I don't own Buffy and Company. They belong to Joss
Whedon, Mutant Enemy Productions, and the WB. No
copyright infringement is intended.
Thoughts are indicated by
The moon shone brightly in the cold night, illuminating the skeleton- like trees along Inferno Boulevard. Though the main strip of Sunnydale was usually busy during the day, it was dead during the night. Literally. But no vampires were out at the moment. At least, she hoped there werent any.
Willow shuffled down the boulevard, skipping every few steps to keep herself warm. The weather was abnormally cold and the pretty redhead picked up her pace, determined to get home without becoming an icicle. Being used to the California sunshine did have its disadvantages. Any drop in the thermometer was harsh. The midnight air was positively chilly to her.
"I wish I hadnt stayed so late," Willow said softly.
She was alone on her walk home. The group had been at the library, researching the current monster-of-the-week and what kind of havoc he would wreak on the town. Buffy and Xander had been more of a hindrance than a help; they werent exactly big in the study department. So they had left early, leaving Willow with Giles. The two had gone through the bookshelves until 11 oclock when Giles, obviously exhausted, had fallen asleep. She had sent him home, only after assuring the Watcher she would be fine. Willow had started to gather her things around midnight, realizing her mother might wonder where she was. Then she had begun the creepy journey home.
Ordinarily, being alone didnt bother Willow. It had simply never occurred to her to be scared. Crowds were actually more frightening to the shy girl; she tended to get lost in them. But lately, the things that went bump in the night were beginning to wear on her.
Willow whirled around to see a branch break off a nearby tree. She exhaled a breath she didnt know she had been holding, and chuckled at her jumpiness. The wind blew her hair around her face and eyes, blinding her momentarily. Willow brushed it away and hastened her stride, eager to get to her warm, safe house.
Willow began listening to her footsteps, realizing something was wrong with the sound. She stood still for a moment, then dismissed her apprehension and resumed walking. The sharp fall of her steps echoed loudly, then a second set joined in time with hers. She stopped again.
"Hello?" she called softly.
A cruel laugh came from behind her. "Wheres your Slayer, little one?" The mellow, sexy accent identified her stalker and Spike emerged from the shadows. His game face wasnt on, but the glint in his eyes indicated it was near the surface.
"Oh, no," Willow whispered, trembling at the sight of the Billy Idol look-alike. He approached her, his nonchalant saunter completely unnerving. The moon glinted off his peroxide-bleached hair and his pale face, making him look even more sinister than usual. He smiled in recognition.
"Ah, the pretty redhead from Halloween. What was your costume that night? A temptress, or perhaps a hussy?" He looked her up and down, surveying her sensible knit shirt and printed skirt. "I liked you better that way. There was so much more to see."
wrapped her arms around herself protectively.
Spike saw her teardrops glistening and laughed triumphantly. The vampire touched her arm lightly, running his fingers down the length of it. Willow wanted to shake him off, but found that she could not move.
"Yknow what?" Spike murmured. "Ill have such fun telling the Slayer about you. How you screamed for your life, and screamed for her to save you."
She finally found her voice. "I wont give you the pleasure," Willow declared bravely. But as his face neared her throat she whimpered, giving away her fear. Spike pulled away and stared into her eyes. He chewed his lip, hungrily gazing at her neck.
"Oh, youll scream all right. Youll be just like all the others." Laughter crept into his voice again. "And this time I get an added bonus, with you being the Slayers best friend and all. Cant you imagine her getting sloppy following the death of her dear, innocent friend? Easy pickings from the Slayer tree after that."
"Buffy will avenge me. Shell slam a stake right into your chest. Then its Poof! Spike goes bye-bye." Willow decided that if she was going to die she might as well get some kicks in. Since it looked like the Slayer wouldnt be able to rescue her this time.
"This isnt a bloody novel, little girl," he said, sneering. "Your friend wont save you."
Willow exposed the smooth paleness of her throat. "I dont expect her to," she said sadly.
Spike stepped back, utterly surprised by her submission. "Youre ready to die?" He was stunned. She stared at him coolly, concealing the terror she felt. His eyes narrowed and he huffed like a child who hasnt gotten his way. "Youre taking all the fun out of this, Willow. You just dont understand the hunt, do you? Its exhilarating."
Willow closed her eyes and sighed. "Im tired of the game, Spike. Get on with it."
The vampire leaned to her neck and hovered there. Willow prepared herself for the bite, the blood loss, the death. Instead of pain, she felt something unexpected.
Spike grazed her neck with his lips, then cupped her face in his hand. The evil smile returned, and his eyes glittered.
"You want a game, then? Lets play."
Her eyes widened with fear. She had readied herself for death. What was he doing now?
"Sweet dreams, Willow."
All too late Willow saw his fist flying towards her face. As it made contact, she begged with her last conscious thought, remembering a childhood prayer.
Willow fell to the ground with a thud. Spike stood over her and studied her fiery hair with a strange expression. Stooping to the ground, he picked her up in his arms and cradled her tiny body.
