The moon drifted between the earth and sun. The sky went dark. At Angel's nod, they stepped out into the now sunless day and settled themselves at the bottom of the stairs to wait. Flaming arrows dusted vampires, who when they turned to flee, saw the waiting warriors. Time to fight. Angel smiled as he leaped into the fray.
Three punches and his opponent fell before him. A kick and a punch took another down. A sweeping kick sent a vampire spinning to the ground. In the momentary break, Angel scanned the area, searching for Buffy, not really expecting to see her since the plan had her running into the school. Students streamed down the steps, like water streaming over rocks.
Another vampire kicked at him and kicked again. He blocked them easily. As the vampire kicked a third time, Angel grabbed his leg and tossed him backwards where a student rushed in and killed it with a stake. Dust drifted silently to the ground in the chaos of the fight.
A cry grabbed Angel's attention. How he heard it over the din of battle he never knew. Willow, squashed in a sea of students, with no space to defend herself, had been grabbed by a vampire. She grimaced as it bit into her neck. Heedless of the donnybrook, Angel tossed vampires and students aside in his effort to reach her in time. He barely even noticed the vampire he wrenched off of Willow before grabbing her and, hoping against hope that he could get her to a hospital in time, tearing away from the fray. He caught Wesley's startled expression, from the ground, as he raced past. Angel had dashed across the street, past a green area with a couple of benches, and into the blocking silence of trees before he could hear that it was too late. Willow was dying.
Behind him a fountain dripped water. Drip. Drip. Angel tore off his shirt. Drip. He cut a bloody line across his chest and brought Willow's lips up. Drip. As the blood touched her lips, Willow started turning, enough that she latched onto his wound and drank deeply. He could no longer hear the fountain. Not stopping to think why he was turning Willow, Angel never did realize he was creating the one thing he'd missed since he'd been resouled: a connection, a family.
He did, however, realize, too late, that he'd created a problem.
* * *
Willow woke in a panic. It should have been cool and dark. It was hot. She was in a convertible and even though the top was up and the car was parked in the shade, sunlight was only a few feet away. Willows scrambled for the cool darkness of the building.
As she stood plastered against the wall, not knowing where she was, Willow noticed the whispering at the back of her mind. The voice had been whispering to her, she realized, even before she'd woken up. Your Sire is not a true vampire. His human soul weakens him. Willow's mind wandered back over Angel's actions since she'd met him: averting apocalypse after apocalypse; siding with the Slayer, who should have been his natural enemy; helping humans. Willow felt sick with disgust.
The whispers changed after that. You're a hungry little thing, aren't you? She was. Willow was famished. This way. Take the back stairs. He'll stop you if he finds you. Willows followed the whisper until she could hear it herself: one human heartbeat.
"Hello?" Willow asked, stepping into the room. She hissed at the sunlight streaming in from the window but there was also a woman, ancient and sitting in the shadows. The woman shrank from her and that was what decided Willow. "You're not afraid of little me, are you? How sweet."
Willow drank up the woman's terror, which shone out from behind half mad eyes. "He told me you'd come for me if I wasn't quiet, but I've been ever so careful."
"Not careful enough," Willow replied as she shifted into vamp face for the first time. The woman, still lost in her own terror, didn't seem to notice that Willow wasn't human. Disappointing but still, there will be other victims, Willow thought, biting into the woman's neck as the lights flashed. The hot, sweet blood was like nectar. Willow's head was spinning as she stood back up.
"No!" Angel stood in the doorway, pale, even for a vampire. "Willow, what have you done?"
Willow licked the blood from her lips. She'd never felt that way before but she knew what she wanted. Although the whispers had been right, Angel was weak, he was there and he was her Sire. A Childe's devotion to it's Sire fades over time as the Childe ages and becomes independent, she thought in an attempt to distract herself from her emotions. It didn't work. "I want... I need..."
"I know," Angel responded, almost sadly, but then he took Willow into his arms, carried her into the hall, and kicking down the door, into another room. Willow didn't understand why he'd carried her into another room but was too far gone to care. They both surrendered to her bloodlust. Angel tried to be gentle with her but Willow needed more violence than he first offered. In their passion they tore the clothes off of each other and then he was on her, and in her, and exulting above her, and, prompted by the earlier whispers, she hated him but, in her moment of great need, it didn't matter, and then his fangs were at her throat and she screamed out her submission, and her devotion, before sighing back onto the bed.
