Title: Model Girl

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Rating: K+

Category: B:tVS/Ice Princess

Summary: Buffy encounters a strangely familiar face. 500 words.

Disclaimer: The words are mine; the worlds are not. I claim nothing but the plot.

Spoilers: B:tVS post-"Chosen"; Ice Princess (2005)

Feedback: It's the coin of the realm.

Notes: Twenty-second entry for the August Fic-A-Thon. (If you haven't seen the movie, it's a sappy follow-your-dreams Disney flick whose main character is played by Michelle Trachtenberg, the actress we know as Dawn).

Dawn straightened in her seat as the announcer introduced the next skater to take the ice. "Hey Buffy, it's the one I was telling you about. Casey Carlyle? She's about my age. The program says she only started competitively skating in the last couple of years, but she's already good enough to maybe qualify for the next Olympics."

Buffy heard the wistfulness of buried dreams in Dawn's voice, and wondered briefly what Dawn had wanted to grow up to be before the Hellmouth had swallowed their lives whole and set the younger Summers girl's feet on the eventual path to Watcher-hood. She couldn't remember ever asking. Long-term plans had somehow never seemed as important as surviving each day as it came.

"It seems kind of weird, you know," she said, smiling fondly at her sister, "you knowing more about the skaters than I do. You made so much fun of me back when I worshipped Dorothy Hammill and made Mom put ice skating on when you wanted to watch cartoons."

Dawn took a long draw on her soft drink as the music for Casey Carlyle's short program began to play. In contrast to the vaguely boring classic-y stuff most of the others had skated to, she had chosen Madonna's "Ray of Light", one of Dawn's own favorite songs. "Of course I made fun of you," she said, tapping her foot in time with the music, "it's a little-sister privilege, and you were being mean anyway." She grinned. "But seriously, all I had to do was read the program; all your old favorites grew up and went pro, or retired. Skaters have a pretty short shelf-life."

Buffy chose to ignore that comment, and the comparison that begged to be made with the career she had ended up with. "So, if this one's just started competing, what did she do before hand?"

"Physics, if you can believe it. She could have gotten into Harvard if she wanted to, but she chose to skate instead... Ooh!"

"Yeah, nice triple-triple combo," Buffy said, admiring the girl's talent. She herself had never gotten much beyond the circling-the-pond, single-jump basics that would have required too much money and time to cultivate to a competitive level. Automatically, she glanced up at the score-board/screen hanging overhead, watching for the moment to replay as it always did on TV when something impressive happened.

The screen wasn't displaying the replay yet, but it was showing something else: a close-up shot of Casey Carlyle's determined features, her big blue eyes accented with a little dramatic eye-shadow and her hair knotted up off her shoulders in a careful arrangement. Buffy blinked at her image, startled by the suddenly-apparent resemblance, then turned to the girl at her side in disbelief.

She'd wondered once or twice about the 'made from Buffy' thing, whether the monks had decided an identical clone might be suspicious-looking, and where they'd found the model for the Dawn-image they'd used instead.

Braniac turned ice princess, she thought. How strangely appropriate.