Whispers of A Dream Chapter One.

This entry is part 2 of 10 in the series Whispers of A Dream... Screams of A Nightmare
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And here is the first chapter – hope everyone enjoys it. Next up will be lmbossy with more pretties for everyone.

He woke the next morning and went through his daily rituals, teeth, shower and then down to find some tea. He switched on the television as he headed into his small kitchen and set the kettle onto the hob to heat. In the background he heard the morning news being read by another generic toothsome blonde with a peppy voice, the sort of voice you want to reach into the TV and throttle the life out of first thing in the morning.

“Officials at Health and Safety are trying to locate the source of infection for this strain of sleeping sickness. It has been reported that they are not sure from where it originates and are advising that all parents please bring those teens affected to Sunnydale General for observation. As of yet, there are no suggestions of a quarantine similar to the one we had last year during the epidemic of throat infections. As we get more details we will keep you all informed…And now in other news, the discovery of the face of the Madonna in a Doublemeat patty has caused some surprising conversions to the Roman Catholic faith…”

“Good lord!” Giles dropped his packet of Weetabix and reached for the phone, dialling the number for his charge’s dorm. “Oh pick up, Buffy. Where are you?” He hung up and tried her home number. “Ah, there you are…have you seen the news this morning?”

Buffy rolled onto her back and squinted at the alarm clock. “Giles, have you any clue what time it is? Or that I was patrolling till two am?” She grumbled and then struggled with her duvet before sitting and resting against her headboard. Pushing her hair off her face, she rubbed the drool from her chin. “Mom is on her way out to visit some crusty old guy who taught her at college and I have to stay here and wait for Dawn to get back from a school trip and then baby-sit her for the next week, so be kind and let me go back to sleep!” She yawned exaggeratedly and then frowned at the squawking at the other end of the phone. “What? A face of who in where? Converting to the church? Is this Slayerly or not?”

Giles frowned. “No, that wasn’t the important bit.” He wondered why he had mentioned the blasted hamburger now; he shook his head, his slayer was easily distracted sometimes. “The sleeping sickness; it maybe mystical seeing that we are currently residing on an active Hellmouth. We need to investigate it,” he explained slowly.

“Kay, shall I come over now? Or after my mom leaves and Dawnie comes home to an empty house and then burns it down round her ears?” Buffy teased as she stuck her feet over the side of her bed and stood lithely. “What sleeping sickness?”

“No, stay there. I will do some research and call you. I doubt Joyce would appreciate her house being turned into charred ashes.”

“Coolness, call me later?” Buffy clicked off the phone and padded to the bathroom. At least she could have a bath here and without worrying about weird communal college bathrooms and interruptions. She was positive that the sleazoid across the hallway timed his visits to exactly when she wanted to shower.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Spike snorted loudly and rolled over, and promptly fell off the sarcophagus cracking the back of his head on the flagstone floor of his crypt. “Sod it, I need a bed…” He shoved the baby pink silk eiderdown off his nude form as if it were a plague carrier, stood and stretched with a bone cracking purr. Spike eyed the pink monstrosity with a jaundiced eye, “and some more manly sheets and whatnot…”

One hand absently scratching his muscled belly as the other rubbed the back of his head, he glanced around the deserted crypt. Something was missing, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. Spike gingerly prodded the lump that was blooming under his bleached hair as he staggered tiredly towards his fridge and a morning cuppa of butcher’s best. It was only when he had drained the first bag that he realised what was missing. “Harm?”

His call was greeted with a blessed silence. “Wonder if she took herself off for a walk and dusted in the sun? Wouldn’t be surprised, brainless bint.” He smirked.

“Oi, where are you?” He pulled on a pair of jeans, carefully tucking himself in and zipping up. Then he saw the Pepto-Bismol pink notepaper stuck to his TV screen with chewed bubblicious gum. “Oh, bloody lovely.” He grimaced as he pulled off the note, leaving a wet string of the putrid smelling bubblegum hanging off the glass.

