Rebound Ch. 10


* Curiouser and Curiouser . . . .

Willow was surprised that Spike hadn't opened the door for her. He usually waited for her arrival. When she stepped inside, she saw a black envelope and a platter filled with cheese and crackers on a table in the foyer. Emblazoned on the envelope in crimson ink was the word, "RED". She opened it to reveal a black note card that simply said "EAT ME". She could just picture the blond vampire cackling as he wrote those two words out. Willow smiled as she chose a treat from the tray.

Willow was nibbling on a tangy piece of cheese as she spotted a glass of red wine midway up the stairs . With another black envelope. She opened it and it said "DRINK ME." She picked up the glass and took a sip. Willow ascended the rest of the staircase.

Her bedroom door was ajar. She entered to find Spike sitting on the bed with a box wrapped in black paper on his lap. She opened her mouth to speak when he put a finger to his mouth and shook his head.

She smiled and went over to him and began to rip the paper off the box. She lifted the lid to reveal a miniature of herself. It was an auburn-haired porcelain doll, dressed in a elegant red gown. Her hand shook a little. Another woman in Spike's life had been gifted with dolls. Does he want another Drusilla? She raised her eyes to Spike's face. His expectant grin faded. "You don't like it, luv?"

"I'm not Drusilla, Spike." She said quietly.

"I know you're not, pet." He pulled her down to sit next to him on the bed. "Willow, when I look at you. . . I see you. I don't wish Dru was here." She continued to look at him skeptically. "Remember when I took you to the factory?"

"You mean when you kidnapped me and asked me to do a love spell?"

"Uh, right. Sorry about that, luv. Anyway. . .I was out of my head. Dru was gone, I was all alone. That's when I first noticed you. You stood up to me, put me in my place even after I threatened you and your idiot friend. I admired your grit. And when I was close to you, had my head on your shoulder. . ." He closed his eyes as if reliving the moment. "Trust me, luv. I never forgot about you." He put the lid back, covering the doll's face. "I'll get you something better, pet."

Her fear faded a little, Spike had been with Drusilla for over a hundred years. He thought that dolls were special to all women. She realized that he had gotten her a tiny version of herself to cherish. She took the box from him. "I love it." she said honestly. His grin returned. "You just freaked me out. For a second there, I thought you might have gotten me a voodoo doll." She smiled to hear his bark of laughter.

"I'm glad you like it, luv." He smiled. "Now where's my 'thank you' kiss?" She picked the doll up and kissed his cheek with it. He raised his scarred eyebrow. She gave him a quick kiss on the mouth. "Do you talk to them?"


"The dolls?"

"Uh, no. I stopped doing that when I was in grade school. Do you talk to them?"

"I used to for Dru sometimes. I even made 'em talk to her." He gave a slightly embarrassed shrug, but his smile was a little nostalgic. "Used to make her laugh."

Willow smoothed his hair as he spoke. His expression had clouded after he said that, she wondered what terrors he was revisiting in that labyrinthine mind of his. She gave him a teasing smile, trying to lighten his mood. She picked up her small twin. "Now all she needs is a little man doll."

"Just as long as it's a blond one. No dark haired poofy dolls for her." Spike said gruffly. He cleared his throat. "Are you hungry, pet?"

"No, not really."

"Oh, peaches took you through a drive-thru somewhere before he brought you over? Did he spring for the bloody 99 cent menu?"

She laughed despite herself, playing along. "No, he let me order whatever I wanted. And not from the kids menu either." She thought about the cards he had left for you. "I liked the Alice in Wonderland set up, too. How did you think of it?"

He gestured to her shelf full of books. "You have that book as well as Through the Looking Glass." She was touched, he took the time and effort to find out what she liked. He smiled. "How about a movie then?"

"You want to go to a theater?" She was a little surprised. For the most part he hadn't indicated any interest in going out. She had always assumed that he liked the fast- paced nightlife. After all, the Scooby's had encountered him many times at the Bronze. She was also a little disappointed. She had been looking forward to having him to herself.

"Hmmmm. . .let me see, being in a darkened space with dozens of mortals I don't know? Or be in a darkened living room with one very special mortal. Wait! Let me think. . ." *********

"What in the bloody hell is that thing? Why is it singing? It doesn't look scary, just . . .fuzzy." Spike sat on the end of the couch, his feet propped on the coffee table. He had rented Gremlins, knowing that scary movies were the quickest way to a cuddle. So far, he wasn't impressed with the fear factor. Willow lay half on, half off the couch at the other end. She kicked him.

"Shh!" She loved this movie. And she happened to find it very frightening. "Haven't you seen this before?" He shook his head and grabbed her feet and pulled them into his lap. "It's a Mogwai. Just watch."

He studied the screen as he slid her shoes off her feet, a grin playing with the corners of his mouth. She was wearing woolly socks covered with little witches on broomsticks. Gently he rubbed first one foot, then the other, using his thumb to make firm circles on the balls of her feet. To his satisfaction, she sighed and settled further into the couch. He smiled. The more relaxed she was when the scary part came, the more she would jump. The more she jumped, the more reason he would have to pull her into his embrace. He could just imagine it. Awww, did the little fuzzy thing scare you? Come here and the Big Bad will protect you. *********

"For Christ's sake! Not the microwave! OH NO!!" Spike shrieked and Willow pulled him closer. The moment the first Gremlin had appeared he had jumped so high he almost fell off the couch. The next thing she knew, he was holding her like a shield from the television and asking her when it was safe to look again. "That's disgusting!"

