Nibblet Ch. 15bybadgirl298©
Dawn came down the stairs to see two surly vampires staring at one another in their usual state of disgust and dislike. It wasn’t at all how she envisioned her morning. Actually, she’d expected to wake up in Spike’s arms and was disgruntled that she’d woken up alone. She’d planned on snuggling up to him and engaging in more of their playful pillow talk. “Dawn,” Angel called, eyeing her, a particularly churlish look on his face. “Did you sleep well?” She didn’t like the way he said that or the way he was watching her.
“Yes, I did as a matter of fact.” She came the rest of the way down the stairs and went to stand behind Spike’s chair.
“You were supposed to get up early for your aerobics.” He sounded so disappointed in her as if she were ignoring her duties as a Slayer. It was only one work out.
“Well, I had a change of plans, Angel.”
Angel narrowed his expressive eyes on Spike. “I know exactly what kind of ‘plans’ you had.”
Spike was enjoying himself. Nothing like stirring up trouble between his Nibblet and this pansy ass wanker. He gave Dawn a glance that was full of sensual meaning. “Let’s just say that she had enough of a workout last night.”
“Spike!” Dawn and Angel cried simultaneously. Dawn, because she was embarrassed and because she was tired of being the latest rope in the tug of war between Spike and Angel. First Drusilla, then Buffy and then herself. They both had issues and she was sick of being their babysitter.
But Dawn couldn’t the look of pain on Angel’s face, she needed to ease it a little. “Nothing happened.”
“That’s a lie.” Spike said. “She’s a shy one, this girl. I’m sure you understand, mate.” He leaned back and winked at Dawn. She smacked his forehead and he screeched in protest before he sat up straight again.
“I looked in on you this morning and you were both fully clothed.” Angel said angrily, watching both of them closely. No, they couldn’t have. . .could they? Why would they put their clothes back on afterwards?
“You were checking up on me?!” Dawn cried.
At the same time, Spike decided to go with this a bit more. “Hoping to sneak a peak at me, weren’t you poof? See how you measure up?” Spike crowed. He relished the image he got of Angel walking in on them while they snuggled in each other’s arms. He could picture the hurt in his eyes. The torment. Maybe it would teach him what if felt like to have his girl stolen. And Dawn definitely belonged to him, she just didn’t know it yet.
He scowled at Spike before turning pleading eyes at Dawn. “Not like that. You were supposed to sleep with me last night.”
“What?!” It was Spike’s turn to be angry.
“Not like that. Just sleeping, nothing else.” Dawn said hastily to Spike.
“What a pity.” Angel muttered but no one heard him.
Dawn looked at her mentor. Her friend. “You know why I didn’t.” She stared down at her toes suddenly. Dawn knew that if she had stayed the night with Angel something would have happened. Something wonderful and terrible too. They both had stretched the limits of their control last night. The alcohol wouldn’t have helped their judgement either.
“Did I miss something?” Faith said, breezing in with a box of donuts . “What’s with all the gloom?”
“Nothing, luv.” Spike said, eyeing the donuts with delight. “Say, pet, you didn’t happen to get a bear claw did you?”
“I got two. One for you and one for me.” Faith said with a smile. She reached out and chucked Dawn under the chin. “I got you a cream-stick, D.”
‘Thanks.” Dawn felt the tension leave her body, grateful for the distraction and the promise of sugar. She had reluctantly come to the conclusion that she couldn’t have both of them. She could be with either Spike or Angel. She owed it to herself to see how things would work out with Spike didn’t she? Why was this so damned hard? She welcomed the break from the decision. Especially in the form of chocolate and sugar.
The older vampire retrieved some mugs and the coffee pot for the group from the other room. “What did you get for me?” Angel asked, still sulking from her hasty departure last night.
“You’re getting into this food thing aren’t you?”
“Not all food, just some of it.” Angel said defensively. “Sugar is good in the morning. It makes you more alert.”
“He likes donuts.” Dawn supplied.
“Did you get glazed?” The dark vampire asked hopefully.
“Yes, there’s a couple of them.” Faith said, watching his goofy‘happy face’ with amusement.
“Thanks, Faith.” Angel grabbed up a donut and dunked it in his coffee. He took a bite and chewed with gusto.
“You brought me donuts once.” Faith said. She remembered that morning like it was yesterday. She’d been sent to kill him but she couldn’t do it. She’d screamed like a banshee and begged him to kill her. He’d merely reassured her that she could change, gave her a place to sleep and brought her donuts the next morning. It was the first food she’d had in days. She’d shyly eaten one while lounging in his bed. It felt like home to her somehow.
