|Story Title:||Can't Buy Me Love|
Buffy goes into Billy’s dreams to try and stop his nightmares, but will she succeed or find a whole new nightmare of her own?
Edmond “Eddie” Giles Rosenberg-Maclay born March 11, 2010
Joshua "JJ" Harris was born on April 21st, 2004
The twins (Danielle Dawn, "Dani" and William Rupert, "Billy") were born on February 12th, 2004.
Annie was born on February 14th, 1999
Spike and Buffy were married in February 1999
Buffy was born January 19th, 1981
William/Spike was turned by Dru in
All the Potentials were endowed with full Slayer power in February 2003.
The ‘Wish-World’ lasted from January 19th, 2005 to January, 16th 2010.
Dreamweaver, Gary Wright
ScreenCaps courtesy of ScreenCap Paradise:
Special thanks to 'u2fan2005' and 'epd4' for their suggestions, corrections, and help betaing this chapter!!
|Rating / Warnings:||
(The next afternoon), Thursday, April 22nd, 2010, 1:00pm:
Spike was awoken by the phone ringing … he covered his head with a pillow and tried to ignore it – Buffy was at the Magic Box, the machine could get it.
“Mr. or Mrs. Weckerly,” the female voice on the machine started. “This is Principal LaRue at Wilkins Elementary … we need someone to come pick Billy up, I’m afraid he’s … well, he’s quite upset, apparently he had a nightmare at nap time and is inconsolable…”
Spike grabbed the phone up, “’Ello?” he started and the principal explained the same thing again. “I’ll be right there …” Spike assured her as he jumped out of bed and pulled on his clothes.
Billy was in the nurse’s office at the elementary school when Spike got there, sitting on the cot with his knees pulled up to his chest, his arms wrapped around his legs and his head resting against them. Labored breaths mixed with sobs and sniffles was all that could be heard from the small room. Spike sat down on the cot next to his son and wrapped an arm around him and Billy immediately latched onto Spike like he was a life preserver in the middle of an ocean.
“It’s ok now, Junior …” Spike assured him as he stroked a comforting hand down Billy’s back. “What happened?”
“Dani … the door … too … heavy … wants … out …” Billy choked out between deep breaths on the verge of hyperventilating.
Spike blew out a long breath … this was getting to be more than just a normal childhood nightmare now. “Ok … listen now, little man,” Spike admonished his son, pushing him back so he could look into his eyes. “We’ll get ‘er out … I’ll help ya, yeah? How would that be?”
Billy nodded and hugged back around Spike with arms and legs like a clingy little monkey and Spike stood up with him. “We’ll go ‘ome and get Red to mojo me into your dreams, yeah?”
“Can you get Dani out?” Billy questioned quietly as Spike walked down the hall with him. “Maybe we need Mama…” his son suggested.
“You think your mum’s stronger than me?” Spike questioned incredulously.
“Uh-huh …” Billy affirmed.
“P-leease!” Spike exclaimed as he reached the door and headed out into the parking lot his son still clinging to him tightly. “I could out thumb-wrestle her any day of the bloody week…” Spike claimed.
“Unt-uh,” Billy disagreed. “I want Mama … I bet she could open the door,” he insisted.
“Oh, bloody hell…” Spike muttered, rolling his eyes. It was hard to be your son’s hero with the Slayer for a mum.
“Ok … did you get all the ingredients for the tea and mix it all up?” Willow asked on the speaker phone in the research area.
“Got it, Wills,” Buffy confirmed, smelling the amber liquid in the glass and making a face.
“Maybe you should go, after all,” Buffy suggested, offering Spike the stinking tea.
“Naaaa … your son wants the Slayer,” Spike declined, backing up and turning his face away from the offending drink.
“You know, if it was Dani or Annie, they would’ve wanted you to go … it’s just how kids are. It’s not because he doesn’t think you can do it or doesn’t love you,” Buffy tried to assure her husband.
“Yeah, I get it …” Spike sighed. He knew what she was saying was probably true, but it didn’t make him feel much better about his son wanting Buffy go help free Dani and put an end to his nightmares rather than him.
“Ok, you remember how this works,” Willow continued on the speaker phone. “You drink it, I’ll do the spell, then you just think about whose dreams you want to join. When you want to wake up, just say ‘wake up now’,” she reminded Buffy.
Spike had gotten Faith to cover his shift at Willy's so he could be here when Buffy jumped into Billy’s nightmare … just in case. Billy had been in bed for about twenty minutes … they figured he should be starting to dream soon, but they didn’t know when the dungeon dream would happen. Buffy would just have to hang around with him until it did.
