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Sketches in the Dirt

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Sketches-verse". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: While away at University, Dawn Summers meets the vacationing Daniel Jackson on an archaeological dig.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Dawn-Centered > Pairing: Daniel JacksonLMiCFR1814,5893236,86627 Nov 0527 Nov 05Yes
Disclaimer: I do not own
these characters.

Timeframe: SG-1 Pre-Ascension. BTVS Post Season 7 by about 6 years. And I get
to adjust what I want to make it work.

















<img width=15 height=15
src="Sketches%20completed_files/image001.gif" alt=Wink v:shapes="_x0000_i1025">

Many thanks to April for her assistance. She helped me
as a beta and a sounding board. She helped me find the episodes I needed to
reference for SG-1 to grasp what happened after the movie.



Dawn Summers stretched her cramped muscles and brushed the dirt from her hands
back over the area where she’d been working with the brush. As a student, they
had her working on an area where pottery fragments and other small items were
found.

The professors were working about 60 yards away in what was either a library or
a temple of some type. They had uncovered about 14 tablets so far written in
ancient Sumerian if her eyes didn’t deceive her, but she wasn’t allowed close
enough to tell for sure. I just hope they’re smart enough not to read it out loud,
she thought.

She gathered up the wooden box with the double mesh bottom that held her
findings for the day and headed back towards the large work tent. As she walked
she spotted the short cut, light brown hair of the very pleasant Dr. Daniel
Jackson. He was actually the one Professor on the dig who didn’t teach at Oxford and was apparently regarded with disdain by the other
professors. In fact the rumor was, he’d actually had to pay more than the
students to be allowed to attend the dig, but that didn’t make any sense. Why
wouldn’t anyone like Dr. Jackson? Was he just too young to be in the “stuffy
old fuddy duddy” club?

Dawn just rolled her eyes as the thought crossed her mind again for about the
20th time this week and continued on her journey pausing only long enough to
call out, “Dr. Jackson, sunset in about 30 minutes.”

He looked up, startled by the voice, took a moment to register what she’d said
by glancing at the sky, then looked back at her and nodded with a slightly
distracted smile as he returned to the bowl he was extracting.

Looks like I’ll be babysitting the distracted again at sunset, she thought as
she pushed at the flap of the work area. Because heaven forbid anyone else
around here try to look out for him. She rolled her eyes again as she set the
box down at the small wares station. Then went to at least wash her hands and
face before trying to do anything else.

After eating an apple she washed her hands again and looked back out at the
lone figure in the quickly lengthening shadows of sunset. She fastened a stake
and to her belt to go with the knife that was already there, Xander would be so proud, and Buffy… well, better not to
worry about what Buffy would think. She wasn’t a sheltered little teenager
anymore and would rather have a weapon on her to be safe rather than slayer
bait or better yet tonight’s entrée. Oh well, time to be sure Dr. Jackson
didn’t end up as dinner either.



Daniel looked up as she approached. It was the kid again. Well, not so much a
kid as young woman, but Jack was rubbing off on him. He noticed that she had
armed herself again and was going to try to herd him back undercover before
nightfall.

She was the only one who used his title with respect, while the others used it
mockingly if at all. That was what made it so hard to resist her when she
insisted he get inside when what he really wanted to do was get over to the
temple site and try to copy the tablets. The other professors were not removing
them yet from the location which seemed like an odd protocol, but then again
Dr. McClellan was in charge.

Regardless, she wanted to move him under the cover, the lights and the
protection of the tent community. But he only had three nights left to get the
information from the temple tablets before his vacation was over, because they
certainly weren’t going to let him nearby during the day. He’d just have to
convince her to let him go.



“Dr. Jackson? You know the sun is gone now. We need to get back to the rest of
the group,” she stated.

“Not right now, Dawn,” he answered quietly.

“Wh- What do you mean? Not
right now?” She glared at him in exasperation. “When exactly would you like to
go back? When it’s so dark you stumble getting back falling into one of these
open holes and at the very least getting a concussion? Or breaking a leg or
dying from breaking your neck? Is that what you want? Or do you want worse?
Because I can name the things that nightmares are made of and they are waking
up right now so move your ass.”

