Title: Pleasant Dreams
Author: Vernon Bruce
Summary: What happens when a man deeply in love falls asleep with the stereo on.
Spoiler Warning : None really but based on my other fic Expectations which does contain spoilers.
Rating: PG bordering on R.
Disclaimer: The characters are the property of Joss Whendon Mutant Enemy, Kuzui Productions 18 Century Fox, WB Network, etc. The song Witch of the West Moor Land is by Stan Rogers availble on Between the Breaks...Live with rights held by Forgarty's Cove Music. I don't mean to infringe upon any copyrights.
Distribution: Just ask you have my E-mail
Notes: Feed back is greatly appreciated.
Pale was the wounded night, that bore the Rowan shield.
Sir Giles moaned, stirred, and fought his way to his knees. The weight of his chain-mail threatened to crush him. He clutched his side and looked down. Crimson blood leaked out between his fingers. He scanned the battlefield. Dead bodies of monsters and men surrounded him.
"Sweet goddess," he swore. Using his enchanted, rowan-wood shield as a prop he fought his way to his feet. His wound throbbed and he grit his teeth against the pain.
"Xander," he called. The sleek, red-maned stallion raced to his master's side. Rupert clutched the stirrup for support and leaned against his mount.
"The bec. I must clean this wound."
The stallion tossed its head and slowly walked its rider to the near by stream. Ravens circled the battle-field and pecked among the dead. Rupert fell to his knees at the stream bank and pulled off his chain-mail. The padded gamberson beneath it followed. The wound in his side oozed blood and puss.
"Bloody Hell! It's already festering," muttered Rupert.
"Beck water cool and clear, will nare to clean your wound," spoke a raven standing on the far bank. It then dipped its beak to drink.
"You would have me as your dinner?" asked Rupert.
"Sir Giles, today we feast," explained another raven that joined the first. "You killed two score and three this day, they to our larder have been added. We owe you some gratitude."
The first Raven spoke again. "There's none but the Witch of the West moor land can make thee hail and sound."
"The second raven added, "Turn turn your stallion's head. Let his red main fly in the wind."
Rupert washed his wound, but still the puss and blood oozed. Stowing his armour he struggled into the saddle and slipped on his hawking glove.
"Buffy," he called. A great she hawk screeched in the sky and descended to his wrist.
"Riley." A Grey wolf hound with a spike encrusted combat caller loped to his side.
Sir Giles turned Xander's head to the west and healed him to a gallop.
The world passed in a blur of fever and speed while Riley raced at Rupert's side and Buffy flew overhead. The sun sank towards the west despite their hast. Rupert mentally reviewed what he knew of the Witch of the West More Land and the evil curse that bound her. Legend said she was a gentle creature but in her isolation she had cast a spell to free her of loneliness. It had gone awry, trapping her in the form of a beast deadly to all that sought her. Rupert knew what he had to do.
On a rise of land overlooking a lonely lock he rained Xander to a halt. The sun was nearly set and Rupert could feel his life leaking out the infected hole in his side.
"Lay down my good, grey hound and rest me my great, gray hawk and I leave my steed to graze they fill for I must dismount and walk. But come when you hear my horn and answer swift the call for I fear the sun will rise this morn you will serve me best of all."
Rupert stumbled from the saddle and armed only with the Rowan shield he moved towards the lock. Pain tore through him but he forced himself to a steady pace. Reaching the shore he pulled a short rod of pure gold from his pouch.
"I summon thee sister of power, your payment I bring." He cast the rod into the lock.
Wet from the lake she rose and fast and clean went she. One half the form of a maiden fair with a jet black mare's body.
Rupert was stunned, the beauty of the red headed nymph that lifted from the clean limbed horse's body took his breath away. Her face was perfection and her smile like the sun. Her small firm breasts beaded with water, as she galloped towards him over the lake's surface. Almost too late he realised his peril for the curse twisted that which was good into a danger to all that would dare call it.
He placed his horn to his lips and loud long and shrill he blue, till his steed was by his side, overhead the grey hawk flew and swiftly he did ride.
"Course well my great gray hound and fetch me the jet black mare. Stoop and strike my good gray hawk and bring me the maiden fair."
The Witch chased after him, but Riley caught the horse part of her even as Buffy gripped the woman's torso. Sir Giles turned, bringing the full power of his rowan shield to break enchantments to bear. The woman pulled free of the horse and in seconds where there had been one there were two. Exhausted sir Giles fell from his saddle. Xander raced to the mare's side even as the Witch raced to Rupert's.
"Fear not good knight. I shall bind your wound with the golden rod." The red headed beauty placed the shaft of gold Rupert had tossed into the lake against his wound and chanted. Rupert groaned as the poison fell from the wound then it sealed as if nothing had ever happened. He gazed at her.
"Fair lady to whom do I owe my life," he asked.
"I am called many things, but the name I give you to know me by is Willow. You owe me not for you have broken my curse. Freed both my good steed Anya and I from loneliness." She bent and her lips touched his.
For Rupert it was the essence of life. He caught her in his arms and held tight. Together they loved and in loving healed the wounds of both. Xander could be heard nickering contentedly as he frolicked with the mare and Buffy alighted on Riley's back both watching curiously.
The sun rose and Rupert stood beside Willow, she kissed him and spoke. "Ride with your grand old hound at heal and your great grey hawk in hand, for there's none can harm the night who's lain with the Witch of the West More Land."
Rupert awoke, looked at the warm body at his side and smiled. On the stereo the last cords of Stan Roger's Witch of the West More Land played. Picking up the remote he shut off the music.
"Willow," He whispered.
"Mmmmmm," was her only reply.
He smiled more. She was more lovely to him than when they had been married over ten years before. The only sign that any time had passed for her was a light tracing of lines at the corner of her eyes. Thanks to the blood of the Mora Demon that had struck him people no longer mistook her for his daughter, though some still tutted that such a young beauty would be with a man so much her senior and probably always would.
"And none can harm the knight who's lain with the Witch of the West More Land," he whispered. There was truth in the words. No matter what, so long as she was his he could face it. Tragedy pain and loss were nothing as long as she was at his side.
He kissed the top of her head then carefully shifted until he could cradle her in his arms. He picked her up and carried her up the stairs.
"Rupert?" she mumbled and draped her arms around his neck.
"Shhhh, go back to sleep."
She snuggled into his chest. He lay her in their bed and tucked the blankets in under her chin. Kissing her brow he slipped from the room to check on the other woman in his life.
"Buffy," he whispered entering the second bedroom. He paused gazing into the crib. His daughter slept peaceful and calm.
"You are your mother's child, little one," he said, thinking she was the second most beautiful thing in the world.
"Sweet mother, holy father, thank you." A single joyful tear trickled from his eye. He joined his wife in their bed and slipped back into the realm of dream.
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