All the Fun (of the Fair) by Suzee

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Chapter Notes: I just found out that (yes I'm slow) VK Awards have their last nominations round up...everyone should go nominate their favorite fics. (This really isn't a 'go nominate me A/N. I just want all those great authors to get nominated now as it's the last chance for that site---I've nomainted a bunch of people and know from experience how much fun it is...and notice how I'm completely making this sound like 'nominate me'? It's really not supposed to...anyway, here's the link: http://www.vampires-kiss.net/vkawards/ )

Hope you enjoy this chapter...and remember that LC was posted Wednesday :)
Part III

“Spike! Spike, what are you doing? Buffy’s going to kill you!”

He was awoken, rather rudely too, just a few short hours later by the young teenager shaking him and yelling practically into his ear.

“Shh, bit. I can hear you just fine…no need to blast out my ears--vampires have extra good hearing remember?”

“Huh? Oh, yeah…sorry!” She looked truly apologetic for a second before looking anxious again. “But your stupid vampire senses aren’t going to matter when Buffy dusts you! You have to get out of here…I don’t know why you’re here, but it’s….it’s stupid Spike!”

“Big Sis knows I’m here…now let me sleep, Was up late.”

“What?” Dawn sat, very ungracefully, back onto the table next to the couch, completely confused. “Buffy knows you’re here?”

”What I said isn’t it?”

“But Buffy….you….huh?” She asked sounding remarkably like Buffy had just the night before.

“No doubt you’re Buffy’s lil’ sis,” Spike mumbled. “Buffy knows I’m here. She’s okay with it,” He told her, enunciating every phrase. “Now, let me get some sleep.”

Just as he’d rolled over into the back of the sofa, burying his face as far as he could into the cushions, the front door nearly banged open.

“So, Dawnster you ready for sc—Whoa, whoa, whoa!” His expression would have been comical to Spike if her were more rested, “What’s Willie-wanna-bite doing here? Buffy!” He hollered up the stairs, “Deadboy junior’s down here! Can I stake him?” He asked hopefully.

Now Spike gave up all pretense of getting back to sleep, “Can’t you ever keep it down Harris? Slayer’s sick….needs her sleep she does, now just let her be.” Spike sat down again, hoping the crisis had been averted.

“You killed her didn’t you?” Xander nearly shrieked before charging up the stairs hollering Buffy’s name.

“Niblet, would you go get the boy to leave your sister alone? Don’t fancy going up there myself as he’d probably try to try something.”

“Sure,” Dawn said, not sure she had any idea what was going on but knowing that she definitely wanted to help out her sister—and apparently, Spike.

“Thanks sweets,” Spike laid his head in his hand and sighed heavily, just waiting for the inevitable.

“Xander!” Dawn yelled before running towards the stairs, stopping with a guilty expression when she heard Spike growl at her. “Point’s to not wake Buffy up. Got it. Sorry,” She added sheepishly.

Spike couldn’t help rolling his eyes as he laid his head along the back of the sofa marveling at how hard it was just to get Buffy a damn day off.

“What did you do?” Xander accused angrily as he came downstairs less than two minutes later. “You poisoned her or…or something! Didn’t you?”

Spike was all ready to defend himself when Dawn jumped in for him. “God, Xander are you just stupid?”

“What?” He sputtered, obviously not expecting to face opposition from Dawn as well.

“Seriously? Are you just stupid,” Spike was trying fairly unsuccessfully to hide his smirk, but it didn’t much matter given that Xander’s attention was wholly focused on the girl talking to him. “Spike stays here all summer to take care of me because Buffy asked him to; which unless you’re a totally mo proves that he loves her—Angel didn’t even ask if we needed his help…and Riley’s just gone….don’t you get it Xander? Spike loves Buffy. And now you’re trying to say he’s poisoned her or had killed her?”

She gave him one of her patented, ‘are you the dumbest person on earth’ teenage looks and just waited for him to say something.

“He’s evil….” Xander gave his token protest, but looked to be at least thinking about what Dawn had said.

