A Tale of Two Tiggers 2: Return to the Carnival

Author: Lucinda

Rating: pg?, pg 13?

Main Characters; Spike, Willow

Disclaimer: I do not own anyone from BtVS.

Distribution: WLS, Bite Me, SoulMates, WWW, YourMission

summary: the continuation of Tale of Two Tiggers: they return to the carnival, and this time it's actually open.

notes: Set in S4, so Spike is chipped. Willow is NOT dating Tara. :Words inside colons: are the other person in a telephone conversation.


Willow woke up, her body feeling stiff, her mouth tasting that particular sort of nasty that hinted at lingering sweets gone stale. She stumbled out of her bed, grabbing a few items of clean clothing and simultaneously peeling out of yesterdays things while walking down the hall to the shower. Something was nagging at her mind, something that she'd forgotten, something important... She'd remember after the shower, surely.

Had she been more alert, the battered black boot half fallen into the hallway beyond her parent's bedroom door would have been a strong clue. It was something that her parents would never wear, and in fact, her parents weren't even in the state. Had she remembered that she'd brought Spike home with her, she probably wouldn't have been wandering down the hallway while stripping off her clothing. The idea of Spike catching her half naked would be... rather awkward.

As things turned out, Willow had remembered while in the shower that she'd brought Spike home with her, that he'd been still watching old tapes of wrestling that Xander had brought over and forgotten when she'd staggered off to bed. She'd brought her clothing into the bathroom, so she was actually dressed when she peeked out into the hall, seeing no signs of movement. In fact, she'd even made herself brunch and cleaned up after her cooking before she heard Spike moving.

From the sounds of it, he'd somehow fallen out of the bed, and was swearing in multiple languages about it. One boot tumbled down the stairs, shortly followed by the second. Then, there was a brief trail of heavy footsteps as Spike made his way to the bathroom, and she could hear him begin a shower. Willow smiled at the idea, almost amused by Spike's not so morning routine.

Spike crept into the kitchen, his damp hair having been left in unruly waves and locks. "Any idea where the other boot went? And... is there anything... bloodish in the house?"

Willow giggled. "Bloodish? As in not quite but sort of blood? I went to Willie's and got you some carry out, it's in the refrigerator. No wheatabix though."

"Ha bloody ha. But you got me... really?" He opened the refrigerator, half hesitant, as if he wanted to look and didn't want to at the same time. He pulled out the cardboard box, opening the flap slowly.

"Red... this... this isn't pig's blood. You got me... how fresh is it?" Spike held one bag in his hand, the tracing over the Red Cross label slowly, almost reverently.

She smiled, having figured that he'd be happy, but not quite expecting him to be this impressed. "Willie swore that it was absolutely fresh, barely had time to chill, blah blah... I figure at least a week. But, um, I figured it would still be better for you than the pig's blood."

Leaving him to enjoy his breakfast, Willow went to the living room, flipping through the pages of her psychology book. She could hear Spike moving in the kitchen, and the sound of the microwave running. Absently, she tried to imagine how her parents, both of whom seemed to try to be semi-orthodox Jews, would react. There was a presumably Protestant vampire in the kitchen, having blood. So very not kosher... and let's not forget that her parents still probably didn't think she should have 'boys' in her room.

The telephone rang, and she answered it, absently wondering who it could possibly be. "Rosenberg residence..."

:Oh, Willow, I'm sooo glad I could find you! Giles has this problem with all of his books, and he's sort of trying to have everyone help him fix it, which is just not right because I think we can blame it all on Spike! But I told Giles I'd call you and have you come on over and help fix these old books, and Riley and I are going to the carnival! Isn't that just so sweet?: Buffy's voice chattered over the phone.

"You seem to be feeling perkier, Buffy. Last time I saw you, well, you were collapsed in Giles' chair. Now, are you trying to have me take over helping Giles so you can go on a date?" She hoped that she'd heard a few things wrong, that Buffy really wasn't trying to pull what she thought she was trying.

:Well, I've been helping him for a while now. I had no idea how many really old books he even had! How many books on portents of doom does any one guy need? And I could use a bit of quality time with Riley. It's not like you have something better to do tonight...: Buffy sounded far too convinced about Willow's lack of other plans.

