Never Gonna Leave This Bed
I Just Want to Know Where I Come From
Ch. 13 – Never Gonna Leave This Bed
Summary: Response to challenge # 4843.
Note: This takes place in 2009, so several years after the end of BtVS and after David Rossi re-joined the BAU for Criminal Minds. This particular chapter is set during the show “100.” It contains the scene that initially sparked the idea for this story, so I’m hoping you all enjoy it. Any guesses as to what scene it was?
Disclaimer: I definitely don’t own any of these characters. Criminal Minds is owned by Jeff Davis/The Mark Gordon Company and BtVS is owned by Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy.
Thank you to MaraLiz for your beta assistance and thank you to another very lovely reader who helped me out with some of my questions about the nature of Spencer's addiction. I don't want to name you specifically, but wanted to say thank you!
*Chapter title inspired by the Maroon Five song of the same title. You’ll see why…
Spencer stared so hard at the two items on his coffee table that his eyes unfocused and the objects began to blur together. He could feel his eyes watering, but part of him was afraid that if he stopped staring, even long enough to blink, he would drop off of the precipice he clung to. It would be so easy to just let go and forget the nightmare of the past few days. Reasons not to didn't really mean anything when reasoning stopped working.
He had analyzed the situation from every angle and had come to the very reasonable conclusion that Dawn had not meant him any harm and wasn't making fun of him by keeping him in the dark about the existence of true magic, but every time he flipped through to her contact information on his cell phone, he couldn't press the button to call her. A red haze would fall across his eyes and he would toss all of those reasonable conclusions aside in favor of a blinding pain that flared across his chest.
One by one, his friends had tried to help him. Rossi, for obvious reasons, kept his distance, simply letting him know that he was available if Spencer wanted to talk. Spencer didn't.
Morgan had been stubborn, but he only lasted through four hours of Star Trek episodes before he left. That was the day that Spencer called his old dealer.
Unfortunately, Star Trek did not chase away Prentiss. He had always suspected she was a closet Trekkie, and she really didn't push him to talk. She just stayed with him and let him retreat into ‘The Trouble With Tribbles.’ That was the night he met his dealer in the park and bought a vial of Dilaudid. He put it into the bottom of the chest where he kept all of his mother's letters.
J.J. brought him some gumbo that her husband, Will, had made and he had no real choice, but to invite her to stay for dinner. She had struck up a friendship with one of Dawn's friends, Willow, and she talked about how they had established a system to distinguish between human and non-human UnSubs so that the appropriate team would handle it. She was even trying to figure out a way for some of the Slayers to get into the FBI program without drawing too much attention. She didn't really require much of his input in the conversation, so he just listened without really interacting with her. Will's gumbo was some of New Orleans’s finest, but it just tasted flat to him. He wasn't really surprised. Everything did. When she left, he went to the trunk, but he couldn't move the letters aside to get out the vial. Instead he re-read all of the correspondence she had sent him for the past year...until he got to her response after he told her about Dawn. Then, he just...stopped. Left the trunk open and the letters all over the floor.
Garcia had flown in as a whirlwind of activity, dropping a Bundt cake, board games and knitting supplies onto his table before she twirled around his condo opening up all of the drapes he had shut to keep the light out. She declared that she needed sunlight and so did he. It was during her invasion that he discovered the crystals. He knew he hadn't left them on his windowsills, so it must have been Dawn. Garcia told him that they were protections for him, just like the blue crystal keychain that Dawn had given him the first time he had to fly out of town for a case. It was the same shade as her eyes and she said that it was just something to remind him of her and that she would be waiting for him when he returned, but now he looked at it in a different light. It looked like an ordinary keychain, but if he looked harder, he could see the edges shimmering with the magic he now knew it contained. He tossed all of it into a box, but couldn't bring himself to take it to the dumpster, so it stayed on the floor next to his front door waiting for him to make a decision. Instead, he went to the trunk in his room and this time he moved the letters aside and stared at the vial for a full minute. He thought about going to a meeting, but he couldn’t be honest about what had happened and going and lying really didn’t seem like a good idea. He might be justified in lying this time, but it was a slippery slope and opening that door could lead to him justifying lying again next time, even if his need had nothing to do with the magical world. He didn’t have a sponsor he could call, and even if he did, it was the same problem: one lie would lead to another.
