author: Lucinda

rating: pg 13

pairings: will become Spike/Willow, William/Tara

disclaimer: I hold no legal rights to any of the characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

distribution: Bite Me, WLS, WWW, Cat, Red SoulMates, yourmission, Feen, - anyone else please ask.

set in soon to be very AU season 5.

response to Fayth's Alterna Spike Challenge: It must include a Spike that isn't our Spike. This could be in the form of Robot-Spike, Shape shifting Spike, Demon-Spike, Human-Spike, Time traveling Spike, or Different Dimension Spike.etc etc etc. Whoever must come to Sunnydale and find our Wills and wackiness ensues especially when the other Spike finds out. Set when you want, how you want whatever you want. Smut or fluff, you decide.

Spike gritted his teeth, feeling frustrated, and bored. He hated this chip, hated it with a burning intensity, and hated the miserable Initiative that had put it in his head. But what could he do about it? Nothing. Even more frustrating was it's effects - he couldn't act violently against any human, couldn't even think particularly graphic violent scenes. He'd been starving... and discovered that he couldn't even feed on the miserable rats scurrying around in the allies. The real ones, that is. It was just to cruel and wretched.

So, he'd gone to the Slayer. He'd hoped for answers, for an explanation and a cure. Turned out that the Slayer's then current boy-toy was one of those soldiers that had captured him. They'd put a chip in his head, the cause of all his misery. More frustrating, the Initiative didn't plan to remove it - ever. And he couldn't do anything about it because they were all human.

The only person who seemed to have even the faintest bit of interest in helping him was Willow. But she was trying to figure out exactly how the chip worked, and what might disrupt it's functioning, or if it would be possible to remove it. He had no idea why the person that he'd threatened more than anyone but the Slayer would be willing to even consider helping him, but she was making the effort.

Of course, her efforts kept getting preempted by the need to research the latest demon, the latest crisis. And she'd fallen miserably sick twice, so sick that she'd done little more than huddle in her bed, miserable and mostly asleep. He'd been the only person to stop by. Although the second time was after she'd started spending so much time with that other witch, and Tara had been by briefly, but only once.

He wondered exactly what the deal was with those two. The Slayer seemed to think that they were an item, and so did Xander, but... Spike didn't think so. Their actions weren't quite right, and they never smelled of each other and sex. So, for some reason, they wanted everyone to assume that they were a couple.

He'd even blackmailed that hopeless geek that had built a robot for a girlfriend into building him a Buffy-bot. Something with the face of the most annoying person, someone that he could hit, that he could vent his frustrations on. All of his frustrations. Ironically, the stupid robot was just as effective at patrolling as the real one. He'd had a program put in where she would go forth patrolling, killing the idiots dumb enough to attack, and then he would find her, they would fight, and maybe... Well, it helped a little.

If he'd had any idea how much trouble that stupid robot would get him into, he'd have never had the damn thing built.

Apparently, one of Glory's minions had seen him and the bot. They'd mistaken the Buffy-bot for the real Slayer, and somehow, either on their own or under their mistresses orders, he'd been captured. Again. He'd been able to fight her minions, and he'd tried, but they had swarmed him, hordes of them that had eventually just dragged him down by sheer numbers.

He'd been taken to a warehouse, and chained between a pair of posts, wrists and ankles both chained, pulling him into an awkward position calculated to make him vulnerable, to inspire feeling of helplessness. It was working.

"Well, vampire. It seems that you've got the Slayer twisted around your finger. Want to tell me how?" The voice sounded a bit petulant, arrogant and demanding. The speaker was a woman, blond curls spiraling down her back, a short red dress barely covering her. She radiated power and menace unlike anything he'd ever encountered, even more than Acathala.

He felt something inside of him wanting to curl up and hide. He tried to squash the impulse. "I'm not telling you anything."

She didn't like his defiance.

