Author: dragonydreams (Elisabeth)
Rating: PG-13 for now, will probably go up later
Summary: Spike figures out what he needs to get out of his wheelchair.
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over these characters. I am merely borrowing them from Joss et al.
Distribution: winter_spillow, my site, the usual lists, anyone with previous permission. Anyone else - just ask.
Feedback: Yes please! It makes me happy and keeps me writing.
Author's Note: Thanks to velvetwhip, Kat and Lisa Kelley for their wonderful beta skills.
Spike kept a sharp eye out and a strained expression on his face as he wheeled his way through the streets of Sunnydale. Not for the first time, he wished that Angelus had chosen a home for them that was more convenient to their food source. The mansion, while quite comfortable, was a fair distance from the better vampire feeding grounds.
That's one thing he missed about the factory. It was in the perfect location; three blocks over from the teeny-bopper hangout, The Bronze. Clubs were marvelous feeding grounds - open only after dark, kids without parents, young adults drunk and horny from dancing amongst a throng of people. It had been easy pickings. Unlike near the mansion, located clear across town.
Granted, it wouldn't be too bad for a vampire at full strength; but for those who weren't, like Spike, it was a nuisance. No, Spike wasn't able to cut through back alleys and leap fences to take shortcuts in his wheelchair. He was forced to follow the sidewalks in their never-ending grids.
It was bad enough that he was forced to find his own food supply. His sire only thought to bring him puppies to snack on, not thinking to bring him a happy meal with legs to satisfy his constant hunger. He was barely replenishing the energy he used on the hunt with a single kill. He'd never get out of the blasted wheelchair at this rate.
Finally drawing close to his goal, the park, Spike pulled himself out of his melancholy thoughts in order to search for tonight's meal. The park was one of his favorite places to hunt these days. The naïve people of the town were always sympathetic towards a handsome young man trapped in a wheelchair. Especially when it looked like said wheelchair was caught on a root.
Finally, he saw his perfect meal walking slowly across the park with his enhanced night vision. The girl looked to be in high school - red hair divided into two braids, hideous shirt under baggy overalls, carrying a book bag that looked way too heavy for her small frame. Like most Sunnyhell residents, she wasn't paying attention to where she was going.
Spike thought she looked familiar, but assumed it was from seeing her walking home before. As the girl neared, Spike moved himself closer so that he wouldn't have to raise his voice when she passed him. He could hear his stomach growl as she drew closer and he willed her to pick up the pace. It was all he could do to suppress the demon from showing itself too soon.
When she was nearly upon him, Spike called out, "Excuse me, Miss."
Willow looked up, startled when someone addressed her. At least she thought it was her that was being addressed. She was in public after all; it could have been anyone who was being spoken to.
"Who me?" she asked, seeing a man in a wheelchair looking at her intently. At a second glance, Willow realized this was no man. This was a vampire, and not just any vampire. It was Spike, William the Bloody. She couldn't keep her sudden realization to herself, gasping, "Spike! You're not dust. Why aren't you dust?"
"Do I know you?" he asked, narrowing his eyes as he took a closer look at the girl.
Willow furiously shook her head, willing her feet to start running away. Unfortunately, they wouldn't listen to her, and remained glued to the ground, her body suddenly rigid with fear. "No, you don't know me. I mean why would you know me? You've only tried to kill me several times since you got to town."
Apparently Willow's body had a mind of its own tonight. She knew she babbled when she got nervous, but now wasn't the time for nervous babbling. She needed to get away from Spike. She needed to tell Buffy he wasn't dust.
Spike wheeled himself closer to the petrified girl, forgetting about his being stuck ruse. He inhaled the scent of her fear and it was intoxicating. Here was a girl who obviously knew what he was without him being in gameface and she was trembling with fear.
"I've tried killing lots of people. Usually succeeded," he smirked. "So how is it you're still alive if you know who I am?"
"Because Buffy always chased you off," Willow said, then slapped a hand over her mouth, realizing she'd just admitted to being friends with the slayer to the vampire who obviously didn't remember this yet.
Spike couldn't help chuckling. "So you know the slayer? Isn't that just my luck? And what is a friend of the slayer's doing walking around after dark, all alone, not paying attention to her surroundings?"
"I, uh, I…" Willow didn't know what to say. What was she gonna tell him? That she couldn't stand watching Xander and Cordelia being touchy-feely all night and begged off research? He was right; she should have been paying more attention to where she was going.
Just as her feet decided to wake up and take a step back, Spike's arm shot out and pulled her down on his lap. It was only then that Willow realized that the scariest vampire she'd ever met was in a wheelchair.
"What's the matter, cat got your tongue?" Spike smirked.