Hotch had taken a leave of absence to spend some much needed time with Haley and Jack, so it was the surprise visit from Haley and Jack Hotchner that had pushed him to this point. He was sure that his mother had contacted the BAU to make sure he was still eating when she handed him several takeout containers. The Hochners were finally moving into her sister's place now that her guests had left, but she hadn't had a kitchen at the hotel they had been staying at. They had decided to sell the house. None of them even wanted to step foot inside again, but Hotch was over there right at that moment picking up some of their more personal belongings before a cleaning crew would come in and take care of the rest. Another service would pack up the furniture that hadn't been ruined in the attack. As she spoke, Haley's voice had begun to waver. She told him that she understood his anger at the deception, but she was just grateful that her family had made it through it all in one piece and she didn't care how it happened. She also told him that the whole thing had brought her and Hotch back together. She finally understood what it meant to be one of the victims that relied on the BAU to save them and she could deal with the long hours and Hotch's time away from home if it meant that he help save others the way Buffy had saved her and Jack.
And that was the rub...everyone told him that they 'understood his anger and betrayal,' but then would go on to extol the virtues of the very people who had betrayed him. So, he was back to staring. He couldn't keep himself from blinking any longer and squeezed his eyes closed tightly. When he opened them again, the two objects were still exactly where they had been, just inches apart. Whether he chose sobriety or oblivion was up to him and how strong he could be when no one else was there to watch him. And that was how he wound up diving into the trunk and pulling out the vial. His hands shook so much as he set it on the coffee table in front of the couch that the vial fell over twice before he could stand it up so it wouldn't roll off the table. It took him five minutes to dig the recovery medallion out of his pocket. His usually nimble fingers just wouldn't obey his commands easily. He dropped the chip onto the table next to the vial and fell back onto the couch. Then he began to stare.
He was slowly, almost subconsciously, reaching toward the table, still not sure which object he was reaching for, when there was a knock at the door. He thought about ignoring it, but the knocking turned into pounding and he knew it would draw his neighbor's attention, so he just sighed and pushed himself off of the couch to answer the door. Part of him was glad for the distraction; the rest of him just wanted whoever it was to go away so he could get on with things.
As the door swung open, he saw the last person he expected to see standing in his hallway. How did Spike even know where he lived? The bleached blond man casually leaned against the door frame with a lit cigarette in his hand. He took a drag and greeted Spencer with an inhuman growl before commanding, "Invite me in."
Spencer understood then. Spike wasn't a man at all. He was a Vampire. Both J.J. and Garcia had been fascinated by Vampire lore and they had both told him that a Vampire couldn't come into a person's home without an invitation. Spencer backed up a step. He was pretty certain he didn't want Spike—or any Vampire for that matter—in his home.
"I don't think that's a good idea," he told Spike.
Spike shrugged, put out his cigarette against Spencer's door frame, and pushed himself off the wall in the hallway. He started to move toward his neighbor's door as he said, "Okay, I'll just see if Mrs. Feldman here will invite me in. See if she's as feisty as the one in that Police Academy movie. Makes the blood taste better."
Mrs. Feldman was a diminutive widow who was hard of hearing. She would most definitely have to step out of the safety of the inside of her condo to hear Spike and then her death would be on his hands. Spike was almost to her door, his hand poised to knock, when Spencer called out to him.
"No! Wait," he said. Taking a deep breath and knowing he was about to do probably the stupidest thing he had ever done in his life, he whispered, "Come in, Spike."
Spike smirked at him and cupped his ear as he stalked toward the door asking, "What was that, Spencer? I couldn't quite hear you."
Spencer knew he was defeated, so he spoke a little louder, "I invite you in, Spike."
Spike pushed past him into the condo and closed the door with a casual kick as he moved into the room. "Good, now that that's settled, and by the way, the first invitation would have gotten me in here just fine, you and I need to have a little chat. Dawn says that it's all her fault, so you lucked out that I won't have to follow through on the list I gave you in Cali."
Spencer paled momentarily at the thought of the list; he had forgotten about that. He was frozen in place for another minute before he realized that Spike was going through his cabinets and opening up his refrigerator, searching for something. Had his mother somehow gotten Spike onto the ‘must feed Spencer’ bandwagon, too? That question was answered when Spike called over his shoulder, "Don't you have anything to snack on? Cheese puffs, Wheatabix, Cheez-Its?"
