1 Dinner

"Just finish setting the table and putting the potatoes in a bowl and the chicken should be ready." Joyce said removing the apron she had been wearing.

"Thank you so much Mrs. Summers. I thought I could do this dinner thing and then I remembered, can't cook." Willow said following the older woman to the front door.

"Not a problem Willow. Enjoy your date." Joyce said picking up her purse and heading out the door.

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Spike watched from the shadows at the top of the stairs. He had come in through the bedroom when he saw a car out front. He didn't know whose it was and didn't want to be caught. He waited until Willow had closed the door and headed back toward the dining room before moving.

He had wondered how Willow was going to make dinner. She had told him before that she didn't really know how to cook. He moved quietly down the stairs and into the dining room. He stood at the door way for several minutes watching her finish setting the table and retrieving a salad and a bottle of wine from the kitchen. As she put the last of the items on the table he moved behind her and spoke.

"Not early am I?" He said leaning close to whisper in her ear.

He chuckled softly when Willow jumped and spun around.

"God Spike I didn't even hear you come in." She said facing the vampire.

"Came in from your room, while Buffy's mum was here."

"So no chance of you believing I cooked this myself?" She said smiling.

"Sorry." Spike shrugged.

"Well then Dinner's ready." Willow said as they moved to take their seats.

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Willow looked at the empty bottle of wine and the almost empty one next to it on the table in front of the couch. She was drunk, she knew that, what she didn't understand is how she could be this drunk and Spike was fine. She reached for the bottle again to refill her glass when a hand shot out and grabbed it from her reach.

"C'mon Spike give it me." Willow said moving toward the vampire.

"You've had way too much already." Spike said holding the bottle out of her reach.

"No, I want more."

"Let's talk some more then I'll give it back." Spike suggested.

"No now." Willow said reaching across his lap but loosing her balance and falling with her head resting on his thighs.

"No. Talk first." Spike said setting the bottle behind him.

"Fine. Tell me more stories." Willow moaned making herself more comfortable.

"Stories about you this time." Spike said.

"Nothing to tell." Willow said.

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"Must be Luv." Spike said slightly irritated by the fact she didn't think she had anything interesting to tell.

"No, lived here forever. Only interesting things in my life you already know. Help the slayer fight evil, want to be a witch." Willow said sadly.

"Must be more. First love?" Spike suggested.

"Xander." Willow said.

"No, please tell me it wasn't that moron."

"Sorry. But yeah it was. Until the Cordiela thing anyway." Willow said.

"Okay then first kiss. And please don't say Xander." Spike said.

"Sorry again. Fifth grade…"

"Real kiss Pet. Not a peck in grade school." Spike said smiling slightly when he saw the blush creeping into her face. "And I think you need to sit up now."

"un huh, comfy now," Willow said settling her head on his lap, "Never had a…" Willow's answer was cut off by the ringing telephone.

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"Hello." Willow said then "Oh, hi Buffy."

She listened for a moment.

"Yes he is."

Another moment.

"No its fine. What do you want?" Willow said just wanting to finish the conversation.

After a moment of listening to her friend while making faces obviously not liking what she was hearing.

"I told you no Buffy. I don't have a date, and I don't want to be a fifth wheel."

She listened again to Buffy's reasons why.

"No. You know its not me. I can't just be someone else for the night." Willow said repeating the same argument from earlier.

"Fine I'll think about okay."

"Bye Buffy." She said hanging up the phone.

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Spike's curiosity had been peeked by the conversation. Willow always wanted to do things with her friends.

"What's up?" He asked. "Some big nasty thing to kill?"

"Worse, Bronze Masquerade Party." Willow moaned her had beginning to hurt.

"Why don't you want to go?"

"Everyone runs around in costumes and masks, not supposed to remove your mask all night. Just seems silly to me. Besides everyone will have a date but me." Willow said quietly.

"Everyone has masks." Spike said a plan forming in his mind.

"Yeah. Silly right?"

"Actually. Maybe you can have a date." Spike said.

"How?" Willow asked.

"Costume and mask can disguise me."

"But if Buffy or Angel figure out who you are…" Willow said.

"Let me worry about that." Spike said then moving closer, "Now back to the topic of a kiss…"



2 Masquerade

Willow walked into the crowded club and spotted her friends immediately, she saw no sign of Spike, but the sun had just set so he probably wasn't here yet. She took a deep breath and headed toward the table the others were at. As she walked she noticed a group of guys watching her, blushing deeply she pulled her coat closed around her. She still couldn't believe she let Buffy talk her into this outfit. At least the mask meant no one would no it was her.

Buffy had taken Willow shopping earlier in the week, telling her she needed to take a risk on the costume, if she wanted to get 'Will's' attention she needed to shock him. So Willow had finally relented and let Buffy pick out a short red skirt and a black shirt that ended just below her breast. Buffy had also found a red mask that covered that upper half of Willow's face.

Clutching the coat tightly against her body Willow approached the table.

"Hey Will. Nice coat." Xander said.

"Hi Willow." Buffy and Cordiela said in unison.

"Hey guys." Willow said sitting next to Buffy still holding her coat closed.

"Plan on taking off the coat Willow." Cordiela asked.

"No."

"C'mon Will take off the coat." Buffy said encouragingly.

"No, this was a bad idea." Willow said, "It's just not me."

"What's not you?" Angel asked coming up behind Willow.

"Uh, my costume." Willow said.

"It is you Will. You just always hide that part of you." Buffy said.

"Because that part of me is supposed to be hidden." Willow responded.

"Why?" asked another voice from behind Willow.

"Because…" Willow's answered trailed off as she turned and saw Spike standing beside Angel.

Actually he didn't look much like Spike. He was wearing a black tuxedo, and his hair was curly instead of combed back, it was also very black instead of the usual white-blonde. The accent was still British but sounding much more like Giles. He also had a red mask that covered most of his face.

"Hi." Spike said after a moment.

"Hey." Willow said smiling.

"Gonna introduce us Willow?" Cordiela asked looking at the man next to Willow.

"Sorry." Willow said turning to face her friends. " Everyone this is Will. Will this is Buffy, Xander, Cordiela, and Angel." Willow said indicating each of her friends.

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"So what part of you should be hidden?" Spike asked.

"The parts under this coat." Willow said blushing.

"Unless your not wearing anything under that coat I say take it off already Will." Xander said.

Willow blushed again, Spike scowled at the boy across the table. He didn't like her friends embarrassing her. He moved to sit between Willow and the Cheerleader as Angel moved to sit next to Buffy.

"Willow you look good just take it off already." Buffy said.

"Fine." Willow said standing up and removing the coat.

When she set the coat down everyone at the table fell silent. Spike's jaw dropped and he forced himself to close his mouth. When he finally drew his eyes away from the red head he scowled at the other two men at the table who were still staring at her.

"Wi-Willow you look…" Spike started.

"Yeah, Will you…" Xander began before being hit in the back of the head by Cordiela.

"That's enough Xander." Cordiela said then facing Willow. "Wow. You look great. Who would have thought beneath all those fuzzy sweaters."

"They're right Willow you look great." Angel said quietly.

"See I told you Will." Buffy said smugly.

"So Will do you go to our school?" Cordiela asked turning her attention to Spike.

"Oh no. I go to the university." Spike answered quickly.

"Willow want to dance." Spike asked.

"Sure." Willow responded as Spike pulled her toward the dance floor.

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As they started dancing Spike pulled Willow close to him as she wrapped her arms around his neck. They moved quietly to the music for a minute before either of them spoke.

"Willow that outfit really is…" Spike began.

"I know it's not me. I look silly and…"

"Didn't say that Pet. You look great." Spike answered, "Just different for you."

"You're not just saying that." Willow said quietly.

"No. I love the new look."

"Yours is impressive too." Willow said.

"Thanks."

"The hair and the accent…" Willow began.

"The hair is just a wash, the accent, well, let's just say I can be anyone I want to be." Spike answered.

"You don't think Buffy recognized you do you?" Willow asked.

"No." Spike answered.

Willow was relieved that Spike could look and sound so different. If Buffy found out about this she would stake him and she would never hear the end of it.

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Angel watched the couple on the dance floor. Will seemed familiar, he wasn't sure why just yet, but he had the definite impression that he had met him before.

"Something wrong?" Buffy asked.

"No." Angel said.

"Will seems really nice doesn't he? And Willow seems so happy with him." Buffy said.

"Yeah he does, I guess." Angel answered still watching the dance floor.

"Okay I know she looks hot, but if you don't stop staring…" Buffy said.

"It's not that…" Angel began, "Never mind."

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When everyone was gathered at the table again conversation quickly got back around to Will. Spike answered most questions quickly and easily, with only a minimum of lying. He was from England, he had traveled a lot, he was independently wealthy, and his parents had died. He also said he had noticed Willow last year. Not a lie really, he had seen her, just then she had been the slayer's friend.

What worried Spike as he talked was the way Angel was watching him. If anyone at this table would recognize him it would be Angel. Angel had known him before he started using the cockney accent. Angel had known him when his hair was dark. He had to be careful to not say anything that would give him away to the other vampire. He had purposely avoided being at the table when Angel wasn't so the slayer wouldn't sense a vampire's presence so he didn't think she even suspected anything.

"I'm sorry Cordiela did you ask me something?" Spike said realizing the girl had spoken to him.

"Yeah. I asked if you had met Willow's parents yet?"

"No I haven't yet. Willow and I have mainly spent time alone." Spike answered squeezing Willow's hand under the table.

"Will, where are you from in England? I spent some time there once myself." Angel asked.

"London."

"Nice city. Haven't been there in years though." Angel said watching his reaction too closely for Spike's liking.

"Willow, I love this song. Want to dance again?" Spike asked needing to get away from the table.

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Angel watched as the couple headed toward the dance floor followed by Xander and Cordiela. He had finally figured it out. Will reminded him of Spike. A nicer Spike, but definitely Spike. He wasn't positive, and he couldn't believe Willow wouldn't recognize the vampire but he needed to know.

"Buffy, what do you know about Will?" Angel asked.

"Not much. Mostly what he told us tonight. Why?"

"I have a feeling. I don't want to go into it now, but are you sure he's safe?"

"Willow says he is. Says she checked him out, you know after the whole Moloch thing she's kinda paranoid."

"Okay." Angel said, "I'm going to take off now, I'll see you tomorrow Okay?"

"Want me to walk you home." Buffy asked.

"No. I'm fine." Angel said kissed her quickly and headed out the door.

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"Willow we need to get out of here." Spike said as they moved to the music.

"Why? Everyone loves you." Willow said resting her head on his chest.

"Yeah, Angel doesn't." Spike said.

"What?" Willow raised her head to look at him.

"Angel is suspicious. I think it's best we leave before he figures it out."

"All right. Lets go."

Willow and Spike headed back to the table and said good-bye to Buffy and grabbed Willow's coat and headed out the door.



3 Walking Home

The couple headed down the street unaware of the figure following in the shadows. A few blocks from the club they both removed their masks and slowed their steps.

