Part 8 of Pain and friendship saga- Ritual Behaviour.
Written by Fayth.

Without hesitation Willow held out her arm. Solemnly Anya made a deep cut across
Willow’s palm and let the blood drip into the virgin urn she held underneath
until it formed a rim around the container. 
Xander paled “That’s gross.” They rolled their eyes at him and shared a silent
look that said > Men are such babies. <
“Ok on my signal I need you to feed it to him.” Will nodded at Anya’s
instructions. Casting her mind back Anya tried to remember the correct wording
>I hate these dead languages! <
“C’larconic Menpasa Restoric, for the childe, for the friend, for the undead.
C’larconic Menpasa Restoric, to heal, to bind, to uncover. C’larconic Menpasa
Restoric. Restore, restore, restore.” She gestured to Willow who fed Spike her
An eerie blue glow filled the circle as the blood went down his throat, there
was a flash and the blue light faded. There was a moment’s silence.
“Is that it?” Xander broke it
“Um yeah. Pretty much.” Anya nodded brightly
Spike groaned loudly “OW!”
“Spike!” Willow yelled in delight and threw her arms around him
He pulled her closer to his body and inhaled her sweet essence “Am I in heaven?”
he asked dazed and then he saw Xander “Apparently not!”
“Hey dead boy junior. How you feeling?”
“Like Hell.” Willow pulled back guiltily and Spike’s arms felt empty.
“But, hey- conscious. That’s new.” Willow added waving her arms emphatically.
“Oh goodie it worked.” Anya clapped her hands gleefully. Willow hugged Anya
tight and whispered “Thanks” in her ear.
“Someone want to tell me why I’m trussed up like a bleeding mummy?” Spike
demanded, pulling off his bandages.
“Hey, that was some of my best work.” Xander protested
Spike stared “You wrapped me?” disbelief coloured his voice and when Xander
nodded he replied incredulously “Why?”
“Maybe you’d better shower while we clean up this mess, then we’ll talk.” Willow
“You saying I look a mess?” Spike teased trying to stand.
“Actually dead boy, you look a lot better than you first did.” Xander threw back
at him as Spike attempted to pull himself up a second time and failed.
Xander held out his hand and dragged Spike to his feet, he then placed Spike’s
arm over his shoulder and bearing the brunt of Spike’s dead weight, helped him
to the stairs.
Spike was beyond amazed. Xander was actually helping him- of his own free will
and without complaining or mocking him. “Wha..?”
“Don’t take it personally Blondie; I just want to get out of clearing up-
again.” Willow and Anya stared for a moment “Um Xan, Spike’s clothes are a
little- um torn so you can give him something of my dads.” Xander nodded and
helped Spike up the stairs to the bathroom.

“So what happened to you?” Xander asked. Spike stood in Willow’s parent’s room
draped in a towel looking at her father’s selection of clothes.
“It was a bloody ambush. Six demons waiting for me. I would’ve been right as
rain but the bloody things had a human with them. I couldn’t hurt him so he held
me while they- wankers!” he growled
“Willow was so worried; I’ve never seen her so freaked.” Xander said casually
trying to gage his reaction
“Yeah?” Spike looked pleased “Red was worried for me?” he picked out some pants
and a shirt
“From what I could tell she ran into the burning crypt to drag you out and then
hauled your sorry ass all the way back here by herself. She was covered in blood
and was doing a fair interpretation of Carrie.” He shuddered at the memory
“Is she ok?” the Vampire demanded
> Pay dirt! < Xander crowed > He likes her too! < “Yeah after she exploded a
couple of things and terrorised Willies bar she was ok.”
Spike paused doing up the shirt “Say what?”

