Set in Buffy series 6, and after the first woman falls from the bell tower in Hitchcock's movie Vertigo, neither of which I own.
Buffy had been plagued by the same dream, every night, over and over again for nearly a week now. She kept seeing a blond woman, falling to her death from a belltower, sometimes with a man watching, helpless, sometimes the woman is callously thrown out by another man.
She didn't know what they meant. Buffy had, of course, told her Watcher before he'd left for England three days ago, but he hadn't been able to help her, even after trawling through what seemed like every book in his entire library.
It didn't seem like a Slayer dream, and her ability to sense demonic presences, as near useless as it was, couldn't pick anything up from the woman of either of the men. But, of course, that didn't necessarily exclude the idea that it was part of a cult, like those frat boys from high school.
Buffy hadn't told anyone else. She hadn't wanted to burden them any more than necessary - they already had their own problems to deal with, they didn't need some meaningless dream to add to their worries.
That was when, patrolling, she'd suddenly been seized by an unholy headache of such strength that she'd collapsed - not that she'd noticed, because she was too busy reliving the fall, or the push. Fortunately, she hadn't been killed before the seizure had ended, most likely because most vampires don't like killing crazy people. Giles had explained that to her, once - they considered bad luck.
Anyway, at that point Buffy knew that she had to tell someone
about the dream, if it was even affecting her day-to-day life now. Normally, she'd tell Willow, but she was having relationship troubles with Tara, who thought Willow was addicted to magic. Buffy didn't know if she was or not, but she wasn't about to add to her problems. And Buffy just didn't know Tara enough to talk to her about this, even though she had gone to her with her suspicions that she had come back wrong. But that had been urgent.
She could tell Xander, but he was freaking out about his marriage to Anya, and really didn't need anything else on his mind, or else he might just be heading for a full on mental breakdown. And Buffy would never, ever confide anything to Anya, ever.
Buffy could also talk to Dawn, but her sister was young and still getting over Buffy's own death. Well, Buffy was too. Anyway, Dawn wouldn't be much of a help.
Then there was Spike, who was just out of the question, for so many reasons.
But maybe, the daytime dream had just been a one off event? Hopefully, it wouldn't happen again and she could settle for having disturbed sleep again - although, as a Slayer, Buffy didn't really need all that much of that.
So Buffy went home, acted as normal as she ever managed these days, made Dawn a bowl of cereal, which was about the limit of her cooking skills - she could occasionally manage microwaving things without burning them, but the oven was just beyond her. But she could tell others how to cook well enough - and went to bed.
Surprisingly enough, Buffy dropped straight off to sleep. Unsurprisingly, her sleep was filled with the same dream, the same woman dying twice in two different ways.
The next thing Buffy knew, she was being shaken awake and had a pounding headache. She looked up to see Tara, Willow and Dawn all peering anxiously at her, and figure of Xander hovering just outside. "Why did you wake me?" Buffy asked, her voice emerging as nothing more than a dry whisper.
"It's nearly three." said Dawn, looking pleased for some reason.
"Then why is it still light?" Buffy asked suspiciously, suspecting a trick.
"In the afternoon." Dawn finished, grinning widely now. Which meant Buffy had slept for about thirteen hours. She hadn't slept that long for years, not since before she had become a Slayer.
"We thought it best that you be left asleep, you've had a lot on your mind recently." said Willow soothingly.
Buffy didn't reply, just swunge herself out of bed, ignoring her headache that felt as though someone had put a jackhammer on speed inside her skull, and slowly began to get dressed. Everyone, real using that nothing more would be forthcoming, filed out, Dawn already obviously planning her unmerciful teasing.
Buffy grabbed Willow's arm before she left, murmuring urgently "I need to talk to you about something."
So Willow sat on Buffy's bed, waiting for her friend to speak. She didn't have to wait that long, and she sat perfectly still, without interrupting, whilst Buffy told her all about the dreams she'd been having.
Willow was pleased, although she tried her best not to show it. If Buffy was opening up again, talking to them as she used to, before she'd... died, then that was all of the good.
When Buffy finished with a plea of "So, can you help me?" Willow thought for a moment.
"Well, I could make a dreamcatcher." she answered after a moment.
"Do those things actually work?" asked Buffy, surprised. Although, on second thoughts, there was no reason they shouldn't.
"They do when I make 'em." Willow said proudly.
"How soon can you make one?"
"Well, it's quite a fiddly spell, so about fifteen minutes. You can have a good nights sleep tonight!"
Buffy didn't say anything, and Willow headed out to begin the spell. Not even Tara could contest this spell once she knew what it was for - not that Willow was planning on telling Tara everything. But when Willow was nearly out the door, she heard spoken quietly behind her, so quietly she almost didn't hear it, a mumbled "Thank you." Willow went about beaming for the rest of the day.
Buffy lay on her bed beneath something that looked like nothing so much as a basketball hoop made out of twigs and bits of coloured string, her eyes closed as she waited for sleep to take her. It wasn't a long wait.
The dream began again, but it was different this time - not the dream itself, but the way Buffy saw it. It was spiraling out, whether towards her or away from her, she couldn't tell. Buffy struggled to awaken, but to no avail.
Then the dream touched her mind, and Buffy thought she screamed...
And she was somewhere else, a city, somewhere that looked like cities did in those old black and white movies her Mom loved - had loved. But Buffy knew one thing for sure - she wasn't dreaming anymore. She was really here.
"Damn." she muttered softly.
When Willow dropped by friends bedroom to see how she'd slept, she thought, upon seeing the empty bed, that Buffy was already up and out.
Then, at second glance, she saw that the bed was unmade - and Buffy, who may not be the most avid housekeeper of all time, was at least adept at that, and did it every morning.
Then Willow caught sight of her dreamcatcher, which was glowing softly, almost imperceptibly in the daylight escaping Buffy's curtains.
"Damn." she muttered softly.