Dear Blondiebear,

I have left you. Don’t miss me too much, baby, but I just don’t wanna sleep with a guy who calls out another girl’s name when he has a happy. It happened enough when I was alive, but now I am a vampire, I have a rep to maintain. It’s kinda gross and eww, Spike, how could you? She’s a Slayer and sooo fashion challenged! God, Cordy was always saying that she must dress in the dark.

So, I am leaving you to your weird Slayer fixation. I’m going to LA to see if I can get a job as a weather girl on CBS ☺

Wish me luck♥

Harmony

XXXX

“I do what?” Spike stared down at the glittery writing. “Call out who?” He sank down onto the ratty green armchair that he’d found the other day on the curb and rubbed his temples tiredly. Something warm curled up inside his gut as he re-read his Dear John note from Harmony. He yelled out the Slayer’s name? God, was he going mad? ‘Was that a heart? What ever did I see in her?’

Spike held the note over a spluttering candle and watched with satisfaction as it caught fire and burned up. Now all he had to get rid of was the fake satin eiderdown and his balls would unclench from the horror of all the pink. He shook his head at the final line of the note. “A sodding weather girl? She really isn’t the full ticket; first ‘on location’ shoot should be interesting,” he chuckled and then started to try and peel the remains of her gum off his telly screen, inadvertently clicking it on.

“—the recent spate of teens being afflicted with a form of Trypanosomiasis have been causing widespread concern, with the Centre for Disease control finally being called in…”

