Something Blue Reduex

A/N: This is written for Flurblewig for the Buffyficathon. The requirements were a Buffy/Jonathan pairing set somewhere in the time period of Superstar. Hope you enjoy it! It was actually fun to write and you know me being me I had to fit some Buffy/Angel angst in there somewhere *G*

Summary: This is a rewrite of sorts of Superstar (season 4 Btvs). There is no Riley (how I wish I could make an alternate reality with that in it!) The pairing is Buffy/Jonathan sort of. Enjoy! A lot of the lines were cribbed from that episode.

Buffy squared off with her opponent. She watched him with a defeated feeling. She knew couldn't beat him. He hung back, waiting for her to attack.

"Come on, Buffy, hit me." He said.

She attacked with a right hook jab combination. He blocked it and stopped just short of landing a jab with his left fist.

"Watch out for southpaws, Buff. Don't let 'em surprise you." He said.

Buffy nodded a bit disheartened but she smiled at him. Sure she was the slayer, but he was Jonathan, she couldn't actually be expected to beat him.

"By the way Buffy, if you aren't busy tonight, you wouldn't want to have dinner with me. Would you?" Jonathan asked. His voice was full of confidence, as if asking was merely a formality.

She stared at him a moment, unable to actually speak. "Oh, wow, I'd love to have dinner with you. Really?" She couldn't believe it. Out of all the girls in Sunnydale, out of all the girls in the world he'd chosen her. Jonathan, the one and same Jonathan that Jennifer Lopez had driven down to see last weekend. This Jonathan wanted to go out with plain old non famous Buffy Summers.

Jonathan chuckled. "Yes, really, I'll pick you up at eight." He glanced at his watch. "I've really got to go. The President is supposed to conference me in fifteen minutes."

As soon as he walked out the door, Buffy grabbed Willow's hands. They both jumped up and down squealing. Xander rolled his eyes. "It's just a date." He tried to appear disaffected. It lasted two seconds before he grabbed the girls' hands and jumped up and down and squealed with them.

"Oh, God, Willow you have got to go with me shopping. I don't have anything to wear!" Buffy shrieked. She gathered up her bag and grabbed Willow by the wrist, dragging her out of Giles' apartment. She yelled back "Sorry Giles, we'll be back to do the research thing sometime later after my date with Jonathan!" The last part ended up an excited squeal.

Buffy and Willow walked down main street. She'd been in a dozen stores and hadn't found a thing suitable to wear on a date with an international superstar. April Fool's was their last chance.

"Don't worry, Buffy. I'm sure we'll find something here. Cordelia used to shop here and you can say a lot of things about Cordy but she dressed really well." Willow tried to console Buffy.

Buffy grinned. "I wish Cordy could see me now. Remember how she used to rag on me about my dates, which okay dead guy kind of a lame date especially compared to Jonathan." Her voice pitched high on Jonathan.

Willow grinned. "You should totally call her when we get back home."

Buffy grinned. "Now Willow, it would just be immature of me to rub it in poor Cordy's face that I'm dating a celebrity and she's not. It's a good thing I have yet to mature." She pulled a black dress from the rack and held it to her body. She glanced in the mirror and made a face. She stuck the dress back on the rack.

Willow pulled out a green one and held it up for inspection. "Green always makes your eyes look greener." She commented.

"Do you think Jonathan likes my eyes more blue or more green?" Buffy asked.

Willow pondered the question. "Maybe you should go with something teal, a little bit of both."

"Good idea." Buffy searched through the racks. The only thing teal she found was something that resembled a prom dress from the eighties with one shoulder and a huge ruffle down the side of the entire thing.

"What about this one?" Willow held up a blue gray sheath dress that was simple and elegant.

"Oooo it's perfect!" Buffy declared. She snatched it from Willow's hands and took it into the dressing room.

"Do you think I should wear heels?" Buffy asked through the dressing room door. "I don't think I should. I mean I feel like I'm too tall already."

"I'm coming down on the side of no heels." Willow said

"Me too," Buffy said coming out of the dressing room. She did a twirl.

Willow clapped. "It's perfect."

Buffy studied herself in the mirror. "You're sure, because this is Jonathan. It's got to be perfect."

"Positive." Willow reassured her.

