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Unfinished Insanity

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Summary: Unfinished works for stories I lost inspiration on or got really bad writers block early on. Will contain Non-crosses in addition to the regular Buffy crosses. Fandoms: Glee, Bones, Criminal Minds, Power Rangers

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > GeneralJadedFR18524,3891377,74214 Nov 1013 Apr 12No

Dawn in DC (Buffy/Bones/NCIS/Criminal Minds)

Author: Jaded
Story: Unfinished Insanity
Disclaimer: Oh jeez, this thing again. I do not own the fandoms found within; Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel belongs to Joss Whedon, Bones belongs to Hart Hanson, NCIS belongs to Donald Bellisario, and Criminal Minds belongs to Jeff Davis.
Summary: Unfinished works for stories I lost inspiration on or got really bad writers block early on. Will contain Non-crosses in addition to the regular Buffy crosses. Fandoms: Glee, Bones, L&O: SVU, Criminal Minds, Charmed, Power Rangers

Fandoms: Buffy/Bones/NCIS/Criminal Minds
One Shot Summary: Sometimes you just have pave your own path in life, regardless of what had been expected.
Warning: Nothing that you haven't already seen on any of the shows before.
A/N 1: One of these days, I'll write a fic centering on someone OTHER than Dawn. Maybe. Possibly. … This is basically my inability to stop watching crime shows set in DC. I put off Bones for so long, claiming I didn't have access to it and I didn't want to buy a DVD unless I knew I liked it but then I was pointed to the first four seasons on Instant Netflix. … Netflix is going to be the death of my scholary achievements, I swear. *pouts*
A/N 2: I've never written a multi-cross before—with my other works, I've occasionally given cameos to people from other fandoms but other than that...nope. Not a single full on multi-cross before. Which is probably why I got really bad writers block on this.

I want to live my life
The way you said I would
With courage as my light
Fighting for what's right
Like you made me believe I could


“Yo.”

“Can you come down to my office? I need to speak to you about something and I'd rather do it in person ... and in private.”

Dawn Summers paused in her typing, phone to her ear. “Is this about DC?”

“Yes.”

“Be down in a minute.”

She'd been expecting this for a while. Since before she could remember, all she'd wanted to do was work with Buffy and the Scooby's, maybe become a Watcher like Giles. But her mom, Buffy, Giles, none of them wanted her to. Eventually they caved on letting her help and after Sunnydale became a crater, the latter two had even agreed to let her train as a watcher, with the possibility that she would one day replace Giles.

During her freshman year college psychology class, however, she'd realized that she didn't actually want that to be everything she did. She wanted to be part of the fight, yes, but she didn't want it to consume her like it had Willow and Xander and even Buffy and Giles. She eventually wanted a husband, a family, to have something that was not tied to the supernatural. She'd accepted she'd always be special, always be different, but that didn't necessarily mean she couldn't live like everyone else.

Clem did it every day and no one in their right mind would say he was either human or normal.

So during college she'd gone a little crazy looking into what she could do that was outside the Council but also be a part of them. Eventually, she'd settled on forensic anthropology, linguistics, and forensic pathology as she had experience in all three anyway and they could be used in both worlds; supernatural and mundane.

She'd put off actually telling anyone in the Council what she had planned, however, by diving into her studies, getting three doctorates in the span it usually took to get two (as well as a Masters in the little known field of forensic theology and a Bachelors in chemistry—there was a reason her sister claimed she was trying to get more degrees than God). Once she had them, though, she'd realized she couldn't hide her plans any longer without going back and starting new academic programs which she couldn't do because Giles was already asking about her burrowing into academia. If she went into yet another program, they'd KNOW something was going on.

So she'd very very discreetly began looking into possible job options outside the Council. She worked in London at Headquarters, but she'd been looking for jobs in areas that either didn't have slayers at all or had very very small offices. Somehow, Dr. Brennan had discovered she'd been looking for work and pointed her to the Jeffersonian in DC, with the promise to put in a good word for her.

