Title: Festive Clothing
Summary: Dawn’s decided to be a little bit naughty–what’s the big deal about getting coal?
Spoilers: Seasons 1-4 of Angel; All of BtVS (including ‘Chosen’); Seasons 1-7 of Stargate SG-1
Pairing: Dawn/Daniel Jackson, among others.
Disclaimers: I don’t own any of the characters, situations or dialogue found in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel the Series, or Stargate SG-1. This is purely a work of fiction and no intent to defame or gain profit from this enterprise is intended.
A/N: I cannibalized the idea of Dawn as Daniel’s assistant from my other story, ‘Divine Justice,’ but this should still make sense if you haven’t read it. Since the characters haven’t met yet in that story, I’m not sure if this will ever fit into that universe.
Daniel first became aware of his surroundings when he heard the sound of a jingling bell from down the hall. He sniffed the surrounding air, smelling something that he decided was a combination of peppermint and cinnamon. He looked up to see his protege standing in the doorway to their office, holding a steaming mug and sucking on the remains of a candy cane. He blinked, then blinked again. Last time he’d seen Dawn, she’d been wearing standard issue BDUs. Now she...wasn’t.
She placed the mug of mulled cider in front of Daniel, being careful to keep it away from the artifact he was working on. He picked it up and sipped, tasting the cinnamon and cloves, studying her over the rim. She was wearing a red button front satin blouse, a short plaid pleated skirt that hung low on her hipbones and exposed the bottom inch of her midriff and some kind of strappy silver shoes that added two inches to her height. Her hair was loose behind her and she was wearing a pair of brown felt and foam antlers tied to her head.
“What on earth are you wearing?”
Dawn grinned at him and removed the candy from her mouth as she twirled in front of him. Daniel heard bells again. “You like? Buffy called it my gay apparel, but then Willow and Lorne got kinda grumpy, so after a lot of arguing, I think they decided to compromise and call it my festive clothing.”
Saliva pooled in Daniel’s mouth. He might be twenty years older than she was and technically her boss, but he certainly wasn’t dead. “Uh, well, it certainly is...festive....” He swallowed. Daniel had known, academically, that Dawn was an inch shorter than Sam, but he hadn’t translated that into leg length. Were Sam’s legs that long? Knowing that he was wandering into a mental image minefield from which he might never return, Daniel gave himself an internal head slap and decided to change the subject. Hallucinations were always safe. “Do you hear bells? I keep hearing something ringing.”
Dawn pulled up the bottom hem of her blouse and proudly showed off her navel. It was sporting a small silver ring and a little bell. “It was my present from Faith. Cool, huh?” She swivelled her hips and the bell swung from side to side, chiming brightly now that the fabric was out of the way. Daniel choked on his cider.
He wiped his chin. “Um...yes, very...cool.”
She grinned a little evilly at him. “Faith, Buffy and Willow got them, too, but I don’t know where and they said they wouldn’t show me. Will said she got a little tiny pentagram, though, instead of a bell, ‘cuz of the whole Wicca thing.”
“Dear Lord...” He put the mug back on the table with a thump. Maybe Dawn was trying to kill him so she could have his job. Or she was working for the NID and was trying to get him permanently committed. Those were plausible explanations, right?
Dawn gave a delighted peal of laughter. “That’s exactly what Giles said when Buffy told him! Then he polished his glasses and muttered in Sumerian for a while. Spike’s been chasing Faith around the party for at least an hour now to get her to spill. I figure it’s another fifteen minutes or so before she lets him catch her, half an hour after that they leave the party for some lame-ass reason.”
Daniel had seen the pair in action over Thanksgiving and thought that was a very conservative estimate.
“Anyway, Jack sent me. He said you’re missing a ‘helluva party’ and you should get your ‘bony archeologist ass’ over to the commissary. Buffy argued with him for a little while about the bony part. Then Sam, Willow, some of the nurses from the infirmary and Fred jumped in. So now it’s this huge debate and Jack shooed me out to come get you so we could settle the question properly. On an almost completely unrelated topic, do you know where I could find a tape measure and some glitter?” She blinked innocently at him.
