SUMMARY: Gee, that's a tough one… Hehe. Okay, so it's Dawn's Prom, and she hasn't got a date. What's a Slayer to do to appease her irritated sister?

RATING: PG, I suppose.

SETTING: I set this at some point after Season 7, based on rumours I've heard about it, therefore: this contains possible spoilers for Season 7 even if they're only rumours. It's also set, of course, post-"Cradle", and I'm only writing it as a distraction while I finish the next chapter for y'all.

DISCLAIMER: They're not mine. I just felt like playing with them. Spike, obviously, belongs only to Buffy ;)

AUTHOR'S NOTES: I'm pretty sure this has been done before. In fact, I seem to recall reading a very similar one at some point, so I'm gaining absolutely no points for originality on the plot front. No infringement, by the way, is intended on anyone who's done this before. This idea has been bugging me for a while and I decided to finally write it, as some comic relief from the horrible angst of Season 6 if nothing else. And Chapter 20 of "Cradle" wasn't exactly upbeat, either =) So, I give you a cute, vaguely amusing Buffy/Spike fic, with Buffy/Dawn sisterly bonding and Dawn/Spike friendship fluff. Enjoy. (Okay, so I wanna see Spike in a tux…)

Dawn's Prom Night

Part One

The Slayer was in the kitchen making herself a very well-earned sandwich when it happened. Her Spidey-sense went completely wacky – not in the vampire-nearby-and-closing way, but in a more generalised, panicky way. She'd felt this before, but she couldn't for the life of her remember when, exactly, it had been. It was worse than the average demon, so… what?

Her question was answered suddenly by the sound of the front door slamming, very deliberately, and the television becoming switched on at full volume. It could mean only one thing… It was the night before the senior Prom, and Dawn had failed to get a date. Buffy sighed. This was not going to be very pretty. She picked up her sandwich, and cautiously approached the almost visibly seething ball of stress that was her little sister.

Dawn was paying very little attention to the television, seeming more content to fume quietly and plot revenge against the universe, or whatever hell-god had decided to invent Prom night. Buffy considered her options for a moment. She could either be careful and tactful and avoid the subject completely, or she could tease Dawn mercilessly at the risk of a teen tantrum. She settled for apparently pleasant midpoint, as she sat a safe distance away from her.

"How was school Dawn?"

The brunette merely huffed, then said, "Oh. You know. Same old, same old."

"Care to… elaborate on that? Cos it's been a while since I did the whole school thing."

"Nothing's changed," she said. "Trust me. Homework's still hard, math still sucks, and the lunch break continues to get shorter every semester. And did I mention the fact that all guys are jerks?"

Buffy could resist it no longer, trying and failing utterly miserably to suppress her amused smirk as she asked, "So… lookin' forward to the Prom?"

"Don't talk to me about the Prom. The Prom is the evil of all evil things." Well, she did at least seem to be taking it well.

"Didn't get a date, huh?"

"Ugh," she responded, which in itself said enough. "Would you believe even the class geek has a date? I mean, this guy's like the entire ex-Nerd Herd combined in one huge geek-o-rama, and he has a date. Does Dawn have a date? No." She resumed her sulking, her explanation apparently over.

Buffy looked thoughtful. "Well… just go with your friend Janice and have lotsa girly fun."

She scoffed. "Yuh-huh, and watch her suck face with her icky jock boyfriend? I don't think so. I'm staying home." She folded her arms with an air of determination that wasn't to be questioned.

"Oh, Dawny, you can't do that!" exclaimed Buffy, appalled. "It's your Prom! You don't get to do that again. I should know, what with mine being a complete literal disaster." Then, she realised something. "Oh! See, there's a plus. No Mayor-snake-thingy at yours. It'll be a good, normal, non-apocalyptic Prom."

That raised an amused smile, at least. "Thanks for trying, Buff, but… I thought we could stay home and have a girls' night in. Watch trashy movies, get sick on popcorn…" Her suggestion trailed off into obsoleteness as her sister's expression became increasingly guilty. "What…?"

The Slayer actually looked nervous. "I… um… kinda won't be here…"

"Huh? Why not?" Buffy didn't need to answer. Dawn guessed straight away. "You're going to the Prom? I thought you said you didn't get to do that again…"

"Well," she explained, "I'm, uh, staff now, and… and they needed an extra, y'know, adult, and, cos I'm the counsellor, they said… uh… that I should be there." She offered a weak smile to the very annoyed teenager. "Don't want anyone pulling a 'Carrie' on us, do we?"

Dawn conceded defeat, rather too easily. "Okay, I'll go. Just don't expect me to sit with you all night, because that'll make me even more of a Dateless Wonder and oh my God you have a date, don't you…?" This last part of Dawn's realisation ended with a barely audible groan.

Buffy backtracked, wondering exactly how she'd gotten herself into this. Oh, yeah. By asking. Note to self: never ask questions. "It's not a date, exactly… I mean, geez, it's only Spike, it's not-"

"Spike?" asked Dawn, incredulous. "You're bringing Spike to the Prom?"

"Yeah. No big deal, Dawn. Just Spike…"

"Just Spike? Oh, great. So, I'm like Little Miss Cant-Get-A-Guy, sitting with my school-staff sister and her drop-dead-gorgeous undead boyfriend…"

"Ah-ah!" scolded Buffy. "He's not my boyfriend. Although I will agree with you on that first part…"

Dawn raised a decidedly sceptical eyebrow and saw a wonderful opportunity to torment her elder sister. "Not your boyfriend, huh? Well, if that's what you do to guys who aren't your boyfriend, I don't think I wanna know what you do-"

"You finish that thought and you'll find out what I do to gutter-minded little sisters."

Dawn backed off, semi-triumphant. "Seriously, though. If he's not, then… what? I mean, I thought you two were-"

"We are," she said, "but… I don't know. I think we're kinda beyond that, y'know? It's like… it's not just him and me any more. It's… it's us."

"Aw," said Dawn. "That's so cute." She grinned, then: "But I still don't have a date."

There followed an awkward silence. They both half-watched the television, and Buffy fought her conscience. And lost. "All right," she said, with a sigh, "I'll wilfully give him up for an evening."

Dawn's eyes gleamed, but she feigned curiosity. "Huh?"

"I will try and convince Spike to be your date…"

"Really?" Her grin threatened to split her face in half. "Seriously?"

Buffy squirmed, now realising there was no way she was getting out of this. "Y…yeah. But only if he agrees. If he doesn't, don't expect me to beg…"

To be continued…

Most I've ever got on a short fic here is 8 reviews. So let's say 8 reviews'll get you part two. =) If that turns out to be wishful thinking I'll settle for 5...