Disclaimer: I neither own nor make a profit from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, or Supernatural.
Challenge: The Never Existed Challenge by littleoldme
Pairings: Dawn/Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester/Jo Harvelle
Timeline: Begins roughly five years preseries for Supernatural, during The Gift for BtVS, and roughly episode 16; Sleep Tight of season 3 for Angel.
Summary: Nobody remembers Dawn ever existed in the wake of Buffy's swan dive in The Gift. Or a series of accidents lead to Dawn's arrival in a strange new world and her immersion in the hunting community.
Author's Note: Uh… I'm not really sure how to describe what I've got going through my head. I'll admit, when I read the challenge a thousand and one possibilities ran through my mind. This is the one I finally settled on. Now, I'll admit that this is perhaps not quite what littleoldme had in mind, but I think it fits the challenge relatively well.
It took Dawn most of the walk back home to figure out what had happened-what had probably happened, she mentally corrected. She didn't know for sure.
When Dawn had managed to climb down the unstable platform, Willow and Xander and Giles had been huddled together, standing over Buffy's body. Dawn had had to walk past Ben's body to get to them. It was when she reached Willow and Xander that things had gone downhill.
None of them had recognized Dawn at all. At first they'd assumed she was one of Glory's lunatic victims. Then they'd demanded to know if she was one of Glory's minions. When Dawn had seen Willow begin to center herself so that she could cast a spell, she'd made a break for it. Dawn had no desire to be hit with one of Willow's spells, which went wrong more often than they went right.
By the time she'd made it home, Dawn had come to the realization that whatever had implanted knowledge of her into the memories of the Scoobies-and likely the world at large-had to have been tied to Buffy. With Buffy dead, nobody remembered that Dawn had ever existed.
She couldn't stay here. She couldn't stay with people who didn't remember her, who thought she was possibly evil and would doubtless throw her out first chance they got. And all Dawn could think about was what Buffy had done after she'd sent Angel to hell. If Buffy could survive on her own, so could she, Dawn decided.
There wasn't much time before the Scoobies would return, Dawn reminded herself. It was easy enough to sneak into the house. Once inside she went up to the bathroom and took a quick shower-she didn't know when she'd next be able to and it was worth the risk of discovery. Once clean she carefully stitched the wounds on her stomach closed and bandaged them and her wrists, which had ligature marks that had broken the skin. With bandages around her wrists like that, it looked like she'd attempted suicide, but Dawn didn't care. Finally she dressed her feet-walking several miles barefoot had not been kind to them.
In a towel, Dawn went to her room to get dressed, only to stop short. Her room wasn't there. Well, technically her room still existed, but it wasn't a bedroom, it was a storage room. Dawn took a deep, shuddering breath and picked up a backpack on a metal frame with an old fashioned bedroll attached to the bottom, doubtless meant for camping before turning around and heading for Buffy's room instead.
Dawn didn't like scavenging her sister's possessions, but she didn't have much of a choice in the matter. She strapped several knives to her body and stuffed a battle axe and a sheathed sword into the backpack. After a moment's thought Dawn pulled on socks, a pair of Buffy's underwear-the thought of which made Dawn uncomfortable-and tried to find a bra which would fit, unsuccessfully. Giving up on finding a bra, Dawn tried to find a pair of pants which would fit. Unfortunately, the pants were all too small to fit over her hips and simply too short for her to wear anyway. With a mental growl Dawn instead raided Buffy's closet, picking out a loose knee length skirt and a tank top. Now knowing what would and wouldn't fit, Dawn stuffed roughly a pair of rubber soled flats she could run in, half a dozen skirts, four dresses, a half dozen shirts, two long sleeved shirts, two cardigans, two pairs of leggings, three nightgowns, and a dozen pairs of socks into the backpack. There wasn't much room left, but she managed to fit medical supplies and basic toiletries into the bag. Just before she left she put on a pair of sneakers which looked rather bad with her skirt, but Dawn didn't really care.
