Ch. 59 What Dreams May Come
A/N: Involves S4 closer episode “Restless”
Dislaimer: **denotes dialogue taken from “The Shining” based on the novel by Stephen King. I do not own.
Buffy heaved a deep moan, cracking the blissful silence as her sweat laden body writhed with pleasure. She clutched her arms tighter around Dean and gazed lovingly up at him as she absorbed the intense glow in his eyes. After soaring over a mountain of ecstasy, Buffy shined a goofy, contented smile as Dean lowered his weight on top of her and cooled off her blazing skin with his ragged breaths blasting against the crook of her neck. As he rolled onto his back, Buffy curled up against him and crooked her eyebrows.
“I am so wired,” she imparted.
Dean brushed the back of his hand across his face, wiping the thick coat of sweat away. He drew his own incredulous look.
“I know, I feel like I could run a marathon or kill a boatload of demons or start round - what is it, I kind of lost count...that’s got to be a record....”
Buffy met his eyes and noticed the hunger flaring deep within along with the sexy smile. She blushed as her eyes shifted to the clock beside the bed.
“The gang’s going to be at my mom’s soon,” she stated. “We should go.”
Buffy snuggled closer to Dean, draping an arm across his waist and resting her chin on his chest. He raked a hand through her hair for a time before he shaded with a remorseful look.
“Yeah, you should get going,” he lamented.
Buffy hitched her head up and questioned Dean with her eyes.
“You’re not going to hang out with us?”
“I thought the whole point of the night was to spend some quality time with your old crew.”
“Yeah, but you’re part of that crew,” she clarified.
Buffy studied Dean for a minute before she drew a pout.
“You have to go, don’t you?”
“Don’t I always?”
Buffy shined her disappointment as she heaved a sigh.
“I guess I got used to you being around longer than usual,” she moaned.
Buffy moped deeply at Dean as she stroked his jaw with her finger.
“When do you have to leave?”
“Tomorrow morning at the latest,” he answered.
Buffy squeezed him tightly and flashed a hopeful expression.
“Well, I’d really like you to hang out with me and the guys,” she said. “You’ve done a lot for us, I hope you know that.”
Dean soaked in the sight of her affectionate smile and let out a long breath.
“You know me, I can haul ass,” he said.
Buffy lit up with enthusiasm as she planted an appreciative kiss on his mouth. After a long minute, Dean smacked her playfully on the butt and broke away.
“Come on, we need to stop off and get an assortment of sugar coma inducing treats,” he said.
A short time later, Buffy and Dean drifted through the door each carrying a paper bag of treats. Willow and Giles were in the dining room setting out an assortment of drinks while Xander and Joyce were in the kitchen. Joyce looked up when she heard footsteps and drew a warm smile when she saw Buffy and Dean.
“Do I know you two? You look kind of familiar but it’s been awhile,” Joyce teased.
Joyce embraced Buffy before she turned to Dean and looked him over. She gave him a maternal smile as she straightened out the collar of his jacket.
“Didn’t I say that you two would end up dating?”
Joyce chuckled as Dean drew a humbled smile. Xander stared at the microwave with immense apprehension. Dean drew a curious look as he wandered over to Xander.
“Be careful there Xander, you might pop a vein,” he joked.
Xander jumped when the microwave chimed. He smiled with pride when there was no sparks or smoke emitting from the microwave.
Joyce and Buffy put out all the snacks on a couple of trays and carried them out to the living room. Xander followed behind with a big bowl of popcorn.
“The main course is ready!” he said gleefully. “Came up with it myself!”
Willow eyed the popcorn and shined her amusement.
“Oh, found the popcorn setting on the microwave huh?”
Xander’s gleeful smile shifted into a sheepish look.
“Um, no, I realized there was one after I hit defrost and nothing popped. Luckily Joyce came to my rescue and saved dinner!”
Xander threw some pillows on the floor by the television as Giles took a seat in the
armchair. Willow sat one end of the couch, burrowing under a blanket while Dean settled
on the other side. Buffy folded down beside him and snuggled into the crook of his arm. Joyce set another tray down on the coffee table and moved toward the stairs.
“Movie mania here we come!” Xander roared.
“Have a good night everyone,” Joyce said with a smile.
Giles glanced at Joyce with a friendly expression.
“Won’t you stay?” he asked.
Joyce shook her head.
“I’m exhausted,” she said. “I’m surprised all of you aren’t. Have any of you slept at all?”
Giles shook his head.
“I’m afraid I’ve been a bit restless.”
Willow nodded as she downed a can of soda.
“That spell we did was really strong,” she lamented. “It’s made my mind spin for hours.”
“Yeah, I’ve just been a constant ball of energy,” Buffy remarked.
“I’ll say,” Dean cracked with a sly smile.
Joyce eyed Dean curiously. He shifted awkwardly under her stare and cleared his throat.
“She’s been chatting like crazy,” he lied.
“Well, try not to stay up too late,” Joyce replied as she went up the stairs.
Xander rubbed his hands together as he dove into a large stack of movies.
“Okay, so what’s the opening feature you guys? I vote for ‘Apocalypse Now’ to whet the appetite. Do I have a ‘yay’?”
Buffy and Willow frowned with disapproval as Dean glanced through the titles.
“Got anything not involving the word Apocalypse?” Willow moaned.
Xander scoffed. “Hey, Apocalypse Now happens to be an uplifting movie.”
Dean fished out a particular movie from the stack. He chuckled as he looked over the jacket.
“Oh, I’ve seen this one, it’s awesome,” he lauded.
Dean glanced at Xander with a silly smile.
“It opens with this fantastic shot of these gigantic.....”
Xander gulped as Dean felt the weight of a sharp glare. He glanced at Buffy as she narrowed her eyes on him.
“Uh, bunnies.....freaky, fangy bunnies,” he covered.
Dean tossed the movie back in the stack as Buffy shifted her glare on Xander.
“Next,” she said.
Xander moped and sighed. “I got enough flicks involving gabby chicks and stuffy British aristocrats to last all night.”
A few minutes later, the house went quiet as the movie played on the television. Another minute later, the gang went quiet after dozing off before the opening credits even finished.
Willow moved down the hallway, looking deeply perplexed as she passed by Oz and Xander. Oz pushed off the wall and ambled up next to her, Xander lagging a little behind.
“What’s up Will?”
Willow broke from her thoughts as she met Oz’s glance.
“Oh, hey,” she said.
“Headed to Drama huh?”
“Oh, good luck, it’s not a breezer course you know,” Oz remarked.
