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The Key, the Dark-Hunter, and the Link

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Summary: After moving to New Orleans, Dawn quickly finds herself thrust into a new world that feels oddly familiar. Daimons and weres, she can handle; one overly bossy, protective god/man named Ash, not so much. Add in one spoiled demon and you get her new life.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Literature > Dark Hunter Series(Past Donor)sevangelFR1829180,525149882264,74613 Feb 072 Nov 08No
CoA Winner

Chapter 17

Title: Chapter 17
Series: The Key, the Dark-Hunter, and the Link
Author: Sevangel
Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me. Joss Whedon owns anything Buffy or Angel while Sherrilyn Kenyon owns everything Dark Hunter. I am just playing with them.
Rating: PG-13

-

"Feels like old times." Vi murmurs, her head turning on Fury's shoulder to look at Dawn.

"Yeah, all we need is Connor here throwing bugs at us." Dawn says with a slight shudder.

Vi shudders and shakes her head. "No thank you."

"Who's Connor?" Fury growls.

"None of your business." Vi growls back and then rests her face on his arm, hands digging into his shoulders as another wave a pain racks her body.

Fury winces at the pressure on his shoulders; there is no way she's human. He's going to have bruises for a few hours, can feel them forming already. No human has that sort of strength. Her pain is so strong he can feel the echoes from it but he doesn't understand where the pain is coming from. The only thing he does know is it's a demon but why she was attacked by a demon, he's unsure of.

"We're here." Vi says. "Let me down."

"Where is here?" Vane isn't really sure what to think. His brother's mate is…strange to say the least. He can't imagine what Fury is going through right now, the anger, desperation and possessiveness that all Were-Hunters feel when it comes to their mate's safety but being unable to do anything to ensure it; to protect her.

"This is where I buried all the demons I slayed in the area." Vi wiggles out of Fury's arms and bites past the pain in her body. They're standing in a small clearing in the middle of the woods and she takes twelve steps to the left to the spot where she buried the demon that's currently killing her.

"And now to dig it up." Dawn toes the loose dirt with her foot. "Where's your shovel?"

Vi points up.

Dawn follows Vi's finger and can just make out the blade of the shovel resting on some branches about fifteen feet up. "So how we getting it down?"

"I'll get it." Vi prepares herself to jump upwards, like she normally does, but a large, familiar hand clamps on her shoulder. "Let me go."

"What the hell are you doing?" Fury growls.

"Getting the shovel so we can dig up the demon." Vi says.

"No need." Ash wraps an arm back around Dawn's waist and before his fingers even clasp over her belly, the demon surfaces.

"You're the best." Dawn lifts up to kiss his cheek before kneeling down to examine the demon. "Eww."

"Yeah, he wasn't the most attractive demon in all the land." Vi agrees, eyes closing from another contraction of pain. She feels Fury move behind her and leans back against his chest gratefully.

"What the hell is that thing?" Dante curls his lip at the bony demon lying at their feet. Its head is disconnected from its body and the thing's right hand is against its chest.

"This would be a Grifnoth demon." Dawn nudges the demon with her foot and then pulls out her cell phone. "Okay, Wills, we got the demon. What do we need now?" "Really…okay, fine, I'll call you back later…I know, I have a lot of explaining to do but I'll do it later."

"So, am I going to live or not?" Vi asks after Dawn hangs up the phone.

"Probably." Dawn replies. "It just depends."

"On what?" Fury growls.

"On whether you guys know where a good magic shop is." Dawn replies. "Or some place where I can get some magical herbs. I gotta make a secret potion for Vi to drink."

Vi wrinkles her nose. "Since when did you become Professor Snape?"

-

"I still can't believe Fury is mated to a human." Julian says.

"I don't understand how he can be mated to a human." Bill Laurens says. "I've never heard of a Katagaria being mated to a human. I didn't think it was possible."

"It's not supposed to be." Bride glances at her watch. "Vane doesn't know how it's possible either but Fury insists she's the only person he's slept with in the last month. Vane said if he's not back by now we should go ahead to the restaurant and he'll met us there."

The group decides to walk since the Café isn't too far from Bride and Vane's house and the weather is still rather warm. Julian and Kyrian lead the group with the five women between them and Valerius and Bill at the back of the group.

Selena holds a hand out to her talking sister as she digs through her purse for her ringing cell phone, a little startled when she sees whose name is flashing across the ID. "Hello?" "Um, about a block or two." "Okay, we'll meet you there."

"Who was that?" Bill asks his wife.

