Summary: Instead of Spike learning that Buffy had been in Heaven, it is Dawn who learns. Dawn in an attempt to help Buffy, get over what Willow had done to Buffy by yanking her sister out of Heaven, calls her birth mother, Prue Halliwell.

Pairings: To Be Determined

A/U: Starting in Season 3 with the Charmed Episode Primrose Empath. And just after the Season 6 BTVS Episode Afterlife

Disclaimer: Buffy is owned by Disney and Charmed is owned by CBS.


Chapter 1: Primrose Empath Part 1

October 16, 2001

Summers Home, Sunnydale

Buffy gently closed the front door as she returned home. Seeing her friends again, just being with them, had felt wonderful, but the weight of the past 24 hours was bearing down heavily on her. She saw Dawn sitting on the stairs obviously waiting for her.

"Hey, Buffy?" Dawn greeted as she smiled at her sister. Then she saw the look on her sister's face and knew nothing was all right with Buffy. "Is everything okay?"

Buffy stepped hesitantly toward Dawn, for some strange reason feeling like she didn't have to hide the truth from her sister. That Dawn would understand and be supportive. "I was happy," she started.

"I don't …" Dawn interrupted as she looked at her older sister in complete confusion.

"Wherever I ... was ... I was happy," Buffy continued as she sat on the stairs next to Dawn. "At peace. I knew that you and everyone I cared about was all right. I knew it. Time didn't mean anything, nothing had form... but I was still me, you know? And I was warm and I was loved... and I was finished. Complete. I don't understand about dimensions or theology or any of ... but I think I was in heaven."

Dawn stared at her sister in shock at the revelation.

"And now I'm not," Buffy finished. "I was torn out of there. Our friends pulled me out. And everything here is bright and hard and violent... Everything I feel, everything I touch... this is Hell. Just getting through the next moment, and the one after that... knowing what I've lost ..." She looked at Dawn saw the tears in her baby sister's eyes. She reached up and wiped them away. "They can never know, Dawn. Never."

"I won't tell them," Dawn said. "But there is someone I would like for you to let me tell. Someone that might be able to help."

"Prue," Buffy said as she thought of Dawn's biological mother. Maybe what she truly needed was to be away from Sunnydale for at least awhile. "Alright."

Dawn smiled as she stood up and walked into the kitchen to the phone. She dialed the number she had long since memorized.

"Halliwell residence, Piper speaking."

"My name is Dawn," Dawn answered. "Tell Prue that her daughter is calling and that it's an emergency."

Halliwell Manor, San Francisco

Prue Halliwell sat in the kitchen trying to move a fork using her powers but no matter what the fork refused to move. It was at that moment her sister, Phoebe, walked in trying to tie the halter straps but failing miserably due to the straps being tangled.

"Look at me. I'm a fashion blunder. A mademoiselle don't," Phoebe said. She looked at Prue as she noticed what Prue was failing to do. "Oh my god, you lost your powers?"

"Can't lose what you never had" Prue said as she suddenly vanished.

"I hate it when she plays astral games," Phoebe sighed. "Marco."

"Polo," Prue called back.

Phoebe followed Prue's voice to its source in the attic where she found her eldest sister sitting in a chair reading a book on telekinesis. "What were you doing down there?" she asked.

"Practicing. Trying to use telekinesis in astral mode," Prue answered.

"Hmm, witch exercises. Since when?" Phoebe wondered.

"Since I studied up on Belthazor," Prue explained. "The triad couldn't have sent us a worst demon."

"Prue!" came Piper's voice from downstairs.

"In the attic," Prue called back.

"Phone!" Piper yelled. "Someone named Dawn is calling. She said to tell you that your daughter is calling and it's an emergency."

Prue was instantly up and hurried down the stairs followed by Phoebe.

"Who's Dawn?" Piper asked as Prue snatched the phone from her.

"Dawn?" Prue said tuning out her sisters and giving her full attention to the phone.

"Mom, Buffy's back." Dawn stated from the other end of the phone.

