What Dreams May Come
Written for seasonal_spuffy, October 28, 2007
Length: Part 2 – 2883 words
As always, thanks to the marvelous makd for her usual excellent beta.
Summary and Author’s Notes: A series of vignettes of Buffy’s post-Chosen dreams. Some are on the angsty side, some are hopeful, some are just plain silly—because that’s how dreams are. Some are in the first person, some in the third, but all are fairly linear. Restless already did the non-linear metaphor dreams to perfection. Unfortunately, what Buffy’s current dreams aren’t is porny. I had to drop several planned dreams because in the last few months RL kicked my ass, and the pr0n just refused to make an appearance. Sometimes, that’s the way it goes. Sorry.
In addition, for clarity, Buffy’s waking life and thoughts are in normal black font. Her actual dreams are in blue font
They marched into the high school, loaded with weapons. Spike made a mad dash from the bus, blanket already smoking by the time he reached the door. He threw it off and Buffy smiled. She loved the tousled look of his hair since he’d stopped shellacking it down like a helmet. And he had the nerve to make fun of Angel’s use of hair product! she thought fondly, and reached out to run her fingers through his soft touchable curls. He smiled at her and took her hand, threading his fingers through hers. She squeezed his hand, and then turned to the others.
“Okay, everybody knows their jobs.”
Giles shook his head and sighed. “I still can’t believe we’re blowing up an institution of learning . . . again.”
Xander grinned. “Yeah, Giles, they’ll make you turn in your librarian’s card this time, for sure. Blowing up a school once is one thing. Twice? It’s a pattern.”
Spike raised an eyebrow. “You’ve blown up a school before, Rupert? Quite the little anarchist, aren’t you? Good on you! If we make it through this, I’ll buy you a pint.”
Giles shot them both a disgusted look.
“All right, positions, everyone,” Buffy said. “Let’s get this show on the road.”
Xander and Anya took the stairs to the second floor. Robin and Giles headed for the Principal’s office.
Buffy looked at her remaining warriors.
“You’ve all trained hard. If Willow’s spell works, you’ll all be Slayers. If it doesn’t, just do the best you can to keep any of the Ubervamps from getting past you. I’m counting on you all—I couldn’t do this without any of you. Help each other, and when you hear the explosions, be ready to fight. The fate of the world rests in our hands.”
Willow and Dawn each gave Buffy a quick hug and headed for the atrium. The warmth of the sun filtered through the lightly-tinted glass roof, but Dawn held her sword at the ready as she took a protective stance behind Willow. Willow laid out the herbs, candles and ingredients she’d need for the spell.
The potentials fanned out in groups of threes and fours to cover all the available exits. Andrew was shaking with a combination of fear and excitement as he guarded the door to the atrium. Anything trying to get to Dawn and Willow would have to go through him first! But… he really, really hoped nothing would try.
Buffy, Spike and Faith made their way through the basement to the seal. They would be the first line of defense, or as Faith put it—the bait.
Buffy took a deep breath. “I’m not sure what we’ll find when we open the seal, so be ready for anything. But for god’s sake, Spike, make sure you’re out of the way when the roof blows. I don’t want you turning into a crispy critter, too!”
“Huh,” Faith said. “This’ll be the second explosion I was involved with in a week. Try not to make this a habit, B. Gettin’ blown up gets old real fast.”
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Buffy said dryly. “But, hopefully, it won’t be us getting blown up this time, just the building. Again.”
“How’re we doin’ on time?” Faith asked.
Buffy looked at her blankly. “Don’t you have the watch?”
“Nah. I thought you had the watch.”
Spike rolled his eyes and pulled a cheap Timex from his pocket. “Do I have to think of everything ’round here?”
Buffy lightly smacked him on the shoulder. “So… how are we doing on time?” she asked.
“Seven minutes ’til the roof blows. Might be a good plan to open the seal before that happens, just so we know what we’re dealin’ with.”
Buffy took a deep breath. “Okay. Here goes.”
She made a cut in her left palm and held her hand over the seal as she passed the knife to Spike. He made a similar cut in his right palm and handed off to Faith. When the blood from all three had run into the channels around the sigils, the seal began to open. Faith dropped down to the cavern below, closely followed by Spike and Buffy.
Soundlessly, they crept through the cavern until they came to the edge. Faith tapped Spike’s wrist and held her arm up to her face, as if she were checking a watch. Spike pulled the actual watch from his pocket and held up two fingers.
“Oi!” Spike yelled.
“Hey, Ugly!” Faith contributed. “Come and get it!”
An entire of army of Ubervamps looked up at them and then stampeded toward Buffy, Spike and Faith.
“Ooooh shit!” Faith said. “I sure hope you know what you’re doin’, B.”
“Me, too,” Buffy replied in a small voice.
Faith flashed her a grin, and Spike briefly touched her hand, then saluted her with his battle axe.
