Part Nine of my Spike/Willow fic 'Angel of the Morning'. AU after 'Dead Things'; by now we're up to 'Normal Again'.
Previous parts here:
Part One / Part Two / Part Three / Part Four / Part Five / Part Six / Part Seven / Part Eight
Angel of the Morning
The Glark Guhl Kashma’nik demon lashed out at Tara and the chains whirred in a deadly arc towards her head. I tried to summon up the spell I’d used to slow down Glory, this was the sort of situation where magic was of the good, and I tried to get to Tara, and I was starting to scream at the same time, and I was too slow and it was going to be too late and Tara was going to die.
Then Spike’s hand shot out and caught the chains and stopped them short.
Tara was already trying to dodge the blow. She threw herself sideways, tripped, and fell and hit her head on the wall. She sprawled on the ground and lay still. I went to help her, but the demon bared its teeth and I hesitated, ‘cause I’d have to pass within range of its feet. “Move the demon, Spike,” I said. “I have to see to Tara.”
Spike didn’t move. “The verisimilitude of my creations is quite remarkable,” he said, still in that more Gilesy than Giles voice. When he’d reached out and saved Tara I’d thought that had meant that he was back to normal; but no, looked as if he was still crazy Victorian William. Bummer. “Yet it perturbs me greatly that they still persist in my waking world. Begone, phantoms! You imperil my release from this grim institution. Return to the world of dreams from whence you came, and bedevil me no more.”
The demon froze absolutely still. Spike glanced at it briefly and then released his grip on the chains. I sucked in my breath and started running through the sticky air spell in my mind, but the demon didn’t move. “William! Spike!” I called urgently. “Snap out of it. You can hear me, right? Come on, Spike, wake up. This isn’t the nineteenth century, you’re not in Bedlam or wherever, California two thousand and two here.”
“The embodiment of the macabre bends to my conscious will,” Spike mused, “and yet the representation of the romantic principle resists. Begone, enchanting creature of my mind, tempt me no longer.”
I got the warm fuzzies at that ‘enchanting creature’, only this really wasn’t the right time. I could see that Tara was breathing, so maybe no mad rush to get to her, but fairly soon would be of the good, only I couldn’t be sure what would happen if I tried to get past the demon. It was as motionless as a statue, but I didn’t know if it would stay that way. Funny thing, now it was keeping still it really did look like a waxwork. Not like a real creature at all. All part of its strategy, I guess, ‘cause Spike wasn’t paying it any attention at all and he was going to get caught out. “Don’t turn your back on the demon,” I warned him, and then, ‘cause I couldn’t let it pass even with the bad timing, “Enchanting creature? Really?”
“One of my finest creations, I feel. I wonder, did I perhaps take my inspiration from Rebecca in ‘Ivanhoe’?” He put his hand to his chin and looked thoughtful. “I remember my dissatisfaction with the ending, for the beautiful and spirited Jewess was a far better match for the brave Sir Wilfred than was the meek and dull Rowena, however fair the Saxon maiden might be. Was that why I decided that Willow should be no longer a tribade but should replace the fair Buffy as the hero’s lover?” He stroked his chin with his thumb and forefinger. “Buffy! Whatever was I thinking? Ah, yes, from Boadicea, or more correctly Boudicca, warrior queen of the Iceni. A most clumsy contraction, I fear, and likely to inspire inappropriate laughter from my readers. I must decide upon a more appropriate name before I submit the story for publication. Bertha, perhaps?”
Tara stirred slightly. It looked as if she was starting to come round, and that was of the good. I could devote my whole attention to Spike, or William, or whoever. “You think you dreamed up everything? We’re all just characters in a story in your head? Hey, ego much? What kind of genius do you think you are?”
