Summary & Notes: Written for mommanerd. Her request - "Lover's Walk. Spike does more than sniff Willow." Hope you like it!
Thank you's to ck945us for all the brainstorming help and the idea for setting this at the end of the episode. And also, for great dialogue ideas. And to psubrat92 for the quicky beta and title help.
The cool evening breeze carried the scent of cut grass, ripe apples and things just ready for harvest. It swirled, unnoticed, around the two young women standing in the backyard of the homey, tudor-style house.
Buffy regarded her best friend with concern. "Are you sure you're okay, Willow? Is there anything you need before I go?"
Willow shook her head. "I'll be fine," she insisted. "Go do your patrol."
"Alright," she acquiesced with a nod. "Try not to dwell on it." Buffy reached out to squeeze her hand. "The time for groveling will come soon enough. Get some rest," she advised before heading down the alley.
Willow stood at the foot of the stairs and watched the Slayer's receding figure. She glanced up to her room and grimaced before turning her gaze back to her friend. After Buffy had completely vanished from view, Willow headed down the alley in the opposite direction. She wasn't quite ready to deal with the morass of regret and self-recrimination that faced her.
"Oh, Oz…" she whispered, slowly walking towards the gas station at the end of the block. She just wanted to *not* think about it for a little while. Maybe some chocolatey goodness in the form of Ben and Jerry's would help. Or at least distract her for a time.
Willow was half way across the parking lot when a large, black car screeched up to the pump, missing her by mere inches. She stumbled back, a jolt of fear sending her heart racing. When she finally managed to catch her breath, she glared at the offending car, and stomped over to give the driver a piece of her mind.
'You picked the wrong person to scare the daylights out of!' she thought as she reached the vehicle. The driver's door opened and she launched into a tirade.
"Hey! You… you stupid driver guy! What are you, drunk? You just about…hit… me…" She trailed off as a platinum head swiveled around to meet her gaze. The lanky body it was attached to emerged from the car, swathed in the trademark leather coat. Oh, poop!
Spike lounged back against the DeSoto and favoured her with a smirk. "Red. Fancy meetin' you here. None the worse for wear, I see."
"None the worse…?" She gaped at him, terror battling with outrage. "No thanks to you," she accused. "You just left us there!"
His lips quirked with amusement. "Well, yeah," he conceded. "But I did tell the Slayer where to find you. And you're all safe and sound now. You should be thanking me."
Her eyes widened comically. Thanking him? Incredulous was too mild a term. "You… you… oh! There isn't a word to describe what you are!"
"I think 'evil' works nicely, don't you?"
He was laughing at her.
Willow had never wanted to slap someone so badly in her life. Somewhere between her offended sensibilities and her overwhelming guilt, better judgment took a detour and her mouth ran away with her brain.
"Evil doesn't even begin to cover it!" she snapped, forgetting her fear as she stalked up to him. "You kidnap me and my best friend, you knock him out, you shove a broken bottle in my face, you threaten to rape me, you just leave us there and then - we kissed!" Her expression was a mix of longing, despair and guilt as she ranted at the vampire. "We kissed! Me and Xander, kissing, and that is so big on the wrongness scale I can't even begin to tell you how bad it is, and then we get caught! And now Cordy's in the hospital and Oz hates me, and I feel like the lowest pond scum on the planet and…" She stopped to draw a ragged breath, glaring at him. "It's ALL! YOUR! FAULT!" she proclaimed, poking him in the chest to accentuate each word.
"Ow!" He batted her hand away with a scowl, rubbing his chest. "Watch it, witchling, or I'll clip your fingernails down to the knuckle!" He cocked his head to the side as he contemplated her.
A cold tendril of dread crept up Willow's back is it occurred to her that perhaps yelling at a vampire while in a snit, with no stake, no weapons and no Slayer for back-up was not a really good plan for a long and healthy life.
"Errr… Uhm. Sorry about that…" Slowly, she edged away, trying to put some distance between them. In a flash, his hand shot out, grabbed her wrist, and yanked her up flush against him. Willow struggled to break free, desperately trying to pry his hand off her arm. His grip simply tightened, eliciting a gasp of pain as she redoubled her efforts.
Spike gave her a rough shake. "Quit squirming around!" he growled, and she froze, barley breathing. 'Death due to extreme stupidity,' she thought wildly. 'That's going to be my epitaph.' Her mind all but shut down when he brushed a finger up her cheek, tucking a stray wisp of hair behind her ear.
"Now, let me get this straight, pet," he said, his voice deceptively mild. "I left you an' droopy boy to your own devices whilst I went to fetch your shopping list. Had myself a spot o' violence, got one up on Peaches, decided that I could handle Dru myself - then, in a magnanimous gesture, I told the Slayer where to find you." He cocked an eyebrow, lowered his chin to stare her straight in the eye. "While I was gone, you and the whelp ended up snogging, got caught by your respective steadies, and somehow… this is *my* fault?"