Buffy purchased the dress and the girls walked back to their dorm room, stopping for an iced mocha on the way.

Buffy picked up the phone and dialed the number for Angel Investigations in Los Angeles as soon as she walked in the door. She was waiting for someone to pick up and talking to Willow. "You know, Will. I really don't know why I took the time to memorize this number. I guess in case there was an apocalypse, or something." The answering machine picked up. Buffy waited patiently for Cordy's voice to give her instructions. "Hi Cordy, this is Buffy. I hadn't talked to you in so long and I really just wanted to catch up with you. I've got a date with Jonathan though so I've really got to go get ready."

Willow grinned at her. "Very subtle, Buffy. She'll be green with envy when she hears that."

"Yeah, that was sort of the point." Buffy said hanging up the phone. "Now, I really do have to get ready."

Jonathan picked her up in a white limo. She had never had any guy pick her up in a limo. They went to the new French restaurant in Sunnydale. The maitre de greeted them by name and showed them to a private room.

"Oh, Jonathan, you didn't have to do this, really the Double Meat Palace would have made me just as happy." Buffy said.

"Nonsense, I wanted us to have plenty of uninterrupted time to talk. We don't really get to do that much, do we? Just talk." Jonathan said as he pulled her chair out from the table for her. Buffy sat down and he scooted her up to the table. He sat down across from her.

"Well, you're so busy saving the world, or helping the President run the country, or touring for your new book, your new CD and acting in movies- "Buffy trailed off.

Jonathan chuckled. "Yes, it really doesn't leave much time for a social life, does it?"

"Well, you managed to find time for Jennifer Lopez." Buffy said with a hint of a pout in her voice.

Jonathan chucked her gently under the chin. "I'm not here with Jennifer now, am I?"

A smile spread over Buffy's face. "No, you're not." She looked down at the menu and wrinkled her nose. She'd taken French in high school but could only make out about a third of the menu. "What's good here?" she asked.

"Why don't you let me take care of that?" Jonathan reached out and took the menu from her. His hands brushed hers as he did and she felt a tingle all the way to her toes.

She looked at him with a silly grin and agreed.

Halfway through the meal a waitress snuck into the dining room. She inched over to their table and pulled a book out from behind her back. "Jonathan, Sir, I know you're here with a date and everything but could you please just sign your book for me?"

"Oh, of course." Jonathan said pleasantly and took the thick book from her.

"It's Karen, with a K." The waitress said.

Jonathan smiled and signed the book, To Karen, if you really want something you can make it happen, love Jonathan. He handed the book back and Karen nearly tripped over blushing and walking backwards out of the room.

Jonathan chuckled and shook his head. "You know, the fans never really get it. I'm just a normal guy, just like any of them." He gestured at the nonexistent crowd in the room.

"No, Jonathan, you're not just like them. You're a hero and sometimes people need heroes to believe in." Buffy said.

Jonathan smiled at her. "Well, I don't know about me being a hero, but you're right about needing something to believe in."

After dinner, Jonathan took her to the Bronze. She hung tightly to his arm and carried her head high. Buffy Summers was there with the guy every other girl wanted to be there with.

She thought she'd melt right on the spot when he got up on stage.

"This goes out to a very special lady," he said and winked at Buffy.

She swooned. She actually swooned. She didn't know anyone outside of romance novel heroines with corsets laced too tightly actually swooned, but she did it. A hushed whisper came over the crowd as Jonathan begin to sing a song from his latest CD to her, of all girls. Buffy barely even heard Xander and Anya arguing behind her.

"Looks like another one bites the Buff dust." Xander said.

Buffy blushed. "No, I mean really, it's Jonathan."

"Just goes to show, even god-like superstars aren't immune to the Buffinator." Xander teased.

Buffy listened to the song, her eyes riveted to Jonathan. She almost didn't notice the waitress from the restaurant rushing up to the stage. It was the blood that drew her attention. "Oh, are you okay? Karen, wasn't it?" Buffy said.

Karen nodded. Jonathan noticed her standing next to Buffy. He handed off the microphone to the guitar player and stepped off the stage. He took Karen by the arms and Buffy couldn't help but feel a twinge of jealousy. "Karen, tell me what hurt you. I can help" He said.

