In which Dawn finds more family than expected...
Hand of SorrowDisclaimer:
Joss owns Buffy, The Avengers, X-Men, and the Fantastic Four are owned by Marvel. I write for fun, not for profit.Summary:
Sequel to Star Spangled Man
. Dawn and Buffy are finally back in New York for good. New schools, new slayers, and new threats, Dawn, Buffy, and Steve are going to have one interesting year.Warning:
SPOILERS FOR THE AVENGERS! Timelines still wonky.Acknowledgments:
Thanks to kiwi, Misty, vidicon, Harry, Tanschana, savingjuliet, LiastraLee, irialonso, earelen, kizunakat, MistofRainbows, Ryutana, HarmMarie, RevDorothyL, CageFire, Serenityrose, SilverMidnight, Xeelia, Izabella, Calex, lynna, Angelskuuipo, KWJordan, Bluejello, Nightscream, DonSample, raven, KevinSchultz, liferscove, Duchess, morgyair, DesitaniaF, CrystalBlaze, ozseaside, Jewel, mackenziex, NimbustheMariner, Morgomir, debio, Olympus, Cassandra3, kitsuneofdarkfire, HebiR, grundy, Selonianth, Dragonelf, Addlcove, & link for the reviews! I will admit to laughing at them a lot. *sheepish grin* A/N 1:
once again you all have my apologies. As I’m sure you’ve all noticed, I’m having a hell of a time updating or getting any time to write. A side effect of graduating finally, I guess. *pouts* I don’t like it. **SPOILERS FOR THE AVENGERS!**
In which Dawn finds more family than expected...
“JARVIS, lock the door,” Dawn ordered several seconds after her outburst—it was more than enough to get the rest of the team up and on their way to her, privacy wishes be damned. “Don’t let anyone inside.”
“I can only abide by your wishes for ten minutes,” the AI replied promptly. “That is how long I believe it will take for Sir to override my programming and the door.”
“Tell the team that I found something startling, NOT my father by the way, and I need time to deal. And, you know, investigate. No barging in until I give the go ahead,” she ordered.
“Like that’s gonna work,” Buffy’s familiar voice said and in Dawn’s shock, she hadn’t noticed her sister was in the room with her.
“Wha…what are you doing here?” she looked around widely. “And how’d you get in?!”
“I had Willow teleport me,” she replied with a shrug. “Like I was gonna let you do this on your own.”
“Look. I’m part of this, you know? I wanna know who’s DNA got hijacked just as much as you do,” Buffy told her simply and Dawn could see that, could understand that. Still…
“Next time, come like a regular person,” she told her sister, who rolled her eyes.
“Too slow,” she said. “So why are you panicking?”
Dawn debated telling her but Buffy was showing remarkable restraint in not just tearing into the plainly visible sheet herself, so Dawn pointed at the names she’d noticed. Once she’d seen them and who they were attached to, Buffy’s mouth dropped open.
“Yeah,” Dawn said. “See why I don’t want them here yet?”
“He doesn’t know,” Buffy said, blinking down at the sheet owlishly. “There is no way in hell he knows—he’d never be able to keep his mouth shut if he did.”
“Think Mom knew?”
“I…don’t know,” Buffy said, frown firmly in place. “I mean, did Grandma even know?”
That…was a disturbing thought. “Look at the dates, Buffy,” she said. “Mom was born after they got married.”
“If Grandma knew, she wouldn’t have said anything cause, you know, not putting her in the best light,” Buffy said. Dawn understood that, all too well. “Him either.”
“Shit,” Dawn said, sitting down onto the floor and staring at the names attached to her mother, arguably the last names she’d ever expected to see on the sheet. Which was somewhat ironic, all things considered. “What do we tell him?”
“The truth,” Buffy said, sitting down next to her. “It won’t surprise him, I don’t think. Not really. And hey, more blood family, right?”
Dawn didn’t answer. In her perusal of the surprising names, her gaze had, naturally, fallen on the part that actually had her. Her brow furrowed at the name attached to Buffy’s own, with another line going from that connection down to Dawn’s own name. She didn’t recognize it. Surprisingly, she didn’t actually have any reaction to the news. It didn’t seem to matter as much right now.
