Chapter 3: Dawn's Patrol
Sunnydale Crater, 2019
Commander Dawn Harris of the Free Human Army wasn’t happy. The Sisterhood of Jhe, thought to be long extinct, was about to re-open the Hellmouth.
“Beta unit. This is Commander Harris. Report.”
*The is Lieutenant Jameson. We’re in position. It looks like the sisterhood is just about ready. Orders?*
She sighed. “Hold for now. If you see them begin the ritual before the other units arrive, you have permission to begin a confrontation, but not
before. I don’t need a repeat of Prague, understood?”
*Yes, ma’am. The sisterhood hasn’t done anything overt as of yet, so we’ll maintain a holding pattern until they do, or until we hear from you. Jameson out.*
Dawn held her axe close to her. She had been told that it belonged to her father, and as such she kept it with her at all times. Some of her bedmates could attest to that.
“San unit. Report.”
*This is Colonel McLay. We’re in position.*
“Mom! What are you doing here?!”
*My job, Commander. I’m here to take command of the witch division, under orders from General Lehane.*
Dawn sighed. Her parents were the most stubborn people in existence. “Understood, Colonel. Where are Stigma and Gamma units?”
*En route. They should be here any time.*
“Hopefully before we need them.” Dawn muttered. “Right. Prepare the freezing spell, and be ready-”
#Commander! This is Jameson! The sisterhood has begun the ritual! We’re going in!#
“-In case that happens!”
*Dawn, there’s no way I can get it ready in time!*
“Never mind. Prepare the offensive spells, and get casting! Harris out!” She turned to the troops behind her. “Alpha unit! Move out!”
“Are we ready?”
“Excellent. Prepare for the arrival. I’m sure the Beast has grown over time.”
The sound of gunfire was heard.
“Those humans again! Begin the ritual. I’ll deal with them.”
The Matriarch moved towards the defensive perimeter. She climbed over a piece of rubble… Only to find herself face-to-face with Commander Harris.
“Hello, Matriarch. It’s been a while.”
“Not long enough.” The demon spat.
Smirking, Dawn swung her axe at the Matriarch’s head. The demon dodged, barely.
“You think to kill me?” The demon hissed. “You’re not even a Slayer. How could you think to compete with my strength?”
Dawn’s eyes glowed a dull yellow. “Oh, I have a few tricks.” She let out a high pitched laugh. “Something I inherited from my father.” Still laughing, Dawn launched a fresh attack, swinging her weapon at her opponent’s abdomen.
The Matriarch twisted, just missing being cut in half. Instead, she was only mostly
sliced to ribbons. She snarled at the human Commander. “Your Primal Spirit can’t save you.”
“Looks like it just did.” Dawn smirked.
The Matriarch fell to her knees. “Perhaps. But I’ve delayed you long enough. The ritual will be complete by now.”
Dawn didn’t even bother gasping. She bolted toward the Hellmouth. What she saw filled her with dread.
The sisterhood was decimating both Alpha and Beta units. San unit was casting from a distance, but it wasn’t doing much good.
“Shit!” Sighing, she tightened her grip on the axe. She knew it might come to this.
One of the sisters was standing at the exact center of the Hellmouth. A blood-red light was surrounding her.
Dawn tapped her radio. “This is Commander Harris to all units. The ritual has begun, and we’re not doing well.” She took a deep breath. “I see no choice but to implement the failsafe plan. Unless it’s done now, we’re all dead.”
*Dawn, no!* Tara called over the radio. *There’s another way! There has to be!*
“Sorry, mom. I don’t see one. Say good-bye to Ma for me, alright? She’ll… She’ll understand. I hope.” She switched the radio off.
“Right. Let’s get this over with.” With a savage battle cry, Dawn ran toward the Hellmouth. The sisterhood stood in her way. Well, at first.
Dawn tore through them like a hot knife through butter. Heads, among other things, flew through the air as she moved.
When she got to her target, Dawn took a moment to reactivate her radio. “Good-bye!” Without another moment’s hesitation, she decapitated the last of the sisterhood.
