Title: Little Things
Distribution: Archived at http://www.witchery.faithweb.com
Disclaimer: Joss Whedon and related parties own all the stuff you see on
TV, the rest is me.
Rating: PG is about it.
Spoilers: Something Blue, vaguely, that's about it, this is set a few
months after that.
Summary: Willow makes a sacrifice to save Spike's (un) life.
Willow began to watch Spike overtly when she caught him touch his head for
the third time, grimacing in pain. As usual, no-one else in the group
seemed to notice - or if they did, care.
The reason she was concerned was that the Ataab demon they had fought
earlier had clawed his arm, and the almost foot-long gash up his forearm
had not yet healed. If anything, it was worse, red and puffy in
appearance, and yet he paid the fresh injury no attention, his only pain
appearing to center in his head.
She knew very well she was the only one who looked out for him. And even
if he did profess to hate them all, she got the feeling he looked out for
her, too, although she had never seen it.
Giles, bored with the movie Buffy had insisted they rent to 'wind down',
offered a round of tea, and thankfully escaped to the kitchen. Willow
could see the relief to go on his face, and quietly got up from her chair
to follow him. Spike's eyes instantly swung to her as she moved, and she
smiled at him reassuringly. He nodded, and turned back to the movie.
"Willow," Giles said in surprise as she entered the kitchen. "Is something
"Giles, the Ataab demon's touch isn't venomous or especially slow healing,
is it?" she asked without delay.
He blinked, and his expression turned concerned.
"No ... no it isn't," he replied slowly. "And Spike, especially, should be
almost fully healed by now."
"That's what I thought," she murmured, almost to herself. "And he keeps- "
She broke off as Spike came into the kitchen area. He glanced at their
tense faces, and chuckled.
"Don't mind me, pet," he drawled, winking at Willow. She blushed in
"Damn, but I'm hungry," he continued, digging through Giles's refrigerator
for a bag of the blood he kept there for snacks - much to Giles's dismay.
Finding the blood, his face morphed. He bit into the bag and gulped at the
cold liquid straight away.
Willow frowned, worried once more. Spike was normally polite enough to use
a mug - and a clean one each time, although she had a feeling that might be
just to further annoy Giles - and picky enough to heat the blood in the
microwave. He drained the bag in front of them, and then leant against the
overhead cupboards, pressing his head to the cool surface as his face
relaxed back to normal.
Willow shot Giles a look of concern as she heard the vampire's low moan.
"Spike?" she asked quietly. "Are you okay?"
"Just a bloody headache, luv," he answered tiredly. "Had it a couple of
days now, that and this bloody unquenchable thirst." He grimaced, and then
suddenly stood up straight. He swooped over to grab her around the waist,
ignoring her startled cry and Giles's dropping the tea container.
"Must be lack of fresh blood, pet."
He nuzzled into her neck, and then ran his icy tongue up and down. She
shrieked at the cool touch.
"Spike! Stop! No!" Willow pushed at him weakly, but he only licked
harder, and she descended into giggles. "That tickles," she gasped, as he
finished with one long lick, from her collarbone to her jaw line, and the
faintest scrape of his teeth that made her shiver.
"Mmmm, you taste good, Red," he smirked, then with a wink at the startled
Watcher, he wandered back into the living room.
Willow slowly started to breathe again. *And what was that?*
"Willow?" Giles asked in concern.
"Mmmm? Oh, Giles. So, Spike should be healed? Do you think it's
something else - his headache? Could it be that he hasn't fed off anyone,
like he said? Or- "
"Willow, I don't know what's wrong. But you're right to be concerned. I
think at this stage, we should keep an eye on him. In fact, I'll ask him
to stay here again for the weekend."
"Thank you, Giles. I'm really worried about him."
"Yes, well. It's not the greatest of sacrifices ... as long as he keeps
out of my liquor cabinet. And he does occasionally make himself useful."
Willow smiled, and helped carry the fresh tea in to the others.
"What, no soda?" Xander muttered. "Sure, you keep blood for the dead guy,
but the living only get this British hotjuice."
