Title: Into Morning 1/3
Pairing: Buffy/Spike
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: None
Summary: William dreams of another life with a woman he's never met. His reality, though, is decidedly less pleasant.

Chapter One

"Tell me more about Buffy."

Will shifted on the plush sofa. "She's gorgeous. Radiant, strong, caring..." He rubbed his right palm as he spoke. The last part of the dream still burned in his mind. The part where her hand was entangled with his. The joined hands scorched through the dream into his waking mind. It wouldn't let go.

"Now, most of the other people in your dreams are based on people you know. Buffy isn't, though, is she?" Dr. Fuller regarded him with that calm, welcoming gaze.

Will shook his head. "No. I've never seen her outside the dreams. There's just no one else like her."

"Why do you think dreams of Buffy affect you so much, Will? I mean, you've told me that it's interfering with your marriage and your work. What is it about this woman you've created in your mind? What do you think she represents?"

The doc always asked the hard questions. Things Will didn't want to think about. Hell, things he didn't even know the answer to. Buffy was the only answer he had. She wasn't supposed to be the question.

"I don't know," Will shrugged. "I don't think of her like that."

"But you can't think of her as if she were a person. Will, this Buffy is your mind trying to talk to you. To tell you that something's wrong."

"Funny, that. Seems like she's everything that's right."

Dr. Fuller sat back in his chair. "How's your wife?"

"Probably upside down and halfway to happy land with some other bloke right now." Will frowned. Upside down and halfway to happy land? That was from the dream somehow, right? Everything started to bleed together after a while.

"Have you talked to her about your suspicions?"

"Not much to say."

"So what do you two talk about normally?"

Will blinked. "When?"

Dr. Fuller shrugged. "Anytime."

"We don't talk. It's like living with a shadow. Well, a shadow that goes out and fucks other men."

"I want that to be your homework, Will."

Whenever the doc started talking about homework, that meant the session was ending. "You want what to be my homework?"

"Talking to your wife."

"About what?"

"Anything. You've lost your connection, Will. You need to get that back. And you married your wife for a reason. Odds are, she can provide you with whatever you need to ground you back to reality."

Will stood up. "Yeah, I'll get on that," he said, not planning on actually doing it. Most of the "homework" the doc assigned went undone. And yet, Will came back every week. He must be insane. "See ya next time, doc."

Dr. Fuller stood as Will left. The rest of the office building was empty, and Will walked in silence to his car. His hand brushed against his phone as he fetched his keys. It reminded him to turn his ringer back on.

He rested his hands on the steering wheel in contemplation. He could go back to work. Like he's supposed to. Work with people he didn't care about who didn't care about him to help some business that was probably stealing his soul with their overtime and fifteen minute breaks. Yeah, that was an appealing thought. Throw himself back into the grind.

He would kill himself to get away from it all if he only had a guarantee he wouldn't end up in a worse place afterward. He still wasn't sure of that.

As his will hit the wall, he dialed his boss' number.

"China Imports, this is Rupert Giles."

Will's gaze wandered to the beat-up Desoto driving past his parked car. "Yeah, Giles. Wondering if I could take the afternoon off."

"What? Will, we just got that shipment in that we have to unload and then process. Was there a problem at your...doctor's appointment?"

"No. Listen, I have tomorrow off anyway for my friend's wedding. Was just hoping to go a bit early. Support him and all." That was a load of bullshit. Not the wedding, but the support. Will just wanted to go home and get intimate with his bottle of Jack.

Will could tell the old man was taking off his glasses. "I...well, I suppose, if you must. But it'll come out of your hours, Will. You've had far too many absences as of late."

"Yeah," Will cut him off before he could get a lecture. "Sorry 'bout that. See you next week, then, Giles."

Will ended the call before Giles could say anything more. Pain in the ass boss, always riding him.

With a sigh, Will started up his car to go home. It's true his friend, Angel, was getting married tomorrow. To some bitty that he'd met not too long ago. Will had never met her. Back in the day, Will would have been Angel's best man. Now, Will was his wife's "plus one". Only reason Will was even going was to see Dawn.

Will dreaded his arrival home in the middle of the day. He always feared that he'd walk in to find Drusilla in bed with another man. It hadn't happened, yet, but Will always tried to brace himself for that event.

So his heart only jumped a tad when he saw the strange car in his driveway. A Lexus. Will's Chevy seemed unworthy to park beside it.

