Spike sat there holding the young woman in his arms, wishing that there was something he could do to take away her pain. But all he could do was sit there as she stood, picked up her sword and left the bedroom.
Emotions tumbled through him, ones he hadn't felt since Drusilla left him. Anger. Sadness. Love. **Love?** he thought, pulling his legs to the bed and wrapping his arms around them. **Infatuation, maybe. But love?**
He sat like that for over an hour, thinking and waiting. Eventually, he heard the door to the basement open and close, then the front door. With a sigh, he laid back on the bed and tried to get some sleep.
The first thought Spike had when he awoke from a fitful day's rest was **Why?** He swung his legs out of bed and stood, grabbed his robe and headed for the shower.
"Why did she bring that bloke here? She could have fought him wherever she found him," he said to himself, as the warm water cascaded down his form.
The thought ate at him as he dressed and went in search of the Immortal. He found her in the back yard, preparing the dead body for disposal. He immediately went to help her. They brought the bag around front and dumped it in his trunk. "I'll just take care of this, then we need to talk," he said. Will didn't answer, as usual.
He dumped the body on the outskirts of town near the old mansion. By the time the pitiful excuse for a police force in Sunnydale found it, most of the corpse would be rotted away by the animals and elements. Spike drove slowly back to the ranch house, window open, cigarette in hand. As he passed the cemetery, he saw the current Slayer fighting a newly risen vampire. She was no where near as good as Buffy had been.
Shaking out of his reverie, he pulled into the garage. He saw the other motorbike parked in a corner and wonder what she was going to do with it. "I'm back," he said upon entering the house. Will was seated at the kitchen table, staring out the window. She didn't acknowledge that she'd heard him, or that he was even in the room.
Spike shed his favorite coat and hung it over the back of the chair, then sat down across from the redhead. "Will?" He waited until she turned to him to continue. "I have a question, and I would like to know the answer."
Will barely nodded, her eyes a passionless green.
"Why did you bring that Immortal here to fight?" he asked her. "You could have fought him wherever."
She returned her gaze to the window, staring out into the dark backyard. Spike tried to be patient, but the fact that he'd nearly lost her that morning got to him. "Will you bloody talk to me already!" he exclaimed. He shoved his chair back noisily and stood. "I've been here for months now and I've never once hurt you in any way. And I'm not about to start now. But I need you to bloody talk to me, to let me know if I'm doing right or not."
His tirade over, he sank back into the chair and joined her in staring out the window. "I'm sorry, Will. That was rude of me. It's just..." He stopped when he realized he could see her reflection in the window pane and not his own. With a purposeful sigh, he rose. "I hate to see you hurting, especially after I've seen you smile at me."
He left her sitting in the kitchen, her expressionless face mocking him from the reflection in the window.
The hoarse question startled Spike out of his brooding in the library. He was sitting in the chair under the window, pretending to read one of Will's many volumes, an unlit cigarette hanging from his lips. He knew instinctively what the young hacker was asking.
"At first it was curiosity, then maybe a bit of infatuation and obsession. But ever since the day you smiled at me when I fixed up this library..." He smiled himself at the memory. "I like you, Will. A lot. I haven't felt this way about anyone since Dru."
Will nodded at his response, looking at him as if he were a bug under a microscope. He shifted nervously at her stare, then busied himself with finding a bookmark and setting the tome he was not reading on the small table next to the chair.
"I...," she said, then frowned. Spike would have held his breath if he could. She swallowed and tried again. "I wanted you to be there if I lost my head."
"So you could bury me with my friends, like I should have been long ago," she answered with a rough voice.
"If you hadn't of come home, I would have gone looking," he told her honestly. "And I would have continued looking until the day I turned to dust."
For the first time since he'd met her, Will began to cry.
Spike practically leapt across the room to take the redhead in his arms. He held her close to him as she sobbed into his shirt. "Let it all out," he crooned, stroking her back. "I'm here for you and I'm not going anywhere."
They stood like that for a long time, the soulless demon giving comfort to a woman whose soul had been torn from her the day she first died. And little by little, both of their souls came back to them that night.
Spike stood and hurried to Will's bedroom. Since the night that the young Immortal finally released the pent up emotions with her tears, she'd been having nightmares. And each night, he would take her in his arms and hold her until the fear subsided and she drifted off into sleep once again.
He'd only gotten burned one time as he held her. Her bedroom was on the east side of the house and he'd stayed too long holding her, as the sunlight flooded into the room and hit the bed. But he would gladly smolder in pain if it reduced that of the redhead in his arms.