Willow glanced at the stairs and dropped the pillow she held >Yum! < Xander was
helping Spike down the stairs. Spike was dressed in black slacks and a white
shirt half buttoned, he looked irresistible.
“What’s this ‘bout you going to Willies bar and scaring the demons?” Spike
smothered his amusement as Willow flushed
“I got mad.” She murmured shyly shrugging one shoulder.
“Blondie here got jumped by a mob of demons and their human puppet.” Xander
placed Spike on the armchair and surveyed the room. 
“Erm Will,” he began
“Yeah the sofa’s had it.” She said her eyes twinkling “I’ll take mom’s credit
card and get a new one tomorrow- the amount they’re here they probably won’t
even notice.”
Spike looked at the couch, it was covered in dark blood stains and some gooey
substance, there were also some scorch marks on the cushions. He winced “Sorry
“S’ok you’re an expensive luxury.” she grinned widely “You all heal-y?”
“Better, bleeding exhausted and only dead not dead dead. You know what I mean.”
He finished
“It’s nearly time for you to get all sweaty at work” Anya commented as she gazed
out of the window at the sun.
“Ok Will we are gonna go, I’ll be back after work.” He turned to the Vampire
“get some rest Blondie.” And with a jaunty wave Anya and Xander left.
“What happened to Xapper?” Spike looked curiously at Willow
“He feels bad about ignoring me after Oz, so he’s trying to make it up by being
nice to my new friend- you.” She leaned in close “I think he likes you.”
“Now I’m bloody scared love!” he looked horrified
She resisted the urge to laugh “C’mon Spike lets get you to bed.”
“Aw pet, I didn’t know you cared.” He leered
“What?” realising what she’d said she turned a deep red “Spike, for heavens
“I’m a little incapacitated right now, pet. But give me a bit to get my strength
up and I’ll accommodate you.”
She pulled him to his feet and rolled her eyes. She helped him up the stairs and
laid him on the bed in the guest room.
“Ok Red, I’ll try now. Come down here.” He raised his eyebrow
She sighed and tried to resist the temptation to do exactly that- >what would he
say if she did?< She wondered vaguely “ They set fire to your crypt Spike,
you’ll have to stay here for a while, I’ll fetch you some clothes tomorrow but
for now you need to rest- get some sleep.” She turned and walked to the door.
“Pet?” she didn’t slow down “Love? Willow?” he urged
She stopped and slowly turned raising her own eyebrows, he gave her a puppy dog
look “Stay with me, you look tired out. I won’t try anything- just sleep.” He
patted the bed. She bit her lip hesitantly so he played his trump card “I could
use the body heat; I’m still a bit cold.” Shaking her head she lay next to him
and snuggled into the sheets.
Spike draped his arm over her stomach and inched closer to her warmth.
“Thanks for taking care of me pet.”
“Anytime Spike.” Her eyes dropped as exhaustion took over “Anytime at all.”

It was the banging that did it, Willow’s eyes edged open as it continued
“Go ‘way.” She mumbled into the pillow. Her eyes flew open as she realised she
was spooned against Spike’s chest. He had one arm around her waist and the other
touching her breast. Wriggling gently to extract herself she felt his response
press against the back of her thigh.
“Eep!” she leapt from the bed and hurried down the stairs to answer the door.
“Xander?” she stared bleary-eyed “What time is it?”
“After six.” He said “You just woken up?”
She nodded and yawned “I slept through an entire day of classes!” she recalled
“I told Buffy you felt sick so she probably took notes- maybe.” He grinned
“Great now all I need is a translator to scroll through Buffy’s spider writing
and I’m set.” she teased. “I have to shower, then go out and buy a new sofa and
get Spike some clothes.”
“Do what ya hafta, I’ll keep blondie busy.” He patted his bag mysteriously
“Won’t ask.” She headed for the shower.

As the key turned in the lock Willow heard the shouts within
“Oh you are so dead!”
“Yeah, well now you can join me moron.”
“Look dead-boy I can kick your ass.”
“Huh, call that kicking, sissy?”
“Shut up fangless. I’m so gonna kill you.”
“I’ll rip off your head and eat your entrails first!”
> Oh no, I knew it wasn’t a good idea to leave them alone together< Willow
hurried in and her mouth dropped as she surveyed the scene. Xander sat on the
floor and Spike in the armchair. On the table sat two mugs and a pizza box. But
what took her mind reeling was what they were doing- they were actually…
“Illegal move Blondie, watch me kick your ass!” –playing WWF on the play
“You got a fixation on my ass, whelp?”
“Guys?” Willow couldn’t help it, she needed to laugh. They turned guiltily like
naughty school boys.
“Hey Wills.” Xander tried for innocence
“Hello pet.” Spike grinned sheepishly - his split lip had obviously healed.
“You Mr Badass vampire are supposed to be resting. And Xander, your idea of
relaxation is WWF?” she put her hands on her hips and tapped her foot
“Sorry Willow.” They chorused with their heads down. Mirth bubbled forth from
her lips at their contrition and she chuckled.
“Here Spike I got you some new clothes, they’ll have to do for now. The new
couch will be here tomorrow morning.” She sighed and stretched trying to ease
her aching muscles.
“Tea?” Xander asked and then groaned “I’m turning into Giles, tea is not the
answer to everything!” he lectured himself
“It is to this, I’d love one.” She smiled at him as he went into the kitchen
“Tired love?”
“Mmm little bit.” She sat on the floor besides his feet and glanced up at him
“How about you?”
“Vamp healing kicked in so I’m better. Bit bruised and all but I’ll be back to
normal soon.”
“You, normal?” she rolled her eyes “As if!”
“Hey walking wounded here pet!” he sounded insulted. Xander walked in with the
tray bearing three mugs
“Tea, coffee and AB- possibly.” 
“Cheers mate.” Spike took his mug unaware of Willow’s disbelief
“I can’t believe you two bonded, it only took near death and a ritual!” she
shook her head
Xander gave her a flippant smirk “well Blondie isn’t as bad as Dead boy.”
“And Xapper is slightly less annoying than Dog boy.”
“Now all you have to do is learn each others names.”
“Oh Giles called, he said you bailed PDQ yesterday he was worried-except he used
more words.”
Willow groaned and hit her head with her hand “I totally forgot about Giles. I
better go over for research and explanation. Will you be okay?”  
“I’ll stay.” Offered Xander “Besides I’m beating Blondie.”
“Excuse me, I’m over 120 and have never played on a bleeding’ play station,
thought computers would be a fad. Give me a while to practice and me and my vamp
reflexes will pound your arse.”
“Oh bring it on, Captain Platinum”
Willow shuddered “Disturbing- very disturbing!”