"How?" asked Prue remembering that Dawn's adopted sister, Buffy, had died 147 days ago if her math was correct, approximately five months, and that Buffy's will had left Dawn in the care of her friends Willow and Tara.

"It's kind something that should be discussed in person, mom," Dawn answered. "Please, mom. You have to come to Sunnydale!"

"Okay, I'm on my way, Dawn," Prue said as she hung up the phone.

"Prue?" Piper and Phoebe said simultaneously as they both wondered what was going on.

Prue sighed as she looked at her sisters. She had told no one that she had gotten pregnant her first year in college, least of all her sisters and then given her daughter up for adoption. "I never told this to anyone least of all you guys or Grams. Dawn's my daughter," she started as she saw Piper and Phoebe's eyes go wide in surprise. "It was during my first year in college. I was dating a senior actually. He was on the football team. We both got a little tipsy one night and one thing led to another. Being a freshman in college, I knew that I wasn't yet ready to be a mother. So, when Dawn was born, I gave her up for adoption."

Prue paused as she took a breath before continuing. "I asked the adoption agency for an open adoption so I could keep in contact. She was adopted by a couple in Los Angeles by the name of Hank and Joyce Summers who had wanted to give their daughter a sibling. You see after their daughter, Buffy, was born, Joyce found out she couldn't have anymore children. So, they adopted Dawn. My only request beyond keeping in contact was Dawn's name start with a P, following the family tradition. Instead of following my wish to the letter, Joyce and Hank gave Dawn my name as her middle name, Dawn Prudence Summers. Five months ago, Dawn called telling me that her adopted sister Buffy was dead. Apparently, Buffy is back."

"Okay I have many questions of course," said Piper.

"As do I," added Phoebe.

"And I will answer all of them when I get back from Sunnydale, probably tomorrow as it's about a five- or six-hour drive there," Prue said hoping her sisters would wait.

"I would like just one question answered now though," Piper admitted. "If this sister died five months ago. How can she be alive now?"

"I don't know," Prue answered as she looked between her sisters. "That is what has me puzzled. Dawn was adamant that she would explain to me in person. I better get going, it's going to be evening before I get there."

"Drive safe," Piper and Phoebe said as Prue grabbed her purse and keys. She rushed out door and got into her car.

Summers Home, Sunnydale

It had taken her a little bit over six hours due to traffic to finally arrive in Sunnydale. As she got out of her car, she saw her fifteen-year-old daughter run out of the front door of the Summers' home and into her waiting arms.

"Mom!" Dawn said as she returned her birth mother's embrace.

"Hey, Dawnie," said Prue. When they broke a part, Dawn led her toward the front door. "I'm here, Dawn. You are going to have to tell me what's going on."

"I need a favor first, mom," said Dawn as she turned to look at her mother. "I need you to promise me that you will take Buffy and I back to San Francisco. She needs away from Sunnydale."

"You know that's not possible," Prue explained as she looked at her daughter. "I relinquished my rights when I gave you up, remember? Which means Buffy has guardianship since Joyce passed away. Besides, your sister is an adult."

"Mom, I will explain, but you have to promise," said Dawn. "It's important. Buffy needs to be out of this town."

"I can't promise that, Dawn, I'm sorry," said Prue. "Not right now anyways. When I know everything then we'll talk."

"Okay," said Dawn as she led Prue into the house and up the stairs to the second floor. "I put her in mom's old room just in case since it was next to mine, that way I could hear if she needed anything." She opened the door to the bedroom and led Prue in.

Prue looked toward the window and saw Buffy standing before it looking outside.

"Hey, Buffy," Dawn said. "Look who came to visit."

Buffy turned and smiled at Prue. "Hello, Prue," she said.

Prue could see that Buffy's smile didn't reach the blonde's eyes. She immediately turned back to Dawn. "Okay how is this possible," she wondered.

"Magic," Dawn answered. She watched as her mom's eyebrow rose as if in question to the statement. "Our friend Willow is a witch, she brought Buffy back thinking Buffy had been trapped in the underworld or some other demon dimension."