“You’ve taken Drama before?”
Oz shrugged. “For ages.”
Oz and Xander perched by Willow as she stopped by her locker.
“So Will, what’s new?” Xander asked. “Been performing any new spells?”
Xander bounced with anticipation as he glanced at Oz.
“She and Tara do special tricks with their spells,” he said.
Oz nodded as a bell blared through the hallway. Willow jumped anxiously as she shut her locker.
“Oh, I’m so late now,” she moaned.
Willow shuffled down the hallway as Xander and Oz watched her.
“You know uh, when I think about two girls doing ‘tricks’ together.....I have to go off and put on a performance.....on my own.....”
Willow shined her confusion as she ambled backstage and witnessed an abundance of organized chaos. It seemed like the entire student body was participating in the drama course as the backstage was cluttered with various costumed bodies. Willow noticed a girl dressed as a twenties flapper with her head through the main curtains, peeking out at the audience.
Willow shifted her eyes to several different scenery backdrops as her confusion thickened the more she looked around. She stumbled slightly when Harmony emerged through a crowd and bear hugged her with genuine enthusiasm. Willow stared at Harmony in wonder as she eyed her milkmaid costume.
“Oh Willow! Aren’t you just dying with excitement! This is our first major show! I can’t believe it!”
Harmony clutched Willow some more as she bounced in her stance.
“It’s going to be SO amazing! I’m so glad we’re in this together. Just don’t trip on my cues or I’ll kill you.”
Harmony shifted her gleeful smile into a glare. Willow widened her eyes in apprehension.
Willow trembled in dread as the flapper girl pulled her head from the curtain. Willow blinked in wonder as Buffy, wearing a short black bob style wig and full makeup traipsed over.
Buffy bounced excitedly in her stance.
“You will not believe the turnout tonight!” she roared. “It’s like the whole town is here!”
Buffy glanced at Willow with wide eyes.
“I saw your family too Will. They don’t look too happy.”
Willow gulped as her nerves twisted into knots.
“What show is this?”
Harmony gave a sweet smile. “Aw, someone’s a little nervous.”
“Hhhoowww can there be a big production, I thought this was the first drama class? I – I don’t understand!”
Willow backed away a few steps as Dean pushed through a crowd dressed as a rugged cowboy in a pair of worn jeans, his brown leather jacket, a dusty fedora and a badge clipped to a holster strung around his waist. He sauntered over with a brooding look as he twirled a pistol in his hand. He glared at the three suspiciously.
“Is there a problem here?” he asked gruffly.
Buffy widened her eyes. “Woah, cool costume!”
Dean shifted briefly out of his brooding expression and flashed a silly smile.
“Screw the costume shops, I put this together myself! I better be getting extra credit for the effort.”
Dean scratched his scruffy chin as he became lost in thought. Willow shrouded with even more confusion as she stared at him.
“Huh? You’re in Drama? But....you don’t even go here!”
Dean flashed a scolding look to Willow as he spun the chamber of his pistol.
“Someone sounds a little jealous that she didn’t get such a sweet role like the Sheriff,” he said. “Maybe if you showed up earlier you would have gotten something better.”
Willow scratched her head as Dean slipped the pistol back in the holster. He pointed a finger at her and flashed a stern look.
“Don’t step on my lines Rosenberg, there’s a Hollywood bigwig out there and this is my chance to shine.”
Dean dipped the fedora down to just above his eye line as he settled back into his intimidating glare. He ambled away with an authoritative posture, keeping in his character.
“I like your costume too,” Buffy added. “Very clever. There is no way anyone will guess about you.”
Willow whipped her eyes around everyone and gulped down more confusion.
Buffy gasped and moped. “You’re channeling your character too! Ah! I should be too!”
“How is it even possible to be putting a show on during the FIRST drama class?” Willow asked as she felt faint.
Giles suddenly rushed backstage and clapped his hands several times to draw attention.
“Gather round! Gather round please!”
All the excited chatter backstage soon died down as crowds of students circled Giles.
“It’s almost time for our big debut!” Giles said emphatically. “We must be perfect tonight so please rehearse your lines quietly to yourselves and keep the energy high and remember to be enthusiastic!”
Willow gulped as Giles continued his positive pep talk. She blinked when a strange figure at the edge of the crowd, lurking in the shadows. She glanced at Buffy who was too engrossed in Giles’ speech to notice her.
“.....so let’s stay focused and give everyone in this town something to talk about for years! I am certain my version of “Death of a Salesman” has never been seen before!”
Giles skittered off as the crowd started up their chatter again. Willow stumbled through the students, completely unnerved by the weird activity. As she drifted toward the edge of the stage, the muffled sounds dissipated. She drew cautious eyes around her, mindful of the strange figure she had seen in the shadows. When she paused near the wings of the stage, she blinked with curiosity at a balding man in a wool suit wearing wire rimmed glasses. He flashed a freaky smile in greeting.
“I was able to secure some room for my cheese,” he said.
Willow stared at the man in wonder before her eyes drifted down to see a small slab of wood in front of him, displaying a row of American cheese slices. The man rapped his fingers together and waited expectantly for a smile of approval.
Willow frowned as she staggered back, moving toward the other side of the red curtain.
After what seemed like an endless moment, she found herself enclosed in curtains. Tara poked her head out and revealed herself. Willow sighed in relief at seeing her.
“This is not what you expected,” Tara remarked flatly.
“I’ll say,” Willow moaned. “Someone forgot to put the ‘class’ part in drama class and instead it’s a big production in front of everyone in town including my family and why in the world is there a Sheriff in Death of a Salesman? Or a flapper girl for that matter?”
“It does not make sense to you,” Tara stated in monotone.
“No, it doesn’t,” Willow groaned. “Everything is just wrong and I....I saw something in the shadows. Am....am I in danger?”
Tara nodded. Willow widened her eyes in fear.
“Okay, so, what now? I have no idea what part I’m playing in this freaky production nor do I know what my lines are and the play is about to start.”
Tara shook her head, her eyes expressionless.
“It’s already going on.”
Tara pulled back the curtain to show Willow the play already in progress. Willow flashed a perplexed look as she watched Buffy and Harmony on stage being approached by Dean the Sheriff. He stared at Harmony holding milk buckets hanging from both ends of a long stick.
“You got a permit for those pails lady?”
Harmony exaggerated an expression of wonder.
“I was not aware it was a crime to feed my poor children’s mouths with milk, officer.”
“It’s Sheriff to you and the rest of you in this town. And I’m making some new rules.”