“I just remembered I’d left a candle burning and I didn’t want to come home and
have burnt the place down. I didn’t mean to panic you.” Willow looked contrite.
Giles patted her hand “That’s okay, for a minute I thought you’d had a
premonition.” He laughed but his words had stunned Willow – exactly how had she
known Spike was in trouble? She smiled weakly for Giles’ benefit but her mind
was raging. She’d experienced great pain and she’d known Spike was in danger-
how? Maybe it was a side-effect of being close to a vampire; she’d have to ask
“What’s the demon of the week?” she asked absently
“According to Buffy the demons seem to be scarce, which reminds me I haven’t
seen Spike recently- he usually comes around for blood supplies and of course to
bother us repeatedly.” He took off his glasses to polish them.
“I’m sure he’s around somewhere, probably making a mess.” She thought of her
Just then Buffy waltzed in “Hey Wills, you ok?”
“Fine.” She managed a smile for her friend “Patrol was a bust huh?”
“Total. I even stopped by Willies but every demon was out looking for
This smile was genuine “Really?”
“They seemed pretty eager to find it too. Makes my job easier so that I can do a
quick sweep tonight and go on my date.” She practically danced on the spot
“A date, with who?” Willow was happy for her friend
“Riley!” Buffy beamed “We decided to give it another go and since we both play
for the home team he’ll understand if something apocalypse-y causes me to bail.”
“That’s great!” Willow liked the soldier boy- whatever his connections, she’d
felt bad when Buffy had broken it off with him after her discovery of his
involvement in he initiative. Riley had come back to ask her for tips to win
Buffy and it looked like he had succeeded. Plus Willow liked playing with his
gadgets. She blushed at her own suggestive thought > OK I’m even thinking like
Spike. <
“Well if there is no research then I’ll just head on to … Xander?”
“Hey Wills.” Xander panted as he ran in out of breath “I just went past you’re
house and saw your MOM go in. I thought you’d like to know since you don’t get
to spend a lot of time with your mom so you should go home!”
“My mom.” > Oh shit, the couch -Spike! Eep! < “Thanks Xand.“ she said as she
raced out of the door- again.