"Um...I don't think so," Spencer answered, still wondering what the hell was going on. Spike didn't seem like he was going to kill him anytime soon, so he was starting to calm down a bit.
Spike finally reached for the microwave popcorn with a grimace on his face, "Stuff always tastes like chemicals, but it'll do."
While the popcorn popped, Spike rooted around in the refrigerator, coming up with a glare, "No beer?"
"Uh...no beer, sorry," Spencer told him.
Spike just rolled his eyes and shrugged with a put upon sigh. It occurred to Spencer then that he was closer to the door than Spike was and he wondered if he would be able to get away from the Vampire if he wanted to kill him after all.
"Don't even think it, mate," Spike commented, barely glancing at Spencer with one eyebrow raised, before he dumped the popcorn into a bowl. He plucked the bowl off of the counter and grabbed Spencer's arm with his other hand, dragging him over to the couch he had been sitting on earlier. He felt his face heat with shame when Spike saw the drugs and the NA chip sitting on the coffee table. They were still goading him, so Spencer looked away, dropping onto the cushion when Spike pushed him down.
He was surprised when Spike didn't talk to him. He just reached for the remote, switching off the Star Trek DVD and flipping through the television channels until he landed on a Manchester United soccer game. When Spencer protested, Spike told him to shut up or make himself useful and go to the nearest butcher shop and pick him up some pig’s blood for him. Spencer retreated further into the seat cushion. He could see the coffee table and he tried to distract himself by watching the game, but it wasn't really any use.
Not sure what the proper protocol was when a strange Vampire acquaintance who happened to be very good friends with his girlfriend—ex-girlfriend, he reminded himself—made himself at home in his living room, he tried to reach for some popcorn, but Spike smacked his hand.
"Get your own," Spike griped.
"Technically, we're in my condo and I did buy that popcorn, so that is 'my own,'" Spencer replied automatically. He pulled the hand close to his chest and noticed that it had stopped shaking, which of course, made it start shaking again.
"Well, look. There's life in him yet, Jim," Spike smirked.
Spencer understood then that Spike was just testing him to see how far gone Spencer was. It was the same thing he and the other agents often had to do with witnesses or UnSubs. Spike didn't have the doctorates that he had, but that didn't make his method any less effective and he started to appreciate Spike as more than just Dawn's Vampire friend.
They watched the game for a bit longer, Spencer in silence, and Spike complaining about the game and sometimes throwing popcorn at the screen. When he ran out of popcorn, Spike set the bowl onto the table. It was only inches away from the Dilaudid that would numb him to all of the hurt. As Spike leaned back, he glanced in Spencer's direction.
"Not going to lecture me?" Spencer asked, nodding to the drugs.
"Nope," Spike replied. "No sense in taking them away either. You want more, you'll get more."
They were quiet for another few minutes while Spencer contemplated addiction and that Spike was right. Taking the drugs away from him would only make him resent Spike and wouldn't let him listen to what the Vampire had to say and his eidetic memory meant that he didn't have to look up a number for a dealer. He knew where he could get more.
He was startled out of his reverie by Spike's voice. "Ask me anything you want," he told him quietly. "I'll answer any of your questions."
Spencer hadn't expected to be given a free pass, but he wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth. There were so many thoughts going through his head in that moment that he couldn't settle on any one of them.
"I don't even know what to ask," he replied.
"Fair enough," Spike nodded. "How about I tell you something and then we can go from there?"
"I've had plenty of people telling me that I have a right to be angry, but I should just forgive Dawn because she helped saved Hotch's family," Spencer snapped.
Spike snorted, "Yeah, they inspire that kind of loyalty, don't they? Well, that wasn't what I was going to tell you."
"It wasn't?" Spencer asked.
"Nope," Spike replied. "I was just going to tell you that Dawn still loves you and it's not too late to forgive each other."
"Forgive each other?" Spencer started, confused and a little angry. "What did I do wrong?"