Karen told her story, rambling and disconnected as it was, in the limo on the way back to Jonathan's mansion. Buffy called Giles from the phone in the car. He was going to meet them at Jonathan's house.

Giles was waiting when they arrived. Jonathan led them all into a comfortable study. There was a blazing fire already going. "Let's get you warmed up a little bit." He said as he led Karen to a chair in front of the fireplace.

"Now, tell me what this monster looked like." Jonathan said once Karen was comfortably seated in front of the fire place with a hot toddy.

"It was ugly-big ugly-and all bent over with these huge arms-and scabs and stuff." Karen said.

Jonathan clucked and patted Karen on the shoulder. Buffy begin pacing, blowing puffs of air out her nose. She understood Jonathan's need to help Karen. He was a hero, a champion, after all, but the girl was injured not mortally wounded. She didn't need that much comforting.

"Jonathan, I'm sure you're smothering her. She probably just wants to go back to her own apartment, go to sleep and forget it ever happened." Buffy said.

Karen shot Buffy a dirty look over the rim of her glass. "Actually, I'm feeling very fragile right now. I'm not ready to be anywhere by myself." She turned big brown doe eyes on Jonathan.

Buffy fumed. Fragile, she'd show her fragile. She clenched her hands into fists at her side and tried to paste on a bright and happy smile.

"Oh! It had a mark on its forehead, like a symbol." Karen said.

"Perhaps you could draw it for us?" Giles spoke up for the first time. He dug a note pad and pencil out of his briefcase and passed them over to Karen. Karen drew a triangle with a six point star in it. She handed the notepad to Jonathan.

Jonathan stared hard at the drawing. His confidence and charisma seemed to have evaporated at first sight of the symbol. He cleared his throat. "Well, this is a clue."

Buffy noticed the change. "Jonathan?"

"It's just-I know this symbol. It's not a demon, just a monster, not much more then an animal really. It sticks to the woods, never comes to more populated areas." He said.

"But it did, this time." Buffy pointed out.

"It was probably just a fluke. It got turned around, scared. Karen was probably the first person it's seen. She scared it and it attacked her, as a means of defense." Jonathan said.

"But it could stray into more populated areas again." Buffy argued. "I should patrol, make sure it doesn't spook and hurt someone else."

"No." Jonathan said a bit too firmly. "I'll handle it. I'll do a through patrol when we're done here. I'll have my driver take Karen home."

"But-but I'm fragile." Karen protested.

"You can use my phone and call a friend to stay with you." Jonathan retrieved a cordless phone for her.

Karen grudgingly called a friend and arranged to be met at her apartment. Buffy breathed a sigh of relief when the girl was gone.

Jonathan took both her hands in hers. His confidence and charisma seemed to be back in full force. She must have imagined it earlier. He kissed the knuckles of her hands. "This is not how I wanted our evening to turn out, Buffy. I apologize. Perhaps we could do this again sometime?"

Buffy beamed at him. "Anytime you want, I'm free." She said.

"Alright, but I've got to track this animal down now. Why don't you let Giles take you home? I'll call you tomorrow." He promised. He leaned forward and pecked her on the cheek.

Buffy knocked on Tara's dorm room door. Willow had woken her up early because Tara had been hurt by the same animal that had hurt Karen. Tara had been inside the dorm hall when she was attacked.

Willow opened the door and stepped aside to allow Buffy in. "Is she going to be okay?" Buffy asked.

"Yeah, I think so. She's scared. Someone found her in the janitor's closet this morning. I think she was there all night." Willow sounded guilty as if she should have known something was wrong, something had tried to hurt Tara.

Buffy put her hand on Willow's arm and smiled slightly at her. "Its okay, Will. You didn't know."

Willow just nodded and handed Buffy a piece of paper. "Tara drew that. It was on the monster's forehead."

It was the same symbol Karen had drawn.

"It can't be the same monster. Jonathan said we were all safe. Jonathan said it." Willow repeated. If Jonathan said it, it had to be true, after all he was Jonathan.

Buffy stopped by her dorm room on the way to see Anya. She smiled. There were two dozen white roses sitting on the desk. She leaned forward to smell them, plucking the card from the vase as she did. She breathed in the sweet scent of roses.

Buffy, Thanks for a beautiful evening. I look forward to doing it again sometime.

She swooned again. That was the second time in as many days.