Spike smiled and took his hand away from his chin. He ran his fingers through his hair and then took hold of the lapel of his coat and stood up very straight. “Truly, I amaze even myself,” he said, and it was pretty obvious that he was feeling pretty proud of himself. “Such beauty, such tragedy, such far-flung flights of Gothic fantasy and scientific speculation. What great things the human imagination can produce if freed from the mundane necessities of life! It almost makes my six years of incarceration in this asylum seem worthwhile. Yet now I weary of such things, and desire nothing more than to obtain my release and to return home to my dear mother. I must put aside my fantasies, and devote myself to the labour of transcribing them into manuscript form.” He sucked in his lips briefly. “I must purchase a new reservoir pen at the earliest opportunity. Doctor Rayner’s new Waterman’s Patent Model appears greatly superior to my own. A whole year without leaks, he tells me! No more shall I be plagued by ink leaking from the reservoir and staining my fingers or my pockets.”
“Huh? You think you dreamed up the whole Twentieth Century, with rockets and planes and, hey, landing on the Moon, and you’re excited about a fountain pen that doesn’t leak?”
“Flights of fancy are one thing, but practical solutions to real problems are quite another. You cannot conceive of the frustration that I felt when the whole of my first ode to Cecily was ruined by a leaky pen!”
I rolled my eyes at him. William was kind of cute, yeah, but he was a pain in the ass too. I wanted Spike back. Maybe I could snap him out of it if I could make him realize that we couldn’t just be a fantasy. “Look, Spike, you dumbass, I’m not a delusion. I’m real. Otherwise, how come you’re talking to me, huh?”
“A habit that I must break, lest my release be postponed,” Spike said.
Tara’s eyes blinked a couple of times and her hands moved. The demon’s eyes turned to her. It remained totally motionless but it was watching for a chance to do something. I guessed that if Spike turned his back on it he’d get his head bashed with those chains.
“Spike, you’re being a jerk and an egomaniac,” I told him. “You really think that you dreamed up everything after eighteen-eighty? Reliable fountain pens, biros, marker pens, inkjet printers, photocopiers? Jet planes, rockets to the moon?”
“Ah, yes, a far more elegant and logical mechanism than the giant cannon of which Monsieur Verne wrote,” Spike smiled. “The accelerations within the barrel of the cannon would have been far too severe for any human to endure, despite the hydraulic machinery Verne postulated as a means with which to absorb the shock. Hale’s rockets, such as were used in the campaigns in Zululand, accelerate from their troughs far more smoothly. I see no reason why a gigantic version of such artillery should not be eminently capable of a flight to the Moon. The projectile could carry more rockets to launch it once more from the lunar surface, and therefore the explorers would be able to return to the Earth; unlike Verne’s lunar expedition, who would have been trapped upon the moon in perpetuity had their trajectory not been fortuitously deflected.”
Okay, nice job of rationalising there. Jules Verne had given him all the ammo for that one. “Well, what about all the rest of Twentieth Century history, then? The Depression, the World Wars, the Cold War, Reagan, Watergate, the Bomb, the whole works? You thought up all this future history?” Spike was just nodding gently to himself, with this little proud smile. “Uh, okay, been done, Isaac Asimov and Olaf Stapledon, yeah, and Harry Turtledove with the whole alternate history thing, and –” An idea struck me. “Hey, if you dreamed up the whole Twentieth Century, then that includes all the music and the books and the movies too. The Beatles and the Ramones and the Sex Pistols and Sinatra. And you made up Hemingway, and Dashiell Hammett, and, hey, ‘The Lord of the Rings’, and ‘Brotherhood of the Wolf’, and ‘Casablanca’, and ‘The Seven Samurai’, and ‘The Italian Job’, and ‘Star Wars’.”
Spike was still all with the smiles and the nods. “The human imagination knows no bounds,” he muttered. He was all super proud, looked like he was all ready to start signing autographs as soon as he got one of those Waterman reservoir pens. My plan wasn’t working. Only, ‘Star Wars’ had given me an idea.
