For the second time in one day they stood in front of this particular door,
and also for the second time it was Buffy who opened it for them.
“Oh, it’s you.”
“Is that your standard greeting or do you sometimes try other words as well?”
Kirika heard her partner ask.
“I don’t have to take that from some murderer you know.”
“Really? Because here I remember you calling us for help.” Oh yes, it was
obvious Mireille was enjoying this.
Buffy seemed on the verge of biting back when she visibly swallowed her anger
away and instead told them through gritted teeth. “Why don’t you come in? We
have more important things to do than stand here.”
When Mireille didn’t immediately move Kirika had enough and walked inside,
leaving the two blondes to glare at each other. Entering the living room she
recognized the man talking on the telephone as Rupert Giles, the Watcher she
“Yes, quite, thank you.” And he hung up the phone writing something on a
piece of paper. It was only when he turned around that he noticed her. “Oh,
hello. And you are?”
“Oh quite, one of the ehm, assassins.”
“Yes, that’s us. Are you going to act like Miss High and Mighty or will you
actually be able to deal with it?” Mireille asked, apparently having decided
that hanging around the front door wasn’t very entertaining after all.
“Miss High and Mighty? Oh you mean Buffy. Quite, ehm, no I think I’ll reserve
judgment for now actually.” And for some reason he began polishing his glasses.
“Miss High and Mighty? Who do think you are that you can go calling me
“Buffy, not now please.” Strangely enough it had been Mister Giles who said
it and, even weirder in Kirika’s opinion, it actually seemed to work.
“Sorry, you’re right. Dawn first, mass murderers later.” Mass murderers? It
seemed that her partner might have been right about how righteous this one
considered herself to be after all.
The man only sighed however and didn’t even bother stopping her again.
Probably a choice made from experience. “Quite, now I just got of the phone with
a contact who would try and find out where the Faithful will be located.”
“Faithful?” She asked, remembering the other time she had heard those words.
She had a crossbow bolt in her shoulder at the time but that maniacal sound
wasn’t one she’d easily forget.
“Oh yes, that ah, is what the kidnappers call themselves.”
“And why weren’t we told that this afternoon?” Mireille wanted to know,
glaring at the other blonde who she obviously figured to be the reason they
hadn’t been told.
“No, no. Buffy didn’t know about that this afternoon. I only told her and
Dawn about it after I had returned.”
“How did she get taken?” Kirika asked.
“She said she was going out for a while in order to think things over but we
believe she was taken not long after she left.”
“Believe?” Her partner asked incredulously. “You aren’t certain?”
“No, she told us she’d be back for dinner but when she didn’t show up Buffy
went looking for her and she was nowhere to be found.”
“So, she can be taken what, as early as four hours ago?”
“Yes, I’m afraid so.” Kirika looked at the so-called Slayer while Mister
Giles said this and could clearly recognize the despair the young woman
“By the people that want to kill her?” Mireille’s questions seemed to have a
great impact on Buffy who seemed to be withdrawing into herself every time one
“Don’t you think she’s already dead then?”
“No, actually I, ah I believe that they will perform some sort of ceremony
which means the actual, ah, killing will probably happen at either midnight or
“Why would they wait until midnight?” It wasn’t any more obvious to Kirika
than it was to her partner.
“Because of the magic of course.”
“They believe in magic?”
“Believe in magic? Well, yes of course but no more than they’d believe in a
chair. After all we all know that magic is real.”
“Magic real?” Mireille asked highly surprised. “You mean that you believe in
magic as well?”
“What?” Mister Giles seemed rather confused by their apparent disbelief and
it was Buffy who finished for him.
“You were bluffing this afternoon. I can’t believe it! You didn’t know
anything but actually pretended you did.” The anger about their deception made
her forget about her sister for a moment as she glared at them.
“What are you talking about?”
