The Dark Side of Bliss

Capter 4

# The rain was pouring down. She kept running, without looking back.

She didn’t need to.

He was at her heels. His evilness permeated the air; even the rain reeked of him. Willow was sure her heart was going to explode any minute, now.

He was close, too close, closer than the light. Her blue gown was soaking wet with rain, blocking her legs. She squeezed the little silver bottle, which was hanging on her chest, in her fingers.

She had to come back to him. She had to come back to Spike.

She was his only hope, just like he was hers.

She was the only one who could help him.

The golden light was so close to her, now.

Within the light there was her safety.

Within the light there was their hope.

“I have something which belongs to you, little girl.” Angelus’ voice almost made her stop.

<It’s a trap…he doesn’t have anything, keep running, enter the light>

Her inner voice kept telling her.

“I’m holding it in my hands right now…don’t you want to see it?” He continued. How was it that evilness vibrated even through his calm voice?

Willow didn’t want to stop, didn’t want to see, yet she couldn’t help turning to look at him, his voice similar to a siren’s song.

Angelus wasn’t moving. Rain was beading his face; a cruel leer was playing on his lips. He slowly raised his right hand; it was closed in a fist.

“You keep forgetting things, little girl…did you really think you could bring back life with you?”

Willow slowly stepped back. She could feel behind her back the cold burning of the golden light.

Angelus was getting close to her. He was shaking his head, an arrogant smirk on his lips while he slowly asked, “Will he love you when he knows the way you failed him?”

Willow froze, ice seeping through her veins while Angelus opened his closed fist and blood poured from it.

“Will he love you, little girl?” He repeated.

Willow shook her head, while her eyes stung with tears that were making her sight blurred.

“I am *his* life, little girl.” He said.

“*I* am…I have his blood!” Willow screamed, as her tears trailed a burning path down her cheeks.

Angelus tilted his head on a side and almost hissed, “You just took what you wanted, little girl.”

Willow furiously shook her head, hot tears mingling with cold rain on her cheeks. She looked down at the little bottle and with trembling hands uncapped it, pouring some of its content on her open palm.

It was blood.

“I have blood! I have life!” She exclaimed titling her hand up to show it to Angelus. Her hand dropped on her side and she couldn’t help taking another step back when the vampire took a step toward her.

Angelus was holding something in his hands. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t see what it was. The vampire evilly smiled at her, he shrugged and said, “We both have, little girl…the point is…which one do you hold dearest?”

He got closer to her. He was so close to her that he could touch her, kill her. Yet he wasn’t touching her…he just looked at her.

Willow could smell blood on him…or was it on her?

Angelus sniffed her. He tilted his head down then whispered against her face, “Come back to him and tell him the way you failed him”

Willow closed her eyes but blinked them open, when Angelus hit her with the object he had been holding in his hands.

Pain embedded in her body, reverberating in every fiber of her being for a moment, while Angelus pushed her against the golden light, and Willow felt like she was being ripped in two, as she fought not to enter it.

“Tell him the way you took life away from him!” The vampire coldly hissed.

Tears rolled down her cheeks while she weakly shook her head.

“I didn’t…I…ca…can’t” She half sobbed, while the golden light engulfed her.

“Childhood is over, little girl…” Angelus whispered.

Willow screamed while the pain in her body throbbed in sync with the golden light around her, until both of them slowly faded leaving her in the dark.

She felt air leaving her lungs when it was Spike’s voice that talked to her through the darkness, saying, “Childhood is over, little girl”


It was just like drowning.

Willow took long, convulsed breaths, while fear, hot and raw, was still gripping her heart in a strong, too strong hold. She felt her body pressed against Spike’s, she could feel his arms pulling her closer at him.

~ Come back to him and tell him the way you failed him ~

She squeezed her eyes shut and let the tears rolling down her cheeks, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry…” She kept sobbing burying her face in the crook of his arm.

“Sssh…it was just a nightmare” Spike’s voice was low, soothing.

He brushed her hair with his fingers, slowly whispering against it, “It’s over luv, I’m here with you…you are safe now…”

~I am *his* life, little girl… ~

Willow swallowed hard, forcing her eyes open. She took a deep breath and slowly pulled away from Spike.

“Are you feeling any better?” Spike asked.

Willow nodded, without turning to look at him. She had been so tired, when they had come back from Eric’s apartment to her dorm room that she had just wanted to rest for a while, before going to Giles, for another night of research.

She had fallen asleep in Spike’s arms, feeling his fingers, slowly tracing random patterns on the naked skin of her stomach.

“How long have I been asleep?” She asked, her voice still cracked.

She didn’t know how long she had dozed off; her nightmare had totally altered her perceptions.

“Less than a hour…”

Willow turned toward him, Spike was resting his head against the open palm of his hand and she couldn’t help the little smile, which, despite her still shaken state of mind, crept, on her lips.

She stretched a hand and brushed the soft skin of his lips with her fingertips.

Spike smiled at her and said, “I take you feel better?”

Willow nodded, ignoring the dryness in her throat, and the need she still felt to cry and said, “Way better…someone very wise told me a while ago, that having nightmares in our line of job is one of the sucking side effects…”

Spike cocked and eyebrow at her, while gently draping an arm around her waist to pull her closer to him, he kissed her left temple and whispered against her skin, “Whoever said that was right…so we can scratch out Harris, from the list…”

Willow playfully slapped his arm and said, “Hey, you’re talking about my best friend, here…”

Spike grinned at her and leant toward her to capture her lips with his. Willow circled his neck with an arm, responding to his kiss.

She couldn’t help the shiver that ran up her spine, when Spike dug his fingers in her hair, playing with it, while his talented lips didn’t leave an inch of the skin of her face untouched.

She felt his cool tongue wiping away the tears she had shed during her nightmare; she tilted her head up when his mouth descended on her neck tasting her soft skin, lightly scraping it with his teeth.

~ Will he love you, little girl? ~

She gripped his shoulders and was almost tempted, to crush him at her. Angelus’ words kept replaying themselves in her mind, making her heart beat faster in her chest, perhaps Spike had heard it, or perhaps it was just the strength of the bond they shared, Willow couldn’t tell, and didn’t care, especially when Spike’s hands went to her shirt and he started to unbutton it with aching slowness.

He suddenly stopped and said, “I won’t go away this time…”

~ You just took what you wanted, little girl. ~

Willow nodded her head. She swallowed before murmuring, “I know….”

Spike smiled at her, he grazed her damp cheeks with his fingers. He didn’t utter a sound, he let his eyes talk, they bore into hers, and Willow couldn’t help smiling while the images of his nightmare slowly faded from her heart, replaced by Spike’s smile, by his fingers, which kept brushing her cheeks, by his love, strong…stronger than anything she had ever known or experienced.

“Make love to me” She whispered.

She had never uttered those words. There had always been an urgency and a burning passion in their lovemaking, since the first time, almost as if it was something forbidden, something which could consume both of them to the core, if they had lingered in it, if they had really tasted it

<This isn’t an illusion…this is us…this is reality. >

Her hands went on his shirt, to help him out of it. Soft smiles played on their lips, while Spike lowered his head to knead with his tongue her nipple through the satin of her bra. She softly moaned, digging her fingers in his hair.

Spike’s hands went on her waist, she had still her trousers on, but Spike didn’t attempt to pull them off. His fingers lingered on her naked skin teasing it with his fingertips. His mouth and tongue were still playing with her hardened nipple, and Willow couldn’t help saying, half laughing, half panting, “Wouldn’t it be better if I didn’t have this on?”

Spike raised his head; there was a malicious grin in his blue eyes when he shook his head.

Willow frowned and mumbled, “You’re getting a kick out of it, aren’t you?”

He lowered his head without answering her, yet she could feel his lips stretching in a wide smile against the thin fabric of her bra.

His left hand slowly raised, brushing her skin, sending jolt of pleasure throughout her body, it went behind her shoulders, and slowly helped her out of her shirt.

She attempted to move, Spike, though stopped her, gently, but firmly, whispering, “Let me love you”

<I need to…we both do… >

His eyes told her and Willow had to blink back tears.

<No more tears>

She thought. Not there. Not with Spike.

She nodded at him and let him undress her. His movements were still slow, as he pulled her shirt off, then unclasped her bra, touching her skin at the same time with both his hands and mouth.

