Word Count: 4,094
Characters: Dawn, Infinite, BtVS, Miss A
Summary: One doesn’t grow up the sister of a warrior without learning a little bit about knowing who needs protection. One doesn’t grow up surrounded by knights of old without wanting a cause worth fighting for. Dawn's senior year of high school she crashes into three ridiculous boys... who introduce her to more boys... and some lovely girls...
Author's Note: This is for anyone who loves Dawn. Seriously. The Dawn-worship in this is nauseating. (Also this 'verse has infected me. I wrote 2,000+ words of this today alone.)
[A note on the ages (and a question)]
A further note before we begin: A note on ages.
Because Jamie was quite (rightly) concerned about the age gap between Dawn and Sungyu. Which is a legitimate concern. Because according to her calculations, Grandpa-gyu is 24 and Dawnie-girl is 17.
I lol at the perfect logic. (because mine is so twisty, guise)
Actually, Dawn "born" in 1986 and Sungyu was born in 1989 - which makes Dawn three years older than him, not six years younger. So in terms of this narrative - this is what is happening: Dawnie is a senior in HS. So are Sungyeol and Myungsoo. Which will mean, if everyone has the same distance between them as normal, all the ages will roll out like this::
So - okay. There are going to be necessary issues re: Dawnie dating someone older than her. But I'm confident this age gap isn't as frightening as 24-17.
((This is a question for my kpop girls, I was looking up the boys' heights - but I think I must've found something ... idek. I'm just really confused. According to the data I found, Dongwoo is a couple inches taller than Michelle Trachtenburg? I always think of her as being a giant. So if someone can clear this up for me - I'd love that lots.))
[In which Dawn Summers crashes into a wall named Kim Myungsoo and her breath is taken away]
In which Dawn Summers crashes into a wall named Kim Myungsoo and her breath is taken away
A/N: I blame Lauren for everything that happens from now on
Dawn waved goodbye to her sister one last time, turning every few paces to still see her sister standing there, her arms folded and a soft smile on her face, and looked down to fondle her new cell phone with her thumb, turning a corner and — WHAM!
Dawn looked up from her new position on the floor, her books and new pens scattered, her brand new phone already a little scuffed, and saw a boy just standing there, his face somewhat blank. He seemed to barely register that she had crashed - full-bodied - right into him. Either he was incredibly strong or just daft, she couldn’t tell.
“Sorry!” she said up to him as she scrambled to pick up her things. Not that he noticed, not that he even really looked down at her. What kind of freak just stands there like that without moving?! Dawn stood and looked the boy right in the face, ready to tell him off.
Only his face took her breath away. Yeah - he was somehow still completely oblivious or completely uncaring about her presence less than two feet from him - but he was stunning. Dawn shifted from foot to foot. “Um… I’m sorry for crashing into you.” She chewed her lip, “I’m Dawn. Dawn Summers… um?” She extended her hand and he actually looked down at it, and at her, confusedly.
Suddenly two boys swooped in on either side. The taller one (Dawn was so dazed this was at first the only distinguishing characteristic between the three) put his right arm around the silent wall and shook him, “Kim Myungsoo - you dork - wake up! A pretty girl is trying to say hello to you!” And then he winked good gods above and below he winked and Dawn felt as though she’d swoon right then and smiled at her. Kim Myungsoo blinked at her and bowed slightly, “Annyong.”
The boy on her left smiled at her and shrugged at him companions, holding out his hand: “I’m Sunjong, this is Sungyeol,” he nodded towards the taller boy, “And that is Myungsoo.” He shoved the wall (who was now completely absorbed in his companion, playing with the boy’s backpack and staring up at him, his eyes suddenly and finally taking in his surroundings … not that she could blame him for ignoring her in the presence of that).
She nodded, “I’m Dawn.”
“Forgive him, please,” the taller one (Sungyeol?!) said with a smile that smile made Dawn’s stomach drop to her knees. “We’re all still a little… um… shellshocked?”
The wall blinked at her for the first time, “Everything’s still really new here.”
He said it without context, but Dawn nodded, “I understand.” She instinctively reached out to touch the boy’s arm, to connect with him since he seemed so lost in himself.
She heard in their voices the bright tinge of an accent, the way their mouths shaped themselves over the English words was still new - a little fresh and with a sense of discomfort.
