Authors' Note: (Lily) Wow, on behalf of Tawnie, thanks for all of the reviews! Many of which contained extremely useful constructive criticism, and for that, we thank you again. The chapter's short, and a bit… well… not exciting (in Lily's opinion), but we hope you enjoy!
Chapter One: The Discovery
"Why do grow-ups always insist that the truth is so much worse than the suspense for a child never to know?"
"I've told you! I don't want to buy a flamingo refrigerator!" the twenty-two-year-old ex-Key yelled through the phone, slamming it against the cradle. "Jesus," Dawn said, pushing a strand of rich chestnut from her eyes. She had developed into quite the young woman, her beauty rivaling her sister's. Though Buffy's blonde mane always would be more impressive than Dawn's simple brunette. Her sky blue eyes searched frantically across the room for the aforementioned Slayer, in their apartment they shared in Los Angeles, still recovering from an attack by ridiculously copious amounts of demons nearly four years ago. "Buffy! Can't we get that 'don't call list' thingiemohober!" she called in a rather whiny tone.Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiing.Frustrated, Dawn picked up the phone again. "Summers'." she stated irritably."Yes, is Ms. Buffy Summers there?""Why?""This is child services, ma'am."
"Dawn, I told you, we're already on it! Anyone who calls is--" Buffy stopped, walking into the room and seeing Dawn on the phone, yet again."Tell them I'm in Cuernavaca until further notice." she said, thinking it was another telemarketer. God, they had become annoying.And because of them, Buffy had been seriously thinking of moving to Cuernavaca. But, of course, she wouldn't.Sighing deeply, she decided to take it this once."Who is it?" she asked her sister quietly, to make her sure voice wasn't projected onto the phone. Then her lie would be useless, because the little telemarketer would go tell his other telemarketer friends and it would be known that she, Buffy Summers, was not in Cuernevaca.And they couldn't have that.
"Uh... it's child services, apparently." Dawn answered, covering the phone with her hand, then handing it to Buffy. "And I don't think they're selling flamingo fridges."
"Child services?" Buffy asked, before taking the phone and holding it tightly to her ear. "Buffy Summers speaking."
"Yes," the woman on the other line stated nervously. "We're the LA branch of child services, and we recently found three children, two sweet little girls and a baby boy, and we conducted a DNA test... and you are the only living relative of theirs, that we've discovered, Miss Summers." she said quickly, not caring to elaborate quite yet that Buffy was their mother, for she just assumed Buffy knew.
"Um...what?" Buffy asked, confused. As far as she knew, the only relatives she had were...well, either in Spain with their secretary, or dead.
The woman laughed, and Dawn rose an eyebrow, hearing the sound and she drew close to the phone and Buffy's ear. "You're their mother," she stated, obviously amused, thinking Buffy was just kidding around. If only she was right.
That had never been something Buffy had wanted to hear. Se gave out a small sound, which sounded like a squeak."U-u-u-u-u-uh..." she stuttered, unsure of what to say.This is a joke. Is it April 1st? Is it April anything?
"B-but...are you sure?" Buffy asked, finally regained some sort of lucidity.
"Completely. DNA tests don't lie, Ms. Summers." she answered, regaining some composure from laughing. "Just make a stop over here within the next day or so, alright?"'Did she just say you have kids?' Dawn mouthed, not masking the complete shock on her face.
Buffy slowly hung up the phone, her face full of confusion."I-I don't remember...ever having kids..." she said slowly, turning to look at Dawn. "I think I'd remember something like that!!" she suddenly exclaimed, freaking out over the whole thing. How could she be a mother? She barely could take care of her goldfish. "They're wrong, they have to be wrong, Dawn, tell me they're wrong!"
"Maybe this is a dream. That we're both in," Dawn contemplated. "O-Or they had the wrong number. There could be another Buffy..." Dawn trailed off. There wasn't even another Buffy in Los Angeles, much less another Buffy Summers. "Can I pinch you?" she suggested.
"Please." Buffy said pleadingly, hoping it was a dream. "I mean, this can't be real. I'm not a mother. I was never pregnant!"
"Well, unless a secret branch of the government somehow got a hold of your DNA and merged it with someone else's, creating a little mini-Buffy..." Dawn paused. "Like that would ever happen." the littler Summers pinched her older sister, though nothing happened. "Okay, I might wanna rethink that theory."
Buffy's eyes widened. "Wait. Waitwaitwait." she said, thinking. The Initiative. Oh god."No. Nononononono...no!" she said, collapsing onto the couch behind her.
"We can't do this..." Dawn moaned. "And... holy God..." her eyes widened and knees buckled as she fell backwards to the couch. "... if, say, this is really happening... who is the daddy?"
Buffy gave a small shake of her head. "I-I don't...do you think they'd know, a-a-a-at the place?" she asked, partly curious herself. If it was really happening.
Dawn nodded. "She said they did a DNA test, didn't she?" she questioned, putting a supportive arm on around her sister's shoulders. "So they'd probably know. I think. So... maybe we should go..." She released a sigh, preparing for Buffy to lapse into quarter-life crisis mode.
"Uh-huh..." Buffy nodded, standing up slowly. "Yeah...we should...I want to...I want to see them." she said slowly.
Dawn nodded slowly again, mimicking her sister's motions by getting off of the couch. She approached the door, where nearby was a small 'key rack'. A bright and shiny key emblazoned with the Toyota symbol hung from it, then slipped onto Dawn's finger, like a ring. "Are you driving, or me?"
"Uh-uh-uh..." Was all Buffy replied, as if Dawn's words hadn't registered in her head. The shock that she was a parent was just hitting her.
"Uh... okay..." Dawn's expression was a bit perturbed, to say the least. "Guess I'm driving."