Chapter 2
Back to the Beginning

Dawn and Spike settled in and things went as usual, for a while. They easily adapted to their vampire like life-style. Up all night, sleeping most of the day. When they had to, they used the tunnels that still permeated most of old Sunnydale. Unlike many married couples, their love seemed fresh and new everyday. Even though they had lived and loved for hundreds of years, each day seemed like a new experience. This style of living was not because Spike had to stay out of the sun, but they needed to stay hidden. Dawn’s apparent immortality had become known and this created a considerable amount of interest, to say the least. The “government” was now searching for them everywhere, except in Spike’s ancient crypt.

Spike and Dawn had lived through countless wars, and two world wars, Three and Four. The world finally came to its senses in 2215 and a world government was formed and was given absolute power to govern and had the final say over any disputes, wherever they might occur. Since that time, the peoples of the earth focused on eradicating crime and by the year 2400, any crimes against a person were dealt with swiftly by the world government. Workers were needed in such places as the moon tunnels and in the Martian settlements. Once sent to these places, the convicted were never seen again. When people began to realize what happened when one committed a crime, the incidence of crimes against other persons seemed to take a dive. Special Courts have been set up to handle disputes between persons, no matter how large or small. Over the past 100 years people have come to rely heavily on these and abide by whatever the ruling might be. The other great world focus was searching for resources throughout the solar system. Man still had not conquered the time/distance issue. Although spaceships could approach a speed near the speed of light, it was simply impossible to reach it. Einstein was right. Robot ships still reached for the outer most planets. Man simply did not live long enough to survive a trip to the outer planets, let alone other galaxies. It took enormous resources to explore Mars and Venus. It has only been within the past 75 years that the algae seeded on Mars in late 2300 began to take effect. Now there is breathable air, new forms of life, and of course, Man. Trying to do anything with Venus was abandoned.

Throughout all of these years, Dawn still had not fully grasped her powers. Actually, since the Wicca leaders used her power to move Earth back into orbit 500 years ago, her “powers” have not been taped. All that Dawn knows is that she is The Key. She knows she can be used to bring down the walls between dimensions, can be used to move things through dimensions, and apparently has been given immortality by the essence of mystical power within her. But, even after all this time, she has not ever used her power for herself. The only other development, is that she loves Spike completely.

Late one day in 2516, Dawn woke, she had been dreaming of “the beginning” and Buffy. Even though Spike lay at her side, she suddenly felt so alone. She quietly got up and walked over to the mirror hanging on the rock wall. As she looked at herself, she noted that she was emitting a greenish glow. Her dream had been emotional, her cheeks were still damp from crying in her sleep, as she looked at herself, she thought about Buffy and, suddenly she felt as if someone had put a tuning fork against her head, there was a loud silent break or something, as she stood there, she realized the, the mirror was gone! The crypt looked different. What, is..

“Hey little-bit, what’re you doing here?”

Dawn turned and there was Spike, dressed like he used to dress, in his black coat, shirt, and pants.

“Oh Spike, I had the weirdest thing just happen” as she ran over and put her arms around him and put her head up to give him a kiss.”

“Hey, wha, hey, what are your doing! My god, Buffy sees you doing that and she’d run a light pole though my chest!”

Dawn, backed up, staring at Spike. “What, what do you mean? God Spike we’ve been making love for over 400 years, what do you mean?

Spike starred at Dawn. Then he noticed her clothes were quite different from anything he had ever seen. As he kept looking at her he felt the little hairs on the back of neck began to move. His eyes became wide, and he looked closer. “Dawn, tell me exactly what you mean.”

“What I mean. What do you mean what I mean. Spike, you and me, for the past four centuries, what do you mean what do I mean,” almost yelling now and beginning to sound a little hysterical.

“Spike, have you seen Da…, oh, she’s here, what are you doing here?” Buffy asked as she came across the crypt looking very unhappy and standing with her arms tightly crossed.

Dawn stood, taking it all in, stunned beyond belief, how, how could, when I looked in the mirror, I was thinking of Buffy and I was glowing, I’m back. I’m here with Buffy and Spike doesn’t even know we have been lovers for four centuries. Dawn suddenly lost her ability to stand any longer and went down on to the floor.

“Dawny, are you okay?” Buffy said while she knelt down to take a good look at Dawn.

Spike was taking this all in and was already putting it together.

“Buffy, Buffy”

“What is it Spike, and why is Dawn here and why has she got those weird clothes on? What the hell has been going on!”

All Dawn could do is croak, “Buffy” before she fainted.

When she woke, she was in her own bed in the house she hadn’t seen for over 400 years. She found herself having trouble breathing. She sat up.

“Oh Dawny! How’s my girl?” Willow said as she entered the room.

Dawn sat looking at Willow as if she were in a dream. “Oh Willow” as she got up and put her arms around her and hugged her for all she was worth.

“Dawny, are you alright?”

“I don’t know”

“Do you want to tell me about it?”

Dawn sat down holding Willow’s hand, afraid to let go. Willow sat down next to her looking at Dawn intently.

