Always Another Dawn
There is more day to Dawn.
Only that day Dawns to which we are awake.
Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)
Disclaimer: I'm playing with Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters created and owned by Joss Whedon & Mutant Enemy. Also with Stargate SG-1 characters. Commercial use of these stories is impossible.
No real spoilers here, unless you've never seen BtVS, in which case you're not reading this because why would you if you haven't watched every episode numerous times?
A/ N: Seven short stories revolving around Dawn. Some are obvious pop-culture references, and others more obscure. One or two are almost original.
1. Come the Dawn
Dawn Summers handed the gate guard a letter signed by President Hayes. The guard, after reading the letter, called General Hammond and said, "Sir, there is an eighteen year old girl named Dawn Summers at the gate, she says she is the translator that President Hayes suggested. She does have a letter that appears to be from the President."
"I see," replied the General, "unfortunately, we have a policy against teenage civilians in this facility. And I can't believe that such a young translator could possibly have the experience we require, so give her my regrets and tell her we changed our minds."
"Yes sir." The guard hung up his phone and walked back to the car. "I'm sorry Ms. Summers, but General Hammond said his requirements have changed, and, well, you're just too young and inexperienced."
Dawn smiled at the guard and quickly sketched out a message in Sumerian Cuneiform on notebook paper. She handed it to the corporal and said, "Please make sure General Hammond receives this, and here's my card and my local number is on the back. I'll be in town for a few more days."
General Hammond looked at Dawn's message and scratched his head. "Doctor Jackson," he asked, "can you make sense of this?"
Daniel Jackson looked at the message and started making notes and referring to a couple of reference books as he worked. He stopped half way through and asked, "Where did this come from?"
"According to the gate guard, a very pretty eighteen year old girl just dashed it off while he waited."
"Huh," he sighed as he shook his head. After looking up a few more symbols and writing more notes he finally said, "Okay, I believe it says:
I hope you have a fruitful and enjoyable journey to the
entrance gates of the cavern of eternal damnation.
General Hammond looked stricken for a moment. Then he laughed loudly, "Well, I've been told to go to hell before, but never that politely. Maybe we should call her after all, Dr. Jackson. I may have been precipitous in sending her away."
2. The Crack o' Dawn
"Hi, I'm Dawn; this is my sister Buffy, and this is my other sister Buffy."
3. By Dawns Early Light
Xander struggled to keep his eyes open in the early morning light as he made his way to the kitchen of the new Watcher's Council Usian Headquarters. He stumbled through the door and sat down at the table. The new kitchen was sunny and bright, large enough to cook for a couple of Slayer squads. The rift-sawn white oak kitchen table that he had finished just last week, was a large oval, resting on a substantial central support with carved lion's paws. It was very sturdy – he hoped it would prove to be slayer-proof – and fit perfectly in the kitchen.
"Morning Will, is it your turn to cook breakfast?"
"Yeppers. Here ya go Xan, gourmet scrambled eggs cooked with green, yellow, and red peppers and some chopped Serrano for spiciness, plus homemade sausage, hash browns and homemade English muffins with marmalade."
"Yum! Except no marmalade for me," said Xander. He sat down across from Kennedy and dug in.
Dawn, followed by Buffy, Giles, and Faith, came in and sat down. Willow served them all and sat next to Xander. After everyone said their good mornings and and started eating, Xander took a good long look at Dawn's shirt.
Dawn wore shrink-fit acid-washed blue jeans and a short-sleeved black tee-shirt with gold lettering on the front. Xander could read the lower part, which was in small but legible print across her flat stomach, but he couldn't make out the upper part, which lovingly followed Dawn's curves. He kept glancing at her shirt, but still couldn't read it, even after his second cup of coffee.
Buffy finally had enough. She asked sternly, "Xander, why do keep looking at my sister's chest this morning? Is there something going on that I should know about?"
"No, no," said Xander, "we're cool. It's just, that shirt, I can read the lower part, it says:
But I can't read the upper part."
"It's a very flowery scripty sort of font and I just can't make it out."
Xander gave up trying to be polite and just stared at Dawn's chest until he figured it out. Finally he said, "Ah hah! It says
'The Morning Wood
Lumber Company, Inc.'
