Dawn and the Wakeup Call
A/N: Disclaimer, spoilers, notes on the minor AU issues, and relevant backstory points (from the first story in the series) are listed in chapter 1.
The phone was ringing. She so didn’t want to get out of the bed to answer it, but she knew if she didn’t, someone would rat her out to Buffy or one of the Scoobies or even one of the Scrappies. It was always easier to just answer the phone than end up being the subject of a false Code Red. Again.
And it had totally not been her fault that time. Just because she got lucky with Charles, the cute graduate assistant with the big smile, and she left her purse in his kitchen when they went upstairs into his bedroom, so she didn’t hear it when the call center made a check-in call. Okay, so she forgot it was Tuesday, and everyone got their panties in a knot about her on Tuesday nights. She so hadn’t been kidnapped in over a year! And then there was general Scooby panic, and Willow even did her black magic teleport spell to get emergency help to Dawn so she was all sick and veiny and black-eyed for like three days, and so five Slayers appeared in Charles’ kitchen, and Dawn was screeching right in the middle of a really big O just when the door got kicked in and then everything was of the bad. Charles still wasn’t speaking to her. And Kennedy had been mad at her about Willow for like a month or two afterward.
She clambered out of the bed and grabbed the cellphone. She took a quick glance at the screen. Andrew? Andrew never made the check-in calls in person. He always made one of the minis do it so she wouldn’t yell at him as much. “WHAT? I was sound asleep! If this is another check-in…” She went with Latin this time, as she described in detail how he was going to end up being drawn and quartered by authentic Roman chariots pulled by Halvik demons.
Andrew uncomfortably said, “Dawn, it’s Xander.”
She felt a sudden shiver of panic. “Ohmygod is he okay?”
Andrew sort of whined, “He signaled a Code Red. And I need your help.” Emily insisted Andrew didn’t whine anymore, but that was definitely part whine.
“What do you want? I can be packed in ten minutes. Where is he? Where do you want to do the pick-up?”
Andrew said, “Calm down. I just need your help for research. Xander found a demon who may have come through a portal. And the Air Force may have opened it.”
“Argh!” she growled. “Does Buffy know? She’ll go postal if this is another Initiative thing!”
Andrew said, “Xander spotted the program is called the ‘star gate’ project, and-”
Dawn thought it over for a second and interrupted, “Crap. So ‘star gate’ could be the astria porta
. Giles is gonna polish a hole in his glasses if that’s finally turned up after so long.”
Andrew said, “Yeah, that’s what I thought too. And she said Gou’a’uld. That has to be-”
She interrupted again. “The Egyptian goua-uld demons. And if she has a precise pronunciation, then she probably knows some of them, or at least has an oral tradition about them.”
Andrew said, “Right. She said she wasn’t one of them, and she was a Tok’ra.”
Dawn frowned. “Okay, that’s ‘someone opposing Ra’ or ‘a fighter against Ra’, or possibly even ‘a rebel against Ra’, depending on contextual cues. But I’d need to hear her speak in the original language to tell. So maybe she’s one of the good demons instead? Or maybe they’re the worse
demons who got mad at Ra for getting deposed and driven out of our dimension.”
Andrew said, “We also have: ‘Ah-nees’, which is her name or title; ‘Parlosa’, which is a place; and ‘ril-yeh’, which is some sort of beverage, possibly alcoholic and grain-based; and Selmak, which is some other demon, either a name or title or species.”
Dawn admitted, “Okay. The ‘ril-yeh’ could be connected to the Egyptian Old Kingdom fermented grain beverage ‘ree-il-yah’. That would match up with the goua-uld demons. But the other two? You got me. I need to do some research. And most of my demonology texts are back in London.”
Andrew said, “I don’t know how much help they’ll be, but I need you to check anyway. The accounts of Tejaya the Slayer’s Watcher are sort of weird. The goua-uld were human-looking demons who were stronger than a human but weaker and slower than a Slayer. And they had troops of humans they used as soldiers and also for what sounds like some kind of baby farms. And they used magic, but it read more like Star Trek. Force fields, phasers, phaser rifles for the troops, something that was maybe a dermal regenerator…”
She sighed. Not everything was Star Wars or Star Trek. But she had given up on that battle. She was leaving it to Emily these days. Which was probably not a good plan, because Emily tended to describe everything in terms of Star Wars too. If she had to endure Em describing a demon as looking like a bantha or a wookie ever again…
Andrew said, “Uh-oh. Rona’s giving me the big ‘get over here right now honky’ look. I gotta go. Maybe Xander’s found out more stuff.”
She said, “Okay. Go. I’ll do what I can without all my reference materials.” She put the phone down and went to put some clothes on. Why did apocalypses have to be so cryptic all the time?
And then she needed to crank up the coffee machine. She didn’t care that she was in England, or that Giles had taught her how to brew a proper cup of tea. Middle of the night Scooby research required coffee. And doughnuts. Why did no one appreciate how important it was to have a Xander around to go get doughnuts? Especially if going to get doughnuts in the middle of the night in Sunnydale was pretty much like jumping into a shark tank. With a nosebleed.
Fortunately, she knew an all-night eatery where you could get real American doughnuts that they made fresh in a fryer, and then iced up for you. With sprinkles, if you knew Charlie and he was on duty. And Lina, the Slayer who was on ‘Dawn bodyguard duty’ this month, hated research enough to be willing to drive all the way out and back. All she had to do was send Lina off to Charlie’s, call Charlie and get her doughnuts made up before Lina got there, order three triple cheeseburgers with lettuce, tomato, American ketchup, mustard, mayo, and bacon strips, with onion rings on the side, so Lina had something other than doughnuts to wolf down on her drive back, and then wait an hour until still-fresh doughnuts showed up on her kitchen table with hardly any Slayer fingerprints all over them.
If only Charlie would make her some maple bars. Maybe with jalapeno flavored cream cheese filling. Mmmm. That would be great. But Charlie said he wasn’t making anything for her that would make the rest of the cooks throw up just from watching him make them, no matter how much she begged.