Title: Dangers Untold and Hardships Unnumbered
Pairing: Dawn/Toby – others canon
Summary: A series of hidden stories on Cassie’s website lead Dawn and the gang into the Underground.
Disclaimer: All things Buffy belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. The Labyrinth and its inhabitants belong to Jim Henson. The music and lyrics of the songs belong to Trevor Jones and David Bowie respectively.
“I knew you could do it Dawnie,” exclaimed Buffy as she attempted to envelope her younger but much taller sister in a hug.
“Yeah,” added Xander. “Well done Dawnster. I always said you were a drama queen.”
“No,” argued Buffy. “ I
always said she was a drama queen”.
Dawn beamed and tried to resist the urge to throw her mortarboard into the air. Toby had explained that it was an unacceptably American thing to do at a London university. Looking over, Dawn caught Toby’s eye and winked. This was, after all, no regular university, it was the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. A little drama was in order.
Toby attempted to disengage himself from his own sister’s arms to stop her but he was too late, Dawn’s mortarboard was in the air. With a sigh of resignation he flung his own into the air.
They both laughed.
The sound of someone clearing their throat right behind her silenced Dawn’s laughter. Buffy and Xander were looking, not at her, but over her shoulder, their faces unreadable. The ex Key turned slowly, an apology ready on her lips, to find Giles standing there with another man—a very tweedy British looking man.
“Dawn,” began Giles, trying not to laugh. “I believe this is yours.” He handed her the mortarboard which she accepted somewhat sheepishly.
“It damn near cracked my loaf,” exclaimed the Watcher’s companion with a jovial smile. “I’m Harry by the way.” He held out his hand and Dawn took it.
By this time Toby had retrieved his own headgear and joined the group.
“Dawn,” said Dawn. “And this is my boyfriend Toby Williams.”
“Lord Harry,” effused Toby, taking the older man’s hand. “It’s so wonderful to see you again”.
“Lord Harry?” mouthed Buffy to her sister who just shrugged.
“Lord Harry,” explained Toby to Dawn, “is a great patron of the arts. He has single-handedly funded several of my sister’s shows here in London.”
“And always made my money back and more,” added Harry with another of his jovial smiles and a friendly slap on Toby’s back. “That’s actually what I wanted to speak to you about Miss Summers,” he continued, still smiling. “I’ve been following your work and I’ve been very impressed. Both with your acting and directing.” Dawn blushed and began to argue but Harry put up a silencing hand. “Not many people your age…what is your age?”
“I’m twenty two,” replied Dawn.
Harry nodded and continued. “As I was saying. Not many people your age have such a talent for directing. Your production of The Crucible last Spring was just wonderful. I haven’t seen such an insightful interpretation of the play since it was performed on Broadway in 1953. Mr Giles tells me you also have a talent for comedy and fantasy. I’m sorry I missed your granduand production. A Midsummer Night’s Dream wasn’t it?”
“Well, I should let you get back to your celebrations. It’s not every day you graduate top of the class from the world’s premier academy of dramatic arts. I just wanted to let you know that I would be more than happy to provide the finance for your debut production, whatever it is”.
With that Lord Harry bid everyone farewell and hurried away to greet other friends. Dawn dimly noticed him greet Sarah, Toby’s older sister, with an avuncular hug.
She turned to her friends and family. “Everyone heard that too right? I’m not having auditory hallucinations?”
“If you mean did we hear a Brit Lord offer to pay for your first show, no matter what it is, then yeah, we all heard it,” said Xander with a smile.
“Lord Harry’s backing means a lot,” added Toby. “Sarah has often said she would never have gotten started in London without it”.
The look of pure disbelief on Dawn’s face was replaced by a grin. She hugged Toby tightly and they danced a jig together.
“So Dawn,” asked Giles, when she had finished dancing. “Any ideas what you might like to do for your first show?”
Dawn quirked an eyebrow at the Watcher. “I think I know the perfect tale.”