Title: Chapter 3
Series: The Key, the Dark-Hunter, and the Link
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.
Simi picks at Dawn's cheese sticks while the girl talks on her cell phone. She likes this human. She's funny. And doesn't flinch when she talks about barbecuing people. Dawn thinks it's funny.
Dawn hangs up her phone and puts it back in her backpack. "Sorry, that was my sister; she worries."
"My akri worries too." Simi sighs. "He always says, 'No, Simi, you can't barbecue the redheaded heifer'. The Simi wants too."
"You ever ask him if you can lightly sauté her?" Dawn asks, giggling at Simi's pout. She's pretty sure that Simi would barbecue most of the people in this bar if her akri would let her but doesn't. She's not evil. Not by a long shot. She's just sort of amoral. Or actually, she's like a child that doesn't really understand right from wrong. Despite how she looks and how she talks most of the time, she reminds her of a child.
"Hmm." Simi taps her chin thoughtfully. "The Simi does like her butter."
Dawn glances down at her watch, shocked that two hours have passed since she came in here. She only meant to use the bathroom but Simi is hilarious. "You know what I'm in the mood for?"
"Barbecue?" Simi asks hopefully.
"Maybe later." Dawn replies with a smile. "Carmel-mocha frozen espressos."
"Akri doesn't like the Simi to have coffee." Simi says. "They don't have those here anyways."
"There's a Starbucks right down the street." Dawn comments. "And did your akri directly forbid you to have coffee?"
Simi thinks about it. "No, akri didn't."
"Well then, there you go." Dawn replies. "Have you ever had one before?"
Simi shakes her head.
"Oh, my god, you have to have one." Dawn says.
"Akri won't like it." Simi replies.
"Did he say you can't leave?" Dawn asks. "He said to come straight here but did he say you can't leave after you get here?"
"No." Simi agrees with a smile. "Akri didn't say that." She stands up. "Come on, Dawn, the Simi wants to try this coffee."
Dawn slips her backpack on and follows Simi towards the back exit, completely missing the eyes on her back.
Talon looks around the crowded Sanctuary, the next stop on their list of places to look for this teenager. He doesn't completely get it but trust Ash not to have them on some stupid, pointless mission. If Ash wants to find this girl, there's a really good reason for it.
"Talon, isn't that her?" Sunshine rises up on her tiptoes, holding onto her husband's arm for support.
Talon follows his wife's gaze and then glances behind him at Valerius and Tabitha. "Isn't that her?"
"Yes." Tabitha agrees, also pushing up on her tiptoes to see around the crowd.
Talon pulls out his cell phone and dials Ash.
"We found her, she's at the Sanctuary."
"Okay, don’t crowd her; if you loose her, there's no way to find her."
"Alright we'll just…hold on." He puts his hand over the mouth piece and looks at Tabitha. "Yeah?"
"She's leaving." Tabitha points, her face paling. "And Simi's going with her."
"That's Simi?" But as he asks it, he knows it's the demon. "Fuck, Ash is going to flip out." He puts the phone back to his ear.
"Celt, what the hell is going on?"
"She's leaving the back way." Talon replies and pulls the phone a little from his ear. "And Simi is going with her."
Dead silence follows.
"I'll be there in a minute." Talon tenses at Ash's furious tone. "Follow them. Don't let her hurt Simi."
"Okay." Talon hangs up the phone and looks over to Valerius. "We have to follow them and keep her from hurting Simi until Ash can get here."
"Why can't he just pop over here?" Tabitha asks as they jog towards the back.
"I think he's at the mall." Talon replies. "Too many people."
Aimee runs after Simi and Dawn, not wanting to see Ash get pissed when he finds out the demon left with a human. She pushes open the back door and comes to a halt with a gasp. Daimons, at least fifteen of them and as she thinks it, another bolt-whole opens up.
"Aimee, take Simi inside." Dawn orders, moving in front of the demon. "These are…my old gang. I quit and now they want me back. It's a whole big thing and I'll take care of it. Just get her inside."
"Pft." Simi waves off the concern as she melds out of her human form and into a three foot state, long black hair, horns, and butterfly wings.
"Cool-ass wings." Dawn comments, only the slightest bit fazed.
"See, the Dawn is quality people." Simi smiles widely. "And the Simi is going to get her barbecue."
"Hey, barbecue away." Dawn says. "Though they won't taste very good."
"The Simi knows." Simi agrees.
"Human, were, walk away." The front Daimon warns. "We just want the demon."
"I want to suddenly understand geometry." Dawn pulls a stake out of her pocket and grips it. "Looks like we'll both be disappointed." Then before he can speak again, she throws the stake at him. Dead bull's eye. She turns to look at Aimee as he ashes. "You're a were?"
"Yes." Aimee braces herself for the fear.
Dawn arches an eyebrow. "Really?"
"Well that's just…nifty." Dawn grins.
"Hello?" A Daimon steps forward.
"Oh, hold onto your horses, overbite." Dawn rolls her eyes as she turns back to them. "We haven't forgot about you. Geez, attention whore much?"
