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This story is No. 2 in the series "Love By Correspondence". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: 2nd in my LBC series. A vaguely insulting letter begins a very angry correspondence. Which incites retaliantion in person. Look out Atlantis, here comes Dawn Summers!

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Dawn-Centered > Pairing: Rodney McKaymoonstalkerFR1517,7439216,3949 Mar 099 Mar 09Yes
Title: I'm Yours
Author: moonstalker24
Disclaimer: BtVS belongs to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Stargate: Atlantis belongs to MGM. Title and song lyrics are David Gray's 'Babylon'.
Spoilers: Post S7 BtVS. Set mid S2 of SGA.
Rating: FR-15
Pairing: Dawn/Rodney
Summary: 2nd in my LBC series. A vaguely insulting letter begins a very angry correspondence. Which incites retaliation in person, look out Atlantis, here comes Dawn Summers!
Warning: Lots of arguing. Rodney gets a funny injury. *shrugs*
Author's Notes: Second in the series. A little quirkier than the last one. Here's some crackers, enjoy the cheese. Also, allusions to 'Viva La Vida' at the beginning.


"Friday night I'm going nowhere
All the lights are changing green to red
Turning over TV stations
Situations running through my head..."

"...I understand. Thank you Mr. President." Giles was on the phone when Dawn poked her head around his office door and smiled at him. He smiled back and waved her into the room. When he hung up he sat back and looked at the tall brunette and wondered where the years went. Dawn was officially a high school graduate. Practically a college graduate.

That was what she had wanted. She'd taken enough college classes alongside her regular school work these last two years that when Dawn went off to school this fall, she'd be going as a graduate student.

"Hey Giles." Dawn said, smiling at the man both she and her sister considered their father. "You okay?"

"Of course." Giles said with a smile. "What is it?"

"We're ready." Dawn replied. 'We' being the senior council of the Council. Meaning the survivors of Sunnydale.

"Right." Giles stood and followed Dawn from his London office and down the hall to the conference room. It was a long room that could seat twenty people around the long antique table. Dawn went in ahead of him to take her place to Buffy's right. Giles took his place at the head of the table and gazed at the senior council for a long moment. Buffy sat to his right, and Dawn sat next to her. Across from Buffy and Dawn sat Willow and Xander. Next to Willow sat Kennedy, who sat next to Rona, Violet, Caridad and Chao-ahn. Across from Kennedy sat Andrew and Dana. Next to them sat Faith and Robin Wood. Across from Caridad sat Alistair Glasser, a watcher who had survived the destruction of the old council. Next to Alistair sat Melody and Sarah, representatives of the Devon Coven of Witches.

"What's the what, Giles?" Buffy asked. This was the first time in more than a year that they had all been in the same country, much less the same room. They all had duties now, most on other continents.

"It would seem that the US Government has gotten itself into trouble again."

The table erupted. Giles waited a few minutes, polished his glasses. When the room quieted again, he continued. "President Bartlet assures me that this is not another Initiative, and I quite agree after hearing the details."

"So what happened?" Faith asked.

"One of their teams encountered what would appear to be vampires on a mission and one of them was bitten, he died about thirty minutes ago."

"So they're askin' for help?"


"What's the deal with this group?" Xander asked. "Y'know, if they're not Initiative types."

"That is why we're all here." Giles began. "You see, it would appear that the US Air Force has uncovered the Chappa'ai."

"The what now?" Asked Willow.

"I shall begin at the beginning." Giles said. "Five thousand years ago the peoples of Ancient Egypt and the surrounding lands were under the rule of a parasitic race called the Goa'uld..."

"Well looking back through time
You know it's clear that I've been blind
I've been a fool
To open up my heart to all that jealousy,
That bitterness, that ridicule..."

Giles had asked her to be acting liaison between the SGC and the Watcher's Council. Now that they knew that there was a possibility of at least vampires on other planets. Wood had taken some initiative after sending Faith in to take care of the initial threat to reassign a slayer team to be based out of Colorado Springs for quick response.

Dawn had regular chats with a Major Paul Davis (whom she called Major Cutie behind his back). He updated her on the SGC and she let him know about things going on the US. Carefully screened things, only things that might directly effect the government, specifically the SGC or its personnel. It was a good deal. She got to read mission reports out of the SGC and study for her summer courses before going off to Columbia this fall.

But this was the last straw.

Dawn was staring at her laptop like it might bite her, or give up the ghost. Woodstock seemed a little unsure about it. The youngest Summers girl was wondering what had possessed her when Giles had asked her to be the liaison between the Watcher's Council and the SGC. Sure, on the one hand you had wicked cool aliens and brand new worlds to explore where there weren't any demons. On the other you had people like this jerk to deal with.

