Title: Second Chances
Summary: Time travel Fic. What if you could go back to a pivotal time in your life and undo your mistakes? Would it be worth chancing the changes to the whole world to have the love you missed? Could the world actually be better off if you did? Would it really matter? Angsty romance.
Setting: Begins far in the future from NFA and then goes to an AU S4 post New Moon Rising and before The Yoko Factor.
Disclaimer: Joss Whedon, ME, WB, Fox are the sole owners of all involved with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Thanks to Joss he allows us to play in his sandbox. I derive no compensation for these flights of fancy. The story concept is my “creation” as is all dialogue not in any original story script.
They were all dead now. Buried round the globe, their lives reduced to names, dates and a few terse words to sum up the total of what they had been and what they had accomplished.
Only she remained and she knew she was fading quickly.
The dream also remained. The dream that at times drove her mad and at other times saved her sanity.
They were all gone now, those who always believed they knew best, at least where her life was concerned. The ones whose love for her kept love from her until all love had died as well.
There was no one to stop her now, to say it would be wrong.
She looked at the world she had existed in for far too long, sterile and lonely, and decided any other world had to be better. Any world with him in it.
Buffy wasn’t too sure what to think of this Tara girl who had suddenly become a part of their group. She wasn’t too sure what to think about Willow’s sudden epiphany that she was gay. Epiphany. Big word for a big event. In all the years Buffy had known Willow there had been no hint she was gay. She had crushed on Xander for years and then fallen hard for Oz. Now she was totally convinced that Tara was the love of her life.
Tara was nice enough girl; it wasn’t that. It also wasn’t any anti-gay feeling on Buffy’s part. It was just weird; that was all. Oz had come back only to leave again after being rescued from the Initiative. Willow had clearly chosen her new love, her girlfriend, and the gang was just going to have to accept it.
Well, Buffy could easily slip that little adjustment into the “Egyptian vacation” file and do the deep denial she was so very practiced at. There were more pressing matters with that monster Adam on the loose.
So lost in thought was Buffy that she didn’t see the old woman in her path and nearly collided with her. “Oh, God! I’m so sorry, ma’am! I didn’t see you. Are you all right?”
The old woman smiled at Buffy and let out a chuckle. “Oh, I’m not nearly as fragile as I may look. Still mend quickly, just never the heart. Never the heart.”
Buffy was a bit spooked by the words and the woman herself. There was something vaguely familiar about this elderly lady. She looked a bit like Buffy’s great-grandma back in Illinois. Of course that lady had been dead for many, many years and this was no ghost.
“Well, as long as you’re okay,” Buffy started to walk around the old woman only to find her elbow caught in the surprisingly strong grip of the woman’s gnarled fingers.
“We need to have a little talk, smug Buffy,” the old one said. “I know things you need to know. Important things. Life changing things. They’re no old wives’ tales either.” She let out a brittle, unnerving laugh at that and Buffy was seriously in the land of squigdom.
The last thing Buffy wanted was some nut job of a senior citizen adding more weirdness to her life. Aside from the whole Adam mess and regular slayage issues, Buffy was finally trying to build a nice normal life on the side.
Riley was almost the stereotypical, all-American dream boyfriend: solid, strong, smart and best of all, normal. True, he had badly disappointed her by not recognizing it was Faith in her body during the whole body swap thing, but Buffy finally admitted to herself that the whole situation had been beyond anything she should have expected Riley to anticipate. Nice, normal Riley couldn’t be expected to think of bodyjackings. It was amazing enough that he understood the whole idea of demons and vamps and slayers.
Everyone liked Riley. Well, okay, Giles liked the fact Riley was human. He hadn’t been as pleased that Riley had been so close to the late Maggie Walsh. Her Watcher had also commented on the unseemliness of a teacher’s assistant, one who helped grade Buffy’s work, dating a student.
Her mom hadn’t said anything about Riley one way or the other, but Buffy knew that anyone would make her mom happy after Angel. Mom hadn’t actually met Riley yet, but the news that he was human and a nice college boy with a military background boded well for her ready acceptance. Riley dateage was peachy, in a nutshell.
“Yes,” Buffy tried to convince herself, “Angel chose to help Faith. It really is over.” That hurt so badly. Angel was supposed to be on her side always. They were supposed to BE always, even if they couldn’t be together. He had come into town and decided he didn’t like Riley but told Buffy to leave L.A., even though Faith had taken Buffy’s body and tried to destroy her life! Yes, Riley was a much saner choice.
“If you’re through wool gathering, we need to go somewhere quiet and talk. There are things you must hear before it’s too late, before you miss too much.” The old lady was still there, still with her hand on Buffy’s elbow.
Buffy rolled her eyes and decided that the easiest way to get rid of the old bat was to go somewhere safe and public and let her rattle out whatever story she wanted to tell and then move on. Buffy wasn’t Faith; she couldn’t just knock the nursing home escapee to the ground yet she sure wasn’t going anywhere secluded with the nut case either.
“Okay. You’ve got about ten minutes before I need to go meet my friends. Hope you can talk fast. There’s a bench over there by the commons,” Buffy offered.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/41602.html