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Leopard's Dawn

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Summary: My first response to the summer challenge and response to Shifter's Dawn challenge by Beth. Dawn is visiting St Louis when she is attacked by a rogue wereleopard. **Nominated for Crossing Over Awards**

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anita Blake > Dawn-CenteredShezziFR151115,7931112446,7298 Jul 0828 Aug 08Yes

Chapter One

A/N: OK, so I've been fighting depression and writers block for weeks so don't jump down my throat for starting something new, I needed the inspiration and a couple of challenges have jumped out at me. None of this belongs to me, but rather to its respective geniuses. Hope you enjoy the story (I put the challenge in in bold so anyone who's interested can vote on things they would like to see!) thanks for reading, please review, love xx Shezzi

Buffy/Anita Blake
Possible Pairings:
Dawn/Jean-Claude
Dawn/Asher
Dawn/Asher/Jean-Claude
Dawn/Jason
Dawn/Gregory
Dawn/Zane
Dawn/Nathaniel
Dawn/Cherry
Dawn/Micah
Dawn/Shang-Da
It would be great if at least three of these could be in the story:
¤ Dawn gets infected by either a rogue werewolf or a rogue were leopard
¤ You decide if she becomes alpha or beta
¤ For some reason (or other) she moves to St. Louis
¤ Dawn and Buffy's uncle is Bert/Dolph
¤ She gets a job at Animators Inc., either as an animator or a secretary
¤ Has to have a lot of romance, passion and action in it
¤ FR15 or up


Dawn pulled on the silky spaghetti strapped top and carefully adjusted it to show just the right amount of skin, sitting slightly above the edge of her skin tight leather pants. Her hair was piled on top of her head with wisps and ringlets hanging down and her make up was perfect. She took one last glance in the mirror, nodded with satisfaction and headed for the door.

She was staying in St Louis with her uncle, a detective on the local supernatural squad, while she checked out the local universities. Tonight she was going out to meet up with her sponsor from one of them, who had offered to show her some of the other things St Louis had to offer.

“Where do you think you’re going dressed like that?” demanded a slightly choked male voice from the top of the stairs.

Dawn bit her lip and glanced back, knowing she looked guilty. “Ummm…out?” she offered.

Dolph stared at his niece in horror. She was almost naked! “You think you’re leaving this house dressed like that?” he demanded in his best ‘blank’ voice.

“Yeah, I was actually…” said Dawn, eyes flicking between her uncle and the door as though trying to judge if she could make it out before he reached her.

“I don’t think so,” replied Dolph, raising an eyebrow. “And don’t even think about it,” he told her, seeing her glance at the door again. “You take off and I’ll have a BOLO out on you so fast…” he let the threat hang, and even though Dawn knew he wouldn’t really do it, she let her shoulders slump in defeat.

“I’ll wear my jacket, how’s that?” she asked. “It’s not such a bad outfit, if you don’t like this you would hate what Buffy wore,” she added under her breath.

“You’re just lucky your aunt is away this week,” replied Dolph seriously.

“But uncle Doooooolph,” whined Dawn, making her eyes go big.

“Fine, fine, but you’re wearing that jacket!”

“Yeah, yeah,” replied Dawn, knowing she could really get around her uncle on pretty much anything if she wanted…except maybe the idea of dating a were. Or telling him that his older niece was a preternatural monster fighter before her untimely death. Or that she, Dawn, was not real, but merely a disguise for an incredibly powerful but totally uncontrollable preternatural force.

Since leaving the hellmouth after Buffy’s death jumping from the tower, Dawn, Willow, Tara and Xander had been amazed to discover the truth of the world they lived in. The Hellmouth itself had blocked their awareness of the world previously, so that even Tara, who had lived in the ‘real’ world most of her life still accepted everything in Sunnydale as ‘the way things were’.

Grabbed her coat, a leather duster like Spike’s, his graduation gift to her after he had rejoined Angel in LA, where the older vamp was Master.

The doorbell rang and she opened the door to smile at the young man on the other side. “Simon! Hi, let’s go,” she said, grabbing his arm and practically dragging him back out the door.

“Whoa, what’s the rush?” asked the boy, concerned.

“Crazy-like cop uncle shaped person in the house,” explained Dawn quickly.

“Ahhh,” said Simon delicately, leading the tall brunette over to his car.

“So, where are we going?” asked Dawn, curious.

“I thought we might go to the Circus of the Damned first,” replied Simon, grinning. “It’s great, they have all kinds of preternatural entertainment.”

