Dawn grunted her displeasure at the sudden return to consciousness. When no one called her or shook her awake, she figured she wouldn't need to go to school today. She didn't think it was Saturday, but she had no intention of drawing attention to her potential tardiness. She reached behind her, grasping for her blanket so she could curl up and go back to sleep.

And cracked her knuckles against solid metal. That wasn't right. Dawn opened one eye open to a dull, grey wall next to her. She twisted to sit up-


Dawn rubbed her head, glaring at the low ceiling that had materialized above her bed. Or maybe bunk, since it reminded her of the ones she'd seen when her class took a tour of that ship museum. That had been just before her sister stopped ice skating, took up cheerleading, and started her "Crush-you-under-my-fashionable-shoes" rampage through Hemery.

Why was she in a bunk? She didn't remember getting kidnapped and she wasn't tied up, but she thought she remember something about a blue light? She shook off that thought as she poked her head over the edge of the, apparently, top bunk. Leaning a bit farther down to check the lower bunk, she found herself face to... tentacle?

Dawn froze, but a soft gurgle from somewhere in the bunk made the tentacle turn around. The blue face staring back didn't look... bad, but the yellow eyes in that face...


Dawn reared back from the fangs she *knew* would be lunging for her neck. The bunk's edge abruptly proved too slick to grasp. Her hands shot out as she tumbled past the blue demon. She yelped at the painful jarring in her wrists on contact with the floor, but at least she managed to catch her shoulder instead of her head.

Apparently being forced to watch Buffy train was good for more than mind-numbing boredom.

Buffy. Her mom. The ritual!

A sudden, high pitched wailing coming from the demon's bunk sent Dawn scrambling backwards to the opposite bunks.

She might not have been kidnapped, but Buffy wasn't around- wouldn't ever be around again- to save her. Buffy had sent her here to be safe. So why would she be safe in a room with a demon?

Now that she had a better view, she could see the source of the wailing was... a baby? And the demon kept trying to quiet it in between shooting baleful looks and rapid-fire chew-outs that Dawn only understood from the tone.

Not particularly life threatening, since it had made no moves towards her.

Dawn slowly rose, twisting her sore wrists and eyeing the rest of the room. The monochrome grey... everything screamed utilitiarian. Behind her, in the lower bunk...


She paused, wondering if she should wake her mother. Dawn could see her mother breathing and didn't hear the weird, gasping or rattling sounds the doctors said watch out for. She also remembered them saying to let her mom sleep as long as she didn't hear those sounds.

At least the baby had quieted from wails to unhappy hiccups.

Dawn turned to the thick-looking metal door. It sort of looked like the ones in Star Trek... if they forgot to paint everything white. She edged closer. Actually, it looked a lot more sturdy than the plastic-looking doors on the show. She shifted her attention to a rectangular panel with glowing lights and buttons... that were helpfully labelled in a script Dawn couldn't read.

She could probably decipher it, given time and a larger sample, but a groaning shudder through the room made her jump back. Dawn looked to the demon but, surprisingly, she didn't look any more concerned. If anything, she looked... hopeful?

Another noise came from the other side of the door. Dawn backed away, joining the demon who stood next to her bunk to watch the door slide open. A kind of scruffy-looking... human?...glanced at her before addressing the demon... in English?

"We fought off a pirate attack. It'll take some time to repair the engines, but the captain was able to get a response from a Republic ship. They should be here in a couple hours."

The demon asked something, but the man apparently could understand her weird-sounding language just fine.

"I would suggest staying out of the cargo hold and take the aft corridor if you need to go the starboard side."

The demon nodded and slipped past him with her baby, turning right. Dawn followed more slowly, wanting to explore outside the room. To the left, she could see another man and a demon pulling something through another door.

"What's going over there? Are those bodies?"

The man moved to block her view, "They're just cleaning up. We'll let you know once it's done."

"But-" Her eyes widened as another person came into view. "Buffy?"

The blonde's head shot up confirming her identity. Dawn darted around the man, raced down the corridor, and launched herself at her sister.

"I thought-"

"I know." Buffy interrupted, shooting a glance towards their audience. "Me, too."

Her sister shifted and Dawn pulled away staring at the item on Buffy's side.

"Why do you have a gun?"

"It's actually useful here." Buffy lowered her voice, "They aren't demons."


Buffy tugged on Dawn's arm, "Let's check on Mom. If she's awake, I'll explain what I've found out. Be easier to only tell it once.."

"How long have you been here?"

"I woke up just in time to help fight off a bunch of space pirates." Buffy murmmured.

Dawn stopped short.

"Space? As in aliens?!"

"Keep it down! They'll all wonder why you didn't already know that."

Dawn snapped her mouth shut.

"So, home is going to be like Slayer stuff?"

"Probably, yeah." Buffy answered, guiding her sister back into the room to wait for their mother to wake up.