In The Company of Wolves

By Jonquil

etline.jpg (9710 bytes)


<< Oh my God. I didn't want that answer to that question. I didn't
ask that question, really I didn't. This isn't happening. I am not
here. I'm back home having a horribly vivid dream, and I'll never have
caffeine again, I swear. Waking up now. >>

Willow pinched herself. Reality refused to cooperate.

<< Uh-oh. I am awake. I am sitting in a very beaten up car with a
vampire who wants to seduce me. >> She glanced sideward; Spike was
staring straight ahead with a "Bother me, and I'll rip your head off
and use it as a bowling ball" expression. << Wanted to seduce me. Now
wants to turn me into sushi. >>

<< I thought he thought I was just a thing. I thought he was just
teasing me. I didn't think he was serious. People don't get serious
about me. Even Oz didn't stay serious about me. >>

<< Oh, God, he's seen me naked. Nearly. >>

<< And he didn't seem to mind... >>


<< Could I possibly become more pathetic? 'I'm trying to seduce you',
indeed. Next it'll be 'Can't you think of me as a friend?' Wanker. >>

<< I am not going to look at the little tease. She's probably red to
her eyebrows. Or giggling. Can't hear her giggling. >>

He stole a glance sideward. The girl was staring straight ahead with
a "Please Do Not Resuscitate" expression.

<< What am I supposed to do? Torture her till she loves me? Yeah,
right. That was such a great success she nearly staked me. >>

<< Why the fuck can't I keep my mouth shut? >>


The drive continued in an awkward and stony silence. After an hour or
so had passed, Willow found the courage to speak.


"What?" He didn't look at her.

"I haven't eaten yet."

He replied in a soft, even voice, "Neither have I."

Willow bit her lip. The silence stretched on.

They reached a resort town, and Spike pulled into yet another motel.
Willow shrank against the car door, jarring her back. Their fragile
camaraderie had been shattered. Once more she was acutely aware that
she was alone with a demon.

Spike looked at her for the first time since That Conversation.
He flicked an eyebrow. "Road rules, pet. If you aren't here when I
get back..."

She nodded, not wanting the threat spelled out. He continued looking
at her, seemingly expecting an answer.

"I'll be here."

He left the car and stalked into the lobby, duster swirling. When he
returned, they walked silently to the room, Willow with the fishbowl
and her bag, Spike with a nearly visible chip on his shoulder.

After Spike left, Willow turned to the fighting fish, which seemed
undistressed by its change in surroundings. She put it next the
dresser mirror to admire itself; it briefly displayed its fins, then
grew bored. She tapped some flakes of fish food into the bowl, and it
pecked casually at them.

Willow realized that she had never named the fish. << Hmm. Garnet? >>
Her hand flew up to the choker. << No. Blood? No, no, no. Red...
this shouldn't be so difficult. What's wrong with me? What's wrong
with my thoughts? Where did I put my words? >> The fish flirted its
tail at the mirror. << Vanity. Too much like vain hopes... I think
'fish' will do fine for now. >>

She sighed and turned away. She didn't much feel like watching TV, she
still didn't have any decent books, which left brooding. << Boy, when
I get back -- if I get back -- I'll have to stop people making jokes
about Angel. I know just how he feels. >>

She sat on the bed, kicked off her shoes, and dropped her head in her
hands. << Just when I think I've sorted out the rules, they change. I
thought we were on the I-won't-kill-you-if-you-don't-kill-me plan.
Then it turns out there's the kissing plan. And I guess there's
probably another plan under that, although I can't imagine what. But
the kissing plan is hard enough to deal with. I'd stopped noticing
that I was alone with a guy, and he has to remind me of it. >>

<< Maybe he didn't like that I'd stopped noticing, and he just wanted
to remind me. >> She sighed. << How do you tell a "Stop ignoring me"
kiss from a serious kiss? It isn't as though I have enough kisses to
build a sample database from. Although, if I did, that kiss wouldn't
be in the bottom quartile... >>

<< Just the facts. I am not in love with Spike. Check? Check. So
that makes it easy. I don't kiss people I don't love. Fact one. >>

<< I don't want to kill Spike. Even though I should. He hasn't killed
me, even though he probably should, too. It can't be good for his
reputation, dragging a human everywhere. So, why didn't he kill me,
and why didn't I kill him, and why do I think the answer may be the
same, and I am so not continuing this thought. >>

<< I suppose I could start the diary again... >>

[Uncrumpled and decrypted from the Diary of Willow Rosenberg]
perl -pe 's:\$(\w+):$ENV{$1}:eg'

I feel like a moron. I am so stupid. I don't know anything about
anybody, so I don't know why I am pretending to know something about

Bloody hell.


