The Memories That Never Were
A/N: Hello and welcome to my story. It contains spoilers for everything up to S5 of Buffy, but pretty much everything has some kind of twist. In this fic, Dawn is your average little sister, a total brat who will always come through if you are in trouble. Thank you for reading my ramble, and I hope you enjoy the story.
N/B: Each ~e~ means a ‘new’ part in the story or a break in the story. Buffy is six years older than Dawn, I think that’s right from the show, but if it isn’t then that is the way I’m keeping it.
DISCLAIMER: I don’t own any of the characters. I used scripts from ‘studies in words’, but they have been altered to how I want them to be.
THE MEMORIES THAT NEVER WERE by Kiara
Buffy hurried away from the collapsing factory, dragging the monk behind her.
“Stop. Please.” He begged.
“No. We have to keep going.” Buffy commanded.
“My journey’s done, I think.” The monk said as he stumbled against the fence.
“Don’t get metaphory on me. We’re going.” Buffy said trying to lift the monk again.
“You have to. . . the Key. You must protect the Key.” He stammered.
“Fine. We can protect the Key together, okay, just far, far from here.” Buffy shot a worried look behind her; there was nothing coming…yet.
“Many more die if you don’t keep it safe.”
“How? What is it?”
“The Key is energy. It’s a portal. It opens the door. . .”
“The Dagon Sphere?”
“No. For centuries it had no form at all. My brethren, its only keepers. Then the abomination found us. We had to hide the Key, gave it form, molded it flesh. . . made it human and sent it to you.”
“Dawn...” Realization sank in.
“She’s the Key.”
“You put that in my house?” Buffy said disgusted.
“We knew the Slayer would protect.”
“My memories. . . my mom’s?”
“We built them.” The monk admitted.
“Then un-build them! This is my life you’re—“ Buffy started angrily.
“You cannot abandon.” The monk said in between coughs. He wouldn’t last much longer.
“I didn’t ask for this! I don’t even know. . . what is she?” The anger had gone and was replaced with confusion.
“Human... now human. And helpless. Please. . . she’s an innocent in this. She needs you. “
“She’s not my sister?”
“She doesn’t know that.” Were his last words.
Buffy sank back stunned. She remembered all of it; Dawn’s birth, her first day at school and everything since then. But it never happened. Her entire life wasn’t as she remembered it. Nothing was the same.
“Hello?” Someone called as the front door opened.
“Mommy, Daddy!” A six-year-old Buffy ran towards her parents, depositing he doll on her little table as she went. “You’re back! You’re back!”
“Hello, Buffy.” Joyce Summers said softly, carrying her precious bundle close.
“How’s my girl?” The ‘proud papa’ leant down to his first born who beamed up at him.
“Are you ready to meet your new baby sister?” Joyce was surprised to see Buffy’s smile vanish. Instead she backed up and folded her arms across he chest defensively.
“Oh, come on now, Buffy. She’s nothing to be afraid of.”
“Who’s afraid?” She said sullenly; some thing will never change.
“Don’t you want to be the big sister?” Joyce enquired puzzled. This wasn’t like Buffy at all.
“No, I want to be the baby.” The little girl replied stubbornly.
“Buffy.” Hank Summers begun.
“You’re gonna pay more attention to her and forget all about me!”
“Ohh. . .” Joyce understood her daughter’s uncharacteristic behavior. Still, she put the new baby in Buffy’s arms and watched as the little bundle gurgled up at her big sister. “Like this . . . okay, support the head . . . there you go! We’re calling her Dawn.”
“I . . . I could be the one to look after her sometimes . . . if you need a helper. Mom? Can I take care of her?” Buffy asked looking up at her mother.
Joyce stoked her daughter’s hair, never feeling prouder of the little girl. “Yes, Buffy, you can take care of her.”
“Buf-fy.” The blond haired girl sat cross-legged over from her little sister.
“Buh- Buh- Buh.” The baby chanted to her big sister.
“No; Buf-fy.” Buffy repeated patiently.
“Buf- Buf- Buf-ee” Dawn giggled.
Buffy leapt up, a big grin on her face. “Mom! Mom; she did it! She said it!”
