as it annoyed Spike, he did miss Angelus. Angelus would enjoy the games Willow and her boys planned on playing with the Slayer. Angelus was all about the games.

As always when he thought about Angelus, Spike experienced the familiar feeling of jealousy. Angelus had always managed to come between him and Drusilla in spite of Drusilla being Spike's sire. It wasn't that Angelus particularly wanted Drusilla, he just wanted to assert his authority over Spike. He just wanted Spike to know he would always be second best to Angelus.

After a hundred years together Drusilla had finally left him, even without Angelus around. She had dumped him. Pushed him aside. Hadn't even attempted to sneak around with that chaos demon, she had let Spike find them making out.

Pulling himself out of his depressing thoughts Spike caught up with Riley just as the other boy reached his car. "Hey, Farm Boy."

He saw Riley's shoulder's heave in a sigh before turning around and glaring straight at him.

"What are you doing here, Spike?"

"Came to see you actually."

Riley was instantly alert, soft puppy dog eyes brightening. "Is it Buffy? Has something happened?"

"Not that I know of. But a vamp lives in hope."

"What do you want, Spike? I'm not in the mood for your games tonight."

Spike grinned, a low laugh vibrating in his throat. "Too bad 'bout that, solider boy. From 'ere on out its gonna be nothin' but games. An' I'm gonna come out the winner this time."

Riley frowned. "What?"

Spike grinned and lashed out, catching Riley hard in the side of the head with his fist. His grinned deepened and he watched with mounting pleasure as Riley went down, hitting the concrete with a satisfying sound.

Plucking the keys out of Riley's limp fingers, Spike opened the boot and dumped Riley inside it, slamming the door on top of him. Whistling, Spike hopped into the driver's seat, gunning the engine and tearing out of the parking lot.

He arrived at Willow's in record time, not adhering to speed limits, traffic lights and stop signs tended to give a vamp the edge in driving. Parking in the driveway, Spike hauled Riley out of the boot, hefting the limp body over his shoulder with a grunt.

"You could stand to lose a pound or two, mate." Throwing open the front door, he called out, "Honey, I'm home!"

Andrew appeared with a bag of chips in his hand. 'Oh, hi, Spike."

Spike rolled his eyes. "I wasn't callin' for you."

"She's in the bath." He offered the bag to Spike. "Chip?"

"No. Where'd you want me to dump his arse?"

"Oh, um," Andrew paused, considering.

"Any time tonight."

There were footsteps behind him on the stairs and Spike glance around to see Warren. Warren grinned as he took in Riley and rubbed his hands together. "You can dump him in the basement. We'll need him down there."

Spike resisted the urge to drop kick Riley down the basement stairs. He hated this guy. It was him and his bloody military troops who had chipped him, crippled him, made him a damn laughing stock amongst the demon community and reduced him to relying on the Slayer and her merry band of Slayerette's for help. Whatever Willow did to him, so far as Spike was concerned, Riley deserved.

He left Riley in a heap on the basement floor and headed back upstairs, the lure of Willow in a hot soapy bath was just too much to resist. Unfortunately for him, he was too late. She was already out of the bath and coming down the stairs when he arrived back in the hallway.

She was still a sight to behold, her bathrobe, open slightly across her chest fit snugly around her slender figure, her hair hung loose down her back with tiny damp curls at her temple and her face was flushed pink from the warmth of her bath.

"Cor, but you're a sight, love."

She greeted him at the bottom of the stairs with a smile. "I was thinking the same thing about you. I thought I heard you come in."

His hands spanned her waist. Eyes closing he pressed his lips to her chest, breathing her in, the warmth of her skin sending a tremor through him. He felt her breath shudder and his fingers flexed on her waist, urging her closer. "Hum, could devour every inch of you."

Willow let out a sigh as her eyes closed, fingers threading through his hair as his lips parted on her skin and his tongue flicked out for a taste.

The taste of her tingled on his tongue; maybe, just maybe this was the reason Dru had left him. Maybe her precious stars had told her there was another woman in his future. If Dru had told him that back then he would never have believed her, Drusilla had been his everything, he had loved her more than anything; the idea of not loving Dru, of not having Dru in his life was unthinkable. It had never occurred to him. But maybe Dru had known it wouldn't last forever, maybe she had hurt him so deeply to make sure he left her to find Willow.

He was such a bloody ponce, he still couldn't accept that Drusilla had just stopped loving him. That she didn't want him anymore. That he wasn't demon enough for her.

The sound of a throat being cleared brought Willow out of her Spike-haze. She blinked, turning to look at Jonathan who was standing in the hallway. "Andrew said that Spike brought Riley here."

"You did?" Cupping Spike's face in her hands she tipped his head back and pressed a soft kiss to his lips.

"Said I had a surprise for you."

"Great surprise, Spike. It's exactly what I wanted."

Spike chuckled. "Most girls would prefer a bunch of flowers to an unconscious pillock."

She smiled. "I'm not most girls."

"No," he murmured softly. "You aren't pet."

Jonathan cleared his throat again. "Willow, can we talk about this? I .. I think.... this whole Riley thing. It's not exactly what we talked about is it. I mean, Mr Giles, it wasn't supposed to be this way, Willow. Taking over Sunnydale wasn't supposed to be like this. We weren't supposed to destroy people's lives."

Willow wasn't exactly surprised, Jonathan had been wiggy lately. She smoothed Spike's hair in an absent gesture. "I'll meet you in the basement, Spike."

"Sure pet." He couldn't resist letting his hand drop to caress her behind as he left. He wanted to pull her to him, ease her beneath him and sink inside her. But that could wait until her little entourage went home.

Willow waited until Spike went through the door before she spoke. Stepping off the last step she sighed and pushed her hair back from her face. "Look, Jonathan, I know things are playing out a bit differently than we originally planned..."

"I get you want to hurt Buffy. I do get that. And I said I'd help you, but people are dying, Wills. Mr Giles and now this Riley guy. He hasn't done anything to us. He's not a part of this."

Willow frowned. "He's part of the initiative, Jonathan. Or at least he was part of it. You know what they did to Spike. That's not exactly good guy behaviour. He went to the Slayer for help and what has she done for him? Nothing. She's left him to suffer. That's also not exactly good guy behaviour."

"What we're doing isn't exactly good guy behaviour either," Jonathan pointed out, a look of exasperation on his face.

"Batman."

"What's Batman got to do with anything?"

"He fights crime and..."

"We aren't fighting crime, Wills!"

Her eyebrows lifted. "You don't think what the initiative did to Spike was criminal? Kidnapping. Drugging. Unethical experimentation. Even attempted murder. All felonies, Jonathan."

Jonathan's jaw dropped open. "The initiative isn't even in Sunnydale anymore. Buffy saw to that."

"I wasn't finished." Willow's hands came to rest on her hips. "You like Batman, you think he's a superhero, yet everything he does stems from an oath he swore for revenge. All I want is revenge against the one person who is responsible for so much pain and death."

"Batman wanted revenge for the death of his parents. He was looking for justice."

"It's through the Slayer that Jesse died. Miss Calendar died and Amy's stuck in a cage. You don't think they deserve some justice?"

"Of course they do, Wills. But Buffy didn't kill them, did she?"

"No," Willow agreed grudgingly. "Not herself. But she's directly responsible and she should pay for that. She will pay for that the only way she can. By losing the people she cares about."

