Dawning Light: Dawn's First (And Last) Day of Kindergarten
A Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Anita Blake crossover
: Dawn goes to kindergarten. As expected, this does not end well.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.
The main story on my website
and on TTHNote
: Set a random time in February (a few months after DL begins).~~~
Anita exhaled sharply. "Dawn..."
"This is going to end badly," Dawn said in as threatening a manner as she could with her hair in pigtails and a kitty cat on her sweater. "Me? With a bunch of kids? All morning?"
Anita straightened Dawn's sweater around her waist. "We have to do this."
"No, we don't!" Dawn put her hands on her hips. "We'll tell Miss Wendell I came and it was bad and I can never go back!"
Anita leaned closer to Dawn. "This was part of the deal of you staying with us. You have to go to school."
Dawn stepped forward, her nose an inch from Anita's. She scrunched up her face in annoyance. "So send me to high school! I totally rocked those sample SATs that Jason brought over!"
"Miss Wendell thinks that Micah did that," Anita reminded Dawn. She pulled Dawn's pigtails over her shoulders.
Dawn glared. "And it's really too bad that there's no way to independently verify my intelligence in a controlled setting."
"You need to put that sarcasm away." Anita licked her thumb and wiped a smudge off Dawn's cheek. "You're going to scare the other children."
"If they can't handle sarcasm, they should avoid the institutional setting." Dawn pushed Anita away, making a face. "They won't understand anyway!"
"Dawn, I'm serious." Anita caught Dawn's flailing arms. "You need to behave today."
Dawn's face fell. She let Anita pull her into a hug. "I guess," Dawn mumbled. "It shouldn’t be too bad. They're just little kids."
"That's my girl," Anita said. She wasn't sure she liked Dawn's phrasing, but she let it go. "Now, I'll pick you up at noon on the dot, and we can go get some lunch."
Dawn's eyelashes fluttered, but the girl didn't look up. "And a milkshake."
"Okay," Anita agreed. She glanced up to see a woman, hopefully the teacher, coming over.
"Miss Blake? Hi, I'm Miss Smith." The woman smiled very widely. "And this must be Dawn."
Dawn looked up at Anita. "Chocolate milkshake," Dawn muttered menacingly. She plastered a fake smile on her face and turned around. "Hi!" she said cheerily.
Anita managed to avoid rolling her eyes. "I'm going to go," she said, standing. "You okay, Dawn?"
Dawn squared her shoulders. "Yeah. Say hi to Bert for me."
"Cute." Anita looked at the teacher. "She's cute."
The teacher's smile didn't change. "I'm sure we'll have lots of fun this morning!"
Anita almost felt sorry for the woman. "Yeah, it'll be a blast." She dug into her pocket and pulled out a thin white card. "Call me if there's a problem."
The teacher took the card, looking mildly confused. "Some children do have trouble with separation, but we have lots of activities to keep inquisitive young minds busy for the first morning. I'm sure Dawn will be okay."
Anita shook her head. "Dawn's not what I'm worried about," she muttered under her breath.~~~
Her cell phone didn't ring, the office phone didn't ring. Anita had three client meetings, two fights with Bert and one game of Pin the Tail on the Zombie with Larry before it was time for her to head back to pick up Dawn at the school.
The whole drive back, Anita wondered if Dawn had liked kindergarten, how she had played with the other kids. For all of her comments that morning, Anita wasn't worried about Dawn's behavior around children. Kyle Zerbrowski excepted, Dawn always treated other kids with a certain detached politeness. Which was strange enough, now that Anita thought about it.
Micah had told Anita that taking Dawn to kindergarten was a bad idea, that Dawn would be bored out of her mind, but Miss Wendell had insisted on putting Dawn into the school system.
Anita pulled her jeep up to the curb, in between two almost-identical SUVs, and got out. The walk into the school was short enough. The classroom was bustling with excited children and their parents. Anita looked around, trying to see Dawn, and finally spotted the girl
Who was sitting beside the teacher's desk with a scowl on her face.Great.
Miss Smith was busy with a mother near the chalkboard, so Anita made her way across the room. Dawn fixed Anita with a glare, but didn't open her mouth.
Anita knelt down so she was on eye-level with the seated Dawn. "What happened?"
The glare grew more pointed. "They spent half an hour on finger-painting
"What's next? Basket-weaving? All good things when you're stuck in the psycho ward in the hospital and they don't let you have sharp objects!"
"Dawn, it wasn't that bad."
Dawn sat up and pointed over Anita's shoulder. "Ask her!"
Anita looked around. The teacher was on her way over. Sighing, Anita stood and held her hand out to Dawn. "Miss Smith."
"Miss Blake, hello." The woman smiled hesitantly at Dawn. "Has Dawn been telling you about her morning?"
"I see." Miss Smith cleared her throat. "Miss Blake, I'm not sure why Dawn was put in this class--"
"My social worker made me," Dawn interrupted.
"Dawn," Anita chided.
Dawn looked at the teacher, then at her feet. "Sorry I interrupted," she mumbled, not sounding at all repentant.
"As I was saying," Miss Smith went on, "Dawn doesn't seem suited to this sort of setting. I've made an appointment with her tomorrow morning with the school psychologist."
Anita looked down at Dawn. "The school shrink? I left you here for four hours, what did you do?"
didn't do a thing!" Dawn exclaimed
"I made the appointment so we can get a better idea of Dawn's knowledge level," the teacher said quickly. "Her social levels are high, and we may want to move her to a different setting for future learning."
Dawn pointedly said nothing.
"That sounds like a good idea," Anita said, giving Dawn a warning look. "Doesn't it?"
Dawn took a deep breath. "Yes, it does. Thank you, Miss Smith."
"Of course, Dawn," Miss Smith said. "Here, Miss Blake. The school psychologist would like you and Dawn to fill out these worksheets before tomorrow."
Anita took the thick folder from the teacher and tucked it under her arm. "We should get going," she said. "Thanks for your help."
Dawn refused to speak while Anita wrestled on the girl's coat. She dragged her feet all the way to the car, and resultantly climbed into the backseat.
"Come on, Dawn, it wasn't that bad," Anita said, buckling the girl in.
Dawn looked out the window at the school. "I felt like a freak," she mumbled. "Everyone was taller than me and they were total babies
. Plus I was the new kid and I hate being the new kid." She stuck out her lower lip in a pout.
"But it wasn't a total loss," Anita pointed out, even though she silently agreed with Dawn. "At least we can get you into a class where you'll be learning stuff."
Dawn snorted. "Yeah, like how to work the system? My teacher put my 'art' sheet in there for the shrink. You know, with that seven hours of homework
Anita pulled a folded sheet out of the folder. She opened it. "What's this?"
"What I did during the finger-painting and paste-eating session."
Anita squinted at the brightly colored unfamiliar words shining out at her from the page.
"It's 'I told you so' in four different languages," Dawn said.
Folding the paper again, Anita smiled. "See? You did learn something today after all."
Dawn slumped down in the car seat. "Chocolate milkshake. Now."