5 Crush

"What's your plan for tomorrow?" Xander asked while they were climbing up the stairs.

"Well, I guess I'm going with Dawn to her new school to see if there are any monsters or ghosts up there," Buffy answered.

"Hah," Xander laughed. "Seriously? You're really looking for a job!"

"Yeah… but I also want dawn to be safe. After everything we've been through in Sunnydale…"

"Relax, it's England. What bad can happen here?"

"Ghost?" Buffy asked.

"Well, maybe that one," Xander admitted.

"And then…" she continued, "I don't know, I guess I'll join Giles and start to organize something. We need to prepare the castle for the slayers' arrival. What about you?"

"For me there is a very serious and in the same time very pleasant thing to do, I'll check our armory," he said joyfully, "and Willow will probably meditate or something, to find more slayers."

"Yeah… Dawn! Wait!" Buffy yelled when she spotted Dawn walking into her room. "Wait for me! We have to talk!"

Her little sister just sulked.

"Ok, I'll go, see you tomorrow, girls!" Xander sped up a little bit and disappeared in his room. He walked to the window and opened it to air the place, then he went to the bathroom to take a shower.

"What is it? School?" Dawn asked, sitting in a chair by the window in Buffy's room. "Gosh, I hate the smell of those old stone walls." She opened the window.

"Is there something that you don't hate?" Buffy asked ironically. "This castle is actually pretty nice. You know, it's like living in the old times or… museum…" she stammered on the sudden realization.

"Buffy?"

"Aha?"

"Could you, please, be so nice and not embarrass me at school tomorrow?"

"Why would I embarrass you?"

"You know… following me around? No offence, but I can find everything by myself and if I don't, I'll just ask somebody and… what's most important… do not check the whole school in search for some paranormal activities, ok?"

"Dawn, we're in England and in fact… it should mean that you can find even more ghosts here than in America. We're living in an old castle!"

"Don't try to scare me."

"Giles said that there should be no vampires but he didn't mention anything about different stuff."

"Buffy!"

"Ok, Ok," Buffy smiled.


Xander walked out of the bathroom and went to bed.

Damn, he though. It was cold, because he'd forgotten to close the window.

"It's about Xander," he heard Buffy's voice and stopped.

"What about him?" Dawn asked.


"It's how you look at him, how you behave when he's around… Dawn, I really wouldn't mind if, a, you haven't been so young for him, but even this I would finally accept if, b, he liked you that way and, c, he didn't suffer because of Anya's death. Is it so hard to understand?"

"Buffy…"

"Ok," Buffy raised her hands in surrender. "I'm sorry… I know it's difficult for you and I know what you're feeling right now. I'd been there… more of less… do you remember this guy from my university? Parker? He rejected me and I was suffering for a long time, so I do understand… but in the same moment I also learnt something very important. If a guy is really interested in you, he'll find a way to be with you. He'll find you even at the end of the world! We really don't have to chase them. All we have to do is let them chase us."

"But it was Anya who was chasing after Xander…"

"She'd been suffering a lot before he got really interested in her… It's so hard to give you the right example right now… Spike was chasing me… Riley, too. And how it ended up? With Spike it started with hate and then, I gave up."

"But it's so hard, Buffy!" Dawn growled. "I see him every single day! We live under the same roof!"

"I know," Buffy sighed, "but you're going to a new school. You're gonna be the attraction number one. When British guys come to America, American girls love them and when American girls come to England…"

"I get you point."

"Exactly… I just want you to know that I'm here for you."

"It's not gonna help me. I always wanted to be like you. You're so strong."

"Honey, I'm not strong, I just don't let myself break."

"It's enough."

"Sweet dreams."

"You throwing me out?"

"I'm sleepy." Buffy yawned to prove it. "You don't look so good, either."

Dawn followed her example and they laughed.

"Ok, I'll go."

"You know what?"

"Hmm?"

"I think Andrew likes you."

"But I don't like him."

"Then be his friend. He may even surprise you. He doesn't have anyone close here."

"Ok."

Dawn left the room and Buffy closed the window.


Xander stood by his window for a while, staring at the stars.

No, he couldn't get interested in Dawn and the real reason wasn't even the one that he'd lost Anya or even that Dawnie was so young… It was about something else.

"You still love her…" he heard Angel's voice in his head. Angel had said those words to him a long time ago, back in high school.

Always, Xander thought and closed his window. He finally laid down and fell asleep.