"Ash." Selena drops her phone back into her purse. "He wants us to meet him at my store."

"Did he say why?" Kyrian asks his sister-in-law.

"No." Selena replies. "He was actually kinda….curt. He just asked how far we were from there and then told us to meet him there."

"I wonder what's going on now." Tabitha says. "And I have a feeling whatever it is, it's not good."

"Me either." Kyrian agrees.

They start walking faster then and within only a few minutes, are waiting for Selena to unlock the door to her shop. And when she finally does, they're greeted with a sight they won't soon forget.

-

"Drop it there." Dawn points to the clean, pristine tile right in front of the checkout counter.

Ash drops the body of the demon to where Dawn indicates and then watches as she starts pulling various objects out of her bag. Vane, Fang, and Dante flank him, the Were-Hunters watching just as curiously as he is.

Dawn opens her lap top and then quickly pulls up her e-mail. Willow's email with the cure is very detailed, first stating the stages Vi will go through before she dies and then listing the ingredients needed for the cure, and how to make it. But first she has to gather the few things she needs and find something to boil them in. The shop they're in is probably the cleanest and best decorated magical type shop that she's ever been in but is lacking a little in the magical ingredient department. Luckily though, it is stocked with the few herbs she will need. She starts gathering the jars she'll need off the shelves when Vi stops her.

"Dawn, you can't just steal stuff." Vi shivers and burrows further into Fury's warm body. Her teeth start chattering as she suddenly feels like she's back in Alaska, the very worse place to hunt for vampires she was ever sent.

"I'm borrowing, not stealing." Dawn corrects. "Sides, immediate death trumps manners."

"Something else is happening." Fury growls as he looks up at Dawn, her being the only one that seems to know what's going on. "She's freezing."

Dawn's hand pause over the jar of mandrake root. "Vi?"

"Mm." Vi mutters, eyes drooping closed.

Dawn drops the jar onto the counter and crosses the floor to her best friend. She kneels down beside Vi and gently touches her forehead. And then curses under her breath. Vi is no longer burning up but is now freezing, the last stage before the poison finally takes over her body. "Vi, wake up."

"Sleepy." Vi murmurs.

"Damn it, Vi, don't make me hit you." Dawn warns. "Wake up. Talk to me. What happened at your parent's house."

"Told you, 'member." Vi murmurs. "Black sheep."

"You're not the black sheep…okay, you are the black sheep but that doesn't make it bad." Dawn walks back over to the shelves and starts gathering the rest of the ingredients, her hands shaking slightly as she does so. "Your family loves you, adopted or not, they love you."

Ash takes the jars Dawn hands him silently, eyes moving over to the wolf and human on the floor. It makes sense now, he can see her now. Why she's not a Were-Hunter, he's not sure but he can see the little girl in the woman that was always meant for Fury. Now he just wonders if that's never going to happen. She's dying, her body is shutting down, caving into the poison ripping through her veins and there's not a thing he can do to stop it. Then a familiar presence moves behind him and he turns, not at all surprised to see Savitar standing there.

"You guys looked like you're having a hellova good time." Savitar cocks his head as his daughter combs the shelves of magical herbs in front of her and then he turns to the ground where a demon is lying, headless.

"Looked…were you watching us?" Dawn hands Savitar a jar of ginseng.

"Yes." Savitar looks down at the jar in his hand, confused why she's handing it to him.

"You were…oh, my god, have you been watching us all the time?" Dawn squeaks out, blushing brightly as she searches for a pan or bowl, anything to make the potion in.

"No." Savitar barely keeps from smashing the jar in his hand, the fact that she's no longer a virgin finally registering to his senses. The idea makes him want to rip Acheron's head off but he refrains, barely. He must have calmed down in the ten thousand years since the last time he had to smell his little girl all over the man next to him. He almost killed him then, wanted to, but she begged him not to and he couldn't tell her no. But man did he want to.

Ash arches an eyebrow at Savitar, curious to why the other immortal is so pissed off at him having sex with Dawn. He can feel Savitar's fury and it's exactly like what he felt towards Nick when the human took Simi's virginity. He files that away for later when Dawn cheers triumphantly, a small pan in her hand.

Dawn sets the pan down on the counter and moves back to her laptop. She pulls up the rough illustration of the demon's organ system and is glad it's mostly like a human's. She really didn’t feel like playing poke the organ until she found the right one; that's rarely as fun as it sounds. "A knife." Dawn mutters under her breath and then remembers the knife Vi always carries on her, glamoured by Willow so it can pass through any metal detector without setting it off. "Vi, I need your knife."

