Are You Afraid of The Dark?
Title: It’s Tuesday Already?
Part of the TTH5000
Topic: Dawn/Anita Blake
Prompt: 12. A kidnapping or hostage situation.
Summary: It’s that time of the week…
Spoilers for the end of Buffy and up through Danse Macabre for AB
Warnings: Vague mentions and threats of sexual abuse. If you can read AB, you can stand this.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
There’s some Jason/Anita in this one. No more than in the series. Still no pairing for Dawn. It’s coming, I promise.
It was laughable, really.
A werewolf, afraid of the dark.
A werewolf who lived with and fed vampires, afraid of the dark.
A werewolf who lived with and fed vampires in a dark, underground circus, worked a night job, and was afraid of the dark.
It shouldn’t be possible.
It certainly wasn’t probable
He had expected her to laugh at him when he had answered her question about why he was trembling.
At the very least, some sort of derision.
After all, he could freely admit that it was completely and utterly pathetic for him to be utterly and completely scared shitless of the dark.
The hole their kidnappers had thrown them down was pitch black. There was no light, at all, not even a sliver shining through the hole or trapdoor they came through. She had felt, not seen him shaking.
She hadn’t laughed, or made fun of him.
She had moved closer, feeling around in the dark to locate him, and then, after a small incident involving his stomach and some very embarrassed giggling, put her arm around him.
“Me too. I wasn’t when I was little, you know. Not like most kids. I was convinced that the bogeyman didn’t exist, that nothing went bump in the night; that I was safe. You know that surety of mind that small children have.” she giggled, on the edge of hysteria. “Pretty ironic, right? When I got a little older, and knew that the things that went bump really were out to get me, I trusted my sister to protect me.” Her voice hitched. “Then she died, and I thought that the dark would swallow me up.”
Dawn did not speak of her family, ever. She never answered questions posed by her friends about them, either. The employees of Guilty Pleasures were all pretty quiet about their families, since very few still had them, and most had been disowned or kicked out. But Dawn was even more closed-mouthed than Gregory and Stephen, and Jason hadn’t known that was possible. He certainly hadn’t known she had a sister. He sensed that asking her to elaborate now would probably not be a good idea. Yes, on occasion, Jason Shuyler could indeed show restraint.
He wasn’t sure who was comforting whom as he drew her into his lap. They sat like that for what felt like hours.
“And what do we have here?” Light flooded the small underground room, streaming down from the ceiling and revealing a 10 by 10 cement block. The sudden brightness caused both Dawn and Jason to shield their eyes.
“Stop flirting and get up here now.” The disembodied voice ordered.
Jason took Dawn’s hand and led her to the ladder that had been let down, his werewolf eyes adjusting to the light first.
He climbed up, blocking her body with his.
Jason’s mouth hit the floor with shock when he saw who their captor was.
The last time he had seen this particular person, he had been locked in a cage, desperately trying not to eat or rape Anita. Once Anita had explained exactly who and what this particular person was, some of which was rumors he had already heard, Jason had vowed never to see him again.
“Edward.” He half turned to help Dawn out of the hole, keeping his eyes on Death the entire time. “I love you, Sunshine. I hope you’ve made your peace with your Powers That Be.” His voice was barely a whisper, deadly serious.
“Calm down Jason. You know as well as I do that if this was a straight up job, you would already be dead.” The man was holding a gun, pointed down, but clearly ready to be aimed if needed.
Dawn had finished climbing, and Jason put a protective arm around her.
They were in a regular old living room. The shades were drawn, so she had no idea where they were. The trap door was your typical hidden door in the floor, complete with crumpled up rug that was clearly used to hide it. Couldn’t the owners have been at least a little imaginative? The room was clearly done up by someone with taste, the walls a royal purple, with seafoam green trim. The couch, chair, and ottoman were the same shade of green. The hired muscle would have blended into the walls, if they could. There were four of them, which Dawn though was overkill, until she remembered Jason’s furry little problem. Everyone had a hand on a gun. She turned her attention to the man Jason was conversing with.
