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by Claire 

As Anyaís hand hovers over Xander chest, she knows itís not her heís
dreaming of. She may be many things, but she isnít stupid. And when he
closes his eyes during sex, sheís well aware that itís not her heís
thinking of. But she loves him, needs him. And if not being the only one
in his heart is the price she has to pay to keep him with her in this
bed, then so be it. If it takes sharing Xander with a blond, sarcastic
vampire, then sheíll do it. Because she loves him, and itís her only
choice.

***

Dennis looks at the bottle of painkillers thatís taken up permanent
residence next to Cordeliaís bed. He knows the vision headaches have
been getting steadily worse each time, and the only time she looks
relaxed anymore is when sheís asleep. He wishes he could do something,
but heís just a ghost. So, picking up the comforter to tuck it around
Cordy, he settles down to do the only thing he can. And he promises that
while heís watching nothing will happen to the beautiful young woman in
the bed. That as long as he is there Cordelia will be safe.

***

Giles sweeps his gaze over Ethanís supine body, lingering at the other
manís hip, where finger shaped bruises are already beginning to blossom.
It has been a long time since heís has Ethan Rayne in his bed, and even
longer since he truly appreciated it. He doesnít know why Ethan chose to
show up tonight, and he finds he doesnít care. Heís just glad the other
man is there, glad he has a chance to rectify a mistake he made so many
years ago. And he knows the only word out of his mouth when Ethan wakes
will be ĎStayí. 

***

Gunn knew when he saw the lights still on at the office that Wesley had
fallen asleep researching again. Part of him wants to leave him because
he knows that Wes hasnít been getting anywhere near enough sleep
recently. But if he does then Wesí still healing body will pay the price
in the morning. So he goes to wake him up, glancing down at the book on
the desk. Itís a tome on gypsy curses... Angel. It always comes back to
Angel. He wants Wes to realise that heís worth more, and heíll keep on
waiting until he does.

***

Looking down at the still form leaning against her, Buffy smiles. She
has a sister. A sister! And even though in her head Buffy knows that
Dawn is a creation the monks sent to her to protect because sheís the
Slayer, in her heart she still sees the little girl that her parents
brought home from the hospital all those years ago. In her heart she
doesnít see a collection of energy, doesnít see a Key, she sees only her
sleeping sister. A sister she will protect from whatever threatens her.
A sister she will protect until her dying day.

***

Willow knows she shouldnít feel like this, but she canít help but be
relieved when Tara sleeps. Because thatís when Willow can look at her
and pretend that the events of the last couple of weeks have all been a
nightmare. That Glory never found her lover at the fair, that she never
hurt her. That she never took away the woman Willow fell in love with
and left this childlike shell in her place. But theyíre the thoughts
that only come out in the dead of night when no one else can see then,
and before Tara wakes again.

End