Spike frowned down at the screen. The announcer really was an annoying bint, and he wished he had taken Harm’s offer up to eat her. He guessed that now she was gone it was too late. “Hang about! Sleeping Sickness here in the US, that’s not possible… balls, it’s mystical.” Spike blinked down at the screen and stared in surprise at the meat patty that oozed oil and god knows what else. ‘Weird, that looks like the face of the Virgin Mary…”

~~~~~~~~~~~

“This is just so worrying. I am young damn it. I could fall asleep and never wake up…Xander? Are you awake? Oh God, noooo! It’s got you, too.” Anya leapt on her slumbering boyfriend and began to shake him as hard as she could.

“Wha…? Jeez, Ahn, stop it. You’re rattling my teeth out of my head.” Xander wrapped his hands around her wrists and gently pried her clutching fingers off his shoulder. “I’m up, God!”

“Oh, thank goodness.” She flung her arms around his neck and hugged him hard, ignoring the choking noises coming from him. “Don’t scare me like that. If you fall asleep and never wake up, I won’t be able to play with your penis ever again!”

“And my penis thanks you for your concern. What the hell are you talking about? Have the bleach fumes finally gotten to you?” Xander glanced around the basement trying to check for weirdness, but all he saw was the TV on and some hamburger with a face on it. “Hey is that a new ad for Doublemeat goodness?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Come on, Buffy. I want a shower.” Dawn pounded on the bathroom door and whined some more. The elder sister winced, wondering why on earth her parents had wanted another kid. Dawn was as bratty and as annoying as they get. Buffy reached over and turned the dial on the small radio, trying to drown out the noise from her sister.

“Just let me in. I have icky desert sand everywhere, Buuuuffyyyy.” Dawn hammered on the door, almost at the brink of a full on temper tantrum. She was pissed with her mom for making Buffy come back from the dorms to watch over her. She was old enough to be on her own—or so Dawn thought. Despite all her begging, Joyce had ignored her and made ‘Little Miss I’m-so-cool-cos-I-stick-vampires-with-stakes’ come over to stay for the week – so much for her and Janice having a party. It wasn’t fair. Dawn stomped her foot and screamed at the top of her lungs because now she was taking over the bathroom. The same bathroom she’d only just got to all to herself. “Open up! God I hate you so much!”

“Use the other bathroom. I need to finish getting ready for patrol, and right back at yah, Dawnie.” Buffy’s voice was muffled through the door as she pulled her hair back into a ponytail.

It sucked. No sooner had college started up and she had to move back home to watch the brat for a week. Talk about ruining all her plans. Although part of her was glad as it meant no having to grit her teeth through Willow trying to fix her up on another blind date; the last one had been a nightmare. But she didn’t miss Riley, despite the dating disasters that were currently her life. Buffy grimaced at her reflection. Ever since the whole Adam thing and the Initiative being buried under a load of concrete, he’d gone creepy. After coming back from Iowa, he’d been standoffish and plain weird. Turned out his dad was disappointed about him quitting the army over a girl. Slowly they had drifted further and further apart, until he had called her one day to say he was going back into the army and requesting a transfer to South America. So here she was all alone, again, having managed to drive off yet another boyfriend, but strangely she could still breathe– guess Riley really had been rebound guy.

“Buffyyyy,” Dawn shrieked.

“God!” Buffy yanked the door open and stormed past as Dawn shoved her way in.

“Jeez, pick up your towels,” Dawn complained as she tripped over one. “I’m gonna tell Mom!”

Buffy shrugged. “You tell her anything and I’ll tell her about the wicked cool party you and Janice were planning.”

“What! How did you—?”

Buffy pulled out a small tape—one she’d pulled out from the answer phone—and waved it at her steaming sister. “I have the evidence – so behave this week and I won’t tell,” she teased in a sing song voice.

“I hate you!” Dawn screamed and slammed the door shut.

Buffy shook her head. “This week is just going to be so much fun. Not!” The day had been quiet until Dawn had arrived home; her mom had gone, leaving her a load of cash and instructions not to kill her baby sister. Then the whinefest had begun— ‘Waah, I wanna be left alone at home. Waah I’m too old for a babysitter,’ and on and on it had gone until she had taken refuge in the bathroom.

Giles hadn’t called back about the weird sleeping thing so she figured he was still researching. Buffy had planned to swing by his apartment after patrol and check up on him.

Both girls were still fighting through the bathroom door when the phone rang and the machine picked up, the new tape Buffy had put in whirring into life as it taped the important message.

“Buffy, if you get this, make sure that you and Dawn come over immediately. Something is very wrong. I think it would be better if we removed your sister from Sunnydale. Call me as soon as you get this.”

In the clamour of getting her sister fed and settled into doing her report, Buffy missed the flashing red light and headed out to patrol, leaving her sister alone and nodding off to sleep with neither girl aware of the incipient danger that the younger Summers was in.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Maleficent reached over and prodded her slave to his feet. “Come, it is time for you to add more power to my magicks. I need more…there has to be some you missed. Their fear and dreams are just so invigorating. I want them all – the older ones are of no use. No power in their fear.”

Ole-Lukoie stumbled to his feet. Pulling his tattered coat around him, he reached for the tools of his trade. The same ones that were now corrupted by the power of the evil fairy who had moved over from the dream world and into this reality, her presence twisting everything he touched.

Except for the place that she had chosen for her home.

It was a creation of beauty; she had summoned the edifice from her mind and created enough concealment spells to bind it from the eyes of any that walked past it. The castle was the stuff of fairytales and legends. It was an all white building, square shaped with a garden within its walls and with delicate turrets at each corner. The pearlescent stonework glimmered in the moonlight, giving it an otherworldly quality. The gardens contained within its walls were something that even the most devoted of horticulturists would have coveted for their own. In essence, everything the crone surrounded herself with was perfection, as if she were trying to compensate for her physical and internal ugliness. The Sandman sighed and stepped up into the air. Unfurling his shredded umbrella, as he waited for an eddy of wind to lift him and carry him off over the town of Sunnydale that lay at the foot of the hill where the castle had appeared. His being called out in anguish over the corruption of his work and powers, but nothing heard his silent call of pain.

The elderly fairy cackled in delight and raised her arms, her navy silk robes sliding down her limbs. Already the power she was draining from the teenagers was working. The sagging skin was slowly tautening and smoothing – soon she would have her youth and looks back. Her beauty would rival even the rotten Princess Aurora from her dimension—the Princess others had favoured so much. As for her sister fairies, soon she would be a maelstrom of power, enough to destroy them, to punish them for thwarting all her plans.

“Hurry, little man, I need more power.” She paced the battlements, watching the town come to life as night fell, the beings of the underworld moving around the cemeteries and streets with an ease that surprised her. The power that was oozing from the place was intoxicating, she had chosen well. Once she had all her powers, looks and youth back, she would take control of the Hellmouth and reign over the entire world. Soon it would all be hers. And it was all thanks to the teens of this godforsaken dimension. Their fear in their corrupted dreams feeding her, and giving her more magical sustenance than she had ever imagined.

And it served them right!

