Pairing:None for now.
Summary:Updated with a tiny bit more. Dawn's life is destroyed. Slightly AU – It follows season 7 but changes towards the end. WIP. Please R&R so I know whether to continue.
There was no one. Everyone she loved was gone. The First…the big battle had claimed all that she loved. She hated that she had been left. Why had she survived? She wanted to be dead, to end the pain, and suddenly she understood what Buffy had felt when they had brought her back to life, back from heaven. The world was hard and dark and meaningless and Dawn wasn't strong enough to endure it.
Anya had disappeared before the fight began. The Potentials hadn't stood a chance. Xander and Willow had died fighting. Giles had called covens all over the world, calling for them to unite and stop the evil but they never came. He died after he gave up hope. They had called Angel and asked for his help and Dawn didn't know why he hadn't brought help but nothing came. Faith had tried so hard. She had fought with all the strength and determination in the world. Buffy had died protecting Dawn and Dawn felt so guilty it made her feel physically sick. She had told Dawn that she loved her and that she had to carry on.
Her final word was "Run!"
Spike was the last to go. Dawn had been looking straight into his eyes when something came up behind him with a sword. Her eyes had grown wide and she had shouted "Spike, move!"
He had sensed his death and shouted desperately, "Dawn! You have to run. Bit, you have to run. Please."
Dawn had collapsed onto the ground when he had turned into dust. Somehow they had all died and it didn't matter who did it or how, but they were dead which left her paralysed with shock. Her shock prevented her from crying and then some survival instinct had kicked in and now she wished it hadn't. She had forced herself to her feet and then she ran. She ran faster than she ever thought possible ignoring the pain all over her body and in her tortured mind. Alone she ran even though nothing followed. She had finally stopped and her body sank to the ground. Blood pulsed frantically about her body and her head lolled. She sat for ages and finally started to cry. Eventually she had fallen asleep. She wasn't sure if she was sleeping her nightmares or living them.
She walked along a road. She didn't know which because it didn't matter. Her legs were automatic beneath her and she didn't know what she was doing. A car pulled up beside her but she barely heard what they said. It drove on and she stared ahead, eyes unseeing, unfeeling. Suddenly somebody grabbed her and she hit out kicking and screaming, biting and scratching. Her survival instinct always won.
"Dawn. Stop. It's Angel. Dawn listen to me. I've been calling your name. Dawn! I am Angel. Dawn you know me. Please, Dawn stop!"
Dawn didn't stop. Even after she realised it was really Angel, she kept hitting him because she hated him for not saving them. He hadn't come when they had needed him and he hadn't even tried. He let her attack him. She fought him until she could fight no more and sank to the ground refusing to look at him.
"Dawn. Listen. I am sorry. I'm so sorry" Angel pleaded with her. "We…I didn't come and you have every right to hate me but I couldn't risk it. The First…it could manipulate me to make me kill. He could have used me to kill you. It was selfish I know. I didn't even tell the others in LA what was going on here. Don't blame them. They didn't know but they would have come. I was trying to help. I…I think I the First is gone. I contacted people. When Angelus came back he made deals with people. I remembered those people. I went to them. Someone, something has destroyed it, if that's possible."
Dawn didn't care how ludicrous the things he were saying sounded. She took a deep breath and stood up, stumbling slightly. He caught her and she flinched.
"No. Don't touch me. Get away from me."
He let go and she started to walk away. He called after her, begging her to forgive him. She kept walking and said nothing. Angel put his face in his hands and then stared desperately after her.
He paced after her relentlessly, keeping his distance but always behind her. She wanted him to leave; there was no reason for him to be there. Tired and confused she spun round to look at him. He stopped dead and stared right back into her troubled eyes.
"Everyone I ever loved is gone. Didn't you see Sunnydale? It's completely wrecked but Willow, Xander, Spike and…Buffy are all…." She felt her voice break and tears welled in her eyes.
Angel was holding her in a flash and she struggled against him but eventually gave up and sobbed into his coat.
"I saw them all. I saw the pain and destruction but I knew you weren't dead. I had to find you. I had to save you," Angel whispered into her hair.
Dawn broke away from him, "What? This was just a hero trip for you wasn't it. You needed someone to save to feel less guilty. Oh god, you don't care. Buffy and people I loved and cared for were killed and you don't care. I'm the only one left but you don't care."
"Dawnie, no! I saw the woman I loved pinned to a rock by five arrows. I saw people I cared about broken and crumpled on the floor. Yes I feel guilt. Huge amounts of guilt but believe me helping you does not ease that guilt. I have to live with the fact I took your family away from you. I care so much I hate myself."
Dawn winced at the images his words brought up in her head. Flashes of Buffy and Willow and Xander and Giles stuck in her mind. She knelt down and retched but it was a dry retch. She stood up.
"So don't save me. Leave me here and you won't have me as a reminder," she said the words softly.
He shook his head "I could never do that Dawn. You know you're stuck with me now." He half smiled when he said this.
The sky was slightly paler in the distance and Dawn looked at Angel, "The sun is coming up. You have to go."
Angel nodded and held out a hand to her. She looked at it and hesitated.
"Come with me Dawn. I know you'll never forgive me but…" He was cut off by Dawn putting her slender, bloodied and dirty hand into his.