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To Meet A Cat

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Summary: FFA response Dawn/Zane - Destiny: Either go willingly or be dragged kicking and screaming. What's a girl like Dawn to do?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anita Blake > Dawn-Centered > Pairing: Other(Past Donor)MistressAshleyFR1314,326261,88516 Jul 1016 Jul 10Yes
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy or Anita Blake. They each belong to their respective creators.

Notes: First off ... My 30th posted 'story'. Woohoo!!!!

This story will continue - just not right now. I'll come back once I finish my other story and take this further, probably through a series of one-shots. What that means is that the story is left fairly open and ends a bit abruptly so I have a concrete place to pick it up.

Beta: I don't want to lose the FFA spot so this is being posted before I have the finished beta copy. I'll update the story once I get it back.

Links to Dawn's outfit are at the end if you'd like to see them.



Destiny: the predetermined, usually inevitable or irresistible, course of events.

Dawn spent a few years in Rome with Buffy, who had shacked up with The Immortal (no matter how much Dawn, Giles, and anyone else told her you couldn't be immortal without giving something big, soul big [whether your own or someone else’s], up) and was perfectly content to wear rose-colored glasses now that she wasn't 'The One' anymore. Dawn didn't like the changes she could see The Immortal subtlety making in Buffy. What had happened to the Buffy who had promised to show her the world? Dawn told Buffy again and again that she could smell something fishy. I mean, they'd taken the Council's private plane, set down in Rome, spent one day unpacking their things and that night they'd gone out to the local club. It was then, not even a full day since they'd landed in Rome that Buffy had met The Immortal. He'd been easy on the eyes and Buffy had danced with him all night. The roses and presents had started coming the next day. Buffy had been wooed so easily. It was enough to make Dawn sick! It was the reason she'd moved into the Council HQ, leaving Buffy and The Immortal to play house in Rome.

Buffy hadn't even shown up to help deal with the latest apocalypse. They'd been one Senior Slayer short and good people had been hurt because of it, Dawn included. Dawn had been clawed up something nasty and it had only been through the work of the local Wiccan Healer and her coven that she had pulled through.

... Buffy hadn't been there when she woke up. She hadn't been there at all according to Healer.

Dawn's first thought had been that maybe in the chaos no one had thought to call Buffy. How utterly silly of her. When she'd asked around, all she'd gotten was sad, pitying eyes and whispered arguments behind (mostly) closed doors.

She'd only been able to take it for so long before she'd had to get away - away from the stares, the whispers, and the not so secret thoughts from the mini-Slayers that maybe Buffy wasn't one of them anymore.

It was just after a knock down drag out fight between Super-Wicca-Willow and one of the more vocal Slayers that Dawn had packed a bag, grabbed the stash of money she kept on hand in case of emergencies, and walked out. She hadn't turned back since.

After leaving, Dawn had traveled but she knew where she would end up eventually and she had slowly made her way there. America, the good ol' US of A - she couldn't say it was where she was born but it was where she had lived her life as Dawn; it was the only place she could remember.

There was no Sunnydale left and Dawn didn't think she'd feel comfortable in LA with Angel running Wolfram and Hart so she'd traveled the United States as well.

No place had seemed right enough for Dawn though ... okay, so some had felt nice and she might have settled down for longer - if not for the crazy coven in Kentucky that had been able to see her 'Keyness', except they'd thought she was some kind of demon god in disguise. She'd been chased, not just out of their city but out of Kentucky completely. There was also the nutso vampire in Maine that had become obsessed with her. Apparently, she'd looked like his late wife - late as in human years late! It was just her luck that in all the years he'd been a vampire she was the first he'd stumbled across that had looked like his wife. She'd gotten the hell out of dodge fast after she'd woken up in a bed of roses.

