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Opinions Wanted

Would you rather Dawn be......

  • Buffy's biological baby daughter

    Votes: 3 25.0%
  • Joyce's Foster daughter

    Votes: 9 75.0%

  • Total voters
    12
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#1
I've posted this thread here because it's about the character of Dawn; however, since this is to do with fanfic, if this is in the wrong section then mods should fee free to move it to whichever section it should be in. Thanks :)

I'm currently writing Buffy fanfic. I'm working on a season 4 AU and am hoping to eventually continue with Season 5 etc, but I need to lay groundwork for Dawn's arrival. The original plan was that Dawn would be Buffy's daughter as a result of her one night stand with Parker. My Season 4 AU was going to end with Buffy giving birth, Willow asking if she'd chosen a name for the baby, and Buffy replying that she was going to call her Dawn. However, literally today whilst posting in the if you hate Dawn then why? thread, the idea occurred to me that Dawn could be a foster kid that Joyce fosters. I can get story out of both ideas, however I can't decide which would be the better one to use, and I need to lay the groundwork in Season 4 so either Buffy needs to go through pregnancy or Joyce decides that she wants to foster and starts putting the wheels in motion to make that happen.

Opportunities with Baby Dawn:

A Season 4 ending scene of Buffy in the hospital cradling her newborn daughter. Xander and Willow go to see her and Willow asks if she has thought of a name yet. Buffy replies "Dawn. I'm gonna call her Dawn."

Drusilla sees that Dawn is the key and says "Oh look at the baby all shiny and bright" which confuses the hell out of the scoobies. It also makes Angel question what Drusilla meant by it. Everyone else thinks it's just Dru being Dru.

The monks would attach the key to Dawn (because of the slayer being her mother and a mother's instinct to protect her child being very strong) rather than creating Dawn to be the key.

Buffy and Xander join Maggie Walsh's Initiative (who are nothing to do with the government or military). It is mandatory for the group to eat meals together as "team bonding" however the food has been laced with chemicals that make the group more agreeable to Walsh's ideology (a little bit like Ted's cookies but more sophisticated- the chemicals aren't always put on the same food (so one day it might be the roast potatoes, the next day it might be in the fish, etc) this means Willow can't accurately test the food because it would seem to come up clean due to the chemicals not being in one specific food. Buffy doesn't want to eat the food because it "turns her stomach". She puts it down to pregnancy (which she is trying to keep secret until she decides what she wants to do). Riley is assigned to keep an eye on her until she can be thrown out in a way that won't seem suspicious. When her pregnancy is revealed, it is used as the excuse that the work is too dangerous for someone in her condition. However, Xander's change in behaviour eg he's colder and more serious (think soldier Xander crossed with hyena Xander's team focus and lack of empathy) puts Buffy onto the fact that something is amiss and that her pregnancy might not be the sole reason she was thrown out.

Buffy talks to Giles about being pregnant and what it could mean, thinking she can't be both a slayer and a mother. Giles tells her about Nikki Wood.

Buffy confides in Willow when she thinks she's pregnant and we get this exchange:

Buffy: Will, I need to talk to you.

Willow (working on essay): Sure, what’s up?

Buffy: I’m late.

Willow: oh, you going somewhere? I’d love to help but my transportation spells aren’t exactly transporty yet. Only half of you would get there.

Buffy: No, that’s not what I meant. I’m late.

Willow (suddenly realising): Ohhhh, you’re late. Well that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. You’ve been kind of busy lately so it’s not like you’ve had time to-

Buffy: I don’t think that’s something you can schedule, Will. It happens when it’s happens but it’s not happened, that’s what’s worrying me.

Willow: Well…um…you’ve been kind of stressed lately, maybe that’s got something to do with it?

Buffy: You mean like the stress induced nausea I’ve been feeling every morning this week?

Willow: Yeah, oh…. Have you taken a test?

Buffy: No. I’m scared of what it might say.

Willow: But if you are…you know…Isn’t it better to know for sure?

Buffy: But if I am…What do I do? It’s not something I’ve really thought about.

Willow: You’ve got options….

Buffy: Yeah, some options. If the vampires and demons don’t kill me, my mother will. Or Giles. Or both.