Buffy was in mythology class with Willow when it first started niggling in the back of her head. Something was wrong about this whole monster thing. Maybe it was her slayer senses but she knew there was more to this then Jonathan was telling them. Not that Jonathan would ever lie to them of course, he was Jonathan after all. He was probably withholding information for their own good, to protect them.

The more she thought about it, the more it bothered Buffy. She couldn't get over the way Jonathan looked almost-well scared last night when he first saw the symbol Karen had drawn. She tried to dismiss the idea. Jonathan wasn't scared. He was Jonathan. He must have been-something else, not scared. It was in history that she got the idea and a theory begin forming. Surprisingly enough, she needed Anya for this one.

She knocked on the door to Xander's basement. Anya opened it.

"Xander isn't here right now." She said and begin to shut the door.

Buffy stopped the door with a palm flat against it. "It's okay, I came to talk to you really." She stepped into the half open door without an invitation. Anya shrugged, shut the door and sat down on the couch where she was reading Jonathan's latest book. Buffy was left to stand in the center of the room. She turned slowly, looking around. The basement was a Jonathan shrine. There were Jonathan posters, books, and trading cards. Jonathan brand name clothes were strewn across a Jonathan bedspread. A pair of the tennis shoes Jonathan endorsed stuck out from beneath the bed.

"Does it ever seem odd to you?" Buffy asked.

Anya looked up. "Oh, you're still here. Does what seem odd?"

"That Jonathan is so perfect." Buffy said.

Anya looked at her like she had just suggested all ex-demons be wiped off the face of the earth. "Of course not, he's Jonathan. He is perfect." Her voice took on a dreamy quality.

"Well, yeah, but-okay, he fights better then me. I'm the Slayer, the one and only girl in the world with the power to battle the forces of evil. That's supposed to mean something, you know?" Buffy said.

Anya stood up and patted her hard on the back. "Oh it's okay. I mean I'm sure you'll be fine. You're great at slaying and Hip Hip Hurrah Go Buffy!"

"Really not looking for validation here." Buffy looked at her oddly. "What I mean is he just seems to do everything so well."

"Yeah, he's Jonathan. Is there a point to this because if not, could you leave? I'm trying to read Jonathan's book and your pointless chatter is ruining my concentration." Anya said.

"Yes, there's a point. When you were a demon you granted wishes, right?" Buffy said.

"Duh, do we not all remember Cordelia's wish?" Anya was quickly growing annoyed.

"So feasibly someone could wish the whole world different, right?" Buffy said.

"Again with the Duh." Anya sighed. She could see she wasn't going to get rid of Buffy until she gave her some sort of solid answer. "They're called alternate realities. You could have a whole world with just shrimp, or without any shrimp. You could even create an entire world where Jonathan is some short little nerdy guy who's good at nothing if that was what you really wanted. I wouldn't want to live there because a world without Jonathan exactly the way he is. Talk about Hell-"Anya trailed off. "Does that answer your question? Can you go now?"

"I think it does." Buffy said.

Buffy walked through the campus trying to gather her thoughts and her information. Things were beginning to make sense in the way that doesn't, but you know it should. She was so lost in her thoughts she didn't notice Jonathan had walked up beside her until he said something.

"Buff, earth to Buffy." He said.

She glanced over and smiled at him. She couldn't help it. After all, he was Jonathan. "Hi,"

"So what kind of deep thoughts were going on in that pretty head of yours?" He asked.

She blushed and tried to keep firmly in mind the theories and ideas that had been rolling around in her brain seconds before Jonathan arrived. Somehow she just couldn't grasp them. "Oh, nothing, history homework-that I need to do." She made an excuse.

He nodded. "You know I graduated valedictorian at medical school. I could help you study if you needed it."

"No, I'd hate to bother you like that. I mean its just-well my life, but I'll be fine." Buffy said.

"Really, it's not a bother." He glanced down at his watch. "I've got to get going. I'm doing an interview with Barbra Walters this evening. Can you tell Giles I'll be missing the Scooby meeting tonight, but we've got a study date after my interview, just you me and a history book." He winked at her, fired a makeshift gun with his forefinger and thumb and jogged off.

