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Chapter Fourteen:


Don't ask.


"So tell me about your dream. As a Psych major, I'm qualified to go, 'hmmm'."-Riley

I found myself sitting on a rock in the middle of the desert with the sun beating down on me. It was disconcerting, somehow, just sitting on a rock. In the desert. I blinked. How was it disconcerting? I didn't know. But damned if I wasn't disconcerted. I looked around at the excessive amount of dirt and sun-baked half dead plant life and scratched my head.

A moment later, to my right I saw Buffy limping toward me, her leg covered in blood. She was smiling brightly and holding out her arms to me. I jumped to my feet and noticed how tall I was. I was a boy again! I did the Scooby dance before turning back to Buffy, but she was lying on the hard ground, a pool of blood around her. Her body turned into a gravesite complete with grass and tombstone. I shook my head sadly and turned to Anya who stood beside me dressed in black.

"She was elegant." She told me and then her hair shortened and she grew to just below my height, her face lengthening and shifting until Spike stood beside me in the bright sunshine. Wearing a bright pink sweatsuit.

"Right then, I'll just be off on my walk now. S'what I deserve, bein' evil an' all." He told me and turned on his heel to set out across the roasting desert. As he walked Mrs. Brady from the Bunch appeared beside him and took his hand. I watched, still disconcerted as they skirted a cactus patch. At that point I realized that this had to be a dream, because, Duh, like Spike would ever hold hands with Mrs. Brady! I turned to Angel who was beside me to point that out, but he was too busy making out with Willow to notice. I shrugged and turned back to Spike and Mrs. Brady just in time to see her stake Spike with a Captain Picard action figure, which was soooo not made out of wood, but Spike disintegrated anyway.

I stalked over to her to scold her for staking him with a non-stake but she patted me on the arm. "I'm sorry, dear, but pink just wasn't the appropriate color for the occasion!" She informed me, gesturing to Buffy's grave. I blinked. Well it did make a dream kind of sense. I shrugged and walked past Angel who was now making out with Oz.

I went to the grave and sat in front of it on another rock then woke up.

Blinking, I unstuck my face from the window it was pressed against and blinked out at the terrain that flashed by the passenger's side window in the front seat of an RV. <Look. Desert. Huh.> I scrubbed at my face and turned in my seat to see who was driving for this shift. It was Buffy. She smiled distractedly at me.

"Have a nice nap, Xander? Your snoring was very...enthusiastic." She asked. I shrugged and wondered if there was anything in the back that could get the construction paper taste out of my mouth. Chocolate maybe? Or Spike? Was he awake?

"My nap was marvelous, only two of my closest friends died in it." I shivered, the dream started to wig me out since I'd left the nonchalance of the dream world behind. I got up and leaned over to give her a half hug. "watch your legs tonight, Buff." I told her. She looked up at me with one of the most worried and sad expressions I'd seen on her yet. I kissed her on the forehead and headed through the aisle, stepping over the limbs of our sleeping fighting force.

Slipping into the back bedroom compartment I had to wait for my eyes to adjust before I could make out those who were sleeping on the two twin beds that were attached to the walls of the moving fortress. On the left side was Angel, looking at me through half-open eyes. I remembered my dream and had to stifle a laugh. I managed to nod to him and then crossed to the other bed where Spike was doing his level best to slip between the mattress and the wall despite it being bolted down.

Spike blinked blearily at me when I lay down on the bed beside him. Across the small room Angel had the decency to turn onto his side facing the wall giving us some semblance of privacy. "W'a's up, luv?" Spike slurred, looking confused at my presence. That made sense. I didn't exactly slip into his bed when we were at home. I knew I should feel weird, but I didn't, seeing as I was half asleep still and had just seen him dusted by Mrs. Brady.

"Don' ever where pink sweats." I told him, curling up against his chest. He snorted and settled his arms around me, pulling me close.

"Don' plan on it, pet. Sunshine over there might, but not me." I giggled and rubbed my nose against his collarbone.

"Naw, he was making out with Oz." At that I felt the confused eyes of two vampires on me. "Was a dream..." I explained with a yawn and hmmed when Spike started to chuckle, his chest vibrating. That made my nose tickle and reminded me of the other tricks he could do. "Purr." I ordered him, my eyes closed, already drifting towards sleep. I felt hands stroking my hair as he obliged me. The thrumming in his chest made me giggle again. "Big kitty." I murmured, in the comfortable floating place between sleep and waking. "Wake me when we get there. I don't wanna sleep through dying." I told him, pressing my cheek against his vibrating chest. The arms around me tightened for a moment but I was slipping slowly into sleep.


"Xander, just because this is never going to work is no reason to be negative."-Giles

I looked up at Angel across the way and saw his look of sorrow directed at my Xander. Apparently he didn't have much more faith in our chances than Xan did. I kept up purring and nuzzled my boy. He was so warm in my arms. <I could get used to an arrangement of this sort.> I glanced up at Batman again to see him in full on brood-mode. I rolled my eyes, which he didn't see because he was too busy looking inside his woefully tortured soul. "Angel?" I spokes in tones so low that only his vampiric hearing could pick it up so's not to disturb my pet, curled in my arms.

Angel looked up at me, torn from his new and exciting hobby of staring inward. "Where am I goin' to be fightin'?" I asked him. He frowned at me. At least I thought he did. He never was much on facial expressions. He considered it for a moment.

"You'll be with me." He said after a moment and turned back to face the wall, ending the most civil conversation we'd managed in over a hundred years. I nodded and smiled to myself. Maybe I'd get to 'accidentally' trip him during the fighting. Against my chest, Xander murmured in his sleep something about 'Captain Picard' being made out of plastic. I kissed his forehead and he settled down again.


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