All For You
Willow looked at the computer screen in front of her, a small frown on her pretty face. As she watched the blinking cursor, her eyes narrowed in disgust. The screen was blank and the cursor seemed to be taunting her, reminding her that she had an essay to write before she could leave for the night. True, she could always work on the paper at home, but she worked better in the library. Well, she usually worked better. For some reason, that particular evening, her mind was blank. It wasn't even a difficult essay topic. Her favorite book and why. Not three years before, she'd have typed a thousand words easily analyzing any of a dozen books. Lately, though, her reading material ran to the occult and history of demons. Somehow, she couldn't see Mrs. Fletcher understanding why she found the watcher chronicles page turners. She let out a groan and leaned her forehead on the monitor, a loud sigh following the groan.
"Babe, you sound like you're dying," an amused voice said as the door opened.
"Leave me alone," Willow mumbled without looking up, wanting to enjoy her misery for a few moments longer.
"Sorry, no can do," Faith said with a smile as her dark eyes swept over her friend. Her smile deepened as she saw the open books at Willow's feet. "That's my reason for being here, Will. To bug you."
"You're very good at it," Willow said, moving to lean back in the chair as she looked at the slayer that had become a friend over the last two months. "To you get a special prize for driving me crazy or are you merely working on that with no promise of reward?"
Faith laughed softly, "No rewards, just the thrill of knowing that I've forced you into joining me in the world of insanity."
"You just hate being alone," Willow said with a knowing smile before looking back at her computer and frowning, a sigh following.
"OK. What's wrong? You're glaring at the computer," Faith observed. "That's not healthy, Willow. Remember, the computer is your friend."
"Stop tossing my own words back at me," Willow said, rolling her eyes before facing Faith again, "Patrol is already over?"
"Yep. It was so slow tonight. B and I didn't even work up a sweat," Faith moaned, her lower lip protruding into a pout.
"Poor baby," Willow said dryly, still finding it odd that Faith seemed to enjoy slaying so much. "Did Buffy go home?"
"Yeah, dinner with the Mom," Faith said, adding, "but she said she might try to sneak out later, meet us at your place, hang and watch girly girl movies, talk about her love life, or lack of, you know, the usual."
Willow had to laugh, shaking her head as she said, "Faith, have you ever watched a girly girl movie?"
"I hope not," Faith said, making a face and shivering before slowly smiling as she saw that she had made Willow laugh. Strangely enough, she and the shy redhead had become good friends. She knew she still had to compete with Buffy for Willow's friendship, but luckily there was enough love to spread to all of them. Willow, though, had become her first female friend, her best friend. Sure, she got along well enough with Buffy, but there was too much competition between them. For slaying, for Giles' attention, for Willow. It was a fun game, but she tended to be on edge, more alert, around Buffy. With Willow, she could relax, be herself and actually be liked. It was different, and she was still adjusting to being a friend.
"Sorry, no movies or girly talk until this damn paper is finished," Willow said.
"That bad?" Faith moved to peer over the redhead's shoulder. "There's nothing there."
"Hence the problem."
"What's it supposed to be?" Faith asked, having to smile at Willow's facial statement.
"Why I like my favorite book," Willow repeated from memory.
"And that book would be?" Faith asked, trying to get Willow to respond.
"The watcher chronicles, which Giles doesn't know that I've read," Willow said, adding the last as an afterthought.
"You've read them?" Faith whistled, laughing, "Sneaky girl."
"I'm not sneaky," Willow said defensively, "just resourceful. Buffy's read them too."
A snort greeted her, "Try another one, Wills. Buffy and read do not fit together."
"Well, she scanned them for information about Angelus," Willow said, before saying, "but she could read them, if she wanted."
"I'm not even touching that one," Faith said, "well, you've got your book. Why?"
"Because Spike's in them," Willow answered without thinking, her eyes widening as she realized what she had said, her face turning red as Faith looked at her.
"Spike? As in, evil vampire that almost killed everyone last year?" Faith said, honestly surprised. A smile threatened as she saw Willow blushing, "Someone's got the hots for the bad boy...."
"There are no hots having, thank you very much," Willow said. "I just find it a fascinating book."
"It's OK. I won't tell Buffy you were lusting for the guy as he was trying to kill her," Faith said, laughing as Willow glared at her.
"Shut up," Willow said, "you're not helping. I need to get this done."
"Are you passing the class?" Faith asked before rolling her eyes, deciding to let the subject of Spike drop for now. "Stupid question. You're probably the highest average."
"A 99," Willow said, smiling slightly. "I missed two questions on a pop quiz last week. Made me go down a point."
"You know, I used to hate people like you," Faith said with a smile. "If you're doing that well, why does this paper matter?"
"Well, because, it does," Willow said with a shrug, "I hate not doing my best. It's just who I am."
"Here, let me see this a minute," Faith leaned forward, pushing Willow out of the way as she typed. After a few minutes of successfully preventing Willow from reading, she stood back and smiled, "There. You're done. Let's go."
"Faith!" Willow laughed as she read the words. "Somehow I don't think Fletcher is going to accept 'I liked the Cat in the Hat. It was entertaining and rhymed.' I don't have a word limit, but that's barely a dozen words."
"So, you make an F," Faith said, "live a little, Will. You're a senior. You can't graduate without flunking something at least once. It's un-American!"
"You are such a horrible influence!" Willow said, looking from the screen to Faith's eager smile. "I can't turn that in."
"But you're tempted," Faith said, knowing Willow well enough now to make the observation.
"I'm just imagining Mrs. Fletcher's face if I actually turned that in," Willow said, finally hitting the save then the print button. "If I fail and can't get a job because I don't have a diploma, you are so supporting me, Slayer girl!"
"I'll take care of you, Willow," Faith said, truth in her words though they were spoken teasingly. "I'll always look after you."
"I know, that's your job, along with luring me into failing essay assignments and driving me insane," Willow laughed, again looking at the paper, wondering if she wouldn't be up all night after Faith went home, writing a real essay.
"Ah, you know that you love being bad. You just need a nice gentle shove once in a while," Faith said.
"You promised me girly movies?" Willow said, turning the computer off and facing her friend.
Faith shook her head, "Anything but that. I'd even sit through more of B's whining about losing Angel and never being happy, even though she has great friends and fantastic Mom and loyal ex-boyfriend in Soulboy."
"Ahem," Willow cleared her throat, eyes narrowing.
"Sorry," Faith laughed, "it's just too easy."
"Let's get out of here," Willow said, shaking her head as she grabbed her bag and headed towards the door. "Are you hungry? I'm starving."
"I could eat," Faith said, "want to crash B's dinner? They probably haven't started yet."
"Joyce always makes too much," Willow said, shooting Faith a crafty smile.
"Let's do it," Faith said, laughing as they left the library.
"Isn't he cute?"
Willow glanced at the boy in question before looking back at Buffy and smiling, "He's cute."
Buffy beamed then frowned, "But he's out of my league."
"Who's out of your league?" Cordelia asked as she sat down, her eyes moving to find Xander who was about half way through the line.
"Hey Cordy," Willow greeted before nodding her head, "the brunette over by the door. Red shirt, blue jeans."
Cordelia smiled before laughing and flipping her hair, her eyes finding the boy in question before she faced the others, "He's hot."
"You know, you're almost scary," Buffy said, shaking her head.
"I've perfected the art of casual observation," Cordelia corrected with a smile before looking at Willow. "Who are we scoping him for?"
"Buffy," Willow said, pointing at her friend. "He's in her public speaking class and she's smitten."
"He's in your class and this is the first we've heard of him?" Cordelia shook her head and clucked her tongue, "Not very sharing, are we, Buffy?"
"Good grief, it's not like it was some big secret," Buffy said, rolling her eyes. "His name is Matt and I just recently had a chance to talk to him."
"He's a good guy," Cordelia said with a smile. "I've talked to him at a couple of parties."
Buffy snorted, "Exactly. He's got money and he's smart and he is so not my type."
"Yet, we've spent the last five minutes talking about him," Willow said, winking at Cordelia. "Of course you're not interested."
"I think you're spending too much time with Faith," Buffy said with a smile, only slightly jealous of sharing Willow with her fellow slayer.
"I think I'll take that as a compliment," Willow decided, looking up as Xander sat down. She had to smile as she saw Cordelia smile at him, finding it comforting to know that one of her best friends had found someone that loved him as much as Cordelia did.
"I missed something," Xander decided as he sat down, handing Cordelia her salad.
"Buffy's lusting for someone in her speech class," Cordelia said, kissing his cheek before taking her food.
"Oooh, the Buffster is hot to trot," Xander said, winking at a giggling Willow as Buffy glared at them all.
"I'm glad that you all find such enjoyment in my life," Buffy said with a slight whine.
"You know we love you," Willow said, leaning over and taking one of Buffy's french fries. "Why don't you quit whining and go talk to him?"
"I couldn't do that," Buffy said with a sigh. "I'm the slayer. I can't have a normal relationship."
Willow laughed, almost choking on her fry as she remembered Faith's dead on descriptions of Buffy's topic of choice for conversation lately.
"Chew then swallow," Xander told Willow before popping three fries into his own mouth, demonstrating his words.
"That's gross. Close your mouth," Cordelia said, rolling her eyes. "Buffy, Willow's right. Quit using the slayer thing as a crutch. If you want him, go for it. What's the worst that could happen?"
"We go on a date, find ourselves surrounded by a dozen vampires that I barely manage to kill and he either a) dies violently, b) is scarred for life and ends up mumbling to himself in a psychiatric hospital or c) thinks I'm even more weird than he probably already does."
"Or d) none of the above," Cordelia said. "I never thought I'd see the day that Buffy Summers would be scared."
"I am not scared," Buffy said.
"It's OK, Buffy. We understand. You could kill a dozen vampires but you can't flirt with an attractive guy," Willow shook her head. "Rather sad."
"It's not going to work," Buffy suddenly said, smiling. "You are not going to gang up on me and convince me that I should try to date again."
"We'd never do that," Willow said, looking at Buffy as if the very idea shocked her.
"Oh," Buffy frowned, her eyes narrowing as they studied Willow's expression. "Why don't I believe you?"
"So distrusting," Willow said, smiling as she looked at her plate.
"Are you going on patrol tonight?" Buffy asked, deciding to let her suspicions drop for the moment.
"Yep," Willow nodded. "Faith is meeting us after school. We're still grabbing a burger before, right?"
"Of course," Buffy said with a smile. Her hazel eyes found Matt again as she said, "So, you think I should talk to him?"
"Can't hurt to talk," Willow said.
"I might," Buffy shrugged before looking at Xander, "we've got a quiz in Chemistry today. Let's talk elements."
Willow shook her head as her friends started quizzing each other, turning instead to Cordelia and discussing plans for the upcoming holidays.
"This band sucks," Faith decided, making a face as she faced the others.
"They're pretty bad," Willow agreed as she took a drink of her soda.
"I can't believe it's only nine and we've already finish patrol," Buffy said, adding, "they stink all right."
"I must say, for a Hellmouth, Sunnydale is pretty tame," Faith said, her eyes looking around the Bronze, not seeing anyone she knew or that she wanted to know.
"There's not much of a challenge anymore," Buffy said, "but it used to be real dangerous. You should have been here to fight the Master."
"He was so not a good guy," Willow agreed, making a face as she remembered the vampire that had killed Buffy and almost killed them all.
"Don't get me wrong," Faith said, "I'd rather not deal with some insane psycho intent on destroying the world, but a couple of mean demons or even some smart vampires might be a nice change."
"I miss Spike," Buffy said before taking a drink.
Faith noticed Willow's sharp look at Buffy and smiled, leaning forward, "Spike? I think I might have heard that name."
"Now he was a challenge," Buffy smiled fondly. "I'd never admit it, but he was such a good fight. Before Angel and that mess, he was a true opponent. There were a couple of times that he almost beat me."
