Tonight's Different

Author: Pumpkin Belly

Summary: The walls of the apartment were paper-thin. Buffy's sobs just floated right through.

A/N: This is set after Chosen. Buffy and Dawn are living in Italy. Unfortunately I don't know Italian so Buffy is speaking in English.

"Yeah, Jack. I had a great time. Of course I'll call you tomorrow. OK, goodbye." Dawn could hear Buffy reciting the lines of a script she had invented a long time ago. It felt like she said the same thing to every guy.

Dawn heard the click of the lock being put in place and then Buffy's footsteps making there way to her room. The same thing happened every night. Buffy would work all day, helping new slayers find their path and what not. Then she would go out with her "boyfriend". This week it was Jack. Dawn almost felt sorry for him he was a nice guy. Buffy really did try to like him, she just couldn't. No one would ever measure up to Spike, hence the new boyfriend every week.

Dawn also knew what was coming next. Buffy would get changed, wash her face, brush her teeth, then she would go into her room and cry herself to sleep. Most nights she would try to muffle her sobs into the pillow, it was all in vain though. The walls of the apartment were paper-thin. Dawn could hear it all.

She could hear when Buffy woke up screaming out Spike. She could hear when Buffy couldn't sleep at all and would just toss and turn all night long. Mostly there was only silence. Buffy's cries would last about an hour or so, then silence. Once Dawn was sure that Buffy would asleep she could finally settle into dreamland herself.

Dawn never told Buffy that she could hear her at night. Never mentioned the nights when she woke up calling for Spike. Never mentioned the tears.

The sobs had started; Dawn could hear the shift of the bed as Buffy buried her face in the pillow. "Why Spike? Why did you have to be so stubborn?" Dawn whispered out the window. In the next room Buffy was asking the same questions.

Dawn silently closed the window and moved into her sister's room. Tonight was different. Tonight Dawn let her emotions get the best of her. Tonight she cried with Buffy.

A/N: I know, I know. I should be writing the next chapter of Soul Searching, but I'm working on it. The next chapter will be up by next week, hopefully. Well anyway please review!