Willow felt something like intensified growling annoyance flash into her. "Actually, I do have plans for this evening, and my date would me most annoyed at someone trying to change things. Sorry." She hung up the phone, not wanting to hear Buffy trying to convince her that this date with Riley was really important, or to try to cover for the 'not like you have anything better to do' comment.

"Date, red? It's a date now?" Spike's voice was filled with amusement as he leaned against the doorway, a mug in hand filled with blood.

She could feel herself blushing. "ummm... well, Buffy was trying to have me go help Giles put all of his books back into order, the books that you made a mess of, by the way. And her reason why I should go do this instead of her is that she wants to go to the carnival with Riley, and she doesn't think I have anything better to do with my time. So I said I had a date... which you heard... and umm... I thought you wanted to go back to the carnival and have more cotton candy?"

Spike smiled as he sipped his blood. "You forgot the part where I was going to win you one of those stuffed animals. I guess that does sound a bit like a date. And I don't want Fluffy messing it up."

Willow grinned, her heart feeling much lighter. Spike wasn't upset, he still wanted to go to the carnival. Life was... pretty good right now.

end part 1.

"Not going to insist we go over and help Fluffy and the moron fix Giles' house?" Spike's question was almost casual, as if he didn't care if they went, but was curious how she thought of the matter.

Willow looked at him, a small smile hovering over her lips. "Nope. Buffy just wants to go spend time with Riley, like she's been doing all week. Let her be responsible for once. Xander helped give you that sugar that let you wreck the house, so he can help clean it up."

Spike grinned at her. "You don't think we should go 'save them' from their fate?"

Willow giggled, throwing a small pillow at him. "No, they've brought it on themselves... except poor Giles. Wait a minute... he couldn't handle Hyper Spike and fobbed you off on me! Let him pick up his own books!"

"You didn't enjoy my company? And here I thought you said you had fun..." There was a bit of a serious look in his eyes.

Willow looked at Spike, seeing just the faintest hint of what might have been uncertainty in his eyes. "Of course I had fun! Last night was just great. But... Giles didn't know I'd have fun. He just had a problem and expected me to solve it. And if things had been miserable, I don't even know if anyone would have apologized. I had been studying, you know."

"But we had fun. And you can study me anytime, Red." Spike grinned, a hint of predatory interest in his eyes as he teased her.

Eventually, the sun set and the pair of them set off for the carnival. Willow was grinning, her eyes sparkling and practically skipping along beside Spike. For his part, Spike had a small smirk, and he'd looped one arm through Willow's, keeping her close.

"Think we'll see the Slayer and her boy-toy tonight? Or will they still be picking things up?" Spike sounded almost content.

Willow looked at him, her eyes sparkling. "They'll probably be there eventually. She'll say she's going to go patrol, and then meet up with Riley, ditch patrol and go have fun."

"Probably right. How in the hell did she keep beating me if that's how she approaches things?" Spike sounded a bit annoyed.

"Because she has us to think about these things when she doesn't. And her mom hit you with an axe on parent-teacher night." Willow sounded... not quite smug, but certainly amused.

Spike looked over, tugging lightly on a lock of her hair. "What about your parents, Red? How'd they feel about Parent-Teacher night?"

"They were in Tampa, Florida, and had... well, a conference on Adolescent Psychology. They sent a postcard that said everything went well." Willow sighed, contemplating her parents. They weren't quite in her life, even when they were in Sunnydale.

Spike frowned. "Don't they care how well you do in school? Do they know you're attending Uni here?"

"Yeah... they were disappointed that I didn't go to Yale. As long as I get good grades and stay out of legal trouble, they really don't care. It's better that way, the one time Mom decided to care... Hansel and Gretel and MOO. It was bad." Willow shuddered at the memory.

Spike rubbed his hand over hers, keeping her hand in his. "I heard a bit about that, listening to Fluffy in there. She was going on about the perils of Mother-Daughter bonding. I... hadn't thought about how much time the rest of you spend with your family's. Joyce is a nice lady."

