The Dollhouse

The Dollhouse

By Gabrielle Leider
Notes

Tequila Sundown

Bourbon, scotch, vodka, rum, tequila…Willow had learned to distinguish the unique scent of each spirit. Learned through night after night as Spike's captive. Night after night when he would return, always drunk, always irrational. Some nights he was almost kind. Others, he was belligerent, hostile, violent. Willow had learned which drinks caused which moods, and how to steel herself for the bad times when he had drunk the wrong kind of alcohol. Especially when he had drunk tequila.

It had started at the school. She and Xander had been attempting a spell to cure their sudden attraction to each other. Their stolen kisses were wrong and they both knew it. She loved Oz and he loved Cordelia. But still they kept on with the kisses, touches, glances. And they couldn't stop. So Willow had decided that they should try magic. They met in the chemistry lab after school. That's when it all went horribly wrong.

Spike kidnapped the pair and dragged them to his old lair at the factory. He was drunk and raving and told Willow that she was going to do a spell to win his Drusilla back for him. Told her he would shove a bottle through her face, straight into her brain, if she didn't get his dark goddess back for him. And then suddenly he was pouring his heart out to her, crying on her shoulder as she awkwardly tried to console him. All the while, Xander lay unconscious on the bed next to them. As Willow wondered what to do next, she felt the blinding pain of Spike's fangs entering her neck, the last thing she did before losing consciousness was scream that she would do the spell and get Drusilla to love him again if he would let her live.

When Willow awoke much later, very thirsty and with a blinding headache, she had no idea where she was. At some point, Spike had brought her to a small, dark, sparsely furnished room. She had no idea where they were or where Xander was. He wasn't there with them. She asked Spike what he had done to Xander. She never made that mistake again. The beating that followed ensured her silence on that, or nearly any subject, from then on.

Funny about that. She had always been known for her mile-a-minute chatter. `Willow-babble' Xander had called it. Now she spoke so infrequently that the sound of her own voice surprised her. She spoke aloud once when Spike had gone out and had looked around suddenly in search of the visitor to their room. Only then did she realize that the voice was her own. She hadn't said a word since then.

It didn't matter, Spike did all the talking for both of them. When he returned each night, he was always blind-drunk, usually blood- stained, and always spouting off about something. He asked and answered his own questions. Willow had learned that that was best. The only time she had gone against what she had learned that first night was when she had once answered what she had thought was an entirely innocuous question. She couldn't remember what the question was now. But she remembered the black eye, the split lip, and the bruised, perhaps broken, ribs that had resulted. So she let him do the talking for the both of them now. Willow was nothing if not a quick study, and she was an avid student of this subject…'How To Survive As Spike's Captive'.

He hadn't raped her, not yet anyway. One night, when she had smelled tequila, he had started to unbutton his jeans. Mumbling about `taking what was his'. But he had passed out when they were only half-undone and fallen forward onto the bed, snoring deeply. Willow briefly wondered how a creature who didn't breathe could snore, then she curled up in a tight ball and fell into a fitful slumber herself. She preferred to sleep when he was there, if she could, Her solitude was a time she preferred not to waste by sleeping. Sometimes, it couldn't be helped. He would stay awake for hours ranting and raving and then insist on sleeping with his arms around her. Willow couldn't sleep when he was touching her. So she would wait until he woke up, showered, dressed and left to do whatever he did out…wherever. Then she would sleep, hopefully waking before he returned so she could enjoy at least a bit of peace before the nightmare began anew.

Most nights, or days, she had lost track of time long ago, he would pass out cold on one side of the bed and she could sleep on the other in peace. She had to sleep on the bed though. He had told her that and she had never been foolish enough to challenge him on that rule. And most nights they were both so still that they never touched. Willow liked it much better that way. Once she had awakened to Spike stroking her face with his cold hand and had to fight the urge to scream. But he soon fell back to sleep. And it had never happened again. At least not yet. Willow wasn't foolish, she knew she was living on borrowed time. Sooner or later, the rules would change. And things would be worse than ever.

One rule of her own was to never think about Sunnydale. She never thought anymore about Xander, or Buffy, or Giles, or her parents. Doing so only brought pain. And her life was painful enough. So she'd replay movies she liked, scene by scene, in her head. Or remember each line of her favorite books. Or replay her favorite songs from memory. She didn't know whether she would ever hear another song, read another book, or see another movie again, so she stretched out the replay of each one, wanting to make sure that she didn't exhaust her memories and get sick of what little fodder for enjoyment she had. It might be threadbare, but this was the fabric of her life, and she was determined that it would clothe her as best it could.

As she reached the end of a page of Anne Of Green Gables, a book she had loved years ago, she heard the turn of a key in the lock and strained to smell what Spike was drunk on tonight. She hoped he had brought back food for her. He often forgot to do so. And it had been at least two days, maybe more, since she had eaten. But the smell pouring off of him dashed her hopes. Tequila. Tonight would be a very bad night.

Valley Of The Dolls

Drusilla may have been an inept sire, and a faithless lover, but Spike had to concede that she had the right idea about one thing…dolls. Since he had acquired his pretty, little Willow, he understood his one-time Princess’ devotion to Miss Edith for the first time in his unlife. Dolls were quiet, obedient, and above all, faithful. But he surely had done his sire one better, Spike thought to himself as he downed another shot of tequila. Miss Edith didn’t have soft skin or green eyes that sparkled with emotion. She didn’t smell deliciously of vanilla and fear. She couldn’t warm Dru’s cold body the way holding Willow warmed Spike. And she could never do the things that Spike intended to teach Willow to do for him. Yes, his doll was a much better doll than his sire’s.

