"So, who do you live with?" asked Sheryl, the new girl, as she sat with Dawn and her friends at lunch. "I moved here to Sunnyhell with my mom after the divorce."
It was all Dawn could do not to choke on her milk as Sheryl turned bright, inquisitive eyes on her. She thought of the big, king-size bed in Buffy's room, where even at noon, two drop-dead beautiful vampires slept the exhausted sleep of the wicked and wanton. They had bought the bed the same day a dazed and happy Buffy had finally brought them home after an extra two days at the hotel. Spike had been fully moved out of the crypt and into the house in record time and every second since then had been nothing but a learning experience for Dawn, even though all three of the adults tried hard to act respectable and responsible around the children. Wasn't working, but they tried. On the plus side, both she and Connor were spending a lot of time wherever Spike, Buffy, and Angel weren't, and that was resulting in a lot more of his attention focused on her. She grinned smugly to herself. Only two more months until her 18th birthday, otherwise known as the day she could stop pretending Connor was her brother.
"Um, my sister, her boyfriend, and his family," she managed to say, her mind caught on the word family in conjunction with the time she had caught Angel and Spike kissing in the kitchen, apparently making up after an argument over what was the perfect meal to make for a hungry slayer when she returned from a late class. Ignoring the ick factor of my sister's boyfriends, it had been about the hottest thing Dawn had ever seen. Family. Yeah, and she was going to be crowned Miss Normalcy of the 21st Century.
Then she thought of the new and beautifully detailed silver rings Buffy, Spike, and Angel wore now. Designed by Angel, wrought in metal by some fire-breathing demon friend of Spike's, the rings were the closest things the three of them would see to wedding bands, even if two of them weren't undead. Dawn had loved watching the look of pure happiness on Buffy's face as the vamps took turns for the honor of putting the ring on her finger. They had both knelt at her feet, handsome and adoring, and she thought she had seen Spike's hand tremble as Buffy slipped the matching ring on his finger. Angel had met Buffy's eyes with confidence as she put his on, and Dawn remembered another ring, an older one, and knew that Angel had considered Buffy his wife long before Buffy had even thought the word. So what if the neighbors looked at them funny? This was the happiest Dawn had ever seen her sister.
"That's who I live with. Buffy, Angel, Spike, and Conner. That's my family."