Fractured Fairy Tales, Part 1 by PaganBaby
Part 1, Chapter 2: Into the Woods by PaganBaby
Buffy and Spike were deposited on the other side of the portal. They stumbled forward, almost falling.

Spike grabbed Buffy's arm to help steady her. Buffy reflexively pulled her arm out of his grasp once her feet were firmly planted -- but there was a moment where she thought that it didn't feel too bad to have his hand on her, and that he was trying to do something nice for a change.

Spike had automatically reached out to prevent her from falling, and he couldn't quite figure out why. He hated her. Yeah... okay, there were the confounding feelings of lust concerning her... and the sex dreams... but he still should've been happy to let her fall on her face... her pretty, sweet face with the kissable lips and... He forced the thoughts away. He was just as confused as Buffy was about what had happened with the portal. Why had it chosen him instead of Riley? At least those Unari buggers seemed to have good taste.

They appeared to be in a forest, trees surrounded them on all sides and stretched as far as they could see. It was the dead of night, the only light came from the full moon shining brightly down from above the treetops. There were night noises coming from all around them: crickets chirping, bullfrogs croaking, an owl or two 'Hooo'ing.

Buffy took a breath. "Well, that was weird... And, oh good, we're in the middle of a forest in the middle of nowhere."

"Not the warmest welcome we could've gotten, but could've been worse," Spike commented. "There could have --" He did a double-take when he looked at her; the moonlight provided enough illumination for them to see each other clearly. "Hey... your clothes are different."

Buffy looked at him, her eyes went wide. "Yours are too." Then she surprised him by busting out laughing.

Spike looked down at his own attire -- he was wearing lederhosen. "Bloody hell! Thought I felt a draft!" The brown leather shorts were shorter than traditional lederhosen (they barely covered the tops of his thighs), they were the style that was usually reserved for young boys. "Not only am I wearing bloody lederhosen, they're the hot-pants version!"

Despite the need to get their bearings and set off in search of Dawn, Buffy couldn't help but laugh until tears leaked from her eyes. Spike in lederhosen was just too damn funny! In addition to the leather breeches, he had on: a white long-sleeved shirt with embroidered edelweiss flowers down the front; a pair of black leather shoes and adorable white knee-socks; embroidered suspenders complete with breastplate; and the piece de resistance -- a green velour alpine hat with a feather sticking out of the band was perched on top of his head.

"No, really, you look great!" Buffy cupped her hands around her mouth and called, "Ricollllllla!"

Spike glared at her. "Glad you find this so bloody amusing..."

She winked at him. "You just need one of those big-ass alpine horns and the look will be perfect."

"Have I told you that I despise you recently?"

"Love the hat, nice touch," Buffy reached up and flicked the feather stuck in the band of the hat (which Spike wasn't yet aware that he was wearing).

With a growl, Spike whipped the hat off of his head and threw it on the ground.

"Aw, it looked good!" Buffy giggled.

"Piss off!"

"You better not leave the hat here. Who knows if we have to keep all of the stuff they put on us. We don't know the rules, we don't want to take any chances."

"I'm not wearing the bloody hat," Spike said conclusively, raising his chin.

"You don't have to wear it, just hold it then, you big baby." Buffy felt guilty that she was actually a bit relieved that Spike was the one sent through with her. She'd only chosen Riley for fear of hurting his feelings, and he'd seemed so... needy lately. Spike was stronger, faster, and more cunning by far than her boyfriend. Spike was also an obnoxious jerk most of the time. Hopefully he wouldn't make her want to kill him too much.

"Gotta say, I'm not loving this so far." Spike grumbled and snatched the hat back up off of the ground. He shook the hat to get rid of some dirt and leaves sticking to it. "Things had better improve. I'm not some bloody Bavarian Ken doll that they can dress and pose."

"At least your area isn't smooth." She laughed and then raised her eyebrows. "Is it?"

Spike gulped at the thought. His hand rushed to his crotch. He sighed with relief as he adjusted his package. "No, not smooth."

Then it was Buffy's turn to gulp as she watched Spike cup and fiddle with his bulge -- it was a big bulge. Funny that she hadn't noticed that right away with the shorts being so very short and close-fitting. The whole ensemble had just struck her as so funny that she hadn't focused on any one part of it.

