Dawn and Brenda-Light and Dark
This story has random bits of spoilers for "BtVS" season 5 and after and all of "Six Feet Under."
Disclaimer: All characters are the intellectual property of their respective creators, film companies,
etc.; this story may not be sold or distributed on a profit-making basis. I welcome free distribution of
the story, but please let me know if you are going to do it. trinfaneb at yahoo dot com.
"So, where did you hear about me from?" Brenda Chenowith asked Dawn as she manipulated the
teenager's lower vertebrae.
"From my friend Andew, who heard from some guy named Keith who said you were the best
massage therapist in LA," Dawn said as she lay face down on the table with a towel draped over her
"Is Keith a big black guy?"
"Yeah I think he is," Dawn answered.
"I'll have to thank him then, that is if I ever see him again."
"Oh, is he an old boyfriend or something?" Dawn asked.
"Actually he's the boyfriend of my ex-boyfriend's brother."
"That would explain how he and Andrew met then."
"Is Andrew gay?" Brenda asked as she moved up to the upper vertebrae.
"There are strong indications that he leans that way, but he's a tough one to figure out. One day
he's drooling over a Scott Bakula poster and the next night he's dressing up in a tux and going out
on the town with two women."
"Sounds like a complicated man."
"Yeah complicated is one world to use for him. Lately he's been going to open mike nights and
sprouting poetry about vaginas and a 'the crack of the world."
"That sounds fairly obscure," Brenda said with a thoughtful look on her face.
"Actually I'm pretty sure where he got the 'the crack of the world' expression from. Both of us are
"The sinkhole town?"
"Must have been tough losing your hometown," Brenda said as she concentrated on the right
"Not really. Living there was like living in hell most of the time. And I mean that literally."
"I hear what you're saying. I had a pretty rough childhood. My family is kinda crazy."
"My family wasn't that bad," Dawn said as she lifted her chin and moved it from the right side to the
left side. "That is, aside from dad losing interest in us after the divorce and my sister being so
"I wish my parents would have lost interest in me sometimes," Brenda said. "They were both
psychiatrists and had some odd ideas about living their life and child rearing. At times my brother
and I felt so emotionally besieged. Its no wonder he still feels so intense about me."
"I know how that can be. My sister feels that I'm a part of her. Literally."
"She doesn't give you your own emotional space?" Brenda asked.
"Yeah most of the time she feels like she has to protect me from all the evils of the world. And then
other times, she's so wrapped up in her own struggles she can barely pay any attention to me."
"It sounds like she's a parent figure for you."
"Yeah Buffy's been taking care of me since our mom died a few years ago. I have to admit that I
am a brat sometimes. Like the time I made everyone stay in the house and keep me company after a
"I could tell about some of the stunts my brother and I pulled," Brenda said a she moved to the left
"But you have to keep it all in perspective," Dawn said. "I mean look at the book, 'Charlotte Light
and Dark.' Imagine what it would be like to have that girl's childhood."
"Actually I don't have to. I am Charlotte," Brenda said with a neutral expression on her face.
"Oh my god, I'm so sorry. I haven't done anything so stupid since I accidentally killed Miss Kitty
Fantastico. Please accept my apology, I didn't think."
"Its all right. I've begun to accept the Charlotte part of me and what she experienced. It was pretty
screwed up. But I believe you can go through that and still try to be a good person."
"Yes, my friends and I are big believers in redemption and second chances. Most people have a
skeleton in their closet. We've got whole graveyards. Literally," Dawn said as she turned her head
to look back at Brenda.
"Yeah I know how that goes. You got a boyfriend?"
"No, the last year or so I've been living in Rome. The boys over there come on a little too strong for
me. Mostly I just sit around and watch Buffy and the Immortal act lovey-dovey on the couch."
"The Immortal?" Brenda said with a quizzical expression on her face.
"Yeah. Its kinda of like 'The Maestro' from 'Seinfeld.' Everyone calls him that, although Buffy
sometimes calls him 'Immy" and a few other vaguely nauseating pet names."
"So do you like this guy?" Brenda asked.
