What Dreams May Come…

By Maquis Leader

 

 

Rated PG13

Author’s note: Set immediately after Soul Purpose

 

 

 

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come…

Hamlet, III.i.

 

 

The phone rang, and Angel rolled over and fumbled for it. He’d protested when Wes insisted on moving it to the bedside table “just in case” but now he was grateful. No way could he have pushed his body up out of the soft cocoon of blankets to answer it.

 

It rang again, the shrill electronic sound grating on his sensitive hearing. “I’m coming, damn it!” His hand hit the receiver and knocked it off the base. Picking it up, he knew with a sudden rush of certainty who was on the other end.

 

“Angel?”

 

“Buffy.”

 

“I – I didn’t mean to wake you.” Her voice was soft and shaky.

 

“No, it’s okay.” Angel snuggled back into his blankets. They were warm, courtesy of the heated bed, and he could imagine her laying with him. “Anytime you want to talk, I’m here.”

 

“I had some strange dreams. Like freaky strange – not like the ones where you dream you’re in your underwear in public.” She paused. “Really freaky.”

 

There was a tension in her voice he didn’t like. “I don’t wear underwear, remember?” Buffy giggled and he waited a moment. “Tell me about your dreams.”

 

“It was… there was… okay, there was you and Spike.” A soft breath huffed in his ear. “You were fighting for this ugly cup and –  “

 

“A cup?” The muscles in his stomach clenched.

 

“Yeah, and he got it and… and then you caught fire. And then there was Wes and he staked you and then that girl, Fred, she was pulling your guts out – “ The words were pouring from Buffy now as if she had to get them out as quickly as possible. “And this icky thing was eating you and then there was a bigger icky thing – “

 

“Buffy, it's okay. It’s all right now.”  He kept his voice low and soothing. Inside he was both scared and elated that she had shared his dreams, that the connection was still there. But Slayer dreams could be prophetic. Could she be sensing that Spike was going to be the one to Shanshu? “It was nothing, just a dream.”

 

“Tell me you’re okay.”

 

“I’m okay.”

 

“You don’t sound okay.” Her voice was accusing.

 

“I – I – “ What the hell... “I had those dreams. There was a parasitic demon that was trying to kill me – it makes you have these dreams – “

 

“Oh my God, Angel! Did you kill it? Are you okay?”  There was a building anxiety in her voice. “You sound weak – “

 

“I’m fine, baby – Buffy.” Angel bit his lip. The endearment had come out automatically. “You don’t need to worry. I’m better.”

 

“You don’t sound better. I don’t think they’re taking care of you.”

 

Tired and sore as he was, he felt desire stir within him at the pout in her voice. “They’re – we’re busy and – “

 

“Too busy to see that you’re slipping away?” There was a catch to Buffy’s voice. “That you think you’re not worth anything?”

 

“Buffy, it's not like that.” Isn’t it? “You know, we may have been wrong about the prophecy.”

 

“The Sunshine prophecy?”

 

Angel chuckled. “Shanshu, and yes. Spike may be the souled vampire.”

 

“Whatever.” There was a transatlantic snort. “Spike isn’t a champion. Okay, he saved the world. Once. And for I dunno what reasons. Actually twice…”

 

“Twice?” Shifting, he winced at the pain in his chest where the parasite had bitten into him. “So he’s done – “

 

“When Angelus was going to suck us all to hell, he helped stop him.” There was a moment’s silence. “Though I’m the one who put a sword through your heart.”

 

“Through my stomach actually. And I'm sure Spike would have hung around for that if he'd known it was going to happen." He didn't consider Spike's turning on Angelus as world saving; Buffy would have managed it one way or another because that's what she always did. Her pain at having to send him to hell to save everyone else pressed on him through the long distance. "Stop that. No guilt. It had to be done and you know it."

 

"I know." A whisper in his ear.

 

"I've never been angry about it. Never. You're all I thought of through those years. You were everything to me, baby." He crooned softly to her. Buffy had confessed to him one night that she still had nightmares about it. Still saw his confused and hurt expression before he was sucked into hell. "You kept me going."

 

"That explains why you were a basket case." Her laugh was watery. "It was all fun and chains with Buffy."

 

"Are you having fun in Italy?" A change of subject was in order. "Did you go see the Sistine Chapel?"

 

"Oh! It was pretty. Kinda dark but pretty." A smile curved her voice. "And lots of naked statues, he had a thing for naked guys."

 

"He did plenty of naked women too. Well, some anyway." Angel laughed. "I always wanted to see the chapel, but I couldn't go in. Too holy."

 

"You'll see it, I'll take you."

 

"Buffy, if Spike is the one to Shanshu – "

 

"Angel." Her voice was firm. "Spike is not going to Shanshu."

