Ten Years After

Chapter 13

Spike was in the shower. Surveying the rather crumpled bed that they had just vacated, Dawn decided it would be a good idea to get him safely out of the room, and let the maid in. It was a damp, dull day; she decided that he’d probably be fairly safe if he passed a window, and called to him “If we go down to breakfast the maid can come in. I reckon we can get down to there without you going too near a window.”

He emerged, a towel draped modestly around his hips, drying his hair, “You don’t mind them knowing I was here all night?” He sounded surprised.

“Course not. I don’t mind paying any extra if they ask, but I did pay room rate, so it should be alright.” Dawn answered.

“No, I mean, them knowing that I … that we were … you know!” He looked slightly worried.

“Aw, come on Spike, this is not the nineteenth century, they aren’t going to run off and call Giles, who will dash over and challenge you to a duel for besmirching my reputation! Most of the reception staff kept looking at you and smirking, or smiling, or giving me the thumbs up when you came up the last couple of times. They’re French – if I walk down looking slightly bandy with a satisfied look they’ll say to each other ‘Ah, lovers, Paris, etcetera!’” She grinned.

Spike looked concerned, “Slightly bandy? I didn’t hurt you, pet, did I? Don’t always know my own strength.”

“No you did not hurt me, crazy vampire! If you’d hurt me I’d have said ‘ouch’ instead of ‘ooh’! ‘Cos, you know, I can speak for myself, and if I’d wanted you to stop I would have said so. And trusted you to. It was great, and you were great, and if there is nothing you want to watch on daytime TV we can do it all again with interesting variations after I’ve eaten and got my strength back. Oh, and I could take an interesting picture of us to send to Willow, because I’ve got a bet on with myself as to her exact words when she’d see it.”

She paused for breath, “and it’s a pity you can’t see yourself in the mirror, because you look cute with your hair all, well all spiky, and that rather bemused look on your face!”


Dawn had been right – the route to breakfast did not pass any large windows, and no-one seemed to mind her guest joining her for coffee and croissants. Spike had stopped grumbling that he ‘didn’t do cute’, and made Dawn laugh because his acute hearing, and excellent French, meant that he could relay interesting tit-bits of the conversations around them to Dawn.

Spike admitted that the only person who sounded shocked at his presence with Dawn at breakfast was someone who wondered why they were eating in the dining room rather than using room service, because if they’d managed to get ‘that hot blond’ into their bed they wouldn’t have left it so easily! He laughed as he told her this – and pointed out the speaker – who was a waiter. The waitress he was talking to, Spike continued, said that he didn’t understand women (Dawn spluttered) because any woman would have flaunted such a conquest just as Dawn was doing!

After breakfast they didn’t actually ‘do it all again with interesting variations’, but watched the news in English on TV. As the forecast said that the heavy cloud and rain which had now developed would continue all day Spike decided to exit the hotel under a large umbrella, and accompany Dawn by taxi to The Musee D’Orsay to see the collection of Impressionists – one of her ‘rainy day’ things to do in Paris.

The museum was wonderful. Spike told Dawn wild and improbable stories, in an undertone, about some of the painters or models being vampires; or how in their days as The Scourge of Europe he and his companions had fed on this person, or could be seen in the background of that painting. It was probably a great deal less factual than the recorded guide, but much more fun.

Dawn was interested to see that Spike was now speaking of those times – as she understood it, when he had first been re-ensouled his distress at the reality of some of the things that he had done had made him vulnerable to The First. Ten years seemed to have made him more comfortable with himself – more like the Spike she had known whilst her mother had been alive and just after. Before Buffy’s death and resurrection. Before those months when Buffy had been suffering from what Dawn now recognised as Post Traumatic Shock.

‘Pity’, she thought, ‘that no-one recognised it at the time. Although you can’t see there being any counsellor you could go to and discuss exactly what happened. Perhaps The Council should train counsellors (!); the exact situation isn’t all that likely to arise again, but something is bound to, and sometimes their Watcher might need counselling as much as the Slayer.’ She realised, with sudden clarity, that this was exactly true of Giles at that time. She must talk to him about counsellors when she got home, not for him, but for the future, and better trained counsellors than Buffy had ever been!

“Speak to me. You are still in there, aren’t you?” Spike’s voice broke into her train of thought, and she shook herself.

“Sorry, I was miles away; having deep and watchery thoughts,” she answered.

Spike gave her a long and considered look, “Well, s’pose I’ll have to get used to it,” he said. Then “Anyway, as I was saying, to keep herself so pale and interesting looking this model used to ‘donate’ a pint or two of blood to one of the locals quite regularly, so when Angelus found out he set about doing a big seduction scene, and volunteered to do the job for her. Silly bint let him – course he didn’t stop at a pint or two – but the records’ll tell you she died of consumption – only it was good old Angelus who did the consuming!!”


