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Freakazoid High

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Freakazoid High

 

By Karen

 

The room was in darkness, the light cotton curtains blowing in the warm early autumn breeze that blew through the open window. The area was a curious mixture of child and woman, stuffed animals mixing with make up and small slinky tops. The walls around the large comfortable looking bed were covered with posters of the latest bands and pretty boy pin ups. A typical teenage girl’s bedroom.

 

Aside from the large, and sharp, sword hanging over the bed and the glowing green vortex forming in the middle of the room of course.

 

The glowing hole grew larger until it was about the size of a large serving platter. It held steady for a few moments and then a head poked through. The girl glanced towards the closed door and eyed the mirror positioned next to it, designed to give her a view of the room that she couldn’t see behind her. She then stretched her neck out as far as she could and carefully looked at every portion of the room she could conceivably see from her restricted spot. Satisfied she appeared to be alone the portal grew rapidly in size until she hopped through it gracefully and turned back to peer into the vortex, “All clear.”

 

The smug grin on her face lasted precisely three seconds until an angry blonde vampire rolled out from under her bed and grabbed her ankle, yanking sharply to bring her crashing to the floor.

 

Dawn Summers hit the ground with a nasty bump and yelled, “Busted!”

 

Connor Angel’s head, which had been following his girlfriend into her room, froze and then shot forward suddenly quickly followed by the rest of his body. The impassive face of his father appeared behind him and then Angel and Cordelia followed their son through the portal.

 

Connor bounced to his feet, braced for an attack and then realised the hefty shove that had sent him flying had come from his father. His shoulders slumped, “Oh crap.”

 

Cordelia sent him a furious look, “Doesn’t even begin to cover it, young man.”

 

Dawn pulled her leg from Spike’s hand and accepted Connor’s hand to bring her to her feet. The vampire flipped to his feet and wagged an angry finger in his ‘daughter’s’ face, “You are in a whole world of trouble, ‘Bit. What the bleedin’ hell do you think you’re playin’ at?”

 

Dawn sneaked a look at Connor’s unhappy face and her own shoulders slumped to mirror his, “So busted.” She mumbled quietly, “Next time you go first. You’ll be able to smell the secret demon trap.”

 

Spike’s face screwed up in righteous parental fury and he bellowed, “Next time?”

 

Connor stared at the floor and flushed, “I should have been able to smell my Mom and Dad waiting for us. My bad.”

 

Spike glared at the sullen pair, “There will be no ‘next time’. ‘Next time’ is happening over my staked an’ dusty body.” He paused and then gestured to Angel, “And ‘is. Right, Peaches?”

 

Angel nodded, “Right. And don’t call me that!”

 

The room fell silent as Dawn’s bedroom door opened and Buffy stepped inside to flick the light switch and nod cordially at the occupants, “Hi guys.” She walked into the room, stopping by Spike’s side, “You caught them in the act?”

 

Dawn looked horrified, “No he did not! Connor hadn’t even come through when Spike pulled his little James Bond routine. There was no catching in the act of any kind.”

 

Spike’s eyes narrowed ominously, “You can tell because Peaches Jr still has all ‘is arms and legs attached.”

 

Buffy glared at Dawn, “I meant, caught in the act of opening a dimensional portal in your bedroom unsupervised and sneaking out to meet your honey. Not caught opening anything else.”

 

Dawn winced and slanted a shifty look at Connor, “Oh. Sorry.”

 

Buffy’s eyes narrowed then she pointed firmly to the still open portal, “And you can close that dimensional doorway right now, young lady! You are so grounded!”

 

Dawn heaved a sigh and looked as though she was going to try and protest, but one look at Buffy standing with her arms folded, scowling forbiddingly had her pouting and concentrating on the open, green hole.

 

For a moment nothing happened and then the doorway shrunk rapidly until it was no bigger than a nickel. Dawn glanced at the stern faces surrounding herself and Connor; looked longingly back at the tiny spark and then it abruptly disappeared. The young girl flung herself petulantly onto her bed. She folded her arms, “There. Happy now?”

 

Connor eased round Spike and sat down next to Dawn. He nudged her slightly with a sharp elbow and hissed, “I’m thinking this will go a lot better if you look sorry.”

