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Allies

AlliesDawn stepped out of a sapphire blue ocean and walked across a broad sandy beach. The sand gave way to grass, then pavement and she realised it was now night. She was at the edge of a crowd that was watching a parade swirl past, all loud music and impossibly beautiful women wearing vibrant costumes that revealed more than they covered. As she watched the spectacle pass her by, she caught sight of something out of place in her peripheral vision. A dark angel wove between the dancers. It disappeared as Dawn turned her head, but then she felt an arm slip around her waist and soft lips on her cheek.

Dawn woke from the dream. Careful not to disturb Spike, she rose from their bed and switched on the computer, muting the sound to keep noise to a minimum. As the computer booted, Dawn wandered across to the window and twitched aside the heavy drapes. It was late afternoon. If the dream hadn't disturbed her sleep, she would be getting up soon anyway.

The light outside reminded her of the city she'd seen in her dreams. It was a vast metropolis, with mountains and a huge statue. She realised that she recognised the statue. It was Cristo Redentor in Rio de Janeiro, Willow had sent her a postcard years ago.

Spike muttered in his sleep and Dawn turned to see that he'd sprawled across her side of the bed. She smiled to herself as she returned to her computer and set to work.

Dawn finished checking her e-mail for anything of import and logged onto the Watchers server. She confirmed the whereabouts of all Watchers and Slayers in South America over the coming weeks.

There were a couple of people stationed in Lima, one in Buenos Aires, two in Santiago, but the pair in São Paulo were about to relocate to Rio de Janeiro for Carnivale. It was the information she needed.

With a careful hand, she copied the details down on her notepad. Her writing was neat and legible, but after seeing Spike's handwriting, Dawn always felt hers was childish in comparison. It didn't occur to her that the changing standards in education over the years may have had something to do with it. She tore off the sheet of paper, folded it in half and slipped the note into the bodice of the doll that sat by her computer.

She ran a fond finger over the doll's delicate china features and remembered when Spike had first seen it.

--

Spike let himself into the apartment. He was a bit battered and slightly the worse for wear, but he looked well pleased with himself.

"I take it tonight went well?" Dawn looked up from her research as Spike came over and nuzzled her neck. She leaned back into his embrace and was surprised when a small book appeared in her lap. "You found it!" Dawn didn't quite squeal in delight, but she came close as she turned around to hug Spike in thanks.

"You'd be surprised what you can get when you chat with strange men in dark pubs." They weren't exactly men that Spike had been speaking to, but the premises were appropriately dark and gloomy, providing just the right atmosphere for not quite legal exchanges of goods and information.

Spike had needed to get a bit physical with a couple of vampires to discover the whereabouts of a Trudoth egg, but it was this information he traded for a book of Greellock poetry. Dawn had a buyer lined up for the book who was willing to part with a sizeable amount of money, more than enough to cover their living expenses for the rest of the year. Even more impressive was that they managed to broker similar transactions twice a month. It was a lot more lucrative than killing things for an ancient cause.

Spike was headed into the kitchen to fix a drink, when he stopped and called back. "Here." He tossed his lighter across to Dawn. "It's dead."

Dawn shook her head. It had been a running joke for years. Spike was quite happy to refill his lighters, but had never known that the flint could be replaced. Not that it ever bothered him, he'd just steal another one. Once Dawn had shown him that it was easy to fix, she had become the officially nominated lighter repairer.

Taking the replacement flints out of a drawer, she deftly inserted a fresh one and tested the lighter. A bright flame flared to life, Dawn snapped the lighter shut and passed it back to Spike. "You really should learn to do that yourself one of these days."

Spike shook a cigarette out and lit it. "That's what I have you for, love." He held his glass up in toast. Hiss train of thought was derailed when he saw the doll on the table. "Where did you get that?" Spike's voice was calm, but there was an undertone of worry.

Dawn leaned against the wall, arms folded across her chest, a half smile on her face. "She was left at the door."

"Ah." Spike relaxed a little. "So, where did it come from?"

"Drusilla left her." Spike's glass slipped through his fingers and shattered on the floor. "She came with a nicely written letter of introduction informing me that her name is Miss Gwendoline." Dawn was rather enjoying the impact of her news.

Spike stepped over the broken shards and began checking Dawn for injury. She suffered his concern with good humour, amused that it didn't seem to occur to him that he would have smelled blood or bruising on her before he walked in the door.

When Spike had finally assured himself that Dawn was intact and unharmed and he stopped his mantra of asking if she was okay, Dawn sat him down on the couch.

"Dru won't be coming by any more, she left the doll as a gift." While this was correct, there was much of her encounter with Drusilla that Dawn felt was best had left unsaid.

Drusilla had come to take Spike from her, but instead of a meek lamb to the slaughter, she met a swift blade and a compelling argument.

Dawn had suggested that Spike may not be too willing to go happily into the sunset with Drusilla if he found Dawn-pieces awaiting him at home. Drusilla could understand this, it seemed Miss Edith had already brought the point up.