Willow: Well let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First we need to make sure you are…you know-

Buffy: Will, just say it. Pregnant. We need to know if I’m pregnant or not.

Willow: Right, we need to know if you are…pregnant…then we can figure out where we go from there… Have you got a test?

Buffy: No. I’ve not had chance to buy one. The initiative is pretty full on then Xander wants to hang out after… Promise me you won’t tell him.

Willow: Why? Oh my god! Is he the father?

Buffy: What? No! How can you think that?

Willow: Then who? Riley?

Buffy: No, it’s Parker.

Willow: Parker? That guy that used you shamelessly then dumped you?

Buffy: Gee, Will, way to make me feel better.

Willow: Sorry, it’s just that…Parker, seriously? Didn’t you guys use protection?

Buffy: Sure we did…I think.

Willow: Buffy….

Buffy: Don’t look at me like that. I’m not saying that we didn’t…just that I don’t remember.

Willow: And why can’t I tell Xander?

Buffy: Because he’ll only lecture me, like he does every time he gets on his high horse. You can’t tell Oz either, I want this kept just between us.

Willow: Ok. Go get a test and we’ll find out whether or not you are... pregnant.

Buffy: Right….Any chance you can buy one for me? I don’t want someone spotting me and this getting around.

Willow: What if someone spots me?

Buffy: You could just say you’re getting it for a friend. You don’t need to name names. Please, Will. I’m begging you.

Willow: Ok…I’ll get it tomorrow.

Buffy: Great…. In the meantime I can worry incessantly on what it’s going to say.

Willow: Fine, I’ll get it now.


Joyce dies via tripping on a toy of Dawn's that got dropped unnoticed and falling down the stairs and breaking her neck/cracking her head open. It would be completely out of the blue.

Buffy struggles with being a mother after being resurrected and without Joyce's support. The lack of sleep and Dawn's constant crying leads Buffy to just walking out the house and down the street before she breaks down in tears. After a good cry, she decides to return home, only to find Dawn gone. Angel comes over and comforts Buffy. He smells Drusilla's scent in Dawn's room though he doesn't share this fact with Buffy. He tracks Dru down and find her playing with the baby but makes her give it back much to her displeasure. As a result of the incident, Buffy admits to her friends about how she's been struggling to cope with Dawn so the scoobies offer to help out. Tara and Willow enjoy it and idly muse about what it would be like if they had kids of their own, Giles struggles because his place isn't child friendly and Dawn gets into everything (she'd be about 18 months by this point in a season 6), whilst Xander and Anya enjoy it but Anya's talk of having babies of their own puts Xander on edge. He likes the idea f having kids one day but Anya's already scheduling it for shortly after they're married.

Buffy sacrifices herself to save Dawn at the end of Season 5.

Dawn cries whenever Kennedy is near her.


Opportunities with Foster Kid Dawn:

She would be MT Dawn age but act like it (and be able to eat ice cream properly)

Buffy would be jealous of this new person in her life who has mother/daughter like relationship with Joyce that Buffy herself never had (because of her slaying duties) despite being Joyce's actual daughter.

Dawn would still feel a sense of isolation and alienation. She would feel like Buffy doesn't want her there.

Social services would be keeping an eye on the Summers home in relation to Dawn, just to ensure she's settling in and that things are going well. After Joyce's death, social services are keeping a closer watch to ensure things are still running smoothly. This puts added pressure on Buffy after her resurrection.

Dawn starts stealing and shoplifting because she is trying to help Buffy with their money problems. This causes trouble when Dawn sells something on that she stole from the magic box.

Dawn would be less whiny and more guarded. She bonds with Tara over their pre-Sunnydale experiences though she doesn't spill chapter and verse, it would be more of just snippets.

Dawn wouldn't be created by the monks. She would've been a normal girl that the key was attached to at random (the monks logic being that with billions of people in the world, Glory would find it to be like looking for a needle in a haystack (The fact that Glory is in town as well as Dawn is purely coincidental in the way coincidences happen on the show). Glory has a time limit on when she can use the key otherwise it's useless. The energy begins to weaken the moment it is attached to Dawn because it's no longer "pure energy", Dawn's blood is still the way to opening the portal. Eventually all the key energy evaporates from Dawn and she is just a normal girl.

