Disclaimer: Time to state the obvious—I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer. If I did, I'd be rich and have my own personal Spikebot. As it is, I'm poor and Spikeless. Such is life. Also, the song at the beginning is "Both Sides Now" by Joni Mitchell. I don't own that either.
Rating: R (Non-explict sexual situation, adult themes)
Summary: After the destruction of Sunnydale, Dawn searches for her place in life—and finds unlikely love along the way. (Dawn/Andrew)
Spoilers: Starts off during The Girl in Question (Angel, season 5, episode 20) and goes on from there. If you still haven't seen the final few episodes of Angel and want to be shocked and amazed when you do, then don't read this. If you haven't seen them, but want to read this anyway, don't worry about being lost. The events of the series finale of Angel play a minimal part. You won't be lost or confused. (Not due to that anyway…)
Author's Note: Why Dawn and Andrew? Why not? I think they'd make a cute, albeit a somewhat odd, couple. Why this fic? Simple—I felt like writing something about what Dawn would be like if she ever really got past the whiny, the world hates me stage. That, and I figured what the hell, can't write nothing but Spuffy fics all the time, right? Hope you enjoy it!
Feedback and Archiving: Feedback is of the good. Leave me some. I'm usually okay with archiving, just as long as it's not with someone else's name on the fic. wink Email me first though and ask.
Both Sides Now
By: Addie Logan
Rows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere, I've looked at clouds that way.
But now they only block the sun, they rain and snow on everyone.
So many things I would have done but clouds got in my way.
I've looked at clouds from both sides now,
From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions I recall.
I really don't know clouds at all.
Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels, the dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real; I've looked at love that way.
But now it's just another show.
You leave 'em laughing when you go
And if you care, don't let them know, don't give yourself away.
I've looked at love from both sides now,
From give and take, and still somehow
It's love's illusions I recall.
I really don't know love at all.
Tears and fears and feeling proud to say I love you right out loud,
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds, I've looked at life that way.
But now old friends are acting strange, they shake their heads, they say
Something's lost but something's gained in living every day.
I've looked at life from both sides now,
From win and lose, and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall.
I really don't know life at all.
Dawn didn't like Italy. She tried, for Buffy, but the smile she wore was fake. She'd known her life was in for some major changes when Sunnydale had collapsed into the ground, but she hadn't expected moving to an entirely different country.
For Dawn, school there was a joke. Her Italian was improving, but it still wasn't good enough for her to really follow a class discussion. She spent most of the day in special classes designed for non-Italian speaking students. They made her feel more isolated and less than intelligent.
Now, to make things even worse, Andrew Wells of all people had moved in with them. Dawn could tolerate him a little more than she used to, but she still didn't know why she had to live with her and Buffy. Due to that thing with the incineration, he was her newest roommate. And for some reason, Buffy seemed to think that Andrew sleeping on their couch was perfectly normal.
Dawn walked into her sister's room, frowning when she noticed Buffy getting ready. "Going out tonight?"
"Yeah. He's taking me out dancing." Buffy smiled, smoothing down her hair.
"Well, I guess that's better than when you two get all smoochy on the couch, and I'm stuck in my room," Dawn muttered.
Buffy gave her sister a look. "Don't be that way, Dawn. You could go out once in a while, too, you know. Do something with your friends."
"I don't have any friends."
"Sure you do," Buffy replied, writing Dawn's behavior off as another one of Dawn's "pity me" mood swings. "So how do I look?"
"Great," Dawn replied as she walked out of the room. Buffy didn't seem to notice, turning back to her reflection. Andrew was sitting on the couch wearing a t-shirt and a robe. Dawn hoped he was staying in, and then realized how desperate she was if spending time with Andrew was looking good. "You look casual," Dawn said, sitting on the other end of the couch. "Plan on spending the evening here, watching a Star Trek marathon or something?"
"Not tonight, young one," Andrew replied. "I have a date with not one, but two beautiful women."
"Yes. Apparently they're willing to share if it means they get even a taste of me. My reputation has spread like wildfire all over Rome."
Dawn almost asked what that reputation was for, but decided she didn't really want to know. "That's great," she said, trying not to sound too sarcastic. She stood. "I'm just going to go catch a movie or something."
Andrew frowned, picking up on Dawn's obvious bad mood. "Do you want me to cancel my plans and hang with you?" Andrew asked. "Because I can…"
"The last thing I need is nerd pity," Dawn snapped. "I'll be back later." Dawn grabbed her purse and left the apartment, shutting the door loudly.
Buffy walked out a few moments later. "Where's Dawn?"
