A/N: I play a little bit with canon here. Dawn has only recently learned that she’s the Key, but she and Spike have forged a considerable bond already, more along the lines of their relationship later in the season. This is my first Spawn fic. Please leave comments!
So, that was it. Everything she knew, everything she was, everything everyone remembered about her was a lie. A sham. She wasn’t real; she was a thing. Not even a thing. A glowy green ball of energy stuffed into this adolescent form so that the Slayer would protect her from all the creatures, and hell gods, that went bump in the night.
Dawn walked along the dirt path of one of the more wooded residential neighborhoods of Sunnydale, deep in thought, not heeding the slithering shadows in her wake. It was late, dark. Buffy would have already likely returned from patrol to look in on their mother, whose illness plagued both sisters with an intangible worry. Dawn felt helpless, as usual. She was too young, too weak, too stupid to know how to make things right.
How to make Mom right, how to fix…whatever it was that was in her.
Why does the stupid world let things like this happen? she wondered, digging the white toe of her purple Converse into the loose soil as she walked aimlessly down the path.
It’s not fair. Why…? Why me? echoed in the chaotic halls of her mind, and she played over every significant memory she had, trying to find the holes in her creation, the breach in her psyche that would clue her in to what she should have known all along. That she wasn’t like the others. That she didn’t even really exist. That she was nothing more than an elaborate fabrication pieced together by an order of monks that were out of options and out of time.
Angry tears glittered at the corners of eyes, but she pushed them away with her fists, tugging at her short denim skirt as the wind picked up and rustled the leaves of the trees around her.
The vampire behind her caught a whiff of her tears, of her anger, her helplessness, and licked his lips in eager hunger. She was going to be wonderful. She would be his.
Dawn swept stray strands of hair from her eyes and walked on, shuffling into a cul-de-sac with finely maintained shrubs and bushes. Her fingers danced along the prickly leaves and she wondered if this was what it truly felt like to touch a juniper bush or just what the monks thought would be a decent enough substitute to dull her senses to keep her from finding out the truth.
She heard it then. Something behind her, like the sound of loafers on gravel. She whipped around to glare behind her with wide, nervous eyes. A man stood not far away, lighting a cigarette while holding a matchbook, his shaggy dark hair falling across his eyes. There were houses along the road, afew parked cars in driveways. He probably had just stepped out for a smoke, not wanting to stink up the Febreze-laced furniture of his home.
He plucked the cigarette from his lips and blew out a stream of smoke, regarding her for the first time, eyeing her curiously. He nodded his head at her in acknowledgement and glanced off down the road in the other direction, his hands slipping into his pockets as the cig dangled between his lips.
Dawn frowned, but hesitantly turned, hurrying a bit faster in the direction she had been headed. She veered through a backyard and stole her way back into the woods, creeping along in the direction of home.
I could have sworn there wasn’t anyone there as I passed. I thought... and she stopped abruptly. Her chin wobbled as her eyes went wide with panic.
I never heard a front door slam. He didn’t come from… and that’s when a cool palm descended over her mouth in a tight grip, her blood running cold with fear.
Dawn went to scream, but a crushing grip settled over her throat, choking off her cry for help.
“Hello, little girl,” the vamp whispered. She kicked her legs hard and brought her hands up to where his fist was clenched around her windpipe, tugging at his fingers to loosen his hold.
“Nyoh,” Dawn gasped, dark circles swimming at the corners of her vision. “Nyoh,” she pleaded again, tears threatening to spill over.
The vampire smiled and licked at her tears, growling at the intoxicating mixture of salt and fear.
“Have a death wish, little girl?” he asked, shoving her harshly against a tree, a knot in the bark painfully digging into her back as her feet dangled just off the ground. “Shouldn’t be out and about by yourself. It’s just not safe,” he growled, flashing his fangs at her.
He was right, of course. Not safe. Should have known. She should have known. Dawn squeezed her eyes shut, the tears rolling down her cheeks. She didn’t think it would end like this, but perhaps it was just as well. Maybe she wouldn’t even feel it. Maybe she would revert to her former glowy self and drift into the ethos back to wherever mystical keys came from.
