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A New Day, A New Dawn: The Sequel to Dawn After the Dark

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  • A New Day, A New Dawn: The Sequel to Dawn After the Dark

    Working Title: A New Day, A New Dawn
    Rating: R

    Setting: After my story Dawn After the Dark, which is a couple of years after the current season.
    Spoilers: Anything is game.

    I.

    Dawn walked up the stairs to her apartment and thought about how little she would miss having to lug groceries up the two flights. They were already in the process of packing up and moving out; her place just wasn't vampire friendly; which, of course, was not something she had been looking for when she'd picked the place. Actually, come to think of it, the extra sunlight and the lack of sewer access had seemed like a plus when she had moved in.

    But now things had changed. It was hard to believe that it had only been a month since she had run into Spike in that bar. She smiled remembering how shocked he had seemed and actually chuckled thinking about the surprises that had occurred since. She'd been surprised to discover that her teenage crush was only a taste of her current feelings and Spike, well; he'd been in for a lot of surprises.

    So they were moving, Spike had scouted out a cute basement apartment with a shady adjacent alleyway and they'd started packing. The rent on the new place was a little less than her current spot (go figure, most people don't want a basement apartment next to a dark alley), not that it mattered much anymore. Apparently working for Wolfram and Hart had paid well or well enough anyway. Spike had invested it and now seemed to have plenty, though he still basically chose to live like a broke college kid. Dawn had laughed out loud when he'd told her about making investments, she still couldn't actually picture it. She'd found out a lot about him over the past few weeks, new things that had come as delightful surprises, though much about him and their relationship remained a mystery.

    As she placed her hand on the door knob she wondered if he would be awake yet. It wasn't quite dark yet so he was probably there and Spike kept odd hours sometimes sleeping at night with her and other times sleeping during the day. She hoped he was still in bed; she liked sneaking up on him. With that thought in mind she opened the door and walked in.

    Spike met her at the door. "Got a surprise for you pet."

    Dawn just stared at him. He was wearing a suit, an incredibly sexy dark charcoal suit with pants that accentuated his slim hips and a long jacket that reminded Dawn of the ones worn by British men in old movies. But Spike had mixed it with a very modern-looking grey-blue shirt that he'd left open at the neck. He looked like a rock star going to the Grammy's, Dawn thought with a grin. She liked his normal jeans, a black tee-shirt and a leather duster look, but this was certainly nice too.

    "I see that."

    "What. Oh. No, well yes but?just come in will you. You had a call earlier; I couldn't help but hear it."

    Dawn scrunched her forehead in confusion and walked over to the answering machine. Her friends sometimes teased her for not just using voicemail, but Dawn liked to know not only the identity of the caller, but their mood as well. She'd been known to screen out her sister when she was obviously having a pity party. She pushed play and grew even more confused when the perky voice of a saleswoman began listing the privileges that came along with a subscription to the local paper. She turned to Spike, questioningly.

    "It's not that one, the next, go on." He looked so eager.

    The next voice belonged to one of Dawn's professors. He was thrilled to inform her that the board had been really impressed with her article and even though they usually didn't consider the work of underclassman they were going to publish it in the journal.

    Spike pulled her into her arms. "My girl, a published author."

    Dawn blushed. "It's just the University's Bio Journal, it's not a big thing really."

    "Nonsense. My girl is brilliant and we're going to celebrate. I called up, got us a table at a proper restaurant so go get all dolled up cause the car will be here soon."

    "The car?"

    Spike gave her a little push towards the bedroom. "Go on then."

    Dawn smiled as she went to get changed. He was definitely full of surprises.
    Last edited by Dorian's Kitten; 13-06-07, 03:45 AM.
    "All I ask is that... that you try to see me."

  • #2
    II.


    Later, much later, Dawn lay awake listening to Spike talk in his sleep. It wasn't the first time; it turned out she wasn't the only one with nightmares. A few nights earlier he hadn't even been speaking English. Tonight she wasn't so lucky; tonight he was talking to Buffy.

    Or maybe about her, Dawn wasn't sure. But the name, her sister's name, had been clear amongst the pleas and murmurs. She knew that she should wake him up, that she should remind him that Buffy wasn't dead anymore, but she couldn't. They hadn't really spoken about it, but Dawn knew that he was still in love with her sister. She'd told herself that she was okay with it, that she was happy enough with what she had and wasn't going to risk it by pushing for something she wasn't going to get. But she still couldn't bring herself to wake him up just now. She still didn't want to hear him say it.

