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Thick as Thieves

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Summary: Claudia and Dawn get kidnapped on a Tuesday during Apocalypse Season.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Warehouse 13HMaxMariusFR1816,181172,25622 Apr 1222 Apr 12Yes
Disclaimer: I own neither Buffy the Vampire Slayer nor Warehouse 13. If I did do you think I'd work in a bookstore? Actually, I might still... hey books... only employment in the world where reading can be classified a 'job hazard'.

A/N: Written in response to the Dawn/Claudia FFA. I am keeping with the Warehouse13 style of pulling historical events/people into their artifact retrievals, however the specific item is in no way real nor are the descriptions of its uses. My knowledge of the personages involved is from wikipedia and should be taken with a block of salt. This fic is loosely tied to PaBurke's universe as portrayed in their story 'Till Next Time' on fanfiction.net.

Warning: Contains sexual innuendo and rope. Lots of rope. Lots and lots and lots of rope.


Thick as Thieves


Pungo, Princess Anne County Virginia, 1746


The dark skinned seeress knelt at the foot of the old woman's bed, lost in her prophetic trance. Grace knew her time was near and the disposition of her tools and worldly belongings was to be her last act. Much would go to the family, three fine sons who had supported her in her dotage. But some were items of power, things that should be disposed of with ritual care and due diligence. Thus the seeress' secret presence. Her friend Anne, standing by to record the vision, stifled a sob, knowing that the lady she served would soon move on to become one with the mother.

In the sing-song accent of her Caribbean island home the seeress began to speak. “De blade. Athame, de blade o da nature shalt be covet de darkness. De tin and tree knocks and de slay's key shalt find. De blade mus be loss... bury... hide de blade... HIDE IT!”


Pungo, Virginia Beach, Present Day

Long before the Disney character, locals had called the tree Grandmother Willow. She was the oldest, largest, most sturdy willow to stand on the banks of the Lynnhaven. Local rumors said Blackbeard has used her as a marker to bury some of his treasure. Others said she was the final resting place of a white witch. Over the decades, area boys would sneak out of their houses at night to dig beneath her branches. It was possible to imagine the old tree laughing as every attempt encountered her thick roots.

But all things age and fade, and Grandmother Willow's time had come. The ancient tree was dying, and the secret she had protected for over 250 years was no longer guarded. The demon and the undead things that accompanied it could no longer be diverted. They could now feel the object of power that had lain protected beneath her roots. Sensing the danger, the old tree summoned her last reserves of energy, feeding them into the object she had so long protected.

With unerring precision, the dark creatures dug straight towards their goal, unearthing a small wooden box. Brushing the dirt free from the pristine case, the demon stood beside the hole the vampires had dug. Stepping clear of the tree the creature opened the box, exposing the ancient blade to the silvery moonlight. Reaching in, he grasped the hilt and drew the knife free. As the blade cleared the protective enchantments of the box the energy the tree had imbued in the Athame flared outward with the brilliance of the sun. The flash immediately reducing the vampires to dust. Not as lucky as his compatriots, the demon became a living torch, falling into the fronds of the ancient tree, setting it afire as well.

By the laws of similarity, the flash of energy released from the blade was drawn to the power lines that crisscrossed the area. As the burning thing fell into the Lynnhaven River an electrical surge flowed through the power grid, tripping breakers and knocking the area power plants offline. When the surge reached the Surry Nuclear Power Plant, what was a simple power outage took on far more serious overtones. Very soon, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Department of Homeland Security, and every major media outlet's telephones were ringing off the hook.

Meanwhile, in the darkness of Pungo broken only by the flaming ancient willow, beside the Lynnhaven River a man wearing an all black silk suit picked up the athame that had once been owned by Grace Sherwood.


Univille, South Dakota

“What now!” Claudia groused as the overhead lights began flickering. “I just finished repairing the power conditioners.”

Artie snapped up the welding mask he was wearing to look over at his youngest and most talented pain in the butt. “You what?”

She pointed upward, past her own welding helmet at the lights flickering overhead. “Surge protectors Artie. Surge protectors!”

