By jessebelle

Disclaimer: See first chapter.

A/N: It's been a while hasn't it. I know there aren't too many excuses, but I have a few if you're interested. One, I lost the notes to this story. Two, as I said, from now on I'm on my own when it comes to this story, meaning that I have to remember what I planned to have happen and what I already had happen. Three, life got it the way, a lot of stuff happened. Four, I was kinda concentrating on my other stories, but I'm back. So, yeah, here's a nice, shiny new chapter. I promise I'll try to hurry up on it. This story has officially been moved to the front burner, meaning I'm going to juggle this story and two Harry Potter stories. Also, I'm moving this story over to Btvs crossovers because it's a crossover with Angel. So, yeah, sorry if it took a while to find it. I also plan to revamp (pun intended) it, meaning I'm going to go through and change some minor stuff, not a lot, just bad spelling, grammar, or typos. So thanks for sticking with me, I appreciate it. Toodles, jessebelle


Chapter Seventeen: And the Winner of the Sir-Broods-A lot Contest Is…

Still in Dawn's apartment

            "Wow," was all Dawn managed to say after hearing what has been going on at Angel Investigations.

            After explaining his story for an hour, Angel was eager to change the subject. "So, Dawn, we know why you were scared, but why were you home alone? Shouldn't your dad be here?"

            Spike snapped out of his trance. He was so happy to have Dawn in his arms that while his grandsire had been talking, he had completely zoned out. The last question caught his attention though. "Yeah nibblet, your dad's supposed to be this wonderful father that's better than Buffy to take care of you, and we both know she'd never leave you alone."

Dawn nodded. "I know, and believe me, I'm grateful for that now, but I guess he's busy at work, it's not like I expected him to actually be here."

Spike looked at her, a touch of anger in his features. "So, that's no reason for him to leave you alone. You know, even with this bloody soul, I wouldn't mind killing your father. Especially after what he just put everyone through. You, Buffy, even the bloody scoobies must have gone through hell." Dawn and Angel both chuckled. He looked at them oddly. "What's so funny?"

Dawn just grinned. "It's just, you said you were worried about the scoobies. Even Xander?"

Spike looked at them and cocked his head. "Yes, I even feel sorry for the whelp. This soul must have done something. But you can't blame me, your father really put everyone through hell."

Angel nodded. "I don't know how you did it. With the way Buffy was when she came to see me, I'd say she would have preferred hell."

Dawn nodded. "Hey, wait a minute. Does Buffy know where you are? Because if she did, she'd already be here with you.  Oh my god, I have to call her, she'll freak?"

She went for the phone and both Angel and Spike jumped up. "No!" they shouted simultaneously. She looked up in confusion. "What! Why can't I tell Buffy?" Her face fell. "Oh my god, you don't lover her anymore."

Spike looked shocked. "Bit, come over here and listen to me." She came over and he pulled her on his lap. Angel motioned that he'd be in the kitchen and went to talk to Dennis. Spike took a deep, unneeded breath and turned Dawn to face him. "Nibblet, I love your sister and I always will. That has nothing to do with it. All I can say is I decided she's better off without me. I personally think that even if I did go back to Sunnydale, I'd end up a big pile of dust. Something happened before I left that I don't think she could ever get over and she shouldn't have to. It was unforgivable. Now, I plan to stay here and work with Peaches until I get bored, and it also means I can stay here and take care of you. But if Buffy ever really needs me, I'll be there in a heartbeat, I just might not let her know I'm helping, is all."

Dawn looked into his eyes. "So Xander was right?"

Spike cocked and eyebrow. "Right about what platelet?" Dawn averted her eyes. "He said, he said that last year you tried to rape Buffy." Her words came out in a big rush, but Spike had understood perfectly.  He closed his eyes and sighed as he remembered what had happened. Dawn was waiting for him to deny it, but he asked a question instead.

"What did your sister say?" Dawn looked at him with hurt in her eyes. When Spike saw the hurt, he realized that was the reason he was staying in LA, he didn't want to see Buffy or Dawn look at him that way.

Finally Dawn regained her voice. "She said that Xander was right, you did try to rape her."

Spike looked down and listened for Dawn to tell him that Buffy was right; he remembered her words perfectly.

Dawn cleared her throat and got his attention. "Can I continue or are you going to give Angel a run for his money in the Mr. Broods-A lot contest?" They both heard Angel's cries of "Hey!" and Dawn smirked. "Well?"

Spike looked up at her and it was clear how he was feeling, like his heart had been torn out. "What else do you have to say Nibblet? Buffy told you the truth. I was out of my mind and I tried to rape her." He lowered his head in disgust. "She was right, I am a monster."

Dawn sighed and looked up to see Angel standing in the doorway. He raised an eyebrow at Dawn and she shooed him away. Then in a sing song voice she called out, "Angel, you're brooding award is being challenged by Spike."

Angel took that as his cue and walked in, Spike was looking at Dawn, a little bit of indignation mixed with self-pity on his features. He smirked. "Well, well, who's the poof now?" He was cut off by being pinned to the wall with a hand covering his mouth, and another hand around his throat.

"I am not, and never will be a poof. That title is your and yours alone Peaches. And I do not brood, I wallow in self-pity." He said this in a proud manner.

Angel shook him off. "You will be a poof if you don't listen to what Dawn has to say." Spike turned around to see Dawn where he had moved her before he'd attacked Angel.

"Well, what's so important? I'm guessing that you never want to see me again and you don't want me to protect you. I get that, I'll stay out of your way, I just have to wait until Angel is done here."

