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A/N: Has not been betaed. So if you see any errors or whatever, just let me know. Thanks.
A/N2: Because of the misunderstanding, I have changed much of this fic so it will not reflect CousinJean’s fic, The Butterfly Effect. I did not know that there was a fic similar to this one. The only thing I heard of with that title is the Aston Kutcher movie. I have never tried to steal anyone’s work before. It was pure coincidence that it happened that way and I am sorry. I hope this doesn’t change your opinions on my work. I just hope that we can put this in the past and move on. Again sorry for the misunderstanding.
A/N3: Thanks to Bloodshed Baby for the suggestions on what I should change.


Chapter 1-

After losing the love of her life, Buffy Summers retired from slaying and moved to Half Moon Bay, just north of San Francisco. It was as far away from Los Angeles and Sunnydale as you could get, which it was why Buffy chose the small town in the first place. She needed to get far away from that life and live normally for a while, but wasn’t ready to leave California for England just yet. It would mean leaving Spike permanently, and that wasn’t a choice for her at that moment. It was hard enough leaving Spike behind to die.

Buffy and Dawn had purchased house on the beach with help from Giles. It was white two-story house with distressed blue shutters, and a white picket fence. It was the only house on the block that called out ‘Home’ for the sisters.

It was a fixer-upper, but the girls didn’t mind. It gave them something to think about other than slaying and mourning their friends. Even Xander stopped by in those first weeks to give the girls a hand with the some of the heavier construction that needed to be done. He didn’t say much during that time. He just did what needed to be done and left. It only reminded Buffy what she lost. If only she’d done something in the weeks before, he may just have believed her.

The girls had painted in soft pastels all through out the house. They wanted the house to have peace and tranquility.

Inside off to the left was a staircase that led up to the two bedrooms and a bathroom. Along the wall, up the stairs, were pictures of Buffy, Dawn, Giles, Willow, and Xander. Downstairs and to the right of the staircase was a small living/dinning room area, and to the back was a kitchen and a pantry.

On the far wall in the living was a love seat with a white slipcover over it and colorful pillows strategically lined up on it. In front of that, was a medium size coffee table, and on the sides of the love seat were small side tables with small lamps sitting a top of them. Next to that, a large window seat with lots of pillows as well. Across from that, was an antique rocking chair, which Buffy had purchased at a local antique shop in town.

The dinning area was small and only had enough room for a small round table and chairs, Buffy and Dawn found in the attic. It was meant for that small space, the girls had thought as they brought it down and restored it.

Upon walking into the kitchen, the stove was to the right, and a crossed from that was the sink. Above the sink was a nice size window, looking out on to the ocean. The cabinet doors were painted a blue color and white had been painted on the outer edges of the cabinets. A small kitchen table a lined the other wall and next to that, a small closet that was used as a pantry, and then there was the door that lead out to the back deck.

Tossing and turning in her sleep, Buffy dreamed about those last moments with Spike. In the dream, she saw Spike dust, which jarred from her sleep violently, calling his name out.

In the days since his death, Buffy kept having the same dream, over and over. She chalked up to her missing him.

Nights like that, she would take a walk on the beach, or sit on the rocks behind their house, overlooking the ocean, sometimes reading some of Spike’s poetry. It was the only thing she had left of him now.

Taking a few deep breaths, she calmed herself down enough to push the blankets back, and hopped out of bed. She then crossed the room to the door and Dawn had run by in a blur as she opened it.

“Sorry,” Dawn shouted, heading towards the bathroom at the end of the hall. “I’m late for work.”

Buffy shook her head in disbelief. If she’d just prioritize herself, she may just be on time for school for once, Buffy thought wryly.

Buffy decided to bypass the bathroom at that moment with Dawn in there already. It’d be an hour before she could get in there; Dawn was so meticulous about the way she looked for work. Buffy turned and headed down the stairs and into the kitchen.

Luckily Dawn had already made the coffee and Buffy grabbed a mug off the shelf and poured herself a cup, taking a sip. Crossing over to the kitchen table, Buffy pulled out a chair, and sat down. She picked up the morning paper, yawning as she read the headlines.

An hour had passed and Dawn bustled into the kitchen, ready for work. Buffy hadn’t even heard Dawn come in; she was so engrossed with reading the paper. Dawn poured herself a cup, and sat next to Buffy.


Buffy didn’t answer.

“Buffy!” Dawn said, snapping her fingers.

“What?” Buffy looked at Dawn. “Aren’t you supposed to be at work?”

“Yeah,” she took a drink of the coffee. “In fact, I was just going to leave in a few.”

Dawn rose to her feet, finishing her coffee off, and crossed over to the sink, setting the cup in the sink. She grabbed her bag and headed out the door, yelling “Bye.”

“Bye!” Buffy set the paper down and headed up the stairs to get ready for work. As she hit the top of the steps, she heard the back door open. Buffy headed back down stairs and into the kitchen. “What are you…” She stopped short when she seen Xander.

