quinara: Spike's car driving down the road. (Spike car)
[personal profile] quinara posting in [community profile] queerlygen
Er, OK, I didn't mean to write for the challenge so quickly, but apparently I was inspired(?!), so I have asexual!Andrew and bisexual!Dawn fic, with added Satsu, because for some reason I'm shipping her with Dawn at the moment.

Title: Go, Remembering Me (to Return on a Favourable Wind)
Creator: [personal profile] quinara
Universe: Buffyverse; a sort of AU S8 comics futureverse thing.
Type of work: ~2600 word fic.
Contains: A certain level of Dawn/Satsu romantic content, though I maintain the main focus is on the Andrew-Dawn (+ Andrew-Satsu) friendship. I also use the word 'crap'. Also, warning for brief mention of past attempted rape.
Summary and notes: Last year, Andrew knew where he stood with Dawn: they were good friends, living in the same city, celebrating Dawn's acceptance to university. Now that she's actually there he's not so sure. [The title of this fic is a translation of Ovid Amores 2.11.37 (ed. Booth): uade memor nostri uento reditura secundo, because apparently I'm that pretentious.]

Go, Remembering Me (to Return on a Favourable Wind).

In his head Andrew had thought he was going to step off the train into the heart of history. English people in tweed and glasses were going to dart along the station platform, feet scurrying with intellectual fervour into the sunshine, where the sound of birds and bicycles was going to tempt him in for afternoon tea at a charming café hidden among streets of Tudor masonry. He and Dawn were going to catch up over scones and Earl Grey, him regaling her with stories of the Colosseum and her him with stories of punting and the funny Roman facts she’d learned about said building. She was going to promise to visit and as their tea grew cold they were going to make plans on Dawn’s leather-bound notepad in blue fountain pen.

It had been going to be just how they’d thought it would be, last year in Rome when Dawn had received her offer. But of course a year was a long time and, as it was, his flight had been delayed and he’d missed the train he’d booked. It was nine-thirty in the evening before he pulled into Cambridge station, which was disappointingly similar to every other large station they’d gone through. He was tired, his bag was heavy, it was raining and Dawn hadn’t even come to meet him – the only welcome he got was from a bored-looking Satsu, who nevertheless waved cheerfully as he struggled through the barriers.

“Took you long enough,” she said with a smile as she took his suitcase out of his hand. Obviously, with slayer strength she could lift it easily; clearly he needed to get his own superpowered girlfriend to carry stuff for him.

Or maybe he should go with the wheelie option next time he bought a suitcase, rather than the leather-and-brass-corners look, no matter how Sherlock Holmes it was. That was probably more viable.

“Dawn’s got an essay crisis,” Satsu continued, pulling up her kitten-eared hood as they left the station for the rainy roundabout outside it. “She said to say sorry she couldn’t meet you. How was the flight and everything?”

“Slower than slow things,” he replied, and then sighed as he stepped into a puddle. “There should be more stuff to do in Fiumicino Airport.”

Satsu nodded, scoping out the taxi rank. “That’s always the problem. Though I like those things they have where you put in the money and get out a cutsie keyring.”

Oh yeah! “In the Poké Balls,” Andrew added, following her along the pavement. “That come down the helter skelter chute.”

“Mmm,” Satsu confirmed as she knocked on the minicab’s window, beaded with water and almost opaque as it reflected the glare of the lamppost behind them. “I think half my accessories come from those things.”

Andrew laughed, not sure whether she was serious or not. Sometimes she could be strange, Dawn’s girlfriend, one minute gleefully slicing the head off a Selinops demon and then the next checking to make sure her mobile phone charms were OK. Or at least that’s what had happened at Christmas – apparently Kirby wasn’t ironic if he got bloodstained.

It wasn’t long before Satsu had casually tossed his suitcase into the boot of the cab and they were driving off towards Dawn’s college. The rain still drummed on the windows, a strong wind blowing it forcefully into the side of the car. Andrew spent most of the journey looking out into the night, wondering why the UK was the never the way he thought it would be.




