So, yeah, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
belongs to me and I own the rights to all the characters and concepts I use in this story. That’s why I’m posting it for free, online, and live in a small dorm room. Seriously, no, this all belongs to Joss Whedon.
Dinner was a thoroughly awkward affair. For most of the meal, conversation stalled after, at the most, two minutes. Everyone would run head-first into a wall of awkwardness due to Willow lacking proper context to understand any of the conversation. Eventually, near the end of the meal, Willow had hit upon a brilliant topic, which had her and Alex go into a discussion about Alex's schoolwork and the Advanced Placement program she was involved in. Willow had been in Sunnydale High's one AP class, English Literature, in her day. Luckily, Alex was always willing to talk about her AP classes, even if she'd said it before.
Granted, Dawn and Kennedy had been left out, but it was better than nothing.
After dinner, Alex and Kennedy had cleared the table, letting Dawn talk to Willow for a few short minutes before the witches of the coven had arrived. They had taken Willow into the most magic-neutral part of the house - the living room - and begun their magical examinations. Dawn spent hours watching them, making sure nothing would go wrong and providing a friendly face for Willow through a good bit of it. Kennedy had stayed, too, while Alex stayed out, doing schoolwork and whatever else she did outside.
Eventually, they got to a test that Dawn needed to leave for. Her own magic would throw off the test, so, she had to leave. Dawn knew about the test, so she didn't make a fuss - fortunately, Kennedy could stay, so no one would. Willow had been apprehensive about being alone with all the people she didn't know, but Dawn reassured her before leaving.
Now Dawn was wandering outside. She'd spent the first few minutes sitting on the steps in the front hall, bored. Then she'd gone outside. Admittedly, in most places, going out after dark was frowned upon, but the kind of wards on Willow and Kennedy's property alone, much less those on the entire city, made Dawn as safe as she could possibly be.
Plus, Willow, once her memories were back, would very possibly kill Dawn incredibly slowly for getting cigarette smell in her house. Hell, Willow with her memories still gone would probably kill Dawn incredibly slowly for the same crime. So, in the scheme of things? Safer outside. She hadn't been kidnapped in almost a year, after all.
She wandered around the outside of the house after lighting a cigarette, finding her mind wandering to how they would deal with the problem of Willow's memories gone. For a member of the Council to lose their memories? Definitely not a thing of the good. If this hadn't been solved by the Council meeting on Sunday? Well, that would be a good time to get the whole Council on it, anyway. Willow in crisis also meant Buffy and Xander were likely to come. Well, one of them. They'd coordinate, probably, on who could come when, since two Council members couldn't really drop everything and run to Philadelphia. They had gotten a lot better at things like that in the aftermath of Sunnydale. They'd kinda had to.
Dawn kinda selfishly hoped that Xander would be the first to come. Yes, Dawn loved her sister, but Vi was a close friend, and where Xander went, Vi was sure to be. 'Attached at the hip' would not be an exaggeration. Though seeing Buffy would be of the good, too.
Dawn managed to keep all her thoughts on the little things like that, to avoid going insane over the whole thing with Willow. Because, well, going crazy over it would help no one. Clear heads needed to do all the stuff for Willow.
As she finished her cigarette, stubbing it out on the side of the house, she approached the kitchen door, which was around the back. Dawn had wandered around and was now there. As she went in the door, she heard the sound of chanting. Not witchy chanting - other chanting. Alex was in the kitchen, with a text that Dawn, being, you know, normal, couldn't make out at this distance. But the content was obvious as she heard Alex -"Hem ham'dabrim el-Par'oh Melekh-Mitzrayim l'hotzi et-b'nei-Yisra'el mi-Mitzrayim hu Moshe v'Aharon va'y'hi b'yom diber Hashem el-Moshe b'eretz Mitzrayim,"
Dawn watched quietly as Alex sighed in relief, and, closing her eyes, finished out, "Barukh atah Hashem Eloheinu Melekh ha'olam, asher natan lanu Torat emet v'khayei olam na'ta b'tokheinu. Barukh atah Hashem, noten ha-Torah."
