Pairing- Mostly W/S
Summary- Title is pretty self explanatory
Disclaimer- Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy and that Cute Grr arrgh guy are the real owners, I borrow.
Distribution- Redssoulmates, Breathe, Rapture, liveforme, Bite Me… please, Hellmouth Café, Eternal…literally. Anyone else just ask.
Notes- Takes place after Lovers Walk.
Because I need a bit of fluff after all the angst. Thanks to whoever agreed with me.
Willow frowned as she stared at the envelope in her hands, who would be writing to her? She didn’t know anyone outside Sunnydale except…she smiled thinking the mystery solved, it was obviously her parents. They had left just a few weeks ago, although this was the first time they would have written… ever.
She wondered if they would be surprised at the woman she had grown into. After that whole scary debacle with Spike, she had decided that it was ridiculous to keep both Oz and Xander hanging, so whilst in the basement of the factory she had told Xander that it would never work between them. Then when Oz and Cordy turned up they left it at that, still best friends with a little unresolved tension but nothing that couldn’t be fixed in time. She’d broken up with Oz a few days later. He’d been surprised to say the least but she knew that it wasn’t love; she’d seen what love was like, thanks to Spike and she wanted that.
After Oz had driven her home that night she’d had a surprise visitor. She’d been sitting on the porch thinking when he’d heard a car pull up. It was a black Desoto, a very familiar car to her. An arrogant, bleached blonde and, above all, sober vampire jumped out and she raced for the house only to halt at his words.
She paused and turned to him “What, do you still want me to do the spell?”
“Nah.” He waved his hand “Got a better idea.”
“Ok.” She gave a hesitant smile “What are you doing?”
“I saw you out here on my way out of town and I thought I’d stop and say thanks.”
Her eyes wide with surprise “Why?”
“You were nice, even when I threatened you.” He shrugged a shoulder “Figured you were a decent chit.”
“Well,” she didn’t know what to say to that “Uh your wel-” ok telling a Vampire he was welcome when standing in the doorway probably wasn’t going to win her any smart points. “No problem.”
He grinned as if he knew what she was going to say “Look love, I just wanted to give you a bit of advice okay? Tit for tat and all that. I could smell the wolf boy on you and the drooling moron; I guess you got your own love problems. Don’t string them along, it ain’t fair on you, not a decent bird like you, you’ll be eaten up by the guilt. Choose one and make it stick. If Wolfie ain’t giving you what you need ditch him, don’t go playing around. Oh and the moron seems to chase whatever ain’t available you don’t need that.”
“Thank you.” Willow was honestly touched by his advice “You already helped me.” She blurted out
“How’s that?” he raised an eyebrow and leaned against the car door
“You and Drusilla? That’s love, I want that. I broke up with Xander and I’m gonna do the same to Oz. I wouldn’t travel halfway across the world to get him back or do a spell; I don’t love him like that.”
Spike just nodded as if confirming what he already suspected. “I knew you were the smart one.”
“Ok, thanks.” They were quiet for a second before Spike tossed another grin at her
“Gotta go, gotta win Dru back.”
“How?” Willow asked genuinely interested
“I’m going to torture her until she loves me again.”
“Let me know how that turns out for you.” Willow smiled at his enthusiasm and waved as he got into the car. “Bye.”
Willow smiled thinking back to that night, a very surreal might in all but one that had made her stand up and decide once and for all what she wanted. She would always appreciate that. Still smiling she opened the letter
You told me to let you know how it turned out for me. Well I’ve been travelling for while now but I’ve not reached Brazil yet, hell I’m not even in Mexico yet. I am holed up in this crappy hotel room just inside Texas waiting for night because the suns rays aren’t exactly vamp friendly., neither are the damn cowboys! Pity that, I’d like to see the daylight. I’d especially like to see my Princess in the day, a vision she’d be. Actually a pile of dust, but you get my drift. Just wondered how that thing with the Wolf boy went, hope you didn’t let him hurt you. That comfort you did for me when I was hurting, you shouldn’t waste it on him. Get someone who appreciates you. Suns almost down, so I’m going. Should be stopping in a few days at El Paso in another hotel, the Days Inn- some kind of Irony in there I think. Anyhow the address is 5035 South Desert Boulevard El Paso, Texas 79932.
Willow’s jaw dropped, Spike was writing to her? As in actually making contact and conversation? Plus he’d told her where he was heading; did that mean that he expected a response?
Throwing the rest of the mail on the table she made her way upstairs still clutching his letter in her hands.
Resolving not to think about it she put it on her table and got dressed.
She thought about the letter as she got ready for class.
She thought about it as she chatted with Buffy and tried to speak to Xander, who was still annoyed about the breaking up even though he knew it was for the best.
She thought about it as Cordelia tried to talk her into going shopping with her.
She thought about it as Giles lectured them on the proper use of the dewy decimal system.
She thought about it as Snyder made her tutor another jock in history.
She thought about it as she patrolled with Buffy and watched Oz play at the Bronze- just because they weren’t dating didn’t mean that they didn’t need support.
She thought about it as she lay on her bed doing her homework, her eyes casting over to where it stood on the bedside table. She finally threw her calculus book to the floor in disgust and grabbed a piece of paper and pen.
Hey, how are you? It’s me. I was surprised to get your letter but I’m glad you are at least feeling more positive about things. I have never been to Texas or Mexico, what’s it like there? Is everything really sandy? I imagine that it’s always bright and Sunny there, although that’s probably not a good thing for you…or me I tend to burn easy; although possibly not as easy as you. I broke up with Oz and Xander, Xander still won’t talk to me properly but he does have Cordelia to put up with too so I can forgive that even though it stings a bit, I mean we have known each other since we were in footy pyjama’s and we were both members of the we-hate-Cordelia club. Oz wasn’t happy about it and nearly went Wolf on me but it worked out in the end. I think he’s dating Amy Madison now, she’s a witch too. Much better than me because her mom was a Wicca- an insane Wicca that we had to banish but still it’s in the blood, the Wicca not the insanity.
Um it’s nearly Christmas, not that I celebrate it, being all Jewish and stuff but it’s still a pretty time of year. You’ll probably be having Christmas in South America. I bet it will be pretty and I’m gonna shut up now. Hope you have a good time.
Willow Rosenberg- A.K.A. Red.
P.S- A Vampire staying in the Days Inn- very funny!
She sealed the letter and stuck a stamp on it, figuring that at least she had written it there was no need to send it. She had just wondered what she would write if she *did* reply. It was no big, she didn’t have to send in fact it was probably not a good idea, Buffy would flip. Resolving not to send it she turned back to her calculus homework. She had a lot to do; besides the post wasn’t collected until 7 am.
It was great to get to the Days Inn and find that letter waiting for me; it didn’t half make me laugh. You got a great sense of humour. Plus it gave me something to do for the day other than watch daytime soaps- in Mexican!!! Now I can speak several demon and human languages but I don’t reckon I’ll ever get Mexican but it’s close to Spanish so I can make myself understood. That or punch ‘em till I get what I want. Stupid sods anyway. Glad it all worked out for ya, you didn’t need the damn Mutt anyway- probably give you fleas. The stupid kid is blind if he was in this we-hate-Cordelia club and now he’s dating her- once a stuck up bitch always a stuck up bitch. My advice is to ignore him and soon he’ll see what he’s missing. Actually I’d probably just rip his throat out but I guess that might not work for you. Met up with a Fyarl demon the other day he had some news about snow in California? Sounds neat, any idea how that happened? Don’t knock yourself and your witchy powers, it takes a while to get them up and running so it’s ok if it takes a while, if you got the gift it’ll come- just keep practising. On that note can you be both Jewish and Wicca? And what does that do for celebrating Christmas? I don’t usually do much for Christmas, me and Dru used to stay up and have an all night Buffet of drunken carol singers and fat gits who come home late from costume parties drunk and full of mince pies. It was a riot. Not much point on my own. I might go to a party later though. My next stop is the Hotel Palacio de Sol. In Av. Independencia #116, Chihuahua, Mexico 3100. I can’t believe I’m staying in a place named after an annoying little dog.
Willow hid a grin as she put the letter back in her notebook and continued
to listen to Mr Blake moan about single celled organisms and the origin
of life. She hadn’t expected the letter, having thought that replying to
Spike would have put an end to whatever it was but the post had arrived
just as she’d been leaving this morning addressed to Red. She was going
to wait until a free to read it but Mr Blake had been droning on so long.
Xander was practically asleep on the table and even Buffy’s eyes were drooping.
Everyone was preoccupied with looking awake if not actually being so. So
Willow took the letter out and had a read, he was sweet and he made her
laugh. She’d nearly laughed aloud at the flea’s part. She cast her eyes
over to where Oz sat with Amy holding hands talking softly to each other
and smiled again. The bell rang and she made her way to the library. Giles
had been talking about a demon to Buffy so Willow slipped out her notepad
and started writing.
I can just imagine you sitting in a motel room swearing at the T.V at a Mexican soap opera. It’s a funny image. I have started to learn Latin and Gaelic because most of the prophecies we deal with are in those two languages, I’d love to learn more like Giles, he knows loads of languages both archaic and demonic. I laughed about what you said about Oz and fleas; he is officially dating Amy now, the witch? They are happy so that’s cool. I took your advice and ignored Xander for a few days, it worked like a charm he came over and we talked it all out and now we are back to being best friends which annoys Cordelia- which is great! I get my best friend back and I get to annoy Cordy! Yeah it did snow in Sunnydale. Apparently the First evil wanted Angelus back or for him to kill Buffy so they did some mojo to get him to try to kill himself; he waited for the sun but the Powers made it snow so no sun, therefore no poof! It was nice to see the snow, a first for me. I never thought about the whole Jewish/Wicca thing and now I’m confused! Thanks for that. The new Slayer isn’t too happy about Angel still being around but never mind, and there’s a new girl at school who gives me the creeps her name is Anya. She’s part of the Cordelia circle and seems too nice for them, but she just doesn’t seem to *fit*, maybe I’m just being paranoid living on the Hellmouth. So you’re going to a costume party, what as? The last time I got all dressed up was for Culture day in an authentic Eskimo (Inuit) costume, I did research for it and everything. But everyone else was dressed in sexy stuff, outclassed again!
Have fun in Mexico.
P.S you do know that Hotel Palacio de Sol means
Palace of the sun… right? Are you doing this on purpose?
“Whatcha doing Wills?” Buffy bounced over as Willow finished her letter and slipped it into her notebook.
“Just research for class.” Willow lied with feelings of guilt for lying to her best friend in the world.
“We Bronzing tonight?” Buffy asked and then groaned as if remembering “After I patrol?”
“Sure thing.” Willow slipped her notepad into her bag; she could pick up some stamps and post the letter tomorrow.
It had been two weeks since she’d heard from Spike, maybe he hadn’t got her letter, or he had and he no longer wanted to speak to her. Great, she even scared guys away by mail. Her parents had finally come home a week ago, they were full of new theories on child rearing- like they’d know what to do with a real child. So Willow had spent most of this week holed up in her room, especially after the terrible week she had had. She looked down to the room’s latest addition and grimaced.
There was a knock at the door and Willow cautiously called out to enter. It was her mother.
“Willow?” Sheila looked a little more uneasy than usual at talking to her daughter
“This letter just arrived addressed to a Red?”
Willow grinned “That’s me!” she jumped up and grabbed the letter “He wrote back!”
“Who did?” her mother asked haughtily “Addressing it to Red, what type of person does that?”
Having had enough of her mothers’ attitude these past few days, she said the thing she knew would get rid of her mother “The Prince of Night with his black naughty evil.”
Sheila flushed and then affected a disinterested air that Willow had seen Joyce do when she was repressing
“Really Willow. Your Father and I are leaving on a lecture tour tomorrow. We are going to Washington then on somewhere else. I’ve written the itinerary down in case you need to contact us.” She smiled what she felt was a motherly smile and kissed her daughter on the head “Goodnight.”
“Yeah bye.” Willow replied sadly and flopped down onto the bed. So her
parents were off again? Oh well considering this week it was probably for
the best. She opened the letter.
