Summary: Distraught over Buffy's death, a drunk and disorderly Spike visits the Summers home.
Timeline: Between Seasons 5 and 6.
Pairing: Spike/Buffy implied, Spike-Dawn friendship with a smidge of unhealthy projection
Disclaimer: You know the drill. 20th Century Fox Corp owns everyone but me.
Thanks: To Gillian, for getting it.
Soundtrack: This is not a songfic. The song Spike is singing is by the Ramones.
Distribution: Please ask first - firstname.lastname@example.org
Completed: August 2001.
Spike stumbled in the dark and dropped an empty bottle on Buffy's rug.
He fell face-first on Buffy's bed, and inhaled her faint scent.
The scent that was fading.
The scent he'd never smell again.
"Buffy..." he mumbled, on the brink of tears again.
Buffy? His head shot up and he tried to adjust his blurred vision. Buffy's back? "Buffy?"
"It's just me, Spike," a soft voice said, hoarse from sleep. "It's Dawn."
"Bit," he said sloppily. "My lil' Bitty." He crawled up the bed to meet her. "What're you doin' in Buffy's bed, Bit?"
"Sleeping," she replied, yawning. "What are you doing in Buffy's bed?"
"Bawlin' like a soddin' teenage prat, what of it?"
Dawn smiled. "Were you...singing?"
"Oh, huh," he laughed. "Yeah. Guess I was. Sorry, love." He flopped on his back and rested his head next to hers.
"No, it's okay... it gave me the weirdest dream."
"You were driving a station wagon, and Buffy was in the passenger seat. I was in the back with Tara and we were all doing a round robin of some weird old song I don't even know."
He saw it very clearly. "Thass a beautiful dream..."
"It sounded really good though, the song? It had like, orchestration and stuff. And it was daytime. I'd never seen you in that light before," she added with a sleepy giggle.
"Not my mos' flattering light, love. Take me word fer it."
Dawn moved to cradle her head on his chest. "You looked nice in the dream."
Spike brought his arm around her and touched her hair. "Guess that's all that matters."
"Do you ever dream about her?"
He shut his eyes. "Every bleedin' day."
They had an unspoken agreement not to talk about Buffy too much, not to say the words "I miss her". All of that had been said, again and again in the first couple of weeks. There was nothing left to say, and the words just brought more pain.
Dawn's neck was too close to his mouth. "You smell like her...your blood..." He moved closer to inhale it, capture it.
"Spike," she said, gently pushing him away. "You shouldn't drink so much."
"Sorry." He straightened. "Don't know what I'm doin' anymore."
They heard a door creak in the hall, and the soft padding of feet on carpet.
Spike sat up. "Whozzat?"
Willow appeared, clad in t-shirt and boxers. "Dawnie? I heard--"
"Singing?" Dawn giggled. "It's okay, Willow. It's just Spike."
"Spike?" Willow flipped on the light.
Spike shielded his eyes with a hand. "Woah! Turn that bleedin' thing off will you?"
"What are you doing here?"
"What are you doin' here?"
"I live here, remember?"
"Oh. Right. Sorry. Just passin' through."
Willow frowned. "Are you drunk?"
Spike snorted. "Lil' bit, yeah."
"Dawn, I don't think--"
Tara walked in. "What's going on?"
"We have a Spike problem," Willow explained.
Tara took in the sorry display with a lopsided smile. "I see that."
"Guys," Dawn said. "It's okay. We're just talking."
"Yeah, leave us be," Spike said.
"Spike," Willow said, in her best stern mom impression. "You can't just waltz in here at all hours of the night--"
"Yeah, yeah. I got it. Won't do it again, mum. Promise. Alright? Now turn the buggery light off!"
"Goodnight, Spike," Willow said, waiting.
He eyed her for a moment, and realized she meant business. "Fine." As he wobbled up to leave, he winked at Dawn. "Sweet dreams, pet."
"You too." She smiled sadly at him. "I'll see you around?"
"Coun' on it."
"Yeah!" Spike lifted his head, attempting to sound alert. "I'm up!"
Dawn giggled at the sight of him, sprawled chest-down on the crypt floor, little bits of gravel clinging to his cheek.
He squinted at his visitor. "Bitty!" he said happily, then cringed with a shout, holding his head.
Dawn wrinkled her nose. "Did the chip just go off?"
"No," Spike said disdainfully. "Bloody hangover."
"Oh. Right." She walked over to him. "That's why I brought this!" She fished a pill bottle out of her knapsack.
He tried to focus.
"You brung me painkillers?"
"Yeah. Do vampires need painkillers?"
"I dunno, to be honest." He sat up against his sarcophagus and rubbed the back of his neck. "Never tried one."
"Well, that's stupid. Here." She took one out and handed it to him. "And--" she reached into her backpack again, "I have just the thing to wash it down." She held up a clear bag filled with red plasmatic liquid.
He smiled. "You brought me blood."
"Not just any blood," she said, shaking it. "Human blood!"
"How did you--"
"Hey, don't ask and I won't tell. Point is," she said as she threw it to him, "it's for you."
"You big bad, you." Spike chided, then hung his head, fingering the plastic bag. "You're too good to me, love. I can't take this."
"You'd better." Dawn sat down beside him. "Besides, what am I gonna do with it?"
"Got a point there," he said. He shrugged, ripped the container top with his teeth, and took a swig. Then he looked at her. "Why the Florence Nightingale all of a sudden?"
"Well," Dawn started, "I don't want to see you all drunk anymore. I want to see you, you know, out there, fighting and stuff."
"I do, I am. It's not all the time...just..."
"I know." Dawn looked at her hands. "Spike, there's something you should know."
"What?" He tried not to be frightened by her tone of voice.
"They're talking about...recharging the Bot."
"Willow and Tara. School is starting soon, and...if they find out Buffy's dead, they'll send me away."
"So they're gonna have a robot sit in on Parent-Teacher night? That's their brilliant solution?"
"I just wanted to warn you. So you don't get freaked."
Spike sighed. "Yeah, alright. What about you?"
"What about me?"
"Won't you be...you know. Freaked?"
"I don't know. I'm trying not to think about it. Maybe it'll be nice to see her again. Or just...really creepy."
Spike voted for creepy. And painful. And... "Will she be slaying?"
"I don't think so. I think it's too hard on her machinery."
"There's something very wrong about this."
"I know. But if they don't..."
"Yeah. You go away. And we can't have that." He looked at her tenderly, then an idea came to him. "Or..."
Spike sat up and leaned in conspiratorially, talking fast. "Or we go away. You and me. Just get the hell out of here, run off in the middle of the night--no explanations. Just gone."
Surging with excitement at the notion, Dawn asked, "Where would we go?"
"Doesn't matter. Anywhere. South America, Canada, bloody Siberia...We could just keep going. No one would ever find us."
"That would be so cool." Dawn grinned. Then her face softened. "But..."
Spike nodded and looked away, exhaling a sober chuckle. "Yeah. I know."
"I have to go," she said, getting up. "Willow will be getting worried about now."
"Yeah." He held up the blood. "Thanks for this."
"You're welcome," Dawn said. "We'll be out patrolling tonight. Will I see you?"
"In fighting form, love."
Dawn smiled. "That's what I like to hear. See ya Spike."
"Dawn. Be careful out there."
With the sound of the door echoing through his brain, Spike sat there, staring at the bag in his hands.
He wasn't a fool. He knew it was Dawn's blood.
'She's me,' she'd said.
"Here's to you, Buffy," he said to the ceiling, and downed her silken spirit.