For my final offerings, I give you a just completed trilogy. You really should read Atonement and No Place I'd Rather Be to completely understand the final piece. Written for the Fall_for_Spike LJ Community. This is unbetaed. Any and all mistakes are mine.
The witch was watching him and, quite frankly, it was beginning to freak him out. He and Willow hadn’t spent much time together in Sunnydale, especially towards the end, so Spike was having a hard time figuring out her fascination with him now.
He hadn’t noticed at first. She had appeared in a flash of light in Angel’s office at Wolfram & Hart several months ago. Things had moved quickly then. She’d somehow managed to remove Illyria from Fred’s body and restore the little scientist’s soul. No one had a clue how Willow had done it, but they weren’t about to question the gift of having Fred back. Since her hair and eyes had turned white instead of black during the ritual, they figured it was light magicks that had been used and they had all given thanks to the Goddess.
Then came dealing with the Circle of the Black Thorn. The witch had been instrumental in helping destroy them while keeping the rest of Angel’s group alive. It was almost as if she knew what was going to happen and led them around the pitfalls. Whatever it was, Angel, Wes, Gunn, Fred, Lorne, he, and Willow were still alive. Wolfram & Hart was not.
The showdown with Buffy and Giles had also been something to see. The Slayer and Watcher had stormed into the newly renovated Hyperion all righteous indignation and superiority. Angel hadn’t even worked up a good scowl before the redhead had gotten into their faces and made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that they were not needed or welcome. Buffy had played the wounded friend and Giles had tried to reason that because the AI group had gone to Wolfram & Hart they couldn’t be trusted.
Willow had said something then that no one really understood, but had sent Buffy and Giles packing. She’d said, “Just because you’re holding onto grudges, unwilling to look beyond your own agendas and see that there’s more at stake than who’s right or wrong, doesn’t mean the rest of us are. You had no right to try and keep me from this. You had no right to guilt me into not helping. I let you do it once and it nearly destroyed me. I’ll be damned if I’ll let you do it again. If you send any of the baby slayers after Angel or Spike or any of this group, I swear I will send them back to you in little pieces. Keep them out of L.A., for everyone’s sake. When you can remember what it is we’re fighting for, maybe we’ll talk, but until then just stay the hell out of our lives.”
She’d become one of them that day. It was shortly after her confrontation with Buffy and Giles that Spike had noticed her watching him. There was a look in her eyes that he couldn’t place and it was driving him crazy.
In some ways, he was flattered. The way she deferred to him, lowering her eyes when he looked directly at her, the way she stood slightly behind him if the group was together, it was a serious stroke to his demon and his ego. It was like she was his…pet.
At that thought, Spike’s mind was flooded with the image of a naked Willow kneeling before him, head bowed in submission. Her only adornment, the black leather collar around her neck. The scene changed and she was chained to a wrought iron bed, her pale back marred by vivid red streaks, and he could feel himself getting hard at the sight of the flogger falling onto her back.
Spike heard what he thought was his own voice, but it was rough, distorted, like his voice box had been damaged. “Why are you here, Witch?” he heard his ruined voice ask. He blinked at the witch’s reply. “Atonement, Master.”
Spike shook his head to clear it and the waking dream obediently faded. He had to get to the bottom of this and soon.
Willow wasn’t sure how much longer she could go on before she did something incredibly stupid. She knew this Spike wasn’t the same one who’d taken her for revenge in another life. This Spike wasn’t the one who’d introduced her to the pains and pleasures of being his toy to do with as he pleased. Knowing this was a different Spike didn’t stop her from craving his touch, though. She’d been very well trained in the six months they’d spent researching how to fix her mistake.
She still had the collar her Spike had placed around her throat the night after they’d come to their agreement. She’d taken to wearing turtlenecks to conceal it. Willow was beginning to consider finding a new master to feed this need that had been planted inside her, but the very thought seemed like a betrayal of someone who didn’t even exist now.
She was sure he’d caught her watching him a few times. She tried to be careful, but the pull she felt towards him played havoc with her discretion. She entertained the wild thought that maybe this Spike would be willing to take on the role his future self had played, but she couldn’t bring herself to approach him. So she contented herself with being there and doing things for him that she hoped wouldn't raise too many questions.
It wasn’t enough.
Spike found her on the roof of the hotel watching the stars. He watched her for a few moments and was startled when she started to speak. He hadn’t thought she knew he was there. He soon realized, though, that she was talking to herself and listened unabashedly.
“I need therapy. I miss you, you know. You were a harsh master, but fair. You never hurt me unduly, even when I wanted you to. Goddess, but we were so messed up, both wanting to die, but too stubborn to go through with it. We fed each other’s madness, I think. Ah, Spike, I wish you could see what I’ve done, what you helped me to do.” He blinked at his name and was about to step forward when she continued. He decided to stay put.
“I did what we set out to do. I got Fred back and sent Illyria packing. You should have seen your face when she woke up asking for tacos. I really thought you might cry. Angel did and you didn’t even bother to tease him about it. She and Wes got married last month. We took out the Black Thorn and Wolfram & Hart without losing any of ours. Your insights really helped with that. Connor and Wes are still oblivious, too. Thanks for letting me in on that little gem. Angel and I talked about it and I agree it’s for the best that the others don’t know.” Spike had no idea what she meant by that and wasn’t sure he wanted to know.
“Angel Investigations is solid, Master. I also confronted Buffy and Giles. I think you would have been proud of me. They came here ready to stake you and Angel, but they never had the chance. I stood up to them like I should have the first time. I don’t think we’ll have any problems with them or the others.”
She quieted and Spike thought she was done. He was about to make his presence known when she spoke again.
“I know I’ve already said it, but I miss you. I miss your touch, your ruined voice, the way you wouldn’t let me hide from what I’ve done, but never threw it back in my face. You had every right to hate me, but I think by the end we understood each other. You left your mark on me, though. I have such a need to feel the sting of a whip, and it’s driving me crazy. I still wear your collar, but the memories aren’t enough. Spike, I need you and I can’t have you, and I don’t know what to do.”
He stepped out of the shadows then and stood behind her. “Why don’t you ask me?”
Willow stifled a shriek and spun around to look at him, hands at her throat. Eyes wide with anxiety, she stuttered, “Sp-spike? Uh, uh, h-how much did y-you hear?”
He looked her over, taking in the light blue, sleeveless turtleneck and long blue and white skirt. His eyes lingered at the high neck of her top, which he now knew hid something a version of him had given her. He didn’t understand all of what she’d said, but he figured he had plenty of time to get it out of her.
When he finally met her worried gaze, he smirked and drawled, “Heard enough to know that you and I have plenty to talk about, pet.”
He saw her swallow hard and watched with interest as her eyes dilated. He breathed deep and took in her scent: fear, determination, and not a little bit of arousal. Well, well, this kept getting better and better. He barely managed to keep his jaw from dropping when she dropped to her knees before him and bowed her head.
“Whatever you wish, Master.”