Instantly Dawn went from shock to anger. Her eyes narrowed to slits and her lips pursed and she half rose from her chair. How dare he! Dawn might not be an astrophysicist, but she knew enough physics to keep up with Andrew for crying out loud!

Dawn's hands came to rest palm down on either side of Woodstock. She wasn't going to let this slide. No sir.

"Dawnie, you okay?" Buffy asked as she entered the room to see Dawn's classic pissed off pose.

"No, no I'm not." Dawn ground out between clenched teeth.

"What's wrong?" Buffy questioned. "Do I need to slay? 'Cos I will."

"No." Dawn said, sitting back down. "No. I'll handle this... this human!"


"He called me a brainless infant not fit to grace the halls of academia!" Dawn exclaimed. "I speak almost thirty languages! I read three times that many! I'm a mystical key with a genius IQ! I'm a grad student at eighteen! Oh, I'll show you, Dr. M. Rodney McKay. Yes I will."

Buffy stared at her sister for a moment and then turned around and left the room. When Hurricane Dawn was on the warpath it was best to get out of the way. Whoever that McKay guy was, he had just declared war on a girl who'd taken lessons from an 1100 year old ex-vengeance demon and Spike. Not to mention what she'd learned at the knee of both herself and Faith.

Buffy was kind of proud.

"Saturday I'm running wild
And all the lights are changing red to green
Moving through the crowds I'm pushing
Chemicals all rushing through my bloodstream..."

Two months into her private war with McKay and Mount Dawn was getting ready to explode. Unfortunately for the people on the sidelines, the target of her ire was safely ensconced in an ice cave in Antarctica at the moment. This meant that whenever she got a scathing reply in her philosophical and scientific debate (A nice way of putting it. It was really a fist fight over magic versus science.) the people around her suffered for it.

Buffy had taken to taking her shopping. Dawn's closet had never been so healthy, and there had never been so many pretty shoes.

Dawn was able to distract herself by teasing Buffy about her online romance with a geek in Las Vegas. She'd actually spoken to David Hodges on the phone a couple of times, and after he'd asked, emailed him on the care and feeding of slayers.

This week, before Buffy took off to finally meet this guy, Xander was visiting. Which had proven to lift her spirits enormously. She hadn't even spared a thought for The Astrophysicist all week. Then she'd gone downstairs early that thursday morning to check her email. She'd puttered down the stairs in her pyjamas and brewed coffee while her computer booted up.

Then she'd seen the reply from Him in her inbox. Her peaceful morning was ruined. Her fury only grew with each insulting line she read.

"Dawn, are you okay?" Buffy's voice asked warily. Dawn knew what she must look like, furious and red faced.

"No." She growled. "This, this... this poopyhead is being a big meanie!"

"Way to channel Will there Dawnie." Buffy said.

"I'm going to strangle him and watch the life slowly leave him!" She snarled, imagining her hands around his neck.

"That's a better threat." Buffy remarked. She closed Dawn's laptop. "C'mon, we're going shopping."

"We are?"



"Because you need new shoes to make you feel better, and I need a sexy new dress because David's taking me out for my birthday."

"Both very good reasons." Dawn said with a nod, calming down a little and letting Buffy lead her from the room. Shopping would make her feel better. It just had to, she was not taking Buffy to the airport in this mood. Buffy needed to leave to meet David in a pleasant, happy mood. Not retroactively grumpy.

"I thought so." Said Buffy brightly.

"Can we get cute sundresses to go with new Jimmy Choos?" Dawn asked.

"I think we can manage that." Buffy said.

Dawn smiled a little. She had learned fashion and shopping at the knees of Buffy and Cordelia. She could asessorize with the best of them, and probably out-do them half the time.

That didn't stop her from wanting to kick McKay in the shin as hard as possible though.

"Only wish that you were here
You know I'm seeing it so clear
I've been afraid
To show you how I really feel
Admit to some of those bad mistakes I've made..."

"So how goes the packing?" Dawn asked as she cradled her phone between her ear and her shoulder. She was standing barefoot in her brand new, itty bitty New York apartment trying to get the lid off a jar of pickles.

"It goes." Buffy said. "I got the rest of your stuff packed, it should be there in a few days."

"Thanks Buffy." Dawn said. There had been a mini-apocolypse two weeks ago and Dawn had been in London helping with the research and hadn't had time to pack her things before classes started on monday. "Guess what?"


"I have a bed now!" Dawn exclaimed. She'd gone furniture shopping the day before.

"That's great." Buffy said. Dawn smiled at how happy her sister sounded. Buffy's birthday had gone perfectly. So perfectly in fact that Dawn had called Giles to put in Buffy's transfer herself. Buffy was in Rome shutting down the house to move to Vegas where she'd be heading up a slayer team.

"How's David?" Dawn asked slyly.