"She went to a movie."
"Did she take her cell phone?"
"Are you going out tonight?" Buffy asked,
"Yes. Caprice and Isabella will be by later."
"Caprice and Isabella? Last I heard it was just Isabella. When did Caprice get thrown into the mix?"
"Caprice is Isabella's roommate. She thinks I'm cute, and she asked Isabella if they could share me. Isabella liked the idea. It's been great." Andrew smiled.
"I'm, um, happy for you. Listen, I have to meet the Immortal." Buffy grinned. "I'll see you tomorrow."
"Have a good time, Buffy."
After Buffy left, Andrew sat down on the couch, thinking about Dawn. She had been alone a lot lately, with both Andrew and Buffy busy with their respective relationships. Andrew thought maybe he should have insisted on going with Dawn. He knew what it was like to feel alone in the world. He contemplated going after her, but stopped when he heard a knock at the door. He panicked for a second, wondering if it was Caprice and Isabella and fearing what they'd think of him if they saw him in his old robe and Strong Bad t-shirt, but then he looked at the clock and realized there was no way they would be several hours early. He went to the door, wondering who it could be.
What he didn't expect was to open the door to two vampires with souls.
The movie was originally in English, but it had been dubbed over into Italian. Dawn tried to follow the plot with the basic Italian she'd learned, but she found herself making her own story for it more than anything else. She wished they'd just used subtitles. Tiny Italian words at the end of the screen were easy to ignore, and then the actors would be speaking her language. Literally.
Dawn slumped back in her seat, her head starting to hurt. Although some of her past school records may have suggested otherwise, Dawn wasn't stupid, and as far as languages went, she'd never really had a problem with them before. She could translate ancient Sumerian, but she couldn't learn enough Italian to follow a simple action movie after months of living in Italy.
Dawn walked out of the theater with no clue of what had happened, other than that a bunch of stuff had blown up. She figured she didn't miss much.
She pulled her cell phone out of her purse, seeing if anyone had called while she was in the theater. The caller ID indicated that someone had called from her apartment, but hadn't left a message. She almost went back to see if everything was okay, but she really didn't want to. She was tired of sitting around, alone and bored. Buffy and Andrew would be gone all night, so why shouldn't she stay out, too?
Dawn spotted a night club and made her way over to it.
Andrew sat in a booth in an expensive restaurant, a gorgeous woman sitting on either side of him. He should be in a much better mood, even after the several visits he'd received from Spike and Angel that night. But his mind kept drifting back to Dawn. He'd tried to call her before he'd left the apartment, but he'd only gotten her voice mail, and then Spike and Angel had reappeared, putting a halt to any other plans he had to finding her. Andrew knew Dawn had been having a hard time finding her place in Italy, and he felt guilty for not spending more time with her. When he'd stayed with Buffy back in Sunnydale, Dawn had been one of the few people to ever actually talk to him. He decided he should return the favor.
Isabelle leaned down, her body all but wrapped around Andrew's. "Take us dancing," she said in Italian. "I want to feel my body move with yours."
Caprice leaned over on the other side. "I do, too, my sweet little man."
Andrew swallowed, nodding. Anything to please my two lovely ladies.
Dawn decided she did like Italy after all. At seventeen, she was old enough to drink there, and the alcohol she had consumed had raised her mood considerably. And the language barrier didn't matter so much when the music was too loud to hear well anyway. She was dancing with a good looking young man, and she wondered if maybe she should let him take her home with him. It was not like Buffy would notice if she didn't come back tonight anyway. Dawn giggled at the thought, rubbing up against him.
Andrew stared across the club. He thought for a second that it might be his eyes playing tricks on him, but there was no mistaking who that was. I'll be right back, Andrew told his dates, crossing the dance floor. He caught Dawn by the arm and spun her around. "What are you doing here?" he asked her.
"I could ask you the same thing," Dawn replied. She giggled, pointing at his tuxedo. "You look like James Bond."
"You're drunk," Andrew said, a little surprised.
"Just a little," Dawn replied, holding her pointer finger slightly above her thumb and giggling some more. "And I was dancing, so you go back to your girlfriends now."
"Who is this?" asked the man Dawn was dancing with.
"I'm her friend," Andrew replied. "And we are leaving now."
Dawn was able to use enough of her alcohol-hazy brain to understand the gist what had been said. "Oh no. I'm not going anywhere. I wanna dance."
"Dawn, you're drunk. Buffy wouldn't…"
"Buffy! Screw Buffy. Who cares about Buffy? Is she here to stop me? No! And you make a totally lame Bond. Lamer than Timothy Dalton."