    She thought about their evening and smiled; he'd pulled out all the stops. They'd gone to an amazing restaurant where he'd ordered an excellent bottle of champagne and then insisted that she explain the article that she'd written. She was pretty sure that he hadn't understood any of it, but he'd listened so intently that she had gotten carried away and told him all about it. He'd insisted several times that she was clearly "brilliant" and they'd gone dancing. Afterward, when they had returned home, they'd made love. Her smile deepened thinking of that. The whole evening had been quite perfect, and a lot more than she had expected. When your sister averted the apocalypse on a regular basis, you stopped expecting people to make a big deal out of your good grades. She just wasn't used to being the center of anyone's attention; it was nice.

    Her mind also wandered back to her demon visitor from a few weeks earlier. His card was still in the drawer of her desk. He'd offered to make her special, really special, and she'd turned him down. But on nights like this, on nights were she couldn't help but compare herself to her sister, she had to question her choice.

    Spike woke up. "Bit?" He gave her a sleepy and questioning look, before pulling her closer. "Did you have another nightmare?"

    "No, I'm good, just can't sleep." She snuggled on his chest.

    Spike knew she was keeping something from him. Even half-asleep he could hear it in her voice, but he didn't push. "Just going to have to get you tired then, yeah?" He pulled her under him and grinned down at her.

    An hour later they were both asleep.
    "All I ask is that... that you try to see me."

    Comment


    • #3
      III.

      Spike closed his eyes and raised his face towards the ceiling, enjoying the slight sting of the hot water. He took his time washing his hair, and for the thousandth time contemplated the wonder that was modern plumbing. He loved taking showers, though the opportunity to do so had often been rare over the years. Damned hard to find a crypt with decent facilities, he thought with a smirk.

      But he wasn't really able to lose himself in the experience this afternoon; there were just too many doubts. Dawn was not telling him something, he could tell but he didn't know what it was yet. Is she already having regrets? He couldn't blame her, he thought, and he was sure she would tire of him eventually. He just couldn't be good enough, couldn't give her all that she deserved. But he hoped he would have at least a little more time. Even with all the doubt, he was happier than he had been in years. Even without a soul, Spike had kept his tendency towards domesticity. He liked having a girl and a home; he was just that kind of guy.

      He stepped out of the shower and dried off. As he stepped into his jeans, he heard voices in the living room. There was someone here, he noticed, someone male. He tugged up the zipper, but didn't bother with the snap and walked out to investigate their company.


      "So even though you have been completely ignoring me and you don't deserve it, I came by to graciously acknowledge your domination."

      Dawn giggled. Tucker had a tendency towards the dramatic. "I'm not ignoring you, I've just been busy. And it's just a bio article, it's not like I get excused from the rest of my classes or paid or ?" She trailed off, noticing that Tucker was no longer looking at her.

      Spike had walked in with his vampire silence and without his shirt. Tucker stared for a moment.

      Spike entered the room but kept his distance, looking over Dawn's visitor. He couldn't help but wonder if this guy would be his replacement. The way they'd been standing when he'd entered made it clear that they were close. His gut clenched as he pondered how well they might know each other.

      Tucker leaned closer to Dawn and whispered. "Busy indeed. You've been holding out on us?and I totally approve. Where'd you find him?"

      Hearing him, Spike almost sighed with relief. Probably not my replacement, he grinned and walked over to them. He was too old to have not gotten used to a little male appreciation. "Didn't know we had company niblet."

      Dawn blushed, realizing that Spike had undoubtedly heard every word. "Spike, Tucker. Tucker, Spike." She gestured from one man to the other and back. Turning to Spike, she added "Tucker and I have some classes together. He's?he's a friend"

      Spike nodded.

      Tucker was dying of curiosity. Who was this guy? What kind of name was Spike? "So how do you two know each other?"

      Spike got a devilish grin. "Well?"

      Dawn interrupted before he could go on. "We've been friends for a while. Spike was umm? a neighbor back home."

      Spike took a step towards Dawn, put an arm around her and placed a possessive hand on her stomach. This guy might not be a threat, but it still didn't hurt to make his presence a bit more known.

      Tucker tried to get more information for a few more minutes before giving up; he already had plenty of juicy news to share. He said his goodbyes. "Don't forget we're meeting up tomorrow at Josselyn's place for daiquiris and diatoms."
      "All I ask is that... that you try to see me."

      Comment


      • #4
        IV.

