Title: Late Nights and Early Mornings
Rating and warnings: PG
Word count: 914
Setting: Phantom Dennis’ apartment
Pairing: Spuffy; Dawn
Summary: Buffy comes to visit; Spuffy from Dawn’s perspective (wanted to think about how Spuffy would look to someone from Outside)
Author’s Note: Somewhat set in my personal AU (post-NFA) (purely by some weird pre-set default in my brain) in which Spike is with Dawn in LA and Buffy is (usually) … elsewhere. Lyrics from James Marsters’ “Smile” (www.youtube.com/watch)
In, I’m falling in
I didn’t want to
Not so fast boy
Don’t wanna hurt the girl
Give her a pretty box
You’d better fill it
He sings in the shower.
Dawn attempts to find this amusing, endearing even. Anything other than annoying. It’s only because she is here, anyway. While she works at finding the sunny singing coming from her bathroom pleasant and not obnoxious (at 2am!) she also works at pretending that she doesn’t know what the singing means… what the rumpled bedspread in her guest room means…
Huffing softly, Dawn turns on her back and stares at the ceiling. She can hear the soft pad of bare feet on the tile in the kitchen hovering just underneath the bellowing drawl of the singing vampire… just underneath the sound of running water. She listens intently as one …. now two …. mugs are taken out of the dishwasher and set softly on the countertop. She hears the distinct sucking sound of the fridge door opening, the soft click of tupperware being opened, and the distinct tinny beep of a microwave being set. Almost immediately the scent of warm blood assaults her nostrils and causes her stomach to growl…. after months of figuring out a shared schedule, Dawn has started to eat in the middle of the night – and the mere scent of blood in the microwave (after a slight twinge of disgust) now causes an odd salt-craving.
She listens to him sing in the shower, listens to her being domestic in the kitchen, and wonders whether it’s worth it to get out of bed. She thinks long and hard over the stock in her cabinets as she listens to the sound of juice being poured into the second mug. Her eyes close and she’s close to giving up, leaving the secret stash of sweet-potato chips hidden behind the cereal for the morning… she’s almost lulled to sleep by the sound of his voice floating through the wall when the distinct crinkle and RIP of a bag being opened drifts through the thin walls.
Before she even has a moment to contemplate her actions, the bag of secret chips is in her own hand and a set of bright green eyes are glaring at her from across the kitchen.
“These were hidden for a reason.”
“You didn’t even know I was coming.”
“You’re not the only thief who pokes their nose through my cupboards these days.”
They’re standing there, in an epic stare-off, eyes blazing, hair on end, when she realizes that the singing has stopped. Spike is standing in the doorway of the bathroom, steam rising behind him, with only a small towel wrapped around his thin waist and an amused smile on his face.
“I told you to stay out of the little bit’s stash, pet.”
Dawn looks over at her sister and tries to hold back a huge grin. It’s serious business, this sisterly aggression, and is not to be taken lightly. Especially at this ungodly hour. Especially over food. Especially after months of being separated… but Buffy’s face is bright red, her hair a matted mess, and is clad only in one of Spike’s black button-downs – Dawn resists the urge to think that the blush is anything other than either (a) embarrassment at the relative state of undress of… everyone OR (b) rage at her baby sister stealing a chip-bag right out of her hand… and Dawn ends up giggling regardless, holding out the offensive bag as a peace offering.
They sip tea/juice/blood around the bar for the next couple of hours, chatting and laughing and pretending not to yawn. Dawn writes off her 7am class after a half hour, much to Buffy’s chagrin… but there’s only so much time before she’ll be gone again, before there will only be the two of them in the apartment again, before reality sets in.
And there, sitting at the bar in her own kitchen, Dawn watches her sister with the man that loves her. She laughs with him when he is shooed off to put on clothing. She notices, possibly for the first time, the soft look in his eye that comes when Buffy talks. It isn’t a hidden gaze, a hidden softness – Dawn is accustomed to that. To a softness that is only revealed when no one is looking, when there is nothing to lose in revealing it – there is none of that this night. This long night, this long awaited night. She notices, too, the soft touches the two share, the way Buffy leans into him when he’s talking, the way they move and shift to make room for each other. Even after years of separation, it is as if the two fit together far better than ever before.
As the hours slip by, when the sun rises and Dennis, out of habit, closes all the shades … when the door opens and Connor begins to hand out pastries and coffee… she watches them respond to each other. Watches her sister learn what she now is able to take for granted. Watches him hiccup around her, relearning and remembering simultaneously. Watches the two try not to look at each other, try to make her their priority…
When she pushes Connor out of the apartment later (amid many a protest) and locks the door behind her, she honeslty hopes, without getting a bit squeamish, that they make really great use of the small amount of time they have. (Even though Spike will be expected to wash the sheets.)
[EDIT]: First time participating! ((huggles fandom))
Orignally posted at https://seasonal-spuffy.dreamwidth.org/794877.html