"It's ok, Will," Spike said, climbing in the bed next to the young woman. "I'm here. I've got you." She cried in his embrace, as she always did, and he rocked soothingly from side-to-side until she fell back to sleep.
"Oh, Will, what am I going to do with you?" he whispered aloud. He kissed the top of her head, a ritual he'd adopted with each nightmare. "How can I make your nightmares go away?"
Spike crept down the basement stairs, careful not to make any noise. He made his way into the second half of the large room and opened the cabinet on his right. He shuddered at the sight of all the guns, but continued with his task. Pulling the little knobs, the second set of doors opened to reveal Will's sword and knife collection.
With tender care, he removed her favorite sword. Laying it gently on the workbench, he closed the double cabinet doors. Humming tunelessly, he wrapped the blade in a cloth and made his way back upstairs. Checking to be sure Will was still asleep, he left a quick note and stepped out into the night.
He had wanted to do something special for the redhead for several weeks now, more than just organizing the library. He'd finally came up with a plan and set it in motion. Tonight, he'd planned to meet the Immortal who trained her, Duncan MacLeod.
Pulling his black car into the lot of the all-night diner, Spike stubbed out his cigarette and walked inside. The vampire was ever-grateful for public buildings. His blue eyes roamed over the occupants of the restaurant. A few truckers, some teens or college students and a lone man sitting in the back booth.
Spike made his way over to the man. "Duncan MacLeod?"
The dark-haired man nodded. "You must be Spike," Duncan said. He gestured for the vampire to take a seat. Spike noticed that the Immortal had long hair pulled back with a leather band and was wearing a light-colored trenchcoat, similar to his own leather duster.
"That's right, mate," Spike said. He set his bundle on the table near the window. Duncan looked questioningly at it, but didn't ask. Spike signaled the waitress and ordered a coffee.
"So, what can I do for you?" Duncan asked with a slight Scottish accent after the waitress had left. "I admit I was intrigued when you said you were a friend of Will's. How long have you known her?"
"I knew her when she was still in high school," Spike answered. "Then I met up with her again about two years ago. We've been buddy-buddy ever since."
Duncan nodded and took a sip of his own coffee. "Is she still not speaking?"
"Yeah. It's a bloody pain in the arse," Spike said, then shrugged. "I managed to get a few words out of her, but they were all about death." He smirked. "Not that I don't like a spot of violence."
"Really?" Duncan said, clearly intrigued. "What did she tell you?"
"Don't you have a Watcher on her?" Spike asked.
Duncan blinked in surprise. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Oh, come off it, mate," Spike said. "I know all about the bleedin' Watchers, the ones for Immortals and Slayers."
"You know, 'the one girl in all the world chosen to fight the vampires, blah, blah, blah,'" Spike replied. "Don't tell me you've never heard of them."
"No, sorry, can't say that I have," Duncan said.
"You've been around what? 450 years?" Spike asked. "And never once have you run into a Slayer."
Duncan arched his eyebrow. "And how do you know how old I am? You're not an Immortal."
"So sure of that are you?" Spike grinned sardonically.
Duncan narrowed his eyes at Spike's relaxed posture and youthful looks. "If you were an Immortal, I would have sensed your coming."
"There's more than one type of immortality, mate," Spike said. He dug out a cigarette and lit it. Inhaling deeply, he gestured to the window. Duncan turned his head and looked at the reflection. He could see himself and the rest of the diner, but no Spike. Spike chuckled and the smoke billowed in the reflection, as if coming from the Invisible Man.
"Should I be worried?" Duncan asked at last, turning away from the window and looking at the vampire before him.
"Nope," Spike answered. "Wouldn't do any good. I couldn't kill you if I wanted to. I have a thing about takin' blokes heads. Although it would be fun to try."
"Well, that's a relief. I think," Duncan replied. "How old are you?"
"220 give or take a few years," Spike responded. "I don't remember my date of birth." He grinned. "Or death. As to how I knew your age, our little redhead is quite the hacker."
"I told Joe it was a mistake to have the chronicles computerized," Duncan swore.
"I'm glad for it. That's how she found you to train," Spike said. "She wouldn't have lasted long in the state she was in without you, that's why I got in contact. She trusts you. And some Immortal woman named Amanda."
"Amanda?" Duncan said with a smile. "Now that's an Immortal you should tell Will to stay clear of."
