Dawn looked around her new spot, frowning when she saw she was still dressed the same, but everyone else looked just about as slutty and high class.  This was apparently a semi- formal event and she was dressed well enough for that.  She had been right, she was the key.  "Okay, so I'm an exit to his nightmare," she muttered, walking over to the big guy surrounded by women.  "Care to dance?" she purred, leaning on his arm with a grin.  "I know studly mice like you don't usually, but just this once?"

Modo looked down at her and grinned in relief.  "Sure, we'll dance," he agreed, winking his eye at her.  The band playing quietly in the corner struck up a nice, slow song and he walked her out there to dance with her.  "What's going on?" he asked, panicking just a bit now.  "What is this?  I look like James Bomb."

"Yeah, you're doing a decent impersonation in your nightmare," she agreed, smirking up at him.  "Somehow, I'm here to get you out of it.  I don't know how yet, but it'll become apparent.  This is still your nightmare and I'm still a bit player."  He nodded, calming himself down.  "Besides, I just got done with one spy thing and now I'm here."  She grinned at him. "Rimmy's going to have a cow."


"My last one was with Micah and it was a rescue."  She looked up at him. "Not pleasure, but necessity."  He shuddered.  "Yeah, and he was listening.  So expect to hear a fight when we get back."  She dipped him and grinned at his shocked look.  "Women's lib," she quipped, letting him go to the next woman.  She felt she should be closer to the door for some reason.  Maybe this was going to be a short nightmare.  Hers hadn't been but some of them probably were. Then again, someone was probably in the hellmouth too.  She'd help them sleep later.  People rushed in with guns, holding up the event to take the jewelry.  She wasn't really wearing anything but the diamond studs in her ears so they took her as a hostage instead. She looked at Modo, who apparently couldn't pop up his cannon, and sighed, nodding at him.  "It'll be okay," she promised.  "Come find me."

He nodded, watching as she was taken by the thieves.  He waited just long enough then ran after them.  Outside was Xander's car.  "Not my bike?"  He slid in and a panel opened, showing him that it was his bike, she was just pretending to be Xander's car.  "Don't give him hopes, Lil' Hoss.  He'll want to see if he can do that."  He took off after the thieves.  "Can you track Dawnie?  She's got a tracking device on her, I'm pretty sure she does."  The bike found a signal and traced it, letting him have audio of what was going on.  They were sneering and threatening her.  "Like hell.  Weapons, darlin'?"  She popped out an impressive array of lasers, then put them back so he could speed up.

He saw the tracking signal stop and growled, going past where they had thrown the earrings she had been wearing.  He wasn't sure if Throttle had told her that those had tracking devices in them or not, but he knew they did. So did all the bikes and Xander.  He sped up, going to catch them before they could find somewhere more dangerous to hide.  Not that Dawn couldn't protect herself, but this is what manly men like him did.  Or as Vinnie put it, super hero stuff.  That made him smirk and he took a corner a bit faster than he probably should safely, but there were the thieves ahead of him.  Along with a cop car chasing them.  He saw the man leaning out it and shook his head. "No more late night cartoons with Xander," he muttered, shifting up.  Ahead of him, a few turns up the mountain they were climbing, he could see a bridge spanning a valley.  The small car ahead of him spun around a corner and he heard a crash, making him wince.  "This is where I'd like my bike back," he complained, shifting down as he came across the accident.  He got out to help move the cars out of his way, then got back in to head after them, before they could do something mean to Dawn.  He came to the bridge and found her walking around, holding her head. "Dawn!" he shouted, stopping at the edge of the bridge.

"No, bomb!" she yelled, shaking her head and backing away.  "Get off the bridge!"

He stopped where he was, staring at her.  Then he looked around.  She pointed at the small device on one of the bridge supports, and he sighed.  "Come this way!" he yelled.  "Come on!"

"I can't!  If I go past it, it'll set it off!"

"How?"  She pointed to her chest and he could see that her jacket was open, showing a small glowing box under it.  "You can't take it off?"

