Disclaimer: I neither own nor make a profit from Buffy the Vampire Slayer or DC Comics.
Spoilers: Everything for Buffy, everything for DC.
Timeline: Begins mid Season Six for Buffy. DC comes in about a “year” before the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Of course, “comic book time” is highly subjective, so it’s a bit difficult to say when precisely this begins.
Characters: Dawn Summers, Jason Todd and Jason Todd (yes, you read that correctly)
Pairings: No pairings at the moment, but that might change later on.
Summary: Dawn makes a different wish to Halfrek with unforeseen results. Left to figure out how to control her powers as the Key before she destroyed herself or the multiverse, Dawn sets out on a journey of self discovery, picking up unexpected strays along the way.
Author’s Note: This is an attempt to give Dawn back her powers as the Key in a reasonable manner. I’ll admit, it got away from me, as most stories do, and it seems likely it will become something of an epic, so I’ve cut it down a bit. This particular story will only cover from the episode “Older and Far Away,” until the beginning of Season Seven, which takes place about eight or nine months before the Crisis.
I found fragments of this story of pieces of paper in an old notebook. Much of the prologue and the first chapter come from these writings which is why they’re so choppy.
“They need you in the guidance office.”
Wondering what could be wrong, Dawn quickly gathered her books and bag. Did they know? She knew she hadn’t been caught before, but luck ran out for everyone. Eventually.
What felt like both an eternity and a split second later, Dawn found herself sitting in the guidance office. Across from her was a pretty brunette guidance counselor with a small blue pendant draped prominently about her neck.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you,” said the woman. “Just a follow-up after your… your loss. And since I’m new here, I thought it would give us a chance to know each other.”
“Great,” muttered Dawn, feeling slightly relieved.
“So, I’ve been looking through your file and um… your grades have slipped a little.”
“I have really hard classes this quarter.”
“Yeah, still. Teachers say you seem a little distracted lately.”
“I’m not,” protested Dawn. “I-I’m fine.”
“Okay. It’s just, you know, I know it must seem weird,” the guidance counselor laughed, “talking to a stranger about stuff, but, um… I want you to know that if something’s going on, something’s up, my job… the most important part of my job… is looking out for you.”
“I’m really okay.”
“I know there’s been… a lot of loss.”
Dawn looked away. “Yeah. Kinda.” She looked up. “I-I mean, yes. People keep… people…” (1) she trailed off, reconsidering what she’d been about to say. “Sometimes I think people only care about me because of who I’m related to or… what I used to be.” She bit her lip, considering her words carefully. “And sometimes… I wish there were people who cared about me for me and-” Dawn paused, deciding she’d already said too much.
“And?” asked the woman. When Dawn looked down, she said, “You can tell me.”
“That I… That I felt like me again, instead of like I’m stuck inside a stranger’s body.”
Dawn Summers had certainly made a difficult wish. Oh, it didn’t look that way from the onset, but when one looked at all the inherent problems… it was a doozy of a request.
In the end, Halfrek decided to begin with the second part of the wish. It was quite obvious why Dawn felt like a stranger in her own body. Beyond the immediately apparent teenage reasons. Dawn’s powers were bound. Halfrek was more amazed that so much power had been successfully bound than anything else. The binding must had required a sacrifice-blood at the very least… maybe even a human life as well.
Halfrek was exceedingly careful in unbinding the magic preventing Dawn from being able to access her powers. She’d considered making the consequences of Dawn’s wish… unpleasant her, but the girl’s power was a curse in and of itself.
That would satisfy D’Hofryn.
It was only upon closer examination that Halfrek came to the conclusion that once her powers were unbound, they could be used to lead Dawn to the first part of her wish-with a few… gentle nudges. Not to mention that unbinding Dawn’s powers would be a good little dig at Dawn’s sister and so-called friends. That would do nicely as a bit of vengeance. Even if it was a bit more subtle than most of her work.
(1) Preceding dialogue taken from the episode “Older and Far Away.”