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Ma Chaton

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Summary: A response to Jinni's five song challenge- Asher is sent by the council to investigate reports of military activity near the Hellmouth

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anita Blake > Willow-Centered > Pairing: AsherdulcineaFR1855165,32913100122,6292 May 043 Sep 06Yes

Bad Boy - 3

~Hyperion Hotel, Monday, 12:50 am~

Willow sat on her bed, thinking over Asher’s little visit. He seemed as surprised by his actions as she was, but he also seemed like the kind of guy who planned everything, like Parker, only with centuries to perfect the act. Willow waffled from feeling sympathetic for Asher and his fall from grace, to being furious at herself for falling for his bad boy image. She had finally resolved to get over it and go to bed, when there was a knock on her door.

She got up and walked slowly over to the door, annoyed as the knocking continued even though anyone here could hear she was on her way. “‘Bout time, Red.” Spike pushed his way inside. “Where’s my stuff?”

“What?”

“My stuff. Surely a brain like you knows the definition of stuff.”

“I don’t have your stuff.” Willow glared at him.

“Yes, you do.”

“No, I don’t.”

“Yes, you do.”

“No, I don’t!”

“Yes, you do!”

“No, I… I’m not doing this. I am not going to fall for these juvenile arguments in your pathetic attempt to get attention from the only maternal figure present. It’s not my fault if your mother didn’t breastfeed you. Get over it.” Willow ranted then sighed again when she realized she sounded just like her mother. Turning away from Spike, Willow began angrily hobbling back to her bed.

“You got some serious problems, you know that?” Spike replied, shaking his head and chuckling.

“What?”

“Believe it or not, the world does not revolve around Freud or her father.” Spike smirked. “I was just referring to that bag. That damn Frenchie put all my stuff in the same duffel as your dirty clothes.”

“Oh.”

“That’s your big comeback? Oh? I’m disappointed, pet. You’re normally better than that.”

“Look Spike, what do you want from me?” Willow turned to face the annoying blonde.

“Just my stuff.” Spike shrugged, and walked further into the room, heading straight for the black duffel bag sitting on the bed. Stopping as he passed her, he took a big whiff. “Really, luv, you and Asher shagging already? I thought you’d have more sense. I mean, you do want Peaches to have his soul still; I’d hate to see him get all aroused from you vicariously. He’s always gettin’ so restless, you know.”

Willow’s mouth just opened and shut like a fish gasping for air. “If I were you pet, I’d take a shower and get that scent off you as soon as possible.” Spike added.

“He’s not that sensitive.” Willow looked unsure. “And don’t call me pet.”

“If I can smell it, he can smell it, and believe me, he is that sensitive. He’s not brooding because it’s fashionable; he’s broodin’ because he’s a sensitive pansy that can’t be around women without loosin’ it.” Spike answered picking up the duffel. He opened it and began going through the stuff, tossing what was hers on the bed. Zipping up the bag, he tossed it over the shoulder, and walked back to Willow grasping her chin in his hand. “I will call you ‘pet’, or whatever the hell I want to.” He met her eyes for every single word, before letting go.

“But only friends can use nicknames, and you’re not my friend.” Willow tried to apply the first logical argument that came to her mind.

“That’s hypocritical of you. After all, you don’t say a thing when Asher calls you his kitten.”

“That’s different.” Willow pouted.

“He’s a vampire, I’m a vampire. We are both calling you our pet, you silly chit. There is no difference.” Spike replied. “And take a shower, you stink.”

“I can’t. There are no towels, or pajamas, or soap.” Willow answered upset that Spike would put his finger on exactly the thought that had been troubling her earlier.

“Fine. I’ll be back.” Spike replied, storming out of the room and slamming the door. On his way down the hall he saw Asher and Angel deep in conversation in Asher’s room, but neither noticed him pass. Sneaking into Angel’s room, he raided it for some pajamas, towels, and boxers for the girl. Returning, he knocked once, then entered without waiting for her reply.

“Oh thanks.” Willow glanced up to see the stack of stuff Spike was leaving for her.

“Yeah, well, just remember, this is a limited time deal. Once I get my head fixed, I won’t be acting like your bellhop for nothing.”

“I know.” Willow frowned. “Hey Spike?”

“Yeah Red?”

“How old do you think Asher is?”

“How the hell should I know? Why didn’t you ask him during your truth or dare session earlier? I mean that would probably be a lot more informative then knowing he’s never tried chocolate.”

“You were listening to us?” Willow blushed.

