St Louis is not as fascinating as everyone led her to believe. It's just like every other city everywhere except this one has snow. She hates the snow. It gets in her boots and melts and then she's colder than she's ever been and wet besides!
“I have to go pick up your step brother,” her father says from the drivers seat. “Then we can find you a place to live.”
“Why can't I meet your family?” Dawn asks, turning away from the snowy roads to look at her ice dad.
“Because...they know me as Ted.”
“So you have a nickname,” Dawn gets a sincere feeling he's ashamed of her and that only serves to piss her off. If she wanted shame and scorn she could have stayed in Sunnydale. Always the hidden child.
“No. They have no idea that I was born Eideard Kane. You're one of the only living people who does.” And only because of her mother's will. One small little detail, a tiny mishap of his youth had given his real identity to almost seven people. But a spell had made them forget. Now, only a single person remembered his name. He might not like magic, but it was handy for his purpose.
“Are you an international jewel thief?” It's entirely possible! Just look at American Dad or all those other heist movies, her dad was definitely not on the bright and sunny side of things; she's known this since she met him at age five. The sunshine and the music of Disneyland filled two little ears and she can remember a cowboy hat and cologne as uncle Ed helps her onto the carousel.
He smiles. She's crossed her arms, fixing him with a look he hasn't seen since Joyce was riding in her place. It takes a few minutes to convince her that he doesn't have priceless artifacts in his bags and no, he's not using her for a heist. She's still not convinced by the end of the flight.
“Hey Edward.” the blonde turns to face her as they walk into the hotel. It's nice, but not too extravagant. “When can I get back into school?” It's not what she wants to ask but she doesn't really know what it was she wanted in the first place. Except that she wants her mother and she wants a minute to cry.
He knocks before opening the door to the hotel room he's sharing with Peter, the boy has been bringing girls home from bars lately and sometimes they fall asleep before they leave. But Peter shouts that he's awake and Dawn follows Edward into the room. He should have asked if the boy was dressed, because Peter is sitting at the desk in a pair of underwear, chewing on an Abba Zabba while he checks his Facebook.
“Peter,” Edward speaks sharply, making the boy turn, the candy swings slightly and Dawn starts to snicker behind him. “Dawn, this is Peter Parnell. My stepson.”
“Nice underoos,” Dawn smirks from his shoulder.
Peter makes a face at her and pulls the candy from his mouth. “I thought you were taking care of something in Sunnydale.”
“That's why Dawn in here. Peter, this is my daughter. Dawn Kane.”
Dawn knows that the Peter thinks she's invading. It's on his face as he wraps a towel around his waist and stands up. He's tall, very tall and he's having fun standing over her. But Dawn's no slouch at 5'6” and she's tired from the plane and exhausted from the funeral yesterday.
“And you're observant,” Dawn smiles brightly.
Peter snorts and backs off, going back to his seat and leaning on his elbows while Dawn turns to Edward while he's on the phone with someone. Her bags are lost at the airport and right now she really wants a shower. So she's patiently awaiting the credit card Edward said she could use until said luggage was found.
“So you do this often?” Peter asks from behind her.
“Steal peoples families.”
Dawn turns an icy glare on him. That jerk! “Listen buddy, If I had a choice, I'd be back in California, where people have manners.” Edward's voice lowers slightly, but she doesn't notice.
Peter only laughs, short and caustic. “Then why don't you go back to your prissy mom? Or did she throw you out?”
Edward wants to slam his head into the door, but Dawn is already trying to break it down and he doesn't know how long he can keep Peter at bay. The teen is pushing against his hand and Dawn is screaming from inside the bathroom. Why the hell isn't she picking the phone up? His body shudders as Dawn throws herself against the door and the tall man at the end of his hand is starting to ignore Edwards fingers digging into his neck. They're both pissed off and hurt and-
“About time,” Edward grits out as Anita picks up the phone. Glass shatters inside the tile room and Peter is trying to walk away until mothers come back from Dawn and then Edward is using his foot to keep his stepson away. “I need you to come to my room. Now.”
It takes fifteen minutes and Anita enters to a silent room. She's taking in the shattered lamp and the blood everywhere, the man on the couch is holding a sodden towel and the girl in the bathroom has run out of things to throw.
“You kidnap a tiger or something?” Anita asks as she steps over rumpled cotton and spilled ice. The carpet is dark all around from various liquids caught in the battle and there's a sad white lump melting in front of the heater. The smell of sugar and peanuts is barely covering the scent of rage and blood.
“More like a bi-”
“No.” Edward cuts him off with a look and the boy falls silent as the assassin turns to the new figure. Thank god she isn't an S&M queen tonight, it's bad enough...“Dawn has to stay with you.”
“Who?” Anita is barely heard over the other two shouting at the idea. Muffled and clear, masculine and feminine.
“My daughter,” Edward manages, leaning against the shaking wood for the nth time that night. “Her mother just died and for some reason they can't even look at each other without fighting.” He notices Peter slouch on the bed. It finally hits the scraped man and guilt is shining in his soft eyes. “Just until I get my keys from the bank.”
Anita's nose scrunches ever so slightly as she tries to figure it out, eyes narrowed and finally she asks what Edward is talking about.
“Dawn needs a home,” he answers simply. Then he looks at Peter and motions for the boy to go out to the pool. “Dawn?” the glass slides closed and the answer comes from low on the door; girl falling backwards when Edward opens it with saline watering her cheeks. He can't believe he's letting anyone see this side of him as he bends and helps her to stand. A quick sniffle and she's bottled it up again, wiping her hands with a sleeve and drawing her mouth tight until she has to speak.
“Hi Dawn, I'm Anita.”
Dawn only shakes her hand, not yet recovered enough to speak.
“Dawn,” Edward rests his hands on her shoulders, a little upset that he can't bend on one knee like he used to. “I need you to stay with Anita for a little bit.”
Dawn nods and runs a hand through her mussed hair. Despite being thrown around she's got less battle wounds than Peter, a strange feeling swells inside him to see the Kane coming out. A strange feeling. “Yeah,” she whispers ever so faintly.
“Alright, breakfast in the morning.”
I used the Yeahyeahyeahs - Little Shadow for this chapter. Leave a review okay? I might post the next chapter after class if i get enough ^_^