"But that's not it, is it? You're going to kill her. I'm not ok with that. I've never been ok with her dying. I just figured that once you had your revenge you'd be ok. But you're actually going to go through with it; you're going to let Spike kill her. And Mr Giles, you're letting people die. It's not cool, Wills."

Her eyes flashed. "You knew what you were getting into at the start of this. You knew what the plan was. The only thing that's changed is Spike's inclusion in it."

"Willow, you can't..." Jonathan stopped abruptly, his body went stiff and his eyes slid out of focus.

"Jonathan?" Willow peered at him, slightly unnerved by how his eyes stared ahead without blinking. "Jonathan?"

"Did it work?" Warren suddenly appeared, the flush of excitement on his face. "We haven't had a chance to really try it out yet."

"Oh." Willow nodded, a look of understanding crossing her face. "You mean the chip. You activated it. Well, nothing has happened yet but..."

Jonathan groaned, his hand touching to his head for a moment. "Wills?"

"Yeah, Jonathan, you ok?"

"I'm fine." Jonathan smiled.

"You're still on board with our plans, right?" Warren asked.

Jonathan snorted. "Of course I am. Slayer needs to pay. When do we get to that part? What's next?"

"Riley actually," Warren said. "Spike brought him in today."

He slapped his palm to his forehead. "Oh yeah, I forgot. What are we doing standing around up here?" Jonathan turned and went to the basement door. "Come on."

Warren grinned, slipping an arm through Willow's. "Not that I didn't think the chip would work, but its nice to have a little test run." He let out a sigh. "All his moaning and do gooder ways were starting to get on my nerves. Its such a pain in the ass when your friends let you down. Like we don't have enough to do controlling bots and other people without having to worry about Jonathan too."

"We don't have to worry about him anymore," Willow said soothingly. "Now we just tell him what to do and he'll do it. No questions asked."

"Like a mindless robot. A Jonathan-bot. Perfect. No muss, no fuss."

They followed Jonathan down to the basement, Andrew and Spike were watching the monitors, Buffy was in the cemetery fighting with some vampires. Willow gave her a brief glance as she passed. Spike looked up at her and she knew without him having to say anything that he had heard everything. She saw no judgement in his eyes and she relaxed a little. Somehow she really didn't like the idea of Spike finding her lacking in any way.

She stood above Riley, looking down at the big lump of a boy. He was cute, with a sweet face and floppy dark hair. He looked like a nice guy. It was a shame he'd had to be part of the initiative and get tangled up with the Slayer. Falling in with the wrong crowd could really mess up a guys life.

Spike watched avidly as Willow and Warren got to work implanting Riley with the chip. Willow cast a spell over the chip and Warren fitted it neatly into Riley's arm before tapping away on his computer.

"You're not going to do the exchange of blood thing with him the way you did with me?" Spike asked.

Willow shook her head. "No need. At the time we altered your chip we were knew at this and I wasn't sure what sort of spell I needed to cast as a back up to the chip. So I had to forge a link between us. Now I know what I'm doing, I don't need to do that. And now that we have the proper technology and the blue print from your chip I don't need to."

It took hardly no time at all much to Spike's surprise. He wondered how long he had been under when the initiative were busy chipping him. His hand went to his head for a moment, and he was sorry the Slayer had destroyed the initiative. He would have enjoyed every second of taking out the bastards who had experimented on him. He could just image how they would react to the real him. William the Bloody, Slayer of Slayers. The opportunity had passed him by, but he still had the Slayer.

Riley suddenly woke with a groan. Slowly he got to his feet and Spike moved a little closer to Willow unsure what to expect. Riley stood still, staring straight ahead. Spike cocked his head examining the still boy with amused interest.

"Hey, Riley." Warren came to stand beside Riley, slapping a hand against the other boys shoulder. "You got any plans for tonight?"

"I'm going to attack the Slayer and keep going until she kills me."

Spike started to laugh, a delighted gleam in his eyes. "I gotta 'ave a front row seat for this."

Chapter Text

Willow gave Spike’s arm a brief pat. She understood exactly how he felt. She wanted a front row seat to this too. She was just looking back at the monitors to find out where the Slayer was when Jonathan spoke up.

“I don’t think you’ve thought this through properly, Wills.”

Willow started, exchanging a worried glance with Warren. Had Jonathan’s chip malfunctioned? Had the commands not gone through correctly? Shouldn’t her magic back up have sense that and kicked in? The whole point of mixing magic with electronics was to ensure they had the perfect back up system. If one failed the other was there to see things through.

“What do you mean?” Andrew finished his bag of chips and licked at his greasy fingers.

“Well, if he attacks the Slayer and doesn’t stop, if she kills him through it, well, she’ll feel bad about it sure, but she’ll sort of be justified too, won’t she? It makes sense to kill him in a kill or be killed situation. Besides, she’ll know her boyfriend won’t want to kill her, she’ll suspect foul play somewhere along the lines. Even she can’t be dumb enough to not make that connection sooner or later.”

Willow let out a breath, a frown creasing her forehead. “You’re right. I should have thought of that.”

Warren made a noise of exasperation in the back of his throat. “So, what do we do?”

Silence descended upon the basement, each of them lost in thought as they considered the best way forward. Even as her mind whirled, Willow was furious with herself. Her plan had a major flaw in it and she hadn’t seen it. She needed to get herself refocused and ensure something like this didn’t happen again. She hadn’t spent a year carefully planning Buffy’s misery only to have it all fall away from her by not thinking things through properly.

“Set her up,” Spike said at last.

“How?” Andrew asked.

A slow smile curled Spike’s lips and he stalked in closer to Riley, eyes gleaming excitedly. He morphed into his fangs and ridges, staring straight into Riley’s eyes. Riley never blinked. It was slightly disappointing.

“Is he even there?” Spike wondered, waving a hand in front of Riley’s face.

“Sort of,” Warren said. “He’s in sleep mode at the moment. With the chip and Willow’s magic we’re able to control him completely, in a way the initiative couldn’t with you.”
Spike wondered if Willow would be able to do that to him if she wanted to. He didn’t like the idea that she could. “Will he remember?”

“No. It’s like he’s sleeping,” Warren said.

Willow could have done this to him and he would never know about it. Spike glanced across at her, she was watching him avidly, unmistakeable desire shining in her eyes. She wouldn’t do this to him, Spike suddenly felt certain about it. She only activated the chip when she absolutely had to, and that was because she didn’t want him losing his temper or going off half cocked. He could trust Willow, just as she could trust him to help her bring her plan to its ultimate conclusion; with the wonderfully satisfying death of the Slayer at the hands of the Slayer of Slayers.

Three Slayers to Spike.

“Do you want him awake?” Willow asked.

Spike glanced at her again, she must have seen his disappointment. A stirring of arousal started in his veins. She would give him what he wanted with no judgment. She understood the darkness in him as he understood the darkness in her; they really were the perfect fit.

“I want him to know. Even if it’s just for a minute.”

Willow nodded. “Warren, wake him up please.”

Andrew wrinkled his nose. “Is it going to get messy? Because I just ate.”

Spike chuckled. “It’ll be noisy.”

Warren tapped on the computer and Spike watched Riley’s eyes slide into focus. It was an odd thing to see, it was different to someone coming round after being knocked unconscious; that was a slow process, Riley just suddenly seemed to re-inhabit his body. It was a little creepy.

Riley blinked, he frowned at Spike all vamped out, but there was no fear in him. Spike was incensed.

“What’s going on?” Riley looked around the room at the girl and the three boys. He didn’t recognise any of them. He looked again at the girl, there was something vaguely familiar about her. “Have we met?”

