Prologue to Life/I Know You by Slaymesoftly

ReviewsRating: NC-17

Summary: A response to a challenge at the Bloodshedverse where Buffy is returned to her season II body with all her post Season VII memories. She is there due to a spell Willow performs to try to help Buffy get over mourning for Spike.

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Chapter 4

Buffy gave her new life several more days, just to be sure she wasn’t going to be snatched back into her bed in England, before she approached Giles and told him she had something to talk to him about.

“In private, Giles. I don’t want anybody else to know about this until after you’ve had time to research it.”

Her Watcher looked at her curiously, but agreed and quietly suggested that Willow and Xander take advantage of the nice afternoon to go for a long walk. Her two friends looked somewhat hurt, but the prospect of an afternoon somewhere besides the musty library was too much to resist, even for Willow.

As soon as they had gone, Giles turned to Buffy and indicated one of the comfortable chairs in his office.

“I presume you are now prepared to tell me why you seem to know more about William the Bloody and his possible activities than his own grandsire does?” he said mildly.

“Can’t put anything by you, can I,” she smiled back at him with affection.

“I am fairly certain you ‘put things by me’ at regular intervals,” he commented dryly. “However, in this case, I have definitely picked up on a few glaring discrepancies that I would like to have explained to me. If you don’t mind.”

“Such as?” she asked, putting off the explanation as long as possible.

“Such as how and why you know Spike, and why you seem so sure he cannot hurt you. Such as when you became so adept at your calling that you could take on four vampires at a time and still maintain an unrelated conversation with your friends...”

Buffy gave a guilty start as she remembered taking Xander with her on patrol the other night and toying with the inexperienced fledglings they found while she talked and joked with him. She made a note to herself that she should not take things quite so casually in the future as she had noticed that this body was not as strong as the one she was accustomed to.

“And why your mother made a phone call to me this morning demanding that I tell Principal Snyder that you are the Slayer and he is to stop harassing you!”

“Whoops?” Buffy offered meekly by way of apology.

The older man continued to glare at her until she took a deep breath and let it out forcefully.

“Okay, here goes. But you have to promise not to wig on me, ‘K?”

“Fine,” he muttered, “There will be no ‘wigging.’ ”

“Several nights ago I went to bed in my room, just like I always do,” she began.

When her watcher continued to look at her expectantly, she paused and then added. “My bedroom is in London, in a very large house that you own.”
While the Watcher stared at her incredulously, she added, “And it was September 20, 2003.”

She leaned back in her chair to watch the inevitable removal and rapid polishing of his glasses. When he had put them back on his face and clasped his hands in front of him, he was finally able to talk; although, “Good Lord”, was all he could manage.

She saw him visibly control himself and go into research mode as he began firing questions at her.

When they had established that she was really in her 20’s, had been the slayer for 7 years before retiring (Buffy was keeping her explanations as simple as possible to begin with and she left out the multiple Slayers), and had no idea what happened to her, he stopped and just looked at her.

“A slayer that lives into her 20’s,” he shook his head. “You’re a miracle.”

“Yeah, I get that a lot,” she smirked without explanation.

He shot her a suspicious look, but didn’t ask her to elaborate. Instead he put his head on his hands and thought hard for several minutes. When he raised his head, she could see that he had accepted the situation and was already exploring options.

“While I am sure there is much you could tell me, beginning with how and why you seem to know Spike so well,” He didn’t miss the blush that went into her youthful cheeks and mentally groaned. “I feel it is not in anyone’s best interests for you to tell us very much about the future until we know why you are here.”

“That’s what I figured,” she said, nodding. “If this is an alternate dimension, or just a really, really long and often boring dream, then it probably doesn’t matter what I do to change things. But, if I’m really in my past, then anything I do could cause—“

“Anything you do could potentially change the world,” her watcher finished for her.

“Well, yeah.”

“So, the safest thing to do right now, is for you to proceed just as you would have/did the first time around.” He peered at her over his glasses as he asked, “You have been sticking to the same scenarios, have you not?”

Buffy blushed again, and decided he didn’t need to know about her molesting Spike on the floor of the school hallway.

“Well, I told my mom last night about me being the Slayer – in my world, I didn’t do that until after...until much later in the year. And I’ve had this conversation with you,” she added brightly.

Not to be deterred from his need to know, Giles persisted, “And Spike? What happened in your time when you fought him the first time?”

“Uh, pretty much the same thing,” she said, blushing furiously again. “Except, in my time I wasn’t as good a fighter yet and he...”

“He beat you,” he said flatly.

Buffy pouted, but admitted, “Well, he got lucky. But my mom hit him with the axe and he ran away.”

Giles breathed a sigh of relief and said, “Right then, that probably won’t affect anything in this timeline. You’ll just have to be careful not to meet him again until...”

