What I've Done
Wow. Last chapter ended up a lot different and so this one is going to be too. This actually deviates from the plan I had, but I really like it so I'm gonna run with it.
Pressing herself closer Astrid's side, Dawn stretched and let out a little whimper of pained pleasure as her overtaxed muscles complained, before dropping her head back onto the taller girl's chest. "Wow. That was amazing! You're like a machine. And I didn't think it was possible for a person to bend into some of those positions…" Her head resting on one of Astrid's breasts, Dawn stared off into space, waiting for a reply that didn't seem to be forthcoming. "Um… Astrid? This is where you're supposed to agree? Or… something?"
"Hmm. Oh yeah. Amazing." Wow, could she have possibly sounded any less genuine there? Dawn tilted her head to stare up at Astrid, who was busy eyeing the alarm clock on the opposite side of the bed. "Listen, I hate to play and run, but I've got tickets for 'Rock the Sound' and I really want to see RED…"
Dawn blinked and rolled onto her back at Astrid's prompting, allowing the auburn-haired girl to rise from the bed and slip out from under the sheets, heading for her dresser. "Oh. That's cool. No clue what it is… but cool. You know, I've got a big zero as far as my calendar goes. You said tickets plural. I'll buy one of you if you want some company tonight? We could come back here after and talk some more, maybe?" She let her eyes run up and down Astrid's bare back. "Or maybe something else?"
That made Astrid pause for a moment and peer back over her shoulder at Dawn. "You didn't strike me as the type to enjoy Christian music." Dawn's face scrunched up in disgust at that; Astrid was actually paying to go see something like that? That was the kind of thing she wouldn't pirate even if someone paid her to fire up her laptop. "Yeah, didn't think so. So thanks but no thanks. I'm sure we'll see each other around, though, since I'll be stopping in to see your mom."
"Kay…" Dawn almost felt brushed off, but pushed the thought out of her mind. She hadn't exactly been a scheduled visitor to Casa Jansen and so it was her own damn fault if she was getting thrown out to accommodate Astrid's preexisting plans. "I'll call you after I talk to Janet?"
Astrid nodded as she used her hip to bump her dresser drawer shut. "Sounds like a plan. Alright, I'm running a little late so I'm in a bit of a rush. Can you show yourself out?" Dawn responded by shrinking just enough to make her wings manifest and then pointing at the window. "Oh. Cool. Alright, I'll close the window when I get out of my shower. It was nice meeting you. Can't wait to see you again." She lunged forward, pressing a kiss to Dawn's cheek, and then raced out the bedroom door.
Well that had been… fun. A bit shorter than Dawn had expected, given Astrid supposedly had superhuman stamina, but there was always next time. Pulling the sheet around her, Dawn rose from the bed and looked around curiously.
Now where had her panties gotten to?
There had been no next time.
Crouched atop her marble perch, Dawn let the rain lash against her face as she glared down at the cars slowly trundling up and down the street. Over the past two weeks, the gargoyle atop this nameless church had become her sole companion. Ever since her mistake.
Astrid hadn't gotten some and gotten gone ala Faith. Oh no, that would have been too easy. No, she was constantly around and treating Dawn almost akin to a big sister. Dawn's flirtations were ignored and all attempts to subtly direct the conversation to their afternoon together were shot down. If not for the subtle grimace or narrowing of eyes when she pressed Astrid too hard, Dawn would have thought the girl amnesic. But no. Astrid remembered. She was just pretending it'd never happened.
Unless Alanis had totally destroyed her sense of irony, Dawn was pretty sure her situation was full of it. She'd come to New York hunting superheroine ass for a rebound fuck and now that she'd had one… it turned out it wasn't what she'd wanted at all. And it'd been a really stupid way to go through her life, too. Even Faith was calming down these days, although that probably had more to do with finding out that not even Slayer healing could defeat hepatitis-C. She was lucky to be walking away from this with only a bad case of rejection.
Dawn snarled and pounded her fist against the gargoyle's head, luxuriating in the stab of pain that ran up her arm at the action. She'd run around like a five-cent slut, letting her libido dictate her actions, and now her newfound happiness away from the Scoobies was all but ruined. Astrid was set to join the Young Avengers as soon as her costume was done, meaning even if Dawn did want to join up, she'd have to face her not-really-an-ex on a regular basis. And the damage had followed her home: Janet had practically adopted the other girl after hearing about Jessica's disinterest and Felicia's outright dislike of Astrid, and now Dawn found herself running into her former paramour every time she tried to move around the house.