 

Angel moved in front of him and raised an eyebrow, “Think again, sport.”

 

Connor looked up at the four pissed faces surrounding him, “Really? Not at all?” Four heads shook in unison, Connor shrugged and leaned back on his elbows, “In that case, sulk your butt off, honey.”

 

Dawn gave an unintentional giggle and then abruptly sobered as Buffy spoke, “What the HELL did you think you were doing? Its past one in the morning and you’re sneaking around with a boy on a school night, and using dangerous powers for your own ends into the bargain! You are seventeen years old, not thirty.”

 

Dawn stared at her sister in outrage and then looked pointedly at Angel, “I’m sorry, what were you doing at my age?” She waited a beat and then added, “Or should I say who?”

 

Buffy flushed a deep red as Spike growled and Angel said, “Don’t look at me, I was evil! She was trying to kill me.”

 

Cordelia raised an eyebrow and adjusted the fit of her short leather jacket, “I think she was referring to how you became evil, sweetie.”

 

Angel winced, “Oh. In that case, that would be me.” He glared down at the two teenagers, “But that doesn’t make it right.” He rallied briefly, “And we didn’t use dangerous powers!”

 

Connor raised his hand to stifle a sudden sharp cough that sounded suspiciously like the word, “Acathla!”

 

Angel’s mouth dropped open, “That was just the once. And I was evil!”

 

Spike nodded in rare agreement with his sire, “S’right.” He wagged another finger at the two on the bed, “And we all know how that turned out don’t we?” He nodded significantly at Buffy and continued, “Just goes to show, crime never pays.”

 

Dawn eyed Spike, “Uh-huh. Just the once, right? Does anyone remember…….oh what was his name………..” She clicked her fingers in a display of fake memory loss and then smacked her hand onto her thigh in triumph, “That’s it. The Judge? Any thoughts?”

 

Spike’s mouth opened and then snapped shut. His eyes slid to Angel’s and the dark haired vampire took over again, “We didn’t raise him.” Dawn raised her eyebrows and he continued rather lamely, “We just put him back together.”

 

Dawn nodded understandingly, “Oh, so it doesn’t count if you just make a living, breathing, evil 3D puzzle?” She nudged Connor, “Remember that.”

 

Connor nodded, “Noted.”

 

Buffy and Cordelia exchanged glances as Spike and Angel spluttered in confusion. Cordelia sighed, “Angel, not helping here sweetie.” She smiled coolly down at the kids on the bed, “This is getting us nowhere and they all paid for their mistakes a long time ago. There’s no point dragging all this up when we’re chock full of teenage rebellion right here, right now.”

 

Buffy began to nod in agreement and then frowned, “Hey, what do you mean their mistakes?”

 

Cordelia shrugged, “Well its not like I went around raising evil, dead people all over the place.”

 

The Slayer folded her arms and cocked an eyebrow, “Can I just remind you how we acquired Anya? Or has that totally slipped your Higher Being mind?”

 

Cordelia gasped, “That was once, I nearly died and I was in pain. Emotional pain! Hello, dumped by a dork for a geek and had a rebar through my stomach. Not big with the calm thoughts.” She put her hands on her slim, denim clad hips, “And I wasn’t the one that ran out on my sacred duty for months leaving her friends to pick up the pieces or hid the return of her insane ex-squeeze from hell after he killed half the town and tried to suck the world into a fiery pit of pain.”

 

Angel scowled, “Hey!”

 

Cordelia spared him a brief glance, “Sorry, sweetie.”

 

Buffy put her hands on her own hips and got up in Cordelia’s face, “Well, I didn’t torment a girl so much she turned herself invisible and tried to cut my face off.”

 

Dawn winked at Connor and addressed the four ‘adults’, “See, that’s my point. You guys weren’t so perfect at our age either.”

 

Buffy and Cordelia’s heads whipped round and they both snapped, “Shut up!”

 

Dawn nodded, “Shutting up now.”

 

She took Connor’s hand as Spike weighed in, “Come on now girls, there’s no need to fight, you both made silly little mistakes…….”

 

Cordelia slapped an impatient hand on his t-shirted shoulder, “Back off, Bleach boy!” She turned back to Buffy and then whipped round again to say smugly, “And speaking of silly little mistakes……can we say sex-bot?”