“Well, think of this then, Spike. If you created ‘Star Wars’, then you created ‘The Phantom Menace’. Jar Jar Binks is your fault!” His smile wavered. “And hey, ‘Plan Nine from Outer Space’! And ‘Ishtar’, and, and, ‘Dungeons and Dragons’! And ‘Battlefield Earth’! Yeah, you try and be proud of that, buster!”
“But …” Spike faltered. He was looking pretty crestfallen now. The demon’s face was twitching, didn’t know what it was planning, but I guessed that it could tell that I was getting somewhere and that it was getting worried.
“Let’s take another look at the music, Spike,” I said. “So, okay, you wrote ‘Pet Sematary’ and ‘Pretty Vacant’, but hey, that means you wrote ‘Achy Breaky Heart’. And that ‘Topographic Oceans’ record Giles has that you were dissing the other day. And the Teletubbies! ‘Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa Laa, Po!’ All yours, Spike! Come on, are you saying you made up Barney the Purple Dinosaur?”
The demon lost control and started to laugh. A weird snuffly sound but it was laughing. Spike’s face was all crumpled and then suddenly he smiled. “Bloody hell!” he said, and I knew he was back to himself. “Willow, you’re a sodding marvel.” He laughed, and I laughed too, and the demon laughed, and Tara sat up and stared with wide eyes as if she thought we’d all gone mad.
- - - - -
“Dear lord! I trust that you’re okay now?” Giles sounded as if he really meant it, which was nice.
“Suppose so,” Spike said. “Can’t be sure, though, can I? Really believed all that guff I was spouting before. How do I know I’m not still absolutely round the bloody twist and just thinking that I’m back to normal?”
“Ah, quite,” Giles said. He took his right earlobe between thumb and forefinger, twisted it back and forward, and then let go. It looked as if he’d found a new displacement activity to make up for not having glasses to polish any more. “I can only suggest that you act as if what you see is real. Otherwise we are getting rather into ‘Chuang Tzu dreaming he’s a butterfly’ territory, and there are just too many wheels within wheels in that scenario. One can hardly act on the assumption that everything one sees and hears is an illusion, after all.”
Spike batted his left hand across in front of his chest a couple of times, like he was hitting something invisible. Tara laughed, and then Giles laughed, and then the Glark Guhl Kashma’nik demon made that funny sort of wheezing snuffling sound, but I was a bit slow. “What are you all …?” I began, and then I caught on. The sound of one hand clapping. “D’oh!” I said. “Guess I’d better stick to the motorcycle maintenance, huh?” That got me laughs all round, even from the demon, and so I’d pretty much redeemed myself for the whoosh over my head moment.
“Spike’s okay,” Tara assured Giles. “We made up the stuff and made him drink. He’s cured.”
“Better be sodding cured,” Spike muttered. “Stuff tasted like horse piss.” He glanced at the demon. “No offence meant, mate.”
Giles raised an eyebrow at Spike’s apology to our prisoner but made no comment on that score. “Your familiarity with the taste of horse urine intrigues me, Spike,” he remarked instead. “Might there be a story behind that?” There was a twinkle in his eye. He was teasing Spike the way that friends do, yay! I got the warmest fuzzy that you could possibly get from hearing your, like, mentor ask your boyfriend how come he knew what horse piss tasted like.
“Dru and her sodding dolls’ tea parties,” Spike replied. “Wasn’t even the worst stuff I had to drink to keep on the daft bint’s good side.”
That was the cue for a big “ewww!” from me and a “yeuch!” from Tara, and a ”Dear me!” from Giles. Only then Spike grinned, he was winding us up, and so we laughed again. Not the demon this time, it just looked kinda puzzled. Maybe it liked horse piss. Oh, that reminded me.
