The Day After

Author: Arjen <fanfic81[at]>

Sequel to Black Sunrise

Length: About 9.000 words

Summary: After the events of Black Sunrise people in Sunnydale need to come to terms with everything that has happened. Mostly a character piece, with some foreshadowing of future events.

Pairings: None.

Rating: PG-13.

Crossover: Noir

Disclaimer: All characters are property of Mutant Enemy, ADV films and whoever else wants to lay claim to them. Everything that I thought up is made using their property so I can't really claim that either.

Feedback: Preferably constructive criticism, tell me what I've done right and wrong and I'll be happy. Flames I consider as written by five years old who according to that ridiculous rating system aren't allowed to read this.

Background: Dawn was created early and the monks weren't stupid enough to lead Glory directly to her. During Halloween '97 she was possessed by Kirika from Noir. Afterwards she retained the memories of this assassin and had gained knowledge of the supernatural. This story starts where Black Sunrise ended.

~~~~~ indicates a change of POV

***** is just a scene change

Chapter 1

1 November 1997

Well, last night was rather different then I had expected. Yesterday I had already explained that Sara and Jane weren't able to come with me but as I later found out that had been only the start of my problems.

When I wanted to leave mom stopped me from going alone and demanded! that I'd go with Buffy and her friends. Apparently she didn't think it was safe here and to be honest I'm not sure I like the fact that I now know she was right.

Sighing Dawn put down the pen for a moment and wondered if her mother was actually aware of the things that were going on in Sunnydale. Well, that was just another thing she'd need to ask her sister once the blonde had woken up. Looking through the open window at the barely risen sun she estimated that would probably take a couple of hours, hours that she would have liked to spend in bed as well. Sighing in frustration at the fact she couldn't get to sleep she continued writing in her diary.

Anyway, since I'm now aware of the things that stalk the night it might be best if I wrote that information down here. Last night proved it might be necessary to do things like that, just in case I'm the next one to get possessed or lose my memory or something. Now then, the incredible account of what happened during the Halloween of 1997.

It was a dark and windy night, okay scratch that, it wasn't all that dark, it was rather warm and there was hardly any wind. But really, should facts like that stand in the way of a good tale? I mean as far as ghost stories go, this was probably one of the best. Okay, okay, don't get your panties in a twist, I'm writing.

Oh my god, I just thought of the only thing that might be even worse then all the other things I was planning to write about. I think I might have a crush on Xander, Buffy's friend, and even worse Buffy knows about it!!!!!!

Okay Dawn, just relax there isn't anything to worry about here. You haven't really done anything bad yet and with everything that has happened you might not even feel like that anymore.

The crush really wasn't something she wanted to think about and in an attempt at distraction she looked over what she had written. It wasn't anywhere near as good as the note she had written to Mireille had been. No! She hadn't written that note, that had been Kirika and she wasn't real! It doesn't matter she can feel the other girl inside her mind, both versions of her, that was just a figment of her imagination. Turning over the page in her diary she continued writing, ignoring any disturbing thoughts.

Okay then, like I said I went with Buffy, Xander and Willow to go and steal candies from little old ladies (Xander's words! Not mine!). By the way, he thought I looked cute! *sigh* We had to pick up some children as well, since Buffy had gotten detention or something, I have to agree with her about the principal though and I'm really hoping he'll be fired before I have to go there. Now then, when we were underway, oh I forgot about the stories I told Xander and Willow. That was before we went to pick up the children and I told some very good ones about Buffy that were meant to embarrass her, although she didn't play fair and told them some about me.

But back to the story. We had collected the little children and were doing the rounds and I was hoping not to encounter anyone of my friends, despite the promise I had forced out of Buffy. By promising not to tell the others about THAT incident, would that promise that still count after what happened? Getting away from Buffy would have been nice but I didn't want to leave Xander alone with her, she'd probably try and steal him away from me.

But then suddenly, after a rather unfortunate event, everyone changed into their costume! I can still hardly believe it, magic is real and Buffy knew about it but didn't tell me! Later I also talked to Cordelia, another of Buffy's friends but one that I actually like, as long as she'll stay away from Xander but I don't think I'll have to worry about that. And she implied that Buffy was something called a Butcher, or something like it. I'm not entirely sure about the title. I'll just have to ask Buffy about that as well but it might explain why she burned down the gym, as described a long time ago. Buffy did say it had something to do with a master vampire. I wonder what the difference is with a normal one?

Although this would mean she is something of a hero and I'm not sure I like that, especially since she probably does the whole secret identity thing. It might be nice if I could use the truth at school to counter all those stories about her, that way I might receive the respect I deserve, instead of being treated like the sister of a psycho. But between the secret identity thing and the fact that nobody would believe me, since by Monday they'll have forgotten about yesterday! Can you believe that? This town must have the highest percentage of fools in any city, and that's without counting Buffy.

Due to the danger this presents I'll have to convince mum to let me learn some martial arts so I can protect myself, just in case I can't run away.

