Disclaimer: Ok, I don't own Hellboy or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, tho if I did then Nuada wouldn't have died! Grr, curse you scriptwriters!
Um, anyway, just to let you guys know some things. Some of this stuff is gonna be a little AU, so please don't, like, kill me or send flames and stuff. I didn't watch all of the final two seasons of Buffy, so I'm gonna kinda gloss over those if I ever have a flashback or anything.
Some other stuff, Anya didn't die in the final battle with the First. Why? Because Anya was one of the coolest characters, in my book, anyway. There's some other stuff I want to cover, but I'll do that later.
As for pairings... this is a Nuada/Dawn story. That ain't changing for nothing. Uh, as for side pairings, I guess Nuala/Abe and Liz/Hellboy, but those are pretty much it for right now. I'll let you know if there are any more developments.
I was asked to put a *SPOILER*
warning, so here it is. There's gonna be a bunch of spoilers for Golden Army, and maybe BtVS, if I'm in the mood.
Ok, this is the first story I've written for this site, and I'd really appreciate any productive criticism, please.
It had been three years, and yet Dawn could still remember everything as if it had happened just yesterday. Three years since the fall of The First and Sunnydale, her home. Three years since Spike had died in the depths of the Hellmouth. And two years since she found out that he wasn't really dead at all, just... relocated. She may have technically only been alive for three years before that, but with all of her forged memories as well as her legit ones, she had considered it her home.
Now, though, her home was a large office in the depths of the New and Improved Watchers Council in England where she sat for unknown hours at a time translating sometimes useless documents and items that had practically no significance with the future of the Slayers. Even though it sometimes frustrated her that Giles, or even Willow, wouldn't give her anything more important to translate, she kept reminding herself that she should be thankful they were even letting her do that much.
After all, even after all these years, everyone still treated her as if her were fine china, Buffy especially. Whenever she was in town, anyway. When she took the time to notice her. Buffy was so busy being The Slayer that she still sometimes forgot that she had a sister. Not that you would've guessed with how many times she would call Dawn anytime Dawn left the Council's Headquarters for more than ten minutes. The activation of the potentials hadn't changed that about her, if anything it made her even more protective. Having over a hundred super girls to take care of made her notice all the more how un-super her little sister was, glowy-green-energy-key-thing aside.
Dawn wasn't even allowed outside of her flat (apartment) after dark without a slayer with her. It was frustrating and aggravating, but she kept telling herself that it Buffy's way of keeping her safe. It didn't help. If anything it made Dawn even more frustrated with her "family". They were still stuck on the idea that she was that bratty little teenager that used to get kidnapped all the time when in actuality she was a full-grown woman that only gets kidnapped sometimes, big difference. It was frustrating, and maddening, and depressing all rolled into one and Dawn was tired of it!
She was sick and tired of being treated like she would break, of being left out whenever someone would go on patrols -something she still wasn't aloud to go on no matter how many times she asked or how hard she trained. She was so good with a staff now that she was positive that if Buffy actually gave her a chance, she could beat her. Super-Slayer powers aside, of course. Though, Dawn herself was stronger than the average human. Thanks mostly to the slayer blood from Buffy, but she was also starting to think that maybe her key-ness contributed with it, as well.
Ever since she was 15 and had to suffer watching her sister give her life for her, she had been determined to learn all she could about her key powers. First, she had worked with Tara as much as possible, trying to access them with the help of the good witch. But after her murder, Dawn hadn't had much help for a few years and had instead been forced to rely on herself. And then after she had arrived in England the first time with Giles shortly after the fall of The First and he had needed some help with accessing the Watcher's Councils funds and resources, she had found help again in Giles.
He had decided to bring her along to England, not just for help with the Council, but also because he had discovered her secretly trying to develop her powers and had wanted her to learn to use them the right way. He didn't want her falling like Willow had simply because she hadn't had proper training, and while her key powers certainly weren't the same as witchy powers, the effect they could have when used inexpertly was basically the same. So he had become her teacher. And now, after three years of his training, she had pretty good -if not perfect- control of her powers. She could now do a variety of things, from offense to defense, but that still didn't change Giles' thoughts on her going out on patrols and fighting.
The only one of her friends that actually thought she could hold her own was Xander, but since the White Knight was almost always off traveling to unknown lands in search of new slayers there wasn't much he could do, though every time he was in England he would sneak her out to go patrol with him. Hell, even Anya understood that she could fight, though she had only found this out because she refused to leave Xander's side since the battle with The First, in which she had almost died, and Xander, like the White Knight he was, had come running up to save her. She was also really proud to proclaim herself Mrs. Harris to anyone who would listen and tell them just how wonderful their sex life is.