“Look, I too know the stuff that nightmares are made of, but mine may not be
the same as yours. I’m going to trust you for two reasons. One, you haven’t
given me any reason not to. Two, I only have three more nights here and it
looks like I won’t get where I want to without you. The truth is I want to get
a look at what they are finding over there but I can’t do that during the day
so it has to be at night,” Daniel answered.

“So your ‘Plan’ is to just waltz over there after dark and hope that the good
Doctors don’t notice the lights on their turf not to mention drawing the
attention of the local vamps looking for a free happy meal. As plans go, this
one sucks. Here’s the new plan. Get off your butt. Move towards the rest of the
group. Tomorrow is another day. We’ll plan to do this tomorrow and we’ll both
arm ourselves better. Tonight, we’re sitting ducks and I just feel like the
natives are getting restless,” she said as she tugged him to his feet and
looked around nervously.



Daniel rolled his eyes and sighed with exasperation, mentally throwing up his
hands in defeat as he allowed the girl to manhandle him towards the camp. He
wondered what personal demons she had that caused her to feel the need to get
everyone out of the dark. Curiosity forced him to ask her about it.

“Dawn, what makes you care if I’m out there alone half the night or not? Nobody
else here does. Most of the others would rather I hadn’t come here at all,” he
asked suddenly more serious than he intended.

She suddenly stopped and pushed him face first towards the ground. He heard
sounds of a struggle and her voice came back to him in clipped tones along with
scuffles of battle and her foot pushing him back down every time he tried to
get back up.

“Let’s just say I know what it’s like to be ignored…,” Shuffle, scuffle. “…Discounted…,”
punch, whoosh, oof. “And completely left out until
it’s almost too damned late to do anything…,” grunt, crunch, poof. “All the
while your sister drones on and on about the tragedies of being chosen and how
you should leave this alone and live a normal life because that has always been
her dream, as if that ever kept me from being used as sodding
bait. Ack!”


There was pain in her voice and Daniel was finally able to turn his head to see
her give a round house kick to some guy whose face then turned ugly… really
ugly. He grabbed her from behind before she could complete the spin to hit him
again. Unfortunately for him, he failed to secure her hands. She had that
wooden stake in her hand and used the butt end of it to strike the man in the
nose while slamming a boot heel into his instep. And finally slamming down the
stake in her fist into the guy’s chest while then falling forward somewhat
gracelessly. Her face did not show fear though, it had
a smirk of satisfaction and a trace of relief.

Daniel pushed himself up and blurted out, “What the hell was that?” His arm was
motioning wildly to the settling vamp dust. “And why did you push me down?” he
asked slightly calmer as reached down to help her up. She was much more
graceful standing up than she had been falling down, he idly thought in
passing.

Dawn began brushing the vampire dust from her clothing. “I pushed you down
because you are weaponless, as I believe mentioned before. You don’t even have
a cross or a Star of David or anything. You were absolutely defenseless against
the 3 vamps that were attacking. Geez.” She rolled her eyes and put her hands on her hips.

Daniel was brushing the dirt from his own clothes but paused at the reprimand
to ask, “Vamps? What are vamps?”

She started moving towards the camp again and gently turned Dr. Jackson towards
it as well explaining, “We can walk and talk. I’d rather be at camp tonight.”
At his nod she continued, “Vamps is the shortened form of vampires. And as you
saw they are very much real, along with many other things that go bump in the
night. As far as the evil or demonic food chain goes vampires rank right down
there with cockroaches.”

“Vampires…” he whispered and felt a little green as if maybe his head would
spin, or maybe just his stomach. Then his scientific brain kicked in forcing
him to take a deep breath and keep going. When he spoke again his voice was
still shaky but his stomach was calmer. He asked, “Um, are the rumors true? Do
they turn humans into other vampires?”

Dawn softened her voice as she heard the shock in his, “Not always. Normally
the vamp just feeds off of a person until they die. Only occasionally, when
they really like someone or are trying to raise an army or want to piss someone
else off, do they change people into a vampires.”

“So they do choose which they will do? It doesn’t just happen, it is a choice?”
he asked as they continued to make their way across the last of the rugged
terrain back to camp.

“Yeah, they choose. And the one they choose dies as well; their soul is
released and a demon moves in to the shell or husk that was their body. The
demon has the same voice, memories and body but no soul and all the bad of the
demon. If anyone you care about is ever turned you must kill them, because have
no doubt, they will kill you and have no qualms about it,” she answered
emphatically.