“It's not a power surge.” Artie spun the lock on the case where they had just placed Archimedes Shield and began jogging toward the office.

“What?” Claudia shouted at her boss' retreating backside as she started running to catch up with him. “What is it then?”

“Artifact alert,” he huffed. “The warning system hasn't worked since, well, we just won't mention why. Apparently you managed to fix it.”

“I did? Cool! Wait, I what?”

Ignoring her, Artie chugged up the office steps like a decrepit Rocky Mountain 2-4-2 and collapsed into his chair at the Warehouse13 computer and began typing.

Claudia sprawled into her own chair on the other side of the desk. With a spin and kick the old office chair scooted up to the desk. In a smooth, preplanned motion, the chair came to a stop with her elbows on the desk, her chin on her clasped hands and her eyes batting at her boss. “So Wade, what's the sitch?”

Ignoring her usual antics, Artie continued typing at the non-standard keyboard. “Power outage, took down a nuclear plant. Seems to be centered in south Virginia Beach. Pungo area. Pungo. Why is that familiar.”

“Dunno. Does it have anything to do with pogo sticks? Always wanted one of those as a kid.”

“You're still a kid and stop distracting me,” he groused, typing more into the system. “Why is Pungo important?”

“Pete and Myka are still out in LA trying to get access to that law firm.”

“Yeah, yeah, call Leena. I need her here to keep researching Pungo while we head for Virginia Beach.”

“Yes!”


Cleveland, Sineya School for the Gifted

Robin Wood looked at his watch then the group gathered around his desk. Switching on the speakerphone, he dialed the conference call number and entered his code. After fumbling through the log-in protocol the room was finally graced with the voices of their other participants.

“Giles, Xander, Willow? You there?”

“Yup. Kennedy and I are both here. You didn't say it had to just be me and she was there last night too. Well not there there. I mean she was there there, but not there there then...” muffled speaking went on for a moment more as a second voice hissed from the speakers. “Well, now that you've told everyone what we were doing when you felt the surge. GAH! Now you've got ME doing it!”

“Dear Lord.”


Laughter echoed in the room from those present and the others on the call.

“Dawn and I are both here.” Xander, being most used to his oldest friend's babble complex recovered first and managed to speak. Riotous giggles continuing in his background. “Ken, what have we told you about giving Wills caffeine? So Robin, what's the what?”

“Giles?”

“Your show Robin. From your report I'd say you have the best handle on the situation.”

“Very well. Over the last several nights, a number of slayers have logged dreams indicating an attempt to open the Cleveland Hellmouth. Additionally, last night there was the equivalent of a magnitude 8 magical earthquake centered on coastal Virginia. Simultaneously, there was a massive power outage centered in the same area. We do not believe these incidents to have been coincidental.”

“Apocalypse season already? Yeah, we felt that surge all the way down here in Rio. Sorry love, it wasn't you that time. URK! (grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr why did I fall in love with her...) Uh, anyway, anything specific about the dreams?”

Robin looked around the table at the slayers and their watchers who had the dreams. “Nothing extremely specific. The usual run of the mill fights with demons and vampires. Hints of a blood sacrifice. Only thing specific seems to be that all the girls describe seeing a specific knife being held by a hooded figure.”

“A specific knife?” The room shared grins as they could easily picture Giles busily cleaning his glasses. “Was it being used to fight with?”

Several of the girls in office conferred before the youngest nodded sharply and leaned toward the speakerphone. “Hi, I'm Alison. We think it was being used as a focus for the ritual and not as a weapon.”

“Ah!” Willow nearly shouted. “An Athame! Giles, didn't we have a prophecy that involved the use of Athames?”

“Several. Robin, have we narrowed down where the disturbance originated?”


“Magically, no. However the media is reporting that the power outage occurred in the Pungo region of Virginia Beach.”

“Pungo,” Giles mused. “Why does that name sound so familiar.”

“Well, that explains me and Dawn being on the call. Should we let the mini we found in here Raleigh tag along with us?”


“Negative. I assume you made her family the standard offer?”

“Yep.”

“Then I want them on the next flight here for the family orientation.”

“Understood. We'll check in when we get to Virgina Beach.”

