Also Comes in Strange
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Truth, naked as it were

All she wants is a clean bra. It's a simple enough request. Dawn wonders just how much Buffy would kill her if she took one from her sister's drawer and split the seams to make it fit.

She pulls underpants and socks from the top drawer, throwing them onto the bed in her fury. She rakes through baskets full of make-up, shuffles damp towels from pile to pile. Her anger peaks as she sees the stack of blank journals hidden in the corner of her room. Sent from Brazil, Africa, Cleveland, Los Angeles, a half dozen other cities, envelopes postmarked in three languages, opened just enough to see their pages stare at her from under the bubble wrap. They mock her life here.

She hears echoed conversations play out in her head like a scratched DVDů"Maybe if you kept a journal Dawnie", "I just want to see you happy again", "You used to love writing everything down", "It could help". She gives a hysterical laugh, throwing the packages across the room, smiling as a candleholder shatters against the stone floor.

At least in Sunnydale she had memories of things that felt real, now they feel like one more part of the lie. Fake memories of a place that no longer exists. For a little while she got to be a real girl, not some half-naked excuse for Buffy to see the world.

She screams to the empty apartment, pulling a silk camisole from the drawer and yanking it down over her head. Maybe if she glosses her lips enough and doesn't speak she can pass for one of the Italian bimbos Buffy calls friends now, get someone to notice her, tell her it wasn't all just refracted light and frustrated goddesses that brought her here.

That it isn't all still a lie.

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