“You stupid, murderous bitch.”

Willow froze, one hand digging for her keys, the other trying to hold onto the grocery bag.  “What?”

“You.  Stupid.  Murderous.  Bitch.”

“Okay, Spike, you’re really very drunk, so I’m just gonna go inside and pretend I didn’t hear you say that.”

“What was it?”

“Not listening, Spike.  We’ll talk when you’re—”

The glass shattered a foot from her head.  “Vino de Madre.”

Willow went pale and then flushed.  Power crackled around her, although Spike doubted she even knew it was there.  Bint.  She spoke clearly and quietly.  “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Oh, please.  You’ve gotten better at lying, but not that much better.”  Spike hopped up onto the porch, moving carefully despite his inebriation.  Everyone was still over at the shop and would be for a while, so he had time.  A little.  “So what was it?  Some puppy you found on the side of the road?  Or did Miss Kitty Fantastico really run off, the way Dawn said?”

Old Willow would’ve been horrified at that, and Spike could see the disgust ’round the corners of her eyes.  But she didn’t react otherwise.  “I did what had to be done.”

“Bull.  You did what you wanted.”

That stung, and she finally looked at him, hissing, “You wanted her back just as much as I did!”

“Wrong,” he snarled.  “I wanted to save her.  I wanted to die for her.  I wanted to be a little faster, a little better.”  The depth of his failure still gnawed at him, unrelieved by the presence of golden hair and a brittle smile.  “But I love her.”

“So, what, loving her meant never seeing her again?  Loving her meant moping around?  If you really love her then you should appreciate what I did the most!”

Blind, stupid, arrogant bitch.  Power was all she’d heard, anymore.  He smirked, knowing how much that nettled her.  “I could’ve done it, you know.  Brought her back?  Sure.  Call in some favors, get what I need, no problem.  But the spell I had still called for Vino de Madre.”

“You had a spell?  And you didn’t tell me?” she gaped at him, stunned.

“It.  Still.  Called.  For.  Vino de Madre.”

“So?  Like you would’ve cared about killing a little fawn.”

Spike closed his eyes, feeling something hollow in his stomach.  A fawn.  Youth and innocence.  “Blood on my hands, that’s fine.  But not hers.”

A tiny flicker of doubt appeared.  Spike could practically see her thoughts: he knew too much to be easily discounted, but if that were true, some of the texts would have said something, wouldn’t they?  And besides, Spike was a lying vampire, who was just trying to mess with her mind.  The blood was on her hands.  She knew that and could deal with it, for Buffy’s sake.

“Go away, Spike.  Go hover around Buffy like the pathetic creature you are.”

“You killed to bring her back.  You sacrificed a living creature ’cause you needed it’s blood so another might live.  Blood is on your hands, but its death is on Buffy’s soul.  You’ve tainted her, Willow.  It’s why I can hit her.”

That finally penetrated.  Willow’s jaw dropped slowly and she looked sick.  “You’re lying.”

“Why would I?  Soulless vampire over here.  Why should I care what it cost to get what I want, huh?  Why should I kill and lie, just so I can have what doesn’t want to be had?”

“I didn’t—it wasn’t—”

“You did, and it was.  You did to her, Willow.  You.”

Satisfied, Spike stalked off the porch and into the night.

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