Ok, so I've been slack. I'm sorry. Don't shoot.
When Dawn woke the sun was shining, and she was sleeping in her own bed. Well, the bed she shared with Tim. She opened her eyes sleepily, casting them over the two sleeping figures that were slumped over her bed.
Tim and Conner.
Dawn closed her eyes.
Just a few more minutes.
“Hasn’t she woken up yet?” A worried voice wormed its way into Dawn’s dream.
“She exhausted herself magically and then physically to keep the portal open without a proper ritual. She’ll wake when she’s ready.” It was Raven.
A cool hand played over her forehead, and Dawn could almost feel the other girls worry.
Then there was another voice. “How is she?”
Dawn tried not to react to her sister. She knew from experience that when you collapsed from you own stupidity, it was best to wait until after the over protective types were out of the room to ‘wake up’.
“She’s just sleeping now.” Raven said. “She should be awake in a couple of hours.”
Buffy didn’t say anything, but Dawn could hear her footsteps moving away.
Slowly she opened her eyes, wondering who the worried voice was. Then shut them again. Faith. She wasn’t quick enough to escape Raven’s notice, though.
Dawn sighed, opening her eyes. “Hi, Rae.”
“I don’t know whether I should be happy you’re finally awake, or slap you for being such an idiot.” Raven said. “Making up a spell on the spot like that? Which no discernable ritual? You could have been killed!”
“But I wasn’t.” Dawn said.
“You should have been!” Raven spat. “Why do you always insist on pushing yourself so hard? Next time I’ll kill you myself, save you the trouble!”
Dawn looked on in shock at Raven’s outburst, not noticing two men by the door looking very surprised as well.
“So…you were worried, then, huh Rae?” Dawn asked quietly, not knowing what else to say.
“Man, D, the whole house was worried.” Faith answered for her. “Something about needing all the superpowered peeps for the last fight. You should have seen Buffy. I went out slaying with her last night, and she was crazy.”
Dawn studied Faith for a minute silently, and in that moment Conner took the opportunity to sit on the edge of Dawn’s bed and pull her into a tight hug.
“How long was I out?” she asked quietly.
“Just over a day.” Conner whispered back, ignoring her tensing. That was a long time to be out when war was being waged against evil. “Buffy hasn’t been the only one going crazy. Tim’s been scared out of his mind that he was going to lose you. He’s barely eaten or slept since you were unconscious.”
Dawn looked up at her boyfriend, who was standing in the doorway as well, not able to keep the sheer relief off his tired looking face.
Conner broke the hug slowly, and Dawn sat back on the bed, waiting for Tim.
He stepped forward quietly, before wrapping Dawn up in a kiss that left her breathless, sagging into his arms.
“Don’t you ever, ever do that to me again.” Tim whispered fiercely. “Twice is too many times.”
Dawn smiled weakly into his shoulder as the others filed out to give them privacy.
“Sorry?” Dawn said helplessly. He looked down at her, his eyes dark.
“Not gonna cut it.” He said, leaning down. “I’m gonna need something more.”
Then his lips covered hers, and vaguely Dawn wondered if Tim would let her apologise in this way every time.
Then she was lost in the moment.
Dawn made her way down to breakfast slowly, Tim helping her down the stairs. She was still wiped from her power drain.
“Hey.” She said as she entered the kitchen, ignoring the looks she was getting.
“Hey?” Buffy asked angrily. “Hey? That’s all you have to say for yourself?”
“No…” Dawn said slowly, angry at Buffy’s response, which to her should have been thanks for saving a potentials life. “I also have to say shut up, cos I’ve got a headache.”
Buffy gaped. “You’ve got a headache? YOU have a head ache?” Buffy asked, mad. “How do you think we all felt thinking you were going to die? Huh? God, Dawn, you just…argh!”
Buffy threw her hands up, angry, and Dawn looked at her, a little shocked. Buffy was never too angry to yell at her. Never.
“Don’t worry about her.” Faith said from the counter. “She wasn’t there to see why you did it.”
“Shut up, Faith.” Buffy snapped.
