pairing: Spike/Willow
genre: romance
rating: mature adults
time frame: alternate universe
summary: The lead singer of a famous band meets his match in the record company's new tour manager.


Three guys and one female walked the back corridors of the arena looking for their dressing room. The others; Angel, their manager; Tara, the costume girl; Xander, Larry, Forrest and Riley, the roadies; and Buffy, Amy and Cordy, their groupies, had all come in earlier but the band members had been having a very important meeting and wouldn't be disturbed.

Devon had pulled two hearts making his flush, Spike had drawn the jack needed to make his inside straight an inside straight flush, and Faith was very confident with her Dolly Parton. They all sat watching Oz arrange and then rearrange his cards.

"Oh, waiting for me," he said, no inflection to his voice at all.

"Duh," was Faith's comment. "Devon, show us your goodies," she ordered, smiling widely at the band's keyboardist.

He laid his three, four, ten, queen and king of hearts down on the table, eyes twinkling with that look that made all the girls cream their panties.

"Ha!" exclaimed Faith laying out her five through nine of diamonds, "Told you I'd beat you this round! You, pretty boy, owe me a new set of drumsticks!" Devon, with his usual cheerfulness, acknowledged the debt.

"All right, Blondie, spill 'em," Faith commanded Spike, their lead guitarist and lead singer.

He tried to hold a poker face but couldn't and gave her that eerily evil grin as he laid his king-high club straight flush on the table.

"Looks like you w-" She started to say but Oz, in his usual unassuming way, lay down four aces without saying a word.

"Again!" Spike spat out. "I know yer bloody well cheatin', ya wanker! But I'll be damned if I can figure out how yer doin' it."

Oz collected his fifty three pennies as the others rose and headed for the front of the bus.

Now they were wandering the halls and looking for Angel or any of their entourage. Devon pointed to a tour poster on the wall, one of theirs proclaiming,

Three nights only!
Live – in person!

The Big Bad
and their 2006
Rest In Peace tour

"Can we be live, but not be in person?" Devon asked the group at large.

"Maybe the same way we can be in person but not be live?" was Faith's wise-crack answer. That was about the only way Faith ever answered anything, with a wise-crack. Her wise-crack was usually followed by one from Spike so when none came, Devon and Faith both naturally looked in his direction.

Spike hadn't heard a word they said, and apparently neither had Oz. Both men were staring wide-eyed at someone. Or, part of someone. A very enticing derriere was pointing up from the edge of a desk in the room where the poster hung. The female body attached to the derriere was bent over the desk and rifling through the drawer and seemed to be talking to someone on a phone, because she was arguing and there didn't seem to be anyone else in the room.

"Man, I'd like a piece of-" Faith started, only to have Spike hit her in the arm.

"That wasn't nice, Faith," Oz chastised. Oz never chastised. Faith raised her eyebrows at Devon, who shrugged. Then they both sat back to watch a very promising fireworks display.

"I promise you, Mr. Snyder, they're here somewhere. Their manager assured me that they were-" she turned and saw them and squealed into the phone, "Gotta go! They're here! Right here! I'll call you back after I get them all set up, sir."

Oz couldn't get over how adorable she was from the front. Sweet smile and pert nose and wide set green eyes that made her look… adorable.

Spike's thoughts ran somewhat differently.

'God, look at that hair; wanna run my dick through that. Emerald eyes and a body a man could lose himself in. Wanna bite those pink lips and suck those tits for hours. Then lick til I see if she's got a Tootsie-Roll center.'

The woman, completely unaware of any underlying sexual currents, pushed the off button on the cell phone and shoved it into her minipurse as she walked toward them. "Your changing room is this way, follow me. You really need to be here no later than two hours before performance, even earlier would be better. Mr. um…" she glanced at her clipboard "Angel? said you were here but still on the bus in a meeting but you really need to be inside the arena for security purposes as soon as the bus arrives. I sent your dresser to the changing room, she'll have all your things ready." She hesitated then asked the least scary looking member of the group, "She will, won't she?" Oz smiled and assured her that Tara was very good at her job.

She seemed to be a talker because she went on with hardly a breath in between.

She checked the clipboard she had in her hand and then looked at Faith, "It says here only one changing room. I mean, I knew The Big Bad had a girl in it but I just never stopped to think until right now about you needing another room. I'll get janitorial to-" she stopped because the four people with her were laughing. When she looked so confused she might cry, Faith put her arm around the poor girl's shoulders and informed her, "Don't worry, Sweetness, if I see anything that interests me even the least little bit my mother'll be so happy she'll cry. They ain't got nothin' I want."