“Do you recognize the name?” she asked, motioning at the sheet. Buffy didn’t try to play dumb, instead looking at the name and frowning.
“No,” she said. “I can have Willow look into him when I get back to London.”
“Why are you in—no, I don’t want to know,” Dawn stopped herself and Buffy quirked her lips a bit before her gaze went back to the sheet. She made a strangled sound suddenly and Dawn stiffened. “What?”
“Lookit!” she said, pointing at another groupings of names off from Grandma’s side of the family. Dawn’s eyes widened and she traced the connection back, mentally configuring it to familial terms.
“Third cousins,” she said, breathing out in astonishment. “They were third cousins…I wonder if Giles knows?”
“I doubt it,” she said, tracing the name Wesley Wyndim-Pryce, third cousin to Joyce Summers nee Richards through Peggy Carter. “I doubt even Wes knew—he probably would have tried using it to his advantage back when he first got to Sunnydale if he had.”
“I wonder how it happened,” Dawn mused, sitting down and staring. At Buffy’s look, she shrugged. “I mean, think about it—Wes said his entire family were watchers. How come Grandma wasn’t?”
“Who’s to say she wasn’t?” Buffy said and she was making a disturbed face. “We know about her being with the SSR but…how did she get that position anyway? I mean, woman. 1940’s. Not someone who usually got the really big jobs. Weren’t they usually just assistants and nurses? Like in that Pearl Harbor movie?”
A sudden coughing made them both look up at the ceiling. “He’s about to break in, isn’t he?” Buffy asked knowingly.
“Yes,” JARVIS replied. “Should I allow him to?”
“Just him,” Dawn said. “Tell the rest to stay the hell out, I wanna talk to him first.”
“Captain Rogers is unhappy, as is Sergeant Barnes and Miss Darcy but Agent Romanoff, Agent Barton, and Mister Thor have agreed to keep everyone but Sir out of your rooms until you give the go-ahead,” JARVIS answered after a moment.
The door opened then and both women looked over their shoulders to see Tony stumble in as Natasha, Clint, and Thor, made sure the others didn’t try and sneak in. He straightened as the door slammed shut behind him. Not for the first time did Dawn shake her head at the sci-fi-y way things worked around the Tower.
“Alright, what’s the what?” he demanded.
“Remember when you had Dawn tested as your kid?” Buffy asked, standing. He frowned, eyes darting from the sheet to Dawn and then back to the sheet. He was inching forward, trying to see it and not move too fast or obviously—he knew Buffy would catch him if she wanted to.
“It came back negative,” he said, frowning.
“Yeah, thing is, it should have probably noted similarities in the blood but if it was just looking at paternity match, it wouldn’t,” Dawn told him. “So it sorta didn’t…look back beyond that.”
Dawn and Buffy both pointed at the sheet, where their mother’s name was. His gaze followed, zeroeing in on the single black line connecting Joyce Emilia Richards to another single line that connected Margaret Carter to Howard Stark. He stared and Dawn knew it took him a few seconds for his brain to connect, to agree, to come to terms with what he was seeing as he knelt down to trace his father’s name, connected to his mother by a double line which then led to his own in shining gold (with Darcy down below his, which made Dawn smile a little when she realized she and her best friend were related). When it did, his entire body slumped in on itself and he turned to Buffy and Dawn.
“You’re my nieces.”
“Actually…” Dawn hedged because she’d just realized she could never actually show this to the rest of the team (minus Thor) without them realizing something was all hinky.
“Buffy, we…I…may have made a booboo,” she whispered back as Tony’s eyes narrowed and he went back to looking at the sheet.
“How?” the blonde asked nervously.
“Wait a second…” Tony muttered, head snapping up to look at them incredulously. “Why does this say Dawn’s your kid?!”
Dawn smiled grimly as Buffy’s eyes widened.
“That’s how.” ~~*~~
Steve was not happy. Something was happening, something with Dawn, and he wanted to know what. It galled him, somewhat, that as close as he’d become to Dawn, she was undoubtfully closer to Tony. That was the only explanation he could come up with as for why she’d agreed to let Tony in to see the sheet and not the rest of them.
