I couldn't say where this idea came from, but I went with it. There will be some dark parts, but lots of Spuffy goodness as well. I'm actually a bit anxious about this one, so I would really appreciate any comments to let me know how I'm doing.

Chapter 1

They were back, if the multiple voices now in the kitchen were anything to go by. She heard him yelling at her sister about something, but couldn't make out what it was. Now would be the perfect time to sneak away, while they were distracted. She should have known that he would come back with her; they were practically joined at the hip. Where one was, you would always find the other. He never came by to see her, it was always her sister.

She pried her windowpane open, climbing down the tree, as she tended to do sometimes. Once she hit the ground, she turned to run, but crashed in to a hard chest instead. She glanced up at the bleached blond man now standing there, gracing him with a scowl. "God, lurk much?"

He grinned. "Not lurking, you knew I was in the house. I was about to head home, when I heard a heartbeat coming from this direction. Sneaking out again, are we? You know your mum won't be too happy about that. I believe she grounded you for two weeks last time."

"Cut me a break, Spike. It's not like I'm gonna be doing anything illegal, I just needed to get out for a little while."

He nodded, knowing he could relate to that. "Fine, but I'm going with you. There are a lot of nasties out there just waiting for a girl like you to snack on; you'll need someone to watch your back. Besides, your mum and sister would have my head if I didn't keep an eye on you."

She rolled her eyes. "Faith has enough to worry about; she only cares if I get in her way. Mom is too busy focusing on her to notice me."

Spike shook his head. "You know that's not true, Buffy. Your mum loves all you girls equally. It's hard having a Slayer for a daughter, not to mention finding out your youngest is a mystical key, and you…"

"I'm what?" she said, cutting him off. "I'd love to know how you could possibly finish that sentence. There's nothing unique about me. You're only bothering at all because you're afraid Faith will stake you otherwise."

Before he could answer, an angry voice intruded in their conversation.

"What the hell are you doing out here?"

Buffy rolled her eyes again, turning to her older sister. "I needed some fresh air. What's it to you?"

Faith glared at her. "I'm not stupid, Buffy. You're sneaking out again. I've told you how dangerous it is out there, but you never listen. Get back in the house, and I'm telling Mom about this. When are you going to stop acting like such a brat?"

Buffy didn't respond as she headed over to Faith, walking by her and into the house, without a care in the world.

The brunette then turned her gaze on the vampire. "Were you even gonna tell me that she was out here?"

He shrugged. "Didn't think it was necessary, I wasn't going to let her wander off and if she did, I would have been right by her side. The girl is sixteen-years-old, if she wants to get out, she'll keep finding a way. She feels trapped in that house. I thought she could use a friend."

Faith raised her eyebrows in confusion. "Since when are you two such good friends? We patrol, you stop by briefly for a cup of hot chocolate, and then you leave. When have you had time to bond?"

Spike rubbed the back of his neck, choosing his words carefully. "Buffy's been by my crypt a few times, usually a couple hours after school. We chat a bit, and then I walk her home, there's no harm in it."

"Are you serious? How long has this been going on? I don't want her in the cemetery, whether you're there or not. Buffy's a fucking cheerleader in school, she has tons of friends; she doesn't need to hang out with a vampire. I know you're good now, and that you would never hurt her, but I only trust you around me. I know how to handle you if there's ever a problem, Buffy is just a girl. She doesn't have Slayer strength or anything like that. She doesn't know much about this world and I would like to keep it that way, you're the only vampire she's even seen, at least you better be the only one. I know I'm hard on her, but it's only because I care, despite what she may have told you. I mean it, Spike, both of my sisters are off limits. They don't need your influence. You help me patrol, and that's it."

Spike clenched his fists at his side, trying to keep his temper in check. She was the most stubborn bint he'd ever had the displeasure of knowing. Buffy was so much more than the dark haired Slayer gave her credit for, Faith didn't even know her own sister. Having that girl visit him at his crypt was the one thing that made him happy in his dreary existence, and he would be damned to let Faith take that away from him, Slayer or not, but he would let her call the shots this time. "I'll meet you tomorrow for patrol, same time as always."

Faith nodded, glad that he listened to her for a change, and then headed back inside the house.

Spike made sure she was gone before moving over to Buffy's window, staring up at her. He knew she would be listening. "I'll see you later, love."

She smiled, relieved that he didn't completely listen to her sister. Buffy loved their visits after school; it was the only thing she looked forward to anymore.

"Was that Spike?"

Buffy turned at the voice, nodding at her younger sister. "Yeah, he was just here to see Faith."

Dawn pouted. "Why doesn't he ever come by to see us? It's not fair that Faith should keep him all to herself."

For once, Buffy had to agree with her. "She's the Slayer, why would he bother with us?" Dawn was their sister in every sense of the word, but only recently found out that she was created by monks and sent to the Summers house for protection, since a Slayer lived there and all. Dawn was only fourteen and devastated once she found out the truth. She cut herself to prove that she was real, causing everyone to start worrying about her. They all treated her like she was made of glass, even their mother let her get away with anything, afraid that Dawn would have another episode like that. Faith always went on about how Dawn was special, and that they should go easy on her, but did anyone ever give Buffy that satisfaction? Sure, she wasn't a mystical key or a Slayer, but her life wasn't exactly perfect. Buffy was the only one who didn't treat Dawn any differently. She treated her just like she always would, as a pesky little sister, and even though Dawn would never admit it; Buffy knew that was how she really wanted everyone to act around her. They were too concerned about Dawn lately to even bother with Buffy, only realizing she existed whenever she would get in trouble for something.

When Dawn left the room, she went under her bed and took out the book of spells that was hidden there. Everyone just assumed that Buffy was some air headed cheerleader, no one knew about her hobby, and if she had her way, they never would.