It’s taken me a while to reply but I haven’t forgotten ya. I was working my way through Mexico, actually I was drinking my way through Mexico but the results were the same. I’m in Guatemala, staying in this truly dismal hovel that a fungus demon would shudder to sleep in and I’m too hung over to do anything than hang off the bed (for “bed” read “mattress that has some truly suspicious stains on”) and write, if the writing is kind of slanted or difficult to read its due to too much tequila. The next place I’ll be staying at is in Nicaragua; I decide to choose a better named place so I’m staying in the Legends Hotel after all Vampires is but a legend right? The address is below. There was something I wanted to yell at you for but I’m damned if I can remember what it is and your last letter is in my duster which is all the way over there and I cant go get it, coz that would mean getting up and I don’t want to do that. Actually I don’t think I can unless I want to be sick. Not sure if you want to hear about that pet. So how are you then? All right with my favourite Witch? If that girl is giving you the creeps avoid her, always trust your instincts. They keep you alive…or less dead in my case. The new Slayer doesn’t like Angelus? Good at least one of them has brains. I think I remember her, the one who dressed like a- wait I remember what it was I wanted to yell at you for. You were berate disparag putting yourself down I remember what you look like pet. Gorgeous fiery hair that smelled fantastic and was so damn soft and beautiful pale skin that was flawless just begging for my bite. You were wearing a fuzzy number with lilac underneath and I could see your curves. You are beautiful, love. I was drunk (still am) and I still recall it all, I should have turned you and kept you and- it’s possible I’m creeping you out now. So I’ll stop my drunken rambling and just say don’t put yourself down love, you are a million times better than all of those losers in Sunnydale.
Any chance you could send me a hangover cure?
Willow smiled a watery smile at Spike’s last words, he thought she was
beautiful and he wished he had turned her. That was the Vampire equivalent
of “if I wasn’t married” and it was just what she needed, that and a rant.
You want to know how I am. Really honestly and truly? This has been the worst week of my life. First my parents drop by unannounced and tell me that they were disappointed with my last test results (I got all A*’s and one A-, because the night before we were up all night battling evil), then Buffy’s mom goes on patrol with her and finds some dead kids with Wicca symbols drawn on them . She gets the whole town riled up and on a crusade to put a stop to all supernatural activities. All the occult books get taken out of the library and then the lockers at school got broken into and stuff was confiscated I was in serious trouble because of the spell ingredients in there. My mom grounds me only to release me later and try to burn me at the stake FOR REAL!!! Buffy and Amy too. Only Amy turned herself into a rat to escape, then Giles did some mumbo jumbo and we found that the kids were actually the original Hansel and Gretal fashioned by a demon and were leading the parents to do this. Buffy killed the demon and we were released but I still have nightmares about the fire burning my legs. My mom is repressing and has gone back to refusing to talk to me or hang out with me at all, they have just come in to tell me that they are leaving on another lecture tour and probably wont be back until AFTER I graduate, Buffy is hanging out with Faith more than me and I can’t turn Amy back into a human. Sometimes I don’t think I’m going to survive high school. Xander and Cordelia are still dating, Angel is doing the broody thing but him and Buffy are getting along better, so now when we go out Buffy and Angel are together and so are Xander and Cordy so I’m the fifth wheel. All in all my life sucks right now. Your letter is the first time I have smiled in days. So thanks for that Spike. Nice to know that you are sticking with the ironic named hotels. Very funny. Plus thanks for the pep talk I needed that.
P.S find a magic shop and buy some Aspric roots
and mix it with two litres of Linac water and drink quickly, it smells
and it’ll sting but no more hangover!
Willow put the cap back on her pen and wondered what Spike would say when he saw her rant. But it made her feel better so she could handle it.
This week truly had been the worst week she could remember in her life. She briefly considered telling him about Angel and his on again off again Buffy thing but she knew Spike had Angel issues so she didn’t. But it was nice to have someone to talk to even if he was evil.
Willow sat on her bed still shaking over the events of the past few
days, actually the past weeks. All she needed was a few days to sleep,
without dreaming and she’d be fine. It had been bad and what’s more she
had a major test coming up. The only thing that made her even think about
getting out of bed had been the knock of the postman an hour ago, she’d
leapt out of bed in her pyjama’s and run down to pick it up and there it
was; A letter from Spike. She sat back against the headboard and turned
the letter over in her hands eagerly anticipating his words, savouring
the moment. Then she couldn’t wait anymore and opened it.
I’m staying here for a few more days, if you want me to come back and deal with all those stupid sods that upset you- just say the word and I’ll come back for you. No one messes with MY witch and gets away with it. First we’ll drain your parents and just before they die we can tie them to stakes and set them on fire see how they like it, then we’ll kick that moron’s arse and hang the damn cheerleader by her pom poms and gut both Slayers leaving them to die slowly over the nearest graveyard so that the Vamps can have a free for all.
Then I’ll take you and show you the world, Paris, Venice, London, Mexico. We could cut a swath through Europe leaving a bloody trail in our wake. We can even take the rat…who knows it might make a nice snack.
Sorry that life is so bad for you right now pet, I can’t even tell you it get better coz I don’t believe it myself, now unlife? That’s better. Speaking of life, when is your birthday pet?
I’ll be moving on in a few days if I haven’t heard from you; I’ll be staying in Panama. And I swear I’m not doing this on purpose in the Hotel Costa del sol. Another Sun place, maybe I do have a death wish! Oh well let me know if I need to come back Red.
P.S the hangover cure was fantastic thanks!
Willow folded up the letter and sat on her chair in the Sunnydale library thinking deeply. Spike was willing to postpone his search for Drusilla and come back jut to help her out? Somehow that made her feel much better than anything her friends had done for her in a long while, it was sweet and totally out of character. She grinned, she had just thought of one of the most feared Vampires in history as Sweet! She looked around, Buffy was out with Faith- again and she was left to do some research with only the new Watcher for company. He was tutting over something, somehow more pompous than Giles had ever been, never mind that he was cute. He disapproved of the way things were done here, the fact that the Slayer had people to help her out and that they knew about her secret identity; although that hadn’t stopped him utilising them in his schemes. At least he knew his way around the computer.
She turned to her laptop and began typing out a reply to Spike.
Thanks for the offer but I wouldn’t want you to come all the way back here for nothing. The last few weeks have been just as bad but I think I’m getting a handle on it now. I think it was the image of what you said you’ll do to them that cheered me up the most, no one has ever offered to kill people for me before, I’m flattered- does that make me a bad person? I like the idea of seeing the world, I have always wanted to travel, see places but when my parents go away the last thing they want is to drag me along with them. I think they think that I am boring. So you want to know what’s happening in Sunnydale.
First of all there was this test that the Watchers council gives Slayers on their 18th birthday (Oh my birthday is the 22nd of July, why’d you ask?) where their powers are taken away from them, unbeknownst to them, and they are trapped in a room with a vampire and have to make it out alive. Only the Vampire Buffy got stuck with was insane and he escaped and went after Buffy’s mom. Buffy eventually killed him but she was so mad at Giles for draining her power and then the Council fired Giles for telling her about the test. He was fired! Like really fired so now Giles is an ex-watcher! Then there was a band of demons that succeeded in briefly opening the Hellmouth and we had to close it and fight some of the creatures. God Spike I have never been so scared, some of those creatures from the hell dimension are just indescribable, they fill you with dread and pain and they make you want to curl up and cry and wish they’d go away but they don’t and I have nightmares about them still, I wake up screaming but of course there is no one here to help me, or even comfort me and honestly I babble as much on paper as I do in person!
Anyway a few days ago Buffy’s replacement Watcher arrived and he’s such a well. I cant actually think of a word right now…ooh unless it’s that one you use to describe Angel, was it Pansy ass? Or Poofy or something like that. He’s worse than Giles was he first came here, although thankfully there is a lot less tweed, but he just takes pompousness to the limit. Get this his name is Wesley Wyndam- Price; oh I bet he got his lunch money stolen as a child. But he’s supposed to be Faith’s watcher too, which just won’t work because she’s too busy with Buffy to even notice, do I sound bitter? Because I’m not- really, I get that Buffy wants someone to share the whole Slayer thing with but it’s suddenly like I’m not good enough for her because I can’t kill someone with my bare hands.
I miss you, which sounds odd because we never really spoke and for all I know your using me to find out what’s happening in Sunnydale so you’ll know when the Slayer is weak.
P.S, YOUR witch? Says who? (grin)
Willow frowned as she finished her letter and sent it to the printer, the thought that Spike was using her to keep posted on what was happening had occurred to her once or twice, but he always asked about her and not Buffy, so maybe she was wrong. Still if she hadn’t offended him then maybe he’d set her mind to rest.
“Miss Rosenberg I was wondering exactly how many beasts Buffy has fought in her time here at Sunnydale?” Wesley walked in and Willow sighed hurriedly folding the very long letter.
“Why don’t you look in Giles’ Watchers diary?” she suggested and he hesitated
“Why didn’t I think of that?” he smiled at her “Thank you Miss Rosenberg, and I – I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you for your services and skills, I’m sure I would be faltering without you.” He paused and ducked his head “Foundering even more.”
His shyness touched Willow “You’re welcome Mr Wyndam- Price; if you need any help let me know.” It had to be the first time someone had thanked her since Spike left, and now she felt bad about the nasty bits about him in the letter. Damn it.
It was three weeks before Willow heard from Spike again, she had thought that she’d either annoyed him with her accusation or that she had been right and he was just using her for information. The thought saddened her, it had been nice to have such a confident but she didn’t want to give away the Slayers weak spots. She could really have used someone to talk to right about now, what with everything that was going on.
Which is why a huge smile broke out when she opened the post to find
a letter with a postmark from Colombia.
First off, I’m pissed and hurt that you’d think that I was using you for information. The demon grapevine works well love. I thought you’d want to chat. I don’t care about the sodding Slayer except that she is obviously hurting you pet. I like you and dammit I miss you too, although if you ever tell anyone I said that I’ll hunt you down and torture and turn you, and if anyone ever sees this letter- I’ll just kill them and everyone you care about okay?
Secondly, your letter made me laugh like a crazy bloke; I never knew you had such a wicked sense of humour pet, I love it. It matches mine almost totally. I like the sound of the new Watcher and the way you describe him; he sounds a lot more fun than Giles. You haven’t half been having a time of it, haven’t you pet? What with the Hellmouth and then the nightmares and all. I wish I could be there for you or at least smack some sense into those friends of your to stop them being so damn oblivious. But you should tell the Slayer how you feel, you shouldn’t let things fester. Tell her exactly what you told me.
Thirdly, I’ll be staying in Columbia for a while travelling south, I looked for someplace to stay during the day and there were two real choices- The Dawn Avenida 19 hotel in Bogotá or the Sol Caribe Providencia, so “Reconciled Dawn” or “Caribbean Sun”? Either way I’m toast. I’ll take the Dawn; give me a chance to get indoors. (insert evil grin)
By the way thanks for such a nice long letter, it gave me something to read. I’ve been hanging out with some Vampire’s here but seriously I have no idea why they were turned, thick as pig shit. I tell ya and ugly as a bunch of baby cabbage dolls- no actually you remember those trolls that were around a while back? The ones that everyone went mad on? The ones with the neon hair, that’s what they remind me of.
It’s nice to have intelligent conversation, that doesn’t involve issues that died out when they did.
Finally, I’m serious about taking care of you pet, as far as I’m concerned you are MY witch, I realised your power, and I wanted you and kidnapped you first. If it hadn’t been for that daft boy you had a thing for I’d have taken you then and there and don’t forget it, just because I’ve not claimed you yet doesn’t mean that you’re not mine. You are and I protect what’s mine. I will show you the world and take you everywhere, all the places I love. In England in a little town called Leicester which has some great ruins on a hill and beautiful valley that was so dangerous to swimmers that it had to be cordoned off, and there’s a place in Nottingham that has a truly spectacular fireworks fair with a carnival and all. France has the most beautiful castle’s and there is one called the Chateau de Chambord which does this night show where they use laser lights to project images on the walls and turrets; you are really dancing among the stars and then standing in a paradise along with Adam and Eve and then Butterflies dance and Zodiac signs all swirl. It’s magical and I realise that I sound like a ponce but I want to show you all these sights Willow.
Willow let go of a breath she didn’t realise she’d been holding and let a big smile cross her features. Spike liked her and missed her. She missed him so much and felt the same and wanted her to be his. It felt nice to be wanted by a guy, since Oz no one had really looked at her. Not that there was anyone she wanted to look but it would be nice. Well actually Devon had said hey a few times but that was because she used to be Oz’s girlfriend- right?
The words Spike used to describe what he wanted to show her had literally taken her breath away, she could imagine being in all the places she read about and imagined being there with Spike by her side holding her hand showing her them, she ached to be with him.
As for Spike’s advice about telling Buffy, maybe he was right. They needed to talk. She shouldn’t let things go on like this. A tap at her window made her look up, it was Buffy. She looked kinda sad.
