PLAYING MAKE-BELIEVE

by Brandiwine

September 18, 2016

Disclaimer: I do not own these characters of these shows, but I thought it would be fun to try a massive crossover. So, read on.

Chapter One: Sarafina

"Good morning, Princess. Sorry, it's still sunny outside. No snow." Sarafina's father told her upon waking her that warm Christmas morning.

"That's ok. We're together. I like it when you call me Princess." She said hugging him tight as he smiled.

"I know that. You're Daddy's girl. Get up, get dressed, and we'll go on our yearly walk. Ok?"

"Yeah. I'll be right down." Sarafina said waiting for her father to leave before she got up, made the bed, and perused her closet for something to wear.

"Ready to go, Sweetheart?" Sarafina's mother asked once she'd entered the kitchen smelling pancakes and eggs cooking.

"Do I look all right? I thought red and green." Sarafina said modeling her dress for her mother as her mother smiled.

"We're wearing the same dress. Is that ok?"

"I'm wearing a matching suit. So we all match." Sarin said joyfully as all three family members sat down to what might be the last breakfast they'd ever have together.

"Look, it's snowing. Wow) Sarafina mused as she strolled down the street with her parents beside her.

"You lost?" A man asked standing behind them as they stopped in their tracks confused.

"No. We always take a walk around town on Christmas." Sarin said warily as the man opened his mouth and showed his fangs.

"Sarafina, Saralee, run!" Sarin commanded as Sarafina tore off in one direction and her parents tore off in another.

Sarafina fell in the snow as she heard snarling and growling followed by screams.

"A snow angel. I made a snow angel." She whispered as hands helped her from the snow as she began to fight.

"No! Stop! Let me go!"

"It's ok. Stop fighting. I'm here to help. I'm Angel. Who are you?" A tall man asked as Sarafina noticed he wore period clothing.

"I'm Sarafina. What do you want?"

"Just to help. Come on. I know a place where you'll be safe."

"A vampire killed them?"

"There are no such things as vampires." Angel clucked helping her along the street as she felt a little woozy.

"There are no such things as vampires? Why are you dressed like that?" She asked smoothing hair from her face.

"Costume party."

"But it's Christmas. What costume party?" Sarafina queried as Angel led her into a big building with double doors and thick, glass windows. A building that seemed to have light-blue brick.

"Never mind. You'll be safe here. You can get help here." Angel said helping Sarafina into a bed with warm sheets and blankets.

"Thank you. Are Sarin and Saralee dead?" Sarafina asked trying not to cry.

"Yes, I'm sorry. Everything will be ok."

"How can you say that? My parents are dead and I'm all alone here." Sarafina cried as a slight girl with blond hair and jeans showed up at her bedside out of nowhere.

"Hi, Sarafina. I'm Buffy." The girl said holding a bag in her arms.

"Hi. You know my name." Sarafina said as Buffy put the bag down in a nearby closet.

"I thought it would help if I got some of your things. That ok?"

"Yes, I guess so. Thank you." Sarafina heard herself say from what sounded far away from her.

"We should go, Buffy. Sarafina's in shock." The man said as Sarafina closed her eyes feeling exhausted.

"You're probably right. We'll come back another time. Ok, Sarafina?"

"I think she's asleep. Let's go." Angel said as he and Buffy tiptoed away.

Chapter Two: Arthur

"Wake up and face me, Morgana!" Sarafina heard someone shout at her as she woke up the next day.

"I'm not Morgana. I'm Sarafina." She rushed as Arthur stopped holding a letter opener to her throat.

"You're not Morgana?" He asked perplexed.

"No. I'm Sarafina. Are you King Arthur?"

"Yes. Sorry. I mistook you for someone else."

"Arthur, I think you left Excallibur in your room. Why not take Arthur to his room, Guenevere?"

"Yes, I will do that. Come with me, Arthur. I think I know where I saw Excallibur." Guen persuaded as Sarafina looked confused.

"Is he not King Arthur?"

"No. He's just Arthur Pendragon. There is no such thing as Excallibur."

"Who are you then?" Sarafina asked scrutinizing Merlin with confused eyes.

"I'm Merlin Emrys. I'm your doctor. And no, I'm no wizard." Merlin defended as Sarafina smiled.

"Why not? I guess fantasy could be frowned upon in a hospital."