"You weren't were you," Prue said looking straight at Buffy, who shook her head.

"Heaven. For me this is hell. My friends pulled me out," answered Buffy.

Prue looked at Dawn and nodded in understanding why Dawn wanted both herself and Buffy out of Sunnydale. Buffy needed some serious help. "Pack," she ordered.

Dawn smiled and hugged Prue. "Thanks, mom," she said. She hurried out of the room leaving Buffy and Prue alone.

"Why would your friend think you were in the Underworld?" Prue asked.

"Because I'm the Slayer," answered Buffy. "I died closing a portal to a hell dimension to save the world."

0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0

"Why would her friends think she died and her soul went to the Underworld?" asked Piper when Prue had called to fill them in on what was happening in Sunnydale.

"Buffy's answer to that was because she was the Slayer and that she had died closing a portal to a hell dimension. What the heck is a Slayer?" Prue wondered.

"Let me check." Prue could hear footsteps through the phone and she was sure Piper was heading up to the attic. Then she heard pages flipping. "Here we go. This looks like a prophecy of some sort, not unlike the one Melinda said that foretold our arrival. Into every generation, there is a chosen one. One girl in all the world. She alone will wield the strength and skill to stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness; to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their numbers. She is the Slayer. Reading this its looking like some powerful people made a mortal able to do what we do without powers like we have. So that's the sister?"

"I guess so," answered Prue. "And this witch that brought her back is as powerful as we are apparently to be able to rip a person out of Heaven. I told Dawn to pack. I'm bringing them both back to San Francisco. Buffy needs help, the trauma she is going through right now must be intense."

"I agree," Piper said. "We should also consider binding these powers she has if we can."

"Agreed," said Prue. "Once she is better, she may want them back of course. I know you and I have wanted out. But we both know that we could never truly and completely walk away either. I don't see her being able to do it either, not with her knowing what is out there waiting in the dark."

"Maybe not. But she shouldn't have to worry about it till she is ready either."

"Agreed. Dawn, Buffy and I will return tomorrow to San Francisco tomorrow," Prue explained. "With Buffy's consent I have someone coming to change the locks in the morning before we leave. I'm also going to stop by the Art Gallery that was handed down to Buffy that her mother had opened when they first moved to Sunnydale. It's been closed since Joyce passed away, close to the beginning of the year. Maybe Buffy or Dawn would be interested in reopening it in San Francisco, assuming of course they want to stay in San Francisco. If they do it would provide them an income that way and a place to live that would be close to us."

"That is a good idea."

Prue noticed that Dawn was looking at her. "Hey how would you like to say hello to your niece?" she asked before handing the phone to Dawn.

"Hello?" said Dawn.

"You must be Dawn, I'm your Aunt Piper. We talked earlier, remember?"

"I remember," Dawn said as she smiled at her mother. "It's a pleasure to finally speak to you, Aunt Piper."

"Likewise, Dawn."

October 17, 2001

US Highway 101

"Mom," Dawn said from the backseat of Prue's car. For the drive to San Francisco, Prue had been adamant that Buffy ride up front with her. She wanted to keep an eye on the blonde woman. "I think you should know some other stuff. About me."

Buffy glanced over her shoulder toward Dawn. "Are you sure?" she asked knowing what Dawn was about to admit. That Prue's memories like her own, in regards to Dawn, were fake and that Prue had never in reality given birth to Dawn.

"If we're going to be staying with mom, at least for now, and she is technically my mom," admitted Dawn. "Then she deserves to know."

Buffy nodded. "It's your call."

"Technically?" Prue said confused on Dawn's word choice.

"Before a year ago, I didn't exist, mom," said Dawn. "We don't know why for sure I have memories of you being my mother or why you have memories of me being your daughter. We know that Buffy has memories of me as it was supposed to be for my protection. You see before a year ago, I was a green glowing ball of energy known as the Key. These monks knowing this hell god was after the Key made me out of Buffy's DNA and blood and made me to be her sister."

