Chapter 26

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There is no financial gain made from this nor will any be sought. This is for entertainment purposes only.

Red Alert…Warning – Things get a bit steamy…

Last Time:

"What does that mean Geordi?" asked Riker.

"That is not yet been determined, but theoretically she should be able to replicate the effects of the Guardian," replied Data.

"She is a key," said Guinan whose sombre expression looked out of place on the usually cheerful hostess.

"A key to what Guinan?" asked Picard.

"Dimensions, alternate realities even time. Jean Luc someone has done something incredibly foolish. They have made a key shard into a flesh and blood being."


"A key shard?" asked Riker.

Guinan looked lost for a few moments before she took a deep breath, "I keep forgetting that I am dealing with one of the younger races." Seeing Picard's puzzled look she continued in. "It's not an easy concept and for societies defined by science. Jean Luc, you know that my people have a reputation for possessing abilities not easily defined by science."

Picard nodded, "In the past, you have been reticent to discuss them."

Guinan nodded, "I can understand the scepticism Starfleet have for those cultures that talk about abilities not defined by science. A small segment of my people once had the ability to access powers not easily controlled. When the entity Ironius was banished my people stood against it alongside the Q and the Ma'dhrey."

"The ma'dhrey?" asked Crusher.

"A species that shared similar abilities to my people that are now gone from the universe. We held it in place, barely, while Q and his people forced it into its prison. It was a victory tinged with defeat. The Ma'dhrey were all but extinct having drawn the brunt of his attack. Most of the powered El-Aurians were dead, and the Q were scattered, exhausted and temporarily weakened. At that time that my ancestors considered the Q our allies and yet than two generations later that let my people burn, standing aside as our race was destroyed. The scattering of my people…the loss of our homeworld it changed us. Our powers waned, and eventually we lost all but the least of our abilities. Many of us blamed the Q, for not aiding us…I know I still do, but that is not why I am telling you this. Dawn is a shard of the great key. Using her gift she can open doorways, Jean Luc."

"Like the Guardian of Forever?" asked Picard.

Guinan sighed and nodded, "She can open a doorway to anywhere. The multiverse Jean Luc…think about what she can do. All that power trapped in the body of a teenager."

"You implied that there was risk involved with the appearance of Miss Summers," said Riker.

"The Ma'dhrey taught us that entities like the key were never meant to be corporeal. They were not sentient; at least not on the way we measure sentience. The Guardian of Forever is a result of a key shard being used to empower a device. Long ago I stood before the Guardian, and it felt the same as Dawn. She is a sentient being with the same powers as the Guardian."

Picard frowned but before he could speak Riker jumped in, "So we have a teenage Guardian of Forever running around the Enterprise?"

"She is a security risk," stated Worf.

"She is a teenage girl," countered Crusher. "She has made no threats or demands. Are we really going to treat her like a ticking time bomb?"

Picard looked around the table before clearing his throat, "Perhaps we should approach her and ascertain her purposes in coming here before we jump to conclusions. Guinan, do you have any other insights?"

Guinan shook her head, "No, although despite my concerns I am not saying she should be locked up. Even if we could lock her up, given her abilities."


Guest Accommodations – USS Enterprise

"Come in Captain, counsellor," said Xander with a friendly smile.

"Thank you Mister Harris," replied Picard.

"How are you both settling in?" asked Troi as she sat on one of the lounges.

Xander's smile broadened, "It's fantastic, I mean this is the Enterprise!"

"Xander Harris, geek extraordinaire," added Dawn with a wide grin.

"But…the Enterprise," complained Xander.

Dawn rolled her eyes, "Excuse my friend, he's a bit overcome with…" Dawn trailed off noting the confused looks on Picard and Troi's faces. "Ah, perhaps we should explain."

Picard nodded. "That would be helpful Miss Summers."

"Please, call me Dawn," replied Dawn.

"It would be helpful Dawn," said Troi.

"Okay…geez where to begin," mused Dawn. "Ah, so in my reality…"

Picard and Troi listened to Dawn's primer on her reality with a great deal of concern as they remembered Guinan's warnings. The fact that they were a fictional entertainment series was surprising enough that Picard found himself checking Troi for any signs that their guests were lying. It was rather chilling to know that these two or was it three beings knew his future, or at least a version of it. As Dawn, with occasional help from Xander explained Glory and Stargate Command Troi was frowning.

"And…are you alright Counsellor?" asked Xander.

Troi straightened in her chair, "The idea of beings like the Q involving themselves should be concerning, but you seem unaffected."

