Title: Chapter 1
Series: The Key, the Dark-Hunter, and the Link
Crossover: Buffy verse/Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter Series
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.
Time line: Buffy-takes place in three years post Chosen; Dawn is nineteen. They moved back to L.A. a year ago. Angel takes place post getting custody of Wolfram & Hart and they are still running the 'evil' law firm. The majority of this crossover will take place in the D.H. verse rather than Buffy verse. Dark Hunter takes place post Dark Side of the Moon; Nick is a Dark Hunter and does hate Ash. Stryker is still the 'big bad'.
Notes: Buffy vamps and Daimons are not the same (I have how this works all planned out, don't worry).
A/N: I know, I don't need another series going on but **shrugs** I have no excuse. I am still going to work on my two L&O and House; this is the fic that I work on when I'm having a writer's block on those this so I have a couple chaps already wrote. I promise, I am not going to quit any of my three main fics.
Pairings: Main ones already established in the Dark-Hunter Series, Buffy/Angel, Faith/Xander, Willow/Spike, Fred/Wesley, and…..Dawn/Ash
"Heads up." Faith yells.
Dawn dunks down right as Faith's left foot passes over her head, kicking the demon behind her across the face. "Thanks."
"No problem." Faith tosses the key a knife. "Through the heart."
"Yeah." Dawn slams her right hand out and buries the knife in the demon's heart. "I know the drill."
"Dawn." Buffy dives between two of the three-horned demons and jumps to her feet between her sister and her slayer sister.
"Buffy, I'm not arguing with you about this again." Dawn swings her sword. "It's my life and my choice."
"But….what's wrong with L.A.?" Buffy slices the head off the demon next to her.
"Nothing…I just need to do this." Dawn falls back when a demon kicks her in the face. "I don't know why, I just know I have to do this."
"But I don't want you to go." Buffy roundhouses the demon that kicked Dawn across the face.
"I know." Dawn wipes blood off her lip and dives back into the battle. "But this is something I have to do."
Buffy snaps the neck of one of the demons and then steps over its dead body. "I know but I don't like it."
The air around them literally starts sparking and the three Sunnydale survivors step back as the demons around them freeze.
"Man, I don't know how Spike can handle her all the time." Faith rubs her arms, Willow's magic putting her on the edge.
"I still can't believe they're together." Buffy says, watching as her best friend chants some ancient language under her breath.
"They're happy." Dawn comments, mentally correcting Willow's mispronunciation of the ancient Greek spell she's performing. "They both deserve it."
"Yeah." Buffy agrees.
"I'm glad they're toge…." Dawn's comment changes into a high-pitched, long screech as she's thrown across the field by a demon they didn't realize was behind them, one that obliviously wasn't frozen by Willow.
It happens too fast for anyone to stop; one second Dawn is standing between her sister and Faith and then the next she's thrown right in front of Willow right when the witch invokes Hecate.
"DAWN!" Buffy runs towards his sister, slicing and swathing at the now moving demons as she moves.
"Oh, goddess, Dawn." Willow scrambles to her feet and runs over to where the key fell. Her fingers shake as she searches the teenager's neck and it isn't until she feels the weak but growingly steady pulse that she finally relaxes. Then she returns to finishing the spell, knowing not doing so will be so much more dangerous.
Buffy and Faith cut down the demons in their path, killing every one until they reach the key's side. Willow's spell finishes almost at the same time, sealing the dimensional rift and preventing anymore of the demons to pass through.
"Wills, why isn't she waking up?" Buffy cradles Dawn's head on her lap and gently pushes her sister's hair out of her face.
"I don't know." Willow drops down between Buffy and Faith. "It shouldn’t have really done anything to her; the spell was just to close the rift."
"Okay, but isn't Dawn like this big dimensional key thing?" Faith asks. "Think maybe being hit by the spell activated or deactivated something?"
Willow and Buffy exchange a worried look.
"Or maybe she just hit her head." Dawn mutters.
"Dawnie!" Buffy jerks her sister up and squeezes her tightly. "Don't scare me like that, you butthead."
"Buffy, head pounding." Dawn winces. "Squeezing hurt."
