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Title: Insubstantial
Prompt: Trespass
Author: readerjane
Timeline: Early AtS S5. This story is in the same verse as Your Turn and A Man of Parts.
Disclaimer: still not mine, alas
A/N: A bit of fluffy, fragmenty stuff. RL is consuming me at the moment: I'd like to have this more developed before I post, but if I put it off the month will be over and the prompt expired. So here goes.

" 'Lo, Bit."

The emptiness on the other end of the phone could have been anything from stunned silence to bored indifference.

"Dawn? Are you there?"

Dawn's voice came back in her best put-upon tone with an undercurrent of panic. "Look, whoever you are, this isn't funny."

"It's me, I promise." Spike searched for something to convince her. "Ask me anything. Something only I would know."

He listened to her breathe through the speakerphone for a moment until she said, suspiciously, "What was the first thing I ever stole?"

Spike replied immediately, "New Kids on the Block CD, Los Angeles Walmart."

"Ohmygod!" Dawn squealed, and Spike winced as the phone's feedback went off the human register. "I knew it! I knew you'd come back. Angel came back, and Buffy came back even though everybody said she couldn't, and hey even Cordelia came back, so I knew you'd -- where are you? Are you in California?"

Spike smiled, picturing the way she bounced on her toes. "Yeh. At Wolfram and Hart."

"Do you need us to come rescue you? We're in Cleveland, so it would take awhile to get there, but Giles will cough up the plane fare if Buffy asks him, so--"

"No! Don't... don't tell Buffy yet. I'm, um, I've got a bit of a problem."

"What's the sitch? Are you in chains? Guarded by demons? Did they -- ohmygod, did they take your soul out again?"

"No. No, the spark's still there, at least I think..." Spike skimmed down the list of his transgressions, Chapter One, and felt the familiar ache that had burned since he'd made his quest to Africa. "Still there. It's my body's gone missing."

"So you're, what, a ghost?"

"Something like that." Spike grimaced at Fred to forestall her objections. "Anyways, I can't leave the city 'til I'm sorted. So hold off the cavalry. Not that it wouldn't be entertaining, watching an army of Slayers storming W&H to rescue a vampire." He grinned. "But, uh, let's wait til I'm a bit more solid to tell Buffy, right?"

"Why, you think she won't like you anymore if you don't have a dick?"

"Dawn!" Beside Spike, Fred dissolved into silent laughter. He glared at her, then at the phone.

"What? I'm a sophomore; I'm in Driver's Ed and everything. I can say 'dick' if I want to."

"Not to me. I'll wash out your mouth with soap."

"How're you gonna do that if you're a ghost? Besides, you say way worse stuff. Do you think I don't know what 'sodding' means, just because it's British?"

Fred let out a snort.

"Who's that?" Dawn demanded.

"This is Fred. She dialed the phone for me."

"Hi, Dawn," Fred called in a voice choked with laughter.

"Hi," Dawn continued suspiciously. "Fred... Willow said she met you, when she went to L.A. After Buffy died."

"That's right. I work with Angel."

"You work with Angel and you're helping Spike?"

"Well, it's a really interesting problem with all kinds of potential applications. Spike's not actually a ghost. He's radiating thermodynamic energy, and he's able to interact with his physical environment, at least enough to produce sound waves that can be captured--"

Spike broke in. "You ladies can talk theory later. Dawn, how's Buffy? Is she all right?"

"Is she pining, do you mean?" Spike could hear the eyeroll. "She says she's fine, but you know how Buffy is. Judging by the number of weapons she breaks a week, there's definite brooding going on. For a small consideration, I could tell you what she says in her sleep."

"I've not exactly got a wallet at the moment, and where do you get off listening to Buffy in her sleep?"

"You can owe me. By the time you and your dick are three-dimensional again, I'll be rich."

"My dick is fine. Dawn, just tell me -- uh, oh..."

"Spike? Are you there? What happened? Fred, did he just do something gross?"

Fred answered, her voice strained. "He faded out again. He's been doing that more often the past couple of days. I'm checking everything I can think of to check, but I'm getting kind of worried."

"What can I do to help?"

"We figured you know Spike better than anyone except Buffy, and he didn't want to tell her he was back until he knew for sure he could, y'know, stay back. Spike said you were good at languages, so I thought maybe I could bounce some theories off you, see if something clicks?"

