Rating: Oh poss PG 13
Pairing: B/S This part ONLY!, hope to end up W/S
Disclaimer: Ok put the characters down and move away slowly
Summary: Willow has had enough of Sunnydale and her friends and decides to have a fresh start.
Distribution: if you have my stuff feel free. otherwise ask
Feedback: Yes, desired, needed whatever Thanks to Jenn for beta'ing. cheers pet, you're an angel.
Willow threw the suitcase down on her bed and tried desperately to stem the flow of tears still pouring from her eyes. It wasn't fair, it simply wasn't fair. She stomped over to the wardrobe and picked out her favourite clothes throwing them into the open case. Just because she was the Slayer it wasn't fair that she got all the men that Willow wanted. First there was Xander and then Oz had eventually confessed that he had originally been going out with Willow to get close to Buffy. and now him.
What made it worse was that Buffy knew how Willow had felt about him and yet she still. Willow swiped the back of her hand over her eyes and firmly shut the case. She tried to erase the image of them together writhing around on the bed.
Buffy thought she could do everything alone? Well now she was on her own. Screw research and being the Slayers little shadow. Willow had had enough it was time to leave and get out of the Hellmouth. And maybe, just maybe, she could forget about seeing Buffy with him. With Spike.
Buffy rolled over and fought the instinctive wave of disgust she felt whenever she saw Spike. Whether it was towards Spike or towards herself she didn't know but the fact that it was there was enough.
"So Buffy." Spike began hesitantly
"Don't." she said coldly and stood up reaching for her clothes
"What?" Spike frowned confused.
"Whatever it is you have to say don't bother. There is nothing that could come out of your mouth that I want to hear." She finished pulling on her skirt and yanked her sweater over her head.
Spike shook his head "Buffy." Her name was a caress on his lips.
"Damnit Spike, I said I don't want to hear it. God you just don't get it do you. I don't want conversation with you, I don't want you- period."
"Then why are you here?" his voice turned cool.
"I don't know." She admitted as she pulled on her shoes "But as long as you are determined to have this talk. I. Don't. Love. You. I never will, half the time I cant even stand to be in the same room. What we do disgusts me, that I have been with you is just-" she bit off the words but the look of disgust and nausea on her face said it for her.
"Fine." Spike growled and swung himself off the bed "if it repulses you so much then why are you bloody well here?"
"Not anymore, this was the last time."
"Heard that tune before Slayer." He smirked and reached for his cigarettes ignoring the fact that he was naked.
"This time I mean it and I have something that ensures that it is."
"What's that?" he was half amused and half curious
But Buffy shook her head, there was no way she was telling him, Willow would kill her. She felt a pang as she thought of her friend and what she would say if she could see her now. Screwing the man she loved. The feeling of nausea made its way up into her throat. Oh Willow I'm so sorry.
"What and give you something to use as ammunition against me. No way Spike."
His face softened "I wouldn't hurt you Buffy. You know that."
"No I don't know that. You are a vampire Spike, an evil soulless vampire. I don't love you and I sure as hell don't trust you."
Spike felt pain at her words but managed to keep it out of his voice. "Fine, just remember that next time you need a fix."
Like a junkie. She had needed Spike but thanks to Willow and her constant implacable friendship and non judgmental ways she could kick the habit.
Before she left the crypt she turned and looked over her shoulder at him
"Just say no."
Spike stared at the door as she left. Sometimes he wished he could just tie her up and stake her through the heart to let her see how it felt. He sighed and took a drag. She didn't trust him, but then he had never really given her reason to. But Red trusted his, liked him too- he was sure of it. If her spending all that time listening to him moan about his love life meant anything. He hadn't told her about him and Buffy yet, was worried it might seem a bit too much like rubbing it in, what with her witch leaving her and all. He'd liked Tara and was sorry that she had to go, but after all that business with Glory he could understand her needing some space. Too bad she'd had to hurt Red though, but Willow just ploughed on through. She hadn't stopped being there, for Buffy, for Dawn, Anya and even him. She truly was a marvel and she made him feel like more than an evil soulless demon, she made him feel wanted, she just had a way of making it all feel better. Yeah Red would understand, Red would make him feel better.
Willow stood at the Bus terminal clutching the ticket in her hand as she waited to get on the bus. Her mind spun as recollected her all too brief conversation with the too perky ticket lady.
"Where to Miss?"
"The first bus out of here, I don't care where to. I just want to be gone."
The woman took in Willow's tear stained face and nodded typing something into the computer, when she looked up the look on the woman's face was one of intense pity.
"There's a bus leaving in 10 minutes going south."
"I'll take it." Willow slapped some money down and ignored the strange looks she was getting from everyone else in the queue.
Taking her ticket she wandered over to the stop her thoughts echoing like screams in her head.
"I don't care where to. I just want to be gone."
A rumble of engine awoke her and she climbed onto the bus tucking herself into her seat by the window. People getting on took one look at the picture of misery and decided to give the poor girl the space she obviously needed.
They too understood how it felt to just want to be alone.
"I don't care where to. I just want to be gone."
She gave a little smile as she saw the sign.
Leaving Sunnydale- come back soon!
"Not a chance." She said softly.
Buffy opened the door and dumped her bag on the floor.
"Hey Buff." Her little sister appeared in the doorway holding the remains of her dinner, a peanut butter sandwich.
"Is that all your having?" Buffy gestured to the sandwich
"Nah Janice's mom made me some pancakes earlier, I was just snacking." Dawn explained
Buffy nodded apparently satisfied that she wasn't going to be charged with neglect of a minor.
Dawn shook her head, her long dark hair momentarily hiding her striking features.
"I think she went out."
"Ok well I'm going to bed." She started climbing the stairs leaving her sister watching her suspiciously
"Had a rough time huh?"
Buffy spun around and stared at her sister guiltily
"Slayage, your clothes are all torn and stuff."
Buffy's pulse calmed and she gave her sister a tentative smile. "Yeah rough slaying. Don't stay up too late."
Dawn's eyes narrowed as she watched Buffy slowly trudge up the stairs. Her sister was keeping something from her and she was determined to find out what it was.
Buffy stopped outsides Willow's room and stared at the bed. She was probably with Giles doing some research about yet another creature Buffy had to face and destroy so they could all go on living. Sometimes she felt so guilty- because of her, her friends could never have a normal life. They weren't chosen for this gig, unlike her. Yet they stayed and helped, often more than Buffy herself could, she owed them her life. Willow, literally, as her best friend had bought her back to life, had given her a second chance. And she repaid her by having sex with Spike. Buffy sighed and closed the door knowing that Willow probably wouldn't be back until tomorrow.
Spike stood outside the Summer's house watching in the shadows as Buffy closed the door to Red's room and left. He frowned, he hadn't seen the chit at the Magic Box so she wasn't with Giles, and she wasn't at home. He shrugged lighting a cigarette maybe she was with that idiot Harris and his demon girl. Well he wasn't going over there; he'd have to wait another night to see her.
