A Love Foretold by Dreams and Demons

By: J. Hallmark
Chapter One--The Dream

Author's Note: The dream was directly inspired by the animated film "Anastasia" from Warner Bros. and it's scene featuring the song "Once Upon a December," (Great song!) and "The Crying Game" belongs to Miramax, and the song "The Crying Game" is sung by Boy George. Absolute great film -- my personal pick for the best film of the 90's so far.

Sunnydale, Buffy Summer's Bedroom, 5:35 a.m.

The room was dark, trailing inky blackness behind and before her. And yet, ignorant of what was ahead, she still kept moving.

A light -- a small, radiant orb of golden luminance -- danced in the air and she was frozen for the silence of an eternity as it grew. Slowly, at first, the tiny circle swelled and rose, at last splashing upon two ornate chandeliers, made of golden teardrops and prisms reflecting the glow of the light.

Then into the darkness, two diaphanous shadows danced by and a hand reached out --

Buffy woke with a start, her eyes quickly becoming accustomed to the early morning rays of the rising sun. She blinked rapidly, her mind still caught on the hand reaching out to her. Finally, dispelling the image, she glanced over at the alarm clock and saw that she had twenty minutes yet before she was due to get up.

Deciding it would probably take her the entire time to fall back asleep -- if she would even manage to do so at all -- she reached over and switched off the alarm. Closing her eyes briefly, she then sat up, plumpingher pillows behind her before she pulled her diary from out of the bedside drawer.

"5:40 a.m., Monday, the 18th

I had the dream again. This time the lights came on, two chandeliers, but I still don't know where I am. And I saw a hand reaching out to me, but it doesn't frighten me. It's comforting and makes me feel good. I suppose it's Angel. It's weird, cuz the room doesn't seem familiar, yet it does."

Buffy sat still, her pen poised over the page and she debated on whether to add more. After chewing a few more teeth indentations into her ballpoint, she decided not to and closed the book.

Throwing the pen on the bedside table, she slumped back down, pulling the pillows up under her head. Her eyes closed and once again she could see the image of the dark room, the golden chandeliers with prisms aflame and the hand reaching for her.

A knock at her door jolted her out of her thoughts.

"Buffy," her mother cried as she peered into her room, "get a move on. It's after six." Buffy glanced back over at her alarm clock and saw that it was almost quarter after. She must have fallen back to sleep. As she headed to the bathroom, yawning noisily, she put all thought of the dream out of her mind and began to prepare for the day.


Angel's Apartment, 9:18 p.m.

"So what did you do today?" Angel asked idly as Buffy leafed through his copy of The Queen of the Damned.

"Why do you read this?" She turned to him, holding up the Anne Rice book for him to see. He impatiently breathed a breathless sigh and responded wearily, "it amuses me." He paused and looked at her, "so, again, what did you do today?"

"Hmm, the regular," she replied without much enthusiasm.

"Which is?" She gazed at him with raised eyebrows. "Buffy, I don't go out much during the day, regular doesn't quite answer my question." He stood up and stretched languidly, sending a sardonic look her way, "I am a creature of the night." The emphasis was on 'night.'

She made a face and flung her hair back. "Why do you have to be like this?"

He walked to the bed and sat down. "Like what?" he inquired with little interest.

"So nasty."

"Nasty?" It was his turn to raise an eyebrow. "I was just asking about your day, Buffy."

"And being sarcastic, 'I am a creature of the night,'" she imitated poorly. "Look, it was a regular day. I got up with the dawn, got dressed, went to school, pal-ed around with Willow and Xander," Angel rolled his eyes at the mention of Buffy's male friend. "We went to class, I failed a pop quiz. I went home, Willow and Xander came over and we watched Jaws 3. Willow screamed in all the appropriate places and Xander and I laughed at her. See? Regular."

She looked over at him, "Happy?"

"Why do you have to spend so much time with Xander?"

It was her turn to roll her eyes, "Xander is one of my best friends," she began in an oft-repeated statement, "I like him and he --"

'-- is in love with you," Angel interjected with a rush of heat.