"That's such a rush!" Faith said, smiling. "And yet, you never killed him."
Buffy shrugged, "Why? He wasn't trying to create hell on Earth or destroy the world. It was fun, a game almost. He could have killed me a couple of times and didn't. Now, don't get me wrong. If it had come to life or death, his ass would have been ash. I don't know how to explain it. There was respect, in a way. Damn, I miss fighting him."
"He was evil and sadistic and tried to kill us several times," Willow said, staring at Buffy in surprise. "I thought you hated him."
"Will, I never said I didn't hate him. I just said I miss fighting with him. A good sparring partner is something you never appreciate until it's gone," Buffy sighed. A painful look crossed her face, "If Angel hadn't lost his soul, who knows? Maybe Spike and I never would have struck that treaty and actually spoken; he might have ended up dead."
"Don't go there. No thinking of Angel and souls or any of that," Willow scolded, still surprised to hear Buffy speak almost fondly of Spike. She pushed away the jealousy she had felt upon first hearing Buffy speak of her Spike. Luckily, it didn't sound like Buffy's memories of Spike were a threat to her own fantasies of the bleached blonde vampire. She shook her head, getting to her feet. "I have to go to the bathroom and then get another soda. Anyone want anything?"
"Get me a coke, please," Faith said, eager for the redhead to leave.
"I'm fine, but thanks," Buffy said with a smile.
"I'll be back," Willow said before moving away from the table.
"So, this Spike guy was something else?" Faith began, wanting to pump for as much information about Willow's lust God before she returned.
"Hmm?" Buffy looked at Faith and shrugged, "Well, like I said, he was a good fight."
"Was he hot?" Faith asked, wriggling her eyebrows suggestively.
"Not my type, but yeah. Had this weird Billy Idol thing going on though," Buffy shook her head. "You know, the bleached hair, slight sneer, leather coat. And I honestly think he wore the same outfit every time I saw him. This shirt," Buffy made a gesture, "red and black stripes with buttons and a black T-shirt underneath, and blue jeans. Oh, and he wore this big black boots. I don't know how he could kick so well with this heavy things on, but they hurt like hell coming at you."
"And?" Faith asked, rather enjoying the image coming to mind. Somehow, she could see her shy friend secretly wanting this bad boy.
"I don't know, Faith. He was the enemy, not some guy I was checking out at the mall. He was sarcastic as hell. Seemed to like a good fight. Devoted completely to that loony bitch Drusilla. Hated Angelus as much as we did."
"Loyal and devoted to those he loves," Faith said, nodding. "That's a good thing, especially from a sadistic master vampire."
"I guess," Buffy said, frowning. "Why so curious?"
"You know me, gotta know everything," Faith said, smiling innocently. "Heard you guys talking about him before and wanted to know what he was like. Sounds like I might have liked him."
"You two would probably have gotten along perfectly," Buffy said dryly. She smiled, "Willow's back."
"So, how is Angel doing?" Faith asked, changing the subject before Willow found out she had been asking about Spike. She had never met the guy that seemed to have affected Willow, and it was a little annoying. Yet another part of a past that she didn't share. From Willow's reaction the other day when just saying his name, and her reaction tonight when Buffy was talking about him, she knew that he was not far from the redhead's thoughts. She had thought for a minute that Willow might attack Buffy, something that just proved to her the depth of Willow's feelings for Spike. Threatening violence against a friend meant something, especially when it was Willow doing the threatening, verbal or nonverbal, they both counted in Faith's book.
"Still adjusting," Buffy said with a small smile as Willow sat down. "He's getting better."
"I need to go see him," Willow said, "he needs to know we don't hold Angelus against him."
"He told me you went by last week," Buffy said, "thanks. It meant a lot to him, even if he didn't act like it."
"He's a friend," Willow said matter of factly. "So, what did I miss?"
"Nothing much," Faith said, giving her a smile. "Just talking about patrol this week and then Angel."
"Yeah, nothing much," Buffy echoed, her eyes narrowing on Faith as she made a mental note to have a little chat with her fellow slayer to find out why Willow wasn't supposed to know they were talking about Spike. She made a comment about the band as they settled back into easy conversation.
Willow walked between Buffy and Faith as they left the Bronze. She could still hear the loud music coming from the small club. "The second band was better," she decided as she moved to the left to avoid stepping in a water puddle.
"They both sucked," Faith said, making a face.
"Yeah, but Will's right. The second was better," Buffy agreed as she moved forward slightly to let Willow have some room.
"IF I had to pick," Faith said, stressing the first word, "I'd go for the second, I guess. They could at least sing a little."
"I really don't know why we come to the Bronze on amateur night," Willow shook her head as she smiled.
"Because, we like making fun of the mostly talentless Sunnydale musicians?" Buffy offered innocently.
"Hey now!" Willow defended, "Making fun sounds mean. I prefer to say that we offer constructive criticism amongst ourselves."
Faith snorted, "Babe, you're something else. Any way that you say it, they suck."
"I can't believe I'm about to say this, but Faith's right," Buffy said, laughing as Faith stuck her tongue out at her. "So, anyone up for another quick patrol before bed?"
"I can't. I have a test first thing in the morning," Willow said with an apologetic smile. "I can't wait for winter break. I'm sick of all these tests and papers they're forcing on us."
"I know. Senior year is supposed to be a breeze," Buffy whined, making a face, "they all seem determined to remind us that we still have half a year left."
"Yeah, it's times like these that I'm glad I'm not in school," Faith said with a smug smile.
"I could say something rude but I promised Willow that I'd be nice," Buffy said sweetly though her eyes were narrowed.
"Man, she got you to make that same promise?" Faith said, laughing as she looked at the redhead, "How do you do it, Wills? Make two slayers do something they obviously don't want to. Many a demon would kill for that secret."
"I just ask nicely," Willow said with a loft look before a giggle escaped her lips. "Come on, guys. Quit making it sound like I made you kill someone."
"Being nice to her is almost as bad," Buffy said with a smile.
"Yep, about on par with a vacation in hell," Faith agreed.
"Both of you shut up and walk me home," Willow said, rolling her eyes. "Why do I put up with you two?"
"Because we keep you safe and protect you from evil nasty demon things," Buffy volunteered.
"Because we make you laugh and you know that we need your stabilizing influence in our lives," Faith suggested with a wink at Buffy.
"Because you got tired of always being good and perfect and with us, you get to be you," Buffy said, "which is pretty much perfect."
"Stop already," Willow said with a laugh. "I didn't actually want an answer."
"You really should be more specific, Red," Faith said with as much seriousness as she could, "we assumed that since you asked us a question, it would be rude not to answer."
Willow snorted, "As if you care if you're considered rude."
"Of course I care," Faith said then looked at them both before all three started to laugh. "Nah, I don't."
"Let's get Willow home then we can do a quick sweep," Buffy said, shaking her head as she smiled. "If you're nice, I might see if Mom will let you stay over again."
"Well, there goes that idea," Faith said with a wink. "I'm never nice, B."
"So, did you talk to Matt today? I forgot to ask you earlier," Willow asked, stopping an argument before it began. Buffy blushed and refused to answer, causing both Faith and Willow to gang up on her as they continued the walk to Willow's house.
"All right. Spill it," Buffy said after they were a block away from Willow's house.
"What?" Faith looked at her fellow slayer with surprise. It took her a minute to catch on, realizing what Buffy was talking about.
"Don't give me that innocent act. Something is going on and I want to know what!" Buffy said with a slight whine. "Spike."
"It's nothing, B. I was just curious," Faith shrugged as they walked towards the cemetery for their final sweep.
"Why did you not want Willow to know you were asking me about Spike?" Buffy asked.
"Grief, just let it go," Faith said, shaking her head. "You might not like the answer if you keep pushing."
"She's my best friend," Buffy said tightly. "I have to share slaying with you. I have to share Giles with you. But, damn it, I do not have to share Willow with you!"
"Yeah, you do cause she likes me. That's what annoys you the most is that she wants to be shared with me. Everything else, you can rationalize any way that you want. Giles *has* to help me since I don't have a watcher. I was called into slaying so there's nothing either of us can do about that. But, Willow, it eats you alive that she likes me and wants to be my friend," Faith said, letting it out.
"It's not that," Buffy denied weakly, "fine, it is that. Shoot me why don't you? I've had her to myself for years, then you come along and try to steal her away. I need Willow, Faith. She's my best friend, probably the only thing still keeping me alive. I will not fight you over her because there is no way that I will ever do anything to lose her. I can put up with you for her, but it doesn't mean we have to be best friends. If I can tolerate you, why can't you tolerate me?"
"I am, for her," Faith said, rolling her eyes. "She's special. I can see that. She's the first friend I've ever had. I won't lose that, B. I don't plan on making her choose or anything stupid like that, so don't worry. We might both end up losing her friendship if we act like idiots."
"Willow wouldn't choose," Buffy said with a small smile. "She'd cut us both off until we realized how immature we were acting and beg her forgiveness."
"Yeah, you're right," Faith smiled fondly. "I could see slayers living longer if they all had a Willow in their lives."
"About Spike," Buffy started slowly, holding up her hand when it looked like Faith was going to argue, "did Willow tell you about her feelings for him?"
"You know?" Faith gaped, honestly surprised.
Buffy nodded, "Please. I may be a bit selfish at times, but I'm not blind. Besides, Willow is my best friend. I make it my business to keep an eye on her. She's never told me, but I've had my suspicions."
"Sneaky slayer," Faith smiled, "she wouldn't tell me either, but have you ever realized that with Willow, it's usually what she doesn't say that says a lot."
"Yeah," Buffy laughed. "He was something else, that's for sure. Never would have thought of him as being Willow's type, but I honestly never considered it until I began to suspect that she had a crush on him. Wish I'd seen it when he was still in town, though I really don't know if I would have killed him rather than risk having him hurt her or if I would have been supportive and seen if she could tame him a bit. Either way, I just know she'd have ended up hurt."
"You don't know that," Faith said, "Spike wasn't Angelus. In fact, in the end, it sounds like he pulled through pretty well. Guess it doesn't really matter anyway. He's gone and she's still alone."
"She's not alone. She has all of us," Buffy said.
"Oh yeah, like we're the same as some sexy, dangerous blonde," Faith snorted. She sighed, changing the subject, "So, tell me about this new guy. Is he hung?"
"Do you guys realize that this is the last time we have to study for Economics this year?" Cordelia asked, a smile on her face.
"You're right," Xander said, glancing at his book. "That doesn't make it more fun."
"Economics and fun do not belong in the same sentence," Buffy said with a sigh. "Why do they all want to give us tests the last day of school before vacation? It isn't fair!"
"Stop whining," Willow said, ducking as the slayer threw a wadded up piece of paper at her. "It's our last test. Plus, we get to use our notes. What is so tough about that?"
"So sayeth Miss. Brainy Girl," Cordelia said dryly, sticking her tongue out at Willow before giggling. "Willow, you miss the point. Test equals complaining. It's like a rule or something. You can't be happy about testing."
"Oh," Willow said, laughing, "I must have missed receiving my copy of that book."
"I can loan you mine, Wills," Xander offered, winking at the redhead.
"Food has arrived," Faith said as she came into the library carrying five separate bags from a local fast food place. "Ahem! A little excitement would be nice."
"I'm starved," Willow said, smiling at her friend as she stood and helped her put all the bags down. "You are definitely a slayer, Faith. No one else could have balanced five bags plus five sodas and not spilled anything."
"Nah, I'm just talented," Faith laughed, handing out the drinks. "And it was six drinks, Will. If you're gonna give me credit, get it right."
"Oooh, so sorry," Willow said, rolling her eyes as Faith took the extra glass and a burger to Giles. She sorted the food, handing everyone their lunch before taking a bite of her own burger. "This tastes great today."
"Yep," Xander said around a mouthful of food. He chewed and swallowed before adding, "Big and greasy. Just like I like them." When the girls looked at him and snickered, he rolled his eyes, "I so need some male friends."
