Author: babies stole my dingo (agilebrit)
Length: Short-short (500-1000 words)
Disclaimer: Joss is the genius behind these characters; I am but a lowly follower. I make no money from any of this, so please don't sue me.
Written for: The Illyria dream fic spawned a couple of plot bunnies.
Notes: Another in the ColdComfortVerse. They have bad dreams.
Fred's voice jarred him awake. Spike rolled over and looked at the figure on the other bed. Brown and blue hair splayed on the pillow, her head shaking back and forth, Illyria mumbled in her dreams. "Safe in my cave. Monsters outside." She moaned. "Wesley...why can't I stay?"
Spike felt his heart twist in his chest at those words. Why indeed? He sat up and lit a cigarette. Any chance of sleeping was now shot. He wouldn't wake her unless she started thrashing around (again), but he couldn't leave her alone in their room, either--and thus avoid the gut-wrenching Fred-babble emanating from her. He stood quietly, rummaged in their bag, and came out with a three-quarters-empty fifth of Jack Daniels. Unscrewing the cap, he took a long pull from the bottle as he walked back over to his bed and stretched out on it.
He picked his cigarette up from the ashtray and inhaled, resting the bottle on his leg and regarding it sourly. Really, there wasn't enough alcohol in the bloody thing to make drinking it worthwhile. Not like drowning his sorrows would drown out the noise she was making. Now she was going on about spines and entrails, which was more in his comfort zone. It was the switching back and forth that set his fangs on edge.
He took another drag from the cigarette and a gulp from the Old No. 7, and that was when he realized she was crying. That was even more disturbing than the Fred-talk, because his Leery never cried. Threatened and demanded, yes. Cried, no.
He put his smoke out and considered. She'd probably pummel him for his presumption...but the Ice Princess could use a bit of thawing. After recapping the bottle, he moved over to her bed, lay down beside her, and rolled her onto her side so her head rested on his chest and his arm wrapped around her shoulder. He tensed when she moved, but she simply threw her leg across his waist and her arm across his ribs, burying her face in his t-shirt and quieting.
"That's a bit of all right, then," he whispered. "No need to fret, luv. I've got you." She sighed and relaxed, and he drifted off to sleep himself.
The smell of smoke, blood, and whiskey filled Illyria's nostrils as she awakened. Someone was shaking her bed, but it only took her an instant to realize that someone was Spike and that she was wrapped around him. When had he...?
That was immaterial. He was apparently in the midst of a nightmare. This was nothing new for him; he had them frequently. He'd never had one in her bed before, however. She sat up and hesitantly put her hand on his hair as he muttered. "Couldn't help them, couldn't save them. Not worthy, beneath them all, soulless evil thing. Buffy, no!" His eyes snapped open and he jerked upright, then sank back onto his elbows, panting. "Okay. That was bad."
"None of it was true," Illyria said. "You are a valiant and competent warrior, and you would have found favor in my court in the days of my power."
He reached around her and grabbed his cigarettes. "The subconscious is a funny old thing."
"If your subconscious is telling you lies, then it is a stupid old thing." She crossed her arms.
"You may be right, there, luv," he conceded, one side of his mouth turning up.
"The sun has gone down. We should patrol. It is an activity you enjoy, and it will put you in a more stable state of mind."
"Saddle up, then." He grinned ferociously and shrugged into his duster, checking the pockets for stakes and a knife he liked to carry.
"My dreams were bad also." She looked away from him, unsure of her confused and confusing feelings.
"I know," he said casually. "Ready to go out and kill things?"
"Yes." He held the door for her, putting his other hand on her back. And she leaned into it briefly before they stalked out into the night, on the hunt again.