Disclaimers: The characters from Buffy the vampire Slayer are not mine. If they were, the show wouldn’t be going in the direction it is, I can assure you this! But they belong to FOX, Mutant Enemy, Sand Dollar, Kuzi Entertainment the U P N and of course, Joss Weadon. There. The characters from Xena belong to Rob Tapert and company, again not me. However, I’d love to see what I could do with the Xena verse!
Violence: Now, I don’t believe in it, but it wouldn’t be a Buffy story without the violence. I mean, it’d be pretty boring. So yeah, minimal style violence.
Season: This takes place after ‘The Gift’ and Buffy stays dead. How would the Scoobies deal with the Slayer’s death? How would Sunnydale?
Archiving: Sure! A Reason for Unliving can always have my stuff, uh the B. F. A., uh...Sudden Shifts. Anyone else, please ask and I will receive your wish....
Note: No new Slayer. The Slayer line runs through Faith, remember? And she is currently in jail....
The Legacy of a Warrior
“You have to be brave. You have to live...”
Again and again Dawn saw her sister, her only family left jump off the tower. Her sister’s words were jumbled in her mind. “Take care of them. They are going to need you.”
“Buffy!” Dawn screamed. She watched the light from Glory’s world shoot around her sister, killing her. “Buffy! No!” She screamed again and again, the word now making no sense as she screamed it. Strong arms grabbed her away from the edge of the tower, forced her back down. She didn’t have to look to know who it was.
Spike. “Come on little Bit.” He urged, his voice strained, emotion for the Slayer showing clearly in his baby blue eyes. “You can’t help her anymore.”
“We have to help her.” Dawn insisted. “Buffy. She’s not dead, she’s not...”
But when they got down, the gang all gathered around the Slayer’s petite frame, sobs racked Dawn’s body. Her sister was dead. Dawn could tell from the soft, serene smile on her face. She broke free from Spike’s grasp and ran towards Buffy.
“Oh Buffy.” Dawn couldn’t control her grief any longer. It hurt so bad. Like someone had ripped her soul out. “Oh Buffy. It shouldn’t have been like this.” She touched her sister’s face, already turning cold. Already dead. “Tell Mom I’m sorry.” She pleaded.
“Dawnie.” Willow’s voice. Willow lay an arm on the girl. “We’ll stay with you.” She told her. “Me and Tara. You won’t ever be alone.” Willow had already read the thoughts that formed in the shadowy corners of Dawn’s mind. “You have us, for family.”
Dawn tried to smile, to show them she could be brave. But it was too much. Losing her mother just a year ago, and now this....
A scream ripped through her and Dawn fainted. Spike just barely caught her.
Sunnydale, Three Years later
“Bit!” A loud voice called upstairs. “Dawn, get up! If I have to drag you...I’ll–“
Dawn Summer’s blue eyes opened and she grumbled something that was probably best Spike didn’t hear it. “Why bother?” She shouted down instead and sat up.
A moment later, Spike was standing in front of her door frowning at her. “Because Buffy would bother, that’s why.” Stated the vampire firmly.
Dawn rolled her eyes. “You know Spike, that old guilt trip isn’t going to work forever.” She smirked. “When are you gonna tell the others about your soul?” She questioned. A month ago, Spike had went to Africa to get a soul. Dawn still didn’t know why. He just told her it was something he had to do. Dawn shrugged and rubbed her bleary eyes. Fine. Enjoy.
“Sunnydale is overrun with vampires and demons, and you want me to go to school!” Dawn found that a little funny.
“It’s important.” Spike insisted. “There are still some kids who go.”
“Yeah, if they aren’t afraid of being turned into lunch meat at the end of the day.” Dawn replied, standing.
Spike gave her a look. “Yeah well, they don’t have the Big Bad watching over them do they?” He asked her. Since Buffy’s untimely death, things had changed. Vampires had heard of the Slayer’s demise, and acted. It was too much for the grief stricken scoobies. However, they still did the best they could.
“Well, not me.” Dawn hobbled over to her closet and started to go through it. She was eighteen years old now, and they still treated her like she was twelve. Geesh. You’d think once you reached a ceratin age the adults would accept you. “I’m eighteen years old now. Start treating me like it.”
“Start acting like it and maybe I will!” Spike returned.
Dawn whirled around and glared at him. Spike only smirked. “Could you go?” She asked. “I’m gonna change now.”
“Sure. Sure. Better be ready in five minutes, or I’m coming up no matter what.” The flaxen haired vampire warned.
