I don't not own BTVS or The Hollows.
(AN- There is something that I have this strange nagging feeling I will be corrected on if I don't say it up front. Jenks has 54 kids, but two have left home, leaving 52. Math is fun... okay not really. As for the difference between vampires in the series, the time difference, what happened to the other BTVS and Angel characters, it was going to be in this chapter but I realized it was going to be uber-duber long, so I am saving that for the next chapter. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy it. Also, I want to thank WinterBlu for being a Beta and allowing my jibberish to become readable.)
Chapter 1 (Cutting Back)
Rachel's brain was slush as she crawled into bed, and while a shower seemed like a great idea since the smell of burnt amber would linger on her sheet, she was afraid she wouldn't be able to turn the shower on, let alone bathe.
But as she lay down something still tingled in the back of her mind. Could that boy really know how to kill a demon? Could he do it?
Dawn slowly opened her eyes, blinking from the invasion of light for the first time in years. She rolled her head to the side seeing an empty room, she put her hand out to roll off the hard bed-thingy she was lying on but was stopped by cold glass.
"Its glass, held strong by some sort of magic."
Dawn turn and saw a boy, young man, lying next to her. Or, half on her would be a more correct term.
Her eyes widened, but before she could scream for help a hand was placed over her mouth.
"Shh. They'll hear you. And if they do they will put us back to sleep," he told her, "Don't scream, don't yell, and we might get out of here."
"Where... Where are we?" she asked him, her mind was foggy and she was having trouble remembering anything past Dracula coming to town and turning Xander in to his little Bitch-Boy.
"Ever-After," the boy replied, "It is a parallel hell dimension to our own. It used to be our sister dimension until it was taken over by demons and corrupted."
Dimension? Wait, how do you know we're from the same dimension?" she said suspicious of his statement.
"Because I know you, Dawn," he said tapping the glass quietly.
"You know me?" she repeated.
"I don't know you, but I know of you, who you are. I had to sit through hours of stories about your sister. Buffy this, Buffy that. Ugh." He turned back to look at her, "There is not a physical weakness in the glass. You're going to have to zap us out."
"They never portrayed you as an idiot," he said shaking his head. "Zap, like magic, move us from here to there," he pointed out of the box.
"I can't do that!" she glared at him, "I'm not Willow. I mean I'm not sure Willow coul-" she stopped as a memory of Willow transporting Glory ran past her eyes. Glory.
"Memory a bit out of it? They must have used a stronger curse on you than they used on me. Knowing Minias he bound your magic while he was at it." He shook his head, "Which leaves us with one thing."
Dawn started as he grabbed her arm.
"Don't scream, I'll fix you up when we get out of here, I promise." He looked up and down her arm finally tracing an old scar.
Another memory came, blood running down her arm. -Am I real? Is this blood?
As the memory faded she felt skin of her arm being torn apart. "Ahh!"
"Shh!!" he said covering her mouth again. "I pulled open the scar so you wouldn't have a new one."
"Yeah. Thanks for thinking of me as vain."
"Do you always bitch this much?" He smeared the blood from her bleeding arm around the bottom of the coffin.
"So are you just going to lift this uber heavy piece of glass off, without dropping it so whoever kidnapped us doesn't hear?"
"They didn't kidnap us. They own us," he told her lifting the glass up and hopping of the 'bed'. "And yes, I am."
He tilted his head as if to say, 'move dumb ass'. Which she did, quickly.
"What do you mean they own us?" she asked holding her arm trying to stop the bleeding.
"They do. Illegally. Even according to demon law."
"So they kidnapped us?" she said feeling like they were going in circles.
"No, they cheated," he said walking around the room looking for something to stop the bleeding. "Wolfram and Hart sold me to Minias when they were supposed to give me a new happy life with new happy memories. It was the deal they had with my father."
"Oh," she tilted her head, "And it wasn't me that summoned Sweet." Her memory was rapidly returning, as the fog started to clear.
"If we can get out here and get the contract that proves Wolfram and Hart did not have the right to sell me, I think I can push to save you."
She narrowed her eyes, "Why would you do that?"
"Because I don't know magic and I can't get us out of Ever-After," he said wrapping her arm in some cloth he found laying on the table.
"Tit for tat," she said nodding.
"Come on, we need to get outside before someone sees us here."
"Wait, what's your name?" she asked as he grabbed her arm.
"Connor," he told her.
Something nagged at Rachel as she finally gave up and turned off the computer. She ran her hand through her mass of red tangles.
