Nibblet Ch. 10


Spike snuggled deeper into the covers, relishing the feel of soft satin against his cheek, though he'd rather be dusty than admit to it. He had to hand it to the poof, the vampire knew how to live. He shut his eyes, letting visions of Dawn dance in his head when he head a 'thwack', followed by 'bump', 'thump', and then a crash. Then a low female voice which he recognized as Faith's say. "Are you thirsty for more?" Then came a 'wham', 'slap', and then the sound of a body falling.

Reluctantly, Spike sat up and pulled on his jeans only to pad downstairs in his bare feet. The offending sounds were coming from a downstairs room decked out in exercise equipment and weaponry. Dawn stood on the sideline and watched Angel and Faith tussle. They would make a handsome couple. She smiled when she saw Spike and crooked a finger at him, silently telling him to come over.

"I was sleeping." The blond vampire said irritably looking at his sire.

"Me too, until Angel woke me up to come down here and train with Faith."

"Did he roll over to do that?" Spike narrowed his eyes, then remembered his new plan. "Because I think that's a good idea." He said lamely.

"No, I wasn't sleeping–-that's okay with you?"

"Sure. You're a big slayer now. Sleep with who. . .or well, what, you like." He shrugged trying to look casual. "Actually, it's good to know you approve of the whole slayer/vampire relationship."

Faith walked over to the two, a towel around her neck and a bottle of water in her hand. Angel followed just behind her."You're up, D."

"Great." Dawn pulled her sweatshirt over her head to reveal a tight tank top which she wore with tight biking shorts and walked out to the center of the floor to begin stretching. Spike had seen his sire's eyes widen as she pulled the shirt off. He glared at him for a second, then grinned.

"Tell you what, old man. Take a break. I'll get this one."

"I don't think you're qualified–"

"Shove off. Who spent more time fighting with the longest living slayer?" Angel crossed his arms over his chest and did not answer. " Get over it, Broody."

"You're going to train in that?" Faith asked.

"Why not? I fight in it." Spike said, looking down at his jeans.

"They just seem to be getting tighter by the minute." She smirked.

"That was uncalled for, luv." He slid one finger under her chin and brushed his lips close to her mouth. "I'll catch your act later."

"That a threat?" She called to him as he walked out on the mat.

"It's a promise." Angel mocked.

Spike turned and cocked his head to the side. "If you were a vampire, I'd call it an invitation, pet."

"Or sexual harassment." Angel said under his breath, not liking the looks those two were giving each other. He grasped Faith's elbow and led her over to the stairmaster which faced away from the blond vampire. "Climb." He said tersely.

Faith's lips twitched but she complied. It was heartening to see him so agitated. Angel climbed on another stairmaster which was facing Dawn and Spike and set it to the most difficult level. He really didn't need to exercise and neither did Faith but it would expend some energy. And keep him from killing Spike. Besides, it was hard to get dust out of the carpet. ********

As Dawn watched the other vampire and slayer climb, Spike moved into position on the mat. Dawn faced him and moved into her own fighting stance. "You think you're ready for this?" She goaded.

"More than ready, sweet bit." Was he ever. Fighting was only slightly less exciting than having sex. And he was good at both.

Something just occured to Dawn. "Spike, how are you going to fight me? Won't the chip–"

"It'll be fine. Unless I intend to hurt you, I won't feel any pain." He lied quickly. If she knew he had the chip out. . .poof! No more Spike! Or poof. . .she'd have witches conjure him up a soul . . just like the well. . .poof. "So, how does the poof start these things?" Spike asked.

"Well, usually we start with some Tai Chi and he helps me move into positions." She sighed, as if lost in her own thoughts. She didn't like the way he was talking to Faith earlier.

Spike forced himself to smile at her and then did his best Arnold Schwartzenegger impression. "I'm going to pump–" He clapped his hands. "You up."

Dawn giggled but it was short lived as Spike advanced on her, he feigned left then pushed her hard right, throwing her off balance. He used her momentary distraction to corner her against the wall. "Lesson the first, Nibblet, don't ever be distracted by your opponents." He snared both of her forearms and pinned them against the wall, invading her body space. "No matter how sexy, charming, and devastatingly handsome they may be." He graced her with a smug smile.

Dawn looked up at him, angry at him for turning the joke into a 'lesson'. She still didn't care for his manner towards Faith either. Well, turnabout was fair play. She tossed her head to one side, exposing her neck -- the side Angel hadn't bruised with his mouth. Then, she 'accidently' bumped her hips against his. His nostrils flared and his eyes darkened. "I'm sorry, Spike. There's so many things I want you to teach me."

"It's okay, nibblet, I know you're still learning." He said shakily.

"And I really want to learn from you." She pressed a kiss to his thumb which was fastened on her wrist, it was pressed against the wall beside her head. Plan forgotten, he brought his mouth to hers for another kiss when she kneed him in the groin and watched him double over in pain with a grunt. "Might wanna take your own advice, Spike."

