AN: Don't know where the sewing bit came from. The Muppets idea came from my brother, to whom this little fic is dedicated to. For some reason, both he and I could imagine Spike doing Muppet impressions. In honour of my wonderful bro and all things comedy, this will not be the last you see of Spike's makeshift Muppets. They might appear in other fics of mine when he gets bored …

Disclaimer: Buffy and co belong to Joss Whedon etc, the Muppets to Jim Henson etc.


Nibblet and the Muppets

"It's not hard, Spike. Just hang around for a couple of hours till I get home, get Dawn anything she needs, and entertain her if she gets bored. It's perfectly simple."

"What do you mean, 'entertain' her?"

"Be creative." Buffy backed out of the door. "I won't be long."

Spike sighed. He had watched Dawn before, but she had always been up for anything. Now Buffy was leaving him in charge of her when she wasn't feeling well, and he felt rather out of his depth.

Slowly making his way upstairs, he wondered what exactly Buffy had in mind when she said to 'entertain' Dawn. Play games with her? Sing and dance? He grimaced at the latter thought and stopped outside her bedroom door.

"Can I come in, Nibblet?" he called quietly. A small "yes" answered him and he entered.

Dawn looked smaller than usual, curled up in bed with the covers pulled up to her chin. The room was dark, the curtains drawn. She smiled at him as he entered and some of his nervousness vanished.

"Can I get you anything?" he asked.

Dawn shook her head. "No thanks. But … Spike?"

"Yes?"

"Will you stay with me?" she asked hopefully. Spike smiled.

"'Course I will, Nibblet."

Dawn closed her eyes and lay still, and he sat down in her desk chair and watched her. She seemed to be asleep, and after a while he started looking around her bedroom. There was a notebook lying open on her desk; Spike spotted the words "Dear diary" in Dawn's handwriting and closed it quietly before placing it on a shelf. He picked a rather threadbare stuffed teddy off of the floor, and a slightly less threadbare rabbit off of a shelf. Glancing at the little bit, he surmised she was definitely asleep.

In whispers, he started re-enacting one of he and Buffy's famous battles, the teddy signifying himself and the rabbit playing Buffy. A biro with a chewed end was a stake.

"Die, Undead scum!" he whispered, making the rabbit brandish the pen at the teddy bear. "Wait, did Buffy ever say that? … Don' think she did. Oh well." He made teddy-Spike roar – well, more like a low growl – at her, and bunny-Buffy leapt at it with the pen. He had been intending to miss, but a cat suddenly yowled next door, making him jump. The pen sank straight into the teddy bear, and Spike forgot to whisper, swearing loudly as the bear ripped at the point where its arm joined its body.

Fortunately, Dawn simply sighed and turned over. Spike looked down at the bear in alarm. Buffy really will kill me if I've ruined Dawn's favourite toy. As he tried to inspect the damage, its arm came off completely in his hand. Checking to make sure Dawn was still asleep, he hurried from the room in search of something to fix the arm back on.

The tube of glue in the dresser drawer served only to make the escaping stuffing – and Spike's hands – all sticky. He quickly abandoned that idea and found Joyce's old sewing box.

Hang on. He had never sewn before in his life. Chances were he would make a complete mess of it. Spike looked around for something to practise on, and spotted a black plastic bag full of old clothes he knew were going to be thrown out. Aha!

He rummaged for a moment, and came up with a handful of various colour socks, all holey. Spike selected a green one he thought neither Buffy, Joyce nor Dawn would be caught dead in, picked a cotton of a similar colour and, after spending probably a good ten minutes trying, threaded it through the needle and started, warily, to sew up the hole in the toe.

It took a good half an hour and so many pricks of the finger Spike thought if he had been human he would have passed out from blood loss by now, but he finally managed to close the hole, and held the sock up to admire his work. The stitches weren't too big, but fairly clumsy. He picked up another sock, a pale pink one, and started again.

"Spike?"

He jumped and whirled round, repressing a yelp of pain as he stabbed himself with the needle again on the way. "Dawn! What are you doing out of bed?"

Dawn, looking rather pale, was hovering in the doorway. Spike quickly pushed his sewing attempts out of sight and hurried over to her. "Come on, little bit, you look like you're about to fall over."

"I woke up and you weren't there," she said, and Spike guiltily remembered his promise. "What are you doing?"

"I'm sorry, Dawn, I …" Spike cast his mind around for an answer that wouldn't result in both Summers girls throttling him. "It's a surprise."

Dawn raised her eyebrows. "A surprise?"

"Yes. You'll see in a little while. Now back to bed, young lady."

She seemed to accept this, and allowed Spike to escort her upstairs. He remained in her room until she had fallen asleep again, and then dashed downstairs to bring the sewing up.

Great. Now he had to think of a surprise for Dawn.

After four more socks, Spike surmised that his sewing was as good as it was going to get, and retrieved the armless teddy. First he did his best to remove the glue, and then attempted to reattach the arm. Sewing something on, he quickly realised, was much harder than sewing something up.

The bear ended up looking a little something like Frankenstein's Monster – but at least, after a long time struggling with stuffing, it was whole and didn't look as if its arm would come right off again. Spike sighed with relief and glanced at the time. Frowning, he realised that Buffy had been gone nearly three hours.

As if psychic, the telephone rang not a moment after the thought had crossed his mind. Spike jumped up and hurried to answer it before it woke Dawn.

"Spike, it's Buffy."

"Where are you?" he asked, not bothering with the pleasantries.

"I've got kinda held up, I probably won't be back for another hour or so. How's Dawn?"

"Asleep," Spike answered.

"Right. You'll be okay watching her till I get back?"

"I - yeah, 'course I will."

"Great."

Spike returned to Dawn's room. She had turned over, but was still sleeping. He picked up the repaired teddy bear and gently tucked it into bed beside her. Mission accomplished. Now to think up a surprise.

He turned to pack away the sewing, but instead had an idea …


When Buffy returned home a while later, she let herself in and paused, hearing the sounds of hysterical laughter coming from upstairs. Curious, she followed it to Dawn's room, where she was met with a sight that caused her to close her eyes hard and open them again to make sure she wasn't having a strange dream.

Spike was kneeling behind Dawn's chest-of-drawers, which had been pushed forward to allow him space. On one of his hands was what looked like a green sock with two ping-pong balls attached to it, and on the other hand was a pink sock wearing what she thought might be a mop head. Both arms were held up in the air so Dawn could see the socks as she sat up in bed, laughing hard.

"Hello, Miss Piggy." Spike made the green sock "talk" with his hand, and Buffy repressed a giggle at how ridiculous his voice sounded. "How are you today?"

'Miss Piggy''s reply was in such a distorted Spike voice that Buffy couldn't understand it, butDawn obviously got the gist because she laughed even harder.

A third sock, this one brown and sporting a toy wig, replaced 'Kermit'. "The bear's a comedian, the comedian's a bear -"

Suddenly, Spike spotted Buffy in the doorway, and froze. The expression on his face read that if he could blush, he would look like a tomato.

"Er, hi, Buffy. How long have you been there?"

She smiled at them both. "Long enough to see some of the show. Love the voices, Spike. They sounded almost authentic."

"Well, you said to entertain her. And it was a private show, just for the Nibblet. If you don't mind, Slayer."

Buffy rolled her eyes. "Fine, carry on. I'll be downstairs." She hesitated. "By the way, Spike …"

"Yes?"

"You do an excellent Miss Piggy."

She received a pink sock wearing a mop head in her face for that remark, and just laughed, thinking that this was a side of Spike she rarely saw.

FIN