        The next day Dawn sat on the rug at her friend's place and leaned back against the couch. She smiled and clinked glasses with another girl. They, along with the rest of the group, had been studying for a couple of hours and were now moving on the drinks portion of their afternoon. It was a tradition for her biology study group. They met a couple times a month to study and compare notes, and each time they sampled a new frozen beverage. Today they had made frozen Tom Collins. For the rest of the group, drinking in the middle of the day was the peak of outrageous behavior; they knew nothing of Dawn's after dark demon hunter persona.

        Josselyn couldn't hold it in any longer. "Okay Dawn, out with it; Tucker says you're like living with a mysterious and hot older guy."

        "Seriously he has to be like thirty, right?" Tucker piped in.

        Dawn shrugged. "Something like that."

        "Oooh, he's over thirty. Dawnie's playing a starring role in someone's naughty school girl fantasy."

        Dawn turned to glare at Tucker before looking up at Eden, the last member of their group. "Hit him for me please."

        Eden giggled and complied, quickly snatching a pillow from the couch and whacking him over the head.

        "Hey, hey?watch the hair."

        The girls smirked as Tucker tried to brush his hair back into its previous style.

        "He called her niblet, like she was snack food."

        "Niblet?" Josselyn repeated, unable to keep the grin from her face.

        Eden turned back to Dawn. "Share please: I need to live vicariously."

        Dawn shook her head. Eden was smart, sweet and gorgeous; she could have dozens of guys but she insisted on holding out for a jerk lacrosse player that only spoke to her when he wanted someone to cover for him in class.

        "There's really not much to tell; he's actually an old friend. We ran into each other a little while back."

        "And" Josselyn was not satisfied.

        "And we're having a good time."

        "How good a time?"

        Dawn blushed and then giggled. "A really good time."


        Later, Dawn smiled as she headed home. They'd gotten a bit more out of her after the second drink, but nothing that would give them any reason to think that she was involved in anything more scandalous than dating an older man. She loved her friends, but she hadn't really shared much about her past with them. At first it had been on Buffy's orders and later it had just been nice to have people she could feel light with. They joked about boys and watched T.V.; they never used the word apocalypse.

        Lately, she sometimes felt like their whole thing was too superficial but she knew that her friends couldn't handle knowing what she knew. Or maybe she just didn't want to have to tell them. Maybe she didn't want to be the one that ruined their perception of the world as a generally good place.
        Last edited by Dorian's Kitten; 16-06-07, 05:37 PM.
        "All I ask is that... that you try to see me."

        Comment


        • #5
          V.


          Spike continued to run the paint roller up and down the wall but his eyes and attention were focused solely on Dawn's rear end as she bent to empty more paint in the pan. It was hot and they were painting, for Dawn that had meant wearing a spaghetti-strapped tank top and the tiniest shorts in her drawer. Spike was not complaining. In fact, he hadn't even complained when she announced that they were painting the new place cheerful shades of blue and yellow. He had rather preferred the gloomy darkness left over by the previous tenant, but a few decades waking up in a frilly bed surrounded by Dru's toy dolls made it hard to complain about Dawn's decorating taste. She straightened up and he quickly turned back to the wall.

          Dawn knew that he'd been watching, he was almost always watching. She didn't mind, she even milked it a little and took her time pouring out the paint. Knowing that he wanted her was still a bit of a novelty. Knowing that, with the right words or glance, she could have him stuttering and dropping the paint roller filled her with the quiet warmth of feminine power. She smiled thinking about the chat she'd had with her friends a few days earlier and walked over to him.

          "Spike?"

          "Hmm..." He turned cautiously and placed the roller in the pan; there was an interesting tone in her voice that he couldn't quite identify.

          She had a paintbrush in one hand, but she placed the other on his chest. "Spike do you have?fantasies?"

          His eyes widened, but she continued before he could respond.

          "You know, like a thing for nurses or French maids." She shrugged.

          She gave him an innocent look. Like she didn't know what she was doing to him, standing there running her hot little hand over his skin asking if he liked to play games. It was an act, one she was excellent at, and he knew it. The bit liked working him up. He placed a hand on the small of her back and pulled her tight against him.

          "You thinking we need to add a bit of spice already pet?" He whispered it into her ear, before tugging on her ear lobe with his teeth and kissing a line down her neck and across her shoulder. "Wasn't aware you had complaints."

          "Spike?I wasn't?" Dawn pulled away so she could see his face. He was teasing, she realized. "I was just curious."

