Title: Do You Believe?
Timeline: Season 5. Somewhere between Triangle and Checkpoint
Summary: Buffy dreams of knight in shining… duster?
This story contains references to the previous fairy tale banners. (See above)
Think of them as glimpses into Buffy’s dreams. (That’s how i wrote this anyway, the banners came first then the ficlet… lol)
Disclaimer: Why can’t I have him?
As always, comments are always a great pleasure.
Thanks to tamibrandt for the read thru.
And a special thanks to spikeslovebite and talesofspike without them this fic wouldn’t have been half as readable, thank you ladies for all your wonderful suggestions and beta work!
Do You Believe?
Oh no. Not this again.
Every night is the same. I don’t want this. I can’t want this. So why do I do this to myself every night? I lay down to sleep and it starts. Demented ideas of a child’s fairy tale, twisted by years of fighting the same demons from the stories my mom would read to me at bedtime when I was small. Trolls, witches, and fairies mix between dream and reality. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference anymore.
Do you have any idea what it’s like to dream like I do? Slayer dreams are bad enough; so vivid I wake sometimes and check for blood and wounds that don’t exist. Regular dreams are just as bad, everything is sharp and clear, bright and intense. Watching yourself in a dream is freaky in itself, but watching from the sidelines, unable to affect the environment or people, while being forced to watch as events take place around you can be even worse.
These dreams I’ve been having for a while are particularly horrifying, and it’s not like I can ask anyone for help. I would die before admitting what my nightly fantasies consist of. No, they’re not fantasies. They’re nightmares. Gruesome, repugnant, hideous nightmares. Always the same scenarios with the same smirking face, but always just a bit different. Why does that sound like I‘m trying to convince myself? That doesn’t make much sense, does it? Snort. You should see it from where I’m sitting. Or, um, lying… Oh, whatever.
This one is familiar. Apparently my sick twisted mind likes this one the best, because I have it a lot. Looking around the chamber, I see stone walls, a canopy bed, and not much else. The figure in the bed is still. Her sleep’s not the natural kind, but the spell induced kind. Hmm, maybe that’s why I’m drawn here. Fantasy creatures and supernatural are everyday occurrences for me; maybe that’s why I feel a kinship with these figures. The wacky and unexpected never seem to faze anyone in these stories.
I don’t need see who’s in the bed, because I already know; it’s me. Sleeping Buffy; waiting for her prince to arrive. Lacy curtains flow in the light breeze. It’s night. Of course it is. He can’t come if it’s not night there is no darkness to guide him to me, to set me free from the sleep spell, and carry me away to live happily ever after. Or as happily ever after two people who love to fight and kill things for fun can be.
At first I hated that it was him, cursing the depraved part of my mind that thinks he’s any kind of Prince Charming. The dashing figure on the white horse that comes to sweep me away, battling witches, dragons, and wicked step-secretaries… I’m mean, step-mothers… to keep me safe.
I turn to face the window, knowing from the previous times that this is where he will enter. This was one of my favorite stories. Mom used to read it to me several times a week. Just the idea that the prince could wake the girl with only the magic of a kiss.
Of course, there are other stories, other dreams. Magical balls where the pumpkins, mice, and young girls all have to be home by midnight. Long golden hair flowing out windows for their true loves to climb. Crazy adventures down rabbit holes with tea parties and naughty cats with big, smirky grins who obviously don’t know when to keep their tails to themselves. Big Bads making obscene remarks about ‘goodies’ in picnic baskets and what ‘granny don’t know won’t hurt her’. Scary castles where food appears magically, teacups can talk, and the only company is a beast whose true face should have her running for her life. Strangely enough, in that dream I’m never frightened, only semi-slightly reluctant, while my friends and pseudo-father whisper words of warning in my ears. Words echoing in my head that always make me hesitant to get closer every time he tries to reach out to me. Evil, soulless, murderer. Their words all get playtime in Buffy’s top ten list of why this is wrong, but no matter how many different dreams, different fantasies, it’s always him. It’s sick really, this fascination I’ve developed.
Then the scenes play out and other words appear, like an evil fairy on my shoulder, having a good laugh at the poor little girl lusting after an evil creature whose sole mission had once been to destroy her. Even knowing how wrong it is can’t stop the words his actions provoke. Loving, tender, brave, loyal, strong, sexy and handsome also make their way onto the new list.
