Rating: G, or K, or whatever fanfiction(dot)net is using as a ratings system this week.
Disclaimer: Sing with me, if you will, the Song of the Impoverished Author: Tra la la la la, not mine, not mine, not mine! Buy my album for the extended disco version.
Timeline/Spoilers: During the episode Surprise, in s.2. There aren't any specific spoilers, I don't think, just a nagging sense of impending doom (I hope, or else I haven't written it right), and isn't impending doom what the end of season two was all about?
Summary: (Note, all ye spelling challenged, that it is not spelled 'summery' with an 'e'.) Dawn muses. Not much else to say.
Author's Notes: Well, here's the good news. I'd almost finished writing chapter three of "From Here". It had Willow/Tara-ness, Cordy/Wes interaction, and Buffy getting irritated by various family members. It was coming along nicely. The bad news? As you may have guessed from my use of the past tense, my computer didn't feel the same way about the 'coming along nicely' bit. In fact, my computer hated the chapter so much that it decided it must be stopped before it was posted, dooming fanfiction to eternity. So my computer put on a cape and went off on its crusade against my writing, deleting the chapter, never to have it be heard from again. And that's all true. Except for the part with the cape. So I'm writing a standalone to cheer myself up. (Yes, it's been two weeks since the deleted-chapter incident. Yes, I have trouble letting go. What are you, perfect?)
The story popped into my head while I was watching a thunderstorm out my window. We've been getting lots of thunderstorms lately (and consequently, more power outages in the past month than I can remember there being in the past three years), but this particular storm seemed really ominous. Thus the 'sense of impending doom' theme that's been running rampant through all my author's notes, my timeline/spoilers section, etc. Enjoy. If you're the sort of person that can enjoy doom and gloom.
"Dawnie, stay away from the window."
Dawn looked up at her mother, but didn't move from her spot. "I'm waiting for Buffy."
Her mother gave her a look of mild impatience. "Sweetheart, I told you, Buffy's studying at the library tonight." A crash of thunder shook the house, and the lights dimmed for a split second. Dawn's mother's look of impatience melted into one of worry. "Although I wish she'd come home. At least she's inside."
Dawn had a feeling Buffy wasn't at the library. I think I'm the only one who notices that, no matter how much time Buffy spends studying at the library, her grades aren't exactly improving. But she kept that thought to herself.
"I just wanted to give her her birthday present," Dawn said. It was a half-truth. Dawn had saved up for a long time to buy Buffy the new sweater she'd been wanting, and she couldn't wait to see the look on Buffy's face when she ripped off the wrapping paper (okay, pulled it out of the gift bag—Dawn wasn't so good at wrapping things) and saw her present. But from the looks of things, Buffy wasn't coming home tonight. Even if she did finish studying, no one would want to venture out in the storm unless they had something really, really important to do. Besides, Dawn's eagerness to give Buffy her birthday gift had been replaced by a different feeling.
It had taken Dawn awhile to put her finger on it, but she finally figured out what was bothering her: nothing.
That was the strange part. There was nothing in particular she was worried about. It was as if there was just a black cloud following her around, and she just couldn't shake the feeling that something, somehow, was very wrong.
No, she thought. Nothing's wrong yet. Something's coming. Something bad.
She felt her mother stroke her hair, then bend down to kiss her on top of her head. "Buffy won't love her present any less tomorrow," Dawn's mother assured her. "Now go on up to bed."
As she lay in bed, listening to the raindrops smack angrily against the window, Dawn said a prayer for her sister. Dawn wasn't much of the praying type, but something was wrong. And she just knew Buffy was somehow caught up in it.
Something's coming, she said to herself, or God, or the universe or whoever was listening.
Then, with a jolt, she realized it.
Something's not coming. Something's already here.
Meh, well. I'm not so happy with this one. I guess it's one of those things where it's a great idea in your head, but not so great when it's typed out. Oh, well. You're the poor sucker that just read it all! Just kidding. Review, please—good or bad. But please, no flames. I'm delicate.
Oh, and this fic reminds me of a song—In the Air Tonight, by Phil Collins. Yes, I like Phil Collins. Oh, leave me alone.
And hey, you know what? My author's notes, disclaimers, etc. were longer than this whole fic! How's that for…lazy writing?