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She's Like Candy

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She's Like Candy

Willow could see the gust of air that always accompanied the dusting of a vampire hit the back of the slayers twisting body and sighed in relief. She was doing her best to keep the vampires at a manageable flow, but that one had gotten by her thickening spell. Luckily, Xander had been at Buffys back with that ax before it had attacked and given the small blonde a third opponent.

"Thanks, Xan," Buffy didnt pause in her kicks and punches even as she thanked the dark haired man.

"Not a problem." Xander had already turned back to face Anya and Giles, trying to keep his girlfriend from being hurt. "How we doin up there, Wills?"

"Seven left." Willow could feel the energy coming from the vampires like an oil slick, black and deadly. These were different then Spike, more killing machine than cunning, planning adversary. She wondered briefly if that was why Spike didnt feel the same.

"Buffy!" Giles shout brought Willows attention back to the blonde who was throwing kicks and punches at a particularly large vampire. As she watched, a vampire, shielded from the slayers view by the body of the other demon, fired a bolt from a crossbow aimed perfectly at her head.

The demon she was fighting exploded into dust as the arrow passed through its heart, but Buffy was spared as Spike threw himself into her side in a modified football tackle. They landed in a heap on the floor as the last of their enemies was dusted by a nearly drained Willow. Buffy pushed the unconscious Spike off of her with a look of disgust before turning to the rest of the group.

"Thank you, guys. I knew this was a big job, but I didnt know it was going to be *this* big."

Willow had knelt beside the blond head of the vampire on the floor, taking in how much blood he was losing from the gaping wound just above and to the right of his heart. <Goddess, thats a lot of blood! He needs to be bandaged and fed, and soon.>

"Guys," Willow had to raise her voice to be heard above the rest of the group. "Spikes hurt. We need to get back to Giles apartment so we can get him cleaned up."

"Why? Hes a big vampire, he can take care of himself." Buffy barely spared the prone body on the floor a glance before she turned back to Xander and Anya. "Lets go to the Bronze. Its early, and Im all jittery from fighting."

"Sounds like a plan to me. After you change your I just killed ten people shirt, anyway."

Buffy pulled the hem of her shirt out with her thumb and forefinger. "I do look pretty nasty, huh."

"All you need is a chainsaw to complete the look." Xander snickered at his perceived brilliance. "An, what are you doing?"

"Helping Willow carry Spike, since shes so worn out from all the magic use and no one else seems to be concerned."

"Concerned about what? Willows back?" Xander just shrugged his shoulders at Anyas exasperated look. "He has to have at least a hundred pounds on her."

"Then why dont you help instead of discussing wardrobe choices with the Slayer?" Anyas sweet smile was belied by the steel in her voice.

Xander sighed before taking Spikes arm from around his girlfriends shoulders and draped it over his own, easing most of the oblivious mans weight from the small redhead. Giles slipped his arm around Spikes other side, nodding at Willows softly mumbled thanks. Willow let her feet automatically follow Giles and Xanders as the two men drug the other from the echoing room.

"Ack! Hes still bleeding!" Xander tried to get the blonde shifted so that his hand wasnt being soaked in the red substance.

<I hope we make it home soon.> Willow shook her head at her best friends whining. <If we dont, and Spike wakes up before we get there, hes going to be angry and hungry. Not a good combination in a vampire.>

Taking a look at the way Xander was roughly handling the vampire, Willow smiled softly to herself. <Maybe we could just feed him Xander.>

Chapter 1, Part 2

Willow was barely able to drag her feet by the time the rest of the group, now nearly a full block ahead, rounded the corner into the park. <Great. Not only am I tired and all achy, but now I get to walk through the park almost alone! Why dont I just sit down on a bench with a sign saying free lunch!>

Xanders sharp yelp startled the redhead from her thoughts, and Anyas answering scream pushed new life into her tired limbs. Willow ran along the winding sidewalk, senses alert to the sounds of fighting ahead.

She rounded the corner just in time to be taken to the ground by Spikes hastily dropped body. Xander was cradling his left hand to his chest while he held off vampires with a cross in his right. Giles had put down the blonde vampire in order to use both the sword and the crossbow he now wielded with practiced ease.

Buffy was surrounded by five other demons, obviously fledglings, who were taking turns rushing at the blonde. Willow took a moment to shake her head in amusement. <Uh huh. This is the slayer who took down the Master. Somehow I doubt you guys stand a chance.>

"Whats the deal G-Man?" Xander had gotten his good hand on a sword and grunted as he used it to lop the head off a particularly ugly fledgling who had rushed at Anya.

