Disclaimer: characters aren't mine.
A/N: I totally messed with the timelines – so much so that I'm not exactly sure of all that I've changed. But this is only my second fic, and I'm making full use of the creative license, so don't shoot me, okay? Here's the vitals: Willow is off magic as per her foray into the darks. Spike has no soul, is living in his crypt, and therefore has not moved into the Summers home. There is no 'Spike and Buffy'. Also, I blatantly ripped off the "boy scout" line from creepy Adam – I couldn't resist.
Cheers to dragonfly123, my beta.
Willow ran through the cemetery, trying to dodge headstones and heartily cursing herself. She could feel the vampire gaining on her, and she couldn't even use magic to defend herself. Well, she could, but that was so not a thought she was thinking. Had she used her brain in the first place, she wouldn't even have been in the cemetery, after dark, weak from non-use of magic. With a vampire chasing her.
She screeched and stumbled as she almost ran head-first into a mausoleum, then turned and found herself face-to-face with a grinning, steadily-advancing vampire.
"You'd better watch it, buster," Willow threatened, stars forming in her eyes from lack of oxygen. "I'll stake your butt as soon as I catch my breath. You just w-wait."
The vampire laughed at her. "I'm shaking in my boots, Pixie. You won't have a chance to catch your breath before I'm finished with you." He grinned, stepping forward and trapping her between his body and the mausoleum. He ran a finger sharply across her cheek and Willow felt nauseous as blood dripped down. "Or maybe I'll kill you slow, just for the fun of it."
"I'm warning you," Willow whispered, leaning her head back against the small stone building for support. "I-I'm all strong and fighty." Fun colors were swimming in her brain now, and she almost closed her eyes so she could relax in the rainbow, but then she remembered a word.
"Solaris !" she yelled as loudly as she could, which was only a little above silence. Still, it did the trick. The vampire shrieked as it was suddenly engulfed in flames, and Willow smiled lazily as she felt the warmth from the magic flow through her veins. Then her eyes widened in horror as she realized what she'd done and she collapsed in an unconscious heap on the ground.
Spike froze with the whiskey halfway to his lips. Maybe he was pissed already, but he could have sworn he heard something from outside his crypt. And since it took plenty more than one bottle of whiskey to get him drunk, it must have been something outside. As soon as he opened the door of his crypt to investigate it hit him – the smell of blood. Special blood.
"Willow?" he called, stepping outside and reeling as the smell got stronger. If he could smell her through his hopefully approaching inebriated state, then she was fair game for any fledgling in the cemetery. That just wouldn't do.
"Willow?" Spike repeated, looking around the corner. His eyes widened when he saw her lying in a shadowy pile on the ground. He quickly scooped her up and brought her inside, kicking the door closed behind him. He lay her down on his bed and inspected her for any injuries that would cause her unconscious state. Her hair provided stark contrast to her paler-than-normal skin, and the ugly gash on her cheek jumped out at him. So that's where the smell had come from.
"Come on, now, love," he urged, patting her cheek and trying to wake her up. She hadn't lost too much blood, so Spike didn't understand where her lack of consciousness was coming from. "Wake-up time."
Willow groaned and rolled over on her side, almost falling off the bed before Spike caught her. "None of that," he warned, picking her body up and placing her in the middle of the mattress, then lying beside her to keep her from moving. He propped himself up on one elbow and looked at her face with concern, trying to will her to wake up.
She groaned again and opened her eyes slowly, much to Spike's relief. Willow blinked in confusion at the unfamiliar surroundings, and frowned when she saw the face watching hers. "Spike?" she whispered, reaching up weakly to touch his face, as if to determine if he was real or not. Her fingers touched the cool flesh of his cheek and he flinched, not having felt a gentle touch in a long time.
"Yes, love, it's Spike," he told her, sitting up.
"Spike?" she repeated. "Why am I…" Willow's eyes widened as the events just prior to her collapse came rushing back to her, and she closed her eyes in pain. "Oh god," she moaned, "oh god oh god oh god."
Spike frowned. "Hey, now, what's this?"
"Magic," Willow wailed, covering her face with her hands. "I did magic. I swore I'd stop, and I didn't mean to, really I didn't, but it was coming at me, and I wasn't strong enough because I'm still shaky and fluttery and all with the withdrawal, and it hurts, but I had to do it because I didn't want to die but they won't understand and they'll look at me with their eyes and it'll–" She broke off and gasped. "What if Buffy has to slay me? What if she thinks I'm up with the dark mojo again even though I'm really not and it was only a self defense spell because I had to defend myself against the vamp and I couldn't fight it because–"
"Whoa, whoa," Spike said, pulling the witch's hands off of her face. "There will be no slaying of any kind, sweet. The Slayer would never lay a finger on you, especially because you did nothing wrong."
"But I did a spell and–"
"Not a bloody thing," he repeated, getting up off the bed. The smell of her blood was starting to get to him and he needed some distance from the intoxicating scent. It'd been too long since he'd had human blood and it was making him dizzy. "She doesn't know you're here, right? You can bunk with me until you recover or whatnot."
Willow sat up and narrowed her eyes at him. "Are you trying to eat me?" she asked suspiciously.
Spike's jaw dropped. "No I am not," he sputtered, even though he'd entertained that thought a second earlier. "And I am bloody well offended that you would have the… the gall to suggest such a… such a bloody ridiculous idea! It's… it's poppycock, is what it is."
Willow frowned and pointed her finger in his face. "You said 'bloody' too many times, and you said 'poppycock'. Nobody says 'poppycock' unless they're flustered, and you, sir, are flustered because you were thinking about eating me! Spike, that's so rude!"
"Well, I'm glad to see that we're past being unconscious," he muttered. "You were bleeding in my face!" he protested, off her look.
"I wasn't doing it on purpose," Willow argued. "It's not like I got up this morning and said 'Hey, I know what I'll do today: I'll go for a jaunty walk in the cemetery at night when I'm feeling all woozy, and get myself knocked unconscious by a vampire, and then get eaten by Spike!'"
"'Jaunty'?" Spike echoed, one eyebrow raised.
Willow blushed. "Giles says it sometimes. But that's not the point! I'm not the one in trouble here. I wasn't thinking about eating you!"
The vampire threw his hands up in the air and made an inarticulate noise of frustration. "Fine," he hissed. "I'm sorry. I'll be feeling the guilt for the rest of my bloody life. Can you find it in your big, wonderful, witchy heart to forgive me?"
"There's no need to be sarcastic, Mr.… Mr. Sarcasm!"
Spike put a hand to his heart. "Ooh, that cut deep, it did. You wound me."
"Yeah, well, you–" suddenly Willow stopped and swayed a bit, putting a hand to her head. "Ooh, woozy."
Spike rushed to her side and caught her before she collapsed again and fell off the bed. "I guess there won't be any more rows between us for a while," he said gently. "You need some rest."
Willow frowned weakly, blinking to keep the darkness from claiming her once more. "You won't eat me?" she demanded, her voice small and childlike.
"Scout's honor," he promised, and she frowned deeper. "Weren't… boy…" Willow murmured, her energy quickly disappearing.
"No, but I ate a troop once," Spike chuckled, but off her look, he sobered. "I swear I won't eat you, pet. Now go to sleep."
The witch closed her eyes obediently, and to his horror, Spike found himself leaning down and giving her a chaste kiss on the cheek before she fell asleep in his arms. This was one thing he did not need, not at all. But as Willow snuggled into his arms and started whiffling softly in her sleep, he thought maybe it wouldn't be so bad, after all.