Disclaimer: I don't own any recognizable characters from BtVS or Supernatural and I make no profit from this
Dawn was a good actress. In fact, she was fairly certain she deserved an Academy Award. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be for best female lead. No, she seemed to be firmly stuck in the role of best supporting actress. She wasn’t a Slayer like Buffy or Faith or the other girls. She wasn’t a witch like Willow or a Watcher like Giles. She wasn’t even a Key anymore, not really. There hadn’t been a spark of mystical energy from her in years now. No, she was just Dawn. Sure, demons and freaks still tried to kidnap her from time to time. She seemed to have victim tattooed on her forehead in bright red letters, but she was just a girl and she hated it.
“No way, Buffy, I’m staying here.”
Those words had sparked one of the biggest battles of her life. Giles had done what he needed to in order to rebuild the Watcher’s Council, headquartered in Italy and it was time for him to go there and get things going. Buffy, as his Slayer, was supposed to go with him and start the training facility for the Potentials turned Slayers that had all been gathered and were still trickling in. Dawn, however, wasn’t interested in leaving the U.S. and it was a battle worthy of an Apocalypse, but she finally won the argument, with help from Giles and Willow, who both talked Buffy into seeing the practicality of Dawn staying to run this house, affectionately dubbed Slayer Central. When they’d left, taking everyone but Andrew with them, Dawn had smiled and waved, but inside she was screaming.
Alone for the first time in her life, Dawn buried herself in work, taking care of the house, running numerous computer searches for demonic omens and other signs of the supernatural. She kept up the network with the hunter community, watching the message boards, sending out the information she found so that the hunters could pick up the smaller jobs. She called Faith when she found something bigger here and there and Faith came by the house several times, staying for a few days. Those were Dawn’s bright moments, when she and the Slayer would kick back with pizza and beer and movies and pretend like they were just normal girls, civilians. She also studied the magic books in the library, practiced some spells, nothing dangerous, but getting a good feel for things. Girls came through, on their way to Buffy and Giles in Italy for training, traveling back and forth for visits with their families in the States. On occasion, a hunter would come stumbling in, for rest, or first aid, once or twice just for a sleeping place. Always, Dawn would smile.
When Faith showed up with Sam and Dean Winchester in tow, Dawn had been more grateful than she’d ever admit. To hear that they were going stay had been even better and she was more than willing to help Sam get his gifts under control. When the younger Winchester had shown an aptitude for magic as well, Dawn had only been too happy to get him started and Sam had quickly picked up the basics. After that the two of them practiced together, with a little meddling from Andrew.
The relationship between the Slayer and the two hunters had thrown her at first. When Faith had told her they’d be staying in one room, she thought for sure it was just one of Faith’s flings, thumbing her nose at the rest of the world and its rules, but it soon became apparent that wasn’t the case. She’d never seen Faith the way she was when she was with the Winchesters and Dawn approved of the change wholeheartedly. She asked Faith once, while the guys were out, how she’d ended up in the relationship. Faith had grinned at her.
“Dawn, a girl’s gotta do things for herself once in a while. When it came to Sam and Dean… well, picking one of them when both choices are so right, that’s just wrong, ya know?”
“And they’re both right?” Dawn had asked.
“Nothing righter in this world,” Faith said with a grin and Dawn was betting that was the closest she’d ever get to Faith admitting to love.
Andrew had wandered in then and the moment had been over, but Dawn remembered the look on Faith’s face, the smile. It had been real. Wicked and fun loving, because it was Faith, but real.
It’d been almost six months later that Andrew had come across Dawn in the library late one evening. Faith, Dean and Sam had been out on a hunt, a routine salt and burn three towns over and Dawn had indulged in a rare moment of melancholy. Several shots of Tequila later, she was lounging in the padded armchair in the corner of the library, head lolled back over the arm, staring at the wall, upside down. The curious face that came into view made her blink a few times before she focused on Andrew.
“Whatcha want?” she asked.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
“Drowning my sorrows, what’s it look like?” she said, scowling and sitting up.
Andrew took a seat in the chair across from her, looking annoyingly concerned.
“What sorrows? What’s wrong?” he asked.
She blamed it firmly on Jose’ Cuervo. If she hadn’t been drunk, she never would have said a word. But good ole Jose’ had loosened her tongue and the words just flowed out.
“Ever wonder what your destiny is, Andrew? What you were put here for? Not a Slayer, not a witch. Not powerful or strong or anything else. Just a little worker bee, doing research and pointing other people at their futures,” she said, her eyes falling shut.
When they opened again, it was light and Andrew was standing over a book at the table in the middle of the room. There were bottles and bags lined up in front of him and a silver bowl that they used for mixing spell ingredients.
“What are you doing, Andrew?” she asked, instantly nervous.
“Got a present for you, Dawn. Why don’t you go brush your teeth and stuff, then come back and I’ll show you,” he said, looking way too excited.
With a groan, Dawn got to her feet and shuffled out of the library. She made her way to the bathroom and brushed her teeth and hair, washing her face with cold water to chase away the grogginess. Staring at her reflection in the mirror, she considered just falling into bed and leaving Andrew to whatever madness he had in mind, but she sighed and changed her clothes instead, trading her pajama pants and tank top for a pair of jeans that she’d left on her dresser and her favorite green halter top. She slipped her shoes on, just so she’d feel fully dressed and more awake. Out of habit, she grabbed the thin wallet that held her driver’s license and a picture of her mom, Buffy and herself and slipped it in her back pocket. She never left the house without it.
She found Andrew the same way she’d left him in the library and moved to stand beside him.
“So what exactly are you doing?” she asked.
“Just a sec, need something else,” he said and she swatted at his hand when he caught a few strands of her hair and yanked.
“Ow, dammit! What the hell?” she demanded.
“Sorry,” he said, tossing the long brown strands into his bowl. He was holding a pinch of powder in his other hand and he looked at her, eyes sparkling with excitement. “Ready?”
“Ready for what, Andrew?” she asked, stepping back, nervously.
Andrew threw the powder into the bowl and spoke two words of Latin. There was a crack and then a flash of green light as the fabric of reality split and a portal appeared in the air in front of her. Dawn felt the pull, the magic grabbing her, yanking her forward.
“Oh for craps sake!” she shouted, as the eerie green light enveloped her body and she was pulled from the world she knew.