Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Surprise!
Character/Pairing: Spike, Dawn, mild Spike/Dawn, Clem, Surprise Crossover Character, mentions Spike/Buffy
Word Count: 2,190
Date Written: 17 October 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
“Spike, you have to come with me!” Dawn cried, bursting into the Vampire’s crypt.
He jumped to his feet, expecting danger, but the kid looked fine. There wasn’t a cut on her, and although she was out of her breath, he didn’t smell blood or bad guys. He paused his TV. “Why?” he questioned, eyeing her.
“You just have to come!”
“Dawn, tell me what’s going -- “
“You’ll never believe me, and I don’t have time to explain it!” Remembering the proof she’d grabbed out of the cage earlier, Dawn fished around in her jacket pockets until she found the object.
Spike blinked in surprise as she pulled out the carrot. It had been completely drained of its juice and instead of the usual orange was stark white. He frowned at her. “Nibblet, what -- “
She dropped the carrot and grabbed his hand. Pulling on him, she cried, “Please, Spike! Just come with me! Buffy will never understand, and she’ll probably think she needs to put him down! Please come with me!”
“Fine, fine,” he muttered, grabbing his duster off of the couch. “What weapons do I need?”
“Huh, probably none actually,” Dawn admitted, stopping to think.
“What the bloody Hell are you getting me into, Nibblet?” he demanded, shaking off her urgently tugging hands.
“He’s a rabbit, and we have to rescue him!”
He reconsidered the carrot and this new bit of information as he pulled out a cigarette and lit it. “Fine,” he muttered, dropping the lighter into one of his trench coat’s pockets. “Lead the bloody way.” He shook his head as he stomped off after her. He was the only bloke he knew, undead or otherwise, who would be following a kid after a bloody rabbit this time of the night!
Everything was still as they walked through the streets of Sunnydale, Spike quickening his pace to meet Dawn’s. It was to be expected, though. It was Halloween night, and most monsters spent the holiday the very same way he’d intended to spend it: alone with their telly and blood bags. But of course leave it to a Summers woman to make sure he couldn’t just take a night off. “How’d you find out about this critter any way? Buffy wouldn’t have let you -- “
“She thinks I’m watching movies in my room.”
“So she doesn’t know you’re out here with me? Just bloody great,” he growled from around his dwindling cigarette.
“No, she doesn’t, and I don’t plan on telling her! You better not either! She’d never understand this!”
“I’m not sure I understand it,” he groused.
“But you will! I promise you will just as soon as you see him!”
They came to a place where dogs barked and cats meowed, yowled, and hissed, making quite the cacophony of noises. Spike made a face. “Dawn, why are we at the bloody animal shelter?”
“It’s not a shelter,” she hissed. “They put them down after only three days! Three. Days! Spike, can you imagine that?! They claim they’re helping the animals, but they only keep them for three days and then they kill them!”
He eyed her with growing apprehension. “You’re not planning on breaking them all free, are you, pet?”
“If I was, I wouldn’t have brought you, and it wouldn’t be on Halloween night! But we have to help this one, Spike!”
He watched, his eyebrows rising slightly in surprise, as she made short work of picking the lock. “Do that often, do you?”
She cut a glare over her shoulder at him, but instead of answering, she hurried into the so-called shelter. “They set him apart from the others, because he’s a bunny, but they don’t really know what he is. We do, of course.”
“I still don’t know what the bloody Hell I’m doing here!” he complained as he followed her into a small office area. There was a cage behind the desk, and in that cage a black and white rabbit hopped. The bunny turned and looked up at him. Spike recoiled in shock as the rabbit’s beady, blood red eyes peered up at him knowingly. Then he opened his mouth, and the moonlight filtering in through the solitary window highlighted his fangs.
“Bloody -- “ Spike said. His mouth stayed gaping open. Forgotten, the cigarette slid from his mouth and landed on the floor, but he recovered and stomped it out before it could catch the place on fire.
“Yeah. Precisely. He’s a Vampire! Buffy’s just going to want to put him down!”
“Then we open the cage and set him free.”
“It’s not that simple! He’s going to need somebody to take care of him, and I can’t exactly take him home!”
Spike stared at her. “You want me,” he demanded, “to take a rabbit home?”
She looked up at him. He waved a hand at her and started to turn away. “Please -- “ Her bottom lip trembled. Tears filled her big, doelike eyes.
“DAMN IT!” he roared and grabbed the cage.
Dawn grinned. “YES!”
“We’re finding a home for him.”
“Yes, of course, if we can find someone willing to take in a Vampire bunny -- “
“This is crazy!”
“Since when do we ever do anything that’s not crazy?”
Spike stopped in the foyer. His head swiveled, and he turned to gaze down the long hallway that stretched from where they stood all the way to the back of the place. He could smell blood, so much blood that it made him both hungry and even a little queasy all at the same time. “THIS IS BLOODY NUTS!” he roared, blinking under the watchful eyes of seemingly countless animals.
“Spike -- Maybe it’s nuts,” Dawn said, “but it’s the right thing! And you try to do the right thing these days, don’t you?”
He stopped. His head turned swiftly back and forth between her and the eyes that seemed to light up the dark night while simultaneously and wordlessly begging with him to save them. He sighed and closed his eyes. The fingers of the hand holding the cage tightened their grip while his other fingers curled into a tight fist.
“I’m gonna regret this,” he grumbled.
“No, you won’t! I promise! Come on! Let’s go before the cops get here! I sure they have some kind of an alarm system.”
