Her eyes were dry as she stared into the mirror, wondering idly if there really was an alternate reality on the other side of the glass. A reality where everything was the opposite. She wasn't sure what that would make her over there, other than left handed. Dawn sighed as she opened the medicine cabinet, making her reflection disappear for a moment as she put away her toothbrush and toothpaste. Monday's always seemed to come too early and last too long, and she wasn't even dressed for work yet. A glance at the clock as she closed the medicine cabinet told her she had an hour and a half to get to the Jeffersonian. Probably best to go in something more than just her underthings. Her phone started playing the chorus of Supergirl by Saving Jane.
"Hey Buffy," Dawn smiled as she answered the phone, walking to the back of her beautiful house, old and huge. 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 3 stories of brick and a wraparound porch. She'd found it and thought she'd died and gone to heaven. Metaphorically of course, because you didn't say those words to Buffy. The local kids seemed to think the place was haunted, which also suited Dawn's humor rather well.
"Hey Dawn, I was trying to get sisterly gab in before you had to go to work," Buffy replied. Dawn could hear the smile through the phone as she walked into a walk-in closet and shoved a few hangers.
"Good timing, I'm figuring out what to wear," Dawn informed her, discarding the only white suit she had as completely impractical and she'd only worn once.
"At least you don't have to wear boring suits all the time, you can wear pretty ones instead," Buffy informed her perkily. Dawn shrugged a little, knowing the gesture wouldn't be heard through the phone but discarding the thought immediately. She pulled a pair of black slacks, well fitted, off a hanger and slipped them on.
"So this sisterly gab you speak of, would it be to tell me all about a new boy or to see if I've found a new boy," Dawn asked, her tone dry as she zipped and buttoned the pants, turning and smiling at full length mirror across from the doorway in the hall. She'd added it so she didn't need to leave the closet to check her reflection.
"No new boy for me, I was hoping to get vicarious smoochies through you," Buffy said with a sigh. Dawn laughed out loud as she shoved blouses this way and that, not really interested in wearing any of them.
"No new boys for me. Too busy getting used to being at the Jeffersonian, hold on a sec," She informed the blond on the other end before grabbing a yellow fitted t-shirt from a shelf and pulling it over her head. 'In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane' was written bold across the front in black. A black blazer over the top and she was set for clothing.
"Shoes?" Buffy inquired as Dawn put the phone back to her ear.
"Low heels, or high heels?" Dawn pondered, moving out of the walk-in closet and over to one that was supposed to be a linen closet, but she'd preferred to use the shelves to hold her shoes.
"It's Monday," Buffy reminded her sister in a dry tone. Not as bad as Tuesday, but more likely to have something icky occur. Dawn grabbed a cute pair of black peep-toe kitten heels and slipped them on before wandering downstairs to the kitchen and breakfast area. On the small table lay her briefcase and a couple file folders that she'd been studying over pizza the night before. She snagged a few slices out of the fridge and tossed them in the toaster-oven for warming.
"Is that the only reason you called?" Dawn finally asked. She knew that her family was worried about her, that at least one of them would likely be here with her if she hadn't expressly forbidden unless there was a threat of imminent apocalypse in the area. They'd helped her through her physical injuries and tried to help her through the mental ones ... but it wasn't the same. They knew how to treat the horrors of demonic origin, but humans attacking other humans was alien and wrong on so many more levels.
"I just wanted to make sure you were alright," Buffy told her with a sigh.
"Nightmares are getting less frequent," Dawn offered, knowing it wasn't enough, but still not ready to share. There were psychiatrists in the know that were in the area, and she was tempted to see one. Maybe.
"I just .... we want to help you Dawnie," BUffy started. Dawn nodded and sighed a little.
"I have to go to work Buffy, thanks for calling, I'll talk to you later," Dawn told her, effectively ending the conversation.
"By Dawnie, take care," Buffy knew it was futile to try and drag anything else out of her sister. At least they'd been able to discuss the mundane for a little while. Dawn popped the pizza slices on a plate and set them on the table before stowing the file folders in her briefcase and snagged a Dr. Pepper out of the fridge. Breakfast of champions, pizza and soda. She thought about everything she'd been through; torture she hadn't ever thought she'd be strong enough to endure, the death of too many loved ones, more pressure than a girl should ever have to deal with. She finished the pizza and soda, going through the quick ritual of locking up the house before going out to the garage to get into the vintage '68 Shelby Convertible, candy apple red with a faun interior. It had been sent to her from Angel and Spike when she'd graduated University and had been in storage while she was in Africa. It was one of the perks about living in the US again, driving that baby around. The briefcase was thrown in the passenger seat and she hooked on the seatbelt before she took off for work.
The Jeffersonian was never an easy place to get to being right in the middle of DC, especially during rush hour, which was nearly every hour of daylight in that city. Thankfully getting from Georgetown to work wasn't that long of a commute. She parked the car, hitting the locking mechanism that had been installed because she liked pressing a button to unlock her car. She liked the covetous looks that others gave her car, it was nice knowing she had something others wanted, other than the Key inside her or her body. Dawn's ID badge was now attached to a zip-clip that she normally hooked to her belt. The chain was long enough that she could show it to everyone and slide it through all security sensors as needed. She'd been assured by Angela that it would go faster once the guards all recognized her, though after two meets most of them did. She didn't bother pretending to wonder about the reason behind it, she had a mirror.
"You're in early," Cam said with a little surprise when she saw the willowy brunette come through the door, the girls hair held in two long braids that hung over each shoulder.
"Traffic wasn't as bad as I'd expected," Dawn shrugged a little as she walked up the steps to her desk, plopping her briefcase down unceremoniously as she turned to smile at Cam.
"Where do you come in from?" Cam asked curiously, wondering why she hadn't thought to ask before.
"Over in Georgetown," Dawn told her. The older woman's eyebrows rose, it wasn't exactly a cheap neighborhood.
"Well it's nice to see I'm not the only early bird," was all she said before Cam wandered back over to her office. Dawn smiled a little as she saw the woman make a face at her desk. There must be paperwork that wasn't going to finish itself. Dawn pulled the files she'd been studying out of her bag and walked them over to the room she had gotten them from, storing them in their proper place. She'd checked with Dr. Brennan before she'd taken them, but Brennan had seemed to think that it was a good idea for Dawn to bone up on some of their previous cases with the FBI so she wouldn't feel quite so lost. Not that Dawn had felt all that lost during her first case, only case thus far, at the Jeffersonian.
She found some things interesting, and other things upsetting. The whole grave-digger incident with Hodgins and Brennan buried alive in a car had been one that had fallen in the latter category. Being buried alive was a rather large phobia, that and being forced to watch or listen to her friends getting tortured. She shook her head and passed by that case folder and onto another. She didn't need to add more nightmares to her already disturbed imagination. What she'd told Buffy was only partly true, instead of having nightmares every time she closed her eyes she had 1, generally woke herself up with a shout or a scream, and then slept fitfully the rest of the night. Dawn closed the cabinet and walked to Limbo, staring at the huge warehouse of skeletal remains. This was why the Jeffersonian had Dr. Brennan and herself on staff. To fill in the blanks on all the fallen that had yet to be named.