Dawn had never invited him in - she just wasn't that glib with her words anymore - so it had to have been a human in her house ... while she slept. A few years ago, a human in her house wouldn't have woken her, but since living in a house full of superhuman, and often mischievous, girls with stealth powers Dawn had gotten insanely good at catching them in the act. To have a human able to sneak into her room while she slept was not of the good! They could have knocked her out and delivered her gift-wrapped to their Master. Thankfully, he had still been firmly in the wooing stage. Hence, the whole getting the hell out of dodge thing.

As these incidences continued to happen, Dawn thought briefly of the Powers That Be ... maybe it wasn't all coincidence. She thought of turning around and running in the opposite direction but Dawn had watched Buffy long enough to know that there would be no running; that running would only make it hurt more in the end. If she were meant to end up in some unknown location, she'd end up there. The only thing left to decide was how she was going to get there. Dawn figured she could drive quietly over the state line or at top speed with demon hordes chasing after. Dawn knew which option she'd prefer.

So it was that Dawn Summers, sister to one of the last Chosen Slayers, once the entity known only as The Key and a fully-grown, competent woman drove quietly over the Illinois/Missouri state line and into the city of St. Louis.

The feeling of the city was right in a way that none of the others had been ... even before she was chased out. And that was another thing, Dawn had already been in this city longer than any other and there was no crazy coven, no hordes of demons or even wooing vampires to chase her out.

After a full week of caution and tiptoeing around Dawn decided, whether by chance, design, or fate, that maybe St. Louis was where she was supposed to be. A little celebration was in order.

Dawn ventured out of her hotel room mid-morning. The sun sat bright and high in the perfectly blue sky. The heat pressed down on Dawn but it was the kind of heat she was used to so she ignored the trickle of sweat at her hairline.

Shopping in St. Louis was far from shopping in Rome. Rome was all about old-fashioned buildings and high-end boutiques with only the most expensive and fashionable clothing displayed in the window.

St. Louis, while having a few upscale boutiques in various parts of the city, was mostly populated by small shops that dealt in a variety of leather. As Dawn passed another shop, this one with a huge open display window, a glace in showed not just the standard leather pants and corset but something that made Dawn's cheeks go a tad warm - leather panties. She was positive they were thongs as there wasn't enough material to be anything else. The front had triangle cutouts that would leave large gaps of skin showing when worn. Memories of a time Dawn hadn't truly lived surfaced, startling a giggle from her. There was enough leather to send Vamp!Willow into an orgasmic heaven.

Dawn only caught site of them as she was turning to leave but a glimpse was all it took. She just had to have them. There was no other option, no way she could walk away and still be able to call herself a Summers. There in the window was the most gorgeous pair of shoes Dawn had set eyes on ... at least since her last true shoe shopping exploration.

Decision made, Dawn walked purposely through the door. A jingle from above her brought her to the attention of the man behind the counter.

A shiver worked its way down her spine at the once over the man gave her. "What can I get ya, doll?"

Dawn fought to keep her face flat and expressionless as she answered. "I want shoes like the ones in the window."

Again, his eyes ran over her and this time she caught the look in them. It certainly wasn't lust as she first thought. A quick glance down at herself showed a stylish top paired with a skirt that would have looked like something worn to an office if not for the fact it was so short. Overall, Dawn looked as if she couldn't possibly belong in a store like this.

The words spoken next only confirmed this thought. "Shoes like that can't be worn with just anything, duckie. They can't be worn just anywhere either. Ya got somewhere special to be tonight?" There was an unspoken challenge in his words. Dawn wondered if he had some personal investment in those shoes or maybe he just took his job way too seriously.

Deciding to be as truthful as possible, Dawn answered with, "I hadn't really though about it. Tonight's going to be a celebration of sorts. I was on my way to pick up something to wear, saw the shoes and just knew I had to have them."

The man's eyes seemed to soften just a bit. "You can't wear shoes like that with just anything and certainly not just anywhere." The man gave a sigh as he pulled himself up, Dawn hadn't realized he'd been sitting, he was tall seated but standing he was a mountain of a man.

