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Josseverse fic - Weight of the World

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Dec. 21st, 2012 | 01:01 am

Title: The Weight Of The World
Pairings/Characters: Spike, Dawn (gen/friendship)
Rating: PG
W/C: ~1850
Warnings: none, except canon divergence as far as timeline and future!Sunnydale
Summary: Dawn meant more to Spike than she’d ever know, or so he thought.
A/N: My contribution to this year's noel_of_spike




Buffy was back. She was really back and everyone (except her) seemed to be relieved.

Those few months, though, while she was…gone…Spike had honored her request that he look after her little sister. It was an obligation he took on without hesitating. Anything for her, anything, after he’d tried so hard and had to live with his failure to save her that night on the platform. (He would eventually confess to Buffy…every night I saved you…and it was true.)

As it turned out, though, looking out for the Bit didn’t feel like an obligation at all. She was young and naïve, just as broken as he was (if not more). Dawn was fun, she had a way of making him smile when all he wanted to do was sob and grieve. And Spike had a way of making her remember that her own life didn’t have to end with that of her sister’s.

At the beginning of that hot summer, he’d often been met with resentful looks and cutting words when he tried to comfort Dawn or give her advice for any problems that she happened to mention. After some time, though, the two of them fell into an easy friendship, partially based on shared loss, partially based on the fact that Spike was never, ever, going to let let anything bad happen to Dawn. The Bit seemed to sense it, he figured, as they got closer and she started trusting him so much more. He’d held her when she cried, over her sister or something else a girl her age thought was worth crying over. He didn’t always understand, but he did try, and that seemed to be what mattered more than anything else.

Willow had turned her over to him one night when she was too hysterical to even speak. When he had gotten her calmed down a little, her whispered explanation broke his heart to pieces. “I’m not even real, Spike, why should it be me still here and not her?” All he could do was stroke her hair, dry her tears and try to convince her that she was as real to him and to her friends as anyone else. Dawn probably hadn’t bought it, not right then, but as the days passed, she seemed to perk up at least a little bit. It was the best he could do.

Spike, though of course thrilled with Buffy’s return, felt a little bit of apprehension. The friendship he’d struck up with Dawn over the past few months was the only thing that had kept him going for all that time. Though he’d never admit it, never say it out loud…he was honestly worried. He anticipated the worst – Buffy’s return spelling out the end of the safe and comforting relationship he had with Dawn. Now that she had her sister back, she wouldn’t need him. Not now. Not anymore.

As the months passed, though, and their lives were all just as crazy as they’d been before they’d lost Buffy, Dawn still came to him when she needed comforting. They all knew Buffy wasn’t really herself, not just yet, and Dawn was just as fragile as ever. Spike felt himself at turns exasperated and proud many times. Dawn meant so much to him, and no matter what she’d been through, she was still a teenage girl who just felt a little lost sometimes. Spike never turned her away, never dismissed her concerns even when he couldn’t understand them. It’s not like he had much experience giving advice to teenage girls. He always put all of his effort into comforting Dawn, answering her questions when he could, and of course, of paramount importance, keeping her safe. Now that Buffy was back, it was no longer his obligation to do so, but it didn’t feel like work to him. It just felt like the right thing.

While one year after another passed them by, he watched as Dawn grew into an amazing, strong young woman. Spike beamed with pride when she got her college acceptance letter after she’d practically run the entire distance to his place so she could show it to him. She didn’t choose to share the good news first with her sister or her other friends; she wanted him to know first. He wasn’t ashamed to admit that he was glad she’d be attending school close to home. Things in Sunnydale had calmed considerably after the destruction of the Hellmouth, and he’d accepted that a relationship with Buffy outside of friendship and mutual goals was just not something that was meant to be. It’s not like there weren’t still creatures to worry about and track down, but finally it felt like they didn’t all have the end of the world hanging over their heads all the time.

Now, the whole gang was getting ready for Christmas. Not usually something Spike had taken a lot of time to prepare for until he suddenly found himself part of this version of a family, but clearly it was important to Dawn. Instead of running off to the mall with Janice, or with her sister and other female friends, it was Spike being dragged from store to store, giving his opinion on whether this sweater would be a good color for Willow (Oh, Christ, no, Dawnie, with the hair on that girl? Find something blue, maybe yellow) or whether or not these boots would look good on Buffy (Perfect, Bit, they are, but she’s a seven and a half, not a seven). There were earrings for Anya, CDs for Xander, perfume for Willow’s new girlfriend…the night seemed never-ending.