"Hmm." Vi murmurs, eyes closed and body lax against Fury's.

"Fury, can you grab the knife out of the holster on her right ankle." Dawn asks as she pulls elbow length rubber gloves out of her watcher bag.

"What are you doing?" Ash asks.

"Going organ hunting." Dawn replies. "And there ain't no way I'm getting demon goo on my skin if I can help it. It's gross."

Fury slips his hand under Vi's right pant's leg and sure enough, touches hard metal. He pulls it out to reveal a large, slightly curved knife. "Why does she carry a knife around?"

"In case she has to do some unscheduled slayage." Dawn grabs the knife out of his hand and carries it over to the demon, which she then straddles. Placing the tip of the knife at where the demon's throat would have been, if Vi hadn't beheaded it, she slices down, cutting through the thick layer of skin like butter. She reaches the demon's groin right as the door opens and looks up to see a large group, being led by her professor. "Great, now you're really going to think I'm nuts."

-

Julian pauses, mouth dropped open at the sight of Dawn straddling a demon, a large knife in her hand. He briefly wonders if she was attacked, again, but the fact that Ash, Savitar, Vane, Fang, and Dante (strangely enough) are watching her do it makes him rethink it.

Selena walks into her shop, wincing at the state of it. When she closed for the day, it was pristinely clean, not a item out of place, but now it looks like a tornado run through it. Then she sees what Julian is gasping at and has to clasp a hand over her mouth to keep from puking.

"Okay, can you guys bring it inside before somebody sees my friend Bob here and freaks out?" Dawn asks as she makes side slashes at both the top and bottom of the vertical one she made. She then pulls the demon's skin back to reveal it's innards and promptly jumps off it with a squeal.

"What?" Vi sits up, suddenly alert. "Dawn, something attack you?"

Dawn shakes her hands, shuddering and dancing in place.

"Dawn?" Ash steps forward.

"There was a maggot." Dawn shudders as she says it. "It was on my hand."

"You have gloves on." Fang laughs.

"That doesn't matter." Vi giggles in spite of the pain ripping through her body. "Dawn and bugs are non-mixy things."

"Please, I'm not the one that stood on the side of the bathtub, screaming for Connor to come slay the spider that was trying to 'kill' you." Dawn rolls her eyes. "A spider that was no bigger than an Oreo."

"No, you're just the one that climbed up Connor's back in your frantic attempts to escape a killer moth." Vi replies.

"That's not fair, you know I have issues with moths." Dawn shudders as she moves back to the demon's side. This time she doesn't straddle it, instead just kneels beside it as she starts digging through it's innards.

"What issues?" Ash shakes his head, amused by the contradictions that make up Dawn. She's fearless when it comes to demons and Daimons but apparently is terrified of bugs. He tenses at the boy's name but swallows that rage. He's secure in Dawn's feelings for him and can allow her to have male friends. Maybe.

"One Halloween, like most of the town's trick-or-treaters got magically turned into their costumes." Vi says, leaning back against Fury when she realizes there is no actual threat. "Dawn got attacked by a bunch of kid-size moths."

"I was eleven." Dawn defends. "And they chased me across town and I ended up having to hide in a trash dumpster. It was terrifying."

"And really funny when you think about it." Vi says. "Something that could only happen to you guys."

"Yep." Dawn agrees. "Me and my freaky life." She dumps the demon's stomach onto the ground and then uses the knife to slice the flesh keeping it attached to the demon's intestines. Then, up to her elbows in demon innards, her cell phone rings. "Ash, can you grab that?" Dawn asks, tilting her hip towards him.

Ash pulls her cell phone out of her front pocket and reads off the screen. "Cleveland headquarters."

"Answer it, please." Dawn says as she starts piling the intestines on the ground next to the stomach.

"Hello?" Ash says.

"Um, hi." A small, girly voice says. "Is Dawn there?"

"Hold it out to me for a sec." Dawn says when he tells her they way to talk to her. "Hey, it's me, I'm a little busy so you're going to talk to Ash and he's going to transcribe it to me, okay?" Then she looks back down at the demon as she searches for the organ she needs.

"So, Ash, can we patrol?"

Ash pauses. "Dawn, they want to patrol?"

"Who's they?"

"Who is we?" Ash asks the girl on the other line.

"Michelle and Sarah." The girl replies.

"Michelle and Sarah." Ash says to Dawn.

