By Reason Of Darkness
Title: By Reason Of Darkness
Rating: R (language and violence)
Distribution: Solo's B/G Shippers and anywhere else that would like to give it a loving home.
Summary/Spoilers: Harsh Light Of Day - Season 4. The real reason Parker didn't call.
Authors note: Very nasty and reasonably angsty. I think you'll approve.
Disclaimer: Mutant Enemy, WB and Our Joss, who Art in L.A, do not sue for thee will recover nothing.
Feedback: I'd adore any you can muster mister.
Side Note: Anyone actually fond of the character of Parker turn back now :)
There is only so much that light can illuminate...
"Buffy I need to talk to you." <I need you>
<Where is she? Why can't she just talk to me?>
A wave of emptiness surged inside him.
Giles' lay on his couch, one arm crooked over his head, trying to convince himself that she was fine. That this matter, as with all the others, would be resolved.
And this wasn't a hell mouth...
Exhaustion finally winning out over concern, sleep overtook him, sending him deep into well-stacked archives of loneliness...and anguish. Searching.
Walking; he was walking down a long alleyway blanketed with cobblestones, alone, wrapped in a trench coat.
Worried for her. Aching for her.
A voice snapped him out of his reverie. Hers.
He'd had dreams featuring his Slayer before; where he'd guard her, fight proudly by her side, wage a war for her life; but this . . . this felt unusually lucid.
"Buffy." He paused to still the quaver in his throat
Despair threatened to overwhelm him when he saw her at last. Tinier than he thought she had ever seemed, standing lifelessly at the end...of the road. She was wearing a grotty, mangled shirt, and she was bathed in shadow... an intolerable darkness that swallowed her up into the night.
Could she see him?
As he watched intently, the shadows shifted. First almost imperceptibly, then again, up, and around the Slayer, behind her. Going for the jugular. A vampire? Demon? He drew a long sword from beneath his coat, but before he could plough toward the entity, his Slayer managed a suffocated cry and his own heart turned to dust.
Before his eyes, she grew faint,
"Get away from her" he ordered grimly, face ashen. A mocking silence.
Then, out of the silence rose a whirlwind; a suggestion of a figure; molten fingers that draped themselves around the Slayer. Taunted her. Snatched at her. Touched her. Fury welled in his heart, blacker than any he had tasted.
And he had unquestionably tasted.
He watched dumbstruck a moment longer as Buffy trembled in it's grasp, sensing her as he sensed his own existence. Divine minutia he had made his stock and trade - her every doubt, failure, torment, and concern.
All right in front him assailing her unmercifully. Sapping her resolve.
Not any more.
Frustrated wrath as sharp as a stake propelled him toward his target, power rising like a current to his will. Strength, dormant for lifetimes, supernatural in it's magnitude and it's integrity eclipsed the Englishman - then launched itself at the evil holding Buffy at bay.
Instantly, he was upon the thing. He dealt a swift, judicious strike to its center. The thing retreated, or appeared to, then rose up stronger. Glowering. As he brought the sword down upon it, he caught fragments of images - Hank, Angelus, the mansion, Kendra, Travers, Faith...dear god...the Ascension. Himself . . .
He stole a glance at Buffy; darkness swallowing her like a hand clamped over her nose and mouth as she sank to her knees under the barrage of cruel memories.
If she couldn't fight then he'd fight for her.
The assault continued.
Buffy choked back a further wash of regret.
Giles was lost under the spell of an old madness.
The creature . . .had seen better days.
A final command.
. . . and they were alone.
He lifted his arm, to reach for her - longing to narrow the distance between them. She shrank back. He knew then, as in countless other dreams, he could not touch her, but also, that the evil had passed.
That she was safe.
A knock at the door jolted him back to the waking world.
Since he had first met Buffy, there had been a curious addition to Parker's dreams. In and amongst the failed attempts at greatness, the wild carnal nights with voluptuous co-eds, the alcohol and the adrenalin and the forgotten virtuousness of youth, was a new. . .uninvited guest.
A dark, vast shadow, that relentlessly lingered on the fringes of his dreamscapes. A being, he guessed. He never moved, never spoke. Only watched.
It was unnerving, sure, but not enough to slow him down.
Back on earth, where Parker felt most assuredly at home, immune from nightmarish visions, he was his untouchable self. Smiling conspiratorially, he gave himself a rather triumphant internal thumbs up.
He had conquered the blonde freshman. And she was delicious.
His bed hadn't smelt this good for weeks.
Sleep seized him roughly that night. Buffy was the first image to wander into his dream. Standing in one of his worn old shirts, and still ravishing. Why wasn't she smiling? And why were they in this filthy old alleyway?
Hell. Could be kinda fun.
He lunged toward the young woman, desire refusing to abate. Gripping her arm, he was propelled back fiercely, singed when their skin had made contact.
"What the -?"
A chill swept over him. The figure. Suddenly, he had a thrillingly sharp intuition.
They came as a package deal. Buffy and this . . . night watchman.
He turned gradually, his suspicions confirmed. A dark silhouette, at the end of the pathway, was surveying him. Pursuing him?
Rationale fought to subdue his terror. He caught flash of white teeth in the darkness, a smile.
Abruptly, he sagged.
< Shit. Fuck. >
Instantly, the shadow was upon him. A savage strike connected solidly with his stomach. He doubled over in agony. Air slashed past his face, it felt like moving razor blades. Another blow, unsparing, on his back. His ribs. Breath whooshed uselessly out of him. A wall of darkness raced forward, engulfing him. He battled frantically to make out a form, a face, an anything.
Careful what you wish for.
The eyes glittered. Then fixed on his. Parker recalled the time he didn't make it to the toilet in grade school. Another warm security blanket was pooling at the base of his trousers.
The unimaginable attack persisted, and a force like a fell beast ripped through the young man's body, holding him immobile, shackled. A rush of black within him, tearing, pulling, churning his mind and hot red blood to a fountain of flame. He writhed without motion. He screamed, clawed, or thought he did.
A howl that was either laughter or contempt. He moaned. Told himself it wasn't real.
Seethed in a whisper that hissed into the air like molten steel the sound bore all his protests into a singular whimper.
"Yes . . ."
The voice rang in Parker's head like a death knell. Burned into his mind like words on a stone tablet. He didn't trust himself to speak. Only to run.
The next morning, throughout a haze of uncomfortable farewells, forced smiles, and empty promises, he remained shaken. No hangover ever produced this whopping an after effect. What kind of a trip had that bitch induced?
Escape at last secured, his heart encased in its icy purpose; he left her side - unseen hands pushing him faster, farther.
Previous vague unease crystallized into certainty, he snatched the slip of paper with Buffy's number from his pocket, and tossed it into the first trashcan he passed. Immediately, he knew he'd sleep better.