"I can't pick locks yet!" she yelled, starting to get pissed.  "Just get off the bridge!  Get the car and get off the bridge!"  He nodded, looking at the car, but it didn't move.  "She can't!" she shouted, sounding really pissed now.

"Fine."  He got off and backed his car up to the safer, more solid roadway, then headed back to help her.  She stopped him, shaking her head.  "They're still around?"

"Watching."  She pointed behind her.  "They're going to pull a decision if I'm right.  I'll wake up, I'm not here."

"You are here."

"It's your nightmare, dumbass," she said hotly.  "I'm your exit key!"  He looked stunned at that.  "So, yeah, I may fall but I probably won't die.  I can't guarantee the same thing about your bike and I know you will if you fall.  Now, get off the bridge!" she snapped.

"No, that's not how we play this," he said calmly, trying hard to think.  Nothing in the Freedom Fighter handbook covered this.  Bombs on people, but not this situation.  Then again, the playbook said to try to save the bikes first and then the person because most of them had been injured or mentally programmed in other ways.  This was one of those times when he wished he were a bit smarter about some of the book stuff.  "Tow line?" he suggested.  "It'll keep you from falling."

"I'm not sure the car can do that, Modo," she said dryly.

"Hey, I wish I had my bike," he reminded her.

She gave him a bland look.  "Why do you think they call these nightmares?"  She judged the distance.  "Even if you could pull out a tow line, it wouldn't be long enough. You'd have to bring the car back onto the bridge."  She looked at him.  "This is where one of us needs to be able to fly."  She heard a click and winced. "Run," she ordered calmly.

"Like hell."  He grabbed her and took her with him, tossing her toward the car when he heard the explosion.   She managed to catch the bumper and he managed to grab a piece of metal that was still hanging off that side.  He was even able to climb up it and land back in the car, panting hard.  "Okay, let's back up," he decided.  The car beeped at him.  "Sorry, I forgot.  I wish you were in bike form."  He put the car in reverse and backed up, silently thanking Xander for the driving lessons he had given them all, just in case he had said.  He felt the tires not catch and looked down, putting a bit more gas into it since the road was starting to crumble.  She was calling someone on her phone, speaking flawless Italian.  "Who's that?"

"Police."  They finally made it away from the new gap and she hung up, turning to look at him.  "That was so very dumb.  I never finished physics.  You could have died, here and in reality."

"I couldn't let them blow you up."

"Fine, yay, but now we've still got to manage to make our way through the puzzle to capture them or whatever to get you free of this so we can both wake up."  He gave her a sideways look.  "Seriously.  It's like a chain.  Throttle woke Rimfire from what he was saying over the system last night.  Rimfire got me, I'm getting you, you'll get either Charley or Vinnie, and then they'll wake the other."

"Where's Xander in all this?"

"Stuck back at the beginning."

"Then the last person gets him?"

"Only if they want to be stuck," she said grimly.  "I don't know how to fix it.  So, how are we going to catch those people?"

"Well, since this looks like a James Bomb flick and it's got the plot from one, they'll be back," he reminded her.  He turned the car around and headed for the town, passing the cops on the way.  "For whatever reason they were coming after you."  He looked at her.  "Hiding secret plans or something?"

She patted herself down, finding something new in her pocket, holding up the large sapphire.  "Well, I think I know the reason."  He groaned, shaking his head. "Hey, your nightmare, not mine.  Mine had me and Micah on a rescue mission."  She slumped down in her seat.  "Poor Rimfire had to hear everything we had to playact to get Lorne and Max and some other people free."

"You're not hurting him, right?"

"It's something we've talked about in the past," she admitted bitterly.  "Female agents are often called upon to do things that they wouldn't normally do while undercover. Including playing the doting girlfriend.  He promised me he knew it wasn't what I really wanted and that he knew I wasn't going to enjoy it.  He also promised me to bathe me when I came home, just in case I had someone else's scent on me."  She saw his eye start to glow and winced.  "Mars had agents who had to do the same thing," she defended.  "Women in espionage only recently got more roles than being a girlfriend or mistress. He'll probably have to do the same thing someday.  Fortunately Micah's people don't have to go on those as often as some other covert people."