Surprisingly, it didn't much bother Xander as it once had, though he still has a little trouble not blushing when she starts exclaiming it to a room full of mini-slayers, though it definitely didn't bother the girls. To them, he had basically become Prince Charming, or as close to that as one could get in the kind of world they lived in. Even the eye-patch made him seem more heroic and daring, as they had often gushed.
But, while many considered Xander every slayers dream guy, he was and always would be, Dawn's big-brother-shaped person. She could tell him -and to some extent, Anya- anything and not have to worry about Buffy or the others learning of it. It was why those two were also the only ones besides Giles that knew about her green key powers. She didn't have to worry about them telling Buffy, Willow, or even Andrew, though why they might decide to tell him anything, she wasn't sure.
It was also the same reason why she was now sitting in her nearly empty Council-provided flat on the outskirts of London on the phone with Xander (who was currently in Thebes, following a lead of a newly activated slayer) explaining to him why he shouldn't be surprised if he gets a frantic call from Giles or Buffy saying she was missing."Are you sure this is what you want, Dawnster?"
Xander asked finally, after she had explained everything.
She smiled into the phone, knowing that he could tell when she did even though he couldn't see her. He was just like that. "Yep, Xand. I can't stand it here any longer. I feel so... smothered. Every time Buffy's here she refuses to take me patrolling. Even though I'm 21 already, she seems to thinks I'm still a kid. And I hate everyone looking at me as just Buffy's kid sister! He said these guys haven't even heard of the Slayer, for the most part. It's perfect! I can finally make a name for myself that doesn't include Buffy."
On the other line, Xander grinned with pride. Dawnie had grown so much over the years, it was a shame that only himself and Anya had seen that side. To the others she still acted like the bratty teen to some degree. Mostly because that's what they expect from her. They didn't think she knew how to grow up. It seemed that the Sunnydale disease of selective understanding lives on! ((A/N: I mean, come on! Death by BBQ-fork! Who would buy that!?))"So, what's name of this group again? Are they the good guys or the bad guys? Do I have to kick some ass?"
Dawn chuckled. "Their called the BPRD. The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. The name says it all, I guess. The Pres assured me that they were the good guys. 'As good as they get' he said, so I guess we could trust him on that, right? And if I want to keep this job, then I wouldn't suggest kicking their asses."
Xander sighed. "Right. Just... be careful. When Buff and the others find out you've skipped town, their gonna be tracking you, even if your green key-ness keeps them from actually finding you by magic. They'll go old-school and put a couple noses to the curb, so I suggest you, maybe, leave at least a message or something on Giles answering machine and let him know."
He advised gently. "I know he'll understand, and maybe someday the others will too. You just got to give them time, and maybe the space will do them good. They don't quite get that even though you're technically human, doesn't mean you're not strong. It'll also take them awhile to pick up that you're no longer that same little girl that always got herself kidnapped. Oh!"
A thought suddenly occurred to him, one that put a wicked smile on his face."Did you add in your file thingy they got that you have a tendency to get kidnapped?"
Dawn tried to fake an innocent look, but somehow managed to just look more mischievous. "Maybe." she drew out the word in a sing-song voice. Xander chuckled."That's my girl. That'll probably give 'em a start. How 'bout including that one of your babysitters was a vampire? Or how two of your other ones were lesbian wiccas? They might get a kick outta that one."
She had to laugh at the suggestive tone he had taken. A result of extensive exposure to Anya, she was sure. Speaking of... "Or that I got the sex-talk from a Vengeance Demon of Scorned Women? Sorry, didn't think to add that one."
Xander nearly choked on air. "Anya gave you the sex-talk?"
He exclaimed, then shuddered as he briefly went to a bad mental-image place. "When?!"
Dawn giggled, enjoying her surrogate brothers discomfort.
"Oh, um, I think when I was 16, but I can't be too sure. I just remember sitting in the Magic Box as she held up a jar of various winky's from various animals and told me what they were and what they did and then talked about about a human man's winky."
She had to hold back her full-out laughter now as she could hear him gasping on the other line. He may handle embarrassment better now, but whenever Dawn even said the word sex it drove him crazy. Something about always seeing her as a little girl when it came to that. She listened to Xander sputter and make fish imitations for a little longer before speaking again. She was going to have to cut the call short; it was getting late and she still needed to make it to the airport before dark.
"Xand, as much as I'd like to finish this, I need to get going. The taxi should be hear any minute and I want to get gone before the sun goes down."
Xander abruptly became serious. "Okay. You be careful, Dawn, alright? Call when you get there and I want regular reports, I don't give a damn where I am. I'll take the call. You got that? And, please Dawn, call at least Giles."
She sighed. "Alright Xander. I'll let Giles know on my way to the airport, if it'll make you happy. And I promise to call whenever I can.""Good."
he paused for several moments, making Dawn think the call must have been dropped or something, until he spoke again, this time displaying none of the seriousness that he had shown moments earlier. "You sure their good?"
he asked, his voice dripping so much suspicion that Dawn had to laugh.
