DL 1.9

Aug. 13th, 2005 01:24 am
[identity profile] eee1313.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] dancing_lessons_archive
Lesson the Ninth: A Matter of Trust

by Peggin
Half a World Away by Admiral Twin

I want to express my great love and appreciation to Abby, alkibiadhs, cousinjean, adjrun, Milhous, AnxietyGrrl, and treasaigh, for pointing out the flaws in my story and helping to make it the best it could be. Also, to the rest of regulars at The [Not So] Delusional Spike & Buffy 'Shippers/Spike Redemptionistas Club, thank you for your continued support and for giving me a fun place where I can hang out and indulge in my favorite obsession.


*

Buffy looked at her watch for what felt like the hundredth time. Dawn should be here by now. School had let out fifteen minutes earlier, and Dawn knew she was supposed to come right outside and meet her sister so they could walk home together.

"You know, I don’t think looking at your watch every five seconds is gonna make Dawn get here any faster."

Buffy turned to Xander. "Where is she? She should be here by now."

"Buffy! She’s barely had time to get to her locker and gossip with her friends. Give her a couple of minutes before you start freaking out on me, okay?"

"Okay. Okay. Sorry." Buffy looked at Xander a little sheepishly. "So, anyway, where was I?"

"Something about a prophecy?"

"Right. Giles seems to think that there’s this prophecy that Spike is supposed to protect Dawn."

"Spike? That’s … hard to believe."

"Well, Giles did say that the prophecy might mean that Spike’s the one who kills her."

"Okay." Xander nodded. "More believable."

"I don’t even know what to think." Buffy sighed. "I mean, maybe it’s wrong. Maybe it’s not about Spike. Maybe it’s not even about Dawn. I hate these prophecies. They’re always so vague."

"So, what are you gonna do?"

"Nothing. I spent all last night and most of today thinking about it, and I’m gonna do nothing. It’s not like we know anything. Nothing’s really changed. I mean, he did rescue Dawn from those knights that one time, but that doesn’t mean I can trust him, right? So, I’m just gonna keep acting the way I always have. Even if it’s true, I don’t want Dawn hanging around Spike. It can’t be good for a teenager to spend so much time with a vampire."

Buffy saw a look of amusement cross Xander’s face at that last remark. "Right, Buffy. I’m sure you would have never spent time hanging out with a vampire when you were Dawn’s age."

"Dawn’s only fourteen. I didn’t meet Angel until I was sixteen. Besides, Angel had—"

"I know this one," Xander interrupted. "Angel had a soul."

Buffy gave him a look before continuing. "Anyway, since we really don’t know anything more than we knew before, I’ve decided to just keep on doing everything the way I’ve been doing it."

"Sounds like a plan. Or not. It’s a plan not to plan."

"Right," Buffy said, looking at her watch again. "Okay, Dawn should definitely be here by now."

"Maybe we missed her."

"No. After yesterday, I made sure we got here early today. What if something happened to her, Xander? What if Glory has her?"

"Don’t overreact, Buffy. Maybe she had to go see one of her teachers after class."

"Dawn? I doubt it, she loves school. She never gets in trouble, not like I used to. I think the only time Dawn’s ever even seen the inside of the principal’s office was right after she found out about this Key business." Buffy looked at Xander frantically. "Do you really think maybe we missed her?"

"I don’t know. You stay here. I’ll go call the magic shop. Maybe Dawn called there."

"Thanks, Xander. Oh! and call my house, too. Maybe she’s there, or maybe she left a message." Buffy gave Xander the code he’d need to check her answering machine and watched as he walked to the pay phone across the street.

Buffy stood and watched the dwindling stream of teenagers emerging from the junior high school. She recognized one of the girls coming out of the nearly empty building. One of Dawn’s friends … Lori … Linda … no, Lisa. She approached the teen.

"Hi, Lisa." Buffy said, "Do you remember me?"