"You'd be lost without us, Xan," Buffy said, laughing at him.
"Besides, how many teen age boys get to be seen with FOUR gorgeous babes such as ourselves?" Faith asked, winking at him. "Enjoy it, Stud."
"I really hate when you all join forces in tormenting me," Xander moaned, before leering, "well, I could enjoy it."
"Eeew," Cordelia said, smacking him. "Stop."
"Yes, dear," he said, "I know, you're the only one allowed to torment me."
"You got it, buster," she said, smiling before picking up a french fry.
"So, we party tonight?" Faith asked, watching as they all started to look back at their notes. "You know, celebrate half of your last year of public education ending."
"We have to research tonight," Willow reminded, making a face. "Remember? That Gorolack demon will be striking on the full moon which is tomorrow. We have to get everything ready to kick its ass."
"Damn, I forgot," Faith sighed, "well, we can party tomorrow after we send it back to hell."
"That sounds like a plan," Buffy said, stretching. "You want to take my Econ test, Faith? I'll give you twenty bucks."
"I don't need money that bad," Faith laughed, giving them all a smirk, "And again I say, I thank God that I'm not in high school hell."
"Shut up," several voices said as papers and french fries were thrown at her.
Faith looked up when she heard the doors open, voices laughing as her friends came inside. She put the knife that she had been using to carve the desk with down, moving a book over the design she had dug into the wooden surface. "How was the test?"
"So easy," Buffy said, rolling her eyes. "I can't believe we were all so stressed."
"We?" Willow gave her a look, "If I recall, I told you guys it would be simple."
"No one likes a smart ass, Willow," Cordelia said sweetly.
"I was merely saying," Willow laughed as her friends glared at her. She turned her attention to Faith, asking, "What have you been up to? You look guilty."
"Me? Guilty?" Faith gave her a shocked look. "Never."
"Oh God, what have you done?" Buffy asked, laughing as she sat down. Looking around, she frowned, "Why is it that everyone else gets to leave school yet we're stuck here for the rest of the night?"
"It's called duty," Xander said, sitting down. He frowned, "Or stupidity. I haven't yet figured out which."
"I was hoping we'd come back and Faith would have found everything we needed," Willow said, making a face. "Did you even open a book?"
"They open?" Faith asked, laughing as Willow glared at her. "Sorry, you know me and books. We don't really get along."
"Can you do me a favor then?" Willow asked, giving Faith her best puppy dog eyes.
"Anything," Faith said.
"Can you go by my house and grab my laptop? I forgot it this morning and I've got some sites marked that might have info about this Gorolack," Willow said, tossing Faith her key. "Oh, and would you mind stopping by the Magic Shoppe? I need some things."
"Anything else, mistress o' mine?" Faith asked, smiling as she put Willow's keys into her pocket.
"Hmm...let me think," Willow said, giggling as she tore off a piece of paper and wrote down the few things she needed from the magic store. Making sure she hadn't forgotten anything, she pulled out two twenties from her billfold and handed the list and money to Faith. "Ask Maeve if she can order me this book," she handed her a seperate piece of paper. "I came across it referenced in one of Giles' books and it looks like it might be helpful. If she can, tell her that I want it."
"OK. Laptop from house. Supplies from store. Order book," Faith listed. "Anyone else need anything while I'm being errand girl?"
"You mean while you're being lucky non-researching girl?" Buffy said, smiling sweetly.
"Whatever," Faith shrugged and laughed.
"If we're going to be here all night, I could use a frozen espresso," Cordelia said, handing Faith some money. "Oh, and I'm dying for some white cheese popcorn. Please?"
"Espresso and popcorn for the Princess," Faith said, "Xan, you want?"
"I'm thinking," he said, writing down a list. "Here."
She took it with his money and laughed, "My God, boy. We're only going to be here tonight. This is enough food for a week."
"Testing always makes me hungry," he said.
"I'd offer to go with you, but I can never get out of researching," Buffy said, making a face at Faith.
"Quit complaining," Willow said, "Faith, go by and pick up a couple of chocolate doughnuts and a bottle of peach juice for Buffy. Maybe that will make her stop her bitching."
"Guys, I might be a slayer, but I only have so many arms," Faith said, looking at the various scraps of paper and requests she had received from them. "How am I supposed to carry all this shit?"
"That is your problem, slacker girl," Buffy said laughing when Faith stuck her tongue out at her. "Just don't squash my doughnuts or else!"
"You can do it," Willow said, her eyes shining as she added, "I have faith in you."
"That was bad, Red," Faith said groaning as she laughed. "Fine. I'm going," she looked at them and, in a very bad impersonation, said, "I'll be back!"
Faith frowned at the blue canvas bag she had snatched from Willow's house, wondering how she was going to fit all of Xander's purchases inside. When she had grabbed it, she had been rather proud of figuring out a way to carry everything. The laptop case over her shoulder along with the bag full of treats. She had postponed picking up both Buffy's juice and Cordelia's frozen espresso, not knowing how long it would take at the magic store and not wanting anything to get hot. She rolled her eyes as she realized her thoughts. Why should she care if they got warm? It wasn't like she was going to be drinking either beverage. She knew the answer, hating how pathetically normal she was becoming. She had friends. Friends that she cared about.
She laughed softly as she finally decided that she didn't need to zip the bag. She, Faith Hope Morris, actually cared about someone. Not just someone, but several someones. She couldn't believe it, still wouldn't admit it. It was all Willow's fault, she decided. When she had allowed herself to befriend the redhead, she'd let down her guard. Before she'd realized it, she had found herself amused by Xander, impressed by Cordelia, and begrudgingly respectful of Buffy. Since she and the other slayer had had their talk a few days before, they'd struck a tentative treaty. They still argued, but it was not as mean spirited as before. They were still competing, but they knew that they were both winners in many ways. She made a face as she realized just how corny she sounded. Both winners, like some sort of after school special. If she were honest, she'd admit that they both realized what they might lose by continuing their silly feud. It was still there, the underlying tension and the threat that each one posed on the other. But, over the past week of patrol, they'd worked together finally without being forced by Giles or Willow. They were all a team now. She had to smile at how good it felt to finally belong, to be liked despite the loud mouth and hostility. These people had accepted her, had brought her into their world with no questions. They'd never know how much she appreciated that.
And she owed it all to Willow. If the redhead hadn't befriended her, hadn't constantly urged her into joining the group, hadn't threatened her if she wasn't nice to everyone, she'd have been sitting alone in her motel at that very moment instead of searching the city for seemingly every snack invented. She didn't mind, though. She hated reading, hated the dusty smell of old books. Errands, she could run. Out in the cool night air, doing a vague patrol as she got everything done. Besides, there was no doubt in her mind that any of the others would do the exact same thing for her if she ever needed anything. That was just being part of the family, helping each other without any sort of selfish expectations. Yeah, she'd done a bit of growing up over the past couple of months.
She entered the magic store, thankful that it would not be closing for nearly two more hours. She'd almost gone there first, before deciding to hit Willow's house before getting anything else. Red lived farther away than any of the stores so it only made sense to go there first. Faith nodded a greeting to the woman behind the counter, wondering why she wasn't wearing a name tag. How was she supposed to know who this Maeve chick was? She'd been here a few times before with Willow, usually smelling candles as Willow had made her purchases. She made her way to the corner of the counter, putting the laptop and bag down with a sigh of relief. Xander owed her big time, she decided. His bag of snacks seemed to weigh more than Willow's computer.
"You are Willow's friend," an older brunette said with a smile as she moved in front of Faith.
"Yeah," Faith nodded, eyes narrowing. How did she know that? She would never admit it to Willow, but she never had much trust for magic. She was more of a hands on type of girl, not having the patience for a bunch of words and pretty lights.
"I've seen you with her before," Maeve said with a soft laugh as the brunette eyes her suspiciously.
"Oh," Faith smiled, relieved to hear a logical answer. "Yeah, Red asked me to drop by and pick up a few things. She also wanted you to check on some book for her. You are Maeve, aren't you?"
"Yes, I'm Maeve," she nodded. "Why don't you give me that list and I'll get everything together for you. I'll also check on that book for her."
"Here," Faith handed over the piece of paper Willow had given her.
"We have some new candles in," Maeve said with a smile. "Near the bottom."
"Thanks," Faith glanced at the bags, deciding they'd be safe where they were, tucked out of the way. She moved to the candles, picking one up then another. After twenty minutes of smelling, she was getting a bit impatient. She stood up, ready to ask for Willow's stuff when the bell rang. She glanced over out of habit, freezing with what greeted her eyes.
"Where the bloody hell is the little witch?" a handsome blonde was demanding, a bottle of alcohol in his right hand, "That little redhead friend of the slayers? Where is she? I need her."
Candles and purchases were forgotten as a smile crossed Faith's face, a cunning look entering her eyes as she watched the gorgeous hunk of man drunkenly stumble towards the counter, glaring at the poor clerk who was looking at him as if he were insane. Well, well, well. Spike was back.
Spike was definitely back, and looking for Willow it would appear. Things just kept getting more interesting, she decided. Faith stepped out from behind the candles, asking, "What do you want with her, Blondie?"
Spike glanced in the direction of the voice, eyes focusing on an unfamiliar brunette, "What's it to you?"
"I might know where she is," Faith said, studying the vampire openly. Yeah, she'd say that Willow had very good taste indeed.
"Tell me," he insisted, leaning against the counter for support. He was on his fifth bottle of whiskey, starting to finally feel the effects of the alcohol.
"What do you want with Willow?" Faith asked, watching him carefully. He might very well be drunk off his ass, or he could simply be playing with her.
"Is that her name?" he frowned as he ran through several vague memories before nodding, "Yeah, that's what Peaches called her. Where is she?"
"Not until you tell me what you want with her," Faith said patiently, deciding that no one could act that well. The stupid bastard had been wandering around Sunnydale drunk. And he was the smart master vampire?
"Need a spell," he said, waving his hand as he took another drink. "Little Red's gonna do it for me."
Faith started to laugh, causing his eyes to narrow on her, "Let me get this straight. You come all the way back to Sunnydale plastered to find Willow to perform a spell for you?"
"Why is that funny?" he demanded, blue eyes studying her. There was something about her that was nagging at him, he realized through his drunken daze. "Wasn't all that far, anyway. I was just in Brazil."
"And there weren't ANY witches between here and Brazil?" she asked, an eyebrow raised as she slowly smiled.
"Gotta have Red," he mumbled, drinking as he glared at her. What gave her the right to laugh at him? It had all made perfect sense on the drive back. Find the cute little redhead and, she really had been cute hadn't she? All that red hair and those big eyes and the innocence that had surrounded her....he frowned, spell. That's right. Love spell for Dru. He heard a laugh and looked at the brunette again, eyes narrowing as he snarled, "Slayer."
"The name's Faith, pretty boy," she said, clearly amused when he moved towards her. She made her decision, moving out of his way. When he missed her, she grabbed a large urn off a shelf and hit him over the head, watching with satisfaction as he collapsed at her feet. She looked him over, deciding that it would have been one hell of a fight had he been sober. Made her rather glad that she had met him when he was drunk and rather lost. She glanced at Maeve and smiled, "I'll be back to pick up all that stuff. I'd better get him taken care of first."
"Of course, dear," Maeve said looking from the vampire to the girl. "I'll keep these at the counter for you."
"Thanks," Faith said before leaning over and doing her best to get Spike over her shoulder. Damn, he weighed more than she thought. Oh well, luckily it wasn't very far to their destination. Boy, would Willow be surprised. She started to hum as she walked, hoping he would stay knocked out until she had him secure. She'd hit him pretty hard plus he was drunk. She figured she had at least half an hour. That was more than enough time.
"OK. Faith should have been back by now," Willow declared as she again looked at the clock, finally admitting her worry.