Dawn’s head hit the trunk of the tree, her eyes shooting open.
“You think it’s that easy?” he snarled. “Oh no, you’re not going to lie down and take it bravely. You’re going to beg, you’re going to scream, you’re going to bleed!” he rasped against her, his breath rank and smoky on her cheek.
Incensed, he hauled Dawn away from the tree and grabbed her wrists in one hand, yanking her hair back with the other.
“Get off of me, you freak!” she finally managed to shriek, her eyes shooting daggers at her captor.
“Getting off sounds more like it,” the vampire growled, yanking her skirt above her waist and tearing at the crotch of her panties, which was dotted with little red hearts with arrows pierced through them. Buffy thought they made such a cute Valentine’s Day gift.
Dawn screamed then, really screamed, when she felt his cold hands at her thighs, holding her in his iron grip.
“NO, NO!” she shrieked, clawing blindly at her assailant. “Get off, get off!”
She twisted frantically as he struggled with his jeans until another blow caught her at the back of the head, and her legs faltered.
“Ungh…” she groaned, blood trickling out of the corner of her mouth where she had bit her tongue from the impact. Her eyes swam, and she hated herself at that moment.
How stupid could I be, how stupid…
She felt it then. The vamp's fingers digging into her ass from behind as his cock aligned itself with her entrance.
“Oh, fuck,” she gasped, wriggling wildly again, and with all her might shoved her elbow into the vamp's stomach.
Doubling over, the vampire let go of her as he clutched his middle, a groan escaping his lips.
Dawn ran as fast as she could over the wooded, mossy ground toward Revello Drive. She could do this; she could get there. She could make it right.
Her attacker pursued her at lightening speed and gained on her within a minute, grabbing her hair as it trailed behind her. The sudden yank threw her off balance, but she whirled around to scratch and bite anything she could reach, fighting for her life.
She could see tombstones a couple of hundred yards away and called on all the reserves. She had to make it to Restfield Cemetery.
Buffy, Buffy could be there, Buffy will help…
As her sneakers hit the short, moist grass of the graveyard, they skidded along the sod and she crashed to her knees, scrapes opening up along her legs.
Oh no, oh no…she cried inside, dragging herself on hands and knees further into the cemetery.
A hand caught her foot and violently twisted her ankle until she let out a whimper of pain. The vampire kneeled over her now, his eyes flashing and glittering gold.
“You really know just how to work up an appetite, don’t you, honey?” he hummed with pleasure, gripping her thighs as he pushed his way into her. Pain shot through her all at once, surrounding her from all sides as his nails drew deep furrows into her hips. She cried out as he wrenched her head back to expose her neck.
Before he could fully seat himself inside her, a ferocious roar echoed throughout the night, and Dawn suddenly felt the weight of her attacker ripped off of her, out of her, as her assailant sailed a good ten feet from where she lay.
A flash of platinum hair and black leather was all she needed to know. Relieved tears spilled from her eyes as she gave a ragged sob. Spike was here. Spike would save her.
“You bloody animal!!” Spike raged, grabbing the vampire by his throat and squeezing with all his might.
“You disgusting piece of shite!” he ground out, pummeling the vamp from side to side, his body weaving and lurching like a rag doll under Spike’s fists. Spike broke his wrist with a brittle snap, and watched with satisfaction as the pillock screamed uncontrollably as his arm went limp at his side.
“Not gonna be needing this anymore, are ya, mate?” he hissed, his own demon visage snarling with contempt as he gripped the vamp’s now flaccid penis and gave a hard twist.
He produced a stake from his duster pocket, and backhanded the retch as he thrust the piece of wood home. The bastard exploded into tiny particles of dust that filled his nose.
Spike stood, unnecessarily gasping for air, his shoulders heaving, his fists clenched. He stared wild-eyed into the night, a thousand different emotions racing across his face as his senses were inundated with the sharp, tangy smell of blood.