"Shut up, Chubs," Spike said crossly, helping himself to a mug. Willow and
Giles exchanged a quick glance. Spike never drank tea.
Willow squeezed onto the sofa with her tea, forcing Anya and Xander to move
over. Spike gave her a quick look of surprise, then shifted over himself.
As she settled back, she felt him stretch his injured left arm across the
back of the seat behind her.
By the time the video ended, it was Willow's arm along the back of the
sofa, and Spike had shifted so his head rested on her shoulder. He was
sound asleep, and curled slightly into her body. What worried her was the
heat his body was generating.
A gradual heat had built up from his cool skin to leave his injured arm
warm to the touch, and his face was flushed and damp with sweat against her
"Giles," she said softly, as Buffy took charge of the video rewinding.
Giles looked up, and his eyebrows drew together as he saw the stolen color
in Spike's face. He moved quickly beside her, and laid his own hand on
Spike squirmed against the other man's hand, and Willow stroked his
shoulder, murmuring his name, to settle him. He stilled, his face turned
to her breast.
"Willow, this is extremely unusual," Giles began, shifting his touch to the
inflamed skin by the ragged wound on Spike's arm. "He's far too warm, he's
breathing in air quite frequently, and there is no way this cut should
still be open. It's like something is stopping his healing processes."
"Giles, he's got a fever, no biggie," Buffy laughed, ejecting the tape and
putting it in its case. "Wills, ready to go?"
Willow's eyes took in Spike and then Giles.
"Willow, go. I'll tend to Spike, he can stay here tonight as well, and
I'll call -" He gave her a slow, intent nod, and she nodded back
understanding. He would call Angel.
"Thank you," she whispered.
"And I'll call if he gets worse. All right?"
"Thank you, Giles," she repeated.
Xander shook his head as he rose from the couch. "Vicious, people-killing
demon, remember Willow? No feelings? Sheesh, if I lost an arm you
wouldn't be so concerned."
"I would, too," Willow answered, gently easing away from Spike. He frowned
as she left, but when she patted his uninjured arm, he relaxed, stretching
out into the space Xander and Anya had vacated.
"It's just ... this is really weird." She looked up, and caught Riley's
eyes. He quickly looked away, and his controlled expression made her
frown. She gathered her coat and bag, following the others - Xander still
grumbling - out the door.
Giles replaced his phone receiver, and shook off the feeling of discomfort
that continued to haunt him when he spoke to Angel.
Angel's answer had been clear. There was no way Spike should fail to heal,
or suffer from a fever, without serious intervention. And the questions he
had raised about Spike's appearance and appetite had also been intriguing.
Giles could see clearly that Spike, aside from being flushed with dead
color, was dark-eyed and his skin waxy and drawn. His slender frame had
regressed to thin, seemingly within a few days, and from the incident in
the kitchen he had obviously been abnormally hungry. His body was
apparently craving the means to heal, but to no avail. Furthermore,
despite the late hour, the vampire was fast asleep, his only movements
restless and accompanied by low moans.
Angel had told him that there were only two answers. One was that Spike
was the victim of some form of magical illness, the likes of which neither
Angel or Giles himself had ever heard of. The only answer was the implant
that affected Spike's ability to hunt and feed. It had been six months
since the vampire had been captured by the Initiative, exactly six months.
And Riley had not stepped in on the other children's discouragement of
Willow, ignoring Spike completely.
Tomorrow, they would definitely have a little talk.
Willow woke with the strange clarity of a sleeper who has thought of one
worry all night and each time they awoke through it. The clean break
between sleep and awareness, the dread of what could have occurred in the
Her hand fluttered to the phone, and she paused to debate whether or not
she should call Giles. As she lay in indecision, it rung, and she snapped
"Giles?" she asked breathlessly.
"Yes, Willow. Um, he-he's stable for now, if still awfully warm. And
Angel had a few ideas that I'll be checking out today. Can-can you come
over to watch him this afternoon?"