Buffy straightened up and swung around to face him. "Xander is *so* over me. He's dating Cordelia, for one. And two, even if he wasn't over me, which he *is,* why would it bother you?" "Because you do 'regular' things with him. You walk in the sunshine with him." He responded a touch peevishly.

"Do we have to argue about this again?" she snapped.

He smiled, "No."

He walked over and began gently massaging her shoulders. "Buffy, I don't want to fight with you. I just don't see why you have to spend so much time with the geek of Sunnydale." She stiffened beneath his hands and moved out from under his ministrations.

"I thought we weren't gonna argue about this?" She said between clenched teeth.

He smiled innocently, "We're not."

She returned his smile brightly, "Good. Then, let's argue about my mother or the weather or the world economy for a change."

His smile died. "Now who's being sarcastic?"

She didn't respond, merely glared at him. Their eyes held in anger for a moment longer, finally she offered in tense tones, "lay off Xander."

"Why do you always protect him? He's a big boy, he can protect himself. Or," he paused and grinned wickedly. Buffy shivered slightly, seeing a grim reminder of Angelus behind Angel's smile, "Willow or Cordelia can take turns protecting him," he finished sarcastically.

She threw the Rice book down and grabbed her coat. "Okay, that's it. I'm outta here, it's late. I have to patrol. See ya."

He stood up, "I'll go with you," he offered, not in conciliation or in desire, but with a touch of irritation.

"No, don't trouble yourself. Xander won't be there. Willow and Cordy are patrolling with me tonight." She walked to the door and opened it. He nodded and sat back down. She turned back to him, "why don't you go and raid some blood banks."

Angel smiled a mirthless smile and picked up a book, burying his nose in it before she even shut the door. Outside his room, Buffy stood there for a moment, letting her anger wash over her and then out. She looked back at his door and leaned against it heavily; she ran a hand over the wood. A look of regret darkened her face and she pulled her hand back to knock, ready to rush in and apologize. Of course, it was difficult for him to hear about her daily activities, he hadn't experienced the day in over two hundred years.

She knocked.

Angel's voice seeped through the door, bored, "You're not gone yet? I was reading, go off and patrol with your little friends."

She pressed her lips together and lowered her fist. Fine, she thought, if he was gonna be this way, she didn't want to be with him. With that she walked away from his door.


Buffy Summer's Bedroom, 4:10 a.m.

Buffy pulled the blankets over her tired form and yawned. Reaching over, she switched the night lamp off and snuggled down. Within minutes, she was asleep. And again, the dream came to her.

The room was dark, trailing inky blackness behind and before her. And yet, ignorant of what was ahead, she still kept moving.

A light -- a small, radiant orb of gold -- danced in the air and she was frozen for the silence of an eternity as it grew. Slowly, at first, the tiny circle swelled and rose, at last splashing upon two ornate chandeliers, made of golden teardrops and prisms reflecting the glow of the light.

Then into the darkness, two diaphanous shadows danced by and a hand reached out to her. A man appeared, clad in a tuxedo, creating a striking figure, but she could not see his face. The shadows about her became tangible and she could see couples -- one in pale 17th century garb, another in medieval green and red -- dancing past her. In the corner of the immense room, filled with soft lights and rich brocades, played a band. And then the sweetest music filled the air.

She stepped closer and reached out for the hand of the man standing before her, wanting to pull him into the light and see his face. She held out her hand and saw her arm encased in a white doeskin glove. Her fingers brushed against his and she felt the warmth of his hand through her glove, she took another step --

Buffy opened her eyes suddenly and blinked in the fading night that was giving way to dawn's light. She closed her eyes and tried to recapture the dream. She had come closer to seeing *him* than ever before and she was anxious, so anxious to see who he was.

It was no use. She opened her eyes again. The dream was gone. She sat up and turned her light on. Like the morning before, she reached for her diary and began to record her thoughts.

