tagCelebritiesRebound Ch. 06-08

Rebound Ch. 06-08

bybadgirl298©

Spike watched Willow run back and forth across her room collecting items. He
could tell that she was still embarrassed about waking up snuggled next to him, because
she was studiously ignoring him. “Luv, why don’t you take me with you to class?”

“Uh. . .I don’t think that’s a good idea.” She said distractedly. “Have you seen my
English essay?”

“I put it in the drawer of your desk after I proofread it.” He smiled triumphantly.
“I even stapled it for you, pet.”

“Thanks!” She looked confused. “Why do you want to come with me?”

“I could carry your books.” He suggested. “I’d be like a personal bodyguard.”
He stood up and pulled on his t-shirt.

“Spike. Why do you really want to come? You can’t tell me you ‘d enjoy
carrying things for me and scaring frat boys on campus.” She laughed. “Well, maybe
I’d buy the last one, but not the first.”

His face turned serious. “Why? Do they bother you at school, pet? I could-”

“No, I was just kidding.” Although, the mental image of Spike threatening the frat
rats made her want to laugh. Maybe he is a bad influence.

She looked up and was surprised to see him looking at his feet. She had the
feeling that if vampires blushed, he would be. “Spike?”

“Good.” He was still staring at her floor and she didn’t catch the rest of what he
said. At her raised brow, he put his chin up and spoke up. He tried to sound casual, but
didn’t quite succeed. “I never got to go to university. That was for the upper class, so to
speak.” He turned his back to her, and closed his eyes. “There was a time that I wanted
to be a scholar. I was going to be a . . .a poet.” He spun back around. “But, don’t you
feel sorry for me! I got over it the moment I met Drusilla! It’s been all fun and games
since then!” He grinned, thinking back to the havoc they had caused across Europe.
Then he looked serious again. “But, still, I always wondered what was so special about
people who went to university. They seemed to know so many things I didn’t. I guess, I
still want to see what all the fuss was about.”

“Spike,” she began gently. “I can’t take you with me. For one thing, it’s day.”

“I could bring my trusty blanket.”

“For another, they check for student identification. They are cracking down on
vagrants having access to campus. Everyone would wonder what I was doing bringing a
homeless man along with me.” She laughed, trying to tease him. He didn’t see the
humor. Suddenly, she realized that Spike was homeless, and that he probably didn’t
find the situation funny. She didn’t know what to do. She was used to sarcasm, humor,
teasing, or cruelty from Spike. She wasn’t used to seeing him sad and vulnerable. “If I
ever have a night class, you can come, alright?”

“Really, Red? You’re serious?” He sounded unsure. That thought went straight
to her heart. “You’d take me with you?”

“Yes,” she promised. And she meant it. “And I’ll come straight home, today. I’ll
tell you all about it. Y-you can even look over my notes!”

“Well, “ He kind of smiled to himself. Then he was back in playful Spike mode.
“As much as I love our mornings together, you’d better get going before you’re late.”
He held up her book bag and helped her pull the straps up over her shoulders, but
instead of letting her go, he pulled her back by the little loop at the top of the bag. He
kissed her jaw and whispered, “Miss me.” Then pushed her toward the door. She was
so surprised she couldn’t even come up with a come-back and instead, just rushed down
the stairs and out the door. She had a lot to think about.

Back in her room, Spike smiled to himself. Liked the sensitive type did she? Well, he
could be sensitive. He bet he could put Peaches to shame if he tried. But, there was a small part
of him that said he hadn’t been acting a moment ago. After all, his human self had
wanted desperately to be formally educated. And when she had promised him that she
would take him to a night class, something in him had softened. He was even more
determined to make her his permanent companion, now.

*******

Angel had rented a hotel room on the outskirts of Sunnydale before he had come
to see Willow the previous evening. The room came with a small kitchenette, and he
had stocked the fridge with blood in case he was in town for a long period of time.
Angel sat in one of the easy chairs, idly flipping through one of his books. He was
troubled by his reaction to Willow. Before last night, he had never thought of her as a
woman. She had always just been Buffy’s friend. But he knew that if Spike hadn’t
interfered he would have made it a real kiss. And there was no denying he would have
enjoyed every nuance of that kiss.

