Disclaimer: Joss and ME own Buffy. I own nothing but the words.
Author's Note: This story will not be comics-compliant, because I haven't read any of them.
Dawn found herself in an elegantly decorated sitting room, looking at Wesley Wyndham-Pryce. She thought it was Wesley, anyway - Faith had told her that he'd changed since his days in Sunnydale, but she had a hard time believing he'd changed that
much. He had a ball of fire in one hand, and he was chanting, though she couldn't understand what he was saying. She opened her mouth to say something, and then found herself in a campaign office, watching a black man who looked vaguely familiar battle a room full of vampires. And then another room, where a green-skinned demon in a fedora looked sadly down at a man he'd just shot. And then somewhere else, where a hooded being crouched over a baby's crib, making her heart sing for some reason. And then in an alleyway somewhere, where a woman with blue hair stared down several terrified-looking demons in a car. And then the foyer of an office building, where Angel and a boy who Dawn somehow knew was his son, even though he looked nothing like him, and it was impossible, anyway, fought something that looked human, but couldn't possibly have been.
And, last, in another alley. Angel was there, without the son, and the black man and the blue woman, and...Spike! Dawn's heart sang again, but then she saw what they were fighting in that alley, and then she woke up.
She sat up in bed, gasping and trying to keep hold of every detail in her dream, before she realized two things. One was that she didn't have to try - she remembered everything. And the other was that her head felt like it was going to split open.
She stumbled into the bathroom and fumbled for the Advil without turning on the light. She knew she had to wake up Buffy and tell her what she'd just seen - somehow, she knew it hadn't been just a dream - but she didn't feel up to facing the Immortal Doofus with such a horrible headache.
After a few minutes, the headache subsided enough for Dawn to be able to make her way into the kitchen, though she still winced at the bright light and had to squint to see Buffy sitting at the table, the phone at her ear and an exasperated look on her face.
"Faith, I know all this," she said, after a few minutes during which Dawn just watched her nod and roll her eyes. "I had the exact same dream, and I was about to call Giles when...yes, of course I'm going to call Giles. He needs to...I know he wouldn't leave Dana with Angel, but that was different. She's a Slayer...This is
different, Faith. It was a Slayer dream, and that means we need to do something...Yes, even Giles will see that."
A Slayer dream. But Dawn had never had a Slayer dream before - and she knew she wasn't a Slayer. If both Buffy and Faith had had the same dream, though...maybe it had just seeped over into her dreams, too. And maybe that was why her head hurt so much - she wasn't supposed to have gotten the dream at all.
Buffy was still talking. "Faith, I promise you that I will be in L.A. as soon as I can. Yes, even if Giles doesn't want me to go. Angel's in trouble - a lot of trouble -"
Dawn's cell phone went off, making her jump and Buffy look around, her eyebrows raised. She smiled at Dawn, but then went back to her conversation with Faith, and Dawn scrabbled in her jacket pockets for her cell phone.
"Dawnie?" It was Willow. "I'm really sorry to wake you, but I tried the apartment phone, and it's been busy for so long, and I really need to talk to Buffy. Well, it's really Kennedy who needs to - all right, sweetie, I know you don't need to - anyway, is she there, Dawnie?"
Dawn heroically refrained from commenting on Willow's aside to Kennedy. "She's on the phone with Faith," she said instead. "They both had the same Slayer dream. I'm assuming Kennedy did, too?"
"They all had the same one?" Willow said. "That explains...I mean, I thought it was odd that Kennedy would have a Slayer dream about Angel - she barely knows him. Maybe it's a good thing Buffy isn't really Slaying much these days, so she was asleep at the same time as Faith and Kennedy. Oh, and the only one of the others Kennedy described that I definitely recognized was Wesley, though maybe Gunn and Lorne...though I can't imagine Lorne -"
"So that was
Wesley?" Dawn asked to stop Willow before she really got up a head of steam. Then, she wished she hadn't, so she added, "I mean, yeah, it seems like everyone's dreaming the same thing. That means it's important, right?"
"I would think so," Willow said. "What does Buffy say?"
Dawn listened to what Buffy was saying.
"Yes, Faith, I do think you should go now. I still need to talk to Giles, and then I need to get a flight - and we don't know when all of this is going to happen. You might be the only help that gets to Angel in time."
"She thinks it's really important," Dawn said to Willow. "She just told Faith to get to L.A. as soon as she can, and she's going to call Giles and then head over there, too."
"Okay," Willow said. "We'll look into getting a flight, too. If Angel's really facing what Kennedy told me he was, he's going to need all the help he can get. Ask Buffy to call me when she gets a chance, okay? Thanks, Dawnie."
Dawn hung up, thinking that for once it was a good thing that ever since Buffy had started dating the Immortal Prat, she'd slacked off on the Slayage. Buffy would have been extremely hurt if everyone else had had a Slayer dream about Angel, and she hadn't.
