Title: "California Dreaming".

Part: 1/1

Author: "A Gentleman Of Leisure".

E-mail: nemo1nemo@btopenworld.com

Summary: 'To sleep, perchance to dream, aye there's the rub'.

Story Type: In canon Buffyverse.

Rating overall: G.

Spoilers: Takes place after S6x2 and before OMWF.

Distribution/Archiving: Ask first please.

Disclaimers: The usual - just borrowing Joss's toys. I promise to put them back safely. Thank you.

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Buffy came awake very slowly, her mind filled with drowsy memories of a dream of warmth and comfort and love. She smiled in her half sleep and rolled over, her eyes still closed. She sighed as the remnants of the dream began to fade, her expression gradually changed, her eyelids fluttered and reluctantly opened.

For a moment she lay gazing at the ceiling, her face a blank, unrecognising, unremembering. Then she groaned, and her eyes closed again as other memories came, and she tried to stop the tears. But it was no use, they squeezed out from under eyelids tightly shut, and trickled slowly down her cheeks. She turned on her side again and buried her face in the pillow.

*

Dawn came awake to the sound that had become much too familiar over the past days and weeks. She too sighed.

She lay there listening for a few moments, waiting for the sound of her sister's crying to quieten. It didn't.

Reluctantly she got up and padded next door to Buffy's room, slipped into bed next to her, and put her arms round her sister to comfort her, a strange reversal of the times, not so long ago, when the Buffybot lay there on the same bed recharging itself at night, and she would do the same thing, but to comfort herself.

As she snuggled up to her big sister, she couldn't help hoping that Buffy would soon start to recover from the shock of being rescued from whatever awful Hell Dimension she had been trapped in. It felt to Dawn as if she hadn't had an unbroken night's sleep in ages. Next to her, Buffy's bitter sobbing gradually stilled.

THE END

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