"Yes. We're here to bring people back to reality. Are you hungry? Maybe you'd like a tour of Healing Realms?"

"Healing Realms? Do you know what that sounds like?"

"No. It sounds like a name of a hospital." Merlin finished turning to leave to fetch her food if she decided to eat.

"I am hungry, and I'd like a tour of this hospital."

"What would you like to eat?"

"Surprise me." Sarafina said as Merlin nodded before leaving her to herself for a moment.

"I thought I might bring an assortment of food because I didn't know what you'd like." Merlin explained as Sarafina nodded smiling.

"Thank you. I do like sausage, cheese, crackers, fruit, and bread and butter. I also like chocolate milk and cookies. You're very knowledgeable when it comes to being a doctor."

"Well. Thank you. I'll leave you to your feast then. Perhaps I could come back later and procure you an escort for a tour." He said turning to go as Sarafina sat down to eat.

"That sounds good. I'd like to take a bath first. Would that be ok?" She asked placing a napkin on her lap.

"Yes, of course. You'll need supervision if you wish to shave though." Merlin advised as Sarafina laughed.

"I don't need to do that. I think I saw some bubble-bath. The tub seems very accommodating as well."

"Well then. Feel free. Just pick up the phone and push intercom and I'll answer. Ok?"

"Yes. Thank you, Dr. Emrys."

"Merlin."

"Thank you, Merlin. I feel somewhat at home." Sarafina said kindly as Merlin finally left her to eat in peace.

Chapter Three: Here come the witches

Sarafina remembered hearing rain on the roof of her room when last she'd fallen asleep. Now she wondered how long she'd been asleep and if it was still raining. So she slipped out of bed and moved to a window seat near the window and moved the curtain aside to look out. To her surprise, however, it was clear outside with a slight mist.

"It isn't raining anymore then? When did it stop? How long was I asleep? Why am I on my own? What do I do?" Sarafina mused as there was a knock at her door before it flung open to reveal three women.

"There she is!" The tall woman with dark brown hair said pointing her head at Sarafina as she found herself flying across the floor.

"Hey! What is this about?" Sarafina demanded as another shorter woman with red hair karate kicked her across the floor to another wall.

"Now I freeze her and we're ready to vanquish her." The woman with lighter brown hair announced as Sarafina suddenly stood up and put her hands up in surrender.

"I don't know what you think, but I'm not a demon. I'm just a girl."

"Yeah right. And I'm not a witch."

"Are you witches? I thought there was no such thing." Sarafina said looking confused as Merlin' chose that moment to turn up looking cross.

"What's going on here, Ladies? Why are you out of your rooms?" He asked with crossed arms.

"We thought"

"You thought what? Go back to your rooms. What do we say about witchcraft?"

"What do we say about witchcraft?" The woman with red hair hedged.

"Yes, Phoebe, what do we say about witchcraft? Is it acceptable?"

"No. It's frowned upon."

"And, Pru, does it exist?" He asked narrowing a glare at what must be the oldest one of three sisters.

"It does exist, but it's not permitted here."

"And, Phoebe, is violence permitted here?"

"No." She admitted bowing her head and looking demurred.

"Thank you for stopping by. You may leave." Merlin said with a flourish as the sisters rushed away.

"Who were they? What did they want?" Sarafina asked seated on the window seat now.

"They think they're witches, but they're harmless."

"Oh I don't know about that. The oldest one."

"Pru Halliwell is her name. Her sisters are Piper and Phoebe."

"She seemed to do something with her mind and I flew across the room." Sarafina explained as Merlin gave forth a slight smile.

"Oh I doubt that. You must have been pushed or fell from surprise. Can I get you anything? How are you liking it here?" Merlin asked seating himself beside her, looking kind.

"I don't know. I just woke up and it was no longer raining." She said rubbing her arms as though she'd been frightened.

"Hot chocolate might be soothing at a time like this. What do you say?"

"Will there be marshmallows?" She asked giving forth a smile of her own.

"Yes. You may even have cookies if you like."

"Maybe after a sandwich or salad?"

"You can have whatever you like. Just tell me and your wish is my command."

"Do wishes exist?" She asked smirking now.

"Yes. At least I believe they do. Wait here. I'll be back in two shakes of a dead lamb's tail."