'Damn! Spike looks huge in those shorts! Wonder how big it is?' She swallowed hard again, forcing her eyes away from his groin, and the bad, evil thoughts from her mind.

Spike eyed her critically, wanting to make fun of her so badly. But, whereas Spike looked and felt ridiculous, Buffy looked lovely. Her blonde hair seemed to be much longer than it was back in Sunnydale, it had been braided, twisted into a bun and pinned in place on her head. Her clothing was Bavarian in style too. She was wearing a black knee-length dirndl dress with purple and green embroidery; a white button-up, short-sleeved blouse; a light purple eyelet apron that came down to the hem of the dress; black leather shoes with straps and buckles across the arches, and her own pair of adorable white knee-socks.

Spike suppressed a snarl that he couldn't find something in particular to make fun of her about. It infuriated him that she looked pretty. But he had to at least attempt to take the piss out of her, especially after the belly laugh she'd had at his expense. He affected a smug smirk. "Look like you've been waiting tables at Oktoberfest. I'll have a stein of your finest lager, and a plate of schnitzengruben, tausend dank!"

Buffy was checking out her outfit, totally unconcerned and unaffected at his attempt to take her down a notch too. "Spike, don't even try. There is no way in hell that I look sillier than you."

He growled softly in annoyance; he knew she had him there. "So... what are we supposed to be -- dressed in our finery as we are?"

"Not sure. I think it's safe to say that we're supposed to be German though."

Spike rolled his eyes, "Say, you're good."

She put her hands on her hips. "I was being sarcastic, blood breath. You don't get to be sarcastic and mock me when I meant to be sarcastic in the first place. Why did you have to be the one to come through the portal with me? I have to get stuck in another dimension with the most obnoxious person -- living or dead, or living dead -- in the entire world. I was supposed to be teamed with Riley -- and I get you!" She pretended she was totally displeased about the situation, because if he knew the truth he would gloat his ass off.

"You think this is a dream come true for me?!" Spike's temper flared. "The puppet masters dress me in this silly, bloody uncomfortable outfit, and I don't even get to enjoy the peace of you being off in another dimension because I got shoved in with you! Would've been like going on bloody holiday. And as far as Riley 'Wonder Bread' Finn goes, be grateful you got me instead. In me, you have someone who will get the job bloody well done without you havin' to mollycoddle him!"

They stared each other down for a minute.

Buffy shook her head and sighed. "Okay, this isn't a good thing for either of us. It sucks being forced to work together. And we both could have used the break from each other."

"Too bloody right." Spike didn't want to admit even to himself how being near Buffy made his blood sing in his veins. She was a bitch -- but she was a hot and spicy little bitch whom he hungered for.

"You're saying 'bloody' much more than usual," she observed with a slight smile. They were trapped together in this place until they found their way to Dawn and back out into the real world, she'd have to make more of an effort to get along with Spike, or at least hold back on the overwhelming urge to pummel him.

Spike shrugged, feeling a little smile tugging at his lips as well. "Well, yeah. The bloodys tend to bubble outta me when I'm on a roll." He cleared his throat, then said, "So, what now? We prowl around these woods aimlessly hunting for clues that lead us to Dawn or another portal?"

"You got a better idea?" Buffy asked.

Spike opened his mouth to say something snarky, but just shook his head. "Right. Let's get on with it then."

He walked a little ahead of her, casting his eyes around them for anything that looked out of place in the setting.

Buffy was doing the same, but also taking a closer look at Spike while his attention was elsewhere. His calves were muscular, though a little on the skinny side. His thighs looked good... damn good. Meaty and firm... And his ass looked amazing in the little leather shorts...

'Did I just think that? Wow... I'm perving on Spike's thighs and ass? This dimension is making me think wacky thoughts! I just won't look at him as much... and when I do, I will only see the silly, not any hotness.' It alarmed her that she was actually starting to get a little turned on.


They traveled in relative silence for a while. The calm and quiet were eerie. There were none of the customary city sounds: no planes overhead, no trains in the distance, no car engines or horns. Just sounds of the forest and its denizens.

Spike was on the lookout for anything unusual, but was also praying that there wouldn't be bears involved. He hated those gigantic, furry, sharp-toothed gits...

"Why do you think that I got... chosen to go into the portal with you?" Spike asked.

