7 Anchors to Hold Her

XxX

1. The Witch

It's brought on through desperation. The kiss is wet and filled with so much sorrow and misery that Willow can taste it on her tongue. Her breath catches on a gasp and she can't help but feel slightly guilty as Buffy's little sister trails a line of kisses down her neck, but she just can't bring herself to push Dawn away. The girl's just lost her mother, found out she wasn't real, not really, and if that wasn't enough, she's a freshly turned teenager as well. She can't say that that's a "get out of jail free" card, and maybe it's selfish not to push the girl away, but she just can't.

And if she avoids Buffy's eyes for days to come, so be it. At least for a moment, she had made Dawn feel real.

2. The Poet

"Protect her for me."

That's what the Slayer had told him. When she had spoken of casualties and blood, she had really only been asking for someone to take care of her little sister while she was gone. And he would do that, he really would. He would protect the little bit, even if it killed him. Perhaps the trust Buffy had had in him made him feel the slightest bit guilty and maybe that unspoken trust was the reason he kept trying to push the girl away. But she was a Summers, and like all Summers women, she was stubborn.

She had broken him down soon enough, broken him down so that he didn't push her away as she trailed her lips across his and traced a delicate hand down his side. When she reached his belt, he nudged her hand away and trailed kisses across her pulse. And maybe his hand found its way up her skirt, and he may have bitten through his lip as she writhed against him, but at least she had not sullied her pretty hands. He could still give Buffy that.

3. The Demon

With Anya, the kiss had been quick. They had been in the Magic Shop, just days after Buffy's funeral, and Anya had kissed her. Right on the lips, quick and to the point. And maybe there had been a bit of tongue involved and maybe in the end it hadn't been as quick as she said, but they hadn't been counting. When she had pulled away, Dawn had regarded her warily, with wide eyes and red cheeks. Anya had shrugged nonchalantly and told her that it always made her feel better when Xander kissed her. Then she asked if Dawn was feeling any better.

It took all the restraint the girl had not to smack the Ex-Demon. But only because she knew that Anya was only trying to help.

4. The Boy

Xander had blushed when she kissed him. He had taken her to the movies, something violent and appropriately cheesy. They had had a nice time, and she still had the popcorn taste on her lips. It wasn't meant to be romantic, and it certainly wasn't supposed to be erotic. It had been a thank you, for making her laugh again. After Joyce's death, Dawn smiles had been in rather low demand. All the same, he had blushed like a school boy and stammered at her for awhile until she grinned and dragged him over to a photo booth.

After all, she had been hoping for a date from Xander since she was five years old and the least she could do was make the most of it.

5. The Watcher

Giles was one of her constants after Buffy had died. He was there all the time, and he was closer to her than anyone, barring Spike. She spent her afternoons helping him out at the Magic Box and spent most of her weekends there as well. It wasn't that the Buffybot didn't try, it just wasn't Buffy. So she had spent time with her sister's watcher. She had learned how he liked his tea, that he enjoyed to curl up with a good book in the evenings, and that he despised coffee and pop music.

When she had kissed him, he had pushed her away immediately. Though, for just that split second, she had been close enough to know that he smelled like Earl Grey tea and old parchment. It was a nice smell.

6. The Girl

The kiss had frightened Tara. She had somewhat expected the fright when she had leaned in, but Tara had seemed so fascinated. She had muttered about pretty green light and asked for one of her own, but when Dawn had touched her lips to Tara's cool ones, the older girl had screamed. Her shrieks had drawn Willow to them, and as the Witch had fussed over her lover, Dawn quietly let herself out. Tara had been the only one to see her in her true form, and she had chased her away screaming.

7. The Slayer

Buffy acts as if they have been doing this for years and maybe that is what scares her the most. Buffy blinks back at her, unshed tears glittering in her eyes, and in that moment Dawn thinks that she has never been so angry at anyone in her entire life. She hauls her sister in by her hair and bites down on her lip, knowing that Buffy could break her wrist if she wanted. But Buffy doesn't, she just whimpers and presses back against her, holding her. She pulls away, and there are tears trailing down Buffy's cheeks now. She leans in, kisses away the tears, and touches her lips to Buffy's a third time.

Buffy is soft under her fingers. She whimpers as each bit of skin is explored, cries out in pleasure as her little sister's tongue maps out her body. They kiss, they cry, they press and explore. Buffy will do anything for her, and she knows it. She knows that this is wrong, knows that she shouldn't be touching her like this. But she can't bring herself to care. Buffy is there, her only solid anchor to a world that is shattering around her.

When Buffy dies, her final words and those last final kisses make Dawn feel as if she is drowning. She is drowning, and her anchor is no longer there to hold her in place.