#368 - Light - Taming the Muse comm on LJDisclaimer:
I own none of these characters, settings, or fandoms. They are the property of their respective creators and companies.
Buffy ran through the streets of San Francisco, but she knew that her fastest just wasn't going to cut it. The wind whipped through her hair causing the blonde strands to fly out behind her. Strangers with wide eyes froze in place as she rushed by them.
She could hear them call her name, so soft on the wind that without her enhanced hearing, she would have never made it out. Her heart twisted at the voices but full recognition escaped her. It danced on the tip of her tongue but evaded every attempt she made towards searching her memory.
Something tugged at her core as she ran through campus. Red cadet uniforms flitted across her vision, but her eyes didn't focus on any of them.
Hazel eyes looked down at her own uniform and she saw her own figure flicker in and out of existence. Every time she returned she became more translucent as she began to lose her purchase in reality. The ground rushing by could be seen through her legs and a sob choked her as she pushed herself faster.
She knew something was trying to drag her away from the home she had made there. The slayer in her rebelled against the threat and roared it's defiance against the unseen enemy. “I don't want to leave!”
Her eyes flew open as she gasped for air. She sat up in a bed that wasn't her own. “Am I here? Am I really here? Don't make me leave!”
The bed shifted as the body next to her sat up as well. “Lights to full!” Warm, solid arms wrapped around her shaking body. “Relax, darlin'. You're here. No one's making you go anywhere.”
Buffy's body shuddered as she recognized Len's voice. Sensitive eyes blinked against the sudden bright light and she hesitantly looked down at her body, but it was solid and whole. “I don't want to leave you,” she whispered, her voice hoarse as if from screaming.
“I know you don't,” he crooned gently in her ear. “You're here with me.”
“Am I whole or am I imagining it?” Her voice shook as she asked, not trusting her eyes with the light nearly blinding her.
“Fully accounted for, solid as the day you were born,” he answered her without hesitation. His arms tightened around her as he rocked her gently.
His voice rumbled deep in his chest and she could feel it resonate through her body. Slowly, but surely she could feel her heartrate lower to a more acceptable level and her breath stopped coming in stuttered gasps. She slumped into his arms and buried her face in his neck as her body continued to shudder..
“She okay?” A soft voice asked from the other side of the room and she recognized it as Jim's. She remembered that she had staying the night at Len's place after studying rather than returning to her own room.
“Just a nightmare,” Len replied, still rocking her through her full body shudders.
“Must have been an impressive one to get her to scream like that,” Jim said, his voice laced with worry. “Do you need anything?”
“A glass of water, please.”
Buffy clutched at Len's arms, thankful for the solid hold in this world. Her body slowly stilled and her muscles ached as if she had just gone through an extensive workout.
“Are you with me, darlin'?” He asked, his lips brushing against the shell of her ear.
“I hope so,” she whispered.
He shifted slightly to take more of her weight and to lean against the headboard. “Do you want to talk about it?”
Buffy's body shuddered again. “It just felt like I was being pulled away. Like I was being ripped from this reality into something else. I couldn't escape it.”
“You did. You're still here with me,” he assured her.
Jim returned to the room and she could hear him move closer rather than seeing him. Len's body moved under her own and then she heard Jim leave once again. “Here, drink some water. Your throat is probably sore.”
She nodded but was afraid to leave the protective circle of his arms. Even though it was awkward, she managed to stay molded against him but drink from the glass as well. Cold water soothed the irritation she could feel tickle her throat.
“Sorry I woke you and Jim,” she whispered.
“It's okay, darlin'. We all have bad dreams, yours just happened to be a doozy,” he assured her as he set the glass on the small stand next to his bed.
“I just don't ever want to leave you,” she said, hating the way her voice broke over the words.
His arms tightened briefly as he replied, “I know you don't. You're here and you're not going anywhere if you can help it.”