So, I'm not sure if this story is any good, because I'm writing and posting it so quickly. It may slow down soon, but there may be a third chapter tomorrow. I'm not sure. I still don't own any of this.
Dawn was edgy. She'd changed her clothes three times, and then bounced in the seat of the car all the way to school. They were early, and Buffy and Dawn located the main office. While Buffy was in with Principal Green, Dawn waited for the secretary to get off the phone so she could get her schedule. While she was waiting, another girl came in. Dawn studied the girl. She was pale, with long brown hair and brown eyes, and she was a good four inches shorter than Dawn. And she looked nervous.
“Hi, I'm Dawn,” she said, holding out her hand.
“Bella,” the other girl said, shaking hands with the taller girl. “Are you new too?”
“Yeah. My sister just got a job here. How about you?”
“My dad lives here, and I just moved in with him.” Bella said.
“Where's your mom?” Dawn asked.
“Well, we're from Phoenix, but she wanted to go on the road with my step-dad. He plays baseball.”
“Ahh,” Dawn said. “Your dad must be nice. When my mom passed away, my dad didn't even come to the funeral. He just faxed a piece of paper saying that my sister had full custody, and continued living in Spain with his secretary.”
“Ouch. Where are you from?”
“California. So, I guess we get to miss the sun together, huh?” Dawn said, smiling at Bella. Bella laughed.
“We can mourn it side by side,” Bella agreed. Bella Swan was feeling better. Maybe this school year wouldn't suck so bad after all. She got a truck this morning, and she saw an old friend again, and now she was already finding somebody interesting at school.
“Alright,” the secretary said. “I'm Miss Cope, and you must be the two new students this year?” Both girls nodded. “You must be Isabella,” she said, pointing at Bella, “You have your father's eyes.”
“Bella,” she corrected immediately.
“Bella,” Miss Cope amended. “Which makes you Dawn?” The other brunette nodded. “So, you're both juniors. Actually, it looks like your schedules are almost identical, except Dawn is in French III while Bella is in Spanish II, and Bella is in pre-calculus while Dawn is in Algebra II.”
“Shiny!” Dawn said.
“Shiny?” Bella asked. “Is that California slang?”
“I think it's just Sunnydale slang,” Dawn admitted. “Or possibly just Dawn-slang.”
Bella grinned, and the two studied their schedules and maps before heading off to their first class.
Buffy was setting up her office when she heard a knock at the door. Buffy reached out with her senses and felt no demonic danger, but it was if the air around her was suddenly much colder. So,
she thought to herself. This must be a “Cold One,”
“It's open,” Buffy answered, a habit she had slipped into after years of intentionally not saying “come in.”
The door opened and a short pixie-like girl stood in the doorway. She was considerably shorter than Buffy's 5'2” and had short black hair that was gelled up into spikes. Her face was beautiful and her eyes were a soft, liquid gold.
“Hello,” Buffy said pleasantly. “What's your name?”
“Alice Cullen, ma'am,” she said. Buffy knew the girl was trying to act young, but she still winced at the term.
“Please, close the door,” Buffy said, and Alice did, moving to sit in the chair across from Buffy's desk.
“Now,” Buffy said, wondering where to begin, “As I'm pretty sure you're older than me by quite a bit, I'd rather you didn't call me ma'am.” Buffy watched Alice to see how she'd react.
“All right, Ms. Summers.” Alice said, still trying to feel out exactly what the blonde thought about them. “If you don't mind, I'll speak frankly.”
“Sure,” Buffy said.
“Are you from the Watcher's Council in England?”
“Yes. How did you know that?”
“My father knows of it. And, well, I saw a vision of you getting mail from them.”
“So you're a seer?” Buffy asked. She felt a cold sense of deja-vu. She had met Cassie during her first counseling job. And she hadn't been able to save Cassie.
“Yes,” Alice said slowly, “You're not shocked?”
“Well, it's a rare gift, but not unheard of. I've known a few in my lifetime. I've even known a seer who was a vampire, but she was a much different breed than you.” Buffy answered, waiting to see how the little vampire reacted.
“Okay, so that answers that question,” Alice said with a grin. “Carlisle, my father, told me about the other kind of vampires last night. We wondered, when I realized you were coming here, if you would know about us, and whether you were a Watcher or the Vampire Slayer.”
“I am the Slayer,” Buffy began, “But there are a lot of us now, not just me. And you should know, I have no intention of attacking you, if I can be certain of a few things.”