~~~~~~~~~

Spike sauntered down Main Street, free at last. No pain in the arse unicorn-obsessed girl hanging off his arm, nattering his ear off about Paris. He was deliberately ignoring the rest of the note, as if he yelled out the Slayer’s name when he was shagging! He shook his head trying to laugh, trying to avoid examining the creeping realisation that the Slayer was a right smart little package. Instead, he focused on the sight of her Watcher carrying a box into the occult shop, followed closely by the whelp and his nosy bird.

“Well, well, well – looks like my old flatmate’s got a death wish.” Spike leant against the door frame and lit a cigarette. The flame from his Zippo flickered to life, casting light and shadows on his angular features, giving him a wickedly devilish air. He tilted his head back and exhaled a plume of smoke around the cigarette, and he smirked. “Never knew you’d had enough of this world, Rupes.”

“Holy moly, try not to creep up on me like that!” Anya squeaked and reached up and slapped Spike on the back of the head. “Really, it’s bad enough worrying that Xander’s penis was asleep for good and now I have sweaty hands from you frightening me!” She wiped them off on Spike’s duster and then crossed her arms at him and glared up into his face. Spike returned the glare, wondering when he’d gone from being one of the Scourge of Europe to being an ex-demoness’s hankie; it was rather depressing. He let a faint glimmer of gold chase the clearest blue from his eyes and exhaled smoke through his nostrils, trying to intimidate her.

Anya rolled her eyes at him. “Oh, please. I faced down a horde of ravening Vikings intent on pillaging me; do you think a bit of smoke will make me lose bladder control?” Spike smothered a snigger of laughter. Despite her appalling taste in men, demon girl was about the funniest bird he’d met in all his years.

“Spike, what are you doing here?” Giles peered over his specs at the peroxided menace.

“Come to check out the latest walking target.” Spike winked at Anya and sloped into the dimly lit Magic Box. “New digs look a bit gloomy, Rupes.”

“Walking target?” Giles frowned in confusion.

“Oh, Mr Giles, Spike is referring to the high mortality rate of the previous owners of the occult store that you have invested in,” Anya chirped up as she began to switch on the lights.

“Ahn, don’t scare the G-man,” Xander laughed as he looked around the store and whistled. “Nice, can see why you wanted to get into the business.”

“Well, I looked over the books with Willow and it all seemed viable…and as for the high mortality rate, Spike, well it’s not your concern, although I know for a fact in the past you have been one to add to the statistics. Now go away.” He made a shooing motion at Spike and then reached for the phone. “I need to get hold of Buffy.”

“Need some Slayer muscle to help you move the books in?” Spike reached over and pulled a folder on the counter closer and began to flip through it. He swore silently under his breath at the images of the youthful faces contorted with fear and coated with a red dust around the eyes. “What the hell is this?” He scanned through the Watcher’s crabbed notes before any of the three mortals could stop him. “Bloody hell, so it’s not Sleeping Sickness then, it’s some sort of dark mojo.”

“What do you mean?” Giles shouldered Spike to the side and began to collect the photos and papers he’d spent most of the day accumulating. He still hadn’t managed to suppress the horror he’d experienced when he’d gone to Sunnydale general and sneaked onto the wards filled to the brim with terrified sleeping teenagers.

