By: Anne Olsen and Michele Bumbarger
He stood on the roof of a tall building, he wasn't certain where. The only thing that Adam was certain about was that it was the same rooftop, which he had found himself on the last few nights. With predictable regularity, when his eyes closed, he found himself here, on a strange rooftop, in an undetermined city.
Adam gazed up at the night sky hoping that the stars would offer him a clue, but thick dark clouds all but covered them, obscuring them from his vision. One star would occasionally peek through, twinkle and wink at him, only to be swallowed up by the gray indistinct blobs of clouds.
Strange that he could see so well, that the moon shone so brightly and clearly on such a cloudy night.
"Please, put it down. You're not yourself." The voice behind him caused Adam to spin, refocusing on his surroundings and not the celestial bodies above him.
The voice was familiar, as was the profile of the dark haired man it belonged to. An equally familiar long black coat swirled and billowed around the man, although as near as Adam could tell, the night was devoid of any wind. Not even a breeze stirred in the stillness of the night.
"Angel?" Adam called out hesitantly, familiarity lending itself to recognition.
If the vampire heard him, he gave no indication. He continued his backwards trek across the rooftop, hands held in front of him in a placating gesture. The vampire's attention was focused solely on the only other occupant of the rooftop aside from Adam - a dark haired girl armed with nothing more than a . . . a stake.
"Angel!" Adam called to him again, with the same results. The vampire did not respond, nor did the girl stop her pursuit of Angel, apparently lost in the consuming void of her deadly mission and her prey.
"Listen to me," Angel spoke softly to his stalker, the voice of intervention and compassion, "Something's wrong. I can help you."
Adam debated what to do. He could help Angel, although he couldn't figure out he was going to do that if Angel could neither see nor hear him. He considered his options, distracting the girl - who also bore the faintest hints of familiarity although her face remained hidden. Again, the oddity of the situation struck him, dark clouds, bright moon to see by, and face of this mysterious stalker hidden in infinite shadow. As he considered her, he felt the tendrils of something brush his mind. It was something familiar, yet at the same time something Adam didn't recognize.
Ami? Adam blinked in disbelief. That could not be Ami. It wasn't possible. Ami was a Tomorrow Person and Tomorrow People could not kill. It was perfectly clear that the intent of this person was to kill, the stake in her hand could mean nothing else. Her intent was to kill Angel, destroy the vampire. . .something Tomorrow People simply could not do.
In response to his thoughts, or perhaps to mock them, Angel stumbled backwards. He landed with a loud, hard thud on his back as though he had been shoved there by an invisible hand, or some telekinetic force. Any doubts that the attacker was a Tomorrow Person were banished in that instance and Adam surged forward to help the fallen vampire . . .
Only to stop and come to an abrupt halt as his blood congealed in his veins. Angel, for lack of a better word, changed as he found himself pinned to the concrete by some invisible face. Dark eyes flickered and flashed until they were drowned in glowing yellow, handsome and smooth features faded away, dissolving into bony ridges, a twisted and horrific deformation. Canines elongated, and the growl and hiss that came from the vampire were not even remotely recognizable as anything human. Adam felt fear, a different fear than anything he had ever known, icy gripping his heart. His body's natural instincts for preservation kicked in, and of their own volition, his feet began moving backwards, away from the vampire in its pure demonic form.
As Adam backpedaled, the girl let out a cry of triumph and leapt onto Angel. Even with his vampiric strength, he was no match for her telekinetic skill holding him there as she poised the stake over his heart. Straddling his chest, she plunged the stake downwards, leaving nothing that had been Angel, other than a pile of dust.
Horrified now, Adam stood frozen to the spot. His mind shouted for him to teleport, for him to get out there as soon as possible, but all he could do was stare in mind-numbing terror at the girl before him, the girl Angel had called, "Ami."
She turned towards him, as if aware of his presence for the first time. As she did, the shadows fell away from her face and Adam could make no more denials. It was Ami, there was no denying that it was Ami, but it was Ami as he had never seen her before.
Nothing of light and life shone from her face or her eyes. The darkness there, in fact the darkness that he felt radiating from all around her, was consuming and made him ill if he even tried to focus on it for too long.
"Ami," Adam whispered her name, part in sadness, part in confusion.
Ami smiled at him, a slow twisting smile that he had never seen Ami use before. Adam shivered, unable to shake the feeling of pure evil that permeated the rooftop.
"Better now," she whispered, her smile growing wider. Growing wide enough for him to see the sharp, elongated canines. Growing wider while her eyes melted from inky black to golden yellow . . .