“…Happy birthday to Buffy; happy birthday to you!” Everyone cheered as the birthday girl blew out her candles. Joyce handed Buffy a piece of her cake and than passed bit round to the guests.
“What did you wish for?” A childish voice asked.
Buffy sighed. Sometimes her sister could be so stupid. “I can’t tell you or it won’t come true.”
Dawn scrunched up her face and Buffy prepared for the crying. Luckily she was saved by her mother.
“Dawnie! Do you want some of Buffy’s birthday cake?”
Dawn tottered off to where her mom was calling from, leaving Buffy to play with her new Barbie dream house.
A moment later, there was a crash followed by a wail. What had she done now?
This time, she had tripped over Buffy’s new roller-skates, bumped into their aunt and fallen right onto the birthday cake. Now Dawn was crying her little eyes out while Joyce tried to scrape the cake off her dress.
It was safe to say the cake was a goner. Not even the vanilla sponge foundations of the pink castle cake remained in tack. Disaster Dawn had struck again.
“I don’t wanna go! I wanna stay with you!” Dawn wailed clutching at her mothers legs.
“Dawn, you’re a big girl now.” Joyce Summers said firmly. “And big girls go to kindergarten.”
Dawn said something muffled against her mothers skirt and Buffy sighed dramatically from where she was watching the scene unfold by the door.
“What was that honey?”
“I don’t want you to leave me.” Dawn sobbed.
“I’ll be good, I promise, don’t leave me here!”
“I’m not going to leave you! I’ll be back really soon to pick you up.”
“Really? But Buffy said that the naughty girls go to kindergarten when their mom’s and dad’s don’t want them anymore.”
“Oh she did, did she?” Joyce glared at Buffy who was sideling out the door and back to the car. Stupid little sister’s who can’t keep their mouth’s shut.
Joyce turned back to her youngest daughter. “I promise I’ll be here when the little hand on the clock points at the two. Cross my heart.”
Dawn wiped her hands across her eyes and observed the clock closely. She nodded at her mother.
“Good girl; now why don’t you go and play with Amber? Bye, sweetheart.” She placed a kiss on the top of Dawn’s head as she ran off to play with Amber, a little girl who lived a couple of doors down from them.
Joyce watched her for a moment before striding out to the car where her eldest daughter was fearing her arrival.
“Buffy has a boyfriend, Buffy has a boyfriend, Buffy has a boyfriend, Buffy has a boyfriend!” Dawn sung at the top of her lungs as she skipped towards the shopping mall.
“I do not!” Buffy hissed. At seven years old, Dawn was fast becoming the most annoying sister in the world.
“Buffy has a boyfriend, Buffy has a boyfriend!”
“Dawn; if you don’t shut up right now then you are never coming out with me ever again!”
Dawn sulked. Her mom would never let her go out on her own and said she couldn’t force Buffy to take her shopping or to the park or wherever.
Buffy suddenly stopped in her tracks and groaned. “Oh no!”
“Buffy! Hi! Oh my God; I was just thinking about you!” A bouncy red head proclaimed. “I was talking to Tyler and- who’s that?”
Dawn raised one eyebrow. “I’m Dawn, Buffy’s my sister.”
Buffy rolled her eyes but didn’t bother to correct her sister. “What did Tyler say? He’s a total dish!”
Dawn started humming the tune to ‘Buffy’s got a boyfriend’ under her breath, but stopped at her sister’s glare. Instead she wandered off to look in the shop window next to them leaving Buffy to her conversation about the ‘totally dreamy Tyler’.
A couple of minutes later, Buffy realized that Dawn wasn’t standing next to her anymore. “Dawn? Dawn!? Where are you? Dawnie?”
She went cold all over. Her mom had warned her to keep an eye on her little sister all the time; the little brat spent half of her time in dreamland totally disconnected from real life. And now she had looked away for two minutes and Dawn was no where to be seen.
“Did you see where she went?” Buffy’s friend just looked confused. “My sister, she was standing right here…”
“Oh yeah; where’d she go?”
“I don’t know!” Buffy said, frantically scanning the area for signs of Dawn.
She dashed over to the ice cream stand. “Excuse me, have you seen my sister? She’s seven, about this tall, has brown hair?”
“No, sorry.” The attendant drawled, obviously uninterested.