Willow was losing herself in a whirlwind of sensations so strong and intense that it looked like they were shattering her body.

She couldn’t help a sharp intake of breath when Spike’s hands went on the fastening of her trousers. She searched his lips with hers and kissed him, hungrily, and his response made her legs tremble with a liquid pleasure, that quickly shot throughout her body.

<Oh, my god…he’s just like fire…he’s melting me…>

She incoherently thought, while her hands roamed on his naked back marveling, once more, at its softness, at the fire that his skin stirred within her.

She cupped his buttocks through the denim of his jeans with her hands, pulling her at him and felt his face stretching, morphing against the naked skin of her breasts.

That alone almost sent her over the edge.

<I’m doing this to him…I’m making him lose control…>

“You’re playing dirty, Red,” He half growled and his cool breath against the sensitive skin of her nipples made her inner muscles quiver. She gently took his face in both her hands and lifted it.

His yellow eyes were sparkling, searching into hers. She smiled at him and said, “If you want me to stop…” She trailed, feeling breathless.

He was taking away everything from her: her will, her breath, her tears…yet just looking into his eyes, she couldn’t help feeling whole.

Spike slowly shook his head morphing back in his human face. He kissed the open palm of her left hand first, then her fingertips, for some seconds.

He lightly pulled away from her and his hands went on her breasts, gently massaging them, until Willow couldn’t hold back a moan, her hands went again on his buttocks, and she panted, “Where were we?”

His mouth descended on hers, surprising her with the sweetest kiss. They both had their trousers on, but although the arousal in both of them was becoming almost painful, none of them seemed in a hurry, they kept kissing and teasing each other.

Spike’s right hand was still on the fastening of her trousers, playing with its buttons, while her hands, were roaming on his naked skin, taking pleasure from the low sounds he was making with his throat, taking pleasure from his skin.

When he unbuttoned her trousers, Willow felt her heart almost skip a beat. He helped her out of her trousers, brushing with his fingers the soft skin of her legs, tickling her inner thighs.

Her hands went on the fastening of his jeans, but Spike stopped her by gently grabbing her wrist.

“I’ll do that…” He said, his voice low.

<He’s as breathless as I am…>

She thought, fully knowing it was impossible, yet his voice was huskier, deeper. She nodded at him and stretched a hand to trace his face. Spike closed his eyes and leant into her touch.

She smiled at him when he opened his eyes and in a voice as husky as his, said, “Make love to me, Spike”

Spike grinned and Willow saw how the blue of his eyes was darker, flickers of yellow, gleamed behind them, but Willow didn’t care.

<It’s what he is…what made him whole>

“I’m happy to oblige,” He said, before his lips covered hers, kissing her mouth, loving it, just as his body was loving hers.

Her breath caught in her throat in anticipation, when he pulled his jeans off, she helped him with her legs, and then wrapped them around his hips.

Blue met green, and Willow was sure the world around them had faded, disappeared. She couldn’t hear, feel or see anything but him, and she was sure, it was the same for him.

His fingers played with her hair, while he supported his weight on his elbows. Gently, he entered her and Willow couldn’t help blinking, while her heart began beating faster and faster against her chest.

It looked like Spike’s hands where everywhere on her body, leaving fire’s marks on her skin. She gripped his shoulders, losing herself in his eyes, her breath became ragged while the pleasure became almost too intense to bear, their movements, became more urgent, Spike’s face changed, while Willow’s inner muscles tightened around him, she arched her back wrapping her legs tighter around his waist.

<I love you>

Her eyes told him, and the way he tenderly brushed some damp locks away from her face, the way he smiled at her, even if his smile was altered by his demonic visage, filled her heart with joy.

Pleasure, so strong that it skimmed pain shot through her, leaving her breathless, while her whole body convulsed in Spike’s arms. Soon he joined her, searching her lips with his, kissing her; his fangs lightly scraped her lips with not enough force to draw blood, yet his tongue traced her lips’ outlines.

“Your heart is beating so fast” Spike huskily said, his cool breath tickled against her warm skin. Willow closed her eyes and tilted her head up, running her hands through Spike’s hair.