He looked pale again as he whispered, more to himself, “Great, as if body
snatching parasites weren’t enough, now there are soul sucking parasites, too.”


By then they had reached the safety of the boundaries of the camp and she
glanced over at him. “Ok, Dr. Jackson, you’ve had quite a shock tonight and
have a wicked bad scratch on the side of your face. Follow me and I’ll get you
cleaned up.”

“Daniel,” he stated.

“Daniel?” Dawn asked, as she led him toward her tent.

“Well I figure since you did save my life by kicking my butt and thus my face
into the dirt, we should probably be on a first name basis now. Umm… this is
your tent,” he stammered, somewhat embarrassed.

“Of course it is, where else would my first aid kit be?” she responded with an
exaggerated roll of her eyes. She pushed him towards her made up bed and
ordered, “Sit.” Then she remembered her manners and softened her voice to
request, “Please?”

Daniel watched as she pulled a trunk from beneath the other unused bed and
began rummaging through it, pulling out a bag of gauze squares, a towel and an
extra pillow. She carried those over to her own bed and put them down beside of
him. Returning to the trunk, she pulled out an extra lantern style flashlight
and a carved wooden box, both of which she set on a TV tray she was using as a
bedside table before she closed the trunk and slid it back under the bed.

“I’m going to wash my hands before I work on your face,” she mentioned casually
as she stepped over to the basin and began to scrub her hands with and arms
with near surgical technique. She continued, joking as she began scrubbing with
a nail brush, “I mean, I know we aren’t in the
cleanest facility in the world, but I still wouldn’t want you to get an
infection from some strange vampire dust. Or some traces of dig dirt that have
some odd virus or something.”

“Oh I understand and completely agree. No flesh eating virus, leprosy or
supernatural diseases eating away at my skin tonight if you don’t mind,” he
teased.

Dawn laughed as she moved to dry her hands and to pick up the fold out camp
stool. When she set it down again it was beside the bed and by the TV tray
table. She picked up the extra pillow, placed it over hers and draped the towel
over it.

“Lie back,” she ordered as she picked up the baggy of gauze pads and sat down
on the stool. “I’m going to use a natural healing astringent on that cut. It
isn’t the most pleasant smelling concoction since, well… ever, but it does the
job right.”

“Oh I wouldn’t count on it being the worst smelling concoction in the
universe,” he half joked.

After turning on the lantern she opened the wooden box and pulled out the
purple flask. She carefully dabbed some of the contents onto the pad and then
onto the wound on the side of his face. It bubbled and hissed but then the
wound began to close as the magic that Willow had infused it with kicked in. Dawn smiled. He
wouldn’t have a scar from tonight’s ordeal. Well, not physically at least.

Daniel’s nose wanted to run far away from the medicine in the purple bottle,
but she had a gentle touch and it did feel a lot better already. He joked,
“Okay, it ties for first with the worst smell. It’s only equal is a tribal
bathing ritual for marriage I participated in a few years back unwittingly and
wound up married, quite happily I might add. But they used something that I can
only describe to you as ‘Essence of yak’ in that ritual and that was definitely
equal to this in rank odor.”

“How did you wind up in a wedding ceremony without knowing it?” she asked as
she finished wiping the blood from his face.

“I went on a journey and wound up in a very remote village with people who
spoke a dialect that was pronounced differently than most that I had ever come
across. I met the leader and he took a liking to me and I guess in a good faith
gesture in the custom of their people he offered his daughter’s hand in
marriage. You have to realize this was my first day with them. I pick up
languages quickly but not quite that quickly,” Daniel sat up to continue
telling the story.

“So I’m escorted to a chamber in a tent where half a dozen veiled women appear
and start washing my head, hands and feet with the ‘Essence of yak’ stuff. I
didn’t want to be rude or upset them so I sat there for about an eternity or 5
minutes, take your pick. So I finally ran them off and now I smell really foul
but the tent flap stirs and I catch the first really good glimpse of this shy,
beautiful woman that was my bride. Only I didn’t know it. I assumed she was a
harem girl and I started to send her away, but when I tried there were raised
words between her and her father. She looked stricken, he looked tense and I
was afraid that she would get in trouble because I didn’t want to take
advantage of her. So I said I was very happy, thank you and with a big smile
drew her close and dropped the tent flap. We spent the evening trying to learn
to talk to each other. By the next day I could follow the dialect pretty well
and she was relaxed enough to laugh and to smile. It was few days later that I
learned that we were married. I never regretted it.” His smile was soft and his
gaze off in the distance as he finished.

