Title: Chapter 1
Series: In my time of Living
Disclaimer: I own nothing; Joss Whedon owns all that is Buffy while Eric Kripke and the CW owns everything Supernatural. I am just playing with them all.
Timeframe: Takes place three years post season 7 of Buffy and season 4 of Angel. Season 5 of Angel has not really taken place though they are still at Wolfram & Hart. Supernatural mentions start with first Season one episode 'Home' and a few more are referred to but the majority of the story will take place post 2.01, 'In my time of dying'.
A/N: This is the Dawn fic, since it is the one I was most inspired to write.
"Take a message."
"It's Buffy, she said it's an emergency."
With a sigh, Dawn drops the small hammer and chisel to the dusty table. She dusts her hands off on her low-slung cargo pants as she makes her way over to the harness she took off about six hours ago. She expertly puts it back on and then rope climbs her way up the dust wall and out of the hole she's spent the last two weeks working in. Once she's on solid ground again, she drops the harness and rope to the ground.
"She sounds mad." Clint Russell holds the satellite phone out to Dawn.
Dawn smiles at the archeological professor who is in charge of the dig they're on. Clint is actually an old school friend of Giles', post-Ripper days, and is currently leading a group of students on a digging expedition. She's there as a liaison, mostly to cover up any demon-y things and partly to help Russell with some translating. At first meeting, her and Clint didn't get along; she thought he was a pompous asshole and he thought she was an idiot because she didn't go to college. They get along fine now, though he's pressuring her even more than Buffy did about going to school. She doesn't want to. She likes learning….hates school with a passion. "Hey, Buffy."
"Hey, tomb raider girl."
Dawn rolls her eyes. "What's up, Buff, I'm in the middle of something."
"You need to get to L.A., pronto."
"Aren't you supposed to be in Cleveland….are you with Angel?"
"Don't take that tone, Dawnie."
"I'm not taking a tone and I love Angel just as much as the next girl but I don't want to have to pick up the pieces of you when it goes to hell." Dawn says.
"This time it's different."
"It's always different."
"This time it's not about me….it's about you."
"What about me?"
"Dawn, just get your butt to L.A. now, that's a direct order." Buffy orders. "A copter will be at the site to pick you up in about five minutes and it will take you to the airport where one of Angel's jets will be waiting. You will get on that jet and come here or I will send Willow after you."
"Fine." Dawn agrees after a few moments and only because of the Willow threat; she hates magical traveling. It makes her want to puke every time. She barely hangs up the phone and has time to tell Clint what's going on before the copter is there. And not even twenty minutes after she hung up the phone, she's on one of Wolfram & Hart's private jets and his heading towards L.A.
The first thing she does, after they're at cruising altitude, is take a shower. A very, very long shower. Nature girl she is not. In fact, she only agreed to go on the expedition for two reasons; first, to get away from the slayers and the other, because Giles promised her a trailer to sleep in. The first reason, she was so grateful for. Two years with a bunch of super-powered teenage girls is enough to make her want to shoot something. And the second….well, it was a crappy trailer but a trailer nonetheless. There was a toilet, a sink, and a shower but almost no water. So she hasn't had a real shower in two weeks. Once she's fresh from the shower, she remembers she didn't bring any clothes with her because Buffy didn't give her enough time. Luckily though, Angel keeps clothes on the jet so she throws on a pair of his boxers and one of his button up shirts. They're both way to big for her but thankfully don't smell like dirt and sweat. Then, with nothing to do, she curls up in one of the huge seats, leans back, and goes to sleep. She's been here before. She's dreamed this place before. In fact, for the last few nights, she's been dreaming about this house, these boys. The first one is about her age, give or take a year, badly in need of a haircut. He's the youngest. And he's currently being tossed across the kitchen by a ghost. It's different from the last time she dreamed about him and the other one, for one, the other one isn't here being all 'Buffy-like' and bossing messy-head about. And secondly, she can feel the ghost. The evilness of it or whatever. Which is kinda strange since you know, it's a dream, but as long as no guy comes walking over to give her some cheese, she figures it'll be safe. But then ghost starts getting all fire happy and she can actually feel the flames. Which makes her wonder if maybe this isn't a dream because even in her most vivid dreams, she can't feel stuff like it's real.