“Yeah, yeah.” Dawn watched Spike shut the door behind him. It was weird, how much like family they were. Spike treated her like a kid sister, and Dawn felt like Spike was the older brother she’d always wanted. The older brother who had a tendency to get on her nerves.
“Dawn?” Tara’s voice. Tara opened the door with a smile. Tara was Willow’s girlfriend. They’d been together for a long time, and it was likely they’d stay to that way. “Are–is everything OK?” She asked.
“Sure. I just don’t see why I need to go to school, when I can be doing more useful things, like helping you guys out.”
Tara smiled patiently. “Don’t knock school.” She told the girl. “You only have half a year left, and you’ll never finish if you don’t go some days.” She warned. “Besides, we’ve got everything taken care of...so far.” Tara sighed. “But with this new prophecy, I’m not sure we know what’s going to happen.”
“About the Ancient warrior returning to Earth?” Dawn queried.
“That’s the one.” Tara’s smile all but faded. “We don’t know if this warrior is good or evil. Or, when this so called warrior will return. It was prophesied a long time ago, in Ancient Greece.” She added. “Something stopped the warrior from returning.” This was new. Willow hadn’t told her this. Dawn cocked her head.
“The scrolls transcribed by Gabrielle doesn’t say. She was heartbroken because of it, and perhaps she just stopped writing.” Tara suggested. “But I came to tell you to get ready. I don’t think Spike is going to wait much longer.”
Dawn smirked. “Fine. Hang on.” Tara nodded and closed the door softly behind her. Dawn grabbed a dark blue tee shirt and a pair of black jeans. Sticking to dark colors in Sunnydale was one of the new town rules. Blend into the night, and you’ll be all right. Motto of the new mayor. Dawn shook her head and slipped into the clothes. Once she’d brushed her dark locks, she put on some lipstick and headed downstairs.
“I’m ready.” She said to the vampire who was pacing in the living room. Spike glared at her, and grabbed an old blanket which he tossed about himself. “Come on!” Spike made a dash towards his old Desoto and flung himself inside. Dawn was much slower, and more reluctant to get in.
“I still don’t see why we bother with this.” Dawn grumbled as she leaned against the plush leather seats. “I mean, only half of the class is even alive anymore.” Thoughts of friends she’d once had drifted to Dawn’s mind. She felt a glimmer of pity for them, and sucked back a sob that would break her. Dawn hadn’t cried or showed any emotion since the day they had buried Buffy. On that day, Dawn had been inconsolable. The only people she would speak to where Spike or Tara. Now she was hard as steel, and liked it that way.
“I’m not explaining myself again, Bit.” Spike lit a cigarette. Despite the fact he had a soul, there were still some habits he wasn’t going to let go off. “It’s better than you sitting inside all day, blowing your eardrums out with music.”
“Why? You do that.” Dawn pointed out, watching as Spike turned up the radio to a song he liked. The Doors played ‘The Crystal Ship’ as the Desoto drove smoothly.
The days are bright, and full of pain, enclose me in your gentle rain....
Full of pain was right. Dawn agreed with Jim Morrison’s lyrics. “How’s Ali?” She asked instead. Alison was Spike’s uh...significant other. She had met him at the Bronze and they’d became friends. Slowly, the two had started seeing more and more of each other until they just decided to move in together.
“Better.” Spike told her, casting a sideways glance at the girl. Ali had recently been attacked by a demon. She’d gotten some claw marks, but was otherwise OK.
“That’s good.” Dawn replied with sincerity. “I like Ali.”
Spike pulled in front of the school. “Here you are.” He told her. “Two thirty, don’t forget. And don’t make me have to hunt you up, either.” Spike flicked a cylinder of ash into the ashtray. “Got it?” He asked gruffly.
“Sure. The same old drill. I’ll be OK, Spike. Besides, no one bothers the high school since the ‘Big Bad’ has laid claims to it.” Dawn added with a shake of her head. “It’s like the only safe place here in town anymore.”
“Yeah, well I do it for you. See you later, Bit.”
“Bye.” Dawn hurried out of the car before her emotions could catch up with her. She rushed into the school, hearing Spike’s horn give out a final greeting before the doors closed.
Alison Blake sorted through her scrolls and sighed. Her bright, emerald eyes were blurry and she needed to stop. Nothing in here made since. The bard of Poteidaia must’ve become crazed after Xena’s death. There were fewer entries.