“No.” Willow said shortly.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

Riley stared hard at her, trying his best to place her. Military training had taught him to take note of the details, to remember things because you never knew when they would be important. Suddenly he remembered. “Oh I know what it is. You’re the girl in Xander’s wallet. You’re both younger in that picture and your hair is a little longer, but it’s you.”
“Xander’s wallet?” Willow echoed. “I’m in Xander’s wallet?”

“Yes. You’re in there,” Riley said.

Willow swallowed, breathing became a little difficult with the tears threatening to clog her throat. Xander had her in his wallet. After all this time, Xander hadn’t forgotten her. He carried her picture with him every day.

“You changed your mind, love?” Spike asked.

Willow shook her head. “No. Just surprised. You do whatever you like, Spike.”

Riley suddenly seemed to remember that Spike was there. He gave Spike a look, as though he were nothing but an annoying fly buzzing around his head. He frowned then, confusion coming to his eyes. “Did you hit me?”

Spike grinned, being sure to show more than a little fang. “Gonna do a lot more than that, solider boy.”

He struck swiftly, grasping Riley by the shoulders and hauling him closer with one tug. Angling his head, Spike bit down on Riley’s neck. Riley gave a yell. Spike was delighted, he had been right, it was going to be loud. Fear spiced Riley’s blood as it slipped effortlessly and deliciously down his throat.

Spike released his hold on Riley and the other boy tore away from him, ripping Spike’s fangs from his neck as he did so, leaving a gaping bloody wound behind. Spike licked his lips.

“What the hell?” Riley stared at Spike breathing hard.

“You can put him back under now,’ Spike said. He watched with amusement as Warren put Riley back into his sleep mode. “That was worth waitin’ for.”

“What now?” Willow asked. “What do you want us to do with him, Spike?”

XxX

Warren, Andrew and Jonathan appeared on the monitors as they pulled up outside the cemetery. Riley got out of the car and headed straight through the gate, intent on finding Buffy. Spike lounged back on the sofa with Willow curled beside him. He watched Riley walking through the cemetery with eyes at half mast as he enjoyed the soft caress of Willow’s fingers at the back of his neck.

“I know it’s not exactly the revenge you had planned for Riley in your head...”

“Doesn’t matter,” Spike assured her. “Got a good bite in an’ the outcome is all the same. I like seein’ the Slayer suffer as much as you do.”

“I know you do. And she will,” Willow predicted.

“Not a sloppy eater you know,” Spike said. “I wanted his neck like that.”

Willow’s fingers touched to the scab on her throat. Beneath it were two neat holes made by Spike. She knew he wasn’t a sloppy eater, he was almost delicate about it, like it was an art form. She supposed in an odd sort of way it was; he had to know exactly where to bite and how deep and how hard. She had been surprised by the effect his fangs had on her. It had never occurred to Willow that having Spike’s fangs in her neck could be an erotic experience. But it felt like he was truly being himself with her when he let the demon take control, he didn’t hide from her and she didn’t hide from him either. She was comfortable with Spike in a way that probably should have given her cause for concern; but Willow liked him too much to worry about it. And she wanted him even more.

Spike watched her fingers prod about the scab. He had done that to her. She had allowed it. She had fixed it so it was possible for him to bite again. He wanted to feel her skin beneath his fangs again.

He shifted into her and she made a startled sound as his head dipped into the crook of her neck and his face changed. He dislodged the scab easily and slipped his fangs into the thinly healing wound. He drank from her slowly, using his lips and tongue to stimulate the blood flow; little mouthfuls, a soft tug on her vein. Her fingers slid through his hair, cradling his head against her neck a soft sound of pleasure in her throat.

A few delicious mouthfuls later, Spike retreated. “There now. Don’t wanna take too much at once.”

There was a dazed look in her eyes as she touched the tender skin of her neck. “Should it feel like that?”

Spike looked at her curiously. “What’s it feel like to you?”

She spoke softly, as though she were drawing the words from somewhere secret inside her. “Like I’m as close to you as I could ever be. Like we’re one.”

It was one of those definitive moments and Spike sealed it with a kiss; softly, slowly, melting into her as her blood melted into his. They worked well together. They could be explosive together. But Spike wanted her to know he could be loving with her too, that they could be all things together.

She went into his arms willingly when he settled back into the corner of the sofa and drew her with him. His fingers sought out the mark on her neck, not unsurprised to find her own fingers were back there, examining the damaged skin.

“Spike look!”

She noticed before he did, he was too busy concentrating on the slightly raised skin of her throat beneath his fingertips. Spike looked up at the monitors, a satisfied smile curling his lips. Riley had gone quite deep into the cemetery; vampire territory, and the bloody open wound on his neck was acting like a beacon to every vampire in the surrounding area. They came through the headstones, some singly, some in twos or threes; all looking for the source of the blood. Even those who had encountered the Slayer were leaving her to look for the blood. Vampires were like sharks, the moment they scented blood they closed in.

The Slayer was aware something was going on and she raced after the vampires to find out what it was.

Spike and Willow watched Buffy running through the cemetery, dodging head stones as she followed the vampires who seemed to figure that freshly flowing blood was a much safer option than trading blows with a Slayer.

They couldn’t hear what was happening, but there was a pretty good shot of Buffy’s horrified face as she rounded a corner to find three vampires surrounding her boyfriend. One of them with his fangs in Riley’s neck.

The vampire released Riley and the boy fell limply to the ground.

The Slayer sprung into action fury making her moves sharper and more concentrated. She staked the guy who’d had his fangs in Riley’s neck pretty quickly. The other two proved to be more difficult, but the Slayer took them down eventually.

The other vampires who had come looking for Riley, having seen others of their ilk reduced to dust at the hands of a Slayer seemed to think better of it than to tangle with her and retreated.

The hidden cameras caught a spectacular shot of Buffy as she threw herself down beside Riley, rolling him on to his back as she held him close, stroking his face, giving him a little shake. Buffy’s face was screwed up, lips parted, her utter devastation evident.

Spike clicked his tongue against his teeth. “Should ‘ave gotten there soon, Slayer.”

Willow kissed the corner of his mouth. “First she kills her watcher and now she fails to save her boyfriend. Nothing’s going right for her, is it?”

Spike grinned. “Poor little Slayer.”

Chapter Text

Spike never officially moved into Willow’s house, but he was there all the time. It was, for all intents and purposes, his place of residence; but more than that, it was his home. She actively made room for him in her life, stocking up on hot chocolate and marshmallows and his preferred brand of whisky and cigarettes.

The boys said nothing about it, they accepted his presence as a matter of course which was a shock to the system after dealing with the Slayer and her little friends who tolerated him only so long as he was useful to them and didn’t mind showing it either.

He had stayed at the Watcher’s place until the month was up, while Anya cleared the Watcher’s possessions and catalogued his weapons and magic books. He had not seen hide or hair of the Slayer in the apartment and barely saw Harris either. That was fine with Spike, if he had to deal with any of them he preferred Anya, she was pretty decent towards him and didn’t hold his demon status against him, having been one for much longer.

Now he had his bite back Spike wasn’t dependent upon the Slayer for help and the Watcher was dead so there was no extra cash coming his way for any information he might provide; and Spike deliberately kept out of their way giving no indication as to where he was living. He took great delight in helping Andrew chose which demon to summon up next, the boy had quite a talent for it and was always willing to accept any suggestion Spike might have, and then sitting back in the basement to watch the monitors as the Slayer, Harris and Anya struggled against whichever demon Andrew had set upon them that week. Spike knew how the Slayer operated; research was not her thing, that was the job of the Watcher and she was now without a Watcher with no chance of a replacement coming her way since she quit the Watcher’s Council.

