Read this first: To all who are enjoying Afterglow of an Angel, I am very sorry to say that since my Step-dad who just loves to make me miserable and make things difficult, this story will have to be put on hold after this chapter. When he gets his head out of his (expletive deleted) and I can finish the story, you all will be the first to know. Again, I am so sorry. Enjoy this chapter.
Chapter Six The Next Day…
The Next Day…
This was not a good day for Angel where he was flooded with meetings with other humans or demons and he was not in the mood for it. There was only one thing he really wanted to do and that was to see Willow. Maybe they could actually do something together and she wouldn't have to spend so much time by herself. She didn't come here to be cooped up in a guest room, which was probably driving her crazy. If he could get a long enough break today, then maybe he could go and see her and they could either do something in his office or go out on the town and catch up more pleasantly other than the last few times they talked.
As he was heading to his office after dropping off a file in Gunn's office, his cell phone started ringing and he opened it, only to soon regret answering as soon as he put it to his ear.
"Hello?" He asked.
"Buffy." He said as he stopped in his tracks. She was the last person he wanted to talk to, Xander included.
"How're you? And everyone else?" She asked.
"Fine. And by everyone, if you mean that Fred was saved by Willow after she volunteered to help us when you didn't, then everything is great. Even better than that." He answered.
"I won't say I'm sorry, but you left us no choice. I'm not the one in charge of a 24/7 demon filled law firm." Buffy sniped.
"Maybe not, but we're not like the previous owners. We were asking for your help because you and the others were the ones I thought we could trust. But now that I think about it, it's better having just Willow here. Unlike you, she is still a caring soul." Angel snapped.
"You trust her? She tried to attack me!" Buffy cried.
"You provoked her, acted like a snake, you got what you deserved. She was your best friend and she never did anything like that to you." Angel said as he took a look at his watch. Now he was really late!
"Listen, to make things clear, you stay away from Willow and ruin someone else's life or your own, I don't care. Do us a favor, if there's another hell mouth, just jump in." With that said, he closed his phone when he could hear her yelling and continued forward to his meeting.
Before he could reach his office, the elevator doors open and out ran a running Fred with files in her hands and crashing into Angel, knocking them both to the floor as well as the files they were holding as well.
"Angel! There you are. Oh, I'm so sorry!" Fred apologized.
"It's okay, Fred. Just be careful next time." Angel said as he helped her pick up her files before moving to his.
"Um, do you have a minute? I need to talk to you about something." Fred asked.
"I'm sorry, I can't. I'm running late for a full day of meetings." Angel answered.
"Oh, but it'll just take a minute." She stated.
"I'm sorry, Fred, but it'll have to be later."
"Angel, it's about-" She was stopped.
"Fred!" Wesley called, turning her direction toward him.
Angel looked back and forth at the former Watcher and then back at the Physicist before she sighed and walked away from him while heading over to Wesley and he watched as they walked away before he went back to getting the day's meetings started.
Meanwhile… In Willow's Suite…
In Willow's Suite…
The day before seemed to be almost nonexistent and Willow had woken up sketching and didn't even both to hop in the shower or change out of her pajamas, she just put on her slippers and started the coffee pot on the counter and sat on one of the stool until it was done before she went back and sipped at it one at a time, the heat not really bothering her.
The day before was pretty much a start of how painful it would be for the others when she would finally tell them, other than Lorne who already knew about her illness and that they had one or two years time to spend with her until it was time for her to go. She couldn't be happier that she came here, to be with people who were better friends than the others she had before when Sunnydale was still around and the hell mouth there was still active and things seemed somewhat easier there, even after she found out about Vampires, Demons and the many other things that went bump in the night.
A loud knock on her door pulled her out of her train of thought and swore under her breath when the coffee burned her lip.
"Rise and shine, Red! It's Spike."
Sitting her coffee cup down, she went to answer the door until she could feel her nose bleeding and going down her face. Panicking, she grabbed a handful of tissues from the cleanex on the counter and wiped it as best as she could, hoping it would stop before disposing of the tissue and going to the door.
"'ello again, Red. What took you so long?" He asked.
"Coffee burn on lip. What do you want Spike?" She asked, a little annoyed.