Spike thought that was pretty plain, but the poor girl still looked confused. If she didn't get it by now, it was probably better to not explain it to her.

"Don't worry, Red," he said to her softly, "We've been doin' this almost five years now, we've got it worked out."

"Oh, okay." She was smiling again. That settled, she continued on. "Riley said there was a problem with one of the microphones and Angel sent-" she checked her clipboard again, "Cordy and Xander to get a new one. It must have taken them a while to find the right kind, but they're back now and Riley says everything's fine." All of them smiled, but no one felt inclined to inform her why it had probably taken Xander and Cordy so long to shop for a new mike. Cordy was fun but grating on the nerves at times and all of them had been relieved when she'd finally had her fill of Devon then Faith and moved on to their roadie Xander.

"Mr. Angel said he'd meet you at your room and I took the liberty of supplying you with Evian and Red Bull. There's also a fruit bowl and some nice crudités. Is there anything else I can get you before I-" she broke off when Angel wrenched opened the changing room door.

Spike wanted to ask where the Jack Daniels was, and Faith wondered if the talkative pixie would be willing to offer herself up as a pre-show snack, but both of them decided against it. Instead, Oz said, "You didn't tell us your name."

Angel grabbed them by the shirts and pulled them into the room saying, "Her name's Willow Rosenberg and the label sent her out to manage the tour because you slobs have a reputation for-"

That was all Willow heard before the door slammed shut.

After the concert, more filling sustenance was awaiting them in their dressing room and they toasted Willow Rosenberg with Jack Daniels and Samuel Adams. As they awaited their trusted roadies to bring the best of the beauties backstage, Spike excused himself as the others dug into roast beef sandwiches and barbequed ribs.

He found her in the same room they'd first seen her in, but she wasn't alone. There was some greasy-haired guy about thirty years older than she backing her into a corner. He had three gold chains and a turquoise satin shirt and so many rings on his fingers he looked like he was wearing brass knuckles.

"There you are, baby," Spike effused, walking into the room as if he hadn't seen what was going on. "I've been looking all over for ya." He put an arm around her waist and began pulling her into the hallway, "You know how worried I get when ya aren't in m' room waitin' for me after the show. Snyder's gonna hear about it if you let some asshole drag you off again, ya hear me?"

As they hit the hallway and turned the corner, Spike let go of her waist and stepped away.

Willow, who had thought her situation had gone from one sleazy slimeball to another, finally looked relieved.

"Thank you," she said shyly, acknowledging his help in extracting her from a sticky situation. "Its never a good idea to be rude to the COO of the arena, but one more step and that guy was gonna get what was coming to him." She smiled.

"How about going to dinner with me to thank me?"

Her expression turned serious again. "I just did thank you, Mr.-" she checked her clipboard, "Pratt. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to-"

An arm blocked her way. "How 'bout just goin' out to dinner with me for fun then?"

She took a breath and replied haughtily, "I don't date work associates."

He seemed upset by this. "'M not a 'work associate', I'm a fuckin' rock star!"

"I don't date narcissistic assholes either." She ducked under his arm and walked away.

He couldn't sleep, hadn't even tried. Ten cigarettes and a third of a bottle of Jack hadn't calmed his nerves. Spike loved San Francisco and bemoaned the fact that, while they'd worked hard to attain their status in the music world, that status had strings attached. Like never being able to enjoy the cities they visited. The one or two places they did see in each city were with the accompaniment of a barrage of armed security. He'd once had the best night of his life when he'd snuck out of his room in Philadelphia and walked South Street at two AM.

Pulling back the curtain, he could see the lights of Ghirardelli Square from his window. He knew Fisherman's Wharf wasn't far from there and a great big ocean that he hadn't seen in years. Not from anything lower than ten thousand feet anyway.

Looking back at his empty bed, he wished he hadn't turned down that blonde bimbo who tried to attack him in his dressing room. But after trying for Willow, Harmony was just too big a step down to stomach.

This was so fuckin' mundane; he had to get out of here. The room seemed to be closing in on him. He looked at the clock, four in the morning. Angel and the others would all be safely tucked in bed by now. They probably weren't asleep, but they'd be busy enough not to bother with him.

He slipped his cigarettes and lighter into his jeans pocket and pulled a black turtleneck over his head. He grabbed his boots and headed for the door.

