“Get offa me, FREAK!” Dawn struggled under the weight of the man-demon, her fingers groping for the creature’s eyes.
Losing patience with Dawn’s struggles, the man-demon got his right arm free, pulled back his fist and punched Dawn on the side of her head. Seeing stars, Dawn lost consciousness for a moment only to wake up to find the demon lying on top of her and running its tongue across her cheek. Twisting her head, she caught the demon by surprise and felt its tongue slip between her teeth; she bit down as hard as she could. The demon gave a strangled cry of pain as Dawn’s sharp teeth sliced into its tongue.
Tasting the creature’s bitter blood in her mouth, Dawn let go and managed to push the demon off her. As soon as she was free she staggered to her feet, turned and started to run. The demon, recovered with inhuman speed and ran after Dawn bringing her down once again. It dragged her backwards across the forest floor before jumping on top of her once more. Grabbing hold of her hair it smashed her face into the ground.
Tasting her own blood, Dawn tried to crawl away but the demon had her in an iron grip. Time and again the demon pounded her face into the hard ground until once more Dawn saw stars and ceased her struggles. She now lay on her stomach with the demon lying on top of her, it started to pull at her clothes, material started to rip and she felt cool air on her skin. Then the demon’s hot, rank, breath washed over her and she knew she had to fight on, resistance was never futile, Dawn told herself. Even if she ended up dead, she’d fight on until her dying breath, never surrender, never give up.
Managing to turn a little, Dawn hit the demon in the temple with her elbow. Stunned for a second the man-demon relaxed his grip and Dawn fought her way clear. As she tried to crawl from under the creature her hand landed on something cold and hard. Her fingers closing around the stone as she swung it with all her remaining strength.
“I,” gasped Dawn, “have had,” she punctuated her words with blows to the demon’s head, “about,” again the stone rose and fell coming away from the creature’s head wet and sticky, “enough,” bone crunched under her blows, “of you!”
Pausing in her assault, Dawn knelt above the demon panting for breath, the demon lay unmoving but its eyes were still open and watched her with malignant menace. Wouldn’t this fucker ever die? What she needed was a bigger rock. Casting around between the trees, Dawn saw a small pile of boulders lying only a couple of yards away. Dropping her rock, she climbed slowly to her feet and lurched over to the stones. Selecting one she thought big enough for the job; she tried to pick it up. Straining to lift the boulder, she cried out in frustration as it refused to budge.
Once again, gasping for breath, Dawn sidled over to a smaller more manageable looking lump of rock. Clasping it in her hands, she heaved and grunted as she lifted it from its resting place. Staggering over to where the demon lay, she used all her strength to lift the boulder to shoulder height before dropping it on the demon’s head. The rock made a satisfying squelching sound as it crushed the man-demon’s skull.
“Got you, motherfucker!” Dawn tottered away from the now dead demon, she turned and once again plunged into the trees.
Pushing her way between the branches that took swipes at her and tried to catch hold of her ripped and torn clothing; Dawn stumbled out onto what at first glance appeared to be a track. Looking left and right, Dawn saw the narrow railway lines, turning she started to follow the toy sized track hoping against hope that it would lead her to safety.0=0=0=0
Lying on the ground after the demon had butt stroked her, Faith groaned; she could taste blood in her mouth and she could hear a high pitched ringing in her ears. Shaking her head to try and clear it new pain lanced through her jaw. Her hand went automatically to her face, her fingers probed inside her mouth as she dribbled blood over her chin. Something loose came away in her fingers and she held them and ‘it’ up to her eyes, she saw a blood stained tooth between her thumb and forefinger.
Roaring in anger, Faith pushed herself to her feet, she turned to confront the demon who’d hit her. It was slowly limping across the clearing to where its comrade still stood with a look of pained surprise on its face and a knife sticking out of its arse. Faith struck the demon full speed in the back driving it head long into a tree. Hearing the dull *THUNK!* as its head hit the tree truck, she staggered back only to trip over the gun that the demon had dropped when she’d attacked it. Picking up the weapon, Faith looked up to see the man-demon stagger towards her, one clawed hand reaching for her while the other clutched at the gash in its forehead. Faith squeezed the trigger of the weapon, nothing happened.
“Oh, fuck, shit!” she groaned in frustration.
