A/N: Hey guys, sorry it took so long. Hoping that this will inspire me to really get this story moving again, so please review and inspire me! love xx Shezzi
“We’re going to start with meditation,” said Tara, her tone of voice much firmer, and stutter free, now that she was on familiar ground. “Get comfortable,” she told Dawn, who sat down on the floor, cross-legged. Tara took a small bottle and laid a line of herbs in a large circle around the two of them. “Close your eyes. Now, you’re going to breathe to my count. Seven count in, seven count hold it, seven count out, seven count hold it. Okay?”
Twenty minutes later, Dawn was holding the count on her own, her body and face relaxed, and Tara could see her power expanding out from her, pushing gently and evenly against the walls of the wards she had erected. Tara started giving her calm directions, repeating them over and over in a soft, soothing voice. “I want you to picture something small, something that has meaning to you, and I want you to pull your power into it. Little bit at a time, that’s it,” she encouraged her gently.
After getting Dawn to contain and release her power several times, Tara stopped her and broke the circle. “Now, we’re going to start with some basic spells…”
Gibbs sat at his desk, watching his computer flip through international listings, searching for any mention of the Council or Travers, while his team was still trying to track down Rupert Giles. He ground his teeth in fury. He had trusted the man, trusted him to take care of the most important things in the world to him, his girls. And now one of them was dead and the other was so badly traumatized that at times she was barely recognizable.
He scowled as he remembered Dawn that morning, so fragile, huddled on the steps to his basement, shaking in terror. He heard and felt an odd snap, and glancing down, found that he had broken the pencil he was holding into three pieces.
Sighing, he stood and went to get himself a fresh cup of coffee. Rather than head straight back to the bullpen, he made his way to Abby’s lab, where his favourite forensic scientist was hard at work, hacking into the Council databases to track down the location of one Quentin Travers.
“How you going, Abs?” he asked, setting a Caf-Pow down beside her.
“All the better for seeing you, Gibbs,” she grinned at him, taking the Caff-Pow and taking a long sip. “Thanks. I’m making some headway with the Council’s computers. How’s Dawnie?”
“Up and down,” Gibbs replied, grimacing slightly. “Tara’s helping. Seems she knows what’s going on with Dawn, too.”
“She does?” Abby sighed in relief. “I don’t really practice the craft, I certainly don’t know enough to have a proper understanding of what’s happening to Dawnie. I’m not exactly powerful by any stretch of the imagination.”
“Well, I told them you would come for dinner tonight, so I’m sure that Tara will give you the details,” Gibbs told her, and Abby nodded as she turned back to the computer.
“I should be through these in another hour or so, Gibbs,” she told him, taking another swig of her Caff-Pow and once more putting fingers to keys. “Then we’ll know where he is and be able to track their movements.”
“I’ll send McGee down to help. Together, you should be able to cut that estimate in half,” Gibbs said, in that tone that told her they would find a way to do it, or he would know why.
“Where would she have gone?” asked Xander.
“The only place I can think of is DC,” Willow replied slowly, still cradling her head in her hand. “The only place she would feel safe.”
“With her uncle. But didn’t you speak to him already?” asked Xander.
“And if she reached him first, do you honestly think he would tell us anything?” asked Willow. “Goddess, we are such idiots!”
“So, what are we going to do?” asked Xander.
“We find her, we grovel, and then we find whoever the hell did this to us and we tear them into teeny tiny pieces. But…” Anya paused, trying to figure out how to phrase it. “Don’t expect her to forgive ANY of us any time soon.”
“But…we weren’t in our right minds!” objected Xander, frowning.
“And do you really think that is going to matter to a girl who has been abused by the people she should be able to trust the most?”
Dawn was exhausted. She and Tara had worked through the day, only taking breaks to eat, meditating and practicing spells alternately until Dawn could pull her power into a tight ball in what Tara called her dan tian, the central energy reservoir of her body.
She sat, watching Tara in the kitchen, too exhausted to even contemplate getting up to join her.
Tara had explained that, even though she held an almost infinite amount of power and therefore wasn’t magically drained, the physical strain of handling it was what had exhausted her. It was like exercising; the more you worked a particular muscle, the stronger it became.
They heard a key in the front door, and Dawn snorted. Her uncle, that morning, had declared his intention of locking said door…and had then had to go and find a can of WD-40 to loosen the lock. She could now hear him struggle to open it again, and dragged herself out of her seat and up the hall.
Knowing he would ream her out if she didn’t, she checked the peephole and, seeing him trying to open the door and Ducky standing right behind him, she quickly opened the door.
“Hi, Uncle Jethro. How was your day?”
“We survived,” Gibbs replied. “What is that fantastic smell?”
“That would be Tara, actually USING your kitchen, unlike someone else I know. Other than on the eating utensils, the dust in there was so thick it almost wasn’t funny…only almost though.” She grinned teasingly at Gibbs, who mock scowled at her.
“How are you feeling, Dawn?” asked Ducky, concerned.
“Tired, hungry, stiff and sore,” Dawn replied, turning to lead the way back down to the kitchen. “Tara, for all the sweetness and light, is an incredible slave driver; we’ve been working hard all afternoon.”
“These are for you,” Ducky said, extending a small paper bag. “Take two every four hours, they’ll keep down the swelling and relieve the pain.”
“Thanks, Ducky,” Dawn replied, taking the pill bottle out and reading it.
“Well, let’s have dinner, and then we really need to talk,” Gibbs said. “We found some things that I think you need to know.”