Author: Daenerys_Winter <MWALTHEW[at]>

Summary: Support system in the Summer's dwelling

Rating: PG (I think)

Disclaimer: I own the clothes on my back, and the computer I'm typing on. Anything else belongs to someone else

Thanks: c0052254 for giving me the fic idea.

Dawn Summers slowly approached her sister, who was sitting at the kitchen table, her forehead pressed against the top, looking as exhausted and scared that only she was ever allowed to see, and then only by accident. The very fact that she had been able to get this close without Buffy turning into her 'General Hardass' persona showed how tired the blonde slayer actually was.


While it was said in a whisper, Buffy's head shot up, seeming to harden, a recrimination coming to her lips, until she saw that the speaker was her sister, and not one of the many slayers-in-training that had invaded the household.

"Dawn." Her voice was almost flat, heartbreaking to one who had known the once exuberent always cheerful girl from the past. "You shouldn't be up."

"I couldn't sleep." Dawn sat next to her sister, looking at the objects on the table. An old photograph of her mother, the broken 'class protector' award from highschool and the chest, made by Xander after the incident with ADAM. She could see glimpses of other items inside, mementoes from past battles, reminders of lost loved ones, reminders of present ones just in case of further death.

"Neither could I."

They sat in silence for a while, neither breaking it or fidgeting. Finally, Buffy placed the items she'd taken out of the box, and returned them. She got up, and got some milk from the fridge, pouring out two glasses, and giving one to Dawn. She threw the empty box away, frowning as she realised it was the last of their supply.

"Why couldn't you sleep?" The question made Dawn look up at her sister. She smiled slightly.

"I'm worried about someone."


Dawn nodded. "Yeah, it's like they've given up. Lost all hope. It's not a good thing, especially now. I mean, it's like nothing matters anymore. It could affect any battle we may have."

Buffy nodded. "It happens sometimes Dawnie." She smiled slightly at the grimace that flitted across Dawn's face at the baby name. "It happens to all of us. Especially around something that looks as hopeless as this situation. We get over it?"


Buffy sat down again, next to her sister. "Someone gives them hope. Encouragement. Sometimes, it's just knowing that others will be safe. They need to know that there's something worth fighting for. Or someone. Problem is, only someone who knows them well can do anything. Otherwise you can do so much damage."

They sat for several more moments, sipping at the milk, until Dawn finally finished hers, and washed out her glass. She headed back towards the stairs, moving slowly.

"Dawn." She turned again to look at her sister.

"Tell whoever it is to talk to Xander. He's almost perfect at it. If anyone can get them to hope again it's him."

A flash of bemusement crossed Dawn's face. "Buffy."

The slayer turned from where she was putting away the small memory chest. "Yes."

"The person who needs help."


"It *is* Xander. Who's going to help him?"

Dawn continued up the stairs, and into her room, leaving Buffy staring after her, frozen in place.

The end. No sequels planned. yet.