Heading back out of the mall, Dawn said, “I’ll have to come back for yours, it’s no fun if it’s not a surprise.”

Spike wasn’t entirely sure what to do with that. Purchasing Christmas gifts wasn’t something he’d done much of in the past century or so, he’d only started getting used to it during the past couple of years. But now he was preoccupied. He wasn’t going to bother too much with everyone else, though they’d been generous enough once again (probably due to Dawn’s insistence) to invite him to their holiday gathering. For Dawn, though…he’d have to find something perfect, he always did.

As soon as the sun set four days before Christmas, Spike went out himself to the dreaded shopping mall. Heading straight for a large department store, he detained an overworked seasonal worker and told the boy he needed half a dozen small gifts for people he didn’t really know very well, which was his usual method of selecting presents for their little makeshift family. Okay, so he knew Buffy pretty well, but he’d already decided on her present. Leaving the shop with a bag of scented candles and assorted trinkets, Spike made his way to the large store on the other end of the mall. By this time, he only had an hour before everything closed down for the night and he still wasn’t entirely sure what the perfect gift would be for the Bit. He went down his mental list of all the things she liked: makeup, nail polish, hair accessories; nothing that any other young lady her age wasn’t fond of. Spike didn’t want any kind of ordinary gift for Dawn, though, he always looked for something that would be meaningful. Finally, at the jewelry counter, he spotted something that may be exactly right.

On the night when the motley crew of vampire hunters and their one friend who happened to actually be a vampire got together to celebrate, there was a festive mood. Lots of snack trays being passed around, secular holiday music playing softly in the background, and a fair amount of laughter and light-hearted conversation. Spike was pleased as punch to realize that he’d been given gifts. Mostly bottles of liquor and cigarettes, which was fantastic, it’s not like he could ever have too many of either of those things. Buffy had given him a new silver lighter with a fancy script “S” on the back, and he gave her a look of such gratefulness that she finally broke eye contact and simply said she was glad he liked it.

Dawn had made him a CD, burned songs onto it that, she said, she either already knew he liked or that reminded her of him. He hadn’t expected something quite so personal and had to fight back traitorous tears which were attempting to make their way to the surface.

Finally, he handed a small gift-wrapped box to Dawn. It hadn’t been easy to do – the few things he treasured most were jealously hidden in his crypt and he only pulled them out to look at them on rare occasions. One thing in the box was a photo someone had snapped of Dawn and Spike far away from the shot, looking small in the background. They were just sitting together in the grass, legs crossed and clearly having a casual conversation. It was a small sacrifice to make when he took a pair of scissors to the photograph.

When she opened the box and saw the small engraved silver locket she looked dumbstruck. “Spike, it’s beautiful. I want to put it on right now!”

“Open it first, Bit.”, he replied, feeling a bit self-conscious as a whole room full of people were watching. Dawn opened the locket and saw the tiny picture inside of the two of them relaxing in the grass, and burst into tears.

“Sorry, oh God, Dawn, I’m so sorry, please don’t be sad, get rid of it, it’s all right-”

She looked down at him then, reclined on the floor as she perched on the arm of the sofa.

“I’m not sad”, she managed to get out through her tears. “I just – oh, Spike, it’s so perfect. Will you put it on me? Please?”

Relieved, Spike readily agreed and fastened the clasp on the chain behind her neck as she held her hair up and out of the way. She turned back around to face him and hugged him tightly. “Thank you”, she whispered. Spike just gave her an affectionate kiss on the top of her head and said, “Glad you like it, Niblet.”

With things getting emotional like that, Spike decided it was time to call it a night. Dawn had told him to listen to the last track on her CD first, it was something from an album that had just been released and she seemed excited about it. Getting back to his own place, he slid the CD into its player, skipping to the end as he’d been asked and recognizing the opening riff of a completely unoriginal pop song. After a moment, though, he understood.

On the way down, I saw you, and you saved me from myself
and I won’t forget the way you loved me
On the way down, I almost fell right through, but I held on to you


Spike collapsed and finally let his tears fall, just for a moment. He could let go of the Big Bad for just a few minutes. For Dawn.