Spike listened to a demon singing karaoke as he sat with the bottle of tequila next to his shot glass. He had found this bar shortly after bringing Willow to his lair in Los Angeles. His new lair wasn’t much compared to his digs in Sunnydale. It was only two spartan rooms in the basement of an abandoned building. But there was running water, electricity, and he had made sure the rooms were reasonably clean. His doll maintained them now. She was such a tidy little thing, Spike mused. Even her hair was always perfectly combed. He wondered what she would look like with her hair in disarray after a night of passionate lovemaking. What her voice would sound like calling out his name.

It had been awhile since he’d heard her voice. He hadn’t heard her speak a word since the morning he’d had to punish her for lying. He’d asked her favorite color and she’d said it was green. He knew what her favorite color was, it was the blue of his eyes. So he’d punished her.

Afterwards, when her eye was swollen and ringed in purple, and blood oozed from the corner of her mouth, he had so wanted to comfort her and tend to her injuries. Especially when he had heard her crying and moaning in pain in the bathroom. But he couldn’t appear soft or weak, not if he expected her to be obedient.

So he had patiently waited while she cleaned and bandaged herself. He had ached to hold her that day while he slept, but he noticed her wince and hold her arm close to her chest when she walked and realized her ribs were broken. So he contented himself with sleeping close to her and watching her when he awoke as she whimpered while she dreamed. She was so beautiful, even with the marks of his ‘correction’ on her sweet face. She was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. Even more beautiful than his Dark Goddess, Drusilla.

He hoped that he’d hear Willow’s voice again soon. He remembered how charming and compassionate it had sounded when he had brought her and the dark-haired boy to his old lair in Sunnydale to get her to perform a spell to get Dru to love him again. It was her voice and her words, more even than her lovely face and soft body, which had compelled him to change his plans and make her his own precious doll. He would have to see what he could do to get her to speak soon. He missed her voice.

Maybe she was so quiet because she was hungry. He realized it had been several days since he had brought home food for her. He kept forgetting that his doll was human and needed to eat. He remembered Dru’s canary and frowned. He couldn’t let the same thing happen to his lovely doll. Tomorrow, tomorrow for certain he would remember to get food for his precious Willow. Then maybe she would talk to him again.

But for now, it was nearly dawn. He needed to get home before the sunrise. He downed one last shot of tequila and smiled. Maybe there were better ways to spend the day than talking anyway. Maybe today he would really play with his doll.

Shatterproof Glass

The stench of tequila overwhelmed Willow’s senses as she hastened to stand up when Spike entered the room. She tried never to be sitting on the bed when he came in, hoping to avoid giving him ideas. Especially when he was drunk on tequila. She knew her little rituals and safeguards were probably useless, but they made her feel better. The same way people carried a rabbit’s foot for luck or avoided walking under ladders. Just some sort of psychological prop to give her the illusion that she had any hope of keeping the worst at bay.

She swayed unsteadily and realized that hunger had taken a greater toll on her than she had thought. She felt faint and slightly disoriented. It was not a pleasant sensation. She preferred to have her wits about her when dealing with her unpredictable and dangerous captor. But now she was finding it hard to even keep her balance, much less navigate her way through the elaborate psychological chess game that was about to be played, as it was played every day when Spike returned.

Spike approached her with a different look in his eyes than she had ever seen before. Oh no, she thought. Of all the times for him to change in some way, it had to be tonight. A night when she was not possessed of all her faculties. He approached her quietly, almost…gently. And then he spoke.

“So, pretty Red, did you miss me?” he asked.

Willow, as usual, did not answer. Even in her hunger-addled state, she wasn’t deranged enough to answer his question. She knew from hard experience that she couldn’t give a correct answer. If she opened her mouth, she’d be beaten for sure. Now, in her weakened state, another beating might kill her. And despite the horror of her daily existence, Willow wanted to live. She didn’t know why. She only knew that an intense, burning desire to stay alive blazed within her heart and mind, even as any good reasons to live faded with each passing day.

Struggling to remain on her feet, Willow tried to conceal her unsteadiness from the drunken vampire in front of her. It would be better, she was certain, if he didn’t know the condition she was in. She was sure he would be angry at her for needing food, another sure-fire way to end up a beaten and bloody mess on the bathroom floor. But her efforts were in vain. She stumbled and fell back onto the bed, sitting up as quickly as she could manage. Spike approached and sat next to her as Willow steeled herself as best she could to keep from shrinking from his deceptively caring touch.

“What’s the matter, pet?” he said, concern coloring his slightly slurred speech.

Willow still didn’t speak. If only she weren’t so hungry. She’d be able to figure out what Spike was up to. But now…she was starving, dammit, and it was just too hard to think. Her stomach hurt and her brain was foggy and she could barely make sense of what she was seeing, or even stay focused at all. She wanted food more than she had ever wanted or needed anything in her life and it wasn’t there. Wouldn’t be there tonight, maybe not tomorrow, and maybe it would never be there again. And she hated Spike now more than ever. She had suffered through everything he had done to her and done her best to be obedient. Wasn’t being his captive for reasons she couldn’t even comprehend enough? Did he have to torture her to death by starvation as well?

She felt Spike’s hand as it caressed her cheek.

“Shh, pet,” Spike said softly. “Let me make it all better.”

Willow nodded numbly as she let him lower her back onto the bed. She felt his hands move over her body and made no move to resist. She could taste the tequila as he kissed her, his tongue probing the cavern of her mouth. He moved to unbutton her blouse and somewhere inside herself, where she was still lucid, she cursed herself for wearing a front-hook bra. He unhooked it, pushed it, and her blouse, off her body, and stared at her small, but pert, breasts.

