His eyes darted around the classroom, but there was no Rottweiller ready to attack, so the throaty growl he had heard must have been in his dream just before Buffy woke him. Xander could not shake the feeling of apprehension and fear that had been with him in his dream. Science class was such a bore, it was no surprise that he had drifted off. He had dreamt about Buffy before today, but could not recall feeling scared after having one. Normally, when he woke up from a Buffy dream he was hard, which led to frustration that all he had was his hand to help with his problem.
He wiped the drool from his mouth with the back of his hand, and tried to pay attention to the teacher for the rest of class. Normally inattentive anyway, the fear and apprehension coursing through him made attentiveness difficult.
"Is it cold in here?" Willow was walking beside him just outside their science classroom.
"I don't feel cold," Willow added. "Are you sick, Xander?"
"I just feel chilled, ever since I woke up in class I've felt wrong."
"Maybe you should go see the nurse or go home."
"No," Xander exclaimed. There was no way he could go home, his mom would think he was cutting school or something. Not that she was sober this time of day to notice when he came and went anyway, but he did not feel like being the cause for his parents getting into yet another argument. "I'll be okay, it's probably nothing."
"Maybe someone is casting a spell on you," Willow offered.
Xander grimaced slightly, after seeing what had happened to Buffy and her recent cheerleader tryout debacle he wanted nothing more to do with spells. He certainly did not want to be on the receiving end of one. "I doubt it, Will. I'm not going out for the basketball team or anything."
It was strange to think that until a few weeks ago he had no clue that things like vampires, witches, and demons even existed. Until Buffy came to Sunnydale High, monsters were just a thing he had read about in books. He had never heard of vampire slayers at all.
Xander made it through the rest of the day, unable to completely shake the feeling that had been hanging on since his brief nap in class.
Buffy was working with Giles on something and Willow had her nose in a book. Xander had homework to do, but had no desire to do it. He was holed up in the basement, watching the small black and white television with the crappy reception while his parents were upstairs with the good TV fighting. It was another typical night at the Harris household.
The dream picked up almost exactly where he had left off early in the day. Buffy was having a difficult time with a vamp; he just kept coming for her and coming for her until Xander showed up on stage. He just finished his mean guitar riff and was about to send the drumstick sailing through the air to save Buffy's life when something different happened. Another vampire came at him, one who Xander was sure had not been near the stage a minute ago. The vampire was too fast, Xander had never really been on the receiving end of a vampire attack to appreciate their stealth before now.
The white's of the vampire's eyes were a deep amber, his fangs were out and ready to feed, his face was distorted and contorted. One hand had already dispensed of the drumstick while the other grabbed Xander by the throat.
There was that predatory-like growl again. "Stay away from her."
That familiar feeling of fear and apprehension passed through Xander, and he knew this vampire is who had been haunting him, following him, there in the recesses of his mind all day waiting for him to fall asleep and dream again.
"Don't make me visit you again, or I will hurt you," he said putting extra pressure on Xander's throat.
Xander woke up clutching his throat and gasping for air. The vampire's words of warning already having been forgotten. "Ow," he shouted, as he pinched himself to be sure he was in fact awake. "It was just a dream," he whispered as he took in the fact he was still in his basement. He had fallen asleep in the reclining chair; the TV was even still on.
"But it seemed so real." He stood from the chair and walked to the oval mirror. It was old and warped, an antique some might call it, but he could clearly see that his neck was fine. "It was just a dream," he said again. Maybe, just maybe Willow had been right in thinking that there was a spell involved. He had no idea who would want to or why, but he had to find out what was going on. He did not need vampires visiting him in his dreams, he had nightmares about vampires and the fact he had to kill one of his best friends because of them.
He picked up the basement phone and dialed his best friend's number from memory. "Hey, Willow," he began. "I've been rethinking that spell angle you brought up today at school."
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com