Disclaimer – Please see earlier chapters.
Hi folks – hope you like this bit if not let me know okay.
Thanks so much to Twinkiecat for taking a look this and all the other stuff she has looked at as well!
Also if you are confused with the sheep reference, I’ll explain at the bottom.
As Sam, John and Giles got back to Missouri’s after dropping Jenny off at one of her friend’s homes, Dawn and Missouri were to be found to putting her reading room back in order. Xander came down the stairs looking exhausted, after helping Kennedy into one of the bedrooms, barely making it to one of the armchairs before collapsing. Willow was lying flat out on one of the couches.
“We’ve got to figure out a better way of sending that thing to where it needs to be,” said Dawn to Giles as she picked up a couple of candles, “Ken, took the brunt of the energy drain, like the slayer always does and there is no way Willow should try anything remotely magical for at least the next month.”
“The idea was to only call on the scythe in times of necessity,” said Giles, “We all agreed that to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands, a high Wiccan, a slayer and a watcher had to be in full agreement with each of them accepting the consequences of their decision.”
“Was that also the meeting that everyone else decided that I was never to take part?” Dawn asked sarcastically.
“Dawn, you know why that was,” said Giles, “It is too dangerous, it requires.”
“I know, I know, too much energy, don’t want to risk it,” Dawn said cutting him off, “How many years has it been? Has it ever done anything? Has anyone apart from that one time made it do anything? No!”
Giles peered over the top of his glasses at her, and in his most sympathetic but authoritarian parental voice, “Dawn.”
She stood her ground though, “Look just because Missouri had to hit her on the back of the head to stop her from trying to suck me dry doesn’t mean that it had anything to do with you know? You know that Will didn’t meant it.”
“Dawn, you know not to stand too close to us when she does this. It takes too much out of her, she has got no choice but to go for the most vital force in the room as in you!” Xander said, he voice conveyed his exhaustion.
She stormed off into the kitchen to put the candles back into one of the cupboards.
“You don’t let the girl play then?” asked John, who was confused by the conversation he had just witnessed.
“Thought it best not to,” said Xander in a quiet voice, “God did someone get the number of the bus that hit me.”
“You look like you need to take it breather man.” Sam winced slightly as he moved his injured arm.
“And I had the easy end,” Xander said before turning round, “Well if it isn’t Mr Possessed, what happened to the arm dude?”
“My brother shot me.”
“Look don’t take this the wrong way, but good for him,” Xander said collapsing back in the chair.
“Thanks,” replied Sam.
Missouri lead the wounded Winchester into the kitchen to tend to his wound. John looked at the almost unconscious witch. The girl that had come with her was supposedly out for the count upstairs as for the boy, it looked as if he could barely stand. He’d seen the weapon that Buffy had brought with her, they had called for it, and whatever it was, they had paid the price for it.
“Buffy not back yet?” asked Giles.
Xander shook his head as before succumbing to sleep.
Dean sat quietly on the back step of the house, using the light from the kitchen to read the entries in his father’s book. Buffy stood silently at the side trying not to disturb him.
“You just going to stand there?” he asked continuing to thumb through the pages, even though he had become slightly more alert.
She took a step into the light, “Thought it best, give you some time.”
“Thanks,” he stopped for a second reading a few words before continuing.
She sat down beside him, “Might be quicker to ask.”
“I’m good,” he said edging away from her.
“You barely said a word on the way back.”
“You were ten feet behind me. I’m not shouting down the street.” He still didn’t look directly look at her, watching her out of the corner of his eye, “I’m thinking I’m losing it already. I’m not looking like a complete nut job shouting down the street at random people."
“Okay, I’ll just sit here till you’re ready.” She started to examine her fingernails.
After five minutes of him continuing to look through the journal he found something, it wasn’t much just a couple of paragraphs about 2 old hunting contacts of his father in California going insane and muttering about the Key and the coming of the Beast, but nothing else. It looked as if John had noted the breakdowns and was waiting to see any further pattern to emerge. But, like most of the things including those he had read about Sunnydal,e it had stopped. He straightened up.
“You ready to talk now?” Buffy asked flicking a piece of imaginary dirt from her pants leg, he didn’t say a word.
