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Dawning Light: Things We Wanted

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This story is No. 9 in the series "Dawning Light". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Baking cookies should have been easy, right? Throw in a hyperactive preschool Dawn, and nothing's easy (Dawning Light missing scene)

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anita Blake > Dawn-Centered(Past Donor)MhalachaiFR711,207298,27519 Dec 0619 Dec 06Yes
50 Missing Scenes
Dawning Light Missing Scene: Things We Wanted
A Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Anita Blake crossover
by Mhalachai


Missing Scene: #21 - Dawn needs a bath
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer belongs to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Anita Blake belongs to Laurell K. Hamilton. No profit has been made from this fic.
Setting: This missing scene takes place several months after the start of Dawning Light. There are no spoilers for what will happen... at least beyond what we've seen in other missing scenes.

~~~~~

"What the hell happened?"

Dawn looked up guiltily from the kitchen floor. "Um, hi, Anita?"

Anita dropped her gym bag on the chair and skirted the mess on the floor. "What did you do?" she demanded, stepping over the spilled flour.

"I wanted to make cookies," Dawn protested.

"What, all over the floor?" Anita made a face at a fragrant puddle by the fridge. "Is that vanilla?"

Dawn kicked the hunk of butter off her foot as Anita lifted her onto the kitchen counter. "The bottle got slippery!"

"Why?"

Dawn huffed out a breath. "Because the chocolate chips were in the top cupboard!"

Anita held up her hands. "What are you talking about?" she demanded. "What do chocolate chips have to do with why the vanilla bottle is covered with butter?"

"Because," Dawn said, trying to sound reasonable. "The chocolate chips were in the top cupboard so I had to climb up to get them, only I couldn't get down the same way so I had open up the drawers as steps and on the way down I kinda knocked the pepper shaker into the drawer where we keep the forks."

Anita glared at Dawn. "And?"

"And then I sneezed a lot while I was trying to get the flour out and the bag was heavy and I dropped it and it went everywhere in the cupboard and I tried to wipe it up but it didn't work. Then you came home."

"What does this have to do with why there's butter on the vanilla bottle?"

"Oh, I dropped the butter plate and then I stepped in it."

Anita closed her eyes. She didn't know why she bothered. "Come on," she said, wrapping Dawn up, clothes and all, in an apron. The girl started sputtering as Anita hefted her over a shoulder. "Let's see if you turn into a pumpkin if we throw you into the bathtub."

"I'm not that dirty!"

"Dawn, you've got enough flour in your hair to feed a family of four for a month."

"Do not." The petulant phrase was barely loud enough to be heard.

"Do to."

"Not."

"To."

"Do not infinity."

"Brat." Anita nudged open the door to Dawn's bathroom and deposited the girl, clothes and all, in the tub. Fighting free of the apron, Dawn crossed her arms over her chest and scowled up at Anita.

"Why were you making cookies by yourself?" Anita asked, careful to keep a straight face. "I thought Micah was supposed to be watching you."

"He was, but something work related came up and he's on the phone in the den and that's more important than me, apparently." Dawn transferred her glare to the carpet, and her lower lip began to tremble.

Only months of experience with Dawn kept Anita from speaking up. She pulled the girl close and started undoing her braid.

"And, like, can I be any more selfish?" Dawn sniffled. "Micah's trying to help people and I don't like it 'cause he said we'd make cookies for Nathaniel when Nathaniel gets back."

Anita put her arm around Dawn's shoulders, and suddenly she was wrapped in a bear hug. Dawn practically vibrated as she held onto Anita.

Anita wished that she could figure Dawn out. One day, the girl was a normal five-year-old, giggling and running around and excited about everything.

But those other times, like now, Dawn seemed like such a... well, for lack of a better phrase, like a teenager, worrying about her place in the world and being clingy, then worrying about clinging. She was so worried about how she acted around Micah, as if--

Anita wanted to kick herself. How could she have missed what this was about?

"It's okay to want to spend time with Micah, even when he's busy," Anita murmured.

Dawn pressed her cheek against Anita's side. "But..."

"But he's not going to stop spending time with you because of something you do," Anita continued. "He's here for the long haul. He wants to spend time with you." She made Dawn look up at her. "Look, for the longest time, I thought that Micah--"

"You think."

Anita frowned. "What?"

Dawn pulled away. "You didn't stop thinking that Micah will get bored and leave one day. You still do."

"Dawn, no, that's not it!" Anita let her hand fall to her side, fingers numb. She didn't know why she was feeling this panic. "What made you think that?"

"No reason," Dawn muttered. "You can go, I can take a bath on my own."

"Dawn--"

"I don't want to talk about this."

"Honey--"

"I don't want to talk about this!" Now Dawn was skirting the edge of panic.

Anita wished she could freak out, but she was supposed to be the adult here. Dawn needed someone to be the adult here. "Okay. Okay, we won't talk about it." Anita picked up the comb. "How about I comb your hair?"

After a hesitation, Dawn gave a miserable nod and edged back over to Anita.

Putting up the tightest mental shields she could, Anita started combing the flour out of Dawn's hair. If Dawn was still able to read her thoughts and emotions like this... Anita didn't know what else she could do. They had tried everything, talking to other psychics, to Jean-Claude, anyone who might have an idea of how to block mind-reading, but so far, nothing had worked with Dawn.

It had been a week since Dawn had woken up screaming with other people's nightmares. Anita would have given anything to keep it from ever happening again.

"I'm sorry about the mess I made," Dawn whispered after a minute.

"It's okay," Anita said. "We'll clean it up."

"But I wanted to make something nice for Nathaniel when he gets back," Dawn said.

Dawn had no doubts about Nathaniel wanting to be in her life, but she kept expecting Micah to leave. Anita really didn't want to psychoanalyze how much of her own feelings were impacting Dawn's fears of abandonment. "How about we get you cleaned up, then talk to Micah about this?" Anita suggested. "He usually has good ideas."

"Okay," Dawn said. She smiled up at Anita, a hint of the happy girl Anita knew was in there somewhere.

"Good," Anita said, unsure why there was suddenly a lump in her throat. "So, onto this bath. Bubbles?"

Dawn rolled her eyes. "What do you think?"

Anita took a deep breath, and told herself the same thing she'd been repeating to herself since she first saw Dawn huddled up against the snowy tombstone in the graveyard: She could do this. "I think one day you'll use so much bubble bath that we won't be able to find you."

Dawn stuck her tongue out. "Use the strawberry one," she instructed. "The coconut one is only for Thursdays."

Obligingly, Anita reached out for the strawberry bubble bath. "As you wish."

The End

You have reached the end of "Dawning Light: Things We Wanted". This story is complete.

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