They weren’t the only huddle of shy, misplaced students in the hallway. It was the first day of a new school, nothing about them was out of place. Everyone was new. In addition, the Korean population in Sunnydale seemed to have boomed over night. Business was never better for Giles’ shop, for many brought with them sensibilities and superstitions long since neglected by those long in a world that rejected old-held beliefs. Most of the immigrants were students at the University, taking advantage of a new outreach program the UC Sunnydale’s board had concocted. There were a few families here and there, but Dawn hadn’t really anticipated anyone near her age.
Also all three were disgustingly attractive.
The wall (Myungsoo, she told herself) grabbed her hand fiercely as the youngest - Sungjong - snatched the schedule right out of her hand. As Myungsoo clung to her with a derpy grin on his face (she tried to take that as a good sign), Sungjong muttered over her schedule. “Okay kids - you all have the start of the day together on the other side of campus. I’ll see you at lunch.” He nodded to Dawn as he passed off her schedule to the taller boy and sauntered off down the hallway. Sungyeol yipped and grinned, his arm still around Myungsoo - who was still tethered to Dawn’s hand - it was all rather endearing and a little overwhelming, “He’s right, we have our first three classes together.”
And then he turned on his heel and started walking decidedly down the hall, her schedule still in his hand. He walked like a runway model. It was disconcerting.
Myunsoo cocked his head at her for a moment and then spun her around, pulling her arm through his as though he was a gentleman leading her into a ballroom. “Well,” he said shyly as they scrambled to catch up to Sungyeol’s long stride, “Ready for class?”
She laughed and squeezed his hand, “Now.”
[In which Dawn Summers heart breaks for a boy she just met in the middle of a high school hallway]
In which Dawn Summers heart breaks for a boy she just met in the middle of a high school hallway
A/N: This is mostly characterization porn. Because I love Dawn more than 99% of all fictional characters.
Her first three periods pass by in a blur. What she’ll remember later is Myungsoo sitting behind her in every class so that he can play with her hair, holding on to her hand for dear life as they try to keep pace with Sungyeol as they dash to class (though she’s figured out within a few moments that he’d probably hold her hand in the hallways anyway), and his laughter shooting out from behind her anytime Sungyeol does anything remotely funny. What she remembers is how Sungyeol’s eyes follow her to her seat, how he sits next to her – scooting his chair closer to hers to whisper little jokes during class, his eyes dancing, his mouth widening into a gummy smile, how quick and witty he is, how attentive to Myungsoo – always delivering each joke to them both, encouraging the other boy to answer questions and speak up. She adapts to them so quickly it seems impossible, noting when Myungsoo’s mind is wandering and he needs to be pulled back, recognizing when Sungyeol’s charm and humor are a little too forced and desperate. She learns these things in just a few short hours.
Fourth period and she is alone, dropping the boys at their classroom door and crossing the hall to her English class. It’s California. It’s 2000. The new principle is rather progressive, too. Sunnydale High now has a separate class for English-learners. And even though Dawn is sure that all three of them could handle Hamlet with far more ease than most of their classmates (for Sungjong is there, leaning up against a locker with his phone in his hand, completely oblivious to the herd of sophomore girls giggling five paces behind him), she had enrolled in all Honors classes that year (just like every other year). So even if the boys had been placed in the “regular” English class, they still wouldn’t be together.
She stands in the doorway to the classroom and pulls back for a moment ignoring the other students who push past her, waiting to listen to the muffled sound of Sungyeol’s voice telling a joke across the hall. She doesn’t turn to look right away, just listens. She can’t actually understand a word he is saying – he’s too far away for one, the din of the hallway for another, but more importantly he’s speaking in Korean. It’s a joke just for his companions. And she knows because of the tone in his voice, the soft lilt that breaks through his enthusiasm that screams: “look, listen. I’m here.” So she listens. Even if she can’t understand a word.
And most people wouldn’t understand that Dawn would care about something so silly and so slight as a joke a boy she only just met is telling someone else ten feet away.
Only that lilt – that little push – she knows that and it hits her right in her gut.