“Hey.” Buffy said softly
“Hey.” Willow replied nervously, she had to do what Spike said and make things right.
“I need to talk to you.” Oh thank goodness, Buffy felt it too.
“Good.” She moved as Buffy came in and closed the door “Cause I’ve been letting things fester.” She noticed that she had left Spike’s letter on the bed and moved to hide it from her friend “And I don’t like it.” She sat down hiding the letter from Buffy’s view “I want to be fester-free.”
Buffy gave a weak smile “Yeah. Me, too.”
Willow stood up making sure the letter was nowhere to be seen “I mean, don’t get me wrong. I-I completely understand why you and Faith have been doing the bonding thing. You guys work together. You…you should get along.”
Buffy frowned “It’s a little more complicate than that.”
Willow was hurt “But, see, it’s that exact thing that-that’s just ticking me off! It’s this whole “Slayers only” attitude. I mean, since when wouldn’t I understand? You, you talk to me about *everything*. I-it’s like all of a sudden I’m not cool enough for you because I can’t kill things with my bare hands.”
To Willow’s abject horror Buffy burst into tears- no that wasn’t right, was Spike wrong? Was she bad?
“Oh! Oh, Buffy don’t cry.” She grabbed her friend and hugged her “I’m sorry. I –I was too hard on you. Sometimes I unleash. I- I don’t know my own strength. I-it’s bad, I –I-I’m bad. I’m a bad, bad, bad person.”
She peered at Buffy who gulped and then answered tearfully
“Will, I’m in trouble.”
Life keeps getting weirder here. The new Slayer- Faith? Well she was out on Patrol with Buffy and she staked a guy only he turned out to be a human. So Faith is a murderer and then she tried to pin it on Buffy by lying to Giles. Xander went to talk to her but she tried to kill him, until Angel caught her ad chained her up at his place. Wesley ordered the Council’s operatives to catch Faith and take her back to England for a disciplinary hearing so they abducted her from Angels place and beat him up but she escaped and then Buffy found her trying to leave. They fought some Vampires but Buffy got trapped and Faith stayed to help. She’s returned to us but something is off about her. I mean she lied to Giles, beat Wesley and Buffy and tried to kill Xander. Oh I don’t know why I’m trying to be all brave about this, do you remember me telling you about the opening of the Hellmouth? Well when that happened we told Xander to stay out of the way, he did and ended up sleeping with Faith. It hurts Spike and I don’t know why it hurts. I mean I broke up with him and I don’t love him anymore so why do I want to cry every time I think about it? I feel so bad, and I …hate Faith. I hate her and I’ve never hated anyone before in my life- not even Cordelia. Oh she’s so hurt by this, Xander cheated on her with Faith and she’s a mess. I don’t think anyone else knows but I feel bad for her. But Spike I really think that if Faith died I would be happy. Does that make me evil? Oh God I wish you were here to talk to. I’m going to stop obsessing about this right now.
I can’t believe I’m nearly out of high school I graduate soon! My parents won’t be there to see it but they were never there anyway, so no big. Plus I get a big check from them so that’s a bonus. But Prom before that, no date but then I wont be the only one… I hope. Oz is going but not with Amy because she’s still a rat, I think he asked Aura to go with him, he’s big on the groupies now- did I say thank you for making me break up with him? If not then THANK YOU. Buffy is hoping Angel will take her. Xander is trying to make it up with Cordelia but I think she has the hots for the new Watcher and let me tell you how many ways that is wrong! Besides if Xander doesn’t make up with Cordelia, that new girl Anya likes him, you know the one that gave me the creeps? And oh then there’s Faith. Yeah let’s not go there.
Thanks for your letter, it made me feel so good to know that there is someone out there who cares about me and wants me with them, I would love to see al the sights that you described but only if you’re there with me, I wouldn’t feel the Magic unless you were there. You don’t sound like a ponce because well, for one I don’t know what that is and for two it sounds great. I’m glad that we share the same sense of humour, it’s important for friends to share some things. Buffy and Xander don’t get my sense of humour; they think I’m being serious. They always expect me to be the sweet one when occasionally I can be callous and strange, like I like to take marshmallows on patrol so we can toast them over the demon’s when we burn their corpses. They look at me horrified. I was actually flattered that you called my YOUR witch, but for the sake of feminism I felt I must protest, token protest over so thank you- I just hope Ms Pankhurst isn’t too mad at me. I like how you keep finding “themed” hotels, what are you going to do now you are in Brazil, do you have any idea on how to find Drusilla? I know that this is long but you did ay you liked that, plus yours was a great long letter.
Talk to you soon
Willow tapped her fingers on the desk and tried to ignore the fearful looks that Percy was giving her. It made her want to laugh that the biggest jerk and jock in the school feared her…well not actually her but the demon version of her- oh wouldn’t Spike get a kick out of that. She was anxiously waiting for his next letter and in the meantime she was still tutoring Percy in History.
“That’s enough.” She said with a smile as he jumped a mile in the air.
“S-sure.” He said and then delved into his bag and handed her a Hershey’s bar.
“You don’t have to keep giving me presents you know.” Willow said with a soft smile
Percy shrugged “You’re helping me and all.”
Willow just grinned and gathered her stuff and left the class room. Things were good these last few days, well as good as they could be knowing that… well it didn’t do to dwell on what she couldn’t change.
She sighed as she made her way home, her parents still away and Buffy was spending all her time training just in case Faith decided to make good on her threats to kill them all. She wished she could talk to Spike but there hadn’t been a letter… as she opened the door her foot kicked the pile of mail that arrived after she had left for school and there in amongst the bills and junk was a tattered white envelope with the words RED scrawled in red ink.
Willow gave a little squeal and picked it up tearing off the envelope.
I haven’t replied in a while because I have been searching, sorry about that. First up when you wrote I was in Columbia which is not Brazil, what do they teach you in school pet? Ok now I am actually in Brazil, looking for Dru. I have heard several reports of an insane Vampire, but to be honest that isn’t exactly news. Most Vampires are nuts… present company, that’s me, included. You have to be to survive eternity, any way I will keep looking. This Faith chick sounds as crazy as any Vamp and you be sure to stay far away from her, I don’t want you hurt at all love. As much as it pains me, and it does, keep close to Slutty and my Sire, they’ll take care of you until I can get back. Although not too close to my sire. Of course it hurts that she slept with Harris, you may not be in love with him anymore but you were, and love never really fades, especially when it has been nurtured for that long. I should know me and Dru are a case in bleeding point. I love her I know I do, I think, but sometimes I wonder why, anyway it still kills me that she’d up and off with another. You loved that moron for 18 years or so there is bound to be feelings still there and you are not a bad person for hating her. It’s natural, she taken what you always wanted and she’s trying to destroy what you have. I’ll eviscerate her for you when I get back, give you her intestines on a silver platter. With garnish.
What’s this Prom thing? Can’t say I heard of it In England, I’m guessing it’s a big dance where you get your ya-ya’s out for graduating? You don’t need a date, go alone and sod ‘em all, you’ll be the best one of the lot anyway.
Now when I read that bit in your letter about you toasting marshmallows over corpses I was right proud. That’s my girl! Screw feminism, you belong to me! My girl, beside I’m sure feminism was invented by thin wimpy women who were scared of real men. I have plenty of respect for today’s women, in my day they were all pretty useless, just there for decoration, now you gals do all sorts. But don’t fool yourselves into thinking that you don’t need men, coz you do. That’s the way it should be, just as we need you. Do I have ways of finding Dru? Yeah but they mostly involve gore and terror, a way of furthering my name. I heard a few rumours about a chaos demon and his girl so at least I have somewhere to start. And I will do it. I’ll make her love me. Make her crawl. Teach her to walk out on me. The only thing is pet I was enjoying the singleness I was having these past few months, don’t mean I don’t want her back, just saying it was nice, is all. Anyhow I gotta go, got an insane Vamp to find and torture. Wish me luck.
P.S Ponce…ask the Watcher.
Willow grinned as she put down the letter on her dresser and pulled
out her new stationary to write back to him.
I was waiting for your letter, was beginning to think you didn’t want to talk to me anymore. But I was really pleased to get your letter this morning. Its been another month on the Hellmouth and a sucky one at that, honestly when am I ever going to just be able to hang out an do things that a normal girl would do, shop (although I’m not into that much), go out, worry about homework and tests and my future instead of apocalypses and saving the world from unspeakable demons, when am I going to get time to hang out and dance, date, kiss. I feel I am missing out on so much, don’t get me wrong I love hanging around with Buffy and doing something so important as what we are, but I have lost so much as well. The reason I’m waxing lyrical is I had a reminder of what could have happened had Buffy not come to Sunnydale and I was killed, it’s made me want to live life to the fullest and I feel a little cheated that I can’t actually do that.
This world isn’t all that much fun. Ok I’m going to stop whining now.
Glad you have some clue as to how to find Drusilla, I’m sure you’ll have her eating out of your hand in no time at all. She’s a lucky vamp. Still no luck on the date front for the Prom so I might just take your advice and go solo. It looks like Faith is out of the running to be Xander’s date. She’s officially evil; she kidnapped Buffy and tried to turn Angel back to Angelus. She attempted to kill both Angel and Buffy and she’s been working with the Mayor to take over Sunnydale, with some fancy footwork and some pretty sparkles we ousted her and now she’s openly a bad guy. It was a hard time, especially when she was kissing Angel who was pretending to be Angelus, Buffy spent all night crying even though she knew it was fake. But I guess now everyone hates Faith as much as I do. i miss you being here and feel free to call me a sap but I do, I guess I needed your insight on why it hurt so much to see Xander with anyone let alone her. I have loved him since forever, even though he never knew it until that whole Oz fiasco. Still I’m doing better, I guess now Buffy isn’t spending so much time with Angel and Faith me and her will get to hang out more so that’s a plus.
Oh something I wanted to tell you, you know that Girl that has been hanging around Xander, Anya? Well she’s a demon, actually an Ex-demon. But Yay me, I knew there was something about her that creeped me out big time and boy howdy, she’s a vengeance demon. She tried to get me killed, that’s like the sixtieth time! But we kicked her ass and now she more sorta sulks than plots.
So tell me more about your plan for Drusilla, I’m interested to know how that’s going. I hope you find her soon.
P.S Giles asked me how on earth I knew that
word, Thanks for that!!
Willow sealed the letter with a small smile and stuck a stamp on it, she hadn’t got much to say to Spike this time, for some reason she wanted to keep the whole VAMPIRE Willow thing a secret from him for now.
Willow sat in the library bored as usual, it never normally got her nerves but today it did. It was a bind to have to sit there and research the latest creature feature when she wanted to be at home anxiously awaiting the post, there had been a letter for her last week from Spike outlining what he was doing to find Drusilla, he thought he was pretty close and she had written back telling him all about her new teaching position within the school, Principal Snyder had put it on her official record that she was substitute teacher for computer studies, plus she had been accepted into Oxford, she hoped Spike would be pleased for her. Plus she’d had to tell him that Xander had accepted a date for the Prom from that Anya girl who had turned out to be a demon. She still didn’t trust her and Cordelia had reverted back to her nasty bullying form and was trying to make Willow’s life hell again. She hoped to hear from him soon it was months since they had started writing back and forth to each other and she could recall a time when she had been happier. He was like a best friend, his viewpoint and advice something that she had grown to love and depend upon.
She was looking forward to this letter; she could do with the cheering up, especially today since...
The door to the library swung open and they all looked at each other. They were all here and no students of Sunnydale High actually knew where the library was so they were all wary and curious. It was a teenager dressed in an ill fitting blue overall.
“Uh hey, I’m looking for a,” he squinted at a piece of paper “Willow Rosenberg?”
They all looked at Willow
“Me?” she stood up. The boy sighed, relieved.
“Oh thank you, man I thought it was a joke when I got this at the depot, I mean it was like addressed to the Sunnydale High school library at night, we figured someone was joking with us.” He stood in the doorway and picked up a big package. “Here ya go, sign here.”
Willow signed the slip of paper and took the bulky box, it was huge, almost the size of her body. She staggered with it over to the desk and dropped it.
“Who would be sending you a package here?” Giles frowned “It might be best not to open it just yet.”
“Relax.” said Cordelia who had dropped in to flirt with Wesley “Like Willow is important enough to get bomb by mail.”
Willow scowled at her.
“Who’s it from?” Buffy wanted to know.
Willow picked up the nearest knife and dug it under the flap, prying
the box open. There were hundreds of those little polystyrene hoops that
cushion things during travel and Willow apprehensively dug her hands in
until they touched something hard and rough. She grasped it and pulled.
