TITLE: Where Do I Fit In Your Life?

AUTHOR: Wicked Raygun

E-MAIL: wicked_raygun@hotmail.com

SUMMARY: Is it worth it to tell someone how you feel?

RELATIONSHIPS: B/X and D/Other

SPOILERS: Some possible Season 6 stuff, but mostly mine.

DISTRIBUTION: No problem. Just let me know where it goes so I can sing sweet nothings in its ear.

DISCLAIMOR: This cannot actually be necessary. Does anyone honestly think that I own these characters in anyway? Well... To anyone who does own a piece of the Buffster and/or any of her friends and enemies, please do not be alarmed. I am merely borrowing your toys to put on a little puppet show and I promise to bring them all back in near-mint condition. Even Spike.

To the good folks at BX-Fanfic who have been so patient with me. I'm still just a growing boy.



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Prologue
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Brian walked into the Magic Box, home of the strange and the unusual. And that was on a slow day. This place always seemed to humble him. In here sat the Universes' first, last and only line of defense against the dark nasties that creepy crawled around cemeteries, mortuaries and abandoned warehouses around Sunnydale.


Well… Okay, maybe they weren't the only line of defense in the universe. But at the bare minimum they had to be the weirdest. These guys were probably the closest things on this planet to being comic book superheroes. Two witches, a teenager who was really a mystical garage door opener, an old man who is part of an ancient society straight out of Highlander, an evil vampire who had been implanted with some sort of behavior modification chip by a "secret" organization of demon hunters run by the government, a woman whose destiny is to fight back the forces of darkness until she dies… again; apparently, third times a charm, and Xander, the so-called "normal one", a statement which is just dripping with irony.


Now that Brian gave it some thought, maybe these guys were more like an Anime or Manga. Let's see. Group of young people who have wacky adventures fighting a secret war against Demons in a small town. Yep. The Japanese could be the only ones crazy enough to come up with this stuff.


His thoughts, however, drifted once more to the "Mystical Garage Door Opener." Yesterday, she was pouting about the amount of research that was going into their latest "Villain of the Week." She had crossed her arms like she always does when she feels strongly on something and her nose did the most adorable little scrunch. It took every ounce of willpower in him not to take her into his arms and kiss away the lines on her forehead, and the actual moving of his eyeballs so that they wouldn't be staring at her took a lot more effort then that. He was just thankful he didn't get caught by her.


He knew he had more then just a simple crush on Dawn. He'd had enough of those to understand the difference. Normally he would have just told the girl and let the chips fall where they may, but it was different with Dawn. With her, he felt like he could be risking something if he told her. Right now she was the only real friend he had. They were able to talk to each other about the weirder things going on in their lives and were really getting close.


When he'd first came to Sunnydale it was because his Mom wanted to get away from the "dangerous" city of L.A. From what he'd been told about it later she had the right idea… she just didn't go far enough away. During the summer, he spent his time just walking around with his older brother, Danny. They became close. Closer then they had ever been in L.A. The walks became less and less about something to do to get rid of boredom and more about talking to each other about anything and everything; although, finding out his older brother wasn't a virgin left him with some disturbing visuals for a long time.


One day, they heard about the local night club, The Bronze. Brian had been honestly surprised when his older brother invited him along to "check out the girls in Sunnydale." The night had been a bust for him, personally, but his brother caught the eyes of someone at the bar. Some brunette who looked a little older then his brother.


If I knew then, what I know now…


Of course it turned out she was a vampire. She got him to the back of the Bronze, with the pretense of "getting some air," when she vamped-out.


Feeling pretty dejected by the lack of any interesting prospects, Brian, decided to tell his brother that he was going to call it a night and walk home by himself. He found his brother being drained by one of the undead denizens of Sunnydale.


His first reaction was to cheer on his brother. He just assumed he was getting a hickey and as the little brother it was his job, nay sacred duty to take every opportunity to annoy his big brother. But then she turned toward him, eyes yellow and bloodshot, forehead menacingly pulled together and fangs bared and bloody…


His second reaction was to scream.


His salvation came in the form of a redhead, a blonde, and a flying stake.


After promising that if they didn't let him help that he would just go out there and find ways to kill vampires anyway, they let him into the circle. Dawn was the most adamant about letting him help them. She knew the pain of losing a sibling and at the time was still reeling from it. They soon became friends and by the time school started they had bonded.


They had both lost so much.


Then Big Sis came back. That in and of itself was beyond weird. And other then a little bit of jealousy about the fact that her sister got to come back from the dead, he was extremely happy for her.


When Buffy first saw Dawn, they had been sitting in the Magic Box talking about the horrors of Geometry. After the initial group hugs and crying fits, something which made Brian feel more then a little left out, he was introduced to the famous Slayer.


She was shorter then he imagined.


After that, things started to run at a more… relaxed pace. Well, I certainly can't say they were normal. But that's just when he realized that he was starting to fall head over heels with Dawn. Up until that point, anything other then friendship hadn't even crossed his mind. Everything was so raw. So new. He could barely keep his Mom together let alone want anything for himself. But the feelings were there and they demanded his attention.


So for the past two months he had been debating with himself on whether or not he should tell her his feelings or just bury it and learn to deal. This would be a lot easier if she at least sent some sort of signal that on some level she thought of me as more then a friend. So far she hasn't talked to me about other guys so that's probably a good sign. Unless… No. Bad Brian. I will not go there. The last thing I need right now is THAT bouncing around my brain.


