Title: Full Disclosure
Summary: Dawn would rather face down the Apocalypse single-handed than inform Dean Winchester about his genetically enhanced clones.
Pairings: None at this time
Disclaimer: I definitely don’t own any of these characters. Dark Angel characters belong to James Cameron. BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon. SPN characters belong to Eric Kripke.
Note: I also make reference to a couple of SciFi fandoms: Star Wars
and Star Trek,
but none of the characters are actually from them. I’m just not sure how to classify that, except to say that it is mostly just for reference. I also note a website, www.babynames.com
, which is a real website and the definition of ‘Alec’ comes from there.
Thank you to my two lovely betas, MaraLiz & Rorylondra, for your invaluable assistance – and arguing with me over sentence structure when necessary…
Dawn’s POVI am going to kill Faith and Willow,
Dawn declared as she settled herself on the couch next to the young boy. She had her cell phone in her hand and glared at the contacts list for a moment before snapping the phone shut and turning toward the television that was currently occupying the boy’s attention. This just isn’t fair. Why do I have to be the one to tell him? I’m too young to die. I’m not even the one that found them. Faith should do it.
The boy picked up the second half of a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich and began to eat it. She wasn’t sure if he actually enjoyed it or not, but he was given a PB&J , so that is what he ate. Realistically, she knew they couldn’t undo nine years of intensive conditioning in just a couple of days, but her heart still broke every time he responded with a ‘ma’am, yes, ma’am’ to a simple question, like ‘did you get enough sleep?’ or something like that.
She knew he had to still be hungry when he finished the sandwich, and she sighed when he simply placed the dish on the tray and finished drinking his milk. They were trying to show the children that it was okay to ask for more food when they were hungry and several of the children had caught on and spread the word to the rest of their units, but this child was largely being kept away from his unit because once the Winchesters found out about him, the general consensus was that Sam and Dean would be taking the boy with them. They didn’t want him to settle into too much of a routine here at The Academy and then rip him away from it and they had explained all of this to the children. The boy was also getting a crash course in how to deal with the world. They could ease the rest of the children into that, but going with Sam and Dean would require a faster learning curve, so they were doing what they could to prepare the child to take on living with the Winchesters.
For the most part, he had taken to the lessons quickly. He kept referring to it as preparing for his mission, but it meant that he had to have limited contact with the rest of his unit or it would create mass chaos if he gave them information that they just weren’t ready for yet. At the same time, he didn’t have the benefit of learning the social cues that they were trying to teach the group in general by mingling them in with the other students at the school.
Dawn watched his face as he glanced at her lunch tray furtively. She knew he wouldn’t take anything off it, but the truth was that she had already eaten and she had purposely brought a second lunch in so that he could have it. Part of her wondered how long it would have to sit there, untouched, before he asked if he could have it. But, as she watched him, she also knew that she couldn’t watch him sit there hungry when there was something she could do about it. She cleared her throat to get his attention and said, “I’m not really hungry today. Would you like my lunch, too?”
There was no mistaking the desire in his eyes, but she could also see fear and she knew from speaking with some of the other children that the fear was well-founded. How very Oliver Twist of Manticore,
she sneered even as she offered him an encouraging smile and told him, “Go on. It’s okay. You’d actually be helping me out. Sometimes I don’t realize that I’m not hungry until I sit down to eat and they hate it when I waste food.”
When he still didn’t move, she reached for his empty plate and swapped it out for hers and then repeated the process with the milk on the tray. As soon as she finished, his small hands were already reaching for the plate. He took a large bite of her sandwich and chewed and swallowed carefully before he asked, “Permission to speak freely, ma’am?”
“Permission permanently granted,” Dawn told him for the fourth time and waited to see what was floating around his young Transgenic mind.
“Well, I was wondering something,” he began.
“That’s to be expected,” Dawn winked at him. “There’re lots of things in this world to wonder about. What in particular were you wondering?”
“Why did Andrew name me after an actor whose character dies in this movie? Does he want me to die, too?” he asked so earnestly that she knew he had to be turning that question over in his mind for a little while.I need to add Andrew to my list of people to kill, I see,
Dawn told herself with a mental eye roll. Leave it to Andrew to stammer his way through naming a frightened child so much so that the child thought the man wanted him to die. She took a deep breath and turned to look at him. She resisted the urge to run her hand through his fine light brown hair as she tried to explain Andrew’s warped thinking. “No, Alec, he doesn’t want you to die,” she told him. “In Andrew’s mind, he gave you a really cool name and, believe me, I really wish I didn’t understand why
because it means that I understand Andrew’s brain, but here’s what I think he meant: You know you have a brother—a twin—right?”