“Should we call in Buffy?”

“No.” Giles almost sighed. “She's still tracking that Knurlif outside of Melbourne. I'll send her a message so she's aware, but this is the closest I've come to getting her to take a break since Sunnydale.”

“Giiiiles!”
Xander and Willow both growled.

“Robin, call her,” Xander continued. “We just got jinxed.”


Somewhere Dark and Rumbley


Dawn took a quick catalog of her situation. Arms tied behind her, check. Ooo, elbows and wrists. Legs tied at the knees and ankles, check. She chewed for a moment. Gagged, pretty high quality one too, check. Narrow, tight walls and ceiling, hmmm... I'm in a box... again, check. Warm body bound tightly to her own, hey, this is new. She could feel her knees and feet pressing against the other person in the box with her. She wiggled against her bonds and the other person.

The other person wiggled back.

Oh, breasts. I bet Willow would LOVE this. She wiggled again, this time focusing on her own chest.

“Mmmammpf AhhhhhH.”

Ah, so whoever she is, she's awake. Hmmm, I wonder if I can get the drop on Kennedy, maybe Faith will help. Bad Dawn. Focus on the kidnapping. Plot pranks later. Testing her bonds again, she pulled at her bound hands. An 'Mppph' from her cocaptive and a sudden yank that she felt though the seam of her jeans told her that her captors weren't just evil. They were kinky. It was then that she noticed that her nose was pressed against the other girl's. She pulled back and the nose moved with her, followed by a growl and feeling her head be pulled the other direction.

Not just kinky. VERY kinky. She was beginning to doubt her captor was even a demon.

There was a rumble from beneath their box followed by a jerking motion towards their feet. After several movements that caused one or the other to be squished between the sides of the box and their cocaptive, the truck they were in accelerated and the movements settled down to a steady, almost metronomic swaying. Oh no. No, not that. NO, I will not be THAT into bondage. NO! Think of something else not the constant friction of my chest shifting against hers.

“MMMMMMaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhHHHHH!” Yeah, screaming will help.

Uh no, it didn't.

“Rruuuuaaaahuuu, uuuuhhh rrrraaah iiiiiii iiiiuhhH.” Her partner tried to answer.

Partner, bad word choice. NO. Something else. What else. Oh GOD! No, don't pull your hands like that! Please! How'd I get here! Yeah! That's the ticket! What was I doing when I was captured.


Pungo, Virginia Beach

“Artie, stop the car!”

“What,” he growled as he pulled into a Walgreen's parking lot across from a small park.

“That.” Claudia pointed at a bronze statue of a woman in colonial dress.

“What about the statue.”

“Artie!” Claudia threw her hands up in exasperation. “We're here about an artifact, don't you think a statue of a woman dressed like that might not spark some kind of lead or memory?”

Artie reached out and patted her on the head. “She CAN be taught!”

“Is that praise?” Claudia asked Artie's retreating back as he bolted from the car. “HEY! Is that supposed to be PRAISE?!”

Grumbling, she slipped out of the car and followed him to look at the statue. When she caught up he was already kneeling in front of the marker and muttering.

“Sherwood. Sherwood. Grace Sherwood. Pungo.” He flipped open his Farnsworth. “Leena, I need what you have on Grace Sherwood and Pungo, Virginia.”

“Gehsundheit.”

“Ha, ha. You're hanging around Pete too much.”

“Hang on, it's coming up. Says here the Witch of...”

“...Princess Anne County.” He finished.

“If you knew then why did you ask?”

“I didn't, or rather I did, but I needed...” He paused with a rather perplexed look on his face. “What else do you have?”

“I think I've coughed up your artifact. According to the database she had a ritual knife that appears in several dark prophecies...”

“...The Pungo Athame. Ah HA!” Artie glanced at Claudia then back to Leena on the screen. “Tell me about the prophecies.”

“The usual stuff. Blah blah, call forth dark power. Blah blah, open the Hellmouth, whatever that is, blah blah, end the world.”

“Did you say Hellmouth?”

“Yes.”

“What's a Hellmouth Artie?”

“Crap. Remember Sunnydale.”