"Sure. You’re Dawn’s sister. … Sorry about your mom."

"Thanks. I appreciate that. Listen, have you seen Dawn? She’s supposed to meet me here after school lets out, but she’s late."

"I don’t know anything about her meeting you. I saw her leave right after class let out. She went out the back door."

"She did what?" Buffy was livid. If Dawn had gone out the back door, she must have done so deliberately to skip out on meeting Buffy. "Did she say where she was going?"

"No. Sorry." Lisa walked off.

Buffy stood watching the teenager walk away thinking to herself I’m gonna kill her. Oh, this time, I’m really gonna kill her.

"Hey, Buff," Xander called as he ran back across the street. "I told you not to worry. Dawn called the magic shop and left a message. She’s doing some research for a paper she has to write on World War II."

"Huh?" Buffy said, looking in the direction Lisa had just gone. "If she had a paper to write, why would she be leaving the school? They have a library right here. What could she possibly need to know about World War II that she couldn’t find out right … Oh! I’m gonna kill her."

"What?" asked Xander. "What’s going on?"

"She better be lying in a ditch somewhere," Buffy fumed, "because if I find her where I think I’m gonna find her, she won’t have to wait for Glory to come and get her. I’m gonna kill her myself!"

Buffy stormed off, leaving Xander rushing to catch up with her and asking, "Why? Where do you think she went?"

"I think she went to see Spike again. She has got to get over this crush of hers. It’s just wrong!"

***

"This is wrong, pet. It was 1939, not 1940."

Dawn was sitting on top of the sarcophagus in Spike’s crypt, biting on the end of her pencil. She had a couple of history books and a composition pad open in front of her. "Are you sure?" Dawn looked over at Spike, sitting on the other end of the sarcophagus, smoking a cigarette and looking at the half-written essay she had to hand in the next day.

"I was there, wasn’t I?"

"I guess. … Hey, was he a demon?"

Spike laughed, almost choking on the smoke from his cigarette. "What!?!"

"I said, was he a demon?"

"Hitler?"

"Yeah! I mean, he did some really awful stuff, and I just thought … maybe …" Dawn let her comment trail off, her thought incomplete.

"Oh, I see," Spike said, taking one final drag on his cigarette before stamping it out. "You figured someone that evil couldn’t possibly be human. Sorry, nibblet, Adolph Hitler was as human as they come. Most demons just don’t have that much imagination."

"Huh." Dawn turned back to her book. "You sure he invaded Poland in 1939?"

Spike picked up one of Dawn’s books, leafed through a few pages, then handed it back to her and pointed.

"Oh. Okay." She looked up at Spike and smiled. "Thanks."

Dawn turned back to her books, and Spike watched her for a moment, bemused. When did I become a bloody history tutor for children?

Dawn had gotten there about twenty minutes earlier, and he had immediately insisted that she leave. He didn’t want to get Buffy all mad at him again. But this time Dawn had been prepared for his demand that she leave. She’d blackmailed him.

"If you make me leave, I’ll tell Buffy."

"Tell her what, nibblet?"

"Everything. About the chip and junk."

Spike had looked at her skeptically. "You wouldn’t."

Dawn pouted. "No, I wouldn’t," she replied. Then she got a gleam in her eyes, "but I might tell Buffy that you wear reading glasses."

"You’re not serious ... are you?"

Dawn had smiled at him impishly and asked, "You want to test me?"

So, here he was, helping the child with her bloody homework. Oh, I’m real evil these days, he thought to himself mockingly.

Of course, it wasn’t just any child, it was Buffy’s sister. Besides, he liked the little nip. She was good company. She had a lot of her mum in her; never treated him like a freak. If only Buffy had inherited that trait as well.

Spike hopped down to the floor, "Mind if I grab a bite to eat?" he asked, opening the door to his refrigerator.

Dawn looked up again, "Why would I …" She stopped as she saw the bags of blood hanging inside the fridge. "Oh." She made a disgusted face at him. "I guess not. Just don’t do it in front of me. … Say, did you ever see a real concentration camp?"