<< Bloody hell. >>

<< Isn't there anything under 65 here?. I can't expect veal, but is
there no chance of chicken? Ah. Much better.>>

"I hate to bother you, but I'm new in town. Could you suggest where I
should take my girlfriend for dinner this late?"

The chubby redhead smiled. "Well, there's Chez Marie, but it's a bit
hard to get to. Let me walk you there."

<< I'm sweet, harmless, and trustworthy. >> "Oh, I really couldn't
trouble you."

She laughed and shook her head. "No, no, no trouble at all. Come on,
there's a shortcut through this alley."

He returned her smile. "You're too kind."


The door opened and Willow looked up from the TV. << Let him do the
talking. I don't have anything to say. >>

"Come along, witch; Chez Marie is still serving dinner."

She rose and followed him.

Chez Marie turned out to cater to the apres-ski crowd; this late in the
year, it was doing a desultory business among sightseers. The waitress
seated Spike and Willow in a quiet booth in the back of the restaurant.

"Would you like to see the wine list?"

Deadpan, Spike responded "I never drink ... wine."

Willow burst into giggles, just a shade too high-pitched. The waitress
was not amused. Willow hastily said "No, thanks."

She ordered fettuccine; Spike ordered an espresso. The waitress left.

<< Oh, God, there's going to be one of those awkward silences. I hate
this. >>

Spike caught her eye and said, matter-of-factly, "So, any bits of
Quebec you've been pining to see?"

Relieved that he'd started a neutral subject, she replied, "I don't
know anything about Quebec. I thought you must have something in

He shook his head. "Nope, just got tired of staying in one place."

"Where are we?"

He shrugged. "On the road. Wouldn't be hard to reach Quebec City, if
you fancied."

Willow shrugged back. "Let me guess. It's full of vampires?"

He smirked. "City. Been there three centuries. You do the math."

"Well, you've been here before. What's fun?" Catching his expression,
she hastily added, "For non-vampires I mean?"

"Wouldn't know. Haven't been here with non-vampires."

Willow glowered. "Are you enjoying this? Because I'm not."

He tilted his head. "Lighten up, luv. What's life without conflict?"

Willow sighed. "Calm. Peaceful. Serene. Those are nice words. At
least, I like reading about them. I don't remember what they feel

He half-smiled. "They're synonyms for 'dead', pet. And not in the
good sense."

The waitress arrived with their orders, cutting off that line of
conversation, or so Willow hoped.

After she'd departed, Spike said, "Seriously, what's your idea of fun?"

Willow thought. "Reading. Reading is good. Learning new things.
Making things that weren't there before, like programs. Witchcraft."
Her face fell. "Almost everything else has to do with Buffy and Xander
and Giles."

He chuckled. "Nothing from the neck down?"

Willow shook her head. "I'm not good from the neck down."

His gaze swept her body. "I beg to differ."

She blushed. "That's not what I meant. I'm not good with people, I'm
not much of a dancer, I'm just a really good thinker. Except I
shouldn't say that, it's -- it's bragging, and it makes people mad at

"And you care because?" He leaned back against the booth, face


Spike steepled his hands. "Why do you care what other people think?"

"Because people are mean when they're mad."

Spike shrugged and leaned forward. "So be mean right back. Can't live
life without an enemies list." His smile became vulpine. "Though it's
fun crossing names off..."

"No!" Willow shook her head vigorously. "I'm a nice person. I don't
keep track of my enemies."

He raised his eyebrows. "Pretty stupid, luv. You can be sure they're
keeping track of you. Take Harmony."

"I think you did that." << Score one for me! >>

He winced. "Touché. You know what Harmony wanted me to do to you?"

"No, and please don't tell me, I'm sure I don't want to know. Anyway,
she's a vampire. Vampires are evil. They're supposed to do evil

He bowed, smiling. "Why, thank you. And Harmony was your friend when
she was alive?"

Willow dropped her eyes. "Uh... no."

"But you liked her?"

"Nooooo," she admitted unhappily.

"Which makes her your...?" He held out a hand and gave her the
teacher-waiting-for-the-obvious-answer look.

"Enemy." Willow said glumly.

"And this is bad because?" He rotated his hand, as if drawing out the

<<This is ridiculous. >> "Since when are you Sigmund Freud?"

