Not mine. BtVS belongs to Whedon. NCIS: LA belongs to Bellisario.
Sam had been watching Kensie’s kid cousin for a while now. Once she got the satellite imagery she’d been demanding and made a couple phone calls- which she was adamant that they did not need to listen in on- most of the tension had vanished, and much of her attitude with it. It seemed that much like Kensie, Dawn could be whoever she needed to be to get the job done.
Kensie was too busy being the proud (and slightly bossy) older cousin to notice anything off about the girl, but Sam definitely had spotted a few things. He’d bet money someone had hurt her when she was younger. Even here, in a secure environment, part of her was always on guard. Always wary. She wasn’t old enough or military enough to have acquired that from combat.
His suspicions were confirmed when Kensie had gone on a coffee run. Dawn had absentmindedly stretched, and he’d caught sight of the scars on her stomach when her shirt lifted. He had a split second to pick between curiosity and playing it cool. Callen wouldn’t have hesitated- but Hetty had dragged Callen off for a brief chat, probably about minding his manners. So that left him, hopefully the more tactful option.
“How long you had those?” he asked lightly.
“What?” Dawn asked.
At his nod toward her midriff, she got the barest hint of a blush before she sighed.
“Full marks for attention to detail,” she said quietly. “Nine years.”
Sam cussed internally. That would make her a young teen when she’d gotten them, and they weren’t trivial cuts. Sometimes he hated being right all the time.
“That I have them, or how I got them?”
“I don’t think so. We haven’t really seen her since Mom died. The scars happened a few months after the funeral.”
“You going to tell her?”
Dawn chewed her lip.
“Why wouldn’t you tell her? She’s family, right?”
Dawn looked at him, and he was saddened, but not surprised, to see that her eyes were old beyond her years.
“Yeah, she’s family. But she’s the one with a normal life. I don’t want to…”
“To what? Burden her? Scare her? You won’t. Do you have any idea what we deal with here?”
Sam was a little staggered that Dawn could classify Kensie’s job as part of a normal life. To his surprise, Dawn snorted.
“Actually, yeah, I do have a pretty good idea what you deal with. Hello, busted into your secure facility demanding access to classified information? But Agent Hanna, believe me when I say you have no idea what my sister and I deal with.”
“Try me,” Sam said softly. “Who gave you the scars?”
Dawn looked him straight in the eye.
“A crazy guy who wanted to use me as a blood sacrifice to end the world. Still sure you want to know?”
Sam gazed steadily back at her.
“Definitely. If only so I know when to smack Callen for being an ass, which he totally will be once he spots those or the ones on your wrist. And he won’t miss them.”