“Perfect. You’re perfect, pet,” Spike said as he gazed at her, his blue eyes tinged with amber. “My perfect little doll.”

He kissed his way down her body, teasing her nipples with his tongue and teeth before moving to her stomach, murmuring endearments with each kiss. He started to unfasten her jeans and Willow got the hint, lifting her hips to allow Spike to remove them and her panties before tossing them to the floor. She watched as he stood and disrobed quickly, joining her once more on the bed.

If Willow hadn’t been so hungry, and Spike was not the vampire who had kidnapped her and held her captive, she might have admired him. Might even have wanted to be in the position in which she now found herself. Naked, on a bed, with a handsome man who had the body of a god. But now…now she was just hoping that it would be over as quickly as possible. Not that even that forlorn hope was reasonable. Not the way that Spike was lingering over each kiss, each caress, touching her as if she were made of porcelain, telling her how beautiful and perfect she was…what a perfect doll she was. And how much fun they were going to have playing together.

Willow couldn’t make sense of what he was talking about. Dolls and sex just didn’t seem to go together. Maybe if she wasn’t so hungry, she could have pieced together some semblance of logic in Spike’s fractured ode to her charms. But right now, all she could do was lay back and allow Spike to do what he pleased.

She knew it would have been foolish to hope that this day never came. And at least he was being gentle, even considerate, with her. It could be much worse, she realized. So she resolved to just give in and relaxed as Spike moved between her thighs and began to probe her sex gently with his tongue. After all, she had no choice. She might as well enjoy herself. And maybe if she let Spike have his way with her, she’d finally get some food.

Galatea

She was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. And she was all his. His vampiric senses told him his doll had never belonged to another. And that made her even more perfect in Spike’s eyes. He would never again have to know the pain of being second best. He would always be first to his lovely, flame-haired doll. His unlife had never seemed less lonely than it did right now.

But something was wrong. His pretty little Red had nearly fainted. He should have brought food home. He knew it. Later, after they’d ‘played’ a bit, he’d take the tunnels and get her something to eat. She deserved it. She was being such a good girl. Now, however, he had a hunger of his own that needed satisfying.

Seeing her there, completely nude, was a revelation. He hadn’t known that any woman could look so perfect, so pure, so like a marble statue, as his doll did. He couldn’t believe how lucky he was. She was the most splendid creature in the world, he was sure of that. And she belonged to him.

Even her name was perfect…Willow. It suited her. She was slim, beautiful, and sad…just like a Willow tree. But he’d make her happy, a happy Willow tree. Spike fought to keep from giggling at that. He didn’t want his precious girl to think he was laughing at her. Not when they were about to become lovers.

Lovers. Spike marveled at that. His Willow would be the first real lover he ever had. The first one who would look at him and not wish he was someone else. Who wouldn’t just use him and throw him away. Who wouldn’t just take him and treat him like dirt. The first one who wasn’t Angelus or Drusilla.

He shook his head to clear the fog from his brain. No use letting alcohol and memories dull the joy of what was about to happen. He wanted nothing to get between him and his girl. Not the past, not tequila, not anything. He wanted to glory in every moment of his first time with his beautiful doll. This first time was as meaningful to him as it was to her. And he knew how special a girl’s first time was. He wanted to make it perfect and wonderful for her. A first time that she would never forget.

As he trailed kisses down her nude body, he reveled in the taste and smell of her. Delicious…like nothing he had ever experienced. He dipped his head between her thighs and gently worked his tongue between the folds of her sex, lapping at her growing wetness. The flavor of her arousal was intoxicating. Better than alcohol. He could easily get drunk on the nectar that flowed from his precious Willow’s body.

He fought back a groan as he heard her breath hitch when his nose bumped against her clitoris. He moved up to take it into his mouth. It would be better if his girl came before he took her for the first time. He knew it would hurt, regardless. But it would hurt less if she was thoroughly aroused and wet for him.

His efforts were rewarded shortly thereafter when Willow moaned and shuddered as she came. When he looked up at her face, with its glazed eyes and wondering expression, he grinned broadly. Yeah, he knew how to take care of his doll alright. And it would only get better.

He moved up her body and, positioning himself at her entrance, thrust into her. He swallowed her scream in a deep kiss as he broke through her barrier and then stayed still, allowing her to recover from the pain and get used to the feeling of him inside her. He needed to adjust as well. It had been a long time since he had taken a human and the feeling of Willow’s tight heat surrounding his cock was overwhelming. He never wanted to forget this feeling. The first time he was inside his beautiful Willow. It was extraordinary. He had never felt anything like it. Not with the humans he’d fucked and drained in cheap hotels and alleys. Not with Angelus when they had shared each other after a night of bloodshed and torture. Not even with his Dark Goddess. He hoped it would always be this wonderful.

As he felt the tension leave his doll’s limbs, he began to move inside her. He kept his strokes slow and gentle at first, but as she began to moan, the sound of her voice spurred him on and he began to thrust more deeply and forcefully. He reached between them and found her clitoris, knowing that he wouldn’t last long and wanting to take her with him when he found his release. And then he heard her call out his name. With that, he could hold back no longer. Feeling her muscles tighten around him as her own orgasm hit, he emptied himself into her with a feral cry.

His orgasm had been so intense that he thought he might die from it. He hadn’t even needed to bite Willow in order to achieve release. Which was a good thing. His doll was weak, and he didn’t want to risk harming her or even killing her in her present condition. And he didn’t want to turn her, at least not yet. Her warmth and humanity were far too intoxicating to give up. For the time being anyway. So he needed to be careful with his doll. And he needed to tend to her better than he had been. Now that he had made her his completely, he never, ever wanted to be without her.