"I'll be here." She agreed closing her eyes to rest as she wondered to herself.

"Why does he try and deny the bizarre?"

Chapter Four: An old familiar face

"How are you fairing here?" Giles asked coming into Sarafina's room after a brief knock as rain dotted her window.

"Giles, is that you?" She asked sitting up in bed with a surprised smile.

"So you know me then?" He said as they quickly embraced.

"Father talked of you. Maybe Mother. How are you?" She asked as he took up a seat near her bedside.

"I'm fine, but I should be asking you that."

"You did. I'm fine, but this place is strange."

"Really? Why would you say that?"

"It seems like there is magic here, yet the doctor denies it."

"I doubt he denies it. You might be experiencing shock from your parent's death." He said averting his gaze as she smirked.

"Well. I am in a mental hospital am I not?"

"Angel and Buffy thought it the best place for you because you were in shock. Are you still?"

"No. I'm well taken care of here when someone isn't yelling or rushing at me."

"Did some people do that?" Giles asked smoothing hair behind her ear.

"One man thought me to have his sword. Some women called me a demon and declared they were witches."

"More patients that's all. Maybe you could come and stay with me for a while. What would you think about that?"

"Maybe. Not just yet. I must be ill if I believe in magic and vampires."

"What do you mean by vampires?"

"I thought vampires killed my parents. Did they?" She asked scrutinizing his face for signs of concealment.

"No. Your parents were killed by muggers. Vampires. Why would you think such a thing?"

"I don't know. I didn't see who killed them. I fell into the snow and would have died there. Buffy and angel came. I'm fine now I guess."

"You are fine and you will get well soon. You will see."

"So some girl called Willow has no magic?" Sarafina asked stopping Giles in his retreating tracks.

"No, of course not. She's just a high school student just like Buffy."

"And Angel?"

"What about angel? He and Buffy are friends."

"Why the period clothing?"

"Was he wearing period clothing?" Giles asked swivelling to face her now.

"I thought he was. He said it was a Halloween costume around Christmas time. Who is he kidding?"

"Maybe it was a Christmas party with costumes. Dickens is popular around Christmas you know."

"Yes, I know. I adore Dickens."

"Can I bring you anything once I return to visit you again?"

"No. You can bring me things if you like, but I'm fine." She said with half-closed eyes as she noticed Giles had nodded and scurried away.

Chapter Five: There can be only one

It was raining steadily again as Sarafina again awoke to a noise. Her door flung open and hit the wall as she bolted upright in bed. A tall man with shoulder-length brown hair and angry eyes stood over her with a sword.

"What now? What do you want?" She asked jumping out of bed to dive under it as the sword swung at hand.

"I am Duncan Mc'Cleod of the Clan Mc'Cleod and you're dead."

"Why? I've done nothing wrong." She said clinging to the other side of the bed far away from him.

"There can be only one." He explained trying his hardest to reach her.

"Only one what?"

"Only one immortal. Wait. You're not an immortal are you?" He asked sheaving his sword as Sarafina gasped in relief.

"No, I'm not an immortal. Do they really exist?" She asked as the man looked at his hands confused.

"Lost again, Duncan?" Merlin asked rushing into see if all was well.

"I'm not sure. I'm sorry. I made a mistake." He said leaving as Merlin helped Sarafina up from the bed she'd been hiding under.

"What was that? Will you say there are no immortals?" Sarafina asked as Merlin handed her a glass of water.

"You look thirsty. Fantasy is not reality. Witches, vampires, and immortals are fantasy. I hope you realize that."

"Yes, I suppose. Do you know King Arthur had a friend named Merlin? He was a wizard."

"Yes, I know that. Everyone knows the legend of King Arthur." Merlin said taking the glass from her to place back atop her nightstand.

"What should I do now? It's raining again."

"It has been raining a lot lately. That's how May is sometimes."

"May? I've been here since Christmas? What progress have I made?" She asked sitting on her bed with her head hung down in defeat.

"Well, you're getting better if you realize fantasy is not reality. There is a place for fantasy in reality, but it's not the main focus of our world." Merlin lectured as Sarafina rubbed sleep from her eyes.

"I think I'd feel better after a bath. Would that be attainable?"

"Of course. You do what you need to ready for the day. I can come back later." Merlin said moving to leave through her door.

