Timeline: Season 2(after Halloween) and later in season 7
Spoilers: AU from Beneath You(7.2) In this world, Buffy takes Spike home
Disclaimer: All ME.
Such a night (4)
"Hi Mom!" she said and made a beeline for the stairs.
"Buffy! What is this all about? You’re acting a little strange tonight!" Her mother looked ready to get to the bottom of whatever this was.
"Nothing! You know, teenage things! Night, mom!"
Buffy wondered for an instant what her future self had been saying to her mom, then turned her thoughts to her own predicament. In her room, she checked herself in the mirror. Weird outfit she was wearing, she never would have picked those pants to go with that shirt! Well, in the future everybody was wearing these funny looking clothes. Crap, she hadn’t even gone to the mall or something! She'd been a good little Slayer and stayed put at home.
She changed into her jammies and brushed her teeth. Before closing the drapes she looked outside, hoping to catch a glimpse of Angel. A pity he hadn’t shown up in the future. What would their relationship be like? When she thought of him she got all these nice tingly feelings in her stomach.
Unfortunately those feelings led to contemplation of today’s events. All the things that had not been said. Buffy stomped her pillow in shape. Nobody had wanted to talk about Angel, and he had definitely not been around. Now that she knew her time in the future might be short, next time she’d be less relaxed and ask more questions. A lot more. Never mind Marty McFly, she had to know. She thought of calling Willow, but a look at the clock put a stop to those thoughts. Willow wouldn’t live down the wrath of Mrs. Rosenberg if she called now. Talking to Willow and Giles would have to wait till tomorrow at school.
To Joyce’s surprise, Buffy was off to school early that morning. When she walked through the library doors, she was glad to see her friends were already there.
"Willow! Xander ! I'm so glad to be back, when you’re all still normal!"
"We were weird in the future?" Willow asked.
"You know? Oh, sure, duh, my future self was here of course. What did you think of her? She different?"
"Yeah, Buff, she was like General Buffy, expecting us to jump to it. Talking about magic, and Spike…"
Xander moved forward to hug her. "We like you better!"
"Well, you were all…" Buffy hesitated - "…growed up, and …"
"Buffy, please think before you speak!" Giles beseeched her, crossing quickly from his office to the big table in the library. "Think of Marcus McBLigh, don't tell us things about the future!"
"Marcus McBl..? Oh! Yeah, right! Well, you were still my friends and all. It was totally weird, apart from that. You wouldn’t believe some of the things you guys said to me…"
"Buffy!" Giles warned again.
"Okay, okay! "Buffy paused a moment to gather her thoughts. "The future Slayerettes didn’t know either what had happened. But they are going to try to figure it out, too, so we’ll have a double chance of finding out what caused this. And…they have magic help. And it was 2002, cool huh? The twenty-first century!" She tried to think of other things she could say, but that would involve speaking about the weirdness of the people living in her house in the future, and all the things they weren’t saying.
"That is a little flat, Buff! Can’t you say just a teeny bit more? What did we look like? Did we have jobs, or what?" Xander was almost panting with eagerness.
"Can I Giles? You know, Xander, in the morning you were wearing a suit, a real suit, so you must have a job. And you had a car! And the other Buffy and me and…um, somebody else, were wearing funny clothes, like back to the seventies or something. And Giles, you were not wearing tweed! Really! You were wearing a sweater, and jeans!"
"How very unsettling. But tell us more about the direction their research was taking, because I haven’t a clue as yet were to start."
"I don’t know yet. It was morning, and everybody left for work or school or university, and they said they would be back in the evening. They wanted me to stay put in the house, so I did! And somewhere in the afternoon I changed back, and it was night here."
"What did your Mom think of all this, Buffy?" Willow asked. ‘Did you tell her, or..?"
"Mom wasn’t there. Spike said she was on a business trip, but I slept in her bedroom, and you were staying over, Willow. You slept in my room."
"Spike? You spoke to Spike? During the day?" Giles said in alarm, and started cleaning his glasses.
"Oops. Well, this won’t do much harm , I think. He’s good now, harmless and insane, and lives in my basement. And we watched TV together and did our nails. Hard to believe, huh?
"I’ll say! And what does your mother say about it?
"She has to be in the know, I mean, hard to miss, vampire in the house, blood in the fridge…"
"Hey, Buffy, we got to get to class, don’t wanna be tardy. Giles, we’ll be back after classes to help you with the research, okay?"
The three youngsters picked up their stuff and left the library.
A week later, as Buffy was dozing of gently during class, the voice of her English teacher droning on and on about ‘Julius Caesar’, she suddenly saw telltale sparks at the edge of her vision. She sat up and tried to signal to Willow when…
Buffy found herself, in the blink of an eye, transported from her office to a sunny classroom full of teenagers. She put her face in her hands and groaned.
