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Red Dawn

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Summary: After the series finale, Dawn learns firsthand that there's more to dying than just death.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Highlander > Dawn-Centered > Pairing: Richie Ryan(Past Donor)JoyfulFR715,286032,84116 Dec 0416 Dec 04Yes
Title: Red Dawn


Author: Joyful ( AuntMelba1@aol.com )


Disclaimer: None of these people belong to me, I’m just playing with them. Joss owns Dawn & Co., and the Immortals belong Davis/Panzer. The Charmed Ones belong to Aaron Spelling & the WB, and any other fandoms that pop up don’t belong to me either. I do not know anybody associated, and I am making no money off of this. Please don’t sue me, all you’ll get is $17.50, some Buffy mags and a bunch of tapes of the Scifi channel.


Summary: It’s year & a half after the Hellmouth is closed and everybody’s gone their separate ways. Then something happens to Dawn, so she goes to the only person she can trust. Contains both slash and het pairings.


Feedback: Feed my ego. Flames will be laughed at.


Notes: For Kate, ‘cause she’s my mini-muse, and for Ms. Moon ‘cause she’s the most kick-ass beta in the world.

~*~*~*~

+Prologue+

Dawn Summers loved to fight. It was probably because of her upbringing, being the sister to the Slayer, and the former Key of the Beast, but she loved a bit of violence before she went to bed. Buffy hated Dawn patrolling by herself, but Dawn figured that since Buffy didn’t stick around to watch her finish high school she didn’t have a say in what she did. Dawn strolled through the dark streets, looking for something to do, maybe a demon to kill or a vamp to stake. Dawn knew she shouldn’t be walking through the city streets alone, as a teenaged girl. She had a stake and Faith’s old Jackal, so she felt pretty safe, but there was more to worry about in New York City than just vampires.

A lot had changed in Dawn’s life since Sunnydale became a crater. Everybody had gone off, to follow their own paths, including Buffy. With her sister off in Europe “finding herself,” Dawn’s guardianship had been transferred to Rupert Giles, head of the new Watcher’s Council based in Cleveland, Ohio. Giles knew that Dawn was getting antsy in Cleveland, so he presented her with a car on her graduation, and a small savings account, so that she could see the world, as her friends were all doing. So, Dawn was determined to drive throughout the country, like Xander had planned to do after he graduated. So now she found herself in Central Park, patrolling for something to kill, trying to forget all the people who’d left her in her life. Now she was the one doing the leaving.

Dawn spotted a vampire about to drink from a coed and kicked her in the chest.

“Run,” she instructed the girl, before the vampire pulled herself off the ground, fangs showing.

“Oooooo, a Slayer wannabe, this ought to be good,” the vampiress drawled. She knocked Dawn flat on her back, and was about to bite before Dawn flipped her over, copying a move she’d learned from Faith, and dusted the bitch. It saddened Dawn to think about Faith. She’d been teaching the new Slayers in Cleveland when it happened. She and Robin were driving somewhere when the drunk driver came out of nowhere. The car had exploded almost instantly. There were no survivors. Dawn found it ironic that somebody who had survived so much would die in a simple car crash. So she fought with Faith’s beloved Jackal as a tribute to the dark Slayer. Walking through the vast park, Dawn noticed a black girl making work of a few vampires.

“Hey Rona,” Dawn said, not too loudly.

“Dawn? What are you doing here?”

“Looking for a bit of exercise before bed. I’m traveling the country. Graduation present. Where’s your Watcher?”

“She’s back at home, doing research. Some freaky warlock dude wants to take over wall Street or something. How’s Giles?”

“He’s good. Still back in Cleveland. He and Ethan seem to have found their niche with the Council and the Slayer School. They’re reforming their coven and everything.”

“Sounds cool. Find anything good tonight?”

“Just one vamp and a would-be mugger. I beat him up pretty good.”

“Seriously, you’re the toughest non-Slayer I know.”

“I think it’s ‘cause of all the Buffy-DNA. How ‘bout you?”

“Four vamps and some creepy blue and green demon with an axe. He was slimy.”

“Ew. Sounds like a Mithrak. I’d be careful if I were you, they usually have mates.”