"You know, we just wanted the demon." The Daimon says. "But now, I'm going to enjoy killing you."
Dawn snorts. "You're going to enjoy trying but alas, you're about to get your ass kicked straight back to the hell you came from." A large shadow settles next to her and the vamps tense. She changes a look beside her. "Hey, don't I know you?"
"Yes, we met last night." Valerius replies.
"Huh." Dawn reaches into her backpack. "Thought we talked about the alley thing and staying out of them. That wasn't just for Ash. It was for you too."
"You know my akri?" Simi asks Dawn.
"Ash is your akri?" Dawn asks back.
"Yes." Simi replies.
"Huh, he's kinda hot." Dawn whips out a small compacted cross bow and with a flick of her finger, sends a bolt into the nearest vamp. "Two points for Dawn while the vamps have yet to score."
"Kid, get out of here."
Dawn glances behind her to find a tall, muscular man with beautiful, long blonde hair. "Whatever, Fabio."
"I mean it, kid." Talon growls.
"You can bite me, buddy." Dawn growls back. "You may have hair like her, but you ain't my sister." Then she's flying back as she's kicked across the face. "Hey, no fair, you cheated."
"This isn't a game." Valerius punches the Daimon that kicked Dawn.
"Well, duh." Dawn rolls forward and pounces to her feet. "It's so much funnier than a game."
Valerius mutters under his breath in Latin.
"Does your wife know you think she's insane?" Dawn asks curiously as she kicks a vamp in the balls.
"What?" Tabitha slams her knife into a Daimon's chest.
"Your hubby just said I was more insane than you." Dawn grabs the vamp's blonde hair, while he's cupping his bruised balls, and pulls his head down towards her upcoming knee. Then she notices something really weird. All the vamps are blondes. Must be some kind of gang.
"You fucking bitch."
Dawn glances down at him just in time to be bitch slapped, hard. She feels her lip split, tastes blood in her mouth, and sees some of it spray in an arc as her head whips back. Right into a still closing portal thing. "Go to hell, fangboy."
The alley stops, almost like frozen.
Dawn turns her head to see the portal thing, she's still trying to figure out why and how the vamps are using them, flash bright green and start to open instead of close. "Fuck."
"What the hell?" Talon mutters.
"Get back." Dawn screeches, diving at Aimee who is standing to the side of the opening portal. They hit the ground, rolling over until Dawn is on top.
"Oh, pretty." Simi flutters towards the pretty green light.
"Simi, no!!!!" Dawn screams, scrambling off Aimee and to her feet.
Valerius tries to grab Ash's demon but a vortex keeps him from doing so. Even though, he struggles towards it and sees Talon doing the same.
Dawn runs at the demon, passing through the vortex blocking everyone else without any problem. She moves to grab Simi but it's too late. The last thing she sees on earth before she's sucked into the portal, her arms wrapped tightly around Simi, is Ash.
"AKRI!!" Simi screech is cut off with a snap, the portal closed in an instant.
A loud roar echoes down the alley, vaporizing every Daimon except for one.
Ash grabs the only remaining Daimon around the throat and lifts him off the ground. "Open it. Bring her back. Or I will make the rest of your days a living hell."
"That wasn't Kalosis." The Daimon slurs. "I don't know what that was but it wasn't Kalosis."
Ash's mouth opens but he's cut off before he can speak.
"He speaks the truth."
Ash glances down the alley to see Savitar. The other immortal is wearing his trademark surfer attire, but looks much more grave than Ash can remember seeing him.
"You can kill him, he doesn't know anything." Savitor leans against the wall and watches.
Ash pulls the wooden stake out of his pocket and slams it through the Daemon's chest. "Where is Simi?" He demands as he turns towards Savitor.
"I don't know." Savitor replies, snapping his fingers.
"What the…" Kyrian mutters, looking around him. "How did we end up in my house?"
"That'd be me." Savitor holds up a hand and then gestures to everyone to sit down. The group does, most of them still trying to figure out how they got from their various spots all over town to Kyrian's house.
"Aimee." Fang whispers.
"Fang." Aimee whispers back, running to his side.
Ash casts them a look before stalking over to Savitor. "Where is my daughter?"
"Ash, man, I don't know." Savitor says again. "All I know is a portal was opened in that alley and not one to Kalosis."
"Then where to?" Ash can feel the anger building in his body and does his best to push it down. It doesn't work.
"I don't know that." Savitor crosses his wet suit covered arms. "Most likely, some other dimension. And before you ask, no I can't track anyone through other dimensions. Not even Zeus can, not without having some clue as to where they could be."
"What happened?" Ash turns to Valerius and Talon.
"I think it was Dawn's blood." Aimee whispers, drawling all eyes to her. "When that daimon hit her, her head whipped back and her blood sprayed a little. I saw it. The second it hit the bolt-hole, something happened."
"So she did this." Ash growls.
"No." Aimee denies, holding up her hand to ward of arguments. "I listened to them all night. Dawn and Simi were getting along. They were talking like friends."