Once more reading this entry over, for any inconsistencies with the story the world was allowed to know, she was fairly certain this was how she would have written the events of last night if nothing had happened to her. Then she picked up a still empty journal and started writing in it but this time using Japanese characters.

The events of the previous night have shown me that it would be best to keep some basic information in a place where I can have easy access to it.

This first entry will state the basic facts about my life just in case I have another bout of amnesia and in that case can be used to prevent others from discovering that fact.

My name is Dawn Summers, but unknown to others I share my mind with the anime character Kirika Yumura, who possessed me during Halloween '97. My parents are divorced and I live with my mother, Joyce, and sister, Buffy.

She then wrote down a description of both people and some basic facts about the life she had up until the day before. She then checked the time and noticing it would still be quite a while before her sister woke up went back to her writing.

Other important facts are as follows: Because of the possession I have knowledge about a large number of subjects but since I do not yet know if they're all in accord with the real world I'll only state that I've got a quite extensive knowledge of languages, martial arts and weaponry.

Most important of all is this: Magic is real.

This has several consequences; it means there are targets that might possess the knowledge to use this. Beware of that. I have had only one encounter with magic so far, but that has already shown me the possibilities are endless, it is therefore important that I find a way to protect myself against it.

Another important consequence is the fact that vampires exist. These are supposedly mythological undead creatures that can only be killed by impaling them in the heart with wood, cutting of their head and burning them. Bullets and knives are moderately effective in crippling areas but can not be counted on to finish the job. As far as I know the other effective means of defending against these creatures consist of sunlight (UV radiation?), holy water, holy icons and garlic. This information needs verification however as it mostly comes from sources that aren't to be trusted.

Well, that was one way to describe movies and she really hoped it wouldn't be necessary for her to ever have to rely on the information in here, but then, this was just in case.


Waking up had never been Xander's favorite pastime but he knew it had to happen eventually and giving in he got up. Still half asleep he made sure his bunk could pass inspection before moving to the bathroom for his usual morning routine.

Once there he noticed some joker had taken away his shaving stuff and he cursed whichever of his fellow soldiers had done so. Running his hands over his face in an attempt to discover how bad the stubbles were he only encountered smooth skin. His fuzzy mind wasn't certain how to deal with that and he figured he needed to clear his mind. Stepping into the shower he turned the cold fully on causing him to wake up to memories he wasn't entirely sure were ones he liked.

"Oh shit."

The shock at the sudden revelation stopped him from even noticing the ice-cold water streaming down his back. It seemed as if he still had the memories, and some of the traits, of the soldier that had possessed him the day before. When he finally did notice the cold he jumped out of the shower with a scream and shivering he wrapped a towel around his body in an attempt to get warm again.


Once dressed he decided he needed time to think over the events of the night before. In the end everything had gone so fast and, with Buffy tearing of to find Dawnie, he didn't even find out what exactly had happened. Well, he knew his own actions and while it didn't hurt anymore he could definitely remember Cordy's answer to his behavior.

There was probably some serious groveling needed before any of his girls would look at him again. With a little luck however Buffy might be so distracted with how Dawn now knew about the nightlife that she might not really think about it. A low groan came out of his throat as he realized just how unlikely that was and even if that would happen he didn't doubt Cordelia would make a comment to remind the blonde.

With a sigh he walked downstairs where he could already hear his parents during their first fight of the day. Maybe he could eat breakfast at Willow's was his first thought but reality soon intruded and despite his rumbling stomach he decided to just forgo breakfast. Moving quietly he got his coat and making sure not to disturb his parents he slipped out the door.


Buffy woke up with a scream stuck in her throat but managed not to wake everyone. She hadn't slept this bad in a long time and this didn't exactly do her mood any good, not that she really noticed it herself.

All night she had been pestered by dreams of vampires and demons kidnapping her little sister for various reasons and she wondered if those nightmares would become reality now that the girl was aware of what was out there. Wishing that Dawn didn't know anymore about the real world then she had the day before didn't help but was a vice she briefly indulged herself in.

One dream however had been different and she needed to write it down so she could show it to Giles. The dream itself had been rather strange but it was obviously a Slayer dream. With disturbing clarity she could still see the shocking images of her soul mate being killed. The details of this event had been a little unclear but she would ask Giles to look into the green glowy thing that had killed him. She would not allow anyone to kill those she loved, be they her sister or boyfriend.


After finally having dressed she walked downstairs to encounter an unexpected smell. What? Was Giles here? Continuing to the living room she wondered what her Watcher would be doing here, had he come to tell her what had happened last night?

Upon entering the room however she stopped dead in her tracks. No, it couldn't be. That was just impossible. Her own sister had betrayed her.

"Dawn." She almost begged only to see her sister's surprised face look back at her.

"What's wrong Buffy?"

Why was the girl suddenly whispering? "Why are you drinking tea?"

It was obvious the girl didn't understand why it upset her so. "Because I felt like it? What's wrong with drinking tea?"

"Only British people in tweed drink tea, like Giles. I can't believe you're doing this to me, what if he finds out about it? He might decide it is important for me to drink it as well." Why couldn't Dawn understand how terrible this could be?