“That is so cool. Did you take her back with you to America?” Dawn asked quietly, feeling the need to ask though
she dreaded the answer.

Daniel shook his head, “She was kidnapped and killed only a year later. I miss
her. I wish-“

She quickly covered his mouth with 2 fingers. “Daniel, never use the ‘W’ word.
You invite creatures into your life you don’t want there. Tricksters or
vengeance demons either one can be summoned with enough grief and that word.
Understand?”

He nodded.

She gave him a minute before she spoke again. “Daniel, if you are feeling up to
it, we need to plan for tomorrow night.”

“I’m fine Dawn. What do we need to do?”

She gave him a minute before she spoke again. “Daniel, if you are feeling up to
it, we need to plan for tomorrow night.”

“I’m fine Dawn. What do we need to do?”

“Well, I don’t know your religious preference but I can tell you that crosses,
stars of David and ankhs all repel vampires. The eye of Ra does to some degree
but not very well, but I have pendants with any of the four available for you.
Just tell me which you want?” she asked.

“Which is the most effective?” he questioned.

Dawn picked up the simple sterling cross on a sturdy chain. “Honestly, this is
the most effective.”

“Thank you,” he said accepting the proffered gift. He stood to put it in his
pocket and staggered back, lightheaded.

"Whoa, Daniel, lie back down," she ordered returning to caregiver
mode as she helped him back onto the bed. "I forgot that magically
enhanced healings can be draining, especially after a big shock. You rest and
I'll be back in a few minutes with fresh wash water for your hands, as well as
food and drink. Will you stay put until I get back?"

Daniel nodded, not especially happy to be lying down again but knowing better
than to get back up.

Dawn noted the grim look and called his name. She waited for him to look her in
the eye before she confessed, "It's the lack of food. If I'd have had some
here already you wouldn't be woozy, so don't let your ego take a beating over
that, okay?"

He looked sheepish, but nodded again.

With that she left to empty the wash basin and refill the water jug. By the
time she returned he was asleep, snoring softly.





"Dr. Burgess?" Dr. Frank Winslow, the youngest professor on the dig,
other than Daniel Jackson, approached his mentor. "My Translation of the
fourteenth tablet seems different than that of the others. The dialect of the
text is newer. They seem to pre-date it by about 500- 1000 years. It was far
too easy to translate, in my opinion and I would like to go back up there and
see if there is anything to indicate that it may have been planted there to
discredit the rest."

"Of course, you may go back up. When did you want to go?" Emil
Burgess asked.

"Now. I have to present my translations in the
morning to the other professors. Grab your flashlight. I'd like your opinion
too," he ordered his mentor.

"Better carry a flaming torch, as well. That'll help keep wild beasts
away," the older man suggested as they set off into the night.





Dawn snuck back into the kitchen area and gathered the food that would keep
until Daniel woke up. Fresh and dried fruit, cheese, crackers and bottled water
were her choices.

As she crept back out and walked back to the tent she felt guilty for not
helping to clean the days finds. Two seconds later she was over it as she
remembered she hadn't had a break in nearly three weeks and it was finally her
turn for a night off if anyone asked.

Daniel was still snoring when she returned and so she quietly put away the
first aid kit and set the food on the bedside table for when he woke up.





When the two professors reached the temple site they hurried over to inspect
tablets 13-15.

"Frank, I think you’re right. The story is completely interrupted by this
particular tablet. It doesn't flow, seems too new. It’s either planted or was
written much later," Dr. Burgess said then quietly began translating the
offending passage out loud to himself.

When darkness falls and night prevails, a battle fought begins the tale.

Girl child formed from the Key that was, made from mortal Champion's blood.

A woman now, who will Watch true, she chooses to fight
the evils too.

A peaceful man who walks the stars to save the lives of near and far,

His heart was crushed by callous deeds, yet still protects those in need.

These two meet, joined by a spirit third, to give back hope, at just a word.



A sudden wind whipped around them, circling twice. It then seemed to cease as
quickly as it started, though neither of them saw the continued effects as it
made its way down the hill towards camp.





