WARNING: m/m sexual activity. Adult language. Story is generally
SUMMARY: 10 Years after the fall of Sunnydale, Xander has
distanced himself from his past life until a demon forces him to look
DISCLAIMER: I own nothing including the characters and products
named in this story. I do, however own an unused treadmill. If you
want to sue for that, help yourself.
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The thought of this whole mind boggling situation was terrifying.
It was his worst fears come true. A deja vu that left him feeling
like Willow had already done the spell and he was trapped
in a dream come to life.
How much worse could it be? Their coming here WAS
his worst nightmare.
Except for Spike. Xander looked over at the vampire that sat
with him in the center of the room, holding his hand and giving him
the strength to face whatever was coming.
Finding Spike again, he decided, might just make all this worth while.
If he survived to enjoy him.
When he squeezed Spike's hand and felt the answering grip of
reassurance, Xander was overwhelmed with gratitude, relief, and
something else. Something he was not in any position yet to name
The room had been cleared of most furniture. All electrical items were
removed to prevent the current from interfering, and the phones
disconnected. Candles glowed from every corner causing shadows
on the walls to dance and distort, looming eerily.
Three chairs had been set in the center of the room. Two together
and touching and the other facing them. Angel, Wesley and Giles
stood against the far wall as quiet and inconspicuously as possible.
Willow placed her hand on Xander's knee.
"Be careful Xander. Don't take any unnecessary risks and let Spike
help you. It's important to remember, don't let it touch you and don't
look it in the eye. It might be your dream, Xander, but right now
he's in charge. Don't believe everything you hear and see. Trust your
heart and your instincts. Understand?"
Xander nodded his head tensely despite the fact that no, he didn't
understand. All of this was so far from his comprehension that they
might as well be sending him to the moon in a bathtub.
Then, just before starting, Willow reached into her pocket and held
her closed fist out. Xander took what she offered, stunned when the
bear claw necklace fell into his open palm.
"Where the hell......?"
"This will protect you and remind you of your strength and power."
With a smile, Spike took it and slipped it around his lover's neck. With no
further discussion or delay, Willow began.
"All right. I need you two to hold hands, relax your minds and bodies
and listen to my voice. Very soon you will become sleepy. Don't fight
it. Just close your mind. When you are almost out, the spell will send
Both men nodded and Willow's voice, low, quiet, and repetitious,
lulled them, surprisingly quickly into a state of semisleep. At that
time, her words and the language spoken shifted.
The air cracked and the flames of the dozens of candles flickered.
The shadows on the walls disappeared and the room went dark.
Instinctively, Angel threw his arm around Wesley's waist and pulled
him closer. For once, Wes didn't fight him.
Standing over them, Willow dipped her hands in a bloody, foul
smelling mixture then placed a palm on the slumped head of each
She called to the spirits of the underworld to lead them into the
realm of black dreams and night terrors and she fought the urge to
withdraw when it felt like worms squirming beneath her hands.
She called to the goddess of protection to watch over them and
give them faith, cloaking them in the white wings of love.
She called to the God of War to give them strength and courage, and
lastly, she prayed to God to forgive her for what she had just done.
Finally, she stepped back and looked carefully, checking for any sign
that the spell or the hypnosis had failed. She saw none. Giles stepped
out of the shadows, intently staring at the bodies knowing the men inside
"Hurry, Andrew should have everything ready."
Quickly the three rushed down to the small study where the assistant
had arranged and assembled the identical spell Willow had done
earlier. The chalk circle was drawn and the bowls set up.
Even knowing they couldn't help, there was no way they weren't
going to watch.
The slamming of the solid wood doors at their backs seemed to wake
them up. Still holding tightly to each others hands, Spike jumped at the
sound and spun around. The building looked vaguely familiar, but he
"Where are we? What is this place?"
Xander let a small involuntary whimper slip out.
"It's hell, Spike. We're in my own personal hell"
Spike put his hand on Xander's cheek and forced him to look him in the
eye. The cool weight of Spike's hand on his skin grounded him and gave
Xander a feeling of reality.
"Look at me, Xan. I'm right here and we're going to get through this.
Now, think. Where would the demon be hiding?'
Xander shook his head and tried to think.
Spike tried another angle.
"Well, what happens now? How does the dream start? What's the
first thing you do?"
No sooner had he gotten the question out when suddenly the whole
building shook with the deafening roar of pure evil. It reeked of the stench
of sulfur and sounded as though it were coming from everywhere at once.
