Story: The Coming Storm (chapter 7)

Authors: BillGopher

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Chapter 7

Title: Sleeping Visions, Living Nightmares

[Author's notes: Now some fun starts! [evil grin]

[ ] - thoughts]

Chapter Six:
Sleeping Visions, Living Nightmares

Buffy’s Dreamscape

Buffy found herself standing in a long, dark and dank corridor. There is no light behind her and in front of her she can only see very dimly. [Well it's not like I've a huge amount of choices here. So forward it is then.] With a shrug of her shoulders she starts waking forward. Gradually the light ahead grows brighter, until she reaches the end of the corridor and she finds herself standing outside of a crypt.

The sky was gray and dismal and Buffy feels a light drizzle coming down. As she walks forward she sees a group of people standing together and heads over towards them. As she reaches them she blinks in surprise, as the people were gone and she was standing alone in a graveyard. There were 5 new graves in front of her; a chill swept thru her that had nothing to do with the cold weather.

Looking at the first grave Buffy read the headstone:

Anya Smythe
Born - unknown. Died - Dec 31, 2001

Buffy moved to the second and third headstones, which were next to each other:

Willow Rosenberg
Born - Sept 21, 1983 Died - Dec 30, 2001
Wicca and Loving Partner of Tara Maclay

Tara Maclay
Born - August 15, 1983 Died - Dec. 30, 2001
Fellow Wicca and Loving Partner of Willow Rosenberg

Tears pour down her face as she falls to her knees and wraps her arms around herself in a hug. [Oh my god no!!!!! How did I fail you and Tara?]? Buffy brought her tears under control and stood up sniffling. [Is this what will happen?]

“Of course it is Slayer, or rather, what will be” came a soft contralto voice from behind. Slowly the surroundings changed and Buffy was standing in a desert. She could see scrub bushes and cacti around her and hills of sand.

Turning around Buffy saw the tall, dark-haired woman from her dream before. “Who are you? Why are you here?”

The woman replied, “To show you what will be if you turn from the path Destiny has set before you.”

Anger burned thru Buffy, “What do you mean? Talk English Damnit!!” Buffy yells.

The woman's hand shot out and slaps Buffy, the blow knocking her back a step and splitting her lip. Spitting out some blood, Buffy wipes her chin with the back of her hand. “Fine then, let's dance!”

Buffy launches a series of kick and punch combinations at the woman who calmly blocked all of Buffy's attacks, but makes no attempt to attack her.

Finally Buffy stopped attacking her, “What is it that you want? Who are you?”

The woman smiles for the first time, “Finally. I'm not here to hurt or attack you Slayer. I'm here to warn you. What you saw before and the emptiness you see now are but one path that depends on the things you will do. There will come a time when someone asks you a question. When that time comes you must give the right answer, or what you see now will in fact become what will be what comes to pass.”

Buffy frowns in confusion at the woman's words.

“All things in life have a price Slayer, the question you must answer is are you willing to pay that price no matter what…Are you willing to sacrifice everything to protect your friends and family Elizabeth Summers?” Raising a hand to forestall the Slayer from speaking. “No, don't answer that now. But carefully consider what you ‘will’ say, when you meet the one who I appear to be. Choose wisely the answer you give her, for your answer will save or damn all you care for…”

Slowly the desert darkened and the woman fades from her sight…


The next sound Buffy heard was Willow's voice calling her name, “Buffy? Can you hear me?” Opening her eyes she saw Willow looking down at her with a worried look on her face. As she tried to move she experienced a searing pain in her left side, even as the rest of her body felt like it had been used for drum practice. “Ughh! What's up Willow?” Buffy asked as she cracked a tired smile.

Looking around Buffy saw Tara and Giles were also in the hospital room. “Hey, how did I end up in the hospital, Will? Last thing I remember I was fighting some more commandos.”

The door opened up and in walked Faith, “Faith? What's going on?” Buffy asked.