Buffy opened her eyes and for a moment tried desperately to hold on to the dream that was receding. It was so beautiful, all cool and calm she felt safe and comforted. But alas it was gone.
She sighed deeply getting up and making her way to the bathroom past Willow's closed door.
Dawn watched carefully as the flipped pancakes dropped down from where she had just tossed them and quickly stuck her plate under them as they fell catching them.
"Whoo hoo." She grinned
Buffy laughed indulgently "How long have you been perfecting that move?"
"All week." Dawn grabbed the syrup and poured it over the pancakes
"Pretty cool." Buffy grabbed some cereal "Xander will be here soon and we can go."
"Is Willow up?"
"I don't hear her, but if she was with Giles then she might be tired, let her sleep."
"Ew," Dawn wrinkled her nose "Bad imagery."
"Dawn Summers that's just gross." Buffy choked on her juice "Willow and Giles?" She shuddered "I so didn't need that picture, anyway Willow likes someone else."
"Who?" Dawn leaned closer eager for gossip
"Nah uh." Buffy shook her head "She'll tell you herself but you blab."
"Would not." Dawn sounded affronted
"Would too." Buffy heard Xander beep his horn outside and grabbed her bag from where she'd dumped it last night.
"Would not." Dawn picked up her school bag and followed her sister.
"Would too." The door slammed leaving the Summer's house in silence.
Giles was bored, his usual texts refused to yield any information about the whereabouts of this damned cult of demons and he couldn't get in touch with Willow who could look them up on the computer. He refused to go near the dread machine after last time. It had beeped rather noisily at him and declared that a type 3 error had occurred. Boxes flashed and the computer screen kept shooting boxes at him with what, he was convinced, was a totally different language, as he couldn't understand a word. What the hell was an IP address anyway?
He wondered where Willow could be.
Buffy was bored; she had been flipping burgers for hours now and still couldn't shake the idea that something was wrong. Maybe it was just the smell of cooking grease. She wondered what had been so important that it had kept Willow out that late, she hoped it wasn't something apocalypse-y. Shrugging off the depressing thoughts she turned her attention back to the browning burgers.
Dawn glared at the back of Stacy's head and wished that Willow was there to magic her into another time zone. She was such a bitch.
"Oh Dawn, I heard that your sister flips burgers for a living, is that what you had for lunch today? Certainly smells like it." The Stacettes giggled
"It's better than Eau de tramp." Kit shot back defending her friend. Dawn and Lizzy giggled.
"Oh some one woke up on the wrong side of their coffin this morning didn't they Morticia."
"Morticia wasn't a Vampire and Vampires don't actually sleep in Coffins." Dawn said before she could stop herself
Kit turned to Dawn "Summers, you are one weird chick, but I like ya."
"Thanks, but if she's going to insult us could she at least get her facts straight?"
Stacy gave her an un-amused look "Whatever." She stormed off with the rest of her entourage
Lizzy linked her arm with Dawn and Kit. "Ignore her; she still thinks the Ozone layer is a kind of foundation."
Dawn giggled; she'd have to remember to tell that one to Willow.
Spike rolled over and stared at the ceiling his mind turning over the conversation with Buffy. For some reason last night's had bugged him more than usual. He was getting fed up of being treated like the bad guy. Ok technically he *was* the bad guy but that wasn't the point.
He hadn't been enough for Drusilla and had hung around for over a century being second best- was that what he wanted with Buffy? He had never tired of being around his Dark Princess but just lately he didn't want to be around Buffy that much, after all there is only so much rejection and ego stomping anyone could take. He was even starting to believe her when she said she could never love him. Was he in love with her at all anymore? If it had been love in the first place- no it had been real, he was sure of it. It was just that he wasn't sure if she was worth fighting for anymore. She certainly didn't give a fig about him, told him so repeatedly. So why was he busting his butt to try help her out? There was something Willow had told him one time they had been talking about her and Xander. He still couldn't believe she had been in love with Xander that long and he had never seen it, never seen that light in her eyes and that beautiful smile: it came less and less these days but he always seemed to be able to coax one out of her. Anyway he had asked her when she had stared to get over Xander and she said that there was a fine line between being loves bitch and being a pathetic sap. She realised that she had crossed the line when she started kissing Xander because of what could have been instead of focussing on Oz and what was. Not that it made much difference in the end except she could have kept her dignity had she simply said to Xander that yes she had loved him but she had moved on, just like him. The love, she told him, eventually goes away, never forgotten but it fades and eventually becomes a fond memory, or not too fond- nevertheless it goes.
All this chasing after Buffy and letting her use his body like a male whore had he tripped the line between loves bitch and pathetic loser? If so what could he do about it?
He wished Willow was here.
It was dark before Buffy managed to make it to Giles' place, she had had to go home and shower the smell of dead animals off her. As she entered the Magic Box she smiled at all assembled until something registered.
Xander shrugged and stuffed a Twinkie in his mouth whilst watching Anya do the money dance.
Dawn looked up from her homework and frowned "I don't know."
"Well I haven't seen her all day." Giles said polishing his glasses.
"Maybe she's still in bed, what time were you guys researching until last night?"
Buffy put her bag on the chair and gave Giles a smile which faded as he blinked confused.
"I was not with Willow last night. She came over at about five and said she had somewhere to be, I haven't seen her since."
"Five yesterday?" Buffy started to panic. "She wasn't at home when I got there last night, Dawn?"
"She wasn't there when I dropped by after school." Dawn's voice got higher- obviously Buffy wasn't the only one who was panicking.
"Not since yesterday morning. We did a donut run." Xander put down his Twinkies and got up. "I'll go see if she's at the house."
"Maybe she's with Spike?" Dawn ventured and got up "I'll go see."
"Not alone, I'll come with." Buffy turned to Giles "We'll be back soon."
"I haven't seen her either." Anya piped up "Just in case you were wondering."
Giles rolled his eyes; it was highly unlikely that Willow would want to see Anya anyway.
Buffy grabbed Dawn and headed for the cemetery. Whilst Xander made for the Summer's house.
"Knew you'd come back for more Slayer, cold comfort too." he trailed off when he saw Dawn with Buffy "New demon?" he guessed
"Willow." Buffy said trying not to get mad at him
"What about Red?" Buffy could hear the concern in his voice
"She's missing; no one's seen her since yesterday afternoon. Have you?"
Spike shook his head worry filling him; it wasn't good when one of the Slayerettes went missing, even for a night.
"She hasn't called?" he asked "if she was going away she'd leave a message."
"Xander's checking the house." Buffy informed him beginning to feel uncomfortable.
Dawn folded her arms over her chest and watched them, her eyes narrowing "More what?"
"What was that nibblet?" Spike said glad of the distraction; he was trying to figure out how to break things off with the Slayer, without getting staked. Of course that was second to the worry he felt about the missing witch.
"You asked Buffy if she'd come back for more. More what?"
Buffy's panicked levels flared up
"Uh more information." Spike supplied quickly shooting Buffy a quick look.