"Of course, Giles. I'll be there after my ten o'clock lecture, and I've
got nothing else for the rest of today or the weekend. What did Ang – um,
what did he say?" Buffy was fast asleep, but Willow was still cautious.
"Er, not too much at this stage … I'm sure I will be able to make more of
it later. See you before lunch, then, mmm?"
"Yes. Thank you for letting me know, Giles."
"Yes, yes, not at all. Goodbye, Willow."
Willow hung up the receiver and stared into space for a moment. Giles was
hiding something, she was sure – not about Spike's condition, but perhaps
about its origins.
Next to her, the alarm clock switched on, and she slipped out of bed.
Buffy threw the covers over her face, guaranteeing Willow around fifteen
minutes still to herself.
Giles opened the front door to find an anxious Willow looking up at him.
"Willow. Hello, come in." Realizing her concern had not abated, he
Willow hurried to the couch. Spike was still warm and flushed, but the
skin around his arm wound appeared less inflamed. The wound was still
She lay a cool hand on his forehead, and a smile crossed his handsome
features. His eyes slowly opened, and he smiled more as he recognized her.
"Red," he said hoarsely.
"Hey, Spike," she said softly. "How are you feeling?"
"I am feeling bloody disgustin', but thanks for asking, luv," he answered,
raising his head and then collapsing back into the pillows Giles had placed
beneath him. "So, what are you doin' visiting me? Did you miss me?"
She giggled, and settled onto the couch with him. He wiggled over to make
room for her.
"I get to play nurse for the afternoon."
He gave her a considering look. "Reeeally?"
His eyes shifted, and she followed his gaze to the television, where a
busty soap opera nurse was giving a patient a sponge bath - a very
attentive sponge bath. She blushed.
He chuckled. "I'm only teasin' you, pet. I don't think I'm up to a sponge
bath." He made a face.
"Is there anything in particular you want me to do while you're gone,
Giles?" Willow asked as he prepared to leave.
"I-I'd recommend keeping him quiet, and there's more blood in the
refrigerator, so try to keep his fluid levels up. It doesn't appear to be
doing much good, but feeding is really his only chance to heal. Um, if he
gets very bad, you might need to give him a, er, a boost."
He held up his bandaged wrist, which Willow looked at in horror and Spike
"I wouldn't say it's a cure," Giles said wryly, "but it might just have
saved you this morning, you know."
"Bloody hell," Spike said in grudging admiration. "Thanks, mate."
Giles looked back at him with a resigned expression. "Willow would have
had my guts for garters, Spike."
Spike shifted his gaze to the redhead beside him, her concentration on his
wrist as she unthinkingly tried to take his pulse. Giles smiled and left.
"Um, luv ... I don't think you'll have any luck with that."
"But - oh!" Willow flushed. "I forgot."
"You were just tryin' to hold my hand, weren't you, pet?" he said
She dropped the large fingers she had held quickly. "I wanted to be a
doctor when I was little, you know."
He frowned at her. "What d'you want to do now, then?"
She settled back into the couch, then immediately sat forward again.
"Spike, your legs. Either they're digging into my back, or else you have
to scrunch them up. Put them over mine instead."
For some pathetic reason, he wanted to hide his face and blush to all hell
as he laid his legs across her lap. He was glad that he still wore his
jeans, and a blanket besides. He could just see her getting all curious
about every inch of him, and they'd soon see who was or wasn't up for
She lay her hand across his leg, and her face grew thoughtful.
"I don't know anymore. Ever since Buffy came here, my life is more about
now than the future. I'm mostly too busy thinking about not dying every
night to think about ten, even five years from now. Of course, if Buffy
wasn't here, I'd be dead."
She said it so calmly, and matter-of-factly, that he knew she was glad,
however tiring the fighting got.
"And I love Wicca studies and witchcraft, but that's more who you are than
what you do. I enjoyed teaching, but I think I could do more than that. I
used to think about becoming a Watcher, but that's more a hereditary thing,
not to mention that the Council are wan - um, are one nasty bunch of
He chuckled. "Who started you saying wankers, pet?"
"I wonder," she returned dryly. "I don't know, Spike."
