Dreaming the Future

Pirate Purple

Spike swirled the pale green liquor around in its filigreed bottle. Chartreuse was a poncy name for liquor, but the goth kiddies he’d saved from the Tzerlok demon had left it behind, and Spike was not in a position to turn down a free drink. It was their own fault for hanging around in a Sunnydale cemetery after dark. Spike snorted. Amazing that that sort lived long enough to breed, or assimilate, or whatever those fools did to make more of themselves. The fire they had built was dying out. Wasn’t it supposed to be warm in California? Shivering, Spike headed back to his crypt. It was getting to be early, and he had to take the Bit to visit Buffy’s grave tomorrow.

Buffy had been dead for a year now. Dawn’s needs to visit had gone from daily, to weekly, and finally, recently monthly had been enough. She was healing. Spike was not. He still visited the grave pretty much nightly, talking to the sod that covered the woman he had loved. “I’d still go back and change it if I could,” he muttered, stopping mid-stride at a voice behind him.

“Truly, William the Bloody? Would you change the fate of the slayer if you had the power?”

Turning towards the voice, Spike raised an eyebrow at the apparently empty air. Sodding magic. “I don’t see what business it is of yours, mate.” Turning to walk away Spike walked into an invisible wall. He was going to eviscerate whoever this was, chip or no chip. “What the bloody hell do you want, then?”

“We wish to give you the power to change the past, William. But you must know that changing the past also changes the present, and the future. The consequences of the changes you make may not be what you expected.”

“Firstly, I have not been William in over a hundred years. It’s Spike. Get that? Spike!” Spike paced back and forth, smoking his cigarette in harsh, angry puffs. “Secondly, I do not want any gifts from you. Magic is bloody dangerous, and I'm not fool enough to play with it.”

“It is too late, William known as Spike. We have already granted your wish. The power is yours, whatever you decide to do with it.”

Spike woke at sunset the next day from a dream that Buffy was alive. He shifted, noticing that someone was in the bed behind him. He started, opening his eyes without turning around. He was in Donut Boy’s apartment. In a bed. With someone. Spike turned slowly to see Xander lying on his stomach, one hand under his head and the other off the other side of the bed. Both he and Spike were naked. Spike took in a deep, cleansing breath, pulled on the black sweatpants that were on his side of the bed, and left the room.

Spike was in the kitchen, smoking, when the memories started to come back. As they started, the chip began to fire, and Spike fell to the floor. Buffy’s soldier-boy coming back to save her and Dawn at the last minute. Spike’s lack of tolerance for Riley’s presence. The surprise of the boy standing up for him. He had said that Spike deserved better, after helping them in spite of himself. He could see himself packing, getting ready to leave Sunnydale. He was again surprised when the boy asked to come with him. They had moved to Boston, they had fallen in love. He was in love with the whelp? They were going, with ill grace, to Buffy and Riley’s wedding tomorrow. Spike sucked in air like a drowning man. No. No no no no no. He had to fix this. He wandered around the house, trying to sort himself out. He looked at the happy pictures on the wall, looked at the sleeping Xander. He could never be happy without Buffy, right? The boy wasn’t exactly hard on the eyes. Spike had peeked before. He looked again at the sleeping boy. “Sleeping! That’s it!” he exclaimed. Xander stirred, and Spike froze, but the boy did not wake. The vampire tiptoed over to the couch for a nap.

He dreamed of being with Buffy. He awoke in a hospital room. Buffy was in the hospital bed. She was nearly skeletal. The memories rushed in, and Spike’s grip made the chair creak as he avoided crying out with the pain. Buffy had been poisoned by an obscure demon. She was in the hospital because they were unable to find an antidote. Xander was on the other side of the room, sleeping on a bench with Red. Spike began to cry, silently. He hadn’t meant for this to happen. This slow wasting death was terrible; Buffy deserved to die on her feet, like the warrior she was. He took several hitched breaths and buried his face in his hands. He felt a warm hand on his knee. Xander was kneeling in front of him, looking concerned. The look undid Spike completely, and he began to sob. Xander’s arms went around him automatically, and Spike buried his face in the boy’s neck without thinking. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. It was supposed to be Buffy with her arms around him. He wasn’t supposed to be snaking his arms around Xander’s back, and holding on for all he was worth.

Spike was going to stay awake until the funeral. At some point in the afternoon, on the fifth day, while he and Xander were sitting on Xander’s couch, Spike began to cry again. He hadn’t meant to, especially in front of Xander, but he was so tired, and they had spent the day contacting the few people who would come to Buffy’s funeral. He felt so broken. Xander put an arm around his shoulder, and squeezed gently. Spike couldn’t keep his secret anymore.

“ I killed her, you know.”

“That’s ridiculous, Spike, I was there when the demon got her. You saved her. It’s not your fault the thing’s spines were poisonous.”

