Disclaimer: Joss and co. own all things Buffy.† No copyright infringement is intended, so please donít sue.† I donít have any money anyway.
Summary: Somebody muses about Xander, and the meaning of dreams.
He says he doesnít dream.† Which isnít true, everybody dreams.† Itís just that some people donít remember them.† He says that when he does remember them, theyíre abstract, nonsensical, random.† Nothing as linear as the ones I often describe to him.† Maybe thatís why he doesnít put too much merit into them.† He says that dreams are just stray thoughts with nowhere to go.† That they donít mean anything.† I wish I could be so sure.
It seems like all I ever dream about anymore is Sunnydale.† Those last few days when things seemed the most hopeless.† The final battle, that could have so easily gone the other way.† Weíve won big battles before, why should this one be so different?† Why does it leave me feeling soÖempty?† Maybe because it doesnít really feel like we won, more like we survived.† Well, most of us survived.
He doesnít talk about her much, but I know he thinks about her a lot.† Heís so much quieter now, soÖun-Xander-like.† I guess weíre all still dealing with what happened in our own way.† The more I think about it, the more I wonder if his behavior really is as out of character as it seems to me, or if Iíve just been blind over the years.† How many times has he been hurt and hid it from us?† How much of that lovable goofball persona is just a mask to hide his pain?
One thing thatís definitely for real, Xander Harris is a protector at heart.† When the dreams first started on the bus, he was there, telling me that it was all going to be okay.† Whether or not he actually believed that at the time, I donít know.† But he made me believe it.† And practically every night since, from the cheap motel rooms along our little bus trip, to London, to Cleveland, and everywhere in between, heís been there.† Telling me that dreams donít mean anything.
Things happened between us so gradually, that I didnít even realize we were together until it seemed like everyone else already knew.† It happened when the dreams woke me up one night, and he wasnít there.† He wasnít far, just in the other room watching TV, not being able to sleep himself.† But in those first few seconds, I was scared.† I had gotten so used to him being there whenever I needed him that it scared me when he wasnít.† And that scared me even more.† But he taught me that thereís no shame in needing someone.† That it doesnít make you weak, it just makes you human.
I still have the dreams, but they donít scare me anymore.† What happened in Sunnydale is a part of my past that I canít ignore.† But that doesnít mean I canít move on with my life.† Iíve learned more about Xander since weíve been together than in the entire time I knew him before.† Apart from the intimacy, our relationship isnít all that different than what it was.† The difference is that now I pay more attention.† He still wears the mask sometimes, but Iíve come to realize that it isnít to keep people away.† Itís just another form of protection, his way of putting everyone elseís well-being above his own.
Last night I had a different kind of dream.† I was standing in a meadow on a beautiful spring day, wearing a long white dress.† Everyone was there, my friends, my family.† Xander was standing beside me, looking as handsome as ever.† He told me he loved me, that he would stand by me forever.† That no matter what happened, we would face it together.† And whatís more amazing, I believed him.† For the first time in a long time, the future held hope, and the past simply didnít matter anymore.† I wasnít afraid.† We kissed, and everyone cheered.† When I woke up, I could still feel the warmth of his lips on mine.
He says that dreams donít mean anything.† Iím not so sure.† I think if youíre lucky, really lucky, sometimes they can come true.