He pulled his spent cock from Willow’s body and lay next to her for a moment, staring at her lovely face. She looked at him uncertainly. Wanting to reassure her, he caressed her cheek before getting off the bed to put his clothes back on.

“Hush now, luv. I’ll be right back. I’m just off for a bit to get you some food.”

Stained Glass Window

Willow was nearly undone by what had happened. She tried to focus on the fact that Spike was going to bring her food, but she couldn’t keep from thinking about what had just transpired. She wasn’t a virgin anymore.

And the way Spike had taken her just added to the surreal quality of the whole experience. This man—no, vampire—who had twice beaten her to a pulp had made love to her. Granted, it wasn’t really like she’d had a choice. He never asked her for her permission or consent. So that would make it rape, right?

But how could it be called rape when Spike had been so gentle, so tender, so considerate? When he had brought her to orgasm twice and had whispered words of endearment the whole time? Telling her how beautiful and special she was, and how wonderful it was going to be between them from now on. Maybe, Willow thought, when she had eaten something, she would be able to figure things out. But for now, she was just so confused.

Unbidden, thoughts of Sunnydale and the life she had been taken from came to her mind. Memories of Oz, Xander, Buffy, Giles, her parents, even Cordelia rushed over her, bringing with them a confusing and frightening mix of feelings. Loss, guilt, longing, nostalgia, anger, resentment, love…all these emotions burst through the dam she had built in her mind and crashed into her like waves on rocks.

She remembered all the time she had spent with Buffy watching movies and talking about their lives. All the shared confidences and whispered secrets over pints of Ben and Jerry’s. The nights on patrol and going to the Bronze. The demons they’d killed and disasters they’d averted. The friendship they’d built and the bond that they shared.

She remembered Oz, how quiet he was and how caring. She remembered finding out that he was a werewolf and how happy she’d made him when she told him it didn’t matter. She remembered their first kiss and how much fun it was to go to Dingoes shows and tell everyone she was the guitarist’s girlfriend.

And she remembered Xander. She recalled how much she had loved him, almost her entire life. If she closed her eyes, she could still see him in his tux in her room when they had first kissed. And she remembered every kiss that followed. The kisses that had brought her right to where she was now.

What would have happened if she and Xander had never kissed at all? Or if they had decided to break up with their significant others and be together? Or if at least she had not had the silly idea to use magic to fight their feelings for each other?

What had happened to Xander, she wondered? Was he dead? Had Spike drained him? Or was he alive? He had to be alive. She was sure she would feel it if he weren’t, the same way she had felt it in her heart when Jesse was killed. But if Xander were alive, what had happened after she was taken away? Did he worry about what had happened to her? Were he, Buffy, Giles, and Oz even looking for her? Or did they think she was dead…or turned?

Was Angel looking for her? Wouldn’t he have been able to find her? After all, he was Spike’s grand-sire. That had to mean they had some kind of psychic bond. She had given Angel back his soul; the least he could do was try to find her.

If they were really looking for her, her friends would have found her by now, she decided. They must have just written her off, figuring weak, mousy little Willow had gotten herself killed. Were they at school right now, laughing, talking, hanging out, having fun? Was she forgotten, except perhaps for the occasional mention by Giles when her computer skills would have come in handy?

But then, just as suddenly, her emotions turned again and Willow was wracked with guilt. Of course her friends were looking for her. Spike had almost certainly taken her out of Sunnydale and that would make it hard for even Angel to track them. How could she think that Buffy would abandon her? She and the others were probably going crazy trying to find out what happened to Willow, the same way Willow, Giles, and Xander had done when Buffy had run away. They were probably researching all the time and talking to every demon who went to Willie’s bar to try to find her.

Everything would work out. Buffy and the others would find her, save her, and take her home. She was sure of that now. But then, what would happen to Spike?

In spite of everything he had done to her, Willow didn’t want him staked. In spite of it all, she somehow cared about the blond vampire. Through the tangle of words in his drunken rambles, she had somehow come to know and even have a bit of sympathy for him. Despite the fact that he had twice beaten her black and blue. Despite the fact that he forgot to feed her. Despite the fact that he had taken her virginity that very night.

And what about that? What would Oz and Xander think of her if they knew Willow had allowed the blond vampire to make love to her? Would they care that she was starving and scared and had no choice? Or would they think she was a whore? Would Oz hate her for giving Spike what she wouldn’t give him? Would Xander hate her because he didn’t get to be first? Would he feel the same way about her that he had about Buffy after the Slayer had slept with Angel?

What would happen when and if Willow were rescued? Surely Oz, with his werewolf senses, would be able to tell instantly that she was no longer a virgin. Would he blame Spike? Or would he blame her? Would they all hate her and think she was a slut and that she had gone off with Spike of her own free will? Or would they believe the truth, that Spike had kidnapped her, held her prisoner, starved her and…what? Raped her, made love to her, a mixture of both? What would they think of her if she asked them not to stake Spike?

For even after all that he had put her through, Willow couldn’t hate Spike. What came through in his long tirades, in spite of his inebriation, was an overwhelming sense of loneliness. And Willow couldn’t help but identify with her captor’s overwhelming need to have someone to share himself with, someone to care for, someone to love. She knew what it was like, that feeling that no one in the world cared whether you lived or died, that feeling that you were never good enough. She’d felt it all her life. Even with Buffy. Even with Oz. Even with Xander.

A part of her was even flattered that Spike believed she was the one who could fill that awful void, that she could take away the pain of over a century of being unloved and second-best. She remembered fragments of his diatribes where he talked of how he’d tortured people with unmatched brutality just to please Angelus, killed two Slayers to make Dru proud of him, and how it had all been for nothing. To them he was never good enough and never would be.