Only in my fantasy can I ignore the whispers and follow my instincts. Trusting and loving someone so wrong for me that the glaring light of day makes the soft haze of midnight even more harsh in contrast. His tenderness in my dreams such a difference to the brash and swagger he portrays to the real world, that I have to once again try to wrap my mind around which is real and which is fantasy.
A noise at the window draws my attention. Finally! You would think that a dream would move faster than this. All this sitting and waiting is making me twitchy. Curly bleached hair is the first thing to come into view, followed by a soft cotton shirt and dark trousers. I smile at the sight, not sure if my mind is trying to be true to the story, or if this is my way of softening the image that my would-be hero projects to the world. Wondering, not for the first time, if it’s a role he plays or the true reflection of his character. So many times I’ve caught a break in that façade, a glimmer of something deeper, before it’s ruthlessly shoved back under the mask of snark and arrogance.
He thinks I don’t notice, that I never look beneath surface, but I do. I do see him, and that’s what makes the denial that is my constant friend so much harder to embrace. I see when he plays the part of the older brother for Dawn. I can’t look away when he engages shy Tara in a conversation, when she would normally be just off the group’s radar. Or when he shares with Anya the location of herbs that he has spotted out on patrol. I notice when he laughs at an obscure reference joke that Willow makes, something that only someone with more book smarts than I have would get. I see him bonding over some quirky British thing with Giles. Hell, I even look on in stunned disbelief when he and Xander share a fleeting moment over some ridiculous movie that makes no sense to me whatsoever, before they both turn away, each acting as if it never happened. As a group they deny him, but as separate entities, they share common interests and knowledge with him.
He’s moving across the room now, making his way to the bed. His eyes are so filled with emotion that it hurts to look at him. I remember that look so well, I saw it briefly on the day he proposed. Spell or not, the look in his eyes still haunts me. He pulls back the curtain slowly, as if he’s afraid Dream Buffy will vanish. Fingers run the length of her face, not touching, just gliding along, tracing the shape. Devouring every inch of her that he can see, as if etching them in his memory. Slowly, as his fear gives way to need, he touches her face, hesitant at first, then becoming bold. Light caresses gently moving over delicate skin, brushing the hair away from her face.
Oh, I remember how mom would tell the story, how her voice would get this lilting, and I knew to listen closely… that the most exciting part of the story was coming. Watching with anticipation as her face would light up and her hands began to move as if to emphasize every sentence. I can hear her even now:
For a long time the Prince stood and gazed upon her, for never in all his life had he seen a maiden so lovely. Then suddenly he bent down and kissed her lips.
That was the end of the enchantment. The Princess’s eyelids quivered; languidly she moved her head and stretched out her arms. Her eyes opened and she smiled.
“Is it you, my Prince?” she said. “How long you have kept me waiting!”
Yes, you have, you stupid vamp. I’ve got other dreams I could get to, but no; I’ve been sitting waiting for you to show. You finally get your undead ass in gear, come in cape swirling…Wait! Where’s your cape? Every other time you’ve come in cape swirling, tossing it to the side as you sweep across the room.
“It’s your dream, love. I am how you dream me.” Dream Spike smirks.
Okay… that’s new. He’s never spoken directly to me before. “Um, excuse me? You’re speaking to me why? Don‘t you have something you’re supposed to do to her… um… with her… um… me?” Damn! Even in my dreams he gets me ruffled.
“How do you think I feel? There’s bloody two of you, although-” The blonde’s smirk became more of a leer.
“Ugh! You’re a pig even in my dreams.” I tried for a disgusted face; I really did, but since no one’s around to see, so it becomes more of look of mild annoyance and a roll of the eyes.
He shrugs, “Like I said, love; it’s your dream. I am how you make me.”
“Fine! Just get on with it; you’re ruining the best part.” My hands wave as if to shoo him away, but the grin remains until he turns back to her. Then it fades until all that’s left is that look of awed reverence he entered with, Spike the annoying and Spike the prince that I created melding back until he is once again in character.