"No idea... Riley looked okay after you two got switched. Surprised, but okay. It does worry me why they picked you instead of him."

Spike shrugged. He was about to say that the portal keepers must've been able to detect how lame Riley was, when something caught his eye.

Spike stopped and turned, looking eastward. He nodded in the direction, "I see something. A light."

"Is it a portal?" Buffy asked, straining to see what Spike had spotted. Her eyesight wasn't as keen as his, but she thought she could make out something, a speck of light. It looked as big as a firefly to her.

"Can't say... Could be. We need to get closer."

They nodded to each other and walked toward the point of light.






They walked for a half hour to get to the source of the light, emerging on a pastoral country road that ran north and south.

The light turned out to be coming from a picturesque, isolated cottage. It was the only dwelling that they had seen so far. The moonlight was still strong and bright enough for them to see clearly. There was a quaint, flower-lined path leading up to the front door.

They stopped outside of the white picket fence and looked up at the house.

"Is that house made of..."

"Candy?" Spike finished, nodding. "Looks that way, don't it? Wonder who's at home?"

Smoke billowed up from the chimney. The smoke, and the light coming from the windows, indicated the house was currently occupied. And yes, the house had been constructed with a vast variety of sweets: peppermint sticks, gingerbread, chocolate bonbons, cookies, cakes, licorice, etc.

"Oh! That witch's house was made of candy! The gingerbread house. I guess we're supposed to be Hansel and Gretel," Buffy assumed. "I didn't think we'd actually be playing the parts of title characters in one of the fairy tales..."

"Yeah, that would explain the spiffy threads," Spike said, grimacing at his clothes. "They left a trail breadcrumbs in the story..."

"Yeah, they did..." Buffy only just noticed a pocket in her purple apron. She opened it to reveal a pouch full of breadcrumbs. She looked back up at Spike. "Oops... you think we were supposed to leave these behind us?"

"With my luck? Yes."

They both tensed when the front door of the cottage creaked open. Then their eyes widened in surprise when Willow appeared in the doorway smiling and waving at them.

"I thought I heard voices out here."

"Willow?" Buffy stared at her friend.

"Hello!" Willow was wearing a dirndl similar to Buffy's.

"What are you doing here? Did you come through too? Is anyone else here?" She started to go through the gate.

Spike took Buffy by the elbow. She frowned and looked at where he was holding her firmly. "Hey, hands off!" She pulled her arm away from him. Was that a jolt of... excitement she felt at the feel of his hand on her bare arm? No, couldn't be...

He whispered, looking at Willow standing in the doorway, "Listen to me, you silly bint, that ain't Willow." A breeze had carried the pretty witch's smell to his nose.

Buffy looked back at her friend, who was still smiling, but beginning to look mopey. "What do you mean that isn't her? How do you know?"

"Let's just say that I know each of your groupies by scent alone -- could identify them if I was blindfolded." Spike kept how well he knew (and secretly loved) Buffy's unique scent to himself. "I don't know who or what she really is, but it isn't your friend."

"Is something wrong?" Willow asked.

Buffy looked to Spike again. "Let's... play along for now. Even if that isn't Willow, we still might find out something important."

Spike stepped closer to her, their chests brushing together, he whispered in her ear, "Are you mad? If she's the owner of the candy cottage, that means she's the witch in the story -- you remember what that daft bitch tried doing to the kiddies?"

Buffy shivered. The thought of getting killed and eaten by someone was chilling enough. But the shivering was also due to Spike's excessive closeness, the feel of his breath tickling her ear, and his deep, velvety voice.

"Hello?" Willow said, getting impatient. "Is everything alright? Do you need help?"

Buffy took a small step back from Spike, blinking up into his blue eyes. She felt like she was being pulled into him. He looked so incredibly gorgeous by moonlight... She turned and addressed Willow, "Oh, sorry, we're just kind of tired from walking."

Willow's smile reappeared. "Why don't you come in and rest for a while? Weary travelers are perfectly welcome in my home."

"Yeah, I'll bet," Spike said under his breath.

Buffy tugged on his shirt sleeve, "Play along."

