DISCLAIMER: I don’t own the characters of BTVS or W.I.T.C.H. and I earn no profit in writing this.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This takes place in the same continuity as ‘I’m Done’ but is not a sequel and stands alone quite well. If you have any comments or preferences, please don’t be shy. RandR.
Dawn Summers paced the room she awakened in, furiously thinking. There had to be a way out. She just hadn’t found it yet. It was bare concrete with the only ingress or egress provided by a metal rollup door. The room had few amenities. There was a paper plate with a sandwich on it and a cup of water near the door. In another corner, there was a bucket. Ew
It was obviously one of those self-storage places, and the door was firmly locked from the outside. She had awakened almost an hour ago, and hadn’t seen or heard a sign of anyone. Her memories of the events leading up to that awakening weren’t of much use either.
She was in town on Council business, looking into rumors of demonic activity in the small city. It was her first mission on her own, well mostly on her own, there were two new Slayers nearby, that, she suspected, Buffy had sent to keep an eye on her. Dawn had had to promise not to patrol on her own or take any risks. The trip was to be strictly research. And it will probably be the last time she lets me out of her sight
, Dawn thought morosely. Someone had grabbed her in a parking garage and slapped a chloroform soaked rag over her face. She hadn’t seen who, but she suspected it was whoever owned the gray van that had been parked next to her rental car.
She had already checked her pockets and discovered that everything had been taken from her, not that the contents of her wallet would have been much help, but the cell phone, stake, and wristwatch were sorely missed. Naturally, the creep had taken her cell phone. Why can’t I ever get abducted by an idiot?
She didn’t count Harmony. Even the blonde ditz wouldn’t have been that
stupid. Dawn took a moment to wonder if whoever had grabbed her had been puzzled by the pointy piece of wood. Probably not.
In frustration, she kicked the door causing it to rattle loudly. To her surprise, there was a response. A low moan came from somewhere to her left. She searched the wall with her eyes and found the small air-conditioning vent that she had disregarded earlier as a means of escape. It was only a few inches wide, but if there was someone willing to talk in the next unit, she might at least learn something about her situation. She knelt by the vent. “Hello?”
Another moan and the sound of movement were her only answers for a moment. “Wha’ happened?” More shifting and the muffled sounds of someone getting to their feet. “Hello? Where am I?” The voice belonged to a woman and was growing panicked.
“Calm down,” Dawn called. “That’s not going to help.” The woman stopped the struggle she’d begun with the door.
“Who are you? What’s going on?”
“My name’s Dawn, and I was hoping you could tell me. I take it you’re locked in, too?”
“Yes.” Dawn heard the rollup door in the neighboring unit rattle. “Who did this?”
“Don’t know. What do you remember?”
“I was grocery shopping. I went out to my car and someone grabbed me.” A moment passed. “My watch is gone. Do you know what time it is?”
“No. Mine’s gone too, along with everything else I was carrying.” She settled down near the vent. “What’s your name?”
“Susan. Susan Vandom.”
“Dawn Summers. Nice to meet you.” The two compared notes, but came up with nothing new. Susan thought there might have been a gray van nearby, but wasn’t sure. She also had no idea why anyone would kidnap her. She was an executive at the company she worked for, but not a particularly important one. Her primary concern at the moment was her daughter.
“Will will be worried when I don’t come home. She doesn’t have any other family in town.” Dawn frowned as a possibility occurred to her.
“How old is she?”
“Will? She’s 13.”
“Uh-oh,” Dawn sighed.
“Um, nothing.” If Will Vandom was a new slayer, just coming into her abilities, it could explain why her mother had been kidnapped. It was unlikely Susan knew about demons and slayers, and Dawn wasn’t about to enlighten her based on what could be a coincidence. If her guess was right, Will would decide whether or not to tell her mother. Only then would she get the full spiel and mother and daughter could make the necessary decisions together. That was one of the rules the new council worked under. In the meantime…
“Do you know why you’re here?”
“Um, maybe,” Dawn hedged. It was almost certain to be something demon related. “My sister works for a big company, has access to lots of money and other things people might want.” That was true enough and vague enough. “That’s my best guess, anyway. I don’t know why you’re here if that’s what this is about, though.”
“Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.” That, Dawn reflected, was unfortunately true. She knew some magic that might help, but all of it required items or ingredients she didn’t have. Willow was reluctant to teach her magic, and Buffy was reluctant for her to learn.
The two women chatted for almost an hour about various topics until the sound of a heavy security door being opened drew their attention. Two sets of footsteps could be heard coming down the hall outside. “She’s in the seventh unit Mr. Frost,” came a muffled voice. “I trust you have my payment.”
“I’ve got it,” a gruff voice answered. “Why are you wearin’ a mask?”
There was a moment of fumbling and a grunt of satisfaction before the first man answered. “I told your employer. No one sees my face. When you have what you came for, go quickly. I have other business to attend to.” One set of footsteps retreated. The second approached their improvised cells. Those footsteps became inexplicably heavier, and there was the sound of tearing metal before the door to her cell was yanked violently upward.
The creature stood over six feet tall and seemed to be made out of muscle. The pointed ears and the armor it wore told Dawn that she had been correct. The situation definitely involved demons. To her surprise, though, the creature stopped and stared at her in confusion. “Who are you?” he demanded, looking down at a picture in his hand.
“Dawn. And your are?”
The thing growled and backed out of the storage unit. “Where are you?” he shouted. “This is not… you, again!” He started down the hall, leaving the way clear for Dawn. She stepped out and took in the scene before her in a glance. The big ugly was advancing on a skinny 15-year-old boy. The boy was armed with a club, which he had evidently used on the man in the ski mask at the end of the hall. He was also evidently either very brave or very stupid, because he wasn’t backing down. The big thing, Frost Dawn guessed, looked like he could snap the kid like a twig.
“Now!” the kid called. There was a bright flash from overhead and a section of the air-conditioning vent came down on Frost’s head. There was a loud clang and the creature dropped like a stone. “Ha! Good work, Blunk!”
That was when Dawn saw the other. A small green demon was jumping up and down excitedly and laughing. “Great warrior, Blunk!” it cried happily. “Great warrior, Blunk!”
“No complaints here,” Dawn chipped in. The two turned to look at her.
“Ah, who are you?” the boy asked as the great warrior Blunk gave a small scream and ducked out of sight.
“Dawn, and you can tell your friend not to worry. I know about his kind.” The two traded unreadable looks. “Who are you looking for?”
“Will’s mom,” the small creature answered, peering out from behind the fallen piece of vent.
“Oh. Next cell. I guess the big ugly can’t count.”
“Thanks,” the boy answered. “I’m Matt, by the way.” He turned to Blunk. “Can you use the tooth to get Frost back to the palace. I’m sure the queen can find a nice dank cell for him.”
“Uh-huh! Uh-huh!” the creature bobbed its head excitedly and raised a decidedly magical looking artifact. A flash similar to the one Dawn had seen before appeared under Frost, and he fell through it.
“Let me guess,” Dawn asked. “He used one of those rifts to sever the air vent?”
“Pretty cool, huh?” Matt grinned as he knelt by Susan’s cell, and fiddled with the lock. “Why are you here?”
“Don’t know. I’m hoping the guy you knocked out can tell me.” The lock opened and Matt raised the door after making sure there was nothing demonic in sight.
“Matt?” A pretty, dark-haired woman stared at him. “What are you doing here? What’s going on?”
“You’re being rescued,” Dawn answered for him. “Mind if I tag along?”