He was coming for her. She could feel it. The waves of anger, possessiveness and lust melded together in her mind, creating a similar response withing her own body. He was hers! And he'd left her. He would pay for that. The thoughts of how she would make him pay, sent surges of lust through her body, pooling between her thighs.
Turning a corner on the dark streets, she caught sight of him. He was absolutely breath-taking. All dark and dangerous and covered in blood. As their eyes met, the world faded away into oblivion. There was no more fighting, no more distance separating them, and no more Slayer to stand in their way. But most of all, there was no more soul in him, obscuring her memory from his mind.
He was here. They could finally be together.
Closing the distance between them, she opened her arms and heart, accepting all he was. Accepting the brutal, possessive kiss, plundering each others mouths as they were reunited after all this time apart.
With a growl, he lifted her slightly off the ground and moved to the brick wall off to the side, slamming her into the hard surface. But she didn't care. It had been so long since she'd held him, that nothing else mattered. Not that he was evil. Not that he'd eventually turn her, making her into what he was - a cold blooded, sadistic killer.
And not that he was covered in the blood of her friends, their bodies scattered around them in the dark.
She didn't care. All she could think about was this man. This vampire who was hers. Her mate.
Lifting her legs, she wrapped them around his waist, pulling his body in closer to hers. Closer to her heat. He growled against her lips before moving to the large vein in her neck, his canines scrapping across the soft, pale skin, earning moans and whimpers from the red head in h is arms. Not able to stand the separation, he sunk his fangs deeply into her neck, placing his mark on her again, as he'd done all those weeks ago.
Feeling the familiar pain of his sharp teeth piercing her flesh, she cried out his name in ecstasy.
"Angelus!" cried Willow, arching her back, lifting her body off the mattress beneath her, waking up. Her entire body was dampened by sweat, and a familiar heat had gathered between her legs.
Willow was vaguely aware of the bedroom door opening, and a lean figure quickly making it's way towards the bed. Her body was on fire for her mate, demanding his presence beside her.
A pair of strong arms gathered her close, soothing sounds emerging from his mouth. The presence calmed her for a few seconds, until her body realized that while it was similar to the one she craved, it was not him.
A shudder tore through her body as she buried her face in his cold and still chest. The sorrow she kept at bay during the day came out full force at night.
"Another dream, luv?" asked Spike, rubbing circles on the back of the now-sobbing red head in his arms. Her silent nod was his only answer, and made him tighten his arms around her. He knew he wasn't the one she wanted, and silently cursed his sire for the hell he was putting the little witch through.
After she'd released
him from his chains, Willow had fought her friends for his freedom, and
eventually won it. So he'd moved out of the Watcher's place, and into a
large house of his own, using the money he'd accumulated over the last
126 years. It was one of the things Angelus had taught him - plan for your
future. "You're going to be alive for awhile, and you're going to need
money to live off of." he'd told Spike. It's
one of the things the blonde really despised about Angel. He had all this money saved away, yet he wouldn't touch it because it had been accumulated by Angelus, in his pre-curse days.
About a week after his freedom was granted, the group had realized that something was wrong with Willow. She was jumpy, irritable, edgy and cried herself to sleep most nights. Buffy had even awoken to the girl's sobbing some nights. All this had taken it's toll on Willow, too. Spike was the only one she could talk to about how she was feeling, and surprisingly, he made her feel better. It was then that the two of them realized that she wasn't as bad when she was with Spike.
The blonde vampire had said it had something to do with the fact that her mate was his sire. Since Angelus wasn't there, she had been using Spike's presence as a substitute for Angelus'.
So they moved in together.
That caused chaos among
the Scooby gang, as they were convinced Spike had dome something to her.
But their arguments stopped once they realized that Willow was back to
her old self. But that didn't mean their suspicions disappeared. They were
all convinced that Spike had done something to her (except for Anya, who
couldn't care less if the witch was sleeping with a demon), put her under
some sort of spell so he could
get at her. Everyone seemed convinced that they were sleeping together. As if that were the only reason they'd be living together.
