Title: One Night
Summary: Three months after the Sunnydale collapse, Dawn has some big news to share with someone she had recently become estranged from.
A/N: This pairing is Dawn/James. In my headcanon, Giles has a twin brother named James (Anthony's character from manchild), and it is my opinion that he and Dawn would have a lot in common despite the age difference.
Waiting was always the worst. If you're in a hurry, it doesn't matter how much faster you're getting there, it always feels like you're going too slow. She knew in her head that flying from Rome to London was far quicker than driving. While she sat in the terminal, waiting for her boarding call, she couldn't help but think that if she was just doing something she'd get there faster.
She needed to be doing something, because if she wasn't doing anything, then all she could think about was him. It had been eight months ago, they'd met. A small smile tugged at the corner of her mouth as she thought about their first meeting.
She'd just gotten home from school, nothing exciting had really happened that day. Then she came home, and there he was, sitting on the couch. At first she thought he was Giles. She hadn't seen him in a couple of months and she ran over to him, giving him a big hug. So to say she was surprised when his hands traveled down her back and squeezed her butt would be a bit of an understatement.
Eight months ago…
"Hey! Giles!" She exclaimed, as she jumped out of his grasp. She stared at him in shock not sure how to react at the intrusion. She looked a bit closer and noticed a few things she'd been too preoccupied to notice before. Such as the expensive clothing, the way he smirked down at her, and a few other subtleties. All of which led her to a single conclusion:
"You're not Giles, are you?" She asked, taking a cautious step back.
"No, I'm not. Well, not the one you're thinking of at least. But no need to be frightened, Luv. I'm sure we'll get along splendidly." He said with a small grin appearing on his face.
"I'm seventeen." She said rolling her eyes. He took a small step back.
"Maybe in a few months then." He said, as he gave her a small wink.
"In your dreams." She retorted. She may have thought he was fairly charming, and kind of dashing in a 007-ish sort of way, there wasn't any way she was going to let him know that.
"Oh, trust me, it will be." He said, as he gave her a rather salacious look. "I'm James, by the way. Rupert's twin brother." He stuck out his hand in greeting.
She took it and gave it a firm shake. "Dawn. Buffy is my sister."
"Well, it's lovely to meet you, Dawn. I hope we'll get to know more of each other while I'm here." He said, bringing her hand up to his lips and giving it a chaste kiss. "I hope you'll excuse me, Luv, I must go find Rupert now, he was supposed to be back down here twenty minutes ago." He explained before he walked up the stairs and out of the room.
James had been right. Over the next five months they had gotten to know each other very well. Preparing for the battle against The First, and having all the potentials living in the house, Dawn spent many hours in his hotel room. They'd talk for hours, about nothing in particular. He enjoyed the company, and took more than a passing glance at the scenery, and she was grateful to have someone that would listen to her and not pass judgment.
There had been a couple of times when she'd gotten there and he was in the middle of 'entertaining' company, but on such occasions she simply gave him a small smile and assured him she'd see him the next day. As time went on, however, those incidents dropped in frequency.
What they had was easy, but the feelings they had experienced were not. They constantly had to remind themselves that it couldn't be. She was too young, he lived in a different country, he didn't want a relationship, her uncle-figure was the man's twin brother. They used any excuse they could to rationalize why they couldn't be together, but in the end, it didn't matter.
It was the night before the battle. Dawn didn't know how it would end up, she was worried about her friends, about Buffy, about James. He had been reluctant at first, but Giles had convinced him that it was as much his duty to fight as it was Dawn's. James didn't think Dawn should be in battle, but every time he tried to tell her so, she shut him out.
It was those events that led them to the fateful night, three months ago. Buffy had just given another one of her 'inspirational' speeches, in which she said that they had the chance to win, but most everyone would die.
Dawn had lived on the hellmouth long enough to know the score. She was probably going to be one of the ones that died. After the meeting she snuck out of her room and trekked the short mile to James' hotel. He opened the door, a small smile graced his handsome face.
She didn't wait for an invitation; she knew she wouldn't get one. So she walked straight into his room. He turned to look at her. She didn't need to say it, she could tell that he knew exactly why she was there.
"We're probably going to die tomorrow." She said simply, as she looked up at him. Her eyes searched his, as she tried to gauge his reaction.
"I know." He said quietly, his hand rubbing the back of his neck.
She nodded, knowing that nothing more needed to be said. But she said one last thing. She stepped up close to him, her hands rested on his chest. She spoke to him barely above a whisper. "I don't want to die having never really lived."
His eyes searched hers and nodded. He brought his hands up to cup her cheeks before he leant down and captured her lips with his. It wasn't long after that they were on his bed, naked, and writhing together. He positioned himself at her entrance and pulled his face back to look into her eyes.
"It's not too late you know." He said quietly, his body ached with need, but on the off chance that they survived, he didn't want her to have any regrets.
She looked up at him, as she wrapped her legs around his waist. "Yeah, it is, James. I don't want to die not knowing what it would have been like if I had just said yes. If I had just said 'to hell with society.'" She pulled him down and kissed him thoroughly as he thrust into her in one quick movement.
It wasn't long before they moved together quickly toward their climaxes. With a few short thrusts they came together. In that moment, Dawn knew that she had never felt closer to another human being. She felt every thump of his heart, every gasp of his lungs, and every throb of his erection.
She didn't stay long after that, she didn't want anyone to notice that she had snuck out. So she left. When they saw each other the next morning, not a word was spoken, about what had happened or anything else.