“Got it,” Buffy acknowledged the witch as she held her breath and gulped the bitter tea down in one swallow, making a horrible face and sticking her tongue out afterwards. “Bleack! Ughh … why can’t magical tea taste like chocolate?” she questioned rhetorically, still shaking her head from the taste it left in her mouth.
“Ok … lay down and I’ll do the spell,” Willow instructed over the phone.
Buffy gave Spike a kiss. “Be back soon …” she assured him.
“Be careful …” he admonished her as he walked her to the couch. Buffy gave him a reassuring smile before lying down and closing her eyes. The moment that Willow finished reciting the spell, Buffy was fast asleep.
Buffy wasn’t sure what to expect when she ‘awoke’ inside Billy’s dreams. She stood in a dense rainforest, the canopy of enormous trees blocked the sun out completely – everything seemed larger than life. She looked around, but didn’t see Billy, or anyone for that matter, so she started walking, picking a direction at random. She climbed over boulders and fallen logs the size of Mack trucks and finally made it to the edge of the forest where it met a grassy savannah. The sun was high in the sky and hot on her skin as she kept walking … not sure where Billy was in this dreamland. Suddenly she heard a loud and ferocious growling sound and what felt like an earthquake. ‘BOOM, BOOM, BOOM’ shook the ground at her feet, but before she could turn around to see what was making the sounds, she was lifted high up into the air. Buffy fought against whatever had her, but she was no match for the Brachiosaurus which held her in its jaws thirty feet above the ground.
“Put me down!” Buffy demanded of the dinosaur, its breath damp and hot on her back where it had hooked her belt in its large, yellow teeth.
“Mama!” Billy cried from the ground below her.
When Buffy looked down, Billy and Dani were there. Both of them were smiling and waving at her like she was on a Ferris Wheel at that fair, not about to be eaten by an overgrown lizard.
“Get me down!” Buffy called to them. “NOW!”
“Bob won’t hurt you …” Billy assured her.
“Bob?” Buffy questioned. “Tell Bob to PUT ME DOWN!”
Billy walked over to the dinosaur and tapped him on the leg. “Mama says to put her down, Bob. You’re scaring her…”
The dinosaur whined like a hurt puppy and lowered his head and gently set Buffy on her feet. She pulled her belt off its teeth and finally stepped away from Billy’s seventy ton ‘puppy’.
“What the hel-ck is that thing!?” Buffy questioned her son when she’d gotten a safe distance away from … Bob.
“This is our friend, Bob the Brachiosaurus,” Billy informed her proudly, patting a hand on Bob’s huge nose. “He won’t hurt you … he doesn’t eat people.”
“He’s a vegetable-tarian,” Dani added.
“Oh ... well, that’s good to know …” Buffy stammered, still looking at Bob with suspicion.
“Bob, this is my mama!” Billy introduced Buffy and Bob snorted a greeting, blowing hot, smelly, wet air over Buffy and nearly knocking her to the ground.
“Nice to meet you…” Buffy muttered when she’d caught her balance and cleared the stench from her nostrils, it didn’t come out as sincerely as she’d hoped.
“Where are we?” Buffy questioned, looking around.
“Jurassic Park,” Billy informed her – it was his favorite movie at the moment; he’d seen it, and its sequels, twenty times at least.
Buffy’s eyebrows shot up. “Aren’t there like … people-eating type dinosaurs in Jurassic Park?” she questioned, scanning the horizon for danger.
Billy shrugged. “No … not here, mostly it’s just us and Bob …”
“And sometimes Puff comes to play,” Dani added.
“You know … the Magic Dragon? He can breathe fire and fly. But he never breathes on us...”
"How do you know Puff the Magic Dragon?" Buffy wondered.
"Papa sings it to us sometimes ..." Billy explained. "♫ Puff the Magic Dragon, lived by the sea , and frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee..." Billy began to sing.
Dani socked her brother in the arm to get him to stop singing and Billy yelped in pain, rubbing his arm where she hit him. "We felt bad for Puff, 'cos his friend went away and he was sad ... so we let him come play with us," Dani told Buffy. "But he doesn't always come ... I think he has a few friends now, not just that one little boy. That's better, I think..."
Buffy nodded and scanned the sky … her son played with dragons and dinosaurs in his dreams, she wondered if that was normal … But wait … was this Billy’s dream or Dani’s? She’d thought of Billy as she was going to sleep, but why was Dani here? Did Billy dream her here or was this her daughter’s dream?
“Whose dream is this?” she questioned the twins. They both shrugged.
“We dream together mostly,” Dani told her.
