Title: Remembrances and Plans
Author: babies stole my dingo (agilebrit)
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Rating: PG
Words: 689
Disclaimer: Joss is the genius behind these characters; I am but a lowly follower.
Written for: Aeneas's birthday. She requested Dawn angst, post-Chosen.
Notes: I had a hard time doing angst without a little hope in there too...
They parked the schoolbus in front of the Hyperion. Dawn helped with carrying in the wounded as much as she could, although she felt a little extraneous. The other girls (Slayers, she reminded herself) were far stronger than she, and she finally decided that she'd be better off going inside and tending injuries instead.

At last, everyone was situated and as comfortable as possible. Dawn found an empty room and flopped down on the bed, staring at the ceiling. She'd lost friends tonight, and finally allowed herself the luxury of tears.

Amanda and the other Slayers. She berated herself, now, for not learning all their names. They'd died fighting the good fight, and she quietly paid tribute to them in her mind.

Funny Anya. Usually unintentionally funny, but her pain had been so real when Mom had died. She just hadn't understood, and somehow that made it worse for her than it did for everyone else. That hadn't been funny at all. Forthright Anya, who wasn't afraid to say what everyone else thought. Xander had been very silent on the bus, staring straight ahead, internalizing everything in a typically "guy" sort of way. Dawn had touched his arm once or twice, but he hadn't responded. Andrew had been pretty shellshocked over the whole thing too.

Spike. She sighed, rolling over onto her side. He'd been such a good friend, right up to that awful year that culminated in him hurting Buffy--and getting a soul because of it. She wished that she'd tried harder to make peace with him. Now that another apocalypse was out of the way, and he was gone, she wouldn't get the chance. She thought that out of all of them, he would have survived. "Big stupid hero," she muttered.

An almost timid knock sounded at her door. "Dawnie?" Buffy's voice. Great.

"Yeah, come in," she answered as unenthusiastically as she could, drying her eyes and sitting up.

Buffy opened the door and sat on the bed next to her. "Wow, craziness much, or what?"

"Yeah, I guess." Her voice was flat.

"What's the matter?"

"Well. It's over. What's going to happen now?"

"Ugh. I haven't thought that far ahead." Buffy put her head in her hand for a moment. "We're going to have to get organized and hunt the new Slayers down and let them know what's the what."

"And where do I fit in with all that?" Dawn hated how self-centered she sounded, saying it. People had died tonight, after all. Principal Wood was hurt pretty bad. Even Buffy had gotten a sword through her back, although she'd gritted past the pain and seemed pretty much okay now.

"Where would you like to fit in?"

She blinked, not expecting that. No one ever asked her opinion, about anything. Dawn, do this; Dawn, do that; Dawn, don't read that, it'll deflower your virgin eyes. "Um...can I be a Watcher? I've, I've gotten really good at researchy stuff, and Giles and Andrew have been teaching me other languages."

Buffy smiled, her first genuine smile, it seemed, of the whole night. "Sure, sweetie. In between school stuff, of course."

"Of course," Dawn said, rolling her eyes. Something else nagged at her. Buffy hadn't said anything about... "Buffy, what happened to Spike? I know he didn't make it, but what happened?"

"He was a Champion, right to the end. The amulet worked through him, just like it was supposed to. He--" Buffy choked. "He burned up. He made me leave before the end, but I saw...enough."

Dawn hugged her. "It must have been awful." She sniffled a little herself.

"It was." Buffy pulled herself together. "Well. I'm going to turn in. You should get some sleep too. Big meeting tomorrow."

"Yeah. See you in the morning."

Buffy kissed her cheek and looked at her very seriously. "G'night, Dawnie. I love you. You know that, right?"

"I do. Really. And I love you too." Her lips trembled as she smiled.

After Buffy left, Dawn lay back down, lacing her fingers behind her head and staring at the ceiling. She was going to be a Watcher.