Any shred of doubt about her annoyance were soon erased as she had him whipped until his back was a sticky screaming mass of pain, strips of skin hanging, bone and muscle exposed to the damp air. The whole time, she demanded answers, her voice cooing that the pain would stop if he would just tell her how to get her key back.

When she reached into his chest, her red-painted nails scraping over his heart, he could do no more than scream, part of him wishing desperately that he could tell her something, anything to make the pain stop. But he didn't know about this key. Most of him, forged by his early years at the non-mercy of Angelus and Darla, honed by almost a century with Dru, polished by this chip, refused to give in, to allow her mastery over him. He'd rather die.

It felt like that was what would happen to him. He would be beaten, ripped into, tortured to death in an effort to gain information that he didn't have. He couldn't even scream anymore. He'd tried not to even give her that much satisfaction, but the pain had grown too intense. It had been when she'd poured something over his back, something that had burned worse than holy water over his spine and muscles, sending him into near convulsions that the screams had come, continuing until his throat was too raw for even a squeak.

In the end, she pouted at him, one blood covered hand resting on her chin as she looked at him. "This, entertaining as it is, gains me nothing. He's not breaking from the torture. Something else would be needed for this to work... It would be so much easier if I could just reach in and take the information, but that doesn't work on vampires."

She paced, her little skirt riding up, showing an expanse of pale thigh. "How to crack his shady mind open? It's not like I can just... but I can, can't I? I am Glorificus, terror of seven dimensions. I can get him."

With a sharp gesture towards him, she issued her orders. "Take him away and leave him. I have a new plan."

It hurt too much to do more than a pitiful whimper as he was dumped out of a van, rolling across a lawn, stopping when he connected to a hedge, offering a tiny thanks to whatever was responsible for that near mercy. Everything went black as he was wondering what time it was, and if he would even be awake for the fatal sunrise.

end part 1.

Willow had gone to her parent's house for the weekend, driven out by the repainting that was going on in the dorms. The dorms weren't closed, but apparently she was allergic to the fumes, because they were making her terribly ill. Her head hurt, and her stomach twisted, churning and heaving. She couldn't eat, the idea of food making her stomach feel even worse. And she was a bit worried about Spike.

Not that she'd be able to tell anyone about that. Who could she mention it to that wouldn't freak out? Well... maybe Dawn, but... no, that didn't seem right. Dawn had enough stress being fourteen and having Buffy for a sister. She didn't need all of the 'what if's that Willow could envision happening to Spike. No, she would have to suffer in silence.

Something - she wasn't certain what it was, but something woke her up. Had it been a noise? A disturbance in the force? It didn't matter what had woke her, she could feel... someone was in terrible pain outside. Someone that she knew...

Pulling on a pair of sweat pants under her nightshirt, she slipped down the stairs, grabbing a short sword from the umbrella stand on the way out the door. Opening the door, she looked around, seeing nothing. Carefully, she crept along the sidewalk, alert, twitchy-nervous as she looked for the presence.

The sword almost fell out of her hand when she saw Spike. She only recognized him because of his hair, because she'd certainly never seen him like this before. Never seen his back raw and bloody, hints of vertebra and ribs showing, strips of skin hanging down into the grass, the one wrist that she could see raw and bloody, fluids oozing from abused flesh. He was laying almost under the hedge, his feet bare, his body abused, no - tortured.

She made an incoherent noise, darting forward to kneel beside him, looking over his injuries in dismayed horror. How had he... surely he was only still here because he was a vampire? She couldn't just leave him here. But how to get him inside without making the pain worse?

In the end, she levitated him, using her magic to lift him up, floating him along the sidewalk, the little bloody bits of grass and leaves falling like gory breadcrumbs to mark his path... She had to whisper an invitation, relieved that he didn't need to be awake for it to work.

Willow took him into the basement, the only place that she could think of where he wouldn't have to worry about sunlight. She kept him floating, turning him over slowly, looking at his injuries. His back had been... shredded, his wrists and ankles were raw, the skin rubbed and torn away as if by some sort of shackles, and there were horrible deep puncture looking wounds on his chest, wounds that looked as if they were infected.

