Anya started breakfast, having woke up rather hungry. The movies last night had been wonderful, with handsome men, dire peril, and lots of action. She wouldn't have minded borrowing one of them for a while herself, but she had the suspicion that Xander would be jealous. Too bad, Gimli looked nice and... solid. And what about Gandalf or Sarumon, they'd had how long to figure things out? Or even one of the pretty elf guys... Yeah, lots of guys that she could dream about.
Buffy was the first one to go into the living room, her eyes almost sad, and a little pout on her face. She kept putting little braids into her still damp hair as she settled cross legged on the floor in a patch of sunlight. Looking at the house, she just sighed.
"We have eggs, and sausage, but the bacon isn't ready yet. Do you have fruit?" Anya glanced at Buffy, wondering if she'd enjoyed her dream. From the way she'd practically drooled over the archer, Anya was pretty sure who Buffy had dreamed about.
Buffy frowned, as if she was trying to remember something from a long time ago. "Fruit? umm... Try the cupboard over the microwave. We had to move it so that... umm, we needed the counter space for something."
Cordelia walked in, her bearing slightly different, her posture straighter, almost regal. "Eggs? Is there toast? Any roast duck... no, there wouldn't be. This is Sunnydale again."
"Well, what's got into you?" Anya smiled a little, noticing the changes in Cordelia. Had she dreamed herself into money and power? Was waking up here a terrible disappointment? The spell had caused some girls to kill themselves rather than continue in their real lives after their delightful dreams. Sometimes, a dream was so much better than the realities of life... Others used it again and again, until they just didn't wake back up. Her personal bet was that Buffy would be the most likely to reuse the spell, but Willow was the most likely to deliberately lose herself in the dream-world. Of course, she'd been wrong before...
"Is that any way to speak to..." Cordelia stopped in the middle of her sentence, as if forcing herself to think. "But I'm not, am I? It wasn't... it seemed so real. And it isn't."
"No, it wasn't real. He's not... I don't have him." Buffy's voice sounded sad, wistful. "Everything was so perfect..."
Anya looked at the unhappy Slayer. Part of her felt pleased that both of them had woke up, had emerged from the temptations of the other lives. The part of her that had wrecked vengeance for centuries was almost disappointed, but they were both strong willed. "Well, you knew that it was a dream before you went to sleep. Dreams always come to an end."
Buffy sighed, picking up an apple. "Maybe I can dream of him again... It was almost like I could still smell the leaves and flowers when I woke up, like it had been real."
"The spell is supposed to have that sort of near reality to it. That's why it's so effective." Would Buffy try it again? Dreams were addictive, that was half the success of drugs over the millennia. If Buffy lost herself in the dreams, or kept using them to see her elf lover, eventually, it would affect her slaying. Eventually, she'd be too distracted, and she would falter at the wrong moment, be distracted at a critical time, and then... One dies, another is chosen. She wasn't quite certain if that would be a good thing or not. Was she Anyanka, who didn't care about Slayers, or Anya, who considered Buffy a sort of friend?
"Isn't a little bit of happiness that doesn't last better than nothing at all?" Willow's voice came from the stairs, sounding oddly melancholy. "I'm guessing that it did work, and Buffy dreamed about her Legolas, and Cordelia dreamed of Aragorn..."
"What about you, Willow? Did you dream about cute elves? Or wait, there was that thing with Tara, maybe it was Arwen? Or Galadriel?" Buffy was smiling at Willow, her eyes almost shining with the hope of details.
Willow offered a faint smile, settling herself at the table. "While Arwen and Galadriel are both entirely fantasizable, no. It wasn't the dream of 'Willow and her harem of elf-chicks'. My dream was... something else. Although I could always dream about those two another time, and Eowyn's more likely to have time for a... umm... never mind. Not the point. My dream... was wonderful, and amazing, and frustrating. With pain and joy, and a happy ending. And while Arwen did look pretty cute in that gown, she was quite taken." Willow sighed, as if trying to clear away bits of her dream. "We've had a taste of fun, a bite of romance and love. Now, we have to go back to keeping the world safe."
Cordelia blinked, leaning towards Anya. "Since when does Willow dream about girls? What happened to Oz, and who's Tara?"
"That's all pretty complicated." Anya smirked just a little, wondering if this would cause something interesting. "Oz cheated on Willow with a skanky she-wolf and left town, Willow spent some time dating another witch named Tara, and they sort of split up after her family came to town and accused Tara of being a demon. They might be getting back together, I'm not sure."
"Oh." Cordelia blinked, looking surprised. Well, I guess Arwen and Galadriel, or Eowyn are pretty cute, although Eowyn... just... stay away from my cousin... umm... sorry, never mind. Dreams. Eowyn would have no idea how to handle Willow. It was nice though... Queen C, beloved by her people."
"Yeah, they were nice dreams." Willow sighed, her eyes distracted. "But now, it's time to go back to our lives."
Buffy leaned over, looking at Anya as she licked her lips slightly. "Can you write that chant down for me?"
"Of course." Anya nodded, wondering how this would unfold. If there would soon be a new Slayer, or if Buffy would be breaking up with her soldier boy in favor of her dreams. Any way it unfolded, life in Sunnydale was never dull.
end Dreams of the Ring.