"About a demon, I met on patrol last night." Buffy added.
"Nasty bugger, big teeth."
"I'm a kid, I'm not stupid. Cold comfort wha-" she trailed off her eyes widening at Buffy and Spike's guilty expressions. "Oh. My. God."
"Dawnie," Buffy began
"You two?" she glanced angrily at Buffy "But this morning you told me that Willow."
Buffy dropped her eyes to the floor
"It's over." Spike said quietly, not exactly sure what was going on. "We. broke it off."
Buffy's head shot up to meet his steady gaze. "It's over." he repeated and she nodded
"But- but Willow and you knew!" Dawn was furious
"It was a mistake!" Buffy choked out
"Willow what?" Spike asked curiously, he wondered what Red had to do with this.
"Is missing." Buffy said firmly "We'll talk about this later."
"Yeah." Dawn said just as firmly, her eyes demanded answers.
"Let's see if Xander's had any luck."
Giles was concerned about Willow, it wasn't like her to go off like that and tell no one. Buffy paced the room as they waited for Xander to return. Dawn kept shooting evil glares at Buffy and even Spike and Anya looked harried. The redhead truly was the heart of the group.
Everyone looked up as the bell rang over the shop door. Xander came in
"Is she here?"
"I take it she wasn't at the house?" Giles sighed
"No, and she wasn't at her parents place or the library either."
"Ok no need to panic." Buffy said already panicking "I'll check the campus, maybe she decided to go to college for something."
"I'll go speak to some demons, maybe someone knows something." Spike picked up his coat and was gone even before he finished the sentence
"I'm going on a Wicca hunt, maybe she went shopping."
"I'll come with; I know here she likes to go." Dawn got up to follow Xander
"Be careful with her." Buffy whispered to Xander
"I should wait here, if she comes back." Giles hated waiting but it seemed like that was his position in life, waiting. Maybe he should call himself a waiter not a watcher.
"What can I do?" Buffy stopped on her way out of the shop and turned to look at Anya.
"I know you people don't like me very much but Willow is always nice to me. I want to help." There was nothing but sincerity in Anya's eyes as she looked at Buffy.
She reminded Buffy of that time Cordelia asked what she could do to help around Parent teacher night, eager to be one of the team. She realised that she had been pushing Anya away, thinking of her as less than one of the Scooby's. Well it was time for a change. Buffy nodded "Willow's address book is in her bedside table, start calling her friends and asking if they've seen her."
Anya smiled, happy to be included and picked up her coat ready to go to find Willow.
It was with heavy hearts that the Scooby's found themselves at the Magic box early the next morning.
"Nothing." Buffy slumped in the nearest chair "I checked the whole campus, Student Union to cafeteria and nothing, no one's even seen her."
"The last the Wicca shops saw of her was Thursday." Xander dropped his head on the table in exhaustion
"She hasn't called." Giles added tentatively
"Demons know nothing." Spike said pressing a damp cloth to his swelling lip and bloody forehead. Dawn got up to help him with his slashed jacket.
"Well I dropped by the Bronze and that Coffee shop first just in case she went there." Buffy sat up
"I never even thought of that, way to go Anya."
Anya beamed but then it faded "Nothing there and no one in her address book knows where she is, but Angel said he'd ask some of his contacts."
"Bloody Poof and what's Red doing with Angel in her address book anyhow?" Spike asked but no one answered.
"Uh guys I kinda have to go to school soon." Dawn said softly yawning
"Oh blow it off I'll write you a note." Buffy rubbed her forehead as that phrase reverberated around her brain, it was familiar somehow.
"Cool." The words were there but they lacked that natural exuberance that playing hooky normally brings. "I'm going home, I'm tired."
"I'll walk you and do another round of the cemetery, maybe I'll find something."
Buffy stretched and yawned
"I'm not stopping, still got a bit of moonlight left." Spike picked up his duster
"Spike?" Spike turned at the sound of Xander's voice
"Can," he cleared his throat and tried again "Can I come with you? I can't stop, I need to find Willow."
Everyone's jaw dropped as Xander asked the guy he hated more than Angel if he could voluntarily be in his company
"Sure thing mate." Spike nodded. He'd never admit it, not even to himself but he actually liked Xander, had an odd sort of respect for the kid who had no special powers whatsoever but still managed to spend 20 odd years fighting evil and not be dead.
Xander kissed Anya who just smiled; she understood how Xander felt about Willow.
Giles marvelled, even though Willow was not here she still managed to keep the group together.
Meanwhile miles away a sweet little redhead whose heart had been broken more than once by those she trusted got on another bus.
"BUFFY!" Buffy thundered up the stairs when Dawn called
"What, what's wrong?" she demanded as she ran into Willow's room.
"Did Willow take some of her stuff back to her parent's house?"
"Because it's gone." Her sister said rolling her eyes
"What?" Buffy glared
"Will's laptop and some of her clothes, her purse and diary, all gone."
Buffy was confused "Maybe she took it back home, she did say she needed some space, maybe she was taking it when she went missing." She refused to say dead.
"Or maybe she found out what a swell friend you were and took off." Dawn mocked
"Willow wouldn't run away." Buffy denied vehemently
"Well at least you're not denying it." Dawn spat
"Dawnie." Buffy was tired of this
"No, you are not going to fob me off like some kid, you knew Willow was in love with Spike and yet you were screwing him?"
"Watch your language Dawn Summers." Buffy warned "I don't have to justify myself to you."
"No but to Willow, how could you Buffy?" Tears formed at the corner of her eyes "But I guess things worked out for you, Willow's gone so you have him to yourself."
Buffy's eyes took on a dangerous glare "If you weren't my sister I would slap your face. I love Willow, what I did with Spike was a mistake, which I regret more than you could ever understand. I would never hurt Willow and I will look for her until I find her."
Dawn started to cry and Buffy felt her heart catch "Where is she?"
Buffy tried to enfold her in her arms "Oh Dawnie I wish I knew."
"Don't touch me right now." She pushed Buffy away "I really can't be around you right now."
Dawn pushed past Buffy and ran into her room slamming the door. Buffy slumped onto Willow's bed.
"One more screw up in the life of Buffy." She whispered into the vanilla scented sheets.
"Nothing." Xander moaned they left the last cemetery.
"I'm gonna try Willies." Spike stared at the sky "Sun's nearly up."
"Why do care Spike?" Xander asked suddenly taking Spike so by surprise that he answered honestly.
"She's always been good to me, listening when no one else gives a crap."
Xander nodded "She does that." He took a breath "Even when no one listens back she's still there, that's what makes her my Wills. I promise when I find her I will sit and listen to her for hours."
Spike said nothing for a while as he scanned the horizon "She always treats me right, even though I tried to kill her, she never made fun of me like you lot did, always treated me like a man."
"That's because to Willow you are a man. She's the least judgemental person I ever met; I mean her friends consist of witches, Slayers, a demon, a werewolf and a Vampire. You know she forgives so easily. When Angel came back she didn't forgive him just like that but she gave him the chance to prove himself and she even told me one time that she feels bad for Faith and if she ever wanted to be friends that that was ok with her."
