Dreams Can Come True

Author: Greywizard1235 AKA John <grey.wizard[at]verizon.net>

Rating: PG. Definitely nothing worse than the show.

Disclaimer: All of the really good characters belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, etc., I'm just borrowing them for a while. There is no intent to profit from this. Only the story is mine, and even that is negotiable.

Category: Various relationships and friendships mentioned and noted.

Summary: Really weird stuff has been happening to Xander lately.

Time frame: Completely alternate Buffy-verse, branching off in mid- second season.

Character Bashing: None.

Crossover: Can't tell you who it is, you'll have to read the story to find out. If you don't recognize who and what it is, email me and I'll explain.

There was absolutely no question about it, now.

He was definitely going to *have* to talk to Giles, and see if the ex- Watcher had ever come across any references in any of myriad texts that he'd studied that might help him understand just what was going on here. The G-Man would be able to point him in the proper direction if there was any information available, or at least be able to help him narrow the parameters of his search, if there wasn't.

Unfortunately, though, telling Giles anything was tantamount to telling Buffy, and she wasn't going to be at all happy, once she found out what was going on. Slayers don't like weird stuff happening around them, and that went double for Slayers living in the vicinity of the Hellmouth.

Actually, though, if any of the Gang had been paying any attention to him at all, they would have realized that something weird had been going on for a while, now.

Ever since that whole Hyena possession thing, he'd noticed that he'd been feeling - *different*. It wasn't just that his senses all seemed so much sharper now than before, it was as though he were somehow more *aware* of everything now - the people around him, his surroundings - hell, his entire environment - they all seemed more *detailed*, somehow, more intricate, more comprehensive in some indefinable way than they had been before.

He was also a lot stronger, faster and tougher than he had been before the Spirit had tried that hostile takeover of his body. Not anywhere near Slayer-level strong, not by any means, but definitely strong enough that the jocks didn't try to mess with him anymore. Their seeing him pick up Percy and hold over his head with one hand had quickly persuaded that whole crew that there were lots of other people out there much less dangerous than Xander Harris and his friends that they could harass.

In addition to being tougher, he healed faster now, too. A lot faster. He'd noticed that very quickly, even if no one else had. He'd been going out and helping Buffy patrol almost every night for going on two years now, fighting vampires and demons and other creatures of the night, and yet he never seemed to suffer anything more than minor cuts and abrasions, with an occasional broken bone or two thrown in there (and even they never seemed to linger more than a week or two, at most) . He'd consistently fought creatures a minimum of four times stronger than a human being on almost a nightly basis, walked away each time virtually unscathed, and absolutely nobody thought that there was anything unusual about it. Including himself.

Those were the first weird things he'd noticed: his 'upgrades,' for lack of a better term, and the fact that no one thought that no one noticing it was weird.

The weirdness factor seemed to really blossom, though, shortly after the whole Halloween incident, when he had been possessed for the second time - but this time by the Soldier Guy. That was when things started getting *seriously* strange.

He had been trying to consciously integrate the Soldier Guy memories he had gained that night (and which were still taking up space in his head) with his own 'normal' memories when he had realized that something was extremely odd about him and the whole Scooby Gang situation.

The battlefield memories in his head had shown him just what the actual consequences of an ongoing, continual, guerilla-warfare conflict like they were involved in should have been: a great many more serious injuries among anyone and everyone involved, and numerous deaths among the actual combatant forces, at a minimum. The fact that their actual numbers were very few and none, respectively, meant that something was quite strange about their whole situation. And he wasn't referring to just the Hellmouth's presence.

It seemed as though the odds were being skewed seriously in their favor by someone or something.

It had also been right after the Halloween event when the dreams had started.

They were definitely uber-strange - as though he were watching glimpses of other worlds where alternate versions of all of the gang were living out completely different lives. Usually, the dreams only came every once in a while, but on a few occasions he had had the same dream several nights in a row, and when that happened, they seemed to get more real with each night that passed.

The most freaksome one was definitely the one where a black-haired, vein-y faced Willow magically skinned some poor shmuck alive and then incinerated his corpse, before going on to battle some tweed-less, duster-wearing, magic-using version of Giles, in a battle complete with lightning bolts and animated skeletons and some other really disturbing stuff, including a version of him who just stood between that Willow and some really skanky-looking temple statues and let her zap him repeatedly with greenish lightning bolts, while he told her he loved her. *Very* weird.

