A/n: I want to thank all my reviewers and I'd like to apologize for the state of my fic. I'm not the best with grammar or punctuation but...uh...at least I can spell, that's something...right? I'm not claiming to be the best writer out there and it's been brought to my attention that my story kinda sucks. So...uh...sorry about that. I'm just writing this for fun as I really wanted to write a Dawn/Tony pairing and a story seemed like the best way to accomplish that since there's not one of those kind of stories on here to read and I daren't tread to FFN and risk my brain. So yeah, just wanted to say that I apologize if you think my fic sucks. This is for my own amusement and I'm just sharing.
When they returned to Headquarters, Gibbs had Tony show Dawn down to Abby's lab in a short sharp sentence that had Tony shoving her into the Elevator and pressing a button quickly so as not to incur the wrath of his boss, holding the box of Evidence in his hand. “Is he always so grumpy?” Dawn asked curiously. Waiting patiently for the elevator to take them all the way down.
“No. Sometimes he's angry,” Tony answered, “and just like the Incredible Hulk, you wont like him when he's angry”
Dawn let out a giggle at that, ducking her head and covering her mouth, embarrassed by the noise that had managed to escape. Tony grinned brilliantly at her and opened one of the doors in the hall, ushering her in with one hand and then following her in when she entered. “Thank you,” she said to him.
“Hey Abs, brought some things for you,” Tony called out, gaining the attention of the girl in the lab. She turned around and Dawn couldn't help the smile that filtered across her face. The girl was Goth, it was plain to see. Black hair pulled up into pigtails, a spiked choker around her throat, black lipstick, black nail polish, a school girl skirt and fishnet stockings with combat boots. All things that Buffy would never ever let Dawn touch even though she was 21 and quite capable of making her own decisions. The first thought that entered Dawn's mind though was 'Spike would have liked her'.
“Ooh yay, something to do,” Abby grinned, snatching the box from Tony and then casting Dawn a curious look, “Is this the girl?” she asked.
“Dawn Summers,” she held out her hand, “I'm...helping...on the case,” she told her, taking a moment to search for the right word. “I'm from PFA,” even though she knew the girl would have no idea what that meant, it was still comforting to say, like she had a reason to be there, it was security blanket type thing.
“Yep, already knew you were coming down,” Abby nodded and dumped the contents of the box out on the table. “Whoa, talk about mutilation,” she wrinkled her nose and handed over a stack of pictures to Tony “Those do not go in my evidence box, Tony,” she reprimanded him lightly.
“Not like I had a lot of time to separate before Gibbs ordered me down here,” Tony returned with his own charming grin and left the lab, clutching the pictures in his hand. Abby rolled her eyes and walked over to her computer, flipping the screens on before coming back to the evidence.
“Ok,” Abby looked at her, “ground rules for my lab, if you don't know how to use it, don't touch it. Got it?” she asked the leggy brunette.
“Got it,” Dawn sent her a smile. “I'm waiting on a sample from Ducky,” she confessed, “there's really only two things in the evidence that I'm really concerned about,” she assured Abby.
“That's fine,” Abby replied, picking up a bag and looking at it closely, “I hope you're not vegan, because if it's an animal tearing apart these Marines then Gibbs is going to shoot it in the face,” she looked over, as if to gage Dawn's reaction.
“It wouldn't help, trust me,” Dawn muttered quietly and sighed, pasting on a reassuring smile as she looked up at Abby. “Yeah, figured as much” she told her.
Dawn walked over to the table and just as her fingers were about to touch the bags she felt a sharp slap to the top of her hand. “I almost forgot!” Abby blurted out as Dawn turned shocked eyes on her, cradling the offended limb to her chest even though it hadn't really hurt. “Gloves,” she told Dawn, plucking a pair of latex gloves from a box and handing them to her, waving them around impatiently when it took her a moment to grab them.
Ah, the gloves, something that Dawn had never gotten used to wearing, no matter how much work she did with the police. When she was back at the Agency, no one cared about finger prints they just scanned things into the database. It seemed that Buffy had taken her suggestion to heart all those years ago, a couple months before the horror started on the Hellmouth. About skin samples and tooth impressions and getting to wear high-heels more often. Dawn was proud that she even got to wear high-heels more often, much to Buffy's consternation and constant grousing that Dawn was already tall enough without the added height of heels and if she got any taller, she was going to get a nose bleed from the altitude. And no one needed a bleeding Key, did they? That way led to madness and crazy Hell Gods.
