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Family

FamilyThe four of them sat around the lounge room, wearing differing expressions. Willow was determined, Tara torn, Spike furious, but Dawn was completely blank, numb. None of them seemed willing to break the silence.

Willow finally looked away from Spike's unblinking stare. "I... I'm sorry, Dawnie, but it's for the best."

"What? Packing her off to some arsehole who couldn't even get his finger out to call her on her birthday and has now buggered off to parts unknown to shag his secretary?" Spike's tone was low, measured. He wasn't yelling or slamming Willow against the wall in an attempt to shake some sense into her, but his voice was enough to send shivers of fear up Willow's spine. "Over my dead body."

"Technically —" She broke off at Spike's look.

"Don't I get a say in what happens in my life?" Dawn's quiet voice succeeding in breaking the tension where Willow's attempt at humour failed. "I'm not a problem to be solved."

Tara laid a gentle hand on Dawn's arm. "What do you want to do, sweetie?"

"I want to stay." She held up a hand to stop Willow's protestation. "This is my home. All my friends are here. I don't know anyone in LA."

"But you should be with your family." Tara hugged Dawn against her side.

"Don't you get it?" Dawn reached across to take Spike's hand. "You guys are my family. You're all I have left and I don't want to lose you too." Her eyes were shiny with unshed tears.

Willow sniffed loudly, unable to hold her tears in check any longer, and flung herself into Dawn's arms. "I just thought you'd want your family. I didn't think you meant us."

Spike pulled is coat on and was about to head for the door, leaving the women to their sob session, when Dawn's words stopped him. "Spike, you have to stay, you're family too."

He ducked his head. It wouldn't do his image as the Big Bad much good if he was caught crying like a girl.


15minuteficletsword #60: father