TITLE: "The Girls in the House" (1/1)
AUTHOR: Marie-Claude Danis
EMAIL: mc@fangy.net
SITE: http://fangy.net
DISTRIB: My site, list archives, anyone who has my stuff. Otherwise, just ask.
SPOILERS: Set sometime after Wrecked.
PAIRING: Spike/Dawn friendship
NOTE: Thanks Steph!

* * *

She didn't look anything like her sister. Not her face, not her hair, not the way she stood. A little, but not really. A seasoned observer of the Summers household would notice also how she didn't live like her either, their everyday idiosyncrasies different in all the ways that mattered. Of course she would insist on pointing this out, in that over-eager ways teenagers have, and he would find it amusing also to remind her of it - or better yet, to remind the older sister, for sport.

What he usually steered away from was the topic of what exactly made her unlike the women (dead, alive, or freakish combinations of both) of her family. After a casual inspection of the photo albums -- something he knew they would mock him for; he wouldn't hear the end of it if they find out -- he could say with relative certainty that no female of the pack had ever grown up in this world with chocolate hair. But those things happened anyway, to all kinds of families, not just the karmically doomed ones, so no one really said anything. Blame it on the father, he's away, gone, it's an easy cop-out. Leave it to the faulty X chromosome, the genetic roulette, the suspicious copper of a receding hairline currently enjoying a Spanish love tryst who would surely make him dark-haired babies, but ugly ones, because that's what you wish for people you're not particularly fond of. This girl's hair was brown and that was all there was to it. Well that, and the fact that it was as straight as straw, refusing to show even a little hint of the natural curls her sister and mother had sported and complained about all their lives (four of them -lives- between the two, and each too short), them and their fair ringlets. But again, mere details. There were other things of concern.

Such as, to pick one at random, each sister's idea of Movie Night. It was unclear to everyone exactly what the elder liked when it came to cinema. Perhaps her lifestyle wasn't exactly conducive to harbouring such futile preferences, but he knew, for example, that the Bit liked 80s movies, artsy indie films and, surprisingly, horror flicks. Couldn't stand teen movies and romantic comedies, despite what one might assume. He knew her, he did, and he had learned her with little to no effort. It had been easy, unlike the less fortunate debacle with her senior, which had ended, predictably enough, with a permanently bruised sense of self-worth -his- and yet more baggage -hers- to lug along till the next monster she would convince herself she didn't like. Right. Moving along.

A thing that preoccupied him particularly was the food intake. The little one's was eccentric, but somewhere in the odd mixtures and suspicious-looking tortilla fillings, each food group was invariably represented, and at least three times a day, sometimes four. But her sibling's seemed, to him, problematic at best. His previous affection for her had made him look past the protruding ribs, bony wrists and general lack of meal breaks in her day/night, but now that he could comfortably observe the going-ons of the Revello kitchen, he noticed just how little she actually frequented this particular part of the house. When she did it was often to be in the company of the food-eating people, and she would pick at their plates with good-natured enthusiasm, but mostly out of boredom. She didn't pick his plate, though, and he would make a show of offering his foodstuff to her, just to test the stubbornness he was all too familiar with. He didn't play the martyr anymore, and he found entertainment in her habit of contradicting him on the littlest things. It made the Bit smile, and he'd wink at her from across the room.

The living spaces were equally of concern to him. The unfortunate garlic incident had left the Slayer's room smelling a little odd, and while it certainly didn't keep him from purposely wandering into her room at the least appropriate moments (it had become an art, a thing of beauty, really), he didn't fancy the smell of it, especially mixed with the pot pourri she had hoped would get rid of the smell. He couldn't help wrinkling his nose every time he passed her bedroom on the way to her little sister's, and would quickly shut the kid's door, much to the girl's delight.

And he would enjoy sitting there, atop a mostly wrinkled comforter, often amongst school books and discarded clothing, listening to her filling him in about the hours they had spent apart. School and its boys, its girls, its bad cafeteria food and its evil, evil teachers, who liked to fill her head with all sorts ludicrous ideas (so he'd say, just out of principle).

There was a quiet truce between them (the girl and the vamp, not the teachers, although one never knows, especially not in Sunnydale); she wouldn't mention the monster thing, and he'd steer clear of the sister issue. It worked out alright, what with their common fond exasperation with she whose name shall not be spoken. He'd still refuse to braid her hair and to eat her concoctions, but he'd let her paint his fingernails and she'd let him sleep with her sometimes, chastely of course, and he was the perfect bedmate because he slept like the dead.

Which she supposed was fitting.