But back to the Database. It wasn't complete, not by a long shot, but it did have most of the common demons they came across on patrol...and some of the not so common, apocalyptic demons. Dawn had a firm opinion that she was very anti 'yay apocalypse' demons. Cause that just never ended well for her wardrobe. Thing usually exploded, slime was ingrained, bits of baby demon brain were stuck in hair and it took hours of scrubbing to get both out. No thanks. Seriously. The database held tooth impressions, skin samples and blood samples. Well, the ones that didn't have acidic blood at any rate, but there was a list of those as well.
Buffy said that as long as they didn't start experimenting on Demons they were still in the realm of good, because databases were far too 'Initiative' for her. Willow had pointed out, however, that it was just like having the demons in the books on instant recall. That seemed to appease her sister and even Giles, who looked intrigued by the prospect and horrified that he might actually have to use a computer on a regular basis.
Dawn reached a, now gloved, hand towards the bag with the vial of blood in it and picked it up, looking at it very closely, so closely that her face was almost pressed against the bag and her eyes had to cross just to see it properly. She lowered the bag and locked eyes with Abby who was watching her curiously. “I need to use the microscope.” she told Abby.
Abby nodded her head to the right, where the microscopes were, but didn't say anything as Dawn took the vial out of the bag and sat down in front of the microscope. Dawn had the distinct impression that the young goth was studying her, just like she would any of her evidence. “So...how did you know I was coming down?” Dawn asked curiously, in an attempt to start up a conversation.
“Rumor mill,” Abby spoke up from behind her. “Well...that and Gibbs called me before you guys returned, didn't want me getting all huffy that someone was in my territory,” Dawn could practically hear the smug smirk in her voice and had to fight to keep her face neutral. “From the rumor mill though, I expected you to be at least eight feet tall and shaped like a gorilla,” the sarcasm in Abby's voice was palpable, but there was no malice behind it for Dawn, just general amusement at how a story could get changed so quickly.
Despite herself, Dawn let out a giggle and focused the microscope as she slid a petri dish underneath it, a drop of the demon blood in the middle of it. Dawn looked around for a moment and then let out a low groan of disbelief, “I'll be right back,” she mumbled underneath her breath, standing and moving away from the microscope as the thought occurred to her. “Don't worry, there's no toxins in the fluid, you're safe,” Dawn assured her as she stepped out of the room and took her phone out, dialing a number quickly.
“Hello?” came the bright response on the other end.
“Willow,” Dawn greeted, her voice slightly strained, “I left my laptop there,” she sighed.
“No problems, I'll get it to you in a moment, it'll be 'shipped',” the red-head witch told her on the other line.
“Thanks, probably would raise a bit of concern how I got a laptop where I didn't have one before,” Dawn scoffed, “quickly though please?”
“Yep,” Willow replied, “How's the investigation going, Dawnie? Faith said that you'd finally gotten some samples.”
Dawn filled her in on how the case was going so far, mentioning briefly that the ME in the building knew about their Agency, which rose some concern in Willow and she said that she'd look into the name. Dawn told her that she was going through the evidence now and that she needed her laptop to connect the database. Willow said that she was going to duct tape the thing to Dawn's body so that she'd stop forgetting.
“So when are you giving the call to Faith?” Willow asked, “she's been all antsy since your last call, those poor newbie slayers.”
“As soon as I find out what this thing is, Will,” Dawn sighed, “which is why I need my la- hang on,” Dawn paused, watching curiously as Gibbs stalked towards her with a package in his hands, as if it might explode. “Thanks Will,” she grinned and hung up the phone, putting it away as Gibbs approached her.
“This just arrived for you,” Gibbs told her, “I know you wouldn't be stupid enough to have a bomb delivered,” it wasn't really a statement, it was more of a threat veiled as a statement.
Dawn lifted an eyebrow at him “It's my laptop,” she answered “I left it at home in my haste to get here, I was just calling my friend to see if it had arrived.” Gibbs eyed the package in his hands and then lifted it up to his ear and shook it. “Hey!” Dawn cried out, snatching the package from him with a scandalized look and hugged it to her chest.
“Just checking,” he answered, mouth twitching up, but ultimately settling into a firm look. She turned and entered the lab again, Gibbs following her in and watched closely as Dawn sat in front of the microscope and unwrapped her laptop, setting it up without so much as a glance back at him. When he was satisfied that it was, in fact, a laptop, he turned to Abby. “What have we got, Abs?”
“Nothing much, yet, Gibbs,” she shook her head, “I just got the evidence not to long ago,” she gave him a pointed look.
“How long?” he asked frankly.
“Well, there's really not a lot to work with and I can't be entirely sure tha-” she started but was cut off
“Abby, How long?” he asked again.
She looked down at all the evidence searchingly and let out a gruff whine, “Maybe five hours?” she suggested, giving a wincing look up at Gibbs.
“Fine, I'll be back in five hours,” he nodded sharply and left the lab, shooting a suspicious backward glance at Dawn.
