Disclaimer: Legal stuff, don't own characters, haven't made any money, this is for entertainment purposes, no profit earned, lawyers go away. –kisses-
Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past BTVS episodes and especially the Spanderverse series of stories.
Notes: Story follows “Rebuilding”.
Everything from the television series through the defeat of Adam also occurred as depicted, in the Spanderverse.
People’s thoughts are depicted in italics. You’ll find emphasis depicted with an underline.
Special Thanks: To Joss Whedon for making us laugh and breaking our hearts with such panache; often in the same episode. Support Buffy: Season 8 and Angel: After the Fall (which will hopefully turn into Angel: Season 6) by Dark Horse Comics!
Chapter 1 – Day to Day
It had been ten days.
Ten days since Dawn’s miraculous return from the dead, or vampiredom, or whatever had exactly happened. The only information she had, had come second hand from the family that had surrounded her bed. She still had no memory of anything that happened after Vanessa had released her from the shackles she’d been kept in.
She plunged her head into the stream of hot water coming from the shower head and stood still, letting the water cascade through her long hair and down her body.
Maybe it’s for the best that I don’t remember anything. Maybe I wouldn’t want those memories.
She sighed as she pulled her head out of the spray. Things the last few days had been a bit weird. Sure, at first there was the elation that she was alive, again, and then there was the amazement and thanking whoever. But by the next morning, things had changed around the Summers’ home.
It had started with
But she could start to think of what might have happened when she was dead. Buffy and Giles had explained to her after Angel came back from Hell about what happened to souls when the dead was going to rise as a vampire. According to them, and sure it was all Council guesswork, but Giles was usually right about these things, she should have been in a Limbo sort of place. She had the notion that it was sort of like a lounge with old magazines and scratchy-sounding Muzak being piped in from the Heavens. It probably wasn’t really like that.
If I was there, why don’t I remember anything? Wouldn’t I remember William?
Because, certainly Spike’s human soul should have been there, too, right? What if she hadn’t gone anywhere?
It was the thought that scared her the most. So, of course, it was the one she couldn’t get her brain to stop thinking about.
What if I don’t even have a soul? What if inside is just that Key-energy thing? I’ll never see mom, again, or Buffy. I’ll never be anything after this… I’ll just… wink out and be lost.
She reached out and turned up the hot water, to chase away the chill that raced down her spine at the thought. Even through how horrible everything had been since her mom’s tumor and Buffy’s self-sacrifice, she’d always known inside that she would see them again someday. Now, that might not be the case. She wondered if she would ever die, anyway, or would the energy matrix just keep bringing her back?
She aged. She could see the differences in her own body as she matured. What if she got really, really old and her body started to break down, but the nature of the Key made it impossible to die, anyway?
God, please! What if I become like those witches in ‘Clash of the Titans’? I’ll be all feeble and half crazy, but still I’ll just go on and on… everyone I knew and loved dead. Well, except Spike. But would he still be there? Would he still take care of me… and would I want him to feel like he had to?
And what about injuries? I seem to heal pretty normally, except for the coming back from the dead and being immune to vampire bites. What if I get into a horrible, mangling accident that no one could survive, and yet I do? And what happens when I never heal right?
“D-Dawn, come on! I’m making pancakes and I want y-you to get a good breakfast before school,” Tara’s voice came from the other side of the bathroom door filled with uncertainty.
“I’m coming,” Dawn yelled back as she turned off the water. “I’ll be right there!”
She struggled to sound normal; to sound like the Dawn they’d always known because the gang wasn’t helping her any. Not that they meant to, but they were making her feel more like a freak than ever.
The day after Dawn’s return, Giles refused to allow her to leave the house. Okay, maybe ‘refused’ was a little harsh, but he told her that he needed her to stay home for the day. She’d been pleased at first; readily helping him investigate her own nature… she was as curious as anyone about what she was below the skin, so to speak. But by the evening, she’d had enough of being poked and prodded and magically scanned and breathing in stinky herbs and having her fingers pricked. And the way they all looked at her? Like she might suddenly explode, or maybe turn water into wine at any minute.