On her way out of the house, Dawn went into each room, searching for every bit of money she could find. It wasn't much-only about a hundred dollars-but it was better than nothing.
It hurt more than she wanted to admit, but Dawn managed to walk to the bus station. There she bought a ticket on the next bus to LA and sat down to wait.
Some part of her mind knew that she should have some sort of reaction to this. She should be devastated. She should be hysterical. Another part of her mind knew that it hadn't sunk in yet, that when she was someplace she felt safe, it would hit her like a ton of bricks.
Once in LA, Dawn took the time to go to a Sears and pick up twenty dollars worth of bras and two six packs of panties-granny panties, admittedly, but since Dawn didn't know when she'd next be able to buy some she went for durable rather than sexy. She almost gave in to the urge to buy some pants but managed to resist. Dawn simply didn't have the money for it.
Dawn spent most of the day downtown looking for a job under the table, to little avail. She'd no identification, no social security number, which made it difficult. Defeated, Dawn went to get dinner near ten in the evening.
After eating, Dawn had intended to continue her job search, at least until she felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. It was the oddest feeling and if asked, Dawn would not have been able to describe it, save that it felt almost like the portal Glory-well Doc, really-had opened with her blood.
Dawn felt the blood drain from her face. Before she had a chance to think about what she was doing, she grabbed her backpack and set off on foot, letting the feeling lead her through back alleys she normally would never have dared to enter, even during the day and under a bridge. Dawn wasn't sure why she was following this feeling, only that she wanted-no, needed to find where it was coming from.
And suddenly she turned a corner and saw something that looked like a normal night on the Hellmouth. There was a woman in front of several heavily armed men-soldiers, maybe?-facing off against four figures. It took Dawn a moment to realize that the man in the center held a gun. Behind the man with the gun were a woman and a man with a bundle in his arms, both very careful to keep their car at their back. Several feet away was a humanoid demon in flowing robes. The feeling was coming from the demon, Dawn realized. (1)
It was almost painful to watch the demon, so she turned her gaze to the man with a bundle-a moving bundle-in his arms. She should take a better look at the others involved-at least try to figure out what was happening-but it seemed that she couldn't tear her eyes off that moving bundle. The man was threatening to kill the bundle.
'Oh dear lord,' Dawn thought to herself. 'That's a baby,'
The demon raised its arms and announced, "Lekko najine forkahdio!"
Dawn felt her knees buckle as the demon tore a hole in the dimensional barriers, opening a portal of some sort. The demon babbled about Quor Toth and hell dimensions and how the baby needed to die or Earth would be sucked into Quor Toth as Dawn tore off her backpack and pulled desperately searched through it until her hand hit the sword. She unsheathed the sword and pulled it out of the bag before closing the backpack and putting it back on. Her broadsword couldn't do much against soldiers armed with guns, but it was the best weapon she had on her.
The demon opened the portal a little wider in response to something-Dawn hadn't really been paying attention. Then the man with the baby made a break for it.
Suddenly all curiosity coalesced into an innate knowledge that that man, that baby could not go through that portal. She didn't know how she knew-it wasn't because of that demon's bragging, rather because of some instinct-but she knew that that portal led someplace terrible. Dawn completely disregarded how she knew the portal led to a bad place-she'd figure it out some other time.
And she reacted. Something-some unnamed part of her that felt almost like the handful of times she'd cast spells-reached out and grabbed hold of the portal. And then she was being pulled through along with the man and the baby.
"Ow," groaned Dawn as she pushed herself off the ground, silently grateful that she'd managed to keep hold of her backpack and sword.
Dawn first mentally evaluated her injuries-it didn't feel like her stitches had popped, which was a good thing-and then looked around. She was in a clearing in some strange forest with skeletal trees. Above her was a blood red sky and across from her was the man, who was pulling himself to his feet. It took Dawn a little longer to find the baby, which had apparently been dropped. It was crying and Dawn could only breathe a sigh of relief. At least the fall hadn't killed it.