“That town in California that fell in the sinkhole?”

“That wasn't a sinkhole?”

“A Hellmouth is a portal to an alternate dimension where every religion's worst nightmare happens to be daily normal.”

“And you're saying that the town literally went to hell?”

“No, the town sank because some of the residents acted to close the Sunnydale Hellmouth permanently.”

“Ah, good.” Claudia looked over at Artie, then at Leena in the Farnsworth screen. “That is good. Right?”

“There's a Hellmouth in Cleveland.” Artie looked at his watch. “Eleven hours from here to there by car.”

“It's less by plane,” Claudia interrupted.

“And when was the last time you tried to carry a knife through airport security?” Artie held up his right index finger as Claudia started to respond. “Without Pete or Myka's badge to back you up. Leena, I'm going to need the text of that prophecy and the phone number of the Sineya School in Cleveland.”

“On it.” The side of Artie's Farnsworth began spitting out ticker tape.

“Claudia, I'm going to drop you where the power outage started. Local media's calling it a lightning strike. Meanwhile, I'm going to check out the local historical society.”

“Sure thing boss. By the way, why doesn't mine, Pete or Myka's Farnsworth do that?”


Somewhere Dark and Rumbley – Revisited

Claudia took a quick catalog of her situation. Arms tied behind her, check. Ooo, elbows and wrists. Legs tied at the knees and ankles, check. She chewed for a moment. Gagged, pretty high quality one too, check. Narrow, tight walls and ceiling, hmmm... I'm in a box, check. Warm body bound tightly to her own, hey, this is new. She could feel her knees and feet pressing against the other person in the box with her. She felt the other person wiggle against her bonds.

She wiggled back.

Oh, breasts. Ouch, way too much uh... yeah... glad I'm wearing a bra today. Damn, she's focusing that wiggle

“STOP THAT.” Not that she's going to understand anything past this gag.

Oh well, message delivered. Maybe I can avoid embarrassing myself while we're tied together. Ouch! Oh, no they didn't! The tug of a rope threaded behind her and between her legs pulled at her bound hands caused her to 'Mppph' into the gag. She had to let the girl she was tied to know that tugging those ropes was a bad idea. Steeling herself, she yanked back. Whoever her captors were, they weren't just evil. They were kinky. It was then that she noticed that her nose was pressed against the other girl's. Her cocaptive pulled back and her nose moved with her. Another bad idea on the part of the other girl, now Claudia's neck was stretched painfully forward and their chests were being smashed together. With a growl she pulled her head back to its original position.

Not just kinky. VERY kinky. She was beginning to doubt her captor even had anything to do with the artifact.

There was a rumble from beneath their box followed by a jerking motion towards their feet. After several movements that caused one or the other to be squished between the sides of the box and their cocaptive, the truck they were in accelerated and the movements settled down to a steady, almost metronomic swaying. Oh no. No, not that. NO, I will not be THAT into bondage. NO! Think of something else not the constant friction of my chest shifting against hers.

“MMMMMMaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhHHHHH!” Yeah, screaming will help you, not!

The motion continued, and now the rope was pulling and loosening and why did I wear a thong today of all days. Aaaaargh! Now the other girl's starting to get frantic.

“Relax, just roll with it.” She tried to tell her partner.

Partner, bad word choice. NO. Something else. What else. Oh GOD! No, don't pull your hands like that! Please! How'd I get here! Yeah! That's the ticket! What was I doing when I was captured.


Pungo, Virginia Beach

Xander was parked in front of the Pungo Walgreens, idly watching a rolly polly man and a teenage girl argue in front of one of those period dress statues that seemed to crop up in any east coast town that claimed some fuzzy tie to the colonial period. Dawn was meditating in her seat, trying to localize the direction of the magical blast from its remnant echoes.

“I've got something, drive east for a bit.”

Pulling out of the parking lot he followed her directions. After an hour of circling, they finally homed in on a likely area where an old tree had burned to a husk beside the river. Xander idly made note of the Cleveland Public Power van that was parked beneath a blown out streetlight and scorched transformer.

“CPP made good time getting crews down here to help with the outage.”

