Another great story betaed by Brittany. We have decided to do rounds of three chapters a piece instead of 10-15 which she has done in the past. We hope it results in quicker updates and easier to manage reading for both you and her. Enjoy. Be sure to drop me a line to let me know what you think!

Chapter 1: The Missing Dawn

Buffy ran, trying to dodge tombstones and graves in the cemetery. She was chasing a vampire who had just risen. He was fast and eager to eat. Buffy dodged a tree branch as she hopped over a tombstone cautiously on his trail. She stopped when she saw Spike leap over a tombstone, somersaulting and landed in front of the vampire dusting him on the spot. Buffy sighed, "Spike why must you dust my vampires? Can't you find something more entertaining to do with your Saturday night?"

Spike looked annoyed, "Let's see, Slayer. Annoy humans, not since I've got this chip in my head. Find a victim and drink up…nope, chip! Nothing good was on the tellie so nothing like a spot of violence to really make a bloke feel sleepy for the night. I have to say luv, that wasn't much violence though. Surely you and I could find something better to do with our time. We seem to be doing a lot of that lately."

He wiggled his eyebrow at Buffy who rolled her eyes, "When are you going to get it through your thick skull? There is no we. There is you, a pathetic vampire, who can't even snack and me, the slayer who is way beyond talented. We live two separate lives, unfortunately in the same city. You should just go Spike. Leave and get out of Sunnydale. You might even find a place to get that chip out of your head."

Spike growled, "How would I survive out of bleeding Sunnyhell? I have a sodding chip in my head. I can't just go drink on my trip. We need to discuss what we have. Really it's quite nice and you're amazing but we really should discuss it."

Buffy rolled her eyes, "There is no us. There's just…sex we have sometimes. It's nothing major."

Spike rolled his eyes right back, "So you're saying, you're a slayer who has certain needs and requires those itches to be scratched by a vampire and only vampires can tickle your fancy."

Buffy glared at Spike and punched him in the nose as she walked off leaving Spike holding his nose watching her walk away. He lit up a cigarette as she faded into the darkness. Sometimes loving the bloody slayer was tough.

*}-'-, -'-, -'-, -{*

Buffy wandered home after a night of fighting vampires. She ran into a nest and they hurt her pretty bad. She had twisted her ankle, had a bruise on her arm where one had flung her against the wall and a banged up knee that hurt pretty badly. She sighed as she kicked the stairs only to almost keel over in pain. Spike chuckled, "I see you didn't need any help today on patrol."

Buffy groaned, "Spike what are you doing here?"

Spike frowned, "Just making sure you made it home okay, luv. I heard a vampire bragging about beating up the slayer and was thinking he might have gotten some good licks in on you."

Buffy rolled her eyes, "Yeah, one got away. I couldn't help it. It was six on one and I wasn't fast enough."

Spike shrugged, "No worries, pet. I took care of him. He won't be bragging about besting you anymore."

Buffy sighed not wanting to say thank you but figured she ought to, "Thanks. So you didn't answer my question, why are you stalking me outside of my house?"

Spike shrugged, "I didn't want to enter without your permission? I was going for a walk and thought I'd pass by and make sure you were okay and see if you were up for a little rough and tumble."

Buffy put her hands on her hips ignoring the slight pain she felt as her knuckles brush her shirt as she stated trying to keep her voice down, "Well see I'm fine. Just perfect in fact so you can mosey on away with no guilt or worries and there will be no rough and tumbling so go away."

Spike shrugged flicking his cigarette down which Buffy put out without much thought as she stomped into the house, leaving Spike outside. He shook his head thinking that the girl had some serious issues. He sighed thinking that things would be so much easier if she would just admit she had feelings for him rather than spend so much time fighting him and them. She missed out on some great opportunities. He resisted the urge to come in the window and demand she admit her true feelings but figured that was a bad idea. He looked up at her window noticing she was getting settled for the night. He put out his second cigarette and left to go home thinking she might wander by later on as she sometimes did for a bit of cold comfort.

*}-'-, -'-, -'-, -{*

Spike opened his eyes mumbling, "It's daylight out luv, don't you realize us vampires sleep during the day?"

Buffy rolled her eyes, "I need help. Someone stole Dawn. I need you to go wherever it is you get information and find out what's up."

Spike sat up, "Whoah there, what is going on?"

Buffy sighed and repeated, "Listen up Spike, I said someone took Dawn or she ran away or something and I'm panicking here. Are you going to help me or not?"

Spike stood out of bed as Buffy turned around in embarrassment at his naked form. He chuckled slightly and then said, "Someone took Dawn, do you know who or where?"

Buffy felt like punching something, mainly Spike, "Do you think if I knew who or where I'd be here with you?"

Spike shrugged, "Guess not. It's daylight or did you forget? Not many vampires go out during the day. I don't fancy a sunburn myself."

He watched as Buffy turned around with helpless eyes, "She might just be a ball of green energy to you but to me she's my sister."

Spike sighed feeling a bit bad. He didn't mind the bit so he offered, "Okay, tell me what you know."

Buffy stood up, "Everyone else is busy, so meet me at the Magic Box in however long it takes you to use the sewers. I'll meet you downstairs at the cellar entrance. I just really need to hit something and fast."

Spike muttered, "Surprised it's not me." He then spoke loud enough for Buffy to hear, "Ok, see you in 10."

He carried his blanket with him in case he needed it and took off to the Magic Box.

*}-'-, -'-, -'-, -{*

Buffy sighed as she slammed her fist into the punching bag over and over again while talking to Spike. She turned around and aimed a punch at him which he ducked and threw one back that she ducked. They continued sparring while she talked, "I came home last night and thought she was in her room. When I looked there this morning to make sure she got to school okay, she wasn't there. The room was empty. Things have been hard since mom died and then I died, no lie, but she always had come home before. I looked around and didn't see anything only an opened window."

Spike grumbled, "Did you call her friends? The school? Did you try to bleeding look for her anyway? Do the witches know anything?"

Buffy nodded as she swung a kick under his legs which he jumped over and threw a kick back which caused her to double into a roll to protect herself from really falling. She straightened herself up, "She isn't at school and Janice hasn't heard from her since yesterday. Tara and Willow haven't seen her since yesterday while they were watching her. Her jacket and shoes were left behind Spike. She didn't just disappear without those on."

Spike nodded realizing there was more to this than meets the eye, "Well it's not a vampire. They can't go into houses without permission. Could be a demon I guess. What makes you think she didn't just bloody run away?"

Buffy said, "As I said her jacket and shoes were left behind and she didn't take anything with her. A girl doesn't just run away without any clothes or a plan."

Spike nodded, "Good point. Well I'll head to Willy's and see what he knows anything. Have the witches use some spell on her or something while I'm gone. I'm sure Red can come up with something bloody brilliant with all that power she's channeling and if not Giles or Anya perhaps. I'll be back soon." He didn't even wait for her response as he disappeared out of the room calling out a greeting to Anya as he left.