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We Are

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This story is No. 13 in the series "Life in A Minor". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Dawn is strong, but then she knew that. Sort of. Strong of mind, strong enough to save Stephen.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > PrimevalDamiaFR716,896171,95317 Jun 0917 Jun 09Yes
Song: We Are
Artist: Ana Johnson

Disclaimer: I don't own BtVS or Primeval, though I enjoy watching both shows.
Note: Yes, a 'Wish Scenario' is done often, but I prefer it to someone mucking about with powers they know better than to use, especially since Willow was doing so much better about things like that.

She knew that Carol hadn't meant it, but the younger girl had known better than to say those fateful words. They even had little embroidered signs in the schools that stated the Top 5 Rules To Slaying; Don't Die, Refill The Coffee Pot, Don't Say 'Wish', Ask Before You Take/Borrow, Take Car Of Your Weapons. Still, when you were tired and cranky and more than a little embarrassed you said things you didn't mean. Such as Carols Outburst after she'd made a fool out of herself. The 15 year old Slayer was positive that she knew enough about hunting that she didn't need to listen to 24 year old Dawn, visiting Cleveland while she looked for a job that could use her newly acquired PhD in Ancient Languages and Double Masters in World Mythology and Religion. The younger girl had been thrown across the cemetery by the Grel'at'kyil after ignoring Dawn's warning of the prehensile tail and the other girls had taken it down before she got back to the fray. Dawn hadn't payed attention to the girl across the street, staring at them so closely, she'd looked like the average teen out wandering the streets at night. Dawn had been explaining to Carol why you needed to listen to you're watcher, even if she was temporary. That was when Carol had muttered those fateful words. "I wish you'd just fucking disappear and stop preaching at us all," Dawn had spent enough time around Anya and knew exactly what had happened when she suddenly appeared with a resounding boom in a new area.

Vengeance demons were funny creatures, you never knew if you'd stay in your own dimension or end up in another, and magic always got worse around Dawn herself, which could make things much much worse. Dawn had ended up standing in her jeans, purple tank top and brown leather coat, on a sand dune that wasn't likely to be nice to her polished leather boots. She'd skidded down the dune, searching fruitlessly for any sign of life. She'd wandered for maybe three hours before she'd felt the strangest humming in her bones, she'd turned to look behind her and saw something strange. Golden light and what looked like fragments of glass, but was permeable as air. She tossed a handful of sand at it, and the grains didn't fall back to the ground. It took the brunette less than a moment to choose between Certain Death and a mysterious portal. She still had the stake in her boot and the short sword on her back if things got too hairy.

The lithe brunette lost track of time as she continued to travel from one portal to another. She could feel the portals open and knew where to find them once they had, like they were pulling her towards them. She got the idea that she was in a different dimension when she realized that the portals were taking her through time, not through various worlds. She was fairly certain that she never left Earth, not once. Her hair got snarled, her jeans ripped at the knees, she ended up removing the sleeves of her coat to make a rucksack and she looked a fright, but she felt alive. It was invigorating, traveling through time. She'd seen things that made her cringe in terror and others that made her laugh herself sick with delight. Her lone experience with what she presumed to be a covey of Dodo birds was one of her favorite memories. Still, she kept hoping she'd make it to actual civilization (by her standards) at some point.

See the devil on the doorstep now (my oh my)
Telling everybody oh just how to live their lives
Sliding down the information highway
Buying in just like a bunch of fools
Time is ticking and we can't go back (my oh my)

She still didn't know how long she'd been traveling, but her pants were falling off her hips she'd grown so lean. Dawn's long brown hair now fell past her bum when braided, but she was loathe to cut it with her sword or the knives she'd managed to accumulate. She had the feeling that her family wouldn't be rescuing her, she'd been gone far too long as it was. Dawn felt the familiar hum of energy and closed her eyes as she pulled the sword from her back, sharp from the whetstone she'd managed to locate on a Mesozoic trip. She wasn't sure which portion of the Mesozoic, but she'd seen dinosaurs, had to fight one off in fact. She had the scar slicing across those that had already graced her abdomen. Stepping forward the thin girl narrowed her bright blue eyes and walked toward it. She took a deep breath and stepped inside, only to find herself walking into the back of a tall dark haired man bleeding in the middle of the concrete room. She wrapped an arm around his stomach and jerked back, bringing him with her through the portal again. Luck was with her, as it had been since changing to this newest dimension, and the portal closed in on itself as soon as they were through it. Dawn forced her worn, whip-chord muscles to lay him down nicely. He wasn't conscious, but a quick check confirmed that he was alive.