"Yeah, she's great. I wish I could have her instead of Ira and Sheila Rosenberg. Mine aren't here much, even when they are, and Xander... his family has issues." Willow sighed again. "And this has gone all serious and depressing, hasn't it? I thought... fun, games, cotton candy?"

"Parents... eh. Not for going to the carnival chat. So... Did you want one of those blue lions or one of the silly big eyes girls?" Spike seemed all too willing to let the discussion of parents fall to the side, and get left there.

"Lions? umm... The lions were cute, and there was something that looked like it might be interesting at one of the dart games." Willow was delighted, almost unable to believe that Spike really wanted to win her a prize.

"Then we'll wander all over, eating more of that cotton candy, and collecting a small army of toy minions that we can use to take over Sunnydale once you figure out that plan of yours. You had a nice long sleep, far more than four hours..." Spike seemed so cheerful, it was hard to tell if he was serious about taking over Sunnydale or not.

Willow giggled as she imagined herself and Spike, standing in front of a vast horde of stuffed animals, lions, snakes, dogs and those little power puff girls, preparing their minions of evil to march forth and conquer. "Everyone would laugh so hard they fell down helpless before us... Nobody would be able to resist out advancing army of fuzzy minions..."

"Yeah... I can see it. You and me, rulers of the Hellmouth." He grinned at her, still holding her hand as they arrived at the gates of the carnival.

end part 2.

It didn't actually take that long before they were inside the carnival, bags of pale blue cotton candy in hand, looking around. It looked so different with the throngs of people, even though many of them had probably gone home already, fearing the night without quite admitting why. Denial... it was an interesting thing.

Willow suddenly paused, certain that she'd just seen Xander. A few moments of carefully examining the elbow and shoulder and the partial view of the woman clinging to that elbow told her that yes, "Xander and Anya are right over there."

Spike groaned, a small hint of whine creeping into his voice. "No, not him and demon girl! I thought we'd have a nice time away from all those meddling friends of yours. They'll try to pry us apart and ruin the whole evening."

Turning, she looked at him in surprise. Had he just said that he wanted to spend the whole evening with her? "Well, maybe you'll just have to be such a perfect and fun date that they can't help but be jealous. And that will certainly ruin Buffy's night. And we can start on our fuzzy legion of doom."

"Our fuzzy legion of doom, hmm? Sounds like a plan. How do we send them forth? Where do we strike first?" Spike was practically bubbling with enthusiasm.

"Actually, there's a spell that... no, no, no! This isn't the right way at all! First, we gather the minions, THEN we determine the details of what we send them to do. If we don't focus in order... and I don't think I'm supposed to try to take over the world, or even a portion of it." Willow's voice had begun indignantly, and ended on a somewhat quizzical note.

Blinking, Spike murmured "Right, get them first, then send the out. Maybe that's been part of my problem all these years... Willow Lu..." He paused, remembering her insistence that she wasn't his love. "Willow, aren't you in a Political Science class? Doesn't that cover systems of government? Wouldn't a spot of small conquest and administration make a wonderful project?"

Willow looked at him, her eyes glimmering with questions. "Are you trying to lure me to the dark side?"

"Of course I am! Evil, remember?" Spike sounded almost indignant. "Besides, I think the plan has merit."

She couldn't keep herself from laughing. "ohh.... the fuzzy minions... imagine... someone writing up a report about it!"

Apparently the idea was amusing to Spike as well, judging from his laughter. "Right... the looks on their faces... and how would you slay one? Right... time to gather our minions of terror!"

"Hmm... dismemberment or incineration... and oh! Be sure to get a bunny! Anya's terrified of them, but everyone else will be so used to bunnies being cute and fluffy...." Willow's eyes were bright with mischief.

"Right, a bunny. Should we get any little hoppy frogs if they've got them?" Spike was grinning again, and bouncing. His bag of cotton candy had vanished, except for a little bit stuck just beside his lip...

"Oh!" Willow shivered. "No, no frogs. I... I'm scared of frogs. I don't think it would be good to have a minion that scares me."

"Scared of frogs? Considering what you do? Isn't that a bit..." Spike's words trailed off, as he looked intently at Willow.