"Yeah, I thought we got rid of these stupid buggers." Spike had regained consciousness enough to pull himself upright. Now he stood, wobbling, in the center of the sidewalk.

Willow sagged against Spikes side as she fought to keep a shield up around herself and the injured vampire. "Please, Spike. Youre hurt."

"Youre worse off than I am, Red. Now put down this wall and let me kick a little fledgling arse."

"Im not certain, but I think that rather human looking purple man may be able to shed some light on the subject." Giles motioned to an extraordinary looking man standing to the side of the battle with a look of detached amusement on his face.

"Then lets go ask a few questions." Buffy staked the vampire shed been playing with and somersaulted over anothers head, back kicking him into Xanders waiting sword.

Willow tried to keep her eyes on her friends even as she felt her control slipping. The young witch sagged to the ground as the last of her energy seeped out into the fading wall. The last thing she saw before her eyes drifted closed was Spike leaping onto the nearest demon with a roar. <Stupid vampire. He... should be... resting... Resting... good.>

"Ungh!" The cry of pain pulled Willow up from the black pool she had been slowly sinking into. It took her exhausted brain a full five seconds longer to realize that it was her own voice that had woken her. Thankfully, she never fully registered the searing pain radiating from her abdomen, just above her dimpled navel.

The words being whispered harshly in her ear werent English or any other human language Willow had ever heard. Something in her brain made her understand, though. It was almost as she were talking to herself.

<The one with the sword nearly took me before I could get to you. Ive carried this burden for too long, and Im tired. To think I have been looking all over this town for the redheaded sorceress, and she comes to me. What was mine is now yours. Use it wisely.>

Willow felt something impossibly warm and sweet sliding down her throat. Her hands moved on their own to pull the source of such wonderful nectar closer, hesitating only a moment when they found themselves wrapped around the wrist and forearm of the purple demon man.

A pain sliced across her brain as if an electric current was running from one temple to the other. Willows lithe body hit the ground and bowed as an agonizingly silent scream flew from her parted lips. The pain ricocheted down her spine and then pushed its way into her arms and legs. Willow whimpered as she felt the very cells of her body being invaded.

<Shhh. It will only hurt for a moment. Sleep now, Brilliant One.>

And Willow *did* sleep. The sounds of the taunting and staking ceased all at once, and the witch simply floated into the nothingness.

Chapter 2

Willow blinked at the fuzzy scene moving before her eyes. She had just come back into her body from the well of nothingness to find herself nestled, as comfortably as possible, on Giles lumpy living room couch. She could see the others crowded into the small room arguing about something, though she couldnt seem to make her ears hear them well enough to tell what it was that had them all so mad. She could see Giles standing in the door not drinking a cup of tea while Xander and Buffy seemed to be interrogating a bound Spike.

"You should. . . with her!" Buffys voice was the first to break through the silence clinging to Willows mind. She was pointing at Spike. "If. . . have happened!"

". . . bloody. . . urt, yo. . . ft bint!"

<Why does everyone sound like a bad radio station, and why is Spike bleeding?> Willow felt a tingling along her arms and legs and wondered how her entire body had managed the pins-and-needles feeling.

Willow wanted to talk. She *needed* to tell them that whatever it was wasnt Spikes fault. <Now, if I could only make the whole verbal thing happen.>

"Lumpy." <Oh, good job Wills! Thatll make them take notice.>

As it was, Anya, who happened to be the only one sitting impassively on the chair beside the couch, stood so suddenly that she knocked into Giles, sending his cup of long forgotten tea out of his hand and across the back of Buffys stained shirt.


"Oh, shut up, Slayer." Anya had picked up a cup sitting on the coffee table and sat down beside Willows hip. "Shes waking up."

"Not Spikes fault." Willow tried sitting up, only to find herself too tired to do so. She took a sip of the water Anya held to her lips before trying to say anything else. "I hurt. What happened?"

"Fangless here let you get hurt." Xander jerked his thumb in Spikes direction. "Can I stake him now?"

"Bloody hell! She said it wasnt my fault!"

"She just woke up from some demon-imposed sleep. Theres no telling how fuzzy her memory of the last few hours of her consciousness are."

"See?" Xander pointed at Giles. "He agrees with us. Buffy, go get Mr. Pointy."

