Title: Experience tells us
Summery: Dawn wants to go out in the middle of the night, Faith doesn't think that's a good idea
Spoilers: Season 5 BTVS none specific for Supernatural
Rating: PG 15
Disclaimer: All characters belong to their respective owners I am only playing for angst value. Everything belongs to Joss Whedon and Eric Gripe
Concrit: Always welcome
Now Beta read by the fab Maraliz
Faith frowned at the slight rustling noise, mentally cursing her enhanced Slayer hearing. She hoped it was simply one of her roommates settling down but the noise continued pulling Faith out of her much needed sleep. Her Slayer senses couldn't compensate for three days of no sleep and a gruelling hunt that had seemed relentless right up until the last second.
Dawn was a silhouette against the darkness, a shadowy figure that blended into the black of the room.
“Dawn? Watcha' doing?”
Dawn froze in the process of dumping a handful of stakes into her backpack, the darkness obscured her face, but Faith thought that for a split second the younger woman looked guilty, like she had been caught sneaking out by Buffy as a teenager.
“Going out,” Dawn dead-panned, her expression and voice carefully neutral.
Faith's eyes rested on the weapons in Dawn's hand.
“Hunting?” She asked pointedly.
“Can't it wait till the next job? Sammy's got a couple of hunts lined up; probably let us in on the info tomorrow.”
“Can't wait till tomorrow,” Dawn said shortly. Faith sat up in bed. 3AM wasn't Faith's favorite time for a conversation especially after the last forty-eight hours, and Dawn's cryptic responses weren't helping.
“Want to tell me what's behind this burning desire of yours to go huntin' especially since Sammy and Deano already did a graveyard sweep when we took down that demon.”
“I can't sleep, may as well hunt.”The remark was curiously similar to something Dean would have said. Faith was increasingly surprised by Dawn's enthusiasm to hunt, it reminded her of her own desire to slay when she was first called. However Faith had learned her limits; she understood when her body needed to recover if only for a few hours; it would seem, however, that Dawn wanted to test her own limits.
“Didn't you burn enough energy already?”
“No. And not all of us have a boyfriend who can help with...,” Dawn paused and waved her handxpressively.
Faith grinned knowingly, she wasn't going to hide; Dawn was a woman now, she understood the dynamics between a man and a woman, they were all grown-ups. She patted Sam's arm that lay across her stomach.
“It's better than going on patrol and burns more calories. You should try it.”
“Yeah, I'll get right on it.” Dawn said sarcastically as she shouldered her bag, drawing her hair out of the back of her jacket and letting it fall down her back in waves.
“Dean's not gonna like you going off on your own,” Faith warned. She had promised Buffy that she would look after her sister on this trip but by and large, Faith allowed Dawn to do what she wanted. Dawn was smart and capable, she trained and studied hard, and Dean seemed more than willing to do the job for her.
Dawn glanced at the bed and snorted in derision. “Dean's at a bar, I don't think I'm his priority tonight. Besides he won't be back until daylight anyway. You and Sam see to that.”
The last couple of hunts had been more dangerous than most. Faith had mortally injured a demon and with its last breath it had invoked a pact with an even stronger demon that he had set upon them. It had been a long, drawn out fight which had left them all with bruises to nurse. Sam and Faith seemed content to lick each other's wounds, while Dean had hit the nearest bar to assuage his own, leaving Dawn feeling wrung out but with a restlessness that had settled in her stomach, growing larger by the hour until she had felt like she was suffocating. Sam and Faith had each other; Dean had whoever he hooked up with tonight. What did Dawn have?
Faith considered her words, debating whether or not to bring up the elephant in the room, trying to decide whether Dawn really wanted to face up to what everyone knew but didn't talk about.
“Well if you want stress relief you know what you can do.”
The expression on Dawn's face told Faith that the younger woman knew exactly what she was talking about.
“No. I can't.”
“Yes you can,” Faith stressed each word meaningfully. Tact wasn't high up on Faith's list of virtues. Slaying brought only one thing: A very short lifespan and Faith believed in enjoying the moments and opportunities that came along.
“Yeah that wouldn't be weird at all”
“It's how me and Sam hooked up.”
“Sam was crushing on you for weeks, it's totally different. Dean only offered because you and Sam were already getting it on. He was probably joking.”
“You shot the guy down twice. Doesn't seem like a joke.”
“Look since we've been tagging along with the Winchesters, Dean's made it his goal to make my life completely miserable. I guess he ran out of ammo with Sam, okay and that joke was just another chance for him to make fun of little Dawnie.” Dawn took a deep breath, trying to find the courage to say out loud what she had only admitted to herself.
“If I thought for one second…”
“You've really got it that bad?”
Dawn turned away from the pity in Faith's voice. She didn't want to play the emotional teenager; she'd already won the award and made the acceptance speech.
“Look I came out here to prove to Buffy that I can actually do this job, not to act like some love-sick teenager. Sleeping with Dean would royally screw things up.”
“Or make it more interestin',” Faith countered.
“Yeah, for you.”
Faith grinned; she couldn't argue the point, she and Sam had endured some good natured teasing about their relationship. She wasn't going to deny that turning the tables on her straight-laced, serious Watcher wasn't appealing.
“True that.” Faith acknowledged the gentle dig with good grace. She could understand Dawn wanting to bail for a couple of hours; being forced together for days at a time with only endless stretches of highway for scenery could grate on anyone's nerves and test the strongest ties. Every now and then all four of them needed time apart, but that didn't mean Faith liked the idea of Dawn going out in the middle of the night alone. Slayer or not, Faith didn't want to explain to Dean where Dawn was when she was supposed to be tucked in bed.
“What do you want me to tell big brother?”
“Whatever comes to you.”
Dawn turned to the door, the handle turned in her hand but she hadn't moved it. She stepped back as the door opened and Dean stared back impassively.
“For a walk.”
“With your weapons bag?”
“Girl needs protection.”
“She wants to burn off some energy,” Faith said from the bed. Dawn shot the dark-haired Slayer an annoyed look but Faith was already leaning against Sam, and drawing the covers over her head. The two left the room, and Dean shut the door behind them then reached for the weapons bag and eased the strap down her arm.
“Kind of a coincidence I'm not feeling sleepy either.”
Dawn opened her mouth, a hundred reasons why this was a bad idea wanting to spill out, but when Dean kissed her they melted away. She didn't know if she could do this, if she should do this, if she could face the empty bed in the morning, if she could be casual about what had happened...what was essentially happening right now, in the morning. She wasn't sure sleeping with Dean was a mistake she could afford to make.
But she was learning, every new hunt taught her something new about herself, about her capabilities, and maybe she could learn to leave what happened here in this darkened motel room, let it disappear in the Impala's headlights and never look back.
Maybe she could learn the lesson Dean was already the master of.