Her vision blurred for a moment with tears. She'd been right to worry. Apparently, he'd been abducted, tortured by someone, something. She had to help him.

Carefully, she began using her magic to remove all of the bits of leaves and grass and shrub needles from his mangled back. She used a damp cloth, slightly warm, to try to wipe away the blood, had bandaged his wrists and ankles as gently as she could. But her power had limits, and in the end, she'd had to lower him onto an old mattress, carefully face down to spare his back. Spike would need blood to heal from this - a lot of blood.

It was well after sunrise now, and she could think of only one place to get Spike the blood that he would need - Willie's. A glimpse of her reflection brought her up short - appalled at the sight of a pale figure streaked with blood. She darted towards the shower, her stomach heaving at the sight of her reflection. She looked half dead herself...

By the time she'd emerged from her near scalding shower, her skin felt almost raw from frantic scrubbing, and Willow felt clean again. She put on simple clothing, a pair of jeans and a comfortable shirt and went towards Willie's. He would be there... and if he wasn't? Well... Spike needed blood, she would have to come up with a plan B if Willie wasn't there.

Fortunately, there was somebody moving inside Willie's Alibi, and she knocked on the door. The only response was a muffled voice that might have been 'go away'.

A push of magic and the door rattled, made a series of clicks, and flung itself open, allowing her to walk into the little bar. She saw Willie, standing near his bar with a look of unwelcome surprise on his face. "Hello, Willie. I need blood. Human."

He'd started backing away, babbling nervously about being unsuitable for any sort of ritual, and probably bad tasting and... It was clear that he was afraid of Willow for some reason.

"It's not for a spell. I have a hungry vampire at my house, and I was getting carry out. I didn't intend for you to be the carry out. Now, are you going to offer to sell me some human blood - fresh mind you, or..." She let her voice trail off, still trying to devise plan B.

Willie practically sprinted for his back room, emerging with a cooler full of red cross packets. He was pale, and shaky, and stammered something about being sure that they could come to a reasonable price...

Willow pulled two hundred dollars from her wallet, dropping it on the counter as she used a bit of power to pull the cooler towards her, catching it. "Thanks, Willie."

Making her way back home, she wondered how to get a sleeping vampire to drink the blood. Especially since she was fairly sure that she was out of magic.

end part 2.

In the end, it had been a somewhat messy, and rather painful experience. She'd had to roll him over onto his back, which had caused him to wake up screaming, a growl rumbling in his chest, teeth sharp, his eyes amber and bloodshot. He'd looked around without apparent comprehension for a few moments, before looking at her in puzzlement.

"Will..." His voice was a raspy whisper. His eyes were still amber, and he looked so confused.

"I'm sorry... but I had to turn you over. I got you some blood. Of course, since you're awake, that makes the whole thing a lot easier..." Willow felt relieved. He was awake, he could get better. She pulled the cooler over, opening it and lifting out the first bag. "I picked up some blood from Willie's."

His hand was shaking as he reached for it. Grabbing it, he pulled it close, wincing as the movement pulled against his back. He bit into the package, not even bothering to ask if it could be heated, or put into a mug, or... anything. He just sucked it down, like a straw-less Capri-Sun.

"I got more. You looked... Spike, you're in bad shape. Which I'm sure you already know, and I want to help you. Probably silly of me, considering the number of times you said you'd kill all of us when the chip was out, but you need help." She was babbling. God, when would she get over that embarrassing tendency?

Spike drank more of the packets, his hand shaking a bit less, the injuries starting to heal. At least, the ones on his wrists and the bruises on his face were healing. He was still holding himself rigidly upright. There was near silence for a few minutes, broken only by the sounds of Spike draining the bags of blood, letting them fall to the floor.