“Yeah, so that's what our electric bill pays for,” Dawn snorted.

“Okay, so I'm dropping you off here to look around while I check out the historical society for any information they might have on the athame.”

“Cool, I've got my phone, even has service here,” she held out her phone while glancing at the sky. “And my stake.”

Xander grinned. “I don't expect to be long.”

“Better not big brother,” she pecked him on the cheek and slid out of the car.

He did a u-turn and drove back past the CPP van. “Strange that no one is here working. I guess they broke down.”


Pungo Historical Society Museum

Artie had gotten lost after he had dropped Claudia off at the epicenter and it had taken him nearly an hour to find the museum. As he stepped on the porch he remembered that he had not made the call to the Sineya School yet. Instead of entering the museum, he turned left and walked down the porch while dialing the number.

“Sineya School, this is Amber.” An entirely too chipper voice answered. “How may I direct your call?”

“Director Summers please. Tell her it is Artie Nielsen.”

“I'm afraid neither Buffy nor Dawn are available right now. Would you like to speak to Principal Wood?”

“Please.” Artie watched as a small blue Chevy driven by a dark haired young man with an eye patch crunched its way into the gravel parking lot, backing into a space near the road. The car parked, the kid got out and stood stretching for a moment.

“Agent Nielsen. A pleasure to speak with you,” a deep, midwestern voice spoke in his ear. “Buffy said that if you ever called we were to extend every effort to accommodate you.”

“Every effort except handing over her personal stake, you mean.”

The voice on the other end coughed to cover a laugh. “Well, she and Mr. Pointy do have a history together. Besides, would you rather have to collect one stake or need to track down multiples?”

“There is that to consider.”

“How may the IWC be of assistance. I assume, since you asked for Director Summers that this involves our broader organization.”

“Currently, I'm in the field tracking down a potentially dangerous artifact and it came to my attention that this mission could have repercussions for you in Cleveland.”

“You have our attention Agent,” Robin replied.

“I'm in Virginia Beach looking into the blackout. I believe that the artifact my team is seeking might be the Pungo Athame. Research has uncovered a disturbing prophecy relating to the Athame and the opening of a Hellmouth. Seeing as you are currently guarding the closest one of those, I thought I should give you a heads up.”

“I see. We also have a team in Virginia Beach. It seems that we may be investigating the same incident. Would you mind if I conferenced our team lead in?”

“So long as we're the ones who get to bag the artifact.”

“Of course. The Council and the Regents have a standing agreement regarding such. Hold on while I call Mr. Harris.”

Artie leaned against the porch rail watching the young man with the eye-patch climb the steps. As the kid reached for the door his cell phone began chirping a familiar four note sequence.

Blushing, he snagged the phone out of his pocket. “Damn that girl,” Artie heard him mutter as he turned toward the other end of the porch.

There was a beep as the other call was linked. “Agent Nielsen, I have Xander Harris on the other line.”

“Hi. What can we do for you, Agent?” There was something odd about the stress the new voice placed on the term 'agent.'

“Quick rundown Xander,” Robin stepped in. “Agent Nielsen is with Warehouse 13 and I believe that the two of you are tracking the same object. I think it would behoove us to combine our efforts.”

“Any particular reason why?”
Xander didn't sound happy. Of course Artie wasn't thrilled either, but there was a potential threat that these people were equipped to deal with.

“He said Hellmouth and Prophecy in the same sentence.”

Artie looked up to see the young man at the other end of the porch stiffen. He must be getting bad news.

“Crap!” Harris' voice blasted from the phone.

“I believe we're looking for an object of power for ritual magic.” Artie injected into the silence after the expletive. “The Pungo Athame.”

“So it has a name,” Robin noted.

“Yeah, the slayers only saw a ritual blade in their visions. That gives our researchers something to dig their teeth into. Speaking of which, that's where I was heading, but I can peel off to meet Agent Nielsen if that would work better.”

“Not necessary,” Artie answered. “I can meet you at the historical society.

The young man at the other end of the porch turned to face him, strangely, his mouth movement matched the next words. “Oh really? The Pungo Historical Society Museum?”