"Oh, sorry." Buffy apologizes. "Didn't mean to."
"I know." Dawn rubs her forehead. "That was a rough ride."
"Yeah, and you totally wiped out." Faith snorts.
"Ha ha." Dawn glares up at the slayer.
"What the fuck?" Faith mutters, her eyes opening wide and mouth dropping open.
"What?" Dawn asks upon seeing the confused and shocked look on the slayer's face.
"Your eyes." Faith murmurs.
"What about her eyes?" Buffy turns her sister towards her and gasps.
"What?" Dawn asks self-consciously.
"Dawn, your eyes are green." Buffy whispers.
"No, my eyes are hazel." Dawn corrects. "Boring ole hazel."
"They ain't so boring now." Faith comments. "They kinda change colors."
"You two are so funny." Dawn rolls her eyes.
"Dawn, they're not lying." Willow picks up Buffy's sword and hands it to the key. "Look."
Dawn looks at the blade of the sword and gasps. Her normal, boring, hazel eyes are gone and replaced by a bright, clear green. A green that changes colors ever so subtly. "Huh?"
-Nine months later-
Dawn runs across campus and risks a glance at her watch, groaning by what she finds. She's late, again. Not that it really makes that much of a difference, she's been late to this class everyday except for the first one. It's the professors fault; who has a class at seven in the morning? She scarves down a muffin and a diet cola before sneaking into the classroom, hoping that her professor is in the middle of lecturing and won't notice; she's not so lucky.
"Miss Summers, glad you could join us." Professor Julian Alexander leans back against his desk and crosses his long legs.
Dawn rolls her eyes behind her Ray-Ban sunglasses and sinks down into the desk closest to the door. She sets her laptop case on her desk and drops her head down on it, wincing as her glasses dig into her face. She slips them off and closes her eyes as she listens to today's lecture. It's another vast explanation of Ancient Greek, history that she already knows forward and backwards. In fact, this class is one of her cake courses or whatever they call them. As he drones on in his super-sexy voice, she mentally takes stock of what she has to do
She has a math test Monday that she has to study for, an English paper due, and a lab to make up. There's a paper in this class due next week but she wrote it the first week of class. And she needs to turn it in since she won't be here next week to turn it in; she has to fly back to L.A. on Tuesday for Faith and Xander's wedding (color everyone shocked).
Her move to New Orleans was hard; like almost having to change her name, social security number, and sneak off in the middle of the night so Buffy and Co couldn't stop her hard. After the 'incident' (what everyone calls her eyes turning green), she couldn't step out of her room without somebody by her side. Every person in the new Watchers' Council, Wolfram & Hart, and A.I. were given strict instructions that Dawn was never to be left alone and if anyone attacked her, kill them without question. There was super paranoia that somebody was after the key again (though only the core scoobies and A.I members know the actual reason for the paranoia) and after six months, Dawn was ready to kill somebody. Instead, her and Connor (whom she thinks of as a brother) took off to Vegas. A week later, they returned to mass chaos. Nobody knew Connor was with her (he was still living with his 'family' and only associated with Angel and the group on a casual basis), and nobody was able to find Dawn, by any means. Willow tried every spell she could think of and even made up a few; seems whatever keeps the key in human form also keeps it from being tracked. Which makes her untraceable.
So, with that in mind, Dawn threatened to run off again if they didn't lay off. It worked. Buffy still made her carry around protection (both from humans and demons) and report in if she was going to be even a few minutes late. Her eyes remained green and still remain that color (though the shade changing stopped, only returning if she's highly emotional) but that’s the only side effect from being hit by Willow's spell.
That everyone knows about.
She dreams, a lot. Stuff that she can't really remember when she wakes up outside of feelings. And she can suddenly write in another language that she's not even sure exactly what it is. She almost asked Giles and Wes but figured they'd both want to know where she found it and that would open a whole can of worms she wants to keep closed. She's been researching it on her own when she can and she wants to think it might possibly be the language that was used in Atlantis (yeah, the mythical land that's never been proved to exist) or maybe she's just losing it. It's a possibility. It's getting bad though, to the point where she almost has to consciously remind herself to write in English and not her possibly made up language. (Or she really is going nuts; she checks the mirror daily to see if she sees herself all green. So far, only the eyes.)