"She had a lot of stuff to pick up, Will," Buffy said, glancing at the clock and then frowning. "You're right. It's been over two hours."
"We've been here that long?" Xander asked as he stood and stretched before sitting back down.
"It seems like longer," Cordelia said, looking at the books covering the table. "Have I mentioned how much I loathe research?"
"Five times in the past hour," Willow said with a worried look at the door. "I hope she didn't decide to do a patrol or something and ended up getting hurt."
"You said that it might take her awhile to order that book," Buffy reminded.
"Yeah, but two hours?" Willow looked at her friend and then smiled, "Of course, this is Faith. She can take care of herself. Besides, she had to go all the way to my house, the magic store, and the grocery store. Just walking there and back would have taken her at least an hour if she didn't spend much time at any place. Do I sound convinced that I shouldn't be worried?"
"No," the others said, laughing as she stuck her tongue out at them.
"Willow, if she's not here by the time I finish looking through this book we can look for her. I'm sure she's on her way back here, though," Buffy said. "Knowing Faith, she's taking her time for fear of having to actually help research."
"Or she forgot something," Cordelia said, "I mean, she had a long list from all of us. I feel kind of bad, like maybe we should have all gone to get the stuff before starting to read. I do have the car, after all."
"She wanted out of researching," Willow pointed out, still finding it vaguely odd even after two years that Cordelia Chase was not only a friend but that she also had feelings. It was a nice oddness that she was finally getting used to. "She wouldn't have let us all go with her, even if we'd asked."
"We should have asked," Cordelia decided before smiling, "even if she would have said no."
"OK. Next time, we ask," Xander said, smiling at his girlfriend. "Now, group decision time. Do we continue researching or do we put it on pause to go look for her?"
"Look for who?" Faith asked as she came into the library, carrying the laptop, a canvas bag and a paper sack.
"Where have you been?" Willow demanded when she saw Faith.
"Running errands like a good little slave, Mistress Willow," Faith said with a wink as she put everything on the table.
"Eeew," Buffy wrinkled her nose though there was humor in her eyes, "very bad visual place."
"Not that bad," Xander mock leered as Willow began to blush.
"Oh, hush, all of you!" she said, rolling her eyes. "I am not that demanding."
"Yeah, right," Cordelia snorted as she reached for her frozen espresso. "Willow, we love you, but you can be bossy as hell."
"Cor's right," Buffy said with a laugh as Willow blushed. It was just too easy, she decided as they all teased their friend.
"Quit teasing," Willow said with a glare. She settled her green eyes on Faith who was laughing, "And you! Where have you been?"
"Well, let's see, I had to go to your house, then the store then the magic store then the store again then here," Faith said, ticking the places off on her fingers. "And can I just say that that laptop gets to be pretty damn heavy after a couple of miles."
"Oh," Willow smiled sheepishly, "I'm sorry."
"So, you were worried?" Faith asked, looking at them all in surprise. It was weird, having people worry about her. She wasn't used to anyone caring. A warm feeling spread over her before she again looked at Willow, the person responsible for it all. "I didn't think it would take as long as it did."
"I thought you might have gone on patrol," Willow said, smiling as she helped pass out everyone's items. "I was a bit concerned that you might have run into a vampire."
Faith started to choke on her soda, looking at Willow as she swallowed, "A vampire? Why would you think that? Nope, no vampire running into for this slayer. Not at all. No siree."
"Breathe," Buffy said, her eyes narrowing as she saw the slight flash of guilt enter Faith's eyes before it was replaced by a wicked gleam. She looked from an oblivious Willow back to the smirking slayer. Faith was up to something. Something that involved Willow, obviously. Faith looked at her then and winked before jerking her head towards the training area. She slowly smiled as she realized that Faith was going to share, she was going to be in on the plan. She got to her feet, picking up her juice, "Faith, you want to spar a bit? I'm sick of reading."
"Sure, B," Faith said, knowing she was about to enlist the slayer's aid in her plans for Willow. She had thought about keeping it a secret from Buffy, not really wanting to share the credit if it worked out and not wanting the blonde responsible if it didn't, but she'd decided on her way to the library that she couldn't do it alone. Besides, Buffy would want to be involved she figured. After all, this was, hopefully, going to make Willow very, very happy.
"Spill," Buffy demanded as she and Faith made it to the corner of the library to their practice area.
"Geez, B," Faith said, smiling, "get a little patience."
"Would you like to see me impatient?" Buffy asked sweetly, her eyes daring Faith to say yes.
Faith rolled her eyes at the threat, "Oh, I'm so scared."
"Faith, tell me," Buffy whined, glaring at the amused brunette.
"I got Willow something when I was out," Faith said, keeping her voice low in case one of the others came up unexpectedly.
"A present?" Buffy smiled, "You got Willow a present?"
Faith chuckled, "Guess you could call it that."
Buffy's eyes narrowed at Faith's laugh, asking, "What aren't you telling me?"
"Now, B, I need you to be honest. Would you do anything for Willow?" Faith asked, watching the slayer closely.
"Yes," Buffy said without hesitation. "I'd do anything for her. She *is* my best friend after all." Buffy frowned as she asked suspiciously, "Why?"
"Good grief. I'm not going to make you murder someone if that's what you're thinking," Faith made a face.
"What did you get her?" Buffy asked, moving to pick up a large sword to spar with. She had caught Giles looking in their direction and knew that her watcher expected them to be fighting, not talking. She tossed Faith one of the swords, getting into position to practice.
"Well, it's kind of complicated," Faith said, beginning their practice.
"Uncomplicate it for me," Buffy said, dodging a thrust and moving her sword easily to combat Faith's.
"I was that magic store when I heard someone mention Willow. Not by name, but by description," Faith said, smiling as she succeeded in knocking Buffy's sword from her hands.
"Who?" Buffy asked, glaring as she picked up her sword.
"A gorgeous, hunk of bleached blonde British vampire," Faith said, wriggling her eyebrows. "Seems that Spikey came here looking for Will to perform some spell or something. The undead hottie was drunk off his ass and looking for Red. What could I do?"
"What did you do?" Buffy asked, fearing she knew the answer. Why was Spike back in Sunnydale and why did he want Willow to perform a spell? The redhead was a novice witch at best, though she did seem to have a bit of natural power. Buffy was strangely pleased for her best friend that the object of her infatuation had come looking for her, but she was also worried for the same reason.
Faith shrugged, "I knocked his ass out and took him to Willow's house. He's chained to her bed probably waking up about now with a major hangover and attitude problem."
Buffy stared at Faith as she lowered her sword, "You kidnapped Spike and chained him to Willow's bed?"
"You betcha," Faith said with a pleased smile.
"I can see why you needed my help," Buffy said, feeling her lips begin to twitch as she imagined the scene awaiting their shy friend. She let a giggle slip as she said, "I'll protect you from Spike, but you're on your own with Willow."
"Ah, Red will be so happy to have her dreamboat chained up and at her mercy that she won't be mad," Faith said confidently, "do ya think she'll be surprised?"
Buffy said dryly, "I think surprised is an understatement."
Faith shot Buffy a warning glare as they headed back to the table to rejoin their friends. After their conversation, they had spent half an hour truly sparring. Now, she was hot and sweaty and her butt hurt from where she had been knocked down three times. Faith rolled her eyes at Buffy's triumphant smirk, knowing that next time she had to get Buffy's ass on the floor or she'd never hear the end of it.
"How was practice?" Willow asked without looking up from her book.
"I won," Buffy said with a giggle as she sat beside the redhead. "Any news on that Gorolack?"
"Actually, Willow found something on the net," Cordelia said as she covered a yawn. "We think we know where we can start looking for it."
"And you didn't tell us?" Buffy asked, nudging Willow with her elbow.
"I'm trying to make sure the information is correct," Willow said, looking up as she nudged Buffy back.
"We're hoping she confirms it before next year," Xander said as he popped half a twinkie into his mouth.
"I'd tell you all to go to hell but we're already there so it would be pointless," Willow said sweetly as she looked back at her book.
"If you'd leave her alone, she might be able to," Faith pointed out as she rolled her eyes. She wanted them to find what they needed so they could go home. She and Buffy had let the subject of Spike drop when they had started fighting, but she had to admit that she was a bit nervous now. Had she made the right decision? Should she have just let Spike go out drunk and get staked? Would Willow kill her as Buffy had gleefully suggested? Stop thinking, she told herself, noticing that Buffy was again watching her with that knowing amusement.
"Maybe she could do better if we weren't here," Cordelia suggested hopefully, stretching in her chair as she wiggled her toes to keep her legs from falling asleep.
"Go home, Delia," Willow said, glancing up and adding, "and take Xander with you."
"This time, I'll let you slide with being bossy," Xander said with a smile as he gathered his books into a reasonably neat pile.
"No fair," Buffy whined, before remembering that she couldn't leave anyway. Faith was going to need her, plus she wanted to see Willow's face when she caught sight of their present to her. She covered a smile as she said, "But I guess it is a sacrifice that we slayers have to make."
"Good save," Faith whispered with a proud smile as Willow failed to notice Buffy's change of heart.
"I think I found it," Willow said after ten minutes of near silence, having missed the mouthed conversation between the two slayers. She looked up, a slight frown forming as she saw Buffy and Faith looking at her wide eyed and innocent, smiling angelic smiles. "What are you two plotting?"
"We're just waiting for you," Buffy said, giving Willow a surprised look. "You said you found something?"
"You're a terrible liar, Buffy," Willow said, turning her gaze to Faith. "Tell me."
"You're paranoid, Red," Faith said, laughing. "We aren't plotting anything. God, we can't even stand each other. Would two people who don't get along plot? Really, think about it."
"You're both too annoying for words," Willow decided with a groan. "I found something that confirms what I found on the computer. We should find the Gorolack somewhere dark and wet and warm."
"Warm and wet?" Faith repeated, making a face. "Damn, that doesn't tell us anything except that he could be almost anywhere in the city."
"Actually, dark and wet don't usually mean warm," Buffy said, a thoughtful look on her face. "He wouldn't be near the lake or river, and the sewer is usually pretty cold."
"What does that leave?" Faith asked.
"That, my dear, is where the legwork comes in," Willow said, giving them a smile. "Hey, I narrowed it down a lot. Did you really expect me to give you an address? I'm good, but I'm not *that* good."
"I guess that means we get to search tomorrow instead of sleep in," Buffy said not able to keep the whine from her voice. "First day of Christmas break and I get to spend it searching for some smelly old demon in wet, dark, warm places."
"Well, when you put it that way, it doesn't sound like fun," Faith said dryly though she was smiling.
"Enough," Willow said finally. "Let's get this cleaned up then we can go to my house and watch a movie or something. We'll worry about demon hunting tomorrow."
Faith and Buffy exchanged a look at Willow's words, sharing a wink as they both knew that movie would be the last thing on the redhead's mind when she got home and found Spike chained to her bed.
Spike became aware of the pain first. A dull throbbing that seemed to originate from the back of his head until it covered his entire body. He groaned, swimming through the fog as he felt the remains of his drinking binge. He was never going to taste alcohol again, he decided. It wasn't worth the hangover for the few hours of peace it allowed him. He moved his head, frowning as he realized he was laying on something soft. His eyes flew open and he found himself staring at a white ceiling. He sniffed the air, not finding the usual scents that had greeted him most evenings of late. He'd been waking in alleys and warehouses since leaving Brazil, usually covered in the stench of debris and sewer water. Here, there was an intoxicating blend of roses, vanilla and a few other faint scents that were nearly too pleasant.
He was laying on a bed, he decided. He moved his arm, eyes narrowing as he became aware of the thick handcuffs binding him to the head of the bed. He growled as he tried to move, feeling helpless suddenly. He had no idea where he was, who had put him there, why he was chained, why he was still alive, or why he was wishing he could just close his eyes and continue inhaling that sweet aroma. He was in Sunnydale, finally. He remembered arriving, knocking that stupid sign over yet again. His eyes narrowed as he continued to pull at the cuffs, trying to piece together his actions over the past few hours, days. How long had it been? It couldn't have been that long. He'd feel it, wouldn't he? Damn, why had he drank so much? It was all a blur, a distant fog that he could hardly remember.