"Do you really think Angel suspects?" Willow asked nervously.

"I'm don't think he knows, but he is suspicious." Spike answered, "I think this is going to be the last group gathering for me."

"Damn. How could he know?" Willow asked, "I barely recognized you."

"He's known me a very long time Luv."

As they walked Spike reached over and took Willow's hand. They walked the rest of the way in silence until they reached Willow's house.

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Angel watched the couple as they left the Bronze following them to Willow's house. He still couldn't believe Willow's new boyfriend was Spike. What was the girl thinking. All Angel could hope for was that it hadn't gone too far. He followed making sure they didn't see him.

So Spike knew he had at least suspected something. Part of Angel didn't know what to think. Spike had to be using her to get to him or Buffy, but if that were true why risk being found out by coming to the party. The other part of him said that if Spike would risk coming to the party tonight he must actually care for Willow.

As they approached Willow's house Angel moved into the shadows to try and find out what was going on.

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"Do you want to come in. My parents are gone again." Willow said when they reached her front door.

"No, I need to be going in case anyone decides to stop by after the party." Spike replied.

"Yeah guess you're right." Willow said reaching for the door.

Spike leaned forward and lowered his head to Willow's placing a gentle kiss on her lips before pulling away slightly keeping his arms around her waist.

"Wha-why?" Willow stuttered.

"First kiss." Spike said turning and walking away.



4 Followed



Angel watched as the couple separated, Willow heading into her house, Spike turning and heading down the street. He had to do something. He stood for a moment contemplating his choices.

He could try talking to Willow, try to make her see reason. He could follow and confront Spike, see if he could figure out what he was up to or at least get him to leave town. He also had the option of just going home and ignoring the whole thing, and see what happens. He knew he wouldn't choose that option, obviously the easiest option but not the safest for anyone involved. His last option was to go to Buffy or Giles and tell them what he saw and let them deal with it. He wasn't happy with that option either. Buffy would want to protect her friend and would most likely end up dead, if she went after Spike half-cocked.

Shaking his head, he decided his best option was Spike. So he quickly headed down the street in the direction he had seen the younger vampire go. He found the blonde vampire relatively fast heading toward the factory district. Surely Spike wasn't staying in this area, if he was news of him being in town would be out already. He followed at a distance as Spike headed into a small bar at the edge of town. Angel quietly slipped in a few seconds later, staying in the shadows hoping to remain unnoticed.

Angel watched as Spike approached the bar and spoke to the bartender for minute before heading to the back of the bar and through a door in the shadows. He saw a woman follow a few seconds later. Angel waited for several moments before heading to the door and slipping into a small hallway. Angel's eyes quickly adjusted to the darkness and he saw several doors and small windows lining both sides of the hall.

He moved slowly down the hall, peeking into windows. Finally at the third window he saw the familiar blonde head sitting in a chair. The woman he had seen earlier sitting in his lap. Angel watched as Spike's demon came forward and he bit the woman. Angel stood watching in shock as Spike fed from the girl.

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Angel knew these things existed. He had heard about them for years. Vampires being paid by humans who liked the sensation of a vampire feeding from them. He knew many vampires did it. It was a safe way to get food. No dead bodies, no hunting parties, and a secure flow of money.

What surprised Angel was that Spike was doing it. Spike liked the chase, he enjoyed being hunted, he considered it a challenge. Obtaining blood this way wasn't something Angel thought Spike would ever consider. Spike enjoyed the violence of the kill too much. Now Angel was sure Spike had to be up to something, he couldn't imagine what though.

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Angel was jarred out of his thoughts when he heard voices in the room. The woman was getting up. He watched as she handed Spike money. Angel quickly moved down the hall and out into the bar before Spike or the woman could leave the room.

Angel hid in the shadows again and watched as the woman walked out of the bar. After several more minutes Spike walked into the bar taking a seat at the of the long bar as the bartender approached with a drink.

Angel watched for several moments before slipping out unnoticed. He had to think before he could confront Spike. He had no idea what the vampire could be up to that had him willing to do something that had to make him so unhappy.



5 Confrontations

Angel hid in the shadows outside Willow's house. He had watched Spike enter a couple hours ago, and they had been sitting at the kitchen table for an hour now, both of them hunched over a book. He still hadn't figured out what was going on with Spike.

Spike must be in town to get to him or more likely Buffy. If his plan entailed getting close to the Slayer Willow was his best choice to go through. Xander's feelings about vampires were to harsh for Spike to get near him. Giles was a watcher, it would be too hard for Spike to even consider conning him. Cordiela was well, Cordiela, he wouldn't give the two of them an hour together before someone was dead. And in this particular case his money wasn't necessarily on Spike coming out the winner.

Willow on the other hand was the most vulnerable. Buffy had said she met 'Will' on the Internet, that he was in college but had seen Willow around. 'Will' paid a lot of attention to her. Spike could be very charming when he wanted to be, and knew how to lavish attention on someone when it suited him. Willow was so used to being the wall flower and blending in to the background as nothing special that receiving half the attention Spike was capable of could be all it would take. Add to that a sad story to gain sympathy once she knew who he was, and he could easily get into her life.

What Angel still hadn't figured out was what he saw last night. In all the years Angel had struggled to survive feeding off of animals and rodents he had never been willing to humiliate himself by turning to the places that took money from people who wanted vampires to bite them. Somehow that seemed worse to him that feeding from animal blood. He knew Spike could still feed, so he didn't understand why Spike would resort to that. He could easily keep a low profile in Sunnydale and still feed. He needed to know what Spike was up to before he could go to Buffy.

He would have to do something tonight.

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Spike walked quietly down the streets of Sunnydale to the apartment he had rented when he first arrived in town. He still couldn't believe he had just spent the entire evening doing homework with a high school girl. What was even more amazing to him was that it made him happy. He stopped and turned around, sure he had heard something there. Nothing was behind him, he shrugged and continued home, but couldn't shake the feeling that he was being followed.

He and Willow were going to see a movie tomorrow night. They were showing some cartoon that Willow said was her favorite, but Buffy and Xander weren't interested in. She had said she was just going to rent it on video later but he had insisted he would take her. Now he, the Big Bad, was going to see some Disney cartoon.

As he entered his apartment building he stopped again and turned still not able to shake the feeling that something was behind him. Sighing quietly the continued up to his apartment.

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Willow stepped out of the shower, and her mind wandered to the evening she had just spent with Spike. He had brought a take out dinner with him. Then they had spent the evening working on another history paper. He was more help than she had thought. She kept forgetting that he was so much older that he appeared. Her paper this time had been on the Korean War. Spike had been full of stories, some he had experienced, some were things he had heard from others.

She finished drying her hair and moved into her bedroom, laying out her clothes for the morning and putting her books back into her backpack. She climbed into bed and drifted off to sleep smiling at the memory of the small kiss Spike had placed on her lips before leaving that night.

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Spike stepped out of the bathroom brushing through his hair with his fingers as he walked toward the living room. He jumped slightly when he saw the figure sitting on the couch.

"So you found me." He said moving toward the couch. "Wondered how long it would take."

"Why are you here?" Angel said standing up.

"Nice to see you too."

"Not here to be polite. Why are you here and what are you doing with Willow?" Angel said quietly moving toward the younger vampire. "I want answers."

"What if I don't want to give them?" Spike said, "You'll do what? Run and tell the Slayer?"

"If you hurt Willow…"

"What ever you haven't frightened me in years Angelus." Spike said turning to move into the kitchen.

"Spike if you're after me or Buffy just come after us directly leave Willow alone." Angel said following behind, "She doesn't deserve to be hurt physically or otherwise."

"Let me let you in on secret. Not everything revolves around you and the Slayer." Spike said turning to face the darker vampire.

"Stay away from her."

"No."

"I'm not playing games here Spike. I'm not going to let you hurt her." Angel said backing the blonde vampire against the wall. "Tell me what you want with her."

"None of your business. I'm not here to bother the slayer. If I was she would've known I was here by now." Spike said pushing Angel away from him.

"Just leave then."

"No." Spike said.

Angel sighed quietly to himself before raising his fist and connecting it with Spike's nose.

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Willow was awakened by the quiet knocking on the French doors. She rolled over to peer out the lace curtained windows. Seeing Angel she quickly got out of bed and opened the doors.

"Angel why?"

"Can I come in?"

"Sorry. Come in Angel." Willow said moving back to allow him in.

"Willow I don't know how to ask this but…"

"Just say it Angel."

"You know that Will is Spike right." Angel asked hesitantly.

"Uh, Yes of course I knew that." Willow responded.

"Then why…" Angel began.

"He hasn't hurt anyone. Hasn't tried to hurt me." Willow said, "Besides everyone else has somebody why shouldn't I?"

"He's a vampire." Angel answered.

"So are you."

"Yes but…"

"I know its different. Look Spike isn't going to hurt anyone while he's here okay. So if I want to see him that's my business right?"

"How can you be so sure?" Angel asked. "This could all be a plan to…"

"Its not." Willow answered sitting down on her bed. "When he came back to Sunnydale he was after Buffy then he changed his mind. He isn't going to hurt her or anyone else. He's not even feeding anymore."

"I-I know. That I'm still not sure I understand." Angel answered.

"I asked him not to." Willow said. "I couldn't stand the idea that he was killing people so he agreed to find another way…"

"You're saying he's, that he's… Because you didn't like it?" Angel asked still not believing what he was hearing tonight.

"Yes. Look you're not going to stop me. If I believe for one second Spike will hurt anyone I'll tell you or Buffy. But at the moment he's making me very happy." Willow said. "You're not going to tell Buffy are you?"

"I should." Angel said then at Willow's frown, "I won't as long as I don't have a reason to believe he's a danger. But Willow you need to promise to be careful and tell me if you have any reason no matter how small to believe something's changed."

"I will." Willow responded, "Good night Angel."

"Good night Willow. Be careful." Angel said moving toward the door. "Oh and Willow. You might not see Spike for a few days."

"Why."

"He kind of lost a fight tonight." Angel said quickly before disappearing off the balcony.



5.1 Injured

Willow left early for school so she could stop by Spike's apartment to make sure he was okay and still not be missed at school. She headed quickly up the of the apartment building, she had his address though she hadn't actually been there yet. She still couldn't believe Angel would do something like this.

She knocked on the door when she found the correct apartment number. She waited a moment and no one answered. She reached for the knob and slowly turned it. Sighing with relief she pushed the door open and walked inside. Glancing around the apartment it registered in her mind that Spike had very good taste. The apartment was simple but expensive.

She slowly moved through the apartment calling Spike's name. He had to be here right? She thought, after all Angel said Spike lost a fight not that he staked him. She moved down the hallway toward what she assumed was a bedroom. The door was pushed partially closed.

"Spike?" She said quietly pushing the door open slowly.

She stopped when she heard the soft groan from inside the room. "Spike?" She questioned again. She again heard the moan.