“I don’t believe it.” Buffy sighed. “Giles! They don’t know anything, they
probably got the whole Slayer and Key thing from those files but they don’t know
what it means.”
“Yes, I’m afraid you’re right.” The Brit answered. “But we do need their help
so it might be best if we explain what they’re going to face while we wait for
Philip to call.” He then focused back on them. “Now, unlike what most people
believe. The world did not start as a paradise…”
Where was she? Dawn mused. She was tied up, unable to see anything and she
sported several bruises. Oh, she knew she was kidnapped. Again! Why did this
kind of nonsense always happen to her? No use whining about it though, time to
think of a way to get out of here.
Now, what was the last thing she remembered? She had almost reached the park
when a car had stopped next to her and people got out, after that her mind was
blank. Okay, use your imagination to fill in what happened after that Dawnie.
They took her, obviously, and after making sure she couldn’t do or even see
anything they rode off to wherever she was now.
Well, that was useful she thought sarcastically. Now, who would want to
kidnap her? Was it a vampire, was it a demon or was it something completely
different. And why was she posing ridiculous questions to herself when she
already knew who was after her and therefore the most likely to kidnap her?
Licking her dry lips she realized there was only one way left for her to get
some information. “HEY! Where are you? Let me go you miserable excuses for
When she then heard footsteps nearing her location she knew that at last
she’d get some answers, whatever those answers might be. The anticipation sped
up her heartbeat until she could hear her heart fluttering at a speed that
couldn’t possibly be healthy. The footsteps halted and the cloth covering her
eyes was yanked away exposing her eyes to the sudden glare of the lighted room.
“Ah! Bastard.” She cursed the form she could barely make out. “Why have you
“You are the Key.”
“Oh yeah, now that’s a fantastic reason.” Unfortunately the sarcasm didn’t
appear to faze the form she was now starting to recognize as a man.
“You are a danger to humanity and therefore you must die. We understand
however the needs of your human body and are therefore willing to offer you a
“Great, you know, now that you mention it I am kind of hungry. I take it I
can choose it for myself?” Not bothering to wait for an answer she rambled on.
“There’s this restaurant in LA that has the best…”
“No, you will receive bread and water. As a tool of the Beast you do not
deserve anything more.”
“She tried to kill me! Why would I help her? Besides she’s dead!” Panic was
gripping her heart, she had no idea where she was and she was pretty sure
neither did Buffy. Which meant she might not make it out of here alive.
“The food will arrive shortly, if you feel the need to pray you may do so. At
half past eleven I will return to collect you, the deliverance will take place
at midnight.” With those parting words the man left the cell, leaving behind a
“Oh yes, this looks like their place in France alright.” Mireille broke the
They had arrived at what according to Mister Giles’ contact was the
headquarters of these so-called Faithful and Kirika was rather happy about the
distraction. She didn’t know what she feared more, the fact that vampires and
demons might actually exist or the fact that their companions on this mission
believed they did.
She looked at the two that had accompanied them here, while she didn’t like
going in with a couple of amateurs she also realized they couldn’t be stopped
from going. The goal of the mission was after all to rescue the blonde’s sister.
But then again, she refrained from shaking her head, they had both refused to
use a gun and instead had brought crossbows and swords.
Unlike her partner she knew exactly what weapons like that were capable of
and while they were useful it wouldn’t be enough when dealing with the kind of
numeric disadvantage they probably faced. Which meant that she might have to
spare some of her attention in order to keep them alive.
“Good, let’s go in then.” As Buffy started forward Kirika shared a glance
with Mireille. Neither of them seemed to understand why the Slayer had decided
she was the leader and she could see how her partner was going to protest. She
quickly shook her head in denial, trying to show Mireille it might be best not
to argue about it now. If it proved necessary they could always do so later,
when it was important enough.
* * *
Her partner had been right by comparing this building to the mansion outside
of Paris. While the architectures were naturally different there were a lot of
similarities, including the strangely religious atmosphere that hung over the
building. An atmosphere that was even more pronounced here because the building
they were approaching looked like monastery.
