Pairing: Willow/Angel, Willow/Angelus (one-sided obsession), Willow/Spike
Fic Title: Take Your Time
Genre: AU, Epic, drama,
Why This Must Be Read: So, I normally would not be interested in a Willow/Angel(us) or Willow/Spike story. At all. But damn if this author doesn't make me entirely reconsider my stance on this, while writing an epic that *gasp* stays true to all the characters present. I know what you're thinking: a Willow/Angelus fic in character? But, dude, read it to understand. Angelus isn't suddenly a good vampire, and Willow never stops ringing true to the hesitant Wiccan we see on screen during the first few years of BtVS.
The story's idea is pretty awesome - Willow tries to do a spell, Post-Becoming, to save Angel but accidently gets sent back in time to before Angel was sired as a vampire. Spike gets dragged along for the ride. So, then, they're trapped in a time/world not their own, and things unfold in a complicated way. The story is looooongg and plotty, and there's a sequel that is, I think, left abandoned. I still recommend reading it anyway, because I like how this story has repercussions and changes the 'verse.
Willow stood by the window, watching as the day threatened to give in to night. Even though her room didn't catch the afternoon sun, she could tell by the softening of the light that it was getting closer to sunset. Soon, Spike and William would leave to get Drusilla, and in exchange, Willow would be handed over to Angelus. It all seemed so very matter of fact, as if she were nothing more than a school lunch to be traded between choosy yet hungry children--peanut butter and jelly for ham and cheese, a Twinkie for a Ding-Dong.
Willow hugged her arms tightly about herself as she focused past the opaque window. Nothing seemed to make sense anymore. She had thought that she knew Spike pretty well by that point, in spite of their past difficulties or maybe even because of them, but she could not figure out what he was thinking when he agreed to surrender her to his sire. He wasn't thinking at all. Not about me, anyway. All he can think about is his precious Drusilla, she whined to herself but soon regretted it. Once again, she was sounding even to herself like an immature, lovesick little girl, but love really had nothing to do with it. Willow had always known she could never replace Drusilla in Spike's heart, nor did she want to. But she had always thought that they had something special. Somewhere along the line she had convinced herself that they had some magical and rare relationship that transcended the boundaries of mere friendship--a bond that would always find a way through of all their respective pain. Maybe it happened the night he didn't feed from her when she had practically dared him to. Or perhaps it materialized during their discussion on the special properties of chocolate, but it had definitely been there long before the night that Spike had painstakingly released her from so much more than just her restrictive clothing. But now, as the light in the room faded, keeping time as well as any clock or hourglass, she saw the truth. Whatever bond they had shared was flimsy, as any bond between a demon and a human would have to be. The bindings of steel that Willow could have sworn she once felt between them were now scattered in the wind. They were nothing more than paper, torn under the first signs of stress. Without that connection, she felt naked and totally lost for the first time in decades. Even during the past few years when a part of her hated him and never wanted to see him again, deep inside she'd always thought that they'd find away through this. Not anymore. Willow saw their relationship for what it really was. She had always just been a means to an end for Spike, and this was just the final example because by being given to Angelus, she was fulfilling Spike's greatest desire. In exchange for her, Drusilla would be his, free and clear.
"At least I know I'm worth something to someone, I guess," she mumbled, letting herself sink into another moment of despair.
It was all too confusing. The repercussions on the whole timeline from Spike giving her to Angelus were enormous. How would they get home? Spike couldn't leave this timeline without her, so it was now her fear that Spike was planning to stick around instead. Maybe Angelus's grand gesture had restored his once-strong feelings for his sire, and instead of wanting to kill him, perhaps Spike hoped to rebuild what they once had. If so, where did that leave her? She guessed as long as she stayed a virgin they could go on in this timeline indefinitely, but the willpower that that would require on everyone's part...she didn't even want to think about it. Besides, she didn't want her torment at Angelus's hands to happen at all, let alone last for an eternity. No matter how she looked at it, it was a nightmare with no real escape.