Thanks to my beta, cerdd_gwen
Summary: Takes place during Smashed. Remember how Willow leaves Amy alone for a bit while she goes to the Magic Box? Yeah, yeah, I know ... believe it or not Spike and Buffy weren't the only characters in that episode. I know! I was shocked too!
She’s sitting in Buffy’s house on the couch. Watching TV. It’s confusing, head-spinning. Three years. She’s lost them, but from the sounds of it, she didn’t miss much except getting eaten.
Amy studies Willow, who looks a little nervous, a little unsure. She can’t muster up any sympathy, though. Being a rat sucked ass—dealing with me should be a walk in the park.
“I’ve got to the Magic Box for a meeting.”
Amy stretches, and is disconcerted to find that her spine isn’t as flexible as she’s used to it being. “The Magic Box? A Wicca meeting?”
“No, a Scooby meeting,” Willow says and then realizes. “Oh, wait—you wouldn’t know—Giles bought the Magic Box!”
“Mr. Giles the librarian?”
Willow’s nose wrinkles and she makes a flustered gesture. “Um, I won’t be long. Will you be okay here by yourself?”
Amy glances around the living room. “Yeah, I’ll be fine. I’d like a shower if that’s all right?”
Thrilled to be able to help, Willow takes her upstairs and practically throws towels into Amy’s hands. She shows her where everything is, then with palpable relief, hurries out into the night.
The shower is the thing that puts Amy over the edge, forces the issue, makes her fully come to grips with what’s happened to her. She lets the water course over her body, feels its tingle on every inch of her naked skin, and it’s frightening how strange it is to reclaim something she didn’t even know was gone. She understands for the first time since awakening from her spell that she’s been away for a long, long time.
Thank God she doesn’t remember the details of the past few years. But there are other types of memory than mental, and while Amy-the-Girl might not recollect Amy-the-Rat, her body does.
She steps from the shower, dripping, and focuses on the towel hanging from the doorknob. She tries to call it to her; nothing happens, but she can feel a weak thrum through her nerve endings, a breachable wall in her mind. The power is still there, just lethargic from disuse.
She really hates this helplessness. Three years of it. It’s eating her up inside.
Angrily, Amy storms back to the bedroom. She’d like to take Buffy’s clothes, but nothing will fit. Instead she has to make do with some of Willow’s fluff. Nice to see something has stayed the same—Willow’s fashion taste still leaves a lot to be desired.
Yes, Willow. Who’d have thought she’d end up as little Willow Rosenberg’s pet? That’s another whole realm of weird.
And whose fault is it that Amy just spent three years with fur?
Hmmm. Oh, wait. Could it be … Buffy?
If Buffy hadn’t stirred up all that trouble about those stupid dead children—if Buffy had never come to town—
Props to Buffy for killing her mother, but really though? Amy could have handled that herself. She had friends. Powerful friends.
Friends she really needs to see. Right now.
Amy practically runs down Revello Drive, putting as much distance between herself and Willow’s bedroom as she can. In fact—
She glances over her shoulder and whispers. There’s blinding light in her head and it’s a struggle, but a few moments later the rat cage falls from the sky behind her, crashing down onto the ground behind her in a mangled mess of metal and plastic. She gives it a good whack.
Sometimes not even magic can beat the tactile pleasure of kicking the shit out of something.
It’s a relief to know she’s still got it, but that took way too much out of her, and restless doesn’t even begin to describe how she’s feeling. She needs juice and she needs fun. There’s only person who can give her both.
She’s down the third alley when she hears a noise behind her. Whirling in surprise, she sees a blond in a black leather coat. And wow, is this guy hot. Skin so smooth and pale and perfect she wants to lick it.
A scar on his eyebrow. A wicked mouth.
Yummy. Amy wants. Too bad she doesn’t have the power yet to take. It’s then, when she opens the channels inside herself just enough to see if maybe she does, that she senses something about his aura. Something’s familiar, but she’s still not there yet; she’s not in total control, can’t figure it out, so she settles for the old-fashioned approach.
He looks disgusted, angry, perturbed. Not pleased to see her. “What is it with you bitches? Yes, I know I’m not the Big Bad. You don’t need to sodding rub it in.”
Amy crosses her arms. “Not having a good night, huh? I’m having the best night I’ve had in a while.” She smiles invitingly. “Wanna share mine?”
“Oh, that’s sweet,” he says mockingly. “She’s offering to share.” He gives her a once-over that leaves colour staining her cheeks. He smirks. “Think I’ll pass, luv, if it’s all the same. Bit too twitchy for my tastes.”
“Twitchy?” She laughs nervously and tosses her hair. “Why would I twitch? It’s not like I’m a rat or something.”
There’s a looong silence. “Right.” The man turns to go. “Be seeing you, then. Stay out of deserted alleyways in the meantime.” He glances over his shoulder, the streetlight catching silver highlights in his hair. He radiates menace. “Rats are the least of the dark and dangerous.”
Mmmm. And there it is. That hint of familiar transforming into something more tangible. Buffy. The guy practically reeks of Buffy Summers.
“You a friend of Buffy’s?” she asks casually.
He turns in an instant, moves close to her so quickly she blinks. “You know her?” He can’t hide his sudden interest, his attention. It crackles over her new skin and causes her nipples to harden instinctively.
Sexy sexy sexy and Buffy’s to boot. Oh, she could learn to like him. Very much.
She licks her lips. “She gave me a message to give to you.”
The guy’s face is like an open book. She can read the wary hope, and suddenly, Amy’s uncomfortable. Hope. Not something she does. Better to make things happen.
Like now. Amy grabs the guy by the back of his neck and slams her body into his. He goes to push her away, but then he cries out in pain and holds the side of his head. She doesn’t know what his problem is, and doesn’t care. Amy presses her lips to his. She works her tongue, sliding it into his mouth, wriggling her breasts against his solid chest.
The guy’s going to get free, he’s stronger; that is, until she senses the presence of what she’s been searching for. She reaches, and draws from the power he gives her.
She lets the magic curl around her mind, lets it flow out through her fingertips, breathes it into him, binding him to her body so he can’t break her hold. She kisses him until she’s good and ready to stop.
Then she flings him from her, so he stands gasping against the wall, staring wildly. “Another bloody witch, yeah, stickin’ her spells where they don’t belong. You stupid bint,” the guy growls. “The Slayer will—”
Amy yawns and wipes his memory with a flick of her wrist. Now who’s helpless?
She stumbles over the hidden threshold, into the little antechamber. The door to the inner rooms is closed, but Amy just walks straight over and opens it. Rack is reclining on a sofa, and doesn’t even look up when she enters.
“Thanks for the loan,” she says. “I’m not quite back to full strength yet.”
It’s only when she crosses to him and crouches by his side that he looks into her face for the first time in three years.
“Oh, little Amy,” he says, his eyes closing as he breathes in the smell of her hair. “You smell so good. Like strawberries.” Rack leans in closer, until he’s whispering against her lips. “Where have you been?”