TITLE: "The Littlest Things" (1/1)
AUTHOR: Marie-Claude Danis
EMAIL: mc@verticalcrawl.com
SITE: http://verticalcrawl.com/fic
FEEDBACK: Oh, alright.
DISTRIB: My site, or just ask.
SPOILERS: "The Gift"
PAIRING: Spike/Dawn friendship

* * *

It's the littlest things.

I'm not the wreck everyone was expecting me to be after Buffy's death. Not sure why; even I was expecting it. But instead I find myself drifting across town aimlessly at night, unable to drink or smoke or take it out on the local demon populace. It's just me, with no purpose anymore, and I find myself more unsettled than grieving. And I feel guilty about it.

You know, for someone without a soul, I'm doing pretty good in the 'feelings' department. Guess who got the wrong end of the deal here. If only evil meant evil. If only it were as simple as that. Black and white. That's the way it should be, right?

When I go back home at the end of the night, I just go to sleep, only to wake up at dusk the next day. And the cycle continues. It's never even crossed my mind to maybe linger and see what dawn would do to me. Dawn.

It's the littlest things she does.

The irony of her name isn't lost on me. Never was. The whole light/dark metaphor and all that rot. Yeah, I get it. I'm bright, you know. Did the whole university thing once. If I hadn't wandered into that alley all those years ago, I would've amounted to something, I bet. Would've found a nice girl to marry, wrote a few books - if not at poetry, I was quite gifted at prose - maybe had a family. You know, the real kind.

Instead I'm in this century I was never meant to belong to, settling into a quietly apathetic routine, neither bad or good. It's the ambivalence I can't shake that gets to me, but even that... It just doesn't matter. If it ever did. I don't know.

These days I draw my only pleasure - tiny little shards of it - from a hand on my wrist, or a genuine laugh, or from her looking at me when I speak. The littlest things, and they all count. Once we were all just sitting around, pretending to make a difference, and she was talking - she's taken a liking to that, she has, since people started listening to her - and in the middle of a sentence, like it was the most natural thing in the world, she reached out and picked one of her long brown hairs off the leather of my sleeve. She flicked it away, never skipping a beat, and no one, not even her, noticed how singularly wrong that was. Or should've been.

See, it was never supposed to be this way. When I came to town I meant business. Now a sixteen year old girl is grooming me and it's the highlight of my week. Later that night I walked her back home, like I always do, and she asked me how I was doing. I couldn't answer. It'd been lifetimes since anyone had asked. But it was nice of her to do it.

It's the littlest things.