Ironically, that had done what the Young Avengers and her mother hadn't been able to do: driven her to fighting crime. With nothing in New York to occupy her attention save her mother and that now compromised by Astrid's presence, Dawn had been forced out onto the streets to keep her sanity. She'd started by patrolling for vampires and demons, but after interrupting a very mortal mugging and feeling the sense of empowerment and satisfaction defeating the thugs had brought, Dawn had redirected her attention to the ensouled scum of the earth.
A scream from below drew Dawn out of her thoughts and she looked back and forth wildly for a moment before spotting the source of the noise. For some odd reason, a trio of thugs were battling it out with a single woman for possession of her oversized handbag. Dawn shook her head in disbelief. Did they believe that the bigger the bag, the more money they'd get out of it? All they were doing was making a scene… and disturbing her angsty brooding moment. And that just wouldn't do at all.
Launching herself off her perch, Dawn watched the gargoyle slip past as she plummeted towards the street. Closer and closer it drew, allowing her to start picking out details: black ski masks, gloves, khakis, t-shirts. How clichéd. As she passed the halfway mark, Dawn twisted her body so she was traveling feet first and shrank her body just enough for her wings to extend. Arresting her momentum took considerable effort and Dawn barely managed it, screeching to a halt with the soles of her feet a foot or so above the sidewalk. "You know, boys, I really don't think that bag goes with your outfits."
"Oh fuck! It's the Was… wait a minute. You're that girl who puked in the park." Oh. My. God. Seriously, that had been, like, a month ago. When were people going to let her live it down? The leader of the pack released the woman's purse and she slammed through the trio, scampering off into the night. Cracking his neck, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a white pill. "You know, I've been waiting for someone worth trying this shit out on… not sure one of the Kid Avengers counts, but I'll take what I can get."
Dawn was about to debate her status as a 'Kid Avenger' when the man and his buddies each popped one of the odd white pills and then doubled over, clutching their stomachs. As she watched in disbelief, their arms bulged with newfound musculature and their pants grew tighter. Then there was a wet, tearing sound accompanied by three cries of pain, and Dawn felt herself sinking into a burning red rage.
Boney white spider legs.
Images flitted through her head… Astrid looming over her on the bed, that sexy smirk of hers in place as she supported herself on the quartet of inhuman appendages… exiting her room to find Astrid walking the halls in nothing but a pair of boy shorts and her spider legs… Astrid sitting at the dining room table, laughing with Janet and Hank as she used a leg to spear one of the popovers Dawn had cooked…
Letting out an inhuman howl of rage, Dawn threw herself forward at the three thugs. Hank had clocked her alongside her mother; she was capable of reaching forty-three miles an hour at top speed. While the distance between them wasn't sufficient for that kind of acceleration, Dawn was moving at a fair clip when she curled a shoulder and slammed into the first thug, lifting him off his feet and sending him flying into a nearby storefront. The tinkle of glass met her ears but Dawn was too far gone to care.
One down, two to go.
With their leader out of the fight, the other two didn't seem too sure of what to do and Dawn seized on that indecision. Twisting her upper body, Dawn brought her hands together and gathered the energy that permeated her body, channeling it down her arms and out her hands. A bright green light erupted from her palms, sending her target flying backwards to land nearly fifteen feet away, chest smoking.
And then there was one.
He was stupid enough to turn and run, as if that would dissuade her. Leaping after him, Dawn used a burst of flight to stretch her jump into something Olympians would be in awe of, coming down on his back and driving him to the sidewalk. Those damnable white legs stared back at her, taunting her, and Dawn growled, rolling the man onto his back before delivering a powerful punch to the thug's face. He groaned and Dawn went to work, arms pumping like pistons as she rained blows down on him.
It took the wail of sirens to cut through the fog in Dawn's head and she looked up, spotting the cop cars racing up the street towards her. Looking down at the bruised and bloodied face of the man beneath her, she recoiled. Holy… had she done that? Rising unsteadily to her feet, she raced down the street and turned into the nearest alley before shrinking and rocketing off into the rainy night.
Circling the building once, Dawn's keen eyes caught a particular pipe rimmed with yellow paint and she dove into it, expertly navigating the twists and turns as she burrowed deeper into the apartment building. Hearing a familiar and unwanted voice, she wheeled around and doubled back, slipping out of the air conditioning vent in her room and returning to full size.
While the rain had washed the blood from her hands, Dawn was still glad she'd had the foresight to throw down a tarp over her normal landing zone as she rung out her hair, listening the water patter against the plastic. A piece at a time, she peeled her glossy black and yellow armor off, then unzipped the matte black skinsuit and slid out of it. She'd deal with it later, she decided, preferably after a nice warm shower and some hot cocoa with chili powder.