And of course, here too, there was a forest surrounding the base but
fortunately the security here was lacks, probably because everyone was more
interested in the killing of an innocent little girl than in watching their own
backs. Not that she minded that of course. With Buffy, who seemed to be able to
see a surprising amount in the dark forest, leading they made good time until
they finally reached the entrance.
“Plan?” Kirika asked in an attempt to find out what the Slayer wanted to do
know that they were here. If they discussed it now both she and Mireille could
probably dissuade her from an action that would amount to suicide.
“I knock.” Knock? She asked the silent question of her partner but from the
confused expression it was obvious she had no idea what the grim looking girl
was planning now.
That confusion didn’t last long however as Buffy walked to the door and after
examining it for a moment kicked it open with a resounding crash which left only
half of the door in its original place and the rest scattered over the floor.
After she had done so she moved her hand in front of her face where she actually
captured a crossbow bolt meant for her.
“Hello, I’m here to pick up my little sister. Is she ready?” Not bothering to
wait for the reaction of the people inside she then ran through the broken door.
“I guess we’d better follow her before she gets herself killed.” Mireille
told her. Nodding her agreement she sat out for the door as well, while Mister
Giles brought up the rear.
Upon entering the building she saw her partner sigh in resignation and
understood why she did so. Once again they were faced with people using swords
and the blonde still wasn’t able to use them. Something which must have galled
her even more this time because in front of them Buffy was fighting several of
the men simultaneously.
“Yes?” She wondered what her partner wanted.
“Once we’re back in Paris, we’ll buy those swords and you’ll teach me how to
use them. I’m getting sick and tired of not being able to fight these people.”
Finally, Kirika smiled at being told this before both of them raised their
silenced weapons and the bullets started to fly. When the knights noticed that
the Slayer wasn’t alone they came running and like in Paris, there were too many
of them to hold of with guns. This time however she didn’t even bother to wait
until her gun was empty before she dove in their midst.
Ducking beneath a swung sword she kicked the man behind her while putting her
gun in the face of the other. Pulling the trigger she fired her last bullet with
good effect. Realizing the gun was now useless she placed it in the small of her
back before reaching down for the sword whose owner no longer had need for it.
While looking around for a new target she noticed that instead of killing them,
Buffy merely knocked her opponents out. Had she had the time to shake her head
over such stupidity Kirika would have done so, instead she merely faced her next
When finally the last of the targets was gone she looked around. Quite a few
of the men on the floor had been killed by bullets, others by… varying… means
but there were still quite a few breathing ones left. And in her opinion there
was only one way to deal with that, taking hold of her gun once more she
replaced the empty clip and moved to the first of them.
“What are you doing?” Buffy asked but she didn’t pay the young woman any
attention. While the Slayer might be stupid enough to leave enemies at her back
she had no intention of doing the same.
A clean shot through the forehead took care of the first. As she then walked
to the next she spared a moment to glance at Buffy’s shocked face, it appeared
that while the Slayer hadn’t trusted Mireille at all, she had mistakenly taken
her for the more dangerous of them as well. But that mistake was one she
probably wouldn’t make again, Kirika thought while once again ending the life of
one of the defenseless men on the floor.
“It’s time.” The man told her as he entered the cell.
“Why do you have to kill me? I’m not a danger to anyone anymore.” She was
close to tears, this wasn’t the first time she was close to death but it wasn’t
very often she had the time to think about it. In fact the only other time she
had been informed of when she would die was when it was Glory who had tried to
use her as a way to get home.
The man didn’t tell her anything however and just picked her up and threw her
over his shoulder. She tried kicking but that only succeeded in hurting her
since beneath his robes he seemed to wear some kind of armor. She then tried
screaming and pleading but that started out useless as well, until the man
suddenly stopped and put her down.
