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A Fathers Love

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Summary: What if Hank didn't leave of his own will? What if what the girls thought they knew ... was really Joyces way of protecting them from something she didn't want to understand? Maybe this will help answer those questions.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Marvel Universe > X-Men > Dawn-CenteredDamiaFR1524,0661476,52923 Jul 0813 Sep 08No

Chapter One

Disclaimer ~ I own nothing.

Note: Seriously, not even the idea is mine. Amusewithaview gave me the idea in a challenge I saw. I was like 'hey, cool idea!' and thus the story.

XXX

Hank stared at the paper hanging from his nerveless fingers in shock. The woman he loved, could never stop loving, had died. His two children were all alone. He glanced at the date at the top of the page, noting for the first time that it was a few months old. He must have missed the funeral. His mind started going numb as he picked up the manila envelope and pulled out another, slightly thicker, envelope and tore it open with ease. He couldn't stop the gut wrenching roar that erupted from his throat as he read the opening paragraph. He threw this second letter before taking an examination table and throwing it across the room, not caring that it smashed into a wall of electrical equipment. He continued to pick up more and more items, intent on destroying something as his heart was being destroyed, uncaring of the damage or the noise. He didn't notice as the door to the infirmary opened and his colleagues stepped forward in shock. Professor Xavier simply caught the items still being thrown and set them back down before righting the rest of the room while focusing most of his attention on his X-Men.

"Hank?" Jean began tentatively before the blue man let out another wordless cry and slipped to the floor, his shoulders heaving as he tried to catch his breath.

"Come on big blue, you gotta use your words," Wolverine added gruffly, always uncomfortable with large displays of emotion. Hank shook his head and groped around for the two peices of paper, carefully picking the up and passing them to Storm, his first friend at the facility. Ororo began to read and made a small noise of dismay before she stopped and took a step towards her large blue friend.

"You need to read the next one as well," Hank told her. Ororo took a deep breath as she passed the first page to Professor Xavier and began to read the second. Ororo didn't stop until she finished the entire letter this time.

"I'll go prep the jet," She announced as she squared her shoulders, handed Xavier the other letter and strode out of the room.

"I ... I have a class," Jean sounded torn, she had a duty to the kids, but she had a duty to her friends and teammates as well.

"Go, you will be filled in later," Xavier told her. At a nod Scott followed the red head out of the room. When the professors gaze came to Wolverine the man simply raised an eyebrow and leaned back against the door jamb. Charles shook his head with a sad smile of amusement and turned to the large blue man.

"Ororo is prepping the Jet, you should get ready to go. This will be a big shock to Dawn when you show up," the bald man told his friend in a soft tone.

"I haven't lost my senses Charles, I am completely cognizent of these facts," Hank replied tiredly, pulling himself up to a standing position and sighing softly. "I need to get some things from my room," He told them, stepping around them and heading upstairs. Logan looked down at the professor.

"Since I'm going I should probably be briefed," He said after a few moments. Charles nodded his head.

"His wife died of a brain anyeurism three months ago. No one told him. His oldest daughter died a week ago, her funeral was two days ago. His youngest daughter, Dawn, is 14 and alone in Sunnydale." Xavier told him quietly. Wolverine nodded succinctly, trying to locate why the name of the town, even without the state specified, set off warning bells. He shoved the thoughts away and didn't reply as he headed toward the X-Jet, already wearing his leather jacket because he'd been out. Stepping into the Jet Ororo didn't say a word. She sat in the pilots seat in her black pants and designer heels, her pristine white shirt draped artfully and her long white hair hanging straight down to almost her waist.

"Did you know he had a family?" Wolverine asked gruffly. He hadn't been aware, but then Hank was a rather private person.

"No," Ororo told him. The didn't notice that the blue man had entered the aircraft.

"Joyce, my wife, asked me to leave when she realized I was not going to stop being a mutant. That I didn't have a choice. When I left I didn't think that ...." He snorted softly, "I didn't think. She changed her last name to Summers and registered the girls under Summers in School. I saw the girls a few times ... but when I couldn't hide the fur Joyce asked me to stop. The girls stopped writing, stopped calling. I never thought they would skip calling me for Joyces death." Hank gently rubbed his ring finger and for the first time Wolverine noticed the small golden ring almost lost in the blue fur.

"We should be there in a few hours, why don't you lay down," Ororo told the blue man. Hank nodded and let his chair fall back, closing his eyes and dozing off quickly. The rest of the ride was spent in silence.

