Lilly the Vampire Slayer
Duncan Kane's daughter is more extraordinary than he ever would have guessed.Chapter 1Disclaimer
: The characters and ideas of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars belong to their respective owners. I am not one of these people.Note
: This is AU post-S7 for Buffy (not referencing the comic) and takes place after Season 2 of Veronica Mars. Assume for the timeline's sake that "Not Pictured" took place in June, 2003, around the same time as "Chosen."FFA Pairing
: Dawn/Duncan Kane.
Duncan checked that his hood was covering his face and rang the doorbell of the old Victorian building. It fit in quite well with the surroundings, given that he was in England. Chartering a private plane to fly him there directly from Australia had used up a lot more of his available cash than he would care to part with, but he had had no choice. The FBI had already distributed his picture and profile to Interpol, so making any stops would have been too much of a risk.
He adjusted a bundle of rags in his arms so that he could see the tiny face within. Lilly peeked out and smiled at him, and he couldn't help but smile back. Every source he had spoken to about Lilly's... condition had been conclusive: this was the only place that the two of them would be safe. He had been unable to find out anything more about these people, besides that they dealt with "this sort of thing," and he wasn't sure whether to be comforted or disturbed by the knowledge that Lilly wasn't unique. So, despite Duncan's utter mistrust of the building and whatever organization inhabited it, he was there.
A young brunette opened the door, leading Duncan to wonder if this was, after all, the correct address. For some reason, he had gotten the impression that he would be greeted by an old, scholarly gentleman. "I'm not sure if this is where I meant to come," he said to the girl.
She frowned. "Maybe not," she replied, surprising Duncan with her American accent, "but it probably is. We're not so much with the random visitors."
He decided to follow the advice that he had been given: to show her his injuries. He wasn't sure what this would tell her, exactly, but he reasoned that it must be some kind of signal or code, given that the man who gave him that advice had been convinced to talk to him because of said injuries. He raised one hand, giving her a clear view of the three splints on his fingers, shifting Lilly over to his other arm.
After a moment, she gasped. "Oh my god! Come in, come in." Dawn wouldn't usually have invited anyone into any room, but it was broad daylight and his fingers were broken, not on fire.
Once they were both inside, she asked, in a hushed tone, "The... the baby is a Slayer?"
Duncan had no idea what she meant. "Lilly never killed anyone," he responded defensively.
"No, no, of course you don't know what I mean," Dawn chided herself. "She's really strong, right? That's why your fingers..." she trailed off.
"It's not her fault, she doesn't know how to control it. She was normal when she was born, but then one day she was squeezing her bottle and she snapped it in half. She's been like this ever since. Can you help her?"
"If anyone can, we can. This has never happened before, though – well, some similar things, but this exact thing, a baby Slayer – we didn't think it would ever happen, we never heard about it – but then if you think about the worldwide population distribution, and the number of girl babies in China, and what usually happens to them—"
"Why do you keep saying she's a Slayer? What does that mean?" Duncan asked, interrupting her.
Dawn smacked herself on the forehead. That's it, Dawn, confuse the hot guy so he thinks you're a raving lunatic.
"Sorry," she said. "I haven't even introduced myself and I'm already turning into a spaz."
"I'm Duncan," he said, offering his hand.
"I'm Dawn," she replied, being careful not to squeeze any of his broken fingers. "Would you like the, uh, proper explanation now? You might want to go have a seat. I'll call Giles and let him know to get down here right away." She opened a cell phone and pressed speed dial 2, waving him over to the couch with her other hand.
She turned away from him while she was on the phone, and he couldn't quite make out most of what she was saying. At one point, though, he clearly heard her say "Well, he said the baby's name was Lilly," and then make a small noise of frustration. She leaned her head over her shoulder and said to him, "I'm supposed to ask you, for the record, if the baby is a girl."
At this point, Duncan would have been surprised if anything Dawn did or said actually made sense, so he just went with it and replied, "Yes, she is."
Dawn relayed this answer to Giles, who sighed. "Very well," he said. "It would probably be best if you were to tell him the, the essential facts, as it were. Use that as an exchange to get him to reveal something about himself; we know nothing at all about this young man other than that his daughter is a Slayer, after all."
Dawn didn't really think that a guy her age holding a baby could be too much of a threat, but she replied in agreement anyway in order to pacify Giles. She hung up the phone after that and sat down across from Duncan.
"Giles is going to be here in a few hours. He's the one who runs everything, but he said that I should tell you the basics since we have the time." She saw Duncan's expression grow more attentive as he realized he might finally get answers. After a moment's pause, Dawn took a deep breath and continued. "The reason I've been calling Lilly a Slayer is because that's why she's so strong. A Slayer is a girl gifted with superhuman abilities – strength, which you already know, but also speed, endurance and agility, and some others too. It used to be that there was only one at a time, but we changed that a few months ago. I'm sure you remember the day; you described it to me earlier." Dawn stopped, and braced herself for Duncan's inevitable next question.