“Sheriff? But we have no crime, not even a post office to mail letters to our poor friends.”
“Well, you have a crime now, on the edge of town but still in my territory. And it’s more than just a crime, it’s a death, a death of a man, the death......”
Dean held his head high and let the tense silence linger for dramatic value.
“Of a salesman,” he finished.
Willow pulled her head back through the curtains and glanced at Tara.
“I cannot stop the consequences should you get caught,” Tara said cryptically.
“What is in the shadows?” Willow asked.
Willow whipped around when she heard a buzzing noise behind her. When she didn’t see anything she turned to face Tara but saw that she was gone. Willow frowned as she began following the buzzing noise through the envelope of curtains. As she crept through, she jumped in surprise when a blood crusted blade shot out from a curtain and aimed for her face.
Willow stumbled back and screamed as the curved blade tore through the curtain. She scrambled away in a frantic rush as a muddy hand reached for her, followed by a second dirty arm. On the other side of a curtain, another hand reached through and yanked her inside.
Willow opened her mouth to scream until she saw Buffy, black bob gone and wearing a typical outfit.
“Huh?” Willow said in wonder.
Buffy held out a hand and helped Willow to her feet.
“Did you get a good look at the thing?”
Willow shook her head as Buffy led her through a curtain and into an open, empty classroom.
“Keep close behind,” Buffy advised with her game face.
Willow nodded and stumbled through the aisles of desks, still reeling with wonder at the odd change in environment.
“I just know it’s hunting me.”
“What’d you do?” Buffy asked sharply.
“Nothing, it’s nothing that I did. I showed up for class and it turned out to be a play and....”
Willow stopped behind Buffy as she reached the front of the class.
“That was hours ago,” Buffy imparted. “You know you were supposed to return your costume to the art department.”
“Uh, I’m not quite understanding what the deal is about my ‘costume’.”
Buffy waved a hand dismissively.
“This is all wrong,” she said. “You don’t need to cover it up anymore. It’s okay. I’ll help you get this thing off.”
Buffy started ripping at Willow’s shirt. Willow backed away in fear.
“I don’t need help and I don’t want to take it off.”
“Oh come on Will, just free yourself.”
Buffy tugged on Willow’s shirt, ripping it clean away. She smiled as she looked Willow over.
“See, don’t you feel more like yourself now?”
Willow stepped back as she saw herself wearing an old grey, shapeless outfit complete with stockings. She cowered with embarrassment when she noticed the classroom was no longer empty but filled with familiar faces, all watching her. As whispers erupted through the classroom, she felt something wet hit her cheek. Her eyes followed the uproar of chuckles in the back of the room where Dean and Xander were huddled in conspiratorial conversation. Xander was holding a straw in his hand, wadding up a small piece of paper that he stuck in his mouth.
“Dude, I’ll give you another five if you can hit her square in the nose,” Dean taunted.
“That big Jewish nose? No problem.”
Xander yanked out the wet wad of paper and plucked it in his straw shooter. Willow gulped and shifted awkwardly in her stance as she gripped a sheet of paper.
“Uh, how I spent my summer, reading, um.....Of Mice and....”
Willow winced when she felt another wet wad smack her in the nose. Xander whistled victoriously as Dean folded over laughing hysterically. Suddenly, the strange figure Willow had seen in the shadows crashed through the window and wrestled her to the ground. She screamed as the wild looking woman with muddied dreadlocks began clawing at her.
Willow screamed again as everyone in the classroom ignored her, chatting among themselves like nothing was going on. As an animalistic howl cut the air, Willow gasped when she felt the muddied hands clasping around her throat, choking her to death.
Willow flopped fervently on the couch as she gasped desperately for air, trapped in her
Xander jerked awake and looked disoriented as he sat up.
“What’d I miss?”
He turned to see Buffy and Dean sharing a bowl of popcorn. Buffy displayed a vacuous look as she watched the movie on TV, while Giles seemed engrossed in the action scene.
“Couldn’t tell ya,” Buffy said. “I kind of zoned out on the last bit of mindless bloodshed.”
“Are you kidding? That was awesome,” Dean objected.
Buffy rolled her eyes. “Well, you are of the sick minded.”
Dean shrugged, not showing any offense as he stuffed a big handful of popcorn in his mouth. Xander swung around to watch as Dean leaned over and popped the tab on a beer can. Giles shifted in the arm chair and frowned.
“I have to agree with Buffy, all this violence is quite numbing,” Giles said peevishly.
Xander waved a hand.
“You haven’t gotten to the best part. Trust me you’ll love it.”
Buffy leaned toward Xander and held out a carton.
“Jelly doughnut?” Buffy offered.
Xander widened his eyes in delight.
Buffy shook her head. “Broccoli.”
As he reached for a doughnut, he spied a glance at Willow behind Buffy.
“What’s with Miss Floppy?”
“Drama queen bit,” she said.
Buffy shifted her eyes to Dean who was working on a new six pack.
“How many have you had?”
“I don’t know, when it rains it pours,” he answered.
“Geez, now I have to pee.”
Xander stumbled upstairs and took pause when he saw Joyce leaning in the doorway of her bedroom, wearing a sexy red nightgown. Joyce propped a leg against the doorway and flashed Xander a seductive look.
“Xander, you’ve grown up into such a fine, handsome man,” she said in a raspy tone. “Did I mention handsome?”
Xander gulped as Joyce brushed a finger across her neckline.
“I’ve got such an itch, would you be so kind as to scratch it for me?”
Xander gulped as he backed away.
“Uh, I’ve got to....take care of something first.”
Xander slowly turned around and headed toward the bathroom.
“I’ll be waiting,” she said.
Xander pushed through the door to the bathroom and stood over the toilet. After a minute, he heard whispers behind him. He whipped his sights around to see several Initiative soldiers and scientists watching him.
“Uh.....I’m going to finish this up somewhere else,” he said as he zipped his pants up.
Xander ambled out the door and blinked in surprise when he found himself alone in his basement.
He shot his eyes to the door when he heard an eerie scratching sound at the door. He cautiously crept toward the foot of the stairs looking up at the door. His eyes widened with dread when the door began shaking rigorously as if something was trying to get in.
“That’s not good,” he moaned.
As something clawed at the door incessantly, Xander gulped when as more dread flooded through his system.
“That’s really not good.”
He staggered toward the door he came through and bolted out of the basement.
“Oh-kayyyyy,” he said in confusion as sunlight beamed over his body.