Dawn finds out that Buffy is the slayer which she thinks is cool.

Dawn begins to fancy Spike much to Buffy's worry and starts subtly copying him eg starts wearing black nail varnish and a leather jacket.

Dawn will get on with some potentials and not with others. She and Kennedy clash a lot.

Dawn puts up more of a fight against Glory.


Which version do you think would provide the most story opportunities especially in regards to other characters?
 

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#2
Personally, I'm not a fan of either (sorry, I'm no help, I know) but I just wanted to pop by and say this; if Dawn is Joyce's foster child, and only was so for a short time, why does Buffy gain custody of her after Joyce's death? I feel like that's highly unlikely, even on a TV show.
 
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#3
Personally, I'm not a fan of either (sorry, I'm no help, I know) but I just wanted to pop by and say this; if Dawn is Joyce's foster child, and only was so for a short time, why does Buffy gain custody of her after Joyce's death? I feel like that's highly unlikely, even on a TV show.
If Joyce doesn't die until Season 6 then Dawn would've been living at the Summers residence for a whole year. I honestly don't know how social services and fostering works in America so that is something I'd have to google, but I don't think social services would uproot Dawn from somewhere where she's settled when there is still an adult member (Buffy) of her foster family to look after her. Also as a teenager, I think Dawn may be in a difficult age range to get fostered because people tend to prefer fostering younger children so I can't see social services wanting to take Dawn away from somewhere where she's happy and stick her back in limbo whilst they try and find a new foster family. I honestly don't know.
 
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#4
Suppose Joyce and Hank were godparents to Dawn, whose parents they were friends with in Los Angeles. Dawn's parents are killed (maybe by a vampire) and Dawn goes to live with her Godparents as agreed except now it's just Joyce. The monks know the slayer will be the best protector for her and transfer the power of the Key to Dawn who is totally unaware of it. There would be no change to the story except that it circumvents adoption and all the red tape that goes along with it or a Buffy pregnancy that would be a whole lot of writing and rewriting to justify why it happened. It could be a mystical pregnancy or one that occurred while she was under a spell much like the Trio tried with Katrina in order to deflect any criticism that it's just bimbo Buffy losing at pregnancy roulette. It also allows Child Protective Services to be the same threat it is in the story.

Of course, the right answer for the monks would have been to transfer the power of the Key to a bicycle pump in a junkyard, where Glory could never find it.
 
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#5
Suppose Joyce and Hank were godparents to Dawn, whose parents they were friends with in Los Angeles. Dawn's parents are killed (maybe by a vampire) and Dawn goes to live with her Godparents as agreed except now it's just Joyce. The monks know the slayer will be the best protector for her and transfer the power of the Key to Dawn who is totally unaware of it. There would be no change to the story except that it circumvents adoption and all the red tape that goes along with it or a Buffy pregnancy that would be a whole lot of writing and rewriting to justify why it happened. It could be a mystical pregnancy or one that occurred while she was under a spell much like the Trio tried with Katrina in order to deflect any criticism that it's just bimbo Buffy losing at pregnancy roulette. It also allows Child Protective Services to be the same threat it is in the story.
I never thought of that. It would avoid all the red tape like you said and be more of a sudden intrusion in Buffy's life rather than something she should've been prepared for eg baby or something Joyce should've told her about eg fostering. Joyce could go visit them at Thanksgiving which would be the groundwork set up without it needing to be a big part of the story. Thing is, godparents are not the same as legal guardians so Joyce wouldn't automatically get custody of Dawn. I'll think on it and see if I can build on that idea. Thanks :)

The vote looks like it's going to be exceedingly close so it's not like one idea is the clear winner.
 
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#8
With Parker? Why do you hate Buffy? 🤢
Lol. I don't hate Buffy but Parker was the only viable possibility within the timeframe. Also, given the fact the he would want nothing to do with a potential baby, it means that it is completely Buffy's choice whether she keeps the baby or not. Had the father been someone like Riley, then he would put pressure on her to keep the baby in order to make him happy despite it perhaps not being something Buffy wants. It should be her body, her rules. However Riley's controlling nature (and I do believe there is canon evidence of it, even though it is not acknowledged as such) would mean Buffy would feel obligated to carry on the pregnancy or else he would look at her with revulsion if she terminated which is not particularly a route I'd want to go down.

