I really hadn't meant to stay away as long as I did, but there wasn't much choice. Dru had gotten into trouble and called for me. What could I say? She was my sire and had been my lover for a hundred years of evil bliss. So, I went to get her out of the trouble she got into with some vampire she was seeing. I took her to Europe and left her there. With relief.
There was only one thing on my mind. A pair of green eyes. Green eyes looking into mine right before she kissed me. That one kiss had sustained me through six months of walking through the hell that had been my life before I met her. And if Drusilla hadn't called, there would have been more kisses the night we lost our memories. After the spell was broken, she had left hints for me. A candy trail for the Big Bad to follow to his little Red Riding Hood, where there would have been goodies for both of us. But now that I was back, I could only hope that there was a chance to start things going between us again.
As soon I opened my door, I could tell there was something different. Hell, I could feel it even when I was standing outside. Moving slowly I entered my crypt. Yeah, someone had been here while I was gone. There were fast food wrappers and soda cans on the table and floor next to the couch. Anger coursed through me as I thought about someone just helping themselves to my shit. This was actually kind of funny because that’s how I had gotten most of the stuff myself. By stealing it.
I threw my bag down on the ground and kicked at a pile of clothes by the entrance. Then it hit me. Her scent. It was everywhere. That unique scent of musky spices that was always clinging to her. Like shadows did to night. Picking up the clothes, I saw that they were hers.
"Buffy, you here?" I called out.
But there was only silence. I made my way downstairs to the bedroom thinking she might be down there and just hadn't heard me. Her clothes were scattered around, her makeup covered the top of the dresser, and tossed across the bed was her comforter. I walked over to the bed to see what pictures she had left propped on the nightstand. They were of Dawn and Joyce. Smiling I ran a finger over their faces. Something about those Summers women always got to me. All of them.
One of my t-shirts was lying on the floor and I bent over to pick it up. Bringing it to my face, I could smell her on it. A groan made its way from my throat and my body responded to the image of her wearing my clothes. It was a groan of passion and possessiveness. Of wanting to take it off her again. I quickly shook my head to clear my thoughts. There were other things to think about. Like why she was living here and where she was now. What had happened to Dawn?
"Well, there's only one way to find out." I muttered to myself before leaving the crypt again.
Her house on Revello Drive was all lit up. She may not live there anymore but it was obvious that someone did. When no one answered my knock, I opened the door and started to walk in. And I hit a barrier. Someone had uninvited me.
"Buffy, Dawn, are you here?" I hollered into the house. At first there was silence, and then the sound of pounding feet on the upstairs hallway. Soon Dawn was running down the stairs. It seemed like she almost leapt from the middle of the staircase into my arms. Her arms wrapped around me in a vise-like grip. It surprised me at first then it felt good to be welcomed. I put my arms around her and hugged her back.
"You came back. You came back." She kept whispering it into my ear like some mantra. Her tears were hitting my neck where she’d buried her face.
"Yeah, Niblet, I'm back. What's going on?"
"Dawn, come back in the house." It was Giles. He was standing in the foyer holding onto the door.
Dawn wouldn't let go of me, though. Finally, Giles reached out and grabbed her shoulder. She tried to shrug him off.
"Dawn, now! In the house!"
Finally, she let go and backed up into the house.
"Giles, why can't Dawn see me?" I know that I wasn't a favored son or anything but they had never kept her away from me before.
"Dawn, go upstairs. I need to talk to Spike."
Giles waited on Dawn while she gave me one last pleading look before she turned upstairs. Giles didn't pay any attention to me until after she had disappeared from view.
He didn't beat around the bush as he said, "Dawn is in my custody now. And part of that responsibility is making sure she stays away from Buffy and her influence."
I couldn't believe my ears. Buffy and her influence?
"What do you mean?" I kind of said it in a half laugh. This was ridiculous.
"They were going to put Dawn in a foster home. Buffy couldn't handle it anymore. She signed her guardianship over to me."
Giles looked at me with sadness in his eyes. It had to be killing him for Buffy to be unable to handle everything.
"Spike, stay away from Dawn." Then he closed the door in my face. Just like that, I was dismissed with still a thousand questions still unanswered.
I lit a cigarette as I made my way back to my bike. Then I heard a window opening upstairs.
Dawn was hanging out the window of Buffy's old room.
"The Edge of Paradise. She's there."
Then she was gone. The Edge of Paradise was a bar at the edge of town. Its clientele was not the best. Working men, bikers and a little bit of demon thrown in the mix. The thought of Buffy there made my stomach turn. Only one type of woman visited or worked there. If she was that sort of woman now somebody was going to be seriously hurt.
to be continued…