She blushed, looking at her toes with great fascination, and mumbled something too soft and indistinct for Spike to decipher.

"What was that, Red?" He was grinning, a feral look of gleeful anticipation.

"I had a nightmare about Kermit the Frog from the Muppets when I was little. Twice a week at least, for a month. He was leading an army of frogs to destroy the city..." She was blushing, and scuffing her toe against the ground.

"How old were you?" Spike looked thoughtful. "What happened when... did you tell anyone?"

"I told my mom. She explained about how Kermit was just a make-believe character, and wasn't really real. Then she went on about how frogs needed water, and not the ocean. I was four, maybe five. It still comes back once in a while." She glanced up, peeking at him nervously.

Spike gave a small growl, and looked skywards. "Soon as this chip comes out, remind me to have a talk with her about proper parenting. And just remember... I promise to keep you safe from Kermit. And his slimy minions."

She grinned, looping her arm through his. Somehow, his growled comment made her feel better. "Thanks, Spike."

end part 3.

So, Spike set out to win Willow an armload of fuzzy animals and big eyed anime girls. Partly so he could continue the joke about their army of fuzzy minions for world conquest, and partly to see her smile. The games were actually quite easy for him, considering his vampire strength and that decades of violence had honed his reflexes to an amazing level. They soon had a good start on their fuzzy legions of terror.

And if by some fluke, she actually DID have a way to use them to take over the Hellmouth? Well, who would he be to complain? But it was a nice running joke. Especially since he had no idea how you could actually have them go forth and... well, move.

It wasn't that difficult for Spike to win the first prize, at the strength testing hammer and bell game. The prize he picked out was a large blue lion with a mane that was a mixture of blue and purple, easily the size of a Labrador. Willow had laughed at the startled expression on the man's face as the bell rang, and Spike had chuckled as well.

He proceeded to collect a few more, a snake in patterns of brilliant yellow and orange, something that they had finally decided was a bear in tan, and a floppy puppy that was white with black spots. Then, he'd seen someone that had looked half familiar, possibly one of the commandos at a game, and had insisted on trying his skill. Which was how he'd come to be in the middle of an intense battle, all the players valiantly attempting to control their squirt guns and be the first person to fill their container and send the little clown to the top. It was rather cute, actually.

"Willow? You're here at the carnival... I thought Buffy said you had some sort of study thing tonight?" Xander's voice came from behind her, slightly slurred by his mouthful of 'genuine salt water taffy'.

She turned, arms filled with the beginnings of a massive collection of fuzzy animals. Xander was there, Anya beside him holding a fluffy... something in orange. "Buffy said what? No, like I told her when she called to try to con me into cleaning up the mess you people let happen, I have a date. Here. To have fun."

Anya nudged Xander with her elbow. "Look at all of the prizes she's holding. Willow has more prizes than I do. Why does she have more prizes? And I told Buffy that her idea was selfish... She just wanted to be here with her date."

"ahhh... honey, I'll try to win more prizes for you. Wills? I didn't know that you had a boyfriend..." Xander floundered for words.

The bell on the game rang, signaling that someone's clown had reached the top. Willow turned, curious who it had been. Spike leapt into the air, one fist raised as his voice rang out. "YES!"

Willow started giggling, both at Spike's glee, the disgruntled look on the face of the person who'd come in second, and from the startled noises coming from Xander. They sounded something like 'mee buhh...spiyy... uhhh'

Spike claimed a fuzzy blue bear in a red vest and beret, grinning maniacally as he turned around. "Here you go, Willow. We got any of the cotton candy left?"

Xander's eyes got very large, and he took a slow step backwards. "Cotton candy? You're... he's your date? And you're giving him sugar? Man, oh man, didn't you learn from that last time?"

Willow smiled as she managed to pull out the remaining half bag of fluffy golden cotton candy, no longer quite as fluffy as it had once been. She also managed to pass the smaller animals into her backpack, still holding the huge dog and now the fuzzy blue bear. "Spike and I had fun. We figured what's the harm in that? But if you're worried... I promise to keep track of him and not let him take over the world without my careful supervision."

