Title: Everything is Under Control
Summery: Wrecked ends slightly differently, leaving Warren with a new ally and Buffy with a new enemy, one that is especially close to home.
Spoilers: Takes place towards the end of Wrecked and goes into its own world after that
Author's Notes:Italics are used to denote Willow's telepathy and thoughts
Dedications: To Isabelle for giving me 'the talk'
I nearly killed Dawn
There was no other way of saying it.
Willow had never felt anything like this before. In the space of a few minutes she'd gone from an amazing high to the worst depths of low she could imagine. Her cheek still stung where Dawn had slapped her but it was nothing to the pain she felt in her heart. Tears poured down her cheeks, mingling with the blood and dirt from the car crash and she dropped to her knees, her legs unable to support her any more. There was a nauseous feeling deep in the pit of her stomach, like something was pressing down on her guts but closing her throat so that she couldn't throw up.
"I'm sorry." She sobbed. "I'm so sorry."
She knew that this wasn't going to be enough to make things right, but it was a start at least. Raising her head she saw Buffy, Dawn and Spike just stood there, staring at her like she was something worse than dirt on the floor.
"I'm sorry." She repeated, hoping to get some sort of reaction from them.
"Get up and go home." It was Buffy's voice, but Willow had never heard it sound so cold. It was almost as though she could hear the rage boiling inside her.
"Buffy, please." She pleaded. "I'm sorry, please."
But her friend was already turning away from her. "Go home, Will. I'll talk to you when we've taken Dawn to the hospital."
As Willow slowly climbed to her feet she saw that the others were gone. She was alone once again, just as she had been when Tara had left. With a small sob she tried her best not to look at the smashed car as she slowly made her way home.
* * *
Willow wasn't sure how long she'd been home. She'd taken a shower when she'd arrived back, a desperate attempt to wash away any traces of what she'd done. Her skin was red and raw from all the scrubbing but it had done nothing to get rid of the dirty feeling she had. She's spent about an hour after that just staring at her reflection in the mirror, desperately searching for the girl she used to be. But all she saw looking back at her was the face of a pale would-be junkie who had nearly killed an innocent girl. She didn't know where the Willow she thought she knew had gone.
Eventually she'd wandered downstairs and curled up on the couch, waiting for Buffy to return. There was no doubt going to be a confrontation and she may as well get it out of the way now so they could try and deal with everything that was going on.
As she heard the front door open she sat up and watched as Dawn walked in a headed straight upstairs without giving her a second look. Her arm was in a sling and Willow felt another pang of guilt. Buffy followed her sister inside, shortly followed by Spike. She frowned, what was he doing here?
"Is Dawn ok?" She asked Buffy, making her presence known.
Buffy turned to face her and shot Spike a look.
"I'll go and make sure the little bit has settled in ok." He said, quickly disappearing upstairs and leaving Buffy and Willow alone.
"She's fractured her arm." Buffy said, the rage not as apparent as it had been, but there was still a coldness to her voice that made Willow shiver.
"I am so sorry." Willow said yet again. "I had no idea this was going to happen. I just-"
"Will, I want you to move out." Buffy interrupted, the tone in her voice implying there was no room for argument.
Willow couldn't believe what she was hearing. Her best friend was throwing her out.
"Buffy, please don't. I understand you're mad and you have every right. But nothing like this is ever going to happen again, I promise. Please, don't send me away. I'm sorry."
Buffy's expression didn't change though. "I'm sorry, Will but I've made up my mind. I can't risk anything like this happening again."
"It was just a stupid mistake." Willow begged. " But I've learned my lesson, I'm quitting magic from right now. Nothing like this will ever happen again. Please forgive me, I need help."
Buffy shook her head. "I've tried Willow, believe me I have. I forgave you when you cast the spell that pulled me out of heaven because you thought you were helping me. I forgave you when you cast that spell that made me lose my memory, even though when I got it back it was like living through all the pain all over again. But tonight you nearly killed my little sister, and I'm sorry but I can't forgive that. If you need help then I'll do what I can but I'm not having you in this house where you can hurt Dawn or me ever again."
Willow's eyes flashed with anger through her tears. Buffy was acting like no one else ever screwed up or made mistakes. "Buffy, don't you think you're over-reacting. I mean, yeah, I screwed up, but I don't see you punishing everyone else who makes a mistake. I mean you didn't do anything when Dawn went out and almost got herself killed by a vampire, in fact you hardly seemed to care."