"She's a thief. A con," Duncan answered. "And a bit reckless. Always getting into trouble."
"Sounds like a girl after my own heart," Spike replied. "I guess they chat over the Internet regularly, which is strange considering Will doesn't like to talk. I wonder if she told Amanda what happened..."
"What happened?" Duncan asked. "You mean, how she became an Immortal?"
"Yeah," Spike said. He finished the cigarette and put it out, then shuddered, thinking about the story. "Not a pretty story."
"I don't think I want to know," Duncan said. He got another refill on the coffee, then got down to business. "So, how can I help you Spike?"
Spike patted the bundle on the table. "This here's her sword. I wondered if you could find one in similar weight and balance, but more...I don't know. Fancy."
Duncan nodded and pulled the bundle onto his lap. He unwrapped it and examined the blade under the table. "I think I might be able to find something."
"Good," Spike said. "Though I can't let you have it, seein' as she carries it with her everywhere."
"Like Immortals do," Duncan said, rewrapping the blade and putting it back on the table. "Is there a way I can get in touch with you?"
"Here's my e-mail address," Spike said, handing him a slip of paper. "Also my phone number and address. Will never answers the phone."
"You live with Will?" Duncan asked, amused with the fact the vampire had an e-mail address.
"Yeah," Spike said. He smiled fully for the first time that night. "She asked me to."
"I see how it is," Duncan responded. He chuckled at Spike's glare. "I'll get right on this and maybe talk to Amanda. Maybe arrange a visit with all of us."
"I bet Will would like that," Spike said. He reached into his pocket and left some money for the coffee. "I have to get going. Sunrise in a couple hours."
Duncan smiled. "That must be a pain."
"You have no clue," Spike answered. He took the wrapped sword, gave Duncan a jaunty salute and left.
Duncan sat a little longer before taking out a cell phone and dialing a familiar number.
"Hi, Dawson. It's Duncan."
"Mac! What can I do you for?" Joe Dawson asked his Immortal friend.
"Do you guys have someone on a little redhead named Willow Rosenberg? I trained her in 2002, remember?"
"Sure, I remember. I'll check and see who's assigned to her. Any particular reason you're asking?" the old guitarist asked.
"You'd never believe me if I told you," Duncan responded.
Spike was giving Will a massage and she was enjoying it thoroughly. They were in the basement and he was sitting on the end of the bench press with her on the floor in front of him. He watched her face in the mirror. Her eyes were closed, but her mouth was tilted in a slight smile.
She'd been smiling a lot, lately. He remembered when it started. He'd stayed home instead of accompanying her to Club 911 and tried to make a meal for her. Tried being the operative word.
In reality, Spike made a mess.
But that didn't matter to the young woman who'd returned to find a swearing vampire, a dirty kitchen and covered dishes on the table. Will actually squealed like a stuck pig and threw her arms around him, getting herself as messy as he was.
Spike had been so surprised by her response, he stood dumbfounded for a moment before wrapping his arms around her and laughing in pure delight. That was two months ago and she'd been smiling ever since.
It was mid-morning and Will had just finished her workout when he joined the hacker in the basement. He immediately sat down and gestured for her to sit, then started massaging her shoulders.
"Like that, pet?" Spike asked.
Will nodded in response and wiggled her shoulders.
"I have a surprise for you," he said in a sing-song voice.
Her eyes shot open and she looked at the mirror. He could swear she was looking directly into his eyes, even though that would be impossible, considering he wasn't reflective.
"I take it you're interested." Spike chuckled when she nodded enthusiastically. "I need you to get cleaned up, then cover the living room window, ok, luv?"
She gave him a quizzical look with her eyes, then nodded again. She stood and kissed his cheek, then ran up the stairs.
Will had been doing that a lot, too. She kissed his cheek when she was happy, even if her face didn't reflect it. Once, she'd even kissed him on the lips.
Spike had thought he would spontaneously combust when her warm lips pressed against his cold ones. They had been sitting in the library, Will on the footrest in front of him, and he was brushing her hair. It was a very intimate, very loving gesture on his part and when he finished, she'd kissed him, then scurried out of the room.
He had sat in that chair, stunned, until the sun forced him to move.
Grinning to himself at the memories, he went upstairs to get ready for the surprise.
The doorbell rang and Will looked up in surprise. Spike chuckled from his seat by the computer, away from the covered window and motioned for her to answer. "Go ahead, luv. That would be your surprise."