I quite like @Ethan Reigns idea in that it gives the positives of the foster child idea (which seems to be winning the poll) whilst avoiding the red tape that Joyce would have to go through. Rather than godparents, I'm thinking that Joyce has an old school friend with the surname Summers (basically so Dawn can have the same surname). Although it sounds a little too coincidental, a) Joyce wouldn't have been Summers whilst at school and b} I actually went to school with two people who had the same last name but were unrelated so it's not impossible. Joyce's friend wouldn't be related to Hank either. Anyways, Joyce and her friend long ago agreed to be the legal guardians of each other's children and filled out the paperwork but time and distance made seeing each other difficult so now they only stay in contact via Christmas cards and the occasional visit. Joyce's friend is killed in a car crash which Dawn survives so Dawn is sent to live with Joyce since she is her legal guardian.

If anyone has any specifics on the legal guardianship process in America and wants to share, it would be greatly appreciated eg would Dawn automatically go to Joyce after her mother's death or will there have to be a court case? Can Dawn move states if she lives in one and her legal guardian lives in another or do they have to be in the same state?
 
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#9
It really depends on the judge. Not all judges or cops here in the States are the same level of competent.

There's a famous case of social services not doing anything for a 7 year old girl (they knew what was happening since she was 4) who spent her entire life up to that point trapped in solitary confinement in a dark cockroach filled room the size of a walk-in-closet, never taught to walk or talk, still in diapers, fed with a bottle, head full of lice, never talked to or held. Her mom's punishment? Two years house arrest and probation.
 
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#10
@ Deadlyduo , sounds like main idea for this rough outline of a story board is Buffy as mother/parent and not so much mystical stuff. I say leave Dawn out and give Buffy a different name for the baby. If the setting is S4 readers know this is alternative fic and won't be thinking about "what is buffy gonna do when Dawn arrives in S5" they know its fic Skip the convoluted plot of how Buffy get custody of a foster child for sure . Make the baby if it has to be the key Buffy's and use whatever name you want.


Brainstorm: As a prophecy explanation for the supernatural key orgins Angel could also be candidate for father.
 
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#11
Dawn was "born" 9 months after Buffy had unprotected sex with human Angel in I Will Remember You.
 

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#12
Dawn was "born" 9 months after Buffy had unprotected sex with human Angel in I Will Remember You.
It's a nice theory, and since I suppose it is fanfiction you can make it work. But the truth is, Buffy's memory wasn't erased, the day was swallowed. So they never actually had sex, Angel just remembered it that way.
 
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#13
I like @Ethan Reigns reasoning but - if you don't mind me saying - I find this worrying.
Joyce dies via tripping on a toy of Dawn's that got dropped unnoticed and falling down the stairs and breaking her neck/cracking her head open. It would be completely out of the blue.
The way the TV series is set up, Joyce's death is the most traumatic event of Buffy's life. She's haunted by the fact she couldn't save Joyce and that things went unsaid between them. If Dawn's her daughter, then having Buffy indirectly responsible for her mother's death seems unbelievably cruel to me (I'm not sure whether you intend this or not). At least in the series Buffy's forewarned things could go wrong so she's partly prepared. It's less of a problem if Dawn's not Buffy's child - it opens up a different dynamic.
 
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#14
@Meliza If Buffy was going to have a baby that was the key, then she might as well call it Dawn otherwise you have a character serving Dawn's purpose, and playing Dawn's role in all but name.

I like @Ethan Reigns reasoning but - if you don't mind me saying - I find this worrying.

The way the TV series is set up, Joyce's death is the most traumatic event of Buffy's life. She's haunted by the fact she couldn't save Joyce and that things went unsaid between them. If Dawn's her daughter, then having Buffy indirectly responsible for her mother's death seems unbelievably cruel to me (I'm not sure whether you intend this or not). At least in the series Buffy's forewarned things could go wrong so she's partly prepared. It's less of a problem if Dawn's not Buffy's child - it opens up a different dynamic.
I wouldn't say Buffy would be indirectly responsible for Joyce's death just because it was Dawn's toy that she tripped on. That's almost like blaming Buffy for having a kid. It would be purely accidental and unforeseen.

