"I love her."
Such a simple statement, yet Willow couldn’t forget it. Spike had been willing to do anything necessary to get Drusilla back simply because he loved her. He had even risked coming to Sunnydale to do so. She remembered thinking she wanted to be loved that much, and she even convinced herself that she had that with Oz, that he would go to any lengths to get her back if necessary. She had been wrong. She knew that now. If he had loved her the way Spike loved Drusilla, she wouldn't be sitting alone in her room crying now. Veruca wouldn't have mattered, his wolf wouldn't have mattered, he would've stayed in spite of everything. They would be together now. But he hadn't stayed. He hadn't even left to find a way to get her back, like Spike had done for Dru. He had left for himself, and now she was alone. Alone and miserable.
Even her friends weren't interested in spending time with her right now. Xander had… whatever it was he had, with Anya. Buffy had Riley, sort of. They had certainly been dancing around an attraction for weeks. And Giles, he just didn't want to deal with her pain, he didn't know how to handle this stuff, so he hid at his apartment and called only when he needed her for something. So they avoided her. Well, she had gone to that party with Buffy, but she hadn't been in the party mood and had left without Buffy, who hadn't exactly tried to stop her.
Willow lay back on her bed and stared at the ceiling. All she really wanted was someone who would love her as completely as Spike loved Drusilla, was that really so much to ask?
"There she is," Spike said, looking at the computer screen. He'd found her again. Now that he was free, it hadn't been as difficult as he thought it would be. He shouldn't have come back to this town- it had once again proven to be nothing but an irritation for him - but he couldn’t get her out of his mind. Even Dru had seen it. She told him he didn't want her anymore, that she was all he could think about. He'd denied it, of course. He loved Dru and always would. She'd been right, though; someone else had been on his mind for the last year. What Dru had been wrong about was who; she thought he was obsessed with the Slayer, but he wasn't. Oh, he'd kill her if he had the chance, but it was the witch who had been haunting his thoughts for a year.
So he'd come back to find her. To find her and…he wasn't sure what, exactly, he wanted from her. He could kill her, maybe that would get her out of his head, but he doubted it. Kidnap her again? That wasn't going to work, he could only go after the slayer's friends so many times before Buffy just got bored and staked him. Turn her? Then he could have her forever. The last option seemed the best, but he couldn’t quite decide. All he was sure of right now was that he had to see her again; he'd figure out what to do then. Now that he knew where she was, it was just a matter of time.
"Come in," Willow called out from her place on the bed. It was probably just Xander or Giles checking on her. She sat up and stifled a scream when Spike walked through the door instead. "Spike! What do you want? A spell, I can do that."
" I'm gonna give you a choice," he said, moving toward her, "I'm going to kill you, no choice in that. But I can let you stay dead…or bring you back to be like me."
"I'll scream," she said, trying to move back as far as she could to get away from him as he stalked towards her. This couldn't be happening, why was he here? He was probably looking for Buffy, but figured that killing her would serve just as well. Maybe he’d decided to wipe out all of them this time.
Willow screamed, hoping Buffy was nearby or that someone would hear her yelling and call for help. Spike threw her back onto the bed and turned the volume up on her radio to drown out her voice. "No!"
Spike grabbed her and she closed her eyes. She was going to die, alone and unloved, that was the thought that ran through her head as Spike lowered his head to bite her.
He couldn't believe this was happening to him. He held his head in his hands; the pain had been overwhelming. Had she done something to him? Used magic? That didn't make sense, thought, because she seemed as shocked as he was when he'd screamed in pain. "This sort of thing has never happened to me before."
"Maybe you were nervous?"
He glanced over at her. Nervous? He was never nervous. Well, not about killing, anyway. No, he wasn't nervous. "I felt all right when I started. Let's try again," he said grabbing her and immediately pulling back again, then trying once more before letting her go. "Ow! Oh! Ow! Damn it," he shouted, kicking the dresser in anger.
This was not going how he'd planned at all. Not that he’d had much of a plan. Somewhere between finding out where she was and finding her, he'd decided to turn her, but that had been the extent of his planning. Now he couldn’t even do that. He’d lost Dru because of her, and now he was going to lose her(,) too. No way would she leave willingly with him now; he wasn't even vampire enough to bite her.
"Maybe you're trying too hard," Willow suggested, watching him carefully, "Doesn't this happen to every vampire?"
"Not to me, it doesn't."
Why couldn't something just go right for him? Didn't he deserve the chance to be happy? And he was certain this girl could make him happy. She wasn't like Dru; she would love him if he treated her well. He knew she would. She wasn't insane and she was so loyal to her friends. She had stood beside the slayer no matter what the girl put her through. Now he'd ruined his chance. He should've come here first, gotten her, and then gone looking for the bloody Gem of Amara, then he wouldn't have been in town long enough to be grabbed by the soldiers.
