Characters: Dawn, Angel
Timeline: Post AtS S5
A/N: This was intended to be an Angel/Dawn fic, but it didn't turn out that way.
Disclaimer: Not mine. I play with other people's toys.
Ten years later and he still looks the same. It's not surprising, really, as he's never going to age, but it's still a shock because she thought he'd look different. Maybe it's because she never thought she'd see anything from her old life ever again. Everyone else is dead and she resents him for still being alive, or whatever you call a vampire, when he's the reason everything's so shitty.
She's not sure why she came, to tell him what an asshole he is or to ask for help, so she just stares at him until he sees her. When he does look up, he nods and then goes into what used to be an office she guesses, Dawn follows him and sits on the floor cross-legged because she doesn't trust the chairs not to collapse. They just sit there, watching each other, her barely breathing and him not at all. Her watch ticks, the only sound in the room and she wants to laugh because time doesn't matter any more than they do, but any humor has long since left her. The blankets over the window make it impossible to see the sun's position in the sky, but she knows it's approaching dusk. She hasn't survived this long not being able to know when night's coming. Shifting slightly, she coughs, her throat dry from breathing in the dust that's floating around the building. The words escape her before she can stop them.
"She didn't hate you." Angel raises an eyebrow, but doesn't reply. "She wanted to, but she couldn't. You were so damn near perfect in her eyes." Dawn gives a bark of laughter, but not because she thinks it's funny, although she does appreciate the irony. "Even after you sold out, she wanted to help you. Giles was the one who talked her out of coming here."
Shaking her head, she lapses back into silence. More time passes, but he doesn't do anything and it infuriates her.
"She died last week. She went down screaming and cursing, but she's gone." Her voice is hollow, no emotion behind it. She's learned to detach herself from it, all the death and loss.
"Buffy?" When he finally speaks, his voice is raspy, like it hasn't been used in years. Hell, maybe it hasn't.
"No. Rona. Buffy died about six months after you declared war on everything nasty. She was still convinced you had done the right thing, too." She watches his gaze lower and neither of them speak for a few minutes. "Rona was the last Slayer. Ever."
Shrugging off her backpack, she lies her head on her bag and closes her eyes. Dawn hasn't slept with the sun down in years. Not since her sister died. But she's been awake for than two days and hunting when she feels like she's gonna pass out would be a suicidal move.
"I just thought you should know."
When she wakes up, she can't remember where she is. Forcing herself to calm down, she opens her eyes and looks around and wants to cry. She hates it when she dreams about when life was about being alive. Angel's not there anymore, but she knows she can't have been out for more then an hour or two. Dawn jumps up, stretches, and puts her bag back on, figuring he's gone so she didn't have to say goodbye or pretend she's going to miss him.
Instead, Dawn finds him at the front desk, fixing sandwiches of all things. She knows she didn't make a sound but he must have heard her anyway, because he looks up and gives her a sad smile.
"Peanut butter and salami, right?"
"What the hell?"
"I thought you'd probably be hungry. There's an open grocery store around the corner and the owner owed me for keeping the vampire population down. I remembered this was your favorite. Buffy used to always complain about your tastes." Off her blank look, his smile falters. "It is your favorite, right? I can always go back."
"No. It's fine." Still in shock, she nods dumbly. "It's great, actually." Despite the resentment she's been holding onto, she's touched by the gesture. It's the nicest thing anyone's done for her in as long as she can remember and it's affecting her more then she wants to admit. "Thanks." Crossing the foyer, the young woman who was never really a girl sits in the chair across from the vampire who wasn't a decent man until almost two hundred years after he died. Looking into his eyes for the first time in more then twelve years, since Buffy's first funeral, she sees a reflection of her own pain and she can't bring herself to hate him, either. He's just as alone as she is and they're all that's left.
But, maybe, now that they've found each other, it'll be okay. Maybe it will be enough.