Alice nodded. She had received a fuzzy vision of herself having this conversation with Buffy this morning, and was pretty sure she knew how it would go.
“Do you, or any of your family kill humans, or intend to kill humans?” Buffy asked.
“No. We call ourselves vegetarians. We only drink animal blood,” Alice assured her.
“Okay then. I try to never kill anything that has a soul, unless it is absolutely necessary. I will, of course, keep an eye on you for a while, until I'm certain I can trust you, but my Watcher told me about your eyes, and I've seen the red-eyed ones in Italy—now THAT was interesting.” Buffy said, laughing. “So, Alice Cullen. As guidance counselor I can write you a note. Since I know what you are, and you know what I am, why don't we cast off secret identities and have some girl talk.” Buffy watched Alice's face light up and knew she had said the right thing. Alice and Buffy talked animatedly for the rest of the morning.
“Bella, Dawn, come sit with us,” the blonde boy named Mike said, and the two brunettes joined the group.
“So have you seen the new counselor yet?' Tyler asked Mike. “She's smokin' hot.”
“She's also my sister,” Dawn said, and then grinned as the two boys blushed. “Hey what's your name?” Dawn asked another quiet girl.
“Angela. You're Dawn?” she asked.
“Yep, that's me.” Dawn opened up her sack lunch and pulled out her sandwich. She started eating it while listening to the others talk. Bella inquired about a table of kids against the wall. Dawn looked at them, and knew right away that they must be the vampires Giles had told her about. Seriously, vampires posing as high school students? That must be tedious. She listened to Jessica talk about the Cullen family, pointing out each one. Then Jessica made a crack about Mrs. Cullen not being able to have kids.
“So?! What does that have to do with anything?!” Dawn spat at the girl. “Not being able to have kids doesn't make her less of a person. You have no idea what it feels like to learn you'll never be a mom. So keep your big fat mouth shut.” Dawn said angrily. She picked up her sack lunch and stalked over to the other side of the cafeteria, where there was an empty table. As she walked, she noticed for the first time the light thumping against her mental shield. Willow had made her a charm to protect her mind, after Glory. Dawn looked at the bronze-haired boy who was staring at her and unclasped her silver Med-Alert bracelet. Looking him dead in the eyes, she thought as loud as she could "STAY OUT OF MY HEAD!"
and then re-clasped her bracelet. During that time, Bella had picked up her tray and followed Dawn to the other table, closely followed by Angela.
“Dawn, are you okay?” Bella asked.
“Yeah,” Dawn replied, her voice quiet and bitter. “She just pressed my buttons. I can't have children. I know I'm seventeen, and I have my whole life ahead of me, and I can totally adopt someday, but it still makes me sad.” Cautiously, Angela reached out and squeezed Dawn's hand gently, while Bella reached an arm around to comfort her new friend.
“Besides,” Dawn continued, “From what I've seen so far, Lauren's the queen bee, and Jessica's her second-in-command. Not the kind of girls I usually hang out with. I'm not one for popularity. I'm a total nerd.”
“Really?” Bella asked, smiling, “Me too. I love reading more than just about anything.”
“Me too,” Angela said. “I'd rather read and study than hang out most of the time.”
“Shiny!” Dawn said, “We can totally start a study group, and then we can do both at the same time.” The other two girls smiled back at her. “So, I missed the recap, who's the other boy?”
“Edward Cullen,” Angela said. “Jessica thinks he's the hottest boy in school, but he never dates.”
“I wonder why he keeps staring at us,” Bella said, and then shifted topics. “Let's go to Bio.”
As Dawn and Bella walked into Bio, it became apparent that there weren't enough seats. The teacher finally decided that they'd have to get another chair and have three people share one table. Dawn watched the golden-eyed boy as she and Bella stood in front of the fan, and thought about the book Giles had shown her about the Cold Ones. Dawn watched as Edward's eyes turned jet black. As the teacher set up a third chair at Edward's table, Dawn made sure to maneuver herself between Bella and Edward.
Bella Swan noticed a few things as she entered the Biology lab. She noticed the cutest boy in school. She noticed him glaring at her like she was his worst enemy. She noticed her new friend staring him right in the face, she noticed Dawn purposefully put herself between Bella and Edward, and she noticed Dawn fiddling with her Med-Alert bracelet, again.