But back to school. She doesn't know why she had to move to New Orleans; something just called to her. The city is starting to thrive again in the aftermath of Katrina and she's finding it to be fascinating. So much history. So lush. And so far from Buffy, Giles, and Angel that it almost makes her squeal with excitement. But she refrains.
Buffy did have some conditions for her moving here. One, she has to call all the time to let somebody know she's okay. Two, she can't live on campus (evil roommate fears; Angel/Wolfram & Hart built her a nice house). Three, the first time she gets kidnapped, she's coming home. Four, she can't tell anyone where she actually lives (even the school has her address down as a P.O. box). And lastly, she's not allowed to patrol.
She probably should tell somebody about the dreams and the possibly made up language but she's enjoying her freedom way too damn much to do so.
Julian Alexander quietly walks towards the back of his classroom, nodding to his leaving students, as he approaches one that he just doesn't get. He doesn't understand why she's taking his class when she clearly doesn't understand anything or give a damn about it, given how she sleeps through most of the class and misses the rest of it. He guesses her to be somewhere around eighteen or nineteen, he could access her file if he really wanted to know, and her clothing varies from goth to 'prep' to stripper-like. Right now, her long, red, black, blue, and blonde streaked hair is piled up on the top of her head with what looks to be two plastic forks. She's wearing loose black cargo pants that hang down almost too low to be considered descent. Her stomach is bare, a green ball resting in her belly button, and she's wearing a short-sleeved t-shirt that she had to have gotten in the children's section, given the 'Dora the Explorer' print on the front and the tightness. Her standard pair of Ray-Bans are resting next to her head and he can see her combat boots tapping lightly on the floor. The father in him is terrified that his daughters will one day dress this way.
"Hey, Professor A." Dawn chirps, her eyes still closed and head lying on her laptop case.
"Miss Summers, class is over." Julian tells her.
"Yeah, I heard the commotion." Dawn sits up and stretches before looking up at him. "I need to talk to you."
Julian sits down on the desk across from her and crosses his arms over his chest. "Yes?"
"It's about the paper due next week." Dawn says. "I'm going to be out of town…"
Here we go again; he spent three hours last night arguing with the dean about why the three football players in his class can't get an extension on their assignments. He's not in the mood to do it again. "Miss Summers, I don't give extensions. It's stated very clearly in the syllabus, if you bothered at all to read it, which I doubt, given how I've yet to see you open a book or take any notes. This class is not easy but it isn't so hard that you couldn't do well if you tried. But you don't try. You don't do anything. I'm not sure what you expect, but youth and looks will only get you so far. If you want to succeed in not only this class but in life in general, you have to put some effort in it."
Dawn's mouth opens but he continues on.
"If you want to drop the class, there is still time to do so without it affecting your grade point average." Julian continues, arching an eyebrow when she puts her sunglasses on. "I don't give buys. You have to do the work if you want to pass; end of story." With that said, he turns and walks back to his desk, missing the angry stance of the girl behind him.
She hasn't been this mad since Buffy sent her off the hellmouth before the big ole battle with the first. She knows her eyes have to be flashing through every color green there is as she stalks to the library. She ignores the catcalls from various guys and drops down on the first desk she finds.
As her laptop warms up, she pulls out a tablet of notebook paper and a black pen, prepared to make him eat his words.
The large table at Café Pontalba is filled with laughter as the large group eats in what has become a bi-monthly tradition. Vane and Bride Kattalakis sit beside Valerius and Tabitha Magnus with Bill and Selena Laurens beside them. Across the table, talking quietly in Greek are Julian Alexander and Kyrian Hunter with their wives (Grace Alexander and Amanda Hunter, respectively) beside them. Though the men (and Tabitha) look relaxed, they're all prepared for a fight if necessary.