She pulled it out and looked at it oddly, it was a large papier-mâché
doll with long brown hair and short skirt, and it rattled when she picked
it up. There was an envelope attached to its low cut chest. Willow torn
it off and opened it.
This remind you of anyone?? Now you can bash her as much as you want. Happy Birthday love.
A grin broke through Willow’s lips
“It’s a piñata.” She laughed
“There’s sweets in there?” Xander perked up and Giles rolled his eyes.
“A human Piñata?” Buffy grinned “That’s new, who’s it from?”
“It’s from a friend who’s currently in Brazil.” Willow giggled; trust Spike to send her something like this, a way to beat either Cordelia or Anya up without actually touching them. It was inspired. He must have been thinking about it when he was in Mexico, she was flattered. She wondered what he had put inside, maybe all red sweets so it looked like Guts when it spilled. She chuckled again.
“What does the letter say?” Buffy asked curiously.
“Just, hope you like it, Happy birthday.” Willow lied smoothly.
“Your birthday?” Wesley started “Today?”
“No tomorrow.” Willow smiled, “I guess he sent it early.”
“He?” Buffy questioned with a raised eyebrow but it was forgotten as the door to the library opened again and Angel walked in.
“Hi.” he said moodily
“Hey.” Buffy replied just as awkwardly
Willow ignored them and picked up her new toy.
Angel asked with a frown.
“Piñata full of chocolaty goodness that Willow might share tomorrow at her mmpgh.” Xander suddenly had Buffy’s hand over his mouth and Willow wanted to roll her eyes, like she didn’t already know about her surprise party. Buffy may be the Slayer but as an organiser she wasn’t any good at surprises.
Angel came closer “It smells familiar.” He frowned
“You spend a lot of time in Mexico?” Willow hurriedly out the doll back in the box hoping Angel couldn’t distinguish Spike’s scent from her present.
“Yeah I guess.” Angel turned back to the guys “So what are we doing here?”
Willow had to get Buffy to carry the heavy box back to her house; it was just too much for her. She loved the fact that Spike had sent it to the school to cheer her up when she needed it. She wasn’t planning on talking it to the party tomorrow, she was gong to keep it until Cordelia or Anya really annoyed her and then she was going to bash it! She fell asleep that night with a huge grin on her face.
The next morning dawned with the typical bright sun that California was graced to receive and with it a very happy Willow. She sprung out of bed and quickly showered ready for the day. When she got downstairs there was the usual pile of mail in the floor but no letter. She smile fell and she resumed the rest of her morning ritual with less of a bounce in her step. Just as she was about to leave for school there was a knock at the door and she opened it to reveal the postman.
“Hello Miss, I got a letter here for you, it was too big to fit through the letter box so I figured I’d come back when you were awake.”
“Thanks.” The grin returned full force to Willow’s face as she took it and saw the lettering on the front.
It was a huge insulated envelope and she heard jingling as she tore it open. She tipped it up and something cold and heavy fell into her palm. It was a necklace, an ornate silver choker with red gems set in a swirling pattern it was exquisite and looked expensive.
Willow beamed as she opened the letter.
Hey pet, hope you like the necklace, it was something I was given years ago by my grandmother, I thought it would suit you more than it does me.
I had to send the Piñata to your school, wanted to cheer you up pet, you sounded so down in your last letter. Sorry I’ve not heard much about this ascension but from what I can gather it’s a big party…a dangerous party with a load of demons. Be careful okay pet? I’d hate for anything to happen to my only friend in the world.
In your last letter you said I could tell you anything so here goes.
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve found Drusilla. She’s still currently tied to that pole in the basement ready for her next punishment, I’m wearing her down, I can see it in her eyes. Normally they just look blank but when I’m hurting her she seems to come alive, she’s really a product of her daddies teaching. I know you said I can even tell you the violent things of my relationship as long as I don’t go into too much detail, so I’ll try to keep it short and sweet. Angelus used to torture her, and when he didn’t he’d ignore her. She grew to love the torture because that was the only time he ever paid attention to her. Now me, I hate doing that to her= for all I’m a demon, pain and pleasure I’m all for but pain without the end satisfaction isn’t up for much in my world. But I can see it in Dru’s eyes, she loves the pain but when I try to make it better for her, she gives me this half confused and half disgusted look. I can’t stand it so I leave without making her happy. That just seems to reinforce what Angelus does. But yesterday I think she broke. I used whips and holy water by the end she was screaming the same way she’d done for Angelus and god Red it made me feel sick, which pleased her. I let her down and she crawled towards me. I know I wanted to make her crawl but dammit, I wanted her to crawl for me not because I gave her what Angelus had. It’s just so bloody hard knowing that even when I give her what she wants the only one she’s thinking of is him. But the thing is Red, and I don’t know what to think of this, I’m not sure it matters so much anymore. Before it would have ripped me apart but now it’s more of an annoyance.
What does that even mean? I’ve been with her forever, or at least a century and I thought I’d be with her forever. I don’t understand. So I tied her back to the pole and went out for a drink. So here I am sitting in this demon bar, hoping for a bit of violence and pouring my undead heart out to my pen pal. Actually I don’t even know if I’ll send this letter I sound like such a ponce. I’ll probably just throw this one out and write you a nice one full of how are you and everything’s great. Except I can’t seem to lie to you, pet. Dammit Red I wish you were here.
Willow put the letter down, her heart beating fast and her breath catching. Spike sounded so sad and so alone. She wanted to be with him as much as he seemingly wanted her there. It sounded like he was falling out of love with Drusilla. That in itself was scary, but he had been so confused by it.
Willow looked up at the clock; it was almost time for school. She stared
back at the letter and then slowly, deliberately put her bag down and walked
to her room and her writing desk.
First of all thanks for the necklace and Piñata, the first is so beautiful and I think I know where to wear it and the second made me laugh. I needed that. This week has been so much better, we almost feel like a team again.
Thanks you for sending me that letter, I like to think we have a friendship based on trust and you trusted me enough to tell me what is going on and that means more to me than you will ever know. I’m sorry Spike, so sorry. I don’t pity you but I feel bad for what you are going through, sort of like sympathy pains. I think you need to think long and hard about why you are trying so hard with Drusilla, are you just clinging to the past and wont let go because she’s familiar? I won’t call you afraid because I know you are the big bad and aren’t afraid of anything but fear of the new and letting go is one reason why some relationships turn out so bad and drag for so long. All you end up doing is hating yourself and the person you are with. I don’t want that for you Spike; please don’t hold to something that is over. If what she wants is something that you’d hate to be, then don’t mould yourself for her, no one is worth making you into something you detest.
Don’t be mad at me for suggesting that, I really miss you and wish I could be there with you even if it is just for support.
Sorry this letter is so short but I will send another soon.
In the mean time take care and think about what I said.
She was surprised to find herself crying at the thought of what Spike was going through right now. Willow capped her pen and folded the letter, hoping she could catch the post before it left.
I’m not mad but I don’t think you’re right. I have been in love with Drusilla from the first moment I saw her in that alley and I can’t have just fallen out of love with her that quickly, when I love its forever Red. I know that. It’s just a rough patch I’m sure. She’s finally broken and follows me everywhere, it’s just like it should have been in the beginning. Me and Dru taking on the world.
Its right how it should be. We went to this demon bar in the centre of the city and left it like a desolation, it was so much fun, we tore them apart with our bare hands and watched as their insides spilled in a glorious array of gore and then we bathed in the blood of those we killed, it was a right riot.
Then we came back to the lair and screwed like
rabbits, my girl can’t get enough of me right now. It’s the way it should
have been all those years ago…
Willow put the letter down feeling sick, she couldn’t read the rest again it was full of all the things he had done with Drusilla. The murder and mayhem they instigated before going home to have sex.
She would have been happy for him if it weren’t so obvious that he was trying too hard. She could tell by the fact that every paragraph ended with “This is the way it should have been”. It was telling for Spike’s letter that he was trying to be what Drusilla needed and scaring off Willow at the same time. Maybe he felt that Willow had gotten too close and it was time that he regained his big bad persona. Whatever it was, it made Willow feel so alone for the first time since that night she had sat on her porch and told Spike to let her know how things went for him.
She swallowed as she looked back down the letter. She couldn’t write back to this person, she didn’t know them. She lay down on her bed and cried softly into the pillow.
Buffy noticed that her friend had been quiet these past few weeks, almost since her birthday and that was over two months ago and she wondered how to get the girl to confess to whatever it was that had her upset. They were out walking having finished patrol and she was walking Willow home when she decided to brace the topic. She bit her lip as Willow stared at her feet.
“Come on Willow, what’s wrong just recently you are so sad its killing me. I’m the mopey one in this friendship, not you.”
Willow smiled softly at Buffy’s attempt to cheer her up but the truth wasn’t something that she could share with her friend. The fact that she was sad because Spike was out killing and shagging Drusilla wouldn’t go down well with Buffy at all. First of all she’d want to know how Willow knew that and that would lead to all sorts of awkward questions.
“I’m fine Buffy.” she lied “I think it’s just the end of all things high school ya know.” She smiled shyly and Buffy nodded.
“I know it seems like yesterday when we were sitting in the courtyard just hanging out with Jesse and now it’s almost time for the Prom and all.”
“Is Angel taking you?”
Buffy shrugged “I don’t know Will, things have been tense since the whole Faith situation; I mean I don’t know how he feels about me and her. He kissed her and I know I told him too but it still hurts that he could go back to that you know?” Buffy sighed “Sometimes I wish I knew what he was thinking but I guess then maybe I don’t want to know. You know?”
Willow nodded her throat tight, she did know what that was like; only for her it had seemingly come true. Spike had been sweet and kind and she had been so scared that Drusilla would turn him back into scary Spike and it seemed like she had and now Willow had lost her best friend and it was all too much. She swallowed again, fighting tears.
“Yeah I know.”
Buffy had been successfully sidetracked and they finished the walk in silence.
Willow pushed open the door and waved goodnight to her friend.
Her house was dark and empty, her parents probably wouldn’t be back until after she graduated and that thought hurt Willow, she knew she had always taken second place in her parent’s lives but it still hurt.
She was about to go to bed when she heard the phone ring.
“Hello Rosenberg residence?”
Willow froze “Spike?”
“Yeah it’s me.” He sounded subdued and apprehensive.
“A-are you okay?” she was too surprised to ask how he got her number or what he was doing calling her.
“You didn’t write back.” He accused
“I didn’t know what to say.” She confessed “You sounded too different.”
“What? No longer such a sap?” he almost snarled “A pansy push over?” he barked out derisory laughter “Sorry to disappoint Red but I am a demon and I do revel in death and power.”
“I know.” Her quiet declaration shut him up
“I know what you are Spike and that letter; that was the you that Dru wanted. Not the real you. I don’t know him and I don’t want to.” her voice shook, “You were trying to prove that you were the big bad demon, a killer without feelings and compunctions and congratulations you nearly succeeded. But like you said Spike, I’m a white hat. A good guy and I do have feelings and they were hurt.”
She paused trying to gather her thoughts “I really do wish you happiness Spike and if you are happy then great.”
“I’m not.” He said it so quietly that she almost didn’t hear him “I’m not happy pet. Why am I not happy, I have everything I always wanted and I’m sitting here like someone killed my damn dog?”
“Maybe what you want has changed?” she tried
“I missed you.” He confessed ignoring her statement “When you didn’t write back, I felt bad.”
“Me too.” She bit her lip and sat on the stairs “but you went away first, Spike.”
“I know pet, I know. Where do we go from here?”
Willow shrugged and then realise that he couldn’t see her “I don’t know Spike, I don’t want to lose you but I can’t talk to the guy that wrote that last letter, I didn’t like him.”
“Me either pet. He’s a twat.”
Willow giggled some of the tension releasing from the conversation “Where are you?”
“In a payphone outside this rancid club in Caracas.”
Willow started “Where?”
“Venezuela.” she could hear the amusement “Don’t they teach you geography anymore in school pet?”
“Nah, just how to raise demons and open the Hellmouth.” She teased back “How come you’re not in Brazil anymore?”
“Got bored.” Was his answer “Are we okay now Willow?”
It was the first time he had ever used her name and it showed her how serious he was.
“Yeah I guess but no more pretending Spike, if we are friends then we do this properly.”
“Friends yeah.” he had this odd tone to his voice, almost disappointment.