After spending much of the day looking around the museum, Spike told Dawn he was going home to his own flat, “Need to change, and need to feed.”

“I could come with you,” she offered.

“No, not if you don’t mind, pet. Won’t be around later either, got a business meeting. Have a nice day tomorrow, and if you want we could do something really touristy tomorrow night – fancy dinner at the Folies Bergeres? Could pick you up about eight – you could get all dressed up and I can glare at Frenchmen, or more likely American tourists, who look at you too much! What do you think?”

What Dawn actually thought was ‘I am being kept just a bit at arms’ length here! I wonder whether the business meeting and the feeding are closely related, and if either or both relate to how much such a night out would cost? And I wonder if he said “feed” rather than “eat” to remind me “vampire here”.’

But what she said was “Sounds cool. Sure you don’t want to come shopping tomorrow and help me pick a stunning evening outfit?”

“Nah – surprise me!” Spike answered. “Sure you got enough funds, though? Wouldn’t be the first time I’d have given you some towards shopping!”

“I’m fine for money – I get pretty well paid, remember.” Dawn answered, thinking ‘and the money for a posh frock in Paris is a bit more than either of us ever had back then!’

At least he kissed her properly as the taxi dropped her off at her hotel, she thought, or she might have begun to think that she’d imagined last night.


As it happened she spent her evening gainfully employed writing a report for Council records on the dusting of Drusilla. She realised that Spike’s long cool stare in the museum was the equivalent to her own thought of some evenings ago that ‘you can take the vampire out of the nineteenth century – but you can’t completely take the nineteenth century out of the vampire’. Here she was on vacation, writing a report because it needed to be on file – so ‘you can take the girl out of the Council building, but you can’t take the Council out of the girl’ – or something!

She couldn’t bring herself to include Spike’s description of the silk and roses, and the sex. His determination to find Drusilla, and end her vampiric existence, she described clearly though. She didn’t want someone in the future to put it down to a vampiric lovers tiff, or power struggle - Spike should get proper credit for his decision, and for his dedication to doing what he had felt was right. It was what defined his difference from other vampires – his ability to tell right from wrong because of the soul, she thought.

Then she realised that although she could write that in the report, and no-one at the Council would disagree, it really wasn’t that black and white. Perhaps his own description of his unchipped, unsouled vampire years as being like a totally delinquent teenager, creating any chaos he wanted to with no guilt, no care for anyone outside himself and his vampire family, was a better approximation to the truth. Even the most psychopathic teenage youths had a vague understanding of right and wrong – they just didn’t see that it applied to them.

The Spike she had been reminded of in the museum, the Spike of her early teens both remembered and known, had been well aware that some of the things he had done were ‘wrong’, he just hadn’t felt particularly ‘bad’ about them. He was also capable of doing ‘good’ without a soul as well. Not just for what it could get him. As vampires went, he seemed to be an enigma – even before the soul.

She wondered if sometime he would be willing to talk properly about what it really felt like to be a vampire. Nowhere on the records, over all these years, was there really a vampire’s eye’s view of things. If anyone would eventually give them an interview with a vampire, it would be Spike. But Dawn decided that it would be better left for a while – asking him to do anything for the Council was unlikely to be met with wild enthusiasm!


Dawn was about to climb into her bed, thinking that she might have preferred Spike to be there with her again but at least she would probably get more sleep, when she received a text from Willow asking was she alone and could she talk?

She made herself comfortable, and then rang Willow, hoping it wasn’t anything urgent. It wasn’t, Willow just wanted a chat, and Dawn realised that in some ways she had replaced Buffy for Willow. The old Buffy/Willow friendship would never die, but nowadays Buffy didn’t know half the people in Willow’s life, and Willow didn’t know half the people in Buffy’s.

When it came to ‘girl-talk’ it was Dawn that Willow talked to, and often vice versa – they knew each other’s history and life well enough not to have to explain things, or avoid mentioning things. Dawn realised that soon, her ‘girl-friends’ from university would have to be dropped before they noticed her lack of ageing, she would be down to Willow and her other friends who worked for the Council. Even Willow would be gone eventually. Even Willow would probably stop having ‘girl-talks’ once she became middle-aged, and Dawn didn’t. The thought made Dawn sad.

She was not able to linger on it, as Willow wanted to know how her trip with Spike on the river had gone, and did Dawn think that Spike might fancy her – had he kissed her yet? Dawn hesitated slightly, and then felt she wanted to share the last twenty-four hours with someone.

She told Willow about the boat-trip, and the way the barman and waiter had left her and Spike romantically alone, the gentle flirtage that had gone both ways. Then she told Willow everything Spike had told her about Drusilla, not just the version in the report she had just written, but the whole black gown, silk sheets, sex and roses version.

“Wow! Romantic much? And he did all that for her and then he staked her? It’s very Spike, dogged determination to do something, and really poetic!” Willow cut in, at the ‘staked her’ bit. “Of course you’ll have to write a report for the records when you come home. Was Spike upset about it?”