Outside, Dawn heard the wind as it seemed to circle her tent. Then the flap
blew open and suddenly all was quiet.

A beautiful, shimmery apparition appeared and spoke
to her saying, "Dawn, I know that you are frightened by my sudden
appearance, but I believe that you are the only person on Earth capable of
helping us."

Dawn took a step backwards, caught her breath and tried to get her emotions
under control enough to sense what this spirit felt like. When she had calmed
down enough she realized that there was no malevolence in this visitor.
"You feel calming, like my mother when it truly was her, as if you would
chase evil away.” Then as if doubting herself, “You aren't the First, are
you?" she questioned.

The woman smiled, shook her head and began a very lifelike version of pacing as
she told her tale. "No, my name is Sha're. I am,
was, Danyel's wife. I died two years ago, but he
still grieves as if it was yesterday. But what is even more important is that
he blames himself for my abduction. He had been called away to show others
something very important, something that would serve the greater good of us
all, but he blames himself for leaving me behind. I was not defenseless; I had
my brother and several others looking out for me. What Danyel
feels he could have done I do not know."

Dawn nodded thinking of Xander and Willow and their continuing struggle with grief over their
fallen lovers. "I have seen that pain in others I know. Please tell me
more."

Sha're stopped pacing and looked Dawn in the eyes,
pleading with her to understand as she continued, "He is losing himself in
all this grief and pain and that cannot be allowed to happen. Not his mind, but
his spirit, his innocence, his sense of wonder. I've seen glimpses of it here,
where he has his hands in the dirt finding a bit of clay he sees as treasure,
but he can't stay here. Too much depends upon his return."

"How can I help? True, I've watched over him in his absent-minded
professor moments, but what more can I do?" Dawn shrugged in confusion.

"You forget you are a interdimensional
key and therefore a magical being,” she begins, only to be cut off.

Getting angry, “If you know that, then you know Glory tried using me in that,
messy without my permission, spilling my blood kind of way. I don't want that.
I don't need that. I prefer my body, my blood and the rest of the world just
the way they are, thank you very much!” Dawn finished using her version of
'resolve face.'

The spirit of Sha’re shakes
her head, “You misunderstand me. I can use your body, whole and unharmed, as a
conduit for my spirit to cross dimensions for just one night. I want to let my Danyel see me and truly know that I am fine so that perhaps
he will forgive himself," Sha're explained with
a pleading expression on her face.

"You want to do what?" Dawn exclaimed twisting her hands together
nervously.

"Borrow your body for one night to say a proper goodbye to my husband. I
can tell that you care about him too. Do you not want him to find a way to ever
be truly free? Please say you will help us?" Sha're
begged.

Dawn took a deep breath. "I may regret this later, but I will help
you."

"Thank you, Dawn" Sha're said as their arms
began to merge and Dawn blacked out for the night.



Very early the next morning Dawn awoke feeling rather sore and drained but not
alone in her bed.

"Wow! Sha're, that must have been some
night." she muttered as she tried to get out of bed without waking Daniel,
afraid of his reaction.

"Relax, Dawn. Sha're told me what you did for
us. You didn't have to. Thank you for that," Daniel said looking up
sleepily.

"You aren't mad at her for asking, or me for
saying yes, are you? She couldn't rest seeing you in so much pain and trust me,
I didn't mind," she stressed.

Appearing to think about it for a moment, "I'm not mad
at all. You gave me a chance to truly say goodbye. How could I be
mad?" he replied with a yawn.

Sighing with relief, "Let’s go back to sleep then. We'll both need our
strength to face the walk of shame later," she teased snuggling back into
the covers.

"You really didn't mind?" he asked suddenly more awake.

"Not at all," she whispered with a small sly smile on her face.



Epilogue

Dawn glanced down at the sleeping form of her daughter and wondered again
how she had gotten so lucky.

Danielle Joyce Summers had been born a couple of months after graduation with
only 9 hours of labor.

Buffy had been upset that her baby sister had gone out to the wilds alone and
come back pregnant, but it was quite frankly none of her concern. She would
have thought it irresponsible to help the grieving man and his wife in the way
that she did too.

She had sent word to Daniel by way of the address he had given her but someone
had sent back word he’d died. So she quietly kept her secrets to herself and
began her career as a Watcher in the archives translating the secrets of old.


 

The End

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