“Okay,” replied Dawn, shrugging, privately hoping not to meet anyone who could tell what she was.

~~~@@@~~~

Dawn yawned hugely as Simon lead the way back to the car, which they had been forced, by traffic, to park several blocks away from the circus. She shivered, wrapping her arms tightly around herself, and ducked her head slightly against the wind.

Her skin prickled suddenly, not from the cold, a feeling that she associated with were-creatures. She glanced around, but didn’t see anyone nearby.

“Did you have a good night?” asked Simon, grinning at her.

“Yeah, I did,” she replied, grinning.

“See, if you come to St Louis, you’ll have all of these kinds of things at your fingertips, as well as a great university…and me,” he winked at her, and she giggled, shoving his arm lightly.

The prickling feeling suddenly spiked, and she whirled around, searching the shadows, but seeing nothing.

“You all right?” asked Simon, concerned.

“Fine…just thought I heard something,” Dawn started to turn away when a low growl began to echo down the street.

“Dawn…RUN!” cried Simon, grabbing her hand and dragging her into a sprint.

The growl grew to a roar and Dawn realized their mistake. Like a tiger, the leopard that jumped out of the shadows at them had thrown its growl to make them run towards it instead of away. Before she could move, it sprang.

Simon spotted it just as Dawn did, and did the only thing he could – he shoved her to the ground and covered her with his own body, while yelling for help…not something that seemed particularly plentiful on the back streets of the Blood District.

Dawn tried to curl up into as small a ball as possible, unable to move much as Simon’s weight pinned her even as he tried to protect her. She added her voice to his in their cries for help, just as Simon’s was cut off in a cry of pain.

The leopard launched itself at Simon, one of its paws hooking around, the claws sinking into Dawn’s arm as it locked its teeth in his neck and twisted, savagely breaking it. It jumped away, pulling the body with it, and leaving Dawn bleeding and unprotected on the ground.

Dawn stared in wide-eyed fear at the leopard as it dropped Simon’s body and turned back towards her. The growl built in its throat to a deep, terrifying roar, and she tried to stand, to run, but her legs wouldn’t listen. It jumped for her again, her terrified scream the only response her body would allow, and the last thing she saw was its open jaws descending on her shoulder.

~~~@@@~~~

Dawn awoke slowly and in a great deal of pain. The pain let her know she wasn’t dead, which was something of a surprise, actually. She swam slowly towards awareness. She was cold, and the surface was lying on was hard, wet and rough, so definitely not a hospital. She heard voices, and was fairly sure that at least one of them was talking to her. A hand touched hers, and she tried to grab it, to prove to herself it was real. The movement sent a flare of pain through her shoulder and she gasped, eyes snapping open.

“Hey, there, try to stay still,” voice told her. A second later the speaker moved around her head so she could see him properly. He was dressed in a paramedic uniform, and he smiled tightly down at her. “I’m Dave, and you’re going to be fine,” he told her simply.

“What…what happened? The last thing I remember…” Dawn shuddered. Dave reached out of her line of sight and came back with a green whistle shaped object.

“I want you to suck on this, all right? It’ll help with the pain. We’re taking you to the hospital as soon as my partner gets back here with the stretcher.”

“What happened to the were?” asked Dawn, her voice faint.

“I happened to the were, Miss Summers,” replied a hard-edged female voice. A woman, as short as Buffy had been, but the complete opposite of Buffy in looks, knelt next to Dawn. “Do you have anyone we can call?” she asked, pulling out a notepad like a cop.

“Call me Dawn. There’s my uncle. He should be here anyway, he works for RPIT,” Dawn mumbled.

“He does? What’s his name?” asked Anita, her concern spiking. “Dolph…Rudolph Storr,” replied Dawn. Another paramedic approached, pushing a stretcher.

“Shit,” Anita swore. “I’m gonna call him for you, Dawn, okay? He’ll meet you at the hospital.”

“Okay,” replied Dawn, even as the paramedics lifted her off the ground and placed her on the stretcher. “Did Simon…” she trailed off, already knowing the answer.

“No, Dawn, I’m sorry,” replied Dave, walking beside the stretcher as he set up an IV line.

“He saved me,” Dawn said, a tear running from the corner of her eye for the boy she had known for such a short time.

“Then he’s a hero and will be remembered as such,” Dave told her firmly.

Dawn nodded, and her eyes started to close. The blackness pulled at her and she couldn’t fight it. She drifted away, the conscious world retreating.
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