And as for Buffy, she approached a hill where a ballerina sat in the long golden grass with the head of a sleeping toy soldier in her lap, guarding him as he slept, with the growing suspicion that the breezes passing her were more than random puffs of wind.
Though in extremely good shape, the gentle slope Buffy found herself climbing winded her so subtly that that she was breathing hard by the time she reached Raina where she sat with the bear man, the man bear's, head resting on her tulle draped lap. The Slayer paused to wipe sweat out of her eyes and gaped as the creature's large abbreviated hand rose and gently slid down the older woman's flat chest, leaving behind a gentle mound that filled out the gaping bodice before rolling over on his/it's side, turning his/it's back to her.
She shook her head, blinking. No, she didn't just see that.
Raina glanced up at her briefly, and then back down at her lap. For lack of anything better to do, Buffy flopped down on the silky golden grass beside her; it smelled vaguely of gingerbread and glittered.
Breathing hard, she leaned back on her hands, looking up at the Crayola sky with its cotton ball clouds and smiling yellow paper sun before looking down at what had once been Michael J. Schmidt, USMC as he/it shifted, rolling back over on his/its back in his/its sleep and realized why he/it disgusted her: he, no IT, reminded her of Adam.
Insane, disgusting, and pathetic but dangerous Adam, arrogant with stolen power, a bastard son created by a mother who could manipulate the raw stuff of life itself while understanding nothing.
Adam, Dr. Walsh's greatest success and her greatest failure, whose hubris rather than the Slayer and her friends combined as one, eliminated him. They merely had been the killing blow of mercy that the universe harshly demanded in order to keep the balance.
Adam, the obscenity.
Adam the pitiable.
Adam the very, very dead.
And here "he" was again, harmlessly sleeping it off on a woman's lap in Bizzaro world as little footsteps echoed around her to the faint sound of children's laughter in the gingerbread wind.
Lovey dovey kissy kissy aside, if she knew it'd work, she'd stake him right here and now in front of his girlfriend and take the consequences.
Buffy glanced over at Raina, who returned her look while continuing to strokes his/it's close-cropped hair as if he/it were some sort of pet. She raised a finger to her lips, "Shhhhh, you'll wake the baby." And giggled ever so softly.
The Slayer frowned, what had happened to the no-nonsense woman who'd tried to talk her into the military back in the Doublemeat Palace? Anyway, was it her imagination, but did Ms. Dashinsky look somehow younger than she remembered? Her hair was longer, thicker too, and the gray at the temples was gone. "If this is me laying on life-support back in some cancer ward waiting to die," the woman smiled wryly, "Then, maybe death's not so bad after all."
"What?" Buffy rose to her feet, to stare down at the two obvious lovers nestled together in the long silky grass.
"Shhhhh, look!" Raina tossed her head in the direction of two dots on the colored chalk horizon at the feet of one of the gigantic soldiers guarding their strange refuge, "They're back!" Buffy shaded her eyes with one hand. The two dots quickly became the Cat and the Fox, scampered and wove their way through the childish landscape, before dolphining through the long grass and up the hill, where they crouched just out of easy reach and stared warily at the two women with intensely blue eyes.
Buffy froze as the two oddly colored animals circle them suspiciously, noses busy, ears and tails twitching until at some silent signal, they approached the prone Mike, sniffing him aggressively before pacing up and down his body, pausing to bat at each other until wrestling, they fell with laughing cries out of sight from his shoulders, only to pop up and stare at Buffy and Raina before curling up against the prone Bear, who put one massive arm around them both protectively in his sleep in one big cuddle puddle.
Which was when the red and white flea made its move.