Title: Just breathe
Author: Jessica M.C.
Rating: PG-13 (Just in case)
Show/Genre/Characters: Buffy the vampire slayer/ hurt comfort/Spike and Dawn
Warnings/Spoilers: set in the summer after the 5 season, so I guess anything before that?
Word count: 494
Summary: Dawn after "The Gift" Spike is being there for her

Please Review! It's my first fan fiction up! So don't be too hard, but constructive criticism is appreciated!

I don't own these amazing characters, I would love to but I only own the idea on the page.

Spike heard a whimper. It was Dawn again. It was almost every night he heard her. After the 'incident' Spike and Dawn spent the nights in the living room sleeping or, when they couldn't sleep, keeping each other company. Spike was in the chair, Dawn on the couch. She whimpered again.

Spike threw his blanket off and walked over to Dawn. She looked so small there. She was curled up around Mr. Gordo, a strand of hair across her cheek. Her breath hitched. She held her breath until her body took over and made her breathe. As she exhaled, she snuggled closer to Mr. Gordo.

Her smell wafted over to him. Her smell was close to Buffy's, but with something more powerful faintly lingering. Tears mixed with her scent tonight as they did so many other nights.

He picked her up as if she was an infant. Spike cuddled Dawn to his body. She put her head on his shoulder, instinctively, hiding from the reality she didn't ask for. She held her breath again.

"Nibblet?" He said softly. He put a hand on her head, she took another breath. Just breathing was hard now that Buffy died. "Bit?"

She woke up from the same nightmare she had the night before, and the night before that, and the night before that. Dawn's eyes opened. Spike saw the tears coming but was unable to stop them. Each tear cut his heart to shreds. He was the cause of those tears, that pain. He was guilty. Guilty of killing Buffy, of taking the only person Dawn had left, of being a failure once again. He couldn't take it any more. The only thing that kept him sane was Dawn. She was a breath of sweet air. He may not need her, but she needed him. Spike had no way of making it better, of easing Dawn's pain. He didn't know what she needed.

"Dawn?" Spike put his head on hers. She took a deep breath and sobbed. He rocked her as she cried. Dawn was in so much pain. She hiccuped as another flood of tears was released. Both of them were holding on for dear life, the pain almost breaking them both. But together, together they could handle everything. They could handle Dawn's father not calling, the Scoobies not willing to accept Spike, having Buffy's funeral in secret, and the little things that now were so hard to do it hurt.

Dawn cried for what seemed like forever. When she stopped sobbing, she took a deep breath, and held it.

"Breathe" He whispered. She let the breath out and took another one and another. For the moment she needed him to just breathe.