Author's Notes: My apologies for taking an extra week to get this out. I had originally planned to go in another direction with this story. However it occurred to me that I was perhaps making the story a little too complicated and I had to almost completely rewrite the last half of this chapter and I'll have to completely rework the what else I've already written. So there may be some delays in getting the next couple chapters up.
Following the demon revelation, Jim had made a couple hurried phone calls once they set out again. According to him, they were making a detour to South Dakota to visit a friend who was a demon expert.
After what had happened the afternoon before, Dawn had spent much of the day absolutely miserable. Somehow, it hadn't hit her, not until she'd visited this dimension's version of Buffy, not until she'd told Jim her spin on what had happened that the events of the past few days had really hit her. Maybe she would have sat there and wasted away, except Connor needed her. He needed somebody to take care of him, and somebody to protect him if that demon came back.
So in the morning, once they were on the road, Dawn had quizzed Jim on anything and everything he knew about these strange demons. Dawn faintly remembered reading something which referenced this sort of demon years ago, but in all fairness what was possession in the face of an imminent opening of the Hellmouth? As she couldn't take notes, Dawn committed everything he said to memory, all the while knitting a sweater using a cable pattern this time.
When Jim's knowledge of demons was exhausted, they moved on to Dawn's skills with languages. Dawn didn't think she was that good-she was only fluent in Latin, Spanish, Turkish, Czech, French, Welsh, Gaelic, and ancient Greek-but Jim had been seemingly unreasonably impressed. Likewise, he'd been almost speechless at her skills with Russian, Japanese, Ancient Sumerian, and Hebrew-Willow had taught her when she'd first started babysitting Dawn. She was half Irish and half Welsh, she'd explained to Jim, and had learned the languages from her mother and grandmother, which he'd accepted easily enough. Dawn had very carefully avoided mentioning the demon languages she knew-well; she was conversational in, at least. It didn't seem like something Jim would take all that well. (1)
Instead of stopping around eight or nine like he'd done the night before, Jim kept driving. It was a little after eleven when then pulled off the highway. Sensing that they were near their destination, Dawn put away her knitting-she was whip stitching the seams of the sweater closed-and Connor's scattered baby things. He'd been fed and had his diaper changed not long before, so he seemed content to sleep through her movement.
Half an hour later they arrived at 'Singer Auto Salvage' as the sign proclaimed. It looked ordinary enough, but even in Dawn's limited experience she could tell it was a veritable fortress with the tall fences and iron completely surrounding it.
They pulled in and Dawn hopped out of the car, Connor in one arm, the diaper bag over the opposite shoulder. She stopped to pet the rottweiler chained up in from of the house. It wagged its tail and licked her hand, begging for attention.
"Never seen Rumsfeld take to someone so quickly," commented a man on the porch, shotgun in hand. He looked like the stereotypical redneck and Dawn suddenly had the feeling that was as much of a mask as Buffy's airhead persona.
"I'm a dog person," she said, thinking back to the knowledge that necromanced animals, particularly canines and serpents could see her for what she really was. Apparently grumpy guard dogs could see the Key as well.
"Dawn, this is Bobby Singer. Bobby, this is Mary Dawn O'Dea and her son Connor. She's the one I told you about."
Jim went back and picked up a duffle bag and Dawn's backpack. The trio headed inside, Dawn making no objection when she and Jim both were given holy water to drink.
Dawn handed the bottle of water back to Bobby saying, "No offense meant, but I'd appreciate it if you drank as well."
Bobby gave a short nod and drank what was left in the bottle in one go. "So tell me about your demon problem."
Jim shook his head. "Dawn, why don't you go up to bed. I'll tell Bobby what you told me and you can answer any questions he has in the morning."
"It's alright. I think I'd prefer telling him now," she admitted.
"Come on, we can talk in the kitchen," said Bobby.