"It's all pretty much the same old, same old on the Hellmouth… you mean like Q showing up?" questioned Dawn. "Oh, you mean Finder, Enki and Ištar?"

"And Mystra," added Xander.

"We have had issues with so called omnipotent beings in the past." said a frowning Picard.

Xander looked at Dawn who shrugged, "They've done nothing but help so far. Well Q hasn't of course, but the others are pretty helpful."

"I can see why you might think that," said Troi. "We have found that they are not always reliable."

Xander nodded, "That's fair, Q hasn't always helped you guys. I can understand why you feel a bit less than trusty. But Finder and the others are actual gods in their realities."

Picard and Troi exchanged a look.

Xander laughed, "I can understand your disbelief, believe me if I hadn't lived through some of the things we take for granted I wouldn't believe the stories."

"It's not that we don't believe you. It just raises some troubling issues," said Picard.

"My powers?" asked Dawn, "We can leave if you want us to."

"Let's not do anything yet Dawnie, let them explain. After all, we still need some help," said Xander.

"Help with what exactly Mister Harris," asked Picard.

'May I answer Dawn?' asked Ora.

"Go for it Ora," Dawn said aloud before her eyes flashed.

"Captain, Dawn and I are looking for some scientific answers regarding our situation. We have been running on luck at the moment, and that cannot last forever. The higher beings you refer to have been helpful, but they have also been rather reticent to fully discuss our situation. We need to know how our powers work and see if we can work out what, if anything we should look out for. That's why we chose the Enterprise, because, to us, you are the most even-handed and scientifically advanced people we could think of."

Picard nodded, looking thoughtful, "I see, well I can understand the desire to determine how your powers work. I am sure that the Federation Science Council and Starfleet, of course, will be willing to help. The question is, of course, can we help."

"Understood Captain Picard," replied Ora. "Any insights you can offer would be welcome."

"What she said," Dawn added as Ora relinquished control.


Guest Quarters – Enterprise

Dawn luxuriated in the shower. Running on adrenalin as you careened from crisis to crisis was exciting in a frightening way, but one thing you didn't get in those scenarios was the opportunity to enjoy a nice, hot shower. In fact, it could only be nicer if Xander was here to wash her back…or front. Her hand ran down her side and over her hips…

'While I don't dispute your right to self-exploration Dawn we do need to meet Doctor Crusher in ten minutes,' said Ora with poorly hidden amusement in her voice.

Dawn blinked and then sighed.

'You know Dawn that Xander is not yet ready to accept that you are old enough for an a…ah physical relationship. That does not mean he would not be adverse to developing your relationship,' advised Ora.

Dawn nodded as she replied internally, 'I do understand it's just…I can't seem to control myself around him. I feel drawn to him.'

Ora hesitated as she realised Dawn had a point. Emotional attachment and her hormones were one thing, but there was an odd connection that she could feel even now.' Perhaps we should mention this to Doctor Crusher.'

Doctor Crusher was waiting in Sick Bay and greeted them with a smile, "Dawn, Ora thanks for coming. On time as well."

"Not a problem, besides I'm interested in what you might find," replied Dawn.

Crusher activated a large screen on the wall and brought up a three-dimensional image of Dawn's body. "As you can see, Ora is attached to your spine, here." She tapped the image of Ora. "She is connected to your nervous and circulatory system. Now if I understand things correctly Ora, this is normal."

"It is Doctor," replied Ora.

Crusher nodded, "Well besides some changes to the density of your bones and what looks like strengthening of your muscles the changes to your reproductive system are probably the most pronounced change I can see."

Dawn found herself a little lost as Crusher explained in detail but Ora listened carefully. "Doctor what you are describing is not the normal evolution of a Goa'uld queen. What would the outcome of these changes be, if they continue as you believe they will?"

Crusher changed the image and pointed at the screen, "At this moment in time Dawn is sexually mature. That is she could fall pregnant and carry a child to term as any human woman would. She also seems to be able to…well spawn seems to be the appropriate word. That is she could reproduce as a goa'uld as well. It is like she has two parallel reproductive processes."

Ora radiated confusion, even her voice was uncertain, as she spoke, "That isn't possible in so far as how I understand how we reproduce. It is unprecedented."

"Why Ora?" asked Crusher.

"Because once a Queen is implanted there should be no possible way for the host to naturally conceive," explained Ora. "This mutation or whatever it is has produced some remarkable changes in you Dawn."

"So I could still have a baby or a litter of Tok'ra?" asked Dawn as she took over her body.

'I don't think I like that description Dawn," complained Ors.

Crusher nodded, "Yes Dawn, as far as I can tell, you can."

