Chapter 1: A walk in the park
Chapter 1: A walk in the park
“We are defiantly lost, Dawnie.”
Dawn and Xander had been wandering around New York City for over an hour. They had come here to find a recently discovered slayer. Unfortunately, the locator spell Willow had used to find her was pretty vague. As in ‘somewhere around central park’ vague. So they had been wandering around, circling the park in an expanding radius with the spelled crystal Willow said would let them know when they are near her with no luck. When it started getting dark and they decided to call it a day, they realized that they had no idea how to get back to their hotel. And, strangely for a city like this, there was almost no one around.
“Look. Xan, there’s Central Park. Let’s try starting back from there.” Without waiting for an answer, Dawn crossed the street into the park and looked around. She was tired and sore from walking all day, and if they didn’t find their hotel soon she was ready to forget the dangers of vampires and the city in general and find a nice park bench to curl up on. She wondered not for the first time what Giles had been thinking sending her and Xander to New York alone. No slayer, no magic, just a stupid locater crystal and what weapons they could get here. This, with airport security what is was, meant a stake each that they had managed to hide in their luggage, and the cross Buffy gave her before she left.
Just as Xander reached her side Dawn felt something warming in the pocket of her jeans. She pulled out the crystal Willow gave her to find it glowing with a soft blue light. She held the crystal in her open palm and watched as it began to slowly turn in her hand. When it stopped it was pointing towards the wooded area straight ahead of them. Well aware of the setting sun, they started into the woods to find their new slayer.
Inside the trees it was already dark, and the only light they had to lead them was the soft glow of the crystal in Dawn’s hand. As they made their way slowly through the trees the crystal began to glow brighter. They heard a scream, and hurried faster, hoping they got to her before it was too late. As they ran the scream faded to the sounds of a struggle. Fearing the worst, they made their way to the source of the sound. They found exactly what they expected. A vampire and a girl were fighting. Dawn dropped the crystal and she and Xander both had their stakes out. Xander made it too the fighting pair first. He ran up behind the vampire and struck out with his stake. But he wasn’t fast enough. The vampire swung back and caught Xander in the chest with a fist, sending him flying back into a tree. The vampire then sank his fangs into the girl’s neck. She struggled, and she was strong, but her lack of training made it impossible to stop him. Dawn took advantage of his distraction to plunge her stake through his back into his heart. The vampire erupted into a cloud of dust and the girl fell to the ground. Yards away the crystal glowed brightly.
Dawn knelt next to the girl and checked for a pulse. It was slow and weak, barely there at all. Xander stood and limped over to them. Too late. Again. He pulled his cell phone from his pocket. “I’ll call an ambulance.”
“No.” The girl opened her eyes and spoke in a quiet, weak voice. Dawn opened her mouth to argue, but the girl cut her off.
“It’s too late for me. I knew this would come, the dreams told me.” She must have been having slayer dreams. That’s why she was out here. Not for the first time Dawn found herself getting pissed at the PTB for what they do to these girls, and at herself and all the Scoobies for having Willow cast that spell. It was bad enough when there was one, or two. But hundreds of slayers didn’t really even the odds. It just sent more young girls to an early grave.
“The dreams also told me you would come, that I should help you.” She paused and closed her eyes, drawing a ragged breath. She spoke again without opening her eyes. “I offer the only help I can give. I don’t know what you seek, but I know where you can find it. There, that is where you must go. Hurry, for time is short.” Slowly she raised her arm and pointed deeper into the trees. Then her arm dropped to the ground, and she was still. Dawn checked for a pulse and there wasn’t one. The abandoned crystal still glowed, but the light was a deep crimson, the color of the blood that stained the dead girls wound.
After a few moments, Dawn stood and looked at Xander. They shared a silent moment of grief for a girl they didn’t know. They had been too late to save her. They were always too late. In a quiet voice Dawn spoke.
“So, what do you think she was talking about?”
Xander shook his head and ran a hand through his hair, his one eye wet with tears he refused to let fall. “I don’t know, but if it was a slayer dream, we should check it out.”
With a nod Dawn pulled her cross out of her shirt so that it lay visible on her chest and went to retrieve the crystal. Once more she laid the crystal in her palm and it turned slowly to point in the same direction the girl had pointed them. Stakes still out they made their way deeper into the woods.