She allowed herself to be led to what was likely once a very homely kitchen. There she pulled her knitting back out and continued stitching the seams closed. Once everybody was seated, coffee-or in her case hot chocolate-had been served and Bobby had a notebook and a pen out, Dawn began. She told him everything she'd told Jim, this time refusing to acknowledge that she'd been terrified Daniel would rape her. Jim would tell him if it was important. Halfway through her story she finished the seams and pulled out a crochet hook and began to make a border and button holes around the hems of the sweater, using a simple pattern. Bobby asked her a handful of questions, most of which Dawn couldn't answer.
"Why a sword?" asked Bobby.
"Huh?" said Dawn, looking up from where she was tying off the yarn.
"Why did you pick a sword?"
"The Society for Creative Anachronisms. Uh, Renaissance fair type stuff. Janice's uncle was into that sort of stuff and taught us how to use both a knife and a sword. I can also use a bow, though I haven't used one since I was twelve." Not since Mayor Wilkins's abortive attempt at ascension, but they didn't need to know that. "It seemed like a bad idea to get into a hand to hand fight with somebody that could have been a monster and the sword gave me longer reach than a knife or a battleaxe."
Dawn pulled out a packet of buttons and a needle and thread and began to sew buttons onto the sweater. "Anything else?"
"You plannin' on hunting?"
"If I didn't have Connor, I'd say yes," she admitted. "But I'm not going to go out and search for God only knows what when I have an infant depending on me. I was thinking that maybe once I know for sure what all is really out there I could help hunters research. If nothing else, I can translate things."
"What about college?"
Dawn snorted. "What, I'm supposed to work three jobs and keep Connor in day care I don't know how long to pay to go to college and learn languages I already know? I don't even have a high school diploma or a GED. And even if I did, am I supposed to pretend that the supernatural isn't real or that there might be a demon after Connor and me?"
She snipped the thread on the last button and put the needles, thread and yarn away. "I'm going to head to bed now if you don't mind. I've got maybe an hour and a half before Connor wants to be fed again and I intend to sleep for as much of that time as possible."
"Come on then. You can stay in the guest room," said Bobby.
He picked up the backpack before Dawn had a chance to reach for it and led her upstairs, past a utilitarian room with two beds to an old fashioned room that looked like a woman had decorated it. There was a four poster full sized bed with a white lace canopy and a fussy old fashioned quilt. She was a little surprised by the matching lace curtains and old fashioned wardrobe which matched a dresser and two bedside tables. No closet, but that was why the wardrobe was there, she supposed.
"Thanks for letting me stay tonight," said Dawn.
"You need anything for him?"
Dawn yawned as she sorted through Bobby's cupboards. Connor had, as predicted, woken her at two and then at six. It was around seven that Dawn had given up the pretense of attempting to sleep and given Connor a bath before cleaning herself and getting ready for the day. It was at that point that Dawn had realized that nobody else was up. So she'd decided to make herself breakfast.
And then Dawn had seen all the dusty, but very nice pans meant for baking. Whoever had decorated the room she'd slept in had obviously been quite the baker-with a taste for pies judging by the number of pie tins. Dawn had ended up pulling out one of the muffin pans and had then begun a search of the fridge and cabinets. Her mother's secret muffin recipe was amazing and Dawn had to admit, she wanted some of them. She wanted some of her mother's raisin cinnamon or blueberry crumble muffins. There were no blueberries, but there were raisins, so she instead collected the ingredients she needed for the raisin cinnamon muffins.
Once the muffins were in the oven, she filled a teakettle with water and set it on a burner. While the water was heating, she pulled out the tin of tea leaves and the china teapot and teacups she'd found during her search for flour and sugar. Dawn cleaned the teapot and teacups before drying them with a towel. Dawn put some tea leaves in the teapot-enough to make a strong cup of tea. When the kettle began to whistle she turned off the burner, waited a moment and then poured the water into the teapot.
While she waited for the muffins to finish baking and the tea to steep, Dawn continued her knitting, absently singing a country song she didn't quite remember the name of… it was something about how the singer should have been a cowboy. Tara had passed her fondness of country music onto Dawn. After the second time she sang the song she moved on to a Blues Traveler song and then a medley of old Johnny Cash songs. Somewhere between taking the muffins out of the oven and the second verse of the Highwayman, Bobby wandered into the kitchen.
