Deja Vu (Dawn/Daryl Dixon)
I don't own Buffy
or Walking Dead.
If there was anything Dawn Summers could spot from a hundred miles off, it was another younger sibling.
And Daryl Dixon was, beyond a shadow of a doubt, one of those. It was written in every part of him, just like she suspected it was in her. Even before she'd ever heard anything about Merle.
She'd truly been lucky to be with Buffy when the outbreak started, even if at the time she'd complained nonstop about all the family time Buffy was pushing on them. With all the Slayers activated there were rarely any threats that warranted the oldest Slayer's intervention. That left more downtime for big sis than she'd had since...
Well, since before she'd been called.
So she'd been making a really earnest effort to be a good older sister and do things together more than they ever had. Even if it had
gotten a tad bit excessive, Dawn couldn't say she hadn't enjoyed herself. A girl just needs her space from the overzealous older sisters of the world sometimes, is all.
As it turned out, begrudgingly participating in a road trip was the only thing that kept her from being separated from Buffy for who knows how the hell long.
She still worried like hell about Xander, Willow, and Giles. Of course she did. Those thoughts tortured her more often than not.
But Buffy was family
, the only blood family she had these days. Her superhero sister who was always there to save her.
Even stuck in God-knows-where Georgia, civilization a distant dream away, she still had Buffy beside her, showing her the way and teaching her as they went along all the things she needed to know about protecting herself from the zombies.
Walkers, the news had called them. So had everyone else it seemed. But the two sisters had seen too much to call them anything else but the walking dead.
The others, the group they'd stumbled upon in their journey to some kind of temporary safety, seemed a bit agitated by their choice of words, but Dawn nor Buffy could quite make themselves change their vocabulary.
They were what they were, no sense in getting precious about it.
Daryl, though. He'd only smirked and harped on them for unoriginality.
It was ridiculous really. The biggest redneck she'd ever met in her life was the one out of the group she related to the most.
She spotted him gazing at Buffy and herself as they went over fighting maneuvers, a certain look in his eyes that she recognized. She'd had it herself often enough after she lost Buffy. Spike had been her solace while she'd been gone, even if the rest of the Scoobies more than frowned upon it. But as crazy as it sounded he reminded her of Buffy more than anyone, and she'd clung to him like her life depended on it.
Though if the bleached vamp would have been more touched or offended at the comparison, she'd never know.
Daryl looked like he was looking, but seeing something else entirely.
It was strange in a way, because there was no way Buffy was older than Daryl. But in the world they lived in now, it wasn't surprising for everyone to draw similarities to their former lives. She could imagine only too well how freaked she'd be if she'd been elsewhere when the world went to hell, or if she'd lost Buffy along the way.
Hell, she could see herself looking to someone like Andrea for a sisterly presence - and she hated
She couldn't blame Daryl for missing his family, even if the dude had apparently been a spectacular asshat of the highest order.
, however, blame him for running so hot and cold she seriously considered if he was PMSing.
Honestly, one second the man was all gung-ho about making nice with Dawn and Buffy, the next he was being a standoffish pain in the ass. It was clear that circumstances had changed Daryl in a major way, and it seemed he was still trying to adjust to being accepted with all the so-called good guys.
It reminded her so pointedly of Spike sometimes it took her breath away. She'd been this close
to calling him the wrong name too many times already, and Daryl was starting to look at her weird.
Also annoyingly similar? His obvious puppy-like crush on Buffy.
God, the more things change, right?
She'd yet to decide just how creepy it was that he was simultaneously envying their sibling relationship and checking out her sister's ass. She was holding out judgment until she figured out if Buffy would take the bait anytime soon.
Which, surprisingly, didn't look very likely unless she literally hit his interest over her head.
When Dawn was in danger, it was like there was some kind of barrier in the Slayer's mind. She got all singleminded and oblivious to little things, like Daryl's drawl becoming a little bit more pronounced, muscles being flexed unnecessarily, or all the damned blushing
happening anytime they were alone together.
Which would be weirdly adorable if not for the sting of being overlooked as the cute little sister again
, for the hundredth (thousandth?) time in her life.
She kind of felt sorry for the guy, but not just yet enough to interfere. It just meant she could sit back and enjoy the melodrama for awhile, instead of having to participate in it.
"Dawn! Are you even listening to me?"
The reprimand made her roll her eyes and turn back to her sister, who apparently just noticed her wandering gaze and mind. Her arms were folded and her eyebrows lifted in an expectant expression. Bitch.
"Not at all. Hey Daryl!
" Dawn shrieked in his general vicinity, watching him whip his head around towards them (like he hadn't
just been sneaking glances at them for the past twenty minutes).
Buffy dropped her arms and stared at her in complete bafflement. The expression was pretty hilarious. "Dawn, what are you-"
"Shush!" She cut her off as she motioned her target over. The bitch face her sister sported at that was pretty epic, but it smoothed over into a polite smile as Daryl stopped in front of them.
Dawn flashed a bright grin and spoke before anyone else could get a word in. "Hey! Not on guard duty right now, right?"
And so Daryl joined their training session for the day and Dawn gave herself a mental pat on the back for a job well done. If she could continue the theme, Daryl could feel a little more part of the family, and she could watch with amusement as Buffy realized at a snail's pace that she was being wooed with all the subtlety of a punch to the face.