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In the Dust

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Summary: Dawn is training with Willow on how to control Portal magic when something goes awry, is Dawn really the one to blame for it? Or does a higher power think that Dawn would be more useful somewhere that's else?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Lord of the Rings > Dawn-Centered > Pairing: LegolasUnforgivenMistressFR18719,36254310,73518 Jun 0823 Jun 08No

Buffy's Going to Kill Me

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Joss is God and JRR Tolkien is a Hobbit Lord.

A/N: This is set after the 7th season of Buffy. Dawn has been training with Faith in fighting, while Buffy works with Giles to find the other Slayers. Willow has been teaching Dawn all kinds of helpful magic. It'll be Watcher Jr. x2 the power! If only she'd be with her family to show it off...but someone else has other plans.
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You don't remember my name.
I don't really care.
Can we play the game your way?
Can I really lose control?

Just once in my life,
I think it'd be nice,
Just to lose control, just once,
With all the pretty flowers in the dust.

Mary had a lamb.
His eyes black as coals.
If we play very quiet, my lamb,
Mary never has to know.

Just once in my life,
I think it'd be nice,
Just to lose control, just once.

If I cut you down to a thing I can use,
I fear there will be nothing good left of you.





It had been several months since Sunnydale had been swallowed whole and the hellmouth had been closed. Several months since Spike had disintegrated and Anya had been sliced in half. Several months in which the entire gang had moved from the wreckage of Sunnydale to LA to recuperate. Several month in which Dawn now found herself under vigorous training due to an intense nosebleed that had sprung an accidental portal in the middle of the Hyperion lobby.

“I said I was sorry!” Dawn protested as Willow scolded her once more.

“As we can see here, the once dark witch, Willow Rosenberg is attempting to train the wayward Key, Dawn Summers, so that she may control the awesome amount of power contained deep within her” Andrew circled around the pair, camcorder in hand.

“Andrew, I swear to the Powers if you don't go find someone else to annoy, I'll open a portal behind you and send you somewhere that's else!” Dawn snapped, turning an evil glare on the scrawny blonde boy.

“But...no fair!” Andrew whined, lowering the camera “Tell her I can, Willow! Giles said it was good to document things!”

“Fine, document, we don't need color commentary” Willow told him firmly, turning her attention back to Dawn. “You can't get frustrated, Dawn, frustration isn't going to help you control this.”

“Look, I can do magic” Dawn told her, proving her point by floating one of the chairs beside Andrew. Andrew yelped and scurried to the other side of the room, camera never leaving the scene. “I don't understand this need to control portals, it's never going to happen.”

“You don't know that, sweetie” the red-head responded soothingly.

“Besides, what's the point?” the 18 year old girl was really gathering steam now, completely ignoring Willow's attempts to placate her. “I've never opened a portal outside of this world, not since...not since Glory” her voice tightened slightly. She never liked to talk about Glory of the after-effects of Glory, or anything having to do with the Hell-goddess, she just wanted to pretend like that year of her life never existed.

“That's because the plants haven't been aligned right” Willow waved off the comment “you can open portals to other worlds so long as everything is perfectly aligned for you to do so.”

“What am I going to need portal's to other worlds for anyway?” Dawn huffed irritably and crossed her arms “you know Buffy doesn't approve of this, she doesn't want me anywhere near magic.”

“Well that's just something Buffy is going to have to get over because there's magic inside of you and that has to be controlled” Willow told her, slipping on her famous resolve face. There was no arguing with Willow when she got that look on her face. “You're different than me, Dawnie, your magic is different than mine. I pull mine from nature, from the ground, you pull yours from the Key, from inside of you. Part of that magic is portal use and you'll have to learn how to use it.”

“But HOW?” Dawn burst out, resisting the urge to stamp her foot like a petulant child, she was past that stage. Past all of the whining and griping to get attention. She had attention now, now she just wished she was ignored again. “It's not possible, Willow, I tried, remember? I remember, I remember failing spectacularly as well.”

“I think it's all a matter of focus” the redhead replied, gnawing on her lower lip in concentration.

“Portal magics are a lot more iffy than that, Willow, if I learned anything from Anya, I learned that...well...that and a lot more about sex than I ever needed to know at my impressionable age” Dawn snorted, a smirk of amusement crossing her face.

“Do I have to sit you down with Wesley's books again?” Willow snapped, turning a glare on the younger girl “because if this is how you're going to act, then apparently I'm just wasting my time!”

