Sleepflower

BY : ProphecyGirl
Category: -Buffy the Vampire Slayer > Het - Male/Female
Dragon prints: 6619
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BtVS), nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Endless hours in bed, no peace, in this mind No one knows the hell where innocence dies -Manic Street Preachers, 'Sleepflower'


It started one night a few months before Joyce got sick. I woke up in the middle of the night and went to the bathroom, only to find it occupied. She came out after a minute, long hair tied back in a loose braid and sleep in her eyes. She stopped to lean against the doorjamb and tell me about a dream she'd been having.

I found myself distracted by her body; much too shapely for a child--which is what she was, I reminded myself. But her white tank-top was nearly see through, and I couldn't help staring for a few seconds before tearing my gaze away and stuttering that I had to go to the bathroom. I shut the door firmly and took a deep breath.

I glanced in the mirror and noted that my neck and chest were flush with.. Don't go there. Don't even go there, Finn. I suddenly wished I'd put on a shirt before walking out of Buffy's room.

I went about my business and splashed some cold water on my face, then headed back down the hallway. I paused in front of Dawn's door for a split second before moving onto Buffy's. I went in and laid down beside her, wrapping my arms around her skinny, childlike body, and closed my eyes.



We were on baby-sitting duty. Joyce was going out, we were staying in. Buffy sent Dawn to bed early so we could have some private time on the couch. My hand was just sliding under her waistband when there was a crash from upstairs. I followed closely at her heels as we burst into Dawn's room.

Her eyes were glassy and distracted, and a red blush had spread over her entire face. Her hair was disheveled, and a small pile of ceramic mermaids lay at the foot of her nightstand, which they had obviously been knocked off of. Buffy blushed as well, and went into a stuttering tangent about how klutzy she was and how she had to be more careful.

I missed most of it because Dawn was looking into my eyes with a sort of defiant look, as though she dared me to point out the truth that we all knew and avoided mentioning. My head spun with the faint scent of her lingering in the air, and I walked out and headed for the cold faucet again.



I sat in the bar nursing a beer and trying to convince myself she was doing it on purpose, flitting around the house in spaghetti straps and short shorts, showing off miles of thin, tanned leg.. But she was just a kid, an innocent kid, and so I drank my guilt away. One beer, another, two shots, a beer, one shot, and then I was stupid drunk, falling all over myself..

"I'm bad, y'know," I slurred to another guy at the bar. "Sh-she's just a kid.."

He grinned and he was missing teeth. "Old enough to bleed, old enough to breed, I say."

Bile rose in the back of my throat and I threw money down and left. This, this was my future; I knew. I had to leave, get away.. I had to remember she was just a child.. A kid.. A little sister.. But not mine..

Damn it.



Buffy insisted on patrolling.. and I got stuck on baby-sitting duty. I really would have rather peeled my skin off and rolled around in a salt pile. We sat on the couch and I slid as far to the opposite end as I could, and watched her play video games.

"Riley, do you think she's pretty?"

Lara Croft. "For a cartoon."

"Prettier than me?"

Gulp. "Of course not."

"Cool."



We were all crammed into Giles' car for the late movie. Willow sat on Tara's lap. Anya sat on Xander's. Buffy got shotgun and Dawn sat on mine. I began to wonder if Buffy didn't know.

I closed my eyes and I rattled off the periodic table of elements in my head. I tried to remember every constellation I knew. I could not, would not think about Dawn.

She leaned back against me and sighed, looking up at the sky. She shifted and I bit my tongue so hard it bled. Her fingers trailed lightly up my arm and I opened my eyes to find myself staring at her curved lips, smiling.. sweetly? Wickedly? I wanted her to be anywhere but in my lap at that moment. And I didn't want her to be anywhere else but there.

"Stop that," I hissed.

She crossed her arms, miffed, but did not move from her position on my thigh.



I began to look forward to Buffy's patrolling nights. When Joyce was working at the gallery, or sleeping, after she got sick. Just me and Dawn sitting on the couch.. on the back porch.. in her room..

I never laid a hand on her, not even once. She gazed at me, she touched me, she even pulled her shirt off in front of meonce, and I never gave in. I played her game, meeting in the hallway at 3am to look at each other.. sitting on my lap and curling herself around me for 'comfort'.. braiding her hair or showing her how to beat her opponent in Mortal Kombat..

Every evening we had alone, she was touching me, tempting me.. Even if it was only in my mind. And every night I dutifully returned to Buffy's bed. That was where I belonged.



I couldn't bear to call it baby-sitting, not when insinuating that she was just a baby made my stomach churn with guilt and disgust. She was just an innocent child, laying on the couch with her legs draped across my lap, sucking on a fudgesicle and talking to me about her art class.

"I love drawing people, I think the human body is a beautiful thing. Don't you?" Were her eyes far away and dreamy with her love of art, or were they narrowed with an eyebrow quirked just so as she shifted her weight, rubbing her thigh against me?

I might be going crazy, I might be losing my mind, I might be thinking about touching her..



Dawn. Daaaawn. Daw-uhn.

It just didn't have that same sound, that same effect. Lo-lee-tah. Dawn-ie. I'd spent just as many hours rolling that name off the tip of my tongue, but it just didn't feel real. I saw the movie, and old Humbert and I didn't have anything in common, anyway.

Besides. Dawn was older than Lolita was.