"Miss Summers!" a sharp voice admonished her. "Please pay attention, or at least be silent!"
She sat up straight and tried to look attentive. When the teacher’s eyes left her, she quickly looked around, trying to find Willow. Willow sat next to her, and she tried to convey without speaking that the time switch thing had happened again. Willow’s eyes grew big and round and questioning, and Buffy nodded. "Later", Willow signaled.
Apparently this was the last class of the day, and on their way to the library, Xander and Willow barraged her with questions. She tried to fend off their childish curiosity, preferring to talk to Giles. She felt a little self-conscious in her tiny skirt, and vowed to change into training clothes immediately.
"Giles!" Willow called out as soon as they came through the swinging doors, "she’s back!"
Giles stood talking to a dark-haired woman, one hand going through his thinning hair repeatedly. The woman turned around and smiled at Buffy. Miss Calendar! Was she going to meet everybody who had died or left her? This was unbearable! She turned her face away to brush at her eyes, but couldn’t escape the interested gazes of Willow and Xander.
Miss Calendar left, after making a few last remarks to Giles.
"It’s me again, Giles, " Buffy said. "The 2002 me. I returned in the middle of English class. Any news from the research front?"
"No, not really. I was actually hoping it would be a one time occurrence."
Buffy’s eyebrows rose. "On a Hellmouth? Way optimistic, Giles. I was thinking, could we ask Miss Calendar to do a scrying spell on me? Check on my aura? That’s what we have been doing in the future. It would be helpful to know if you guys got the same results."
"Good idea. I’ll ask her. Is she helping you in the future as well?" He went on to say, as he saw Buffy’s surprised reaction, "the other you mentioned magic help in the future."
Buffy couldn’t help a quick glance at Willow. "Um, no. She’s not helping us." She cleared her throat. "Other magic help."
She sat down at the big table. "Nice to be here. I never thought I’d see this place again."
"Something happened to the library?"
Buffy chuckled uncomfortably. "What did I say? I meant I’m not in high school anymore, obviously."
They settled down to the usual routine of research. Buffy found it hard to keep her mind on books. She realized she was looking forward to patrolling tonight, in this time. Maybe she’d see Spike again…
It grew dusky outside. Xander went and got pizza. Buffy was about to get up and announce she was going on patrol, when Angel walked in. Everyone greeted him in a friendly fashion, no distrust visible. He approached Buffy and bent over to kiss her; she gave him a quick peck back. Giles started giving Angel the gist of what had been happening; apparently someone told him about the first time switch already. Buffy looked at him uncomfortably. He too looked younger and slimmer than the last time she saw him. Could vampires grow fat? She flashed on Spike with a beer belly, and couldn’t repress a shudder.
Would Angel realize it had not been his Buffy during that one encounter? It would be really hard to pretend with him, and she certainly didn’t want the go do the big smoochies. Angel looked at her with his dark eyes. He scraped his throat.
"You’re Buffy from the future? I better not ask you questions, I suppose?"
"I guess not," she said uncomfortably.
He reached out to touch her face, and she really couldn’t help a tiny flinch.
Buffy could see she had hurt Angel, but there wasn’t much she could do about that. Xander was watching the exchange avidly, and to her surprise she felt like slapping that expression of his face. He really had been doing that judgy bully thing all along, only she’d never noticed it, or never been bothered by it.
"Mind your own business, Xander, " she said sharply. "You’re not my keeper. Who I sleep with is my business, and mine alone. I don’t need your condemnation."
"You’re sleeping with Angel? ‘ Willow said, hurt as well as surprise evident in her voice.
Buffy groaned. "No, not now, I mean. Sorry Xander, I guess I was taking future issues out on you."
The disconcerted looks on all their faces were almost comical. She wanted out of there, the library feeling no longer comforting but stifling. She got up and started packing stakes in her coat.
"Giles? Do I keep other clothes here? I wanna get out of this skirt."
"Um, no, not at the moment. Are you going to patrol?"
"Yeah. Need to hunt, and work off some tension. Some nice violence to make me sleep."
She noticed Giles’ faintly revolted expression. "What? You didn’t know Slayers get off on it? Live and learn!"
"Buffy, do you want me to join you?" Angel asked. He stood staring at her from under these beetling brows, unsure of what he had done wrong.
"I really was planning on slaying alone tonight, you mind?"
"Buffy, I’d feel less worried if you took Angel along. This time traveling is hardly conducive to optimum alertness!" Giles said, looking all flustered.
With a sigh Buffy acquiesced. They walked along in awkward silence.
"Buffy? Is everything alright?" Angel asked softly.
Buffy rolled her eyes. "Yeah, sure, I’m flipping back and forth in time like a yo-yo, what’s to complain?"
"I mean with us?"