“Give me your address and I’ll write you a long letter.” She promised
“Okay then pet, hey you’ll never guess what I saw…”
It was great to talk to you I won’t ask how you got my number, I’m not sure I want to know but that you cared enough to call was great and no It doesn’t mean you are going soft. No one in their right mind could ever think you were soft.
All is quiet in the land of the sunny right now, I guess that means that something big is a brewing but since we know that the Mayor is going to try this ascension it’s not really a big surprise.
Well actually not that quiet.
We had a bit of a hectic few days. You see Buffy fought this demon and he passed some of his demon-ness onto her- no it wasn’t horns or a tail. But she could read minds for a while. It got scary, she knew what the teachers were saying and got ace marks in all her tests. Then she pre-empted all the things Giles was saying, which made him do this weird clucking thing with his tongue which he does when he is flustered. (btw is that a British thing?) Then she was reading all our thoughts. She knew about Xander’s constant sex thoughts (EW) and also it turns out Wesley (the new Watcher) has some not quite so innocent thoughts about Cordelia! That really pissed Xander off and now he glares more at Wesley than at Angel! She started to read my thoughts but I got out of her range pretty sharpish, I don’t want her to know about you. She’ll look for any excuse to stake you and I couldn’t deal with that.
Finally she tried to read Angel but it turns out that, like reflections, you can’t read Vampire’s thoughts. But then she could hear everyone’s thoughts and the cafeteria lady was trying to poison us all with rat poison in the food (Huh, like that’s anything new.) however the thoughts almost drove Buffy crazy and we had to make her drink a potion using parts of the demon that killed her. It was really gross but she’s okay now. (Don’t be too disappointed.)
Xander asked me what I was wearing for the prom, he’s made up with Cordelia after the whole sleeping with Faith thing, Anya wasn’t too pleased but he seems happy. Anyway they’ll be going together again. It’s in a month and I hadn’t even thought about it. in fact I’m not even sure I want to go anymore, I’ll just end up being little miss wallflower all night. Unless of course Angel doesn’t take Buffy, although the chances of that are slim.
I want to ask how things are going for you now. I know you were planning on travelling some more, since South America is losing appeal for you. I wish I could see all the great places you’re seeing.
Oh, OH. I knew what I wanted to tell you, the acceptance letters have started coming in from colleges. I got into Oxford- like Oxford England. Can you believe it? They want me!! I called my parents to tell them and the answer machine was very polite but I got in!!! You can’t see me now but I’m doing a Xander snoopy dance! I’m still waiting for the others but this was the major one. Just think, I could go to Europe and be a student. Wow, I’m still reeling.
Anyway I have to go. Write back soon.
Great last letter. Just thinking about the daft Slayer going mad was enough to put me in a good mood. Not really had a lot to laugh about recently. I’m in the dog house with Dru again. She’s is such a demanding bitch sometimes. And the talking to dolls and stars? Loony as hell, if anything I think she’s gotten worse these past months and is in a totally different plane. Different world? Hell different solar system. Moaning about trees and fluffy candles, if you ask me, she’s lost the rest of her marbles.
There, how’s that for honesty pet?
Only for you would I be that honest. Why is that? I have been on this earth for 126 years, maybe more- my maths never was much cop- but you are the only person who has ever inspired me to absolute honesty without threat of violence. If we could bottle that, we’d make a bleeding fortune love.
Now, what’s this about you not going to your big party and bash? Bollocks, you go and shame them all pet. You’ll be the best looking bird there and put all those that never gave you the time of day to weeping. Buncha tossers.
We’re just sorta wandering aimlessly right now, here to there. Venezuela, Columbia, Brazil…pretty much wherever the Desoto takes us, although honesty I think that car’s on its last wheels. I’ll need to have it totally resprayed and undented, (your damn “Welcome to Sunnydale” sign is sturdier than it looks.) it’ll cost a mint unless I can… find a decent Vampire mechanic. <evil grin>.
How about that Oxford! Well done pet, and as a special graduation gift, you tell me where your uncaring sods of parents are and I’ll kill them for you. I always knew you were the clever one Red, now everyone will know. You can go just about anywhere. As long as you tell me where so I can follow if things get too bad here. You need your big bad to protect you.
I was listening to the radio in the car, Dru was passed out in the backseat, and I heard this song and it just reminded me so much of you. Well, not exactly but it made me think of you. It was by Hootie and the Blowfish, which is a daft name if you ask me. Anyway it was called Goodbye. Find it listen to it, just don’t go all sappy and girlie on me okay? I miss you pet.
Spike. (The apparently not-so big bad when
Willow grinned as she turned over in bed and hugged the pillow to her. She had the song playing in the background. It was a beautiful, if sad song. About not wanting to say Goodbye. It mirrored how she felt about Spike perfectly; she didn’t want him to go anywhere. It was gradually dawning on Willow that she was falling head over heels for her pen pal. In his letters, he was sweet and honest and so devoted it was amazing. She looked over at the thick pile of letters on her desk, she had kept them all. There must have been over thirty letters and they hadn’t even been corresponding for a year yet. She couldn’t imagine living without Spike in her life, even long distance. He was as important to her now as Xander, Buffy and Giles were. Way more important than Cordelia had ever been. She missed him so much. How odd was that. She had only ever seen him face to face twice and both times he had been trying to kill her and now she would give anything to see him.
The song came to an end and she shook off her melancholy thoughts. Spike had eyes for Drusilla. And that was that, he’d been with her for a century and no matter how unhappy he seemed to be, he wasn’t giving her up. She was his dark goddess. Willow thought mockingly. Well she’d been in unrequited love before and she could deal, she’d just have to be mature about the whole thing.
She poked her tongue out at the pile of letters.
That’s it! I am fed up of being everyone’s darn hostage! What is about me that has “bait” written in neon on my forehead?
First you and then Angelus and then the other Vamp from the alternate dimension and now Faith???
I’m sick of it. From now on I’m going to carry a whole lock picking kit in my pants and then a knife to cut rope and I bet I’ll still get kidnapped! Well we had to do this magic mojo on this box that the Mayor had been hot over and Angel had to go rescue Buffy. Leaving me all alone and Faith came and got me. Thanks a bunch- ponce. (Yeah Giles told me what it meant eventually). Anyway so the bitch threatens me and tries to make me feel bad for her. But I told her straight up that she had screwed up any chance of being redeemed, which pissed her off! And hey I levitated a pencil that dusted a Vampire! He was gonna bite me and I was all hey I don’t think you should snack on the hostage and then with my magic I levitated and poof! Instant dust. I really should have gotten out of there but I saw these books that were really important for the ascension so I sat down for a read. I know I should have skedaddled but I manage to tear out some crucial pages that have shed some alarming light on the ascension- anyway this box was full of bugs. Bad bugs.
Still we got out okay and we are all intact- although the Mayor did say some nasty stuff to Buffy and Angel about her future and all, him being a Vampire and her wanting kids and white fences. It was cruel and Buffy did her share of crying that night.
I got into Sunnydale U. I got the letter this morning and I wanted to run this by you before I decided. I have the chance to a major Wicca here. Where better than the Hellmouth but also I want to see the world. Don’t get me wrong I love Buffy but I can’t be her sidekick forever. I’m not even sure that’s what I want. I know she has to stay and slay but me? I want a future is that selfish?
Enough about me. How are you? How’s the dog house? Or should that be the mad house? And the car? <big grin> I went and had a look at the Sunnydale sign. They’ve reinforced it with some metallic backing because some lunatic keep knocking it down… another lunatic keep crossing off the population as well but I don’t think that’s you. Still never mind. Write back soon okay?
Very very short note. Sorry about that but I’m in the middle of something important right now. I’ll try to write more soon. Just wanted to tell you that you should get the hell out of Sunnyhell while you’ve got the chance, I heard some bad stuff about this ascension and I don’t want you anywhere near it pet. Please, for my sake leave.
I’ll write back longer soon.
Willow turned the letter over in her hands. It was dog eared and torn and his words were scribbled on it with what looked like crayon. He’d really been in a hurry…and by the smell of the paper maybe a bar too. There was no return address anywhere so she couldn’t even write back and ask if he was okay.
She clutched the note to her chest and worriedly bit her nails. She prayed that he was okay.
“Willow?” Willow jumped as Buffy touched her shoulder. It had been six days since that letter from Spike and with each passing day she was getting more and more jumpy. What if something had happened to him? What if he was dust? Would she ever know? How could she find out? What if Drusilla had done something to him? Willow gave Buffy a shaky smile
“Willow you’re heart is beating a mile a minute.” Angel said looming over Buffy’s shoulder “Calm down or you’ll have a heart attack.”
“Better than a broken heart.” She thought as images of a dusted Spike fled through her mind.
“What is it Wills?” Buffy sat close and touched the redhead on the knee “Is it?” she motioned over her shoulder to where Xander and Cordelia sat pawing over each other.
“No.” Willow shook her head “I-I was expecting something and it hasn’t come, you know me, all worry.” She tried to smile but it obviously didn’t make a great impression as Buffy’s face fell.
“No, you don’t worry.” Buffy said firmly “Don’t be hold out on me girl Will.”
“I’m worried ab-about something, its probably silly but I am. There’s nothing that can be done about it but I cant help it…I mean what if something’s wrong, what if he’s hurt and I can’t do anything about It.” her voice took on the edge of hysteria.
“He?” Buffy was astonished “He who?”
Willow blushed as she realised her slip and ducked her head “I have a pen pal that I have been writing to for a long while. We-we’re good friends but his last letter he was almost-” she sighed trying to think of the word “You know when Angel came over all broody and cryptic with end of the worldly news, worried but trying not to let it show?”
“Oh yeah.” Buffy’s eyes widened “Oh boy. I’m sure that he’s okay Willow, wherever he is.”
“I agree with Buffy.” Giles perked up from behind her “We are so used to nerves or-or bad news being monumental and dire, almost apocalyptical that we forget that other people do live ordinary lives where bad news is nothing more than a sprained ankle or broken vehicle.”
“Well he did say his car was on its last legs.” Willow said somewhat relieved.
“There you are, perhaps he was at the garage having to pay through the nose for electrical repairs for a piece of engine that may or may not truly exist.”
Buffy tried not to smirk “Still sore about that mechanic hey Giles?”
“Mechanic?” Giles huffed “He should have been a lawyer for what he was charging.”
Willow relaxed her shoulders as Giles had deflected any questions about her pen pal for now- thank goodness.
For the rest of the research session she tried to put on a cheerful face but Buffy knew her better than that.
“Will, I could walk you home and you could see if there’s a letter from him.” Buffy offered and Willow jumped at the chance.
“Yes please Buffy.” she grabbed her coat and said a generic goodbye even before Xander could come up for air.
For some damn reason the key just wouldn’t fit in the lock. Her fingers shook as she tried again and again and Buffy had to finally take the keys from her shaking fingers and open it for her.
“Willow, I’m sure he’ll be fine. You need to relax.”
Willow fell to the floor and scrabbled through the mail and sagged when there was no tatty envelope with RED scrawled on it.
Willow stood up, ignoring the scattered letters all over the mat and hugged her arms to herself.
“You don’t understand, he normally gives a return address and this time he didn’t. What if he’s in bad trouble Buffy?” tears pricked the corners of her eyes. “If he died, I would never know. He’d just stop and I wouldn’t know.”
To Buffy’s horror Willow started to cry and in one step she wrapped her arms around her friend.
“God Will, who is this guy?”
“I love him.” Willow whispered “Please don’t let him be gone.”
“I’m sure he’ll be fine.” Buffy soothed, running her hands along Willow’s back “You want me to stay?”
Willow swiped at her face with her hands and gave a little nod, her lip trembling.
“You can tell me all about him.” Buffy stroked her best friends shoulder.
Willow awoke to the sunlight streaming into her window and birds singing annoyingly loudly for this time of day.
“Will?” Buffy sat on the side of the bed holding a hot cup of chocolate and a smile “How’s my little angst queen this morning?”
Willow sat up and took the drink. “Better thanks, sorry for stealing your title.”
“Hey!” Buffy pouted “I’m drama queen not angst queen.” She joked
“Mail come yet?” Willow tried not to be too desperate.
“Uh huh.” Buffy said and picked up the stack of papers at her feet.
“Anything?” Willow placed her drink on the side and stared at Buffy eagerly.
“Bills and junk mostly. Lecture tour dates, some Animal shelter thing.” Buffy shrugged and Willow’s heart sank.
“And one letter addressed to Red.” Buffy threw it at her and had the unique experience of seeing Willow squeal in delight.