'Ohmygod, this is it, I'm so dead!'
Willow squeezed her eyes shut and waited for the killing blow, the feel of sharps fangs in her neck. And waited. Then cracked an eye open to look over at Spike. And realized that he was actually waiting for a reply. Oh. Words. She tried to wrap her brain around the concept, but the wig factor made coming up with a response exceedingly difficult. The impatient sound as he cleared his throat expectantly startled her.
"Oh! Uhm…" she stammered. "Well, if, uhm… if you hadn't interrupted my de-lusting spell, Xander wouldn't have been attracted to me anymore. And then… well, none of this kissing badness would have happened. And there would have been no skewered Cordy and no unhappy boyfriend."
He looked at her askance.
"You're kidding, right?"
She started at him, nonplussed. "Uh… no. That's what I was doing when you walked into the lab."
He was smiling again, that cocky look, only… it was different somehow. Wilder. More dangerous. "That's not what I meant, luv."
She blinked. "I don't understand."
The grip on her wrist relaxed. His fingers began to draw little circles on the sensitive skin over her pulse point, then trailed down over the skin of her palm. She drew a shaky breath at the sensations the simple touch elicited. Bad, dangerous ones. Feelings that Xander's kiss had evoked, the kind she should only be feeling with Oz. Willow heard someone whimper and realized it was her.
Spike trailed a finger down the slope of her nose, over her lips and finally hooked in under her chin, lifting her face towards his. He leaned in close, his cool, dry lips grazing her ear.
"I really don't think that a de-lusting spell would have been much use against your natural charms."
Her head spun as she tried to comprehend what was happening. There was a vampire about two inches from her throat and he was *not* biting her. And telling her things. Things that sounded a lot like… flirting? And, oh my god, he was *sniffing* her again!
"Hey! I thought I said none of that!" She tried for assured and confident, but all that came out was shaky and weak.
He ignored her this time, turning to pin her against the car. A very noticeable bulge pressing into her stomach wiping away any doubt she might have had about what he had in mind. He reached up, tangled a hand in her hair, and pulled her head back to expose her throat. Her heart hammered in her chest as she felt his tongue skate a path up her neck, tracing the artery where it pulsed just beneath the surface.
"Spike… please…" she began. He emitted a throaty chuckle, vibrations tickling her skin.
"Two of my favorite words, pet, especially when used in sequence."
She tried again. "Don't you have a girlfriend to track down?"
He pulled back, frowning "Yeah." He gave her a calculating look. "You tryin' to use guilt on me, Red?"
She bit her lip. "Would it work?"
The cocky smirk was back. "Not bloody likely." He surprised her by releasing her hair with a sigh. "Unfortunately, Dru would be most annoyed if I showed up with a playmate in tow. It'd be hard to convince her I really wanted her back."
"Huh?" He couldn't have meant what she thought.
He could see her confusion, and shook his head. "You really *don't* see it, do you?" He was playing with her hair again, toying with the ends, wrapping it around his fingers. "You thought I was going to drain you, didn't you?"
She nodded mutely.
He chuckled. "No, pet, I don't think so. I'd love to have a taste - I think I might just do that if I ever come back into town." He shushed her automatic protest. "Not tonight though, luv. You are far too interesting to drain and drop. No, *you* I would turn. I think you would make an amazing vampire. I'd like to sink more than just my teeth into you, but…" he shook his head with regret. "It simply isn't a good time."
She sagged back in relief. He wasn't going to kill her. Then she looked up at him sharply. "Turn me? I don't want to be a vampire!"
"Well, isn't it *your* lucky day, then?" he drawled.
"So, you… you're letting me go?"
He stepped back, freeing her completely. "Guess I am. Consider it payment for services rendered."
She darted away a few steps, then looked back over her shoulder at him, confused. "But I didn't do anything for you."
His tongue skimmed over his teeth in a disturbingly sexy way. Gave her a lascivious wink. "I dunno 'bout that. But, you can count it as owing me one if that makes you feel any better."
She was about to leave when he spoke again.
"Oh, and Red?"
She eyed him warily. "Yes?"
"Dog boy's a fool if he lets you get away. Even if you did kiss the whelp. Not like the boy could help himself. "
Willow stared for a moment more, then turned to make her way back home. Chocolatey goodness could wait for another time.
She ran through the alleyway towards the safety of her own room, her skin still tingling from the touch of Spike's lips. As she climbed the stairs, she could feel the weight of the guilt from earlier settling back in on her. She stepped through the sliding glass door, closed it behind her, and then pulled the curtain before preparing for bed.
Willow had enough on her mind without worrying about the disturbingly sexy vampire as well. She settled down on the floor, back against the wall, and wrapped her arms around her knees. Though her concerns over Oz and Xander occupied the largest part of her thoughts, there was a small part of her mind toying with Spike's promise. She hoped that he never came back.
And she was just going to keep telling herself that until she really believed it.