Buffy gasped, realising that Spike was not in the room with them. She looked over at Willow, hoping the witch would have some idea as to where he was, but she looked equally surprised. Buffy looked back at the two girls and smiled.
"Daddy's just gone shopping, you know, to get some dinner and stuff," She assured them. Alice, being only seven, believed her mother. Anne, on the other hand was doubtful, but didn't say anything, not wanting to upset her sister. They both nodded and looked over to where the younger versions of their friends were standing. Buffy tried to keep her mouth from falling at the shock of seeing Tara alive. "Hi," she said, waving.
Everyone seemed frozen, staring at her daughters.
Xander was the first to speak. "Oh my god, Buffy, you have kids!" He looked ready to pass out at this information. In fact, almost everyone did.
"Yup," Buffy laughed. "I do. This is Anne, and this is Alice." She said, pointing at the two children respectively. Any other attempts at conversation were cut short when Anya walked, carrying a plate with four steaming mugs on it.
"I thought you could all use some hot drinks, so I have tea for Willow and Buffy, and hot chocolate for the little munchkins," she announced. "And, uh, whose little munchkins are they?" Buffy laughed, surprised at how much she had actually missed Anya over the last eight years.
"They're mine," she replied.
Anya made a humming noise. "I wasn't sure, I mean they look a bit like you, obviously, but they don't have your eyes."
"Yeah, they have their Dad's eyes," Buffy agreed. "Speaking of their dad," She said, turning to face Willow. "We need to find a way to contact him. He could be… shopping anywhere." Willow nodded.
"I think I know a spell that will work," Willow assured her. "I just need to do a bit of reading to check." Buffy nodded and glanced at everyone.
"How about a good old fashioned Scooby research party?" Everyone agreed and began returning to the main part of the shop. Anne followed, rolling her eyes at how obvious her mum and aunt were – it was obvious that they had no idea where her Dad was. I wish they would stop treating me like a kid, she thought to herself. I can deal with stuff like this – I have been my whole life!
As they reached the table, and they large pile of books on top of it, a thought occurred to Giles. "Buffy? Buffy from the future, I mean," he began, correcting himself when both Buffys glanced up at him. "Do you have any useful information on this woman that's after Dawn? Why she's after Dawn, what kind of demon she is? We're rather stuck at the moment, I'm afraid."
Buffy stopped short when she realised what year it was, and that Dawn was in danger again.
"Yeah, but it might take a while to explain," she told him. "I can come over to yours tonight and write it all down if you want?" Giles' eyes widened, surprised that he was being given almost all of the information they needed. It seemed almost too good to be true.
"Yes, yes. That would be wonderful Buffy." He said, smiling. Buffy smiled back.
Xander clapped his hands together. "So, where do you want us to start?" he asked.
Willow smiled at him. "I actually don't need any help with this," she replied. "I know which book I need, I just need to find it."
Just as she said that, a guy walked into the shop. Buffy recognised him as Tara's brother.
"Well, whaddya know?" He said. "What, no hug for your big brother?" He joked When Tara no move towards him.
Spike groaned and opened his eyes. He began to panic when he couldn't recall where he was, and Buffy, Anne and Alice were nowhere to be seen. He breathed in, hoping he would be ableto detect their scent, but picked up nothing. Not even a trace. Spike quickly tried detecting some other smells, to see if he could work out where he was.
He picked up a scent he hadn't smelled in years, but disregarded it, until he had a closer look at where he was. He frowned, Willow had meant to transport them to another place, and though her spells often went wrong, he didn't think it possible for her to mess up this badly. He continued to repeat this to himself until-
"Where have you been my William? Miss Edith says you've been very naughty."
"They seem nice," Willow commented once Tara had arranged to have dinner with her family.
"You know, they're okay," Tara replied. "So, um, any other research that needs doing?"
"Do you need any help looking for that spell Will?" Buffy asked. "I know you said you didn't, but you've been at it for a while." Willow sighed and nodded.
"I thought it would be in this book, but I guess I could've gotten it wrong." She admitted. "I haven't read up on teleportation or time travel for a while."
After being told what to look for by Willow, everyone settled down with a book and began to search for a spell to bring back Buffy's husband.
A few hours passed, and still no one had found anything of any relevance. Buffy stood up and sighed.
"I better get going, Dawn will be home from school soon, and I promised Riley he could come over." A few vague mumbles were given as a form of goodbye and she left she shop after grabbing the last jelly donut from the box.
"Well, we're officially out of donuts, I'll go get some more." Xander announced. Anya looked up from the book she was reading, seeing an escape from the research.
"Yes, I'll join you, and we definitely won't have sex while we're gone."
Buffy's eyes widened. "Anya!" She scolded, glancing meaningfully at the two girls on either side of her, one blushing profusely, and the other one indifferent, not knowing what the word meant.
"I said we won't," Anya mumbled, before leaving with Xander to buy refreshments.
"You'll never believe what's happened," Buffy said as soon as Riley walked through the door. He raised an eyebrow.
"Good afternoon Buffy, I'm good, thanks for asking. How are you?"
She fake glared at him. "We were doing some research in the shop, when Bam! All of a sudden future versions of me, Willow and two children appear out of nowhere!"
"Huh," Riley said, seemingly unsurprised.
"Then they wake up, and it turns out the children are mine, and they're here because Willow cast some sort of spell that went wrong. And also that my husband from the future is supposed to be there, but the spell went doubly wrong and we've been searching for a way to bring him here all afternoon."
Riley got protective when Buffy mention that future her had a husband. "So this husband, who is he?" He asked. Buffy opened her mouth to reply, but stopped realising no one had actually asked.
At that moment, Dawn walked down the stairs and headed for the front door. Buffy panicked, and quickly stepped between her and the door. "Woah, where do you think you're going?"
"I'm going to Melinda's for dinner," she answered, frowning.
"Since when?" Buffy asked.
"Now-ish," Dawn frowned, wondering why her sister was acting so strange.
"You can't." Buffy stated, ignoring Dawn's irritated look. "It's not safe for you to walk there."
Dawn laughed. "It's across the street! What's the big deal? I'm just gonna go-"
"No." Buffy said, pretending not to notice the confused looks she was getting from both Dawn and Riley. "It's family night. Besides, I have something you might find interesting at the Magic Box."
Dawn rolled her eyes. "Yeah, I'm sure I'll find ugly demons more interesting than hanging out with my friend." Buffy sighed.
"Dawn, I'm sorry, I'm just worried about you," she said. "And I promise you'll be interested in what's happened." Dawn glared at her sister, before giving in.
"Fine, but this better be pretty darn cool."