Written for whedonland's Hush Challenge (no dialogue allowed) .
Disclaimer: I do not own Dollhouse. No profit made, no infringement intended.


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Echo laughs as she tugs on Sierra's hand. They run down the flower covered hill, Sierra struggling to keep up. The hill suddenly turns steeper, and Echo tumbles to the grass, Sierra falling against her. Sierra's blonde hair flows in patterns against Echo's bare arms, Sierra's body trembling with soft giggles that tickle Echo's skin. Echo tucks a lock of Sierra's hair behind her ear, grinning back at her.

The sun is still shinning brightly when a raindrop falls on Sierra's cheek. Echo watches with concern as Sierra's smile fades, and the sky darkens. A crash of thunder turns Echo's attention to the violent storm forming in the sky. Sierra's cry breaks the boundaries from dream and waking, her tearstained face the last thing Echo remembers as she awakens in her pod.

It only takes a minute for Echo to realize that Sierra's cries are real. Heart thudding in her chest, Echo carefully slides the glass down, silently exiting her pod. In the dark she makes her way to Sierra's pod, careful not to trip and make a sound. Through the glass Echo can see that Sierra is caught in a fitful dream, tears streaming down her cheeks. Echo kneels, easing the glass down.

Echo slips into Sierra's pod, lying down beside her. She takes Sierra's hand and squeezes it. For a moment Sierra struggles, but then she begins to awaken. Sierra looks back at Echo, trying to suppress the soft cry that escapes her lips. Echo gestures with a finger to her lips, then cups Sierra's chin, stroking her cheek. Sierra's tears begin to flow again as Echo wraps her arms around Sierra. Sierra sleeps in Echo's arms that night, and many more. Echo never forgets to wake up an hour before the pods open, and return to her own.

One night before the pods close, Sierra notices a scratch in the glass of her pod. As she examines it closer, she realizes the message. "Friends help each other out."