Brian looked around the store and only saw Xander at the counter. Which was a little unusual. The place was usually flowing with customers this time of day. Something Brian couldn't decide whether or not was a good thing. If there are THAT many people who need magic supplies…


"Hey, Bry." That was the nickname that everyone had been calling him since his inception to the Scooby Gang. Apparently, "Brian" sounds far too normal. Not that he minded at all. The name was really growing on him.


"Z'up, Xand. Is Dawn here?" Oh, please don't let him notice the hope in my voice.


Xander grinned a little. "No she's with Wills and Tara. They wanted to go out and do girl stuff."

Brian's voice was a little apprehensive. "Girl stuff? You mean things that can't be discussed or done with guys present? I guess it's natural that they'd want some girl only time considering the sheer magnitude of guys around here."


Xander laughed. He seems to be bouncing back from that whole Anya thing, rather well. Brian thought.


"Tell me about it. I can't begin to tell you the amount of times I wished there was another guy around here. After Riley left I was forced to bond with Spike. And considering how badly I want to stake him, that's just wrong. Like one time after we found about this guy who built a sex-bot… Well, let's just say I really wished there was another guy present for me to bounce my off initial opinions on the subject."


A year ago, that sentence would have been weird to Brian


A couple of months after Buffy came back from the grave, Anya cast a weird spell that made everybody sing the truth. Apparently she wanted to make sure if Xander would stay faithful. This was the least favorite of Brian's adventures on the Hell Mouth. He spent the entire time avoiding Dawn like the plague. This of course being the Hell Mouth the spell got out of hand and people's lives were risked and Anya had to admit she cast it before anyone else got hurt.


Xander was so broken up about Anya doing these things that he decided to stop the plans for their wedding. Fast forward a couple of days and, "Hello, Anyanka." She left town with only the promise that she wouldn't hurt Xander or anyone else in Sunnydale. The last month and a half has been really tough on the guy.


Xander and Brian ended up chatting for a while about nothing in particular when Xander asked Brian a question which completely caught him off guard.


"So… When are you gonna tell, Dawn?"


There's no way he could know. Could he? Screw it! Play dumb, Doofus! Play dumb!

"Uhh, Tell Dawn What?"


"Oh don't give me that. I know you got a serious case of Dawn jonsin'. So don't play dumb with me. Are you, or are you not going to tell her?"


Oh God, please tell me no else has noticed… Maybe Dawn's even… Oh God.


"Am I that obvious?"


"Yep."


Brian groaned. "Who else knows?"


"I think Buffy might have noticed something. But that's because she's been watching Dawn like a hawk lately. And before you ask… No. I don't think she'd tell Dawn."


Brian sighed in relief. "I want to tell Dawn. Really. But, I haven't been this close to anyone since my brother died. I don't want to lose her. I can't lose her."


"Well take it from a guy who's had feelings for a Summers. You're better off telling her then wondering 'What if' for the rest of your life." Brian looked at Xander a little puzzled. Xander elaborated, "High School. Buffy. Huge crush. Completely head over heels and I do mean that literally."


"You had a crush on Buffy?"


"Yeah. Although I think maybe 'crush' is the wrong word. I had feelings for her."


"So you told her?"


"Uh-huh."


"And what happened?"


"She shot me down like an Iraqi fighter jet."


"Gee. Thanks. I am so full of confidence right now. You've been a big help."


"Listen. The point is that at least I know. I couldn't live with a big 'maybe' hanging over my head. I had to know if she felt what I felt for her."


Brian looked to the floor soaking in all of what Xander had just said.


"I don't believe in Soul-mates, Bry. If I did then there wouldn't be so many divorces and everybody would get to live happily ever after. Life and love are tough. Relationships are something you have to work for and aren't something handed to you from above. You just have to find someone who makes you happy and who you make happy too."


"I'm not sure if it's that easy. There's a good possibility that I love her. It's completely scary."


"I felt the same way with Buffy. I had never before in my life had a woman in my thoughts day in and day out. I really cared for her and wanted only the best for her. I wanted to spend my life making her smile because to me it was the most beautiful thing in the universe. Is that how you feel about Dawn?"


Brian nodded his head feeling very surprised that Xander had described almost to a tee what he felt for Dawn.


Xander looked thoughtful for a moment and continued, "Then let me tell you something I've learned about love. Love isn't love unless it's mutual. Unrequited love isn't real. I told my feelings to Buffy and I found out that there could never be THAT kind of mutual intimacy. But I did find that we could love one another as great friends. You need to find out what kind of relationship can be possible with Dawn, Bry. If nothing else then for your own peace of mind."


"That makes sense man. It really does, but… What if she doesn't feel THAT way about me?"


Xander grinned a little and said in a completely sincere voice, "Then I'll introduce you to the wonderful world of country music."


"Country music?"


"Country music. The music of pain. Nothing better for a broken heart. Take it from someone who knows the routine."


Brian and Xander then began to talk about ways to explain how he felt about Dawn not knowing that a certain Slayer had been listening in on the conversation. Feeling very sad, Buffy hugged herself and felt a lifetime of regret.


******To*Be*Continued******