She’d insisted she had to go back to school, or risk Family Services paying a visit, the next morning. Giles’ face fell in disappointment, but he understood that she was right. It was a good thing, too, because she’d found out that night that, in fact, a truant officer had stopped by to check on her at about the same time as she was handing her doctored doctor’s note in to the attendance office.
Dawn came downstairs, placing what she hoped would be an “I’m just a teen girl” smile on her face.
It was hard to keep it in place with the way that
She sat and ate relatively quietly, murmuring a compliment to
Dawn didn’t know him, but she knew he was the one using Adam, somehow. That was enough for her to severely dislike him. He was obviously going to be a pain in the ass. In addition to April, Spike had heard rumors at Willy’s bar, which had re-opened in a new and this actually under the ground cul-de-sac that he was using the threat of Adam to recruit some local vampires who had so far escaped being staked. The gang had agreed he appeared to be planning to take over the underworld activities in town.
“Dawnie, do me a favor,”
She reached out and
“What’s this for,” she wanted to know.
“Just a test.”
Willow closed her eyes and before Dawn could ask anything else, she chanted something in Latin, or what Dawn thought sounded like Latin.
The little marble in her hand glowed for a moment with golden-yellow light just before Dawn’s body jerked.
“Ah,” she cried out. When she looked at the marble again, it had a strange green cloud of light held within its interior.
“Dawn? Are you alright,” Tara urgently asked.
“Uh… yeah, yeah… I’m fine, I think. It just… jerked in my stomach. It didn’t hurt; it just caught me off guard.”
“What the hell was that,”
“Nothing. It’s harmless. It’s just a little spell.”
“Until you were sure I wasn’t going to turn into a homicidal maniac, or another monster,” she finished for
“No! Of course not, Dawn. W-we just don’t know enough about, uh, about you and you know… the energy that you were created from. We just need to be careful about what we’re doing,” she turned to glare at Willow.
“We won’t know anything unless we test,”
“I better get to school,” Dawn sighed.
“But, Dawn, you have nine minutes and fifty-two seconds before we must leave,” the Buffybot told her.
It was another of the things that had changed since Dawn skipped out of the house behind Spike’s sleeping back to go to the mall. Now, he’d moved in, even having Xander bring his clothes over. That had her filled with guilt over causing them to not be together, like boyfriends should be, but Spike could be really stubborn.
And Xan was alone now, what with Anya traveling. They’d heard from him that she’d sent an email saying she was finding some interesting antiques in a place called Bodega Bay that was somewhere north of San Francisco. Anya had wanted to know the status of the Magic Box, of course. Unfortunately, Giles seemed far more concerned with her right now, than with re-opening the store even though the insurance money had come through for the fire and vandalism. She sort of wished she was with Anya right now; she knew the former demon wouldn’t be all over her.
Spike had practically glued himself to her and whenever she turned around, there he was. From the time she arrived home until she went to bed, he wouldn’t leave her side. Every time she wanted to go across the street or to Kim’s, somebody had to promise to accompany her before he’d allow her out; if it wasn’t for the daylight, he’d no doubt barge in on her friend’s houses, too. Or at least, he’d play spy at the windows until she broke down and asked her friends to invite him in, or she gave up and returned home.
During the nice, sunny,
Once home, Spike would either already be up, or he’d awaken shortly after. Buffybot would recharge for five or six hours and then start her patrol around midnight. Spike would park himself outside her door in the hallway when she went to bed and there he’d still be when she woke up to use the bathroom and then again when she left her bedroom to get ready for the day. She didn’t know how much more of this she could put up with. And even though Xander never said anything to her, of course, or argued with Spike in her presence, she could see his impatience to have the vampire come home. She’d argued the point until she was red in the face on night six, but he wouldn’t budge an inch.
