Price of Secrecy
Title: Price of Secrecy 1/?
Disclaimer: I own nothing, Joss owns all.
Summary: Willow meets Spike.
Rating: PG so far
Feedback: Any is great. This is my first fanfic, so I don't know whether its really worth continuing or not...
Authors note: In order to get this to fit within the Buffyverse and work with Willow and Spike, I had to tweak a few things. This starts DURING the first episode of season one- 'Welcome to the Hellmouth'. Consider it an alternative history. :-) I tried to incorporate
dialogue used in the episode to add to the idea that this is something that MIGHT have happened...
*The band is pretty good tonight.* Willow contemplated the band, over doing band things. She contemplated the dance floor where Xander was NOT doing Xander things. *I was SO sure he'd come...* She couldn't restrain a mournful sigh.
Spike also contemplated the band. He was considering strangling the guitarist with his guitar strings as an artistic statement between sets when he heard a soft sigh. Further down the bar a girl was
sitting trying not to look lost. Trying to be part of something she obviously didn't mesh with. She wasn't doing a very good job, poor chit. She looked like she was looking at something that wasn't quite there. Just like his Princess used to. Before Prague. Before she crumbled into dust.
A perky blonde wandered up to the forlorn redhead. "Hey!"
"Oh, hi!" Obviously they know each other. Good. *Last thing I need tonight is to watch some girl look lonely. I can do that myself.
"Oh, you're here with someone?" Now that's a question.
"No, I'm just here. I thought Xander was gonna show up." Ah. So thats the way it is... Spike turned away from the girls and ordered another tequila. Out of the corner of his perception he could hear
snippets of conversation between the two girls. The redhead was mooning over some young drip who obviously didn't know what was what. The blonde was giving the teenage dating pep-talk. Seize the day crap. Very Darla-esque. Dear old granny. The reason he had come to this little town. She had heard what the mob had done to Dru. Spike roused himself and watched the perky one bounce off. Likely off to find a nice shag. American tart. Some people had taste. Some
people waited for true love. Out of tequila. "Mate." Motion to glass. Now, yes, Some people waited for true love. Vampire.
Spike looked to his left and saw a vampire move in on some mortal. That girl. The one who obviously understood the pain of love. Didn't the little brat know that people who were moping over lost love should be left alone? The redhead was obviously trying to overcome her pain. He could respect that. The vampire screamed "fledgling" to him. ah. More than one way to find dear old gran.
As the vamp led the redhead out of the Bronze, Spike followed. When the barkeep made some comment about paying he let his true face show for a second. *Works every time.* Then he grabbed the tequila bottle as he left.
Spike strolled along the dark sidewalk, following Mr. Fledgling and his Redhead. Evidently it was Thomas the Fledgling. Thomas the un-master of conversation. If the girl wasn't obviously desolate over her young man she never would have fallen for it. *Somebody has to teach young vamps today how to talk...*
"Hey! Ever been in one of these?" Now thats dialogue Fledgling. Ask a mortal if they've been in a mausoleum. Brilliant.
"No. Thank you." Good manners. Sweet little thing.
"Come on. What are you afraid of?" Oh, now thats a new line, fledgling. Bloody idiot. Not even directions is worth watching him fudge this. If you're going to kill a lady, do it right. No sense of style.
The match striking startled both predator and prey, breaking the tension. The light briefly illuminated a cigarette and a lean figure in a black leather duster. Willow felt her heart stop briefly as tall blond man materialized out of the shadows like a dark knight in the nightmare of her latest dating fiasco.
Willow's eyes widened at the sight of the blonde stranger. She felt her eyes gravitate to him like a moth to a flame. She couldn't focus on him clearly in the moonlight, but he seemed sculpted of ivory and night. Magnetic. Her awareness of Thomas fell out of her thoughts. She didn't even see him move to push her.. or know he was doing it until she felt his hands on her shoulders. They didn't seem to stay there long...
As Spike lit his cigarette he smiled slowly. Now THAT was an entrance. Then he saw Thomas start to push his Redhead into the crypt. The cigarette dropped from his fingers and he moved before he even realized he was doing it. MINE. His fingers closed over the fledglings throat and shoved. Obligingly, Thomas jerked backward and satisfyingly hit the ground. His face nicely looked terrified as Spike growled at him.