Had she succeeded in convincing him to let her go? For the first time in
hours hope flooded through her, only to be crushed when her captor took out a
piece of cloth and gagged her. He didn’t explain his actions until they were
“You will not be blinded again, it is believed that you must face your
destiny with your eyes wide open. Your mouth however wasn’t specified and your
screaming might interfere with the ritual.”
She tried to remain strong but when they finally entered a large room with in
the center what could only be a sacrificial altar she couldn’t keep it up. Tears
pricked in her ears and when she was placed on the stone they started to flow.
Please don’t kill me. What had she ever done to them? She had never asked to be
created like this but she did like her life and wasn’t ready for it to end.
They couldn’t read her thoughts however and since she was gagged she couldn’t
tell them either, not that it stopped her from trying though. Her arms were
ruthlessly stretched above her head then and while she couldn’t see what was
happening, the feel of even more rope was unmistakable. Her legs received the
same treatment then until she lay spread-eagled on the altar, unable to move
even an inch.
An older guy, dressed more elaborately than the others, came to check her
bindings and when he pronounced them as sufficient even more people entered the
room. The old guy, who was probably the head-priest or whatever, then took some
kind of knife out of his robes and held it up high for all to see.
“It has taken us years to create this dagger but now it will finally be put
to its intended use.” Oh god, the sadistic bastard was making a show out of it.
“After tonight the earth will be freed from the danger that the existence of the
Key brings with it. We will end the danger by destroying the Key. Not only its
current human form but by using this dagger we will put and end even to its
He started chanting then in Latin but she wasn’t able to pay enough attention
to it to figure out what was being said. They were really going to do it and
unless Buffy showed up within the next couple of minutes her sister would be too
late. The priest suddenly brought the knife down in a fast movement and she felt
her heart stop.
The movement stopped a hairsbreadth from her skin however and she allowed
herself to breathe again for a moment, it hadn’t happened yet, it hadn’t
happened yet. Her heart too was working again although it appeared to have
permanently moved to her throat. The priest wasn’t done however as he suddenly
moved the knife, dagger, whatever, down her body. Ripping her shirt apart and
leaving her exposed.
She was far from happy with that but it wasn’t until the sadist began carving
in her flesh that Dawn learned why he had done it. The knifepoint seemed to be
made of fire as it cut into her body, the only thing that disproved that theory
was the fact that she couldn’t smell any burned flesh. She couldn’t stop the
screams however and she was certain that despite the gag the priests could hear
them. But even that didn’t stop the headpriest from continuing to carve patterns
into her body until she was coated in her own blood.
They had been hearing the muffled screams for almost five minutes when they
finally found the source.
“Oh god.” Kirika heard her partner whisper next to her. And for once she
couldn’t agree more with the blonde. From the entrance to the room they were
standing in they had a good view of the altar where the screams came from.
Screams that were loud enough even to drown out most of the chanting and with a
perfectly good reason.
Blood was dripping from the sides of the altar while someone was using a
dagger to carve into Dawn’s still living body. The poor girl was bound and
gagged and clearly a long way from healthy. In order to protect the Slayer and
Watcher Kirika had chosen against submerging herself into an emotionless state
but now she almost wished she hadn’t done so. The armor that would have given
her would have protected her from the nauseating feeling the sight caused her.
She would have had to deal with it at a later time but as it was she had no
doubt she’d have nightmares about it anyway.
But even while these thoughts spun through her head she had already started
to bring her gun up. Tactically it might not be the best way to fight these
people but she couldn’t let the girl die. So when the priest once again brought
his hand with the dagger up for another stroke she gently caressed the trigger.
The man staggered backwards, a surprised look on his face, but even that
lasted only for a moment before he fell down with part of his brain blown away.
The chanting went on for almost two seconds before the only thing that could be
heard in the room were the everlasting cries of pain coming from the altar.
