CHAPTER 10 - REUNION
Spike lay curled up in the deserted barn, the green strips of lights of the binding spell still wrapped round his body. Spike knew the strips of lights were not actually necessary. The spell would have had the same effect without them. They were just an illusion to make the spell look more impressive. A visual effect. And Willow above all spell casters he had known, loved these special effects, and spent hours perfecting them.
He inspected his surroundings. He remembered this barn. It used to be ones of his lairs a few weeks back, before Willow found it and wiped out the band of vampires he led at the time. But history did not interest Spike that much at that moment. What interested Spike more was the barn's location. For Spike knew well that it was outside the Mystic Void. And that meant only one thing. Willow was invincible here. His fate was all but sealed.
Vamp Cindy was also curled up in a corner. She also had strips of lights wrapped round her, but hers were a light shade of pink. Nice and pretty for a girl. But unlike Spike, Cindy wasn't conscious. She was in a deep sleep, her vamp face looking calm and peaceful.
Spike knew why Willow had left him awake, and not Cindy. Leaving Spike awake to ponder his fate was a form of torture. And it was working, because Spike had a lot to ponder. He knew Willow would want revenge for what he had done to Tara all these years before. And he knew what Willow could do to him.
In the days after Tara's death, twelve years before, Willow had become a homicidal maniac. But unlike in Spike's dream, she did not try to destroy the world. Instead, she vented her anger on the demon population, ferociously hunting down and slaughtering any demon that she could find.
With demons she was ruthless. But for vampires, a simple dusting was often not enough. She sometimes cast that damned Seeping spell. This caused a vamp to be immobilised and to slowly dribble away, until only the naked demon soul was left without any physical shell. This helpless blob of hovering black light, which Willow represented in her spell with an ugly demon face, would then burn in a supernatural holy fire for a few minutes until the soul was completely incinerated. The whole processes could take up to an hour, and was pure agony for the helpless vampire.
Spike believed that an agonising death surely awaited him. He knew there was no chance of escape or rescue. After all these years, Willow would get her revenge.
When Willow entered the barn, she was wearing one of those long flowing red dresses that she often favoured, complementing her long straight red hair.
"Release!" She said firmly and the lights binding spike disappeared. Spike knew she didn't need to say anything to release the binding spell. It was all part of Willows magic show.
Spike slowly got up and brushed himself down. Willow stood in front of him smiling sweetly, just like she used to do in the old days when she chatted with Buffy.
"Hello, Willow." Said Spike cordially. "Haven't seen you for ages. How've you been?"
"Ok, fine." Answered Willow, as if she was speaking to a long lost friend. "It's wonderful to see you again, Spike."
Towering above her, he looked down her slim wispy form. She looked so fragile, so weak. He felt he could break her like a match stick.
"Are you not afraid to be alone with the Big Bad?" Asked Spike.
Willow stepped forward still smiling. She patted down the lapel of Spike's leather jacket as if she was a sister doting on her brother.
"Oh, Spikey, Spikey, Spikey. You are a silly little bunny." She giggled gaily, speaking in one of those cute little voices she liked so much. "You know fine well you can't harm me. I could dust you in the blink of an eye."
Spike knew that was no exaggeration. Willow could literally dust Spike in the blink of an eye. In fact, she didn't even need to blink. Willow may look fragile, but she was not weak. Many a mighty vampire and demon had been lured into a false sense of security by Willow's air of vulnerability, only to be annihilated by her invincible power.
"So why don't you?" Murmured Spike nervously. "You've been desperate to kill me since Tara passed away."
"You mean since you ripped her throat out." Sneered Willow, her eyes turning black for a moment and a tinge of anger entering her voice.
Spike couldn't help taking a step back, realising he had awakened the demon slaying witch within her. The witch whose wrath had sent countless demons and vampires screaming in agony to their doom.
But Willow's eyes returned to normal colour and she smiled sweetly to him again. It appeared she wasn't going to kill. At least not yet.
"Because I need your help Spike." She answered.
"And why would you need my… help?" Asked spike after a moment's hesitation. The whole thing sounded very ominous. He was certain giving his help would not be a voluntary act on his part.
Willow stepped away from him and paced round the room. She looked at Cindy and then she looked at him.
"There are two ways you will redeem yourself, Spike." She said firmly. Now she was no longer speaking as the sweet Willow of old or the vengeful witch. Now she was speaking in the authoritative tone of the Mayor of Sunnydale. As the wily politician and the leader of men.
"And what would that be?" Asked Spike, gulping. He was sure he was not going to like the answer.
"I have located D'Hoffryn's lair." She replied matter of factly, as if she was talking about Sunnydale's annual budget. "I intend to eliminate the demon threat once and for all. But for that, there is a little amulet I require. D'Hoffryn has it in his possession. And I'm going to take it from him."
Spike stared at her incredulously. He couldn't believe what she was saying.
"You must be off your trolley." He said. "D'Hoffryn's lair is protected by the vengeance demons and hordes of lesser demons."
"Then I will have to kill them all." Replied Willow gaily. But Spike could see she was not joking.
"But you'll never get in." Said Spike. Even your magic cannot open his lair."
"Oh, but it can." Said Willow confidently. "But only with your help, Spike. You see, I have found the lock. And you are the key."
"Me? The key?" Blustered Spike's. He did not like the sound of that at all. He remembered all too well Dawn's terrifying experience with Glory in the days before Buffy died. Spike knew all too well that being the key to a dimensional portal was a very precarious and deadly position to be in.
"And that brings me to the second reason why I need your help." Said Willow, looking at the sleeping vamp Cindy. "You are right, about the hordes of demons."
Willow turned back to face Spike again, smiling sweetly again.
"You have done me a great favour bringing me to Seattle." She continued. "I will need an army to confront D'Hoffryn's demon hordes. And the superhuman transgenics are just perfect for the task."
Willows turned her gaze back to Spike and a mystical breeze entered the barn, blowing Willow's long red hair in all directions.
"But I will need to persuade them to join me." Willow said, now speaking in a deeper, more menacing tone.
A thin strip of blue light appeared and began to rapidly twist its way round Spikes body. Spike arched his back in pain and fell to his knees. The same blue thread of light steered its way to Cindy and started wrapping itself round her body, binding the two vampires together.
"Max is their natural leader. If I am to convince her to lead her fellow transgenic against D'Hoffryn, I will need to earn her trust and gratitude. I will have to do her a favour." Willow's eyes went jet black. "And that means de-vamping her friend Cindy."
Spike heard himself scream in pain as Cindy's vampire spirit was slowly ripped from her body. He was about to find out that the de-vamping process would be long and painful for both sire and vampire.
The agonising cries of Spike's and Cindy's tortured demon souls were carried on the gentle evening breeze. But in the surrounding wilderness, there was no one to hear them scream.