"I'm sure that he won't be able to force you to do anything, besides you wouldn't listen if it was mom who told you to do so, why would you listen to this Giles?"

Oh yeah. Now that her sister knew part of what was going on she shouldn't think the girl knew everything, although she had a feeling that would last long. Sometimes the annoying brat was far too clever by half and usually used that against her, which was unfair of course since Buffy never did anything to antagonize the girl.

"That's part of the explanation you wanted to wait with until today. Would that be now or later, I mean I can wait until tomorrow or next week as well if that would be better." Or even next year, never would be a rather good option as well.

"No need to wait, I'll need to finish reading the paper but after that we can talk."

Read the paper? Okay, now she was starting to believe something was wrong with her sister. "Are you sure you weren't affected last night?"


"Let's see, you drink tea which I've never seen you do before. You read the paper, which I don't even do most of the time and you are whispering instead of talking normally."

Dawn blinked at that before coming up with was so obvious an answer she should have realized it herself. "I think I got something of a cold last night, my throat hurts which is why I don't talk loudly and drink the tea. I don't want mom to know because she might stop me from going out. Please don't tell her?" The pleading innocent looking eyes convinced Buffy. If her sister had indeed been possessed by a cold-blooded killer she could never look that innocent, could she? She wasn't entirely certain about the after effects, since she didn't really notice any, but from experience she knew magic always had nasty side-effects.

"Okay I won't tell, sorry about that but what about the paper?"

She hadn't seen the superior look her little sister sometimes adopted in a long time but this time it came to the fore immediately. "With everything that is apparently going on here, don't you think it might be useful to look into the papers to find out what they say?"

"Oh, well Willow or Giles usually do that, I just focus on the beating up part." With a shrug at the reproachful look her little sister gave her she went into the kitchen to get some breakfast.


"Has mom left already?" She shouted from the kitchen, momentarily forgetting Dawn's sore throat.

"Dawn? Has mom left?" Grumbling after not receiving a reply again she walked back into the living room. "Hey, I asked you a question."

Her sister wasn't paying any attention however as she was staring at the paper and Buffy believed she could see tears appearing in the girl's eyes. "Dawn? What's wrong?"

Dawn finally lifted her head and her haunted eyes looked at Buffy. "A little boy died last night."

"What? No, I thought they had all survived. Can I see?" Grabbing the newspaper she took in the article.

Gangwar during Halloween, one dead.

Last night what appeared to be a gangwar shook up the normally peaceful Halloween in Sunnydale. While children were out to gather their yearly treats a group of unidentified people shook up the proceedings by starting fights. Reports of gunfire came from all over town keeping the police occupied for hours and unfortunately preventing them from reacting to some reports in time.

Hah, that was one way to say they hadn't moved out of their station. But that wasn't important so Buffy read on.

During one of these shootings, eight year old Mike Johnson was hit in the chest by a bullet. Details concerning this event are still uncertain although it is believed the boy might have survived for several hours before finally, helpless and alone, succumbing to his injuries. When asked for comments mayor Wilkins stated he would personally ensure that nothing like this will ever happen again during Halloween.

"Oh no. Only eight years old and I failed him." Hanging her head she pressed her eyes shut in a futile attempt to stop the tears from coming. When she felt her sister's small arms encircling her however she couldn't stop it and buried her face in Dawn's shoulder while crying her heart out.

"I failed him, I'm supposed to protect these people and I failed him. I let a little boy die that I should have protected."


Sitting in the park had always been a good way for Xander to get some undisturbed time to think things over. The number of good memories here was greater then they were anywhere else. Looking at a particular spot he felt his mouth curve in a smile as he remembered what had happened there.

It was right there where a ten year old Willow had first shown Jesse and him how she had used her mother's make-up. Neither of them had understood what was so special about putting stuff on your face, mud always appeared there by itself, but there was one thing they knew about the stuff. It didn't react well to water and they just happened to have their waterguns with them. The fallout hadn't been as bad as with the Barbie thing but she had remained angry at both of them for quite some time. That hadn't really mattered to them however as the memory of Willow's face when the make-up started running was one they cherished for years after.

Turning away from those pleasant memories he noticed a pirate walking through the park. Well, limping was more like it. Whoever that was probably didn't feel very good. It was only when the figure was closer that he recognized who it was.

"Larry? What are you doing here? Don't you know that Halloween was yesterday?"

"Shut up Harris." But despite his words the boy moved to where Xander was sitting.

"What happened to you?" He asked when Larry eventually sat down, after checking there wasn't anyone else around of course.

"Someone put something in my drink last night. The last thing I remember before waking up was talking to Cordelia and some little girl."

"Talking?" Somehow he had a feeling that he hadn't been the only one on the receiving end of the brunette's wrath last night. And if Larry was any indication he might have actually gotten out of it relatively well.

"Hey, it wasn't my fault. Like I said, someone must have put something in my drink."

"You were trying something? And let me guess, she nailed you between the legs?"

"Yeah, and not exactly gently either. How'd you guess?"