"Can’t say as I did, little bit."

Dawn turned back to her books, and Spike grinned in her direction. Dawn may not like the drinking blood bit, and she had no problem letting him know it, but she still treated him like … well, like a person. So much like her mum.

He was just finishing his dinner when the door to his crypt slammed open. He turned around to see Buffy standing there with arms crossed and glaring at him. Xander trailed in behind her.

"What is my sister doing here? Again?"

Dawn jumped down to the floor. "It’s not his fault, Buffy. I needed help with my history paper and, well, since he was there, I just figured …"

"You decided you would come and hang out with an evil vampire in his lair. When are you going to figure out that this is not cool, Dawn?"

"He’s not dangerous anymore, Buffy!"

"Hey!" Spike replied indignantly.

Dawn shot him a look. "What?"

"I bloody well am too still dangerous!"

Dawn shot Spike a look, "You’re not helping."

"Well, I am!"

"Fine. You’re real dangerous. But you’re not evil anymore."

Somewhat mollified, Spike nodded his head a little. "Okay, yeah."

Buffy looked annoyed. "Dawn, just go home."

"Fine." Dawn collected her books and shoved them in her backpack. "You’re not coming with me?"

"Not right now." Buffy turned to Xander and asked "You’ll walk her home, won’t you?"

"Yeah, sure thing," he replied.

Buffy turned back to Dawn, saying, "I want you home. I mean it. Xander’s gonna take you straight home. No stopping anywhere, and no leaving until I get home. There’s still half an hour until sunset, and I want you home before then."

Dawn sighed resentfully. "Okay. Whatever. So, what are you going to be doing?"

Buffy turned to Spike. "I’m going to have a little talk with Mr. Not Evil Anymore."

***

Buffy waited until the door to the crypt closed before turning her annoyed gaze back to Spike.

"All right, pet, let’s have it then."

"I don’t like my sister hanging out with you. You’re a bad influence, and it’s weird. Why can’t you just stay away from her?"

"In case you didn’t notice, love, this is my home. I didn’t go bother Dawn. She came here."

He was right. Buffy knew it. Still, it upset her, she didn’t want Dawn hanging around him. "You don’t have to encourage her. I don’t want her hanging out with vampires."

"Not vampires. Vampire. One vampire. Me. You know that even if I could hurt her, I never would. Anyway, it’s not like you never spent any time hanging around—"

"That’s besides the point!" Geez, Buffy thought, had Spike and Xander been rehearsing together? "I don’t want Dawn hanging around you. She’ll start to trust you and then,
someday, when that chip stops working, you’ll hurt her."

"You don’t really believe that, love."

"Don’t tell me what I believe and don’t believe. I don’t trust you."

"A couple of months ago, you trusted me enough to ask me to protect your family."

"That … I was … desperate." Even as she said the words, Buffy knew it was a lame response.

"Oh, please. No matter how desperate you were, you wouldn’t have come to me if you didn’t think you could trust me, at least a little. You tell me, three years ago, would you ever have taken your family to that big poof you used to be in love with? No matter how desperate you were?"

"Well, no … but when Angel went evil, he didn’t have a chip—"

"It’s not about the sodding chip, Buffy, and you know it. You could have put a chip in Angelus’s head, pulled out his teeth with a pair of sodding pliers, and chained him to a bloody wall. You never would have asked him to protect so much as a kitten, let alone your family. You trusted me that day."

A voice inside of Buffy told her that Spike was right, but she suppressed it. "No … I don’t trust you. I can’t."

"You can keep telling yourself that, but the truth is that you’re afraid to admit to yourself what you really feel for me."

"Yes. I am afraid -- afraid of you! Afraid of what you might do once you get that chip out. And all I feel for you is ha–"

"Don’t say it," Spike interrupted. "Honesty, remember? Don’t say it unless you mean it."

