Don't own any of it. Wah.AN:
Dawn is 17, set during and after Smoke and Mirrors
Dawn was only just twelve when she first met Cassie. Cassie was eleven. Despite the year – or rather, seven months – difference in age, the two of them got on like a house on fire, sharing a mutual love of messy painting, melted marshmallows and wrapping Jack neatly round their collective little fingers.
The two of them barreled around the Fraiser and SG-1 households (just because you weren’t related to them didn’t mean you were safe), wreaking fixable havoc, leading local kids on wild goose chases (one time literally) and teaching Cassie’s dog Skywalker to fetch toy light-sabers and politely take the paper from their bemused postman each morning.
Skywalker had in fact been the one point of contention between the two girls. Dawn couldn’t figure out why her dad would buy Cassie a dog and not her. She had grown frustrated and explained this to Cassie, who had gone quiet and then tearful, and then refused to speak to Dawn, or anyone else besides her mother for a week.
Thwarted, Dawn threw a temper tantrum at Jack one night at dinner, inadvertently explaining the whole shebang.
“Damn,” said Jack, rubbing one hand over his face and sighing. “I shoulda known this was gonna bite me one the ass. Sorry,” he added, when Dawn glared at him for saying ‘ass’.
It was then that Dawn learnt something of what had happened to Cassie before she came to live with Janet in the Springs.
Cassie had lived in Toronto with her parents. One day, Cassie’s dad had taken them for a helicopter ride, but there had been an accident and the helicopter had crashed. The pilot and Cassie’s mom and dad had died, leaving their little girl stranded in the snow-filled wilderness for hours and hours.
Fortunately, some people had seen the crash from a distance and sent for help, but Cassie was still very sick when they got to her. She had gotten so bad the doctors in Toronto hadn’t known what to do, so she’d been sent to Dr. Fraiser, because Janet was the best.
Cassie had gotten better in Cheyenne Mountain, but there might be a risk she would get sick again, so now she was Janet’s daughter, because Janet could help her, and because Janet loved Cassie.
“That’s why you gave Cassie Skywalker?”
Jack shook his head. “A little bit, but you know how you’ve got Mom, and all your aunties and uncles?”
“And annoying cousins? Yeah.”
“Well, Cassie doesn’t have any of those. It’s just her, Janet and Skywalker. Just the three of them.”
Dawn was silent. Thoughtful.
“So, you gave Cassie a dog,” she said slowly, as though sounding out the concept. “So that she’d have more family. Kinda making up for losing her mom and dad?”
She was quiet again.
Very, very softly, she said, “but I lost Charlie, and you never got me a dog.”
Jack’s eyes dropped for moment, then, to his daughter’s surprise, he smiled at her.
“Whatcha need a dog for? You got me don’tcha?”
Thereafter dinner quickly devolved into a food fight and planning an apology to Cassie. The next day, Dawn took a box of chocolates and a new chew-toy for Skywalker and went to talk to her best friend.
That night, the dreams began. Faces of people she’d never met, beloved people she couldn’t remember loving, but had, because they were smiling at her like family, and she could feel herself smiling back.
Then there was bright light, searing heat and the smell of burnt sugar.
When she woke that morning, it was with dual sense of peace and loss, but she couldn’t for the life of her remember why.
That temper tantrum, she realized now, was nothing, nothing, in comparison to what she was feeling now. And the feelings of peace that she gained from her dreams had evaporated this morning like frost off a water heater.
,” she said through clenched teeth, “do it.”
Sam looked briefly away from the road and gave her a pained look. “I know, Dawn, I don’t think he did it either, but that’s how it’s looking. And since none of us can act as any kind of alibi…”
Dawn snarled. “I knew
I should have gone with him.”
“You couldn’t have known something like this would happen,” the major murmured. “None of us could.”
“But I did,” Dawn told her miserably. “I got this feeling, you know, just before he dropped me at Cassie and Janet’s? I knew something was going to go wrong. I just figured he was gonna stab himself in the butt with a fish hook again – not get framed for a political assassination!”
“He stabbed himself in the butt with a fish hook?” Sam’s mouth was curling at one corner.
The girl gave her a weak smile. “Yeah, that one time. Charlie and I nearly laughed ourselves sick.”“Whatcha need a dog for? You got me don’tcha?”
The smile faded.
“What are we going to do?” She turned to look at Sam, eyes huge with worry and pain. “I can’t lose him, Sam. I really can’t. I mean I love Mom and Charlotte, but sometimes it feels like he’s all I’ve got and I can’t lose him
. Not like this.”
Sam’s eyes were very faintly glassy, and Dawn wondered if the woman was as close to tears as she was.
“I know,” was the whispered answer. “I’ll be in and out of the Springs for a few days, seeing if I can find any leads the FBI might have missed. Jonas and Teal’c will be helping too. If I can find us a way out of this, Dawnie, I will.”
Dawn nodded, a little comforted. “This doesn’t feel right, Sam,” she said softly. “This isn’t something Dad would ever do. He wouldn’t take the chance, not when he’s got me to think about, and not after what happened to Charlie. I’d go back to living with Mom if he got convicted. He knows
It wasn’t that Dawn didn’t love her mother, and her little half-sister, too. But Sara had Henry now, and both of them had Charlotte, and sometimes Dawn felt like an intruder, like shadow from a former existence.
Perhaps it was a little selfish, but it had never felt like that with her father.
Even when he’d brought home a date a couple of times, it had never stopped feeling safe, feeling like home, the centre of the world. But he’d never followed through with any of those women, and Dawn had never shed a tear over them.
Sometimes, though, she looked at Sam and wished…
Sam would get them through this. If anyone could save the last league of her family, Samantha Carter would, come hell or high water.
Dawn knew it, and suddenly, the sense of peace was back.
“We owe Sam unspeakable amounts of chocolate.”
Jack nodded and tightened his arm around his daughter’s shoulders. Both huddled down under one of the ugly wool blankets that lived in the old cedar chest in the spare room. An episode of the Simpson's was playing for shear comfort, and the two of them were halfway through a second Hawaiian pizza.
She was used to him going away for days at a time, but this was the first time that it had felt like something truly threatening – something that could shatter the way they lived.
But because of Samantha Carter, it hadn’t.
“We really, really do.”AN2: