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Hand of Sorrow

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Powers of the World". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Sequel to "Star Spangled Man". Sometimes, the biggest threat doesn't come from without—it comes from within.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Marvel Universe > Avengers
Marvel Universe > X-Men
JadedFR181136,4011427048,90311 Nov 1224 Jul 13No

In Which Dawn Should Have Known It Was Too Quiet

Author: Jaded
Story: Hand of Sorrow
Disclaimer: Joss owns Buffy, The Avengers, X-Men, and the Fantastic Four are owned by Marvel. I write for fun, not for profit.
Summary: Sequel to Star Spangled Man. Dawn and Buffy are finally back in New York for good. New schools, new slayers, and new threats, Dawn, Buffy, and Steve are going to have one interesting year.
Warning: SPOILERS FOR THE AVENGERS! Timelines still wonky.
A/N 1: It's been four months and I'm finally starting to write again. Thanks to everyone for all the messages and comments--it meant a lot to me.

Illustration
In Which Dawn Should Have Known It Was Too Quiet


Given how everything was going so well (relatively speaking, anyway) Dawn later felt she should have known it wouldn’t last.

Then again, she’d grown rather used to summer’s being their downtime so, as Buffy reminded her, it was not her fault she hadn’t been expecting some major baddage coming New York’s way.

Point was, Dawn had been in her office, arguing with Kate about the slayer clearing out her fridge when an absolute wave of magic flowed through the two of them. Dawn had fallen flat on her ass in shock whereas Kate had crumpled in on herself. The door had been closed, Dawn organizing her office while the interns got everything done out in what she kept referring to as the bullpen.

“Sukin syn!” she cursed, getting up and completely oblivious to the fact she had apparently been spending too much time with Bucky and Natasha. She swayed slightly, the magic still coming, though in much smaller waves. “What the hell was that?!”

“I don’t know,” Kate whimpered. “But I don’t feel so good.”

Cursing again, Dawn wobbled over to where Kate was curled in a ball on the floor. She checked her pulse; it was erratic. “JARVIS, call Bruce, tell him I need a gurney here on the double. And call Buffy in London.”

“Calling now,” JARVIS announced as her sister’s ringback tone came through the room.

“Hey Dawnie, what’s up?”

“Buffy, we just had a massive wave of magic,” Dawn said, not wasting any time. “Call the other slayers in New York, find out if they felt it. Kate was with me and her pulse has gone all crazy and she can’t stand up.”

Her sister yelled out at someone to get Giles and for someone else to do a call to all the New York slayers, thankfully remembering to move her mouth away from the phone before she did so. Then she came back, sounding worried. “Are you okay?”

“Fine, just a bit dizzy and lightheaded,” she said. She smoothed out Kate’s hair as Bruce came inside, Clint, Steve, Bucky, and Tony right on his heels. “The teams here, I’m going to take her to medical.”

“Okay, Gwen just got a hold of Mikaela and Vi, they’re fine. Whatever it was, it didn’t hit them,” Buffy said as Bruce checked Kate over. There was no stretcher or gurney but given the way Steve was crouching low and talking with Bruce, he was probably going to simply carry her up to the Avengers infirmary. Dawn focused back on her sister’s voice. “They were in the Bronx. There are two others we’re trying to get a hold of—hold on, we got them. They’re fine. They’re on their way to the Tower.”

“JARVIS, let security know to let them straight up,” Tony ordered. “What are their names?”

As Buffy and Tony talked about the four slayers coming (he knew Vi but not the other three), Clint and Bucky took her own vitals. “Buffy, Dawn’s blood pressure is low,” Clint called. “We’re taking her with Kate.” To her, he added, “Don’t argue.”

Dawn, who’d been about to do that very thing, snapped her mouth shut. “Where were the other slayers when you called them?” she asked Buffy instead, watching as Steve picked up a barely conscious Kate and headed out, Bruce keeping pace with the man’s long strides. Bucky went to help her but Dawn swatted him away. She swayed slightly but finally got her bearings. The interns and staff were all staring at the procession as they made their way to the elevator and Dawn resigned herself to coming up with a cover story once they figured out what the hell had happened.

“Moving into their new apartment,” Buffy answered, her voice coming through the elevator as it shut. “I’m going to have one of the slayers go to some of the joints, see if any of our contacts felt the wave. You said it was a wave?”

“More like a tsunami,” she admitted, wincing as yet another, albeit much smaller one, flowed through her. “And there are smaller ones still coming—tell the slayers to be careful approaching the Tower, I think that’s the target.”

“Someone’s targeting the Tower with magic?” Tony asked and Dawn looked over at him as the elevator doors opened and Steve and Bruce quickly turned left, the captain putting Kate on the first bed he came to. The Avengers infirmary took up an entire level of the Tower and the left side, coming off the elevator, was all beds and curtained off areas for emergencies. There were biological labs along the other end and Tony had installed special walling that could go up in case of some outbreak or contamination. For the most part it remained relatively empty, only filling up when SHIELD agents couldn’t make it to their own medical facilities or SI employees got hurt on the job. Tony kept an aging doctor on full time, someone who knew what he was doing but was too old to really stay at a nearby doctors office or hospital but was a stubborn ass who didn’t actually want to retire down to Maine, no matter how many times he threatened to do so. They also had a group of on-call physicians and nurses for when they needed them.

And then there was Bruce, who, whenever the situation didn’t require the Hulk, could usually be found right alongside the medical personnel treating the wounded.

“Come on, sit down,” Clint ordered, shooting a look over at Bucky, who was hovering. “I wanna have Doc check you out more thoroughly—he’s the one who knows what the hell he’s doing anyway.”

“Someone call my name?” Doc Pierce asked, appearing at Clint’s elbow and causing the agent to twitch. The Korean vet was the only civilian Dawn knew who could get the drop on Clint, which amused her and Darcy to no end.

“Magic through the building, affected Kate more than Dawn but…”

“ Kate?” Doc asked, already all business, checking Dawn out.

“Slayer, Bruce has her,” Clint replied and he looked relieved to have medical duties off his shoulders.

“Symptoms?” he asked her and she rattled them off without hesitation—she knew Doc well enough to know not to fuck around when he was like this.

“Is the feeling getting better or worse?” he asked, blue eyes narrowed.

“Comes and goes with the magic waves,” she said. “But they’re getting less powerful and so are the dizzy spells.”

“Magic,” Doc shook his head. “Alright, stay here, I’m going to check on Kate. You two, stick with her.”

That order was somewhat unneeded, as Bucky had already plopped down on the bed next to her and was leaning back, ankles crossed in front of him. Clint leaned against a counter nearby, cell phone in hand as he texted someone.

“Natasha?” she asked.

“And Darcy,” he replied. “Both are in meetings right now or they’d be here.”

“JARVIS has the building on alert,” Tony said, coming over as Dawn heard Doc scold Kate for swatting at him—she was feeling better then. “Any idea what the magic was for? Or who could have done it.”

“We’re still working on it,” Buffy’s voice said, coming over the speaker and Dawn blinked, having forgotten she’d been on the phone with her sister. “Hold on, Gwen’s on the phone with Vi.”

The conversation was muffled but Dawn heard “blocked,” “barrier,” and “can’t get in” and suddenly she realized what the wave must have been.

“Someone’s locked us in,” Dawn said, leaning up in bed. “That’s what the spell was.”

“Vi confirms they’ve been blocked from getting inside,” Buffy agreed, coming back. “It’s like the entire building got warded from slayers, if not others.”

“Who would want to ward the building from slayers?” Tony demanded.

“And why?” Bucky added, uncrossing his ankles and sitting up more fully. “Why keep slayers out of the building? What would that accomplish?”

“Willow is going to teleport to New York,” Buffy announced. “She’s going to try and trace the ward back to its source.”

“What if she can’t get through the barrier?” Dawn asked, frowning.

“She thinks it might have been warded elsewhere but if it was inside the building…”

“We’ll find the witch,” Dawn said, sitting back up. “I’ll bring it down.”

