Nibblet Ch. 01bybadgirl298©
Three years. It had been three long years since Spike had left Sunnydale. He grinned sardonically as his car sped by the familiar "Welcome to Sunnydale" sign. Time for a bleedin' reunion.
He'd helped the Scoobies defeat Glory and then fled from Sunnydale. Spike had run from his impossible love for the Slayer, his desire to help the gang and become a "good guy", and his attachment to the Slayer's sister, Dawn. To this day he didn't know how she'd been able to worm her way into his cold undead heart. He'd never been able to evict her from it either.
When he told Dawn that he was leaving Sunnydale she had begged him not to go. She'd been the only one who cared. Dawn had sat on the slab in his crypt and silently watched him pack up his meager possessions, tears streaking her beautiful face. When he was finished packing, he'd wrapped his arms around her and whispered in her ear. "Goodbye, platelet. Take care of yourself." Dawn had pleaded with him with those big blue eyes of hers and he'd nearly told her that he wouldn't go. Instead he'd brushed his mouth of hers lightly, and given her the first kiss she'd ever have. They'd stared at each other for a moment before he'd wrenched himself away from her. She'd scrubbed her tears from her cheeks with the backs of her hands and watched him go, her face expressionless. She just stood by the side of the road watching him, that young old face still haunted him
Spike's love for Dru, even his feelings for the Slayer ,were wrapped up in his own wants and desires. His affection for Dawn was different matter. She was his little sister, a friend, and something else that he couldn't define, all wrapped up into one package.
Dawn had often snuck over to his crypt to listen to him tell tales about his past. He could tell that he scared her but she seemed to delight in it as well. She liked being scared but still felt safe in his presence. Spike could be himself around her without any recriminations. He'd also shamelessly basked in her hero worship of him.
Spike had known about her crush on him. It had been obvious from the first time she'd been over to his place. The Slayer wanted him to protect her from Glory and he had, desperate to win Buffy's affection. Instead, he'd won the devotion of the youngest Summers' female. Spike had been absurdly pleased. His pride had taken so many hits since he'd become chipped, it felt good to be admired once more. Especially because her former crush was Xander. The Big Bad was just irresistible. Not that he had any intention of acting on it. She'd been far too young. But he'd flirted with her and teased her a bit, no harm in that.
Thrown back to the present, Spike pulled into the Summer's driveway. He surveyed the house as he made his way to the front door. It was if time had stood still, it appeared the same. He knocked. The door was pulled open by Buffy herself. "Spike." She smiled at him and made a sweeping motion with her hand. "Come in."
"Buffy." He acknowledged, forcing himself to walk inside. Spike winced at the involuntary pain in the vicinity of his chest at seeing the Slayer. She'd sent him an invitation to her wedding. She was marrying Riley, good 'ol Captain Cardboard. And in that instant -- simply seeing her standing there. Spike knew he still loved the Slayer. Once he started loving, it was hard for him to stop. Hell, he still loved Dru in his own way. He hoped that coming to Buffy's wedding, seeing her marry someone else would force him to move on. He looked around the room. "Looks the same." He strived to appear aloof.
"Yes, it still does." She studied the room. "I couldn't change anything after Mom died. It would have been wrong." Buffy said quietly. She was getting married in two days and it was hard for her to accept that her mother wouldn't be there to see it.
Spike took in a unnecessary but calming breath. "So, where's the bite -sized one?"
"Dawn? She's with Willow, they're running some errands for me right now. I wanted to be here when you arrived."
"Oh." He felt a stab of disappointment. Having Dawn here would stop him for saying something stupid. Like begging Buffy not to marry that lunkhead.
"To be honest, I'm amazed that you came. We didn't even know if we had the right place. We got your address from the Watcher's Council."
"Yeah, I've been living in Paris for two years now. Course you'd know where I was. Busy body Watchers. Would have been here sooner, but I had to take a bloody ship. Didn't want to get my handsome face singed by the sun on an airplane."
She smiled, studying him. "They said you still had the chip."
"Yeah, I'm still chipped." Spike didn't meet her eyes. In fact, he'd had the chip removed by a world-renowned neurosurgeon a year ago. The man had been intrigued by the technology and kept the bit of steel. Spike had been glad to be rid of it. But, he knew if he told Buffy, he might end up a dust pile on the carpet. He still hadn't been able to kill though. Too much time with the Scoobies and being chipped had stopped that desire. He only drained a non-lethal amount of blood from his victims now.
