Buffy blinked and realized she was in her own bed, awake.
Dawn was moaning in her sleep loudly enough for the sound to travel through the walls to Buffy’s room.
Dawn had had difficulty sleeping since their mother died. The whole trauma with Glory and then Buffy’s death had only made the teen more distraught. The capper had been all the previous year’s high drama: dealing with a resurrected sister, a power-crazed witch who eventually threatened to turn her back into a green glowy thing and then having her best friends, Spike and Tara, ripped from her life.
Buffy wasn’t sure which had done the most damage: being in the room alone with Tara’s corpse or the things Xander had said about what Spike had done followed by said vampire’s disappearance from Sunnydale.
Too much stress in too short a time led to frequent nightmares. For both sisters.
Buffy got out of bed and crossed to the door, her intention being to check on her little sister. Before she could reach Dawn’s room, her sister’s light flipped on and Buffy could hear Dawn starting to get up. Meeting in the hallway, the two sisters looked at each other with slight embarrassment and said “Dibs on the bathroom” at the same time.
Both girls raced for the door and the chance to prove the normalcy of their broken sleep to each other and, more importantly, to themselves.
Bathroom visit completed (she had let Dawn win the “race”) and younger sister safely back in bed, Buffy flicked off her bedside light and settled in to return to sleep. Maybe she’d have nice dreams this time. Dreams that didn’t leave her feeling sad, questioning her perceptions.
She missed her mom and seeing her in this dream only made Buffy long for her comfort and care even more. Buffy hadn’t been too happy to hear what her mom said in the dream. She knew that her mother hadn’t approved of Angel. Well, what mom would approve of a vampire as a love match for her daughter anyway?
Then there was the weird walk down memory lane about Angel and that last part that she hadn’t known before.
Funny, now that she was awake she had to admit that the whole segment where Angel was human but had the Powers reverse the miracle was far too much in character for Buffy to dismiss as just a dream. No, this nights entertainment smacked of a Slayer dream even if the presentation was not the way they usually ran.
Buffy flushed with anger at the memory of all the decisions Angel took out of her hands. Over and over he made choices without so much as consulting her about her wishes. It was more than a pattern; it was a character trait.
Buffy’s face felt hot.
That summed up her whole history with Angel: hot. There was the good hot of first passion, but look where that had led–Angelus!
There was the heat of her frequently tear-streaked face. She shed so many tears over Angel during their time together.
Hot, angry words with her friends and family were also part of her first love. Threats, denials, apologies, demands; each a brick building up walls they still had yet to scale and maybe never would.
The heat of it all was enough to burn everything and everyone in its path. It was destructive and all consuming, the kind of fire that burns white hot and quick, leaving only ash in its wake.
“Is it too much to want a normal, human guy that’ll love me, that I can love back?”
Buffy pulled the image of Riley to the forefront of her mind. “I could have been Sam. I could be playing superhero with all those neat toys and still doing my duty killing evil with my normal guy at my side. Bet they’ll have a vacation house with that white picket fence. Sam’ll have a couple of chubby kids, a dog even.”
Buffy smiled and nearly laughed as she pictured Sam Finn as the mother of a couple of pups mewling around her in a box. “It could happen! They’re around all kinds of demons. Look at Clem with his floppy ears! Lots of them have tails! A few drinks with an informant and ‘Hey, BINGO!’…cheating Sam gets caught with the furry evidence nipping at her heels!”
Somehow the laughter sounded forced, even in her own ears.
“Normal, Buffy,” she muttered. “I can so do normal.” With that last thought, Buffy fell back into a deep sleep.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/115028.html