“Willow, there is something I need to tell you.”

Willow starting nodding her head, hoping it had nothing to do with maybe going too far with whoever.

Dawn began to tell Willow what she thought had happened and where she had come from. This time it was Willow’s turn to feel faint. “Oh my God, Dawny.” Then Dawn, looking at Willow began to cry and so did Willow as they hugged each other.

“What’s going on, and who…. Oh, my, how, who….you….what….” said Dawn with the roundest eyes ever as she stood in the door way looking at Willow, hugging her! As she backed out of the room, she suddenly felt weak, as did Dawn who was sitting with Willow. What, wha….as she slipped to the floor in a faint.

Buffy came up the stairs just in time to see Dawn back out of the room and slide down the wall. “Dawny, are you ok?” as she bent down she looked into the room and almost followed Dawn to the floor. Sitting in the room was Willow, with Dawn on the bed.

Dawn’s presence was causing more problems than anyone could’ve guessed. She realized that the future could never be the same. It was at that moment she decided that she had to fix it. If she could go back in time, then she should be able to go the other way too. After all, isn’t time a dimension. That’s what she does, she is used to move things through dimensions, maybe her “real” power is that she is able to move herself through time. It hit her like an electric jolt. “Of course, that’s it. That is what I am able to do. I could go back to the very beginning of time, or go to the end of time.” Both of those thoughts gave her the chills. She needed some time to figure out how she could set everything right.

To say the meal was a little different, would qualify as the understatement of the millennium. At the table, sat Dawn staring across the table at Dawn. The rest of the scoobies had arrived as soon as word got out. Here sat two identical Dawns. One was an obstinate 14 year old with all the mannerisms to match and the other a sophisticated woman, who also looked every bit 14, but who’s mannerisms betrayed a considerably older, wiser, mature woman. Spike was beside himself and for once in his life, totally speechless, as was about everyone. To lessen the confusion, Joyce, Buffy’s mom, suggested that they refer to the less mature Dawn as Dawny and the more mature Dawn as Dawn. It would go down as one of the more incredible experiences of the scoobies, ever. Xander was the first to break the icy silence.

“So, Dawnster, uh…..”

Both looked at him with their eyebrows raised. Then looked at each other and began to laugh. Unintentionally, Xander had broken the spell. Then all began talking at once. Since Dawn had already decided what it was that she needed to do, she was able to let down a little and began to discuss the future in vivid detail, much to everyone’s delight. She left out her relationship with Spike, knowing how much that would disturb just about all of them. Even though she wasn’t sure she should even be there, it felt so good to see everyone again. She about died when she realized she had come back before her mom had succumbed to the tumour. There was so much hugging and kissing and hugging some more.

However, Dawn was relatively well read and quite aware of the various theories regarding time travel. She prayed to god, that her being there wasn’t creating some kind of time flux in the space-time continuum that could destroy the universe. On the other hand, that was what she was created for. She had to smile. Dawny was the most curious. She kept asking question after question, who would she marry, when would she marry, would she have any kids, etc. etc. etc. Dawn was reluctant to say anything about her future relationship with Spike, although Spike was already well aware of it from her comments in the crypt. Her occasional fleeting look at him told him all he needed to know. If he could just get alone for a while. After the long meal, people began to go their various ways. Dawny had to go to school, Xander to work, etc. Dawn spent a long time with her mother and Buffy. Letting them know she would be alright. It was then that Buffy realized that Dawn wasn’t going to be around much longer. Dawn explained to both Buffy and to her mother that she had to leave, she had to set things as they were. She was so glad she was able to come back and see them again. The tears that followed engulfed them all. It all seemed so surreal.

Dawn left with Spike later in the morning. She took out two small mirrors that she had “borrowed.” One she hung on the wall in the crypt, the other she put back in her pocket.

“So Dawn, we are lovers, you and me, in the future I mean?”

“Yes Spike, ” said Dawn looking at Spike with a twinkle in her eyes. “I will see you again, I promise.”

Spike looked at Dawn and began to understand, “I will miss you” finding that he suddenly had developed a lump down deep in his throat.

“Not for long, really.”

Dawn placed the mirror on the wall. She knew she had to do this, she had to make it right. She looked at Spike and realized how much she loved him and felt the emotional surge, she began to glow, she looked into the mirror, she knew what she had to do, for all of them, there was a flash, not really a flash, but something occurred.

Dawn was standing in the crypt, just as she had when she first arrived. She took out the other small mirror she had borrowed from Dawny’s room and put it on the little nook in the wall, where the other had been.

“Hey little-bit, what’re you doing here?”

It took all of her will power to keep her focus on the mirror and what she needed to do.

Flash, a loud silent something!

Dawn was standing in front of her mirror. Spike was sleeping yet. She looked around, the crypt was as she had left it. All was as it had been. Spike turned over and looked at her, “Lil-bit, you want to snuggle?” Dawn undid her clothes as she crawled in beside Spike. “I love you.”