"5:23 a.m., Tuesday, the 19th

I almost saw *him.* It was so close. I actually felt the heat of his hand. I can't see his face yet, though. But I know who it has to be. It has to be Angel. I'm convinced of it. It has to be him. The feelings *he* arouses in me are unlike anything I've ever felt before, but the closest I've come to feeling anything like it is when I'm around Angel. Well, the way I used to feel around Angel.

Lately, we seem to be arguing ALL the time. I can't say anything without bugging him, and he has certainly been getting on my last nerve. Willow thinks it's because the "excitement of our forbidden love" (as she calls it) is beginning to wear off. She says that we have to learn to deal with the day-to-day, or night-to-night (Xander's little addition to the conversation), realities of a relationship.

Of course, there's always Xander's theory, which is pretty much that Angel is an undead bore and now that his mystery is gone, so is the allure. I would only write this here, but God, I'm so afraid that Xander is right, more than Willow, but I do see something in the forbidden part.

Is it the forbidden nature of our relationship, the mystery of Angel, that has made our "relationship" so exciting? So wonderful? Am I that shallow?

I don't want to think about this. I don't. Not even in these pages.

Back to the dream, I have a feeling that it is more than a dream, but a premonition. And if it is Angel, it means that Xander is wrong. Because if we have a future like that waiting for us, then it can't be just some shallow thrill. The two of us have more to look forward to, and so maybe this is just a down. All relationships have ups and downs, right?


God, I gotta go to sleep. Dealing with a Lit test and Snyder on one hour of sleep is not a good idea."

Buffy set the diary aside with a sigh and flipped the light off. She lay down, but didn't close her eyes. Instead, she found her thoughts wandering to Angel and their relationship.

Since he'd come back, and once the rush of his actually being here had faded, they'd found themselves floundering. Whenever she mentioned Xander or her day, he became testy. It bothered him that she spent so much of her life without him. But there was nothing she could do about it. He was a vampire.

And Xander . . . Angel just would not let up on Xander. It was as if the old jealousy had come to spark again and she couldn't understand it. This antagonism Angel felt towards him seemed to be growing stronger and stronger. And the weird thing is, he never showed jealousy over any one else. She could mention half the guys in school and he didn't blink an eye, but one word about Xander and he was immediately on the attack.

And it had been happening more and more. That cruel smile of Angelus that had appeared tonight was not the first time she'd been reminded of Angel's dark past recently. He was moody, uncommunicative and downright mean at times -- especially about Xander. It had gotten to the point where just to annoy him (which she found herself doing quite a bit) she would casually mention Xander and how much fun she had with him.

And the fighting would start.

Of course, if it was just about Xander, she would try and understand -- Angel just had the most unreasonable jealousy when it came to her friend. But, they seemed to argue about any and everything lately. They had yet to recapture the closeness that they had shared before Angel lost his soul.

And she was beginning to fear that they never would. What had happened to that great love they had shared? She'd thought that things would be as they were before -- of course, they'd be more careful, but still . . . her thought trailed off as she tried to remember the last time they'd had a conversation without arguing. For the life of her, she couldn't remember.

Buffy sighed and glanced over at her clock, 5:50. She had to get up in ten minutes anyway. She sighed again and reached over, turning the light on once more. She sat up and swung her legs over the side of the bed, looking down. Her pensive gaze rested on her diary for a moment; it lay open and the date was from two weeks ago. She read the words there, written about the first time she had the dream.

"I had this dream and, I don't know how to explain it, but I think it's important. All I see is a huge room and it's dark and dusty and I'm with someone. I don't know who, all I know is that he is someone special to me. And I know it's a he.

Could it be Angel?"

Buffy wearily shook her head and shut the book. She looked down at the Claddagh ring on her finger, the ring from Angel and realized for the first time that in her dream, she wasn't wearing it. Even under the white glove, there had been no indentation of a ring.

She closed her eyes and felt a tremor run through her body. Bending down, she grabbed her diary, flipped open to the latest entry and began writing.

"5:54 a.m.

I just realized, I'm not wearing Angel's ring. God, I'm not wearing his ring in the dream. It can't be Angel. It can't be Angel. But if it isn't Angel, then who is it? Who is he?"