Willow struggled to get up, but Spike kept his arm firmly around her. For someone in a wheelchair, he certainly had a lot of upper body strength. Which she figured kinda made sense if he had to use his arms to move his chair.
As Willow squirmed on his lap, a wonderful idea occurred to Spike. He hadn't had this much fun taunting a human for a long time and wanted to be able to play with her again. He also didn't want the slayer to find out about his non-dusty status, as it appeared that she now believed him to be permanently dead.
"If you don't want to talk, I can't make ya," Spike said. Willow stopped struggling for a moment, thinking he was going to let her go. Instead, Spike morphed and sank his fangs into her neck, relishing the increase in heart rate as she cried out in pain and shock.
He drank until she passed out, slumping against his chest. Not wanting to kill her, yet, Spike reluctantly pulled back and licked the wound closed, savoring every drop of her succulent blood. He'd been surprised by the undercurrent of magick in her blood, something he was sure she wasn't aware that she possessed, since she hadn't tried to use magick against him.
After arranging her more comfortably on his lap, Spike turned back towards the mansion. He needed to find where his shackles had been hidden during the move. And if they hadn't made it, then he'd need one of the minions to go get him some new ones. He had an all-you-can-eat buffet to set up.
From the taste he'd just had, Spike knew this girl would be able to cure him completely, sire's blood be damned. All he needed was this girl. As he entered the mansion, it occurred to him that he didn't even know her name yet.
Spike hoped to make it safely back to his room with the girl without incident. He knew his grand-sire would come to investigate when he heard the heartbeat in the mansion, but there were still a few hours of night left, and Angelus often didn't come back before dawn. If Spike was lucky, he would go straight to bed.
Spike groaned when he heard the mocking voice behind him, realizing that luck was not on his side tonight.
"What do we have here?" Angelus bellowed from the end of the hallway.
"Bugger," Spike muttered, cursing his bad luck. Looking down at the passed-out girl on his lap, he amended that thought. His luck wasn't all bad tonight.
Slowly turning the chair around, Spike met Angelus' amused expression with one of complete seriousness.
"'S none of your business," he defiantly told the older vampire, sounding much like a petulant child.
"I think you bringing leftovers home is very much my business," Angelus countered. "Especially when you didn't offer to share first."
Spike growled, his arm protectively wrapping itself around Willow, whose face was buried against his chest.
"Mine," the blond vampire snarled.
Angelus truly hadn't been interested in the girl, until he was denied access to her. She looked awfully plain from where he stood. Her clothes were hideous, she was almost too thin. Something about her scent seemed familiar though, he realized, the longer he stared at her.
"Watch your tone, boy," Angelus snarled back, taking a step closer to Spike. Reaching out, he turned the girl's face towards him, ignoring the continuous growl coming from the chair-bound vampire.
In the blink of an eye, Angelus' fist connected with Spike's cheek. "You idiot!" he roared.
"What?" Spike asked, having no clue what had sparked Angelus' anger.
"You took the slayer's best friend for a pet, that's what!"
Spike's face remained passive, while his demon cringed in fear of its elder being in a rage.
"I know, she said she knew the slayer before I took her," Spike admitted. The best friend part was news to him though.
"And still you took her? Idiot! Are you trying to bring the slayer to our door?" Angelus paced the narrow hallway as he tried to keep his hands off his stupid grand-childe.
"That's why I took her," Spike replied. "Slayer thinks I'm dust. Least that's what the girl said. Couldn't have her runnin' off to the slayer to say that I'm still among the unliving, now could I?"
"At least then I'd be rid of you," Angelus spat.
"Don't be so mean, Daddy," Drusilla said, coming from around the corner. She walked up to the dark vampire and wrapped her body around his. Resting her head on Angelus' shoulder, she looked at Spike and the girl he still held protectively on his lap.
"You needn't concern yourself with this, Dru, luv," Spike said, his voice softer than it had been for the last several minutes. "This is between him and me."
"You brought innocence and light into our home," Dru countered. "It concerns us all."
Angelus smirked at Spike, running his hand through Drusilla's hair. Spike glared at the smug expression, but held his tongue. Dru looked like she had more to say, and he knew better than to interrupt her when she had something on her mind.
Before Angelus could make a smart remark, she continued. "Fire and sunshine are our destroyers, but they can also purify. The little tree will burn out the bad parts of my boy, make my William whole."
Spike looked perplexed. After a century with his dark goddess he could usually decipher her ramblings easily. But what was all this nonsense about a tree?
"What are you talking about, luv? What tree?" he asked.
He didn't expect the bark of laughter that bellowed forth from Angelus.
"Don't you even make your introductions before you take a person hostage? I swear, the kids today have no manners."