"Don't think I'd have told him that, Little Bit," the voice from the radio said, sounding sarcastic, but slightly fond of her.

She looked at the dashboard.  "Spike?  Why aren't you in your new body?  And how are you liking having fur?"

"Beats having to bleach meself, but not by much," he said grimly.  "Plus my sister's a twat already."

"Why has my bike and Xander's car been invaded by a vampire?" Modo asked patiently.

"It's your nightmare," Spike told him.  "You tell me, ducks."

"I'm a mouse actually.  The Ducks are out in Anaheim."  He took the next corner a bit quicker.  "How do we get unstuck from here?"

"I'm guessing here but you've only got two of the big spy three," Dawn told him. "You've saved the girl, saved the item, and now you've got to save the world."

"So, just like every other week?" he joked.

"Possibly.  Again, it's your nightmare," she said, sliding down some and rubbing her stomach.  "Apparently it's nearly breakfast back at home. My stomach aches."

"Bet me that's what that is," Spike said smugly.  "You okay?"

Modo glared at her, frowning now.  "You're what?"

"I'm not! I'm on the shot!"

"Doesn't work," Spike sang smugly.  "None of it does."

"Fucking hell," she muttered, looking down at her stomach.  "Well, with the way I'm cramping it's about to be a moot point, so can you maybe wake us up, Modo?"

He stopped the car to stare at her. "You're not Dawn.  Dawn's not like that."  The woman got out and backed up but a shot from above took her out and he looked up, seeing the real Dawn standing there, still wincing.  He sniffed her as she came closer, then gave her a hug. "I'm sorry."

"Yeah, me too."  She took the sapphire from the other woman's pocket, then handed it to him.  "Find the exit, Modo. It sure ain't on this road."  She got into the car, still wincing a bit.

He looked at the car, then at the rest of the road he could see from that spot.  He found some binoculars in the glove box so he could look at the other exits off the road.  They all led sharply down.  He wouldn't care if he was on his bike, but he couldn't take any of those in the sports car.  He saw one marked 'home' that lead to a dead-end drop off and shuddered.  So he looked in the other direction.  There was one back the way they had come marked 'home' and it looked fairly safe.  He looked back at Dawn then got in.  "We need to get across the spot where the bridge was.  We're going the wrong way."

"Then you'll need to fly," she noted, opening the 'special options' panel in the dashboard.  She hit the one for 'helicopter blades' then reached up to unlock the top, pushing it back with his help.  The blades came up and unfolded and she smirked as the steering wheel turned into a single stick for their flight out of here.  The car rocked as it took off and he heard a bolt snap.  His tail grabbed onto the bottom frame as they lifted off and Dawn used the tow line to anchor the other side since there was no way he could hold onto the heavy steel frame of this car with his tail.

"Still wish I had my bike," he complained.  He flew them toward the exit, which wasn't that far.  On it he saw the round transporter circle and winced.  It had been hidden before. "That goes to space storage," he complained.

"Does it?  Looks like a transport between worlds to me."

"You're sure?"

Dawn threw the sapphire at it and it changed to a silver ripple, like a moving mirror.  "Yeah, I am."  She grinned at him and he drove/flew them through it.  She felt herself be released and he found himself on his bike in Chicago, on a familiar street.  He stopped to hug her.

"You're back.  Thank you for being back, Lil' Hoss.  I missed you."  She beeped and leaned against him.  "Yeah, I love you too.  Which way should we head, girl?  To the garage?  The scoreboard?  The lair?"  He looked around.  "If it exists in this world."  He got back on and let her pick their direction.  She may be a bike, but she was his bike and better than most of them.  He hoped Dawn got out in time.