Her fingers found the safety catch and twisted it to ‘Fire’. This time when Faith pulled the trigger the gun barked in her hands and rounds stitched themselves across the creature’s chest. Emptying the entire magazine into the hybrid, Faith watched in satisfaction as the creature slowly collapsed to its knees and then fell onto its face, dead. Throwing the now useless gun to one side, she turned to deal with the other demon that was stubbornly refusing to die.
Advancing on the man-demon, Faith was too beaten about to really notice the creature raise its arm. Something like a bone dart flew from a hole in the demon’s wrist hitting her in the shoulder. Knocked back on her heels from the force of the hit, she cried out in pain.
“Fuck sake!” Faith groaned and clutched at the wound with her free hand, “Don’t you ever give up?”
Lurching towards the man-demon, Faith kicked it in the chest forcing it to sit down heavily…on the knife forcing it further into its body. Eyes wide with shock the demon stared at Faith for a moment before its eyes went blank and Faith knew she’d finally killed the fucker!
“Gotta find Dawnie,” mumbled Faith again as she turned away from the clearing.
Heading off in the direction that she’d thought she’d heard Dawn’s faint cries for help, Faith staggered along a path the tip of the dart grating against the bones in her shoulder with every step she took. Finally she sat down and rested her back against a tree trunk. Looking at the end of the dart she clasped it in her right hand and pulled. A cry of pain escaped her lips as the dart slipped from her shoulder. For a moment Faith just sat there with her eyes tightly closed as she slowly regained control of her breathing.
Already she could feel some of her aches and pains start to fade, soon her slayer metabolism would kick in slowing any bleeding to a mere trickle and pumping new energy into her body. She’d feel like hell tomorrow, but at least the chances were she’d be alive to feel like hell. Dawn, however, might not. Dawn could be dead right now. Faith opened her eyes and shook her head, she couldn’t allow that to happen. She couldn’t allow that to happen because it was Dawn and because Faith loved her, she realised that now. The girl who’d not allowed herself to love anyone had finally succumbed. Pushing herself to her feet, Faith smiled wryly to herself, maybe she was gay; or at least ‘bi’, perhaps it was just something about Dawn. Whatever it was she had to find her and save her and…well, she’d see what happened next.0=0=0=0
Sobbing quietly to herself, Dawn limped along the railway track. Now the adrenaline was starting to wear off the pain in her leg and ankle from being caught in the trap was increasing with every step. Very soon she had no breath left for crying, each step was agony it felt like red hot daggers had been driven into the joint between her leg and hip. Very soon she was dragging her leg behind her, stumbling against a tree she hung onto it for a moment to try and catch her breath.
Looking up, Dawn wiped the tears from her eyes and tried to match what she was seeing with what she remembered of the map back at the lodge. First she couldn’t remember a railroad line and she definitely couldn’t remember the buildings that towered over the forest only twenty yards ahead of her. Launching herself with a push and a grunt, Dawn staggered on towards the buildings. They looked majorly industrial, massive concrete structures that loomed out of the trees with forbidding menace. Laughing slightly hysterically, she pushed herself onwards. Where there were building there would be a phone, perhaps even people who’d look after her until Faith turned up.
“Oh my god!” Dawn stopped and turned to face back the way she’d come, “Faith!”
In her panic to get to safety and her pain, she’d forgotten about Faith. Where was she? Was she still alive? Dawn tried to sniff back her tears as she thought about what might have happened to her friend. Faith who was so much cooler than her sister and way more fun. Faith who treated her like an equal and even wanted her help with stuff. Faith who was sexy and pretty and had she mentioned, oh so hot? For a moment Dawn forgot the pain in her leg, the multitude of cuts and bruises that covered her body; she remembered the feel of Faith’s body against her own. How she’d felt safe and loved in the older woman’s arms, how she wanted to feel that way again.
Standing in indecision, Dawn couldn’t make up her mind what to do. Should she go back into the trees and try to find Faith or go on to the building and look for a phone. One step towards the trees convinced her of the route she should take. Dawn screamed as fire lanced through her body and she nearly fell to the ground. Only stopping herself from sprawling across the tracks by grasping hold of a tree, panting she looked towards the buildings. Beginning to doubt that she’d even make it the couple of dozen yards to the first building Dawn took a deep breath; pushed herself off from the tree and hobbled towards the factory or whatever it was.0=0=0=0
The journey between the tree and the little concrete hut would remain a mystery for Dawn. Later she could never remember how she’d managed to drag herself those few yards to the little security post at the edge of the factory. However she managed it, she had got there now and she steadied herself in the doorway gasping for breath. Her eyes registered a desk, chair, some old newspapers and most importantly, a telephone. Throwing herself into the chair she grabbed the phone and pulled it towards her. Scrabbling at the instrument with her fingers she lifted the receiver to her ear and dialled for the emergency services. Eyes wide with horror, Dawn listened to the high pitched buzz coming from the earpiece.