The day following the second night of *that* nightmare rerun, he had made a point of finding Willow and spending some time talking with her, telling her how much she meant to him and the rest of the Gang and how much he loved her, and that she'd never, ever be alone, because he and Buffy would always be there for her. For some reason, after that, the dream never came back.

Of course, he had to admit the dreams with Buffy and Deadboy getting it on and a vamped-out, game-faced Angel snapping Ms. Calendar's neck like a pretzel stick had been a bit disturbing, too.

After seeing that gut-wrenching tragedy in glorious Technicolor for the third night in a row, he had been so weirded out that he had gone to Ms. Calendar and told her all about it, trying to make some sense of it all. She had gone deathly pale as she listened (not a good description at all, considering their location), and it was right afterwards that she had come out and admitted her true identity to the whole group. He had also noticed that she had later spoken privately with both Buffy and Angel, and whatever it was she had said to them had put a major damper on the whole 'tortured romance' act the two of them had going. Buffy had moved on and had actually begun dating living, breathing 100% human guys (okay, so you had to stretch the definition a little bit for some of them), and Angel had started spending most of his time in Los Angeles, although he still helped out with the monster-du-jour if and when they needed assistance.

It was shortly after Faith showed up that he'd had the next real gut- churner. In that one, a blonde-haired woman with an English accent had tried to kill them all with some kind of demonic glove before being defeated and Buffy and Faith had later been fighting an apparently endless series of vampires, which ended with Faith accidentally staking some guy stupid enough to come up behind them immediately after that battle. Some prissy-looking English guy, who actually made the G-man seem cool by comparison, evidently wanted to take her back to stand trial for murder, either not understanding about stupid people and battlefield casualties, or not caring. Either way, the combined sequence of events had made Faith go rogue and things just went downhill from there.

He'd gone to talk to Giles about that one as soon as he woke up the next morning, not waiting to see if it came back the next night, only to have the Englishman scoff at the idea that the dream might possibly be a prophecy or warning of some kind, and suggest, instead, that his nightmares were a result of his predilection for sausage, hamburger, peppers, mushrooms, onions and pineapple pizza. The fact that he'd had the identical dream the next night again, and he hadn't had any even semi-odd food had been ignored by the Englishman.

When Gwendolyn Post had showed up that next afternoon, however, and matched exactly the description he'd supplied Giles of the woman in his dream, down to the earrings she was wearing, the Watcher had immediately checked out her story with some friends in the Council and they'd managed to frustrate her attempts to gain possession of the Glove of Whoever that she'd been searching for.

Again, he noted to himself, once he'd done something about his dream, had talked to somebody and let them know what was going on, the dream stopped.

There had been a couple other dreams he'd had during the next several months that he hadn't said anything about to the others, or done anything to try to prevent them occurring as he had the previous ones, and they had all come true, exactly the way he'd dreamed them.

The first had been the lottery drawing dream, where he was holding a winning ticket worth over three hundred thousand dollars. He hadn't mentioned anything about it to the others, but the next morning he'd gone out and bought a single ticket from Willie the Snitch with the numbers he'd remembered from the dream, and, sure enough, it had come out a winner. He'd talked Giles and Jenny into claiming the ticket as theirs, then, since he was technically underage and unable to collect, and he had later arranged for the money to be deposited in an off-shore account to act as funding for any equipment the Gang might need for their 'work.' The Gold VISA® cards he had had the bank issue and which Giles stored in his apartment's wall safe had impressed everyone, even getting a low-voiced "Hmmm" comment from Oz.

There had also been the dream in which Snyder had been arrested by the LAPD during a sting operation involving embezzled municipal funds and smuggled art treasures, with State tax officials and the IRS becoming involved and auditing not only the school's finances, but all of the town's administrative officials as well. The six o'clock news lead feature's footage of the Mayor being led away in handcuffs for tax evasion and failure to file tax returns had certainly brightened the day for all of them and had resulted from an 'anonymous tip' to the newsroom's second tier reporter.

