Dawn Summers and the Ring of No Confidence.By Dave Turner.Disclaimer:
I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the movie 'HELP!' I write these stories for fun not profit.Crossover:
BtVS with the Beatles movie 'HELP!'Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar:
Written in glorious English-English which is different to American-English.Timeline:
A 'Grim up North 2' story.Words:
Twelve chapters of 2500+ words.Warnings:
When in danger or in doubt, run in circles scream and shout!Summary:
A Grim Up North 2 story; It looks like Dawn's been selected to fill the vacant 'human sacrifice' spot yet again. This time its guys with sharp knives and pots of red paint who want to send her as a gift to their Goddess Kaili.0=0=0=0Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me.*
*:'Help!', Lennon and McCartney.The Temple of the Goddess Kaili, Middlesbrough, Cleveland, England.
The temple had at one time been a Territorial Army drill hall which was situated in the back streets of Middlesbrough. Once it had served the needs of one of the local Territorial Army infantry battalions, but, time and defence cuts had forced its closure and eventual sale. Now, several years after it had last echoed to the boots of part-time soldiers, its interior had been heavily rebuilt. Once the drill hall had had wooden floors and tall windows that let in plenty of light. Now the floor had been tiled over to make it easier to mop up the sacrificial blood and the windows had been boarded over, to prevent nosey neighbours from seeing the secret rites that were being held in the hall's interior.
Where once the walls had been hung with military posters of weapons and AFVs; now brightly coloured cotton drapes hung from floor to ceiling embroidered with scenes from the life of the goddess Kaili. At one end of the hall stood a great stone statue, fully twelve feet high, of the dark, six armed goddess Kaili herself. But today the object that took pride of place in the worshipper’s eyes was the heavy, round, stone, sacrificial table that stood in the centre of the hall. The worshippers, both men and women, crowded around the stone jostling each other in their attempts to get a better view of the actual ritual killing. A low murmur of conversation filled the room until the high priest and his acolytes appeared from a doorway behind the statue of the goddess. After sorting themselves out into the correct order of precedence, the high priest and his fellow priests stood before the statue of their deity; the high priest raised his hands in supplication.
“In the name of Preverti,” intoned the priest (a local second hand car salesman by the name of Mr Clang) in a high, monotone voice, “daughter of the mountains, whose embrace with Rani made the whole world tremble.”
“Tremble!” the congregation chanted as one.
“Tremble,” repeated the masked and robed priest as he advanced towards the sacrificial stone, his arms still held in the air, “Whose name is the Terrible. Whose name is Baleful. Whose name is Inaccessible. Whose name is the Black Mother, mother of darkness.”
As the high priest spoke, six strong men carried a litter shoulder high into the body of the temple. Lying on the litter was a naked teenage girl, covered from head to foot in red paint. As the high priest halted before the sacrificial slab, an under priest presented him with the sacrificial dagger. This the high priest would use it to cut out the girl's still beating heart as an offering to the dark goddess.
“Kaili!” chanted the congregation as the men dressed in more simple robes than the high priest approached the stone table.
“We turn our hearts to Kaili,” the high priest held the dagger out in front of his masked face, “Drinker of blood, Black Mother...”
“Kaili!” Chanted the congregation once more as the men laid the girl on the sacrificial altar and the priest stepped up onto the step that ran around the base of the altar stone.
“...Killer of demons,” continued the priest as he raised the knife in preparation of bringing the girl's short life to a swift and bloody end, “gorge on this flesh, our offering...DRINK!”
Just as the high priest was about to plunge his dagger into the girl's willing flesh, a priestess stepped forward and grabbed the high priest's arm preventing him from bringing the ceremony to a swift and bloody conclusion.
“HALT!” Cried the priestess loudly.
“Halt?” The high priest put down his blade and took off his grotesquely decorated mask.
“The Ring!” The priestess pointed before reaching for the girl's left hand, everyone’s eyes switched from the priestess to the girl's hand, “She is not wearing the sacrificial ring.”
The congregation started to mutter angrily amongst themselves, they had come to the temple to see a good sacrifice. Now it appeared that they'd have to go home without their monthly dose of sacrificial blood and they weren't a happy congregation.
“She cannot be sacrificed without the ring,” the pretty, dark haired priestess informed everyone in a strong clear voice.
“Where is the ring?” demanded the high priest, “What has she done with the ring?” the priest pointed at the girl, “Search her!”