They both made it through the battle that day. They had lost many great friends, but both of them had somehow survived. Still, not a word was said. They had both gone their separate ways. James went back to his flat in London, and Dawn went to Rome with Buffy, where she turned eighteen a month later.
Now here she was, three months after the battle, the scars still raw in her mind. She heard the final boarding call for her flight to Heathrow and quickly made her way to the gate, boarding the air craft. Then came more waiting. With waiting came thinking. She didn't know how much more of that she could do.
She took a deep breath and knocked on his door, still anxious about how she'd tell him. It wasn't something she'd planned for. She was beginning to think he wasn't home when he finally opened the door, a robe tied closed around him, and rumpled hair Dawn knew wasn't caused by sleep. He looked more than surprised to see her.
"Hi." She said nervously, as she pushed past him into the apartment.
"Hello." He said clearing his throat. "Not that I'm not delighted to see you, but it's rather a bad time." He said quietly. He placed a hand on her shoulder.
"I know." She choked out. "I wouldn't be here if it wasn't important." She stated simply.
He sighed and nodded. He walked out a few minutes later dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, a young woman trailed behind him as he showed her to the door. She shut it slowly behind her and he turned to face Dawn.
She took a seat on the couch, angled toward him as he sat down next to her. "This isn't going to be easy for me to say." She told him as she looked into his eyes. "we didn't plan for this to happen, and I'm still a bit confused."
He placed his hand on her knee. "What is it, Dawn?" He asked, slightly concerned.
A tear slid down her cheek and she wiped it away furiously. Her watery eyes looked into his confused green ones. "I'm pregnant, James." She said quietly.
His mouth opened as he tried to think of something to say.
"Are you sure?" He asked quietly, as he regained his ability to speak.
She nodded. "Yeah, the doctor confirmed it last week." She said quietly, her hand came up and wiped another tear from her cheek.
"And I am the father?" He asked, though he was sure he knew what the answer would be already.
"How can you even ask me that?" She asked furiously. "Unlike you, I haven't had sex with anybody else, not before that night, and not since that night." She said, standing up.
"I'm sorry." He apologized, as he looked back down at his lap. "I suppose I'm just bewildered is all."
She nodded. "I know how that goes. I was sure the tests were wrong, all five of them, but then the doctor confirmed it, and I couldn't deny it anymore. So I guess the question is, what do you want to do?"
He looked up at her. "me?" he asked. She nodded. He wasn't used to being asked his opinion. "I suppose I could move to Rome, I hear it's beautiful there."
She smiled slightly. "You don't need to move, James. Buffy and Giles are speaking again. We're moving to London in two months. Besides, that wasn't really what I was asking."
"Ah," he said in understanding. "You want to know where that leaves us." She gave him a small nod and sat back down. "Well, I suppose we could date or something."
"If you want to. I just told you because I thought you should know. You can be as involved or uninvolved as you want." She said quietly. "I don't expect anything from you."
"No! I want to be involved. Of course I do." He said, placing his hand on her knee. "I don't' want you to go through this alone." He shrugged, giving her a small smile. "Besides, I've always wanted another child."
"Really?" She asked, somewhat surprised.
"Yeah… Well I didn't expect it quite this late in life, but I do love kids."
She smiled. "Oh, well that's good." She tucked her hair behind her ear. "So what do you want to do? I mean, I'm due in six months so I figure we have until then to figure it out. "
"Um, well…" He rubbed the back of his neck. "Well, if you'll allow it, I'd like to take you out maybe go on a few dates. We could see if there's anything… worth pursuing."
"I'd like that." She replied, giving him a small grin. "Unless of course that's your sneaky way of trying to get a second go at me." She teased.
He blushed. "N-no, that's not what I was-"
"James, relax, I was kidding." She shrugged. "I just wanted to lighten the mood a bit."
He laughed lightly and scooted a bit closer to her. "Would it be so bad though? Sleeping with me again?"
"No, no it wouldn't be. It was one of the best nights of my life." She told him. "but I'm not that girl, James. I'm not one of your models that you can charm into your bed. You know me better than that."
He nodded. "I do." He gave her a small smile. "I also know all your, shall we say, sensitive spots." He said, running his hand up her thigh.
She stopped his hand. "Hey, none of that." She said as she patted his hand. "We haven't seen each other in months, James. And our relationship left on rocky ground. I don't think jumping into bed is going to help us any."
He nodded understandingly. "I suppose you're right. I wouldn't be me if I didn't try though, right?"
"Yeah, I suppose you wouldn't be." She agreed. She squeezed his hand lightly. "I should probably get going. I'm staying with Giles until Thursday when I fly out."
"oh, um, right."He stood up and helped her to her feet before he walked her over to the door.
"It was great seeing you again, James." She said, her back against the closed door.
He rubbed the back of his neck, smiling down at her. "Yeah, you as well." She gave him a small smile before she turned and opened the door. "Wait!" He exclaimed. He pushed the door closed with his hand. "Can I see you again before you leave?" He asked nervously.
She turned around and looked up at him. "Of course." A small blush crept up her face. "I was actually hoping you'd ask."
He gave her a wide grin and leaned down and brushed his lips against hers briefly. "I'll see you tomorrow then. Eight o'clock."
She stepped out the door and looked back at him. "I'll be ready."
She closed the door behind her and leaned against it. She took a deep breath. It had gone better than she'd anticipated. Not everything was sorted out yet, but she knew, somehow, they'd make it work.