Never quite figured out who owns the Buffyverse, but I know for a fact that it's not me. Let's just go with 'not mine' and leave it as that.Summary:
Everyone deserves to have that special someone to brighten up their life. But how do you find that person when you're a reincarnated God-King?Joe's Note:
People liked Oriens!Dawn and so I wrote this up to serve as the jumping-off point for a crossover fic. It just took me forever and a day to figure out what I wanted it to cross the story over with.
Dawn Summers leaned against the wrought iron railing of her room's balcony, staring down at the Slayers practicing in the courtyard with a look of supreme disinterest on her face. While it had been cool to watch girls her age jump higher and move faster than the best Olympic athletes, the novelty had quickly worn off. Nowadays, it was about as exciting as painting her nails… which she didn't need to do anymore, but the analogy still worked.
Speaking of… she was a bit bored with green at the moment. Concentrating for a moment, she flicked her wrist and watched her nails turn from a bright green that matched her fishnet stockings to a deeper, emerald green. No, still not right. Dawn frowned and repeated the gesture a few times, cycling through more shades of green and a few deeper shades of red before finally settling on glossy black nails. The autumn air brushed over her skin and she instinctively shivered, preparing to morph her tank top and skirt into something more appropriate for the season, before catching herself and snorting. Duhh. She wasn't really cold. And she wasn't really wearing clothes, either.
There was a slight buzz of familiar power against the back of her mind and then a pair of arms encircled her from behind, hands resting beside hers on the balcony railing as a body brushed against her back and a chin came to rest on her shoulder. Despite the intimacy of the position, the unyielding hardness of the body against hers utterly destroyed the attempt to portray casual behavior. A snicker slipped from her lips as Dawn turned her head a bit to the left, looking at her companion. Illyria stared back, giving Dawn a look that, with nearly two years of experience in interpreting the bluenette's facial expressions, she translated to mean 'I hate you for making me do this and I want to rip out your spine'. "It's your own fault, you know. Wesley and Spike are gone now; there's nobody to be upset if you use Winifred's memories to help make this easier on yourself."
"I already look like the shell because of the butchery of my resurrection rite." Scowling, Illyria looked away from Dawn and stared down at the practicing Slayers, likely more for lack of somewhere better to look than out of genuine interest in the teenage warriors. "Being trapped in this body is irritating enough. Humans are weak, pitiful muck. I have no desire to portray myself as a particularly weak, nervous, babbling specimen of muck."
Dawn groaned and rolled her eyes at that. "First of all, stop calling them muck. You don't rule the world anymore; they do. And if they wanted to put their mind to it, they could kill you. Wesley weakened you before his death, remember? If it wasn't for Willow and me, you'd still be like that. And secondly, what if Erycina inhabits a nervous, babbling person? Or one of our feelers pans out and we can reincarnate her properly, but that's how her human form emerges?"
Of course, her mother had an answer for that one as well. "Then I will tear her human shell apart so the energy within might escape and repeat the process until the new form that coalesces from the original's remains is to my liking." Eww. And control freak much? Before Dawn could respond, Illyria's eyes narrowed and she glared down at the Slayers in the yard. "The muck are staring at us again."
Opening her mouth to chastise Illyria again for her word choice, Dawn looked down and closed it. Sure enough, three of the newly arrived Slayers hadn't gotten the memo from their elders about 'the scary ones' and were staring up at them as their mouths moved rapidly; one even had the gall to point. The treatment, like the Slayers' abilities, was something Dawn was well and truly used to and bored with by now.
The whispers had started two weeks after Dawn had arrived from Rome and chosen to room with Illyria… and the comment Illyria had made a few days later about how there was 'no sleeping in the room that inhabited'. Even Faith and Xander had been quick to believe that they were lovers, and that fact was why Buffy and Dawn had fought and Dawn had chosen to leave Rome to relocate to Cleveland.
The truth did involve Illyria, but no sex.
Like Illyria, Dawn was an Old One. While the core Scoobies knew that she was 'The Key of Dimensions', none of them had known that 'They Key' was really the disembodied energy form of Oriens, the Snake Goddess. Probably because Dawn doubted either the Knights of Byzantium or the Order of Dagon had known, meaning there was nowhere for the Scoobies to read it when researching her, but that was neither here nor there in the end.