As the girl was completely naked except for her covering of red paint, it didn't take the temple attendants long to complete their task; they come away empty handled. At a signal from the high priest the temple guards began to chivvy the congregation out onto the street before their disappointed mutterings turned into something more violent. Alone with only his closest attendants and the sacrificial offering, who had by now been given a robe of her own to cover herself up with, the priest held up his hand for silence.
“Something must be done,” he announced stating the obvious, “this is shocking!”
“Monstrous,” agreed the under priest who'd earlier handed the high priest his sacrificial knife.
“We must find the ring, Bhuta,” the high priest turned to the under priest.
“You ask of me, Master?” Bhuta replied.
“Obedience and love,” intoned the high priest.
“This is so, Master,” the under priest declared.
“Ahme?” the high priest turned to the priestess, who normally worked on the cigarette counter of the local branch of a national chain of supermarkets.
“This is so, Master,” replied the priestess with a slight roll of her limpid eyes.
“The ring...” began the high priest only to be interrupted by the under priest.
“Has nobody looked on the washbasin?” asked Bhuta.
“Something must be done...” repeated the high priest, “...without the ring there will be no sacrifice, without the sacrifice there will be no congregation. Without the congregation...” the high priest took a long shuddering breath, “...we'll all have to find something else to do on the second Friday of the month!”
“This is so,” Bhuta agreed, while the priestess gave them both dark looks.0=0=0=0A street market in Middlesbrough.
Having finished school with a couple of good 'A' level results under her belt, Dawn had found that she didn't want to go to college or university. Instead she wanted to go out into the world and get a job where she could help people, she also didn't want to work for the Slayer Organisation. Luckily for Dawn (but not her sister), Buffy had been in prison when Dawn left school so couldn't exactly insist that she should work for the 'Organisation'. The other adults in Dawn's life, Giles, Willow and Faith, had all said the same thing; that she should do what she wanted to, within reason; they all drew the line at Dawn going to Stripper College, even Faith.
So, while Buffy was languishing at Her Majesty's pleasure in Slade Prison, Dawn had joined the Cleveland Ambulance Service. Her choice of career was prompted by the fact that she'd already spent several years helping to keep her sister and the other slayers alive long enough to get them to proper medical care. Also, as has already been pointed out, she felt the need to help people and what better way to help people than to join one of the emergency services? Working in the ambulance service, she'd be a first responder and she'd also, no doubt, hear of any unusual circumstances behind any strange injuries so she could pass the information on to Giles.
At the moment Dawn was a driver on an emergency ambulance. Early in her training she'd discovered that she must have had Buffy's share of the Summers' family 'driving gene' because she was a 'way' better driver than her sister. As the driver of an emergency ambulance, not only did she get to drive at high speed though Middlesbrough with lights flashing and sirens wailing, she also got to assist the paramedic who made up the second member of the ambulance's crew. Dawn was working hard to become a proper paramedic herself. In fact she'd recently finished another course that put her one step closer to attaining her ultimate goal.
Today, however, was Saturday and she was on leave for two weeks. Having slept in late, Dawn and Faith had got up at about eleven and had a lazy brunch before heading out to do some shopping in one of the local street markets. Dawn and Faith had lived together ever since Giles had suggested that Faith move into the spare room in Dawn's flat. The two young women had been sleeping together ever since a particularly bloody mission in Scotland not long before Buffy went over the edge and descended into alcohol abuse and had eventually been sent to prison on trumped up burglary charges. They'd grown particularly close during the year Buffy had been 'doing time' and now it looked as if they were in a long term relationship.
They wandered between the market stalls, most of which held junk, but there were some nice craft stalls and once in a while they found something magical. Occasionally Faith found a weapon that she just had
to have. Leaving her girlfriend looking at a dagger with a long curved blade covered with Arabic inscriptions, Dawn walked slowly over to a stall that sold what looked like antique jewellery. Picking through the boxes of old, fake pearl necklaces and gold coloured pendants, Dawn's eye soon fell on a box that contained nothing but rings.
Dawn liked jewellery, in fact she was something of an expert on gems and settings, of course she wasn't good enough to make it a career, but she could usually tell if something was genuine or not. Searching through the box of rings, Dawn picked out a ring with what looked like a large ruby in a gold setting. Holding it up to the light she could see how the light reflected redly within the stone, but... But if the ruby was real it was probably way out of her price range and maybe it was just a little too big and flashy.
