The other Dawn was in a hospital bed, in a private room. She was hooked up to an IV that was feeding her glucose and fluids.
“She’s suffering from severe dehydration and a concussion, although there’s no sign of trauma,” the attending doctor told Victoria, Dawn and Spike.
“When can we talk to her?” Victoria demanded.
“As soon as she wakes up, I’ll let you know, okay?”
“Fine,” Victoria said with a wave of her hand.
“You can wait in the visitors lounge, if you’d like.”
Dawn reached to shake the doctor’s hand, “Thank…”
“… you” Dawn said as she stood and picked up her bag.
She was in what looked like an office, she looked up to meet the face of the person she had just thanked. It was her high school principal, Mr Fielding.
“Get to class Dawn, before you’re late.”
“Yes, sir,” Dawn nodded as she headed for the door.
“And can you please send in your sister?”
“Sure,” Dawn opened the door and stepped out into the reception area, “Hey Buffy, Fielding want’s to see you.”
“What did you do now?” Buffy scowled at her.
“Nothing, I think he’s impressed by what you did in the basement.”
“If you say so,” Buffy said as she got up and headed into the principal’s office.
“Ah Miss Summers, please have a seat,” Fielding said indicating the seat on the other side of the desk to him.
“Thank you, can I ask why…?”
“You’re here because you did something that most teachers here have been struggling to do,” Fielding paused looking at Buffy, “You go three of the habitually students to class on time, early in fact.”
“Oh… Um, it was nothing.”
“How would you like a job here?” Fielding leaned forward and rested his elbows on his desk.
“A-a job? What type of job?” Buffy asked.
“Don’t you need some sort of degree for that?”
“Usually, yes, but as principal I have discretion to hire the people I feel are qualified for certain positions, and while you might not have the academic qualifications, you do have the life experiences needed for the job.”
“T-thank you, I’m not sure what else to say.”
“Well then, when can you start?”
“Well… today if you like.”
“Very well, I’ll show you to your office,” Fielding got up from behind his desk and headed for the door, when he opened it he almost fell over Dawn who had been listening at the door, “Dawn? I thought I told you to go to class?”
“I’m sorry, I… I wanted to know what you wanted to speak to Buffy about.”
“Dawn. Class. Now.” Buffy said coming up behind Fielding.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean…” Dawn began.
“It’s okay, just get to class,” Buffy said.
“Okay,” Dawn said as she turned and walked down the hall to her English class.
Dawn spent the rest of the day almost in a haze, she couldn’t believe that her sister had gotten a job here. Here, at her school no less. Granted, she thought to herself, Buffy did go here for 3 years, but still that didn’t give her the right to come in and work here.
“Dawn?” Janice’s voice intruded on her inner thoughts.
“Huh?” Dawn looked up at her best friend.
“I said, what are you doing after school?”
“Oh, um I dunno, probably just going home.”
“Coz we ere thinking of heading to the mall and hanging.”
“Jimmy, Mac, Billy, Vicky and me, and hopefully you,” Janice gave her a pleading look.
“Yeah okay, I think Buffy’ll let me go.”
“Hey, I heard Victoria saying that your sister got a job here.”
“Yeah,” Dawn gave her a very sour look.
“Man you must feel bummed, that’s like bad karma or something.”
“Don’t I know…”
Dawn sat on a bench atop the outcrop overlooking what was once the small town of Sunnydale. Her thoughts, as they did so often these days, centred on the past, and on her family. It had been over 200 years since the last member of the Scooby Gang had passed beyond. Xander had lasted longer than any of the others, maybe because he had romanced a demon for so long.
Dawn felt a tear trickle down her cheek as she remembered all the fun things that she had done with her friends, from the birthday parties, to the demon research.
She heard someone moving up the hill behind her, “Hi Spike.”
“Hey luv,” the bleached blonde vampire responded as he sat beside her, “I thought you might be here.”
“Where I always am,” Dawn said sadly.
“And thinking about what you seem to always think about I’d bet.”
“Yeah,” Dawn answered with a sad laugh, “The past.”
“… it,” Dawn whispered as she fell to the ground, the last ting she saw was Janice rushing to her side.
“Dawn? Dawn are you awake?” it was Buffy’s voice.
“Unnn?” Dawn tried to speak but she found that her mouth wasn’t working right.
“I… I… ah… I dunno, I think I saw… saw…”
“Saw what?” Buffy looked at her sister, she thought she could see the truth in her eyes but she had to make sure, “What did you see?”
“I… ah think it was the future, Spike was there, but it was daytime, Spike was out in the daylight, and I felt something, I think I loved him.”
“Are you sure of that?”
“I dunno, I think so, why?”
“I wasn’t supposed to tell you this, it happened back before mom died, you…”
“Dawn? It happened again, didn’t it?” Spike asked as he let go of her.
“Yeah, am I still glowing?”
“No, you stopped after you brought that other Dawn here.”
“The other Dawn, she… she’s from 2002, not 2003, it’s sometime after she started Sunnydale High.”
“But… Buffy destroyed Sunnydale High, way back in 1999, they built over it in 2003, built a shopping mall if I remember right.”
“But… something… something is different.” Dawn looked around for Victoria, “Where’s Victoria?”
“She went to talk to the Council, see if they had any ideas.”
“We need to get to the hall of records, we need plans of the old Sunnydale High.”
“We’re going back.”
“Back? Back to where? The school doesn’t exist any more.”
Dawn looked at him, her face was very serious, “Not where. When.”