"But why is this happening to Lilly? What did you do to her, genetic engineering or something?" So far, this explanation wasn't clearing up any of Duncan's real questions.
"The Slayer exists to keep the world safe... from vampires. And demons, and general evilness of the mystical variety."
Duncan was stunned and angry; he hadn't come this far to be fed children's tales. "Vampires? Magic? Do you think I'm crazy?"
"No, and neither am I. I'm telling the truth. I can show you something, evidence." Dawn stood up and walked over to a staircase. "VI!" she yelled.
A few seconds later, a young woman with short red hair came down the staircase. Dawn whispered to her, "The baby is a Slayer."
Vi gasped much as Dawn had only minutes earlier. "And he doesn't quite understand what he's in for?"
Dawn shook her head. "Doesn't believe a word of it, not that I blame him. Would you mind…?"
Vi walked over to Duncan and pulled back the collar of her shirt to display two scars that looked remarkably like tooth marks. "I'm kind of sorry to say that it's all true. And just as a piece of advice, some vampires are
stupid enough to run out into a sunlit alley to eat you, especially if you don't expect it."
Duncan had taken on the look of a deer in a headlight factory, and Vi relented and took pity on him. "You should trust Dawn," she said. "She's the normal girl living in a house full of Slayers. Her perspective is the best one you're going to get."
"Thanks, Vi," Dawn said, touched that her friend thought so much of her.
"And also, she's single," Vi added as she walked back up the stairs.
"Vi!" Dawn protested as she blushed furiously.
Duncan didn't notice, though, as he was too busy trying to process what had just happened. "That doesn't have to be a vampire bite," he argued, although he wasn't even managing to convince himself. "She could have... fallen on a barbeque fork..."
Dawn burst out laughing, much to Duncan's chagrin. "I'm sorry," she said after a moment. "It's just that the Sunnydale news always used to attribute mysterious deaths to 'barbeque accidents' and other inane things."
"Sunnydale?" Duncan asked. Even on the run, he had tried to keep up with current events. "Isn't that—?"
"The town that fell into a giant sinkhole?" Dawn finished. "Yep. Although, the sinkhole was full of vampires, which never seems to get mentioned in any official reports."
Duncan's head slumped. "I don't know if I can handle all of this. It was bad enough when I just had to worry about the FBI trying to take Lilly from me; now there will be evil monsters after her, too?"
"Not if we have anything to say about it," Dawn assured him. "And, um, I don't mean to pry, but why exactly would the FBI want to take your daughter from you? She is your daughter, right?" Dawn realized that Duncan had never actually come out and said that, and she began to think that maybe Giles' warnings of caution made sense after all.
"Yes, she is," Duncan said. "I'm wanted by the FBI because her mother died after giving birth to her, and I wouldn't let her grandparents take custody. Before you jump to any conclusions, let me tell you exactly what these people were like." He described how he had discovered Meg's parents' true selves: her sister Lizzie had brought him her laptop to protect it from them while Meg was comatose after the bus accident.
When he finished his story, Dawn was pale. "I – I can't even imagine what they would have done when her Slayer powers turned on," she said, and Duncan, who hadn't even had time to consider that angle, turned a similar shade of white.
"But don't worry," she said, forcing herself to be more cheerful, "You'll be safe here. Hopefully, we can even get your record taken care of."
Duncan gave her an incredulous look, and she grinned and tried to be nonchalant. "We know people," she told him in a confidential tone.
He couldn't quite believe it. He decided to focus on more practical matters for the time being so he wouldn't get his hopes up for nothing. "So, are there any good hotels around here that I could stay in while you people figure out all of this?"
"Hotel?" Dawn scoffed. "You can stay here. We have plenty of room, although I don't know if we have baby stuff..."
Duncan realized that this was the point where he should probably fill in the gaps he had left in his story. "Well, if your organization wouldn't mind paying for something for the time being, and if you can actually get the FBI off of me, I could definitely reimburse you."
"Oh, is your bank account frozen or something?" Dawn asked, not picking up the subtle implication.
"I haven't been entirely honest with you," he admitted. "I... omitted a few details, like my last name. My full name is Duncan Kane."
It took Dawn a moment to process this, and Duncan could tell when she had. "You mean like Kane Software? You're Jake Kane's son?"
He nodded, trying to ignore the star-struck look in her eyes. "He would probably be pretty grateful if his son had a clean record again."
"Right," Dawn replied distractedly. "I was just thinking... I'm sorry, for what it's worth. About your sister, and your baby's mother. I guess you don't have to live on the mouth of hell to have a sucky life."
Realizing he had misinterpreted her expression, he quickly revised his opinion of her, for what already seemed like the umpteenth time. "Thanks. Hopefully it will get better from now on."
"To better lives," she said, grinning wryly and miming a toast.
"To better lives," he echoed her, raising his hand to meet hers.
They both smiled, and each thought that it might not just be a pipe dream, after all.