She knew what that was like, too. She had never been good enough for her parents. She was Buffy’s mousy sidekick. And even when Xander wanted her, he hadn’t wanted her enough to leave Cordelia. Even Oz was probably only with her because she accepted that he was a werewolf.

Willow’s thoughts were getting her nowhere, simply seesawing madly between extremes. Her hunger, combined with the tumultuous emotions she was experiencing, was starting to overwhelm her. She hoped Spike returned soon with the food he had promised. She was so hungry and so confused that she could barely breathe.

As she heard the key in the lock signaling Spike’s return, she hoped food would help her to make sense of her thoughts. And that, somehow, there was a way to make everything right…for both of them.

The Mad Tea Party

Spike entered the room with a bag of groceries balanced in his arms as he opened the door. He hoped he’d brought food that his doll would like. He didn’t have too many choices. The tunnels only gave him so many options. Luckily, there’d been an exit in a very dark alley behind a 7-11 and he’d been able to get into the back room. He then stole some lunch meat, bread, cookies, chips, and some soda, putting them all into a bag and hightailing it back out the rear door just as the sales clerk came back and began yelling at him in Arabic. Cursing a blue streak if Spike’s rusty recollection of Arabic wasn’t faulty. Normally he’d have tortured and drained the human for speaking to him like that. But Spike had a doll at home who badly needed food. And after how good she’d been to him, he was loath to keep her waiting. So he’d simply sped out the back door and down into the tunnels, eager to get back to Willow with her food.

He noticed that Willow had crawled under the blankets after he left, but obviously had not left the bed. Her clothes were still on the floor where he had thrown them in his eagerness earlier that day. And when he came in, she sat up hastily, looking as if she was expecting him to rebuke her for not tidying the room. He cursed himself inwardly for making her so afraid of him, then chided himself for being so damned soft. Oh, well. The girl deserved a bit of soft treatment after the way she’d given herself to him that day. He closed his eyes and almost groaned at the memory. She had been so warm and yielding, so pliant and accepting. And she’d pleased him so much, surrendered herself so completely. Surely that merited some gentleness on his part.

“Don’t worry, pet,” Spike said as he moved to sit next to her on the bed. “I wouldn’t expect you to be up and about so soon. A girl’s first time can take a lot out of her. Here, I brought you something to eat. I’ll bet you’re hungry. Worked up an appetite.” He leered slightly as he spoke the last sentence, but kept his voice soft and even, hoping to coax her into saying something in return. He missed her voice so much. And hearing her moan and say his name once during their coupling had made him as hungry to hear it again as she must be for food.

“Thank you,” Willow said, so softly and tentatively that Spike nearly didn’t hear it.

And with that, he couldn’t help himself. He grabbed her and held her tightly to him. There it was, the lovely voice that had first drawn him to her. The sweet, caring voice that he so enjoyed hearing. Spike kissed the top of Willow’s head and then began to unload the bag.

“I didn’t have a chance to really look around, pet. Had to pick up what first came to hand. But I hope there’s something here that you like,” Spike said as he pulled out the bread, lunch meat, chips, cookies, and sodas one by one from the bag. “There, now let’s get some food into you. Need to eat, pet. You’re looking a bit run-down.”

Spike didn’t want to acknowledge that it was his own fault his little doll was so weak and hungry. Wouldn’t do to go apologizing to her all the time. He was being soft enough as it was. But his expression softened as Willow looked at him, her eyes full of gratitude.

“Would you like a sandwich first, pet?” Spike asked, wanting desperately to hear her say something more.

“Yes, please,” Willow said softly, obviously worried about speaking up.

That wouldn’t do. Spike wanted his doll to fear him a bit, that was all to the good and would keep her obedient. But he didn’t want her to be so afraid of him that she wouldn’t speak. After all, he’d taken her for company, to have someone to talk to. Sure, she listened well. But a bloke could get tired of the sound of his own voice. He wanted Willow to talk to him. So he decided a little more softness was in order.

“Pet…Willow…it’s okay to answer me when I ask you a question. I like to hear your voice. It’s pretty. Almost as pretty as you are.”

With that, he leaned forward and kissed her gently. Then he pulled back. No use starting something right now. He wanted his doll to eat.

“There now, eat your dinner, pet,” Spike said.

“Thank you,” Willow said again. She began to eat, obviously struggling to keep from wolfing down her food. Spike smiled and patted her head as he got up and began to walk around the room.

Looking around, he noticed how spare and uncomfortable their home was. Maybe he needed to get some more furniture, perhaps a television, some books, maybe a little refrigerator and a microwave. His doll might open up to him more if she had a few comforts. Maybe something to do to occupy her time while he was out. By now, he figured he had her trained well enough that a few presents wouldn’t make her think he was weak. Besides, he wouldn’t mind having a more luxurious abode himself. And after all, a pretty doll like Willow deserved to live in a pretty house.

Tea and Empathy

Willow fought to keep from wolfing down her food as she sat on the bed, wrapped in a blanket and trying not to stare at Spike as he paced around the room, seemingly lost in thought. The sandwich was wonderful. Who knew white bread and cheap lunchmeat could taste so good?

She marveled at the enigma that was her captor. He had kidnapped her, beaten her on two occasions, terrorized her and threatened her. Yet today he had been amazingly tender, taking her virginity with such gentleness. He had held her and whispered soft words to her. And he had finally brought her food. What was going on?

Things were changing, both in her situation and within her. But what those changes ultimately would be, Willow couldn’t say. She only hoped that her instincts were right and that things would be better from now on.

“Want something more, pet?” Spike asked. “Here, have a soda. And there’s chips and cookies for you as well.”

Willow accepted the offered food gratefully, having finished her sandwich in what felt like the blink of an eye in spite of her efforts to take her time. She guzzled a can of Coke thirstily, having not had a soda in quite a long while. Sure, she’d had water. But she was still a teenager and soda came with the territory as one of the four major teen food groups. Being held hostage by a vampire hadn’t changed that.

“Did I get the right things, Willow?” Spike asked hopefully. “I didn’t have much time to choose. That bloody sales clerk came at me like a raving lunatic. It’s not like it was his bloody store or anything. He makes minimum wage, I’m sure. No money coming out of his pocket, and it’s not likely the boss would give him a raise or anything for stopping me. Least he can do is look the other way while a bloke gets what he needs to feed his girl.”

“Your girl?” The words came out before Willow could stop them and she was filled with blind terror as she waited for Spike’s violent reaction. At least she had just eaten. That way she might make it through the inevitable beating. She braced herself for the blow that was surely coming.

Only…it never came.

“Of course you’re my girl. Didn’t think I was just taking advantage of you, did you, pet?” Spike slapped his forehead and began pacing.

“It’s all my fault. Haven’t really been much for telling you how I feel. No wonder you just assumed…well, I told you a little while ago. But I understand your not believing what I said then. After all, they tell you not to believe what a man tells you in bed. But I meant it, Willow. I care about you, you’re mine. For now and for always.”

Spike began rambling on again and Willow struggled to understand his train of thought.

“Just like you care about me. I know that cause you wouldn’t have made love with me if you didn’t care. Not a girl like you. You’re not like Dru. You wouldn’t just take a man’s heart and shatter it into a billion pieces after he’s given you everything he had to give. You’d never close your eyes with him and call out someone else’s name. It was my name you called out when we were making love. Mine. You were with me.” With that Spike pounded the place on his chest where his dead heart no longer beat and stared at her pleadingly.

Willow fought to make sense out of Spike’s fractured monologue. And while she didn’t understand all of it, one thing did come through loud and clear…Spike’s pain. Drusilla had obviously treated him horribly. It didn’t take much to discern that. She must have called out Angelus’ name when she was with Spike. And Willow could empathize with how painful that must have been. After all, Xander used to practice asking out Buffy on her. So Willow knew something of the pain of being a substitute for the one the person you loved really wanted. And as bad as it had been to be a surrogate Buffy for Xander, she was sure it would have been so much worse if they had been making love and he had called out Buffy’s name.

Getting off the bed, Willow tucked the blanket firmly around herself and walked over to Spike. She put her hand on his shoulder lightly, afraid to upset him.

“Spike, I was with you. Only you. And I’m here now. With you.”

Why she was reassuring him, Willow could scarcely fathom. And what frightened her more was the idea that she might just mean more than what she was saying. Was she feeling something for Spike?

She decided to stop thinking and just let things play out. There’d be plenty of time for tortured self-analysis later. For now, she was too tired and too confused for it. She let Spike take her in his arms and hold her tight.

“Knew that, didn’t I pet. You’re mine. My precious, sweet little doll. And you’ll always be with me. You’ll never leave me alone.”

There was the bit about dolls again. Willow’s head began to ache. She didn’t understand what Spike was talking about. But she knew that asking him to explain would be a mistake. So she wrapped her arms around him and soothed him instead.

“No, Spike. I won’t leave. I’m here.”

Willow didn’t point out that she wasn’t leaving because he wouldn’t let her leave, preferring also not to ask herself if she would if she could. The last few hours had turned her world and her self upside down, leaving her changed in body, mind, and soul. She had a feeling that when she next saw her face in the mirror she wouldn’t recognize the woman she saw there.

Holding tightly to Spike, she didn’t resist when he picked her up and carried her back to the bed, pushing the bag with the food in it and the wrapper from the chips onto the floor. She thought he was going to make love to her again. But he surprised her once more by lying down next to her and just holding her close.

“Sleep now, pet. We’re both rather tired. It’s been quite a morning and you need your rest.”

With that, Spike snuggled close to her and, for the first time ever, Willow fell asleep in Spike’s arms.

House and Home

Holding his doll, Spike listened as she fell into a deep and peaceful slumber. He was even more content now than he had been after they made love. His pretty doll was here, in his arms, and he had never felt closer to anyone in all of his unlife.

His mind drifted back to the century and more that he had spent with Drusilla. He had treated his beautiful Sire like a queen, catered to her every whim, and given her everything he had to give. And how had she repaid him? By calling out Angelus’ name when they made love. By constantly reminding him that he would never be as cruel and vicious as her Sire was. By abandoning him when he was injured even after he had cared for her so devotedly when the mob in Prague nearly killed her. And finally, by abandoning him for a Chaos demon.

Then there was Angelus, he had loved his Grand-Sire as much as he had loved his Dark Goddess. Perhaps even more, if he were truly honest with himself. He had striven so hard to please him in every way. By being a merciless killer. By excelling in torture to the point where he earned a fearsome nickname for his favorite instrument of pain and death. And by doing everything for Angelus in bed that the dark vampire wanted. But in the end, just as it had been with Drusilla, all of Spike’s efforts were for naught. Angelus abandoned both him and Drusilla when he’d been cursed with the soul. And when he’d lost the soul again at long last, he wanted nothing to do with Spike. He alternately taunted and ignored the blond vampire who he had once held even dearer than his own childe, Drusilla, never once taking him to his bed or trying to help him heal. It was no wonder Spike had happily sent the bastard to Hell. But deep inside, Angelus’ rejection still hurt. And Spike couldn’t help but wish that things were different between them.

