Joss Whedon owns "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and related characters; Warner Bros. owns "Smallville" and related characters; I own nothing.Author's Note:
More extremely belated Fic-a-day crossposting. Expect more to trickle in.~*~*~
After safely getting her sister to her room and sitting with her until she had drifted into a restless sleep, Dawn Summers sat in the sitting room of their suite, wondering what exactly had caused Buffy to break down back at the museum. Buffy had dropped the knife like it had burned her before rushing out of the room, with Dawn chasing after her.
Biting her lip and tapping her fingers against the chair, Dawn ran through the events of the day leading up to Buffy’s collapse at the museum. She’d been antsy, but Buffy could get that way after traveling by normal means instead of the Willow express. The only weirdness that’d happened was at the museum itself. It wasn’t just that, she decided, getting up and pacing the room. It was how Buffy had been acting lately in general that was sending Dawn all of the warning signals.
Dawn knew that something was off with Buffy, had known ever since her sister had returned from a mission to Metropolis trying to decide whether or not they should build a Council house there. Buffy hadn’t talked about it, but Dawn knew her well enough to see underneath that mask she plastered to her face. Something had happened there that she didn’t want to talk about. There had been no injuries, so something else had to have happened. Add in that mysterious man from the museum who Dawn had seen Buffy talking to in the lobby and who had showed up after Buffy picked up that knife... There was something rotten in this state, and Dawn was determined to figure out what it was.
Grabbing a piece of paper, Dawn started noting down all the things that had been off with Buffy lately. Some she could dismiss as normal, Buffy-esque things, but others stood out, like the times when it seemed like her sister’s eyes would switch from green to brown for no reason. How she would mutter weird phrases in Ancient Egyptian when asleep (given that Dawn was the only Summers sister who could speak it normally, this was highly suspect). How lately there were times when it took her several minutes to respond to her name.
Dawn circled the comment about the eyes and tapped it with her pencil. How many cultures had she come across where the eyes were considered to be windows to the soul? Did that mean that there was something off with her sister’s soul? Wouldn’t Tara have realized that when she looked into Buffy’s resurrection?
“Ugh,” she moaned, banging her head softly against the desk. There were just so many questions, and she didn’t have nearly enough of the facts to start piecing together answers. The only way, other than questioning Buffy, that she could begin sorting things out was to track down that man. It couldn’t be too hard to hack the museums records to see which visiting scholars that were there, right?
With a sigh and a worried glance back towards Buffy’s room, Dawn sat up and dragged her laptop towards her and got to work.
Less than thirty minutes later, Dawn had her answers.
“Carter Hall,” she murmured, staring thoughtfully at the picture of the man who seemed to have a hand in her sister’s mental state. An Egyptologist based out of Metropolis. Coincidence, Dawn didn’t think so.
Taping her chin, Dawn weighed her next course of action. She didn’t want to leave her sister alone, and she also didn’t feel that bringing the other Scoobies was the best option. This limited her possible approaches, and the remainder might not get the results she needed.
Making up her mind, Dawn opened her university email account and began typing out a message. She would just have to see if Carter Hall rose to her bait, and if he did, trying to get as many answers as possible out of him.