Past/Future Visions
by Skiwoofe

It wasn't bad enough that her visions were getting worse, but after Willow's visit and announcement of Buffy's death they had started to invade her dreams as well. Only while they had the feel of her normal visions the things she saw were things that happened in the past. Only at the same time they were things that had never happened at all. And they all centered around Buffy. Most were variations on things that had happened when she still lived in Sunnydale, but as bad as some of those memory/visions were they were nowhere as disturbing as the ones of times that should have been happy. For in those memory/visions Cordy made a disturbing discovery. In those visions she and Buffy were lovers. From the intensity of the these dream they had to be real and since they started when she had learned of Buffy's death, Cordy could only come up with one answer... And as her latest vision ended Cordelia sat up straight in her bed suddenly understanding. These things she had been seeing were real and had happened. They just hadn't happened on this world. The similarity between the things she saw in that other world and things that had happened in this world while not exactly the same was still very close. Which meant that the Buffy of that world had most likely been battling her own version of an insane Hell God. And from what Willow had managed to tell them about the Slayer's last battle with Glory and how she closed the gateway by jumping through it there was every possibility that...

"The one they buried wasn't our Buffy" the brunette mutter to herself, stunned at the possibilities. Our Buffy could be alive the thought raced through her head giving her conflicting feelings of hope, fear, and as she remembered one of the dream/visions where she and Buffy had been making love, the slightest tingle of anticipation.



"So that it huh?" Cordy had asked scornfully. She had been worried when she had found out from Buffy's mom about their argument and that Buffy was finally going to have it out with Angelus despite her mother's ultimatum and so she had soon followed after her knowing that the fight could only take place at Angel's. She knew that in her current state of mind, the guilt she felt over the things Angelus had done, being kicked out of school and Kendra's death would all be an even greater enemy then Angelus himself could ever hope to be. So in the hope that if things went wrong she might be able to in some way help this brave young woman she had fallen so deeply in love with she went against her better judgment. She had seen Buffy and Angel together enough to know that the blonde Slayer really did love the vampire, which was why she hadn't told Buffy her feelings before now. But with the world about to end she knew that she couldn't keep the secrete much longer. It wouldn't be fair to her or Buffy.

But then as suddenly as it had been placed in jeopardy the world had been saved. She had watched as Buffy suddenly became resolved and began to turn every attack and put the vampire on the defensive. And just as she was about to end it, her sword raised to behead 'The Scourge of Europe' he had changed again. At first Cordy had thought it just a trick to delay his death, but as she looked into his eyes from her hiding place she could almost literally see the soul flow back into his body. But before she could rejoice for her, she saw Buffy sadly glance behind the vampire. It was too late. Cordy remembered Giles telling Buffy that once the jaws of the stone demon began to open only by sending the one who opened it through could the world be saved. Words so soft she couldn't hear them were exchanged between the lovers and then Angel slowly closed his eyes. And Buffy with tears falling down her face plunged her sword into his stomach.

He looked up at her with an expression of confusion, pain, and love. Cordy knew it was that last look that was truly killing the Slayer.

But still the blonde did what Cordy knew no other person on earth would have had the guts to do. She sent the man she loved more than her own life to an eternity of torment in Hell.

Again she had quietly followed the Slayer as the sky lightened with the coming dawn as she went to the school and watched her friends gathered out front waiting for her. And she spoke as Buffy turned away with a look of utter despair on her face. She knew from that look that the blonde was planning on leaving and possibly never coming back.

"So that it huh?" she asked scornfully. It took everything she had not to rush forward and throw her arms around the other girl. "You saved the world and now you're going to run away."

"There is nothing for me here." Buffy replied, seeming not the slightest surprised at finding Cordy behind her. "You saw what happened. My mom doesn't want me to come home. I let my friends be hurt. Ms. Calendar and Kendra are dead. The police are looking for me. I think it's time I leave."

"And what about those of us who'd end up worrying about you?" Cordy asked.

"I just need time to think. It won't be forever" She answered. Cordy looked thoughtful for a moment then, "So where are we going?" she asked.

"We?" Buffy had asked looking a little like the old Buffy.