"Undie," he said hotly, suddenly.
She leaned back to look at him, and shook her head. "No, not that. I
didn't like who I was then."
He pouted at her. "You'll make me visit you when you're old and gray,
She giggled again. He loved the sound of it, not mad cackles like Dru's,
but sweet, warm laughter.
"You'll lose patience with me long before then, Spike," she said knowingly.
"You know, I - I had an offer to become a, a demon."
"You mean other than from me?" He sat up in sudden anger. "It better not
have been that bloody poof -"
"No, I mean a vengeance demon. Like Anya was," she elaborated quietly.
He sat back again, and looked at her, considering. "You're not hard
"I know. I couldn't be like Anya was," she sighed. "I couldn't feed a man
his own testicles - "
"Or watch on and laugh as a man got, um, intimate with his own suddenly
unstoppable Great Dane - "
Spike swallowed hastily.
"Or, or, you know, any of the things she's told us. That just isn't me. I
need to be the personal vengeance of stood-on flowers, or little bunny
rabbits or something."
"Snakes and frogs," he agreed, nodding sagely.
"Ye - no! No, not frogs. No frogs."
"Alright, just the little rabbits, then," he agreed warily.
"Well, I could do that ..."
He put his hand on hers. "It'll come, pet. And you'll be wonderful."
She shot him a disbelieving look, and put her hand to his forehead.
He smiled into her concerned green eyes. "I'm not fever-crazy, you know.
I'm just ... I just ... know you'll be grand."
She dropped her hand, but stayed leaning in, close to his face.
"We're going to get you better, you know," she stated.
"You bet your bloody socks we are, pet. I didn't last this long to be
blown away by a fever. I've got people to kill! Women to shag! Violence
and torture to inflict!"
"Shhh, you're getting excited," she laughed, settling back again.
"Bloody hell, yes! If I wasn't so damn weak I'd be chasing you all over
"To kill and torture?" she queried, arching a brow at him.
"Unless you prefer ... ?" he leered. "Although, I'd get some respect back
with a little fear and intimidation first, thank you very much." He pouted
again, and used her silence as an opportunity to trace little circles on
Her voice was distracted when she spoke. "It's hard to respect someone you
want to run your hands all over and- "
"You want to what!?" He just about leapt out of his seat. *She wants to
what?* "And what?"
She turned white, then bright red, her face mortified. "What? What did I
say? Did I say anything? I didn't say anything! Coffee! Coffee!"
"You haven't had any coffee!" he accused.
"You don't know that," she shot back, her face determined to hold him to
He flicked her a lazy smile. "You don't smell like coffee."
"You," she glared, "are ill, and don't know what you smell."
"It hasn't touched my sense of smell, pet," he grinned. "Or my hearing,
either. And, while we're on the topic ... it's hard to keep acting like
you hate someone who has such tempting breasts hidden under layers and
layers of fluff ..."
As he spoke, he summoned energy from somewhere beyond the grave - or at
least his sickbed ... sickcouch - and pulled her towards him, his hands
ending up so his thumbs rested below the breasts in question.
"Oh," she replied distractedly.
"Oh, indeed," he said, just as distracted as he traced the curves of her
breasts with his strong thumbs.
The little noise of surprised delight was intoxicating, but the thing was
... he really couldn't do a thing about it. Not if it involved effort or
moving of any sort. He dropped his head back, staring at the ceiling, but
continuing to stroke her gently.
Willow lifted herself from him, resettling his legs across her waist.
"Uh, Spike?" she asked tentatively.
He sighed, and sat up again. "Willow."
Her face was fearful, and he cursed everyone who'd ever disappointed her.
"Luv," he began again. "You are going to get me damn well better, and then
I am going to shag you in every room in this house. And kiss you. I am
definitely going to kiss you. And I'm going to make love to you on this
couch. Absolutely. And if you want, I won't even bite."
Her wonderful smile returned, and she gave him a thoughtful look.
"Well ... maybe you could just ... nibble?"
He grinned. "I knew there was a reason I was in love with you."
Her breath caught.
