Welcome Back to the Hellmouth
As Dawn faded she had the weirdest sensation, as if someone had walked over her grave. What she saw as she moved across time she couldn’t put into words, it was the most wondrous feeling, the most amazing sounds, the most incredible visions. And then, it was over.
Dawn had appeared in what looked like the back of the old library at Sunnydale High School, she could hear Giles talking.
“You really have no idea what’s going on, do you? You think it’s coincidence, your being here? That boy was just the beginning.” Giles was saying.
“Oh, why can’t you people just leave me alone?” Dawn heard Buffy respond.
“Because you are the Slayer.” There was the sound of movement, “Into each generation a Slayer is born, one girl in all the world, a Chosen One, one born with the strength and skill to hunt the vampires…”
“…with the strength and skill to hunt the vampires, to stop the spread of their evil blah, blah, blah… I’ve heard it, okay?” Buffy interrupted.
“I really don’t understand this attitude. You, you’ve accepted your duty, you, you’ve slain vampires before…”
“Yeah, and I’ve both been there and done that, and I’m moving on.”
Dawn moved cautiously to end of a stack of books and peered round and saw Giles enter his office.
“What do you know about this town?” he said to Buffy.
“It’s two hours on the freeway from Neiman Marcus?” Buffy answered sarcastically.
Dawn noticed that there was something wrong with Buffy, she looked a lot younger than she should have been.
“Dig a bit in the history of this place. You’ll find a, a steady stream of fairly odd occurrences. Now, I believe this whole area is a center of mystical energy,” Giles came out of his office with four books, “that things gravitate towards it that, that, that you might not find elsewhere.”
“Like vampires.” Buffy said as Giles put the books down on the table.
He started handing the volumes to Buffy’s one by one as he listed off various monsters and demons.
“Like zombies, werewolves, incubi, succubi, everything you’ve ever dreaded was under your bed, but told yourself couldn’t be by the light of day. They’re all real!”
“What? You, like, sent away for the Time-Life series?” Buffy asked poking a little fun at the stuffy Englishman.
Damn, Dawn thought to herself, I’ve come too far back. She concentrated and the world dissolved into a white haze as she moved forward in time.
As Dawn appeared in a secluded area of the Sunnydale High lounge she saw Willow coming into the hall from outside, the redhead looked around at some of the displays being set up as she wandered towards the person with the sign up forms for the career aptitude test. Buffy and Xander were already sitting at a table filling out their tests.
” ‘Are you a people person, or do you prefer keeping your own company?’ Well, what if I’m a people person who keeps his own company by default?” Xander asked.
Willow picked up her test and headed to join them.
“So, mark ‘none of the above’.” Buffy suggested helpfully.
“Well, there are no boxes for ‘none of the above’. That would introduce too many variables into their mushroom head, number-crunching little world,” Xander said sarcastically.
“I’m sensing bitterness,” Willow said as she sat down
“No, it’s just these people can’t tell from one multiple-choice test what we’re gonna be doing for the rest of our lives. It’s ridiculous!” Xander exclaimed.
“I’m kinda curious to find out what sort of career I could have,” Willow commented with a smile.
“What, and suck all the spontaneity out of being young and stupid? I’d rather live in the dark,”
“You’re not gonna be young forever,” Willow said looking at Xander.
“Yes, but I’ll always be stupid,” he smirked and looked at the girls, “Okay, let’s not all rush to disagree.”
Buffy looked up at him seriously, “You’re not stupid.”
“Damn,” Dawn said quietly, “Not far enough forward.”
Dawn was slowly getting annoyed with the seemingly random nature of her movements in time, she had so far been to twelve different times, none of them even close to when she wanted, the last was close to her own time, Dru’s birth to be precise.
So when she appeared in the upstairs of the Summers home she figured that the was probably in the wrong time, but she had to check anyway, so she poked her head out of the door.
There walking towards her was Buffy, “Hey Dawny, what’re you doing in…” Buffy broke off when she saw something further down the hall.
Dawn turned her head to see what it was too.
There at the end of the hall stood Dawn, not the dawn from the future, the Dawn from the present.
“Wha…?” the Dawn from the now started to say.
“Dormio iam.” The Dawn from the future waved her hand at the younger Dawn, who promptly fell into a deep slumber.
“What the hell is going on?” Buffy demanded.
“It’s okay, I… I’m from the future.”
Buffy just stood there in amazement.
“I’ve come back to try to stop something bad from happening, but I don’t know if I’m in the right time.”
“I don’t understand, how can you move through time?”
“It’ll take too long to explain, but it has to do with the energy flowing through me.”
“The Key?” Buffy breathed.
“Yes, what’s the date?”
“It’s… ah it’s the 23rd… of October.”
“The year? Please.”
“I’m not far enough forward, Buffy, I need you to keep this a secret from the other me, she can’t know, you have to keep it a secret from her.”
“For how long?”
“She’ll start having visions in a few years, that’s the sign where something starts going wrong, that’s where I’m trying to get to, you can tell her then, if you want I can do a small spell to help you keep it a secret.”
“No, I can keep it a secret, but what do I tell her when she wakes up?”
“Nothing, you won’t need to, she’ll think it was just a dream, but we’d better move her to her bed.”
After helping Buffy get her younger self into her bed, Dawn concentrated and felt herself move through time.
This time when she reappeared she found herself in the lunch room of Sunnydale High, but this time it was different, it looked different. She glanced around and saw, sitting at a table over in a corner, the version of herself that had blonde tints in her hair, and her teenage friend Janice. Dawn focused her hearing so she could hear what they were saying.
“Dawn?” Janice asked the younger Dawn snapping her out of whatever inner thoughts she was having..
“Huh?” the younger Dawn said as she looked up at her best friend.
“I said, what are you doing after school?”
“Oh, um I dunno, probably just going home.”
“Coz we ere thinking of heading to the mall and hanging.”
“Jimmy, Mac, Billy, Vicky and me, and hopefully you,” Janice gave the younger Dawn a pleading look.
“Yeah okay, I think Buffy’ll let me go.”
“Hey, I heard Victoria saying that your sister got a job here.”
“Yeah,” the younger Dawn gave her a very sour look.
The older Dawn sympathised with her younger self, while in her past Buffy didn’t get a job at Sunnydale High, simply because it wasn’t rebuilt, but she did know what the other Dawn was feeling.
“Man you must feel bummed, that’s like bad karma or something.”
“Don’t I know…” Dawn paused, “…it.”
As the older Dawn watched the younger Dawn fell off her chair and crashed onto the floor
“Dawn!” cried Janice.
The older Dawn moved forward, “help me get her to the nurse’s office,” she asked Janice.
“Okay,” Janice took one of the younger Dawn’s arms while the older Dawn took the other, and they took the younger Dawn to see the school nurse.
“Dawn!” came Buffy’s voice from behind them, “What happened?”
The older Dawn turned slightly to face Buffy.
“You? What are you doing here?”
“This is where I was trying to go.”
“Come on we should get her to the nurse’s office”
“Dawn? Dawn are you awake?” Buffy said as she leaned over the younger Dawn.
“Unnn?” the younger Dawn tried to speak.
“I… I… ah… I dunno, I think I saw… saw…”
“Saw what?” Buffy looked at her sister, she thought she could see the truth in her eyes but she had to make sure, “What did you see?”
“I… ah think it was the future, Spike was there, but it was daytime, Spike was out in the daylight, and I felt something, I think I loved him.”
“Are you sure of that?”
“I dunno, I think so, why?”
“I wasn’t supposed to tell you this, it happened back before mom died, you…”