"Wow…I mean wow," whispered Dawn.

Before Crusher could say anything else Dawn's eyes flashed, "Perhaps some sort of Birth control advice might be necessary," suggested Ora as Dawn blushed.

Crusher frowned, "Birth control, I see. I would need to look at a few options given the uniqueness of the situation."

Dawn's blush was noteworthy, "But I'm not doing anything yet!"

Ora sighed, 'It's the yet I am concerned about Dawn. You are my host, and while I whole-heartedly approve of Xander, I am worried about what might happen if we fell pregnant or unwittingly spawned before we were ready.'

'Okay, sheesh no need to go all mum on me,' replied Dawn.

Ora laughed internally, 'Don't forget Dawn…I live in your head. I know what you get up to at night. And what you want to be getting up to.'

'This is soooo unfair. I haven't done anything!' complained Dawn.

Ora was amused, but she could also feel Dawn's genuine frustration, 'I know, but we had best be sensible. This is new ground here, and we really need to think things through. If things were not so complicated, I'd be cheering you on as you…what was it …ah, yes rode the Xander horse." Dawn's mix of mortification and lusty thoughts were rather distracting.

They both started as Crusher cleared her throat, "Hmmm, Ladies?"

"Sorry," apologised Ora.


Holodeck Two

Xander grinned as Dawn ran past him and dived into the pool.

She had suggested that they have an outing to the holodeck. Given the tension of the last few days, it felt good to just relax.

"You coming Xander?" called out Dawn from the pool.

Xander grinned and dropped his towel. The water did look inviting.

After a swim, they sat under a poolside umbrella and drank mocktails.

"Xander…are you okay, I mean are you happy?" asked Dawn.

"Sure, the Holodeck is pretty cool Dawnster," replied Xander.

'Wow, he really is dense sometimes,' commented Ora.

'Not helping Ora,' Dawn thought back.

"I mean here with me," explained Dawn.

Xander put his drink down, "Dawn…I…It's been amazing, and frankly, I'm halfway expecting to wake up a find out it's a dream. But, it's also dangerous and to be honest, I am not always sure I'm the best person to be guarding you."

"You rock Xander, you are like uber-guard," argued Dawn.

Xander's smile was tinged with sadness, "Thanks for saying so."

Dawn smiled back, "You really are a doofus." She shook her head and picked up her drink.

"A Doofus! I'll have you know I find that offensive and respond thusly," replied Xander as he grabbed Dawn's foot and started tickling it.

"No…don't…Xander," screamed Dawn as he continued tickling her. Squirming she tried kicking her feet. "Don't…I swear…I'll pee my pants."

As he continued, she tried to put her drink down but ended up wearing it.

Xander let her foot go as she let out an indignant squeak.

"Crap Dawn here," he passed her his towel as she jumped up. Her shirt and bikini were soaked as was her towel.

"Ewww I'm all sticky. I'm going back in the pool." She stripped off her shirt and tossed it on her seat. "You're lucky I'm not going topless."

Xander blinked as she walked over to the pool and dived in. Was he imagining it or was there a bit of swing in her hips?

"Coming?" called Dawn.

Xander sighed and pulled off his shirt.

Neither noticed that her necklace was tangled in her shirt.


The holodeck made sure that the water was perfect. The ambient temperature was just right, and the company was fun.

"You know we still have an hour?" said Dawn as she rolled onto her back.

Xander laughed, "Best beach ever, no sunblock required and perfect rays for tanning."

Dawn grinned as Ora moaned in contented agreement.

Xander sighed as Dawn shifted to lay her head on Xander's stomach like a pillow. As his hand began to comb through her damp hair, she closed her eyes contentedly.

"That's nice," Dawn muttered.

Xander's hands began massaging her neck and shoulders.

"Mmmm…keep going," said Dawn, her voice husky.

"You're beautiful…Dawnie. I should tell you more often," said Xander as his fingers trailed down her jaw line and across her chest to run down her side and back up.

Dawn shivered as his hands went back to massaging her scalp. She wanted his hands lower…not tied up in her hair. As if in answer to her unspoken desire his hand trailed down her side and back up to lightly caress her breast.

She found herself moaning as she arched her back to keep him doing what he was doing. In the back of her mind, she could hear Ora whispering to her but she couldn't, no wouldn't concentrate on what she was saying.

She wanted Xander to keep going…and he did.

His hand caressed her flat stomach before dipping further south. There was a ghosting, feather touch that had her back arching before she felt his warm fingers slip under her costume bottom.

"Yes…please…touch me," she pleaded almost panting as he shifted position and kissed her neck.