Now, however, Spike had Willow. His precious, beautiful, caring, loyal Willow. The perfect doll for him to take care of and treasure. Who would never put him down or abandon him. Who would never be cruel or unfaithful or uncaring. Who would stay with him and love him always.

Did she love him? Spike wondered about that. But he reasoned that if she didn’t, she wouldn’t have given herself to him the way she had. And she wouldn’t be sleeping so contentedly in his arms, her soft snores making him smile in spite of himself. He had never seen her so peaceful before. She was more beautiful than ever.

If he still wrote poetry, he could fill untold pages with odes to her loveliness. The way her hair fell across her cheek. The length of her eyelashes. The softness of her porcelain skin. Spike was captivated by it all. Willow made him feel almost like William again, though he wasn’t ready to share that with her. Maybe in the future, when their relationship was on a surer footing, he would tell Willow about who he used to be. Perhaps he would even write again.

But for now, he needed to maintain his authority. It wouldn’t do for his doll to think he was soft or weak. His being in complete control had worked out so far, and he didn’t want his girl to think that things were going to change in that regard. He wanted her to continue to depend on him for everything. And to know that he was more than capable of taking care of her in every way.

Thinking on that subject, Spike looked around their spartan living quarters and was appalled. He needed to cut down on his drinking. Whatever possessed him to think that this was a fit environment for his pretty doll? It looked worse now than it had when he had pondered this very subject earlier. It was dingy and bare and not at all cozy or comfortable. Willow must love him if she could overlook such drab and horrible surroundings.

Well, Spike was certainly going to make some changes. He had money stashed away. It was time to spend it. Sure, when he was on his own, he preferred to live by his wits and steal rather than purchase. But he had a doll to protect and look after now. So he needed to think of her needs and comforts rather than his own desire to make a sport of things.

First thing after sundown, he was going to look into finding a much nicer home. Earlier, he had thought about sprucing up their current dwelling. But now, as he took in the peeling paint and cracked ceiling, he saw clearly that the only thing to do was move his beautiful girl into a pretty new house, one that afforded her the proper amenities for a fragile, human girl to be happy.

He knew of a few realtors who could facilitate the purchase of a home without the usual annoying obstacles and delays and who also understood buyers with ‘special needs’. He’d need furniture and appliances and such as well…and books. He remembered from the contents of his doll’s backpack that she was a bright little thing who obviously loved books and learning. She would be delighted, he was sure, with something to read. He couldn’t wait to make his plan a reality.

He could picture Willow’s face when he showed her her new home for the first time. She would be so grateful and her smile would light up her features. He could almost feel her lips against his as she kissed him while he carried her over the threshold, just like a bride…his bride. And maybe then she would say the words he so longed to hear:

“I love you, Spike.”

Funhouse Mirror

Willow stared into the mirror. She hadn’t expected to recognize herself and she was not disappointed. The woman who stared back at her was no one she knew. But, far from being frightened or depressed by that fact, the very unfamiliarity of the woman she saw gave Willow hope. For the Willow she had once been was incapable of dealing with the circumstances in which she now found herself. But perhaps this stranger who was now herself could find her way through this minefield of captivity and chaos. She certainly couldn’t be any more frightened or helpless than the Willow who had been brought here from Sunnydale. So Willow kept staring into the mirror, trying to get to know this stranger, trying to become this stranger.

She started with her hair, still damp from the shower and comb-tracked. It was longer than it had been, and darker, the bright coloring she once used having long since been rinsed away, leaving dark auburn in its wake. It seemed thicker, more like a curtain. She could no longer picture it in braids, as she had at times been wont to wear it. It wasn’t a little girl’s hair anymore.

She skipped over her eyes, wanting to save the task of exploring them for last. Instead, she looked at her skin, its pallor fascinating her. But not only was her skin pale, it was almost translucent, and it stretched over her bones in a way that was both precise and delicate. Willow imagined she could almost see her bones through it. A part of her knew that these changes had been wrought by her being kept indoors in the dark and only being fed intermittently. But another part of her saw these changes as evolutionary, perhaps a consequence of her being taken as a vampire’s companion and…whatever it was Spike saw her as, wanted to turn her into.

Moving down her face, she gazed at the mouth she saw in the glass next. Gone was the expression of loquacious and eager friendliness her lips had once all but sung with. In its place was an inscrutable immobility of expression that was the least familiar thing about the woman in the mirror thus far. This was not a mouth that spoke casually or spontaneously, but rather a gateway through which words passed only grudgingly and with sober consideration. A mouth that no longer smiled freely or laughed exuberantly. A mouth that spoke to her of little more than it spoke to Spike.

Then she took a long look at the cast of her jaw. She had always thought her jaw slightly weak before, but it wasn’t now. The lines of her face were now harsh, her chin thrust a bit forward, and it almost looked as if she were grinding her teeth, so grim and resolute was her jaw line.

And now was the part she had put off, it was time to look into her eyes, to meet her own gaze and come face to face with the girl in the mirror. So Willow fixed her eyes on the eyes that stared back from the mirror and saw…nothing. Nothing but a blank, impenetrable wall of green and white. A wall that had nothing to say. A wall that refused to allow even its owner to pass and see beyond to the girl behind it. The girl who held Willow’s life in her hands. The girl she was and yet wasn’t. The girl she needed to know and couldn’t. The girl in the mirror…her only ally, herself, and yet not. Willow wanted desperately to see what lay hidden beneath those green and white orbs. So she stared and stared ‘til her eyes were all she could see. But it did her no good. In the end, she saw nothing more than that wall of eyes.