If love can kill people, surely hatred can save them. Altena’s words, and in
this case they might actually prove to be true. Mireille had now brought up her
gun as well and without a word being spoken between them the sounds of silenced
guns being discharged joined that of the screams.
One down, two, three. Every time she pulled the trigger another target fell
to the floor. Since they probably wore armor beneath those robes she had aimed
every shot at the target’s head. Time seemed to have slowed down for her as the
priests needed valuable seconds to react. Seconds they didn’t have, her gun
clicked empty and with a practiced move she quickly replaced the empty clip. The
sound of her next shot coming nearly simultaneously with that of the empty clip
hitting the stone floor.
“DAWN!” The shout of anger and despair came from the entrance where she had
expected the other two to appear and indeed Buffy seemed to fly out of it. With
a sword in her hand she jumped over, under or went through everyone standing
between her and her sister. Obviously she had momentarily forgotten the fact
that she didn’t kill humans as nothing that dared approach her lasted more than
a couple of seconds.
While her attention was mostly on her own targets Kirika now finally
understood how badly she had underestimated the Slayer. The supernatural speed
and strength, while exhibited in the earlier fights, was now being used to its
fullest and the effects were devastating. As priests went flying until they
crashed into a wall she even started to wonder if her previous assessment, that
she would be able to beat the Slayer if it came to it, was correct. No, she
amended, she would be able to beat the young woman as long as she ensured that
she wouldn’t threaten Dawn.
Mireille’s gun clicked empty next and she had to focus on both their targets,
therefore no longer able to see how Buffy was doing. When next she could spare
the time she saw that the sisters had been reunited as Buffy was cutting Dawn
free from her bonds. A priest came up to the Slayer from behind but even before
she had a chance to shoot him the Watcher had done so with his crossbow.
It hurt so much. While Dawn knew Buffy had to do this in order to get her
free, every single movement of her body hurt. At least the gag had been the
first to go so she could tell Buffy how she knew there wasn’t anything she could
do about it. Even the blood that had dried up caused her pain now as it
contracted the flesh it was lying on, causing the cuts to open again, making her
bleed and she really didn’t want to think about the rest.
She felt a little dizzy, probably from the loss of blood, as she finally sat
up. “I would hug you but I don’t think that’d be very good for you.” Buffy told
her as she swung her feet of the altar she had feared to be the place of her
“Yeah, oh god it hurts. Thank you for being in time.”
“Not in time enough obviously, if that bastard hadn’t already been dead I’d…”
Yes, the priest was dead. Looking at the corpse on the ground before her she
couldn’t stop herself from smiling. At least that was one sadistic bastard that
had gotten his due. The dagger was lying next to him and she decided to take
that, it had been meant to kill her and now it would serve to protect her. She
hoped the priest would see that from his afterlife.
“Dawn watch out!” The sudden shout of alarm caused her to look up and she saw
the other priest she wanted to see die most. The one who had dragged her here,
who had gagged her when she pleaded for her life, who had… She knew Buffy was on
her way to save her again but besides the fact that she wasn’t sure if her
sister could arrive soon enough, this one was hers.
Lifting the dagger in the air she let out a shout of anger before rushing
him. The priest undoubtedly was surprised as he saw what had to look like a
naked girl, covered completely in blood and carrying their holy dagger coming at
him. And that surprise proved to be fatal as she didn’t wait for him to get his
defenses up but with whatever strength she still had rammed the knife through
his armor into his black heart. Watching him collapse to the floor was the last
thing she saw before she did the same.
* * *
The fighting was over and Dawn sat next to the one person she had killed
cradling the dagger in her hands. There was something about it that spoke to her
in a way she had never encountered before. She couldn’t explain the how or why,
but this weapon felt like it was the missing part of her life. It had been
created by men who wanted to use it to end her life but instead it would signify
her new life.