"Came to talk. Nothin' wrong with that, is there? Also, Harm and the other Wolfram & Hart workers are hogging the microwave and heard you had a microwave. You mind?" He asked, waving the blood bag around.
"As long as it's not human. I invite you in." Willow stated.
Spike waited until the shield was down and nodded as he entered the guest room, it not being his first time and headed right to where the microwave was as the light scent of blood that wasn't from the blood pack hit his nose, but he had to distract her in order to get it and he'd come up with a way if he had to sneak it out when he left.
"Nice place Angel gave you, Red. You're probably wonderin' what it's like now that he can have sunproof windows without the sun making us a pile of ash." Spike stated.
"Better to have sunproof than not. And that's the topic you're using for small talk." Willow added.
"Guilty as charged." Spike said.
The microwave beeped and Willow went for it first, pulling it out along with a mug that was already there and poured it in before handing it to her guest.
"Thanks, luv." He said.
"Since when is animal blood packed up like that?" Willow asked.
"Only here. I'll admit, it's less messy. Then again, manners don't really apply to us undead folk. Not to mention, Angel made sure to remind me that if I kept feeding on humans without that Bloody chip in my head, I'd be dust." Spike answered.
The two chuckled at that a little before there was a bit of a long, quiet moment in the room where Willow had a small smile for a moment and Willow had to excuse herself to the bathroom for a moment. She closed the door to see her nose wasn't so bad, but it could still bleed a little. Maybe she could have a little more time so that way the bleach blonde vampire wouldn't be suspicious and hurried back out to see him still sitting in the stool he was sitting in while waiting for his breakfast to be ready to eat.
"So, how's Buffy?" He asked.
"Gay and dating Kennedy." She answered, just blurting it out. She stifled a giggle when Spike choked a little on his food.
"Whaa?!" Spike asked.
"Sorry." Willow answered.
"Take it that's one of the things you found out about Ms. Chosen one. Since we're going down memory lane, mind talking about why you're not close with your fellow cohorts anymore? What's goin' on with you, Red?" He asked.
"Oh, no, Spike, we may be talking without wanting to kill each other, but we are not taking that one on today." Willow answered.
Spike was about to ask another question until seeing a line of blood flowing from her nose made him stop in his tracks and the redheaded witch was going to ask if he had anything else to say until she felt something drip on her hand and looked down to see blood as she went for the tissue box, but saw the bleach blonde vampire already there with tissues in hand.
"I gotcha, Red. Head back." He said and she did so before he grabbed tissues and held them to her nose where it was bleeding.
Willow couldn't believe this was happening now, today even. Couldn't her nose have started bleeding after he was gone and wasn't in any range to smell her blood? Just not a good morning. The Witch turned her back for a moment, holding her bloody nose, while Spike slipped out another tissue and saw the blood drop on the counter and quickly swiped it before stuffing it in his pocket.
"Alright, Willow. What's going on?" Spike asked. It was time to find out the truth.
"Nose bleeds are normal things for humans, Spike. It happens sometimes." Willow sniped.
"Well, the others are concerned about you, pet. Nothin' wrong with that." He stated.
"So concerned that you and Fred broke in here when you thought I wouldn't sense that someone I hadn't invited in yet was already here?" Willow asked.
Spike lifted his eyebrows in surprise when he heard that question as she turned to face him with her face wiped off with her hands on her hips and a furious look on her face as well.
"After all the time you've known me, Spike, did you really think I wouldn't know you would try something like that without me being here?" She asked.
"That a trick question, Red?" He asked.
Willow was getting tired of keeping secrets and his little games he used to get on everyone's nerves and decided to take out some aggressions, starting with him to begin with. Spike didn't see her next move coming when she grabbed a hold of his jacket and tossed him across the room, making him go over the counter and ended up in the living room before jumping back up to his feet as she walked into the room with hands still on her hips.
"Bloody hell, Red." He said.
"Are you sure you wanna know, Spike?" She asked.
"Yeah, that's why we wanna help you, love." He answered.
It was time for him to find out and she was sure that he would tell the others once he knew what it was she wasn't telling the others. Her next move caught him off guard again as she walked up to him and pulled her hair up into a ponytail and showed him the side of her neck, completely unprotected and visible.
