Author Shona aka Mara (MaraJaded)
Disclaimer Not mine, never will be.
"Where were you? You missed it again!" Suzannah bounded into the room with the ceaseless energy that was really starting to get on Casey's last nerve. She looked up from the book she had been reading and speared the younger girl with what was intended to be a withering stare but which she suspected looked more like she was suffering from some kind of intermittent squint.
Suzannah either did not notice or chose to ignore it. "Honestly," she said as she threw herself onto her unmade bed. "If you spend all your time hiding up here with your nose buried in a book you're going to miss out on everything. What are you doing anyway?" She was trying to read the title of the book in Casey's hands from her almost upside down position on the other side of the room.
"I wouldn't expect you to understand, given the state of your education. It's called 'reading'. This," she pointed. "Is called a 'book'. Inside it there are things called 'words' and when you 'read' these 'words' there's a chance you might learn something."
"Are you trying to be sarcastic or something?"
"Not trying to be, nope."
Suzannah's face creased into a huge grin, "You're so weird sometimes Case! What I meant was, what are you reading?"
Casey sighed, Suzannah could be so damn perky and persistent when she wanted to be, and she knew from prior experience that there was no way of getting rid of the girl short of telling her what she was bound to find out on her own anyway.
"Just something I found in the library downstairs." She said, trying anyway.
Predictably Suzannah was on her feet in less time than it took to blink and lifting the book from her hands. "Dream interpretation?" The girl looked up. "Ooh, you're not having those freaky prophecy Slayer dreams are you?"
"No. I mean... I don't think so. How would I know if I was?" Casey hadn't even thought of that possibility. They'd all heard the stories about the odd dreams Buffy Summers had had years ago, but that was just Buffy wasn't it?
"Well, was there a primal woman in there? Like all rags and face paints? 'Cause if there was then she's supposed to be the first ever Slayer talking to you or something."
Casey shook her head, "No, there's nothing like that. There's just this... man."
Suzannah's eyes lit up, "A man? Now you tell me! Is he cute? Is it someone you know?"
Casey couldn't stop the exasperated sigh escaping, "You know, it's entirely possible to be thinking - or dreaming - about a member of one half of the population without his cuteness, or lack thereof, coming into the picture."
"Like I said, you're so weird sometimes! What is it with you Brits anyway, you all talk as if you swallowed a dictionary or something."
"It's called elocution, you might want to look into it some time." She smiled to take some of the sting out of her words, but she doubted with the younger girl really understood the implied insult. "So what were you saying anyway? What did I miss?"
"Faith and Mr Harris. They’re totally doing it and think we're all blind or something!"
Sometimes Casey wondered what she had done in a previous life that meant her karmic reward was to share a room with a girl almost six years younger than herself who was obsessed with gossip and boys. Of course, six years ago she had been exactly the same but she was damn sure she hadn't been so perky and naive about it all. The mention of Faith caused her to narrow her eyes a little. The woman had walked in on her in the gym that morning and clearly thought there was something not quite right. Casey would have liked nothing better than to avoid thinking about the senior Slayer for a while longer but it seemed that she was destined to have to face up to her sooner rather than later. Especially when Faith was apparently making herself the focus of the latest round of gossip in the house.
Something in her face must have revealed a little of her thoughts, because suddenly Suzannah stopped and said "What's wrong? Are you mad or something? Hey, this man you are dreaming about, it's not Mr Harris is it? Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just... they say Faith killed someone once. An actual person, I mean, not like a demon or something. So if it is Mr Harris you're dreaming about then that's probably not a great idea if you, you know, like breathing." Suzannah had an impressive line of babble when she wanted to and it never ceased to make Casey smile. This time was no exception.
"First of all," she said. "He keeps telling us to call him Xander, not Mr Harris. And secondly, no I'm not dreaming about Xander. I have no interest in him at all. Zip, zero, zilch. So, sorry to disappoint you but you're stuck with a living, breathing roommate for now."
"Oh. Okay then, hey - is it Faith that you like then? 'Cause that would be cool too. A bit… out of left field, but whatever."
Casey's smile turned into a grin. "Nope. I'm not interested in either one of them - but thank you for giving me permission to like whomsoever I like. It's much appreciated and I know I'll sleep much easier knowing I have your tacit approval."
"There you go again, did you swallow a dictionary sometime? It would explain a whole lot about you." Suzannah said with a smile.
Casey shook her head lightly, "So what makes you think Faith and Xander are at it then?"
The younger girl launched into a complicated theory concerning the two of them and Casey let herself settle into the warmth of the nonsensical gossip, glad that the subject had moved away from her dream.
No matter what she did, she couldn't get the image of that man out of her head. He had been talking to her, telling her to do something, but she hadn't been able to remember what it was when she woke up. All she could remember were his eyes. His haunting, yellow eyes.