Buffy stared at him. She knew he was right. It had become so much of a habit to tell him she hated him that she’d almost said it again, even though they both knew it wasn’t true.
Spike chuckled. "You keep tryin’ to convince your friends that you hate me. Tryin’ to convince yourself, too, I’d wager. Maybe that would be easier for you, you bein’ the Slayer and all. Well, you might be able to lie to your little Scooby pals, Buffy. You might even be able to lie to yourself. … But you can’t lie to me. Fear has a smell to it. So does hatred. And so … does desire." Spike drew closer to Buffy and inhaled deeply. "That’s not fear I’m smellin’, and it’s not hatred either."

Buffy pushed him away and moved across the room, trying to put as much space between them as possible. "Y-- you’re crazy. You’re deluding yourself."

"Yeah, love, you’ve said that before. I think we both know which one of us is delusional."

"Okay, Spike. Even if some small, tiny, infinitesimal part of me, buried deep down inside, was attracted to you. Even if it was true, it wouldn’t mean anything. It’s not like I’d ever do anything about if. If I let you inside my defenses like that, for all I know someday you might get that chip out, turn around, and rip out my throat. How do I know that you won’t?"

Spike started to say something then stopped, seeming to reconsider what he’d been about to say. He paused for a moment then, in a very calm voice, he replied, "You don’t."

That wasn’t the answer Buffy had been expecting. She didn’t realize until that moment that she’d been half hoping he would say something, anything, that would justify the way she seemed to always be drawn to him; the way she kept letting him live when all of her training told her she should have staked him long ago. Instead, he seemed to be confirming her innermost fears-- despite all his recent declarations of love, he still wanted to kill her. "So, that’s it? That’s your answer? That’s supposed to make me trust you?"

"No. It’s not. Nothing I can say is ever going to make you trust me. You either trust me or you don’t."

"Well … I don’t. I can’t. You’ve done too many things, Spike. I can’t live like that, not knowing—"

"You can never know what’s goin’ on in somebody else’s heart and mind, Slayer." Buffy could feel the intensity of his gaze from across the room. "There are no guarantees in life. You want an insurance policy? Call Met Life."

"I don’t want an insurance policy. I just want a normal relationship. With someone I can trust. With someone who isn’t going to wake up one day and decide he wants to kill me."

"Oh, grow up, Summers! How many people really fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after? People promise to love each other forever, only to have one of them turn around and cheat, or leave. How many times have you heard stories about someone gettin’ killed by the person who promised to love them most in the world? I’m talkin’ about people here, pet. Not demons, not monsters, but your every day, run of the mill human beings. None of them had guarantees." Spike started slowly walking across the room, bridging the gap between them. "So, no, I can’t give you a guarantee … not one that’s worth a bloody damn. I don’t get one either, you know. I’ll live every day, never knowin’ whether you might decide you’d like me better as a pile of dust."

"Spike--" Buffy moved away again, uncomfortable having him so near.

"No, you listen," Spike interrupted, backing her into the wall. "Maybe I’ll have to spend every day I’m with you wondering if that’s the day you’ll decide to shove one of your pointy wooden sticks through my heart. But if being with you means living with that possibility, then it’s a risk I’m willing to take."

"Why?"

"How many times do I have to say it, Buffy? I. Love. You." He grabbed Buffy’s arms and pulled her so close they were almost kissing. "You make me feel alive. When I’m with you, Slayer, you make every molecule in my body sing."

Buffy felt like she could barely breathe. "Do you … do you really mean that?"

"Every syllable."

For a moment, it was almost enough. This time, when she felt Spike’s cool lips press against her own, she didn’t fight it. She didn’t respond, but she didn’t pull away either; she just stood there with her eyes closed, letting him kiss her.

Encouraged, Spike pulled her even closer, so that every inch of her body was touching his. She felt his arms wrap around her body, then felt his lips leaving a trail of tender kisses along her neck. She heard a sound that sounded like a cross between a whimper and a moan, and realized it had come from her.

