A New Picture
Chapter 19: A New Picture
“So, why all of us?” Valenti asked, “Why’d you want all of us to come?”
“If I’d only invited Max, Isabel, Michael, and Liz would the rest of you have really stayed in Roswell?”
“No,” Maria answered instantly.
Dawn laughed. “I figured you all had some questions. Some I could answer.”
“What will happen if…” her eyes darted to Zach, “down the line…”
“Completely human,” she said. “Some light empathic abilities but nothing like these three possess.”
“How long before my abilities are fully formed?” Kyle asked.
“As long as you fight them you aren’t likely to come to grips with them,” she explained. “You also won’t need Max to spawn your abilities, but you will need to cling to that peace and Zen you’ve found.”
“Spawn abilities?” Isabel said.
“Michael?” Dawn looked at him, “do you remember when you took me to the mountain? To see the pods?”
“You, what?” Max looked at Michael.
“I remember,” he confirmed glad he was out of sight of Max and Isabel’s glares.
“And all the information I got from Ava?”
“Yeah,” he tilted his head, “oh… about why there were two sets of pods and how Max’s healing changed Liz.”
“See,” she pointed to Michael, “he has all your answers about those types of those things.”
“There are two minds,” Buffy suddenly said. She was given a variety of looks. “The spell to defeat Adam Giles, Willow, Xander, and I did. There were four elements to create the super-Slayer. Vessel, Spirit, Mind, Heart. You said Zach was mind, and, no offense Les, but so is the Watcher…”
Dawn sighed, “I was hoping you wouldn’t catch that until I was gone. Do you know why Xander was Heart?”
“Because he was always there,” she said, “he kept us together, going…”
The Key was unable to quiet the snort that erupted from her. “Don’t delude yourself. Xander was heart because he loved you.”
Her sister sat back literally moving away from the thought.
“Beyond anything else,” she shook her head, “he loved you. Why else do you think…” she cut herself off. “From the moment you nearly crashed into him to now. You are quintessentially the girl who got away. Kathy’s… Heart… isn’t here yet. He’ll come and be one of them. May be a year, five, ten.”
Kathy grabbed for attention, “Ten years?! You’re exaggerating.”
Dawn stared down at the girl, “you know who it is.”
“I know where he is,” she replied. Then she turned and pointed northeast.
“Did Dru tell you?”
“No, I feel it,” she scrunched up her face. “Like something pulling at me here,” she tapped her chest.
“Kathy…?” Jack started.
“What about Mind and Spirit?” Dawn tilted her head.
She nodded, “Not as strongly. But they are there. Zach I could feel in my right ear. Sydney through my left hand.”
“In your right ear?” Maria frowned.
“It’s how it feels,” Dawn said, “don’t take it too literally.”
“Where does that leave me?” asked Les. “I’m not the Heart or the Mind.”
“Nope, just the Watcher,” she smiled. “Don’t forget the Scoobies aren’t the only team this is modeled after.”
“Fair enough,” she shook her head, “I’ll be right back.” She disappeared into the house.
“What precautions should be taken in the case of the vampire Drusilla?” Teal’c asked.
“At least one warrior, armed with a stake,” Dawn suggested, “and a bottle of holy water. A secondary person would be best. Kathy knows the rules and she’s able to communicate easily. Watch her and Sydney for cues, they read Dru really well.”
Les arrived with a tray of cupcakes. The girls gladly took off with them. Cam kissed Buffy’s head and followed with Vala and Zach. Jack stood a moment later and started gathering things, Valenti – with a need to be useful – followed. Oz gave a wide yawn and told everyone he was calling it a night. With a “later” to the gathered he let Sam lead him back into the house. Teal’c turned to Max to ask a question.
Dawn leaned back and watched as they mingled with stories only half shared.
“Buffy needs to talk to you,” Ronon’s voice rumbled in her ear.
She sighed. But she shifted off his lap and walked over to her sister, “wanna take a walk around the yard?”
“Sure,” the blond stood. They were to the end of the yard before Buffy stopped.
“You and Ronon have a good talk while you were out?” Dawn asked.
“Yeah,” her voice was soft as she watched the children and the adults play with a ball. “You’ve been trying? For children.”
“No more or less than before,” she shrugged. “It’ll happen when it does and until then I’ll just settle for spoiling these kids or Char.”
“Char? John and Teyla’s little girl.”
“Yeah,” she smiled, “the first child born on Atlantis in more than ten thousand years.” She turned to her sister, “so out with it.”
