Dawn Takes a Walk
A/N This is a kinda/sorta follow up to my story Far Away Lands. You can read that one if you wish, but all you really need to know is that Xander found himself in Narnia while the Pevensie's were kings and queens. He met Lucy and fell in love with her, and she him (it was set just before she came back to London, so she was about twenty or so). While in Narnia, Xander was knighted and given the title of "Narnian Master at Arms". Later he went to Archenland, right after the Horse and His Boy, and trained Cor, Corrin and Aravis. After Lucy and her brothers and sister were brought back to London, Xander came back to Africa and was killed a year later. As always, I have no proprietary claim on either BTVS or the Chronicles of Narnia, but I sure wish I did. Feedback is always appreciated, even if you have something negative to say. Flames will be devoutly ignored. Enjoy.
TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE
DAWN TAKES A WALK
Dawn shifted around, trying to get comfortable, but it was a losing proposition. Idly she wondered if hospital beds had been invented by some demonic group because no matter what you did, you could never get completely comfortable; and sadly Dawn knew what she was talking about when it came to hospital beds. It had started about three years after Xander had died; she seemed to be constantly tired. Dawn had chalked it up to finishing up her second doctorate, but even an extended vacation with absolutely no nighttime activities, at least of the demonic variety, had done no good. Eventually she’d gone to the doctor and the blood work had come back very clear; Leukemia. Now the question was what to do about it. The doctor had said that a bone marrow transplant would be the best solution, but now she had to consider different options because Buffy’s marrow had not been a match. That fact had floored both sisters. Dawn had been made from Buffy so despite a little jiggling with the DNA when it came to physical characteristics (Dawn continuously thanked whichever god was listening that she was taller than her sister) it should have been a perfect match. Even now Buffy was browbeating the technicians over screwing up the test. Dawn had seen what cancer patients went through with radiation and chemotherapy and it wasn’t something she was looking forward to. But Dawn also knew what her odds were without any sort of treatment and death wasn’t something she was truly not looking forward to. With a sigh she just gave up maneuvering because no matter how she arranged herself something was always poking her in the small of the back when there was a soft knock on the door. She looked up and her face lit up when she saw Giles, and surprisingly Faith standing there; idly Dawn noticed that Giles looked very uncomfortable. “Hey Giles, Faith, how are you guys?”
“I’m very well, thank you,” Giles replied distractedly as Faith just nodded. “I understand that Buffy was not a match for your bone marrow, is that correct?”
“Yeah,” Dawn sighed sinking down into the bed. “We can’t figure out why though. Right now she’s tearing through the doctors because she believes that shouldn’t be the case.” It was clear from Dawn’s voice that she didn’t have a great deal of sympathy for the doctors in question. “So why are you guys here,” she asked.
“Surprisingly, it is to supply you with an answer as to why what happened has,” Giles answered cryptically. “And as soon as Buffy returns I’ll tell you what I know,” he held up a hand to forestall any protest. “You know what she would be like if she had to find things out second hand, especially when it is information about you.”
Dawn just grumbled and pouted a bit then brightened, “so why are you here Faith?”
“Giles asked me to be here,” Faith replied. “Said it was important but that it was somethin he had to tell us both so he didn’t spill about what was up.” She shot Giles a speculative look but didn’t say anything else.
There were a few seconds of awkward silence until Giles jumped into the breach and started talking to Dawn about several recent issues that had come to the Head Watchers attention. Soon the room was filled with shop talk as Giles got both Dawn and Faith’s opinion about several personnel issues. They were so intent that no one noticed when Buffy eased herself into the room. Finally, during a lull, she cleared her throat and then had to fight back a smile as Dawn, Giles and Faith all jumped as they realized she was there. It wasn’t often that she could surprise Faith.
“How’s it hangin B,” Faith asked before anyone else could say anything.
“Dumbass technicians, now they’re trying to tell me that they’re not even sure that Dawn and I are related. I mean, she was made from me, how could we not be related, stupid no-science monks.”
Both Faith and Dawn turned to Giles, who was looking distinctly uncomfortable. Buffy wasn’t sure she’d seen the man this uncomfortable since he’d walked in on Xander and Anya one time in the Magic Box. “Giles said earlier that he had an explanation for the test results but was waiting for you to get here until he explained it all,” Dawn said, a little maliciously.
Buffy abruptly sat down on one corner of Dawn’s bed, eyes intent on her Watcher. “OK Giles make with the splainy,” she all but ordered.