Buffy had always been a fast runner, now she was using her skills to dash over the court where they had been sitting. But this was LA; there were god knows how many people milling about the mall.
Buffy spotted a brunette girl and ran over. She grabbed her arm and swung her round, preparing to yell at he sister. But the girl had tiny brown eyes, not big blue ones. Buffy dropped her arm and muttered an apology before running off again. Her mom was going to kill her!
“Buffy! Buffy!” She span round, hearing someone was calling her name.
Thank God! Dawn was safely clutching the hand of a security guard, waving frantically at her big sister. Buffy ran over and hugged her sister.
“Don’t you ever scare me like that again!”
“I’m sorry; I just went to look in the window and then when I came back you were gone!” Dawn wrapped her arms around Buffy’s waist and looked up into her eyes. “I thought you’d left me.”
It was then Buffy noticed the other things about her sister. The teary eyes full of worry and the way she clutched her big sister tightly. “I would never leave you, I promise.” She assured the younger girl before turning to the security guard. “Thank you sir.”
He smiled. “No worries; and you stay with your sister.”
Dawn nodded vigorously. “I will.” She untangled herself from Buffy and gave him a quick hug. “Thank you.”
Surprise briefly flittered across the guards face before he patted Dawn on the head and walked off. Buffy wasn’t really surprised though; Dawn had always been a huggy person.
“Where is she?” Joyce paced up and down the living room. Hank Summers was sitting in one of the armchairs, his face hidden by the newspaper he was reading.
“Relax, she’s probably just talking to one of her friends.” He said as he turned the page.
“She should be back, its dark out and she knows I’m making dinner.”
“She’ll be back soon, mom.” Dawn said from where she was watching the TV.
As if on cue, the front door creaked open. An orange streak ran past the door and upstairs. Joyce was right on its tail. “Buffy!”
Dawn flicked off the TV and followed her mother upstairs. She saw Buffy go into her room and shrug off her bright orange jacket.
“Why didn’t you call me?”
Buffy turned to face her mother, neither knowing about the little girl watching from the door frame.
“I’m sorry. I-I didn’t know it was so late. Tyler and I were talking..” Dawn could tell Buffy was lying; she was just so bad at it.
Their mom exhaled slowly. “That boy is irresponsible.”
“No mom, “ Buffy protested, “It’s not his fault.”
Joyce looked her oldest daughter in the eye. “You know we worry, that’s all.” Buffy stayed silent and Joyce shrugged. “Dinner’s in ten minutes.”
Dawn ducked into her parent’s room as her mother walked past and back downstairs. When she was sure the coast was clear, she looked back into Buffy’s room. It was empty. Dawn walked through the lilac room and peered into the bathroom. Buffy was looking into the mirror. She turned on the taps and began to scrub her hands.
Dawn could hear her parents downstairs; she knew Buffy could hear them talking too.
“Did she say where she was?” Their father asked.
“She was with Tyler.” Joyce responded, emotions hidden in her voice.
“I don’t want her seeing him anymore, period!” Hank raised his voice.
“You’re overreacting dear.” Joyce soothed, but it only succeeded in getting her husband more irritated and their conversation escalated into a fight as it did so often these days.
“Don’t do that! Don’t talk to me like I’m a kid!”
“I don’t! Just forget it!”
Dawn watched Buffy look at herself in the mirror, her eyes beginning to glisten with tears.
“Just because you can’t discipline them, I have to be the ogre!” their father raged.
“I am not having this conversation again, alright?” Joyce stormed off into the kitchen leaving her husband to drop back down into his arm chair and pick up his paper angrily.
Buffy looked down from the mirror, fighting back the tears. She looked up sharply. “Come in Dawn.”
Dawn gaped. She hadn’t made a sound, there was no way Buffy could have heard her there. “Why did you lie to mom?”
“You did…did he hurt you?” Dawn asked quietly, looking at the bruise on her sister’s chin.
“No, he didn’t.” Buffy’s voice was wavering slightly.
“Then what’s the matter, Buffy please, you’re scaring me.”
Buffy let out a strangled sob. She slid down to the floor and wrapped her arms around her knees and let the tears fall. Dawn moved over and sat next to her sister. She wrapped her arms around her and stroked her long blond hair as she’d seen her mother do.