“Dawnie…”

“Buffy, either the witch didn’t realize who I was or they didn’t know I was here,” she said. “If Willow can’t get in, that leaves the only other witch inside we’ve got—me.”

“And she’ll have the Avengers,” Clint said. “Cause I’m pretty sure this is an attack on us anyway.”

“Tony?”

“I can’t…she’s eighteen,” Tony sighed. “And she has a point.”

“I don’t like it any more than you do, Buf,” Steve agreed, coming over. “But I don’t know magic, none of us do. We need the barrier to fall, if only because I think Kate’s not going to be able to leave until it goes. Dawn too.”

“Alright,” Buffy agreed and she was obviously unhappy about it. “But I swear to God, Steve, if something happens to her…”

“You’ll have my full permission to kick my ass,” Steve agreed dryly. He then turned to Dawn, the Captain persona coming to the fore as he asked, “Where should we start?”

“Top or bottom of the building,” she said promptly. “Bottom, most likely, as the penthouse is on the top and it’s doubtful the witch got up there without JARVIS noticing.”

“There’s a couple rooms, small storage areas, in the basement that JARVIS isn’t in,” Tony said instantly. “JARVIS would have told us if he’d noticed someone doing magic where he could see.”

“I have noticed no individuals who’ve done something similar to what Miss Summers or Miss Rosenberg have done in the past,” JARVIS agreed. “However, a young man was seen going into one of the aforementioned blind rooms earlier this morning. He has not yet left."

“Did he have anything with him?”

“A toolbox,” JARVIS replied and a second later security footage showed the aforementioned man. Dawn straightened, eyes narrowing as she tried remembering where she’d seen his face before.

“Travers grandson,” she finally growled. “Of course.”

“Michael?” Buffy said, surprised. She then sighed. “I told Giles that would come back to bite us.”

“Not us,” Dawn noted. “The Avengers. There’s no way he’s actually working on his own. I wonder if he even knows I’m here.”

“Okay, who is he?” Tony asked impatiently.

“The grandson of the old head of the council,” Dawn replied. “Travers was an ass, more politically minded than anything else—you remember, I told you guys about him.”

“Ah, the guy who ordered Giles to drug Buffy and nearly got your mother killed,” Steve said. “That’s his grandson?”

“We tried giving Michael a chance, we know enough to know kids don’t always follow the family,” Buffy agreed. “He’s a mage, so we sent him to the academy. Only on Midsummer, when all the mages have to be tested for deceit, he failed.”

“Turns out he planned on ‘destroying us from within,’ as revenge for his father and grandfather,” Dawn said. “He blamed us for the First and Caleb blowing up the Council building while Travers and his father were in it.”

“The Devon coven bound his powers for six months and we kicked him to the curb, warning him not to try anything with us again—we wouldn’t be so lenient a second time, especially if someone got hurt,” Buffy said. “Well, Giles did that. I was all for throwing him in jail but a certain someone insisted that would be a tad unethical.”

“Cause it is,” Dawn replied dryly. “And yes, I know, you told me so. Still, he hasn’t killed anyone…”

“Yet,” Buffy muttered darkly. “Find him, Dawnie…he must not have known you were in the building.”

“Okey dokey, and what do I do once I find him?” Dawn asked, waiting. The phone was silent, Buffy murmuring with Giles and someone else. Finally the blonde came back to the line.

“We gave him a warning,” Buffy sighed. “And Althanea agrees this can’t continue—bind him. Willow will bring him back to the coven and they’ll …they’ll strip him if necessary.”

Dawn swallowed harshly but didn’t argue.

“Strip him?” Steve asked, frowning. “What does that mean?”

“I’m pretty sure it’s not making him naked,” Bucky agreed.

“They’ll strip him of all magic, make it impossible for him to ever perform magic again,” Buffy said so Dawn didn’t have to. She hesitated and then admitted, “It’ll hurt. Given how long he’s been practicing…it won’t kill him but he’ll be as weak as a newborn kitten for months once it’s finished. It’s not something the coven does lightly. They’ll do all sorts of tests and talks and rituals to decide if it’s needed but…Althanea thinks it might be. He's got a lot of anger in him and magic never does well when added to anger.”