Buffy stood in the middle of Giles' apartment. She knew what she had to say was not going to make her popular with anyone here, but it had to be said. She felt like she was trembling on the edge of a precipice. What she was about to say would destroy their entire worlds, if it was true. With a deep breath, she jumped. "Ok, so does anyone here besides me think maybe Jonathan is a little too perfect?"

There was a moment of shocked silence. Finally Xander spoke up. "He dumped you, didn't he?"

"No! He did not dump me!" Buffy protested.

"Is it about the other night, when you needed his help to take out that nest?" Giles asked. "Because I'm sure there are chronicles of other slayers needing help, sometime."

"No, this isn't about me. He-he graduated from Medical School, starred in the Matrix and never left Sunnydale!" Buffy said.

Xander scoffed. "Buff, we know he's done those things. I mean we saw him grind the Master's bones to dust, we saw him send Angelus to Hell because you didn't want to kill your former boyfriend. We were at graduation when he blew up the big Snake Mayor moments before it ate the entire graduating class of 1999."

Buffy sighed. This was getting her no where. "I don't know if we can trust our memories, or what we think we've seen. Anya, tell them about alternate realities."

Anya grumbled and groused but she stood up. "There's this thing, you could create an alternate reality without say shrimp or if you really loved shrimp you could create a world with nothing but shrimp. You'd just have to find the right demon or spell or whatever to make it happen. None of you remember it but I did the same thing when Cordelia wished Buffy had never come to Sunnydale, of course I didn't really realize what I was doing but that's beside the point. It would be easy really, you'd just say Oh I wish there was a world with nothing in but shrimp, and poof shrimp world, of course you'd have to specify that you didn't want to be a shrimp, unless you want-"

"Anya, you're saying it all wrong!" Buffy said. "I think that Jonathan may be doing something, manipulating the world, making an alternate reality and we're all his pawns."

"Or prawns," Anya said.

"Stop with the shrimp, Anya. Thanks for your help. I really think I'm on to something here, guys." Buffy said.

"Buffy, really it all sounds like utter nonsense." Giles said.

"Yeah and who'd want to live in a world where Jonathan wasn't so Jonathanesque." Xander visibly shuddered.

"Listen! I think maybe Jonathan is ignoring evidence and maybe he let Tara get hurt." Buffy said.

That got Willow's attention. "No, Jonathan would never do that; I mean let someone get hurt, would he?"

"Maybe let is a strong word. I mean I don't think he did it on purpose." Buffy said.

"What do you mean, ignoring evidence?" Giles asked.

"Ok, well that monster had a mark on it and when Jonathan saw it he kind of-blinked." Buffy said.

"The man moistened his eyeballs and we're having a meeting over it?" Xander said. "Was it a long blink or a quick blink like he does in that scene in the Matrix where the guy turns into an agent?"

"It was a blink. He was reacting to the symbol on the monster. I know it. Call it slayer senses or spidey senses or creepy senses, whatever you want. I'm on to something. Wait, Giles, do you have a Jonathan swim suit calendar?" Buffy asked.

"Oh, well-I-no-yes but it was a gift." Giles stammered. He retreated into another room and returned holding the calendar.

Buffy took it and flipped through it. She stopped on the month of June. "Look, there on his shoulder. It's the same symbol the monster had."

"Why would Jonathan have the same symbol as the monster tattooed on his shoulder?" Willow asked.

"I don't know but he's definitely keeping-"Buffy started.

"Is this a private conversation or can Mr. June step in?" Jonathan said as he walked in the room.

"Jonathan, I-uhm I thought we were supposed to meet for our study date after your interview." Buffy said.

"Yeah, I got through early. I thought I'd come help all of you with the research on this monster." Jonathan said.

"Hi, Jonathan, Buffy was just saying how she thinks you let a monster cut up Willow's friend, but I don't believe that and I think Xander would be open to a threesome if you ever wanted to try one." Anya rambled out rapidly.

Xander blushed brightly and cleared his throat. "Anya, hon."

"Buffy?" Jonathan looked at her in question.

"No, to the threesome and what Anya was saying. It's just-the mark. I mean you said it was safe, and it wasn't and you didn't want me to patrol. I just don't understand." Buffy said.

Jonathan took a deep breath and smiled like a patient parent. "Then I'll explain. Buffy is right. I do have a history with the monster. The problem is every time I face it my mind becomes confused. There's some kind of power it possesses."