Dawn woke up and stared at her ceiling.  "Damn," she said with a groan.  Someone tapped on her door and she flopped back down.  "Come help me sit up."  Rimfire walked in and hugged her, holding her tightly.  "I'm sorry, Rimmy."

"It's not an issue.  Sometimes birth control apparently fails on us," he said gently, stroking her stomach.  "Come on, let me take you to the ER.  Even I can smell the blood."

"I kinda got kicked in the stomach," she sighed, letting him help her up.  She noticed she was in her pajamas and went into the bathroom to change, putting on protection since she was bleeding.  Then she headed up the ramp to find out who else was up.  "I freed Modo.  I'm guessing that he's got Charley or Vinnie?"

Throttle looked at her and nodded, pulling her closer to give her a hug.  "I'm sorry, Dawnie.  I wish I knew of a way to have not made it so."

She gave him a squeeze.  "It happens.  Like Charley had it happen," she sighed.  "He's taking me to the ER.  I'm bleeding. I got kicked in the stomach when I got taken from Modo."  He nodded, giving her an extra squeeze before letting her go.  "Who got you free?"


"Where is he?"

"He's still down."  He looked at her. "He's not going to get saved?"

"Not without a struggle and something heroic.  If so, then the person saving him can get stuck."  She went to find the reference book for him, walking around the pouting vampire mouse on the floor.  "Hey, Spike.  Thanks for talking to Modo too."  She handed him the book, weathering the small smirk.  "Lil' Hoss was Xander's car and Spike was on the radio as its voice."  She shrugged and went to get on the back of Rimfire's bike. He took off, taking her to the hospital they all used.

Rimfire carefully walked his girl inside.  "I think she's pregnant and miscarrying," he said quietly.  "She smells off and she's bleeding pretty well."

"Is it due to an injury?"

"Not really," Dawn admitted.  She gave him a look and he nodded, checking them in.  She was gotten by a nurse a few minutes later and led back to a room while Rimfire waited outside.  "It's strange but I was just in this living nightmare thing and got kicked in the stomach.  I woke up cramping and bleeding."

"Sometimes nightmares can be hiding what's really happening from us," she said gently.  "Are you on any form of birth control?"

"The monthly shot.  I'm due my next one next week, on Thursday."

"All right."  She drew some blood and sent it off, then came back with a drink for her.  "Here, you'll probably need this.  How heavily are you bleeding?"

"Worse than my usual cycle," she sighed, looking at her.  "Can Rimfire come in or are you going to call people who don't know?"

"I've called someone down from OB," she admitted. "It shouldn't be too long and then he can be in here with you.  Is it his?"  She nodded.  "Would that matter?"

"According to our doc, Enamel, there's about a sixty percent chance of miscarriage and apparently he can go through any form of birth control," she said bitterly.  "I graduate in four days."  She took a sip of her soda as the curtain opened, nodding at Enamel.  "He can go through my shot too."

"I'm sorry to hear that, Dawn."  He came over to give her a hug.  "What happened?"

"We were in this living nightmare daisy chain and I got kicked in the stomach."  He gave her an odd look.  "Magic stuff," she admitted.  "An attack.  Mostly everyone's free."  She took another sip.  Then looked at the other person coming in.  "Hey."

"Hi," the nurse said, smiling at the new doctor.  "I know I called you and someone must have called their personal physician as well.  This is Miss Dawn Summers.  She's miscarrying she believes."

"That's fine, let's pull over the ultrasound."  He walked around Enamel, giving him a short look.  "I heard about another one like you last year, had a lot of holes from an industrial accident?"

"I came in to do the surgery on him," Enamel admitted, opening his case. "Dawn, truth here, do you want us to try to save it?"

"I graduate in four days," she said miserably.  "I'm heading for college this fall.  I'd love it, but we know I'm not ready.  Even Rimfire.  He's outside."

"I'll get him," the nurse soothed.  She hurried out to get the boyfriend, walking him back inside.  "She'll be fine," she promised before letting him inside.