"Why is Xander talking like Ash?" Willow had managed to pull herself into a sitting position, though her head now rested heavily against the back of the couch.

"Ash?" Giles shoved some pillows behind Willows back and head in an attempt to make her more comfortable. "Was that the name of the demon? Did he say anything else to you?"

"Didnt get his name. I meant Ash from -Army of Darkness-. You know... Its a trick. Get an ax."

Spike was laughing outright by the time Willow finished her Bruce Campbell impersonation. The rope holding him down to the kitchen chair strained across his chest as he threw his head back. <And what a lovely chest it is. Hey! Stick to the point, Wills. Think about the lovely, defined... Think about it later!>

"Spike had nothing to do with it. I tried to keep a wall up around us because we were too weak to fight. It went down, then Spike did that growly roar thing he does and went to fight."

"All I know, is that I was going for Mr. Purple Demon Guy when we got surrounded by more vamps. Giles tried to stab him, but missed." Buffy sunk down on the edge of the couch to hold her friends hand as she spoke. "The next thing I know, Spikes yelling something about blood. When I dusted a vamp to see you, you were clinging to Mr. Purples arm, drinking from a gash."

"I wondered what that was." Willow unconsciously licked along her lower lip. "It was sweet, not like honey. It was... I dont know how to describe it."

"Well, whatever it was, it looked like it hurt you." Anya still held the cup of water, holding it to Willows lips once the girl finished speaking. "You did this writhing and screaming thing. I do that when Xander gives me orgasms sometimes, but it didnt look like the same thing."

"An!" Xander blushed up into the roots of his hair.

"Didnt know you had it in you, Chubs," Spike chuckled.

"Shut up Spike." Giles sounded tired. "When you looked like you were in pain, the demon who had held you just seemed to fade into nothing. All very fascinating now that I think about it."

"No! Not fascinating, watcher." Spike caught and held Willows eyes with his own, and, for a moment, Willow thought she saw respect in their blue depths. "More bloody fucking scary."

Willow took the cup of water from Anya, grazing her fingers.

{Give us the money! Someone in a mask held a gun on a terrified looking Anya who stood behind the counter of the Magic Box.

Okay. Anya opened the drawer and pulled out the money as she spoke. Youre only getting this because Im stuck in this stupid human body. If I were still a demon, youd be *so* dead by now.

Whatever. The guy tipped over a rack of crystals on his way out the door.}

"Willow? Are you okay?" Giles was shaking the redhead softly.

"Yeah. Sorry. I just kind of spaced out there for a minute." <What the hell... *heck* was that?!>

"Did he say anything to you, Willow?" Giles was back in full Watcher mode, looking for anything to help them identify what or who that person was and what kind of effect contact with it could have on the young witch.

Willow pushed herself away from the couch, feeling much stronger suddenly. She went to Spike and slowly unraveled the knots holding him down. "He didnt *say* anything. It was like he was speaking inside my head."

She felt the steady gazes of her friends like a weight on her shoulders as she bent to unwrap Spikes legs.

This time, the flash was fast and without sound. It was nothing more than an image of a very naked Spike moving between the legs of an equally naked Buffy, his back a mass of deep scratches and bruises.

<Okay. Now I *know* Im going crazy.>

"I... It wasnt English or any other human sounding language, but I knew what he was saying. Something about looking for a redheaded sorceress and carrying a burden for too long and being tired. Then he said that what was his was now mine and that I should use it wisely.

"Why hasnt anyone taken care of Spike?" Willows eyes shown with unshed tears as she gazed at the still seeping hole in the blondes shirt.

"Why should we?" Willow wasnt sure what was worse, the fact the Xander said the words, or that he sounded so uncaring saying them.

"You know. Youre a real ass sometimes, Xan." Willow ignored the small uproar her words caused and went to heat up some blood for Spike. All the bandages in the world wouldnt do a thing if he didnt start healing from the inside soon.

Chapter 3

"Here," Willow handed the mug of blood to a slightly smirking Spike. "Drink this, take off the shirt, and lay down on the couch."

"I love it when youre all demanding." Spike winked at her startled blush over the rim of the mug. "Of course, if you wanted me naked so bad, all you ever had to do was ask."

"Just get the shirt off so I can get a look at that hole." Willow fought back the heat rising up her face while she dragged out the ridiculously large first aid kit.