"Wait a minute. What happened to the holidays?"

"Holidays? Oh well. You weren't interested in New Year's. You said you hate Valentine's Day. St. Patrick's Day held nothing for you. However, we did have a picnic and Easter candy. Do you remember that? It could be hard because of the medication."

"I think I recall having devilled eggs and ham sitting in some pavilion."

"We have picnic tables and pavilions here. That must be what you remember."

"Was there an Easter egg hunt?"

"No. It would have riled up our patients too much." Merlin said as Sarafina laughed.

"How much more riled up can they get?"

"Excuse me?"

"Well, there's always someone bursting in my room accusing me of some unfound crime."

"What do you mean by unfound crime?"

"Never mind. I really need the bath." She said moving to collect her things before entering the bathroom connected to her room.

"I'll have food brought if you like."

"That would be acceptable. Thank you." Sarafina said as Merlin left and Sarafina sauntered into the bathroom to run her bath.

Chapter Six: How weirder can it get?

"I brought you your meal. I thought you'd like a variety because I'm still not sure what you'd like." Merlin said once Sarafina had emerged from the bathroom an hour later.

"Thank you. That's nice." She said wearing jeans and a Burkley t-shirt.

"Healthy body healthy mind. Anything else strange happen while I was gone?" Merlin asked perching on the edge of the a chair near Sarafina's bed.

"No, not that I know of. Thank you for the food, but if you don't mind"

"No, of course not. I'll come check on you later." He said taking his leave as she smiled at his back.

"Thank you. You are a good doctor if not a wizard."

"And that I am not." Merlin finished as Sarafina was again alone.

"He claims there is no magic, but I don't believe him. Still, this looks good." She mused seeing chicken, macaroni salad, cheese, bread and butter, and fruit on her plate accompanied with a cup of lemonade and napkins.

"Are you finished eating?" Merlin asked finding Sarafina asleep an hour later. So he took her things away without waking her.

"Was someone here? Oh, Merlin must have taken my plate. That's ok." Sarafina told herself when something odd happened. The door opened and a car drove in with a man at the wheel.

"Michael, I think we've taken a wrong turn somehow." The car said as Sarafina stared at it transfixed.

"There's no vampires, witches, or wizards, but a car can talk?"

"Yes, I can talk. I am the Knight Industries 2000. Who are you?"

"I'm Sarafina, and this is Healing Realms."

"Hi. I'm michael Knight. What is this place? Sorry if we startled you."

"Startled is an understatement. It's not every day a car drives into one's room."

"We must have taken a wrong turn. Sorry." Michael said backing up as Sarafina laughed.

"Not at all. Where were you headed?" She asked as the car paused.

"The beach."

"Well then. Have a nice time. This is not the beach." Sarafina giggled as she watched car drive away closing her door behind it.

"No, I am not well. So it would seem." Sarafina told herself lying back down to sleep some more.

Chapter Seven: Yet another surprise

Sarafina was making her bed when she saw something glint from under her door. So she stood up and walked to the door and slowly opened it. What she found there was a wooden stick with a feather connected to it as she stared at it in wonder.

"Is this a wand?" She wondered remembered she'd read all the Harry Potter books and seen the movies when Harry Potter was suddenly before her.

"Expelliarmis!" He shouted as Sarafina put up the wand she held before her to ward off the spell.

"Are you Harry Potter?" She asked in awe.

"Maybe. No." The boy who looked like Harry Potter lied before turning to go.

"Wait. You forgot this." Sarafina said handing him the wand as he smiled before rushing off with her door shutting behind him.

"Did that just happen?" She wondered looking at the door as though she'd never opened it.

"So, how are you feeling today?" Merlin asked as he and Sarafina sat on a patio around a table in patio chairs.

"I'm not sure." She said picking up a glass of lemonade to sip from.

"Why not? Did something happen?" Merlin asked sipping his own drink after asking her.

"I was making my bed and I thought"

"You thought what?" He asked as she looked hesitant about telling him.

"I thought I found a wand outside my door and Harry Potter appeared. I'm not even sure if I opened the door in the first place. Isn't that silly?" She asked picking up a finger sandwich to nibble on nervously.

"No, that's not silly. Hallucinations can happen here. You dismissed it. That means you're feeling better. I'm glad." Merlin said as sarafina picked up a cookie next.

