Author: Jedi Buttercup
Summary: B:tVS/ST:TOS. Willow comes through: Buffy goes home again. Unfortunately. 300 words.
Disclaimer: The words are mine; the worlds are not. I claim nothing but the plot.
Notes: Thus concludes the "Transporter Malfunction" challenge drabblefic thread.
Several very confused minutes after Scotty initialized the Enterprise's transporter beams-- and several hundred years in the past-- Buffy discovered that it had been Willow, meddling in the flows of space and time, who'd caused the original transporter malfunction that switched the Slayer's consciousness with Captain Kirk's. Sufficiently advanced technology had hopelessly tangled with Willow's attempted retrieval spell, with unexpected effects.
The second attempt, this time deliberately coinciding with her next transport, had had much better results: those six years couldn't be taken back, but she was home again... whatever that meant, in a city she'd never lived in with friends who no longer really needed her.
She'd missed a lot of things. Angel had received his Shanshu after all, and wedded his werewolf, Nina; Xander had come back from Africa to comfort Dawn after Buffy's disappearance, and they had three children now. Spike had come, and gone again, dust in yet another apocalypse, though the new Watcher's Council expected him back again any day; Willow and Kennedy were still together, but Robin and Faith were not. The formerly rogue Slayer was now palling around with a former associate of Angel's named Illyria, kicking demon ass somewhere out in China.
Buffy almost wished they'd left her where she was. Still, that was nothing new. Life went on; she Slayed, she went back to school, and she relearned the rhythms of life in the twenty-first century. If sometimes she got out a chessboard and thought wistfully of the future she'd left behind, no one noticed...
...and if a captain who'd discovered himself alone and still inexplicably strengthened on a transporter platform queried Earth's records obsessively in search of references to the missing ensign, only Spock ever knew.
It would be a long time, for both of them, before they met again.