The Key

The Key is an energy matrix vibrating at a dimensional frequency beyond normal human perception. Only those outside reality can see the key’s true nature, it is also susceptible to necromanced animal detection, particularly those of canine or serpent construct.

The monks of the order of Dagon, protectors of the Key, possessed the ability to transform energy, bend reality so in order to hide the Key from the hell god, Glorificus, they sent the Key to the Slayer, Buffy Summers, but they had to be certain the Slayer would protect it with her life. So they sent the key to her in human form.

In the form of a sister.

“Because I love you. You’re my sister.” Buffy said looking at her

“No I’m not.” Dawn said.

“Yes you are.” she lifted Dawn’s arm, her arm and hand are bloody from the cut’s she had made earlier, “Look, it’s blood. It’s Summers blood.”

Buffy pressed her hand against the tire-iron wound on her shoulder, wincing a little. She clasped her bloody hand in Dawn’s bloody hand.

“It’s just like mine. It doesn’t matter where you came from, or, or how you got here. You are my sister.”

“You think you’re losing your ability to love.” The First Slayer said.

“I-I didn’t say that.” Buffy said, she then sighed, “Yeah.”

“You’re afraid that being the Slayer means losing your humanity.” The First Slayer told her.

“Does it?” Buffy asked.

“You are full of love. You love with all of your soul. It’s brighter than the fire … blinding. That’s why you pull away from it.” The First Slayer said.

“I’m full of love? I’m not losing it?” Buffy asked her surprise was noticeable.

“Only if you reject it. Love is pain, and the Slayer forges strength from pain. Love … give … forgive. Risk the pain. It is your nature. Love will bring you to your gift.” The First Slayer told her.

“I-I’m sorry, I, I’m just a little confused. I’m full of love, which is nice, and … love will lead me to my gift?” Buffy sounded confused.

“Yes.” The First Slayer answered.

“I’m getting a gift? Or, or do you mean that, that I have a gift to give to someone else?” Buffy asked still confused.

“Death is your gift.” The First Slayer said cryptically.

“Death …” Buffy began

“Is your gift.” finished The First Slayer

“Um … Glory … plans to open a … dimensional portal … by way of a ritual bloodletting.” Giles said.

“Dawn’s blood.” Buffy said.

“Yes. Once the blood is shed at a certain time and place … the fabric which separates all realities will … be ripped apart.” Giles told her, “Dimensions will … pour into one another, uh, with no barriers to stop them. Reality as we know it will be destroyed, and … chaos will reign on earth.”

“So how do we stop it?” Buffy asked.

“The portal will only close once the blood is stopped … and the only way for that to happen is, um …” Giles paused and looked at Buffy, “Buffy, the only way is to kill Dawn.”

“The key was … living energy. It needed to be channelled, poured into a specific place at a specific time. The energy … would flow into that spot, the walls between the dimensions break down. It stops, the energy’s used up, the walls come back up. Glory uses that time to get back into her own dimension, not caring that all manner of hell will be unleashed on earth in the meantime.” Said Giles to the gathered group.

“Um, but only for a little while, right? The walls come back up, uh, n-no more hell?” Anya asked.

“That’s only if the energy is stopped. And now the key is human …” Willow said looking at Buffy, “…is Dawn.”

“The blood flows, the gates will open. The gates will close when it flows no more.” Giles read from the book in front of him, “When Dawn is dead.”

“Why blood? Why Dawn’s blood? I mean, why couldn’t it be like a, a lymph ritual?” Xander asked.

“Cause it’s always got to be blood.” Spike answered.

“We’re not actually discussing dinner right now.” Xander snapped.

“Blood is life, lack brain. Why do you think we eat it? It’s what keeps you going. Makes you warm. Makes you hard. Makes you other than dead.” Spike retorted, the quietly, “Course it’s her blood.”

“Come on. Say it … Tell me to kill my sister.” Buffy demanded.

“She’s not your sister.” Giles whispered.

“No. She’s not. She’s more than that. She’s me. The monks made her out of me. I hold her … and I feel closer to her than …” Buffy sighed, “It’s not just the memories they built. It’s physical. Dawn … is a part of me. The only part that I-”

“I’m counting on you … to protect her.” Buffy said to Spike

“Till the end of the world. Even if that happens to be tonight.” he answered.

At the top of the tower Doc produced a pocket-watch and looked at it as Dawn watched him fearfully.

“Well. What do you know?” Doc doesn’t see Spike appear behind him, “It’s just about that time.”

“Spike!” Dawn yelled.

Doc whirled around as Spike strode slowly forward.

“Doesn’t a fella stay dead when you kill him?” he asked.

“Look who’s talking.” Doc retorted.

“Come on, Doc. Let’s you and me have a go.” Spike taunted him.