Spike was about to say no, but Buffy walked up the path to the front door. He groaned, and with a shake of his head, followed her. "Stubborn bloody women..." He thought that playing into this, whatever this was, was a big mistake. They had foreknowledge of how things were likely to go, they knew the fairy tale. So why be so cooperative and stretch their own necks out on the chopping block? But Buffy just had to be the bloody boss of everyone and everything.

"My name's Willow. Have you been traveling on the road for long?"

Buffy tried adjusting to the weirdness, and answered, "Hi, I'm Buffy and... this is Spike. Um, actually we're kind of lost. I'm looking for my sister, Dawn. She's young and pretty, tall, long brown hair... Maybe you've seen her?"

"You're the first people I've seen in days. I'm sorry, I don't think I've seen your sister." She looked at both of them in turn. "Are you two siblings or sweethearts?" Willow asked with a shrewd smile.

They both looked horrified, saying, "Neither!"

Willow chuckled. "Oh, I'm sorry, I just assumed it was one or the other. Come in, won't you?" She stood to the side to let them pass through the doorway.

They didn't move for a few seconds. It probably wasn't a good idea to let her stay behind them, just in case she pulled out an axe and got to hacking. But Buffy went forward into the house, cautiously. Spike trailed closely behind her.

The inside of the cottage seemed to consist of two rooms (perhaps more that they couldn't see), and was neat as a pin. The air was filled with delicious aromas, making their mouths water and their stomachs rumble. This room looked to be the main room. The centerpiece was a hearth made of red brick. They took instant notice of the giant black cauldron over the blazing fire, wondering if and how Willow intended on getting them into it. The pot was big enough to hold one of them if they were curled up (or both, if they were chopped up). There was a round wooden table near the fireplace heaped with candies, cakes, nuts and pancakes, all manner of treats.

There weren't any obvious warning signs: no pools of blood on the floor, no hands sticking out of the cauldron, etc. There was a sharp axe hanging on the wall, but that would be common for people living in a rustic place like this.

Willow's voice made them jump. "Make yourselves at home. You must be dying of thirst! I'll go fetch some fresh, cold water from the well for you." She picked up one of two buckets near the door and hurried away down the path.

"We can't eat or drink anything she gives us," Spike muttered, looking at the tasty-looking treats on the table.

"Well, duhhhh," Buffy made a stupid person face, crossing her eyes and letting her jaw hang open.

"I'm just sayin'. Thought her looking like your bestie might've given you a false sense of security."

"I'm not totally brain dead, Spike."

"Maybe not totally," he smirked.

"Shut up."

"That's your simple answer to everything, innit? That, or a punch."

"I prefer the 'shut up/punch' combo. But I'll forego any violence... for now."

Spike drawled, "You're too kind... and so predictable."

"Okay, how about... I draw a picture of you in that cute outfit you have on when we get back to Sunnydale, and show it to everyone? Maybe even make hundreds of copies and put them up around town. And I'm pretty damn good at drawing, I think I could capture you perfectly," she closed one eye and put her hands up to frame him.

"You would, wouldn't you?" Spike asked, his lip twitching up.

"Yep. I don't know why you're so upset about it, I think you look just darling!"

"Get bent, Heidi." Spike rubbed his forehead. "Think we can take a timeout from the insults and threats long enough to suss out what the bloody hell we're supposed to do about the most likely evil, cannibalistic witch who looks like Willow?"

"We'll pretend everything's cool... to a point. She's here, and looks like my best friend for a reason. She might be able to tell us what to do or where to go."

"Or, she'll incapacitate us and try dumping us in that sodding pot. I still say we just take our chances on the road."

"With no idea if we're on the right track? This dimension could be enormous, we could be wandering around for days. We must have been walking through those woods for over an hour. You can go if you want, but I'm staying to see what info I can get," Buffy said confidently.

Spike groaned. "Yeah, that's a brilliant idea -- splitting up. You know that we have a better chance of getting through this together."

"Then I guess you're staying." She smiled and went to sit down on a long, padded wooden bench that seemed to be the most comfortable piece of furniture. Buffy patted the space next to her.

Spike sighed and sat down near her on the bench. He tossed the much-hated green hat down next to him. "Holding the bloody hat made my palm sweaty." He wiped his hand on the front of his shirt.

"You should've just worn it on your head then, genius."

"Oh, stick it, Slayer. I'd rather deal with a sweaty hand than wear that thing. And did I mention how nice it is that you consider my opinions so very much?"

