A/N: I do not own Buffy, Stargate or any of the characters, places or storylines contained therein. I'm just having fun, I promise, and I will return the toys as shiny and new as possible. Hope you like, thanks for reading, please review! love xx Shezzi
Dawn sat on the bus, knees pulled up to her chest. She stared vacantly out the window, eyes not taking in the scenery. She shivered involuntarily as she remembered exactly what had led to her current predicament. After Ben had helped to her escape from Glory, she had run to the Magic Box to let the others know she was alright, but they weren't there. In a panic, she had run back to the house, but there was no one there either.
In terror, she ran back to the construction site afraid that she had left her escape too late and they had gone in to rescue her. On arrival, she had been confronted by a scene of horror. Glory stood, covered in blood and gore, over Buffy's unmoving body. Xander, Anya and Giles were on one side, half buried under a pile of rubble. Willow and Tara were crouched in front of Glory, Willow almost unconscious and leaning on her girlfriend.
“I'm going to take back what you took from me before I do this, and I'm gonna enjoy it,” the Goddess said, eyes bright. Just as she was reaching for the witches, she doubled over clutching her stomach. Seconds later, Ben stood, staring around in growing horror.
“I'm...I'm so sorry,” he said, eyes wide. “I let Dawn go, I thought she'd find you in time to stop you from coming. I thought I'd saved you all...You have to go, she'll be back soon and I can't stop her. I'm so sorry,” he turned to Buffy's body and dropped down beside her, gathering her in his arms.
Dawn ran into the yard and dropped down beside Willow and Tara, terrified.
“What do we do?” she asked, her heart pounding as she refused to acknowledge the dead all around her, all of her family except these two.
“Ummm...I d..d...don't know,” Tara said slowly. “We n...need to get out of here before Ben changes back into Glory, I don't know where though, she knows everywhere we'd go in Sunnydale.”
“We need to split up,” said Willow slowly. “We'll draw her off, Dawnie, you need to get as far from here as you can, someplace safe.”
“Dawn,” Ben said from where he sat by Buffy, “I know a few places where you can go, but you can't tell them, you can't tell anyone. Glory won't be learning about it from me, but if she catches up with Willow and Tara she'll find out. Quick, before she comes back!”
Dawn glanced at Tara and Willow, who nodded their agreement. Dawn made her way over to Ben, who whispered briefly in her ear before pressing a kiss against her forehead and running out of the junkyard, determined to get as far away as he could before Glory came back.
Dawn knelt and caressed Buffy's cheek briefly. “I'm sorry, Buffy. I love you.” She sobbed and pressed a kiss against Buffy's hair, before turning to the two witches. “What about them?” she asked, lips trembling as she tried to keep it under control. As much as she wanted to, she couldn't lose it now, or Glory would catch her and the world would be destroyed.
“We can't do anything for them, we don't have time and we can't risk it or we'll make their sacrifice useless. Let's go,” Willow led the way out of the junkyard, stopping with a whispered apology and farewell to take wallets off each body. Making their way into town they stopped at the nearest ATM, and Willow used a small amount of magic to make it pay out the daily maximum on each card.
“Dawnie, here's some money. Just go; don't stop for anything. Go as far as you can as fast as you can, and know that we love you.” Willow handed her a large wad of cash, and the two witches pulled the younger girl into a hug before reluctantly releasing her.
Glancing back over her shoulder, Dawn started to run, finally focusing on going forwards. She rounded the corner and headed for the bus station, glancing at the sky to check how much time she had to get out of town.
Dawn swiped at another tear as it ran down her cheek, and focused out of the window. It had been a long three days since she had left Sunnydale, spent almost entirely on buses. She had taken the time, while on a layover, to change her appearance somewhat. Her hair was now a fiery red that actually looked natural with her green eyes, courtesy of contacts. It was cut short and sharply layered around her face, very different from the long straight look she had sported for most of her life.
The bus lurched and stopped and she stood slowly, stumbling down the aisle to the door. She exited and glanced around curiously, wondering what kind of place it was. Ben had briefly explained that there were about five places on earth where the magical 'white noise' was so great that Glory wouldn't be able to scry for her there. Now that Glory knew who the Key was, she would attempt to scry instead of simply hunting for her the way she had been in the past.