"He's fine." Dawn could hear Buffy rolling her eyes from here. "How's your astrophysicist?" Buffy shot back.

Dawn winced. "He's not my astrophysicist. And he's still a big poopyhead."

"Still with the Willow-isms?"

"I can't get past it. It's just the perfect descriptive word for him." Dawn said as she triumphantly got the lid off the jar. She went about placing dill pickle slices on her peanut butter. She slapped the two slices of bread and took a big bit, humming happily.

"What are you eating?" Buffy asked warily.

"Peanut butter and pickle sandwich."

"You are so weird." Buffy said.

"I know, but you love me." Dawn said. "Ooh, on a happy note, the Jerk will be going if they ever figure out where Atlantis is."

"Is this a good thing?"

"Possibly. They might never make it back again."

"Thinking positive there, are ya?" Buffy asked sarcastically.

"Absolutely." Dawn said. "It's not like I'm wishing him dead or anything. Missing is good enough for me."

"Well, aren't you just generous?"

"I'm known for it."

Buffy laughed. "Listen, I've got to go. The new head guy just got here."

"Have fun passing the buck."

"Good luck monday."

"Thanks. Love you."

"Love you to, kid."

"And if you want it
Come and get it
For crying out loud..."

The following tuesday she got a card in the mail. It was a thinking of you card. Half the words were scribbled out and the cute cartoon puppy on the front had been defaced. The 'best' in 'best wishes' had been crossed out and 'worst' had been scrawled in its place in block letters on the front and the puppy had horns holding up the halo that had been drawn over its head. It also had a goatee and a fork had been added to the end of it's tail.

On the inside it wished her failure in all her future endeavours.

He'd scrawled his name on the bottom.

Dawn tucked the card back in its envelope and sandwiched it between the pages of a book on Fyarl anatomy. She walked calmly across the room, out onto the fire escape and then promptly screamed at the top of her lungs in absolute fury.

In retaliation she bought a post card with a pair of chimps in tutus with 'wish you were here' on the front. On the back she'd simply written 'not' in great big letters and signed it.

She put it in the mail on her way to class the following morning.

"The love that I was
Giving you was
Never in doubt..."

When Major Davis told her about the expedition to the Pegasus Galaxy Dawn had been equal parts excited and disappointed.

On the one hand he'd be gone. She wouldn't have to read the scathing letters he sent. She wouldn't have to deal with him at all. Out of Galaxy, Out of Mind.

On the other she was insanely jealous. The opportunity was a once in a lifetime thing. There would be so much to see and learn and do. Maybe the Ancients knew about magic. Maybe they had special secrets to closing hellmouths or stopping certain kinds of unstoppable demons?

She resolved to be ready whenever the expedition established contact with Earth again. She'd made quick friends with Daniel Jackson when she'd visited the SGC to be introduced officially as their liaison with the Watcher's council. They swapped resources about their particular specialities all the time. So she told him she wanted to learn to read and speak and write Ancient.

A week later she got a package in the mail that was the linguist version of a how-to guide on all things Ancient.

That weekend Vi and Rona were in town. Rona would be taking up the head slayer position for New York City, so Dawn and Vi took her out to properly celebrate. While they were out, Dawn picked up a 'best of luck' card to deface and send off the following morning.

Three months after the expedition left, as Dawn was sitting down to type up a paper, she realized she missed his emails. She'd gotten to know the snarky astrophysicist pretty well. He was the strangest man she'd ever met, and the only other person she knew that enjoyed a good peanut butter and pickle sandwich. She jolted in shock. She liked Rodney McKay! Heck, she missed Rodney McKay.

A week after that she found the card he'd sent her while confirming that what Kelly had seen on patrol hitting up that mobster for protection money really was a Fyarl. She smiled softly to herself and set it on the mantle where you could see the defaced puppy from all over the room.

It was almost a year before they heard anything at all from Atlantis. The SGC got a three point five second data burst from Pegasus and they learned that the expedition team was really in serious trouble. Dawn discovered she was really kind of worried about Rodney, and that rankled.

At the end of Rodney's monologue in his message home, he had a couple of lines for her. "And this is for Summers. You may be a brat that believes in fairies of all things, but you are the only other person I know that appreciates a good peanut butter and pickle sandwich. For that alone I miss you... but not enough to ever want to talk to you again!"

It was then that Dawn realized she was sort of half in love with him.

"Let go of your heart
Let go of your head
And feel it now..."

Over spring break Dawn was invaded by Xander who was still a bit at loose ends since coming back from Africa, and Buffy, who was visiting without David because he couldn't get the time off. In compromise Dawn agreed to visit this summer.

