Chapter 1: Model Girl
Dawn straightened in her seat as the announcer introduced the next skater to take the ice. "Hey Buffy, it's the one I was telling you about. Casey Carlyle? She's about my age. The program says she only started competitively skating in the last couple of years, but she's already good enough to maybe qualify for the next Olympics."
Buffy heard the wistfulness of buried dreams in Dawn's voice, and wondered briefly what Dawn had wanted to grow up to be before the Hellmouth had swallowed their lives whole and set the younger Summers girl's feet on the eventual path to Watcher-hood. She couldn't remember ever asking. Long-term plans had somehow never seemed as important as surviving each day as it came.
"It seems kind of weird, you know," she said, smiling fondly at her sister, "you knowing more about the skaters than I do. You made so much fun of me back when I worshipped Dorothy Hammill and made Mom put ice skating on when you wanted to watch cartoons."
Dawn took a long draw on her soft drink as the music for Casey Carlyle's short program began to play. In contrast to the vaguely boring classic-y stuff most of the others had skated to, she had chosen Madonna's "Ray of Light", one of Dawn's own favorite songs. "Of course I made fun of you," she said, tapping her foot in time with the music, "it's a little-sister privilege, and you were being mean anyway." She grinned. "But seriously, all I had to do was read the program; all your old favorites grew up and went pro, or retired. Skaters have a pretty short shelf-life."
Buffy chose to ignore that comment, and the comparison that begged to be made with the career she'd ended up with. "So, if this one's just started competing, what did she do before hand?"
"Physics, if you can believe it. She could have gotten into Harvard if she wanted to, but she chose to skate instead... Ooh!"
"Yeah, nice triple-triple combo," Buffy said, admiring the girl's talent. She herself had never gotten much beyond the circling-the-pond, single-jump basics that would have required too much money and time to cultivate to a competitive level. Automatically, she glanced up at the score-board/screen hanging overhead, watching for the moment to replay as it always did on TV when something impressive happened.
The screen wasn't displaying the replay yet, but it was showing something else: a close-up shot of Casey Carlyle's determined features, her big blue eyes accented with a little dramatic eye-shadow and her hair knotted up off her shoulders in a careful arrangement. Buffy blinked at her image, startled by the suddenly-apparent resemblance, then turned to the girl at her side in disbelief.
She'd wondered once or twice about the 'made from Buffy' thing, whether the monks had decided an identical clone might be suspicious-looking, and where they'd found the model for the Dawn-image they'd used instead.
Braniac turned ice princess, she thought. How strangely appropriate.
Chapter 2: Totally Her Turn
"That was what," Dawn said thoughtfully, "a lutz-toeloop combination? Been awhile since I paid much attention to the specifics..."
Her ramblings were cut short by a sudden intake of breath, and Buffy, staring up at the giant TV hanging above the ice, could guess why: Dawn must have noticed the same thing Buffy had. Well, it would have been kind of strange if she hadn't; the close-up of Casey Carlyle's face was displayed up on the monitor for everyone to see, and Dawn certainly hogged the bathroom mirror enough to recognize her own face when she saw it.
Buffy shook off her own shock and broke her gaze away to check on her sister. It had been a couple of years since Dawn's last freak-out on the subject of springing forth fully-formed like some modern-day Athena, but then again, it had been a couple years since their last blatant reminder, too. "Looks like those monks had good taste," she said weakly. "Wonder where they met her?"
Dawn swallowed, then looked down to meet Buffy's stare, eyes a little wide and white around the edges. "Who knows?" she said shakily. "But yeah, they totally did. I mean, look at us, we're gorgeous." She managed a smile, then swallowed and turned back to the rink, following the young skater's path intently across the ice. "They say everyone has a double out there somewhere, right? This isn't, like, some shapeshifter demon plot? Tell me this isn't a Tuesday."
"Unless you got hit by a ferula gemina and somehow forgot to tell me," Buffy reassured her, "then yeah; I'm pretty sure she's the normal one here. And it's a Friday, remember? No school tomorrow. We can try to get a signature later, though, if you want me to get a closer look?"
Dawn laughed shakily in reply. "No, that's all right," she said. "Go figure, I find my double and she just so happens to be a figure skater. Talk about blow to my ego."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Buffy pouted. "She's a figure skater. I only wish I had a figure skating double."
The whine served its purpose; Dawn rolled her eyes at her sister, her color improving visibility from her earlier shock. "I've seen your tapes of Kate Moseley, you know," she said, teasingly. "It was totally my turn."
Buffy made a scoffing noise and turned her attention back to the ice. Far below, Casey had just nailed another triple jump, wending toward the end of her routine. "I don't know what you're talking about," she said, haughtily. "Kate Moseley was a pairs skater, and we look nothing alike. And of course I watched her skate, she and Doug Dorsey medalled in two Olympics in a row. They were amazing."
"I'm talking Calgary Kate, not Albertville or Lillehammer," Dawn scoffed in return. "She might as well have been a single skater, as much bitch as she carried around in her leotards. She went through people like Kleenex. Kind of like a certain cheerleader I used to know?"
"Hey!" Buffy flushed in embarrassment, glancing around to see if anyone was listening. "I resembled that remark!"
"You know it's true," Dawn said smugly, then elbowed her back and gave her a considerably softer smile. "You've kind of grown on me, though. Like fungus."
"Thanks-- I think," Buffy replied. "Buffy-- the Fungus Slayer. Has kind of a nice ring to it."
"Dork," Dawn giggled, then shook her head and turned her attention back to the rink.
Buffy smiled at her fondly, reassured, then followed her sister's gaze as the next skater took the ice.