Fess up time, Xander. "Let's just say that you weren't the only one who's, ah, drink was drugged."

"She got you too?"

He only nodded. There wasn't anything else he needed to say, although… "But that doesn't explain why you've only now returned or the headache."

"I really was messed up, I also bothered the little girl and whoever she was had one hell of a kick."

"And this little girl was with Cordy? Can you tell me what she looked like?"

"She was Japanese and dressed in some kind of weird gold costume. Ah shit, it still hurts." And the burly boy once again grabbed his head in pain, focusing on his own pain and ignoring Xander.

Dawn? The only girl he had seen Cordelia with during Halloween had been her but that just didn't make sense. Dawn wasn't capable of doing things like that, was she? Maybe she was stronger because she was Buffy's sister? No, that was a ridiculous theory but what else could it be?

That didn't really matter right now however. He could wonder about Dawn's strange behavior later. For now he had some other questions that needed to be answered. From then on more or less trying to ignore the groaning boy next to him he started thinking about whatever had happened last night and how it would affect him. By now he could remember everything that had happened during the spell and more disturbing he knew how he felt about some of his actions. Part of him was shocked at the way he had treated his friends but another part thought they had deserved it. No, not exactly deserved it but they shouldn't have left those openings.

He also realized that was just an excuse and a poor one at that. However, while he still needed to apologize to Willow for what he said it wasn't the most important thing on his mind. Suddenly he remembered he had also continuously insulted both Deadboy and Cordelia. Shaking his head he decided that wasn't important either, Angel's sole reason of existence was to be insulted and Cordelia had given as good as she got, and not only verbally. Looking at Larry he realized that if there was one person who didn't take any bullshit it was Cordelia. And now, for the first time in probably his entire life he felt something of compassion for the groaning boy next to him. There was nothing he could have done about his behavior and yet he had been punished even harder by Queen C then he himself had been.

But that still left the two most important things. His actions towards Buffy had been inexcusable since he had made a conscious decision to go for it. The decision he had made at the end of the night, where he had been prepared to kill as many of the little children as he could, was almost worse however and required the most soul-searching.

In the case of Buffy it would most likely require a lot of groveling, he rather doubted his earlier hopes that she might not think about it would come true. He had really been an ass last night, hadn't he? But it didn't help him to think about that now, he needed to figure out a way to make things up to the Slayer, and Willow as well.

Once he had done that he could think of why he still knew how to fieldstrip an M-16 and was suddenly a neatfreak when it came to his bed. For that he would probably need Giles, luckily that at least was someone he hadn't insulted yesterday.


I can kill people. I kill and it saddens me. Those words kept going through her head long after Buffy had stopped crying about her own failure to protect a little boy. A little boy that she had killed. Once again Dawn could see how the tiny monster had lunged for her. Once more she could feel the cold steel of her gun as she pointed it at the approaching figure. Yet again she pulled the trigger and had the familiar smell of ignited cordite enter her nose. She could see the monster falling down and remembered how she had then taken one of her knives in order to finish it off.

At the time she was prevented from doing so by the other monsters that had appeared at that moment but hadn't really felt any anger about it. But now she knew it would have been a mercy had she been able to end the child's life quickly. She didn't like the fact that she had killed an innocent. Although at the time he hadn't been an innocent but even then he had still been a victim. A victim of the same spell that had affected her, but unlike the tiny monster there could never be any doubt about Noir's position in the food chain.

And now she truly was a murderer, she had killed using her own hands and the victim had been a little boy that had merely been at the wrong place in the wrong time. A little like Mireille's brother, who had died just because he was related to the beautiful blonde. And who had been another little boy to die at her hands. But no, that had only been a drawn character. He hadn't been real, despite all the memories she had of that time. But wasn't reality defined by the memories one had?

When she had been without any memories she had gone to school until she found Mireille and even then all her actions were defined by her lack of memories. Once those had partially returned she had become her other self, her darker self. The True Noir as Chloe would see it, the assassin who didn't care about anything but her partner and the mission. The one person who was probably more messed up then even Chloe or Altena.

That person too was now a part of her, although luckily still separate. And so Dawn was torn three ways over the death of the little boy. Part of her couldn't really feel anything but guilt about her actions, that was the part that had been all of her only 24 hours ago. But the rest of her mind… Where the gentler personality at least slightly regretted the fact that the boy had needed to die, the other didn't feel anything at all besides contempt for such an easy target.

"Okay, what do you want to know?" Shocked out of her thoughts by Buffy's words Dawn regarded her sister for a moment. For a moment wondering if she should share her feeling of guilt with the older girl. But no, she would never understand how last night's events had affected her and would probably try to exorcise her, or something like that. It wasn't like she really knew what was possible in this screwed up world she now found herself in.

"What happened last night?"

"You probably know as much about that as I do, since I had to go look for you last night I didn't really get a chance to talk with Giles. But I'll go there later, you want to come?"

"Yes." If this Giles had the answers needed to find whoever had caused her situation she would definitely want to speak to him. Kirika's promise of the previous night still lingered in her mind.