For the second time that night Willow felt a hand connect with her cheek.
"Get out." Buffy hissed. "How dare you talk about Dawn like that after what you did to her. Get out and stay away from us."
Willow felt the crackle of magic start to pulse between her fingers. It would be so easy to cast a spell on Buffy right now, to make her forget all about this, or better, to make her just forgive her and allow her to stay.
"You heard the lady, Red." A voice said from behind her. "Best do what she says."
"Stay out of this, Spike." She replied, without turning to face him. "This has nothing to do with you."
Despite her words however, she quelled the urge she had to use a spell on Buffy. If it was just the two of them it would have been fine, but she doubted she could take Spike and Buffy at the same time, even if Spike couldn't hurt her.
"Yeah?" Spike asked, moving over to stand next to Buffy. "Well I'm making it my business. You see, I happen to care about the women in this house and I'll do anything to keep them safe."
Willow sneered at him. "You didn't do a very good job when we faced Glory though, did you? Has it occurred to you how much happier we'd all be right now if you'd done your job properly and kept Dawn safe."
Spike lowered his eyes, knowing there was nothing he could say that would make her words untrue. Buffy however, looked appalled at Willow's words.
"That's enough! I can't believe you're trying to blame all of this on Spike. You have no idea. He's the only one that's been keeping me sane since you brought me back. If it wasn't for him I think I'd have given up long ago. Now get out."
Seeing that she wasn't going to get any further without having to fight them both Willow turned and made her way over to the door.
"You're making a mistake, choosing him over me." She said coldly, and with that she walked out of the door, slamming it hard behind her.
As Buffy heard Willow's feet stomping down the path she turned to Spike who was still looking downcast. Buffy wanted so badly to tell him that it was alright, that Willow was wrong, but somehow the words wouldn't come. She knew in her heart that what she'd told Willow was true, that since she'd come back Spike had saved her in more ways than one. But with that came the knowledge that everything had changed the night before. She wasn't human. Was she even worth saving?
It was then that she noticed that her hand was slowly moving forward, mere inches away from resting on Spike's arm. She quickly pulled it back and let it rest at her side.
"Is Dawn ok?" She finally asked, unable to think of anything else to say.
Spike nodded. "I gave her one of those pills we got from the doc. Knocked her out like a light, she'll probably sleep until the morning."
Buffy smiled, thankful that he'd been around to help.
"I'd better go." Spike said, cutting into her thoughts. "Let me know if you need anything. You know where I am."
This was his non-too-subtle way of telling her that he didn't intend to chase after her anymore. If she wanted anything she would have to come to him. She nodded, letting him know she understood.
"Thanks for helping with everything tonight."
He deserved that at least. With a small nod Spike turned, not even saying goodbye, and disappeared into the night.
Buffy sighed and decided to turn in for the night. It had been a long day but somehow she wasn't sure she was going to be able to sleep.
* * *
"I can't believe she threw me out." Willow grumbled to herself as she wandered slowly through the park. "And I can't believe she took Spike's side over mine. I thought I was supposed to be her best friend. What's he? A chipped vampire who's no good to anyone. It's not fair. Everyone else is allowed to make mistakes but not me. No, good old reliable Willow has to be the sensible one and when I'm not I get punished."
"HELP!!" A man's scream cut into her little rant and from the sound of it, it was coming from nearby. Willow broke into a run.
On the far side of the park she saw a man lying pinned on the ground by a vampire who had pulled his head to one side and was preparing to drink. Focusing her energy Willow pointed at the vampire.
As the vampire began to smoulder she ran forward, grabbed the man under the arms and dragged him back just as the vampire bust into flames and crumbled to dust.
"Wow." The man gasped as he rose and brushed himself off. "That was amazing. How did you do that?"
Willow smiled. Finally someone appreciated the good she could do. "It was nothing. Are you ok?"
He nodded. "Yeah. Lucky for me you came along when you did. It was almost goodbye Warren there for a minute."
As soon as the words left his mouth he realised his mistake. Having recognised Willow the moment he saw her he'd been trying not to give away his name. She was probably going to run back to the Slayer right now and tell her...what exactly? There was no way she could know that he'd been working against Buffy. He relaxed a little.
"Warren? I know you!" Willow exclaimed. "You're the one who built those robot girls. That was some pretty impressive computer work."
He frowned; this hadn't been the reaction he'd been expecting. "Really?"
