The ex-Watcher immediately took of towards the staircase towards Fred’s voice. He met her as she came quickly down the stairs.
“Oh it’s awful, Wesley,” she said when she saw him.
“Yes, I know,” he said, meeting her halfway up the stairs.
“No, I mean I figured out how long-”
“Yes, I know,” he interrupted, quickly leading her back up the stairs and up to the back stairwell towards the unused floors.
“Yes, I know.”
“How do you know? What do you know?” she questioned, still not knowing why they were going upstairs. They finally reached one of the bedrooms on the fifth floor.
“It’s been fifteen years here since she was-”
“We’ve been looking for Dawn.” Fred’s face fell.
“Oh no. Did she run away again?” Wesley was confused for a moment.
“N-no. This whole time, we’ve been looking for Dawn. She’s Aragorn’s daughter.” Fred stared for a few long moments.
“What?” she suddenly.
“Here,” Wesley said, handing her is written translations, knowing having something she could read would help her understand what exactly had happened. They had found Dawn’s birth parents. More precisely, her birth parents had found her, unknowingly. He sat down on the bed nervously as his girlfriend digested what she was reading. It took about three minutes of some tense silence before Fred understood what the diaries meant.
“The Order of Dagon originated in Middle-earth,” she said. “From elves.”
“The Key was there for thousands of years?”
“The Key as in Dawnie?”
“And she was born is this guy’s kid there?”
“And she was kidnapped by Glory’s minions?”
“And then kidnapped from them by the Order of Dagon?”
“And given to Buffy?” Fred’s voice had become increasingly high pitched with every question. The last one was near inaudible as she covered her mouth nervously. Wesley rose and walked over to her, placing his hands on the sides of her arms. She laid her head on his chest nervously, crushing the paper between them.”
“Yes. Yes. Yes,” he said, stroking her hair.
“Oh no,” she said. “Dawnie.” A silence followed. “What are we going to do?” she asked, pulling away to look at him. “Does anyone else know?”
“I don’t think so,” he said. “I don’t know if there are any other texts that would lead Gandalf to discover who she is. He doesn’t know what the Key is. Even if he found something telling him that The Key was Aragorn’s daughter, he wouldn’t know it was Dawn.” Fred looked puzzled.
“What are we going to do? We have to tell them.” Wesley backed away from her pacing the room.
“I know,” he said. It was Fred’s turn to sit down. “It’s just a matter of how. I can’t very well just call a meeting. ‘Oh, yes, we have found her. It’s Dawn. Please take her: have a good life in another world.’ I doubt Angel would take to kindly to that approach.”
“Well, we can’t keep it from them? What’s gonna happen? Is… I mean… is Dawn going to want to go home with them? Are they going to want to take her home with her not being a baby and all?”
“I doubt there is anything that would keep him from wanting to take Dawn back with them,” Wesley said.
“You’re right,” Fred said.
“And as far as what Dawn will want, I have no idea. She’s always wanted to see her birth parents. If she finds out they’ve been looking for her this whole time… I don’t know if we’re enough to keep her here.”
“But she loves us,” Fred insisted. “And we love her. She belongs here.” Wesley sighed.
“Did Connor belong with Holtz?” Fred froze. “It doesn’t matter if he grew up in a hell dimension… he belonged with Angel. He’s his father.” Fred looked down at the floor.
“And Aragorn is Dawn’s.” Wesley nodded.
“Yes,” he said quietly. Fred’s eyes brightened a little.
“Well, hey,” she said, standing. “Dawn might want to stay here. They’re not going to kidnap her or anything if she wants to stay.” She paused. “Would they?” Wesley tilted his head to the side, looking at his girlfriend.
“There really is no telling,” he replied. “He doesn’t seem like the type. I believe they are good people. But if he’s desperate enough. Bloody Hell, we practically kidnapped Connor until he realized he belonged with us.” Fred nodded.
“Where do we even start?”
“Aragorn, have you gone quite mad?” the wizard questioned, walking back toward the room in which he had spent countless hours, the king following him.
“I am not mad, Gandalf, I am certain.”
“How? Arien is an infant. Dawn is fifteen.”
“We have known there was a chance of a difference in time passage between our worlds. Connor only spent weeks in his dimension and returned many years older.” Aragorn shut the door behind them as they enter the office. Gandalf sat at same chair he’d occupied for days.
“Aragorn. I know how fond you’ve grown of Dawn. And I know we desperately-” The wizard went silent as familiar blue silk was tossed on the table before him. It took him long moments to realize what he was looking at.
“By the Valar,” he whispered.
“She said she’s had it since birth,” he said. “She doesn’t know who her birth parents are… only that this came from them.” Gandalf was silent for a time.
“All this time,” he said. Aragorn nodded.
“I know it’s true, Gandalf,” he said. “I think I’ve known it.”
“And Dawn?” Gandalf asked. “Does she?” Aragorn looked at the ground.
“I don’t know. I haven’t told her. What am I to say?” Gandalf thought a moment, rising from his chair.