Sunnydale. That's right. He was in hell. Why had he come there? A vision flashed in his mind. Red hair, green eyes, a sweet smile. The witch. He'd come for the spell. Spell. There was something about the spell. What was he forgetting? He struggled again, wondering why he couldn't break the cuffs. He might be coming out of a month long drinking binge, but he was still strong. If anything, waking up confided this way, had sobered him instantly. He could remember the girl he had snacked on before leaving Brazil, but he couldn't remember the last day of his fucking life. No more drinking, he decided again.
"Remember the damn spell," he cursed softly, straining to remember as he kicked at the bed. He'd gone looking for her, for the redhead. That store. The magic one. His eyes narrowed as he hissed, "Slayer."
He became alert, looking around the room for any sign of the dark haired stranger that appeared to have been a slayer. She'd done this, he realized. Knocked him out, chained him up, forced him to wake up in the warm, soft bed smelling the vanilla and roses. Where was the bitch? Great, come to Sunnydale to find not only one slayer bitch but two. Double the torture and pain, he decided.
"You have five seconds to uncuff me and I'll make your death quick," he called out, his struggle intensifying as he realized the exact nature of his predicament. "Slayer, show your face!"
He listened, not hearing a heartbeat. She wasn't there. Was this some way of killing him? Locking him up and leaving him to die, to starve to death? "Fuck, fuck, fuck," he said, pulling as hard as he could, listening as the cuff clinked on the bed frame. He realized that he was stuck, not able to break the cuffs. He was being held prisoner by a slayer. He'd be the laughingstock of his kind if word got out that he had been caught by a slayer, a new slayer at that. Not even caught by Bitchy. No, caught by the junior slaying bitch. Where was he? He began to look around, not believing for a second that this feminine room belonged to the slayer, to either of them.
His eyes began to focus, noticing the numerous books stacked in neat piles on a very organized desk. Definitely not a slayer's room. Damn bitches couldn't read, much less keep things that neat. No, this was someone else's room. Someone that smelled of roses and vanilla. He continued his look around, noticed half a dozen photos scattered around spare space, not able to make out details in the darkness of the room. He knew something in those pictures would give him an idea where he was. "Fuck, fuck, fuck," he said again, kicking the bed in frustration. He closed his eyes and groaned as he began to think of a way out of this mess, knowing that he had to have a few plans in mind when the bitch came to gloat, which, knowing a slayers need to smirk, wouldn't be that long. And when she did, he'd be waiting.
"Tomorrow, we can start by checking the park," Buffy decided as the three girls walked towards Willow house. They had been discussing the possible location of the Gorolack demon, ruling out most of the town not meeting the three requirements. Dark, wet and warm meant away from the water, where it was often cooler, as well as above ground. The warm part was making the possibilities very limited, most dark and wet places she knew being cool.
"Maybe a cave?" Faith asked, frowning. "Aren't caves usually cold though?"
"Depends," Willow said, "if it's above ground, it might just be a natural chill. A little bit of a coolness isn't necessarily cold. Caves would be a good spot to start."
"And, if we don't find it before tomorrow night, we can always just kill it when it comes out to attack," Buffy decided. She looked at Faith, "Between the two of us, it wouldn't stand a chance anyway."
"Then why bother looking?" Faith asked. "Waste all that time when we know we can kill it tomorrow night."
"It could always kill someone before you two found it and killed it," Willow pointed out.
"Oh, I see your point," Faith said, still not liking the idea of spending hours searching for the demon. She'd at least gotten out of research, so that was something. She saw Willow's block up ahead and glanced at Buffy, smiling as they got nearer Willow's house. They had discussed their plan, changing and altering it until finally settling on something that they hoped would work. She was a bit scared, if she were honest. She knew that Willow wanted Spike, had had a crush on the vampire for who knew how long, but she was worried that her friend might be upset at her actions. She didn't want to lose Willow, and didn't really she think she would, but the fear was there. She honestly didn't know how the redhead would react at finding the object of her affection chained to her bed.
Buffy was growing more and more nervous as they approached Willow's house. She couldn't believe she had let Faith talk her into this. It was so not a good idea. Spike was dangerous, very dangerous. He had nearly defeated her on several occasions. Sure, he had been drunk when Faith had easily overtaken him, but he had to be sober by now. And pissed. And here she was, planning on locking her best friend in the same room as an angry, dangerous vampire. She should be ashamed for even entertaining the notion. She didn't deserve Willow's friendship, knowing the girl would never take the same risks. But, she'd let Faith convince her that it was the right decision. No, that wasn't completely honest. It wasn't Faith's fault she had agreed. It might be the brunette's fault that Spike was now chained to Willow's bed, but there had been no pressure for her to take part. She'd wanted to, hoping that this might make Willow happy. Willow was so shy, though, blushing when talking to a boy she didn't like. How was she going to react when confronted by the sight of her fantasy man in her bed? Buffy decided that she and Faith might be lucky if they weren't turned into rats or something. Maybe, though, she would be surprised. Maybe Willow would be pleased by their gift and forgive them for locking her up with Spike.
"Good, you left the porch light on," Willow smiled as she saw her house in the distance. She glanced at Faith, "But you forgot to turn off my bedroom light."
"Guess I did," Faith said, shrugging, "Sorry."
"It's not a problem. I'm sure your arms were full," Willow said, meaning the laptop and bag of junk food.
Buffy snorted, knowing exactly what the slayer's arms had been full of. She saw Willow look at her and smiled, "I was thinking of this funny joke I heard today."
"What was it?" Willow asked, knowing that her best friend was lying to her. Why, she wondered.
"Oh look," Faith pointed, saving Buffy from having to answer, "Someone's buying a swimming pool. Why would you buy a swimming pool in winter?"
"They're probably getting a cheap price," Willow said, shrugging, "Who knows? It's not like it ever gets that cold here anyway."
"Why don't we order some pizza?" Buffy suggested as they reached Willow's house. She paused at the bottom of the stairs, knowing that it was time. She glanced at Faith and saw the same hesitation in her fellow slayer's eyes. She was relieved that she wasn't the only one having doubts. She looked at Willow and smiled, "Something to celebrate winter break."
"That sounds fine," Willow said, looking back and forth between her friends. Finally, she demanded, "Okay. What's going on? You two are acting weirder than normal, and I want to know why."
"Weirder than normal?" Buffy repeated, arching a brow. "Does that imply that you think we are normally weird?"
"We could be offended, Red," Faith said, leaning against the porch rail. "Our best friend telling us she thinks we're weird."
"You're not going to avoid answering by putting me on the spot," Willow said, recognizing their tactic easily. "Yes, you two are weird. So am I. All of our group is slightly weird. We spend our free time fighting demons and vampires. Now, what is going on?"
"You know, you really take the fun out of the surprise," Faith said, sticking her tongue out at the redhead.
"Surprise?" Willow perked up, "What surprise?"
"Our surprise, silly," Buffy said, rolling her eyes. "Our winter break is finally here extra special surprise."
"For me?" Willow asked, a small smile crossing her face. "An extra special surprise for me?"
"All for you, Red," Faith said with a smile.
"I hate surprises," Willow reminded, though she was definitely intrigued.
"You won't hate this one," Buffy said. "Trust me."
"Well, what is it?" Willow asked, looking back and forth for an answer.
"Nuh uh," Faith said with a devious smile. "Not that easy."
"Guys!" Willow found herself whining, wanting to know what surprise her friends had for her.
"Do you trust us?" Buffy asked seriously, watching as Willow gave her a look of disbelief.
"You have to ask?" Willow asked, "Of course I trust you, Buffy. Wait, what does trust have to do with a surprise?"
"No questions, Red," Faith said. "It will all make sense soon enough. Do you want the surprise?"
"Yes," Willow said, after thinking about it for a few minutes. She did hate surprises, but was curious what Faith and Buffy had gotten her.
"You have to put this on," Buffy handed over a scarf that she had borrowed from Giles' office.
"A blindfold?" Willow sighed, "You guys really got into this, didn't you?"
"Put it on, Willow," Faith said, helping the redhead fasten the scarf. She held up a hand in front of the girl, asking, "Can you see anything?"
"No," Willow said truthfully. "It itches, though, so can we get on with this?"
"Come on," Buffy took her friend's hand, waiting until Faith had opened the door before walking into the house. She started up the stairs, Willow in between the two slayers. They were near the top when she heard a loud thunk. It seemed that Spike was awake. She hesitated at moving further, still not sure about putting her friend in the same room as the vampire. Well, it was too late for doubts now. They were doing this. She and Faith were planning on staying the night, knowing that Spike was securely fastened but not wanting to risk Willow's life if something went wrong. She whispered to Willow, "Don't think about anything except yourself, Willow. You deserve this."
Faith moved ahead of them, her hand on knob to Willow's door. She faced the redhead, saying, "Willow, we both love you. We want you to be happy. You're our best friend. We got you the one thing we both thought you wanted most. Don't hate us for wanting your happiness. We'll be downstairs. If you need us, call."
"Okay, now you're scaring me," Willow said softly, hearing a door open before she was shoved forward. She stumbled, not knowing where she was. Everything was dark because of the damn scarf. She heard the door slam and what sounded like a lock. Alarmed, she turned, pulling the scarf down. She found herself facing her own door. Confused, she turned back around, freezing as she found herself looking into angry yet amused blue eyes. "Oh my God...."
" 'Ello cutie," Spike drawled as his blue eyes swept lazily over the pretty redhead that had just been locked into the room with him. "This is getting rather interesting, wouldn't you say pet?"
"No," Willow said softly, shaking her head as she laughed nervously. "This isn't happening. This can't be happening."
"It's happening, Red," Spike said, eyes narrowing.
"No, it's not," she denied. "There is no way that you are here, in my room. Chained to my bed no less. This isn't real."
"It's real, luv," Spike said, wishing he had a cigarette. He watched as the little girl's eyes widened as she appeared to snap out of her hysterical mood. She turned and began to hit the door.
"Buffy! Faith!" Willow knocked her fists on her bedroom door, "Unlock this door right now!"
"Calm down Willow," Buffy's voice came from the other side of the door.
"Calm down?" Willow glared at the door, "You tell me to calm down? You just locked me in my room with Spike and you expect me to be calm? He's going to kill me!"
"Can't very well kill with all these damn chains on, can I pet?" he said from the bed. She turned to glare at him, fire sparking in her green eyes and he smiled, rather enjoying the picture she made, "Unfasten the chains, though, and I'll see what I can do."
Willow gulped at the look that entered his eyes, not sure what it meant, but finding it frightening nonetheless. She hit the door again, keeping her eyes off of him, "Let me out, damn it!"
"Willow, we're not letting you out," Faith said, sharing a look with Buffy. "Not until tomorrow. Just settle down and quit freaking out. We did this for you, for you to be happy."
"I hate you!" Willow seethed, hitting the door again, "I hate you both! And I'm never speaking to either of you again!"
"You don't hate us," Buffy said, sharing a look of doubt with Faith. "Maybe we should let her out."
"She's just scared," Faith said, "she'll be fine once she calms down."
"Willow, count to ten and try to relax," Buffy suggested with a wry smile at Faith as there was another loud knock against the door.
"Yes, I do hate you! And I will not relax!" Willow shouted back, wishing she knew what they were whispering about. She couldn't make out the words, just the noise.
"No, you don't," this time it was Faith to deny the redhead's rash words. "We're going downstairs now, Willow. Quit worrying and just enjoy it. It's all for you, just be happy."
"Get out of my house!" Willow said, hating them both for doing this. What were they thinking? They obviously hadn't been thinking. She was going to kill them, that was all there was to it. She heard her former friends move away from the door, the stairs creaking as they went downstairs. They really were going to leave her here, locked up with Spike. Oh Goddess, what was she going to do? She couldn't stay locked up with him. He wasn't a nice vampire, and he had to be angry about being trapped here. She kicked the door before turning away, moving to the window, trying not to think about Spike being not six feet from her. Maybe she could jump, she decided. It wasn't really that far down.
"Don't jump, pet," Spike said from the bed, seeing her look at him as if she'd forgotten he was there. He was the one that should have been annoyed, knocked out by a slayer and then chained to a bed for hours, now being locked up with the redhead witch that had brought him back to this hell in the first place. Oddly, though, he was finding himself curious and amused, wondering what game the slayers were playing and where he and Red fit into it all. And, honestly, he was rather captivated by the spitfire that was now standing by the window, contemplating a jump that would leave him chained up and alone again.
"It's not that far down," she said softly, trying not to dwell on the fact that Spike, the man that she had been dreaming about for months, was chained up in her bed giving her a look that did strange things to her body.
"True, but you're human, pet. You might break," he reminded, moving on the bed, wishing he had a pillow or something under his back.
"Do your arms hurt?" she asked, watching him move, able to study him for the first time without distance between them. He was so handsome, so dangerous. She looked at the floor when he glanced at her, a slight flush covering her cheeks.
"Been chained up longer than this before, luv," he said with a slight smile as he noticed her appraisal. He saw her glance at him in surprise at his words and winked, giving her no doubts why he had been chained previously. He chuckled as she blushed, "Why don't you forget jumping for now, sit down and have a nice little talk with me?"
"You want to talk?" she gulped again, not at all sure if she could handle talking to him. He didn't appear to be angry to be chained in her room, seemingly wanting to flirt and laugh at her reaction. She stayed by the window, not daring to move closer to him.
"Yeah," he said, his blue eyes finding hers, "You see, I want to know why I'm here. Why the little bitch knocked me out and chained me here, and why the slayers locked me up with their bestest friend. And I think, little Red, that you might just have the answers that I'm looking for. So, what about it, pet? Why am I....no, change that, why are *we* here?"
"Why are we here?" Willow stammered, repeating his question.
"Red, come sit down," he suggested, wanting to get her away from the window. He was still slightly worried that she would bolt, leaving him alone again. He'd never admit it to anyone, but he hated being alone. Okay, so the last few months hadn't been that bad. It had only been because he'd needed a break, a bit of time to think. He was sick of thinking. Only so much you could do before you started to go a bit daft. He gave his redhead a wicked smile as he huskily promised, "I won't bite ... yet."
Willow gulped at his words, a heat spreading over her body at his obvious flirting. He was just doing that to get her to release her, she told herself. There was no way that Spike would ever want her. Hell, he'd had to be chained to her bed to even get him there in the first place. She just wasn't his type, flirting or not. He was playing with her. Stupid bleached blond vampire, she thought crossly, cursing him now along with her two best friends. She wasn't going to give the satisfaction of reacting, she decided. Defiantly, she moved towards her bed, sitting in her desk chair as she kept her eyes on him. "There will be no biting," she said softly, watching him to make sure he couldn't grab her.
"We'll see," was all he said as she sat down. This wasn't a good idea, he realized as her soft scent came closer. He groaned as he felt his body reacting to the innocent aroma, wondering how he could become so hard just by smelling her and watching her. Deciding to ignore his arousal for the time being, he settled on figuring out what two slayers had kidnapped him, chained him to their best friend's bed and then locked her up with him. Visions came to mind, mostly involving naked flesh and screams of pleasure, but he somehow doubted that's what the slayers had in mind. Already angry that he had been so easily caught, he wanted some idea what was in store for him. "Why did the two little bitches take me, Red?"
"I don't know," she denied, staring at the bedspread. She knew all to well. Her friends were insane. They'd given Spike to her in some misguided attempt at making her happy she guessed. She also had an idea who had come up with the stupid plan, knowing that Faith was the one that knew about her silly fantasies involving Spike. Buffy must have been stupid to go along with the brunette slayer.
"Ah, Red," Spike shook his head, moving against the bed to try to get more comfortable. It didn't really work. Of course, the only place he felt that he might be comfortable at the moment would be inside the tight little redhead. "Don't lie to me, pet. Can't start this relationship built on lies."
"Relationship?" her eyes flew to meet his, seeing the amusement and discomfort in their blue depths. She then realized that he must be sore, laying on the bed with his arms chained above his head like that. He could barely move a few inches either way. From her observation of him the previous year, Spike didn't seem the type to like being chained up or even being still for very long. He was there because of her. She at least owed him an explanation. "Um, well, it's kinda hard to explain."
Spike groaned at her use of the word hard, having become even more aroused at the sight of her tongue licking her lips, his cock now pressing against the denim of his jeans. Knowing that he couldn't act on his desire, he continued trying to ignore the lust the redhead human was causing. He gave her a slight smile, urging, "Try me, Red."
"It's my fault," Willow said with a frown. "I mean, I knew that Faith was a bit unbalanced. I never expected her to add vampnapping and confinement to her list of foolish acts, but I should have known. And what's worse is that she did it for me. So, see, it's my fault."
"Pet, you can't blame yourself because the slayer is a daft bitch," Spike protested, wondering why he was being so nice to the girl. Sure, he wanted her, had actually come back to this stupid town with the intent of taking her, but he was acting like some wimpy human. Or worse, like Soulboy. He shuddered at that thought, but found himself unable to be rude to her.
"I'm the reason you're here, Spike," she said quietly. She went ahead, knowing that if she stopped, she might not continue. "You see, a few weeks ago Faith realized that I'd had a crush on you before, when you were and trying to kill us. She thought it was funny that I wanted you during the time you were growly and threatening and asked all these questions and I couldn't very well lie to her because she is one of my best friends but I wish now that I'd told her to go jump in a lake because it's obvious that she isn't stable. Why else would she bring you here, to my room, and chain you to my bed? She must have seen you somewhere and realized who you were and decided to do something stupid. I assume she got Buffy to agree to help, though I don't know why Buffy would want you chained up instead of dead. And they've now locked me into my own room with you, the one person that I've always fantasized about, with the intent of who knows what because seriously, what could ever happen? You don't want to be here, once you get free, I'm sure you'll try to kill us all, and I'm not going to force myself on you, so it's all been for nothing really. And now I'm going to have to let you go and hope that you don't kill me because my two stupid friends decided to give you to me as a present."
Spike listened as the redhead rambled, finding it oddly amusing that someone could speak so fast without hardly taking a breath and also wondering if that was an indication to how the girl thought. Several statements caught his attention. She wanted him, had wanted him as far back as when he was trying to kill the slayer. The slayers hadn't meant to hurt him, instead giving him to the redhead like some gift. That should bother him, but, instead, it intrigued him. The slayers were willing to go so far as to give their best friend a master vampire to make her happy. He now understood why Angelus had always said that the redhead was the key, that Buffy would do anything for the girl. In this case, the miserable wanker had been right. Only, he started to smile, he was going to get her, Angelus wasn't. It had been him the redhead wanted, not his grandsire. The redhead said she was going to let him go, he realized. Didn't seem to have any confidence at all. He found that amazing. She was gorgeous, had haunted his thoughts for longer than he cared to admit, inspired her friends to kidnapping and other great lengths just to make her happy, yet she seemed to believe that he couldn't want her.
He now found himself faced with a dilemma. He could let her unfasten his cuffs, leave without ever looking back. He could get free, take his redhead as originally planned, and kill the slayers. That option should have appealed the most to him. Killing slayers is what vampires did. But, he knew that it would make Red unhappy. He also knew that he didn't want to force her into loving him anymore than she seemed to want to force herself on him. He'd seen the results of forced affection every time he looked at his beautiful sire and Angelus. That is not what he wanted at all. Truth be known, he rather fancied the idea of having a warm lover for a bit, never having taken an interest in humans for anything other than food. Red changed that, made him think more about shagging. Made him think about a future. A frown settled on his face as he realized the direction of his thoughts, about what he was seriously considering.
Willow finally stopped, knowing her face was dark red. She couldn't believe she'd admitted to Spike that she had wanted him, had had fantasies about him. It was humiliating and, if she survived, she didn't know if she'd forgive Buffy and Faith. She sighed as she stood, knowing that Spike must be very angry with her now. Angry and amused, that seemed to be his ideal combination. She got the key for the cuffs from her dresser, at least having to thank her friends for leaving them in the room. She looked at Spike as she started to unfasten the cuffs, saying, "You can leave through the window. They won't even know you're gone until tomorrow. There's still a few hours of darkness left so you should be safe."
Spike watched her through narrowed eyes. He could smell her fear but she was doing a splendid job of hiding it. Finally, the cuffs were open. His hands were released. He watched her move away from the bed, her eyes watching him as if she wasn't sure what he planned. He stood, his fingers moving over his wrists as he licked his bottom lip. He looked at her, his decision made. No going back now. "Well, luv, you see, I can't leave yet."
"You can't?" she whispered, wondering if he'd at least kill her fast.
"Nope," he smiled, his eyes flashing yellow as he stalked towards her. "You see, we have some unfinished business, Red."
"Unfinished business?" Willow echoed, wondering if her death could be considered business.
"Unfinished," he said softly, his cock throbbing in his jeans as she looked at him with fear and lust in her eyes. Even now, thinking her death was coming, she wanted him. What had he done to deserve her, he had to wonder. Swiftly, his hand caught her hair, leaning her head back as he moved forward. "In fact, we're just getting started, pet," he said huskily as his mouth claimed hers.
Spike was kissing her. No, he wasn't kissing her. He was devouring her. Willow couldn't believe that this was really happening, finding the reality much more enjoyable than the fantasy. She felt his hand on her back as he pulled her into his hard body, his mouth covering hers as his tongue swept inside. She'd never been kissed like this before, the few kisses she had shared with Oz when they had been dating tentative little pecks. With just one brush from his lips, Spike had her entire body on fire. There were aches in places she wasn't aware could have aches. She whimpered when she felt his fingers tighten in her hair, the slight pain forgotten when she came in contact with his obvious arousal. Had she done that? A wave of feminine pride washed over her as she wiggled against his hardness, finding it unbelievable that he was not only kissing her but that he was turned on by doing so.
"Stop that, witch," Spike scolded softly when he finally pulled free from her mouth. He moved his hands to her hips to prevent her from rubbing against him anymore. His eyes narrowed as they looked over her flushed face, noticing the sparkle in her green eyes and the way her lips were already starting to swell. He smiled possessively as he realized that he had been her first. Well, before the night was over, he was going to be her first in many things.
"Why?" Willow had to ask, needing to reassure herself that this wasn't some twisted revenge against Buffy or some elaborate plan that Spike had cooked up. She felt his fingers on her cheek and looked into his eyes, still finding it surprising to find lust burning in their blue depths.
"Why?" he echoed her question, finding it amazing that she had to ask. He had been more affected by that simple kiss than any other event in his recent memory. He was currently fighting the impulse to toss her to the bed, sink deep inside her warmth, and not move for an eternity or two. It went against everything he stood for, but, with that one kiss, she had him. Looking into her eyes, he knew she wasn't prepared to hear words of eternal devotion or even begin to understand half of the emotions that he *and* his demon were feeling. Instead of trying to answer, knowing he might give something away, he took her hand and moved to her mirror. "Look, Red. Do you need to ask me again?"
Willow stared into the mirror, a bit surprised by how she looked. Her lips were puffy, her eyes shining, her hair a mess. It was a bit unnerving to look in the mirror and know he was standing right behind her but to see only her reflection. She didn't really understand what he was trying to tell her, but she didn't really care that much either. She wanted him to kiss her again, wondering if she was normally such a hussy or if he just brought out the wanton side of her personality. She gasped when she felt his fingers on her side, watching the mirror as her shirt raised as if by itself. His cool fingers brushed against her warm flesh and couldn't control the low moan that spilled from her lips.