Anya frowned, sorting through Willow's words. "You mean he CAN take over the world if you're watching?"

Spike gave his most predatory grin. "She's going to be my master tactician. With her at my side, we'll be unstoppable! First Sunnydale, then the world!" He then managed a very credible maniacal laugh, the sort made infamous by Hollywood's depiction of evil geniuses and mad scientists.

The effect was a bit lessened by him grabbing the bag of cotton candy and taking a big bite of the spun sugar. Especially since a wisp of it was now sticking to his cheek.

Xander swallowed once, hard. "You're... Wills? Please tell me he's joking? This isn't Mrs. Donner's fourth grade anymore, you can't take over the world by subliminal messages in the television... You know that, right?"

Willow smiled, eyes dancing as she looked at Xander. "Of course I know that. Too many people watch cable anyhow."

Xander and Anya made a hasty retreat, whispering furiously to each other, occasionally glancing back with nervous eyes.

end part 4.

"You know that they're going to wonder if you really would let me take over the world." Spike's voice was low, filled with amusement.

"Yep. That's the whole point. Leave them guessing... But what would you do with the world once you became the new Grand High Poohbah, Ruler of all you surveyed?" Her eyes were still sparkling with amusement.

"You enjoy it, of course. Make the world your bloody oyster and all that." Spike looked at her, wondering what was going on in her mind.

She shook her head, taking another bite of cotton candy. "no, no. If all you do is sit back and indulge, someone else will come up and take the world away. That's why all the great empires of history fell, they got complacent, soft and lazy. Then, when a challenge arose, they got their imperial hiney's kicked."

He couldn't argue the historical facts. "Got a better plan, Red?"

Giggling, she looked at him. "You have... there's a bit of cotton candy on your cheek. And yes, I have a better suggestion. Conquer the Hellmouth, keeping all the scary types in line with an iron fist. Then, instead of trying to rule the world directly, you rule the rulers. If everyone answers to us, we still have the power and the fuzzy legions of terror, and someone else gets all the paperwork."

The image was amusing - their horde of toys menacing the United Nations, making everyone bow to their whims. He started to laugh as well, not the forced maniacal laughter, but a real laugh. "Red, you're one of a kind."

One arm around her, they began walking again, looking for more games, or more cotton candy. "If I just yank the chains of the world leaders, can I still call myself the Grand High Poohbah?"

The giggles intensified. "Of course... but we won't use chains on the world leaders... much too obvious. People would see them, and then look for the other end, which would be firmly clutched in your hand as you tugged and made them fall over while you smirked and laughed..."

"But wouldn't it look funny?" Spike couldn't remember any time in recent history that he'd had this much fun, not counting last night.

She looked at him, her expression filled with mischief. "Absolutely. But we need to be discrete in our world domination... that way, nobody will know it's us. Unless they trace the fuzzy minions."

"Who'd be able to stop laughing long enough to do that, Lu... Willow?" He had the sudden image of a group of vampires trying to track a wandering teddy bear. That big blue one with the beret.

"Well... oh, no. I know who it would be. Angel. I don't think he knows how to laugh, so the fuzzy minions might not be too effective against him." Willow looked almost serious.

"Swarm him with floppy puppies." Spike tried to imagine Angel mobbed by stuffed toys.

"Angel...puppies...ack! Bad memories, nope, not going there. Brings up the whole vampire Willow thing." Willow shivered. "Maybe bunnies and snakes. An army of giant teddy bears."

"Vampire Willow? You do know that's not something that just goes away? And you weren't... I don't know what you were that Halloween, but it wasn't a vampire!" Spike felt like his head was spinning.

Willow turned an interesting shade of pink. "Halloween... ghost sheet over some of Buffy's clothes. And as for the other Willow... it had to do with an alternate dimension. We sent her back. She called Angel her puppy."

"She...Angel...puppy? For the love of anything, don't go there!" Spike made a gagging noise. He definitely didn't want to hear about his Willow and his Sire... doing anything. Especially not that sort of anything.