“Yes.”

“Xander? Why do you suddenly sound suspicious.”

The young man began walking across the porch toward Artie.

“Because there's a short, roundish gentleman with curly hair, beard, and mustache wearing opaque John Lennons standing in front of me on the porch, and I think his name is Nielsen.”

The young man held out his hand to Artie. “Xander Harris. Agent Nielsen?”


Pungo, Virginia Beach

Dawn watched Xander drive off then turned to inspect the torched tree. “That was definitely not a lightning strike.” The tree was not split and the fire had clearly burned from the fronds inward, leaving the trunk virtually untouched. Near the base of the tree someone had dug a hole.

Kneeling, she cocked her head to change the angle she was looking at the scorched grass. Scooting forward she ran a finger through the soot. “Vamp dust.” She scooped some into a vial which she shoved in her purse. She reached out, something rectangular had lain here, protecting some of the grass from the fire.

Glancing in the hole she stood and turned in a circle. Strange that no one was working by the CPP van. She walked over to the riverbank. The brackish water dragging sluggishly by the bank-side flora. A large mass of purple goo seemed to cling to the mud beneath her. Again she dug out a vial, this time using a stick to scoop up a sample that followed the first into her purse. Reaching out her senses, she could still feel the shockwaves from the earlier magic.

Something bugged her about the van. Why was a Cleveland Public Power van sitting abandoned in coastal Virginia. Slowly she walked towards the van.


Thirty Minutes Earlier

Claudia patted her satchel, inside which she had placed the wooden box she had bagged, just in case. The van was just wrong. Cleveland was eleven hours away, how could they have gotten here, deployed to the field AND broken down already. An eleven hour drive would almost certainly mandate a rest before going out to play with electricity.

Speaking of electricity. She paused beside the van, her back to the hot metal as she drew her tesla. As she reached for the handle the door flew backwards and a pair of inhuman hands shot out of the dark interior, one closing around the gun, the other around her throat.

She tried to kick whatever it was as it exhaled in her face and she passed out.


Pungo Historical Society Museum

Xander's phone chirped the theme to Kim Possible again. Muttering about returning a key to Buffy slightly damaged he flipped open the phone. “Xander.”

Artie glanced up from his reading.

“Giles, hi. So you got the word. Let me put you on speaker.” Xander fitted action to words and placed the phone on the table. “Okay G-men, you're on.”

A low groan emitted from the speaker. “Agent Nielsen, Rupert Giles. First let me apologize that you have been burdened with Xander and his sense of humor.”

“Not at all, Sir Giles. It is an honor to speak with the head of the IWC. And so far, Mr. Harris is behaving himself, aside from some mild threats toward whoever programmed his ringtone.”

“Dawn?”

“Dawn,” Xander answered. “What have you found?”

“We have found a record of a seeress' prophecy made upon Mrs. Sherwood's deathbed. It reads as follows. 'De blade. Athame, de blade o da nature shalt be covet de darkness. De tin and tree knocks and de slay's key shalt find. De blade mus be loss... bury... hide de blade... HIDE IT!'”

“Why Giles, I didn't know you had it in you to speak anything other than British English.”

“Xander.” The named culprit grinned at the image of Giles removing his glasses and cleaning them. “Do you see what I've had to deal with for the last ten years Agent Nielsen.”

“We all have our crosses to bear.”

“Indeed.”

“So, back to this prophecy. It sounds like something Kendra would have said. Let me see if I can translate it into a common tongue. The blade. Athame, the blade of nature shall be coveted by the darkness. The tin and tree knocks and the slay's... Slayer's? key... Oh shit. Dawn... shall find.”

“Ouch indeed.”

“That's interesting, however I think Mr. Harris made a mistake in his translation.”

Xander fixed him with a glare. “Oh?”

“Yes. It's not tin and tree knocks. It's ten and three knocks.” Artie answered.

“That still doesn't make any sense.”

“Unfortunately, it does to me.”

“Would you care to elucidate?”

“Mr. Harris said that the 'Slayer's Key refers to someone named Dawn. I assume she's your field partner?”

Xander nodded.