His hair was shaggy and an earthy brown color that settled around his face in a casual disarray. His eyes were the same non-descript brown. Blank seemed to be their standard setting and up close he was either, older than she'd first thought or he'd lived a hard life. He didn't seem to be one to dye his hair and there was no sign of gray so Dawn would place her bets on the hard life theory.

"Name's Bobby," he paused to give her a brief nod, motioning her to follow. "Come on, we'll find you some shoes and clothes to go with them and then I'll give you the names of a few places you could try tonight." A smirk seemed to twitch his lips but Dawn was sure that was only a trick of the light. It just had to be she thought desperately.

Once Bobby pulled the shoes down from back shelf, Dawn fell in love all over again. The shoes were a dark black leather with spike heels that would have looked 'normal' from the back but once seen from the front or the side would never be looked at the same again. They had double ankle straps and thin straps crossing to the center. The center, the part resting right on top of the foot, was a thing of beauty and what had first drawn Dawn to them ... spikes, metal spikes, (with some silver content perhaps?) running up and down the shoe. The shoes fit like a dream and, the best bit was that they looked absolutely stunning on her.

It was almost an hour later and after much debate, that Dawn walked out of the fitting room to see Bobby give a vague smile and a slight nod. A look in the mirror showed a Dawn she hadn't known existed. The Dawn that looked back at her was dressed in black leather short shorts that laced up the side. She could see her panties peaking out between the laces and a comment from Bobby pointed out that that was a no-no. Either she wears nothing underneath or she could buy a leather thong that would, hopefully, blend in with the laces. The top was little more than a strip of leather that crossed between her breasts and wrapped around her neck and back, cupping her breasts in just the right way. The leather had almost no give and while not uncomfortable, the tightness made it hard to breath. A glance back at the mirror, particularly the amount of cleavage the top managed to pull together, more than made up for the inability to breathe.

The outfit was definitely not something Buffy would have let her out of the house in but with the heels of the shoes and shortness of the shorts, her legs looked as if they went on forever. Dawn had never been more glad of the workouts the Slayers gave her. There was not an ounce of fat on her thighs and the muscles in her stomach were made clearly visible by the utter lack of fabric covering her.

"You'll fit right in." The ruff voice behind her startled Dawn.

She'd fit right in? Where? Where the hell could this be standard wear? Of course, thoughts of some of the people walking the streets in broad daylight had her reconsidering that thought. Hadn't she seen one man, about her age, walking down the street in a shiny see-through top and leather pants that had artistic cutouts trailing down his legs ... both outside and in? If that was everyday wear, maybe something like this could truthfully be considered club wear.

With a deep breath to brace herself, Dawn agreed. "Alright, I'll take them."

It wasn't until Dawn was halfway back to her hotel, a list of clubs in her bag with her new clothes, that she realized that Bobby had quickly ushered her out the door before she'd had a chance to buy the thong underwear. She had nothing in her luggage that was suitable to wear under the shorts ... looks like she was going bare tonight.

----

Dawn had done a quick internet search of the names Bobby had given her. She'd first thought they were all dance clubs until she'd gotten a good look at them. First, on the list was The Circus of the Damned and while it sounded interesting and a bit intriguing Dawn was hesitant to go that far into vampire territory. The second turned out to be a strip club called Guilty Pleasures. While Dawn was no innocent little lamb she didn't think she'd be able to handle watching men take their clothes off to a room full of people without turning permanently red. That left the last on the list, Dance Macabre. From the website it looked as the name stated, a dance club a hint of the macabre ... like the photos of blow up dolls hanging from the ceiling. There was also the fact that Dance Macabre catered to those who wanted a night of 'safe' dancing with a vampire or wereanimal.

Given that all the names listed were built around vampires and wereanimals made her wonder if Bobby was something supernatural, or as those in America called them, preternatural? He couldn't have been a vampire as it had been daylight and if he'd been a demonic vamp, he probably wouldn't have been running a shop that didn't center around eating the customers. He could have been a wereanimal of some sort or even a neutral or pacifist demon. With a shake of her head, Dawn shook those thoughts off. He'd been nice and he hadn't tried to eat or kidnap her so it didn't really matter, did it?