Willow pushed the door open and saw Spike lying on the bed his back facing the door. She quickly moved to the bed sitting next to the vampire.

"Willow go away." He said quietly when she touched his back.

"No." Willow said softly, "I'm not leaving until I make sure you're okay."

"I'm fine. Now leave please." Spike said pleadingly.

"Uh Un." Willow said pulling his shoulder until he turned to face her. " My god, what did he do to you?"

"You know what happened?" Spike asked surprised.

"Well yeah. Why do you think I'm here instead of school." Willow said gently touching the cut on his cheek. "Angel came to see me after he talked to you. When he left he said you lost a fight."

"That I did." Spike said trying to smile. The bruises and cuts on his face making it a painful movement.

Willow sat quietly for a minute running her hand lightly over the bruises surrounding both of Spike's eyes. His cheeks were also swollen and bruised as well as having several small cuts. His lip was swollen and she could see the cuts deep in his lip.

"He had no right to do this." She said softly. "We need to clean these cuts, do you have…"

"Medicine cabinet." Spike said, "He thinks he was protecting you. He doesn't want me to hurt you."

"Why doesn't it ever occur to anyone to ask me what I want first?" She said from the bathroom where she was retrieving a cloth and antiseptic.

"Because they think you're too innocent and don't want anyone to take advantage of that." Spike replied raising himself on his elbows. "And you don't have to do this. I can take care of myself." He said as she sat next to him and began cleaning the cuts.

"I know you can. But since this happened because of me it's the least I can do." She said.

Spike remained still as she finished cleaning the wounds that had already began to heal. It had been a long time since anyone had taken this kind of care with him. Dru had tried when she was able but most of the time he was the one taking care of her. The concern Willow was showing explained more than she realized about why Angel went to such lengths to protect her.

"Will you be okay if I go to school now. If the others realize I'm not there…" Willow said returning the items to the bathroom.

"Sure, just need some rest and blood." Spike said, "Could you warm some for me?"

"Warm some?" Willow questioned.

"There's some in the fridge." He said simply, "Never know when you might need it for injuries and with me not hunting I may not get enough so I keep some here."

"O-okay Just put it in the microwave?"

"Yeah." Spike said, "Thanks Willow."

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Willow waited by the microwave as the blood warmed. It still amazed her that most of the time her friends barely notice her existence, unless they need computer work done. Yet one of them decides to beat up her friend, in the name of protecting her.

Why didn't they all realize she didn't need there protection? Didn't it once occur to Angel that she wouldn't just blindly trust Spike. It's not like she didn't know who and what he was. If Angel was concerned about her he should have come to her first. Not just immediately go out and attack Spike.

The microwave beeped and Willow removed the mug and returned to the bedroom. Spike was now sitting on the edge of the bed and had pulled on a clean T-shirt.

"I'll stop by after school to see if you're okay." Willow said handing him the mug.

"No need Luv. Go home and finish you're homework and I'll see you tonight for the movie." Spike replied after taking a sip from the mug.

"Movies? Spike we don't have to…"

"We're going. I'll be fine. See you around seven." He said.

"If you're sure. I mean if you change your mind just call." She said picking up her bag and heading toward the door.



6 Games

Spike moved down the street slowly. He still ached considerably from last night. Most of the cuts and bruises had already began to heal. He was once again grateful for vampire healing powers. He was also moving slowly because he knew Angel was behind him.

Angel was well hidden but had been following him since he left the apartment. He was close this time. Angel didn't seem to care anymore if Spike was aware of his presence or not. As Spike approached Willow's house he glanced around looking for the older vampire, seeing nothing he shrugged and knocked softly.

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Willow ran down the steps when she heard the knock. It was taking forever to get ready tonight. Her homework took forever because her mind kept drifting back to Spike and how bad he looked this morning. Then Buffy called angry because Angel wasn't patrolling with her tonight, he had called and said he couldn't make it. Then Xander called he was fighting with Cordiela. By the time she got her friends off the phone she only had a half hour to get ready.

"Spike, hi." She said opening the door. "Want to come in for a minute?"

"We should probably head over there. Movie starts soon." Spike replied.

"Okay just let me get my coat." Willow said moving inside to grab her jacket.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

Angel followed behind the couple, fuming, he couldn't believe Spike would just ignore him like this. Okay who was he kidding, in a hundred years Spike had never listened to anything he said. He was sure Spike knew he was following them. He had seen Spike look around several times on the walk from his apartment.

Angel followed as they reached the movie theater. Standing in line a couple people behind them he quickly asked for tickets for the same movie they were seeing. He watched as they got into line to purchase popcorn and quickly slipped into the correct theater, for the first time glancing at his ticket to see what movie they were seeing.

"Aladdin." He mumble under his breath. "Did they actually come to see a cartoon." He couldn't believe that Spike had knowingly come to see this movie.

Sitting quietly in the last row as far away from the door as possible so he wouldn't be noticed he watched as Spike and Willow entered the theater and took seats in the middle a couple rows ahead of him.

Smiling slightly to himself he relaxed as the room started to fill with children. This should actually be fairly safe, even Spike wouldn't attempt to hurt her in a room full of children.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

"Is that Angel back there?" Willow asked as they took their seats.

"I'm sure it is Pet." Spike said sitting next to her.

"Angel likes cartoons?" Willow said skeptically.

"No."

"Then why are you sure its him without even looking?" Willow asked.

"Because he's been following me since I left my apartment." Spike replied.

"He is unbelievable." Willow said angrily, "I'm going over there…"

"Don't." Spike said softly. Leaning closer to her he whispered, "Let's play a little game with Angel."

"What do you mean?" Willow asked softly.

"He wants to watch. Let's give him something to watch." Spike suggested.

"Spike this is a cartoon the room is filled with kids." Willow said blushing as she caught on to Spike's suggestion.

"They're all in front of us. The only one that can see us once the lights go out is Angel." Spike said quietly. "But this can only work if you trust me and go along with it, otherwise it will just get me another beating or dusted."

"You're sure no one will see us." Willow said relaxing slightly.

"Positive." Spike said as the lights began to dim and the movie started.

"Okay then." Willow said leaning closer to Spike.

Smiling slightly Spike lowered his head and kissed Willow wrapping his arms around her pulling her closer to him.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

Angel sat quietly watching the movie for a moment before glancing at the couple in front of him. What the hell was going on? He couldn't be seeing this right. No way was Willow…with Spike…in a cartoon for God's sake.

He sat with his anger building as Spike continued to pull Willow closer to him. His mouth never leaving the girls for more than a few seconds to allow her to breathe. Angel wanted nothing more than to pull the couple apart and once again beat the hell out of the younger vampire. He wouldn't however make a scene in a movie filled with children and Spike knew that. Spike also knew Angel wouldn't touch him again as long as Willow wasn't in danger. And Angel had to admit that what Spike was doing wasn't actually hurting the redhead. By the end of the movie Spike had pulled the girl out of her seat and into his lap. Angel jumped up and left the theater as soon as the credits began to run.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

"Angel left already." Willow said removing her self from Spike's lap and smoothing down her hair.

"Yeah." Spike said sitting still for a moment, knowing he had enjoyed this particular game a little to much but also knew the girl in front of him wasn't ready to take it further just yet.

"Something wrong?" Willow asked eyeing the vampire.

"Uh, no just give me a second okay?" Spike replied.

"Why? Oh." Willow said in understanding and taking a seat next to him.

"I don't think Angel liked the game very much." She said smiling.

"Didn't think he would Luv. Question is did you?" Spike said pushing hair back off her face.

"Oh yeah." Willow said kissing the vampire's cheek.



7 Happy Birthday

Willow walked up to the library door and hesitated before pushing it open. Her friends were having a surprise party for her, they really weren't very good at the surprise part though, she had known about it for weeks. She didn't want them to give her a party. She had told them that a hundred times since she found out their plan. She hadn't told them she knew about the party, of course, just that she didn't feel like celebrating this year. And naturally they hadn't listened to her, they never did. So she had continued to play dumb about tonight, then an hour ago she had gotten a call from Giles. Buffy had found some new demon on patrol and they needed her help right away researching it. Spike had called too. She told him she had to go to the library, it would hurt her friends if she didn't. He finally agreed that he would come over later, when she was able to leave the party.

Pushing open the door and turning on the light, her friends jumped out from behind the table and in the stacks yelling surprise. She did her best to act surprised and happy about this party.

"Wow, thanks guys." She said as everyone gathered around to hug her and wish her happy birthday.

"We know you said you didn't want a party but…" Buffy began.

"You're the first of us to turn eighteen, we had to have a party." Xander finished.

"Well not really the first, Willow said glancing at Giles and Angel who had just emerged through the door behind her.

"Happy birthday Willow." Angel said quietly.

"I tried to find Will to invite him, but I either couldn't remember his last name or you never told me." Buffy said.

"He doesn't like parties much anyway." Willow said. "Too much noise and mayhem makes him nervous."

Willow turned to glare at Angel when she heard the small sarcastic grunt coming from his direction.

"Wow look at all the food you guys brought." Willow said pushing past her friends and heading to the tables.

"Not a party without snacks." Xander said grabbing a handful of chips. "Wait till you see the cake though, Cordy and Buffy made it."

"You two baked a cake? Together?" Willow said skeptically, "And your both still alive, no houses burned down?"

"Very funny Willow." Cordiela said, "We worked really hard on that cake."

"Sorry guys I'm sure it's wonderful." Willow said.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

Xander and Cordiela had disappeared into the stacks and Giles and Buffy had left the library to investigate a noise they heard in the hall, after Buffy telling Angel to stay in the library in case they didn't find it before it found everyone else. Willow was sitting at the table absently eating chips from the large bowl when Angel walked away from the door and moved back to the table sitting in the chair next to her.

"Is this a set up out there Willow?" Angel asked, "Is Spike waiting out there to ambush Buffy?"

"No!" Willow said turning to look at the vampire, "I can't believe you even think that."

"It's not like he hasn't tried to kill her before."

"Not that he would try to kill her, of course you would believe that. But that I would sit here and watch my friend walk to her death." Willow whispered.

"I'm sorry." Angel said realizing how it had sounded, "I know you wouldn't do that."

"No I wouldn't, and Spike is not here." Willow said angrily, "So how did you enjoy…"

The door swung open and Buffy and Giles came back in the library. Hearing the noise Xander and Cordiela emerged from the stacks.

"No danger, just a stray cat the must have gotten in during the day." Giles said setting the stake on the counter.

"You two look really cozy." Buffy said glancing at Willow and Angel, "What're you discussing over there?"

"Nothing." Angel said quickly.

"I was just about to ask Angel how he enjoyed the show the other night?" Willow said glaring at the vampire.

"Show? Uh…" Angel began.

"What show?" Buffy asked.

"The other night when you were patrolling I… Uh…"

"Will and I saw Angel at the movies the other night. He took off before we could talk to him after it ended." Willow said smiling, "I just wondered if he like it. I didn't think he would go for that kind of movie."

"What kind?" Xander asked.