“It’s you…” She whispered. She opened her eyes and wasn’t surprised when she met Spike’s. They were still joined, and neither of them attempted to move, Willow lowered her hand, to graze his face, Spike leant in her caress, slowly morphing back in his human face

“Would you consider me, incredibly cheesy if I told you I love you, right now?”

Spike cocked an eyebrow at her and grinned before saying, “There is only a way to find out, pet…”

Willow widely smiled at his words, her fingers grazed his full lips, she shrugged and said, “Let’s find out, then…”


Spike’s crypt was in one of Sunnydale’s oldest cemeteries. It hadn’t taken long for Xavier to find the exact location. It was the logical place the Eletti could have picked and chosen to live in: not too far away from the Slayer and close enough to the demon activity of the town.

It was a large crypt, Xavier noticed, looking around: no personal belongings in sight, but he had expected that. An Eletti didn’t leave clues; an Eletti didn’t show any trait, which could allow identification.

Too many things were at stake. Xavier lightly shook his head, he had never really gotten that fixation the Eletti had about being Spartan in their lifestyles, but he didn’t complain. He always knew what to look for.

Smells. He flared his nostrils, his green-blue eyes wide open, focused on a non-existent point in front of him.

The stale smell of cigarettes, wax, a flowery smell, faint, but unmistakable, which probably belonged to the human the Eletti was in love with

<Will wonders ever cease? > He idly wondered.

There wasn’t magic in the air, there weren’t spells protecting the crypt, but that was to be expected, a magic trail would arise too many questions among demons, especially in the crypt of a vampire who was now openly fighting with the good guys.
Furthermore, because the magic one would find, had nothing to do with basic protection spells.

<Good boy, Spike…you know your stuff…> He thought.

He kept focusing his senses, there was a faint, metallic smell, and Xavier smiled, taking some steps forward, toward the makeshift bed, which was to the center of the crypt. He cocked his eyebrows, he understood living the cliché, but wasn’t a stone coffin a bit too much?

He inwardly sighed. If the Eletti left traces so could he, he couldn’t afford any weakness, not on the job.

After all he had been sent to Sunnydale for that very reason: weakness.
After all he had been chosen for a reason…for a mistake, for desperation.

The smell was a bit stronger; now, he circled the makeshift bed, paying attention to every single detail, which surrounded him.

Eventually he stopped, letting a light smile playing on his lips. He knelt in front of a big candlestick, his senses ready to intercept any intruders, and then extracted from his black’s coat pockets a pair of gloves. They didn’t have any smell, and would cover his skin’s; he took in his hands, the small black backpack: it was old; it looked like it had seen better days.

<Haven’t we all? >

He silently wondered, while opening it: there were a couple of floppy disks, which probably contained the reports of the last months, words written in obscure and very dead languages, yet encrypted with modern technology, just in case they would have ever been found out.

Xavier couldn’t help a little snort, all that secrecy for naught…blindly following rules written in blood, all for naught.

Lives taken…for naught.
All forgotten, for the love of one single girl.
One. Single. Girl.
Was she different than other girls? Was her life more precious of other girls’?

Xavier shook his head; he had steeled himself for that mission, yet he couldn’t help it.

He couldn’t help it if it still hurt.
He couldn’t help it, if he still felt the same pain.
He had chosen to die because of that pain.
Because he had wanted…what…revenge? Understanding?
He now just wanted to understand and forgive.
He needed that.

He rummaged through the backpack until he found what he had been looking for: a little key, well hidden, in the fabric of the backpack.

He got up from the floor, then proceeded to lightly push the lid of the stone coffin, which constituted Spike’s bed.

Under the skeleton of a woman he found it, a medium sized casket. He opened it.
Which were the secrets of an Eletti?
Which were the secrets of the monster that spied the monsters?


The first stars had appeared in the sky, the rain that incessantly had poured down for most part of the day had stopped; the air was cool, filling the evening with its sweet smell. Buffy was in the terrace, sitting on a chair, her eyes on the evening’s sky, she closed her eyes, tightening a blanket around her shoulders.

She tilted her head down, resting it against her knees, letting out a tremulous sigh, thinking about what had happened that afternoon, when she had cut herself, in her mother’s kitchen.