The memories were in her head as if they were her own, only her true memories were there as well. She remembered that that summer just before they had returned to Sunnydale she had told Buffy how she felt for her. She remembered they had made love for the first time in the run down little old hotel that Buffy had insisted they stay in so that Cordy wouldn't have to use her credit cards which could be traced. And she remembered many happy times together as the two of them had grown closer over the years.

And somewhere deep in her heart she knew that the Buffy they Giles and the other's had buried was the same Buffy from these memories that weren't her own. This was the Powers that Be way of letting her know that her Buffy was alive and well. And when she found her, Cordy wasn't going to waste any time in telling Buffy that she loved her.


Willow looked to where Cordelia was pointing to the rapidly falling Slayer. Despite her exhaustion she reached over and grabbed Tara's hand, shouting "Levitation spell!" to the blonde who nodded as she quickly caught on to what the red head was going to try.

Cordelia looked on in dread, as at first there was no noticeable change in her lover's decent. But as the two Wicca continued to concentrate the rate of Buffy's fall slowed more. But even with their combined effort Willow and Tara were unable to completely stop the Blonde Slayer from hitting the ground with an audible thud.

For a moment that seemed to last an eternity no one moved or made a sound as they looked at Buffy lying not there. Just as Cordy was about to wail in her anguish, there came a groaning sound from the broken, but still living Slayer. Not wasting a second, she ran quickly to Buffy's side and was soon join by Dawn who came running from the tower built by the insane God's servants.


The first thing Buffy noticed was the pain. And while at first she had thought that a bad thing, she soon realized that if she felt pain, that meant she was still alive. She wasn't sure how she was alive, but if the shooting pain in her left arm was any indication, she was very, very alive. And alive was good, right?

Groggily she slowly opened her eyes squinting as the light filtered through her lashes. Even with the main room lights out the light from her monitors was more than enough for a Slayers eyes to see by. And as she looked around the room she realized she was in a hospital. Again. Yup. Pain plus alive equals hospital she thought. Hospital means closed portal She tried to move her right arm, as it was the one hurting the least and could hold back a gasp of pain as her sore muscles protested.

"Oh, you're wake!" came a voice from her right causing her to turn her head rapidly witch caused more gasps as she closed her eyes and tried to will the pain to stop. "Ops...I didn't mean to scare you." The voice came again sounding wretched at the pain it had caused the Slayer.

Opening her eyes Buffy looked over at the owner of the voice, "Hey Cordy. You here with Angel?"


Angel? Why would she think I'm here with him? Cordy thought slightly worried. "No. We haven't been able to get into contact with none of the LA crew." She answered as she slipped her hand into Buffy's somewhat less injured right hand. "How are you feeling?" she asked concern lacing her every word.

Buffy gave a bitter half laugh, "Like I fell from something really high." She answered sarcastically. "Speaking of which, why am did I survive the fall?"

"I saw you fall and showed Willow. She and Tara did a levitation spell. It didn't stop your fall, but it was enough to slow it down enough for you to survive." Cordy shuddered and squeezed Buffy's hand at the memory of seeing her lover falling to what she had thought would be certain death.

Buffy wrinkled her brow in thought. At no time during her fight with Glory had she notice Cordelia arriving. Not that one has time to notice who comes and goes when one is locked in mortal combat with a not too bright Hell God. But still, after she had beaten Glory to the point where she could control the body she was stuck in, she had noticed every one of her friends was more or less in one piece and there had been no Cordelia when she had give her quick check. Then she had sprinted up the stairs to reach Dawn before something happened to her.

"Uh, Cordy. Just when did you show up? I mean I know I was kinda distracted, but I don't remember you arriving. For that matter, why did you come? When you left you said you weren't coming back here until you made it big. Did you get a part?"

Cordelia sat there looking stunned for a second. Then she stood up and started pacing, "Oh my god! She's got amnesia! I know! I'll call Giles! He'll know what to do!"

Main time Buffy was calling her, trying to get her attention. Unfortunately her mouth was dry and she was unable to raise her voice above the rant of the brunette as she dialed Giles' number and informed the watcher of her diagnosis. She came back over to the Slayer's bed, gently taking her hand.

"It's okay, Buffy. Giles will know how to get your memories back." She cooed as she stroked the back of the other girl's hand.

Using the last of her fast waning strength Buffy shouted, "Cordelia!" finally getting Cordy's attention at the cost of making her throat fell like she had swallowed glass.