Dawn sighed in frustration, glancing around the barren rock land surrounding her. She hadn't met any predators here yet, but that didn't mean they weren't out there. A downside to this newest dimension was the lack of magical ability. She had power, but no firm way to focus it, at least not one she'd figured out yet. The young woman tossed her myriad of home made packs on the ground, unpacking dry tinder and flint. It took her a few moments to get a fire going, but it would be burning well soon enough. She removed a large knife and set the blade in the flames. Without a healing spell the easiest way to take care of the mystery man would be cauterization, it helped that he was unconscious. Hopefully he would stay that way. Dawn frowned an sighed before taking out her second knife and cutting his shirt off of him and stripping off her own. They'd be needed for bandages. As soon as everything was ripped apart the second knife was placed in the fire as well.

Dawn used her belt to secure the mans arms to his side before she straddled his hips and took her knife off the fire. He was still unconscious and she recited every prayer to every god she could remember that he would stay that way. She pressed the white hot blade against the deepest of his wounds, a gash that had lightly scored his left collar bone. It was crude and she couldn't promise that he would have full mobility after she was through, but barring infection he would live. Her thighs tightened as the man began to jerk and she traded the knife in her hand with the knife still in the fire. She continued to do so until she'd gotten all the injuries on his torso. She took a moment to breathe and snagged an extra leather scrap, wrapping it around a stick and shoving it between the mans teeth as his eyes started to flutter. She switched position to see his legs and swallowed. Almost done. She took a knife from the fire and turned for a moment, catching bright aqua eyes with her own for a moment before she brought the knife down to sear the wound shut. The body beneath her stiffened has he screamed through the gag. She continued methodically, not saying anything for fear of crying. She carefully wrapped every wound, knotting it sufficiently before she removed herself from his person. His breathing was labored and his face pale and dewy with sweat. She undid the clasp of the belt and stabbed both of her knives blade first into the dirt to try and cool them off a little more quickly.

"I'm pretty sure you'll live," She told him, her voice husky with neglect.

What about the world today
What about the place that we call home
We’ve never been so many
And we've never been so alone

Dawn stayed with the feverish man, afraid to leave his side for the first two days. He wasn't coherent enough to even give her his name, though he mumbled other things quietly as he tossed a bit. On the third day Dawn felt a portal open and found herself stalking towards it, her sword drawn before she knew what she was doing. Something dark was coming through this one, something she didn't actually want to meet, not with an injured man to protect. She heard a faint groan and turned to see the dark haired man trying to sit up, she planted her feet and faced forward just as something small came leaping at her face. A swift slice of her sword cut the thing in half, and then she was backing toward her new friend, 5 more of the things coming forward. The swarmed and she leaped forward, her sword dancing around her, each time connecting with a small vicious body. When all around her were down for the count and the hairs on her neck were no longer standing on end she cleaned the blade and sheathed it, picking up the bodies and tossing them back through the portal. If they were lucky others would stay away from the dead bodies.

"That was ... efficient," The man said, she raised an eyebrow and gave a soft huff of laughter at his British accent. It wasn't actually funny, but at the same time.

"Welcome back to the lands of the lost," Dawn offered, taking a seat across the small fire pit from him. "You're up sooner than I thought," She told him. He frowned and sighed a little.

"How long?" He asked.

"2 days," She picked up a stick and poked the ashes in front of her, not wanting to see the bright blue eyes that were now staring at her. Her voice was still husky after so long without using it.