‘Way to go, Willow,’ Dawn thought, ‘straight to the heart of the thing.’ “He said that he sat on the bed, with Drusilla’s dust swirling above his head and he bawled his eyes out.” She said out loud.

“Oh, poor Spike,” Willow exclaimed, “Sometimes he could be – can be – such a softy for a vampire! Although actually I meant was he upset when he told you?”

‘Not going to be distracted then!’ Dawn thought. “He sat and cried like a baby. Well actually that’s not really true – he sat and cried like a vampire – he was so upset he ended up vamped out, and he cried and cried, and I rocked him to sleep.” She answered.

“Poor Spike!” Willow said again, “And poor Dawnie, no smoochies after that then.”

“That’s the thing, Will actually. We both woke up in the middle of the night, and we were together on the one bed, and it felt nice, and I told Spike to take his things off so that they wouldn’t get crumpled, but I didn’t want him to be alone, not even just in the other bed in case he had nightmares. And I thought if he went I might have nightmares about Drusilla, and…..” was Dawn’s slightly incoherent reply.

“Yay, go you guys – so smoochies occurred! And more than smoochies?” Willow cut in.

“More than smoochies. And it was lovely, and I really enjoyed it. And so did Spike. But I thought he might go all ‘shouldn’t have done that’ on me this morning, and he didn’t. He made a point of telling me it wasn’t to do with Drusilla or anyone else, naming no names, but was just to do with me, and I felt really happy.” Dawn said, in a voice that didn’t sound quite as happy as it should, considering what she’d just been saying.

“So where is he now?” Willow asked, getting to the heart of the matter again with unerring accuracy.

“Somewhere. I don’t know. We spent the day at the Musee d’Orsay, but then he said he had a business meeting, and he needed to feed, and he’d take me out tomorrow night. Reminded me, not in so many words, that he has his own life to lead,” Dawn answered, and then, brightening again “which is quite right, now I think of it! He’s his own person, or vampire, whatever. I just sort of expected him to want to be all with the boinking, you know, like they say about vampires!”

“Well I guess he’s not your average vampire, Dawnie. I mean if he was I would be making with the magic to get over there with my trusty stake before it got to suckage! Just don’t go breaking your heart!” Willow said, becoming a little more serious.

“I won’t. But the smoochies and so on were fun, and so I hope he’s not going to go all ‘lets just be friends’ on me!” Dawn paused. “Anyway, how are you and Mhairi getting on?”

“Really well; we’ve got the spells sorted out to help Giles concentrate on you properly, although it takes the balance between the two of us, and it will only works whilst we maintain it, so as long as we aren’t actually holding them at bay, all your cloaking spells fall back into place. We’ve got it figured so that it only lifts them in our vicinity, not yours, so there should be no chance of any other magic user or whatever getting wind of anything by accident. What with the Council building being so well shielded and everything, Giles and I are both happy that he can work without putting you at any risk, and …” Willow was halted in her flow of explanation by Dawn interrupting her.

“Well done you! But actually I meant more how are things between you and Mhairi? I know you, Will. I know when someone catches your eye, and I want to know all the juicy bits! Is she gay? Is she not gay but open to suggestion? Or are you going to have to spend ages maintaining a balance with her, and wanting to get round to your own smoochies, but being all frustrated magic user?” Dawn asked, laughingly.

“We’re cool. I don’t know if she’s gay or bi, we haven’t exactly talked about it, but I’m sure she’s not totally het like you are. The vibes help with the balance – one reason why I asked for her to help. And the vibes are good ones. Hey – you and me can swap notes when you get home – hopefully we’ll both be relaxed and all with the warm fuzzy feelings!

“Good sex helps with the magic. Least it helps the spell-casters – don’t know whether it’s really necessary for the subject, and I’m just guessing that Giles isn’t exactly past it, so him and Olivia …” Willow was cut off in mid-flow again.

“I don’t want to go there! I know they do, but I don’t like to think about it!” Dawn yelped.

“OK, well as we’re going to be concentrating more on you soon, we can just work on the premise that you having good sex will help the magic, and tell Spike to keep you happy to help with the research!” Willow suggested.

“Willow! I am so not going to ask Spike to shag me senseless to help you help Giles with his research!” Dawn yelled down the phone.

The conversation changed course, but continued for some time, with Dawn’s admission that she’d already written a report on Drusilla for Council records, and repeating some of the things Spike had told her in the Musee d’Orsay about the artists and models, much to Willow’s amusement.

As she finished the call, her phone indicated that she had another text waiting. She opened it, and then smiled happily at the message: Sleep well pet. S.


  • Chapter 14

  • The characters in this story do not belong to me, but are being used for amusement only and all rights remain with Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, the writers of the original episodes, and the TV and production companies responsible for the original television shows. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER ©2002 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer trademark is used without express permission from Fox.