He shrugged, "I find lying about how nice you are rather silly."

Willow sat ruler-straight. "I am nice!"

Spike snorted. "Not as nice as you pretend to be. Mother Teresa wasn't
that nice."

"And you're the expert?"

"I don't pretend to be anything but what I am. You might consider it.
If people don't like it, sod them."

Willow looked down at her plate and took a bite of fettuccine, hoping
to end the conversation.

Spike couldn't let well enough alone. "Just who do you think you're

Willow blew up. "Spike, I am so sick of the vampire makeover! If you
wanted a vampire, you should have kidnapped a vampire! I am Willow
Anne Rosenberg, and I won't let you turn me into some fifth-generation
photocopy of you!"

"Much better, pet," purred Spike. "That, I believe."

Willow groaned in frustration. "How do you DO that? Even when I win
an argument, I lose."

He grinned. "Practice."


When the girl had finished dinner and dessert, Spike paid the check,
then rose and offered her an arm. She took it. << Perhaps the day
wasn't a total wash after all. >>

They walked back to the motel under a cold and cloudless sky. The moon
was full; Spike pointed it out to the girl, who winced. << Sod.
Everything reminds her of that wolf. Hard to compete with a rival who
isn't here. Christ, not bleeding again! >>

When they returned to the motel, Spike satisfied himself that no light
would escape the curtains. After that, they watched TV for awhile,
then the girl busied herself with her usual nighttime rituals. When
she lay down and turned out the light, Spike undressed, then draped an
arm across her.

The witch froze, then scooted away. He followed her. She sat bolt

"Spike, I said No, and I meant it." Her voice held anger, barely
masking fear. He kept his own calm and reasonable.

"I'm making sure I know where you are, witch. "

The anger won out. "Where do you expect me to be? Sunnydale?"

He casually pulled her back down. "I expect you to be in this bed when
I wake up. Unarmed. And I'm taking steps to make sure my expectations
are met. If you'd prefer, I could chain you again."

She sighed, but made no further protest. She lay, tense, in silence;
slowly, the tension left her body, her breathing became even and
regular, and he allowed himself to relax. It should be safe to let
down his own guards for awhile. << She's not going to yield easily.
However, time is on my side. By definition. >>


"Don't. Don't. Come back. Don't. Please."

Spike glanced over. Nightmare. He shook her gently. She snuggled
into him, murmuring "Oz?"

He let go. She rolled over and opened her eyes. "Oz?... Oh. Sorry."

He kept his face blank. "Go back to sleep."



Willow was awakened by Spike shaking her shoulder. "Time to go. Get
your things."

She protested, "Don't I have time for a shower?"

"No. We're off." Willow's eyes flew open, but Spike didn't look
angry; far from it, he was exhilarated, practically glowing. He was
fully dressed, including his coat.

She threw back the covers and bent to pull fresh clothes from her bag.
Spike stopped her. "No time." Knowing protests would be useless, she
grabbed the bag, the fish, and its baggie, and headed for the door.

They settled into the car and Spike drove off, at his usual frenetic
pace. "Don't you ever check out?"

Spike grinned. "When someone's alive to handle the paperwork."

<< I am so sorry I asked that question. >> She settled back against the
seat, then winced and sat forward. << I wonder how long before I can
sit without thinking? >>

Spike glanced over. "We'll see to your back presently."

Willow glared at him, sat back pointedly, and regretted it.

He grinned, "On the other hand, it's doing wonders for your posture."

Willow snorted. "And if you cut off my head, I wouldn't have to worry
about bad hair days, either."

He pursed his lips. "It's a thought. But I'd never get the mess out
of the upholstery."

She played along. "If I'd only known; stay in Spike's car and I'm

"At least until I got a good spot remover."

Willow's train of thought picked up speed, careening past the station.
"You must have a lot of practice removing blood from fabric by now...
you could probably write a book! You could be the vampire Martha

He grinned. "I'm rather better at removing blood from humans, pet."

Willow sobered instantly. "Why do you keep DOING that?"

He flicked her a glance. "Doing what?"

"Just when I start getting comfortable, you remind me that you kill

He shrugged. "I do kill people."

She rolled her eyes. "Spike. Trust me. I live in Sunnydale. I know
you're a vampire. I can do the math."

He shrugged again. "Habit, I guess. Can't let a mortal get too

<< This time I'm not backing down. >> "Do I talk about holy water all
the time? Or stakes?"

He kept his eyes on the road. "You don't live by intimidation."