"What about you?" He asked, still looking at her. She didn't look up as she continued to poke at the remains.

"Too long," She had lost track of time, it seemed silly ... but she had.

"How did ...?" She wasn't sure if he wanted to know how he got there or how he was still alive.

"A portal opened, I stepped through and you were in front of me. So I grabbed you and went back through. The portal closed almost immediately. I had to cauterize the wounds so they wouldn't get infected. I didn't have anything to stitch them shut with," She shrugged a little, her shoulders lifting in a protective manner as she huddled back.

"Then I owe you my life. I'm Stephen Hart," He let himself fall back onto the ground and Dawn bit her lip.

"Dawn Summers. If I can find some kind of civilization, preferably one with TV, you can buy me a burger and beer," She told him with a faint smile. He grinned a little, his face getting that slightly pinched look that meant he was in pain. She knew that look from slayers that didn't want to admit they were wounded, though in his case she already knew. In fact the both of them were mostly topless because she'd destroyed their shirts for bandages. Thankfully she was still in a sports bra, her modesty would have made her unable to speak through her embarrassment otherwise.

"Count on it," Stephen agreed with a small smile.

You keep watching from your picket fence
You keep talking but it makes no sense
You say we're not responsible
But we are, we are

2 weeks later Stephen was up and limping about without help and able to help forage for what food they could find. He and Dawn had been sharing stories about their lives. She'd told him that she could feel the portals opening, though she didn't share why she could. She hadn't told him about her alternate-reality theory either. Still, he was her first human contact in a very long while and she couldn't help but trust him. Especially since he'd had no choice but to trust her. She felt the thrumming drum through her body and stilled.

"What is it?" Stephen asked, coming close to her. He was outfitted with 2 of her knives, she had kept the third as well as her sword.

"Anomaly," She'd taken to using the jargon that his organization used. She didn't get the dark feelings from it that she sometimes did. Stephen claimed they were hunters instincts, sharpened to a razors edge by her time-travel. She let him think that she agreed. He glanced down at her and gave a little shrug as though telling her it was up to her. She moved forward, knowing he'd be on her tail. They approached it at a quick pace, both of them watching their surroundings carefully. The first sign of trouble and they'd defend themselves until the anomaly closed, just as they had for the last few. Defend yourself on the ground you know, easiest way to stay alive.

"Feel free to follow," Dawn offered with a brief smile as she turned and walked through the gold glittering light. It tickled a little, like eyelashes fluttering against your skin. She heard Stephen exhale as they looked around themselves carefully. Woodlands, evergreens and blue sky with a few fluffy white clouds. The woman cocked an eyebrow and smirked invitingly as she carefully walked toward what looked like a break in the trees. Minutes stretched by slowly, the two stretching their ears for any sounds. When the got to the break the two stopped and stared. Dawn laughed a little, putting her sword back in its sheath on her back. The two of them were still topless and now getting strange looks from a couple men standing by what looked like a fender bender as well as the cop trying to take notes.

"Here now, what's all this then?" The officer asked, looking the two up and down in obvious distrust.

"Don't suppose you have a phone we could borrow?" Stephen asked after a moment, his knives sheathed as well.

You wash your hands and come out clean
Fail to recognize the enemies within
You say we're not responsible
But we are, we are, we are, we are

"Hello?" Cutter lifted the phone to his ear as he snapped out the word, tying a new string onto the wide metal arcs he had created to stand for time. Sarah had gotten used to the actions over the last week she'd been with the man. He was brilliant, but short of patience with those that he deemed unimportant. "Where .... Where are you?" She watched his face lose what little color it had as he dropped the labeled string on the ground and left the room at a dead run.

"Cutter?" Abby called worriedly as he shot past her. He turned, jogging backwards with a look of confused shock on his face.

"He's alive, I don't know what happened, but he's alive," Cutter turned again, Abby and Connor on his heels as Becker grabbed his gun and followed. Sarah wouldn't let them get away from her as she caught up at the vehicles. She hopped in with Becker as he tailed the other three in Nicks truck.