Have gotten a word in, she continued before Cordy could start again. "Cordy, my memory is fine. I remember everything that ever happened to me, even the stuff I wish I could forget. Now will you please answer my questions?"

Calming a little in hopes of not further aggravating the injured Slayer. "Fine." She said slightly miffed.

"Okay. Is Dawn safe?"

"Yeah. She's staying at your house with Faith and Oz. She wanted to stay here, but I convinced her she should go..." She was interrupted by the inarticulate sounds coming from Buffy's mouth. "What is it? Should I call the doctor? She asked already reaching for the nurse call button.

"Faith!" Buffy finally managed to get out. "You left my baby sister with that psycho!" Buffy shouted. She struggled to remove the IV from her left arm wincing at the ache in her right.

Cordy reached over and gently restrained her good arm. "Buffy! What is wrong with you? You know neither Faith or Oz would let anything happen to Dawn!"

Buffy relented, not because of Cordy's argument, but because of how easily the brunette was able to hold her down. That combined with the exhaustion creeping up on her convinced her she would have to wait until she was in better shape to face Faith. Tears leaked out of the corners of her eyes as she realized how completely helpless she was to help her sister. She never saw as Cordy lean forward and placed a loving kiss on her lips until she realized she was kissing her back. She used the last of her strength to push the brunette away. "What was that?" she gasped, trying to catch her breath. Not that it had been unpleasant, but... "You just kissed me! She accused, all other thoughts gone.

Cordelia smiled happily, "Well isn't that how you normally comfort your girlfriend?" she asked.


"Even if what Cordelia is telling us is true, it could take years to find which world Buffy has been transported to. The only things we have to go on is that except for some minor changes, everything that has happened here, has happen there as well." Giles told the still arguing scoobies. Willow, Xander, Spike and everyone who had been with her in her last battle with Glory were finding it hard to believe that Buffy could still be alive somewhere. Angel and the LA crew after a few moments of confusion while trying to understand Cordy's explanation of how Buffy could still be alive hadn't doubted her for a second after an exasperated Cordy had finally just shouted that it had been a vision.

"I guess we should get started then!" Cordy said excitedly taking a seat at the research table. The others looked surprised at her sudden uncordelia-like burst of enthusiasm. "Where do we start, Giles?" she asked, practically radiating her readiness to do her part. Cordelia being this ready to help was making Willow nervous and for the first time she began to think that maybe Cordelia was right. She didn't want to let herself start to hope only to have that hope crushed, but if there was even a chance that Buffy was alive...

She had been the first person Cordy had tried to convince that Buffy was still alive when she, Angel, Wesley, and Gunn had arrived in Sunnydale. At first she had put it down as Cordy's way of dealing (or not dealing) with the fact that Buffy, the invincible Buffy, had finally died. But Cordelia hated being proven wrong, so there was no way Cordy would be this enthusiastic about looking for the blonde Slayer unless she knew was she was right.

"Cordy, no-one's said you were right," Xander explained to his ex-girlfriend. "Giles just said if you were right. I mean, even if she did go to another dimension, she'd still have to survive that fall and..."

"I believe you, Cordelia," came an unexpected interruption. Everyone tuned to look at Tara, who started blushing, but continued anyway. "I'm not completely sure how, but I think... when Glory, you know, sucked my brain, I kinda got some things from her too. That's why I knew where to find her. I also understood how the dimensional rift worked. In essence, like is attracted to like. The demons on this world and the Hellmouth drew more demons through the rift. It's possible our Buffy coming into contact with the rift drew another Buffy from somewhere else and the other Buffy did the same thing as ours, drew our Buffy to her side."

A moment of silence followed Tara explanation as the two groups each digested the information the blonde girl had given them and Willow hugged her in silent approval.

"I'm not sure I understood all that, but let's say it's true," stated Xander. "I'd still find it hard to believe she could have survived that fall."

"Oh, shut up!" Spike growled. It had taken a major effort to drag the vamp out of the crypt he had retreated to in his grief after Buffy's death. Now with the chance that the woman he loved was still alive, Spike was nearly back to his old self. "If vision girl here says the Slayer's alive, I say we start figuring out how to bring her home. For Dawn's sake we should at least try," he added softly.