Over the course of the year, Dawn and Rona had become good friends. Rona became her sounding board for the mundane things. The new shoes, or how to deal with a guy that wouldn't take no for an answer. Rona also became her confidant over her changing feelings for McKay. Eventually Rona said she needed to talk to more than just her about it. That Buffy and Xander might be able to help more than she could.

"He'll miss you because you have the same bizarre taste in food?" Xander asked, staring.

"There's a match made in heaven." Rona said with a snort. Dawn glared.

"Wait, back up." Xander said, shocked. "You like this guy?!"

Dawn bit her lip. 'Well, fine line and all that."

"Great Googley Moogley!" Xander breathed. He sat down at Dawn's kitchen table, a dazed look on his face. "We are talking about that jerk astrophysicist right? The one who called you scum, repeatedly? The one that makes you go all red and scream and throw things?"

"Yes." Dawn said. "I know it doesn't make any sense, Xan! But I actually kind of miss our fights."

"That's not the right thing to build a relationship on." Buffy commented from the couch.

"You're one to talk." Dawn remarked.

Buffy looked up from her magazine. "David and I snark, we don't fight. There's a difference."

"I'm sick, aren't I?"

"Don't worry," Xander said, throwing his arm over Dawn's shoulders. "There's medication for this kind of thing."

"Yeah!" Buffy said brightly. "We'll think of something."

Three weeks later they re-established contact with Atlantis. A week after that Dawn got her first angry letter from Rodney McKay. She sat and beamed at the computer screen for a long while. He was okay! Alive, safe, still kicking! Then his words sank in.

The fury followed.

"Let go of your heart
Let go of your head
And feel it now
Babylon, Babylon, Babylon..."

"I'm going to Atlantis." Dawn announced that summer over lunch with Buffy.

"Pardon me?" Buffy asked.

"I'm going to Atlantis." Dawn said. "You know I wanted to go when they went the first time. Now with this new discovery I might actually learn something about the Key. About where it came from, what it was meant for."

The Ancient Database on Atlantis had so much information on it that even in just over a year the expedition team still hadn't made much of a dent in it. McKay had, however, found some passages that mentioned the Key while researching ZPMs. The information had been flagged when they'd sent the data burst from Pegasus.

"What about school?" Buffy wondered. She knew she wouldn't be able to talk Dawn out of going. Dawn had questions about the Key. About what it was and why it was. She wanted to know how something so powerful as all that could be stuffed into a mortal body.

She'd especially started wondering when she started channelling the Key's power. Willow had shipped her off to Devon for a summer, and now Dawn was an uber-wicca that actually overcame Willow in power, though Willow had more skill.

"I'm almost done." Dawn said. "I figure I'll wait another year, 'til after I get my doctorate."

Dawn was headed into her thesis year. By the end of it she would be Dawn Summers, Phd. Her field of study was ancient languages. And she was only nineteen.

"This isn't about that astrophysicist jerk is it?" Buffy asked with narrowed eyes.

"No!" Dawn exclaimed, then she looked a little sheepish. "Not entirely."

"Does jerk-face know you're crushing on him like a twelve year old?" Buffy teased as they left the restaurant and headed down the Las Vegas strip.

"No." Dawn pouted. "And no one's going to tell him, are they?"

"Of course not." Buffy smirked.

"Besides, my instinct to kick him over rules any crushage that might be had."

"You just keep telling yourself that, Dawnie."

- - -

The following week Dawn received a series of very angry letters from McKay. Apparently, the leaders of the expedition had returned home to Earth briefly and they'd been taken out by the Colorado Springs slayer team and the existence of the supernatural had been proven. Now he apparently blamed her for screwing up his world view.

She sent a scathing response about sucking it up and not being such a big baby.

He'd replied by ranting about magic and how it couldn't be real because it couldn't be defined by physics.

Dawn squished him flat by emailing him a copy of the paper Willow had written about magic being a quantifiable energy that actually lived within the realm of physics most of the time.

The fight that started lasted most of the following year as Dawn completed her thesis, and went on to defend it. It grew even more intense when she brought ZPMs and what powered them into the argument. McKay blew a fuse. Apparently, studying Zero Point Energy was his baby, and he wasn't going to listen to her destroy that study.

She kept it to herself that she thought she was the source of the energy. That basically the Key was a sort of mechanism used to contain and channel Zero Point Energy into specially built containment units, namely the ZPMs.

She would wait until she got to Atlantis to drop the fact that she thought she could recharge all the empty ZPMs they'd collected. She figured it would be a show worth the wait.

With her doctorate finished, Dawn travelled to Colorado Springs where she would undergo basic training for gate travel. She spent her spare hours working with Daniel Jackson on translating his backlog while looking for anything that might be a demon language. They'd found vampires on walkabout in the galaxy before, what was to say they wouldn't again?

