If Wishes Were Horses…

Based on Season 3's 'The Wish'. Cordelia makes the wish, but this time Spike's in town. Wackiness ensues…

Disclaimer: None of these characters are mine, I'm just using them for my own amusement, though I have unashamedly borrowed some lines from the show by way of an homage… The first scene is straight out of the episode but only to give some context, so please bear with it!

Chapter One

Cordelia hurried down Main Street, shocked by the desolation around her. She'd always complained about how pitiful Sunnydale was before, but right now she'd take it all back in a heartbeat. In the distance a siren wailed, someone screamed, and she urged her feet to move faster.

There was a blur of motion, then Xander Harris was standing in front of her. He looked weird, too confident, but she didn't have time to think about that.

'Well, whaddya know? Cordelia Chase,' he leered, looking her up and down.

'What is this, some kind of sick joke? Harmony told me you were dead!'

'Now, why would she say something like that? Let's think…'

'Listen to me,' Cordelia gasped urgently, 'we have to find Buffy. She'll figure out a way to save us. She was supposed to be here, and as much as it kills me to admit it, things were better when she was around.'

'Buffy? The Slayer?'

'No, Buffy the dog-faced girl! Duh! Who do you think I'm talking about?'

'Bored now.' The voice was creepy, childlike but laden with menace. Cordelia watched, amazed, as Willow Rosenberg, chief nerd and general loser, slowly approached with an odd, feline grace. 'This is the part that's less fun,' Willow pouted. 'When there isn't any screaming.'

Cordelia suddenly noticed the S&M chic they were both sporting. 'What's up with you two and the leather?'

'Play now?' Willow purred, as if Cordelia hadn't spoken.

'It's not that I don't appreciate your appetite, Will,' Xander grinned, 'but I thought we agreed it was my turn.'

Willow whined and ran her fingertips across Xander's chest.

'No,' Cordelia gasped, outraged. 'No way! I wish us into Bizarro Land, and you guys are still together? I cannot win!'

'Probably not,' Xander said, features sprouting into ridges and fangs. 'But I'll give you a head start.'

'No!' Cordelia gasped, dropping her bag and bolting. I have to find Anya, find out what the hell she did and put it right!

Suddenly an iron claw gripped the back of her neck, throwing her to the floor. Her last thought before her head hit concrete was Buffy would know what to do…

Seated on his throne, the Master looked up at the sound of raised voices outside his audience chamber. He glanced down at the girl in his arms; her wide eyes met his, filled with fear and unwept tears. 'Stop looking at me while I'm eating!' he hissed, but her gaze didn't waver. Disgusted, he toppled her onto the floor.

The curtain swept back in a puff of dust. Expecting his two favourites back from the hunt, the Master said, 'What news on the Rialto?'

'It's a bridge in Venice, innit?' said a smoke-roughened voice with an unmistakeable Cockney twang. 'Thought you were meant to be up on all things cultural, Pops.'

'Spike,' the Master hissed, rising. 'You show your face here?'

'Heard this was a right proper party town these days,' Spike said conversationally, swaggering into the chamber and looking around. 'Might want to fire the help though, this place is a pigsty.'

The Master glanced out through the curtain and saw both his guards lying on the floor, clutching various body parts and groaning.

Spike followed his gaze, and said with a sniff, 'Sorry 'bout them, they didn't believe that my invite was in the post. So then,' he clapped his hands, 'what's the what– who do we kill for fun around here?'

'Master?' Both vampires turned as Xander and Willow approached. 'What happened to…who's this?' Xander asked.

Willow smiled at Spike, a speculative glint in her eyes. 'Like the hair.'

'Cheers, luv,' Spike said, grinning like a cat with a canary. 'Wanna check if my collar and cuffs match?'

'Back off,' Xander snarled, pushing between them in a blur of black leather and yellow eyes.

Spike laughed. 'Easy, tiger; I won't get Kitty too dirty.'

'Enough!' roared the Master, and Xander stepped back, still glaring at Spike. He put both arms around Willow, who nuzzled up against his throat, eyeing Spike even as she licked Xander's neck in long, slow strokes. 'Xander, Willow – what have you to report?'

'Had a prime kill,' Xander said, eyes flickering from the Master to Spike and back. 'An old crush, actually, 'til that wannaslay librarian showed up.'

The Master snarled. 'He'll be dealt with soon enough.'

'Weird thing,' Xander went on. 'Girl kept talking about Buffy - "Gotta get Buffy here". Isn't that what they called the Slayer?'