She'd met Dr. Brennan originally in Darfur as a linguist on the team trying to identify remains. The woman was crazy literal but after growing up with the Scoobies as role models, it had hardly fazed her and they'd gotten along rather well. Dawn had enjoyed her company, she had a good sense of humor once you got over the literal way she took everything. She often reminded Dawn of a mundane version of Anya; a little piece of home in the horrors of a human war.

Dawn had been the reason half the watchers and a good portion of the slayers read Brennan's books—she'd gone out to get the first one when it came out and after she finished it, it disappeared into the intrigued hands of the anthropology department. She finally found it again, five months later, in the hands of a teen slayer. When the second had come out, Dawn had been accompanied to the bookstore by a dozen or so watchers and slayers, with the money to buy about twenty copies for those who couldn't leave headquarters for one reason or another.

DC didn't have an office but it did have a slayer nearby. Older than most when called, Abby Scuito worked forensics at NCIS and therefore never received any training outside of the six weeks she'd spent in England. Her immediate supervisors and the NCIS coroner all knew of her Calling but other than that, the Council was pretty sure no one else on her team did. Given she never patrolled and had kept herself relatively away of the nightlife (she may have been a goth but she wasn't a stupid goth), Abby was what one Watcher had dubbed a Hibernating Slayer. Her gifts would come out when her life or the life of her family was threatened but they stayed deep in her subconscious the rest of the time.

During her stay in England, Abby and Dawn had met and become friends, thus putting her firmly in the pro column on whether or not to apply to the Jeffersonian. Other pro's had included the possibility of working with Dr. Brennan again as well as getting away from all the Scoobies. A huge con was being in DC itself—they had a good relationship with Hayes but they knew not all the government people who were in the know were happy about all the slayers.

In contrast to that con, though, was that Dawn would get to actually visit with President Hayes more often (he liked her) and that Riley had finally been promoted/retired from active fighting and was stationed in DC. Riley and Sam were expecting and had already asked Buffy to be the Godmother, which, according to Sam, made Dawn an aunt. Living and working in the area would give Dawn a chance to actually be around her adopted niece or nephew as they grew up.

In the end, the choice to move to DC, to try and find work at the Jeffersonian, was almost too easy. The pro's side outweighed the con side in every way and she already had people she liked and respected in the city to help her adjust. So she'd filled out the application, sent her resume and all appropriate documents, and listed Dr. Brennan as a reference, as she'd been told. During a visit to Cleveland, she'd disappeared for about a day, driving to DC to interview with the human resources office at the Jeffersonian. In addition to the people there, she'd also been interviewed by three department heads, including Dr. Soroyan, the head of the department Dr. Brennan worked in. Dr. Soroyan had been the one to ask about her listing the forensic anthropologist on her resume. She'd had to explain how they'd met and that Dr. Brennan had been the one to suggest the Jeffersonian in the first place.

From the soft murmuring they'd all done, Dawn figured the woman didn't often do that which was a HUGE point in her favor. Dr. Brennan was one of the foremost experts in the world on forensic anthropology and to have her recommendation… She'd left the meeting fairly confident she'd get a job and she hadn't been wrong—the next day, Dr. Soroyan and Dr. Carmichael, in the translations office, had both called to offer her a position in their departments.

Dawn had considered both but ultimately chose translations; she loved the written and spoken word and while working with Dr. Brennan would be rather fun, she'd be more comfortable in the translations. Dr. Soroyan had been disappointed but Dawn had suggested she speak to Carmichael about keeping Dawn on retainer when they either needed a translator or they they had an emergency with too much work for her department to handle. The pathologist had been pleased with her willingness and said she'd work with Carmichael to set it up.

That had been a few days ago and Dawn knew the time of reckoning had arrived. She'd sent an email to Giles, outlining her future plans, as well as called Buffy and told her she was moving to DC but didn't specify if it was for the Council or not. Buffy, surprisingly, hadn't asked and just started discussing possible places she could live and what in the Rome house Dawn wanted and what she could not, under any circumstances, take to DC (the contents of Buffy's closet and a few odds and ends made up the majority of that list). In addition to a few nick-knacks and items they'd gotten traveling, Buffy had agreed to Fed-Ex their grandmother's quilt their aunt had given them after Sunnydale collapsed as well as copies of all the pictures of their mother they had.