So, Dawn wondered, what kind of place was Colorado Springs that it had so much mystical white noise that it was invisible; it didn't stop anything magical from coming here, but it did help to keep them from being found.
Choosing a direction she headed out, intending to buy some clothes and find a place to stay the night. She would need to create a cover for herself, something that was going to take some work, especially considering the fact that she was underage.
She found a mall and started shopping. She had soon acquired three nice, professional looking, cheap outfits, as well as two pairs of shoes, a jogging outfit and various toiletries.
She asked for, and received, directions to a nearby hotel, not too expensive but clean and safe. She made her way there and took a room for the week, flashing the fake ID she had picked up as fast as she could without looking too suspicious. The room took a rather considerable chunk of her remaining cash and she knew she would need to find a job and an apartment soon, or she was going to be in trouble.
She knew, deep down, that she was in denial. As long as she kept doing things, as long as there were things to take care of, she could pretend that this was all a game; that her family wasn't dead and that she wasn't all alone in the middle of a strange city with a deranged hell goddess hunting her in the hopes of opening a portal back to her own dimension.
Having dumped her stuff she headed back out to get some food, carefully counting the money she had left. She still had almost two hundred dollars, after traveling halfway across the country, a complete change in appearance and a new wardrobe. She headed for a nearby steakhouse, intending to eat and ask if they had any work going.
She was in luck; the manager had just had to fire one of the waitresses for stealing and had been at his wits end, they had a major function on tonight and he'd already organised for everyone to be working. He was more than happy to give her a chance; she would have to prove herself on the fly, but she would do her best. If nothing else, she would get paid for the evening's work. That was how Dawn, using the name Marie Harris, came to be serving at O'Malley's Bar and Grill.
She tied on the striped apron over her black skirt and blouse and hurried out into the restaurant, freezing momentarily as she was confronted by a wall of blue uniforms. Steeling herself, she made her way out among the military personnel, heading towards her assigned table. She had only been given one, apparently there were enough staff to cover the rest, and promised that the people seated there were regulars and would be understanding.
“Hello, I'm Marie, and I'll be your server this evening,” she greeted them, carefully repeating the phrases she had had drilled in to her over the afternoon, smiling around. “Are you ready to order, or would you like to order something to drink while you think about it?”
The group of four around the table smiled slightly at her. “I'll have a t-bone steak, medium rare, baked potato with the lot and a lager,” ordered the man with gray shot brown hair, a colonel by the tabs on his collar, even as he gave the waitress a slightly harder look. She looked too young, but that was, at least at the moment, none of his business. “Danny, Carter, Murray, what'll you have?”
“I'll have a scotch fillet, medium with garlic mushroom sauce, cheesy fries with bacon bits and a diet soda,” ordered the blond, smiling at the red headed waitress. “Are you new? I haven't seen you around before,” she added, looking more closely at the green eyed girl.
“First day,” replied Dawn with a smile. “And you sir?” she turned to the African-American who sat, frowning slightly at the end of the table.
“I believe I will have the same as O'Neill, but no alcoholic beverage,” he ordered, and Dawn nodded slowly, jotting it down.
“Would you like something else to drink?” she asked, then realised she had interrupted him as he had started to speak. “Sorry,” she quickly apologised, embarrassed.
“I will have apple juice, thank you,” the man rumbled, inclining his head in acknowledgment of her apology.
“And I'll have fillet, well done, with vegetables, brown onion gravy and a lager,” ordered the last man, who had brown hair and kind-looking blue eyes.
“I'll have that for you as soon as possible. Oh, sorry, would you like a bread basket while you wait?”
“That would be great,” replied the colonel, nodding, and Dawn turned and left.
She returned in a couple of minutes with their drinks and a bread basket, then went to help serve other tables until her orders were up. She concentrated, following one waitress then another around the restaurant, delivering drinks, meals, clearing tables and generally doing her best to be helpful.