True, he and her had a sort of big brother/little sister relationship that was hard to ignore but ever since she’d moved to New York for school, she’d taken to spending more time with Clint, Darcy, Tony, or Bucky than him. Hell, she’d even gone out to dinner with Bruce that one time and he’d still not managed to get her to go to that diner he’d promised to take her to upon her graduation in Rome!
“Sir has asked me to inform all of you that this may take a while,” JARVIS spoke up and Steve wasn’t the only one who jumped at the sudden sound. They’d all chosen, to Natasha’ obvious exasperation, to sit down in the hallway outside Dawn’s apartment and wait to be let in. “He says all of you should go about your day and he, Miss Dawn, and Miss Buffy will be with you momentarily.”
“Buffy’s here?” Steve asked, straightening. “How’d she get inside?”
“Miss Rosenberg teleported her inside shortly before Sir entered the apartment,” JARVIS replied. He paused. “Dawn would like both Miss Darcy and Captain Rogers to come inside but the rest of you to leave. It is not bad news, per say, she simply wishes to tell them first.”
Next to him, Steve could feel Bucky tense as he gritted his teeth. Nevertheless, the other soldier got up and followed Clint reluctantly as they disappeared into the elevator with Natasha, Thor, and Bruce. Glancing at Darcy, she gave him a worried look before they got to their feet and headed through the now open doorway. Tony was sitting down on the floor next to the sheet, Dawn and Buffy nearby and talking in furious whispers.
“Look, Buffy, I love you, but this is my secret to share, not yours,” Dawn finally said, loud enough for all three of them to hear as they gingerly took seats on the floor as well. The look in her eyes was steely, firm, and Steve could tell the brunette was not going to budge an inch. “It affects me way more than it affects you and I trust them. End of story.”
Buffy slumped and though she was clearly not happy with it, the blonde also could tell arguing would get her nowhere.
“What’s going on?” Darcy demanded. “Why did you freak out and why is Tony looking at you two like that?”
“Okay, so, we’ve been keeping something pretty big from you guys,” Dawn said without preamble.
“First we need to tell them about…” Buffy broke in, waving a hand at Tony, and Dawn gave her a look. Her sister just raised an eyebrow and jerked a head at him. “Look at Steve.”
Dawn turned to him and her expression of confusion cleared. She swallowed, looking at the other hero. He gave a jerky nod but there was a warning there too, in the way his eyes narrowed. Dawn nodded back, and Steve’s tension rose another couple notches. It was never good when those two began speaking without speaking.
“So, the holy cow, comment was not because of my dad,” Dawn said. “We actually don’t know who he is, we don’t recognize the name—“
“JARVIS is looking into it,” Tony broke in and Dawn nodded, rolling her eyes.
“Right, anyway, it was…something else,” she said. She hesitated, looking at him. “It was about Grandma.”
Steve froze. Anything to do with Peggy and her granddaughters freaking out probably wasn’t a good thing.
His mouth felt like sandpaper. “What…what is it?” he asked after several tries.
“Grandma had an affair,” Buffy said when it was apparent Dawn wasn’t happy about being the one to say it. Steve’s eyes widened.
“Wha—what?” Peggy had had an affair? But when? And how did they know?
“She had an affair after she married, um, Grandpa,” Buffy repeated, frowning. She shook it off, a firm look on her face. “Turns out…Mom wasn’t biologically a Richards.”
“Oh,” Darcy said and everyone turned to her. She was sitting next to Tony, looking between him and Dawn and Buffy and back, a look of realization on her face. “You mean…?”
“Yeah,” Dawn said, giving her a weak smile. Darcy looked stunned.
“What?” Steve asked because it may have been apparent to Darcy but he was still lost. “What is it?”
“She had an affair with Dad,” Tony replied simply and Steve blinked at him, uncomprehending. The billionaire wasn’t looking at the girls, was staring straight at Steve, as if willing him to comprehend. “Don’t know if it was just a one-off, probably was, Dad was drinking a lot even back then, but apparently it was enough for her to get pregnant.”
Steve felt his stomach drop as what they were saying hit him. Howard had slept with Peggy. Howard and Peggy had had a daughter.
He felt like he was going to be sick.