"No!" Adam screamed.
Adam sat up and reached out for the light beside his bed. He sat there shaking, trying to make sense of the horrific images still running through his thoughts. This wasn't the first time he had had this kind of dream, but it still didn't mean he was handling it any better. Each time he went to sleep, the dream sequence was slightly different, but still just as unnerving. The dreams all seemed to be about Ami and Angel, yet in this last one he hadn't realized who they were until it was too late. Maybe it had been because he hadn't wanted to believe whom he had been watching, he reasoned to himself. He still remembered watching Ami throw herself off that same rooftop in an earlier dream, and that feeling of helplessness he'd experienced not being able to save her.
He pulled back the covers and headed into the kitchen of his tiny flat. Maybe a cup of tea would help him to feel calmer.
Adam reflected again that it was lucky that he lived alone. There was certainly enough things going on in his life at the moment without having to worry about a flatmate finding out he was a Tomorrow Person. And certainly a flatmate would worry if he was waking every night at the mercy of unexplained nightmares.
[Adam, you awake?] Megabyte's telepathic voice sounded shaky. [Do you mind if I come over?]
[Are you okay?] Adam was sure he could feel an echo of what he was feeling himself coming from his friend.
There was a crackle and a flash of light and Megabyte stood in front of him. His red hair was tussled, and he looked as though he had just woken up. "About as okay as you, by the look of things," came the reply. "Got any coffee?"
As Adam reached for the cups he noticed Megabyte looking at the drawings he had left on the table the night before.
"Hey Adam, I didn't realize you were this good at this art stuff." He peered at the sketchbook more closely. "That's the beach at Taphini, isn't it?"
Adam nodded as he handed Megabyte his cup of coffee. "Anyway, I'm sure you're not here at this hour of the night to discuss my artwork." He packed the rest of his drawings away as he spoke. There were certain things that Adam wasn't comfortable talking about, and his artwork was among them. He didn't have the faith in himself that his instructors did, and besides, there were more pressing issues for them to be discussing.
The Australian settled himself down on a chair, wrapping his hands around his hot cup and waited to see what his friend would say.
Megabyte spoke slowly, his voice hesitant. " I've been having these weird nightmares for the past few nights. At first, I didn't care because I thought it was just me. Because I'm totally wigged about the whole Ami-Angel thing. But this one--" Megabyte stopped and shivered. "Way beyond the weird, pal."
"You're dreaming about Ami and Angel as well?"
"Yeah," Megabyte replied before what Adam's words completely sunk in, then blinked as he realized exactly what his friend said. "As well? Your dream wouldn't be on a rooftop and involve Ami turning Angel into a big pile of dust?"
Adam nodded. "I woke up when she started to change into.." He stopped, unable to finish the sentence.
Megabyte shivered. "Yeah so did I. Hey, if we're having the same dream, you think the others are too?"
"I'm thinking Ami is at least. Maybe Angel as well."
"You mean because of that bond thing?" Megabyte's bitterness was not lost on Adam. Megabyte, like all of them, was still trying to sort out his feelings about the whole Ami and Angel situation. While Adam silently agreed with his American friend that Angel and his friends could have maybe prevented what had happened, he tried not to point fingers or throw blame. Ami was alive, a fact they all had to remind themselves of when the anger and resentment grew too much.
Adam didn't particularly like the thought of the connection existing between the Tomorrow Person and the vampire, but at this stage of the game he was slowly learning to try and deal with it. Also he was beginning to realize there was a whole lot of stuff going on out there in the world that he and the other Tomorrow People really didn't know about. Megabyte, he knew was slowly coming around as well.
"Okay. So what do we do next? I for one, think we should talk to Ami about this. Maybe she's in some sort of danger we don't know about," Megabyte finished.
Adam glanced at the clock. Three in the morning. If he had his time zones worked out right that would make it about seven am in Los Angeles. " Yes, we do need to talk to Ami. There's another person I'm wondering if we should talk to as well."
Megabyte shook his head. "If you're meaning Angel, I'd rather leave that till later. Let's talk to Ami first before we make any decisions about that." Megabyte flashed Adam his characteristic grin, warding off any arguments, "You know, if we have breakfast now we'll just about be in time to catch Ami before her classes start. Adam? You were going to offer me something else besides just coffee weren't you?"
Adam smiled. Trust Megabyte to be thinking about his stomach. "All right, breakfast first. Then we'll go find Ami."