"Good, now I can answer other questions that you want to hear." Buffy sounded so nervous that Dawn wondered just how bad it all was and how exactly she was dealing with the fact that her little sister now knew about demons.

"Cordelia called you something like the Butcher, what does that mean?"

"Butcher!" Oh, it seemed that wasn't the right title after all since Buffy seemed rather insulted. "Did that bitch really call me that?"

"I can be wrong, don't be angry at her. She just said something like that to Willow and she also mentioned that you were the one that dealt with things like what happened last night."

"You like her don't you?" Buffy asked, sounding a little surprised.

"She was nice to me, although she shouldn't have done that to Xander."

"Done what?"

"She kneed him in the, you know."

"No way." Her sister's eyes went wide in surprise at hearing that. "Why?"

Strange, she had thought the answer had been rather obvious. "You know how he was last night don't you?"

The blonde's face turned red, although Dawn couldn't really tell if it was because of anger or shame. "I remember but that was still a little overkill, or don't you think so?"

Oh, oh. She needed to be careful here in her answer if the glint in Buffy's eyes was anything to go by. "Well, it was a little harsh, but if you're not called the Butcher then what are you?"

"Okay, I'll let it go for now but we will talk about it, alone or in public." Yikes! She wouldn't do that to her favorite sister would she? "But to answer your question, I'm called the Slayer. I'll have Giles give you the speech later and just tell you what it means for me."


"Xander." The reception was indeed as cool as he had feared but if he didn't try to fix the damage now it would only get worse.

"Hey Wills. Can we talk?"

"And why would you want to talk to a working girl? Or was it a working ghost?"

Ouch, this was going to be harder then he had hoped it would be. "Look Willow, I'm really sorry about that but I wasn't entirely myself you know."

"Willow, who is it?"

"It's Xander, mom!" Willow shouted back into the house.

"Ask him to come in then, I'm sure he's hungry."

"You aren't forgiven yet, buster, and you will pay for those comments but you heard mom. Do you want to come in?"

"Thank you." Xander told her, while hugging her. If nothing else, he might at least alleviate the empty feeling in his stomach. "You really are a better friend then I deserve."

"You've got that right."


"Giles?" Buffy called out in the seemingly empty library.

"I am here Buffy." The man came walking out from between the bookcases, still paging through a book he was carrying. "I was just researching if we should expect any aftereffects from the spell."

"Okay." She said, pretending to care, it was over with wasn't it? She didn't really feel as if it affected her and the only one she still worried about a little was Dawn but the truth in that matter could be discovered using other means. "But hey, meet my sister. Dawn this is Giles, Giles, Dawn."

The man finally lifted his head from the book in surprise and stammered a little. "D-do you think it's wise to bring her here?"

"She was with us last night when the spell happened but luckily wasn't affected herself."

"Hello Giles, nice to meet you." Her little sister then interrupted, extending her hand in a greeting.

"Yes, quite. Nice to meet you too, Dawn. I'm Rupert Giles." Her Watcher answered the greeting, while, after placing the book away, shaking her hand. He then reverted back to business. "You should have reported to me last night, Buffy."

"I couldn't, first I had to look for Dawn and then mom wouldn't let me leave the house because she was angry I had let her stay out so long. Besides, I called didn't I?" He really shouldn't be angry at her, she might not have had any intention of doing the reporting thing last night but at least she was here now, wasn't she?

"Calling wasn't exactly sufficient, especially since you only left a message on the bloody answering machine."

"Hey relax, everything worked out fine, didn't it?"

"This time perhaps but I really think it would be better if you observed the proper forms when it comes to these things."

Deciding she didn't need the lecture she switched subjects. "Yeah, yeah. I'm here now so you can go and tell me all about the evil wizard who had decided to turn me into a brainless idiot."

"As if that needed much." Without Slayer hearing she might have missed the remark but as she didn't she threw a nasty look at her sister who was now looking at the musty-smelling books displayed in the cases.

"And thank you for that great show of sisterly love."

"You're welcome." That wasn't fair! Dawn was supposed to feel guilty after a sarcastic remark like that.

"Anyway." Turning to Giles, since she might as well ignore the girl if she was acting like that, she asked the question she had come for. "What was the deal yesterday?"

"Ah, yes." Polishing his glasses, why did he always have to do that? He answered. "A man named Ethan Rayne was behind it."

"Ethan? As in the costume shop?" Dawn piped up from where she was looking at books written in languages she couldn't possibly understand.

"Quite, it seems as if he had enspelled all the costumes he sold and then later triggered them by calling on Janus."

"So how did you stop it then?" Buffy wanted to know.

"In the end it came down to destroying the statue he had used to trigger the spell."

"And Ethan Rayne?" Wow, Buffy turned to her sister in surprise. She hadn't ever expected to hear such hatred in the girl's voice.

"Unfortunately he fled before I was able to apprehend him and turn him over to the Council."

"He's still out there?"

"As I said, unfortunately yes. Although it is likely that by now he has fled Sunnydale."