The Ubervamps had reached the cliff, and were beginning to scale it. Buffy, Spike and Faith began to battle the first ones who arrived at the top. They slowly backed up, attempting to give the Ubervamps the impression the defenders were being beaten back.
“Five… four… three…” Spike called.
“Get the hell out of the way, Spike!” Buffy screamed.
A series of booms shook the cavern as sunlight flooded it. Buffy threw Spike to the side and covered his body with her own. Faith dragged him back from the opening. They regrouped on the other side of the hole in the ceiling to dispatch any vamps who had escaped the initial wash of sunlight.
The pounding of running feet and excited war whoops of dozens of Slayers were heard thundering down the stairs to the basement as Buffy and Spike looked at each other and smiled…
The next day brought a change in Buffy that hadn’t been evident in a very long time. She went about her daily life with a smile on her lips and a spring in her step that had been missing since… since before she had lost her mother, fought a god, flung herself into a maelstrom of killing energy, been brought back to life and had to deal with the ramifications of her friends‘ decision. Her subconscious mind had recognized something long before her conscious awareness did.
Things could be different. She didn’t have to relieve her pain and failures every night. She could change things. She could dream.
“Can you teach me to do that?” she asked.
He turned to look at her and raised one eyebrow. “Teach you what, love?”
“To drive—like that.”
Spike threw back his head and laughed. “ ‘S not somethin’ you learn, pet. Y’ learn the mechanics of driving, yeah? How t’ steer, how t’ shift, how t’ ‘parallel park’—an’ then y’ just… drive.”
“Right, then. We’ll go out in th’ evenings and you’ll drive until y’ feel it. Y’ become… one with the machine.”
“One with the machine?”
“Yeah. Your brain sort of telegraphs what you want it t’ do, an’ you can feel the car’s response, almost before your hands move.”
“That’s… kind of eww. ‘One with the machine’. But in a weird way, sort of hot.”
Spike laughed again. “Well… yeah. But only with a beauty like this.” Spike’s hand caressed the dash of the Ferrari they had rented for the trip to Tuscany. “Or with a staunch warrior like th’ De Soto. Y’ don’t want t’ go and mind-meld with somethin’ like Giles’ Citroën—although, apparently he did. Don’t think he ever forgave me for crashin’ that car.”
Buffy’s eyes lightened with interest. “You crashed his car?”
“Well, yeah. Giles was a Fyarl demon an’ he came to me for help ’cause I happen to speak Fyarl. Soldier boys were chasin’ us an’ neither one of us fancied bein’ experimented on by Maggie Walsh. So I shook ’em off long enough t’ let Giles out of th’ car, then I led ’em on a merry chase away from him. Unfortunately, the Citroën is not the kind of machine that flawlessly obeys your every command. Shift froze on me when I was tryin’ t’ downshift in an attempt to squeeze a bit more power out of th’ ol’ girl an’ I… crashed. Got away by the skin of m’ teeth, an’ to add insult to injury, I still made Rupert pay me for my help, even though I totaled his ‘baby’.”
“Ohmigod! You totaled his car; I stabbed him with a letter opener, and then he got stuck wearing the ugliest shirt I ever saw. That really wasn’t a good day for Giles! And I had thought my day was bad.”
“An’ on top of all that, you let th’ Initiative boys take away his old friend.”
“Friend? Giles hated Ethan! Especially after he caused all that trouble.”
“Yeah. Like you hated me, right?”
“I didn’t hate you. You… scared me. And not in a vampire way; in a… personal way. You made me think… feel… things I wasn’t sure I wanted to— Ohmigod! Are you saying Giles? And Ethan?”
Spike raised one eyebrow.
“Ohmigod! That is just ewww.”
“Why? Why? Because Giles is…” Buffy laughed uncomfortably. “I was gonna say ‘really old’, but somehow he doesn’t seem as old as he used to—and you’re way older than him, anyway. And then I was gonna say ‘like my father’, and he did have sex with my mother. Twice. On the hood of a car, so—”
Spike shot her a quick look. “Well, well, well… Giles and Joyce, too? I think maybe I underestimated him. Not quite as tweedy as he liked to appear, yeah?”
“Ohmigod! Do not say anything to my mother! You absolutely have to promise me you will not mention that I told you that!”
Spike’s hand patted her knee, and then slid up her thigh. “Don’t worry, pet. First real vacation we’ve all had since Sunnydale, an’ I’m not gonna say anything t’ embarrass Joyce. I like th’ lady.”
“I know you do.” Buffy smiled fondly at him. “And maybe now that things have settled down for a bit… Oh, god! I can’t believe I almost suggested my mother… and Giles! It’s just that I want everybody to have a chance to be happy, that’s all.”
Spike’s lips curved into the soft smile that Buffy loved. “A little happiness never hurt anyone. ‘Cept maybe Angel,” he added with a devilish glint in his eye. “An’ maybe there’s even hope for my ol’ grandsire yet.”