Buffy sighed, “Oh come on the strong silent treatment is getting boring.”
He knotted his brow before looking very seriously at her, Buffy sighed, “Okay you’re angry, we should have told you and it’s like I said at the house, if this was just a way to mess with you guys then we would have come up with a better story, well one that actually makes some sense. Not so soapy, you know, one minute she’s not there, next minute teenager and no-one mentions the huge sudden growth spurt.” She had started to babble but she didn’t really care, “Thought we’d tell you the Slayer part first, but what with everything with Sam; she just didn’t know how to tell you her part. To be honest we aren’t 100% sure that she’s, you know. But with the way they made her and with the whole swan dive thing, she probably is.”
“The dead should stay dead,” he said solemnly still not looking at her.
“Oh it’s that is it?” she was glad to get him talking. “Look I didn’t ask to come back, waking up in my grave wasn’t one of my personal highlights; I was happy where I was. I kind of went off the deep end after for a while, just ask them.”
Dean couldn’t look at her, “It ain’t natural, none of this is.”
“You’re telling me.” She looked over at the moon lit lawn, “But they needed me, they couldn’t see any other way and we all paid for it. Willow lost more than I can ever say, and it all started when she brought me back. As for Xander, in the end he lost Anya, his eye, ‘cause them bringing me back gave the First a foothold. We all live with that, everyday and so does she because I know there are nights she blames herself for all of it. If those monks hadn’t created her, then I wouldn’t have jumped and they wouldn’t have had to do what they did. It’s stupid I know, she didn’t ask to come into the world this way. If anything her and my mom are the only real innocent parties in all of this.”
She turned and gave him a little smile, “But if you look on the bright side, it means you’re only three months younger than me”
“And what about him?” asked a serious Dean, nodding towards the house.
“Honestly I don’t know.” She looked at her brother, “What do you think?”
“How the fuck should I know,” asked Dean angrily.
“Well you know him better than I do.”
“Thanks,” Dean sighed, she was right though, if they wanted them dead, they had plenty of opportunities. Hell, she didn’t have to do what she did to him, unless this was just some sort of game, but why would they then they go down this route? He turned to her, “She ain’t dangerous?”
Buffy shook her head, “No, not really unless you provoke her.”
He buried his head in his hands, “This ain’t right, this so ain’t right.”
She put a comforting hand on his shoulder, “Look just take a second. She is a normal girl now it is just that she has this extra thing about her. She hates olives, likes anchovies, loves Jack Black movies, at some point dreams of meeting some guy that won’t be scared off by her insanely overprotective older sister and last week found out that she might have two older brothers and a new Dad. Thing is, the only people that can say for sure without a test are all dead, unless John’s got some whipped up memories about bumping into my mom again, actually do you remember being anywhere near LA before you started first grade?”
He shot up from the stoop, taking a step back getting between the seated slayer and the house, “Wait a second, here!
“Right, you’re still getting use to this shouldn’t joke. Oh shit that wasn’t that long after your mom was it?”
They stared at each other in silence for a second before she glanced at the ground, “You going to tell them aren’t you.”
“Well I'm not gonna keep it from them,” he said.
“Do you think it was right about him hunting her down?” she asked cagily.
“Christ I don’t know.” he sat down beside her again, “I don’t think so, if she ain’t dangerous or anything.”
“I won’t let that happen, I’ll never let that happen.”
He put his arm round her, she leant in resting her head on his shoulder, “I know; if it was Sam I wouldn’t either.”
“Just please don’t judge her on this?” Buffy asked.
As they went inside, Dean stopped at his brother to check if he was alright, Missouri was in her element, fussing round Sam. The woman needed grandkids Dean thought, he actually began to wonder if she did have family. It had never occurred to him to ask. Buffy continued to the reading room leaving the scythe in the hallway safely out of sight but close enough to feel its presence. Dawn was still fixing the reading room back to it original arrangement while Willow and Xander were drifting in and out of consciousness. Giles was spending his time tending to both the witch and the unconscious slayer upstairs, making sure that they were fully on this plane.