He was standing in the door way next to Dawn with a bag in his hand.

“Xander!” Buffy said, running over to her friend, hugging him. Xander returned the hug. “It’s so good to see you!”

“It’s good to see you, Buffy.” Xander said, stepping out of the hug.

The last time Buffy saw Xander, he still had the patch over his eye, but now, it looks as if he’s got a new glass eye. She knew how self conscious he was about his looks, especially since he lost his eye to Caleb.

“Sit, please,” Buffy gestured and turned her gaze to Dawn. “You’re late.”

“I’m not leaving now. Xander’s here!” Dawn took a seat and Buffy sat crossed from her.

“So, what brings Xander here to my neck of the woods,” Buffy asked, curiously.

She didn’t give Xander a chance to answer.

“Would you like something to drink? Coffee?? Tea?? Soda??”

“No thanks,” Xander said, setting the bag on the table. “I haven’t come for a personal visit. I’ve…I’ve come for…business reasons.”

“Why am I not surprised,” said Buffy, exasperated.

“Buffy, it’s not like that, really.” Xander tried reasoning with it.

“What would it be like, then?” asked Buffy, annoyed.

“Well, I guess it is.” Xander said, flushed.

Sighing, Buffy motioned for Xander to continue.

Taking a deep breath, he continued. “We had been working with this demon and…and…he’s done something.”

“What?” Dawn asked, curiously. “What did he do?”

“He went back into time to kill someone,” Xander said vaguely.

“Who?” asked Buffy, fearing the worst.

“Spike,” Xander answered, honestly.

Buffy face suddenly went ashen white.

“Buff, you ok?” Xander asked, worried etched on his face.

“I’m ok,” answered Buffy a little while later. “Why did you come to me with this?” Buffy asked, rising out of her seat, pacing. “You’ve got plenty of other people to go looking for this demon.” She stopped long enough to look at Xander, waiting for an answer.

“Because…Because… He’s…not in our time.”

“Why does that not surprise me?” asked Buffy, rhetorically.

Rolling her eyes at her sister, Dawn asked, “What do you mean? ‘Not in Our Time’? Are you saying he’s interdemensional demon?”

Pursing her lips, Xander answered by shaking his head.

“Do you know where he went?” Dawn asked.

“Willow’s narrowed it down to 1998,” said Xander, grabbing the bag, and fishing through it. He pulled out a note from Willow. “Here.” He handed it off to the slayer and Buffy took it.

‘Hey Buffy,

Sorry I couldn’t come by with this earlier, but there’s a problem here at the watchers council. Xander has all the supplies you need. Everything can be done there at your house. If everything goes well, we’ll see each other later.

Love ya,


“Why did you come to me?” wondered Buffy. “It’s not like you or the other slayers couldn’t handle this.”

“Because it has to be you, and only you,” Xander said seriously a few moments later continued, “Buffy we need you!”

“Why didn’t you just go to the other slayers?”

“As I just said, you’re the only one that can do this. You have to do this. Spike was meant to do good. If that changes, lets just say all hell will break lose according to Willow.”

“Buffy, you have to do,” Dawn said, on the verge of tears. “We can’t lose Spike…I will not lose Spike all over again. I can’t!”

Xander leaned over, running a hand through Dawn’s long hair. “It’s ok, Dawnie, we’ll figure something else out!”

“No! Buffy has to do this!” Dawn said defiantly. “She can’t just sit by and let him die all over again. Everything that he’s done over the years, like protect me from Glory, will all have been for nothing.” She was quiet for a moment. “I…I’d be dead now.”

Dawnie is right, Buffy thought to herself. I have to think this through. I have to make sure I make the right decision here.

Buffy didn’t know if she could see Spike again, let alone in the past. No, she wasn’t going to do it.

If that’s selfish, I don’t give a care!

Someone else had to! It wasn’t going to be her!

“No!” Buffy rose from her chair. “I’m not doing it! I’m not!” Buffy said, on the verge of tears, and then turned, running up the stairs and into her bedroom. She closed the door behind her, and sunk down to the floor, crying. She missed Spike more than she realized. Seeing Spike again would just kill her.

Dawn began to rise from her chair, but Xander stopped her.

“No, Dawnie. I’ll go.”

“Wait,” Dawn said, stopping Xander from rising out of his seat. “She loved Spike. She lied to you all.”

“I know.”

“She still loves him. I think she’ll always love him.”

“I know,” Xander said, as he remembered his time with Anya. “Buffy’s not too good on the lying.”

A few moments of silence passed between the two before Dawn spoke up again.

“She has his journal.”

“Huh?” Xander looked at Dawn, trying to understand. “Spike’s journal? How? We didn’t take anything but the clothes on our backs.”

“I know…I think it was Clem.”

“Clem,” Xander said. “Spike’s friend.”