"Ask Michelle what she got on her algebra test and Sarah if she finished her English paper."

Ash repeats the question and then repeats the girl's answer to Dawn. "Michelle got a B plus on her test and Sarah turned her paper today."

"Okay, they can go but they have to stay in Zones A and B and they have to be back by eleven or they're both suspended from free patrol for a week." Dawn says.

Ash repeats the answer, pulling the phone from his ear when the girl squeals, and then says goodbye before he hangs up. "How old were they?"

"They're both sophomores." Dawn uses the knife to cut away the flesh holding in the organ she needs. "So fifteen."

"What the hell is patrolling?" Julian asks his student.

"Hunting for vampires." Vi whispers. "Or demons. Or just the general forces of darkness."

"Vi." Dawn shushes.

"They don’t know?" Vi asks, eyes opening to find Dawn.

"They know about demons but not….I told you it's different and they don't know about our part, well, Ash and Savitar do but not the rest of them." Dawn replies.

"I don't know what the hell you're talking about but you can't be saying that you're letting two fifteen year old girls hunt for Daimons." Kyrian says. "That's insane."

"They'll be fine." Dawn waves off his concern as she pushes to her feet, a small, blood covered organ in her hand. "Um, Selena, right?"

"Yes." Selena averts her eyes from the thing in Dawn's hand and to her face.

"You don't happen to have a stove or boiler thing somewhere, do you?" Dawn asks hopefully.

"No." Selena shakes her head.

"You need to boil something?" Ash asks Dawn, head tilted as he examines the organ in her hand.

"Yep." Dawn replies. "And kinda need to do it right now. Can you…boil it somehow for me?"

Ash nods.

"Oh, you're the best." Dawn leans up to kiss him on the lips and then hurries over to the counter where her pan is waiting. She follows Willow's instructions to the tee, cutting and dicing the herbs as quickly as she can. She dumps them into the pan, mixes them around with a chopstick she found, and then grabs the organ. Then she grabs Vi's knife and holding the organ over the pan, stabs it; thick, stinky, neon yellow-green liquid flows out and she almost gags from the stench alone.

"Hell, no, I'm not drinking that." Vi protests as she tries to stand up.

"It's either that or die." Dawn stirs the liquid around with the chopstick and then turns, holding the pan out to Ash. "Can you boil it and then cool it to a drinkable degree?"

Ash nods.

Dawn watches in rapt fascination as the liquid starts to bubble and steam flows off the top. Really stinky steam but steam nonetheless. Then just as quickly, it stops bubbling and the steam stops. "Is it done?"

"Yes." Ash says.

"Okay." Dawn sets it back on the counter. "Now I need a cup."

Selena reaches behind the counter and comes back with a coffee mug. "Here."

"Thanks." Dawn takes it gratefully and then carries both the pan and mug over to Vi. She pours a small amount into the mug and then hands it to the slayer. "Drink up."

"You really don't expect me to drink…what the hell was that?" Vi wrinkles her nose.

"Just drink it and then I'll tell you." Dawn forces the mug into her hand. "And don't make me sit on you and force you to drink it."

Vi glares at her and then throws the liquid back like it's a shot. She gags at the bitter, nasty taste and the filmy texture but other than that, shows no sign of distress.

Fury curls his lip at the nastiness of the liquid and then looks up at Ash's girlfriend nothing changes. "What was that…"

Vi screams, body arching in half and holding in that position for a second before she starts to seizure.

"What the fuck…" Fury mutters.

"This was supposed to happen." Dawn drags Vi off Fury's lap by the slayer's feet. "Hold her arms down."

"Why?" Fury growls.

"Just do it." Dawn orders as she fills the mug to the brim with more of the potion.

"She has to drink more?" Vane questions as he kneels down beside his brother's shaking mate.

"Yep." Dawn says. "She's not going to like it either."

Vi's body continues to convulse, the slayer's frame shaking hard enough that limbs should be breaking and Vane ends up reaching for her legs to keep her still enough for Dawn to feed her the rest of the potion. But right as he grabs her feet, she swings with her right arm, hitting Fury in the face and knocking him across the floor. Then her legs scissor under Vane's body and lift, tossing him a few feet through the air and into a wall.

"A little help." Dawn looks back at Ash and Savitar.

In the end, it takes the three wolves, Ash, and Savitar to hold Vi still enough for Dawn to feed her the rest of the potion.

Dawn forces half the mug down Vi's throat and covers the slayer's mouth with her hand until Vi swallows. She repeats the action over and over again until every drop of the potion she made is in the slayer's stomach.

