Disclaimer on my profile, but suffice it to say, I don't own really anything.
I have NO idea where this came from or why it came to be, but eh... here you go.
The woman laughed; hearty and deep. Her skin, in the firelight, dancing copper and bronze and black. "You think that's why you're here. But I know better; the moon and the stars know better. You have a deeper wish. Unspoken, but real."
Her eyes, dark and profound, flashed between the Slayer and her Vampire. Squatting on her haunches in front of the two 'more than humans' she waved her and over the fire and the flames jumped and licked upwards.
Buffy, ever the impatient one, crossed her arms over her chest, unimpressed by the display of 'magic'. "Look, I don't know what you think you know, but all we want is the Taschka stone."
"Tlazhka," Spike corrected.
"What he said. If you could just point us in the right direction, we can head back to good old Sunnydale and leave you and your fire and your stars and moons alone."
The woman, a shaman, or witch, or whatever the Zimbabwean equivalent of that was, laughed again. "I will let you have the Tlazhka stone. Your need for that piece of Mother Earth is real. But, I will also give you the," she paused and smiled, "the flame you so desire."
"The flame we so desire?" Buffy snorted, she hated riddles. Always had. And it seemed that riddles were the only language that the people she dealt with spoke in.
The wizened woman reached into one of the little pouches that lined the skirt of her outfit and she pulled out a pebble.
And really, it couldn't be called anything other than a pebble. It was the size of a quarter, maybe a little bigger. Blue and tan at the same time. And it glowed.
Not in an, 'I'm from outer space' kind of glow, but an 'I've seen the center of the earth, and the edges of the sun, and I know more than you'll ever know' glow.
From a pebble.
It was awe inspiring and frightening at the same time.
"The Tlazhka stone?" Spike asked, already knowing the answer.
"One of them." And then she cackled again. "And you only have to do one simple thing to have it."
Buffy glanced at Spike before looking at the woman. "Or we could just take it."
A leathery, skin creasing smile broke across the woman's face. "You could try, but my magic is older than my hide, older than my bones. More powerful than this shell," she waved her hands over her frame, "would suggest." She turned to face Spike, "is she always this anxious to fight?"
"'t's one of the things I love most about her." The words were out of his mouth before he could stop them.
Buffy shot him a look - a look that was equal halves 'you idiot' and 'I adore you' – before turning back to their host. "What one simple thing do you want us to do before you'll give us the stone?"
Augura dropped her hand into another pouch and pulled out two small vials filled with clear liquid. She held them out to Buffy and Spike. "Drink these."
"What's in them?" Buffy asked with a raised brow.
"Water." Augura paused, "special water."
"Special water?" Spike air quoted the words. "Anything with the word special in front of it, can't be good."
Augura smiled. "This 'special' is good. If I've read you, both of you, correctly, it will be – amazing."
"How do we know we can trust you?"
"You don't 'know'."
Spike exchanged a look with his Slayer; he was up for a fight, if she was, but he was also curious as to what was so special about this water Augura was offering as part of her price for the Tlazhka stone.
When Buffy shrugged her shoulders, Spike took one step forward. "I'll try it"
Augura handed Spike the bottles, chuckling when Buffy pouted, "Hey, hey, hey. Wait a minute, why do you get to try it? I'll try it."
Spike rounded on her, "look Slayer, which one of us has a calling in her life?" Buffy opened her mouth to retort, but Spike beat her to the punch. "And which one of us is already dead an' prolly a lil less likely to be affected by anythin' that might be in this 'special' water?"
He held one of the bottles up to the firelight, ignoring Buffy's glare, before he popped the top on the small glass container and took a sniff of the contents.
Before he could down the contents, Buffy had pried the second bottle from his hands and had flicked the cap off of the container, with a grin, followed by a grimace she threw back the liquid. With a 'I beat you to it' grin, she wiped a stray drop from her lips.
With a growl Spike swallowed his own vial and threw the glass into the fire.
Three seconds later and Buffy could feel the air around her cooling... the breeze faded, but the temperature dropped, and the light from the fire dimmed. She planted her feet more firmly on desert sand. The movement, simple though it was, disorienting her. The grin that had been gracing her face, faded away. "Spike?"
He looked away from the fire, the first hints of the water's effects hitting him. He pushed through the dizziness that clawed at him and reached out for Buffy, catching her as she fell. Catching her and pulling her to him before he too tumbled to the ground.
As the world around him faded to nothingness, he could hear the faint cackle of the old witch... echoing in his ear.
They were back in the Council jet, Buffy reclining in one of the chairs while he kneeled beside her. They weren't positive how they'd ended up back on the jet, but they were positive of one thing.
The water they'd been given was indeed special.
They'd had a dream, each of them. A disturbingly similar dream. A dream that spoke of the future. A future neither one of them believed in. And yet...
Buffy's rested on her stomach as she stared at nothing. He wondered if she was feeling stray affects from the water that had knocked them out or...
His insides twisted a bit. There was no way he could give Buffy what the dream suggested he could give her. It was impossible. But, apparently, just because it was impossible, didn't mean that it wasn't also the one thing he wanted, more than nearly anything in the world. "Buffy, luv?"
"... it felt like one of my dreams." She turned her head to the side, her eyes connecting with his. "A Slayers dream."
"Yeah, well, doubt it was a Slayer dream... I had the same dream you did, and in case you haven't noticed," he settled into the seat next to her, "I'm not a Slayer." He tucked the small bag of stones that he'd woken up with into his pocket, and placed his hand on Buffy's, and as always, he couldn't stop the small swell of electricity that edged through him when she intertwined her fingers with his.
Buffy leaned closer to him, her head resting against his shoulder. "I know. But, it was so real. It was...," she unconsciously ran the thumb of her right hand over her belly. Her voice dropped to a whisper, "Angel had a child."
He felt his jaw tighten. "Not a Slayer, and not the bleedin' poof either."
Buffy lifted her head and looked up at him, "Spike, that's not... I didn't mean...," She shifted in her seat so that she had a better view of him. "I don't want Angel. And I don't want you to be like Angel. I want you." She, moved her hand to his jaw and forced him to look at her. "Got it?"
She'd told him that before, and normally he believed her, but this... the dream... the dream's content... he wouldn't blame her if she was questioning... wanting more. He forced a smile to his face, "It's because I'm so bloody gorgeous, right? And packin' like a horse... right?"
Buffy bit the inside of her lip to keep from laughing and curled back up in the chair, her head going to rest on his shoulder again. "Right honey."
The sun was warm against his skin as he stepped out on to the porch. He moved to the top step, sitting next to Buffy who, hand on her swollen belly, was feeding their two year old cheerios.
The two year old, Krista Joyce Summers, happily munched on the treat.
"Cheerios!" Spike snarled lightly. "Bloody hate those things. They always get stuck -"
" – in your fangs."
" – in da fhangz."
Buffy and Krista completed his oft heard complaint for him. Both of them grinning at him. They had the same smile. Brilliant, beautiful and smart-assed... that described both if his girls. Wrapping his arm around Buffy's shoulder he pulled closer, using his free hand to help Krista clamber up on to his lap. His chin atop Buffy's head, he whispered, "Just to even things out, can you make the next one a boy? And could you make him hate Cheerios?"
He could feel Buffy's frame shimmy a bit as she giggled. A sound he loved. From the woman he loved.
He closed his eyes and just let the warmth of the day fall over him.