"I'm as intimidated as I'm going to get. Care to knock it off now?"
The anger was starting to show in her voice.

"Doubt it. It's an old habit, and demons don't change."

"Oh, for pity's sake, Spike. You want to tell me they had peroxide and
punk rock in Edwardian London? Go ahead, I'm all ears."

His voice acquired an edge. "Bit pushy tonight, luv."

<< Tough. >> "Spike. You dragged me to Montreal. You dressed me up
like some vampire Barbie. You made me learn to be a smart-ass. You
didn't want pushy, you could have stuck with the old Willow. Who, I
might add, was perfectly happy where she was."

"Well, the new Willow is a pain in the arse!"

"You asked for it, you got it, Spike."

He glared. She let the conversation drop.


A roadside sign indicated a rest stop ahead. Spike looked at the girl,
hair still tousled from their hasty departure. "Want to stop?"


He pulled off the road into the parking lot and cut the engine. The
rest stop was the usual faux-rustic hut sheltering restrooms, a large
map, and an assortment of cola machines.

The witch reached for the door handle. He grabbed her shoulder.
"Ouch!" She frowned at him.

"Road rules, pet."

She sighed. "Yes, Mom, I know, I'll be home before dark, and call if
I'm going to be late." She turned away.

He spun her back. "I'm serious, witch. Any appeals for help to
friendly passersby will mean their deaths."

"I know. You've told me." She looked pointedly at his hand, and he
released her.

She opened the car door and walked to the ladies' room. Spike got out,
leaned against the wall, and lit a cigarette.


Spike watched the smoke rise from his third cigarette. << She's taking
bloody forever. Showering in the sink? >>

He heard something from the bathroom. It was hard to make out through
the usual background sounds, but something sounded ... odd. << She's
not the sort to dawdle over her appearance this long ... >>

He gave it a second more, then slammed the door open.

A couple of women in dungarees had bent Willow back against the sink;
one had a knife to her throat. The other was using a fistful of red
hair to bang the girl's head against the faucet.

He grabbed the knife hand and twisted hard, hearing the satisfying
crunch of snapping bones. The other bitch had started to say
something; he crushed her throat and listened to her gargle.

Willow staggered to her feet, face paper-white and covered in blood.
He spotted a small cut in her scalp, bleeding like a slaughtered sheep.

<< Glad I ate before we left. >> He forced his instincts down and said
harshly "Lean over the sink." He rinsed with the cold water, splashed
until he could see all her face, then ran his fingers over the rest of
her head. The scalp wound seemed the worst of the visible damage.

"Probably ought to have stitches, luv, but I've no idea where to find a
doctor at this time of night." He tugged her hair.


"Don't fuss." He tied the wound together with her hair. "That should

He glanced around. The former knife woman was still moving. He
released the witch, then snapped the bitch's neck. The witch said
nothing. He dragged her off to the car and threw it into gear.

When they were back on the road, he let her have it. "Why the bloody
Hell didn't you call for help?"

She stared straight ahead, and her voice was very soft. "At first I
didn't think it was a problem -- those were women, like me, and I
figured they wouldn't bother me. By the time I realized I was in
trouble, she had the knife out." Her hands flew to her neck. "She
didn't even say what she wanted."

"What do I have to to do teach you to take care of yourself?" He
slammed his hands against the wheel.

She was silent. Not good enough.

"Do you have any idea what you'd have done if I hadn't been there?"

Her voice, when it came, was tiny. "Died."

"That's not a plan, Willow."

Instead of answering, she started to cry. He glanced around, then
pulled the car off into the next side road. There were no lights for
miles in any direction.

He turned off the ignition, grabbed the girl, and said, "What's your
problem? You survived, damn it!"

She sobbed again, then paused, gulped, and released a torrent of words.
"I just can't do this any more! I've used up all the brave I had, and
just when I was relaxing, somebody who wasn't even a vampire turned out
to be evil! There isn't any such thing as safety, and I haven't felt
safe in forever!"

In a soft voice, he said, "I can't cure that, pet. Haven't felt safe
myself in 125 years."

She glared. "Yes, that's because you put other people into danger."

<< Better anger than despair. >> He smirked. "Safety's an illusion,
pet. And a boring one at that."

"You.. you... vampire!"

"Guilty as charged." She started to cry again. He gathered her into
his arms, and she sobbed as if the world were coming to an end. << Time
for another distraction. >> He lifted her chin and began kissing her.