          Spike gave a deep, throaty chuckle. "Well?" He reached over and gave one of her pigtails a tug. "These are fun. Maybe braided and like?" He looped it and held it against her head. "You know with the gold scanties."

          Dawn scrunched her brow. "You mean like Star Wars?you have a thing for Princess Leia ?", she said with incredulity. She would have expected it from Andrew, but Spike?

          "It's not uncommon?"

          "Yeah, if you're a nerd." She giggled at his pouty expression.

          "Take it back."

          "Can't" She continued to laugh and shook her head.

          Spike pulled her back towards him, using one hard arm to pin her against him and his free hand to tickle the skin between the spot her tank top ended and her shorts began. She squealed.

          "Take it back." He tried to sound threatening as he continued to tickle.

          "No" Her response came breathlessly amidst the squeals and giggles. He might be stronger, but she still had a paint brush. She wielded it, leaving a messy blue stripe along the side of his startled face.

          He was almost surprised enough to let go. "Oh, now you're in trouble little bit." He snatched her off the floor, flung her over his shoulder and headed towards the bedroom.

          Taking in the scene, Dawn with her bottom in the air laughing hysterically and Spike carrying her and dripping blue paint while he marched toward the bedroom, Buffy could only say one thing.

          "Perhaps I should have been more specific when I asked you to keep an eye on my kid sister?"
          Last edited by Dorian's Kitten; 16-06-07, 10:52 PM.
          "All I ask is that... that you try to see me."

          Comment


          • #6
            VI.


            Spike turned his head slowly to focus on the slayer; he was living a nightmare. There she was, arms crossed, jaw clenched, waiting for a response but knowing that none would satisfy her. Confident always that he was doing something wrong, yeah that was Buffy. He gingerly placed Dawn on her feet, but didn't say a word.

            Xander came to stand behind next to Buffy. "Could have walked at a human pace, Buff?What?" He looked up and his jaw dropped; this was not something he needed to see, ever.

            "Buffy?I didn't know that you?I mean you're visiting, how great." Dawn gave her an awkward smile.

            Buffy didn't respond. She couldn't really believe that Willow had kept this from her for so long. She'd mentioned that Spike had come along and given Dawn a hand during that whole business last month, but she'd left Buffy thinking that Spike was already moving on. Buffy figured it had just been a case of good timing and that Spike was back to wandering. Then, yesterday, she and Willow had been having a nice chat about feelings changing and relationships evolving and Willow, the smartest woman she knew, had slipped and used Spike and Dawn as an example. She didn't really know anything for sure, she'd said, it was more a feeling and maybe a couple of glimpses into the future or a possible future really. Buffy had gotten on the first plane towards California.

            "Someone want to fill me in here?" She finally asked.

            Looking at her standing there, judging them, Dawn lost it. Anger and frustration she hadn't even acknowledged having came bubbling to the surface.

            "What, you don't want him but no one else can have him either? Well don't worry; he'll always love you right? You're the slayer, the chosen one, all perfect and?perfect?you know he'll come running back just as soon as you say and you can treat him like shit again right."

            She stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind her.

            "What!?" Spike starred at the door for a second. "Bloody hell." He pulled it open and followed Dawn in.

            Buffy watched as the door slammed shut once more. He hadn't even spoken to her. Spike had done a lot of things over the years, he'd tried to kill her, he'd tried to kiss her, and he'd tried to be her friend, but he'd never just ignored her. Maybe Willow had been right about the other part too.

            "What the soddin' hell do you think this is bit?" Spike looked at Dawn. She sat on a floor, starring at the wall.

            "It's fine Spike; I'm a big girl. I get it and I'm ok with it." She wasn't crying; she was just seething.

            "Well? I'm not."

            Dawn looked up at him and shook her head. "Spike, people have?flings, I know you do and I know that's what this is." She shrugged as if to reiterate how fine she was.

            "Yeah, I've done that. Some bird I found in a bar, doesn't know what I am, probably wouldn't care if she did, sure. But that's not you bit." Spike took a step closer and knelt on the floor next her. "No man in his right mind could ever feel casual about you." He lifted her chin so she would have to meet his gaze.

            Dawn's eyes widened. He couldn't possibly be saying what it sounded like he was saying, not with Buffy standing in the other room, not when he could be out there with her instead.

            "Maybe this is just?I don't know what this is to you Dawn?but for me?." Spike sighed heavily, he hated this whole throw your heart out there and let it get trampled bit. "How could you not see that I love you?"

            "You love me?" Now she was crying, but she gave him a cautious little smile.

