Author's note: I know it's been a while since I've updated this story, but I promise I will finish it sooner or later.
Hyperion Falling II
The demon's voice echoed in the entire building reaching even the room Billy was in. He looked at the door and frowned. What the hell did they think they were doing? A direct approach was a terrible idea no matter how young the future heroes were. Dawn gave him a questioning look.
"You stay here," Billy told her and caressed her hair for a moment. "Uncle Billy has some naughty monsters to kill," he headed for the door. He gave Dana a warning glance as he headed out. Alone, Dawn balanced her legs over the edge of the table she was sitting on peacefully enjoying her chocolate. Dana struggled to free herself now that Billy wasn't there to notice her attempts at an escape. Dawn looked at her with a frown and her eyes suddenly glowed.
"Bad Dana!" a piece of wood suddenly detached itself from the floor and started hitting the slayer, beating her to a bloody pulp. "Billy said Dana shouldn't move. If Dana moves, Dana gets hurt."
"Splitting up was a seriously bad idea," Buffy muttered as she tried to realize where the voice had come from. All windows had been blocked and all light that had previously been filtrating itself through them was now completely shut out. They were sitting ducks in the dark.
"Yeah, bad, bad, idea," Willow agreed as she looked around nervously. A hand crossed the darkened hall behind her, but she only caught a glimpse of a movement in the corner of her eye. "What was that?"
"What was what?" Buffy asked spinning around. Nothing. Only silence. That was probably the most disturbing thing. That eerie you-don't-know-what-will-happen-next silence. Then, nails gliding across the wooden floors and the hand moving in the darkness once more.
"There!" William pointed towards a corner and threw a heavy registry book after the hand. It hit the floor with an empty sound and a cloud of dust rose out of it like a poisoned mushroom growing in the dark. An evil laughter broke the silence and the slayer looked around again with a frown. Whatever it was, she was sure it wasn't in the room…something else was down there. The missing hand and something more. Arms suddenly reached out through the darkness and grabbed Willow from behind. The young girl shrieked in horror as she was being pulled away by what appeared to be a half-burnt corpse.
"Shh, darling, this will hurt only…," James smirked. "Well, to tell you the truth, it will probably hurt a lot," he admitted as he plunged his teeth into her neck. Buffy instantly reacted to the redhead's screams and grabbing a chair she crashed it into one of the windows in an attempt to shed some light into the room. Unfortunately, it was dark outside as well and New York didn't look like New York anymore.
"Oh, oh, I think little Dorothy finally realized she's not in Kansas anymore," Hallie's voice noted amused. A second crashing noise drew Buffy's attention to the hotel's front desk where Willow was struggling to free herself from James' grasp with William hitting the vampire repeatedly with a piece of wood in the back in an attempt to weaken him.
"Not like that!" Buffy yelled toward William. "Shove it in his heart!" she said referring to the piece of wood the Englishman had been using to beat the vampire with.
"Pardon me?" William asked confused.
"Oh, haven't you read any books about vampires?" Buffy asked as she neared him, but William managed to shove the piece of wood in the vampire's heart by accident before she got to them. James turned into a pile of dust.
"Oh," William let out finally understanding what she had wanted him to do. Willow was breathing heavily and her neck was bleeding, but she would live. James hadn't managed to drink too much of her blood before he had been killed.
"One down, go us," Willow said with a faint smile as she tried to stand up, but found that she was quite weakened because of the attack and she collapsed on the floor.
On the first floor, Halfrek observed the fight - that from her angle was set in illuminated surroundings - through a magical hole in the floor like the kind she had used before. From there, her voice echoed downstairs and in the entire hotel.
"Poor James. Never was the brightest crow in this nest though," Hallie admitted to herself as the vampire pulverized before her eyes. The door to the room she was in suddenly slammed open and an angry Billy pointed an accusing finger at Hallie:
"You! What the hell do you think you're doing?"
