Title: Audaces Fortuna Iuvat

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Rating: T

Disclaimer: The words are mine; the worlds are not. I claim nothing but the plot.

Prompt: tth100 #06, Blood

Summary: BtVS, Boondock Saints. Buffy has never had a boyfriend whose hands were free of blood. 700 words.

Spoilers: B:tVS post-"Chosen"; "Boondock Saints" (1999)

Notes: The title is Latin for "Fortune Favors the Bold". Both fortunes listed below are real, found at weirdfortunecookies dot com.

"Trust your intuition," Buffy read aloud, frowning at the red-stamped bit of paper that had tumbled out of her fortune cookie. "The universe is guiding your life."

Dawn, seated across the table from Buffy, snorted and nearly choked on her own takeaway. "'Between the sheets'?" she said incredulously, tacking on their traditional joke-phrase. Then her expression cleared, and she smiled wryly at her sister. "Actually, that might explain a lot about your love life."

Buffy rolled her eyes. That joke might have been funny a year ago, but it was in pretty poor taste now. "Considering that your love life is more or less the same as mine these days," she retorted, "you might want to rethink that whole throwing stones thing."

Dawn's giggles dwindled into a depressed sigh. "That doesn't make it any less true. How could they have kept it hidden from us all this time?"

Buffy gave her a brittle smile. "Two words, Dawnie. Slayer. Key."

Murphy McManus had been one of the few friends Faith had kept from her childhood years; the dark-haired Slayer had introduced him to Buffy when they'd passed through Boston looking for a wayward Chosen One. Murphy had been nothing like any of her previous boyfriends, but between the accent, the charm, and the skill 'between the sheets'...! She'd been swept off her feet, and when Dawnie had joined her in town several weeks later she'd been equally taken with Murphy's fraternal twin, Connor.

Unfortunately, the boys had been hiding secrets as dangerous as any of Buffy and Dawn's; four months after Buffy and Murphy first met, the police had burst into the McManus' apartment and arrested both brothers on several charges of murder. It had been like the morning after she'd slept with Angel all over again; in those first ugly moments, before Buffy realized just how long the boys had been playing vigilante, she'd even feared that they'd found out about her calling and, like Riley, tried to find a way to live up to it.

She'd been enjoying her life in Boston. As a semi-retired slayer who avoided the news and had a boyfriend that actually loved her, the most disturbing thing she'd faced in months was the possibility that yes, she might end up becoming her own sister's sister-in-law. That, and said sister's boyfriend's weird obsession with rope; if Buffy ever saw Connor carrying a loop of it anywhere near a bedroom containing her sister again, it would be too soon.

She took a deep breath and changed the subject. "So, what fortune did you get?"

Dawn cracked open her cookie, then spread the little curl of paper on the table and snorted. "Never wear your best pants when you go to fight for freedom."

Buffy blinked. "It does not say that."

"It so does," Dawn replied, turning it so her sister could see.

"Topical, much?" Buffy sighed.

"So, we are going to do it, then," Dawn said quietly, all traces of humor fading from her expression.

"What else can we do?" Buffy shrugged helplessly. "You saw the TV footage the same as I did; they think they're doing God's work, and their father's still out there. If we leave them, Il Duce's going to cause a bloodbath getting them out, but if we bust them free--"

Dawn nodded slowly. "Saints should be fighting demons, not people."

"You think they'll go for it?" Buffy bit her lip.

Dawn looked down. "Better question is, if they'll believe us." She shook her head. "They'd better. If they don't--" Her voice trailed off, and her hands shook where they were twined together on the table.

"I've never had a boyfriend whose hands were free of blood," Buffy said softly. "Maybe they do have a mandate-- maybe the Powers have been telling them what to do. Maybe they can sense evil, or there's some other explanation for it."

"And maybe they're just killers," her sister replied, voice thick with tears.

"Shh," Buffy said. "Don't think like that. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now--"

"We bust them out." Dawn nodded. "Okay. I can do this."

Buffy clasped her hand, then stood. "It's time to go."