            Seeing it, he relaxed. He hadn't been completely off-base; she did care about him too. He pulled on her pigtail again. "Course I do niblet, wouldn't have ensured my imminent staking by touching you if I didn't."

            Dawn giggled and sniffled. She turned towards the door. "Suppose it's too much to hope that they got bored and left right?"
            "All I ask is that... that you try to see me."

            Comment


            • #7
              VII



              Dawn was not looking forward to the visit with her sister. She swung her backpack on and headed down the stairs and towards the campus parking lot that she always cut through. They'd actually left. Xander had left a little note saying that they would find a room in town and come by that evening. He'd ended the note by pointing out that she would owe him big for this one. She smiled; it must've really taken some work to get Buffy to leave just then, sans staking or lecturing.



              She wasn't sure whether or not she should be considering herself lucky though. I mean sure it could have gone worse, they could have walked in fifteen minutes later, but all in all, it certainly hadn't gone well. Something about being with Buffy made her act like she was sixteen again. Seriously, she was an independent woman living her own life dealing with her own stuff and then suddenly she was all hormones and pent up rivalries. Just thinking about her rant from earlier made her groan; it would probably be a while before she lived that one down.


              She started to plan her explanation. Buffy was not going to be thrilled, but she'd come around, right?



              Dawn was so lost in her own thoughts that she didn't notice the three men jump out of the van until they were practically on top of her. She didn't waste any time though; she quickly elbowed one guy in the face bloodying his lip and kicked another in the groin, hard. He yelped and Dawn turned to deal with the third guy. Not human, she could see that, but she didn't know what they were. She pulled her arm back and quickly fell to the ground.



              She heard a loud noise. What the hell? What kind of demons used a taser gun? She didn't get a chance to ask before the yelper backhanded her across the face. Damn, she thought, the bastard definitely broke my nose. She heard a guy yell out but couldn't turn her head to see where he was.



              "We don't have time for that now. Get her in."



              They quickly shoved her into the van. Dawn didn't see the needle before they shoved it into her shoulder, but she sure as hell felt it along with the quickly impending darkness.



              "Tell him we got her."



              Everything went black.





              "All I ask is that... that you try to see me."

              Comment


              • #8
                VIII


                "And you know what the weirdest part of this whole thing is?"

                Xander shrugged. So far several things had apparently been the "weirdest part" for Buffy. He was not so sure it was necessary to divide the thing into parts, the whole thing was just too gross to consider. His feelings about the vamp had mellowed a bit, kind of had to after that whole dying to save the world bit, but this was?

                Buffy continued despite his lack of response. "He was all domesticy, with the painting and stuff. I mean that was?" She shook her head. Would he have been like that with her? She couldn't help but wonder, she'd never really considered the possibility of Spike being? well a boyfriend really and not just a lover.
                Buffy had accepted that he could be the later. He had fought to become a good man, worthy of her love and she had given it, but she'd still never really given him a chance. Seeing it in that way now made her a little sad, though she was sure it had been the right choice, she was happy now. She looked over at Xander, the last man her teenage self would have expected and the only man her adult self could have ever picked. Who else could really be her partner?

                Even so, she thought, this was really not good. She didn't want to think, hated to feel so self-involved as to consider, that Spike may be using Dawn as a replacement for her. But there it was; it had certainly occurred to her despite Willow's assurances to the contrary. "I think its ok. Buffy, I mean I know it's kind of eww big sister/little sister, but I think they are sort of ?I think he loves her," she'd said.

                Watching him follow Dawn in to the other room, Buffy had considered for the first time the possibility that Willow had been correct. Buffy'd known that they were friends and that he cared for Dawn, hell she'd even been glad to hear that he'd been around to help Dawn while she was risking her stupid neck. Buffy figured he might be able to help Dawnie through the stuff she wasn't talking about, he'd always had a way with her, but she hadn't seen this coming.

                Besides love just wasn't enough right? They couldn't have a real future. Dawnie should have a family, a life. Spike might be?he was a good man but he couldn't do that with her.

                Buffy really didn't know what she was going to say to Dawn, she'd already blown calm and reasonable. But seriously who could blame her after she'd walked in on that?

                Someone pounded on the door. Buffy looked over and Xander went to answer it.

                "Hold on, I'm coming" Xander expected to see Dawn but found Spike instead.

                "Something's happened, bad; Dawn's gone"

                "Like she's finally started thinking straight and left you?" Xander asked.