"Come on Angel, I’m not going to answer that! I’m from the future, I’m practically a different person. What good would it do to know stuff? Besides I think you shouldn’t ask. Changing the future is a big risk." Did he heave to keep on pushing?
"You seem unhappy."
"Hello-o, mister Sensitive and Brooding! I’m not going to say it again. Why don’t you just go home? This is too hard. I can’t concentrate." Buffy could hardly contain her impatience.
Angel hesitated for a long time. "I want to be there for you. But I can understand the pressure you’re under. I’ll go. Be careful!"
When Angel was far enough away Buffy could finally let out the frustration that had been building since she saw him. "Aaaargh!" she let out a growl and kicked a gravestone.
"My, my, the sweet sound of a frustrated Slayer! " a familiar British voice said, sounding relaxed and amused.
"Spike!" Buffy’s heart leapt in anticipation. This was going to be fun! She was really itching for a fight, and who better to fight with?
"What interesting things you and the mighty Poof were saying! Had a bit of a spat? Love’s first bloom flaking off already?"
"Mix metaphors much? And you don’t know what you’re talking about. Angel and I are fine."
"Uh-huh. ‘Course, girl from the future might have found herself something better than him." They were circling each other, getting ready.
"So you heard? Well, tell me Spike, what would you consider ’’something better’ for a girl like me? "
"Come on, Slayer, what’s this? You want advice on love from me? What do I care about the love life of human beings? Although they do taste better when they die happy!" Spike feinted and sprang back, but Buffy didn’t react. She knew his fighting style.
"I just thought, you’ve been with Drusilla for a hundred years, you must know all about the problems of long term relationships."
He hissed in fury and vamped out. The pre-fighting tension went up a notch or two.
"Long term? Eternal, you mean. We’ll be together forever, long after you’re dead! And how in bloody hell do you know about Dru? Tell me! You research me or what?" He went in with great speed and managed to hit Buffy on the nose before he danced back.
Buffy felt blood drip from her nose.
"News flash from the future: Drusilla cheats on you. Drusilla dumps you. You come crawling back to her, and Drusilla dumps you again. Next, you take up with the most vapid little blond cheerleader vamp in history. And if I told you who you fall in love following her, you’d stake yourself on the spot!"
Spike was too surprised to remain in game face.
"Let’s see, what else would you like to know about your future? The rest of eternity, dust to dust, ashes to ashes, blowing on the wind? ‘Cause that’s what ‘s in store for you!" She went in, gaining speed by careening of a tombstone, and landed a kick on his sternum.
"Trying to get me mad? No need, I like fighting Slayers anyway. Gonna kill me a third one!" He’d rolled with the kick and sprang back on his feet.
"So not going to happen!" Buffy panted. She was having a great time. This was more like it, exchanging banter and blows with an enemy who gave as good as he got. Most demons didn’t appreciate her humor, and usually were unable to talk back. This was what being a Slayer was all about.
The fight went on. Both parties inflicted some damage, but in essence they were evenly matched, and maybe even reluctant to end the fun.
Buffy smacked hard into a crypt, and felt something break. Spike was on her in a flash, game face ready. He didn’t bite her yet, though.
"Having a lot of fun, aren’t you Slayer? I can smell it! Fancy a bit of slap and tickle as well? I’ve been told being drained while fucking gives the best thrill ever – right before you die of course!’
To demonstrate his point he leaned over and gave her neck a long leisurely lick with his cool tongue. Buffy couldn’t control her gasp, and the goose bumps that raced all over her skin. She was such a fool! He always knew what she was feeling – of course the old him would know too. For the first time she felt real fear. No chip, no soul, nothing to restrain him – on the up side, only two relatively minor defeats and one stupid prank to egg him on.
For a moment Buffy considered his offer. What a way to end! Fight Spike first, have sex with Spike second, third, die. In that list were at least two of her favorites; on the other hand, her least favorite thing was on it , too. On that thought, she kneed Spike in the groin and tried to make a run for it. He tackled her and got in a few good hits before she wrested free and turned the tables. She straddled him and raised her fist. She got in a good shot on the nose, but got flashes of pain shot up her arm, and she changed her mind about continuing the fight.
"Okay, Spike, run along now. This is way too much fun to end already. I’m counting on you for a rematch."
He jumped up and ran a few yards, before turning his head and yelling: "You’re a fool, Slayer! I’d have killed me in your place!"
He ran off, a slight limp clearly visible, on arm hanging uselessly by his side. Buffy wasn’t in great shape herself. Besides her broken rib, her right leg felt like a bus had ridden over it, her eyes and nose throbbed, and she sported several bloody gashes on her arms and torso.
She hadn’t felt this good in years. It had been everything a fight should be, except that killing something would have been extra nice. Slowly she made her way home, a grin plastered on her battered face. This was living.
Continued in Blue Moon (5)