Willow looked somewhere between embarrassed and offended. "I am not her! She wanted him, I don't! Not then, not now. Neither version. I like my men sane and non-brooding, thank you very much."

"Your men? How many do you have?" Spike had to tease her just a little.

"Umm... currently, I don't. But once you're the Grand High Poohbah and I am your Grand Vizier, I was considering maybe starting up a harem or something..." She was grinning again, that same one that made him wonder how much was a joke, and if there was any seriousness behind her words.

"Red, the last thing a sweet girl like you needs is a whole room full of shallow, pretty boys trying to twist you around their finger and stabbing each other in the back. You need a single very good... very bad... You need one person, as long as it's the right person."

"Spike?" Willow looked at him, her eyes now troubled. "Behold my staggering success with relationships. I'm starting to think my only option is to take over the world and have enough power that they can't walk out on me."

"Bah. Harems are trouble, you need to remember that. Besides, maybe you just... need a bit more time to find him? Have a bit of patience and all that?" Something about her distress was bothering him.

She sighed, leaning against him for a moment. "Maybe. Besides, I suppose a harem would sort of break that whole discreet rulers of the world thing, wouldn't it? And I'd have a bit of trouble finding places to stash all of them. Hmmm... more cotton candy? And something to drink?"

"You'll get another sugar rush going." He felt himself smiling into her hair.

"yay for me. I'll need it to carry all of our fuzzy legion of minions."

end part 5.

They were both rather buzzed with sugar, their eyes bright and everything the most delightfully amusing as they continued through the carnival. Spike was murmuring stories about places he'd visited, and how parties went while Willow listened. Her whole body felt like it was vibrating, humming with this exotic energizing mix of sugar, mischief, and magic. She could feel her smile, so wide that it pulled at her cheeks.

She kept glancing at Spike, giggling as she pictured him as the Grand High Pooh-bah, wearing a big fuzzy helmet with horns like in one of the old Flintstones cartoons Order of the Water buffalo. She could see that he was having just as much fun as she was, and he kept snickering at nothing in particular.

"Think we can put a tax on hair gel and that mousse that Fluffy uses once we rule the world?" His voice was full of a teasing speculation. "That would make her squeal."

Willow giggled, picturing the look of outraged indignity that Buffy would have if there was a sudden price jump in her hair styling products. "That would be discrimination... and she wouldn't squeal. She'd complain, and whine, and demand to know why the price had gone up..."

Spike leaned over, his breath tickling her ear. "That would be the whole point."

"This is part of why they say you're evil... and she's" Willow paused, frowning as she looked to the left. "Right over there, actually. With Riley."

"What? She's here? Oh bloody... she is here somewhere." Spike practically growled, his bows dipping a bit. "Her and her soldier boy? I haven't had enough sugar to play nice with them."

"I got a Snickers bar." Willow tried to dig in her backpack, a look of slight concentration on her face. "But I didn't say you had to play nice. I just said they were here."

Spike grinned as he took the chocolate bar, a blissful expression on his face as he took a big bite out of the candy bar. "That's right... I don't have to be nice to her."

Leaning closer, Willow murmured towards his ear "Hey, when we rule the world, we can send her off to somewhere far away, like Istanbul, which was Constantinople, now it's Istanbul... oh, drat, now I have that song in my head again. We can send her away. Far away. Along with farm-boy over there."

"How do we get Rupert to go along with it?" Spike's eyes were bright, although it was hard to tell if it was from amusement or sugar.

"Sleeping pills in his tea." Willow's expression was smug. "Or a sleep spell, or maybe just chloroform on his cloth that he uses to clean his glasses..."

"Oh my God, I can't believe your here with him. Wills, you told me you had a date, not that you were taking pity on the Bleached One over there." Buffy's voice was filled with annoyance and shock.

Spike glared at Buffy, one eyebrow arched. "Excuse me? You're calling ME the bleached one? You do know that your roots are starting to show? We all know this isn't my natural color, hell, I've never claimed that it was. But you don't have room to talk."

Willow looked at Buffy, and at Riley, who looked as if he'd love to have one of those Initiative tasers right now. "Why not be here with him? And it's not pity, I'm having fun."