Andrew took a deep breath, reminding himself that Dawn was drunk and just trying to bait him. "Dawn, we need to go home now," Andrew said, a little more forcefully.
"No. Dammit, Andrew just leave me alone."
"You leave with me now, or I'm calling Buffy and telling her what you're up to."
"She won't care."
"Yes she will. Do you really want her to come in here and make a scene?"
Dawn sighed. Buffy probably would make a scene. She liked doing that. Dawn glared at Andrew. "Fine, I'll leave with you. But I'm not happy about it."
Andrew led Dawn away, ignoring the protests from the man she'd been dancing with. He went back to Caprice and Isabelle. I'm sorry, ladies, but I have to cut our evening short. My friend here has gotten herself into a bit of a mess.
Dawn stood behind Andrew as he said goodbye to the women. She could understand only bits of what they said, but she knew that one of them, Caprice, she thought, was calling her a little girl who couldn't take care of herself. Dawn tensed. What did that woman know? Hell, she thought Andrew was cool. She didn't see why any woman would be interested in him. He probably wasn't even straight. She felt him tug on his arm, and she followed him wordlessly out of the club.
Once outside, they walked towards the nearest taxi stand. Dawn shivered. "Are you cold?" Andrew asked.
"No." Her teeth chattered.
Andrew sighed, taking off his jacket and wrapping it around her. Dawn didn't protest, pulling the jacket tighter around her shoulders. "You know, that guy in the club could've been anyone," Andrew told her. "He could've been…"
"I was going to say a serial killer."
Dawn chuckled. "Oh yeah. I almost forgot that some of the evil in this world isn't from Hell."
They walked to the taxi stand in silence. Once they got in a cab, Dawn leaned over, resting her head on Andrew's shoulder. "Are you okay?" Andrew asked.
"I'm suddenly really tired," Dawn replied. "And my stomach's sorta flippy."
"That's what happens when you drink that much."
Dawn looked up at him. "You know, that could've been a serial killer. He could've killed me! You saved my life!"
"That's the alcohol talking, Dawn."
"No, really. You're like, my hero. I should kiss you."
Andrew flushed, a vision of what it would be like to kiss Dawn invading his mind. "No, you really shouldn't."
"What's the matter, Andrew? Don't like kissing girls?"
Andrew sighed, wishing this night was just over. As if Spike and Angel hadn't been enough to deal with, now Dawn was drunk and quite possibly hitting on him. "It's not that, it's…Dawn, you're drunk."
"Bah. I'm not drunk. Just a little…bubbly." Dawn giggled, falling over a bit in the seat. "There were bubbles in the drink." She began to sing, loudly and off-key, "Tiny bubbles, in the wine, make me happy, make me feel fine!"
Andrew took a deep breath, trying to calm his nerves. "Dawn…"
Dawn leaned again, this time falling over on him. "Tiny bubbles, make me warm all over, with a feeling that I'm gonna, love you till the end of time." She punctuated the last line by tapping Andrew on the nose.
"Dawn," Andrew said again. "Calm down."
"My mother loved that song. She'd sing it to me when I was a baby." Dawn sat up, her expression suddenly very serious. "Do you think it's appropriate to sing a song about drinking to a baby?" The smile returned along with the giggles. "I don't care. I like bubbles. Even tiny ones."
The cab stopped in front of their apartment building. "Oh, thank god," Andrew said, handing the driver several bills, making sure to tip well to compensate for the ear-piercing screeching the poor man had been subjected to. "Come on," Andrew said, pulling Dawn to her feet, "Let's go inside."
Dawn fell against him. "I think you're gonna have to carry me, cause my legs aren't working so good."
"Oh in the name of Stan Lee," Andrew muttered under his breath. "I don't think I can, Dawn. I'm more Bruce Banner than Incredible Hulk."
Dawn rolled her eyes. "Nerd weakling."
"Hey, I'm not the one stumbling all over the sidewalk here. Come on, lean on me. I'll try to keep you upright."
"Okay, fine, but if I smack my head and die, it's your fault."
Andrew restrained from commenting, instead focusing on getting her up to their apartment. He led her into her bedroom, helping her on to her bed. "There. Now sleep it off."
"My shoes are hurting my feet."
"Take them off."
"I can't sit up to reach them." Dawn gave him a pleading pout.
Andrew grumbled, cursing the fates for having him spend his evening here instead of back in the club with Caprice and Isabelle. He took off Dawn's shoes. "Happy now?"
"I hate my life!" Dawn blurted out, beginning to cry.