"She hit Willow, stole her best friend, slept with the guy Willow used to be in love with," he blushed "And then Kidnapped and tortured her."
Spike stared in amazement "And Red would still be friends with her?"
"That's my Wills." Xander said proudly they were quiet for a moment
"What?" Xander was puzzled
"She has Two Vampires as friends." Spike said determined.
Xander eyes him "Maybe."
"I like Red." Spike urged
"Who doesn't? Even Moloch the Corrupter liked Willow. But that doesn't make you a friend, you have to know her. I doubt you know the first things about her. Besides you are too into Buffy to even notice Wills."
"When we find her I want to be her friend." Spike stopped short, this whole sharing things was unusual for him. "I'm not soft I can just appreciate the levels of..." he trailed off and Xander smiled, for the first time all day.
"Wills always wanted us to get on; she said if we could put aside the seething hatred we have so much in common."
"Yeah" Spike looked at him with interest
Xander shrugged "Let me tell you more about Willow."
It had been two weeks since Willow had gone missing, two very long weeks and no one wanted to stop looking. Giles even called Angel a few times to see if the dark haired Vampire had heard anything. But nothing, that's what grated the most.
No dead Willow in the morgue (Anya checked each day) No Ransom notes addressed to the Slayer (Buffy religiously sorted through the mail) No new Red haired minions or Childer (Spike questioned every Vampire) No bodies in cemeteries (Xander made a sweep each day) No news items about missing students (Dawn read each paper every day) No Wicca rituals or rights (Giles researched from morning until night). It was the not knowing that finally caused the explosion.
Buffy stared around at them all, Giles had his eyes fixed on the pages of yet another volume of Witch rites and passages.
Spike stood by the window staring into the darkness. He sighed as he took another drag of his cigarette. Xander sat side by side with Anya his shoulders slumped in defeat and despair. Anya patted soothing circles on his back as she counted the shop takings for the day.
Dawn was bowed over another newspaper, her homework completed by the side of her book bag.
"Look at us!" Buffy yelled suddenly causing everyone to jump upright.
"We are falling apart." Her voice quivered as she watched them all glare at her "Willow's gone, possibly dead."
"Don't you dare say that!" Xander screamed at her "She's not dead. I'd know!"
"Maybe, maybe not. But she's gone and she wouldn't want us to all fall apart like this. If Willow stood for anything it's being strong. We have to get through this."
"It's only been two weeks!" Xander protested
"We would have heard something by now if she was alive, she would have found a way to contact us!" Buffy cried.
"Maybe she couldn't, we have to keep looking." Dawn said her eyes filling up "Besides maybe she wasn't kidnapped maybe she did run away."
"Why would she do that?" Xander asked tiredly they had heard Dawn's theory before.
"Maybe she knew something or saw something she didn't like." Dawn said glaring at Buffy
"It's a stretch Dawnie." Buffy said glaring back
"Well none of you can explain why her stuff is missing!" Dawn yelled, none of them were listening to her "Or why we haven't heard anything. If she was kidnapped to annoy the Slayer, why haven't we heard anything? If she was a midnight snack then we should have found her body or been next on her to-snack list!"
"Perhaps Dawn has a point; you Scooby's do have a tendency to run away if there is something you don't like." Anya commented dryly
"Not Willow." Xander stated "I'm not buying the whole runaway deal, Wills is strong, she wouldn't just bail, which is why we should keep looking."
"And we will but-"
"But what?" Xander growled
"We need to get through this." She repeated
"I never figured you for a quitter." Spike said quietly still staring at the window
Buffy glared at him "I'm not quitting. I have to be realistic."
"So after two weeks we write Willow off as dead? It took you more than that to look for Angel. Boyfriends one thing best friends' anoth-"
"Don't you dare bring him into this." Buffy warned
"Buffy's right." Giles stood up and polished his glasses
"Not you too!" Xander bit out
"We need to focus."
Xander stood up "Sorry if I can't over my best friend that quick." He spat.
Spike stubbed out his cigarette and made his way over to the group. He placed his hand on Xander's shoulder
"You told me that Red never wanted anyone to fight. Well look at your precious Scooby's right now mate. I reckon if Red came back now she'd take one look and kick all our arses. You bloody white hats are best when you pull together. So I guess now is the time for you to do that whole group hug thing and fix things before Red gets back."
Xander nodded and the tension flowed from his body. Dawn headed over to Spike and he wrapped his arms around her as she cried for Willow.
Buffy gave Spike a tight smile before turning to her watcher to train.
Anya got to her feet and pulled Xander into a hug "We should do what Spike says. Although not all the time because I have no idea what a Bloody Man U is and I have no intention of becoming one."
Willow stared around the place she had called home for the past few weeks. It was small and quiet and it suited her down to the ground. On her first day here she'd got a job working as a secretary for a small night club. Her job was to take bookings, organise clients and talent and organise files and such. It was great work plus she was really enjoying herself. Last night at the Club, one of the bar crew, whom she had become fast friends with, pulled her behind the bar and proceeded to show her how to tend bar. Willow couldn't remember the last time she had had so much fun. Greg, the bartender, was a huge bear of a guy with rippling muscles which he wore with a tight t-shirt to emphasize. He growled at men who made too many passes at Willow and threatened them with bodily harm should they even think of touching her. But then he'd turn around and call her cutie and show her his tattoos. He was a total softie.
The waitresses had taken Willow under their wing and given her the dubious nickname Pixie. Unfortunately the manager was a real ass hole his name was Phil and he was a real letch. He was always trying to look up the waitresses' skirts and down their tops. Everyone adored Willow.
She had stumbled across this beautiful town in her travels after she had left Sunnydale. Occasionally she got a pang about leaving her friends as she had, but she pushed it away rationalising that they probably hadn't even noticed her going.
Anyway it was finally time to go home, well back to her little apartment, it was so cute and totally Willow. Unfortunately she had to walk through a dark park which always gave her the chills. Still once a Sunnydale girl, always a Sunnydale girl, she thought as she gripped her stake tighter in her pocket.*At least I'll be prepared if I meet a Vampire*
Suddenly, as if the fates heard her and decided to see if she was telling lies, there was a scream from the park.
Without thinking Willow turned and ran towards the voice hoping to come to the woman's aid.
As she rounded the corner she stopped to assess the situation. Two Vampires had a woman on the ground and they were dripping something on her and kicking her. With a yell Willow ran towards them catching one in the chest as he turned around, before his dust hit the floor Willow had kicked the other in the chest making him fall over the figure crouched on the ground.
He jumped up and spun his leg out trying to kick Willow in the face. Luckily, due to watching Buffy, Willow was ready for this move and ducked and pushing up her arm managed to knock him over again. Rolling over onto him she let the stake catch him in his heart and as he evaporated she fell onto the ground.