Xander smiled happily for a moment. Then the meaning impinged on his consciousness and he realized what he just said. He was quite embarrassed, but years of living with young slayers meant he was no longer capable of blushing. Buffy got a peculiar stuffed look on her face, Faith laughed out loud with great enjoyment. Even Willow and Kennedy thought it was funny. Giles concentrated on the Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial page. Dawn ignored it all and continued eating her breakfast with nothing more than a gentle smile and a quick sideways glance at her sister.
Buffy finally said, "DAWN! Go change that shirt!"
"NO! I like this shirt!"
"You want me to change it for you?"
"You wouldn't dare! I'll walk around topless if you do!"
"She's eighteen 'B', you're not her keeper. You've made your feelings clear, and so has she. I'd recommend against escalating," said Faith.
Buffy frowned thoughtfully and eased back down into her chair, grumbling.
"Besides," said Faith, "haven't you noticed Kennedy's shirt this morning?"
Buffy choked when she looked at Kenn's chest and read:
"The good Lord wouldn't have made it look so much like a taco if we weren't meant to eat it."
Xander asked, "What does that...? Oh, wait, never mind." He looked down at his plate and continued to eat while chuckling quietly.
"What the hell are we running here?" Buffy asked plaintively, "some sort of sex academy for everybody but me?"
Willow frowned gently.
"I think I'm gonna get a quote from Mae West on a shirt," said Faith.
"I don't wanna know," said Buffy.
"I do," said Dawn.
"I'm a little curious myself," said Kennedy.
" 'A hard man is good to find'," quoted Faith.
"When did Mae West say that?" asked Giles, looking up from his paper.
"In some movie. Somehow or other, the censors didn't realize what she said. Or maybe they just assumed that most people wouldn't understand."
"I heard Mae West was a cunning linguist with a talented tongue," Willow said rapidly.
Giles started choking on his tea.
"WHAT did you say?" asked Buffy.
"I said," said Willow enunciating each word carefully this time, "Mae must have been a cunning linguist with a talented tongue. Why? What did you think I said?"
"Uh, never mind."
"NO, really, what did you think I said?"
"Nothing, just drop it."
Dawn said, "I want to hear what you think she said too, Buffy."
Buffy got up and left.
4. The Real Dawn
"I know it's very egocentric to believe that someone is put on Earth for a reason. But in my case, I was," said Dawn.
5. D is for Dawn
A/N: Apologies to Lawrence Block and his book: 'The Burglar who Traded Ted Williams' because this was his idea, I just stole the dialog and applied it to different characters. Of course, the Joss Whedon characters aren't mine either.
"Watcha reading Dawn-Meister?" asked Xander.
"F is for Stop," Dawn answered.
"Ooh, is that a Sue Grafton?" asked Willow.
"Yep, it's the about the photographer who –,"
"– don't tell me!" interrupted Kennedy, "I haven't read that one yet. I read the next one, got 'em out order somehow, G is for Spot, it's pretty cool. Do you suppose she's gay?"
"Sue Grafton? I don't think so," said Dawn, "I met her at a book signing and she was with her very handsome husband."
"No," sputtered Kennedy, "not Sue Grafton, Kinsey!"
"Kinsey?" asked Xander.
"Kinsey Millhone you idiot!"
"Is there an echo in here?" asked Dawn plaintively.
"Kinsey Millhone, the leading private detective of Santa Teresa, California. The series lead! Jesus Xand, haven't you read any of these?"
"Yeah, yeah, I just forgot the name. Kinsey Millhone. Why would you think she's gay? She had an ex-husband I think, and maybe a boyfriend, although it's been awhile since I read one."
Kennedy, exasperated, said, "Camouflage Xand, camouflage. Not all lesbians are as together as Willow and me, so camouflage and the closet. I mean, look at the evidence. She doesn't care about makeup, she has only the one all-purpose black dress at least ten books into the series, she's tough minded, she's hard-boiled-"
Willow continued, "-she's sensible, she's logical, she's smart, she's dangerous-"
"So she he must be a lesbian!" Kennedy and Willow finished together.