Willow took a few steps back and gasped. The stranger had stepped in so suddenly. "Hello." She didn't know exactly what was going on, but her rescuer still looked rather tense. He was standing over
Thomas and the lines of his back looked ominous. Thomas looked terrified. He must be scared of him. I don't want him to get in trouble for me.... "He didn't hurt me. He might have wanted to... hurt me, or something, I'm not really sure about that. But he didn't. Hurt me, that is. I guess he did want to. Its almost flattering really. That he wanted... Not the way he wanted, but that he thought of me, that is..." Spike relaxed. She was fine. In shock, dazed, but fine. She also had NO idea of what had almost happened. He let his game face slip back into hiding and smiled at Thomas slowly. Dangerously. Then he stepped away and regarded the girl.
"Sorry Luv. I just have a low tolerance for blokes who don't respect women. Almost lost me temper, I did." Spike did his best charming Brit imitation. Well, he was a charming Brit. It was the charming, LIVING, part that was the trick to pull off. "Thank you for bringing me back to my senses. I don't know how I'd." Spike glanced at Thomas, "LIVE with myself if I had lost control of myself to my dark side." Spike straightened his duster and smiled warmly at Willow.
Easy, boy. Reassure the girl and GET OUT of the cemetery. "I insist on walking you home. You really should be more careful, you'd be surprised at how much trouble you can get into at night." He
paused and added, almost teasingly, "And not all of it fun either."
Well, it wasn't. Getting the stains out of silk and leather could be bloody annoying.
Willow let out the breath she hadn't realized she was holding. Harmless. Granted, in a dangerous, bad boy way, but nice. Not like Thomas. "What about him? He could tell people at school... that
I... that we..." She looked away from her stranger. She didn't want to look like an idiot, but what she had possibly escaped from was beginning to sink in. Guys didn't lure girls way out to the middle
of nowhere to do nice things. Her voice sunk so low as to be almost inaudible. For a human. "He scares me." Willow sunk down into a crouch and buried her head in her hands. Stop the shaking. Just
stop the shaking. Everything is ok.
"Scary." Thomas' mumbled comment didn't reach Willow, but the tone of triumph pissed Spike off. Bloody fledgling scared a girl. In his day that wasn't cause for celebration. That was cause for grief if
you couldn't do it. Damn idiot. Waste of space. Wonder what genius made YOU immortal. Hope we're not related. Spike reached down and hauled Thomas to his feet and propelled him away from the mausoleum.
Keeping one eye on the girl he pushed the fledgling toward a nice, skeletal looking tree. Gotta love landscaping. He wouldn't be able to share woes with the girl if she found about the whole demon thing. It was amazing how that changed attitudes. Remarkable really.
"You." Bloody twit. His voice was clear and carried over to where Willow was still huddled. Shove. "Have no respect for women." Or other people's plans. Shove. "You will say nothing to your friends about her." That should make her feel better. Shove. "I don't want you to even THINK about doing anything like this again." Not this badly, anyway. Shove. Willow moaned softly. He could hear her
talking to herself. Telling herself that it was ok. That it would be ok. Like Drusilla used to. His voice dropped so low Thomas could barely hear it. "Now you've pissed me off, mate. How very ... unfortunate for you." He impaled the fledgling on the branch. The soft poof of his disintegration was almost inaudible. Especially over Spike's voice. "And I don't want to see you around here again!"
Not that I will. Spike's smug feeling of victory faded when he glanced over to make sure that the Redhead had seen nothing. She hadn't, her head was still buried in her hands. She was shaking.
Taken alone, that was not a good thing. Combined with the tingling feeling at the back of his neck that meant another vampire's presence, a bad thing.
Spike strode over to the girl and knelt. Willow looked up at him and her teary eyes blinked shakily. "Is he gone?" Willow felt his hand gently run down her face. It seemed cold to her. Everything was cold. I'm in shock...
"He won't bother you again pet. We should get out of here. Can you walk?" His voice was so soft. So gentle. Like he understood.