"Go ahead. It's probably been awhile since you've had human." She said.
"You don't want that, Willow." Spike stated, shocked that she was even doing this.
"You're a vampire, Spike. Remember? It's in your nature." Willow stated.
"You can't ask me to do that to you." Spike added.
Before he could say anything else, Spike was against his will being pulled toward the Redheaded Witch who was not listening to his warnings of what she wanted him to do. She felt that words weren't good enough, especially for a vampire. More than just a drop of her blood was about the only thing she could think of.
"I wasn't asking." She said.
Spike looked deep into her emerald eyes and he couldn't believe it. She was serious about this. Had he pushed her too far? He looked in between her and her neck, not wanting to hurt her and trying to break free of the hold she had on him, but it was no use. There was no way out.
Half an hour later…
Angel's day was starting to turn around, the other meetings being handed to Gunn who volunteered when he could see the Vampire with a soul angering the clients and breathed an unneeded breath of relief. He didn't want him to have to deal with it, but Gunn assured him that he was an expert and then ducked out once he was in the clear.
Before he'd left his room and before the unpleasant conversation with his former love, he called the flower shop to order flowers and have them sent to the Redheaded Witch's room as an apology for questioning what she was hiding and to make up for being so busy with what was going on with her and what had happened between her and her former friends.
"Angel." Harmony called from her desk as he was passing by. As long as she didn't get on his nerves 24/7, then she could stay.
"You've got a message from the flower shop and the flowers you ordered will be on Willow's doorstep in fifteen minutes." She said.
"Great! Is that all?" He asked, hoping he may have gotten one from the Redhead.
Before he could get an answer, his cell phone rang and he groaned to himself, hoping that it wasn't Buffy and opened it to hear that it was not her and was relieved at that.
"Mr. Angel. We have coordinates for where Mr. Knox is along with the ones he was working with and where they will be meeting tonight."
"Good. As soon as you know where the meeting is and blueprints for the area, you and your men bring them with you when you get here." He said before closing his phone.
He knew that before it came to that, he wanted to see Willow first after not seeing her yesterday and he didn't have the chance to stop by again, not after when they talked. He didn't see why he didn't have time to stop by for a little bit and see her since the others were busy as Gunn now was.
"Harmony, can you call Willow's room? See if she's awake?" He asked.
"Sure thing, boss." She said, dialing the number.
Angel nodded as he waited, not wanting to drop in on Willow unexpected and heard Harmony dial the number again.
"No one's answering. It says it's disconnected." Harmony said.
Angel looked at her in confusion when she told him that. That couldn't be right. He maneuvered for the phone and dialed the number to Willow's room and heard the recording inform him that the number he was trying to reach was indeed disconnected before he handed his assistant the phone and decided to get to the bottom of this and make sure that everything was okay, hoping that she didn't leave. Then again, if she was leaving, she would've come to see them all to say goodbye before that.
He went to the same elevator that Fred ran out of when she knocked them both to the floor and hit the button, waiting after the doors closed and to get to Willow.
Willow was groaning in pain when she could feel Spike's fangs digging a little deeper into her skin than they probably should've, but the bleach blonde vampire wanted to know what it was that was wrong. No, it was not a smart move for a human faced with a vampire like Spike and the number of his victims he'd killed before he even gained the soul that was inside him. But since she'd been alone and sick, she wasn't exactly the same girl that everyone remembered in Sunnydale. She had changed in some ways, some good and some bad. What was happening at the moment counted as bad.
She felt herself becoming faint and the dark was taking over her. Maybe this was it, maybe she would die from the cause of a Vampire, maybe her being sick was only a decoy. All she knew was she had no will to fight and she could say that she was ready. She just wished she could've seen Angel one last time as she closed her eyes and was fading faster.
But before Spike could take anymore of Willow's blood than he already had taken in, Angel was behind him and he grabbed the other ensouled vampire by the back of his shirt and tossed him across the other side of the room, hearing a limp and unconscious Willow fall to the floor and looked to see her not moving. But when he could see the puncture wounds in her neck, such fury filled Angel as he attacked Spike. Punching him and slamming his head into the counter several times and kicking him. But before he could do anymore damage, he could hear Willow's faint heartbeat and stopped when he knew what he really should've been doing.
