"Don't Fear The
Reaper" is by Blue Oyster Cult.
The room was chilly. Willow closed the book
she had been reading, rose
from the desk and walked to the twin bed that set flush against the
west wall. Shivering, she took the shawl from the foot of her bed and
drew it across her shoulders.
She was cold. She was always cold.
Willow admitted to herself that
she'd probably be warmer if she'd wear something to sleep in besides
her poet's night-shirt. It was the last gift Buffy had given her and
she refused to wear anything else to bed. She looked down at the
shirt. The elbows were threadbare. She'd have to find someone to
patch them soon. It was the oldest piece of clothing she owned.
Willow crumpled on to the edge of the bed, head in
her hands. Tears
leaked from her constantly red-rimmed eyes and her nose started to run.
Waiting until her tears subsided, she took a tissue from the nightstand
and blew her nose.
//Damn it! I'd had a good day! Why does the
least little thing set me
A knock on her door interrupted her thoughts.
She looked over and it
"Miss Rosenberg? Time for your
Willow took the small cup from the nurse, peered
inside to make sure
that nothing had changed, then knocked it back, dry swallowing the
three pills. The nurse, a tall Amer-Asian man, handed her a paper cup
of water. Willow took it and smiled her thanks.
"You have a good night, Miss Rosenberg."
"Thank you, Sam. Goodnight."
Listening, she waited next to the door. When
Sam had made his way down
the row of rooms, Willow sprang into action, taking a shoe box from
beneath her bed. Willow breathed a sigh of relief when she lifted the
lid. Everything was still there. She hung the crosses in the window
first, then cautiously opened the door and sprinkled holy water on the
outside door knob.
It was stupid. If he wanted in, he'd get in.
Besides, what were the
chances of him finding her here in the middle of Missouri, tucked away
in a private psychiatric hospital? The crosses, the holy water... it
made her feel better... that was all. It might be a false sense of
security, but it helped. Sometimes, coupled with the effects of the
medication, it even allowed her a couple of hours of sleep after dark.
Not always, though.
Willow crawled under the covers and closed her eyes,
waiting for the
images to start replaying in her brain. It was the same every night
and had been that way for over five years. It was part of the reason
she'd started therapy. Of course, therapy hadn't been enough. The
anxiety attacks had worsened, accompanied by bouts of severe
depression. The attacks wouldn't allow her to hold a job. She couldn't
travel on public transport, take an elevator, go to a concert... even
shopping was impossible. Her only safe places were her room or her
car... but only if she was driving. And driving was something she'd done
a lot... seven different hospitals in the last three years. She drove
from one to another, always admitting herself voluntarily. Sometimes
she used her real name, sometimes her mother's maiden name. The
doctor's had all told her she had to want to get well. She had to face
her fears, open up and tell them what was troubling her.
Willow snorted. //If I told them the truth about
what was troubling me,
there'd be no more *voluntary * admissions. //
Absentmindedly, she rubbed the scar on her
wrist. She'd done it right,
just not deep enough. Things would be so much easier if she'd only cut
deeper. Xander and Giles might still be alive. Not the rest, of
course. Not Buffy, Amy, Oz, Angel or Cordelia. Their deaths had been
what drove her to the edge. Xander had made her swear that she'd
never try to kill herself again.
Xander...she should have turned to him after Oz had
been killed. But no,
she'd kept her sorrow to herself, let it wash over her for months.
When it finally stared to ebb, she'd turned to the wrong person for
Spike had been helping Buffy and the Slayerettes,
somewhat reluctantly, for a couple of months before Oz's death. He'd watched Willow
in her grief, never trying to comfort here with hollow words of sympathy. But he'd
always been there, with a hand to steady her when she trembled, a word to try and bring a
small smile to her face. Willow had started to trust him, to count him as friend, until
the night that he'd walked her home from Giles' apartment.
They had been chased by a vampire pack, at least ten
of them. Willow was sure that Spike would have fought if he'd been alone.
Instead, they had run, barely making it inside her parent's home.
