and please don’t slam the door... (slam!)
Disclaimer in first chapter.
Things moved very swiftly after that. Dawn was not aware of the comings and goings, or the paper shuffling, bribes and quiet threats that went on behind the scenes, but she was quite cognizant of the end result: she was living in a penthouse. Not just any penthouse, but Bruce Wayne's penthouse because the Bat-man was Bruce Wayne and Alfred was his butler.
And, according to those nifty new papers, her long-lost uncle.
How they fudged the blood work, she would never know. There had been no blood work. Well, none that had left the premises. The Bat-man had tried once, in spite of her protests, but the blood just glowed green and disappeared – taking the syringe with it. Since then, there had been no needles except for the ones that the Bat-man and Alfred used to keep her from being a Not-thing. She didn't know how the adoption had worked, and she didn't ask them.
Her life was very different with Alfred and the Bat. Every day Alfred would give her a checklist of things to do. The first ten were mandatory: things like get up, brush teeth, shower, eat, etc. The rest were options, she was to pick five to do each day. If she felt herself becoming Not, she was to find either Alfred or the Bat immediately. They didn't like it when she disappeared.
Mostly because sometimes when she disappeared, she actually
disappeared. Of course, she was not aware of what was happening, being a Not-thing. Apparently, sometimes when her senses went, her body went too. They had shown her videos of it from the penthouse's surveillance tapes. First she would freeze, then go limp and fall to the floor, and finally her body would just… fade away. She always came back, though – usually to her bedroom. It explained how she had gotten home unmolested from her wanderings.
They didn't know what to make of it, and they didn't ask her.
Dawn wasn't sure she would tell them, even if they did. Telling them she wasn't real was one thing, telling them that her blood had untold power to destroy was quite another. The first was a warning she felt she owed anyone who spent enough time with her, but the latter could all too easily be found out by the wrong person and then BAM! No more universes, or dimensions, or anything
Every day Alfred spent some time talking to her, giving her books to read and discussing them with her. Most of them were on classical philosophy, but a few delved into more modern thought like existentialism. He would sit with her and talk to her about them, what they meant and how the philosophers had been affected by their beliefs.
"If you're a trick," he told her one day, "then you're the most convincing one I've ever seen."
"That's what makes me so dangerous," Dawn tried to explain, yet again.
"You are either a teenage girl or a… trick, as you like to say. If you're a trick, then eventually you'll fade away completely and everyone will forget about you. On the other hand, if you're a real girl, then this is your life and you have an obligation to live it to the fullest extent. Even if you are
a trick, as you believe, don't you owe it to yourself – to the part of you that feels things and enjoys bananas more than apples – to live as much as you can? Dawn, if you are
a trick, then your purpose is to make people believe that you are a real live girl… and if that's your purpose, you've been failing at it rather spectacularly."
Dawn stared at him for a full minute, mouth opening and closing sporadically as she searched for something to say. Eventually, she grabbed for the tea that was always on hand during their little 'talks' and poured herself some to give her hands something to do while her brain worked furiously.
"What about the people I'll leave behind? I'll hurt them."
Alfred smiled sadly, "We always hurt those we leave behind."
A/N: Five more to go!