Edward Cullen was having a very strange day. Ever since he woke up as a vampire almost a century ago, he had been able to read the mind of every person he ever met. Now, in the cafeteria, there were two girls whose thoughts he couldn't read. He was staring at the taller girl when she had a fit over something Jessica Stanley had said. His eyes followed the girl as she took off a silver bracelet and stared him straight in the eyes. "STAY OUT OF MY HEAD!"
the command was screamed at him, and he knew he visibly flinched. But then he was taken by the other girl. Isabella Swan. Her face had been appearing in everyone's head all morning, but now that he saw her himself, he realized how pretty she was. And she was confounding him. He wanted to get into her head, know what she was thinking, know what both of them were thinking. He barely heard Alice telling him that the new counselor was a vampire slayer, and wanted to get to know their family, provided nobody killed anyone. He was too busy focusing on the girls. The taller one, Dawn, was different from Bella. Edward had a vague sense that Dawn's thoughts were there, but they were under some sort of screen, he couldn't access them. With Bella, whatever force was protecting her mind was strong enough that he could get no sense of her, not even a whisper. It was driving him up the wall.
As usual, Edward was the first person in Biology class, and sat himself at his table. He looked up as the two new girls walked into the room, and stepped in front of the fan. The scent rolling off Bella Swan hit him like a cement truck. He was suddenly a starving man with a prime rib being shoved in his face. He wanted her blood more than anything in the world. As his mind started working out attack plans, he saw pictures in his head. Bella dead at his feet, his eyes red, and Carlisle looking at him. His fingers were making an indentation in the table. He smoothed out the finger marks with one finger, paying no attention to the tiny pile of sawdust on the floor, and held his breath. HE was only partially aware as the two girls were shown to his table, and Dawn Summers forced herself between himself and Bella. Bella Swan was pure evil. She was a demon sent from hell to tempt him. Why else would she be so beautiful, or smell so good? He wanted her dead. He wasn't paying much attention to Dawn, barely noticing that she was playing with her bracelet again. "Edward"
Dawn's voice was in his head, not as loud as before, but still forceful. "You're hungry."
It wasn't a question. He nodded once. "Is it Bella?"
He nodded again. "Can you control yourself?"
Edward thought for a moment, and then shrugged. He didn't know. He watched as Dawn raised her hand.
“Yes, Miss Summers?” Mr. Banner asked.
“I don't feel very well, sir, may I go to the nurse's office?” The teacher thought for a moment, and then nodded. Edward felt her kick him under the table. "Offer to show me where it is!"
she insisted. This wasn't a bad idea.
“I'll show her where it is, Mr. Banner,” he volunteered. As Edward had perfect grades, Mr. Banner didn't complain. Bella stood up to let Dawn and Edward pass by her, and wondered what she had done to make this boy hate her so much.
“Come on,” Dawn said, “We're going to the guidance counselor,” Dawn insisted, grabbing the vampire's arm and dragging him. Edward was shocked. Obviously this little girl knew he was a vampire, but she seemed to have no aversion to him, other than to make sure he didn't kill her friend. He allowed himself to be led to the counselor's office.
“You, sit,” Dawn instructed, and then she shut the door.
“Dawnie? What's up?” Buffy asked, surprised.
“Eddie here nearly flipped out and killed our lab partner in class.” Dawn explained. Then she looked at Edward. “You shouldn't be around people if you can't control yourself.”
“This has never happened before,” Edward gasped out quietly. This whole day was incomprehensibly bizarre.
“What classes are the others in right now?” Buffy asked. “I'll have then brought here, and then they can take you home. I had a long talk with Alice earlier, and she told me that you all help keep each other in check.”
“Alice is in English, Jasper and Emmett have Government and Rose has gym.” Buffy got up and went to fetch the Cullens from their classes.
“Why can't I hear your minds?” Edward asked. “You, and Bella and your sister. I've never encountered somebody whose thoughts I couldn't hear before.”
“First of all, you should know it's very rude to go into people's head without asking first,” Dawn said.
“I can't turn it off, it's completely unconscious. I can sometimes block people out, if I sing a song in my head or concentrate really hard on something else, but they're always there.”
“Oh,” Dawn said. “Then I'm sorry for yelling at you earlier, but if it's that bad, why have you never gone to a witch for a shielding charm?”
“A witch?” Edward asked incredulously. “There are witches?”
“Well, that explains that too,” Dawn said. “Yes, there are witches. I'd think you would know about magic since your breed of vampirism was initially caused by magic in the first place. But anyway, my friend Willow is an amazing witch, and she made me this,” Dawn explained, showing Edward her bracelet. “As long as I wear it, nothing can touch my mind. Buffy has one too. But I don't know why you can't hear Bella. Hmm, maybe she's a witch and she doesn't know it yet. What happened in lab?”