She looked up from where she was arranging the steaming hot muffins on a plate and then back down again. She checked to make sure that Bobby hadn't disturbed Connor, who was on a blanket on the floor with his rabbit and rattle, happily entertaining himself by attempting to eat his bootie covered foot.
"I made raising cinnamon muffins, rosehip and raspberry leaf tea, and coffee, if tea isn't your thing, although I thought that since you actually had rosehips and raspberry leaves, you must make tea with them." She tilted her head in contemplation, not once pausing in her babbling. "Of course, both are often used in Wicca and I can only assume that you'd be well versed in such uses, even if you don't practice magic."
"You Wicca?" he asked, pouring himself some tea and grabbing a muffin.
She looked at the man, noting that he was slightly tensed, though there was no obvious sign that he was reaching for a weapon. Could she really deny her abilities, practice in secret? So she took a chance-just a small one. He seemed more reliable than any of the hunters she'd ever met or heard of, and in all honesty she'd rather know now than a couple years from now how hunters would react to this sort of thing.
"I don't practice Wicca as a religion-anybody who does that is a bloody idiot. Half that mainstream crap involves praying to deities for power and nobody in their right mind would want a supposed god's attention. That's just asking for trouble."
Dawn sat down and poured herself a cup of tea. Cautiously, she looked up at Bobby. There was no censure in his expression so she continued. "My first teacher was a woman by the name of Jenny. I studied under her for about a year and a half, starting shortly after the ghost incident when I was ten. She was the one who taught me Latin and Greek." Dawn looked at her hands. "Most of what she taught me was how to channel what she called my natural magical abilities and how to avoid falling into the traps many other magic users fell into by relying on a god or some other being for power rather than themselves, or by entering into Faustian bargains."
"Explain the Faustian bargains thing," said Bobby, his voice carefully neutral.
"According to Jenny a lot of Wicca said a spell in another language that they didn't translate properly or never translated at all and that doing so was an easy way to accidentally see your soul. Or that some people actually sold their soul for power."
"Jenny was murdered by a vampire." Dawn bit her lip. "My next teacher was Tara. She called herself a Wicca, though to be more accurate the women in her family followed what they called the Old Ways, or traditional Wicca which was about one part actual magic, four parts traditional herbal medicine and two parts midwifery. She only used magic when she'd literally no other choice and never to harm another living being. I studied with her for two years." Dawn snorted. "I did maybe a dozen spells under her supervision during the entire apprenticeship, since she'd decided I had a good enough foundation in magic from what I'd learned from Jenny not to need the practice. Most of what I learned from her was first aid, herbal medicine, midwifery, and pediatric medicine. How many girls my age can say they assisted in the delivery of twenty three babies and delivered eight more on their own? Although Tara was there to supervise during seven of those eight."
"So what, you're a healer?"
Dawn gave him a look of disdain. "Any so-called Wicca who claims they can heal somebody with their magic is full of shit. Healing spells, like resurrection spells always, always go horribly wrong. And if they do manage to pull it off, it's a sure sign that either they're not human or they got their powers from something inhuman."
"What happened to Tara?"
"It was a Tuesday," she said, as though that explained it all. Then realizing that he had no idea of her curse, she explained, "A so-called goddess stole Tara's sanity. It was the goddess that Ben tried to sacrifice me to. That thing had to steal people's sanity, leaving childlike shells behind to fuel her abilities. The goddess died-a hunter killed the damn goddess, thankfully-but Tara… Well she was never the same again."
They fell into silence until Jim came down. Then Bobby wandered off, supposedly to work, though Dawn heard him make a phone call, asking somebody to come over. She reached out discreetly with her senses. She was no psychic-not really-but she was skilled enough to get a sense that neither Jim nor Bobby meant to kill her, but Bobby was very cautious of her and did not believe her. Intellectually, Dawn knew she'd made a tactical mistake and that she should run while she had the chance, but her senses were telling her to stay, that all would be well, though she had no idea how. This was one of the few magics that Tara had taught her. She would follow the advice her senses gave her.