"Ouch!" she moaned and staggered to her feet, remembering the woman on the floor. Willow turned and crouched on the dirty ground.
"Hey Miss are you ok?" She turned her over and got the second biggest shock of her life "DRUSILLA?"
Willow looked into the face of the insane Vampire who had tried to kill her.
"Little tree?" Drusilla moaned and her eyes fluttered "Make me better, don't leave me."
Willow rolled her eyes. No doubt about it she was a sucker!
She pulled Drusilla up and hung her arm over her shoulder. "I just know I'm gonna regret this!"
Willow struggled to open the door whilst still holding the Vampire in her arms.
"Come in Dru." She bit out as the door swung open and she kicked it closed behind her. But as soon as she was in she dropped Drusilla onto the couch, non-too-gently, after all Dru *had* landed her in hospital.
She picked her first aid kit and tended to Dru's wounds. From the looks of it those Vamps had been dousing her with Holy Water. Pity she didn't keep any spare blood around the place. The errant thought made Willow giggle and it woke Drusilla up.
"Little tree, am I safe."
"Yeah." Willow said with a sigh "Pity I can't say the same about me."
Drusilla squinted up at her "You are safe from me little tree. Miss Edith says we are friends and Princess does not eat her friends." She produced a slightly charred doll from the depths of her dress.
"Great." Willow said flatly and put down the blood soaked cloth. "That's as much as I can do with this. Tomorrow I'll stop by the butchers and pick you up some blood. I'm going to bed."
Willow draped a blanket over the vampire and went to get ready for bed.
Willow fluttered her eyes as she realised that someone was in the room with her. She shot up in bed and stared at Dru who had frozen in the middle of the room on her tiptoes looking like a guilty child.
Drusilla pouted and pushed her hands into her dress
"I-I want to sleep with you."
Willow gaped "You want to what?"
"Little Tree is warm and Princess is cold." She gave a little girl smile, all hopeful and Willow flopped back onto the bed.
Drusilla beamed and crawled under the covers snuggling up against Willow. Within minutes they were both asleep.
After her shift Willow stopped by the butchers to pick Drusilla up some blood and made her way home.
"Dru?" she called as she entered the apartment
"Tree!" Dru yelled delightedly "You came back, Miss Edith said you would."
"Well if she said I would then why are you so surprised?" Willow said putting the blood into the microwave and leaning against the counter watching her.
Drusilla looked at the floor "Sometimes she lies." She said in a small voice. "She said Spikey was bad and Daddy was good and my monster would take care of Princess."
"Didn't he?" Willow realised that Dru was talking about the Chaos demon, or was it Fungus Demon Dru had dumped Spike for.
"No. he hurt Princess but he was all sticky and wouldn't dance with me. Miss Edith said that we will be friends and that you'll make me better." Dru got up and began to potter around the kitchen, laughing at the utensils.
"Well I got you blood and fixed your face but I'm not a doctor and besides Vampire healing will kick in soon."
"No." Dru shook her head and stared at the blender "Make me the way I was before."
"Before?" Willow had a sinking feeling she knew what Dru was talking about
"Before Daddy hurt me." She said matter-of-factly
Willow's mouth felt dry "You want me to help you become sane?"
"Yes." Dru clapped her hands and poked the toaster.
"I'm not a shrink!" Willow exclaimed "How the heck am I supposed to make you sane?"
"Miss Edith says the little tree will help." Dru stated calmly
Willow took a calming breath "Well for a start you can stop calling me little Tree, my name is Willow."
"Willow." Dru repeated like a child at playschool
Willow shook her head *Only me!*
Buffy stopped in her tracks and turned around "What do you want know Spike?"
"Ease up on Chubs."
Buffy gaped "Wha-?"
Spike took a drag of his cigarette and dropped it, crushing it under his boot. "Harris has just lost his best friend; he's a little hurt right now. Telling him to give up is not helping."
Buffy folded her arms and tossed her hair "Lame Spike."
Spike arched an eyebrow as if asking what?
"You decide to champion Xander just to talk to me. Lame."
"Oh get over yourself Slutty." Spike rolled his eyes at her self- absorption.
"You expect me to believe that you care about Xander?"
"The kid has guts. He's stupid as shit but he's got guts. And he's just lost his best friend, so you telling him to get over it is a bit heartless, pet."
"Willow was my best friend too." Buffy scowled at him "Xander's not the only one who is hurting here."
"Right, like you gave a damn, love. Dog boy left and you didn't give a crap and then twitchy left and you ignored Red- again. Seems she was only your best friend when it suited you." Spike glared at her beginning to wonder what he'd ever seen in her "Makes you wonder about your motivation."
To Spike's confusion Buffy adopted a deer in headlights look
"Motivation, for what?"
"For being friends." He said puzzled, even more so when she relaxed. For the first time he wondered what Buffy actually was hiding.
Buffy could tell that Spike was getting suspicious so she did what Slayers do best and went on the offensive
"Listen Spike, maybe I wouldn't win any awards in the best friend stakes but at least I tried. You tried to kill Willow on numerous occasions and were evil to her when you weren't trying to kill her. There's no way on earth she would be your friend."
Spike smirked "Red liked me. She said so."
"Hmm isn't that what she said about Angel." As Spikes jaw clenched Buffy knew she'd hit pay dirt "Angelus tried to kill her and yet they were still *best* friends, maybe she did like you but even after all Angel did to her she liked him best. After all Spike, you'll never be Angel. Not for Drusilla, not for me and not for Willow. Second best." Buffy spat and walked away leaving Spike alone in the cemetery.
Spike fought the urge to cry. The bitch had hit him where it hurt and she knew it. But she was wrong; Willow had liked him, hadn't she? He wasn't second best. He'd show them.
Spike jumped and cursed as he saw who it was
"Bloody hell little bit, what the f- uh heck are you doing out here?"
Dawn moved into the light and squinted at him "I followed Buffy." she said simply
"You could have gotten hurt." He was annoyed but then his mind processed what she'd said "What do you mean she's wrong?"
Dawn moved to sit on a gravestone and then thought better of it once she'd seen what remained of the demon Buffy had been fighting spread all over it.
"Ew." She wiped her hand on her slacks "She's wrong about Willow and you."
"How's that, pet?" he lit up another cigarette
"Willow liked you, a lot." she bit her lip unsure how much to tell him about Willow being in love with him "She says she gets on with Angel but she doesn't trust him, never will. She trusted you."
"That right?" Spike said beginning to smirk again *see Red trusted him, he knew it*
"She was always trying to get us to be nice to you. Plus Xander would never had patrolled with Angel, even if Willow were missing, Giles doesn't hate you like he hates Angel and Anya likes you."
Spike felt better, and felt like a ponce for feeling better "What about you?"
"Oh I never liked Angel that much he called me kid and would never let me hang with him" she said sneakily
Spike rolled his eyes but couldn't control the grin that slipped past his lips "C'mon Li'l bit."
"Yay!" Dawn gave a little jump and followed Spike.
