Live This LifeAuthor:
Crackhead Whedon owns Sunnydale, Buffy, Dawn, and the rest of the universe. 'Live This Life'
is the property of Big & Rich. Let's just go with 'not mine' and leave it as that.Summary:
Buffy always was a selfish girl, at least in Dawn's opinion. Thank God one of the Summers sisters is capable of keeping a clear head in a crisis.Joe's Note:
Another 'iPod was on shuffle and a song came on' moment. Enjoy and as always, review.
'I'll live this life until this life won't let me live here anymore,
Then I will walk, yes I will walk, with patience through that open door.
I have no fears; angels follow me wherever I may go.
I'll live this live until this life won't let me live here anymore…'
In the past, Dawn Summers had often complained that her sister was a selfish bitch. Well, never with the b-word. That would have gotten her mouth washed out with soap so fast… but the sentiment was there. Buffy was selfish. Buffy was always too busy thinking about her own needs.
Even now, she was all busy being all protect-o girl and trying to keep Dawn from her destiny… for what? Buffy was going to leave the world defenseless, with the only other slayer in prison for murder one, to save her little sister? What the hell was that? And her little speech? The hardest thing in the world is to live in it? That was rich, coming from a girl who was jumping at the chance (no pun intended) to kill herself.
Well you know what? Screw that. She wasn't a little kid. She was fourteen years-old and she could make her own damn decisions. Her own choices. And her choice was that at least one of them was going to think of the other seven billion people on the planet before deciding which one of them had to die. "Wait! Buffy!" Her sister turned to look back at her and Dawn took a step forward. "I just wanted to say… I love you, Buffy."
"I love you too, Dawn." Buffy gave her a sad smile before turning back towards the crackling portal, her face becoming an expressionless mask as she prepared for what she had to do. "Remember, you have to take care of them. You all have to take care of each other."
Inching forward, Dawn nodded. "Okay. And Buffy?" Her sister gave one final look back and Dawn brought her hand up, smashing the brick she'd grabbed into her sister's face. "Giles is going to be really pissed you never listened when he talked about situational awareness."
The blonde's body began to tip forward and Dawn quickly grabbed her sister by the back of her shirt, yanking back swiftly to keep Buffy from plunging off the tower anyway. That would be embarrassing: go through all that and have Buffy die anyways. After dragging Buffy to safety, Dawn took a deep breath. It was all about the blood… her blood… if jumping into the portal was good enough a solution for Buffy, it would work for her too, right?
Dawn took another breath and charged forwards, legs pumping as she picked up speed. Behind her, she could hear Buffy's pained groan… she should have known something so simple wouldn't keep a slayer down for long… and then a scream. But by then she was past the point of no return and she threw her arms out as she dove over the side of the tower. Feeling a bit whimsical, she tipped forwards as she fell, imitating the divers she'd seen on the Olympics that summer. She managed an entire rotation and a bit more, hitting the crackling portal of energy ass-first.
As pain blossomed through her rear before spreading out through the rest of her body, Dawn had time for one last thought: being a hero wasn't as easy as Buffy made it look.
Rising above the many and varied parallel mortal planes, the Key of Dimensions entered a level of ascendance commonly referred to by mortals as 'Heaven'. Initiating a purge, it attempted to find and discharge of all the foreign matter that was Dawn Summers… her memories… the slight bit of magic she'd accumulated from living on the Hellmouth… and her soul. After watching the remains of Dawn move off to join the others of her kind, the Key turned away and dove back down into the multiplicity that was the multiverse… unaware of the bit of Dawn Summers tagging along behind like a metaphysical hitchhiker.
"I wish my boyfriend was more like you, Dawn."
"Really? I didn't know you went that way, MJ." The two girls looked at each other before dissolving into giggles, Mary Jane Watson leaning over to shove Dawn Banner hard. Unfortunately for her, Mary Jane was only human while her best friend was not and so the move was about as effective as a screen door on a submarine. "No, seriously, I think he's a douche and so I don't know why I'm defending him… but it seems like he tries. And how many times have you gotten bruised up because you hang around me?"