<Okay. Bandages, check. Tape, check. Peroxide, check. . . When did they stop making men with stomachs like that? Hey now, back on track, hormone girl. Fix the bleeding hole in the amazingly firm chest, then think about those... When did it get so hot in here?>

Willow was glad her hair had grown out enough to hide behind it a little. She really didnt want to hear anything more from Buffy and Xander tonight, and knew that blushing over Spikes body would bring more comments that she could reasonably be expected to deal with. Besides that, she knew Anya would have more than a few words of wisdom for her. Deciding that getting to work would make getting the job done better than trying to avert her eyes from the smooth skin and rippling muscles revealed when the blonde removed his shirt, Willow began washing the blood away from the wound.

"Why isnt this closing?"

"I dont know, pet." Spike put his hands behind his head and tried to force himself to relax. "Not like the Slayer let me get a look before they had me trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey. Hurts more than it should, though."

"Dammit." Willow turned to the unusually silent group scattered around the room at her back. "Couldnt one of you have even bothered to take a decent look at this? There are splinters embedded in his chest! I can almost understand the tying up, but what, you couldnt even properly remove that arrow?!"

Willow didnt even bother to wait for an answer. She simply grabbed a pair of tweezers and went to work pulling the long treads of wood from out of the vampires chest. No one in the room spoke as she went about her task, the only sound coming in the form of soft growls of pain from the body beneath her hands.

After all the wood was removed, and the wound doused in liberal droughts of peroxide, Willow left the blonde with a stern stay there, and went to wash her hands and heat him up some more blood. When Anya asked her if she was going to put any of the gauze on it, Willow grinned.

"No point putting nice clean gauze on it if Im only going to have to replace it in ten minutes because hes still bleeding. Besides, the air will probably help it some."

Willow pulled the remaining two bags of blood, throwing them in the microwave, before making a note on the pad on the counter telling Giles to buy more. While she waited for Spikes snack to heat, she scrubbed her hands under water the turned her hands pink and left them slightly raw.

<I hope Dawns doing okay at the house.>

{Do I have to go? Im much rather stay here and play with Xander. Dawn, her soft features replaced by the sharp ridges of a vampire stood in the center of Giles living room, gazing at Xander hungrily. Can I play with him, Anya? I promise not to hurt him too much.}

Willow snapped back to reality with the shrill beeping of the microwave. Running a shaking hand over her face, the witch moved to pour the blood into a large thermal mug.

<Okay. That explains everything. I must be seeing some alternate dimension. Because theres no way Anya would ever let anyone take money out of her till, Dawn will never be vamped and not have a soul, and Buffy with Spike?> The redhead shuddered at that thought. <That would just be stupid and wrong for so many different reasons!>

She entered the living room and instantly regretted not having Spike come to the kitchen with her. Xander was sitting across from his prone body, a look only describable as a pout on his face. Buffy continued to pace in front of Giles and Anya, who occupied the two chairs to the side of the couch.

"I cant believe shes nursing him after what he let happen to her!" Xander had his back to the redhead, so she wasnt surprised that he hadnt noticed shed come back into the room.

<Not that he wouldnt be saying the same thing it I were right in front of him.>

"I cant believe that youre still on that."

"Willow!" Buffy rounded on her best friend and looked at her wildly. "You could be dead right now! As it is, we dont know exactly whats going on with the whole demon blood thing."

"I cant believe that the two of you are blaming Spike, a vampire who has no soul and who has threatened and/ or outright *tried* to kill me many times, for not looking out for me when those who are supposed to be my best friends in the world couldnt be bothered to do it!"

"I dont know, Red, I like you more than most." Spike smiled at Willow and took the cup from her hands, eagerly gulping it down and watching the rest of the room.

"Thanks," Willow turned to Buffy. "He was in just as much danger as the rest of us, and reacted just as he should have. He tried to defend himself. Im not faulting him for that. I cant.

"Giles, can Anya borrow your car? I want to go to sleep."

"I could drive you." Xander stood from his seat.

"Right now I dont really want to be around you. I dont need any more lectures or whining, just sleep."

"Sure." Giles stood and retrieved the keys to the car and handed them to a bouncing Anya. "Do be careful with it, wont you?"

"Yep," Anya kissed Xander swiftly and grabbed her jacket. "Come on witch, before he changes his mind."

"Want a ride, Spike? Itll be dawn soon." Willow slid suddenly tired arms through the sleeves of her own coat.