“I found you at your door looking like shit B.” Faith walked over and started to reach over towards Buffy's face. Catching herself she pulled her hand back as if she'd been bitten.

“How did I get there? When I passed out I was in the Rosefield Cemetery, and that’s halfway across town from home!”

“Don’t know how you got there then B, but you was on the front porch when I found you. I thought I was gonna have a heart attack when I seen it was you, at least until I saw you were still breathing.”

Buffy had just opened her mouth to ask Faith why she had come, when Xander practically broke the door down getting in.

“Giles…Buffy's mom…hospital.” He managed to get out as he tried desperately to catch his breath.

Buffy shot up out of the bed, ignoring the pain in her side and was over by Xander in a heartbeat, “Xand, what are you talking about?” Buffy said urgently, the icy claws of fear closing around her heart.

Xander took a deep drink of water from the cup Willow had hurriedly handed him, “Buff, your mom got attacked by something at the Mall. Cops tried to stop it, and they got slaughtered…”

“What was it Xander? Did you see it?”

He shook his head tiredly, “No, but from what I heard it looked like a werewolf, like from the movies. Not anything like Oz though.”

Buffy quickly stalked on over to the closet and started pulling out her ruined clothes, her mind already on where to start looking for the creature that dared attack her mom.

Faith saw B pulling out her bloody clothes and started pulling them on as Xander was ushered out of the room by Giles.

“B, you can’t just go half-cocked after this thing…”

Buffy replied as she pulled on her pants, “Yes I can! I'll grab some clothes at home…Look Faith I'm not going to go after whatever this thing was by myself, I promise. But I need you to stay here in case that thing comes after anyone else.” While she was tying her shoelaces, she looked over at the witches.

“Willow, can you and Tara cast a spell to make Mom disappear? If that thing has a way of tracking her I want to block it so that she's invisible.”

“Well there's nothing specific that can do that…” Willow started.

Tara put her hand on Willow’s arm, “We might be able to make Mrs. Summers aura disappear. I read about it in that book I found last week…”

“Okay, good. You two do that and I'll go get some clothes from home. Faith keep an eye on everyone till I get back.” With that settled, Buffy walked out of the hospital room and out the building.

Faith turned to Willow and Tara the minute she knew Buffy was outside the building. “Red, if that thing is like a werewolf, it might track her by scent.”

Willow replied as she began setting up the spell, “That’s right, so what’s your point?”

“Well, if it can’t track her here because you’re blocking it from finding her here, what happens if it follows the trail back to where she HAD been?”

Willow’s face turned white as she realized what the dark Slayer was getting at, “It’ll follow her trail all the way back home!”

“Which is where B’s going!” Faith turned and ran out the door, and down the crowded corridor like all the demons of Hell were snapping at her heels.

Ignoring the elevator, she tore her way down the stairs, taking the steps down four at a time; determined to reach the blonde Slayer before the beast could. [Not going to lose you B, if I have to kill myself to do it, you’re gonna be around to dance on that bastard’s grave!]


Xena ran as fast as possible toward the Sunnydale Mall, she peripherally noted Sharra was just behind her. [Damn her and her stubborn streak! She should have just gotten out of there as soon as the Slayer's Mom was safe. But nooooo! Not Gabrielle!!!] Xena thought angrily. Although she was less angry then frightened for her lover and the thought of losing her spurred her on even faster.

Slowing down, the warrior saw a multitude of police cars, fire trucks and ambulances in the parking lot, which was now cordoned off. Looking to her right, she asked the assassin, “Sharra, where did you see Gabrielle and her opponent last?”

Sharra pointed to a collapsed section of the Mall where a van was buried under a section of the building that had collapsed.

Xena ran past the EMT's, the firemen seeing nothing but a brief blur. Grabbing the van, the warrior pulled on it and slowly started pulling it back, while Sharra grabbed the larger pieces of masonry and steel and threw them to the side. With one great pull Xena ripped the van out and threw it.

“Gabrielle! Gabrielle!! Can you hear me?!?”

