Recap: #1. Last chapter, Dawn met Spike at a book store.
#2. Dawn partied with Spike's friends who seem to already know her well.
#3. Dawn and Spike make arrangements to get her enrolled in a college and catch a movie the next day. Charlotte drops her home.
#4. Spike recalls how Maura took care of him in Africa, after he got his soul.
#5. Maura advices Spike to go see Buffy.
#6. Charlotte says that Spike is her brother and she can't watch him all hung up on Buffy, when she apparently doesn't care about his feelings.
It is evidently consoling to reflect that the people next door are headed for hell. --Allister Crowley
This is the life… Youth, a tropical island and -
“More cake, Buffy dear?” Mrs. Cadaver asks in her sugary sweet voice.
- and an old, widowed neighbor, who is one hell of a cook!
“Yes please!” I answer, around all the food in my mouth – Xander’s influence, I’m certain- while mentally saying, 'diet be damned.'
“So, you are a doctor? Delightful! All the teasing and *geek* labels of high school becomes worth it, when one finally lands in the career they’ve always dreamed about. Much better than being on the cheerleading squad.”
If I was having this conversation with one of my Aunts, I’d be sporting an ‘I’m bored as hell and seriously contemplating letting Spike loose on you just for the fun of it,’ expression. But, here I am, smiling politely and answering sweetly. I can see why the Mayans used chocolate for currency. It’s much more effective bribery-wise.
“Actually, I was on the cheerleading squad. I became a doctor by accident.”
“Oh, do tell,” Mrs. Cadaver asks, bringing her fingertips together in a manner that immediately put me in mind of Ursula, the sea witch.
“Um… I dropped out of college when my Mom died,” - the trademark sympathetic look; I’m rather sick of it actually - “When I joined, again, I just signed up for everything Willow took.”
“Willow…?” Mrs. Cadaver interrupted.
“My best friend, and current housemate,” I clarify, before continuing my story. “Anyways… Giles just had to blow his top, over that! He said that I needed to become my own person, and make my own decisions – ironic, since he’s the one who insists on making my decisions for me - and that I couldn’t spend my entire life studying whatever Willow was, just because it would mean not having to take notes in class.
Giles had, not too long ago, tried to murder my boyfriend. The fact that said boyfriend – due to no fault of Giles’ - was already dead when we had the conversation made things worse. Needless to say, Giles wasn’t in my good books, just then, and I considered, for a fleeting second, really, studying the same things as Will, for the rest of my life, just to peeve him.
Wood had to go and add his two pence worth too. As he had been Giles’ co-conspirator in Mission , *Lets make Buffy’s guy, dead,* he was also featured on my, *rip your head off and have some vampire drink from your brain stem,* list. Okay, so, Spike killed Woods’ mother. But, that was in the past, and planning retribution when an apocalypse hanging over your head?
So, when he said that I didn’t have it in me to become a doctor – Will was going to study medicine - I decided I’d show him!”
Sure, it killed my social life, was real frustrating and meant studying stuff other than Willow ’s notes – though, I had to go through them too - I did it."
This morning, I sent Wood a wooden crucifix and a note saying, ‘You are a poor judge of a person’s capabilities. I can become a doctor, and vampires can be redeemed.’ It made me feel so good.
By the time I finished my rambling - most of which was stuff I said without thinking, Mrs. Cadaver’s face was clearing saying that she had registered just three things. One… Willow was the smart one. Two… My boyfriend had killed somebody, and three… I had a list of people, whom I intended to feed to vampires.
I’m sure she’s over her, *I really like Buffy,* phase, and had moved onto the, *ditch Buffy and befriend Willow ,* phase. I could just see myself as Sylvester, banging on the door as a Tweety-Willow was fed, black forest chocolate cake, by a Granny-Mrs. Cadaver.
“Well... Where is Willow ?” she asks, after a lifelong – okay, not exactly lifelong - silence.
See, my assumption was right on. I’m getting good at reading old people’s minds. One of the better skills I’ve learned at Med school.
“Having phone sex,” I answer matter-of-factly. Well she was . Lucky girl!
That did it. Mrs. Cadaver practically dragged me to the door and shoved me out. I crashed headlong into Dawn, who had been waving her friend off.
“Hiya, Mrs. Old, neighbor lady!” Dawnie chirped, and I thought, sourly, that she had no right to be so cheerful while I had a lump the size of Riley’s ego on my head.
Mrs. Cadaver - who had no doubt been hoping to make a hasty retreat into her diabolic- American-girls free house, looked like she had just been sentenced to hell. Taking into account that her first meeting with my sister had been with the latter dressed in a, *could have fit a Barbie doll,* bikini, her reluctance for Dawn’s company was quite understandable.
“I thought you were out with Charlie. Who was that?” I asked, referring to the girl who had disappeared into the waiting elevator, in sync with my expulsion from my neighbors home.
“That was Charlie. Duh!”
I couldn’t help it. “Dawnie! I think you missed a few lessons on gender discrimination… Wait, that didn’t come out right. I mean, Charlie is a girl and Becky is a boy!”
And we finally managed it. We, officially, gave Mrs. Cadaver a heart attack.
“You are dating a boy whose parents sought fit to name him Becky!”
Weird lady. She had no qualms with Dawn dating a girl named Becky, - not that there’s anything wrong with lesbians, - but, was having a kitten because she was dating a *boy* named Becky. I was liking her less and less with each passing moment.
“Of course they didn’t!” Gotta admire my sister. She didn’t even bother keeping the exasperation out of her voice. “Becky’s short for Beckham, his college nickname.”
I need to hand it to Dawn she managed to say the last part in a tone suggesting that, even Posh, went around referring to her husband as Becky, and that it was the only normal course to take. Mrs. Cadaver apparently didn’t think so, because she slammed her door on our faces, a feat that took three tries. First, she smashed it on my fingers, and next, on my toes. Even all the chocolate in the world couldn’t redeem the woman, in my eyes, now.
“Charming neighbor we’ve got!” Dawn quipped, with all the sarcasm learned from Spike, over the years.
“Yup! I can just imagine her having a, perfectly, good conversation with Cruella De Vil.”
Entering my own home, I came to two conclusions. I should be worried if Dawn says she’s spending the night at Jane’s, and the Disney movies must go. To think I gave Spike a hard time for being addicted to Passions!
Thanka to those who reviewed the last chapter. Seems I lost some readers too. Please review it makes writing more enjoyable.
Smoocies for my beta Morrigan.
Next Chapter: Buffy finds out that Spike on the island, meets Maura and has a girl-to-girl talk with Willow about Spike. You find out what happened between Buffy and Spike at the end of NFA.
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