“I remember.” Angel met her eyes, it was obvious that he was remembering the same thing she was.
Dawn looked at them curiously. She didn’t understand. “He gets them for me all the time. I eat them after I train.”
“I know, princess.” Angel reached out and ran a finger down her upturned little nose. It was something an older brother might do to a precocious younger sibling. She snickered and bit into her creamstick.
Spike was jealous. The great poof had managed to connect with both women on two different levels. Leaving him out in the cold. Again. “Shut up and eat your goddamned donut, poof.”
The phone was ringing. Dawn sprinted down the hallway and ran down the stairs to the office. She picked it up to hear Giles on the other end. “I thought you’d never pick up.”
“Hello to you too.”
“Hello. It’s nice to hear your voice, Dawn.” Giles said with resignation. “How are things going there?”
“Fine. It’s the usual. Training. Patrolling.”
“Nothing out of the way then?”
“Out of the way?” She queried. “Is that British for. . . is there something wrong?”
“I spoke to Buffy this morning and she sounded very upset. I couldn’t really make out all of what she was saying, mainly because she screaming in my ear, but I put two and two together. Are you Angel, uh, involved shall we say?”
“Yeah, we’re involved. He trains me.” Dawn said deliberately.
“What about Spike? I know you have a soft spot for him. You haven’t, er, had some sort of liaison?”
“Is that British for screwing, G?”
“FAITH!” Both Dawn and Giles yelped.
“What?” She drawled. She waved cheerily at Dawn while holding up a phone at the front desk.
“This was a private conversation.” Giles pointed out.
“So what?” Faith said. She could hear fussy old Giles cleaning his glasses as they spoke. “Nothing happened. D is safe with me, I wish all of you would remember that.”
“Good.” Giles said. “Dawn, dear, are you there?”
“Yeah, I’m here.” She answered, sticking her tongue out at Faith. The other Slayer made a face and hung up the extension. Dawn twisted the phone cord around her finger. “How are things in Sunnydale?”
“Just fine. You’ve nothing to worry about. “ He sighed. “You do know that getting involved with Angel or Spike wouldn’t be wise.”
“This is none of your business. Or Buffy’s for that matter. Nothing is going on and that’s that.” Well, it was sort of the truth. “I really don’t want to discuss this topic.”
“Alright! I know when I’m beat. But if you need anyone to talk to, I’m always here for you.”
“Thanks, Giles. I’ll talk to you later.”
Later on that evening Faith and Dawn went out on patrol. They didn’t expect trouble but they decided that they might as well spend their time more effectively. Besides, thinning the vamp population never hurt. All the occupants of the hotel had spent most of the day ignoring each other. Both young women were glad of the physical activity and the tension release it would bring.“So, D, what’s up with you and the bleached hottie?”
“You think he’s hot?” Dawn asked, a touch of anger seeping into her voice. She didn’t want Faith thinking about her Spike in that way. Then she cringed inwardly. Dear God, she’d claimed ownership of him now.
Faith hadn’t been paying close attention. She was focused on the shadows of the graveyard, wary of a potential threat. “Yeah, I’m not blind you know. He’s a cutie and good with the spicy talk. Why haven’t you made your move?”
“What makes you think I haven’t made it?” She said suspiciously. And what the hell kind of spicy talk was she talking about? Had Spike been talking especially ‘spicy’ with her? Was she fishing for an invitation to go after Spike herself?
“You’d be much more relaxed.” Faith gave her a knowing smirk.
Unfortunately Dawn wasn’t in ‘the know’.“Huh?”
“You should go after him. Angel’s plan intrigued him but you have to show an interest in him. He’s not going to wait around forever.” Faith said. That sassy inner voice everyone has laughed at what she said. This has nothing to do with Angel! Did I say anything? You implied it. You want him. Do not. Do too. Bitch. Faith shook her head. Great, I’m having an argument with myself.
“Are you okay?”
“I’m fine, D.”
“Can we talk about what you said before? About the relaxed thing. . . wait a minute. . .I would be relaxed? Or Spike would? What exactly did you say again?”
“I said. . .Vampire!”
“No, you didn’t, Faith. Don’t try to confuse me. You said something about–“
“Behind you, D. He’s big and ugly!”
“Damn it!” Dawn shouted, spinning around. “Do you mind? I was having a conversation with my ‘parental unit’.” As she said this, she pushed the wooden stake into his heart and watched him explode. “How rude was that?” She said, facing the older Slayer once more
“Very. I mean, you’d think they were blood thirsty beasts or something.” She said, wearing a fake doe-eyed expression. She laughed then. “Seriously, D. What’s going on with you and Spiky.”
