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Posted November 11, 2006
Fan Fiction: Uncle John
8: Fishing Expeditions
Dawn frowned as she saw a new message pop up in her inbox, addressed to her from [Uncle_JS]. It had been a few weeks since he'd sent her any email, and she'd almost been glad about it, the way Buffy had been going off about military projects and things being too good to be true. She'd all but ordered Dawn not to email him back when he wrote again, and Dawn had not been looking forward to that-- to knowing she'd be the one responsible, this time, for cutting herself off from a relationship with an adult-male-type relative she cared about.
She swallowed, then double-clicked on the message, wondering if he'd say anything about what had had Buffy in conference with Riley on the phone several times the last couple days, or why the Slayer had a ticket to fly out tomorrow to meet with some general or other in D.C. To her surprise, however, it didn't even mention the gap in contact at all, except as an aside:
Dawn scowled. Not only uninformative, but also a fishing expedition. Sure, he'd seemed a nice guy so far, and when they'd met that once he'd seemed really cool, but he had to know that this was just a little stalker-y of him.
Then again, Dawn didn't have near the Daddy issues Buffy did. Maybe it was because the monks had made Dawn after the whole divorce trauma, plus she'd never had to deal with the whole thing with the adult she trusted with her life with every day suddenly betraying her on her eighteenth birthday because of a bunch of rules some stuffy guys in England made up a long time ago. Up until whatever crisis had come up, the way Buffy had babbled about every email from Uncle John, you'd have thought he was the most important person on her contact list. There was a bond there that Dawn didn't have with him yet. Maybe that did give him a right to try and do an end run around Buffy's non-talkativeness through her, and expect her to respond.
Dawn thought about it a little more, then clicked REPLY and began carefully composing an equally content-free message about the current ins and outs of life as a university student in the Eternal City. Editing out all the Slayer-related references made it sound kind of awkward in places, but she was pretty sure the second half of it would basically cover what Uncle John wanted to know anyway:
"It's been kind of weird having her underfoot again, that's for sure," she wrote.
Dawn added another couple of paragraphs of babble, gave the email an innocuous close, and then scrolled back up and read it all through again, hoping she hadn't said too much and that her own fishing for information didn't stand out too badly. But he really did seem worried about Buffy, and maybe the secret military thing that had Buffy's panties in a wad wasn't really the Initiative, Mark Two. A Key could hope, right?
She hit SEND, then minimized her email window and went back to what she'd been doing before, trawling the Internet for information about this General O'Neill Buffy was supposed to be meeting. Research never had been Buffy's thing, and Riley sure hadn't been very forthcoming from what she'd told Dawn.
Top of the red-flag list in Dawn's book: the fact that up until last year he'd been working at the same facility the Finns were at now, seven years as a Colonel under a General Hammond and an eighth year generaling the place himself after Hammond was given the suspiciously-named job of Head of Homeworld Security. Then, a year later, Hammond had retired, and O'Neill had immediately been bumped up the ladder again, adding a second star to his uniform. She didn't know much about the Air Force, but that seemed like a suspiciously low time-in-rank to her.
He was definitely hiding something. Dawn only hoped she could figure out what before it was time for Buffy to leave.
"Where's Willow when you need her?" she muttered, and clicked through to the next site.
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