TITLE: My Sister's Keeper

AUTHOR: Wicked Raygun

E-MAIL: wicked_raygun@hotmail.com

SUMMARY: Sometimes people must be protected from themselves. A response to the Death of Spike Challenge.

RATING: PG-13 No worse then what's on the show

SPOILERS: General Spoilers for season 6. It takes place just after the season six finale, which, obviously, I haven't seen yet. I'm going to assume a few things are going to happen. They're just things that happen as part of the Buffy Formula.

DISCLAIMOR: I refuse to believe this is necessary. Does anyone here actually believe I own this stuff in any way? Well… To the folks who do own a piece of the Buffster and/or her friends and enemies, I mean you no harm. I'm simply borrowing your toys to put on a little puppet show. I promise to bring them all back in near-mint condition. Even Spike.

FEEDBACK: Everyone needs a little love. It makes the world go round and writers post faster.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is strictly a one shot. By the way, expect plenty of angst. If you're expecting fluffy bunnies and cute endings run away in fear right now.

Also, for those who are interested in some of my other work, it can be found here:

http://www.fanfiction.net/profile.php?userid=79383

Now, onto the show.



~~~~~~***~~~~~~



She approached the crypt cautiously, the gravity of the situation having given her a newfound respect for the dead. There were times when she had entered here smiling, times where she put her legs up on the coffins with no regard for the remains of the person buried there, times where the current resident caused her heart to skip a beat out of lust rather than the outright fear causing the irregular palpitations that echoed in her ears now. Things had changed since then.


And Dawn wished with all her heart that they hadn't.


She paused at the entrance to Spike's home, taking the time to mentally remind herself of the necessity of the upcoming confrontation and to wonder, for perhaps the tenth time today alone, whether or not it should be her doing this. Maybe it would have been best to let Willow handle this one? She sighed, realizing that Willow would only leave the same empty threats she and the other members of the Scooby Gang had been giving him for years. No, it had to come from her.


So with a frown that she hoped would pass for a scowl, she pushed open the door and it opened with a groan from its hinges that made Dawn shiver unconsciously. And to think, at one time she'd found that noise kind of cool.


Spike looked up from his chair, strategically placed to allow him to see whoever walked in. His features contorted to show his confusion. She kept her frown in place as she stared at him.


"Li'l Bit?" he asked after a moment. "What are you doing here?"


"Why? Were you expecting someone else?" she said, her voice very hostile.


"No," he said dismissively. "I-I wasn't expecting anyone. Just shocked to see you here at this hour, is all."


Stuttering, she noted. He never stuttered unless he was outright lying.


"You really suck at lying, Spike. You were expecting to see my sister and you know it, so don't start shaking your head with denial."


"What if I was?" he stated with his posture clearly becoming defensive as he sat up straight in his chair. "Don't see how it's any of your business whose company I'm expecting or not."


She glared at him. "No, but my sister is, so leave her alone. It's been a rough year for her and while I'll be the first to say she brought a lot of it on herself she's still been through more than any other person should ever have to go through."


Spike stood up then and with a sweeping motion indicated her. "And what the bleeding hell is all this, then? Another Summers here reporting for a good old game of kick-the-Spike?" His voice rose in ferocity with each passing syllable. "Buffy's a big girl. Just who made you her bleeding keeper, anyways?"


"My mother." Her voice carried a hint of a threat to it.


Spike quieted down, genuinely shocked by Dawn's actions. His next words were bitter but quiet and non-threatening. "Doesn't matter anyway. Ever since we pounced the big evil she won't come near me anymore." He sat back down and stared off sadly to the side of Dawn. "The woman gets caught and all of the sudden she's above it all."


He took out a cigarette and began to light it, but stopped, seemingly fascinated with the lighter. A small smile graced his face but was stifled by a scowl.


For a second Dawn took pity on Spike, but it didn't last as the events of the last five months resurfaced in her mind. "Spike, Buffy's sick. She needs help and if you really love her you'd realize you were only hurting her."


He got angry again and he spoke accusingly. "Hey, I did more for her after she came back than any of her 'friends' she now once again needs so much. She came to me, not the other way around, so don't try to make her out as some bleeding saint."


"I didn't say she wasn't at fault, too. But now she needs to be surrounded by people who care for her."


"And I don't care for her!?!"


"Not in the way she needs."


Spike scoffed. "You don't get it, do you? I'm her link."