“But he’ll live?” Steve pressed.

“Yes,” Buffy agreed. “He’ll have to learn to live without magic but yes, he’ll live.”

Just then an explosion rocked the building, causing Dawn to grasp onto Bucky to keep from falling to the ground. “What was that?” Buffy asked sharply.

“It appears demons are attacking the building,” JARVIS answered and a wall came to life with live footage as Tony headed for his suit. “Two different groups, one from the ground and one from the air.”

Just as Dawn recognized the demons (keltzer’s and quanins, both of which had explosive talons, hence the rocking of the Tower), the sun seemed to disappear. “We just lost the sun,” Dawn noted for Buffy’s benefit. She looked out a window. “Rainstorm appeared outta nowhere, dark enough for—“

“Vampires have entered the fray,” JARVIS announced and Dawn mentally thanked Spike for agreeing to be a guinea pig when Tony had been working on surveillance equipment that would get around the whole invisible reflection thing. “They don’t seem to have expected Vi and the other three slayers.”

“JARVIS, go into lockdown and order everyone away from the windows,” Dawn ordered, adrenaline giving her some semblance of control back. “Buffy, if Willow’s still there, maybe you can hitch a ride.”

A dial tone met her statement and she figured she’d be seeing her sister sooner rather than later. JARVIS made the announcement as Kate slipped off the table, ignoring Doc’s objections, to head for the stairs. “What a time for me to leave my weapons at home,” the slayer muttered.

“Hey Bishop?” Clint called and Dawn paused from making plans to get to the basement to watch Kate freeze and turn to Clint. “I got a bow you can use.”

Dawn was so going to tease the brunette later about that blush, make no mistake.

~~*~~

The Avengers men still in the infirmary split up. Steve and Bucky went to suit up, Bruce decided to remain inside for now and prepare for injuries with Doc, and Clint took both Kate and Dawn to the weapons locker two floors above where they’d been. Kate practically salivated at the bow and quiver Clint loaned her and Dawn silently wondered if he knew he’d never get it back. Dawn herself got a sword, two daggers, and two guns, one with real bullets the other with tranquilizers.

“Why the medieval weapons?” Dawn couldn’t help but ask, eying the wall of axes, swords, and various others.

“Cause Tony’s a paranoid ass and didn’t want to be caught with his pants down if something happened and guns and his suit didn’t work,” was Clint’s clipped reply.

“Lucky for us,” Kate chirped and if it weren’t for the tremble in her hands, Dawn would almost think she was back to normal. She spared a quick moment to wonder if she should even let Kate go with before realizing there was very little she could do to keep a slayer from joining the fight when it was demons—if it had been Doom or someone like that, Kate probably would have stayed back with her.

Maybe.

“Alright, where to?” Clint asked once he’d come back out of the room he’d slipped into to change. He was wearing the sunglasses he wore now, to help retain some semblance of anonymity. Of course, thanks to Tony, they weren’t anything mundane—Dawn had worn them once just to see what it was like and holy shit, did Tony do good work. Night vision, infrared, anything Tony had been able to think of, he’d stuffed into the glasses. Clint loved them.

“Kate, you stay with me,” Dawn said and when the girl looked about ready to argue, Dawn gave her a look. “You’re still under eighteen—the only reason I’m letting you help is because I don’t know what we’ll come up against and you’re the only slayer who can get in the building right now.”

Kate looked furious but she didn’t argue further. She knew the rules as well as Dawn did—no underage slayers got to fight unsupervised. Even if they got tagged to help during the Apocalypse season, they always had an older slayer paired with them.

“Dawn, heads up,” Bucky called and Dawn turned just in time to see him throw something at her as he joined them in his own suit. She looked down at the things and then up at him incredulously. “Natalia said to use her spares.”

Gingerly holding the Widow’s Bite, she finally nodded and allowed him to help her put them on. Clint showed her how they worked and Dawn took a deep breath. Time to get going.

Translation
Sukin syn: son of a bitch

The End?

You have reached the end of "Hand of Sorrow" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 24 Jul 13.

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