Now she could see why Spike called her his doll, for her eyes looked like the glass eyes in old-fashioned porcelain dolls. They shone in a ghastly simulacrum of humanity, seeming to open and close by some precision of craftsmanship rather than nature. Was the girl who owned those eyes her at all?

So Willow was afraid once again. Afraid to leave her fate in her own hands, because she didn’t know who she was anymore, and yet having no other choice. She hoped someday she could look into the mirror and really see the girl looking back at her. But for now, it was a funhouse mirror image and that was all; reflected, distorted, unknowable.

There was nothing more to be seen in the glass, so Willow finished washing up and putting her clothes on. Spike had told her to be dressed and ready when he returned, and that he would be back much earlier than normal. He had told her he would have a surprise for her. And any changes with Spike had to be viewed with extreme trepidation. Now that they had had sex, a surprise could mean so many things, and the ones that came to her mind were frightening, despite his shockingly softened manner of the last day. He might mean to kill her now. He might mean to turn her now. A surprise could be anything with the volatile and quixotic vampire. But there was nothing she could do. No matter what, he would do as he pleased with her. It would do no good to wonder and worry about his plans.

Willow took one last look at her reflection before going back out into the main room to wait for Spike.

“Who are you?” she screamed.

But the girl in the mirror had nothing to say.

Looking Glass Houses

It was done, Spike thought, while he stared out of the smoked glass window of the limo as it sped towards his soon-to-be-former residence. Now Spike had a much better home to call his own, a home to share with his precious doll, his Willow. Amazing what a large amount of money and the right connections could accomplish in this town. Even he had been surprised to find a law firm that catered to his kind, and that was willing to help in every way to make his life easier; including finding the perfect home for a vampire and his pet. And, while he had been forced to spend a day away from Willow while the place was being fixed up and the formalities dealt with, it was all going to be worth it when she saw her new home.

The luxurious condominium was located in a building catering to ‘unusual’ tenants and the security ensured that not only were unwelcome visitors kept out, but that certain occupants of the complex were kept in. Not that he didn’t trust Willow, of course, but it never hurt to be careful. She’d been a foolishly brave little thing back in Sunnydale, palling around with the Slayer and all. It would be just like her to want to wander around a strange city by herself, perhaps getting lost and not being able to find her way back. She didn’t understand how fragile she was, and how much she needed to be protected. He wasn’t the only demon in town, after all, and even bearing his mark...well, she’d be nearly irresistible, he was certain, to other powerful demons with a taste for innocence and untapped magic.

Of course, it was unlikely she’d ever find out that she wasn’t allowed off the premises unescorted. After all, she’d have far too much to occupy her in her new home. Even he was impressed with all the amenities the condominium, formerly occupied by a demon and his consort who’d decided to relocate, afforded. A voluminous library of books on innumerable subjects, an astounding number of DVD’s and CD’s for use in the state of the art entertainment system, satellite TV, even a wine cellar that was an oenophile’s dream, though Spike was certain that he’d appreciate that more than his lovely girl would... the place had everything one could want. He was even able to arrange blood deliveries so that he could spend more time at home with his girl. Nothing matched the taste of fresh blood straight from the source, but still, he would like to spend some nights curled up on the large, comfortable sofa with Willow, talking, watching movies, just being together...all the things two people in love did.

He knew it might be premature to think of himself and Willow that way, as being in love, but he couldn’t help it. Just remembering her face, or the way she smelled, made him feel like writing poetry again. Going back to Sunnydale and kidnapping her had been the best thing he’d ever done. His intentions at first may have been to use her to get Drusilla back, but in the end he’d seen things right, even if it had been through the bottom of a bottle. And even now, not having had a bit of alcohol in days, he was completely happy about those actions. Anyone who said that a choice you made drunk, you’d regret when sober, was an arse.

He opened the door to the limo and got out, telling the driver that he’d be back in a few minutes with his girl. More certain than ever of the rightness of what he had done and was doing, Spike walked down to the miserable basement lair, unlocked and opened the door, and was more thankful than ever to be taking his lovely doll away from here. There she was, sitting patiently at the edge of the bed, waiting for him just as he’d asked her to. His long-dead heart leapt at the sight, he could almost feel it beat again. Approaching her, he motioned for her to stand up.

“Hope you weren’t worried, pet, because I was gone so long,” he said, wondering what she’d thought when he hadn’t come home the night before. “I have a surprise for you. We’re moving. I’ve got us a lovely new home. Perfect for us, luv. Lots of books for you to read. Nice kitchen, too, so you can have some decent meals and all. You’ll love it, I know.”

But she didn’t say anything. Spike was confused, angry, and frightened all at once about that. Then he remembered that, lately, his doll had been so worried about displeasing him. Perhaps she thought that if she were too enthusiastic about their new home, he’d think she was ungrateful for everything he’d done for her so far.

“You don’t have to say it, pet. This place is foul. Best I could do on short notice. Took a bit of time to get us a proper place,” he fibbed, not wanting her to know how clouded his judgment had been these past months. “But now, well, you’ll have the kind of home you deserve. You’ll like that, won’t you?” He looked at her almost beseechingly, willing her to say something.

“Of course I will. Thank you,” she said softly, seemingly uncertain of what to do or say next.

“C’mon then, luv, let’s go. Limo’s waitin’ outside.”

With that, he put his arm around Willow’s shoulders and guided her out the door. He noticed as they walked out of the building that she turned back for a moment, her eyes holding the faint traces of tears. She truly was grateful to him. He was certain of that now. After all, why else would she be crying?

The End

Notes
Willow/Spike
NC 17

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