"Other than letting your pride get in the way of being with the only woman who didn't run at the sight of your geek collection over there? Well, let's see, you automatically assumed that someone as selfless as the Niblet would have kept the secret from you for shits and giggles? You think she was laughing at you, but it only took one lunch with the both of you to know that she’d walk through fire for you, and in our world, that is a literal possibility. Even now when she’s hurting, she was looking out for you. I was all ready to come over here and scare the piss out of you, but she knew what I would do when I found out you made the girl cry and she called me. Begged me not to hurt you. Said you didn't deserve it. Personally, that's a matter of opinion, but what Dawnie wants, Dawnie gets."
Spencer pushed away the feelings of remorse threatening to overcome him. When he thought about life without Dawn, his heart clenched painfully. It was an altogether different pain than the churning of his stomach when he thought about the lies she had told. He wasn't sure which one hurt the most.
"How do I get past this?" Spencer asked quietly. He fought to keep the tear that was threatening to fall down his cheek at bay.
"Ask her to tell you her story. It's a long one and there are parts that ain't too pretty, but she's done lyin' to you now. You'll get the ugly truth from here on out."
"What if I can't
get past it?" Spencer questioned. He wasn't sure he wanted the answer. He was smart enough to fear the answer.
"You're worrying about the wrong thing, Spencer. It's not about who lied or who was betrayed. It's about love. It's always about love. She loved you enough to lie to you until she couldn't anymore. She knew it might cost her your trust," Spike told him.
"That's the choice she made," Spencer spat out, trying hard to hold onto anger that was seeping out of him.
"And now you have a choice," Spike retorted. "You can go back to life without Dawn. It was comfortable for you. Maybe a little lonely, but you could rely on it. It would be easy enough to go back to your routines and, if you think you can live without her, that's exactly what you should do. But, if you know that your everything depends on her happiness, you'd have to be a wanker to let her go."
He left unspoken the third choice that rested not even three feet away on the coffee table.
With his final bits of wisdom offered, Spike got up and brushed the remaining popcorn off his jacket as he stood. The kernels fell to the floor and were ground into the carpet when Spike immediately stepped on them. As he left, he called over his shoulder, "Oh, and if you tell anyone about this conversation, I'll let Angel make good on his list. I only promised Dawn I wouldn't hurt you. Never said I wouldn't delegate. And put the crystals back where you found them, unless you want your idiot ass killed by some creature feature before you can find the balls to apologize. Willow's number is on the kitchen table. When you get your head out of your arse, call her and she'll help you."
Spencer sat on the couch and considered everything that Spike had said. Before he knew it, night had fallen and a part of him wondered how Spike had gotten to his building in the daylight, but then again, he had been out on the USC campus at lunch time, so he must have had a method to move about during the day. The rest of his mind was occupied with trying to fit the square peg into the round hole. The drugs sat next to the empty popcorn bowl. They still beckoned to him, trying to call him to the dark side. His heart and stomach alternated in their concert of pain until he finally couldn't take it anymore. With a frustrated cry, Spencer pushed himself off the couch, grabbed the chip from the table and then his cell phone.
Dawn had finally fallen into a restless sleep when a bright light appeared in her room. When her eyes adjusted, she could see a tall silhouette standing near the window. Any other time this would have been cause for her to pull out her knife and defend herself, but she instantly recognized the man standing in her room. He no longer had a crutch, but was leaning on a cane as he stepped toward her.
His voice was anguished as he spoke, "Dawn."
It was a plea, a benediction, and a sigh of relief all at once and Dawn started to cry.
Spencer dropped the cane instantly and climbed across the bed until he could pull her close to him. She curled in on herself and he pressed his chest to her back, dropping a long kiss to her shoulder. "I'm sorry, Dawn," he whispered, his voice watery.
"I shouldn't have..." he started to continue, but she stopped him, pushing him away slightly.
"Spencer, take off your shoes and get into this bed," she ordered.
Spencer quickly complied and by the time his shoes were on the floor, Dawn was holding the covers up so he could get into the bed. He pulled his sweater vest over his head and threw it in the direction of her desk chair and took his place at her back again. He felt so warm curled around her, his fingers entwined with her own.
As she drifted off into the most restful sleep she had in over a week, she heard him whisper, "I'll never leave you again."
She tried to tell him that it would be okay, that they would fix this, but she was already asleep.