“How long have you done that?” Buffy asked them, kneeling down to their level and they both shrugged again.
“Always?” she prodded and they gave her another shrug.
“Does Papa know?” she continued, and was met with another unified shrug.
Buffy rolled her eyes and stood back up. Since they were in Jurassic Park, she had to assume this was Billy’s dream … or that he was controlling it, that wouldn’t be high on Dani’s list of things to dream about. Dani’s would probably include Ninja’s or soccer balls or skateboards. Buffy tried to remember what she used to dream about when she was six … probably Mr. Gordo and the Cookie Monster and Easy Bake Ovens and tea parties with her dolls. She wondered what Spike had dreamed about when he was six …
“Do you want to go for a ride?” Billy asked, pulling her from her musings.
Buffy looked around for a car, then realized, “On Bob?”
“Uh-huh! He likes to give rides and you can see far, far away from up there on his head!” Dani assured her enthusiastically.
Buffy sighed … until they got to the dungeon dream, she might as well go along. “Sure … ok. After all, how many more opportunities will I get to ride a dinosaur ... probably only two or three tops," Buffy agreed. "But no picking me up by my clothes … your Papa won’t like to have to sew more ripped jeans…” especially if he isn’t getting anything out of the ripping… she added silently.
Buffy followed the twins through dream after dream … soccer practice, school, a strange dinner at home with nothing but raw cauliflower to eat and Spike telling them they could ‘eat it or starve’. They ran across the deer they saw on their hike in the mountains…but in the dream the deer didn’t scamper off. The three gentle creatures walked all around them, sniffing and grubbing small stems of grass from under the snow – then Dani and Billy fed them raw cauliflower and the deer gobbled it up eagerly. Suddenly they were transported to Willow and Tara’s house – the whole family was there sitting out on the dock. It was dark out, but the sky was alight in color as fireworks exploded in rapid succession above them. The children ‘ooo’d and ‘awwww’d as the bright colors burst over the lake and Buffy snuggled on Spike’s lap in one of the Adirondack chairs.
Spike nibbled on her earlobe as they watched the display and Buffy felt fireworks of her own starting to build. She tried to focus on something else, looking around at the gathered group. Annie, Dani, and Billy didn’t look much different than they do now, this couldn’t have been very long ago. Giles and Willow and Tara were there, all three seemed to be beaming, even in the dim light … it was probably just this past Fourth of July; Tara had probably just confirmed her pregnancy.
Buffy kissed Spike and got up off his lap, much to his displeasure, and went to sit on the dock with the kids, who were dangling their feet in the water of the lake. “What’s this?” she asked Billy.
“Fourth of July…” he confirmed her assumption.
“The bestest ever!” Dani elaborated, her eyes wide with awe as she watched the fireworks explode in a rainbow of colors above them.
“Why is it the best ever?” Buffy asked her.
“’Cos we got to swim and Aunt Tara made red, white, and blue cupcakes that made our teeth turn purple and we roasted marshmallows and had hotdogs and the fireworks are right here! And we get to sleep in a tent in the back yard tonight! And there are fireflies and whippoorwills!” Dani enthused. “It was the most fun ever!”
Buffy smiled at her excitement … such simple things brought so much joy to a child. Purple teeth and swimming and marshmallows and fireworks and camping out… it would be one of those memories they would carry with them forever. Buffy stood back up and started to head back to join Spike when suddenly everything went completely black and quiet.
Buffy tried to get her bearings, reaching her hands out and hoping her eyes would adjust to the dark, but she couldn’t feel anything near her. She listened closely and heard what sounded like water dripping slowly … drip … drip … drip – kind of like Chinese water torture.
“Billy? Dani?” she whispered, wishing her eyes would adjust; perhaps Spike should’ve come after all.
“Mama?” she heard Billy call to her, his voice low and fearful.
“I’m here baby. Where are you?” Buffy asked, trying to pinpoint his location in the dark.
“Here where, honey?” Buffy questioned taking a step towards his voice.
“By the wall.”
“I don’t know,” Billy replied.
“Where are we?” Buffy asked, trying to get him to keep talking so she could follow his voice in the dark.
“The dungeon …”
Buffy took a deep breath and blew it out slowly. This is what she’d come for. “Are there any lights?”
“I don’t like the lights … it’s scarier with lights,” Billy replied as she edged closer to him.
“It’s ok, baby – Mama’s here, turn on the lights,” Buffy coaxed him.
Suddenly, the area was bathed in the glow of three burning torches that were in sconces on one wall which reminded Buffy of the torches Indiana Jones used to keep the snakes at bay … at least there weren’t any snakes here.