“You were practically yelling in my ear, pet, what was I supposed to do?”

“Oh I don’t know. Maybe not fake sleeping!” Willow squealed.

“Look Red, I don’t give a damn that you’ve got an unrequited crush on the old watcher. It’s not my problem if you have a librarian fetish.”

“Spike! That’s private! And I do not have a crush on Giles!”

“Let’s see, what would your mother say? Denial is the first stage…”

“Keep it up mister, and I’m never going to find a way to get your head straight.”

“Try it and I’ll kill you.”

“Yeah, well, considering the number of times you’ve tried to kill Buffy, I guess that means I’m pretty safe.” Spike let out a growl, but Willow paid no attention. “Your threats obviously aren’t that effective. After all, weren’t you planning on threatening Dru back to your side? And we can both see how well that worked.”

Spike lunged for her, collapsing in pain on the way. His hands covered his head as he curled up into a fetal position.

“Oh god, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to.”

“I could kill you.” Spike ground out through his clenched teeth. He tried to straighten out, but his muscles were spasming too much. “No Dru. You promised.”

“I know. I’m sorry.” Willow knelt beside Spike, and held him as he shook as though he were epileptic.

“No Dru.” He cried.

“I know honey, I didn’t mean too.” Willow’s voice was soft, as she brushed his hair off his
forehead. It was only when her palm met the rippling ridges indicating Spike’s struggle not to change, that Willow noticed she had jumped into the mothering role yet again. Unfortunately, this wasn’t Xander and Spike would hardly be such a good patient.

“No Dru.” Spike sobbed.

“You’re right. I was wrong to say anything. You just riled me up so badly.”

“Supposed to… big bad.” He winced as he spoke, but Willow could tell his episode was calming down.

“I know, you’re the big bad. Boy, has this been a big mess.” Willow sighed.

“No fair.” Spike sniffed, wiping his tears away quickly.

“I know. Life isn’t fair.”

“I’m dead. Those rules aren’t supposed to apply.”

“Dead or not, Murphy’s law still works.” Willow admitted. “Man, that does suck. I wonder if it’s still like that when you go to heaven.”

“Why would you think there’s a heaven?” Spike muttered, rubbing his eyes as if it would relieve the headache.

“There has to be.” Willow replied. “I mean, Angel’s been to hell, and if there’s a hell, there’s got to be its opposite. There just has to, otherwise, there’s no point.”

“Hate to break it to you, but there’s no point.” Spike sat up on his own, trying to pull together his dignity a bit.

“There has to be. I mean, isn’t balance the key to everything?”

“Red, even if there is a heaven, you could do everything you think is right, and still never be let in. I mean, what if the Catholics were right? Then you’d be going to hell just because you were born a Rosenberg instead of a Kennedy. What if Allah is right? What if any religion is right? Then everyone else is damned to hell. What’s the point in that?”

“It doesn’t work that way. Maybe there’s a different heaven for every religion.”

“If everyone gets their own heaven, then there would be a heaven for vampires.” Spike looked at Willow skeptically.

“Okay, maybe there is a heaven for vampires, but only for good vampires.”

“What makes a good vampire?” Spike smirked, enjoying the trick question.

“Well, I think a good vampire would…” Willow bit her lip as she thought. “Well, Angel is a good vampire.”

“Oh really? Seems like a weak argument. The only vampire you name is the one example you have for knowing hell exists, because that’s where he went.”

“But that’s different; that’s because Angelus opened the portal. Angel wouldn’t have had to go to hell if it weren’t for Angelus. Angel has a soul.”

“Ah, but then he wouldn’t be going to the heaven for vampires. Vampires don’t have souls, and yet we have a heaven, by your rules, so there has to be some other sort of entrance criteria.”

“I still think Angel can go to heaven.”

“Why? Because he abandoned his family? Because he turned on his own kind and has been murdering us for years just to impress some chit that wasn’t even legal for him to date in 49 states? If he was human, you’d have locked him up by now, and that’s not even looking at what Angelus did.”

“Okay, fine, if Angel wouldn’t get into vampire heaven, who would?”

“I never said I believed in heaven.”

“No, but you’re an expert on vampires, you tell me. Have you met any good vampires?”

“Of course I have. I, for one, am a good vampire. And do you know why? Because I’ve mastered the art of being a very bad, bad, bad boy.” Spike burst into laughter at the angry scowl on Willow’s face. “Really pet, it’s only logical that the best vampire is the worst human, and if the best go to heaven…”

“Then your heaven would be hell.”

