Forever, That's The Whole Point

Chapter 32

Chapter 32

Aurelia was sleeping peacefully in her bed when the dream began. Turkish music played in the background. She was running across a city's skyline, staying on the tops of buildings. Without warning, she jumped down to the street just in time to be passed by a dark-haired girl running through the arched hallway Aurelia was suddenly standing in. The girl looked over her shoulder as she panted from the exertion of running so fast. Aurelia looked too. The girl was being chased.

Aurelia tried to stop them, but her leg went right through both of them. She screamed at the girl, but nothing came out of her mouth. She was a ghost in this dream. An invisible, silent witness to this deadly chase. She watched as a man on the street saw the girl through his front door and he closed it rather than help her. Aurelia ran after them, desperate to make herself known somehow. The two people chasing the girl were in hooded cloaks. Familiar hooded cloaks.

After trying various alleys looking for an escape route, the girl found herself trapped in a dead-end. She saw a drain pipe next to her and decided to use it to scale the building. The men chasing her grabbed her foot, but she managed to escape their grip and easily climbed up to the roof. There, another hooded figure was waiting and pushed her off the building. Aurelia screamed with the girl, but she landed on the ground alive, though she'd landed on her back. The two hooded figures held her down and she fought back with all her might. Aurelia tried desperately to kick and punch at the men holding her down. A third figure behind Aurelia walked right through her and raised an arched, shiny, silver dagger. Aurelia screamed as he thrust down at the girl.

She was still screaming when she woke up in her bed, cold sweat running down her forehead. Joyce came running into the room. "Buffy? Buffy? What's wrong?" Aurelia had to orient herself before she could answer her mother. It had been just a dream. She slowly calmed her breathing and looked at her mother. "Buffy?"

"I'm…. fine, mom. It was just a nightmare." Aurelia smiled assuringly at her mother.

"It didn't feel like just another dream." Aurelia said to Giles the next morning. She was pacing in his office after describing the dream to him.

"Did you get a look at the men chasing this girl?" Giles asked.

"No. I couldn't see their faces, but I swear I've seen those cloaks they were wearing somewhere before." The warning bell rang to let the students know that their first class was in five minutes. Aurelia rolled her eyes. "Will you just look it up? See if it wasn't just a dream?"

"Where do you propose that I look?"

"The news? The internet? I don't know. I've just got to know if it wasn't just a nightmare." She turned and walked out. Instead of going directly to class, she went into the nearest bathroom. It was empty of girls and she found herself thankful for that as she placed her bag on the counter and looked in the mirror. She looked fine, but she couldn't shake the feeling that there was more behind the dream and that she had known those men chasing that girl.

Behind her, she heard scared crying from another stall. Aurelia turned around to check under the stall doors. "Hello?" The crying continued, but there were no feet. "It's ok." She opened all the doors, but there was no one in any of them. The crying stopped and Aurelia shook her head. The school was so strange. She sighed and went to wash her hands. On the counter, she noticed a small bundle of feathers, twigs, crystals, and such bound together with string. She picked it up and when she looked in the mirror, she saw the girl from her dream. The girl looked dead, complete with a big gaping wound in her stomach.

"You can't protect them. You couldn't protect me." The girl said in a Turkish accent.

Aurelia spun around, but there was no one there. Something else came after her and she backed against the wall. "Get out. Get out. Get out!" The dead man yelled at her. Aurelia looked up again, but he was gone too.

After catching her breath, Aurelia grabbed her bag and ran back to Giles. "Giles!"

He came out of his office. "Shouldn't you be in class?"

"Probably, but the girl from my dream was in the bathroom. And she was very dead. Not to mention the other very dead man that told me to get out."

Giles stared at Aurelia. "Are you certain?"

"Yes!"

He moved towards her and she saw the piece of paper in his hand. "Is this her?" He held up the paper where to show a small article about a killing in Turkey. There was a picture of a smiling girl there.Aurelia gasped. "That's…. what happened?"

"She was stabbed to death in an alley. Just like…."

"In my dream."

"So it seems it wasn't just a dream."

"What's going on Giles?"

"I don't know…."

"I don't like that answer."

"I know. The Council sent me this. The girl was a potential."

"A potential what?"

"A potential Slayer."

Aurelia covered her mouth. "Oh my god…."

"The Council is looking into this."

"Have you told them about my dream?"

"No. You weren't gone very long. I only received this fax as you were walking out." The bell rang again, signaling the start of the day. Giles grabbed a pad of small paper and wrote her a note. "Go to class, Aurelia. I'll see what I can find out."

Willow and Aurelia stood in the bathroom where Aurelia had seen the dead girl. It was lunchtime and the two girls had decided to skip lunch in favor of investigation. "You heard crying, too?" Willow asked.

"It was so…. Freaky!" Aurelia cried. "There was no one else in here except me."

"How could you have dreamed about a murder that happened all the way on the other side of the world?"