Rimfire walked over and kissed her, moving the soda so she couldn't crush the can in pain.  "Hey."  He stroked her forehead.  "Enamel, can't you give her something for this?"

"It depends on her wanting to keep it or not, kid," he offered.

"Let's look at the situation first, it may not be a true miscarriage," the human OB offered, spreading some goo on her stomach so he could use the ultrasound.  He looked at it.  "We've got some thickening, and there's a bruise and a blood clot," he admitted, staring at it.  He bit his top lip, sucking on it for a moment.  "No, I'm going to say you're going to miscarry, no matter what."

"Then I can speed it up," Enamel offered, pulling out a vial of silvery liquid and a large needle.  "Dawn?"


"I have to ask, it's the law in this state.  Are you over eighteen?  We'd need parental permission for that."

"You said yourself, I'm miscarrying," Dawn said bitterly.  "I'd rather not suffer through it."  She pointed at the phone.  "Can it be verbal?  My adoptive father will agree."  Rimfire got the phone and hit one of the buttons marked 'outside line', dialing the house and bringing it back.  "Hey, Stoker, I need Throttle.  Yeah, kinda."  She listened while he got Throttle from the bathroom.  "Hey, there's a state law saying I need permission to help the miscarriage along since I'm under eighteen."  She handed the phone to the doctor.  "There.  My adoptive father."

"Thank you.  I know it's hard, miss, but it is a state law."  He listened to the tired voice on the other side.  "Thank you, sir, that's what we needed.  No, sir, it's usually considered a good notification law by most parents, but sometimes it does get in the way.  Like with her.  Yes, sir, thank you."  He walked the phone back and hung it up.  "All right."  He looked at Enamel.  "I can't protest whatever you're about to do.  Did you have another case for me?" he asked the nurse.

"There's a woman groaning and panting up the hall, you're probably here for her too," Rimfire offered.

He nodded.  "I'm sorry I couldn't help more, kids."  He walked out, going to check on the other to make sure she was in labor.

"You're sure, Dawn?"  She nodded.  He drew some of the liquid out and capped the bottle, then walked closer.  "Absolutely sure?  If one drip of this touches your blood, it's history.  No turning back.  I could try to save the baby."

"That'll mean it'll be damaged and I'll still probably miscarry," Dawn told him.

"We'll make hellacious parents some day," Rimfire said calmly.  "Just not today."

Enamel nodded, giving him a small, soothing grin.  "I know you will.  You and your uncle both.  Okay, grab on.  This'll feel like ice in your veins."  He found a vein and popped the needle in expertly, releasing it slowly as he exhaled.  Then he grabbed some towels to wipe off her stomach and put the small viewing device on it.  "Yeah, you've got some bad bruising and some minor clotting.  What was going on?  What sort of attack is a nightmare?"

The nurse coughed. "I'll leave you alone," she said, handing Enamel the file.  "Just file that when you leave, doctor."  She left them alone, she didn't need to know and he didn't need her.

Dawn shrugged a bit, wincing some.  "It got you stuck in a living nightmare."

"It's like a daisy chain," Rimfire said since she was wincing.

"Okay, we're applying porno concepts to an attack, must be odd," Enamel offered.  "You okay?"

"Throttle got me free, I got her, Micah, and Lorne free, but I had to listen to her being the girl of Micah on the assignment."

"I told Modo and he's not happy," Dawn told him gently.  "I told him it could happen to you too and that we've talked about this stuff."

"Babe, I'm not mad.  You were saving our friends. It was clear you weren't *enjoying* it."  He gave her a gentle kiss.  "If you ever did that poorly with me, I'd know I was unloved."  She gave him a gentle smile and a pat on the cheek.  "We've got to get him a girl of his own, and I'll roast his tail if he thinks about you while not on assignment, but I understood.  It was the only way.  That's probably how Max and Lorne got caught."  She nodded.  He kissed her again.  "It'll be okay."  He looked up at their doctor, who was pointedly studying the display.  "How long will she be bleeding this heavily?  She's got graduation in four days."