As Drusilla was effectively eternal and Dawn would sooner or later depart the mortal coil, Dawn's reasoning was that she was Spike's temporary caretaker and that once she was gone, he would need Drusilla to take over in her stead.

Drusilla had considered this proposal with much whispering and muttering to herself. In the end she agreed that it would be best for Spike and with a whisper of satin and a brush of lips to the cheek, she was gone.

The doll had arrived the next day while Spike was out.

Not long after that the dreams had put in an appearance. Dreams of Drusilla on her travels and, as Dawn had a vested interest in keeping the woman in one piece, she kept Dru up to date with any Slayer activity in her whereabouts. It wasn't exactly an approved use of Watcher resources, but she knew life was never black and white and that information flowed both ways. The Watchers certainly never questioned where she got the information on far flung demon outbreaks that she passed on once Drusilla was safely out of the area.

--

Dawn figured she could probably just tell Miss Gwendoline what she needed to, but she found letter writing a more personal means of communication. It gave her the chance to express herself and she felt she got to know Drusilla a lot better this way.

Over the years she had kept Dru apprised of not only possible threats to her wellbeing, but of her life with Spike. It was like having a penpal. Except that Dru responded in her dreams.

Spike yawned loudly and almost opened one eye. "Coming back to bed, love?"

"Nearly done." She shut down the computer and went back to bed, Spike snuggling into her for warmth. As she closed her eyes she felt Dru's presence as she kissed them both before dancing away into the crowd of revellers.

Dawn slept knowing she was loved.

The End

--

bashipforever's Dawn/Spike Ficathon master list for claudia6913 — romantic, broken glass, pub, broken lighter, no buffy

Many thanks to the luscious moonbeamsfanfic for volunteering as beta.

Winner of the Round Fourteen Shades of Grey Most Unique Plot Award
Winner of the Round Thirty Three Heroes I Will Remember You Award

Comments

( 12 howls — talk to the wolf )
moonbeamsfanfic
30th Oct, 2004 04:44 (UTC)
Wow, that was quick. :P

Again, I really love this fic. What a great idea. Really.
redwolf
30th Oct, 2004 05:00 (UTC)
I was blanking on this challenge for ages, but I couldn't shake the Dru bunny and ending up running with it.
sanda56
30th Oct, 2004 10:57 (UTC)
Dawn's reasoning was that she was Spike's temporary caretaker and that once she was gone, he would need Drusilla to take over in her stead

Love this! How like Dru, er Miss Gwendoline to share nicely. Good to see Miss Edith taking an active role in the story too. :0)
redwolf
30th Oct, 2004 12:25 (UTC)
I'm really glad you enjoyed this.

Miss Edith did seem to be Dru's favourite, so it seemed appropriate to include her.
willshenilshe
30th Oct, 2004 13:00 (UTC)
Erm, do you take acolytes? Because I need to learn a few things from you about a well-turned story. This was just brilliant, and I love the Dru element.
redwolf
30th Oct, 2004 13:47 (UTC)
I'll get all embarrassed now.

You'd think that as writers we'd get over the fan thing, but we're all sitting here hammering away at the keyboards and still thinking; Damn! I wish I could write like Willa or Moon or Laridian or Bear or Leni or Jessica or Anne or WesleysGirl or Warren or all the other amazing authors on my flist. And there's a good chance they're doing exactly the same thing.

And I was thinking just that after reading that amazingly descriptive first chapter of your new verse.

I guess the best we can do is learn from our mistakes, learn from each other, learn not to ignore the muse (who insisted that I use this plot bunny) and realise that the guys actually making money of writing for a living are probably not that much different to us in that they always think the other guy does it better.

Many thanks for the amazing compliment. ::hugs::
edenfalling
31st Oct, 2004 03:11 (UTC)
Wow. Really, just wow.

The "taking care of Spike" theme (which is something both women have in common, though Dru's a little... haphazard about it at times), the dreams, the dolls, the whole feeling of vague unreality -- or maybe thin reality would be a better term -- man, this is brilliant.

I really admire people who can pull off a sort of dreamy atmosphere, the kind where you read the story in a kind of waiting mood, letting it all flow together instead of rushing through a plot. You're very good at creating moods and atmospheres.
redwolf
31st Oct, 2004 08:34 (UTC)
Many thanks for your kind words.

I feel a bit of a dork now, I almost didn't run with this idea.
(Deleted comment)
redwolf
1st Nov, 2004 22:25 (UTC)
Unlike Buffy, Dawn is more likely to think first, but she did greet Dru on her own terms first. Drusilla is always fun to play with.
eurothrashed
23rd Nov, 2004 06:55 (UTC)
I adore Dru in this. I've found her to be a hard character to get in touch with, and I applaud how well you've done it here. ::claps:: Plus, y'know, you can't go wrong with dolls. ;)

Does your muse take offerings?
redwolf
23rd Nov, 2004 08:23 (UTC)
Sometimes Dru just comes to me and there was no stopping her this time.

The muse perked up at the mention of offerings, but it could be assuming it is about to get its own harem of naked male slaves too. It's funny that way.
( 12 howls — talk to the wolf )