"Where are we going?" Sarah asked, glancing at the captain from the corner of her eyes as he focused on keeping up with the speeding Silver Truck.

"No idea," He answered quickly.

"Good to know I'm not alone," Sarah agreed, tugging on her seat belt to make sure it was on snug enough as they narrowly passed a truck that was bigger than they were.

"Who's alive?" Abby was asking in the truck ahead, her hands gripping the seat as Cutter swerved through the traffic.

"Stephen," Nick replied after a moment.

"I thought ...?" Connor trailed off. He had assumed that Nick had watched, though personally he wasn't sure if he could have himself.

"No, I saw them jump and I couldn't watch. We thought they devoured him. The casket was empty," Nick told them. He hadn't allowed himself to hope for anything and then he'd gotten a call from Stephen. The rest of the ride was done in silence as they all became lost in their own hopes and fears.

One step forward making two steps back (my oh my)
Riding piggy on the bad boys back for life
Lining up for the grand illusion
No answers for no questions asked
Lining up for the execution
Without knowing why

"I take it that's them?" The police officer asked. Dawn stayed silent as Stephen nodded, relief on his face and in his voice as he said one word, "Cutter," while a silver truck swerved into the grass on the side of the road and a man with shaggy blond hair hopped out of the drivers side. He was followed by a tiny blond and a young man with short dark hair. The three were all over Stephen in a moment, laughing and touching him as he laughed and winced in pain, but touched them all back. It was as though they never thought they'd see each other again. Dawn laughed a little at herself, they hadn't thought they'd see each other again. Another SUV pulled up, a tall man and a woman with long dark hair got out.

"Captain Becker, Home Office. Thank you for helping our operatives, if you have any questions feel free to call this number, we've got it from here," The captain handed the other man a card as obvious dismissal and the other man just nodded and turned toward his car.

"Thank you for everything," Dawn handed him the blanket she'd been wearing, not actually caring if anyone saw her in the jogging bra. The black had faded but still covered everything it needed to. The man tipped his hat and got in his car, driving away with Dawn looking after him. She turned toward the waiting group and went stiff as a pair of arms encircled her.

"Thank you .... thank you so very very much," She met electric blue eyes over the shoulder of the Scottish man that could only be Nick Cutter. He shrugged a little as Abby and Connor hopped up and down, hugging each other before throwing themselves at Stephen again. The tall man that she'd gotten rather used to finally took pity on her, coming over and laying a hand on Nicks shoulder. The doctor stepped back and looked up at Stephen, matching smiles on their faces.

"Someone care to explain?" The brunette woman was tired of waiting, though Dawn applauded the patience she had used so far. She'd lasted longer than Dawn herself would have, and even managed to ask rather politely.

You keep watching from your picket fence
You keep talking but it makes no sense
You say we're not responsible
But we are, we are

The drive back had seemed long to Dawn after the stories had gotten sorted out enough for Captain Becker and Dr. Page to catch up. Stephen had gotten in the big silver truck, Abby and Connor piling into the back while Cutter got in the drivers side. Dawn turned to eyeball the other two carefully. "Care for a lift?" Sarah asked, her tone ironic as the other vehicle pulled out. Dawn's eyes followed it before she climbed into the back seat of the SUV. She let her head rest against the window of the seat, all emotions wiped out of her for the moment. She'd finally found civilization and wasn't sure how to react. It still wouldn't be hers, no magic, no demons. She'd claimed to have gotten the sword on a brief jaunt through an anomaly, just as she'd gotten the knives. Being proficient was because her step-father (Giles) had thought swords were interesting and put her into lessons.

She'd already decided that she would tell them she was from 2015 because that was just far enough ahead that they could fudge her records if they needed to. Which of course they would need to since she likely didn't exist. The thoughts jumbled in her head until she realized they were going through the gates of a large compound. "Welcome to the ARC," Becker told her as he hopped out. She stepped out of the vehicle a little nervously, unsure what might be done. She didn't know anyone, not a single soul other than Stephen, who seemed to have forgotten her. She stared straight up at the dark concrete broken up with windows. A hand clapped on her shoulder and without thinking she threw the person and crouched down in a defensive position, her knife in one hand.

