Disclaimer: I don't own either canon, or the premise, which is taken from one of littleoldme's challenges.
The chapters will be written in alternating Dawn/Meredith POV.
When I was a kid, I wanted a pony. I got a Fischer Price stethoscope and a set of encyclopedias. When I was twelve, I wanted a navel ring. I got a little sister. I had no idea who Dawn's father was, and since I preferred to live under the delusion that my mother did not in fact have sex... ever... I didn't ask.
At first, my little sister was an oddity, something I couldn't quite wrap my mind around, even when I was holding her in my arms. Later, she became my confidante, the person I told my secrets to, at least until she learned how to talk herself. Then she hit the terrible two's, and I entertained the idea of strangling her with my faux stethoscope more than once. And then she was three and four- a real little person.
I was aware on some level that it wasn't normal for a teenage girl to relate more to a rugrat than the rest of the world, but with Dawn, things were simple. She laughed when I laughed and cried when I cried and thought I was the only one worthy of kissing her boo-boo's and making them better. I was never smart enough for my mother, never driven to the levels of success to which she thought I should aspire, but in my sister's eyes, I was the alpha and the omega of awesomeness.
She loved me, and the bond between us was something my mother discouraged. I should be studying for the SAT's, she told me, not lying on the floor coloring with Dawn. I should be volunteering at the hospital, not playing nanny. That was, after all, the actual nanny's job.
It is a testament to my mother's state of mind that she never realized that I wasn't playing nanny. I was playing mom, something she wouldn't or couldn't understand. Some days, I felt like Dawn and I were little more than her legacy: the heir and the spare to her medical throne. Other days, I thought that maybe, if I just worked hard enough, she'd see me, see us.
And so I studied. And studied. And studied. And then, one day, something horrible happened. I went to college, and Dawn didn't. I left her behind, crying and confused, and didn't stop crying myself until long after I'd arrived at my freshman dorm. Dawn was six when I left and ten the day I graduated. She was ten when our mother's Alzheimer's got so bad that she couldn't take of Dawn anymore- not that she ever had.
Dawn was ten the day she went to live with a great aunt I'd never even met. She was fourteen the day she skipped out on my med school graduation, just to show me how much she didn't care that I'd followed our mother's wishes and become a doctor.
She was fifteen the day our great-Aunt died.
And that brings us up to today. I'm twenty-seven years old, an emotional mess, and barely capable of making sure my own life doesn't go to hell in a hand basket. Most days, the best I can manage is a really nice hand basket, one that Izzie personalized with a few girly flourishes. I'm certainly not capable of telling anyone else what to do with their life.
I can only hope that Dawn doesn't figure that out.
TBC... Dawn's POV on her big sis, and then, lots of Grey's Anatomy action!