“Gross. Anyways, I should get back to Sarah, she’s going to want an update. You be careful.”

“Aren’t I always?”

“Nope.” The two girls high-fived and went their separate ways. Dawn decided to take a short cut back to her hotel. As she walked through the dark alley, she heard yelling. Two men appeared to be fighting over drugs or something, so Dawn figured she should break it up.

“Hey guys, break it up. I’m sure you can work it all out if you just settle down--” Dawn wasn’t able to get the rest of it out before the shots rang out. Frightened, the man still standing dropped his gun and ran, not stopping to check on the other guy. Dawn’s eye’s widened as she slumped against the wall, sinking to the ground. It was surreal as she realized she had been shot. Slowly, her eyes closed as she sank into darkness, letting death take her.

~*~*~*~

+Chapter 1+

Dawn’s eyes opened as she heard the sirens approaching. She knew that something freaky was happening, and she couldn’t have the police find her. Stumbling over the other man’s body, she ran as fast as she could handle to her hotel, and dashed into her room. Standing in front of the mirror, she pulled off her shirt and stood in front of the mirror in her pants and bra. Two matching bullet holes, one over her left breast, the other a few inches lower. She turned around and looked over her shoulder, to see that the higher bullet had gone clean through, and she knew instinctively that it had punctured her heart and left lung. She pressed her finger against the lower hole, and found that the bullet was imbedded in her ribcage, Sighing painfully, as the hole has yet to heal, she grabbed a small, sharp knife and laid down flat on her back. Gritting her teeth, she dug the bullet out.

“What the fuck am I?” Dawn asked, as she saw that the wounds were ever-so-slightly healing already. She ran her fingers through her sticky, drying blood. Stressed to the point of breaking, Dawn stepped out of her pants and underwear, and pulled off her blood-soaked bra. As a few tears found their way down her pale cheeks, she turned on the shower. Sobbing, Dawn stepping into the shower, the water, blood and tears mixing together and running down the drain.

Less than an hour later, Dawn was dressed and throwing everything together. She checked out of the hotel and rushed to her car, startled momentarily by an odd sensation in the pit of her stomach. Shrugging it off, she threw everything in the backseat and turned the key in the ignition. Taking deep breaths, she pulled out of the parking lot and headed to the closest person she trusted: Rupert Giles.

Dawn drove all night, making the best time she could. Eventually, she pulled into the residential area that her sister’s Watcher now called home. She knocked on the door, but there was no answer, so she pulled out her keys and let herself in.

“Giles?” She called out. “Ethan? Vi? Stephanie? Anybody?” When she had no answer, she collapsed on the couch, and quietly cried herself to sleep.

~*~*~*~

Giles was listening to Stephanie recite the different ways to kill a Semblar Beast as they walked into the house with the groceries. The pre-teen set down the bags and wandered into the living room.

“Mr. Giles, Dawn’s on the couch, she doesn’t look very good.”

“Stephanie, please take the food into the kitchen and put it away,”

“Yes Sir,” the 12-year-old Slayer replied. Giles walked over the sofa where the teenager was sleeping. She looked pale, and had obviously been crying.

“Dawn?” he said gently as he rested his hand on her shoulder. Dawn shook awake, and sat up quickly with her face frozen in fear.

“Giles,” she breathed, throwing her arms around him. Giles embraced his ward. It was obvious that something very upsetting had happened to the girl.

“Dawn? What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know. Giles, I died last night.”

“What?” he asked, confused. Dawn lifted up her shirt to reveal the two bullet wounds. A thin layer of flesh was already covering them.

“Oh my. Dawn, it’s very important you tell me everything that happened last night.”

“Okay. I was in New York, and I staked a vampire, and then I bumped into Rona on patrol. We talked for a bit and then went our separate ways. I took a shortcut through an alley, and these two guys were fighting. I tried to break it up, and this guy started shooting. I fell down, and I died. I felt myself go and I really died. One bullet went all the way through, Giles, through my heart and left lung. I dug the other out,” Dawn dropped the bullet in Giles’ hand. “I woke up in the alley, I don’t know how long I was there. I heard sirens, and I ran as fast as I could. “I dug out the bullet, and the holes were already starting to close. Took a shower and then came here. Oh, and there was this guy, I only saw him for a second, as I was leaving the hotel, but I got the weirdest feeling in the pit of my stomach. I felt all tingly.” Giles sat there for a moment. Almost instantly, he knew what had happened. But it didn’t make sense, not Dawn. She was already set apart from human, and now this too? It wasn’t fair to the child.

