Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Character/Pairing: Spike, Dawn, hints of Spike/Buffy, past Spike/Drusilla
Challenge/Prompt: nekid_spike: The Fanged Four
Word Count: 1,366
Date Written: 19 July, 2016
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission.
"What are you doing out here, Nibblet," Spike asks softly, shrugging out of his trench coat, "besides catching your death of cold?" She looks at him as he wraps his coat around her slender frame. "Vampires don't catch cold, luv," he says simply. "Now what are you doing out here?"
She shrugs but pulls his coat more tightly around her. "Thinking," she answers, and he wonders if all the Summers women are as adept as she and her sister at sneaking around giving real answers.
He looks back at the warm and welcoming lights of the Summer household, and suddenly, he understands. "Bit, we done talked about that."
She rolls her brown eyes, still trying to avoid true discussion. "I know; I know. It's not good for me."
Spike stares into her eyes until her gaze lowers from his. The damn Vampire knows her too well. "You may not have been real. You may have been made," he gently states the thoughts weighing so heavily on her countenance tonight. "But you're real now, Dawn, and that's what matters."
"Maybe I am real now," she finally admits, turning and looking back at the house that's supposed to feel like a home to her. "But I'm not really a member of that family."
"Family's what you make it, luv," he responds, trying not to let the sorrow in her voice shake him. "Take it from a bloke who knows."
"Oh, yeah?" she retorts sarcastically. "What do you know about family?"
He lights up and takes a puff of his cigarette as though it can actually do something to help his nerves. Only human beings get that bonus from smokes. "More than I want to, especially about that desire for being a member of a family." He sniffs, squares his shoulders, and finally begins his own story, knowing it might help lead him to actually being able to reassure her tonight. "Long time ago, it was just me Mum and me far as society was concerned. Every one said she babied me too much, but the truth was I wanted to take care of her. Then I found what I thought would be a way to take care of her."
Dawn shivers, but not because of the cold, night air. "When you got turned?" she guesses correctly all too well.
He nods, not afraid of showing his mistakes to her. If he shares his with her, perhaps she won't make the same ones. "Yeah. Ended up killing me Mum, I did, when all I wanted to do was help her."
"You were new -- "
"Doesn't change what happened, what I did then," he says, shaking his head at his own misdeeds, "or what I did after. I killed the only family I'd ever known, the only one who ever appreciated me -- " He almost says "poetry" but changes the course of his own speech just in time. " -- for me. Those people back there," he says, nodding toward the Summers' house, "don't care what you are or were, Nibblet. They care who you are."
"I was fool enough to think that the Vampiress who sired me -- "
He nods. "I thought she cared about me, bit. I lost me Mum, but I told myself I'd gained a family. Drusilla, Angelus, Darla, and me." He shakes his head and takes a long, slow draw on his cigarette. "I guess we were a family, in a way, much as Vampires ever become one, but they didn't care about me. They never did. Long before Drusilla left me for that Chaos Demon, I knew she didn't love me."
"But you loved her," Dawn says gently. "Buffy told me about how you helped her save the world way before you got chipped. She said you did it for Drusilla."
"I did." He shakes his head again and feels like kicking his own ass. "I've always been love's bitch."
"Is it really that bad?" She touches the back of his cold, pale hand, but he doesn't respond to her touch, too lost in his own memories.
"It is," he answers truthfully and sorrowfully, "when the one you love doesn't love you back. I got kicked around by all of them. Angelus had the run of things. I wanted to make him proud so badly." He sneers at his own stupid self. "I would've done anything for that bloke to see me as his match or better, but no matter what I did, he outdid me. I killed a family; he wiped out a village. I brought home dinner; he gave the girls a feast. You're too young to hear this," he says suddenly.
As he looks away, Dawn's gaze rises to the night sky. She can't see them from where they stand because of the street lights and all the other manmade things, but she remembers looking out over them. "Don't give me that," she demands. "I'm as old as the stars."
His lips quirk into a wry half-grin. "Uh huh."
"Any way, I get the picture. No matter what you did, he was better than you. At least, that's what they all thought and how they treated you." He nods in silent admission. "I feel the same way when Buffy's around," she admits quietly. "She's the Slayer. How the Hell am I supposed to compete with that?"
Spike breaks into a grin. "You've been around me too long, Nibblet," he teases, swinging an arm around her thin shoulders and giving her a gentle squeeze. She leans into his embrace. "But the thing is, you're not supposed to compete. That's one thing I've learned by watching your family. Real families don't compete for love." He shrugs. "They just automatically love you for you. I guess it's a human thing."
She turns and gives his cheek a quick peck. "No," she says softly and quickly because she can hear footsteps approaching, "it's not just a human thing."
"Regardless, your sister loves you, Nibblet. I've seen her pull her act together when she's been beaten down and is laying close to death many times because she remembers you're counting on her. Your mum ain't doing good. You know that, right? That's why the Slayer's staying home tonight and letting her friends pull her duty."
"I know," Dawnie whispers.
"And you're hurting because of it. You may not have been born into your family, Dawn, but you're still family. That's why you're hurting, the real reason you're mad, and why you're wanting to distance yourself, but trust me, Nibblet. Now's not the time for distance. You want to grab every minute you have with them because -- and I know this sounds lame, but it's true -- tomorrow's not guaranteed."
Dawn nods against his shoulder. "Come play with us?" she offers for she knows tonight's plan is popcorn, movies, and board games. She knows, too, that her mother likes Spike, and despite her sister's claims, Buffy also likes him. She more than likes him.
But Spike's already shaking his head. "No, Nibblet." He hugs her again with the arm that's still around her shoulders. "This is your time, your time with your family, and I won't intrude." He takes his jacket and steals off into the night before the Slayer can reach them.
"Dawnie?" Buffy calls. "Are you coming back in?" Both sisters pretend not to know that Spike was just there, and Spike walks off into the night, his mind caught back up in his own family and feelings. Damn it, but he still misses them! He shakes his head, reminding himself again that they were not a real family.
They may have shared the same blood. They have may have turned each other -- Darla starting it all by turning Angelus, Angelus turning Drusilla, and Dru finally turning him --, but they still were not family. Perhaps Vampires couldn't really have families. They won't supposed to have half the feelings with which he suffers on a nightly basis, after all. Yeah, that was the thing, he decides. They weren't supposed to have a family, just a pack like rabid, wild animals looking for the next meal. But damn, what he wouldn't give to have what the Summers have!