"Love with me?"
"Um, I mean ... that's the painkillers talking." *Oh God, she doesn't love
me. She just wants me for my body ... would that be so bad? Damn it, yes,
I want her to love me back.*
"You haven't had any painkillers!"
"You don't know that."
Riley's face was surprised as he let Giles into his small, cramped office.
"Giles? Is it Buffy?"
"No, it's not," the older man said firmly, shutting the door behind him.
The boy looked him in the eye with a closed face. Where did they find such
"Is it the chip?"
Riley gave in. "Yeah. It's for safety ... it weakens the immune system.
A great discovery, really. But it means the hosti - Spike - has only a few
more days to live. Less if he's active, ignoring the pain. It's a safety
measure, against demons."
Giles very much doubted Spike was resting quietly. Oh well, he couldn't do
anything about it, and at least they didn't have secrets between each other
like Buffy and this boy had.
"How do I stop it?"
"Giles ... sir ... you can't. It's done now. Even if the implant was
removed - which we couldn't do alone - once the termination process is
started, it can't be aborted."
Giles felt his own demon licking at the edges of perception. And gave into
it. He grabbed Riley and held him forcefully against the wall.
"Termination? This isn't some program, you little fool! You have no idea
what you're dealing with, any of you! You ... do you not realize, that
sometimes you have to err on the side of life! Just because Spike is dead
doesn't mean he's not as alive as you or I. Or more than you, you
heartless little scrap."
He realized he was making little sense, and dropped the boy to the floor.
"Find a cure. Or you'll find out just what being on the Hellmouth means."
Riley stared after the man in stunned, choked astonishment. *Who the hell
was that guy?*
As Giles opened the door to his home, he was surprised to find the place
peacefully quiet, with a strong smell of freshly baked bread products in
the air. In fact it smelled like scones.
Doubting his own nose, he peered into the kitchen. Scones it was indeed.
Walking back into the living area, he noticed that Spike was sleeping on
the couch. *Oh.*
And with Willow curled up against him, their hands entwined.
His face fell. How on earth would he tell them? Willow had always cared
for Spike, and the vampire had appreciated her more than any of the others.
And from the looks of things, they'd decided to acknowledge what they
"Giles," Willow said sleepily, sitting up, but not letting go of Spike's
hands. "We made scones."
Giles almost laughed. She was like a little child, flushed with excitement
and happiness. "I saw. Very good, too. Did you make them yourself?"
She smiled. "Spike gave me pointers."
He gave her a small smile back, and Willow watched him intently.
"Did you find out anything?"
"Willow, it's the implant. And Riley says it cannot be stopped or slowed.
Spike, Spike is going to die."
He didn't ever want to see such an expression on a human face again.
"No." she moaned. "NO! Giles, I promised him. I promised him. I
promised!" Her voice rose in despair, and she let go of Spike's hand to
touch his face.
"Willow, there is nothing we are able to do. I am so sorry. But we just …
we don't know anything about this. Riley is the one who had the answers,
but he was no help. This, this is the chip's design. And that little
bastard told me that the termination process is irreversible. We can't do
Willow was unable to speak. Instead she stared at him, her face blank as
her mind flitted through a hundred, a thousand different thoughts. He
could hear her muffled sobs, and a tear fell down his own cheek at her
Willow left Giles' apartment shortly afterwards, brushing a kiss over
Spike's warm forehead. He remained unconscious, still sucking in air to
useless lungs with faint rattles.
*He loves me. He loves me. And he's going to die. He was supposed to
live forever and now he's going to die. They're killing him.*
The anger that stirred within her surprised her in its force. She wanted
to find Riley and all the stupid Initiative and kick their collective ass.
She was going to find a way to save Spike. They'd stopped the world from
ending in hours before, they could manage to save the unlife of one
Tears filled her eyes again, and she wiped them away roughly.