“Dawn, I’m going to look through a couple books, and make a phone call. I need you to get something to eat, and then go upstairs and take a nap. Your room is still the way you left it.”

“Okay,” she said in a small voice. She went into the kitchen, and made herself s sandwich, and then went up to bed. She felt stretched to the breaking point. Downstairs, Giles picked up the phone and dialed the last known number for Connor MacLeod.

“Hello, Connor? It’s Rupert Giles.”

“Oh, hello Rupert, I haven’t spoken to you in a while. What can I do for you?”

“My ward, Dawn Summers had an unfortunate accident in New York last night. She was shot, twice in the chest.”

“Oh Rupert, that’s awful, but why are you calling me?”

“Well, it seems that a little while later she got up, went back to her hotel room, dug out the bullets and came back to me. I think you might want to meet her.”

“Yes, I am quite intrigued. But why me?”

“Well, I would have called Adam, but I don’t know where to reach him. Also, she’s not yet eighteen, and young Immortals tend to died very young. I was hoping you would train her.”

“Seventeen? That’s young. I’ll come and see her, but I can’t promise to keep her alive, Rupert. I am the youngest of any that lasted more than fifty years, and I was eighteen when I died.”

“I understand. We’re in Cleveland now. If you could come, I would find it a great help.”

“I’ll leave this afternoon.” They said their goodbyes and hung up. Now all Giles had to do was tell his adopted daughter that she was Immortal.

~*~*~*~

+Chapter 2+

Dawn slept for the rest of the day and clear through the night. She woke up to that weird tingly sensation again. After a quick shower she got dressed, noticing that the bullet holes were nothing but white scars. Tying her hair up in a messy bun, she headed downstairs to grab some breakfast. She poured herself a bowl of cereal and starting shoveling Lucky Charms into her mouth as she came to the realization that she was being watched. Giles and another man were looking on with marked interest.

“Dawn, this is Connor MacLeod. Connor, this is Dawn Summers.”

“I saw you in New York. Are you the one causing the weird feelings?”

“Yes. Dawn, perhaps you should sit down,” the man instructed in a lilting Scottish accent.

“Okay, why?” she asked around mouthfuls of Lucky Charms.

“Dawn, you’re an Immortal.”

“I am? Cool. I thought it might be something like that.” Connor looked shocked.

“Cool? That’s all you have to say? I’ve never seen anybody react like that before.”

“What should I do? Freak out and try to kill myself? Been there, done that. Besides, I was raised by a Slayer, a mage, and a vampire, was nearly impaled by a god, and beheaded by crazy knights. I gave up on being normal a long time ago.” Connor looked confused.

“Dawn is the Key. We had an encounter with Glorificus a few years ago.”

“Damn. Rupert, you said she was special, but the Key and an Immortal? You never mentioned that. Anyway, Dawn, I’m here to train you.”

“Train me for what?”

“There are many Immortals, but in the end there can be only one. We swordfight, in a battle known as the Quickening, one on one. When one Immortal is beheaded, the other gains their power and knowledge. You are only safe from battle on Holy Ground, and you need to be ever vigilant.”

“Crazy. So, basically, you’re telling me I’m gonna go around with a sword, looking for other Immortals so I can chop off their heads?”

“That’s pretty much it. That sensation you felt when I came near, that’s how you can identify other Immortals. There are other things you need to know. Immortals can’t have children, and once you’ve died, you will no longer age. Your menses will stop, and you will not develop any further.” Connor braced himself for the explosion, but was amazed how calmly Dawn took the information.

“Point being what? I can’t have children anyway, don’t have periods. My blood contains mystical energy, and therefore I don’t lose it very often, only if I’m shot or stabbed. Besides, I’m only 3 ½ years old. The not aging part kinda sucks though. I was hoping my boobs would get bigger.” Giles snorted while Connor laughed heartily at Dawn’s bluntness.

