Part 17 Three Days Later
Angel, Buffy, and Dawn sat in the Summers' home, alone. All the others had left to go on with the lives that they had and could not avoid. Cordelia and Wesley had returned to LA at Angel's request to find out what they could about Faith's death. The Immortal Watcher Joe had left and returned to his bar at Methos' request. The Immortal telling the Watcher he had no reason to stay, and that the bar needed him more than he did now. Xander and Anya had left on vacation, both needing time together. Everyone was in agreement that the couple were probably eloping...no one blamed them. Methos was staying with Giles, and helping out at the magic shop. Willow and Tara were doing what they normally did.
This left the supernatural family time alone to talk more in depth than they had in the first hour after Angel's soul was bound. But they hadn't just talked. In fact, very little talking was done the past three days. Instead, they went to the Bronze, took long walks (in which vampires fled at the mere site of Buffy and Angel together), played in the various parks, and was just a family. It was only now that they had truly sat down to talk and plan what they were going to do concerning their everyday lives. But no sooner than they had reconfirmed that Buffy and Dawn would move to LA to live with Angel after Dawn finished school for the semester in three weeks...then they were interrupted.
"What are you doing here, Whistler," Angel asked in annoyance.
Whistler leaned against the open doorway of the Summers' home, and said casually, "Bein' a Messenger for the Powers That Be, since yours isn't here."
Frowning so deeply that he might as well have been scowling, Angel moved aside to allow the demon to come inside the house, and went back into the living room where Buffy and Dawn were. Sitting down beside his wife and daughter, the souled vampire asked, his voice low and intense, "What is your message, Messenger?"
Handing a legal-sized manila folder to Angel, the Messenger said, "Simply that the Powers That Be are personally taking care of all the legal work needed concerning your family. What you have in your hands there is all that's needed to be signed to complete everything."
"What's in here exactly," Buffy asked, as she took the folder from Angel and began to look through its contents.
Sitting down opposite of the others, Whistler answered, "Marriage, adoption, address and name-change papers.... Basically everything ya need to start livin' your lives together. Just sign everything where ya need to, and I'll go."
Three hours later -- the papers explained and signed -- the Messenger left with a final word for the vampiric Warrior alone.
"Since you can't become human, Kid, They're givin' ya as much of a reward as They can.... 'Cause you're redeemed of all the crimes you wanted to atone for. The time you spent in Hell -- all five hundred years of it --, aiding your mortal enemy at the risk of your own life, and you savin' people in LA has purified or cleansed you to such a point that they're calling you Their Champion. Your wife's a Champion...and your kid's one too. By the way, that last part is a warning from the Powers That Be about what's going to be happening soon."
"You know, it's not
fun playing tag when I'm the only normal person playing. It's not fair, someone else be it!" Dawn shouted angrily, panting for breath as she collapsed onto the lawn in front of the Summers' home, eyes closed.
A moment later, Dawn smelled cigarette smoke, and heard a familiar voice say off-handedly, "You know, if it weren't for this bloody chip in me 'ead...you'd be dead by now."
At Spike's words, something snapped within Dawn. All the emotions that had been suppressed -- due to the events of the past month or so -- suddenly flooded to the surface. Sorrow, grief, pain, hurt, the unjustness of it all, and above all other emotions: anger so great as to call it rage. In a flash, she was on her feet and kicked Spike hard
. He was thrown several feet back, and fell to the ground. In seconds, Dawn was upon him, hitting him as she screamed.
"WHY DOES EVERYONE THINK I'M WEAK, HUH
?! I'M NOT! I MIGHT BE HUMAN BUT I'M NOT A BABY. I'M SICK AND TIRED
OF EVERYONE TREATING ME LIKE I'M SOMETHING THAT WILL BREAK IF YOU TOUCH ME!! WHY CAN'T EVERYONE S--"
Abruptly Angel pulled Dawn away from Spike. With a shriek of outrage, Dawn broke free of her father's grip, forcefully pushed him away so hard that he fell onto his back on the ground, and shouted before collapsing to the ground herself in helpless tears, "And YOU! I don't want you for my father! I'd rather have GILES be my dad! I HATE YOU!"
In the stunned silence that fell, Spike staggered to his feet with Buffy's help. As he wiped the blood from his split lip, he rasped out, "Bloody 'Ell! She's a Slayer!"