Buffy leaned heavily against the door in her room and closed her eyes, placing her hands over her face. She was gong to have to apologise to Spike. Plus Willow would be pissed if she came back and Spike thought she hated him. How could she have said those things to Spike, she was mad but she wasn't evil, she had never enjoyed being a bitch for being a bitch's sake and what she'd just done was beyond cruel. Before she knew it tears started to slip past her fingers and her shoulders started shaking.
Willow gaped at Dru. "You want me to do what?"
Dru pointed to the stage "Sing with me."
"No way." Her thoughts flashed back to the high school talent show. There was no way she was getting up there to make a fool of herself.
She'd taken Dru out again for the night; it got boring staying in all the time trying to get through to Drusilla. They talked about Angelus and Angel, about Darla, Spike and Miss Edith and tried to straighten out Dru's twisted psyche.
It was hard hearing Dru talk about him but Willow just gritted her teeth and tried not to scream when she heard his name. She refused to say it herself, hoping that by ignoring him he would finally leave her thoughts. Unfortunately he was the stabilising influence in Dru's mind, the one thing that never left her, so when she got upset she'd talk about Spike and how he'd protect his Princess. And yes, he actually did basically worship her.
So, anyway, to give herself a respite she'd started taking Drusilla out to the club once a week. Tonight they'd come on karaoke night, Hence the current dilemma.
"Sorry Dru but there is nothing on heaven that will get me up on that stage."
Dru pouted and wished that Willow would bow to her every whim like Spike had done, but she knew, intellectually, that that was what had been wrong; she'd always had someone to do everything for her and leave her to her madness, Willow made her do it herself and in small ways it was helping her to become her own person and put the nuttiness aside.
"Please Willow. I used to love to sing and dance, before I was turned I used to sing with my sisters."
Willow stared as Drusilla managed to get out an entire sentence without reverting to baby talk or talking in the second person, or mentioning the stars or dolls. She sighed knowing full well that she had to do it now to reward Dru for her progress.
"Ok, but make it a short song please."
Dru smiled at Willow, knowing that her gamble had paid off. She grinned as she remembered the perfect song.
"Come on Willow mine."
Willow allowed herself to be dragged to the stage and she waited on the sides for Dru to select a song.
Dru gave her an impish smile as the beginning strains sounded and Willow rolled her eyes. Dru indicated that Willow should start so she closed her eyes against the crowds and she spoke the opening words.
"A few questions that I need to know,how you could ever hurt me so,I need to know what I've done wrong,and how long it's been going on,"
*Ouch* she thought *I know Dru is psychic but she can really pick 'em. She heard Dru singing the background in her deep voice. She faltered and Dru picked up the verse smoothly
"Was it that I never paid enough attention?Or did I not give not affection?Not only will your answers keep me sane," Both girls shared a rueful smile before Dru continued "but I'llknow never to make the same mistake again.You can tell me to my face or even on the phone.You can write it in a letter, either way, I have toknow." She nodded to Willow and Willow picked up the last part of the verse
"Did I never treat you right?Did I always start the fight?Either way, I'm going out of my mind,all the answers to my questions,I have to find."
Dru ran her fingers over Willow's face and the men in the audience sat up straighter as the two beautiful women stood closer. Willow suddenly felt more confident and picked up the microphone and began crooning into it.
"My head's spinning, and boy, I'm in a daze,I feel isolated, don't wanna communicate,I take a shower, I will scour, I will roam.....find peace of mind, the happy mind, I once owned,yeah."
Dru ran her hands over Willow's shoulder and picked the microphone off Willow taking the next verse and pulling Willow closer to her
"Flexing vocabulary runs right through me,the alphabet runs right from A to Z,Conversations, hesitations in my mind,You got my conscience asking questions that I can't find,I'm not crazy, I'm sure I ain't done nothing wrong, no,I'm just waiting, 'cause I heard this feelingwon't last that long."
Willow couldn't help chuckling as Dru told everyone she wasn't crazy; no wonder she had picked this song. They both began to sing the chorus
"Never Ever have I ever felt so low,When you gonna take me out of this black hole?Never Ever have I ever felt so sad,The way I'm feeling yeah, you got me feeling really bad,Never Ever have I had to find,I've had to dig away to find my own peace of mind,I've Never Ever had my conscience to fight,The way I'm feeling, yeah, I just don't feel right."
After they'd sang the chorus Willow was totally into the song and her confidence oozed out of her as she took the next verse letting the lyrics wash over her.
"I'll keep searching deep within my soul,For all the answers, I don't wanna hurt no more,I need peace, got to feel at ease, need to be.......Free from pain, I'm going insane, my heart aches,yeah."
Without realising it she began to dance against Dru, handing her the microphone. The men in the audience were practically salivating as the two women writhed against each other.
"Sometimes vocabulary runs through my head,the alphabet runs right from A to Z ,Conversations, hesitations in my mind,You got my conscience asking questions that I can't find,I'm not crazy, I'm sure I ain't done nothing wrong,Now I'm just waiting, 'cause I heard this feeling won'tlast that long."
As they got to the last verse Willow opened her eyes and realised that her stage fright had gone, everyone could see her and she didn't care. She was having fun! So she gave the last part her all
"Never Ever have I ever felt so low,When you gonna take me out of this black hole?Never Ever have I ever felt so sad,The way I'm feeling yeah, you got me feeling really bad,Never Ever have I had to find,I've had to dig away to find my own peace of mind,I've Never Ever had my conscience to fight,The way I'm feeling, yeah, I just don't feel right. x4
You can tell me to my face, You can tell me on the phone,Uh, You can write it in a letter, babe, 'Cause I reallyneed to know.You can tell me to my face, You can tell me on thephone,Uh, You can write it in a letter, babe, 'Cause Ireallyneed to know.You can write it in a letter, babe, You can write itin aletter, babe."
Willow came off the stage on a high listening to the thunderous applause following her and Dru.
"Wow go Pixie!" said one of the waitresses and Greg gave her two thumbs up
"That was fun!" Willow beamed to Dru
"Wanna go again?" Dru asked
That night Willow was humming the song they'd sang at the bar, first Never Ever and then Dru had gone for Patsy Cline's Crazy and Willow sang The Honeyz' End of the line and they'd finished together with Sisters are doing it for themselves.
They'd gotten standing ovations and Phil offered them a permanent singing position, which Willow had declined, she really didn't need that kind of pressure right now. Will got ready for bed feeling better then she had for a long time.
She slipped in between the sheets and snuggled down, quickly falling asleep.
In the night she felt something glide across her skin and soft touches. She woke up to find Drusilla caressing her face and arms with long smooth strokes.
"Dru?" she asked hesitantly
"Poor Willow mine, all hurt inside. Someone hurt you, made you bleed inside I can make it all feel better."
To illustrate her point she bent down and kissed Willow on the mouth. Willow shot up in bed.
"No Dru. I was hurt by. someone but we can't. For one thing, I don't think of you like that, for two I still love.them and I'm kinda your doctor for now which makes this definitely malpractice. So no Dru."