It sounded as if it were right behind them.
Tightening his grip on his partner, Xander jerked his arm, yelling,
Immediately the hallway in front of them went dim, expanded and
appeared to be endless, stretching for miles. The two men took off.
As they moved forward, the floor beneath them changed. One minute
it was institutional black and white square tiles, the next it was dirt,
gravel and then brick. The sounds of their feet echoing around them
changed as the surface the ran on shifted.
It was a maze, disorienting, and Spike was quickly becoming confused.
He wanted to stop and get their bearings. Xander wanted to run.
As they reached the end of one hall, five more would splinter off
With determination, Xander tugged and pulled the vampire along.
Spike wasn't sure if his lover knew where he was going or if it was
simply a matter of 'keep moving.'
At first the hallway walls were solid, clean white washed block. If he
looked closer, though, squinting in the dim recesses, he could see that
they were dark, cracked, dirty and dungeon like. As they went deeper into
the school, deeper into the dream, the smell grew dank, moldy and
what Spike recognized as death and blood.
They were getting nowhere fast. Spike tugged on Xander's hand trying
to get his attention, but Xander had slowed and was focused elsewhere.
It was then that Spike realized the hallway had become a row of doorways.
"Where are we, Xan? What's in there?"
Spike could hear Xander's ragged breath and the pounding of
his heart as it forced the blood to rage through his body.
A dim light appeared and Spike could see a form, a woman
moving close. It was the witch. It was Willow.
It seemed she was unaware of Spike as she spoke quietly to Xander.
"It's coming, Xander. It's coming for you and no one can help you.
You left us, Xander and we hate you for it. That's why we sent
you here. The demon is going to rip your throat out and we want
Xander took a step back and whimpered as his oldest and best friend
laughed and pointed at him. Fear held him paralyzed. Immediately
Spike jerked roughly on his arm, nearly pulling him off his feet.
"XAN! Stop it! Look at me! That's not Willow. Stop looking
Using all the strength he had, Xander snapped his head to the side
and focused on Spike's face, a mantra of "It's not her. It's not her."
looped through his brain. When he felt his emotional balance return,
both men looked back into the room and what they saw caused them
as one, to jump back.
The interior had shifted and now, instead of a classroom, they were looking
into the living room of Xander's parent's house. The walls were splattered
with blood. The television blared with an infomercial touting the benefits
of foam shoe insoles. The light from the screen bathed the room in a
flickering blue glow.
Both knew they should run. This wasn't real. Still, four feet remained nailed
to the ground. Everything in the room was exactly as he now remembered it.
His father's lazy boy recliner sat in front of the t.v. as it always had.
The huge, bulky figure turned slowly to face him. His hand held a can of
beer. A cheap, store brand that caught Xander's fascination. Slowly, the
man in the chair rose and Xander's gaze traveled up the bloated, torn
and bleeding body till it reached the head, or what was left of it.
His face was squished flat, his features unrecognizable and small sprays
of bloody spittle shot from his mouth as he spoke.
"You fuckin' worthless shit. Never were no good. You left us behind
to die while you skipped out, sweet as could be. Saved your own
faggy life and left us to die."
Xander released Spike's hand and stepped forward.
"No, Dad, I'm sorry. I tried to help you."
Spike knew he was losing him and if he didn't act fast this game
was over before it really began. Immediately, Spike moved
between Xander and the phantom movie playing out, he grabbed
the handle and slammed the door shut. The door immediately
disappeared and the block wall again became smooth and unbroken.
Xander appeared to be in a daze, and Spike was getting scared.
He grabbed him by the shoulders and roughly shook till the haze
in his eyes cleared and his focus on the vampire returned, sharp
"Listen to me, Xan. Remember what Willow said. These are not
real. They are images the demon is pulling from your brain and toying
with. If you cave on me now, we are all lost. Snap out of it."
Grabbing Xander's face, Spike pulled him close and kissed him soundly
on the mouth.
"That's real. I'm real. Ignore everything else and remember that. O.K.?"
"Yeah, yeah. O.k. I'm o.k. Thanks Spike, thanks."
The three humans sitting in the small, dim study, blew out the breaths they
had been holding and cheered in strained relief.
Willow: "He did it. He's going to make it."
Giles: "He still has a long way to go, that was just one test."
Andrew: "Yes, but he passed it."
Wesley: "Thank goodness we sent Spike with him."
Angel: Do we have any blood and popcorn in the kitchen?"