“Unh! Nuhhh!” He turned then, hearing for the first time Dawn's pain-laced cries. It took all he had not to close his eyes when he caught sight of her.
The pale column of her neck was tinged with purple bruises, her hips a mess of scratches where her rapist's claws had cut into her. Her knees were scraped with dirt, her left ankle under her at an awkward angle. His gaze crawled up her coltish legs to the bloody mess of her inner thighs before settling on her large, frightened eyes. She shook uncontrollably.
“Oh, Bit,” he whispered, and rushed to her side, his demon face melting away as he cradled Dawn in his arms, drawing the hair away from her face and kissing her brow.
“What did the git do to you?” he whispered, wrapping her in his duster to stave off the increasing chill in the air. She clung to him, trembling like a leaf, but said nothing.
He came for me. He came for me.
He fussed over her nervously when she didn't respond, unease and worry knitting his brow. Drawing her in close, Spike picked her up in his arms and started jogging toward the gates of the cemetery.
“Gotta get Buffy. Get you to a hospital, your mum…”
The mention of her mother caused her heart rate to skyrocket. Wrenching her head away from his shoulder, Dawn reached a hand up to clench at the neck of his shirt. Frantically, she yanked hard, halting him, and shook her head furiously. “No!”
“What's this about?" Spike queried with wide, expressive eyes. "Need to be on our way with you in such a state.” She shook her head more, her lips cracking open to speak.
“It hurts, Spike. It hurts. Can’t go home, can’t let them see, not Mom. I’m so stupid, so stupid…” she trailed off in long sobs. She sounded hysterical, the pitch of her voice high and strained. Spike shifted her against him, and tucked her head against his chest, his fingers stroking through her glossy hair.
“You’re not stupid. Don’t ever say a thing like that. You’re gonna be okay. Spike’s gonna take care of you,” he whispered into her hair.
She nodded and looked over his shoulder. “Your crypt,” she stated plainly, and he hesitated for just a moment before he turned around to head back to his home.
Spike kicked the door open and hurried inside, holding Dawn tightly. The harder he squeezed, the less she shook. Her skin was icy where he gripped her under her thighs, her warm, sticky blood dribbling onto his fingers.
God, the smell…he groaned, and placed her in his easy chair, backing away from her as he hurriedly wiped his blood-stained hands onto his jeans.
“Is it bad? Oh, God, I feel like he ripped me apart!” Dawn moaned, her thighs splayed open as she bit back a cry and cupped her mound.
Spike stalked back and forth in front of her, his nostrils flaring, unsure of what to do. Wasn’t in the job description, was it? Rescuing little girls from Big Bads, mollycoddling them after their death-defying experiences. That definitely wasn’t on the reluctant white hat memo last time he checked.
“Spike?” Dawn asked, grimacing as she got to her feet to stand at his side, her fingers gripping his sleeve.
“I don’t know. I don’t know, Little Bit,” he confessed, shaking his head in answer to her initial question. “I’d…I’d have to look.”
He cursed himself the second the words left his mouth, but Dawn nodded frantically, panic written on her face.
Spike didn’t move for a long moment as he stared intently at the floor. Dawn shuffled nearer and choked, “I…I have to know. I have to know what he did.”
No more lies, no more hiding, I need to know, I need the truth.
Spike looked down into her wide blue eyes, swimming with tears. She reeked of sorrow, her mind reeling with confusion as her fingers twitched and shook at her sides. How many girls had he down this to and walked away? How many...?
Spike nodded mutely and slowly dropped to his knees to kneel between her thighs. With his eyes closed, he desperately tried dissociating himself from the pungent, sweet smell of her virginal blood. This was Dawn, he reminded himself. Not some tasty morsel. This was Dawn.
Blood was smeared across her thighs, and he ached to see the girl so torn. Of course he had done much worse in his day. She had gotten off easy.
Little girls tear so easily…like pink paper. The words rushed up, unbidden in his mind, as he remembered all the little games Drusilla liked to play with the orphaned girls they found fleeing from the factories and lock houses on the streets of London.