“Nah, if that were the case, Angelus would have had a ball when he was down there. Of course, I never really had the chance to ask him. Maybe he broods because he’s missing it.”

“Don’t say that. That’s horrible.” Willow frowned. “Nobody wants to spend time in hell.”

“That’s not true. If everyone hated hell, they’d work harder to change it. Obviously someone’s having a damn good time to work so hard to keep it that way.” Spike replied as if it really was an obvious conclusion. The two continued their semi-philosophical discussion for nearly two more hours before Willow finally gave in to yawns.

“Well pet, it’s late, I should probably get back to my room.”

“Yeah. I should go to sleep.”

“Don’t forget to take a shower first.”

Willow rolled her eyes. “What is with you vamps obsessing over getting into my shower?”

“I didn’t say I wanted to join you, unless you’re offering, of course.” Spike glanced over her. “Nah, not even.”

“Smart ass.” Willow swatted at his shoulder.

“And tight too, but then you’ll never get to find that out.”

“Go to bed.” Willow wearily got to her feet.

“I’m serious, luv, don’t let Asher’s scent stay on ya if you’re going to be around Angel. I don’t want to deal with the consequences. It’ll be nothin’ but trouble.”

“Fine.” Willow sighed.

“Good night, Red.”

“Good night, Spike.” Willow watched Spike walk out. Well that ranked as one of the weirdest conversations of her life. She had been expecting deep philosophical conversations about the meaning of life, the universe, and everything, when she had started college. She just hadn’t expected it to happen with a vampire who had taken her hostage. And who would have thought he’d be so smart? He must have read as many books as Giles, maybe more considering how much older he was. She was beginning to understand how such an obnoxious punk had managed to survive through nearly two centuries. Oh well, she shrugged, then grabbed her towels and headed for the shower.

~ Initiative Quarantine, Monday, 1:00 am~

“Buffy?” Riley watched the freshman curled up in the corner of their cell. She didn’t even lift her head. “Are you okay?”

“If I said no, would you leave me alone?” He barely heard her mumble through the veil of hair hiding her face.

“If it makes any difference, I’m sorry.” Riley shrugged, from where he sat against the opposite wall.

Buffy peeked her head up. Riley was afraid that she was going to start crying, but instead she burst into laughter. “You’re sorry? You’re sorry?! That’s rich.”

“It’s true.” Riley insisted

“I know.” Buffy answered, getting suddenly quiet.

“Is there anything I can do to make it better?”

“Can you get us out of here?”

“If I could, do you think we’d still be sitting here?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know anything about you.” Buffy answered honestly.

“Fine, ask me anything.”

“Aren’t you just going to say ‘It’s classified.’” Buffy pushed her hair back out of her eyes.

“Well, the way I see it, is this.” To Buffy’s perspective, it looked like Riley was just staring straight in front of him, but in fact he was talking directly to the location of one of the hidden cameras. “If my people were being honest with me, I would have been out of quarantine and back with my squad by now.”

“Not much of a quarantine if it doesn’t even go over night.” Buffy shrugged.

“Yeah, but I wasn’t bit. Standard ops are that exposure but no direct hits should just be six hours observation, and this isn’t the normal quarantine room.”

“So you were lying when you said we were just in quarantine and would be let out as soon as they knew we wouldn’t go fangy.”

“I wasn’t lying.”

“You were just what? Experimenting with the truth?”

“Look Buffy, I was brought in the same time as you, and my squad told me it was quarantine, but I’ve been in quarantine before, and this ain’t it.”

“So what you’re saying is that I’m really being held prisoner by the U.S. Army? Isn’t that against the law and stuff?”

“Well, as Forrest would say, it’s not a crime if you don’t get caught… and how did you know this was Army?”

“Oh please, like the Coast Guard would pull off an operation like this.” Buffy looked around. “You don’t believe that do you?”

“Believe what?”

“What Forrest says.” Buffy studied Riley carefully. Riley finally turned to face her.

“No, I don’t.” Riley took a deep breath. He stared at his hands, running his fingers over the calluses he’d gotten from years of helping his dad on the farm. “I like to think some things are just wrong whether you get caught or not. I like to think that all the bad guys will one day be caught. Heck, I even like to think that for every major creep out there, there’s a hero with superpowers that works for the good guys. Some days I even like to think that hero could be me. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?”

“No. It sort of makes sense.” Buffy offered a weak smile. “You might even be right.”
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