 

Connor stroked a gentle finger over Dawn’s palm as the heated argument deteriorated into a free for all and said in a low, admiring aside, “God, you’re good.”

 

Dawn grinned, “And you’re surprised by this?” She winced as Angel brought up the frat boy snake episode and had both his ex and current lovers rounding on him, “Well, I think our work here is done. Wanna go get a soda downstairs?” Connor nodded and they stood up slowly, edging silently round their furious parents and made for the door.

 

Willow stood in the doorway with her mouth hanging open as Dawn and Connor made their way out. “Wh…what’s going on?” Dawn shrugged and continued past. Willow watched the couple head downstairs and then ran into the bedroom to try and pull the furiously arguing people apart, “Guys, stop it. What’s going on?” She winced as all four began shouting their years old grievances and said weakly, “Oh.”





 

The next afternoon found an uneasy peace in the Summers house. Buffy was in the basement, working out her rage on backed up laundry and her punch bag. Spike was in their room systematically going through the family photo album and defacing every picture of Angel he could find with artistic fake eyelashes and unlikely looking dresses, and Willow was pouting in the kitchen as she made their afternoon snack over all the wonky spells she had performed that had been dragged up in the five way argument that had finally finished at four am.

 

Cordelia and Angel had finally left with Connor through a portal that Dawn had obligingly called up for them and the last sight the star crossed lovers had of each other was Connor being pushed down on the lobby sofa by Cordelia as she began to yell and Dawn rolling her eyes as she was launched into by Buffy, Spike and Willow.

 

Dawn had managed a couple of hours sleep before getting up for school, so when she came through the back door she was, understandably, not looking her best. Her hair was scraped back in an untidy ponytail and the make-up she had put on that morning had melted and shifted slightly during the day, until she resembled an exhausted panda. She dropped her school bag on the floor with a sigh and slipped one hand under her loose sweater to scratch at her flat stomach as her other reached for an apple from the bowl on the side, “I’m beat.” She yawned hugely, “I’m going to take a nap.”

 

Willow glared at her as she stirred batter in a bowl, “Think again, Houdini. There’s a yard out there that needs cleaning and windows that need washing.”

 

Dawn stared at Willow with her mouth open and a piece of half chewed apple on her tongue, “What? That’s not fair, I was up all night!”

 

Willow’s face hardened, “And whose fault was that, Miss Trip The Light Fantastic? Get your glowing green butt out in that yard and make with the raking of the leaves already.”

 

Dawn’s face fell as she looked out on the carpet of dead rotting leaves that Spike was so proud of. “Bu…..”

 

Willow’s resolve face looked back at her, “Hustle, missy.”

 

Dawn stuck out her lip, turned and slammed out the back door. Willow nodded to herself and began to stir the batter slightly happier now Dawn was as miserable as the rest of the house. She scowled as she thought of one of the accusations levelled at her the night before and cast a dark look at the basement door and the ceiling above her, “Don’t get what they’re so cranky about. Its not like they actually got married.” She stirred harder, “And hello? Bionking each other silly now!” The bowl slipped out of her hands and smashed onto the floor. Willow stamped her foot in frustration and then glared out the window. Dawn stood on the lawn, leaning on her rake and swaying in a patch of sunlight with a small smile and her eyes closed.

 

Willow’s eyes narrowed and she flicked her finger at the girl, smirking as a bolt of blue fire shot out through the glass and grounded in Dawn’s butt. The brunette’s eyes opened with a yelp and she leapt a foot into the air. She caught sight of Willow’s unamused face through the glass and rubbed a hand on her stinging cheek, “Alright already! I’m raking, I’m raking!”

 

Willow nodded and set about cleaning up the mess on the floor with a smirk,

 

“Darn tootin’ you’re raking.”








Later that evening when Dawn had finally finished all her chores and had been allowed to crash out, the senior members of the Scoobs had congregated in Buffy’s living room.

 

“You gotta admire the ingenuity, though. Beats the hell out of shinning down the trellis and sneaking into the Bronze.” Xander, although distressed to learn of Dawn’s forays with Connor, was also grudgingly respectful of the two tearaways imitative.

 

Buffy glared at her friend, “So not the point, Xander.”

