Standard Disclaimer applies.
Author's Note: I know what your thinking, but this is a 'gift ' Fic with a difference.
Summary: A different ending to the Gift. What if someone other than Buffy stood with Dawn on top of the platform before the portal closed.
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Duh... The Gift.
Dawn stared relieved at the figure before her.
" I thought I was going to die " she explained hugging the man , smiling as his hands wrapped around her fiercly, her expression changed as a voice whispered into her ear.
" I'm so sorry Dawn, there's no other way " Pulling back Dawn gasped as she relised what the Man meant, peering over the edge of the tower she glanced into the portal.
" No, " she pleaded moving away " Buffy will find a way to close it, " infront of her a gentle shake of the head.
" There is no other way, we had thought that Buffy's blood might close the portal but it wouldn't work." the man whispered moving towards her. Moving back against the railing Dawn lifted her head and screamed
" Buffy! Buffy Help Me!" glancing down at the ground her heart fell as she watched Buffy run towards the tower only to be restrained by Xander and Willow.
" Dawn, there's no time I have to do this now, I promise you there won't be any pain. " Dawn spun back around.
" Your going to kill me? " She asked unbeliving as tears poured down her face. The man nodded slowly and she spun around once more, searching the area for an allie she spotted the bleached head of her beloved vampire.
" Spike! Spike please, " She yelled and almost choked on sobs as he slowly raised a hand to his lips and gently released a kiss into the air, before turning his back on the scene.
" You can't do this " she sobbed slumping to the ground, the figure sat beside her.
" This is the only way, I'm sorry...I'm so sorry" She raised her head and stared deep into determined eyes.
" Why you? If I'm going to die why can't Buffy do it? " She asked angrily
" You can't ask that of her Dawn, she's lost so much this is killing her... " He was cut off by a loud scream.
" This isn't killing Buffy, 'Your' going to kill me! Why cause, I'm the key, the ball of energy that means nothing to nobody. Is that it? You think that you can kill me because nothing you remember is real, cause I'm not real? " She asked in hysterics her eyes red from crying and her voice breaking from sobs that caught in her throat she continued.
" I feel real, I bleed like a real human and I cry like a real human. Being the key is not my fault." The figure nodded
" I know it's not. " Dawn lowered her voice.
" Then Why am I being punished? " She asked.
" It's not a punishment Dawn. It's just something that must be done, the world will end Dawn, everyone you've ever known will die. Buffy will die, Spike will die. Everyone. " He explained taking her hand and holding it to his own chest.
" You have been givin the great honor of saving the world Dawn. "
The two sat in silence for several moments, before she spoke up.
" I'm scared, I'm scared of what will happen to me." The man pulled her onto her feet and into a hug where he gently rubbed her back.
" Your Mum will be there to show you, to keep you safe. You'll be safe and protected, they'll be nothing there that can hurt you or scare you. " he soothed, she pulled back and stared into his eyes. Before glancing down at the scene below her. Xander was holding a sobbing Buffy while Giles sat hunched over in grief, Willow comforted Tara and Anya was being looked after by Spike. She turned around and nodded.
" I'm glad it was you Angel. " She said nervously turning around to stare at the portal.
" Promise me you'll take care of her, stay and take care of her." She stated and he nodded even though she couldn't see him.
" So I just jump in there and it'll close? "
" Yes. " He answered with a confidence that betrayed his true feelings, he knew that if she jumped into the portal she would be ripped apart, that the pain would be unlike anything anyone had ever experienced. She moved to step up onto the railing.
" Can you tell them that I loved them, tell them they were family, and tell them I'll be allright. " She said softly. Angel moved up behind her and leant around to kiss her on the cheek, smiling he asked
" One last hug? " Dawn nodded and turned around as he wrapped a hand around her back, she leaned her head against her chest and he could feel and hear her heart race.
Drawing something from the back waist band of his pants he brought his arm around silently and plunged the dagger through Dawn's back and into her heart, killing her before she had even a chance to stop the soft smile on her face. Withdrawing the blood stained knife and letting the blood red tears stream down his face, Angel hoisted Dawn's body into the air and watched as the portal began to decrease in size, until it vanished, trying to ignore the blood that poured from the knife wound he had just inflicted he carried the teen down the tower to her family.
Angel stood in front of the freshly dug grave, his arms wrapped around Buffy and stared at the headstone.
Dawn Buffy Summers
1986- 2001
The world will never know
how real she was.