Angel shook his head. He refused to worry about it anymore. He had just
started getting used to living without Buffy. Willow was familiar, beautiful, intelligent,
and kind. It was only natural to have feelings for her. It was just a harmless little
attachment that would end soon. He might as well enjoy her company while he was
here. Angel stared at the clock on the wall. He was looking forward to seeing her
tonight, though he was reluctant to examine exactly why or what that meant.

*******

Willow spun before her mirror. Well, it wasn’t leather, but it was black. She was
dressed in a short, black, silk dress that stopped just before her knees, the sleeves flared
at the elbows and flowed gracefully about her wrists. She wore a silver pendant, and
two silver bracelets. She had bought a pair of knee-high black suede boots for the
ensemble and was pleased with her new look. Spike came up behind her to gaze at her
reflection over her shoulder. “There just seems to be something missing, doesn’t there,
pet?”

“You think so?” She asked, chewing worriedly on her lower lip. “Should I put
my hair up? “ She started to pile it on top of her head with her hands. Spike’s left hand
shot out to stop her.

“No, I like it down. Loose.” He smoothed it back into place with the back of his
hand. Then with his other hand he held out a long rectangular box. It was silver,
wrapped with black ribbon. “Try this.”

She took the box from him. His hand fell to rest lightly on her waist. He pressed
a kiss to her temple. “Well, go on. Open it.”

She pulled off the ribbon and tossed the lid aside. Inside lay a beautiful vest. It
was leather on the outside, but lined with satin on the inside. The leather was tooled
with silver starbursts and moons. Instead of buttons, a satin ribbon was woven down
the front. “Oh!”

He whispered in her ear, “Do you like it then, pet?”

“I love it.” She said softly. “You got this for me?”

“Of course.” He shrugged and pretended to be embarrassed. “Well, I was bored
while you were at school, so I took a walk. Nearly scorched myself, what with the wind
blowing the way it was, almost took the blanket away from me. That’s when I saw it. I
could see it in the store window, and it reminded me of you, so I . . .thought you’d like
it.” He ducked his head, hiding a grin. She was touched. He helped her put it on, and
felt a sense of contentment. He used to buy Dru gifts like this. He knew that Willow
would find the vest, among other things, to be a perfect fit. He laced it up for her.
“There now. Perfect.”

Willow didn’t say anything for a moment. He had bought her a gift? She wasn’t
sure what to make of this. It was so sweet and thoughtful. Especially for a cold-blooded
killer. “Thank you, Spike.”

“That’s all I get? A ‘thank you’? I expected more.” He gave her a teasing smile.

She frowned. She should have known better than to think this was a purely
altruistic move on his part. “And what did you expect?”

“This.” He leaned forward, his mouth covering hers hungrily. He didn’t take the
time to cup her face, or work up to a full kiss, like Angel had. When he pulled away, she
stood breathless and flustered. “There now, cosmetics couldn’t do that for you, could
they, pet?” He turned her to face the mirror. Her cheeks had a soft, rosy glow, and her
lips looked a little swollen and pink.

Willow was terribly confused. She knew that she had certain feelings toward
Spike, but the more time she spent with him, the more emotional and less hormonal
those feelings seemed. And then, last night, with Angel, had she imagined that? Or had
that kiss been more than friendly? She wasn’t sure, but she had been counting the
minutes until she saw him again. Now, she wasn’t sure she wanted to see him at all.
But it was too late for that now. She heard the doorbell ring downstairs. He was here.

“That must be Peaches. Right on time.” Spike grimaced. “How dull and
expected. I’ll get him.” And he was out the door before she found her voice.

“Spike.” Angel nodded as the blond vampire opened the door.

“Poofter.” He nodded back, deadpan. He stepped back so Angel could come in.
“So where are you taking her tonight? Denny’s again? Or will it be Pizza Hut? Oh, if
she’s a lucky girl you’ll take her to McDonalds. Buy her a happy meal?”

“It’s none of your business.” Angel replied, enjoying Spike’s obvious anger. But
suddenly, the smirk froze on his face as his gaze drifted past Spike to the stairs. “Wow.”

Spike turned to look over his shoulder. Willow was coming down the steps. She
seemed to float. When she noticed the attention she was receiving she blushed and
bowed her head slightly. She came to a halt at the bottom of the steps and stood with
her hands clasped behind her back, unsure what to do now. Spike’s eyes softened as he
looked at her. He had the urge to gather her up and lock her in the room upstairs. He
wasn’t really pleased to have to share.

Angel stepped forward and produced one perfect violet rose for her. He had
removed all the thorns. “For you.”