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Dawn wasn't sure what she felt when her father didn't come to her mothers funeral. At first she was sad and then angry and then she was just confused. At least until she heard Buffy telling Willow that she didn't want the man that abandoned them to come to her mothers funeral. Then she was just sad. She knew her dad loved them all, even if Buffy didn't want to beleive as much. When she'd confronted her sister about it she discovered for the first time how deep the pain of his leaving had hurt the blond. Buffy told Dawn that she never wanted Hank McCoy to ever be near her again. That included at her own funeral. After Buffy died Dawn was in shock, but she still remembered Buffy's wishes. She had her mothers lawyers send the plain manilla envelope with letters and wills that told Hank of the news. She felt bad about having the letters sent too late for her father to make it to Buffy's funeral. She missed his presence there, remembering how solid and warm he always felt, how safe he made her feel. The whispy brunette had lost her world. Her father left, her mother died, Buffy died. All she was left with her momentos and people that could not take their places however much they wished to try.

The tall and slender brunette was curled up on her mothers bed with Mr. Gordo wearing one of her fathers old sweatshirts, moarning the childhood she should have had and the life she couldn't get back. She had heard Willow and Xander and Anya arguing about what to do with Dawn. None of them were willing to search for her father and none of them knew what to do with a grieving teen. Giles was going back to the land of tea and tweed, leaving all of the kids bereft of another needed presence. Dawn wasn't sure how she felt about that. Sure, Buffy belonged to Giles more than the rest of them did, but ... weren't they still his kids? Why couldn't he grieve with them? She huddled deeper into the pillows, trying to make herself smaller as she heard a polite knock on the front door. Probably creditors. Or CPS. When she heard surprised shouting turn angry she simply rolled over, putting her back to the door and pulled the covers up over her. If they were demons so be it. Buffy had said live, but what was there to live for? She couldn't even bring herself to get out of bed, she just wanted to lay there feeling blank.

Dawn slid a hand over to her mothers bedside table and opened the single drawer, her fingers searching for the cold metal frame she knew was hidden in it. Once found she pulled it closer, hugging the picture of the four of them, a time when they were a happy family, under the covers with her. She'd found her mother looking at it a few times. Joyce always put it away quickly, though she always seemed sad. Dawn pretended not to notice the clunking footsteps that were coming closer, sounding as though a herd of elephants was coming down the hall. They were close enough that she could distinguish voices.

"Dawn, run!" That was Willow. She should probably be listening to her.

"Back off Red," A growly voice snapped. Willow gasping at the sounds of blades. A pretty voice, female, telling someone to come no closer.

"You cannot have the child, she's ours! I don't care if you can use lightning and make your eyes white. Tell the creepy people Xander," Anya sounded frightened and angry. Dawn would have smiled if she hadn't been so empty at the moment. Anya claiming Dawn as her own. It was sweet. She wondered if the people knew she was useless as the key. Or as a means to get back at Buffy. Though they did have the buffybot. Dawn sighed softly as the door to her mothers room opened, the shouting growing louder.

"Dawn, sweetheart, are you in here?" A kind, sad voice asked. A familiar voice. Dawns heart began thudding, she hadn't noticed she had a heart at all for the last few days. She'd thought it had broken into to many peices to ever be felt again. But that voice ... she knew that voice ...

The bed creaked and dipped as someone settled beside her. The other voices faded and Dawn felt the blankets bunch around her as someone scooped her up and sat her on their lap, Mr. Gordo and the picture still in her arms, the blanket still tucked around her. They started softly rocking back and forth with Dawn gripped to their chest. Dawn pulled the blankets away from her face and stared into the kind gray eyes she had grown up with. Her face was drawn and pale, dark bags sat under her eyes and she still had bruises from Glory and her Minions. Not to mention the deep gashes across her stomach that would need to have the stitches removed in a few days.

"You're furry," She told him as she noticed the blue fur, her voice was flat and scratchy from disuse. She reached up a hand and patted his cheek. He smiled sadly, his mouth closed, his eyes wary.

"I am," He agreed. Dawn nodded.

"They left me daddy. They left me all alone and I didn't know Buffy didn't tell you about Mom until it was too late ... she blamed you and didn't want you at her funeral," Dawn told him, her voice calm, her eyes blank. Hank smiled again, mouth closed still. It was a sad smile that made Dawn sad as well. He tucked her head under his chin and went back to rocking her, holding her a little more tightly.

"Dad? Are you Hank?" Willow demanded, this time upset for another reason. She hadn't called him, Buffy hadn't wanted him anywhere near herself or Dawn.

"Willow, come on, back off a little," Xander told his friend.

"His aura is good," Tara added, trying to get her recently uppity girlfriend to let Dawn have something warm.

"Can we please have some privacy?" Hank asked softly. Wolverine closed the door and Dawn ignored Willow ranting about Mutants and bringing danger into their home. She ignored everything, her dad was holding her, that was all she needed right now.
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