So she cleaned the dishes and then gave Connor a bath, before packing all her things up. It was best to be prepared, if her senses had been fooled.
Dawn settled Connor on his little blanket, laid out on the carpet before the couch and plopped herself down. As she didn't have enough yarn left to make anything save booties in one color, Dawn began to crochet granny squares. She would use all the yarn left and could sew the squares together to make a blanket. Although with so little yarn left, it was more like the beginnings of a blanket than anything else.
She had three squares made and perhaps enough yarn for another two when there was a knock on the door. Jim and Bobby had been in the kitchen talking, and Dawn could only assume that they'd been comparing notes, as there was a hard look on both men's faces when they came out. Bobby opened the door to reveal a dark haired woman in her early twenties. Dawn's eyes widened. She wasn't particularly good at sensing auras-it was an acquired skill and Tara had always been so much better-but it didn't take a genius to realize the woman was a psychic. A powerful one at that.
"Pam, thanks for coming out," said Bobby, pulling the woman into a hug.
"It's no problem. I was in the area anyway," said Pam. "Why hello there. You must be the one who gave Bobby such a scare." She didn't even bother to hide her purpose, at least.
"Yeah, I suppose so," shrugged Dawn. "I'm Mary Dawn O'Dea. Call me Dawn"
"Pamela Barnes, you can call me Pam. Why don't you boys head into town and pick us up something to eat while us ladies get acquainted." She paused, giving Dawn an intense, searching look. "I think roast beef with steamed vegetables, potatoes, and gravy from that deli off Main Street for me and Dawn."
"That does sound good," admitted Dawn. "Ooh, and pickles and some relish on my roast beef as well."
"Right," said a nonplussed Bobby. It seemed that they knew Pamela was trying to get them out of there but after a moment, the men left.
Pam waited until the men's car had left the drive to say, "I have to admit, I have no idea what you are, but you aren't a monster. I've never seen an aura so pure before. Never met somebody from another world before either."
"What can I say? You guys have a really nice dimension. And yeah… it's mostly psychics and lunatics who can see me for what I really am," admitted Dawn.
"And what are you?"
"Honestly? I think it would be best if the knowledge of what I am died with me. Enough people had died over it already. I am human, you know." Dawn paused. "At least, my body's human. It is my body, you know. They made it just for me. There is no soul, no consciousness that my presence deposes, or destroys."
Pamela nodded her understanding. "Fair enough. I see no reason why any of what we just spoke about needs to go beyond us."
"I appreciate that. So, what else is there?"
"Kid, you are damn lucky Bobby and Pastor Jim believe that only those who kill humans should be killed. If you'd tried your little stunt with anybody but those two, you'd have been shot full of iron before you even knew what was happening."
"I needed to know if I was going to have to hide what I am from hunters before I was too entrenched in the hunting community."
"Mm. I'm surprised you found two separate people to teach you. Most of the real Wicca left are so deep in hiding that many hunters think they don't exist."
"They're more common in my world," pointed out Dawn. "I think it's because the dimensional barriers are so weak and there are always monsters coming in and out. Wiccas are needed too much to be ostracized for having powers. Although psychics are really uncommon. There are certain creatures that think psychics and seers are a delicacy or that they make good pets."
"You should practice reading auras," she said. "You'll need it."
"Thanks." Dawn chafed a little at being spoken to like that, but understood that the psychic was merely trying to help her.
"Anything you want to know?"
"Can you-can you tell me what sort of supernatural creatures are native to this world?" asked Dawn, before qualifying it with, "Most of the things I'm used to aren't exactly native to this plane of existence."
Pam shrugged and said, "You already know about ghosts and demons, right? Poltergeists are real too. Do I need to tell you about them? Ok, so next is werewolves."
"What sort of werewolves?" asked Dawn. "I can think of a dozen curses and diseases off the top of my head."