Dawn closed her eyes seemingly in pain.
“I was tr-”
“Shh!” Dawn held out a hand. Then she opened her eyes and grinned. “That’s what’s been bugging me all night. Little niggling push. I just thought it was one of the spirits or the magicks. But now I feel him.”
“Oh, yeah,” she smiled, “And he’ll look just
like Cam.” Her eyes welled.
“Are you okay?”
“Yes,” she grabbed her sister into a hug. “Congratulations.”
She felt Buffy smile.
“And don’t be surprised if you crave apple juice and red meat,” she whispered.
“What?” Buffy pulled back wiping hastily at tears.
“Char wanted oranges. Your little one wants apple juice and red meat.”
“You are unbelievable,” she said softly as she brushed hair from her sister’s face, “truly.”
She chuckled, “I keep hearing that. I’m just the freaky Key.” She smiled, “and that suits me just fine.”
Buffy stared at her, “what you said…”
“Is not something we need to go into right now,” she promised. “And I think Cam plans on stealing you away if I even attempt to upset his fragile pregnant wife.”
“Hey!” she looked to where said husband stood and made a face.
“Don’t worry,” she snickered, “as I found out with Sheppard, you could be a completely stress-free warrior woman the entire time and he’s still going to treat you like you’re made of glass or fine china. By the time you really hate your lack of coordination and weight and emotions… you’ll be extremely happy he has no greater wish than to rub your back and fetch strange foods at 4 in the morning.”
“You and Teyla must be close.”
“Yes, but John also projects. And the closer she got to being due, the more time I spent blocking his jackrabbiting emotions.”
“Speaking of,” her sister turned to her, “seven months from now, you think you’ll be in the galaxy.”
“Maybe,” she made a face, “as long as Carter doesn’t send me back to Icarus. I was going to kill Rush! And I voluntarily spend time with Rodney McKay!”
“He’s a little single-minded,” Daniel’s voice conceded as he joined them.
“He’s been on the project for a year and a half and he’s not making many friends,” she retorted. “Do I need to remind anybody what happens when you alienate the people who are supposed to be around to help you?” She calmed and turned back to Buffy, “seven months… I’ll make sure Woolsey and Landry know I intend to be back.”
“Why?” he looked between the women. Buffy’s sheepish expression and Dawn’s raised eyebrow made him look down, “oh.” A smile broke out over his face and he swept Buffy into a tight hug. A whispered, “congratulations,” in her ear.
The Key felt the emotional shift before delicate sniffles reached her. She shook her head as Daniel let the young mother down. She was smiling though, “excuse me.” She raced across the yard and threw herself at Cam, landing him on his back next to the pool.
“What was that?” Daniel asked.
“You ever gotten the story about what happened with Sydney’s birth?” whispered Dawn so that those of good hearing would not be intrigued.
“Not really,” he frowned.
“Only Illyria knew,” she gave him a sad smile. “Being able to tell me is secondary to being able to share it with a friend. And even that falls down the list after having Cam here.” She looked back at him, “I know it’s not always going to be possible… but could you make sure…”
“Yeah,” he cut her off.
“Thank you,” she stared across the lawn. “It takes a village to raise a child. Pretty interesting village,” she commented.
He looked at her, “what do you know?”
“Nothing,” she shrugged, “just funny how not a single one of these kids will have a traditional upbringing.” She sighed, “that may be for the best given some of the things I’ve glimpsed. They’ll need everything they can get…” she shook her head focusing her eyes. “Sorry I’ve been unfocused for several days and that little power display earlier didn’t help. I just meant that as someone who was younger it was hard not to resent who and what people around me were. These kids will grow up together. They’ll have Les, Oz, and Jon to bridge the gap to you, their parents, guardians, and teachers.”
Daniel wasn’t sure what to make of her thoughts but in the end nodded. Dawn smiled and left him to his thoughts as she made her way to sit in the chairs as people talked and moved about. She watched passively.
Someone sat down on her right, just within her view, dark hair partially obscuring a small, young round face.
“What happens now?” Liz asked.
“That’s the greatest part of the story…” Dawn said looking over at her with a mysterious smile, “whatever you want.” Okay, there ends Roswell Interlude. My Keys series is currently on hiatus as I work full-time go to school, raise a two year old, and focus on a HP/BtVS crossover. Thanks for all the reviews and those who have followed and supported this adventure for (almost) three years. It's been wild and I will miss it.