It was hard going for her to slay and research a demon, it was always a race against time to find out exactly what species of demon was running amok on the Hellmouth before it managed to create even more chaos, but now the Slayer was floundering with just the three of them; she didn’t even have any help out in the field since Spike had all but disappeared off the face of the earth so far as she was concerned.

It was wonderful to watch her fight and know she had no clue how to defeat her opponent. Spike could tell when she was clueless, when she was up against a vampire there was no stopping her, the Slayer knew what to do and she did it, but when faced with a new demon she fought hard, but without conviction, wildly trying anything that came to mind and constantly failing.

They got lucky a fair few times, Anya sometimes knew exactly what they needed to do and other times they eventually found what they were looking for amongst the Watcher’s books; but not before there had been causalities.

The Slayer was losing the Hellmouth and Spike knew it. He popped into Willy’s now and again and discovered the Slayer kept a low profile there these day; although she had, at first, been around asking for him. The demons were happy enough, all recognising the Slayer’s hold on the town wasn’t as tight as it once was.

The boys were still working on their bots. They had a few of them now, all standing silently to attention in the basement. They gave Spike the creeps, and that said something considering he was a demon. But they would serve their purpose in due course and they weren’t ever activated.

Spike usually kept from the basement unless he was watching the monitors, Warren was like a mad scientist down there and Spike couldn’t really get along with him. Jonathan and Andrew were alright, in small doses. He especially enjoyed the whiff of fear he got from them whenever he was around. Although Andrew could sometimes get on his nerves, talking at him about comic book superhero’s and what all.

Given a choice between the Slayer and her groupies or Willow and her boys, Spike would chose Willow and the boys any day; they at least treated him with respect and liking.
Of course they knew about his relationship with Willow but they showed no sign of disapproval. They kept out of it which made life easier for Spike.

He wandered down the stairs and into the living room where Willow was sitting cross legged on the floor at the coffee table, Jonathan was in the arm chair and Andrew was sprawled across the sofa. Andrew glanced up as Spike came through the door and removed his feet for Spike if he wanted to sit.

Spike stopped behind Willow, placing his hands on her shoulders and bending to kiss the top of her head. “You look tired, love.”

She nodded distractedly. “I am. I don’t seem to be getting much sleep these days. And all this research is making my eyes ache.”

Spike chuckled and squeezed her shoulders. “Guess I’m partly to blame.”

She looked up, a smile on her face. “Not partly. All to blame. Sleep and I have been strangers since you started living here.”

He grinned wickedly. “Not gonna apologise for that.”

“Didn’t think you would,” she retorted, but she was smiling.

“You eaten?”

“No, we’ve ordered pizza. It should be here soon if you want some.”

Spike frowned. “You can’t live on take out and pizza, pet. You need something proper to eat.”

“I like pizza,” she insisted. “I’m fine, Spike. Really.”

“Why don’t you go an’ put on something fancy an’ I’ll take you out, hum?”

She looked bewildered. “Out? Out where?”

“Out to eat. Somewhere nice.”

The bewildered look came again and Spike suddenly felt bad. He’d not treated his girl at all since he’d moved in. They spent a lot of time together but always here, always in the house. It was nice enough, he enjoyed her company and it wasn’t always researching ways to derat Amy or looking for new ways to torment the Slayer; sometimes it was just the two of them, curled up together watching TV and talking and making love and doing all those things people in love were supposed to do.

Mostly they stayed in out of necessity, they didn’t want to risk the Slayer or Anya or Harris spotting them together. But Spike was pretty certain a fancy restaurant was the very last place the Slayer would look for him, should she feel the need to look for him of course.

“Where do you get your money from?” Jonathan asked with interest. “You don’t work, do you?”

“Poker,” Spike said simply. That, and the wallets of his victims, but he didn’t wish to mar Willow’s mood with trifling details.

“If you’re worried about the Slayer I could always summon a demon as a distraction,” Andrew offered. “You should go, Wills.”

“Yeah you should,” Jonathan agreed. “You only leave the house to go shopping. You shouldn’t stay cooped up here all the time. I’ll remember to put Amy back in the cage if we leave before you’re back.”

It was at that moment Amy made herself known by running into Spike’s ankle. He glanced down at the little plastic ball and carefully turned it around, Amy scuttled off in another direction. He hadn’t known Amy, but he did rather feel sorry for her spending her life as a rat.

“Come on then, petal.” Spike caught Willow’s arms and hauled her to her feet. “Off you go an’ slip into something that’ll make me think about nothin’ else all night except gettin’ you out of it.”

Willow rolled her eyes but agreed. “I won’t be long. Spike, will we get a table without booking?”

“It’s the middle of the week, pet. We’ll be fine.” He watched her leave the room the overwhelming urge to give her everything and make her happy burning within him. He had not been a very good suitor lately and he suddenly found himself lamenting the fact he had no little gift to offer. Women liked that kind of thing.

“Do you even know where to find a nice restaurant in Sunnydale?” Jonathan wondered.

Spike grinned. “Oh I do.” He regularly frequented the more well to do places in Sunnydale, it was where he got a lot of his money. Feeling eyes on him, Spike looked down at Andrew who was staring up at him, a thoughtful look on his face. “What?”

“I think.... I think you’re good for her,” Andrew said simply.

Spike was nonplussed for a moment. “Do you?”

Andrew nodded. “Don’t hurt her. She’s had enough heartbreak to last a life time.”

It wasn’t a demand, it was a plea, and much more effective than a threat would have been. The boys concern for his girl touched Spike and he found himself nodding and promising. Andrew looked satisfied and Jonathan let out a soft breath.

Spike took a seat and picked up a comic book from the many that littered the table. He flicked through the pages without really seeing them, images of Ultron and the Avengers barely making an impression on him.

Willow reappeared a little while later and Spike eyed her appreciatively, his tongue running along his lower lip. “Well now, that’s a little black dress to put other little black dresses to shame.” He delighted in the pale flush of her skin at the compliment, it made her look more alive, more alluring, more everything that he wanted.

“Shall we go?”

“Course love, let’s get outta here.”

“You look nice, Wills,” Jonathan said. “Have a good time and don’t worry about anything. Just enjoy yourself for once.”

Willow nodded and said goodbye, slipping out of the door ahead of Spike. “Where are we going?”

“Somewhere nice,” he promised. “Somewhere you can relax an’ forget about everything for a while.” He went to open the garage and retrieve his car. He enjoyed having his car on hand. He didn’t need to walk everywhere. He always kept it in the garage, just in case the Slayer or Harris happened to stop by and see it. He held the door for her, eyes lingering on her long, pale legs as she settled herself in the passenger seat.

Spike was pleased she was suitably impressed with the restaurant he had chosen. He liked this place himself, it had a wealthy clientele and they always carried cash to help subsidise a demon who had managed to lose at poker.

The place was almost empty and they had their pick of tables, choosing one in the far corner. It hadn’t occurred to Spike the place might have a dress code, but he was allowed admittance in his jeans and leather duster, the maitre d giving him the once over and deciding arguing with someone like Spike wasn’t a good idea and let it pass.

“Got the seal of approval tonight,” Spike told her as the waiter left with their order.