No matter how hard they tried, no one could convince the grief stricken teen that Buffy's death hadn't been her fault. One of the reasons she hadn't been told of this meeting. And with Glory dead there was no longer any reason to keep her out of school or away from her friends, although she herself wouldn't have anything to do with anyone who wasn't a member of their little group.

"He's right, of course," Giles agreed. "Willow, Tara, help me find the proper books?" he asked.

"About time!" came Cordy's slightly annoyed voice.



Giles paced back and forth become more worried by the second as he listened to Buffy's version of her life story. Cordy kept shaking her head and muttering about amnesia, but the more he heard of Buffy's story the more convinced he became that whatever was wrong with the Slayer, it wasn't anything so simple as loss of memory. In fact, the girl's memories were remarkably detailed. The problem was that there were some major differences in what she remembered and what had actually happened.

At the moment Buffy was recounting her version of what had happened with during the mayor's Ascension, but was interrupted by Cordy. Giles could only wonder that she hadn't interrupted before now. "First of all, me and Xander! That's just...sick! Secondly, the mayor never completed his Ascension because we took that case with the spider thingies in ..."

"Cordelia, maybe it would be for the best if you didn't confuse her farther," Giles said, stopping the girl mid rant.

"She's my girlfriend, I can confuse her if I want!" came her indignant reply. Luckily she was interrupted once again before she could continue, this time by the arrival of the rest of the gang. Before anyone else got a word out a streak of brown hair flashed through the door and onto Buffy's bed causing the Slayer to wince in pain, but never the less manage a one armed hug her little sister. "Dawn!" she called, as tears leaked from her closed eyes.

Dawn pulled back and looked her older sister in the eyes, "I told them you wouldn't be in here long!" she told Buffy excitedly.

An involuntary grin spread itself across Buffy's face at seeing her sister in a cheerful mood. The last few months had been hard on Dawn and it had become a rear thing to see the girl happy. "Yup. 'Be outta here in no time." She told the grinning girl. She looked over the rest of the group. Willow with a huge smile holding the hand of Tara who wore a shy smile of her own, but one just as happy. Xander grinning with boyish glee written all over his face and even Anya in one of her rear displays of emotion for anyone other than herself or Xander wore a smile. Even if she was staring at the slayer like she expected her to disappear at any moment. And there was Spike standing like some grim sentry at the door to room

Then Buffy's gaze moved to a site that froze her blood in her veins. Faith was there too. But from what she had managed to pick up from Cordy's rambling that had been sort of expected. Even Oz standing next to her and holding her hand wasn't as much of a shock as who was standing to their left. There stood Riley Finn in his overly precise clothes...smiling and with his arms around Harmony?


Real World

"I found it!" shouted Anya happily holding up her book. "Look, I found a way to get Buffy back!"

The others wasted no time crowding in around the ex-demon reading the book. Giles walked over to the group took the book and started reading it. "Yes...hmm, yes, this is very good!" he said getting more and more animated. Followed by a depressed sounding, "Oh" and the drooping of his shoulders.

Taking a deep breath he turned to give the group the bad news. "Um...the spell Anya found is valid, but I'm afraid it will be of no use to us" Giles held up his hand to silence them as the scoobs and LA gang responded with a slew of moans and questions. "In order for this spell to work we would need the Buffy that came through the portal alive" He told them grimly.

There was grim silence in the room as they soaked this in. Finally Xander broke the silence with false enthusiasm, "Back to the books!"

As everyone returned to researching no one noticed as Willow took Tara's hand and the book Anya had been looking through and went over to a very unusual set of books. The first book in this section was titled Where Magic and Time Converge. She knew Giles didn't allow anyone to come near these books because they were dangerous, but it wouldn't be the first time she went against his wishes. And this time it was for Buffy.


"This isn't going to work, Willow" Tara reluctantly told her girlfriend as spell once again failed to send them back in time. They had already tried three times today and that wasn't counting the countless other tries they had made over the last two weeks. They had just used the last variation of the spell Tara could come up with and the blonde witch was exhausted and out of ideas for how to change the spell so that it might work. She wanted Buffy back as much as everyone else but this was getting them nowhere.

"B-but we can't give up!" came Willow's defeated protest. There were tears forming in her eyes as if she would break into tears at any moment.