“The fan blew her scent at me and it hit me like a wrecking ball. I've never smelled anything that mouthwatering before in my entire existence. It was like I was a starving man and she was fillet mignon. And on that note, I still am very thirsty, and while you don't smell as good, would it be possible for you to stand further away from me?” Edward asked, and Dawn noticed he was gripping the chair very hard.
“Oh, sorry,” Dawn said, stepping back a few paces until she was leaning against the wall. “Why don't you open that window?” Dawn pointed, and Edward followed her advice. The clean breeze coming in helped him breath easier, and it looked to Dawn that he was relaxing a bit. Before long the door opened and the rest of the Cullens were there. Dawn noticed that the big one with the black hair instantly put himself between her and Edward, the way she had with Bella in class. Not protecting his brother, but protecting Dawn from Edward.
“Hey,” Dawn said. “I'm Dawn.”
“Emmett Cullen,” he replied, grinning a toothy grin at her.
“Once we're certain your brother isn't going to kill my friend, we should hang out. You guys seem to have cool potential.”
“Dawn Aurora Summers,” Buffy said, coming back into the room to sign passes for them to go home. “What do you think you're doing?”
“But it's Monday! I'm only not allowed to talk to strangers on Tuesdays.”
“But you're never allowed to invite vampires into the house without checking with me first,” she reminded the girl. Rosalie, Edward and Jasper looked shocked, but Emmett and Alice snickered.
“Technically I didn't invite them over. I only said we should hang out, not WHERE we should hang out. Besides, I wanted to invite Bella over after school.”
“Okay, but only if you guys actually do your homework.”
“She's not allowed to talk to strangers on Tuesdays?” Emmett asked the blonde, still positioned between Edward and the humans.
“Nope. Tuesdays are too dangerous. Every time Dawn has ever gotten kidnapped or into trouble it's been on a Tuesday.” It was clear the Cullens wanted to ask more questions of these two strange human women who knew so much about them and weren't bothered, but they needed to get Edward home.
When they left, Edward borrowed Carlisle's car and made a quick getaway. He needed some time away from Forks.
Dawn met up with Bella in Gym class.
“Are you okay?” Bella asked. “What happened to that Edward guy?”
“I had a headache and needed an aspirin, but when we got to the nurse's office there was some kid being sick, and Cullen totally let go a sympathy puke, so my sister had his family drive him home.”
“Oh,” Bella said. “Did you talk to him at all? Do you know why he was glaring at me like that?”
“Not really,” Dawn said. “I think he was just being all broody and emo. When he comes back I'll make him apologize to you,” Dawn grinned. In her head Dawn was trying to figure out what sort of spell might be used to protect Bella from Edward. She was amused to learn that Bella was just as klutzy ad her, so the two of them sort of hung back during gym.
“Do you want to come to my house after school?” Dawn asked. “Buffy said you could, if we promised to do homework.”
“Okay, but I should be home by 6, so I can cook Charlie dinner.”
“Charlie's your dad?:
“Yeah,” Bella grinned. “His cooking skills are atrocious. I don't even know how he survived so long without me.”
“So, let's change out of these stupid gym clothes and go home. Do you have a car?”
“I have a truck,” Bella said, grinning. “Welcome Home present from my Dad. My friend Jacob totally rebuilt the engine.”
“Jacob? Who's he? Why didn't he sit with us at lunch?” Dawn asked, curious.
“Jacob Black. He goes to the Quileute school on the reservation. Also, he's a sophomore.”
“Oh, cool. I'd love to meet him. Hey, by the way, how old are you?”
“I'll be seventeen next week, actually.”
“Ooh, can I throw you a birthday party?” Dawn asked. Bella wrinkled her nose.
“I hate parties.” Bella said.
“How 'bout if I invite a couple people over—Angela, Jacob maybe a couple of other people if they seem nice, and we hang out at my house, and watch movies & eat pizza and cake? I have a hot tub.”
“Actually,” Bella said, “That doesn't sound so bad, as long as it's no big deal, and nobody spends money on me.”
“Deal,” Dawn said. “So, let's see this truck.”
Dawn did not share the same enthusiasm for Bella's truck that Bella did, but she was glad her new friend had transportation and a license. The first thing Dawn did when they arrived at the Summers house was give Bella the tour. Then they settled down on the study to get their homework done.