They couldn't have
been further from the truth. While they did sleep in the same bed most
nights, there was nothing remotely sexual about their relationship. One
reason, was that Willow's mind rarely left thoughts of Angelus, and Spike
knew that when Angelus came back for his mate, if he even suspected that
Spike had touched her, the blonde vampire would be dust before he could
do more than blink. And Angelus would come
back, of that he had no doubt. His sire would lose his soul and come for his mate. He just hoped it would be soon.
For these dreams of Willow's were getting worse and more frequent. She would wake up in the middle of the night, crying out for her mate. When she realized he wasn't there, didn't even remember her, Spike would hold her as she sobbed out her anguish.
"Spike." came her soft query, drawing him out of his thoughts. Her crying had stopped for the moment.
"I can't do this anymore." she told him quietly. The dreams were affecting her in ways she couldn't explain, but that wasn't everything. She needed him. Needed Angelus. The hole in her heart had grown, encompassing her entire being. She felt alone and empty, missing her other half. Willow knew that if it weren't for Spike, she'd have gone mad long before now, but she also knew it wouldn't last. She would pray for each day to be over, so she could return to Spike's side, but even his presence was starting to lose it's effectiveness. She needed Angelus, and didn't care about the consequences.
"I want my Angelus back." she continued. They'd talked about it several times, but Willow had always been opposed to the idea of bringing Angelus back. She hadn't wanted to hurt Buffy by taking away the man she loved, even if they couldn't be together. Willow didn't care anymore. The need for her mate was too strong, and it overwhelmed everything else.
Sighing in relief, Spike gave in and smiled for the first time in days. He was tired of trying to be a substitute for his sire, tired of being unable to ease the torment of the slight girl in his arms. Tired of picking up the pieces, every time Angel regained his damn soul.
"Drusilla's in San Francisco. I'm sure she knows a way to remove a soul." he told her. "If I leave now, I can be there before sunrise." he continued.
"You're just looking for an excuse to go see her again, are you?" she said, smiling into his chest. No matter what Spike might say or do, he was still madly in love with the insane vampire.
"So! What if I am?!" he asked indignantly.
"Just making sure." she mumbled, the strain and sleeplessness of the past few weeks causing the red head to fall asleep again fairly quickly.
"I'll see you in day or two." he told her, moving the sleeping witch off his chest and under the covers. Bending down, he kissed her forehead gently before leaving the room.
He had a fair drive ahead of him, and wanted to get started.
Buffy made her way into the house, calling out to her friend as she walked around the main floor. She'd received a 2:00 am visit from Spike, which was the only reason she was there. He'd woken her up in the middle of the night, to ask her to look in on Willow while he went on a little trip. So, while Buffy couldn't understand why Willow was living with Spike, she wouldn't turn her back on her. Couldn't. Willow was her best friend. No matter what.
So here she was, walking around Spike and Willow's house, looking for her friend. Willow hadn't made it to classes that day, and Buffy had gotten worried, so she'd used the key Spike had given her to check on the red head.
Moving up the stairs, the blonde Slayer headed for the bedrooms. She'd been here before and knew where Willow slept. Opening the door, she stopped and gasped at what she saw.
On the bed was a sweat-soaked, flushed red head, the sheets kicked down to the end of the bed. Her crimson hair was plastered to her head, and her chest was rising and falling with her panting breaths. But what shocked and scared Buffy the most, were the faint bite marks along her throat, that were exposed by the low-cut tank top she wore to bed the night before.
Loudly cursing Spike and all vampires and demons, Buffy spun around and raced downstairs to call her Watcher.
Spike pulled into the driveway late that same night. He was tired and hungry, and worried about Willow. And by the looks of his travelling companion, so was Drusilla.
He'd arrived in San Francisco around dawn, and stayed in his car all day, waiting for sunset. He didn't want to leave Willow alone for too long, so he'd spent his time looking for Drusilla. Surprisingly, she'd been waiting for him, and didn't put up a fight. She'd said something about him smelling all ‘sweet and sticky' but that it was all right, because she was their new ‘mummy'. Spike didn't care. All he knew was that he had his Dark Princess back.
The whole way back, Drusilla kept rambling on about them being a family agian, and he knew she would accept Willow. Had already accepted her.
