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Think Of Me As Your Friend (Chapter One)

Willow watched, horrified, as Spike and Buffy… It wasn’t making love, that was for sure. It was screwing, fucking…something animal and almost violent. The look on Buffy’s face, loathing and disgust intermingled with the lust that obviously brought her here… How could Spike stand it?

She didn’t stop to think about why she was more concerned with the way Spike must be feeling than about what was driving her best friend to have sex in an alley with someone she professed to despise. Instead she made sure she remained well-hidden as she waited for them to finish. The last thing she wanted was for them to discover that she was here.

Moans and groans and grunts that would have embarrassed her if she hadn’t been so horrified filled her ears as she turned away. Once they were done, she figured they’d leave and then so could she and no one would be the wiser…except for her. She’d never forget this.

A strangled cry told her that at least one of them had gotten where they wanted to go – and that someone would be Buffy. She peered cautiously at the couple.

“I have to get back to work. I’ll meet you later tonight.” Buffy was straightening her uniform and hustling into the building through the back door. Spike stared at it as it closed after her. Just stared as if he was watching a ship sail away, carrying something he wanted more than anything in the world. If you could hear the sound of a heart breaking, Willow thought his might be deafening.

Her legs were cramping as she crouched behind the trash cans. Was Spike ever going to leave?

“Might as well come out, Red. I know you’re there.”

Uh oh. This was not going to be good. Slowly, she stood up. “I was just looking for Buffy and I…”

“Figured that out. Not like she’s told any of you lot her dirty little secret, now has she? Especially not you.” He almost spat the last words and even though Willow understood that he was lashing out, what he said still hurt – because it was true. She’d be the last person Buffy would tell her secrets to now…maybe forever.

“I’m sorry,” Willow said, turning to leave.

“What are you sorry for?” His voice stopped her. It would be rude to ignore him. But she wasn’t sure he wanted to hear her answer.

“I’m sorry she doesn’t… That she doesn’t feel what you do.”

Spike said nothing – or at least not before she walked away. She didn’t want to talk to Buffy. Not anymore.

Willow lay in bed and tossed and turned, nothing new – kicking magic played hell with her ability to sleep. This time, though, it wasn’t the thrum of unused power beckoning her to cast just one little spell that kept her awake; it was the memories of what she’d seen in that alley. Closing her eyes as tight as she could didn’t banish the vision of Buffy’s contempt for the man she was letting into her body…or of the way Spike had looked at that door as if it barred the way to paradise.

It hurt when the one you loved didn’t love you back; Willow knew that very well.

She shifted again, trying in vain to find that perfect position of her body which would align her with some sort of peaceful energy.

How had everything gone so horribly wrong? Bringing Buffy back was supposed to make everything better, but instead…

The road to this hell they were all living in was paved with Willow’s good intentions, wasn’t it?

She twisted and turned some more, but to no avail. Sleep never came.

When morning light came pouring through her window, Willow finally gave up and rolled out of bed. No point in trying anymore. Besides, she had breakfast to make for a girl who didn’t talk to her and a house to clean that was no longer a home.

It was afternoon when she decided to do…something. No, she guessed there was no way to really make things better for Spike, to truly right the wrongs she’d managed to unwittingly do him, but she could at least try…maybe to be his friend? Besides, anything was better staying here and running the risk of facing Buffy. She didn’t think she could bear to talk to her right now, and not before she’d gotten a whole lot of sleep.

So, without pausing to consider the fact that, given her recent track record, doing this might make things worse somehow, she grabbed her purse and headed over to Willie’s. Her overtures of friendship would probably be more welcome if accompanied by some human blood, right?

It was a longer walk than she remembered, or maybe she was just tired and that made it seem more of an arduous trek. Whatever the reason, it wasn’t like the old days – the old days when a visit to Willie’s was part of helping Buffy fight evil. Now…well, now Willow was barely a step above the evil they fought, wasn’t she? Now she was trusted with nothing more important than household chores.

But how could she blame her friends? She had gone off the deep end with her magic…and she had been the one who’d ripped Buffy out of the happiness she’d found in Heaven.

Thinking of that, Willow wondered: Should she be going to Spike? Shouldn’t she be more understanding of what Buffy was going through? Buffy was hurting – badly – and was it really fair to hold her accountable?

Even as she thought it, though, she knew it was wrong. Okay, Buffy had been ripped out of Heaven and that was awful but… She had friends, family, people who loved her, people who would do anything for her – yet she asked for nothing, even rejected love and friendship when it was offered.

Spike, though – he had no one. All he had was a love for Buffy that was all-consuming, a love Buffy seemed willing to use but not return. It wasn’t right. No matter what, it wasn’t right to treat someone the way she’d treated Spike in the alley – especially since it was so obviously a routine.

Willow’s mind kept flashing back to the way Spike had stared at that door. The longing and the anguish and the love that had radiated from him in waves stronger than the magic that pulled at her gut. Tara had looked at her like that once – the night she’d gone to her room to tell her that Oz was gone and she belonged to Tara alone. Maybe that was the reason that it was Spike’s pain ultimately that called to her more.

It didn’t matter why, though, really, did it? Because her choice was made. Here she was at the dingy door that led to Sunnydale’s very own demon bar – a low rent alternative to the Bronze for the otherworldly folks who called the Hellmouth home. Time to go inside, pick up some take-out, and then head over to Spike’s crypt.

The more she thought about this, the more determined she was. All she had to do was recall Spike’s pain. Whether he realized it or not, he needed a friend. And yeah, maybe he deserved better than Willow, but she was what was on offer and she was going to do the very best she could.

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