Take Your Time
DISCLAIMER: Most of the characters are the property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. No copyright infringement intended. A few minor characters of my own making will show up now and then. < > indicate thoughts and/or feelings
"It looks pretty dead tonight, Will." Xander was sitting on a tombstone, absentmindedly flipping his stake in the air. "I think we can call it a night."
Willow didn't answer immediately as she peered into the darkness of the cemetery.
Xander continued, "We have been here over two hours and nada, zero, zilch, bupkiss, slayers two bloodsuckers zero. . ."
"Okay Xander, I get the idea." Willow chuckled then turned one last time to look deep into the graveyard, watching for any signs of movement. "Alright, let's go home."
Suddenly Willow heard a thud, and spun around just in time to see Xander fall to the ground. Spike was standing over him with a large rock in his hand. "Going so soon love?" he leered at her, not moving. "But the night is so young, and I have something very special planned for us."
Willow raised her ever-present stake even higher "Get away from him Spike," Willow warned, her voice shaking. "I will dust you if you hurt him."
"Uh, it's a little late for that now Red, isn't it? Don't worry, this pathetic excuse for a man is still alive." Spike paused, poking Xander with his boot. "I think."
"But if you want him to stay that way, you better drop all your little slayer toys and cooperate."
"Right, so you can kill both of us . . . or . . . or vamp us."
"Listen love, as appealing as that sounds I have other plans. I promise I won't kill or change either of you if you drop all your weapons, and come with me *now*. Otherwise," Spike continued, "I am going to smash his bloody head in with this rock, see?"
Willow's eyes flicked nervously between Spike and Xander's still form until Spike lifted the rock higher above Xander's face.
"Stop!" Willow pleaded, throwing her stakes and crosses on the ground. "Okay Spike. What now?" she asked, the resignation obvious in her voice.
"Ah, pet," he smiled as he tossed the rock away and hoisted Xander over his shoulder. "Patience."
Willow followed Spike back to the mansion, desperately trying to think of a way out of this situation, but coming up empty. < I can't leave him, and I am not strong enough to carry him. What would Buffy do? >
Xander hadn't moved, and after Spike unceremoniously dumped him in a dark corner of a large room, Willow was allowed to check on him. < Xander's still alive . . . *good*, but Spike is happy . . . that is a bad, bad sign. > Willow stood up to find Spike staring at her evilly.
"Do you have any idea how bloody difficult it is to find a virgin these days?" Willow just stared at him, in shock.
"It used to be a lot easier, in the good 'ole days," he continued wistfully. "Once upon a time you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting a virgin or two. But now, well . . . here we are, and I am fresh out of cats."
Willow could feel herself beginning to blush, and looked away from him quickly. < Uh oh, this is *so* not good. > Spike slowly sauntered toward her and placed a hand under her chin, forcing her to meet his eyes. "Very rare indeed."
Willow snapped her face out of his grasp, backing away. "What does my, uh, lack of experience have to do with anything?" she asked, forcing herself to continue to look into his cold eyes. "What do you want from me?" < Ooh, why did I ask that question? >
Spike laughed cruelly, turning away. "Don't worry, your virtue is safe with me. In fact, it is vital to my plans. Actually, I guess it would be more accurate to say 'our plans' since it was your idea."
"Spike, what are you talking about," Willow spit out impatiently. But before the words had even finished leaving her lips she remembered their last encounter < '. . . .unless you can change the past or bring her pack from the dead. . .' Oh no, Willow. What have you done? He's going to use my blood to bring her back. Geez, virgins always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop. >
Seeing the panicked look on her face, he surmised that she remembered her last words to him. "Is it coming back to you now? Before this is over, pet, you are going to regret not staking me when you had the chance."
"I think I already do," Willow muttered.
Spike laughed again as he turned away and started sorting through some shopping bags on the floor nearby. He drew out what appeared to be women's clothes and tossed them at her. "Here, put these on," he ordered.
Willow just stared at him, incredulous. "What? Here? Now? But I. .. .."
"*Now* Willow. And if you are feeling rather coy you can go in there," he said impatiently pointing to an adjacent room.
When Willow didn't move, Spike took a step toward Xander. "Or, if you prefer, I could just drain Xapper here of a few gallons of . . .."