She pushed herself to her feet and brushed off her skirt, wincing at the pain in her leg. The entire left side of her left leg and hip, and, she noticed, her left shoulder and upper arm were covered in road rash and dirt. Well, it wasn't bleeding too badly, she supposed, although Dawn had little doubt her body would be a mess of bruises come morning.
The man leaned down to pick up the baby and Dawn reacted, speaking before she had a chance to think things through. "Don't even think about touching that baby!"
"Are you with Wolfram and Hart?" he asked, edging toward her.
Dawn dropped her backpack and lifted her sword so that the point was a foot from the man's throat, settling into a defensive stance. Spike had been teaching her to use a sword for the past year, though she wasn't by any means an expert. "I have no idea what you're talking about."
"Now really, there's no reason to point that sword at me," he said.
"No way in hell. You threatened to kill that baby."
"We are in hell," he pointed out. He moved toward her. "My son needs me."
"Back off," she growled.
And then she was on her back and her sword was gone from her hands. Dawn wasn't quite sure how it had happened, but the man had simultaneously disarmed and tripped her. She wheezed as the air was knocked from her lungs. Dawn was still wheezing when he landed on her. He punched her once in the stomach and a second time in the face. Everything became gray around the edges. It was a struggle, but Dawn managed to think well enough to try to reach for the knife strapped to her right thigh.
Somehow he grabbed her wrist a moment before she managed to untangle her skirt to get to the knife and pinned it above her head. The realization that the man was going to kill her only made Dawn struggle that much harder, clawing at his face with her free hand and attempting to kick him. Fear shot through her when she realized that her attempts to kick had resulted in the man settling between her legs.
The blood drained from her face upon feeling certain portions of his anatomy upon her thigh. Wild with terror she redoubled her efforts. And then he managed to grab her other wrist.
With both her wrists pinned, Dawn reacted, slamming her forehead into the man's face. Dawn felt his teeth dig in to her forehead, but she ignored that. The head but had hit his nose as well. The man flinched, allowing Dawn to rip her wrists free. Before she had a chance to think about what she was doing she reached down the waist of her skirt and pulled out the knife. It wasn't until her knife was buried in the man's stomach that she knew what she had done. Dawn tightened her grip on the knife and pulled it up, disemboweling the man.
Shaking, Dawn pushed the man-the soon to be dead man-off of her. The man let out a moan of pain. Dawn sat up, examining the man. He wouldn't survive this injury-at least, not without medical care. She pulled the knife out of his stomach and stabbed him in the heart. Better to end his pain now than to leave him to a die a slow death.
She startled back as his eyes turned black. And then some sort of black smoke came out of the man's mouth. It circles around Dawn once before leaving. Maybe it was normal for Quor Toth. So much had happened in so short a period of time that it almost didn't register to Dawn what had happened. (2)
Dawn didn't know how long she sat there, watching the man die, but eventually the sound of a baby crying broke through the fog in her mind. Dawn stumbled to her feet and limped over to the child, only to stop short. She was covered in blood and other bodily fluids. The baby needed her, but she couldn't touch it while she was like this.
Clumsily Dawn returned to her bag and striped, leaving her only clean clothing, her socks and shoes on. Dawn carefully used her soiled clothing to removed most of the blood. Then she dressed herself in a new bra and panties, a knee length skirt, a tank top and a button up shirt which would hopefully cover most of her injuries.
As clean as she was going to be, Dawn went over to the child and sat down before lifting it into her lap and checking it for noticeable injuries. Dawn left the diaper in place, as she didn't have a replacement. Carefully, she made a sling by tying the blanket's corners around her and over one shoulder before she gently placed the child in the sling. Dawn knew she would need her hands free.
Absently Dawn began to hum the lullaby she'd learned from her paternal grandmother-the only member of her father's family worth anything. Dawn did her best to calm the child as she gathered her sword and sheathed it, then placed it back into her backpack. Dawn used her ruined clothing to clean her knife before putting the knife back in its sheath. She put her backpack on and stood.