Illyria, however, had recognized her instantly when the Slayers had descended en masse on Los Angeles to help turn the tide of the battle that had cost Angel, Spike, Gunn, and Wesley their lives. To say that Buffy had been less than pleased to find out her 'bratty little sister' was in reality the same type of being as the monstrous God-King that had given her 'the wiggiest wiggins ever' was an understatement. She had even gone so far as forbidding Dawn to contact Illyria… which had resulted in a large fight that had destroyed large portions of their shared home in Rome and Dawn leaving Italy to return to America. After all, she had family in either country, but only one of them seemed willing to not only accept who she truly was, but teach her more about who that being was.
Summon up a slightly larger fraction of her powers than what changing her nails had required, Dawn released the facade she wore to blend in with the others and shifted into her 'real' form. It had taken her weeks to get a handle on how to access and utilize her power without a visible aura of leaked energy springing up around her, but now she could do most things without turning into a human glowstick. As she glared down at the Slayers, she felt her clothes shift into scaly black armor that, while similar in design to Illyria's, was still uniquely her own. At the same time, she could feel the tingling in her scalp as green streaks grew into her long black mane. Next came the itching along her scalp and throat as her glossy green scales emerged and then the entire world erupted in shades of green as her eyes marked the end of her transformation.
The Slayerlettes flinched and looked away, which made Dawn smirk victoriously. Like Illyria's icy blue eyes, her neon green gaze was enough to make even Willow in full on Resolve Face flinch and look away. Plus, they gave her the handy ability to see the auras around supernatural beings… and it made the whole world look like that Paris Hilton porno she'd downloaded.
Just out of morbid curiosity, of course. Because even if Dawn was inclined to enjoy the company of fellow members of the fairer sex, that skank was a pan of brownies and three inches of skirt away from being datable in her opinion.
"I'm going to go out on a limb and say you're not just dropping by to enjoy my company. Need a portal somewhere?" Illyria nodded and pulled away from Dawn, allowing the younger woman to turn and lean back against the railing. "Hmm. Well, my schedule is clear for the afternoon. And I have been promising her I'd visit. I guess I can take you now."
Illyria rolled her eyes at the faux reluctance Dawn injected into her reply, and Dawn gave herself a mental pat on the back for managing to teach the Old One that particular human quirk. "Do not act like helping me reach my destination is any hardship for you, Oriens. I will venture into the Deeper Well while you play with your strange little flightless birds and visit your Qwa'ha Xahn. And when my business is completed, I will end up waiting endlessly for you to deign to open a new portal so I might return here."
Laughing at Illyria's - entirely too accurate - description of how their adventure would unfold, Dawn slipped past Illyria and reentered her room, shifting away all her inhuman features with the exception of her green-streaked hair before summoning up a black bikini with green trim and matching sandals. "Yeah, guess you're right." Pausing for a moment, she gave Illyria an odd look. "I still say there's something wrong with you. What do you have against penguins? Everyone loves penguins."
"They are birds but they are incapable of flight." The pair exited Dawn's room, Illyria a step behind Dawn as they walked down the hall and then descended the stairs towards the building's lobby. "They are an affront to avian kind and an abomination. Although one species reminds me of a smaller version of a creature my queen bred to guard our citadel…"
"…but they flew and breathed fire and were clearly superior." Dawn easily finished Illyria's sentence, having heard it all the first time they traveled to the Pacific portal to the Deeper Well. "I know, I know. I still like the penguins. They're cute." She paused for a moment and looked back at Illyria. "Ooh, do you think you can get me a giant fire-breathing penguin? Please? Maybe for Christmas or something? I'll get you a frickin' shark with a frickin' laser beam attached to his frickin' head."
Illyria let out a snort of laughter before clamping her hands over her mouth and looking shocked. She turned and glared at a smug Dawn. "You will cease quoting those ridiculous movies at me. I do not want a shark that has been infected with the muck's metal toys. My creations are perfect just as I made them."
Their banter, surprisingly playful given her companion, was cut short as Xander and Faith entered the lobby through the courtyard entrance, followed closely by the small herd of Slayers that the Old Ones had seen training a few minutes prior. His eye landed on Illyria and he gave a very perceptible shudder before looking over at Dawn and fixing a very fake looking smile on his face. "Dawnie! Where are you two off to this afternoon? And why aren't your clothes going with you?"
Sigh. Twenty years old - physically, at least, and far older in actuality - and he still treated her like she was the giggly little ten-year old he'd met back when they came to Sunnydale in Buffy's sophomore year of high school. And it wasn't like she still had a little girl body and seeing her in a bikini would be creepy. She was no supermodel, of course, but she was pretty enough in her own opinion. Properly proportioned for the average girl her age and all. So what was wrong with wanting to dress like the average girl her age? In this case, one who was going to the beach? "Actually, I'm the one that's dressed right for where we're going. Illyria is overdressed." Resting her hand on Illyria's shoulder, Dawn extended her power and remembered how it'd felt when Illyria had used her own power to shift Dawn into her 'real' form the first few times. With that in her mind, Dawn tried to use the same tactic on her companion and grinned widely as Illyria's catsuit suddenly shrank into a matching red bikini, exposing a large amount of pale skin riddled with blue patches. "Much better."