“Spiky?” She queried. “You call him that?” Faith rolled her eyes in answer. “The truth is. . .the truth is. . .”
“You’re making up the truth as we speak?” Faith asked. “Don’t lie to me, sweetie.”
She sighed.” I don’t know. I really like him. I think I might even love him.”
“Then what’s the problem?”
“Ahh.” Faith said deliberately. “Now, we’re getting somewhere. How do you feel about Angel?”
“How do you feel about him?”
“I asked first.”
Faith chuckled. “Me neither, D. Me neither.”
“You like him too?”
“More than I want to.”
“But this fixes everything! We can both be with men we might love. I can be with Spike and you can be with Angel.”
“Hold up, who said I was in love with Angel?”
“You said you didn’t know . . .so. . .it might be love.”
Faith decided to ignore it. “And maybe I could be with Spike and you could be with Angel. “
”Spike is mine.” Dawn said this so vehemently that it shocked them both.
Faith broke into a big smile, equal parts of her were happy for Dawn and relieved that Angel wasn’t taken. “Looks like you made a decision.”
Dawn took a deep breath. “I guess I did.” She bit her lip and smiled. “Wow! That was easier than I thought.”
“All you needed was a push.”
“A push.” Dawn gave Faith a surreptitious look. “On second thought, maybe I could have them both.”
“Yeah, three way relationship.”
“Yeah and maybe one of those menage a’ thingys that sounds like pie.”
Faith stared at her for a moment as if she’d grown a beard or something. Then, she shook her head and began to babble in a very unFaithlike way. It provided Dawn with all the information she needed. “No, D. That’s my style, not yours. Well, my old style at least. Angel would never go for it anyway. He’s a one Slayer vampire and I bet Spike and Angel would probably kill each other because they’d both want you for their self. And Angel is--”
“What? No! Of course he isn’t. How could he be?”
“He likes you. You like him. But I imagine that Buffy was a big roadblock to that. You could be with him if you really wanted to.”
Faith lowered her eyes. “But I can never be with Angel.”
“You’re worried about the curse.”
“Yeah, a homicidal maniac running around town tends to get me upset.”
“There’s lots of other things you could do. . .besides. . .you know.”
“Yeah.” Dawn said sheepishly.
“Spoken like a true virgin.”
She laughed, pulling her daughter into a hug as they walked side by side. “Don’t worry, I’m sure Spike will help you out in that department.”
“What? This is the first time you’ve talked about sex?”
“Keep it down!” Dawn said, furiously looking around them. This was too much to bear. What if someone heard them?
“You don’t want me to say ‘sex’?”
“Sex, sex, sex, sex” Faith chanted, doing a little dance. She loved to see Dawn blush. She’d never been able to understand Buffy’s prudish ways, some of them must have rubbed off on D. It was time to nip it in the bud.“Say it, its not a dirty word. Hell, it might even loosen you up a bit.”
“Sex.” Dawn whispered, with a giggle.
“No! Say it, D! Really say it. Not just a wimpy whisper.”
“Sex.” Dawn said in an even tone, as if the matter were deadly serious. Faith raised an eyebrow and gave an exaggerated yawn. The younger girl stamped her foot before she yelled. “Sex. Sex! SEX! SEX!!!” Faith through back her head and laughed. Dawn struck a pose and ran a hand trough her hair.“ Sexy. Sexpot. Sexkitten. Sexual relations.”
“Was that an offer?” A sly voice asked from the darkness.
“Ohmigod!” Dawn shrieked, mortified.
Faith pulled out a stake. “Come over here and find out.”
The shadowy figure emerged with a burning cinder on the end of a cigarette. “Put away your sticks and stones, luv.” He smirked. “Well, just the sticks. Though the stones would sting a bit if you hit me with them.”
“Spike!” Dawn said, pressing a hand to her beating heart. “We almost attacked you. Why are you following us?”
“You should know better, nibblet. I always follow you.”
“I think that’s my cue to leave.” Faith offered. She winked at Dawn before she left. “Don’t do anything I would.” She gave a husky laugh as she strode back down the alley.
But Faith ran into her very own vampire stalker on the sidewalk. “What would you do?” Faith reflexively delivered a kick to his shins.
“Ow!” Angel howled as he bent down to massage his aching leg. Faith was in full Slayer mode, all she knew was an assailant dressed in black made a threatening move. She fisted her hands and brought both of them down hard on his back.“OWW!” If he’d been human, it would have knocked the air out of his lungs.