Joyce's death would only be a certainty if Dawn was a baby because of how it would effect Buffy by have that support system taken away. If Dawn was older, then at the very least Joyce would survive longer to build up that emotional relationship.
 
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#15
I wouldn't say Buffy would be indirectly responsible for Joyce's death just because it was Dawn's toy that she tripped on. That's almost like blaming Buffy for having a kid. It would be purely accidental and unforeseen.
No - I wouldn't blame Buffy. Do I think Buffy (as she's written in the series) is capable of (unconsciously) blaming herself - yes, I do. The flashback at the beginning of The Body is - I think - an involuntary memory. There's no indication that Buffy herself is aware of it. However, I think it's there partly because of Joyce's joke about Buffy being a "demon child", a remark, I think, which has lodged in Buffy's unconscious. It mirrors Dracula's remark at the beginning of the season (in fact, chronologically speaking it might preempt it. IDK). Joyce slipping because she's wearing backless slippers (for instance) would carry fewer connotations.
 
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#16
The only reason I'd be up for that Parker is the Dad storyline is because it might give proper closure to the season 4 saga. As in this time Buffy might stand up to him and make it clear what a loser he is and why her life is better without creeps like that!:mad:
 
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#17
I wouldn't say Buffy would be indirectly responsible for Joyce's death just because it was Dawn's toy that she tripped on. That's almost like blaming Buffy for having a kid.
If I were Buffy in that scenario then that is exactly how I would feel for the rest of my life. The guilt would be unbearable. And I'd think other people were blaming me too - whether they were or not. Guilty consciences don't always follow logic.

I think I prefer the foster idea - being the slayer has already stolen too much of Buffy's life away from her, without her having to be a teenaged single mother as well.
 
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#18
It's a nice theory, and since I suppose it is fanfiction you can make it work. But the truth is, Buffy's memory wasn't erased, the day was swallowed. So they never actually had sex, Angel just remembered it that way.
The semi-canon comics ended the debate in the s9 finale The Core when magic is restored and Willow has to redo the monk's spell to anchor Dawn's existence and uses Buffy's blood.

Before that, the theory holds. If Angel's memories could survive the reversal, so could something else. Angel's memories are real and they can only be real if what happened in the memories is real. On the Xena Warrior Princess episode When Fates Collide Xena & Gabrielle still have underlining love for each other and feel the wrongness of the rewound world. Since Caesar cut the fate cords and altered the past, it didn't exist. But they still felt it because it was the true timeline. In I Will Remember You the Oracles messed with the original timeline which seemed to be a destined event what with the souled vampire from the Shanshu prophecy being turned human for the first time since he was sired in 1753. And Doyle had a vision of Buffy on a random patrol instead of it showing the Chumash siege, it was to get Angel to Sunnydale so Buffy would them come to LA to confront Angel the exact minute the Mohra demon attacked.

And it's too coincidental that the very next time Angel has sex after IWRY (15 months later) he ends up impregnating a 400 years barren soulless vampire because he won the trials but then she got resired before she could be healed of syphillus so he's owed a life and it means even though she's a soulless vampire again she can carry one pregnancy to term before having to stake herself for the child to be born. An entire person & soul was created and the person he was competing to save had to kill herself.

That's way more convoluted than human Angel impregnated human Buffy and you can't just reverse a new soul that was created from their union.
 
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#19
If I were Buffy in that scenario then that is exactly how I would feel for the rest of my life. The guilt would be unbearable. And I'd think other people were blaming me too - whether they were or not. Guilty consciences don't always follow logic.
I could see Buffy feeling guilty that she wasn't there and that if she had been maybe things would've been different, but to make her feel guilty that it was Dawn's toy that Joyce tripped on and if she hadn't had Dawn then Joyce would still be alive because then the toy would never have been there is a bit much.
 
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#20
This is Buffy we're talking about. For someone who makes so few missteps and has never gone to the dark side or outright betrayed anyone, she is a huge self-blamer.

No matter how a death happens, it will in some way be partially her fault.
 
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