“A few days after we moved in here, Clem stopped by and gave Buffy a package.”

“Where were you?”

“I was coming down the stairs when I saw them at the door, and I listened in on their conversation.”

“What’d he say?”

“‘Spike asked me to give this to you…ya know…if something where to happen to him… He wanted you to have something of his.’ I was taken aback and didn’t realize I had been crying… I know she was crying too, cause I could here her. She didn’t even say anything to him and before I realized it, he was gone.”

“What’d she do?”

“She stood there for the longest moment and I finally went down the stairs and I tried reaching out to her, but she bolted. Didn’t come home until the next day.”

“How did you know about the journal?”

“I had to know what Spike left her...I went through the whole house, finally finding it in an old trunk in the attic. The things he’s written and some of it was about Buffy. It just broke my heart. No wonder she likes to read it over and over, but Xander I’m worried, it isn’t healthy.”

“She loves him and that’s the only way she can be close to him,” Xander said, sadly, relating to Buffy.

Xander loved Anya more that life itself, but marriage scared him and he pushed her away. Every day he wishes he could things over again.

“I just want her to be happy for a change,” Dawn said, breaking Xander’s train of thought.

“I…I know,” Xander said, sighing. “I…I better go see if she’s ok.” Xander rose from her seat and then pushed her chair in. “Don’t you have work?”

“Work’s not important right now, especially when my sister is a mess and besides, you’re here. All the more reasons too stay home!” Dawn smiled weakly.

Xander sighed with a smile as he shook his head in exasperation. Can’t make her do what she doesn’t want to do. “Ok, stay here!” He headed upstairs and stopped in front of Buffy’s door, knocking lightly.

“Buffy, please open the door.”

Xander could hear soft sobs coming from the other side of the door.

“I know Buffy. It’s ok. I know what you’re going through… I can help you. Please just…open the door.”

A few moments later, the door opened, and out stepped Buffy.

Xander smiled halfheartedly, and brought her friend into a hug. They stood there quietly, wordlessly, for a long moment before Buffy pulled away.

“I’m ok.” Buffy said, wiping the tears away. “I…I just wigged there for a moment.”


Buffy crossed the room to her bed, and sat down.

“You really need me for this?”

“Yes, we do, Buffy. Willow says it’s very import we do this.”

The former slayer looked up at Xander thoughtfully.

“And will I have to see Spike?”

“You can’t see anyone. You can’t change anything. Will said it could change a hell of lot of things in the present.”

“What exactly do I need to do?” She looked up.

“Find the demon and kill him.”

“And that’s it?”


“I’ll send you there via spell, since I can’t exactly pin point where he’ll be.” and then Xander added, “or where he’s supposed to be.”

“What happens if he skips? Ya know, goes into another year?”

“He won’t. He’s gotta find Spike and kill him.”

Buffy smiled, determined written all over her face. “He’s not going to a chance to!”

“That was a relief, Buff,” Xander said, jokingly. “I was afraid you weren’t going to do it.”

She quickly grabbed a pair of jeans and a tee shirt she wore the night before. She didn’t have much time and didn’t want to be wasting it.

“Yes I’m doing…just give me about fifteen minutes and we can… do this!” Buffy said, heading to the bathroom, but stopped as she grabbed for the door handle. “Xander…” She said, voice quivering.

“Yes?” Xander looked up at Buffy.

“How do you do it?”

“What?” asked a surprised Xander.

“How do you go on knowing that you’ll never be with the love of your life?”

Xander didn’t have the right words for Buffy. He wasn’t sure how to tell her. This was something that Xander lived with everyday.

“I don’t know,” answered Xander honestly. “I just…do. Some day I’ll see her. I guess…maybe that’s what keeps me sane.”

“I know I hesitated making this decision, but the thought of seeing Spike again…I don’t know that I can, but it’s something that I have to do,” Buffy said, trailing off on the verge of tears again. “It’s really going to break my heart when I come back and there’s still no Spike,” She opened the door and hurried to the bathroom.

Xander understood everything that Buffy was going through, but there wasn’t much he could do, but just be a good friend and listen when Buffy needed to vent.

A few moments later, Xander headed down stairs and waited for Buffy.

Twenty minutes later, Xander and Dawn were sitting in the living room waiting when Buffy came down the steps refreshed and a little sadder. Xander rose to his feet and crossed the room to Buffy.

“Are you ok?”

“There’s not a day that I don’t think about him,” said Buffy, truthfully. “I know eventually I need to move on, but it’s just really hard to do that right now. It’s gonna take a little bit of time. I have to be ok, Xand. I can’t keep living in the past. Spike wouldn’t want that.”

A few moments of silence passed between the friends and then Dawn rose to her feet and said, “Are we ready?” She shifted nervously waiting for an answer.

“Let’s get this over with,” Buffy said, looking from Xander to Dawn.

Dawn grabbed the bag, and handed it over to Xander. He smiled kindly as thanks to her.


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