She strode past the vampire and turned to look at Angel who did a discreet happy dance with his upper body as he jogged on the machine. He mouthed. "Go, Dawn!" She couldn't keep the smile off her face. She turned to look at Spike who limped over to the mat. He didn't look too happy.

"Didn't break anything did I?" She asked.

"Did you know that I killed two Slayers?" He snarled, eyes glowing green

"Oh." She wasn't impressed. "Did they knee you in the groin, too?"

Spike started to recover, thanks to the restorative powers of being a vampire. He straightened and fixed her with a look. "You knee him in the groin, too?" He gestured to his sire.

Dawn's eyes were deceptively innocent as she said. "No, Angel wants me to do other things with his–"

"Weapons." Spike intoned. "Get yourself one." He'd be damned if he wanted to hear about her sex life.

All the weapons in the training room were dull in case the two combatants accidentally struck each other. There was also an ancient healing spell with all the ingredients on the shelf. Spike picked up a sword and Dawn chose a stake. "You might want to get yourself something heavier, luv."

"No, I don't think so." The young slayer replied as she grasped the small wooden object. "This is all I'll need."

Spike was furious, he's show her what he was made of. Immediately, they rounded on each other, circling. Spike would advance with his sword but she seemed to sense his attacks and moved well out of his reach. She kept the stake in her back pocket only using defensive postures.

They moved in a dance-like grace, a twisted macabre version of a waltz. She never made an advance, never so much as reached for her weapon. Spike tried, coming close to grazing her arm once or twice, but not quite. Spike could feel his muscles growing more and more tense. He was on edge, waiting for her to make a false move. "What's a matter, nibblet? Chasing the Poof got you all worn down?"

She didn't say a word, just cocked her head to the side and continued to avoid his movements. She ducked to the side, under the sword swipe and came around behind him.

"So, are all the other weapons to heavy for you? Maybe they should've chosen someone bigger, stronger." He taunted. She avoided this thrust with a rolling crouch, hopping back to her feet almost instantly. She again moved into her best defensive posture. Both Angel and Faith had turned off their respective machines to watch the match. Each of them inspecting the moves of the younger slayer, comparing her to Buffy and to Faith and even to Angel's style of fighting. She was a unique hybrid.

"Didn't think you were quite this 'bitty' of a 'Buffy', luv." He sneered, losing his patience. He swept forward with the sword once more. She darted in faster than he thought possible, bringing the side of her hand down hard on his forearm. The sword clattered to the ground with a ringing clash. In a follow through move, she swept his feet out from under him. He fell flat on his back. He quickly began scooting back, looking for room to climb to his feet, but he ran up against the wall. She squatted in front of him, holding the stake in steady hands to his chest. She wasn't even breathing hard.

A far-off look was in her eyes and Spike realized that part of her didn't acknowledge him as anything but vampire. For a moment, Spike thought she might really stake him, but in the next second she shook it off and a slow grin crossed her face. She kept the stake in position and lifted one brow.

"That was impressive, platelet. Angel teach you that?" In response she stood and dropped the stake at her feet. Then, without a word, she walked to the back room to get a shower. Faith strolled over to him and offered his a bottle of water and a hand up. He accepted both.

"That was wicked intense." She smiled, proud of Dawn.

"Yeah." Spike took an absent minded sip of water. "I've never seen her fight like that. She was so calm. You're not like that, you told me that you like the fighting -- that it get you--."

"I know what I told you. That was what Willow calls 'serious Dawn'. She's like that when she really has to win. She's usually not like that during training." Faith commented.

"Well, we know you didn't teach her that–"


"Well, luv, let's face it. When you get into it, you, well, get into it." He shared a look with her. "I know I didn't teach her that. Buffy doesn't fight like that exactly."

"It wasn't Angel before you suggest it."

"Then who was it?"


"The bleedin' watcher!"

"Ever seen him pissed?" Faith shook her head. "Think back to the day that you guys defeated Glory. I got him drunk enough one night to tell me what happened. Now I've seen Ripper in action." It wasn't a lack of passion really. It was more like concentrated rage. She admired him for that. "He taught her the meaning of focus."

"Mmm-hmm. Just in case she ran into another Glory?" She nodded her head. "Well, then, guess I'll have to try harder from here on out." He put an arm around her shoulder.

"To do what, be annoying? Trust me you go above and beyond the call of duty." Angel, who had been fussily cleaning off the machines and putting the towels in the hampers pushed between the two of them, preparing to head for the kitchen. He walked slowly so as to hear more of their conversation.

"Actually, to keep my baby happy." Spike winked, indicating to Faith that she should play along, as they followed behind Angel. "That's why we're going out shopping as soon as she showers."

Angel took bags of blood out of the refrigerator. "Don't call Dawn 'baby', Spike."

"Get that waxy build-up out of your ears, poof. I was talking about Faith." **********

Upstairs, Dawn was reeling from her encounter with Spike. She normally felt juiced after a fight, ready for more. It scared her how intense she became, she hadn't even noticed it was Spike she was fighting during the last bit.