The Master prowled towards them. 'She talked of summoning the Slayer here, now, at this time, and you didn't kill her?'

'Well, they had crosses,' Willow pouted.

'Pfft,' Spike said in the background. '"Ooh, they had crosses", scary. Protect me from the scalding pain…'

'Spike,' the Master said, turning towards him. 'You'll give me a good reason why you're here, and you'll do it quickly.'

'What, can't a bloke look up his family when he's in town?'

'We are not family,' the Master growled. 'You are the mongrel end of my bloodline, nothing more. Now tell me why you're here.'

Spike opened his mouth, wisecrack poised on the tip of his tongue, but thought better of it at the last minute. 'It's Dru,' he said. 'She's weak, needs healing up. Thought a spot of R&R at the Hellmouth Sanatorium might do her some good.'

'But why are you here?'

'Didn't know where else to go, did I?' Spike sniffed. 'Thought you might know a bloke who knows a bloke, could give us a heads up on how to get her back to her psychopathic best.'

The Master returned to his throne, steepling his fingers with his elbows resting on the throne's arms. He watched Spike consideringly, who lit a cigarette and stood smoking it like he hadn't a care in the world. But the Master knew him well enough to spot the tremor in his fingers, the tightness around his eyes. 'Very well,' he said finally. 'I may be able to help you restore Drusilla. But I will want something in return.'

'Imagine my surprise,' Spike deadpanned, one hand flattened on his chest. 'What've you got in mind?'

'I have plans coming to fruition that I will not see fail. You will work for me for one week, during which time you will kill that cursed librarian and his band of merry fools and bring me their skulls for candlesticks.'

'Master,' Xander interjected. 'Forgive me, but we don't need help from this…this Sid Vicious wannabe.'

'Oi!' Spike shouted, but the Master shouted louder.

'Silence! This is a vital time, Alexander - the plant begins operation in less than twenty-four hours. You will work with Spike however I tell you to. Meanwhile, kill this girl before she contacts the Slayer, or I'll see you and Willow kissing daylight.'

'As you say, Master,' Xander nodded, chastened.

Willow snickered, winding her fingers into his hair. 'Ooh, "Alexander"…you made Daddy mad.' She spotted the girl lying at the Master's feet. 'Master? Are you gonna eat that?'

'Go ahead,' the Master smiled, fondness in his reptilian eyes.

Willow knelt and pulled the girl's head onto her lap, stroking her hair gently away from her face. 'Aw, are you scared little girl? Don't worry, I've gotcha.' She vamped out with a grin, biting down hard on the girl's slender white neck. Xander and Spike watched appreciatively as Willow fed with gusto, mewling to herself with pleasure.

'Proper little firecracker, ain't she?' Spike marvelled.

'I'm warning you, hands off,' Xander snarled.

'Or what?' Spike chuckled. 'I've got a hundred-and-some-odd years on you, mate; be like a poodle takin' on a leopard.'

'Enough!' the Master roared again, patience almost gone. 'Don't make me come down there!'

Willow's yellow eyes flickered between them, her grin made gruesome by a smear of blood. As she looked at Spike, something considering came into her expression. She stood and her face smoothed back to human, her bloody smile now even more grotesque.

'Wait…Spike?' she said. 'Of the Master's bloodline?'

'S'right,' Spike said proudly, fleetingly imagining licking that blood right off her peachy face.

'William the Bloody,' she said softly, head cocked to one side. 'Made by Drusilla, one of Angelus's happy little family.'

'Will? How d'you know anything about this jerk-off?' Xander glowered, grazing his hand across the small of her back.

Willow shrugged one shoulder delicately. 'Once a book nerd…'

'I don't like it,' Xander said, voice hard and flat.

'Don't worry, baby,' Willow said, turning her up face to him. 'You're my guy.'

'Damn right,' Xander murmured, cleaning her bloody mouth with his tongue. Spike watched, fascinated, pants stirring in appreciation.

'Spike,' Willow said, turning back to him, 'do you like puppies?'

'Not 'specially,' Spike said, trying and failing to interpret the glee in the redhead's eyes as she sidled up to him. 'Too much fur, sticks in my teeth.'

'Aw, I think you'll like my puppy,' Willow purred, grinning up at him.

'Will,' Xander said, 'what're you doing?'

'Master,' Willow said pleadingly, turning huge eyes to him, 'if we kill the girl, can we play with Puppy? Please….?'

The Master smiled. 'Very well.'