Die For You

"Edward?" Dawn squeaks. "Stop. Stop!" She attempts without success to push him off her but he clings to her with a strength she cannot hope to overcome. She shivers (whether in fear or excitement she can't tell) as she feels a trickle of blood – her blood – run down her neck and his tongue darts out to lick it clean.

His tongue is warm and wet and god! If this was any other situation…

But it's not.

He needs her blood to live.

She needs it, too.

She takes his momentary distraction as a way to get his attention. Jerking back from him, she calls his name again. "Edward!"

For a second she thinks he hasn't heard her, but then he falls back to the ground, panting, his legs splayed out beneath him. She collapses in a similar manner across from him and sighs in relief. Edward is okay. She is okay.

"You…got enough?" she asks weakly.

Edward cringes and stares intently on the crisp grass they're sitting on. "I'm sorry," he says. "I shouldn't have done that. I could have killed you."

"You could have died," Dawn replies, suddenly realizing how Buffy must have felt when she was with Angel. "I'd rather be dead than have to live without you."

"No. No, don't say that." He looks downtrodden.

"It's true."

He silently plucks a piece of grass from the ground and splices it with his fingernail.

"So are you okay now? You are, right?"

"I'm fine," he confirms. "I'll have to feed on an animal later on to return me to full strength, but for now I'm fine. Thank you."

"Good," Dawn says. Her lips curl into a soft smile. "That's really good."

Without warning, Edward stands up. He reaches down and offers her hand and when she takes it, he helps her up. "I'll take you home now. You need your rest."

She nods and feels around in her pocket for the chocolate bar she'd grabbed earlier at the convenience store. Ripping it open, she takes a bite and then another one. "Lucky I have this for the blood loss," she mumbles, her mouth still full. Somehow she manages to get some of the chocolate smeared on her face.

Though his eyes remain haunted, Edward smiles. He wipes her lip with the pad of his thumb to remove the chocolate. "Yeah," he agrees. "You should eat something more when you get home, too."

"I know, I know. This isn't an unfamiliar situation to me, you know." At Edward's puzzled look, she adds with a small smile, "my sister is the Slayer, remember?"

"Of course." He nods.

They fall silent and together begin the walk back to Edward's car. When the find it by the stream they'd left it by earlier, Edward opens the door for Dawn and she slides in. He climbs in the other side.

"Ready?" he asks.

"Ready," she confirms, rubbing at her temples with her fingers. "Let's get the hell out of here."

Without another word, they go.

fin.