Dru withdrew her hands from Willow "So no naughty touching now." "No naughty touching." Willow said relieved, there was no way she could have fought off Dru.
Dru bit her lip "Can I sleep in here tonight Willow mine, I wont touch."
"Ok." Willow said and waited until Dru was wrapped around her before falling back to sleep.
Dru stayed up for some time thinking about who could possibly have hurt Willow so much, and how much she'd like to meet them- for just five minutes- with a chainsaw.
Willow was quickly becoming the most important person in Dru's world. More important even than Daddy. Dru realised that she'd been unfair to Spike, always comparing him to Daddy, she'd hurt her Prince. Funny she always knew it but it took Willow to make her realise it. Willow didn't like talking about Spike, or anything that happened over the Hellmouth. She just wouldn't talk about it at all, and Dru didn't want to push. Willow was making her better, she could feel the need for insanity, the need to deny reality and push the world away creeping away from her. Willow showed her that the world didn't have to be scary and hurtful. It could be fun and sweet. She'd always love the little Redhead for that.
Giles sighed as his eyes blurred, he had been researching for this damn demon that Buffy and Spike had come across since two o clock that morning when both of them had come in looking a little worse for wear. Buffy had slumped in a chair, looking listless whilst Spike had growled something at him and left.
“What’s wrong with Spike?” Giles asked not sure if he really wanted to know the answer.
“He found a tip about a redhead while he was beating one of the vamps; turns out he was lying to get out of a staking. Spike got his hopes up for a bout five minutes and I think its hit him hard.”
Giles pinched the bridge of his nose “I really wish Willow were here, with her abilities she’d be able to track herself down in no time.”
The two of them looked at each other whilst his statement sunk in and they both began to laugh.
Spike kicked a trash can across the alley in a fit of rage *that scum sucking minion thought he could pull a fast one on the Big Bad?* Spike swallowed for a moment- just a moment he thought he finally had a lead to finding Willow. He missed her so much; it was like there was a hole in his chest where his heart used to be. He ached to see her again, to listen to her talk to him. To see that cute little smile when she was listening to him, the one that made him feel so special. The Slayer had apologised for what she’d said and agreed with Dawn, Willow had liked him. He had liked her, still did. Even more with the more he’d learned about her, he made Xander talk about her telling him about what she’d been like as a kid, before Buffy arrived. He learned about their adventures at high school and before he’d come along. It wasn’t much but he felt like there was still a part of her around. It would have to be enough until she was back where she belonged. With him. Spike bit his lip and decided that it wouldn’t do any good to analyse that feeling at the moment. No that could wait, until she was home.
Willow grinned as Drusilla flirted with Greg forcing the six foot three bartender to blush like a school girl.
After a few months together Dru had come to work with Willow after she got fed up of her being asleep for most of the day and at work at night, she claimed she missed her tree. She normally sat at the bar waiting for Willow to finish work. The normal atmosphere was good for the training that Willow was putting her under. Training to be normal and it was working; Dru hadn’t had a nutty episode in nearly a month. It was funny to think of shy little Willow teaching the scary Vampire Drusilla how to be normal and Dru was giving Willow lessons in advance witchcraft. Dru was impressed at how well and how fast Willow could pick up magic spells. She predicted that soon Will would be out ranking her in the magic stakes. Willow grinned at the thought.
She sat heavily on a barstool and rubbed her aching feet. Dru had grabbed her earlier on and forced her on stage again. Who knew the vamp loved karaoke that much? Drusilla and Willow’s voices worked perfectly together and patrons had gotten used to them writhing together on stage. Dru made Willow forget her stage fright. She felt hands slide down her arms and turned hurriedly to see Phil leering down her top.
“Willow.” he sneered
Willow jumped off the barstool and glared at him “Phil.”
“You are so pretty, little pixie, how about we go out back and talk.”
“No.” Willow stated firmly and moved out of his reach but he grabbed her again
“Come on red, don’t be a tease.”
Willow’s eyes flashed with barely restrained rage “Don’t call me Red and get your filthy hands off me.”
Dru looked up as she felt the air crackle and saw Willow staring down the sleazy manager. “Uh oh.” She said and slipped off her chair
“Watch your mouth Red.” Phil mocked “Or I’ll find something for it to do, I’m sure you’d enjoy it.”
Willow’s eyes blazed black for a second and when she spoke her voice was octaves deeper
“Get off me and don’t call me Red. Nobody calls me Red.” A breeze swept through the bar rustling the papers and rattling the bottles on the bar. The wind grew in intensity circling around the Redhead until the force knocked Phil on the floor and he lay there cowering.
“W-w-what are you?”
“Down Girl.” Dru whispered at Willow’s ear.
“Screw this, I quit.” Willow spat and gave Phil one last glare before slamming out the door.
Dru picked up her bag and ran out after Willow.
Willow growled and Dru swung her around
“Calm down Wills, that creep isn’t worth losing your temper over. Although it was pretty spectacular.” Dru couldn’t help but smile at how far Willow had come in the past few months. The girl had some serious power.
“He called me Red, no one calls me Red.” Dru nodded. Willow would never tell her but one of their agreements was that, unless asked, she didn’t call her Red or ask about why she left Sunnydale. Dru stuck by this as she didn’t want to lose her friend.
Willow stared at their surroundings “I hate this crappy town.”
Dru was struck with inspiration “So we can leave. I have some money that I put aside; we can travel until we find somewhere we like.”
Willow grinned, loving the idea. She linked her arm in with Dru
Spike was impressed. Xander showed him how to activate the spring loaded stakes in his sleeves, so that he could be carrying stakes but look unarmed.
"Great mate. Who knew you'd be any good at woodwork. I thought Nancy boys preferred knitting."
"Well we can't all be perfect at hair care." Xander retorted and they shared a grin. They still enjoyed baiting each other but it was never as barbed as it had been before.
"Hey I'll have you know that it takes a real man to dye his hair, unfortunately you'll never know about real men."
"Yes well I'm into women, but thanks for the offer Captain Platinum." Dawn giggled as Spike pretended to be offended.
"You guys fight like brothers." She commented and laughed harder at the expression of horror on both Xander and Spike's faces.
The bell jangled and Buffy walked into the shop "Guys." she greeted with a small smile. She was so glad she'd swallowed her pride and apologise to Spike all those months ago. The atmosphere was so much less tense now that they both knew where they stood with each other.
Spike had worked hard to integrate himself into the group, and Buffy had the feeling it was more to do with a certain missing Redhead than anything else. She could see it the way Spike would ask for stories about Willow before he came to Sunnydale, how he always asked each demon if they knew anything about a redheaded witch before he killed them, how he perked up at the mention of her name and never failed to chase down any lead about her. Spike was falling in love with Willow.