Dawn glances beside her and does a double take. "Wills, what are you doing here?"
"I don't really….Dawn?"
"Of course it's me." Dawn wrinkles her nose. "Are you okay?"
"No, I'm really not." Willow cocks her head. "Um, so Dawn, what's going on?"
"I'm not really sure." Dawn gestures in front of them. "I was dreaming and then the dream got kind of real and then you showed up."
"Okay." Willow murmurs as she walks around Dawn.
"Wills, you're freaking me out here." Dawn says.
"Yeah, well you're freaking me out right back." Willow counters. "You pulled me here."
"I did no such thing." Dawn protests.
"Yeah, ya did." Willow argues. "You were freaked out and wanted help. I felt you so okay, technically you didn't pull me here but I felt you fear and came to see what was going on."
"So you're astral?"
"So are you."
"No, I'm dreaming." Dawn protests.
"Dawn, you're astral." Willow argues. "And that's not all, you're…different."
"How am I different?" Dawn asks. "I'm the same old….my hair is blonde."
"Yep." Willow nods. "And you're about ten years older than you should be and look completely different."
"Okay." Dawn says slowly. "Maybe I'm possessed."
"No, it's your soul." Willow shrugs. "So, where are we and who are they? And do you think they realize a poltergeist is about to kill them?"
"Don't know, don't know, and don't know." Dawn replies. "But I'm thinking we should help….can we help being all astral?"
"Never tried." Willow shrugs. "But I'll take on Casper and you get the boys out of here."
"How exactly am I going to do that?" Dawn asks. "They can't see us."
"Just walk through the flames and I'll do the rest." Willow orders.
With a shrug and because she's still not really sure this is real, Dawn walks through the fire.
"Dawnie, get up."
Dawn sits up with a gasp and then fumbles back when she sees her sister. "Buffy, how are you here?"
"You're at the airport, Dawn." Buffy arches an eyebrow. "You okay?"
"Yeah….just having a weird dream." Dawn runs a hand over her face and then stands up to face her sister. "What's the big deal?"
"First off, it wasn't a dream." Willow says from behind Buffy.
"I was asleep." Dawn protests.
"You were in a semi-comatose state, which is how you were able to astral…even though I'm not sure how you could astral since hello, not a witch but there it is." Willow says. "What was the last thing you remember?"
"Walking through the fire." Dawn replies. "Why, what happened? Did you save them?"
After a second, Willow nods.
"Cool." Dawn chirps. "I gotta say, evil or not, these jets rule. That was a short plane ride."
"Hey there, broody." Dawn throws her arms around Angel, her second favorite vampire, and hugs him tightly.
"Hey, Dawnie." Angel kisses the top of her head. "Nice clothes."
Dawn tilts her head back with a grin. "Thanks."
"Hey there, niblet."
Dawn spins around and clobbers Spike across the face. "That's for letting me think you were dead."
"Bloody hell." Spike mutters.
Dawn then throws her arms around Spike and kisses his cheek. "I missed you, Spike."
"Missed you too, bit." Spike kisses the top of her head. "Your big sis said you're doing the Tomb Raider thing."
Dawn rolls her eyes. "Okay, so I go digging through dirt for artifacts and I happen to have a gun on my hip at the time. It's a safety precaution and she saw the holster thing and started calling me Lara Croft."
"You looked just like her." Buffy defends. "Though I don't like my little sister wearing guns strapped to her thighs."
"Hips." Dawn corrects. "And hello, poisonous snakes and I don't have slayer aim. One almost bit me the first day I was out there and if I didn't have the gun, it would have."
"Well, you should have just stayed home." Buffy plops down on the couch in Angel's office.
"The girls were driving me insane." Dawn hops up on Angel's desk. "And besides, I like the 'researching watcher' thing. You know me with the research; we go hand in hand."