“We must be very careful, Aragorn,” Gandalf said, putting his hand on his shoulder. “Her life is in danger. Not only that, but it won’t be easy to reveal this news. I do not thing she nor her guardians her will take this news well.” Aragorn nodded. Gandalf frowned suddenly. “Does Legolas know of this?” Aragorn shook his head.
“He has not left the room next to Dawn’s. I have not yet had the chance. Connor also stays with him.” The wizard nodded in understand
“Best to tell him as soon as we can get him alone.” Gandalf wanted to make as many preparations as possible until he realized Aragorn had turned toward the office window, staring out at the lobby. A heavy sigh escaped his lips. Gandalf held any plans he wanted to make back for a moment.
“We found her, Aragorn,” he said. Aragorn smiled so weakly, Gandalf might probably wouldn’t have seen it even if he had been looking at his face.
“Yes,” he said. “Yes we did.” Silent moments passed. Gandalf remain taciturn. “We’ve lost so much,” Aragorn said. “All those years… she might not even want to come home.”
“That is a choice she will have to make,” Gandalf replied, walking next to Aragorn. “We can only promise her our love that she has been missing all these years.” Aragorn nodded again weakly, casting his eyes downward, a tear escaping his eye.
“When should we tell her, do you think?” he asked.
“I’m *not* looking at my feet!” Dawn insisted.
“That’s clearly what you’re doing. Let’s try again. Don’t you trust me?” Dawn eyed the ex-evil-lawyer with the highest eyebrow she could muster as she put her hand in his again. “Now, let me lead. I’m the man.”
“Spoken like a true chauvinist.” Lindsey paused.
“You’re too young to use words like that.”
Dawn rolled her eyes as the two once again attempted their practiced steps as Connor and Legolas sparred on the other side of the lobby. About that time, Angel and Lorne came in the back way, the entrance Angel usually used when ducking the sunlight. Dawn and Lindsey didn’t stop their movements as Dawn turned her attention to the incoming pair.
“Angel!” she said. “You’re back late… er… early. It’s daylight outside. You’re cutting it pretty close, old man.”
“What are you doing?” Angel asked, more directed at Lindsey.
“Lindsey’s teaching me how to swing dance,” Dawn said, twirling away, than twirling back to the man in question.
“You know how to swing dance?” Angel asked.
“I know how to do a lot of things you don’t know how to do,” he replied. Angel growled.
“Why?” the vampire demanded. Dawn huffed, trying to keep up with Lindsey’s steps.
“Well, we’re both pretty much on house arrest with this whole Wolfram and Hart thing. It was either this, practice weapons again, which I am *so** not doing, or watch those two try to kill each other.” It was then that Legolas managed to swipe Connor’s feet out from under him, landing the Destroyer on his back, the blunt end of the stick he was using pointed at his face.
“Good one,” Connor said as Legolas offered him a hand up. They once again set up for another match.
“We found out more about the demon in town,” Angel said, changing the subject. Dawn and Lindsey suddenly stopped, Lindsey turning off the stereo. “Run Around Sue” stopped playing from the speakers.
“What about it?” Dawn asked.
“Well, what Lindsey told us was right. Some of Lorne’s friends heard Wolfram and Hart hired it on to try to get control of you. That’s its specialty.”
“Mind control?” she questioned as Aragorn and Gandalf stepped out of the office. “I thought it was a dream demon.”
“That’s what it uses to control people. Bring out people’s fears and nightmares to control them.” Dawn nodded.
“Where is it?”
“Somewhere close, sugarmuffin,” Lorne said. “We’re going to have to be careful with this one. It’s after you specific-” He paused when Dawn went still for a moment, gasping slightly, he eyes wild a moment. She looked around until she finally focused back on him.
“Sorry,” she said, giggling nervously. “Right. Stay indoors. Got it. Excuse me.” She headed up the stairs. Not quickly. Suddenly. Angel frowned, but turned to Aragorn and Gandalf, who were also disconcerted at Dawn’s change in behavior.
“Hey, sorry about this,” he said. “We’re kind of in an awkward moment, here. We’ll still be looking for your daughter, but this is kind of-”
“We understand completely.” Aragorn said. “Dawn’s safety is the priority now. We will look continue to look on our own. If there is anything we can do to aid you against this creature, we will.” Angel smiled slightly.
“Thanks,” he said. “Not much more research is needed. The only way to kill this thing is to take of its head and burn the remains. Otherwise, it will be able to be put back together. We just need to find a way to get close to it to kill it and keep it away from Dawn.”
“Yes,” Gandalf said. “If we can be any assistance, please let us know. In the mean time, we will continue our research.” Angel nodded and Connor and Legolas head up the stairs after Dawn, enough time had passed for her to not feel too much like they were hovering over her.
“Legolas,” Aragorn called. Connor and the elf in questioned paused. Aragorn signaled with a quick jerk of the head for Legolas to follow them into the office. Legolas nodded to Connor, who continued up the stairs. The three visitors disappeared into the office as Wesley and Fred came down the stairs, meeting Connor on the way.