"I don't know. But she was a potential Slayer."

"Have you talked to Faith? Has she had any dreams?"

"Giles said he's tried calling her, but she's not answering. No surprise there." Aurelia walked over to the sinks. "There was a talisman or something sitting right here, but it's gone now."

"What did it look like?"

"A bunch of stuff tied together. I should tell Giles about it. I should've brought it to him."

"And it's not here now?" Willow shrugged. "It was probably Amy's. She probably forgot it in here and came back for it."

Aurelia nodded. "Maybe. I don't know."

Willow put her arm around Aurelia's shoulders. "Come on, let's go see Giles and see what the Council's said."

Aurelia looked up at the mirror to nod at Willow, but the dead girl and the dead man were standing there. Willow saw them too and screamed. The lights started exploding and sparks were shooting out from them. The floor under their feet began breaking and hands reached for them, pulling them down into the floor. A gaping hole appeared and both girls fell through, landing hard on a concrete floor. There was rubble all around them.

Aurelia sat up with a groan. "Willow?"

"I'm ok." Willow said, sitting up a little ways away. "What was that!?"

"I don't know, but we have to get to Giles."

"I'm with ya. There's got to be a staircase around here somewhere."

"Come on." Aurelia took Willow's hand and they started searching.

Xander and Oz walked into the library after school and found Giles behind the counter going through one of his books. "Hey G man." Xander said.

"I wish you wouldn't call me that." Giles said.

"Have you seen Willow and Aurelia? They skipped lunch and apparently all of their next classes."

"They haven't been here."

"They said they were going to check something out in the bathroom." Oz said.

"The bathroom?" Oz nodded. "Aurelia saw a dead potential in the bathroom."

"She's picking out people to die?" Xander asked.

"What?"

"'A dead potential'?" Xander quoted back.

"A potential Slayer. Aurelia had a dream last night about one being murdered and the murdered girl showed up in the bathroom."

"Wow, talk about sleep walking!"

"The dream wasn't a dream at all. It really happened." Giles pushed the paper he'd shown Aurelia towards the boys. "A potential Slayer was murdered in Turkey last night by three cloaked men."

"Freaky." Oz said.

"Way freaky." Xander agreed.

"Perhaps you two should go try and find them."

"In the girls' bathroom?"

"If that's where they went."

"But…. It's the girls' bathroom."

"Yes, Xander. It is. That's where it happened."

"We need a girl to go in the girls' bathroom."

"Great." They all turned to find Cordelia standing there. "All I wanted was to return a book in peace."

"Ask and you shall receive." Oz said to Xander.

"There's a big hole in the floor." Cordelia said. She was standing outside the girls' bathroom talking to Oz only.

"Did you see Willow or Aurelia?" Oz asked.

"No sign of them."

"They could've fallen through that hole." Xander said. "You've got to go after them."

"Oh. No." Cordelia shook her head. "You two can go after them. The last hole I went through almost killed me." She pushed past them and walked away.

Xander looked at Oz. "We're going in there aren't we?"

Oz nodded and opened the door, strolling in. Xander looked around the hallways, making sure no one was around and then quickly followed Oz. Oz was standing over the hole looking in. "It looks like the basement."

"Someone should really report this." Xander said. "It's a safety hazard. I'll go."

Oz grabbed Xander's arm to stop him. "You're afraid of being in the girls' room?"

"What if a girl comes in?"

"That should make you happy."

"Not if they start screaming at me."

Oz rolled his eyes. "Come on." He jumped down into the hole.

Xander sighed. "Fine." He jumped too, landing not so gracefully on his backside when his knees gave out. "Ow!"

Oz helped him up. "They were down here. I can smell them. Come on." He led the way.

Aurelia sighed. "This place is a maze!"

"I don't remember there being this much basement." Willow said.

"Me either. Where are the stairs!?"

The walked down another corridor and a voice came from behind them. "Do you really think you can run away?"

Suddenly, three dead people surrounded them. One was a dead nerd that Aurelia vaguely recognized as a schoolmate that had been killed two years earlier. "I tried to run too." He said.

"I tried to scream." A dead girl said. "Doesn't matter how much you scream, nobody ever hears you."

"What do you want?" Willow asked.

"I don't care what they want." Aurelia snarled at the dead people. "I just want to get out of here."

"Too late." The eldest looking of the dead people. "But then, you're always too late, aren't you? Sure as hell didn't save me."

"What are you after? Fear? Revenge?"

"Busy making out with your dead boyfriend while I was ripped to death by a werewolf." The dead girl snarled. "Is that why you let me die?"

"I was screaming for help when they pulled me down…." The dead nerd said.

"I don't care how you died. I'm sorry for your loss, but I don't really care. How the hell do we get out of this maze?!"

"This place is ours now." The dead girl said.

"All we want is for you to leave so we can rest."