She hadn't actually told anyone of her plans except Vi and Kamera Ewing. Kamera had been sent to the Council by Oz, since she couldn't remain in the Monastery with her baby brother-turned-werewolf. Oz hadn't wanted to leave her completely alone on the streets and they decided it would be safest for her to come to England. When they'd tested her, she'd proved to be in the above average intelligence range but given her spotty school history, she “knew” about as much as a seventh grader, if that. Dawn had been one of the volunteers to help get the then seventeen year old up to standards. Kamera had finally graduated last spring from the International Council Academy and had been accepted to nearly every college and university she'd applied to.

Vi had understood completely and had wished her luck. She was hoping to get a senior position in one of the new field teams Giles and Buffy were setting up with the latest batch of graduating slayers. School age slayers, when called, were given the choice of either remaining with their families (if they had them) or entering one of the international academies. Once they graduated, they had the choice to go onto college or join a field team. Every class was different on what they'd decide to do—Kamera's graduating class, watchers and slayers alike, had been big on joining field teams; of fifty-three students, only seventeen were going to college. The year before them, only seven girls of fifty-nine had decided to join field teams and they'd all been slayers. It always leaned heavily in one direction or the other; in five graduating classes, they had yet to have an even two way split on post graduating plans.

They'd set up the college system similar to how the US military academies did theirs—the Council paid for college as long as the girls did a certain time of field time as a full-time slayer. The Air Force academy had cadets for four years and they served a minimum of five years; slayers and watchers went to school for four years, they signed a contract to be a field player for two years. Buffy had been the one to put the stipulation of two years of school for every one year as a slayer since being a fighter was ten times harder than being just a student.

It worked in the reverse as well; if any of the field players wanted to go to school later, they had to stay in the field for at least one year. They could take a four year break to go to college and then finish their field time afterwards but the Council found that those who did that were usually the ones who had a really bad, near death experience. Kennedy, having mystically died, had quit field time to go to college. She was half-way through a business degree at Stanford.

The Council also set up a ton of scholarships to help the slayers who wanted nothing to do with field time—though those girls were rather few and far between. Not every slayer was required to join the Council but when introducing their world, they'd always been brutally honest that the slayer would attract demons for the remainder of their lives. At the very least, they needed precautionary training on how to defend themselves and others. Given all that and the opportunities afforded them, most joined the academies.

Dawn knew Vi would get her team leader spot; Giles and Buffy had wanted to make her a field leader for a while but they'd never been able to find a team as unorthodox as she was. So many of the Slayers took their training so seriously that when they got onto the field, they liked things to be by the book. While this was rather good (it usually kept girls alive longer), sometimes you just needed that crazy team to come up with plans that really shouldn't have worked but somehow did. Dawn knew they'd finally found a team who fit the bill and who'd work really well with Vi so she'd be out there soon.

Shaking away from her thoughts as she approached Giles' office, Dawn took a deep breath.

Time to face the music...

~~*~~

“Why am I here again?”

Cam sighed, looking over at Hodgins. He'd been driving everyone in the lab crazy, including his fiancee, ever since the wedding that hadn't been and Zack going off to Iraq. He needed to get out of the lab, hence why they were in one of the nicest apartment buildings in DC, going to drop off a casserole for their newly arrived on-call translator.

“Because I'm your boss and you have to do what I tell you to otherwise I won't pay you,” Cam answered him with a smile. They both paused, looking at each other. She grimaced. “Yeah, that would have worked a lot better if you weren't...”

“Richer than God?” he offered. She rolled her eyes.

“I wanted Dawn for the team, I think she would have fit in really well, much better than the others we've gotten,” she explained. “But she chose to join translations with the idea that she'd help on big cases.”