Something on Buffy’s face stopped him.

“Unless, of course, you have already faced him again.” He looked at her anxiously.

“Uh, not in the fighting sense, no. But I did talk to him last night for a few minutes.”

“You TALKED to him?”

“Um, yeah?”

“You spoke to William the Bloody. As in, had a conversation.” His voice was full of disbelief. “And you both walked away again? Did neither of you want the other dead?”

Buffy took a deep breath and calmed herself as she remembered how Giles had conspired with Robin Wood to kill Spike.

“I think the jury is still out on that for Spike just now.” She met her watcher’s eyes and said with complete honesty, “But I do not want him dusted. Ever.”

“I presume you have a good reason for that remarkably irresponsible attitude?”

His words reminded Buffy that his man worked for the organization that insisted on teaching Slayers that all demons were evil, to be eliminated on sight, and that, even without having met Angelus yet, he was unlikely to trust one just on her say so.

“I have several good reasons, actually,” she said in her best adult Slayer voice. “Several very important reasons. And that’s all I’m going to say about it until we know what’s going on with me and why I’m here.”

The man studied the young girl sitting across from him and realized what he had been missing for the past week. This was not the giddy teenager he had been working with for the past year or more. While the body sitting there was undoubtedly only sixteen years old, the poise, demeanor, attitude and, most importantly, the eyes were of a much older girl. They were the eyes of a woman who had suffered and grown wise in the process.

It finally hit him what it could mean to have a Slayer with over seven years of experience and knowledge working on the hellmouth and he leaned back in his chair and relaxed.

“Very well, Buffy. Until we actually know if the information you have for us can create problems, I will trust you on this matter. However, in view of what Angel has to say about Spike’s love of bloodshed, I cannot promise to ignore him for long.”

Buffy snorted slightly and said, “Not everything Angel says is the complete truth, you know. He edits things to make himself look better.”

Once again, Giles looked at her in complete shock.

“Forgive me, but I understood that you and Angel...not that I approve of the relationship...but are you not in love with him? And he with you?”

Buffy sighed and slumped in her chair. “It’s complicated, Giles. Let’s just say that, while I will always have a place in my heart for Angel, I did eventually outgrow my teenage crush. And, there are...extenuating...circumstances that make it impossible for us to be together anyway.”

“These circumstances would be more of the things I shouldn’t know about yet?”

“Oh, yeah. Big time,” she said, shuddering at the thought of telling Giles his budding romance with Ms. Calendar was going to be ended in a very unpleasant way by Angelus.

“Well then, it appears that I need to begin researching this situation immediately. What can you tell me about your activities leading up to finding yourself here?”

“Not much besides what I told you. I said good night to Willow and went to—Oh my god! Willow! I’m going to kill her!”

Giles raised his eyebrows, shocked at her vehemence toward her best friend.

“Willow?” he asked. “What does Willow have to do with it?”

“Oh, I’m gonna guess, pretty much everything!”

Still confused, Giles continued to look at her warily.

“She must have done a spell – and, as usual....”

“A spell? Willow?”

Buffy blew out an exasperated breath. “Oh yeah, Willow and spells? Sometimes not so mixy.”

“Are saying Willow sent you back here? On purpose?”

“I doubt she was trying to send me back here. I’m sure she was trying to help me...I wasn’t a very happy person. And I was...” Buffy agonized over how much she could safely tell her watcher. “Let’s just say she was probably trying make me happy and this is the result.”

Giles shook his head in wonder. “Willow...who would have...well, I’ll have to start training her. Magic is nothing to fool around with unprepared. She could cause all sorts of...” his voice trailed off as he looked at Buffy’s rueful grin.

“D’ya think?” she said wryly. Then she shrugged and added, “It doesn’t really matter that we know she did it. The question still is, what did she do? I really don’t have any great desire to relive the next 6 years of my life. At least not some parts of it. But I’m afraid to do anything to change it. I’m afraid of what will happen to the future.”

“Quite right,” Giles agreed. “However, if you are from an alternate dimension, then any actions you take here would have no effect on your original dimension and you could perhaps avoid some of the more painful things that occurred.”

When he saw Buffy’s hopeful joy at that thought, he hastened to add, “But we must be extremely careful until we know that for sure. And, that will include your interactions with Spike; whatever your...relationship...might be with him in the future, right now he is your mortal enemy. A creature that has slain two Slayers. Do be careful, Buffy.”

“I will. Don’t worry. I don’t want to have to dust him to save my life. And Giles?”

“Yes?”

“Don’t underestimate what Willow can do with magic.”

The older man understood immediately that he was being given a cryptic warning and he nodded his head in acknowledgement.

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