Willow panted as she reached the front door > breathe in, out, in, out calm
down, oh goddess, what is she doing here, what will she say, what did Spike say
in, out, in, out< she pushed open the front door. Her mom was sitting opposite
Spike at the kitchen table -- drinking hot chocolate?
“Hey mom.” Willow squeaked 
“Oh Willow, William told me what happened.”
“He did?” > Oh how I doubt that! <
“It’s a shame the police were unable to catch the gang that did this.”
“The one’s who attacked him, and I’m outright shocked that the hospital released
him so soon. Are you quite sure you wouldn’t like me to take you over there.”
Willow stared out at the late afternoon sun; it was getting cool but still
enough sun to dust Spike
“I’m fine Sheila.” he grinned
“But you can barely walk.” she shook her head at the health system “I’m glad you
bought him here.”
“Well I couldn’t let him just leave they burnt down his apartment.” Willow
“Yes, we were just talking about that.”
“Uh huh.” Willow sounded suspicious
“Since William no longer has a place to stay I have recommended that he stay
“Really willow, your vocabulary is shrinking, what am I paying tuition fees
“Sorry mom, you just caught me by surprise, so Spike is staying here?”
“Yes he can have the guest bedroom; I have already given him the spare key.”
Spike noted the uncomfortable look on Willow’s face “If that’s alright with you
Willow started “yeah it’s just a surprise,” she let loose a grin “at least now I
can keep an eye on you.”
“Yes William, you are too pale, you need some sun.” Spike adopted Willows
deer-in-headlights look
“William is very photosensitive mom, he burns if he so much as looks at
sunlight.” Willow replied truthfully
“Oh.” Sheila nodded “There was a boy at college like that; he never went out
during the day.”
Spike and Willow shared a look > Vampire? <
“Not that I’m not pleased to see you mom, but aren’t you supposed to be on a
lecture tour in Dallas?”
“Yes, I forgot a disk in my bedroom; I just dropped by to retrieve it. I am
actually flying out in-“she checked her watch “Good heavens I really have to
“Thanks again.” Spike said but her mind was elsewhere as she picked up her
briefcase and left without another word.
“Bye.” Willow said so softly that Spike’s vamp hearing only just caught it. She
looked sadly at the door and swallowed back tears.
Spike watched Willow struggle to look casual at her mothers oblivious departure
“pet?” he commiserated 
She shook her head tightly > Get over it Rosenberg, it’s not the first time and
it won’t be the last- you are a rousing set of genetics to them. Nothing more. <
The familiar words soothed the lump in her throat but did little to alleviate
the ache in her heart. Spike cursed > was the woman totally blind and
insensitive? Stupid bitch didn’t even look at my Red. How can such a caring soul
come from those cold hearted losers? <
“I could rip her head off for you, pet?” he offered
She turned to him with a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes “She probably
wouldn’t notice.”
He would do anything to get that abandoned look out of her eyes “Are you okay
She shook herself “I have friends, college and a roof over my head and money in
y pocket. I’m lucky.” Spike opened his mouth to comment
“Drop it.” she ordered sharply, she sat at the table and stared at the cooling
mug of hot chocolate.
“And now of course, you have me as house mate so you are the luckiest girl in
the world!”
She tittered gently “egotist!”
“Not if it’s a fact pet.” He puffed out his chest “Now I haven’t seen myself in
a while but I have it on good authority that I am the sexiest Vampire in history
and lucky you now have me all to yourself.” He raised an eyebrow 
“Oh the possibilities”
“I’m not allowed boys in my room” she blinked innocently
“I’m not a boy, I’m a man.” He deepened his voice
Willow looked at him with his chest stuck out and deep baritone voice and bust
into laughter >Ah that’s more like it! <
“If Xander could see you now.” She giggled
“Yeah.” suddenly the thought dawned on him “Bloody hell, what’s the slayer gonna
“She will probably introduce you to Mr pointy.” Willow sighed
“Let’s not tell her then!” he decided
“Oh Spike’s a scared of Buffy.” Willow answered in a singsong voice
“Am not. Take that back.” Spike demanded
“Joking, relax. Besides I don’t want her to stake my best buddy.” She confessed
Spike grinned “She’ll be all *Oh Willow what are you thinking being friends with
such an evil fiend even though he is so ruggedly handsome and has a great body*”
his falsetto made Willow laugh. He stood up and affected a “Buffy” pose, legs
spread open, hands on hips and head thrown back. “*Besides he is only living
with you to get to me, I am the most gorgeous creature- if a little slow, every
one wants me!*” he squeaked “*I have no fashion sense and my hair care bill
alone could feed a third world country!*” Willow held her sides “Stop… ouch!”
she was laughing so hard she didn’t heard the door open. Xander watched amused.
“*And Angel will always love me, coz Poof’s like him like air-heads like Me.*”
Spike mimicked Buffy tossing her hair
“*That’s right Buffy!*” Xander broke in, in deep baritone “* I like to look at
you because I can’t see myself in the mirror.*”  
“*Oh Angel really?*” Spike clasped his hands and batted his eyelashes
“*Yes Buffy, I love you less than I love myself, how do I look?*” Xander put his
hands on his hips
“*Ohh like a magnificent Poof- kiss me!*”
“No, you’ll mess up my hair- this gel is imported, besides I have to go brood
and look dashing and oh so gay!*”
“*My hero!*” Spike simpered
Willow fell off her chair, tears streaming down her face. “I’m cured!” she
gasped fighting for breath. Spike looked down at her.
“Ya think she’s cured?” he asked Xander
“Oh yeah.” 
“Play station?” he motioned to the living room. Xander grinned
“Play station.”