Walk. Walking is good. Not graves is good. Willow staggered to her feet and tried to regain her composure. Then something moved in the mausoleum and the world went black.
Spike swept the girl into his arms and moved. He didn't know what prompted the faint, but his senses told him that there were other vampires around. Close. Powerful. Not tonight, mates. Tonight I
am in no mood to share.
Spike had a bad feeling about his situation. He had just dusted one of his own. Generally vampires didn't react well to that. He was surrounded by vampires. He could feel them. If he had the chance to explain, he could probably get off the hook, but vampires weren't known for long peaceful debates. It was part of what made them so much fun to hang with. Spike vaulted over a grave marker and trampled some rather morbid lilies. He heard something move to his left. Instantly he crouched, cradling the unconscious redhead in his arms. If he got out of this graveyard alive, or able to pass for it, he'd be lucky. A slow, dangerous smile crept over his face. Unlife
Rupert Giles strode into the emergency room of Sunnydale General. His slayer, Buffy Summers, turned away from the doctor she was speaking to and walked over. "Hello again."
"The vampire? Did you find the girl?" His urgent tone brought a look of sadness to the slayer's face. A sadness he did not want to know the reason for. Yet, he HAD to know. "Did she.."
"Lets walk." Buffy walked out of the hospital with a determined stride. Her face was resolute. The glib tone that had seemed so characteristic was gone. The two walked out into the small garden to
the left of the main entrance of the hospital. Buffy sat down on a park bench. "Xander was injured in the cemetery. We saw Jesse with a female vamp and went after them." She exhaled and slammed her fist into the park bench. Giles noted with fascination that it appeared to be damaged. He would have to check in the morning when the light
was better. "She had him completely enthralled. Under her spell. He was bleeding and didn't even seem to care." Buffy stood and paced back and forth under the park bench. "There were too many of them Giles. Jesse could barely move and Xander couldn't move him by
himself. Next thing I knew, they were attacking Xander and while I helped him they got to Jesse. Next thing I knew the blonde had him gone."
"Will Xander recover, Buffy?"
"He'll be fine. He hit is head on a grave marker trying to run away from the vamps. They're keeping him overnight under observation to make sure that he doesn't have a concussion."
"A head injury..." Giles mused, "We may be able to use that to our advantage..."
"USE THAT? Are you out of your mind?" The force of Buffy's earned the two a few odd glances.
"Very sorry. She's just a little stressed, I'm afraid." Giles called over to the attendant. "Accident, very stressful..." The attendant nodded and walked back into the hospital, relieved. He didn't like standing outside in Sunnydale. Gave him the creeps.
Giles turned to Buffy. "You know you can't just turn your back on your destiny Buffy. These events MUST have taught you that." Buffy nodded reluctantly. She didn't like to admit it, but the stuffy Brit
"The vampires seemed to think something big was coming... and there
was this other creepy guy. Gave me the wiggins. Don't like him at all." Buffy brought her hand up and rubbed her eyes.
"We can discuss this in the morning. Perhaps before school?" Buffy
gave Giles a disgusted look, then nodded. "As for what I was saying
about Xander," Buffy opened her mouth to speak and Giles shot her his best British librarian shush look, "let me finish please, Buffy. Xander should NOT have been there. IF he had NOT been there, you would not have had to divide your attention between him and Jesse. At the least, you might have saved Jesse. At best, you might have seen Willow, as you would not have had the added distraction. Am I right?"
Buffy said nothing, but she didn't need to. Giles almost relented at the look in her eyes, but reminded himself that this was not a sad little girl. This was the Chosen one. She who would stand ALONE
against the darkness. ALONE.
"If Xander is allowed to believe in vampires, it could be detrimental to his health. He may be moved to seek vengeance on his own," Buffy's face implied she could NOT picture that, "or he may be motivated to try to help you. It will be far safer for him if he comes to believe that what he saw was merely a result of a head injury and shadows in the graveyard at night."
"But Giles, he SAW!"
"Buffy, you would not believe what the inhabitants of Sunnydale seem to be able to overlook. With the added bonus of a head injury, we should be able to convince Xander nothing THAT unusual occurred."