“It’ll be ok, Buffy.” Dawn said, trying to imitate her mother’s calm tone. “What?”
Buffy was saying something, but it was too muffled for Dawn to make out. “No;” she repeated, “it won’t. Why me? Why does it have to be me?”
Buffy let the tears take over again leaving Dawn confused, but she figured that Buffy had just been dumped or something. She didn’t normally get this upset over a guy though; it must be something really serious.
“She burnt down the gymnasium?” Hank Summers yelled. “Why the hell did she do that?”
“She thinks were vampires there.” Joyce Summers said quietly, her tone clearly saying that she didn’t believe Buffy’s story.
“She’s gone too far this time!” He raged storming up the stairs.
“Hank! Wait!” Joyce grabbed his arm. “I think she really believes in these…vampires. She’s not herself, she keeps on crying.”
“She has to learn, Joyce.” He said firmly.
“What are you going to do?” Joyce asked, almost fearfully. Hank didn’t reply, he just pulled his arm free and continued up the stairs. Joyce grabbed his shoulder and pulled him round forcefully. “She is fifteen years old, you can’t hit her!”
He didn’t deny it. “She is my daughter too.” He hissed turning to go back up the stairs. But what he saw had him frozen in his tracks.
Buffy was standing at the top of the stairs, Dawn not far behind her. Buffy’s face appeared to be blank, but her eyes were swirling with emotion; confusion, hurt, uncertainty, fear… Behind her, Dawn looked a mix of being afraid of her father and shocked at him apparently wanting to hit Buffy.
Buffy turned and fled into her bedroom. “Buffy, come back here.” Her father growled. Dawn backed up against the wall. She’d never seen her father act this way before and it scared her.
“No!” Joyce grabbed her husband one last time.
“Get Off!” He yelled and swung around knocking Joyce to the ground.
“Mom!” A crying Dawn rushed over to he mother who was sitting up holding a hand to her cheek.
“You hit me.” She stated surprised.
Hank just stared in horror at his wife in his little girl’s embrace. “God, Joyce, I’m so sorry.” He said in a cracked and broken voice.
Not long later, Buffy heard a timid knocking on her door. She opened it cautiously and was surprised to see Dawn standing there clutching a stuffed bunny to her chest with a tear streaked face.
“He hit Mom.” She sniffed.
Buffy’s eyes went wide. “W-what?”
“Dad. He was really mad and Mom tried to stop him and he hit her.”
“No.” She said disbelievingly. “Where is he now?”
Dawn sniffed loudly. “Downstairs, talking with Mom. What’s gonna happen?”
“I don’t know. Did he do it on purpose?”
“I don’t know. I don’t think so. Can I say with you?”
Buffy nodded wordlessly and stood aside to let Dawn enter. She did so and flopped down on Buffy’s bed. Buffy went to the top of the stairs and listened to her parent’s low voices. She couldn’t make out what they were saying, but she could hear her mother crying and as she stood there the voices rose to a shout briefly before going back to the quiet muttering.
“Buffy; is everything ok?” Dawn asked.
Buffy forced a smile onto her face. “It’s fine.”
She walked back into her room and sat on the bed next to Dawn. They sat there for a while, and then they heard the front door open and close. Soon after that their mother came upstairs to find her daughters.
Joyce knocked on Buffy’s door before entering to find her two daughters awaiting her arrival and any news on what was happening.
“He’s left hasn’t he?” Buffy asked dully.
Joyce nodded as she sat down in-between her daughters. “He’ll be back tomorrow to collect his things and to talk about you, Buffy. But yes, he’s left.”
“Why?” Dawn asked in a small voice.
Joyce wrapped an arm around her. “You know Mommy and Dad have been fighting a lot recently? We decided that it would be best if we took a break, to see if we work better as parents when we’re apart.”
“This is all my fault. If I didn’t get in trouble then none of this would have happened.” Buffy said, her voice wavering like she was trying to hold back the tears.
“Buffy, this is not your fault. The only reason your dad and me stayed together as long as we did is for you and your sister.”
