"All right, let's try it this way. Sit back. Loosen your shoulders, arms, and fingers… yeah, like that…" Spike tries to teach Dawn something at her request. Set during Season 5 when Dawn's still got a crush on Spike. Humor-ish, 325 words.

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"I'm never gonna get this right!" Dawn whined, impatiently.

"Oh, come on now, never say never," Spike encouraged her. "You're too bloody tense, that's your problem. Loosen up. Relax. You look like someone's got a gun to your head."

"I can't relax. It's too hard. I have to concentrate on the task at hand."

"Wrong again, Nibblet. Look, I've been doing this for years. Trust me. Relax," he advises.

She tries time and again, but her only results are failures. She moans.

"All right, let's try it this way. Sit back. Loosen your shoulders, arms, and fingers… yeah, like that. Good. Now just … No, no good. Yeah, okay, maybe you should quit," Spike gives up on Dawn, as well. He takes the slender cigarette from Dawn's forceful grip.

"Great! I can't even hold a cigarette the right way! Why am I such a loser?"

"Say, why are you so keen on learning to smoke, anyway? Aren't you 'fraid Slayer and Mummy dearest will chastise you for days to come once they find out?"

She scoffs, fashioning her best 'brave face'. "No! Of course I'm not afraid of Mom and Buffy's reactions. I'm my own woman," she crosses her arms over her chest, appearing fearless.

"Sure you are, Dawnie. But you never answered the other bit of the question … why smoke?"

"No reason…"

"Ah, I know. Popularity, yeah? For girlfriends or a bloke?"

She remains silent and nonchalant.

And so Spike continues for her, "A bloke, most definitely, then. Who? Someone from school?"

"No, not from school. Just some other guy I know. He's really cool. He's the loner type, though. Real James Deanish," she tries her best to conceal her smirk.

"Sounds like trouble."

"That's the persona he puts on, but he'd never hurt anyone."

"Bet Slayer won't be happy about him, nonetheless. Anyone I know?"

She does not offer a reply for a few minutes, but finally mutters "No… nobody you know…"