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Posted August 23, 2011
& August 16, 2015

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Fan Fiction: Trust Building Exercises

Title: Trust Building Exercises

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Disclaimer: The words are mine; the worlds are not. I claim nothing but the plot.

Rating: PG

Summary: B:tVS, Stargate SG-1. Dawn and her roommate had come up with a system. 1000 words.

Notes: Originally posted for two separate microfic challenges. Set post-"Chosen" and a few years after SG-1 5.9 "Rite of Passage".

Trust Building Exercises

Dawn and her roommate had come up with a system.

They spent a lot of time together, by definition; at least eight hours daily if not more the way their classes and social circles overlapped. Personal secrets were guaranteed to come out eventually, no matter how hard they tried to keep them back. So:

One truth given for every truth revealed, of equal seriousness.

Buffy would probably kick Dawn's ass for agreeing. But Dawn had known the moment she met Cassie Frasier that the other girl's background was just as different from the pampered upper middle class kids around them as hers was. Maybe not Sunnydale level strangeness; maybe just human trauma, given the fact that her Moms were both Air Force, and that one had died in the line of duty. But it was enough for her to trust Cassie was serious when she proposed the deal.

Still, she'd figured she'd just end up sharing a few bizarre but innocuous details if it ever came to that, like the fact that her sister's first boyfriend had a mental break once and killed her sister's best friend's goldfish.

...Until she caught Cassie moving a pencil one day with her mind.

Cassie stared at her for a long moment, then said: "I was genetically tampered with. I'm-- not Canadian."

And I'm scared to death of what that might mean, her expression added.

Dawn froze, heart pounding in sympathetic recognition, then made a decision: "I was made to order too," she replied, softly. "Someone tried to kill me once because of it."

Then she lifted her shirt, exposing her scars, with a grimace.

Three truths for three: a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

In that moment Dawn knew she and Cassie would be best friends from that day onward.

Mother's Day

"So, it's Mother's Day this weekend," Cassie said, dropping her backpack on her dorm bed.

Dawn glanced over at her roommate, then back down at her desk, uncapping a highlighter to sweep orange ink across a textbook quote she just knew was going to show up on her next test. "Yeah. Saw it on the calendar."

Cassie took a deep breath, a determined look on her face as she sat down next to her backpack.

Dawn knew the signs of an emotionally significant moment incoming. She and Cassie had exchanged a lot of secrets, especially since Cassie had accidentally revealed her telekinesis and they'd both come clean about their... unusual... origins. She already had a pretty good idea what this one was about, though.

"I, uh. Usually I hang out with Buffy, or one of our friends from Sunnydale," she decided to go first, recapping the highlighter and twiddling it between her fingers. "Mom was more a parent to them than most of theirs. And they all... know... and accept me just like Mom did. So I spend the day with people who loved her, too. But they're all, like, in Africa this year, so...." She shrugged.

Cassie gave her a grateful smile. "Yeah. So. You know how almost every other Saturday I go off campus to play chess?"

"With your mom's friend, right? The one she worked with?" Cassie hadn't explained the deets yet, but Dawn always got the impression Cassie thought of this Sam as another mom.

Cassie nodded. "She... when they first found me, they all thought I was gonna die. And Sam swore to stay with me to the end, even against orders. She promised it another time, too, when I was really sick, and that really... meant something to me. She couldn't adopt me, though, and she was always careful not to overstep things between me and Mom. But we still kept doing the chess thing every other Saturday as long as she was, uh, on base. And now that Mom's gone...." She bit her lip.

"It's not betraying your Mom to think of Sam that way, too, you know," Dawn said, abandoning the highlighter to go knock the backpack to the floor and sit down next to her friend. "Or, you know, your first Mom. You know how I told you I was made to order? We don't know all the hows or whys, but we know they used Buffy to do it. I fought her a lot after Mom died, when she tried to be all protective and rule setting and stuff... but, don't ever tell her this, okay? I appreciated it, too. She couldn't always be there for me because of her job, but when she was, I felt... safe. Loved, in a momlike way. And wherever Mom is now, I don't think she'd mind."

She knocked her shoulder against Cassie's; and Cassie flashed her a quick smile. "Yeah. Yeah, I get that. So, Sam's coming to pick me up for dinner on Sunday. The thing is...." She cleared her throat. "You want to come with?"

Dawn's eyebrows flew up in surprise. "You want me to break in on your sorta-Mom-time? Wouldn't I be a third wheel?"

Cassie sighed, then waggled her fingers. Dawn's abandoned highlighter rose from her student desk, spinning in little spirals, then clattered back down. "The thing is, she doesn't know it's back. It made me sick before, and afterward, we thought I'd been cured. And I want to tell her. But she'll get all worried, and it'll get awkward, and she might want me to get checked out, and...."

"Ah, got it," Dawn said knowingly, cutting in before Cassie could work herself up too far. "You want me along to provide a diversion."

"It's not like that!" Cassie objected, giving her a pleading look.

"I know, I know, don't sweat it," she said, slinging an arm around her roomie. "Sure, I'll be moral support. And... thanks. I wasn't looking forward to sitting around alone this year."

"No problem," Cassie replied, smiling in relief. "What are friends for?"

"Alcohol, sarcasm, inappropriateness, and shenanigans?" Dawn smirked.

"Besides that," Cassie rolled her eyes, and knocked her elbow against Dawn's side.


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