It wasn't as hard as he'd thought it would be. The service elevator was right where it was when the band had been taken up in it and no one looked twice at a guy getting off it in the basement and heading for the door. Taking a right on Van Ness, he headed for the beach. He stopped on Point Street to admire the huge lighted sign that showcased Ghirardelli Square. He heard whispering but he didn't pay any attention to it until a small but strong woman grabbed the front of his sweater and yelled happily, "There you are, George, I've been looking all over for you!" His mind registered that it was Willow a split second before she wrapped her arms around him and pressed her lips to his.

"What are you doing here?" she asked quietly through their lip lock. "You almost got spotted!"

Her eyes went left and right and, when the coast was clear, she pulled away.

"Spike!" she scolded as low as she could, "What are you doing here? You're supposed to be in your room! If those girls hadn't bought the act, you'd have been swarmed by fans." She looked at him suspiciously. "Or was that your objective?"

"No, Red, I swear. I just-" he hesitated and looked at her. "What are you doin' here?"

She shrugged. "Sightseeing. I have a full day tomorrow and I probably won't have the time. Besides, I get all keyed up after a concert. I was on tour with Nickelback last month and I didn't sleep more than an hour a day the whole time. I don't need much sleep, I can go forever without it. I have lots of energy, some people don't, you know. I-"

He put a hand on her cheek and she stopped babbling. "Sorry," she said, lowering her eyes. "I do that a lot, babbling I mean. Just, I don't know, step on my foot or something and I'll stop."

His eyes twinkled, she was priceless. "No, that's not it. I just wanted to thank you. For saving me."

Her smile beamed. "We're even then?"

He laughed. "Yeah, we're even." He looked toward the sound of the surf. "I was headin' to Fisherman's Wharf, wanna join me?" She looked like she'd never been asked to go anywhere before. Way too happy for a twenty something woman with a personality as engaging as hers. He knew his celebrity didn't impress her, so it wasn't that.

"I'd love to." He took her hand and led her down Beach Street toward The Cannery. He stopped at the bricked entrance.

"Can't you just feel the history in this place? Shame its all for tourists now." He pointed to a store with the name Lark in the Morning. "Not all bad, though. Got my very first mandolin in there, its called an F style and they designed it."

He turned to her and she was looking up at him. "What?" he asked.

"You're not like I thought you'd be," she confessed.

He frowned and had to ask, "How did you think I'd be?"

She shrugged. He moved on toward the wharf as she answered him. "Like a rock star. All full of yourself and uncaring of the people who make it possible for you to do your job."

He shrugged and sighed. "I am like that, sometimes; I think we all are. Can't help it sometimes. But the band and me, we're not stupid. We know it took hard work to get us here and we weren't the only ones workin'. Xander's been with us since high school. He's the heart of the band, really. There were times we wanted to give up and get jobs that paid actual money every week and allowed us to eat, but he kept us going. We've been on the bottom and one day we might be there again, but-" they turned onto Pier 39, "we're smart enough to save most of our money and we're smart enough not to let the adventure pass without taking as big a bite as we can while we have the chance."

They walked in silence to the end of the pier, taking in the sights of the peacefully closed shops, the silent but beautiful carousel and the sign lights that were still lit, making the place almost as bright as daytime. Just walking, holding hands; each one enjoying the calming power of the bay.

The walked to the edge and looked over to see the famous sea lions, sleeping and playing on the wooden flats that were their home. One seemed to take exception to their presence and started barking at them. For some reason, they both found this to be uncontrollably funny. Their laughter started off more barking and in turn, triggered more laughing. The sea lions suddenly quieted as if Neptune himself had sent an order. The new comrades looked at each other, wondering what had happened.

Spike blinked when he saw her. He wanted to smack himself. He saw – and he knew this was clichéd and corny – but he saw the stars in her eyes. He saw himself kissing her and holding her, he saw himself happily waking up with her every morning. And she didn't seem to be looking away from him either. He wondered what she saw. Hoping it was the same thing, he leaned in and whispered, "I have to kiss you, all right?" He kept moving closer as she nodded.

Fairy tale kisses aren't this good. Movie kisses that they spend hours setting up aren't this good. Instant connection, instant heat, instant feeling of belonging – it was all wrapped up in this kiss. Frankly, it scared them both and they jumped back, away from each other.

"What was that?" she demanded.

"Exactly the thing I was gonna say."

She looked at him suspiciously, "Where you doing drugs tonight?"

"NO!" he shot back, but honesty made him admit, "Not tonight anyway."

"What do you use?" she demanded.

He shrugged as if it was no big deal. "Just a little pot. Maybe some uppers or downers depending on what I need ta get done."

"No coke, crack, acid?"