“Well, I'm pretty sure that thirteen knocks is a reference to Claudia Donovan.” Artie grimaced. “My field partner.”

“And where is your partner, Artie?”

“I dropped her off at the epicenter about an hour and a half ago.”

“Epicenter. Burned out tree by the river?”

“Yeees.”

“I dropped Dawn off there forty minutes ago and there was no one else around. Not even the linemen from the CPP van.”

“Dear Lord. Xander???”

Artie's eyes widened as he whipped out his Farnsworth and punched Claudia's code. Without success.

“Giles, I have to go. Now!” Xander reached out, snapping his phone shut then opening it again and quickly dialing Dawn's number. As the phone went immediately to voicemail his good eye fell on the rolling calendar on the curator's desk. “Shit”

Artie traced the the boy's line of site. “What?”

“It's Tuesday. Dawn gets kidnapped on Tuesdays.”


Cleveland, Sineya School for the Gifted

Robin hung up the phone and pressed the button for the desk outside his office. “Amber, I need the senior class and all instructors in the cafeteria ten minutes ago.”

“They're already there sir. I called the meeting as soon as I transferred Xander to you.”


Wolfram & Hart, Los Angeles

“Pete, will you stop staring at these people.”

“But Mykes. The guy was green. With horns.”

“Yeah, so?” Myka asked. “We worked with H.G. Wells who tried to destroy the world with an ancient trident.”

“Yeah,” the tall black man in a suit stepped out in front of them saying.

“We heard about that one.” The even taller white man in a suit said from behind them. “Nice piece of work. Care to tell me what you're doing snooping around my office?”

Myka blinked as Pete opened his mouth to speak and made a 'Rrrrrrnnnnk Rrrrrrnnnnk' noise.

'Rrrrrrnnnnk Rrrrrrnnnnk'

The black man pointed at Pete's coat. “Your phone's ringing, I think you should answer it.”


Cleveland, Sineya School for the Gifted, Cafeteria

Willow popped back into the cafeteria with her hands locked around the elbows of the two warehouse agents who had been sneaking into Angel's office building. After making five long-distance ports in less than ten minutes, her grip on the two was as much to hold herself up as it was to bring them to the meeting.

Agent Pete Lattimer blinked at the change in scenery. “What a way to travel.”

Agent Myka Bering looked over at him like he was insane before turning and hurling into a nearby potted plant.

“Woozy now,” Willow said as her knees gave way.

Pete caught her and eased her into a chair at the nearest table. “Easy there, young lady.”

“One of these days Will,” A graceful hispanic girl sashayed up to the table with a plate full of food and an extra-extra-large, steaming mug of coffee. “You're going to do something like this and I won't be there to pick up the pieces.”

“Blessings of the Goddess on you,” the witch mumbled as she snatched the coffee mug. After a swallow that drained more than half the contents of the mug she smiled at the other girl her eyes going doey. “I love you Kennie Wennie.”

Pete stared back and forth at the two until Myka stumbled into his shoulder and latched on. Meanwhile, Kennie Wennie had settled into a chair beside Will and was encouraging her to eat. Of course, the exhausted red head was insisting on airplane noises.

The hispanic girl looked up. “The name's Kennedy. Willow's mine, I'm hers. Deal.”

Myka gave Pete a shove, steering him in the direction of where she had spotted Artie sitting with a young man wearing an eyepatch.

A black man in a polo shirt and khaki's stood up at the front of the room as Myka and Pete took their seats. Turning to face everyone he gave the room a hard stare. “For the sake of our guests, my name is Robin Wood. Principal of the Sineya School and Director of the International Watcher's Council.”

Pete started to raise his hand, but before it could clear the table, Artie had his wrist in a deathgrip.

“Approximately two hours ago, Dawn Summers and Agent Claudia Donovan were kidnapped in Virginia Beach.”

“Shoulda known.”

“Yeah, figures. It's Tuesday.”

“Why did we wear Willow out porting folks here. We should have had her transporting us to the kidnappers!”

“People! Quiet!” Principal Wood's growl seemed louder than any shout and the room silenced quickly.