He stumbled onto a playground and looked around in wonder. He spotted Buffy and Dean sitting in a sandbox while Giles and Spike were settled at a picnic table, enjoying tea and biscuits. Giles picked up his tea cup and advised Spike, who was wearing an almost identical tweed suit.
“You must extend the pinkie finger at a precise angle, like this,” Giles said as he demonstrated.
Spike looked up at Xander and smiled with pride. “Giles is teaching me how to be a proper Englishman.”
Xander widened his eyes as he shuffled toward the sandbox. He observed Dean animatedly pushing a Tonka truck through the sand. In the bed of the truck were two My Little Ponies duct taped together as if they had been kidnapped. Dean chuckled as he crashed the Tonka truck into a hole in the sand and made a gagging sound to show the ponies dying. He roared with deep amusement as he started burying the dead ponies in the hole.
Buffy scowled as she protectively snatched the ponies away from Dean and clutched them.
“Leave my ponies alone Dean,” she scolded.
Dean exaggerated an annoyed look and raised his voice to a high pitched childish tone.
“Meh meh meh meh meh,” he mocked.
Buffy glared at Dean and growled in her throat.
“Uh hey, I’ve been looking for you,” Xander said.
Buffy drew her irked eyes away from Dean and glanced at Xander.
“Were you? Or was it someone else?”
Buffy flashed a teasing smile to Giles, who reciprocated. Xander scratched his head in wonder as Dean took out a He-Man figure from his pocket. He glanced up at Xander with a conspiratorial look as he removed another Pony from his pocket and made He-Man drown it in a muddy pool in the sand. He snickered very softly in his throat as his eyes sparked with glee.
“Um, you think it’s wise to be in there Buffy? I mean, you never know what might be in there,” Xander said glumly.
Xander blinked when the sandbox exploded into a large area of vast desert.
“Oh, I’ll be fine, it’s not on my trail right now,” she said with a smile.
“But sometimes there are things you can’t keep yourself out of harm’s way from.”
Buffy widened her smile and raised her head high in confidence.
“I know, but it’ll be okay,” she said mysteriously.
After a long moment of holding her confidence, Xander noticed a deep sadness in her eyes before she jerked her sights to Dean, who was still enjoying drowning the Pony. She yanked the Pony away as he stuck his tongue out at her and pulled on her hair.
Xander watched the four for a time before he swung around to find himself at the foot of the basement stairs again. He widened his eyes when something huge was slamming against the door, trying to break it down to get inside. Xander backed away in apprehension and bumped right into the strange man in the wool suit.
The man held up a tray of American cheese and flashed a scolding look.
“You cannot hide behind the cheese,” he said.
As the door splintered with a large crack, Xander pushed passed the strange cheese promoting man and headed back to the door. When he came through, he blinked at the black night sky above him as he tripped on something.
After he steadied his balance, he looked down to see several headstones on the ground. He trekked through a low hanging fog, hearing a noise in the distance. He paused when he caught sight of dirt being pitched into the air.
Xander shuffled over to an open grave and perched beside it. He looked down with cautious eyes and noticed Dean frantically digging into the dirt.
“Who is that for?” Xander asked shakily.
Dean continued widening the hole without acknowledging Xander. Xander observed him for several minutes until Dean suddenly stopped digging and assessed the size of the gaping space around him. He displayed a heavy frown of resentment as he climbed out of the hole. He shifted his glare at Xander as he hitched the shovel against his shoulder.
“Leave the dead in peace,” he grunted as he brushed passed Xander.
Xander stared down into the open grave for a minute before he took chase after Dean.
“Hey Dean, there’s something after me, I don’t know what or why.”
Dean stopped abruptly in his tracks and swung around, throwing a contemptuous glare at Xander.
“I can’t do everything,” he barked. “Figure it out.”
“Bbbut, I need help.”
Dean heaved a deep sigh and shook his head.
“Isn’t it obvious why it’s after you?”
Xander displayed his genuine cluelessness.
“You play with fire, your ass is gonna burn,” Dean snapped.
Xander frowned with bewilderment.
“What? I haven’t been playing with matches....”
Dean let out a sigh of exasperation as he slammed the shovel into the ground.
“Am I speaking Latin to you?! The reason why you’re being hunted is because of......”
Xander blinked with astonishment when Dean finished his sentence in actual Latin.
“Um, you’re speaking Latin now I think,” he mumbled.
Dean flared a look of frustration as he picked up the shovel and turned toward the fog. He rattled off again in Latin before he shook his head when he noticed Xander staring at him in confusion. Xander snapped his eyes behind him when he heard a low snarling sound. The wild woman with muddy hair lunged at Xander and began scratching at his eyes. Xander tried desperately to fight off the beast lady’s attack as he looked up at Dean.
Dean threw Xander a frown of disapproval.
“Leave – the – DEAD – in peace!” he barked as he retreated into the fog.
Xander yelped and struggled with the wild woman as she plucked a long fingernail into his cheekbone. He howled in agony as the beast woman jammed her nail into his eye, puncturing it clear through.
Xander gasped and flailed his hands, swatting at his eyes as his body writhed against the floor of the living room.....
Dean widened his eyes in glee when he inhaled the familiar aroma of bacon cheeseburgers wafting in the air. He shifted against the headboard as he waited in a bedroom with several different doors. A big tray of burgers sat on the bedside table along with a bucket of ice cold beer. He snatched up a burger and fervently dug into it. He moaned with complete pleasure as he stuffed the rest of the burger in his mouth and washed it down with beer.
On the television set, a scene from “Dawn of the Dead” played. He watched for a time until he heard one of the doors open. He shifted his eyes from the screen to a pair of bare legs, drifting up to see Buffy in a slinky red bikini, a short doctor’s lab coat and strappy high heels. She wore some brown rimmed glasses that matched her long, dark brown hair.
Dean widened his eyes again as he drew a silly smile.
“Wow, you look damn good as a brunette,” he cheered.
“Do you want something for the pain?” Brunette Buffy asked as she looked at him with immense sympathy.
Dean felt his body warming up with excitement as Buffy ambled over and curled up beside him in a comforting manner.
“Ohhhhhhh, yeah! I’m going to need a LOT of tender lovin’ care,” he teased.
His raked his eyes over her several times when he heard another door open. He reluctantly drew his eyes away and took notice of another Buffy standing in the doorway. This one had long black curly hair flowing down to her back and she was wearing a navy blue bikini top underneath an unbuttoned police officer’s uniform. She tapped a baton in her hand as she strutted over in her short shorts and thigh high boots. Steel blue sunglasses covered her eyes as she shot an intimidating glare.
