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Keeping Them Whole

Title: Keeping Them Whole
Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Character/Pairing: Spike/Dawn, past Spike/Buffy
Rating: PG-13/T
Challenge/Prompt: beattheblackdog 80: Wide and nekid_spike Prompt Card: Free Choice: Spike/Any Female BtVS/AtS Character
Warning(s): AU, Cannon Character Death
Word Count: 1,883
Date Written: 12 September 2017
Summary:
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission.





“Spike,” Dawn asks softly one night as they lay together on a grassy field far removed from Sunnydale and all the memories it holds for them both, “you told me once I could ask you anything. Did you really mean it?”

“Of course I did, Nibblet,” he answers, reaching over and laying a hand on top of hers. She turns her hand over beneath his, so that she can entwine her fingers with his.

He feels a bit of her pulse at the base of her wrist and tries not to think about the things he’d like to do to her, the things she lets him do to her, things no other mortal woman has ever allowed him to do and still loved him after the fact. He’d like nothing better than to sink his fangs into her tender flesh, but now isn’t the time. Right now, although he doesn’t know why yet, he knows she needs him. She needs him, as she did before, to be strong, to be her rock . . .

He sits up, his fingers still entwined with hers. Underneath the starlit sky, he looks down into her face that, after everything she’s been through, still looks so young and innocent, so freshly and breathtakingly beautiful. She’s staring beyond him, though, to the stars above his head. “How wide do you think the Earth is?” she asks in the same, quiet voice in which she’d started their conversation.

Something big is on her mind tonight, and he waits patiently for her to reveal it as he answers, “Big.” He gives a little snort at his own lack of an answer, but how’s a Vamp like him supposed to know the real answer to that question?

“But how big?” she asks, her eyes seeming, to him, to sweep through the stars. “How wide?” She shakes her head, and he has to stop his fingers from reaching out and threading through her long, brown hair. “Sometimes, especially after Buffy died, this world can feel so small. But with the lives we lead, with all the magic and the saving the universe things and all, it seems, sometimes, like I can do anything.”

“But I look up there,” she continues, indicating, with her eyes, the stars so far above his head, “and I remember I used to be a part of that. No matter how big Earth is, the universe has to be bigger.”

“‘Course it is, luv,” he answers gently, “but the size of the universe, or the Earth, has nothing to do with what you can and can’t do. Maybe you came from a star. Maybe you were just hanging out there, doing whatever it is a cosmic doorway does when it’s not in use. But that’s not where you were meant to be.”

“Where am I meant to be?” she asks.

With me, is the answer he wants to give her, but he stops his mouth from actually forming the words hanging on the tip of his tongue. “I’ve watched you, Dawnie,” he tells her instead, reaching down and cupping her smooth cheek in his hand. “I’ve watched you come into this world and turn it on its ears. I’ve watched you become what you were never meant to be. There’ve been times when you’ve been more human than any of us, and you’re definitely my human than I’ve been in over two hundred years.”

“You weren’t meant to be a part of a family. You started out as only a doorway, and maybe you became a doorway in a completely different way than the monks ever intended. I know you weren’t meant to be a part of a family, like I said, but you brought that family together. You were the glue that held Joyce and Buffy together, and after her death . . . “ His voice drops to a soft whisper. He lifts Dawn’s hand and presses his lips humbly to its back. “You were the glue,” he tells her, “that kept has all together and would put us back together if you wanted to go back.”

She shakes her head. “I don’t want to see Sunnydale again, Spike. I won’t say ever again, but definitely not and not for a long time to come. I don’t want to be reminded that my sister’s not coming back, or of what we did to her . . . “ She shudders and turns her head away, but he knows there are tears in her eyes even though she’s not letting him see them.

“The spell didn’t work,” he says softly. “It brought her back -- or, rather, her body, but it wasn’t her. We did what we had to to restore her peace, to give back to her what we should never have taken.”

“You keep saying ‘we’,” Dawn points out with a soft smile, finally turning her face back to him, “but you were never a part of it.”

“I knew what you were doing, pet. I knew what you were all doing. I could’ve stopped you. I should have.”

“So you stopped her instead. You stopped my sister from being a man-eating Zombie.”

He shakes his head. “I stopped her body,” he insists. “That wasn’t your sister. If that . . . thing had had her soul, you could have saved her. You have that effect on people, Nibblet.”

“What effect?” she asks, frowning.