The resulting explosion made the night seem like a summer’s day.
Though the President later declared it a great victory, those who had known Dawn couldn’t bring themselves to agree. Most of them, her parents included, retired soon after. They couldn’t continue the war anymore.
The Remains Of Sunnydale High, 1999
Dawn gasped as she woke up. She looked around frantically, before realizing she was completely alone. She was still in her battle gear, and was gripping her axe tightly.
“This is weird.”
Sunnydale Memorial Hospital, Three Days After Dawn’s Birth
Xander pushed Tara’s wheelchair out to the car. She was holding Dawn in her arms, making soft cooing noises.
Faith had gone on patrol. She said she didn’t want anything attacking them on the way home.
When they got to the car, Xander opened the back door, and looked at Dawn. “Your carriage awaits, my lady.”
Tara got a sad look on her face. “Do I really have to put her in the car seat? I can just hold her on the way home.”
Xander smiled at her. “It’s the law, honey. You’re gonna have to let go of her at some point, anyway. Unless you want to go to school with her in a few years.”
She glared at him, but relented.
Once they were on their way, he asked, “So what made you pick Elizabeth for a middle name?”
“It was the name of my best friend growing up.” She paused. “Actually, she was my only
friend, aside from my mother.”
Xander nodded. “Cool. I think Faith used the same reasoning when she picked Dawn.”
“Ah, not quite.” Tara grinned.
“What do you mean?”
“Dawn was the name of a bully in Faith’s high school. Faith didn’t like her, but had a large amount of respect for her. She told me once that ‘Anyone with enough guts to fondle a teacher in public was someone to let be.’”
Xander let out a good laugh. Yep, that sounded like Faith.
As they were driving past the park, Xander saw a woman running as fast as her feet would carry her. This wasn’t unusual in itself, except she was carrying a large axe. Then he spotted what she was running from. A werewolf. Quickly, he stopped the car, grabbing his own axe from the back of his seat. “Tara, get Dawn home. I’ll join you there once I’ve dealt with this.” She nodded, and he ran.
The young woman, meanwhile, had scampered up a tree. She knew the werewolf wouldn’t be able to climb after her.
Slowly, she crawled out onto a branch, positioning herself right above the were. Pulling up into a crouch, she smirked.
With a loud cry, she dropped, quickly cleaving the were’s head from it’s shoulders. Standing, she grunted. “That was easier than I expected. Although, I don’t know why you were running around during a full moon. After the blood wars, a werewolf should know better.” She looked for a Pack Tag, but didn’t find one. “Okay. Something very wrong is going on. Where the hell am I?”
“Sunnydale, California.” She whirled around. A young man, about her age, was standing behind her. He had an impressed look on his face. “I was coming over to help, but it seems you’ve got it in hand.”
She nodded slowly. “Yeah. Well, I wouldn’t be much of a soldier if I couldn’t handle one werewolf. Tough as they are, what I deal with on a daily basis is much worse.”
Xander’s eyebrows shot up. “Oh. So, you’re one of those government people? Do you work under Professor Walsh?”
She frowned. “Never heard of a ‘Professor Walsh’ being in the FHA. Now, what did you mean about this being Sunnydale?”
“Exactly what I said. This” he waved his hand at their surroundings. “is Sunnydale. My hometown, if that means anything.”
She snorted. “I don’t think so. Sunnydale was destroyed years ago.” She sighed. “Look, either you’re confused, or you’re lying to me. And lying to a commander in the FHA isn’t a good idea.”
Xander looked confused. “That’s the second time you’ve mentioned the ‘FHA’. What is it?”
Dawn nodded. “I’m going with confused, then. Fine, can you direct me to a phone?”
“Uh… There’s one across the street, there.” He pointed.
“Thanks.” She headed for it.
Xander followed her. This girl was confusing the hell out of him, and he had a feeling he’d better stick around. Besides that, she looked… familiar.
When she got to the phone, she was confused when a mechanical voice on the other end requested she put money in. “What the hell? Who charges for phone service?”
“AT&T, among others.” He supplied.