As he pulled the black DeSoto into the garage, he couldn't help but notice the lights on in the house, as well as the presence of the Slayer, some humans and his Poof of a sire. Sighing in resignation, he told Drusilla to go around the back, and up the stairs to the second floor. He didn't feel like explaining why the dark haired vampire was there, and since he owned the house, Drusilla didn't need an invitation. His Princess could sneak up to see the red head without their knowledge.
Stepping out of the car, he watched the slim form of his Princess as she disappeared into the dark, before making his way inside. He was worried about Willow, and knew the only reason they would all be there was if the Slayer had found something when she came to check up on the witch. Spike just hoped it wasn't too late.
Striding through the door, he didn't glance at the others, but made a bee-line for Angel. Not stopping or even pausing, his hand came up, punching Angel across the face, knocking him back a few paces. They'd discovered weeks ago that Spike couldn't harm any living creature, but unliving ones.... That was a whole new ball game.
Spike quickly made
it past all the shocked, angry and surprised people in the living room
and up the stairs before anyone gathered themselves together and raced
up after him. The Slayer and her friends arrived in time to see him lay
on the bed and gather the limp red head up in his arms. Gently waking her,
he did what had become second nature to him: holding her close to his chest,
while rubbing circles on her back and
making soothing sounds. Everyone was quite surprised to see Willow come out from her trance-like state. They'd been very worried when she wouldnt' wake up, and kept dreaming what they believed to be horrible dreams, if her thrashing and whimpering were any indication.
"Spike?" came Willow's soft whisper, as she was taken from her dreams. Dreams of Angelus and having him back. She could remember on after the other, all pilling on tope of each others, one dream starting right after another. She knew the dreams weren't real, but at least she wasn't overwhelmed by the sorrow and anguish she felt when awake. In her dreams, Willow almost felt complete again.
Reality came crashing back with consciousness, and sobs began to wrack her body. She was totally oblivious to the gawking observers who had piled into the room, racing after the blonde vampire. Willow was so consumed by her emptiness, that she didn't hear Spike's growl of "Get out!", or see him glare at each one of her friends, promising a slow and painful death if they didn't leave.
Angel was the last
to leave, barely able to take his eyes off the red head on the bed. When
he'd gotten Giles' call about Willow and Spike, something he couldn't explain
overcame him. Or rather, overcame his demon. It started rattling around
inside of him. Ever since The Day, as he called it, it had been getting
harder and harder to control it. He'd been fighting the pull to come back
to Sunnydale for almost a month
now. The glare he received from Spike, full of hatred and anger, finally drove him out of the room and downstairs with the rest of the group, where he tried to find out why seeing Spike hold Willow affected him so much.
Finally seeing Angel leave, Spike relaxed some, tightening his hold on the red head in his arms.
"Daddy's hurting the Little Tree." came Drusilla's sad comment from the shadows.
"Yes, luv. He is." replied Spike, running his hand over Willow's damp hair.
"Why?" came her confused question. The insane vampire crawled onto the large bed, laying down on the other side of Willow.
"He doesn't remember her, pet. She'd Angelus' mate, but his soul's blocking the memories." explained the blonde vampire.
"Bad Daddy." pouted the raven haired vampire.
"Drusilla?" queried Willow, turning her head and lifting red-rimmed eyes to the pale skinned figure next to her.
"Yes, Mummy. I'm here." she said softly, a cold hand brushing the hair away from Willow's flushed face.
"Bring him back." she said. "Make us a family."
A respectful and understanding nod was her only response, as the insane creature of the night accepted the request. She would do everything in her power to bring her Daddy back and make them into a family.
"What's going on?" asked Buffy as the group entered the living room after being banished from the bedroom by Spike. "What did he do to her?"
"She's been marked." said Angel, the last to enter. Everyone spun around at his comment, looking for an explanation. "Claimed as a mate by a vampire."
"What?!" cried out several shocked and angry voices.
"Why would Spike want to....to ‘claim' Willow?" asked a dense Xander, tightening his hold on his girlfriend's hand. The looks he received from the occupants of the room made him pause and think over his last statement. "Oh...Oh! Ewww!" he cried out as realization flooded his mind.
