Title: Saving Nine
Author: Celyia (ladycelyia@aol.com)
Rating: PG
Genre: Adventure
Summary: After being hurtled back through time, Buffy tries to find her way home with the help of a familiar, yet unfamiliar face.
Time Period: Set *right* before Season 5's Crush and veers off into its own lil alternative universe
Disclaimer: Buffy 'n stuff belong to Joss 'n company. I'm just hijacking them for a bit.
Feedback: Please! This one has a very vague story arc, so it can go pretty much anywhere. If you have an idea, email me!
NOTES: The writing on this one is a bit weaker than my normal junk, but this one, I think, makes up for it in fluffiness.






Chapter One


Giles,

God help me, I don't know where to start.

It's stupid, but its been three days and I still can't find it in me to write down the date. Of course, I'm not supposed to be able to write anyway so I guess it's cool enough.

Okay, enough stalling. I guess I should write this down before I get summoned again. Bleh. That's such a bitch. I swear that woman can't do a damn thing for herself. But of course, why should she when little Buffy can do it for her?

Annie. I mean "Annie". God. I feel like I should have short, curly red hair and an obnoxiously optimistic personality. Yeah, forgive me if I don't start breaking out into song right now: that woman would probably use it as an excuse to dock my pay. Again.

You know, I've just read this over and I'm willing to bet my last quid (See. And you thought I would never get ahold of this british currency thing. Quid is such a weird word, though. Oh, well. But what do you expect from the same people who came up with calling french fries "chips", right?) ...um. Just slightly off track there for a second. Anyway, I'm willing to bet my last quid that I've confused the hell out of you.

I miss you, Giles. I don't think I ever told you enough that I love you. I do, you know. I mean, if I ever had the chance to choose who my father would be... Well, you get the idea. I know you, Mom, and the Scoobies have to be pretty worried right now and I don't know what's going to happen. Or if I'll ever get back. So I thought I'd try my best to make you guys feel better. If everything goes right, you just may get this in a hundred years before I leave.

I can almost see your face now. What I wouldn't give to see that look of utter disbelief! God, Giles. I really miss you. I better tell you what happened, though.

A few days ago, Spike burst into the shop out of no where. He was going off about some sort of demon he just saw at the Bronze. Made quite a scene, too. But of course, that's Spike. He likes making scenes.

Anyway...





She pushed herself back in her chair, her pink nails pulling at her lower lip as she regarded the vampire with a look of intense irritation.

"Come on, Giles. Lemme stake him," Buffy Summers barely afforded a glance for the tall, lanky watcher as she continued to glare at Spike. With a bright smile, she tapped the pressboard table with a small, white hand. "In fact, if you let me, I'll even vacuum afterwards."

"And if you act now, we'll throw in this handy dandy package of yummy Lay's potato chips and some really happy looks at no extra charge," Xander quipped in his best InfoMercial voice.

"Potato chips? You don't, er, say," Giles repeated blankly as he continued to pour over the opened book, his thin lips tugged into a preoccupied frown. Slender fingers flittered over the small text as he sighed, lost in thought.

"Sod off. The lot of you," the vampire grumbled automatically as his eyes flit quickly over the small, black text before him. He pursed his lips as he flipped through the pages. "It's not in here."

"It's not in anywhere," the Watcher sighed, his voice unusually taut. "Are you sure about this, Spike?"

The vampire just growled menacingly as he scoured through the text.

Buffy leaned back precariously in her chair as her attention drifted away from the man and monster. Her hand raised up to her lips, she yawned tiredly as the long night finally began to exhaust her body. With a small smile, she curled up in her chair, still balancing on the back legs, as she closed her hazel eyes.

"You could help, you know," the vampire protested irritably as he slammed the book down on the desk.

Buffy reluctantly opened her eyes to glare at the vampire.

"I could. But it wouldn't annoy you half as much," the girl smiled sweetly as her eyes fluttered closed. "Anyway, Giles. I'm just going to close my eyes for a few minutes..."

Giles nodded distractedly as he fumbled through the stack of books on the desk.

"Are you, um, positive about this?" he asked the vampire once again.

Spike threw the book across the room, startling the Slayer out of her light slumber. "Do you think I am here for the ambiance?"

Buffy yawned as she snapped her chair upright. Lazily, she picked up a nearby book and flipped through the pages.

"So what am I looking for again?" she asked Giles, ignoring the vampire completely.

Spike closed his eyes as he mimed taking a deep breath.

"Chronos demon," he enunciated the word slowly, his voice condescending as he regarded the Slayer.

"A chronos demon?" Xander repeated, smirking as he continued chomping on the potato chips. "Didn't the psycho bitch leave you for one of those?"

Spike looked to the heavens in a distinctive "Why Me?" gesture. "That was a chaos demon, you dolt. We are looking for a chronos demon. Not chaos."

"Same diff."

"I d-don't believe it really would be the 'same diff', Xander. If what Spike is saying is true..."

"If it is true?" Spike repeated incredulously, genuinely offended.

"...then it could very well mean the end of the world as we know it," Giles continued without missing a beat.

"Hey, and I feel fine," Xander sang suddenly as he quirked a cocky grin at the Slayer, sending the girl into a fit of the giggles.

In a huff of rage, the vampire shot to his feet, causing the wooden chair to tumble to the floor.