“So, we gonna train? I want to put on some comfy clothes. Which sword should I use?” Dawn asked, chattering a mile a minute.

“Do you have a sword your particularly fond of?” Dawn set her bowl down on the coffee table and dashed up to her room.

“Buffy gave me this one for my birthday. It’s my favorite.” She handed the weapon to Connor who admired the craftsmanship.

“Short saber, a little younger than me. It’s beautiful.”

“Can I see yours?” the teenaged child asked. Connor respectfully pulled his sword from it’s sheath and gently laid it in the girl’s hands.

“It belonged to my mentor, Ramirez. But you wanted to get changed for training, correct?”

“Oh, yeah, I’ll be right back.” She ran upstairs, saying hello to Ethan as she passed him in the hall, and went to put on some workout clothes. Ethan headed downstairs.

“Morning, Ripper. MacLeod? What are you doing here?”

“Miss Summers is Immortal.”

“Interesting turn of events, that. You going to train her?”

“To the best of my ability. Where is the best place to work, Rupert?”

“We have an excellent facility at the school, and there’s a small training room through there. Dawn can show you where everything is, I have my own girls to train today.” The two old friends nodded to each other, and Ethan and Giles headed down to the dorms to get the younger Slayers ready for training. The group they were working with that day were the under 12-year-olds. Dawn came down in her leggings and a halter top.

“What first?”

“First, we are going to run. You are going to run every morning before breakfast until you can run ten miles without taking a breather.” Dawn wrinkled her nose

“What’s the fun in running if you’re not being chased?” Connor gave her a look.

“Let’s go, Dawn. You are most vulnerable right now, and if you want to keep your head attached to your shoulders, you will do exactly what I say.”

“Dude, okay, just, let me grab a water bottle.” She dashed into the kitchen for some water and they went for a run. Dawn was able to go five miles without stopping, which Connor found to be a pleasant surprise. They then did some sparring, and starting Dawn’s extensive sword training. She only knew basic swordplay, which would not do for an Immortal. It was already dark before Connor let her stop for supper. Connor declared it a good first day’s work.

~*~*~*~

+Chapter 3+

Connor spent several months with Dawn in Cleveland, and before long it was nearing Christmas. Buffy called from Germany to wish her family love and say that she wouldn’t be home for the holidays. Xander and Willow called with similar messages. So Christmas was a small, quiet affair. Most of the Slayers were home with their families, so Dawn spent Christmas Eve and Night at home with Giles, Ethan, Connor and Andrew. Dawn and Andrew were still amazed by Ohio winters. This was only their third white Christmas, if you counted that morning in Sunnydale when the PTB gave them a gift. But still, Dawn felt abandoned. Christmas evening in front of the fireplace, Dawn made an announcement.

“I’m leaving tomorrow. I need to clear my head, so I’m going to LA to see Spike.” She turned to Connor. “You can come if you like, but I’m not asking permission.” Connor sighed. She was so willful, this one, never obeyed orders.

“Fine, I’ll come with you, I need to go up to Seacouver soon, anyway. You’ll come with me after you visit your friends. You shouldn’t be traveling long distances alone yet. There will be headhunters out and about, and you’ve still yet to face your first Quickening.”

“Whatever dude, I just have to get out of here.” And with that she dashed up to her bedroom, slammed the door shut and collapsed on the bed. Stupid Buffy. Stupid Xander, stupid Willow. Stupid dead-beat dad who couldn’t even pick up a phone when the town his daughters lived in collapsed. Assholes.

Downstairs, Andrew was clearing away egg-nog glasses and torn wrapping paper.

“Dawnie will be okay. She’s just sad, it’s a trait among Sunnydale teenagers: everybody leaves. Teachers, parents, older siblings. They’re either killed who God knows what, or they leave town with hardly an excuse at all. I went through it, so did Tucker and Jonathan. Xander and Willow faced it as well. It’s something you learn, even starting at a young age in Sunnydale. People leave.” Andrew carried the dishes into the kitchen and began to wash them, leaving the two mages and the Scottish Immortal to talk about Dawn.

