Title: A Sort of Homecoming
Characters/Pairing: Spike/Buffy, Dawn
Disclaimer: The character aren’t mine, but Joss said I could play with them
Written for: seasonal_spuffy‘s Spring 2008 round
A/N: Special thanks to enigmaticblues for once again organizing this great community. Title stolen from U2.
Summary: Teenagers are very unpredictable.
Buffy and he had talked about it on the flight to Rome. She’d squeezed his hand and told him how relieved Dawn would be. How much she’d missed him, and how happy she’d be to see him. How much she’d love having Spike living there.
Buffy had no bloody clue what she was talking about.
Dawn barely looked up from the Italian Vogue she was flipping through when he walked in the door. “Oh, hello. Are you alive again? Or still? Whatever?”
“Dawn!” Buffy scolded.
“Undead, if you wanna get technical.”
Dawn tossed her magazine onto the coffee table. “You know, we really should start our own line of greeting cards. ‘Welcome Back from the Dead,’ a tiny little division of Hallmark.”
Spike chuckled, but Buffy failed to appreciate her sister‘s humor. “Dawn Summers…”
“I’d love to stick around and chat, but I have to get ready for a date,” Dawn said. “One with an actual heartbeat.” She gave Buffy a pointed look, stood up and flounced out of the room. Spike wasn’t sure if he’d ever seen anyone literally flounce before. It was kind of impressive.
“Oh yeah? Well I bet your date never saved the world, did he?” Buffy called after her. She winced as Dawn’s door slammed closed.
“You were right, love. She’s thrilled to see me.”
Buffy flopped dejectedly onto the sofa. “I’m so sorry. I thought she‘d forgive you as soon as she saw you. Like I did.”
Spike sat down next to her, pushing her hair back over her shoulder. “Seem to recall a bit of yelling proceeding the forgiving part, pet. A threat or two, even. ‘If you weren’t dead before, you will be when I get through with you!’ Or words to that effect.”
She punched him gently in the shoulder. “Oh, like you didn’t deserve it. And I yelled at Angel, too.”
“Think you made the poor sod cry.”
“I did not! Well maybe a little.”
“And then you made me grovel for a good while before you ‘immediately’ forgave me.”
She raised an eyebrow. “You loved the groveling part.”
Spike smiled fondly and nuzzled her cheek. “Did turn out well, didn‘t it?”
“Mmm. Remember this part?” Buffy slipped her arms around his neck, pulling him into a kiss.
“Oh, ewww! Can’t you two go back to doing this in secret so I don’t have to look at it?” Dawn breezed through the room, pulling her jacket on as she went.
Spike jumped away from Buffy with a start, but she tugged him back to her side. “Sorry, no. I’m afraid you’re just going to have to get used to it.”
Dawn gave them both a glare over her shoulder before banging out the door.
Buffy sighed deeply and gave Spike another apologetic look.
Spike took her hand. “Know what this situation calls for?”
“Pasta. Lots and lots of pasta. I know a place, if it’s still there. Best manicotti in Italy.”
“Oh, yum! Pasta makes everything better.”
Dawn just smiled smugly and introduced her very scared-looking date, never taking her hands off him.
Buffy smiled tightly. “Hello, Antonio. Time to go Antonio,” She handed him his coat and held the door for him as he hurried out, muttering apologies in Italian.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Buffy’s voice was deadly calm, a tone that always made Spike want to shake in his boots. But if the Nibblet was nervous, she sure didn’t show it. She merely shrugged.
“I don’t see what the problem is. If you can make out with your boyfriend on the sofa, why can’t I?”
“We were not making out. It was one little kiss. And even if we were, we are older than you…”
“Well one of you is, that’s for sure.”
Buffy’s hands clenched at her sides. “Do you know how many rules you’ve broken? You had a boy in the flat when I wasn‘t here, you are past curfew, and I‘m pretty sure that‘s my sweater. You, my shiny-haired friend, are in deep doo doo. Now go to bed, and we’ll talk about your consequences in the morning.”