"Just playing the game we were sent here to play. If you got a problem with that, I suggest you take it up with Makhran. I'm sure he'd be willing to listen to reason," she replied coolly. Billy hesitated for a second and Hallie immediately caught on. "Unless of course you wouldn't want Makhran to know certain things…"
"Like what?" Billy asked rising his eyebrows in what he wanted to seem as amusement.
"Like the few details he missed about the girl. Hell, little Dawnie might as well be the battery that'll help Mahkran leave his atemporal cocoon whenever he feels like it instead of being as limited as he is now," Hallie told him.
"What?" he tried to sound surprised.
"Don't play dumb with me, Billy, I'm not a little henchman you can fool with your incredibly bad acting skills. Your plans changed like mine did when I found about the potential of this little situation," she said bluntly. "But for now, they have to be disposed of before they get over puberty and decide to be heroes instead of overly melodramatic teenagers," she added looking down at the adolescents through the ceiling.
"You have a too big a mouth, you know that? Like all women," Billy said as he picked up a chair and raised it in the air and hit the distracted Hallie over the back with it. It smashed to pieces and Hallie – unable to stop the blow – fell to the floor. When she looked up at Billy, her face had changed to her demonic features and she muttered:
"That was such a bad idea."
They walked down the corridor making sure their steps couldn't be heard by whoever was in that hotel beside them. They were unaware of what was happening downstairs.
"Dawn!" Liam suddenly yelled and Wesley spun around alarmed and put his hands on his mouth.
"Do you want everyone to hear us?" the watcher-in-training asked in a whisper.
"Do you want us to search every room in this blasted place looking for her?" Liam replied and shoved him away. "And don't you put your hands on me again boy or I'll make sure I break them next time," he added on a threatening tone. "Bloody Englishman," he muttered as he continued down the hallway.
"I'm older than you!" Wesley yelled as he ran up to him.
"Dawn!" Liam shouted again. "Come out, you little troublemaker! Dawn!"
"We're going to die," Wesley said under his breath. "We're going to die of a very painful death."
"Would you just stop wailing and start searching?" Liam suddenly turned his attention toward him.
"Dawn!" he yelled as a reply to his comment. Satisfied that he had taken on the task he had set out for him, Liam started opening every door in their way in hope of finding the girl. The seventh door proved to be lucky. They found Dawn perched up on a table, swinging her legs over the side of the table and hugging a raggedy doll to her chest whispering something in its ear.
"And where the bloody hell did you think you were going?" Liam asked the girl, putting his hands on his hips and then called out to Wesley: "I found her!" The watcher-in-training, who had lost Liam three rooms ago, made his way toward the room the voice was coming from. Dawn looked up at them with a confused gaze.
"Who's that?" Wesley asked as he noticed the tied up slayer lying on the floor.
"Do you think someone else might have been sent with us?" Liam asked crouching down next to Dana.
"I don't remember there being someone else," Wesley said after he thought back to Makhran's atemporal cocoon. "Maybe they're fighting among themselves. It's very common between demons."
"She doesn't look like a demon," Liam pointed out.
"Many have the ability to take on human shapes," he explained. "We should take her downstairs nonetheless. See what the others think."
"Who? The pansy poet? Or that frightened redhead?" he asked looking up at him with an amused gaze.
"Like Buffy," Wesley reminded him of the slayer.
"As if she'll know what to do. I'm afraid, boyo, that you're the only one in this merry band of future heroes who actually knows a thing or two about these things," he told him as he rose Dana to her feet. The slayer, still shaken, managed to stand on her now healed legs. Her movement however made Dawn frown. Her eyes glowed brightly and the door to the room suddenly shut closed.
"Dana, sit!" she ordered her and the slayer fell back to the floor with a hard thud, breaking a finger in the process.
"Now what in the name of Mike is going on in here?" Liam asked looking from Dawn to Dana.
"Well, at least we know the girl's name," Wesley said. "Dana," he crouched down next to her. "Is your name Dana?" he asked her and the girl nodded. He gave her a quick once over and noticed the dried red blood on her clothes. "I think she might be human. And by how fast these wounds are closing she might be a bit more than just human," he inspected her broken finger that seemed to already be healing.
"What's that suppose to mean?" he asked confused.