Willow looked confused. “What do you mean?”

“Your pal Andrew, thinks I’m good for you.”

“You are,” she said simply, smoothing out the napkin and placing it in her lap. “Things are.... “ she paused, considering for a moment. “....better, since you came along.”

Spike nodded slowly. “Know what you mean.”

She smiled, and his world lit up. He could spend the rest of his unlife basking in her smile. And he would. He wouldn’t give her up not for all the blood in China.

“I like you, Spike.”

The statement startled him, and for a moment Spike wasn’t sure what to do with it. It was hardly a declaration of undying love. Hell, in for a penny and all that rot. “Do you love me?”

Willow’s lips pursed, eyes clouding in thought. “Maybe... maybe sooner than I’d like.”

Strangely, it was enough for him. She wasn’t where he was and that was ok, she was getting there, and when she did say she loved him she would mean it and it would be all the sweeter for the waiting.

“I’ll tell you when.”

She said it so decisively it made Spike laugh. “I’m sure you will, pet.”

Silence descended over the table when the waiter returned with their order. Spike was actually looking forward to his spicy chicken; since he’d turned he really preferred spicy food. Willow had some sort of pasta dish, she ate a lot of pasta Spike had noticed over the last few weeks and he began to think their first stop when leaving Sunnydale should be Italy. She’d love the food cooked the way it should be. He was looking forward to the night he could kick the dust of this sodding town off his heels and hit the road for the next chapter of his unlife, Drusilla buried in the past and the Slayer rotting in the ground.

“How come you still eat human food?”

Spike shrugged. “Sometimes get a cravin’. Habit maybe. Wouldn’t bother me to go without it, but it’s nice. Sittin’ an’ eating with you.”

“It’s nice to share things.”

She got him. Even Drusilla didn’t get him the way Willow did. Drusilla, in her defence, was usually wrapped up in other things, coddling her dolls and conversing with the stars; it was a pleasurable change of pace to share his unlife with a woman who understood him. Spike wondered if Willow had ever been lonely the way he had when he was human, longing for companionship and love. She’d had Harris and her friend Jesse in her life at one point and she had the three stooges back at the house, but she somehow understood, without him having to explain, that he had been lonely.

Spike wanted to ask. He wanted to know everything about her; but decided not to. He didn’t want to spoil the night with unpleasant subjects.

She shot him a sudden coy look from beneath her lashes. “Did the dress work?”

Spike’s lips curled into a smirk and he settled back in the chair, tongue rolling behind his teeth. “Oh it worked alright, pet. As beautiful as you look, I wanna get you out of it as soon as possible.”

Willow let out a sigh. “We really should have just ordered pizza and stayed in. It’s going to be ages until we get home.”

Spike chuckled. “Patience is a virtue, love. An’ believe me, good things come to little witches who wait.”

“Can you taste my magic?” Willow wondered. “When you....” her fingers touched to the mark on her throat, “....bite me.”

“Uh huh. Makes your blood more potent. Magic is a part of you, I can taste it...” he gave her a knowing look. “... everywhere. In every part of you.” Leaning across the table Spike caught her wrist, softly rubbing his lips against the delicate bone. “Even without the magic I’d know you by taste alone.”

“How?”

It was a breath more than a word and Spike felt it wash over him, curl in his heart and nestle there never to be moved again.

“You taste like Willow. No-one else in the world will ever taste the way you do. You taste like strawberries; ripe and bitter sweet. You taste like darkness and desire; your blood, your skin,” his eyes lifted to hers. “Between your legs. Creamy delicious darkness.” He nuzzled her warm, damp, palm. “All mine.”

Her hand shifted in his, twisting so that her fingers could curl around his wrist. They locked there tightly and Spike looked up at her curiously. Desire crawled down his spine and he could feel his cock starting to swell in response; her eyes were dark, flecked with black, a single spark of magic flickered in her iris.

“Or are you mine?”

“Swings and roundabout’s, pet.”

Her fingers tightened on him, eyes smouldering as she drank him in. “Spike, I want you to do exactly as I say when we get home.”

Even without the spell and the chip, Spike knew he’d still feel the need to obey her when she looked at him like that, promising him everything without ever saying a word.

He was hers.

But one day soon; Willow would be all his too.

Chapter Text

They had barely gotten through the front door when Willow reached for Spike, dragging him close with hands fisted in the lapels of his duster the leather creaking against the force of her fingers. Her mouth found his and Spike's lips parted instantly, groaning when her tongue crashed against his with unchecked fervour.

The smouldering embers in the pit of Spike's stomach flared to life and he gripped her tightly, hauling her closer, one arm settling around her waist while his other hand fisted in her hair. He ground his hips against her, letting her feel his already hard cock against her abdomen.

Panting, she broke the kiss. Eyes bright, cheeks flushed, Willow swallowed past the harsh beating of her heart, skin warm with desire, stomach knotting with need. Fingers smoothed down his cheek, thumb stroking the corner of his mouth, "Spike, I want you..."

Spike shuddered, muscles coiling in eager anticipation for the order she would give as he felt his free will slip away from him. "To what love?" He urged. "Tell me what you want?"

"Spike, I want you to make me scream."

"Bloody hell," he muttered, burying his face against her neck. "Your wish is my command."

He took her to the bedroom, slipping her out of the little black dress without ceremony. He needed her naked, had been thinking about it all night. Undressing just as quickly Spike joined her on the bed, hovering over her, eyes dropping to half mast when her hand stroked down the hard column of his throat, thumb moving in soft teasing circles over his still pulse.

Lowering his head Spike kissed her, his tongue dipping into her mouth, sliding against hers in a smooth caress.

His hands moved to cover her breasts squeezing intensely until she moaned and arched into his hands. His lips trailed down her throat, along her collar bone and down to the swelling of her breast; dusky pink nipples tilted upwards between his fingers, almost begging to be suckled. So Spike did just that, closing his lips around the hard pebble of flesh.
Willow trembled at the hard, insistent suction to her breast, her legs parting slightly as she pushed her hips upwards to press against his leg, rubbing against him, desperate for more. Spike drove her crazy and she didn't mind giving in to her feelings.

Hot and hungry his mouth moved over her skin. Needing. Wanting. Taking. She had demanded it and he wanted to give her everything. Spike vaguely wondered if Willow was aware of how much of the beast she brought out in him. He doubted it, even with her power he'd bet it would frighten her if she realised how close to the edge she danced with his demon. The demon enjoyed the passion, revelled in the desire. But it strained and chafed wildly against the spell which held it and the chip which controlled it and the woman who owned it. The demon was the alpha, not its mate.

Grasping her legs Spike spread them apart with a hard jerk and Willow gave a short cry of surprise when his mouth claimed her instantly and insistently; no teasing, leisurely touches, no soft kisses, nothing; and she liked it. His tongue parted her, sliding into her with a probing insistence; he withdrew and thrust again, and again. She was hot and she was wet and her fingers gripped his hair like talons, her voice, low and husky urging him on.

She was panting heavily, the noise like music to Spike's ears. The flat of his tongue pressed against her sensitive clit and she made a mewling sound of pleasure, escalating to a loud cry when he pressed two fingers roughly inside her. Willow's hips bucked, nails scratching at the back of his neck as she tried to push herself into his hand, chasing her orgasm.

Her skin was on fire. Her nerves were stretched tight. Her heart was pounding. Her breath clogged her throat. Her blood pulsed at her temples. She was hot and aching, balancing on the knife edge of pleasure and Spike was refusing to allow her to fall over and drown in the swirling all encompassing heat and desire.

