Chapter Two - Only in Dreams

Buffy fell into a deep, yet troubled sleep as her thoughts drifted of Angel and of his predecessor Angelus. She found herself in the arms of her beloved Angel and she sighed, feeling his embrace around her. All at once the affection drained from his grasp and she felt his hands swiftly moving, but before she could stop it, a hand had grabbed her neck. Her eyes widened as she painfully looked up at her assailant, and saw that it could be no one else but Angelus.

"Hello, Lover, miss me?" Angelus said with a wicked grin as his grip grew tighter and tighter around her neck. She clenched her teeth and swallowed before she found enough strength and anger within her to kick him in the stomach and once he let go of her neck, she clipped him with her right fist. He toppled to the ground and Buffy, in her fighting stance, waited for him to stand up. Angelus slowly got up and as he rose from his fall, he was laughing and almost cackling.

"Not now, Buffy, it's not going to happen now," said Angelus shaking his head with a crooked grin, and in the corner of Buffy's eye she saw a figure in white dash by.

"If not now, when?" Buffy demanded, glaring at Angelus with such angered passion that she was breathing heavily.

"Soon," said Angelus walking away, glancing at something white glinting in the distance, before he stuffed his hands into his black coat pockets. As Buffy continued to eye the back of his tall form, she heard him continue, "Very soon."

Buffy ran after him and wanted to push him to the ground, but once she reached the figure in the black coat, he was gone and the darkness that had surrounded them with him. She found herself in engulfed in music, dimmed lights, and hushed voices and then realized she was in the Bronze. Across the way, she saw Willow and Xander talking with Oz and Cordelia at one of the various tables set around the dance floor. Then, she noticed that she was standing in the middle of the dance floor. She tried to walk, but for some odd reason, she couldn't move. The music had shifted from semi-slow to an even slower love song, and she smiled sheepishly hoping that no one would notice her and no one did. All eyes had fallen onto a figure that approached the dance floor.

He was dressed in white and no matter how hard Buffy tried to see his face, she couldn't. At every angle, his face was shadowed from her view and then she realized this stranger in white was walking towards her. His hand gently placed itself on hers, and she gasped feeling almost a current of electricity running through their fingers. Even more surprising to Buffy, she felt her feet become released from the magic that had stuck them to the ground. Nervously, she placed her head on his shoulder and unbeknownst to herself, she sighed, feeling so at ease and so taken in by his silent charm.

She finally broke the silence between them and whispered, "Who are you?"

"The White Knight," he replied simply in a soft tone.

"Why are you here?" she asked looking up at him, but still she saw no face, only a shadow that covered it to almost entirely.

"Buffy, I'm always here," he whispered back and despite the shadow on his face, she detected a warm smile, "I'll always be by your side."

"If you've always been here, then why is this the first time I've seen you?" asked Buffy, slightly jokingly, but there was some truth to her tone.

"Let's just say that I've watched you from afar," he said as the music began to fade.

"So tell me White Knight, will I ever get to see what you look like?" said Buffy looking up at him, standing still once more when the music stopped.

His softhearted smile warmed Buffy's lately saddened heart as he replied, "You'll see me someday, I hope, but it's not my decision to make. You can only discover who I am when you can look beyond all the shadows that surround me."

"And how am I supposed to do that?" she asked although she realized that all those around her were looking at them.

"By using your heart," he answered, and then to her surprise, gently kissed her with a kiss that made her pulse race.

She looked at him for a second and smiled, realizing that the shadow that concealed his identity was beginning to slowly fade, but before she began to realize who it was that made her heart beat so wildly, she woke up. In a daze, she glanced at the clock beside her bed and realized that it was nearly six-thirty, and although she went about her usual morning routine, her mind still wondered who was this mysterious White Knight. Her thoughts still lingered of this figure in the shadows when she met Xander and Willow later that morning.

"You know, guys, I had the strangest dream," Buffy said after their usual greetings, and both Willow and Xander noticed that she was smiling, really smiling, for the first time in weeks.

"Really, Buffy?" Willow questioned with a inquiring smile, "Was it a nice dream?"

"The beginning was fairly freaksome, but it turned out to be very nice," said Buffy, who although knew it was a dream, felt a tingle on her lips from the passion that had met her with his kiss. "See there was this guy..."

Before she could continue, Xander cut in with, "Me, right, Buffy?"

"No, not you, Xander," Buffy said with a laugh, thinking that such a romantic and mysterious guy couldn't possibly be Xander, "But you were in there for a little while. So were Willow, Oz, and Cordelia. Remember Cordelia, your girlfriend?"

"Remember Cordelia?" said Xander with a chuckle, "Who can forget Cordelia?"

"Enough already, Xander, I want to know Buffy's dream!" said Willow and she turned to Buffy and continued, "Well?"

"As I was saying, before I was so rudely interrupted," said Buffy giving Xander a look, "There was this guy and he called himself the White Knight. I couldn't see his face because everything was so shadowed, but when he touched my hand, when we danced, and then when he kissed me in the end, it was"

"Wow?" asked Willow who wondered why she couldn't have Dream kisses that were wows.

"Wow," said Buffy nodding her head, but still feeling like that couldn't even describe it.

"A wow kiss," said Willow with a sigh before she separated from them to go to her own class.

Xander had become intensely silent, when he heard Buffy talk about the White Knight and he turned to ask her, "So, you have no idea who this White Knight is?"

"No idea, whatsoever, but most likely he's probably just something my mind made up," said Buffy and when she realized that he had grown even more silent she said with a laugh, "Why, Xander? Do you think the White Knight's you?"

Xander contemplated for a second and then said, "Let's see, to be the White Knight, I get to not only dance very close to you, I even get to kiss you, right?"

"That's right, Xander," said Buffy nodding and in the distance she heard the bell ring.

Xander glanced at Buffy and sighed while shaking his head, "Only in dreams, Buffy, only in dreams."

Buffy paused and gave him a perplexed expression before she laughingly said, "Xander, it was a dream."

Xander smiled and gave a side-ways glance at Buffy, and before he walked away Buffy heard him say, "I know, Buffy, I know..."