"She might be another slayer," the watcher-in-training explained as he stood up. "We have to take her downstairs. Buffy will know for sure if she's a slayer or not."
"What? They can smell each other? Like dogs?" Liam asked rising his eyebrows.
"Something like that," Wesley accepted that theory because he didn't feel like explaining the whole process to him. "Could you…," he gestured for him to pick up Dana.
"What about bright-eyes over there?" Liam looked back at Dawn whose eyes were still glowing.
"Let me," Wesley made his way to the little girl and told her gently: "Dawn, we have to go downstairs. We're taking the nice lady with us. Do you want to come and guard her?"
"But Billy…" Dawn looked at Dana undecided.
"What has she been doing this whole time? Playing games with the enemy?" Liam asked as he took Dana in his arms. The girl started struggling violently in his arms until he had to let her stand on her own two feet. "If you don't want to be carried, girl, say so." Dana only gave him a furious look, but didn't say or do anything. She was still tied up.
"Come on," Wesley urged Dawn and held out his hand for her to take it. "Don't you want to go see William?"
"Spike!" it suddenly dawned on her that she hadn't seen him in a few hours. Her eyes returned to their normal color and she hopped off the table.
"Yes, yes, Spike, now move," Liam told her and gestured for Dana to move out of the room too. The slayer couldn't do it as her legs were still tied up. "Would you let me carry you then?" he asked her politely.
"No more strings…no more hands…," Dana muttered and with a huge effort managed to break out of her restrains. Dawn looked back at the slayer and for an instant her eyes glowed. Fearful, Dana did nothing but quietly follow Liam and Wesley out.
"Did you find it?" Buffy asked as she looked up at William who was perched up on a table and fiddling with a bunch of wires.
"I…believe so," William said and stared down at her. "I just don't understand what exactly I'm suppose to do."
"I'm not exactly sure what you're suppose to do either," the slayer admitted. "I'm not really an electrician. I remember when my dad fixed the lights one time. There was this wire…"
"There are more than ten wires here," William pointed out frustrated. "You should be up here trying to make something of them. I really have no idea of what I'm doing or what exactly all these things are."
"I can't reach it," Buffy pointed out. "It's one of the disadvantages of being pleasantfully petite."
"You speak French?" William asked with a smile.
"They could've put the lights out with magic, you know," Willow said as she stared at her feet laying over the edge of the table. Her neck was now bandaged with a piece of Buffy's shirt, but she still felt a little weakened.
"I know," Buffy admitted. "I just don't want to rule out this possibility. Maybe they did it the old fashion way, maybe one of them's like a demon electrician or something."
"The only thing this'll end with is William electrocuting himself," Willow said.
"Electro-what?" William asked with a frown, not liking the sound of it.
"And I think something's really wrong with this hotel," Willow added on a grim tone.
"You figure?" Buffy asked annoyed. "I started thinking something was wrong with it when it dawned on me that there were no rats in it. And the fact the sheets of the rooms we stayed in were so clean. Like someone knew we'd pick exactly those rooms. Oh and let's not forget the evil hand from hell and the disappearing Dawn trick. Or that wonderful view over there," she pointed toward the window she had smashed and that now showed a foggy, dark, fuzzy, unclear world of nothingness. "So stop playing crypto-girl and try thinking of something constructive."
"Like wiring?" Willow asked rising her eyebrows.
"Is it the red one? I think it's a red one. Might be blue though. I can't really tell," William drew the slayer's attention back to him. Buffy sighed and stood up on the table. Just as she did however a loud thump was heard from upstairs. More than a thump actually, more like the walls crumbling on top of each other above them. The heavy chandelier rocked back and forth for 10 seconds before turning back to its initial position.
"What…" Buffy started, but couldn't even finish her sentence as a heavy thump was heard again. Then suddenly something crashed to the lower level through the ceiling. Buffy couldn't tell what it was. All she managed to see was that it was huge, alive and moving. Heavy breathing filled the air and the monster that had collapsed downstairs split into two, each piece scrambling to another corner.