Unfortunately , however, new and additional weirdness had recently begun to appear, as though the Hellmouth abhorred a lack of sufficient weirdness around it. He had noticed the first instance about two weeks ago, when he was doing one of his 'repair-the-library- after-the-unscheduled-attack-by-demons' tasks on the 'fix-it' list that Giles had somehow talked him into making.

He had been groping behind his back for a hammer to pound a couple of nails into a support brace for one of the bookshelves and had heard it as it somehow slid off the shelf it was on and dropped right into his hand. When he looked behind himself a moment later, however, he realized that the shelf in question was four feet to the rear and off to one side of where he had been working.

Following the usual Sunnydale protocol for dealing with the unusual, he ignored the fact that it happened completely.

Since then, there had been several other instances of objects seemingly jumping into his hands from their current locations, but the clincher had been the sword flying thirty feet through the air the night before, when he, Giles and Buffy had been attacked by two bands of vamps during their normal patrol of the local cemeteries.

Giles had been knocked unconscious only a minute or so into the fight, and he had managed to drag the insensible Watcher over to the shelter of a nearby boulder, leaving Giles's sword where he had dropped it. He had been using his axe to protect the librarian and keep several of the vamps at bay while Buffy methodically decimated the remainder of their attackers when one of his assailants had managed to smash the haft of his weapon and knock the pieces out of his hands.

As the grinning demons slowly began to advance, he had thrown a despairing glance over at Giles' sword and wished fervently that he had it in his hands. The sword had suddenly leaped into the air and had headed for him, decapitating three vamps in its arc towards his hand. The sole remaining vamp had stopped its attack to look around for an unseen assailant, and he had taken immediate advantage of its distraction to dust it.

When he then looked over to see how Buffy was faring, he had seen two vamps attempting to blindside her as she was occupied fighting three of their brethren. Reflexively reaching out as if to grab them, he had watched with dumbfounded wonder as they flew through the air into a tree and were impaled on the branches, leaving their dust to drift down to the grass on the night breezes.

After disposing of her remaining opponents, the Slayer had turned, expecting to confront more of the bloodsuckers and, when failing to find any, had somewhat irately demanded an explanation of what happened from Xander, whose uncertain "I'm not exactly sure," hadn't satisfied her in the least.

Taking advantage of the sudden quiet, they had hustled Giles back to his apartment, where Jenny had used her magic to check Giles and assure them that their mentor had not suffered any serious injuries and would likely be back on his feet in the morning, albeit with a headache likely to last a day or so.

Once assured of her Watcher's good health, Buffy had then repeated her demand for an explanation of what had happened at the cemetery, and she and Jenny had listened attentively to his explanation of how Giles' sword had suddenly levitated into the air and attacked the demons from their rear, decapitating three and distracting the fourth long enough for Xander to stake him. He had somehow neglected to mention to them how he had fervently been wishing for exactly that to happen immediately before it did, mainly because he was pretty sure that Buffy would end up being pissed off at him for that, somehow.

Things had been kind of odd between the two of them lately (mostly on his part, he had to admit) because he wasn't really quite sure about how things stood between them now, friendship-wise. Although, if the dream he'd had last night really was a possible future, then their relationship was going to be improving considerably in the very near future.

He'd be the first to admit that he had had fallen for Buffy, quite literally, the first time he saw her, but he'd eventually realized that she apparently couldn't see him in the same light and had moved on, to whatever this love/hate hormonal/emotional thing he and Cordy had going right now.

He truly did love Cordy, at least as much as he had (and still, he admitted to himself) loved Buffy, and he really believed that she cared for him as much as she had ever cared for anyone else. Last year, when Spike had kidnapped her and Oz, in an attempt to force Willow to cast some kind of love spell on his looneytoon lover, Drusilla, for him, he had realized just how much she meant to him, and had made it a point to tell her so as soon as the Gang had rescued them.