“Oh god!” Dawn gasped the line must be down; only then did she realise what had gone wrong, in her fear and panic she’d dialled nine-one-one instead of nine-nine-nine.*
Starting again she carefully dialled the correct number, she listened as the phone rang once, twice and then there was a calm Scottish woman’s voice asking her which service she required.
“Er, ambulance, police,” the words tumbled from Dawn’s mouth in their hurry to be spoken, “I’m-I’m in some sort of factory, in the woods, there’re men with guns following me…” Dawn sobbed into the mouth piece, “I-I think they’ve killed my girlfriend…”
“Don’t worry dear,” came the calm voice, “now, can you tell me where you are?”
“No…” Dawn moaned into the receiver, “I don’t know, we where lost and these guys wanted to…”
“A factory in the woods you say?” the woman continued.
“Y-Yeah,” Dawn tried to get control of herself, self pity and losing control weren’t going to help.
“Sounds like the old, Blue Circle cement works to me,” the woman’s business-like voice helped to calm Dawn’s nerves, “Look stay where you are I’ll have someone with you in…” the line went dead.
Staring at the receiver in horror, Dawn slowly put it back in its cradle.
“Ohgodohgodohgod!” she muttered quietly as she heaved herself out of the chair and pushed herself towards the door.
Once again steadying herself in the doorway, Dawn looked out at the deserted factory. There it stood with an evil grin on its face, no doubt imagining what it’d do to Dawn’s soft, defenceless flesh. Giving a short, high pitched scream, Dawn hobbled from the hut and started to make her way further into the jumble of buildings. Hearing the man-demon’s sneering laughter behind her, she threw herself through the first doorway she came to.
Pausing to suck down some air, Dawn found herself in a big dark room. It smelt of oil, grease and damp. A stairway leading up to the next floor called to her; she didn’t need to be asked twice. Half way up the stairs, Dawn paused to see the man-demon standing in the doorway; she noted the rifle in his hands, his ragged fatigues, the ammunition pouches and knives hanging from off its harness. The way it stood in the doorway not bothering to come after her, the contempt in its eyes told Dawn that she was as good as dead.
Why bother struggling anymore? She might as well sit down let the monster do whatever it wanted to her, she’d soon be dead and it would all be over. Closing her eyes tightly, Dawn felt the tears squeeze from under her eyelids. No, that was what the creature wanted her to do, that’s probably what her sister expected her to do. Buffy would never treat her like an adult until she showed her just how strong she could be. Heaving herself up the stairs again and keeping one eye on the demon, Dawn stumbled onwards and upwards.
Leaving its rifle by the door, the demon walked slowly over to the foot of the stairs. For a moment he watched the struggling girl on the stairs above him before opening his mouth wide. Looking back, Dawn saw the demon standing there, she felt slightly insulted that it didn’t think it needed its weapon to catch her, then it opened its mouth. Trying to move faster, Dawn saw the little blue light at the back of the demon’s throat and knew exactly what that meant.
Hurling herself the last couple of steps to the next floor, Dawn felt the heat of the flames as they passed above her. A cry of alarm escaped her own throat as she crawled across the floor towards a pile of long wooden boxes. Maybe she could hide, perhaps there’s be something in the boxes that could help her fight the demon, perhaps she was going to die whatever she did.
Crawling frantically across the floor, Dawn threw herself behind the first pile of boxes just as the demon’s head came level with the floor. Once again, Dawn felt the heat of the flame as fire washed over her; she smelt her hair singe as the ends shrivelled in the heat. Desperately her fingers struggled with the big metal catches that held the boxes closed. It was only then that she noticed the writing on the side of the boxes.
‘Palisade Defence’ it said, and then something in a language that she couldn’t read, it looked like Russia or some other Slavic language. So, this must be where the demon’s had made their home after the Palisade plan to ‘terminate’ their experiments had failed, and Dawn had run unerringly into the monster’s lair. Slowly the silence registered in her mind, she looked up and saw the demon sneering down at her.
“Oh crap!” Dawn tried to push herself across the floor and away from her tormentor, “I-I don’t suppose we could talk about this?”
The demon moved to cut off any hope Dawn had of escape, sighing resignedly she stopped moving.