"It's not Spike." said Angel quietly.
"What do you mean? She'd been living here for the past month!" cried out the Slayer. Her best friend was in trouble and there wasn't a damn thing she could do to help - short of staking the blonde vamp.
"Willow's been mated, but not to Spike." explained the souled vampire. "The separation between her and her mate is the problem."
"So what you're saying, is that Willow is bonded to a vampire, who isn't around, and that is what is causing her...distress." clarified Giles slowly.
"That's what the Poof said." drawled Spike, striding into the room. He'd heard what Angel had told the group, and upon realizing the big secret was out, decided to drop another bomb on the pack.
Of course, he was going to have some fun, first. It was the least Angel deserved.
"Spike!" growled Angel, turning to his blonde childe. "Why did you let her get so bad?" he demanded. There were several roads he could have taken in regards to Willow's present situation, but doing nothing didn't seem like Spike's style.
"Let her!?" shouted Spike indignantly. "If it weren't for me, the little witch would be totally round the bend by now!"
"You could have done something to fix it!" growled the souled vampire.
"Like what?" Spike wanted to know, as both vampires became oblivious to the silent and shocked observers in the room with them. "I had 2 bloody options: kill the wanker that did this to her, or claim her myself. Well, the witch wouldn't let me kill him, and I'd be dust with either way, if I tried to claim her, wither from the Slayer or the bloody git who mated with her in the first place!"
A stunned silence met his outburst.
"Who?" asked Angel roughly. "Who claimed her? Why isn't he here?"
"Why do I get to play storyteller tonight?" muttered Spike under his non-existent breath, hating Angel more and more everyday. Sitting down in one of the plush chairs Willow had insisted they have, Spike waited until they all followed suit before beginning.
"Well, ladies and gents - and I do use the term loosely - here goes. Remember that little spell out fair hacker performed over a month ago?" he asked, a look of disgust overcoming his face as he, himself remembered with horror the effects of that spell. "Seems Red made some comment about getting her own vampire, as the Slayer seems to attract all sorts. Problem was, she named a specific vamp and got her wish!"
"Who?" chocked out Xander, terrified that his best friend was involved with a vampire.
"I'm getting to that, you twit!" snarled Spike. Out of everyone in the room - including Angel - he hated Xander the most. Though Anya wasn't all that bad, he amended.
"Anyways, this vamp comes, shags her senseless, claims he and them promptly forgets about her, leaving the little witch with only half of herself."
"How could one of us possibly forget claiming a mate?" asked Angel, horrified.
"You tell me, mate." said Spike in a hard voice, his own blue eyes borring into his sire's chocolate brown ones.
"You mean...Angel..." stammered the Slayer, the first to be able to form a coherent sentence out of the stunned group. Buffy couldn't understand why Angel would do something like that, let alone to her best friend, and then wipe the experience from his memory.
"Not Peaches, here, you twat!" growled Spike, barely glancing at the stunned blonde. "Angelus!"
"Oh dear lord." gasped Giles, sinking further into his chair as the situation made itself painfully clear in the Watcher's mind.
"The day I don't remember...." trailed off a horrified Angel. Raising his eyes, he met those of the person he'd inadvertently caused so much pain.
"That's right, Soulboy." announced Willow as she came into the room. She seemed almost normal, if you ignored the way-revealing clothing, and her hard, hate-filled eyes directed at the souled vampire. "Angelus came back here, claimed me and then left with the approaching sun. he would have stayed if he knew YOU weren't coming back. But you did. And he left, leaving me in torment."
The red head continued speaking as she closed in on the stunned vampire. "How does it feel, Angel?" she began to taunt him. "How does it feel to know that you did this to me? Not Angelus, but YOU! If you hadn't come back, we'd be together, and this last month of HELL wouldn't have happened?" Ending her tirade in a screaming voice, Willow's fragile hold on her emotions snapped, and she began to sob. Deep wracking sobs that made the tears she'd cried over Oz, pale in comparison.
Spike came up behind the red head, putting his arms around her and pulling the sobbing human against his chest, all the while glaring at his sire.
"Willow....I'm _so_ sorry." Not knowing where to begin, Angel stretched out a hand, barely brushing her shoulder.