“You’re my undead life now,” he told her.
She hadn’t made any headway and had stomped upstairs to her room, where she’d turned to slam the door, only to see him going to sit down before the door blocked her view.
“So, I’ll be a little early,” she told the robot as she passed. Behind her, she heard the robot following along, just as Spike wanted. It was like being under house arrest at all times.
She’d tried to explain to Giles that she felt like she couldn’t breathe on day eight, but he’d only half-heard her, she could tell. He was too busy plucking a hair from her head, or clipping a nail or drawing a little bit of blood. Like Willow, he was always throwing a test or experiment her way to find out how she’d done what she did and what future surprises she might pull out of the air.
It was almost enough to make her wish she was just a Key-blob again… almost. The only thing keeping her sane these days was visiting her mom at the cemetery. Naturally, with the stupid robot, but at least she had stopped asking her so many questions. Dawn felt a little bit of the pressure escape when she sat on the lawn near her mother’s gravestone and just talked about her day, or complained about the others, which was really mostly what she did. She’d only cried the first day she’d visited… after school on day five of her virtual imprisonment. She still hadn’t visited Buffy. The guilt over being the reason for the whole Glory thing was still too much and if she thought about her sister too much, she could practically feel her heart busting in half, again.
Talking to Cordy last Saturday had also helped, a little. Even though when she had tried to argue on Dawn’s behalf for a little more space, Spike had started yelling at her not to interfere in Sunnydale’s affairs. He’d even sprung into fang-mode when Dawn heard Cordelia’s raised voice filtering through the other end of the phone. All she’d made out is “Angel” and “Stake” and “Stop being an asshole”. That last part came through loud and clear, since Spike had dropped the receiver by that point and was stomping into the kitchen.
At least it bought her a whole ten minutes without him being under her feet. Unfortunately, Cordy couldn’t do much from L.A., except promise to talk to Xander about allowing her to visit during her week off in August. She still had summer school after all, and besides, Cordelia would need to make special arrangements with the gang to convince the Sunnydale crew that she’d be safe while not under their lock and key.
“Hey, Dawn! You okay,” Kirstie asked her at the school’s door.
The gossip had stopped being such a huge bitca since Dawn’s breakdown in front of everyone when Buffy told her what had happened to mom. Kirstie still wasn’t really her friend, and she still didn’t trust her any, but at least she’d stopped spreading rumors about her.
“I’m good. Thanks,” Dawn smiled as naturally as possible. Everyone, of course, knew about her abduction at the mall and she knew they all wanted to know all the details. Since she couldn’t spill it, all they’d gotten was that some freaky chick had hypo’d her and tried to make her think that she was this girl’s long lost sister. It seemed like an easy lie at the time, but that hadn’t stopped the questions and the speculative glances people gave her in the hallways.
She’d found out from Janice that there was a rumor that the girl was a dyke and had molested Dawn after her abduction. Jan had stated this in a questioning manner, looking for a bit of gossip of her own but she hadn’t risen to the bait. Instead, she’d just asked who had started the rumor and wasn’t surprised when Jan didn’t know. She was surprised when she was positive it wasn’t Kirstie this time, though.
Dawn glanced back, to see the robot give her a cheery wave. She glanced back a second time after she’d gotten in the doors, and of course, the robot was still there watching her with those robotic zoom-lenses or whatever.
Again she thought, I really don’t know how much more of this I can take!
BTVS seasons 1-4.
Spanderverse: After 314
BTVS: Real Me
Spanderverse: Confusion of Three
The Risks of Glory
Hunting Our Needs
The Family We Choose
Feints and Counter-Feints
BTVS: The Body
Songs of Pain and Comfort
Battling with a God
Spanderverse: Points of View One
Spanderverse: Points of View Two
Spanderverse: Points of View Three
Spanderverse: Points of View Four