"And you do a very good job of it." Giles pats her fondly on the back. "Even Clint said so and he's not an easy man to please."
"That's your polite way of saying he's a pompous asshole." Dawn says.
Giles grins. "Yes."
"And I'm thinking you didn't order me back here to ask how it was going." Dawn says. "So, what's the what?"
Giles looks at Buffy who looks at Angel who looks at Spike who looks at Willow who looks at Xander who looks back at Buffy.
"Did somebody die?" Dawn questions. "Or am I dying or something?"
"Nobody died." Buffy assures her. "It's um….do you remember Whistler, the balance demon…"
"That told you to send Angel to hell to save the world, yeah, that's a demon I won't forget." Dawn cuts in. "What about him?"
"He's a devilishly handsome demon whom often gets blamed for things not his fault."
Dawn turns her head to where the thick, Bronx-type accent is coming from and sees a short man with a bowler hat leaning against the far wall of the room. She didn't notice him before but how, she's not sure. He smells like cheap whisky and sewers.
"Hey now, not all of us get to clean up in a luxury shower." Whistler says.
"You're a demon that works for the PTB's; you can't say that you can't just poof yourself clean." Dawn comments.
"True." Whistler agrees and just like that, he's clean and in a perfectly pressed black suit.
"And you couldn't change clothes when you were training me." Angel mutters.
"Had to keep you motivated to work hard." Whistler says. "Now, let's get down to business."
"What business do you have with my sister?" Buffy repeats the question she's been asking since the balance demon showed up ten hours ago and demanded to see Dawn. "She's not a champion; she doesn't work for the powers."
"No, she's not a champion." Whistler agrees. "But everyone is connected to the powers, some more than others. And little sis here….she's connected in ways not even you are."
"The whole key thing, yeah, we got that." Buffy replies. "Made of my blood as a vessel for the key."
"In the ten years that you've been fighting the good fight, what's the biggest thing that you've ever learned?" Whistler questions.
Buffy furrows a brow, not knowing how to answer.
"That not everything is as it seems." Angel says quietly. "And even when you think you know the truth, there's always more to learn."
"The key needed a vessel and yes, they used your blood to make that vessel." Whistler nods at Angel before looking back at Buffy. "But they couldn't create a soul."
"Dawn has a soul." Willow argues.
"Yes, she does." Whistler agrees. "But they didn't create it."
"Okay, you're saying I have someone else's soul in my body." Dawn replies, breaking the silence in the room.
Whistler shakes his head. "No, you're a soul inside another body."
"I don't…you mean the monks stole somebody else's soul out of their body and shoved it in the vessel they made?" Buffy growls.
"They didn't steal the soul." Whistler corrects. "The body was already dead. They just…"
"Reused it." Dawn finishes blankly.
"Pretty much." Whistler agrees.
"Who?" Dawn demands.
"Can't tell you that." Whistler holds up a hand to ward of all protests. "You've all been doing this for a long time and you know the rules. I am allowed to tell you what I'm allowed to tell you. This is it."
"So I'm somebody else, not Dawn Summers." Dawn whispers.
"No, you're Dawn Summers but you're also someone else." Whistler corrects. "Nobody can take away who you are, not even the Powers-That-Be. You'll always be Dawn Summers."
"But I'm also someone else." Dawn says.
"That you are." Whistler pushes off the wall and pats her on the shoulder. "I'm not allowed to tell you anything more but that doesn't mean it's not out there. Good luck. I'll be rooting for you."
"Dawn, are you okay?" Buffy plops down on Angel's surprisingly comfortable bed.
Dawn shakes her head. "I'm real."
"Sweetie, I've always said that." Buffy says.
Dawn scoots over to lay her head on Buffy's lap. "No, I'm real in a way I didn't….you know, I've never met my own father, not really."
"And I've only spent five or six months with my mother. Everything except for the past six years has been nothing but lies." Dawn whispers. "But now I found out that even this, me, is a lie. I'm someone else and I don't even know who."
