A Step Sideways
Guess it didn't turn out to be a one-parter. :) This will continue to have random, short updates as they appeal to me or I manage to drag myself away from my PhD program. I also have a Bones (Buffy/Jack) cross halfway written, and a few more chapter updates floating around. I'm not around much, but I am here. And I check my email about twice a day, if anyone wants to say "hi."
I disclaim. I am intellectually inferior and claim no ownership of Briggs of Whedon.
Dawn glanced at her sister out of the corner of her eye as they roared through the desert on the way to Vegas, red Mustang spewing dust and sand behind them. Buffy looked good, better than she had in years. Happy. The nervous energy that she had always associated with her older sister had settled into a calm certainty after they stood on the edge of the Hellmouth and watched Sunnydale sink into the earth. There was something to be said for getting a clean slate. Even if slates could never really be clean.
New, slightly tarnished beginnings and all that.
With that thought, Dawn glanced up at the rear view mirror, and though she didn’t have supernatural vision, she knew that an equally beat up Chevy Tahoe was following them just out of sight. And had been for most of the day. As if she sensed Dawn’s thoughts, Buffy straightened from her slouch and slowly slid her sunglasses up into her tangled hair. Dawn watched, briefly pitiless, as Buffy wet her lips and searched for something to say.
Finally Dawn sighed. Loudly. “Could you love him?”
Buffy stared out the cacti rushing past the open window, her tanned hand reaching out to toy with the breeze absently. “He asked me to.”
“Don’t they all?”
Her older sister laughed, startled by the acidic and yet completely true question. “That’s what has me worried.”
Dawn swiveled her eyes forward to the road, and tried not to notice that her knuckles where she gripped the steering wheel were white. She and Buffy had healed many of their wounds over the years. But sometimes, sometimes they left Spike shaped scars behind. “Do you want to love him?”
There was a deep sigh before Buffy slowly, carefully, reached over and touched one clenched hand. “Don’t I always?”
Dawn snorted, loudly. There was a long, painful moment of silence before she finally, stiffly said, “I reserve the right to send him to his Father in pieces. And unlike you, I have no compunctions about hiring outside the Council to do so.”
She felt more than saw Buffy’s broad smile as her sister’s hand retreated back to her side of the car. To a place that was always more black and white than Dawn’s side. “Well, I think he reserves the right to send me to his Father in pieces too. The Marrok did send him to kill me.”
Dawn frowned as she tried to recall reading the werewolf file they kept back at headquarters. “I thought the other son… Charles was the Enforcer.”
This time it was Buffy’s turn to snort. “Just because the Marrok sent Samuel to kill me, doesn’t mean he actually wants me dead.” Dawn blinked. Twice. Sometimes the depth of her sister amazed her. “I’m hungry, can we pull off for lunch? Also, I have to pee and am not doing it behind a cactus again.” And sometimes, she was simply Buffy.
Dawn grinned as she took the next exit, where a worn out looking deli truck stop was offered. “Sure, but the new boy pays.”
Buffy was quiet for a moment before very seriously and solemnly stating, “He is a doctor.”
This time Dawn laughed. “So, a step up from Ben?”
“More in the fact that his body doesn’t house a bitch god, but yeah. A step up.” Or maybe, if they were lucky, sideways.