"You're gorgeous, pet," he whispered before his lips brushed against her throat. "You react to my touch, your body calls to me. How can you ask me why? Do you not see what I see?"
"I don't understand what's happening," she admitted quietly, her eyes half closing when his hand moved across her flat stomach. She drew in a sharp breath when she was pulled against him, his erection resting against her back. "I thought we were coming back to my house to watch a movie and order pizza. I never imagined finding you here, never expected Buffy and Faith to lock us in here together. I don't know why you stayed, why you didn't leave. And I'm so confused because I've never felt like this before."
"I know what you mean," he said softly, not elaborating on the weird emotions he was feeling at the moment. Instead, he turned her to face him, asking, "How could I leave, Red? From the minute you walked through the door, I wanted you. Hell, I'm beginning to think the reason I came back to this hell hole in the first place was because I wanted you. Does it make sense? But, I won't force myself on you, luv. Right now, I'm fighting like hell with the demon just to keep control. If we continue this, I'll be sharing control with him. I can still leave, if that scares you. I don't want to, but I can be the nice guy once in my life."
"You'd leave?" she asked, watching his eyes and seeing the honesty burning in their depths. This was weird, having a conversation like this with Spike in her bedroom. She glanced at the floor before looking back at him, asking, "What is this, Spike?"
"I don't bloody well know, now do I, pet?" he asked with just a touch of his usual sarcasm. He ran a hand through his hair, knowing that if he waited much longer, he wouldn't be leaving even if she asked. Standing around acting like some poofy human was beginning to wear on his control. He finally just asked, "What do you want, Willow? Forget the slayers, forget everything except yourself and tell me what you want."
Willow licked her lips as she answered him, "I want you to kiss me again, Spike. Only, this time, don't stop."
"I don't hear anything," Buffy whispered, her eyes looking at the ceiling above.
Faith rolled her eyes, asking, "Did you expect to hear loud crashes or thuds?"
"No," Buffy said crossly, scowling at her fellow slayer, "but I did expect to hear something. For all we know, he broke free and killed her and ran away. Willow could be upstairs right now dying and we're down here watching cartoons!"
"Or Willow could be upstairs getting the fuck of a lifetime and we're stuck down here watching cartoons," Faith said with a smirk as Buffy blushed.
"Why did I agree to help you?" Buffy muttered, again looking at the ceiling.
"Buffy, he's not going to kill her. You didn't hear his voice when he was asking for her at the magic store. I don't know, but it almost sounded like he needed her, you know?" Faith tried to explain. "That's the only reason I decided to do this. If I thought for one second that he'd try to hurt Willow, I never would have locked her up with him."
"I know," Buffy admitted reluctantly, "but I worry. I know Spike, you don't. He may seem relatively harmless, but he *is* a demon. I worry about Willow with him."
"You'd worry about Willow with anyone," Faith said, watching as Buffy smiled slightly.
"Yeah, I would. She's my best friend. But, an evil master vampire causes more worries than a chess playing high school student, or even a werewolf band guy. Spike is at least a step up from the mutt," Buffy said, free to admit to Faith that she never found Oz good enough for Willow, had, in fact, been relieved when she returned from her stay in LA to find him gone to college.
"If Spike is even half as devoted to those he loves as you all claim, I don't think Willow is in any more danger than any other girl that is in love," Faith decided, smiling at Buffy's description of Willow's first boyfriend as a mutt. "And, if he hurts her, we are slayers, after all. He'd be dust." "It's too quiet," Buffy said again, shaking her head. "If I know Willow, she unfastened his cuffs as soon as she realized he was tied up.
"You're probably right. I shouldn't have left the key," Faith decided as she reached for the bag of chips.
"No, she has a much better chance if he isn't chained up. Spike doesn't really seem the type to like confinement. I haven't heard anyone on the balcony or the window, so they're both still up there."
"You know, there is one great explanation for why it's so quiet," Faith pointed out with a wicked smile.
"What?" Buffy asked, glancing at her fellow slayer, not liking the smile at all.
"Their mouths are otherwise occupied," Faith said with a laugh as she smiled suggestively.
"Okay, eeew," Buffy said, making a face. "That is so something I don't want to think about that. New topic. Oh, wow. Look at this."
Faith glanced at the television, "You turned off Scooby. For what? Isn't this the history channel? Okay, B. Too much time with Willow might not be a good thing after all....."
"Oh, hush. Look at what it is!" Buffy said with a smile.
"It's the history channel. Whatever it is, it can't be all that exciting... .hot damn!" Faith trailed off as she saw the beginning of the show. "This is gonna be funny, you do know that, don't you?"
Buffy nodded as she laughed, "Why do you think I turned it on?"
Faith settled back on the sofa, reaching for the bag of chips as she got ready to start making fun of the program. "All right. Let's just hear what they've come up with for the history of the vampire, shall we?"
Spike heard her words and smiled as he moved forward before she could change her mind. His lips claimed hers more forcefully than before, his hand pulling her body flush against his as he claimed her mouth. He knew that she had no idea what she was getting into, but he didn't really care. He wanted her, and now she was going to be his. He had given her a chance to say no, though if he were honest with himself, he hadn't planned on leaving even if she chosen differently. There was something about her that appealed to him and his demon, always had. After he had left this awful town, she was the image that he most remembered. He hadn't even really seen her all that much, but she had haunted him. Now, she was in his arms and he wasn't going to let go.
Willow pushed any doubts from her mind, instead concentrating on the feel of his body against hers, his lips on hers. She knew, somehow, that this was a life changing decision, but she knew in her heart that it was the right one. She felt complete when he was holding her, felt beautiful when he looked at her, felt wanted when he touched her, felt needed when he spoke to her. It was an amazing and glorious feeling that she hoped would never fade away. No one had ever looked at her the way he did. She didn't understand it, had no idea why this was happening, and didn't really care. She finally found the courage to move her hand to his head, her fingers tangling in his hair as she began to kiss him back, hoping she was doing it right. She heard him growl as he pulled her against him, deciding she must be doing something right. She felt his hand on her butt, squeezing her cheek as he began to move them towards the bed. A slight tremor of fear ran through her then, as she realized what the bed meant. Was she really ready for this? Ready to give herself to a demon that she really didn't know at all? His mouth moved from hers, trailing kisses across her chin and down her throat as he sucked her flesh between his lips. Willow gave up any pretense of being logical, giving her body over to the passion that was burning it up. She'd deal with the logic in the morning, knowing that she at least had her best friends' blessing, which eased a bit of the fear.
She tasted so good. Spike could have spent hours just licking her, tasting her. He'd never understood that particular fetish of Angelus until now. He ran his fangs over her throat, fighting the need to bite her, to claim her. There would be time enough for that later. Now, it was about learning her taste and her body and making sure she had no regrets for her decision. He pulled back, catching her eyes as he asked, "May I undress you, luv?"
Willow gulped at the huskiness of his voice, pleased by the look she saw in his eyes. She nodded, finding courage somewhere as she watched his hands move towards her. She didn't look away from his eyes, finding herself riveted by the depth of emotion she saw in their blue depths. Her shirt was pulled over her head, tossed to the floor beside them. She watched as his eyes flashed yellow, reminding her too well that she was about to give her virginity to a demon. A demon that made her feel more than she'd ever felt before. She closed her eyes as he unzipped her jeans, gasping softly as his cool fingers brushed against her legs. She felt him move away, knowing that he was looking at her. She'd never been this undressed in front of anyone, Spike being the first person to see in her underwear. She stood there for what seemed like forever, waiting for him to do something. When he didn't, she hesitantly opened her eyes, wondering if he found her so disgusting he had left. Instead, she found his eyes on hers, the yellow mixing more prominently with the blue. "Spike?"
"Keep your eyes open, Willow," he said quietly, his eyes blazing a path over her body as he clenched his fists, fighting the desire, knowing he had to take it slow, to give her pleasure. He'd never been known for his patience, though, and it was taking every bit of power to keep his true self under control. He had no intention of scaring her with his true face, knowing that all she'd have to do is scream and he'd have not one but two slayers ready to kill him. It wasn't even the threat of the slayers, really. He didn't want to scare her. He wanted her to want him, the sweet scent of her arousal giving him a clear indication that she did. He looked back into her eyes, whispering, "You're so bloody beautiful."
When Spike said it, she felt beautiful. She watched him, noticing that he had taken off his leather duster and outer shirt, his boots joining the discarded clothing so that he was standing barefoot wearing only his T-shirt and black jeans. She studied him, wondering why he wasn't doing anything. She saw the way his fists were clenched, the way he was standing, the way he seemed to be fighting himself almost. With sudden clarity, she understood. He was fighting his demon, trying to push it down before he touched her. She scowled at him, saying, "Don't. I know who you are, what you are. Don't hide yourself from me. My eyes are wide open. I want you, Spike. You. Demon and man. I'm yours."
Spike groaned at her words, wondering again how he had gotten to be so lucky. Before she could change her mind, he was kissing her again, moving her towards the bed. They were nearly there when they tripped, falling to the floor. His eyes flew to hers, watching as she went from surprise to amusement, smiling as she giggled. His lips caught hers again as he stood, carrying her this time. He laid her on the bed, pulling his shirt over his head before joining her.
"This is so stupid," Faith complained, gesturing to the television.
"It is pretty bad," Buffy agreed with a smile. They'd watched the half hour program on vampires then found a vampire movie on cable. Neither of them had seen it before and had spent the last twenty minutes deciding that it was one of the worst vampire movies ever made.
"Why don't they just have them go poof?" Faith asked for the tenth time, watching as yet another vampire lay dying on the ground, his body turning into a burned blob of bad effects. "It has to be cheaper than that horrible carcass thing. Plus, it's real."
"Faith, babe, the people that made this movie obviously have no idea that vampires are real," Buffy pointed out with a roll of her eyes. "I somehow doubt they were going for realism. Besides, they couldn't have their actors overact their death scenes if they merely went poof, like our vampires do."
"This is just bad," Faith decided. "If I were a vampire, I'd find the writer of this garbage and torture them. It's an insult to vampires."
Buffy had to laugh, "Hey now, whose side are you on, slayer? We shouldn't really care if vampires are being insulted. Besides, the majority that I've killed are too stupid to realize this movie is insulting."
"I guess you're right," Faith said, shaking her head. "And the one smart enough probably don't give a fuck either way."
"Right," Buffy said. She heard a loud thump from above and looked up, eyes narrowing as she asked, "Did you hear that?"
"Sure did," Faith answered, concern in her eyes as she said, "Let's go check. I didn't like the sound of that."
The slayers were up the stairs in minutes, standing by Willow's door. Buffy found the key and was about to open the door when she heard a loud moan. Her face flushed as she realized that it was Willow and that her best friend didn't sound in need of assistance, at least from either her or Faith. "Hot damn," Faith smiled in triumph as she asked, "Did you hear that?"
"Yes," Buffy hissed, "Come on, let's go back downstairs. I didn't need to hear that."
Faith rolled her eyes as she pressed her ear against the door, trying to hear, "These doors are too damn thick. I can't hear a thing."
"Faith, let's go. Give Willow some privacy for whatever they're doing," Buffy said, making a face as she realized exactly what they *were* doing. "I can't believe my best friend is doing *that* with a master vampire that spent nearly a year trying to kill us and I'm actually condoning it. Hell, I'm encouraging it. What kind of slayers are we?"
"The kind that love their friends more than slaying," Faith said matter of factly, kneeling down and trying to look through the keyhole. She couldn't see anything, scowling as she strained to see even a glimpse of flesh.
"Faith, get up. God, you're worse than Xander!" Buffy said, having to cover a laugh as Faith glared at her.
"Am not," Faith said before sticking her tongue out at the blonde slayer.