"I love you, Buffy. Oh, god, I love you so much."

Then came the panic. What the hell am I doing? Buffy asked herself. She pushed him away. "No! No, I can’t … we can’t … this is … this is wrong!"

"Buffy—"

"No. No no no. I … I can’t … I have to …" With that, Buffy turned and ran out of the crypt, slamming the door behind her.

***

Willow sat on her bed and watched Buffy pace back and forth across the floor. It was starting to make her dizzy.

Buffy had knocked on her dorm room door five minutes earlier. As soon as Willow had answered, Buffy had immediately launched into a tirade about something Spike had done. At least, Willow was pretty sure it was about Spike. Buffy wasn’t being very coherent. At one point, Willow could have sworn Buffy had said something about Spike kissing Dawn’s homework. She was pretty sure that wasn’t right.

"So, what should I do?" Buffy finally stopped talking and looked at Willow, a desperate look on her face.

"Um … about what?" Willow asked.

"Haven’t you been listening? About Spike!" Buffy sat down next to Willow. "Maybe I should just stake him and put him out of my misery."

Willow patted her best friend on the back. "Is that really what you want to do?"

"I don’t know … no, not really. As long as he’s got that chip, I don’t think I could do it. I mean, he’s not just some random vamp. I know him – unless he becomes dangerous again, killing him would just be … I don’t know …"

"Ooky?" Willow suggested.

Buffy nodded. "It’s just, this thing, his obsession with me, it’s starting to drive me crazy."

Unbidden, the previous night’s conversation with Tara and Dawn popped into Willow’s mind. Listening to Buffy’s irrational ravings, Willow started to get the uncomfortable feeling that maybe Dawn had been more right than she had wanted to believe. Maybe Buffy did have feelings for Spike.

Willow took a deep breath. "Can I ask … I mean, I’m just thinking … Why does this bother you so much? You’re not interested … in him … right?"

"Of course not!"

Willow noticed with growing unease that Buffy had been unable to look her in the eyes as she responded. "And … and with the chip, it’s not like he can force you to do anything."

"But it’s Spike -- what did I ever do to make him want me?"

"You just seem awfully freaked about it, is all I’m saying."

"Yeah, well, there’s that whole ‘it’s Spike’ thing." Buffy got up and started pacing again. "I think the fact that Spike wants me is pretty freak-worthy."

"But you’ve had guys like you before when you weren’t interested." Willow hesitated, uncertain whether she wanted to continue this discussion. "I mean, all that time that Xander had a big ol’ crush on you, it never bothered you – not like this."

"Well that was different," Buffy replied. "With Xander, I never had to worry that one day he was gonna decide he wanted to eat me." Buffy paused, reconsidered. "Well … except that one time …"

Willow nodded, "When he turned into a hyena."

"Right. But that was only one time, and it wasn’t Xander’s fault. … But, this thing with Spike … I don’t know how that chip works. What if its battery or something runs out tomorrow? How long is it gonna be before Spike decides he wants me for lunch instead of … you know … just wanting me? How long before he starts killing all my friends?"

"I don’t know, Buffy," Willow replied uneasily. "I think there’s more to it than that."

"How do you mean?"

"Is the problem really how Spike feels about you? Or is it how you feel about him?"

"What do you mean, how I feel about him?"

Willow was unsure how to say this. "Well … you told me one time that you kinda had … I don’t know … a thing … for bad boys. Like, you thought you needed misery and fighting before you could have real passion."

"Well, Spike certainly makes me miserable. And we fight all the time. But that doesn’t mean I’m in love with him."

"No. Not love … not necessarily."

Buffy stopped her pacing and sat back down on the bed. "What do you mean, ‘not necessarily?’"

"I don’t know, exactly," Willow said. "It’s just … last night. I was talking to Dawn and Tara and … remember last year when I did that my-will-be-done spell?"