"Anything. Fire away. I've got all the time in the world."

Fred pulled up a stool and flipped open her notebook.


( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
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Mar. 29th, 2011 02:21 am (UTC)
Fantastic! I love the way you have Dawn and Spike talk to each other. Fred was great too!
Mar. 29th, 2011 12:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Mar. 29th, 2011 02:55 am (UTC)
That totally should have happened.
Mar. 29th, 2011 12:12 pm (UTC)
Totally. Thanks! :-)
Mar. 29th, 2011 03:00 am (UTC)
Awwww! There can never be enough Spike-Dawn love. (Especially in the middle of the Spuffy.) This is lovely!
Mar. 29th, 2011 12:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I think I enjoy writing those two more than any other characters.
Mar. 29th, 2011 04:42 am (UTC)
N'aww. If only. (I'm deciding this is AU, because if Dawn knew and didn't tell Buffy...)
Mar. 29th, 2011 12:17 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's AU that keeps winding through and around canon.

Thanks for reading!
Mar. 29th, 2011 07:12 am (UTC)
For a small consideration, I could tell you what she says in her sleep."

"I've not exactly got a wallet at the moment, and where do you get off listening to Buffy in her sleep?"

"You can owe me. By the time you and your dick are three-dimensional again, I'll be rich."

"My dick is fine. Dawn, just tell me -- uh, oh..."

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Oh, they're so cute together! This would have been fantastic to see on-screen.
Mar. 29th, 2011 12:24 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you. *blushes*
Mar. 29th, 2011 07:20 am (UTC)
Eee!! This is great - I love this series of yours. :D
Mar. 29th, 2011 12:24 pm (UTC)
Mar. 29th, 2011 09:05 am (UTC)
Very nice. Lovely Spike/Dawn interaction.
Mar. 29th, 2011 12:25 pm (UTC)
Mar. 29th, 2011 11:30 am (UTC)
Ah, I like this. Any plans to continue it?
Mar. 29th, 2011 12:25 pm (UTC)
Yes, I'd like to. Will see if future prompts give me ideas for where it should go. Thanks!
Mar. 29th, 2011 11:38 am (UTC)
Aw. I love your Spike/Dawn pieces. Well done!
Mar. 29th, 2011 12:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Mar. 29th, 2011 01:41 pm (UTC)

I adore the idea of Dawn helping Fred make Spike solid again. And her "I can say 'dick' if I want." HEE!

Poor Spikey all fading out! *clings to him*

Mar. 30th, 2011 01:16 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Mar. 29th, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC)
Absolutely fantastic!! I love Dawn's grown-up sassiness with Spike and his big brother-like attitude towards it. This was sweet and funny. I wish it had really happened. :)
Mar. 30th, 2011 01:18 am (UTC)
I wish it had, too. Those two are so great when they team up.

Thanks for reading!
Mar. 29th, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC)
LoveLOVElove it! A gem of a scene! Spike and Dawn's bantering is always welcome!

"Why, you think she won't like you anymore if you don't have a dick?"

Heee! That's my Dawnie!
Mar. 30th, 2011 01:19 am (UTC)
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed.
Mar. 30th, 2011 07:58 am (UTC)
That was lovely - and in my little world exactly what Spike would have done. :)
Mar. 31st, 2011 12:51 am (UTC)
Mar. 31st, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
That was perfect! I've just made it canon, by the way. (I can do that, you know)
Mar. 31st, 2011 12:50 am (UTC)
Thank you!

(I can do that, you know)

Ooh, I have a few things to discuss with you, then... *GG*
Mar. 31st, 2011 04:33 am (UTC)
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!

And I can just picture what happens next: Dawn will eventually take matters into her own hands and tell Buffy (and Willow?), who promptly fly to LA. [insert favorite reunion fic here] And we avoid a lot of stupid AtS season 5 plot lines. It all becomes inevitable, once Dawn knows. So thanks for the happy ending! (Can we make this canon, too?)

Thanks for putting a smile on my fact at the end of a difficult day!
Mar. 31st, 2011 10:55 am (UTC)
Aw, thank you!

It brightens my day to know I brightened somebody else's.
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( 32 comments — Leave a comment )


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