During her six weeks in the Springs, Dawn learned about the Wraith, and once she stopped laughing, realized that her mission to Pegasus was going to be a lot bigger than she originally thought. She wasn't going just to sate her own curiosity anymore. She was going as the official Council liaison to asess the situation and decide whether it was necessary to station a specialized slayer team on Atlantis on a more permanent basis.

"Sunday all the lights of London
Shining sky is fading grey to blue
I'm kicking through the Autumn leaves
And wondering where it is you might be going to..."

"I can't believe this!" Rodney McKay exclaimed. They could not be serious! That little know-it-all couldn't be coming here! This was his city!

"Rodney." Elizabeth said warningly. "It's already done."

"She's going to invade!" Rodney yelled. "She'll take over everything and I'll never get any peace!"

"Who is 'she'?" John wondered out loud in a bewildered sort of way. This was very strange behaviour, even for Rodney. Ronon just shrugged in reply to John's question.

Atlantis' senior staff had just been informed that Richard Woolsey of the IOA was coming to Atlantis to evaluate Elizabeth's leadership, and that he wasn't coming alone. Apparently the Watcher's Council felt the need to asess the threat of the Wraith themselves. John didn't see anything wrong with that, having a few of these slayer people around to help out didn't sound like such a bad thing.

"Rodney." Elizabeth said. "I'm sure whomever the Council sends won't be that bad."

"Oh, and do you know who they're sending?" Rodney demanded.

"Well, no." Elizabeth said. "I was just told to expect the Council liaison."

"She is the Council liaison!" Rodney screamed, hands flailing. "Ever since the SGC and Council became aware of each other!"

"Rodney, don't yell at me." Elizabeth said. John winced, he recognized that tone.

"My life is over!" Rodney exclaimed, deflating a little. "I'll never get any peace now." He wandered out of the conference room, still talking to himself. "I'll bet anything that this was just the opportunity that little witch was waiting for... Come here and usurp me! Well, I won't let her get away with that..."

John, Elizabeth, Teyla and Ronon all exchanged looks.

"Wonder what that was all about?" John said. Ronon shrugged again.

"Do you think he'll be okay?" Elizabeth asked. "They're arriving in four hours."

"Perhaps he should speak with Dr. Heightmeyer." Teyla suggested mildly.

"That might be a good idea." Elizabeth replied.

- - -

Rodney appeared in the control room just seconds before the Dedalus beamed their visitors in. He looked more rumpled than ever, and furious about being there. He was the head of the science department though, so he was taking his duties seriously. Elizabeth and John exchanged a faintly concerned look over his head before bright whiteness enveloped the area before the Stargate and they straightened.

The group was a bit eclectic. First was the IOA's Richard Woolsey, carrying a briefcase and wearing a tailored blue suit. He exchanged greetings with Elizabeth with a pompous aire about him. He looked a little nauseous as well. When asked, he said that space travel didn't really agree with him.

The Watcher's Council representatives were more interesting. Two were women, one was a man. The man was tall, with dark hair curling around his ears, just at that point where he needed a haircut. What really stood out was the eye patch he was wearing. John could tell from his stance that he was a warrior. That eye patch was not a decoration.

The first woman was a petite cocoa skinned girl with her hair done in long cornrows that were bound together at the back of her neck. Her eyes were fierce and watchful, and when John met her gaze he felt a shiver run down her spine. He wondered if this was a slayer.

The second woman was a tall, willowy brunette with startling blue eyes. She seemed softer than the other two somehow. She was also carrying a laptop case over one shoulder. She was the one to step forward. She smiled and offered her hand to Elizabeth.

"Dr. Weir?" She asked. "I'm Dawn Summers, your Watcher's Council liaison."

"It's nice to meet you, Ms. Summers." Elizabeth said with a smile, genuinely pleased by the warmth in Dawn's tone.

"Dr." The male said. Dawn rolled her eyes. "What? It's true!"

"Xander!" Dawn exclaimed. She looked a little embarrassed.

Xander shot Dawn a smug expression, then shook Elizabeth's hand. "Xander Harris, Watcher. Dawnie's actually Dr. Summers, she's just finished her Phd at Columbia."

Rodney snorted. Dawn's blue eyes zeroed in on him and they started a very fierce glaring contest. Xander drew their attention back to him by introducing the girl at his side. "This is my Slayer, Neala."

"It is good to meet you." Neala said in stilted english. She looked at Xander questioningly and he nodded in approval.

"She's still learning english." Xander explained as Dawn parted from the group. John watched her stride over to the bottom of the stairs where Rodney was standing and stop in front of him. They seemed to size each other up, then Dawn kicked him in the shin. Hard.

Everything stopped, everyone stared.

"That's for calling me a brainless bimbo you addle headed neanderthal." Dawn snarled as Rodney clutched at his shin.