“Yeah, but a few days ago she was happy and ready to marry soldier-boy.

“Riley? Did someone spike your O-neg today? Riley hasn’t been around for a long time. Besides, he and Graham had a thing going.”

“I’ve been changing the past in my dreams, Xander. I did it the first time because I couldn’t save her from Glory, and I did it again because she was with Riley. Every time I wake up, things change.”
“Are you absolutely certain someone didn’t slip you a mickey in your blood today? Ordinarily I’d just chalk your story up to hellmouthy goodness, and oh boy, we’d get our research on. But are you sure this isn’t about Buffy? You two were fairly tight there, for a long while. Losing her has definitely put you under stress.”

“I'm not crazy, Xander. That was Dru, not me.”

“I was beginning to wonder if it ran in the family.”


“You didn’t kill her Spike, I promise. And we’ll do the research and see what’s going on with the whole dreamy future changing thing.” Xander hugged Spike briefly, and went to call the gang, leaving Spike to wonder why all he wanted was for Xander to forget the phone call, come back and wrap his arms around Spike again, and never let go.

When the Scoobies were assembled, Spike re-enacted his story, complete with stomping and smoking.

“So we’re researching disembodied voices?” Willow asked, “Isn’t that a little broad?”

Giles was already polishing his glasses. “There are several accounts of ‘disembodied voices’ as you call it, in these books. We can cross reference them with time travel, or changing the future, and dreams too, of course.”

“Right,” said Willow dubiously, “time traveling disembodied voices it is.”

There was quiet for awhile, except for the rustling of pages. Spike, who was fighting sleep, opted to wait in Xander’s kitchen, smoking and pacing. About half and hour went by silently, and then Xander came in to make coffee.

“Looks like it’s going to be an all-nighter,” Xander said quietly. “We won’t give up though.” Spike stopped pacing a few steps from Xander. Xander closed the distance and put his hand on Spike’s shoulder. “We’ll figure this out.” Their eyes locked. Spike breathed, a long, shaky inhalation.

“Xander…” And suddenly they were much too close, but Spike could not bring himself to break away from Xander’s eyes. He could feel himself falling into them.

The coffee pot beeped, and they jumped apart. Spike went to the window to light another cigarette, and Xander silently poured coffee.

Spike fell asleep at the window, sitting on the floor, his cigarette burning itself to ash between his fingers. He dreamt of drowning in warm chocolate, and strong hands that pulled him out.
Spike awoke in his crypt, and waited for the memories to come. When they did, Spike began to get angry. Buffy was still dead at Glory’s hand, and the other Scoobies had scattered. Red had taken the Bit and gone across the Pond with Giles, Xander had gone to Wisconsin, following a job. They had been together for a time, but Spike couldn’t leave Buffy behind. Spike was the only one left on the Hellmouth. Whoever it was that was changing things was playing him, and he wasn’t having it. He went outside and yelled at the sky.

“Oi! Whoever you are! I want to talk to you! Can you hear me?”

“Yes, William known as Spike, you are heard.”

“How do I stop this? How do I get back to where I was the first time things changed? How do I dream the right things? You saddled me with bloody powers, and didn’t leave a sodding instruction manual!”

“You must dream it, Bloody William. When you no longer dream of changing the future, it will remain as you dreamt it.”

“Alright then. I dream Buffy alive and well, and Xander with me, and it stops because I don’t want it to change anymore. Is that it?”

“You are correct, William known as Spike. When you are content with what you have dreamt, the future will stabilize.”

“Bloody wankers.”

Spike went back to his crypt, and got ready to sleep again. He repeated to himself over and over again, “Xander loves me, Buffy’s alive, Xander loves me, Buffy’s alive…” until it became a chant in his head. He laid down and tried to dream again.

“Spike, you’re going to be late, wake up! Spi-iike… Short, undead, and stuck in the eighties, get up!”

Spike cracked an eyelid. He was in a girl’s room. He wasn’t wearing clothes. He opened his eyes all the way. Buffy was standing over him. “Finally! Spike do you remember having a date tonight?” Spike shook his head, mutely. This wasn’t right. Buffy was alive, but he was supposed to wake up with Xander. He tuned in to what Buffy was saying. “… and you need to get up and get dressed, because we’re leaving in half an hour.”

Spike got up and dressed. He tried not to mope, really. But Willow accosted him while he was heating up his blood. “Spike, what’s wrong? I thought you’d be excited about your date with Xander!” Just then, Spike got a flood of memories. It was Buffy and Faith’s first anniversary. Spike lived with Xander, but had spent the night here so they could do the ‘date thing,’ as Xander called it, right. They were going to take Buffy to Faith’s on the way to the restaurant.

Spike smiled. “Nothin’s wrong Red, I just have the jitters a little.” This was going to be bloody brilliant.