"Yeah." Willow replied, excitement glittering in her eyes. "I had a good look at the circuits of the Buffy robot you built. It was amazing, I'd never seen anything like it before in my life, and I've been working with computers forever. Where did you learn how to do all that stuff?"
Warren blushed; he'd never met anyone that got as excited about computers as he did, particularly not a beautiful girl like Willow. "I don't know. I picked up a lot of stuff from books and reading stuff on the Internet. The rest was just my own experiments, sort of a trial and error thing."
Willow smiled. "We'll have to swap tips some time."
Warren was one second away from inviting her back to his place right now. It was amazing just how comfortable he felt around her, she was different to all the other girls who made him feel clumsy and idiotic. But just as he was about to ask he remembered that he was talking to the Slayer's best friend, and that back at his place Jonathan and Andrew were coming up with the final plans for their next scheme to fight Buffy.
"Yeah." He said weakly. "Some time. Look, I'd better go and I bet Buffy is worried about you."
Willow snorted. "Not likely. She doesn't want me anywhere near her. She threw me out because she thinks my magic is dangerous."
Warren tried hard to disguise both his interest and his delight. "Really?"
She felt herself growing angry again as she remembered the argument they'd had. "She wouldn't even think about giving me a second chance. I can't believe how self-righteous she'd being, like she never made a mistake before. Well, if she thinks I'm going to go crawling back begging for forgiveness then she's wrong. We're through."
When Willow was done Warren decided to take a chance. Willow was clearly unhappy with Buffy and someone with her magical abilities and computer skills would be useful to them. Plus he liked her.
"Hey, you want to come back to my place? I've got a few things to show you that might interest you."
Willow nodded, it wasn't like she had anything better to do. "Ok."
* * *
"I'm so going to kick your ass." Andrew yelled to Jonathan.
"Yeah?" Jonathan asked, his voice calm and his eyes fixed firmly. "Well, too bad for you that you didn't see this coming."
As Jonathan pressed a series of buttons rapidly on his Playstaion controller, Andrew could only watch in horror as his character was dealt a series of brutal punches and kicks, resulting in him being knocked out.
"I win....again." Jonathan said smugly, sitting back in his chair and putting his hands behind his head in true Bond villain style. Andrew watched with devastation as the screen replayed his defeat over and over again from various different angles. Both of them sat up, however, when the door opened and Warren walked in. Their eyes widened when they saw that he wasn't alone.
"Guys, look who I ran into." Warren smiled as he ushered Willow in. "Willow, you know Jonathan, right? And this is Andrew."
The two guys raised their hands in a small wave, unable to take their eyes off the girl who had just walked into their lair. Not only was she the Slayer's friend but they had seen what she could do with magic too. It would probably be best if they didn't do anything to upset her. Willow gave them a small but cautious smile. She hadn't expected anyone else to be here.
Finally Jonathan stood up "Uh....Warren? Can we talk to you for a second?"
He glared at them. "Can't it wait? We have company."
Jonathan shook his head and with a sigh Warren turned back to Willow. "Can you give us a minute? Take a seat, this won't take long."
Once he was sure Willow was comfortable he grabbed Andrew and Jonathan by the arm and dragged them into the back of the lair.
"What are you doing?" Jonathan hissed, casting a nervous glance at Willow. "That's Buffy's best friend. Do you have any idea what she's going to do to us when she finds out what we've been doing."
Warren shook his head; not even looking fazed by what he was hearing. "Relax, I know what I'm doing. Buffy and Willow aren't friends anymore and we could use someone like her on our side."
"Yeah." Jonathan scoffed. "Because that worked so well when you tried to get Spike on our side."
"Don't." Andrew shuddered. "I'm still trying to forget what he was going to do to the Fett."
Warren was already moving back into the main room. "Just trust me, ok. I know what I'm doing."
"Sorry about that." He apologised to Willow. "We just had a couple of things to sort out. Would you like a tour?"
Willow stood up and nodded. "Sure."
Warren smiled. This was going perfectly. He just hoped Jonathan and Andrew would stay out of the way.
As Warren showed Willow around she was amazed at everything he had. Not only was there a huge supply of computer equipment, but there was a stack of magic supplies too. She felt like she was in heaven, the two things she loved the most, technology and magic all in one place.
As the tour came to an end they stopped in front of a large object on one of the tables, covered in a white cloth.
"This is my latest invention." Warren said proudly. "Can I trust you to keep it a secret if I show you?"