Buffy turned round to see him standing in the entranceway just watching Dawn. He continued to study the younger girl as Buffy watched his every move. He took a couple of deep breaths before appearing to decide on something. He took a couple of steps forward Buffy tensed slightly. Dawn continued to put knickknacks in there proper position. She put down one of the seer’s china cats turned round to see Dean staring down at her, she looked over to her sister who was crouching down beside Xander; Buffy was waiting for Dean’s next move. He just continued to stare at Dawn, his full attention focused on the girl. Dawn swallowed, unsure of what he was doing, before pulling her into a hug.
Dawn took a second to register what was happening almost dropping the other ornament she had in her hand, “You know?”
He just gently kissed her on the top of her head while still holding her. Dawn put her hands round his waist gently hugging him back tears began to form in her eyes.
Xander mumbled something causing Buffy to snort her amusement.
Dean turned round, still having an arm round Dawn, “What he say?”
Buffy smiled, “He said that he knew it was all an act.”
“What?” asked Dean.
“He’s never ever watching ‘Finding Nemo’ with you in the room, says you probably wouldn’t get through the first five minutes before you’d be balling your eyes out.”
“Yeah and tell him when he wakes up I’ll kick his ass.” Dean said taking Dawn by the hand and began to lead her out of the room.
Dawn began to resist, “No, no.”
“It either comes out of your mouth or mine,” he said with a gentle but firm tone.
Buffy stood up, “We’ll tell them together okay.”
The three of them walked into the kitchen as just as Sam bit down hard stifling the urge to yell his head off as his father pulled the ancient bullet out his arm.
“There you go,” said John as he dropped the bullet into the bowl on the counter, Sam took a slug of whiskey out of the bottle that had mysteriously appeared by his side.
Sam looked up to see his brother standing between Buffy and Dawn, his hands stuffed in his pockets, “You are a shit shot dude."
Dean smirked, “Yeah right, next time I’ll aim lower.”
“Scary thing is how do know that he wasn’t,” joked John bandaging his son’s wound, trying to hide the fact he was mourning the use of the last bullet.
Dean turned to Missouri, “Can you give us a minute.”
“Okay,” Missouri said as she went out the door. John and Sam left staring at the three of them in the doorway.
“So what man? You running away to join the circus or something?” asked Sam seeing the serious expression on his brother’s and the girl’s faces.
“Nothing like that,” Dean scratched his head, thinking of how best to start this, “Look Dad, what do you know about The Key?”
“The key?” asked John his curiosity peaked.
“Yeah you got a couple of mentions in your journal about it, two hunters you knew going over the edge muttering about ‘The Key’ and ‘The Beast’?” Dean asked as Dawn forced her hand into his.
“Yeah, don’t know much,” John shrugged, “Could be something, both of those guys were out there to begin with, but for what they said, could be anything. Key to a door or part of a ritual to allow something to cross over. Thought it could be some sort of weapon.”
Dawn and Buffy laughed a little as did Dean, but he continued on, “Yeah Dad funny that. Dad, Sam, meet the key.”
“Hello.” Dawn gave a little wave with her free hand.
“Okay,” Sam raised an eyebrow while trying out his arm. John looked at the girl.
“It’s this thing that a hell god was looking for, so the people that were looking after it had to hide it in a way that I’d protect it, but I wouldn’t know I was protecting it, well not at first anyway,” Buffy explained.
Sam wordlessly handed his father the bottle, “So they put it in your baby sister?”
“You could say that,” Dawn said smiling hoping that neither of them would go over the deep end, “They figured that Buffy would protect me, her little sister no matter what.”
“She’s gone by the way,” Buffy added, “Glory, the hell god, she’s no longer a threat.”
“That’s good.” John held the bottle in his hand but not taking a drink yet, “So?”
“Well it’s is part of me, always will be. It’s this energy thing, but we don’t use it. A lot of it was used when Glory opened the rip,” Dawn said.
The three Winchesters looked at her, unsure what to say.
“Are you sure? It’s not like you can take a blood test or something?” Dean asked in what for him was a tactful manner.
Both girls hit Dean in the arm.
“Will people please stop doing that!” Dean pleaded, “I’ve had what, less than an hour to deal with this, and you two have had what, years?”
“Sorry,” Dawn said.
“No, I can’t, and I don’t think I could even if I did. It would be too dangerous anyway,” said Dawn mournfully. “I just want to not have to remember that the way I ‘arrived’ is different than everyone else. I just want to be like everyone else in that way, I want to be normal.”