"What's the matter?" She asked, trying not to laugh.

"I just don't understand. What were those blobs? What happened to the fuzzy one?" A horrible thought struck him. "Oh, bloody hell, Red. They didn't eat the little bugger, did they?"

"No, he's just fine." She patted his blond head. "And you'd know that if you'd kept your eyes open."

"I had my eyes open the whole time!" He protested. "It's not like I'm scared, it's just gross! Those weird slimy blobs remind me of baby chaos demons. Ever seen one? Never mind, if you'd smelled one you'd understand. Worse than cabbage. "

"Uh-huh, this coming from the Big Bad?"

"I was ruthless–not icky." They settled back down to watch again.

"Sure, Spike. Whatever you say."

"Aghhhhh!" Microwave popcorn flew through the air.

"What?!" Willow jumped, and Spike clutched her closer.

"The nasty striped one just jumped into the pool!" Willow tried. She honestly tried not to laugh. She covered her mouth. And tried to think about something else. But when she looked at Spike and he was actually chewing on one of his nails, she lost it. It started with an escaped snicker. Then grew to giggles. At last, she just couldn't help herself, and let out with a peal of laughter so loud, Spike jumped again. This just made her laugh all the harder.

"Oh, you think it's funny, do you?" He grabbed her by the waist to prevent her form falling off the sofa. "Poor little Gizmo is hiding terrified in a backpack, scared of the light, and you think it's a joke!"

"I–I–I'm s-s-sorry!" She gasped, trying to get herself under control.

"That's it, you're gonna get it." His grip on her tightened.

"Spike! NO! Don't you dare!" It was too late. All out tickle warfare ensued. By the time they were finished, they both lay on the spilled popcorn, between the coffee table and the couch. Willow sat on his stomach, trying to catch her breath. Spike crossed his arms behind his head, not needing to.

"Oh, we missed the ending, luv." He looked upset. "Did the little fuzzy one make it?"

Willow coughed to hide the fresh giggles. Then she stretched. It felt good to laugh so much. It occurred to her that she had not laughed once today while at Angel's. She shook off that thought and looked down at Spike. She decided to take pity on him. "Yes. Gizmo's just fine. He's even in the sequel."

"There's a sequel? I should have rented it, too."

"I think one's enough for tonight."

Spike reached up and touched a lock of her hair. "So what do you say, pet? Are you finally hungry?"

She looked at him mischievously. "Are you sure you can stomach food?"

"Of course, luv. I may be adorable, I may not even be that fond of light, but you can feed me after midnight." She moved to stand up, but he stopped her. In one fluid movement, he stood, scooping her into his arms. "You don't have your shoes on." He offered as an explanation.

Once in the kitchen, he deposited her on one of the chairs and headed to the fridge. "What are you hungry for, pet?"

"Something sweet."

His eyes lit with an idea. He pulled a white bakery box from the refrigerator and a bottle of red wine. "I bought strawberry cheesecake for us at the store." He didn't even bother with plates, just grabbed two forks. They ate in companionable silence. She had to spear him with the fork occasionally when he tried to scoop the strawberries off her half. Soon, they were both clutching their stomachs, experiencing eater's remorse. ********


Buffy dusted what she hoped was the last vampire of the evening. She blew the remaining ashes off of trusty Mr. Pointy and deposited him in her bag of weapons, then headed for her dormitory. On her way, she passed Anya who was sitting on a bench. She appeared to be crying. Buffy winced, Xander had broken up with her.

"Anya, are you alright?" Buffy said, sitting down beside her.

"Yes, I'm fine." She said morosely. . She pulled a tiny packet of tissues from her jeans pocket and pulled one out to wipe away the tears.

"Anya, you're crying. Want to tell me about it?"

"It's Xander, he-"

"I know." Buffy patted the girl's back awkwardly. She didn't know what to do. She knew Anya would be upset, she just never expected her to take it this hard. She must have really loved Xander. Still, Buffy couldn't help but wish Xander and Willow happiness. Wills had been in love with him for years.

"Xander can be so cruel some times. I just don't understand it. If I asked you something, would you give me an honest answer?"

"Uh, sure." Buffy prayed this question didn't involve Willow and how long the two had been dating.

"Do I smell like cabbage?"


"Do I smell like cabbage?" When nothing but a confused squeak came out of Buffy's mouth, she burst into fresh tears. "It's true! Xander was right. He was talking on the phone after we'd just had wild sex tonight. Xander said something about a demon that smelled like cabbage! Then, he laughed! And I just know it's me!" She buried her face in her hands. "I'm so ashamed."

"No, you don't smell like cabbage." Buffy said, patting her shoulder. Buffy had no idea what was going on here. Wills and Xander were discussing demons on the phone while Anya listened. Xander hadn't broken up with Anya yet! He was lying to both girls? Stringing them both along for "sweaty fun times"!

She refused to believe Willow would have any part of the deception. Willow wasn't a good liar, her guilt always won out. Buffy walked the distressed ex-demon home, promising her that she would go shopping with her for perfumes and body washes the next day. She had to tell her best friend what Xander was doing. Buffy made a mental note to have a serious talk with Willow the next time she saw her.

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