Ali had organized Xena’s history to the T. She knew more about the Warrior Princess than anyone save for worldly historians did. She knew that at age 17, the Warrior Princess’s village had almost been sacked by a warlord king named Cortese. Xena had railed her people up against him, and in the process lost her brother and many other innocents. Her mother had disowned her, her village hated her.
The woman had left, then formed her own army. She was a pirate for a long while, and had many dark adventures. However, what Ali found interesting was that Gabrielle refused to elaborate on her life before Xena. Of course, that’s when the exciting things had happened. Gabrielle had one known child, an evil demi goddess named Hope.
“Still at work?” A voice asked. The strawberry blonde turned, seeing Spike walk in. He had a blanket draped about him, and shed it once he walked into their darkened apartment.
“Always.” Ali replied in a tired voice. “Willow’s really worried about this, Spike.” She told him. He headed to the fridge, grabbing a container of blood to warm up.
“Well, they’ll just have to deal with it when it comes.” Said the vampire, sticking the blood in the fridge, and timing it. Spike heard the ding, and pulled it out. “How’s your back?” He asked.
At the mention of the claw marks, Ali winced. They still stung whenever she slipped something on, or moved against something. “Fine.” She lied.
Spike sighed and vamped out. He only did this because he had to, otherwise he’d forgo blood and be...well...not exactly human, because he wasn’t human. He was a vampire. With a soul. Just like Peaches. Only, Peaches would get a chance to shansu and become human. Spike envied him for that last one.
“I’m more worried about Dawn.” Spike admitted after re-vamping out and turning back to Ali. “She’s a tough little bit, but I think one day all that stuff she’s keeping in is gonna come out and get her.”
“What do you mean?” Ali glanced up at him, confused.
“You know.” Spike took a seat in a favorite overstuffed armchair. “Dawn...I know she misses her mother and sister. She used to be different. Now she’s...” Spike let his thought roll, trying to find the word for it. “She’s just not Dawn anymore.”
“Can you really blame her?” Alison asked, putting her things away and turning to face Spike. “I mean, she lives in this...place for starters, knows things about life that other kids out here don’t. Well, the ones that aren’t dead or delusional anyways.” She amended. “And there’s the fact her mother and sister are dead. Willow and Tara and you are doing a good job looking after her, but she still feels alone.”
“Yeah.” Grumbled Spike. About that time, the phone rang. Ali picked it up. “Hello?”
“Ali?” Tara asked into the phone. “We need you guys over here, now.” There was urgency in her voice, and a hint of fear. “It’s about the prophecy.”
“What’s wrong?” Spike glanced up in Ali’s direction.
“I...just come over here.” Tara pleaded. “Will thinks the prophecy may have started.”
“All right. We’ll be on our way.”
“What’s wrong now?” Asked Spike.
“The prophecy.” Ali explained, grabbing her scrolls and trying to be careful as she stuffed them back into her briefcase. “Tara says Willow thinks it could have already started. We’re needed there.”
“Blimey.” Groaned the vampire, rising. “Better be happening.” Alison just gave him a look and handed him the blanket. Spike re-draped it over himself and they headed outside.
In the daytime, Sunnydale was fairly quiet. Of course, the vampires were asleep and couldn’t come out in the sun, but it gave the demons chance to run things for a while. They had everything under control. There were few people left in Sunnydale. The ones that stayed, either stayed to help like the Scoobies, or they were too afraid to leave. A lot of those who tried to leave ended up dead and never heard from again.
Spike started the Desoto and the engine roared to life. He made the way back to The Magick Box. He could get there in his sleep. Once there, the two hurried inside.
“I don’t know.” Tara was saying in her soft, whispery voice. “It...none of this makes sense!” She shook her head. “I mean, it says the Prophecy has already started, but where will this so called ‘Warrior’ come? And how?”
“Chill Tara, baby.” Willow tried to comfort her. “We’ll find out.”
“It’s happening then?” Spike asked, shedding the blanket and looking at the group.
“Yeah.” Tara turned to him. “Ali, could you make anything out of Gabrielle’s scrolls after the death of Xena?”
“No.” Ali shook her head. “It’s too jumbled. I think she suffered grief, and was unable to write. I’m going as close to saying Gabrielle committed suicide because she couldn’t face a world without her soul mate.”
Willow felt a flicker of sympathy for the Greek bard. She understood. Tara caught her meaning, and squeezed her shoulder. The two smiled at each other.