"Okay, well if he shows up again I'll kick his ass for messing with me and my friends."

"Yes, I do not doubt you would try to do so." The Brit told her.

"Hey, like the little green guy said to whatshisname, do or do not, there is no try. And I will do."

"Yes, yes. But you should be aware that he is quite dangerous."

Huh, it almost sounded if he knew the guy. "Do you know him or something?"

But he had already turned to Dawn to ask her why, unlike practically everyone else, she hadn't bought her stuff at Ethan's.

"Sara's mom took us to this big shop about an hour's drive from here."

"Thank god." Buffy muttered.

"What do you mean Buffy?" Giles wondered.

"She and those two friends of her decided to dress up like assassins from some anime show. I don't think having the three of them running around killing people would have helped the situation yesterday."

"Oh." Well, that had shocked him enough so that he started polishing his glasses, again. "No, I don't believe that would have helped. I take it your friends weren't affected either."

"They couldn't come and had to cancel, which is why I was forced to go with milady there."

"Dawn!" Why did the girl keep going on about that? Was it so much to ask for her to stop being so annoying? "Oh Giles, could you perhaps explain everything to her? You know, give your speech and stuff?"

"Buffy, I didn't like having your friends help you but I allowed that. However, if you believe that I would allow a little girl to fight as well you are sorely mistaken."

"No! Dawn won't fight, she doesn't even know how to do that. But she wants to know about what's going on and all. And you are way better then me in explaining that stuff." Maybe a little flattery would help, after all if Giles didn't explain things she would have to do it.

"Quite, as long as you won't try to do any of the fighting I don't see any harm in explaining things to you." The man told Dawn while Buffy was happy at her success. He always was a sucker for explaining things. "Now, unlike most people believe, the world didn't start as a paradise."


"Oh good, you're here too." Xander greeted Buffy when he and Willow entered the library.

After having been able to eat at Willow's house the two of them had a long talk, which for the greatest part consisted of groveling on his part and a steady stream of accusations on hers. Eventually though he had managed to convince her that she really shouldn't blame him for the mistakes he had made during the night before. And yes, he knew he had behaved very badly and yes, he was very sorry he had done so.

After all that groveling they had each told the other what had happened the night before and she had at least been sort of sorry for him about Cordelia's action. Although he suspected that was more because of how she felt about the brunette then anything to do with him. He on the other hand had found out how she and Giles had finally managed to save the day and cancelled the spell.

In the end they had decided to go and see Buffy, but when she hadn't been home they had turned to the place where she was most likely to be. And Xander still needed to talk to the Watcher as well, so he didn't mind it at all.

"Hi Xander, Willow." Dawn greeted them, turning momentarily from Giles with whom she was having a conversation.

"Hi Wills, Xander." Oh yes, he had been right. Buffy still remembered his actions and if her cool tone was any indication he wasn't done groveling yet.

"Buffy! Can I talk to you for a moment? Alone?" Huh? Why did Willow want to talk to Buffy while she knew he needed to apologize?

"Sure, he can go bothering the others."

"Hey, it wasn't me!" At the glare Buffy bestowed him he understood that she was going to be more difficult to convince of his innocence. "It wasn't me."

Seeing the two girls walk away for their private conversation Xander walked over to the ongoing discussion between the Dawnmeister and G-man.

"No, you can't just say things like that happen on the Hellmouth."

"It is the only explanation that makes any sense. Why else wouldn't anyone remember these things when they happen?"

"Maybe it's a cover-up. Some magicuser that doesn't want people to know the truth and stops them from remembering it. And not only magic, I mean I've lived here for over a year but until yesterday I didn't know anything about it. Some of those things Buffy described should have been noticed by reporters."

"Yeah, G-man. Maybe she's right and we're dealing with a conspiracy. You know, I've never trusted that mayor guy." It wasn't really nice to take advantage of Dawn's lack of knowledge about these facts but he couldn't resist teasing her. "He could be some kind of superpowerful sorcerer and control the media so that he could implement his diabolical plan to stop people from littering."

"Xander!" Dawnie whined. "Don't be like that, I'm serious here. Blaming everything on the Hellmouth is just an excuse to stop looking for a real reason."

"Sorry Dawn, but in this case I've got to agree with G-man. I mean, unless you think there has been a conspiracy for as long as Sunnydale has existed it wouldn't explain why people didn't remember things when it had just been founded."

"Why Xander, that was actually profound. Are you alright?"

"Hah hah G-man." He then realized that it had indeed not been something he would have said yesterday. "Although, I think I'm still a bit affected by the spell."

"Really? I was doing some research before Buffy and Dawn showed up. Let me take a look at what I've found."

While Giles went of to find his books Xander turned to the little girl that was still glowering at him. "Look Dawn, I was serious about how Giles is probably right about it all being caused by the Hellmouth."

"Maybe, but you didn't have to make fun of me. I might be right you know."

He had to sigh, the girl could be really cute when she wanted to but was just as stubborn as her sister. "Okay, I'm sorry about making fun of you. But you understand what I'm saying don't you?"