Rossi came down the stairs to see what had sadly become a familiar sight: Buffy making a tray of food to take up to Dawn. His usually playful and energetic youngest daughter was again nowhere to be found. She hadn't been down to breakfast in over a week. She barely ate anything, in fact. She was always on her own for lunch, but she seemed not to want anyone's company, so she would eat the bare minimum at dinner and then retreat back to her room, giving one excuse or another. At the rate she was ‘studying,’ she should have a lock on another PhD by the end of the month...well, if she was actually studying. She did the work that she had to for The Council, but she was no longer accepting the outside opportunities she had previously enjoyed, sought out even. Rossi wished he knew how to help, but for all of his profiler knowledge, he was sorely ill equipped to handle his first experience with a daughter's heartbreak. From what Buffy said, it was just good that there wasn't a warrant out for Dawn’s arrest. Buffy had been kidding when she said it, but there had been a slight tightness in her eyes that told him that she was really more worried about Dawn than she was letting on.
With a sigh, he stepped down the last of the stairs and accepted the cup of coffee that Buffy was already handing him when he walked into the kitchen. He had given up trying to sneak up on her a long time ago. She always knew where he was in the house. He thanked her for the coffee and dropped a kiss on the top of her head. He knew she was probably too old for that kind of affection, but it seemed that neither of his girls minded as he tried to make up for more than two decades of not being in their lives.
"Breakfast smells good," he commented.
Buffy handed him a plate. "Well, it's not up to Dawn's standards, but you've gotten used to my cooking this week...well, at least for breakfast. For dinner, all I do is a mean ‘takeout’ dial."
"It's fine," he assured her with a smile. She didn't need to enjoy cooking like he and Dawn did. They had managed to carve out their own relationship without having that in common.
Sitting at the breakfast bar, he tucked into his breakfast and, while it wasn't as good as what Dawn would’ve made, it was certainly edible. Maybe Buffy had a few of his genes in him after all, he mused. He looked at the food on the tray and frowned at the two plates and sets of utensils. Pretty soon, he wouldn't see either of his girls in the morning.
"Decided to try to eat breakfast with Dawn upstairs this morning?" he asked, reluctantly stabbing a piece of cantaloupe and popping it into his mouth. It wasn't his favorite part of breakfast, but Buffy had taken the time to cut it up for him so he would eat it. He would just follow it with a nice bite of bacon chaser.
"No, actually, I already ate," Buffy told him, trying to hide a smile behind her coffee cup. "The second plate is for Spencer."
Rossi automatically looked upstairs and then his gaze shot to the driveway. Spencer's car wasn't parked there, but he understood Buffy's meaning that he was already upstairs. He looked at Buffy in confusion.
She took pity on him and explained, "He called Willow, who is able to do amazing things when she isn’t hung over, and she teleported him here around two a.m. Of course, I woke up when I heard an extra heartbeat in the house, but since I realized it was Spencer and it's probably not a good idea to slay an FBI agent or my sister's boyfriend, I didn't need to go all Slayer on him...well, at least not yet."
Rossi ignored her last comment, knowing that she wasn't really serious about doing Spencer any bodily harm. He looked upstairs again and thought he should probably feel uncomfortable with the fact that his daughter and his colleague, who also happened to be her estranged boyfriend, were apparently not so estranged anymore, but the truth was that all he felt was relief, and maybe a little hope that the final parts of healing could begin for both the team and his family.
"So, my plan, and I highly suggest you follow it or risk mind-numbing trauma of the parental variety, is to take this up to them and then sneak out of the house before they get to the make-up sex portion of the day," Buffy informed him with a bright smile.
Rossi stifled his shudder and nodded, bowing to his daughter's wisdom, "I'll call Reid out of work today. Let's get going while the gettin's good."
Dawn woke up when she heard the door slam downstairs. That had been her routine for the last few days and she suspected that Buffy was deliberately slamming the door to make sure she woke up and ate the breakfast her sister would leave on the desk in her room. She appreciated Buffy's efforts, and the fact that she was giving her some space. For once, she was actually hungry and not just planning to eat to put fuel into her body so she could get through her day, but when she tried to move, she found that there were arms wrapped tightly around her. It only took her a moment more to remember the late night entrance and her absolute need to just feel Spencer next to her that led them to this point.