Daniel’s jaw dropped. What kind of punch were they serving at the party, anyway? Maybe it was a conspiracy between the women at the SGC to drive him nuts. He’d have to remember to thank them for defending him, but he wasn’t sure exactly how to thank people for defending against his male best friend’s opinion of his behind. “No, I have no idea where there’s a tape measure.” Especially not in his top right-hand desk drawer. “Um, no glitter either.” He was afraid to ask what the glitter was for.
“Darn.” Dawn picked up her candy cane from where she had perched it on his table and resumed sucking on it. Daniel closed his eyes and breathed deeply, willing his body into submission. He was mostly successful. She continued excitedly around the mouthful of candy cane. “Oh, and wait ‘till you see the commissary! Buffy and Teal’c went a little nuts with the decorations–there’s tinsel and icicle lights everywhere. There’s also a big, honkin’ piece of mistletoe right over the door, so watch out. After the Great Jackson Butt Debate, I figure you’re in for a lot of kissing.”
He rolled his eyes and smiled, more comfortable now that she was acting more like the woman he worked with on a daily basis. “So, kiss anybody good?”
She grinned back. “Jack keeps sending me on errands since I’m the youngest, and hello, wearing antlers. Every time I go back into the party, someone different kisses me. So far, SG-1's got the best kissers.”
Daniel wasn’t sure exactly what to do with that knowledge. Was it wrong to be proud of his teammates for something like this, or should he be apologizing for their behavior? After all, they were a lot older than Dawn. She wasn’t acting offended, so he figured it was okay to be a little bit smug. Once again, SG-1 had acquitted themselves well on the field of battle. And now he sounded like Teal’c.
A little crease formed between Dawn’s eyebrows as she crunched on the end of her candy cane in thought, then she continued, “Actually, that’s not one hundred percent true. As a team, SG-1's got the highest percentage of good kissers, but I haven’t kissed you and I haven’t kissed Sam, so maybe that’s not really a valid statement...”
She’d kissed Jack and Teal’c?
“...but I’d also have to say that Lieutenant Simmons and Major Davis were pleasant surprises...Sergeant Siler was a little slurpier than I like...and I’d stay away from SG-3 altogether, if I were you. Way too aggressive.”
“So noted.” He closed his eyes, praying for blessed silence and ignoring the sudden tension in his abdomen. Had she kissed everyone in the entire damn building?
Dawn continued blithely on, ignorant of Daniel’s turmoil. “Buffy and Faith agree with me about Jack and Teal’c being the best out of everyone they’ve kissed from the SGC, though Buffy says that Jack’s better and Faith thinks Teal’c is. Then they starting rating all the guys they’ve both kissed and it got a little nuts...Angel got all broody when Spike was rated higher on the scale...and Cordelia had to kiss Spike so she could put in her two cents...poor Angel, he lost to Spike by unanimous consent, but Cordelia made him feel a little better when she told him he beat both Connor and Wes...which Fred disputed hotly, even though she’s never kissed either Connor or Angel...and then Cordelia, Faith, and Willow started debating Xander’s abilities...so Buffy had to kiss him, because she felt left out. He’s going to be utterly useless for the rest of the week, but she ranked him ahead of Jack and Teal’c, so that’s got to count for something.”
Daniel’s mouth was hanging open again. Sounds like he’d missed quite the party. Plus, now there was this morbid curiosity about where he fell on the girls’ scale...no, probably better not to go there.
No doubt desperate for air by this point, Dawn inhaled deeply. “Oh, and Willow said Sam’s pretty good, too...better than Kennedy, not even on the same scale as Tara.” She laughed, making her bell ring again and almost managing to distract Daniel from his rather lurid imaginings. He shifted uncomfortably in his chair. “God, Daniel, you should have seen Jack! He almost passed out right where he stood--I think he was more surprised than Sam! Then Faith said something about taking it easy on Jack’s heart and he got all pouty.”