 

Buffy was serious for once; she hadn't deliberately said the name wrong as she usually did.

 

"He saved me." It still galled him that his hated grandchylde had walked in and saved him.

 

"He was probably looking for money for cigarettes." He could almost see Buffy rolling her eyes.

 

"Wes said he's been saving people like I used to before – "

 

"Spike is selfish and he's not a champion. Not like you are." Another snort. "Between you and me, I don't think he went to get his soul back. I think he wanted that chip out."

 

A shiver ran down his spine. Spike unchipped and soulless? And headed on a collision course with Buffy? "He – he wants you." Angel couldn’t bring himself to say the "L" word. Not when it came to Buffy and Spike. He hadn't mentioned that particular dream, and thankfully neither had she.

 

"I know." There was a tired sigh. "But I don't want him."

 

"Have you – have you met someone?" His mind did the usual battle with his heart. Let her have a normal life – no, let her only want me! "Some nice guy?"

 

"You mean some nice guy who's not a vampire?" Sarcasm. Thick and heavy. "No."

 

"Oh. Well… you know… you should." Closing his eyes, he tried not to imagine her with someone else. That usually ended with him imagining ripping the guy's head off.

 

"I guess. That's what everyone keeps telling me."

 

Another pout that made him reach under the blankets to try and ease the ache. "Now that there's other Slayers, you can have a – "

 

"Do not say normal life." She growled. "I had to stake a vamp last night on my way back from the movie. Which, by the way, was in Italian."

 

The laugh was out before he could stifle it. "Buffy, you are in Italy. The movies are going to be in Italian."

 

"I made up my own story. It was probably more fun anyway." A giggle. "Do you know Italian?"

 

"Yes." He knew too many languages. How better to torment people than to speak their language as you torture them? "I could have translated, I guess."

 

"That would have been more fun." There was a long pause. "So, you're okay?"

 

"I'm fine. Tired but fine." Tired and achy and miserable and lonely and aroused as hell. Otherwise, fine."Don’t worry about me."

 

"I do. I worry that you're getting sucked in there." A bit of lip chewing. "You shouldn't be there, Angel. They're evil, and they're going to kill you if they can't turn you."

 

"I was turned a long time ago." The bitterness choked him.

 

"You know what I mean. They want you to be all evil with them. If you're on their side when the next big bad comes – "

 

"I won't be. It's making me crazy, I'm having to compromise on things, but I'm still doing more good than I was before." Am I?

 

"Every time I think of you there – " Buffy made a sound that he took to mean that it upset her. "I want to come pull you out."

 

"I would – that would be – okay." His own fantasies in that area kicked in, and Angel forced his hand back out from under the blanket. This wasn't a phone sex type of call. Not that he and Buffy had phone sex type calls. He'd like to have those.

 

"That glass they've got – I think it's dangerous." The worry was back in her voice. "I'm afraid you'll get so used to it that you'll forget the sun is dangerous."

 

"Not likely. Buffy, I’m over two hundred years old, and most of that I've spent hiding from the sun." Turning his head, he looked at the curtains covering his bedroom windows. "And I don't trust them either."

 

"Good." There was a voice in the background. "I gotta go, Willow and Dawn are ready to go spend some money recklessly."

 

"Have fun." He missed her already. Hell, he missed her even while talking to her.

 

"You know me and shopping." A breathy laugh. More feminine laughter in the background. "Angel's okay. I was not being stupid!" Muted words. "Dawn says hi."

 

"Tell her I said hi back." She was an annoying brat, but he missed her too.

 

"Willow too." A sigh. "I just needed to talk to you. You go back to sleep."

 

"Buffy, wait." He shouldn't ask, but he couldn't stop himself. "I – I – want – I know you – "

 

"Spit it out, Angel." There was a wobble to her voice despite the light tone.

 

"Are you still my girl?" He whispered. Tears burned his eyes, and Angel clenched them shut. If she said no, he'd open the windows and let the sun burn him up.

 

"Always." A soft whisper, heavy with emotion.

 

"I love you." It was out before he could stop it. He felt as empty as he had in the dream where his soul was a dead goldfish in a bowl. "You're still baking, and I'm sorry but – "

 

"I love you too, Angel." Tears colored her voice. "Stay safe. I gotta go."

 

There was a click and the line went dead.

 

He set the receiver back in the base and crawled back into his warm cocoon. Maybe Spike would get his Shanshu and maybe Wolfram and Hart would destroy him. But Buffy would always be his girl. A smile curved his lips as he drifted back to sleep.

 

The dream was sweet. Sunlight and soft sheets, warm skin against his own, Buffy's eyes green and half closed with satisfaction, her lips sweet on his…

 

Angel sighed contentedly in his sleep, and even the demon let the dream flow.

 

 

 

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maquisleader@maquisleader.com

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