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Good Night's Sleep

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Buffy blinked at the ceiling, replaying Giles last words before she hung up the phone: The fate of the world once again rests on your shoulders.

She sighed, turning to her side and clutching the pillow tighter around her ears. "Shut up," she moaned.

The night after midterms, the first-floor room 114—directly below Buffy's and Willow's room—decided to throw a party. Little did they know their party was on the eve of the Apocalypse . . . or an Apocalypse.

Willow grunted from her bed.

"Will?" Buffy asked, her voice hoarse from sleepiness. "Know any good hexes?"

Willow sat up, rubbing her forehead with one hand. "Not off the top of my head. And I loaned out my good spellbook." She sighed, sitting up and wrapping her arms around her knees. "I had a silencing spell."

A loud whoop followed by a chorus of an indistinguishable song vibrated the floor.

Buffy jumped out of bed and pounded her foot on the floor. "I could kick their asses. All of them." She jumped with both feet twice. "Shut up," she whined.

The music didn't stop, Buffy's pounding probably went completely unnoticed.

"Don't we have an RA?"

"He was a vampire. You killed him last week," Willow pointed out.

Buffy dropped back to her bed, the blankets billowing with the movement. "Stupid sacred duty."

The talking got louder, as though someone had opened the window or the door; the sound drifted in from all sides.

"I'm going to yawn my way through the Apocalypse." Buffy flipped to her side again. "I'm not saving them," Buffy proclaimed. "If they're being attacked by a vampire, or a hellhound, or some other demony thing, I'm going to be distracted by my shoelaces."

Willow reached over and grabbed the book on her nightstand.

"Look, a shiny penny," Buffy demonstrated her distractableness. "My attention is completely rapt."

Willow flipped pages, mumbling to herself. "Don't think I'll find. . . ."

"I could kill them," Buffy said. "With my bare hands."

Willow clucked her tongue. "I don't think Giles would like that."

Buffy stuck her tongue out at Willow.

"Ha!" Willow shook the book in triumph. Her smile was infectious, causing Buffy's own face to split in eagerness.

Willow focused on the book again, reading quickly, her eyes and fingers drifting over the page. "Oh." Her smile plunged. "Well, that won't work."

"What won't work?"

"Well," Willow shifted to her knees. "I found a spell that would keep us from hearing them."

"And why won't that work?"

"Because it does it by removing our ears."

The party broke into another loud chorus, this one ending with whooping.

Buffy's and Willow's eyes locked from across the dorms, understanding each other perfectly.

Thirty minutes later the two were fast asleep, the party still going strong beneath their sleeping forms. In the refrigerator sat two small jars, each containing a carefully wrapped and labeled set of ears. The spellbook opened on Willow's desk was annotated with Willow's bubbling script: Anything for a good night's sleep.