"No, I'm going," Willow began as she edged toward the other room, " . . .and it's *Xander.*"
"Whatever," Spike replied, already turning his attention back to the bags.
When Willow was alone she took a closer look at the clothing. She inspected a long, green cotton dress that was obviously of a historical design. There was a subtle pattern to the heavy fabric and it was unquestionable that this dress was not made by modern machinery. "It's beautiful," she mumbled under her breath. "Wait a minute. This doesn't look like a ceremonial sacrificial gown." < Yeah, Will. Like you know what one looks like! > The other items confused her even more . . . a corset, pointy shoes, various undergarments, and stockings. Willow was thoroughly bewildered. The outfit reminded her a little of the Halloween costume Buffy wore last year, yet it looked authentic, not costumey, and more Victorian.
"What's taking so long?" Spike's voice echoed in the empty mansion. "If you don't hurry up, I will come in there and dress you myself."
"No! It's okay. I'm coming." Willow hurriedly starting undressing. It took her a while to figure out the many layers to the ensemble, but she remembered some of it from helping Buffy. She did as best she could with the corset on her own. There was no mirror in the room so Willow had no way of knowing if she had it right, but she took a deep breath and walked back to the main room. "I look like . . . "
The words died on her lips when she saw Spike. "Oh my god . . . " Willow stammered. Spike was standing in front of her wearing a mid-length dark coat over a white long-sleeved shirt tucked into tight breeches and tall black boots. The dark coat he wore covered what appeared to be a vest in a material similar to her dress's. Suddenly she glanced down at what she was wearing again. < Okay, we both look like something out of "Little Women." Wow, he looks good, handsome, sexy. Stop it Willow! >
Spike's eye widened when he saw her, and he stood there for a moment, just staring at her. < Nice little figure she's been hiding under all those baggy clothes. > "Good," he said, finally composing himself. "I see they fit. Now, turn around," he demanded, twirling his finger in the air, then nodding his approval. "Since I can't be exactly sure when we'll arrive, these will just have to do since it is all the worthless museum in this town had to offer. Hopefully we won't be too obvious before we have a chance to buy something more suitable."
Willow obliged, "I don't understand."
Spike rolled his eyes and snickered. "Come on love, I thought you were supposed to be the smart one." < Wonder where she learned how to put on a corset? If I wasn't sure she was a virgin, I might think she had an interesting knicker drawer. > Come on man, focus. "It is quite simple, really. You and I are going to make history, or at least change it a bit." Seeing that Willow was still clueless, he went on. "It was *your* idea, love. We are going back in time to make sure that Drusilla is mine forever. I am not going to share her with that bloody Angel anymore or let him drive her to suicide."
"I. . . I don't understand. How?"
"A little thick today, aren't we? I'll speak slowly, then. Do try and catch up," his voice was sarcastic but had undertones of excitement and hope. "I did some poking around and found a way to go back in time, and we are going to fix everything. Then Dru and I will be back together for eternity."
Willow saw the pain return to his eyes and heard it in his voice. < Can vampires really love? > "What do you need me for?"
"The thing of it is, I was only able to find a musty old druid spell, and it will only work on those who are pure of heart, soul, intent, and .. . . well, you know. So the spell will actually send you back, and I will just tag along."
Willow was blushing again, and this angered her. "I don't believe this. You think I am going to go back in time to help you get your dead girlfriend back? I think all that alcohol-laden blood has finally gone to your brain."
"No, love," he said advancing on her, deadly serious. "You have no choice, unless of course you want Xander to die, as well as yourself."
Willow remained quiet, trying to absorb everything he had said.
"Now that we understand each other, let's get started."
Willow's mind shifted into overdrive as she realized the consequences if Spike was actually able to affect the past. Would he kill Angel before he was turned? No, he's not stupid. Angel is his sire. Would he kill him after that, after Angel had vamped Dru? What about Buffy? Buffy needed Angel to help her, at least until he lost his soul again. < No, I can't take that chance. I can't let him kill Angel. > But, if Angel, Spike and Dru weren't around, maybe things would be better. < Ow, brain ache! >
Spike took her silence as submission. < Good. This is working out just lovely. >
When he slid something onto her finger, Willow stopped her mental calculations. She pulled her left hand out of his grasp to find a simple silver band on its ring finger. "Gee Spike, I didn't know you cared," she said softly, surprised at her own attempt at humor.