He looked up, his eyes still golden, still filled with pain, but now alert, aware of his surroundings. His voice was still harshly rasping, as if... as if the inside of his throat was raw. "Thanks."

She let him drink more of the blood, a corner of her mind trying to keep a running total of how much he'd drank. Twelve, thirteen bags? Surely easily enough to have drained a person entirely. And he still looked terrible, still had this drawn, hungry edge to him. "Who did this to you?"

"I think it was Glory. She thinks I know where the key is." His voice sounded... odd, almost cracked inside.

Dots connected for Willow. "She was torturing you for the information. But... you don't know. None of us know what this key thing is."

He nodded, his eyes filled with something that wasn't quite guilt, more like shame. "I would have told her... to make it stop. But I didn't know."

"She's evil, and scary. But... I can try to help you get better." Willow didn't know quite what to say. Offer sympathy? No, surely Spike wouldn't want that, not from her.

"How did you find me?" He looked at her, his eyes puzzled, and hints of worry.

He didn't know? Willow felt the startlement move through her. But, he'd been so badly injured... "Spike, you were under the hedge in front of my house. Something, I don't know what, woke me up, and I found you outside."

"Bloody hell... was that deliberate?" Spike's voice was filled with so many differing emotions that Willow couldn't quite decipher the subtext. But there was a lot of underlying meaning.

Willow shivered. "no... it can't be. If they know where we live, why wouldn't they come after us? Maybe even search our houses for the whole key thing? So... it had to have been a coincidence." Willow could hear the uncertainty in her voice.

"Red... she's up to something. Something that she thinks will let her find the key." He looked very worried, one hand catching her wrist to make sure that she paid attention.

Glory was up to something to get her key? That couldn't be good. "She tried to make you talk... but why didn't she just... Couldn't she just pull it out of your head?" Willow paused, thinking that that hadn't sounded quite right. "Not that I want her... I mean, it wouldn't be good, but... umm, why didn't she?"

"Apparently she can't get into the mind of a vampire. But she had a plan." Spike drank another packet, making a slight face at the temperature. "She called herself Glorifucus... terror of seven dimensions, or some such."

"I don't think we're going to like her plan." Willow couldn't help it. She knew the statement was obvious - if the big evil has a plan for destruction, you never like it. "Maybe having a name will let us get some information?"

"Slim chance, but... better than nothing." The words came slowly, reluctantly. "Best have the Watcher start looking. Paid enough for the name, might as well try to get something from it."

end part 3.

Glory was muttering to herself as she directed two of her minions to draw out the diagrams. Another was carefully attempting to place the bowls of incense, a strange blend that she found soothing and relaxing. It had taken them such a long time to clean up the floor from questioning that vampire. He'd bled all over, creating quite the stain.

Honestly, vampires and minions these days... neither were satisfactory. The vampire had defied her, refusing her reasonable and nearly polite request for her key. So stubborn, he hadn't even wanted to scream in appreciation of her efforts.

As for the minions... no better than third rate at their best. Clumsy, awkward, unattractive... It was very demeaning. At least they were properly respectful, never looking into her eyes, rushing to obey her slightest whim... They were properly respectful. And fairly obedient.

But she wanted her Key.

That vampire couldn't have bent the Slayer to his will on his own. Obviously, that meant that he had the key, or something useful to him. She wouldn't rest until she had her key back, until she could return home.

She still owed that stupid council of lesser gods for throwing her out. They'd been jealous of her beauty, of her power, so they'd banished her here. When she got back... heads would roll, baby.

"Not telling me where my Key is... Miserable disrespectful leech. I'll fix him... figure out just how to make him beg, how to break that little fortress mind. Just the right way to get what I need. Can't read him now, but the way he was then, before becoming a vampire... Doesn't change that much getting turned... no, learn how to break the mortal, learn how to break the vampire.

She smiled as she surveyed their efforts. Everything should be ready by moonrise. "I am brilliant."

end part 4.