Spike wasn't afraid. That wasn't him. Not anymore, accept when it came to… A pop. Blood. It was always about the blood. Black. What happened? He couldn't remember.
"Call 9-1-1-" a raspy wistful woman's voice said.
Oh, love, you know it's too late. You don't say that in this world. In our world. You know that—
"No!" she yelled.
Faith. He remembered now. She was in trouble. They all were, but she was next. She was being saved for last.
"Faith! Faith," he yelled.
His body flopped like a useless simpering fish on a decent mattress with a black leopard print duvet.
"Yeah," Faith said.
Her hand was on his chest in the dark. It steadied him in the soft yellow lamp light in their room. Their room in Sunnydale with dark green walls and piles of books, comic and otherwise, a Sex Pistol poster and a Jay Z Rolling Stone cover. It was a compact cozy room of a girl in her twenties and her officially unemployed boyfriend sharing a house. He was the boyfriend. Nothing special. Not a rock star. Just the vampire that rose up this undead town. That was okay. Unlike the others that was all she needed. She was okay. Faith was okay.
"I freaked out again," she said, "I had a vision. I mean, a nightmare, a nightmare. They usually don't happen when you're here. God, that one was so—"
Real. Spike knew it had been real, or he felt it. His heart dropped.
"Buffy," he said.
"Yeah, she was in it," Faith said, "Usually is. She's the—"
"Connor, Kennedy…" Spike said.
He felt his forehead knot. He rose up on the bed and opened his eyes. He wanted to hate caring about more people than Slayers. He really did. He knew why he had such a soft spot for brats. Spike knew all along. She had been alive, in the world, now. Not this world but some 21st century one where he could keep her alive…
"Yeah," Faith said, "It—it didn't end well for them. That's my subconscious for ya. Did I say their names in my—"
only he couldn't. That world had been so grand and then…Then didn't matter. Spike was here now with Faith. The rest of them were here to accept for…
"Caroline. My sweet sister Caroline. You had her wear red. Red to our wedding. You're so-"
She was bloody amazing, caring for people and making sure they lived in every world she touched. Spike put his arm around Faith's shoulders as she sat facing him on the bed. Her eyes widened as he looked at her face.
"You in my—were you in my dream. That's a new one. What the fuck? Spike—Spike I'm really sorry. Caroline."
Faith bit her lip and looked away with her big round eyes.
"It's not your fault, love," he said.
He pulled her into a hug, which she not only didn't pull away from but hugged back. Faith always accepted his hugs now. That was more than enough for him.
"It was just a shared dream between the two of us," he said, "It was kind of nice to see how my lil' sis would have grown if she had lived, in this century. And you. Being with you with out the emanate threat of death around was—"
"Yeah, yeah, just like heaven, only that's the problem there's always the emanate threat of death. When I think there isn't I let my guard down and I can't—"
"Faith, it's not your fault. It's not—It wasn't."
"Yeah, no need to Good Will Hunting me, babe. I'm just pissed you got in my dream. You don't need to see the shit in my head. How the fuck does something like that happen?"
"I know the shit in your head. I live there," Spike said to Faith.
She pulled back from him and raised her dark arched brow.
"That sounded much prettier in my head," he said, "Point is, this is Sunnydale, pet. Things like that happen all the time, especially between two people as close as us. It's actually pretty mundane if you consi—"
Spike heard his door open with force. There was force because it was locked and forced open. Spike only stiffened for a fraction because it was Connor.
"Hey look at that," Connor said, "I have my super powers back. So, you must be a vampire, like my dad, and not some rock star recovered super-PCP-heroin addict with a shooty ex. You still have penchant for not wearing a shirt."
He walked towards them and put his arms out.
"I'm just gonna do this," he said and put his arms around Faith and Spike who still had his arms loosely around each other.
"You guys," he said, "I'm so-"
"You were there too!" Faith said.
Spike heard more barefoot steps.
"I need Dawn's number right now!" Kennedy said, "There's a universe where your sister is dying because of your cunt of an ex and I have to save her."
Kennedy was looking at Spike as she spoke. Her cat shaped dark eyes were wild.
"What the fu-?" Faith began.
Spike's phone rang. It was a simple bell song default ring. He hadn't bothered with all the ringtones. He found it with little searching on the nightstand.
"It's Buffy," he said.
Kennedy grabbed the phone from him. He didn't stop her.
"Where is your sister? I need her now! I need to get to another dimension," she demanded into the phone.
"Kennedy, it's okay," Faith said, "It wasn't real."
"You don't understand," Kennedy said, "You don't know. We're wasting time! If I can get Dawn to use her key power I can get there; I can save her."
("Hello? Spike? Was that Kennedy? Are you there? I—I just wanted to see…Something strange happened. Why does Kennedy want Dawn? ) Kennedy had been Faith's friend for a long time, but Spike never thought he'd ignore Buffy for her. Especially as Buffy asked questions she already knew the answer too; that used to make him so bloody crazy. Kennedy had been the insufferable brat Spike was sure would get herself killed in Sunnydale's last destruction. But there was a world where she had been something else, even if it was just a dream.
"Kennedy, love, my sister is dead," Spike said, "She died over a century ago, but I have memories, very vivid memories, of her in my mind. Faith is the only person I ever shared them with. They're one of the few things I don't go on about to people because—"
"Fuck you! You self-centered piece of—"
Kennedy threw Spike's phone.
"Kennedy, take it down a notch," Faith said.
Faith, ever the covert caretaker, picked up the phone and spoke to Buffy while Kennedy raged at Spike.
"Caroline Pratt is her own person! She's better without you around messing her up, always worried about your reckless ass. She's not—She can't just be a memory. We were going to Paris."
Spike hugged the girl as she cried.
"I know. She was an amazing person. You would have made her happy," he said.
Spike didn't know if half of that was true, but this was one of those rare moments where he lied to dull pain. Caroline had died when Spike was human and useless. She balked at all romance. Maybe it was because she truly could only love other girls. Such a thing in that world then would be hidden so deep. Still he should have noticed; he had been such a useless git.
"I did this to you guys," Faith said, "No matter what I keep hurting you."
"Um… it wasn't you," Connor said.
"Right," Kennedy said, "It was that bitch. Spike's ex. I don't care if it wasn't in this world. We should get the bitch. Kill her."
Spike patted Kennedy's head as she broke away from him. Her pointed dark featured face was full of hate. He liked her, more than liked her now.
"I find that's easier said than done in this world, sister," Spike said.
"That wasn't a world, okay?" Faith said, "It was just…"
"A wish," Connor said…..