He pulled back, untangling her fingers from his hair and taking a moment to enjoy the sight of her glistening naked body stretched wide across the bed. She was wet and swollen and more than ready for him and the demon howled, frantic to possess her.

Willow made a sound of desperate frustration. She was so close she could almost taste it. It took every ounce of control she had not to activate her hold over him and give Spike a direct order to give her what she needed and deal with the inferno burning inside her.

Covering her body with his, Spike caught her eyes, stroking his cock with fingers wet from her body. He heard her breath catch, saw her pulse race and her skin flush deeper with arousal.

He felt the tremor in her legs as he allowed the tip of his cock to brush against her opening. Spike shuddered as her body pulsed in response to the light touch of his cock, muscles going into spasm in anticipation of his entrance, as though she were already squeezing him tightly.

He entered her fluidly with one hard thrust, pushing deep inside her. Willow's back arched and her head fell back as she took him to the hilt with a sharp cry.

"That's it. Take it. Take it all.'

His voice was low and deep, animalistic. It sent a rush of liquid heat from her core.

He had been soft with her. He had taken her slowly. There was nothing soft and slow about how he was with her now as each thrust became harder, more intense, making him grunt with the effort and panting moans escaped her at the climax of each brutal thrust as she inched closer and closer to her orgasm.

Spike growled, moving into her harder, without restraint; the demon bursting forth, railing against the woman who held him captive in so many ways as he strove to fulfil her request, her order; to make her scream.

The feel of him drove her mad. Willow let out little panting breaths cumulating in high pitched moans. Her body was on fire, every patch of skin burnt for release, her blood blazing in her veins as Spike took her with such a raw, sexual hunger that she strained for more.

Spike watched her through glowing yellow eyes. She was delicious, his enjoyment heightened at how helpless and out of control she was at this very moment; lost to everything but him and the pleasure he gave her.

Her hips pushed up against him and Spike tightened his hold on her hips, moving harder, deeper, faster. Willow stared up at him, eyes wide as saucers; his thrusts so strong and potent that he sent her sliding up the bed and she hit the headboard, grasping at his arms, nails scoring his skin as she tried to keep herself steady.

Willow couldn't take any more and she knew it; her body was practically singing with pleasure and the most exhilarated feeling she had ever experienced burst to life inside her, washing over her in wave after feverish wave, exploding between her legs, causing her muscles to clamp down on Spike, throbbing wildly as she threw her head back and screamed.

Spike's body reared up, his muscles tensing as Willow climaxed violently. He was pulsing inside her uncontrollably, his own orgasm seeming to go on forever. He bit her, fangs sinking into her throat her blood bursting into his mouth and roaring in his ears.

Willow struggled to breathe. She was a puddle of goo. She was like melted chocolate. She was like a quivering jelly. She had the presence of mind to ease the pressure of her nails in his skin and her arms went around him as Spike sank against her, face pressed into her neck.

Weakly she stroked his nape, fingers trailing down his back feeling the tension drain slowly out of his shoulders. Eyes closed Willow absorbed the sensation of his lips caressing the mark he had left on her neck.

Finally, Spike emerged from the crook of her neck and pressed a soft kiss to her lips. "You alright, love?"

"Hum." Willow let out a soft sigh.

"Any more orders you wanna give me?" He gave her a smirk.

"God no, Spike. Let's just be quiet for a little while.” She was still trying to get her breathing under control.

Spike chuckled. "Whatever you need, baby. Just so you know, I'm ready when you are."

Willow smiled. "You’re insatiable, Spike."

"Never get enough of you,' he murmured, kissing her cheek as she shifted onto her elbows. "Where're you going?"

"Thirsty. I was going to get a drink."

"You stay here. I'll get it for you."

Willow watched him cross the room, admiring the smooth naked skin and toned angles of his body. He really was most beautifully put together.

Exhausted, Willow crept beneath the covers, shaking them out to sit neatly over her. Spike returned with a glass of orange juice and climbed into bed beside her, watching as she gulped at the cool drink.

He wiggled his eyebrows at her. "Ready now?"

Laughing, Willow slapped him lightly on the shoulder. "No. Rest now."

Spike drew her in close where she could settle down against his side, head pillowed on his shoulder. Suddenly the phone started to ring and Willow let out a groan. Rolling away from him Willow picked up the phone.

"Hello?"

"Wills, it's Andrew."

Willow sat up, suddenly alert. Andrew sounded distraught, he was hyperventilating so loudly she could barely make out his words. "Andrew, what’s happened? What is it?"

She felt Spike shifting behind her, sitting up, body held stiff as he listened in to the phone call.

“It’s Warren,” Andrew gasped through a hiccupping sod. “He’s... God, Wills. Warren’s dead. Jonathan killed him.”

Chapter Text

“Andrew?” Willow strained to hear him through his harsh breathing. His lips must have been pressed right against the phone, everything was all muffled. “Andrew, what do you mean? What’s happened? Where’s Jonathan?”

“I don’t know. I... I ran. He went for Warren. He wasn’t even mad, Wills. He just turned around and killed him. Stabbed him with the replica Batman sword. You know, the one Warren has on display in his room.”

“Yes, yes. I know the sword. But why? Why did Jonathan kill him? Are you sure Warren’s dead?”

“I’m sure. I don’t think humans survive a sword to the heart. Do you?”

“No,” Willow breathed. “I don’t think they do.”

“He looked at me, Wills. Jonathan looked right at me and his eyes were all dead. Like he didn’t care. We’re best friends. We’ve always been best friends and Jonathan just killed him. He killed Warren. Warren’s dead, Wills. He’s dead. I think he was going to come after me next so I ran.”

“Where are you now?”

“In town. In the phone booth. What do I do, Wills? What....”

There was a crash, the sound of glass shattering and Andrew screaming.

Willow’s grip tightened on the phone and she screamed for Andrew. Andrew screamed Jonathan’s name. The phone went dead. Tears burnt her eyes and her shoulders shook. She looked back at Spike, lips working but no sound came out. She let Spike take the phone out of her hands and replace the receiver.

“Love?” He peered into her distraught face, gentle hands touching her cheek, smoothing her hair back, rubbing her arm. “Say something, Willow.”

Willow blinked slowly, sucking in a deep breath. “I don’t understand. I ... oh my God!” she swung out of bed, grabbing at her dress and tugging it over her head.

Spike followed suit, dressing quickly. “What is it?”

“I think.... it might... Oh God, Spike. Hurry!” She flew out of the room with Spike behind her, pounding down the stairs and yanking open the basement door. She stumbled in her haste, Spike’s quick reflexes with an arm about her waist saving her from toppling down the basement steps.

She made a sound of distress as she sagged against Spike’s chest, fingers gripping so tightly to the railing her knuckles went white.

“What’s happened? Where’re all the robots?” Spike asked.

Willow moaned again. “They’re gone.”

“I can see that. But how? And where?”

“Quickly, Spike.” She started forward, tugging Spike with her. She crossed to Warren’s work bench and fired up the computer, hands trembling as she loaded the program which allowed her to examine the workings of their bots.

The screen flickered and then showed her the list of their bots. Next to each name, all except Spike’s, was the flashing word active. Willow frowned, fingers flying over the keyboard, a startled exclamation leaving her lips when a box appeared on the screen with a loud dong, telling her access was denied.

“Willow?” Spike pressed. “What’s happening?”

“Warren has... no, not Warren, the program... but why?”