“How are you at Algebra?” Dawn asked, “Since you're in Pre-calc?”
“Tolerable. Not wonderful. I barely passes Algebra two, but apparently I passed well enough to make it into pre-calc. Which will likely be the bane of my existence.”
“Alice Cullen is in your math class, right?” Buffy asked. She was working on her computer while the girls studied.
“I think so,” Bella said. “Is she the short one with the black hair?”
“Yeah. I had a really nice talk with her today. She's very intelligent, and if you two would like, I'll ask her if she wants to tutor you in math. I was never good with math either.”
“Okay,” Bella said after Dawn nodded. “Maybe she can tell me why her brother was such a jerk,” Bella said quietly. “Hey, I need to get going, Charlie needs his dinner.” Dawn walked Bella out to her car, and then came back into the house.
“So, why are you so willing to let vampires into our house?” Dawn asked Buffy.
“Well, honestly, I want to get to know them better. They have souls, but they're still dangerous. And I learned with Spike and Angel that the more time a vampire spends with a human, forming an emotional connection, the less likely he or she is to accidentally slip and kill them. Also, because I want to keep an eye on them. I don't trust them yet, and that was a close call today.”
“Hey, Buffy, can you invite Willow over? Edward is a mind reader, but he can't hear Bella, and I was wondering if she might be a witch, or have some unknown magical power.”
“Okay,” Buffy said. “What's your opinion of the Cullens so far?”
“Well, from what I can tell, I like Alice and Emmett. Rosalie reminds me of Cordelia and Jasper looks like he's in pain. He gives off those dangerous vibes. And so far I think Edward is a pushy controlling jerk. But first impressions aren't always accurate, so can I spend more time with them?”
“Not on Tuesdays,” Buffy said. “Or, at least, I don't want you alone with them on Tuesdays. It may be massively superstitious, but can you do that for me?” she asked. Dawn nodded.
“And don't go to their house alone,” Buffy added. “Not yet. You alone in a house full of vampires doesn't seem too safe to me.”
“Okay, so, no one-on-ones on Tuesdays, and no going to their house, but I can talk to them in public places, or here with you around?”
“Yep. So meet anyone else at school?”
“Angela Weber seems nice. She and Bella and I are going to start a study group. Everyone else seems kind of stuck-up. There was this kid named Ben who seems decent, and another boy named Eric who is a total nerd, but helped me and Bella find some of our classes. And Bella has an old friend from the reservation she wants me to meet.”
“Very cool,” Buffy said. “I'm glad you're making friends.”
“Can I have a mini-party for Bella this weekend? It's her 17th birthday. She hates parties, but I thought a few people and pizza and movies might not be so bad.”
“Sounds good to me. But you have to clean up any messes you make. It's not too late yet, so why don't you grab the phone book and start making plans.”
Dawn grabbed the phone book and flipped to the Bs.
“Black residence,” a husky voice answered.
“Hi, I'm looking for Jacob?”
“My name is Dawn, and I'm throwing a mini-party for Bella Swan this weekend. Just, like, 4 or 5 people, pizza, cake & movies. And I have a hot tub. Are you interested?”
“Absolutely. When and where?”
“Saturday, 2pm-ish, 1331 Maplewood Drive.”
“The big house at the end of the road? I thought that was empty.”
“We just moved in a few days ago. I'm new too, but Bella's really easy to like.”
“Yeah,” Jake said. “She's great. We used to make mud pies when we were little,” he said with a laugh. Dawn giggled in response. “Hold on a sec, I just need to ask my dad.” The phone rustled for a minute, and Dawn figured he had his hand over the mouthpiece. “Yep,” he said, “I can come.”
“Cool. Just one or two more people. And she doesn't want presents, she said. At least, not ones that cost money.”
“Okay, see you Saturday.”
Dawn hung up the phone and looked up Angela Weber's number. A very similar conversation took place, and Angela agreed to come. Dawn was thinking about inviting Alice Cullen, but wanted to get to know her a bit better first. She thought the girl seemed nice, but was still wary of the rest of the Cullen family.
“I wish she would make up her mind,” Alice said to Jasper, sounding exasperated. She and Jasper were in the woods looking for small game.
“Who about what?” he asked.
“Dawn Summers. She's thinking of inviting me to Bella's birthday party on Saturday, but she's not sure. She keeps flip-flopping. Anyway, let's hunt.”
*End Chapter 2*