And I thought I'd never act on those urges. Never admit aloud that I couldn't tear my eyes away from her curvy adolescent body, that every night as I pounded away inside Buffy and felt her sharp ribs digging into my chest I was thinking of Dawn, that every second of my existence was saturated with her.

Light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin. My soul. Dawn-ie.



Her hand crept to my ribs, and I jumped. "Don't do that."

She smiled sweetly and trailed her fingernails down my side. I bent double to the side, as I've been highly ticklish all my life. Humiliating, but true. Thankfully, as an adult I had never been in a situation of having to admit this.. downfall.. to anyone. And now here I was, with a child whose motives I could not figure out, laughing. I didn't think.

I grabbed her sides and squeezed, and she bent forward, giggling. We fell off the couch and I landed on top of her, tickling her mercilessly as she squirmed beneath me. Then something clicked in my brain and it felt wrong, so wrong.

I was straddling her waist and I know she could feel my reaction to her, and then her wrists were pinned beneath my hands and she stopped squirming and just gazed up at me, eyes sparkling and hair mussed and I lifted one hand and I touched the side of her face and her glittering blue eyes closed..

A cough. Buffy stood in the doorway, leaning sideways a little with an unreadable expression on her face. I slowly backed off of Dawn, who stood, her face flushed, and glanced back and forth between us.

"Go take a shower, Dawn," Buffy said tersely. Dawn glanced at me again, and ran up the stairs as though the devil himself was behind her. I was overwhelmed with guilt at taking such obvious advantage of something that had started out so innocently.

Buffy approached me slowly, her eyes going from mine down my body. I opened my mouth to speak, to say anything, but the way she was looking at me made me stop. She reached for me, unzipping my fly quickly and pushing me back on the couch before dropping to her knees.

Don't say a word, her eyes and tongue said. Because if you admit it, you'll have to go.



I thought about asking Giles for help.. maybe this was a normal, male thing. Maybe there wasn't something wrong with my head. But I opted not to--because what if it was just me and Humbert and the toothless guy at the bar? I would never act on it. I would never touch her. I would not become that man. I would not, could not destroy the innocence in her. Even if she truly was gunning for me, she was just a child. One who could not possibly be aware of the consequences if we..

But we wouldn't. We would never.



I sat on the couch, knuckles white on the game controller. Buffy left for patrol, Joyce was asleep in her bed. Dawn's thigh was pressed against mine, and I swallowed hard. She set her game controller down.

"I'm bored."

"We just started playing.."

"I don't care. I'm bored. I want to do something else."

"Like.."

"We could watch a movie."

"No. Last time we watched a movie, you put on porn."

"It wasn't porn! Gia is not a pornographic movie."

"Angelina Jolie has never been more naked."

"So, what, you didn't like it? Maybe Spike was right.."

"Somehow I doubt that."

"He said you were gay."

"I'm not gay."

"Yeah, okay," she said sarcastically, rolling her eyes and picking up the game controller again.

"I'm not," I offered pathetically.

We turned back to the game, but she sat a few inches away from me, and I cursed at myself for being disappointed.



In this dream I'd had, she came to me in the middle of the night, when I didn't come out to 'accidentally' run into her in the hallway. She took my hand and I left Buffy sleeping on her side, and went into Dawn's room. She lay down on her bed, wearing one of the teddies I'd bought Buffy for her birthday. It was deliciously tight on her long, shapely form, molding to her hips perfectly and revealing her thin, smooth thighs.

I sat next to her and her eyes flashed with something I hadn't seen in Buffy's eyes for a long time by then. I frowned. "You're just a baby," I whispered.

"Am not," she answered back without missing a beat, and promptly pulled me to her. We kissed, and my whole world fell away.

I woke up guilty and extremely hard. Just a dream, just a dream. Buffy was facing me, her eyes unreadable. My discomfort was immediately furthered by the fact that I knew.. somehow knew.. I'd said Dawn's name in my sleep. I wanted to reassure both Buffy and myself, say that it was just a dream, but that would mean speaking the situation out loud. As long as that didnt happen, we were all safe. Living with our eyes closed.



Another night spent baby-sitting, and I wondered at the convenience of it all. Did Buffy know? Was she testing me, seeing how long I could hold off the temptation? A sick game we all played.

Maybe Dawn really had been hot when she stripped her shirt off--and she was wearing a sports bra underneath it.. Maybe she just liked being close to me. Maybe it was all innocent in her mind. Maybe I made all of it up in the first place.

I left her on the couch watching television and went into the kitchen to fix myself a drink. Probably not the most responsible thing to do as a baby-sitter, but it was the only way I was get thr through that evening. She followed me in after a minute, and pulled herself onto the table.

She was always so quiet when it was just us.. Not like she was with everyone else. It was as though speaking would break the spell as it had when she accused me of being gay. After that, she barely said two words when we were together. I glanced at a picture of her and Buffy taped to the fridge, and frowned.



I might have told her I was leaving.. it's too blurry and mixed in with too many other half-dreams and faded memories to be sure..

But if I did tell her I was leaving, she frowned and asked me to stay. I might have said no, I couldn't, and that it wasn't her fault, even though it really was.

And if all that took place, then she might have approached me carefully and stood as tall as she could. She could have leaned in and touched her index finger to the center of my chest, running it down slowly. Her tongue may have flicked out across her lips as she smirked. "You don't know what you're missing."

No. That didn't happen.



Out of guilt I waited for Buffy as long as I could, hoping the whole time she wouldn't come. When she didn't, I breathed a sigh of relief and got into the helicopter.


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