"I do, but its just that he's done all these incredible things and has all these people around who think
he hung the moon that I feel its my sisterly duty to occasionally give him a hard time. And I have to
admit I'm still a little loyal to Buffy's previous boyfriend, although he did put her through hell at
times and she probably didn't love him as much as he loved her. But Spike was a friend to me when
I needed one."
"Sounds like an interesting guy."
"Yeah he is. He's the reason me and my friends came to LA."
"You came to see him?"
"Yeah and to offer him back-up and emotional support. He's going through some work-related
clashes right now and we're all trying to find some way to make everyone happy after the trouble
that Spike's boss got everyone in. What makes it so weird is that his boss was Buffy's boyfriend
several years ago."
"I imagine that would cause some tension," Brenda said. "I can't fathom how the two of them could
"I think it was tough for both of them at first, but then they kinda got used to it. Some of the people
I know were pressuring me and Buffy not to trust Spike and Angel any more because of their
business practices, but strangely enough the recent trouble they got into made everyone feel better
"Yeah extreme situations do bring people together sometimes. I often think that I wouldn't have
stayed with Nate, my previous boyfriend, so long if our relationship hadn't started on the day his dad
died. He needed me and I needed to be needed by someone who wasn't my brother."
"I imagine I'll go through something similar someday soon, that is if any guy can make it past
Buffy," Dawn said with a small laugh. "What about your present boyfriend?"
"Well Joe's the most normal guy I've ever gone out with. I mean Nate grew up in a funeral home.
You spend all that time around dead people and it has to affect you."
"I can imagine," Dawn said with no expression.
"I can use a lot of normal right now. I went through a period of extreme behavior the last year or
two and I'm trying to get my life back on track. Gonna be going to back to school soon."
"Good for you. I've got college coming up soon enough. Everyone keeps going back and forth if I
should go to a school in the states or not. Its starting to drive me a little crazy. At least all my old
school records got buried a hundred feet under the earth and I could make a fresh start in a new
"A fresh start. That sounds good."
"Yeah, I've been doing a lot better in school this last year. I've added Italian to the list of languages
I've fluent in. I'm probably going to study something to do with languages once I get to college.
That is if I can get into college. Between having all my old school records destroyed and going to a
foreign school now, it might be hard to get into a good university. But I have a friend who could fix
that if push comes to shove. She can do magic with a computer."
"Its good to have friends," Brenda said with a sad expression on her face. "You should count
yourself lucky that you have them."
"Yeah and lucky I'm not dead or floating around as a ball of energy somewhere."
"Um, okay," Brenda said. "You into New Age stuff?"
"I don't have much passion for it myself, but so many of my friends deal with it all the time, its
kinda of like a fact of life for me," Dawn said.
"Yeah we all get used to what we experience all the time, even if does seem strange to other people."
"You're preaching to choir on that one Brenda."
"You know Dawn, you look familiar to me and I've been trying to think where....."
"Its Celeste. The pop singer."
"Yeah, that's it. You know I think Keith is working as a security guard for her now. Small world,
isn't it? Its uncanny how much she looks like you."
"It is kinda freaky. Its almost like my creators based my looks on her image."
"Well that's the oddest spin I've ever heard put on re-incarnation," Brenda said as she wiped down
Dawn's back with a towel."
"Its just a bizarre little thought I had. So I guess we're about finished up here?"
"Yes we are," Brenda as she wiped her hands and started folding towels in front of the table.
"Well I feel great. I'm glad I decided to pamper myself. Thanks for the massage and listening to
"Your welcome and I babbled just as much as you did, if not more."
"Hey I don't know how you feel about doing things with clients, but you should come have dinner
or hang out with me and Buffy sometime. We used to live here in LA before us girls moved to
Sunnydale, but that's been so long ago. We don't know anyone anymore."
"I had a bad experience with a client whom I did things with in the past. God rest her soul. But I'll
think about it."
"Good, you've got my cell number. Give me a call sometime."
"I think I will," Brenda said as she looked into Dawn's eyes. "People who've been through what we
have, need to stick together."
-Note: "A client [with] whom I did things with in the past. God rest her soul" refers to Brenda's
prostitute friend in season 2, Melissa. She was played by Kellie Waymire, who died in real life in