A Sensitive Assignment
Joss Whedon owns "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and related characters; SyFy owns "Warehouse 13" and related characters; I own nothing.~*~*~
When Dawn imagined herself as a Watcher, it was normally patrolling a graveyard in London, or browsing through ancient scrolls in the vaults of national libraries. She saw herself finally being seen as an equal by her sister, somebody Buffy could turn to in apocalypse season for a critical translation or simply as back-up. She did not see herself standing on a dusty road in South Dakota in front of a neat blue building. About five feet from where she was standing, a sign announced that this was “Leena’s Boardinghouse.”
“Sensitive assignment, my ass,” Dawn muttered under her breath as she continued to glare at the building. “Buffy just wanted me away from any major Hellmouth action. Four years at Harvard for both her undergrad and her master’s, followed by more studies at Oxford in Ancient and Modern Languages, and she was still being treated like a fourteen-year-old who couldn’t fend for herself.
Dawn quickly ran through her assignment in her head before continuing to the front door. The new Slayer--one Claudia Donovan--had only recently been located, due to her constantly moving around after her brother had disappeared. Unfortunately, the reason she was now in one spot for more than a week was because she was working for an organization almost as old as the Watcher’s Council, and just as secretive. The logical part of Dawn realized that as a founding member of the New Council, she was the most ideal choice to send, but the more emotional part of her felt like she was being exiled here.Might as well make the most of it,
she thought glumly. She had reached the front door at this point. Before she could knock, the door opened, the frame filled by a dark-skinned, curly-haired woman who looked like she was in her mid-twenties. Dawn felt the woman’s power touch her skin and resisted the urge to shiver.
“Can I help you?” the woman asked, somewhat abruptly. Dawn forced a smile on her face.
“My name’s Dawn Summers,” she introduced herself. “I’m looking for Claudia Donovan.”
“Claudia’s not here right now,” the other woman answered. “Why are you looking for her?”
“I’m sorry, but it’s confidential,” Dawn answered firmly. The woman studied her intently for a moment before stepping aside. Dawn tried to ignore the feeling that she had just been read like Tara used to read people, and hoped that it wasn’t the case. She didn’t want to have to explain to Buffy that yet another person discovered that she was the Key.
“Leena, I’ll take it from here,” came an authorative voice from behind Dawn. She bit back a gasp and turned around. Behind her was a middle-aged woman in a navy blue suit. “My name is Mrs. Frederic,” she continued, looking at Dawn through a pair of thin glasses. “And I believe we have much to talk about, Dawn Summers.”