“Uh, you want something to drink, mister demon?” I offered. We’d worked out that it understood English just fine, but it couldn’t speak a word that we could understand or even pronounce. Guess its voice box was the wrong shape, or the wrong place in its throat, or something. Duh, how would I understand what it wanted? That turned out to be not so difficult. The demon stuck out its little finger and raised an imaginary cup to its lips. “Guess you want tea, huh?” Well, either tea or horse piss in a doll’s tea cup. The demon nodded.
“I’ll make it,” Spike volunteered. “Wouldn’t do to leave it to the Yanks, would it?”
“Quite so,” Giles agreed.
“Hey, jest who are y'all callin’ a damn Yankee?” Tara objected, like about fifty times more Southern than she sounded normally.
“Sorry, Glinda love,” Spike said. “Didn’t mean it that way, y’know?”
“I assure you, Tara, my dear,” Giles began, and then Tara couldn’t keep her face straight any more.
So there was more laughing, and Spike made tea, and hey, we were having a pretty good time considering that a couple of hours ago Spike had been all looney tunes and the demon had been big with the wanting to bash us with the chains.
“So, what on Earth are we to do with you?” Giles said to the demon. Good question, ‘cause, hey, we could hardly kill the, uh, guy now we’d been laughing with him and drinking tea. Giles could be all big with the ruthlessness but I was pretty sure that killing somebody you’d drank tea with, no, ‘taken tea with’, would be all dead against some code of being English. “We can hardly just let you go; but killing a prisoner in cold blood would be extremely bad form.”
Yup, like I thought. That sorta reminded me of something else. “Uh, sorry about hurting you getting the stuff out of your hands,” I said, and Tara murmured agreement. “Wasn’t like we were trying to cause you pain, you know? We just needed to get the antidote so that we could cure Spike. And, hey, don’t know what anesthetics work on you, and not like you could tell us.”
The demon wagged his hand at me. I think he was saying ‘don’t worry about it’; hope so, anyway. He grunted at Giles, but I had no clue what he meant.
“Ah, can you speak any human language?” Giles asked. “Can you write?”
It held up its hand. It was more of a paw; opposable thumb, not so much. Maybe about chimp level. Okay for making with the club, but pretty much useless with a reservoir pen. Suddenly this thought popped into my head; ‘Reservoir Pens’. ‘Let’s go to write’. I snickered to myself, got a hard stare from the demon, and realized that it must have thought I was laughing at its paw. That would be rude, and so I hurried to explain what I’d really thought, and it made that snuffly wheezy laugh again. This demon was pretty up on movies. Like Clem, who’d told me that he’d come to Earth mainly for the TV shows; and also something about cats, but I tried not to think about that bit. “Hey, maybe Clem could translate,” I suggested.
“Far as I know Clem only speaks his own language and three human ones,” Spike said. “Speak Fyarl, mate?”
The demon shook its head.
“Flash cards of some kind,” Giles mused.
“Charades,” Tara suggested.
“Unnh,” the demon grunted. It stood up, bent its knees very low, shuffled forward a little, and stuck out an arm with one finger pointing forwards. “Uhnnnnh urrrmmm,” it sorta moaned. “Eehhh nneeeeh uhnnnh urrmm.”
“Second word, four syllables?” I wondered. The demon shook its head.
“Whole thing?” said Tara. “Is it a movie?” She got a nod.
“One, two, one two three four,” Spike muttered. “That movie about Little Richard, nah, I mean Jerry Lee Lewis? With Dennis Quaid?”
The demon gave him an eye roll that would have done credit to Buffy.
“Ah, ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’?” Giles offered.
It shook its head and went through the routine again. Something about what it was doing rang bells with me. D’oh! “Phone home!” I cried. “E.T. phone home!”
The demon flashed pointy teeth at me, stood up straight, and nodded.
“He, uh, or she, wants to go home,” Tara beamed. “We just need to call its friends and they’ll come and pick it up.”
“I’m not sure that would be advisable,” Giles cautioned, and hey, he had a point. Like the other demons would have, with all sorts of badness in them. Really wasn’t looking forward to being Crazy Willow. “There must be some other option.”