“Whatever you say, Buffy.“ Dawn smiled sweetly and headed toward her room, closing the door quietly.
“Well at least she didn’t…”
The door opened, then slammed shut.
“…slam the door this time.”
“Sorry, Buffy. This is all my fault.”
She sighed and slumped into a chair. “Not really. It’s just a big adjustment, having you back when she thought you were gone. And then with the not telling, well, she’s taking it kind of personally. Plus, I think she’s scared I’m going to get all avoidy again or something. She’ll come around. I hope.”
Spike moved behind her chair and began rubbing her shoulders, working the knots out of the tense muscles there. She groaned in appreciation.
“So, what’s her consequence going to be?”
“Not sure yet. I’ll have to think of something appropriate. Oh, can you go lower?” She leaned forward. “No, lower. A little lower than that…”
“If I go any lower, we’re going to have to move this to your bedroom, pet.”
She turned around and smiled suggestively. “Exactly what I was thinking. And,” she said, standing and wrapping her arms around him, “it’s about time I got to have you all night long in my very own bed.”
Spike recalled a conversation regarding sleeping vampires and fire. “You’ve a sturdy lock for that door, yeah?
“You know, it’s pretty bad when you sleep in later than a vampire.”
Dawn eyed him through a curtain of hair. “Where’s Buffy?” she asked, after taking a sip and letting out a contented sigh.
“Had to work. Doin’ some training this morning.”
“Good, maybe she’ll get all her yelling out on the new recruits.”
Spike smiled. He was encouraged by even this little bit of conversation and really didn’t want to ruin it, but he had his orders, too.
“I’m to let you know what your consequences are.”
She snickered. “Let me guess – grounded for a year again? That never lasts.”
He pushed a newspaper in her direction. It was the classified ads, and he’d already circled several in thick, black marker. “You’re to help me find a flat.”
Dawn stared at the paper for a moment, then back at him, then took a big gulp of her coffee.
“What? What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. I just thought…I mean hey, if you don’t want to live with us, that’s fine with me.”
Spike frowned. “Was considerin’ it. Buffy asked.” Buffy had more than asked, actually, and she could be very persuasive. Not that he required much in the way of persuasion. But after last night, even she agreed that Dawn wasn’t ready for that.
“Then why aren’t you?”
“It’s because of me, isn’t it? You don’t want to live here because of me.”
“No! Want to live here. But after last night, seemed pretty clear you didn’t want me to.”
“I never said that,” she huffed, pushing her hair off her face. “People always assume things.”
Spike took another sip of his tea. It was cold. “Look, Half Pint, I’m a little confused…”
“You can’t expect me not to be angry.”
“I know, I know. And I’m sorry I didn’t contact you – both of you – sooner. It was nothin’ to do with you, really. Don’t even know if I can even explain why, it’s a bit complicated…”
“Complicated? How about, Spike’s a big dumbass with no self-esteem. That about cover it?”
He smirked. Dawn always had a way of cutting right to the heart of the matter. “Touché.”
“Okay, so you’ll stay?”
“Great! Okay, now that that’s settled, what do you want to do today? There’s lots of cool places in Rome I haven’t even been to yet. I hear there‘s all this subterranean stuff, too.” She took a bite of her toast.
“Might be.” He grabbed his own piece off the quickly diminishing stack. “Matter of fact, you haven’t seen half of Rome if you haven’t been underground.”
“Neat! And, we can tell Buffy that you forced me to do something educational for my penance. She’ll totally buy that. You’ll get extra points, even.”
Spike grinned. “Good thinkin’.”
“Okay, I’m going to take a shower, and then we can go.” She took a step toward the doorway, then reached back and grabbed the classified ads off the table. “We don’t need these anymore, do we?” She’d thrown them in the rubbish bin before he had a chance to answer.
“Oh, and Spike?” she asked from the doorway.
She beamed at him. “Welcome home.”
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/243478.html