"You are so definitely not his type Wills. He's just using you for... something. Some plot. Or a substitute for his loony ex." Buffy was glaring at Spike, clearly wishing that she could just hit him.

Something, some bit of rebellious passion stirred inside Willow. "Really? You don't think I could keep someone like Spike? Guess that means we shouldn't confess our secret affair or plans to run off to Vegas and get married by Elvis."

She couldn't quite explain why she gave in to her impulse, but later, she would always blame it on a mix of confrontation and sugar. Willow reached up, one hand going behind Spike's neck, and pulled him down, kissing him with a searing intensity. She could feel him go tense with surprise, before kissing her back with equal ferocity, their bodies pressed together.

It was a long time before the kiss broke, leaving Willow clinging to him, pulling in desperate gasps of breath while her head spun pleasantly. His words almost didn't make sense at first. "She's gone now... and I'll have you know that I don't want to be married by Elvis, too many bad memories. I'd want something with a bit more class."

"No wedding by Elvis? Okay... I can live with that." For a few moments, Willow tried to work out the logistics of Spike having a classy wedding. "Umm... outdoors, night time. Spring meadow with flowers? Wait, we aren't planning a wedding, we were planning world domination. Smaller guest list."

Spike just laughed. "You might be able to persuade me to go with a wedding, Red."

end part 6.

By the end of the evening, when their stomachs were threatening violent revolt at the idea of one more shred of cotton candy or morsel of taffy, they were also laden with stuffed animals. Lions, bears, dogs, little girls, a bunny, a fluffy purple frog that Spike had slipped in, a couple coiled snakes... they had enough that it really looked like a small army of fuzzy minions. Letting them sit on a section of grass, Willow surveyed them with a look of glee.

"wow... and to think before tonight I'd never had anyone win me anything." She smiled at Spike. "Thank you."

He grinned right back, eyes twinkling. "Welcome, red. So how are you going to get them all back to your place?"

"Magic, of course." She giggled, and whispered a few words, waving her hand over the assembly of toys. A faint shower of pale greenish gold sparkles reached out, falling over the toys before fading beyond sight.

Spike stood up, jaw slightly dropped as the toys moved, shifting a bit, as if standing at attention. The tail of the yellow snake was twitching, and its tongue was even moving, flickering almost like a real serpent's tongue. "Red? You... you really did make them an army of fuzzy minions..."

"Sort of but not enough for world conquest." She looked at him, smirking a bit at his look of glazed shock. "This spell takes some concentration, and it has a sort of short range, so no sending them forth to terrify and confuse people. But... Spike, there are just too many of them to carry! This way, they can follow us."

They began walking back to her parents' house, Spike occasionally glancing back at their trailing fuzzy legion of doom. He had this incredibly goofy smile on his face.

"We have fuzzy minions! This could really work." His grin faltered, and for a moment, his face looked an unhealthy almost grey hue. "urgghhh... too much sugar."

Willow gave him a weak grin of her own. "Yeah... I think no more sugar for a long time. Want to crash in the basement again? I can send some of the minions down with you, find out if they can do stairs."

"Sounds good. A nice basement, quiet, peaceful. With no sugar. And no Slayer." Spike sounded as if he was looking forward to the idea.

"Can't believe the way she reacted. I mean, what's wrong with you that a girl couldn't want to be on a date with you?" Willow felt so annoyed at Buffy.

"I'm evil, remember? Vampire, mayhem, violence? All that fun stuff? I'm the big bad." Spike sounded a bit defensive.

Willow waved one hand dismissively. "Yeah, evil. When has that ever stopped someone from getting a date? You have great cheekbones, lots of muscles, a nice accent, and you have a good look. And you're a great kisser."

"Well... I guess you got a point there. So, evil is a problem for relationships, not dates?" Spike sounded as if he was trying to pin down something.

Willow just smiled, trying to find the right key on a jingling ring. "I guess that depends on the girl. And maybe on the type of evil."

"So, a sexy big bad has a better chance than something green and slime covered?" He was definitely teasing now.

"Absolutely. Good night, Spike."

end Tale of Two Tiggers 2: Return to the Carnival.