The demon crouched again and tucked its right arm flat against its chest. It saluted with its left hand, and then marched up and down the room with its knees bent. “Looks like sodding Napoleon,” Spike muttered. The demon stood up and nodded. Spike frowned. “What the bloody hell’s that supposed to mean? Not tonight, Josephine? Able was I ere I saw Elba?”
“Exile!” Giles exclaimed. “We can send him into exile! That is, banish him from this dimension, and therefore send him home.”
The demon mimed puffing on something in its mouth and then handed the invisible something to Giles. “Give the bloke a cigar,” Spike said. “We’ve got it at last.”
- - - - -
The banishing spell wasn’t all that complicated. Tara did it, and I helped her with the ritual, and Giles helped out too. Spike went and hid down in the basement, guess he might have been a bit scared about getting banished too, and I was a bit fidgety, but everything worked out just fine.
There was even time for me and Tara to go to class in the afternoon. Spike was stuck in the house, he wasn’t feeling up to making a run for the sewers under a blanket, and Giles stayed with him. Not so long back I would have been all worried that I’d get back and find that Spike was all dusty, but I was pretty happy about it this time. Tara and I walked to class together, talking all the way, and we were both comfortable with it. Maybe we could be just good friends, even after everything there’d been between us both good and bad, and hey, that would be better than I could have thought possible.
When I came back after class Dawn and Buffy were both home. Giles and Spike were sitting talking, and still pretty big with the friendship, and even when Giles said ‘you really can be extremely annoying, Spike’ it was in that sort of resigned voice that he used when Xander was being a clown at the wrong time, not like when he would complain about Spike before. We all had a meal together, and Dawnie was all happy that Spike was fixed, and hey, even Buffy was being friendly to me and polite to Spike, and I started thinking that this was all pretty darn good and something was bound to go wrong soon and spoil everything.
Spike was pretty tired, ‘cause he’d been up most of the night and all day, and I wasn’t exactly bouncing around myself ‘cause hey, I’d crashed out on the couch for a while and that was all, and so we said we’d have an early night. We went back to Spike’s crypt together, and I took my toothbrush and clean underwear and everything, and this was me going to spend the night with Spike and everybody knew that it was what we were planning, and we got a pouty look from Buffy, and that was it. No other badness. I made with the leathers and the helmet, and got on the bike behind Spike, and we went home. Maybe not our home yet, but it was sort of getting there.
Only, when we got there Spike wasn’t feeling like making with the Willow-ravishing. We sat down and we talked for a while. He was feeling pretty down about what he’d remembered when he’d been all crazy William and right afterwards. See, William was never really crazy. His mom was ill, tuberculosis, and when Drusilla had sired William they’d gone back to his house, and William had turned his mom so that she wouldn’t die of TB, only it had all worked out really badly and she’d woke up like an evil demon and not like his mom at all, and he’d had to stake her.
I kept my mouth shut about the ‘evil demon’ bit. There were things about Spike that were still evil, yeah. He didn’t do anything evil, but he wasn’t all that big with the regrets either, and maybe there were still a few left-over issues between us that we really oughta deal with some time, like broken bottles held to my face and me making him get engaged to Buffy, but this wasn’t the time. He was good for me, and that was all that mattered, and he was in pretty big need of comfort. So I hugged him tight, and stroked his hair, and kissed him on the cheek not the lips, and then we went to bed but just to hold each other.
I woke up maybe an hour or two later. Spike was all snuggled in against me. He was warm, ‘cause he picked up body heat pretty well and once he got warm he stayed warm, and he was hard. Real hard, pressing right up against my ass, and it felt pretty darn good.
“Spike? You awake?”
“More or less, Red,” he replied. “Sorry, love, didn’t mean to wake you.”
“I don’t mind,” I said, and I wiggled my ass. “You feel good.”
