“My God, The Key, I never realised, No one did,” Jason stared at Dawn, fear filling his eyes, “Dear God we have a larger problem.”
“What?” Dawn asked, her voice trembled with worry and fear.
“The Key, there is only one.”
“Huh?” Buffy said as she walked up followed closely by Willow.
“For every person, there are billions of copies of them, each one in a different quantum universe, but The Key, there is only one, every copy of Dawn is the same, no matter where or when, The Key is the same, ageless, timeless.”
“So you’re saying that The Key now is identical to the one that Glory tried to use?”
“Yes, The Dawn in the void, is the same as the Dawn standing here now, and the Dawn that became an angel and fought in the Demonic War, and the Dawn that in 2501 tried to leave the Earth.”
“How do you know all that stuff?”
“I somehow managed to tap into…”
Dawn ran from Jason and Spike, heading towards the portal that had opened in the middle of the driveway of Giles manor.
“Stop, ma’am, stop or I’ll shoot!” called the watcher aiming his pistol at her.
“No!” Spike cried, he rushed forward and got between the watcher and Dawn.
Suddenly there was a loud noise like a crack.
Dawn spun to see what had happened. The watcher’s gun was smoking and Spike was falling slowly to the ground.
“Dawn,” he breathed quietly before there was a quiet roaring noise and Spike turned to dust.
“NOOOOO!” screamed Dawn as she began to move towards where he had been.
“Dawn go for the portal, now!” Jason yelled as he dashed forward so he was between Dawn and the watcher, but before he got there, another shot rang out, this one from off in the trees somewhere, a surprised look came over Jason’s face and he stopped moving. A red stain began to flow into his clothing, right around where his heart was.
Dawn just stood there in shock, her husband and ally were both dead.
A third shot rang out, Dawn felt a sharp pain blossom on her right shoulder as she was spun round by something. She pressed her hand to her shoulder as she fell.
She hit the ground hard, it jolted her hand away from her shoulder. When she looked at it, she saw it was covered in blood, her blood.
Jason shook his head, “We have to get Dawn out of the void now.”
Spike pulled him to his feet, “So what now?”
“We need to get to a place of power, then we need to perform a retrieval spell.”
“A retrieval spell?” Dawn looked confused.
“Yes, a spell that will open a portal to a certain place and pull a requested thing from there to here.”
“So, how much power are we going to need?” Giles asked.
“Probably not much, since The Key is connected.”
“Ah of course,” Giles said taking off his glasses and cleaning them.
A phone rang in the back of a bar in London.
“Yeah?” a large burly guy said in a voice with a heavy German accent when he picked up the receiver.
“Mr Leowitz?” came a clipped British voice from the phone.
“Yeah, who is asking?”
“It’s Travers, Quentin Travers, of the Watchers Council.”
“Ah, Mr Travers, who are you?”
“I’m fine, we have a job for you…”
In a seedy nightclub in Liverpool, the barman answered the ringing phone.
“I’m looking for a Mr Leo Petrov,” came a clipped British voice from the phone.
“Hang on, he’s out back,” the barman said, before he put the phone down and headed towards the back door.
“Leo, ya got a phone call.”
“Yeah? I’ll take it out here,” the skinny man with a wispy beard replied as he moved towards the phone mounted on the wall, “Who’s this?”
“Quentin Travers, of the Watchers Council, we have a job for you…”
Travers placed the phone receiver in it’s cradle, “They’re on their way, they should reach Giles’ estate in a few hours.”
“Good,” Bruce said from where he was seated.
“They have been told not to kill anyone until they have identified The Key.”
Travers looking at Bruce, his mind flashing back to when he had fired Giles from the Watchers Council
Buffy was seated at the table in the Sunnydale High Library. Travers stood calmly at the head as he spoke. Giles was leaning in the doorway to his office.
“You exhibited extraordinary courage and clear-headedness in battle. The Council is very pleased,” Travers said to Buffy
“Do I get a gold star?” she replied.
“I understand that you’re upset…”
“You understand *nothing*,” Buffy said with controlled fury, “You set that monster loose, and he came after my mother.”
“You think the test was unfair?”
“I think you better leave town before I get my strength back.”
“We’re not in the business of fair, Miss Summers,” Travers said calmly, “We’re fighting a war.”
“You’re *waging* a war,” Giles pointed out, “She’s fighting it. There is a difference.”
“Mr. Giles, if you don’t mind…” Travers began.
“The test is done. We’re finished.” Giles snapped.
“Not quite. She passed. You didn’t,” Travers turned to face him, “The Slayer is not the only one who must perform in this situation. I’ve recommended to the Council, and they’ve agreed, that you be relieved of your duties as Watcher immediately. You’re fired.”
Giles looked taken aback, “On what grounds?”
“Your affection for your charge has rendered you incapable of clear and impartial judgment.” Travers caught Buffy looking over at Giles, “You have a father’s love for the child, and that is useless to the cause. It would be best if you had no further contact with the Slayer.”
“I’m not going anywhere,” Giles said with a touch of hostility.
“No, well, I didn’t expect you would adhere to that. However, if you interfere with the new Watcher, or countermand his authority in any way, you will be dealt with. Are we clear?”
“Oh, we’re very clear.”
Travers turned back to Buffy and bowed slightly, “Congratulations again.”
Buffy looked up at him with a stare of hatred, “Bite me.”
Travers chuckled ruefully, “Yes, well, colorful girl.”
With that he turned and left the library.
“Do we have everything we need?” Spike asked as he walked up to Jason.
“Yes, now we need to get to a place of power,” he looked at Giles, “Where is the closest one?”
“Actually, there’s a Wiccan altar about a mile that way,” Giles said pointing away from the house.
Willow, Dawn and Buffy glanced at him from the back seat of the car they were using.
“Thank you,” Jason said as he hopped into the passenger seat, Spike got into the drivers seat, and they took off.
Giles watched them go, “Good luck.”