Suddenly, the ground started to shake violently. Objects on shelves in the Magick Box fell and tumbled to the floor, causing four letter words to fly out of Anya’s mouth. “Those are expensive!” Exclaimed the ex-demon. “Damned quake!”
The ground lurched again. There was a loud rumbling sound as the earth rocked. “Great!” Xander yelled over the roar. “Just what we need! An Earthquake!”
On the other side of town, inside the high school where the hell mouth was located Dawn glanced up at her teacher as books from shelves went flying. “Earth Quake!” Mrs. Shelling cried out. “Everyone, get away from the windows!”
Dawn stood. Was this a real earthquake, or was it somehow tied into the prophecy thing? She followed her teacher’s instructions. If Buffy was here, she’d be going to the Hell mouth to find out. That’s what Dawn needed to do. But how?
“Gem.” Dawn whispered to one of her only alive friends. Gemini Carter turned to her. “Yeah?”
“Distract Mrs. Shelling.” Dawn said. “I have to go do something.”
“Are you crazy, Summers?” Gem exclaimed. “There’s an Earthquake going on!”
“Maybe...maybe not.” Dawn told her. “Just do it, OK?”
Gem reluctantly nodded. “Mrs. Shelling!” The girl cried out. “I’m afraid! What if the floor falls apart?” She made her big eyes wide. The teacher walked over to Gem and tried to comfort her.
“Don’t worry Gemini.” Dawn heard the teacher say as she crept past the door. “It’s going to be OK.”
Adults. Dawn thought with a shake of her head. Why did they always say that, when they don’t even know if it will be OK?
Despite the shaking in the building, Dawn made her way to the library. Of course, Ms. Adams was never inside where she was supposed to be. The young librarian tried to stay outside as much as possible, working on her tan. Dawn walked over to where the Hell mouth was, nodding her head. The floor was split wide open, and you could see inside of it. A chill raced through her. Could Glory’s spirit–or whatever gods had–be down there, waiting for a chance to grab her?
Dawn froze. Had she just heard someone call for help?
“Who–who’s down there?” Dawn cried out.
“Hey!” A voice yelled. “Anyone up there? Help me!”
“I–I’m here!” Dawn bent down to see better. She could see a figure hanging onto some rocks. Something shiny sparkled on the figure’s hip. “Who...who are you?”
“Get me a rope!” Called a voice, “Now!”
“Not until you tell me who you are!” Dawn yelled back. “You are in the Hell Mouth, you know!”
She heard the figure, sounding like a woman, curse. “Name’s Xena! Now are you gonna help me out or what?”
Xena? Dawn blinked. Where had she heard that name before?....Oh yeah, Ali’s scrolls! Xena was the friend of Gabrielle! “O–okay!” Dawn looked around quickly for some rope. She wished Giles still owned the library, there would be rope in plain sight. Instead, after a mad dash, Dawn found a rather long leather cord. “Here it comes!” She dropped one end of the leather cord into the hole. Xena yanked on the end, telling Dawn she had it. Dawn struggled to pull Xena out. Once, she almost lost it, but the warrior woman used her round weapon to pull herself the rest of the way out.
Xena stood in front of Dawn. She wore the outfit of a samurai warrior, complete with the sword. “Thank you.” Xena told Dawn. “What’s going on?”
Dawn smiled at the Warrior Princess. “Looks like the prophecy has came to life.” She told her.
Xena arched a thin eyebrow. “Huh?” Asked the tall, dark haired woman.
Dawn shook her head. “Never mind.” She told her. “Follow me. We have to call my friends. They’ll help you.”
Xena nodded, taking in her strange, new surroundings. “Where are we?” She asked Dawn.
“The school li–oh you mean, where are we. OK. We’re in California–the United States to be exact. This is the year 2008.” She explained and picked up the phone. “Welcome to the Hell Mouth. And the future.”
Xena blinked. Gabrielle. Her mind whispered. She had to find Gabrielle. She allowed Dawn to make her call first. This strange young woman was going to help her, after all.
“You’re at the high school?” Willow said into the phone. “OK, Dawn. We’ll be on our way.” Dawn hung up. She wondered what was going to happen now.
Xena was looking around, peering into objects with a warrior’s steel perception. Gabrielle. Thought the warrior with longing. I miss you more than you know. I tried so hard to come back to you, and now it might just be too late. Xena sighed to herself and turned to face Dawn.
“When your friends arrive, do you think they’ll help me?” Asked the former Destroyer of Nations.
“Of course.” Dawn replied. “What do you need help with?”
“I need to find my friend.”
END OF PART ONE
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