"It's me, isn’t it?" Willow said, frowning at him. Of course, it was her, she wasn’t even good enough for a vampire who'd killed hundreds of people to want.
"What are you talking about?" Spike asked, staring at her suddenly.
"Well, you came looking for Buffy, then settled. I—I…you didn't want to bite me. I just happened to be around," she clarified when she saw his confused expression. She couldn't believe he was making her explain. This was more humiliating than Oz leaving her.
"I know I'm not the kind of girl vamps like to sink their teeth into. It's always like 'Ooh, you're like a sister to me,' or 'Oh, you're such a good friend.'"
She needed to find a way out of this. Out of this situation, out of this room. She needed to find Buffy and tell her Spike was back. Instead, she was just pulling him into her self-pity and looking to the vampire that had come to kill her for comfort. She was more pathetic than she thought.
Did she really think that? That he'd only come here looking for the slayer? That she wasn't worth biting? It'd been her that had been on his mind for a year, not Buffy. Willow he'd come back to Sunnydale after that disastrous trip to Los Angles for. He wanted to tell her everything. That he'd thought of no one else for a year. That even Dru realized his attention was now focused on another woman. But he couldn't, not now. Not if he couldn't turn her, not if he wasn't sure she wouldn't just humiliate him for the trouble.
"Don't be ridiculous. I'd bite you in a heartbeat," he said; it was the truth, just not all of it.
He sat next to her and watched her, watched for any reaction to his words, any sign that he wasn't a fool, again. "Thought about it."
"When?" Willow asked. Spike bit back his own smile at the way her expression brightened at his words
He'd thought about biting her. It wasn't exactly undying love and devotion, but it was better than nothing, she thought, smiling. When had her life become so pathetic that she was happy to be the object of vampire attacks?
"Remember last year, you had on that…fuzzy pink number, with the lilac underneath?"
"I never would've guessed," she said, entirely too happy that he had thought about her at all. He remembered what she was wearing when he kidnapped her. He had noticed her for something beyond her being the key to getting Drusilla back. "You played the bloodlust kind of cool."
"Mmm. I hate being all fang-y and grrr," he explained.
"But if you could," she said.
"Yeah, if I could," he agreed.
Willow knew this wasn't a good thing. She was a target of William the Bloody, not one of convenience, but one he'd actually seek out someday. That should frighten her, but for some reason, it made her happy, which was foolish, because she'd read enough about Spike to know that when he wanted something, he'd do anything to get it. That was bad, because what if he wanted her dead? But maybe he didn't want her dead…
She'd seemed happy at the idea that he would bite her. Was that a good thing? She didn't seem like one of those bite junkies. Still, maybe this hadn't been as big of a disaster as he'd thought at first. Maybe there was hope this time.
"You know this doesn't make you any less terrifying." Willow said quietly.
Spike scowled at her. He'd spent so much time taking care of Dru that he wasn't used to anyone worrying about his feelings and well-being. "Don't patronize me," he said. It was nice that she wanted to make him feel better, but a vampire that couldn't bite simply was not frightening.
"I’m not trying to, but maybe," Willow said, frowning, "sometimes these things happen."
"I'm only a hundred and twenty-six," he pointed out angrily. They may happen, but not to William the Bloody.
"You're being too hard on yourself. Why don't we wait a half an hour and try again?" Willow suggested.
Next thing he knew Willow was hitting him in the head with a lamp. So much for her actually caring about him at all; it had been a ploy to get away. Then everything seemed to be happening too quickly.
She had hit him hard. Not hard enough to knock him out, but he was down for a minute or so. Before he could get up, the lights went out and he heard the screaming in the hallways. Had they found him? Surely they knew he was gone and they'd be looking for him. He hadn't thought of that before now. The door banged open and Willow ran out. He saw one of the soldiers pointing a gun at her as he got to his feet. He was ready to lunge for the guy, he wouldn't let him kill her…or take her to that place they had him. She was his.
He saw her cowering in the corner as he reached for the soldier. He heard the yelling; someone was telling them not to shoot her. He tried to bite the one in his grip, but reared back, yelling at the pain shooting through his head. In the commotion, he was able to race out the door and into the night.
There was nothing he could do now, not while they were looking for him. But this wasn't the end. She had seemed genuinely concerned about him for a while, even if she did take advantage of his misery to try to get away. He couldn't fault her for that, though. After all, he had tried to kill her. He'd just have to find another way to get to her.