                Buffy took in Spike's stricken expression and knew it was bad. "What happened?"

                "Bit was late, I called her cell but?I thought maybe she was just avoiding.. you?but?I went to the campus found her track, but it just stopped in the parking lot?just stopped."

                Xander sighed. "Spike she went with a friend, you know got in a car and took off to complain about how unreasonable her sister is."

                But Buffy knew better, Spike had always kept his calm if he looked this upset there was more. "What else Spike?"

                "Blood."

                "Hers"

                "Yeah, not a lot but definitely the niblet," his voice cracked but he went on "someone else's too, not human." The bit had put up a fight, he thought, course she did. She was his girl.

                Buffy sat down slowly; this was a scenario she had pictured too many times. Ever since Glory, Buffy had pictured Dawn being snatched. But she wasn't a little girl anymore, she'd had to let her be her own person, live a normal life. Only right now she was definitely thinking she should have kept her in Scotland, safe and sound where she could watch her.

                Xander walked over to put his hand on her shoulder. "We'll find her. We don't know anything yet. Let's not?" He couldn't finish, didn't want to say any of the awful things that occurred to him. He looked at the doorway where Spike still stood, horrified by what he'd had to say. "Spike, come in." When Spike continued to stand there, lost in thought, Xander repeated the words more gently. "Spike?come in; we'll find her."

                The call came shortly after Spike. An unfamiliar voice quite calmly explained that they had the slayer's sister and that they would return her when the slayer returned what she had taken from them. Of course Buffy had no idea what she had that was theirs and was really frustrated by still being called the slayer. There were hundreds of them now. But first things first.

                "How do I know you even have her?" She asked.

                "You know." The voice said smugly.

                "Fine, but I don't know that she's o.k., not?hurt or?put her on the phone so I can hear that she's o.k. and then we can talk."

                "Not gonna happen, she could give you some clue. No."

                "You can watch her; just let me hear her voice."

                "Too dangerous; I'm not a fool slayer."

                "Well if you can't prove she's?"

                Spike interrupted her. "Heartbeat"

                Buffy looked up at him quizzically.

                "Tell ?em to let me hear her heartbeat, I'll know."

                Buffy looked skeptical but she gave it a shot. "Put the phone at her chest so I can hear her heartbeat." She listened to the muffled sounds of discussion on the other side of the line.

                "O.k., but only for a minute."

                Buffy gestured quickly for Spike to take the phone. He closed his eyes as he placed the receiver to his ear. Spike listened for a moment before nodding.

                Buffy took the phone back, gently pulling it from his hand.

                "All right slayer, now we talk."

                "What do you want?"

                "Already told you, just what you took from us."

                "I don't know what that is? What do you think I took from you?"

                "Not think slayer, know, we all know what you took." He snarled this, dropping his calm pretense for a second.

                "I don't. Who are you?'

                "You'll find out. Just be at this number Wednesday night 7:00 o'clock. You'll get directions and we'll make the switch. Surely I don't have to tell you all about what will happen to your little sis if you try anything."

                "Why Wednesday? Are the stars right? Is that the night your demon god rises? What?"

                "What? No actually I just prefer midweek flights you know more space, better prices."

                "You're going to keep my sister for two days so that you can get a better flight?"

                "Well and you know get ready, shut up Slayer. All you have to do is follow directions and we'll all get what we want."

                They hung up and Buffy put down the phone. She quickly filled Xander and Spike in on what she'd heard.

                Xander furrowed his brow. "One question." He turned to Spike. "You recognize her heartbeat?"

                "Yeah, it's?it's kind of different always has been?probably something to do with that whole key bit."

                Buffy looked up. "You never said anything."

                "Seem to recall the bit felt enough like a freak, didn't need to know." He shrugged. "It's not that different just the rhythm is?but that was her. It was sort of slow; bastards probably got her drugged, but it was her."

                "All I ask is that... that you try to see me."

                Comment


                • #9
                  IX
                  Xander looked up and watched Buffy follow Spike into the parking lot. He'd been making calls for the past half an hour, talking to the seers, arranging for some back up to be flown in, but Buffy had hardly moved and Spike had been pacing like a caged animal, furious and helpless. This was the part he handled; their part would come later, but he knew that neither one of them could handle the waiting. A small part of him still envied them their role; he wanted to throw punches and kick down walls. But he had learned to take pride in his own part, his own way of helping. And, of course, getting the girl had helped. Xander nodded and got back to work.