She ripped open the envelope and breathed in the warmth she felt from
I wish I could sit down and write a whole long letter, dammit, even a novel for you but I can’t right now. I am a busy Vamp and I barely have time to shower and scratch my arse let alone tell you all the things I need to, but I had to let you know I was okay. Knowing you you’ll worry about me. Like I worry about you. Something monumental has happened to me pet and I wish more than anything you were right here to share it with me but you’re not. I can’t even tell you what it is. Wish I could. But I’m sure it’ll all be clear soon anyway. Just a few things I had to say.
1) That Faith bitch is as good as dead. For even threatening my girl she will be hurt. Bad.
2) There will be another package for you sometime soon; it’s to go with the necklace.
3) Don’t make any decisions about leaving Sunnyhell while you are right in the middle of all hell. And I mean that. I know you so I know for a fact you didn’t leave when I asked. Just stay safe pet. Please? I don’t want a world without you in it.
I can’t give you a solid address but I will call soon, promise pet.
Until I can speak to you.
Willow held the paper to her nose and breathed in whatever scent he had left lingering on the paper.
“Willow?” Buffy had stayed and watched as her best friend’s body drained of all tension as she read the letter.
“He’s okay.” Willow breathed and hugged Buffy “He’s okay!”
“Great, see I told ya.” Buffy smiled at the sheer relief in her friend’s voice.
“Buff, I’m gonna stay in today, not in the mood for school.” Willow said hesitantly.
Buffy gaped but recovered admirably.
“Okay. I’ll attempt to take notes.” Buffy paused “Or not, it is the end of school on like three weeks. Prom in two!” she gave a happy dance on the bed
“I have the perfect dress.” She looked at Willow “What about you?”
“Not yet.” Willow grimaced “Maybe I’ll go shopping today.”
“Willow Rosenberg bunking off class to go shopping?” Buffy suddenly looked worried “Maybe I should be taking this apocalypse thing more seriously.”
The delivery man was polite and courteous and was chuckling to see the eager, childlike look on the pretty girls face as she opened the door.
“Hi!” She squeaked
“Package for a Willow Rosenberg.”
“Me!” she jumped and grabbed it out of hands.
“Sign.” He handed her the clipboard and she scribbled away without even looking.
Willow slammed the door and raced up the stairs to her room with the box in her hands.
She ripped off the paper and took off the top.
Her breath caught in her throat as she glimpsed the contents and she let it out in a hiss as she picked up the most beautiful dress she had ever seen.
It was a forest green satin ball gown with spaghetti straps and a full
corset leading to a billowing full skirt that hung like a bell. Her breath
caught in her throat and she noticed a post it stuck to the front of the
dress. She grinned as she saw the note- BELLE OF THE BALL.
As promised I finally have time to write you a huge letter. And now I do I don’t know where to start.
I’m happy pet, happier than I’ve been in a long time, I’ve finally gotten rid of a lot of baggage that was holding me down (and I don’t mean the car) and I feel a hell of a lot lighter. I have you to thank for that, everything that you’ve done for me. I don’t know how I’ll ever repay you, although I figure the dress might be a start. I can just imagine you in that green setting off your hair and eyes making you look just like a pixie Queen. And here I am again suddenly acting like a bloody ponce. Only around you, love!
It’s not selfish for you to want a future and it is what you deserve pet, the Slayer has her sacred duty and that’s all well and dandy for her but for you? It’s not your gig and you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your life to pander to hers. I’m not saying that you should ignore everything supernatural (especially not me) but a girl like you shouldn’t have to walk in the darkness.
Back to your letter and what that bitch Slayer put you through, her ass is grass love. I want her dead. And as for my bleeding Sire for letting you get caught. I was soo mad I ripped the head of three demons before I calmed down enough to read the rest of the letter. I hate him, I’ve always hated him and he’s just given me one more reason. The Slayer can take care of herself but you are only human. An exceptional human true but fragile and mortal, he should have protected you and not gone for the brain located in his trousers when he saw his screw toy in trouble. The bitch can take care of herself it’s her job to battle the nasties, not yours. If you’d been hurt there is nothing in this world that would stop me from hunting him down and making that wanker pay. And pay and pay.
But you! What the hell were you thinking? You are more precious than some damn pages love, your curiosity is gonna be the death of you- and almost was, enough with the Nancy-drewing and just try to stay safe. For me, if not yourself. I couldn’t handle it if you died love, not if I wasn’t there to bring you over. Eternity just wouldn’t be as fun if you weren’t there.
Things around here are still pretty hectic and I’ve just been called away so I have to go now. I will write soon or call and let you know what’s going on.
Until then be safe.
P.S I knew they reinforced that bloody sign!
Willow stared at the signature at the end of the letter, that was the second time he’d signed off with Eternally yours or something similar. Before he’d just finished it with “Spike”, she guessed that mean that he was feeling lighter and happier which was great, she just wished it didn’t mean that he was happy with Dru. Not that she wished him misery, she was just jealous. From how she had been feeling these past days without hearing from him, she knew that she was in love with him. Properly in love.
It was scary the way she felt, and just now when she read the part about him turning her, she wasn’t scared. She was intrigued and happy that she wouldn’t have to live without him, in fact he wanted her with him for eternity- which was a good sign.
Maybe he had some sort of feelings towards her other than friendly. Or maybe she was fooling herself; it’s possible that he just wanted to preserve his only friend in the world. The thought made her shoulders slump and she pulled the dress out of its box and closer to her. She imagined she could smell his scent on it, but it was probably just her imagination.
“Hello Rosenberg Residence Willow speaking.”
“Who died and made you a butler?”
“Spike?” her voice lit up with delight
“Yeah pet, it’s me. Your immortal sex god.” She could tell he was grinning.
“I though you went by “Spike”, dammit now I’ll have to change my address book entry.”
“Funny pet.” He answered dryly “So how’s my little witch?”
“Not so good right now.”
“What is it?” his response was instantaneous and worry clouded his accent
“Not me!” she assured him “But you just missed Buffy, she was just here. Angel isn’t taking her to the prom, in fact as soon as the Mayor’s thing is over he’s leaving town.”
“No, not just oh, he’s a…a….”
“Yes! Whatever that is. He’s one. I mean it’d be like Cordelia breaking up with Xander on Valentines Day. Breaking up just before the Prom, the *day* before the Prom? It sucks, its beyond cruel and god, Spike. Buffy’s a mess. It hurts her so bad. She couldn’t stop crying and even though we get the reasoning, it’s made her…empty.”
“Angelus was always a cruel bastard, master of mind games.”
“Well it’s not funny.” Her breath caught
“I’m sorry Spike, its just… I feel for Buffy, just when we all thought that she’d have one night of normality, bang. Angel goes and screws it up, I am so mad at him right now. Madder even than when he tried to kill me.”
“You are a strange one pet.”
“Don’t I know it.” she decided to change the topic “How about you?”
“I’m fine love, great even. Things are busy and hectic but are slowly falling into place.”
“Yeah, so what have you been up to then?”
Silence held for a few seconds
“Can’t say right now red, I will do soon, promise but everything’s still dead tense right now.”
“No pun intended.”
Willow laughed anyway and he joined her, it felt good to laugh with him.
“Well at least tell me how you are?” she asked
“I’m great, everything is good right now. I got the Desoto fixed and upgraded it now plays C. D’s not just tapes, wired with terrific stereo system and undented, new leather interior and all, its luxury- fit for my queen.”
Willow swallowed “And how is Dru?”
“Fine I guess…what? Hold on a minute Willow.” she heard his muffled sounds from the other end, like he was holding his hand over the receiver. After a few more muffled moments his voice came back.
“Sorry love I have to go, some problem in the bleeding works.”
“Oh.” Her voice was small “But we didn’t get to talk much.”
“I know pet, I’m sorry.” And he did sound it, very sorry. “I have to go.”
“Spike!” she said quickly before she could lose her nerve
“Tomorrow’s the Prom but after that…would you call me or-or write to me before graduation?” she hesitated a second “It’s just if Buffy doesn’t manage to defeat the mayor, that could be it for us all, and I want to hear from you before…just in case.”
“Why’s that then?” his voice was cautious
“Because I l-” she didn’t know if she should say the words
“Yeah?” he prompted after a moment’s silence
“Just promise me.” She lost her courage and copped out.
He sighed as if in disappointment, or maybe it was relief.
“I promise you will hear from me before your graduation.” Willow smiled softly at the sincerity he portrayed.
“Thank you Spike.”
“No problem love, have good party.”
“Will do. Night Spike.”
Willow sat in the library, her eyes on the video player that spun away in front of them. Everyone was watching horrified as the monster ripped the boy to pieces.
“Right there.” Xander pointed out as the monster hesitated “See, it's,
it's like he just realized he forgot to put money in the meter or something.”
Cordelia rolled her eyes at her boyfriend “You know the part that totally weirded me out? That thing had good taste. I mean he chucks Xander and went right for the formal wear.”
Willow agreed, that was the odd part. There was Xander and Cordelia right in front of it and then it just turned and attacked some guy in the corner.
“That's right. He left behind his copy of Monsters Wear Daily.” He added dryly and Cordelia hit his shoulder
“I'm serious. Look at the outfit that Xander's wearing. Now look at the kid that the monster went after. Very smooth lines, 'til he was shredded.”
Buffy stopped Giles before he could rewind the tape “I don't want to see it again.” Giles moved closer to her watching the pain in her face “Buffy, I know it's horrible, but if you're going to hunt this creature, you should study it.”
Willow wanted to punch Giles, he was being so insensitive and yeah okay he didn’t know about Angel but even so. She opened her mouth to say something but Buffy just glanced at her.
“Think I got it.”
Willow smiled at her to show her support “She's right. I mean, you've seen one big hairy bringer of death, you've seen 'em all.”
Wesley obviously needed to exert his presence back into the room and piped up “If I'm not mistaken, this is a hellhound.”
“Yes. It's particularly vicious. It's sort of a demon foot soldier bred during the Machash Wars. Trained solely to kill. They feed off the brains of their foes.” Giles agreed with him. Willow wondered how Giles had so much trivia in his head, if you had too much trivia what could happen? Would your brain explode?
Cordelia put a stop to her musings by having a row with Xander about the mechanics of a VCR.
“What were you doing there?” Oz asked “I thought you had an outfit?”
Xander rolled his eyes “Apparently we don’t match; I had to exchange my shirt so we don’t clash.”
Willow watched Buffy who was staring off into space as the little exchanges took place around them; she could see the anger in Buffy’s face as they identified one “Tucker Wells” as the face of the hellhound raiser.
And righteous indignation burnt up as they hacked into his email and learned that he was planning on setting his monsters loose on the Prom.
Giles made sure that the Xander’s of the world were caught up “So, we have a threat against the students on their big night, a hellhound trained to attack people in formal wear...”
Cordelia smirked as Xander’s expression cleared
“Oh, are we all catching up now?”
“Tucker is planning to attack the prom tonight.” Oz added with his usual dry wit “Once again, the Hellmouth puts the special in special occasion.”
Xander just slumped “Why do I even buy tickets for these things, I ask you?”
Willow just shrugged agreeing with him, it was just too bad that none of them could have a perfect high school function without something hell mouthy happening. She looked around and saw the resigned look on everyone’s face. Cordelia sagged, gracefully into her chair and Oz seemed even more laconic than normal.
She sighed “Wonder if I should send my dress back?”
Not that Spike would accept it, except it had obviously cost a pretty penny and if this deal whatever he was working out was expensive he might need the cash.
Buffy suddenly seemed to snap out of her funk “Don't you dare.”
“But Tucker is going to...” she started to explain but Buffy cut her off with a determined
“No! You guys are going to have a prom. The kind of prom that everyone should have. I'm going to give you all a nice, fun, normal evening if I have to kill every single person on the face of the earth to do it.”
No one knew what to say to that statement, Willow knew it sprang from Buffy’s own hurt at her own ideal being shattered and she wanted to hug her friend and tell her it was okay.
Xander looked around at the stunned faces and summed it up for them “Yay?”
Buffy issued orders for them to go and find out what they could. She seemed like a general trying to rally troops before the big show down and they all obeyed with out question.
Willow walked over to Buffy.
“Don’t Will.” Buffy said warding her off “If I start crying now I wont stop.” She pleaded with her eyes.
“I love you.” Willow offered
“Love you too.” Buffy softened and they shared a smile, that promised friendship to eternity and Willow walked away to get started.
But in under an hour they were all back reporting their progress
“Zeroes all around, Buff.” Xander dealt the good news.