Spike drained the mug, sitting it down beside the neat coaster on the coffee table before throwing his duster on over his shirtless torso. He smirked at the rest of the Scoobies as he held the door for Anya and Willow.

"Cant say its been fun." Spike slammed the door behind him as he swaggered out to catch up with the two girls waiting in the courtyard.

Chapter 4

Willow wasnt all that surprised to find, upon waking, that she had slept the entire morning and afternoon away. The bright blue numbers on her alarm let her know that it was just before seven. The tingles that ran along her fingers and arms made it impossible for her to think that the night before had been a dream.

Pulling her aching body from the bed, Willow sent a silent thank you out to Anya. The ex-demon had helped Willow see Spike to the relative safety of his crypt just as the first rays of dawn crept into the cemetery. After that, the other girl had pulled into a drive thru, insisting that Willow get something to eat before she went to bed.

After making sure that Willow had eaten her pancakes and hash brown, Anya had nearly carried the exhausted girl up the stairs and into her room. Willow dimly remembered Anya commenting on the green lace of her underwear and bra, but didnt remember putting on the Tweety bird shirt she found herself wearing.

Willow rubbed her hands against the material of the shirt in an attempt to get the odd feeling running through them to go away. It was as if there were a million tiny insects running all along her hands and up her arms to just below the elbows. There wasnt any pain, just that odd tickling sensation.

<Ill ask Giles about it. Hes bound to have found *something* by now. I mean, how many purple demons that look like perfectly normal men otherwise could there be? Besides, were talking about something that could affect me in very bad ways, here, not just seeing the guy.>

Certain that the feeling was nothing more than some sort of residual happening from the shock she had felt at the hands of the demon the night before, Willow was unprepared for the sight that greeted her in the bathroom mirror. Her normally shoulder length red hair had been replaced during the night with a mane of hair that curled down her back and around her shoulders. The red was now shot through with pieces of orange and yellow, giving it all the appearance of curling flames licking at her face and body.

"Okay, not what normally happens overnight." Willow took a step closer to the closed bathroom door. "Whats going on with my face?"

It looked as though someone had went wild with white powder and glitter as she had slept. Her face was as pale as her vampire counterparts had been, though her lips had taken on a soft red of their own and her eyes were surrounded by an orange color, both of which matched colors in her new hair. Her cheeks were accented by some sort of dusky blush, though she knew she hadnt applied it, and the entirety of her skin seemed to be covered in a light shimmer. By some trick of the light, or perhaps there was just more of the glittering substance on those areas, her eyes, cheeks, and lips were brought out with much more sparkling than the pale glimmer of the rest of her face.

"Okay. Take a shower and then get to Giles." Willow pulled off her clothes hurriedly and gasped at what she saw.

Her entire body was glimmering in the light of the bathroom. A soft V running along the tops of her breasts and down the valley between was accented in the same way as her lips, though, Willow was thankful to see, there was no accompanying color changes. Willows arms seemed to be wrapped in bands of the brighter glitter that ended at each wrist. Her still tingling hands were shimmering as bright as the rest of her body.

The thing that caught her attention the most, were her fingernails. While normally kept rather short from fighting and the nervous chewing she found herself doing from time to time, they were now rather long. They were much longer than she could remember even Cordelia having hers, with a slight curve to them. To top off the new look, the nails were a deep red with orange and yellow streaked through. The effect was that of tiny flames dancing along each nail.

"Screw the shower." Willow ran into her bedroom and threw on the first shirt she came across, following it with a flowing skirt she managed to snag as she pulled on a pair of sandals. "Got to get to Giles. Hell know what to do."

Willow picked up the book sitting beside her bedroom door that needed to go back to the Watchers house. She gasped and dropped the book when she saw the older man suddenly in front of her. A moment later, the vision took her over.

{I have to tell you, Buffy, that this is a bad idea. It has nothing to do with you anymore. Pulling the glasses from his face, Giles wiped them off with the end of his tie.

No Giles. This has everything to do with me.}

"Okay. I have to do something about this dimensional sightseeing before I get caught off guard in public or during a fight." Willow thought for a moment before going to her closet and rummaging through the box that was kept on the shelf.

"Here I thought I was making a stupid impulse buy." Willow had found the long, black evening gloves that she had bought nearly two years before in a fit of female what ifs.