 

Xander lost the ‘impressed’ face and adopted ‘responsible’ face. “Right. Totally getting the ‘bad, Dawn, bad’ vibe.”

 

Anya sipped her cold soda and leaned into her husband’s side, “I think its sweet. Moonlight trysts, young lovers discovering each other for the first time. Bet it brings it all rushing back, huh Buffy?”

 

Spike choked on his mug of warm blood as Buffy shot a lethal look at the vengeance demon, “Let’s not go there. I had enough re-visiting my teenage years last night, thanks.”

 

Spike wiped a dribble of blood of his chin and smeared some that had fallen on his t-shirt carelessly into the material, “And there was no bloody discovering of anything on either side, demon girl.”

 

Anya buried her nose in her glass, “If you say so.”

 

Willow jumped in from where she was lying sprawled on the floor, “Turns out they’ve been meeting up almost every night in LA and going out on dates all over the city.” She shook her head, “I can’t believe they got away with it for so long.”

 

Xander hooked an ankle over his knee and leaned back against the sofa to curl an arm around Anya and tuck her more comfortably against him, “How did they? I can be a bit slow sometimes…” Spike snorted derisively, “But I think even I’d notice a big, honkin’ green hole opening up near me every night.” He waved a hand to cover the three people in front of him, “Especially being, y’know, all super-powery.”

 

Buffy snagged a handful of chips from the bowl on the table, “She got smart. Waited till we out patrolling or had crashed for the night, then……pfft!”

 

Anya nodded, “That is smart.”

 

Buffy ignored the demon, “They didn’t see each other at weekends ‘cos they’re generally helping with the badness and stuff, just met up on school nights.” She shook her head, “What’s even more amazing is that their grades didn’t suffer at all. Let’s face it, we’re generally out till all hours and she must have been partying most every night, but not a single grade slipped below a B.”

 

Xander grinned, “Brainy as well as beautiful.” He nodded to Spike as the vampire held up fresh bottle of beer and the beverage flew through the air to land with a practised smack in his palm, “So how did they get caught?”

 

Spike put his empty mug on the floor and cracked open his own bottle of beer, “We got ‘ome a little bit earlier than planned the other night.” He tilted the bottle and took a long swallow of beer, “Turned down the street and the Dawn’s window was lit up brighter than Hiroshima.” He ran a hand through his messed up hair and glared at his boots propped up on Buffy’s prized new occasional table, “Burst into the house, legged it up the stairs and then heard bloody Bonnie and Clyde saying nighty night before I got to the door.”

 

Buffy smacked his shoes off the table for the third time that night with a warning glare, “I dragged him back downstairs before he could smack the door in and we called Angel and Cordelia. The rest is history.”

 

Xander grinned, “Busted.”

 

Buffy scowled, “So busted.”

 

“So what now?” Xander scratched absently at his chin and looked thoughtful, “How do you go about punishing the most powerful being in the history of the world ever?” He gave his friends a lopsided grin, “Gotta be pretty tricky. Your mom had a hard enough job punishing you, and you were just a run of the mill Slayer.”

 

Buffy paused in the middle of snagging another large handful of chips and looked deeply offended, “Hey!” She leaned back and into Spike’s consoling pat on the top of her head, “Well, Will had her cleaning up the yard and washing windows the minute she got in from school. She did her homework and then had dinner and then Spike took her up into the attic and got her cleaning up there.” She shrugged as she popped a chip in her mouth, “Ground her I suppose.”

 

Anya snorted, “Yeah, like that’s gonna work. Dawn’s an omnipotent dimensional traveller.” She tilted her head to one side and said in a stern voice, “You stay in your room, young lady, and no skipping out to Brazil while I’m gone!” Her voice pitch went up as she tried to imitate Dawn’s voice, “Ok. I’ll stay right here, Buffy.” She gave a knowing grin, “I’m betting she won’t even wait till you’re at the bottom of the stairs before she’s off.”

 

Willow jumped in again before Spike and Buffy could get a word out, “As much as I hate to admit it, Anya has a point. None of us have a chance of stopping Dawn from going anywhere if she wants to.” Her face creased in a worried frown and she wiggled her toes in thought, “She has no real idea what she can do yet and if she gets pissed at us she might make a mistake without one of us being around to help her if it gets ugly.”

