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Reserve

ReserveDawn placed the flowers on the grave and stood with her hands folded in front of her like a schoolgirl. She'd have preferred to sit cross-legged on the ground, pulling up stalks of grass and losing track of time, but this was a cemetery in Sunnydale where it paid to cover your bases when it came to the art of the fast getaway.

She sighed and turned to leave, not surprised to see Spike step out of the shadows.

"You shouldn't be here alone at night, pet." Spike dropped his cigarette and ground the butt underfoot. "There's nasty things about."

"I wasn't alone." Dawn meets his eyes for the first time. "You were here. You're always here."

Spike put an arm around Dawn's shoulders. "Let's get you home before you're missed." He felt her tense up and wondered whether he'd hit the heart of the problem or put his foot in it.

Shrugging Spike's arm away, Dawn turned back to her mother's grave and sat down. The etiquette of nocturnal visits to graveyards changed when one of the things that went bump in the night was watching your back.

"Want to talk about it, love?" Spike crouched beside her and lit another cigarette.

Dawn leaned against Spike's side, not bothered that the man who'd left a trail of death across Europe was the one who always made her feel safe. "With Mom gone, it's like I have no family."

"What about Buffy?"

"She's going through the motions, but she's not there." She looked up at Spike, watching the smoke curl around his head. He wasn't watching her, his eyes were scanning the cemetery, but he was listening.

"Go on."

"Willow or Xander have a problem and Buffy bends over backwards, yet she can't manage to sign a permission request that I've been reminding her about for a week. It's like I'm a stranger in my own house. She doesn't yell at me, she doesn't fight, she doesn't talk, she just rattles around the house like I'm not there."

"Talk to her." It wasn't the response Dawn was expecting. "Lay your cards on the table. Tell her what you expect from her."

Dawn stood, brushing grass from her jeans. "And if that doesn't work?"

"Family isn't always blood. Family is the people who care about you. Never think you're alone."

"Walk me home?"

Spike kissed her on the forehead. "My pleasure."


spikedawnchallenge #1: family

Comments

( 12 howls — talk to the wolf )
moonbeamsfanfic
26th Jan, 2005 20:26 (UTC)
"I wasn't alone." Dawn meets his eyes for the first time. "You were here. You're always here."

That... ::sniffles:: That says it all right there. Beautiful.
redwolf
26th Jan, 2005 20:41 (UTC)
Thank you. Nice to hear it worked for you.
willshenilshe
27th Jan, 2005 02:42 (UTC)
You made me all misty-eyed. Go, you.
redwolf
27th Jan, 2005 13:39 (UTC)
Thank you. Makes a change from the usual body part count.
sanda56
27th Jan, 2005 03:58 (UTC)
Ahh! I liked it when Spike was like Dawn's favourite uncle.

Loved this line:

Dawn leaned against Spike's side, not bothered that the man who'd left a trail of death across Europe was the one who always made her feel safe.

It's so true of Spike. You know that he'd done dreadful things and yet at the same time he could be so comforting. (Yeah, yeah, in my dreams!) ;)
redwolf
27th Jan, 2005 13:40 (UTC)
While Dawn may know what Spike is capable of, he's never shown that side to her. Some of my killers have warm, fuzzy sides.
(Deleted comment)
redwolf
27th Jan, 2005 13:41 (UTC)
Thanks. Happy you liked.
pheral
28th Jan, 2005 07:25 (UTC)
"Family isn't always blood. Family is the people who care about you"

so so true. lovely ficlet.
redwolf
28th Jan, 2005 13:59 (UTC)
Thanks.
jetis
28th Jan, 2005 09:30 (UTC)
So it looked like everyone else got misty-eyed. I got a giggle from this: The etiquette of nocturnal visits to graveyards changed when one of the things that went bump in the night was watching your back.

Because I'm immature and have no emotional depth, apparently. And I also read the bit about Buffy and thought, "That bitch!"
redwolf
28th Jan, 2005 14:01 (UTC)
immature and have no emotional depth

That makes two of us. Happy about bitchy Buffy coming through, rather than pitiable Buffy.
( 12 howls — talk to the wolf )