Spike openly stared at Xander in the car, mesmerized. Spike was entranced by the way he held himself, the movement of his fingers on the steering wheel. It was taking a supreme act of will for Spike not to crawl over onto Xander’s lap and kiss him half to death. It felt like Spike hadn’t seen him in a year.

Xander noticed Spike’s focused attention. “Is there something on my face?”

“No, but if you pull over I could change that,” Spike leered.

“It’s a good thing I like you already, if that’s your idea of a line, Bleachie. Cheese that smelly is usually only found in France.”

Spike laughed. “You know you love my lines, cheese-boy. And speaking of smelly, is that your dad’s aftershave?”

“You know damn well I know better than to wear scent around you, Blondie Bear.”

Spike conceded with a grumble. “Just because you’ve never had a girlfriend who had a stupid name for you…”

“I had to pull out the big guns, Spike, you called me smelly,” Xander chuckled as they arrived at the restaurant.

Spike barely noticed his meal. He was not used to looking at Xander as a possible lover, but his experiences over the past few days had changed his perspective. And he was absolutely entranced. He watched Xander’s lips move. Oops, he was talking.

“…and are you even going to see the movie, or are you just going to stare at me some more?”

Spike couldn’t even remember the name of the movie when Xander quizzed him on the way home. He thought about the happy pictures on the wall after his first dream. He looked over at Xander, who was grinning and chuckling because of him, and resolved that he would do what it took to keep that smile there as much as possible. If he was given the chance. He certainly wasn’t going to go to sleep until he had kissed Xander within an inch of his life.
Spike opened the door to the apartment. There was a moment of silence before they walked in the door. Xander was a little tense, having picked up on Spike’s anxiety. Spike went into the bathroom to try and relax before he bollixed up the whole night. By the time he came out, Xander was standing at the sink clad only in a pair of loose flannel pajama bottoms. Spike watched as he got himself a glass of water and used it to swallow his vitamins. No longer able to resist the pull he had been feeling since he awoke, Spike went to Xander, wrapping his arms around him, and resting his head on the taller man’s shoulder. With a studied nonchalance that made Spike ache with grief and guilt, Xander asked, “Gonna stay tonight?”

With his unbeating heart in his throat, Spike’s only option as an answer was to turn Xander around and kiss him, trying to communicate ‘I’ll stay for as much of forever as you’ll let me have,’ while unable to speak. There was a moment before Xander started to kiss back, and Spike was about to draw back, but Xander took the blonde head in his hands, and kissed him until they were both gasping for breath. Spike took a step back to shed his duster, and they both grinned at the way Xander’s flannels were tented.
Xander blushed, and hid himself by pressing back up against Spike. Making a mental note to make Xander blush often, Spike rolled his hips, rubbing his denim-encased cock against Xander’s flannel-covered one. Xander shivered, but would not be outdone. Suckling Spike’s sensitive pulse point, one hand traced down the vampire’s smooth chest and down over the muscles in his stomach to pop the buttons on Spike’s favorite button-fly jeans. Spike felt himself gripped in a warm fist, and had to fight not to come in his pants.
Pants? Why on earth was he wearing pants when he could feels Xander’s warm skin on his? A quick shimmy and a kick or two, and Spike’s jeans were under the kitchen table. Still pressing his lower body against Xander, he leaned back and pulled his T over his head, and tossed it. Xander took the opportunity to pepper Spike’s chest with kisses, stopping to nibble a nipple. Spike groaned at the sensation and pulled Xander closer, sliding his hands down to his boy’s hips, and pushing Xander back against the refrigerator. The softness of the flannel between them just made the friction sweeter, and before long they were thrusting against each other and moaning into their kisses. Xander came with a cry, and the strong scent of his completion sent Spike over the edge.

After a few minutes of post-orgasmic haze, Spike shook himself awake and took stock of his completely sated lover. Xander was a dead weight in Spike’s arms, unable to support his own weight. Spike lifted Xander and carried him into the bedroom. Laying the boy down on the bed, he removed the flannels and used them to wipe the come from both of their stomachs. Tossing them over his shoulder, he slipped into bed beside Xander. He watched the boy sleep for awhile, but decided against putting off sleep for long despite his fears, rationalizing that the sooner he went to sleep, the sooner he would wake up beside Xander.

Spike awoke to the sound of a beating heart. He held his breath a moment, afraid and hopeful at the same time. He didn’t remember dreaming, but how could he be sure? He took a tentative breath, scenting the air. Smelled like Xander. His heart nearly started beating. He opened one eye. Yup. That was Xander, drooling into his pillow a bit. Spike opened his other eye, and kissed Xander on the nose. Xander twitched, but did not wake. Spike rolled over and fit his back close against Xander’s front. Xander automatically put an arm around him, drawing him in close. Spike purred happily to himself, until sleep claimed him again. This time, he was not afraid. He wouldn’t dream of trading this for anything.

The End