He let the bleach blonde vampire go and moved to her side before gathering her in his arms, holding her close and heading to the door to get help. But before he did that, he looked down at a beaten and bloody Spike with murderous eyes.
"She dies, you die." And with that said to his enemy, Angel used his vampire speed to rush Willow to the medical department to save her, praying that he would make it in time for the Doctors to help her and not lose another woman that he was falling in love with.
Arriving in the medical department, he slowed down his pace to a normal rate as he went through double doors to see Fred and Wesley who were also walking in the room from another office and looks of horror were on their faces when they say the bloody, unconscious witch in his arms.
"Oh my god! What happened?" Fred asked, dropping the files she was holding and moved to the other side of Willow.
"Spike. He attacked her. She needs help, she's lost a lot of blood." Angel answered.
Wesley called in the Doctor's in the area and anyone else available as they moved her to a care room and Angel did not leave her side as she was being taken care of, fearing that if he left her, something would go more wrong than her being attacked by Spike and then she would be gone.
He was able to help out by holding down a cloth on the two puncture wounds on her neck, where blood was still spilling out from and even though her blood did smell a little odd to him, he didn't care. He wanted her to be better again and back on her feet.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Angel's Office
Spike found himself coming to after the most painful blows to his head and he felt like he'd been him by a train 1,000 times or more than that after he pulled him off of Willow. He didn't mean to hurt the witch and he very much remembered that when he bit her, it was very far from willingly when it happened and he didn't have a chance to explain to Angel what the story was. But as he was still coming to, he looked down at his blood soak clothes to see that he was tied tightly to a chair and then looked up to see Gunn and Wesley standing five feet away from him, armed with weapons of their own as Wesley had a shotgun in hand and a crossbow in Gunn's as well.
"Just give us a reason." Gunn stated.
"Where's Red? She alright?" Spike asked.
"Yes, fortunately, for you that your attempt to kill her failed." Wesley answered.
"You got it all wrong, Mate. It's not what you think it is. I give you my word." Spike said truthfully.
"We'll see about that. Just wait 'til Angel gets here. I'll bet he's up for round 2." Gunn stated.
The three turned their attention to the office doors to see a still very much enraged Angel walking in and clenching his fists in full vamp face. This was a side of him that hadn't seen in awhile, but not forgotten.
"You should tell me why you shouldn't be dust now, Spike." Angel ordered.
"I had no control, Angel. I swear, there's something going on with Red and I had to find out. She told me to do it and when I told her that I couldn't let her ask me to bite her, she forced-" He was cut off.
"Wrong answer! She would never do something like that!" Angel barked.
"It's the bloody truth, you git!" Spike said.
"The hell it is!" Angel snapped back.
Angel had tried to keep himself from wanting to tear off Spike's head and just as he was about to do that until he could hear someone coming and stepped back and turned to see Lorne and Fred walking in.
"Angel, this is something that Freddles really needs to tell you. Listen to her." Lorne said.
"I'll just assume that Spike told you that he asked Wesley and I to help him out when he could see that Willow was hiding something and he's probably already told you what happened…" Seeing the look on his face made her stop for a moment, but she had to continue as she pulled out the results sheet.
"It's bad, Angel." Lorne stated.
"I found two tissues with Willow's blood soaked in them before the attack and before that, a drug that's not a cure and that's been keeping her somewhat healthy and her results were very strange, like one half of her is well and the other isn't. But as soon as I knew and when I ran into, which I'm really sorry for by the way-"
"Fred." Angel said.
She didn't say anything else and handed him the results and he looked down at them as he saw from the corner of his eye Wesley moving to her side and kept looking over them, seeing that she was very much right. They were strange, but that didn't mean this didn't make him more upset than he already was.
"What does that mean?" Gunn asked.
"She's sick." Wesley answered.
Angel didn't look up from the sheet as his hands were shaking. His hands never shook.
"I'm so sorry, Angel. Willow's dying." Fred said, tears filling up in her eyes.