He'd glimpsed the look in Willow's eyes when she heard him frantically telling Cordy that as she lay there bleeding with that piece of steel rebar sticking out of her, so he had made a point of seeking out the hacker/apprentice witch, once they had gotten Cordy to the hospital and he had been assured of the brunette's complete recovery. Their talk had been short, but intense nonetheless, as he pointed out to her the fact that they'd been friends from childhood and he had, and still, considered her as the sister he'd never had. The redhead had known, almost from the first moment they met in kindergarten, that he had been found by the Sunnydale police next to the body of a never identified woman, and she had gladly given him the love he had never received while growing up, despite his being adopted by the Harrises. He had assured her that she would never lose her place in his heart, and told her that it was impossible for him to change the fraternal love he felt her to the romantic love she had apparently been dreaming of, and had also pointed out to her that she wasn't being fair to Oz by secretly nurturing any hope of their getting together while she dated the musician.

In the end, they had managed to resolve the feelings between them and Willow had left to find Oz, to apologize and try to work things out.

Another new, ultra-weird experience had occurred just the other day, when he'd realized that he had been getting strong emotional impressions from almost everyone around him since he'd awoken that morning. It was almost as though he could read their minds, but was only getting the emotional context of their thoughts.

It had taken him a fair amount of time and a good bit of concentration and practice, but he could now block out any unwanted sources he desired or determine exactly what a particular person near him was feeling, and he could always tell when someone was lying to him anymore. He seemed to be getting vibes from just about everyone within about fifty or sixty feet of him, although in the case of the Scooby Gang, he could feel them, and even detect their presence at maybe five or six times that distance. It seemed that his talent was growing stronger everyday, in both sensitivity and range, and that was part of what his current problem with the Buffster stemmed from.

He had been getting increasingly stronger impressions from the Slayer lately that she might be more than just a little interested in possibly pursuing something with him, should the opportunity ever arise, despite the fact that she had never said or done anything that could ever be taken as any kind of flirting or come-on action with him.

Even though she did enough of that with just about any other guy around, he knew that Buffy would never do something like that with him, especially since he had once heard her remark about a "No Poaching" rule to Faith, shortly after the Dark Slayer had first arrived in town and had been asking about the potential availability of the head cheerleader she'd taken a fancy to.

The rather outspoken Bostonian had made her bisexuality quite clear early on, shocking both Willow and Giles when she had quoted Woody Allen's remark about it "doubling your chance of getting a date for the weekend."

Currently, she seemed to have a quite stable, long-term relationship going with some relatively shy but very beautiful blonde she had met recently while the Gang was cleaning out a nest of vamps ensconced in an abandoned fraternity house on the UC Sunnydale campus. What was her name again? Mara? No. Tara? Yeah, that was it - Tara Maclay.

But he was getting away from the subject of him and Buffy again, something his subconscious seemed perfectly content to do at the moment, even if his conscious mind disagreed.

He was pretty sure he wasn't trying to see something that wasn't really there, because when he had first felt Buffy's possibly more than casual interest in him, he and Cordy had been entering the library for a Scooby meeting Giles had called through separate entrances (due to a minor difference of opinion they were currently having over the responsibilities and perks of boyfriends), and he had also gotten the definite impression that Buffy was considering possibly pursuing a relationship with Cordy, either instead of, or possibly in addition to, a relationship with him. While he knew that the two of them had become much closer friends over the course of the past year, especially since the events of Prom Night, before getting that little newsflash, he would never have considered something like that likely for either of his friends.

As far as the events of Prom Night went, all Xander and the rest of the Gang knew for certain about what had happened that night was that the two girls had been kidnapped (Cordy having been mistaken for Faith) and then released in the forest outside the town, to be hunted as prey by the various bounty hunters intent on collecting the monies being offered for the deaths of both Slayers, and that Cordy had saved both of their lives when she successfully bluffed some moronic vampire into backing down and letting them go free. When they were later questioned by Giles for greater detail about what had transpired, Cordy had simply said that the Council already knew more about her than she liked and refused to say anything more, and Buffy had backed the brunette up completely.

While he had to admit the idea certainly seemed like a typical adolescent fantasy - an ongoing three-way relationship with two drop- dead gorgeous women like Buffy and Cordy? - he most certainly wasn't going to do anything to try to prevent this dream from coming true. If his dream of the previous evening turned out to be correct, the way a lot of his dreams had been doing lately, all he had to do was just wait, and let Buffy and Cordy decide what they wanted to do.

Now, if he could only figure out what the significance of the woman in the white bodysuit and hooded cloak was in the dream, and what she meant when she called him "Askani'son."