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Opinions Wanted

Would you rather Dawn be......

  • Buffy's biological baby daughter

    Votes: 4 26.7%
  • Joyce's Foster daughter

    Votes: 11 73.3%

  • Total voters
    15

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
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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.
I still think it would be treading too close to implying that Buffy is at fault for having a kid.
 
Joined
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I agree with Neon slayer - Buffy is very hard on herself. But even reading your description of what was going to happen to Joyce, my immediate thought was 'so that was Buffy's fault.' Obviously it's a horrible accident, and it's just one of those things - but at the end of the day, her kid's toys shouldn't be lying around the house in dangerous places. And she would spend the rest of her life thinking 'If only I'd picked that up. I shouldn't have left that there.' And she would be assuming that everyone else was thinking she shouldn't have left it there too. And if my reaction is anything to go by - they would be. Because everyone knows it is dangerous to leave things lying around on the stairs - and there is no excuse. If Joyce fell and hurt herself badly, but didn't die - she would be angry that the toy had been left there. Imagine falling over something that someone has carelessly left out in a place they shouldn't be (baby Dawn should not be playing on the stairs - nor should she be going up and down them unsupervised - if she has left something on the stairs it is because Buffy failed to move it, or wasn't looking after her properly) wouldn't you be angry with them for being so thoughtless? So if Joyce died of course Buffy would blame herself. And even if you don't explicitly make a thing of how guilty she feels - your readers certainly might blame her, and would definitely wonder why she wasn't beating herself up - as that is her nature.

But the fact is - Dawn's toy shouldn't have been there. If Buffy was responsible for watching Dawn - then it is her fault when Dawn makes a mess, or goes places she shouldn't. And if an accident happens as a result of something awn does whilst in Buffy's care - that is Buffy's responsibility.

The only way it could possibly work would be if Joyce were carrying Dawn up to bed. Dawn dropped the toy accidentally on the way up - and, after putting Dawn down, Joyce goes back to retrieve it, but trips and falls instead. But she is far less likely to trip over a toy that she knows is there, so it might lack believability. . And even then ... Buffy would think 'why didn't I take Dawn up? Why didn't I go and pick that toy up? I could have stopped all this if i'd just done my job as a mother properly.' That's just human nature - and Buffy's nature in particular.

It isn't about 'if I'd never had Dawn...' (though in her harder moments she might think that) it's about 'why didn't I tidy up after my kid properly? My carelessness led to my mother dying.'
 
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I still think it would be treading too close to implying that Buffy is at fault for having a kid.
It isn't about guilting her for having a kid - it is about her not parenting that child properly. That is where her guilt would lie. That is where others (and your readers) would blame her. Not the existence of Dawn - the existence of the toy on the stairs. Whether or not that is reasonable (everyone makes mistakes, everyone leaves things lying around) doesn't matter - it is how she would feel. It is how I would feel in her position - and it is what I would think about someone else if their perfectly reasonable mistake led to the untimely death of someone I loved (Don't even get me started on my sister opening a door in the dead of night to go to the outdoor bin (completely unnecessarily, it could have waited til morning) and letting the cat escape into the pitch black. She was hit by a car (my sister lived by a very busy road - hence why the cat was always kept safely indoors after dark). I tell my sister I don't blame her ... I'm lying. That was 5 years ago - I'm still angry just thinking about the stupidity. Even though the new cat is so very beautiful, and we wouldn't have her if we still had the old cat. Replace a cat with a mother and ... that's a lot of anger and a lot of guilt.)
 

NeonSlayer

Potential
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It's sad that even on the series Buffy blamed herself for her mom's death. She told Angel "If I had only gotten there 10 minutes sooner" and that she hadn't confessed to her friends that the doctor said it *might* not have made a difference which to Buffy meant that there was a chance it might've and so it's her fault for not going home sooner.

In The Body one of the paramedics whispered "She's already cold." 10 minutes wouldn't have changed anything.
 

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
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The only way it could possibly work would be if Joyce were carrying Dawn up to bed. Dawn dropped the toy accidentally on the way up - and, after putting Dawn down, Joyce goes back to retrieve it, but trips and falls instead. But she is far less likely to trip over a toy that she knows is there, so it might lack believability.
That was the idea. Joyce realises Dawn has dropped the toy but she doesn't realise that it's been dropped on the stairs so when she goes downstairs to retrieve it, she trips on it. There was nothing Buffy or anyone could've done to avoid it.
 

NeonSlayer

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I work in the YPL (children, under 18) section of a public library. There are a lot of toys for the toddlers and they always leave them everywhere. I spend an hour just picking up items (toys, books, dvds, cds, magazines) patrons left on the floor.