"That would be the point." Ash says. "Get Simi to trust her and then turn on her."
"Then why did she tell me to take Simi inside?" Aimee questions. "The first Daimon she killed said he only wanted Simi, that me and Dawn could go. Dawn refused and told me to take Simi inside. She stood in front of Simi and tried to keep her from the…whatever that thing was. You didn't….she said it was nifty that I'm a were and she thought Simi's wings her cool-ass. Dawn is quality people."
Dawn groans, rolls over, and groans again. "Okay, did anybody get the license plate of the truck that hit me?"
"There was no truck." Simi picks up a rock and tries to chew it. "Dawn, the Simi is hungry."
"And the Dawn has a headache." Dawn sits up and looks around her. Then she pinches herself. "Yep, this isn't a dream."
"Where are we?" Simi asks. "The Simi doesn't like it here."
"I don't know." Dawn finally realizes why she's in so much pain. She was laying on her backpack. She takes it off and grabs her cell phone. "Damn it."
"What?" Simi asks, looking into Dawn's backpack.
"No service." Dawn pockets the phone and grabs a piece of gum. "Want?"
"Simi wants." Simi takes the gum and then pops it into her mouth, foil and all. "Dawn, why can't the Simi feel her Akri?"
Dawn looks up from her inventory of her backpack. "You can feel Ash?"
"No." Simi sighs. "Did you not hear the Simi? She said she can't feel her akri. The Simi doesn't like it. She needs her akri."
"Okay, but can you normally feel your akri?" Dawn soothes her tone to the one Buffy used to use on her when their parents would fight.
"Uh huh." Simi nods. "The Simi can always feel her akri. No matter where he is. But she can't feel him now." The her tone lowers. "The Simi is scared, Dawn."
"Oh, sweetie, it'll be okay." Dawn soothes. "I've been in worse scraps then this and came out relatively unscathed."
"Does the Dawn know where we are?" Simi asks, scooting closer to her.
"I think we're in another dimension." Dawn replies. "Um, can you do the thing where you change back into human form?"
"Why?" Simi looks insulted. "You don't like the Simi's hornays and wings?"
"No, I love them." Dawn assures her. "I just want to see something. Please?"
"Fine." Simi rolls her eyes and warps back.
Simi tries again.
Panicked, Simi tries to barbecue a rock a few feet from them.
"Something is wrong with the Simi." Simi cries. "She's broken….and she wants her akri. He fix her."
Dawn picks up the demon as she starts to wail and gently rocks her. "Sweetie, you're not broken…exactly. It's just, in other dimensions, demon's powers change or seize to exist. Once we get home, you'll be fine."
"Promise?" Simi sniffles and looks up at Dawn.
She really is a child. No matter how old she looks, emotionally, she's just a little girl. Dawn pushes Simi's black locks away from her wet face. "I promise. I'll even find you a nice vamp to barbecue when we get home."
A small smile covers Simi's lips. "They are not called vamps."
"Huh?" Dawn stops rocking Simi and looks down at the demon. "What? Of course they're vampires."
"Daimons." Simi says and then slams a hand over her mouth.
"Simi, what's a Daimon?" Dawn asks.
Simi shakes her head.
"Simi, the portal we fell through, did they open it?" Dawn asks.
Simi shakes her head again.
"Did your akri tell you not to talk about this to anyone?" Dawn questions.
"And you want to see your akri again, right?"
"Simi wants her akri back, now." Simi demands.
"Okay, then I need to know everything about the Daimon things and the portal thing." Dawn says. "I have to know everything if I'm going to figure out a way to get us out of here."
"My akri will save us." Simi says, not an ounce of doubt in her voice.
"I know he'll try but…in most dimensions, time flows differently." Dawn tries to explain. "Weeks could pass here and it might only be a few minutes at home. We can't wait for them to rescue us; we'll have to rescue ourselves."
"Tell me everything you know about accessing other dimensions or I'll find it myself." Ash warns Artemis.
"What are you talking about?" Artemis arches a delicate eyebrow, eyeing Ash with appreciation. It's the first time in thousands of years where he's sought her out on his own when it's not for business reasons.
"Other dimensions." Ash clenches and unclenches his fists. "What do you know about them?"
"Not much." Artemis debates charging him for the information but by appearances, he's too close to the edge of his control to do so. "We're not supposed to venture into other dimensions. Our powers are altered and in some, completely gone. Honestly, I've never had any desire to visit a different dimension. I find this one to be just fine."
"What about accessing other dimensions?" Ash questions, hating that he's here and asking her for help. But he would gladly do anything or have anything done to him to get Simi back.
"I don't have any idea how." Artemis shrugs. "I've never cared to."
"You might not have but if someone else had…."
"There was….it was a long time ago." Artemis interrupts. "We're forbidden to discuss her…it….Ash, Zeus would have my head if he knew I was telling anyone this. There was a time when we could…but it's long past and nobody discusses it."
"You can't help me." Ash states, not the least bit surprised.
"Ash." Artemis reaches a hand out to him but he's already gone.