Buffy had come to the heartbreaking conclusion that Willow was dead and she had mourned but here was Spike falling in love with a girl who wasn't even around, the capacity for love Spike had still amazed her. But who wouldn't fall for Willow. Even now she was gone she still incited them to pull together and be a team. Xander and Spike were practically friends and they all realised how much Willow and Giles had done for them in research areas so they all took on those duties and did it more seriously, making Giles' job easier. But there was still a Willow shaped hole in their lives, one that would never be filled by anyone else.
Willow kicked out her feet and the Vamp dropped like a stone.
"Hah!" Willow yelled and rammed a stake in him watching him go poof.
Dru smiled at the childish display, for once feeling like the adult.
The girl who they'd helped staggered to her feet "Oh my gosh thank you so much I thought I was pretty much toast for a moment there." The girl peered closer at them "Oh, its you! I mean really you. Oh my god."
Willow and Dru exchanged bemused glances
"You're Fangs and The Red Witch."
"Fangs and the Red Witch?" Willow giggled "What?"
"The two of you are practically legends!" the girl bounced a little "You're like, my heroines."
"Huh?" Dru added totally lost
"Oh c'mon everyone who's anyone knows about the two avengers. Fangs and Red Witch, the two daring saviours of the night." She looked Willow up and down "Honestly I thought you'd be taller."
"I'm sorry I think you have us confused-"
"You saved a school of teenage girls from being sacrificed to a demon from another dimension." She interrupted
"Well if they were silly enough to use REAL spell books in their school productions." Willow muttered still annoyed about that
"And you defeated like an army of Vampires."
"Small army." Dru defended "Only a couple of clans."
"Do you really patrol for evil *every* night?"
"Nothing on T.V." Willow said feeling uncomfortable
"Wow, my best friend is gonna flip when I tell her I met you. Totally flip, she's your biggest fan. Her whole Witch circle has talks about you and there are internet sites, hers is the best though it's called RedFangs. My God you guys have even worked for the Watchers council!"
"It was a small job." Drusilla still wasn't pleased about that one
"Oh wow!" she repeated "I'm Chrissie by the way."
"Hey." they both said, not too impressed and feeling more than slightly embarrassed. Since Dru had acknowledged that the visions came from her and not from the stars or the doll, they had started to act on them, much in the same way that they knew Cordelia and Angel did. It wasn't their fault that they were so good at it or that their names had begun to become famous to be whispered in awe and reverence in certain circles and feared in others- not their real names of course- but Fangs and the Red Witch. Now that they had been on the move for almost six months and the kind of adoration was getting a little embarrassing, although it had been funny at first. Then they started getting requests, like the one from the Watchers council to free a member who had been held captive, or to find a certain mystical artefact. The Red Witch's powers were the stuff of much envy and speculation. Rumour had it she could do almost anything.
"So can you like, REALLY shape change?"
Willow rolled her eyes and Dru nodded, it was time to move on.
"What'cha doing Nibblet?"
Dawn jumped guiltily "Nothing." She tried to shut down the lap top but Spike grabbed it off her with a smirk
"We're not looking at Porn are we Li'l bit, dirty pictures?" Spike turned the screen towards him
"No." Dawn said in disgust and blushed
"A fan fic site dedicated to the adventures of Fangs and The Red Witch." He read and then looked at Dawn
"Oh come on Spike." Dawn rolled her eyes "Everyone is so into Fangs and The Red Witch. Their adventures are so cool, you know I bet Red Witch could so kick Buffy's ass and close the Hellmouth for good. Rumour says she can do soul restorations in her sleep."
"Good idea to stay away from her then." Spike said shuddering at the thought "One bad nightmare and we're all acting like the poof."
Dawn laughed as Spike had intended
"Wonder why they're called Fangs and The Red Witch?" Spike wondered out loud but Dawn shrugged
"Don't know there are drawn pictures but I really don't think that anyone knows what they look like. Some have them look like Wonder Woman and some like Xena."
Spike raised his eyebrow "Are there pictures?"
"Pig." She said jokingly "No, no pictures. No one can get close enough to photograph them."
"Yeah but there are descriptions and stuff. RedFangs had a bulletin up saying that her mate had actually been saved by them. Claimed they were both drop dead gorgeous, if Red Witch was a little short."
"I *knew* you were interested in them too!" Dawn pointed at him as he revealed he had, indeed, searched the web for pictures of the Duo.
"Oh Hush." Spike would have blushed if he'd been able to "Can't a bloke be interested in the goings on of the demon world?"
"Sure, you just wanted an autograph!" Dawn scoffed
"So this fan fic any good?" Spike tried to change the subject
Willow sat staring into the darkness. They had been with this Vampire gang for a few months now, letting Willow learn more about Vampire culture than all watchers and most vampires ever would. She had been exposed to powerful magic's of both the dark and light variety and had realised that the power within her self had eclipsed even the most powerful she had seen. It scared her. She didn't know what she was capable of. But through it all Drusilla had stood by her. She had become Willow's family; the only one she would ever need. A week ago Dru had been badly hurt in one of their fights for good and Willow could still taste the panic that had arisen from that. The idea that Dru could leave her or go off one night and die and she'd never know; well the idea didn't sit well with Willow at all. So she'd agreed to let Dru claim her. She fingered the bite mark which was still tender on her neck, just above her pulse point. It let all vampires know that Willow was taken, but more importantly, let Willow feel Drusilla much in the same way a childe feels a Sire.
They had stopped briefly in New Orleans to watch Mardi Gras but Willow was itching to settle down for a while, it was fine to move around the country and fight evil and learn more about different demon cultures and witchcraft but Willow wanted somewhere she could call home, somewhere to rest between fights. It was time to find a home. She got up and brushed grass off her and felt down the bond to find Dru, who was probably hosting a tea party with that damn doll. Actually Dru had accepted that the visions didn't come from Miss Edith, which was a plus and certainly a step in the right direction. Willow headed off to find her friend and have a talk to her about finding a home.
"I love this place!" Willow enthused to Dru as they watched the Mardi gras parade.
"It's great." Dru said quietly
"What's up Dru, you've been quiet all week." Willow asked softly knowing there was something wrong with the woman who had become her best friend.
"I-I think I'm ready to do it." Drusilla answered hesitantly
Willow stopped "Are you sure, we don't have to just yet if you don't want to, if you're not comfortable, we can wait."
"No." Dru straightened her shoulders "I haven't had an episode in months and I -I can do it." She said with determination
"Then let's do it and do it properly." Willow held out her hand and Dru dropped it into her hands.
"What are you going to do?" she asked nervously
Willow looked around and then a huge grin spilt across her face "watch."
She darted out from around the crowds towards the main float and placed her prize on the front of the float before running back to Drusilla.
"Now Miss Edith can travel the world in style." The two women giggled and went home arm in arm.
Spike sat in his apartment watching the TV, there was a news item in New Orleans about the Mardi gras parade. He watched as the floats drifted by in the background. Suddenly his eyes caught sight of something secured to the front of the first float.
"Is that?" he squinted at the screen. Then shook his head, it couldn't be. He had to be going mad, seeing that bleeding doll everywhere.