Willow pressed the heel of her hands into her closed
eyelids, trying to stop the rerun of the events that had led her to her current
situation. She pushed hard until she saw bright spots of white light, but as soon as
she dropped her arms to her side it started again.
Spike had kept the pack at bay while she fumbled
with the keys, finally finding the one that would unlock her parent's house. Shoving
the door open, Willow had rushed inside, at the same time shouting, "Spike! In!"
She'd yanked him over the threshold with such force
they'd tumbled into the entryway, landing in a tangle of arms and legs. Spike had
the presence of mind to kick the door closed. They lay still for moment, trying to
regain their composure. Finally, Spike had leaned on his elbow, taking in her
heaving chest and her shining eyes bright with excitement.
"Are you okay, Glenda?"
Any other time the use of the nickname he'd given
her would have brought a smile to her lips...Glenda, the Good Witch of the North.
But the adrenaline pumping through her was making her feel more alive than she had felt in
months. She wanted... she wanted.
Grabbing the back of his neck, Willow drew Spike's
mouth to her own. She had half expected him to pull back from her, but there was no
hesitation. She plundered his mouth slowly. He'd growled, parting her lips and
slipping his tongue between her teeth, desperately seeking her tongue with urgency.
Willow met his ferocity, wallowing in the sensations that she hadn't felt in months.
Finally, Spike drew away from her, his eyes asking
the question he hadn't yet voiced.
"Witch...Willow... do you want this? I
didn't expect it so soon. Are you sure?"
Willow was too lost in her desire to notice his
statement. She nodded her answer, at the same time snaking her hand between them to
squeeze his erection.
There was no more talk after that, only the sounds
of their frantic lovemaking. They hadn't even made it upstairs that first time and
only removed the clothes necessary to accomplish consummation. He'd taken her on the
floor, her legs spread wide, waiting for him. Willow had gasped when Spike slid
inside her, her body immediately wracked with an earth-shattering orgasm. He had
pumped in and out of her furiously, his face buried in her shoulder, shouting her name as
she convulsed around him again. He'd collapsed on top of her, murmuring
unintelligible words in her ear. Willow was amazed. Sex with Oz had been
pleasant...sex with Spike was mind-blowing.
They'd gathered their clothes and she led him
upstairs to the guestroom. Willow hadn't wanted to go to her old room. She'd
lost her virginity to Oz there, and didn't want memories intruding. Willow had
wanted to lose herself, at least for one night, in the physical pleasure she'd been denied
for too long.
They had sex again and again...exploring, touching,
and tasting...until exhaustion finally forced them to sleep. Willow had woke realising
that she'd missed her first two classes. She'd whistled as she showered, pleased
that she didn't fell remorse over her night with Spike. Dressing, she went to the
butcher shop and purchased two pints of blood, knowing that Spike would be stuck at her
parent's until sunset. For once, she was grateful they were never at home.
Spike was up and waiting for her when she walked
into the bedroom. He'd pulled her to him, nuzzling her ear. Willow had held
still in his embrace until he released her. She offered him the bag.
"Here. I know it's not what you'd prefer,
but at least you won't go hungry. I'll come back when I'm through with afternoon
classes and make sure we get the house straightened and locked up."
Spike nodded, "And then we can go to your dorm
room and pack your things."
Willow did a double take. "What?
"We can get out of this town now. We're
together. I have what I've been sticking around for. It's time to go." He
grinned at her, his blue eyes twinkling. "I bet you'd love Miami. We'll go
She stared at him, her mouth agape. Finally,
she found her voice. "I... I'm not going anywhere. And you don't have me,
Spike. Last night was wonderful, but it was sex...just sex."
Willow raised her arms over her head, stretching and
trying to shake the memories away.
Everything had deteriorated from there. Spike
insisted that they were meant to be together, that she was the only reason he'd been
hanging around. He spoke about what a great team they were going to be, the William
and Mary of the vampire kingdom. Willow had listened with a growing apprehension,
realising that she'd just shared a night of passion with a demon. He hadn't changed
at all. He promised he would only turn her when she was ready. He loved her,
he said, and would wait until she came to him willingly. Willow had refused, flat
out rejecting him and his offer.