"Well, why don't you have a seat? I have some blood in the fridge."
"You normally keep blood around, Slayer?"
"No, but I thought you might be here and Angel is supposed to come."
"I'd like a mug of blood then. Thanks." Angel was going to be here? This was truly going to be the weekend from Hell.
The door swung open and Willow and a tall dark-haired woman entered. They were carrying bags from Bette's Bridal Boutique. "Buffy?" Willow called out. She saw Spike and grinned at him. "Hi there."
"Hello, pet. Where's your witch?"
"Tara? She's at home with our kitty, Samantha. She's got the sniffles." Willow set down her bag on the dining room table. The dark haired woman did the same. He still hadn't put two and two together. He noticed the young woman had nice legs and a trim waist, firm breasts, an enticing neck and. . .bleedin' Christ. . .it was Dawn.
Spike's mouth hung open. "Dawn, is that you?"
"Hello." She smiled at him, friendly but not with the same enthusiasm she used to show.
Spike went to her and took her hands in his own as looked at her."Bloody hell! What happened to you, nibblet?" Where did his mischievous woman child go?
She looked embarrassed as she studied her hands. "I grew up, Spike. I'll be 18 tomorrow." She pulled back from him and shook her head as she went into the kitchen. Dawn came back with cups of tea for the three women while Buffy carried a mug of blood for Spike.
Spike tried not to stare at Dawn as they sat down to talk in the living room. "Where'd you meet up with Cap. . .I mean, Riley again?" He asked Buffy, desperate for a topic of conversation even it was bleedin' G.I. Joe.
"He was stationed back on the Hellmouth two years ago when a group of very nasty demons moved to Sunnydale. We started dating again and. . .the rest is history."
"What about you, Red? What are you up to?" Spike still had a soft spot for the red haired witch. She'd had always been kind to him. He had a grudging respect for her formidable powers.
"I'm starting graduate school next year. Tara and I have an apartment now. We're pretty happy." She beamed at him, clearly happy with her life.
Dawn drank the last of her tea down and looked at her watch. "Gotta go, everyone. It's been nice seeing you, Spike." She smiled at him. "Be back later." She called to no one in particular as she flitted out the door.
"Where's she going?" Spike asked, he'd expected a warmer welcome from her.
"If I know Dawnie, she's probably got a date." Willow said.
"God only knows who the boy of the week is." Buffy groaned, shaking her head with parental tolerance.
"She's too young to be dating." Spike grumbled to himself. He sat back in his chair and listened half-heartedly to Buffy's wedding plans, his mind occasionally drifting to thoughts of the young dark haired woman his nibblet had grown up to be.
Later that evening, Dawn began climbing the trellis back up to her room. She was an hour past curfew and if Buffy found out she'd be furious. She had just reached her windowsill when a pale hand grasped her wrist and pulled her the rest of the way inside. "You're out late, aren't you?" A familiar British accent drawled.
"Yes." Her eyes dared Spike to say something about it.
"You should be more careful, nibblet." She still had the same big blue eyes and sweet face, though it wasn't childlike anymore. Spike looked down at her outfit. This was definitely no child. She wore black stockings, a black skirt that came to mid thigh, and a midnight blue satin shirt. "What are you wearing? You weren't wearing that when you left." His mouth suddenly went dry.
"No, I wasn't." Dawn said before she pushed past him into her room. She'd changed out of her jeans and t-shirt at her friend's place. "Now, it's my turn to ask questions. What are you doing in my room?"
"Your sis invited me to stay for a few nights. I just happened to be walking by and I noticed that you weren't all safe and sound in your bed. Got concerned."
"Did you tell Buffy?" She asked, a hint of worry entering her voice.
"Not yet." Spike grinned, he had her where he wanted her now. He sat down on her bed and patted it. "Why don't you tell me what you've been up to for the past couple of years?"
"Why should I? It's not like you care." She said as she crossed her arms. "I know why you're here, Spike."
"Really? And why am I here?"
"You're here to stop Buffy from marrying Riley. You're still in love with her."
Spike flinched under her scrutiny. The thought had entered his mind. He had visions of draining Riley dry before running off with the Slayer. "I'm not going to stop this wedding. I got over my Slayer obsession ages ago."
"Oh, please!" She rolled her eyes. " You're so transparent, I know that you still love her, I can see it when you look at her."