He already knew what he was going to find when he went in. He only took a few seconds outside preparing himself for it. This was The Moment, right? When everything would fall apart? He wasn't even sure how he would react when he saw the other bloke. Maybe he'd kill them both in a rage.

Somehow, though, Will doubted he could muster up that much emotion for her. Not anymore.

The entryway was empty, as was the living room. Drusilla's eclectic furniture set sported two half-empty wine glasses on the sturdy maple coffee table. Sounds of frantic lovemaking from the bedroom reverberated through the stillness of the house. Will's footsteps were muffled in contrast.

He felt he was acting out a movie. Playing the role of the cuckolded husband. It wasn't his hand reaching for the doorknob; the hand belonged to whichever A list actor was saddled with the role this time.

However, no movie could have inspired the explosion in his chest or the feeling of his stomach sinking lower and lower as he entered into the predictable tableau. His Drusilla wrapped around another man. An older man, balding. Not even a strapping young lad or anything. She was getting her rocks off with a grandpa.

It was like somebody had thrown a stick of dynamite into the room. Drusilla was on her feet, fully naked, tits swinging freely as she loudly scolded him. Will found words coming out of his mouth that he was sure hadn't passed through his actual brain. He was yelling without thought. The only quiet came from the other man, who was fetching his pants with a resigned smile.

"William! How dare you come home so early! And walking in here like you own the place!"

"I do own the place, Dru! This is my bloody house! And you can't honestly be mad at me when you're the one shagging...is that your doctor?" The other man tipped his head in acknowledgement, and Will nearly drowned in the urge to wrap his hands around his neck. Dru managed to distract him.

She yanked on her silk robe, frowning angrily. "Not fair, my William. Every day you run off! Working and scrimping and saving and then what? Nothing! Robbing me of everything to get me nowhere."

"Oh, talk some sense, Dru. I have no clue what you're going on ab - "

"You were going to save me when we met! Take me on adventures and provide me with toys and goodies. But now? You're worthless! Just a pale loser of a man who doesn't have nearly the spirit I thought you had!"

Will threw up his hands and turned to walk out of the bedroom. Better that than really losing his temper. But she followed him, continuing her tirade.

"What good are you? You can barely hold a job! And you know I've been seeing other men for months, but you haven't had the balls to do anything about it! I should've married Angel when he asked me years ago!"

Putting his hands over his ears didn't help. Her scathing statement still made it through. Will had no sooner heard it than he felt a fog wrap around him. Wrap around Dru's words and drown them out, taking the house with them. It was like a cocoon closing in, muffling all his senses. His head filled with fuzz and he felt as if he should be falling.

Instead, he struggled to open his eyes. It was like looking through a tunnel. The light on the other side far too bright. He had to squint to make anything out. All there was was a white ceiling. Something was in his right hand. No, wrapped around it. It was warm and pulsed slightly. Then there was a smell...

"Spike! Spike, are you awake?"

It was her. Buffy. The woman from his dreams outlined starkly against the white background of some tiled ceiling. Her eyebrows crinkled slightly in almost-hidden concern, but her eyes were wide and her lips were partly open as she waited for something. For him. It was her hand that gripped his. He recognized the feel of it now. The slight burn traveled up his arm with vivid memories of their last touch.

He hadn't fallen asleep, though, had he?

"Buffy?" The word was so sluggish, he could hardly believe it came from him. His lips not working as they should. Nothing in his body working properly. Every minute movement was an immense effort. Even his eyelids felt like giving up and closing. But he couldn't while she was in his line of sight. Such a beautiful sight. He wanted to never have to tear his eyes from her.

She smiled then and tears came to those big eyes. The tears didn't fall. She swallowed them back, but her hand squeezed his tighter. "Do you know where you are?"

He tried to nod, but he wasn't sure if he actually did. Hospital. That much was obvious, what with the bright lights and all. They must have put him in a hospital after what happened in the alley.

Spike remembered. Fighting with Angel against the big evil. Taking a last stand. Though it obviously wasn't the last as...here he was.

"Spike, you won. We won." Buffy was still talking. "I mean...we - the Slayers - we arrived late. You were already...but we did it." She paused. "Can you understand me?"

He thought he could, but his mind was getting fuzzy again. Like he'd reached the top of the roller coaster and now he was about to go back down the hill. He fought to stay with Buffy, gripping her warm hand tightly to anchor him.

It didn't work. He slipped away and found himself nowhere. Again.