"How does that make me better? You're telling me folklore, fantasy, and scifi has no place in reality, but there's room for fun and entertainment isn't there?"

"There is room for fun and entertainment unless you find yourself believing in it as though it is real. It's just not real in this place and time."

"How is it not real? I don't understand." She said wiping her mouth with a napkin.

"Do you honestly think vampires killed your parents still? It's just not imperically possible." Merlin finished as Sarafina stared at him with surprise.

"What?"

"I've heard that somewhere before."

"Where?"

"I'm not sure."

"You seem unsure about a lot of things. Are you?" Merlin asked gazing at her with concern.

"I am sure about one thing. It's a nice day and we are having a nice time. That's something real and positive. Right?"

"Right. It is a nice time, but I must get back soon. Would you like to stay out here or go back inside?"

"I'd like to stay out here. Is that possible? I won't leave."

"No, you can't leave. I'll get someone to stay with you."

"I can stay with her." A tall man with shoulder-length hair and brown eyes suggested standing behind Merlin.

"That would be helpful. Thank you, Alex. That would help me." Merlin said smiling before taking his leave as Sarafina stared at Alex in shock.

"Is something the matter?" He asked taking Merlin's chair.

"You look familiar, that's all. I'm Sarafina." She said smiling at him next.

"Yeah, I've seen you about and heard about you. You're the girl who plays make-believe."

"It sounds rude when you say it like that." She retorted watching him pour himself a fresh glass of lemonade from the pitcher.

"Sorry. Do you believe in vampires?"

"Do you?"

"No. You think I'm someone I'm not don't you?" He chastened sipping his drink.

"No, I just thought, you looked like"

"I looked like Duncan Mc'Cleod the Highlander. Isn't that right?"

"Yes, yes. You're right. I thought you were him, but I'm a patient here for a reason I guess. What's your excuse?" She challenged taking another cookie from her plate.

"I'm an attendant, but you don't seem like you need one." He said taking up a cookie next.

"Thank you. You are kind. Do you think we could walk a little?" She asked pushing back her chair to stand up.

"Do you want to hold my hand?" He asked with a smirk.

"No. Do you want to hold my hand?" She asked as they moved away from the table to start their walk.

"No. I just watch."

"But you don't talk?" She asked with a giggle that made him laugh.

"Of course I can talk. I see you like flowers." He said watching her pick a tulip to smell.

"All girls like flowers. At least most do I think." She explained as he took the flower from her and tucked it behind her ear.

"Yes, most girls do. That looks nice." He said as Sarafina blushed.

"Thank you. Girls also like to look pretty."

"Now, I know that. So how far would you like to walk?" He asked as they made their way to a nearby pool that people were lounging around and swimming in.

"Oh I don't know. The pool looks cool on a hot day."

"Are you hot? Would you like water?" He offered as a bottle of water appeared in his hand.

"Yes, thank you."

"Sure. This chair has an umbrella with it. It will shade you if you'd like to sit down."

"No thank you. I think I'd like to go inside for a nap." She sighed as her eyelids closed halfway.

"Ok. It's the medication. Let's go." Alex said picking her up before she could fall to the ground to take to her room.

"Are you an immortal?" She asked groggily as he carried her to her room.

"No, but I'll tell you one thing. Sometimes people play vampires or immortals to entertain people. People like stories. Do you know that?" He asked tucking her into her bed.

"Yes, I do know that. Thank you. Will you stay with me or maybe not."

"I can stay with you. I have no other pressing business just now." He said smiling at her as she finally slept.

Chapter Eight: In awe

"Hi. How are you feeling?" Alex asked as Sarafina slowly opened her eyes surprised to see him there.

"You're still here." She said wondering if he was real.

"Of course. I didn't want you to wake up alone. I have food."

"You do? That sounds nice. How long have I been asleep?" She asked rubbing sleep from her eyes.

"Maybe two days. It's the medicine." He said handing her a glass of water.

"Than you. You seem to know what I need. Thank you."

"You're welcome."

"I'm not wearing diapers am I?" She whispered feeling embarrassed for having asked.

"No. I took you to the bathroom once or twice."

"Thank you. I'm glad I didn't wake up alone. Weird things seem to happen when I'm alone."

"Like what?"

"Magic happens or someone is trying to harm me."