“I know I’m hard on her,” Connor said. “Probably moreso than any other Immortal I’ve trained. But she’s so young, I want her to make it, and I think she has a good chance at it right now, if she puts all of herself into it.”

“Just remember, MacLeod, you fell into the world of the supernatural when you were eighteen. Dawn was born into it, for lack of a better word. Although she never was born.”

“It’s all very odd,” Connor said, “but I suppose it should give her an advantage. I’m taking her to Duncan’s dojo, she’ll meet some other Immortals and learn that not everybody fights the same way.”

“She already knows how to fight dirty,” Ethan said, “Ripper and Spike made sure of that.”

~*~*~*~

Dawn walked into Wolfram & Hart, ignoring the ping of the metal detector her broadsword made. She decided that the broadsword Buffy gave her was more handy than the short saber. She didn’t see Angel or Spike, so she went up to the front desk.

“Excuse me-- HARMONY?!” Dawn yelped, and had her sword at the vampire’s neck in seconds.


“Dawn, it’s good to see you, can I help you?” Connor rested his hand on Dawn’s shoulder.

“Give me one good reason not to slice your head off, Harmony Kendall.”

“Because I’m Angel’s receptionist?” Dawn scoffed, but lowered her sword.

“You know this girl, Dawn?” Connor asked.

“She tried to kill me. She was a bitch even before she was a vampire. Plus, she was mean to my family.” Dawn scowled at Harmony. “Where’s Spike?” Harmony pressed the intercom button.

“Hey boss, there’s someone here to see Spike.”

“Who is it?” Angel’s voice boomed through the intercom.

“Dawn Summers.” Harmony barely had the name out of her mouth before Spike shot out of the office into the lobby.

“Platelet!” he exclaimed, picking her up and spinning her around.

“Hey Spike,” Dawn said, hugging him tightly. Angel and Wesley came out to see what Spike would react so strongly about Buffy’s little sister. Dawn held on for what seemed like forever to the onlookers, and then let go, punching him, hard.

“Ow. ‘Bit, what’s that for?”

“For not finding us when you came back. For staying here. And for missing my freaking graduation!”

“Oh,” Spike said, looking guilty. “I really wanted to come, Bit, but I didn’t get the graduation announcement until the day after the ceremony. Anyway, what brings you to Wolfram and Hart?”

“I died,” Dawn said matter-of-factly. Spike sniffed.

“You do smell a little different. You Immortal?”

“Yep. That’s Connor. He’s taken over my training. Show me around, you giant loser.” William the Bloody proceeded to show his surrogate daughter around the law firm.

“Well, you know Angel, of course.”

“Hey Dawn.”

“Hey Deadboy,” she said, meriting a glare. “Oh look, it’s Wussly Wimpy-Spice,” Dawn said with a giggle. “Although, looking much cooler and. . .grungier than the last time I saw you. Looking good Wes.”

“Hello Dawn. Well, it has been a few years. But please never call me that again.”

“Call who what again?” Charles Gunn asked as he stepped out of his office to see what the commotion was.

“Wussly Wimpy-Spice,” Dawn repeated, which caused Gunn to laugh very loudly.

“Kid, I like you. Charles Gunn,” he said, holding out his hand.

“Dawn Summers,” she introduced herself, giving Gunn a hearty handshake.

“Ahh, Summers. As in Buffy, right? The Slayer?”

“That’d be my sister,” Dawn said, nodding.

“You just come for a visit?”

“Yeah, I came to see Spike, and maybe Angel, if he‘s not being all broody and glowery for ten minutes. That’s Connor, he’s my mentor dude.” Connor rolled his eyes at her.

“So, Platelet, what’s up?”

“So now I’m Immortal, and very likely to not die at a young age, which is a plus. Gotta keep my head on my shoulders, which apparently takes more work than I thought,” Dawn said as they walked alone for a while. Wesley had hijacked Connor to know every possible thing about Immortals, and Gunn had gone back to whatever he’d been doing. Dawn looked at Spike seriously.

“I need you back in my life again, Spike. I’m spiraling out of control, and I don’t know if I can do it.”