Sighing, she hung up. “No idea who that is, but something strange is going on.” She turned to look him in the eye. “Tell me something. Why did you think you needed to help me?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know. I saw a girl being chased by a werewolf. I grabbed my axe,” He held it up, “And came running. Seemed like the thing to do.”
“That’s nice, but-” She eyed the axe. “Where did you get that?”
He shrugged again. “I bought it. Online auction. Why?”
She held up her own axe. It was identical to his.
“Huh. Cool. I mean, I thought this was one of a kind, but…”
“It is. Or, it’s supposed to be.” She frowned. “Let’s start over. My name is Dawn. Commander Dawn Harris of the Free Human Army. Who are you?”
He blinked at her. “What did you say your name is?”
He brought his axe to bear. “I don’t think that’s very funny. Using the name of my newborn daughter to disguise yourself isn’t smart. Not in my town.”
“Don’t play dumb with me, demon!” His eyes glowed yellow, letting his Alpha side come out to play.
Dawn’s eyes glowed in response, her Alpha accepting the challenge.
They stared at one another for a long time, neither one moving a muscle. Neither Alpha spirit was willing to give in, until they realized something. ~*You… Are me!*~ The two spirits reached out to one another, joining somewhere in the ether.
Xander found himself in his Complex. He only appeared here when he was meditating. “What the hell?”
“Good question.” Dawn approached him from his left.
“How are you here?” He demanded.
“Ah, sorry. That was my fault.” Hyena came out from behind her.
“I know, pup. You merged with me. At some point, you died, and I went to your offspring. Assuming she ever has a child, I’ll move on again when she dies. Unfortunately, she isn’t one for meditation. Prefers to leave magic and such to her mother. I haven’t had much opportunity to speak with her.”
Xander frowned. “That’s not right. I wouldn’t let her go without some magical training.” It dawned (No pun intended) on him. “I died before you were old enough.”
Dawn was completely confused by now. “What’s going on? What are you talking about? And why can I talk to you?” She demanded of Hyena.
The Primal grinned. “I’ve always been here. You just didn’t come looking. And somehow, don’t ask me how, we’ve encountered your father.”
Dawn looked at Xander. It was true, he looked like the pictures Mom and Ma had shown her, except he was younger, and didn’t have an eye patch. “Are you sure?”
“Positive. I would recognize my first host anywhere.”
Dawn stared at Xander for a long moment, then launched herself into his arms. He caught her, eyes wide in shock. “Uh…”
She was crying now. “Sorry. I just… I never got a chance to hug you before.” She tightened her grip on him.
Awkwardly, he returned the hug. “It’s okay. A little creepy, considering I just sent you and Tara home, but okay.”
She laughed softly. “Imagine it from my perspective. You’re supposed to be dead.”
“Yeah, you’ve got me beat.” He smiled, and pulled away. “Listen, why don’t we go back out. We can go back to the apartment, and find out what’s going on.”
She nodded, and Xander broke the connection. “Right. Let’s go.”
The Triad’s Apartment
Faith and Tara stared.
Dawn stared back defiantly.
“Damn.” Faith muttered. “You guys made a good lookin’ kid.”
Tara laughed softly.
“Actually, we found out you were directly my mother as well.” Dawn informed the Dark Slayer. “The connection altered the three of you. You’re all genetically similar now.”
Faith blinked, then grinned. “Well, no wonder you’re such a looker, then.”
Dawn laughed. “You haven’t changed any.”
Xander shook his head, smiling. “Alright, story time.” He sat down. “Explain what happened to bring you here.”
Dawn nodded. “First, you need a little background. This is 1999, right?” They nodded. “Okay. I’m from 20 years in the future. I’m a Commander in the FHA, which stands for Free Human Army. About ten years ago, demons became public knowledge. When that happened, the human population struck out at the evil ones. Neutral or light demons, like Brachen demons, were safe. When the attacks started, however, it gave the demons something they didn’t really have before: A common enemy.