"It's fantasy. The medicine keeps you in reality. you're doing just fine." He said hugging her as she thought hard not to cry.

"Thank you. You are so kind." She said moving to go to the bathroom by herself this time as he waited for her to return.

"You said I'm kind." I'm just doing my job." Alex said once Sarafina was settled in bed with a tray of food across her lap.

"I know that. You are very good at your job. This looks good." She said surveying a plate filled with chicken, potatoes, fruit, and bread and butter.

"Well. I know you like chicken. So I thought it would do."

"It is really good. Thanks."

"Sure. Why are you here anyway?"

"I thought" She hesitated feeling silly for saying so.

"You thought what? You can tell me. I won't judge you."

"I thought my parents were killed by vampires. It seemed so real. Things seem so real at times, but they aren't I guess." She finished sipping some lemonade.

"Maybe you were in shock and were confused. Maybe that's what happened?" He asked wiping her face as she smiled.

"I can do that. Maybe. I'm not sure. Things seem to happen that are so strange. I'm just glad it's stopped for now." She said eating some potatoes after saying so.

"I'm glad you seem to feel better for now. Are you finished?" He asked seeing Sarafina yawn.

"Yes. Thank you again."

"You're welcome. You can go back to sleep. You seem tired." He said pausing in the door with her tray in hand.

"Thank you. I will do that." She said as her eyes closed taking her away from reality.

Chapter Nine: Decisions to make

"Now what day or month is it?" Sarafina asked upon waking to find alex beside her.

"It's Monday and it's July 17. Does that surprise you?" He asked handing her a glass of water.

"Thank you. No. I remember the 4Th of July and the sparklers."

"You drop them before they could end." He said laughing as she smiled.

"I'm always afraid it will burn my hand." She explained taking in some water.

"I don't think that's supposed to happen. Maybe they wouldn't sell them if that were the case."

"I suppose. Do you know, nothing weird has happened since you showed up."

"That's good. It means you're getting better." Alex finished as Merlin cleared his throat to show him he was there.

"Am I interrupting?" He asked with clasped hands.

"No. Alex and I were just talking about fireworks."

"I heard. Do you have time for me?" He asked as Sarafina smiled.

"Yes, I believe I do."

"I think I have some work to do elsewhere." Alex said excusing himself as Merlin took his chair.

"You and alex seem to be getting along well. How do you feel?" Merlin asked as Sarafina stared at his glasses thinking why does he wear them?

"Yes, he is very kind. I like him."

"Most patients here like him. Did you recall the 4Th of July?"

"Yes. That's what we were talking about."

"Has anything out of the ordinary happened of late?"

"Do you mean magical or fantastical people showing up? No, thank goodness. I think it's going away." She said accepting more water from a pitcher Merlin held in his hand.

"I think you're cured." Merlin said as Buffy and angel showed up in the doorway.

"Maybe not. Would you excuse me. I seem to have some visitors."

"Of course. I'll check on you later."

"Thank you. Buffy, Angel. Come in and sit." Sarafina invited as they complied.

"We came to see how you're feeling." Angel said as Buffy stood beside him.

"I'm feeling better than I did. What brings you by?" She asked sipping more water from her cup.

"We just wanted to make sure you were ok. You seemed out of sorts the last time we saw you." Buffy said as Sarafina smiled slightly.

"Yes, I know. I was confused. Thank you for bringing me here. I think I needed this place." Sarafina said as Buffy and angel looked at her confused.

"Really? Why?"

"I thought my parents were killed by vampires, but now I don't think so."

"You don't think so." Buffy said slowly as Angel kissed her cheek before vanishing away.

"No. I'm done playing make-believe. Perhaps that's why Angel just vanished."

"So you don't believe I'm a vampire slayer?"

"No. Ain't no such thing." Sarafina said smiling as Buffy giggled.

"Yeah. I guess not. I'm glad you're better. See you around." Buffy said hugging Sarafina before taking her leave.

"Yeah, maybe in high school or somewhere." Sarafina said waving as Buffy was suddenly gone.

"That was very good." Alex praised after checking to see if she was alone.

"Thank you. Where will I go? I have no home." Sarafina said looking downcast.

"Well, I have a home. We could share it as room mates." He offered as tears filled her eyes.

"That's so nice. Maybe. I don't know if I can leave yet." Sarafina said as Merlin appeared.