She needed to get out of this dimension, preferably before any of the natives discovered she and the baby were there. Unfortunately there was only one thing she could think to do.
Dawn took a look around to make sure she had everything, leaving only her soiled clothing. Then she wrapped her arms around the child protectively.
Closing her eyes, Dawn centered herself. Once calm, she reached out with her senses, mentally begging for something, anything which might lead out of Quor Toth. There were… strings of magic-no, not magic, something else, something that she'd felt far too much of in the past twenty four hours-leading, pulling every which way. Dawn followed the strings with her mind until she found one that led somewhere that felt like home. She wasn't sure why it felt like home, or even how she knew what home felt like, but she decided it was her best bet.
This time, when she reached out with the not-magic inside her, she did so hesitantly, gently. The last thing she wanted was to be dragged along the ground or fall when she had a baby in her arms. A moment after her not-magic connected with the string, Dawn felt something pull her. Dawn's eyes snapped open and she stumbled slightly when she landed, but was otherwise fine.
Cautiously, Dawn looked around. It was the same bridge, the same time of night, but there was nobody in sight and the car was gone.
Was she even in the right dimension? Dawn let out a sigh. There was no way to know for right now. She'd figure it out in the morning.
The first thing to do, Dawn supposed, was to find some baby supplies, and then a motel. She could go to a public library in the morning-if there were even public libraries in this dimension. For a moment, one short moment, Dawn considered leaving the baby as a hospital. And then she remembered that she had no idea what this dimension was like, and even less of an idea of how children were treated here. There was no way in hell she could leave the baby in a hospital.
Dawn made her way back to the road and found a Starbucks relatively quickly. There was a teenage boy maybe a year or two older than her behind the counter and a group of teenagers at a table in one corner. The boy behind the counter gave her this look of horror that made it clear that she looked like a mess.
"Are you alright?" demanded the boy. "Do you want me to call the police?"
"N-no, thank you," said Dawn. She clutched the baby closer while her mind raced. Decision made, she looked down shyly, as if hiding behind her hair. "I just-I just need to use the bathroom."
"Yeah… yeah, sure," stuttered the boy. "Here's the key. The ladies room is down the hall on the right."
"Thank you," mumbled Dawn, taking the offered key.
Once in the bathroom, Dawn locked the door behind her and turned to look at her reflection in the mirror, only to wince. Well that settled that. Until she healed, it would probably be best to act like an abused woman who'd taken her child and left her man.
Dawn placed the baby on the changing table and wrapped it in its blanket before securing the baby with the little seatbelt. Once the baby was secure, Dawn stripped, leaving only her socks and shoes on-there was no way she was taking either off in this bathroom.
First Dawn washed the blood and dirt out of her hair in the sink. Then she wet down several paper towels and first rinsed off the blood. She did the process again, this time with wet paper towels with soap worked into them. Gently she washed out each of her wounds, careful not to disturb the bandages on her stomach. The ones around her wrists were a total loss. Once the soap was rinsed off, Dawn pulled out her-well, it had been Buffy's, really-first aid kit. She used hydrogen peroxide to clean her wounds, dried the peroxide off and then began to bandage herself, taping gauze over the various scabbed over road burns. Her wrists were bandaged and then she carefully applied butterfly bandages to the wound on her forehead caused by the man's teeth. This was about as good as it was going to get, Dawn decided before dressing again.
Dawn grabbed the baby and her backpack and still limping slightly left the bathroom. "Thanks," mumbled Dawn, giving the key back to the boy.
"Are you sure you don't want me to call the cops?"
"Yeah, thanks anyway." Dawn shifted her weight to her right leg. "Do you know where there's a Walmart or something nearby?"
"There's a Rite Aide a block over," said the boy. "Just turn left when you get outside and make a right at the next light."