Xander let out a choked gasp and looked away, completely scandalized by her little display, while Faith had broken out the same expression she usually had when dealing with Illyria, as if she wasn't sure whether she should try slaying the Old One or take advantage of someone she wouldn't break in bed and try laying her. Given that Faith was the original 'hungry and horny' queen and that they'd just come in from working up a sweat training, Dawn was willing to put money on the latter.
The younger Slayers were a mixture of facial expressions, although revulsion - probably because of Illyria's visible inhumanity - was the most common. Kennedy was the notable exception, staring at Dawn hungrily. She'd shown up a few months ago after breaking up with Willow and Dawn found herself continually thanking any and every deity she could think of that training kept the older girl busy and away from her most of the time. Especially since the others found Kennedy's interest in her 'healthy' as opposed to her supposed relationship with Illyria and refused to rein the Slayer in, no matter how much Dawn complained.
Shuddering, Dawn looked away from Kennedy before her eyes inevitably wandered back to the girl, who appeared to be a half-second away from breaking out in a good old-fashioned Homer drool at the sight of her. She wasn't self-conscious per say; given that her body was whatever she wanted it to be at any given time due to her shapeshifting powers and her clothes were just an extension of that, she didn't exactly have the same hang-ups about nudity that most people had. But Kennedy… she just made Dawn feel dirty sometimes.
Like now. § Boris? §
Dawn's hiss broke up Kennedy's lust fest as she joined the other Slayers and Xander in shivering and looking about wildly. The Harry Potter fans of the house called it 'parseltongue', others referred to it simply as 'snakespeak', but no matter what they called her ability, nobody was comfortable with her having it. Especially given who she chose to converse with most of the time. § Boris, darling? Where are you? §
A large shape slithered through the group of Slayers before wrapping around her leg and winding its way up her body. Out of everything, her pet King Cobra was the thing that caused the most problems for her. When they thought she was screwing Illyria? They were nervous and falsely supportive. She got a twenty-foot long venomous snake, and that was what freaked people out. Maybe there was something to Illyria's constant mantra of 'humans are strange'. "We'll be back in a bit. I'll take Boris so you don't need to worry about him biting anyone." Waving her hand, she forced a large burst of power outward and opened a tear in space-time that slowly formed into a glowing green portal.
Brushing Dawn's hand off her now-bared shoulder, Illyria stalked forward and then through the portal, disappearing with a wet slurp that sent ripples radiating outward across the glowing green pool of energy. As Dawn took a step forward, several of the girls made assorted noises of protest and Dawn steeled herself for what she knew was coming. Sure enough, a hand wrapped around her wrist and she stopped, looking back over her shoulder to find Kennedy standing there. "Hey. You, uh, want some company for your trip to… wherever it is that smells like ocean and flowers?"
"Okay, two things. Number one: let go of me. Now. Number two: if I even was willing to be traded to play for your team?" Dawn looked Kennedy over before sniffing derisively and turning her nose up at the Slayer. "It wouldn't be with someone whose idea of a good pickup line is 'You, uh, better not hog the covers'. Now… what did I say about letting go?"
"To do it?"
"And what haven't you done yet?"
Pouting, Kennedy let go of Dawn's wrist… when her hand slid down to grip Dawn's, thumb rubbing the back of Dawn's hand. "All I'm saying is don't knock it till you try it. Besides, would it really kill you to have someone along to chat with who knows what contractions are? I mean seriously, even if she is a demon in the sack…"
Dawn had heard enough. Faster than even a Slayer's eyes could track, she broke Kennedy's grip on her hand and grabbed the Latina by the wrist before leaning back and giving a mighty pull. There was a sick, squelching pop as the girl's shoulder was dislocated but before Kennedy could even cry out, Dawn was turning away before bending forward and unleashing a donkey kick that sent the Slayer flying clear across the lobby until she hit the wall, creating a hole in the drywall and kicking up a small cloud of dust.
"And that's why when I ask you to take care of something before I have to, you should. I'll be back… when I feel like it." Stalking forward, Dawn ignored Xander's sputtering as she stepped through her portal before yanking it shut behind her.