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Comments {25}

velvetwhip

(no subject)

from: velvetwhip
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 06:27 am (UTC)
Link

Aw! This was very touching. I like the idea of their friendship remaining intact, a constant. Just lovely.


Gabrielle

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I want another pony

(no subject)

from: verucasalt123
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 06:35 am (UTC)
Link

Thank you so much. The friendship between these two has always been a facet of the show that I've enjoyed exploring.

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kindredspirit75

(no subject)

from: kindredspirit75
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 11:27 am (UTC)
Link

That was lovely. I've always thought that Spike's relationship with Dawn was how he kept his humanity and brought him closer to redemption.

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I want another pony

(no subject)

from: verucasalt123
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 01:43 pm (UTC)
Link

Thanks!!

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gillo

(no subject)

from: gillo
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 12:48 pm (UTC)
Link

Really touching. And I like anything that excises Dawn's anti-Spike phase in S7.

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I want another pony

(no subject)

from: verucasalt123
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 01:44 pm (UTC)
Link

Yes! I like to pretend that didn't happen :)

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slaymesoftly

(no subject)

from: slaymesoftly
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 01:38 pm (UTC)
Link

I'm a sucker for Spike, Dawn friendship. This was lovely.

Reply | Thread

I want another pony

(no subject)

from: verucasalt123
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 01:44 pm (UTC)
Link

So am I!! Thanks, I'm glad you liked it.

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Barb

(no subject)

from: rahirah
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
Link

Aw. We never got enough of them on the show.

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I want another pony

(no subject)

from: verucasalt123
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 06:52 pm (UTC)
Link

I agree :)

Reply | Parent | Thread

this our chameleon

(no subject)

from: justwolf
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 07:26 pm (UTC)
Link

Beautiful! I love reading about their friendship, and I love how you evoked their closeness.

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I want another pony

(no subject)

from: verucasalt123
date: Dec. 21st, 2012 08:50 pm (UTC)
Link

Thank you!!

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Danna

(no subject)

from: chasingdemons
date: Dec. 22nd, 2012 02:31 am (UTC)
Link

That was beautiful and so appropriate for the season. Thank you!

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I want another pony

(no subject)

from: verucasalt123
date: Dec. 22nd, 2012 02:34 am (UTC)
Link

I'm so glad you liked it!

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zanthinegirl

(no subject)

from: zanthinegirl
date: Dec. 22nd, 2012 02:54 am (UTC)
Link

Aww! That's really sweet. Spike & Dawn's friendship was one of my favorite things about the last few seasons of BtVS; I'm still irritated that they didn't have a canon reconciliation in season7!

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(no subject)

from: verucasalt123
date: Dec. 22nd, 2012 03:05 am (UTC)
Link

I know!!! That's why I'm always trying to make it happen in fic :)

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of_too_minds

(no subject)

from: of_too_minds
date: Dec. 22nd, 2012 03:59 am (UTC)
Link

Lovely. So touching. They saved each other. Spike needs to be needed and Dawn needs someone who doesn't see her as just an extension of her sister.

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(no subject)

from: verucasalt123
date: Dec. 22nd, 2012 04:07 am (UTC)
Link

Yes, I agree, it was a time when each of them needed what the other had to offer. Glad you liked it!

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LiveJournal

Friday December 21st, 2012

from: livejournal
date: Dec. 22nd, 2012 04:49 am (UTC)
Link

User audela referenced to your post from Friday December 21st, 2012 saying: [...] Buffy/Spike. G. The Weight Of The World [...]

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Sari

(no subject)

from: sarian71
date: Dec. 22nd, 2012 05:27 pm (UTC)
Link

Oh, this was lovely! I always have a soft spot for Spike and Dawn friendship.

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(no subject)

from: verucasalt123
date: Dec. 22nd, 2012 06:12 pm (UTC)
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Thank you!!!

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treadingthedark

(no subject)

from: treadingthedark
date: Dec. 23rd, 2012 09:13 am (UTC)
Link

Loved this. Thanks!

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(no subject)

from: verucasalt123
date: Dec. 23rd, 2012 02:42 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for reading and commenting, glad you liked it!!!

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Butterfly

(no subject)

from: snogged
date: Jan. 1st, 2013 03:47 am (UTC)
Link

AWWW!
This was so sweet.

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(no subject)

from: verucasalt123
date: Jan. 1st, 2013 03:57 am (UTC)
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Thanks :)

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