“No,” she shook her head sadly, “I didn’t think there was.”
Looking up at the demon defiantly, Dawn tried to put on a brave face.
“Come on then,” her voice was surprisingly steady now she’d realised there was no escape, she’d not beg for her life, “lets get this over with. Shall we start with the sexual torture, followed by rape and finally the slow lingering death?”
The demon slowly opened its mouth until Dawn could see the flame at the back of its throat.
“Okay,” Dawn laughed in the creature’s face, one last act of defiance, “going straight to the agonisingly, fiery death then?”
Dawn closed her eyes and waited; she screamed as the room echoed to the sound of the demon’s rifle firing. Opening her eyes she looked up to see bullets ripping the demon’s body apart. The creature’s arms flew out from its side as its knees started to give way. It jerked in a strange sort of dance as each bullet smashed into it body sending gobbets of flesh and blood flying in all directions. Eventually a bullet hit the reservoir that stored whatever it used to fuel its personnel flame thrower. There was a terrific *BOOM!* as the demon exploded and lumps of burning demon flesh landed on and around Dawn.
Screaming, Dawn tried to knock the smouldering lumps of flesh from her singed and smoking clothes. Suddenly she felt strong hands grab hold of her and she was lifted into the air and pulled out of the danger zone and towards the stairs.
“Dawn! Dawnie!?” came a familiar voice, “Are ya okay?”
“Faith?” Dawn found herself looking into the bruised and blood smeared face of her friend, “Oh god, Faith,” Dawn buried her face in Faith’s hair, “I thought I was going to die...I thought I’d never see you again.”
“Hey,” Faith stopped at the top of the stairs, “I couldn’t leave ya here, I…”
Suddenly, words were meaningless as they looked into each others eyes. Slowly their lips met as they kissed passionately there amongst the smoke, flames and barbequed demon chunks. They only broke apart as the sound of sirens came to their ears.
“What the…!” Faith looked around in surprise.
“I called the police,” Dawn informed her.
“Cool,” Faith grinned and started to help Dawn down the stairs and out into the sunshine of a new day.0=0=0=0Epilogue.Dawn and Faith’s Apartment, several days’ later.
Running up the stairs, Buffy searched in her bag for the keys to Dawn’s flat. She’d arrived back from LA early that morning and had just heard the news about what had happened to her sister from Giles. After yelling at him for not calling her sooner, she’d got Maggie McBride, one of the slayer instructors, to drive her to Middlesbrough and Dawn’s apartment. Getting to the door, Buffy used the keys to get in; rushing into the living room she found it empty.
“Dawn?” she cried but got no answer.
This just went to show what happened if Dawn was sent out on missions, Buffy had never liked it but Dawn had insisted. Walking over to Dawn’s bedroom door, she opened it without knocking. The room was in semi-darkness but her eyes adapted quickly; she saw movement over on the bed.
“Dawn?” Buffy called once more.
Seeing Dawn sit up in bed, Buffy frowned at the cuts and bruises on her sister’s face. Her hair looked shorter and her shoulders were bare as she held the sheet up to her chest. Puzzled, Buffy was just about to ask her how she felt when she noticed something stir under the bedclothes beside her sister.
“Dawn?” Buffy asked in a low threatening voice, not only had her sister got herself injured but she was also in bed with a boy!
“Erm, Buffy, you’re back,” Dawn didn’t exactly sound thrilled to see her sister.
“Dawn…” Buffy opened her mouth to start to demand an explanation when her eyes were drawn to the head that appeared from under the covers next to her sister. “FAITH!?”
“B?” Faith replied sleepily.
“What the…?” Buffy was about to ask what the hell was going on but words failed her and she just stood there doing goldfish impressions.
“Buffy…” Dawn said to Buffy’s departing back, “I can explain…” she heard the front door slam, “honest…”
“Don’t sweat it,” Faith sat up in Dawn’s bed, “she’ll get over it.”
“Yeah, ‘spose,” Dawn didn’t sound convinced.
“Tell y’what,” Faith swung her legs out of bed and stood up.
“What?” Dawn gazed at Faith drinking in the hotness that was her girlfriend’s naked body.
“First thing,” still naked Faith headed for the bedroom door, “we get Harris to change the locks.”The End.
*: Since writing this fic I’ve heard that in most parts of the UK it is possible to phone the emergency services by dialing 911 as well as 999. I think it was on BBC Radio 4, so it must be true.