Putting the ring back in the box with the others, Dawn searched though several other boxes and came up with a pendant she thought might have magical powers. It was a snip too at only £10, she'd buy it and show it to Willow or Giles. If it turned out to be magical it could be put somewhere safe, if not, she had a cool, new pendant to wear. Holding the pendant by its chain in one hand, Dawn found herself looking at the big, ruby ring again, she signed with desire as she looked at the ring. Okay, it might be big and a little over the top, but it was also beautiful and the stone appeared to be calling to her...'buy me, buy me'...it seemed to say. Picking up the ring once more, Dawn looked closely into the red heart of the jewel. Patterns of red light played across her eyes as she stared, mesmerised, at the ring; she just had to have it.
“Excuse me,” Dawn called to the stall holder, a middle aged woman of Indian appearance, “how much for the ring?”
“Let me see,” the woman took the ring from Dawn's hand and looked at it closely for a moment, she also looked into Dawn's face, after a moment or two the woman spoke again, “This is a good piece, I couldn't let it go for less than £45, dear.”
“Forty-five pounds?” Dawn replied uncertain of what to do.
“Sorry,” the woman held the ring just out of Dawn's reach.
Forty-five pounds was more than she'd meant to spend, but... A thought entered her mind, if she bought the pendant and it turned out to be magical she could tell Giles that it had cost more than it had so she'd make back a little of what she'd spent on the ring.
“Hey,” Dawn smiled one of her most charming smiles, she held up the pendant, “throw in this,” she held up the pendant, “and I'll buy the ring.”
“Hmmm,” the woman eyed Dawn for a moment, “Alright, you have a pretty smile and an honest face, forty-five pounds for the two, then.”
“Great,” Dawn went for the purse in her shoulder bag and counted out the money, “Here...”
“Don't you want to check that it fits first?” asked the woman before taking Dawn's money, “There's no refunds if it doesn't.”
“No that's okay,” Dawn took the pendant and slipped it into her bag before slipping the ring onto the third finger of her left hand, “Look,” she smiled happily, “it fits perfectly.”
“Good,” smiled the woman as Dawn's banknotes disappeared into her cash box “enjoy your ring.”
“Yeah, thanks,” Dawn smiled as she turned away to look for Faith while still gazing at her new ring.
It didn't take her long to find her girlfriend, by which time she'd stopped grinning like an idiot at her new piece of jewellery and was almost a sensible grown-up again.
“Hi sweet-heart!” Dawn cried as she came up behind Faith.
Turning to face Dawn, Faith couldn't stop herself from slipping her hand into Dawn's and kissing her lightly on the lips.
“Hi y'self,” Faith smiled, “where've ya been?”
“Oh around,” Dawn replied as they walked hand-in-hand between the market stalls, “buy anything?”
“Yeah,” Faith patted the leather motorbike jacket she wore with her free hand, “remember that knife with all the Arabic writin' on the blade?”
“Uh-huh,” Dawn nodded.
“Yeah, well, I got that.”
“How much?” Dawn wanted to know.
“Only thirty-five quid,” Faith replied using the slang term for 'pounds', “did you get anything?”
“Oh yeah!” Dawn grinned and held out her left hand so Faith could see the ring.
“Wow!” Faith stared at the ring, it wasn't something she'd wear, but Dawn seemed to like that sort of thing.
“Only forty-five pounds,” Dawn smiled; if the ruby was real it would be worth thousands and Faith could hardly complain about her buying a ring for forty-five pounds after she'd spent thirty-five on a knife. “And I got this pendant thing as well, but that's probably magic so I'll have to hand it over to Willow or Giles.”
“Whatever,” Faith shrugged, they were now out of the market and standing in front of the Cleveland Shopping Centre, “ya wanna coffee or something?”
“I'd love an 'or something',” Dawn giggled, “but we'd probably get arrested so I'll make do with a coffee.”
“Dawn Summers you're such a slut,” Faith joked as they walked towards the entrance of the Mall.
“Can you blame me when I've got the hottest girlfriend in the entire world?” Dawn asked.
“Okay, seeing how ya put it like that,” Faith squeezed Dawn's hand gently, “I'll let ya...for now...” a wicked smile crossed Faith's face, “...but only 'til I get ya home, right?”
“Promise?” Dawn replied with just a hint of pleading.0=0=0=0A/N
: Just to let you know; no Beatles will be appearing in this fic...not even a cameo!