Tara stood gently pulling Willow up with her then wrapped the redhead in a loving embrace. "We're not giving up. But we need time to rest and think this over. I know we're on the right track, I can feel it, but we're doing something wrong. Let's get some rest and think this over with clear heads, okay?" She smiled as felt Willow nod against her. The two Wicca took one last look at the grave of Buffy Summers and then reluctantly left the cemetery.


Cordelia admired the smooth curves and the catlike grace of the Slayer as she moved through another of the exercises Giles had designed to re-tone her muscles before she got back to her normal training exercises. She winced and was halfway out of her seat as Buffy mis-stepped and fell forward onto the training mat, but quickly relaxed as the she saw the other girl get up fairly quickly none the worse for the fall.

The others thought that she still believe this was the Buffy their world, but the truth was that even before Anya had told Giles that she didn't think this was their Buffy, Cordy had noticed that this wasn't the same person she had fallen in love with. They look the same, talked the same, and even had the same loving soul and hero's heart, but she had noticed some difference even before the Slayer had awakened in her hospital room. But even now she pretended not to believe this wasn't her Buffy, maybe even more than before because of the failure of the spells Willow and Tara had tried. When Buffy had asked why the spell hadn't sent her home and bought their Buffy back to this world the Wicca had reluctantly admitted that the only reason the spell wouldn't work was if one of the two principals to be switched was dead. And the thought of her Buffy not alive was something Cordelia Chase would go to any lengths to avoid.

She walked over to the sweating Slayer and handed her a towel. But even this Buffy was one person she didn't feel the need to pretend around. That day when Anya had told Giles what she thought, Cordy had put on the best act of her life acting as if she didn't believe a word of what had been said. And everyone including Giles had bought it. Everyone but Buffy. Somehow Cordy had known that she wasn't fooling the blonde Slayer as she lay in bed and watched Cordy's every move with those concerned eyes. Eyes so like the ones she had fallen in love with what seemed like so long ago. When the others had left she had tried to keep up her act even knowing it was pointless, but with Buffy's eyes following her as if she'd fall apart at any second that's exactly what she had done. And Buffy had reached over and taken her hand pulling her onto the bed with her where she held her until she had cried herself out. And then they had stayed up the entire night (the staff having learned the futility of trying to force Cordelia to leave) talking. Buffy telling Cordy the things she had gone through on her world and Cordy pointing out the differences on this one.

"Riley Finn!" Cordy had shouted at one point. "Angel I can see 'cause well, I was there and I saw it, but you dated Riley Finn!" She had lightly slapped the Slayer on the back of her head.

Buffy had responded with, "At least I didn't go out with Xander!" sticking out her tongue at the grimacing brunette.

Now as the Buffy grabbed her crutches and they left the training area at the back of Giles' store Cordy felt the need to ask a question that had been bothering her for a while now on an issue that to her at least was of vital importance. "Do I really have powers on your world?"


As the sun rose on another day in Sunnydale Tara watch worriedly as Willow thrashed around in her sleep wondering if she should just go ahead a wake her. She habitually enjoyed watching her lover's peaceful face as she slept, but recently her sleep had been anything but peaceful. Just as she started to reach out for her, Willow suddenly sat straight up in the bed. For a moment she just sat there with a wild look in her eyes then she suddenly focused on Tara with a huge smile lighting her whole face. And Tara smiled back knowing deep in her heart that Willow had found what they needed.

"You were right." Willow told her as she wrapped the blonde in a tight hug and kissed her cheek.

"W-what do you mean?" Tara asked as she hugged Willow back. Willow released her and sat back so she could look at her face as she talked. "We are on the right track! We were just going about it the wrong way! What if instead of trying to go back and warn ourselves or to save Buffy ourselves we instead bring Buffy from then to now?" she asked excitedly.

"T-that could work!" Tara agreed.

But a suddenly crestfallen look showed on Willow's face. "But we'd still need something to send back in her place. And we both still remember her falling" she said suddenly feeling down.

Thinking for a moment Tara suddenly perked back up. "We can solve two problems at once!" she said as she took Willow's hand in her own. "Since this doesn't actively involve the rift we need only send back something about the same size and that belonged to or represents what we want to bring forward. And since we both remember Buffy falling..."

"Oh, oh!" called Willow bouncing on the bed and raising her hand as if in class, "We send the Buffy-bot back!" she called out grinning. "That way we get the other Buffy, the past doesn't really change, and we can switch this Buffy for ours. This could actually work! You're brilliant!" she called pulling a non-resistant Tara into her arms for a long steamy kiss.