“They started getting organized. It started as guerilla warfare, but eventually they were in high enough numbers to fight evenly with us. By the time I was fifteen, they had taken Europe and Asia. By Seventeen, India and Africa had fallen as well.
“The remainder of the human countries came together under a single banner. We became known as the Free Human Territories. Any demon who wanted asylum was welcome, of course, and most of them joined the army. Most of our medics are Vigorati demons.”
“Vigorati?” Faith interrupted.
“A race of healers.” Tara supplied. “They don’t fight directly, no matter what.”
Dawn nodded. “Exactly. They’ve been invaluable. Anyway, when I turned eighteen, I enlisted in the army. Thanks to almost constant training, I was ideal for combat situations.”
“Who trained you?” Xander asked.
“Ma. Er, Faith, rather. When I was six, she caught me playing with her knife collection. She said if I was old enough to hold it, I was old enough to learn how to use it. From then on, she taught me how to fight with any weapon I could hold.”
Xander nodded. “Sorry. Please, continue.”
Dawn smiled. “I rose through the ranks quickly, especially after my first mission in enemy territory.” She shuddered. “My CO was killed, and most of my unit was pinned down. That was the first time the Alpha came out. I killed the enemy demons, and got almost everyone to the pickup point. From then on, I was the unit’s commander.
“A year later, we found out the Sisterhood of Jhe was planning to reopen the Sunnydale Hellmouth. I was assigned the field position of Commander of the local companies, and I planned an assault on the sisters. Everything was going according to plan, until we actually tried to use it.”
Xander laughed. “No plan survives contact with the enemy.”
Dawn nodded. “Two combat units didn’t show up, and the two units we had weren’t enough. The Hellmouth almost opened, until I stopped it. I did it fully expecting to die, but somehow I wound up here.”
“Way to go little D.” Faith muttered.
“How did demons become public knowledge?”
“The Vampire Squads.” Dawn replied. She turned to Xander. “Your idea worked. Ensouling vampires to fight the good fight worked. At first. The high number of sightings thereafter brought things to light.”
Xander shrugged. “Fine. Then we won’t do it.”
“What?!” Dawn exclaimed. “Why not?!”
“Well, if it caused so much trouble…”
Dawn shook her head. “No. Believe me, we’re doing just fine. The President herself told me we’re close to winning. Another year or so, and we’ll be able to liberate the eastern continents. Trust me, you should do it.”
“I don’t want to be responsible for 20 years of war!” He retorted.
“Ten years.” She corrected him. “And it’s united the human race in a way nothing else could. Not to mention the good demons. They’ve integrated fully with the rest of the world. Prejudice is a thing of the past. Before I left, California had just elected it’s first demon governor.” She looked him square in the eye. “You should do it.”
Xander sighed. Clearly, Dawn had met Willow. The Resolve Face she was giving him was at least as good as the redhead’s. “Fine. You’ve made your point.”
“Good!” She turned to Faith. “And you should start turning a few humans. The effects of being turned by a Slayer Vampire are… Well, they’re interesting.”
Faith was confused. “I thought B and I couldn’t turn people. Chase said it was… Well, she didn’t
say actually, but she said she wouldn’t do it.”
Dawn shook her head. “That only happens if you try to turn another Slayer. Normal humans are a different story. They become as strong as a typical Master, and they have none of the traditional weaknesses. And, of course, they keep their souls. Basically, they’re like you. Just not as powerful. And their babies-”
“Wait, babies?” Tara interrupted. “Vampires can’t have babies.”
“Not the dead ones, no.” Dawn agreed. “Faith isn’t dead. Her heart is still beating, remember? And none of the vampires she turned… Will turn… whatever, died either.”
“So… I can still have kids?”
Dawn winced. “Ah… no. At least, not with a human male. It takes one of your own kind to do it. Humans and vampires are incompatible.”
“Oh.” She shrugged. “Oh, well. Guess that ain’t happenin’.” Her face didn’t betray it, but she was deeply hurt by that. After seeing Tara with Dawn, she had been very jealous. And now, her only hope was to sleep with a vampire.
She completely missed the look Xander and Tara shared. The look said, ‘Not now, but soon.’