“I promised Buffy I would take care of you until the end of the world, and that’s what I’ll do.” Dawn hugged Spike tightly, and Spike went to tell Angel he was leaving.

“’Ey, Peaches. Dawn needs me for a while. I’m going to fulfill an obligation I made to Buffy.”

“How is your sister, Dawnie?” Angel asked.

“Hell if I know. The world didn’t end, so she split. She hasn’t come back since. Xander and Willow too. They all just left once Sunnydale was no more.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. So, why do you need Spike?”

“Um, my life is pretty much crap at the moment, considering I died. Now I’m Immortal, and everything sucks. Spike takes care of me.”

“Dawn, let me help you. You don’t need Spike. I help people, that’s what I do.”

“You mean like how you helped people by killing my friends and trying to kill my family, and torturing the closest thing I had to a father? No thank you, Angel. Just because you screwed my sister doesn’t mean I owe you anything. Spike’s the one that took care of me when Buffy died. You were nowhere to be found. So, I’m sorry, but I’m not staying here to help ease your guilt. Spike? Let’s go.” Dawn ordered, grabbing her vampire and her mentor, and bidding goodbye to Wesley and Gunn before they left.

~*~*~*~

+Chapter 4+

Connor, Dawn and Spike headed up to Seacouver that very day. They nicked one of Angel’s cars with the necro-tempered glass as to not have Spike burst into flames. When they got there, they were surprised to find Duncan’s dojo empty, so Connor led the two to Joe’s bar.

Ritchie Ryan looked up from his beer when he sensed another Immortal. He knew it wasn’t Mac, since he was sitting next to him, so he was instantly on guard. He didn’t expect to see a teenaged girl run in.

“UNCLE JOE!” Dawn screamed, when she realized who the bartender was. She ran into Joe’s arms and hugged him.

“Dawnie! What are you doing here?”

“I didn’t know you’re bar was here. I’m here with him,” she said, pointing to Connor. Joe swung the slight Immortal around.

“How is my favorite goddaughter?”

“Odd. How is my second favorite Watcher?”

“Only your second favorite?” Joe pretended to make a face.

“Hey, I have to play favorites with Giles. I mean, he did adopt me. You give the best presents, though.”

“I thought you might like those gift certificates.”

“Got a whole new wardrobe for my trip around the world. Unfortunately, my trip got delayed.”

“What happened?”

“Accidentally interfered with a gang fight. I took two bullets to the chest.” Joe, Mac, Ritchie, Connor and Spike all winced. Getting shot was not a fun way to die. Of course, dying in general is never fun. But Ritchie didn’t like this girl already. Here she comes, into HIS hangout, a brand new Immortal, and has a great relationship with a Watcher. Watchers aren’t even supposed to TALK to their Immortals. He thought he and Mac were special. But here is this girl, who had Joe and Connor MacLeod wrapped around her finger, and she was only a child!

“Mate, if you pout any more, you could set that beer on your lip like a coaster,” Spike informed Ritchie, who looked like he could kill Spike where he stood.

“So, Joe, who are these people?” Ritchie asked, glaring at them.

“This is Dawn Summers, and that’s Spike, right?” The blonde vampire nodded. Connor gave his clansman a manly hug.

“Duncan, old friend. It’s good to see you again.”

“I wasn’t expecting to run into you for another lifetime, Connor,” Duncan said.

“So, Uncle Joe, can I have a Shirley Temple?” Dawn said, making her ‘I’m the cute little kid, give me what I want’ face.

“Absolutely.” Joe went to make his ‘niece’ the bubbly drink.

“How old are you?” Ritchie asked bluntly.

“In reality? Three and a half. By memory? 17. I’ll be 18 soon.”

“Huh?”

“Well, I think I’m almost four. When was I made?” Dawn asked Joe.

“I’ll have to check the archive, but I think you were made in autumn. Here you go, one Shirley Temple, with four cherries.” He placed the drink in front of her.

“You wouldn’t happen to have anything red, would ya, mate?” Spike asked.

“Don’t get a big demon crowd here, but I think I have some pig’s blood. I’ll go check.”

“Spike’s my vampire,” Dawn said, “But he doesn’t kill people anymore. Got a soul and everything.”

