Author's Note: Something I put up a while ago on ff.net... Has been heavily edited since then. Story canon- I have changed Dawns's age, in this version she was five when Buffy was called, her birth year is 1991, she's a junior in high-school.
Disclaimer: BTVS is owned by Joss Whedon, the title is a Hole song.
She was running through a school that was crumbling beneath her, a wave of sadness swept over her as she finally got out, looking back, looking for someone. She got on a bus with a large group of girls, most wounded, most panicking. She sat at the back, staring out of the window looking once again. They were speeding through the town, the streets and buildings crumbling behind them. Finally she spotted her. Sprinting and jumping from roof to roof as they fell to the ground. The woman jumped and she could no longer see her. Once they were outside the town the bus pulled over to a stop. Dawn got out and finally saw the woman up close. In front of her, smiling with an immense level of exhaustion and sadness there she was. Buffy.
Dawn woke up with a start to the sound of her alarm clock. She sighed. She had dreamt of her sister twice in the past week. Over ten times that month. But it wasn’t the Buffy from the hospital, or what dawn remembered of her. A Buffy that wouldn’t look at their parents, just told Dawn that she had to fight the vampires, over and over. A Buffy that hadn’t bathed in a week, her hair obscuring her face and a manic terror in her eyes. This Buffy was an adult. To dawn, she looked about twenty. And she had lived. She was the hero that sick Buffy thought she was. And, although the sadness she had faced was undeniable in the way she held herself, the look in her eyes, she would have never done what Buffy had…
Four hours later, in Creative Writing Dawn thought of the dream again. She wondered if she could salvage at least an interesting story from it and began to write it down. She had written a page when the teacher began reading it over her shoulder.
“It’s interesting, but who is the narrator? What is her motivation? Who is the woman? Why do they stop?” He said. Dawn stopped and looked over her work, checking to see if she had mentioned her sister. She hadn’t and Dawn bit her lip, the school knew about Buffy, although it had happened almost twelve years ago, when Dawn herself was only five. But it was an urban legend now. The all-American cheerleader gone psycho, jumping off the top of the LAX multi-story car-park when nobody would believe her alibi. It wasn’t like people talked to Dawn about it, or held it against her. But she knew that they were always watching her. Looking for the signs of the same genes that made her sister crazy. So Dawn just shook her head.
“It’s just a dream I had, I woke up before I learnt anything.” She said, turning to a fresh page in her note-book and beginning to work on the actual assignment. A poem about a particular feeling, turned human. The teacher shook his head but walked away, allowing Dawn to carry on dwelling on her dream. A week ago she had gone to a dream meanings database online, trying to figure out what her recurring dreams about another life meant, but hadn’t been able to surmise anything. Somehow, she had created a whole world, where her sister actually was a hero, living on a hellmouth, with friends with equally fantastical powers. And, although they had to fight for their lives on an almost weekly basis, they were happy (for the most part)… It wasn’t that Dawn was unhappy with her life; she had a nice car, her GPA was 4.0, she had friends; it was more that she felt she was supposed to be someone else. The bell rang and she sighed, gathering up her books and turning on her IPod. She put her books in her locker and went outside, sitting on the steps to wait for her friends, sucking on a sour blue lolly.
“Burger King?” She said as they walked over to her. “I’m having a wicked onion ring craving.” She stood up and brushed her hair out of her eyes.
When they got to the student filled restaurant Dawn volunteered to get a table, whilst her friends ordered their food. She walked up to the second floor and sat down at a booth, turning up her IPod. She had been waiting for five minutes (and ignoring the hick college girls talking about her latest modelling campaign sitting at the other side of the room) when an uncomfortable looking bespecled man came up to her table.
“Dawn Summers?” He asked, standing in front of the table. Dawn rolled her eyes. This was what her agent told her to be wary of, grown men following her because of her notorious All American Girl meets Courtney Love ad campaigns for jeans brand Sweet Marie. She remembered what Anais had told her, to be polite but slowly get him to leave her alone.
“Yes? This table is taken, you know.” She smiled. He shook his head, clearly psyching himself up to say something.
“If I could just have a moment, I need to talk to you. Your destiny awaits.” He said, slowly.
“If it’s my destiny, then won’t it just come naturally? ‘Cause I’m sure you’re very nice and all but I’m seventeen and you’re what? Thirty? Why don’t you just wait ‘till I finish high school and then we’ll see what my destiny is.” She said, looking around the room, across from her some jock-looking guys were sitting up in their seats, poised to ‘defend her’ if the guy (who spoke in an upper class British accent) tried anything. He sat down across from her in the booth and took off his glasses looking her straight in the eyes.
“This is serious. You are the only person who can stop them.” He said, urgently.
“Who?” She said exasperated.
“The vampires.” He replied. Dawn stood up and backed away, her hands clenched into fists.
“Do you think it’s funny? What happened to my sister?” She said as she came to the jocks’ table. “Can you tell my friends that I’ve left?” She asked the boys. They nodded and stood up, blocking the Brit.
Dawn ran down the stairs almost hyperventilating. When she came to the car she threw her stuff in the passenger seat and sped away, running every stop sign until she got to her house.
She ran up into her bedroom and locked the door, even though she was alone in the house. She took out her cell phone to call her dad but she was so on edge that she crushed it in her palm. She looked at the mess of wires and plastic in her hand and sat on her bed. There was a package lying on the butterfly printed cover, quickly, her hands shaking, she opened it. A cross fell out of it, along with a file filled with papers and photographs. She read the first paper and her eyes filled with tears.
“I’m like her…” She whispered, curling up on top of her bed.