Summary: Sometimes it's the little things that have the biggest consequences.
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over these characters. I am merely borrowing them from Joss et al.
Distribution: 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 #1: This story was inspired by a vignette written by aaronlisa, and has been written with her permission to expand on it. (Alternate Realities: Willow #2)
Author's Note #2: I played around with the timeline a bit during Season 2 for this story. Pretend that Willow and Oz had been dating for a month or so when Phases occurs. (Dialogue borrowed from both Phases and Becoming I & II courtesy of www.buffyworld.com)
Author's Note #3: Thank you to my tireless betas for holding my hand through the months it has taken me to write this story.
He wasn't lost. At least that's what Spike kept telling himself. Although, the closer to dawn that it got, the harder it was to believe.
He'd prowled these woods often before that blasted organ fell on him. Then again, he'd been living at the factory at the time, not some posh mansion with more windows than any vampire lair should have. He shouldn't complain though. His room at the mansion had its own porch, by which he was able to escape the wheelchair his sire and grand-sire thought he was confined to.
What Angelus wasn't aware of, was that Drusilla had gone against her precious Daddy's order not to help Spike. No, she couldn't stand to see her childe in so much pain; so when Angelus was out terrorizing the slayer, she would slip into Spike's room and feed him - now strengthened with her own sire's blood. That potent mixture had completely healed Spike's broken back, allowing him to sneak out and create his own mischief.
Unfortunately, tonight's mischief might have a dusty ending if Spike didn't find his way out of these woods soon. He paused and scented the air. There… he thought he smelled something familiar to his right. He quickly started moving towards the familiar scent, for on its heels was the scent of sunrise.
Spike stopped short as he entered a clearing. Lying beneath the trees was not what Spike had wanted to see.
'A werewolf!' he wanted to shout in frustration, but did so only in his head for fear of drawing its attention. 'Bloody perfect.' He gestured wildly, pacing at the edge of the clearing. 'Any other surprises for ole Spike?' he mentally asked the ether.
In answer to his question, the werewolf slowly began to morph back into human form. Spike watched, transfixed, having never observed this transformation in person before.
He let out a gasp of surprise as fur receded, revealing long auburn hair; pale, creamy flesh; small, perky breasts; and long, shapely legs. Looking back to her face, Spike now knew what the familiar scent he had been following was… the slayer's little friend… the werewolf.
"Well, well, well, what do we have here?" he muttered to himself, creeping towards the sleeping girl. Squatting down, he brushed the hair away from her face for a better view, confirming visually what his other senses were already telling him. He'd seen this girl at Halloween, dressed more provocatively than he'd ever seen her dressed before. Caught his attention, it did. Seeing her naked though… Spike wondered why she bothered with clothing at all.
Feeling the sun's rays filtering through the leaf canopy, Spike was harshly reminded that dawn had arrived. Scooping the redhead into his arms as if she weighed nothing, Spike rushed off to find the nearest shelter he could. Ten minutes later he came to a cave and made a dash for its welcome protection.
Willow had remained asleep throughout the journey, but shortly after being set down on the cold, stone floor of the cave, she began to wake. She was dimly aware of the fact that she wasn't in her bed, and she was freezing. She reached to pull a blanket back over her, but she felt nothing except her own bare flesh.
Slowly, Willow cracked open her eyes, sitting up quickly upon seeing the cave surrounding her. She was even more shocked to see the vampire watching her with amusement dancing across his handsome face.
"Spike, what are you doing here?" she squeaked. "And where is here, exactly?"
"Not getting burnt to a crisp," he blithely answered. Gesturing to the cave, he continued, "'Here', is a cave in the woods."
"H-how did I get here? Did you kidnap me? What do you want with me? And why am I naked?"
"Didn't snatch ya," Spike said, trying to sound offended. "Found ya sleeping in the woods. You were covered in fur at the time, but that went away when the sun came up."
"Fur?" Willow looked puzzled. She didn't own anything made of fur. She was against people wearing the skins of animals. Eyeing the long, black coat Spike was currently patting down in search of cigarettes, Willow hesitantly asked, "Can I, um, borrow your coat, to cover up?"
"Why? It doesn't bother me seeing ya sittin' there starkers," Spike leered.
"Yeah, well it bothers me," Willow pouted. She ran her hands over her arms, trying to warm them against the chill of the damp cave.
Spike rolled his eyes at his own softness. He made a show of taking his coat off and tossing it to Willow.
"I want that back," he warned her. "Got a lot of sentimental value, it does."
"I'll give it back, just as soon as I get some clothes." Willow hurriedly put the coat on and then stood to find her way back home.
"Um, where do you think you're going?" Spike asked, his hand on her ankle stopping her.
"Home?" Willow asked uncertainly. "I've gotta get dressed and get to school. I don't know what I was doing out here, but I've gotta go. I'll bring your coat back after school."
"Was that going to be before or after sunset?" he asked, his tone making it sound like he knew something she should.
Knowing she was going to regret going along with it, Willow said, "Before. Why? What difference does it make?"
Spike studied his chipping black nail polish, purposely not looking at Willow as he spoke. "Well, if you were plannin' on bringing it back after dark, I'm afraid you'd end up ripping it to shreds. 'Sides, never did get along with werewolves all that well."
Spike finally lifted his eyes, smirking at the look on Willow's face. Her mouth was hanging open and she blinked at him in confusion.
"I'm not a werewolf," she vehemently denied. "Werewolves are big and hairy…" she recalled Spike's words about her wearing fur when he found her. She backed up, bumping into the wall behind her and slid down until she was sitting. "No, no, no, no, no."
"'Fraid so," Spike said. "Who would have thought that the slayer's little friend was a beastie?"
"I'm not… How can I be a werewolf?" Willow asked Spike, tears filling her eyes.
Spike shrugged. "Got bit."
"Bit? But I'd know if a giant dog-like creature bit me," Willow insisted. "And I wasn't."
"Coulda been while it was in human form. Werewolves are shape shifters after all. 'Side from the three nights around the full moon, they look like anyone else. Can even go out in the daylight. Been biting anyone lately?"
"No, no one's bitten me…" Willow's eyes glazed over as she watched herself kissing Oz in the school hallway. A football player bumped into them, causing Oz to bite down on her tongue. She gasped, "Oz."
"What's that?" Spike asked, not sure what she'd said.
"My boyfriend, Oz. He bit me last week while we were…" she trailed off into a blush.
Spike's leer was firmly back in place. "Didn't know you had it in ya."
"We were kissing," Willow insisted, gaining a raised eyebrow from the vampire. "But he isn't… he would have told me… we were together during the last full moon at night and he was regular old Oz."
"Maybe he just got bit too," Spike offered, getting tired of the girl's denial. He knew what he saw. How it came to happen didn't matter to him.
Willow scrambled to her feet again. "I've gotta go. I've gotta talk to Oz."
"My coat," Spike prompted.
"I'll bring it back before dark. Promise." Pulling the coat tight around her, Willow ran out of the cave, heading straight for her house and some clothes.
"You better bring it back," Spike grumbled, lighting one of the cigarettes he'd lifted before relinquishing his coat. It was going to be a long day.