Willow nodded, her curiosity already peaked. With all the dramatic flare he could muster, Warren took hold of one corner of the cover and yanked it off. Underneath lay a large, chunky looking gun-like weapon.
"It doesn't work yet, but once we're done this baby will be able to turn anything, or anyone invisible."
Willow had the decency to at least look impressed, it had clearly taken a lot of effort to design it and she didn't have the heart to tell him that she knew a simple spell which would do exactly the same thing.
"What's this?" She asked, picking up a pile of papers on a nearby desk.
"Nothing!" Warren yelled, grabbing the papers from her. Despite everything she'd seen he didn't like the idea or her knowing that Spike had been there. Especially since the vampire had threatened him if he told anyone about it.
Willow looked puzzled but didn't argue with him. "So what's all this stuff for?"
Deciding that is was now or never Warren puffed up his chest. "We're the new crimelords of Sunnydale."
Willow raised an eyebrow. "You guys?"
Warren nodded. "Yeah. We're Buffy's new enemies. We've been working against her and testing her for weeks, and she has no idea."
"So, you're trying to kill her?" Willow asked, getting a little uncomfortable with the plan that was being unfolded in front of her. It was true that Buffy wasn't her favourite person. But she drew the line at killing people.
"Only if we have to." Warren replied, sensing her discomfort. "All we want is a little power in this town. We're sick of people walking all over us and treating us like crap. We just want a little respect."
Willow nodded, understanding fully what that felt like. Before she'd discovered witchcraft she'd been just like them. A geek that everyone either ignored or walked all over.
"We could use someone like you on our side." Warren probed. "It'll ensure no one gets hurt."
Looking up at him Willow smiled. "I'm in."
Before Warren could react she snatched the papers from his hands and began to look over them.
"Willow. Please don't!" Warren yelled, the fear in his voice evident. "He'll kill us all."
As her eyes roamed over the figures and statistics, Willow realised she was looking over the readout of some sort of electrical item.
"I'm dead." Warren muttered to himself, pacing up and down. "I'm a dead man."
Willow's eyes widened as she realised just what it was she was looking at. "Is this from.....Spike's chip?"
Warren's head snapped up and he stopped pacing. "You know what it is? You know what it does?"
Willow smiled. "Yeah, and believe me when I say that you're in no danger of being killed by Spike. Let me guess, he showed up here acting like the big bad that he's not and wanted you to take his chip out?"
Now Warren just looked confused. "The big bad that he's not? What are you talking about? And no he didn't want me to take it out. He just wanted to make sure it was working properly."
Willow quickly gave Warren a brief history behind Spike's chip, including what it did.
"But what I don't understand is why he thought there was something wrong with it. Unless....unless he managed to hurt someone without it going off."
Warren thought for a moment. "He said something about the rules having changed and then he took off. I didn't ask what he was talking about. I didn't know he couldn't hurt me."
Punching the desk with frustration Warren sighed. "I can't believe he played me like that. More than once. Does he think I'm stupid? He's going to pay for setting me up like that. Marching in like he owns the place and threatening us."
Willow placed a hand on his arm. This was good. They now had a mutual enemy who wasn't Buffy. She certainly didn't owe Spike any favours, and she was pretty sure that he was at least partially to blame for the way Buffy had turned on her like that. Warren was right. He should be made to pay.
"Have you got a plan?" She asked as she saw Warren flicking through the readings of Spike's chip.
Warren stabbed his finger down on a particular page. "More like a brainwave. This is perfect. Not only will we get our revenge on Spike, but it'll keep Buffy out of our way too. Now all we need to do is get him here."
Willow smiled. "Leave that to me."
* * *
A low growl resounded in Spike's stomach telling him it was time to feed. Once he'd had some blood he intended to go to bed and sleep for at least a day. He'd only managed to get a couple of hours in since his night of passion with Buffy and he was more than a little exhausted. He shook his head, determined not to think about Buffy unless he had to. If he carried on like this for much longer he was going to go crazy. He was still having problems believing it had happened in the first place.
As he climbed the ladder to the upper part of his crypt he smiled as he heard the door open. Seemed Buffy had taken less time to come around than he'd thought.
"Hello, pet. Something you wanted?" He smirked as he walked over to the fridge and pulled out a packet of blood.
"I want to know how long you've been able to hurt Buffy." A voice behind him said, not the voice he'd expected either.
