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Mist... Cemetery... Halloween. Should end well.

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  • Mist... Cemetery... Halloween. Should end well.

    Written for a fic challenge on BWF last... Halloween!

    Challenge 9- "Mist... Cemetery... Halloween. Should end well."- Dawn's Scariest Halloween Yet

    "Mist... Cemetery... Halloween. Should end well."

    "Wanna switch? Dog walking is a bitch. This damn poodle can't even follow her tail, let alone me, even when she's on a leash!"

    Faith laughed. She didn't know what it was, just, Dawn was funny was all. Well, she thought, looking at Dawn and half smiling, funny wasn't all she was. And why Dawn had agreed to adopt the poodle Andrew had brought home a week ago? she was sure she didn't get it.

    "It's not like the big bads come out on Halloween much, right? Buffy always said Halloween was kinda a bust?" Dawn was hopeful- she didn't actually want to switch with Faith, but? she had to admit, to herself at least, that she would be more than happy to tag along, even with the poodle in tow. She'd wanted to talk to Faith on her own for weeks now. Seemed like now was her chance.

    "Really kiddo? Buffy was telling me that you were getting your neck nuzzled on not too many Halloweens ago, and that she saved you just in time. Plus, when in Rome- maybe they do here." The older girl laughed again. How long had it been since she'd laughed like this? More and more, she had been drawn to Dawn. Willow had been avoiding her, seemed like forever now. And Xander, it wasn't that he avoided her, it was just he was always so busy. He'd be in town for a day or two, and Willow and Dawn would be all over him, hardly giving her a chance to talk to him, let alone talk to him. Then he'd leave again. Africa, mostly, although his latest trip had been to Tibet and he'd been to Australia once or twice too. Last time he'd come back with slayers who were twins. So much for the theory they'd had up until then, that the slayer thing didn't run in families. Dawn had been pretty pissed for a day or two. Then one of the twins had been killed, run of the mill vampire struggle, nothing special? and she'd gone real quiet. This was the first conversation Faith had had with her since then. Not the first time she'd thought about Dawn though. She had to admit, the frequency of ?Dawn thoughts' was getting higher.

    "Yeah, well. Really kiddo yourself. I was like fifteen. These days I'm just not into vampires, you know." A wry smile from Dawn, almost embarrassed. Almost not. She found herself somehow wanting Faith to know that the vampire thing was very not what she was into. She didn't quite know how to explain what she was into.

    What was Dawn into? Faith wondered. The girl spent most of her time in the library, new reading glasses usually on the table beside her, rather than on her face. She'd spend time with Willow occasionally, although Faith wasn't blind, and she would have to have been stupid to not have noticed there was a certain tension between Dawn and Willow that had been? growing. She wasn't sure what it was, but lately? well, Willow hadn't been nice to anyone but Xander for quite some time. Much as Faith liked the time she spent chatting with Dawn, had enjoyed being around Dawn for some time, she'd only really recently begun to see Dawn as an equal, rather than a child. All woman-sized, she thought wistfully. How long had it been, since she'd come back, been part of the gang? Oh, it had been hard, fighting with Buffy as well as side by side against the First Evil, but it had gotten easier. They'd gotten the hell outta Sunnydale, she'd done a quick stint in Cleveland, until Buffy had sent a few girls to replace her, and then come to Rome. Looking at Dawn, and deciding, she sigh. As if it was an effort to have the girl walk beside her. The hell it wasn't. It was agony. "Fine. You can come. We'll use the damn dog as monster bait."


    Italy's cemeteries were kinda cool, Faith thought. If you were into cemeteries, anyway. Way more crosses than in America, so she didn't expect to see many vampires tonight, but monsters were still drawn there, so if she could see anything through the mist, she thought it would be a monster or a demon.

    "What were you doing yesterday? I didn't see you all day." Dawn had been silent for so long that Faith had nearly forgotten she was there. Or would have, had she not been hypersensitive to the younger girl's presence for what seemed like months now; she knew Dawn's breathing, her pace of walking.

    "Yesterday? I was at home. Just, didn't wanna take any classes, that's all." That had been another black mark against her name, as far as Willow was concerned. Skipping the class she was supposed to teach to the latest lot of newbies. But damn, there were just so many times you could recite the litany? ?in every generation?' blah blah blah. Giles said it so much better anyhow, and she couldn't really see how it was of any relevance anymore. The one girl of this generation was Buffy, and the rest of them, Faith saw it clearly now; the rest of them just lived in her shadow.

    "You just stayed in your room? You hid!" Dawn laughed. "Didn't Willow kick your butt?"

    "Eh, she tried. I told her I had epanadiplosis, and since she didn't know what that was, well, she couldn't really drag me outta there. I told her it was contagious."

    "What is epan? epanadiplosis?" Dawn's voice read skeptical, with a twist of cynicism. "You have got to teach me how to pull the wool over Willow's eyes!"

    "Epanadiplosis? No idea. And pulling the wool over Willow's eyes? that's one lesson big sis wouldn't want me taking. You'll have to figure it out yourself."


    Willow had been so nice when Faith had first arrived in Rome. When Faith arrived, Willow had just arrived too, coming from Brazil, where she and Kennedy had spent some time. Willow had spent some time in England, visiting friends, and had spoken more about her two or three days there than her six months or so in Brazil with her girlfriend. "She's not my girlfriend anymore." She'd shrugged, looking seriously unheartbroken. For Faith's part, she wasn't unhappy that Kennedy was still in Brazil. Faith had always had a kind of respect for Willow, a certain longing, when she looked at her, a kinda nagging suspicion that if she'd been a bit more like Willow, Buffy would have taken to her from the start.

