Title: Too Young
Summary: This is me inserting Dawn into the episode Passion (btvs s2) written for Leni's insertdawnhere challenge.
Disclaimer: Do the words stupid gypsy curse mean anything to you? Apparently they don't to Joss and I'm so not him.
They sit in the living room laughing and eating popcorn. He watches them for a long time. There are few things in this world as lovely as young girls, nuns and Buffy in pain are among those few things. He's lucky that this particular young girl will cause Buffy such exquisite pain.
His fingers slide over the glass, aching to touch the young girls inside, to bring pain, to make them bleed. He watches as they sniffle over the silly movie. He watches as Dawn gathers up her bag. He slips into the shadows as she comes out of the house. He follows her at a safe distance.
Long, silken brown hair swinging down the long line of her back, she is graceful for an eleven year old. In his experience they are generally gawky and uncoordinated. He wonders if it has to do with being related to the slayer. He takes a deep breath. She smells like pomegranates. She has a more exotic, complicated scent then her sister. She would taste sweet and a little bit spicy going down. He can only imagine the woman she will grow up to be, such a shame she's never going to get the chance to grow up.
She glances over her shoulder and picks up the pace a little. He grins to himself. The Slayer has been after her. He wonders if Buffy told her anything or if she thinks she's protecting Dawn but not saying anything, by not telling her that Angelus is back. Dawn glances over her shoulder again and breaks into a slow jog. She cuts through an alley, obviously Buffy hasn't told her enough.
"Dawnie," he calls out.
The young girl stops and turns around. "A-Angel?" She asks.
"Yeah, Dawnie, it's me," he says.
Dawn shifts uncomfortably. "Uhm, hey. What are you doing? If you're looking for Buffy I think she's at the library or something," Dawn says.
"I was kind of hoping you could give her a message for me," he says.
"Di-did you two have a fight?" Dawn asks.
"Yeah, she's kind of angry at me," he says.
"An-angry? Why?" Dawn asks.
He shrugs and steps a bit closer. "I don't know. I love her so much. I can't live without her, she can't live without me. I need her to see that, Dawnie," he says moving even closer.
Dawn takes a step back. "O-okay, I'll tell her."
He steps closer. "You have to make her see, Dawnie. Will you give her something for me?"
"Yeah, su-sure," the girl stammers a bit. Angel is beginning to creep her out. He's always with the brooding and the darkness but he usually smiles at her and ruffles her hair a bit. He usually makes her feel safe and protected, like nothing in the world can hurt her when Angel is in their house. That's the main reason she doesn't tell Mom about all the nights she knows Angel spends in Buffy's room.
Angel pulls a thick, creamy envelope from his jacket pocket. He gives it to Dawn and she slips one backpack strap off her shoulder. She fumbles with the zipper and ends up dropping the envelope. Angel bends and picks it up.
"Let me get that for you," he says. He unzips her backpack, standing too close to her. He takes a deep breath of her. He can smell her blood, just under the skin. Her pulse jumps and fear tainted the air. It would be so easy to take her, to drain her down and leave her body on the steps for Buffy to find but then the game would be over and that would be one less person he could taunt Buffy with. Angelus loves the game. It is what makes his existence worth living.
Angelus carefully places the envelope in the backpack. He leans in close and takes another deep breath. Pomegranates and fear, it's an intoxicating combination.
He whispers in her ear. "Go on now, Dawnie, hurry home before something bites."
Dawn turns and runs to the house on Revello Drive.
Dawn bursts through the door and leans against it panting for breath. The house is empty and she wishes she'd stayed at Janice's. She doesn't know what happened between Buffy and Angel but Angel is definitely not handling it well. She thinks maybe he's going mental.
Dawn walks up the stairs to her room. She takes one glance at the big open windows and decides that she won't feel safe there. She closes the bedroom door and walks down the short hallway to the bathroom. Its better there, safe, closed in, only one small window. Dawn knows if Angel wants to get in, he's got an open invitation but somehow in the bathroom, she feels safe. She sits down in the small space between the toilet and the sink and waits for someone to come home.
It's not long until Buffy charges in the house with Willow trailing behind.
"Dawn, what are you doing?" Buffy asks, flipping on the bright bathroom light.
Dawn stands up stiffly, unfolding her gawky long limbs. "I-it was creepy. I ran into Angel on the way home," she says.
Buffy's face drains of all color. She swallows hard and takes a deep breath. "Did he hurt you?" She asks.
"N-no, but he was weird. Buffy, I don't know what you two fought about but Angel isn't handling it very well. He-I think maybe he's having a breakdown," Dawn says.
Buffy sighs in relief. "Angel-Angel's changed, Dawnie. He's not safe anymore. He's-you have to stay away from him."
Dawn nods. "Oh, he gave me this to give to you," she says digging the envelope out of her backpack. She hands it to Buffy.
Buffy chews on her bottom lip and tears open the envelope. She grows even paler.
"What is it?" Dawn asks.
Buffy shakes her head. Dawn darts closer, trying to see what was in the envelope. She catches a glimpse of a sketch. It's of her, sound asleep and clutching her teddy bear to her chest.
"He was in my room?" Dawn says.
"Its okay, Dawnie. Willow and I are taking care of it, just make sure you don't invite him back in, no matter what he says. He's not welcome here, not anymore" Buffy says. Pain makes her voice waver slightly. She bites her lips and folds up the sketch. She stuffs it in her pocket and goes back downstairs with Willow.
Dawn goes back into her room and lies down on the bed. She clutches her teddy bear to her chest, just like Angel had drawn her. She swallows the tears but they choke her. She sniffles and the tears over take her. She tosses the teddy bear into the corner of the room and grabs a pillow instead, wrapping herself around it. It was the last time she ever slept with a teddy bear.