"Red? How did you...What are you talking about?"
"I know you can hurt Buffy." She said coldly, walking towards him slowly and steadily, her eyes fixed on his. "I suppose you told her it was my fault. That the spell I did brought her back wrong. That's why she blames me for everything and that's why she threw me out."
"I think you'll find she threw you out because you're mixing with things that are bigger than you and you almost killed her little sister."
"Shut up!" She snapped. "Don't lie to me, Spike. I know you've been turning her against me. Why else would she choose a soulless monster like you over me? Maybe she can't see what you really are. Maybe she needs to see it properly for herself."
Before Spike could ask her what she was talking about, Willow's eyes flashed black and she stretched her palms out towards him.
Not even having time to react, Spike slumped to the floor, unconscious. Willow wrinkled her nose as she noticed that the container of blood had split open when he'd fallen and a dark stain was now spreading over the floor. Thankfully none of it had spilt on Spike. She didn't like the idea of getting her clothes all bloody.
"That was so cool!" Warren exclaimed as he, Jonathan and Andrew joined her in the crypt. "What did you do to him?"
Willow shrugged. "Just a sleep spell. No big. Let's get him into the van before someone sees us."
Warren and Andrew quickly bundled up the sleeping vampire and carried him out to the van, which was parked just outside the crypt. Soon they were back at Warren's place and had Spike laid out on the table.
"Leave this to us." Warren snapped. "Me and Willow need total concentration if we're going to make this work and not fry Spike's brain. You guys go home. You'll get to see the results tomorrow."
Reluctantly Andrew and Jonathan headed for the door. They really wanted to stay and see just what Willow and Warren were going to do. On the other hand they didn't want to be responsible for Spike's demise.
Once Warren was sure they were alone he turned to Willow and grinned. "Let's do this."
Willow switched on Warren's laptop while he attached a multitude of wires to Spike's head.
"Overriding the chip is going to be easy." He said as he worked. "But I'm not sure how we're going to be able to control it without being near Spike all the time."
"Is there any way we can make it voice activated?" Willow asked as she typed some numbers into the computer.
Because I can do this
Warren shrieked as he heard Willow's voice inside his head. "What the hell was that?"
"Just some basic telepathy. I figured we could use that to control this chip. I don't need to be able to see Spike to do it."
Warren smiled. She astounded him with everything that she did.
The two of them worked solidly through the night, trying different codes on the computer in an attempt to override the chip's controls. The spell Willow had cast on Spike was a powerful one and he didn't wake once. Finally they programmed Willow's voice into the controls and were ready to test it.
Spike, I want you to open your eyes
She smiled when he did as he was commanded. It looked like it was working perfectly.
Stand up and walk over to Warren
Warren watched with fascination as Spike obeyed commands which he couldn't hear, but he knew were sounding clearly in Spike's head. He shuddered as the vampire stood in front of him, vacant eyes staring through him.
I want you to slap Warren but I don't want you to feel any pain
Warren's head turned with the impact of Spike's palm hitting his cheek. It stung, but what was more noticeable was the fact that Spike seemed to be in no pain whatsoever.
"We did it!" Willow beamed but was silenced when Warren strode across the room, pulled her into his arms and kissed her.
"We did it." He smiled.
Willow stared at him in numb shock for a moment. That certainly hadn't been expected, although it hadn't been altogether unpleasant.
"We've been up all night." Warren said, stroking her hair. "If you don't have anywhere else to go you could stay here. With me."
Dozens of emotions flooded Willow's face as she tried to deal with what she was hearing. She was still hurting from the break-up with Tara, but on the other hand here was a guy who accepted her for what she truly was. He didn't frown on her for using too much magic and he had the same love of computers that she did. It wasn't far off to say that they were perfect for each other.
"Ok." She whispered with a smile, slipping her hand into his.
Warren looked as though his heart would burst with happiness and he gave her hand a gentle squeeze.
"What are we going to do with him?" He asked, casting a look over his shoulder at Spike who was still stood in the same position, staring blankly ahead.
Spike; lie down on the table and go to sleep
"All done." She smiled. "Now let's follow his example."
Keeping her hand in his Warren lead Willow to the bedroom, where he was pretty sure sleep wouldn't be the first thing on the agenda.