"Adam, Megabyte. What are you guys doing here?" Ami was surprised to find her friends waiting for her so early in the morning. She looked up and down the hallway outside of her dorm room, and hoped that they had used normal channels for entry rather than teleportation. The fact that Adam and Megabyte were waiting for her in the early morning hours was enough to start Celia talking without having to worry about comments about how no one had seen them enter the building in the first place.
Happy that no one noticed them, or at least that no one was paying them any attention, she returned her attention to her friends. The slight bits of worry coming off of them was noticeable and it piqued her curiosity. Megabyte's uncharacteristic quietness only heightened said curiosity.
"Have you got time for a cup of coffee before your classes start?" asked Adam. "There's something we need to talk to you about."
Ami searched Adam's face for a clue to what was going on but he didn't give anything away. "Give me a minute and we'll go to that coffee shop on campus I was telling you about the other day."
Grabbing her coat, she pulled the door closed behind her, taking care not to wake Celia. She didn't know what time the other woman had gotten in last night, but she knew that it had been pretty late.
"Okay, I'm ready," she said, gesturing at her friends to follow. It had taken her a while to find her way around the campus, it was a lot bigger than anything she was accustomed to at home. At last though, she was finally beginning to feel comfortable with the place. She had Celia and her whimsical ways, as well as the entertaining, if sometime draining company of Cordelia Chase.
They made their way to the coffee shop in a peculiar silence, which was only occasionally punctuated by Megabyte's willing admiration of passing coeds. While Megabyte headed up to the counter to purchase coffee, and food for himself, Ami and Adam found a booth facing the window and took seats opposite of one another.
"Is he ever not hungry?" Ami asked, stifling a yawn behind her hand. She noticed Adam's eyes on her and stared back at him, "What? Can't a person yawn? And before you start, no, I was not out 'partying' with Celia all night. Although you and Megabyte look like you were out doing some partying of your own."
Adam smiled as Megabyte slid into the booth besides her, elbowing her playfully to make room for himself and his breakfast. He glanced over at Adam expectantly, and Ami narrowed her eyes. She knew their behavior was suspicious, and Megabyte's very much non-subtle glance at Adam had only confirmed it.
Ami looked from one to the other. "Okay guys, what's up? First Adam seems worried when I yawn, then the pair of you sit there as though you're not sure what to say."
Adam and Megabyte exchanged an unreadable glance. Finally, Adam leaned forward and spoke. "Megabyte and I have been having these nightmares and we wondered if you'd been having them as well."
"Nightmares? Why didn't you just say so, instead of this cloak and dagger bit?" Ami sipped her coffee. "What kind of nightmares?"
Megabyte jumped into the conversation. "Really weird ones about you and Angel."
Ami narrowed her gaze and bit back a yell of utter frustration. She didn't know why she thought that this would go away, when it was clear that it wouldn't. They were concerned about her. They were concerned about the bond with Angel. She understood that, she really did, but she really wanted them to back off until she had sorted everything in her own mind first.
Adam and Megabyte didn't really trust Angel, and she understood there were any number of reasons for that distrust. The fact that Angel was a vampire topped the list. However, Ami did trust him, instinctively, but she wasn't sure how to put that trust into words that her friends would understand. All she knew, was beyond a doubt that deep down inside she trusted Angel with her life. Unfortunately, judging from what she was picking up from the boys, this wasn't the time or the place to go into that with them.
"Why aren't I surprised to hear Angel's name come into this? Everything's fine on that point, I keep telling you that. I'm fine. Angel's fine. There's nothing for you to worry about, honest."
"So you haven't been having any dreams then?" asked Adam.
Ami took a deep breath and counted, very slowly, to ten. She didn't want to overreact and lose her temper, but her patience was beginning to wear a bit thin and the day had barely started yet. The question unsettled her, the echo of the same question Angel had prodded her with and that jarred her nerves even more. What the obsession with her dreams was, she couldn’t begin to fathom, but she wasn't in the mood for Adam and Megabyte's special brand of the third degree. "Look guys, wouldn't I have told you if I had? I haven't been having any dreams, okay? Just drop the subject."
"But Ami . . ."
"Megabyte, I said drop it. Look, if I wanted my mother to come to LA with me I would have brought her. I certainly don't need you guys filling in for her." Ami looked at her watch as she glared at her fellow Tomorrow People. "I'm going to be late for my first class if I don't go."
Her expression softened for a moment as she saw the concern on their faces. "I'm fine honestly. Now stop worrying and for goodness sake go home and get some sleep."
Without even waiting for a reply, Ami gathered her books together and left the coffee shop leaving two rather worried friends behind her.
End of Chapter Five
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