Title: What's My Line
Summary: Inserting Dawn into the events of What's My Line.
Written for the Insert Dawn Here LJ Community.
As soon as the voices died away, Dawn opened the door she’d been pressed against, grinning widely at her sister.
“Ooh, was Angel here? You had Angel here!”
Irritably, Buffy threw Mr. Gordo at her sister. “Were you spying on me?”
Dawn caught the stuffed pig, hugging it melodramatically to her chest, twirling a little, affecting a breathy voice. “Oh, Angel, you’re the only thing that makes sense to me…”
“Dawn!” The younger girl burst into giggles, a direct contrast to how not-amused her sister currently was.
“Buffy li-ikes Angel! Buffy li-ikes Angel!”
“Dawn Summers, if you don’t get out of my room right now, I swear to God I’ll…”
“What? Tell mom Angel was here when she out of town? That you snuck out of the house, again? Or, maybe, ooh, I know, that you’re a vampire slayer?”
Buffy scowled at her sister’s glee. Blackmail was always moot in this house. Dawn had way too much on her.
But Dawn also knew when she’d gone too far. Buffy always got this specific look…The look Dawn bet she got when she was getting all stabby with demons.
The look…That she had right now.
The door slammed, and Dawn looked up curiously from her book.
Her sister was muttering. “Stupid Giles. Be more thorough in your investigations, Buffy. You’re not paying attention, Buffy. I’m a great big jerk, Buffy.”
She kicked her book bag, nodding with slight satisfaction when it landed in the laundry hamper.
Buffy looked up then, giving her sister a tired smile.
“Hey, Dawnster, how was school?”
Dawn shrugged. “Okay. We had a spelling bee. I came third.”
Buffy’s glower slipped, disappeared, at that. “Oh, hey, Dawnie, good for you!”
Dawn positively beamed at her sister’s pride. She decided to test their happy-sister-moment, venturing questions to Buffy.
“I’m uh, guessing your day? Not so much. Career week not so fun?”
Buffy nodded, sighing and folding herself onto the sofa.
“I got the law enforcement booth.”
Dawn wrinkled her nose. “Law enforcement? You mean, like, police and stuff?”
“Got it in one.”
Dawn made a face. “Blah.”
Buffy nodded vehemently. “Tell me about it.”
Since things seemed to be going well, Dawn decided to test her luck, press further.
“Okay, but before, when you came in? You were mad at Giles, right?”
Her sister sighed. “He’s all Uber-Watcher. It’s like, if he could, he’d fire me.”
Dawn smiled a little, touching Buffy’s arm lightly.
“Nah. Giles thinks you’re the coolest ever. He’s probably just grouchy.”
Buffy couldn’t resist a smile at her sister’s attempt to cheer her up. “Hey, you’re probably right.”
Dawn grinned. “Unless he found out how bossy you are.”
Promptly, Buffy hit Dawn over the head with a cushion.
Dawn had fallen asleep on Buffy’s bed Tuesday night, waiting for her to arrive home. She was shaken awake by her sister’s surprisingly gentle hand.
Buffy’s voice was low, concerned. “Dawnie? You weren’t afraid?”
Dawn opened her eyes, stretched, and sat up. “Nah. Just wanted to hear the post-date-analysis.”
Buffy glanced at her sister affectionately, moving quietly around the room, changing into PJs and coming to sit beside Dawn on the bed. “Analysis? What are you, thirty?”
Dawn suppressed a yawn, grinning at her sister. “That’s not telling, Buff.”
Buffy shook her head, and smiled a little. “It was…Nice.”
“Did he kiss you?”
“I’m sorry…” A pause. “Did he?”
Buffy sighed. “Okay, there was some kissage.”
Dawn squealed a little. “I so knew there would be. Can Angel skate?” She giggled, musing. “Can you imagine if he fell over?”
Buffy stared a little, forehead creased.
“Actually, less skating. We were kinda…There was an interruption of the demony nature.”
“Oh.” Dawn was silent a moment, watching her sister’s expression. “Big bad demon?”
Buffy nodded, a slight movement. “Yeah. Hey, Dawn, listen. Don’t open the door to anyone, okay? Unless it’s Mom or Giles or Will or Xand. Don’t go to the door.”
“Dawn. Just…Don’t okay? We’ve gotta be careful.”
“Fine”, Dawn huffed, jumping off the bed, “don’t tell me. I don’t wanna know anyway.”
“Forget it.” She flounced out the room. A moment later, her bedroom door slammed.
A photograph fell off Buffy’s wall. Shattered.
Dawn was sitting, curled on her bed. Across from her was Buffy, sitting rigid, fidgeting.
"I don't get it."
"Dawn, I've told you like a hundred times already. I don't have time to go over it again."
"Okay, okay, just let me try. I think I got it. There are two Slayers. Slayers are called when the one before them dies, and - “Dawn broke off, her china face paling.”Buffy, did you, uh, in some crazy way, uh, I don't know....die?"
The older girl looked down, nodding quietly.
Dawn muffled a gasp behind her hand, letting the knowledge sink in.
"Last year. Uh, the night of my prom."
Buffy stood, a little nervous.
"The Master guy. He, uh, kinda drowned me, but Xander, he..."
After a moment, Dawn crossed her arms upon her chest, concerned expression becoming angry as she looked at her sister.
"Oh, and I'm not important enough to tell?"
Buffy sighed, pacing now, actually checking a non-existent watch.
"Dawn, please, I really don't have time for thi--"
"You. Died. How could I not know about this?"
"Dawn. No one really knows, okay? Not even Mom. I really have to go...Not be Kendra."
Dawn relented, with a sigh that meant little of the hostility it seemed to carry as she was overcome by curiosity. Dawn followed Buffy into her sister's bedroom, watching as she prepared for patrol.
Quietly, she asked "Hey, Buffy? What's Kendra like? Is she...Like you?"
Buffy let out a laugh. Short, sharp, and a little bitter.
"Not even. She's all, 'ooh, I'm the Slayer. I am a Robot-Slayer. I have no emotion and know everything."
Dawn grimaced at her sister's imitation of the other Slayer. "Is that what she sounds like?"
Buffy shrugged, briskly shrugging on a jacket. "She's accento-girl. I just work here. Dawnie, I really have to go." She slipped past the younger girl out of the bedroom, leaving to watch her, alone.
And Dawn couldn’t help feeling a little stung that once again, she hadn’t been Chosen. Her sister was even more special – she’d changed a supernatural mythology. And she was just…Dawn. The Slayer’s sister. Boring, alone.
She sighed, picked up her diary, and began to write.