"Do we need to do the blood thing again?" Buffy asks. "You are my sister and nothing will ever change that. So what if you're someone else too. We'll find out who you were before. We will face this like we have everything else, head on."
"Promise." Buffy pecks a soft kiss on Dawn's forehead. "So, maybe you were a criminal. Would explain the klepto stage and the penchant for lying."
"Ha ha." Dawn rolls her eyes. "You think you're so funny."
"Any luck?" Angel reaches around Dawn to grab the mug of blood Harmony set on his desk.
"Nope." Dawn leans back in Angel's chair and looks up at the vampire. "You okay?"
"Fine." Angel plops down on the couch with a sigh. "Just tired."
Dawn casts a glance out the window. "Well, it is about noon. Shouldn't you vampire types be sleeping?"
"Probably." Angel sips his blood with a half smile. "So, have you heard from Buffy?"
Dawn smiles at Angel's attempt at casual conversation. She's been in L.A. for going on four weeks now and discounting the occasional evil demon that attempts to kill them, working at Wolfram & Hart is so much better than working at the council. For one, no teenage girls fighting over the bathroom. For two, Angel and Spike actually let her do stuff that Buffy would never do. Okay, they both stand behind her like two over protective watchdogs the whole time but they let her. Buffy and Willow stayed her with her for a week and a half before having to fly off to do council things. They both wanted her to go but….as much as she loves her sister, she couldn't handle any more quality time with her. "Willow emailed me and said she's close to finding…."
"Dawn?" Angel stands up and walks towards the desk when Dawn stops talking. "Dawn, what's wrong?"
"I don't know." Dawn whispers, hand clutching her heart. "I don't…something's wrong. I don't…." She picks up the phone and dials Buffy's cell phone.
"I'm guessing you were expecting Angel which leads me to all types of questions but first off, are you okay?" Dawn gives the vampire standing over her a look.
"I'm fine, why?"
"I don't…something feels wrong, like someone close to me is sick or something." Dawn says.
"Hey, maybe it's your dream boys."
"Ha ha." Dawn rolls her eyes. "I still think I was dreaming and Wills somehow got sucked in and is making me think I was all astral when I wasn't."
"Willow promised me she wasn't and she's still trying to figure out how you did it."
"Well, I hope she does soon because every time I fall asleep, I'm paranoid I'm going to do the astral thing again." Dawn says. "You're sure you're okay?"
"Okay." Dawn shrugs, her heart still in knots. "I guess you would know better than me."
"Well, I'll let talk to your 'baby' now." Dawn laughs when Buffy yells and holds the phone out to Angel. "Here you go, broody."
"Thanks, brat." Angel spins the chair around and dumps her off.
Dawn hits the ground with a grunt and then kicks at the legs of the chair right when Angel goes to sit down. She laughs when he misses and then jumps to her feet when he reaches for her ankle. Still laughing, she runs out of his office to find Spike. If there's anybody in the world that can take her mind off the clenching in her heart, it's her favorite vampire.
Dawn sits up with a scream.
"Whoa there, niblet, what's wrong?" Spike sets his video game on Angel's desk and walks over to the couch where Dawn is napping.
"Something's wrong." Dawn whispers.
Spike sighs. Dawn's been having these 'moments' off and on for the last six months. And every time she thinks it's Buffy but it never is. They still haven't figured out who she used to be or whatever which he knows has to be driving the twenty year old half mad. Hell, if it was him, he'd already be insane. Added in with the 'moments', which she describes as gut-wrenching panic, like something bad is happening to someone she loves, but there's not a damn thing she can do about it. "I'll call Buffy."
Dawn shakes her head. "No, I need Willow, now."
Spike arches an eyebrow.
"She said she might have found a way to find my old memories, of who I was." Dawn says.
"Yeah, and she also said it wasn't foolproof and she needed time to do more research." Spike reminds her.
"No time." Dawn shakes her head, hand on her heart. "I can feel…something bad is happening and if I don’t stop it…I just have to stop it, Spike."
Spike nods and grabs the phone. First, he pages Peaches and Wes, then he calls Willow. The witch doesn't ask any questions; just says she'll be there.