Giles stood, and absently polished his glasses, “I found this out some time ago, but was honoring a confidence; which is why I have been silent up to now. Please bear with me because this requires a full explanation.” He cleared his throat and saw three sets of eyes gazing at him intently. “I’m sure you recall when Xander went to that other place, the one called Narnia.” Seeing three nods he continued, “while he was there he met with an analogue to the Powers, a being that called himself Aslan.”
“That was the big lion, right,” Buffy asked.
“Yes Buffy,” Giles replied. “Xander told me later that there was something Aslan had told him that wouldn’t seem to let go of his mind. They were talking about how he had to leave because it would cause too much harm if the young woman he was in love with became pregnant; and Aslan told him that the creation of souls was a function of our humanity and that no outside power could either create or destroy them. After he returned to us, something about the conversation kept bothering him; so he did some research. It was during this time that the truth occurred to him, Dawn has a soul but it could not come from Buffy, at least not directly. If they had, as we earlier assumed, taken part of Buffy’s soul to create Dawn, then the monks would be violating what Aslan had said to be true. They would have, in effect, created a soul. This was when Xander realized that somewhere along the way, a child had been conceived, in essence, a soul had been created; and that child had then been removed from its mother to become Dawn. Since the child had to come from a slayer or a slayer’s line there were four possible sets of parents, Joyce and myself, Buffy and Riley, Buffy and Parker, or Faith and Xander. He surreptitiously gathered DNA from us all . . . . .”
“It was Faith and Xander, wasn’t it,” Dawn interrupted.
Giles looked down at the girl and simply nodded. “After he found out, he confided the truth to me then swore me to secrecy, saying that I could only reveal the truth in the direst of emergencies. I was uncomfortable keeping such a secret from you all, but he was insistent; saying that your lives were disrupted enough as is.” He looked around at the stunned faces of the three young women and simply waited for the explosion. It never came.
“That really explains a lot,” Dawn said, looking thoughtful. “I mean, I don’t look anything like Buffy or Mom.
“It certainly tells us why my bone marrow isn’t a match,” Buffy added. “Of course I’ll have to skin Xander whenever I see him again for keeping this from me but honestly, I can’t fault his reasoning.”
“Then why skin him,” Dawn asked.
“It’s the principle of the thing,” Buffy replied absently. Then she turned to Faith, “You OK?”
“Yeah, I’m just kinda thankful everything went the way it did.” She looked at the others in the room. “Can you imagine what that whole year would have been like, as fucked up as I was back then and preggers on top of that?”
The other two girls shuddered, remembering ‘ticking time bomb, hates the world Faith’ and then trying to imagine her pregnant. Meanwhile, Giles just stood there listening and looking like he’d just been hit on the head with a two by four. “Alright, just who the bloody hell are you people,” he blurted out while trying to remember the spell to remove glamours.
“Relax Giles,” Buffy replied with a small smile. “Compared to our regular lives, this barely even registers as weird, sure it’s a little wiggy, but so are most things in our lives. And bonus, now there’s real hope for my sister.”
“Sister,” Giles said, “after what was revealed I hardly think . . . .”
“No G,” Faith interrupted, “I may have been the egg donor, but Dawn is Joyce’s kid and Queen B’s sister.” She struck a pose, “I’m just the ‘too cool for words’ aunt, who hopefully has bone marrow that matches the brat.”
“I see,” Giles muttered, still looking confused. Even after all this time, his young charges could still surprise him.
“Oh God,” Buffy suddenly blurted out.
“What is it B,” Faith asked, showing genuine concern.
“If you are a match, then Dawn will have your blood in her . . . .” She fell silent for a second, then turned on Dawn suddenly. “I am so putting you in a convent in Switzerland when you get out of here.”
“What, Why,” Dawn demanded.
“One word for you,” Buffy responded grimly, “Faith.”
“Oh, well that makes sense,” Dawn responded calmly.
“Hey, I ain’t that bad,” Faith shot back.
“Miami,” both Summers girls said immediately.
Faith actually looked embarrassed but then rose to her defense. “The beach was deserted when all that started.” A very predatory grin bloomed on her face, “what can I say, the boy had wicked stamina.”
“Oh good lord,” Giles muttered, “I really must find people my own age to spend time with.”
“Just think what you’d miss out on then Giles,” Buffy replied.
“I am,” Giles fired back archly.
“And on that note, I probably ought to go set up the test so we can make sure the brat can handle my juice,” Faith said.
“I’ll come with you,” Giles said. “I have all of the insurance information that you’ll need.”
“Thanks G,” Faith said to the man.
“You’re quite welcome, that and it allows me to get out of this room before my brain curdles.”