"Sorry?!" snapped a furious Willow as she spun around, slapping Angel's hand out of the way. Her angry eyes glittered with rage. "I don't give a damn if you're ‘sorry'! I just want Angelus back!" she spat.
Advancing upon the dark vampire, his eyes full of sorrow and guilt, Willow gripped the back of his head with one hand, while the other dug into his shoulder. Bringing his head down, ear level with her mouth, she let loose a vicious snarl.
"If I don't have my mate back soon, I will personally tear your soul away form you; piece by piece; until you're begging me to release Angelus!" adding another growl and a lick to her low warning, Willow set the vampire free.
Angel, meanwhile, was stunned. This tiny red head was truly a match for Angelus. And the demon knew it. It was raging against the prison of his soul, roaring in triumph.
He knew what Willow meant, too. At any given moment, he could open the cage - let the demon out. His soul would be pushed to the back of his consciousness, locked in it's own prison. This one controlled by the demon.
"Willow-" began Xander, only to be interrupted by the red head.
"Get out!" she said harshly, not even looking at any of her friends, instead walking out of the room. "And I don't want to see any of you again until Angelus is back."
"He'll kill us all." stated Giles, shocked at Willow's lack of concern for her friends.
Stopping at the doorway, Willow spoke in a pained voice, never turning around.
"You think I don't know that?" she asked. "It's taken me over a month to get to this point. But right now I feel _so_ empty and lonely, that I don't care anymore. I need him."
With that, the red head left the room to join Dru upstairs, leaving Spike to throw the group out.
It had been days since the confrontation in the living room. Giles, Buffy and Xander had come by several times, trying to talk to Willow, only to be banned by Spike.
While the blonde vampire was guarding the house against unwanted Slayerettes, Willow and Dru searched for some way to rid Angel of his pesky soul. And they found it.
The spell made a person's deepest fantasy come true, and it was so real, that they wouldn't even realize it was a dream.
If Angel didn't achieve his moment of true happiness, then something was seriously wrong with him - or the spell just didn't work.
So Willow and Dru performed the it 2 days later. The energies couldn't have been more perfect. The moon was full and the brightest it had been in over 100 years. Add to that the fact that it was also the first day of the winter solstice, and you got some powerful energies at your fingertips.
Both were sure that
the spell had been cast properly, so all they had to do was wait for Angelus
to arrive. But as the days past, with no sign of her mate, Willow grew
more depressed, especially with the arrival of Christmas. (What no one
had ever realized about Willow, was that she loved Christmas. For the past
few years, she had put up a small tree in her room, being sure to hide
it from ALL visitors, as people would be
shocked to know that Willow Rosenberg was a closet Christmas junkie.) So the three of them decorated the house with lights and ribbons and other Christmas-y things. They even bought each other presents. Unbeknownst to Willow, Spike and Dru also bought presents for Angelus, positive he would show up in short order.
Christmas Eve was an ordeal for Willow. She put on a happy face, but it didn't quite reach her eyes. She missed her mate. Needed him. And he wasn't anyplace to be found. That night, she cried herself to sleep, as she had so many times in the past.
She was dreaming again. She had to be, because reality was never this delicious.
A mouth was moving over hers, evoking sensations she hadn't felt in awhile. A cold tongue penetrated past her warm lips, to sweep inside the hot cavern of her mouth, sending bolts of lust to certain areas of her body. Hands were moving all over her body, as iv reacquainting themselves with her form.
"Willow." whispered a deep voice in her ear, bringing her out of her deep and pleasant slumber. Opening her eyes slowly, she saw the last person she expected, yet he was the one she most craved.
Angelus. Her mate.
"A dream...." whispered Willow back, praying that this would be reality, and she wouldn't wake up to the hollow feeling in her heart.
"It's not a dream, Little One." he murmured, a small smirk curving his luscious lips.
"Really?" she asked, unable to keep the hope and joy from her voice. "You're really real?" She was _so_ going to do something nasty to someone, if this turned out to be a dream.
His slight chuckle
was her answer. "Merry Christmas, Red." he said in his deep voice, before
making sure she had better things to do with her mouth than answer back.