"Now, what shall I do with you?" he mused. "You are a rather lovely girl, arent you? So pale, so exquisitely...fragile." He shifted her in order to carry her easier, and with that began walking in the direction of his lair.
* * *
The first sound Willow heard upon awakening was the soft crackle of candles. Cautiously she opened her eyes, wincing in the dim light. Her head throbbed slightly.
The room she rested in was draped in black and white. Pristine tulle flowed off the black wrought iron bed in which she lay. The four posts of the bed stretched above her, gleaming dully. A mirror on the wall, framed by black iron, was smashed, the reflective surface hanging on just barely. Willow sat up in the bed and lightly moved her fingers across her battered face, estimating the damage. After glancing in the mirror she realized that Spike hadnt given her much more than a bruise on the side of her forehead. Thankful, she pulled back the white satin sheets and swung her legs to the floor, simultaneously smoothing the wrinkles from her dress.
Suddenly soft music drifted through the air. The sound was silvery and extremely melancholy. Willow put on a pair of dainty black slippers that lay on the carpeted floor and began to leave the room. Something on a nearby table caught her curious eyes and she paused. A vase filled with roses had grabbed her attention. But they were no ordinary roses. They were black. The blossoms were strangely beautiful; each petal looked like the shining feathers of a raven. Willow plucked two from the vase, breathed in their sweet aroma, and left the room.
The next chamber was a drawing room decorated in black and red satins. A piano was in one corner; that was the source of the music. Spike sat on the bench, his fingers softly caressing the keys, making the instrument sing.
The redhead walked towards the vampire noiselessly, searching for a stake or something similar to end him with. He continued to play, oblivious to her presence. He was too wrapped up in the song. The melody was haunting and strangely familiar to Willow. She stopped her prowling, trying to place the song.
"Do you know it?" Spike asked quietly, not bothering to look at her. His manner didnt seem threatening at all. In fact, he seemed cordial. The vampire kept on playing the song.
"Its Chopin, isnt it? One of the nocturnes," she replied timidly.
The last few notes danced off his fingers. He turned to her, his expression surprisingly kind. "Correct. Number 2 in E major. I dont suppose you took me for a pianist. You probably thought I was always a monster."
"Well, yes," she whispered. Willow averted her eyes, hoping she hadnt angered him. "What do you mean to do with me? Why did you dress me like this?" She was testing the waters, hoping the shark wouldnt bite.
Spike stood slowly, deliberately trying not to startle her. Willow backed away and tripped on her long dress. She started to fall backwards but Spikes arm shot out, steadying her. Willow dropped the roses in surprise and crushed the fragile petals underfoot, shaking visibly at his cold touch. His face fell slightly.
"You dont trust me."
Despite her growing fear she laughed wildly. "You knock me out, kidnap me, are probably going to kill me, and now you want my trust? Youre the last person I would ever trust."
He chuckled, embarrassed. "I dont suppose Ive been very pleasant with you. I do apologize, for everything. I promise to be nice from now on."
"I didnt think nice was even in a vampires vocabulary. Its it all just blood and mayhem, right?" Willow instantly regretted her words. The last thing she wanted to do was mention blood to a hungry vampire.
A look of anguish crossed his pale face. "There used to be love and companionship. But not anymore."
Even though Willow was determined to hate Spike, the grief in his voice made her disgust of him lessen slightly. "Wheres Drusilla? Isnt she your girlfriend?"
Spike bowed his head. "She, uh, she..." He couldnt seem to get the words out. Finally he did. "She wasted away. My Dru is gone. One morning I woke up and she was dead. An ironic choice of words, eh? Shes been dead for 100 years, but two weeks ago she died again as I slept beside her."
Willow couldnt really feel remorse over the dead vampire. What was disturbing her was that Spike, one of the worst vampires she had ever seen, was almost crying. She looked down at her clothes and realization hit her like a fist.
"Im not using you as one. And yes, it is her dress. But Willow, have you seen how beautiful you look?" He hooked his hand under her arm and led her to a nearby mirror. This one, unlike the mirror in her room, was not smashed. Spikes image did not reflect in the glass.
She held her breath, frightened of his nearness. Looking in the mirror was too weird when she couldnt see him in it also. Especially since his hands were on her shoulders and his coat brushed against her back.
Kicking his shins, Willow ran out of the drawing room as fast as her legs could carry her. She raced through an assortment of beautifully decorated rooms, but did not see them. Her eyes were only looking for one thing. A door to the outside. Freedom.
Finally fate smiled upon the smallest Slayerette. A door at the end of a long hall was just the thing she was looking for, and she dashed to its safety. She tried to kick off her slippers in order to run better, but that was her mistake. She stumbled and fell bodily on the thick Oriental rug.
Spike entered the hall and smiled victoriously. While he walked slowly towards her, Willow attempted to get up, to get away. Pain shot through her ankle and she moaned in agony and frustration. She watched his eyes drift over her and she slid over to the wall, cowering in fear.