"Are too," Buffy shot back before saying, "Come on. The movies still going. There are plenty more actors that have to overact death scenes. You don't want to miss that, do you?"
"I'd much rather watch Blondie give Willow the fuck of her life," Faith muttered, "but I guess cheesy vampire movies are all I get to see tonight."
"Let's order a pizza," Buffy suggested as the girls moved back down the stairs, "Then maybe we can take a quick patrol."
"Well, B, I'd say that's the best idea you've had all day," Faith said with a smile as they entered the living room, a satisfied smile crossing her face as she added, "By the way, I told you my plan would work."
"Don't start," Buffy warned as she dialed the number for the pizza.
Willow moaned as Spike's mouth found her breast, his tongue doing things to her that should be illegal. She arched up, her hand clenching the sheet as he chuckled, seeming to enjoy her reaction to him. He'd been torturing her for half an hour. She'd timed it, glancing at the clock between moaning and whimpering, astonished that so little time had passed when it seemed that she had been laying down for hours. He seemed in no hurry, which surprised her. When they had been standing, she could have sworn he'd been fighting his demon for control. When she had asked him to take her, she'd assumed it would be fast and slightly rough. She had to admit that the idea of Spike being a bit rough excited her in ways that she knew it shouldn't. Instead, though, he' d removed her underwear and spent thirty minutes running his tongue over most of her body. He'd avoided making direct contact with her breasts or between her legs until now. For the last few minutes, he'd been sucking and nibbling on her breasts. She knew she was wet, could feel her juices leaking more every time he ever so casually brushed his arm or leg against her red curls. He was a bastard, she decided. A sadistic, evil, demonic bastard. If he didn't give her what she so desperately needed soon, she'd just do it herself she decided crossly.
Spike glanced up at her face and smiled, seeing the need. He wanted her to want him as much as he needed her. It was her own fault, he decided. She'd told him that she wanted him, all of him. As it was, his demon had taken a perverse pleasure in moving slow, tasting her and just enjoying the warmth of her body. After she had accepted him so completely, the need to claim her had diminished. It hadn't been such a priority when it was clear that she didn't intend to leave him. So, he had been able to enjoy just playing with her, teasing her and taking her to the edge more times than he could count. She was so ready, the scent of sex surrounding them, the wetness dripping from her and soaking the sheets. He knew that she would come if he touched her in just the right place. Looking at her glazed eyes and sweat drenched face, he decided that it was time. His own cock was hard and dripping, the front of his jeans wet. It was time to make her his, to give her something that no one else would give her. He smiled at that, really liking the idea that he was going to be her first lover, her last lover. There would be no competition for her affections, no insecurities or fears of losing her to another. He ran his teeth over her nipple before moving his head lower, the scent of her arousal growing more thick the lower he got. Finally, he was where he wanted to be. His eyes caught hers as he lowered his head, his mouth sucking her clit as she exploded.
Willow cried out when she felt him suck her tender flesh. She thrashed against the bed, his hand moving to her stomach as he held her down. She began to babble incoherently as he sucked her clit, one orgasm sliding into another as he began to taste her. She felt his tongue move between her lips, licking her juices as his nose brushed against her, the shockwaves still running through her body. Without realized it, her thighs closed around his head, locking him in place as she moved against his mouth. She didn't know when he had pushed a finger into her, but suddenly she was aware of the intrusion, moaning as he added another. She'd never imagined it could be like this, her only experience what she had seen on television or in movies. Since they never went beyond an R rating, she'd been under the impression that it was usually fast and under the covers. Not with Spike, obviously. He seemed to enjoy taking his time, torturing her. If this was the payoff, he could torture her anytime she decided. "Please," she begged, needing to feel him inside her.
Spike pulled up, his face coated with her juices as he licked his lips. Seeing that she was ready, his fingers moved to the button of his jeans. He stood, shedding the denim and tossing it on the floor before looking at her. He watched her eyes widen when she saw him, his hand moving to his erection as he stroked himself several times. He could smell her fear as she looked at his cock, knowing she must be wondering how he was going to fit. He knew it was going to hurt her. His length was slightly above average, but he was very thick. Once she was accustomed to his size, there wouldn't be any problems though. He'd just have to take it a bit slow, remind himself that she was not only human but also a virgin. From the tightness of her cunt, he doubted that she'd even had anything in her before. "It will fit," he whispered as he moved back onto the bed. "It's gonna hurt though, at first."
"I trust you, Spike," she said quietly, watching as he smiled in obvious pleasure at her words. She watched with apprehension as well as anticipation as he moved between her legs. He pulled her down the bed until his hard cock was brushing against her wet lips. She felt the head of his cock push against her as his hand adjusted their position. She watched as he leaned forward, his eyes flashing yellow as he caught her lips in a deep kiss.
"Mine," he whispered before moving his mouth to her neck, biting into her neck as he entered her fully, breaking her barrier as her sweet blood spilled into his mouth. He heard her scream in pain mixed with pleasure as he took her virginity. He gave her time to adjust to his size as he began to lick the wound he had made on her neck. When he felt her move against him, he began to move. Soon, they were moving together as he kissed her again, sharing the mixture of her blood and juices as her legs wrapped themselves around his waist. She was so tight and warm that it didn't take him long to find release. He came with a growl, the demon coming forward as he spilled his seed into her. He felt her lips on his face, placing kisses on the ridges as she continued to move against him. He stayed hard, continuing to thrust into her, feeling her fingernails dig into his back as she tightened, her orgasm hitting her hard. He felt her teeth bite into his shoulder as she came again, the muscles of her pussy tightening around him as he followed her into release.
Willow collapsed on the bed, her breathing ragged as she felt the exhaustion creep over her. There was a pain between her legs, her breasts were sore, the bite he had made on her neck a dull ache. She heard him purring and smiled sleepily, wondering if he had any idea he was purring like a contented cat. A jungle cat, she decided. A panther maybe. Something sleek and predatory and cunning with grace and intelligence. She turned her head and kissed his forehead before closing her eyes and giving in to sleep. Spike smiled as he eased out of her, laying beside her as his arm tightened around her body. He lapped at the small amount of blood coming from his bite as she slept, his eyes not leaving her face.
"Here, you unlock the door," Buffy said as she gestured to the key that was laying on the tray. She and Faith had been up for a couple of hours, having decided to make Willow breakfast. It seemed that not being able to cook must be a slayer thing, because the kitchen was now a mess. They'd ruined eggs, bacon, and burned the toast. The second batch of toast had been better and given them the hope that they could eventually get it right. As it turned out, Faith was pretty darn good at making pancakes, and Buffy had finally managed to fry the bacon without burning it. Buffy had made a run home for a glass of blood for Spike, glad that she kept extra for Angel's rare visits. Add to the tray a glass of orange juice and a flower, and they were set.
"Should we knock?" Faith asked as she put the key in the door.
"I don't know," Buffy said. "I've never woke up my best friend after she's spent an entire night having sex with a vampire before. I'm not sure how to act or what to do."
"Like I make a habit of this?" Faith asked, rolling her eyes. "She's probably awake. She never sleeps past seven." With that, Faith unlocked the door and opened it. The room was dark, the curtains covering the window. She flipped on the light switch, her dark eyes moving across the floor with a smile before finding the bed. "Wow."
"Wow what?" Buffy asked as she stepped into the room. She noticed the clothes laying all over the floor before she, too, looked at the bed. Her eyes widened as she saw Spike looking at her and Faith, his eyes narrow and warning as his hand finished pulling the sheet over Willow's sleeping and very naked body. He hadn't been fast enough for her to miss the bite mark that covered Willow's breast and the sheet did nothing to cover the one on the redhead's neck.
"Don't wake her," Spike warned quietly, his eyes glancing at Willow and softening as he smiled, "she didn't get a lot of sleep last night."
"We brought food," Faith whispered, feeling suddenly stupid as Spike's blue eyes moved to look at her and Buffy.
"You brought food?" he echoed, his lips twitching slightly as he realized that the slayers had brought both him and Willow breakfast. He could see the glass of blood, wondering again what it was about this tiny redhead that could make people act so out of character. As it was, he had only the slightest desire to kill the slayers as they stood there. Usually, he'd have been wanting to rip them apart. He knew that the two girls weren't going to leave until they had spoken to Willow, groaning as he got out of bed, looking for his jeans.
"Fuck," this time it was Buffy that exclaimed softly as her eyes widened, watching as a very nude Spike stood looking for something. She'd never imagined that he looked quite that good. Willow was definitely one lucky girl.
"Close your mouth, slayer," Spike said with amusement as he finally found his jeans, sliding the material over his hips, hearing the dark haired slayer sigh in disappointment as he covered his body. He arched a brow as he moved back to the bed, his shirt in his hands. "Willow, luv, wake up. You've got company."
"Hmm?" Willow mumbled as she moved on the bed.
Spike smiled as he moved on the bed, blocking her from the slayer's view as he put his shirt on her, buttoning the buttons as she continued to sleep. "Willow," he whispered her name, watching as she slowly opened her eyes, a large smile spreading over her face as she saw him.
"Morning," she said softly, wondering what time it was. They'd spent the entire night making love and talking and catching little naps in between. She leaned up, catching his lips in a soft kiss.
"It's afternoon, pet. You've got company," he said as he made a face, moving so she could see the slayers.
Willow's eyes widened as she felt a blush cross her cheeks, "Buffy, Faith. What are you two doing here?"
"They brought food," Spike said innocently, his lips twisted in a smirk as he watched the girls glare at him.
"Be nice," Willow said, smacking his arm lightly as she smiled at him.
"Must I?" he asked before kissing her briefly. "Fine, if I must..."
"You brought us breakfast?" Willow asked, looking at her friends and smiling.
"Faith made the pancakes," Buffy said, finding it disturbing to see Spike being so gentle and loving with her best friend.
"And Buffy fried the bacon," Faith added, rather pleased to see Willow looking so happy. Plus, the redhead hadn't yelled at them for locking her up in the first place.
"I can't possibly eat all that," Willow said as she looked at the huge amount of food piled on the tray. She looked at Spike and smiled, watching as he rolled his eyes.
"Why don't your little friends stay and help you eat?" he suggested, knowing that idea pleased Willow as soon as her face lit up. He was rewarded with a kiss that he deepened before remembering that they had an audience. He looked up, noticing how uncomfortable Buffy looked. He smiled, deciding that there might be some fun in playing nice. "So, slayers, staying for breakfast?"
"Sure," Faith said, moving the desk chair near the bed.
"Why not?" Buffy answered, knowing it was going to take a lot of time to get used to her best friend being involved with Spike. For Willow, she could deal. Besides, it looked as if Spike honestly cared about the redhead. For Buffy, that was good enough reason to push aside her natural dislike of the vampire.
Willow leaned her head against Spike, watching as Buffy sat at the foot of the bed. This was just too weird, she decided. Weird but good. She knew it would take time for all of them to get used to the changes, but she and Spike had spent hours discussing their future in between sleeping and making love. Spike had told her that he wasn't going to leave her, that she was his just as he was hers. He'd also reassured her that he had no immediate plans to turn her, but he had made sure that she knew eventually she would become his childe. He had told her that he felt the closest thing to love that he could feel, something she knew was sincere. She didn't question how or why, knowing that it was meant to be. She still wasn't sure what the future held for them, but she knew somehow that they would make it together. For now, she needed to figure out what they could do to get Buffy and Faith back. Oh, she was more than pleased with how things had turned out, hardly able to imagine life without Spike already, but she needed to remind her friends that taking chances like that, no matter their outcome, resulted in payback. She smiled as several ideas came to her, deciding to discuss the possibilities with Spike after breakfast.
"So, Willow, did you like your surprise?" Faith asked, not able to help gloating just a bit. "Just remember, it was all for you."
"Yes, Faith, I liked the surprise. I owe you one," Willow said, looking up and catching Spike watching her. She smiled and kissed him as Buffy began to tell her about their horrible horror movies she and Faith had watched the night before.