"I thought we were never going to mention that spell ever again."

"Yeah, I know, but maybe it’s important. See, when I did the spell, all I said was that you should marry Spike. I never said you should be in love."

"So?" Buffy got up and started pacing again.

Great. More pacing, Willow thought. "So, you were in love with him … after the spell was over, you admitted it to me. Tara says that couldn’t have come from the spell."

Buffy looked at her, clearly dismayed. "But it had to. I’m not in love with Spike … I just can’t be."

"You have to admit, if anyone has that whole ‘bad boy’ thing going for him, it’s Spike."

"But I got over that bad boy thing. Ever since you did that … that spell … I am so totally over the bad boy thing."

"Are you? I know you thought Dracula was …" Willow didn’t want to say the word.

"Sexy?" Buffy stopped moving and turned to face Willow. "So did you."

"Yeah. Yeah, I did. But Buffy, I’m not the one who let him bite me."

"I didn’t let … I mean, Dracula had this whole thrall thing going …"

"Buffy." Willow looked at her best friend, a concerned expression on her face.

After a long pause, Buffy continued. "No. You’re right. I could have stopped Dracula, but I didn’t. Part of me wanted him to … I mean, I actually … when he … a part of me liked it."

"Getting bit?"

Buffy nodded her head dejectedly.

"Maybe it’s a Slayer thing. Like your powers make you … attracted to vampires or something. I mean, there was Angel, and you just said that part of you liked it when Dracula …"

"Okay, yeah. But that still doesn’t mean that I’m attracted to Spike." Buffy stared at Willow, her eyes wide as if horrified. "But, I have to admit, he is kind of …" This time it was Buffy who seemed unable to complete the thought.

"Sexy?" Willow asked.

Buffy closed her eyes and nodded her head. "But … that’s not love. You don’t love someone just because they’re sexy, right?" She looked as Willow hopefully. "You need to trust them. And I don’t trust Spike."

"But you did fall in love with him when I did that spell."

"Well, I mean, okay, maybe when you did the spell, you didn’t say ‘love’, but the spell made us want to marry each other … doesn’t marriage mean love?"

"Not always. Lots of people get married for other reasons. And lots of people say they’ll always love each other and then stop."

"That’s what Spike said."

"When?"

"Just now, before I came here." Buffy paused and Willow saw a look of uncertainty pass across her face. She sat down on the bed once again. "Right before he … he kissed me."

"Kissed?" Willow’s heart sank. "You let him kiss you?"

Buffy just stared at the wall for nearly a minute.

Willow was starting to get concerned about the blank expression on her best friend’s face. "Buffy?"

"I did. I really, really did. I let him … Oh, god! What the hell is the matter with me?" Buffy hung her head and covered her face with her hands.

Willow was almost afraid to ask, "You … you didn’t do more than that … did you?"

"No! No, I didn’t … I wouldn’t … oh, god." Buffy sighed. "There is something seriously wrong with me, Will. I had this great guy. This nice normal human guy. And he wasn’t enough for me. I was never in love with Riley, and he knew it, too."

"Are you saying you really are in love with Spike?"

Buffy didn’t answer, and wouldn’t turn her head to face her best friend. Willow figured that was all the answer she needed.

"So, what are you gonna do?"

Buffy took a deep breath and sat up straight again with a determined look on her face. "Nothing. It doesn’t matter what I feel. There’s still the trust issue. And I don’t trust him."

"Oh. Okay. Good." Willow breathed a sigh of relief; it could have been worse. Not much worse, but still …

Buffy stood up to leave. "Please don’t tell anyone about this, Will. Especially Xander. Oh god, he had enough of a problem with Angel. If he thought for a second that I wanted Spike … I don’t even want to think about it."

Willow nodded her head. "You bet. I won’t tell anyone … kinda wish I didn’t know myself."