Spike frowned at her, this wasn't how this little conversation was supposed to be going. He wasn't sure what to do with this new ,confident Dawn. He changed tactics. "Come here, nibblet. Tell me what you did tonight."
An impish grin lit her eyes. "Wouldn't you like to know?"
Spike was captivated by the look on her face. So, there was a bit of his little partner in crime left in her. It gave him hope. "Do you remember the night we broke into Giles' shop?"
"How could I forget? I found out I was the Key that night." She said this without any bitterness. She'd come to terms with her unusual heritage. Dawn sat down next to him and curved her body so she faced him.
"Did you miss me, platelet?" Spike asked hopefully.
She tilted her head, considering , as a genuine smile spread over her exquisite face. "Maybe just a little bit." She bit her lip and then and launched herself into his arms.
Spike sighed in relief as he held her, grateful for her display of affection. "I missed you too."
She pulled back from him. "I'm glad you came. I did miss you, you know. You're kind of like . . . an uncle to me. Like my favorite uncle."
Uncle? She thinks of me as a bleedin' uncle? An old, wrinkly, sexless uncle? "And here I thought you still had a crush on me." He tried to keep the hopefulness out of his voice.
"Gross!" She hit his arm playfully.
Having a crush on him was. . .gross? Summers women were certainly bad for the ego. "Of course you don't." He shrugged, trying to appear dismissive of the whole matter.
"You're too old for me anyway. Anyway, I got over that a long time ago!" She looked at the bedside clock. "Well, I'd better get to bed. I have a hair and nails appointment with Buffy tomorrow. Did she tell you that I'm the maid of honor?"
"No, she didn't." Spike was still reeling from her news that he wasn't a sexy vampire in her book anymore. "Goodnight, nibblet. See you in the morning."
"Night, Spike." Dawn watched him walk out of her room in a daze. As soon as he shut the door, she laughed into her pillow. This was going better than she expected! Dawn had pestered Buffy until she invited Spike and he'd actually come. She'd thrown him for a loop with her appearance and her casual attitude towards him. Then she'd topped it off by saying that he was like an uncle to her. Dawn had always know that Spike enjoyed a challenge, he wanted to win a woman. Well, he was going to get his chance! Phase two of her plan began tomorrow night. She couldn't wait!
The next night was the wedding rehearsal. Dawn and the other attendants stood in the back of the church as they got into position. The best man was Xander. Anya and Willow were bridesmaids. On Riley's side, were his two attendants were Graham and Seth, a lieutenant from his regiment. Spike sat in the church pews along with Angel, Wesley, and Cordelia, and Tara. The couple had opted not to have a flower girl or ring bearer.
Dawn held Xander's arm as they walked up the aisle. The dark haired man bent down and whispered something in her ear that made her laugh. Spike felt himself bristle. What was the idiot trying to do? He should know better, he was a married man. Married to an ex-vengeance demon no less. Xander should leave beautiful, sweet, innocent things like Dawn alone. Spike hunched down in his seat. Bloody Hell! He was starting to sound like his bloody poof of a sire.
Spike watched the rehearsal in dismay. Things just couldn't get worse. Here he was watching the woman he loved marry an Initiative soldier. . .in a church no less! He had expected the pain to be worse. He just felt a little pang of regret now and then. Maybe it was a good idea to come here after all. If the Slayer wanted to marry a complete bore like Riley, who was he to stop her? Finally, he could get over it and move on with his unlife.
His good mood recovered, Spike, who was sitting behind Angel, slapped the soulled vampire on the back of the head. "I think you're slipping up, poof. I can see a square inch of your hair that you forgot to gel. Quick! Toss me the your travel-sized and I'll fix it before anyone notices."
Angel turned to glare at the younger vampire. "Why the hell are you here, anyway?"
"I was invited, just like you. You might say I'm a friend of the family." Cordelia and Wesley noticed the conversation and scooted out the other end of the pew, anxious to be away from the fire works that were about to begin.
Dawn came up to them then, her part in the rehearsal had just ended. The bride and groom were practicing their vows. "Hi, Angel." She said quietly, looking at him from under her lashes.
The dark haired vampire smiled at her. "Hello there, young lady." Angel put her fingers to his mouth and kissed them in a courtly gesture. Spike didn't know it but they played this game every time they saw one another. Angel would never dream of trying anything with her but he enjoyed her company.