* * *
Buffy hadn't slept well; her dreams had been plagued with all the things she'd tried not to think about while she'd been awake. She'd been too late to save Dawn, finding only the wrecked car and the mangled body of her sister beside it. Then she'd seen herself with Spike, being told that she'd come back wrong and using her lips and her body to silence him. The worst part had been when she'd looked into a mirror and seen the face of a demon looking back at her.
She sighed. She couldn't go on like this, not knowing what she was, distancing herself from everyone. Everyone except Spike. She'd always wondered why he'd been the only one she felt she could talk to after she came back. At first she'd thought that it was just because he understood her. He'd been through death himself and he was the only one who allowed her to be herself. But everything was different now. Maybe whatever in her that wasn't human was drawn to him because he wasn't human either. That's why they'd done all those things together. She just wished she knew. Everything was so confusing.
And now Willow was gone. She didn't regret what she'd done. Dawn meant more to her than anything and she'd do whatever she had to to keep her safe, just as she had always done. A small part of her was relieved that Willow was out of the house, every time she looked at her she was reminded that her best friend had torn her from paradise. On the surface she knew that Willow had only been trying to help, she'd genuinely thought she was saving her from Hell. But deep inside it wasn't so easy to forgive and forget.
"Buffy?" A muffled voice called through the door, pulling her from her thoughts. "Are you awake?"
It was Dawn.
Getting out of bed she pulled on a robe as she opened the door. On the other side her sister stood, still in the clothes she'd been wearing from the night before and her arm in a sling.
"How are you feeling?" Buffy asked with concern, the sling just another reminder of how close she'd come to losing Dawn last night.
Dawn shrugged. "Still hurts a bit. It's kind of hard to dress with only one arm though, I could use some help."
Buffy nodded. "Go and get your stuff ready and I'll be there in a second."
As Dawn turned to leave Buffy reached out and grabbed her uninjured arm, pulling her back and drawing her into a hug.
"I'm so sorry this happened, Dawnie. I love you and I'm not going to let anything like this happen again."
She felt Dawn's unbound arm slip around her waist and hold her. "I was so scared."
As she felt her sister's warm tears scald her flesh, a part of her was touched that hadn't been reached before, not even by her night of passion with Spike. This was love in its purest form. She had died to protect her sister and as she held her now while she cried she knew that she would happily do it again, and not just to get back to heaven. She would to anything to protect Dawn, suffer anything.
An image flashed through her mind, one of Spike sat on the tomb in his crypt, his face swollen and bloodied. He'd gone through a bout of torture from a god to keep her and Dawn safe. He'd suffered so much pain and still he hadn't given them up. It was then that it hit her. He really did love her. He'd told her so many times and she'd brushed it off as infatuation, or not being real. But right at that moment she knew that what he felt for her was just like what she felt for Dawn. Love.
Thoughts of Spike would have to wait thought; she could talk to him later. Right now she had to take care of her sister. Like she should have been doing.
"Come on." She coaxed gently, wiping the tears from Dawn's cheeks. "Let's get you dressed."
Dawn actually smiled, for the first time she could remember Buffy was actually acting like she had before she'd died. When she'd woken up that morning she'd been filled with he desire to blame Buffy for what had happened the night before. If she'd been paying more attention to others instead of being so wrapped up in her own life then she might have seen what was happening with Willow. But looking at her sister now, seeing how upset she was, Dawn realised that the only person at fault here was Willow. Buffy had a lot to deal with, coping with being pulled out of heaven, she deserved a little slack. Willow had no excuse.
As they passed Willow's room Dawn noticed with surprise that the door was open and the bed hadn't been slept in. When Buffy didn't say anything she knew something must have happened.
"Willow's gone." Buffy said, anticipating her sister's question. "She won't be able to hurt you any more."
"Gone?" Dawn asked, although she was already starting to suspect what must have happened after she'd gone to sleep.
"I told her to leave." Buffy explained. "I don't want her staying here until she's through whatever it is she'd going through. I told her I'd give her all the help she needed, but while there's a chance something like this could happen again I can't have her here."
Dawn nodded. "I don't understand how she got like this, she used to be the level-headed one."
"The power I guess." Buffy mused. "It made her feel special, free."
She shook her head. "But it's up to her to fix this now. It's not something anyone else can do for her. She needs to want to stop. All we can do is be there for her if and when she decides she needs help."
Dawn nodded; not sure she'd be able to forgive Willow that easily if she did show up looking for help.
"Come on." Buffy said, moving Dawn away from the door. "You're going to be late for school."