Dawn gave off her own scoff. "Her link to what? Insanity?"


"She needs me. Without me she'll never truly understand what she is."


"What she is, is someone suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. I feel the need to stress, once again, that what she needs is help from the people she loves and space from you. Why are you making this so difficult, Spike?"


"Difficult?!? You're the one bursting in me flat trying to rip my head off about your sis. If she wants to come to the Big Bad for comfort then that's what she'll get. If she wants space, she needs to stay away from me!" He stopped to look into Dawn's eyes. Realizing something must be up, he states, quietly, "But that's the problem, isn't it? You know she's going to fall into it, and that she'll come to me on her hands and knees, don't you?"


Dawn shifted the weight off her foot, adjusted her jacket and wrapped her arms around herself, not realizing she was giving Spike obvious signs that she had been cornered. She sighed and looked directly at him, never dropping her gaze, not even for a moment.


"Xander's leaving Sunnydale after the wedding next year. He's tired of watching everybody screw up monumentally and he wants to start a family."


Spike smirked. "And so you think that'll be the straw that breaks the camel's back, eh?"


"This is serious Spike."


"So am I." His smirk hadn't waned in the slightest, and now he really did light his cigarette. He took a puff and said, "Another fella drops off of her radar. This could be serious." Somehow his smirk curved upwards a little more as he exhaled. "You Summers women seem to have issues with that."


That was indeed a sore spot for Dawn, but she had prepared herself for that accusation being slammed at her. She was here for a reason and she wasn't about to be deterred now. "I'm warning you, Spike. Stay away from my sister. She needs me, not you."


Spike's face lit up for a moment in realization. "Wait a minute. This whole tirade wouldn't have anything to do with your feelings for a certain Big Bad, now would it?"


She rolled her eyes without skipping a beat in the flow of the conversation. "Oh, please! Get over yourself."


"Now, now, Niblet, you only hurt the ones you love."


"Glad you realize that. Now stay the hell away from my sister!"


That hit a little too close for him. His face grew grim, as he spoke. "I don't get why you're so bent on me 'staying away' from your big sis. I wouldn't hurt her."


"But you can, Spike. How long until you have a fight and just kill her on instinct, huh?"


"I'd never do that!"


"Oh, no? Well let me tell you a little story. There's this girl called Christine,- people say she kinda looks like me- anyway, I overheard her talking about this bleached blond guy in leather and with ridges on his face attacking her. Ring a bell there, Billy-boy?"


Spike scoffed nervously. "Don't know what you're talking about, Pet."


"Oh, I think you do. Let me guess. You found out you could hurt Buffy and then decided to see if your chip was busted by going out for a test bite?"


"You know, I don't see what's the big deal. It's not like I actually ate her."


"Right. 'Attempted' murder. THAT makes it okay."


Spike started storming around his crypt, his voice raising in anger. "I don't need to hear this from you! I love her and would never hurt her!"


Unfazed, Dawn started to yell also. "Oh, yeah?!? Tell me, Spike! Even if she did want to be with you forever, when she's old and dying slowly, how long until you make her one of you, huh? Or are you going to do the noble thing and let her die peacefully?"


Spike was quiet for a moment and then his brow furrowed in anger. "I don't owe you any explanations. If Buffy wants to come to me then I'll accept her with open arms and there's nothing you can do about it." He folded his arms across his chest. "And that's the last thing I'm going to say about that."


Dawn stood still for a long while, her shoulders seemingly slumped in defeat. Spike waited for her to say something and then watched as a single tear fell from her right eye. "Actually, Spike, there is something I can do. I just wish you would have listened to me." She opened up her jacket and moved her hand inside. From its folds she retrieved a stake. It was about eighteen inches long and roughly an inch and a half in diameter. Its point looked sharp enough to be lethal.


Instinctive fear crawled down Spike's spine and he backed away for a moment. "Now, Niblet, just what do you think you're doing?"


"If you can't figure it out for yourself, Spike, then, well, I guess it won't matter soon, will it?"


Spike's voice took a tone of authority. "Dawn, give me the stake. You don't want to do this."


"You're right, Spike. I didn't. But I can't let you hurt my sister, again. We're all we have left." She stalked him for a moment and then just stopped. Her face trembled for a second and she fell to the floor, crying painfully.


Spike stood there, convinced that Dawn had completely lost her sanity. She bawled as she curled up into a ball with her back against the sarcophagus and her arms came up to cover her face. The only words uttered were a couple cries of "Oh, God." Everything else was unintelligible. He started to move to her, but his uncertainty of what to do kept him from getting too close.