Dawn storms into the restaurant, walking past the questioning hostesses without stopping. Her laptop case hangs across her chest and sheets of paper are clenched tightly in her hand. She had to practically beg (and mostly threaten) professor Alexander's teaching assistant to tell her where he is and nothing is going to stop her from making him eat his words, especially one over eager hostess.
Vane looks up when he hears the teenager that seated them screech loudly to see another teenager barreling down on them with murder in her eyes. He tenses at her expression. "I think we might have trouble."
Julian turns around and sighs.
"Honey, do you know her?" Grace asks her husband.
"Unfortunately, yes." Julian sighs as he stands up. "She's one of my students. I might have been a little mean to her today."
"She looks pissed." Kyrian says to Julian in their native language.
"She is so beyond pissed." Dawn sneers back in perfect Greek.
Needless to say, the entire table stares at her in shock.
"Miss Summers…" Julian begins, suddenly wondering if maybe he was a little too quick with his words.
"Professor Alexander, bite me." Dawn interrupts and shoves a few pieces of paper at him. "As I was going to tell you before you so rudely interrupted and then went off on me, I am going out of town next week for a wedding. This is my report, written in Medieval Greek. I wanted to turn it in early." Then she shoves a few more pieces at him. "This is the same report, written in modern Greek, in case the other is a little too hard for you." Then another few pieces. "And just in case you can't read Greek at all, here it is again in Latin." More paper. "And Turkish." More paper. "And just for the hell of it, ancient Aramaic." Then the remaining sheets. "And in case those are all out of your grasp, I dumbed it down for you in English."
Julian stares down at the papers in his hand in complete shock.
Dawn grins inwardly and outwardly at his visible display of shock. "I'll see you in class, Professor Alexander." Then she spins around and runs in a wall. Then trips over her feet. Then over her professor and directly into the corner of the table. The last thing she notices before her world goes black is that the wall is oddly man-shaped.
"I've seen women swoon at your presence but I'm pretty sure she's the first one I've seen actually pass out." Tabitha comments, looking up at Acheron Parthenopaeus with a grin.
"Cute." Ash kneels down beside the passed out human and pushes her hair off her face, wincing slightly at the large knot forming on her forehead.
"Aren't you supposed to have Dark-Hunter reactions?" Julian jokes though he casts his student a worried look. "Shouldn't you have caught her before she knocked herself out?"
Julian is right; he should have but he didn't. He managed to catch her before she hit the ground but not before she was unconscious. It took some haggling with the management not to call the police (and maybe some 'convincing') but they were allowed to take the teenager out of the restaurant and down the block to Selena's shop. Currently, the girl Julian told them is named Dawn Summers, is lying on a couch in the back of Selena's store.
"Is she going to be okay?" Grace squeezes her husband's arm reassuringly, knowing he feels guilty for the girl's accident.
Kyrian looks up from the papers in his hand with a furrowed brow. "Who the hell is she?"
"Just a student." Julian replies.
"Just a student that can write perfect Greek." He hands his oldest friend the papers. "Almost as good as I can."
"I thought she was joking." Julian looks down at the papers. Kyrian's right. Dawn's Greek is perfect. So perfect it could blend in with stuff written B.C.
Ash casts a curious look behind him before looking back down at the girl he accidentally knocked out. She's young, beautiful but young. His mouth opens to speak but he's clobbered across the jaw before he can do so.
"Damn it." Dawn screeches, jumping up and grabbing her hand with a grimace. "Is your face made out of concrete?"
"Nice punch." Ash rubs his jaw, shocked by the power she packed. It didn't hurt in the least bit but held more power than a normal human girl should.
"Thanks." Dawn replies automatically and then backs up when she sees the man in front of her. Gorgeous is the first word that crosses her mind followed by tall, like super tall. He only looks a few years older than her but instinctively she knows he's much older than that. How much older, she's not sure. And he really is gorgeous. Long black hair that looks a little on the girly side except that it's not. He's wearing glasses like her own, a long, black leather jacket, and a black t-shirt that doesn't disguise the ripples of his abs. And leather pants. She's never liked leather pants on guys but she's wondering if maybe she should give them another chance.
"Oh, maybe she is going to swoon." Tabitha singsongs, laughing when Ash tenses.