'DAWN…you need to control yourself,' pleaded Ora.

Dawn moaned as she felt his fingers disappear but only for a moment. Xander's warm hands gently pushed her top up as his lips grazed her breasts. Then his attention was refocussed exactly where she wanted. His fingers gently parted her eliciting a moan.

Dawn felt Ora take control, pushing her aside.

"Xander, snap out of it!" demanded Ora as she pulled away from him. Ignoring Dawn's complaints.

Xander blinked and looked confused before realisation came crashing in.

"Oh god…Dawn, I'm so sorry," he scuttled back raising his hands and turning pale.

"It's Ora Xander. Find Dawn's necklace," ordered Ora.

Xander jumped up and began looking through the towels and clothes.

'Give me my body back Ora' demanded Dawn.

'No, something is wrong my host. Your pheromones affect Xander, but this was affecting you as well. Once we have the necklace on I'll let you drive again.'


Doctor Crusher studied the screen in her office as she compared the results of the two different medical scans. The results were odd…very odd. Both Alexander and Dawn seemed to have raised levels of Testosterone and Cortisol. What was shocking was that both had extremely high Dopamine and Oxytocin levels. So high, in fact that they should have been suffering some serious side effects.


Crusher turned to see Picard standing at the door of her office, "Sorry Jean Luc?"

Picard smiled, "I asked how they were."

Crusher shook her head, "Right now, lightly sedated and sleeping. As to what happened, the jury is still out. We knew Dawn's reproductive system was slowly changing to that of a Queen. However, according to Ora what is happening here is different. Without more information I can't determine is what is different and why. As far as I can determine, Dawn's necklace somehow blocks her ability to produce this pheromone effect. Once it was removed, she began producing massive amounts of pheromones…add that to teenage hormones and…" she shrugged amused at the look of disquiet on the Captain's face.

"Is this development dangerous?" asked Picard.

Crusher shrugged, "I have no evidence that it is dangerous…"

"And no evidence that it is not," finished Picard. "Geordi mentioned a necklace, does it have a bearing on this?"

Crusher sighed, "Scientifically, no, well not as far as we can tell. Geordi scanned it and found an energy field, very low level. Nothing that could explain what it does. I believe he mentioned a desire to hand it over to Data as a project."

"So if there is no risk why are your patients behind a forcefield?" asked Picard.

"We don't know how, but the necklace does suppress Dawn's pheromone production. The minute Ora passed the necklace to Geordi Dawn started producing the pheromones again. Ora suggested quarantine while we work out if we can replicate the necklace's protection. Ora was quite concerned about such accidents happening again."

Picard nodded, accepting the symbionts sensible precautions, "Good, is there anything else we know?"

Crusher looked over at her patients, "We give the necklace back. After all, Jean Luc, it does work. I believe Dawn removing it was an accident. Now that she is aware of how quickly the situation can…ah, develop she will be more careful. Ora believes that her friendship and growing feelings for Mister Harris may play a part in this, but hopefully, as her physiology stabilises and matures, this ability will be under her conscious control."

Picard nodded thoughtfully, "Very well, so what is the next step, Doctor?"

"We put the necklace back on. Once I confirm she has stopped producing the pheromones, they are free to go."

Picard rubbed a hand over his scalp and sighed, "Mister La Forge has made it clear that we are not making a lot of headway helping them understand their powers. Data is hopeful, but I am beginning to wonder if they would do better to have a purely scientific team working with them. Starfleet has some of the best research facilities available."

"Are we not already helping?" asked Beverly. "I mean, They have been through a lot and beside this incident, the last few days have been stress-free. They have both spoken to Deanna and that if nothing else has helped them clear their heads enough to think about their next steps."

"Perhaps," admitted Picard. "I am simply pointing out that she is absurdly powerful for a child and I wholeheartedly agree with Ora that she needs to understand how her powers work. It is just that we may not have the tools to help them with the more mystical side of their situation. For all the times we have interacted with Q we are not one step closer to understanding how his powers operate. The same applies to the Guardian of Forever."

"So what will you do Jean Luc?"


Dawn fidgeted as she waited for counsellor Troi. 'Relax, you know why she wants to talk to us.'

'That's easy for you to say Ora,' thought back Dawn.

'It was an accident. You Xander well enough to know he won't blame you or me. I suspect his thoughts are more on what Buffy and your mother will do to him,' explained Ora.

'Great, I'm responsible for getting him murdered as well!' thought Dawn.

The door swished open, and Troi walked in carrying two, chocolate covered ice-cream sundaes.

