The Trouble with Trouble
part: 2 - the Trouble with Trouble
AN: Written at the request of shenaux for the_fund. This part is dedicated, by shenaux's request, to the Beck family.
He'd been there for three days. Three days. Three. One two three. Three.
Dawn was grinding her teeth so much that within a week she wouldn't have any teeth left. Spike had sent a message that he was heavy in on this case he was working on, and he'd be back within the week. That was just yesterday. Dawn wished the note had said he'd be home tonight. Connor's presence was affecting her research. He seemed to want to talk. To her in particular. He seemed to just turn up wherever she happened to be.
It was getting notice too. Faith had taken to making obscene sex hand gestures when only Dawn could see her. Willow had this pleased look about her when she saw them sitting together. Xander muttered about shovels a lot. Giles cleaned his glasses in an excess, and Andrew prattled on incessantly about Han Solo and Princess Leia. Buffy watched Connor warily, but as he wasn't a vampire himself, nor did he seem to be wearing any enchanted clothing, Buffy remained in a glaring capacity and not a hitting in the face one.
And the slayers, they were the worst. You'd think having an available boy within their age bracket in their midst would cause a bit of a feeding frenzy. Not so in this case. Being slayers, they had sort of noticed he only watched the watcher junior. they all seemed to have this attitude of why bother about Connor since he seemed to be interested in one thing... Dawn.
"Don't you ever, you know, go outside?"
Dawn looked up from her piles of pages and books. She knew she looked terrible. A pencil clamped in her teeth, a pen behind her ear and maybe one twsited up in her hair to keep it off her neck, a highligher on the table next to the hand currently holding a black marker.
She spit the pencil out. It bounced on the table before her. "Not when I'm working a problem."
"What is it?" He took a book and started looking at it.
She turned the book back. "My research."
"Are you really so irritated with me that you won't take help with research? Not to brag, but I'm pretty smart. I could probably help. Maybe I'll see something you haven't."
Dawn snorted, letting him know what she thought about that statement.
"Are you still mad because Spike talked about you? he didn't do it to be gossip-y or anything. He just likes to talk sometimes, you know? Yeah, I know... you know. You're not really mad about that, are you?"
She slammed the book in front of her closed on her notes. She tried to count to ten in her head so not to shout her retort at him.
"I am not!" She snapped, then calmed a bit more. "I just don't like you."
He smirked. "Of course you don't."
"Because I like you."
Her glare turned to a look of shock.
"I think Faith knows it too. Or does she just want us to sleep together or something?"
"Have seen her hand gestures. Yeah. You know, I don't even know what all of them mean. It doesn't take a genius to realize they're all naughty, but still... I didn't realize she was such a pervert."
Dawn laughed. "You have no idea, and if my sister had any idea how much of an idea I had about it, she'd freak."
"Yes, you've led a sheltered life what with all the kidnappings and the near-killings." He quipped sarcastically.
"Well, I've certainly led a more sheltered life than you have, alternate dimension boy."
"Ah... but which life? I was only Steven Holtz in one line. In the other I have been Connor Reilly, all round normal boring and good student guy."
"But you know both. I bet you've killed way much more stuff that I have."
"Yeah, but my blood never opened portals."
"But you've been through one."
"You know about that, huh? So... who have you been talking to?"
"Willow. She talks to your dad."
"If you don't even like me, then why-"
"Know your enemy."
"I'm not your enemy."
"I'm not. We could be friends, you and me. How irritating would that be to your sister and my dad?"
She looked at him suspiciously.
"With your tendancy of attracting trouble and my obvious affinity for destruction, think of all the nights we could have our loved ones pacing the floors waiting or better yet... out looking for us."
"You like trouble."
"I have found that I do, yes."
"All right. Let me finish my research."
He opened his mouth to speak.
"Alone. Then tonight we will sneak out."
He grinned. "Yeah..."
"And..." He prompted.
"And we'll go patrolling."
"You've been corrupted by the system."
"That's your idea of trouble? Patrolling?"
"It's an illegal patrol. Buffy and Giles would-"
"Just slap you on the wrist for it. Didn't you ever do anything crazy? Ever? I mean, well, I know you did because Spike said-"
"Yeah, when I was a kid."
"I hate to break this to you, Madam Watcher Prissy Research Butt, but you're still quite young. No need to check you in at the rest home just yet."
Dawn glared at him.
"Haven't you ever seen The Shining? Do you remember what happened to Jack Nicholson? He worked all the time, and he went nutso."
"He didn't go crazy because he worked. He went crazy because of the hotel. He wasn't even working really. He was just typing all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."
"Exactly my point."
"Fine. What do YOU suggest we sneak out to do, Mister Smarty Pants, if you're so darned clever and up with the current trends in hooliganism?"
"The currents trends in... hooliganism? Did you just use the word hooliganism in a regular conversation? I didn't think anyone outside of prissy camp counselors in Hayley Mills' films used that word. Do you even hear how stuffy you are right now? I can not allow anyone who looks like you to become all watcher-fied."
Dawn made a face at him.
"I'll leave you to your work. I have plans to make now."
"What are you gonna-"
"Oh, you'll see."