He forced his eyes to take in her quivering thighs, to gaze upon her swollen and torn entrance. Things he had no right to see.
“It hurts…inside,” Dawn whispered, her trembling fingers gripping one of Spike’s hands where it rested at the back of her knee.
“Likely didn’t get all the way through. Wanker left the job half finished,” Spike murmured.
‘A course, had you been faster, you could have kept the prick off her completely, you right prat.
Dawn’s chin wobbled. She shut her eyes tightly and let out a ragged, shuddering breath.
Just take this all away. Make me forget. Make me forget everything.
“Make it stop hurting, Spike. You can. I know it." Dawn pleaded, her grip on his shoulders insistent again as she clung to the only lifeline she had.
“You don’ know what you’re asking, Niblet. I shouldn’t…”
She wailed as her thighs quivered and a deep, dark sadness engulfed her.
“Please…” she begged with wide and searching eyes. Trusting eyes.
God, what a fool she is, Spike thought.
He ran his shaking hands up and down her lower back, her thighs, soothing her, trying to calm her shattered nerves. If he hurt her, so help him…
Spike reluctantly ducked his head back down and gazed at her relatively bare pussy, the growth there sparse and thin, but a pretty chestnut color much like her hair. Unlike Buffy, the drapes matched the curtains.
“Relax, Platelet. I’ll…I’ll do what I can.” He tentatively moved forward and nuzzled his face against her inner thigh to press soft kisses up and down the creamy skin in hopes of distracting her from whatever pain she was feeling. He breathed in her scent and began to slowly lave the trails where her blood trickled down her legs, clearing away the bright crimson smears.
His heart ached for Dawnie. It shouldn’t be this way. Taken forcefully by a monster just to be thrust into the arms of another? He was stealing whatever innocence she had left, covertly working in the guise of her friend. He hated himself, hated what he was doing, all the while she urged him on and whispered how much she needed him.
Dawn’s tears still leaked from the corners of her eyes, but her sobs had turned to jerky little hiccups as she tried to be brave and let herself accept Spike’s gentle ministrations.
His hands at her hips feathered along her legs, restless and unsure of where to place them. He couldn’t do this; he just couldn’t.
“Dawn,” he whispered, looking up at her from where he knelt before her. “Are you sure you need…?”
“Yes,” she insisted, her wide eyes stricken. “If it has to be this way, at least…let it be you. Not that…that monster.”
Spike shuddered and he pulled Dawn in for a hug, resting his head on her belly. She tunneled her fingers through his hair, holding him to her.
“Won't see you hurting. Not if I can help it. But God help me. Tell me to stop, tell me whenever…”
“I won’t,” Dawn said in an even voice and took his hands in her own to lead them back to her hips. Staring at each other, he saw her fiery determination. Just like her sis, she was. When she had her mind set on something, she was going to see it through. He had to respect her for it.
Acquiescing, Spike nodded silently and dropped back down to her sullied innocence.You can do this. You can do this for her, he thought, trying to convince himself that this was somehow sane. That this wouldn’t get him staked as sure as the sun rose.
His tongue dipped forward and swept upward along her slit where the blood was still fresh and oozing. He shivered at the taste and let out a kittenish mewl, which was echoed by Dawn above him. It tasted old and powerful. There was something in the girl that made him want to cower, made him want to serve. It was no wonder a god was after her with power like that racing through her veins.
Spike continued to work, not daring to spread her with his fingers in case he stretched her already abused flesh further. Dawn bit her lip at the sensations and closed her eyes, holding Spike’s head gently to her as he began to rock her back and forth with his lapping.
She sighed and murmured, feeling for the first time in weeks a sense of peace. This was real. This was hers. It was…it was good. She cooed quietly and let her head fall back, tears of gratitude slipping down the planes of her face.