“Wait,” Wesley said to him as he and Fred descended. Connor looked questioning, but followed the ex-watcher. Wesley saw the three in the office, and then accounted for Angel, Lindsey, and Lorne in the lobby.
“Where is Dawn?” he asked.
“She just went upstairs. Weirdest thing…” Lorne started.
“Gunn and Cordelia?” Wesley said quickly?
“Cordelia went to get food. Gunn’s still out trying to find more about the dream demon, which we found out-” Angel almost continued with his information; but Wesley placed a finger over his mouth, signaling for them to gather in Angel’s office. They were all confused, but followed the watcher’s instructions.
“Wes, Fred, what it going on?” Angel finally asked. Wesley close the door after everyone was in.
“We’ve found Aragorn’s daughter.”
Dawn wiped her eyes and splashed her face with cold water. Was the dream demon already there? There were so many awful images. People she recognized and people she did not recognize. She lay down on her bed, staring blankly at the ceiling, trying to just sleep it off. She only tossed and turned in discomfort.
There was an eye of fire. The one she had seen when she touched the jewel Aragorn let her use for her locator spell. There were awful battles and big scary fiery things with horns. She saw her mother lying lifeless on the couch. She saw Buffy jumping off the tower. Spike being thrown off. She saw a beautiful woman she did not know with long blonde hair turning into a scary, illuminated creature.
The was one image particularly tugging at her. Another woman she did not know. Her hair was dark. He eyes bright blue. She took Dawn’s breath away just seeing her in her dreams. One time the woman was laying on a couch. She looked like she was dying. Then she saw her another time. Somewhere else. She was in a pale green dress, people everywhere bowing at her feet. Aragorn. She was Aragorn’s wife. She looked so happy.
An empty cradle. She was crying hysterically. She was on her knees with a book in her hands. Delicate pointed ears parted her long dark locks as she bent over in grief. There was woman and a man with her. She was another woman with blond hair. The man had long dark hair like hers.
Again she flashed to the woman again. She was kneeling at the foot of the empty cradle, the blond woman who had been hold her close by. Then she saw the man who had been with her. There were two other guys with him. They were twins from the look of it. Identical. They were in the same room where the woman had been. A great hall. Light burst into the room, and they were gone.
Dawn gasped as she woke up. She grabbed her head as it pounded in her eardrums. It was dark outside. Had she slept all day? Her dream. She had to tell Aragorn.
In her B-line towards the stairs, she managed to run smack-dab into the back of the elf whom she had committed herself to crushing on for the remainder of his stay. She conceded she couldn’t think about how dreamy he looked in his utter confusion as he, of course, managed to stay on his feet while she bounced back her ass.
“My lady!” he said, immediately helping her to her feet.
“Sorry, still shaking of a mix of sleepies and wiggins,” she said, struggling to wake herself up.
“Is something troubling you?” he questioned, having finally been told what the ‘wiggins’ meant by Connor. The boy had helped a great deal in deciphering the language of this world.
“Yeah, really weird dreams I’m going to have to asked you guys…” she trailed off, noticing how Legolas was staring at her. She frown.
“Have I grown another head or something?” The elf stopped his intense staring and knitted his brows in confusion.
“My lady?” he asked.
“Why are you staring at me like that?” The elf paused, not sure it was the time to reveal the information he had been told that morning. He struggled for a cover story.
“I am, merely concerned for your well being. You seem very distraught.”
“Oh,” she said. “I guess so.” She frowned thoughtfully, heading downstairs, the elf behind her. She did not see him continuing to stare at her. The whole group rose at appearance, wigging her out even more. What was up with everybody? She decided to ignore the weirdness, turning her attention to Aragorn, who was staring at her even more intensely than Legolas had been. Gandalf was doing the same. She then turned to everyone else. Why was everyone staring at her?
“Look, I’m sorry I slept through the day. But this is summer! This is what normal kids do.” She pouted until Angel finally broke the silence.
“Sorry, Dawnie. We’re just… worried about you. This… demon thing is dangerous.” Dawn rolled her eyes.
“Like I haven’t had people trying to use me for an apocalypse a million times before,” she said, turning back to the three foreigners.
“I think I had a dream about your world,” she said.
“What of?” Gandalf asked, stepping forward.
“Do you know any people with really long dark hair and pointy ears? There were two guys who looked exactly the same and another guy who looked a little bit older.” Aragorn and Gandalf looked at each other.
“You describe Lord Elrond, Elrohir, and Elladan.” Dawn cocked her head to the side, waiting for his explanation. “My adoptive father and brothers. My wife’s family.”
“Where were you in your world when you came here?” she asked. They were confused by her question, but the king answered.
“My city of Minas Tirith.”
“The room: what did it look like?” Aragorn frowned even deeper in confusion.
“The great hall. The throne room of Minas Tirith. It’s made of grey and white stone.”
Dawn thought over her dream again. He described the same room. There had been a giant throne at the top of some stairs with a smaller seat at the bottom. That was after they had left. Someone else from their world had come over.
“I think we should search the cemetery."