"Buffy! Where are you, girl?" Liam's voice yelled through the darkness and was shortly followed by sounds of footsteps. The slayer sighed relieved. At least they'd have help beating whatever had just landed there. "We found the little one. Why is it so bleedin' dark in here?"
Dawn's eyes glowed in the darkness for two seconds and light suddenly filled the room, making Buffy, William and Willow squint their eyes from the sudden exposure to its brightness. When they managed to clear their sight however they were surprised by what they saw. Wesley and Liam had indeed found Dawn, but there was also a girl with them that Buffy had a strange feeling about the moment she laid eyes on her. Hiding in a corner was a man with no hands and a hand was half way up one of the legs of the table William, Buffy and Willow were sitting on. On the floor, both bruised and separated by a few good feet were a young man and a grotesque female demon.
"Well, well, what do we have here?" Liam asked surprised by the crowd.
"Dawn, precious, come to uncle Billy and make him all better. It's time we save your friends," Billy told the little girl on a pleading tone. Liam looked at Dawn and then at Billy with a confused look and when the girl wanted to head toward him, the Irishman held her back.
"Wait just a bloody moment, what do you think…" but he didn't have a chance to finish his phrase as Dawn's eyes glowed and he was thrown back into a wall.
"Oh boy," Willow muttered.
"That's it, little darling, come to your uncle Billy," he said on a satisfied tone as he stood up.
"Dawn, get away from him!" Buffy requested of her, but she didn't listen.
The little girl leaned down toward Billy and energy glowed around her and she passed it onto him, healing his wounds.
"How is she doing all that?" Willow asked confused.
"I don't know, but we have to get her away from him," Buffy said jumping off the table and nearing Dawn. "Come on," she extended her hand toward her. Dawn looked at her hand and then at Billy.
"Remember what we talked about in the room? How you could save them all?" Billy asked her and she nodded. "I think it's time you save them."
"Yes. Save," Dawn said with an innocent smile and then turned back toward Buffy. The slayer flew back into the table, breaking it and knocking Willow and William off of it, then her body – like a doll of rags – flew into the ceiling and then back down, shattering the wooden floors.
"Dawn," William jumped in between Buffy and Dawn, like that could actually stop her from continuing to throw the slayer through every solid thing she could find. "Stop this. Please, there's no need to hurt her." But Dawn ignored him and Buffy continued to fly into things. Liam grabbed her body – she was now unconscious and bleeding – and held it firmly in his arms as if his weight would be enough to beat Dawn's force. But it was not and Liam, along with Buffy, found himself crashing from floor to ceiling and back again. The remaining hand meanwhile had crept up behind Willow and was doing its best to choke the life out of her. Wesley attempted to free her, but he wasn't having much luck with it. Billy smiled back at Hallie victorious. The demon, angered, stood up and grabbing the leg of the shattered table attempted to hit Dawn across the face with it, but the piece of wood just wouldn't go any closer than fifteen inches from the girl. It was like an elastic force field had been created around her. Billy started laughing by now. Annoyed, Hallie hit the wood against the force field as fast and as hard as she could until the wood bounced out of her hands and flew across the room imbedding itself directly into Ronald's chest. The doctor let out a scream of pain. Hallie looked back at him and told him, a bit half-hearted:
"Dawn, you're a good little girl, leave Buffy alone," William pleaded with Dawn, but the little girl didn't look his way, but continued her work. As Ronald went out with a few last twitches and spasms, the hand tied around Willow's neck loosened its grip and then fell dead to the floor. Billy suddenly noticed Dana was there as well.
"What are you doing here?" he asked annoyed. "I thought I told you to wait upstairs. Stupid bitch," he grabbed a hold of a heavy metallic vase and headed toward her threateningly. When he was a foot away from her, Dana muttered, barely audible:
"I wish…" At this, Hallie rose her eyebrows and asked, with a malicious smile:
"What do you wish for Dana?"
"I wish he'd be torn to pieces," she started, her voice sounding clear for the first time in a long long time. "His organs turned to blood and tiny pieces and all his bones grinded into dust and blood and pieces and blood and pieces and blood…blood…," her voice faded back into a whisper and her mind was once again gone.
