Then and Now
“Yeah, it’s in my backpack. You got a good place?”
“Always know the best night spots, little bit,” Spike said.
As Dawn sneaked off ahead of him, Spike glanced up at the window of Joyce’s old room. The window twitch in the curtain told him that the witches caught the trade-off. Dawn thought she was sneaking away, but after the first time the niblet did this, Spike cleared her midnight rambles with her keepers, and agreed to play watchdog. She never knew it, but they always knew when she snuck off.
They knew he’d always be with her.
Buffy twirled and rounded on the newborn vampire, staking him expertly, while Angel took on the two by the gate. Slaying always got Buffy’s blood up, but she didn’t dare tell Angel that. She enjoyed watching him too much. He always dressed so nicely, his shirt collar unbuttoned, revealing his chest, and his hair so nice, and the excited look he got on his face. He always knew where the vampires were to be found, too, and could track blood so easily. He worked so hard to be good, to help her slay his own brethren. But he was always so cryptic. She was never sure where she stood. One day, he’d kiss her, and the next, say he couldn’t see her again. It was agony being near him... agony she’d never give up. It was too sweet.
“It’s a buck fifty ice-cream cone,” Spike said, sliding the door closed on the ice-cream van and politely locking it again. “Harris used to snitch them when he worked for ‘em. They’ll never notice.” He slid the key back into his pocket.
“I still can’t believe you palmed his key.”
“Evil,” Spike reminded her, again. “I was pretty much trapped in his basement from dawn til dusk, what else was I supposed to do? Went through all his stuff. Did you know he has Care Bear underpants?”
Dawn burst into laughter. It was so easy being with Spike. Dawn didn’t have to pretend, or try to be perfect, or toe the line. And he was funny, and it was easy to laugh around him, and she could sneak out at night and do bad things like steal stuff. She licked at her ice cream.
Angel was awkward, as always, as he walked her home – as he insisted on walking her home. They never really talked much. It was as if everything they were going to say fell into all the things they weren’t going to say, or do, or want, and killed every possible conversation. As they walked his hand would casually touch hers, and then slide away. Touch her, and then slide away. Teasing, tempting, always with the dark undercurrent we shouldn’t. It made the hunger for it so much stronger. By the time they made it to her own street, Buffy’s breath was coming like a freight train, and the kiss was inevitable. As always he tried to make it chaste. Except when he didn’t. It wouldn’t be so horrible if she always knew where she stood! Tonight, though, tonight he was passion. He caught her and held her and pressed his lips to hers, the anguish in his kiss as potent as the pain in his eyes. “We shouldn’t...” he breathed against her lips.
“No... no... we shouldn’t.”
They did anyway.
“The report is on the atrocities of Fascism,” Dawn said. She pulled the source book she had out of her backpack. “Like Nazi Germany.”
Spike looked at the book like it was a dead fish, and tossed it aside. “Which ones you interested in? Gas chambers, tooth extractions, stuff like that?”
“Well, what was the worst stuff that they did? I want to get an A.”
“Well, the Nazi’s didn’t do the worst stuff you know, bit. No, you need to go to the Ustaše, in Croatia. They cut off body parts, slaughtered whole villages, impaled little kids. In Jadovno they wired their victims together in groups of twenty, led them to a cliff, and killed the first one in the line, to watch the whole string of them topple to their deaths like dominos.”
Dawn was making notes avidly, but she stopped. “You’re making that up.”
“No, I’m not.”
“You gotta be!”
“You think every vampire in the world wasn’t bloody jealous they hadn’t thought of it first?” Spike shook his head. “I coulda sworn Angelus was behind it, I was kinda disappointed to find out it was just a bunch of sodding humans.” He said it with disgust.
“You don’t sound impressed.”
“Well, the death, sure, but the waste! All that blood? Coulda been a feast!”
Dawn laughed again, but it was her nervous one. Spike didn’t pull any punches. He didn’t ever pretend to be good. “I think I’ll stick to the Nazis,” she said. “I don’t think my teacher’s even heard of Croatia.”
“Ah, hell, do him good to learn a thing.” Spike grunted. “What are you doing in English class?”
“Tess of the d'Urbervilles.”
“Uh! Are they still reading that tripe? It’s like dragging your brain through sodding concrete! Hardy was an ass – and I think he was an Andras demon. We should burn that thing before it ever poisons the mind of another impressionable high school student.”
“You’re right. We should!”
Instead there was only pain, and longing, and things he kept telling her they’d never have... before he gave her heated tastes of them, and then snatched them away. She never knew what was coming next. She never knew what he wanted of her. She always wanted him. He kept her too unbalanced to do otherwise. It was intoxicating. She could never, ever be sure of him. Not for a moment.
“Nah. Well, there’s this guy Justin. I’ve seen him around a little. Never really gotten up the courage to talk to him.”
“Good plan, that.”
“Talking to him?”
“Nope. Sitting aside and letting things just kinda happen. Telling someone you’re sweet on them is the surest way of getting the brush off.”
“That’s not true.”
Spike shook his head. “If it’s real, it’ll happen without pushing it. If not...” he shrugged. “You’ll avoid humiliation and heartache a lot better with my method.”
“That’s not your method, though. I’ve seen you get all sexy on people.”
Spike narrowed his eyes. “None of them mattered, bit.”
“But what if they do matter? I mean, isn’t it better to be honest?
Spike looked at Dawn with sardonic blue eyes. “You think I meant to tell Buffy?”
“Well... eventually, didn’t you?”
Spike looked away, up at the moon for long moments. Dawn almost expected it but... no. He’d held the tears in this time. He was getting a little better at that. Those first few months, they’d both been crying almost all the time. Now... well. It was better. A little better. Sad. But a little better. They walked on in silence for a moment.
“You can let me walk home from here,” Dawn said suddenly.
“No,” Spike said.
“It’s just a block. I can walk it. It’ll be fine. You don’t need to follow me around.”
“No.” Spike said.
“I’m not a kid, Spike. I can sneak back into the house, I’m perfectly safe.”
“Niblet, there are way too many nasties in this town. Big Bad’s at your back. End of story. Now march!”
Dawn smiled secretly to herself as Spike refused to leave her alone. It was totally great. She could always count on him. Always.
If you are under the age of 17, please use your head and do not read fics that are labeled "NC-17". Parents, I cannot control what your children are reading, so please be advised that the majority of the fics archived here are NOT suitable for those under the age of 17.
I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I am in no way making any profit from this site. This is for pure entertainment purposes only.
Concept: (c)bringonthebloodshed.com (2004), Code & Design: (c)Diabola (2006), Graphics: Selene & Always