“Don’t you love him anymore?” Dawn asked forlornly
Joyce thought for a minute. “I’ll always love him. He gave me two wonderful daughters and how could I not love him for that? But I’m not in love with him anymore.”
Dawn still looked a bit confused, but Buffy seemed to accept that.
“Can we still see Dad?”
“Of course, whenever you like.” Joyce assured her which seemed to pacify Dawn a little. But it was a lot to take in in one night, but it was getting late, so Joyce decided to leave any questions they had until the morning.
“Now, you,” Joyce said turning to Dawn, “it is way past your bed time and you should be going to sleep too.”
“Can I stay in here tonight, please?” Dawn begged her mother and sister.
“Well…if it’s alright with your sister.”
“It’s fine with me.”
“Yessss! Thanks Buffy.”
Joyce helped Dawn pull out the sleeping bag and lay it on the floor next to Buffy’s bed while Buffy changed into her night things.
Joyce kissed both her daughters good night and switched off the light.
“Goodnight girls… and Buffy? You and I are going to have a very long talk tomorrow, understand?”
“Yes ma’am.” She muttered. How could she forget that she’s burnt down the school gym and been expelled for it just a few short hours ago?
Dawn giggled and the pair sat in silence for a while. “Hey, Buffy?”
“Why’d you burn down the school?”
“I don’t know.” Buffy grumbled.
“You must have had a reason.” Dawn persisted. “You didn’t just wake up this morning and think ‘oh, I’m gonna set the school on fire’ did you?”
“No.” Buffy sighed. She may as well get it over with or Dawn would never let her sleep. “Do you believe in monsters?”
“Like the Boggy Man?”
“Err, yeah, I guess like that.”
“Sure, why not!” Dawn chirped.
“OK, well the gym was full of monsters like that and the only way I could think of to stop it was to burn it down.”
Buffy nodded, but then remembered that Dawn couldn’t see her in the dark room. “Yup.”
“Cool! Did you see any of the monsters? Was there grunge? Did you kill anything? Did you…”
Buffy sighed. Was she this inquisitive when she was nine?
“Hey Buffy! Mom says you get to come home today, isn’t that great!”
Buffy looked up and smiled. She enjoyed it when her sister visited her; she was the only one who didn’t treat her like she was made of china.
“Hi Dawnie. Yea, they finally believe I’m not crazy.”
Dawn snorted. “Idiots. I could give them a million reasons why you’re crazy.”
“Dawn!” Their mother hushed from the corner.
Buffy couldn’t keep the smile off her face. At least someone was treating her like they normally would. She got up and wiped her hands on the regulation white sweatshirt and grey sweat pants. “Hey Mom.”
“Hello Buffy. How are you feeling today?”
Buffy rolled her eyes. “I’m fine, Mom. Can we go now?”
“Yeah.” Dawn seconded. “This place gives me the creeps, it’s full of loonies.”
“Dawn!” Joyce scolded, but Buffy laughed. She didn’t count herself in the loony column, but she had to agree with Dawn; this place would give anyone the wiggins.
An hour later, the threesome was leaving the hospital.
“Everything’s all packed;” Joyce was telling Buffy, “the movers have already taken most of our things down to Sunnydale, but we thought you might want to go to the house one more time.”
Dawn’s smile had faded at the first mention of the move. She pouted and scuffed her toes on the floor as they walked across the car park.
“I don’t see why we have to go to stupid Sunnydale anyway.” She grumbled.
“I’ve told you before!” Joyce answered agitated. “We have to move to a new school for Buffy and we can’t afford to stay here. The housing costs in Sunnydale are low and I can start up a business.” She snapped and Buffy got the feeling that this argument had been had more than once while she was ‘away’.
Buffy looked around the empty house. She couldn’t help but be relieved. She was going to a new town where no-one will know her; she could finally get away from everything that happened here.
Possible Next Chapter: Welcome to the Hellmouth!
That was it, the first chapter. Should I write more? If you have a particular episode of Buffy that you think I should re-write with Dawn in, then just bung it in a review, although I won’t do eps I haven’t seen and I’m starting with season 1.
If anyone would be interested in beta-ing this story for me, then please email me or send a review. This isn’t my first story, but when I wrote my last one I had someone who checked that last few chapters and I think it really helped.
Please review; Kiara.