“You are normal,” said Buffy, “Don’t let anyone else tell you any different.”
“Hey she ain’t normal,” Dean interrupted, “She’s special okay, she’s as much of a freak as the rest this family and I don’t know about the rest of you, I’m proud of it.”
Dawn smiled, before looking up him, “Thanks.”
He winked at her, guessing that this was hard this was, “Look Da,d it is just that these guys had to hide it.”
“Monks,” added Buffy, “they were monks.”
“And they stashed it in Dawn,” said John, “So it would have the slayer to protect it.”
“Yes.” Dawn and Buffy both said in unison.
“It’s just before they stashed it they had a little problem,” explained Dean, hoping that at some point Sam would get what he was saying, “I suppose you can kind of say it was like that sheep they made Dolly, Polly, Lolly, hell I don’t know? You know years ago, think I saw it on the boob tube, there was one sheep or was it a cow, but they made another one out of it. But this case, same, but she was made slightly different. And without the test tubes and white coats.”
John just looked lost.
“What are you talking about bro?” Sam asked not sure if it was just the fact that he had been shot that was causing Dean’s conversation not to make any sense.
“Yeah there was a sheep, and then you got those cell things that grew on stem that someone said that could make people like Michael J Fox stop shaking.”
“Have we gone from mystical energy that must be protected, to clones and stem cells?” asked Sam gesturing to his father for the whiskey bottle.
“Yeah,” Dean got excited, “But with monks instead of geeks.”
“Are you comparing Dawn to sheep?” asked Buffy.
“No, not really,” he said.
“She is not a farm yard animal.” Buffy said stating the obvious.
“I know that princess, it’s just that we don’t deal with magical stuff on this level, in the same way you do.” He replied, “They need you know an example in this world.”
“But she is not a sheep,” Buffy reiterated, “And what did I say about calling me Princess?”
He just shook his head at her, “Well, your name is stupid.”
“My mom gave me my name. At least I’m not using stupid farm yard examples to explain this ‘little brother’.”
“I am trying to break this down for them – okay. So stop giving me a hard time.”
“Right, well get back to the point.” Buffy replied.
“I’m trying princess but you’re not helping here,” Dean continued, he turned to his father for a second but was unsure how to continue so turned back to be Buffy, “Why am I doing this?”
“You were the one who said we had to this now. We were planning on tomorrow.”
“So you were planning on telling him?” asked Dean.
“Duh, of course we were.” Dawn answered.
Dean turned quickly from both sisters,”So you two actually had a timetable? Why didn’t you say so Princess?”
“That is the fourth time you’ve called me that,” Buffy said, while John and Sam looked on bemused.
Sam looked as if he was about to say something, but Buffy put her hand to stop him.
“What you’ll do what? Rip my arm off?” Dean dared her, “Anyway you stop with the little brother crap and I’ll...”
Buffy glowered at him.
”Please will you stop it!” Dawn yelled, “I’m happy you two have found something to bond over, but please can you do it at another time.”
Both Dean and Buffy looked at her, “Sorry.”
“Right, if anyone here has the right to act as if they are under twelve, it’s me not you two!” Dawn took a breath, “It’s not like they are going to shoot at either of you.”
"No one is shooting at anyone alright,” said the thoroughly confused John.
“Dawn, see it will be fine,” Buffy promised.
“No, a slayer they understand that, you’re like an uber hunter you know. They know what that is,” said the obviously upset girl, “And at least you were really born.”
“Dawnie, so were you, I remember you coming home from the hospital,” said her sister.
Dawn held back the tears, “Yeah and my first steps right up to the time I caught you breaking curfew in junior high, but we know what they were.”
Sam and John looked at the three of them, whatever the hell was going on they were taking their sweet time in actually explaining things.
“So, you really do have all these, you know?” asked Dean, “She said you did, but I didn’t think that it was actually true.”
Maybe it was the blood loss mixed with whiskey, but the idea started to form in Sam’s mind. The little things that had said, “the way I ‘arrived’ is different from everyone else” “before they stashed it they had a little problem
,” “this case same but she was made slightly different” “we don’t deal with magical stuff this powerful on a day to day basis
” “at least you were really born.”