"Done," Hallie said on the most satisfied tone possible and turned toward Billy. "You see, Billy, I can't use my powers to hurt people – men – unless someone wishes me too. And I'm afraid Dana just made a wish."
"You can't…," Billy started saying with a smug smile, but was cut off by a vein in his temple popping.
"Oops," Hallie said with a wicked smile. Billy's nose started bleeding. "Oops again." Dawn suddenly stopped - Liam and Buffy, a bloody mess, were now lying on the floor - and looked back at Billy with a confused look.
"Dawn. Dawn, help me…," he begged her.
"Oh, I'm afraid not even she can reverse this one, Bill," Hallie told him and clapped her hands happily. What followed was a carnage, all of Billy's blood vessels exploded, painting the floor in red and all his bones were grinded to a white powder until there was nothing left of them. Dana watched the whole process with a maniacal grin on her face.
Dawn observed Billy's decay with wide eyes. She wanted to help him, but knew there was nothing she or her powers could do for him. He was doomed. Kneeling down next to Dawn, William grabbed her in his arms forcefully. At first she struggled a bit, but then melted in his embrace. Billy was gone.
"You have to convince her to heal them," Wesley told William coming up behind him while Hallie and Dana were still distracted by Billy's discomposure.
"She can't…" William said looking down at the frail little girl in his arms.
"Yes, she can. You saw she healed whoever that…thing was. She isn't human, Will," Wesley pointed out.
"Shh, don't talk about her that way," William demanded.
"Try," Wesley insisted. "Buffy might heal herself, but I'm not sure Liam has the strength to survive that kind of beating."
William sighed and looked at the embraced and bloody Liam and Buffy with hesitation, then turning toward Dawn, asked her gently:
"Could you make them better?"
"But…," Dawn looked at the unconscious slayer. "I saved them."
"They're in pain. They're dying," Wesley told her. "That's not saving them, that's destroying them."
"NO!" Dawn protested. "Billy said…"
"Billy was lying," the watcher-in-training assured her. "He wasn't a very nice man."
"But he gave me chocolate," she said confused. "And raggedy mom. My dolly."
"He was nice to you only because he wanted to use you, do you understand that? He wanted you to destroy us so he wouldn't have to do it himself," Wesley tried to explain it to her.
"She doesn't understand such things. She's just a child," William told Wesley, but Dawn sighed and seemed to have understood quite well what the watcher-in-training had been telling him.
"Dawn make Buffy better. Buffy…Buffy, my sister," little Dawn said in realization as if a broken memory had suddenly been mended and neared the fallen slayer and Liam. A light emanated from her body and she passed it on to them.
"What do you think you're doing?" Hallie asked with a frown turning toward them. "We're not finished here."
"Yes, we are," Willow told her boldly, putting herself between the rest and Hallie.
"You little witch. Arrogant even as a child," Hallie smirked.
"You don't scare me. I know you can't use your powers on me," Willow told her. She had paid close attention to the demon's exchange of words with Billy.
"You, maybe not," Hallie said and the chandelier suddenly detached itself from the ceiling right above Willow and fell to the floor. The redhead managed to jump out of its way just in time. "Dana, grab her." The slayer looked a little puzzled at Hallie and the demon shook her head exasperated and started making the walls explode into chunks that headed straight for the redhead.
Meanwhile, Buffy had come to and now stood up slightly shaking her head as if to chase away a sensation.
"What happened?" she asked groggily.
"Well, Dawn tried to kill you, then Liam tried to save you and then Dawn tried to kill you both, then Dawn saved you," Wesley explained in short.
"You know what? My head just hurts really really badly right now so I'm going to stick to the last part of that fascinating explanation and say Dawn saved us," Buffy said and looked around the room. "Where's what's his face?"
"Dead," Wesley replied. "In pieces. Shreds actually. Never seen anything like it before. It was really…disgusting."
"Huh?" the slayer was even more confused now.
"The demon killed him," William said and gave her a short glance before adding: "I'm happy you're awake."