Between Dawn’s thighs, Spike had never known such wonderment. Her reactions were so raw, organic, new, honest – it was all too much for him. He nuzzled in closer, his nose bumping her clit as he cleaned away the evidence of her rape. Dawn let out a sigh, her breath catching slightly as he began to suckle on her. When he had cleaned the last of the blood away from her pink folds, he drew back to assess the damage more carefully. She whined when he stopped, her cheeks flushed pink, her pulse rapid, and Spike glanced back up at her in surprise.
“Don’t stop” she murmured, peering down at him through her curtain of long, dark hair. “I want you…I want you to lick there too.”
“Where?” he whispered hesitantly and prayed to whatever gods listened to soulless vampires that she wouldn’t answer and he could take her home and put her to bed like he should have from the start.
“My…my…here.” Dawn placed the tips of her fingers above her clit, and then moved them away.
“Bit, I don’t think…” but Spike abruptly stopped as Dawn dipped her head in shame, her brows drawing together as she struggled to keep her emotions in check.
He quickly amended his error. “Shhhh,” Spike soothed her gently. He wouldn't be responsible for having her think her body was somehow wrong or tainted. She had enough of that rubbish swimming in her head as it was.
“I got you,” he promised and he brought his head back down to lightly tongue her clit in slow circles.
Dawn gave a gasp, her fingers digging into Spike’s scalp as she urgently held him closer.
“Need to feel, need to…” she murmured, and through the pain and slowly dissipating fear Spike smelled the delicate odor of her arousal tickling his nose. He squeezed his eyes shut and continued on with his task, guilt crashing over him in unrelenting waves.
Yes, yes, please, more, Dawn thought as Spike’s gentle tongue brought her to life, soothing her fears. She rocked slowly against his mouth and whimpered in time with his lazy caresses, her hands cradling his head to her in a loose embrace.
“Un…uh, I think, I think I’m gonna…” Dawn gasped, shivers starting to race up her spine. The sensation swarming over was familiar, but foreign. It was nothing like this when she brought herself off, furtively in her bed, sunk low under the covers .
Spike gripped her bottom tightly and brought her flush against his mouth, lapping at her clit with a renewed fervor, his breath coming out in short puffs against her skin. He could sense her approaching orgasm, and then maybe this would be over and he could finally do right by her - do the right thing. As Dawn’s nails started to prick at his scalp, a low whine rattling out of her clenched teeth, he gently eased his tongue to the outside of her entrance and carefully probed inside of her with tentative flicks.
“Oh, God…” Dawn gasped on an expulsion of breath she had unconsciously been holding. The noises she made ratcheted up and down in intensity with each small peak. She listened to herself with wonder as her body shuddered helplessly in his strong arms.
Spike slowed his lapping and held Dawn gently, rubbing slow, encouraging circles into her back. “Tha’s right, love. Let it all out. Shhh…”
Her raspy breaths seemed loud in the silent crypt and she risked a glance downward at the top of Spike’s head, glimpsing the twisted, pained expression on his face.
She tilted his chin up to look at her, his eyes subdued and sad as they both silently regarded each other. Her hands swept over his cheekbones, his eyes, and Spike leaned in to her gentle touch, lips ghosting over her palms. A slight smile formed at her lips.
She shifted slightly, but was pricked by a sharp twinge. It made her flinch and she pressed her thighs together convulsively.
“It still hurts inside. It feels like something’s broken,” Dawn fearfully whispered into the darkness, only the indirect light of the moon illuminating the crypt. “What if I can’t –?"
“Hush now. Don’t think such things.”
“Check. I want to be sure. I want to…to know that everything’s okay,” Dawn said hesitantly.
Spike snorted internally. Like anything could ever be okay again.
“Come here,” he murmured and Dawn shuffled a little closer to him. “Bring your leg up. Here, on my shoulder.” Holding her hips to steady her, she arched her leg over Spike’s bony shoulder until the back of her knee rested against him.
She blushed, the curtain of her hair dropping down across her face to hide her embarrassment. The position opened her up to Spike’s searching eyes, and she bit her lip nervously.