She closed her injured hand in a fist. The cuts were already healing, yet her hand was still bandaged. What was happening to her? Blood wasn’t supposed to arouse her; it wasn’t supposed to leave her craving for more.

She wiped away some tears with the back of her hand and took a deep breath. She didn’t want to admit she was beginning to be afraid of herself. Details she had overlooked until that afternoon were coming up in her mind.

She couldn’t help thinking about how strongly she had been feeling her powers, she couldn’t help recalling the sheer pleasure she had found in her fights, since she had gotten pregnant.

Her training sessions had become more intense; in a couple of occasions she had really hurt Spike or Eric …without even noticing. She recalled what Willow had told her that morning about Spike…she had been kidding, yet, the meaning behind her words hadn’t been lost on her: she had hurt Spike…and she knew now that he didn’t have to pretend any more, how much stronger than he appeared he really was.

She hadn’t been afraid for her baby during her patrols, on the contrary the knowledge she was carrying a life inside of her, had made her stronger, had pushed her not to take useless risks. Her determination had increased.

<Are you sure you didn’t mean your darkness? >

A little voice in the back of her mind suggested. She squeezed her eyes shut and hugged her legs, taking deep breaths, trying to calm the pounding in her chest.

“Luv?” Giles’ gentle voice made her start. Buffy raised her head and turned to her left, toward his voice.

“I’m here…” She said, hoping he hadn’t noticed how shaky her voice was.

“What are you doing here?” He gently asked.

Buffy smiled at him, the look in his eyes was as always full of love and concern. She shrugged and said, “I needed to take some air…”

“How did your lunch with your mother go?” He asked. He bent toward her, and softly kissed her lips, before taking a seat next to her.

“Fine…it went…just fine…” She said slowly emphasizing each word with slow nods of her head.

Giles frowned and looked at her, Buffy stifled a sigh, and the look in his eyes became if possible, gentler, when he asked, “What happened?”

She couldn’t help the smile, which crept on her lips; at times she forgot how well Giles knew her. She weakly smiled at him and said, “Mom’s got a job’s offer…she’s moving to St. Francisco”

Giles stretched a hand and gently squeezed her shoulder. Buffy closed her eyes. How was it possible, that his mere touch could give her such a peace, such a sense of wholeness?

She had troubles remembering there had really been a time, when they hadn’t been together; when he hadn’t been the first person she saw when she opened her eyes. Even when she had been with Angel or Riley, there had always been a corner of her heart, part of her soul that had belonged to him.

She smiled at him blindly seeking his hand, the comfort of his touch. They intertwined fingers, and the only thing Buffy wished was that the gnawing fear that was slowly starting to invade her went away.

“Luv, what did you do to your hand?” Giles asked, concerned.

Buffy opened her eyes and looked down at their joined hands, noticing she had stretched her injured hand, she shook her head and whispered, “It’s nothing, I cut myself with a glass” She hesitated before saying, “I shattered it”

Giles cocked an eyebrow at her. They both knew she was usually very careful and aware of her strength, Buffy noticed how the green of his eyes darkened.

Up to three months before, she would have probably stayed silent, she would have brushed it all off...things had changed, though, things had changed so much, so she swallowed and added, “And there’s something else…I didn’t hear it shattering, I didn’t feel the glass cutting my hand…I didn’t feel pain…it didn’t even sting”
She let go of Giles’ hand and murmured, “The blood… I wanted to taste it…I had to force myself not to…”

Giles lowered his head and Buffy couldn’t help frowning…he looked like he had expected something similar to happen, she stretched a hand toward him and gently forced him to raise his head. Her eyes bore into his, for some seconds.

The truth she read in his green depths, startled her, she let her hand fall, and she had to rest her back against the chair, “You knew this could happen, didn’t you? What’s going on, Rupert?”

Giles slowly got up from his chair; he put his hands in his pocket and lightly shrugged his shoulders. He didn’t look at her, and Buffy experienced a terrible sense of deja vu…hadn’t Giles acted that way before telling her about the Cruciamentum?

“Answer me!” She said. She had intended it to be a demand; instead she realized it had come out as a plea.

Giles eventually looked at her, a pained expression on his handsome face, “I’m not sure, yet….”