Legos. Magnetic letters. Fake food pieces. Dolls. Dry erase boards. The list goes on.
 
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That was the idea. Joyce realises Dawn has dropped the toy but she doesn't realise that it's been dropped on the stairs so when she goes downstairs to retrieve it, she trips on it. There was nothing Buffy or anyone could've done to avoid it.
That works fine then, sorry - it wasn't clear from your original post that the Joyce was aware the toy was dropped and was going to retrieve it, it sounded more like the toy was just lying around - which absolutely happens everyday in houses with small children ... but if it ever resulted in death would lead to major guilt from anybody who could potentially have picked it up and averted it. Though even in this scenario Buffy would still beat herself up over not fining it first - she's Buffy it's what she does.

I work in the YPL (children, under 18) section of a public library. There are a lot of toys for the toddlers and they always leave them everywhere. I spend an hour just picking up items (toys, books, dvds, cds, magazines) patrons left on the floor.

Legos. Magnetic letters. Fake food pieces. Dolls. Dry erase boards. The list goes on.
I bet you don't leave items big enough to fall over lying around on stairs though. If you did - and one of the patrons fell...
Mess with young children is fine. Mess in a dangerous place is, well, dangerous. And the responsible adult is responsible for that.
 

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
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I've come up with an idea for Dawn in my fanfic so let me know your opinions. :)

Dawn is Buffy's cousin, her dad is Hank's brother. Joyce and Dawn's mother became very good friends during Joyce's marriage to Hank and that friendship continues after the divorce (but they can't see each other all the time because they live in different states eg Joyce is in Sunnydale whilst Dawn's mother lives in Portland in Oregon). However, Dawn's home life is very much like Xander's (hence why she develops a crush on him because she feels that he "gets" her), Dawn's father is not a nice guy (which is why Joyce never liked him) and is physically abusive to Dawn's mother (though not to Dawn however she does witness the domestic abuse). After a particularly nasty incident, Dawn's mother and Dawn travel down to Sunnydale and take refuge with Joyce for a little while (Joyce was unaware of the domestic violence and encourages Dawn's mother to leave Dawn's dad to which she agrees). Dawn's mother also names Joyce as a legal guardian for Dawn should anything happen to her. A couple of weeks go by, and eventually Dawn and her mother head back to Portland because Dawn has school there). Unfortunately, as is the case with many domestic abuse relationships, Dawn's mother takes her husband back after he promises to change and all is well for a few days but inevitably the abuse starts again. This all happens "off screen".

Joyce gets a call one day and has to urgently travel up to Portland. She doesn't really give a reason to Buffy and Buffy has other things to worry about. A few days later, Joyce returns with Dawn in tow and tells Buffy that Dawn will be living with them from now on. It turns out that Dawn's dad shot her mother in a fit of rage and has been arrested for murder. Since Joyce was named legal guardian, she is now responsible for Dawn.

Buffy is sympathetic at first, however after a while she starts to find Dawn's presence annoying (as she is back in the closet as the slayer) but feels like she can't say anything because of what happened. Dawn's behaviour as a result of what happened is not great, she's kind of defensive and stand offish, maybe blames herself for not stopping what happened (despite there being nothing she could've done), she has a lot of anger that is misdirected at herself and others and it makes her kind of bratty.

Dawn is jealous of Buffy because Buffy seems to have it all- friends, a mother, a boyfriend, confidence, etc. I haven't yet decided on whether or not to make Graham Buffy's half brother from Hank having an earlier affair (since the actors look alike) but Dawn would be jealous of that as well. Since Spike and Joyce have been spending time together watching Passions, Dawn believes Spike is a really nice guy. One evening after an argument with Buffy, Dawn runs out of the house and into the night before Buffy can stop her. Buffy chases after but loses her and has to call the scoobies to form a search party. Joyce isn't happy with Buffy and calls the police to file a missing persons report. Buffy and the scoobies go out to search for Dawn before she ends up getting herself killed. In the meantime, Dawn has wound up in the company of Spike and a chipped Drusilla where Dru makes a comment about Dawn being "all shiny and bright". It's waved off as Dru just being Dru.

Eventually Xander finds Dawn and dislikes Spike referring to Dawn as "Nibblet" (given the fact that Spike is unchipped and Xander thinks it's a veiled threat). Xander returns Dawn home where Buffy berates her for running off and warns her to stay away from Spike and Dru (whilst trying not to reveal the truth about vampires) which annoys Dawn because she can tell Buffy is hiding something from her.

