Disclaimer: Any character in the story that you don't recognize from the show I made up, other than that all characters are owned by Joss Whedon,

Summary: Set about six years after chosen, but slightly au ending. Dawn and everyone else believe that Spike, Buffy, Anya, and a few of the new Slayers died in the final battle, However, six years later they meet an old friend………..

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Dear Diary,

I Know I haven't written in a while – neglecting you after you were my only friend for so long.

The only way I can justify it is that a lot has happened in the last six years. Its gone by so fast.

We've all lost a lot of people – and gained a few new friends.

I'm all grown up now, 23, as old as, No, I won't go into that just yet.

Well we've all moved on, in the literal sense of the word – we all moved to Boston after the fight with the first was over.

And I've followed in my big sister's footsteps. In two respects – one I work as a counsellor and two, I fell in love with an older man – but at least he's not a vampire.

Well you may wonder why I've suddenly decided to write. Well I've been off work for a couple of weeks now, nothing serious, just some stomach bug I can't seem to shift.

But I was mooching round the house bored stiff and decided to clear my closet out, and I found you. One of the only things I had with me when we fled a collapsing Sunnydale. After the collapse we all had to do some pretty major shopping!.

Anyway, I thought you deserved an update – you're one of the only links to the past I've got and I thought it'd be nice to start you up again.

Anyway, I'll bring you up to date with a recap of all that's happened in the last six years.

During the battle with the first, most of us made it outside at some point and we all jumped on to one of those big yellow school buses, you know the sort, anyway it got to the point when we were only waiting for Buffy, Spike, Faith, Anya and a couple of the newly called slayers.

We waited for as long as we possibly could.

After what seemed like hours Faith came running towards the bus screaming at us to drive.

Then we saw it, the school was starting to collapse and Buffy, Spike and Anya were still inside.

Giles started to drive, even as I screamed at him to stop, to wait, just a few minutes more.

Faith jumped up onto the bus, but there was still no sign of Buffy, Spike or Anya. I ran to the back of the bus, screaming her name. I felt a pair of strong muscular arms grab me and hold me back, even as I decided to jump off the bus and go find her myself.

I spun inside the tight grip, the torrent of curses and screams died on my lips as I saw Xander, arms clamped around my waist, tears streaming down his cheeks.

I turned again, to watch, my eyes desperately searching, waiting for her to appear.

I watched as the school imploded, and the surrounding ground started to crumble and fold in on itself..

Now our drive turned into a race against the burgeoning sinkhole. Still I watched, waiting, vaguely aware of the curses and pleas and prayers going on in the background, still aware of the tight grip on my waist. I knew she'd make it. She had to.

As we reached the city limits and crossed over, The sinkhole seemed to reach its own limits, and I knew. She hadn't made it, and neither had Spike, Anya or the couple of new slayers we were still missing.

As the horrific truth sank in I turned to Xander and collapsed sobbing into his arms, he slowly lowered us both down until we were kneeling on the dirty floor of the bus.

Giles slowed and ultimately stopped the bus. He came and stood behind us. I heard one word 'Buffy?' and felt Giles's hand on my shoulder. It was Willow who had spoken and I felt the air move as she rushed past us to get out of the bus.

I stayed where I was, all the exhaustion of the last few weeks catching up with me.

I could hear Willow outside, screaming their names, over and over.

After what seemed like hours, but in realty was only a few minutes I got up, dragged Xander and Giles with me outside the bus to the edge of the sinkhole. Everyone that was capable was following, I knew but it didn't seem of any importance.

I reached the edge and looked out, Willow, Faith and Kennedy to my right, and Xander, Giles and Andrew to my left. I searched the horizon with my eyes, knowing they hadn't made it, but refusing to believe it, acknowledge it. 'th-they must be just down there. We have to go help them. - ' I started, slightly hysterically, which is when

Xander and Willow, to my immediate left and right, both grabbed a hold of me. Presumably to stop me actually going down into the sinkhole. 'Please I have to get to them I have to help them, let me go to her, Please'

'Dawnie,' Willow pleaded, hesitating. Not wanting to say the words that would mean they were truly gone.

'They're gone, Dawn, They Didn't make it out' Xander told me gently

At which point I pretty much lost it. I managed to squeak out one word, 'Buffy' before everything went black.

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I truly don't know how we got through those first few days. After I fainted, Xander picked me up and carried me back onto the bus with everyone trailing behind.

Giles drove us to the nearest hospital, so we could all get checked over and the ones that needed it could get treatment. I'm told Xander never left my side, not once, - I was out for almost 24 hours – they reckoned it was just pure exhaustion and shock. I did have a concussion though, and they kept me in the hospital for two days

Throughout my hospital stay, Xander was a permanent fixture by my bed. Willow and Giles were nearly constantly there, too, but not as constant as Xander who wouldn't even leave me to get himself treated.

I thought it was his way of coping with Anya's death, by focusing all his energy and attention on me he didn't have to deal.

Giles was mainly silent, avoiding eye contact, and wouldn't say Buffy's name. He never cried in front of me, but whenever I saw him those first few days his eyes were red and puffy.

Willow, well she babbled a lot and was constantly asking if I was alright, if I needed anything.

Xander was just, there for me, he fussed over me, without being obvious. Kept fluffing my pillows, fetching me things, he always seemed to know what I needed before I did.

And me, I just couldn't stop crying.