"You betcha!" said Xander, with an eye towards preventing violence.
6. I Scream Dawn
Daniel Jackson unlocked the front door and as he walked in yelled, "Hey Dawn, I'm home!"
"I'm in the kitchen!" she answered.
He dropped his keys on a tray on the hall table, briefly checked the mail, and wandered into the kitchen.
"Whatcha makin' Dawnie?" Daniel asked, curiously.
"Ice cream! Your timing is perfect, it's at it's peak of perfection." She scooped ice cream into two bowls and handed one to Daniel.
"Ummm! This looks good," as he tasted a large spoonful. A few seconds later he stopped eating and started coughing. Dawn swallowed a spoonful and started to sing and dance:
"Anchovies, anchovies, you're so delicious, you're my favorite of all the fishes!"
Daniel leaned over the sink, choking and spitting. "Anchovies in ice cream! You put anchovies in ice cream?"
"Yeah, it's good, too. Vanilla, peanut butter chunks, anchovies, and crispy bacon bits. It's every bit as good as I thought it would be. I thought about using chocolate, but really, chocolate doesn't go well with anchovy flavor."
"No," sighed Daniel, "chocolate wouldn't have worked either." But he lowered his voice at the end so that Dawn couldn't hear him say 'either'."
7. The Anvil of Dawn
"Each time Dawn appears, the mystery is there in its entirety."
The Key was as old as time itself, created during the Big Bang, an integral part of the very fabric of time and space. The Key to the Universe had the power, but not the will, to rip asunder the walls between dimensions and thus destroy realities. For all but the merest sliver of time, the Key simply floated, observing the entire universe, collecting data – but suddenly, the Key was stuffed into an intelligent agent. And now, the Key discovered that she could also bend the paths of individual atoms.
"So Buffy," asked Dawn as they walked along an upscale street in Cleveland, "how about a picnic? The weather is gorgeous, there's a perfect spot, you need food and I'm hungry."
Buffy looked around and spotted the park that Dawn was looking at. "Okay, you buying?"
"Sure, it's my turn." Dawn went into a nearby boutique grocery and picked out some prepared foods that looked delish. She paid and rejoined her sister on the sidewalk.
"Here, take this please," Dawn handed Buffy the grocery sack and reached in for a banana, "I need to duck in there real quick to use the facilities. If you want, I'll meet you over there in the park in five minutes." She pointed to a picnic bench across the street.
Dawn walked into an insurance office while munching on the banana. "Uh, can I use your bathroom, I'm kinda new in town -"
A secretary who looked more like battleaxe than anything else grumbled, "Customers only! If you aren't buying insurance, leave!"
Dawn finished her banana and dropped the peel on the floor behind her.
"HEY! Pick up that garbage!" said the outraged secretary.
Dawn stepped forward in front of the secretary's desk and picked up a pencil from the desk. A door behind her opened and someone came out of the office, saying over his shoulder, "Thanks, that hit the spot." He didn't notice the banana peel on the floor and stepped on it. Dawn flipped the pencil behind her. The man's legs flew up into the air. The pencil bounced against another desk and landed on the floor, eraser down, point up, just under the man who was still falling, and quivered for a moment, balanced on the eraser. He crashed to the floor, the pencil stabbed into his back, gravity did the work of shoving him down the shaft. The wood entered the man's shriveled black heart, and he turned to dust.
Dawn bent over and surreptitiously flipped the banana peel into the waste basket and picked up the pencil. "Here's your pencil, sorry I knocked it off your desk. And I so did not drop the peel on the floor, look there, it's in the wastebasket!"
The woman's mouth was agape. She shut it with a snap moments later. "What? What, what, was that? Where did that guy go?"
"What guy?" Dawn asked innocently, "I didn't see anybody."
"That guy! Behind you, he just disappeared after slipping on your banana peel!"
"Couldn't have, the peels in the wastebasket, see?" Dawn pointed, the secretary looked, and sure enough it was there. "And truly, I didn't see anybody."
The front door opened and Buffy leaned in, "You ready Dawnie? Everything okay in here?"
"Yep, I'm done here."