When Dawn opened the door to them, Andrew almost breathed a sigh of relief, because she at least looked the way she should: the student hard at work, strung out on Red Bull and chocolate coffee beans in mismatched socks, faded jeans and a baggy sweater, her hair messily coiled up with a pencil holding it in place.

“Andrew, hey!” she greeted him a little manically, pulling him into a hug. “It’s so great to see you – Christmas was way too busy, right?”

“Well, there was that whole summoning thing…” He’d like to think it had been almost festive, for the demon-fighters that they were, but then it had been the first time the rest of the gang had learned about Satsu being with Dawn, so there had been a lot of freaking out about that. Mostly from Xander. Andrew had tried to keep out of it, because he’d had a feeling there would have been hell to pay if people realised he’d known since November. Although, it hadn’t helped his invisibility when he’d used the Christmas pudding bowl as a weapon. Who knew Buffy took holiday cooking so seriously?

“Right, right,” Dawn replied, letting him and Satsu in before deftly kicking the airbed on the floor out of their way. “Not to mention the awkward bisexuality talk.”

“I thought it was funny,” Satsu commented, dumping the suitcase in a corner and sitting on the bed. “Especially the way Buffy’s eyes practically bugged out.”

“You –” Dawn pointed at her girlfriend, smirking. “– were just checking to see if she was jealous.”

“And you weren’t?” Satsu challenged, raising an eyebrow.

“No!”

“You know,” Andrew observed, as he took his own seat on the easy chair, tucked by the door. “For a couple who’ve only been together five months you have an awful lot of issues.”

At that Dawn grabbed a Hello Kitty plush off her desk and hurled it at him. “Whatever, Doctor Who!”

“That’s not his name!” Andrew insisted, aghast and thus chucking the toy back as Satsu snickered. His joke may have cut a little close to the edge, but disparaging one of the greatest icons of his kind, well, it was going too far… Maybe. “It’s just the Doctor.”

Smile not fading, Dawn rolled her eyes, tossing and catching Hello Kitty a couple of times before she slumped into her ratty desk chair. “Ugh, I need to type more,” she said with an abrupt dip of energy. “Stupid Ovid paper.”

Quite suddenly there was a sinking feeling in Andrew’s stomach, as he looked past Dawn to the laptop on the desk, displaying one clearly unfinished essay. They were going to be up late that night if he wanted to do any catching up.

He should have expected it – of course Dawn would be on a slayer schedule, to keep in sync with Satsu while she was staying. She, after all, was rocking back on the bed to pull her katana from where it was hidden between the bed and the wall. Right on time for a patrol.

Things had been going this way for a while now, but sometimes he couldn’t help but miss the pre-Satsu era, when Dawn and he had only stayed up late on organised movie-marathon nights. Sure, sometimes they talked over the sound of the TV and concentrated more on those amazing Pan di Stelle biscuits they’d discovered when Dawn had first visited Rome, but he’d always known the nights he was going to have to stay awake. He liked to know, after all – he got dizzy otherwise. It was a thing.

However, if he was to be an honourable friend, a wisecracking Artoo to Dawn’s Threepio – Queer robots represent! she always said in their scenes, when she was in a particularly hyper mood – he couldn’t begrudge her owning this particular crush. He definitely couldn’t begrudge her more-than-crushy, deepening-relationship feelings, hints of which had started whispering in their expensive international calls, so he would be supportive, and do unscheduled reading until the small hours, when Dawn’s essay would be finished and they could talk until Satsu came home.

It wasn’t too hard to like Dawn’s girlfriend, after all, what with the fact she had a katana. You couldn’t get much cooler than that. “Off to kill things, oh Samurai Slayer?” he asked.

Satsu snorted, strapping the sword to her back. “Neat alliteration. And yes.”

“Be careful, won’t you?” Dawn said, standing up again as Satsu headed over to the door. “I know, I know, that’s a stupid thing to say, but – you’ve got my keys? Oh – ” With a jump of inspiration, she turned to her desk draw and pulled out a bike light, coming closer to put it in Satsu’s hand. “If you cycle over to Mill Road you’ve gotta put this on, OK? There was an email – I think the cops are coming down hard or something.”