“We’ve met before,” Duncan said, smiling an evil grin. “Dawn, do you know why they used to call him William the Bloody?” Spike got a horrified look on his face.

“The Nibblet doesn’t need to hear that story,” Spike rushed out. “In fact, I think we should get Dawnie settled into bed and away from crazy Scottish bastards who talk too much.”

“Oh no. I want to hear this story,” Dawn demanded, and Duncan launched into the tale of “William the Bloody Awful Poet” and his quest for Cecily, who would eventually become Halfrek. By the end of his tale Dawn was laughing so hard she fell off her stool.


“There is entirely too much testosterone in here,” Dawn said knowingly. “Please, PLEASE tell me there are some females around for me to interact with,” Dawn said pleadingly.

“Amanda and Michelle are coming into town tomorrow,” Duncan said.

“Amanda, is that your sweaty bed-buddy?” Dawn asked Duncan, who’s look was priceless as the other men laughed.

“You’re sounding like Anya, Nibs,” Spike said, laughing. “Anyway, Platelet, you really should go to bed. Where can she sleep?”

“You’ve got a bundle of choices, Dawnie. You can stay with Connor, you can probably stay with Duncan, he’s known for taking in strays, or you can stay with me,” Joe said.

“Always you, Uncle Joe. Is the guest room still the way I left it?”

“Of course. Spike, the sofa pulls out into a couch.”

“Ta, mate.” Dawn grabbed Spike’s hand and pulled him out of the bar.

“There goes one dangerous girl,” Duncan said, smiling.

“Why is that?” Ritchie asked, not really liking the girl already. Duncan and Connor chuckled.

“She is the kind of girl that can wrap any man around her finger.”

“It’s actually due to both her personality, and a series of glamours cast on her by monks,” Joe said.

“Huh?” Ritchie asked.

“The Key needed to be protected at all costs. So, when the monks made her human they cast spells on her giving her the appearance of somebody who needed protecting. The more powerful a person, the more he feels drawn to protect her at all costs. That’s why they gave her to Buffy, because at the time she was the most powerful person alive. She died to keep her baby sister alive.”

“This is all a bunch of crazy-talk,” Ritchie said. “I’m gonna head home. See you later Mac?” Duncan nodded an affirmative and Ritchie stalked out of the bar.

~*~*~*~

+Chapter 5+

The next day, Dawn covered Spike with a hooded cloak and headed over to Duncan’s dojo. Michelle and Amanda were already there when they arrived. Ritchie and Michelle were training, and it was obvious that Michelle had learned a lot since Duncan first placed her in Amanda’s quite capable hands.

“Oooh, sparring time! Can I have a turn?” Dawn asked.

“I wouldn’t want to hurt you, since you’re pretty new at this. Maybe when you’ve been around a little longer,” Ritchie said condescendingly.

“Think you’re all tough, do you? Because you’ve been Immortal a little longer than I have? Well, why don’t you put your money where your mouth is.” Spike grinned and pulled Michelle out of the way.

“You’re on,” Ritchie said as they picked up their swords. The clanging of steel could be heard out on the street. Dawn landed a solid roundhouse kick on Ritchie’s abdomen, and he went flying. She held her blade at his throat.

“What was that you were saying?”

“All right, all right, I concede. Sheesh,” Ritchie looked embarrassed.

“So, I had this great idea,” Michelle said. “Well, since we all died, like, right out of high school, let’s take a road trip. Do something typical people do before college.”

“I was thinking the same thing!” Dawn said, giggling. Duncan and Connor protested of course, but Dawn and Michelle talked them into it. Soon it was decided. Dawn, Michelle and Ritchie were going to go on a road trip. Wherever they wanted, except Paris, of course, since everybody there thought Ritchie was dead. Spike would go with Dawn, since anybody who tried to stop him would most likely die instantly. Duncan, Connor and Amanda were going to have some time to catch up. The “teenagers” packed some things and tossed it all in Dawn’s car.

“We’re out of here!” Dawn shouted, and she and Michelle slapped five as the car pulled out, while Spike and Ritchie covered their ears to try to drown out the loud chick-music.

*end*

The End

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