*People always blame and accuse when one of my spells goes wrong, and
there's the Initiative putting self-destruct chips in nothing more than
innocent animals. Well, kind of innocent. They never bit people at the
Initiative. This is worse than when Oz left. I only just found him, after
wanting him so long. They're killing me along with him!*
She stopped so suddenly on the path outside Stevenson Hall that an older
student bumped into her. She ignored his dirty look, her mind recollecting
where her anger had led her.
*Rage. Power. I wonder where just pure desperation fits in on the scale?*
The demon she had met in Avoshmahar, D'Hoffryn, had offered her his
talisman, in case she had ever wanted to take him up on his offer. A magic
talisman, just like in the stories, and she had buried it at the bottom of
her magic supplies, too worried that it was more than a useless trinket to
throw it away. So she had kept it, hidden it.
Willow removed the small square of yellow silk, unbinding a largish metal
disc. Strange symbols and designs were etched on its surface, engravings
that teased the eye and distorted while you looked.
Worth it. Whatever it took, it was worth it.
As she had been instructed, directions she took in despite fear and panic,
she made a quick chant.
"Er, ah, I call on D'Hoffryn to hear my, hear my plea – "
Giles watched over Spike. He had no idea where Willow was, but the vampire
had not woken since she left, and seemed beyond waking. They had taken
Spike upstairs to Giles' bedroom, and he lay almost in a coma, fevered and
He had read his texts, had the other children researching on possible cures
without knowledge of a cause, had talked to Angel, and opened his own wrist
again. All to no avail. The boy had appeared an hour earlier, guilt
ridden and without a cure. He had tried, Giles knew that from the way the
boy cringed when he stepped too close, but had not found any chance for
Buffy was on nursing duty, mopping Spike's brow with a cool cloth,
grimacing all the while. She looked up to complain as he hovered at the
foot of the bed.
"Typical. Will's all 'poor Spike' and I end up Florence Nightengale.
Can't I just put him out of his misery?" Buffy held up a pair of stakes
from her bag. "Look, I have spares."
"Buffy – "
"I know, I know," she grumbled. "But doesn't she get that it's no good
trying to redeem the undead?"
Xander and Anya exchanged a look from where they sat on the floor, a look
that he shared with his Slayer. The boy read on, oblivious.
"He's evil!" Buffy pointed out.
"He's the victim here," Giles replied quietly.
Spike interrupted them, sitting bolt upright, his face strained and eyes
Buffy's eyes widened, and she drew her hand away as Spike's demon face
appeared, then relaxed back. Spike choked slightly, then slumped down onto
Xander groaned, and Buffy made a repulsed face.
"I told you they were." Anya said smugly.
Giles just watched Spike, growing more worried. Whatever Willow was
trying, she had better hurry.
Unless she was already too late.
A flash of light and a slight jolt was all she experienced, not the pain of
last time when she had been dragged here, but it was an easy guess that she
was in another dimension. Her room never smelt this bad, no matter what
demons Buffy had been slaying. Plus it was damp, water actually dripping
over the stone walls around her.
And there was a scabby, hooded-monk type demon in front of her.
"Er ... I ... do you speak English?" she babbled hopefully.
He - it? - reached out and lifted her arm, looking at her hand. She held
up the talisman, offering a weak smile.
The demon seemed to smile back at her.
"There is no turning back," he replied, his voice stilted and his accent
They wove through dank corridors and entered a larger hall.
Despite his intimidating appearance, long, gathered beard and all,
D'Hoffryn had retained the relaxed attitude she remembered from last time.
"You came back. How wonderful. Anger, pain, suffering, how quickly they
come back to you. You realize the price of returning to Avoshmahar?"
"I know," she said quietly.
"Immortality. Vengeance. They can wear thin over the millennia."
Willow recognized his tone. He still offered her an escape. But, Spike …
"I don't want to hurt people," she said quickly. "I want to help people."
D'Hoffryn studied her.
"Success? Revelation instead of retribution?"
"Exactly. And … and I ask a boon of you."
"Before you start working for me, you ask a boon?"
Willow swallowed. Nice or not, he could still set her knees to trembling.
"A vampire, he's dying. I want – I need his help. I need him."
