It was something that would have caused Buffy to turn in her grave if she knew Dawn was out here.

But it was something Dawn was willing to do. It was something she had to do.

Buffy's voice had rung hollow through her as she remembered her sister's last words to her before the Slayer had jumped off that tower. As Dawn had just stood there, staring at her sister's retreating form in disbelief, she had waited for the tears to spill forth, for the pain to tear her apart, completely destroying her... but there was nothing.

Just an empty void.

An empty void where her heart and soul had once been.

Dawn had never cried even one tear for her sister, and hated herself for it, along with so many other things, so many that she had lost count around a thousand.

Even Spike's words of comfort didn't stop the numbness she had developed since Buffy's death. The numbness that had begun to form the second Buffy had stopped her from jumping, and went instead, to protect her 'sister'.

A little over a month ago.

It was only slightly over a month since her life had stopped, officially gone to hell.

Spike told her to try to get on with her life. He'd suggested that she find a role model, someone to look up to, try to be like, the way he had done with Angelus.

And that was exactly what she had done.

Granted, he had counted on her picking either Willow or her -dead- sister, but she hadn't. She had chosen one person whom she had always looked up to. Liked the moment she had walked into Dawn's life. The only one who had ever been in the 'Scoobie Gang' that had known how to cut loose and block out the pain and guilt.


Now, as she moved to the music, none of it mattered except the sense of need and the only thing she could be certain of was the fleeting touches of the strangers she danced with.

The music had no beat to Dawn, as she moved primitively, and the faces of those she danced with nothing more than a blur of flesh tones in the darkness.

Her movements became more out there as she writhed against men.

So many men.

Men that meant nothing more to her then a way to dull the pain. Yet their touches gave her something, broke through that dark void which ate at her from the inside.

Arms were wrapped around her waist, their hands moved over her scantily leather-clad flesh, her body barely responding to the touches. Still, it was a response all the same, and she let herself lean into the caresses of the guys, glad that she was able to feel anything but the numbness that had enveloped her that night on the tower.

Hands wrapped about her hips and pulled her back against a hard, male body. She could hear the dull roar of the men she had been dancing with as they protested. One began to demand her release, only to be met with a low, animalistic growl.

A growl Dawn had heard before but couldn't place. It seemed like a million years ago. The man's hands twisted on her waist, spinning her around, as so she was facing him. Slowly she raised her heavy head and found herself staring into familiar blue eyes.

Eyes that reflected what she should have felt, pain, anguish and despair.

"What the hell are you doing Bit?!?"