Buffy sat up in the middle of the night, a cold sweat dripping down her face. She hadn't been dreaming, she was sure of that. It was just — something was happening to her. It felt as if someone else were slipping on her skin, shoving her aside to make room. Seeping into her mind, trying to absorb her thoughts, fiddle around with them, manipulate them, change them. Buffy tried to scream, tried to struggle, tried to claw at the other person so she could get out. But she couldn't move. She couldn't get out. There was someone else inside her, someone else making her breathe, making her move, making her think, and she couldn't…
The light turned on, and her mother walked into the room. "Buffy, sweetie, what's wrong?"
Buffy stared at her mother. "I… I…" She looked down at the bed, where she realized she had struggled her way out of the covers. Her throat was hoarse from screaming. She tried to move her arm. It moved, just the way it was supposed to. She tried to take a deep breath, and yes, that worked, too. She could control her own body. She was still her.
"Did you have a bad dream?" asked her mother. She hesitated. "It wasn't… a prophecy dream, was it?"
"No, I…" Buffy faltered. What had she just had? The feeling that part of her was being taken over, stripped away. Like she was being hollowed out to make way for someone else. Except she hadn't been. She was fine. Still herself. "Sorry," she said. "It was just a bad dream."