"Don't ever mistake my needing you for caring about your dreary little excuse of a life," he growled as he turned to busy himself at a nearby table. < Hmm, a sense of humor too? >
Willow winced at the bitterness in his voice. < Why should I care if he thinks I'm dreary? >
Willow questioned him about the ring. "What is this for?"
"The spell requires an anchor to a time and a person, both to where we are going and from whence we came. That ring was Angel's. It's the only possession of his I could find from back then. I would have preferred to have something of mine or Dru's, then the timing would be more accurate." He continued as he lit candles and mixed some powders, "But we kept no mementos, needing to travel light and all."
"So," he went on. "With that ring, we will be able to travel to anytime that Angel wore it, which if I remember right, was up until at least a few years after he turned Dru. The plan is for us to go back to the approximate time that they met, and I will kill Angel and sire Drusilla myself"
< So that's his plan. I can't let that happen! > "How do I know you won't just kill me once we get there, or leave me?" Willow managed to ask coherently.
"As I said, the spell is actually working on you, the virgin. I am only along for the ride, so to speak," he said with more than a hint of lewdness. "In order for us to get back here, you will still need to be a living, breathing virgin. All I will have to do is recite a very simple short spell, and we will be brought back to the exact place and time that we left." Spike closed on her, putting his hand under her chin, his eyes clamped on hers, "Let's make this crystal clear right now. If I die or you decide to disappear on me, you will have no way of returning to your precious little life here in the good old U.S. of A."
He released her, and Willow swallowed hard, trying to absorb all the information.
"So, all you have to do is concentrate on the year 1860 and think about Christmas time. She was turned soon after that." Spike looked at Willow questioningly, hoping he hadn't overestimated her ability to handle the situation. "Do you think you can handle that, Red?"
Willow nodded, preoccupied. She had to think quickly now. What year was Angel turned by Darla? Where? < Come on Willow, think! >
"Ready love? Just a couple more things to finish the spell."
Willow nodded again, still distracted in her desperation to remember the details of Angel's long past.
< She's awfully quiet. Probably in shock. > "Don't you dare faint on me."
< Yes, I think that's right! > Willow glanced quickly at Xander, he hadn't moved but still appeared to be breathing. She turned to look Spike straight in the eye, "I'm ready."
"Good, pet. Good." Spike smiled at her, pulling her into a circle he had drawn on the floor. "First we need some blood," and before Willow could object he had already made a shallow cut on her wrist.
Willow gasped as the blood seeped to the surface. Just as quickly, Spike cut his own wrist. "You promised . . . " Willow sputtered, afraid he was going to force her to drink his blood after all.
"Don't worry. Remember, pure of soul and all that crap. Now concentrate love, this is important unless you want to spend a 100 or so years wearing a corset waiting for Dru to be born. We only get one shot at this. Christmas 1860-- concentrate."
Willow focused as hard as she could on the date and time, but just then Xander began to stir and she faltered. Spike squeezed a few drops of her blood onto the ring. "Concentrate . . . 1860 . . . Christmas," he demanded, forcing her attention back to him. Then, never taking his eyes away from hers, he brought her wrist to his lips, "Concentrate . . . " and slowly slid his tongue across her wound, tasting her. < Damn, why did I do that. She needs to concentrate. >
Willow's eyes closed of their own volition against t he sensuous feeling of his lips on her skin. < O h my ! >
Spike was amazed at his own actions and his inability to control himself, but her pure blood was like nectar. < It's a shame she will have to remain a virgin until we get back. >
"Concentrate love," he said softly. "We're almost done." He then took his own dripping wrist and allowed a few drops to fall on the ring.
Willow watched fascinated as their blood mingled on her hand. Spike began speaking in a language she didn't recognize. < Gaelic? > Soon she noticed her hand was growing warmer, and she began to panic. Spike took her ring hand in his, then with his free hand gripped the back of her head by her hair, bringing her face close to his.
"Concentrate . . . Christmas 1860 . . . Christmas 1860 . . . " His eyes were boring into hers with an intensity matched only by the pain in her hand.
The heat was becoming intolerable now. Willow struggled to control her emotions and to concentrate at the same time. She was unaware of the tears streaming down her face when finally the pain caused her to scream.
A blinding flash emanated from the ring. Then darkness and nothing.