Prue glanced behind her to see the traffic was light so she pulled to the side of the road. She then turned in her seat so she could see both Buffy and Dawn. "Buffy?"

"What she's saying is true," said Buffy. "The hell god being after Dawn is what led me to my death five months ago."

"Then I think I may know why I am your mother, Dawn," said Prue. She closed her eyes and her head dropped to her chest. A second later there came a knocking on the passenger window next to Buffy.

Buffy jumped as she spun around and she and Dawn saw another Prue waving at them. That Prue disappeared as the one in the driver's seat looked up.

"I'm a witch," said Prue. "So are my sisters. We're known as the Charmed Ones. I think that is likely why I remember giving birth to you, Dawn. It's also why you look nothing like Buffy. If these monks made you from Buffy's DNA and blood you would be a clone. But you're not. I bet they used both Buffy's and mine."

"So, if you are a witch, mom," Dawn said confused. "Why is it I don't have powers like you do?"

"When the monks created you, they probably made sure they were bound," Buffy said as she looked at her sister.

"That would be my guess," agreed Prue.

Shut-in's Apartment

About six hours after leaving Sunnydale they finally arrived in San Francisco. They were on their way to the manor when they came upon road construction.

"Stop right there please," a construction worker said as Prue stopped the car. "Come ahead." He was motioning toward a bus, with a save the innocent banner, that drove past. He then motioned for Prue to turn right. "That way."

As they drove along, they saw even more signs on buildings or buses or even just a road construction detour arrow.

Prue glanced in her rearview mirror at Dawn. "Honey, in my purse is my cell phone. Dial the number that says Manor.

Dawn rummaged in Prue's purse and pulled out the cell phone, she dialed.

"Hello?"

"Hi, this is Dawn, I'm with mom and we're in town. She asked me to call," said Dawn.

"Who is it?" Prue asked.

"Oh, she's asking which of my aunts you might be?"

"I'm Phoebe."

"Phoebe," Dawn told Prue.

"Ask her if she cast any give me a sign spells lately?" said Prue.

"Mom wants to know if you cast any give me a sign spells," Dawn said.

"No, why?" Phoebe said realizing that Prue had told Dawn and likely Buffy about who they were.

"Aunt Phoebe wants to know why," said Dawn.

"I don't know, tell her that it just seems like somebody's dropping signs right in front of us... literally," said Prue.

"She doesn't know. She said it seemed like someone was intentionally dropping signs right in front of us," Dawn relayed.

"Just tell her to ignore them. That I am dying to meet my niece and her sister."

"She says to ignore the signs and that's dying to meet me and Buffy," said Dawn. After a moment Prue told her to go ahead and end the call. "See you soon, Aunt Phoebe."

"You too, Dawn."

Prue sighed as they approached another a construction worker holding a stop sign.

"I don't really want to deal with anything supernatural," admitted Buffy. "But if you are getting signs from something supernatural then…"

"My thinking as well," said Prue as she noticed the words Final Stop painted on a building.

As soon as the construction worker let them pass Prue found a place to park.

"I'll check into it," said Prue. "You are right, Buffy, with what your going through you shouldn't have to deal with stuff like this right now." She looked toward her daughter. "Dawn, keep her company."

"Will do," said Dawn.

Prue got out and walked toward another construction worker. "Excuse me," she said.

"You're with social services, right?" asked the construction worker.

"No, why?" answered Prue.

"The guy won't come out of his loft up there and we're supposed to start demolition today," he answered.

"Someone still lives here?" Prue said surprised.

"Well, if you can call it that. Poor guy says he hasn't stepped outside in four years," he said before walking away.

Prue went inside and up the stairs till she found the man's apartment. She knocked on the door. "Hello?" She opened the door only a crack because of the latched door chain.

"Close the door. G-go away."

"I just want to talk," Prue said.

"Please, go away."

Prue closed the door and used her power to remove the chain. She opened the door and saw the guy crouched down across the room.

