"Crap," Spike said, tossing the little plastic horse over his shoulder in the vague direction of the large, black lawn-and-leaf bag sitting half-filled on the floor.

"Crap," he repeated, lofting a paperback book with a torn cover after it.

"Crap." This time, the missile was a dried-up bottle of black nail polish, and Dawn snatched it out of the air before it could hit the floor.

"No," she said, tucking it into an open cardboard box.

"Bit, you're moving into the dorm. You'll have exactly half the area of a standard prison cell; there's no room for junk." Spike punctuated his words by waving a handful of dried flowers at her prior to stuffing them into the trash bag with a brittle crackle. "You've got a nearly new bottle in your makeup bag."

"Not nearly new - new. I just got it yesterday," Dawn said.

"Nearly new." Spike admired his glossy black nails as he threw away a small plastic box full of assorted glass beads and three well-bitten pencils.

"Jerk." She smacked him lightly on the back of the head and reached to snare a shiny pink ribbon from his hand.

"What's that?" Spike asked, trying to snatch it back.

"From my Prom flowers," she said, tucking it into the box.

"From that wanker, Billy," Spike said. "Should've let me eat him."

"Shush," she admonished. "It was a good night."

"So I smelled," he replied, raising an eyebrow at her, enjoying her blush. He leaned back onto the floor and reached into the box to touch the top of the old nail polish bottle. "Why keep this?" he asked.

She leaned next to him, brushing his fingers away. "It's from the first time you let me paint your nails, right after Mom died."

Spike remembered, looking up at the ceiling - remembered how she'd begged and begged and he'd finally relented, just to see a tiny smile on her face after so many days of misery. "Still crap," he said.

She leaned her head against his shoulder. "I know." She said softly. "But it's my crap."

leave feedback | return to whedonverse index | return to main index