Prologue: The First Goodbye; Chapter One: Wish Granted
AN: This fic will span all seven series, including most ships as the timeline progresses. Note I say *most*, because Buffy, being in love with Spike, is not about to date Angel and Riley all over again. Just thought I'd clear that up now. Oh, and in addition to the canon ships, I've added in Giles/Joyce. Spike won't appear physically in the fic until after series one has been dealt with, obviously, but the Spuffy is fairly obvious. Give this fic a try, because I've done my best to add in all the twists and surprises I could think of so it wouldn't just be a Spuffified version of canon.
Welcome Back to the Hellmouth
Can we bring yesterday back around
'Cause I know how I feel about you now
I was dumb, I was wrong, I let you down
But I know how I feel about you now
Not a day passed me by, not a day passed me by
When I don't think about you
And there's no moving on, 'cause I know you're the one
And I can't be without you
Prologue: The First Goodbye
Gentle rain trickled down the back of Buffy’s neck, and she drew her coat tightly around her. It was nearly midnight. The moon was full, casting sinister shadows around the cemetery. Buffy stopped at a large tombstone in the centre, sat cross-legged in the middle and emptied her bag.
She lit a circle of white candles around her with difficulty as the rain kept extinguishing them, and used the one in front of her to light a sage stick. Willow had offered to help her with the ritual, but this was something she had to do herself.
“Spike,” she spoke to the empty night, “I … It’s me. Buffy.” She swallowed. “I hope you can hear me. I’m not really sure where – where you are. All things considered.” Buffy hiccoughed. “Sorry – I want to say so much, I just d-don’t know how to do it.” She took a deep breath. “I guess … I’m sorry. For everything. I don’t think I ever really took the chance to say it – I’ve been a complete bitch to you, and when I look back I’m so ashamed of it. I can’t believe you could still love me after everything I said to you.” She smiled slightly, although her cheeks were no longer only wet from the rain. “Wherever you are now, I really hope you can forgive me.”
Buffy paused. “When we parted, I told you I loved you, and you didn’t believe me. I should have seen that coming. Know, wherever you are now, that I meant every word. I fought my feelings for so long … I wish I hadn’t. If I could rewrite it all …” She wiped her eyes on her sleeve. “But I can’t.
“There’s so much more I want to say. I miss you so much. More than I ever could have predicted.” Buffy looked up towards the sky and closed her eyes, just letting the rain run down her face and mingle with the tears. “I love you. I always will. You were the one, Spike. After all you’ve been through, I hope now your soul finds peace.”
The tears were now flowing thick and fast, but Buffy ignored them and pulled out a memorial bundle Willow had helped her make; various leaves and lavender flowers, tied up in a cloth Spike’s favourite colour – black. She used his cigarette lighter – the only part of him she had left – to set light to it.
For a moment she just watched it burn. A sudden gush of wind extinguished the candles, and Buffy looked up, frowning, as the area around her suddenly glowed with light. Before she had a chance to react, she felt a strange sensation, like being sucked down a plughole, and the world around her disappeared.
Chapter One: Wish Granted
Suddenly it was daylight. This, and the fact that the tombstone had turned incredibly soft, was all Buffy had time to process before a voice spoke beside her, making her jump.
“Okay! Have a good time. I know you’re gonna make friends right away -”
“*Mom?*” Buffy gasped.
There Joyce was, beside her. Alive. Buffy stared at her, not believing what she was seeing.
“What is it, honey? Are you all right?” The expression on her face was enough to choke Buffy up.
“I-I …” Buffy looked all around her. She was in her mother’s old car, with Joyce in the driver’s seat. They were parked outside Sunnydale High. The way it had been when she first started going there, before it had been blown up, rebuilt, and then disintegrated.
*Oh … my …*
Something snapped inside Buffy and she enveloped Joyce in a fierce hug, fighting tears. “I love you Mom.”
“I-I love you too, honey,” Joyce replied, rather thrown by her daughter’s sudden display of affection. “What’s all this about?”
Buffy drew back. “I - just - Nerves, I guess.”
Joyce smiled. “Don’t worry, you’ll be just fine.” She kissed Buffy on the cheek. “I’ll see you later.”
Buffy looked down at the car floor and saw her old schoolbag. She picked it up with trembling hands and got out the car. Her mother – her *mother* – wished her luck and left. Buffy stood, watching her drive away, not wanting her to go.
*What the hell is going on? Have I gone back in time?*
She turned and looked at the mass of students. Several she recognised to be dead. Buffy considered her options. Still in shock, all she could think to do was continue the day as she remembered it. She started forwards, and a boy on a skateboard came whizzing towards her.
Buffy and the boy collided and they both crashed to the ground. It wasn’t until they’d both, laughing, got to their feet and checked for injuries that she realised that Xander had just run into her.
Boy, he looked young.
“Wow,” he said, seeing her properly for the first time. “I mean – wow, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to run you down. Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine, thanks.” Buffy brushed off her skirt.
“You’re new, right? I’m Xander.”
Buffy smiled. “I’m Buffy Summers, nice to meet you.”
