This chapter takes place about two months after the previous chapter. Dawn gets a late night wake-up call.
Please, as always, read and comment! Buffy!Muse is still chugging along though her pace is slower than I would like. However, like the little engine that could, she keeps going, and for that I’m grateful.
Feedback is always welcomed.
Goddess bless Willa, my first and foremost mentor, gillo, for cleaning up my phraseology and making the interlude so much cleaner, celesteavonne for her constant encouragement and boo boo findings, and just_sue for her read-through and cheerleading.
To read Beloved from the beginning, go to my Live Journal Here or to simply_beloved: chapter 1.
Full sized banner by liliaeth beneath the cut.
Beloved – Interlude 34/35C
Dawn awoke from a dead sleep to the techno strains of Freebird blaring from her phone. She hurriedly scrambled out of bed and snagged the phone, hoping it wouldn’t wake either Liam or Connor.
“This had better be an apocolypsey situation, Giles,” Dawn yawned into the phone.
“Would some news regarding your sister’s situation be acceptable, instead?” Giles queried.
At that, Dawn sat bolt upright and shoved hard at Connor’s shoulder. “Get up,” she hissed. “Giles has news about Buffy!”
“Mphr,” Connor mumbled and turned over, pulling the blanket over his head.
A good, swift kick from his wife left him sprawled on the floor. “All right, all right. I’m up,” he said, grumpily.
“I’m putting you on speakerphone, Giles.” Dawn set the phone on her nightstand, and grabbed for Connor’s hands.
“We’ve just had a message from Willow,” Giles began, the rustle of papers was heard through the phone’s speaker. “During one of their forays through The Library’s aisles, she and Thespia found a missive from The Immortal.”
“What did that scumbag do now?” Dawn spat. “Gloat some more?”
“It seems The Immortal has finally ended his little tantrum and amended his spell on Buffy. It appears her – er – sentence has been adjusted, from eternal imprisonment. Eventually she will be free – but there is no mention of when that will be. We’ve verified his signature – it’s well and truly his.”
“But that’s not fair!” Dawn practically wailed, hastily covering her mouth with her hands and praying she’d not awoken Liam. Blessedly, he remained silent. “All the research we’ve put into freeing her was for nothing… and we still don’t know when she’ll be free. We could all be dead by then!”
“Nothing about this situation is fair, Dawn,” Giles agreed. “However, this is our first sign of hope in seventeen years.”
“So what do we do now? Abandon all research because she’ll eventually snap out of it?”
Giles paused, the glasses cleaning was assumed. “Lydia and I will continue to search for The Immortal, to see if we can pin him down to an approximate date. I-I truly don’t know what good additional research will do, inasmuch as it’s all been for naught so far.”
Dawn bit at her lower lip, her brow furrowed in frustration. “Fine… let’s say Hugh and I let this go for now, and you better believe that it’s killing me to say so. What else is on the Council’s agenda? There has to be something to do… some new project.”
“There actually is,” Giles murmured. “We have decided after all this time to pursue the idea of bringing in the peaceful demon species to our service, and working with them to maintain the common good of all involved. Angel has also mentioned that an anagogic demon had been young Will’s counselor for these past years. Perhaps one of you would approach him with an offer?”
“Do you honestly think Lorne will be prepared to join an agency that nearly destroyed Will?”
“That’s not exactly right, Dawn,” Giles chided. “You know how drastically things have changed… the turnover in personnel alone, not to mention my much more active role in running the Council.”
“And you did re-establish ties with Hugh,” Dawn allowed. “It has made a huge difference in his self-esteem. It’s been hard trying to live down the atrocity his elder brother had been a part of.”
“Speaking of your Mr. Chalmers… do you think he would mind if we solicited his wife, as well?”
“Charlotte? What would the Watcher’s Council need with an outside lawyer?” Dawn’s curiosity was piqued.
“I believe that demon/human collaborations would be smoother if we had an outsider dealing with the legalities.”
Dawn nodded, and then realized Giles couldn’t possibly see her. “This I can do. Charlotte and I usually see eye-to-eye about helping those in need. Oh!” she exclaimed, as an idea formed. “What if we ask Lorne and Charlotte if they’d be willing to work together – to help Charlotte familiarize herself with different species of demons?”
“That’s very good,” was Giles’ reply. “This way any faux pas between species should be few and far between.”
The sudden intrusion of Liam’s demanding cries put a stop to all conversation momentarily, as Dawn was torn between going for her son and finishing her discussion with Giles. The problem was solved when Connor motioned that he’d go. Liam’d been suffering from bouts of night terrors recently, and Connor was very good in calming the boy down.
“Is everything all right, Dawn?” Giles asked, concerned for her child.
“Yeah. Connor went to check on Liam, so I have a few more minutes before going to check on him myself.”
“We are putting together a list of demons known to be peaceful, and will draft an agreement for those that wish to associate with the Council. My secretary will fax it to you within the next day or so.”
“What’s the matter, Giles?” Dawn laughed. “Still afraid of ‘the box’?”
“Very funny, Mrs. Dowell. It’s not nice to make fun of your elders. And for some reason, I feel I need to justify paying the dear woman by actually assigning her tasks to do.”
Ten minutes had passed and Connor had not returned to their bedroom. Dawn needed to see her boy. “Giles… there’s nothing more that can be done tonight. I want to go check on my son and try to get a few more hours of sleep. I’ll talk with Hugh and Charlotte in the morning. Hopefully you’ll have more details on The Immortal’s letter regarding Buffy’s freedom. Thanks… thanks so much for the news, such as it is.”
“You’re welcome, Dawn. Kiss the little one for me, and we’ll talk later. Goodnight, dear.”