"Swoon?" Dawn snorts. "Over what?" She gestures in front of her. "Over tall, dark and gorgeous? Okay, he's cute and all but swoon, nada."
"Cute." Ash repeats, feeling rather insulted.
"Sure, cute." Dawn agrees. "Like a puppy…only you're not too puppy like are, you? Hmm, well, anyways, who the hell are you?"
He's too startled to speak.
Dawn arches an eyebrow and holds her hand out to him. "I'm Dawn Summers."
Ash stares down at her hand.
"It's this polite custom thing we have going on." Dawn explains. "See, insert hand and say your name. Then we shake hands, usually rather gently unless you're trying to impress or scare me with your masculinity, which by the way, won't work, then you can squeeze it all hard and that sounds so much dirtier out loud than it did in my head." When he still doesn't speak, she reaches out and grabs his hand, ignoring the shock that shoots up her arm, and shakes it. "And you would be?"
"Acheron Parthenopaeus ." Ash replies automatically, still a little shocked by her behavior. Most people shy from his presence, unless they work for him and even then, most of them treat him with the fear and respect his presence demands.
"Cool name." Dawn chirps, looking curiously around the room she's in. Then she sees him and groans. "Oh, god, did I pass out?"
"Yeah." Ash replies, not understanding her confusion. "What did you think happened?"
"Well, I was hoping I was kidnapped or something, not that I passed out in the middle of my big scene." Dawn groans.
"Miss Summers." Julian starts.
"No, see, it's not supposed to be like this." Dawn cuts him off. "I was supposed to storm off and leave you feeling all bad and shocked that you were such a butthead. Nowhere in the script did it say that I would run into a wall disguised as a man and knock myself out. So, can we just go back to you with your mouth open and me walking out in a blaze of glory?"
Amanda, Tabitha, Bride, and Grace all laugh at the shocked looks around them.
"Dawn." Dawn interrupts. "When you say Miss Summers, it always makes me think I'm in trouble. I get you have to be all professional in class but I think with the knocking out, you can call me by my first name."
"And I'm not sure I'm not still mad at you." Dawn interrupts again. "You took one look at me and decided I'm a stupid, airhead teenager that uses her boobs and ass to get by in life."
"And that fact that you're always late, never take notes, and sleep during class didn't help in that assumption?" Julian asks.
"Okay, if you want to get all technical about it." Dawn admits. "But in my defense, your class is just a cake class for me so there's no reason for me to actually pay attention."
Julian's mouth drops open, visibly insulted.
"Oh, that probably wasn't the nicest thing to say to my teacher." Dawn says sheepishly. "I'm not saying that your class isn't interesting, it would really be so if I didn't already know everything you're teaching. And I don’t sleep; I just rest my eyes." Then off his still insulted look. "It's your own fault; who in their right mind has a class at seven in the morning?"
Valerius shakes his head, muttering under his breath in Italian.
Dawn turns her head and shots back an insult in crisp Italian.
"What?" Amanda asks her sister.
"Val commented on her 'brash and loud exterior' and she made fun of his girly hair." Tabitha explains.
"Your Italian is very good." Valerius comments to the teenager.
"Yeah, and so much better than my English." Dawn agrees. "I lived in Rome for six months when I was sixteen."
"You learned Italian in six months?" Tabitha asks, disbelievingly.
"To speak it and understand it, yes." Dawn replies. "Reading and writing…somewhat. I was teaching myself but I slacked off when I moved here."
"From?" Ash asks curiously.
"California." Dawn replies, tilting her head back to look at him. He really is cute…and kinda familiar. She just can't place from where. Pushing it to the back of her mind, she turns her head towards her professor. "Okay, maybe I should attempt to be on time and pay attention…in fact, I'll make it a goal or something. And I might have overreacted with the whole 'translating' thing but I was just trying to prove that I'm not some air-headed teenager."
Julian glances down at the papers in his hand and then back up at her. "I think you proved your point."
A wide, cheesy grin covers Dawn's lips. "Then my work here is done." She looks around the room and spots her laptop case sitting beside the couch she was on. "And I won't see you next week cuz of the wedding thing but I'll be back for class the week after that."