“And you're still hoping you may be able to entice her to the Squints,” Hodgins summed up. “What's so special about this woman?”

“She's fluent in over twenty-eight spoken languages and she knows over a dozen or so that are written only,” she told him. “She has PhD's in Linguistics, Forensic Anthropology, and Forensic Pathology, a Masters in Forensic Theology, and a Bachelors in Chemistry.”

“Okay, I have three doctorates myself but why so many degrees?” Hodgins asked, clearly intrigued.

“She said she went a little overboard in her studies and since she wasn't paying for it...” she trailed off with a smile as Hodgins chuckled.

“She figured why not go for it all,” he surmised.

“If she could have, I think she would have gotten degrees in everything,” Cam grinned. The elevator stopped and they stepped off. “Alright, top floor...Are these penthouses?”

“These are penthouses,” he agreed. “No wonder we had to show ID's downstairs.”

“Wow,” she murmured, impressed. “A penthouse apartment, enough money to get all those degrees...”

“She comes from money,” Hodgins finished. “I wonder what kind.”

“Kind?”

“Old money, like me, or new money, like a power-ball winner,” he clarified as they found the appropriate door. “I'll know how to deal with her if I can figure that out; there are different approaches for each.”

“O-kay,” Cam muttered, pressing the doorbell. Sometimes, Hodgins could really surprise her. There was a crash and a muffled yelp and then hysterical laughter from inside. The door was yanked open and Cam blinked.

“Hi!” the goth at the door greeted them. “Can I help you?”

“I'm...Dr. Cam Soroyan and this is Dr. Jack Hodgins,” Cam introduced them. “I was looking for Dr. Summers? This is the address I was given.”

“Dr. Soroyan!” Cam watched, somewhat bemused, as the brunette woman lifted her head up from the ground, where she was covered in what looked like a pile of pillows. “Hi, sorry about that, I was...well, you don't need to know what I was doing,” she smiled sheepishly as she got to her feet. “Just that the doorbell startled me.”

The goth at the door stepped aside, ushering them in without actually saying anything. The floor plan was very open, with a loft layout that wasn't uncommon in the really upscale penthouses in the big cities. The floors were gleaming hard-wood, the kitchen counters, what she could see of them anyway, were black marble and the stove, sink, and fridge were all state of the art. Once Dawn got all the boxes unpacked and the furniture actually in their proper place, the apartment was going to be a perfect place to unwind after a long day at work—Cam felt slightly jealous at the thought. Her small condo paled in comparison.

“For some reason, the movers put the box of pillows on top of the bookshelf and Dawn was trying to get it down without hurting herself,” Abby explained easily. She smirked. “It didn't work.”

“Thanks, Abby,” Dawn said dryly. “Make me look like a klutz in front of one of my bosses.”

“Oops?” Abby said, trying to look innocent. Surprisingly, she managed it well.

“Don't worry about it,” Dawn waved her away. She smiled evilly. “I'll just have to remember to tell Spencer about that little incident with Mark and—ooomph!”

Abby, eyes widening, had lurched forward and slapped a hand over Dawn's mouth before she could finish. “Don't you dare!” she hissed, looking around furtively as if she expected this Spencer person to pop up.

“Roo ate” Dawn mumbled through her hand as Cam saw a young man come inside, looking amused and just a touch worried.

“Mark?” he asked, eyebrow raised. This must have been Spencer. Abby squeaked and the man's eyes crinkled, even as he fidgeted at their presence. “You're going to tell me later or I'll tell Gibbs and Hotch.”

“Fine,” Abby sighed after a moment in which they stared at one another. To Dawn, she added, “Thanks a lot.”

“Hey, first impressions and all that,” she argued. “You screwed up mine.”

“Hi, hate to interrupt, but this is rather heavy...” Hodgins broke in. “Where can I set it down?”

“Oh, here, the...counter...” Everyone looked at the space Dawn had motioned at, which was currently covered in papers, books, and several odds and ends that Cam really didn't think belonged in a kitchen. “Or not. Um...”

