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No Place I'd Rather Be by angelskuuipo
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Author's Notes:
Thanks be to Gabrielle for the beta.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Spike was knocked for six at her words. ‘Do with me what you will, Master?’ What kind of game was the chit playin’ at?

“What are you playin’ at, Red?” He asked suspiciously.

Willow raised her dull eyes to meet his hurt blue. “I’m not playing any game, Spike. I know very well what my inaction has wrought. I live with the knowledge every day that I let my friends die to keep the peace with the others. You’ve been following me for a month, have you seen or heard me talk to any of them, even once?”

Without giving him time to respond, she went on, “No, and you won’t either. After I learned what happened in LA, I left them all. I couldn’t bear to be anywhere near them, knowing that because I didn’t want to upset Buffy and Giles, I let Fred, Wes, Angel, and Gunn die. That I let you be hurt, when I could have stopped it all.”

Her voice broke and she took a deep breath before continuing. Spike just looked at her, not saying anything. Willow wasn’t sure if he was really listening or not, but she was going to say this. “You want to hurt me, Spike? Fine, have at it. You can’t do any more damage to my body than I’ve already done to my soul. I’ll be your slave, your pet, whatever you want to call me, if it will ease your pain even the smallest bit. I’ll call you ‘Master’ and you can parade me around on a leash if it will help you in some way. I deserve whatever you want to do to me and probably so much more. Angel once said that atonement was a bitch; just call me atonement’s bitch, then. I think I’ve managed to rack up more in the unforgivable sins department with my act of cowardice than Angelus ever did. So, no game here, Spike. I’m yours to do with as you please.”

The fire that had briefly sparked in her flickered out once more and Willow sat back heavily on the bed. Spike continued to sit, just staring at her, absently taking a drag off his cigarette now and then.

She’s already broken inside, she is. This is no act. What more could I possibly do to her other than disfigure her like me? What good would that do? She already feels my pain. What if she could fix it?

“Can you fix it?” He asked suddenly.

Willow looked at him blankly. “What?”

“You’ve got access to all sorts of witchy powers.” Spike leaned forward, tipping his chair up on two legs as he warmed to his topic. “Can you make so it never happened?”

Willow looked at him like he’d lost his mind. “I can’t bring them back, Spike, even though I want to.”

He shook his head. “No. I remember Angel tellin’ me something about a ‘lost day’ some time back. Some higher-ups folded time or some such rot and the day repeated itself giving everyone a chance to change how it went the first time. Can you do something like that?”

Willow studied him in silence. Could she pull something like that off? Would her Goddess grant her this chance to right such a grievous wrong? “I-I can try, Spike. I’ll need to do some research.”

Spike watched her closely, trying to see if she was having him on. The witch looked sincere. “Alright, then. Let’s get started.”

~*~

Six months later

“You ready, witch?” Spike didn’t want to sound too eager, but he thought they really might have a chance to make things right again. If it didn’t work, he wasn’t sure what he was going to do. So instead, he focused on Willow.

Willow looked around one more time to make sure everything was in its place. This would work. It had to work. She nodded once. “Yes.” Willow looked at Spike and smiled crookedly. “Here’s hopin’.”

He returned her smile.

~*~

Wolfram & Hart- 2004

“Whadaya mean she’s not on this plane? You just said 'Astral projection?' Well is there any way to get her astral over to L.A.?” Angel asked Giles. Just then there was a flash of light and Willow stood on the other side of Angel’s desk. Angel said, “Never mind, Giles. We’ve got it taken care of.” He hung up on the other man and smiled in relief at Willow. “You came.”

Willow looked around and took in the faces of her fallen friends. It had worked. She had everything she needed to get Fred back and make sure history didn’t repeat itself. She wasn’t going to blow it this time. Her eyes were brimming with unshed tears when her gaze lit on Spike. He was whole and flawless and had never looked better to her. Taking a shaky breath, she said, “There’s no place I’d rather be.”

-30-

Skin Design by Amy



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