Satsu took the light, looking touched. “I shouldn’t be gone long,” she replied, before scolding, “You work hard though. And you’d better make Andrew do as much dictionary grunt-work as me, otherwise I’ll think you’re playing favourites.”

With a wink in Andrew’s direction, Satsu stroked a hand down Dawn’s arm before vanishing out of the door and down the corridor. Andrew watched her go, hoping himself that she would be OK.

Eventually he turned back to Dawn, who pouted and asked, “Do you know anything about Latin elegy?” All he could do was shake his head.




As the clock ticked on, Andrew’s vision grew fuzzier and fuzzier, The Man with the Golden Gun turning into blotchy grey on yellow-white pages. Dawn’s efforts at the laptop, begun with complaints of I can’t work while you’re watching!, followed by frantic flicking backwards and forwards through Amores II and yet another can of Red Bull drunk to litter around Hello Kitty’s feet, had eventually settled into rhythmic bursts of typing, which were slowly lulling Andrew’s aching head to rest.

But then, after a period of apparent inactivity, there was another flutter of keys and a very finalising click of the mouse, after which Dawn leaned back in her chair and thrust her arms towards the ceiling. “I’m done!” she said, laughing.

“Huh?” he asked, yawning as he tried to make out the numbers on his watch.

She turned her chair towards him and shuffled it in his direction, explaining, “I’ve finished my paper – no way it won’t be with my supervisor by noon tomorrow, even if I sleep past the deadline. And I think I will, you know? Tomorrow’s lectures are sucky and I can get the handouts off Tillie…”

“So what was it about?” Andrew asked, closing the book and putting it down on the floor. “The paper, I mean.”

Dawn shrugged. “Oh, you know – love, sex, disturbing rape imagery. Classics stuff.”

“Right,” he replied, still woolly-headed and now wishing he hadn’t asked. Crapping hell, what did it say about him that he could only offer an experienced perspective on the disturbing rape imagery? God, he was an awful person.

That thought snuck up on him sometimes, usually on unscheduled late nights, and he hated it. Hated that there were two people dead because of him, four if you counted Warren and Tara, which you probably should, considering the part he’d played in Warren going as far as he did – even if was only a Coke-drinking, gross-gooey-stuff-fetching part.

Dawn knew that, and clearly she realised it was happening now. “Hey hey,” she comforted as he put his head in his hands. “Katrina was a long time ago.”

“Yeah, all the way back in Sunnydale,” he muttered, his eyes stinging with fatigue. “Where she probably got crushed in the wreckage.”

There was no way Dawn could reply to that, which she seemed to realise as she headed down a tangent. “Tell me what’s happening in Rome,” she said. “I want the full scoop of gelato, no detail spared. Are you still in with the Immortal?”

“Kinda,” he replied, trying to think past the fact that he couldn’t even remember Katrina’s face anymore. He’d been so stupid, thinking that if he could just find a woman who wanted to have sex with him, then everything would fall into place. Stupid. “Giselle and I thought he was beginning to realise what totally weird friends Buffy and I would make, so I backed off their engagements.” Buffy’s decoy was good at noticing things like that – she was really good with people, unlike him.

“I think you and Buffy would make great friends,” Dawn told him, smiling as he looked up. “Didn’t you say you clicked on New Year’s Eve over Daniel Craig?”

“He is very cool,” Andrew responded grudgingly, caught off-guard and now unavoidably thinking back to the evening in the castle, with all the Scottish singing and Buffy bubbly on champagne. “But I fear even his more rugged Bond does not have the power to make Buffy think I’m not useless.”

“She doesn’t think you’re useless.” Dawn waved a hand dismissively. “And, besides, you’re totally overrating her opinion. As a Summers I would know.” She nodded decisively, resting an elbow on the arm of her chair before continuing, “Are you gonna trust someone who says soup doesn’t taste better with chocolate sprinkles?”

It was a good point. “Everything tastes better with chocolate sprinkles.” They’d discussed this in the past, but it bore repeating. “It’s a culinary law.”

“Exactly!” Dawn nodded, waving her hand again before dashing back to the desk to retrieve her chocolate coffee beans. “You want?” she offered.

