Dawn Summers hung half- out of her bedroom window, curtains closed behind her, smoking a cigarette. Officially, she was getting ready to go to a sleepover. Unofficially, she was dressing for a party in LA. She sat and contemplated the lies she had just told as she smoked the cigarette to the blunt, she tossed it out of the window, her lips barely scorched.
Slowly she walked over to the mirror and surveyed her outfit. She was wearing worn, holey jeans, purple flip-flops and a white tank with the words "Miss World" written across the chest. She picked up her sister's old black hoodie and held it to herself. Two years on, it still smelled like Buffy's familiar peppery-rose perfume. Tears welled behind her eyes and she walked over to her closet. Opening it, she bought out her sister's false- bottomed chest. She took of the top and smiled, seeing the half- full vodka bottle in between the vials of holy water and stakes. She opened it and took a swig, grimacing she screwed the top back on and stashed the chest. Moving faster, she began to pack her bag. Shoving a bikini, top and the hoodie inside she looked around the room and rolled her eyes... "Still little sis", she muttered. She placed her make-up bag on top of them she closed the bag. She then put in her cell phone, cigarettes, keys and money in the outer pocket. She returned to the mirror and let her hair down; she sprayed a cloud of perfume and placed her sunglasses on top of her head.
She loped down the stairs and called out tentatively.
"Willow, are you back?"
There was no reply. She put the sunglasses on and walked out of the door. She walked down the empty street for a couple of minutes until a familiar old red car pulled up.
"Hey Summers, ready for this?" The driver yelled.
She smiled and opened the passenger door.
"Yup", was all she said as she slid onto the passenger seat and lit a cigarette.
Two hours later they had arrived in LA. They drove through the city until they came to a seedy neighbourhood in the Valley. They pulled up outside a run-down house that was practically pulsing with the thump of music. Adam laughed as he stepped out of the car, "You coming or what?" he said, pausing to check out the girls walking into the house. Dawn smiled and rolled her eyes.
"Of course." She slid out of the car and they walked into the party together. The next few hours were spent drinking and, well, drinking. At 1am Dawn was sitting on the edge of a red sofa making out with a guy who had attached himself to her from the moment she had come through the door. She had tried to ignore him for the first hour and half but then he said the magic words.
"You're special, y'know, like nothing I've ever seen before. Strong, like no other girl I ever saw."
At that, Dawn was his.
Suddenly there was a crash behind them. They looked over and saw a black-clad figure staking a female vampire. He turned around and Dawn's eyes widened.
They regarded each other for a second. Angel looked tired, like he had had too many late nights, or days....
"You're here? With that?" He finally spat out, grabbing her wrist and pulling her upright. She shoved him away and his eyes widened at the power of the move.
"No, we just met and hooked up, problem?" She said back, glaring at him and pulling the guy (why couldn't she remember his name? Slut, much?) upright with her.
"Babe, I don't want to fight your brother." He said as he half-ran out of the room.
"Dawn, you're coming back to the hotel." Angel said, trying to grab her again.
"Don't touch me, just don't" She said, flinching and stepping backward.
"I care about you and I'm not going to allow you to stay here". He said, quietly trying to usher her out of the room.
"What, just because you used to bone my sister? Or rather bone my sister, turn evil, turn good, brood and break her heart?"
"Yes, she wouldn't want you to be here, does anyone even know" Angel said, exasperated. He grabbed onto her shoulder.
"Newsflash, she's dead. Long dead. Two years in the ground dead. She can't want anything." Dawn said.
"Okay then, how about I call Willow?" He said his vice-like grip still on her shoulder.
"She doesn't care. She didn't even ask me where I was going, I told her the truth." Dawn replied, evenly.
"What? So she just agreed to let you drive over two hours to a neighbourhood you don't know, with people obviously under the influence and get felt up by a 26 year old who, cliché of clichés is in a rock band?" Angel said, wondering if Connor was like this with his family.
"I'm seventeen! Willow's not an idiot, she knew that I wasn't going to a sleepover. She knows that none of the girls at my school like me. I've told her over and over again." Dawn spat walking out of the room. Angel followed her and stood in front of her, he reached out and pushed the hair out of her eyes. She was shaking, willing herself not to cry, or hit him.
"Dawn, you know you can't stay here. Just come back to the hotel and get some sleep. You can leave in the morning... Seriously, nothing else. I just want you to sleep a full eight hours and you can leave." He said tenderly.
Dawn weighed up her options. She couldn't stay here and she didn't know this side of LA very well. Angel was, if nothing else, a nice guy (vampire).
"Sleep, nothing else". She said. They walked out in silence. She took her bag out of Adam's car and got into Angel's. She sat in the passenger seat and fell into a deep, empty, sleep.