“Thank you.” She held it delicately.

Spike was unimpressed. “Too cheap to buy a whole dozen, mate? Like the vest? I
bought it for her, helped her put it on too.”

Willow glared at Spike and then smiled at Angel. “I love the rose.”

“Shall we go?” Angel offered his arm to her. She tucked her hand in the crook of
his elbow. Her heart was pounding.

Spike expression was less than friendly. “Make sure you have her back on time,
mate. No sneaking off to that hotel room of yours.”

“Goodnight, Spike.” Willow smiled at him reassuringly, as she stepped outside
with Angel.

Angel grinned at him over his shoulder. “Don’t wait up, William.”

Spike kicked the door shut and swore. He should have made it a simpler bet.

*********

Willow was having a wonderful time. Angel took her to a small bistro outside of
town which was located on a cliff that overlooked the ocean. The spectacular view only
enhanced the delicious food. Angel had ordered shrimp alfredo over pasta for both of
them. He also got them a bottle of expensive white wine from the wine steward. They
had baked alaska for dessert. She was surprised that the vampire knew so much about
wine and food.

When she had asked him, he had sheepishly admitted that he was intrigued by
the importance humans placed on food. He told her that it made him feel selfish to eat
when he knew his body didn’t need the food to live. Eating food, for him, was a
completely pleasurable experience and that he hadn’t eaten in years.

Before he was turned, he subsisted on simple fare like meat, potatoes, and bread.
After he was turned, he lived on blood and had no need or real interest in food. Now, he
was an avid watcher of the food network. His favorite television chef was Alton Brown.

She loved listening to Angel speak about the places he’d been, the people he’d
met, and the great events of history he had witnessed. She stared at him, fascinated as
he wove tale after tale. His face was illuminated by candlelight in the darkened
restaurant as he put her small hand between his two larger ones. “Angel, you don’t
have to do this. Spike isn’t here to see it.” She murmured, feeling guilty about the
money, time, and attention he was lavishing on her.

For a brief moment, he was hurt that she assumed all of this was strictly about
winning the bet. Then, he realized that no one had ever given Willow this type of
consideration. All she had known was the love of a boy–a wolf boy at that. Angel
brought her hand to his mouth and kissed it. “Don’t you believe you deserve to be
treated like this, Willow?”

Willow refused to meet his intense gaze. “Angel, we both know you are looking
at me and wishing it was someone else who was here.” And we both know who. She tried
to pull her hand back.

“I don’t wish she was here.” He said with quiet conviction. Amazed that he was
able to give voice to the thought. Angel cleared his throat. “There is so much that we
have in common, Willow. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve had a meaningful
conversation with anyone? Do you know how good it feels to be around you? I want to
feel good again, Willow.”

“You make me feel good, too. I just wish that it didn’t come with guilt.”

“Guilt over Buffy?” She nodded. “There needn’t be. I want to be your friend,
Willow. I know that there is an. . .attraction. But, we don’t have to act on it, right?”
Even as he said this, Angel knew that he wanted to -- desperately.

“No, we don’t have to act on it.” She agreed, then gave him an uncertain smile.
“So, tell me more about France.”

********

There was a small tapping at the balcony doors. Without thinking, Spike flung
them open and snarled, “What? Did you forget your bloody keys, Red?”

“What are you doing in Willow’s bedroom at this time of night?”

“What are you doing sneaking into her bedroom at this time of night?” Spike
countered. “Aren’t you afraid you’ll piss of your little vengeance demon?”

“I was just–hey! I’m not the undead, I’m her best friend. I don’t have to explain
myself.” Xander shoved past Spike and glanced about the room. Willow was nowhere
to be found. He pulled a stake out of his cargo pants. “Where is she? What did you do
to her?”

“Bloody sod. You got the wrong bloodsucker, or ex-bloodsucker, anyway.”
Spike flashed him a humorless smile. “She’s out with one of your old buddies. You
might remember him. Tall. Dark. Broods a lot. Heavy on the hair gel. Lost his soul
and killed some fish. Ring any bells? Do I need to use smaller words?”

“I knew it!” Xander sat down on the bed. “There was no way he was asking all
those questions about her without ulterior motives.”

Spike nodded and sat down glumly at the desk chair. “Bloody poof’s after my
Red.”

“Your Red? Have you been feeding on crackheads, too?”

“People with cracked heads?” Spike looked confused, that sounded messy.