Maybe it was the look that Dawn had just thrown Dean. It was the same look his brother threw him when he had said something completely obvious that and the way her freckles were scattered over her nose, some of which had started to fade as the summer had begun to come to an end, just like they on his brother’s.
Sam suddenly shot up, the stool flew backwards, he started gesturing wildly from Dawn to Buffy to his father, “Holy shit, that would mean that… oh shit…you weren’t and they made… and you are really...”
“See I told he was smart,” Dean said triumphantly to Buffy, suddenly they heard something smash in the room next door.
Both girls looked at each other, “Willow.”
“I’m surprised she lasted this long,” said Buffy, slightly irritated but seeing the look on her sister’s face, “Right, they’ve had a hard day.”
Dawn continued to look at her sister pleadingly, Buffy shook her head, “Right I’ll go and make sure Missouri is okay.”
She looked up at Dean, “I’ll just be in the next room.”
Dean nodded in acknowledgment.
As Buffy left, Dean squeezed Dawn’s hand, Sam just looked dumbfound from the girl to his father. He bit his bottom lip and knotted his brow, unsure what to do.
Dean took a breath and looked seriously at his father, who was still playing catch up, “Look Dad from what I understand it’s like this, Dawn here, didn’t ask for it to happen. Neither did Buffy or their mother.”
“Dean what do you think I was going to do?” John asked perturbed, what kind of man did his daughter think he was? More worryingly what type of man did Dean think he was, and seeing the faces Sam was pulling he seemed to be thinking the same thing as the other two, “They hid the thing in her without asking, right.”
Dawn nodded cagily, “We didn’t get a say, Glory was after it they had to there was no other way, they took a bit of Buffy and made... And I don’t know how to use it.”
“Right,” Dean said, “And I know that they didn’t mean to and that of course she ain’t yours and mom’s, but you know way I figure, you know the supernatural, it kinda took so much from us, that she kinda of a little reward you know.”
Sam shot his brother a look, once he got over the shock part Dean would think about it like that, his brother and his whacked out sense of duty to his family.
“Dean what are you saying?” John asked beginning to catch up.
“They didn’t have the time to do it any other way, they just took from her, I was still just the key. They fashioned all the memories and then I was there, I didn’t know either.”
“Right, so these monks just?” John asked beginning to catch up with Sam, “And they took a bit of your sister and?”
“See like that sheep,” Dean said excitedly.
“But you don’t have any powers like her?” asked Sam.
“No, slayer power isn’t hereditary.” Dawn stated.
“So they took a bit of her and they made?” John asked.
Dawn nodded, “They made her a full blooded sister.”
John stood there, “Oh.”
Tears began to well up in Dawn’s eyes. Buffy was still next door with Giles trying to explain things to Missouri. She didn’t want to do this on her own. She felt the arm move round her shoulder as he tried to reassure her. She looked up at him Dean just nodded, he wasn’t going anywhere.
“Please, it’s not her fault,” Dawn begged John, “She didn’t ask for it to happen. It just did. I’m not dangerous or anything, I swear, I’m human, I really am. But, I understand if you don’t want to see me again just please don’t hold it against her. I’ll stay out your way. I’ll do …” she started to cry.
Dean looked at John as did Sam, John didn’t move for a second. He really needed time to process what this meant. If they made Buffy, his daughter, a sister that would that mean that Dawn was something that he would have thought of as unnatural though she hadn’t done anything since she’d been here except help, even with everything else that had gone down. But if she was Buffy’s full sister then she would also be? No that wasn’t possible was it? The conversation with Giles about the two girls being a package deal suddenly seemed to make more sense.
John took as breath, and ran his hand through his hair, Sam was waiting to see what was going to happen, but John could see it in Dean’s eyes. His eldest boy has made his decision, and there was no point in asking Buffy her thoughts they would be obvious. If he had gotten this straight, the girl in front of him wasn’t born she was made; out of a bit of her sister, and that would make her as much a part of his family as the blonde girl who had walked out that door.
He really needed time to get his head round this, but the girl in front of him was trying so hard to hold it together. Christ, he could see it, she wasn’t scared that they’d hurt her, she was absolutely terrified that they’d reject her. What had the man she called Dad done to her that she would prefer him to be in her life? For crying out loud, why the hell was she wanting him, surely anybody would be better than him, a man with more issues than names in the phone book.
