Disclaimer:  Nope, I don't own anything in this story.  Buffy belongs to Joss Whedon and company and the mystery guy in her dream…well, go ahead and figure out who he belongs to cause I'm not telling – though you might figure it out anyway, just be reading the Authors Notes,

Authors Notes:  This is a sequel to Touch of Light – only this fic is from Buffy's point of view rather than Jack's.

Only in Dreams

"I knew that everyone I cared about was all right. I knew it. Time ... didn't mean anything ... nothing had form ... but I was still me, you know? And I was warm ... and I was loved ... and I was finished. Complete. I don't understand about theology or dimensions, or ... any of it, really ... but I think I was in heaven."


Everything was warm.

There was light pouring over her, drenching her in its eternal brightness.  Time was meaningless as she traveled through the light, a part of her smiling as she reveled in its warmth.  Back home, she would not have had the time to appreciate the light.  She never had the time back home.  She had a job that she could not refuse.  She had people who trusted her to take care of them, to do the job to which she was destined.

But now, that job was done.  She had jumped through a portal to save her sister, her friends…to save the world.  A world that she had saved on a number of occasions.  A world that she could not turn her back on, even though it meant sacrificing her own life.

And now she was here.  Wherever here was.

She reveled in the peace she felt, the peace that eluded her for so long during her time as a Slayer.  The warmth, the light…both consumed her, filling her so much that she felt as if she would burst with joy. 

Suddenly, a gentle touch caressed her face.  A content smile crossed her face as she nuzzled into the touch, a burst of joy causing her heart to beat faster.  For so long she had yearned for that touch, that gentleness.  Her eyes opened, focusing slowly on the person in front of her.

It was him.  Him with his long hair and rough appearance; his penetrating eyes and wisps of hair that escaped his bandana.  Her eyes roamed over him, soaking him in.  She reached towards him and he pulled her into an embrace.  He leaned closer and she gently lifted her chin, eyes closing as she waited…

And a crash sounded from below her.

Buffy awoke with a start, body reacting immediately at the sound.  Her hand reached out to the nightstand next to her bed, reaching for the stake that inevitably lay there.  When her fist closed on nothing but air, her head whipped towards the nightstand…

Only to find that it was not there.  For a moment she was puzzled and slightly panicked until reality finally set it.  This was not her room; in fact, this was not even her house.  Her house lay miles away, buried under the rubble that had been her life for an array of years.  The Hellmouth had closed, yes.  They had won, defeated the First.  And their friends and their home were the price they had to pay.

She groaned and fell back onto her bed, muttering to herself at people who had no respect for the sleeping.  She closed her eyes, trying in vain to fall back asleep.  It was pointless, though, for sleep would not return to her.  She sighed again and glanced towards the window, a small smile crossing her face at the sun that gently filtered in through the partially closed curtains.  She crawled out of bed and stepped onto the floor, the ground warm under her bare feet.  She walked towards the curtain and brushed it gently aside.  A contented smile crossed her face as she felt the sunlight warm her face.

At the feeling of the warmth that filled her, images from her dream came pouring into her mind. 

Ever since her return to life, dreams of peace and tranquility had haunted her night after night.  Dreams of the peace she had lost, that she had been brutally torn away from, were constant reminds of the hell she had to endure day after day.  Night after night she would wake up and have reality come crashing back down upon her.  Yet slowly, as time passed, the dreams faded away.  As the Hellmouth starting growing restless, she had no time to deal with dreams. 

And so she had pushed any thoughts of that peacefulness away.  She had closed them deep within her mind.  She had other things that had to be dealt with; the consequences of her return had to be dealt with, even if it was not her fault in the first place.

For months the dreams no longer came.  She slept in a dreamless sleep, too worried about the dangers of the First to even consider thinking about that Heaven she had been torn from.  Little did she know that the dreams would return, as if they desperately wanted her to remember something.

Return they did.  After the battle with the First, as she stared over the rubble of the town she had lived in for years, a momentary wave of peace filled her.  It was brief, disappearing as soon as it had appeared.  Yet, that wave of peace was all that was needed to crack the shield she had created to block the memories.

That night, she dreamed of Heaven.  Again, the feelings of peace, completeness, and warmth were there; but something had changed.

In this dream, and every dream after, things started to take form.  Instead of the formless dreams that had occurred before, she could feel her body; she could feel the sun beating down on her; she could hear the gentle lapping of water; and most of all, she could feel the gentle caress of a hand on her face.

I don't understand, Buffy thought as she stared blindly out the window, her eyes staring into the distance.  In the dreams I had before, I never had a form.  I couldn't hear anything, I couldn't feel anything.  Everything was just…warm. 

"Who is he?"

The question slipped softly out of her lips as she closed her eyes, desperately trying to bring a memory of the man from her dreams.  Even with her attempt, she could only conjure a rough picture in her mind.  A man with dark hair, rough appearance.  She remembered the bandana that was always on her head, no matter what.  Gold winked at her whenever he smiled.  She knew him…

Yet she did not know why.

She could not remember his name, nor could she remember where she knew him from.  The only memories she had were of his gentle caress, his smirking lips, his dusky voice…and a part of her cried out in sadness, in despair as she yearned to once again be with him.  Wherever he was.

She sighed and leaned against the window, the glass cool against her forehead.  If only I could remember!  It's like my memory is blocked, like something is keeping those memories behind a wall.  I want to know who he is…I want to know where he is.

Yet, try as she might, nothing could force the memories to be unlocked.  She clenched her fists in impatience and turned away from the window.  She stalked back to her bed and plopped down, a few feathers floating up from the covers.  She leaned against the headboard and closed her eyes, frowning slightly.

How long she sat there, she could not say.  For a long while she sat, trying desperately to figure out what was going on.  As she sat there, fragments of her dream and many like it came back to her, slowly at first but growing in momentum as time passed.  She could hear the lap of water, feel the ground moving beneath her.  She felt the clash of swords against each other and heard laughter ensuing from the fight.  She heard the word pirate being thrown around like it was an everyday occurrence.  She felt emotions flowing through her like a whirlwind; panic first, then confusion…and then came acceptance and happiness.  She had been happy, at peace. 

She wanted that peace back.

A lone tear traveled down her cheek as she felt her long-suppressed yearning come to light once again; long had she pushed her yearnings for that peace away.  Long had she trapped them in the back of her mind, refusing to let them out.  Keeping them locked up was the only way to hold onto her sanity.  She had already learned that lesson well.

Buffy took a deep breathe as she closed her eyes and willed her tears away.  It is not the time for that now.  Someday, I'll have that peace back.  Right now, I have a job to do.  Demons are still out there – there still needs to be a Slayer.  There's still a need for me.

With those thoughts, Buffy stood up and strode over to her small closet, littered with only a few necessary clothes.  She grabbed a few articles of clothing and shut the closet door more forcefully than she had intended.  With a purposeful stride, she walked to the bathroom. 

As she turned to pull the bathroom door shut behind her, her eyes were once again drawn to the sunlight pouring in the window.  Her eyes softened a moment as she wistfully remembered her dreams; the light, the peace, the completeness.  And him. 

Yet she tore her gaze away from the window and closed the bathroom door behind her, shutting out the reminder of her heaven.  Only in her dreams would she be able to hold onto that heaven, that peace.  Only in her dreams would she ever meet him again.  Only in her dreams would she see the pirate that stole her heart.