Setting: About two years after "Chosen".
Summary: It should have been a routine field mission in the Canadian Rockies.
Length: Word count - 1320
Author's Notes: Written for cadence_k’s Buffyverse Femslash ficathon. carawj requested Dawn/Willow, post-Chosen and snow. And no non-con, character bashing or PWP. Hopefully this is okay!
It’s snowing outside.
Dawn stares through the glass watching the flakes gently drift down and settle into their places, forming a peaceful white blanket across the landscape. She tells herself it’s just a lull. Soon the winds will pick up and hammer the cabin windows once more. But it looks calm and peaceful right now.
The tranquillity before her is so not what she’s feeling inside, but she carries on watching. That’s what she is now, after all – a Watcher. Little Dawn Summers is all grown up now, no longer the gangly teenager that used to get kidnapped so regularly it was embarrassing.
No, now she’s one of the ones that finds the kidnappees and brings them home. It’s a role that she’s good at, that she loves to do, and she knows she’s doing a good thing. It’s a simple black and white thing – taking people is wrong. Returning people is right.
It’s just all the other shades of grey in her life that make her clutch onto her job so much.
She’s part of Giles’s most successful field unit. The basic three person unit that she helped devise back in those painful and bloody post-Sunnydale days. One Slayer. One magic user. One Watcher.
Huh. Who’d have thought that she, Willow and Kennedy would gel together as a team so well? That, despite the totally different personalities involved and the frequent arguments, when it was time to act quickly and decisively, they would all pull together? Giles would shake his head and tut whenever one of her carefully edited reports came into the New Council’s headquarters. She doesn’t like to think of what his reaction would be if he knew what they really did on their missions. Not that they did anything wrong. They’d just… bent… a few of the rules that they’d been part of setting up.
It’s still snowing in front of her, coming down harder as the wind picks up and howls once more. Dawn shivers, despite the warm heat from the blazing fireplace behind her, and wraps herself up even more.
But spending all that time with Willow and Kennedy together…. She’d never been bothered by Willow’s whole lesbian lifestyle before. Hello! Willow and Tara had lived with them in Sunnydale for almost a year, so Dawn was used to the whole two girls kissing, cuddling and making out in discreet corners thing. Possibly one of the reasons Giles had assigned her to this little group.
Admittedly, she hadn’t been expecting quite those noises from Willow in the middle of the night. Did a pierced tongue really make that much difference from Tara? Whatever. It had been those sounds that Willow made late at night that had started it. Lying in her own solitary motel bed as they made their way around the country, Dawn could hear them at night. Hear Willow pant, and beg, and scream. Hear through the thin walls what Kennedy would do to Willow. Hear just how much Willow enjoyed it.
A flurry of snow blows along the covered landscape before her. The windows fogged up slightly thanks to her breath, Dawn notices with some far off part of her mind, but she’s lost now. Lost in thoughts of the past, of things said and unsaid, of feelings unexpressed. Cold inside, as well as outside.
The first few times, Dawn had tried not to listen to them, but kept finding herself unable to tune their sounds out. Then she noticed just how much her own body, untouched by anyone else in so long, would respond to the noises. From then, it was only a short step to looking forward to those nights.
Touching herself as they did. Feeling hands running over her body, wishing they weren’t her own. Wondering what it would feel like. Visualising images in her head, dreaming of what would happen.
And always, always the red hair of Willow filling her mind, her dreams.
Dawn raises a hand to the window as the evening grows ever darker before her. Shadows appear across the bright, virgin landscape lying just behind the translucent barrier. All she has to do is reach through to touch it. Brand new, unwritten. There’s a cooling feeling across her skin as her hand traces along the cold glass.
And then there would be all those coy teasing glances the next morning between Willow and Kennedy. Laughing, giggling, almost giddy. Always ignoring the unexpected hot pang in her chest, Dawn would try to get them back on business, back on track, but they’d just laugh and tease her about being more stuck up than Sunnydale-Wes. Kennedy would ruffle her hair and demand more coffee, while Willow would just smile in her own private way as the younger two would almost come to blows at times. And then, of course, the atmosphere would change whenever Kennedy would make one of ‘those’ comments. Something sexual, ambiguous (so not like Faith), and she and Willow would be suddenly making eyes at each other, while Dawn’s cheeks flamed. And all the time her body ached in a way she didn’t really understand.
Every now and then she’d catch a glimpse of Kennedy watching her and Willow working together with an odd look in her eyes. When she’d look up from a particularly tricky translation that she and Willow had their heads together on, there would be Kennedy. Observing them, sharpening her weapons, checking over their gear or whatever else she was supposed to be doing. But Dawn could feel those eyes on her.
And they’d all go out, find the bad guy and beat him up. The Slayer, the Witch, and the Watcher, all together as one team.
Best two years of her life.
And now she’s here, in this cold, cold place. While the fire roars behind her, night falls before her. And she can’t move from where she is now. It stopped snowing an hour ago, but still she stares out, one hand flat on the freezing window pane.
It’s all different now.
Her stomach ripped open by the Wendigo claws, her body collapsing backwards onto the snow covered ground. The vivid contrast of the rich crimson flooding out onto the pure white snow. And Dawn clutching her, mouthing desperate platitudes about how it’s not that bad, that she’ll be alright, why the hell did she jump in front of Dawn, why oh why. And Kennedy had looked up at her that one last time.
“Look after her for me, Dawn. Love her for me, like you already do. Promise me.”
And with tears in her eyes as yet another person died for her, Dawn promised.
She feels guilty and angry and sad and concerned all at the same time now. Eventually she and Willow had managed to get back to their cabin in the rising snowstorm. But they’d had to leave Kennedy out there. Alone, cooling, abandoned by her friend and lover.
She made a promise.
She should do something about that.
Go see how Willow is doing.
Oh god, how had she forgotten her?
And the frozen tundra before no longer has any interest for her.
She moves for the first time in ages and turns around. Willow’s there in front of the fire, curled up in a foetal position, gently rocking back and forth. Dawn approaches her, pulls her up and into an embrace. Softly stroking Willow’s red hair, she hugs the witch to her.
Gently kissing her forehead, she pulls Willow to her and just holds her closely. Eventually, Willow’s eyes come back into focus, and she whispers “Dawnie?”
“Shhh….” whispers Dawn back, and holds her tight. “I’ll be here for you. As long as you need.”
And Willow shakes in her arms, and Dawn can feel Willow’s hot salty tears through her clothes, and all she can do is just hold her.
Now and forever.