As soon as Gibbs left, however, another person was entering, a rather tall black man in medical scrubs. “I have the sample of stuff from under the fingernails,” he said in a deep baritone.
“Right here” Dawn spoke up, lifting her head from the microscope and looking over at him. He looked at Abby and then back to Dawn and shrugged, handing the vial to her, had her sign the evidence transfer sheet and then left. Dawn had a satisfied smile on her face as she booted up her laptop, automatically connecting with the demon database.
She looked back through the microscope and started typing into the database, working to single out which demon it was exactly. She didn't hear Abby come up behind her, nor take the seat beside her but there was a thick feeling in the air that cause Dawn to look up curiously and glance over at Abby who was staring at her as though she wanted to say something important.
“Do I have something on my face?” Dawn asked, hand shooting up to brush at her cheeks.
“No,” Abby shook her head slowly and took a deep breath. “I have a theory and this may or may not sound weird to you and that's why I'm saying it,” she told Dawn, “because something about you being here is very hinky and I think I figured it out.”
“...Ok,” Dawn said hesitantly taking a deep, calming breath as her heart started to flutter in her chest.
“It's a demon, isn't it?” Abby asked, almost too quietly for Dawn to catch. But she heard it and the breath that she was trying to calm herself with got unceremoniously lodged in her throat, causing her to choke on it. Her eyes bugged out alarmingly and her face turned purple from lack of oxygen as she sputtered to gain control of her rebelling esophagus.
The was all the answer that Abby need and with a worried look, she thumped Dawn on the back a couple of times “I'm sorry!” she looked startled, “please don't die.”
“I'm fine,” Dawn gasped, face rapidly returning to it's normal shade before paling of all color entirely. “Was there a...bulletin? Did a memo go out before I got here?” she lowered her voice and looked around as if someone might be listening in “is there no one here that doesn't know about PFA?” she hissed.
“PFA?” Abby asked, brow furrowed, “Oh, no, I have absolutely no idea what that is,” she replied, “but I was kinda hoping I'd recognize a demon attack when I saw it,” she admitted.
“And why's that?” Dawn asked curiously, happy to be able to breath normally although her heart was pulsating at an alarming rate.
“Well, ok, I already guessed from your reaction that I was right so I'll tell you,” Abby said, situating herself on the chair so that she was more comfortable. “About ten years ago I was way heavier into the Goth scene than I am now. I mean, seriously creature of the night creepy,” she told the young brunette, “well, not literally creature of the night, but.... Anyway, I was in Sunnydale,” Dawn made a noise of surprise, eyes widening and Abby looked at her curiously, “what?”
“I'm from Sunnydale,” Dawn answered, intrigued by where the story was going.
“Oh, awesome coincidence,” Abby grinned, “I was in Sunnydale and I was part of this...well I guess it was a club, that worshiped vampires,” Dawn wrinkled her nose at the thought, but didn't say anything, “yeah, we were real adamant about them too. Thinking that vampires were misunderstood, the whole nine yards. Well this guy shows up. Ford. He tells us that he make us vampires, but we had to follow his lead.”
At the name Ford, a memory sparked within Dawn, she knew it was a false memory, but she remembered her sister telling the story so that Dawn wouldn't stupidly get the wrong idea about Vampires. Abby continued on to tell her about how they'd fixed the door so that it could only be opened from the outside and they'd waited. A blonde girl had come in and berated all of them for being stupid and her and Ford had gotten into a huge argument in which the girl had called them a lot of rude names. Then the vampires had shown up and it hadn't been the graceful somberness she'd been expecting.
Abby then pulled down her choker a bit to reveal the top of a bite that had Dawn wincing. The next thing Abby remembered was being let go and she'd bolted, and left Sunnydale not long after that. “I've heard that story before,” Dawn confessed, gazing at the girl sympathetically. “That blonde that showed up...yeah...she's my sister,” she bit down on her lip. How weird was it that Dawn would run into one of the people that her sister had saved?
Abby's eyes bugged as she seemed to look at Dawn in a whole new light “wow...really?” she asked, “that's...wicked cool,” she finished with a small laugh “Well, I never dropped the whole vampire thing, but I'm not really itching to become one anymore,” Abby told her with a shake of her head. “There have been other cases, you know,” she told her quietly, “we've even had some vampire cases...not that anyone else knew but me...and Ducky, I think,” she frowned at the thought.
“This isn't a vampire,” Dawn sighed, looking back to the Database.
“I know,” Abby went back to work leaving Dawn with a feeling like there were more stories that Abby wasn't telling her, she hardly thought that her forays into Sunnydalian Night Life ended with the Vampire story, but she didn't push because if anyone, she knew what it was like to not want to talk about something.