"Spike please. Please help me." She looked up at him. Her eyes were red and her cheeks looked rubbed raw from the salt of her tears.


That was when Spike decided to move closer to her, albeit tentatively.


It was the last mistake he ever made.


When he came close enough for Dawn to reach him, she planted the stake in his chest, right in the area she knew his heart would be. As he dissolved away into dust, his gaze held hers for a moment that seemed to last forever, until, that too, was nothing but dust. The stake that never left her hand during the staking fell to the floor with a soft thud as it landed in Spike's remains and kicked up a small cloud of Spike to be carried away by the wind to God only knew where.


She sat there, leaning against the sarcophagus, staring at the powder that had once been someone who looked after her. She cried. She cried for a very long time. The sun had begun to set when a hand rested on her shoulder. She looked up to see warm, chocolate brown eyes set in a caring face.


Xander didn't ask her anything. He just lifted her up and carried her in his arms out of the crypt and away from what was left of Spike.


"I couldn't let him hurt her again." Her voice cracked, making her sound very young and small.


He shushed her. "It's okay, Dawny. It's okay."


"I have to look after her, Xander. She can't do these things by herself, you know." Her last sentence was punctuated by a sniffle.


"I know, Dawn. I know."


Her grasp around his neck tightened and she cried into his shoulder all the way to his car.



******The*End******



The one person I talk to at school about Buffy is a HUGE Spike fan, and therefore, since she wants Spike happy, also a BS fan. She makes no apologies about it and she doesn't need to. To be perfectly frank, I find our conversations on the subject to be hilarious. She knows my favorite character is Xander, followed closely by Buffy, she also knows I write fanfic.


Alba, is my BS friend from college. I printed it out for her and she read it. Her reaction was, "That's pretty good, but I want to know what happens after he dies. Is there going to be a sequel?"


Shawn and Lori both know that I don't even consider MSK to be my best work. It feels rushed to me, which is exactly what it was. I banged it out in four days in my spare time, while writing other things.


But Alba liked it. The bottom line is that most people are very reasonable, it's just that online there's no fear of being hurt so really repressed people tend to use it as an outlet for whatever ticks them off. That's a flamer, it's what they do.


Personally, the reason I did the Death of Spike challenge was because I hated how some jerk was going around randomly writing flames to BXers, who are, generally, at their core HUGE Xander fans and my biggest supporters since I started posting in June. It would be one thing if they gave constructive criticism detailing what exactly they didn't like, and then offer a suggestion for the writer to improve, but they weren't even doing that. They just said, "BX sucks" or whatever and didn't even leave an e-mail address to allow the writer to respond to their remark. That's just childish.


Instead of doing something mean and pointless like going off and flaming BS stories just for the heck of it, I decided to do something more constructive: I wrote a story.


I make no apologies to anyone if they feel offended by me writing a story in which Spike dies. It's a story. Spike is a fictional character, one I didn't even create, by the way. Xander's my favorite character on BtVS and I still put him through the wringer. For crissakes, in the first story I ever posted, Xander lost Anya, killed Ben, and then tried to commit suicide.


If I offended, say for example, someone's beliefs or culture, then I would apologize: Profusely. But it's a show. Shipping, is not a religion, folks. It's a fun, weird thing that fans do.


If someone feels that they need to retaliate by starting a Death of Xander story writing campaign, then I'd say go for it. That only means more Xander-based stories in the future for me to read. I'd happily review each and every one with constructive criticism. In fact, I bet most of the stories in which Xander dies are written by Xander fans.


Most BSers are cool people. In fact, if you read BS, which I do on occasion, you'll find vast similarities in it and BX. They both root for the underdog. It just so happens our underdog is a carpenter and not a one hundred something year old vampire. BS often have stories in which Buffy realizes all the things Spike has done for her and falls in love with him because of it. In many of them, Buffy fights her attraction for Spike because she's scared of the consequences.


Be honest, how many BX fics have you read like that?


Ray Rivera, aka Wicked Raygun


PS: Spike is still a cool character and he's going to have a HUGE role in TBoML. But not the pussy-whipped, demeaning-to-Buffy Spike, we've been seeing. I'm talking Bad Ass, frustrated, stake-four-vamps-while-smoking-a-Marlboro Spike!