"Dawn!" Stephen was between her and Dr. Page in a moment, crouching to look straight in her eyes, his scruffy jaw line set in a serious line. She blinked and stood slowly. "It's alright," He called over to his colleagues as Dawn looked over at the other brunette woman.

"Sorry," She whispered, trying to remember when the last time she'd used that move on a person was. She'd been gone months, a lot of months from the length of her hair and what Stephen had tried to help her figure out. Maybe a year, probably longer.

You wash your hands and come out clean
Fail to recognize the enemies within
You say we're not responsible
But we are, we are, we are, we are

"My file?" Stephen asked with a small smile of a man in a striped suit when the group entered the building. The man raised an eyebrow and looked over at a woman with dark auburn hair, handing her the file.

"I'll leave the fabulous tale of your recovery from Death to Ms. Lewis," Was all he said before walking up a long ramp. Dawn raised an eyebrow and glanced at Stephen. He caught her eye and grinned a little more.

"Med Bay first," Abby informed the group, snagging Stephens hand and tugging him forward. Dawn caught Nick's eye as he grinned and nudged his head in the direction of the other two, silently telling her to follow. The stories that Stephen had told her gave her enough insight to understand the relationship that the group had, it also made her want to trust them all, even the two newest additions that Stephen hadn't met until an hour ago.

"Those look like burns," Jenny commented to Becker as they all went forward. Dawns chin went up and her jaw went firm as she followed Stephens still healing body. Cauterizing had likely saved his life, and it was all that she'd had at her disposal. She looked around silently as she was asked to sit on an examination table, the door closed firmly as a nurse asked her to lose her pants and the sheathed sword. Dawn set the sword and knives on the counter, crouching to remove her boots before kicking off the pants. She stood tall in her underwear as the doctor prodded scars and bruises alike. She'd winced a little and answered the questions about the more vicious of her marks.

"If you'd put this on and follow me," The blond woman asked, handing Dawn a flimsy hospital gown. Dawn raised an eyebrow. but shrugged as she pulled it on, tying it tightly before grabbing her weapons and following the woman to the door. The doctor opened it and glanced back, frowning at the blades. "You can leave those here,"

"No," It was one syllable, but the look in her eyes and the tone of her voice made the doctor flinch visibly. The blond glanced over at a nearby guard and the man walked over, hand on his gun. Dawn backed into the room and frowned.

"Stand down," The guard immediately stepped back to his previous position as Becker came into view at the door. "Problems?" He asked, glancing in at Dawn.

"I'm bringing them with me," She informed him, clutching the sheathed blades against her with white knuckles. The man watched her for a few moments and then nodded.

"I'll come and watch them while you get whatever scans you need," He told her after a moment. Dawn searched his face for a moment but didn't see any laughter, so she nodded in agreement.

It’s all about power then
Take control
Breaking the rule
Breaking the soul
They suck us dry till there’s nothing left
My oh my, my oh my

Stephen winced as they prodded another wound, the doctor and one of the nurses checking every cauterized laceration carefully. Nick Abby and Connor were draped around the room, all watching him. Abby and Connor winced in sympathy every time he got poked and Nick raised an amused eyebrow as Stephen rolled his eyes.

"So, Dawn ...," Nick said after a moment. Stephen sent him a questioning look.

"Seems a bit jumpy," Connor added.

"She's been lost for a long time," Stephen said after a moment. She was strong, strong enough to save herself and then save him, all without thinking better of herself for it.

"How long?" Abby asked, the look on her face one of concern and a bit of pity.

"Year or so," Stephen told her with a sigh.

"No human contact, explains a lot," Connor agreed as he thought of everything that might entail.

"And she wasn't Helen or You to understand what was going on and know how to deal with it," Stephen replied, staring straight at Nick as he said it. Dawn was a girl from California. She knew how to take care of herself in the city, but she'd never even been camping before suddenly winding up millions of years in the past.