“I … do have a prior appointment.” Doc said tapping the knife against his hand.

“This won’t take long.” Spike said.

“No, I-I don’t imagine it will.” Doc said back.

Spike lunged forward. Doc sidestepped, grabbed Spike around the neck, and thrust his knife into Spike’s back. Spike and Dawn both gasped.

Doc yanked the knife out and dropped it to the floor, Spike positions himself in between Doc and Dawn.

“You don’t come near the girl, Doc.” Spike said.

“I don’t smell a soul anywhere on you. Why do you even care?” Doc said frowning.

“I made a promise to a lady.” Spike retorted.

“Oh?” Doc’s long tongue appeared from his mouth, shot out at Spike, who ducked aside. Doc dropped to his knees and pulled Spike’s legs out from under him. Spike fell to the floor. Dawn watched anxiously as they grapple. They got to their feet, Doc held on to Spike, pinning his arms behind him.

“Then I’ll send the lady your regrets.” he said

Spike gave Dawn an agonized look. “No.” he whispered

Doc pushed Spike over the edge of the tower.

Doc’s knife cut a thin slash through Dawn’s clothes and her skin. Dawn cried out and sobbed in pain.

“Shallow cuts… shallow cuts…” Doc said over Dawn’s sobbing.

He made another cut and Dawn cried out again.

“Let the blood … flow …” he said as the blood drips over Dawn’s toes, “free.”

“Dawn.” Buffy said from behind Doc

“Buffy!” Dawn gasped in pain.

“Buffy, you have to let me go. Blood starts it, and until the blood stops flowing, it’ll never stop.” Dawn cried to her sister.

Buffy stares at Dawn in anguish.

“You know you have to let me. It has to have the blood.” Dawn said tearfully

Buffy gets a realization look on her face and she flashes back to what Spike had said earlier “Cause it’s always got to be blood.” then she flashes to the hospital after Dawn found out she was the Key “It’s Summers blood. It’s just like mine.” Buffy had told her. Then Buffy remembered the first slayer “Death is your gift.”

Buffy thought she heard the first slayers voice again “Death is your gift.”

Buffy frowned and turned around slowly.

In the distance, holes seemed to be opening in the sky. The sky is growing lighter as the sun tries to rise.

Buffy looked peaceful as she turned back to Dawn, who stared wide-eyed.

“Buffy … no!” Dawn cried.

“Dawnie, I have to.” Buffy calmly told her.

“No!” Dawn cried again

“Listen to me. Please, there’s not a lot of time, listen,” Buffy held Dawn by the upper arms and said, “Dawn, listen to me. Listen, I love you. I will *always* love you. But this is the work that I have to do. Tell Giles … tell Giles I figured it out. And, and I’m okay. And give my love to my friends. You have to take care of them now. You have to take care of each other. You have to be strong.”

Dawn begins to cry. Lightning continues to crackle behind them.

“Dawn, the hardest thing in this world … is to live in it. Be brave. Live. For me.” Buffy said as she stroked the side of Dawn’s face, before kissing her on the cheek. Dawn continued to cry.

Buffy turned. In slow-motion, she ran down the platform as Dawn stayed there crying.

Buffy swan-dived off the end of the platform and into the portal.

Dawn watched, sobbing.

Buffy fell into the portal and hung there motionless, making expressions of pain. The portal writhed and spat. The portal shrunk to nothingness and disappeared and the sun began to rise.

Willow and Tara were holding each other up and walking forward. Behind them Giles was coming forward too, and Xander holding Anya in his arms. They all walk forward looking at Buffy’s lifeless body lying amid the debris. In the background Spike tries to come forward, but falls to the ground as the sunlight hits him.

Willow begins to cry. Xander and Anya look sadly at Buffy. Anya lowered her head to Xander’s shoulder.

Giles begins to cry.

Spike covers his sobbing face with his hands.

Dawn comes slowly down the stairs, holding her sides and after seeing the rest of the gang she begins to cry again.

We are in a graveyard, It’s a sunny and pretty day with lots of trees and grass. we see a headstone. A small bunch of flowers lies on the grass in front of it.

The headstone reads:

“Dawn, the hardest thing in this world … is to live in it. Be brave. Live. For me.” Buffy had said to Dawn, what she nor any of the others knew was that there was something different about Dawn.

As time went on Buffy was resurrected by Willow and the gang, and they all continued to fight the forces that inhabit the night and the darkness, but over the following years it became obvious to all that Dawn wasn’t aging. Even though everyone else kept getting older, Dawn kept her radiant youth.

This was something no one had expected. The Council of Watchers surmised that the mystical energy within Dawn was keeping her from getting older. At the root of her being, she was still The Key, which was almost as old as time itself.