Rating: Adult NC17
Warnings: M/M sexual situations, adult language, reference of violence.
Disclaimer: The Bee owns nothing in this world but her own peace of mind.
I have no claim on any of the characters or products named and make no profit
from my stories.
Summary: AU (Human? Vampire?)
This is the simple tale of a successful psychiatrist with a busy practice.
Dr. Alexander Harris lives and works in the rich and colorful area of the Florida Keys
and everything about his life seems right on track. Then, one day a man comes to
him for help. He is troubled with a history of violence that he hopes therapy can
teach him to control. Clear cut? Maybe not.
As always, thanks to the wonderful Petxnd for the amazing banners and loyal friendship
Xander stretched out on the couch in Jack's office. He bypassed the chair because
that always gave him the feeling of being on equal footing with his mentor. It was the
grown up place to sit. It was for peers who discussed patients, medical theory and
the particulars of their practices.
This morning, Xander Harris was only a patient. Dressed in a casual cotton button
down shirt and worn jeans, he had arrived on time and quietly began his session by
explaining his dream and hoping for a knowledgeable interpretation.
Jack pulled his chair up next to the couch and he felt the pain as his young colleague
described the terror that haunted his nights. He set aside his pen and note pad and
gave 100% of himself to his patient.
"Why didn't you take the pills, Alex?"
Xander shook his head sadly. His voice was flat and his face slack. Dark circles
colored his sunken eyes and he needed a shave.
"I was too tired. I thought I could sleep without them."
"O.k, we can make sure you sleep better tonight. So, why don't we talk a bit about
the dream. Are you sure you don't know what or who was chasing you?"
"No. No, but it felt so real. It was more like a memory than a dream. I'm sure I was in
hell. The real Hell, deep below the surface of the earth. I kept hearing someone say
'from beneath you, it devours'."
Jack responded to Xander's escalating voice by keeping his own calm and quiet.
"Some nightmares can be frightening in their detail. If one of your patients came to you
and described this dream, what would you tell him?"
Xander frowned and tried to consider his response.
"I guess I would explain that sometimes things happen during the day, things that, by
themselves can be totally unrelated or insignificant but that can trigger some long
forgotten memory. When the two, past memory and present occurrence combine, it
can create a jumbled, confused setting that plays out as a dream. A dream that holds
no deep psychological meaning and should be given no weight or importance."
"But you don't believe that?"
"How can I? Why was Spike in my dream? He saved me, Jack."
"Transference, Alex. You have developed some sort of misguided attachment to
this man, probably because he reminds you of someone in your past, and you are
transferring those feeling to him. Therefore, in the nightmare, Spike, or the man he
represents, saves you from whatever it is that you are afraid of."
Xander lay silent for a long time. He knew that was textbook correct and it was
probably word for word what he would tell someone who came to him with the
same problem. Still, it didn't feel right. It was a shoe that was exactly the right color,
the right style and the right size, but when he slipped it on his foot, he knew there
was no way he could wear it. It just didn't fit.
Xander felt that the answer to this was buried deeper. It was time to talk about the
past. His past. His path that led him here.
"Jack, I need to know everything. I need you to fill in the blanks starting with how I
ended up in the insane asylum all the way up to how I got here. I need to know why I
can't remember about the earthquake and why all my friends died in it and I didn't."
Jack Elliott leaned forward and affectionately touched his young friend's arm. He
knew this day would come and was surprised it hadn't before now. As the years
had passed and Alex got stronger and more successful, Jack had come to believe
that his life was enough. That he didn't need the ghosts of the past to make him
complete. As a psychiatrist, he should have known better.
"Some things may be hard to hear. Some will be even harder to believe. If you want
me to tell it, I will have to tell it all. You will hear things that will make you angry, probably
at me, but, please, Alex, please remember that my affection for you is genuine. Everything
I have done for you was more than a job. It came straight from my heart."
Xander pulled his arm away from the contact and he scooted back on the couch.
His heart pounded in his chest and he could feel the beginnings of a full blown panic
attack closing in. He needed his meds. He wanted to ask for his meds, but this time
he wanted the clear head more.
He dreaded what he was about to hear, but the look in Jack's eyes was the same
one he had always known. There was no deceit or deception there. He was still
Jack and that brought enormous comfort.
"Just tell it, Jack. Start from the beginning and just tell it."
Jack Elliott took a deep breath, sat straight up in his chair and began.
"12 years ago there was a massive earthquake in California. It completely devoured
a small town called Sunnydale. Rumor had that it was the scene of some cosmic war
between the forces of good and evil but the fact was, it was just an earthquake, or so I
thought. At the time, I was head of staff at a psychiatric hospital in Miami, having just
moved from San Francisco. Two days after the quake I came to work and they told me
a survivor had been discovered at the rim of the California crater. I had no idea who or
how you got from there to Florida but you had been checked in during the night. When
I first saw you, you were completely catatonic. You were in a state that used to be
referred to as shell shocked. You were put on strong doses of psychotropic medications
and within weeks you began to respond and were able to speak. When you did, you
spoke of monsters, demons, evil and death. Your meds were adjusted to control what
appeared to be paranoid delusions, psychotic episodes and schizophrenia."
Xander scowled and wrapped his arms protectively around himself.
"Did you ever consider that I was telling the truth?"
"No. Would you if a patient came to you with that story? Anyway, after a while, you
seemed to improve on the medication. You were able to remember your friends, your
family and your life before, but the meds controlled and blocked out the things we
considered fantasies. By the end of the first year, you had made great strides. Your
true personality was shining through and I found I really enjoyed our sessions together.
It was about that time that I had a visitor. A man came to my office late one evening.
A British man of great importance. We talked for hours, Alex. We talked about you
and about the way the world really is. If I said the name Rupert Giles to you or the
Watcher's Council, would you know what it means?"
Xander rubbed his temples as the headache took root and began to grow making
concentration difficult. It was a struggle to stay focused.
"Giles? Um, I think he was the school librarian. Watcher's Council? What do
"The world, Alex. They watch and protect the world. They are the most powerful
people on earth. And they watch you. You are a very important man, Alex. You
fought in the great battle and helped save the world. When it was over, your mind
needed a rest. It just couldn't fight anymore and it shut down. When you were found,
the Council had you brought here and has, over the years, provided for your care,
your schooling and ensured that you were successful. I was recruited to, in effect,
be your watcher. It was a position I gladly accepted. None of this changes us, Alex.
We are still friends. I am still your mentor, your friend."
Xander tried to focus. He tried to picture and imagine who these people were.
"Why hasn't anyone ever tried to contact me? If they care so much, why don't
they come and see me in person?"
"That is their gift to you, Alex. You served above and beyond the call and now you
deserve the chance at a good life. The medication kept all that horror at bay and they
didn't want it dredged up again. But it's more than simply a reward for your sacrifice. These people love you Alex. They genuinely love you."
There were a million questions swimming around in Xander's head but he couldn't
grasp and deliver any of them. Finally, one stood out from the rest.
"So why now? Why is all of this caving in on me now?"
Jack Elliott looked deeply into Alex's confused and scared eyes.
"I think that is something you need to talk to Spike about. They sent him to you without
my knowledge or consultation. I felt it was the wrong way to restory your memory. That
it was dangerous and could have caused a psychological relapse but what's done is done.
Now, for you to know the rest of the story, you must talk to the man you call Spike."