“Well you weren’t, B.” Faith protested, and Dawn’s head spun at the turn of events. Faith was defending her? “You only got there in the end, B, when that girl had already been stitched up and was in recovery, looking a damn sight better then before Dawn got her to the hospital. She wouldn’t have made it if Dawn hadn’t done what she’d done.”
Buffy gave both Dawn and Faith another glare before stomping out again.
Dawn turned and gave Faith an uncomfortable look. “Thanks.” She said stiffly. “I really didn’t want to have to tangle with Buffy at the moment. My head feels like its going to explode.”
Faith gave a wry smile. “She just doesn’t know when to quit sometimes. You know B.”
Dawn looked away sadly. “I thought I did.”
Tim’s presence by her side brought her back to herself as he placed a glass of water and two aspirin in front of her.
“Figured you needed something.” He said, and Dawn smiled brightly. At least he would never turn on her.
“So… you and the bird boy huh?” Faith asked, then studied Tim as if for the first time. “I guess he’s not bad, for a kid. You guys must get into some wicked sex with all the leather though.”
Dawn’s eyes widened, and the water she’s been sipping came flying out of her mouth in a fine spray as Tim went still besides her.
“What?” Faith said. “Don’t tell me you two are still kiddying it up.”
“Uh…” Tim said. “You try having superheroes who want to kill you just for being with Dawn, much less….being with Dawn in that other way.” He said, his face going red in time to Dawn’s.
“Yeah,” Faith said. “I suppose having Batty around would put a cramp in it.” She said casually, getting some cereal down from the cupboard before looking up with a wicked look in her eyes. “Unless that’s what you’re into?”
“Okay….” Dawn said awkwardly. “Lets stop this line of conversation, shall we?”
“Okay,” Faith said, sounding disappointed, then brightened. “Hey, what about Green Bean? You reckon he’d be up for some rock’em sockem?”
Dawn snorted, before giggling madly.
“Conner?” she asked, then started laughing again. “He’s a Buddhist monk. Roy couldn’t get him into a strip club without getting a few drinks into him first. He’s the least likely to get into something like that.”
“What wouldn’t I do?” A voice sounded from the doorway.
Faith opened her mouth as if to tell him, but Dawn jumped in quickly. “Uhh….run for president.”
Conner just gave her a look like…what?
“Yeah.” Tim backed her up. “We were talking about Luther, and you know how it goes.”
“Right.” Conner still didn’t look convinced, raising his eyes at Dawn, before shrugging it off.
“So,” Dawn said, looking for a distraction. “What’s the what with the injured Potential?”
Faith and Conner shared a look. “B’s going nuts over her.” Faith said finally. “Some new Big Bad left a message with the girl. B thinks he’s got something of hers.”
Dawn sighed. “And we think it’s a trap?”
Conner nodded. “Wouldn’t be the first time a bad guy’s tried that line on us.”
“Or the last.” Dawn murmured, mind racing. “So what, are we going after this guy? Are we just gonna fall into the trap?”
“At least we can plan for it.” Conner said, and Dawn sighed, dropping her head back onto the table. Those aspirin did nothing for her head ache. Not when it continuously got worse through worry for her sisters deeds.
“Yeah, I just don’t like it.”
“Don’t like what?”
“The massive trap we’re walking into with this new baddie.” Dawn told Batman.
“We’ll be prepared.” Was all he said, and Dawn rolled her eyes.
Of course they would be. That wasn’t the issue.
“So anything else interesting happen while I was out?” Dawn asked, looking around, and Tim looked uneasily at Conner. Dawn narrowed her eyes. “What?” she asked. “What is it?”
“Giles sent Spike on a mission.” Tim said finally.
“WHAT?” Dawn shrieked. “We think we’re walking into a trap, and Giles sends Spike away? The super strong vampire guy?”
“On the plus side he had to take Andrew with him.” Conner said.
Dawn considered this for a moment, weighing up the pros and cons. Shaking her head, she grimaced. They still needed Spike.
“This just doesn’t feel right.” Dawn said. “Something’s….off about this.”