He grinned quite maniacally then rushed out of the library.
"Why do I suddenly have a very bad feeling about this?" Dawn said to herself.
She was about to give up, change her clothes, and get in the bed when something, or someone, tapped on her window. Dawn threw back the curtains, and was rewarded with a glimp of Connor peeking through the glass at her.
"What are you doing?"
"Huh?" But he sounded very muffled.
Dawn sighed in frustration and opened the window. He stayed perched on the ledge but stuck his head in. He was dressed much as she was... jeans, sneakers, sweater.
"I said... what are you doing?"
"Oooo, it's nice and toasty in here. Your fire's better than mine. We could stay in."
"I repeat... what are-"
"You doing." He finished. "I'm Luke Skywalker, and I'm here to rescue you?"
She glared more harshly.
"Most people laugh at jokes, you know."
"Yeah... if they're funny."
"Are you trying to say I'm not funny?"
"Not funny ha ha. Maybe funny queer though."
"Oooo, you got me there." He rolled his eyes. "Androgenous boy ridea again."
"Shut up and answer my very simple question... or is it that I need to use smaller words and maybe some hand gestures?"
This time he glared. "I've come to get you to sneak out... obviously. Duh."
"I have a door, you know."
"We're sneaking out. To sneak out you have to sneak."
"We could sneak out one of the doors. People do it all the time."
"Where's the fun in that?"
She rolled her eyes.
He held out a hand to her. "Come on."
"I'm NOT going out the window. We could fall."
"We're only on the second floor."
"Listen, miracle child, you may heal easily, but broken bones on me tend to stay broke for the normal human length of healing time."
"I won't let you fall. Swear. And if you do, I promise I won't let you hit the ground, ok? Now come on before someone sees me hanging half out your window and thinks something naughty is about to go down."
Against her better judgement, Dawn crawled out onto the ledge with him They crept slowly along the ledge until they encountered a drain pipe. Connor shimmied down it first. Much like a monkey. He stood on the grass looking up at her and waiting. He motioned her down with his hands. Dawn chewed her bottom lip and looked to the ground below her. She didn't like this, but every moment she stayed on that ledge was another moment they could be caught.
"Come on." He said in a loud whisper.
Dawn started down. She was doing good too... until her fingers got sweaty due to her nervousness. She let out a little shriek as she lost her grip. She didn't hit the ground though. Connor, true to his word, managed to catch her.
"You should have told me climbing wasn't your forte. I would have had you hang on to my back and lowered us both." He shrugged. "Well, at least we know that for next time. And hey, promise kept... no hitting the ground."
She shoved out of his embrace. "Let go of me. And next time? There isn't going to be a next time. I don't know what I was thinking letting you talk me into this. I must have eaten my crazy flakes this morning or something. I could have broken my neck."
"Not from that fall."
"I'm going back inside and going to bed." She tried to stalk past him.
Connor grabbed her arm and swung her about. "You are not. We're out here. We're on solid ground... with nothing broken I might add. Let's go find some fun. We can do the bed thing later if you still want to."
"This is a recipe for badness, I hope you know."
"Us in bed?"
She glared at him. She was beginning to think her face might get stuck like that.
"Spike never mentioned you were so stuffy. Giles, yes... not you though."
She grabbed his arm and started stalking towards the gate.
"How do you know this is the direction I had in mind?"
"This is the way to the main road."
She might have known. She just might have known.
They hadn't managed to get much of anywhere before they were set upon by vampires. It was just Dawn's luck. She should have went to bed instead. She should have gone back into the house when she said she was going to. She should not have let him saying she was uptight goad her into doing things a rational person would not do. Well, a rational person who had seen the things she'd seen in her life. She knew what went bump in the night, yet, here she was... out in said night getting ambushed by hungry vampires. On the upside, she was getting to see why Connor was called the destroyer. He was staking about five to her one. Thank goodness both of them had decided not to go out without at least one stake on.
Dawn couldn't help her shout of alarm when he grabbed her around the waist and spun her about to stake a vampire she had not seen or heard creeping up behind her. The two of them stumbled a bit, now surrounded by piles of dust. Both were breathing heavily, and Dawn was surprised to discover she was hanging on to Connor quite tightly.
"You all right?" He asked after a minute of their harried breathing.
"I'm good." He paused for a moment. "I could use a drink though."
"I think I could too."
"Let's get a move on then, ay? I mean, I know we just seriously kicked their asses and all, but it suddenly seems less safe to be out tonight."
There seemed to be a small inn down the lane from them. Dawn's brow furrowed. They must have walked farther than she had realized. She didn't remember this place being there before, but it certainly looked old and weathered enough to have been around a while. The lights were on, and people were coming in and out. It looked safe enough.
"There?" Dawn asked, pointing.
They hurried in that direction. Once inside, Dawn dusted herself off, using the dim light to see the patches of dust on her. Then out of habit, because she rarely staked vamps alone, she began dusting off her companion. Connor was grinning at her until she realized what she had been doing. She stepped away looking embarrassed. Then they both turned because it had become oddly quiet inside the inn.
"Oh... shit." Connor said softly.
The place was full of vampires.
end part 2