Takes place after "I Was Made To Love You", but the ending didn't happen, if that makes any sense, and no spoilers for "The Body". I don't own the characters. Feedback would be nice…
Dawn was fuming over her sister. Most things were over her sister, now that she thought about it. That self-centred slayer always had to have everyone do things her way. This time, it was giving the cold shoulder to Spike.
She *liked* Spike, and it wasn't just because she had a major crush on him and that he was unbelievably cute and exciting. He was the only person who didn't treat her like a kid, or worse, like nothing. Like a stupid blob of energy that wasn't really a person at all.
If Buffy hadn't noticed Spike's crush on her, she was blind. And now she was being all bitchy and demanding that no one speak to Spike, or treat him with any respect.
Dawn was amazed the way everyone was doing what she said. None of them, *none* of them, had any problem with Spike. They were just catering to Buffy's needs. The way they always did.
I bet she *really* liked being an only child, Dawn reflected. Spoiled brat.
"Dawn!" Buffy yelled from downstairs. "Can you clean up the kitchen? I have to go and patrol."
Dawn didn't respond, and Buffy took it for granted that her little sister would do what she asked.
Forget it, Dawn decided, going out herself. She wasn't Buffy's slave.
She was storming down one particular street when she heard something behind her, and before she knew it she was in the tenacious grip of a vampire.
She struggled furiously, but she knew it was pointless. As she screamed in pain when the vampire bit her, she wished that Buffy was here. Never mind that she acted like a bitch sometimes, she was the slayer and she saved people from stuff like this.
I'm going to die, she thought in despair. I haven't even gotten a chance to live and I'm going to die. No one will even care. I'm not real.
She was feeling dizzy and about to faint when she was released. She fell to the ground, barely aware of the fight going on around her. And then strong arms lifting her up, carrying her to safety . . .
Buffy had just gotten home and was wondering where Dawn was when the doorbell rang.
At the sight of her younger sister unconscious in his arms, blood dripping from her neck, she gasped.
"Spike, what the hell have you done now?" she demanded. The rage inside her was something which she'd rarely experienced before. When she felt like this she could take on the world. But for now, Spike would suffice.
"She was –" he began, but she silenced him.
"I don't want to hear it. Just go," she snapped, lifting Dawn out of his arms and slamming the door after him. Setting Dawn down on the sofa, she didn't hear Spike yelling, "She could have been killed, you know!"
That stupid . . . sometimes Spike couldn't believe he actually cared about her. He'd just saved her sister, and did he even get a thank you? No. Of course not.
Why did he even bother?
"You're going to apologise to him," Dawn told her sister firmly.
Buffy looked at Dawn as if she was crazy. "Uh-uh. No way. He's Spike. He's evil, remember?"
"Yeah, I guess that was why he saved my life," Dawn shrugged. Sometimes she couldn't believe Buffy. "You were so mean to him!"
"He doesn't deserve this! You treat him like crap. And he puts up with it. I'd call that love."
Buffy laughed harshly. "He's a vampire. He doesn't have a soul. He can't love anyone but himself."
"Yeah, keep telling yourself that," Dawn muttered, walking out.
Buffy sighed. What did her little sister know, anyway?
"Spike?" Dawn peered in at him. Buffy didn't know that her sister was visiting Spike's crypt, and it was probably for the best.
"Hey," he greeted her. "Does the slayer know you're here?"
"No. She's busy being her usual self," Dawn responded. "I gotta say, I know you're crazy about her, but she's a bitch."
"I noticed," he told her. "Still . . ."
"You love her. Yeah, I got that." She paused. "Thanks, for, um, you know, saving me last night. I was – so scared, I thought I was going to – die, you know?"
"You didn't just do it to impress Buffy, did you?" she asked.
"Well . . ." he hesitated.
"It's OK if you did. I just wanted to know."
"No. I would've done it anyway. You're a nice kid."
She didn't even get mad at him for calling her a kid. "OK," she nodded, and smiled.
"I told her to come and apologise, you know," she told him after a moment of silence.
"Let me guess. She thinks I'm evil, no point, right?" he raised an eyebrow.
"Do you live with her too?" Dawn joked.
"He wishes," Buffy's voice came from the entrance to the crypt.
"Oh, slayer, you decided to show up after all," Spike said. "How thoughtful."
"Dawn, go home," Buffy directed. "You shouldn't be hanging around with this guy."
Dawn, in fully rebellious mode, responded with, "You know, it wasn't too long along you were getting him to protect us. I'm not going."
Buffy quickly realised this wasn't a situation where orders would work. "Please?" she asked. "I promise I won't stake him. I just need to talk to Spike in private."
"OK," Dawn said agreeably. The pleading expression on Buffy's face was something she didn't often get to see.
"So, what do you want?" Spike enquired as Dawn left.
"To thank you for saving Dawn last night. And to apologise for not listening to you. And . . . I was kinda listening to you two talking . . . she seems to think you're not such a bad guy."
"You don't need to rub it in," he muttered.
"I like it," she said quietly.
"Excuse me?" he said incredulously.
"I like it, OK? You're not such a bad guy and I kinda like it."
"Really?" He felt the need to make very sure that it wasn't some dream he was having.
"Uh-huh," she nodded. "But don't think this changes anything. I mean, it's not like we're going to get married or anything. I've just decided I don't hate you."
He nodded. "I suppose I can live with that."