Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Character/Pairing: Spike/Dawn, past Spike/Buffy
Challenge/Prompt: nekid_spike 30in30 Day 10: Until the End of Time, Cinnamon Lips, Candy Kisses, I've Never Felt This Way Before, and Boyfriend and beattheblackdog 65: Girl
Warning(s): Future Fic
Word Count: 1,635
Date Written: 16 May 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission.
"You cookin' up a storm, pet?" Spike asks cautiously, stepping into the kitchen. He had smelled the delicious aromas wafting through it all the way down the street, and it's with no small amount of pride that he looks around them now. Every available space in the kitchen is covered with either already baked goods or the pans, mixing bowls, batters, and other instruments and ingredients Dawn's using to create the delicacies except for the very center of the kitchen table where a huge bowl of candy kisses wrapped in cheerful Christmas colors and green and red M&Ms sits on display, eagerly awaiting the next hand to dip into it.
Dawn turns to face him from having placed another batch of cookies into the stove. She follows his gaze around their kitchen and lifts her shoulders into a little shrug. "Maybe I am overdoing it," she admits, "but it's the first Christmas in a long time I've actually felt like celebrating. It used to be my favorite holiday, you know." She wipes her hands on a towel and comes closer to him.
"I know -- " Spike starts to agree, remembering the years before they'd lost Buffy and Joyce, both dreadful pains that seem to have haunted them for so very long now, but she stops him before he can reminisce too long, placing her lips on his. He moans softly, opening his mouth and allowing her tongue entrance as his embraces hers. She tastes of cinnamon and sugar, but there's still her lingering purity in her kiss, the taste of the only girl who's ever truly loved him and who he knows he still doesn't deserve.
She's leaning into their kiss and Spike's fingers are beginning to softly knead the small of her back when a timer goes off. Dawn jumps, ripping her mouth away from his unexpectedly and turns back to the stove. Spike's stomach growls instinctively at the tray of chocolate brownies she removes.
He starts to reach for them as she sets them on the table, but she stops him, gently swatting his hand away. "Still hot."
He shrugs. "Vampire." It's not like a burn from anything other than the sun can hurt him badly, but then Vampires don't usually have to be swatted away from food. Their nutrition comes from blood. It's rare that they can truly enjoy food like a human, but there's something about Dawn's cooking that always makes him ravenous.
But it's not in his nature to want him human food. It's not in his nature to want anything other than the sweet blood of the innocent and beautiful girl in front of him, spilling open and pouring down his throat. He withdraws his hand, and Dawn reaches for the green frosting she's made from another of her mother's old recipes. She glances up at him. "Don't do that."
"What?" he asks as though he's innocent, something he can never be -- but she is. He doesn't deserve her. He doesn't deserve --
"Go thinking all Vampy and broody on me." Dawn waves the frosting-laden knife at him. "I know exactly what you're thinking, and you're wrong."
"Do you now?"
"Yes. You're thinking you don't deserve this, you don't deserve me, but you're wrong, Spike." There are tears in her big, brown eyes as they meet his. "The reason I'm so happy this year is because I've got you. You're what pulled me through everything -- through Mom's death, through Buffy's. I know they weren't really my family, but they felt like it." Her bottom lip starts to tremble.
She looks back down at the brownies but not before he catches sight of a long tear dripping down her face. He mentally kicks himself for making her cry, but then she whispers, "I wouldn't be here if not for you." Her words hang between them as he remembers every time he came so close to losing her. His girl's got a penchant for hating herself just as he does.
"Nibblet -- " His voice breaks. She starts to cry. He moves swiftly around the table, wraps his arms around her from behind, and holds her tight. His pale fingers apply just enough pressure on her warm hand to make her drop her knife. He tries not to think of the knifes from their past, those blades that were covered with her blood, instead of frosting, when he found her so close to death so many times. He rubs her arms and pulls her closer still to him. She turns in his embrace and buries her face in the dark leather of his duster.
