Becoming What?


Summary: Dawn's thoughts after Buffy runs away between seasons two and three.

Author's Notes: When she reviewed "Why Me?"gidgetgirl requested, "I'm sort of in the mood for a more epic little Dawn fic from you, but one that has a bit of a more driving concept". Well, it just so happens that I was toying with the idea of this fic, but I wasn't sure whether I should do it because I'm so well known (ha! I like to kid myself) for my humorous Little Dawn stories. I'm not one to be typecast, so I decided to do it just before gidgetgirl's review came in. Read, review, and enjoy.

            P.S.—I'm going to write this in the first person. I know, I know, groans from everyone because they hate the first person. But I felt that Dawn's feelings would be more realistic if I didn't have to write "Dawn thought" after every sentence.

            P.S. Again—This is going to be a multiple-chapter story. I know this one's kinda short, but there will be more soon.

Dedication: To all the people who read my fics and especially those who review them as well. To gidgetgirl, for requesting a more epic Dawn story, and to my friends Ashley and Kelly—we'll have the Buffy DVD Night soon! (I hope.)

            Her room is empty.

            The whole house seems quiet. Not that Buffy was loud before, but the whole house seems silent, like it's holding its breath, waiting for her to come back. Who knows if she ever will?

            She could be dead, or cold, or hungry. She could be kidnapped, or tortured.

            And she's only been gone three days.

            Okay, I can rule out cold. It's May in Southern California, after all. But what if she's not in California?

            She was saving money in her room. I know she was, because I'd borrow a little occasionally. I'd always pay it back when I got my allowance, though.

            I borrowed five dollars from her a week ago. I was going to pay it back today.

            Too bad she isn't here.

            Five dollars could have bought her a Whopper or two Happy Meals or some Popcorn Chicken or even a couple boxes of cereal. But she's short five dollars now, and it's my fault.

            But all this is Mom's fault, more than anyone else's. More than Buffy's, more than Angel's, way more than Giles's. If Mom had listened to Buffy, Buffy wouldn't be gone. If Mom had listened, she wouldn't be short a daughter. Giles wouldn't be missing a Slayer, Willow and Xander wouldn't be missing a best friend, Cordelia wouldn't be missing a scapegoat, and Oz would still have her as a casual acquaintance.

            I'd still have a sister.

            And I'd still have a mother.

            Mom acts like Buffy never even existed, and she acts like she never had any daughters at all. I talk to her, she gives me one-word answers. She only talks to me when it's absolutely necessary.

            That's okay, because I decided not to talk to her any more. If I do, I'll end up screaming how much I hate her or crying about the loss of my sister. I can't cry. If I do, it means everything is really happening. It isn't a dream.

            I haven't slept so far at all. There's two more weeks of school, and I have no idea how I can make it through them. My teachers don't know yet. No one really knows yet, and when they find out, they won't really care. As far as they know, Sunnydale just got rid of one more juvenile delinquent. They don't think of her as a sister, a daughter, a friend, a girlfriend, a student, and least of all a Slayer. She's just a number, a word on a permanent record. But she was my sister.

            Mom sleeps all the time, though. She's called in sick to the gallery  since Buffy left. I think that sleeping is her escape. If she dreams of Buffy, dreams of the way our life used to be, she can hold onto it like a security blanket when she wakes up. If she dreams of how life is now, without Buffy, she can brush it off as a nightmare and move on.

            Sooner or later, though, she'll have to face reality.

            I won't be there to help her through it. I hate her for the reality she made our life into.

            I wish it would all just go away.


Okay, it's probably pretty corny and over-written so far, but I'll try to make it better, I promise. Writing this stuff is a whole lot harder than people think, especially since Dawn wasn't even on the show in the second season, so I have nothing to base her thoughts on except what I think she'd feel like. I'm trying to make it realistic, I really am. Tell me how I'm doing; constructive criticism welcome, but please please please no flames. I'm trying, I really am.