”Willow, I can’t. I can’t watch you like this anymore.”
“Tara, baby.” Her voice was pleading with me. I can still hear it clear as day. “I know we can work this…”
“No, we can’t,” my tone was flat and no amount of begging was going to make me change my mind. I couldn’t do it anymore. I needed something stable. Dawn needed something stable and Willow and I together…that was far from stable.
“I’m…” I sighed, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. Dawn’s known Willow a lot longer than she’s known me. I could pack my bags before Dawn gets home and I’ll find an apartment close by and come check on Dawn whenever I needed – or well knowing me I’d be here every day – to make sure things got done…
Taking a deep breath, I finally spoke. “It’s over.”
It felt like years ago, but it’s been nearly two months. Things didn’t go how I thought they would, Dawnie asked me to stay and Willow was the one that left. After that it was just the two of us, Anya and Xander spent more and more time away from us, I wasn’t even sure if they were in town anymore.
That was then, this is now, and I was doing what I have been doing for weeks now; looking after Dawn, worrying about Dawn and taking care of the house. Now that Dawn was the only living Summer’s the house was hers and I lived here to take care of her, I did it because I wanted to, not because I had to. I worry that she thinks that I feel stuck here; I don’t. To be honest, I do get lonely sometimes and I miss having someone to share little things with; but I know what has to be done and what doesn’t and the things I do, I do because I want to.
Dawn is family and you take care of family. Even if I get scared watching her spiral into darkness on a daily basis. I know it’s been hard for her, I know that things have been so far from normal that I don’t think any of us remember what it’s like.
Love and support is all that I can give her and she knows that I will always be there for her – come heaven or hell. I just had to hope that she leveled out before things got really bad, all I can do is support and guide. But that doesn’t keep me biting my tongue all the time, she wasn’t eighteen yet and she had to have some rules, even if we both didn’t like them.
I wasn’t sure what time Dawn came home, but I heard her sneak upstairs quietly. I didn’t want to crowd her or have her think I was restricting her or anything, it was a weekend and I knew she knew how to be safe. It didn’t stop me from worrying quietly though and I did plan to have a talk with her in the morning, I bought her a cell-phone with the money I got after I returned all of my books and resigned from UC Sunnydale, she needs to use it now and then.
The sun crept up through the windows and started to pull me out of my sleep, nightmare dreams filled with memories of my mother, some good and some I just wish I could escape.
I couldn’t dwell on myself right now; I had Dawn to look after.
Stretching slowly I crawled out of bed and made my way into the shower, washing my hair and turning the water hot to wake me up. I brushed my teeth and washed my face before padding into my room in my robe to find clothes. I found a simple baby-doll shirt and slipped it on before pulling a pair of old comfortable jeans from the dresser and pulling them on as well.
I brushed my hair out and kept it loose down my shoulders and back before making my way down stairs. Peaking in on Dawn she was curled up in bed sleeping, her face was peaceful and relaxed; it made me wish she could be like that when she was awake. We were too haunted for that to happen.
Humming softly I made my way down the stairs to make breakfast, deciding to make eggs and pancakes like I did every weekend. I reached the bottom of the stairs and heard movement in the living room, biting my lip I tensed up and started to make my way in there slowly, grabbing an umbrella for protection before walking over the threshold.
“What…” My eyes were wide when I spotted Spike sleeping soundly on the couch, his clothes rumpled but still on. I blinked a few times and watched him sleeping, wondering how and when – not to mention why – he was here in the house.
I knew that Willow uninvited him months ago before he left after Buffy…after. I knew that Dawn must have invited him in and that was ok with me, he might be a vampire but it was Spike and he would never hurt Dawn; ever.
Sighing I put down the umbrella and headed into the kitchen to make tea for myself like I did every morning. I had a cup before I started making breakfast and hopefully Dawn would be up before noon; but she was out late so I doubted it. If anything it would be Spike and I for breakfast, if he woke up sometime soon.
After I poured the water for my tea I reached into the back of the fridge and pulled a container of blood and pulled the lid off slowly before setting it into the microwave and reaching up for a mug.
Pulling the container out of the microwave, I poured the blood into a mug before heading quietly out to the living room.
Spike was still sleeping on the couch and I set the mug down on the table, pausing and looking down at him. I know that vampires don’t age but he looked older since I’ve last seen him, even though it wasn’t that long ago. I guess we’ve all changed, I know Dawn has and I have since…since everything.
I’m not sure what brought him back here but it was nice to see a friendly – or well, a kinder face – around here in Sunnydale again.
With a sigh I walked over to the window and pulled the second set of curtains to make sure the light would stay out. Glancing around the room I turned and headed back into the kitchen to make breakfast like I did every morning, no doubt eating alone again as well.
[Open for Spike, Dawnie later]
|comments: leave me lying here|