"You mean when Will took you to see Aladdin?" Buffy asked then looking at Angel, "You went to see a cartoon?"

"Well, I mean, I…" Angel stuttered.

"Hey who would've guessed Angel liked kiddy movies." Xander said laughing at the image of the broody vampire watching cartoons.

"Okay I think pick on Angel time is over, let's get back to the party." Buffy said seeing the vampires embarrassment, "Time for cake."

Cordiela quickly made her way into the office to retrieve the cake while Buffy gathered plates and plastic forks. A few minutes later Cordiela emerged carrying a large tray and set it on the counter as the group gathered around.

"It's… Well, I mean…" Giles stuttered, "You two did this yourselves?"

"Must have, I mean, nothing from a bakery could look this…" Angel began then looking at his glaring girlfriend, "I was going to say original."

"Sure you were Dead boy." Xander said snorting, "Original is the word you were looking for."

"Watch it Xander." Cordiela said elbowing her boyfriend.

"Stop it guys." Willow said smiling. Okay so the cake was lopsided and you could see chunks of cake in the frosting. And sure the writing was uneven, and the frosting shells were all different sizes but they had done it themselves. "All that matters is they tried, and that it's not poisoned or anything right?" Willow finished smiling.

"Thanks Will. I think." Buffy said.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

Willow walked into her room and tossed the pile of gifts on the bed. Frowning at the pile she headed to the bathroom and quickly changed into a pair of loose fitting boxers and an old T-shirt. She let out a startled gasp as she came back in the room brushing her hair as she walked.

"Spike!" Willow said, "My god you scared me."

"Sorry." He said sitting on her bed eyeing the boxes she had put there earlier. "Lots of gifts I see."

"Yeah." Willow said, pushing the boxes over so she could sit.

"Don't look very happy Luv." Spike said pushing her hair off her face.

"It's just these gifts…" Willow began, "Spike they aren't me. Some of them used to be but not anymore."

"What are they then?" Spike said.

"What I used to be." Willow said, "Look."

Willow reached for the top box pulling it open she reached in and retrieved a pink sweater. "This is from Cordiela." She said holding it up.

"It's very…" Spike said trying to hold his smile, he remembered seeing her in things like this last year, when he first came to Sunnydale. "It's very fuzzy."

"Exactly." Willow said tossing the sweater back into the box. "She gave me the exact same thing she used to make fun of me for wearing."

Reaching into another box she pulled out a collection of biography tapes. "These are from Xander."

"Well Pet, you do watch that show." Spike said quietly.

"He has been my best friend since kindergarten, Spike. And the only thing he saw that just screamed Willow at him, was a series of programs about dead famous people." Willow said tossing them into the pile with Cordiela's gift.

"What about the slayer?" Spike said, "What'd she get you?"

"Boots." Willow said pulling a pair of black boots out of another box. "Buffy would wear these sure , but have I ever worn something like this? Do I own anything that could be worn with these? No."

"I kind of like the boots." Spike said smiling. He couldn't imagine Willow wearing the kind of clothes that would go with them.

"The worst part is the only one's who gave me anything close to something I would like are Giles and Angel." Willow said grabbing the last two boxes.

Spike reached over an picked up the larger box, pulling out several books on magic as well as a small crystal. "Giles?" He asked.

"Yeah. He said I can learn a lot about Wicca from these books as well as some simple spells." Willow said.

"That's good right? I mean you want to learn…" Spike said impressed with the watcher's insight.

"Yeah. They're great."

"What about the poof?" Spike asked.

Willow handed him a book from the last box.

"Willow this is…" Spike began looking at the cover of the book.

"He said it's a first addition." Willow said then smiling, "But the best gift from Angel was unintentional on his part."

"What?"

"Buffy thought she heard something in the hall. When she left to check it out he said he thought it was you. And that I was helping you set Buffy up." Willow said. "Well anyway while we were talking when Buffy came in wanted to know what we were talking about."

"And." Spike prompted.

"I said I was asking him how he like the show the other night." Willow said laughing, "You should have seen his face. It was priceless. I swear if vampires could blush."

"Willow that's…" Spike said laughing at just the idea of the shy red head embarrassing the older vampire. "That's well, bloody brilliant."

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

Willow walked back into the bedroom carrying two plates with small pieces of cake on them. She sat down handing one two Spike who had moved to sitting on the floor.

"Sure it's safe Pet." Spike said eyeing the cake.

"She didn't even know you would have any. So she couldn't possible plan on poisoning you." Willow said taking a small bite of the cake.

"Have to give you my gift anyway." Spike said setting the plate next to him and reaching into the pocket of his duster.

"I hope you like it." He said handing her the small box.

Willow slowly opened the box. Her smile grew as she saw the small heart sitting on the black velvet pillow. "Oh, Spike it's…" She said pulling out the delicate chain so she could see the pendant better.

"Turn it over." He said quietly.

A tear formed in her eyes when she turned it over and saw the words inscribed on the back.

"Eternal love." She whispered. Setting the necklace back in the case. She moved off the bed and hugged Spike. "Thank you so much. I love it." She said.

Hugging Willow to him for a moment, glad he had found something she liked so much after her friends had disappointed her.

"There's one more thing." He said moving her away from him. "Can you get away this weekend?"

"Away? How?" Willow asked.

"Yeah. Can you leave town."

"My parents'll be out of town so I can just tell them I'm staying at Buffy's or something." Willow said nervously.

"What about the slayer? Will she miss you?" Spike said.

"I'll tell her I'm going with my parents." Willow said, "Where are we going?"

"It's a surprise." Spike said.

"O-okay." Willow said nervously.

"Red, you know I won't hurt you right?" Spike said catching the nervousness, "And I won't make you do anything you don't want to do."

"I know." Willow said relaxing just hearing him say it. "When do we leave?"

"Dusk Friday." Spike said getting up and heading toward the door. "Bring warm clothes."

"He kissed her quickly before disappearing out the door.



8 Weekend Getaway

Willow followed Spike into the small cabin. They had been driving for hours. Spike had refused to tell her where they were going. Setting the bags down Spike turned back to the red head.

"Phone's over there Pet." He said pointing to a small desk. "Still can't believe you told the slayer the truth."

"Decided I kinda had too. I mean if my parents call Buffy's and she thinks I'm with them…" Willow explained. "Just let me call and tell her we arrived."

"Right." Spike said taking the suitcases and heading down a narrow hallway.

Spike set the suitcases next to the closet and moved to pull all the drapes closed tightly over the windows. He quickly check the windows in all the rooms making sure they were all closed. As he pulled the last one closed in the kitchen Willow walked in yawning.

"Tired Luv?" Spike asked.

"Kind of." Willow said stifling another yawn.

"Bedroom's down the hall. Get some sleep." He said kissing her forehead and pushing toward the hall.

"What about you?" She said nervously.

"Don't worry about me. I'll sleep out here." Spike said then giving her another shove, "Go."

"'kay." She said and moved down the hall.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

"She went where? With who?" Angel said angrily.

"Mountains. With Will." Buffy said not sure what had upset Angel. "What's the problem?"

"Buffy she's… He's…"

"She's an adult Angel. She can do what she wants." Buffy said, "And she loves him. And at least I think he loves her. God he's just a guy. It's not like she went away with a monster."

"You don't know him." Angel said quietly.

"Either do you. Right?"

"Yeah. I guess. I just don't want her hurt."

"She'll be fine." Buffy said. "Ready to patrol now."

"Yeah. Fine."

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

Willow walked out of the bedroom, to the scent of fresh coffee. Walking into the kitchen she moved behind Spike who was standing in front of the stove.

"Whatcha doin'" She asked peeking around his body.

"Dinner. Figured you might be hungry." He said turning to kiss her gently.

"Starved." She said, "What'd you make?"

"Just soup." He said, "Not a lot I can cook. Not like I have to do it often."

"Soups great." Willow said smiling then moving to pour herself coffee.

Spike ladled soup into two bowls and set them on the table as Willow followed him.

"So what are we doing tonight?" Willow said, "You said to bring warm clothes so I assume we aren't staying in all weekend." She finished sitting next to him at the table.

"Staying in all weekend is fine with me Luv." Spike said smiling, "But I assumed you might not be comfortable with those plans. So I was thinking just taking a walk tonight. Ever been in the mountains?"

"Mountains? Uh no." Willow stuttered, her mind having shut down at the thought of the whole weekend in the cabin with Spike.

"Great. I really think you'll love it. You did bring warm clothes right?" Spike said.

"Yeah. Heavy coat and gloves and everything." Willow said.

"We can go as soon as the sun sets." He said carrying his bowl to the sink.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

"Spike its so beautiful up here!" Willow said wrapping her arms around her chest to ward off the cold. "I've never seen anything like it."

Spike moved behind her wrapping his arms around her waist pulling her against him. "Glad you like it Pet, but we've been out here a long time. Sure you don't need to get back inside where it's warm?"

"Probably should huh?" She said leaning against him as she looked out at the mountains in front of her. "Not really used to this cold and I don't need to get sick."

"Let's get back then." He replied taking her hand and starting back down the path they had followed.

"Thanks for bringing me here Spike." Willow said as they walked back to the cabin. "Funny my parents have been everywhere, but I've never been out of Sunnydale."

"Love showing you new things Pet." He said as they walked up to the porch and he turned and pulled her against him.

Spike lowered his head to kiss her gently. She slowly wrapped her arms around his neck pulling him closer. Groaning he deepened the kiss when he felt her lips part against his.

"Spike." Willow said quietly pulling her head back slightly. "Spike." She repeated when he tried to capture her lips again. " Spike. Cold out here remember. Need to get inside."

"Sorry Pet." He said smiling and dropping his arms from her waist to open the door and gesturing for her to go inside. Following behind he pushed the door closed. "Now where were we." He said reaching for her again.

Moving out of his reach Willow removed her coat, hat and gloves. "Can we have a fire Spike?" Willow asked hopefully. "I've never actually had a fireplace before."

"Sure thing Luv. I'll go get some wood." He said smiling as he turned to head back outside.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

"Spike," Willow said sitting next to Spike on the floor her head resting on his chest. "Why did you bring me here? I mean is it because you wanted us to… that we would…"

Spike smiled as he ran his hand over Willow's shoulder. Even with her face turned away from him and hidden mostly by her hair he knew she was blushing. He imagined her face was getting close to the color of her hair just working up the nerve to ask the question.

"No. Not that I'd say no of course." Spike said lifting her to face him. "I wanted to bring you here because I thought you'd like it here. Nothing would make me happier that to make love to you Willow but that's not why we're here."

"What if I said I wanted to?" Willow asked shyly letting her hair fall over her face again.

Pushing her hair off her face he put a finger under her chin and raised her head to look into her eyes. "You sure Pet?" He asked slowly.

Willow nodded and leaned forward pressing her lips against his in a gentle kiss. Spike wrapped his arms around her pulling her into his lap as her arms circled his neck deepening the kiss.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

Willow felt Spike's tongue move inside her mouth tasting her. Moaning she moved her hands down his back pulling on his T-shirt tugging it out of his jeans she ran her hands under it feeling the muscles in his back move as her hands slid over him.