Buffy quickly scanned the room and found Billy huddled against the wall furthest away from the light, trying to make himself as small as possible. She rushed over to him and picked him up and immediately started ‘shushing’ him and assuring him that everything would be ok.
She looked around the room as she held her frightened son; there were two sets of heavy metal doors, one on the wall with the torches and the other set on the opposite wall. The doors looked like they were from the Middle Ages and were quite large and solid – there were no other windows or doors apparent in the room. The walls appeared to be solid rock … carved, wet rock to be exact; as if the room had been chiseled out of the center of a solid piece of stone. The water she’d heard dripping was running down the walls and forming small puddles on the floor, which was more of the same rock along with some dirt and gravel.
“Where’s Dani?” Buffy asked Billy and he pointed to the set of doors on the wall with the torches.
Buffy took a deep breath … she had to get those doors open and end this nightmare for him. “Oh, I thought you said this was gonna be hard … Even Papa could’ve opened those …” Buffy told him, trying to sound confident.
“You stay here and I’ll get them open, ok?” Buffy instructed as she sat him down against the wall furthest away from the doors. Billy tried to cling to her for a moment but finally released her when she reminded him that she needed her hands in order to open the doors…
Buffy stepped up to the heavy doors and examined the strange locking mechanism they had. She tried to move the handle, but it wouldn’t budge. There were several small, round steel plates hanging on the door and she moved one, which revealed a small peephole. She tentatively moved her eye closer to the hole to see what was on the other side of the door.
There was only a dim light illuminating the room behind the door and she had to press her eye right up to the peephole to see anything. After a few moments, she could make out a long hallway which also seemed to have stone walls, ceilings and floors and along each side of the hallway were individual cells, like a medieval prison or … duh! A dungeon!
The dungeon was lit with a few burning torches, just like the room they were in, so it was hard to tell for certain, but there seemed to be people in the cells … prisoners. Buffy blew out a long breath and backed up, letting the little steel cover fall back into place over the peephole.
“Is Dani one of the prisoners?” she asked Billy, walking back over to where he waited, crouched down against the furthest wall.
Billy nodded. “I can’t get her out…”
“It’s ok, baby … We’ll get her out,” Buffy assured him, moving back over to the doors that stood between her and victory over Billy’s fears.
Buffy began pounding on the doors, kicking, pushing, pulling, slamming her body against them … but she didn’t even put a dent in them. Her body was battered and bruised, her knuckles bloodied and the doors were just as stout and unmoving as ever. Buffy sank down on the floor next to her son to try and think … how was she gonna get those doors open?
“Billy, listen to me,” Buffy started solemnly as she pulled him into her lap on the floor. “You need to open the doors … only you can do it.”
Billy shook his head. “I can’t … I tried.”
“You can …”
“They’re too heavy,” he argued.
“No … not with your muscles, with your mind. You have to unlock them …”
Billy shook his head and buried his face against her shoulder. “What are you scared of? What’s behind the doors?” Buffy questioned, pushing him back so she could look into his tearful and frightened eyes.
“Dani…” Billy whispered, his voice barely louder than the water dripping down the walls.
“You’re scared of Dani?” Buffy questioned with confusion. “Dani would never hurt you … she loves you. I thought you wanted to get her out ...”
Billy shook his head again. “I do ... but, I'm scared. Please don’t make me …”
“Awwww, sweet boy, it’ll be ok. I’m here and I won’t let anything happen to you. I promise,” Buffy assured him. “Do you trust me?”
Billy nodded slowly.
“Ok … unlock the doors and we’ll get Dani, ok? You’ll see, it’ll be alright …”
Suddenly, the iron rods which held the doors firmly closed, which Buffy couldn’t budge, dropped out of their moorings and the doors swung open slowly with a loud creeeaaak. Buffy half expected a ghost to appear next, rattling its chains … but nothing came through the doors and, when they stopped moving, the only sound that could be heard was the drip…drip…drip of the water as it ran down the damp walls.
“Good boy,” Buffy encouraged Billy as she stood up, picking him up with her and holding him on her hip with one arm under his bottom. She grabbed one of the torches off the wall and started through the doors slowly, holding the torch up in front of her to light the way.
As Buffy stepped into the hallway between the cells with the torch, the prisoners all crouched and cowered in a corner of their cells, turning their backs to her and covering their heads with their arms. There was one prisoner per cell – dirt floors, stone walls and iron bars surrounding them. There were no cots or blankets in the cells, not even toilets or urinals.