"Tough girl then?" Abby asked with a bit of a smile, raising her eyebrows as she realized that Stephen had a bit of a crush. Stephen raised his own eyebrows, a small grin playing around the corners of his mouth.

"Smart too," He agreed. Nick raised an eyebrow at that as Connor laughed. It wasn't as funny as all that but high emotions led to laughter. Stephen found a crush in the mesozoic era.

"Only you mate," Connor told him, shaking his head.

What about the world today
What about the place that we call home
We've never been so many
And we've never been so alone....
So alone

Dawn closed her eyes tightly as she was placed in the cat-scan machine, the whumping sound surrounding her made her tense and a disembodied british voice reminded her to relax. She didn't. Her fingers fidgeted and she tried to remember that she wasn't afraid of small spaces, never had been. Now wasn't the time to learn new phobias about ones self. It was over soon enough and Dawn climbed off the small bed-like portion quickly. She spotted Becker nearby, leaning against the wall beside her sword and knives. He nodded to her but she didn't respond. Her eyes focused on the small blond nurse that seemed to want to prove she wasn't afraid of Dawn.

"I want clothes and I want to see Stephen," Dawn said after a moment.

"We aren't done here yet," The nurse reminded her. Dawn's big blue eyes narrowed to slits as she slowly stalked forward. Becker stood straight but didn't touch his weapon, motioning to the other guard to stand down.

"If you need anything else, you can do it in Stephen's room after you find me some actual clothing. A paper dress doesn't do much for my personal aesthetic," Dawn turned on the ball of her foot, striding up to the Captain and taking her weapons. Becker shrugged at the nurse and followed Dawn. Dawn seemed healthy enough and she'd managed to survive on her own for a long while before saving a member of his team, even if it hadn't been his team when Stephen was thought to have been killed. Dawn walked straight back to the room that she'd been in before pausing for a moment. The captain pointed to a closed door and Dawn walked over to it, pulling it open and slipping inside.

"I'll leave these here," Her swords were set on the counter and the door closed after the new head of security as he left Stephen and Dawn alone.

"Where did everyone else go?" She asked curiously as she climbed onto a chair, pulling her legs in close.

"Work. I needed a shower," Stephen told her with a searching look on his face. 2 weeks was long enough to know when something was wrong. Dawn nodded, her eyes following a drop of water as it traveled down his neck to his shoulder. He stepped toward her, looking down with his piercing eyes. The young woman looked up, always drawn to the magnificent blue color.

"I don't like the walls," She told him quietly, a little ashamed of herself. Stephen nodded a bit, draping the towel around the back of his neck as he crouched down to her eye level.

"Understandable," He agreed, nodding his head. "The walls made me twitch, and I've only lived rough for a couple weeks. You'll get used to them again."

"What if I don't?" She bit her lips and sounded so distressed that Stephen couldn't help but lift his hand to cup her chin, rubbing his thumb over her cheekbone.

"Then I guess we'll have to go camping a lot," He smiled as she leaned into his hand a bit.

"Hot water left?" She asked. He removed his hand and stood up, nodding toward the open bathroom door.

"Help yourself,"

You keep watching from your picket fence
You keep talking but it makes no sense
You say we're not responsible
But we are, we are

"Dawn in there?" Abby asked with a grin as she and Connor each brought a heaping tray of food into his room. Her head was cocked toward the closed door with the shower running behind it.

"Yup," Stephen didn't look up from the laptop as he answered, sitting cross legged on the bed. He was dressed in familiar clothes that apparently hadn't been gotten rid of in the months that he'd been gone. Months for his friends, two weeks for him.

"Good, she's scrawny so my stuff should fit her, though it'll be a bit short," Abby told him with a grin as the water cut out. Stephen got off the bed and took the clothes, a few steps and he was at the bathroom door.

"Dawn?" He called through. The door was opened a crack.