"Blessed are you, Lord our God," Dawn said, translating, "King of the universe, who gave us the Law of truth and set everlasting life in our midst. Blessed are you, Lord, giver of the Law."
Alex turned to her, closing what Dawn could now see was a Masoretic Text, "Yes, Dawn. Congratulations. You translated a blessing used weekly in every synagogue on the face of the planet. I'm very impressed."
Dawn rolled her eyes at Alex, "Well, how about 'These are them that spoke to... Paro? Pharaoh! King of the Egyptians, to bring out the sons of Israel from the Egyptians - that Moses and Aaron? And it happened on the day the Lord said to Moses in the land of the Egyptians-'" Dawn stopped, squinting into space muttering the last bit again, "That's a fragment! You stopped on a fragment!" she accused the slayer.
Alex rolled her eyes, "Can't help it. The passage stops on a fragment. That was more impressive, though," Alex admitted, "you're getting better."
Dawn smiled, "Thanks." Yeah, it was praise from a teenager. But teenage classical language experts are few and far between, and deserve their due, Dawn Summers knew better than anyone. Also, Dawn's Hebrew, modern and classical, really was lacking in a big way. Alex really was helping, what little time they had. Near-perfection in a dozen other human languages, and quite a few demonic ones, was no excuse for ignoring Hebrew. Alex was putting some papers back in a folder, labeled in Hebrew cursive, as Dawn went to the freezer. "Want some ice cream?" she asked, pulling out a half-gallon of chocolate.
Alex looked up at the clock and said, "Two minutes."
Dawn looked back, "What?"
"Two minutes until it's been three hours since dinner. Then I can have dairy."
Dawn stared at Alex for a moment before it clicked. "Oh. Right. Yeah. So, want me to get you a bowl for, uh, then?"
"Right. Yes. I'll do that."
Dawn reached for the bowls as Alex asked the next question, "So, how are the magical tests going?"
"Pretty well," Dawn said, putting two bowls down on the counter and then taking a large spoon out of the dish drainer, "Though they didn't find anything. They're doing a magical memory test, now. They're looking for something missing in her memory, magically. See if it remembers, even if she doesn't. I had to go because my magic would interfere."
Alex made a noncommittal sound, as she looked up at the clock again, "Could it help?"
"With a bit of luck. The coven's gonna do the research to study their results. Hopefully it's just a basic tabula rasa spell, those are easy to break. I know half a dozen counters for that off the top of my head."
There was silence for a second, as Dawn began scooping ice cream into the bowls, and Alex inquired, "Willow?"
"Yeah, that time."
"Damn," Alex swore, quietly.
There was silence from then until Dawn finished scooping the ice cream, bringing it back over to Alex at the table, who was watching the clock. Alex suddenly turned to Dawn, "Need a ride back?"
Dawn stopped, blinking as she swallowed ice cream. "I think you need to signal that turn."
Alex snorted, "Right. Seriously?"
Dawn turned back to her, "Yeah. Wait," she said, "Don't you have school tomorrow?"
Alex looked back, "In all the years of knowing slayers, when was the last time you've known one to sleep more than six hours straight?"
Dawn thought for a second, "2003."
"I rest my case, your honor," Alex said, now taking a scoop of ice cream from her own bowl, "I'll be fine. And I need to pick up milk, anyway."
"Alright, then. I accept."
There was an awkward silence for several minutes before Dawn asked, "Where do you get milk?"
"Hmm?" Alex asked, before she said, "Oh. The Wawa. Not far, and it's good."
"Alright. Can we stop on the way there, instead of you on the way back?"
Alex looked at Dawn, raising her eyebrow, "Out of death sticks?"
Dawn glared at Alex, before Dawn bit out, "And orange juice."
Alex smirked at the junior watcher, "Right."