Because even though in the past three months, she has stopped feeling like the smallest Summers, the girl who will never be brave, who will always be ignored. She has stopped feeling responsible for her sister’s death, her rebirth, for Willow’s addiction, for her mother’s death, for Spike’s disappearance, for Giles leaving, for Anya’s broken heart… She still isn’t a full “Scooby” and there’s a small part of her that still feels bitter and wants to whine to her mommy about that. Only there’s no one to complain to. And anyway, she’s getting too old to complain about being ignored. It’s just not easy being the younger sister to a Slayer. Epic calling and story and all that. And she’s just a little sister who maybe used to be a Key but isn’t very much of anything anymore but a normal girl. Who is only really three years old and sometimes that feels so true the whole world spins out of her grasp. Who is actually ancient and sometimes that feels so weighing the whole world is too bright and harsh and close. Who gets frustrated some times. Who wants attention. Who has to remember that she’s not a little kid anymore.
So she stands still in the hallway and listens to a joke without turning around because even if he never knows, someone should stand still and listen to him when he needs it so desperately.
Sungjong’s response is dry and slightly sarcastic, just a little severe. Myungsoo’s laughter overtakes everything, though. Dawn turns to watch the three walk into their classroom, Sungjong leading the way with his nonchalant and secure walk, Sungyeol still beaming from his own joke, and Myungsoo tagging along behind. On his face is the most disturbingly open, twitterpated expression.
His heart is right there – not even on his sleeve (which is the only proper place for something so fragile) – but just there on his face. For the whole world to see. As if he didn’t care who knew what could hurt him the most.
Dawn fights the urge to walk over and grab the boy by the shoulders and shake him. She’s blown away by his complete lack of self-preservation.Damnit Myungsoo¸ she thinks. You can’t just walk around looking at him like that. Don’t you know how to keep anything inside? Not everyone grows up on a Hellmouth. Not everyone would feel so genuinely concerned for a derpy-faced seventeen year old boy.
But Dawn Summers did grow up on a Hellmouth. And for all that she is very brave and sometimes much stronger than people give her credit for and even though she is very young and sometimes does not protect her own heart the way she should: seeing another’s heart so exposed and so easily broken made her wish she knew how to protect something so fragile as a human heart. One doesn’t grow up the sister of a warrior without learning a little bit about knowing who needs protection. One doesn’t grow up surrounded by knights of old without wanting a cause worth fighting for.
And then all three of them disappear and the door closes and somewhere a bell rings and there’s Dawn Summers, standing alone in the hallway of Sunnydale High, and possibly a teacher is calling her name, but she’s still trying to piece back together her heart.
[In which Dawn Summers has lunch, misses a joke, becomes Prince Sungyeol’s pet, and meets someone new]
In which Dawn Summers has lunch, misses a joke, becomes Prince Sungyeol’s pet, and meets someone new
A/N: All the things I want in life are the four of these children eating lunch together always
Dawn Summers stood in the hallway awkwardly. Next to her, a group of girls from her English class chattered loudly about class assignments and schedules and weekend plans. She wasn’t sure why they had stopped, really –right there, with the quad to their right and the cafeteria to the left. They probably needed a leader, she mused. Someone with the gumption to decide where they were going to sit for the rest of the year; they were all waiting for the jocks and popular kids to decide where they were going before making a decision. It could be disastrous. And it wasn’t anything anyone would really say aloud.
(She was not scanning the crowd for a tall boy with long hair; she was not looking for the boy who spent the whole morning playing with her hair; or that boy with a smirk and swagger that she could never tell if it was directed towards her… she was not.)
In her hand was a retro Star Trek lunch box Xander had brought over that morning filled with… well… she hadn’t looked yet… But it was most likely filled with a myriad of bachelor snacks that would not constitute as a proper lunch. She held the box with pride, retro-geek was in? (Geek was still in, right?)
(It wouldn’t matter in the end.)
For right when Dawn was about ready to storm away from the giggling girls and eat lunch alone, an arm snaked around her waist and a throaty voice near her ear said, “What’re you doing here alone? Prince Sungyeol is waiting.”
And then Sungjong is steering her out into the quad (and doesn’t it just make sense that they would want to be outside) towards a table at the far end next to a patch of grass where Sungyeol is bouncing a soccer ball back and forth on his knees. Sungjong plops himself down at the table (somehow making such a careless movement look so graceful), pulling out of his bag what looks like three small boxes as Dawn eases herself down beside him.
Sungyeol leans over and snatches the pink, round boxy-thing from Sungjong and grins a big gummy smile. Sungjong mutters something in Korean, which only makes Sungyeol’s smile broader (though Dawn notices a little flush in his cheeks as he opens the box). Inside the box is what Dawn can only presume is rice and vegetables, but nothing else she can distinguish – it all looks a little too pretty to eat. As Sungyeol starts to fill the air with anecdotes from their day in between bites of food, she peers over and notices that Sungjong’s food is much more plain and ordinary in comparison to Sungyeol’s elaborate looking lunch.