To his shock, she returned the kiss. With interest. << Adrenaline is
a wonderful thing. Or so I hear the humans say. >> Her mouth was as
he remembered it, warm and sweet. This time, he was more kissed
against than kissing. He corrected the imbalance. He kept expecting
the inner good girl to surface, but apparently she'd gone on holiday.
<< Don't hurry back. >> Her eyes were closed, and she paused to
sniffle now and again.

She broke the kiss. << Sod, here comes the 'I'm not that kind of girl'
speech. >> Instead, she began nibbling down the line of his throat. He
shivered. The green eyes flew open and she pulled back.

"Oh, I'm sorry, was that wrong? I didn't mean to..."

"Quite the opposite, pet. Do try again." He lifted his chin. but she
was frozen, staring at something only she could see. He kissed the
corner of one eye, tracing the line of tears down her face with his
lips. She sighed, then captured his mouth and kissed it frantically.
He recognized the symptoms all too well: she was seeking oblivion
rather than intimacy.

<< This is the moment when the Poof would pull back and say 'You're not
thinking clearly, little girl. I couldn't take advantage of your
confusion.' Wanker. >>

He began caressing her, careful not to touch her back, lightly tracing
the lines of her ribs through the thin T-shirt. << No brassiere. How
handy. >> He slipped a hand up and under the shirt; she shivered, but
did not protest.

<< Avoiding the old cold-hands-warm-heart problem's always tricky.
Especially minus the heart. >> He caressed her side a little longer,
until he was sure his hands had warmed from friction. He shifted his
left hand a trifle. Her breast was warm, velvet-soft, and heavy in his
hand, the nipple hard against his palm.

He broke the kiss and waited until she opened her eyes. "Witch. Fair
warning. The Slayer shagged the soul out of the Poof. It doesn't work
in reverse." << What the bloody hell am I saying? Since when do I
give warnings, fair or otherwise? >>

She met his gaze, face grave. "I know." Then she slipped his coat
from his shoulders and returned to the kiss. He ran his hands up to
her shoulders; she lifted her arms to let her shirt slip over her head,
then tugged at the hem of his.

He removed his own shirt, then glanced around. The road was deserted.
If he interrupted her to suggest a more comfortable venue, odds were
good she'd think better of the whole thing. << Oh, well, I've done far
less enjoyable things in this car. >> He returned his attention to the
warm girl in his arms. She never spoke a word; moaned or sighed
occasionally, but nothing more intelligible. << Avoids that pesky name
problem, I suppose. At least she's not pretending I'm the wolf. >>

Their shoes were easily discarded. Removing her jeans took somewhat
greater concentration, since he was nibbling her shoulder at the time,
and she was doing wicked things to one of his nipples. His own jeans
shrugged off with the ease of long practice.

For so outwardly modest and shy a girl, she knew exactly what she was
about. << Still waters indeed. >> She adapted readily to his needs,
swiftly abandoning gentleness. She herself was far less fragile than
her tiny physique would suggest; she was fierce rather than timid,
forceful, not shrinking. And her face, the whole time, revealed only
desire, concentration, and occasionally surprised pleasure; never
tenderness, never joy. Certainly not love.


She collapsed forward on him, gasping for breath. He brought one hand
up and stroked her hair. They lay quietly for a few minutes, then she
sucked in a deep breath. He braced himself. << Here comes the tearful
self-reproach. >>

She said quietly, "Thank you. Hadn't we better get inside before

He cocked his head to peer at her face. It was serious, somewhat
withdrawn. She wasn't giving anything further away. He brushed a kiss
across her widow's peak. "Suppose you're right." He ran a regretful
hand down her body, then sat up, carrying her with him. She slipped
off him, turned away, and grabbed her shirt from the floor of the car,
exposing her back.

Spike tilted his head. "Will you stake me if I see to your back?"

She glanced up. With forced lightness, she replied, "Will you drain me
if I say yes?"


"Also no." She sat up, turned away, and rested her palms on the door.

He scuffled through the pile of discarded clothes, found the duster,
and located the arnica. He rubbed it into her back, allowing himself
the luxury of a couple of casual brushes against her breast. She
didn't move away, but she didn't lean into him, either. When he
finished, she pulled the T-shirt on, then wriggled back into her jeans.

After he finished dressing, Spike restarted the engine and pulled back
onto the road. When he glanced over at the girl, she had fallen


Next    Back to Fanfic





Home    Fan Fiction    Links     Summaries    Images    Spoilers     Awards   Fun Stuff     My Banners     My Awards        Submissions     Updates    Contact Me