Spike sighed and brought his vamp face forward hoping to be able to see the damage better in the dim light. His fingers tenderly spread Dawn’s folds apart. She winced slightly, but stilled the shakes that threatened to overtake her. Her entrance was torn a bit toward the bottom, but nothing that wouldn’t heal in a few days, Spike surmised.
“Inside, Spike. Check,” Dawn reminded him.
He brought his hand up, resting his cheekbone on Dawn’s hip as he gently circled her entrance with his thumb.
“This might hurt. Tryin’ to be careful here. Don’t want to…”
“I know,” she said. “Just do it.”
Spike nodded and slowly slid the tip of his middle finger into her, waiting for her body to relax and let him in. God, she was so tight, so warm. Spike growled low in his throat, but silenced himself when Dawn stilled and peered down at him.
He inched his finger forward a little further until he was in to the second knuckle. It was then that Dawn groaned suddenly and made to move away from him.
“Spike…there. Why, why does that hurt?” Her hands sought out his shoulders again for comfort.
“'Is your maidenhead, Bit. He didn’t break through it all the way. Some of it’s still intact here. Can feel where it’s shredded.”
She stood silently for a moment, her mind scrambling to remember what she knew about ‘maidenheads.’ A memory of sneaking into Buffy’s room last year came to life in her mind's eye. She had been looking to steal her lipstick, but instead had come upon a book with a feminine script across the cover that read “A Time Too Near,” with a frontierswoman in the arms of a white man dressed in Native American clothing. She casually flipped through the pages and settled on one, her eyes wide as she read a passage that described the man’s ‘throbbing member’ breaking through Olivia-shivering-with-want’s ‘maidenhead.’
Dawn looked grimly down at Spike and nudged his shoulder. “Do it,” she said, her lips a thin line.
Spike’s startled eyes darted up to her, pleading with her. “Oh, Bit, haven’t I taken enough from you?”
A sad smile graced her lips and she shook her head, entwining her slim fingers with those of his free hand. “No, you’re giving it back.”
Spike reassuringly squeezed her hand and added a second finger, smoothly thrusting deeply into her with a quick jab, regret written on his face.
“Ungh!” Dawn cried out. Her fingers dug into Spike’s hand where he clasped her.
Spike barely thrust his fingers back and forth as she quivered, listening to her labored breathing as she tried to calm herself. Small strands of blood leaked though his fingers and he ducked to catch the droplets, suckling on her again. With Spike’s tongue back in the mix, Dawn arched into him, grinding against his mouth as he took more of her in and pressed open-mouthed kisses along her slick flesh. Tonguing her still, he released her hand to gently rub circles around her clit as his fingers inside her picked up the pace and thrust deeper, hitting something that left a diffused, cottony warmth in her groin.
As the pain subsided, Dawn rocked in earnest against Spike’s hand, feeling his fingers tipping back and forth inside her as she guided his movements.
“Yeah, pet. Jig yourself off on that,” Spike murmured, stilling his fingers as Dawn bucked up and down on them herself.
Dawn’s faced screwed up into a mask of torn pleasure, her finely arched brows coming together and her lips pouting in concentration as she rode Spike’s hand.
Close again, Spike sucked her clit into his mouth and worried the nub between his lips, which elicited a sharp moan from Dawn, who began to spend around his fingers in deep shudders.
“Ohhhh, unnnn!” Dawn cried, her tight entrance contracting and rhythmically squeezing around the digits. Moaning quietly, her legs gave out and she sank down to the floor with him. He held her as she came down from the small bit of pleasure he could offer her, all the while whispering little endearments into her hair like “my good girl” and “so beautiful.”
Dawn’s slim arms wrapped around Spike’s waist, her head resting on his shoulder as he slowly eased his fingers from her.
“Push out a bit, pet. Won’t hurt so much if you do.”
Dawn bore down slightly, the muscles of her vagina relaxing somewhat to give Spike’s fingers easier passage. As he withdrew his hand, she closed her legs, bringing her knees up close to her chest as she tried to get as much of herself into Spike’s embrace as she could.