“Well.” Xander broke the silence. “I guess we need to start working on sending you,” He pointed to Dawn. “Home. How, exactly, did you get here?”
“The Sisterhood of Jhe were trying to open the Hellmouth. One of them needed to be a focal point for their power. I killed her before the ritual was completed.”
Xander was silent for a moment, clearly deep in thought. Suddenly, he snapped his fingers, and went to the book shelf. He flipped through a particularly old tome, before turning back to the group. “She was surrounded by red light, right?”
Dawn nodded. “Yeah.”
“It’s the Ritus Ostium, or Ritual of the Door. It opens pretty much anything, no matter what.” He laughed. “Creative, I have to admit. In fact, I think it’ll do the trick. It should open a door back to your time. Depending on how we word it, it should even get you back to the exact moment you left.”
Dawn shook her head. “No. Not the exact moment. What I did had to have caused a huge explosion. That would kill me.”
Xander nodded. “Right. Well, it’ll be a bit more vague, then. Maybe a month or two off.”
“I can live with that. Mostly cause, ya know, I’ll be living.
” She smirked.
Tara rolled her eyes. “Oh, she’s definitely your daughter, guys.”
Next Day, Close To The Dawn Hours
Dawn was already awake, doing her morning workout. Since the only mystical enhancement she had was the Hyena Primal, she had to maintain a rigorous physical training regimen.
Xander watched from the doorway to the bedroom. He was impressed. She was up to 400 push ups, and had already done 600 crunches. He doubted he would be able to do half as many.
When she was finally done, he spoke. “You do that every day?”
She turned, startled, and nodded. “Yeah. Basic PT for a soldier of the FHA. We fight demons on a regular basis. We have to be a cut above the rest.”
Xander nodded. “Sure.” He took a step toward her. “I want you to tell me something.”
She shrugged. “I will if I can.”
“How did I die?”
She sighed. She thought he might ask. “I can’t tell you.”
“It’ll change things. Your death inspired your wives, and yes you did eventually marry both of them, to great heights. I can’t do anything to jeopardize that.”
He shook his head. “Doesn’t matter. Trust me, I can get them to fight just as hard. I want to know.” When she still looked reluctant, he added “I trusted you before. I’ll form the Vampire Squads. I just need to know what to do to make sure I see the future you told me about.”
Finally, she nodded. “Alright. It was in 2004. The three of you were in Cleveland, watching over the new active Hellmouth. There was a battle. You got stabbed saving a Slayer.”
Xander nodded. “Thank you.”
“No problem.” She shrugged. “Oh, and in 2003, be careful around this guy named Caleb.”
Sunday’s Old Hide Out
Sunday felt a sense of relief as the dust of her former comrades settled around her. After she had finally stopped crying, she decided to take action. Killing her old gang seemed like a good first step.
As she came back out to the surface, she realized that it was almost dawn. She’d have to hurry if she wanted to get back to the apartment before the sun killed her.
As she was running past the dorms, she saw a strange light in one of the upstairs windows. Curious, she leapt up to see what it was. There was an orange skinned demon over one of the students, sucking… something out of the girl lying on a bed. “Well, that’s not normal.” She considered trying to save the girl right away, but this was a human domicile. She couldn’t get into one of the rooms without an invitation. Dammit.
As she watched, the demon stopped what it was doing. Then it… changed. It, she, looked human now. In fact, Sunday recognized her as a student. Her vampire hearing heard her say something. “Just one more night.” This caused a smirk to spread over Sunday’s face. Good. There was still time.
Hopping to the ground, Sunday ran for home.
The Triad’s Apartment
Sunday made it into the apartment building just as the rays of the sun were beginning to shine. She ran up to the apartment, and burst through the door. Almost instantly, she found herself on the ground. “Are we doing kinky stuff now?”
“Let her up, Dawn.”
Sunday felt the pressure on her back disappear, and she stood up. “Hell of a way to start the morning.” She turned to look at her attacker. “Hi. I’m Sunday.”
