Best Overall Dawn Fic
Best Dawn POV
Best Dawn Characterization
Best Future (Slash)
Best Future (Non-Slash)
Best Dawn Insert
By the Numbers by sevendeadlyfun
Wow this fic is just amazing! I love it and it's the kind of fic that you can read and reread yet still find something new and refreshing that catches your mind and makes you revel in amazement at the genius of the author. It's one of the most refreshing takes I've read on a dawn/angelus/spike fic and the layers draw you in so deeply it's a wonder that you come back to reality at all. Truly breathtaking; if ever there was a thing called perfection then this would be it.
Follow the Yellow Brick Road by rahirah
There's a reason that fandom loves to write about the Spike-and-Dawn friendship: because their interaction allows for exploration of aspects of their personalities that don't normally come out with other characters. This story takes full advantage of that, showing that Spike is just the friend Dawn needs--someone who loves her for her--while also glorying in Dawn's absolute acceptance of Spike, even his less morally palatable attributes.
This story is plotty, and part of that plot enables it to be a Dawn-and-Spike story while letting Dawn be the one to make the decisions and be the heroine. Dawn's characterization--the mixture of competence and self-doubt--is spot-on. Rahirah also writes prose that is a pleasure to read, without ever crossing the line into pretentiousness or purple-ness. A fantastic read.
Holes by servus_a_manu
There are very few things that I like more in fic than emotionally intense, character driven moments. The immediacy of the anger, pain and desire for something other than numbness that servus_a_manu captures in this story is a beautiful interpretation of the more slippery and confusing aspects of grief. Both Dawn and Spike seem to be heading to an impasse here, but it'd uncharted and ill-defined. The floundering of both characters strikes me as very true to what I think that sad summer between S5 and S6 would have been like for them. The hints of danger and eroticism in this outwardly tame encounter reveal aspects of Spike that were sorely missed and only just contained when Buffy acted as his moral compass. When faced with an unleashed Spike, Dawn's curious, but frightened response seems perfectly in character. She wanted danger, but now that she has it what should she do? Hopefully in the future the author will reveal the consequences of this encounter with as much style and skillful prose as she used here.
In the Bleak Midwinter by annakovsky
This is a touching Christmas story that explores the dynamic of the Xander and Dawn relationship in a poignant and yet, still angsty way. Plus, Dawn tells baby Jesus to have a Merry Fucking Christmas and that just made me smile. What I'm trying to say in a nutshell is that even if this fic is holiday-centric, it's worth a read all year round.
Less than Real by zulu
What makes this fic special is the concept of it. Fiction's job, aside from entertainment, is to let the reader explore something about themselves alongside the character, and this piece left me as a reader identifying quite strongly with Dawn. How many of us want to go back and change events from our past, to make them go smoother, with better endings, and here we have Dawn, who has such a unique perspective on her own past, mentally rewriting her history. We see so much of what makes fanfiction great, with all the little canon fixes, but we're also reminded of how the mistakes and tragedies that make up our past also create our present, ourselves, and our relationships with the people we love now. This is the kind of fic that sticks with you long after you've read it, when all the little flaws are forgotten and you're just left with the essential truth of the story.
Let the World Spin by wesleysgirl
This is an epic, make no mistake. An epic of survival while the world dies, and an epic journey, physically and spiritually. At its heart is the Dawn-Spike relationship, growing from protectiveness and awkward friendship into something much richer, sweeter and more difficult. Great setting, real voices, sustained plot that combines romance with horror: it's a huge achievement in fanfic.
Love and Blackmail by penny_lane_42
I love this fic. Dawn and her plans are so entertainingly written - as are her friendships, Buffy and Spike's relationship, and just about everything else in it!
The author manages to put so much sweetness into the story. A true delight to read.
Road to Byzantium by rahirah
I have to acknowledge this story for its dialogue. It's perfectly in tune with the characters and that's not always something you find, even in the best of stories. Rahirah truly deserves commendation for her fine ear.
Whitewash by only_passenger
The writing is emotive and compelling, and the tone convincingly real. Despite the darkness and the nature of the coping mechanisms, some of which pushed the boundaries of canon beyond what we saw of Dawn on the show, the Dawn in this fic was a very real character, artfully created. Spike's voice was perfect. As a reader, I found myself sucked into the emotion of the fic, disbelief successfully suspended. This is why for me, this particular fic stands out among a field of very impressive entries.