Dawn's face dropped, suitably chastised. She didn't mean to yell at Willow but it was hard and if there was one thing that Dawn didn't like was when things got hard. She liked things nice and simple like 'that's bad, you stab that'. But now, here she was, attempting to find a way to make a portal to specific place by merely bleeding on the air and concentrating, needless to say...it wasn't going well.

“I'm sorry” she said softly, lowering her eyes from the redhead “let's just try again” and with a sigh she extracted a knife from her hip and twirled it in her fingers “I'll never get over being able to do that” Dawn grinned as the blade spun around her fingers and she gripped the handle. Faith had been obnoxiously excited to teach her weapons. Dawn was sure it had something to do with Buffy saying 'no'.

“All right, good, now concentrate” Willow told her firmly, circling around the petite brunette. “Think about the place you want to be BEFORE you cut, okay?”

“Right, place I want to be” Dawn nodded. She wasn't going very far, she'd be too afraid of not being able to get back but across the room or outside should work just nicely. 'Okay' she told herself, 'outside the hotel' she repeated this over in her mind like a mantra and closed her eyes, slicing the knife over her finger, dripping the blood into the air.

She held her breath as the air crackled with electricity and sparked, sending bolts around the room and causing a mysterious wind to whip up and blow all the papers off the front desk. Willow gave her an encouraging smile and Dawn closed her eyes, still repeating the mantra to herself before stepping through. She felt the portal close behind her but didn't have the strength to open her eyes. Ever so slowly, she peeked one eye open and then the other, stopping dead in what ever tracks she was about to make.

“Name yourself, witch” a man demanded, pointing a sword at her. He was dressed for battle, medieval battle and Dawn nearly had a panic attack as a slew of memories of the Knights of Byzantium assaulted her.

“I...I...” Dawn stumbled over her words and backed up slowly. This was definitely NOT the outside of the hotel, she felt liked she been transported back to Sunnydale and suddenly she was on the run again for her life because Glory was going to bleed her dry. Her gaze darted around, taking in every knight advancing on her and doing the only thing that was really ingrained into her mind, she ran.

She ignored the shouts for her to stop and the pounding footsteps following her only served to make her move faster. Had she of been paying more attention to them instead of their medieval appearance, she might have noticed that they didn't bear the mark of Byzantium. As it was, Dawn didn't feel the particular need to be bled dry at the moment and was cursing Willow in her mind for teaching her portal magics. Hadn't they gotten over this phase when Glory attempted to use her as a gateway?

'To be a good fighter, you have to confront your fears' her sisters voice floated through her mind and she pulled up short at the top of a hill, winded and panting, wondering why she wasn't surrounded by people until she noticed that no one was following her anymore. She took that moment to catch her breath and to see where exactly she had ended up. It wasn't any place she recognized...unless she was in Ireland, that was only place she'd seen rolling green hills as lush as this...on the history channel.

“Oh joy” Dawn muttered “Buffy's going to kill me”

Her eyes scanned the horizon as though that would give her some sort of clue, but nothing popped out at her. Then she heard it, an indescribable growling noise that seemed to be coming from all around her. It wasn't any regular growling either, not like a lion or an angry dog; no, this sounded as though it were being regurgitated from one throat and into another.

“This couldn't get any better” she sighed to the world at large. She was wrong. She was very, very wrong and she should have known better than to tempt the Gods with words like that. Dawn didn't know what it was that was charging for her, she didn't WANT to know what was charging for her and she didn't really want to contemplate the gross lump of grayish matter riding on it's back. All Dawn wanted to do was turn and run the opposite way, Byzantium knights or no, at least they'd kill this thing before killing her. So run she did.

She passed the people she had portaled in front of and the watched her pass curiously, some knights drawing their swords as she did. Then there was the shout. “Wargs! We're under attack!” The reaction was instantaneous; panicked shouts rose from every corner of the group and the men galloped their horses towards the danger, which wasn't very far behind considering that it was chasing after Dawn.

Dawn pulled up short, her mouth dropping open and she resisted the urge to smash her head against a rock. “What am I? 15? Pull it together Dawn, you fight now, remember?” Yeah, talking to herself was becoming a helluva habit. Changing direction once again, she raced after the horses that were galloping towards the valley where the warg, whatever that was, retreated to once it realized that getting to Dawn would be a lot harder than catching up with the incredibly fast girl.

