Summary: Willow can't accept her friends distrust of her boyfriend, so she tries to do the one thing that should get them to accept him. (slightly au from s4 on)
Notes: This is a challenge I made to myself to write both a pairing and a character I don't like. Please tell me if you think I'm falling into bashing Willow, cause that's definitely not the intention
Could someone etch a grin on your face and make you all warm inside? Willow was pretty sure there was a spell for that. But right now, she didn’t need any bit of it. There was a bounce in her step as she took the stairs up to his apartment. Spike had moved a day or two after the big attack three weeks ago. A gang of vampires, fledglings really, had attacked her in the cemetery. They had had no clue what they were in for; of course, if they had, they wouldn’t have gotten that close to a tree while attacking a witch. It hadn’t mattered to him that she’d taken out at least two before he’d gotten there or that the third had been about to make a run for it before Spike first crippled and then staked him. He was too furious to even listen when he realized that the fourth had managed to scratch her. She’d never seen anyone literally rip someone’s head off before. Willow didn't dare ask how he paid for the apartment. She seriously doubted she ever wanted to find out.
She held a flower and trailed it along her fingertips. She'd finally solved the ‘giant issue’ that really hadn’t been even half as big as Buffy and the gang made it appear. She couldn't wait to go tell Buffy and the others the good news; and she would, as soon as she told him that is. The door creaked resounding through the hallway. She looked around, hoping it wouldn’t pull attention from any of Spike’s neighbours.
She knew he’d oiled the thing only two days ago. She’d been standing behind him while he did it. Daring to kiss him as he’d knelt in front of the wood, her fingers sliding down his shirt, making him shiver while he slowly poured down the oil along the hinges. He’d grabbed her and carried her to the couch where he’d slowly undressed her, his tongue…
It took her a moment to force herself back to the present. There wasn’t any sign of him. His smokes lay untouched on top of the fridge. Spike had never been a morning person... creature… Even his Play Station was still the same tangled up mess that he’d dropped to the floor the night before.
She didn’t see him anywhere in the room. His form wasn’t causing a lump between the sheets of the huge round bed that he had asked her to teleport into the room. It didn’t leave much ground for hiding as it filled the room to the point that there was barely space enough for a pair of dressers and those tended to be covered with candles wherever he didn’t throw his dirty clothes. He never did seem to get the meaning of the word fire hazard.
"Honey, I'm home…." She whispered the words, because it somehow seemed wrong to speak up in the dead silence.
Nothing. She couldn’t hear anything but the muffled sound of a hammer hitting wood. Were the neighbours at it again? They’d been working on their living room for the past week and it was enough to drive anyone to murder. Oh sure, they apologized with their mixture of Broken English and dime store Japanese. Pretending they didn’t understand half of what you said, while smiling all through the apology. With Spike’s enhanced hearing it had to be driving him crazy, so where was he? Normally he’d turn up the music, use the Sex Pistols the way they ought to be used; or so he said, as a weapon of mass destruction. One of these days she’d get it through his head that he didn’t have to settle for something like this. It couldn't be that hard in Sunnydale. People were practically throwing their house keys in your face, just begging you to take that empty room of their hands. She liked that he was living as a human, she just wished the place was more humane. He deserved that.
"Spike?!" Still no answer.
There wasn't that much space in the apartment and it was daylight. He wouldn't have left before nightfall, he rarely did. Not since she asked him… She felt a bit bad about laying on the guilt, but what was she supposed to do, just watch as he came out, running under his blanket again, watching him burned like that just to save her and Dawn? Smelling his burnt flesh had nearly destroyed her. She’d done one of those tiny white lies, over-exaggerated how tired she was after healing him. He’d been a lot more careful since she had.
Yet another round of hammering started up; it seemed even more noticeable after it had been gone for half a minute. But it didn't sound like it was coming from downstairs. More like the direction of the closet. Was Spike finally working on it? He'd planned to do something about it since the shelving collapsed. But then again, soulless vampires-no, men…they just liked to delay the inevitable
She opened the door, her mouth fell open, she took a step back, the wall was painted in dried up blood. And Spike sat holding his legs, banging his head against the wall as if hoping to bash his brains out.
*A few weeks earlier*
“Spike? When did you know you loved me?”
She felt insecure as she asked it, her friends said he was only interested in her to get close to them, to hurt Buffy. How could a man like him ever be even remotely interested in someone like her?
Spike smiled, allowing her head to rest on his shoulder, his fingers gently brushing over her arm, up to her shoulders, reaching her neck. It always ended at the neck for him. It should have worried her, but it didn’t.
“Was it the fuzzy sweater with the lilac underneath?” Willow continued.
“Well it made me want to turn you, so that’s something, right?”
Men weren’t supposed to giggle like that.
"Then what was it?" She really, really wanted to know.
He closed his eyes for a second.
"Remember when I was chained up in Giles bathtub? The slayer had to go to class and you had a free period."
"You brought me my blood and put burba weed in it. That's when I knew I liked you."
"Because I put burba weed in your blood?"
"Because you treated me like a man."
Willow didn't know what to say to that.
"But I really fell in love with you when you came up to me after Adam." he grinned. "I was half way waiting for the slayer to show up and stake me when you came bursting into my crypt. I didn't know what to say. I tried to snark, but you looked at me as if anything I said would be the exact wrong thing."
"You told me that if I ever betrayed you guys again, you'd make me Amy's roommate. That's when I knew I loved you."
They all thought they were oh so inconspicuous, with their soft whispers and those careful glances, which they thought she didn’t notice. Quietly behind her back, treating her like she was a child who didn’t have a clue about what she was getting herself into. She hated how it hurt him. He wasn’t that bad and he loved her. How could anyone hate a man that loved her as much as Spike did?
She’d knitted him a carry-case for his glasses, the ones that he pretended he didn’t need. He’d taken his glasses out of the handkerchief he used to hide them in and carefully pushed the pair between the woollen sides.
“Perfect fit.” He’d said before kissing her.
It only seemed to increase the hostility.
“Don’t think about them Red. They’re just background noise. Little people, living their own little lives, they’re not like you and I.”
His voice caressed her, letting her know she was worshipped. And she knew he was right. Sure they were her friends, but it shouldn’t matter what they said. They didn’t understand, not about magic and definitely not about him.
“I love you.” She said the magic words almost as if they were the most natural things in the world – she did love him. She had to love him, it was what you did when someone loved you, wasn’t it?