It scared her. This wasn't the first time it had happened. Once, she'd been attacked by a large group of Hulock demons. She had ripped through fifteen of them, beheading and slashing away before she had realized what she had done. Then, she killed the last two swiftly. She'd gone back home, shaky and blood-spattered. Buffy had been horrified that so many demons had attacked her and she'd had to fight by herself.

But Buffy just didn't get it. It wasn't that she hadn't been forced to kill before, she was used to that. It was the fact that she was lost in it. Existing only in the moment, the swing of the ax, the plunge of the sword into flesh. A machine. She shivered, scrubbing furiously at her hands. Wiping away imaginary blood stains. She wondered if she was the only Slayer to have gone through this.

"Dawn?" A masculine voice called.

Spike? "Yes, who's there?"

"It's me, Angel."

"Is something wrong?" For instance, is Spike packing?

"You could say that." Angel said dryly. "Can I come in?"

Dawn looked at the shower stall, it's swirling glass disguised the shape of her body. "Uh, sure. Come in."

Angel walked in and sat down on the small bench that held Dawn's clothes that she was going change into. "This is a real mess we've gotten ourselves into."

"Oh, how do you figure?" And what are you talking about?

"Faith and Spike." The dark vampire spit out.

Oh. . .apparently she was the only one who noticed how cozy they were. "Yeah, I noticed how friendly they were."

Angel tightened his jaw. "I think we may have played our little game too well."

Dawn forced herself away from her darker thoughts. She'd contemplate that later on tonight when she was alone in bed. "Oh, you mean now Spike has moved on to your lady love?."

"She is not my lady love. Your undead demon is putting the moves on Faith."

"Sure that isn't the other way around?" Faith was a gentleman's woman, if that was the female version of a ladies man. Not that Dawn resented it or wished Faith wasn't like that. She just didn't want her to take Spike from away. She could have anyone but Spike.

"What are you implying?"

"Nothing, Angel. It's just. . .look, she's beautiful and outgoing. And. . .uh, experienced, and a Slayer. Spike must find the whole package very enticing. Faith isn't immune to flattery." Dawn rinsed the cream rinse out of her hair.

Angel tried to clear his head, it wasn't his business what Faith did with her time. His only concern was Dawn, he didn't want her innocent heart broken by the handsome devil. Yes, that was the only reason he was upset. "I think we should step up our efforts."

"If course, because that has worked so well for us." Dawn said sarcastically, shutting off the taps. "Hand me my towel."

Angel suddenly remembered that she was naked. It didn't even occur to him until she asked for a towel. He could see her pale white body which was obscured by misty curls of glass. "Here." He said, tossing it over the shower stall. He didn't trust himself to open the door.

"Thanks." Dawn said, putting the towel on her head. "And my robe?" He tossed it over too, she could see Angel pacing back and forth before the blurry glass as she tied the knot. She stepped out onto the small square bath mat. "Wait for me out there, I need to get dressed."

"Need any–"

"Help? Not on your unlife, buddy."

Angel walked out into her suite and laid upon the bed while she dressed. He had just taken a shower and still ached from his training session. Faith hadn't let up on him the entire time. He took off his shoes and socks and pulled one foot into his lap and began massaging, trying to relax. He let his mind drift as his hands relaxed his body.

He and Dawn had swam out over their heads this time. There was nothing he could do now. Spike had forced him to play along in this charade. He couldn't admit that he didn't have romantic feelings for Dawn. . . if that was true. It was too sudden, Angel's capacity to love forever was well known. He had to play his part, back off gently. He did love Dawn, but he wasn't sure as what.

What he did know was that more and more he didn't want to see her end up with Spike. He didn't want Faith to end up with him either. Spike would never fully appreciate them . Maybe he could play the two girls off of each other. Convince them both that Spike was really a heel, looking to get both of them into bed.

He wanted to spare Dawn the pain of the break-up. As for Faith, maybe he could reason with her, convince her not to take up with Spike. Maybe Dawn could help. Right now, he needed to drive a permanent wedge between Spike and Dawn. That would naturally lead to one between him and Faith.

"I don't like that look, Angel." Dawn walked into the room, noticing the speculative face on the vampire. He only wore it when he was up to no good. "What's up?"

"You're going to sleep with me tonight." *******

Faith and Spike were walking down the hallway, with Angel's credit cards in their pockets when two scrunched up pairs of black socks were hurled across the hall from Dawn's open doorway. Next came an Italian loafer which almost whacked Spike in the head. Then it's mate was thrown out, crashing into the potted plant. Then they saw the dark vampire being thrown out, he landed with an 'oof' against the mahogany trim.

He rubbed his head. "Ow."

Faith leaned over him. "Problem?"

"She didn't like the sleeping arrangements." Angel said quietly. He stood up and dusted himself off. He grabbed his shoe out of the fica plant. Then, he straightened his sweater and walked down the hallway with as much dignity as he could muster while barefoot and clutching his footwear.

Spike looked back at him as he meandered down the hall. "Didn't like the sleeping arrangements?" He shrugged, hurrying Faith downstairs to the underground tunnels. "My bloody bed's just fine. Great sheets, actually."

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