Junior Deviants
by Aadler
Copyright November 2019

Disclaimer: Characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel: the Series are property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Kuzui Enterprises, Sandollar Television, the WB, and UPN.

Setting: Buffy, Season 7; Angel, Season 5
Spoilers: “Lessons” (Buffy S7-01), “Home” (Angel S4-22)

– i –

Everyone needs someone to share with. Dawn’s had that for years now … but the one thing she could never share before was normalcy. Her world wasn’t normal, and neither were those closest to her. As for the normal people around her, well, they didn’t know the reality, so sharing just couldn’t work.

With Kit and Carlos, it’s simply there. They aren’t in the fight, but they know the fight is taking place; know she’s part of something else, but like — want — what they can share with her.

It can’t last, but she’ll keep it for as long as she can.

– ii –

The coolest thing about Dawn? how she acts like they’re equals.

They aren’t, not remotely. Dawn walks in three worlds: One, don’t believe in demons; Two, know there are demons; Three, fight (kill) demons. Kit recognizes World Two now, but she could never ever enter World Three. (Plus she isn’t a teen fashion model — like Dawn — so she’ll accept the pretense uncomplaining.)

She sees the ways Carlos doesn’t look at Dawn, how he rigorously treats them both the same. If a choice came, she’d lose, so don’t trigger a choice.

Hold it while it lasts, and be glad of it.

– iii –

This is the luckiest Carlos has ever been. (Only took the whole almost-dying part to make it happen.)

He’s stuck in a place he hates. (And won’t leave. He should always have had such problems.)

Kit, Dawn … they’re awesome. Different girls, different ways, equal awesome. Him, them, they just mesh. As long as he doesn’t screw it up. (He’ll screw it up.)

He’d be lucky to have either of them. If he reaches for either, he’ll lose both.

The three of them together is its own kind of lonely … and it’s a kind he isn’t about to throw away.

– iv –

Janice withdraws from Dawn after Hallowe’en ’01, pretends she hasn’t, doesn’t actually want to let go. They’d had a real bond … but now, being around Dawn just reminds her that Death can grab you by the throat without warning.

Still, she’s lost something.

For a year she keeps an uneasy distance. Then one day she sees Dawn laughing with Kit and Carlos in the new school quad, and suddenly misses her friend so much she can’t bear it anymore.

So she joins them. And consequently survives Sunnydale’s fall, and winds up in L.A. with Kit and Carlos afterward.

Fate? Maybe.

– v –

Connor has always seen people sort themselves into two groups: sheep, and warriors. He envies the sheep (sometimes, secretly, almost with shame), but can never belong among them. And life with the warriors … the intensity is exhilarating, but every now and then the drama gets — frankly — tiresome.

The three at the sidewalk café are … something other. There’s no warriors’ readiness to transition to instant action, but they’re aware of the world around them in ways the sheep aren’t.

It intrigues him. And he’s never been one for hesitation. He goes to their table, smiles. “Hi.”

After that, everything is good.

– end –

* The title is from a comment by Anya in “Same Time, Same Place” (Buffy, S7-03).

Questions? Comments? Any feedback is welcome!

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