Muttering voices wake her. They were indistinct, far away. It hurt to move as she turned her head to hear better, some instinct making her wary. When her eyes open they feel dry. Her vision is blurry and everything is bright and colorless.
She doesn’t realize that she moaned, but the voices come nearer and become clearer, even though she can’t seem to understand what they say. The blur in front of her now has moving shapes, people like shapes, and suddenly there is no more pain and her eyes drift closed.
This is her first memory.===
She wakes again the next day. Now she understands the voices, hear the beeping monitors, and pick up the sounds of the hospital she must be in. She doesn’t know why but the fact that everyone speaks English bothers her.
Her vision is still compromised. The blurry images now have color, but are still covered with a film that makes telling people apart by sight impossible.
She can’t speak yet. Although she doesn’t know what she would say if she could. The doctors tell her that she had a ventilation tube down her throat until yesterday. Her vocal chords need to heal.
There is so much pain. Everywhere hurts. They say she was in an accident. Her cab was sideswiped by a truck.
It’s a miracle she survived.===
It’s another day before she realizes why everything seems so wrong. All of the doctors call her Miss Sparks.
She’s not Georgina Sparks, but she can’t speak to tell them that, and she’s in too much pain, on too many drugs, to try and write it down for them.
Nobody knows she’s Dawn Summers.===
Sometime that day someone turns on the news for her, so she doesn’t have to lay in silence. She hears about the crash, about Georgina Sparks’ survival. She knows there’s a picture shown of her and she knows in her heart that eventually someone will realize that she’s Dawn Summers. It doesn’t matter that she hasn’t seen any of her family in months, they will come for her. Then they can fix things like they should have done 5 years ago.
However seconds later the news anchor says that there was another victim in the accident. That a young woman was killed when the truck whipped around onto the sidewalk and exploded. The body was unrecognizable and had been identified by her belongings to be Dawn Summers, visiting DC from Rome. There was a funeral a few days ago, while she was in a coma.
Her heart thumps in her ears and she desperately tries to contort her eyes to focus on the screen. There is a still photo she knows, but she can’t make it out. It’s the anchor’s voice saying “although the two young women look impossibly alike, they are not related and seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time by some kind of astonishing coincidence. “ that makes Dawn’s breath catch.
She’s dead. Somehow she and this girl who looked just like her were in the same place at the same time and her family really believes she’s dead. They aren’t coming. They’ve accepted that she’s gone and not even done a DNA test or something to be sure that they had the right one. They are already moving on.
She cries quietly until a nurse comes and gives her enough drugs to knock her out.===
She can speak on the fourth day, though she doesn’t. She still feels like this is all a dream, like it’s not real. It can’t be
The doctors come to tell her her condition. She’s going to have a permanent visual impairment. Glass had exploded into her eyes and there had been lesions and scarring. Hew sight will improve slightly, but she will be legally blind for the rest of her life which means that she can’t ever drive a car again. She's been in a coma for nearly 2 weeks, giving her eyes time to heal enough to remove the bandages that had covered them.
She has whiplash, a broken foot and tibia, a major concussion, cracked ribs and deep bruising that still hasn't healed and contusions all over her body. There are deep cutting wounds on her abdomen too, there will be more scars.
Nobody has come looking for Georgina Sparks since the news came out. Nobody seems to care.
That somehow makes Dawn even sadder than her own situation.
She doesn’t cry. She ponders her life and wonders who the hell Georgina Sparks is and why her life seems to matter so little.
She thinks about how hard her life has been lately. Her family has pulled itself apart in the last five years and everyone is so remote. Even Buffy barely spares a moment for her anymore. She wonders how sad they really are that she’s gone.
She wonders if Georgina would have been upset by the lack of interest by her family. They called once while she was still in a coma and asked if she was alive. They haven’t called back.
She wonders if Buffy would have done the same thing. She realizes that she doesn’t actually care anymore. Maybe she’s better off dead.===
Finally someone comes to see her: or Georgina at any rate. She’s surprised that he can’t tell that she’s not the woman that they claim she is. She’s not upset by it anymore though.
He’s a young man with dark hair and an intense, nearly brooding demeanor.
He came to yell at her.
It doesn’t start out that way, but she can see his anger bubbling under the surface even as he tries to ask how she is.
After a few moments he quietly explodes. Disappointment comes off him in waves. He’s angry that the mother of his child vanished into thin air only a month after he was born. That social services was angling to take the baby due to her abandonment and the undetermined paternity. Even after he had done a paternity test there were questions about his fitness, and Georgina’s parents were making noises about getting custody. The same people who had neglected her to the point of letting her make such a mess of her life that she didn’t have a friend left in the world wanted to do the same to his son. Milo missed her, needed a mother and needed stability.
He leaves a few minutes later with no preamble, never letting her speak a word to him. She doesn’t know what she would have said anyway.
A few hours later Dawn is sitting up, just having finished her dreadful lunch. She’s surprised to see the young man come back into the room. She’s even more surprised when he places a baby carrier on the chair and pulls out a small squirming bundle which he then places in her arms.
She can’t see very well, but she can feel him, smell him. She expects his instincts to kick in and for him to reject her, knowing she’s not his mother, but it doesn’t happen. Milo grabs at the hair hanging loosely over her shoulder and smiles at her. She focuses her eyes, squinting, and his tiny face clears to her somewhat. He looks a bit like her, which is nuts, or not since his mother was apparently her doppelganger. He trusts her and it’s heartwarming.
She nearly cries when she realizes that his mother is dead and he will never know her.
She looks up at his father and sees the sad, hopeful and determined look on his face. She can even see his dark eyes now that he’s close to her.
Her voice is strained and scratchy when she finally utters her first words.
“I don’t remember.”
Disclaimer: I don't own GG or BtVS.