"They unknowingly transform in the week leading up to the full moon and-"
"Eat the heart, right?" So they were what Spike called the pansy-assed-werewolf-wannabes. That made sense, she supposed.
"Yeah. Vampires are nothing like stories. Yeah, sunlight hurts them, but they don't have those pretty fangs. Holy water, crosses and all that do nothing to them. They travel in packs of six to twelve and stay in a town for a couple weeks, feeding off people and then killing them before they move on. Their only real weakness is dead man's blood."
"It acts like a poison and you need to behead them." Buffy had liked to call them shark-teeth-vampires for obvious reasons.
Pam raised an eyebrow, but continued. "Then there are shapeshifters. They can turn into any human they meet and know everything about the person whose form they take. They leave this snake like skin behind when they transform."
Dawn nodded her understanding. "I think I read something about them once, but it was years ago."
Pam spoke more about things called wendigos and what witches were really like in this world. And then Connor started to cry, making his hungry noises. Dawn just put down her crocheting and picked him up so that he could suckle. It was only when Connor was happily nursing that Dawn looked up, to see a strange look upon Pam's face.
"What is it?" she asked.
"That baby isn't completely human. He's a dhampir."
"Huh," said Dawn. "What can I say, I come from a strange world. Dhampirs aren't exactly common, but they happen every couple of centuries."
It explained a lot, Dawn supposed. It wasn't common knowledge among the supernatural community but the Watcher's Council had record of several children fathered upon human women by vampires. The children were generally either hunted down and killed or raised to be hunters.
"Are you-he hurt you," whispered Pam, her eyes far, far away. "He hurt you so badly. And nobody came to rescue you. You'll never forgive your sister for-"
"Enough," snapped Dawn. The blood had drained from her face and in her arms, Connor had let go of her nipple and begun to let out whimpers that were not quite cries, as if he sensed Dawn's distress. "I'd appreciate it if you stayed the hell out of my head."
"I'm sorry," said Pam. "I have no excuse for that. I don't know what happened."
"It was probably my aura," she admitted as she rocked Connor, trying to calm him. "I remember, Jenny never looked at my aura after the first time, she said it made her feel seasick. You probably shouldn't look at it too long. Although at least my aura doesn't burn people's eyes out. There are creatures whose true form is so beyond human understanding that it melts the eyes of humans who look at them."
Pam had somehow seen at least part of what had happened when Buffy had accidentally broken the curse on Angel's soul three and a half years prior. Angelus had kidnapped Dawn and spent an afternoon torturing her. When he'd left to go gloat at Buffy about what he was doing, Spike had helped Dawn escape. It was why she'd always been so fond of him. And Pam was right, Dawn would had never and would never forgive Buffy for refusing to see Angelus for the monster he was, for refusing, even then to kill Angelus, for refusing to give up this dream of cursing Angelus with his soul once more. (2)
Once Connor was calmed, he went back to nursing, though he still seemed slightly upset. They were silent for several minutes as Pam collected herself and Dawn busied herself with burping Connor and laying him on the ground once more. When he was settled she picked up what was left of her yarn and continued making granny squares.
"You should pay more attention to your dreams," said Pam, breaking the silence. "You might want to button up your shirt, Bobby and Pastor Jim will be back any minute."
"Thanks." She hadn't even notice that while her bra had been righted, she'd left her shirt open.
"That reminds me," said Pam. "Wait here."
Pam left the living room and from the sound of it went outside. She returned about five minutes later carrying a plastic bag. She handed the bag to Dawn.
"Here. You can have it. My mother tried to get me into knitting. Again," laughed Pam. "Anyway, I've no us for it and I felt I should bring the stuff with me when Bobby called me this morning."
"Thank you," said Dawn. "I really appreciate it."