She cocked an eyebrow and motioned him to sit down. Albeit reluctantly, he obeyed. He looked up at her and as if reading his mind, she answered the burning question on how she learned to imitate the eyebrow trick. "I practiced while you were away. Now I said Buffy agreed that you tried to rape her. Then she explained how after, she had seen true confusion and regret in your eyes. She also told us the things she'd done to you to add to why you did it, your motive that drove you crazy. She was a bitch, and while there's no excuse really for what you did, she was also wrong to do what she did to you. You were both in the wrong; you're pretty much even in our books. She knew you were out of your mind and she hit Xander when he implied otherwise. He had a black eye for two weeks."

When Angel heard this he started to laugh. Spike and Dawn glared at him for ruining the moment.  Awkwardly he stopped. "Sorry, it's just that, Xander got a black eye." When they didn't laugh, he held his hands up in surrender. "Sorry, Dawn, continue."

"Spike, it took you leaving, but she finally realized what you mean to her. She doesn't blame you for what happened, if anything she blames herself for driving you to that level of madness."

"What!! She has no reason to blame herself. She was right, I'm a monster and you can't love a monster."

"You're wrong." This came from Angel, not Dawn. The elder vampire had moved from his spot where he'd been leaning on the wall, to crouch right in front of Spike's seat on the couch. "Spike, you're not a monster and I'd bet my money that Buffy's cursing herself for ever saying that to you. You're different. Even when you were evil, you were able to love. Look at what you had with Drusilla; no one can say that you didn't love her. And you truly fell in love for Buffy, hell; from what you told me you were willing to stake your sire for her. That's not an action taken likely in our group. Hell, I staked Darla the first time because of Buffy, and that was when I'd just met her. Buffy, she does that to you, she changes you. But there's a big difference in you and Buffy, and Buffy and I.

I loved her, I would have died for her, but that was only when I had my soul. When I was Angelus, I hated Buffy, I wanted to kill her and I almost did. It's the soul that makes me love her. I can't honestly say I love her with all of my being. And the soul was never my idea; I was cursed with it.

Then there's you. You chose to be good. -"

"But the chip-"

"Screw the chip. I know you Spike, if you really wanted to get the chip out, you would have. But you stuck around Sunnydale, and you helped Buffy. You wanted to help out and you did. Even after everything that happened, you stayed. Hell, you even helped her when you were evil. And then you fell in love. Sure, the way you told her wasn't that great, but the thing is, you truly loved her. You nearly died trying to prove your love for her and protect her. And when she was treating you like crap, you still loved her. Now that I got away, I'm able to see all of Buffy's bad qualities. And yes, she does have them. But you experienced them first hand, and you stuck around. And after everything, knowing it would probably drive you crazy; you went and got your soul. You aren't cursed; you were given a gift. Spike, you heard it with your own ears, Buffy loves you, and I know you still love her."

Dawn was sitting next to Spike, hugging him. She had tears running down her face from Angel's speech. Spike himself was in shock, trying to grasp what he'd been told. "I do love her, but, I can't-"

"I know. Spike, it's going to take time. And if Buffy knew you were here, she probably wouldn't leave you alone because she realizes what she could lose. I agree with you not telling her you're here."

"But, they love each other. Shouldn't they work everything out? Buffy needs him."

Spike smiled and hugged Dawn to his side. "Bit, part of growing up is learning to deal. Remember when Giles left?" At Dawn's nod he continued. "Well, part of the reason he left was Buffy was too dependent on him. Buffy needs to learn how to be an adult more. She needs to learn to depend on herself. Granted, I wish I could always be there for her, taking care of her, but I'd probably be doing her more harm. And I will help her, just not as much." Dawn nodded.

"Also Dawn, Spike just got his soul. It took me a hundred years to deal with it, and I still haven't completely dealt with it. Spike needs some time to figure everything out, deal with all the guilt."

"But he's not brooding as much as you, or eating rats."

Angel scowled and Spike laughed. "No, I'm not. I was a mess when I first got it though. Then I realized how Peaches wasted a hundred years dealing with everything. I accepted the fact I can't change what I've done, but I still need time."

Dawn accepted that. Angel stood up and winced, his legs were sore for squatting that long. Then his cell phone rang. After a few seconds to figure it out, he answered. "What's going on?" He already knew it was his friends. No one else knew his number.

"Angel, it's Fred. We just got a case, there's a large group of vampires terrorizing a new restaurant that opened. We kinda need yours and Spike's expertise, it you aren't too busy."

Angel looked at Dawn and Spike who were staring at him in confusion. He thought about it, and nodded. "We can be there. Should we meet you there?"

"Yeah, it's called Rachel's, it's-" Angel listened as she gave him directions. Luckily it was dark out and nearby. He hung up and looked at the two others.

"That was Fred, we're needed. I'm sorry Dawn, I wish we could stay with you but-"

The brunette nodded. "Go, I understand. I'll be fine by myself. I have homework anyway. Just, be safe and call me."

Angel nodded. They all stood up and walked to the door. Angel hugged her. "It was good seeing you again. I'll definitely keep in touch. Be safe and call me."

She smiled. "Will do." He walked out the door.

Spike pulled her in a big hug. "Bit, I can't tell you enough how glad I am to see you and I'm really happy you don't hold anything against me, it means a lot. I'll call you tonight to check up on you. Okay?"

She smiled and nodded. "Yeah, that will be good."

He sighed and pulled away. "You be a good girl now, do your homework, eat a healthy dinner, no junk food. -"

"Spike, I'll be fine. Go be a hero." She shooed the two vampires into the hall. After one last look at her, they reluctantly turned and walked away.

Dawn stared after them and closed the door of her apartment. She leaned on the door, a smile on her face. She opened her eyes and looked around the room. "So, Dennis, I guess you're my new roommate."

Her response was the kitchen door to open. Curiously she walked in and grinned. Dinner was served, and desert. She smiled as she looked up. "You and me, we'll definitely be getting along." Maybe living here wouldn't be too bad.