"Turning back for home
You know I'm feeling so alone
I can't believe
Climbing on the stair
I turn around to see you
Smiling there in front of me..."

"They know each other?" Elizabeth asked Xander.

Xander smiled easily as Rodney cursed at Dawn, who replied in kind. "Not formally."

"What does that mean?" John asked.

"Well, they've never actually met face to face." Xander explained casually as they were led toward the conference room. The fight behind them was quickly escalating and the insults were getting very creative. "They have been fighting for over two years though."

"Excuse me?"

"They got into a fight about physics and magic way back when the Council had just found out about the SGC and Giles asked Dawn to be liaison." Xander said. "They've been going at it like that for two years. The only pause being that year you guys were out of contact."

"How'd it start?" John asked curiously as they settled around the table.

"Her age." Xander said with a shrug. "I don't think he enjoyed being told that magic is quantifiable energy by a seventeen year old."

"Seventeen?" Elizabeth asked. "How could a seventeen year old be made liaison?"

"Twenty this week." Xander said brightly. "At the time Dawn was the only one who had enough time to take you guys on."

"Wait what?"

"Our organization was nearly destroyed a few years ago. We've had a hell of a time rebuilding." Xander explained. "The old guard was killed off, and we were barely two years in."

"So, being liaison fell to the only one with time?"

"Yep. Giles, he's the Head of the Council, was too busy running this and organizing us on an international level to do it. Buffy took to running the Europe branch to help Giles out while he tracked down any Watchers that survived. Robin took of North America and Faith took up guarding the Hellmouth. What slayers we had went off trying to find other slayers. Robson took Asia, and boy was that a mess." Xander shook his head at the thought of Robson and Chao-ahn in Asia, they'd nearly died several times. "Willow and Kennedy went to South America, and that's a whole other kettle of fish. Andrew had Dana to help and I was out in the bush in Africa and too frequently out of contact."

"So, process of elimination, then?" John asked.

"Dawn was finishing her senior year of high school." Xander said, wincing as Dawn started yelling in several different languages. "She was taking a few college courses, but out of the senior council she was the only one not already running a continent."

There was a thump from the control room, a muffled yelp of surprise, a crash and then silence. Everyone was out of their chairs and running into the control room to find out what was going on in seconds. Xander followed at a more leisurely pace, knowing what probably happened. All the signs had been there.

It appeared that Dawn had had enough. The thump had been her bag falling to the ground. The yelp had been McKay's surprise when she lunged at him. The crash had been her momentum taking them to the ground, knocking over a trash bin and a plant when they collided.

They were kissing.

"And if you want it
Come and get it
For crying out loud..."

Dawn didn't put too much thought into tackling Rodney. She'd just done it. What had surprised her was the ease with which he turned the tables on her. He went down with her atop him, took her weight and then rolled with it until he was lying over her. She was pretty much pinned.

Rodney couldn't believe she'd just tried to take him out! It was a good thing he'd spent the last two years running for his life from the Wraith, he decided. They rolled to a stop, her pinned beneath him, cradled protectively in his arms. He wasn't sure why he'd protected her from the fall. He was going to be one big bruise in the morning!

Rodney opened his mouth to yell at her some more so Dawn did the only thing she could think of. The first thing that had popped into her mind when they'd locked eyes. She reached up with the hand that wasn't pinned between their bodies, curled it around the back of his head and pulled his face toward her. Their lips met shortly after that. She felt a thrill go through her. She was kissing Rodney McKay! And he was kissing her back!

Rodney froze in shock when their lips met for about a second, then his hand came up to cradle her face and he kissed back. He was kissing this insane, psychotic, adorable woman and she wasn't kneeing him where it counted for it! He felt a thrill of elation course through him. He'd known she was perfect as soon as he'd found out about peanut butter and pickle sandwiches nine months into their correspondence. He'd only just started to realize he was half in love with her when Atlantis was under siege a year ago.

Now a year after that she was lying in his arms kissing him, and she had initiated the contact!

Rodney became aware of the sound of laughter and moved to pull away. Dawn made a distressed 'don't you dare' sound in the back of her throat. The laughing got a little louder and Rodney pulled away enough to see her face clearly. Her cheeks were flushed and her lips a little swollen from the kiss. Her eyes opened and she blinked up at him dazedly.

"Nice, Dawn Patrol."

Dawn growled and her hand left Rodney's head. She groped around on the floor for a minute before she found something and then her whole body moved as she hurled it at the speaker. There was a yelp and the sound of breaking pottery before she reached back up and pulled Rodney in for a second kiss.

- - -

Xander couldn't help it. The second he saw them he had to start laughing. Buffy owed him twenty bucks. He'd known that it wouldn't be an hour after they met before Dawn got her hands on the man she'd fallen for. Buffy had given her sister the benefit of the doubt and given her a day. Xander, however, knew that when a Summers girl wanted something, they had all the subtlety of a sledge hammer.