And that was it. Spike didn't deal well.
He'd taunted her for more than a month, telling her she'd be his one way or another, that
she'd regret it if she made him wait. Willow refused every time. Spike took it
in stride and then changed his tactic.
Amy had been first. A friend, but not too
close. He'd given her a choice after Amy, but by that time she'd confided in
Buffy. Of course, Buffy had insisted that she'd deal with him. Cordelia
followed shortly after Amy. It had torn into the very heart of their circle.
Buffy was next. Spike had sent her two dozen
blood red roses with a card that read 'Third one's the charm.' Angel was gone the next
That was the night Willow had taken a razor and
opened her veins. Xander had found her. After she'd healed, he'd wrenched a
promise from Willow. She'd kept that promise, even after Giles, then Xander were
taken from her by Spike's murderous courtship. Sometimes she hated Xander for making
her swear she'd never try to harm herself again. Mostly she hated herself for not
going with Spike the first time he'd asked.
Strangely, she never actually hated Spike. He
had only been true to his nature. She feared him, though. Feared he'd turn
her, feared that he'd pull that final rabbit from his hat and that it would be her
So after Xander, she'd fled. First to Salt Lake
City, then to Cheyenne. Her panic attacks were too much though, and she finally gave
up on trying to have some semblance of a normal life.
Willow slept. Always the same dream, always.
Spike calling to her. She always went to him. They revelled in each other and
the suffering of everyone else. There was so much blood! And she gave herself
to it...to him...whole-heartedly. She loved every minute of it.
Gasping for breath, Willow woke. That was her
terror. It was knowing that a part of her would welcome it.
Suddenly, she realised what had woken her. A
soft voice, familiar, speaking her name over and over again. Willow curled into the
corner of the bed refusing to look at the window.
"Come out, Willow. You may be snug in
your room, but I'm sure that some of the other 'guests' will be happy to invite me
Willow screwed up her courage and grabbing a cross
and her shawl, left the safety of her room. Enough was enough. She went down
the hall to the rec room.
"All our times have come
Here but now they're gone.
Seasons don't fear the reaper.
Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain...
We can be like they are
Come on baby...
Don't fear the reaper
Baby take my hand...
Don't fear the reaper
We'll be able to fly...
Don't fear the reaper
Baby I'm your man."
Willow unlocked and opened the French doors.
Peering outside, she drew her shawl more closely around her. It was cold.
Willow resigned herself to the fact that she'd never be warm again. Spike was
standing in front of her, his arms out at his side, welcoming her. She still
"C'mon, Will. Come out and play.
We've missed you."
"Xan...Xander?" Willow's voice cracked.
"Yep, Willow. We're all here. Seems
like old times, don't you think?"
Willow looked at the thing that had once been a
slayer. Buffy looked almost the same. Just a little more... beautiful.
Giles grinned at Willow, his golden eyes shining.
"A sort of make-shift class reunion, if you will."
Willow swallowed hard. They were waiting for
her, all of them. She stepped onto the grass and walked towards Spike. She had
missed them, heaven help her. She needed them back, in whatever fashion.
Willow looked to Spike and held out her hand to
him. She remembered the night that they'd shared, the passion, and shivered. Spike
drew her to him. The others, Buffy, Angelus, Amy, Giles, Cordelia and Xander, all of
them closed ranks around the couple.
"Love of two is one
Here but now they're gone
Came the last night of sadness
And it was clear she couldn't go on
Then the door was open and the wind appeared
The candles blew then disappeared
The curtains flew then he appeared...saying don't be afraid
Come on baby...and she had no fear
And she ran to him...and they started to fly.
They looked backward and said goodbye...
She had become like they are
She had taken his hand
She had become like they are..."
She trembled with anticipation, fear and desire when
his lips brushed her neck. The last thing Willow heard with purely human ears was Spike's
"Time to find out what it's like to be
the bad witch, Glenda."