Chapter 6:

Candy had been on a short and brisk walk in the night air, not for hunting but because she needed a short break after tending to her love for so long. She wouldn't leave his side until he was properly healed. Whilst she was out, she had walked into some good luck which always put her in a good mood. She caught several falling leaves from the trees as she walked. It told her that her and her Spike would have months' worth of good luck, at the very least.

She smiled, now back in her home, humming and dancing around the room as Spike sat on a chair in the corner. Her Spike was healed, it was a night to rejoice. Spike was in good spirits too as she danced for him. He reached for her as she swayed her hips to the imaginary music. It was a slow song, but her moves made it appear sensual. She loved the way his eyes drank in her form.

He couldn't look away from her, he never wanted to. Spike couldn't hear any music that she appeared to, he just enjoyed the way she moved. Every roll of her hips for him. Because of him. She adored him, her happiness made his heart soar.

He reached for her, his hands ran along her body, appreciating every curve as she dipped slowly, lowering her body to dance against his lap. Slow movements teasing against him. It made him grip her hips, pulling her down onto him. She giggled at the sensation, feeling his want for her. His need.

She felt so powerful that way. He made her feel so strong. Needed. She was on top of the world with him by her side. Under her. So long as he was with her.

He loved it when she was in a good mood like this. She turned, straddling his lap and facing him. Pretending she wasn't rolling her hips on purpose. She giggled as he removed the thin straps of her dress. It barely skimmed her thighs and the material was so thin she wasn't hiding much anyway. She never hid from him. The top half trailed down revealing her chest. It was now bare as his already was. He began to palm her breast but she smiled coyly, shaking her head and moving back.

"You may look but don't touch, my love" She teased, once again sliding from his lap and rolling her hips against the bulge that was forming in his jeans before removing the contact altogether.

She faced away from him, swaying in the middle of the room again and ignoring his muttering of frustration. She was just waiting for him to react to her words. She lowered the rest of her dress, allowing it to spool on the floor and turned back to him.

He made her feel beautiful. No matter what imperfection she knew laid on her skin, he cherished every part of her. Treated her as if she were a goddess walking the Earth.

Laid between her cleavage and now the only thing she was wearing was a thin gold chain. It held a heart shaped locket pendant. He had promised her a present and had brought her back a trinket to show his love. Snatched it from a corpses neck and presented it to her as she held him close while he was healing. Despite being hurt, he had still had time to think of her. To bring her a token of his ever-growing affection. And this had spurred her impromptu lap dance.

The way she teased him so made him pull her into him. He took her wrist and commanded her towards him. His strong hands held her tight, but she felt only safety when she was with him. Despite the way they enjoyed making love. Rough and passionately. Completely submitted to each other.

But always lovingly and with such care. They always ended curled in bed together, basking in the glow of their adoration. Wholly in love. In the way that they both felt safe with each other. To explore each other in such a way. Such affection, taking care of whatever the other needed. Heady with the taste of each other still on their tongues.

Meanwhile, as Candy and Spike began to dance to a more well-rehearsed choreography, it was the beginning of school for the slayer and her friends. They were in the library, hiding from Snyder who had made it his mission to make their days as miserable as possible. He wanted them to participate in the blood drive that was happening in a couple of weeks.

The topic of conversation had turned back to Candy. The Scoobies had begun to all talk about her. They couldn't help but weirdly like her. Even Buffy had softened on her (even slightly) after her revelation over Angelus.

She had this charm that she appeared to not even realise that she had. She appeared genuine and caring and she had very clearly had to deal with a lot in her already long life. She appeared sweet and they really did want to like her. Willow, the most.

But what they didn't know, was that Candy had a plan for Angel. One she had been planning quietly whilst she nursed Spike back to health. She wanted revenge.

xoxoxo

Her face was hardened. She changed back into her vampire form from how she had travelled as a cat. Shuddering at her bad luck. She had passed a black cat on her travels. No hissing had changed the fact that she had crossed its path. It was the worst luck. She reached into her pocket, rubbing her lucky charm in her hands to try and rid it. Try and spare herself, combat this bad luck the way she knew how.

She paused. Stopping before she entered the home. She wouldn't knock, despite her mind telling her how rude it would be not to. She was angry. Her and her Spike disrespected. She had almost lost him, she was sure of it.

So she stormed in, walking up to the man she wished to harm. She didn't flinch despite the way his face always sent the worst kind of shivers down her spine even despite knowing he had a different nature. She stood tall. Facing him, not allowing herself to fear. To show any fear.

"You! You who dare harm my-" Her eyes cat like, thunderous. Squinting at her target, ready to pounce. She threw herself at him, punching and kicking out wildly at him.

