Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Heroes, or anything contained therein.
Pairing: Dawn Summers/Luke Campbell
"Nations, like stars, are entitled to eclipse. All is well, provided the light returns and the eclipse does not become endless night. Dawn and resurrection are synonymous. The reappearance of the light is the same as the survival of the soul."
“As of right now,” a pretty newscaster with sleek hair and too much makeup was saying into the camera, “the cause of the sinkhole that destroyed the sleepy town of Sunnydale two days ago is unknown. There has been speculation that underground caverns may have played a part, but once again, the cause is unknown. Of the Sunnydale residents who were in the town at the time, there are no reported survivors…”
Dawn turned off the television. She had been hoping to hear that survivors had been discovered, that by some miracle Buffy and the others were safe. Louise—the lady Dawn had been staying with in Oxnard—had wanted to skip work to be with Dawn, but she had convinced her to go.
“I’ll be fine,” she’d said. It was a lie, of course, and both of them knew it, but Louise had nodded and left. So here she was, in the spare, impersonal guest room, for she still hadn’t unpacked her stuff. It was still in the magically expanded bag Willow had had the decency to pack before they’d knocked her unconscious and dragged her to another town.
It was completely insane. What did they think, that she couldn’t fight? She’d been taking Tai Kwon Do for years—well, to be fair, she’d never beaten a real attacker with those skills, but how would she learn if they kept locking her away? She was older than a lot of Potentials, she was a fairly powerful, though inexperienced, witch, and she could speak three languages and read four more dead ones!
She could have helped. If she had been there, maybe… and all the anger drained out of her as she thought of her sister again, of Willow and Xander and even annoying Andrew, and Giles and Anya and Spike, her homicidal babysitter and all the others and dammit, this was so unfair. Why did she have to be the one left? She hugged her knees to her chest and, for the first time since hearing about Sunnydale, began to cry.
After another three days of waiting for a phone call that wasn’t coming, of calling Angel in Los Angeles to see if he knew anything, of Louise tiptoeing around her like she was a landmine, Dawn realized that she couldn’t just stay here. She couldn’t impose on a woman she only knew as the owner of a nightclub Xander had worked at ages ago.
Louise had been very kind to her, but Dawn knew Xander had given her some money to pay for food and everything, money that was only meant to last a short while. She couldn’t go to Angel, as she didn’t really like him and it seemed like he had enough problems right now. Her Dad was completely out of the question.
He hadn’t even shown up for her mother’s funeral, and in the unlikely event that he agreed to take over as her guardian, she would refuse. She hadn’t spoken to him in a long time, and she couldn’t help but feel that he had stopped being her Dad a long time ago.
So she was on her own. It was a dizzying, awful thought, but it also brought her a sense of freedom that she hadn’t felt in a long time. She could do what she wanted now. There was no one to tell her she was too young, or not good enough.
There was no one to protect her.
They had all given her something, left in a package marked “Open if things go badly.” Dawn couldn’t imagine that things could have gone worse, well, unless the world really had ended, in which case she would be in no position to do anything. Buffy had left her the sword that Dawn had just been learning to use, that cross necklace she always wore, a photo album and Mr. Gordo.
It was this that really drove it home. Buffy was gone, she was dead and she wasn’t coming back this time. They were all dead. She clutched the pig to her chest, crying with despair and rage at the unfairness of it all.
This time though, she was able to get control of herself after just a few minutes, and she started sorting through the contents of the package again, wiping away a stray tear now and then.
Willow had left some spellbooks and a few basic magick ingredients. From Xander, there were a dozen exquisitely carved stakes. Andrew had left videotapes from his attempt to chronicle Buffy’s life, and Anya had left—at this point Dawn couldn’t help but laugh a little, sadly, an illustrated Kama Sutra and cash.
“Holy shit,” Dawn breathed. Make that a lot of cash, along with a note warning Dawn that Anya would be demanding the money back if she got out of Sunnydale, so “don’t spend it unless we all die.”
Faith had included her favorite knife, the one Buffy had almost killed her with. From Giles, though… there were driver’s licenses, passports, even birth certificates that all had pictures of Dawn on them, though she looked a bit different in each one—shorter hair, different color hair, glasses, things like that. He’d included a pair of glasses that were spelled to see through glamours and some tips about building identities and evading capture.
She had no idea who she was supposed to be evading, or how Giles had got all this stuff. She knew he’d been a bit wild in his youth, but come on! This was like secret agent stuff. She supposed the government might try something, if they knew what she was. Or even if they didn’t, she was still the Slayer’s sister. Without Buffy to protect her, the Initiative take two could try to capture her and run experiments... but that was just crazy. She was being paranoid. Surely the government wasn’t stupid enough to try that again?
Who was she kidding. If anyone could do something so boneheaded, it was the government. Besides, she was only fifteen. Child Protective Services would be all over her as soon as they found out she was here, and the last thing Dawn wanted was to end up in foster care, or worse, with her father. She’d have to pretend to be someone else, someone older
, and most of the identities were over twenty-one.
Passing for an adult would be hard, of course, but with some practice, the right clothes, maybe a little magick, it was doable. She hoped.
So it was settled. She would leave, and leave tonight, while Louise was still at work. Dawn had heard her on the phone with CPS before, and she didn’t want to wait around for them to show up. She would buy a bus ticket to some city far away, maybe drift for awhile to throw off anyone who was chasing her, and then start over.
She could get a part-time job, something that didn’t require a lot of experience, maybe go to a community college. It wouldn’t be easy. She would have to on guard all the time, careful not to let anything slip. But it would be a life, and a free one at that.
If she could pull it off.