He smiled suddenly. "You were hurt, last time. You had so little faith in
the world. Now you see him hurt, and you have lost your faith again. You
do not see that it was set in stone all along. You must know pain, to know
bliss. And so must they."
He held his closed hand out before him, and Willow cupped her hand beneath.
D'Hoffryn's hand opened, and a ball of light enveloped his talisman.
Willow drew in a breath as heat seared her palm, not burning the flesh, but
definitely uncomfortable. And then she stared at the locket that lay
there, blood-red gem on a heavy chain of gold.
"The conditions are many, but you will learn. You offer yourself in free
will, for the life of another, not in anger, but in love. The price you
pay is immortality, and your reward is love to share it."
"Thank you," Willow whispered, clutching at the locket.
"Oh, don't thank me," D'Hoffryn said cheerfully. "Of course, it won't be
He reached behind him and handed over a heavy, dusty volume.
VENGEANCE – Beginning.
D'Hoffryn strode with her back to the hall where the portal had opened,
informing her of the more pertinent facts. And she smiled weakly,
struggling to carry the book.
This was going to wreak havoc on her finals.
Spike reared up in the bed *whose bloody bed?* and gulped in unneeded air.
He glanced around him, and saw the bloody Scooby gang arguing around him.
"Willow?" he gasped uncertainly.
"Spike!" Giles cried, rushing to the bedside. "How do you feel?"
Spike mentally ran through how he felt. He felt confused. He wanted to
know where Willow was. But he didn't feel sick. He didn't feel weak. And …
actually … he felt pretty King Evil.
And … he felt …
Giles watched, startled, as Spike leapt from the bed, doing a pretty
convincing impressions of someone in full health.
Spike skidded across the room and hesitated for a single moment in front of
"Slayer," he said in a wicked tone, and drew back his fist to smack her,
full force, in the mouth.
Buffy's head snapped back at the punch, and precious drops of Slayer blood
sprayed over her skimpy white top and the hand she raised to her mouth and
"YES!" he yelled ecstatically, and ran his eyes over the options in the
He absolutely refused to try half of them. But the others … He grabbed
the ex-demon away from Chubs, and ran his tongue over her neck before
biting in and taking three gulps of the beautiful, hot, sweet blood. She
screamed in pure terror and pain, music to his ears.
At that point everyone snapped out of their funk, and started towards him,
so he chucked the shrieking girl back at them.
As the she crashed into the others, as one they took a few steps back. And
it was at that moment that she appeared in the room.
"You're alive!" she said breathlessly, and he swept her into his arms.
"You …" he said in disbelief. "And I am not." He nuzzled into the hollow
of her neck, breathing in her scent. The temptation swung up again, and he
bit gently into her neck for a quick swallow of blood. Or two.
She jumped a little, and then softly pushed him away from the wound.
He sighed, managing one last lick, and then behaving. He kissed her
"Spike! Stop biting everyone!" Giles yelled belatedly, holding the furious
Buffy, stake in hand, back until they made sense of things.
Spike refused to stop kissing Willow, until she made a small noise that let
him know she needed air. As she drew in a breath, he turned back to his
"I am not biting everyone. I'm merely nibbling on the ones that aren't …
"Rancid?" Buffy squawked, struggling against Giles with renewed effort.
The accusation and apparent return to health were a bit too much for Riley.
He grabbed the stake Buffy held, and swung Willow out of the way, impaling
Spike in a swift move.
The gasps in the room were audible, as Riley drove the stake further into
"That's for hitting my girlfriend, you, you vampire!" Riley bellowed,
enraged but not eloquent.
"OWWW …" Spike's startled expression turned to curious as he entirely
failed to turn to dust. Glad that he hadn't made an embarrassingly
unneedful tragic face, he punched the boy's hand out of the way, and
touched the end of the stake.
"Um," he commented idly, gripping the inch or two still protruding from his
chest. Willow's hand joined his, and together they pulled the stake loose.
He … felt … the wound seal itself beneath his shirt.
"Not the heart?" Riley asked in confusion.
"Oh, that was my bloody heart, potato boy. Want me to return the favor?"