"Yes, but I don't agree."

"When did you start being paranoid about conspiracies?"

Any reply she might make however was interrupted as Giles reappeared with a book. "This book details some of the possible effects being possessed can have. While nothing quite like this has been mentioned I can combine some of the ideas these people had and gain an understanding of what might have happened last night."

"Whatever you say." He noticed that finally the two girls had returned as well and were now coming towards them, although Willow was casting some strange looks at Dawn.

"Quite, now why do you believe you are still under the influence of the spell?"

"What? But you're acting like you now aren't you?"

"Yes Buffy, I'm me again. Not the sleazebag from last night."

"But then why do you think that you're still under the influence." With an imperious look the blonde turned to Giles for an answer. "Giles, explain."

"I was just attempting to find that out Buffy when you interfered. Now sit down and be quiet."

Wow, G-man wasn't in a very good mood was he? Most likely he was fed up with American teenagers asking bloody questions, or something even more British. "Okay, Giles. Like I've already told Willow, when I woke up this morning I made my bed."

Looking at the Brit and waiting for an answer he noticed the man first blinking and then frowning in consternation. "And?"

"What do you mean, and?"

"And what else? That isn't anything special is it?"

Thinking that should have been obvious Xander answered. "I never make my bed but today I did it so perfectly it would have passed inspection in any army."

The tweed-man then muttered a comment that sounded suspiciously like "bloody uncivilized American teenagers" but Xander decided to ignore that. And after he was asked if there was something else he explained how he remembered things about all sorts of weapons and military tactics.

"So, how come I'm still soldierboy?"

"Like you have already said, you are yourself. However I believe the magical energies that influenced you did something to your brain causing those memories to remain even after the spell had stopped working."

"Wait a minute, it messed with my brain?"

"Of course it did, how else could you be someone else and have your own memories blocked? Now however, both sets of memories are present and you might need to learn how to deal with them. From what I understand the effects should be temporary, the length depending on how specific the spirit that possessed you was and how much alike the two of you were."

"Really? So what would have happened if someone had been possessed by a very specific character, like a character with a name and background?" Dawn asked, seeming rather interested in the answer.

"True possession like that is rare and mostly done by ghosts or spirits which is very different from what happened last night. But to answer your question, it is likely that person would keep both sets of memories, both souls so to speak."

"But that would be temporary as well?"

"I can't be certain since I have never read about anything like that happening but I would think both souls would eventually merge in order to stop the person from going insane."

"Oh, so that would be permanent?"

"Well, aren't you lucky then Dawn." Buffy said, smiling at her sister.

"Yeah, lucky me."

The words had sounded a little of to Xander but he didn't have time to think about it as Buffy suddenly spoke up.

"Oh Giles, I almost forgot but I had a Slayer dream thingie last night."

"And why didn't you tell me about that before?" The man really looked like he was at the end of his wits and Xander almost started feeling sorry for him. But he didn't have time for even male solidarity until he wasn't in trouble himself anymore.

"I forgot for a moment, you know with everything going on. But I think it's a really important one."

"Very well, you did write it down didn't you?"

"Yes I did." A proud sounding Buffy said, before deflating. "But I kinda forgot the book at home."

Xander was certain that had Giles not still been carrying the book he would have started polishing his glasses. For a moment he idly wondered how many pairs the man used up that way. "Yes, how could I have imagined otherwise. Can you tell me what you saw?"

"I saw Angel get killed by some kind of green glowy thingie."

Angel? Killed? Xander sat up a little straighter, not entirely sure how to deal with this news. He didn't like the guy but he was on their side. Giles however just accepted these facts and asked Buffy to describe the killer as good as she could.

"A green glowy thingie, it was smaller then Angel."

"Any other details?"

"No, do you know what it could be?"

"Out of my head I wouldn't really know all that many green glowy thingies." The distaste at the bad description was obvious to Xander, although Buffy herself seemed oblivious to it. "But it might be some kind of spell, although I wouldn't know where to start looking there either."

"We'll help." Buffy immediately offered, which was to be expected since it concerned Deadboy. She then looked at the clock however and changed her statement. "Monday, mom would kill me if I was late for dinner today. Or would you guys mind looking now? I might even come back tonight or tomorrow, if mom lets me."

Xander really didn't want to do this but he figured it might help in his attempts to stop her from being angry at him so, reluctantly, he accepted the duty. Willow had to be home early as well but said she'd help him until she had to leave.

"Thanks, that's great guys." Buffy beamed at both of them before turning to her sister, obviously intending to tell her to come along. Dawnie however seemed to be thinking about something while staring out of the window, apparently oblivious to the things going on inside. "Dawn? What are you thinking about?"

The girl was quiet for a moment before answering in that soft voice she had been using ever since he had gotten here. "I was just thinking how sorry I am for you."

"Huh? Sorry for me, why that?" Buffy suspiciously asked.

"If what mister Giles said about how more alike the spirits are, how longer you retain the memories is true, you'll probably keep them for the rest of your life."

