This is a somewhat sequel to Third Time's the Charm, just a few snippets of the 15 years that we missed, but it could be read as a standalone. There's not much Spuffy in this one, it's just basically Spike's relationship with Dawn. Thanks as always to dusty273 for the read through. I hope you guys like it!
"Spike, we knew this day would come, it's just happening a little sooner than we expected."
He let out a sigh. "Do we really have to tell her? I don't want my little girl to look at me like I'm some kind of stranger."
Buffy rubbed his back. "Sweetie, that could never happen. Dawn idolizes you, she's just very smart for her age and this isn't something we can keep a secret from her much longer."
Spike agreed, even though telling her the truth was the last thing he wanted to do. "Princess, could you come in here for a second?"
A six-year-old girl ran into their bedroom, her brown hair up in a ponytail that swished back and forth.
Spike picked her up, placing her on his lap. "Baby, we need to talk about what happened earlier today. Daddy didn't mean to frighten you."
Buffy knew what he was referring to. Spike was making a sandwich in the kitchen and accidentally cut his hand, which caused him to briefly vamp out, right in front of their daughter. It happened for all of a second, but it was enough for Dawn to notice, and surprisingly it didn't scare the child, if anything it only made her curious.
"Why don't I have bumpies, Daddy? Does Mommy?"
He smiled, shaking his head. "No, sweetheart, your mum doesn't. You won't get them, either. You see, Daddy's not exactly like everyone else. You remember when you wanted to dress up as a vampire last Halloween? You had the cape, red lipstick, plastic fangs? You've always had this fascination with them, but what you don't know is that vampires are real, and Daddy happens to be one, but I'm a good vampire. I would never do anything to hurt you, your mum, or your brother. You believe me, right?"
Dawn gave him a look. "I wanna see again."
Spike wasn't sure that was a good idea, but at Buffy's nod, he decided it couldn't hurt to show her. It wasn't like she hadn't already seen it, anyway. He let his face change for longer than the last time, now that he had more control.
Dawn reached out and touched the ridges on his face, giggling when he tickled her palm. "I'm not afraid, you're still Daddy."
Spike sighed in relief as he let his human features resurface, hugging the child to him. "You don't know how much that means to me, bit."
She pulled away, staring at him inquiringly. "But if you're my daddy, why don't I have bumpies?"
Spike turned to Buffy, knowing it was time to tell her the rest, and dreading this part a lot more.
Buffy decided to start first. "We were going to wait until you were a little older, but I guess now's as good a time as any. Spike is the one that has always been there for you, he's helped me raise you and that makes him your daddy, but he isn't your birth father. The truth is that Spike didn't really meet you until you were four months old. Do you understand what we're telling you?"
Dawn rubbed her eyes, glancing in between them. "He's not my real daddy?" she whispered, tears starting to form.
Spike hated being the cause of his little girl's pain, taking her in his arms to sooth her. "I am, nibblet, in every sense of the word. Your other Daddy had to go away; he left me to watch over you and your mum. I love you more than anything in this world, and that makes me more of a father than anyone else. I don't want you to think that I love you any less, okay?"
Dawn wrapped her little arms around his neck, hugging him close. "Love you, Daddy."
Spike felt tears of his own as he returned the embrace, kissing the top of her head. "Love you, too, baby."
Buffy smiled at the display, knowing they made the right decision by telling her. If they waited until she was a teenager, she would have ended up resenting them for it.
Spike was once again grateful for the Gem of Amara, without it he would have missed out on so much of his children's lives, of being with Buffy in the sunlight, where she truly belonged. He gazed up at his lady love, giving her a smile. He thanked the bloody Gods every day for granting him with a family, even when he knew he didn't deserve it.
"God, aren't they adorable? I know you'll kill me for it, but I think it would be so cute if they got together one day."
Spike glared at her. "I refuse to let my daughter date until she's at least forty, especially not with that wanker's…"
"You know, I can hear you."
Spike turned his glare on the other man in the room. "You do have vamp hearing, I figured you would."
Angel rolled his eyes. "What's your problem, Spike? There's nothing wrong with my son, you're just pissed because if they do get together, that means I'll be around even more, and you can't stand that."
Buffy tuned them out, too busy staring at Dawn and Connor playing together on the floor, Dawn sharing her toys with the little boy. She couldn't believe her baby was eight-years-old now, she'd grown up way too fast. Buffy turned away from the display, rolling her eyes at the bickering that was still going on. "Do you two even listen to yourselves? You're both over a hundred, stop acting like children. If Dawn and Connor ever do decide to actually date each other, that's not your call, it's theirs, but it's not like anything will happen any time soon."
They both looked ashamed, nodding after a moment.
Buffy smiled in satisfaction as she stared back at the kids, noticing that William decided to join them now. She felt her eyes tear up; her babies were getting so big. A thought suddenly occurred to her, focusing back on Spike. "Honey, what do you think about having another one?"
His eyes widened. "Bloody hell."
"Your dad is so cute, Dawn."
The girl cringed at that, jumping off of the couch and grabbing her dad's arm, pulling him into the kitchen. "I thought you and mom were gonna be staying upstairs?"
"We were, but I figured you should have a chaperone. I don't like the influence some of those girls have on you."
Dawn rolled her eyes. "Dad, I'm thirteen now. You said I could have a slumber party without you guys being around. We're only in the living room, it's not like we can really get into that much trouble. They keep checking you out, and it's seriously disturbing."
Spike nodded with some reluctance, she was a teenager now and that meant being embarrassed of her parents, no matter how much it hurt him. "You're right; I'll be upstairs if you need anything. No inviting boys over, no talking about boys, no drinking, just don't do anything."
Dawn loved her father, but he could be way too overprotective sometimes. "Got it, no doing anything fun, can I go back to my friends now?"
He nodded, giving her a quick hug.
She headed out of the kitchen, turning to him one more time. "I'll always be your little girl, Daddy."
That brought a smile to his face as he headed upstairs to join Buffy.
Spike told himself that he wasn't waiting up for her. He just couldn't sleep and decided to watch some late night telly, sensing that Buffy and William were sound asleep upstairs, but he wouldn't rest until Dawn was safe in her bed as well. The front door finally opened a moment later, sighing in relief when she entered the living room, giving him a look.
"You didn't have to wait up for me. I'm not late for my curfew."
Spike nodded. "I know, but I wouldn't be at peace until you came home. How was the date? And please spare me any distressing details," he said with distaste.
Dawn smiled. "It went fine. Connor was a perfect gentleman; you really need to get over whatever hatred you have for his dad, that was like a lifetime ago. Connor's a really great guy; he didn't even kiss me when he dropped me off. He said that he wants us to get to know each other better first. See? You were worrying for nothing."
Spike let out the breath he didn't even realize he was holding, or even needed to hold. "I'm glad for that, but I'm always going to worry about you, love. No matter how old you get, I'll never stop worrying."
She wrapped her arms around him. "You better not."
Spike returned the hug, pulling back to look at her, brushing the hair out of her face. "You're so grown up now, but you'll always be my little girl, right?"
Dawn graced him with a smile. "Always."