Spike held her in the silence and couldn’t help but greedily suck her remaining blood and spendings off his fingers. They sat like that for a long time, both lost in their own thoughts as they took comfort from each other.
At last, Dawn raised her eyes to his and said, “I want to see. See what he did to me.”
I need to know. Need the proof, so I don’t forget. So I know this is real.
Spike picked her up and placed her in the corner of his couch, smoothing her hair down where it gathered in little matted knots.
“I’ll be right back. Hold tight,” he whispered, and disappeared into the lower level of the crypt leaving Dawn by herself in the shadows. She looked around at Spike’s décor, the unlit candles, easy chair, TV, couch, fridge, and other miscellany scattered around the crypt. She vaguely wondered where he got all this stuff from.
Spike reappeared momentarily, a long sleeved blue shirt in one hand and a small black, circular disc clenched in the other. Placing the shirt on the back of the sofa, Spike held out his hand to Dawn. In it he held a small compact mirror that Harmony had stupidly touted along with her everywhere she went, despite the fact that the daft bint couldn’t see her own reflection.
Dawn took it and flicked it open, a puff of blush shooting into the air as she eyed herself in the little mirror. Her eyes soaked in the bruises, the tear tracks, her sad eyes and tangled hair, recording all of the nuances to memory. This was her. This was real. This was life. And it was hers.
She shifted her legs apart slightly and brought the compact down between her thighs taking in her pussy, which now looked very much the way it normally did. She couldn’t see the damage in the low light, but she still felt the sting and was relieved that the blood wasn’t there anymore. Her entrance shone with traces of her arousal, the dewy liquid catching small glints of light. She touched herself gently and drew her hand back, snapping the compact shut and placing it on the sofa between her and Spike, who stared off in the other direction to give her a semblance of privacy.
She looked at him for a long moment and then touched his hand. “Let’s go,” she said, rising to her feet and pulling her rumpled skirt down over the remnants of her panties.
Spike nodded silently to the shirt that lay on the back of the sofa, which Dawn picked up, her eyes questioning.
“For your waist,” he said and she tied the shirt around her, covering her a bit more than the skirt already did.
Spike stood beside her and they both walked out the door. At the threshold, Dawn looped her arms around his waist and he pulled her closer, his arm resting along her shoulders.
They walked in silence the rest of the way to Revello Drive, and when they reached her doorstep Spike shuffled to a halt and let go of her shoulders.
“Can’t go in with you. Big Sis wouldn’t like it. You should tell her what happened though, tell her...”
“No, she has enough to worry about with Mom,” Dawn insisted, her eyes darting up the stairs from where the two of them stood at the open door. “There’s nothing to do. The vamp’s dust; it’s not like I can get pregnant. You took care of it, Spike. You took care of me,” Dawn whispered, her eyes shining, and she hugged him to her, her nose buried in his shirt.
“I’ll never forget it,” she whispered low enough that only Spike’s vamp hearing could pick up on her confession.
“Me neither,” he said, shifting uncomfortably.
Spike drew Dawn away from him and held her at arms length, his eyes hard and serious. “Take a bath. For me, okay? Soak away any aches I couldn’t…It might bleed a bit for the next few days. Give yourself time to heal.” Spike thought of admonishing her for going out alone, to demand that she never ever do it again, to ask what she could have been thinking, putting herself in danger like that, but instead he whispered, “And if you need someone to talk to…”
“I know where to find you,” Dawn finished.
Spike tilted her chin up in his hand, giving her one last long look before he walked away from the door, his coat swinging behind him in a beautiful display of dark leather like an avenging angel. Her guardian angel.
Dawn took the stairs quietly and opened the bathroom door. She let only the small light of the Glade plug-in at the outlet guide her. Once she was stripped and the bath was filled, she eased herself into the warm water, happy to be engulfed by the dark heat. Dawn tilted her head back against the rim of the tub, her eyes slowly shutting when she smelled cigarette smoke drift up to the open window of the bathroom. A smile crept across her lips. The backyard was just below her.