“Well, B’s talking to the Scoobs now about it.” Faith said. “We should go check it out.”
Dawn nodded, letting Tim help her up off the bed. She paused for a moment, looking at Faith.
“Thanks again. For the whole Buffy thing.” She said awkwardly, before walking out.
Dawn walked into the dining room, Conner, Tim and Faith following behind her, to find Buffy, Willow, Giles, Xander, Spike and Batman sitting at the table. Raven was standing in the corner, watching the conversation with unreadable eyes.
“We need to start arming the girls.” Buffy said. “I want them to be ready when we find them.”
“We dont even know where we're going.” Willow protested, and it was obvious to Dawn that they didn’t all agree with Buffy’s plan.
Her sister would not be deterred though.
“That’s why I thought we'd do a little recon first. You up for it?” Buffy asked Faith, who gave Dawn a wry grin before answering.
“Put me where you want me.”
“Are you certain this is the right course of action?” Giles, always the voice of reason, asked. “You don’t even know if this man's got anything.”
“It could be a girl.” Buffy said firmly.
“It could be a stapler.” Giles countered, exasperated.
“I'm going in anyway.” Buffy said, stubborn.
“With the girls?” Bruce spoke up. “Most of them have hardly been in the field, let alone a life or death situation.”
“Then its time we test them.” Buffy said, giving him her attention. “Look, I’ll just take the ones who have been here the longest. The rest can stay behind.”
“That could be that’s what this guy wants.” Dawn said quietly, moving to sit at the table next to Spike.
“Yah, he lures us away, and then kills the girls we leave behind.” Willow said.
“That’s why your staying here, Wills. You, Dawn, and Raven. You need to protect the girls we leave behind. They’ll be our only hope if this all goes kablooey.”
Dawn opened her mouth to protest against being left home, but Xander beat her to it.
“Buff, some guy comes into town, says he has something of yours…you ever think this might be a trap?” he asked. “And leaving our strongest players here, instead of taking them with us seems like a pretty stupid thing to do.”
“The other girls need to be protected.” Buffy said. “And he wont be expecting a full attack. Not this soon. That’s why we have to move!”
Conner shook his head. “You can’t rush into this unprepared.” He said. “We need more info on this guy.”
“We have to have more time.” Giles agreed.
“Giles, we don’t have time!” Buffy exclaimed. “And you’re not going into battle.” Her voice took on a quality Dawn hadn’t heard her use towards Giles. “I need you to stay behind with the others. Help the girls who still need a teacher.”
Dawn sighed. They were getting no where fast.
The girls had left half an hour ago, Spike, Xander, Batman, Conner and Tim with them.
But Dawn was stuck with the junior potentials. Along with Willow, Raven, Giles, and Andrew. Who was more annoying then ever.
“Maybe we should go check up on them?” Andrew said for the fifth time. “Maybe they need reinforcements, maybe-,”
“Andrew, for the last time, they’ve only been gone for a half an hour.” Giles said. “We shouldn’t worry just yet.”
Dawn looked up from where she was reading a book. “Giles is right, Andrew, Buffy’ll -,”
Whatever she was going to say was cut off by the home phone ringing. She froze, exchanging glances with Giles and Raven as Willow moved to pick the phone up.
“Hello? Buffy?” her eyes widened as Dawn watched her. “You’re at the hospital?”
Dawn bolted upright, exchanging one look at Raven before dashing up the stairs to the League’s room, grabbing her bag before running back down the stairs.
She met Willow at the door with Giles, and they dashed for the car, leaving Andrew and Raven at the house to protect the girls.
Hospitals were never good.
They were greeted at the hospital by Kennedy, looking slightly battered, but okay. Willow embraced her tightly as soon as she saw her, giving her a sweet kiss before wrapping her up in her arms once more. Giles and Dawn left them, moving further into the hospital, following the trail of potentials sitting down and having their injuries taken care of by various doctors.
Finally Dawn caught a glimpse of Buffy, looking worriedly over a bed from outside a room as doctors made their way in and out. She dashed towards her sister, Buffy turning just in time to envelope her in a hug. Dawn buried her face against her sisters shoulder for a moment before pulling away, looking through the window before gasping.