Willow didnt even stop to run a brush through the curls of her hair or she would have noticed that she was wearing a faded Sunnydale High T-shirt with a purple and red skirt. In fact, the frightened redhead failed to lock her door or notice that the sun had set as she ran through the graveyard. She didnt stop until she was standing, panting for breath, in the middle of the Watchers living room, surrounded by the confused and questioning faces of her friends.

"Trying somethin new with the make-up there, Red?" Spike ran his eyes down her body before returning them to her face. "Gotta say that I, for one, like it."

"I didnt do it, Spike." Willow slid her tongue over her bottom lip before she brought it into her mouth where she worried it with her teeth. "I woke up and it was just there."

"Going for a bit of a Rogue look, Wills?" Xander and Anya had frozen just inside the front door when they caught sight of the girl standing in the center of the living room. "It all works pretty well, but the sandals should really be boots."

"I dont think shes trying to look like some comic book character, Xander." Anya paused and looked expectantly at Willow. "You arent, are you? Because me and Xander sometimes play that game, and I dont want him thinking about you while hes giving me orgasms."

"Okay, not a visual that I want to have." Buffy visibly shuddered and turned to her best friend. "What gives Will?"

"I dont know, I just woke up and there was this tingly feeling going on in my hands and up and down my arms. I go to take a shower, and find out Im Glimmer Girl."

"Your face was this way when you woke up?" Giles wrote a few things down on the legal pad he had on the table in front of him. "It could be just some side effect of the demons touch. There are a few, after all, that will give the person who touches them a mark of some sort on their face."

"What about the rest of me?" Willow hated how small her voice sounded, especially when she saw the way Spikes eyebrow lifted in interest.

"You all sparkly under those clothes, there, Red?" He was leaning forward on the couch now, elbows resting on knees, and Willow could feel him undressing her with those eyes.

"Pr... Pretty much." Willow found a sweet, coppery taste on her tongue and realized that shed bitten through her lip in her nervousness.

"What else?" Anya was a little too happily interested for Willows liking, but she could see the concern and interest in the others eyes.

"Well, theres the hair. Cuz it had to have grown nearly two feet overnight, and thats just not normal. Not to mention the color, because Im pretty certain that it was just plain red when I went to bed last night, this morning... whatever, and now it *so* isnt just a normal red color. Would you call this color fire? Because, Im sensing a definite fire thing going on with it. Thats not to mention the glittery chest and armbands, or the fact that my nails are, like, long. I mean *really* long, and they have little flames on them, too. Thats why Im dressed this way. I just had to get over here and see what kind of information you had found on the demon that I drank from, because, lets face it, there cant be all that many demons that look human other than the fact that theyre purple."

Giles blinked at the young womans ability to talk for so long without taking a breath before grasping on to her last sentence. "Actually, there are 72 known demons that look perfectly normal other than their skin tone."

Willow let herself sink down beside Spike on the couch with a small oh. She had expected some answers, and was now faced with not knowing what was going to happen to her.

"Dont worry, Willow." Giles attempt at a brave smile was lost on the oblivious redhead who simply leaned her head over on Spikes shoulder and let him rub her arm comfortingly. "Im cross-referencing the human appearance with his speaking inside your head and the fact that he fed you his blood. That, I believe, narrows the selection down to around ten. It would just help if I had a few more experienced eyes helping me out."

"Anya, are you *sure* youve never met a demon like the one that attacked Willow?"

"Positive, Giles." Anya shook her head sadly. "I like Willow, and I wish I could help, but the only human-looking, different colored demons I ever met werent nearly as nice as the one in the park was. They were all the see pretty girl, rape pretty girl, disembowel pretty girl type."

"And you, Spike?" Giles turned to the vampire.

"Nothing here, mate. I cant remember even *hearing* of a demon like that who didnt enjoy ripping people apart more than he did talkin to em."

"You know who we have to call, right?" Willow spoke with her head still resting against the rounded softness of Spikes shoulder.

"The Ghost Busters?"

"No, you git." Spike didnt even try to keep the contempt from his voice. "Shes talking about the bloody Pouf."

"Do we gotta?" Xanders whine made Willow giggle slightly.

"This is none of his business, Giles." Willow could tell Buffy wasnt happy.

"It would be nice to have Wesley looking from that end as well." Giles heaved a great sigh before standing and moving toward the kitchen.

"I *still* dont like it." The small blonde had crossed her arms over her chest and was sulking in the chair across from the pair on the couch.

"It really doesnt matter what you do or do not like, Buffy. Were talking about Willow, here. You should put aside everything until were quite certain of her safety."