Since Angel had his "epiphany" he'd been a much happier vampire. He liked to joke with people and have fun in general. Angel had even started to flirt with Dawn when she'd turned 16, it was a bit of harmless fun that made them both feel good. Being a man who enjoyed beauty in all its forms. . .whether it was art or poetry or even women, Angel appreciated her in purely artistic terms. Though he also enjoyed her mind. She was brilliant young woman and she never stopped making him laugh.
Spike glared at his sire. "What the hell are you doing? She's a child." He hissed furiously, while his demon roared. She belonged to him!
Angel, sensing a chance to pay his childe back for the earlier comment, sought Dawn's permission with his eyes. She smiled in answer. Angel caught her around the waist and placed her on his lap, then he wrapped his arms around her. "I don't know, Spike, she seems all grown up to me. " Angel nuzzled her ear.
She twisted around in his arms to look at him. "I am all grown up." She shook a finger at him. " And you better watch out, Mr. Vampire. Maybe I'll decide to come after you one of these days."
Angel's grin was pure decadence. "Anytime, little one." His even white teeth closed on her slender finger and nipped. She giggled in delight and pulled her finger out of his mouth slowly. When it was free he tilted his face up. "How about a kiss for your favorite vampire?" Dawn was leaning down to kiss Angel on the cheek when Spike stood up and pulled her off his sire.
"Come with me, nibblet." He rushed her past her oblivious sister and the slayerettes to the parking lot outside. "What the hell was that?" He said as she leaned casually against the wall.
"You and Angel? Are you dating the poof?"
"Angel is. . .special to me."
"Are you dating him?" He demanded.
"Uncle Spike, I am not going to answer your questions. That's none of you business."
He groaned. Uncle Spike? How much could one vampire take? "Listen to me, Dawn, he's bad news. He ruined Drusilla's life, he ruined your sister's life, and I won't sit by and watch him hurt you too."
"Get over it. I know that you have this competitive thing with him. Let me reassure you. Angel will never take your place in my life."
"He won't?" For a moment a bright smile spread across his handsome face.
"Of course not. You're like my uncle or an older brother. You will always be special to me. I feel. . .different about him." The look on her face while she though about the vampire was blatantly suggestive. Spike's hands balled into fists as he felt his demon rage once more. She noticed his change in demeanor. "Why are you so angry?"
"I-" He broke off. "I-I'm just concerned about you, platelet."
"Don't be. I can take care of myself." She smiled brightly. " Now, why don't we sneak away from the rest of them and get one of those flowering onions you like so much?"
The promise of food and time spent alone with her swayed him. At least she wouldn't be with the poof. He sighed in defeat. "Lead the way."
At The Bronze they sat in a secluded table in the back. Dawn watched Spike wolf down the onion petals and spicy dip. She excused herself and made her way to the bar. "Two beers, please."
"You got I.D., missy?"
She held out her fake identification and the man handed her two light beers. She sauntered over to Spike and handed him one. The vampire stared at her. "How did you. . .?"
"I have my ways." She waggled her eyebrows at him. He grinned, despite himself at her audacity. She drank the beer easily, she'd done this before.
When he pulled out a cigarette and lit it, she asked him if she could try it. She took it from him and sucked in a lungful of smoke only to cough and choke it back out. "That's terrible."
"Well, I don't have living lungs so it isn't that bad for me." He was pleased to see that she didn't have this vice as well. He brought the smoke back to his own mouth, he could taste her on it.
When they had drank down their beers and finished off the onion, they walked home in companionable silence. At the front door, Spike noticed that the lights were off. "Buffy isn't going to be here tonight?"
"No, she'll probably spend the night with Riley." He didn't reply, just silently followed her inside. "Goodnight, Spike."
He pulled her to him as she started for the stairs. "I thought you and I would have a chat."
"About vampires and why you should never get involved with us." Spike was still angry about her behavior with Angel. He controlled it until they could be alone together.
She gulped. "I'm not involved with a vampire."
"Yet." He pushed her against the wall and pressed his body against hers. "But I have the distinct feeling that you will be soon." His lips settled on hers, feathering small kisses against her mouth. Then his tongue traced the seam of her lips. "I gave you your first kiss. Do you remember?" He whispered huskily.
"Yes." She opened her mouth to say more, but that was all the invitation he needed. His tongue invaded her mouth and entwined with her own. Spike moaned low in his throat. "Dawn."