There lay Xander, looking pale and withdrawn, doctors taping the last side of a square piece of gauze over one of his eyes.
Dawn’s eyes widened, and she turned back to Buffy, not sure what to say.
“Caleb got to him just as we were retreating.” Her sister said quietly. “seemed to take offence that Xander had both eyes still.”
Dawn bit her lip, about to say something before she caught sight of Conner and Tim, further up the hallway, Tim’s head in his hands.
Her breath caught in her throat, and she turned back to Buffy, who looked at her sadly before jerking her head towards the two men.
“Go.” She said. “they need you now.”
Dawn’s feet barely touched the ground before she reached her boys. “What happened?” She asked, dreading the answer as Tim looked up at her, worry ingrained on his features. He opened his mouth to say something but shook his head, unable to talk.
“Bruce was knocked into a wall by Caleb.” Conner said for him. “he struck his head. The doctors think their might be a fracture in the skull. They don’t know how serious it is yet.”
Dawn felt herself slump into a seat next to Tim, wrapping an arm around his shoulders as they sat there.
After a while, Dawn let go of Tim.
“I’m going to go call Raven.” She said. “Maybe she can do something.”
Dawn sat next to the bed which bore Bruce, waiting for Raven. He was so pale, it was easy to see why Tim was worried.
She grasped Tim’s hand just a little tighter, saying a quick prayer to whatever gods were listening before a sound at the door distracted her.
The girl walked forward quickly, nodding briefly to Tim and Dawn, before placing her hands over Bruce’s head.
Dawn bit her lip, before standing.
Tim’s hand stopped her from walking past him, his gaze questioning.
“I’m going to make sure none of the doctors come in and interrupt Rae.” She said quietly, keeping her voice down so as not to disturb the witch.
Tim nodded, letting her go and smiling up at her gratefully. She leant down and gave him a quick, chaste kiss on the lips before walking to the door, standing guard on one side so no doctors would come through without her stopping them.
Now, she thought with a heavy sigh, to wait.
No doctors had even tried to enter Bruce’s room. That in itself was worrying. It told Dawn that they weren’t trying very hard to save him. What was also worrying was that Raven had already been in there for an hour without saying anything.
Normally it wouldn’t take that long.
Dawn looked back from watching the hallway to see Raven stumble back from Bruce’s bed, before slumping into a chair, looking paler then normal.
Dawn rushed forward, stopping only when Raven flapped a hand at her.
“I’m fine.” She said quietly, her gaze fixed on Bruce.
Dawn turned to him, wondering what was so interesting. What she saw made her smile brightly. His serious blue eyes were open, fixed on Raven.
He nodded once, before closing his eyes, his breathing evening out as he fell asleep.
Dawn gave Tim, Conner and Raven quick hugs, before dashing out to find Buffy. Now that one family was taken care, she had to see what she could for her other one.
Buffy was by Xander’s bedside when she found her. He was asleep, snoring lightly as her sister looked on.
“Hey.” Buffy said without looking up to see who it was.
“Hey.” Dawn said back, plonking herself down in another chair, the other side of the bed.
They were silent, watching over Xander, before Buffy spoke again.
“Your friend, Raven.” Dawn looked up sharply. “I heard what she did for Bruce.”
“Could she do the same for Xander?”
Dawn bit her lip. She knew the answer. She just didn’t like it.
“Buffy, Raven can’t…regrow anything.” She said with regret. “Things like broken bones, open wounds, she can heal. But Xander’s eye…”
Buffy nodded once, before standing suddenly.
“What can she do for the others then?” she asked abruptly. “Is she up to healing Rona’s broken arm at least?”
“I can check.” Dawn stood as well. “She’s wiped from healing Bruce, but she might be able to manage one more.”
Buffy nodded once and Dawn walked out the door. She needed to go see a woman about an arm.
So....what did you think?
Crap right....sigh, I knew it was.
Anyway, Read and Review...you know you want too.....pizza involved for all who do.