Disclaimer: I do not own BTVS or Harry Potter and Co. The creators of these works of brilliance make far more money than I do – since I’m not making any money off this fanfic at all.
Notes: This story can be seen as a prequel to “A Different Sort of Safe House,” and contains the explanation as to how Sirius came to be living with a bunch of Slayers in London. Enough people asked for the story behind the slime-and-turnip comment that a plot bunny started nibbling at me, and…well…THIS happened.
Chapter 1: What the heck is this?
“It’s part fried turkey, part snake, with a turtle head.”
Dawn paused in the act of pulling a demonology dictionary off a shelf, and turned to stare at her sister. “FRIED turkey?”
Buffy shrugged. “It didn’t have any feathers that I could see.”
Dawn stared at her sister some more, then shook her head and pulled the book off the shelf, ignoring Buffy’s “What?” in favor of flipping through the illustrations. She paused on one, and held it up to Buffy inquisitively.
Buffy shook her head. “Nope. This one doesn’t have spikes on his tail.”
Dawn frowned, and flipped again, holding the book up again after a few moments.
Buffy brightened. “That’s it!” She leaned over to look at the description next to it, frowned, and asked, “What language is that?”
“Somalian. Give me a minute,” Dawn muttered, narrowing her eyes at the text. Buffy waited patiently. “Okay, good news and bad news.”
“What’s the good news?”
“This is a Thratch demon, and they’re relatively easy to kill – they’re allergic to almost all vegetables. Shove a vegetable into its mouth, and it’s kaput.”
“Okaaay, what’s the bad news?”
“Its defense powers are slime-based, and you’re gonna have to get up close and personal with it to shove a vegetable down its throat. The tail spits slime, and you don’t want that stuff to hit you, ‘cause it’s acid-based. Like, deadly acid that eats through steel walls, based.”
“Chop off the tail, got it,” Buffy nodded.
“When you shove a vegetable into its mouth, you’ll have about a four-second pause to get away from it, and you really wanna get away, ‘cause it explodes when it dies, drenching everything in a ten-foot radius with purple slime. THIS slime isn’t acid-based, but it does tend to warp the barriers between dimensions – which means if you get drenched in the stuff you’ll be tossed into another dimension, thankfully one that’s relatively close to ours, and I’ll have to call Willow to get you back.”
“Make sure to wear the tracker Wills made for emergencies, got it,” Buffy nodded again.
Dawn frowned down at the book. “There’s an obscure reference to something that’s just called ‘the veil’ listed here as well, but that might just be another term for the alternate dimension thing.”
“Okay, so I need to go raid the fridge.” Buffy paused and watched as her sister went to put the demonology text back where it belonged. “Hey Dawnie, wanna come with?”
Dawn looked up, surprised. “Since when do you want me to go on patrol?”
“You’ll be with me,” Buffy pointed out. She grinned and added, “Besides, I wanna hear about this guy – Dimwit, Vi called ‘im?”
Dawn groaned. “I shoulda known you just wanted to poke your nose in my business.”
Buffy grabbed Dawn’s hand and tugged her out of the library and towards the kitchen of the Council safe house they were both currently residing in. “C’mon, talk. Why’re you dating a dude named Dimwit?”
“His name is DAVID,” Dawn snapped, then groaned as Buffy’s eyes gleamed wickedly. “I’m not dating him. There was just…a thing.”
“What kinda thing? A flirting thing, or a research thing, or a take-me-out-for-coffee thing, or –“
“He may have offered to help with research stuff,” Dawn said grudgingly. “Vi called him Dimwit cuz he didn’t get her jokes.”
“I don’t get Vi’s jokes, Xander doesn’t get Vi’s jokes, Will doesn’t get Vi’s jokes, and Giles doesn’t get Vi’s jokes. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing,” Buffy pointed out.
Dawn muttered something under her breath, and quickened her pace toward the kitchen.
“What was that?”
“He insulted her slaying outfit,” Dawn said a bit louder.
Buffy frowned. “Maybe he is stupid.”
“He is not! He speaks Turkish and Somalian and Mandarin and-“
“So do you,” Buffy pointed out.
“He taught me the Somalian,” Dawn said a bit defensively, and Buffy detected a blush on her sister’s cheeks. “He was really nice about it. And Vi’s outfit was ugly – I just didn’t want to say anything out loud.”
“So maybe not totally stupid, just an idiot,” Buffy amended her opinion. “What’s he look like?”
“I’ll find out.”
“Won’t. I don’t even know if I wanna go on a date with him, Buffy. He asked…”
“Where did he want to take you?” Buffy asked, thinking about calling Willow and digging around.
Dawn narrowed her eyes at her sister. “Movies.”
Buffy raised an eyebrow.
“The new French film that’s showing at the little theater down the block,” Dawn said grudgingly. “The one without subtitles.”
“So he at least knows your tastes,” Buffy mused. “Anyone besides Vi know him?”
Buffy frowned. “This guy isn’t Giles’ age, is he?”
“You have NO room to talk whatsoever if he is, Buffy.”
“Not poking at the age thing, just didn’t think that was your thing,” Buffy answered, a bit surprised.
“He’s not Giles’ age,” Dawn sighed, then grimaced as she realized she’d given away a fact she didn’t want her sister to know.
Buffy grinned at her. “Okay, I’ll leave it, but if you go on a second date he has to meet me.”
“Duh,” Dawn sighed as they reached the kitchen. She opened the fridge, and rolled her eyes. “Someone didn’t go grocery shopping.” There was an almost empty carton of milk, half a carton of eggs, some mayonnaise, and a bag of turnips. “Why do we have turnips?”
“Some weird diet Rona was trying,” Buffy muttered. “I told she doesn’t have to worry about her figure with the way our Slayer genes burn calories, but…” She shrugged.
“Well, here’s your demon-fighting weapons,” Dawn sighed, pulling the turnips out and shutting the door of the fridge. “Let’s do this, and then maybe I’ll go call David.”
“Coolness,” Buffy said cheerfully, slinging an arm around her sister’s shoulders as they walked out of the house.