fandom: BtVS/(Teen Wolf)
characters: Dawn/(Allison Argent), Buffy, Willow, Faith, Xander, Anya, Spike
word count: ~1160
summary: circa S7 - Dawn figures out that the monks missed something
a/n: Dawn/Allison is implied head!canon - it could really be any girl. Also includes Buffy/Faith/Dawn sistership. Inspired by the icon I made yesterday and this tumblr post. Key-canon, specifically. Brief mentions of Glory-related trauma.
[They made a Barbie of me]
She sometimes wondered if they made her all wrong. If there would come a day when the harsh truth would have to be reconciled with: that she isn’t fully human.
Maybe not in the ways that count.
Well what if they made her like a Barbie or something? What if her parts don’t line up? What do a bunch of old monks know about teenage girls anyway?
I think I’d remember if my daughter was a Barbie, Anya.
No really, would she?
It was one of those conversations she wasn’t supposed to hear.
Were there any conversations in her life she was actually supposed to hear? Or was it just the opposite: the shadow figure, the fly on the wall that sees the world but can never truly be a part of it. To always and only observe. Had the world shuddered when she entered? Or did it continue to rotate at the same speed as it always had?
Would the world notice if she disappeared.
“Dawn, did you use all the tampons?”
“I don’t understand how we can be out already.”
“Did you buy the biggest box?”
“Buffy? I’ve n—”
“Just a second, Dawn. Will – what could possibly have happened?”
“There are over ten girls living here right now.”
“I bought it yesterday!”
“Maybe … Dawnie? Did you stash some away?”
“I don’t need them.”
“See? I knew we weren’t on the same schedule. I must have been—”
“No I mean. I never need them.”
“That’s okay, I used liners for the first couple of years, too.”
“Buffy do you need anything from the store?”
“Tampons. And panty liners. And motrin. And chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. And fried chicken.”
“Buffy I am not—”
“Oh grow up, Xander. Do you need anything else, Dawnie?”
“I don’t need–-”
“B do you have the… Empty already? Figures.”
“I am not doing this shopping trip.”
“Hey what did you do to the kid? She looks a little green.”
A demon doctor told her sometime later – with one hand being squeezed into non-feeling by Buffy and the other softly stroked by a silent Faith – that there wasn’t anything inside of her.
They made a Barbie of me.
The goblin-looking thing had scratched his nose and explained that it wasn’t that the parts didn’t work – which would have been odd enough – but that there were no parts there to do any working.
She was hollow.
She had options. Medical magical options.
Buffy read the brochures and nodded solemnly and talked seriously about Dawn’s chances of ever being a mother. Faith squared her shoulders and let Buffy do all the talking.
They tried a few measures, sang a few songs, made a few chanting motions.
But she was bound up, an empty casket without a lid and no way to push anything inside. Or out.
Buffy cried while the others whispered and distributed hugs like an embrace would make her whole again. They didn’t notice that Dawn had never said a word.
Is she the same on the outside as she is on the inside?
Anya’s words echoed through the house and everyone pretended not to notice.
Everyone except one soft-eyed girl with softly curling brown hair and thin lips, who watched Dawn with an open frankness as everyone turned away from her.
In the linen closet under a swaying, exposed bulb long fingers and thin lips proved once and for all that everything was in the right place and felt the way it absolutely should – with Dawn’s fingers twirling up in the girl’s hair, her moans stifled by sheer force of will.
She always gave back as good as she took.
And probably only Faith actually noticed the spring in her step later that night at dinner.
She began to wonder what else they had gotten wrong.
She felt like a toy doll that could feel and breathe and think and want, but never be real. A prop in a play that was cursed to feel real but never be whole.
Could you miss something that was never yours?
Could you feel your emptiness inside like the lack of a missing limb?
She felt nostalgic for days that were never hers and for a life that could never be lived.
She was human. All except for the part that made her part of humanity.
Made, not born.
She was a thing outside the balance forever.
Do anchovies actually taste like that?
Does the breeze on a summer’s day feel like this?
Does popcorn always smell just so?
What else did they get wrong?
And the girl chuckled into her skin, kissing her bare thigh softly.
“Why would they take the thing they think is your punishment? And leave all the good stuff behind?” she whispered into Dawn’s vulva and drew her long tongue up her center, leaving them both breathless and grasping.
“I don’t think I want to get pregnant.”
“Do you think they wrote that into me? Something to help staunch my anger at them for taking it away? Make me not want it, so when the time came I could just shrug it off – because it doesn’t matter anyway.”
“Do you think they’d do that?”
“I think …”
Dawn played with her hair.
“I think I don’t know my own mind. I think they could have made a shadow of me and I would have thanked them for it if that’s what they wanted.”
“Do you think they wrote her?”
Dawn squinted up towards the girl on the grass in the moonlight, laughing and shaking her head, soft curls dancing at her shoulders.
“I don’t think anyone could have expected her.”
“Maybe that’s enough.”
“Maybe that’s enough to make the rest not matter.”
“Maybe that’s enough to let the rest not weigh on you. So you’re a Barbie doll. So what? You can still live and laugh and love and eat…”
“And if the choices aren’t mine.”
“Then live them like they are.”
“Spike! Are you going to help with training or just lay in the grass with Dawn all night?”
“The general awaits.”
“Go, then. Go easy on them tonight.”
He growled, “I’ll go harder now that you said that.”
Her eyes danced, “I know.”
She picked at the grass, avoiding the pile of research waiting for her inside for one last moment, when his hands grabbed hers.
“Just live it, little bit. Live it harder and brighter than they could. Because at the end of the day you’re alive. And they aren’t. And neither is She. All you have left to do is live your life. So make it a good one.”
Dawn swallowed and forced out a laugh, “Going soft on me, old vampire?”
“I never said I wasn’t a poet.”
I never said I wasn’t a girl.
I only said that I was made.
I think maybe they'll regret that.
a/n: [spoilery in nature - please read the fic first ]I think it would be perfectly keeping in canon if Dawn didn't have ovaries because the Key couldn't/shouldn't reproduce and wanted to explore how Dawn would discover this about herself, etc. etc. ((An alternative would be that Dawn would someday be forced to reproduce in order to keep the Key alive, but the act could be potentially life-threatening. Or something. There's something about the Key and reproduction and the fact that Dawn is a female here that I'd love more people to explore/discuss.))
(My kingdom for a meta comparing Dawn to Defiance's Irisa - especially because why.)
Allison's comment: "Why would they take the thing they think is your punishment? And leave all the good stuff behind?" is a comment on the age-old superstition that the pain experienced in childbirth is punishment for "women's sin" - or Eve's transgression in the garden. However you see it. Also a reference to female genital mutilation. Allison's remark is my way of letting the monks off the hook a little bit. For women, pain in childbirth is expected - pleasure in one's own body is frowned upon. Dawn is "spared" the pain, but given the source of pleasure - which is at odds with what we expect. I just wanted to make sure that was clear.
I'm also terribly pleased that I wrote something - especially something so heavy and discussing female things + Dawn's Key-ness.