"What are you on about now?" Spike grumbled, not liking being laughed at.
"The girl, the slayer's best friend, her name is Willow. Like the tree."
Spike looked back down at the sleeping girl, his features softening just a little. 'Willow,' he thought. 'It fits.'
Angelus laughed again at the tender expression. "Come on, Princess, let's leave the cripple to his entertainment. Although personally, I find girls to be much more fun when awake."
"Wait, Dru," Spike called out as a thought occurred to him. "Could I have one of your shifts? Something that would fit the girl, Willow?"
Drusilla smiled, nodding her head. She kissed Angelus on the cheek as she disentangled herself from him. "Just a moment," she said as she glided off to her room.
"One of Dru's nightgown's won't do anything to help with that girl's homely figure," Angelus pointed out.
"It'll be better than what she's wearing now. What high school girl would choose to dress herself like this?" he asked, his disgust evident in his voice.
"If you plan on keeping a pet, I expect you to provide for her. She'll need to be fed, bathed, clothed, yada, yada, yada."
"I know," Spike snapped. "I'll take good care of her, you'll see. She's gonna make me whole again. Need to keep her strength up if I'm gonna get mine back."
"You can have Celeste," Angelus grudgingly offered. "She's one of yours anyway. Just don't run her ragged fetching things for your pet."
"Thank you, Angelus," Spike said, surprised that he was being given a minion to tend to his girl.
"And chain her up," Angelus added. "Don't want her running loose in the mansion, tempting the minions. She'd just be getting herself killed… sooner rather than later." Unable to resist, Angelus asked, "You do have chains, don't you?"
"I'm a vampire, aren't I?" Spike retorted.
"You know, I sometimes wonder about that," Angelus chuckled.
"Got chains," Spike huffed. "Just need to find them. Don't know where they were put when we moved."
"Bottom drawer on the left," Drusilla suggested, handing Spike one of her nightgowns. "I put them away for safekeeping."
"Thanks, pet," Spike said, capturing her hand and kissing her knuckles. "That was very considerate of you."
Angelus rolled his eyes at Spike's display. "Yeah, real sweet."
"Sod off," Spike said. "If you'll excuse me, I've a girl to chain up."
"Think you can manage to chain up one little unconscious girl?" Angelus taunted.
"Better'n you could," Spike countered. He turned his chair and headed straight for his room, closing the door behind him, the wood not quite thick enough to block out Angelus' laughter.
"Ponce," Spike grumbled as he wheeled himself over to the bed.
Speaking more to himself than to Willow, he said, "Now what do I do with you? First off, let's get you changed, yeah? Yeah."
Spike maneuvered himself so that his knees were against the side of the bed. Then he moved Willow so that she was straddling his lap. Keeping one hand behind her, in order to keep her upright, Spike undid the shoulder straps on the overalls. He let the material pool at her waist as he rested her back against the bed.
With both of his hands free, he was able to remove her shirt. Next to go was her plain, white cotton bra. He couldn't hide the grin, and had no reason to, at her simple, virginal undergarment.
Bunching up the nightgown, Spike eased it over Willow's head, then pulled her arms through the "sleeves". There were no sleeves to speak of, just material bunched up over the shoulders. He pulled her upright again so that the material fell down to cover her upper body.
With a tenderness that would have disgusted Angelus, Spike lifted Willow onto the bed and proceeded to remove the rest of her clothing. He had just finished tossing the discarded clothes in a corner when there was a quiet knock on the door.
"What?" he bellowed.
The door opened a crack and a young female minion entered the room. "Master Angelus sent me to you," she said.
"Ah, Celeste," Spike acknowledged. Motioning towards the bed, he said, "This is Willow. I'm going to be keeping her for a while. You are to help with that care. Do you remember what human girls like to eat?" The minion nodded. "Good. I want you to go out and find some food for her. She will be hungry and thirsty when she wakes. I took a lot of blood before bringing her here. Tomorrow we can discuss what else she'll need. Now go."
"Yes, Master Spike," Celeste demurely said, hurrying to do his bidding. There wasn't much night left and she didn't think he'd want her to turn to dust while running his errands.
Alone again with Willow, Spike moved to his bureau. In the back of the bottom drawer was his favorite set of chains, just as Dru had promised.
Moving to the unoccupied side of the bed, Spike tossed the chains next to Willow before pulling himself onto the bed. Looping the long chain around the bedpost, Spike encased each of Willow's small wrists in the metal shackles. When he was satisfied that they were secure, he undressed and made himself comfortable next to the girl, Willow, he corrected himself, and slipped into an easy sleep.
TBC on my next winter_spillow posting date.