Dawn nodded. “I know who you are. I’m Dawn.”
Sunday nodded in greeting, then looked at Xander. “Is there a reason she’s here? Better yet, is there a reason she put me down?”
Xander grinned. “Yes, there’s a reason for both.”
“Will I be getting them?”
“Will you be explaining where you’ve been for three days?”
Sunday gave a sheepish grin. “I was dealing. I’m better now. I had a lot of guilt to deal with.”
Xander groaned. “Great. I’ve created a brooding monster.”
Sunday shrugged. “I’m not brooding.”
“Really? Guilt’s not weighing you down?”
“Not really. I mean, I feel it, but I’d rather do something about it. Fighting against things like what I was is better than moping, right?”
Xander grinned, and nodded. “Absolutely.” He sat down on the couch. “And as for an explanation about Dawn, she’s my daughter from the future.”
Sunday looked at him, then at Dawn. She sniffed the air, and shrugged. “Cool.”
“That’s it?” He asked disappointed.
Dawn grinned at him. “Vampires have excellent noses. I smell like you guys.”
“Oh, right.” He sighed. “Oh, well.” He looked up at Sunday. “Oh, by the way, the baby was born. We gave her your room because we love her more than you.”
Sunday snorted. “By the looks of things, I’m guessing it was a girl?”
“Nothing gets by you.”
She rolled her eyes, and went to the fridge for some blood. “Oh, there’s a demon on campus.”
Xander was immediately in battle mode. “Really? What kind?”
“Not sure. It’s hiding as a student.” She took a gulp of blood. “But that’s not the weird part. I saw her sucking something out of her roommate.”
“What, like blood?” Dawn asked.
“No. Some kind of white, wispy, light.”
“Her soul.” Both Harrises said simultaneously.
Sunday nodded. “Sounds about right.”
“Can you point her out to us?” Xander asked.
“Well, sure, but the sun’s out. Not exactly ideal for me.”
Dawn grinned. “I think I can help you with that.”
“Okay, so… just go straight down?”
“You sure, little D?” Faith asked.
Xander shrugged, and took Tara’s hand. “Let’s do it, then.”
The two of them closed their eyes, building power. The effect was barely noticeable at first, but it slowly made itself known. The wind began to pick up. First it was a pleasant breeze. Soon, it was almost gale force.
Finally, both witches opened their eyes, and shouted, “Permoveo is terra!”
The ground directly to Xander’s right caved in. Baby Dawn, who was in a baby pack on Tara’s back, started fussing from the noise.
Dawn smiled, and nodded. “Good. The cavern hasn’t been disturbed.” She jumped in, Faith quickly following. Dawn started hunting through the various treasures they had uncovered.
“So,” Faith called over. “Can we keep all this? I know we ain’t hurtin’ for money, but still…”
Dawn grinned. “I don’t see why not. But right now, we need to find… Aha!” She held up a small ring triumphantly. “Got it! Hey, Xander!”
He approached the lip of the cavern. “Yeah?”
“Catch!” She threw the ring.
He caught it. “This is it?”
“Yep! Just do the charm I taught you, and let Sunday wear it!”
Xander nodded, and ran over to a shaded area. “Here it is. The Gem of Amara.”
Sunday smiled. “Cool.”
“I thought so. Ready?” She nodded. “Planto illa substantia in navitas.” The ring glowed a dull green.
Sunday slipped the ring onto her hand. The glow spread over her body, then disappeared. Taking an unnecessary breath, Sunday handed the ring back to Xander, and stepped out into the sunlight. Nothing happened.
Dawn, who by now had climbed out of the cavern, grinned. “See? I told ya.”
Sunday nodded. “Alright. Come on. I’ll take you to her room.”
Xander knocked on the door. There was no answer. “Guess no one’s home… Break in?” He asked the others.
Tara shook her head. “Not much point. She’s probably in class.”
“Right.” He let out a breath. “Now what?”
“We could look for her in class.”
“Good call.” Xander checked his watch. “Okay. We’ve got an hour before any of our own classes start, so we’d better get moving.”
