Willow and Giles would completely love the library in this place. It is so beyond huge. The black
bird, Matthew, was perched on a freaky bit of carving when we got there. He was hopping from foot
to foot with excitement.
"Boss! Boss! We’ve got it!" He blurted as soon as we were through the door. One eyebrow
went up on Dream’s face.
" He queried. I saw movement from the corner of my eye. I turned, prepared for
a threat, and saw another tall, thin pale guy walking towards us with a large book in his
hands. They gotta have somewhere that’s breeding these guys. This one had a shock of red
hair, a tailcoat, and glasses that remind me of Giles. Plus he looked all excited
and happy without changing his expression. He was all with the repressed. What is it with
librarians being all repressed anyway? As soon as he was close, he stopped walking and
"Milord, I have found this book in the Barely Dreamt Of section. I believe it may answer
some of your questions." He handed it over to Dream, who murmured his reply.
"Thank you Lucien.
" He began immediately to read. Very quickly. He raced through four
or five pages before stopping, and looking hard at me.
"You are a Slayer then?
" It wasn’t really a question. More of a statement.
"Yeah." I said with a half-attempted smile. I hefted the sword briefly. "I kill most
baddies on two legs, four, more or none."
"And you kill dreams.
" He snapped the book shut. "Walk with me." * * *
"‘Walk with me’ he says, again, but he doesn’t say it’s going to be for miles." I
muttered. My feet hurt - I’ve been following his back like forever. I’ve got a majorly
creeped-out feeling again. What if everything I’ve ever dreamt of is in here? What if
this Dream gives guided tours or something?
He interrupts my thinking to panic by stopping. We’re in a long room with a series of
strange pictures on one wall. I look at the one we’ve stopped next to. The one he’s now
"Hey! I know what that is - it’s an ankh!" He glances at me, then turns back to the
picture. Except it’s not a picture because he’s just reached into it and picked up the
"Sister, I stand in my gallery, holding your sigil and I call you.
"Hey! What’s up Dream?" A perky female voice comes back through the frame.
"I have need of your advice.
"I’m kinda busy right now Dream."
"I do not ask lightly, sister.
I stare with surprise as suddenly Dream is no longer holding an ankh but instead a pale,
female hand. A hand that is attached to a woman. A Goth-girl-woman. I guess she’s the
female equivalent of all these tall-pale-thin-with-wild-hair guys. She’s got the hair
anyway. Black natch. Pale skin, a thin-looking black chemi-top and tight black trousers
to die for. She smiles prettily at me and waves as she greets me.
"Hi! Good to see you again. Just let me have a word with my brother and I’ll be right
back." Her eyes are warm and wise, but her grip looks firm as she and Dream walk away from
me. I can’t hear what they’re saying, but I can still see them. He’s explaining
something, and shows her the book. He doesn’t do anything as obvious as point at me, but
then again he doesn’t need to. I wonder who his sister is. She’s saying something.
Actually, it looks a bit like a lecture. His expression is kinda frozen, but at the same
time his head is hanging like he’s down about something. She’s speaking again, looking a
bit impatient and his head hangs down further. Finally, her patience runs out and she
smacks him up the back of his head. Snatching the book out of his hand, she flounces back
towards me. Normally, I would never say ‘flounce’ it just wouldn’t cross my mind, but
that’s exactly what she’s doing. I guess Giles is rubbing off on me.
"Has my numbskull brother actually explained anything to you?" She looked cross, but I
somehow knew it wasn’t at me.
"Uh, yeah, I’m killing his dreams in my sleep because I’m reliving my memories. Or
something like that."
"Yeah, well, it’s his fault so don’t worry about it." I noticed her brother creeping up
behind her as she spoke. "Look, for an anthropomorphic personification he does a very
good job of being human at times." I couldn’t stop the snigger at the look on his face
when he heard that comment. She swung round and saw it too. "Yeah you do Dream, don’t
try and pretend you don’t." She faced back to me. "Look. The way it works is this.
Because of the whole prophecy-dreams and troubled-life stuff you got going on, he’s
supposed to make adjustments. But for some reason, he didn’t know you were a Slayer or
that you’d died. That makes a difference too." She looks at me expectantly.
"Huh?" I manage. "Who are you? What’s going on here?" I’m starting to get angry now.
"Think back. I know you’ll remember me. We had a bit of a chat, just after the Master
drowned you. And then we had another chat, just after your dive into Glory’s
I rack my brains. She does look familiar. Kinda. In a weird vision-y way. Then it hits
"Yeah. That’s me." She’s cheerful about it, but in a way that suddenly makes me think of
"OK. Now I’m totally freaked. This is the weirdest dream I’ve had in a while."
"I can see you’re a bit confused about this so let me see if I can de-confuse you. You’re
a Slayer. You’re good at killing things. You also have prophetic dreams that come true,
or are true, depending on your point of view. So when you’re mixing your memories in with
your dreams - nothing unusual there by the way, everyone does it - when you’re mixing
them, you have the ability to kill in your dreams. Unless my brother twigs that you’re a
Slayer and makes allowances. To be fair, he’s been out of action recently. But he’s
still an idiot."
"Does this mean that now he knows, I won’t have those dreams again?" She gestures for her
brother to answer.
"Dreams often help humans organise the day’s events in their minds. Memories are often
mixed in. A party one went to becomes the basis for a dream of celebration and so on.
Now I know, I can stop you from killing my dreams when you sleep. I cannot stop you
remembering in your sleep though.
" He stopped speaking and Death slapped him on the arm,
obviously prompting him to say something. "But you will dream easier. You have my word.
She looked more satisfied at that.
"Hey Dream, I can’t hang about. Busy, y’know." She looks at me again. "And as I know he
won’t think to tell you, perhaps you’d like to know what your Watcher dreams of for you.
Then I’ll take you home." She hands me the book, and watches me as I stare at the title. The Longest Lived Slayer: Her Family and Friends by Rupert Giles.
My throat closes, and
my eyes tear up. Giles’ dreams for me...
Death takes the book from my hands, and passes it back to her brother. Then she takes my
"Don’t be a stranger now Dream!" She gives him a big smile, and steps into the frame that
held her sigil, drawing me in after her.* * *
... He smiles in pride as she skates across the ice towards him with the spectators a
pplauding loudly, clutching her trophy tightly in her child’s hand...
... He holds her tight, close to him and she feels safe and loved like never before...
... His relief is unexpressed in words, but shown with every gesture, glance and pause
as she returns alive once more. Still not dead, and she knows it is due to his working
far beyond duty to help her...
... She smiles and opens her arms to her. She runs in close for a hug and hears the
whispered words "I’m proud of you sweetie. You work so hard and so few know it. But I
do and I love you for succeeding and for being you"...
... He smiles in pride as she skates across the ice towards him with the spectators
applauding loudly, clutching her trophy tightly in her child’s hand. And yet she could
swear that she hears in the applause the beating of a mighty pair of wings.FIN