After checking on last time on Dawn and seeing that Angel, Wes, and Gunn had all settled in for the night Cordy went back to Buffy's room to get some rest herself. As she fell asleep she felt herself slipping into another of the now familiar memory/visions from the other Cordy. Other than dreaming of Buffy, the good thing about these visions was that they had become painless. Too bad the same couldn't be said for her normal ones.

This time she remembered Faith's arrival in Sunnydale not to long after she and Buffy had returned from LA. It was before they had told the rest of the gang about their relationship. From the very first she had seen that the new Slayer was attracted to Buffy. She had known that the whole show of killing the vamp in the ally behind the Bronze was Faith's way of showing off. And for the briefest of moments she had felt defeated. After all Faith was a Slayer with the powers and more importantly the understanding that came with it and she had nothing to offer Buffy but herself. Then the moment passed and she narrowed her eyes in determination. If Faith wanted Buffy she's have the fight of her life trying to take her.

As the fight for Buffy's love began Cordy had had a definite lead over her adversary. Following her lead the others Buffy included had been on seemly friendly terms with the new Slayer while at the same time not letting her into the inner circle of their group. Then something had happened. Or maybe it was a lot of little things, but slowly Buffy had begun to truly befriend the other Slayer. Almost overnight they started hanging out and skipping school. Faith had even found out about Angel's return before Cordy had and she had been royally pissed. Words were exchanged and then suddenly they weren't speaking to each other at all.

She had been sure she had chased Buffy right into Faiths arms. Then the whole mess with Allen Finch had happened. Buffy had shown up at her house looking stressed with almost the same look she had worn after sending Angel to Hell. She had asked her to runaway with her.

Knowing something was up Cordy had played along not wanting to spook the slayer away by saying yes and making a game of choosing where they would go. When the Slayer had relaxed enough Cordy had asked her what was really wrong. Buffy answered by asking Cordy if she really loved her and if she would love her no matter what to which she had answered 'I'll always love you Buffy. You should never doubt that' while gently stroking the hair of the now crying girl.

Through her sobs Buffy had managed to tell her what had happened. Cordy held her jealousy in check as she heard about how Buffy had skipped class yet again how she and Faith had spent the day. All hint of jealousy had vanished as Buffy told her how she had thrown the man up against a wall thinking him another attacking vamp and Faith in pure reflex driving her stake for his heart even as Buffy realized her mistake and called out the younger slayer to stop her. But the call came too late. Instead of the usual dust after a staking this time it was followed with blood. Innocent human blood.

Cordy held her as she cried tears coming to her own eyes as well. Then in a flash of inspiration she knew what she had to do. She had gotten dressed and she and Buffy had gone to Faith's hotel. While Buffy had coaxed and finally threatened Faith into Cordy's car, Cordy had used her cell phone to call Giles and tell him something had happened and that he should meet them in the school library and that he should not bring Wes. She would have said more but didn't want to tell him about it over the cell phone.

Looking at the pitiful and frightened girl now on her back seat huddled into herself she felt a wave of guilt at the way she had treated her and encouraged the other to treat her. Looking back on it she saw that they had treated her the same way she, Harmony, and the others in their circle had treated Willow and others they saw as unworthy. And that Buffy wouldn't have been Buffy if she hadn't given Faith the same chance she had given Willow and Xander. Maybe she had read too much into why Buffy had decided to spend time with the other Slayer. But there would be time to worry about that after Giles had helped fix this mess. And hopefully it wouldn't be too late to make friends with Faith. As long as she understood that Buffy was hers!


Cordy woke a heavy heart to the sun shining through the branches of the tree outside Buffy's window. If the other Cordy had found the courage to forgive and understand Faith's actions and motivations then why had she not been able to do the same? Angel had more than once tried to get her to visit the dark Slayer in prison but until now she hadn't once thought that the girl was truly sorry for what she had done. Looking back on events in this world after a vision from the other motives became clear and all too easy to understand. This Faith had been on the verge of a relationship with Buffy only to lose it all, first with the reemergence of Angel and again because of a stupid accident that Cordy now saw could have happened to anyone. No wonder Buffy had tried so hard to get the rouge Slayer back after everyone else had given up. She must have realized that it could have just as easily been her. What kind of life could Faith have had that she could leave Boston and not once have anyone call or try to find out if she were even alive. Thinking gloomy thoughts Cordy resolved to visit Faith after things were set right here. And Buffy was going with her even if she had to drag her.