Scowling, Mary Jane picked up her Corndog on a Stick and bit into it viciously. "At least you give me that choice. I could avoid you if I didn't want to be around a superheroine. Since I'm still here… pretty clear that I want to stick around, right?" Dawn nodded. "Peter just spends so much time hiding to try and protect people like his aunt and I… and then we get hurt anyways. What the hell's the point? It just eats into what little time there actually could be in his life for the people who do care."
Dawn opened her mouth to reply, only to be interrupted as an almighty crash disturbed the normal noises of the mall. People began screaming and she sighed, putting down her lemonade and rising from her seat. "Let me just say that boys are deeply stupid creatures, but we're going to need to hold that thought. Speaking of superheroine-me, it's time for me to earn my keep." Pulling out her cell phone, she tossed it to the redhead. "Call my dad, would you?"
Trailing behind obediently as Dawn sought out the source of the disturbance, Mary Jane dialed the phone and waited for it to connect. "Hi… Doctor Banner? Mary Jane here. Mary Jane Watson. Your daughter's best friend?" There was a pause and she sighed. "Yes, the redhead dating Spider-Man. You know, you should really take a bigger interest in Dawn's life if that's the only reason you recognize my name. Anyways, Dawn and I are at the Midtown Mall and something's attacking. She's going to investigate. Thought you'd want to know." Flipping the phone shut, she tucked it into her cleavage. "So what are we figuring, half an hour before the Ultimates show up? If they even come?"
"Yeah. Thor and Sif can teleport but SHIELD has to track them down and let them know something's going on, which might take a while. Steve and Jan will probably take a chopper with Clint and Tasha. If Tony's sober, he could be here in twenty maybe. He'll probably wait for the others so he doesn't have to come in solo, though. Hank's still laid up because he hit Jan and then I hit him." Dawn shook her head in disbelief. "Million dollar supersoldier, out of commission because of a package of Pop Tarts. I know the cherry ones are good, but that's just ridiculous."
Mary Jane sighed and shook her head. "With friends like yours, who needs enemies? And who knows where my boyfriend is. Paper… home… somewhere with that skank Gwen… visiting the Fantastic Four… looks like it's just you and me. Lead on, Macduff."
Cracking her neck, Dawn reached down and touched the bright green core of power pulsing inside her. Unlike her last incarnation, she was most definitely aware that she was not a 'real' girl and the exact nature of her existence… but did it really matter? She felt affection for the man she'd picked as a father, enjoyed the company of her friends, and it hurt when she got smacked around by villains. That made her real enough, didn't it?
Tearing away the chains she used to restrain her power, Dawn let it flood through her body. Her nerves began to panic and fire off pain signals that she expertly blocked, having gone through the transformation enough times that she didn't let it affect her anymore. Her skin shifted from the pale tone of someone who spent far too much time inside to a deep green color, her chocolate brown hair likewise turning a deep forest green. Her muscles bulged and her bones creaked as she put on almost a foot in height and over five hundred pounds in a matter of seconds. Then came the stage her father hated most: when her body remembered it was in fact female and the transformation sculpted her a new set of curves appropriate for a being of her height. The terrified crowd around them surged backwards as Dawn reared back before bringing her fists down hard against the tiled floor of the food court. "EMERALD SMASH!"
"Oh snap, it's the crazy monster who eats people!"
Scowling, Dawn straightened up and brushed away the remains of her street clothes. While they were toast, at least the black pants and sports bra the Fantastic Four had provided her with had survived the transformation intact. "My old man goes all Soylent Green once and they hold it against you forever…" Pressing onward, she laughed as the crowd parted like the Red Sea before her. "C'mon, Red. Time to go see who's getting their ass kicked today."