Spike allowed his own hands to moved slightly under the bottom of her sweater. Letting his hands glide lightly over her stomach and moved up until his thumbs were resting on the underside of her breasts. He stopped when he felt her body tense at his touch.

"We can stop Luv." Spike said pulling his mouth from hers and moving his hands away.

Smiling slightly Willow tugged at his shirt until she had pulled it over his head. Slowly she ran her hands over his chest, letting her hands move over his nipples she felt them harden under her touch.

"Did I do something wrong?" She asked hesitantly when Spike let out a small gasp.

"No, Pet not wrong." He answered reaching for her hands and placing them back on his chest. "Can't do anything wrong."

Willow moved against him once again claiming his mouth for another kiss. When Spike's hands again moved under her sweater and she felt his touch on her breasts she arched against the touch pushing her breasts further into his touch. Breaking the kiss she reached down pulling her sweater over her head and tossing it to the side with his T-shirt. Before moving against him again. She felt his hands move to her back unfastening her bra and sliding it from her shoulders.

Spike lifted Willow off his lap laying her on the pillows she had thrown on the floor while he had started the fire. Leaning over her his hands caressed her breasts, teasing the nipples with his fingers as he moved. Moaning she arched against his touch. Spike lowered his mouth to her nipple running his tongue over first one then the other feeling them hardened even further under his mouth.

Spike moved up to kiss Willow's lips once more before moving back down trailing small kisses across her face, down her neck, to her breasts. Slowly Spike began to move lower leaving a trail of kisses across her stomach. He hesitated for a second when she tensed as his hands moved to the button her jeans.

Willow arched her hips when she felt Spike's hand move against her as he slid his hands inside her jeans. Smiling Spike looked in Willow's eyes as he moved his hand against her, letting his fingers slide against her as his palm pressed lightly against her clit. Moving his hand away from her, he chuckled softly when she whimpered softly and tried to press back against his hand.

"Slow down Luv." He whispered moving back up to kiss her, "We have all day."

"Spike I want…"

"Want what Pet?" Spike asked curious if she even knew what she wanted.

Shaking her head she pulled his head back down to her lips. Spike moved his hands to her jeans again this time sliding them down over her hips as she raised her self off the floor to press against him. Slowly Spike began kissing his way back down her body leaving a moist trail from her lips down to her stomach.

"Spike." Willow gasps when she felt his mouth on her.

Spike placed light kisses along the inside of her thighs, stopping to lightly tease her clit as she thrust against his mouth. He moved his hands to her waist holding her still as he moved his tongue inside her, thrusting into her. He moved one hand to her clit pressing lightly as her body tensed as an orgasm took her. When he felt her start to relax he moved back up to kiss her softly pressing his hips against her.

"Spike I…" Willow said, "That was… But you didn't…"

"I'm fine Willow." Spike said softly, "We don't have to do anymore tonight if you don't…"

Spike's words trailed off as he felt her hand move between them gently clutching his erection through his jeans. She moved her hand slowly feeling the length of him. She moved her other hand to his waist band and around to the button of his jeans. She released the button and slowly pulled the zipper down, releasing his erection. She again wrapped her hand around it.

"I don't…" Willow whispered.

"Willow…you're…" Spike gasped against her neck, thrusting into her hand.

"So this is okay then?" She said moving her hand up and down the length and smiling at him.

"Oh god Willow…"

"Spike I want you…" Willow said softly. "I want you inside me."

Spike moved pushing himself into Willow as she moved her hand around to grasp his buttocks. She gasped she felt him enter her. He held himself still for a moment letting her adjust the new feeling. She moved her legs around his waist pressing him against her and he began to thrust into her. He moved one hand between them to tease her clit. His thrusts quickened as he felt her orgasm approaching. She felt his seed spurt into her as her muscles tightened around him.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

"Red?" Spike said softly into her ear as she laid curled up against him in front of the dwindling fire.

"Um." Willow mumbled.

"Willow, Luv. We need to get up now."

"No. Stay here." Willow said rolling over to wrap her arms around the vampire.

"It's almost dusk. We have to get going so you can get back to Sunnydale for school tomorrow." He said.

"Don't want to." She mumbled again trailing her fingers down his chest toward his stomach.

"Don't go there Luv." He said grabbing her hand. "We have to go."

Spike kissed softly before raising himself off the floor. Willow looked up from the floor smiling at him.

"No fun." She said.

"Nothing I would like more than staying her and, Uh, have fun with you." Spike said grabbing her hand and pulling her up. "But you have school tomorrow."

"Fine I'll get ready." Willow said moving toward the bathroom. "I get the shower first."





9 Weekend Getaway

Willow followed Spike into the small cabin. They had been driving for hours. Spike had refused to tell her where they were going. Setting the bags down Spike turned back to the red head.

"Phone's over there Pet." He said pointing to a small desk. "Still can't believe you told the slayer the truth."

"Decided I kinda had too. I mean if my parents call Buffy's and she thinks I'm with them…" Willow explained. "Just let me call and tell her we arrived."

"Right." Spike said taking the suitcases and heading down a narrow hallway.

Spike set the suitcases next to the closet and moved to pull all the drapes closed tightly over the windows. He quickly check the windows in all the rooms making sure they were all closed. As he pulled the last one closed in the kitchen Willow walked in yawning.

"Tired Luv?" Spike asked.

"Kind of." Willow said stifling another yawn.

"Bedroom's down the hall. Get some sleep." He said kissing her forehead and pushing toward the hall.

"What about you?" She said nervously.

"Don't worry about me. I'll sleep out here." Spike said then giving her another shove, "Go."

"'kay." She said and moved down the hall.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

"She went where? With who?" Angel said angrily.

"Mountains. With Will." Buffy said not sure what had upset Angel. "What's the problem?"

"Buffy she's… He's…"

"She's an adult Angel. She can do what she wants." Buffy said, "And she loves him. And at least I think he loves her. God he's just a guy. It's not like she went away with a monster."

"You don't know him." Angel said quietly.

"Either do you. Right?"

"Yeah. I guess. I just don't want her hurt."

"She'll be fine." Buffy said. "Ready to patrol now."

"Yeah. Fine."

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

Willow walked out of the bedroom, to the scent of fresh coffee. Walking into the kitchen she moved behind Spike who was standing in front of the stove.

"Whatcha doin'" She asked peeking around his body.

"Dinner. Figured you might be hungry." He said turning to kiss her gently.

"Starved." She said, "What'd you make?"

"Just soup." He said, "Not a lot I can cook. Not like I have to do it often."

"Soups great." Willow said smiling then moving to pour herself coffee.

Spike ladled soup into two bowls and set them on the table as Willow followed him.

"So what are we doing tonight?" Willow said, "You said to bring warm clothes so I assume we aren't staying in all weekend." She finished sitting next to him at the table.

"Staying in all weekend is fine with me Luv." Spike said smiling, "But I assumed you might not be comfortable with those plans. So I was thinking just taking a walk tonight. Ever been in the mountains?"

"Mountains? Uh no." Willow stuttered, her mind having shut down at the thought of the whole weekend in the cabin with Spike.

"Great. I really think you'll love it. You did bring warm clothes right?" Spike said.

"Yeah. Heavy coat and gloves and everything." Willow said.

"We can go as soon as the sun sets." He said carrying his bowl to the sink.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

"Spike its so beautiful up here!" Willow said wrapping her arms around her chest to ward off the cold. "I've never seen anything like it."

Spike moved behind her wrapping his arms around her waist pulling her against him. "Glad you like it Pet, but we've been out here a long time. Sure you don't need to get back inside where it's warm?"

"Probably should huh?" She said leaning against him as she looked out at the mountains in front of her. "Not really used to this cold and I don't need to get sick."

"Let's get back then." He replied taking her hand and starting back down the path they had followed.

"Thanks for bringing me here Spike." Willow said as they walked back to the cabin. "Funny my parents have been everywhere, but I've never been out of Sunnydale."

"Love showing you new things Pet." He said as they walked up to the porch and he turned and pulled her against him.

Spike lowered his head to kiss her gently. She slowly wrapped her arms around his neck pulling him closer. Groaning he deepened the kiss when he felt her lips part against his.

"Spike." Willow said quietly pulling her head back slightly. "Spike." She repeated when he tried to capture her lips again. " Spike. Cold out here remember. Need to get inside."

"Sorry Pet." He said smiling and dropping his arms from her waist to open the door and gesturing for her to go inside. Following behind he pushed the door closed. "Now where were we." He said reaching for her again.

Moving out of his reach Willow removed her coat, hat and gloves. "Can we have a fire Spike?" Willow asked hopefully. "I've never actually had a fireplace before."

"Sure thing Luv. I'll go get some wood." He said smiling as he turned to head back outside.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

"Spike," Willow said sitting next to Spike on the floor her head resting on his chest. "Why did you bring me here? I mean is it because you wanted us to… that we would…"

Spike smiled as he ran his hand over Willow's shoulder. Even with her face turned away from him and hidden mostly by her hair he knew she was blushing. He imagined her face was getting close to the color of her hair just working up the nerve to ask the question.

"No. Not that I'd say no of course." Spike said lifting her to face him. "I wanted to bring you here because I thought you'd like it here. Nothing would make me happier that to make love to you Willow but that's not why we're here."

"What if I said I wanted to?" Willow asked shyly letting her hair fall over her face again.

Pushing her hair off her face he put a finger under her chin and raised her head to look into her eyes. "You sure Pet?" He asked slowly.

Willow nodded and leaned forward pressing her lips against his in a gentle kiss. Spike wrapped his arms around her pulling her into his lap as her arms circled his neck deepening the kiss.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

"Red?" Spike said softly into her ear as she laid curled up against him in front of the dwindling fire.

"Um." Willow mumbled.

"Willow, Luv. We need to get up now."

"No. Stay here." Willow said rolling over to wrap her arms around the vampire.

"It's almost dusk. We have to get going so you can get back to Sunnydale for school tomorrow." He said.

"Don't want to." She mumbled again trailing her fingers down his chest toward his stomach.

"Don't go there Luv." He said grabbing her hand. "We have to go."

Spike kissed softly before raising himself off the floor. Willow looked up from the floor smiling at him.

"No fun." She said.

"Nothing I would like more than staying her and, Uh, have fun with you." Spike said grabbing her hand and pulling her up. "But you have school tomorrow."

"Fine I'll get ready." Willow said moving toward the bathroom. "I get the shower first."



10 Close Call

"I'm going to call it a night and head over to Angel's for a while if you don't mind?" Buffy said as she and Faith made a final sweep of the cemetery.

"No problem. I'll swing through park on my way home." Faith responded and they headed off in separate directions.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

"I really should be getting home. And we need to get out of here before Buffy comes through here on patrol." Willow said pulling away from Spike.

