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20 September 2005 @ 04:58 pm
Dawn Summers: Striving hard to fill the space that was left.  
Dawn jotted down a few more observations in her notebook and looked up warily as Giles quickly walked into the office and dropped another pile of paper in front of her with an ominous thud. She stretched the kinks from her shoulders and took a moment to really look at her desk and her eyes widened as she took in the millions of post-its and scrolls that covered the surface. It was like they were reproducing. Being a watcher-in-training was a lot like being a secretary she was finding.

She couldn’t help the scowl that flitted across her face when Giles started to babble on about some ancient artifact that no one had heard of or seen in millions of years but that had suddenly become very important. Usually, she found this kind of stuff really interesting, but today all she wanted to do was go home. She’d been at the Council for hours and she still had loads of work to do for class the next day. University was a lot harder than high school even without the hellmouth and the fact that everyone sounded like Giles made her feel even more insecure.

She hadn’t realized that the grimace had remained on her face until Giles stopped talking and frowned at her in that way he had, “Dawn, are you paying attention? This is a serious matter and I will need your cooperation.”

Dawn sat up a little straighter in her chair and looked directly at him, “Sorry, Giles. I was just…never mind. I’m listening.”

“You know, Dawn…”

And, here it comes, she thought as she slumped in her chair again. It was the dreaded speech. She’d heard him give it to Buffy at least a thousand times and by now she’d received it herself about a hundred times. She was almost tempted to mouth the words along with him, but knew that would only make things worse. So, she sat there quietly as he emphasized the importance of reaching one’s potential.

She noticed that the wrinkles around his eyes had deepened in the last year or so. She knew how much stress he was under. It wasn’t easy to rebuild the Watcher’s Council, especially now that there were slayers all over the world. And, of course, there was the thing with Buffy…

He never talked about it but she could see how much he missed her. And, Dawn missed her too. Her phone calls with Buffy were always short and awkward. Dawn understood that right now the calls were an obligation, something she felt she needed to do because Dawn was her sister, her family. But, Buffy was still angry, she was still hurt; Dawn heard it in her voice. And, she felt horrible about it, but she still wasn’t sure that they’d been wrong the night that the group had asked Buffy to stand aside.

But, at the same time, she loved her sister and after everything they had been to each other, it was still painful to know that Buffy was shutting her out. She remembered the day Buffy left, her stance rigid and stubborn. And, Dawn knew that their relationship would never be the same.

She sighed as she heard the last points of Giles’ speech. He always ended it by telling her how much he respected the work she’d done so far and that he was sorry for being so hard on her. He just wanted the very best for her. And, then she would smile and nod and he would clean his glasses the way he did when he was sentimental or uncomfortable.

Eventually Giles left, telling her that she could go home for the night. As she gathered her things and turned off the lights, she tried to purge all the Buffy thoughts from her mind. Everything just needed time and until that time came, there was nothing to do but wait.