When Willow woke again, her doubts had been driven from her conscious mind. She didn't realize it at the time but sexual joining, especially after first feeding, was one of the strongest ties between Sire and Childe, acting as a strong reinforcement of the Childe's subordinate position. Angel knew he needed to control her. All Willow knew was that her Sire was the earth under her feet, the air she no longer needed to breathe, the sunlight that could kill her now, the darkness that was her new home, and the well of acceptance that could drown her.
* * *
Just before dusk, Angel raised himself off the bed, told Willow to wait for him, dressed in clothes he pulled out of a carry-on – the clothes he had been wearing had been torn to shreds, just as Willow's had been – and left the room.
Returning quickly, he tossed an outfit on the bed saying, "Put this on," as he placed a second bag by his carry-on.
Willow looked at the dress. Pale. Pretty. "It looks like something my grandmother would wear," she complained.
Angel flashed into vamp face. With one stride, his teeth were buried in Willow's neck. After taking a minimal amount of blood, enough to assert his dominance but not enough to weaken Willow, he stepped back, saying, "Don't argue. We don't have much time." At Willow's quizzical look, he explained as she started dressing herself. "I don't know if Buffy knows," he paused before finishing, "what happened to you. I want us out of town before she comes looking."
Willow thought of what kinds tortures she and her Sire could force the Slayer to endure until Angel's final words registered. "We're running away?" she asked disappointedly.
Angel growled as he stepped behind her to zip up the dress. "You're too young. You can't take on a Slayer."
Willow turned around in his arms, wrapped her hands around his shoulders and, between bats of her eyelashes, said, "But you can."
"I won't," he said, stepping back before eying her up and down. "Not a perfect fit but it will do for now." While Willow was disturbed that Angel refused to attack the Slayer, she followed his cue and turned her thoughts to what she was wearing. "How long do I have to wear this horrible thing?" As she squirmed in the outfit, she added, "It itches."
"Depends on how quickly I can arrange transportation. I think we can hide more easily in one of the more cosmopolitan cities in Europe than we could in South America." Willow was irked that Angel had said they'd be hiding but his anger melted as he looked at her. "We'll get you some new clothes as soon as possible."
"Leather?" Willow asked, leaning in against Angel and licking his neck. "I bet I'd look hot in leather."
"No," Angel commanded, stepping back from her again. As he took her hand and rubbed his thumb across it, he added, "Only soft fabrics, silks, will ever touch your skin." Willow was appalled but a Childe's obedience told her not to disagree with her Sire so she merely hung her head in response. Angel kissed the top of her head and a whispered, "Good girl," before grabbing the two bags and leading her into the hallway.
"I'm going to try to arrange a flight for tonight," he said conversationally. "I'm not sure I can get us id in time so we may have to bunk up with the baggage." At Willow's chilly silence, he chuckled as he put the bags in the trunk. "Now that you should consider getting used to. It's a tried and true means of travel for those who wish to remain unnoticed. I've actually know vampires who prefer it."
Willow relented from her sulk. "A plane full of people? No escape? Sounds like a veritable smörgåsbord."
Angel grabbed her and slammed her against the car. "No," he yelled. "You will never feed off of a human again. Understand?" Willow stared up at him, incomprehension at a command that so went against vampire nature clear in her eyes. Morphing into vamp face, Angel bit, once again, into her neck. As he licked the wound closed, he whispered, "That's twice in one night you've displeased me. You really want to do better in the future."
"Sire," Willow responded.
"No humans," he added. "Have I made myself perfectly clear?"
"Yes Sire," Willow said softly as she thought about what she knew of Angel's feeding habits: butcher bought blood, presumably from a cow or a pig. That was to be her fate from now on.
As Angel kissed her jugular, reinforcing her submission, Willow felt as if her razor sharp edges were being immobilized by a soft, sticky web that stank of her Sire's humanity.
* * *