When I was discharged from hospital, they showed me the hotel, that everyone who hadn't been admitted to hospital was staying in. it was huge, not too far from the outskirts of what used to be Sunnydale .

I was gonna be sharing a suite with Willow, Kennedy, Giles and Xander. I had a room to myself, for the first time in months. Giles and Xander shared a room, and Willow and Kennedy shared a room.

That first night I was so lonely, for months I hadn't had five minutes to myself, let alone a whole room for a whole night. I lay there with the light on, as I couldn't stand to be alone in the dark, crying my eyes out. Huge sobs wracked my body, and I didn't care if anyone heard me. Then at 1 a.m. Xander popped his head round the door

'I got up for a glass of water and I heard… Are you ok Dawn?' when I didn't answer him he came fully into the room, 'Dawn?' he came and sat on the edge of my bed

'I'm so lonely,' I told him between sobs, 'and I miss her - them so much'

'I know Dawn, me too'

'Could – Could you stay with me, tonight – I don't want to be alone yet' I'd pleaded, and he did.

We fell asleep together on the bed, him curled around me.

The next few days, - weeks – were a bit of a blur for me, I don't remember much to be honest. One thing that I do vaguely remember, we went to the edge of the crater-that-used-to-be-Sunnydale, a day or so after everyone got discharged form hospital. All of us, we wanted a sort of memorial service, to say goodbye to those we lost. Me, Xander, Willow and Giles stood closest to the edge.

Me between Xander and Willow, Giles to Willow's left. It was unusually cold and windy. We all stood there for what seemed like hours. Tears streaming down each face.

Each and every one of us, including the new slayers said something, even if it was only thank you.

I don't remember exactly what I said – apart from that I was sorry I couldn't help them, missed them and I told Buffy and Spike not to worry, that I'd be well looked after.

We, me, Xander, Willow and Giles, had taken a huge bunch of blood red roses up, and we threw them into the crater, one by one.

And that was that.

But that was the last time I went to the hole in the ground that had cost too many people their lives. I couldn't bear to go back again.

Giles went back though, still does, once a year, always on the same day. I know he does, though he's never told me. One day, I may go with him, I don't know.

Anyway, after the memorial we all headed away from what used to be Sunnydale, used to be our home.

I went with Giles, Xander, Willow, Kennedy, Faith and Robin. – First we went to L.A. to see Angel and his 'gang'. Boy was that fun.

After a couple of months in L.A. we headed East. We all wanted a change – and what better than to get out of the state where 3 of us had lived all our lives.

We headed out to Boston, Massachusetts. Thought the change may help us get used to it quicker, I guess though it still wasn't easy but it worked to some extent.

I don't think I could have stayed around Angel and his friends much longer, and I couldn't have stayed in California. You don't get much more of a change from Sunnydale California than Boston Massachusetts do you?

But it suited us all fine. To start with we all stayed in another random hotel, all of us together.

Giles went to court to become my legal guardian, after my father tracked me down and tried to drag me off to live with him and his twenty year old popsicle.

And we started to look for somewhere to live on a more permanent scale. Somewhere we could all live comfortably, with space.

Eventually we found somewhere big enough. A huge house on Walnut street, with space to spare. It was about five to six months after Sunnydale did it's whole sinkhole act that we moved in.

I had started at my new school and all was going well. My grades were high, despite missing so much time, I worked extra hard to catch up. I even went to college, studied Psychology, and social studies. I even made some good friends.

But I was still mourning my sister and friends.

Willow, Giles, Faith, Robin and even Kennedy tried to help, but the only one who managed to comfort and console me was Xander.

He knew that all I needed was quiet comfort, - to be left alone until I came and asked for help..

And when I needed to, it was Xander I went to. I could sit, curled in his arms, crying my eyes out for hours on end. He never said a word to anyone.

We even fell asleep together a few times. Boy was that a shock for Giles and Willow when they walked in one morning, unable to find me.

Weeks passed, then months, and me and Xander got closer and closer. Giles became even more of a communal father figure.

Faith and Robin got closer too. Everyone joked that he had managed to tame her.

About a year and a half after we first moved into the house, they announced they were getting engaged, and moving out as our house afforded them too little privacy.

They moved out a couple of months later, but only a few streets away. They found a gorgeous house on Revere street. And as I'm telling you this, she's about ready to pop with their second child. Their first being born 9 months after their wedding. But we'll come back to them later.

Not long after Robin and Faith's wedding, Willow and Kennedy had a huge fight. I can't remember exactly what it was about, - but Kennedy was upset with one of us for something and Willow didn't back her up. However, it resulted in Kennedy moving out, and since she never really fully integrated with our group, we didn't really see much of her after that.

Willow's recently started seeing someone else- Kate, my best friend, - well about seven to eight months ago. They've been thinking of moving in together. Kate's great, she's more of a part of the group now than Kennedy ever was or wanted to be.

As for me, and Xander, - e became so close we were constantly together, and very slowly we sort of slipped into coupledom – no one really noticed at first and we agreed to take it very very slowly.

It was a bit weird at first – I mean he was my dead sister's best friend, but we got over the weirdness and after we'd been together as a couple for two years, he proposed, it was so romantic, but I'll tell you 'bout that another time.

We got married the following spring, and have now been married for just under a year. We live in the same house we all moved into originally, Giles still lives with us, as does Willow, though she will probably move out in the not too distant future.

Well that about catches you up, and I've gotta go because I just heard the front door, Someone's home.

I'll come back later.

Dawn