Sunday crept through the halls of UC Sunnydale. She definitely smelled something demonic, but she wasn’t sure where it was. She was so distracted by the hunt, she didn’t notice Riley until she bumped into him. “Oh! Sorry.”
He turned around. “It’s alri- Hey. Do I know you?”
Sunday looked at him. It was one of the soldiers who had captured her! Shit! “Uh… Not that I know of.”
“Yeah, you’re…” His eyes widened. “Hostile 17!”
That was a new one for her. “Excuse me?”
Riley was panicking. He didn’t have a weapon, or a radio. No way could he take her alone. Over her shoulder, he spotted Xander. ~Well,~ He thought. ~Professor Walsh said to find out if he’s a demon hunter. No time like the present.~ “Xander!”
Xander jogged over. “Yeah?”
“Help me! She’s a vampire!”
Xander shot Sunday a look. “What did you do?”
“Nothing! Well, not lately, anyway. He’s one of those soldier guys. He was on the team that captured me.”
Xander sighed. “Right. Of course he is. Why would I know a normal person?”
Riley’s panic gave way to confusion. “Wait. You know she’s a vampire?”
“Well, sure. I gave her a soul.”
“Oh.” Riley did a double take. “What?!”
Xander sighed. “Listen, can we do this later? We’re busy.”
“No, we can’t! I want to know-”
Xander held up his hand to cut him off. “Tara’s found her.” He nodded to Sunday. “Come on!” The two of them took off.
Riley was stunned for a moment, then followed.
Tara was semi-hiding from the demon girl’s view. She, Faith, and Dawn had found her, and were waiting for Xander and Sunday. They didn’t have to wait for long.
“Hey! Where is she?”
Tara pointed to the Art History class behind her.
“Right.” Xander pulled a short sword out from his jacket. “We all packing?”
Faith produced her signature daggers. Dawn had an easily concealed short sword and a stake. Tara summoned a fire ball, and Sunday vamped out.
“Excellent. Now all we have to do is…” His face fell. “Get her out here, and away from view of the students. Crap.”
Riley ran up to them.
“What the hell is going on?!” Riley demanded.
“We’re… Uh…” Tara stumbled over her words.
“We’re hunting a demon.” Xander informed him, earning shocked looks from his girls. Sunday just smirked.
“Oh.” Riley nodded. “In broad daylight?”
“She’s stealing her roommate’s soul.”
“Ah. Right. Gotta stop that. Okay, what do you need?”
“Can you get her out here? We’ll take care of the rest.”
“Sure thing. Which one is she?”
Sunday moved over to the window, motioning for him to follow. “See in the third row? Curly black hair? Looks like she could bounce all the way to the moon? That’s her.”
Riley chuckled. “Kathy? Always knew there was something inhuman about her. According to her roommate, she plays Cher constantly.” He nodded. “Right. Time to work.” He went into the classroom.
Tara and Faith turned to Xander. “What the hell? How does he know about demons?” Faith demanded.
Xander shrugged. “Turns out he’s part of the government project. He was one of the soldiers who captured Sunday.”
“Oh.” Faith nodded. “Yeah, I can see that.”
A moment later, Riley and Kathy came out. “What’s going on? Am I in trouble?” She asked.
“You could say that.” Xander answered, bringing his sword into a fighting position.
Kathy morphed into her demonic face. “Dammit! I’m so close. I won’t let you ruin it!”
Even as she spoke, another demon, who looked very much like Kathy, appeared. He roared at her in some demonic language. She answered in kind.
Xander pursed his lips. “This is strange.”
“Yep.” Faith agreed.
“Do we kill them both?” Dawn asked.
“Sounds like a plan to me.” Tara answered. Everyone looked at her. “What?”
Xander blinked. “Well, you’re usually more… gentle.”
She shrugged. “With you guys, sure. These are demons.”
“Good point. Let’s get this done. Keep back. Remember, you’ve got Dawn, er… Baby Dawn on your back.” She nodded, and the rest of them attacked.
Xander made quick work of Kathy, cutting her head off. The white light of her roommate’s soul went flying away, presumably looking for it’s home.