As the dagger was highly magical there were probably some consequences
attached to it that she hadn’t figured out yet but that didn’t matter. Twirling
the shiny blade in her hands she didn’t even notice how the others had now
gathered around her.
“Dawn, I ah, think it might be best if you put that away.” She dimly heard
“No, it’s mine.”
The next person who tried to take it away was Buffy. “Dawn, that knife was
meant to kill you, actually they used it to cut figures into you.” For a moment
Dawn was reminded of the pain again, but with the dagger in her hands it didn’t
seem to be so bad. “And who knows what kind of magic they used to achieve that.
It’s not safe.”
“That didn’t stop you from using the scythe.” She answered dreamily.
“That was different and you know it. Now give me that knife.”
“No, you don’t need it.” Because she knew her sister would continue to harp
on it until she gave in she then told her. “I will let Giles test it to see if
it’s safe. If it is, I get it back and if it isn’t we’ll decide what to do.
It was obvious Buffy didn’t like it but she agreed nonetheless. “Okay, Giles
will test it and if it’s safe you get to keep your little souvenir. But if it
isn’t we’ll destroy it.”
For the shortest possible moment she felt like planting the dagger in Buffy’s
heart but that feeling was gone so fast she didn’t know if it had been real or
not. And besides it didn’t matter what her sister wanted to do with the weapon
if it had proven to be dangerous, after all, she was certain Giles wouldn’t find
* * *
“We’ll meet again. I’m sure of it.” Kirika told her. “I don’t know why or
when but I am certain of it.”
Strange, that was probably the most she had heart the other say at one time
and the way she sounded so certain… “Okay, cool. Anyway if you ever encounter
any vampires, remember to stake them in the heart or cut off their head.”
“I’m still not convinced they exist but I will be careful.” Her newfound
friend seemed to hesitate about something.
“What about her?” She wasn’t happy about the mention of Buffy. The first
couple of days after she had been kidnapped the two of them had been able to be
nice to each other. But now that she was able to move freely again it seemed as
if that temporary reprieve was over.
“She loves you, like you love her. Don’t let past mistakes interfere with
“Yeah well, that’s easy enough to say for you. You don’t know what those
Kirika slowly shook her head before casting a glance at the impatient blonde
waiting for her. “It does not matter what the mistakes are. Both of you still
live, which is what is important. I too once did something that could have
ruined everything I have with Mireille but she forgave me despite everything.”
“Yeah well, I think the problems between Buffy and myself are a little more
than yours was.”
“No, I-I killed her family.” Kirika didn’t seem happy about having to admit
that but Dawn didn’t even really notice it. All she could think about was what
she had just heard and she was so shocked about that she couldn’t even move.
“Kirika, it’s time.” She dimly heard Mireille call out.
“I’m coming.” The smaller girl then stepped a little closer before whispering
in her ear. “All mistakes can be forgiven as long as you still care about each
other. Don’t let anything come between you and your family.”
She watched Kirika join her partner before both of them stepped through into
the section she wasn’t allowed to go. Standing in the warm foyer of the airport
Dawn waited until she could no longer see either of the women before she turned
Her hand went to the dagger she now kept hidden beneath her clothes, closely
held against the bandages that still swathed her entire torso. As she had
expected the knife had been cleared by Giles and now it was in her possession.
Where it would always remain.
It wasn’t until she had reached the underground station that she had finally
made up her mind about what Kirika had told her about Buffy. The other had been
right, whatever mistakes Buffy had made were in the past and she should stop
blaming the blonde for everything that went wrong. If she did that, maybe they
might actually have a chance to become a family again in the way families are
supposed to be.End
Post-fic comments: Well, that's the end of this story. I want to thank you
all for reading and hope you enjoyed it. Reviews are more than welcome of
course. There is a sequel to this story but as it isn't a crossover I haven't
posted it here. The first chapter can be found on fanfiction.net where I use the
same name. If you would prefer it to be posted here you just have to tell me and
I'll do it.