John took a step towards her; Dean tensed, as did Sam.
John whispered something in Dawn’s ear. He straightening up looked at Dean and nodded. Dean relaxed, as did Sam.
“So the other night with the ‘proper’ introductions, do you think you missed something?” John put out his hand, “My name is John and you are?”
She sniffed as she smiled; she put her arms round him, hoping that this wasn’t a dream.
“Family looks after family, unless they are really trying to kill you huh?” Sam asked his brother, while handing him the bottle,
Dean nodded, “Sorry about the arm dude.”
“Don’t worry about it, though I get a free shot in some day.” Sam said.
Dean gave his brother one of his shit eating grins, “Fair enough, the way you shoot figure I’m pretty safe.”
“Bite me,” said Sam hitting his brother.
Dean hit him back, “Shoot you first.”
“Injured man here dude.” Sam held onto his arm laughing lightly.
Buffy came back in, on seeing Dawn hugging their father, she looked over at Dean.
“We’re good,” he said.
“So you got anything else you want to tell me?” John asked Buffy while still hugging Dawn.
“Nothing really as huge as the stuff leading off from The Key and Dawn really,” Buffy said.
“Define huge?” John questioned, why did he get the feeling that the usual parental worries of having daughters were a lot more complicated when dealing with these two.
“I’ll let you work through this part and then I’ll tell you,” Buffy said.
“The dying thing?” Dean asked, “He’s gonna love that.”
“You said you’d died,” John said, “You gonna tell me that story.”
“What the first or the second time she died?” Dawn asked.
“Jesus Princess, you got a death wish.” Dean snarked, “Don’t answer that, obviously you do.”
“Hey ‘little brother’ once you hear the whole story, you’ll find out why I make sure I damn well know where Xander is at all times,” Buffy said smiling.
Missouri stood in the hall, ringing her hands, just peering down the corridor, waiting to see what the Winchester’s were up to.
John walked out first, Sam put his arm round his little sister. He just got a little sister. He knew it was a little juvenile but he just got someone he could boss around just like Dean did to him. True, he didn’t take a blind bit of notice of his brother, but now he could do it to someone else.
“Sure they’ll be fine with this?” Buffy asked.
Dean nodded, “They make up their minds about something pretty fast and they tend to stay made. But thankfully Sammy did grow out of that whole disturbing Sandra Bullock thing he went through, when he was in middle school.”
“That’s good to know,” Buffy said, “Sandra Bullock?”
“Had to watch Speed, like a thousand times. Wasn’t not too bad, but found he had a copy of ‘When you were sleeping’, that was embarrassing,” Dean explained, “Dad’s a stubborn SOB; if he was going blow he probably of already done it.”
“He’s taking it kind of well,” she replied, “The whole finding out he has a fourth child and he wasn’t even at the conception?”
“Takes the fun out it doesn’t it?” Dean said, he scratched his chin, “I’m gonna have to totally rethink my approach to protection aren’t I?”
“You are so disturbed!” She smiled as she watched John and Dawn. “My Mom just asked if she was really ours.”
“She is ain’t she?”
Buffy nodded, “Yeah she is.”
“So apart from the being the slayer, got a magic made sister and dying, anything else you want to lay on me before you drop it on them?” Dean asked.
Buffy shrugged, “Not really. I suppose the only other real thing is that two of the major relationships I was in involved vampires.”
“What you lost a couple of boyfriends to them?” Dean asked hoping that he hadn’t just opened old wounds
She shook her head.
“Your kidding?” he asked.
She turned to start into the other room.
“You’re kidding right? Please God tell me you are kidding!” he started following her as she walked to join the others.
Whistler watched the various shadows pass the closed curtains as they moved around the front room.
“Good luck kid, you’re going to need it”
He walked over to the car and got in.
“If were gonna have any chance of making it to Santa Fe before the sun comes up we’d better go.”
The other occupant of the car looked longingly at the house, nodded and drove off.
A/N The sheep thing, just incase you didn’t know, Dolly the sheep was the first mammal to be cloned successfully and lived to the ripe old age of six!