The other demon, who at first was frozen in surprise, snarled, and yelled at them in it’s strange language.
Xander uttered a spell, and suddenly his sword caught on fire.
The demon became very quiet, nodded, and vanished.
“Well, that was easy.”
Riley stared at his friend in awe. “That was amazing! How’d you do that?”
Xander shrugged, dousing his sword. “Magic.”
“Seriously?” Xander nodded. “Wow.” Riley ran his hand through his hair. “Well, listen. Professor Walsh, she runs the project, had a suspicion you and yours were demon hunters.” At Xander’s alarmed look, Riley put his hands up in a placating gesture. “Don’t worry. She doesn’t mind. Hell, she said that if you were, I should offer you a job.”
Xander, who was still holding his sword up, looked at the other man disbelievingly. “Why should I believe you? This could be a trap.”
Riley nodded. “It could be. But on the other hand, you’d have government funding, and-”
“You do know I’m rich, right?”
“Oh, yeah… Back-up?”
“I know some people.”
“Right. Um… ‘Ask not what your country can do for you’?”
Xander snorted, finally putting his sword away. “No thanks. I’ll help if you really need it, but I like working on my own.”
“What about them?” Riley looked at Faith and Tara. “You guys want a job?”
They both smiled, but shook their heads.
“Damn.” He shrugged. “Oh, well. It was worth a shot.” He turned to Sunday. “Now. What do I do about you?”
Xander stepped between them. “You don’t do anything. She’s my responsibility now.”
Riley sighed. “She’s running around with government property in her head.”
“What is it, by the way?” Tara asked, curious. “We knew something was in there, but we weren’t sure what.”
“A behavior modification chip. It’s programmed so that she can’t hurt humans.”
“I can hurt demons, though. I took out my old gang earlier today.” Sunday said with a smirk.
Xander nodded. “Cool. All the same, she’s with me. If you want your chip so badly…” He nodded to Tara, who walked over, and joined hands with him. They muttered something in Latin, and something appeared in Xander’s hand. “Here. Good as new.” He handed the chip to Riley.
Riley stared at it. “How’d you do that
“Translocation spell. One of the simpler things we can do.”
Riley wasn’t sure what to make of that, so he just shrugged. “Right. Uh… I have to go… Do something. I’ll… Talk to you later, I guess.” He walked away at a brisk pace.
Xander shook his head sympathetically. “Poor guy. Knows all about demons, but magic seems to freak him out.”
The Ruins of Sunnydale High
“Right… Dawn, you stand here.” Xander pointed.
She moved into position. “Are you sure you can do this?”
“Positive. Don’t worry about it.”
He smiled, and moved to stand next to Tara. “Give your Tara and Faith a hug and Kiss for me, alright?”
“I will.” She promised.
“We’ll miss ya, little D.” Faith smiled. “We gotta wait twenty years to see you again.”
Dawn smiled. “You’re a vampire, remember? The time will just fly by.”
“Alright.” Xander cleared his throat. “Time to go, Dawn. Ready?”
Xander and Tara began chanting. Dawn couldn’t identify the language. Before long, she was surrounded by a brilliant red light. Seconds later, she disappeared.
Sunnydale Crater, 2019
Dawn blinked, and found herself in a familiar setting. She sighed. “Great. I probably have to walk back to civilization.”
She started to do just that, when Tara appeared in front of her. “Hey, Dawn.”
“Mom!” Dawn grinned. “What are you doing here?”
“Well, I detected the spell, so I came to investigate.”
“Great! I thought I was stuck out here. Let’s go.”
In a flicker of lights, they were home.
Dawn went in through the front door. “Ma, you here?”
Faith swept her up into her arms. “Dawn! You’re alive!” She set the young woman down. “Don’t you ever
scare me like that again!”
Dawn laughed. “Don’t worry, Ma. I’m fine.”
“Told you she would be.” A voice came from behind Faith.
Dawn looked. Her mouth dropped open. “Dad?!”
“Hey, Dawn patrol.”