”Yeah,” Dawn rolled her eyes, “So evil that he’s telling you to let Buffy sleep because she’s sick; so evil that he protected me—no, he protected all of us all summer; so evil that he’s doing whatever he can to protect Buffy? He’s the only one of all of you that gives a damn—Sorry Spike,” She knew instinctively that he didn’t like her language—something that Xander couldn’t help, try as he might, but notice. “He’s the only one…Ever since she’s been back he’s been worried about Buffy and what’s right for Buffy…you’ve all been worried about making yourselves feel better, convincing yourselves that you’d done the right thing…that you had your friend back….Can’t you ever just let Buffy be a girl that needs help? You all want her to bounce back to being the Slayer, who she was before…Spike’s helping her so just shut up and get over it,” She finished, her tone turning cold.

Xander—for once—didn’t seem to be able to come up with anything to say. He wanted to deny that they’d been trying to make everything how it was before, wanted to say that they were being considerate of Buffy but he knew, deep down….had known as a matter of fact since he’d confronted Spike that first time after Buffy’d been back…that the only one truly, unselfishly—selflessly concerned for Buffy’s welfare was Spike.

Loathe as he was to admit it Xander knew that Spike would do anything, no matter how detrimental it might be to himself, to give Buffy what she needed.

Something none of the rest of them was willing to do.

“Need to get you to school, Dawn,” Spike guessed that was as much of a concession as the boy was going to make—at least right now.

“See you later Spike,” Dawn said, though it was more of a question than a statement.

“Some time,” He said by way of an answer, albeit a vague one.

‘Come on Xander, I’m going to be late if you don’t quit all your Angel-like brooding and come on.”

Xander finally ended his staring contest with Spike when Dawn’s words penetrated his brain. “I am not brooding. I’m nothing like Angel,” Quickly he made his way out to his car, still muttering about being not at all like Angel.

“Bye Spike,” Dawn gave him a conspiratorial wink that left him with no question as to what is was she was doing. She was trying to get Xander to acknowledge the differences between himself and his grandsire. ‘Good luck with that,’ he thought.

“She’s good,” Buffy’s voice broke the silence several moments later, startling him more than he’d ever admit.

“Not nice to spy, kitten.”

“Hey, it’s my house, doesn’t count as spying that way. At least that’s my logic.” She came down to sit on the sofa with him. “Sorry Xander was here,” She seemed truly apologetic, which really did stun him.

“Luv? You do realize you’re apologizing to me…a vampire…for something the whelp did, right?”

“Well, he uh…he was kind of being an ass,” She finally admitted. “I mean everything Dawn said was true and,” But he didn’t hear anything she said after that.

After all the times of hearing her tell him that he didn’t love her, couldn’t love her…she’d all but admitted it just now. He wasn’t sure she realized it though.

“Buffy,” he interrupted the end of whatever it was she was saying. “Did you hear everything Dawn said?”

“Pretty sure I did…did she say anything before Xander said you poisoned me?” Spike nodded his head in the negative, “Then yeah, I heard it all.”

“Even, ah, even the part about me being here proving how I loved you and how, uh, how Angel didn’t do the same?”

“Spike, I didn’t need to hear Dawn say that to agree with it. I’ve known it all along.” She had to laugh at the expression on his face. “I know I’ve been a real…well I’ve been a bit of a bitch about it all, but Spike…after last night, at the fair and thinking about things after going to bed, and hearing what Dawn said….well, pretending to be oblivious to it all, to not see what you’ve been….it’d just be stupid.

And I uh…” She wasn’t quite ready to admit to everything yet.

“Buffy,” he saved her from there being an awkward moment, “I love you. You just knowing that is enough so don’t worry about saying anything else, yeah? You’ve said more than enough.”

“Could you maybe say that first part again?” She couldn’t help but admit that now that she was being a little more…open to things that it felt could. She didn’t feel like she was constantly holding a part of herself back.

“I love you,” He said with absolute conviction, his gaze never faltering.

“I know,” She answered simply, knowing that even just that little statement would convey the major change their ‘relationship’ had undertaken.

TBC....please review.

And I'm trying, trying, trying to get a little Valentine's Day ficlet done in time to post on Tuesday :-) So be on the look out for that if you want....
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