“While Willow was bringing in Claudia's teammates, I've had Andrew scrying Dawn's location.” A quick motion of his right hand silenced one of the more talkative slayers before she could grouse about Andrew's skill, or lack thereof. “At this time, she is in motion. We strongly believe that her kidnappers are bringing her to the Hellmouth. Until they stop moving, there is very little we can do. In the meantime we have nine hours to come up with a plan.”

The slam of the cafeteria door opening was followed by the arrival of a short, blonde force of nature. A slightly taller, brunette hot on her stylish, three inch heels.

“All right!” The blonde shouted. “Where the HELL is my sister!”


Somewhere Dark and Rumbley – Revisited Again

Dawn and Claudia were both miserable. After nearly 12 hours bound in a box barely bigger than the two of them, they were chaffed, sore, sweaty, smelly, and worst of all, due to the long time since they were captured and the constant stimulation from the van's motion, they had both peed their pants (well Claudia had peed her panties as she was actually wearing a mini-skirt that was now hiked up to her waist thanks to a rather intrusive rope) several times.

In short, when the van came to its final stop, their situation stank.

Literally.

Oh, and their lips were icky crusty with drool because of the gags. Drool that was now matted in their hair.

Dawn was ready to commit mayhem on her captors.

Claudia just wanted a shower, a bed, and possibly an electric toy.

Damn that rope.


Hellmouth, Cleveland

In the tunnels beneath the Cleveland Browns stadium, a man in a black silk suit walked ahead of a very large, very well armed, numerically anyway, he had six, demon. Held in front of the demon by two of the six arms was a very wet, still very bound pair. The demon had insisted on a detour through the locker room showers and refused to follow the guy in the silk suit unless he agreed.

“Let the girls go and I promise to kill you quickly.”

Silk suit froze. “Now why would I want to do that, Slayer. I still have a 55 gallon drum of adhesive that these two must be dipped in before I can complete my summoning.”

“Your summoning days are through.”

“Nope!” Silk Suit, the demon and its cargo rocketed off down one of the side tunnels. With wild shouts, the slayers and their watchers began the pursuit.

Over the course of the next several hours, Silk Suit lead the slayers on a merry chase through the sublevels of the stadium. Levels that he had liberally spread with various traps and snares. He had not been kidding about the glue either. Much to Vi and Rona's dismay it was a quick setting variety and they were now stuck to Xander, each other and an equipment trolley.

Artie was in the middle of a bowl shaped room who's floor had been liberally greased.

Myka and Robin were wedged into a small cage several turns back and the half of the group that had not been otherwise trapped were now working to find and free their friends. The pursuit had wound down to a two on two footrace.

Finally, Buffy and Pete had Silk Suit and the demon cornered.

Buffy swung at Silk Suit, only to be shocked as her hand passed straight through him. Meanwhile Pete had taken aim with his tesla and fired at the demon. As it hit, two things happened.

Silk suit disappeared.

And the demon turned into a man.

Someone Buffy was familiar with.

Someone she hated with a passion.

Someone who reveled in just the kind of chaos this evening had become.

The echo of her cry became legend that day and could still be heard, even over the football crowds years later.

“ETHAN!!!”

Pete shrugged and tesla'd the chaos mage again.


Epilogue

Willow took a quick catalog of her situation. Arms tied behind her, check. Ooo, elbows and wrists. Legs tied at the knees and ankles, check. She chewed for a moment. Gagged, pretty high quality one too, check. Narrow, tight walls and ceiling, hmmm... I'm in a box, check. Warm body bound tightly to her own, hey, this is different. She could feel her knees and feet pressing against the other person in the box with her. She wiggled against her bonds and the other person.

The other person wiggled too.

Willow and Kennedy could clearly hear two girls giggling outside the box.

“These Teslas are so cool.” Dawn cooed.

“Kennedy's one of these slayers. Are you sure she won't be mad?” Claudia asked with some mild trepidation. After-all, she had seen what Buffy had done to Ethan after Pete had shot him.

Willow giggled around her gag and began wriggling against Kennedy.

“Mmmammpf AhhhhhH.”

The End

You have reached the end of "Thick as Thieves". This story is complete.

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