“Who are they?” Buffy whispered to her son, but Billy just shook his head against her shoulder, he didn’t know.
“Where’s Dani?” Buffy asked after she’d walked about twenty feet down the hallway. She couldn’t tell how long the hallway was, there were no torches or any lights beyond the first ten feet or so – it could go on forever as far as she could tell.
Billy picked his head up from where he’d buried it against her neck and pointed at a cell about ten feet away on the left. Buffy took a deep breath and walked slowly but deliberately towards the cell he’d pointed to. When she got there, she could just barely see some matted, blonde hair hanging down the girl’s back as she cowered like the other prisoners in one corner. The only clue that it was even a girl was the tattered and filthy dress that she had on, the hem dragging in the dirt floor as she crouched in the corner. Buffy thought that the girl in the cell looked bigger, quite a bit older than Dani … but she was crouched down and huddled in the darkest corner, so it was kinda hard to tell for sure.
“Dani?” Buffy called as she pulled on the iron bars of the gate, which seemed to be just as solid as the heavy doors she’d fought earlier.
“Dani, honey … are you ok?” Buffy called again, but got no response from the blonde. “It’s Mama and Billy … Dani, come over here, honey.”
Buffy sighed when the girl didn’t move or acknowledge them. She laid the torch down on the ground and pulled harder on the iron bars of the cell, but they didn’t give an inch. “Damn it…” she muttered as she put Billy down on his feet.
“Ok, sweetie … you have to open this one too. Mama can’t do it alone, you have to unlock it,” she told her son and he shook his head adamantly.
“It’ll be ok … I promise. You unlock it and I’ll get Dani out, ok?” she cajoled him, brushing some of his curls back from his face.
“Just one more door … then everything will be fine. C’mon, you’re my big, brave man … you can do it,” Buffy continued.
“Are you sure?” he asked tentatively, looking between Dani, still cowering in the corner, and Buffy.
“One hundred percent, double-dip sure,” Buffy reassured him, giving him her best smile.
Buffy heard the lock turn on the cell that held Dani and she stood up and moved over to it. Leaving Billy in the hallway, she opened the door and stepped into the cell with her daughter.
“Dani … honey, it’s ok. It’s Mama … we’re gonna take you home now. Dani?” Buffy spoke slowly and softly as she made her way towards the frightened child in the corner.
Suddenly, the blonde girl whirled on Buffy, moving faster than any demon or human Buffy had ever seen before. In a flash of fists and fangs, the child was atop Buffy, pummeling her fists down on Buffy's face and neck, growling like a wild beast, and trying to sink her fangs into Buffy’s flesh.
After the initial shock, Buffy’s instincts kicked in and she fought back against her attacker, but her Slayer strength was no match for the slender wisp of a girl that was attacking her. Buffy tried to grab her hands, but the child vampire simply punched right through her attempts, knocking Buffy’s own hands into her face and bloodying her mouth, nose, and knuckles. Buffy tried to turn over or pull out from under the girl, but she was stuck like a bug on a pin – unable to move, unable to get away.
“Billy! Lock the door! Lock the door and run!” Buffy screamed at him as she tried her best to just block and deflect the blows that rained down on her. Buffy squirmed and pushed against the vampire with all her strength as she tried to keep her neck away from the razor sharp fangs that glimmered deadly in the flickering light of the torch, which she’d left on the floor out in the hallway.
When Billy just stood there, paralyzed in fear, Buffy screamed again. “NOW! BILLY RUN!”
The last thing Buffy saw as the child vampire sunk its fangs into her neck was Billy running back towards the first room they’d been in. “Wake … up … now …” Buffy muttered just as the world went black.
Buffy woke with a start, nearly falling off the couch in the great room; it took her a second to get her bearings. “GET BILLY!” she screamed at Spike, who had been sitting in the chair next to her. “Wake him up NOW!”
Spike rushed up the stairs, taking them three at a time, to the twins’ room and shook Billy awake. When Buffy got there, Billy was inconsolable, clinging to Spike and sobbing, frightened out of his mind. Buffy was happy to find that neither of them were actually hurt … at least not physically. Unlike the dreams she’d experienced in limbo, these didn’t actually ‘Freddy Krueger’ her – they were just dreams.
Buffy dropped down onto the floor next to Billy’s bed as tears of relief that he was ok fell from her eyes.
“What the bloody hell happened!?” Spike questioned Buffy as he tried to soothe his son.
Buffy looked up at Dani, who was watching her brother with worry creasing her young features, then Buffy looked back at Spike, meeting his eyes as he held their son and tried to calm him.
Dreamweaver - Gary Wright
closed my eyes again
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