Aurelia realized that they were standing in front of a door now and the three dead people were blocking her and Willow's way to it. "I'm beginning to think all you want is to get between me and that door. Who's for finding out why?" Willow raised her hand.

The dead nerd lunged at Aurelia who pushed him out of the way. Then the dead girl jumped on her back and Aurelia fell back to the ground to knock her off. Willow kicked the older dead guy away from her as Aurelia got up. It looked like they'd managed to get rid of all three, but they were suddenly standing in front of the door again, like they'd reappeared there supernaturally.

"Willow?" Aurelia looked at her witchy friend.

"Oh, um…." She said something in Latin and the three ghosts were suddenly behind them and they had a clear shot to the door. Willow and Aurelia pushed themselves towards the door , but a voice from behind them stopped them dead.

"Hey!" The two girls screamed before they realized it was Xander and Oz. "Sorry!" Xander cried. The three ghosts were gone completely.

"Willow!" Oz hugged his girlfriend. "Are you all right?"

"Yeah. There's these three dead guys…. Well, one's a girl, and…."

"Yeah, we saw them."

"Where have you guys been?" Xander asked.

"Looking for a way out of this place." Aurelia said. "What are you doing here?"

"Looking for you guys. You've been gone all afternoon."

"What? No." Willow said, obviously sad she'd missed learning time.

"Yeah." Oz said. "School's out."

"Ok, can we panic about missing class later and worry about getting out of here alive?" Aurelia asked. "These dead people can touch and that means they can hurt." She went to the door and opened it to check. The dead people seemed to be gone. The four of them walked out, glancing back in the room they'd come from.

"Do you think they're gonna come back?" Willow asked.

"Think they're gonna come back?" They all turned to see the dead girl standing between them and the doorway again. "We never left. We'll always be here. Just like you."

"No."

"Why do you think we picked you? The ones no one will miss. The ones that don't belong. You spend all your time trying to get out of high school, and now you'll never ever leave." The other three dead people showed up and were now surrounding Xander, Aurelia, Willow, and Oz.

Giles walked into the restroom that Aurelia had told them about. He gasped when he saw the huge hole in the floor. Another gasp escaped him when he heard the yelling and screaming coming from below. "Aurelia?" He called into the hole. She couldn't hear him. He ducked down further and called her name again. That was when he saw the strange talisman.

"Willow!" Aurelia cried, throwing the older dead guy away from her. She rushed to get the dead girl off of her friend.

"Die…. Again!" Xander yelled, bashing the nerd over the head with a brick.

Oz had gotten a hold of a pipe and was hitting the dead girl riding on Willow's back. Aurelia grabbed the dead girl's hands and pried them away. Oz's next hit caused the dead girl to bow backwards and fall off of Willow. Aurelia pulled Willow away as Oz hit the dead girl with the pipe again. Aurelia and Willow were tackled by the older dead guy who had gotten up from Aurelia's throw. Oz got distracted by Willow's yelp of pain and the dead girl jumped him.

Xander was now pinned against the wall by the dead nerd. The dead nerd had managed to get the brick away from Xander and was now trying to hit Xander over the head with it. Xander kept ducking, but the brick was too close each time. "Aurelia!" He cried.

"A little busy!" Aurelia yelled back, kicking at the older dead guy again.

"Oz!" Willow cried, rushing to help her boyfriend with the dead girl.

The older dead guy managed to grab Aurelia from behind, pinning her arms to her chest. The dead nerd raised the brick to strike at Xander again. The dead girl grabbed Willow's leg. And then all the dead people disappeared.

"What the…." Xander said after dodging the falling brick.

"My sentiments exactly." Oz said.

"Where did they go?" Willow asked.

"I think they're gone." Aurelia said. "For good." She added.

"Boy am I glad curiosity didn't kill the Giles this time." Xander said. He, Oz, Willow, and Aurelia were sitting around the library table with Giles standing before them. He'd broken the talisman in the bathroom.

"How did you know to break it?" Aurelia asked.

"I didn't." Giles said, taking off his glasses and wiping them down. "I accidentally untied the string around it and stepped on the crystal when I went to pick it up."

"I'm glad you did." Willow said.

"What about the Council?" Aurelia asked. "Have you talked to them? What did they say about my dream?"

"The potential in Turkey was not the first." Giles said. "There've been two others. It would seem that someone is targeting the Slayer line. But the Council isn't for sure."

"And they won't do anything until they are sure." Aurelia stood up, angry now. "If someone's attacking the Slayer line, then they're sure to come here and go after Faith and I."

"Yes."

"I've got to warn Faith."

"I agree." Giles said. "In the meantime, keep track of your dreams. Maybe we can help stop the murders if you can see them sooner."

Aurelia sighed. "I'm not a psychic Giles. The dream last night was the murder. I was there, I just couldn't stop it." She grabbed her bag. "I'm going to go track down Faith and talk to her. See if she's had any dreams like mine." She walked out, hugging her bag close to her.

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