He rolled his eyes. "Do I look stupid ta you?" When he saw her face he said, "Don't answer that." He countered with, "How 'bout you, Love? Poppin' anythin' I should know 'bout?"

"No," she retorted, appalled, then blushed and recanted. "Um, well, I have – I'm… I have to take lithium every day, all right? But that doesn't make… whatever that was, happen."

He softened. "S'allright, Love. My mum has to take it, and a bunch of other medications. I understand. Nothing to be ashamed of. Makes it more bearable, yeah?"

"Yeah," she admitted softly and that overwhelming urge to kiss took them both over again. It was like demons had come and possessed them. Hard kisses, soft kisses, teasing kisses, biting kisses; they used everything they knew.

Willow wondered if he'd learned to kiss this way or if it was natural. If it were something you could learn, she wanted to sign right up. Lips just didn't normally feel this good on hers. He was tasting her, exploring her. It was the most intimate thing she'd ever experienced. Scary and confusing and wonderful and erotic it was sending shockwaves all over her body.

When Willow broke from her fog, her skirt was up around her waist and her hand was inside Spike's jeans getting him ready to enter her. Thank goodness her brain had kicked in at that moment, because she was coherent enough to grab her purse and pull out a condom.

Spike teased, "Were you a Girl Guide, Love?" but didn't care about the answer when her hot little hand rolled the condom down his cock. She was sitting straddling his lap on a wooden bench and he lifted her arse and settled her back down on his cock that was practically jumping in anticipation. As she settled on him, his eyes rolled back in his head and he sighed.

"I'll bet this is what heaven is like," he said out loud, even though he was talking to himself.

Willow giggled and quietly agreed with him. She'd only had two lovers in her life, one very short term and one slightly longer, but neither of them ever made her feel this good.

She rocked back and forth and tried to find a motion that pleased them both equally. They continued to kiss and nibble as the spaces inside got more and more full of this magic that was happening.

Spike kissed and sucked on her throat and her eyes closed to let it wash over her. She was so very close.

"Willow, Love, open your eyes."

She did and found the bluest blue she'd ever seen looking back at her. And there it was again, all those stars and all that promise, right there in his eyes.

He helped her to move a little stronger, take him a little deeper. She felt like she was about to break into little tiny microscopic pieces. She didn't know why she wasn't terrified, but she suspected it had something to do with those eyes.

"This isn't normal," he said softly. She shook her head, agreeing.

He gritted his teeth and said, "There's some strange force at work here." She nodded, she could see sweat droplets appearing on his forehead and could suddenly feel them on her neck and chest, even in the cool air.

"I'm not letting you go, you're mine," he growled, but softly, intently. Considering the way her body was reacting to him, she couldn't do anything but agree.

"Yours," she confirmed and then clarified, "Mine?"

His jaw tightened and she could feel him getting harder inside her, ready to pop.

"Only yours, baby."

A wave of sensation erupted in her abdomen and washed up her spine and white flashes of light appeared in front of her eyes. She climaxed and suddenly wished she could feel him coming inside her without the barrier.

As he pulled her close and felt the aftershocks make her body quiver, he reiterated, "Only yours."

"Where's Spike?" Angel growled for the fourth time the next afternoon at lunch. "He knows that we have to-" the band and crew broke in and finished, "-meet every day at lunch so we can discuss any changes or adjustments to the schedule."

Angel had the grace to smile. "Do I sound that bad?" he asked Oz. Oz, being diplomatic, shrugged. When Angel looked away, he nodded to the rest of the group.

"I should probably tell Willow about these meetings," he informed no one in particular, "It really would help if she-" He stopped when Oz nudged him with an elbow.

"She knows," he informed Angel and bent his head in the direction of the restaurant door where the oh so serious Miss Rosenberg was giggling wildly as she was being carried into the restaurant on Spike's hip. When they had to pass behind a support column, Spike stopped and tasted her mouth again.

"Ashamed to kiss me in front of your friends?" she pouted, but very unconvincingly.

Spike smiled. "Not afraid to fuck ya in front of my friends, want me ta prove it?"

She shook her head at his absurd notions and let him make love to her mouth all the way to the table.

They sat and no one said anything. Everyone was looking at Oz, who they all knew had taken a fancy to the lovely Miss Rosenberg. Finally he shrugged. You can't win them all.

Completely oblivious to the drama going on around them, Spike and Willow couldn't see anything but each other.

Faith, who never let a good situation go unpunished, looked to Devon and said, "Well, one of us had to find the happily-ever-after eventually. Better him than me."

The End