After having helped Dawn dress and fixing her some lunch Buffy watched as she made her way down the drive to head for school. She could almost feel normality slipping back into place and it actually felt pretty good. Still, she needed to call the others and let them know what had happened with Willow. She debated whether to go and see Spike, but finally decided against it. He'd probably be asleep anyway. She'd talk to him tonight when they patrolled; there was a lot she had to say to him.
* * *
Buffy, Xander, Anya and Tara all sat around the table of the magic shop as Buffy explained to them what had happened.
"I can't believe it!" Xander exclaimed in disbelief.
Anya and Tara remained silent for the moment.
"I should have said something." Tara finally said softly. "I saw things were getting out of control but I thought Willow would see sense and stop. Even when she didn't I just left. I should have told you what was happening."
Buffy shook her head. "It's no ones fault. I didn't come here to blame anyone. I just want you all to know what's going on in case she comes to you for help. Spike and Dawn already know what's happened."
Xander still seemed unable to accept what he was hearing. He's known Willow since they were kids and now he was hearing how she'd almost been responsible for killing someone. Anya wrapped an arm around him, giving his shoulder a gentle squeeze. She might not be the most discreet of people, but she could tell when someone she loved was in pain.
Buffy stood up. "I'd better head home. Will you let me know if Willow gets in touch?"
The rest of them nodded and Buffy smiled. "I'll see you guys later. I'm going to patrol with Spike tonight so could one of you keep an eye on Dawn for a couple of hours."
Tara nodded. "I'll stay with her."
With a nod of thanks Buffy headed home, she wanted to get Willow's things together in case she decided to show up.
* * *
The sun was just starting to set when Willow and Warren finally managed to drag themselves out of bed. The day had been spent love making and sleeping. Willow was still finding it hard to believe. It had been so long since she'd felt the touch of a man but now she had it again she realised that a part of her had missed it.
The two of them groggily pulled their clothes on, a lazy smile on both their faces and finally they wandered back out into the main room.
"There you are." Andrew said, looking up from the Playstation where he and Jonathan were having a Tekken rematch.
Jonathan frowned at the obvious sex that had happened between Willow and Warren but didn't say anything.
"So, did you do it?" Andrew asked excitedly.
Willow and Warren glanced at each other nervously.
"He means did you rig Spike's chip." Jonathan explained, seeing the look they were giving each other.
Willow's face relaxed into a smile. "We sure did. Would you like a demonstration?"
Andrew nodded with excitement and Jonathan gave a small nod too.
Willow looked over to Spike who was lying on the table in the same position they'd left him in, his eyes closed.
Just as she had done the night before, Willow began to send him telepathic messages.
Spike, open your eyes
Andrew and Jonathan watched with interest as Spike obeyed commands, which they couldn't even hear.
Stand up and walk over to Andrew and Jonathan.
"OW!" The two of them yelled in pain as Spike banged their heads together, not flinching at all himself.
"Cool!" Andrew breathed in awe, once he'd realised just what was happening. "We can make him do anything we want."
Warren nodded. "But first things first. We need to deal with our Slayer problem."
Moving over to Spike he placed a tiny object on his T-shirt.
"A camera." He explained, seeing Willow's confused expression. "From now on we'll be able to see whatever he sees."
"Where does it transmit to?" Willow asked with fascination as she studied the small device. She was amazed that anything that small could hold something as complex as a camera.
Warren's eyes lit up. "I haven't shown you the van yet, have I? Ok, tell Spike to go back to his crypt, Buffy's bound to show up there eventually."
Willow nodded and sent Spike the command. Once he was out of the door Warren took Willow's arm and led her outside to his pride and joy.
"I set this whole thing up myself." He told her as he showed her the array of monitors and screening programmes. Finally he turned one of the monitors on and an image of a cemetery came into view.
"Spike?" Willow asked and Warren nodded.
They watched as his crypt came into view and he pushed the door open and walked inside. Once he was there he stood still, awaiting his next command.
"What now?" Willow asked.
Warren grinned. "Well, it looks as though we've got some time to kill."
His hand began to stroke her arm, causing the hairs to prickle on the back of her neck.
"Again?" She smiled.
Warren nodded. "I'll get Andrew to keep and eye on things here. He can come and get us if Buffy shows up."
Spike, when Buffy arrives I want you to fight her. Don't kill her though; just rough her up a little. When you're done come back to Warren's
Just in case, she told herself as she and Warren headed back into the house.
* * *