“I haven’t heard anything,” he muttered, reopening his eyes and once more facing the eyes that filled the long hallway that led to the chamber where the animals were killed. “DAMN IT!”
“Spike -- “
“Here.” He thrust the cage at her. “Take the damn rabbit. I’ll meet you back at my place.”
“What are you -- “ Dawn stopped as the realization of the true reason behind his struggle struck her. “You’re going to -- “
“Just get out of here before the damn cops do get here! I can’t afford to have your sister trying to kill me for getting you into trouble!”
“Technically I’m the one who got you into -- “
He shook his head. “She’ll never see it that way.”
They both knew he was right, and what he was about to do was right too, at least to Dawn’s thinking. She had watched this Vampire struggle to become a hero instead of just another bloodthirsty monster. She had watched him fall deeply in love with her sister and act on that love not just to help Buffy but to help her and others too, including sometimes people and Demons they didn’t even know. The others still doubted him, but she’d seen the way he was with her and with Clem too and with a few others they’d rescued along the way. The man before her wasn’t a monster; he was a hero in his own right. She beamed up at him, ran up to him, and kissed his cheek. “Thank you,” she said, keeping eye contact with him.
“Just get out of here,” he grumbled. She wondered if it was her imagination, a trick of the moonlight or perhaps of the Witching hour, or maybe just her own wishful thinking, but it looked like he was blushing!
“I won’t be far,” she promised.
“You better not be seen!”
“I won’t be!” She ran out of the animal shelter where she’d volunteered earlier that day for a school project. She’d thought she’d be helping animals, but now she really was. Finding a tree a few blocks away to hide behind, Dawn ducked down to wait and held the cage tightly to her. The bunny wiggled his nose as he watched her through his blood red eyes. “He really is a great guy,” Dawn whispered excitedly to him. “My sister’s so lucky!” And so was she, she thought, to have him as a friend, if nothing more.
Soon she heard sirens splitting the silence of the night, but just about that time she also heard howls and yowls. She peered out from behind the tree and burst out grinning as she saw about fifty dogs running as fast and hard as they could go. Thirty or so cats chased behind them. Last came Spike, whose trench coat, she noticed, was wiggling.
“I couldn’t leave them behind,” he saw, pouting. Dawn gasped in delight and grinned wide when she saw a kitten poke its tiny, black head out of one of Spike’s many pockets. “They don’t have a mum,” he said in way of explanation.
“They do now!” Dawn cried happily. She started to hug him again, but the cage was in the way.
“We don’t have time,” he said, shaking his head. “We’ve gotta bolt. Come on, pet.”
She chased behind him all the way back to his crypt. Clem looked up as they burst through the entrance. His ears wiggled in surprise. “What’s going on?” he asked. “I made a beer run, and when I got back -- “
“I was gone. I know,” Spike answered. “This one,” he explained, cocking his head in Dawn’s direction, “had a wild rabbit mission for me.”
Their Demon friend frowned, causing even more wrinkles to appear in his already baggy face. “A wild rabbit mission?”
Dawn held up the cage.
“Oh, he’s cute!” Clem squealed.
She thrust the cage at him and turned to Spike the moment he took it from her.
“Hey, he’s a Vampire!” Clem exclaimed behind her.
“No duh. That’s why we had to save him, but Spike went a step further, didn’t you, you hero, you?” She grinned wide as she teased him. “Come on! I want to see!”
“I could use them for poker, you know,” he muttered as he lifted out the first kitten, who’d been riding more out of his pocket than in it.
Dawn folded her arms before her chest and looked crossly at him. “You don’t do that,” she said defiantly. “I know you better than that! You don’t play for those kittens to eat them. You free them!”
“She’s right,” Clem admitted.
“Shut up!” Spike growled.
“We find homes for them.”
“And we’ll find homes for these,” Dawn agreed, cuddling each kitten as Spike slowly lifted them, one at a time, out of his trench’s deep pockets, “when they’re ready.”
“They’re not gonna be ready for a while. They’re gonna require an awful lot of caring.”
“We’ll do it!” she exclaimed. “It’s not like any of us have anything better to do anyway!”
“As a matter of fact, I -- “
“Have something better to do than save a life? Nah. You don’t,” she said, shaking her head. “If you did, you wouldn’t have saved all of them when I asked you just to save one!”
He let out a puff of breath he didn’t need in an aggravated sigh. “Fine. I’ve grown into a bloody soft touch!”
Dawn sat down on his floor and started to play with the kittens. Spike felt something moving in his trench and removed one last one. This one was pure white except for his bobtail. His tiny paws swung at Spike. “Ha!” The Vampire laughed, grinned, and actually cuddled the kitten to his chest. Dawn was a little bit busy with the five she had on the floor. Besides, maybe being a soft touch wasn’t that bad after all.
“This is the coolest Halloween ever!” Clem exclaimed behind them. He’d opened the cage and was petting the Vampire bunny.
“Definitely best the treats ever!” Dawn exclaimed happily, her eyes and face shining with utter and complete delight. “And the best hero ever!”
“Yup!” Clem agreed, his ears wiggling.
Dawn smiled up at Spike. This time, she knew she didn’t imagine his blush. “Shut up,” he said, growling playfully as he sat down on his couch with the “fierce”, bob-tailed kitten still held in his arms. “We’re missing Passions.”
And Buffy’s missing a lot with you, Dawn thought, watching him. Who knew, though? If her sister got tired of him, it might just work to her advantage. The only thing she could think of that could possibly be a better Halloween treat than the kittens whom she was still cuddling and petting would be having a hero like him for a boyfriend. Her wide grin remained in place. A girl could dream after all!