She looked into the bag and found eight large skeins of worsted weight yarn. Though it was only the relatively cheap, acrylic yarn, it must have cost a pretty penny to buy so much. No wonder Pam would rather the yarn was used than to let it go to waste. Two were a color changing yarn in shades of ocean blue, white, and tan, the other six were two skeins each of matching blue, white and tan. The yarn was too bulky for Connor's clothing or to be added to the granny square blanket she was making, but Dawn supposed she could make a blanket or some winter wear for herself. It even came with a set of size 10 knitting needles and a 5.00 mm crochet hook.
"Do you know what Jim and Bobby intend to do with me now?"
"Jim intends to send you to live with his sister over in New York," she explained. "But we both know that eventually the monsters are going to notice you're running around and Jim's sister and her husband are both civilians. Bobby's thinking about sending you to Nebraska to live with the widow of a hunter. But Ellen runs a bar that caters specifically to hunters and it will only be a matter of time before somebody notices you using magic or you slip up and mention something you shouldn't. Personally, I think you should come back to Illinois with me."(3)
"Why should I go to Illinois?"
"I'm a psychic. All the hunters I know are the ones who can deal with working with people with powers. I can teach you how to help research for hunters. And I live just outside of Chicago. There are some good nursing schools in Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago has a nurse-midwifery program for once you've finished your nursing degree."
Dawn nodded her understanding. It was the best offer she was going to get. And she really did want to go to college. She wanted to become s nurse-midwife, she'd wanted to become one since she had first begun attending attending home births with Tara. "I guess I'll be going to Chicago with you."
She supposed she'd be making winter wear after all. There was more than enough yarn for her to make a hat, scarf and a poncho type shawl, maybe even enough for a plain wrap as well and still have enough leftover to make a good sized blanket. With eight skeins made of sixteen ounces of yarn each, there was enough for two twin sized blankets, at the very least.
A moment later there was the sound of a car pulling up. The men came in carrying bags of takeout. They visibly relaxed when they saw that Pam was unharmed.
"Lunch is ready," said Bobby.
"Thank you," said Dawn. She pulled her sling back on and put the yawning Connor in it. She left the yarn where it was and followed everybody into the kitchen.
The men set out the food while Dawn found plates and silverware and Pam set out bottles of beer for the men and herself and soda for Dawn.
"You do realize," said Pam, once everybody had their food, "that Dawn was testing the waters when she told you what she was, right? The hunters she knew were more… liberal than most and she wanted to know now, rather than later what a more normal hunter's reaction to what she is would be." Pam ate a couple bites of food before continuing. "Everything she told you was the truth. And she's a real Wicca. Her power is her own. I'm a little surprised that a demon didn't come from her sooner, but I suppose with Pike dead, she no longer had a protector and they thought her easy pickings."
"Pike?" echoed Jim.
"He was the hunter I told you about. The one I used to translate for from time to time. He's the one who died rescuing me from Ben-the guy who tried to sacrifice me to that bitch of a pagan goddess last week." The tears she managed to fight back were real, though they were for Buffy, not Pike. In this dimension Oliver Pike had overdosed on heroin shortly before Hemmery High School burned down, but they didn't need to know that. In her dimension Pike was a successful bounty hunter who specialized in dealing with the supernatural, and that was how she wanted to remember him.
Unsurprisingly neither man had ever heard of Pike before, but they seemed to calm upon Pam's pronouncement. Then conversation turned to what Dawn could do with magic, which apparently wasn't much more than what a psychic like Pam was capable of. Although apparently Dawn knew more about the various methods of using magic and how a person could mess up with magic than any of them, which impressed both Bobby and Jim.
After lunch, Dawn went into the living room with Bobby and learned to make a Devil's Trap from Bobby and the words of the exorcism most commonly used. In the kitchen, Pam and Jim were talking in voices too low for Dawn to make out clearly. She copied it all down along with everything she remembered about what was real in this dimension in a small notebook she'd picked up the night before.
Once Bobby left to go work, she pulled out a second small notebook and began to copy down everything she could remember about the demons of the world she'd come from. She didn't think she'd run into any of the interdimensional demons, but it was better to be safe than sorry and she didn't trust her memory enough to believe that she'd remember it all ten years from now.