“Sorry.” Willow hated not turning up anything in her searches.
Buffy just shrugged “Make not with the long faces. I got the address. Now the prom starts in a little while. I want you guys to go on and I'll catch up with you as soon as I put a lid on this jerk.”
Xander and Willow gaped and the began to protest
“What? No way.”
“We can't just leave you, Buff.”
Giles agreed “Buffy, they're right. You need...”
Buffy interrupted “To see taillights. Hit the door. I have everything under control.”
Oz even turned to complain “Buffy, it makes sense to ...”
“Have. A. Nice. Time.” Her low tone scared them all into action.
Xander, Cordelia and Oz raced for the door.
Willow smiled sadly at Buffy “I’ll be alone too Buff, come find me and we’ll hang.”
“Promise?” her eyes were beseeching
“Great, now go. I want to see that killer dress.”
Willow ran away to get changed.
The Prom was in full swing as Willow entered. She was wearing her hair cascading in soft curls around her shoulders, the forest green doing wonderful things to her eyes and hair- just as promised. She was also wearing the silver and red choker that he had sent for her birthday. She looked a vision and more than one head turned in her direction.
“Wow!” Xander came over and looked her up and down “Willow you look amazing.”
“Where in hell did you get that dress?” Cordelia was green with envy
“Present.” Willow said, stroking the satin down her legs. “You like?”
“You look fantastic.” Cordelia was so impressed she forgot to be catty.
Willow smiled and looked around.
“Well we got in without being eaten I’d say that’s a good sign.” She saw Anya standing over in one corner talking to Jonathon who looked scared out of his wits.
She giggled at the thought of what she was telling him.
Wesley was watching Cordelia and not listening to anything Giles was saying. Willow wandered over to them saying hi to people she knew.
Everyone had something to say about her dress. Gone was the shy hacker and a beautiful woman stood in her place and everyone was wowed.
“Giles.” She greeted
“Willow, you look so elegant.” Wesley offered, his face blushing as he kissed her hand. Willow chuckled and grinned at Giles’ odd expression.
“What is it Giles?”
“You look beautiful Willow.” he said softly “I feel like a proud father.” he hugged her close, ignoring any strange glances her might get from other teachers or students.
Willow was choked up “Thank you Giles. That means so much; my parents won’t even be back until after graduation. But it doesn’t matter because you’re here.”
Wesley sniffed and turned his head away “Allergies.”
Willow laughed with Giles at the new watcher and the tension left them all.
They both talked for a while but kept their eyes on the door waiting for Buffy.
Finally she walked in
“Hey Buff, nice dress.”
“I’ll go with WOW!” Buffy said staring at Willow “Devil dogs are history, how’s Prom?”
“Cool.” Willow said and Oz came up behind them
“Strangely affecting. I got all teared up when they played 'We Are Family'”
They all smiled.
Willow knew what to say to make Buffy feel better.
“It’s perfect.” Buffy beamed at her and they hugged.
“Although I think we should rescue Jonathon from Anya.”
Willow watched as they began to announce the awards, they got that over with at the beginning so everyone could concentrate on having a good time.
Xander and Cordelia won an award for oddest couple which made up for him not winning Class clown award.
Then Buffy got the surprise of her life when she was awarded the Class protector award. When the whole room applauded her, Willow felt like her heart would burst for her friend and she sniffed, trying to not to cry and waste her makeup.
“Now, now, tears do not go with that outfit pet.”
Willow spun around “Spike?”
And he was there. His beached blonde hair looking striking against the black tux he wore. It fitted him like a glove complete with black silk shirt open at the neck.
He walked closer and reached up, cupping her cheek with his cool hands.
“Hello pet.” His voice sent shivers down her spine, it was low and sensual.
She smiled at him softly “What are you doing here?”
“I heard that my girl was going solo to her big dance, we couldn’t have the belle of the ball all alone now could we?”
“You came back from Brazil to escort me to the Prom?” she was incredulous
“No I came back to tell you that I love you, the Prom was just a bonus.”
Willow’s jaw dropped “Wha-?”
Spike chuckled and pulled her out to the dance floor.
“See pet, while I was in Brazil I heard some stuff about this ascension. How it was going to be a big old party. At first I was impressed, then it dawned on me you were in danger.” He pulled her into his arms and looked down at her “I had to come to save you, save my girl. But Dru, Dru was pissed. She didn’t want to come back here and she was furious that I wanted to save you. She was screaming and all trying to get her own way. But I had to get back here for you. I didn’t care what she thought. Then it suddenly hit me. I don’t care about Dru any more. Not like I did. She isn’t my world. You are. I couldn’t talk to her, not like I can you. I couldn’t confide in her or even show my whole self to. She didn’t care about me and I no longer care about her. It took me a while to figure out why it was okay.”
He leaned down to look intently into her eyes, the blue intense in their proximity.
“Because somewhere between Sunnydale and Sao Paulo, I fell in love with you. I love you Willow.”
“I love you too.” Was all she could manage, her throat was tight with tears and emotion as he lifted her into his arms and pressed his lips to hers for the first time.
The soft pressure of his mouth on hers caused her to gasp and he took the opportunity to delve into the sweet depths, tasting her at each turn until she needed to breathe.
He leaned his forehead on hers, their eyes locked.
“Oh wow.” She whispered to him and he grinned. His face lit up.
“By the way you look smashing.”
“You too, you clean up good.” She eyed the tux.
“You like?” he stretched his arms out and let her look her fill.
“Me too.” He stroked her cheek again and kissed her softly.
“Willow who’s the…oh my god you’re Spike!” Buffy voice pulled them out of their moment.
Willow stood in front of him.
“It’s okay Buffy.”
“It’s not okay Will, this is Spike- evil Spike!”
“Thanks.” Spike preened behind Willow.
“Not helping.” she turned her head slightly to warn him off “Buffy, Spike is my date.”
Buffy’s mouth opened and closed a few times “D-date?”
“He’s the one I’ve been writing to.”
“You didn’t show my letters to the Slayer did you love?” he sounded worried.
“Of course not.” She looked over her shoulder “They’re mine.”
“Me too?” he asked quietly, ignoring the Slayer.
“You too.” She leaned up on tiptoe and kissed him.
Buffy made an inarticulate sound in her throat.
“Demon.” She pointed and pouted at him.
“But I bought you a present.” Spike pointed over her shoulder.
Buffy turned in fighting stance, half expecting a hoard of Vampires. Well it was a Vampire.
“Red told me that he didn’t ask you to the dance. Since this is your big who-ha, I thought he should make an appearance. After all a girl only gets one Prom.”
He pulled Willow back into his arms.
Buffy stared at him and then at Angel and back again.
“You brought Angel here for me?”
“You being upset was upsetting my Red, and that’s not allowed.” He answered kissing Willow’s collarbone.
“Say thank you Buffy.” Willow instructed with a grin.
“T-thank you Spike.” Buffy swallowed and went to move to Angel, she paused “But we are so having words tomorrow Willow.”
Willow nodded and turned back, melting into Spike’s arms.
“Now this is how it’s meant to be.” He whispered in her ear, his voice low and sending shivers up her spine.
Willow tried hard to cling to that sweet elusive sleep but the flapping of the curtains forced her awake and she sat up and clutched the sheets to her naked chest as she looked around.
Last night had been the best of her life. Spike had showed up to her graduation in a tux, he had professed his love and they had come home together. He had taken her innocence and her heart in one night. It had been romantic and frantic, gentle and rough and she was left aching in more places than her body knew possible.
It was a good sensation and one that she would be happy with for the rest of her life.
But Spike was gone. After their lovemaking all night, he was missing.
Her heart sank until she noted a piece of paper on the pillow next to her.
You’ll never know how much I just wanted to stay in your bed with you and hold you as the sun came up, watching you wake up and making love to you all day and never letting you go, but there are things that I have to do today. Its essential or hell itself couldn’t have dragged me away from your soft warm body this morning.
Just know this, that I will be with you all day and tonight, when the world is safe again from the damn ascension we will spend the rest of eternity together.
I love you.
Willow hugged the sheet to herself and smiled at the letter. It was Spike through and through and one more letter to add to her collection. She realised that she’d never get tired of this, of waking up knowing that she would be seeing him that day.
She wished she could lie in bed and wait for him to get here and be with her again.
But she had to get ready for her graduation and the Mayor’s ascension. It was guaranteed to be a big party and even though Spike couldn’t be there in person, she knew he was in Sunnydale and that was worth it.
The graduation set up was typical of every high school. The students sat up front, just ahead of the podium where the teachers would sit and the Mayor would make his address. The parents who actually cared enough to come would sit at the back to watch their pride and joy graduate from High school.
Buffy watched with her arms folded as the custodian’s finished setting up the chairs. Willow came up behind her and touched her shoulder.
“This is it.” Buffy sighed “The finale.”
Willow draped her arm over her best friends shoulder
“That it is Buffy, we’ll do fine. Everything’s in place right?”
“Yep, got Xander to talk to Harmony and got Faith all Coma’d away. Everything’s in place and ready to burn.”
“Literally.” Willow surveyed the High school and smiled.
Buffy turned to her friend “You talk to Percy and Oz?”
Willow nodded and wrapped her arms around herself “You do realise that your plan is crazy right?”
“Oh and Oz’s idea was sane?”
“Attacking the Mayor with Humus was, I’ll admit, crazier than yours but I still think Anya’s head for the hills was doable.”
Buffy grinned “I like the humus idea.”
“I don’t know I think maybe Taramasalata would be more original.” Willow tucked her hair behind her ear.
“Angel’s going to just go.” Buffy blurted out and Willow’s face fell “He broke up with me last night and he’s just going to leave without saying goodbye.”
The tears dropped unchecked down her cheeks as Willow offered her the comfort of her embrace.
“Oh god Buffy I’m so sorry.” Willow patted her friend, knowing full well what a broken heart felt like. She had felt that way when she thought she had lost Spike for good.
“It hurts so much Willow, like a huge ball of nothing in my heart, how could he just go?”
“You have to believe it hurts him as much as it hurts you Buffy. At least you got that one perfect high school moment.” Willow tried to comfort Buffy.
Buffy sniffed and stepped back “I did, and I will always cherish that.” she paused “And I have your boyfriend to thank for that.”
Willow blushed “He is one of a kind.”
Buffy looked at her steadily “He’s evil Willow.”
“So evil he made Angel dance with you and so evil he sent me a piñata of Cordelia for my birthday so I could take out my frustrations without hurting anyone.”
Buffy blinked “That was Cordelia?”
“Or Anya.” Willow watched as the tears dried up and Buffy’s lips twitched.
“I could like him.”
“Hands off.” Willow mock pouted “He’s mine.”
“I don’t want him!”
“You wouldn’t say that if you’d seen him naked.” Willow ducked her head and Buffy gaped
“Willow Rosenberg, tell me you did not have sex with him!”
Willow blushed as two students passed by and overheard Buffy’s exclamation, they gave her two thumbs up as the carried on walking by.
“Shh Buffy. We did, last night.”
“And?” Buffy leaned forward intrigued
“It was wonderful.” Willow blushed harder at the memory “And that’s all I’m going to say.”
Buffy looked impressed.
“You are gonna have to tell me all about him and how you guys hooked up, it’s too bizarre, Willow and Spike!” she shuddered.
“I love him. He dumped Drusilla for me and he came here from Brazil to tell me he loves me.” Willow said softly, not wanting to rub it in.
Buffy was silent for a moment “I’m happy for you Will. If he makes you happy you grab onto him and don’t let him go.”
“Not planning on it.”
Buffy sighed “Time to go.” They linked arms and began to walk away.
“If we win, Willow, you have to tell me everything and I mean in minute detail.”
“Then let’s hear it for the Mayor!”
Principal Snyder watched as the students took their seats in a sea of red polyester.
“Congratulations to the class of 1999. You all proved more or less adequate. This is a time of celebration, so: sit still and be quiet.”
The students sat down rolling their eyes at the Principals little speech
“Spit out that gum.” He commanded, not wanting them to forget who was in charge. “Please welcome our distinguished guest speaker: Richard Wilkins the 3rd. I saw that gesture. You see me after graduation."
Willow sat next to Buffy and they shared a tentative grin. Buffy leaned closer
“You’re not really rooting for the Mayor, are you Willow?”
“That depends on if I get the third degree after we win.”
The Mayor stood up and shook hands with Snyder. He smiled broadly and took out cue cards from his jacket.