"No! Don't, don't, don't come any closer," he said as he moved as far away from her as he could.

"Are you hurt?" Prue asked.

"My head, it's exploding. The pain, you're letting it in," he said.

"What pain?" she wondered.

"Everyone's pain, from the city, the streets. I feel it, I feel all of it."

"I won't hurt you," she said.

"You are hurting me. Your pity. It's like razors inside."

"Please..." Prue said as she walked closer. "I can..."

"I feel your worry for your daughter's adopted sister. I can't stand it. Why didn't you just go when I asked?"

Halliwell Manor

"I-I just can't believe you introduced me as a friend," Leo said as he and Piper walked into the living room.

"Okay, social malfunction," admitted Piper. "I hadn't seen the woman in years. I'm sorry."

"I lost my wings for you, I've hurled my body in the path of oncoming demons, you wanted heaven, I took you there literally. I'm more than a friend," said Leo.

"I know, but if I had introduced you as my fiancé, she would've asked how we met, when are we getting married, where the hell my ring is," said Piper. "Questions that I can't answer, now can I?"

"I suppose that's how I became a doctor too," Leo said.

"Leo, that's what you were," explained Piper. "Look, what am I supposed to tell people? That's I'm engaged to a Whitelighter? Sometimes being magical kind of takes the magic right out of things."

"I'm sorry you feel that way."

"Oh, come on. Don't you sometimes?" said Piper. "Every now and then I just want to feel what it's like to live in the real world."

"Hey," Prue said as she, Cole, Buffy and Dawn joined Leo and Piper. "This is Dawn and her sister, Buffy."

"Hi," said Piper as she hugged Dawn. "It's nice to finally meet my niece." She then looked at Cole and Prue. "What are you two doing together?"

"Uh, Cole pulled up behind us," said Prue.

"Good timing," Cole said as Phoebe joined them.

"Hey, look, my dinner date," said Phoebe.

"Sorry I'm late but I got held up on a case. You look amazing," said Cole.

"Okay, Phoebe, I wanted to talk to you about the signs... uh, the assignment that we were talking about on the phone," said Prue.

"Where did it lead?" Phoebe asked as she spotted Dawn and Buffy. She walked over to the teen. "You must be Dawn." She hugged Dawn and then looked at Buffy, she saw the same thing Prue had seen in Sunnydale. She laid a comforting hand on Buffy's arm.

Buffy smiled at Phoebe in thanks for the gesture.

Phoebe turned back to Prue. "Well?"

"To this incredibly tragic guy who's scared to leave his own home," Prue said, "which might be okay if it weren't about to be torn down."

"Was there a social worker there?" Cole asked.

"No, but I was told that a deputy was going over there in the morning if he didn't leave this afternoon to evict him. He has no place to go," said Prue.

"Let me, um, make a call, see what I can do," he said.

"Kitchen," Piper said as Cole headed into the kitchen.

"Leo, while you are here," said Prue. "This is Buffy Summers…"

"I know," said Leo, "the Slayer." He sighed and shook his head as he looked at the Charmed Ones. "The Elders knew the moment it happened. That kind of magic as you know breaks every single law of nature. There was a reason the spell Ms. Rosenberg used had been lost for centuries."

"So, Piper and I were talking last night. To help Buffy we would like to bind her powers till she feels she wants them back," said Prue. "Can it be done?"

Leo nodded. "There is a potion," he admitted.

Prue looked at Buffy. "It's up to you. It will give you a chance to heal and you won't have to do any thing about demons or vampires or anything in the meantime."

On the one hand Buffy liked the fact that at least for awhile she would be normal. On the other she remembered that stupid test the Watcher's Council gave her when she turned eighteen and how weak she had felt as a result. She turned her attention to her sister, she desperately wanted Dawn's advice. "What do you think?"

"I think you should do it for the reason mom said," Dawn told her sister. "You wouldn't even have to worry about protecting me either. Mom, Aunt Piper and Aunt Phoebe could do that while you take a break for however long you want, even if that break is the rest of your life."