"Nice, Dawn Patrol." He said, his mouth bypassing his brain. He knew it would get him in trouble.

He was right, he thought as he dodged the broken pottery she hurled at him.

"The love that I was
Giving you was
Never in doubt..."

After they managed to separate the pair, things went smoothly. Too smoothly, Elizabeth Weir thought. Dawn and Rodney seemed to avoid both eye contact and the giant pink elephant perched precariously on the conference room table.

They easily discussed the Wraith, the Genii and the other encounters they'd had in Pegasus. They talked about the problem they were dealing with now, with a bunch of Wraith turned humans. Xander seemed a little disgusted at the thought and explained that you could turn a tiger into a cat and put a collar on it, but on the inside it was still a tiger. His eyes spoke of personal experience.

It was decided that Xander and the slayer he was training, Neala, would go through the gate several times with Major Lorne's team to learn first hand about the effects of the Wraith in the galaxy.

Dawn asked to be allowed to go into the Ancient data base. It appeared that Dawn had been through what they had managed to get to Earth in that first data burst and something had rung a supernatural bell. Further information that had come after that had only increased the thought that the Ancients may have known about the supernatural.

She hypothesized that the Ancients had created a supernatural energy construct that Earth's supernatural community called the Key. Her knowledge of both the Key and what she had learned of the ZPMs had led her to believe that this Key was what had been used to charge the ZPMs with energy that could be used to power their technology.

Xander looked just as flabbergasted as the rest of them. "Dawn... Are you sure?"

"I'm sure Xand." Dawn said, absolutely positive. She could feel it. She knew she was right because she could feel the city buzzing at the back of her head. The energy with which she had been made to house permeated nearly everything in Atlantis.

"How can you be sure?" Elizabeth asked.

"I'm rather tuned to mystical energy." Dawn explained. "The Key's especially, as I've been studying it for several years now."

"So when Rodney called you a witch?" John asked.

"He was telling the truth." Dawn said apologetically as John sat back in shock.

That was when Rodney erupted.

"Let go of your heart
Let go of your head
And feel it now..."

The fight had quickly escalated to a point where they were both shouting again. The techno-speak had gone to levels way above John's pay grade so he called Radek in. Radek listened for two minutes before getting a fascinated look on his face and pulling out his tablet to run some kind of simulation.

Elizabeth dismissed them, figuring that they'd be a while and then retreated to her office.

As the doors slid closed behind them, muffling the sound of the yelling, Xander spoke. "Well, that went well."

"That was well?" John asked, concerned over what bad looked like if Xander was treating this with so much levity.

"Yeah." Xander said. "That's just pent up frustration on Dawn's part. If she was really mad we'd all be running for the hills."

"She is not mad?" Teyla asked.

"Nah," Xander replied. "She stopped being mad about a year ago when she realized she was in love with the astrophysicist. I think she finds it cathartic and entertaining now."

"Wait, she's in love with Rodney?" John demanded as they made their wait to the mess hall.

"Oh, yeah." Xander got a far away nostalgic look on his face. "I know the signs of a Summers' girl in love very well."

"How long have you known her?"

"A little over ten years." Xander said with a grin.


Xander." Neala said, and then spouted off something in what sounded to John like Swahili. Xander replied in kind and then turned to Ronon.

"Neala want's to know how long you've been fighting?"

"I was a runner for seven years, before that I was military."

Xander translated for the slayer quickly. She replied. Xander gave Ronon an appraising look. "She says you register on her senses as quite the warrior and wants to know if you'd like to spar?"

Ronon grinned ferally and his grin was matched by the little African slayer. They switched directions and headed for the gym instead. John couldn't help feeling concerned about what would happen once they got there. From the expressions on Ronon and Neala's faces, it would definitely be something to remember.

"Let go of your heart
Let go of your head
And feel it now..."

"So go get a ZPM and I'll prove it!" Dawn yelled, ready to smack Rodney.

That stopped him for a minute. "You brought this key thing with you?" He asked.

Oh, boy. She looked at Rodney for a long minute, debating with herself before coming to a conclusion. The way she felt about him demanded that she be honest with him. She turned to Zelenka. "Could you give us a few minutes please?"

Radek nodded, wide eyed and wandered from the room, calculations floating in his head. If what she was talking about was true, they could recharge all the empty ZPMs they'd collected over the last two years. With unlimited power they could explore and experiment to their hearts content.

Once the doors finished closing Dawn muttered a silencing spell and turned to Rodney. "What I'm about to tell you can't leave this room." He looked about to object. "Please, Rodney."

He looked at her, examined her eyes. She desperately wanted to tell him something, but she also desperately wanted it kept secret. "All right. I promise."