At that, Buffy laughed. "Okay, I have to go. Xander said he’d take Dawn home, but I never even asked him if he could stay with her. I’d better get home before he has to leave. I don’t like leaving Dawn alone."

Willow walked Buffy to the door then hugged her. She took a deep breath as she watched her best friend’s back retreating down the hall.

***

It took what seemed like forever for Buffy to fall asleep that night. Every time she closed her eyes, she could once again feel Spike’s cool lips pressing against her own. When she finally did fall asleep, the dream began.

She seemed to be looking at herself from a distance, watching events as they transpired. It almost seemed like a memory … except what she was seeing had never happened. Had it?

Memories flooded Buffy’s brain. Memories of a day that had never happened. A demon with a jewel in its forehead. A fight. Angel, human again, just as she’d always dreamed. One incredible day and night of guiltless passion. … Waking up in bed, alone.

The Buffy in the vision was crying as if her heart might break, chanting over and over, "I’ll never forget, I’ll never forget, I’ll never forget."

"But you did forget, didn’t you?"

Buffy turned to see Angel standing beside her. "This … this never happened."

"Didn’t it?" Angel asked, and then he disappeared.

She heard a male voice, speaking in a cultured British accent, say, "He was a fool." She turned and saw … a man she didn’t recognize. The man looked vaguely familiar, she was sure she knew him, but she couldn’t place who it was. He had rumpled sandy colored hair, was dressed in old fashioned clothing, wore a pair of reading spectacles, and had a sweet and earnest expression on his face.

The man continued, "He threw away his chance to be with you. He was afraid that if you were together, one of you might die. Love means taking a chance. If you love someone, you risk everything to be with them."

"Even your life?" Buffy asked. "Even if being together means that one of you might die?"

"If being with you means living with that possibility, then it’s a risk I’m willing to take." As he said the words, the man … changed. His rumpled hair smoothed back, the sandy color changed to white. His clothes shifted from an old fashioned suit to unrelieved black. Even his accent changed, but his eyes and his face remained the same. It was Spike who continued, "The question is, are you?"

"What about trust? How can I be with someone I don’t trust?"

"Sometimes you have to give someone your trust before they can earn it."

Buffy heard a telephone ringing and woke from the dream with a start. Groggy and a little disoriented, she managed to pick up the receiver. "Hello?"

"Buffy! Oh, god, they took him! You have to do something. Back when I had my powers, this never would have happened."

"Anya? What are you talking about?"

"Those demons you told us about, the creepy looking ones in the brown robes who work for Glory. A bunch of them grabbed Xander. What are we going to do?"

"Okay, Anya. Try to calm down. Tell me where you are. I’ll be right there."

It only took a minute for Buffy to throw on her clothes, the last words from her dream echoing in her mind: "Sometimes you have to give someone your trust before they can earn it."

She went and got Dawn out of bed. "Wake up. Something’s happened."

Dawn got out of bed and stretched. "What’s going on?"

"Put on some sweats or something and grab your sleeping bag. Glory has Xander and I have to go get him back."

"Oh my god! You ... do you think she’s gonna hurt him?"

"Not if I get there on time to rescue him. Hurry up and get dressed."

"I know you’re not taking me with you to fight Glory, so where are you taking me?"

"I’m going to take you somewhere … somewhere you’ll be safe."

As Buffy waited for Dawn to get ready, she thought about her dream. Spike had helped look after her family before, and she really did believe Spike would never hurt Dawn. Maybe the dream was right. Maybe she had to give Spike a chance to earn her trust.

"Okay, Buffy. I’m ready. Where are we going?"

"I’m going after Xander. You … I’m going to ask Spike to take care of you until it’s safe again."

A huge smile spread across Dawn’s face. "Really? That’s so cool! You think maybe you’re starting to trust him a little?"

"I don’t know. Maybe."

"Neat."

The two sisters locked the door behind them and headed toward the cemetery. Buffy wasn’t sure if this was a good idea, but she was willing to give it a try.

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