Changing Sides

by Bridget

Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy and Company. They belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy Productions, and the WB. No copyright infringement is intended.

Author's Note: Thoughts are indicated by . This is my first fanfic, so be kind. Enjoy!

Part One

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 weren’t 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 hadn’t 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 weren’t exactly big in the study department. So they had left early, leaving Willow with Giles. The two had gone through the bookshelves until 11 o’clock 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 didn’t 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 didn’t 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 repeated the mantra in her head again and again, trying to calm herself. The soundless night was spooking her.

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.

she thought, scolding herself.

A cruel laugh came from behind her. "Where’s your Slayer, little one?" The mellow, sexy accent identified her stalker and Spike emerged from the shadows. His game face wasn’t 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."

Willow wrapped her arms around herself protectively. Tears began to fill the young girl’s eyes.

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.

"Y’know what?" Spike murmured. "I’ll 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 won’t 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, you’ll scream all right. You’ll be just like all the others." Laughter crept into his voice again. "And this time I get an added bonus, with you being the Slayer’s best friend and all. Can’t 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. She’ll slam a stake right into your chest. Then it’s 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 wouldn’t be able to rescue her this time.

"This isn’t a bloody novel, little girl," he said, sneering. "Your friend won’t save you."

Willow exposed the smooth paleness of her throat. "I don’t expect her to," she said sadly.

Spike stepped back, utterly surprised by her submission. "You’re 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 hasn’t gotten his way. "You’re taking all the fun out of this, Willow. You just don’t understand the hunt, do you? It’s exhilarating."

Willow closed her eyes and sighed. "I’m 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.

A kiss.

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? Let’s 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, aren’t 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.

Her surroundings were totally unfamiliar.

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 hadn’t 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.

Willow stood abruptly, ignoring the wave of dizziness that passed over her. She moved closer to the mirror and studied what she could of her reflection in the splintered glass. The dress was long and black, made of glossy silk and a chiffon overlay. It had a high empire waist that flattered her tiny figure immensely and short sleeves which exposed her pale arms. Hanging from a silken ribbon a cameo nestled itself in the hollow of her throat. Her auburn hair was piled up in a similar style as she had worn it on Halloween, but with old-fashioned twist to it. A pair of long, black gloves were on the bed stand next to her. She stared at herself in the looking glass a moment longer, then slipped the gloves on her delicate hands and buttoned them up. She turned once more to the mirror. She looked just like someone in a painting, pale and beautiful.

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 didn’t seem threatening at all. In fact, he seemed cordial. The vampire kept on playing the song.

"It’s Chopin, isn’t 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 don’t 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 hadn’t 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 wouldn’t 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 Spike’s 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 don’t 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? You’re the last person I would ever trust."

He chuckled, embarrassed. "I don’t suppose I’ve been very pleasant with you. I do apologize, for everything. I promise to be nice from now on."

"I didn’t think nice was even in a vampire’s vocabulary. It’s 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. "Where’s Drusilla? Isn’t she your girlfriend?"

Spike bowed his head. "She, uh, she..." He couldn’t 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? She’s been dead for 100 years, but two weeks ago she died again as I slept beside her."

Willow couldn’t 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.

"This is her dress, isn’t it? Is that why you put me in this? To feel close to her again?" The fire of her hair matched her growing temper. "I’m not a doll."

"I’m 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. Spike’s image did not reflect in the glass.

"Do you see it? The fire in you, it makes you glow." Spike stood behind her, too close for comfort in Willow’s opinion. He was inches from her neck. "It’s lovely, Willow."

She held her breath, frightened of his nearness. Looking in the mirror was too weird when she couldn’t see him in it also. Especially since his hands were on her shoulders and his coat brushed against her back.

"Please let me go," she gasped. Willow could feel him grinning and a quiet laugh escaped from his throat. "I want to go home." Her voice sounded very childish.

He let go of her, but not because of her request. He was about to pull her small body closer when she made a run for it.

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 it’s 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.

Tears gathered in her eyes.

Spike towered over her, gazing at her with an amused expression. "You shouldn’t have run away. That was a very naughty thing to do, Willow."

"Just let me go home," she whispered desperately.

He looked as though he was pondering the idea, but then he smiled gravely and shook his head. "This is your home now."

Willow shuddered and leaned against the wall, burying her face in her hands. Her sobs filled the quiet flat.


"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: I’m sleeping. Go away.

"Honey, Joan Rosenburg is on the phone. She wants to talk to you."

Buffy sat up in her bed, fully awake now. "Mrs. Rosenburg?"

Joyce Summers nodded. "She sounds worried, Buffy. I hope it isn’t something about Willow. She’s such a sweet girl."

"I hope Willow’s okay, too," Buffy said somberly. She leaned over and picked up the phone beside her bed as Joyce left the room.

"Hello? Mrs. Rosenburg?"

"Buffy, do you know where Willow is?" Mrs. Rosenburg’s voice shook with tears. "She didn’t come home last night."

"I haven’t seen her since 9 o’clock. Did you call Xander?" A sense of dread was beginning to come over the Slayer.

"He was the first one I called. And he hasn’t seen her either. Where is my little girl, Buffy?" The distraught mother was starting to sound hysterical.

"Have you called the police yet?"

"They won’t do anything until she’s been missing for 24 hours. What am I supposed to do? Sit here and wring my hands with worry? She’s 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."

Mrs. Summers poked her head into the room. "I was listening. Tell Joan I’ll be over there in a minute. I’m sure she needs someone around right now."

Buffy smiled at her mother. "Mrs. Rosenburg, my mom is on her way over. I’ll call around and see if anyone knows where she is. I’m sure she’s okay."

The blonde talked to Willow’s mother a minute longer, then disconnected the call and dialed Giles’ number.

"Hello?" he answered distractedly. The Watcher’s nose was stuck in book. He was blindly trying to grab his teacup without glancing up from the book.

"Giles, Willow is missing. When did you see her last?"

Giles’ fingers slipped and hit the cup, spilling the brown liquid all over the table and the book. He was so surprised that he didn’t notice this atrocity upon his precious volume. "Willow’s what?"

"Missing. She didn’t come home last night. Didn’t you take her home after your study-thon?"

"No, she stayed late." He sounded embarrassed. "I fell asleep, so she told me to go home. I thought she would be fine..."

"I hope she is," Buffy replied. "But this isn’t like Willow at all, staying out without telling someone. I’m getting the feeling that she’s is in a whole mess of trouble."

Willow shifted in her bed, trying to find a comfortable position. Her ankle was swollen and bruised, and currently being elevated on some pillows. Spike was an attentive nurse; she had to give him that much credit. But Willow decided that the only reason he was caring for her was that he didn’t want damaged goods for dinner.

His words from earlier were tearing at her mind. "This is your home now," Willow repeated softly. She didn’t want to know.

Spike hadn’t 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 hadn’t 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 didn’t even know what time it was. There were no clocks in the room. There wasn’t even a window she could stare out of. Although she would be doing a lot more than staring. She would be getting out.

Click. The lock snapped and the door creaked open. "Willow?" Spike walked in and sat on the end of the bed. "How are you feeling?"

She glared at him hatefully and didn’t 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; it’s been the highlight of my short life.’ I’m starting to wish you would just kill me. I’d rather be dead than imprisoned."

Spike smiled. "Now there’s that fire; it lights you up. Everyone I’ve ever found amusing has had a little spark to them. It’s what I look for in a person." Willow’s small face looked thoroughly confused and uneasy. He sighed. "Don’t you realize how fun it could be?"

"What are you talking about? What could be fun?" Willow asked.

"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." Willow’s doe-eyes were terrified. "You still think I’m going to kill you. I promise you, I won’t." 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. She glanced at the open door, then gingerly got up and followed the vampire.

Limping, Willow moved once again into the drawing room. She spotted a small sofa and sat down, wincing because of her swollen ankle. Spike smiled at her presence and crouched down in front of her.

"I could give you eternal life, little one. You would live forever." He took her hand tenderly and held it. "I can tell that you’re alone, Willow. So am I. Even when Dru was still here I was alone. Do you know what it’s 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." Willow’s 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 wouldn’t be like Drusilla. You would be perfect, as you are now."

"I wouldn’t have a soul, though." She questioned him with her eyes. "How can you live that way?"

"You’ve been lied to, Willow. It isn’t as horrible as it sounds. We aren’t necessarily evil, just different. Vampires simply don’t have the morals that humans do. That’s all." He saw her reservation and dismissed the subject. "Do you play?" he asked, indicating the piano.

"Um, a little," she replied shyly. "But not very well."

"Come then, show me your talent." Spike picked her up, considering her ankle, and sat her on the piano stool. "What do you know?"

"Just the regular songs that one learns at lessons. I’m really not that good."

"I doubt that. But I’ll 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 Chopin’s 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. "I’m so alone, Willow."

"Spike, I don’t belong here. And I love being alive," Willow murmured.

"I could make you belong here," he said, not unkindly. "You could be one of us."

She cringed slightly, despite his gentle tone. "I’ve been taught to hate your kind, Spike. You can’t expect me to change my mind so quickly. You make your world sound so beautiful, but how do I know if it really is? I’ve 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 don’t know if I could do that. Even if you do drive a hard bargain by filling my head with music and beauty."

Spike smiled sadly. "Will you think about it? Sleep on it, that kind of thing?"

"Yes, I will," Willow replied. "But can I ask you something? A request?"

"Of course you can." He was becoming increasingly compassionate. "What do you want?"

"Can I call someone?" she asked slowly. Instantly Spike looked as though he had been betrayed. "I won’t tell them where I am, I promise! People will be looking for me if I don’t let someone know I’m 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."

"All right. But don’t tell anyone where you are. Do I have you word?"

"Yes." Her face shone happily. "Do you have a phone?"

"This way, pet." Spike picked her up again and carried her into his bedroom. Willow’s body became rigid with tension as soon as they entered the dark chamber. He noticed this and laughed, amused by her bashfulness. "I’m not taking you in here to deflower you, Willow. The phone is beside the bed. I’ll leave you to make your call."

"Oh." She sighed in relief. Spike set her gently on the bed and left her alone, lighting one candle to illuminate the room. Willow picked up the phone and dialed the number she knew best: Buffy’s.

End Part One

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