"Im going on patrol." Buffy stood and headed for the door before turning to look at Spike. "You coming, Neutered Boy?"

"I have to go, pet." Spike tucked a curl behind Willows ear before grinning evilly. "Someones got to make sure the bint doesnt slay her own foot."

Willow nodded, and the two blondes were gone a moment later.

"Ill make the call," and Giles turned to the phone to do just that.

Chapter 5

Giles walked back into the living room while he waited for someone to answer the ringing phone. Holding the phone between the side of his head and his shoulder, he moved to the bookshelf and pulled down the nearly full crystal container that sat there. Giles poured a slightly more than healthy amount into a matching crystal glass.

"Angel, this is Giles." Giles, obviously talking to the vampires answering machine, pushed the glass of amber liquid into Willows hand. "There is a situation concerning Willow that we could use your, or perhaps Wesleys, help looking into. If you could call me back as soon as possible, it would be appreciated."

Giles put the phone back on its cradle before motioning to the glass Willow had begun sipping from, grimacing after each taste. "Something wrong with the scotch?"

"Im not a big drinker, Giles. Bad experience with beer, remember?"

"Yes, well, I would hardly call that American swill beer, but I suppose I understand your aversion to alcohol." Giles put three large, leather bound books in a pile on the floor beside the table and opened a fourth one to a place he had marked with a slip of paper.

"There will be pizza in a few minutes, and there will be no more scotch. Its not my intention to get you pissed, simply to relax enough to be able to help with the research we have in front of us."

"Thanks Giles." Willow sunk back into the couch and cradled the tumbler in still tingling fingers. "Did I mention that my hands and arms are all tingly?"

"Tingly?" Giles looked up from his book with wide, interested eyes.

"Yeah, almost like when youre foot is doing that weird not-quite-asleep thing."

"Oh, I *hate* that!" Xander shuddered in his seat beside, and nearly under, Anya. "You mean youre all numb and prickly?"

"Something like that, only not so much with the numb." Willow took the last of the scotch in a gulp, this time smiling as it made its pleasant trail down her throat. "Here. Let me show you what they look like."

She stood and moved to the table Giles was sitting at. It took her a minute to pull the unfamiliar gloves from her long fingers, drawing gasps from the other occupants of the room when her arms and hands came into view.

"And they were like this when you woke up?" Giles turned his head to take in every detail of her new coloring.

"Yeah." Willow pulled the glove hurriedly back over her hand and arm when the doorbell sounded, alerting them that the pizza had arrived. "I caught sight of my face and the rest of my body, freaked out, and came over here as fast as I could."

Xander had paid for the pizza and was now carrying it through to sit it on the table. "So youre kind of shimmery all over?"

"Well, yeah." Willow could have sworn they had covered this already, but she kept herself from rolling her eyes at her best friend. "Ive got different places that seem to be darker with it than others, like my arms and a place on my chest, but its pretty much an all over motif by now."

"Why arent you purple?" Xander had taken an entire pizza, setting it on the small table in front of the chair he and Anya were occupying. "You know, since the guy who grabbed you was pretty much a California Raisin?"

"I dont know!" Willow fought the burning prickle behind her eyes. "All I know is that Im not looking too Willowy at the moment, and that I feel all weird." The shrill ring of the phone interrupted the babble she felt coming to the surface, and she silently sent thanks that it rang when it did.

She had been wondering since the night before if she should be waiting for some sort of evil to take over her body, crowding her out and leaving nothing but the shell of what she once was. Would her soul fade slowly, or would it wink out like a blown lightbulb? Would the soul restoration she used on Angel work on her if her soul did fly away, or would Buffy and Spike be forced to hunt her down and kill her? Was she going to be some sort of sacrifice, and the glittery show was all to make her more yummy and tender?

Over the last few hours shed been contemplating the new look she had unwillingly acquired, and found herself rather liking most of the changes. The glittering would make blending in around town hard, but her hair and face were lovely and ethereal, if a little too pale for her liking. <If I cut the nails, they shouldnt be *too* bad. That is, if we cant find some way to fix me and put me back to the way I was.>

{Youre so pathetic, Willow. Buffy paced the floor in front of the couch on which Willow sat. I cant believe you went behind my back and took them away from me. Youre such a slut!

It wasnt like that! The vision Willow shook her head furiously. Im not with them both. Angel and I are only friends, and hes trying to help me figure out whats happened, is still happening, to me.