Dean broke into a wider goofy smile as he ogled this Buffy.
“OH, Naughty Cop, are you here to arrest me?” he moaned gleefully. “Cuz I might just resist and you’ll have to get a little rough.”
As Officer Buffy climbed onto the bed, she gripped him by the collar and pulled him close.
“Something unexpected is coming Dean,” she growled. “So you better be prepared.”
Dean moaned very deeply in his throat as he widened his eyes in excitement.
“Oh, I’m prepared Officer Hottie, I am always prepared,” he exalted, deepening his silly smile.
Officer Buffy settled on his other side as a third door opened. Dean gasped with anticipation as Buffy number three appeared in the doorway, wearing a skimpy military outfit. She had a machine gun slung over her shoulders and her red hair was pulled back in a long ponytail. Her expression was hard, all business as she cocked her gun.
“We’ll be ready when dawn comes,” she said confidently.
Dean chuckled with mad glee as he ogled this version.
“I didn’t order a redhead but hell, come on over Sergeant Sexy and join the party!”
Sergeant Buffy took a seat by his feet and watched the perimeter of the bedroom like a dutiful soldier. Dean shifted his eyes over the heavenly bodies in his bed and cheered fervently. When another door opened, he nearly had a heart attack as another Buffy, the original one, swept inside in a white bikini gripping a stake. Dean whistled sharply as his eyes rapidly soaked in every inch of her.
“Hell yeah! What’s a party without Original Recipe?! Dive in darling!”
Dean glanced at Nurse Buffy.
“Hand me some of those burgers babe, I need to stay fueled!”
As the room suddenly darkened with intimate lighting, Dean exuberantly looked over his Buffy versions and pointed at each one with a goofy grin.
“Mmm, breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert!”
His rampant chuckling was abruptly cut off by an incessant banging on a door. He narrowed his eyes as the door began shaking on its hinges. He glanced at Original Recipe Buffy and smiled.
“Who’s behind that door? Wild Woman? Jungle Girl?”
Dean snapped his eyes big.
“Oh. Oh god, is Drunk Cave Girl here?!”
Dean fell back against the bed as his head spun with wild happiness. He laughed himself into stitches as the door continued to shake.
“Someone let her in!” he roared as he pulled Nurse Buffy on top of him.
Original Recipe Buffy furrowed her brows with concern.
“That’s someone who doesn’t belong.”
Dean sat up and whipped his eyes over his girls.
“What? Well, can’t you all just get along? Actually, it’s okay if you chicks want to fight.....in fact, I INSIST you do!”
Dean cut his excitable chatter short when he heard an eerie growling behind the door following by a series of scratches. As his stomach flooded with an unsettling feeling, he frowned with annoyance.
“Is this the something unexpected?” he asked.
When no one answered, he swung around to see all the Buffy versions had disappeared from the bedroom.
“Aw man,” he groaned in disappointment.
As the door splintered, Dean shot to his feet and reached for his jacket, fishing out his gun. He slowly edged toward the shaking door when the noises suddenly stopped. He yanked the door open and saw....nothing.
Dean moved down a hallway that seemed faintly familiar. He heard a soft humming that he followed until he entered a kitchen and saw the back of a blonde woman. The woman swung around and shined a maternal smile at him.
Dean froze with shock as he stared at a face he had long missed.
Mary Winchester widened her maternal smile as she walked over with a plate of warm waffles heaping with berries and whip cream. Dean quickly hid his gun in his jacket as Mary brushed a loving hand over his cheek before turning to the table to set the plate down.
“Morning sweetie,” she said. “Come and eat your breakfast.”
Dean let out a gasp of joy as his heart flooded with warmth. He watched his mother piling waffles on another plate as he was paralyzed by the sight of her again.
“Dean honey, will you be a dear and wake your sister up, she’s going to be late for school.”
Dean soaked in the sight of his mom for a minute before her request snapped him out of his daze.
“Sure......wait, what? Sister? I don’t have a sis....”
Dean blinked with recognition as he chuckled to himself.
“Oh, you mean Sammy, yeah, sure, I’ll get him.”
Dean chuckled again as he wandered out of the kitchen and ran up the stairs.
“Time to get up Sammy,” he hollered in the hall. “Mom made waffles!”
Dean bounced in his step as he reached Sammy’s room. His contented smile quickly shifted into an acrimonious frown when he saw Faith standing in the room with a spooky expression on her face. He tensed with suspicion as he fished out his pistol and leveled it on her.
“You don’t belong here,” he growled.
“I know,” Faith answered in a ghostly tone.
“Get out of here you bitch before I.....”
“That’s not my name,” she interjected sharply. “I do not have a name.”
Dean deepened his frown.
“Oh? Is that so? Well, I’m naming you Queen Bitch.”
Dean whipped around in alarm when he heard that same eerie growl echoing in the air behind him. He glanced back at Faith and saw that she was gone.
“Okay, this is getting strange.”
Dean ambled into the hallway as the growling sound dissipated. He took pause when he saw two little kids, a boy and a girl, in matching powder blue outfits standing shoulder to shoulder at the end of the hall. He studied the kids as he slowly edged closer toward them. The little boy had tawny brown hair and wore a suit as the little blonde girl had on a Sunday dress with white stockings and a ribbon in her hair.
**“Come and play with us Dean,” little Sammy said in a creepy tone.
Dean glanced at little Buffy.
“Come and play with me Dean, for-ever and ever,” she said as she drew a sinister smile.**
Dean widened his eyes in recognition.
“Oh Jesus, the Grady twins,” he groaned. “I’m in the damn ‘Shining’. I really don’t like where this is going.”
Little Buffy stared up at him with a haunting expression.
“Death is coming,” she chimed.
Little Sammy nodded with sad eyes.
“It surrounds you,” he added.
Sammy and Buffy pointed behind him. Dean heaved a breath in apprehension as immense dread gripped his system.
“There’s a dead body behind me, isn’t there?”
Sammy and Buffy didn’t answer, simply continuing to point behind him. Dean shook his head as he slowly twisted around to see a thick river of blood snaking down the hall. His eyes drifted up to see Buffy frantically wiping her bloodied hand on a door.
“Oh god,” Dean said grimly. “Is Nicholson around? Hey kids, did you see a dude with an axe....”
He glanced back at the kids but they had vanished. He heaved a breath of disbelief as he swung back around and approached Buffy. She scooted over to the next door smeared her hand over the wood. She wasn’t harmed and the blood seemed to be contained within her hands.