"On time?" Julian questions.
"Possibly." Dawn steps around Ash and grabs her case. "I'll give it my best shot but I promise nothing."
Julian starts to nod when something occurs to him. "How did you find me?"
"Oh, your teaching assistant told me you always go out to eat at that Café on Fridays." Dawn replies.
"Brent just told you that?" Julian asks.
"I said please." Dawn replies as she slips herself through the straps of her laptop case. "Okay, well, sorry for breaking up your dinner with my spaz attack." She starts to leave when Ash steps in front of her. "Do I have to pay a toll or something?"
"It's night out." Ash says.
"No?" Dawn asks, her voice flooded with sarcasm. "Gee, that's generally what happens when the sun sets. I promise you, the world isn't going to end because it's dark out. Like little orphan Annie said, 'the sun will come out tomorrow'."
Ash feels his mouth drop open.
Dawn dunks under his arm and waves behind her as she leave the room.
"I like her." Vane comments with a grin. "She's…"
"Much more of a smartass than I originally thought." Julian cuts in.
"You okay, Ash?" Amanda asks, patting his arm.
Ash just looks puzzled. It's not very often that a human throws him off guard and never one so young. "I'm fine."
"Where's the Simster?" Tabitha asks curiously as it's not normal to see the Dark Hunter leader without his demon companion.
"She's around." Ash replies. "What exactly did you say to Dawn, Julian?"
"That I wouldn't give her an extension." Julian pushes a hand through his hair. "That if she bothered to read the syllabus, she would have known that. And that her looks and youth would only get her so far; if she wanted to succeed in life, she has to actually put some effort into it."
Grace smacks her husband on the arm. "No wonder she was so pissed off."
"She's only been on time once." Julian defends. "I've never seen her open a book or take a note."
"And yet her knowledge of Ancient Greek is good." Kyrian comments as he reads through her report. "As close to accurate as someone who wasn't actually there can get."
Julian nods his agreement as he skims through the copy in his hand. "And she even included some things I've said in class that differ from what history books say."
"So she does pay attention." Grace says.
"And now I feel worse." Julian sighs. "I shouldn't have assumed…"
Ash holds up a hand, cutting Julian off mid-sentence.
"Ash?" Kyrian questions.
"There are Daimons close by." Ash starts for the door.
"Dawn." Julian follows behind. "She's out there alone."
"I know." Ash reaches out to find the teenager only to come up empty. He can't find any trace of her, in any shape or form. Something that's never happened before. He casts a look behind him to see the same confusion on Vane's face.
"What?" Julian asks, noticing the shared look.
"I can't track her." Vane growls, anger and confusion filling his body. He's never not been able to track somebody when he knows their scent. Ever. He should be able to smell her out but he can't.
"You're a wolf." Valerius says.
"I know that." Vane pushes a frustrated hand through his hair. "I can't find her scent to track her."
"She was right here." Bride touches her mate's arm gently.
"But it's like she wasn't." Vane explains. "She had a scent when she was here."
"Chocolate and cucumber-melon." Ash starts walking again. "I remember exactly what she smelt like…"
"Only it's like she was never here." Vane finishes. "How the hell does that happen?"
Ash shrugs. "I don't know."
"She's probably fine." Tabitha says, her hand pulling her husband with her. "What are the chances that the Daimons are going to attack her?"
"A young, attractive virgin walking alone a night." Ash pushes open the door and turns right, where he can feel the Daimons. "I wonder if there's any danger?"
"How do you know she's a virgin?" Bride asks curiously.
Ash just looks at her.
"Oh." Bride mutters, figuring it must have something to do with Ash's Dark-Hunter powers. She makes a mental note to ask her husband.
Ash walks down the sidewalk, people literally fanning to avoid him, as he stalks the Daimons. Simi is itching to come out but he pushes her eagerness aside as he hunts. He stops about five blocks from Selena's shop and tilts his head slightly before turning down the alley on his right. He comes to a dead stop at what he finds, for the second time in thousands of years, actually shocked by what he witnesses.