“Willow, speak English.”

“Sorry. I can’t get access to the program. Do you remember we told you we had used magic to plant a subconscious mind into the bots, so that we didn’t have to worry about them coming up against an action without a corresponding programmed reaction?”

Spike scratched the back of his neck. “I remember subconscious mind.”

“Somehow, the program has overridden itself. The bots have activated themselves. Including Jonathan.”

“What about me?” Spike demanded. “Am I going to go all mindless robot as well?”

“You’re different,” Willow assured him. “You have a slightly different program. We used your chip as a blue print for the others and changed it to suit ourselves. But you have a magical link to me, with blood. Remember? It’s my magic that controls you, the chip just helps. Just to be on the safe side, I’d better get it out of your head. And they aren’t mindless robots, that’s the problem. They’re thinking and reacting to the program Warren installed in them.”

“Are you tellin’ me it’s the rise of the machines?” Spike asked in disbelief.

She winced. “Possibly. Now come here.”

Willow reached for him, fingers sliding into his rumpled hair. Her eyes locked with his and Spike had the uncomfortable feeling that she was looking not into his eyes but beyond them; into his head. Her lips moved in a silent incantation and then he felt one small patch of his brain turning hot and a sizzling sensation wrapped around his head. He gave a yell, jerking his head back. Even with the sudden fear she was going to accidently fry his brain, a shiver went down his spine at the familiar sensation of her nails raking against his scalp.

Spike heard a clatter and over her shoulder he saw a small piece of plastic tremble on the surface of the desk where it landed and then become still. Curiously, Spike went to the desk, picking up the chip between thumb and forefinger examining it closely. This had been the catalyst to send his life into a downward spiral and turn his world upside down. This tiny piece of plastic had crippled him, humiliated him, humbled him before the Slayer. This thing he could crush in his fist without even noticing he held it had brought him Willow. He wasn’t sure he could completely hate the chip the way he once had. Willow had given him love, his self respect back and the opportunity to destroy the Slayer the only way she could really be destroyed; through the people she loved. Just as Angelus had predicted; you had to love the Slayer to destroy her.

He sensed Willow beside him, she was bent over the computer again, typing gibberish so far as he could tell. Each time she sent a command to the computer that annoying dong would sound and she’d let out a frustrated breath. She was trembling, perspiration beading along her hair line and her heart thumped thick and heavy in his ears.

“What are you tryin’ to do?”

“Override the system and shut them off. It’s not working. The computer has shut me out.” Willow slammed the lap top shut.

Spike turned his attention to the monitor screens wondering if he could spot Jonathan. “Ah, love.”

Willow followed his pointing finger, jaw going slack as she stared at the chaos reflecting off the screen. The bots were in town, Jonathan was there too and they were causing havoc, terrorising the people of Sunnydale. “They’re doing it.”

“Doin’ what?”

“Taking over the town.”

“Slayer’ll turn up any time now I shouldn’t wonder.”

Willow picked a knife off a nearby shelf and took Spike’s hand in hers. She made a long cut across his palm and brought it to her lips whispering words against the cut. The cut wasn’t there long, his new healing powers saw to that, but it was long enough, like a weight lifting from his shoulders, Spike felt the last of Willow’s control leave him. He was free again. No chip. No spell. He felt suddenly bereft

She went to the table and set the knife down and Spike slid in behind her, wrapping his arms around her tightly and pressing a kiss to her temple. Closing his eyes he inhaled deeply, the scent of Willow, of sex, of passion, of desire and him all rolling through his body.

He heard a drawer open and close and he watched her take out a box and smooth her hand over it. “Close your eyes, Spike.”

“Got a little pressie in there for me, ‘ave ya?”

She twisted in his arms, touching her fingertips to his eyelids and bringing them down to veil his eyes. “Something like that. No peeking.”

He grinned. “You can trust me, pet.” He heard movement as she opened the box and felt his t-shirt slip up his body to expose his chest; a little thrill went through him. Then his body jerked, eyes flying open he let out a cry as something tore through his skin and pierced his heart. He looked down to see a stake protruding from his chest.

Spike could feel the stake in his heart but he was still there, still flesh and blood. The familiar sensation of Willow’s magic burned hot in his chest enveloping his heart, a strong and formidable force. He watched, wide eyed as the stake, not his body, crumbled and turned to dust.

“What... what did you do?”

Willow wiped at a smear of blood on his chest. “Something I prepared earlier. I bound your blood to the stake, I just needed to bind it to your flesh to complete the spell. It’s made you indestructible. You never need to worry about wood again.”

“You tellin’ me I can’t be staked?”

“That’s right.”

Spike touched his heart, the hole left by the stake knit itself back together leaving smooth unblemished skin behind. “I...” he stared at her, words failing him.

Willow merely nodded before turning away from him and scooping up the lap top. “Come on, I have to find Andrew and....”

“I don’t think you want to find Andrew, pet.”

Her shoulders hunched. “I know. But I need to make sure.”

Spike ran a hand over her hair. “Whatever you need.”

“I’ll deal with Jonathan and the bots. You do what you’re meant to do, Spike.” She looked up at him, eyes blazing. “You deal with the Slayer.”
His tongue ran lightly along his lower lip. He had instant healing powers, he had double the strength of the Slayer now and he had couldn’t be staked. It was like the Gem of Amara all over again; only this time the Slayer wouldn’t see it coming.

“Be my pleasure, baby.”

Chapter Text

Spike drove Willow's car through the streets of Sunnydale at top speed. She sat leaning forward in the passenger seat staring out of the windscreen, eyes straining in the dark for the phone booth she guessed Andrew would have used. The one closest to Warren's house.

It felt like eternity until Spike rounded the corner on two wheels and the phone booth loomed up ahead of them.

Willow gave a sharp cry when Spike careened past the phone booth, she just had enough time to glimpse a body lying half in and half out of the box. "Spike, wait, what are you doing?"

"He's dead," Spike said. "I see better than you in the dark. Trust me, pet. He's gone. You don't need to see it."

She twisted in her seat to stare out of the back window, tears blurring her vision. Willow shook them away. She needed to focus if she was going to save Jonathan.
The car left the suburbs and came into town. Willow gawked at the pandemonium around her. Spike was forced to slow down, unable to navigate the car through the milling people and debris. Life suddenly surged through Willow's body and she pushed open the car door.

"Willow, wait!" Spike reached across the front seat but she slipped from his grasp.

"I've got to find Jonathan. I've got to stop all this."

"Damn it!" Spike cursed as she disappeared into the chaos. Leaving the car behind, Spike pushed his way through the throngs of panic stricken people, noticing that a fair few vampires had come out to play, attracted by the fear rolling through the town.

As he rounded a corner Spike was almost knocked off his feet by the swarm of people rushing past him. He managed to fight his way to the curb and found vampires were the reason for the stampede. Some had already caught hold of a human and were feasting in the middle of the street.

He heard annoyingly familiar voice calling his name and his Slayer Sense went off as Buffy appeared, stake in hand, determined look on her face. She was running towards him, pausing long enough to stake a vampire who hadn't thought to beat a hasty retreat from a brassed off Slayer.

She came to a stop beside Spike. "The town's gone mad. There's these super human, well, human's destroying the place and I've got no idea what's happening."

"Pity the Watcher's dead really, isn't it? He'd be right handy right about now."

Buffy stiffened, her eyes flashing with pain. "Do you have any ideas? What do you think?"