“What are you doing?” he asked as he stared at her in wonder.
Buffy shifted her eyes up at him, her face heavy with panic. Dean felt his throat tighten in dread when he saw the deep sadness in her eyes.
“Keeping everyone safe,” she said mysteriously.
Dean crouched down beside her and took her bloodied hand in his.
“Safe from what?”
Buffy shrouded with a pained look as she drew her hand away.
“You never know what to expect,” she said.
Dean stared at her for a long minute, absorbing the sullen tone in her voice when he noticed the lights above him flickering.
“Great, just great,” he moaned. “I really hope that’s a hot version of you in spirit form that’s coming to haunt me.”
Dean looked back at Buffy but she was gone. The light in the hallway stamped out, blanketing Dean in complete darkness as the eerie growl blared in his ears.
“Shit,” he groaned.
Dean gripped his pistol as he backed up a few feet in complete darkness. The vicious snarling bounced off the walls as he quietly crept down the hall.
“Whatever you are, I’m going to kill you!” he warned.
The snarling abruptly stopped causing Dean to freeze in surprise.
“Calm before the storm,” he said softly.
He roamed cautiously around in the darkness. He felt a cold wind blasting his face as he was completely blind. After a minute of drifting, he squinted as a bright light cut over his eyes.
Buffy rammed into him with eyes full of fright.
“There you are! I don’t have much time,” she said. “Here, take this.”
Dean glanced at her hand as she opened it. Bright streams of light flooded out of her palm revealing he was in some sort of underground space.
“Uh, am I supposed to wear that or....eat it?”
“Guard it with your life,” she begged. “And keep it safe. I know I can count on you to do that, right?”
“Yeah but, what exactly is it?”
Buffy turned her hand over, shaping the light into a ball. She leaned over and kissed him deeply on the mouth.
“A piece of my heart,” she whispered as she pulled away.
Dean felt a sharp chill in his heart when he heard her answer. Buffy pivoted toward a split in the tunnel.
“I gotta go,” Buffy replied hurriedly.
She took one step forward before she twisted around and shed a few tears.
“I love you,” she added as she bolted toward the tunnel.
“Wait, how the hell do I get out of here?”
“Follow the light Dean! It will lead you out of the darkness!” she hollered over her shoulder.
Dean stared at the strange orb of light as it began to spin rapidly toward the right. He followed the orb for several paces until he stumbled into an open grassy cemetery.
He spotted a casket draped with a simplistic floral arrangement resting a few feet away. He ambled over in curiosity as he saw the back of a man kneeling by the casket, paying respects. As he got closer to the man, he widened his eyes in dread.
Dean sucked in a breath as he felt his lungs collapsing the closer he got to the casket.
John shook his head as he sobbed very softly. Dean was taken aback by the intense emotion flooding out of his father. He hadn’t seen his dad so broken up since the death of his mother. He shifted his sights to the closed casket and felt his heart stop in trepidation.
“Who’s in there dad?” he asked shakily.
John kept his head down, grieving to himself.
“Who is in the casket dad?” Dean asked, fear thick in his tone. “Is it...Sammy?”
John continued to weep without answering Dean. Dean swallowed his fears and slowly approached the casket, slipping his fingers under the ledge. As he swung the casket open, he blinked with confusion when there was nothing but dust inside.
As confusion spun through his mind, he jerked with alarm, hearing that eerie growl again.
“Dad, did you see some kind of creature around here?”
Dean swung around to see his dad was gone. He wandered through the cemetery and into a thick batch of trees. When he came out of the trees, he stumbled into the library of Sunnydale High. He spotted Giles, Anya and Xander in a huge crowd gathered around a muddy pool in the middle of the library. Giles meticulously analyzed the mud wrestling match going on and frowned with dismay.
“Prick her in the eyes will you?!” Giles demanded in annoyance.
Dean paused by the mud pool and noticed Buffy was wrestling her cave girl self, both had layers of mud caked on their bodies.
“I got ten on Neanderthal Buffy,” Xander remarked as he eyed Dean. “You want in?”
Xander flashed a wad of cash as Dean glanced at Giles.
“Hey uh, did you see something come in here?”
Giles barked with frustration at Slayer Buffy.
“Did I teach you nothing?”
After a few tackles, Buffy slammed her cave girl self in the mud and knocked her out. She popped up to her feet as the crowd cheered with satisfaction.
“Thatta girl!” Giles roared.
Buffy raked a hand through her mud sodden locks. She waved at Dean with a silly smile.
“Oh hey babe, where’ve you been?”
“I’ve been looking for a demon of some sort, it keeps rudely interrupting me,” Dean answered.
Giles nodded in acknowledgment.
“It wants to kill you,” Giles said with enthusiasm. “Kill all of us actually.”
“Yeah we did a bad thing and made it mad,” Buffy pouted.
Dean took in her knowing look.
“So you know what it is?”
Giles chewed on the end of his glasses.
“It appears we are the cause of it. It is very old. One of the oldest ever known.”
Dean glanced at Buffy as she hooked a dirty arm around his and guided him out of the library.
“Okay, so, how do we stop it?” Dean asked.
Buffy shrugged. “I don’t know. I’m just here to look hot and make money. Toodles.”
Buffy trotted down the stairs of the high school and skipped off. Dean scratched his head in wonder as he noticed his Impala parked along the curb. A strange man in a suit and glasses was waiting by the passenger side. He removed two slices of American cheese from his pockets.
“You must control the cheese,” he said sternly. “Do not let the cheese control you.”
Dean flashed an incredulous look at the man waving cheese slices at him.
“You are an odd little man,” he remarked with a frown.
Dean circled the car and got inside. After he closed the door, he felt a pang in his gut as his ears perked with a very faint growl coming from the back seat. Before he could even blink, he felt something grab his neck and started choking him. He struggled to break hold as the howling sound flooded the Impala.
Dean swiftly whacked the demon in the head with the back of his pistol, loosening its grip on his neck. Muddy locks whipped his face as he was yanked sharply into the backseat, his pistol flying onto the passenger side floor. His eyes met a wild primitive looking girl as she tried tearing at his face.
Dean threw his arms up in defense as the beast woman snarled and clawed at his neck.
“If you wanted to roll with me, you should have asked!” he growled through his teeth.
Dean punched her several times in the face as the wild woman shrieked and viciously attacked him with her muddied fists. After several minutes of brutal fighting, the beastly woman grabbed Dean by the head and rammed him hard into the window, shattering the glass. He groaned in agony as the beast girl savagely pounded his face and chest with increasing rage. He kicked his feet out, blowing her back to the other side of the rear window.