Ora mentally rolled her eyes as Dawn's mood was forgotten in the presence of 'chocolaty goodness'. Although, the idea to bring the treats certainly helped break the ice.

"I can see you like chocolate Dawn, do you Ora?" asked Troi.

Dawn laughed, "She likes it more than I do. Miss Piggy loooves chocolate."

'Once…I over indulged once,' grumbled Ora.

"Well that a relief, now Doctor Crusher suggested that we have a chat about what happened. Ora suggested that you might be upset about what happened," explained Troi.

Dawn nodded.

"Well let's talk about that…"


Day 4 – USS Enterprise

Xander followed Riker with a bit of a puzzled expression. The Enterprise's first officer had offered to help him come to terms with his "mystically" acquired skills.

"The Holodeck?" asked Xander. "What will we be doing here Sir?"

Riker grinned, "We? I'm just the guide Xander. Your instructor is waiting for you."

Riker activated the door, and it swished open to reveal Worf holding a batleth.

"Oh, shit…"


"Owie…I blame you, Dawn," repeated Xander for about the tenth time since he had returned from training with Enterprises security chief.

"Go and have a shower, you'll feel better," advised Dawn, again.

Xander grumbled but got up and made his way toward the bathroom.

Dawn sighed and went back to reading Data's report. So far there had not been a lot of progress on the whole 'key' powers front. Doctor Crusher, however, had come through on a lot of her questions regarding what was happening to her physically.

'I think we can safely say that you will not be like any queen seen before,' offered Ora. 'If I understand things correctly, you are developing normally for a teenage human. The changes to your reproductive system that should have occurred have not. Normally your reproductive system would shut down. Your uterus would change and become suited for larval development by either Parthenogenesis or by the addition of DNA from a donor. As far as I know, that should not be possible.'

'Eww…squicky, hey does that mean I could fall pregnant normally?' Dawn asked.

Ora's mental voice sounded thoughtful, 'According to Doctor Crusher that is a possibility. There may be some among the Tok'ra that knows more about this but if there are I have not heard of them.'

"Wowsers," Dawn said aloud. "Should I be on the pill or something…just in case?"

'We should ask Doctor Crusher, although she may be unwilling to do anything until she has a better understanding of the situation,' advised Ora.

Dawn sat quietly thinking about the situation until Xander reappeared dressed in shorts and a t-shirt. "Hey, Dawnster showers all yours."

Dawn nodded and stood, "Yeah, okay thanks."

Xander frowned, "What happened?"

"I read through the reports, you should too," advised Dawn. "Looks like we've stumped Data and Geordi on the powers side of things."

Xander flopped down onto the lounge, "Damn, I'd sort of hoped they would come up with the sciency stuff to explain things."

Dawn shrugged, "They might if we stay long enough."

"They might, but what if they don't, we need a backup plan. I mean, we can go anywhere. There must be somewhere that can work out what's happening."

"Well how about we give them a few more days?" asked Dawn.

"Yeah, okay, I'd love to work with Worf a bit more. He is even more impressive than I thought he would be," admitted Xander. "I think we need to talk a bit as well. I mean…um what happened on the holodeck…Anya and everything."

Dawn blushed as she tried to ignore Ora's internal 'I told you so.'

Xander looked a bit uncomfortable as he waited for her to say something.

After a few moments of awkward silence, Dawn's eyes flashed, "Indeed, we three do need to talk about this…relationship."

Xander winced, and Dawn/Ora's expression softened, "She really does love you, Alexander. With quite a bit of lust mixed in of course. The problem is that with me, her situation and her powers all banging around inside her head she needs some time. Time I believe that you need as well. Anya may not be happy with your unwitting role in these events."

Xander tried to hide his wince as he nodded, "I'll ask for another room, give you both some space."

Ora shook her head and rolled her eyes, "Hold on doofus, I'm not saying you are not wanted. I quite like you as well you know so believe me, once we've got our head on straight we should re-visit the whole relationship question. Given Dawn's situation, she is far from a typical teenager. We both need to remember that."

Xander was about to speak but was interrupted by Ora leaning forward and capturing his lips in a long, passionate kiss.

"Just a reminder," said Ora as she walked in to the bathroom.

Xander sat, stunned for quite some time. Then he felt a wave of guilt about Anya. His girlfriend…he had almost forgotten about his girlfriend. Hell, when was the last time he had thought about her?

Dawn was…well she was growing up but still…his thoughts trailed off as his traitorous brain threw up a memory of Dawn shuddering and moaning.

"Well this is just craptastic," muttered Xander.


This chapter is un-betad so all errors are my own.