Vi continues to convulse for the next few minutes though the seizures slow down as time passes until just the occasional shudder passes through Vi's body. About ten minutes after she finished feeding the potion to her, Vi's eyes whip open and the slayer strikes out with every limb, throwing the five men holding her down across the room. She then flips to her feet, body dropped in a fighting stance as she looks around the room.

"Vi, it's okay." Dawn steps forward, hand held out like she's approaching a mad animal.

"Dawn?" Vi whispers. "Where did you come from? I thought you were in New Orleans."


"I am." Dawn replies. "So are you."

"I am?" Vi mutters. "Oh, yeah, I got in a fight with my parents and decided to come spend Thanksgiving with you." She looks casts a quick glance around the room, eyebrow's furrowing at all the people. "Where are we?"

"You don't remember?" Dawn questions.

"No." Vi replies. "I had some crazy dream where we went hiking in the woods and I ran into the guy I practically raped but that was just…." She stops talking when she hears somebody laugh and turns her head to see a really hot guy that looks way to much like Fury for her peace of mind. Then she feels him, coming up behind her body, and she equally tenses and melts.

"You did not practically rape me." Fury growls into Vi's ear.

Vi screeches as she spins around. "No, this….you can't…that was just…." The rest of the 'dream' comes back then and she spins back around to find Dawn. "What the hell did you make me drink?"

"Demon pee." Dawn grins sheepishly. "Sorry."

"Ugh." Vi gags.

"But it worked, at least I think it did." Dawn says as she peels off her gloves. "Lift up your shirt."

"What?" Fury shouts.

"I'm not telling her to flash everybody, just lift the bottom of the shirt to see if the scratches are gone." Dawn rolls her eyes.

Vi lifts up her shirt and sure enough, the scratches are gone again, the only proof of them having been there being the blood on her skin. "Cool ass, you rock."

"Thanks." Dawn grins. "And now you get to dispose of Bob."

"Hey, I slayed." Vi argues. "My work is done; I'm not the one that went and dissected it."

"Which I did to save your life so manners only say you should do the clean-up." Dawn points out.

"Yeah, because I'm sure Miss Manners had a whole chapter devoted to who does corpse cleanup and under what circumstances." Vi rolls her eyes.

"She did." Dawn says. "It's called I'm the watcher and you're the slayer; do what you're told."

Vi sticks her tongue out at Dawn and walks over to the demon. "Okay, but you have to put him back together first because there's no way I'm touching his innards."

Dawn stands beside Vi and looks down at Bob, a very dissected and gross looking Bob. Then she tilts her head back to look at Ash who is standing right behind her. "Can you please get rid of Bob for me?"

Ash does so with little more than a thought as he studies Dawn's friend. He knows she's a slayer but he's just now realizing what that is. She threw them across the room almost effortlessly. He's fairly sure some of that strength was adrenaline but not all of it was.

This side of Dawn is fascinating. She is very focused and adapt, and even the tiniest bit bossy without losing what makes her Dawn. Except for the bug episode, she remained completely calm the entire time. But even as he thinks it, he can feel her composure start to fade and knows she will eventually let the entirety of the situation register. And he will be there to pick up the pieces when it does.

Dawn leans back against Ash's chest gratefully, her hands starting to shake slightly. She always hates this part, the comedown after a life and death situation. It always makes her feel sick and sad, what could have happened finally registering, and her brain always flashes through every depressing and terrifying outcome.

Vi turns towards Dawn, pointedly ignoring Fury at her back, and looks up, way up, at her best friend's boyfriend before looking back down at Dawn. "Okay, you do know Buffy is going to freak, don't you? Heck, my spidy senses suck but even I can feel the power rolling off him. I mean, he's even more juiced up that Caleb and Caleb had the first working for him…or inside of him….you know what I mean."

"Which is why we're not going to tell her right now." Dawn replies.

"Works for me." Vi shrugs. "As long as you don't mention meeting my one-night-stand to Angel. I never realized how overbearing he was until after we dropped you off. He spent the entire forty minutes to Texas recounting some of the horrible things he used to do back in the day to show me how evil men are."

"Really?" Dawn arches an eyebrow. "Even with Pheebs there?"

"Naw, he made her go back in one of the other rooms." Vi replies. "You know how he is about protecting her from everything, even himself."

"Who's Angel?" Fury growls.

"My sister's boyfriend." Dawn answers when Vi doesn't. "He's also Connor's father."

