"Slow down! Look, I got next to no sleep in the back of the car, and hello, Andrew drooled on me. I so need a shower right now." Dawn planted her feet and put a hand on her hip as if the person on the other end of the phone could see her resolved stance.
"Yes." Sighing heavily, Dawn started bouncing on one foot and twirling her hair. "Kennedy, I got it. Willow doesn't just look like Warren; she's becoming Warren. Especially dangerous because the punishment was conjured in Willow's mind and is being fueled by her magic." Dawn wanted off the phone, why the hell was Kennedy still talking?
"No. They dropped me off to get ready for school; they're out getting donuts. I'll be sure to-" Damn her! Arrogant little slayer wanna-be. "NO! You're the one who doesn't get it. Been there, done that, still have the blood stained t-shirt." Dawn slammed the phone on the cradle and started heading towards the stairs. Not going to happen a second time, and if it was, it could happen without her. Her foot was on the first tread when she heard the gate slam in the back. Looking at, but not seeing the floor in front of her, Dawn fought the urge to flee and the urge to scream.
"Damn-it, not again." There was no hesitation or fear in her steps as she walked through the kitchen and out the back door. There was Warren with a gun. The sight wasn't enough to slow her down as she stalked across the grass. Folding her arms, Dawn glared at him, as Warren nervously started to wave the cold steel in her direction.
"You think you can just do that to me? That I'd let you -"
"Is that the *best* you can do? Come on, Willow, you almost ended the world, and the best punishment you can think of is to become him? To repeat his crimes? Why the hell do you think you're the only one who was hurt because she died?"
Warren hesitated, eyes shifting and crinkling towards tears. "Get away, go. Can't stop this, too strong."
"Bullshit! It's a crock. If you're strong enough to take on the whole world then, damn-it! How about taking on your pain?" Stalking across the grass, Dawn pointed an accusing finger. "You left her! She told me that there was more to life then this." Dawn smacked the flesh of her own arm.
Tears were beginning to blur Dawn's vision, but she continued. "She told me that we're all reborn into the world, and I didn't have to worry about my Mom. *Tara* told me, that all the dead ask is that we live and remember them." Shoving the gun to the side, Dawn stood on her toes getting into Warren's face. Choked back the sobs, she didn't stop; she couldn't stop.
"I remembered! I was the one who stayed with her when you couldn't deal! I'm the one who sat by her cold, dead body while her soul went looking for peace! Did you even know that? Did you think you were the only one who cared, who lost someone she loved?"
There was nothing manly about how the man's body in front of her bent double, wracked with sobs. "It hurts so much. I can't stop thinking about her-" Warren was down on his knees. "No, that's a lie. I did stop - for a just a second."
Slinking away didn't mean getting away. Dawn was on her knees lifting the face in front of her, looking into the strange eyes. "Yeah, you stopped grieving for a minute when you kissed Kennedy." Warren tried to turn away, but the Dawn wasn't having any of that. "That's the point! Tara would want you to live. You think that she'd wish this kind of vengeance on you? She might freakin' question your taste in women, but she doesn't want you draped in black, beating your chest for the rest of your life." The tears were coming fast and her nose was running, but Dawn wasn't letting go, not letting it happen a second time.
"Show me some of that power. It sucks, but you're strong enough to face her death." Both of them stared at the gun, hanging loosely in Warren's hand. They watched the hand change size. They watched the steel fall to the ground.
Dawn's hands buried themselves in long red hair as the two women rocked together in the grass.