Spike had to admire her single minded focus. She wasn't going to allow him to distract her with his acid retorts. "I think I'm goin' to enjoy watchin' you struggle to figure this out."

She looked slightly taken aback and Spike realised in that moment that the Slayer had actually come to rely on him being at her beck and call whenever she needed a little muscle to back her. Anger washed through him at the implication he was tethered and tamed and completely reliant upon her good graces.

"Spike, I don't have time for this. In case it's escaped your attention I have a crisis on my hands."

"Well then, off you go." Spike made a sweeping gesture. "Slaying time."

A scowl creased Buffy's forehead. "You know, sometimes I really wish you weren't so helpless so I could stake you."

"Watch your mouth when you talk to me, Slayer." Lifting his arm he back handed Buffy across the face. He didn't use the full extent of his newly acquired strength, but she wasn't expecting it and she staggered back a few steps.

Hand coming to her cheek, eyes wide, Buffy stared at him for a beat. "You... you're...."

"Back, baby."

She sprung into Slayer mode instantly, fist shooting out towards him. Spike, unlike Buffy, had been expecting the retaliation and he blocked the blow. She came at him again, that focused Slayer look in her eyes. He was a threat again, a very dangerous threat and she intended to eliminate him. Probably, Spike thought, she was sort of glad this had happened and she had the chance to get him out of her hair.

"How?" Buffy demanded as she kicked out at him.

Spike danced backwards on the balls of his feet. "An old friend of yours. She's a, how shall I put it? Very intimate friend of mine now."

Buffy's nose wrinkled and she ducked the right hook he aimed at her. "Hope she's got an urn handy."

Spike laughed. "I don't think she has to worry about that."

She dodged his upper cut but managed to get in a roundhouse kick to his ribs making him grunt. Without his new healing ability she might have broken them.

Buffy came at him again, catching him squarely on the jaw, her ring cutting his lip. She paused, blinking when she saw the cut heal a moment later.

"Just something new I've picked up. Didn't I mention, my girl's a very powerful witch." Spike lashed out, using the full effect of his vampire and Slayer strength. He had the delighted satisfaction of watching Buffy go tumbling over the bonnet of a nearby car, landing in a heap on the floor. "Oh, I'm also stronger than you are now, courtesy of my girl."

Spike strode up to Buffy grabbing her by the scruff of her neck and hauling her back against him. "I can't tell you how amusin' it's been watchin' you tear yourself apart over old Rupes. Wanna know a secret?" Spike bent a little to whisper in her ear. "I killed the Watcher."

She gave a cry of anger, her elbow coming back to jab hard into his ribs. Spike obliged her by releasing her, dancing back out of her reach. "A little temporal distortion from a Rwasundi and you're runnin' around town all black with guilt. Hum," Spike's eyes dropped to half mast and a smile touched his lips. "That squishy feelin' of driving a stake through a livin' heart, it was delicious."

"You're a pig, Spike!" Buffy's fury blazed in her eyes and she launched herself at him.

Spike caught her and threw her backwards where she crashed into the wall and he had the satisfaction of hearing bones crack. Taking hold of the lapels of her coat, Spike spun on his toes throwing Buffy into a car where her elbow crashed through the window and she hit the car with such force she bounced off it like a ping-pong ball.

"You know," Spike mused, wandering over to Buffy who was battered and bruised and trying to scuttle away from him. "Revenge is pretty sweet. It was fun rippin' into solider boy's throat and sendin' him into the cemetery as a walking entree. You just got to him a little too late, didn't you, Slayer?"

Buffy clambered to her feet and came at him again, pulling a stake from her pocket. It was glorious, she was like a little household kitten fighting with a lion. He was the king of the jungle now. He soon tired of the dance and dropping his guard Spike allowed her the moment of triumph she craved; driving a stake through his heart.

Surprise and satisfaction lit her eyes for a moment before bleeding to disbelief and horror as the stake rather him, crumbled to dust. Buffy blinked, staring at him, flexing her empty hand.

"What....?"

"Oh that," Spike made a dismissive gesture. "Another one of my new abilities. You made a powerful enemy in Willow Rosenberg, Slayer."

"Willow?" Buffy looked confused. "You know Willow? I don't understand."

"What's to understand? She really hates you an' she really likes me. You should 'ave saved her friend Jesse. You shouldn't 'ave abandoned her friend Amy to a life as a rat. You shouldn't 'ave dragged her wolf into your life. You shouldn't 'ave done a lot of things, Slayer." Spike's tongue ran along the inside of his lower lip. "Well, I've enjoyed watchin' you suffer, Slayer. But now the time's come to put you outta your misery."

Buffy's arms came up to ward him off but she was no longer a match for him and Spike got hold of her easily, hands curling around her neck applying just the right amount of pressure to feel the bones give and then snap completely. The Slayer fell at his feet, a broken bloodied mess.

Stepping over the Slayer, Spike headed off looking for Willow. As he made his way through the streets he noticed the panic was beginning to abate. He frowned, looking around to see if he could spot Jonathan or any of the bots but nothing jumped out at him. Suddenly he felt it, a huge surge of magic and he saw a black and green light flash across the sky. Spike knew it was Willow, it couldn't be anything or anyone else. He began to run, heading towards the light.

He found himself outside The Bronze where Willow was kneeling in the road surrounded by the devastation and destruction caused by the bots, a body in her arms. Spike didn't need to see the face to know it was Jonathan. He squatted beside her, gently wiping the tears off her cheeks.

"Willow, you alright, pet? Did you stop the robots?"

She swallowed and nodded her eyes swimming with agony. "I had to use magic. I couldn't override the program and the magic destroyed the bots. Including...."

Spike followed her eyes to Jonathan's face and his lip curled in disgust at the blackened burnt face of Willow's friend.

Her body sagged back against him. "They're all gone. They're all dead. All three of them."

"I know, love. The Slayer too."

She said nothing, her lip quivering.

Spike smiled softly. "Guess you can't take much pleasure in that news right now." Taking her by the arm Spike urged her to her feet. "Come on, baby. There's nothin' you can do here." He kept his arms around her, as he headed back to the car, carefully skirting the street where he had left the Slayer.

"There's only Xander left," she said quietly. "You won't hurt Xander, will you, Spike? I couldn't stand it. Couldn't bear it if he died too. Not Xander. "

"There now," he gave her a little squeeze. "He's safe from me. Besides, we're leavin' town, remember? Just like we planned. You got your revenge."

Willow made a sound of despair. "It wasn't meant to be like this!"

"You wanted revenge love. Now you 'ave it."

"No! I didn't want this!"

"Well, you've got it. Revenge not quite what you were hopin' for?"

"What do I do, Spike? My friends are dead and I can't make it better."

"No, pet. You can't." He placed a soft kiss to her lips. "But I can."

Spike didn't give her time to question him, he struck, sinking his fangs deep into her throat, pulling hungrily on her vein, eyes rolling back at the familiar taste of her blood sweeping his mouth. She was clutching at his shoulders, her body weakening in his arms. Just as her heart began to slow almost to stopping Spike withdrew his fangs, drawing a nail across his throat and brining her mouth to the cut, stroking her hair lovingly. "Drink, love. When you wake I promise none of this will matter an' we'll be together forever."

Carefully he placed her in the back of the car and climbed into the driver's seat, kissing her again, a soft brush of his lips over hers. She was going to make the most deliciously, decadent vampire; he could hardly wait. Gunning the gas, Spike began to search for just the right place for his girl to rise.

Fin.