"And a vampire." Ash growls out.

"How did…you were reading Vi's mind, weren't you?" Dawn says.

"Yes." Ash agrees.

"He's doing what?" Vi squeals.

"Reading your mind." Dawn rolls her eyes. "Don't freak out but μπαμπάς probably is too, they got this mind-reading club going on."

Dead silence follows.

"What?" Dawn shifts uncomfortably under the looks she's getting.

"You just called Savitar daddy." Ash says. "In Greek."

"Are you sure?" Dawn asks. "I mean, why would I call him daddy, I barely know him."

"I don't know, Savitar…" But even as Ash says it, he knows it's pointless; the immortal is gone.

"Huh, I guess you offended him." Vi comments when she notices the spot where the hot, tall surfer was standing is empty. "And really, Dawn, don't you have enough overbearing and bossy men in your life that you don't need to go adopting new ones?"

"Yeah, I think I've met my quota for men." Dawn agrees. "Oh, I guess I could be polite and introduce you to everyone, well except for Fury cuz with getting busy, I'm guessing you already know him."

Vi glares at Dawn. "Funny."

"Hey, I have to make up for Connor not being here." Dawn points out. "And you so know he'd be all over torturing you with that."

"Sometimes he is a little too much like Angel." Vi says.

"The vampire." Fury growls. "You associate with a Daimon."

"Demons, sure." Vi replies. "I'm friends with some."

"Daimons." Fury corrects. "What you refer to as vampires."

"What the hell is a Daimon?" Vi asks Dawn. "Is it a new breed of vamps cuz that last new breed wasn't fun at all."

"Um, well…." Dawn looks up at Ash. "Wanna make with the explain-y?"

-

Bill looks up from the photocopied copy of the contract that Dawn is forcing them to sign, after having muttered something under her breath about getting her ass kicked for not following procedures. "You honestly can't expect me to sign something that says you're going to erase my memory if I don’t do what you want, do you?"

"Yep." Dawn replies. "Cuz otherwise you'll just have to live without knowing how Vi tossed five grown men about like dolls."

"I already apologized five times for that." Vi says. "And for kicking Vane."

"And we already said it's okay." Vane smiles at her. "You were…"

"Dying." Vi provides when he lets it trail off. "It's okay, you can say it. It's not like it's the first time I've almost died, though it was the most painful. Seriously, I'll take the gutting and stabbing over the poison anytime."

"Next time a demon tries to make a Vi-kabob out of you, let Willow know." Dawn says.

"Okay, Buffy." Vi says, rolling her eyes.

Dawn sticks her tongue out at the slayer. "I'm just doing the watcher thing."

"I know and I will." Vi agrees. "Not that it matters now since I'm on inactive duty for a week."

"Probably longer." Dawn says. "Willow's going to want to know about the mark and if it's gone, and then we're going to have to say no. Then she'll start flipping out and I'll have to tell her that we know what it means but we can't tell her just now and she'll get all pissed because hello, she's already keeping so many secrets for me. And if we won't tell her what it means, then she won't let you back on active duty in case it's a danger to you."

"You're right." Vi agrees. "Couldn't we fib to her?"

"I can't lie about watcher things, Vi, you know that." Dawn reminds her. "Goes against the code."

Vi sighs. "I know but…I don't want to go back to Cleveland."

Fury tenses.

"You won't have to." Dawn says. "Remember, watcher here. You just have to live with a watcher while you're on inactive duty; doesn't specify which one. You can just stay with me at my place."

This time, Ash tenses.

"Um, I pretty sure Ash doesn't like that plan." Vi whispers.

"Yeah." Dawn agrees. "But unless he wants to let you come back to his place he'll have to deal."

"He's standing right here." Ash says. "And she can come."

Dawn squeals excitedly and throws her arms around Ash's neck. "Thank you."

"You're welcome." Ash kisses the top of her head.

"Here." Bill hands the contract to Dawn, the bottom signed by almost everyone in the room.

"Thank you." Dawn tucks the paper into her bag. "Now, I gotta make this short because it's almost prime slaying time and my phone is going to be ringing non-stop."

-

Savitar rests his arms over his surfboard and rests his chin on them as the soft waves crash over him. The beach is completely peaceful, not another soul near it, but it might as well be completely crowded for all the peace it brings him. She's remembering, it's the only explanation. And as much as he relishes the idea of her remember him as her daddy, he doesn't want her to remember what happened. Remember the brutality of her murder and how she lost more than just her life.

-
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