                  Buffy watched Spike survey the parking lot, saw the tension in his frame and the way he balled his fists. He needed something he could fight; she understood completely.

                  "Anything worth patrolling around here?"

                  He didn't look back at her, but he nodded. "Cemetery, few blocks from here- been a bit jumpy lately."

                  "All right, let's go."

                  He turned then, startled. He met her eyes for a moment before nodding. Spike gestured to the left.

                  They walked for several minutes in silence, each lost in their own thoughts and worries.

                  "It took awhile you know?"

                  Buffy looked up at him. She was not sure precisely what he was talking about, but she was content, for once, to let him get to it in his own way and time.

                  He glanced over to see her watching but didn't meet her eyes before turning away. He continued. "I was?stuck or lost maybe." He gave a wry chuckle. "You moved on?but I?" He trailed off staring out at the distance.

                  "Couldn't" Buffy finished for him. "You couldn't move on." She paused considering her next words carefully and settling on the only ones she could find. "I'm sorry, Spike"

                  Now he looked at her, meeting her gaze head on before responding "Not your fault."

                  They reached the gate surrounding the cemetery. Spike touched the bars. "Quickest way is up and over."

                  Buffy nodded and accepted his boost. It was unnecessary, they both knew that she could jump the fence without assistance, but William's chivalry had never died off and Buffy saw no reason to take insult where none was intended. She'd grown up a bit over these past few years. They quickly surveyed the landscape and began walking again, once again falling in to step together with ease.

                  "She's different."


                  Buffy looked up, and he turned to her and gave a small smile.


                  "?from you. You were always cautious, considering, tentative-all that responsibility I guess- weight of the world" He sighed. "The niblet is so sure, always. She throws herself in a hundred percent."

                  "More like you." Buffy said the words but she wasn't sure if they were a statement or a question.

                  "Used to be, I guess?But no, cause she's smart-not reckless really, she plans and thinks? but when she decides, no holding back." He stopped then and stepped in front of her. "I didn't see it coming you know, she just plowed in to me-full force, dug around found the holes?made me...I can't lose her Buffy. Not like this. When she's done with me, and that'll come I know, and?I'll?I'll step aside, but ?"

                  "You love her."

                  "Yes."

                  Buffy took in the fear on his face, Spike only looked truly scared when he was in love, and nodded. "I ?" She stopped. "Did you hear that?"

                  "Yeah, in the woods." He gestured. "At least three, you ready?"

                  "Always."

                  Last edited by Dorian's Kitten; 24-06-07, 02:10 AM.
                  "All I ask is that... that you try to see me."

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                  • #10
                    X.


                    Dawn felt the pain first, a vague ache that enveloped her and made it's presence known even in her dreams. She struggled to find her way out of the cloud, she couldn't open her eyes, couldn't think, couldn't remember, but she hurt. She grasped on to that, the pain meant something. She followed it, trying to find the source.

                    "She's waking up."

                    A voice broke through; she wasn't alone. Dawn fought to open her eyes, she couldn't feel them; she couldn't feel anything but the heavy throbbing that seemed to come from everywhere, not one specific injury but a general condition that was now a part of her. Her eyes open, she tried to make sense of the information in front of her. Where am I? It was bright, too bright. She blinked several times and tried to pull her hands to her face but couldn't. Dawn looked down; she was bound. Her hands and feet both tied tightly together and then linked, leaving her almost no range of movement. But they were there still, she thought with a sense of relief, even though she certainly couldn't feel them. It was becoming easier to think, she remembered suddenly the attack, the demons, the van, the needle. She was drugged, that was it; they had drugged her and brought her here. Why?

                    "Drink this." Someone was in front of her pushing a bottle of water towards her face, a man or a demon most likely. "Come on, I don't have all day."

                    Dawn considered for a moment the possibility that they had poisoned the water, but quickly decided that was stupid; they could clearly have killed her already if that was what they wanted. She took the bottle but couldn't bring it close enough to her face to drink.

                    With a sigh the man in front of her loosened the rope connecting her hands to her feet. She was still bound, her hands were still tightly linked, but at least she could move her arms. She drank deeply.

                    "You'll want to slow down, or you'll make yourself sick."

                    Dawn glared at him, but followed the advice. It was probably true, sounded like something she had heard before. "Who are you?" Her voice sounded strange, she noticed, weak and scared. She hated sounding like that.

                    "Don't worry about that. You'll eat. Shelly will take you to the?umm facilities and you'll take another nap."

                    "You mean you'll drug me again." There, she thought, that was better; at least she sounded more like herself.

