I kept my head down, pretending to be more interested in how my pancakes were swimming in syrup then in Spike's explanation as to why he woke me and Bethany up at two in the morning and took us out of the house and to a diner twenty miles out of town. I sighed, noticing that he had stopped talking and took a small sip of my soda before looking up. I didn't meet his eyes, couldn't bear to see the pain that filled them. He was studying me as I studied the scar through his eyebrow. Bethie was lying on the seat next to me, resting her head on my lap as she slept peacefully.

"What?" I finally asked, fed up with how he scrutinized me. I knew I looked bad, my hair thrown up in a bun and no make up on my face. I was wearing sweat pants and a large t-shirt. I self-consciously pushed my hair out of my face.

"You look beautiful so stop worrying," He bluntly told me and the tips of my mouth curved slightly. He tipped my chin so I was forced to look him in the eye. "Buffy came to my crypt, asked me if I wanted to patrol. I said I was busy and came to get you," I nodded, finally listening. "I don't think it'd go over to well for her to have come home to see you and the munchkin so I figured we'd come up with a plan and have you crash with me for a while,"

"I'm on Christmas break," I told him softly, thinking of something to tell my slayer sister. "I could say that Dad called and asked me to stay with him for the holidays. I doubt she'd even noticed if I wasn't there for Christmas," I couldn't hide the bitterness in my words. Damn Buffy. Damn Scoobies. Damn Christmas. No Mom to share it with so what did it matter. No tree. No presents. No turkey. Didn't matter much anyway.

"That'll do it," He smiled at me, that special smile he only gave me. And for a second I felt like I was needed. I felt like someone in the world wanted me, not the Key or the Slayers sister. Then that second passed.

"So what are we gonna do about her?" I questioned, my hand running threw my "daughter's" brown hair.

"Take a leaf from the Scoobies book, I guess. Research it."

"It's cause I'm the Key." I muttered and I knew Spike heard because he frowned. He had thought that was the reason too, but he was too much of a man to bring that up. Doesn't want to see a lady cry. I wonder if that's what he thought of me as. If I'm a lady thenā€¦something that is completely unrealistic is changed to something ordinary. I heard a saying once "A lady is only a lady until she forms a fist". What's Buffy then? Tears prickled me eyes for some unknown reason and he noticed. He always noticed.

"Bit," He whispered, and slid out of the booth to kneel on the floor next to me. He took my hands in one of his and used the other to wipe away the tears tracking down my cheeks. He rests his hand there, lightly stroking it. "Dawn, it's going to be okay,"

"Promise?" I was more pleading with him then asking. Begging him to take chargeā€¦to help with the emptiness.

"I promise," And I saw his eyes flash with pain. I knew he was remembering the other promise he made concerning me.

The one he couldn't keep.

Author's note: It's short but it's the best I could do. It was weird to update this story but I got the random urge to go back and work on the stories that I haven't touched in months. I'll try to update soon. Please review

p.d.