"Med, please, don't-" he made only defensive moves, trying to calm her. He had been expecting this.

"You do not command anything of me, not after you have-"

"I don't want to hurt you" He claimed, trying to block her blows as she scratched at him.

"It is centuries late for that notion! You hurt Spike! Dru! A-and me. You hurt me so badly sometimes I feel like my head is split in two! An open wound that never stops weeping!" She choked on her words, punctuating each exclamation with perfectly aimed punches, "I can't allow you to live even in such misery as you have to keep! I have waited to do this s-since-"

His face softened. He understood. He wished he didn't but he knew what she was trying to do was deserved. Hell, he almost gave up the fight and surrendered to it. After everything.

Even despite her knowledge of his curse, in this moment she thought even that was too good for him. As he softened, her anger was greater. Fuelled further by the fresh memory she had of Spike's pain.

"You could have killed him!" She screamed, punching his jaw for good measure.

"That's why I didn't aim for his heart" He whispered, as she raised the stake towards him and he moved his hands from the defensive position they had been. Allowing her to access his heart if she wished.

She paused in her anger. The resolve faltering. The stake dangerously close to his heart but he didn't falter. He just looked into her eyes.

"You would keep him, for me?" she tilted her head to the side. Trying to make sense of it.

"Because I know what he means to you, Candy. The same way I feel for Buffy" he confirmed as she nodded slowly listening to his words. It was habit and she struggled to break it - his presence was always a commanding force in her life. She lowered the stake and dropped it to the floor.

"Maybe you could speak to Spike, hm? Talk him into leaving?" Angel continued.

"I cannot…"

"Buffy won't let him live next time. It's her duty"

"Spike has his hobbies and I have mine, I wouldn't dream of dashing them…"

They stood together for a while, the argument had died between them. Candy could tell that he was being sincere. She was usually hyper-aware of his moods and could detect them. They exchanged a few words, a quick understanding. Before she turned to leave.

"I'm sorry, Candy" he whispered it, his face drawn. She heard it as she walked away but didn't turn back. She couldn't.

Spike held Candy close when she returned, knowing what she had tried to do only because she smelled strongly of him. She told him everything after he held his arms out for her. He was never jealous of the idea of Angel and Candy together because of their shared past. But he worried for her. His arms wrapped around her, pulling her flush to him as if he could save her from everything.

Eventually, Spike needed to leave because the minions were getting restless and so Candy decided to take another evening walk – seeing as she found such good luck last time she did.

Whilst she was walking, she sensed something. Something bad. She followed this through the centre of town and into the cemetery that she knew as the one Buffy and her friends usually patrolled. She couldn't help but hope that they might be there whilst also becoming almost nervous that they might be in danger.

There was a grey, scaly demon with what looked like blades embedded into his skin fighting the slayer. She felt it then. This urge. To assist. To be a part of something. She rushed over to where Buffy's friends appeared to be forming a crowd rather than assisting with the fight.

"I can help!" she hissed and the others looked to Buffy to see what she said. She wavered a moment, wanting to trust her but she just couldn't.

"Candy, go home" Buffy warned instead through gritted teeth. Her attention had been on the vampire and had meant she was open to an attack.

"You're a strange little creature, aren't you!" She smiled sweetly at the scaled demon that was being punched repeatedly in the face by Buffy.

"This doesn't concern you" He growled back, clearly believing there was an unsaid agreement that they wouldn't fight each other.

"Watch your tone, sir!" She warned and he just growled in response, spitting at the ground in front of her feet before he ran at the slayer once more.

"He's been torturing students from our school!" Willow shouted, which only made Candy dislike him more. She knew what it was like to have cruelty inflicted on her and never be able to escape the shackles in her mind.

Candy bristled with anger, her fists curling inwards. She threw herself at the scaled beast, pulling his shoulder and leaving him reeling backwards from Buffy. They traded blows and she began to scratch indiscriminately at the demon. He grabbed her wrist, twisting it and pushing her to the ground which only made her fight harder. The Scoobies watched in awe at the way she fought. The way she appeared to be fighting not just for herself but for all of them.

As she fought, Buffy moved and kicked his legs from under him before using her weapon to remove his head which was the only way to kill him, according to Giles. Candy beamed, running her hands through her hair to make sure she hadn't gotten it tangled during the fight.

"So, what's next? What do we do after we win?" She asked happily, looking around expectantly.

"Just… go home I guess" Buffy shrugged, squinting at Candy as if she had some ulterior motive. But the sweet smile on her face was almost contagious and the others had a guilty fondness for the vampire despite the fact they knew how dangerous she could be.

