Both Giles and Willow had to think that over. While they were doing this with Xander good-naturedly beaming at them, Andrew saw his chance. Knowing full well he was still under sufferance as he’d been throughout his entire stay at the Summers house, all the same the geek took the opportunity to cautiously lean over in his living room chair and whisper to Dawn seated next to him. Andrew was simply too curious to pass this up, despite how the young woman was regretfully listening to her older sibling weep for a destroyed vampire.
“Uh, Dawn?” risked Andrew.
Encouraged by her doing nothing more than glancing over him with a mildly inquisitive look, a would-be supervillain asked what had been troubling him for a while now, “I, ah, can you, errr…why aren’t you acting more like Buffy?”
Dawn’s lips twisted into what could only be described as a good deal of cynicism. She responded to Andrew, “Because Spike treated me like a little sister, got his soul back for Buffy, and basically behaved like anything but a vampire around us?”
Looking mystified, Andrew gave a hesitant nod.
“Oh, he did all that, and I’m happy for those memories…but not the other ones.” Dawn’s face darkened at those last words. She went on explaining to an engrossed Andrew. “It might’ve been different if it’d stayed with just me, him, and Buffy, but when the Potentials moved in here, things changed. What really went wrong was when my sister started training the girls by having Spike pretend to attack them.”
After making a sour expression, Dawn went on without seemingly paying attention to how Willow, Xander, and Giles were also listening. “All too many times after that, I caught Spike looking at the Potentials like they were meat on the hoof, and not in the usual human skeevy-guy way. They noticed it, too. If Buffy ever did, she either paid no attention or made sure to stay blind about the whole thing. I
couldn’t do that, not with living and making friends with the girls while knowing there was a monster staying in our basement who could kill them anytime. Because that’s what he really was, even if he showed another side to me and Buffy.”
Dawn gustily sighed in her real depression. When no one else spoke, she finished, “I’m sad he’s gone, but I’m also glad I didn’t know what the Potentials were planning until I came back from school today and it was all finished. So…I’ll be there for Buffy, and I really, really hope she’ll get over it. But every now and then, I have to keep from throwing up at remembering she had lots of sex with a dead guy!”
A paling Andrew inwardly cursing himself for requesting TMI cringed back in his chair. Dawn ignored him to return to staring ahead while clearly waiting for Buffy to finish her grieving. Furtively wiping his damp palms against his pants legs, Andrew glanced around the living room for anything to occupy his attention until the next bit of Scooby drama. The geek focused on Giles once more frowning down at the letter in his grasp, which had ultimately created the massive shake-up among the small band guarding the Boca del Infierno.
Before he could stop himself, Andrew called out, “Mr. Giles?”
He blinked at how this caused not just that mature man but all the rest of them to look over in turn at him. Fighting down an embarrassed blush, Andrew mumbled, “Uh, I just wanted to know more about something you said, right after we all read the letter for the first time. A-- About a Montiskju, whoever he was, and how perfect an example of his aphorism this was.”
Rupert Giles’ brow crinkled while he thought back concerning what he’d just been asked, only to soon clear. He nodded, “Quite right. A group of people who were utterly unprepared for combat, painfully knew this, distrusted to the maximum their leader, and would much rather be anywhere else. Considering how this fit the Potentials and also their hasty departure, even Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu would agree nothing else would describe today’s events than his quote of ‘A rational army would run away.’”