"Right." He said pulling her against him again. "Anything you say." He said kissing her again.

"I'm serious Spike. Buffy always comes through here." She said moving away again.

"Okay, lets go." He said standing up and reaching down to pull her up with him. He glanced behind him vaguely aware that Angel was somewhere nearby. He had sensed him as soon as they entered the park earlier that evening.

The walked slowly through the park heading back toward Willow's house. Spike stopped occasionally pulling Willow to him for a quick kiss.

"Spike we don't need Buffy to find us." She would remind him and they would start walking again.

"Shit." Willow said suddenly as they neared the edge of the park.

"What? Do you see the Slayer?" Spike asked looking around.

"Yes. Well not the one you mean." Willow said.

"Oh, that other slayer you mentioned." Spike said.

"Yeah. Faith." Willow said, "But she doesn't know you so maybe…"

"Hey Will." Faith said approaching the couple. "This the new gu…" She trailed off looking around suspiciously. She felt a vampire nearby. Willow wouldn't… she thought, and she's known this guy for months if he was a vampire… Buffy met him. She would have… Then she spotted Angel standing behind a nearby tree. Thank God, she thought, it's just Angel. "So gonna introduce me?"

"Oh, uh, Sure Faith this is Will. Will this is Faith." Willow said quickly.

"Nice to meet you." Spike said, extending his hand to her. Grateful for Angel's presence, knowing that was the only reason she didn't stake him where he stood.

"Okay well I have to finish pat…I mean I need to get home." Faith said.

"Right and I need to get home and finish my homework. See you tomorrow." Willow said as Faith began to walk through the park.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

Angel watched the situation from behind a tree a few feet away. He couldn't believe his luck. He had promised Willow he wouldn't say anything. And it looked like he wouldn't have to. Faith was heading right toward the couple.

He watched as Willow made introductions. He saw Faith hesitate, she knew he was a vampire. Okay now why is she just walking away, he thought. Why isn't she staking him.

"Hey what's up Angel?" Faith said from beside him.

Angel jumped at the sound of the voice next to him. "Faith." He said looking at her.

"Yeah. Didn't know you were patrolling tonight. B. is headed to your place to see you." She said. "Did you see Will and her new man? Don't they make a cute couple?"

"Yeah, adorable. How did you know I was here?" He asked.

"When I was talking to them, I felt vamp presence, then I saw you." She said, then laughing, "For a minute I actually thought Willow's boyfriend was a vampire."

"Then you saw me." Angel said angry with himself for being spotted.

"Yep. Anyway evil to kill gotta go." She said and walked away.



11 Late Visits

Spike walked through the door of his apartment, and shut the door. Taking off his coat he sighed, might as well get it over with, he thought.

"So do you do you get off watching us or just looking for some tips?" He asked to the seemingly empty room.

"I told you to stay away from her." Angel said stepping from the shadows.

"Right and I've always listened to you." Spike said moving into the living room and sitting on the couch.

"What do you want here?" Angel asked, not in the mood for verbal sparring with the younger vampire.

"Willow." Spike said simply.

"Right. Do we have to do all of this again?" Angel asked.

"Apparently we do." Spike said. "Why is it so bloody hard for you to believe that someone would want Willow?"

"I don't doubt that someone would want Willow. I doubt that you want Willow." Angel said, "Why would I believe that you are in Sunnydale again because you just really want a high school girl?"

"That's why you're here." Spike said simply. "Of course mine doesn't exist for the purpose of destroying our kind."

"Spike don't start on Buffy." Angel warned.

"Why not?" Spike asked, "You keep asking me why I would want her. What about her? She knows who and what I am. She knows I tried to kill all of you last year. Maybe if her friends treated her better, she would have told them I was here, instead of inviting me over, and going away with me."

"Her friends…" Angel began.

"Ignore her. Treat her like a little worker bee." Spike said angrily, "Do you know that you and Giles are the only one's that gave her birthday gifts she actually liked? How can her friends not be able to find a bloody gift for her?"

Angel looked at the younger vampire. He knew Spike was right. Buffy and Xander were too wrapped up in their own lives to worry about what Willow was doing. Buffy should have been able to spot Spike at the Bronze that night. Spike hadn't made any attempts to hurt anyone as far as he could tell, he wasn't even killing to feed. Still he couldn't bring himself to trust Spike completely.

"You were almost caught tonight." Angel stated simply.

"I know. That slayer sensed me. Then she saw you." Spike said smiling, "Actually glad for your recent voyeurism habits for a minute there."

"She catches you, you're dust you know that." Angel said.

"Yeah. That mean you're going to back off." Spike asked surprised at the warning.

"No. It means I promised Willow I wouldn't say anything unless you hurt her or I thought you were planning something. I don't trust you, and I will stake you myself if you take her away again." Angel said moving toward the door.

"She's an adult she can go anywhere she wants." Spike said.

"I'm serious Spike. Stay in Sunnydale." Angel said.

"Right. Glad for the invitation for the long stay. If the slayer does find out I'm here I'll be sure to tell her you said to stay." Spike said closing the door behind Angel before he could respond.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

Willow jumped when she heard the knock on the French doors in her room. Spike had just left, he wouldn't be back again so soon. She turned the light on and walked over to the peer through the lacy curtains.

"Faith, what are you doing here?" Willow asked pulling open the doors.

"Hey Red. Wanted to see how your date went?" Faith responded walking through the doors.

"O-okay." Willow said slowly. "I didn't think you even knew where I lived."

"Course I know. Know where Xander and Giles live too." Faith said looking around the room. "Nice place. So your boyfriend is really hot. Not exactly who I'd expect you to be with though."

"Wouldn't expect me to be with someone hot?" Willow asked slightly offended.

"Not what I meant." Faith said realizing how the comment must have sounded. "He just looks so…so dangerous. I would've expected you to be with someone safer."

"I can be bad." Willow said still offended at the idea that everyone thinks she had to always be a good girl.

"Right. You're a bad ass." Faith said flopping onto the bed.

"I am. I do bad things that you guys don't know about."

"Sure. I believe you." Faith said rolling her eyes.

"I do."

"Name one."

"What?"

"One bad or dangerous thing." Faith said sitting up on the bed and looking at the redhead.

"Okay. Will." Willow said.

"What about him. He looks bad sure but…"

"He's a vampire." Willow said angrily.

"What?" Faith said stunned at the confession. "A vampire. Have you lost your mind. Okay I can see having sex with one to find out what it's like. But you're dating a vampire?"

"Yeah." Willow said smugly, "I told you I can be bad too."

"Okay so you proved your point. We really have to talk about this again though." Faith said, "See you tomorrow." She finished as she slipped back out the doors leaving Willow alone.

"Smiling smugly to herself Willow slipped back into bed and turned out the lights. Suddenly her eyes flew open again as she realized what she had just revealed. She had to find Faith first thing in the morning before she could talk to any of the others. She quickly changed her alarm setting to give her time to go to Faith's before school.

Faith walked down the street toward her motel still amazed by Willow's confession. She needed to find out more about this Will guy though. Willow may think she's bad but she's still very naive, Faith thought. She would have to talk to Giles in the morning.



12 Secrets Unravel

Willow knocked on the motel room door. Damn, she thought, where the hell is she? Willow checked her watch again. Faith couldn't possibly be out this early. She moved over and peaked through the slight gap in the heavy drapes on the window. The room was empty. If Faith was out this early it couldn't be a good thing, Willow thought. She didn't have time to wait around for her though because there would be too many questions if she was late for school, but she would have to call her later and possibly call and warn Spike.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

"Giles" Faith called out as she entered the library.

"Giles" She repeated when she didn't receive a response.

"Faith?" Giles questioned coming out of the stacks, "You're here early aren't you?"

"Yeah." Faith said, "Need to talk to you." She said sitting in one of the chairs and putting her feet up on the table.

"What did you need?" Giles asked pushing her feet off the table, "Is it a demon?"

"Demon?" Faith said, "No. Well not really. It's about Willow."

"Willow's a demon?"

"No of course not." Faith said, "Her boyfriend is." She said bluntly.

"E-excuse me?" Giles stuttered looking at the young slayer. "Willow's boyfriend is what?"

"Well a vampire actually."

"Faith that doesn't make any… I mean Buffy's met him and she would have…"

"B. met him at that party right?" Faith said, "Angel was there. Are you sure she would have realized he was a vamp if Angel was right there?"

"Well I guess that's a possibility but… Does Willow know?" Giles said.

"She told me." Faith getting up and pacing the room. "I ran into them last night when he was taking her home I guess. I thought I sensed a vamp then I saw Angel and assumed he was the vamp. Anyway I went to Red's after I finished patrolling to find out about her man and she told me he was a vampire."

"She just volunteered this information?" Giles asked.

"Well no. I told her about thinking he was a vampire and kind of implied she wouldn't do anything that dangerous and she got mad and told me he was." Faith said.

"I need to talk to Buffy about this. See if she knows anything." Giles said distracted by the thoughts running through his head.

"No." Faith said, "Buffy doesn't know. I'm sure of it. Look Willow told me, and I don't think she wants everyone to know. I told you only because I want to make sure this guy isn't going to hurt her."

"Right then." Giles said realizing the girl was right. Telling Buffy may only make matters worse. "Tell me what you know, you said you met him?"

"Yeah. Tall, Bleach blonde hair. Hot." Faith said searching her memory for information, "Willow said his name was Will."

"Anything else?" Giles asked slowly.

"Oh uh yeah. He had an accent." Faith said.

"Was it British?" Giles asked already fearing the answer but at the same time not believing Willow would be that foolish.

"Yeah, not like yours though."

"You said his name was William?" Giles repeated as he sat down in a chair removing his glasses and began cleaning them.

"Well she said Will, but I guess it would be William." Faith said, "What's wrong, do you know him?"

"You saw Angel nearby?" Giles asked ignoring her question.

"He was acting weird but yeah." Faith said, "Giles are you all right?"

"Go get Angel, tell him I need to see him now." Giles said.

"On it. You will explain when we get back right?" Faith said heading toward the door.

"Yes."

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

Spike grabbed the phone on the third ring. "'llo" he said groggily.

"Spike it's me." Willow said nervously, "I don't have a lot of time."

"What's wrong?" Spike said sitting up fully awake now.

"I did something really stupid last night." She said quietly.

"Can't be that bad Luv."

"I told Faith you're a vampire."

"Okay that's bad. You told the slayer."

"She made me angry."

"Maybe she won't say anything."

"I went to talk to her this morning before school. To ask her not to tell anyone. I mean she saw you Spike. If she describes you to Buffy or Giles…"

"And what did she say?"

"I couldn't find her. She was already gone. Faith is never up early."

"You think she told someone?"

"Possibly."

"Don't worry Luv. Not until you know for sure." Spike said, "Go back to class, keep your ears open around Buffy today see if she knows anything. Then call me later."

"'kay." Willow said, "Bye."

"Bye." Spike said hanging up the phone.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

"Giles, you wanted to see me?" Angel asked startling the watcher.

"Uh yes Angel." Giles said, "I wanted to know… uh, have you been following Willow?"

"Willow?" Angel asked, "Uh no." Angel answered, it wasn't a complete lie, it wasn't Willow he was following.

"Faith says Willow's new boyfriend is a vampire. Angel she described Spike." Giles said, "She also said she saw you not far from them last night."

"Oh." Angel muttered, "Well I wasn't actually following Willow. I was following Spike."

"She could be in danger." Giles said just as the door opened.

"Damn it I knew you weren't telling me something." Faith said storming into the library. "Who is Will?"

"Sit down Faith." Giles said calmly.

"Rather stand." Faith said then turning to Angel, "Spill it."

"Will is Spike." Angel said quietly.

"Should that mean something to me?" Faith asked losing patience with the two men.

"No probably not." Giles said.

"Spike was… is a vampire." Angel stuttered.

"Got that part already."

"After I turned Dru, she became bored. She wanted a playmate. Darla and I encouraged her to uh… make one. She turned William." Angel explained.

"So he's kinda like your family." Faith said.

"I guess."

"How long have you known?" Giles asked.

"Since that party." Angel said, "I tried talking to both of them. Well more than talking to Spike. They both insist on seeing each other. The only thing I could think of was following them."

"Angel she's in danger we have to tell Buffy." Giles said.

"Actually I really don't think she is." Angel said, "In danger. Spike hasn't killed in months, because Willow doesn't want him too. He loves her Giles."

"Are you certain?" Giles asked.

"As certain as you can be of anything with Spike." Angel said. "He's also not the most patient vampire. If he was here to hurt anyone he would have moved by now."

"Is this guy dangerous or not?" Faith asked impatiently. If her friend was in danger she wanted to know now so she could take care of it.

"Very." Giles said. "Angel we can't wait to make a move until he does something."

"He wants Willow. As far as I can tell that's all he wants. If we tell Buffy and she goes after him, he will kill her Giles. When Spike wants something he won't hesitate to destroy anything that gets in the way." Angel said insistently.

"So you're saying just ignore this. Let it go?" Giles said in disbelief.

"As Buffy pointed out to me not to long ago. Willow's an adult she can do what she wants." Angel said.

"Tell me one thing Angel." Faith said sitting forward, "Will he hurt Willow?"

"I don't think so." Angel replied sincerely. Then facing Giles again. "Spike isn't stupid, he knows I know. He also knows that if he hurts Willow in any way he is dust. That I will tell Buffy if I even think he might hurt her. You saw the lengths he went to for Dru. When he loves it's completely. I really don't think she's in danger. He admitted to me he came back to kill Buffy and somewhere along the line his plan changed and he didn't care about Buffy anymore. I say we let the relationship play out."

"If Angel says she's safe I think he's right lets just wait and see what happens." Faith said, "I don't want Red hurt and killing this Spike guy will hurt her as much as he could."

"I guess I have no choice but to go along with the two of you then. I only hope you're right about this Angel." Giles conceded.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

Willow backed away from the library letting the door close gently behind her. They weren't going to tell Buffy. Giles knew now though, it was only a matter of time before the others figured it out or someone said something accidentally. If she and Spike were going to stay together they had to think of something fast. She headed for the phone to let Spike know they were okay at least for now.

13 A Plan

"They aren't going to say anything to the Slayer?" Spike asked in surprise.

"That's what they said. They would just wait and see what happens as long as Angel thinks you aren't going to hurt anyone." Willow said a worried look on her face.

"There's a but here isn't there?" Spike asked.

"I'm afraid if Giles, Faith, and Angel all know it's just a matter of time before one of them slips and says something." Willow said sighing as she lay back on her bed.

"I don't want to cause problems for you with your friends. Would it be better if I just left pet?" Spike asked hoping she wouldn't agree with that plan.

"Easier, yes. Better, no." Willow said sitting back up and facing the vampire. "I love you Spike. I don't want you to leave, at least not without me." She said quietly.

The couple sat quietly for a few minutes each trying to think of some way around their new obstacle. Finally Spike grinned and looked at the girl next to him.

"I think you may have found the perfect plan." He said happily kissing her.

"What plan?" Willow said pulling away confusion on her face, "I had a plan?"

"Leave with me." He said matter of factly.

"Right I just pack up and leave. Buffy won't get the least bit suspicious. Oh and of course Angel won't jump to the wrong conclusions." Willow said with a sigh.

"Not right now Luv." Spike said still smiling, " You graduate in June right?"

"Yeah but…"

"Have you chosen a college yet?" Spike asked, he knew she hadn't mentioned making a choice to him but he wanted to be sure.

"No, but I thought I'd just stay here, you know fighting evil and all." Willow said.

"You've applied at other schools though right?"

"Of course."

"Pick one of them."

"Which one?" Willow asked.

"Doesn't really matter to me. As long as its not here." Spike said.

"Oh," Willow said her face brightening as she caught on to his plan. "If I go away to school Buffy won't be suspicious."

"Right and for the poof to tell her that you left with me he'll have to admit knowing for months that I was not only in town but that I was your mysterious boyfriend." Spike finished.

"That could actually work." Willow said smiling and hugging the vampire. "So where would you like to live, I mean I've been accepted everywhere."

"I like big cities myself." Spike answered, "But it doesn't really matter, pick a school you think you'll like."

Willow pulled several envelopes out of her desk and began sorting through them. She really didn't have much time to make a decision before the deadline. She had applied to all these schools to see if she could get in but hadn't really given any thought to leaving Sunnydale before. She would have to tell the others she was going away to school tomorrow.

"It's late Pet, and you have school tomorrow, so I'll see you tomorrow night." Spike said lifting her head by the chin to kiss her gently before heading out the door.



14 Reactions

Willow headed off to school in the morning ready to tell her friends that she had picked a college. She had stayed up long past the time Spike left, wanting to choose a school so she could mail the paperwork immediately.

"Hi Will." Buffy said walking up behind Willow as she headed into the school.

"Hi Buffy. Uh have you seen Xander I want to tell you guys something but I'd rather do it all at once that explain it several times." Willow said.

"Nope. Haven't seen him yet. But Giles wanted us to all meet in the library at lunch so I'm sure Xander will be there."

"Great." Willow said, "I'll be able to tell Giles and Cordy at the same time to that way."

"'kay well gotta get to class. See you later." Buffy said as they turned to head in opposite directions."

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

When Giles finished explaining about the latest evil that had come to the Hellmouth Buffy looked at Willow and asked, "So Will what's the big news you wanted to tell us all?"

"Oh uh. Yeah." Willow said suddenly nervous about her announcement.

"Big news?" Giles asked.

"Sort of. I mean I just wanted to tell you guys I finally picked a school." Willow began. "I mailed the paperwork on my way in today. I'm going to go to school in New York next year."

"New York?" Giles, Buffy, and Xander said at once.

"That's cool Willow. Great stores there. I mean I'll have to get my parents to let me visit you just for the shopping alone." Cordiela said smiling.

"Thanks." Willow said, "I think."

"New York Wills?" Xander asked again.

"Yeah. New York. It's a great school, with a really good computer science program." Willow responded.

"But your leaving us." Buffy said.

"Not forever. I mean I'll be back for breaks and summer and visits and stuff." Willow said sadly. She wanted to be with Spike so badly she hadn't really thought about it meaning she would have to leave her friends behind most of the year.

"I know but still. It won't be the same." Xander said as the bell rang.

"We have to talk later." Buffy said grabbing her bag. " It's great though Will. You should go to a great school. Maybe my mom'll let me visit sometimes."

"Right and I can tag along with Buffy. Stow away in her luggage or something." Xander said as the group headed for the door. "Actually probably have to stow away in Cordy's I'm sure she'll have more."

"Willow can I speak to you a minute?" Giles asked.

"Sure." She answered hanging back and waiting for the others to leave.

"Are you leaving to be with, uh, Will?" Giles asked.

"I know Faith told you who he was Giles." Willow said quietly, "And yes. Part of the reason for leaving is to be with Spike. It's too dangerous here."

"Willow he's dangerous. He's a killer." Giles said.

"I've done all this already with Angel. He hasn't hurt anyone in months. I love him. I want to be with him. I'm going to New York in August." Willow said confidently.

"Are you sure it's a good…"

"Yes." Willow said. "You aren't going to tell Buffy now are you?"

"No. I can't make any promises for Angel though." Giles said.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

"Spike damn it did you talk her into this?" Angel said as his fist connected with the younger vampires nose.

"Talk who into what?" Spike asked.

"Willow into leaving town?"

"No." Spike said ducking the fist coming toward his face once again. "She came up with the idea of us leaving together. I just proposed the way we could do it without making the slayer suspicious."

"If you hurt her…"

"You'll sic the slayer on me. Or both of them maybe." Spike said, "Tired of hearing the same threat Angelus."

"Face it you won't tell Buffy." Spike said, then at the skeptical look on the darker vampire's face he explained, "You tell your slayer, she'll feel obligated to attack me. There's a better than average chance I could win and you know that. If I kill the slayer it will crush Willow. On the other hand, if the slayer kills me it will crush Willow. Either way you're the cause of exactly what you don't want to happen. Willow being hurt."

Angel turned and walked out of the apartment slamming the door closed behind him. Damn it, he thought, Spike's right. If Buffy finds out no matter what happens Willow gets hurt. I have to come up with something that will protect her without resulting in the death of Spike or Buffy.

14.1.1 Angel's Plan

"I don't care what Angel said Willow's in danger." Giles said pacing the length of the library.

"I really think you're wrong Giles." Faiths said setting her feet on top of the table in front of her and leaning back in the chair. "I've seen them together. He's totally into her."

"He's a vampire!"

"I know but so is Angel." Faith said.

"Angel has a soul." Giles reminded the slayer.

"Lots of evil is caused by humans who have souls." She pointed out. "'Sides Angel said Spike isn't hurting her because he cares about her."

"And if that changes?" Giles asked facing Faith. " She at least has some safety here, he knows that there are two slayers here to protect her, and Angel. She'd be alone in New York."

"Giles…" Faith began.

"Giles is right." Angel said coming out of the stacks.

"Damn it Angel do you have to do that?" Faith asked startled.

"Sorry. Came in through the sewers." Angel said approaching the table. "Part of my confidence in Willow's safety did hinge on the fact that Spike would think twice before hurting her here in Sunnydale."

"So what do we do?" Faith asked, "We can't tell her she can't go."

"I've thought about that." Angel said, "What if she doesn't go alone?"

"I don't see how…" Giles said cleaning his glasses.

"We have two slayers." Angel said, "Would the Council let one go to New York? Assuming its okay with Faith." He finished glancing at the girl.

"I'll go to New York but I still don't think…"

"I can try and convince them to allow it. But without a watcher it could be difficult." Giles interrupted.

"Try." Angel said.

"I'll make some calls." Giles said and headed for his office.

"Angel is it really necessary?" Faith said, "I mean you said he cares about her."