He did want, and so he took, tossing a couple of the beans into his mouth to work their caffeinated charms. “I’m still trying to convince Fo and Nicoletta, you know, that a pizza base should be like a blank canvas – waiting for the artist’s vision, rather than limited to the standard toppings.”

“Mm hmm.” Dawn nodded, munching on coffee beans and almost certainly thinking back to her times in Rome, when she’d tried to enlighten the local slayers. “I imagine it’s a pretty slow process.”

“I don’t have your talent,” he replied wistfully. “And the curry was a mistake – the bread soaked up too much liquid and you couldn’t even hold it.”

“Huh.” Dawn frowned. “I’m sure you could make that work, especially with something that’s mostly tomato sauce.”

Andrew sighed, gaze wandering around the room to the poster of Trajan’s Column on the wall. “You see, I wanted the coconut…”

“Clearly I’m gonna have to come back,” she said after her own sigh, eyes twinkling, “to show you all how it’s done.”

Even though he knew Dawn wasn’t on her gap year any longer, knew she had attachments that were probably more important than him and la Città Eterna, he couldn’t help but hope a little desperately that she would come, if only for a little while. Everything was easier with her to talk to. “Really?” he asked her.

“Duh, Andrew!” she replied with a beaming smile, pulling him into a full-on caffeine-sugar-strengthened hug. “I mean,” she continued as they pulled back, “you have all the cool archaeological sites. Where else would I go?”

He grinned, feeling more sure of himself than he had done since he’d come off the train. “I don’t know… Athens?”

She pooh-poohed that with another wave of her hand, even though they both knew how much she wanted to visit there. Then she refocused, asking “What else is happening?” her expression eager for news.

Andrew took a breath, wondering whether it was psychosomatic or whether the coffee beans were already working his system, making him feel more alert and ready to talk. Perhaps he could deal with their late nights having a little less structure after all. “Well,” he said, thinking about all the things she might find interesting and finally warming up to the subject completely.

And then he told her. Strangely, as the rain began to hammer once more on the window, it was, in all the ways that mattered, almost exactly like old times.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-24 04:39 am (UTC)
evilawyer: young black-tailed prairie dog at SF Zoo (Default)
From: [personal profile] evilawyer
You know that, for me, the comics don't exist, but I enjoyed this story very much. I can just hear Dawn and Andrew having this conversation.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-24 11:52 am (UTC)
ningloreth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ningloreth
I enjoyed this! I don't know what's canon, but I suspect you've made the whole world into Classics scholars, which is cool :-)

I also love the accurate Cambridge setting -- does Cambridge have a Hellmouth?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-24 01:35 pm (UTC)
curiouswombat: (Sheep)
From: [personal profile] curiouswombat
maybe a very small one?

Possibly a Hell nostril...?

I do like Andrew and Dawn together - putting them in Cambridge just added so nicely to the mix!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-27 10:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dipenates.livejournal.com
I really, really love this. I love Andrew's nervousness, and the way that dissipates. You capture very well that feeling of reconnecting with someone that you know extremely well, but haven't seen for a while, so there's uncertainty about how you both fit together and what your shared routines should be. I love that you left so much unsaid, but painted a picture that was so full and complete. Just fabulous.

(Tiny, tiny point: I followed this from a link at your LJ that warned for rape, but there's no warning here. I don't know if there's a different warnings context here on DW, but just in case it was an oversight...)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-28 09:21 pm (UTC)
bruttimabuoni: (Plaything)
From: [personal profile] bruttimabuoni
Belated realisation that you've posted this already... I like how you've fleshed out Satsu, and the light touch relationship with Dawn (like a signpost saying Here Be Potential Conflict, but not right now, 'kay?). Andrew and Dawn talking is *always* enjoyable. They make good friends, even if not quite on the same timetable!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-30 03:35 pm (UTC)
verity: buffy embraces the mid 90s shades (buffy (whatever))
From: [personal profile] verity
(Yo, this be ladyofthelog elsewhere.) Adore this. I love Andrew's viewpoint so much in this, as well as your characterization of Dawn.

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