Then she stopped. “Oh shit! Angel?”
Angel moaned in pain. “Uh, yeah. What was that for? You just felt like being violent?”
“Sorry.” Faith murmured. “It was instinctive. God, are you okay?” He nodded but the movement was jerky, he was obviously in pain. She reached out against her own will and patted his head without thought. His hair was thick and silky to the touch. She forced herself to pull her errant hand away and placed it on her hip. “Why were you spying on us?”
“Actually, I was spying on Spike who was spying on you and Dawn.” He straightened his back and grimaced in pain.
Faith winced in sympathy. Her words weren’t so harsh now. “And that somehow makes it okay?”
“I was merely watching out for her. She needs to be protected.”
“Right. As you’ve just witnessed, we Slayers are helpless females in need of sheltering.”
Angel sighed then laughed bitterly. “Who am I kidding? Some protector. I can’t even stop Dawn from dating a soulless demon.“ He watched as Dawn and Spike strolled down the street. It was obvious that they were at ease with one another. He knew those two would end up together in the end somehow. It just hurt to see it. *********
Spike and Dawn didn’t even notice the other couple. “Uh, how much of that conversation did you hear?”
“Enough.” Spike smiled enigmatically.
Fabulous. “How much?” He looked at her innocently. “Spike!”
“Forget it. Wanna help me patrol?”
“Anything you say, nibblet.” Spike fell into step beside her. He’d been thrilled when he’d heard her admission. She was going to be with him. “I love seeing you in action.”
“Oh, thanks.” Dawn was secretly pleased with the comment. She still felt as if she lived in Buffy’s shadow to some extent.
A strange wail issued from the street. “What the hell was that?”
“Screaming mimi?” Dawn hypothesized. “It’s rare to find one in this populated of an area though.”
“Blue with purple spots? Or purple with blue spots?” Spike asked, he stared down the alley but the lights from the lamp posts and from passing cars obscured his vision. “One species is deadly. Well, only if you’re eating movie theater candy. They can never resist popcorn or those chocolate chip things with the white sprinkles on top.”
“Snocaps?” Spike nodded. Dawn turned her head and squinted as she stared down the alley. “I can’t see anything but it must be of the harmless variety. The other ones are much more aggressive. Besides, I bet they’d blend in.”
Spike shrugged as they continued on their way. “Whatever you say, bit.” *******
“When we get home I’ll get you some ice for that leg.” “I’ll be fine. I’m healing as we speak.”
Faith looked at him doubtfully, she hadn’t meant to wound him. It was obvious that he was going though some personal struggle.“Good. I didn’t mean to hurt you.” Faith turned to look at him. “You really are a protector, you know. I think it must be second nature to you.”
“No, I’m not. I can’t protect Dawn from the dangers she has to face and I couldn’t protect Buffy either.”
“You protected me.” She said with feeling.
“Faith, you don’t need my protection.”
“Yes, I did.” She sighed. “Not physically. I can hold my own with that. I’m talking about emotionally. When I was in prison, you were the only thing that got me through.” If he hadn’t been a vampire, he wouldn’t have heard her soft admission.
“Oh.” He reached out and smoothed her dark hair, tucking it behind her ear. “I never knew you needed me. You seem so strong sometimes, like you’re invincible.”
“Yeah, well, I could of been an actress.” She jammed her hands into her pockets awkwardly. “All I wanted to say was thanks, you know. It was decent of you to do that. I appreciated the letters, the gifts. It made it all bearable.” While, she spoke she was aware of Angel’s hand caressing her cheek.
“You’re welcome.” Angel moved closer to her and pulled her into a loose embrace. He bent over her and his mouth grazed her ear as he whispered. “Anytime.”
“I’ll remember that.” Faith took in a shaky breath before placing her hand on his chest and pushing to gain some space between their bodies. She drew away completely and began walking again, she sneaked a quick peek at him to see him watching her with a lazy smile. She had a feeling that was a lot more Angelus in Angel then he let on. “Angel, I need to ask you something.”
“Ask away, Faith.”
“Are you hurt that Dawn chose Spike?”
Angel was caught off guard and faltered with his next step before he cleared his throat. “No, I guess not.”
“Really. I know that she really wants to be with him. She has for quite a while. We can only hope she comes to her senses soon and meets someone less. . .less–“
“I was going to say obnoxious.” Angel retorted. Faith snickered and Angel beamed at her. “Frankly, I thought she had better taste than that.”
“I think he’s kind of cute.”
“How cute?” Angel said angrily.
“Very. He has a nice. . .” she bit her lip when she was Angel’s scowl. “Face.”