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RespiteDawn had finished tending the results of Spike's latest encounter with her sister and was fetching blood from the fridge when she saw the crypt door start to open. She raised her crossbow to chest level and waited for the intruder to enter, when Tara stepped into the crypt.

Tara was a little surprised to be greeted by an armed Dawn and noted that, while the girl lowered her weapon, she didn't set it aside. "How is he?" she asked in genuine concern.

"Conscious..." Dawn paused to let the impact of the word sink in. "For a change. It was mostly bruises this time, but I think there's a couple of cracked bones in his wrist."

Tara winced in sympathy and dropped her eyes, not willing to meet Dawn's direct gaze. "Buffy's at the *Magic Box*. She's very upset."

"I suppose Spike is to blame for everything." Dawn snorted in derision, she doubted Buffy was worried about Spike's welfare and was instead more concerned that her friends would discover she wasn't the princess they thought she was. Dawn had witnessed the messy consequences of far too many Slayer tantrums of late and wasn't prepared to be charitable towards her sister at the moment.

"She didn't make a lot of sense." Tara sighed. "She just said that Spike had been hurt and you were helping him. I thought you might need a hand."

Smiling for the first time since Tara arrived, Dawn visibly relaxed, the tension in her chest unwinding slowly, like a clock spring. She wasn't surprised that the only one of her friends who'd bothered to check on her and Spike was Tara.

"What happened?"

"Buffy happened." Dawn's furious look startled Tara, the girl's anger was still close to the surface. "She's been using Spike as a punching bag to avoid dealing with the fact that she's alive again. Somehow, screwing my best friend and beating the crap out of him makes her feel better about herself."

Tara blanched in shock, she knew about Buffy's relationship with Spike, but was horrified to learn that it extended to physical abuse.

"He can't stay away from her and I'm terrified she'll end up killing him." Dawn's fingers tightened into a fist, her nails biting into her palm to hold back the tears that threatened to fall. "If she actually bothers to ask, tell Buffy I won't be coming home. I'm staying here with Spike."

Tara nodded and gave Dawn a quick hug. "I'll let everyone know and bring you some clothes and other things over tomorrow."

Dawn thanked her and barring the door after Tara's departure, returned downstairs with the blood for Spike.

15minuteficletsword #49: spring
Part of the Alley!verse


( 15 howls — talk to the wolf )
6th Apr, 2004 06:44 (UTC)
Tara! Yay! I'm not sure how much sense I'm making, but the was wonderful and I'm happily awaiting the next peek into this !verse. Your characterizations are perfection. ::pets poor Spike::
6th Apr, 2004 07:40 (UTC)
Happy to provide your fix for the day.
6th Apr, 2004 06:49 (UTC)
OOh! Preeety!

Love strong Dawn.
Love blushing Tara.
Love hurtyhurty Spike.

6th Apr, 2004 07:41 (UTC)
Many thanks.
6th Apr, 2004 11:07 (UTC)
You brought in Tara; I must now adore you. Seriously, though - I agree with others. The characterizations are spot on. More, it's fascinating to get a look into what happens when Dawn takes an active role in Spike's life. Always happy to see more of this 'verse.
6th Apr, 2004 13:29 (UTC)
I does seem a shame that Dawn was relegated to the background in season six and seven. At least I get to make up for that oversight now.

But then I guess the powers that be didn't get your letter rquesting they sack all the girls, lock the male characters in a room together, throw in some oil and see what happens, either. A bit disappointing that.
6th Apr, 2004 13:31 (UTC)
More of a damned shame, if you ask me... but at least I can play with them and force them to do my evil bidding in stories. ;)
6th Apr, 2004 16:17 (UTC)
Somehow, screwing my best friend and beating the crap out of him makes her feel better about herself - Love angry Dawn, willing to take care and protect Spike from Buffy/himself.

Love understanding Tara.

Can't wait for the next part!
6th Apr, 2004 22:25 (UTC)
Angry Dawn is always fun and Tara is adorable, so how could I not include her.
6th Apr, 2004 18:41 (UTC)
Brave-pretty-Dawn with a crossbow in her hand! all the baddies, demons and humans(Buffy, of course!!), will tremble in front of that image!!! :)

And yay!! a scene with Tara too! ::hugs Tara!::

I love the Alley!verse !!! :)
6th Apr, 2004 22:29 (UTC)
Glad you're enjoying the ride.
6th Apr, 2004 20:36 (UTC)
Ohhh...Tara enters and finds out about Buffy's nasty habits. And the plot thickens...
6th Apr, 2004 22:29 (UTC)
Let's see how Buffy worms her way out of this one.
8th Apr, 2004 13:21 (UTC)
I love your Dawn. I love your Dawn. And, oh, did I mention I love your Dawn? 'Cause I really do!

I never could quite figure why Dawn, the epitome of "You're not Mom, you can't order me around" stopped going to see Spike because Buffy didn't like him anymore. I like your version better.

"Somehow, screwing my best friend and beating the crap out of him makes her feel better about herself."

I love this line. See, Spike can be a good influence on young girls! He teaches them insight and biting sarcasm! :-)
9th Apr, 2004 01:39 (UTC)
I thrilled that you love my Dawn. And loved that you pointed out Spike's influences on Dawn — good from her point of view, possibly not so good from Buffy's when she's on the receiving end.
( 15 howls — talk to the wolf )