She looked relieved. "I didn't bring the Key with me. I am the Key."


"The Key's energy is limitless and very very old. From my research I've been able to determine that it existed long before the Ancients discovered it. When they did they built a containment unit for the Key, gathered all that power into a single orb. A glowing ball of green light. I don't know what happened next, if they lost it somehow or if it just became one of the things they left behind when they all ascended. I do know that about a thousand years ago it came into the protection of the Order of Dagon. They protected the key from a being they called the Beast." Dawn moved to the table and sat down. Rodney followed, captivated. "The Beast was a a true blue Hell God, and I'm not talking the Goa'uld, I'm talking unstoppable, ultimate power, real gods."

"Holy crap." Rodney breathed. Dawn gave a sad little smile.

"Glorificus had ruled in a hell dimension with two other gods. Her ways and power were so cruel that eventually the other two banished her to our dimension. Eventually she learned of the Key. The Key, among other things, has the power to tear down the walls between realities and dimensions, so Glory started looking for it.

"For a very long time the Order of Dagon kept it safe, until finally, about seven years ago, she found them. In their desperation to keep the key from her the monks formed a plan. They would send the Key to the Slayer, who they believed could protect it. They knew that they had to ensure that the Slayer would protect the key with her life so they sent it to her in the form of a sister."

"You?" Rodney asked softly, eyes widening when she nodded.

"I was fourteen when I found out I wasn't a real girl. That all the memories I had, that the memories everyone else had of me weren't real. That I'd only been there for six months." Dawn rolled up the sleeve of her shirt and exposed her scarred forearm to Rodney. "I wanted to know if I was real. If that was really my blood."

Rodney held her forearm in his hands and stared at the scar for a minute. "What happened after?"

"Glory found out about me. She kidnapped me and used my blood to tear down the walls between dimensions. You see, Glory was insane and didn't care if she destroyed the world, she just wanted to go home. The portals would close when the blood stopped flowing. I was made out of Buffy, so Buffy jumped."

"She saved the world." Rodney stated. Dawn nodded. "What happened to Glory?"

"When she came here she was born into a human vessel in an attempt to contain her. Buffy beat her up so badly she lost control and the human she'd been born into regained control. When Ben was in control, Glory was just as mortal as the rest of us. Giles killed him." Dawn said softly. She turned tear filled eyes to Rodney and he did the only thing he could think of, he pulled her into his arms.

"To me I'm a twenty year old girl with a doctorate in ancient languages." Dawn said. "I'm Dawn Summers. It's all I remember being. It's only in the last year or so that I've been able to tap into the Key's power... I'm not a thing... Don't hate me."

Rodney was quiet for a few minutes. Stunned and shocked. She'd only been human for seven years... But then, she'd been around a heck of a lot longer than that. As a scientist he knew that if she could really recharge the ZPMs, if Ancient technology was really permeated with the Key energy like she was saying, that opened up so many doors. With her here they would learn so much that they might never had learned without her.

As a man he wondered if he could handle it. Handle being in love with a woman that wasn't created in the usual manner. He pulled away slightly to look down into her blue eyes. She felt so right in his arms. He leaned down and kissed her. When they pulled away, breathless, he spoke.

"I love you, Dawn Summers. Insanity and magical birthdays aside."

And she beamed at him.

"Let go of your heart
Let go of your head
And feel it now..."

Later on Dawn would prove that she was right when she recharged a ZPM. It took a lot out of her and she ended up in the infirmary over night, but it worked. Rodney immediately started lobbying for her to stay on Atlantis to continue this branch of research, because hey, who better to research the Ancients' use of magic than a real live witch?

After several off world missions and long discussions with Dawn, Xander decided that Pegasus didn't need a permanent slayer team. With Dawn's decision to stay, she could keep an eye on things and let them know if they needed to send anyone.

Xander only left the following week after getting many promises to both stay in touch and visit often.

The members of the expedition quickly became accustomed to seeing Dawn and Rodney having huge flaming rows one minute and being cute and cuddly the next. There was never any real venom behind their arguing anymore. They seemed to find it more entertaining than anything else. The scientists decided that they liked having Dawn around. The fact that Rodney spent so much time arguing with Dawn meant that he yelled at and insulted them less.

A month after she'd decided to stay on Atlantis, and a long-distance heart to heart with her older sister had Dawn moving in with Rodney without so much as a by-you-leave.

Rodney decided he could handle having her in his life and in his room and in his bed. He held onto her with everything he had, and she held on just as fiercely.

After all, it's not every day you find someone just as smart as you.

Someone that loves you just as much as you love them.

"Let go of your heart
Let go of your head
And feel it now
Babylon, Babylon,
Babylon, Babylon Babylon..."


The End

You have reached the end of "Babylon". This story is complete.

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