One is the Loneliest Number.
"Oh sure, just take off and leave the rest of us for dead, jerk," the man in the red and blue spider theme costume muttered before freezing in place. "I'm...a clone," he said in shock. "I'm not really Peter Parker."
He coughed, jarring his ribs and hissing at the pain before finding the energy to push the steel beam off himself. "Joy, I'm a knock-off of a hero, not...really Peter..." his voice trailed off and he ignored the flames growing on the surrounding rubble. "I'm not Spiderman!"
He quickly made a web bandage for his ribs while scanning for survivors. "If anyone else is alive, speak now or forever hold your peace."
He sighed when no-one else spoke up, but considering the clones he could see were...Well, they could be used as spare parts he supposed.
Shuddering, he pushed away such morbid thoughts and concentrated on the one happy one, he wasn't Peter Parker!
Something nearby exploded, sending him to his knees.
"Huh," he asked dully, his spider sense buzzing like a Geiger counter at Chernobyl. Climbing to his feet, he looked around in confusion. Hadn't he just been in a lab?
"Xander!" the red-haired girl in vintage hooker wear yelled, stomping her feet.
"My name's not Xander," Peter said, deciding to keep using Peter as his first name and just change his last.
"Oh god, it got you too!" Willow yelled.
"What got me?" Peter asked, pausing to web a group of goblins to the ground.
"Ok, listen to me," the red-head pleaded. "You aren't Spiderman, you only dressed as him for Halloween, just like I dressed as a ghost."
Peter shivered as her hand passed through him. "That sounds completely insane." He looked around at the chaos surrounding them and webbed a bunch of creatures into place. "Which means it's probably true."
"Did you have to web her up?" Willow asked as Peter carried the cocooned Slayer over his shoulder.
"It was either that or knock her unconscious."
"Are you going to ask me why I webbed her up?" Peter asked as he set a second cocooned girl next to the first one on the sofa.
"Not really," Willow said with a shrug. "Cordelia has a sharp tongue and little restraint."
"Is that a nice way of saying ‘bitch’?"
"Yes," Willow admitted.
Willow returned finding dozens of people webbed into place in Buffy's front yard and half a dozen in her living-room. "Do you have some sort of fetish?"
"It was the easiest way to keep them quiet."
"That wasn't exactly a no," Angel muttered from the wall, but he quickly shut up when Peter raised his hand in a familiar gesture.
"Giles is on his way to Ethan's to break the spell," Willow said, trying to hide her blush.
"How will we know when the spell is broken?" Peter asked.
"We'll all return to normal," Willow guessed.
"Too bad, I kinda liked not having to worry about just being a clone of someone," Peter said with a sigh.
"Um, don't you have that backwards?" Angel asked.
"No, but that's a short story," Peter replied.
"Don't you mean a long story?" Willow asked.
"No, it's pretty short," Peter replied. "I just don't want to talk about it."
"Oh," Willow replied, and they settled into an easy silence.
"Tell me about Xander," Peter said curiously.
"He's annoying," Angel said.
"He's fun," Willow argued.
"He loves to annoy me," Angel admitted.
"He's my best friend, and has been since forever," Willow explained.
"Just a friend?" Peter asked, making Willow blush.
"He has a crush on Buffy," Angel growled out.
"Lady useless?" Peter asked in surprise.
"She's usually the Slayer," Angel said before giving the Slayer Speech to Peter.
"Sounds like a load of crap," Peter said bluntly. "Vampires are everywhere and you have only one Slayer. A properly trained and equipped military unit could do her job safer and more efficiently."
"Modern weapons don't work on vampires," Willow protested.
"Standard weapons are probably less effective," Peter agreed. "But, I'm pretty sure flame throwers would do the job well."
Peter wavered and fell to his knees as the spell ended and Willow vanished.
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Willow ripped the sheet off of herself and stuffed it into a trash can, enjoying the feel of air entering and exiting her lungs as she headed for Buffy's house. Just being alive was such a relief that she didn't care who saw her dressed this way, and it was only a matter of minutes before she reached Buffy's and banged her nose on the door. "Ow!"
The door opened and Xander pulled her inside, wrapping her into a hug. "I'm so glad you being a ghost was just temporary!"
"So am I," Willow murmured, just loud enough for Buffy and Angel to catch as Xander squeezed her and ran his hands up and down her back making sure she was ok.
"I'm glad you're here," Angel said, still mounted on the wall. "Please convince him to cut us loose."
"Xander, why haven't you freed Buffy, Angel, Cordelia, whoever Dracula there is, and the two hairy guys?" Willow said, reluctantly letting him go.
