It was beautiful. Not so much pretty, in a "Oooh, look at me, I'm so sparkly" sort of way, but elegant. She ran a reverent finger over the symbol on the front. A "sigil," Willow would call it. Whatever. Still, it looked like something that should have been in her Mom's gallery.


Her eyes stung, and her nose prickled, and she could just tell her whole face was going to be pink and swollen all night and tomorrow at school everyone would laugh at her, but Mom... She missed her.

Mom would have loved this little piece of history. She frowned as she tried to scrub a bit of the tarnish off the coin, looking for a date or a word or a picture of some Caesar or something, but it looked like that was going to take some serious time with the silver polish to get that thing clean.

And she would. She would take it home and take care of it, she thought, slipping it into her pocket. It was clear that Giles didn't care about it, cramming it into the back of a drawer wrapped in some threadbare rag. He had forgotten it, like he'd forgotten her, like he had – even after that "Band Candy Incident!" - forgotten her Mom.

A sudden thought took her breath away, left her nauseated, dizzy, even seeing a bit of sparks. Where was her Mom? Oh, God, had she left her? She'd called her up with that ritual Doc had given her. Mom had come all the way to the door. Knocked, even. And then she had destroyed the picture, ending the spell, and Buffy had opened the door to nothing.

Where was Mom now? She had called her down, ripped her out of heaven, just like the Scoobies had done to Buffy, and had she left her?

She had to fix it. And she could. She slipped her hand into her pocket and rubbed the coin. It was warm to her touch now, comforting. She had the power. She was the Key, wasn't she? She could fix this. Bring back her Mom. Take her out of the shadow, half-life she was living as a ghost tied to the Hellmouth, unable to interact with her daughter.

Mom would be so glad to see her. She'd call her her "little pumpkin-belly" again, make her cocoa, give Mom-hugs and Mom-lectures.

Dawn gripped the tarnished coin tightly, its heat a promise of her success.