”The news – saw it earlier,” Spike replied absently as he frowned down at a single image. It was of a young girl, her eyes screwed shut, her mouth open in a silent scream as she slept. “God.” He shivered. “It’s just so…what did this?”

“We’re not sure, but it seems to only target the teenagers of the town. I suspect it is connected to hormone levels or something…” Giles trailed off, for once utterly at sea.

“Doesn’t look like hormones; looks like fear,” Spike muttered under his breath. “So why are you trying to get hold of the Slayer, she’s past puberty – oh, the Platelet, why aren’t you over at her place hammering on the door?” Spike growled.

Despite knowing the vampire was harmless, Giles shrank back slightly, both in fear and also in shock. “I…we…err…Willow has gone over to the house,” he stammered.

“Red? She’s about as effective as a fart in the wind. I’ll go over.” Spike swung out of the shop, leaving the three of them staring after his billowing duster.

He flicked his half smoked cigarette over his shoulder as a leaving gift. It skittered across the shop floor in a shower of red embers and landed at Anya’s foot. She stomped it out with a stiletto clad foot and an indulgent shake of her head. “He really is a nice vampire, isn’t he?”

“What?”

“Ahn, are you nuts?” Xander squeaked, just as Giles began to voice a similar, yet less churlish query.

“Well no, I am not insane, not yet anyway. But look how he rushed off to help little Dawnie, so chivalrous.” She sighed and clasped a hand over her heart.

“Stop it, you’re scaring me, Ahn.” Xander shivered and tried not to imagine Spike in armour riding a charger down the main street to rescue Dawn. “Gahh…stupid thoughts.” He smacked himself on the forehead and tried to avoid the image of Spike with his helmet tucked under one arm, looking heroic as his hair was ruffled by an imaginary wind. “Ahhh….”

Giles ignored Xander’s antics even though in fact wanted to add to the blows on the imbecile’s head. Instead he stared thoughtfully after Spike. “He does seem to be anxious to help. I wonder if there really is more to his destiny than we think.” His mind cast back to the day he’d visited Spike in his crypt to pay him for helping during the whole Ethan induced demonic fiasco. It was still something he mulled over every now and then when he had enough whisky inside him, even if the echoes of Spike’s laughter at the suggestion still dominated his mind. Giles frowned.

“I wonder.”

~~~~~~~~

“Red – Platelet? You lot in here?” Spike pushed open the kitchen door and swung into the darkened room. “Oi, Red where are you?” he bellowed.

“Spike? Is that you? Have you got Buffy with you?” Willow’s voice echoed down the stairs. It was filled with fear and worry. “I’m upstairs with Dawnie—oh God!”

“Wait there!” Spike shot down the hallway and grasped the banister rails and swung himself over and hit the stairs running. He pounded up them and then followed his nose, trailing down the landing to the Niblet’s room where he pushed the door open onto a tragic tableau.

The redhead was cradling the teenager in her arms, tears pooling in her green eyes. “Spike, I can’t wake her up. Something is really, really wrong,” she sobbed.

Spike sank down by the bed and brushed Dawn’s hair off her face, revealing the now all too familiar red streaks of glittering dust over her eyes and the look of fear on her face. “Christ.”

Unnoticed by either of them a shadow detached itself from the corner of the room and quietly moved towards the window before it floated out into the night. The damage wrought, he had no choice but to move onto the next victim that his controller needed to help her path to magical domination.

“What do we do?” Willow whispered as she stroked Dawn’s hair gently.

“No idea pet, not a buggering clue.” Spike sank back on his heels and took one of Dawn’s hands in his much larger one and gently squeezed it.

Through the window in the distance, unnoticed by the vampire or the Wiccan, Ole-Lukoie drifted into the house next door and reached into his sack to withdraw another handful of his sleeping dust and raised it over the teen curled up in his bed.

“I am so sorry,” he whispered, and then let the poisoned sleeping dust drift over his second victim of the night.

 

Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/108138.html

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