When Waking is the Nightmare.......
Two chapters at one time.... Look at me go!!!
Kennedy slowly came back to her senses surrounded by warmth and softness. Settling further into the safety of the bed, she let her thoughts wander back to consciousness. She was happiest here, in the space between slumber and waking. Her dreams of Willow still fresh in her mind and the harsh reality of what her life had become still clouded by sleep. Then like a bolt of energy it hit her. Where she was, what had happened, and the reality of the face that now smiled down at her from the side of the bed.
“Dawn?” Kennedy asked tentatively. Her Slayer senses were on high alert not only from the fact that the people she had been running away from were right here but also because she knew something must be up. Normal Slayers did not faint.
“Hey there sleepy head,” Dawn said brightly. “Didn’t think you were ever going to wake up!” she said leaning down and giving Kennedy a tight hug. Kennedy stiffened at the contact, remembering the last conversation she had had with Dawn before she bolted. “I’m so glad we finally found you.” Dawn whispered into Kennedy’s hair. Before Kennedy could respond Dawn had let her go and slapped her hard on the arm. “And that is for leaving in the first place. What were you thinking!?!?! We’ve been looking everywhere for you!! I can’t believe you just took off!” Dawn yelled, her smile now faded.
“Dawn, wait,” Kennedy started, doing her best to calm the girl, wait no, she wasn’t a girl any longer. Kennedy looked at Dawn, noticing how much she had changed. Gone were her days of lanky awkwardness, she must be 24 by now, Kennedy thought amazed at how long she had actually been gone. She had cut her hair into short layers that framed her face in a style that was very popular for the time. Her face had aged considerably, more then it should have in the years that had passed. Lines of worry creased her forehead, dark circles bagged under eyes that spoke of sadness and loss. More loss then a girl of her age should have seen, Kennedy thought. Her change in appearance was striking but what Kennedy noticed the most was the scar that ran from her right ear down her cheek and to the corner of her mouth. It looked like it had been a nasty cut at the time. She noticed Dawn try to hide it with her hair when she saw Kennedy looking at it. “What happened?” she asked.
Dawn just shrugged. “Battle scars, we all have ‘em.” The ease had returned to her voice. “Sorry I went off on you like that. We’ve just been looking for so long,” She reached out and took Kennedy’s hands in her own.
Kennedy was again startled by Dawn’s sudden change in heart. She felt the ruff skin of her hands and looked down. To her horror Dawn’s hands were covered in scars. Scars that traveled up her arms and under the sleeves of her shirt, how far she could only imagine. Kennedy’s heart sank, “Dawn, what the hell happened to you?”
Dawn simply gave a sad smile. She looked at Kennedy and shrugged again. “Like I said, battle scars.”
Kennedy wondered what battles had left a girl who came out of the battle with the first unscathed, looking like this. She was about to respond with a snarky comment about no battle being worth those scares when she heard the door slowly creak open and Phoebe pop her head in. “Hey, you’re awake,” she said smiling brightly and walking into the room. “I brought you some water,” she said walking over to the bed. Looking down she noticed Dawn and Kennedy’s clasped hands. For the second time that day she was overtaken with a surge of jealousy. Who was this girl to come into HER house and put her hands on HER girlfriend? She tried to flash a bright smile that didn’t look too fake. “How are you feeling?” she asked Kennedy, putting the water on the counter and leaning down to give Kennedy a kiss.
Kennedy felt Dawn stiffen at the sight of the exchange. She knew she was thinking of Willow. But before she had time to say anything she felt Phoebe gasp as she touched her lips to Kennedy’s forehead.
Phoebe brushed her lips against Kennedy’s forehead and was stricken when she thrown into another premonition. Before she knew it she was in the basement of an unfamiliar house. She looked around trying to take in where she was when she caught sight of her hands. They were covered in scars. She reached up to her head and felt her hair, it wasn’t her’s, she wasn’t in her own body. She was in Dawn’s, but she got the vision from kissing Kennedy and she had never physically been in another persons body before. If these were her powers expanding she really didn’t like it!
Before she had time to analyze what had happened any further the sight of green energy drew her, filling the spaces around her, in her. She smelled burning, a disgusting smell that made her stomach turn. It smelled as if someone was on fire. She looked down at the green light at her feet and realized with horror that it was her.
To her relief she was pulled from the burning to memories of happier times. Not her own, they must be Dawn’s. She was reading a diary that wasn’t hers, it belonged to another girl named Buffy and there was something written in it about a Slayer.
She was piling weapons into a red-haired girls arms, if she wasn’t mistaken it was the same girl she had seen dying in Kennedy’s embrace. She walked with her chattering wildly about not wanting to be a potential anyways, when she saw Kennedy, a much younger Kennedy, drilling a group of young girls in what looked like some sort of Tai Chi. Her head was filled hatred for this Kennedy as she flung the weapons she was carrying onto the counter and stomped away.
Then she was in a graveyard. She was standing in front of a tombstone. Putting her hands to her face she felt the wetness of her tears, she was crying. Looking at the tombstone she tried to make out the name, but it kept changing. Names flashed across the granite like credits after a movie: Joyce, Buffy, Tara, Anya, Faith, Wil….
Phoebe was thrown from the vision before she had a chance to finish reading the last name with such force that she flew, landing flat on her back on the floor.
“Oh god, Phoebe,” Kennedy yelled, springing to her feet and moving to Phoebe’s side. Her Slayer senses were on high alert, there was something in the air. As she started to kneel beside Phoebe she caught the lingering scent of something awful. She looked down and noticed Phoebe’s face was streaked with tears. She sniffed and then realized with sickening horror that it was the smell of burning flesh. The smell made her stomach churn. “Shit, I think I’m gonna to be sick!” she yelped and ran out of the bedroom, praying she would make it to the bathroom in time.