"Why do you hate your life?"
"Because it sucks! My home fell into a crater, my sister pays more attention to some weird immortal guy than me, I don't speak stupid Italian, and I…I miss Spike!"
Andrew paused at that last part. "Spike?"
"Yeah. Buffy never lets us talk about him. Sometimes it's like he never even existed. I know she misses him, but I do, too. It's not fair that he gave his life to save us all, and Buffy never even lets me say his name!"
Andrew sat beside Dawn on the bed. "You really were friends with Spike, huh?"
"I think so. That summer that Buffy was dead, Spike took care of me. He blamed himself, for not being able to stop that Doc guy from cutting me in the first place, so he was always looking out for me. We spent a lot of time together, and…and he tried to make losing Buffy not hurt so bad for me, even though it was ripping him apart, too. But…but then I turned on him, and…and things never got better again. I wish they could've gotten better before…before he…" Dawn's voice trailed off.
Andrew felt torn. He wanted to tell Dawn the truth—that Spike was alive—or undead at least—and had even been there that evening. But on the other hand, Spike had made him promise not to tell Buffy, and if Dawn knew, then Buffy would certainly find out. Yet, Spike had seemed anxious to see her earlier. Had he changed his mind about not wanting Buffy to know? Andrew wasn't sure. "Maybe you'll see him again someday," Andrew said. "Buffy came back from the dead. And didn't Angel do it one time, too?"
Dawn sniffled. "Yeah, but Spike, Buffy said he was on fire. Fire makes vampires dust. I don't think you can come back from dust."
Andrew pushed her hair back from her face. "Don't cry now, Dawnie. Just get some sleep, okay?"
Dawn nodded, her eyes closing. Andrew started to get up, but Dawn grabbed his hand. "Would you stay? I don't want to be alone."
"Dawn, I don't…"
"Please?" Andrew sighed, taking off his shoes and tie, lying next to Dawn. She rolled over, resting on his chest. Andrew froze for a second, but then relaxed. "Good night," Dawn murmured, already drifting off.
"Good night," Andrew replied. He pressed his lips gently to her forehead, breathing in the scent of her hair. Dawn smiled shifting a little beside him. Andrew closed his eyes and quickly fell asleep himself.
Dawn woke to the sensation of every inch of her body hurting. Even her hair felt sore. Her mouth was dry and icky, and the light coming in through the blinds was hurting her eyes. She sat up and immediately wished she hadn't. She ran to the bathroom, hands over her mouth.
Dawn leaned down over the toilet, knowing she wouldn't be able to keep anything in her stomach much longer. She jumped slightly when she felt someone pull her hair back from her face, holding it behind her. "It's all right," Andrew said. "Just let it out, and you'll feel better."
Somewhere in the back of her mind, Dawn felt embarrassed having Andrew see her like this, but her stomach didn't much care at the moment. Eventually, Dawn sat up again, wiping her mouth with a piece of toilet paper and then flushing. Andrew rubbed her shoulder. "Ugh. I'm sorry."
"It's all right," Andrew said. "Happens to the best of us. How about you brush your teeth, and I'll go get you some water and aspirin?"
"Sounds good," Dawn said, standing up. When Andrew left the room, Dawn brushed her teeth then went back in the bedroom. Andrew was sitting on the bed with a glass of water and a couple of pills. He was still wearing most of his tux from the night before, although now it was considerably wrinkled. He looked up at her with concern, and Dawn smiled at him, taking the water and the aspirin. "Thanks," she said before swallowing.
"How are you feeling?" Andrew asked.
"Still ugh, but a little better," Dawn said. "I think I'm going to lie down for a bit."
"All right." He stood up. "I'll let you rest then. Oh, and just so you know, I'm not going to tell Buffy."
"Thank you," Dawn said, getting back into bed. Andrew nodded and started to leave the room. When he got to the door, Dawn called out to him. "Andrew?"
He turned around. "Yeah?"
"Thanks for taking care of me last night. And this morning, too."
"What are friends for, right?" Andrew said with a shrug. He tried to look calm, but Dawn could see the nervousness in his eyes, as if he was afraid she'd balk at his use of the word "friends."
Dawn gave him a warm smile. "Exactly. I'll be awake in a bit."
Andrew relaxed, returning her smile. "Okay. Let me know if you need anything."
Dawn closed her eyes as Andrew walked out and softly shut the door.
I don't know if I'm going to continue with this one or not. I just wanted to post it to see the reaction I'd get, so I'd know if it was worth it to write anymore. Leave a review and let me know what you think!