“You make the impossible possible. You make the dead live. You restore souls and hearts and . . . Hell, you just bring out the best in everybody you meet. Why do you think Willow finally turned completely away from the darkness? It wasn’t because of anything I did, or Tara, or Harris. Giles couldn’t stop her with his magic, not unless she’d wanted to be stopped, but she did.”

“You really think so?”

“I know so.”

“She wanted to be stopped, because she wanted to be there for you. I saw the evil in her melt away, Dawnie. She looked at you. She saw your tears, saw your hurting, and knew she had to do whatever she could to make things right for you again.” He kisses her hand again. “She wasn’t the only one you hit like that.”

Dawn gives a little smile but is silent, considering his words.

“Are you sure,” he asks softly, “you don’t want to go back?”

Her quick nod is a firm answer. “I’m sure,” she says. “I miss them, but I don’t want to go back. I want to see the world. I want to . . . “ She sighs. “If I’m going to live, I want to live. I want to see it all, experience it all -- “

“Stop right there,” he commands, leaning down and cupping her face in his hands.

She frowns. “What?”

“I’m not going to let you experience the bad.”

Her smile twists into a slightly sarcastic grin. “You think you can stop me?”

“I promised I’d protect you,” he answers, kissing her forehead, “and I will. I won’t let you experience the bad stuff, not the real horrible stuff -- “ Like turning into a Vampire. Even if she ever asks him, he’ll never place upon her the curse that he bears every night, the curse that meant that he would always outlive her sister and outlive her too, the curse that means he’ll never be good enough for the young, remarkable woman whose beautiful face he now cups so gently in his hands.

Her smile has changed again when he looks back at her once more. It’s no longer sarcastic, but it is a little self-depreciating. “I wasn’t meaning like that,” she whispers, “but I’m glad to know you’ll be here for me every step of the way.”

“You damn well better believe it.”

“I do. You know, Spike, you say I made you whole, you say I’m the glue and all that? But you’re the one who made me whole.” She wraps her arms around his shoulders and pulls him closer in the night. “You’re the one who makes me want to believe that anything is possible. You’re the one who healed me. If it wasn’t for your love, I . . . “

Her sentence trails off. He holds her. “Hush,” he commands. “No need of finishing that bit, Nibblet, ‘cause it’s never going to happen. I can’t give you the universe, Dawnie, and I can’t tell you how wide this old planet really is, but I do promise I will be here for you and anything is possible. Anything you want, anything you truly want, we’ll make it happen. The world is your oyster. You can do anything you want.”

“I do want to see it,” she says thoughtfully, “but not tonight.”

“You can’t see it all in one night anyway, Nibblet,” he says, grinning. “There are spells for that sort of thing, but then you miss the real hot spots, the spots in between the shadows, the secrets we’ll find together.”

“I’d miss the places like you,” she counters, yet again showing the wisdom beyond her years she possesses, “that tread both light and dark.”

His eyes seem, to her, to sparkle brighter than the stars and with a lot more promises than they could ever offer. “Precisely.” He lets her see his fangs, but she isn’t scared of him. Unlike Buffy, she’ll never again fear him, or fear what she might become.

“But you were saying?” he asks again, finally threading the fingers of one hand through her long, silky hair. “About what you want to do tonight?”

“Not just tonight,” she answers, grinning again and edging closer to him still, “but every night, and the answer is love you.” She’s the first tonight to press her lips to his. Their kiss is long, deep, and full of promise.

Gently, Spike lays her down on the carpet of green, cool grass in the midnight hour and begins to make slow, sweet love to her, showing her with his every action the truth of the words he’s spoken. She’s the glue that’s not only kept her family together, rather it was three women or a whole, small gang of outcasts from the Supernatural world, cast out because of their abilities that they refused to use like the rest of the Vampires, Witches, and even Watchers in the world, but the glue that’s kept him together as well. She’s made him whole at last, healed him in ways no other being ever could, and he thanks her again for all that and all she gives him, for every drop of her love, as he pays homage to her with his lips, hands, and even his fangs.

She doesn’t flinch. She doesn’t turn from him. She doesn’t fear or hate him. She loves him, and he, too, can feel it in her every touch. This woman fell to Earth not like a star but like an Angel. She’s saved him, and she saves him every night. As long as he’s got her, he doesn’t need the darkness. He can do what he needs to do, soul or no soul, and still come through for her. He told her she can do anything, but it’s her love that makes anything possible for him. “I love you,” he whispers as he fulfills one of her many fantasies.

Her breathless cry fulfills his most cherished fantasy of all: “I love you too!”


The End

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