“Yes, ma’am, but he ran away before you came to get us, so he’s still out there somewhere,” Alec replied. He took another bite of the sandwich as he waited for her to continue.
“Well, his unit siblings named him ‘Ben.’ Andrew really likes this movie, Star Wars,
and he wishes that he was as cool as ‘Ben Kenobi’ so that’s his favorite character. He wanted you to have an equally cool name, and the actor who played ‘Ben Kenobi’ in this movie was pretty cool himself. The Queen of England even made him an honorary knight. His name was Sir Alec Guinness. Andrew named you after him because we told him that he couldn’t call you ‘Obi-wan.’”
She knew that Alec had looked through the name books they had bought for the Transgenics to pick names, so with his eidetic memory, she was positive that he didn’t remember seeing ‘Obi-wan’ in the book, but www.babynames.com
had listed ‘Alec’ as meaning “Defender of the People,” so when Andrew had suggested it, Alec thought it was a good, strong name and Buffy had commented that it would fit right in with the Winchesters’ life motto, so X5-494 became Alec and was soon to become Alec Winchester.
“Alec is a more suitable name to protect our identities,” he informed her and she could see the slight gleam in his eye as he continued, “It would be very bad if I had to use my genetically superior strength and speed to beat the snot out of a group of kids that thought they could pick on the kid with the weird name.”
Dawn tried to swallow a smile, but wasn’t fully able to keep it hidden from her young charge and he offered her a rare grin back. There’s hope for him yet, even if he is picking up interesting phrases left and right.
Willow was almost finished falsifying the paperwork to give all the Transgenics actual identities and even a paper trail. She was throwing so much magic around, though that Dawn’s hair was starting to curl, so she wasn’t spending too much time with the red-headed Witch lately. In her mind, she knew
that Willow wasn’t going to go ‘darkside’ again, but she couldn’t help tensing up anyway. Alec had picked up on her nervous energy and seemed to be getting nervous himself until she had removed them both from Willow’s proximity.
Dawn watched Alec to see what his reaction was to her explanation, but he was quiet as he finished off the last of her milk. She didn’t envy the Winchesters in their ability to keep up with not only one, but two growing Trangenic boys’ appetites. Once they find Ben,
she reminded herself, looking at her phone again. Damn! I really do have to call them if we're going to make any headway in finding him.
A small voice interrupted her musings.
“Ma’am?” Alec asked cautiously.
“Yes, Alec?” Dawn replied.
“Do you think Ben is scared right now?” he asked.
“I don’t know, Alec,” she told him softly. “But, what I do know is that we aren’t going to leave him out there all alone to fend for himself. I promise you we’re going to find him.”
She wasn’t entirely sure he believed her, but he nodded his head. The credits were running on the movie, so she knew her stalling time was up. She needed to call Dean now.
“Okay,” she told herself as much as Alec. She knew she would need to give Alec something to do, but she didn’t want him to go to far in case Dean wanted to speak with him. She thought about the books in her bag and smiled. Perfect. Nothing scarier in this book than he’s already seen at Manticore.
She reached in and pulled out a thin volume on incorporeal demons. She had planned for him to read it the next day, but he could get a head start this afternoon, she reasoned. She handed him the book and said, “Remember when I said that the Winchesters do something like what we do here?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Alec replied. “The Winchesters travel the country saving people and killing the evil mother-fuckers that kill people.”Mental note: Have discussion with Faith regarding her language and eidetic Transgenic memories,
Dawn cringed to herself. She forced herself to smile and ignore Alec’s choice of words for the moment. Have to leave something for Sam and Dean to do,
she told herself. She nodded at him, “Yes, they do save people and this book is about one of the things that they most often save them from. If you are going to live with them, you should know as much about them as possible.”
“I understand, ma’am,” Alec told her before moving to his usual spot for his ‘schoolwork.’ He was kneeling at the coffee table and he immediately began reading the book as she told him to.
“And, Alec?” Dawn asked him as she pulled out her phone again and started scrolling through the contacts listed.
He looked up at her, “Yes, ma’am?”
“My name’s Dawn, not ma’am,” she told him. She had said these same words at least a dozen times already and it always elicited the same response.
“Yes, ma’am,” he replied as he went back to reading.