 

The room fell silent. It was a big source of worry that Dawn’s powers were largely untested, one of the first rules Giles and Buffy had laid down being that she only tried to use them if one of the Scoobs was around to keep an eye on things in case she unintentionally let an uber demon into their dimension or, worse, got sucked into a hell dimension by mistake.

 

Their fears hadn’t exactly been laid to rest when on one of Dawn’s first attempts to open a portal to another dimension she managed to find the one that was inhabited solely by shrimp. They’d been shovelling dead fish out of the basement for days. Although the profit made by a quick thinking Anya by selling the first day’s worth off to local restaurants had paid everyone’s bills and living expenses for a month.

 

Buffy shook her head, “She has to learn that there are boundaries.” She gestured helplessly, “We’ve all gone to the dark side on a power trip and had some pretty Darth Vader-y experiences.” She sighed, “It’s our job to teach her that power is there to be used responsibly not whenever she feels the need for a quick smoocherama.”

 

Xander glanced towards the stairs, “How do you know she’s up there now? She could have headed out the minute she thought it was clear.”

 

Willow giggled and pulled her sweater down more comfortably over her bum,” I set up an alarm charm in her room to alert us at the first sign of mystical energy rising. Plus, she was so tired when Spike finally let her out of the attic she couldn’t talk, I think it’s a safe bet she’s going nowhere tonight.” The smile on her face widened as a knock came at the door, “That’ll be Giles. I’ll go.”

 

The oldest looking member of the Scoobs walked into the living room with a smile and returned Anya and Buffy’s hugs, shaking Spike and Xander’s hands firmly and then collapsing onto the sofa with a tired sigh. Spike moved to the drinks cabinet and poured the Watcher a large glass of scotch and handed it over with a grin, “There you go, gramps. Look like you need that.” His eyebrows shot up as Giles raised the glass, chugged the three finger’s worth and held out the glass for a refill. He eyed the Giles with surprise, “I’ll just get the bottle shall I?”

 

Giles wiped his hand across his mouth and felt his heart sink as he looked at Buffy. She didn’t deserve this, none of them did. Hadn’t they sacrificed enough for the good fight? He took the bottle and newly re-filled glass from Spike, “You might want to get glasses for everyone else.”

 

Buffy stared wide-eyed at Giles, “It isn’t another apocalypse is it? ‘Cos I think we’ve already met our quota for this year.”

 

Giles managed a weak smile, “I’m sorry, Buffy, I’m being terribly rude.” He rubbed a hand over his exhausted face, “I’ve been travelling all day and the last two weeks at the Council have been most…..taxing.”

 

His Slayer sat beside him and took his hand in hers, “You don’t have to apologise to us. I’m sure whatever it is could have waited until you had some sleep.” She nodded towards the stairs, “If you want to get your head down now……..”

 

Giles squeezed her hand, “I’m afraid it couldn’t wait, Buffy.” He took a deep breath, “Thank you all for making sure you were here tonight. I’m afraid the Council has had some most disturbing intelligence and from what we can find out its one hundred percent accurate.”

 

The serious tone of voice sent a shiver of apprehension down Willow’s spine and she leaned into Xander’s side, reaching for Spike’s hand as she did so. The vampire turned his head and gave her fingers a brief squeeze, before turning back to fix suspicious blue eyes on Buffy’s de facto father.

 

Giles met his gaze for a moment and then turned to meet Buffy’s worried hazel one, “Its bad Buffy. Dawn is in great danger and I’m afraid we have no hope of protecting her.” He took a breath as the Slayer’s face paled, “There’s more. The intelligence we’ve received also indicates that Connor may also be in danger.” They all jumped as a knock came at the door and Giles said, “Ah good. That will be Angel and Cordelia, I’ve asked them to join us.”

 

Willow hurried to the door to let their friends, smiling worriedly at their greetings and then giving a more enthusiastic smile to an exhausted looking Connor. She met Cordelia’s eyes for a moment and then slipped an arm through the teenage boy’s, “Hey sweetie, why don’t you come with me and get some shut eye.” She pulled him towards the stairs and began to hustle him up the steps.

 

Connor dug his feet into the carpet, “But I want to stay down here.”