“Well. What a day this is! - Special day. Today is our centennial the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of Sunnydale, and I know what that means to all you kids: not a darn thing. Because today something much more important happens: today you all graduate from high school. Today all the pain, all the work, all the excitement is finally over. And what's a hundred years of history compared to that? You know what kids?”
Buffy’s jaw dropped “Oh my God. He's going to do the entire speech.”
Willow shook her head in disbelief “Man, just ascend already.”
Buffy narrowed her eyes at him “Evil!” she hissed.
The Mayor continued his little speech “for all of you it may be that there is a place in Sunnydale's history, whether you like it or not. It's been a long road getting here. For you… for Sunnydale. There has been achievement, joy, good times… and there has been grief. There's been loss. Some people who should be here today… aren't.”
Willow and Buffy watched as he grimaced. He was obviously thinking about Faith.
“But we are. - Journey's end. And what is a journey? Is it just distance travelled? Time spent? No. It's what happens on the way, it the things that happen to you. At the end of the journey you're not the same. Today is about change. Graduation doesn't just mean your circumstances change, it means you do. You ascend to a higher level. Nothing will ever be the same. Nothing."
The whole of the graduating class and most of the faculty looked up as the hot sunny day began to fade into clouds- anything was better than listen to the Mayors speech.
They watched bewildered as the sun darkened. Buffy took a deep breathe and tensed.
“And so as we look back on the events that brought us to this day-”
Buffy glared at him and pulled her hat off “Oh just come on!”
Willow giggled nervously at Buffy’s impatience.
The Mayors speech was punctuated by grimaces and screams of pain as the change began to take him over- eventually he abandoned his speech altogether.
“It has begun. My destiny. It's a little sooner then I expected
I had this whole section on civic pride, But I guess we'll just skip to
the big finish!”
Buffy looked to Willow as the Mayor started to stretch and grow. His suit split, falling to the floor in expensive tailored shreds and a snake grew from the tattered remains
“That is no way to treat a Versace.” They heard Cordelia behind them wince.
But suddenly no one was listening as the snake grew and huge mandibles surrounded his mouth.
Both parents and faculty screamed and leaped off the stage running for safety.
The students all watched Buffy and stood up when she did; they stared at the Mayor-snake and waited.
Buffy growled “Now!”
The graduating class off 99 threw off their dowdy red polyester gowns to reveal weaponry. Axe’s, flamethrowers and crosses.
Larry grinned as he pulled his flamethrower up from around his neck and Harmony dragged her crossbow out with a proud grin at the ultimate fashion accessory.
Buffy started calling orders to her troop “Flame units!”
Those students who were of the fire group pointed their flames at the Mayor who hissed and swayed above them screaming loudly.
Xander turned to see a huge wave of Vampires standing behind them
“First wave!” he called and Willow turned with her unit of crossbows to attack the Mayor.
The Mayor turned on the students, incensed and retaliated by eating a latecomer.
Snyder stood on the podium wide eyed in shock “This…this is unacceptable.”
The Mayor had frightened some of the students and they turned to run- straight into the newly arrived Vampire army.
“Arm bow men.” Xander called and a bunch of students picked up bow and arrows and fired at the Vampires. The Vampires scoffed until the children lit the ends of the arrows and let loose the burning harpoons. The Vampires retreated.
“Fall back.” Buffy screamed and the students followed her.
The students let fly with the fire arrows again and several more vampires got hit. They raced to leave only to find themselves confronted by another group of students led by Angel, flanked by Percy and Wesley.
The Vampires stood still for a moment and then grinned as a huge army of demons walked into the Campus.
“Looks like we outnumber you.” One goaded to Angel.
The sounds of battle faded as the students realised that they were not only outnumbered but surrounded.
Buffy swallowed hard.
The new demons moved slightly to the side and a lone figure walked up the centre.
“Sorry mates.” Spike drawled “We’re on their side.” He pointed to Angel and grinned at the caught Vampires.
Willow’s heart expanded as she saw her love throw in his lot with the white hats.
“You see we don’t want to be ruled by a snake and some of us like humans.” his eyes found Willow.
the only sound for a moment was Snyder yelling “This is not orderly. This is not discipline, You're on my campus buddy!”
The Mayor seemed to have had about enough of him as the students had and rushed down.
“And when I say I want quiet, I want-” no one ever found out what he wanted as the Mayor ate him.
The sound of Principal being chewed spurred them all into action again.
Spike and his demons rushed the Vamps at the same time Angel and the students did.
“Hey dude, are we supposed to kill the demons too?” Percy asked Oz who just shrugged.
“I think they’re on our side.” Angel added as he punched a Vampire “It was Spike’s doing. He always had strange ideas.”
“Should have gone for the humus.” Oz picked up his stake and carried on.
Buffy yelled for the students to fall back and then she turned to Willow “Go.”
“Good luck.” Willow said and ran down the steps to join the fight.
“Everybody, hand to hand. Everyone! Lets go! Move!
Move!".” Xander yelled as he passed out stakes.
Willow trusted Buffy to finish off the Mayor and she darted down the steps staking Vampires in her wake. She turned quickly feeling someone at her back.
“Hey pet.” He said with a flash of smirk as he decapitated a Vampire “What you thought I’d miss your big graduation. Like hell.”
Willow turned so they were fighting back to back “Where did the demons come from?”
“As soon as I heard about the ascension, I started recruiting myself an army of demons who liked humans and wanted to help; that’s what I’ve been doing since I left Dru.”
“I couldn’t let them hurt you, pet.”
Willow swung her axe at a Vampire who ducked, she kicked it, knocking it back and she dusted it with her wooden heel- just like Buffy had told her.
“You recruited them- you did all this to save me?” She half turned to look at him as he tore the head off a Vamp.
Spike twisted to look at her, his forehead was covered in blood where a vamp had got lucky and hit him. He smiled rapaciously at her.
“Of course.” He grabbed her around the waist and pulled her into his arms. He ducked his head and ravaged her mouth with his lips.
She pulled back to breath and had to dodge a swinging sword.
“Fight now, kiss later.”
Spike bowed in a flourish as he staked another Vampire “Your wish is my command.”
Willow watched as the tide started to turn and the Vamp dust exploded like the fourth of July fireworks.
Suddenly a loud boom struck the air and they all turned as the high school exploded. Spike jumped on top of Willow protecting her from flying debris as each section of the school burst into flames and fury.
The graduating class of Sunnydale high, stood up as they watched the school be torn apart and they collectively smiled and turned to the remaining Vampires with renewed vigour.
The darkened streets were filled with fire engines trying desperately to put out the flames of the high school and hoards of police men asking each student what had happened. Ironically enough the students all replied the same
“Gangs on PCP and exploded gas pipes.”
Stretchers carried out those wounded and moaning- some louder than others.
Buffy just searched the crowds for that elusive someone.
Xander walked by her side “We got off pretty cheap… considering.” He
knew she wasn’t paying him any attention as she absent-mindedly replied
“Seems like we did.”
Xander sighed “He made it through the fight. Guess maybe he took off after.”
Buffy just nodded and looked away. Xander went to catch his girlfriend who was asking a cute fireman who to sue about her ruined Prada heels.
Giles walked up to her and lay a hand on her shoulder “Are you all right?”
Buffy couldn’t even begin to answer that right now “I’m tired.”
Giles smiled affectionately at her “I should imagine so. It's been quite a couple of days.”
Buffy just sighed “I haven't processed everything yet. My brain isn't really functioning on the higher levels. It's pretty much; fire bad; tree pretty.”
Giles shook his head “Understandable. Well, when it's working again congratulate it on a good campaign. You did very well.”
Buffy thanked him, her heart hurting as she tried not to cry.
Giles put his glasses on and reached into his pocket to pull out her charred diploma “I ah… I managed to ferret this out of the wreckage. Now, it may not interest you, but I'd say you earned it.”
Buffy took it without much interest.
Giles wanted to say something to take that look off her face but wasn’t sure what, he looked around “There is a certain dramatic irony that's attached to all this. A Synchronicity that borders on… on predestination, one might say.”
Buffy smiled at him “Fire bad; tree pretty.”
Giles chuckled and apologised. He walked away to see Wesley.
Buffy watched him go for a second and then spun around. Angel stood beside a fire truck looking at her.
For a heartbeat they stared at each other remembering the words and feelings and then he slowly turned and walked away.
Buffy felt a hand on her shoulder and something touch her palm and she turned to see Willow holding her hand in silent commiseration.
She gave a brave smile and they walked over to the stone steps in front of the school where the others were waiting.
Oz, Xander and Cordelia watched the fire and shared a grin.
“Well, that’s the most fun you can have without having any fun.” Cordelia said, laying her head on Xander’s shoulder.
“Oh don’t tell me that wasn’t fun!” Spike came up and slipped his am around Willow’s waist.
“Argh Spike!” Xander yelled and pointed to him.
“Mine.” Willow tightened her hold on Spike’s arm and he ducked his head to kiss her lips.
“Argh Spike!” Xander yelled again “Willow!”
Spike raised an eyebrow “And you had a crush on that?”
“Chill Xander.” Buffy said wearily “Spike helped us. He loves Willow.”
“He does?” Xander looked faint.
“He does.” Spike maintained and pulled her impossibly closer.
“How’d you end up with such a hottie?” Cordelia asked jealously.
“Well she’s not a bitch for one.” Spike remarked to her and she coloured.
“You’re dating Spike? How could you be dating Spike?” Xander gaped.
“I just pretty much am.” Willow shrugged unwilling to explain herself.
“Are you sure you’re not Vamp Willow?”
“Vamp Willow?” Spike’s tone was curious
Willow blushed, “Long story.”
“How can my best friend be dating a demon and I not know?”
“You and the head cheerleader were too busy playing to care.” Spike mouthed off and was satisfied at the horrified look on Xander’s face.
“I was…we were…” he paused and stared at her as if he was searching for something “Are you happy Wills?”
Willow looked up into Spike’s ice blue eyes “Yeah.”
Xander swallowed “Then I guess that’s enough.”
“Guys, I think we've done pretty much all we can. You guys want to take off?” Buffy asked.
Oz came up to her and lay his hand on her arm “You okay?”
“Yeah… I'm okay. - I could use a little sleep though.”
Willow nodded and agreed emphatically “Yeah.”
Spike raised an eyebrow again “Alright, straight to bed with you when we get home.”
Willow blushed and Xander yelped
Buffy chuckled and leaned on Oz “If someone could just wake me when it's time to go to college, that'd be great.” Willow smiled at her for taking off the heat.
“Guys take a moment to deal with this: - we survived.” Oz added as he put his arm around Buffy, Xander nodded his eyes still on Willow and Spike.
Buffy yawned “It was a hell of a battle!”
Oz shook his head “Not the battle, high school.”
They all looked quietly at the school and listened to the crickets chirping.
“We're taking a moment,” Oz paused as Spike whispered in Willow’s ear making her giggle. They stood up to leave “and we're done.”
Xander got up and walked off next to Cordelia, he looked at Willow and smiled “Well, School's done.”
“That it is, pet.” Spike nudged Willow with his hips “So what do you want to do now?”
Well I never thought I’d actually leave Sunnydale but here I am. Well here we are. Spike was as good as his word and we are doing a grand tour of all his favourite places. Right now we are checking out the Loire region of France and all the magical castles, they are so beautiful Buffy, all turrets and lights, at night the while place glows and I feel just like a fairy Princess. I’m having the time of my life Buffy and everything is great. Spike says that we could get married if I want, it won’t hold much weight with Vampire society but since he’s already claimed me that’s not such a problem. I told him we have to wait until Giles can give me away and you can be my maid of honour. He muttered about having a Slayer and a Watcher at a Vampire wedding but I can talk him around. Spike is so attentive and caring, he makes sure I’m taken care of and cherishes me. I love him more than I ever thought possible and I don’t want you to freak but I have agreed to let him turn me one day so we can be together for eternity.
Not just yet though, I have to go to college. I’ve accepted Oxford and so Spike and I will be living in England for a while, I’ll come visit you and Xander and Giles eventually, but for now we are just meandering around wherever the mood- and the Desoto take us. Please send the attached note to the Sunnydale Community centre; it has a suggestion for reinforcing the “Welcome to Sunnydale” sign. Spike’s idea. Probably best not to ask.
The next stop I think is England where we’ll do Stonehenge and big Ben and those sights, I can’t wait.
Anyway we left quite quickly after the graduation and so I never got to tell you how we met and fell in love. Attached to this letter is the whole story and I hope it explains quite a bit, I know it makes me smile whenever I think of it. I miss you all and love you too.
Hope we will see you again soon.
Willow and Spike.