"You can leave if you feel better, but you should stop by from time to time just to chat. What do you think?" He asked holding a manilla envelope in his hands.

"Yes, ok. What's that?" She asked pointing to the envelope.

"Something I was ordered to keep for you until you felt better by your father."

"You knew my father?"

"Yes. We were fast friends. Here." He said handing her the envelope as she stared at it warily.

"It's ok. Take it. You need to know." Alex said as Sarafina nodded before accepting her fate.

"Thank you. Excuse me." She said moving to sit in a chair with the envelope as they left her her privacy to view it.

"What can this be?" She asked opening the envelope to find a letter from her father. So she stealed up her courage and began to read knowing she needed to.

Dear Sarafina;

If you are reading this, I am dead. So is your mother. I'm sorry we left you alone. In this envelope Merlin has kept for you is the means for you to live comfortably as you see fit. Know that we love you and be safe. I hope this letter finds you well. All my love. S.

"You knew something I didn't. You knew I was sick. So who killed you? I don't understand." Sarafina muttered as Alex stood by the door after a brief knock.

"Hi." He said waiting to see what she wanted him to do.

"Hi. I read a letter from my father. He knew I was ill I guess."

"I knew him also. He was in with the Mafia, not vampires." He said chuckling as she glanced at him with tear-stained cheeks.

"That makes more sense. What will I do? Where will I go?" She asked as he stepped closer and enfolded her in his arms.

"You can come with me, or you can go home I guess." He said as she leaned against him for strength.

"I don't want to go there. Well, I should collect my things. Will you go with me?" She asked hoping he wouldn't say no.

"If that's what you want. Yes."

"What about your work here?"

"I can go with you later if you like."

"After dark?"

"Are you afraid of the dark?"

"Maybe. I'm not sure. What if something happens?"

"Something out of make-believe you mean?"

"Yes."

"I'll be with you. It will be ok." He said as she wiped her eyes with a tissue and smiled.

"Ok. you come and collect me when you're free and we will go. Sound good?"

"Sounds great. See you then." He said letting her go upon taking his leave.

"Yes, see you then. I just hope things maintain." She said going to the bathroom to freshen up.

Chapter Ten: Is it make-believe after all?

"So, how long has it been since you were here?" Alex inquired as he and Sarafina stood in her house some hours later.

"Not since Christmas nine months ago. You can see the table is still set for breakfast." She said as they stood in the kitchen surveying the scene.

"Yes, I can see that. I hope the breakfast wasn't left out." Alex mused glancing at the spacious kitchen.

"No. We ate before we went out on our custom Christmas walk. That's when" She trailed off not wanting to say it.

"That's when your parents were killed." Alex finished as Sarafina nodded.

"Yes. Then Buffy and Angel. Huhhuh. Brought me to Healing Realms. I'm glad they did." She said moving through the kitchen and up a staircase to her room with Alex fast behind her.

"What can I do?" He asked as the moon grew dark.

"Turn on the light." Sarafina suggested as Alex moved to do so.

"Better?" He asked once the room was illuminated with light from the lightbulb ahead of them.

"Yes. Thank you." She said moving to a closet to fetch a suitcase.

"Sarafina, you seem nervous. It's all right. I'm here." Alex said supportively as Sarafina smiled.

"Thank you. That's helpful. I'll just pack my things." She said taking clothes from her dresser and her closet to shove in the open suitcase upon her pink canopied bed.

"There's no hurry." Alex said as Sarafina nodded when a howl erupted from outside.

"What was that?"

"Wolves probably. There are no werewolves."

"I know. I have just a few more things to pack." Sarafina said moving to take up a jewelry box and bag of hair items with a brush to thrust in the case.

"Would you like to stay here tonight? You seem nervous." Alex said as Sarafina was chewing her thumbnail.

"I don't know. Are there locks on the doors?"

"Of course. I'll go lock the doors and windows. Ok?" He said moving to do so as Sarafina stopped him.

"Do you need help? Should I go with you?"

"No. I'll be fine. Just finish packing. I'll be right back." Alex promised as Sarafina nodded still chewing her nail.

"I'll go see if there's anything to eat." Sarafina said closing her case since she was done packing.

"Sounds good. I'll see you in the kitchen." Alex said dashing away as Sarafina paused hearing my howls.