Ouch! Xander had to bite on his lip in order to stop himself from laughing but he was in enough trouble with the Slayer as it was and didn't want to add to it.

"Dawn!" The furious blonde shouted before she got a sly look on her face. "At least I'm not the one who has a crush on Xander."

What? What was that? Did little Dawnie? Xander wasn't sure how to react to that but he then noticed the girl's cheeks flame before she exploded in anger.



Once again Dawn was sitting in her room to think things over. The day had proven quite fruitful as it had supplied her answers to some of her questions, providing her with a better idea of what the future might bring. What Giles had said about the souls or personalities merging was strange, and somehow both frightening and a relief. There was no doubt in her mind that this merging wouldn't go as smooth as she'd like. Before that was going to happen she needed to have allayed Buffy's suspicions about her being possessed.

Checking what she now thought of as her public diary she noticed that the little hair she had placed on it had disappeared, indicating that, as expected, Buffy had indeed used the opportunity of her absence to read it. A tiny smile appeared on her face as she realized this at least had worked. Now all she needed to do was continue writing in it and within several days Buffy would believe there was nothing different about her.

Although even that probably wouldn't entirely work. The older girl's reaction to her behavior this morning had proven that she was more aware of things then Dawn had always assumed. Her hearing too had proven to be scary in its intensity and it was likely the rest of her senses were just as developed making it a lot harder to get anything past the Slayer.

At least her mother hadn't suspected there was anything wrong but then she didn't know anything about magic and probably attributed everything to her crush on Xander. Xander, it was strange how so much had changed in the last 24 hours but that little detail had remained the same. No, not entirely the same. There were some differences in the way she could deal with it and, unlike she would have done before, she wasn't about to take anything he said as gospel. That nonsense about the Hellmouth causing everything being one of the things she disagreed with.

Shaking her head she wondered how any thinking person could accept any excuse that was so flimsy. A conspiracy that lasted since Sunnydale had been founded wasn't that strange, after all it wasn't much older then a mere century. Soldats had survived without being noticed for a thousand years, so surely some other group could do the same for a century. Especially if they had magical assistance. That thought made her frown, in less then a day she had gone from not knowing about magic to hating it with a passion. It seemed as if everything that was wrong could be blamed on magic and that was a dangerous assumption.

While thinking things over she was writing in the diary and had just reached the part where she was telling how she had convinced her mother to allow her to go to martial arts classes. Buffy hadn't liked it but after dinner Dawn had managed to convince her sister that while running away from danger was useful, it wasn't always possible and if she couldn't run she at least wanted a fighting chance. Not that she needed the classes, she was pretty certain had her body been capable of more she would be able to beat the instructors. But it was at least a way to regain her old strength. No! Not regain, gain, she had never had strength like that.

After that she had told her mother she was going to check up on Jane, who was still sick, but on the way there she had made a detour to Ethan's. The store where, despite what she had said before, she had bought her costume was indeed empty however and she didn't find any clues on where this Ethan Rayne could have gone. That little fact, which she made sure not to write down, reminded her of the many lies she had told Buffy today and made her feel a little guilty. She loved her sister and would do anything in her power to make sure she was safe but she kept proving over and over again that this wasn't the time to tell her the truth. Maybe in a few weeks but that was a decision that could wait until then.

She had then indeed gone on to her friend and they had spent the time talking about things that a day ago had still seemed interesting to her, but now… She didn't have that many friends to begin with and would really hate it if all of this meant that she would lose even those few.

Now it was time for more important things however. She couldn't do anything about the friendship thing right now and replaced the diary with the other one, which seemed more like a fact file then a real diary. A number of the assumptions she had made that morning had proven false and other things needed to be added.

Luckily she had managed to convince Giles to allow her the opportunity to read the books in his library. That way she would no doubt find out more, the only trouble being the books in languages she couldn't read. There weren't that many of them, but besides Latin and Ancient Greek she only knew modern languages. Oh well, she'd just have to convince the Brit to teach her those languages, how hard could that be?

Turning a number of pages she then started a new chapter where she made a list of the things she really needed to have. From easily obtainable things like a stake, she should be able to convince Buffy to give her one, and a cross to more difficult things. She needed to have real weapons, the single knife she had was in no way enough and wasn't meant to be thrown. But how would she be able to get guns and quality blades? Besides the fact that most people wouldn't sell that sort of stuff to a twelve year old girl she didn't have the money to pay for them. And the only real way she knew how to make money was exactly why she needed those weapons.

Now there was only one other thing that needed to be written down before she went to bed. A very important thing actually, one that all of her personalities agreed had to happen. Turning to the last page in the book she entered three words, words that would change her life forever.

Target: Ethan Rayne


Post-fic comments: Yes, there will be more sequels to this but I can't say when they'll appear since I want to finish something else first. For those interested I've also posted the prologue of a Noir story on It can be found at˜arjen.

Due to the fact that the next stories in this series will not feature Xander sufficiently to warrant posting them here that will not happen. These stories will be posted at the DawnHalloween group.

The End