Title: Chosen Evolution Saga

Author: Whisper2AScream

Disclaimer: Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, etc. belong to (say it with me) Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Kuzui Productions, Twentieth Century Fox. No profit is being made, just doing some story tweaking.

Summary: (S6, AU) Forget all you know or think you know. Sometimes prophecies are a little too cryptic, and easy to misunderstand.

Rating: PG – 13 (About the level of the shows)

Feedback: Of course, but constructive criticism. Flames can be directed toward that black hole over there.

Distribution: FF. Net, Anya's Slayer Fan Fic if that still remains. Everyone else, please ask first.

A/N: Basically it starts from the end of the Gift, though there's some references to S7 Chosen, but as you'll see, it skews from that point on. As in some things happened that shouldn't have, for a particular reason. This is the prequel to the rest of the story, which is sub-titled The Chosen Four (Still WIP).

Chosen Evolution – Dawning of a New Era

June 30th, 2003

Dear Journal:

"...We thought it had been so easy to defeat the First Evil. But we only discovered later that we doomed everyone and everything. Sure there were Slayers all over the world now, but there were more demons and vampires than ever before, too. The small group we had when we left the crater that was Sunnydale, dwindled further as we went along.

We were attacked in Nevada, north of Las Vegas. Then there was the incident in Boulder. By the time we finally got out of there, I was missing my left arm, Willow and Kennedy were dead, and Xander had disappeared somewhere. Nobody knows what happened to him, but Rinoa swears she heard a gunshot go off somewhere. I don't want to think about it. Giles is at the hospital while my sister lies in a coma. The stupid doctors there say nothing else can be done for her. They seemed more concerned about my dumb arm than they do about her. So here I am, one-armed Dawn, still alive and watching everybody I care about die around me.

It wasn't supposed to be like this. We all had this big life ahead of us, and now what? Baddies everywhere, and there's nobody to stop it? We're the good guys, for crying out loud. The ones who were supposed to win. We were supposed to get our happily ever afters.

That's why I'm going to change it. I just found out that my sister had made a mistake. A mistake that she later added to, and made it a million times worse. Apparently, she didn't get the message, their message to her right. I could have told them, no duh. So obvious really. I mean she didn't listen to me for a long time either. Why is she gonna listen to some skanky-looking woman in a cave? Anyway, they said when she did this, the timeline got messed up in a huge way. I remember Buffy finally telling me how some of the events in the past really happened. Not how I remembered, or everyone's made-up memories went.

I'm still not sure why those monks went to all that trouble, and created me the way they did. They wanted my sister, the Slayer, to protect the Key, so somehow they were able to create me. Gave me, and everybody fake memories like I really existed. Took a while to find out the truth. That I was nothing more than some glowy ball of energy that was supposed to open some sort of portal, and end the world. So, why her instead of me anyway? What did it accomplish really? She was the one needed, not me. I was the extra. I remember how Willow was going to change me back when she went off the deep end with her magick. Maybe she was right after all. Maybe I was just there to die. I can't even believe I'm saying this, but what choice do I have? Again, the people I love are dying, and I can only stand by and watch it happen. Well, not anymore. This time, it's my turn."

"It is time."

Dawn glanced up, and nodded. "I know." She closed the journal, and placed the pen beside it. If it went right, it won't be there, but she still wanted to be neat anyway.

"They won't remember."

She wiped the tears from her eyes, "I got that. It doesn't matter. Have to do what's right, right?" She straightened up, and tried to fashion her face into a determined expression, just like her sister would. "So, let's do it. Do it already!" She yelled, and felt the world fall away from around her.

--------------------

When she came to, her eyes opened to view all of Sunnydale beneath her, the city lights twinkling. Glancing down at herself, she was once again dressed in the purple gown, blood trickling from the numerous lacerations upon her body. Buffy was standing before her, readying to leap off the tower.

"Don't," Dawn said to her.

And as she had heard before, words that had haunted her while Buffy was away, "Dawnie, I have to."

She shook her head, "No, I have to. I don't belong. They still need you." She slowly stepped backwards.

"No, you don't understand." Buffy started towards her, but she shied away from her sister. Just a little bit further now.

"No, I do. I really do. I know what's going to happen. You'll die, and Willow will bring you back, and it'll all go wrong. You don't understand." Her heels came in contact with the metal edge, the portal yawning below her. "They need you, just as you need them. Xander, Willow, Mr. Giles. It's the only way to stop it, or people will die all over again. I have to go. I love you. Take care of them for me." Tears were sliding down her cheeks, as she raised her foot to step back further.

"No, I'm not going to let my sister die. Dawn, stop please." She reached out to grab her, and for a second, Dawn wanted her to. She didn't want to die, but if she didn't... Dead faces flickered in her mind. She stepped back, and then there was only air and energy beneath her. As she fell away from the tower, she could see Buffy leaning down, stretching her arm out. Dawn always wanted to be a hero, like her sister. To save the world, and now she finally had her chance. The portal enclosed her, imploding in an instant. Her last thoughts were of pain and light. Then, there was nothing.

Buffy stood up at the edge of the tower, softly crying. Once again, she could do nothing but let a member of her family die. Yet as she descended the tower, things felt different. Her friends approached the body lying so still.

Willow glanced over at her, "Who was that?"

Buffy started to speak, but found her memories of Dawn dimming. She knew her, a sister, right? Though, she had thought she was an only child. But before the timeline reverted to form, she could remember when they were playing Power Girl as children, and her sister's declaration, "I want to be a hero when I grow up!"

"A hero," she quietly said.