Dawn sighed and wondered not for the first time if he actually meant the ‘yes, ma’am’ every time or if he was sometimes just playing with her. She watched him out of the corner of her eye and could have sworn she saw the corner of his mouth twitch ever so slightly. She had a feeling that the Winchesters were going to have their hands full with this one and she hoped when they found Ben, the two of them wouldn’t send Sam and Dean to the nearest psychiatric hospital. In truth, if he was playing with her, she had to wonder if Dean’s sense of humor was somehow genetic because Alec seemed to already be taking after him.I really can’t put it off any longer,
she told herself and placed the phone call. Like the chicken-girl she felt like at the moment, she hoped it went to voicemail, but apparently the Force wasn’t with her and Dean answered the phone.“Dawn? What’s wrong?”
“Why do you always assume something is wrong? I can’t call when everything is fine?” Dawn asked in return, making a face at the phone.“The last time you called, Andrew had accidentally caused a Star Trek episode live re-enactment smack dab in the heart of Slayer Central. I’d better never see another stupid furball…”
“They’re called Tribbles and there’s not a single one in sight,” Dawn assured him. That much was true. Andrew was instructed to keep the one that they let him have as a pet—after Willow figured out a way to keep it from reproducing and slowed down its metabolism so that it only wasn’t constantly eating—under lock and key and never
outside of his suite.“Sure, Dawn,”
Dean retorted. “So, what is the emergency this time and does it have anything to do with the shitload of hunters headed toward Wyoming?”“What?”
Dawn practically screamed. No, no, nonononono! This is really not
good! She made a note to herself to send a Slayer contingent to meet up with the hunters and divert them away from the search parties that were still looking for the remaining children who had escaped. Now she really had to tell Dean. She asked, “Um, Dean? Are you sitting down, by any chance?”“Oh, shit, Dawn!”
Dean exclaimed. “Will you just tell me? I can’t kill it if you don’t tell me what I need to kill.”
“Just tell me that you are sitting down,” she insisted and waved away Alec’s concern when he looked up from his book, startled. She knew he had heard Dean’s end of the conversation and was probably getting ready to freak out, so she needed to get this done quickly so she could explain Dean to him.“Yes, I’m sitting, Dawn,”
he told her, annoyance clear in his voice.
“Are you driving?” she asked and then jumped when Dean actually growled
back at her. “You’re driving, aren’t you?”“Yes, I’m driving. It’s something I do,”
“You need to pull over,” Dawn informed him. When she didn’t hear any response, she repeated, “No, seriously…pull over.”
After a quiet moment, Dean answered her, “There, I pulled over. Now, tell me what the hell is going on and this had better be good.”Yeah, right, he pulled over…and the next Apocalypse we face will be caused by pretty, pretty unicorns,
Dawn thought with a roll of her eyes. “Well, um, we have a little situation here,” she began. “See, we found a secret military organization. They were doing some hinky things…genetic experiments being one of them.”“Let me guess: in Wyoming?”
Dean asked and she could almost hear him roll his eyes.If only that was the end of the message,
Dawn lamented. “Yeah…”“Okay, so you need us to go to Wyoming and clean up the mess,”
Dawn could hear Sam in the background already starting to plot a route to Wyoming. She knew she would have to get Dean’s attention again before the two brothers started arguing over which route would be the most expedient way to get there while avoiding federal law enforcement hotspots along the way.
“Dean!” Dawn called into the phone. “We have people in Wyoming already. I need you to come here first.”“Could you maybe back that up a bit and explain to me what the hell you need the two of us for? You’ve got dozens of fully active Slayers in Cleveland,”
he noted. “Our abilities would be best put to use in the field, particularly in the tracking the fucked up genetic anomaly field.”
Alec tensed and she reached a hand out, ignoring the flinch when she first touched him, and ran a hand through is hair softly until he calmed down. She sighed and answered Dean, “This isn’t about hunting down anyone. We are looking for a couple of them, but most of them have already been accounted for. We have them here. They’re just kids, Dean.”“Kids?”
Dean asked. “What the hell does the government want with kids?”
“I guess they decided that they couldn’t create government-stamped supersoldiers from existing human soldiers, so they acquired some genetic materials from a select group of people and started experimenting. It took them years, but they were finally successful in creating their super soldiers. Only one catch: They had to be raised as soldiers from birth or they would be useless for their purposes. Plus, a lot of them have some weird medical conditions from the genetic experimentation,” Dawn explained.“Okay, so we’re not hunting them, but we should still be out there looking for these kids, not hanging out at Slayer Central with the jail bait,”
Dean told her. “We’re going to Wyoming.”
