Lying in bed, Dawn seethed.  How dare they get mad at her?  It's not like she knew he was a vampire!  Besides, Buffy had been with Angel!  It's not like she'd done anything new!  Just because they'd had to rescue her...and anyway, she had staked him herself!  She didn't need protection! 

     And Buffy had brought Spike along, as if purposely to embarrass her...but then, Buffy didn't know how she felt about one did.  Sometimes Dawn wasn't even sure how she felt about him.  Angry, Dawn got up and went to her desk, pulling out her journal.


          Dear Diary,

     No one understands me.  Sometimes I don't even understand me.  I just went out to have some fun tonight, and, as usual, somehow it turned into a big mess. 

     First, I went by Janice's and we met these two guys, Justin and Zach.  We were all hanging out and everything was cool.  Then we stopped by this weird old guy's house and he was gonna give us a "treat" or something.  Then after Justin was alone with him in the kitchen, he just came out and said we should go.  That should have set the warning bells off, but it didn't.  Anyway, we left, and we went to the park.  Janice and Zach took off and left me and Justin alone in the car.  We talked and somehow ended up kissing.  Yup.  Kissing.  ME.  Dawn.  My first kiss!  Well, anyway, it was good.  Till he vamped out.  Yeah.  My first kiss HAD to be a vampire...well, I get out of the car and somehow Buffy shows up.  Huge fight commences; big surprise.  Justin follows me.  Tells me I'm special.  Right.  Anyway, I know he's about to bite me, so I stake him.  So ends my romantic evening.

     Buffy makes me so angry...I'm almost 16 now, the same age she was when she became the Slayer, but she still treats me like a little kid.

     And then there's Spike.  I've had a crush on him for almost a year now and the only one who's even come close to noticing is Buffy, who he's totally in love with. 

     Doesn't she realize how lucky she is?  Having Spike notice her?  He just sees me as Nibblet, Buffy's little sister.  It isn't fair.  I'm not sure if it's just a crush, or if it's something more.  I mean, I've had crushes on guys at school, and they aren't like Spike.  He's so sexy and cool.  And I can talk to him.  No one else listens.  I just don't know what to do...



     Sighing, she shut off her light and went to bed, not noticing the figure standing on the ground outside her window.

*     *     *

     Spike dropped his third cigarette on the ground, putting it out with the toe of his boot.  He's been outside of the Summer's home for an hour.  He'd heard the little bint get lectured, heard them go to bed...he though about going in to see Buffy.  They had been talking a bit more lately, but he still didn't think she'd like him stomping around her house in the middle of the night.

     Sighing, he lit up another cigarette and left, walking through the streets now devoid of Halloween mischief.  When he found out about that fledgling vamp trying to hurt Nibblet, he'd been pissed.  He wondered why he cared so much.  It wasn't really a surprise that he did, they'd gotten really close over the summer that Buffy had been.....gone.  And even before then, she had come to his crypt to talk or to hear stories.  She loved his stories about what he had done before the chip.  It didn't sicken her, it fascinated her.  She accepted him.  She was probably his only real friend among the scoobies...his only real friend among anyone.  He was a loner, always had been.  Besides Dru, he never really spent time with anyone else.  If only Buffy treated him the way she did...

     But she won't, he thought, suddenly full of hurt and rage.  She'll never accept me, doesn't even respect me anymore.  Bloody hell, once they know I care for 'em they just treat me like I'm nothing!  First there was Dru, acting like I don't even bloody exist, once Angelus came back...then she leaves me for a Chaos demon.  And Buffy just uses me when she needs information, or as her personal punching bag... Lately though, she'd been better.  Actually talking to him about things...but still, she doesn't respect me.

     Suddenly his thoughts turned to Dawn, her eyes big, glowing with excitement and admiration as he told one of his stories.  The way she sat in his crypt, telling him about her day, as if he cared for high school gossip, listening to what he had to say.  She really wasn't so little anymore, she'd grown up a lot over the past year.  She didn't act like such a little girl, and she was already as tall as Buffy.  Plus he had seen the way she looked at him, when she thought he didn't notice, her eyes roving over him hungrily...and he could tell that those weren't little girl thoughts she was thinking.  She wanted him.

     Bloody hell!  What am I doing, thinking this way about Nibblet?  She's a child!  She doesn't know what she wants!  It's just a crush...and I can't want her.  Not with Buffy around. Not as if the Slayer wants anything to do with me...but...

     He sighed as he reached his crypt, puzzled about the thoughts of Dawn; he'd never really noticed her that way before, but she was actually beautiful, with her long silky brown hair, intense green eyes...he shook head and pushed open the door, trying to shut off the thoughts he was beginning to have about the Slayer's little sister.