"Oh, okay!" she dipped her head, "I shall see you next time!" she waved enthusiastically and they looked at her a little bemused. Some, mainly Willow, waved back a little before they turned and walked away.

She beamed. She suddenly felt this swell of pride. This feeling that she had a purpose. A reason to carry on, a new hobby she had gained a taste for. She had adored being one of them so much, even if it was only for a fleeting moment.

She watched them walk away, chatting about homework and their test the next day. It was adorable how they had such trivial pursuits alongside saving the world. She nodded her head, yes. This was what she wanted. This was something she enjoyed doing, wanted to pursue. It meant spending time with them. It meant she would feel a part of something. She so wished to be a part of something.

Usually, she would hurry back and tell spike everything she was thinking and feeling. But Candy's brow furrowed. She just needed to find a way to break it to him…

xoxoxo

Spike and Candy had been christening their new lair some more. They were still celebrating his health with plenty of love making. Spike had been kissing her neck heatedly before he came, with Candy enjoying her own high. Those mewling noises he loved so much had tipped him over the edge.

She sighed happily as Spike rolled from on top of her back to his side of the bed. There was a silence for a while before Candy broached the subject. Knowing he would be more willing to hear it after sex.

"Spike… I…" She started, before nodding to herself, "I want to be good" He lay flat beside her as he frowned as she rolled her wrists from where they had been restrained moments earlier. She trusted Spike, implicitly, which is why she wanted to talk to him about it.

"What, love?" he asked, not sure if he had heard her correctly.

"I was thinking…"

"What? Just then?" Spike frowned, he had hoped she had been as into it as he had been.

"Yes. I, um, want to help the Slayer. I want to be good now…"

"But, what happened to killing the slayer? Taking what's ours" His frown lines were now so thick it looked as if he had changed into his vampire form.

"That was never my dream, love. If you still wish to wreak havoc then I shall not step in your way, but I would like to help them in some capacity."

"Candy, you can't keep doin' this! What is wrong with you stupid bloody women!" he complained moving the sheet and sitting up in bed.

"My preference does not have an effect on my gender. Don't make this difficult, my love…" She tried to appeal to him but he just scoffed and shook his head. Candy slipped her nightgown on as she shifted and sat on the edge of the bed, becoming more upset and frustrated. Spike watched her, the anger on his face now evident. He had sat up during the argument and he was desperately clinging to the last remnants of his cool.

"You want to be on his side after everything?" he asked, reaching to touch her shoulder in some kind of comfort. But she moved her shoulder away from him.

"No, I want to help the little group. They're all friends and they get coffee together sometimes and go to the mall… I'd like people to go to the mall with" She said softly, staring through her tears at the wall in front of her.

"I can take you to the sodding mall, now bloody stop it would you?" He asked, an exasperated sigh as he moved to get up out of bed, shoving on his jeans as he spoke.

"I bloody want to be their friends, William!" She snapped, standing and turning to face him. There was a single tear running down her face, it was black with mascara. This shocked spike, she very rarely swore and when she did it wasn't usually him that bore the brunt of her words. "You do not tell me what to do! You don't own me!"

"No? Well I wish I did, that way we wouldn't be having a bloody stupid conversation like this one!" Spike was always afraid of losing her and this is why he started to get irritated with her. He just wanted everything to stay the same. Just the two of them against it all.

"I have supported you for centuries! I have done things that other women would leave you for!"

"You enjoyed it, you danced in the shower of blood we created!" He shouted, pointing at her and kicking the bedside table on his side in frustration. He scowled, "You bloody loved every second, don't start giving it all that bollocks now!"

"But now it's stale! It's move somewhere new, find a slayer, try to off her and then move on to the next Hellmouth! I want a friend, Spike! I want something of my own!" She screamed, starting to shrug on her trench coat and started looking around for her shoes.

"Are you bleeding joking?! I have lived through every buggering phase you've gone through by your side despite it all – I mean, I call you Candy don't I? Despite it being a bloody ridiculous name!"

"You believe the name Spike gives me butterflies?!" she shook her head, wiping her eyes. All she wanted was his support. She knew it was a lot to ask but she was so lonely save for him. She turned from him, heading out of the door.

"Look, Candy, love… Don't- please don't go" he followed her to the door, trying to grab for her to stop her but she weaved out of the way easily. He loved her and found himself almost considering playing nice with the Slayer. Only for her. But she saw the way he wavered in his intentions.

"I need some air!" she shouted over her shoulder, something she had heard modern people say on the tv before she ran off sobbing. She changed into a cat as she weaved out of his view before he could catch up to her.