“So do you, love,” Spike said. He put one hand on my ass. “Bloody good.” He brought the other arm over, wrapped it over my upper body, and fondled my breast. I wiggled a bit more. “Fuck,” Spike groaned.
“You want to?” I asked, and gave another little wiggle.
“Damn right I do,” he said. “Bloody hell, Willow, you’re a right sexy little minx.” His hands moved over my body and it was like he was drawing lines of fire across my skin, making me oh so hot, giving me this twisty little feeling deep down in my stomach, making me squirm and shudder and get wet and slippery and eager.
“Do it,” I said. “Love me, Spike.”
He slid in, going in very slowly like he had the first time we made love, and we rocked together and he touched me again and again, and his lips were on the back of my neck and then on my ear, and I was on fire. “Want to touch you,” I moaned. “Want to hold you.”
“Love you,” he said, and we twisted and turned, and he slid out, and I turned towards him and he came to me again, and moved into me once more.
I stroked him, and it was my turn to kiss his neck and his ears, and I learned that if I stroked from his armpits to his hips it made him shudder and suck in his breath, and he explored me and learned what made me react the same way, and we took things slow and gentle for a long time and then got faster. Eventually he was thrusting in and out, in and out, fast and hard and smooth, and I dug my fingers into his shoulders and cried out “Spike, Spike,” and there was nothing in the whole world but the sensations and it wasn’t just pleasure, it was joy. It had never been like this with Oz, not even with Tara, I was exploding into a thousand pieces and trying to kiss him in a thousand places and then he was throbbing inside me and his body was almost vibrating and I squeezed him with muscles I hadn’t known I had, and then we were both still and wrapped up in each other and I was giggling and I couldn’t stop.
Spike raised himself up, and looked down at me in the faint candlelight, and the smile on his face was so sweet and happy that it melted me all over again. “I love you, Willow Rosenberg,” he said, and it wasn’t quite his normal voice. Not Spike, not quite Victorian William either, but maybe halfway between. “Sweet and funny, tender and brave, you make me long to be your willing slave.”
Okay, not exactly Shakespeare’s sonnets, but not that bad, and the way he said it gave me the shivery version of the warm fuzzies. I stopped with the giggling, and then I had this silly thought and started again with the giggles. “You like my pussy? Would you like me to shave?” I suggested.
“Daft minx,” he said, and he kissed me long and deep. “Bloody adore you, petal. Should have done this a long, long, time ago.” Hey, he was starting to get hard again, still inside me, and I wanted him again, even so soon.
“Want you to love me all night,” I told him, as he started to move once more.
“As you wish,” he said, and we kissed again, and we didn’t do a whole lot of sleeping that night at all.
The next day I fell asleep in class, until Jenna nudged me awake, and you know what? I didn’t care, ‘cause, totally worth it. I was about as happy as I’d ever been in my whole life. Maybe, just maybe, a witch who had started off good, and then gone off the rails and made with the badness, and then got back on track and turned good again, could make a go of things with a vampire who’d started off as a good poet, well actually a bad poet but a good man, and then had been an evil vampire, and then been a vampire who wasn’t quite so big with the evil, and then got to be not much with the evil at all. He could be a good man for me, I knew it, and I could keep on track for him too.
Things with Dawn were great, things with Tara were pretty good, Giles was getting there with Spike, the war with Buffy looked like it had slipped from hot war down to cold war and now pretty much to glasnost and perestroika, and everything was hunky-dory. Definitely a time for making with the ‘yay me!’ And, hey, it lasted for another week and a half, while Giles did stocktaking at the Magic Box and then flew back to England, and Buffy started looking for a better job, and things started to get into place for Spike getting proper ID documents and a proper place to live, and it was all good.
And then Xander came back.
The characters in this story do not belong to me, but are being used for amusement only and all rights remain with Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, the writers of the original episodes, and the TV and production companies responsible for the original television shows. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER ©2002 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer trademark is used without express permission from Fox.