His eyes widened, immediately concerned for his friend’s career. Sam’s, not Jack’s. He figured Jack’s career was used to him being pouty by now. “Willow kissed Sam? Isn’t that against regulations?”
Dawn’s laughter had trailed off. “I thought so, but Sam didn’t seem that worried. Said something about her record speaking for itself. Then she took advantage of the opportunity and planted a good solid one on Jack, which definitely got rid of the pout, now that I think about it...he may be almost as useless as Xander for the rest of the week.”
He stood and walked quickly towards the door. “Sam kissed Jack in front of the entire SGC?” In his opinion, that was a real reason to celebrate.
“Yup. Buffy, Willow and Teal’c were looking pretty smug afterwards, too.”
Daniel stopped dead and looked back at Dawn. “Teal’c?” He knew the Jaffa had been having the time of his life since Buffy, Willow, Faith, Dawn, and the rest of their friends had taken over the job of educating him about Earth culture, but he hadn’t known he’d gotten that close with them.
Dawn bounced on the balls of her feet, making the antlers wobble. “Willow told me that the initial idea was Buffy’s, but that the tactics were completely Teal’c’s.”
“Ah.” Figured. Nobody could plan a successful attack like Teal’c. Jack had gotten off lucky. “How’d you get Sam to agree?”
His assistant suddenly found the heating vent over her head utterly fascinating.
Looking slightly abashed, Dawn lowered her face and looked Daniel in the eye. “Cassie may have sprinkled something in her cider that made her a little more responsive to psychic suggestion. I know it sounds kinda bad, but in their defense, it was only a suggestion, not a command, and Willow didn’t even have to finish the sentence before Sam was sauntering over to Jack.”
Well, it was certainly considerate of Willow to give Sam and Jack something new to blame their behavior on. The alien virus/technology story became a little less plausible every time they had to use it.
Dawn glanced up at the clock and realized exactly how long they’d been talking. Spike and Faith were probably long gone by now. “C’mon, Daniel. They’re going to think we’re making out in the broom closet or something.”
He swallowed. “Wh...why would they think that?”
She winked at him. “Because that’s where I told them I’d be if I wasn’t back in five minutes.”
“Oh.” Daniel was definitely out of his league here. She was too young for him. Wasn’t she? He was probably just imagining all the flirting, making more out of it than it was.
Dawn laughed again, holding onto the antlers so they didn’t slip off her head. “One thing, though...all in the name of scientific discovery and accuracy, of course.”
“Yes?” He wasn’t sure he liked where this was going.
Dawn didn’t speak, instead laying her hands lightly on Daniel’s shoulders and placing her mouth gently against his, stretching just a little to reach. After a scant second of contact, he responded, angling his head so she could stand fully on the floor. Her hands wrapped loosely around his neck and she pulled him closer to her. Daniel’s hands settled on her waist and pulled her up against him. She made a slight noise.
When they finally came up for air minutes later, Daniel’s left hand was on her hips and his right was against the small of her bare back, under the hem of her shirt. One of Dawn’s hands was in his hair and the other was still around his neck. The antlers were on the floor.
They stepped apart from each other and Daniel awkwardly clasped his hands behind his back. Dawn licked her lips, stunned. Fuck. Wow. Shit. Shit again. Off the scale. Crisis of Angelus-like proportions. “That was...unexpected.”
Talk about an understatement. Extremely uncomfortable now that he was no longer kissing his assistant and beginning to come to his senses, Daniel wasn’t exactly sure where he should be looking or doing with his hands. He settled on looking just over Dawn’s left shoulder and wrapping his arms around himself. What the hell did they do now? He was still her boss, she was still almost twenty years younger. He cleared his throat. “Maybe we should get you back to the party.”
“Um, yeah. Probably a good idea.” Dawn bent and retrieved her headware, gripping it tightly in her hands.
As they walked towards the commissary silently, their previously friendly and relaxed camaraderie disappeared and all thoughts of celebrating the holiday with their friends were abruptly gone. How did they put this particular genie back in the bottle? And what would they do if it wouldn’t go?