"I'm not putting another hospital gown on," She informed him. "I'll wear a sheet as a toga first," Stephen smiled and held up the clothes Abby had given him. "Tell Abby she's a goddess," The clothing was snatched away from him and the door closed.

"Well I'm glad someone's finally realized the truth," Abby agreed with a bright smile. Stephen shook his head and glanced down at the food.

"You look like you need some feeding up," Connor told him with a grin. Stephen smiled back and snagged a ham and cheese sandwich off the tray, unwrapping and devouring in seconds.

"Feeding?" Dawn came out of the bathroom in a pair of short workout shorts, made to look shorter because the girl was all leg. They rode low, and with the shirt having been cut a little shorter for Abby, there was a wide expanse of toned and tan abdomen showing. Her hair, once cleaned and un-braided, hung down to mid-thigh and was a bit snarled as it draped over her shoulders.

"I'll go find you a brush," Abby told her. She grabbed Connor, who was staring opened mouthed, and dragged him out of the room with her.

"I need a haircut and a shopping excursion," Dawn said with a sigh as she hopped up on the bed across from Stephen, snagging the first chocolate she spotted and opening it with glee.

"I don't see anything wrong with just borrowing Abby's clothes for a while," Stephen told her with a smile. She raised an eyebrow and threw a cracker at him as he laughed. She picked at plastic wrapping for a moment and he stopped laughing to just watch her.

"People are gonna keep staring. They already are, but ... it'll get worse. It's making me jumpy. I can feel them watching and waiting, but I don't know why they're waiting," Dawn told him in a whispered voice before looking up at him, hoping he could say something that would make her feel better.

"They're always gonna stare, you're worth looking at," Stephen told her, a small smile on his face and his head cocked to the side. Dawn raised both eyebrows.

"As lines go, that one was rather good," She nodded and they both laughed as they grabbed more food to shove into their stomachs.

You wash your hands and come out clean
Fail to recognize the enemies within
You say we're not responsible
But we are, we are, we are, we are

"Shopping?" Sir James Lester asked with a curl of his lip, staring at the women of his team and Dawn. Dawn and Stephen had been stuck at the ARC for 2 days without any way off and she wanted clothing that would fit her. The other girls seemed to agree, all three of them had taken a liking to Dawn, especially when they found out she was younger than all of them.

"Yes, Shopping; to go out, spend money, get clothing that fits," Dawn waved a hand at her newest ensemble. A pair of gray leggings, a white button up shirt that was belted tight and a pair of flip flops. She didn't bother mentioning that she was also going to get a haircut, that was just a given in her opinion.

"And with what money were you planning to do that?" Lester asked, his hands folding behind his back as he looked at her with an expression of mocking disdain.

"Yours," She smiled widely as he simply raised an eyebrow. "I figured we could charge it to ARC funding, after all technically I am an ARC discovery, aren't I?" She continued to smile as he sighed and shook his head.

"Jenny, see to the details," He waved a negligent hand and walked away from them.

"Easier than I thought it'd be," Abby commented. Dawn grinned widely as the three women started chattering on and on about where they'd go to first, what was most important, and who would drive the car. Jenny won the last part of the argument.

"I vote Victoria's Secret," Dawn raised a hand to stall the other two arguments.

In the end they were gone nearly 6 hours, and when they got back they were loaded down with a ton of bags, and Dawn's hair was layered down to her mid-back. Still longer than Sarah's and Jenny's, but short enough to actually take care of. Stephen paused in his talk with Connor when he spotted her coming through the doors. She twirled for him.

"What do you think?" Skinny jeans, knee high boots, thick leather belt and a fitted Billy Idol t-shirt. She skipped forward two steps and tucked an arm around his neck. Stephens hands rested lightly over her hips, his thumbs rubbing the skin that was showing over the top of her jeans.

"Clothing that fits, quite the concept," He smiled a little as he dipped his head a bit to capture her lips with his. She smiled serenely as his head lifted again.

"And shoes, lots and lots of shoes," She agreed. He smiled a little and locked his hands behind her back, drawing her a little closer.