Why did she ever think that dealing with Dean Winchester was easy? He hated authority of any kind, so he automatically argued with her whenever he thought she was trying to give him an order. He was stubborn and obstinate and sometimes just plain rude, but she also knew that his attitude stemmed from nearly thirty years of fighting to keep himself and his brother alive for one more day. Still, Dawn had a breaking point, too, and she had just hit it. She yelled at him, “Dean, you can go to Wyoming after
you come to Cleveland and pick up one of the two clones they made of you and then,
you all can go looking for the other clone because he’s one of the ones that’s missing!”
Dawn cringed as she heard tires squeak and could only assume that Dean had just veered off the road. She heard Sam’s exclamation of “Dean!”
and then the Impala door creaked open and slammed closed. All she heard after that was boots stamping into gravel and she visualized Dean pacing and trying to control his breathing. By this time Dawn knew Sam would be out of the car and his was the next voice she heard.“Dawn?”
he asked. “What is going on? What did you tell Dean that has him hyperventilating?”
“Did you hear any of what I told him?” Dawn asked, not wanting to repeat the entire thing if she didn’t have to.“I could make out a couple of words, but I was mostly just plotting a course to Wyoming,”
She knew that Sam was often the most rational of the brothers, so she probably should have called him instead of Dean, but she truly felt that Dean deserved to hear the news first. It was his DNA that was used to create two children.
Dawn took a deep breath and explained everything to Sam again and then waited for the fall out, hearing the faint sounds of Dean freaking out. When it didn’t come, she asked, hesitantly, “Sam? Are you still there?”“The one that’s with you—is he okay?”
Sam asked quietly.
Dawn could no longer hear Dean’s rambling ‘freak out,’ so she assumed that he had managed to calm himself down. She answered, “Depends on the definition, but I do believe that he will be okay.”
She met Alec’s eyes and could see that he was trying his best to stifle tears. She knew he had to have heard Dean’s reaction to learning about him and was probably now either terrified of the man or worried that they wouldn’t want him, or a mixture of both. She smiled at him and knelt down next to him at the table, pulling him into her side and offering him what comfort she could while she was still on the phone with Sam.“Do you know how they got a hold of Dean’s DNA?”
“Yeah,” Dawn replied. “It’s all in the file.”“We can be in Cleveland in twelve hours…sixteen if Dean can’t drive,”
Sam told her. “I’ll call you when we’re half-hour away.”
Before she could respond, Dean was back on the line, demanding, “Put him on the phone.”
“Dean, I don’t know if…” Dawn started, but she was cut off.“Put him on the phone, Dawn,”
Dean hissed through clenched teeth.
Reluctantly, she handed the phone to Alec, saying a silent prayer that Dean wouldn’t upset him more than he already was. She had promised him a family and he would get a family even if Dean Winchester decided to be an ass and reject him. She whispered encouragingly, “He wants to speak with you.”
She had watched as Alec had thrown darts with unerring accuracy, but when he took the phone, his hands were suddenly unsteady. He seemed to steel himself before speaking, “Yes, Sir?”
Dawn had to strain to hear Dean’s end of the conversation, but she still remembered how to eavesdrop on a conversation, so she stayed very quiet and paid close attention to what Dean had to say.“Do you know who I am?”
Dean asked gruffly.
“Yes, Sir. You’re Dean Winchester, Sir,” Alec replied. His voice barely wavered—barely.“And they made you from me?”
“Yes, Sir,” Alec confirmed.
Dawn could tell now that the ‘ma’am’s earlier were definitely Alec playing with her because she now saw exactly how the boy answered when he meant it. She made a mental note to have a conversation with Dean Winchester about not speaking to Alec like he was the boy’s drill sergeant.“You know you are safe where you are, right?”
“Yes, Sir,” Alec answered, his voice starting to level out and Dawn wondered what was going on in his incredibly intelligent mind.“Okay, kid. Sit tight. We’re coming for you,”
Dean told him.
Dawn watched as Alec’s eyes flashed at his genetic donor’s last sentence and she didn’t know where he managed to gather his courage from, but he did and he sat up straighter, informing Dean firmly, “My name is Alec.” #P.S. Thank you to ancientcitadel, Cataclysmic and JediClaire for the Recs on the first story in this series, How Faith Acquired a Transgenic.