"Yes, Xander. The President wouldn't B.S. about this, not since he owes us for saving his ass a few months back, and he knows what we can do. So, yeah... I'm pretty sure it's safe to assume their safe. But, then, remember what happens when you assume anything? It makes an ass out of you and me." They shared a brief laugh over that. "But, seriously, if they don't pan out I'll just show 'em a few tricks I picked up from when Spike babysat me."
Xander couldn't help but chuckle at the lovely imagery that created. Man, that bleached vamp really knew how to leave an impression, even when he was half-way across the world in L.A.."Oh, yeah."
He chuckled. "Dawnster, I wish you luck. You're gonna need it."
"Thanks, Xander. I'm sure you're right."
He paused, as if trying to think of something to say next, but after a few seconds couldn't think of anything really Giles-ish or Willow-y, so just decided to say what was in his heart. "Dawn... Even if no one else ever notices your awesomeness, An and I have. And we're proud of you. I just want you to know that, k? Don't let anything the G-Man says, or Willow says, or even what Buffy says, get you down. This is what you want to do, so do it. They'll come around eventually."
Dawn could feel tears welling up in her eyes, but she didn't move to brush them away.
"Oh, Xander! Thank you! You and Anya have been like a brother and sister to me. I don't think I could ever have asked for better friends. You may be one-eyed and she may be a demon, but I wouldn't trade you guys for the world! I promise to call every chance I get and keep in touch as much as possible." A car outside honked. She glanced at the door. "I gotta go, Xand. The Taxi's here. Give Anya my love. Bye.""Bye, Dawnster. Good luck and show those Fed-dudes what you're made of."
Her eyebrows furrowed. "Green sparkly energy with the power to tear apart dimensions?" she asked.
He laughed. "No, the no-nonsense, never give up never surrender attitude that all you Summer girls seem to possess, but you just have more of." The taxi honked again. "Alright. Bye, Xander.""Bye, Dawnie."
The line went dead. Dawn sighed softly as she hung up the phone before grabbing up her backpack and duffel bag, the one carrying all of her favorite weapons. Everything else that she owned; books, other weapons, and some minor personal items, were already on their way to her new home in the BPRD. Her backpack was filled with some clothes, a few notebooks, and some other random things that she considered important, including a picture of her mom, Buffy, and her back in Sunnydale. Before her mom got sick.
It was one of the only pictures to survive Sunnydale since she had kept it in her back pocket all the time back then, but now she had a small pocket-sized picture frame on a key chain for it, so she carried it that way. She also didn't have to worry about her weapons since it was one that Willow had personally spelled so that if it went through an x-ray all they would see was clothes. And the spell extended to if the bag was opened, for whatever reason, by someone. If they didn't know about the spell, then all they would see would be clothes. It was a nifty spell, and one that Dawn sometimes wished she knew.
The taxi honked again and she raced out the door and down the stairs to the car. She tossed her heavy weapons bag in first then her backpack before sliding in. "Airport." was all she said as she fished out her cell phone. She stared at it for a few minutes, clearly contemplating whether or not to call Buffy and the others right now or wait till it was too late for them to stop her from heading back to the states. Either way, they'd be pissed.
With a sigh, and that thought in mind, she slid her phone open and hit the speed dial for Giles, silently praying that he wasn't home or that he couldn't get to the phone in time. 'Please don't pick up. Please don't pick up. Please don't pick up. Please don't pi-' The phone clicked on the third ring and she almost cursed aloud. Damn. So close."Hello?"
His deep accented voice asked, sounding tired. He must have stayed awake last night studying texts.
She took a deep breath. "Hey, Giles.""Dawn? Where are you? You haven't shown up all day. We were starting to get worried. I have some manuscripts I need you to translate immediately. Are you on your way?"
She frowned and steeled herself for what she knew was going to be a rough conversation. "Sorry, Giles, but I'm not coming in today.""What? Why not? Are you sick? Is that why you didn't show up today? Should Willow come over and check on you?"
Dawn almost groaned with aggravation at hearing the worry in his voice. She appreciated the sentiment, but he was treating her like a child. "No, Giles. I'm fine. I'm just... not at the flat. Actually..." she took a deep breath. "I'm on my way to the airport.""Good Lord!"
He sputtered. "Why? Where are you going? Does Buffy know? Of course not, she would have told us."
She could almost imagine him taking off his glasses and cleaning them.
"No, Buffy doesn't know. No one does. And I'm not telling you where I'm going. I'll only tell you that I'm going back the U.S.. I-" She willed herself to continue. This needed to be said. Now.