 

Angel slipped a supporting arm round Cordelia and said, “Son, go to bed. Nothing’s going to happen tonight.”

 

Connor scowled, “But if it concerns me and Dawn we should be here…”

 

He broke off as Spike wandered into the hallway. The vampire looked expressionlessly at him for a moment and then jerked his head, “Go to bed. I won’t let anyone do anything that’ll upset Dawn, that means you’re covered too.” His eyes narrowed, “And keep in mind I’m a vampire mate, and if I think for one damn minute I hear you go near my girl’s room I’ll be up those stairs so fast you won’t know what’s hit you.”

 

Connor stared calmly back at Spike and cocked his head to one side, “Your word?”

 

Spike snorted, “I absolutely swear that if you go anywhere near Dawn tonight I’ll feed you your feet while they’re still attached.” He waited a beat, “And you have my word that no one will make you and Dawn do anything you don’t want to do, this little pow-wow is strictly for information only.” Connor nodded and allowed Willow to lead him up the stairs without further argument.

 

Cordelia stared at Spike, “How did you do that? Connor never caves that quickly.”

 

Spike shrugged, “I’ve got a way with kids. C’mon, let’s go see what the watcher’s got his stuffy knickers in a twist about.” He took the coats held out to him with a frown and then shrugged and beaned them over his shoulder, “Stop being a prancing nancy, Peaches and get your fat arse in here.”

 

He stalked off to Buffy’s side and Angel followed him, saying irritably, “Stop calling me that!”

 





The next morning Dawn woke up and stumbled out of her room and downstairs to the kitchen. The make-up that had shifted slightly during the previous day had been left on overnight, due to complete exhaustion thanks to her over protective, no sense of fun, can’t-remember-what-its-like-to-be-young guardians, and had got together during the night to wage a sudden and vicious assault on her face.

 

Black streaks and pink powder ringed her eyes, some smudged over her nose, but that was ok because it contrasted nicely with the escaped deep rose lip liner that had made a break north and was currently disappearing up one nostril. She scrubbed a bleary hand through her hair and winced as her fingers got snarled up in the wild, tangled strands. She walked through the kitchen door simultaneously scowling, yanking on her hair and yawning hugely and gave Connor a nasty shock as he closed the refrigerator door and turned to say good morning, “Aaaaaaaah!!” The carton of eggs he was holding flew into the air as he jumped, recoiled in horror and then they landed with a smash on the kitchen floor.

 

Dawn screamed at the unexpected bellow and stumbled back against the wall with her hand still stuck to her head and eyes wide with shock. “Connor? What are you doing here?”

 

Connor looking equally shocked stared back at her, “Dawn? Is that you?” His face flushed with fury, “Baby, what did they do to you?”

 

Dawn looked confused, “Huh? Who did what to me?”

 

She cut off as Spike, Buffy and Angel all burst into the kitchen with drawn swords and furious yells.

 

“Where is it ‘Bit? What’s happened?” Spike glanced at Dawn out of the corner of his eye and then did a startled double take, “Christ, nibblet, what happened to you?”

 

Buffy stopped glaring round the kitchen and swung round to face Dawn. A woman who had faced make up rebellion for many years, she sized up the situation in an instant. Her sword came up to rest on her shoulder; she kicked Spike hard on the ankle and said, “Erm….sweetie, you’ve got a little something on your face.” She turned to Connor and looked from him to the mess on the floor, “And you might wanna get those cleaned up, Destructo Boy.”

 

“Is it gone?” Buffy turned back to a thoroughly bewildered Dawn and winced as she saw the black streaks had now been extended to just above her chin, thanks to some extensive rubbing.

 

Angel turned to glance at Dawn and recoiled slightly before saying weakly, “Nearly.”

 

Buffy put a firm hand on Dawn’s shoulder and pushed her out of the kitchen, “Go shower.” She watched her head for the stairs and added as an afterthought, “And don’t look in the mirror before you do!” She tossed a derisive look at the three men, “Wusses.”

 

Spike watched her stalk out of the kitchen and then turned to a still shaken Connor, he grinned nastily, “Don’t look so nummy first thing does it, mate? Wait till it gets to be her time of the month and see how bad it gets then.” He turned and stalked off after Buffy.