"Can't," Xander said, completely unconcerned with the death glares he was getting from Buffy and Cordelia. "The webbing dissolves on its own. I might be able to burn through it with a blowtorch or use a lot of oil and get it to slide off, but really, I'd suggest waiting."
"How long are we talking here?" Angel asked.
Xander scratched his chin. "Buffy should be free in about forty minutes, less if she doesn't mind shredding the dress. Cordelia and doggy have an hour left. Chewbacca and Drac got a couple hours to wait."
"And me," Angel asked.
"Fifteen minutes maybe," Xander shrugged. "Peter wasn't sure whether you were going to be a problem or a solution so you got a light amount."
"Don't thank me, I was pretty much just a passenger listening to Peter as he tried to deal with everything."
"Sooo, what now?" Willow asked.
Xander grabbed her hand. "We escape so no-one gets a chance to give into violent impulses towards the possessed person."
"I don't think they'd attack me, " Willow teased.
Xander picked her up bridal style. "I'm afraid we just can't take that chance."
Willow melted against him as he carried her off, strolling along like she weighed nothing. After a few blocks she had to ask, "Are you sure I'm not too heavy?"
"Wils, I could carry you like this to school and back daily," he promised.
"Well, if you think you're up to it," she joked.
"You are almost as light as a feather," he teased, "but Buffy will need to use a wheelbarrow to carry our books."
Willow giggled. Xander always tried to leave his books at school and tried to convince her to keep hers at home so they wouldn't have to lug the numerous advanced placement books they both used back and forth.
"I am as fresh as a daisy," Xander claimed. "I'm not even breathing hard, see?" he asked as he reached her front door and leaned down far enough for her to unlock it.
She moved as if to get down, but he quickly straightened up and opened the door with his foot. "We aren't at your room yet."
"You're going to carry me up the stairs after walking all that way? You're going to give yourself a hernia!"
"You'll check to make sure I haven't, right?" he asked as he carried her up the stairs.
"Sure," Willow said before turning bright red as she realized what she just agreed to. "Um...I'd h-have to..."
"I know," he assured her as her reached her room and he carried her inside and set her on the bed.
"W-What are you asking?" Willow stuttered as Xander knelt in front of her and held her hands.
"I am asking you to forgive me for being a blind idiot," he said, laying his head on her knees and placing her hands on his head.
"Blind idiot?" she asked, stroking his head.
"I do the Snoopy Dance because I have something very much in common with Charlie Brown," Xander said. "It was my way of saying it while trying to avoid having the football pulled out before I kicked it."
"I know," Willow whispered. "At least I'd hoped, but I wasn't completely sure with the way you were lusting after Buffy."
"Remember when Jessie and Amy dated?" he asked.
"Two weeks of enough sweetness to kill anyone with diabetic genes and then loathing and avoidance," Willow said with a sigh.
"I can't live without you Wil," Xander said hoarsely. "There have been days when the only reason I get out of bed is because I know I'll get to see you."
"You're not alone in that," Willow said, lifting his head up and pulling him to her.
"As for lusting after Buffy, she was a good distraction from you and frankly it takes a whole hell of a lot to pull my attention away from thinking of you."
"So, no more lusting after Buffy?" Willow asked hopefully.
"I'm a teenage boy, I lust," Xander admitted. "But I can safely say the majority of my lustful energies and all shared physical expressions will be limited to my little red-haired girl."
Willow grabbed the front of his shirt and was suddenly astride him with him flat on his back in her bed. "Say it."
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"Did you see her move?" Buffy asked Angel, wide-eyed.
"No," he whispered back.
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"I love you," Xander said. "I've loved you since the first moment I saw you. You were my first girlfriend, and I'd like you to be my last girlfriend. Will you go out with me?"
"I'm your only girlfriend," Willow said before her lips fell upon his.
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Angel passed Buffy a handkerchief.
"That was so sweet," she sniffed.
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"Did he have a bondage fetish?" Willow asked as she came up for air.
"Having spider powers gives one a healthy interest," Xander said. "For one thing, he always had silk ropes ready thanks to his powers and two, female spiders are known to eat the male after sex, so think of it as a safety precaution."
"It prevents Mrs. French incidents," Willow agreed.
"So, it's safe to say you have some interest?" Willow asked, leaning over him.
"Yep, I want to live!"
"We'd have to take turns," Willow said.
"Deal," Xander agreed, pulling her back down for a while.
Feeling like voyeurs Buffy and Angel decided to go patrol for a bit.
Willow and Xander rolled around on the bed a bit until Willow found herself on the bottom with her wrists webbed to the headboard.
"I believe I get to go first," Xander said as he began kissing his way down her body.
Willow decided that questions about the webbing could wait until later...Much later.AN: Typing by Lucilla!