"She could slow down by then but I can't promise it.  In mice, she'd be bleeding for two weeks but it'd slowly taper off after the third day.  In humans, I don't know," he told him.  Rimfire nodded, going back to stroking her stomach and trying to comfort her.  "Dawn, I wish I could give you stuff for the pain."

"Me too."  He gave her a gentle pat on the side.  "Everything else okay?"

"So far.  Why?  What's worrying you?"

"The lack of effective birth control.  Charley won't want another one for a very long time and I know I'm not having one in the next three years."  Rimfire grinned at her.  "Babe, why are you sad?"  She stroked his cheek.

"My nightmare had three zombie mice telling me how bad you'd have it if I brought you to Mars," he said gently.  "They were getting really pushy."

Enamel looked at him.  Then he shook his head.  "Probably not all mice would love her since she's human, but your kids would be welcome.  The Council recently stated that any mouse, even one with just a drop in their veins, was welcome back on Mars.  Even me."  Rimfire looked stunned. "I'm still not going back.  I know people there won't trust me.  They'll give me those same dirty looks I got before my sentencing.  If I'm needed, I'll go up and then come back down.  Shell's said the same thing. Mars needs more help before she can comfortably live up there with how she can sense the earth."

Dawn nodded.  "I've been looking at terraforming ideas and the like," she admitted. "Most of them require some water, but it doesn't have to be pure water or even clean water really.  As long as you can filter it."

"We've got an underground river system but it's fairly heavy in mineral content," Rimfire reminded her. "I don't think we can filter that out that well."

"You could, but it'd be hard," she offered.  "If the Middle East can take water from the Dead Sea and make it drinkable, you guys can take yours and make it useable for growing stuff.  You won't have to be able to drink it, just use it.  It can be recycled and everything.  That's in my blue and silver textbook.  I was going to hand it to Stoker."

"Well, he's down."  He stroked her cheek.  "I'll tell him when we get home."  She nodded, resting her face against his hand.  "How long, Enamel?"

"It's already happened, kids, I'm just watching the after-effects to make sure no other problems erupt.  By the way, no vaginal sex until she stops bleeding.  I don't know how you'd do it after that."

"We need to break into Karbunkle's lab, see if he came up with something.  He was doing so many sexual experiments that he had to have figured out how to prevent contraception," Rimfire said grimly.

"He's still in custody," Enamel told him.

Dawn shook her head.  "Nope, or else he's got another clone.  He was at the tower during our prom.  One of the goons taunted me by telling me Karbunkle was going to have me first."


"Formal event to mark the status of being an adult," Rimfire told him.  He pulled out his copy of their pictures, showing them off.  "There. That was a few weeks ago."

"How far was I?" Dawn asked.

"Pretty well into the third month," Enamel offered, smiling at the outfits those two were wearing.  "You two looked good."  He handed them back.  "I'd say it happened around that succubus attack."

"I did a healing spell on myself after a few days so I could sit," she admitted, looking at him.

"It probably wouldn't have mattered," Rimfire told her.  "No more until I'm sure you can't get knocked up again, babe.  We can do other stuff."  He pulled a chair over to sit down.  "How much longer?"

Enamel gave him a long look, then looked at the machine in his hand.  "Before she can go home?"  He considered it.  "About an hour.  Before you can do anything else?  Probably about three or four weeks."  He looked at him again.  "You'll survive."

"Yeah, there's plenty of other stuff," he said with a grin for his woman.

Dawn pinched him.  "Now's not the time to talk about that stuff."

"Point."  He gave her a gentle kiss then handed back her soda and sat the bed up so she could get comfortable.  Since he didn't have a straw or anything like that.

Enamel shook his head.  He'd never been that insane over anyone that he waited on them hand and foot.  Maybe he had missed something but he was sure it wasn't that much fun.

TBC in the next part.

To Index