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Questions of Existence

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Questions". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: The Order of Dagon made Dawn Buffy's older sister. It wasn't a good idea.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Warehouse 13EnergyBeingFR153354,143511438,44815 Jun 134 Dec 13Yes

Chapter Twenty-Nine

What are you still doing here? What are you still doing anywhere?

It wasn't Dawn's thought. It just happened to have been born in her head. Because she'd given up thinking like that. It was just the Abomination. Even though Dawn hadn't had an episode for over a week now. Even though it was the first time the Abomination had ever spoken to her at all.

She'd been hoping that the Clozaril was working, but-

Dawn knew that nothing would work, as long as there was the tiniest part of her that believed that she was the Key.

-apparently it wasn't.

People believed foolish things all the time. Dawn knew that there had been a period when astronomers had come up with more and more complicated explanations as to why the planets orbited the Earth the way they did, until the Copernicus' heliocentric model became more widely accepted. If people could believe something as absurd as an Earth-centric Solar System, Dawn could believe that she was a ball of energy merely in the form of a human.

Don't be ridiculous.

No, the Abomination was right, equating a ball of energy to a human was ridiculous.

It hit her with all the suddenness of a heart attack.

The First Law of Thermodynamics. The total energy of an isolated system cannot change. If Dawn really was a ball of energy, then her human form should contain all of the Key's energy.

Dawn had no reason to assume that magical energy, or whatever the Key was made of, would be any different. If the monks could've destroyed her - destroyed the Key - to thwart the Abomination then they would've. Dawn had gathered that much from her dreams. It was part of the reason why the monks had worshipped her - the Key. It was indestructible.

So, if the magical energy of the Key had been transformed into the chemical energy of Dawn, then the fact remained that she was still a closed circuit. The energy hadn't gone anywhere. It couldn't.

Which meant that, if Dawn was the Key, she was indestructible.

Except that she wasn't. The numerous cuts and scrapes she'd received throughout her life proved that. Even the scars on Dawn's wrist proved that.

But then, that didn't necessarily prove anything. If she was magical energy stored in a human shell, then the shell could act independently of the energy it contained. It was a separate energy system, maintained by the spell the monks had used to bring Dawn Summers into existence.

So, if Dawn Summers was nothing but a container for the Key's energy, then the only way to release it would be to remove the shell.

Cutting herself wasn't sufficient, that much was clear. Which meant that, if Dawn wanted to test the theory, she would have to take far more radical steps.

The problem was, Dawn didn't want to take that step. She knew what the step was, had even been poised to take it a couple of times, but she didn't want to. She was happy, as much as she could be. Things were going well with Claudia, she'd finally cracked teleportation, and she had managed to get over the (as she realised now) completely unnecessary guilt she'd felt after Artie's stabbing. Life was good.

On the other hand, if Dawn wanted to prove she was the Key, or prove that she wasn't, she had to take the step.

You can't get to the stuff inside a container without ripping open the container. To get to the Key, Dawn had to be out of the way.

She had to be dead.

If Dawn did kill herself, there were, as she saw it, three things that could happen.

The first, and probably the most likely, was that she would die.

The second was that the Key would be freed from its shell, the Abomination would come and get it and then do whatever it wanted with it.

The third was that Dawn wouldn't die at all. In order to contain magical energy of the Key's power, Dawn would have to be incredibly durable. The fact that knives could cut her was irrelevant. If her death released the Key, it was nonsensical to imagine that the monks would make her fragile, if her death did release the Key. If the Key was never meant to be released, and Dawn's death was the way to release it, then they would have had to make her immortal, if not invincible.

Dawn didn't fancy going through life with severed wrists. So a violent death was out.

That is, of course, if she took the step at all.

Why not? What have you got to lose? You know how well you coped with the choice between staying here and leaving. How are you going to manage, now that you know you can prove or disprove your sanity once and for all?

The Abomination had a point. Or, rather, whichever part of Dawn's damaged mind that had produced the thought had a point. Dawn had contemplated suicide several times already. All it would take was a moment of weakness, and Dawn knew she had those happening in abundance.

She even had the means sitting in a bottle next to her bed. Greene had told her that an overdose of Clozaril could cause her heart to fail.

A heart attack wouldn't be so bad.

Take it.

Claudia wouldn't approve.

Take it.

Dawn had told Joshua that she wouldn't rush into dangerous experiments.

Take it.

She didn't want to cause Buffy or Claudia any grief.

Take it.

Don't take it Dawn you know its crazy don't do it Dawn

Take it.

No Dawn its suicide you're crazy reconsider in the morning

Take it.

Take it.

TAKE IT.

Dawn reached out and knocked the bottle to the floor and kicked it under her bed.

"No!"

~*~

"Um, Claud? You know how you said I should talk to you about things that were bothering me?" Dawn said nervously, pushing her thumb against her fingers.

"Oh, yeah, sure." Claudia said, instantly shutting down her laptop. "What is it, Dawnie?"

"What if I said that I had an idea that would prove once and for all whether I was insane or not?"

"You know I'd help you with that. After all, you helped me with Josh, and that sounded equally crazy." Claudia said sympathetically.

"Well, it turns out that you can't." Dawn said bluntly. "You can't help. See, I figured out that, thermodynamically, the Key's energy still exists within me and cannot be destroyed. So in order to reveal it, I have to get out of the way, as it were."

"Uh, Dawnie? That kind of sounds like suicide. And I'd really rather that you didn't die." Claudia said, beginning to chew her hair.

"No, see, I worked out that there's one chance in three that I won't die at all. And, depending on how I die, I could be resuscitated, which would make it two in three. If I just die straight out and get resuscitated, that means I'm not the Key. If I don't die, then it means I am. If I do die and turn into the Key, then I am. See, its fool proof." Dawn said, with a cheerfulness that she didn't really feel.

"Yeah, but it's still dangerous, Dawn. I'd really rather not-"

"Aw, c'mon, Claud! There's got to be dozens of artefacts that could resuscitate me, let alone a defibrillator." Dawn said plaintively.

"I don't know, Dawn..."

"66.6 recurring chance survival chance, Claud. And if I do die, then that'll mean that I really am the Key. In that case, I don't want to live anyway."

"Well, if you insist." Claudia said, clearly reluctantly.

Dawn went back to her room with Claudia following close behind her. She poured some water from the tap, rummaged around under her bed, and retrieved the bottle.

Then Dawn swallowed as many as she could manage.

When she looked up, Claudia was gone.

Gotcha.
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