"Okay, I'm ready" Willow called out. They had the Buffy-bot, the spell to exchange it for the other Buffy, and they had cast the delusion spell on the Buffy-bot to fool everyone into thinking it was the real Buffy. The delusion spell was yet another great idea Tara had come up with. Everyone who came near the Buffy-bot would think that it was the real Buffy thanks to the spell based on the one Glory had used to keep her human identity hidden. She watched as Tara finished drawing the last of the ruins and encircled them with the white powder.

"I'm done too" the blonde Wicca called as she stood and brushed the remaining powder from her hands. She looked over at her girlfriend with a serious expression. "We only get one chance at this, so lets do it slowly and get it right"

Willow nodded in agreement, "I know. Now let's save Buffy" she said moving to where the base of the tower used to stand.


She was falling to what she knew would be her death and yet she felt no fear. She was doing what was right and in the end that was all that mattered. Yet while she felt no fear, she did have regrets. The biggest one being that she hadn't had a chance to say good-bye to her lover. She hadn't been able to press her lips to Cordy's one last time...

All thoughts of regrets were lost as she fell through the energy of the gate its pain searing her skin. She could feel the unlimited power burning painfully through every vein, every nerve in her body and she knew that had she been anything less than the Slayer she would have already been dead. And then she had absorbed all the energy and the pain had passed.

Yet still she was falling faster and faster to what she knew would be death. But it was worth it because the world was saved and Dawn was alive. What was her pain and death to that? Suddenly she saw a second portal form beneath her vastly different from the one she had just come through. Despite herself tears came at the thought of going through yet more pain like that of her passage through the first portal.

Then something unexpected happened. As she looked into this new portal she saw something begin to take shape. It didn't take long for her to realize it was a person. Then she was overcome with shock to was herself. She felt herself sucked into the portal as it spat out an exact copy of her. But her attention turned to more important things as the energy from this portal chased along the path of the energy from the first causing the raw nerves in her body to once again burn. The pain this time was so intense that no matter how she tried, she could not stay conscious. Too tired to fight it, she gratefully allowed herself to pass into the blessed painless darkness.


"We have her!" Tara shouted excitedly as she felt the spell grab hold of its new target and release its cargo. "Do it now!"

Willow nodded and began to chant the word of power finishing just as the portal, two hundred feet above them, ejected its passenger and closed. The figure above them fell rapidly for another hundred feet before it hit the area where Willow's spell took effect and its rate of decent slowed to almost nothing.

Tara and Willow quickly made their way to the alternate Buffy as she touched the ground with no more force than that of a feather. Tara kneeled next to the fallen girl and checked her pulse nodding to Willow as she felt the steady beat of Buffy's heart.

"We did it!" she added unnecessarily her voice filled with disbelief as what they managed to accomplish.

Willow grinned at her and said cockily, "Like there was ever any doubt!"


"...of course you can bet I was pretty pissed!" Cordy told Buffy as they moved through the cemetery. Giles had approved Buffy's request to start patrolling again and ever since, Cordy had made it a nightly ritual to accompany the Slayer and she trolled for vamps around Sunnydale.

"I mean, I was already jealous of Faith and then I find out that not only was Angel back but that you... I mean my Buffy told her and not me...I guess I completely ignored the fact that every time she called I would hang up on her" She looped her arm back through that of the blonde Slayer as they continued to the next stop on the patrol route, telling her of the relationship she had shared with her counterpart.

She stopped talking when she had finished telling Buffy about the end of their high school years and walked along next to her in thoughtful silence. Finally she turned eyes filled with tears to her silent companion. "Do you think she's really dead?" she asked, her voice full of hope. "Willow says it the only reason she can think of for her spell not to work" she added.

