Title: Visions of Death
Spoilers: Everything for Buffy until Season Eight Stargate
Disclaimer: I don’t own the characters, I’m just borrowing them.
Rating: I don’t really understand the new rating system so lets go with FR-18 to be safe.
Summary: Buffy is having nightmares.
The screams of dying soldiers were all around her; she had to swallow bile as it rose in her throat at the carnage. The smell of death, of eviscerated humans, was overwhelming her.
She slipped on the sickening parts of the soldier before her. She just barely caught her balance before sliding down onto the hard concrete floor. Out of the corner of her eye she saw the panicked look of another young man firing his weapon at a demon--never seeing her, never seeing Willow, or Xander--she slipped again as she tried desperately to knock them down, save them . . .
"Buffy wake up!"
The bullets nearly cut her friends in half and they fell next to her, their eyes flashing brightly before life drained out and they stared at her in accusation . . .
"Buffy! You have to wake up, you're having that dream again!"
Sitting up Buffy woke to the harsh light of her bedroom. Blinking she realized that every light in her small apartment was turned on and that she had a small audience of Xander and Dawn standing by the open door.
"Hey Buff, you with us now?" Xander asked, with a tentative smile. She saw that he only had on the sweatpants he slept in and no eye patch. Her sweat-soaked hair slapped the side of her face as she shook her head, trying to see the Xander standing in her doorway and not the Xander with the flashing eyes or the blood spraying out of his body. Blood staining the cold gray walls of the Initiative's bunker. It was the Initiative, wasn't it? She tried to breath through the images of the girl in the red lab coat with no eyes . . . focusing instead on the concern in Xander's one.
Dawn stepped cautiously into the room. "Buffy, it was that dream again, only a dream... " Her words trailed off when the Slayer tried to focus on her instead of Xander's scarred face. Focus on Dawn's smooth, sweet young face . . . not the face of the doctor who had . . .
It was the Initiative, it had to . . .
"Buffy!" Dawn's shout jerked her back to her bedroom and out of the Initiative. A shiver shook her and the tears started, this too seemed to be part of "that dream" she'd been having for two weeks. She felt the warm towel go around her sweat-soaked shoulders and Dawn's thin, weak arm encompass her as the sobs rocked her.
Vaguely she saw Xander place the Taser he'd been carrying on the table next to her bed. After the first night of dreams she had insisted he use it if she once again lashed out in her terror. The guilt of that night caused another round of racking sobs.
She felt Xander's soft touch on her hair, stroking it out of her tear-streaked face. How he could stand to touch her after all the pain she'd caused she would never know, but he did touch her, every night as she cried in Dawn's arms.
He cupped her cheek, "Buff?" he softly asked, waiting for her to able to look at him. And when she gathered up enough courage to glance up it was like a lance in her gut to see compassion in his one eye. She had to tightly shut both her eyes to block out the view. But when she closed her eyes she was back in the blood soaked bunker. Dawn's arms tightened around her and she let her sister ground her in the reality of now. Her eyes snapped opened and she looked at the darkness behind her closed windows, wishing it was daylight.
"Buffy, you really with us?" Xander's exhausted voice cut through her haze. And she nodded to him.
"Ok, I'm going to start the bath and get Willow's potion, OK?" There was a hesitation, a questioning, of whether it would be safe to leave Dawn alone with her.
Buffy pulled away slightly from her sister's warm embrace to reassure Xander that she wasn't going to attack--either of them--tonight. "Yes," she whispered, as the first shudders of cold ran through her. After two weeks she knew what was happening, she was beginning to go into shock, thus the warm bath followed by Willow's potion. A potion so strong that she would be unconscious for the rest of the day. She would have at least twelve hours without the dreams or the visions