“Hey, Buffy, I finished translating your records.” Willow said, walking into Buffy’s chambers. “Did you know that your Slayer abilities were altered when you arrived.”
Buffy was surprised. “How is that possible? The Slayer is mystical, not physical.”
“I’m not sure, but all things considered, it’s possible that Tara and Oma Desala had something to do with it. It makes sense, though. If the Wraith are naturally evolved, there’s no way you should be able to sense them, so the alteration would be necessary.”
“What do you mean?” Xander asked.
“Everything the Slayers fight are against nature. Demons, Vampires, even infected, or cursed, werewolves. The Slayers would most likely be able to sense the Goa’uld and Jaffa if they were in the same vicinity, simply because they do not belong in the human body.” Willow explained. “But, if at some point in the future, natural wolves evolved to the point where one of them could naturally shift into a human, the Slayers would probably sense that the person wasn’t completely human, but it wouldn’t set off the Slayer’s protective instincts simply because they are a part of natural evolution, which is what the Wraith are.”
“Okay, I kinda understood that.” Buffy said. “So, what did they do to me?”
“The Slayer is already hardwired to protect the human race, but everything that made you a natural enemy to vampires was shifted to focus on the Wraith. They made it so that you can sense anything that isn’t completely human, naturally or otherwise. It’s a good thing you don’t have a ‘kill first, ask questions later’ policy. The side effect is that, because the demon that was used to create the Slayer was a predator and hunter, the alteration as brought that predator closer to the surface of your consciousness. Whatever they did also made you poisonous to the Wraith. They can’t feed on you.”
“That’s a plus.” Dawn commented.
“Dawnie, you’ve got Sociology and Economics with Dr. Weir in ten minutes, so I suggest you get going.” Willow told her, looking at her watch.
“I want to hear the rest.” Dawn complained.
“I’ll explain it all to you later.” Willow assured the younger girl. “Maybe we can get Dr. Beckett to consider it as extra credit.”
Dawn rolled her eyes and went to her room to get her things. She, Willow and Xander and moved their quarters to the corridor where Buffy’s chambers were. She ducked back in a moment later to let them know that she was off.
“All right, Will.” Buffy sat down on the windowsill. “What didn’t you want Dawn to know?”
“There’s a section regarding your heightened primal instincts.” Willow moved to the bed. “According to these analysis’, you’ve evolved into a thinking predator. You’ll protect you home and family at all costs. You will destroy anyone or anything that threatens that home and family and whomever else you’ve placed under your protection. In other words, if the situation is bad enough, you might find yourself capable of consciously killing humans.”
Buffy went pale. One of the basic tenets of a Slayer was to not take a human life despite being more than able to do it and now, whatever’s been done to her has not only made her more capable of doing it, but also capable of choosing
to do it. Willow and Xander were at her side in an instant.
“It’ll be okay, Buff.” Xander said quickly, grabbing her hand.
“Yeah, Buffy,” Willow threw in. “I’m sure that it would have to be something really, really bad. Like somebody trying to kill us or blow us up or something. Kind of like when the vampires are trying to drain us or when demons are trying to eat us or…”
“Breathe, Will.” Buffy whispered with a faint smile.
Willow’s babble trailed off as she took a deep breath and smiled back in relief. “You ready to hear the rest of it?”
“No.” Buffy shook her head. “But go ahead and tell me anyway.”
“Okay, well, there’s another primal instinct that will probably make itself known.”
Buffy and Xander watched their friend curiously as she began to blush. “Will?”
“At some point, all of your instincts and your Slayer lust are going to focus on one person and… and…” Willow blushed harder and rushed through the rest of the sentence. “andyou’regonnawannamate.”
Buffy blinked as she mentally slowed down the sentence, then her eyes nearly bugged out of her head. “Mate?! What do you mean, mate
Elizabeth watched Dawn as she worked on her Economics work. The girl was exceptionally bright. Even Rodney had been impressed with how quickly she seemed to pick up his concepts. Considering the lives these kids had lead, Elizabeth was surprised to find them so well adjusted.
“Dawn, can I ask you a question?” Elizabeth asked.
“Sure.” Dawn replied without looking up.
“Why didn’t your parents get you all out of Sunnydale if so much stuff was happening? If you were my kids, I would have packed you up and gotten as far away as I could.”
Dawn froze, then finally looked up from her work. She was thinking of how to best answer the question. Willow had advised Buffy to trust the Stargate people, especially since they already knew most of it and they the fact that they were all stuck here together for the time being, and after a while, Buffy had agreed.
“Well, for one thing, the people of Sunnydale had self-denial down to a fine art. You wouldn’t believe how many wild dog attacks, barbeque fork stabbing accidents, or gang on PCP attacks we’ve had. Sunnydale had over a dozen cemeteries, a church every couple of blocks, and no one walked the streets alone after sunset.”
Dawn took a deep breath before continuing. “Parents didn’t pay much attention to their kids in Sunnydale. Xander’s parents were drunks and I don’t thinks they really noticed anything that wasn’t in a bottle. Willow’s parents were never home. They’re some really important psychologists and are always touring. We’ve known Willow for almost ten years and I can count the times we’ve seen her parents on one hand. The last time was when Hansel and Gretel came to town and nearly made all the parents burn her, Buffy and another girl named Amy as witches.”
“Hansel and Gretel?” Elizabeth was shocked.
“Yeah, they were demons.” Dawn sighed. “So are a couple of other fairy tale characters. I’m not sure if the fairy tales are based on the demons, or if the demons decided to emulate the fairy tales. Willow probably knows. The real disappointment, though, was finding out about Santa Claus.”
‘God. These kids were all alone.’ Elizabeth thought. “What about your parents. I know that Buffy had been institutionalized the first time she tried to tell, but with all the evidence, your parents had to believe her this time.”
Dawn’s eyes filled with tears. “She didn’t tell us. We had been living in Sunnydale for almost two years before my mom found out that all the fights and missing school and sneaking out all night was because she was fighting monsters again. We wouldn’t have found out then if Buffy’s boyfriend hadn’t lost his soul and turned evil. He told Mom that they’d had sex on Buffy’s birthday, then vamped out when he couldn’t get into the house anymore. Mom and Buffy had this huge fight and Mom kicked her out when she wouldn’t stop being the Slayer. Buffy was gone for an entire summer, and when she came back, Mom just decided to deal. She died a few years ago from an aneurysm.”
“I’m sorry. What about your dad?”
“Oh, Hank bailed on us before we moved to Sunnydale.” Dawn said, turning back to her work. “They got a divorce and he moved to Spain with his secretary.”
“How did you kids stay sane?” Elizabeth wondered out loud.
After a long moment of silence, Dawn signed and put away her books. “To tell you the truth, sometimes we don’t think we did.”