All About Spike

My Pet Monster
By Jessie

Summary: A realistic look at life through Dawn's eyes. Complete with thoughts on slayers, hellmouths, best friends, and a certain platinum-blonde vampire.
Disclaimer: BtVS is not even close to being mine. But if Joss ever feels the urge to offer me a job...
Spoilers: Everything up to "Wrecked." Set about a week or so after that episode.
Author's Note: I really wanted to capture a realistic look at what Dawn's life is like, and what she must think of everything that's happened to her so far. Hope I've managed to do that. Feedback makes my world go round, and puts a smile on my face. Thank you to every one who's reviewed my stories before. I'm sorry that I'm not very good at responding to feedback all the time, but please know that it does mean a lot to me that you send it.

Allison used to say that the only guy that could ever come between our being best friends was the same guy who'd end up stealing me away to Paris, where we'd have wild, romantic adventures every other day. And the only reason this guy would be 'the one' is because, of course, Allison would be out of her mind with jealousy.

And then she'd laugh and offer me some of her chapstick, which I'd decline, but only because I'm forever borrowing it without asking anyway, so where would the fun be if I used it when I actually had permission? And she'd nod her head with her own over-confidence in the unlikely story.

I learned the hard way that this wasn't going to be the case. Or, if it was, it sure was taking Spike a hell of a long time to get up the money for those plane tickets to France.

It wasn't really Allison's fault, though. I mean, she can't help that it's always been just me and Spike, and always will be just me and Spike. She's a good best friend. Or was. But that's how things go when you're forced to choose between a fifteen-year-old who likes to talk on the phone and do her nails, and an immortal blood sucker who's declared his allegiance to you on the grave of your newly resurrected big sister.

Them's the breaks, I'm afraid. And Allison had to go.

Well, I suppose if it had been totally up to me I'd still be gossiping about boys, movies, and music with my former best friend right now, but Allison had been pretty clear. She doesn't want anything to do with me and my fangy friends. Period.

So much for that whole "stealing me away to Paris" crap.

But, that's just... how it is, ya know? Allison was just off a little on the details. She was right about there only being one man out there who could break up our friendship. She just didn't know that that man was right here in Sunnydale, hitting on my sister.

Oh, yeah. Buffy.

I guess you could say she might pose a threat to that whole 'me and Spike forever' thing. I used to worry about that a lot, but not so much now. I love my sister, but when push comes to shove, she's just a part of the scenery as far as I'm concerned. And scenery doesn't really have much of a say in things.

It worried me sometimes - okay, it still worries me - that I've banished my older sister to play the part of the bush in the current production of "This is Your Life, Dawn Summers." What worries me even more though is that... well... Is the fact that I miss the Buffy robot.

I know. Sick and twisted 'r' us. I've accepted the fact that sanity has already left the building and probably won't be returning anytime soon.

But, ya see, with the Buffybot, it was me and Spike, and... hope. I'm not sure for what, but it was there. Having the Buffybot around was like carrying a photo of Buffy in my pocket wherever I went. Sure, she wasn't the real thing. But once in a while I could almost pretend that she was. And, no matter what, she was always there for me.

And the best part about it was that Spike couldn't stand looking at her. Though, if I had my way, that wouldn't be an issue, because Buffy would finally be looking at him too.

So, I guess I do feel threatened by "the bush." But only a little. I've known for awhile now that the only man that could break up Buffy's and my closeness was going to be the same guy who broke up every other relationship of mine.

It's not Spike's fault, though. He can't help what he is. And it's not like Buffy, Willow, and Xander haven't broken up their share of my friendships too. It seems like every few days (weeks, if I'm lucky) I'm on the look out for some one new, my own age, to make nice with and complain about homework to.

I'm surprised no one at school's picked up on how quickly I seem to go through friends. But then, this is Sunnydale.

I try to imagine what high school must have been like for the Scoobies, but it's hard. I have memories of those years when Buffy and her friends were off fighting the forces of darkness without me, and then cramming for chemistry tests over breakfast the next morning. I know, technically, I wasn't really there, but it feels like I was.

And I think to myself: "at least they had each other."

They don't know what it's like for me. They don't know what it's like to have to explain to all the other kids at school whenever I come into first period with bruises, cuts, or broken bones, that I don't have an abusive homelife. My teachers have asked me about it before. I tell them that I like to do some rock climbing in my free time, and that I haven't quite gotten the hang of it yet. I don't think they believe me, but they leave me alone.

And then, to have no one to talk to about what really happened the night before, except for my sister's friends. Them and Spike.

And it's not like I'm the first girl to ever have a vampire for a confidante. I still remember that part of Buffy's high school years too. Her and Angel swooning over each other until they finally went and did it in her bedroom and Angel had to go all Angelus-y on us.

No danger of that here, though. Not that Spike and I would ever... you know. The only problems we might have are if he got his chip out. And, even then, I don't think he'd try to kill me. Or any of the rest of the Scoobies either. He's not Angel. Angel was a psychopath. Spike's just... confused.

It's not that I didn't like Angel, though. Well, I mean, I didn't after that whole 'trying to bring about armageddon' thing. But before that, there was some major crushage going on. Which drove Xander up the wall. But come on, Mr. tall-dark-and-handsome was hard not to go a little ga-ga for.

And he treated me all right most of the time. Before he was evil, I mean. But we weren't ever very close. I was just "the Slayer's kid sister." Which is what I've been my whole life.