Myungsoo skulks up a few moments later, accompanied by a small girl in a slightly oversized jean jacket, who chatters to his silence as they walk across the quad. He introduces to her as Suji – a sophomore, Dawn guesses. They sit at the other end of the table and talk quietly together occasionally under Sungyeol’s antics, Suji sneaking glances at Dawn from under long eyelashes and smiling as Myungsoo laughs hysterically at every single one of Sungyeol’s bad jokes, slurping down noodles messily. Sungjong seems completely absorbed in his phone (and completely oblivious to the herd of girls sitting at the nearest table, obviously angling for his attention).
Dawn looks down at her lunch box and opens it. She was right: a pudding cup, an opened box of Milk Duds, a bag of Cheetos, a few mealy baby carrots in a plastic bag, a handful of Jolly Ranchers, and a large chocolate chip cookie. And a note from Xander and Buffy on a yellow Post-It: “Hope you’re having a great first day!!!!! XOXO” She stares down at the food and mentally takes note: she has an apple stashed in her locker and about $3.50 in her pocket, she could probably go grab a sandwich from the cafeteria if she…
“Sunbae-nim!” Suji bursts out, pointing to Dawn’s lunchbox. “What is that?!?”
Dawn looks down at the opened box and laughs, “Something that someone thought was lunch.”
Sungyeol sits next to her, facing her as he straddles the bench with his long legs, one sneaking under hers and as the other presses into her back, and puts his arm around her shoulder, “Who would think that this is lunch?”
(Of course as he says it, he snatches the box of Milk Duds and pops one into his mouth. Of course, as he does this, Dawn doesn’t feel the need to stop him.)
“My—” Dawn stutters a little. How does one explain Xander? “I guess you could call him… he’s like my brother?”
They all nod seriously as if with that one word she explained the universe.
Suji extends her little box of food (as ornately made as Sungyeol’s) with a shy smile, “You can share my lunch, sunbae.”
And of course Dawn can’t get over the fact that for whatever reason, this little girl has completely forgotten her name. So it takes her a minute to process the offer. Or Myungsoo’s face as he stares down at his noodles, mentally calculating how much he can spare. “No – that’s okay. I can just grab a sandwich from the cafeteria.”
Sungjong snorts. Sungyeol’s arm holds her in place as he reaches for his box and chopsticks. “No, you’ll share my lunch. Hyung always makes too much, anyway.”
And when he blushes at Sungjong’s next indiscernible comment, throwing a swift kick in his direction, Dawn feels as though she’s missing out on some delicious joke.
But before she’s able to really ask anyone what the hell is going on, Sungyeol plops a large helping of rice into her mouth, and somewhere Suji is giggling and Sungjong is protesting…
And that is how Dawn Summers ends up being hand-fed an entire lunch by four very insistent and ridiculous Koreans.
[In which Dawn Summers almost kills her self-named best friend, is over exposed, called a writer, and definitely does not cry]
In which Dawn Summers almost kills her self-named best friend, is over exposed, called a writer, and definitely does not cry
A/N: Umm... I love Dawn. That is my note.
“Excuse me! But this girl would like to add the class!”
Dawn tugged against Sungyeol ineffectively (she fought vampires with a Slayer on the weekend but couldn’t detach her arm from one skinny boy’s grasp?) as an entire class of students stared at her.
They were in the theater and Sungyeol had drug her all the way down the aisle to where a tall man wearing glasses was sitting, his legs swinging over the edge of the stage. He reminded her distantly of Giles – but only in a very vague tweedy sort of way.
“Is that true? Do you want to join this drama class? There’s room,” his voice was warm and pleasant, with a feeling of ease to it. As if he were somehow oddly accustomed to very tall boys dragging breathless and frantic girls before him.
“Drama?” Dawn laughed, “No – this period I have ceramics.”
Sungyeol dropped her hand and looked down at her, his arms folded across his chest, “Ceramics?” (And suddenly Dawn Summers knew all too well why Sungjong referred to the older boy as “Prince Sungyeol” … and wished she didn’t.)
“I’m going to kill you,” she hissed up at him sullenly (hopefully out of the teacher’s earshot).
Dawn ducked her head around the boy and smiled up at the teacher, “I like Ceramics. It’s quiet.” She cleared her throat and smiled uncomfortably, “Anyway. I’m no actress.”