                    "Just until the slayer comes to collect you."



                    Tucker scrunched his brow, shook his head and took another glance around before settling his eyes on Dawn's front door. Why would she give up her perfectly nice apartment and move into this neighborhood? Something was going on, he thought, she hadn't been to any of her classes in the past two days.

                    As if on cue, a crash in the alley caught his attention. He headed over quietly to investigate. He noticed the man's hair first: platinum blonde. Spike?

                    Spike had already visited all of the hot spots; there was nothing, nothing out there for him to kill tonight. He kicked a trash can, sending it across the alley to flatten itself against the wall. Two days he'd been stuck waiting while they had her. Two days with his failure starring him in the face, reminding him that he would never be good enough for her, couldn't even protect her from the other monsters. He let out a deep growl before slamming his fist into the brick wall.

                    Tucker watched him pull his arm out of the wall with widened eyes. He didn't even need to see Spike's other face, he already knew what he'd seen; Dawn's new boyfriend was a vampire. He backed slowly away, though he was sure he hadn't been spotted, the sounds from the alley told him that Spike was still working out whatever problems he had with the abandoned building next door. He slowly tried opening Dawn's door but found it locked. He glanced over his shoulder and briefly considered knocking, but he knew the vampire would hear that. He would have to wait until morning.
                    "All I ask is that... that you try to see me."

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                    • #11
                      XI.

                      Dawn fought her way through the cloud once again. The pain was better this time, though that it self was a concern; better meant healing and healing meant time. She had no idea how long she had been unconscious. Her hands were still bound, but they weren't connected to the rope around her feet again. Discovering this, Dawn tried to reach into her pocket. A voice stopped her.

                      "Don't bother. We know you're awake and we already found the charms."

                      Dawn didn't bother to hide her sigh. If she could have gotten her hands on her crystal she might have been able to come up with a spell that would help. She frowned then, thinking about what spell she would have used; she was best with glamours and that wasn't going to help here. She sighed again realizing that even with the extra power the crystal would have given her she really didn't know a spell that would have helped. She had focused her learning on spells that would prevent her from getting caught; she had nothing in her repertoire that would aid her is she failed. She was really trapped.

                      It was hard not to let her mind wander to the little card in her desk at home, the little card that Skip had given her when she had turned down the chance to be more powerful, the little card that she told herself she didn't need or want and yet kept all the same. It was hard not to wonder if she would be in this position if she had made a different choice.

                      She didn't have to wonder long though, a hand on her arm signaled the return of the needle and of the blackness.



                      She had gone over the plan, such as it was, with the slayers and with Spike. She trusted that Xander knew his part. Now she had to wait for the call. As soon as it came she could go. Xander would send a message to Spike and the slayers waiting not so patiently at the coffee shop across town. Buffy almost smiled thinking of Spike's reaction to that part of the plan, but she had seen enough movies to know that "come alone" was likely to be a part of the message when they called and she knew that they were watching. This was the best way. Willow had helped make sure that Xander had a secure e-mail line to use to send the coordinates to the crew. When they got the message they could follow. She just hoped that the demons weren't watching Spike too closely; she had tried to suggest that he stay out of it all together but even as she said it she knew that wasn't a possibility. He was coming, whether she liked it or not. Some things don't change.

                      So she was hoping for the best, they'd worked up a disguise for him: part glamour part real and he was fairly certain that he hadn't been followed since he'd put it on. Of course there was also a very real possibility that they knew about all the slayers at the coffee shop. Buffy shook her head; it was pointless to focus on these things now. She looked over at Xander. He was quietly checking over the computer's wireless connection and security protocols. He looked calm, but Buffy knew otherwise. He was a professional now, a decade helping her had made him that, but he was still Xander. He still loved Dawn and was no doubt rambling nervously in his head despite the lack of sharing. A part of her wished he would share, breaking the silence and the tension with an utterly inappropriate comment.

                      The ringing interrupted her inner debate. She took a deep breath before answering, determined to keep any nerves from sounding in her voice. You don't display weakness to the enemy.

                      "Where?"

                      "Eager are we?" The voice chuckled. "You'll feel differently soon enough."

                      "Where?"

                      "An old piano factory, on Third and Washington. Come alone and bring the scythe."

                      "Right" Buffy placed the phone on the receiver and picked up her weapon.

                      They were hardly the first group to show an interest in the scythe. She relayed the information to Xander and walked out the door.
                      "All I ask is that... that you try to see me."

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