Dawn walked out the door, bumping into a man on her way out. Dawn slipped the wallet she'd just stolen into her makeshift sling and left it there until she was around the corner. She pulled the cash-roughly two hundred dollars-out of the wallet and tossed the rest into a garbage can. She couldn't use the credit cards and had even less use for the driver's license.
Dawn hadn't had much cause to use what she'd learned during that Halloween when everybody had been turned into their costumes by Ethan Rayne, but she still remembered the skills. She'd dressed as Carmen Sandiego and Janice had dressed as Catwoman because they'd thought that it was wrong to dress as anything other than a bad guy on Halloween. Most of the master criminal's skills were not the sort of thing Dawn wanted to admit to knowing, but the knowledge of how to pick pockets and successfully shop lift was something she was grateful she knew now.
She grabbed a shopping cart and headed toward the baby aisle. She found a package of diapers that were meant for infants-the baby couldn't be much more than a month old, Dawn estimated. Baby wipes and a plastic padded changing mat went in next, along with baby powder and a bottle of baby soap. Dawn thought about getting a proper baby sling, but decided against it. She wasn't sure how long she'd have the baby and she didn't want to waste money. Instead she found a simple thin wool blanket that would be much easier than the baby's own yellow fleece blanket to tie into a sling.
Dawn bit her lip, trying to figure out what else she needed. There was an extra bag in her backpack which must have originally been used for hold the missing tent. It would be easy enough to use it as a diaper bag and could be attached to the metal frame, so she vetoed the idea of getting a diaper bag. That left only a couple changes of clothing for the baby, formula, some dish towels, a binky, and bottles. Oh, and she needed to find replacements for the medical supplies she'd already used.
It was easy enough to find four little onesies with and without covered feet that were unisex and looked like they would be only a touch large on the baby. She winced at the price but put them in the shopping cart. A pack of three dish towels were next-as Dawn well knew, towels were invaluable when taking care of a baby, as they were prone to spitting up and making other messes. A binky with a clip which could be used to attach it to the baby's clothing was next.
Finally Dawn found herself in front of the bottles and formula. Part of it was that it was expensive and would take up space she didn't really have. She had to carry everything, Dawn reminded herself. And part of it was that even now, she knew that she wasn't going to give up this baby. Dawn looked down at the baby, and could not help but think of the scene she'd stumbled upon. How could she abandon the baby at the hospital when she'd no idea why soldiers or demons were interested in it? If she was going to take the baby, then there was reason to get formula or bottles.
Tara had been a traditionally trained Wicca, which meant that she wasn't just a magic user, but also a trained midwife. Tara had seen Dawn's magical potential and begun to train her soon after they'd met, when Dawn had just been thirteen. It wasn't that hard to induce lactation with a touch of magic-the spell was meant for wet nurses or women whose milk simply hadn't come in. Dawn could manage the spell easily enough, and it would certainly make more sense than lugging formula and bottles around or constantly having to sterilize bottles and nipples.
That decided Dawn left the baby section. While trying to find the bandages she needed, Dawn picked the pocket of another man-she well knew she didn't have enough money to pay for everything in the cart and a motel room that evening. Dawn returned the wallet minus the cash without the man being any the wiser.
Dawn paid for the everything and asked for directions to a supermarket that was still open. She walked three blocks to a small corner market. Dawn gratefully dumped her shopping bags in a cart and went inside. It was easy enough to find the herbs and other supplies she'd need for the spell, and picked up some extra for a separate spell, for just in case the baby had never breast fed before and needed encouragement.
Finally Dawn called a cab company and caught a ride to a motel. Dawn paid for a room for two nights-she couldn't afford anything more than that. Once in the room Dawn locked the deadbolt and put in the chain. Then Dawn dumped her bags by the door and put the baby on the bed, surrounding it with pillows so that it couldn't roll off the bed.