A look back at the list showed that she could either try for a club on the 'human' side of town and hope she fit in with those clothes or she could give in and go to Dance Macabre.

A pout formed on her lips as she debated. The shoes decided for her though. She really wanted to wear those shoes and she looked hot in her new outfit. Dance Macabre it was then ... besides, it was closer to where she was staying anyway.

With a sharp nod of her head, Dawn gathered up the bag holding her outfit, grabbing her makeup bag on the way to the bathroom before shutting the door behind her.

It wasn't long before Dawn, hair up in curlers as it dried, was digging through her makeup bag for just the perfect items. Her makeup would be a bit darker than she was used to doing it but darker went better with her outfit. Foundation went on smoothly. Dawn brushed on a dash of bronzer, just enough that she'd sparkle in the right light. She debated using blush before deciding against it, if she was going to be dancing her cheeks would get red anyway - no use looking like a clown when that happened. Her eyes were done in shades of grey with kohl smudged in as eyeliner. Her eyes being so dark made Dawn choose a more natural tinted lip-gloss. It would make them look kissable without being overdone.

Once done with her makeup, Dawn unpinned a curler and, finding the hair still damp, pulled out her blow dryer and set the curls with heat. Separating the large curls gave her tons of small curls, which she then pinned into place to create an artful up-do, a few curls hanging down in random places. It was a perfect look to go with the perfect outfit.

The overall effect of clothes, hair and makeup had Dawn staring at herself in the full-length mirror for a full minute. The person, woman, looking back at her didn't look like Buffy's annoying kid sister or the Council's top researcher. It was startling but also very empowering. She felt truly confident for the first time in months.

Dawn grabbed her money, tucking it into her top (no sense taking a purse to worry about losing) and with a calming breath walked out into the cool night air, the door snapping closed behind her.

---

Dance Macabre was exactly as the pictures on the website showed except that it was somehow ... more. Pictures couldn't possibly convey the way the music pounded in her ears or the way the free floating shifter and vampire energy almost danced to the music, pumped like a giant heart that filled the room, surrounding her in searing heart or blistering cold, how it danced on her skin.

It took a minute or two for Dawn to shake off the head rush but when she finally managed, she gave into the pulsing energy, the crush of bodies, and the beat of the music. Dawn waded through the crowd, slipping past the grasping hands before she made it to the center of the floor. Her eyes fluttered closed as her head titled back and she danced.

Dawn lost herself in the music, in the bodies that pressed against her, that danced with her. She was free.

----

Many eyes were on Dawn but one pair of brown eyes watched her with more intensity than the others. The way she twisted and turned, never staying with one partner for long. She was stunning in her abandon. It had been a long time since he had seen someone let loose completely. The vampires he knew never completely let go, always looking for one opportunity or another and weres, new and old, had a hard time letting go of their control. One mistake, just one slip and they could shift in the middle of the dance floor. Humans though tended to either dislike dancing or weren't good at it and if they were their dancing always seemed choreographed. This was something new and he was interested.

-----

Dawn vaguely felt another body press itself against her; it was the way it had been all night. Someone would slot themselves into her dance until she grew bored and moved on. This one though was different. When she turned away, the body didn't move on, it just slid in behind her and the dance continued.

It was only when Dawn was panting for breath and covered in a fine layer of sweat that she stopped. Her eyes opened slowly, catching the chocolate brown of her partner. Her first thought upon seeing the pale skin and the sharp fangs when he grinned at her was vampire but he was too warm, even for a just fed vamp.

On closer inspection, he had both top and bottom fangs and they definitely weren't vamp fangs. They threw her mind back to a widely yawning Kitty Fantastico. The fangs were almost dainty, yet Dawn knew, if needed, they were sharp enough to rip and tear flesh. They were cat teeth in a human mouth.