"Guess I'll need to get a place with a bigger closet," He shrugged a little as though it were unimportant. Dawn raised both eyebrows, looking at him questioningly. He smiled widely and she squealed, jumping up as he pulled her tight and swung her around in a circle.

"Did she honestly think he was gonna leave her here?" Connor asked as he and Cutter joined the girls.

"Shut up Connor," Abby told him, no heat in her voice.

It’s all about power then (we are)
Take control (we are)
Breaking the rule (we are, we are)
Breaking the soul (we are)
They suck us dry till there’s nothing left (we are, we are)
My oh my, my oh my

"So, what do you think?" It was 2 months later, Dawn and Stephen were moving into the supposedly haunted house that Danny Quinn's brother had died in. It was huge and had beautiful windows as well as being near the water, and because they were living there they were going to keep track of the anomaly instead of the house getting boarded up and forgotten for hundreds of years. Besides, with Connor working on his Anomaly Shutter (as Dawn called it and Connor hated to refer to it by) they may not need to worry all that much. Though there were guns kept around the room just in case.

"I think we need to paint at some point," Dawn told Stephen as she looked around. "I see a soft sort of yellow, nearly white, but not," She turned and smiled widely at him as she ran over, throwing her arms around his neck, knowing he would catch her.

"Think you could help?" Cutter demanded as he had one end of a couch and Connor had the other.

"Not a problem!" Dawn ran over and flopped onto the couch, smiling as Abby came through the door, a lamp in one hand and a small box under the other arm. The tiny blond giggled.

"While you're all here," Stephen said, looking around at the team that was his family. Connor and Cutter set the couch, Dawn still on it, in the living room.

"You're heavy," Connor told the girl as she threw a cushion at him. She didn't notice Stephen getting onto both knees in front of her for a moment. When she turned her head he was staring straight at her face.

"Marry me?" He asked. Dawn's jaw dropped and she glanced around the group, struggling to sit up.

"You ask me while I'm sprawled out on the couch, covered in dirt and sweat? I'm not even dressed all that pretty," She informed him frowning. She was wearing fitted jeans and a big blue shirt that was actually his.

"Seemed rather appropriate," He told her with a shrug, holding out a ring with twining opals circling it. He had a knowing look in his eyes, a hint of a smile on his lips. He knew her all too well.

"I love your timing," She put her ring finger through the band of silver and looked down at it for a moment before throwing herself at Stephen again, knocking him onto his back as he held her and their lips met.

"It's so sweet," Abby cooed, clapping her hands and bouncing on her feet. The other two men glanced at her and then looked back down at the glowing couple, the two staring at each other, matching wide smiles on their faces. Cutter and Connor nodded, agreeing wordlessly with Abby. Cutter pulled out his pager when it started to beep, everyone else's pagers beeping as well. Dawn sighed and climbed off of Stephen, holding out a hand to help him up.

"Figures," She muttered, snagging her purse and following the rest of the group out.

"It's what makes life so interesting," Stephen told her with a small smile. She looked up with him, a single eyebrow cocked at his all too expressionless face.

"Stop being so optimistic," She growled. He touched her hip lightly as she grabbed hold of the handle of the truck. Dawn turned to look at him, big blue eyes wide with curiosity.

"You didn't actually say yes," He told her, a nervous tilt to Stephens head as he looked down at her with his penetrating eyes. Dawn shook her head, reaching up to cup his face with both hands.

"I figure, I saved your life so you owe me a lifetime supply of chocolate, shoes and back rubs." She told him, her face serious. His face got the look that told her no more games and she smiled sweetly. "In Dawn speak that means 'yesyesyesyesyesyesyes," She grinned as his face split into a huge grin and he opened the door for her.

"Did she finally say yes?" Cutter asked as Dawn put on her seat belt and Stephen got in the drivers side.

"Damned Skippy," Dawn told him, sitting back and smiling contentedly.

We are
We are (its all )
We are
We are, we are (take control)
We are
We are
It’s all about power
Then take control

The End

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

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