All sixteen or so months of it.

Xander was, I swear, the happiest man on the planet when I gave up on my Angel crush and went back to my usual blushing and giggling whenever I was in his presence. I know he didn't really consider me an option as far as romance was concerned, but I think he liked the attention.

When my Spike-crush suddenly became public knowledge, it was only natural that he'd freak. 'Those Summers women,' I could almost hear him thinking. 'A guy has to be dead to get their attention.'

I felt a little bad about it actually, but I think it was for the best. I mean, now Xander's more like a big brother or a surrogate dad to me. Well, he tries to be anyway. Sometimes he's just another one of the Scoob's and I'm just the Slayer's kid sister again.

But not with Spike.

I don't like him like that anymore, though. I mean, how could I when he was obsessing over Buffy? Just my luck: another vampire falls for my sister and I get to play the third wheel all over again.

Only that's not what happened with Spike.

Surprised the hell outa me too.

There I was, expecting to be tossed aside like so much whatever, when Spike actually *talks* to me. Not only that, he listens to me too. He lets me drop by his crypt after school to watch television and bug him about how the hell he knows anything about the book I'm reading for English.

It was enough to actually distract me from... other things.

And then Buffy died. And the world turned upside down. Again.

As if mom dying weren't enough. As if I wasn't already living through some kind of nightmare where every one I ever cared about ends up dead. Then Buffy had to go and get herself killed, and everything was different all over again.

Except Spike.

I thought he'd change too. I thought... well, I guess I thought he'd leave town or something. Maybe take a very short walk through a patch of sunlight. But if he ever thought about leaving or killing himself, he didn't say anything to me. He just kept coming by the house and allowing me to visit his crypt, just like before. Me and Spike.

When Buffy came back, so did that old fear that Spike wouldn't look at me twice 'cause he'd be too busy trying to get my sister's attention.

That lasted about a week. After that, it was me and Spike again.

Allison doesn't know what she's missing. Really. If I can hold the interest of a one hundred and something year old vampire, than I'm probably the most exciting friend she could've ever asked for. But it's okay. I've got Spike, after all. And he tends to listen to me better than any fifteen-year-old ever could.

The rest of the Scoobies really don't know what it's like for me. My best friend is a vampire who's tried to kill me and my family on several occasions. I go to school every day wondering if this will be 'the' day. If first period will come, and I'll realize I've already gone through every girl my age. That there's no one left for me to pretend to be friends with. No one left to lie to about where I got the cut on my arm and why I can't come over that night.

Armageddon's get remade into "family stuff." Demon resurrections become "cramming for history tests."

And what if, one day, there's no one left at school to lie to about this stuff?

When I was younger, I'd wish for my parents to get back together, jealous of every kid out there who still had both a mom and a dad at home. After that, I'd wish that Buffy wasn't the slayer; that she could be a normal big sister. Later on, I'd wish for mom to be alive again. And soon after that, I was pleading with God - or whoever - to just give me Buffy back again. Just let me have my sister back.

Now, what I wish for is a normal life. I lie in bed at night and wish that I could just be fifteen for once. That I could actually have a family, and a real best friend my own age. Or that, at the very least, Spike would come through with those plane tickets.

I keep hoping that college will be different. Just get through these next couple of years, I tell myself. Just make it through to graduation and then things'll be better. I'll be on my own. An adult. And Spike will still be there, of course. And maybe, by that time, Buffy will have come to her senses and given him a chance. And I'll have my sister back because of it.

Until then, I'll just have to keep trying to break my record for how long I can keep a friend from running away in terror at the site of Spike, vamped out. And I'll keep hoping that Buffy wakes up and lets that particular vampire into her life. Even if...

Even if I still, sometimes, wonder if Spike could be *my* 'Angel'.

Yeah, it's true. Every once in awhile I still catch myself fantasizing that he'll come up to my bedroom window and tell me that he's forgotten all about the slayer. "Buffy-who?" He'd say. And then take me into his arms.

I know. I'm deranged. The guy's like my big brother. I shouldn't think about him like that.

But it's not as if it isn't perfectly normal to have a few thoughts about that sort of thing, right? I mean, the man is hot. Any girl would do the exact same thing in my position.

Not that I expect anything to happen between us. I don't think I'd really want anything to happen, anyway. I just want a little bit of normalcy again. I want my one complaint about my family to be that my dad is a deadbeat. Not that Buffy's the slayer, or that my mother's recently buried.

My best friend is a vampire. And the only people I can ever really talk to are him and my sister's friends, all of whom are at least a few years my senior. And every one in first period tomorrow is gonna give me strange looks because of the cast on my arm from last week and the cut on my cheek from last night. And, maybe, I'll have to talk to yet another teacher or counselor about how everything's perfectly fine at home. My sister takes good care of me. The cast is from a car accident. Nothing serious. A guy missed a stoplight or something.

I've gotten good at making these things up. Maybe I should be a writer. Or an actress. If there's one thing I've learned to do over the years it's act.

So, I guess Allison was wrong on all counts; not just the "Paris" thing, though she was pretty off base on that one. She said that there was only ever going to be one guy that could come between us. But really, there were only ever two guys. And one girl. And a couple of witches. And my sister.

It's okay, though. Me and Spike; that's all I need. All I'll ever need.


Just me and Spike.

The end.

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