"I don't believe you wankers!" Spike stormed as he got right in Buffy's somewhat bewildered face. "I'm trying to help you..."

"HA!" the Slayer growled back, pushing herself forward until their noses nearly bumped.

"Articulate much," the vampire grumbled, unable to tear his blue eyes from her limpid hazel ones.

"Help us? Like you'd ever do a damn thing if it didn't benefit you in some way," Buffy's lips twisted in disgust as she regarded the vampire. With an impatient snort, she fell back into the chair only to ignore him.

Spike stood there silently as he looked at the people in the room, his eyes darting from mortal to mortal. His forehead wrinkled as he looked around at the people he had spent the last year with, the ones he had considered friends...if only in a twisted sense. He tried to keep from looking at the Slayer, but his eyes always seemed to pull towards her whenever she was in the vicinity. It was almost as if the bloody things had a mind of their own.

"So, what's this chronos demon do anyway?" Xander asked as he wiped his greasy hands on his jeans.

The vampire let out an exasperated sigh as he leaned against the table. With a grunt, he tossed a book into the boy's lap.

"How many bloody times do I have to explain it?"

"'Til ya just get it right!" Xander grinned, gesturing with mock enthusiasm.

"Read it, Wank. Look for anything regarding a chaos demon...Oh, sod off. I mean, chronos," Spike grumbled as he tossed a book towards the young man.

With a dainty finger, Buffy skimmed half-heartedly through the book the vampire just abandoned.

"Chronos, huh?"

"Chronos. C-h-r-o-n-o-s, for those of you who are mentally challenged...which, now that I think about it, is the whole bleedin' lot of you."

The Watcher stared at the vampre blankly, his mouth twitching as his mind registered the slight.

Spike continued on, unrepetent as he skimmed through the books.

"Nasty little buggers, chronos demons are. They have this charming little habit of causing time pockets..."

"Um, t-time pockets?" Giles asked quietly, looking slightly askance and perhaps a little more than skeptical at the suggestion.

"Bloody git. Yeah, time pocket. Hello? You can fight demons without batting an eyelash, hanging out with werewolves and witches doesn't seem to give you pause at all, and one of your best chums is a rat... literally, but you find the idea of a time pocket too incredible to be true. Earth to Scoobies. Hello. You live on the Hellmouth!"

Buffy rolled her eyes as she turned her attention to her Watcher.

"Chronos demon...?"

"Ah, yes. C-chronos.... um, I'm afraid I know as much as you do about this one," Giles sighed as he started fumbling through yet another book.

"...nasty little buggers who insist on mucking around in the fabric of time. Hence the name 'chronos demon'," Spike spoke slowly, his voice patronising and emphatic.

"And how do you know so much about these guys, O Evil One?" Xander asked suddenly, the mocking scowl on his broad face anything but respectful.

"Ran across one once before. Damn unsettling, too. Look, mate, chronos demons and the Hellmouth just don't mix. If the bloke's here, he's itching to cause a little trouble. With that Glory trollop running around the place, the last thing we need is to have some demon mucking things up."

"We?" Buffy repeated incredulously. "And since when did you become one of us? Hell, since when did you start caring about anything other than your sorry ass?"

"You really are a git, aren't you? Do I have to spell it out for you, Slayer? I'm HELPING!"

"Whatever."

Spike thrust his hands in front of himself suddenly, his face seeming to turn a bit red.

"Why do I bother? Not like it will be the end of the bloody world... well, for me, anyway. Don't listen to me. Just bloody remember I warned you!" he growled as he stalked from the room.

Giles and Buffy exchanged long-suffering looks.

"Fine."

Giles nodded wordlessly as he watched the young woman rise from her seat.

"I think I'm going to go see what the resident evil is plotting," Buffy sighed as she looked longingly towards the chair.

"Oh, I'll come with," Xander offered as he moved to stand up.

"Naaah, don't bother. I mean, it's only Spike. Wait here for Willow and the gang. I should be back in a few minutes anyway."

Xander frowned but resettled himself into the chair.

"Got it, Buffster. Be safe out there, 'kay?"

Buffy turned an angelic smile onto her friends as she slowly walked out of the Magic Shop.

"Always."





We never did find anything in your books. Maybe if we had, I would have taken this a bit more seriously and wouldn't now be trapped 123 years in the past.

Yeah, Giles. I'm stuck in 1878.

And I don't know how to get home.

Funny thing was that of all the possible scenarios running around in my head, this one never occured to me. Bleh. I mean, really. It's so like Dark Shadows-y. Figures, doesn't it? My life is a giant soap opera.

But I'm not complaining. No, really. 'Cause if I complain, I'll mutate into Sniffling Slayer, who, coincidentally (did I spell that right?), has no special slaying powers except to annoy the demons to death. Bleh. Anyway, I have hope. Yup, that's me. Full of hope. I'll find my way home. Tomorrow. Anything is possible then. You'll see.

Ack. Okay, I'm definitely getting too close to bursting out into song right now.... or tears. Either way, both carry an extremely high Ick Factor. I'll write you again tomorrow, Giles. I really do miss you. Man, I hate writing. My hand hurts. I'll finish telling you the story tomorrow. In person. After I kick the demon's ass and get my own ass back home. I will. Not sure how, but I will. Give my love to Mom and Dawn and keep a little for yourself, okay?

Love you much,

Buffy