From his regular breathing, Dawn could tell Spencer was still asleep, but she couldn't resist looking over at him to make sure he was really there and that she hadn't fallen into a delusional state in the wake of their argument. She carefully turned toward him. Even looking like crap, he was beautiful to her. He was unshaven, something she knew he hated, and his hair needed a good brushing, she noted as she ran a finger over his cheekbone. He began to stir, but unlike her, he seemed to know exactly where he was and what happened when he opened his eyes.
She could see so many emotions flitting through his eyes all at once. She knew he was still hurt and maybe a little scared, but there was also determination and, above all, love as he pulled her closer. She tucked her head into his shoulder and enjoyed his rumpled warmth as he ducked his head close to her ear.
"I love you, Dawn," he whispered. "Please tell me we can get past this."
Not caring about morning breath, Dawn pulled Spencer's mouth to her own before she moved away to look him in the eye again.
get past this," she told him with certainty. "We have to. I love you, too, and you are too important in my life not to fight for you. All I needed was a sign that you would fight for me, too. You're here. That's all I need. I am so sorry that I kept this from you, but I'll tell you everything. The good, the bad and the crazy. But...Spencer, there's a lot
Spencer looked away, "And I haven't given you any reason to believe that I can handle the crazy, have I?"
Dawn reached for him again, this time pushing him onto his back and following him so that she was propped up on his chest. "It doesn't matter," she said. "I've already decided to just trust you. I decided that the moment I sliced my arm open in the middle of the BAU."
"And, I already broke that trust," Spencer sighed. "I left."
"Yeah, to wrap your head around some really insane stuff and you don't even know the half of it yet. You might still want to bail and you'd be totally justified if you did," she replied. "I just hope you'll listen to everything before you make a decision."
"I'm not leaving you again," Spencer repeated his promise from the middle of the night.
Dawn put her hand over his mouth to stop him. "Tell me that again," she said, taking a deep breath, "after you hear the whole story."
Spencer nodded and began to move when she let him up. She sent Spencer into the adjoining bathroom first and told him to just use her toothbrush. She was worried that he would balk at that, but they had already shared spit and germs this morning, so really, what did it matter? She just didn't want to leave the cocoon her room had become yet to go in search of a new toothbrush for him to use. Fortunately, Spencer seemed to feel the same and he just nodded and kissed her forehead as he moved past her.
After they had both used the facilities and were ready to eat the breakfast Buffy had prepared, they both sat down on the bed again with the tray between them. She waited for Spencer's reaction to the magically enhanced plates, courtesy of Willow, that kept their food warm. He looked puzzled for a moment, but then smiled as something had just occurred to him.
"What is it?" she asked as she took a sip of coffee.
"I was trying to figure out the science of how this all worked and realized that if I had enough time and resources, I could probably become a Technomage like on Babylon 5. They use science and technology to..."
"....mimic real magic," Dawn finished for him with a grin. "You aren't the only sci-fi geek in this room. But, it's funny you should mention that. I can't help with the time part, but I can supply the resources."
"The Council?" Spencer guessed, spreading some jam onto his toast and taking a large bite.
"We have an R&D department and we have some really good people, but none of them have your background or education. We’ve been tossing around ideas for ways to empower our 'extraordinary beings who just don't happen to have magic or Slayer strength' members."
"That's a very long title," Spencer commented.
"Yeah, we might be going overboard on the political correctness, but we figured it was probably not a good idea to make anyone who could possibly end the world feel insecure or unimportant," Dawn shrugged as she bit into her toast-and-cantaloupe sandwich, ignoring Spencer's disbelief at her breakfast creation.
"I see," Spencer replied.
The conversation lulled then and Dawn could see that Spencer had a lot of questions, but didn't seem to know where to start. She took pity on him.
"Spencer, it's just me. Whatever else I am, I'm me. Dawn Summers," she told him softly, reaching to cover his hand with her own.
He looked up and met her gaze warily. "And what else are you? Garcia said you aren't a witch."
"No, I'm not a witch. Not by The Council's definition. In a lot of ways, I'm just a regular twenty-five year old woman," she started. She was glad to see that Spencer didn't take his hand away. In fact, he turned his hand over so that he could lace their fingers together. "What I do isn't magic in the traditional sense. It's blood magic, but not even true thaumaturgy. I have a special type of blood that allows me to do certain things with it. Fortunately, I’m the only one that can control or use my blood without my notarized consent, so it's been a few years since anyone has tried to take advantage of that fact."