God, Im sick of hearing about you you you all the time!

Now you know how the rest of us have felt since we met you, Slayer. Spike, wearing his demons face and not wearing a shirt, came down the long staircase.}

The vision left as quickly as it had come on, leaving Willow with a slightly dazed feeling. It obviously reflected on her face, as Xander and Anya were both looking at her in open concern and Giles was speaking to her softly.

"Angel wants to talk to you." He motioned to the phone that must have rung during her little trip, and she took it without really thinking.

"Hello Angel."

"Giles said something about a demon and blood. He seemed to think you were doing okay, but I told him that I wanted to hear that from you personally. If you want me to come up there to be another shoulder for you to lean on until we figure out whats going on, I will. Id say that you could come here, youre more than welcome to if you want, but the more familiar people and places you have around, the better. So, be honest with me. Are you okay?"

Willow couldnt help the laughter bubbling up inside of her chest, despite Angels open worrying. "Youre babbling, Angel. I didnt know you knew how to talk like that all at once."

"Well, I learned it from you." There was a soft chuckle from his end of the phone before his voice became laced with worry again. "Are you in any kind of pain? Is there anything I can do while we try to figure out who, and what, the hell that purple bastard was? Say the word and its done."

"Im all tingly, which Im sure Giles told you, but I feel fine other than that. A little giddy, but I think that was more from the scotch he gave me a while ago than anything else." Willow heard Buffys muffled what the fuck from behind her, but ignored it to concentrate on the conversation she was having with the dark vampire.

"Eat something."

"I plan on it. Just got a little sidetracked for a minute. Im fine though, really."

"You wont be fine until we at least know that something bad isnt happening to you. Giles gave Wesley all the details, so hes already hitting the books with Cordelia and Fred. Im going to go see if I can find anything out from the locals. You call if you need *anything*, okay?"

"Okay Angel." Willow knew he could hear the smile in her voice even if he couldnt see her face. "Be careful. I dont want you getting hurt over something as little as this."

"Youre worth getting hurt over, Willow. Ill talk to you soon."

"Bye." Willow hung up the phone and pulled three slices of the pepperoni pizza onto a paper plate before facing a glaring Spike. "Whats wrong? No demons out to kick around?"

"Oh, one or two. What did the Gelled Wonder want?" The scowl hadnt left his face, and Willow fought the urge to tell him it would get stuck that way if he didnt stop.

"And what were *you* doing, giving the girl scotch?" Spike had rounded on Giles, leveling those ice blue eyes on the Watcher.

"Giles was just trying to shock my system into relaxing a little. Angel was just making sure that Im all right. Its all no big deal, really."

"Yeah, that used to be one of his best lines to hook a chit."

"Spike, hes not trying to hook anybody." Willow knew he was baiting her, but it was just too fun to watch him get all worked up over his sire. "Were already friends. He doesnt have to even try any lines on me."

"Arent we friends, pet?" Spike frowned and looked at her from under lowered lashes.

"You know we are. Spike, just because Im friends with one of you doesnt mean that I cant be friends with the other." Willow finished off her first slice of pizza and retrieved one of the cans of soda Xander had set on the table. "He just wanted to make sure Im not in pain or anything."

"Bet you played that one up for all it was worth." Buffy had helped herself to a slice of pizza and one of the remaining chairs. She looked around at the other occupants of the room before speaking again.

"If you want to call and flirt around with Angel, just say so." Buffy stood a brushed off her short skirt. "Lets hit the Bronze."

"In case you couldnt tell, which Im sure you could since I dont think that anyone, not even you, could be that stupid, were researching." Anya held up the can of soda she held loosely in her left hand while she read as if to illustrate her point. "Were trying to find out whats wrong with Willow."

"Yeah, Buff." Xanders confused voice let Willow know that her oldest friend was giving the small blonde more attention than he usually gave anything. "We made it into a research party, just like it used to be. Dont you want to help?"

"Nothings like it used to be, Xander." Buffy retrieved her coat from the table just inside the door before turning to face Spike for the first time. "Well?"

"You dont need me, Slayer." Spike picked up one of the books from the table and settled himself beside Willow. "Said so yourself."


The near slam of the front door made the four humans jump slightly. Spike just smirked and gave a soft sort of chuckle.

"Bitch." Anya openly agreed with the blonde vampires sentiment, but no one disagreed as they all got down to the business of a good research session.

She's Like Candy, page 2