Dawn shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot.
The man on the stage let out a long breath, “I must ask that you try an experiment for me. And then I will allow you back to …. Ceramics.”
Dawn began blushing furiously. He was going to make her get up on the stage, she just knew it. The class twittered around her. Suji touched her arm lightly and cooed a soft comfort from behind her.
He hopped down and pat the stage with one hand, “Sit right here and tell us the story of your life. It can take you as long as you want. You can say as many or as few words as you think necessary.”
Dawn shrunk into herself. Seriously? Please ask anything but that. She had no desire to reveal her twisted story to a room full of complete strangers.
The man let out a short laugh. “Of course every word MUST be a lie.”
“A lie?” Dawn whispered.
He nodded. She handed her bag to Suji and padded up to the stage, hoisting herself up with a little grunt. She looked out at the class blankly for a moment (grinning a little as Suji pulled Sungyeol into a seat a few rows behind the rest of the class, the older boy wiggling and jumping around with unrestrained excitement.)
For a brief, ridiculous moment she thought about telling the very, very truth. Keys and monks and Slayers and hell-gods and death and death and all.
But she lived that story. It wasn’t a lie at all.
And anyway, she was tired of that story.
So she spun a sweet, but a little sad, story about a girl she could have been –maybe the one she’d be if she had been allowed to write her own story.
Another girl would probably have told the story of a girl who was just a little too perfect, just a little sweet – but Dawn didn’t. Her Self was a little like a girl from a story she once read, probably; someone with stubbornness that allowed her strength, someone with a vulnerability, someone who held a grudge, someone who loved fiercely.
There were some nuggets of truth there – truths that could probably break her if she let them. She was an orphan who never knew her real parents, she had an older sister who was fierce and kind, she had two (adoptive) parents who struggled to make their relationship work … there was still a little loss in her story, still a little pain. She couldn’t tell a whole lie.
And anyway – a life without tears wouldn’t be Real. Even if this was just a yarn she spun to get out of a class, it still had to be something she would have wanted. And she didn’t want to lose herself, even in a new story.
“… And when my dad gets home from his trips to England to visit family, we always make a large sundae spread in the kitchen. Even though Beth is in college now, she still comes over and brings toppings with her.”
Dawn focused down on the teacher sitting in the front row, tucking her hair behind one ear (and also maybe surreptitiously wiping a tear from the corner of her eye).
He stood and looked her right in the eye. “You were right, dear.” Dawn breathed a sigh of relief and then glanced up at the clock. Twenty minutes had passed!
The instructor turned to the class, “This, class. Is no actress. This is an author! A storyteller! A writer!”
The class erupted into applause. Sungjong jumping up for a standing ovation, tugging Suji up with him as he bounced.
“I’m sorry my dear,” he addressed Dawn again. “But you aren’t going back to Ceramics. … But you don’t have to be on stage if you don’t want to. There’s plenty of things I think I can teach you… if you’ll let me?”
Dawn nodded. She had never been called a writer before. And anyway, it wasn’t like another class with Sungyeol would be a burden.
The class continued on like normal for the rest of the period – much to Dawn’s relief. As they walked out to their other classes, syllabi in hand, Dawn was held back.
“Your last name. Summers.”
“That’s right. Dawn Summers. Do I need to talk to the office about getting into this class?”
“No, no. I’ll take care of it.” He cleared his throat. “So … your sister?”
Dawn tensed. “Buffy.”
He nodded. “My younger brother was in your sister’s graduating class. Tell her…” He stared off into the distance. “Tell her thank you.”
Dawn started to walk away, then turned back – shaking her head at Sungyeol who stood waiting in the doorway. “Mr—?”
“Oh. Blume. Gale Blume.”
“You can call me Gale.”
The smiled sheepishly at each other.
Dawn had never had to ask anyone a question like this before, even in Sunnydale, even with the sister she had. It must have been a sign of growing up or something.
“Did he—did your brother? Is he…?”
“He didn’t make it through the graduation ceremony,” he laughed a little and shrugged.
Dawn stood silently.
“So many might not have,” the way he said it – they both knew. And she knew and smiled.
After all that, she walked to her final class with Sungyeol’s arm tight around her shoulders, and Suji’s small hand gripping hers tight.
And she thought… maybe she wouldn’t kill the twerp after all.
- (emo)tive: lonely