Slowly he bends to kiss her lips, and I ache. I realize with a start that I’ve moved closer to the bed. Drawn in without realizing, until I’m so close I could touch him. Wishing it was really me and really him. I remember his kisses while under the spell. Deep, meaningful, knee weakening kisses and promises of a future that was cruelly ripped away. It hurts even now, even though I know it wasn’t real.
He kisses her. Eyes flutter open. First words spoken. Vows of true love never to be lost. Tears. I realize they’re mine. My tears. The perfect moment, and it’s nothing but a dream. No reality can top this…no reality that I live in anyway. He sweeps her into his arms, carrying her to the stairs and out into their wonderful new life together, and it’s over.
I wake up in my bed, to find tears soaking the pillow. I sit up, trying to ease the ache in my heart. Standing, I slowly make my way to the window, wondering what my oblivious prince is doing. A faint glow of a cigarette tip is all the conformation I need as I unlatch the window lock and raise it quickly.
“What the hell are you doing out there, Spike?” I call out in angry, hushed tones, not wanting to wake the entire neighborhood.
“Came to check on you,” he yells back, looking irritated by my shush when a neighbor’s dog starts to bark at the disturbance. He walks to the tree next to my window and begins to climb, putting him close enough for me to hear him without having to shout.
“Wanted to make sure you were alright. What with soldier boy leaving and trolls running loose, it’s been a wild couple of weeks. And I wanted to say that I’m sorry.” He finishes in a near whisper, looking anywhere but her face.
“You what?” Surely I heard wrong? He couldn’t have apologized to me for…well anything.
“I wanted to say that I was sorry, alright? The whole mess with Captain Cardboard…it wasn’t meant to hurt you. I’m not sorry that I showed you; it’s something you had to see for yourself. You never would have believed me if I tried to tell you. I am sorry for the way I showed you, though. Could have prepared you a little more for what you were gonna see.” His eyes never left the side of the house during his little speech, as if by looking directly at me he was going to lose his nerve.
I sigh. He makes being angry at him hard sometimes, but only sometimes. “It’s okay, Spike. Riley has his own demons to face… um, no pun intended. Actually, if you hadn’t shown me what was happening, it would have kept going until he got drained or vamped. At least this way, he’s alive.”
“Yeah, well, don’t care much if he lives or dies. Just didn’t want to see you hurt. Been on the receiving end of the betrayal too many times. Didn’t want to see that happen to you again. You’ve been hurt enough the last few years to last a lifetime,” he said almost shyly,
I look into his eyes and I can tell he’s sincere. “Thank you, Spike.” The look changes then, to something so close to the look from my dream that I have to glance away. A simple ‘thank you’ shouldn’t have that much power. When I look back, he still has that same expression on his face, his gaze searching mine for the cause of my discomfort.
As he waits for my next move, it seems that million scenarios play in my head. Each one a different choice, a different path, and with a different outcome. Scenes where I ask him in and the shock and disappointment on the faces of my friends. Scenes where I ask him in and my friends accept him. Flashes where I turn him away I have my friends, but I’m alone every night. Every path where I send him away, I end up alone. With or without my friends, I am alone. They have significant others and lives of their own. One day they will tire, they will want to leave the fight behind. All the times I ask him to stay, he stands beside me, fighting by my side. Sometimes with the help of my friends, sometimes without, but the one thing that remains unchanged is that he is always there with me.
Retirement is not an option for a slayer, so what then? I fight alone, empty nights patrolling graveyards, only to make my way home to an empty bed? That image sucks.
So here I am, stuck in the biggest dilemma of my young life. Not in a fight to the death with swords and fists, but with my heart and my head. A lover or my friends? Partnership or solitude? Sometimes it feels like Buffy the girl has to make even harder decisions than Buffy the slayer.
So what would you chose? If you were me? Take a chance, or bury your head in the sand? In the end, the choice really isn’t that hard for me to make.
“Spike?” The question, so quiet I’m sure without the vamp hearing it would have been lost.
“Yeah, love?” He looks so worried, and I wonder if I was mulling over my decision much longer than I thought.
“Do you like fairy tales?” I ask as I reach for his hand to pull him into my room.
And they lived… well, yeah. The end.
I made some icons from the banners,will post them shortly.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/89671.html