Jack sat at SG-1's regular table, watching their waitress make her way around the restaurant carrying various things to and from tables.
“Is it just me or does she look a little...young to be working here?”
“Maybe, but it's hard to tell these days,” Sam replied, eyeing the girl.
“Marie!” came a call from the kitchen. “Order up!”
Daniel watched her make her way across the floor, slipping in and out of the groups of service men and women here for the function, to the pick up window. She took two meals and started back across the floor to them, one plate in each hand.
She reached the table, only just avoiding a collision with another waitress, who wasn't watching where she was going.
“T-bone, medium rare and baked potato with the lot,” she said, setting Jack's meal in front of him, “and fillet, vegetables with onion gravy,” she handed Daniel his plate, before heading back over to the window to grab the other two.
Setting the two plates down in front of Sam and Teal'c, she glanced around quickly. “Can I get you anything else? Refills?”
“Another round, thanks,” replied Jack, as everyone tucked in. Dawn collected the empty glasses and made her way over to the bar, waiting a moment to lodge the order with the bartender before helping another waitress take a large order to one of the tables.
Returning to the bar, she collected the tray with their drinks and returned to the table, setting them down carefully.
Over the course of the evening, she brought them refills, desert, and finally their check.
They were leaving the restaurant when they saw something that changed everything.
“Marie, do you mind taking this stuff out to the dumpster?” called Damian, the cook.
“Sure, Damian,” Dawn replied from where she had been helping clean dishes. She set down her cloth and grabbed the two bags of trash, heading for the door to the alleyway.
Dawn was exhausted. She had been on her feet since just after finishing her lunch, learning the ropes in the restaurant before the big function. She had spent the night taking care of her one table and doing scut work for every other server in the place, not that she had minded.
She pushed the door open with her elbow and made her way to the dumpsters, a trip she had already made three times. Suddenly a hand wrapped around her neck, an arm around her ribs, trapping one of her own. She immediately dropped the bags, swinging her free arm around and back to deliver an elbow to her assailant's solar plexus.
In a move that would have made Spike, who had taught her most of her self defense, proud she slammed her head back into her attacker's face, smiling slightly at the crunch of bone. The next instant she was airborne, and she slammed into the brick wall above the dumpsters with bone rattling force, dropping down onto the lids. Slightly woozy, she dropped to the ground to confront the man attacking her.
The vampire, clearly identifiable with his demonic visage in full view, leered at her. Dawn, despite the pain in her head, rolled her eyes and glared at him.
“Aren't you a pretty little thing,” hissed the vampire. “A little happy meal, all packaged up and ready to eat.”
“Oh, please get something original! I've been babysat by William the Bloody for the past year, do you honestly think you're even the slightest bit intimidating?” demanded Dawn, even as she pulled the stake out of the specially designed sheath between her shoulder blades.
The vampire came at her, moving too fast to follow. Allowing it to close on her, Dawn held her stake ready just out of sight. A fist caught her in the side of the head, and she felt consciousness start to slip away. The vamp had grabbed a handful of her hair and jerked her head to one side, exposing her neck. Before she fell completely unconscious, she forced herself to bring up the stake, thrusting it through the vampire's chest and into his heart.
As he turned to dust, Dawn collapsed as though in slow motion, falling to her knees and then toppling onto her side, unconscious.
SG-1 stood at the alley mouth, where they had run on hearing the sounds of the struggle. “Did everyone else just see that?” asked Daniel, sounding slightly faint.
“If you are referring to the young woman causing her attacker to turn to dust, then yes, Daniel Jackson, I believe everyone else just saw that,” replied Teal'c seriously.
Sam started forwards carefully, dropping to her knees beside Dawn. “She's unconscious, sir,” she reported, feeling for and finding a pulse.
“Well, people, I think we might need to take our friendly server up to the mountain to answer some questions, like what she did that caused that guy to explode into dust, and how she got to our planet without our knowledge, don't you?” said Jack in a falsely cheery voice, and the team nodded.
Teal'c bent and picked Dawn up, Sam ran inside to give some kind of explanation for the girl's disappearance, and they all headed for Jack's SUV.