"What's going on, Spike?" Angel asks. "We were in the middle of a meeting."
"Something's wrong with niblet." Spike nods his head towards Dawn, who is leaning forward, elbows on her knees and face cupped in her hands. "It's gotta be bad this time. She wants Willow."
"I thought Willow said the spell wasn't foolproof." Angel says, knowing exactly what Dawn wants. Hell, he's surprised she didn't demand Willow do the spell months ago.
"It isn't." Willow says from behind the two vampires. "But we don't have a choice."
"How do you know?" Wesley asks the witch, hand held out to help the other watcher off the ground.
"Thank you, Wesley." Giles grunts, hand held against his stomach with a grimace.
"Wills, you gotta find some type of nausea free travel-mode." Buffy comments as she takes Angel's hand. "Cuz that's not the least bit fun."
"But it gets us where we need to be." Willow points out.
"True." Buffy agrees.
"And I know because I can feel it." Willow moves to crouch in front of Dawn. "Somebody is dying."
Dawn nods. "I need my memories. I have to help them."
"I know." Willow agrees. "But it might not be pretty. The spell….I think I figured out a way to retrieve your past memories without erasing your present ones but I'm not completely sure. I am completely sure though that there will be…side effects and I'm not sure I'll be able to reverse it if I do it…not without maybe reversing you back into the big ball of energy that you once were."
"I don't care." Dawn interrupts. "Do it."
"Buffy, this isn't your choice, it's mine." Dawn cuts in. "I can't keep doing this. I can't keep feeling this…pain and not know where it's coming from. And I can't let whomever's pain I'm feeling die, not if I can help it. I have to know this person. What if it's my mom or dad or sister? I just can't let them die."
After a second, Buffy nods.
Willow starts empting the bag she brought with her and creates a large circle with candles and salt in the middle of Angel's office floor. "Step inside, Dawn."
Dawn obeys without hesitation.
Willow lights the candles with a thought and then pulls out the spell she's been working on for the better part of six months. "Well, here goes nothing."
"Willow, I don't think your magic was very magical because I don't feel any different." Dawn sits up. "Except I think I passed out."
"You did." Willow says. "You don't remember anything?"
"Nope." Dawn stands up and stretches. Then she notices the entire room is staring at her. "What?"
"I think we found the side effects." Giles removes his glasses and cleans them.
"What?" Dawn asks. "What side effects? Did I grow a tail or something?"
Spike grabs a shield off the wall behind Angel's desk and hands it to Dawn. "Take a gander, niblet."
Dawn grabs the shield and then promptly drops it. Then she drops to her knees and stares at in disbelief. "I'm blonde."
"And old." Buffy adds.
"I'm not old, I'm just older." Dawn corrects. "But hey, on the plus side, at least I won't get carded anymore."
"I'm glad to see you can joke about this Dawnie." Buffy replies. "Because me, I'm not finding any humor in it."
Dawn looks back down at the shield. Her hair is blonde and her eyes are blue. And she's older. Not much older, probably about twenty five or so, but older than she was. Her face slimmed out, most of the baby fat gone, and her nose is a little less flat at the end. She still looks like her, just a little different. "I don't get it."
"Willow, if you will explain this spell, please." Giles orders.
"Um, basically, it's you and whoever you were, combined." Willow explains. "It was the only way I could think to keep your memories now and gain back the ones from before. Kinda like I merged the you from before with the you of now…except the memory part doesn't seem to be working because you should know by now. And I told you all the kinks weren't worked out yet. You read the fine print."
"Willow, it's okay." Dawn sighs. "I guess I'll just have to…."
Angel barely catches Dawn before she hits the ground and only does because he happened to be standing right beside her. He carries her to the couch and lays her down gently.
"Will?" Buffy looks at her best friend.
"I'll find her." Willow drops down cross-legged to the ground. "Give me a sec."
Dawn walks the halls of the hospital without any clue where she's going but knows exactly where to go. She can feel him. Feel them. "Oh, Sammy."