"Oh so it's your kryptonite like handsome haunting undead guys are Buffy's-wait that didn't sound right." Xander said mentally retracing his words in confusion.

Jonathan smiled at Xander. "Maybe, I just know it takes all of my energy to fight the confusion. That's why I had the mark tattooed on me, so I wouldn't underestimate the monster next time."

"But, why have it tattooed where you can't see it?" Buffy asked still suspicious.

"Duh, he looks in the mirror." Anya rolled her eyes.

"It does all make sense now. Thank you for clearing that up, Jonathan." Giles said.

"Yeah, I knew you wouldn't do anything like that on purpose." Xander assured him.

"Me too!" Willow was quick to jump in. "Besides that whole alternate universe thing, just too freaky for me."

"Let's go get the monster, Jonathan. You and me, right now." Buffy said.

"Oh, I'm sure it's left town by now. It never sticks around long." Jonathan said.

As if on cue the monster smashed through the window. Anya screamed, or maybe it was Xander. Buffy swept a battle axe off the wall and charged the monster but it was already gone. She looked around confused. "Ok, so he hasn't left town. Come on, Jonathan. We'll let these guys research." She jumped through the gaping hole in the wall left by the monster. Jonathan followed rather reluctantly on her heels.

Willow, Xander, Anya and Giles flipped through books. A couple of workmen were busy hammering a piece of plywood over the hole in the wall until the window could be replaced.

"Oh-I-uh-I found the symbol. It's part of an augmentation spell." Willow looked up crestfallen. "I think maybe Buffy was right, in a way. Jonathan did an augmentation spell that turns the sorcerer, in this case him, into a paragon of sorts. He would be the best of everything, every one's ideal person. But-there's a drawback."

"I'm guessing it isn't something joyful, fluffy and full of sugar." Xander said.

"No, more like big, ugly, lumpy, scabby and attack-y." Willow sighed.

Giles hmmed and read the book over Willow's shoulder. "In order to balance the ideal paragon of good, the spell must also create the ideal paragon of evil, everyone's worst nightmare."

"Ewww he made a 6 foot tall bunny?" Anya shrieked.

"No," Giles looked at her oddly. I believe he created the monster."

"Oh," Anya slouched back into the couch.

"So, Jonathan and Buffy are going to be okay, going after this thing, right?" Xander said.

"Yes, well at least I believe so. The creature and Jonathan are linked. If this monster dies, Jonathan's spell is reversed." Giles said.

Jonathan grabbed Buffy's wrist to steady her as she peered over the edge of a bottomless hole. She stepped back and glanced around the cave. "Whoa, fall down there and be dead for awhile after you've fallen for like ever." she said.

Jonathan nodded. "Yeah, don't want that to happen. Come on, monster's not here." He started to lead her out of the cave.

The monster leapt at Jonathan from the shadows. He caught him with an uppercut that sent him flying back toward the pit.

Buffy struck the monster with a flying roundhouse kick. It staggered back slightly. She kept it on the defensive with a strong roundhouse jab uppercut combination. The monster roared and blocked her right hook. It grabbed her by the wrist and tossed her to the side. Buffy rolled to her feet, shaking her head to clear it. "That wasn't very nice." She shouted at it.

The monster rushed at her. Buffy tried to roll out of the way but the monster grabbed her and tossed her over near Jonathan, who was getting to his feet. He broke off a stalactite and bashed the monster over the head with it twice. The monster kept coming. He backhanded Jonathan and sent him sprawling again.

Buffy caught the monster in the head with a snap kick. It staggered back but recovered quickly. Buffy ducked the monster's haymaker, coming up behind it. She grabbed him around the neck from behind. "What do I do, Jonathan?" She screamed.

"I think you're going to have to handle this one solo." He said.

"No, I'm not ready for solo." She said.

"Yes, you are. You'll know. You used to do it." He assured her.

"What?" She said as the monster nearly shook her loose. She tightened her grip on his neck.

"Trust me. The more you hurt it, the more I'll lose my-" Jonathan trailed off.

"Lose your what?" Buffy asked.

The monster finally got loose. It roared and turned on Buffy. She caught it with a fist to the solar plexus. The monster bent over with a roar and charged at her. She swept her feet under it and tripped it up. She kicked to her feet.

