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Chance Meeting

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Dawn blinked a few times as she stiffly pulled herself up into a sitting position, and it took her several seconds to realize that she was on the floor of a small room… and she wasn't alone.

She let her gaze focus on the dark-haired man who was sharing the room with her. "Do you know where we are?" she asked weakly.

"The last thing I remember is dying," the man replied uncomfortably. "And then I woke up here. Does that answer your question?"

"You died?" Dawn asked curiously, her eyes following the man pacing uncomfortably in front of her. "So you're a ghost?"

He glanced back at her, an annoyed expression on his face. "Do I look like a ghost?" he asked irritably, "I don't know what's going on, but I do know that I'm very much alive."

"Then you must be zombie," she said after a moment or two, her eyes twinkling with barely hidden mirth. "Though you definitely aren't acting like any zombie I've ever seen."

The man rolled his eyes before stopping his pacing and sinking down to a sitting position. "Has anyone ever mentioned that you're an annoying little girl?"

"I wouldn't exactly consider myself a little girl considering the fact that I'm almost twenty-two," she replied with a smirk. "And my name's Dawn, if you were curious."

"I wasn't," he shot back, but after a few seconds he glanced in her direction. "My name's Doyle."

"Nice to meet you," Dawn said quietly before leaning back against the bare wall of the room they were in. "It's nice to meet another non-dead dead person."

Doyle blinked, and she let the barest hint of a smile make its way onto her face.

"What?" she asked teasingly, "you thought that I was just some unlucky girl who ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time?"

"The thought had crossed my mind," Doyle replied uncertainly, his eyes cautiously focusing on her. "But apparently I was wrong."

Dawn's smile turned bittersweet as she pulled away from the wall and leaned in closer to Doyle.

"Everyone's dying, but not everyone's staying dead," she whispered. "The world's turned upside down, and it has been for years now. Ever since he decided that he just had to go against Wolfram & Hart…"

She trailed off as she felt tears start welling up in her eyes. A single tear started trickling down her face, but before she could wipe it away, Doyle had reached over and brushed it off her cheek himself.

"Sorry about that," Dawn said quietly, her eyes meeting Doyle's.

He merely shook his head before reaching over and gently catching her hand in his. "It's no problem, princess."

Dawn stared at him for a few seconds before impulsively leaning in and giving him a gentle kiss on the lips. "Thanks," she whispered softly as she pulled away.

"No problem," Doyle managed to choke out after a second or two, a surprised expression on his face. "Glad to help."