“Microwave's big enough to hold it,” Spencer said and Hodgins went over with the casserole dish Cam had made him carry. “What kind is it?”

“Pasta Parmesan chicken,” Cam answered. “My own recipe.”

“Thanks, Dr. Soroyan,” Dawn told her. “I really appreciate it. I can cook--”

“Hmph!” Spencer and Abby both snorted.

“--but I tend to make things that others find disturbing,” Dawn finished sheepishly.

“I'll never look at peanut butter the same way again,” Abby said, wrinkling her nose.

Hodgins chuckled, eyes twinkling as he looked around. “Nice place,” he offered. “I'm Dr. Jack Hodgins.”

“Abby Scuito and that's Dr. Spencer Reid,” Abby said, motioning. He the young man gave an awkward little wave. “Are you the Hodgins that wrote that paper on flesh eating beetles?”

“I am, actually,” he said, surprised. “Are you the Abby Scuito who works at NCIS?”

“I am!” she chirped. “You work at the Jeffersonian right, with that FBI agent? Spencer's FBI too—Behavioral Analysis Unit.”

Cam's eye caught the windows and she moved over as Abby, Spencer, and Hodgins began talking about the article. “Oh wow,” she murmured. She could just see the Washington monument in the distance—it was going to be a fantastic view at night, with the monument all lit up.

“Yeah, that was about my reaction when I saw the place,” Dawn said, coming over. “My sister found it and had Abby check it out—she called me the moment she got inside and told me I was taking it. She didn't give me a choice.”

Cam laughed softly. “I wouldn't have either,” she mused. “If you don't mind me asking...”

“They bought it outright,” Dawn explained with a knowing smile. “Well, my adopted dad did anyway. I don't pay rent. Just utilities.”

“Wow,” she said. “I've never met someone who's done that before.”

“All the apartments here are like that actually,” she shrugged. “A little weird but nice at the same time. Its like having a condo.”

“That's amazing,” Cam shook her head. “Adopted dad?”

“My bio-dad is an ass—he neglected the hell out of us and I could have dealt with that, since he left when I was about eleven. But when he didn't show up for mom's funeral...he stopped being my dad. Giles claimed me as his kid a few years back. He's been around since mom and Hank divorced and we moved to Sunnyhell.”

“You mean Sunnydale?”

“Yeah, though Sunnyhell was more appropriate—highest crime rate per capital in the country,” she explained.

“I don't know, I'm from New York...”

“Dr. Soroyan, no offense, but if you look at the statistics...more people ended up dead in Sunnydale than anyplace else in the country,” she broke in. “I mean, the high school had an obituary column, for goddess' sake.”

“Your kidding.” Cam took in Dawn's expression. “So not kidding. Wow.”

“Yeah, not the best place to spend my informative years,” the brunette drawled, eyes twinkling.

“You made it out though,” Cam pointed out. Dawn smiled.

“And a large part of that was because of Giles,” she explained. As an afterthought, she added, “And my sister. And Spike.”

“Dare I ask?” Cam asked, amused. Who named their kid Spike?

“Buffy's ex,” Dawn replied succinctly. “He was the closest thing I had to a best friend and big brother from the time I was fourteen till Sunnydale collapsed, even with the really bad rough patch right as I started my ONLY year at Sunnyhell High. His real name was William.”

“Where is he now?”

“So, a casserole, huh?” Dawn asked, in a transparent attempt to change the subject. Smiling, Cam nodded and let it go.

“Yup,” she agreed. “All you have to do is heat it up and there will be enough for a couple days if its just you.”

“It will be for the next few weeks but my friend Kamera is moving to DC for school in August,” Dawn explained, turning around and heading to the kitchen where Abby was pulling out drinks already. “Who wants casserole?”

~~*~~

“Has anyone seen Cam?” Seeley asked, coming inside. He looked around. “And Bones?”

“They're showing Dr. Summers around,” Angela explained, coming over. “Why do you need them? New case?”