Glory rocks up in town looking for her key and Angel turns up in Sunnydale to assist Buffy with fighting Glory. He brings Darla with him to prevent Wolfram and Heart getting their hands on her. Wesley and Cordelia are holding the fort in LA. Darla wants to be re-sired and thinks she can get Dru to do it but Dru's chip prevents that. Spike point blank refuses so Darla has to enlist Dru to "persuade" him. Spike agrees on condition that he is in charge of the group. Darla agrees but was obviously never going to let things stay that way. Darla sees an opportunity to form a power partnership with Glory. One of Glory's minions who is aged and blind and a little bit mad has the ability to track the key's energy signature which has led them to Sunnydale. However, the minion dies of age. Glory knows her key is a person but doesn't know who (the monks just attached the key to a random person in the world which coincidentally happened to be Dawn). Darla figures out that she could use Dru to help Glory find her key in exchange for Glory helping Darla take control of Sunnydale. However Spike decides that he'd rather Dru spend her time with him just to spite Darla. Dru enjoys the attention. Darla knows she can use Dru for her own ends but has to manipulate Dru into manipulating Spike just to keep him out of the way.

Darla takes Dru for some bonding sessions eg shopping and to the cinema so that Dru is more likely to listen to her. It seems to work and Darla decides to introduce Dru to Glory (Dru isn't old the full story, just that Glory is a "friend" and is looking for a lost item). She tells Dru that she can't say anything to Spike as it's their "secret". Of course with Dru being Dru, when Spike asks her conversationally what she got up to whilst she was out, she replies "Shhh, it's a secret" which piques his interest. He then convinces her to tell him which she does.

Darla is angry with Dru for telling Spike about Glory as Spike is now suspicious of what she's up to. Ordering Dru to spend as much time with Spike as possible so that he loses interest in Darla's plan, Darla employs a new tactic. She goes to Angel and tells him that she wants to redeem herself, that being a vampire isn't as fun as she remembered. Angel is sceptical at first but is lured by the idea that if Darla can achieve redemption then she can help Dru achieve redemption too. Angel deeply regrets what he did to Dru so he feels that helping Dru will absolve him of some of his guilt. Darla makes sure to keep Angel and Sprusilla apart since if Angel goes in talking about redemption then Spike is likely to spill the beans on what's really going on. Darla uses her "redemption" attempt to get close to Angel, not only to find out what he and the scoobies know about the key, but also with the intention of turning him back into Angelus. Buffy isn't keen on Darla's presence.

Darla arranges secret meetings with Glory where she updates Glory on her progress. Glory is getting fed up of waiting for results but Darla promises she'll have something soon. Meanwhile Glory has beaten up a demon which allows Darla to take over that demon's territory in Sunnydale. It's small but its a start and comes with the demon's lackeys. New of this spreads round the demon community and Clem informs Spike of this which again raises his suspicions. He wonders what Darla is getting Dru involved in.

Angel and Buffy start getting close again platonically which worries the scoobies and irritates Darla. She seeks out Glory. The two women have actually begun to develop a friendship and spend the evening drinking wine and complaining about their problems. On her way back to the crypt, she sees Dawn wandering the streets (having climbed out the bedroom window unnoticed) and being trailed by another vampire. Darla lets him get close enough to attack Dawn before fighting him off. Dawn is grateful and Darla takes her back to the crypt, making Dawn feel like she can trust her. Dru makes another comment about Dawn and Darla suspects that Dawn is the key. Spike ask Dru to elaborate but Darla interrupts and changes the subject. She waits an hour before telling Dawn she'll walk her home. Darla say she has to visit a friend first and takes Dawn with her. Darla talks privately with Glory and tells her that she suspects Dawn is the key. Glory is pleased by this. However, she can't use Dawn just yet and tells Darla to keep an eye on her until the time is right.

That's all I've got so far.
 

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
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New idea for Dawn.:

She is Hank's daughter from another affair when Buffy was 6. Whereas Hank didn't stay in touch with Graham or his mother (an affair before Buffy was born) after they moved, he did financially support (unbeknown to Joyce and Buffy) Dawn and her mother and even visited regularly when he was away on "business trips". After the summer between Seasons 1 and 2 , when the dust settled on the divorce, Hank has been living with Dawn and her mother outside of LA.

Dawn's mother dies in a car crash and Hank is forced to take full custody of Dawn and is essentially now a single father. He arrives back in Sunnydale with Dawn in tow, seeking a reconciliation with Joyce.
 

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
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I'm actually thinking of not including Dawn at all in my fanfic because she makes Buffy come across as quite bitchy in Season 5 and Buffy was never bitchy normally. If Buffy ever was bitchy, it was normally because there was something wrong.

Graham could be the key instead and be Buffy's brother since he and Hank look quite alike.
 
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