"Wow, I remember this. This is good." She said confidently as she wailed on the monster.

Jonathan couldn't help but smile at her. It was like watching a thoroughbred run or a lion hunt. She was doing what she was born to do. "I thought you would." He said.

The monster ducked Buffy's spinning hook kick. Jonathan tackled the monster, driving it over the edge of the pit. He went with it. Buffy dove and caught him by the ankle. He whimpered a little at being hung upside down like that.

A shimmering light washed over the cave. Buffy hauled Jonathan out of the pit. She leveled a gaze at him. "Come on, let's get you home." She said.

He smiled sheepishly and nodded.

Buffy sat on the table in the quad, face turned up to the sun. She smiled when Willow, Xander and Anya walked up. Willow sat down beside her.

"Wow, I can't believe it. I can't believe we believed it." Willow said.

"Yeah it is pretty unbelievable." Buffy agreed.

"Alternate realties are neat." Anya said.

"Yes they are, in a way that you will never try them on me." Xander said looking at Anya.

"I can't do that anymore anyway. Although an alternate reality where you had a twin or even a triplet might be fun." Anya said.

"You know what I'll always remember?" Xander said.

"The swimsuit calendar?" Willow piped up.

"Yes-I mean no, I'll always remember the way he made me feel about myself, respected valued, sort of tingly inside." Xander said.

Buffy looked up. Jonathan was standing a few feet away looking at her. She stood up and walked over to him.

"Hi, I wasn't sure you'd come over here. Nobody's really talking to me." He said

She shrugged. "When the chips were down you helped me do the right thing. Why did you do it anyway, never mind I get the why. How?"

"After the thing with the tower and the gun, I went to counseling and a lot of the kids were trying different ways to deal with things. One of them had this spell. He sort forgot to mention the monster part. Anyway, I just wanted to apologize. No one was supposed to get hurt." Jonathan said and glanced down at his shoes.

"You get why everyone is angry, don't you? It's not the people that were hurt. I mean yeah that was bad but what was worse was you making everyone your puppets." Buffy said.

"But you guys weren't! I mean you were my friends." Jonathan protested.

"Yeah friends who you made their entire lives lies. Jonathan, you can't take one big gesture and make everything right. Things, life, is complicated. It takes time and work." Buffy tried to explain.

"Yeah, I sort of get that now." He said. "And thanks, for you know, not letting me fall down that pit."

Buffy smiled. "Yeah it's sort of my job. Class protector doesn't stop just because the class has all gone its own separate ways."

Jonathan smiled at her and then turned and walked off.

Buffy tossed down her history book. She was just never going to get this and how was knowing what a bunch of old dead guys did going to help her in slaying anyway, which was the only future she was ever going to get. The phone rang and Buffy pounced on it, grateful for the distraction.

"Hello," She said.

"Buffy,"

Her heart caught in her throat and the room was suddenly devoid of air. "Angel," It sounded like a question even though she knew that voice. She would know that voice anywhere.

"Yeah, I heard your message on the machine and I just called to let you know that Cordy is on vacation. She'll be back next week." He said.

"Oh, well, uhm it wasn't important. I just-"She stopped and glanced around the room for a hole she could crawl in. She remembered all to well what that message had said.

"So, you had a date. That's good. I mean, that's great." Angel's voice sounded forced and wooden.

"Yeah, I mean no-it wasn't-it was nothing, really nothing, Angel." Buffy said. Tears rushed to her eyes.

"Good-I mean not that-how are things there?" He asked.

"Things are-you know, it's Sunnydale. If I can go a few more months without an apocalypse, I'll be alright." Buffy said.

"Yeah, well when that inevitable apocalypse comes, or if you just need me-I mean my help with something-I'm just a phone call away." Angel said.

Buffy nodded. She would have said thanks except unshed tears were choking her and she couldn't speak.

"I guess I'll let you go then." Angel said.

"Okay, thanks for calling." She said.

"Thanks for answering." He said as he hung up.

Buffy hung up the phone and laid down in bed with tears streaming down her cheeks. She'd have to talk to Anya about alternate realities where there wasn't a loophole to Angel's curse or he wasn't a vampire. If Jonathan could create one where he was a superstar, surely she could create one where she and Angel could be together.