He grabbed the door latch with a bloodied hand and pulled himself out. As he hit the ground, he felt his ankles stinging with pain as the beast girl tore away at the flesh. After several minutes of defensive attacks, Dean crawled along the ground toward the trunk of the car. He climbed up along the car and fumbled with the keys, swinging the trunk open. He managed to pull the shovel out when the beast girl attacked him from behind, knocking his head into the side of the car. Blow after blow stripped him of his strength as the beast girl picked him up with one hand and lifted him high in the air before slamming him into the ground.
Dean groaned loudly as he felt all the bones in his body breaking. The beast girl pounced on him and began tearing into the flesh of his gut, cutting him clean open. He bellowed forward, black blood pooling out of his throat as he gasped desperately for air.....
Dean jerked in his sleep as the brutal lashes continued in his nightmare....
Buffy let out a soft moan as she rolled onto her side.
“We’re going to be late.”
Buffy roused from her sleep as her weary eyes focused on Tara standing in the doorway of her bedroom.
“Huh?” she asked.
Tara moved into the hallway and waited for Buffy to get up. Buffy let out a yawn as she reluctantly rolled out of bed. She shuffled into the hallway and yawned again before something caught her eye. She hung in a doorway and frowned with disapproval at the sight of a bed with rumpled sheets and covers.
“Hey, I thought Faith helped me make the bed already,” she moaned.
“Expecting company?” Tara asked dryly.
Buffy turned to Tara and questioned her with her eyes.
“Yeah but, I don’t know who. Aren’t you going to tell me?”
Buffy stepped back into the hallway and frowned with confusion.
“Hold on, where is the gang? They’re supposed to be here hanging out, having movie night.”
“They’re gone,” Tara answered.
Buffy shook her head in doubt.
“No, they’re not. They’re here somewhere. I’ll have to go looking for them.”
She noticed the clock in the bedroom.
“Where did the time go?”
“Mmm, that clock isn’t right,” Tara clarified.
Tara held out the deck of tarot cards.
“You should go by these.”
Buffy stared at Tara in wonder.
“Because those tell time?”
Tara leaned in close to Buffy.
“Everything is not what it seems,” Tara said cryptically. “What’s real, what’s not. You have no idea what’s coming or who you truly are.”
Buffy felt her eyes drawn back to the bed, now neatly made.
“I’m um, I’m going to look for my friends.”
“You need to be back before dawn arrives,” Tara stated flatly.
Buffy strolled around campus questioning random students as they passed by. She heaved a sigh and drew a peevish frown as no one seemed to know anything. As she ambled into an interior quad, she spotted Xander moving quickly up the stairs. She made a beeline through a throng of people and whipped her eyes around as she spilled into a bright white hallway.
Buffy frowned with confusion as she moved down the hallway and noticed various military personnel roaming around. When she reached the end of the hall, she blinked in surprise at the familiar face sitting in an office.
John Winchester drew a paternal smile as Buffy moved into the office.
“I’ve been waiting for you,” he imparted. “Have a seat soldier, we have much to discuss and very little time.”
Buffy deepened her frown of confusion as she settled into a commodious leather chair. She glanced at a large chalkboard with a series of weird symbols scrawled across it.
“John, where are Dean and my friends?”
John pulled out a file from a cabinet.
“More on that later, soldier,” John replied. “First, I have a very important mission for you.”
John pushed a manila file toward Buffy. She narrowed her eyes when the folder was labeled: Operation ‘No Name’.
“There is nothing in this folder,” she said with a frown.
John drew a stern expression.
“Nothing is ever as it seems Buffy. You must take a good look at the bigger picture.”
John reached into a drawer in his desk and set a small wood box in front of Buffy.
“Your mission objective is to protect this treasure with your life,” he said flatly.
Buffy examined the box and noticed it was locked. She picked at the keyhole as John leaned forward and deepened his glare.
“You cannot open it,” John remarked sharply. “Under NO circumstances. If it falls into the wrong hands, endless lives will be lost.”
Buffy picked up the box and shook it, trying to guess what was inside.
“It sounds empty. What’s in it?”
John drew a sly smile.
“That is a heavily guarded secret,” he answered.
An MP rapped on the door.
“Sir, it’s time.”
John nodded and picked up the box. He turned toward a safe and unlocked it.
“I thought I’m supposed to protect that,” Buffy stated.
“Yes, when it’s time.”
John closed the safe door and smiled at her.
“Good luck soldier,” he said as he ambled out of the office.
“Wait, you were gonna tell me where my friends are!” Buffy remarked.
Buffy peeled out of her chair and took off after John down the hall. She widened her eyes when she couldn’t move. Her sights drifted down to her legs, stuck in a thick pool of mud. She reached into the mud and struggled to pull her feet out but she began sinking instead. She gasped as her body was quickly sucked into the mud. She flailed an arm above her head, trying to get herself out but the more she struggled, the more rapid the funnel of mud pulled her in. As the mud seeped into her nostrils and ears, she felt a strong male hand latching onto hers. She heaved a heavy gasp for air as she was yanked out of the mud and onto solid ground. She rolled onto her side and coughed up a clump of mud as her eyes drifted up to see John standing over her, silhouetted by a bright sun.
“Don’t give up,” he said firmly. “There is always a way.”
John pivoted and ambled away as Buffy sat up and gathered herself. She held a hand up to shade her eyes from the sharp sunlight blazing over her. She swept her sights around and saw that she was sitting in the middle of a vast desert covered in white sand.
“I don’t think the guys are here,” she said as she got to her feet.
After traveling over a steep dune, she glanced at her hands that were now clean of mud as well as her body. She blinked in surprise when she noticed the violet sari she was wearing with a pair of sandals. She continued to cruise over the hill as the sun beamed high in the sky.
“You won’t find them here,” came a voice.
Buffy paused in her step and swung around to see Tara behind her. Buffy narrowed her eyes suspiciously.
“Okay, so I get that this is a dream but you’re not usually in them,” Buffy
Tara nodded. “I know. I was chosen to be the voice.”
“The voice of whom?”
Buffy caught sight of something in her periphery. She settled her eyes on a wild looking woman with muddy hair and war paint on her face. The woman circled her with a vicious glare.
“And who might you be?”
“I do not have a name. I do not speak,” Tara answered.
Buffy eyed Tara with an annoyed glare as the Primitive girl continued to circle her.
“I’ll MAKE her talk if she doesn’t willingly.”