First Dawn unpacked her backpack and pulled out the tent bag. Dawn piled the various baby supplies into the bag and connected it to the aluminum frame. Then she folded and repacked her clean clothing. Dawn disconnected the bedroll and took a drawer out of the dresser. She could sleep with the baby in the bed, but Dawn was well aware that there would be a danger of her rolling over in her sleep and crushing it. So instead she used the bedroll to pad the drawer so that it could be used as a makeshift bassinet.
Once everything was set up Dawn began to run the water in the tub. She didn't want to bathe the baby in the tub, but the sink was simply too small. While the first four inches of the tub filled with water, Dawn undressed the baby and took off the dirty diaper. The baby was a boy, and Dawn breathed a mental sigh of relief that she could now refer to the baby as something other than an it in her head. She gently washed him and carried him wrapped in a towel back to the bed. Dawn lay the baby on the bed.
Then she went through his clothing, looking for anything that might identify him. She found a "C" embroidered into the edge of the blanket, which had a cross stitch pattern around the borders. She supposed that meant that his name began with a C.
"Hmm, so are you a Connell or a Cormack, or a Colin or a Calvin? Or maybe you're a Connor," she said, picking out a onesy and a diaper. "I suppose I'll call you Connor until I know. It was my grandfather's name, you know."
Dawn dressed the fussy baby and put him back on the bed. He was probably hungry. Dawn cleared off the table and began to draw on it with a grease pencil. She put a bowl in the middle of the ritual circle and began to add herbs and a shot from a bottle of whiskey she'd stolen from the market as she chanted in Gaelic. There was a pull of magic when the spell was completed successfully and then Dawn drank everything in the bowl before she had a chance to second guess what she was doing. There was a sudden soreness in her breasts and then she felt slightly lightheaded. Dawn looked down her shirt and immediately noticed that her breasts had grown at least a cup size and that the cups of her bra were damp.
As Tara always said, healing spells always went wrong. But this spell only encouraged the body to do what it did naturally. It was possible to induce lactation in a woman who had not given birth, even without magic, though it was rare to do so.
Dawn stripped off her shirt and bra and grabbed a towel from the bathroom before heading over to the bed. She balanced the baby in her arms and tried to remember everything Tara had shown a new mother on breastfeeding. Dawn had often gone with Tara to visit her patients, as it kept her away from various supernatural dangers. Although Dawn was a bit surprised at how quickly Connor latched on to her nipple. She winced slightly when Connor bit it, although as he had no teeth, it wasn't all that bad. After that initial bite, he settled down. When Connor let go of her nipple, Dawn lay the towel over her shoulder and carefully burped him. The towel caught most of the spit up and Dawn cleaned up what was left, around his mouth. (3)
She settled Connor into the makeshift bassinet and grabbed her nightgown before heading into the bathroom. She wet down a washcloth and carefully cleaned herself around her various wounds and washed her hair by leaning over the bathtub and using the removable shower head. Once clean she put on the nightgown and went to sleep.
She dreamed of a city in the sky seen from the edge of an endless forest. She dreamed of warm arms holding her, rocking her as a soft voice sang songs in a language that was just outside her understanding and was left with the feeling that if she listened hard enough, long enough, she might understand the words.
Dawn was awakened by Connor's cries nearly four hours later, Dawn had reached down and pulled Connor up to the bed. Still half asleep, she pulled down the neck of her nightgown and let him suckle. Even if her breasts were sore and her nipples hurt, this was definitely better than making milk every time he woke her up, Dawn decided. When he didn't settled down immediately Dawn checked his diaper and changed it, narrowly avoiding being peed on. Eventually they both drifted off.
The dream was different this time. A dream of a childhood games and long hours exploring the forest with another, rather androgynous child. Her sister, her mind supplied. Except… except it wasn't Buffy, it was some other little girl.
The next time Connor woke her up, it was nearly five hours later. At least, Dawn supposed, she wouldn't need an alarm clock anytime soon. She fed and changed Connor before dressing him in clean clothing. She got dressed in a sundress which ended at mid calf-it was long enough to cover the abrasions and bruises on her legs-her various knives, and a cardigan which covered everything else. After a moment's thought she put on the flats. She could run in them if she needed to.