Nothing, not a thing, but about a million different missing kids from before The Turn and hundreds of those thought to be demon related. However none that looked like the two that she had seen earlier.
If she just had a hint then she could figure this all out. She could get this smut off her aura, these marks off her body, and even help the stupid Elf. Not that she really wanted to. Trent had been bothering her non-stop about freeing him, and she was close to leaving things as they were just to piss him off.
She jumped as her stereo turned on, full blast. Looking across the room she wasn't surprised to see it covered in pixie dust.
"I died, so many years ago;
But you can make me feel like it isn't so;"
A sleepy Ivy walked into the kitchen and turned it off. It was obvious she had just woken up, and yet she still looked better than Rachel did, on a good day.
Life was not fair.
"Vampire wanna be."
"Sounds real," Rachel said shrugging. She really didn't want to piss Ivy off this evening, since the living vampire seemed to be having a bad night, but sometimes her mouth did stupid things.
"Yeah, well, he stole it." Ivy said angrily throwing a dish rag over her shoulder catching some of her deep black hair in the fibers.
"I think I'll go find Jenks." Rachel said knowing where this was going. Ivy and she had been trying to work out a confusing and complicated relationship. Ivy was in love with Rachel, and Rachel just didn't swing that way. She had tried to work it out, Turn knows she did, but Ivy had problems. Problems that a witch like Rachel just wasn't able to help the living vampire with, not after Piscary, a Master Vampire, had totally screwed with her mind for years.
Sometimes Rachel wasn't sure if anyone could help Ivy.
"Why? Running away? Why won't you just try, Rachel. I-" She trailed off as she looked down at the paper where Rachel had written notes about the teens she saw in Ever-After.
"You got another job?" Ivy asked.
"No, this is... personal." Rachel said reaching out to take the paper, but Ivy was too fast, her thin hand moving out of way faster than Rachel could move.
"If he came here, I swear."
"Who?" Rachel asked, her eyes widening.
"Vampire. Completely crazy, thinks he's some famous vampire that died before the Turn. He's constantly looking for a young girl, calls her Nibblet, or some psycho shit." Ivy threw the paper back on the table.
"Why do you think he's involved?" Rachel said staring at the paper.
"He claims she was taking by a singing demon." Ivy shook her head, "Like I said, completely bonkers. I'm taking a shower."
Rachel looked down at the paper. Demons and crazy vampires, huh?
"Jenks!" Rachel yelled calling for her other housemate, not counting his wife and 52 children. Jenks was a pixie and an important part of their team. They ran a Detective Agency called Vampiric Charms out of their house/ former church, and Jenks was their spy, the one that could go unnoticed in a room full of people or an empty one.
How hard could it be to find a crazy vampire? So who was she looking for? Dracula or Lestat?
"Run Dawn!" Connor said, grabbing Dawn as she hit her leg on the city's fountain.
"I can't! I can't feel my legs, I can't breathe and I think I'm suffering from blood loss. Thanks to you!"
"You will die if you don't," he said sternly as he turned and took off again.
"Damn," she said and ran after him. They were running from surface demons and would be until Dawn could remember how to get them out of Ever-After. If she could do it in the first place.
Her legs felt like jelly from years of non-use, her lungs were burning from breathing in the rotten air.
These, these things
, have been haunting them for days now. The only time they left hallow ground was when they needed to search for food or water. The demons still didn't seem to notice they were missing which meant they didn't check up on them that much or they were being tormented. Letting Dawn and Connor think they had made it out only to drag them back kicking and screaming.
She had remembered a lot of things. Like that the demon, Sweet, had spent five years trying to get her to do demon magic. The fact that she was made out of a slayer, that is a mortal girl with a demon Aura, or essence, should have made Dawn able to kindle demon magic as good as any slayer. But unlike the slayers before her that had become familiars, curses seemed to fizz out here in Ever-After. She was still able to do basic spell work, but that was about it.
And unlike other familiars, her Aura wouldn't accept Sweets demon smut from his own curses and miss deeds. Of course, she knew it was because her Aura, her soul, was actually a large amount of green energy, which was once a ball, and could down the walls of reality.
Giles had lied to them. Told them the Key had been used up when Doc had gotten all slicey-dicey with her stomach, but it never left, it was still there and always will be.
She knew that Sweet lost her to another demon in a game of chance and odds they were playing with some poor dude's soul. And that was about it.
She was practically dragged the last few feet into a grave yard by Connor were she was finally able to sit down and breathe.