“Possibly,” he agreed, distracted. “Who's Dr. Summers?”

“She's a new translator under Dr. Carmichael,” Angela explained. “But she has degrees in forensic anthropology and pathology so she'll be helping out when we get overloaded. Brennan knew her from Darfur and Cam wanted to show her the set up so she wasn't thrown into the deep end of the pool when she finally gets called on to help. There they are.”

“...It's not that I don't understand where you two are coming from, but I really don't think anyone actually looks at the translations on the exhibits,” Cam was saying as she, Bones, and a young woman who couldn't be much older than Zack approached the platform.

“I do!” the young woman exclaimed. “Why do you think I realized the translations were wrong?”

“And it would look bad for the Jeffersonian if it got out that our translations on the public exhibits were not accurate,” Bones added. “I'm with Dawn, they need to be fixed.”

“Well, you can fight with Carmichael on your own,” Cam said, shaking her head as she swiped her card and the three of them walked up the platform. “I don't want to get in the mid—Dawn, are you okay?”

Seeley shifted uncomfortably as Dr. Dawn Summers stopped in her tracks, all the blood leaving her face as she stared at him in shock.

“Angel?” she whispered, tears coming to her eyes.

“Special Agent Seeley Booth,” he corrected as gently as he could—he wasn't Gordon Gordon but he knew what that expression meant. Dawn stared a few more moments as Bones and Cam looked between them curiously.

“Dawn, are you alright, you've become extremely pale,” Bones said, looking at her in concern. That seemed to break the spell as Dawn looked down and took several deep breaths before looking up at her.

“I'm fine,” she assured the older woman, her clogged voice saying she really wasn't. “He just...You look a LOT like a guy I used to know.”

“I do?” he asked, frowning. She nodded and quickly rummaged in her purse before pulling out a wallet. She flipped it open and handed over a small photo. He accepted it and looked down. His jaw dropped.

“Holy shit!” It was a man who looked almost exactly like him though younger and with a different dress style, standing with a man with platinum blonde hair and a black leather duster. In between them was a much younger looking Dr. Summers; she couldn't have been more than fifteen at the time the photo was taken.

“Yeah, that's why I thought you were Angel there for a minute,” she agreed as Bones peeked at it. She blinked several times.

“You two could be twins, Booth,” she said, tugging the photo from his grasp to show Cam and Angela. “Who is the other man?”

“Spike,” she smiled, shoulders slowly relaxing. “He and Angel were like fire and ice—completely incompatible. But they both loved me so they sat for the damn photo, to quote Xander.”

“Loved?” Angela asked, shaking her head at Seeley's look-alike. And just like that, Dawn closed down, her expression showing intense pain for a fraction of a second before she went blank.

“They're dead,” she said flatly. “Spike didn't make it out of Sunnydale and Angel was murdered about a year later in LA.”

“Did they catch whoever killed him?” Bones asked.

“Bones!” Seeley hissed, missing the way Summers had flinched at the question.

“It's okay, Agent Booth,” Summers told him, looking at him with eyes that really didn't belong on a woman as young as she was. “I know Dr. Brennan well enough to know she didn't mean anything; she's just curious.”

“But I did mean something by the question,” Bones insisted, confused. “I wanted to know if the murderer had been caught.”

“She meant you didn't mean to hurt her emotionally, Brennan,” Angela said quietly. Bones looked uncomfortable at her social misstep.

“Oh, well then, no, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings,” Bones told Summers. The younger brunette smiled, something like fond amusement coming into her eyes. It was marked difference to every other new Squint when Bones did something that was somewhat questionable to socially normal folk.

“No, they were never caught,” Summers said and in an effort to change the subject, she turned to Cam. “So, this is the forensic platform?”

“Yup,” Cam agreed. “Come on, Dr. Brennan and I can show you where everything is in here.”

“Sounds good,” Summers agreed. She looked at Seeley a moment more, accepting the photo back from Angela. Shaking her head, she followed the two older women.