“Hey,” Buffy and Dawn yelled at the duo as the door closed
It had been three weeks since Giles little bombshell and two weeks since Faith’s harvested marrow had replaced Dawn’s and one day since the young woman had been taken off her immunorepression therapy. Dawn had overheard the doctor’s marveling at her recovery; personally she figured it was the fact that she was now producing slayer blood in her body. The whole thing made her wonder if she’d get the whole slayer package. Actually all she really wanted was the healing factor, strength and speed upgrades would be cool, but not as essential, to her mind; as accelerated healing. Because, in all honesty; Dawn did not want to be a slayer. Right at this moment though, Dawn wasn’t feeling thoughtful or contemplative, she was feeling both bored and restless which is a dangerous combination. Buffy and the rest of the remaining Scoobies were dealing with a minor crisis and Marciella, her current babysitter; was off getting something to eat so there was no one to talk to or at least plan pranks with. Dawn resigned herself to lying in her hospital bed and being stunningly underwhelmed by the offerings of early evening television when she started to doze off.
She was never sure what exactly happened because it was like living a dream. She got out of bed and left her room, and even though she was making no pretense of stealth, she went unchallenged as she walked through the halls of the hospital. At one level, Dawn had no idea where she was going or how she was navigating the byways of the hospital, but on another level, she knew exactly where she was going. Eventually Dawn came to a door that she’d never seen before, a door that should have been locked but wasn’t, a door that was practically singing to her. During the day it led out to a little grassy courtyard with a couple of flowerbeds and a tree, not that Dawn knew that. But now it seemed to open on an immense green-space with lush grass, wildflowers and an immense number of trees.
The park, forest, whatever; was in twilight, the sun was setting, but Dawn just kept strolling through it, there was no fear in her, either fear of some creature or fear of some disease that would overwhelm her suppressed immune system. Dawn figured that it must be spring or summer because she never felt cold, even though she was only wearing underwear and her hospital johnny. She kept walking as the moon came out, supplying sufficient light for her to see despite the fact that it was just a crescent and not even a half moon. Weariness crept upon her and Dawn felt compelled to lie down and rest, but there seemed to be nowhere to do so. Suddenly, she came to a clearing that seemed almost perfectly flat and had a pool in the middle that was perfectly still. Somehow knowing that this was a safe place, she lay down on the wonderful turf and curled up to sleep under the crescent moon. As she was drifting off, she realized that there was something or someone near her, but somehow she knew that it wasn’t a threat. Dawn felt a warm, delicious smelling breeze waft over her as she finally succumbed to sleep.
Dawn wasn’t sure what woke her up, whether it was the dew or the soft bleating of sheep or the sun in her face; maybe it was a combination of all three. She lay wherever she was, refusing to open her eyes because she hadn’t felt this rested in years, literally; and was afraid that everything she was experiencing was a dream, a dream so wonderful that she didn’t want it to end. It was the soft voice saying, “good morning young traveler,” that finally made her open her eyes. It was then that Dawn truly realized that she was not dreaming, she doubted that she could so vividly dream the cool draft on her legs. Her first glimpse showed that she was indeed sleeping on grass, although Dawn was forced to admit that it was wonderfully comfortable for ground; the sun was just peaking over a hedge and she was lightly covered in dew. She then remembered the voice and jumped to her feet and found herself facing a man. He wasn’t old, but his true age was hard to tell, he had brown hair, mustache and beard and he was wearing a brown monks robe complete with rope belt. “Who are you,” Dawn asked, trying to remain calm.
“I am the Hermit of the Southern March,” he replied calmly. “You are currently standing in my hermitage. Not that I mind the company, but it would have been polite to let me know that you were here.”
That didn’t sound familiar at all to Dawn, and she, unlike Buffy, was pretty good with maps. The man’s voice gave her no hints as to what country they were currently in, so Dawn decided to just ask point blank. “The Southern March of what country, if you don’t mind my asking.”
The man looked surprised, “why Archenland of course,” he replied. Then he stepped forward looking at her intently. “There is something about you that smells of magic, and you do not talk or dress as those about do,” he said, voice barely above a murmur. “Are you not from here?”
As soon as she heard the name ‘Archenland’, Dawn knew what had happened to her. Like Xander she had been temporarily ‘traded’ from one set of powers to another, she just didn’t know why. “Like father, like daughter,” she muttered with a bit of venom, then the hermit’s question registered and she saw that he was awaiting an answer. “No, I am not from here,” she replied; then decided to grab as much of an advantage as she could. “My name is Dawn, daughter of Sir Alex, Narnian Master at Arms.” From the way the hermit’s eyes widened, she knew that she’d just scored.