"You never would have lasted in Quor-toth," Connor told her shaking his head.
"That's the hell dimension you were raised in, right?" She asked. It was still hard to believe all that this guy has been through. If she slept with Cordelia she would have been scarred for life, not counting the whole girl on girl part of it. The most amazing thing was that he was Angel's miracle child, his son and the child of two vampires. Dawn had just heard the rumors about him when she was taken.
"It was where I grew into adulthood. I would not call it being raised," he said bringing her out of her thoughts.
"Yeah, at least you grew into adulthood," she muttered. "Do you know how long we'd been asleep?"
"You were there long before me. I was told they already had you for close to twenty years before they stuck me in there with you."
"Why were you kept so long only to be put asleep?" she asked, confused.
"I wasn't really a familiar. I was Minas' slave boy, he used me to kill and torture those he couldn't. But it was all boring, and as I grew out of my anger I started to feel guilty, ashamed of everything I had done. Newt tried to remove my soul, only to learn they couldn't. They would have killed me out right but the contract with Wolfram and Hart said I couldn't be, so they put me to sleep." He was tracing patterns in the dirt as he told her is story.
"I thought you killed demons all the time? Why not just kill them?" she asked while looking over his shoulder to see what he was writing.
"In another dimension, I could have. But here they have too much control of the world, the magic, even able to heal the most deadly wounds I could deliver. In this world... that is why we need to get out of here."
"I want to, I really do. Look," she held out her arm, "I'm getting an infection and I really don't want to lose my arm. I just can't seem to recall ever being taught how to leave the damn place. What are these things you keep drawing?"
"They are the symbols my fa- Holtz drew to allow me to punch through Quor-toth. I was hoping they would spark something in your memory."
She looked at the Symbols, then walked around looked at them from another angle, followed by another, and another. Finally she twisted her head and body to look at them upside down. "Nope, nada, nothing."
"But... Okay, I've never done anything like this before, but... My blood got us out of the box because of what I am, right? So, in theory, if I use my blood to activate whatever that is, you can punch us out again." She stood up and her voice became an octave higher at the last part.
"I know little about magic. I only took a guess with using your blood the first time."
"What! You tore open my arm and you weren't even sure it would work?!" Dawn's blues eyes opened up to become impossibly wide.
"Would you have rather me not take that chance?" he asked, crossing his arms across his chest.
She opened her mouth to retort but closed it because he was right. She was actually really glad he took that chance.
"Fine, okay... but we need to do this right."
She sent him out to find something to she could use to cut herself while she carefully copied the symbols Connor had written in a more open, yet still holy area.
He came back after a few moments handing her a piece of jagged metal, "Will this work?"
"The metal will. It's this whole plan I am not too sure of."
He stopped, "It's your plan."
"And that's why I doubt it," she said taking the sharp shank from Connor. "Please don't let me bleed to death. Or leave me here."
"And have my head on a silver platter by Spike? No, thank you."
"Why Spike?" she asked at she put the scrap on her arm next to the infected wound.
But Connor just shook his head.
Dawn put pressure on the metal. She had cut herself before and she thought she was prepared for pain, that she could handle it.
What she wasn't prepared for was the pain of cutting into infected flesh. The other arm would have been a much better choice. As she screamed from the pain, closing her eyes tight, she felt hands on her elbow.
She opened her eyes to see Connor holding her arm over the grounds. Right, she was holding in against her body which really would have defeated the purpose.
They watched as her blood flowed down her arm, landing on the ground making muffled plopping noises. And for a moment she thought it didn't work, that they were officially stuck in 'almost' hell.
But the next drop the fell stopped in mid air. Then another drop joined the first, then another and just like last time, on the tower, a small light formed from the fallen blood. The runes on the ground started to glow and the blue-ish light grew to slightly larger than a full grown man.
And then it stopped growing. It wasn't tearing down the walls between dimensions and making a hell of all hell.
Dawn thought about the chances of having creepy old psychic lady with big glasses on the other side. It was really unlikely she decided.
"Here's hoping it doesn't take us to Glory's home," Dawn said stepping forward. And with a nod to Connor, who still had a hold on her arm, they stepped into the light.
Dawn felt like her body was being pulled in every direction at once and she was sure there was no air in this vortex thing. It couldn't have been more than a couple of seconds but it felt so much longer.
Finally as they fell out of the portal they came to a conclusion that one of them should have come to earlier. That they were going to be dropped seven feet off the ground.