Buffy's Dream, Part Two

Someone was gently shaking Buffy. Buffy opened her eyes to see Willow sitting next to her.

"Come along, no time to sleep, there is more to see!"

"Wha?" Buffy mumbled. She was still by the creek in the meadow; only the creek had now gained a bridge. She blinked sleep from her eyes. Was it possible to be tired in a dream?

Willow pulled her to her feet. "You have to cross the bridge."

"Why?"

"Because you have come to it."

Buffy stared at the bridge. It was simply made, an arch of stone and wood spanning a distance she could easily jump. On the other side, she saw a forest. It looked dark and more than a little scary.

"But I don't want to."

Willow gave her a push. "That doesn't matter. The bridge has been built. You can't stay here."

Buffy looked around the gentle, peaceful meadow, then at the foreboding forest beyond. "But I like it here. The other side doesn't look as nice."

"That's only because you haven't crossed the bridge yet," Willow informed her. "Now go on."

Slowly, Buffy walked up and onto the bridge. Midway, she peered over the side and into the water. Sophomore Buffy and Angel were holding hands and waving at her. Were they saying good-bye or come back? Maybe she should turn around and check -

"Ignore them," Willow told her. "They might belong here, but you don't."

Buffy nodded and finished crossing the bridge. On the other side, it was still a little dark. But she was the Slayer, right? A little darkness never hurt her.

She walked into the woods a little ways, when she found Faith leaning against a tree. Faith was wearing a flowery, pink dress and looked more open and less hostile than Buffy could ever believe she could.

"You came this far," Faith told her, "but you have farther to go."

"I do?"

"You always have farther to go. Haven't you learned that yet?"

The two walked down the path, side by side.

"But what if I want to stop?" Buffy asked.

"Then you stop. But then you don't get to see the next dawn."

The sun was rising over the treetops. Buffy looked up and shaded her eyes from the glare. "It's beautiful."

"Remember that," Faith suggested. "Remember the dawn."

"Because then I won't want to stop?" Buffy guessed.

Faith smiled and nodded. "Yes."

Something in Buffy's mind started to stir. "Can you tell me what's going on?"

Faith shook her head. "No. But when the time comes, you will know."

"That's real helpful." Buffy paused. "Are you Faith?"

"Faith is in prison and you are dreaming. How can I be?" Faith shrugged. "You know who I am."

"So they keep telling me." Buffy sighed and continued walking. She was eager for when this would all make sense. Apparently she had to 'keep going' to get any answers.

Buffy continued down the path.

Faith watched her go and sighed. "I hope this works," she muttered to herself.

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