"A Conversation With... Dawn."
By A.M. Glass
Copyright: May 28th, 2002
Revised: June 19, 2002.
Spoilers: “The Body”, “Seeing Red” and “The Gift.”
Disclaimer: Joss Whedon, Fox Studios, Mutant Enemy, et al, have something to do with “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. No copyright infringement is intended or inferred. The story along with any/all original characters are the sole property of the author and cannot be used without expressed permission first.
Author’s Note: This is the beginning of a small series of stories that decided they needed to be written. I’ve already sent the second one to my beta reader and am almost finished with the third. There will be a total of six stories altogether. I hope you’ll like them.
Thanks: To Stacey for the beta.
“I need you to look up.” Seeing no reaction, she tried again. “Please? I know you can. Come on. It’s not that hard, all you need to do is think, ‘I must move my head up.’
“No,” came the whispered reply.
“You’re not here. I’m only hearing voices.”
She turned her head as she heard laughter filling the room. Laughter she thought she’d never hear again.
“Dawn, it’s okay.”
“How can it be? You... you’re dead!” she said angrily.
“That’s very true. However, you know I didn’t want to leave. Don’t you?”
“But...” Dawn began as tears cascaded down her face.
She had come home from school and trudged upstairs, purposely avoiding looking at the door that once led to her mother’s bedroom.
Which had become Willow and Tara’s room after Buffy died.
She shook her head; she wasn’t going to think about that time.
That was in the past, where it belonged.
Sighing, she went into her bedroom and put her books down. Walking over to the bed, Dawn sat down. She wasn’t going to lie down, because if she did, she might fall asleep.
Which was something she didn’t want to do.
Not that she would tell Buffy.
Not a good idea, not after all that had happened.
She didn’t want to give her sister something else to deal with. Her hands were full with trying to help Willow.
She suddenly found herself smiling.
She couldn’t help it.
Her thoughts went to one of her most precious memories in recent times.
When she had stepped out of her room and started talking to Willow about Buffy.
Her smile grew wider.
Her entire world had focused down to one thing.
Seeing Tara coming out of their room wrapped in nothing but the bedspread.
She couldn’t contain her happiness.
Or, the smugness of knowing that she had the inside scoop.
She’d known before her sister that Willow and Tara were back together.
Brought back to the present, Dawn answered simply frantically, “You died. I watched as they put you in the ground.”
“That’s true sweetie. And what’s done, can’t be undone.” Dawn felt herself being wrapped in an embrace. “But Dawn, I will always be here for you. Always. Whenever you need to talk.”
“How... why are you here?”
“Simple Dawnie. Love. I could hear you, you needed me and here I am.”
“I’ve missed you, Tara. I’ve missed you so much,” the teenager replied as she returned the hug.
“I miss you too. All of you.”
“Tara,” Dawn said softly.
“Promise... promise you won’t tell Buffy this.”
“What is it?”
Breathing deeply, Dawn voiced something she could never tell Buffy, ever. “I’m glad,” She took a deep breath before continuing, “I’m glad Willow killed Warren,” she said, feeling a weight being lifted from her soul. She knew she shouldn’t feel that way but she couldn’t stop it, nor would she try.
“I w-won’t tell her.”
“Thanks,” Dawn said.
“I won’t say anything Dawn, but you know Willow shouldn’t have done it.”
“How can you say that?!” Dawn asked as she pulled away.
“Will was... Willow was in a very bad place. She still is,” Tara began. “Dawnie, Willow can’t come back from this the same. She’s not Buffy. She didn’t kill a daemon, or a vampire,” she looked into Dawn’s face, “She killed ahuman being.”
“He wasn’t,” Dawn said angrily as she shook her head. “He was a stupid asshole who got what he deserved!!”
Tara reached out and moved a loose strand of hair and pushed it behind Dawn’s ear. “I probably won’t be able to change your mind about this, will I?” she asked, pretending she hadn’t heard the teenager swear.
“I didn’t think so,” she said, before glancing at the window. “Dawn, I have to go.”
“But you just got here,” she cried out, pulling out of the embrace. She began panicking at the thought of Tara leaving her once again.
“I’ll be back, I promise. I have a few things I need to take care of, but I will be back,” Tara said, stressing her point by holding Dawn’s hands tightly.
Dawn looked into Tara’s face and saw the truth, the blonde Wiccan would come back to her.
“Would you... would you hold me? Until you go?” she asked, hoping she hadn’t sounded like a baby.
Beaming a smile in her direction, Tara answered, “Of course I will.”
Dawn once again felt arms surrounding her in a warm embrace, the touch of a hand caressing her head. She also felt something she never thought she would feel again...
She felt safe.
Safe enough to let her eyes close.
Safe enough to sleep...
Safe enough to know that the nightmares that had been haunting her... had ended.
Safe enough to whisper the words she wished she could have said sooner...
“I love you, Tara,” she mumbled, as she drifted into sleep.
“I love you too, Dawnie,” Tara replied pressing a kiss on top of Dawn’s head, “I love you, too.”
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