Just like the last two nights, she'd planned ahead and left a black and yellow bath sheet on her doorknob. Wrapping it around her body, Dawn grabbed dry underwear and headed off down the hall to the bathroom. Or rather, she tried to. Two steps after clearing her doorframe, Dawn slammed into someone and stumbled back, letting her underwear drop so she could devote both hands to keeping the towel in place. "You know, this black and yellow obsession you guys have going is a little unhealthy."
"Yeah, well…" Dawn looked up, expecting to see her house's most familiar visitor before suddenly realizing the voices didn't match. And indeed it wasn't Astrid standing in front of her, staring down at her with those teasing green eyes, but rather Cassie. Cassie, with wide blue eyes and… "Okay, when did Janet declare this place clothing optional? Because I think I would have remembered a family meeting like that."
Blushing, Cassie's hands rose a bit before returning to her sides. Someone was finally getting hit with a few whacks from the self-confidence stick. Not that she had anything to be ashamed of, Dawn mused, taking in the blonde's black bra and panty set with red lace trim. Still, it was a far cry from the Cassie she'd met nearly a month ago. Dawn's eyes slid up along Cassie's bra strap and she let out a little snort of laughter. Wait a minute, her family was the one supposedly taking their trademark colors too far? Dawn's eyes rose back to Cassie's face, just in time to catch the blonde guiltily jerking her gaze upward. "Uh, Dawn? You're a little naked there yourself."
Dawn tugged the bath sheet a bit tighter around her body before carefully bending at the knees and retrieving her underwear. "First of all, this is my house. Second of all, I just got in, ditched my wet clothes, and am on my way to a nice warm shower. What's your excuse?"
"Oh, she didn't tell you?" She who? And 'no' was kinda a duhh answer there; if she knew anything, she wouldn't be asking. "Mrs. Pym told Astrid she needed to find a real person to use for a lesson, Astrid wanted to tinker with my costume, and so I got volunteered. Or I volunteered. I'm not really sure on that part." Cassie's nose scrunched up in an incredibly cute way as she took a moment to puzzle it out. "I mean, Astrid didn't give me much of a choice but I did say yes… so I guess it's kind of a draw?"
That bitch. Two weeks, and Astrid had essentially undone everything Dawn had created for herself. The Young Avengers had a member - well, Dawn hadn't done that, but she'd been pondering it - while Janet had a new daughter who shared more interests with her, Cassie had a new costume designer… fantastic. "That's nice. Well listen. Cold, damp, naked. I'm going to go take that shower now. Have fun."
Dawn stepped around Cassie, expecting to hear the blonde head off down the hall in the other direction. Instead, there was a soft growl and then the sound of footsteps following close behind her. "Listen, Dawn, can we talk for a minute? There's something kinda important I have to ask you."
"Um, you did catch the part where I'm going to take a shower, right? In a private bathroom, not a locker room or something?" Dawn grabbed the knob and twisted, opening the door before looking back at Cassie. "It's kinda rude. And weird."
This just seemed to cement Cassie's resolve, much to Dawn's surprise, and the blonde reached out to grab Dawn's wrist. "Well fine, then I'll just have to ask you out here then. I mean, it's not like I see you any other time. You're avoiding the Young Avengers and even your mom says you're never home so it's not like I can try and stop by and catch you." Dawn raised an eyebrow, waiting impatiently. The hallway was cold, damn it! "Oh. Right. Blake and mom are heading down to Atlantic City for something cop-related this weekend, and mom said if she sees Stature in the newspaper when she gets home, I'm 'in for an ass whooping'. And I'm not sure whether or not she's joking. So I figured I should make some non-superhero plans to keep busy, and thought… maybeyou'dliketogotothemovieswithme?"
Dawn was thankful she'd dealt with Willow on caffeine as she deconstructed that one: Cassie wanted to go to the movies with her? Where the hell had that come from? Sure she'd shown an interest in Cassie for a bit, but that had stopped two weeks ago. And she'd punctuated that with some very obvious interest in Astrid. Had she missed something? "Err… why?"
"Why do I want to go to a movie? Um, to see a movie. Why else do people go to the movies?" Actually, Dawn could think of a few reasons, none of which she was going to voice to the blonde. Cassie pushed on without her prompting, though, moving closer to wrap her other hand around Dawn's forearm just above the first. "Why with you? Because you told Kate you liked me and… and while it took me a while, I decided that's cool, and dream dates are for little girls who have the luxury of sitting around dreaming. I should take what life hands me. Which is apparently you. So… want to go see a movie with me?"
While the blonde's persistence survived her first tug, Dawn put a bit of muscle into the second and managed to dislodge her blonde barnacle. "First of all, for future reference? That whole 'life handed me you' bit made me feel like a great big ball and chain. Don't use it on the next person you ask out. Secondly, I did tell Kate I was interested in you, but something's come up and so I'm just not looking to be in a relationship right now. Sorry. If it helps any, it's not you, it's me?" Cassie shook her head slowly and Dawn sighed. "Yeah, sounds pretty lame to me too. Makes me wonder how it got to be such a cliché, you know? So… awkward. Can I go shower now and you can go back to… whatever you were doing with Astrid and Janet?"