 

Leaving Angel to deal with the confused Connor. “Time of the month? What does that mean?”

 

The former Scourge of Europe squared his shoulders and opened his mouth, preparing to face his responsibility as a parent to an enquiring child. Unfortunately the calm, well-structured explanation got lost somewhere between his brain and his vocal chords and a feeble, “Ask your mother.” emerged before Angel scuttled off in Spike’s wake.

 

Connor blinked in the dim light afforded by the well-curtained kitchen window, “And you people think I’m strange.”

 





An hour later everyone had breakfasted, showered and, in Dawn’s case, been coaxed out of their rooms after taking one look in the mirror and diving back into bed with a scream, and were now gathered in the living room.

 

Dawn was still completely mystified as to why Connor and his parents had shown up so unexpectedly and why all the adults were behaving so strangely. Xander kept peering out of the windows and up into the sky, and for some reason looking nervously at the fireplace, and Buffy, Spike and Angel were twitching at every little sound and reaching for weapons that lay at their feet.

 

Willow and Cordelia were engaged in a low serious conversation with Giles out in the hall and Anya was sat perched on the coffee table, biting her nails and darting anxious glances at Connor and Dawn when she thought they weren’t looking. Dawn frowned as Buffy reached for her sword as a car went by on the street outside and said firmly, “Ok, what’s the what? Not that I don’t appreciate the day off school and everything, but you’re all behaving much weirder than usual, which I didn’t think was actually possible, and I want to know what’s going on. Now.”

 

Buffy’s eyes darted to Giles’, who nodded firmly at her. She stared back at him for a moment before her shoulders slumped with resignation and she turned back to her sister, “Dawnie, you know we love you, right?” Dawn nodded slowly, and Buffy opened her mouth to continue, but before she could get another word out a loud pop sounded and there was suddenly three figures standing beside Anya and the coffee table. The demon gave a yip of surprise and toppled off onto the floor, and the two vampires and Buffy jumped up and hefted their weapons.

 

Giles sprang into the room with a shout, “STOP!” The three froze as he continued hurriedly, “This is the man I told you about. He can help us.”

 

Buffy eyed the tall, white haired man in the purple robes and matching hat and slowly lowered her sword. She nodded to Angel and Spike to do the same and then cut her eyes to Giles, “I recognise that outfit! That’s the one you wore the day the Magic Box opened.”

 

Willow peered round Giles’ shoulder, “Hey it is! And there’s the little wizarding hat!” She grinned at the white haired man it was currently perched on, “It looks better on you.”

 

The man beamed at her with a twinkle in his eye and then shook Giles’ hand firmly as the watcher strode forward, “Thank you for coming at such short notice.”

 

“Oh not at all, not at all. Least I could do.” The sparkling blue eyes turned to Connor and Dawn and the affable smile increased, “Ah, the infamous Miss Summers and Mr Angel.”

 

Connor stood and moved slightly in front of Dawn, blocking her from the man’s view. “I don’t think we’ve met.” His eyes narrowed in warning and his fists clenched at his side as the skin rippled alarmingly at the back of his neck. He knew whatever this man was, it wasn’t fully human.

 

Giles stepped hurriedly forward, “Connor, Dawn, I’d like you to meet Professor Albus Dumbledore.”

 

His tone implied that the two teenagers should give a modicum of respect even if they didn’t recognise the name. Connor folded his arms and planted his feet widely, remaining silent. Dawn cocked an eyebrow and looked bored.

 

Rather than being offended at the truculence of the two teenagers, Dumbledore chuckled delightedly and ushered forward his companions, “Oh I can see you’re going to get along famously.” He beamed happily between the lanky, dark haired boy and the very tall red headed one that stood either side of him, and then the scowling boy and girl by the couch, “One infamous pair to another, eh?”

 

He pointed to the dark haired boy and then the red head, “Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley meet Connor Angel and Dawn Summers.” The two sets of teenagers eyed each other dispassionately as Dumbledore clapped his hands together and Xander surreptitiously moved a jar of stakes out of Dawn’s reach. “I can see this is going to work out marvellously. You two will make fine additions to the school at the start of the new term.”

 

The tension level in the room reached an all time high as Dawn shot out of her seat, “We’ll make a fine addition to what now?”