He was taller than Jason, but so was everybody else. He looked like your average southerner, in a flannel button-down and jeans as well as cowboy boots. His features were good-looking in a Midwestern way, and he had a set of eyes she had only ever seen once before. It wasn’t the color, or the shape, but what wasn’t there.
Glory’s eyes had been dead like that.
Dawn shivered into Jason, leaning closer.
“We’re in trouble, aren’t we?”
“Yes, yes we are.”
“Is she yet another of Anita’s pets? My little executioner picking up humans now too? Soon I won’t be able to work in St. Louis at all.”
“Anita said you don’t do regular humans”
“Anita is an idealist. She’d like to think I only kill the monsters.”
Dawn laughed, her voice still edging on hysterical. “Anita Blake? I met her once. She doesn’t like me. Something about me being far too comfortable with the monsters.”
He laughed. “Sounds like my Anita. Ever the hypocrite.” His voice went dead again. “She’ll be looking for you, Jason.”
“Yes, she will.”
“Better get you out of here before she does.”
“I’m not leaving Dawn’s side.”
“They’re not paying for your delivery, only hers.”
Jason’s answer was to hold Dawn tighter. He was not letting go. And not just because Jean Claude would probably kill him for losing such a competent manager. He loved her. He knew that she would probably only ever think of him as a friend, and that was okay. He had finally figured out what Anita couldn’t. You could love someone enough to know that they’re happier without you, and be okay with that. He knew that they wouldn’t work out as a couple anyway; they just weren’t compatible like that. It would be a disaster greater than Richard and Anita, who he considered the Romeo and Juliet of the supernatural. Yes, Jason the Stripper Shuyler had read Shakespeare, try not to have a heart attack. He was quite the fan of the bard, actually. It would have ended horribly, and they would have had an awful awkward relationship afterwards. So it was better not to try. But Jason Shuyler would always love Dawn Summers, and she was not going anywhere without him. Even if that meant his death.
“What?” Edward really looked at Dawn for the first time, and she felt the heavy tonnage of his gaze. “I should kill you for daring to ask.”
“But they’re paying for me to be alive.” She gave him a half smile, and Jason realized that she knew exactly what she was doing.
“Exactly.” Edward had the same dead look he always had, but Jason thought he saw a flicker of uncertainty run across Death’s face for a split second.
“And you respect me for having the balls to ask.”
“You know someone like me.” It wasn’t a question.
“Yeah, I do. Her name is Faith.”
“Faith, the slayer?”
“You know a slayer?”
“Not now Jason.” She turned to Edward and responded, “Yeah, Faith the slayer. You’ve met her?”
“We worked together once. Friend of yours?”
“Honorary big sister.”
“They didn’t tell me that. I would have charged more. Slayers are nasty to deal with. Especially that one.”
She let out a snort. “Nasty is an understatement. Try sharing a bathroom with a dozen of them. Who is they?”
“You don’t give up, do you?”
“She’s kind of annoying like that.”
“Don’t help” Dawn snapped
“Shut up Jason.” Edward said, in a void devoid of tone.
“I know a consensus when I see one.” The werewolf continued to shield his best friend as she bantered back and forth with Death. He made sure that none of the thugs around the room could get a straight shot off at her. They probably all had silver shot, but it would be better for him to get him than her, even with silver.
“Who?” Dawn refused to be side tracked.
“Why do you want to know?”
“So I can be mentally prepared. People, and I use this term loosely, generally want me for very specific reasons, First is who I am, and since you didn’t know that one, I’ll rule that out. Second, to sacrifice me, and really, that’s something I like to prepare for in advance. Nothing ruins your day like an unanticipated sacrifice. Third is pretty recent, and that’s being one of Jean Claude’s people. But they would probably take Jason, too, if that were the case, so I’m gonna lean towards sacrifice.”
“He didn’t say why he wanted you, just that he wanted you alive and unhurt. And alone. I don’t normally hand the humans over to the monsters, but this monster is paying pretty damned well.”
“And this monster is…”
“Vampire, goes by the name of Angelus.”
- - - -- - - - -- -- - - -- - - - - - -- - - - - - -- -