Disclaimer: I don’t own Buffy or Anita Blake and I am not making any money off of this story.
Summary: After accepting a job as an animator in St. Louis, Dawn finds herself with a brand new problem, but more than one reason to stick around.
A/N: For the purpose of plot flow and continuity, we’re going to assume that only Vampires of the Order of Aurelius act the way vampires from the Buffy-verse do, and Vamps from other lines act like those from Anita Blake. The legalization of vampirism happened around the same time as season seven of Buffy, and this story will take place about eight years after tat making Dawn twenty-five or twenty-six.
Chapter One – Never Quiet
Dawn looked around the apartment she had rented, and decided that it wasn’t half bad. Ok so it sucked, but it would work until she had the time to buy a house. She wasn’t supposed to be in St. Louis for another two weeks but Bert, her new boss, had called her in a panic. Apparently one of the animators had caught a bad case of pneumonia and couldn’t work for at least two weeks. So her boss had decided that she needed to come early, spend two nights following around some other animator named Anita, and then cover for this guy until he was back in shape. She didn’t bother to point out that if this guy wasn’t back in exactly two weeks it would leave her way over-booked, trying to cover her raisings and his.
She had a lot to move in, her clothes, computer equipment, her books, her magic supplies, and her stuff for when she needed to execute a vampire, but it didn’t take her long since she had Xander and Faith to help her. She had been against them coming with her, thinking they would be impossible to get rid of, but after making Dawn promise to be careful Faith had literally dragged Xander out to the truck and they had left that day, leaving Dawn alone in her small apartment. She dug around in her pocket and pulled out a piece of paper and her phone, dialing the number Bert had given her.
“Hi, I’m Dawn Summers. Is this Anita Blake?” Dawn asked, trying to sound as polite as possible without sounding sickeningly sweet.
“Yeah, hi, Bert told me about you.”
“I was just wondering where I should meet you, since I’m supposed to go with you to your animations tonight.”
“Why don’t I just pick you up at your place around eight?” Dawn sighed, she really hated giving strangers her address, but she didn’t want to seem rude, and she wasn’t planning on staying at the apartment long anyway, so she rattled off her address and agreed that eight o’clock was fine before hanging up the phone. She was surprised that the woman had made no comment about the location of her apartment, which was just outside the blood district, but decided it must be because she was dating the master of the city. She looked at her clock and realized it was just after one…way past lunch time, so she headed out in hopes of finding food.
She didn’t find a restaurant, but she did find a quaint little deli with several tables and barstools, and decided to grab lunch there. She would find something more substantial for dinner. She spent a good twenty minutes munching on her sandwich before a disturbance in the back window caught her eye. Two very tall and strong looking men were trying to drag a man with very long red hair into a van, by the looks of him he had tried to fight the off, he was bleeding heavily and his clothes were torn in several places. She wanted nothing more than to sit there and continue eating her sandwich, but having grown up with the scoobies, she knew she couldn’t. She stood up, trashing the rest of her sandwich she headed to the alley behind the shop.
As soon as she was within seeing distance of them she could feel the lycanthropy rolling off of them in waves, leaving her with another dilemma. Did she get involved with shifter politics? Hearing a piteous almost whine come from the red head she sighed and walked forward, dropping her shields. Had she dropped them completely the shifters before her would have been knocked down, but she lowered them only enough to prove she had power. The red head shrank back, trying to distance himself from the unfamiliar dominant presence.
“Who the hell are you lady? You ain’t his Nimir-Ra; you don’t even smell like leopard.”
“As you aren’t his Nimir-Raj, and I doubt he would send,” she sent her power out, feeling for their strain, “were-hyenas after a pard member.” A complete lie, Dawn had absolutely no clue what the local Nimir-Raj was like, but if her bluff was right than she at least had a little standing ground.
“Look lady, we weren’t told to kill you so you leave now, and forget you saw this, or you’re going to find yourself on the wrong side of the coming war.” A quick glance to the cowering man told Dawn he didn’t want to be around these people anymore than she did. She pulled a silver dagger from her boot and rushed at the guy closest to her. They traded blows, Dawn keeping up surprisingly well for a non-lycanthrope, before she felt a particularly strong kick crack a rib. She grunted and lunged forward shoving the silver tip into the man’s chest and slicing down, avoiding the heart, before turning to the other guy.
“Get him out of here; the next strike won’t miss the heart.” The man glanced back and forth between his partner and their intended target. Finally he threw his partner into the back of the van, and drove away, leaving Dawn alone in the alley with the cowering were. She made her way over slowly, placing her shields up again so her power wouldn’t frighten him. She could tell by his actions that he was probably the most submissive of his pard, so he was probably scared of most unfamiliar dominants. She held her hand out in front of her as she neared him.
“Shh, listen I’m not going to hurt you ok? I was just trying to make those men leave you alone, I promise. You’re ok, and I won’t harm you. Do you have a name?” He looked up at her through a curtain of red hair.
“I’m Dawn; do you live near here Nathanial?” She felt the need to protect him, she didn’t want to just leave him here alone. He shook his head ‘no’ but didn’t say anything.
“Is there someone I can call?”
“Anita or Micah.”
“Anita Blake?” He nodded again, of course he meant Blake, she sighed. Her life was never simple. She pulled out her phone and hit re-dial.
“Anita, it’s Dawn. I’m sorry to bother you again but I ran into a problem while I was eating lunch……”