Angst, mentions of dead relatives and teen crushes.
Main characters: Dawn, mentions of Xander, John (Pyro) and Bobby (Iceman)
Disclaimer: I hold no legal rights to any characters or concepts from 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' which was created by Joss Whedon. I hold no legal rights to any characters or concepts from X-Men the movie.
Distribution: Twisting, Paula, anyone else please ask first.
Note: this is in response to Jinni's Weekly Poetry Challenge #4 It goes very AU in Season 5.
Warning: heavy angst.
Some say the world will end in fire;
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
-'Fire and Ice' by Robert Lee Frost
She couldn't remember a time when she hadn't loved Xander. He'd always been there for her, always making sure that she was alright... or at least, it felt that way. Even though they'd only been in Sunnydale for five years, even though she hadn't known him before that. Dawn couldn't remember not loving him.
Unfortunately, he'd never looked at her like that. Maybe it was because she was three years younger than he was. Maybe it was because of Buffy and her little shirts. Maybe it was because of Cordelia, and then Anya, his confident and bold girlfriends. Not at the same time, of course, but still... With someone like that, how would he ever notice Dawn Summers?
But he'd been there when Glory had killed her mother, trying to weaken Buffy and keep her off balance. When the evil super-tramp had left her almost an orphan, her mother dead and her father off somewhere, Spain or Portugal or somewhere with his big breasted secretary that was barely older than Buffy. Xander had tried to help her, tried to help them both.
He'd nearly been killed trying to defend her when those crazy Knights had come after her. He'd been in the hospital in critical condition from trying to prevent Glory's minions from kidnapping her when the Queen of skanks had drank Tara's mind and learned that Dawn was the guardian of something called 'the Key'.
Glory had wanted to get the Key very badly. It had been her whole purpose in coming to Sunnydale. A slight change from the old standard - opening the Hellmouth. No, Glory just wanted the Key so she could go home. They might have been okay with that except for the parts where Glory ate people's minds, and her trip home might destroy the world.
She'd been there, tied to the cold metal of the tower as Glory's minion had slashed open her stomach, and the only thing that had been going through her mind had been 'oh God save me' and 'I want Xander'.
Buffy had plummeted to the ground, sealing Glory's portal with her blood, with her death. When the searing light had faded, Glory was gone. They didn't know if she was destroyed, or if she'd actually made it home, and they couldn't quite muster the energy to care.
Buffy was dead.
She'd barely been able to go through the motions of living as they'd buried Buffy. Xander had been there, pale, weak, barely released from the hospital, but he'd been there. He'd been there when they'd discovered from her father's lawyer that legal custody of her had been transferred to a cousin, some guy named Scott Summers who lived in New York, and she would be sent there immediately. Hank Summers hadn't even had the courage to tell her himself, hadn't even had the decency to show up for either funeral, not for her mom's, not for Buffy's.
To be honest, it hadn't been Scott's idea. And he'd been fairly decent about the whole thing, considering. He'd met her at the airport, helped her find her luggage, and they'd gone back to the place where he lived, a school called Xavier's. On the way, he explained that he'd got permission for her to live there as well.
He'd completely forgotten to mention that everybody in the whole school was a mutant.
Dawn had adapted, managing to get over the shock fairly well. It wasn't as if there was anything wrong with a little genetic mutation, after all. And nobody here was trying to kill her, to kidnap her for evil rituals. Nobody here knew that she was anything other than Scott's cousin.
The thing was, she had a pair of admirers. Two guys, maybe her age, maybe a year older, both cute in different ways. Bobby was nice, the sort of guy that you can take home to meet your parents, the sort of guy that you just know wouldn't dream of hurting you. And then there was John. John was... he was confident, and temperamental, and rebellious. He was sort of like Spike, with darker hair and a knack for playing with fire, actually. And they both seemed to spend a lot of time flirting with her.
It was almost too good to be true. The idea that two cute guys would both be interested, both want her... It should have made her smile, should have delighted her.
Except that she still felt frozen and numb inside from Buffy's death, still ached from loosing her mother. Still was afraid to let herself feel and care again.
One day, things would change. The pain would fade, and from that, she would emerge anew: still Dawn Summers, but older, stronger, hopefully wiser. And on that day, she would have to make a choice. Fire, or Ice?
end Bitter Sunrise.