Maybe she should start keeping a journal again. As soon as the thought occurred, her mind shied away from the idea. She remembered far too clearly the journals full of lies, the journals she'd burned. But she was real, she knew that much. Yet Dawn couldn't bring herself to do so. Not yet, at least. Maybe in a couple months.
When her hand grew tired, Dawn put away her notebooks and pulled out the yarn Pam had given her and began to knit a hat with a relatively simple stripe pattern. If she had the extra yarn, once everything else was made, she might crochet a fancier, lacy hat.
By the time supper came around, she was roughly a third of the way through the hat. As she'd made breakfast and Bobby and Jim had provided lunch, Pam had volunteered to make dinner. They looked a little disgusted at the condiments she put in her stew, but said nothing about it and Dawn was used to receiving such looks for her food choices.
Conversation at dinner was light. Mostly Bobby and Jim told stories about hunts they'd been on over the years. Not their first encounter with the supernatural-Dawn had a feeling whatever their first encounter had been; it had involved a tragedy of some sort. After some prompting, Dawn told the full story of the ghost in her friend Janice's home, revealing that while she'd already known that the supernatural was real by the point in her life, she'd not had a real encounter with it yet. Likewise, she revealed that it was her and Janice's search for information on ghosts that had brought herself to the attention to Jenny, the "librarian" she'd often been babysat by.
Jim waited until Pam had left and Bobby had wandered off to say, "Dawn, I have an offer for you, and I want you to hear me out before you say yes or no."
"I'm listening," said Dawn, absently rubbing Connor's back as he napped. He'd just eaten his dinner and had his diaper changed an hour earlier, so it would be a while before he woke up.
"I spoke to my sister, she'd be willing to take you and Connor in," explained Jim. "But her condition is that you finish high school." Jim paused, letting his words sink in. "Now, she knows about the supernatural, but her children and her husband don't. Connor is your son, you can tell him whatever you want about what's really out there, but Kathy doesn't want her family to know."
"I think it's unwise to leave them ignorant, vulnerable to the monsters, but if she doesn't want them to know, I'll respect her decision," said Dawn. Then realizing what she said, quickly amended, "Not that I've agreed to live with her yet. Pam and I talked about it and she offered to let me stay with her. No offense meant, but I think it might be safer for both me and your family if I stayed with Pam. I don't want anything hunting me to go after civilians around me who have no idea what's out there."
Jim nodded. "That's probably for the best. Do you still want to get Connor baptized?" at Dawn's nod, he continued. "Blue Earth is on the way to Chicago. It wouldn't take much for you to take a detour to the church for his baptism."
"Thanks. If Pam doesn't mind, I'd like that."
"There's something else. Now, I get calls from hunters who need a reference for a translator every couple of months. If you agree to translate for them, they'll probably be calling you regularly for translations. They probably won't be able to pay you in money, but most would be willing to exchange a favor for a translation"
"Alright. I don't mind doing that."
"If you're willing, I could let it be known that you're an expert on witches."
"I wouldn't call myself an expert."
"Kid, you know more about magic and rituals than anybody I've ever met."
"Maybe once I have a cell phone and a new e-mail address, you could give anybody who needs advice one witches one or the other, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable having hunters who might not be as open minded as you and Mr. Singer knowing my full name and where I live."
"I doubt anybody will have a problem with that. A lot of our contacts work that way."
(1) Dawn's skills with languages didn't really come up until Season 6, nevertheless, it takes time and effort to learn a language. My theory is that she had a good basis in and knowledge of languages by that time, likely because Giles or Miss Calendar or somebody else taught her. After all, what else do you do with some kid that you have to baby sit while you're trying to research the Big Bad or Apocalypse of the week when you don't want her to know about the supernatural?
(2) When the monks crammed memories of Dawn into everybody's head, it was implied that Angelus had gone after Dawn rather than Willow during season 2.
(3) I'm relatively sure that Pam lives somewhere in Illinois. I don't have the time or the patience to look up where, so I've decided she lives near Chicago. Admittedly, this is mostly because it's very convenient for me.