Buffy nodded as she hugged Dawn, who returned the embrace. She looked at Prue and nodded. "Okay."

"Okay," said Prue as she looked back at Leo. "The last thing is a lengthy conversation. Do you know what the Key is?"

"Yes," said Leo. "The Key can destroy the barriers between realities, all of them. Why?"

"It's inside me," said Dawn. "Before a year ago I actually didn't exist. I was created to hide the Key. Mom's memories like Buffy's are fake. I was created from Buffy, her DNA, her blood. Since I'm not a clone mom thinks they used her blood and DNA as well."

"A reasonable assumption," agreed Leo.

"That said," Prue said. "Dawn is still my daughter. So, she should have Charmed powers, right?"

"If they used your blood and DNA, I would say that is another reasonable assumption," said Leo. "I am assuming the reason your asking is because since according to your memories you gave her up before you knew you had powers, why hers haven't shown up?"

"Exactly," said Prue.

"I will ask the Elders," said Leo.

Prue nodded. "Dawn, Buffy, the guest room is upstairs, last room on the left. It's been a long day why don't you two go and rest."

Buffy and Dawn nodded as they headed up the stairs.

"Leo," said Prue. "One last thing before I start on this shut-in I encountered. Buffy, I think is going to need to see a counselor. Is there one that you know might be knowledgeable with the supernatural? So she doesn't have to speak in riddles?"

"I believe I know just the person," he admitted.

October 18, 2001

Dawn snuck out of bed trying not to wake Buffy. As she stepped into the hall, she heard voices from downstairs. She made her way through the house to the kitchen and saw her Mom and Piper sitting at the counter.

"Morning, Dawn," said Prue.

"Mom," said Dawn. "I was wanting to make breakfast for Buffy. Could you help me? Everything I make is wacky combinations that Buffy doesn't like."

"What if I helped you, instead," offered Piper.

"Piper's a great cook," said Prue.

"If you don't mind, Aunt Piper, I'd like that," said Dawn.

Piper smiled as she looked at her sister. "You know how much I love it when she says Aunt Piper?"

"About as much as the first time I heard her call me mom," said Prue as she stood up. "I'll let you two get started on Buffy's breakfast. I am going to see about the shut-in." On her way out of the kitchen she kissed Dawn on the forehead.

"So, what would you like to make her?" Piper asked.

0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0

When Buffy came downstairs, she smelt the delicious aroma of ham, eggs, bacon, pancakes, everything she could have ever wanted for breakfast. She found Dawn and Piper standing next to the dining room table that was covered with the food.

Dawn smiled at her sister as she walked over to Buffy. She took her sister's arm and led her to the table. "All for you," she said. "Aunt Piper helped, so you don't have to worry about my weird concoctions. But she let me make as much as I could for you."

Buffy looked at sister and smiled as she wrapped her arms around Dawn. "Thank you, Dawnie."

Dawn smiled as she stepped back away from Buffy and pulled out a chair for her sister. Buffy looked at Dawn and sat down.

"A few things I want to mention, Buffy," said Piper as she sat down next to the Slayer. "First I have the ingredients for the potion that will bind your powers. When your ready I will give it to you." Buffy nodded. "Second Leo is setting up with a psychologist who knows about the supernatural for you to talk to. Believe me I know how bad this world can get."

"Thanks," said Buffy.

"Prue, Phoebe and I talked after you two went to bed and we agreed Buffy that you should consider us family. Prue even said she wouldn't mind if you wanted to call her mom and she is willing to adopt you if you consent that is since your over eighteen."

"I'll think about calling her mom and the adoption stuff," said Buffy.

"You should, Buffy," said Dawn as she sat down next to her sister. "I wouldn't mind it if you thought of my mom as yours. Nor would I mind it if you became my sister in both families."

"Thanks, Dawnie," Buffy said as she smiled at Dawn. She looked back at Piper. "The rest sounds good though, especially considering you guys family. After all you technically are since your Dawn's birth family."