Dawn detached the bag she'd made into a diaper bag. Judging by the shoulder strap, she supposed that it had not been a tent bag as she'd originally assumed. She took out all but six of the diapers, the various diaper supplies, two extra towels, a change of clothing, and his binky. She then went into her bag and placed her money and a couple other needed items in her makeshift diaper bag. Dawn tied the new wool blanket into a sling balanced over one shoulder and put Connor, wrapped in his yellow blanket into the sling. She picked up the diaper bag and headed out, putting the do not disturb sign on the door before locking it and slipping her key into the bag.
In the main office Dawn asked for directions and headed to a local diner for breakfast. On the way she managed to pick two pockets. She remembered-well, it was more that Carmen remembered-learning to pick pockets, using an overcoat on a manikin with seven bells attached. This would be the last for the next couple days unless it was an emergency, Dawn decided.
Dawn ended up seated at the counter, because it was easier than trying to fit into a booth with Connor strapped to her chest. It wasn't like he was big enough for the restaurant's high chairs just yet. She ate and then had a cab called, because it was simply too far to get to a public library. Dawn would go to an internet café, but she had a feeling that she'd want to look at some history books. This might look like her dimension, and Dawn could not deny that it felt like home, but there was something in the air that seemed to tell Dawn that this was not the same dimension.
It was easy enough to get into the library, although she had to sign a sheet to access a computer. She settled in and began her search with Sunnydale. If there was one thing Dawn knew, it was that Sunnydale would exist if the Hellmouth existed.
There was no Sunnydale. There was no town with a different name in the place where Sunnydale should be. There had been no Spanish monastery on the land and Dawn didn't know whether to cry of breath a sigh of relief. There was seven Hellmouths in the world-her world, at least-and Dawn quickly began to check to see if any of the other six existed. Of them, Cleveland and Edinburgh were still there, still seemed to be mystical convergences with strange occurrences, but nothing of the scale of even an inactive Hellmouth.
Dawn bit her lip in thought. Could she even get back to her world? No, Dawn decided, she probably couldn't. Should she spend months or years trying to get back to a dimension where nobody even remembered she existed, travelling through what were likely dangerous dimensions? Should she try to get back to a dimension where even if she wasn't remembered, there had to be people who knew that the Key existed?
This dimension didn't seem too bad. She'd have to check, make sure it was safe, but there was no reason she and Connor couldn't stay. There was still magic in this world obviously, but there didn't seem to be any supernatural presence of the level of her world. That was something Dawn certainly had to check. It would be safer for Connor as well. Who knew what sort of trouble he or his family had been involved in for so powerful a demon to want him dead.
(1) This is the infamous scene where Holtz takes Connor to Quor Toth, and I know that that didn't take place until the end of Season 6 of Buffy, but I've decided that I wanted this scene too much to care. So instead, the first three seasons of Angel were compressed so that they took place in two years instead of three. And yes, Dawn did kill Holtz.
(2) Yes, that was the sort of demon normally found in the Supernatural universe. No, I'm not saying the possession in any way excuses Holtz's actions. No, I have no idea how long he's been possessed, although I'm inclined to say since shortly after he woke up in the 21st century. I'm not going to make excuses for his hunting of Angel back in the 18th century, it was perfectly justified and understandable. Of course, it's entirely possible the demon just hung around in the back of Holtz's mind, content to watch him cause chaos and strife wherever he went.
(3) I know that babies who have had a bottle, as Connor has may experience difficulty breastfeeding as it easier to suckle from a bottle than from a breast. That said, Connor is part vampire and seems to have inherited quite a bit from Angel and Darla. I can only assume that he would have inherited a vampire's enhanced senses and be able to smell the milk. Likewise Connor is much stronger than a human, and even if he were a little lazy because he'd only had milk from bottles before, it wouldn't be that hard for him to suckle from a breast.