"I'm happy I'm awake too," Buffy said with a smile and noticing Dana added, suddenly realizing what was so familiar about her: "She's a slayer."
"I was right then," Wesley said with a proud smile.
"Yes, you were, now stop talking so goddamn much, you're giving me a headache," Liam said as he came to, his head feeling like it was about to explode.
"We have to stop that thing before it kills Willow," Buffy said jumping to her feet and heading toward Hallie. "Hey, you!"
"Well, well if it isn't Summers junior to the rescue," Hallie said as she turned to her, but before Buffy was able to confront her directly Dana put herself between them and punched the slayer in the face.
"What are you doing!" Buffy asked wiping the blood from the corner of her mouth, but Dana didn't answer her, but hit her again. This time however Buffy returned the favor. Hallie sighed.
"This is becoming absolutely tedious," she mused and snapped her fingers. "The curtain falls, the theatre goes ka-boom, the actors die. End of story," the building began to crumble, brick by brick. "Have fun in the afterlife, darlings. I know my life will be a lot more beautiful without you." She waved at them and wanted to transport herself away, but suddenly realized she couldn't. She tried again. And again. And again. "This isn't right," her eyes turned toward the only person in that room that could have stopped her: Dawn. "You little bitch."
She tried to smack her with the bricks levitating across the room, but nothing could touch the little girl. Her skin was glowing now.
"Just give up already, you're all dead anyway!" Hallie told her exasperated.
"I'll save them," Dawn muttered as she continued to hold Hallie prisoner in the hotel.
"Save them? Are you insane? The building's imploding, you're in another fucking dimension and you think you'll save them?" Hallie laughed. "Get real, Dawnie, not even you are that stupid. Besides you're not doing anything by keeping me here. A little rubble won't kill me. And just in case you're thinking about trying to kill me, forget it, you'd just condemn you and your friends to eternal exile in this place."
"I'll take them home," she whispered and closed her eyes.
"No!" Wesley cried out.
"What is it?" William asked as he ducked to avoid a flying brick.
"She's using her powers too much," he explained.
"I say if she has them, she should use them," Liam said as he hit a piece of the chandelier heading his way with a table leg. "God knows we could use the help."
"You don't understand. She has a very frail balance because of the uncompleted spell," Wesley explained as he tried to make his way to Dawn. "If she uses her powers too much she risks undoing the spell and returning to her original form."
"Original form?" Liam asked confused.
"Pure energy," Wesley said just as Buffy managed to throw Dana on the floor at his feet. "Buffy, stop Dawn!" The slayer looked at him confused for a moment before going after the little girl. She didn't know why she had to stop Dawn, but if Wesley had requested it, he probably had a legitimate reason for it. She rushed toward Dawn, but it was two seconds too late. Hallie's head flew off her shoulders in a snap, Dawn's body rose up in the air and a blinding light washed over the hotel. For one whole minute, the world seemed to vanish and everything was still. Frighteningly still.
Then Buffy felt something wet on her cheek. She reached out with her hand – was it her hand? She couldn't see it, but she could feel it – and touched her cheek. Something else wet fell on her hair followed by something else and something else until all those other things turned into drops of rain, she blinked and suddenly she was in New York once more, standing on an empty spot between two buildings that could have, in another age, hosted something as big as a hotel. Next to her, Wesley was looking up at the sky, but probably he wasn't seeing much as his glasses were covered in rain drops. Willow was the farthest away from them, laying on the ground and looking around confused. Liam was holding a piece of wood – where had it come from? – in his hands and looking like he was about to hit something. William was lying on his knees in the dirt, hugging something to his chest. It was a doll of rags a little girl had called raggedy mom because it reminded her of a woman whose face she remembered although she had never met her. An unknown woman she loved so much and that she had known loved her back even more. Above them there was light. Too much light. Clouds of light. Mountains of light, melting, slowly, second by second, into the rain. Lightening was energy. And Dawn had been energy, but like all things made only of light she, like the lightening, had struck and consumed herself in a dangerous deadly flash.
End Part 8