In her time in this strange new world Buffy had grown to know and like the counterparts to her friends back in her own world. As time had passed she and the Cordelia of this world had developed a special friendship that continued to grow daily. Cordy's concern for her missing love was very like Buffy's worry over the safety of her friends back home. She had no idea if her Giles had taken the same path as the one on this world and killed Glory when she hadn't. She knew that the Hell God would want revenge if he hadn't and with her stuck here her friends would have to fend for themselves. Knowing the pain Cordy was in Buffy wanted nothing more than to tell the girl that her Buffy was alive and that she'd be back home in no time, "I...I think that Willow is very powerful and very smart, but she is also still fairly new at this type of stuff. Give her some more time before you give up hope" was what she said instead.

Cordelia nodded, and then leaned her head briefly against Buffy's. "You know, if she is right you're stuck here?" she asked, her voice relaying true concern for Buffy's predicament. While she knew this wasn't her girlfriend their time together had never the less made this Buffy a confidant and she cared deeply for her.

"I know" came the answer. Buffy stopped and turned to face the other girl. Slowly she leaned forward giving Cordelia plenty of time to move away. Their lips touched pressed together for a few steamy moments and then Buffy pulled back. "I can think of worse places to be stuck." She told her. She turned hooked her arm back with Cordy's and they continued their way.


"Giles! GILES!" shouted Willow.

Giles dropped his cup of tea and with a curse grabbed up one of the many weapons he kept nearby for emergencies and rushed around to the front of the shop to be joined by Faith coming from the training room both of them looking around for the attacking demon. Seeing nothing Faith snorted and returned the way she had come and Giles lowered the axe he had grabbed up and went to the table where Willow, Tara and Anya were surrounded by magical ingredients.

Straitening his glasses he asked as calmly as he could, "Was yelling like that really necessary?"

Turning to him with a large grin on her face the red haired Wicca ignored his question. "We did it! We found her, and she alive! Our Buffy is still alive!"

Giles sank down into a nearby chair for the first time allowing the weariness he'd been feeling since the discovery that the girl in the hospital wasn't the same girl he had grown to respect and love show for the first time. His only comment for a while was a reverent, "Dear God, thank you!"

Recovering from his emotional display the watcher asked, "How did you locate her? Did you come up with a new spell?" He could do magic himself, but the spells he used were things thought of by others and had been used many times. It always fascinated him to see spells in the process of being created by those with the talent to do so.

"We did everything exactly the same." Tara answered softly a small frown marring her lovely face. "I don't understand why it's working now when it didn't before."

"Hmm...I can only guess it has something to do with the timing" he replied after some thought. "Or perhaps the alignment of the stars or..."

Anya hit herself on the forehead with the palm of her hand, "Of course! Time! With all these worlds floating around out there of course some move in different time frames than ours. For all we know, our Buffy could only just have arrived on that other Buffy's world." The ex-demon looked disgusted with herself, "If I still had my powers I would have remembered that" she muttered.

"Never mind that," Willow broke in "We can switch Buffys now. That's the important thing. All we have to do now is wait for Buffy and Cordy to get back from patrol.

"Willow, that was a very dangerous, very stupid...and very brave thing to do." Giles told her as circled around the two Wicca. He looked over to where an anxious Cordelia was in deep conversation with the revived Buffy Tara and Willow had arrived with. To say he was shocked at this turn of events would have been an understatement. He shook his head and unnecessarily wiped his glasses again before turning his attention back to the two young women. "I expected better of you both" he berated them. "The books in that section are forbidden for a reason. Until I say otherwise neither of you is allowed to use any of the books or other magical equipment in the store. Further more after we retrieve our Buffy and send this one home I want you both to promise not to use any magic for a week. Agreed?"

"B...but it worked!" Willow cried, outraged. "You can't punish us if it worked!"

Tara reached over and took her distressed girlfriend's hand. "He right Willow," She told her. "We were dealing with enormously powerful forces. If we had slipped up even a little the result could have been ..." she shuddered. "I don't even want to think about it. And it's probably just as well not to use any more magic than we absolutely have to for a while. It's too easy to become addicted to the power after doing something like we just did" She finished. Willow looked as if she wanted to protest for a moment, but faced with Giles worried glare and Tara's imploring stare she finally gave in. "Fine. Save Buffy then no magic for a week and only little stuff after," she agreed. Not so deep inside she felt a vague disappointment. Part of her wanted nothing more than to feel more power like that she had handled today again. Looking into Tara's relieved eyes she pushed that part of her farther away. But she now knew it was there inside her lurking, waiting for it's chance to come to the surface.

To be continued