Buffy hoped so. She just wanted the whole gang to be as happy as she and Spike were now. She leaned over and dropped a kiss on his shoulder as he made the turn into the winding driveway that led to Joyce’s Tuscan villa. She was looking forward to the holidays with all her friends and family… and Spike.
Buffy stood again on the empty plain that led to the desolate crater that had once been her home. The silence overwhelmed her. No birds sang, no dogs barked. Not a single tree leaf or blade of grass rustled in the wind that blew across the bleak emptiness.
She moved closer to the edge of the enormous scar in the earth that had swallowed her life whole. She frowned as she tried to identify faint noises coming from the crater. It sounded like someone—or something—climbing.
She heard scrabbling sounds and the echo of dislodged pebbles and broken rock as they slid and bounced down the slope of the pit.
The gray sky and the barren land seemed to be all of a piece and she couldn’t tell where one left off and the other began—all was desolation.
Buffy automatically reached for a stake, but she didn’t appear to have one with her. She couldn’t tell what she was wearing, which was sort of strange. Whatever it was, it didn’t seem to have any pockets, and weapons didn’t appear to be a part of her ensemble. She had a brief thought that she should be concerned about this lack, but somehow, it didn’t seem to matter.
The sounds were much closer now. Buffy stood passively, waiting. The wind blew tendrils of her hair into her eyes, and she languidly lifted a hand to brush them back. When her vision cleared, she felt a rush of gladness as she beheld what had emerged from the pit.
There he stood—whole and unharmed, and just as beautiful as she remembered. She wanted to run to him and throw herself into his arms, but there was something she needed to know. He was bringing her a message, and she needed to figure out what it was.
“Spike! What are you trying to tell me?”
His eyes met hers, he took a tentative step toward her, and he burst into song.
“Pretty as a picture, she is like a golden ring. Circles me with love and laughter, and I can’t feel a thing. The sky’s gonna open; people gonna pray and crawl. It’s gonna rain down fire; it’s gonna burn us all.”
The words echoed in the back of her mind as she tried to identify what was ‘off’ about Spike’s rendition. She concentrated, and then closed her eyes and willed her body and mind to relax.
There! She heard the words again, but this time in a more husky voice that spoke of whiskey-soaked nights of loss and too many cigarettes, and with a definite accent from one of the mid-western states, rather than the British Isles.
Spike was trying to tell her something, like with that stupid Men at Work song, but she still couldn’t figure out what he wanted her to know. Dammit! Why did he have to be so cryptic? Why couldn’t he just deliver the damn message?
As she drifted into sleep, she identified the song. One summer, a few years ago, a college radio station out of LA had frequently played a bootleg live version of the song. It was by a Wolfram and Hart lawyer, and was called LA Song. But what did Wolfram and Hart and Los Angeles have to do with Spike?
As Buffy slipped deeper into sleep, a tiny pinprick of hope teased at her mind. Could Spike be… not dead? Could he be trying to tell her that he was in LA… at a law firm? She’d seen him die—incinerated in a pillar of fire to close the Hellmouth and save the world. But…
But… she’d died to save the world and here she was. Could Spike have somehow been brought back, too?
Wait! Hadn’t Giles mentioned something about Angel taking over an evil law firm? But what could that possibly have to do with Spike?
But what if he was trying to tell her that he was back, in LA, and something bad was coming? Can’t you hear the thunder? You better run; you better take cover. The sky’s gonna open; people gonna pray and crawl. It’s gonna rain down fire; it’s gonna burn us all.
Dawn was planning to leave next week to spend the first part of her summer hols with Willow. With Dawn gone, she wouldn’t have to explain her actions to anyone. Maybe she’d take a holiday herself—and go to LA, just to see if there was any chance Spike was alive…
Buffy smiled as sleep claimed her.
“Buffy! Buffy! Wake up!” Dawn grabbed her shoulders and shook her.
“You were yelling and twitching and fighting the covers. I guess you were dreaming.”
“Oh. That’s good. ‘Cause Dark Willow was sucking the world into a turkey baster.”
“She was what?”
“She just squeezed the bulb on the end—cackling maniacally—and the whole world was being sucked in.” Buffy sat up in bed and rubbed her temples with her fingers.
“Into a… turkey baster?”
“Yeah. Oh, and we were cartoons at the time.”
“Cartoons?” Dawn began to giggle and collapsed on the bed beside Buffy. “You and Willow were cartoons and she… she…” Dawn laughed so hard she had trouble forming the words. “…sucked the world into a turkey baster!”
“Weird dream, huh? And that’s not all. Stop laughing!”
“But… you and Willow were cartoons!”
“Yeah. Well… Spike was a three-foot-tall felt puppet, hanging around with a fish puppet, and you… you were a giant.”
“A real giant? Like Hagrid’s mother or Grawp?”
“Well, I came like up to your ankle, so I’m thinking, yeah—a real giant.”
“Eww! How lame is that? What a stupid nightmare. I told you that you should cut back on the sushi! Go back to sleep, and next time, make me something cool, like a veela, ‘kay?”
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/217041.html