Title: No Place Like Eureka

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Disclaimer: The words are mine; the worlds belong to Whedon and SyFy.

Rating: K+

Summary: His only consolation was that Glorificus would have just as difficult a time locating the Key in the other reality as he would have finding it again. 800 words.

Spoilers: B:tVS 5.05 "No Place Like Home"; Eureka 3.04 "I Do Over"

Notes: For the August Fic-a-Day, Day 8. A "Dawn's New Family" story-- and a shameless fixit fic.

"It is done," the monk charged with the Key's protection sighed into the darkness of the monastery's great hall. It did not matter that they had been found, that they might perish for removing the Beast's desire from Her grasp; they had done their duty, and It was now in the hands of a far more capable protectrix.

Swiftly, he reached his magical senses outward to ascertain the success of the spell; he had been forced to rework portions of its specifications in order to send the Key half way round the world from their location, sufficient that he had been unable to make any changes to its form as well. Personally, he would have preferred creating a new vessel actually able to protect itself, but the ancients who had written it must have had a reason for choosing a female human form. He would have to trust in their sagacity-- otherwise all of their deaths would have no meaning.

The previous vessel was clearly empty, no longer lit from within with verdant light; the faceted jewel was a dim, dully sparkling form in the darkness. But as he reached out, his satisfaction soured into horrified dismay; the energy link he'd long since established to his charge through familiarity and ritual led not to the distant western shores of California as he'd expected, but to a strange piercing wrongness disrupting the fabric of reality somewhat northward of the wound in the supernatural essence of the world that was the Hellmouth.

He'd been counting on the pull of that multidimensional portal to ensure that the Key's own complex, extrareal energies followed the path laid down for them to coalesce at the Slayer's side. Whatever had torn through the space-time continuum-- projecting both forward and backward from a knot that he could not begin to decipher in the brief moment he had available to probe it, whose origin must be in some other reality entirely-- had clearly provided a more powerful drawing force.

"Lord preserve us," he muttered in Czech, then bolted to his feet as whatever She had sent against them battered through the remains of the monastery door. He gathered up the vacant vessel, the candle, and as many of the protective amulets as he could gather in his two hands; the pair of brethren who had assisted him likewise scrambled to their feet, and followed him as he ran for the safety of the tunnels.

The heavy form of the Dagon Sphere thumped against his thigh, secured in its bag, as he ran; he knew the others had no such protection against the Beast Herself, but refused to allow himself the draining sentiment of guilt. He could not afford to stop and assist them; nor could he afford to leave himself exposed anywhere She might find him again. It would be one thing, had the spell been an unqualified success; it was another, now that he had no idea where It was, nor in whose care, nor whether It had even taken the form intended for It.

His only consolation was that She would have just as difficult a time locating it in the other reality as he would have finding it again. Perhaps the world would have a chance at surviving Her appearance, after all.

Somewhere else-- somewhen else-- an inadvertently created time loop collapsed, catching in its teeth the form of the abrasive, brilliant scientist who had stepped in to stop it. The Key's energy paused, assessed; It had been enchanted to manifest at the side of the best Warrior in the immediate vicinity of Its destination, but there were two here whose fierce convictions and protectiveness vibrated from their auras like heat from the local sun. It tasted of them both, then projected backward to the mystical alignment chosen for the date of Its recreation, and determined that only one would still-- would have-- been nearby then.

All conditions now met, the spell concluded, snapping into effect. The energies of the Key disrupted the anomaly as It passed through, dislocating the man caught within and displacing him forward along the temporal line of the fourth-dimensional rift it had created-- and incidentally collapsing the only means both Glorificus and the Order of Dagon had of tracking Its relocation.

In the year 2000, Dawn Michelle Stark, eight-year-old stepsibling of Kevin Blake, materialized in her room, scribbling fiercely in her diary about the unfairness of her father's current marriage. If her blue eyes and attitude owed a little more to a certain U.S. Marshal than to her deceased mother-- it would take several years, and the enrolment of Zoe Carter at Tesla High, before anyone would ever think to laughingly propose such a relation.

...And in the year 2009, a shocked, startled lab technician paged the director of G.D.