"I wanna be sedated..."
Spike stumbled in the dark and dropped an empty bottle on the
He fell face first on Buffy's bed, and inhaled her faint scent. The scent
that was fading. The scent he'd never smell again.
"Buffy," he mumbled, on the brink of tears again.
Buffy? His head shot up and he tried to adjust his blurred
vision. Buffy's back? "Buffy?"
"It's just me, Spike," a soft voice said, hoarse
from sleep. "It's Dawn."
"Bit," he said sloppily. "My lil' Bitty."
He crawled up the bed to meet her. "What're you doin' in
Buffy's bed, Bit?"
"Sleeping," she replied with a yawn. "What are
you doing in Buffy's bed?"
"Bawlin' like a soddin' teenage prat, what of it?"
Dawn smiled. "Were you... singing?"
"Oh, huh," he laughed. "Yeah. Guess I was." He flopped on his back and rested his head next to
"No, it's okay. It gave me the weirdest dream."
"You were driving a station wagon, and Buffy was in the
passenger seat. I was in the back with Tara and we were all doing
a round robin of some weird old song I don't even know."
He saw it very clearly. "Thass a beautiful dream."
"It sounded really good though, the song? It had like,
orchestration and stuff. And it was daytime. I'd never seen you
in that light before," she added with a sleepy giggle.
"Not my mos' flattering light, love. Take me word fer
Dawn moved to cradle her head on his chest. "You looked
nice in the dream."
Spike brought his arm around her and touched her hair. "Guess
that's all that matters."
"Do you ever dream about her?"
He shut his eyes. "Every bleedin' day."
They had an unspoken agreement not to talk about Buffy too
much, not to say the words 'I miss her'. All of that
had been said, again and again in the first couple of weeks. There
was nothing left to say, and the words just brought more pain.
Dawn's neck was too close to his mouth. "You smell like
her. Your blood..." He moved closer to inhale it, capture
"Spike," she said, gently pushing him away. "You
shouldn't drink so much."
"Sorry." He straightened. "Don't know what I'm
They heard a door creak in the hall and the soft padding of
feet on carpet.
Spike sat up. "Whozzat?"
Willow appeared, clad in oversized t-shirt and boxers. "Dawnie?
"Singing?" Dawn said. "It's okay, Willow.
It's just Spike."
Willow flipped on the light. "Spike?"
He shielded his eyes with a hand. "Oi! Turn that
bleedin' thing off will you?"
"What are you doing here?"
"What are you doin' here?"
"I live here, remember?"
"Oh. Right. Sorry. Just passin' through."
Willow frowned. "Are you drunk?"
Spike snorted. "Lil' bit, yeah."
"Dawn, I don't think--"
Tara walked in. "What's going on?"
"We have a Spike problem," Willow explained.
Tara took in the sorry display with a lopsided smile. "I
"Guys," Dawn said. "It's okay. We're just talking."
"Yeah, leave us be," Spike said.
"Spike," Willow said, in her best stern Mom impression.
"You can't just waltz in here at all hours of the night--"
"Yeah, yeah. I got it. Won't do it again, Mum. Promise.
Alright? Now turn the buggery light off!"
"Goodnight, Spike," Willow said, waiting.
He eyed her for a moment, and realized she meant business.
"Fine." As he wobbled up to leave, he winked at Dawn.
"Sweet dreams, pet."
"You too." She smiled sadly at him. "I'll see you around?"
"Coun' on it."
* * *
"Yeah!" Spike lifted his head, attempting to sound
alert. "I'm up!"
Dawn giggled at the sight of him, sprawled chest-down on the
crypt floor, little bits of gravel clinging to his cheek.
He squinted at his visitor. "Bitty!" he said happily,
then cringed with a shout, holding his head.
Dawn wrinkled her nose. "Did the chip just go off?"
"No," Spike said disdainfully. "Bloody hangover."
"Oh. Right. That's
why I brought this!" She fished a pill bottle out of her
He tried to focus.
"You brung me painkillers?"
"Yeah. Do vampires need painkillers?"
"I dunno, to be honest." He sat up against his sarcophagus
and rubbed the back of his neck. "Never tried one."
"Well, that's stupid. Here." She took one out and
handed it to him. "And--" she reached into her backpack
again, "I have just the thing to wash it down." She
held up a clear bag filled with red plasmatic liquid.
He smiled. "You brought me blood."
"Not just any blood," she said, shaking it. "Human
"How did you get--?"
"Hey, don't ask and I won't tell. Point is," she
said as she threw it to him, "it's for you."
"You big bad, you," Spike chided, then hung his head,
fingering the plastic bag. "You're too good to me, love.
I can't take this."
"You better." Dawn sat down beside him. "Besides,
what am I gonna do with it?"
"Got a point there." He shrugged, ripped
the container top with his teeth, and took a swig. Then he looked
at her. "Why the Florence Nightingale all of a sudden?"
"Well," she started, "I don't want to see you
all drunk anymore. I want to see you, you know, out there, fighting
"I do, I am. It's not all the time, just..."
"I know." She looked at her hands. "Spike,
there's something you should know."
of voice made him uneasy. "What?"
"They're talking about... recharging the Bot."
"What? Who's talking about that?"
"Willow and Tara. School is starting soon, and... if they
find out Buffy's dead, they'll send me away."
"So they're gonna have a robot sit in on Parent-Teacher
night? That's their brilliant solution?"
"I just wanted to warn you. So you don't get freaked."
Spike nodded. "What about you? Won't you be... you know. Freaked?"
"I don't know. I'm trying not to think about it. Maybe
it'll be nice to see her again. Or just... really creepy."
Spike voted for creepy. And painful. And... "Will she
"I don't think so. I think it's too hard on her machinery."
"There's something very wrong about this."
"I know. But if they don't..."
"Yeah. You go away. And we can't have that." He looked
at her tenderly, then an idea came to him. "Or..."
Spike sat up and leaned in conspiratorially, talking fast.
"Or we go away. You and me. Just get the hell out of here,
run off in the middle of the night -- no explanations. Just gone."
Surging with excitement at the notion, Dawn asked, "Where
would we go?"
"Doesn't matter. Anywhere. South America, Canada, bloody
Siberia... We could just keep going. No one would ever find us."
"That would be so cool!" Dawn grinned, then her face
Spike nodded and looked away, exhaling a sober chuckle. "Yeah.
"I have to go," she said and got up. "Willow
will be getting worried about now."
"Yeah." He held up the blood. "Thanks for this."
"You're welcome," Dawn said. "We'll be out patrolling
tonight. Will I see you?"
"In fighting form, love."
She smiled. "That's what I like to hear. See ya
"Dawn. Be careful out there."
With the sound of the door echoing through his brain, Spike
sat there, staring at the bag in his hands.
He wasn't a fool. He knew it was Dawn's blood.
'She's me,' she'd said.
"Here's to you, Buffy," he said to the ceiling, and downed
her silken spirit.