He holds her as she cries. This is a position they've been in so many times, and yet every time his concern for her is just as great as the first time he found her weeping and bleeding openly. It was first time that his desire for blood was a secondary thought, pushed far away and only noticed after her tears had subsided.
"I wouldn't be here if not for you," she repeats, murmuring after several, long minutes spent soaking his leather jacket with her tears, a salty sweet scent he'll still be smelling days later, "but I am here and you're here and we've got another Christmas together, another chance together at life. I want to celebrate it." She looks up at him through the tears still filling her eyes. "Don't you?" she whispers.
His smile is automatic and yet heartfelt. He caresses her cheek, his fingers moving up into her long, brown hair. "Of course I do, pet. I always want to celebrate you, luv." Looking around their kitchen again, he realizes he's telling the truth, but he's never felt this way before. He can't remember ever genuinely looking forward to Christmas, not even when her sister was alive or before, before he was turned and it was just his mother and himself --
He clears his throat, shakes his head as though the movement can stop his mind from turning back the centuries. "Of course I always want to celebrate with you, luv." He grins. "I just don't know when you became the next bloody Martha Stewart. She is a Demon, you know."
A bark of laughter escapes Dawn's drying throat. "Somehow that totally doesn't surprise me," she says with a roll of her eyes, and he realizes she's back. She's back from the brink again, much more easily this time than any time before. He squeezes her to him once more, hugging her tight, but then the oven's timer goes off again.
"You get the cookies," she tells him. "I'll get the eggnog."
With his back to her as he's extracting the tray of piping hot cookies, Spike doesn't see Dawn actually pour the eggnog, but the moment she hands him his glass and he takes a sip, he tastes the blood in it. He looks at his glass, noting how much darker it is than hers, and arches an eyebrow at the same time he smiles. "That's new."
"Do you like it?"
His smile turns to a grin. "'Course I do, luv." She doesn't run from his nature, not like Buffy used to, and she doesn't try to bend it, like every other girl he's ever been with, to make him do what she wants. She accepts him for who, and what, he is.
She beams up at him. "I'm glad you do." She clinks her glass against his. "To the best Christmas ever and the best boyfriend ever."
She sips her eggnog calmly even as he growls softly, "I'm not sure about that, Nibblet."
"I am." She sets her glass down. "I totally am. Now come here," she says, coming closer to him again and sliding her arms over his shoulders. "You're standing under mistletoe."
Spike glances up and, for the first time that holiday season, spies the sprigs of mistletoe hung all the way across their kitchen's ceiling. His laughter resonates in the warm room. "You didn't have a plan there, did you, Nibblet?"
"Of course I did," Dawn answers honestly. "I've always had a plan where you're concerned." She touches his lips to his. Again, Spike's mind flashes back on their past together. He remembers a brave, if impudent, girl telling him he'd wake up on fire if he ever hurt her sister again. He remembers holding that same brave girl as she cried and her world fell apart time and again.
And he remembers the scorch of fire not because she wanted him dead but because, for the first time, her hot lips against his were giving him a reason to want to live again, a reason to want to be, a reason to celebrate not just Christmas but everything good and radiant in his world, everything Dawn. She'd been a key, once upon a time, a cosmic key meant to open a cosmic doorway. She'll never be used for that, but she is a key nonetheless: She's the key that opened his heart, made him love again, made him live again.
Spike wraps his arms more tightly around her and lifts her up to the sink. He continues to make love to her mouth with his tongue, teeth, and lips, taking time to genuinely savor every second with her. He's going to celebrate this Christmas. He's going to celebrate life as long as he's got her, and he hopes, although, deep down, he knows it won't be, that that's until the end of time itself. But when she goes from this world, as her mother and sister did before her, he knows he'll find a way to follow for she is the dawn of the sunshine of his very heart and he'll follow her -- he'll love her -- forever. He may have saved her, but she saved him too.