"Yes, Faith, I do want you to go," Buffy said, rolling her eyes again. "We do trust you, and Angel might even rather see you than me, anyway...yes, I really mean that...Faith. The longer you talk to me, the longer it will take you to get to Angel. And the longer it will be before I can talk to Giles and then get to Angel. Okay. Yes. Yes. Okay. I'll see you there." She hit disconnect on the phone and then put her head down on the table. "I can't believe I'm saying this," she said, "but I want the old Faith back. Only without the people-stabbing, boyfriend-stealing badness."
"I know," Dawn said, sitting down opposite her sister. "What happened to her?"
"What didn't?" Buffy said. "I guess it all just got to be too much."
"Plus, there's Robin," Dawn said, trying not to sound nasty. "He's so perfect, he'd make anyone lose confidence."
"Well, he would," Dawn said. "I just don't get it. Faith never used to like the type of guy who would always tell her what to do."
"Skipping over the part where you know what type of guys Faith used to like, her weirdness is not what's important right now. I need to call Giles."
Without lifting her head from the table, she dialled Giles's number with one thumb, then held the phone up to her ear. He took a long time to answer - hopefully because he was asleep - so Dawn had time to wonder about Spike. Neither Buffy nor Willow had mentioned him, which could mean they hadn't seen him, or could mean that they were trying to spare her feelings by not mentioning him. Probably the latter, since Dawn couldn't imagine why she'd see something in a Slayer dream that Slayers wouldn't. She wished they'd stop treating her like a baby.
"Giles," Buffy said finally. "Something's happening to Angel, and I know you don't trust him, but Faith and I think that since we're getting Slayer dreams about him, he must be good again, and - oh. You do? You have? You will? All right, I'll meet you there."
"We'll meet you there," Dawn said, earning herself a glare. She glared right back. Aside from any other considerations, Buffy was not going to leave her alone with the Immortal Git. She just was not.
Buffy talked a little while longer with Giles, about meeting places and times, and things like that. He'd already reserved plane tickets for Buffy and Dawn, proving that he knew Dawn pretty well. She could tell, though, that Buffy really wanted to get off the phone and get to L.A. as fast as she could. Or faster. And while she couldn't be happier at this evidence that her sister's infatuation with the Immortal Bupkiss wasn't as strong as she'd thought, she couldn't help wondering if it really was Angel Buffy was rushing to save. They'd never really talked about Buffy's relationship with Spike - after Sunnydale, they hadn't really talked about much serious at all - but it didn't really matter. No matter what else Buffy felt, Dawn knew guilt was in there somewhere. Guilt about leaving Spike to close the Hellmouth alone. To burn alive - well, undead. However Spike had managed to survive that, it meant Buffy had another chance. And if she could save him this time...
"Okay," Buffy said as she hung up. "If you're coming, quick packing would definitely be of the good. And light - I don't want to have to wait at the baggage -"
Dawn cringed at the Immortal Prat's voice and cringed even more when she saw him emerge from Buffy's bedroom, black silk dressing gown half-tied over his perfect abs. She fixed her eyes on her sister, fully expecting to see the usual simper on her face. And she did see it start to form, but then Buffy's eyes narrowed.
"Yes?" she said, not turning towards him. She was staring back at Dawn now, and Dawn held her gaze, not sure why it was important, but very sure that it was.
"Aren't you coming back to bed, amore mio
Dawn felt her eyes rolling and was shocked to see Buffy's following suit.
"Not right now," Buffy said, still looking at Dawn. "Angel's in trouble, and we need to get to L.A. as soon as we can."
"Darling, don't be ridiculous. Angelus and William the Bloody can take care of themselves. The bed is cold without you."
Now, Buffy looked at him. Glared at him. That old cliché about if looks could kill came to mind.
"You knew Spike was alive? How? And why didn't you tell me?" Or me
, Dawn thought, but she didn't say it out loud. Telling her about Spike would have entailed talking to her, and the Immortal Dweeb never did that if he could help it.
He shrugged, as though he'd already dismissed Buffy's questions from his mind.
"Come back to bed," he said.
Buffy glared at him for another moment, and then turned her back on him.
"Dawn, I leave for the airport in twenty minutes. If you're ready then, you can come. If not, I will kill you, and then you can come."
"For Spike, I'll be ready," Dawn said, and just had time to see Buffy's grin before she was in her bedroom, throwing things into her overnight bag.
When she came back out into the kitchen, bag bulging, the Immortal Stupidhead was gone. Really gone - gone from their lives - she could feel it. She put her bag down on the floor and hugged Buffy, who was sitting in a chair as though she wasn't sure how to move. She didn't know what to say, though, and the minutes were ticking away.
"Do you need me to help you pack?" she asked.
Buffy shook her head. "I'm not going to take anything," she said. Dawn just gaped at her, and she added, "It's all tainted. By him."
"Oh," Dawn said, and thought about that. "Well, you'd better hope Willow has learned some better fashion sense down in Brazil, because my stuff won't fit."
Buffy choked, like she wanted to laugh but couldn't quite remember how.
"C'mon," Dawn said. "Let's go save some vampire butt."