"It's just wolves. That's all. There must be something in the kitchen or we can order a pizza." Sarafina told herself as she dashed down the stairs and back into the kitchen.

"Everything's locked up tight." Alex announced as Sarafina jumped and laughed a little.

"That's good. I don't know if there's anything to eat, but we could probably order a pizza."

"Sounds good. Let me see. We have curdled milk, moldy cheese, and other expired food." Alex said throwing food in the garbage as Sarafina opened the pantry.

"There are noodles in here. Vienna sausages and squeeze cheese. I think I also see crackers and popcorn."

"There is also bottled water and soft drinks in the fridge. I think they're still good."

"That settles it then. We can have cheese and crackers with sausages and noodles.""

"I can cook the noodles." Alex said as Sarafina handed him a pan she took from a nearby cupboard.

"I think that is a good idea." She said opening another cupboard to take plates from. Then she stacked crackers and sausages on two plates and carried them to the table with the crackers in hand.

"Here's some drinks for us." Alex said as they listened to the water boil before alex added noodles.

"Thanks. It looks good. It's quiet though." Sarafina said standing close but not too close to Alex who stood at the stove.

"Maybe your television still works." He said glancing at the nearby living room as Sarafina dashed over to check.

"Yes, it does work. What should we watch?" Sarafina asked pushing a button on the remote to check the channels with.

"Whatever looks good to you." Alex said mixing season packets into the noodles before spooning them into bowls for them to eat.

"I'm not sure. How about Star Trek." She said smiling as she thought now people will beam into my house because I'm having a hard time.

"Star Trek is fine. I like it." Alex said carrying the bowls to the table as Sarafina put down the remote and moved to join him.

"Men won't beam into the house now will they?" She asked as they laughed.

"No, probably not as long as I'm here." Alex said picking up a fork full of noodles to eat.

"That's a relief." Sarafina said taking out crackers to squeeze cheese on and top with a sausage.

"I'm here, Sarafina. You needn't be nervous." Alex said open his soda to take a drink.

"Ok. I won't be. I'll just fetch a blanket for us to snuggle with after we eat."

"That sounds cozy." Alex said biting a cracker with cheese and sausage atop it.

"I think so. I'm sorry I'm nervous. I just haven't been here for so long." She confessed eating some of her noodles after blowing over them.

"I realize that, but I'm here with you. It will be fine." He said wiping his hands on a napkin as she did the same.

"I hope so." She said as they finished eating and she went to fetch a blanket from her bed as alex cleaned up.

"It will be fine." Alex promised as Sarafina stopped near her window thinking she'd seen a face pressed up against it.

"Sarafina, you're missing the show!" Alex called as Sarafina startled, laughed, and raced down to join him once more.

"What am I missing? Which Star Trek is it?" She asked standing beside him with the blanket clutched in her hand.

"I think it's Next generation." Alex said gazing at her with concern.

"I'm fine. Just let me spread this over us." She said dropping the blanket as the power chose that moment to go out.

"It's ok. It's just a power outage. It's to be expected after the house being abandoned this long." Alex explained as Sarafina let out a little squeak.

"Ok. What do we do?" She asked clutching Alex's hand with newfound fear.

"We can find a flashlight and go down to the basement to look at the fuse box or we can stay here in the dark. We are together." Alex suggested as Sarafina thought for a second before answering.

"Maybe if we just wait." She said seating herself beside Alex as the power mercifully turned back on.

"Should we go?" Alex asked seeing Sarafina looked ashen faced.

"Maybe. I need my suitcase." She said trying to keep her voice from shaking.

"I'll get it. Just stay here." Alex instructed as Sarafina nodded with tears filling her eyes.

"Hurry back. What is this? What am I? A child? I'm fine." Sarafina scolded as Alex reappeared with her suitcase in hand.

"Ready?" He asked knowing she was.

"Thank you. Is it ok to leave?"

"That's up to you. Are you ready to leave?" He asked as another howl erupted from outside.

"Yes. I want to be with you. I want to go with you."

"Then come on. It's ok. You're ok. We're ok." Alex cajoled as Sarafina took his hand and raced out to his car to thrust herself inside.

"It will be fine. You'll see. It's just make-believe." Alex said as Sarafina nodded knowing it really was.

The End.