Some of the metal and bricks shifted and the warriors moved there grabbing rubble and throwing it aside. They had the rubble cleared out in short order. Moving a final large I-beam she found the bard lying underneath. “Gabrielle!” Xena called out as she fell to her knees next to her love.

As she was running her hands carefully over Gabrielle she suddenly saw her take a large breath and start breathing.

Gabrielle's eyes shot open as she painfully sat up, and was pulled into a tight hug in Xena's arms. “I missed you too Xe,” Gabrielle croaked. “Is her mom safe?”

Sharra knelt next to the Elder, “Yes Mistress, she was taken into the hospital and treated.”

The bard replied with faint smile, “Good.”

“What did this Gabrielle?” Xena asked

“I’m not sure. It looked like a really big werewolf with a forest-sized chip on its shoulder.”

Xena frowned, “Yes, but we've fought werewolves before Gabrielle…”

“Yeah, but they were nothing like this thing. I went after this one with everything I had, and barely scratched the bastard. Not to mention it was very particular in its prey.”

The blue-eyed warrior frowned, “How so?”

Gabrielle said grimly, “because it went past a dozen others a lot closer to it to get to her. It wasn’t after food, it was out for her blood, and hers only.”

“Let’s get you back home so you can rest,” Xena started.

“No! You have to go after this thing before it- ”

Xena gently stood up with the bard in her arms, “Oh I plan on it; but first we need to get you back to the lair so you can rest, and I’ll need some things I left back at the house.”

Gabrielle leaned back into her mate’s arms and closed her eyes as her love carried her home…


Buffy heard the soft footsteps of someone following her. Changing her pace from a walk to a quick trot Buffy pulled ahead and jumped up into some trees. Quietly she waited for the person or thing following her to appear and walk beneath her.

Faith watched as Buffy turned the corner and followed after her. [Damnit B!! You aren't even paying attention to anything!!]

As she hurried after Buffy, Faith passed under several trees when a heavy weight slammed into her back and knocked her down pinning her to the sidewalk on her stomach.

The dark Slayer exclaimed, “What the…” at the same time Buffy demanded, “Who are…”

When the blonde Slayer realized who she had under her she exploded, “Faith, what hell are you doing here?”

As her attacker got up she replied, “I'm watching your ass,” [and a nice ass it is too!!]

Buffy huffed before starting to walk again, “What I need is for you to guard my mom Faith!!”

Faith reached over and grabbed Buffy's arm, “What you need to do Buffy is concentrate on what's going on!! Your mom is safe, Will and Tara are casting a spell to keep the WEREWOLF from finding her, but you're not thinking.”

“Yes I am Faith,” Buffy answered as she unlocked the back door to the house and walked inside.

“It's a werewolf Buffy, they track by scent and where do you think its gonna go if it can't find your mom?? It's gonna go where the scent is fresh, damnit!!!”

As she walked out of the kitchen Buffy grabbed the cordless phone and dialed Sunnydale Regional Hospital. “Yes, Operator can you page Willow Rosenberg please? Actually I'm her sister Buffy. Yes that's Buffy Rosenberg Operator!” Buffy answered trying to keep the anger out of her voice.

Faith walked in just in time to hear the last part of the conversation; looking at the petite blonde with one eyebrow raised she mouthed to Buffy, “There something you want to tell me B?” and tried not to giggle as the Slayer on the phone gave her the finger.

“Willow… hey!!” Buffy started to say as Faith moved past her into the short hallway that leads to the living room.

Faith felt her Slayer sense go haywire as she brushed past Buffy. Looking around the living room Faith didn't see anything out of place. [Probably just my imagination I guess.] Faith thought as she dismissed the feeling

Buffy walked past Faith talking on the phone and stopped suddenly, just short of the staircase as the door exploded showering them with a storm of splinters and pieces of wood that had once been a door made out of solid oak.

The two Slayers stopped and stared in startled shock at the massive creature standing in the doorway …

Continued in Chapter 7

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