    Lately though, the tables had turned. With Buffy gone, Willow had retreated, tried to boss Faith around a little, failed miserably, and retreated a little more. And Faith, well, she was sick of trying to play happy families. The sister thing she had felt she and Dawn sometimes had? Well, that wasn't the kind of thing she wanted from Dawn anymore.

    She remembered getting to Rome. Angel wasn't really on the best of terms with Giles, but there had been no hard feelings between him and herself, and he'd used Wolfram and Hart to sort out her passport difficulties- there was something about being a wanted felon that made flying from LAX to Rome that tad harder. She'd been marking time in Cleveland, waiting, and finally, getting to Rome. Thinking, at last, she was part of the family. And she had been, for a day or two.

    She and Dawn had been messing around, looking in a few of the books, doing some half-hearted research for something that Andrew had wanted them to do, when Faith had opened a book to a page of an apparently beautiful woman. Leaning over her shoulder, Dawn had made a noise, a sharp intake of air. "That's Glory." That was all she had said for a moment. And had then proceeded to tell Faith the entire story. Faith had had no idea that Dawn was a memory that hadn't been there. Had she really sat alone with Buffy's mother for hours that Christmas that Buffy was chasing after Angel? Had Dawn really not nattered away, filling in the silences with eleven year old babble? And that had brought a whole lot of new questions to the fore.

    Dawn had explained. She had been made of energy, was a key, had been ?given' to the slayer, by monks. To the slayer. And all Faith could wonder was ?why wasn't she given to me?' The idea that her life could have been different, with a sister, really got to her. She wanted to reconfuse her memories, she didn't want to know that Dawn hadn't been there, didn't want to know that Dawn could have been? hers.

    They never had figured out whatever Andrew had wanted them to find. He'd come storming in, a few hours later, babbling about elastic mushrooms and squishiness, demanding answers. She and Dawn had looked at each other, grinned, and fled.


    "You think you're so great! You're all: ?I am a monster! I am a monster!'" Dawn's voice cut into what had once again become silence.


    "This dog! Not you! The dog. For a little poodle it's got some superstrength. It's so much our monster of the night!" Dawn was struggling to hold on to the leash.

    Faith chuckled. "Maybe it can see something we can't. It's gone all Jennifer Love Hewitt and can see the Halloween ghosties."

    "Maybe it just wants to be a pain in my butt. Gotta say, this patrol is not exactly scary. No monsters anywhere." Dawn raised her eyebrows. "Oh, that's so something Xander would say?"

    "And then a monster would jump out." Faith finished Dawn's sentence and nodded. "I think you're right. We're zero for zero monster wise, and it's not getting any warmer. We could go home, have a little pumpkin soup. That's about as Halloweeny as it's going to get, I think. Unless you wanna try trick or treating in your very best Italian?"

    "Home!" Dawn jumped at the chance. She'd wanted to use this time to talk to Faith, really talk, but she still didn't know where to start.


    Boing. "Okay, soup's out. Or the bread rolls are, anyway. They bounce." Dawn's voice was shaky and Faith couldn't place why. Or she thought maybe she could.

    "I wish Andrew would teach the newbies to cook." That was an easy reply. Bit different to what she wanted to say.

    "Hey, Faith?"


    "Nothing. Okay. Something. I might babble." Dawn drew a breath. The evening was drawing to a close, and she did want to talk to Faith. Really talk. She couldn't not anymore and the ideas running rampage through her mind were making her shake. "Faith, do you ever wish I was your sister? Did you ever, just for a second, wish that I'd been made from your blood, not Buffy's?"

    "Are you kidding?" This had not been what Faith was expecting. Given all the thought she'd been having about Dawn, the vibes she was sure she'd recognized tonight, and Dawn wanted to go all sisterly on her again?

    Dawn's expression was sad. "Oh. Well, I just, you know, wondered."

    "No, Dawn, come here, no. Of course. More than ever, now? but Dawn, even if we're not sisters." She bit her lip. "Dawn, we are already more than sisters."

    "Are you trying to torture me? Faith, if you don't think of me as a sister? what do you think of me as?" Dawn almost dared to hope. Almost believed, for a second.

    "When did you get so grown up Dawn? When did you put on this costume, turn into a woman?"

    "I think you'll find it's not a costume. I am a woman." Now Dawn knew. Knew by how Faith was looking at her, knew by the tone in her voice, knew that Faith knew what she meant.

    "Can you stop being scary for a minute? Can we rewind? You're Buffy's sister. Her little sister?" Something was drawing the two of them closer together. "She'd kill me Dawn, she'd kill me if she knew? if she knew I was having ?feelings' for you."

    Dawn took another step closer, bit her lip. She was close enough to see every fleck of colour and light in Faith's dark eyes. "She did know. She knew I liked you, and she knew you liked me. She told me she thought you liked me too." This was almost too much, just being this close to Faith. Almost too much, and for what seemed like no reason Dawn felt tears prick at her eyes. "It's scary Faith. It's spooky how much I like you. But? I just know. It's just like this."

    Faith leant in, her lips gently touching Dawn's. When, if ever, had she kissed someone like this? Gently, softly. Like she wanted to. "Mist... Cemetery... Halloween. I guess it ended well then?"

    Still leaning into Faith, Dawn nodded. "Scariest Halloween ever though." And she smiled. For the first time since Buffy had died, she felt safe.