Been Here Before
The first time Dawn saw the world almost end, she thought it looked pretty.
We shouldn't blame her for that. After all, the world was barely a year old, so she didn't understand what an ending would mean.
And it was exciting, in a way. Destruction, screaming, fire in the sky, oceans surging - it made patterns she'd never seen before, and she watched it and thought it pretty.
All of a sudden, though, she noticed the pain… and she didn't like endings anymore.
She stretched out and stopped it - she never really understood how.
But then, understanding wasn't her purpose.
* * *
The first time Dawn saw the world almost end, she didn't know it would.
All she saw was that the bedroom was empty, which meant that Buffy had climbed out the window (again), was going to be grounded (again), and would probably get kicked out of school (again).
She shrugged, and took the opportunity to try on several of Buffy's outfits, read through her diary, and borrow some of her cds. After all, chances like this didn't come along every day.
But she didn't tell Mom that Buffy was sneaking out again. Sisters had to look out for each other.
* * *
The first time Dawn saw the world almost end, it was all her fault.
The sky ripped to shreds, and she watched, horrified, as everything collapsed in on itself.
It was her problem, her mess, her destructive power, and she wanted to stop it, but Buffy wouldn't let her.
So she let her sister take the fall, and made herself stand aside and watch it happen. Made herself do nothing.
Then came the next day.
As the weeks turned to months it got harder to forget, but Dawn gritted her teeth and kept right on living.
After all, she'd promised.