After taking a moment to catch her breath, Dawn levitated the sword away from the nearest lump of gray and ran him through with it, causing him to howl in pain and fall off his beast. Dawn smiled happily and scooped up the sword, far more confident now that she had the weight of metal in her hands. Finally, something she was used to. With well practiced swings (from both training and playing around at home alone while Buffy was patrolling) she sliced her way through to the center where all the action was happening and many men were back to back, fighting off these creatures.

“No!” one knight shouted at her, wide-eyed as though he couldn't believe he was actually seeing her. This offended Dawn and she proceeded to kick one of the gray lumps viciously for the insult.

“Yes” Dawn retorted “I'm still alive through all your efforts”. Arguing, however, makes one remove their attention from battle and as such, Dawn found herself on the ground barely able to dodge a downward thrust from a rather rusted piece of metal.

“Efforts?” the knight questioned, looking incredibly confused.

“LOOK OUT!” Dawn shouted at him and ignoring all instinct that was telling her to let him get eaten, one less crazy person she'd have to deal with later, she tackled him to the ground, feeling the graze of claws on her back. “That was my favourite spine” she whimpered, rolling away from the stunned knight and curling into a pitiful ball at the pain that was currently assailing her back. Buffy and Faith had left out the pain part of fighting, the claws digging into delicate flesh and spilling buckets of blood part that she was currently experiencing.

The man stood over her, repaying her kindness by knocking back the next big dog that tried to jump down and rip her throat out. “Are you alright, m'lady?” the man asked, looking down at her quickly “the battlefield is no place for a woman, especially one so young as yourself”

“Yadda yadda yadda” Dawn muttered, rolling her eyes and pulling herself to her feet “I'm bleeding, I'm not dead...yet anyway. If I ever get home...” she grunted as she was knocked to the ground yet again and she scooped up her sword and rolled to her feet, sticking it through the stomach of the grayish, toothy thing. “Buffy's going to kill me”. Her and the man worked back to back, her having no thought that he was going to turn and stab her...at least until the fight was over and him having no thought that she might even hurt him. It really didn't seem to cross his mind. Despite all his protesting about her being there, he really didn't seem to mind so much when she saved his life. “Ok...ow” Dawn whimpered, her voice high pitched as she was scratched down the arm by a long set of very large claws. Her arm burned, her back burned, there was blood covering her entire body and she was starting to get nauseous and dizzy. They had NOT covered this in training. The whole, fighting and stabbing and bleeding and dying thing.

Before she could even really comprehend what was happening, the fight was over and people were milling around, trying to figure out who was dead and who was still alive. A lot of eyes turned to look at her and she realized that she was the only female on the field. “You're hurt” one man spoke up.

“I'll live” she said around a grimace, throwing her sword down disgust.

“You. Witch” a regal looking men stepped up to her “what is your business here?”

“Well...” she took a deep breath and sighed “that's a question for the ages, isn't it?” she scoffed “cause the things is? I have no clue...I don't even know where here is and quite frankly, big dog things and gray vampires aside...I'm feeling very welcome. And to be completely honest, the whole 'Knights of the Round Table' thing is kind of creeping me out” she motioned to his clothes. “Now...Logic is telling me that you're not Byzantium, but maybe you're some weird branched off sect and me and Knights don't mix, so...before any of you get all stab happy with parts of my body that I'd rather keep for the rest of my very long lasting life, I think I'm going to go home.” she nodded her way through the entire speech and everyone just blinked at her, like she wasn't even speaking their language. She looked down at herself and blinked as well...only for a completely different reason. Here she was, covered in blood...and no portal in sight. Blood was dripping from her fingertips and still...not a portal in sight.

“Is she evil?” someone finally spoke up.

“She did fight the wargs...” another replied “she looks kinda young to be evil.”

“Looks can be deceiving” was the quiet retort.

“Ok...um...home is going to be a little harder than I thought” she squeaked, looking around at all the eyes on her, not really being able to pick one face out of the crowd. “aperui et portalis ad meus domus” her voice hit a slightly high pitched note as she shook blood from her fingertips and definitely into the air. Nothing. Not even a spark. She turned her attention to the sword on the ground and narrowed her eyes at it, it floated up and she released a heavy breath, letting it drop back down to the ground. “Buffy's definitely going to kill me”
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