Title: Everything Merges with the Night

Author: Diva Stardust

Pairing: Dawn/Spike

Rating: R

Summary: Buffy wanted to show Dawn the world. She probably didn't have this one in mind. Set seven years after "Chosen".

Disclaimer: All characters belong to Joss Whedon, Marti Noxon, Mutant Enemy, UPN, FOX, etc. I'm not making any money off this!

Distribution: Just ask first if you want to archive this somewhere, please. I will most likely say yes!

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Spikeyvamp for the beta!

~*~*~*~*~

Dawn liked being anonymous.

She loved slipping in and out of new places, meeting strangers and never asking for their names. That way they never asked for hers.

No one ever knew that her blood had almost destroyed the world. No one ever knew she had a sister that everyone always loved and wanted more than her.

When Dawn walked into a room everyone only wanted her.

When she had turned eighteen she had left Cleveland and everyone she knew behind. They had all protested, everyone still wanting to protect little Dawnie but no one could stop her. She reminded Buffy that she had wanted to show her the world and now she could do it by letting her go. Buffy hadn't been able to show it to her. So Dawn had sought it out by herself.

She doubted the world she found was the one Buffy wanted to show her.

It wasn't long before she found out there were scarier monsters than the ones she had known in Sunnydale.

Her first night on her own in a new city she'd been mugged on the street.

The second night she slept on the street and watched rats scurry by her feet, while people who lived in a world of cardboard gave her a blanket to keep her warm because she looked like a sweet girl who shouldn't be there.

But she didn't go home.

The third night she found kids her age who lived together in a cramped apartment, sharing their bodies and drugs freely. Dawn had sex for the first time on a dirty mattress on the floor with a boy who had so many piercings she wasn't able to count them all when he was on top of her. She left in the morning without saying goodbye.

She always left without saying goodbye.

Dawn occasionally took the drugs that people offered her but she knew enough not to do too much. Not to get in over her head. She'd had enough people overdose in her arms to know that all it did was leave you dead on a cold floor, surrounded by people that didn't know your name when the police came and asked who the body was.

It wasn't the life Buffy would've wanted for her but there was something inside Dawn that craved it. It made her feel alive.

It made her feel real.

For the past five years she had sent postcards to Buffy every few months, lying about what she was doing. She didn't think Buffy would want to know the truth. That she drifted from city to city and lived off other people's food. The postcards said she had a job that let her travel around the country and that's why she couldn't give her a permanent address. She wondered how long Buffy had believed that. Part of her wondered if Buffy was glad she couldn't get in contact with her, couldn't call or write, maybe it made her feel like an only child.

The way she was supposed to feel.

Dawn was in New York now, she'd been there on and off again over the years but she always came back there. She felt the most comfortable there among people who didn't want to protect her.

It was midnight and the cramped basement club was so dark you could barely see the person you were dancing with. Dawn didn't care about seeing their faces.

She'd been dancing with a man who didn't know how to move his body, didn't seem to be comfortable in his own skin, danced like glue was attached to his feet when she felt hands grabbing her around the waist fiercely.

Dawn let the hands take her away. She hadn't been having fun with that man and if this new one didn't turn out to be any good either a different one would come along in a few minutes.

They didn't say a word to each other. No one needed words in this club.

The man pulled her close to him. This one definitely knew his body and seemed to know hers too. He pressed her so closely to him that she could feel his heart racing under his shirt while his hands traveled to places they shouldn't during a first dance.

She might go home with this one tonight.

Dawn let her hips move slowly against his front, teasing him just enough so she would be able to slowly feel him hardening against her. He shuddered against her when she moved faster and made sounds in her ear that she liked. Lust and desire that didn't have syllables.

His hands that had been resting on her ass then grabbed it harshly and pulled her even closer.

"Oh, you're just dying for it, aren't ya?"

She felt like she knew that voice. It sounded like something she heard in her dreams sometimes but she put it out of her mind when he moved her over to the nearest wall and propped her against it like she belonged there wrapped around him.

He was full of contradictions as his mouth claimed her roughly with soft lips. While he rocked the hardness of his cock that was only covered by thin denim against the spot where she needed it most, all the while stroking her now bobbed hair tenderly.

She still didn't say anything but sounds were leaving her mouth now. Little gasps and moans as her arms wrapped desperately around him. When he started licking and nipping around her neck with blunt teeth she knew she was definitely going home with this one tonight.

They were fondling and groping at each other so frantically that Dawn was just about to tell him to take her to his place when he moved his hand up her shirt and paused.

She became very still when his fingers started tracing one of the scars Doc had given her. Some men were turned off by them but that was usually when they would actually see them. They never kicked her out of bed though; they just never looked at that part of her stomach again.

His body was frozen against hers as his hand rubbed gently up and down the scar.

She felt his other hand leave her hair and move slowly to the other side of her hip, going up her shirt as well. When he found the other scar she could feel his hand trembling against it.

"Dawn?" he whispered.

When a man next to them lit a cigarette she was finally able to see his eyes. They were blue.

And they were Spike's.

The flame from the man's match was only lit long enough for her to get a glimpse of his face. His face looked a few years older but still mostly the same. His hair was curlier than she remembered and unbleached, dark and golden streaks weaving through it.

And he wasn't dead.

She didn't know what to do or say. There were so many things that should be said. She wanted to tell him that she no longer hated him, that she had forgiven him a long time ago, and that she sometimes dreamed about him at night.

"I've missed you," she simply said.

His lips met hers again before she could say anything else.