"What're you talking about?"

"You didn't even pretend to mull over what I thought we should do -- it's always your plan, innit? I haven't lived as bloody long as I have without having spot-on instincts about danger and how to avoid being in the thick of it."

Buffy pouted exaggeratedly, "Aww, did I hurt your feelings?"

"God, you're such a bitch... You need to listen to other people sometimes, you don't have all of the answers. You don't always know what's best."

"People, I'll listen to, but you ain't exactly 'people'. And the fact that you've survived as long as you have is a total mystery to me. You're one of the most incompetent villains I've ever met."

Spike turned to her, getting angrier. "Incompetent!? I was running my own bloody gangs when your granddad wasn't a twinkle in great-granddad's eye! I've had up to 20 minions under me at a time!"

"Yeah, I'm sure you have," Buffy said, her face screwing up at imagining a Vamp sex orgy.

Spike growled and sat back, letting his anger deflate. "Getting into another shouting match with you isn't going to accomplish anything... with the possible exception of me saving Willow the trouble and tossing you in the cauldron myself. We need to get strategizing, not ripping at each other."

"Who's shouting and ripping? Not me," Buffy said innocently. "And if you lay a hand on me? I'll put a major hurtin' on you, so don't even think about it."

Spike growled some more. "Just try to think of how we get the particulars we need out of the faux-Willow without ending up 'Spuffy soup'."

They sat in awkward silence on the wooden bench thinking and waiting for the person who looked like Willow (but wasn't Willow) to return with water from her well.

"What's takin' her so long?" Spike asked suspiciously. "She's probably slippin' a Mickey into the water as we speak..."

"Being on guard is good, but take the paranoia down a notch. Try to at least appear relaxed." She looked at Spike and couldn't help giggling again, focusing once more on the silly, as she'd promised herself she'd do.

"What're you gigglin' about?" he said defensively, frowning. "You find any part of this funny?"

Buffy put her hand over her mouth, still grinning. "Skinny legs."

"Sod off!" Spike snarled and squirmed; he would literally kill for a pair of jeans right about now. "There's nothin' wrong with my legs!"

Willow appeared in the doorway carrying a bucket of water. They sobered and sat up straight, painting smiles on their faces. She came in and closed the door.

"I'm sorry it took so long. That well's been giving me trouble lately."

"That's okay. You have... such a nice home," Buffy said. "You live here alone?"

"Thank you, and yes, it's just me here. It does get lonely sometimes... That's why it's always a delight to have guests!"

"That's quite a spread you have there, Willow," Spike nodded toward the table piled with candy goodness. "Looks like you were expecting guests..."

"I had a good feeling that I'd be graced with company tonight. Would you like some?" She swept a hand over the table. "As you can see, there's plenty for all!"

"Nah, we're good," Spike said, ignoring his stomach's growly answer. "Been cutting back on the sweeties lately."

"Me too," Buffy nodded in agreement.

Willow's face clouded for a split-second before the pleasant smile returned. "Well, if you change your mind, feel free to take what you like. But surely you haven't cut back on water!" She giggled and took two tin mugs from a shelf, put them on the table and filled them with water. With a wholly innocent-looking smile, she brought the mugs to them.

They each accepted a mug, and then glanced at each other.

"Um, thanks, Willow," Buffy said politely, looking up at her and smiling.

"Yeah... thanks," Spike said, eyeing the mug with trepidation. He cleared his throat. "So... Willow, I couldn't help but notice that your entire house is made of candy as well. That's something you don't see everyday."

"Yes, isn't it wonderful?" Willow asked, grinning. "Children, especially, seem to be thrilled when they see it! I always let them have a little piece of my home to snack on."

Buffy asked, "Uh, have you seen any portals around here? We're looking for one that will lead us to my sister."

"A portal?"

"Yeah, it would probably be a big swirly, vortex-looking thing, maybe blue."

"Oh, I think there is something like that around here... But it's too far to journey to tonight. The roads and forest are treacherous at night, I can show you the way in the morning."

"Uh, that doesn't work for me, luv. I've got... sunlight issues," Spike said. "It has to be tonight. Just point us in the right direction and we'll be off."

"Sunlight issues?" Willow asked with a frown.