“Never mind.” Spike was obviously not an urban vampire. “She’s MY Willow.”

“Whatever.”

“Do you know where he took her?”

“I dunno. Some fancy pants restaurant if I know the great poof.”

“What?” He had assumed that Angel had kidnapped her. “You mean they went
out to dinner?”

“Isn’t that usually what you blokes do on a date?”

“They’re on a date?”

“You catch on real quick, pizza boy.”

“So what do we do?”

“Wait.”

*******

“Spike, quit peeking at the cards. That’s cheating!”

“So what?”

“You’re bad at it. I can see you cheating! At least make an effort to hide it.”
Xander looked down at the Memory game on the floor between them. Spike had 6
matches, Xander only had three.

“Look, you gotta cut me some slack. I’m old, the memory’s not so good. It just
balances everything out, y’know.” Spike sneaked a look at another card again.

“That’s it! I’m not playing with you anymore.” Xander got up in a huff and sat at
the desk to frown at the grinning vampire.

“You give in? Fine, I win.” Spike loved winning, he chuckled to himself as he
gathered up all the cards and put them away. He stood up to put it back on Red’s shelf
when a car pulled in the driveway.

“Is it her mom and dad?” Xander noticed the headlights.

“No, they left a message on the machine. Something about a week long seminar
for work.” He said, distracted. It was definitely Angel’s car. But why weren’t they
coming inside?

“What’s the hold up?”

“I don’t know, but I’m going to find out.”

Spike ran to Willow’s bedroom door, flung it open, and raced down the stairs to
the living room. Xander came in right behind him.

*******

Angel shut off the engine, he could see Spike and Xander through the large
picture window. “Looks like we have an audience, Willow.” He reached over to pull her
into his arms. “Will Xander tell-“

”No, he wouldn’t want to upset Buf-everyone.”

“Good.” Angel pulled her halfway onto his lap.

She sat facing him, looking uncertain. “I’ve never made out with a guy while
people were watching.”

His smile was provocative. “Mmm, so I’m the first?” He teased. Angel was
looking forward to kissing her, touching her more than he cared to admit. He just had to
know if the potency of last night’s kiss had all been in his fevered imagination. “It’s
okay, Willow.” He caught her eyes with his own, seeking a way to ease her fears. “This
will be fun. Can you imagine Xander’s face? He’s probably ready to have a seizure.” His
lips nibbled at hers while she pondered this.

She smiled as she imagined her friend’s stunned face, and finally relaxed against
him and opened her mouth. Angel deepened the kiss. He groaned against her mouth,
this was no figment of his imagination.

******

Spike and Xander stood by the window, watching intently. Spike rolled his eyes,
he needed to expend some energy. “I had such a good time tonight, you big handsome
poof.” Spike mocked, his voice lightened into a high falsetto.

Xander caught on to Spike’s performance. “Do you like my hair? I used extra hair
gel–just for you.” He deepened his voice as much as possible and tried to furrow his
brow.

“Oh, yes. I really like the coat, too–“

”Do you? It’s the only one I’ll wear, see how it billows around me so nicely?”
Xander took a few steps with his chest thrust out, waving his arms behind him as if they
were Angel’s coat.

“Ooh. It does. And what a manly sashay you have. Angel, you make my heart
beat faster.” Spike pressed his hand to his chest.

“Oh, Willow. You’re so beautiful. Almost as pretty as me. Darn, if only I didn’t
turn into a homicidal maniac after I’ve slept with a woman.”

“That’s alright. Just yammer away at me until I want to puke. Then, whip my
hormones into a frenzy by taking off your shirt. I can never get enough of seeing that
tattoo and those macho biceps of yours.”

“I know. And did you see my bold, black boots? They kind of say ‘dark and
dangerous’, huh? But enough about me” He paused a beat. “What do you think about
me?”

“Oh, Angel. I can’t speak when I’m gazing into those soul-filled dark eyes of
yours. Kiss me, you fool!”

They both collapsed into hysterical laughter. Angel and Willow entered to see the
Xander and Spike howling on the floor, tears running down their cheeks. Xander
pounded his hand on the floor.

“Are you two alright?” Angel said. At his serious facial expression and creased
brow, they both broke into fresh laughter.

As their hilarity subsided, Spike recovered first. “I’m glad I don’t have to bleedin’
breathe.” He reached over to slap Xander on the back when the young man sounded like

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