“Did you know this Angel guy?” Angela asked curiously.

“No, why would you think that?” he asked, looking down at her. She shook her head.

“He looked exactly like you, Booth,” she said simply. “That doesn't just...happen.”

“I don't know him,” he said. He glanced past her to where Hodgins was coming inside. “Hey.”

“Booth,” he greeted. “Where is everyone?”

“Cam and Brennan are showing one of the translators around,” Angela began but Hodgins cut her off.

“Dawn?” he asked, looking delighted. “Sweet, I need to talk to her anyway. I had an idea for a new paper I want to run by Abby but I don't have Abby's number. Which way did they go?”

Booth left the two to find the team while he went to go and see what he could dig up on one Dr. Dawn Summers.

And possibly figure out a way to get Bones to stop avoiding him.

~~*~~

“Woah.”

“Its impressive,” Hodgins agreed.

Dawn looked around. “Where's the alter-room?”

“Why? You have a hidden kink for magic?”

“Giles has a doctorate in the occult and I've been a sacrifice a few times,” Dawn told him with a smirk. “I know my way around alters and outdated rituals.”

“What do you mean you were a sacrifice?!” Hodgins demanded, looking startled, as she moved further into the room. She glanced at him as Cam looked up.

“Sacrifice?” she asked. Nearby, Dawn saw Booth and Brennan look over curiously from where they were talking with an older, plump woman.

“The first time, a woman named Glory became convinced my blood could take her back to her home dimension,” she told them matter-of-factly. Best to get this out of the way now instead of later when they inevitably saw her scars. She lifted her green blouse to show the aforementioned slices. Cam, Brennan, and Hodgins looked startled and Booth's face had gone alarmingly blank. She put her shirt back down. “She kidnapped me and one of her idiot followers sliced up my tummy. Not deep enough to spill my guts, but deep enough to release my blood slowly so as not to end the ritual too soon. They also injected me with a blood thinner, to keep me from clotting up. As you can imagine, I'm now a little leery of knives.”

“That was the first time?” Booth asked, an odd look on his face. Reminding herself once again that he wasn't Angel, she shrugged.

“My adopted father is very very wealthy and inherited a dynasty that made a lot of enemies back in the day because they were all egotistical assholes who didn't seem to realize it wasn't 4000 BC anymore,” she told him simply. She paused. “And my sister has a really bad habit of pissing off the wrong people; she doesn't really know when to shut up. If I ever disappear, call Giles. Buffy conspired with him to put in a tracking device in my hip a year ago, after someone decided to kidnap me for ransom for the fifth time.”

“You're joking!” Cam exclaimed. Dawn raised an eyebrow at her and she let out a deep breath. “Never mind, apparently you're not.”

“If you're such a kidnap risk, how'd you get the clearance to work with the Squints, cherie?” the older woman asked. Dawn frowned at her, wondering who she was but ultimately shrugged it off. Probably someone in the legal side of things.

“My security clearance is higher than Booths,” she said smugly. Booth wasn't the only one who was staring at her skeptically. She shrugged. “It's need to know.”

“There is no way you have higher clearance than me,” Booth said firmly. She stared at him, non-plussed.

“Do you have the President's private cell-phone number?”

“No.”

“Do you know what Project Lilac is?”

“No.”

“Then trust me, your clearance isn't anywhere near mine,” she smiled smugly at him. She nearly bit her tongue to keep herself from snickering at the pout Booth was now sporting—he may not be Angel, but seeing that expression on an identical face...she wished she could get a picture, Xander would love it.

“Project Lilac?” Hodgins broke, looking delighted. “I've read a few things about that, said it was completely hush-hush, something to do with a SNAFU in...Sunnydale...”

Dawn valiantly resisted the urge to laugh at the wide-eyed, open mouthed expression that had appeared on the conspiracy theorist's face as he finally connected her with all the “rumors” about her home-town. Turning away from him, she shot Cam a wink and bent down to inspect the silver and bone skeleton.

Let them stew on that!
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