“Death surrounds me, it is there when I wake and when I sleep,” Tara said flatly. “I kill or be killed and I do it on my own, as it has been and always will be done until my last breath leaves me.”
Buffy absorbed the cryptic statement for a minute before she shined her recognition.
“You’re me,” she assessed.
“Yes, I am the beginning,” Tara confirmed.
The primitive girl perched in front of Buffy and raised her head high in confidence. Buffy felt something in her hand and looked down to see the deck of tarot cards. On the top card, instead of a painted symbol, she saw her beloved friends all asleep in her living room.
“I don’t have to do this on my own,” Buffy said defiantly.
The primitive girl growled, flaring her teeth.
“You must, for a Slayer will always be alone,” Tara stated.
Buffy shook her head and glared at the primitive girl with equal intimidation.
“No, I’m not. I haven’t been. Take me to my friends. This is NOT a request,” she snapped.
The primitive girl spat at her in disgust.
“Kill,” she hissed. “Kill only. On. Your. Own. Always.”
As Buffy stared down the First Slayer, the cheese man appeared out of nowhere and waved a few slices.
“They’re fresh,” he said.
Buffy frowned with deep irritation.
“Okay, I’ve had enough.”
Buffy pushed off through the sand as the First Slayer tackled her to the ground. After a quick minute of sparring, Buffy got up and charged over the dune.
“I’m done,” she barked.
The First Slayer roared at her and attacked her again. The two rolled down the dune fighting each other. As they tumbled through the sand, Buffy was stopped by the foot of a couch. She blinked rapidly as she swept her sights around her living room. She let out a breath of relief when she saw all her beloved ones still sleeping.
She got to her feet and straightened out her clothes when she was abruptly thrown back down to the floor. The First Slayer swiped at her face with a knife, snarling through her teeth. Buffy rolled her eyes as she shined her boredom.
“Okay, have you had your fill yet?”
Buffy kicked the First Slayer away and got up again. She moved over to the couch as the First Slayer stared at her in bewilderment.
“I get your whole I’m ‘number one’ thing and this is how I roll,” she said. “But there’s been a lot of progress and change since you got called up.”
Buffy peeled the blanket covering Dean and slipped next to him.
“And I’ve rewritten a lot of the philosophies,” she added. “And by the way, you might want to pick up a couple copies of beauty magazines cuz this whole throwback look isn’t quite working for....”
Buffy abruptly gasped awake and reeled with the intensity of events in her dream. She heaved another breath as she noticed everyone else slowly rousing and absorbing their own situations.
A short time later, Buffy, Dean and the gang gathered around the dining room table, looking completely stunned, exhausted and yet wide awake.
“Slayer number one,” Willow said with wide eyes. “That’s unbelievable.”
Xander shined his own incredulous look. “Yeah, she really needs to work on her social skills.”
“And hygiene,” Willow added with a wince.
“It would seem the joining spell we performed somehow conjured forth the essence and power of the First Slayer,” Giles assessed. “She penetrated the very depths of our subconscious and....affected our thoughts.”
“And the wackiness ensued,” Xander noted.
Buffy threw Giles an annoyed look.
“Gee Giles, you could have said something about that first.”
Giles threw Buffy a peevish frown.
“I stressed there could be dangerous risks involved!
“Isn’t that like your standard warning label for everything?” Dean asked with his own irked look.
Joyce appeared in the doorway and looked the gang over.
“Did you all have fun?”
“Oh lots, the very first Slayer was stalking us in our dreams,” Willow lamented. “I almost died.”
Joyce nodded. “That’s um, interesting. Can I get anyone cocoa?”
Everyone in the dining room nodded emphatically. Joyce drew a pleased smile and turned toward the kitchen.
“Say Xander, be a doll and help me out again?”
Xander eyed Joyce in her robe and gulped with a sheepish look.
“Uh.....absolutely. I’ll be there in a second.”
Joyce exited the dining room as the rest of the group continued to absorb their freaky dreams. Buffy let out a deep breath as Giles looked on with paternal concern.
“You okay?” he asked.
Buffy nodded as let out another sigh.
“I’m still kind of reeling. I mean, Slayer number one with a vengeance kick, guess I haven’t put much thought into the history of my blood line. It got kind of hairy at times but I guess all of you got a glimpse, right?”
Dean deepened his scowl.
“Yeah, I really don’t like freaky girls barging in on my dreams.....”
Dean flashed on the better part of his dream.
“Not the psychotic ones anyway,” he muttered softly.
“Yeah Buffy, keep your murderous coworkers out of my head,” Xander cracked.
“She’s not much for making with the nice,” Willow added.
Buffy pushed her chair out from the table.
“Well, I’m going to hit the shower. Anyways, your dreams couldn’t have been half as weird as mine, I mean, I had a cheese guy show up out of nowhere.”
Buffy shook her head as Dean got up and followed her up the stairs. She noticed Dean brushing his hand across his torso several times. She glanced at him curiously as he met her eyes.
“So, what’d you dream about?” she asked with a teasing smile.
Dean absorbed her probing eyes as he cleared his throat.
“Uh, an endless plate of cheeseburgers and......waffles.”
Buffy lingered in the doorway of her room and stared inside for a time. Dean gently raked a hand through her hair, flourishing in her presence.
“Say, have you ever thought about going....brunette?”
Buffy shifted her eyes from the neatly made bed to Dean. She took in the deeply curious expression on his face and caught a spark in his eyes. She threw him an odd look.
“Uh, not really, why do you ask?”
Dean shifted in his stance as he broke under the weight of her immensely questioning look.
“Uh, no reason.”
Buffy let her curiosity go as she glanced back into her room for a long minute. Dean slung an arm around her shoulder and flashed a mischievous smile.
“So, care to break some more records?”
Buffy giggled softly and shook her head.
Dean shrugged as he guided her down the hall.
“Well, I’ll give ya lots of rewards for keeping quiet,” he cracked with a wink.
Buffy dipped her head on his shoulder and looked up at him with a sweet smile as they drifted down the hall.
“I really hope it’s always like this,” she cooed. “You and me, forever and ever.”
Dean bolted to a stop as he felt his gut turning over. Buffy noticed his look of dread and drew concern.
“What? You don’t want us to.....”
Dean let out a sigh as he tightened his grip around her shoulder.
“Let’s just.....live every day, okay?”
He swept a finger over the dimple in her cheek and kissed the top of her head as he shoved the horrid nightmare out of his mind.
THIS CONCLUDES SEASON 4.