Sam Winchester jerks his head around, looking for the voice he just heard. But the only person in the room beside him that could have spoken is his father.
"What's wrong, Sam?" John Winchester looks away from his eldest son to his youngest.
"Nothing." Sam shakes his head.
John studies Sam for a second before looking back down at Dean.
"I gotta pick something up." Sam stands up. "I'll be back."
"Wait, Sam." John says.
Sam turns from the doorway to look at his father.
"I promise I won't hunt this demon." John lies. "Not until we know Dean is okay."
Sam nods and leave the room.
Dawn watches as John looks at Dean one last time before leaving the room.
"So, we're back with the boys." Willow comments.
Dawn ignores Willow and walks up to the bed.
Willow follows Dawn. "So, is he your boyfriend or something?"
Dawn shakes her head and leans down to kiss Dean's forehead. Then she turns to look at Willow. "He's my son."
"Dawnie, I can't." Willow says.
"You can." Dawn argues. "You've done it before."
"It's my son, Willow, I can't let him die." Dawn whispers. "Please?"
With a sigh, Willow nods. "He's got to be around here somewhere, his soul that is. I can heal his body and then put him back."
"Thank you." Dawn says.
"Where are you going?" Willow asks Dawn.
Dawn looks over her shoulder on the way out of the room. "To stop my husband from making a stupid mistake."
"Oh, husband." Willow mutters as she walks out of the room. "So now she's got a son and a husband."
"Two." Dawn throws over her shoulder.
"Sons." Dawn corrects. "Sammy left right before you got there."
"Oh." Willow takes a deep breath. "Why do I have the feeling I'm going to get blamed for this?"
Dawn shakes her head as she watches John cut his palm. "Summoning demons, never a good idea." Then she smudges the symbol with her foot and watches her husband with vast amusement. He never could handle things not going the way he wants them too.
"Like you said, there's always a choice." The reaper says. "I can't make you come with me. But you're not getting back in your body. And that's just facts. So yes, you can stay. You'll stay here for years, disembodied, scared, and over the decades, it'll probably drive you mad. Maybe you'll get violent."
"What are you saying?" Dean asks.
"Dean, how do you think angry spirits are born?" The reaper questions. "They can't let go and they can't move on. And you're about to become one. The same thing you hunt."
"Um, can I interrupt?"
Dean turns his head to see a short redhead, her hand raised in the air as if she's asking a question. He looks at the reaper and is blown to see shock on its face.
"What are you doing here?" The reaper demands. "You shouldn't be here."
"You'd be surprised how many times I get that." She says. "I need to borrow Dean here, put him back in his body and all."
"You can't do that." The reaper growls.
"Well, just who do you think you are, the body police?" She crosses her arms over her chest with a glare.
"He's a reaper." Dean says.
"Oh." She shrugs. "That's easy." Then she snaps her fingers. "Okay, we don’t have a lot of time before he comes undone so we gotta book it back to your body."
"What'd you do?" Dean asks.
"Froze him but it'll wear off." She replies. "What part of book it are you not getting?"
"Won't he be pissed?" Dean asks as they run through the hospital.
"Probably but he only has control over the dead and since I'm not dead, he'll have to deal with being all pissed." She runs into his room and points to his body. "In you go."
"I've tried, it doesn't work." Dean says.
She rolls her eyes and waves her hand at him. "He's about as much of pain as his mother is."
"Dean, you've got to hold on." Sam says. "You can't go man, not now. We were just starting to be brothers again. Can you hear me?" He hears something by the door and looks up to see his father, a defeated look on his face. "You tried to summon the demon, didn't you?"
After a second, John nods. "I didn't work."
"He's going to die." Sam says. "And there's nothing we can do to stop it."
John sits down beside Sam. "It's not your…"
Dean sits up with a gasp, chocking on the tube down his throat.
John and Sam both jump to their feet.
"Dean?" Sam whispers.
John sticks his head out into the hallway. "Help, we need help in here."
A/N: I know it went fast, but there's a point to my madness. I promise.