"I need to get out on my own, Giles." Now her voice was almost weary, something Giles had never heard from Dawn before. Whiny and petulant, yes. But never weary. He didn't even think she knew how to be weary. "Without you or Willow. And definitely without Buffy. I want to make a name for myself that doesn't include being The Slayer's kid sister. I'm tired of being looked at with awe because I'm related to her. I'm also tired of being treated like glass just because I'm the Key." she cast a glance at the taxi driver and noticed that he had a set of ear buds in that were blaring music. "I understand that you guys do this because you love me and want me safe, but I can't stand all the smothering. I'm not a kid anymore and I can take care of myself."
Giles was silent on the other line for a long time, obviously trying to assimilate all that she had said, and she could hear the faint squeaking on the other line that indicated that he was cleaning his glasses rather vigorously. The sound stopped then, and a moment later Giles started speaking."Dawn, I had no idea this is how you felt. I'm sorry, but it's dangerous to just leave here without saying anything to us. Anything could happen to you; someone with a grudge against Buffy could come after you... and... and... and what are you going to do in the U.S.? What state are you going to? Are you going to just put the world of the supernatural behind you? Forget everything? What about your training? Are you going to toss that out, aswell?"
Dawn felt her grip on her cell tighten and had to remind herself to calm down before she broke her magically enhanced phone. It may be able to take a beating and keep on ringing, but it wasn't up for her crushing it in her hand like the last one. Damn near-slayer strength.
"No, Giles." she ground out finally. "I'm not going to be forgetting about what we do. And before you ask, I'm not going to go out patrolling whatever town I inhabit next, I ain't telling you which. I have actually got myself a job with a really amazing research facility." Okay, that might be stretching the truth a little, but there was research in it. Otherwise it wouldn't be called the Bureau for Paranormal RESEARCH and Defense.
Giles grabbed his glasses from his face again and began to clean them furiously. Only when they were correctly positioned on his face did he speak again, all of his words spilling out before he could stop himself. That attempt at calm he'd done with cleaning his glasses had failed. "How? When? What is this place? It isn't a military base is it? It isn't like another Initiative, is it? Are they evil? Do they know that you're the Key? Is that why they want you?"
Dawn took a deep breath and began answering each question as best she could. "I made some calls. A few days ago. I already told you; research. No. No. I've been assured that they're clean. And why the hell would I tell them that?! I'm not stupid. I remember the Glory incident a lot better than people think. I ain't gonna be proclaiming to the world what I am. As for why they want me-" she paused to calm herself, all the while reminding herself that this was Giles. Good, kind, Watcher Giles whom she'd known all of her legit years on this earth as well as a few of the fabricated ones. She still thought of him as a father figure. "-I guess it's because I know at least 10 different human languages perfectly, not to mention almost twice as many demon languages, and then there's the occasional elf language I've picked up. Gee, Giles, I think they could really use my help. Especially since you guys obviously don't.""What do you mean!? We do need you! I've been giving you texts, manuscripts, and documents to translate ever since you came to England!"
"Yes, but none of those were things only I could translate. Hell, you could have translated them yourself! You probably did! You probably translated them before giving them to me to make sure there wasn't anything distressing in them. To make sure there wasn't any life-or-death prophesy or some mention of the Key. I'm right, aren't I, Giles?" His silence was her answer.
Dawn held back on the tears she felt swimming behind her eyes. She refused to cry now. It wouldn't solve anything. The taxi stopped in front of the airport and stopped. She glanced up and sighed.
"Look, Giles." she said, cutting off whatever he was about to say. It wouldn't matter much, though, anyway. Nothing would change her mind. "I gotta go, I'm at the airport now. I'll... I'll talk to you when my flight gets in, ok? But, I-" she stifled a curse "-Giles, if either Buffy or Willow do anything to try to find me I'll disappear. I swear I will. You know that no spell can track me, so don't bother. I'll tell you guys where I am when I'm ready, ok? Give the others my love. Talk to you later."
Without waiting for a reply she hung up and turned her cell off before chucking it into her backpack. Dawn grabbed her stuff and paid the taxi before heading inside. As she got her boarding pass and walked onto the plane she figured that Giles had probably already called Willow and Buffy and maybe even Xander to let them know what she was doing.
She didn't care. Buffy was in Australia right now being Head Slayer, so there was nothing that she could do. Willow may be able to stop the plane taking off with her magic, but if that happened then Dawn would just disappear before they came to get her. She was serious about that. Never before had she used her ability to be un-track-able like that, but she would if it meant having the freedom that she craved.
But nothing happened. She got onto the plane and was in the air on her way to New York before she knew it. Now, she just needed to sit back, and enjoy the ride.
So, what d'ya think? I'd really like some input to let me know if I'm doing ok. I hope no one's OOC. I'm trying to create the Buffy characters from my memories of the episodes.
I originally posted this story on FanFiction, but I thought, "hey, why not?" and finally decided to post it here, as well.