She cocked her head at him, then stood and went to the door. She looked through the peephole, then threw the door open with another squeal of delight. She hugged the woman standing in the doorway, then the man behind her before ushering them into the darkened living room.
Spike stood and greeted the guests. "'Allo, Duncan," he said, shaking the Immortal's hand. "And you must be Amanda."
"In the flesh," Amanda said, looking around the living room curiously. Her short, peroxide-blond hair was a match to Spike's and the vampire couldn't help but chuckle at the similarity. "This is my friend, Nick Wolfe."
"Charmed," Nick said. The ex-cop, with medium length dark hair and piercing eyes, looked over Spike and Will with experience. "So, which one of you is the Immortal?"
Amanda scoffed at his rudeness. "You'll have to excuse Nick. When his own mortality is threatened, he tends to be verbal."
"Thanks, Amanda," Nick said. "You're too kind."
"Well, I do try," Amanda said with an innocent look. She turned to Will and looked the young Immortal over. "I love that outfit," she complemented. Will was wearing the dark brown body suit and matching boots. She left off the plastic racing pads in exchange for a thin, gold chain belt.
Will ducked her head and blushed. She gestured for everyone to take a seat, then went into the kitchen for drinks.
"I didn't catch your name," Amanda said to the vampire. She crossed one long leg over the other and looked at him with interest.
"Spike," he answered.
"Spike? What sort of name is that?" Amanda asked.
"Amanda," both Duncan and Nick said at the same time.
"Actually, my real name is William," Spike told her. "But I've gone by Spike for a good hundred years now."
"Great, I hope Will is as young as she looks, or I'm going to kill myself," Nick said, eyeing Spike.
"She's only in her late thirties, early forties," Spike supplied.
Nick groaned. "Amanda, why do you insist on introducing me to people who don't look a day over 20?"
"Because I love you, dear," Amanda patted the fifty year old's knee affectionately. Nick did not look a day over 30, so Amanda was not concerned.
Will re-entered the living room with a tray of drinks. Duncan stood and took them from her. He set the tray on the coffee table as she went and perched on Spike's knee, which surprised everyone in the room, especially Spike.
"So, how do you like your surprise, pet?" Spike asked the redhead. She turned and smiled brightly at him, bouncing slightly on his knees. He winked at her, then continued the conversation with their guests. "How was the trip down?"
"Uneventful," Duncan answered. "Other than the fact I had to stop Amanda from making off with this one lady's necklace."
"Oh, stop," Amanda chided. "I did nothing of the sort."
"Keep telling me that, and the day you hit your second millennia, I may believe you," Duncan said.
"Not to be rude," Spike started to say. "Well, actually, I don't care if I'm rude or not. How old are you?"
"Let's just say I've been around for a very long time," Amanda told him.
Will leaned back and whispered in Spike's ear. His eyes widened and he looked at Amanda. "You are definitely well preserved."
The others in the room laughed at his statement and he decided to change the subject. "Duncan, do you have it?"
Duncan nodded and retrieved a package from next to his chair. He stood and gave it to Will. "This is for you," he said.
Spike reached behind him and grabbed a card off the desk, then put it in front of Will. She took the card from his hand and opened it, scanning its words quickly.
Will turned and smiled at Spike, then proceeded to open the package. Nestled inside was a brand new short sword with a beautiful design etched into the blade. She squealed again, taking the blade out of the box and examining it.
She stood, empty box falling to the floor, and kissed Spike full on the lips. Hard.
Leaving a dazed vampire, Will hugged Duncan as well, realizing it was he that procured the sword for Spike. Amanda and Nick gave each other a knowing look at the young redhead's kiss.
"Why don't we go outside and try it out?" Duncan suggested. "Amanda?"
"Why not? I haven't been in a good fight lately," Amanda said.
Will bounced on her toes, then gestured for them to follow her into the backyard. Spike chuckled at her enthusiasm.
Nick stopped at the doorway to the kitchen and looked back at him. "Are you coming to watch?"
"Can't, mate," Spike said. "I burn too easily. But you go on."
Nick gave him a puzzled glance, then went to join the group outside.
Spike sighed happily and stood. He picked up the empty box and card, then set them on the computer table. He could hear the clanging of swords from the backyard and moved to the hallway so he could watch.
Will beamed as she sparred with the other Immortals. Spike could hardly believe that this was the same woman whose expressionless face haunted him for months.
She was finally healing, and it was all because of a vampire who defied his own nature.