She got up from her chair and got close to him, she didn’t even notice how her right hand immediately had gone on her belly. She swallowed and asked, “What’s happening to me? You’re not sure about *what*? What is it…a disease?”

“No, it’s not a disease” He said in a low voice.
Buffy hugged her arms, noticing how cracked his voice sounded. Cold seeped through her body. She blinked when Giles continued, “It is triggered by the pregnancy…its name is Obscuritas ”

“Which means, what?” She asked, stepping toward him.

“It’s Latin, Buffy…it means Darkness.” He raised his head to look at her; Buffy could see tears glistening in his eyes. He swallowed before adding, “Pregnant Slayers have reached it in the past…their dark side came out”

Buffy took a step back; the blanket fell on the floor. She swallowed, while her eyes filled with tears, “D…dark side?” She opened her mouth to speak, but she couldn’t utter a sound for some seconds, when she eventually managed to speak, she asked, “Am I reaching it?”

“Buffy…” He said shaking his head. He moved close to her

Buffy pushed him away, sending him on the floor and shouted, “AM I REACHING IT?”

“We are not sure, yet. The signs…” Giles slowly said.

“Signs?” She almost laughed then in a bitter voice added, “What do your signs say?”

They were both startled by her words, almost as if they had been slapped.

~ Read me the signs! Tell me my fortune! ~

Their eyes met for an instant, her words were bringing back, memories painful to both of them. Memories of another night, of another conversation.

«I’m sorry,” She whispered shaking her head.

Giles slowly rose on his feet, while Buffy avoided looking at him. How long had passed since that night, since that blind rage had filled her?

~ You’re so useful sitting here, with all your books; you’re really a lotta help! ~

“I’m sorry, Rupert…” She slowly repeated, meaning it.

“Buffy…” He started.

She shook her head. She had been so afraid that night, yet what she was feeling now, was much worse. It was like something was ripping life out of her. She had to swallow past the lump in her throat before asking, “What are the signs?”

“Increased strength, heightened senses, blood thirst” He hesitated before adding, “Compulsive behaviors, physical mutations”

“Ok, I get the drill…” She said stopping him, she sniffed then asked, “How can we stop it?”

When he didn’t answer her, Buffy lowered her head, feeling breathless.
“Am I going to hurt you and our baby?” She eventually asked, her voice but a whisper.

“We can’t be sure,” He said in a low voice.

“Were you ever going to tell me? What the hell were you waiting for, that I killed someone before telling me, ‘oh, by the way, luv…you’re not getting morning sickness, but never fear because the ever useful Slayer’s package for pregnancy includes going all psycho?’”

“That’s not fair, I was just trying to protect you!” He exclaimed.

“How? How can you protect me from this? How can anyone protect our baby?” She choked out between sobs. She stepped closer to him, desperately wishing to touch him, to be held by him, to feel again warm, safe…but she was afraid to.

She was afraid to get too close to him. She was afraid to hurt him.

Giles seemed to sense her hesitancy, because he wordlessly pulled her in a hug.

Buffy closed her eyes and buried her face in his chest, “I don’t want to hurt any of you…I don’t want to become a monster…”

Giles didn’t talk, he just held her tighter at him. She closed her eyes, inhaling to full lungs his scent, finding even for a little while, peace. She nuzzled her face against the soft fabric of his sweater and asked in a low voice, “Can I fight it? Is there a way to stop it?”

She raised her head and met Giles’ eyes; they were bright with unshed tears.

“I wish I knew” He said in a cracked voice, “we’ve been researching, but without the Council’s resources, we haven’t gone very far…”

Buffy nodded and lightly pulled back from him, before saying, “Keep researching, then…we have two Eletti, a Watcher, a witch who happens to be a hacker and a former demon…I want to know everything about this Obscuritas thingy…and the way to stop it”

“Buffy, this is not another…” He started.

She stopped him by raising a hand, her voice was as cold as ice when she said, “It is…” She took a step back and repeated, “It is, Rupert...”

She rested her hand above her stomach and said, “No one is going to hurt us…you promised me, remember? No one!” She hesitated for an instant then in an almost inaudible whisper added, “Including Me”

Prologo 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9
10 11 Epilogo