"Yeah, Mom?" The Slayer yawned, not at all pleased to be awake. It was Saturday, for goodness sake. The day to sleep in. She turned over and hid her head under the blankets, trying to give her mom a subtle hint: Im sleeping. Go away.
"They wont do anything until shes been missing for 24 hours. What am I supposed to do? Sit here and wring my hands with worry? Shes just a baby; she could be out there all alone somewhere and frightened. Who made the 24 hour rule, anyway? What if 24 hours is too long? They need to find her now. They need to bring my baby home."
Spike hadnt spoken much after he chased her down in the hall. He had simply picked her up, taken her into the bedroom, and laid her on the bed, and once he had attended to her ankle, left her alone. She hadnt tried to open the door yet, but she was pretty sure he had locked it behind him. She was trapped.
And becoming totally stir crazy. Willow had been locked up for who knows how long and had discovered early on that there were no books, television, and worst of all, no computer. She didnt even know what time it was. There were no clocks in the room. There wasnt even a window she could stare out of. Although she would be doing a lot more than staring. She would be getting out.
She glared at him hatefully and didnt answer. He sighed and began to get up, but Willow grabbed the hem of his black leather coat. "What do you want me to say?" she cried angrily. "Oh, I feel fine, even though you have me locked up in here. I just want to thank you for scaring me to death; its been the highlight of my short life. Im starting to wish you would just kill me. Id rather be dead than imprisoned."
Spike smiled. "Now theres that fire; it lights you up. Everyone Ive ever found amusing has had a little spark to them. Its what I look for in a person." Willows small face looked thoroughly confused and uneasy. He sighed. "Dont you realize how fun it could be?"
"Us." The vampire knelt on the bed, forcing her to lean away from his advancing body. He touched her face softly, trailing his fingers over the bruise he had inflicted. "I really am sorry about hitting you." Willows doe-eyes were terrified. "You still think Im going to kill you. I promise you, I wont." His lips rushed to hers, engulfing them in a passionate kiss. When he finally pulled away she was breathless. "I may give you another life, though. My kind of life."
Spike got up off the bed and walked
out the door, leaving it open for her to follow. Willow
touched her lips, hardly believing what had just happen.
"I could give you eternal life, little one. You would live forever." He took her hand tenderly and held it. "I can tell that youre alone, Willow. So am I. Even when Dru was still here I was alone. Do you know what its like, being with someone who is absolutely mad? It tears at your you, Willow, and never stops its torture. I may be considered dead but I can still feel. Each day she would become a little more insane and bring me down with her. I watched her slow death, and I thought I would go crazy, too. I loved Dru, but she was killing me." Willows heart ached for him. He sounded so vulnerable, so...human. Spike saw this compassion in her eyes. "But if you joined me, that would never happen. Because you wouldnt be like Drusilla. You would be perfect, as you are now."
"Youve been lied to, Willow. It isnt as horrible as it sounds. We arent necessarily evil, just different. Vampires simply dont have the morals that humans do. Thats all." He saw her reservation and dismissed the subject. "Do you play?" he asked, indicating the piano.
"I doubt that. But Ill teach you some." The vampire covered her hands with his own and pressed her fingers to the keys. With his arms were around her, he guided her fingers to the song. The music floated off their hands through the still air.
"I thought you might learn Chopins nocturne," he breathed in her ear. "I love this song." His lips were lingering by her pale neck, but she was no longer afraid. Willow closed her eyes and leaned against him, swaying softly to the aria. Spike kissed her throat and she turned to meet his lips, but he nuzzled her head away, wanting her to continue the song. She complied.
Finally Spike pulled her fingers from the keys, breaking Willow from her musical reverie. He turned her to face him and gazed into her eyes. "Do you think you could join me?" He stroked her hair and smoothed out the few flyaway strands. She opened her mouth to answer but he stopped her with a kiss, caressing her face lightly. He looked incredibly forlorn when he drew away. "Im so alone, Willow."
She cringed slightly, despite his gentle tone. "Ive been taught to hate your kind, Spike. You cant expect me to change my mind so quickly. You make your world sound so beautiful, but how do I know if it really is? Ive always been the kind of person who never believes anything until she sees it. Yet if I see the world through your eyes, there would be no going back. I dont know if I could do that. Even if you do drive a hard bargain by filling my head with music and beauty."
"Can I call someone?" she asked slowly. Instantly Spike looked as though he had been betrayed. "I wont tell them where I am, I promise! People will be looking for me if I dont let someone know Im okay." Willow carefully leaned forward and placed a light kiss on the corner of his mouth. "Every moment more that I stay here, with you, makes me want to remain."
"This way, pet." Spike picked her up again and carried her into his bedroom. Willows body became rigid with tension as soon as they entered the dark chamber. He noticed this and laughed, amused by her bashfulness. "Im not taking you in here to deflower you, Willow. The phone is beside the bed. Ill leave you to make your call."