Dawn narrowed her eyes, looking for any clues that would tell her exactly what species of werecat he was. There was no doubt that he was were now and he had to be a werecat. The warm skin, the kitty fangs, and the energy that Dawn could feel now that she was focused solely on him. It gave his skin a subtle glow to her eyes.

Her dance partner was thin, would have been almost too thin for his height if not for the play of muscles she could clearly see. He reminded her of Spike in some ways yet still so very different. The hair was white, not a butter yellow or a bleached blonde that came out of a bottle, but a cotton white color that Dawn had seen some of the younger Slayers get during the Manic Panic fad.

He wore black leather pants, pants so tight that if not for the prominently displayed bulge Dawn would have wondered where 'everything' went. He wore no top but a vest that gaped open to show glimpses of dusky pink nipples. It was the glint of silver in one that had Dawn raising an eyebrow. Silver piercing for a shifter were like a permanent itch, something that was just this side of pain if left unscratched.

"Like what you see?" His voice, deep and gravelly, sent a shiver down her spine and something deep within gave an instinctual tug.

Dawn's first impulse was to blush but she managed to push that back. She wasn't looking to enjoy the view, okay, she wasn't looking just to enjoy the view. She was looking for clues, right, clues but the voice was another sign. Kitty fangs and a voice not made for human vocal cords meant he'd, voluntarily or not, spent too much time in animal form. She was betting involuntary but it wasn't her business.

In answer to his question, she gave him a long, lingering look-over before she channeled Cordelia and with an amused huff turned to the bar. "Not my type," was thrown over her shoulder.

He was in front of her before she moved more than a few steps, hand to his chest. "That hurts, really, right here." He gave his chest a thump over his heart. A smug grin spread over his face as her lips twitched. "Come on; let me buy you a drink." The hand on his chest reached out, hovering between them.

Dawn hesitated. Did she really want to take this chance? It wasn't that he was a were-something-cat; it was that she was a woman alone in a club. The man in front of her could get her drunk or slip something into her drink and she'd never be the wiser. He didn't look like a serial killer but there was always the chance she was wrong. Was she willing to risk those things? Yes, yes she was but not this easily.

Dawn made a real show of being hesitant before she slipped around him once more. "I was told never to accept candy or drinks from strangers."

Dawn made it to the bar unmolested but vaguely disappointed. That disappointment lifted when the werecat slipped onto the stool beside her.

"Come here often?"

A startled burst of laughter erupted from Dawn, drawing the attention of those around them before they went back to their drinks. "Oh God, that's so cheesy! What was going through that head of yours when you decided to use that line?"

A wide smile crossed his lips, flashing kitty fangs. "I was thinking I didn't want to let the most interesting woman in this place just walk away. So, how 'bout that drink?"

Interesting, was she? Sweet, but still ... "You're still a stranger," Dawn pointed out slyly.

"Ah, but that can be cleared up right now." A hand was shoved into her face. "Zane."

A smile twitched her lips and she grasped his hand. "Dawn."

The shock that went through her when skin met skin pulled a gasp from her, a gasp that was echoed from the man, Zane, seated next to her. There was a shadow, a barely there brush of fur deep within her. There was a flash through her mind and Dawn knew, just knew, he was a leopard.

Dawn also knew, a deep instinctual urge, which told her that he was hers and she, well, she was his.

Mates. They were a mated pair. No matter that Dawn's mind pointed out how impossible that was. She was human ... but was she really? a nasty voice in her head pointed out. It brought her back to herself and the feeling of fur roiling through her, a feeling that had only gotten stronger the longer they'd kept their hands clasped.

It didn't really matter that it was supposed to be impossible. Nothing else really mattered ... for now.

-END-



- Short shorts
- Top (not exactly how I pictured/described it - still too much fabric but close enough)
- Shoes View 1
- Shoes View 2
- Thong panties (Not for young viewers or those at work!)

The End

You have reached the end of "To Meet A Cat". This story is complete.

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