"What if that changes." Angel said.

"Fine. I gotta go." Faith said and headed out the door.

Angel headed back into the stacks hoping that this plan would work. He didn't want to think that Spike would hurt Willow but he didn't want to take the chance either.

14.1.2 New Alliances

"Hello." Willow said picking up the phone.

"Hey Red." Faith replied.

"Faith?"

"Yeah." Faith confirmed, "Look I need to talk to you and Spike."

"Spike and me?" Willow asked. "Why? Cause if you're just going to tell me about how I shouldn't go away and he's evil then we don't have the time."

"That's not it. Well its about that but it's not what I plan on saying okay. Is tonight okay?"

"I supposed to patrol with Buffy." Willow said not sure what Faith wanted but it sounded important. "Spike's coming over after, if you want be at my place at midnight."

"'Kay. See you tonight." Faith said hanging up the phone.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!

"Faith is coming here?" Spike asked, "Ow. Careful Pet."

"Sorry." Willow said setting down the bottle of antiseptic. "Yeah. She says she needs to talk to us."

"And you're sure she doesn't plan on staking me."

"If I wanted to stake you I would have by now." Faith said coming through the French doors. "Damn what happen to your face."

"Angel." Spike and Willow answered together.

"Thought he was peaceful now." Faith said sitting down on the bed.

"Yeah well, he doesn't like me much." Spike answered as Willow finished cleaning the cuts and put the first aid kit away.

"What did you need to tell us Faith." Willow said moving to sit next to the slayer.

"Angel and Giles don't think Willow will be safe going to New York with you." Faith began.

"Got that impression last night." Spike said gesturing to his face.

"Right. Anyway they decided that I should go to New York to keep Willow safe."

"God I can't believe them." Willow began. "I'm eighteen years old and they still don't think I can take care of myself. I can't believe they thought I would go along with this."

"Well yeah, that's part of the plan. When Giles called to tell me that the Council approved me going he said he and Angel had decided it was best if you didn't know until later. That you would obviously give someone the address to where you'd be and I could fly in before you and find an apartment nearby and watch you. I would only have to tell you if one of you spotted me."

"I should call them right…" Willow began still angry.

"Wait a minute Pet." Spike said quietly then turning to the slayer, "Why are you telling us this?"

"I have no desire to follow you two around for the rest of my life." Faith said, "I'm going to New York because if I don't one of them probably will but I'd rather we just go and do the slaying thing. I mean there have to be vampires in a city like New York."

"So you trust me?" Spike asked.

"No. But I do trust Willow." Faith said standing up. "And I will be there hopefully as your friend, but if I even think you're hurting her I'll dust you."

"Faith." Willow said as the slayer approached the doors, "Thanks."

"No problem. Just don't let on that you know. If they think I'm siding with you god only knows what they'll think of next." Faith said and headed out he door.

15 Graduation

Spike moved through the shadows of the school avoiding the windows with sunlight streaming through them. He shouldn't be here it was dangerous, he knew that, but he didn't want to miss Willow's graduation either. He spotted Angel looking through a window down the hall and headed toward him.

"Why are you here?" Angel asked as Spike moved behind him.

"Same reason you are." Spike asked.

"Go away Spike."

"Not until I see Willow walk across that stage." Spike said moving next to the older vampire.

"You shouldn't be here. She's a child." Angel said facing Spike.

"Right, and the Slayer isn't?" Spike asked.

"Spike it's…" Angel began.

"Back off guys." Faith said walking up to the two angry vampires. "You two getting into a fight is only going to draw attention to yourselves. Something neither of you need right now."

"He's the one hiding." Angel muttered but backed away from the younger vampire.

"Yeah, but if you fight with him, Buffy will end up back here and you'll have to explain that you've known he was here for months, and your both likely to be dust before it's over." Faith pointed out.

"She's right." Spike said smirking, "Wouldn't want Buffy to know you've been bad."

"Back off Spike." Faith said, "Or I'll stake you myself." Now it was Angel's turn to smirk.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!

"Are we really ready to do this?" Xander asked approaching the three girls in the library.

"Hell, yeah. Can't wait to leave high school." Buffy said.

"Yeah now we get to go to college!" Willow said cheerfully as Cordiela helped her fasten her cap to her hair.

"Only you could be excited about more school." Xander muttered.

"Besides, can't be happy about it if you're leaving in a few days." Buffy said.

"I know, I'm gonna miss you guys. But I'll come back to visit a lot, I promise. And you can come to New York." Willow said trying lighten the mood.

"But your leaving so soon." Xander said.

"God you guys. How many times does she have to explain this. She doesn't want to live in a dorm with strangers. Her parents are willing to pay for an apartment but she has to go there to find one." Cordiela said as she finished Willow's hair. "She said she may be back to visit before the summers over."

"Thanks Cordy." Willow said smiling at her. "I've gotten tired of explaining it."

"I've gotten tired of hearing it."

"It's time for you guys to take your seats." Giles said poking his head through the door.

"Let's go." Buffy said hugging her friends.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

Willow glanced behind her again. Spike said he would be here today. She didn't know how, it was the middle of the afternoon. He must be hiding in the building somewhere. She worried about this only because Angel was also hiding in the building somewhere. Fortunately Faith promised that she would find them and make sure they behaved.

She watched quietly through all the speeches and sighed in relief when they finally started calling students up to receive their diplomas. She just wanted this day over. She had a couple days to say good-bye to her friends before her and Spike left for New York. They all bought that she was leaving next week to find an apartment, but the truth was that Spike and Faith had already flown to New York and found two apartments. She just wanted to get Spike out of town before anyone else found out. There had been more and more close calls lately. Buffy had stopped by one night while Spike was over. They had almost run into Cordiela at the movies one night. She was always afraid that Giles or Faith would slip and say something. She needed to get away from Sunnydale soon. She heard her name and crossed the stage receiving her diploma glad that the day was almost over.

!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!

Spike stepped out of the closet and wrapped his arms around Willow's waist as she pulled the grabbed pajamas out of the dresser.

"Spike damn it you scared me." Willow said startled.

"Sorry. Evil though remember." Spike said kissing her neck.

"Keep forgetting." She said turning in his arms to face him.

"Saw your graduation." Spike said breaking away from Willow's kiss.

"Angel told me you were there." Willow said smiling, "Faith said you even tried to behave yourself."

"If you mean not dusting the poof." Spike said moving away to sit on the bed. "Then yes I did. Did you have fun at your party."

"Yeah. I guess." Willow replied sitting next to him. "Now that leaving is so close I'm getting kind of homesick."

"We don't have to go so soon." Spike said, "The apartments ours, its paid for a year."

"We need to go. Things are getting to dangerous here."

"You can visit as much as you want." Spike said.

"I know it still feels odd to be leaving Sunnydale." Willow said, "But not being with you feels wrong too."

"It really won't be so bad after a while." Spike said soothingly. "And if it is you can always transfer back to Sunnydale right."

"Yeah." Willow said kissing him again. "Buffy and Cordy are coming over early tomorrow to take me shopping for 'New York Clothes'."

"I'll let you get some sleep." Spike said kissing her again. "See you tomorrow."

16 New York

"How did you talk them out of making you leave early?" Willow asked as they boarded the plane.

"Didn't. Angel gave me a ticket leaving this morning. I traded it in for this flight its not like anyone was going to make sure I left." Faith responded, "Where's Spike?"

"He's meeting me on the plane. We weren't sure if Buffy and Xander would insist on coming in. Fortunately Buffy needed to patrol tonight so they couldn't stay."

The pair made their way down the aisle until they located their seats. As they sat down Spike came up behind them and tossed a bag into the seat closest to the window.

"Thought you were leaving this morning?" Spike asked as he took his seat.

"Didn't want to." Faith said simply.

"What ever." Spike said leaning over to kiss Willow. "You sure you're ready for this?"

"Yeah." Willow said quietly.

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

Willow walked through the door as Spike pushed it open and picked up the bags she had brought with her. The rest of her things were being shipped and would arrive in a couple days.

"This is great Spike." She said as he set the bags down inside the door, "How are we going to afford it. This is more than the budget I gave you, and Faith can't possibly afford an apartment in this building."

"I've told you before I have money, don't worry about it. The Watcher's Council is giving Faith a great deal of living expenses money at least until they find her a watcher and Angel is supplying the rest." Spike said, "So you like it."

"Of course I do." She said hugging him, "Angel's paying her rent?"

"Not all of it. We found these apartments, I liked them. She called Angel and told him this was where I rented an apartment, so if he wanted her close he would have to make up the difference in her rent." Spike said smiling, "He's so concerned that I'll kill you now that you're away from Sunnydale he said he'd take care of the money."

"You picked someplace this expensive on purpose didn't you?"

"If he's going to insist she baby-sit us then he can pay for it."

"He's right." Faith said walking in the apartment. "These apartments are perfect."

"Aren't they?" Willow said smiling and hugging her new friend, "We really should get settled in, I promised to call Xander and Buffy tonight."

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!

"Hello."

"Hey Willow?"

"Xander, Guess what? I found an apartment already."

"Really. It's only been one day."

"I know, but first place I called had a vacancy and was within the budget my parents gave me, and it was absolutely perfect. Furnished and everything."

"That's great. So does this mean you're coming home to visit soon?"

"Maybe in a couple weeks. My parents are shipping my stuff tomorrow and I want to get settled in before I leave again."

"Makes sense. We miss you already. Patrol was weird without you."

"I know I miss you guys too. But this is good for all of us right?"

"Yeah. I suppose so."

"I've got to go, still have some things to pick up before it gets dark. Tell Buffy I called okay. I'll call again in a couple days, with my new phone number and I'll give you guys my address then."

"Okay Bye."

"Tell Everyone I love them. Bye."

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

"Hi Angel."

"Have they arrived yet?"

"Yeah. I have the apartment below theirs."

"Great. Keep a close eye on them I still don't trust Spike."

"I know, Willow is my friend I won't let anything happen to her."

"Just remember not to let them see you."

"Yeah, you and Giles have only told me that a million times. Even if they know I'm here, Willow knew the Council was sending me to the east coast."

"Just be careful."

"Sure, what ever."

"Make sure to keep us updated."

"Yeah. I'll call every week."

"Bye."

"Bye."

~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!

"Faith called. Willow and Spike are there and she's in the apartment below them." Angel said walking into Giles office.

"She understands her responsibility then?" Giles said looking up from his book.

"She seems to. I think Willow's okay for now. She'll probably maintain a lot of contact with Buffy and Xander for a while anyway.

"Yes Xander said she called him this afternoon. Told him she already found an apartment and she'd call him or Buffy in a couple days with an address and phone number and would probably come and visit in a couple weeks." Giles assured the vampire.

"Good. As long as she has contact with everyone here she'll be more safe."

"Are you sure we aren't over reacting to this move."

"I'd rather be safe than sorry." Angel said as he heard voices approaching the library. "I've got to get out of here let me know if you here anything." He finished as he headed back into the stacks.