“Oh, and this is – Willow!” Xander called behind her. Buffy turned to see Willow watching them. Xander waved her over.
“Hi, Willow,” Buffy said. “Wow, I love your hair.”
“Yeah, it’s nice and long. I’ve been growing mine out forever and it’s still not past my shoulders.”
“Thanks,” Willow smiled shyly, touching a hand to her hair. “So, you’re new?”
“Yeah, I just moved.” Buffy hesitated slightly. “From L.A.”
The three of them made their way into the school, Buffy’s old – or new – friends firing questions at her, and her answering as best as she could. Once inside, she excused herself with a “Great to meet you guys” and hurried off in search of some privacy.
Alone in the girls’ bathroom, Buffy stared at her reflection in the mirrors. The image they showed her was of a sixteen-year-old Buffy Summers, with one difference. She moved closer to see better, and sighed. She might have a young face but there was no mistaking the maturity in her eyes. Buffy leaned against the wall, trying to get her head around what had happened.
She had gone back in time.
Not only that, but she was actually inside her past self. What would happen when she went back?
If she *could* go back.
If she *wanted* to go back.
*I fought my feelings for so long … I wish I hadn’t. If I could rewrite it all …*
She *could*, Buffy realised with a gasp. She could rewrite everything. The Cleveland Hellmouth had granted her, her wish!
*I can save Mom. I can save Spike. I can save everyone!*
Buffy suddenly burst out laughing. It was the first time she had laughed properly since Spike had died, and it hurt her chest for a moment, but now she felt full of hope. Because everyone she had lost was now alive. And as long as she played her cards right, there was no reason why that fact had to change.
*Okay, first things first*, she thought. *I’ve got to see Principal Flutie.*
Leaving the bathroom, Buffy pondered she ought to keep up the illusion of not knowing where things were, and asked a student she didn’t know where she could find Flutie’s office. The bell rang, making her jump, and she broke into a run as she passed the library, skidding to a halt as the doors opened and Giles came out.
“Sorry!” she gasped, stopping just short of her second collision that day.
“That’s quite all right.” Giles looked her up and down, and enquired, “Miss Summers?”
“Uh-huh.” She smiled innocently at him. “Principal’s office?”
“Oh – just down the corridor. You can’t miss it.”
“Er, Miss Summers,” he started, “I would like to take this opportunity to, um, welcome you to this school, and, if there are any books you should need -”
“Drop the act, Mr. Giles, I know you’re my new Watcher.”
He stopped short. “Oh.”
“I’m kinda late to see the Principal, but I’d love to discuss impending disasters with you later.”
“I … of course,” Giles replied, obviously somewhat thrown.
“Great. I’ll come and find you.” Buffy turned and started hurrying towards Flutie’s office.
“How did you know who I was?” Giles called after her.
One excruciating interview later, Buffy, deciding to skip what was left of History since she’d done it already, after all. Instead, she headed to the library, where she found Giles busy sorting books. He looked up as she entered. “Ah, Miss Summers – Buffy?”
He removed his glasses and began to polish them. “May I enquire as to how you worked out who I was?”
Buffy had prepared her answer to this question. “Please. You’re English, you work with books all day, and the way you dress? It’s a no-brainer.”
“I … well, yes, I suppose …” Giles cleared his throat. “Maybe, then, we could have a talk about, er, the impending disasters you mentioned?”
“Okay then. Fire away.”
As he began talking about Sunnydale being rife with odd occurrences that were growing more frequent, Buffy sat on a table and just watched and listened, wondering exactly how much to tell him. Should she mention the Hellmouth, speed things up a little, or just wait until she met Angel and then repeat what he told her?
Angel. Buffy zoned out for a moment. The prospect of seeing him wasn’t as confusing as she would have expected. Instead, she found she felt nothing. The thought that, potentially, she could repeat their entire relationship left her cold. With Spike, however--
“Buffy? Are you listening to me?”
“What? – Oh! Yeah, yeah I’m listening. Sorry.”
With Spike, it was a lot more complicated. Buffy felt a chill down her spine as she realised that, when she saw him, she would not be looking at the same Spike she had come to know, but the evil bloodsucker he had been when they had first come face to face. It wasn’t that she was afraid of him … More, she was afraid of herself. Would she really be able to fight him, while being in love with him?
There were a lot of things she needed to consider, Buffy realised. Time travel was not as simple as it sounded.
*Bet Andrew could have told me that.*
“Giles,” Buffy said when his speech had come to an end, “you’re absolutely right. And you know what? I’m going to need to be prepared for anything. I was thinking maybe I could do a bit of background reading? You’ve got a lot of mystical books here, right?” She glanced around.
“Yes, I have. I think that’s a good idea.”
“Got anything on time travel?”
Giles gave her a strange look. “Time travel?”
“It’s an area of interest. Thought I’d start with that and go from there.”
“Well it’s not a common subject, but I’m sure I have a book or two somewhere. Would you like me to look for you now?”
“Yes, please.” Buffy paused. “And, Giles …”
“I also need a History textbook.”
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