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.
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