Cassie stood there for a moment longer before turning and racing away down the hall, leaving Dawn feeling like utter shit. But seriously, did she deserve someone like Cassie? She'd come out here and spent two weeks trying to come up with a plan to get in the blonde's pants, failed miserably - Team Rocket had come closer to catching Pikachu and why the fuck was she comparing her sex life to Pokémon - and then pounced on the first girl to show interest. Shutting the bathroom door behind her, Dawn slumped against it as her eyes went wide. Oh. My. God. She was Kennedy the skanky lesbian ho bag. That was her now!
A dry white towel was already waiting with her name on it - or at least her initials, since monogramming one's entire name was more than a little ridiculous - and Dawn dropped her clean underwear on the lip of the sink before turning on the shower and dropping the moist towel wrapped around her body, stepping under the steamy stream. Leaning against the side wall listlessly, she let the water pound against her skin. Holy crap. She was the new Kennedy. How on earth had that happened?
Just as she was gathering up the energy to reach up and grab her shampoo bottle, there was a screech of tortured metal and then the bathroom door slammed open. Before Dawn could react, a blurry figure on the other side of the shower curtain stomped over, tearing the flimsy piece of vinyl back to reveal a phenomenally pissed redhead. "What the fuck is your malfunction?"
"What the..?" Dawn instinctively brought her hand up and thrust her palm out at Astrid, blasting the girl with a bolt of green power and sending her sprawling back onto her ass. "Jesus Christ, Astrid! I know you're a test tube baby, but I'm pretty sure they programmed you with basic social skills." Grabbing the shower curtain, Dawn wrapped it around her body as best she could, glaring down at equally pissed looking Astrid. "Now, to borrow your own line, what is your malfunction? What couldn't wait until I was out of the shower?"
Hopping back to her feet, Astrid stomped over and invaded Dawn's personal space. "Do you know how long it took Kate and I to convince Cassie to ask you out? No, we weren't kidding, no, it wasn't a cruel joke, yes, you actually liked her and thought she was pretty… I had to cut through self-worth issues, self-esteem issues about her looks, the requisite sexuality issues… and just when I figure victory is mine, you turn her down. So again… what is your malfunction? Kate told me that you came right out and said you wanted Cassie. Why didn't you say yes?"
Dawn's jaw worked for a moment but nothing came out. Was this bitch serious? Did she really not understand why Dawn might not be in a dating mood at the moment? Just like earlier that evening, that tense rubberband inside her mind snapped and Dawn pulled her fist back before slamming it into Astrid's face. "Gee, I wonder." Abandoning modesty, Dawn stepped out of the shower and slammed a brutal left cross into the taller girl's nose. "What could possibly make me not want to date someone right now?"
"Okay, wait a minute. Are you still… oww!" Astrid was cut off as Dawn drove her fist into the redhead's face again. "Seriously, stop punching me or I'm going to start hitting back." Dawn tried again anyways, only to have her hand intercepted as Astrid wrapped her own around it and squeezed, halting her in her tracks. "Now, as I was saying… are you still upset about our one-night stand? Because you weren't exactly protesting when it happened… I figured you wouldn't have a problem with a bit of wham, bam, thank you ma'am."
Wrenching her black fist out of Astrid's possession, Dawn feinted with it before driving her left fist into the girl's stomach. "A one-night stand fucks you and leaves. What a one-night stand doesn't do? Fuck you, say she can't wait to see you again, and then move into your life." Bringing her hand up, Dawn slipped a vicious backhand through Astrid's defenses before planting a glossy black foot in the girl's gut and sending her stumbling out into the hall. "So yay. You took my mom, you took the superhero gig, you're taking my house, you took my potential for friends out here… and now it turns out that the only reason Cassie is coming my way is because you're pushing her? Fuck you and fuck your fucking charity!"
"You did that already, remember? The fucking part, I mean." Astrid brought her hand up to her lip, wiping away some blood as her eyes narrowed at Dawn. "Really wasn't that great, to be honest. Can't have been, considering it helped me figure out I'm straight as an arrow."
Her left hand dropped.
Her right hand rose.
Her palms touched.
Dawn screamed as a torrent of green energy erupted from her hands, scooping Astrid up off her feet and slamming her into the wall… through the wall… into the middle guest room… through the exterior wall… there was shouting from behind her and the sound of pounding footsteps, but Dawn couldn't bring herself to care. She was just too damn tired. Dropping to her knees, she tipped face first onto the floor and passed out.