"You can't kill him, Riley," Willow said calmly. "You can't ever touch him
Spike's eyes narrowed. "That's right, I have a bone to pick with you,
"Willow, what on earth is going on here?" Giles asked desperately.
As Willow turned from Spike, Giles caught sight of the locket she wore
about her neck. He was not alone in the observation. Anya's very loud
gasp drew everyone's attention.
She looked at Willow in a mixture of confusion, horror, recognition and
"D'Hoffryn?" she asked softly.
Willow's eyes widened in acknowledgement. "D'Hoffryn."
Spike's eyes flew between them.
"D' ... Hoffryn?" he repeated weakly.
William the Bloody, also known as Spike, scourge of Europe, fainted into
"Um ... little too much excitement for Spikey here ..." she said nervously,
lowering him to the ground.
"You don't say," Xander drawled, utterly confused.
"Well, um," Willow started, her hand unconsciously brushing Spike's hair
back from his forehead. "You remember when I cast that spell, when Giles
couldn't see ... and ... stuff?"
Buffy glared at her and the figure that lay in her arms, only recently
revived and moved downstairs with the rest of the gang. "We remember," she
Spike wrinkled his nose at the Slayer, and then fought back a bad case of
the giggles when he looked at her face. Her nose was swollen and crusted
with blood, as were her lips. Nice hit.
"Well, there's this demon called D'Hoffryn. And he invited me to become a
vengeance demon. And when Spike was dying," her voice caught a little at
that, and she gave Riley an accusing stare, "I agreed to become a demon, on
the condition that my life was bound to his. We're, we're both immortal."
"Luv," Spike said in dismay, sitting up and touching her face. "You're a
"No, it's okay," she chirped, smiling at him reassuringly. "Vengeance
demon for slighted teenagers, and I give vengeance through the avenger, not
through the nasty person. So, good stuff. Computer nerd takes sexy older
British man to the Prom, sort of thing. And I - I get to finish college
... to stay here for a while, at least. And ... I have you."
He bent his head to kiss her softly. "Thank you,"
"Will you help me?" she asked tenderly.
"Of course, pet." He frowned momentarily. "Can ... can I?"
He nodded outside, and she grinned.
"Anytime you like."
Spike stared at the windows, thinking of the sunlight outside. Sunlight.
"Neat," he said calmly, but the way he clutched at her hand made Willow
"Spike is immortal? And he can bite? Willow, did your brain short out?"
Buffy asked in fury.
"He doesn't need to eat anymore, but the hunger isn't wholly taken away,"
Willow said icily. "And I did it to save his life, the life your boyfriend
wanted to take away."
"Willow – Spike – I'm sorry for that. But I didn't do it, or even know
about it until after it had been done," Riley offered, his face shameful.
"You're apologizing to that freak?" Buffy shrilled.
"Buffy, who exactly are you calling the freak?" Willow asked idly, running
her finger over her locket.
Buffy gulped at the new power in Willow's voice and manner.
"He hit me," she said sullenly.
"I got carried away. You didn't think that I liked you, did you? I could
have bloody killed you." Spike shrugged. "And Anya … I only wanted a
taste – see if I could."
Anya nodded, but uncomfortably rubbed the red wounds on her neck.
He yawned, and Willow frowned.
"Spike needs to rest from all this excitement, you know. Is everyone on
track with who I am, who he is, that we can't be killed or hurt? Because
he is going to sleep now, and I'm going to hook him into the school system
to start college with us in the new semester."
Everyone seemed stunned at her directness, but mutely obeyed.
"Uh ... will you stay here with Spike tonight?" Giles asked cautiously.
"After he's rested a few hours he'll be fine, and we'll spend the night at
my parents house, Giles. We can find an apartment tomorrow." She smiled
at the older man who had accepted all this with relative ease. "Everything
will be different from tomorrow."
Xander finally looked up from the other sofa where he had been surprisingly
silent, holding Anya's hand. He watched Willow smile at the Watcher, then
raised his free hand.
"Just one more thing ... why ... when did you want to take Giles to the