"What you did was teleportation, right? You were able to teleport Buffy from the BAU to Hotch's house," Spencer said.
"Kind of," she replied, scrunching up her nose. "It's not so much teleportation as opening a portal and shoving something, or someone, through. It's really easy for me to open a portal for myself to use and the smaller the portal, the less energy I need to use. That's why I got sick. I opened a large portal, big enough to shove my sister through, and I didn't go with her."
He squeezed her hand, "Why didn't you go with her, then?"
Dawn offered him a smile, glad that he was listening and asking questions rather than just writing her off. "Because of the size of the portal. I could have easily transported myself through the portal without using up too much of my energy, but bringing something with me as large as a full-grown adult—even one as small as Buffy—would drain me too much and then Buffy would have to worry about me getting hurt in the fray. Going on my own wouldn't have been helpful either since I don't have Slayer strength and, yeah, I can hold my own against most regular Vampires now, but I wouldn't go up against a demon with unknown capabilities unless there was no other choice. Buffy is much more able to do that."
"Because she's a Slayer," Spencer filled in the blank.
"Yeah," Dawn confirmed. "I assume J.J. or Garcia filled you in on our wacky world, at least the basics, right?"
Spencer nodded, "If I hadn't seen it first hand, I never would have believed it. Even then, part of me wondered if I needed a psych eval."
Dawn's eyes softened, "Oh, Spence..." She squeezed his hand and continued, "That was actually part of the reason I didn't tell you right away. I knew you were worried about your mom and your genetics. I didn't want to send you spiraling if you decided this relationship wasn't really what you wanted. Plus, it's not exactly something we shout from the rooftops...except this one time in Norway, but that was because a village was about to use an incorrect translation of a ritual to boost their crops. Instead of increasing their harvest, they were about to call forth a demon that would drown them and then their spit would pre-digest them for the demon to come back and eat later. So, you know..."
"Extenuating circumstances," Spencer conceded. "Did you save them?"
"Mostly," Dawn told him. "There were a couple of villagers that did private rituals instead of going to the town square. Once we found out that was happening, we got to them as quickly as we could."
They sat in silence for a moment while Spencer digested that information. Finally, he spoke, "So, you basically do what we do, except with a different set of parameters."
"Yeah, and we're so good at it that sometimes, the bad guys come right to us," Dawn told him, raising her mug up to the sky in a mock salute.
"Wait, you said 'it's been years' since someone tried to use your blood. Was that something that happened often?" Spencer asked. She could see the worry in his eyes.
"Semi-regularly," she admitted, wishing she could allay his fears. "But, it really hasn't happened in a long time. I'm kind of on a 'protected' list now. Friends in high...and low places and all that. Only the most stupid of the stupid come after me and, fortunately, they’re pretty easy to get rid of."
"Yeah, thanks for telling Spike he couldn't go through with the list, by the way," Spencer said with a sheepish smile. "He was terrifying enough without making me eat my own liver."
"No, he wasn't," Dawn rolled her eyes. "He didn't do anything but talk to you, but we'll just pretend so we don't ruin his street cred."
They had finished breakfast at this point and Dawn moved the tray back to her desk before returning to bed. When Spencer went to move, she quickly climbed onto his lap so that she was straddling him. It might be dirty pool, but if she was going to tell him her deepest, darkest secrets, she wanted most of his blood to be pumping south so she wouldn't overload the sensitive neurons in his big beautiful brain. His hands automatically cupped her thighs and she leaned down and pressed a deep kiss to his lips.
Before they could get too involved in making up, she pulled back. She told him quietly, "That's just a small sample of what we both have to look forward to if we can get through the next few minutes. Now, let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, there was a crazy Hell God named Glorificus..."
P.S. Thank you to everyone who has hung in there on this story. I know it has been quite a while since I updated. A recent Reid-centric episode that Michele Trachtenburg guest starred in inspired me to write for this story again. I already have the next chapter written. Just need to review and send to my beta. Thank you again to everyone who has been so patiently waiting for this chapter.