Buffy answered, "Um, yeah, my... friend here has a bad reaction to sunlight. Makes him burn up... with fever."

"And there's severe freckling involved," Spike added.

"Oh... I'm sorry to hear that. Well, I really wish you'd consider waiting... I'm not prepared to take the risk of going out until daybreak."

"I'm positive that we can take care of ourselves, no worries. Can you give us directions?" Spike asked.

"If you're not in the mood for a sweet treat, I made a delicious rabbit stew, and I just happen to have made much too much for just me!" Willow said cheerfully, ignoring his question. "It really is as if I knew you were coming!" She laughed merrily. "I'll fix each of you a bowl. You're both too thin! It never hurts to have some extra meat on your bones."

Buffy pretended to take a sip of water. "Uh, no, that's okay. I had a big lunch."

"Yeah, same here," Spike said, then also pretended to take a drink. He was getting a bit hungry, but didn't think he should announce that he was a Vampire by asking if she had a pint of blood just laying around.

"Nonsense." Willow continued, undeterred. She took a wooden bowl and went to the hearth. She ladled some stew into the bowl from the big black cauldron.

Buffy and Spike looked at each other again, silently asking how to refuse to eat without possibly pissing off this dimension's version of Willow.

She came back to them, holding the bowl out. "Just take a peek at how delicious my stew looks, and it smells heavenly!" She bent down and took a whiff herself before thrusting it toward them again.

They both leaned in to look and take a sniff. It did look and smell tasty. But they had to pass on eating or drinking anything she gave them. They amiably told her she was right about how appetizing the stew looked.

"You know, I will have some, thanks," Buffy said, causing Spike to give her a puzzled look. She took the bowl and sniffed the contents again, "Mmm-mmm!"

Willow grinned and fetched a spoon and a cloth napkin, and then gave them to Buffy. She put a hand on her hip and looked at Spike, "What about you, Mr. Skinny Breeches?" Willow asked.

Spike growled lightly at hearing Buffy try to contain a chuckle. He smiled a false (but charming) smile at Willow. "No, thanks, Red. Maybe you can make me a doggie bag to go."

"So you're still set on leaving?"

They both nodded.

"I told you that it's dangerous out there in the dark." She shook her head and went to replace the cover on the cooking pot. "You're very fortunate that you weren't attacked by animals or thieves before you discovered my home."

Buffy used her distraction to spoon some of the stew into her napkin so that it would look like she'd eaten some. It was a shame to have to be this cautious, Buffy was thirsty and a little hungry.

Spike wasn't in the mood for all of this 'play along' bollocks. The sooner they found the portal, the sooner they could find Dawn and get the fuck out of this crazy dimension -- and he'd have a proper pair of long-pants to slip into again.

Spike stood up. "Look, Willow, we don't have time to sit and visit. We really need to get back on the road. Can you just tell us where the portal is and..." He blinked, his vision was blurring. His extremities were going numb. He swayed on his feet and tried to take a step, but his knees buckled and he pitched forward onto the floor.

"Spike!" Buffy was kneeling next to him in a flash.

"Wha... Wha's she done to m-me?" Spike said, slurring the words and trying to get his arms and legs to work. "Buffy, I... can't..." He struggled to focus his eyes, to get control of his body again, to no avail.

"What'd you do to him?!" Buffy's head shot up to look at Willow.

Willow's smile expanded. "The same thing I did to you!"

With a miserable groan, Spike slumped fully to the floor, passing out.

Buffy shook him. "Spike! Spike, wake up!"

Willow laughed. "Oh, he won't be waking up any time soon. And you should be following him into unconsciousness any second now!"

Buffy was about to jump to her feet and force Willow to tell her what she'd done, when a wave of dizziness washed over her. She moaned when her head began to swim and her sight dimmed. "I d-didn't eat or dr-drink!" She was confused as to how she and Spike had been drugged, or whatever it was that was done to them.

"Oh, don't try to fight it. It's so much easier if you don't fight." Willow cackled with glee. "Sweet dreams, Buffy!"

Buffy didn't have the strength to hold herself upright any longer, she couldn't combat whatever it was that Willow had given her. It had to be mighty powerful to take down a Vampire and a Slayer. She wobbled, and then fell on top of Spike.

Willow did a little jig, swishing her skirts and laughing.


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