Reviews • Rating: PG
Summary: Post-OMWF. A spell to bring out of her gloomy mood backfires causing a small problem for the scooby's.
Author's Notes: Takes place BEFORE Buffy and Spike have their disastrous relationship, but Willow's magic addiction is in place. Giles is still in Sunnydale acting as Buffy's watcher and Tara is surprisionly missing from the story.
"Hey...I'll be in the back if anyone needs me," Buffy said as she entered the Magic Box and headed towards the training room.
Dawn, Willow and Anya sat at the research table and watched her walk by, barely even giving them a second glance.
"I wish I knew what was wrong with her," Willow told the other's when they heard Buffy pounding on her punching bag. "She's been this way since...well, you know."
"I know...she's just so...serious all the time. It's like she doesn't even remember how to have a good time anymore. She hardly ever smiles or laughs," Dawn told them. "I wish there was something we could do to cheer her up."
"Maybe she just needs more time," Willow said, still staring at the training room.
"If we knew what was wrong with her, it would help," Dawn said. "Hey Willow...is there a spell maybe we could do to help?"
"No!" Willow yelled. "No spells for me. Spells are no good."
"You wouldn't have to do it, Anya you could do it....couldn't you?" Dawn asked, anxiously.
"Sure, I can do it."
"So, do you know of any?" Dawn asked Willow again.
Willow looked at Dawn, her face a mask of concentration then brightened as if some big light bulb had gone off in her head. "I think I know just the one." she said smiling brightly. Willow went up the stairs to the loft and came down a few minutes later with a very large dusty book. She handed it to Anya quickly as if it had burned her. She smiled shyly at Dawn and Anya when they gave her a funny look. "Sorry, it's still a little tempting."
"It's okay," Dawn told her smiling.
Anya had begun flipping through the large volume while Willow took a seat on the far side of the table. The further away from the open spell book the better.
"It's called `Inner Child'," Willow told them. "The spell helps bring a person's `Inner Child' forward, giving them all the happy thoughts and carefree nature of a child. She wouldn't be plagued with all this `grown up' doom and gloom she has to deal with right now."
"So, you think this will help?" Dawn asked, happily.
"Don't see why not," Willow answered her. "She'll still be the same ole Buffy, only she'll simply enjoy things in life and not be so...uptight."
Anya and Dawn went about the store gathering the supplies they need to perform the spell. Once everything was prepared, Anya put the necessary ingredients into a bowl and began the chant.
Force of Nature
End thy Fright
Let the Child come to Light
No more worries, no more doubt
Let thy see what life's about.
"What are you doing?" Spike asked the three girls when Anya had finished the spell.
All three let out a shriek when he spoke.
"Geez, Spike don't do that!" Dawn yelled at him, having been scared by his sudden appearance.
Spike smiled at the three. He loved being able to scare people...even if it was as pathetic as sneaking up on them.
"What kind of mojo are you three conjuring up now?" He asked them, glancing over at the spell book.
"Oh, nothing," Willow said quickly, as she busied herself helping Anya remove all traces of the spell.
"Right," Spike said, drawing out his word. "Well, need to talk to the Slayer," he told them as he turned and went towards the training room.
"That was close," Dawn said as Spike shut the training room door behind him.
"You can say that again," Willow said, looking a little scared at being caught this close to magic again.
Spike entered the training room. He came by a couple nights a week to help Buffy train. Well, more like he would try and duck as she pounded him into the mat.
"Buffy, you in here?" He asked when he didn't see her. He walked to the center of the room and turned his head to the right when he heard a small whimpering noise.
"Buffy?" He said again as he walked towards the source of the sound. Spike peaked around a stack of shipping crates that were stacked over in the corner when he heard a sniffling noise. His eyes went wide when he saw the source of all the sniffles.
Crouched down in the corner was a small girl with big tears rolling down her face. She had long brownish blonde hair and her clothes consisted of a T-shirt that hung on her like an oversized nightgown.
"Hey pet, where'd you come from?" Spike asked as he crouched down in the floor in front of her. She looked to be about 4 or 5 years old and Spike had no idea who she was or how she had gotten in there.
The little girl looked up at him, her big green eyes shining with fresh tears.
"I want my mommy," the little girl cried as she buried her head in her knees.
"Oh, come now, don't do that. We'll find her," Spike said as he reached out and ran his hand across her head, trying to calm her.
The little girl looked up at him again with a tiny smile forming on her face. "You know my mommy?" she asked through her sniffles.
"Well, tell me your mums name and we'll go see if we can find her," Spike said smiling at the girl. There was something about her that seemed familiar to him. Something in her eyes reminded him of someone.
"Her names Joyce," the little girl told him.
"Joyce?" Spike said a little shocked. He cocked his head to the side and looked at her. He put a finger under her chin and raised her head up and her big green eyes locked with his and his eyes widened when he realized what he saw.
"What's your name?" He asked her...fearing what she would say.
"Buffy," the little girl said shyly. "Will you help me find my mommy?"
Spike couldn't believe what he was seeing. He looked around the training room and noticed Buffy's shoes lying by the punching bag and her pants right beside them. He looked back at the little girl when the realization of what he was seeing hit him.
This little girl was Buffy.....his Buffy!
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