Books and The Simpsons
For those of you curious about Jack's relationship with Dawn and Buffy and why he hasn't talked to Dawn in so long, it probably will only be mentioned later in this fic. If you really want to know, you'll need to wait for that particular drabble to be finished. As this story is the last in a series, you may want to check out the others before it. They will contain little stories from Jack and Joyce's relationship when she first met Hank to his relationship with Buffy and Dawn sometime after the destruction of Sunnydale (originally it was just going to be until Joyce's death, but I changed my mind).
Also, I had this whole chapter written out (along with Family Bonds' next chapter), but had a computer malfunction... I lost the entire thing. So this is a rewrite, and is, in my opinion, not as good as the first one.
Also, I felt a lack of creativity trying to come up with a name for a book on portals... I tried to dress it up a bit by using another language, but I don't think I did. Suggestions for changes are always welcome!
Disclaimer: I own nothing. No Buffy, no Stargate, and nothing that is alluded in this story.
By the time Dawn returned to her uncle's house, it was already six o'clock in the evening, just before sun down. She silently slipped through the front door and quietly closed it behind her. She stepped towards the living room and stopped a moment when she saw her uncle sitting on the couch, watching The Simpsons
while drinking a beer. When he looked at her, Dawn lowered her eyes to her feet and walked into the living room. Taking a seat next to him, Dawn started to twiddle her thumbs.
“Sooo...” Jack stared at his niece. “How'd your walk go?”
“Adventurous,” she answered lightly. “I'm pretty sure I saw a death match between a squirrel and a bench. It got a little gruesome though, so I didn't stay to see the outcome.”
“Mmhmm....” Jack stared at her silently, imploringly.
Dawn sighed. She leaned her head back and stared at the ceiling for a moment.
Jack was beginning to wonder if Dawn was ever going to say anything when she finally broke the silence, her eyes still glued to the ceiling.
“I'm sorry for the random popping out of nowhere and the hesitant secrecy act.” She still refused to look anywhere but the ceiling. “I just...” She sighed heavily and closed her eyes. Pushing herself to sit up a little straighter, she now turned her sight towards her lap and fidgety hands. “OK, I have a confession.” She now turned to her uncle who had been sitting their silently, a beer in hand, staring at her with a raised eyebrow. “The reason I came here, to see you...” Dawn bit her lip hesitantly, but she swallowed whatever it was that was keeping her from getting this out and just said it, “is because you work with a Dr. Daniel Jackson.”
Jack's eyebrows smashed together and his mouth opened as if about to speak, but no sound came out. He seemed to think a moment, though he was completely taken aback. Then, snapping out of it, he shook his head. “Daniel? You came here for Daniel?!”
“Yes – N-No. N-Not really, actually. I did not come here for Dr. Jackson....” Dawn suddenly looked very nervous. “I'm here for a book that he has...” she trailed off and stared at her uncle with apprehension.
“A book?” he asked in disbelief.
“So...” Jack seemed to think about this for a moment. “The message you left on my machine last night...?”
“I need the book to hopefully fix the big massively stupid thing I did.”
“OK.” Honestly, Jack was a little hurt. She didn't come here to ask for his help, but for the help of a stranger. True, Daniel was probably the best stranger to ask for help from, but still. She was his niece, not Daniel's. “So, then why didn't you just get a hold of Daniel?”
Dawn shrugged. “I thought about it, actually.” She looked at him with sad eyes, as if begging for him to understand. “I even looked into it, but...” She sighed. “But he isn't exactly easy to get a hold of. When I realized he was working at the same place you were – last we heard anyway – I thought I'd give you a shot.” She flashed him a hopefully, and apprehensive, smile.
Jack sighed and ran his hand over his face. “OK, so this book is suppose to help you figure out how to fix whatever the hell it is you did?”
Jack stared at her a moment before sighing in defeat. “I'll give Daniel a call tomorrow. What book is it?”
Dawn suddenly looked very awkward, twisting her fingers around to the point where Jack was almost surprised she didn't break them. “Uhm... Die Geschichte der Portale
.” At her uncle's confused look, Dawn clarified, “It's German. I can write it down for you.”
“Yeah, you might wanna do that...” he said, keeping his confused eyes on his estranged niece.
“So... whachya watching?” Dawn questioned, relaxing back into her seat and turning her attention to the TV.
,” Jack stated obviously and continued to relentlessly stare at her.
Dawn bit her lip. “We're not exactly done with the conversation, are we?”
“Not by a long shot.”
Sighing, Dawn ran a hand through her hair. She frowned as she tried to think of what to say next. “I wish I could just tell you, I do,” she confessed. “Trust me, it would make this whole thing a lot easier, but...” She shook her head and leaned forward, her elbows on her knees, and her back hunched up. “One, Buffy would kill me; two, it's not exactly something you go around blabbing about; and three, you wouldn't believe me.”
At that, Jack's eyebrows shot up. “Well, I dunno about that last bit...”
“That's what everyone says.” Dawn shot her uncle a look. It wasn't condescending or irritated. It was sad almost. As if she had told somebody before and the result was less than what she'd hoped, maybe even what she feared. It was a look that told him she wasn't about to go through that with him.
There's was a long lapse of silence between them. The only noise was that of The Simpsons
playing on the screen in front of them. Dawn absently watched as Homer tried to strangle Bart, as he had in so many episodes, before Marge came in and split the two up, demanding an explanation from Homer. Dawn forced down a lump in her throat and looked back at her hands. For some reason, the scene made her miss Buffy and Faith.
“I can call Danny right now if you want,” Jack supplied suddenly. He had been watching her during that moment, he had seen the lump, the held back tears refusing to spill. Whatever it was that was going on, he knew it was upsetting her at the very least. That made it urgent enough for him to help her fix it as soon as possible.
“No.” She looked back at him. “It's late. I don't want to disturb anybody.”
“Nonsense.” Jack waved a dismissive hand in her direction as he got up to grab his phone. “Danny has no life. He'll welcome the intrusion from his books.” Jack hit his speed dial and held the phone to his ear, listening to it ring.
Dawn just stared at him from the couch.
“What do you want, Jack?” a slightly irritated, tired, voice asked.
“How'd you know it as me?” Jack looked at the phone confused.
“Caller ID...” Daniel snipped.
“Riiight...” Jack nodded. Caller ID! Duh! “Anyway, whachya doin'?” Jack knew full well that he sounded like a teenage high school girl. He winked at his niece who managed a small smile and an amused shake of the head.
“Working. And since I imagine you're not calling because of your insatiable curiosity about my work, you must want something.”
“Oh, now c'mon! Is that anyway to talk to a friend?”
“Jack, is there something I can help you with?”
“Well... now that you mention it...” Jack motioned to Dawn, who quickly stood up and went to stand next to him. “You wouldn't happen to have...” he trailed off and held the phone up to Dawn whose eyes went wide.
“Die Geschichte der Portale
,” she said quickly before Jack snatched the phone back to his own ear.
“...would you?” he continued as if Dawn never said anything.
“Yeah, I do actually... uhm... Jack, who was that?”
“That would be my niece, why?”
“She just asked me for a historical book on portals...” Daniel let the statement hang there as Jack absorbed the meaning behind it. "The one I used before we first stepped through the stargate."
“Huh.” Jack turned and looked at Dawn, a million thoughts running through his head.
Sensing his sudden suspicion, Dawn smiled nervously.