Title: Ghost of the Past
Disclaimer: I still don't own anything, do you really think the horror of A/C would have happened if I was in charge?! So in other words, I don't own a thing and I don't have any money so it's pointless to sue me.
Pairing: B/A of course (do I write any other kind?), some B/R, W/T, A/X
Rating: M, things heat up later, I don't want to reveal anything yet *evil smirk*
Summary: Buffy's normal patrol has a strange ending as she is thrown back in time to correct something that went wrong. Takes place after IWRY but before Buffy and Riley got pelvic. B/A
Feedback: Yes, please.
A/N: I really shouldn't start another fic, actually I had decided not to until I had finished at least one of the others but... I'm weak. I've had this story on my computer since June (2008), the first chapter was almost finished but since I've been busy with my other fics, this was left without attention. Other reason why I decided to take the bull by the horns and finish this is because I can't read Angel's blue eyed girl's fic Wish in Time until I've completed this cause I don't want accidentally copy anything. But it's a good motivator to finish this quickly, heh.
Buffy ran after the demon and swung the battle axe in her hand. The chase had ended up into the park. "Hey buddy, I don't have all night to chase you so let's get this over with. Some of us have homework and boyfriends to go home to", she said and attacked the dark green demon. The large demon dodged all her powerful blows, she didn't even get to touch it but the demon didn't get any punches on her either. She jumped back as the demon tried to claw her and with a swing of her ax, she managed to cut one of the large nails off. The demon growled in anger and attacked more furiously.
The fight was long and fierce and neither one was willing to give up. Buffy finally got a good swing with her axe and sliced a long wound on the demons scaly arm. Nearly black blood spurted out of the cut and sprayed on Buffy's shirt and face. It distracted her for a small moment but it was enough for the demon to strike the axe out of her hand. Blindly she kicked it, hitting a leg but in a blink of an eye, the demon was right in front of her and grabbed her arms, its claws digging into her skin. Before she could do anything, it's hypnotic bright yellow eyes stared into hers and flashed red.
Buffy opened her eyes. The sky was bright blue and there were seagulls circling in the air. She felt soft grass under her and could smell sea air. She blinked, she had a eerie feeling she wasn't in the park anymore. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and opened them again. The seagulls were still there. Buffy started to think back. The last thing she remembered were the red eyes of the big, ugly demon. But what happened? She started to rise from the ground but stopped dead when she noticed the grounds around her. There was a sea and she was laying on a large cliff. Slowly she stood up. She definitely was not in Sunnydale.
"What the.." she whispered to herself.
"O you're awake", she heard a familiar male voice behind her. She spun around with fists raised, ready to strike.
"You!" she ground out and glared at the man in front of her. He was the last person she wanted to see, this couldn't be good.
"Yeah. I know you're not happy to see me, considering how the last time went but just call me Whistler like everyone else", the man said and tried not to back away from the glare the small slayer was giving him.
"What do you want this time?" Buffy questioned, crossing her arms in front of her to keep herself from pounding her fists into the demon's face.
Whistler raised his hands in surrender and said: "Hey, don't shoot the messenger. I'm here just to make it easier for you, I'm thinking you're going to stay here for a good while before you've fulfilled your purpose."
Buffy looked at him with doubtful eyes, she still didn't know if she could trust him. "Where is here?" she asked almost afraid of the answer.
"Galway. Ireland", he answered matter of factly. Buffy just stared at him like he had grown a second head. Had he just said Galway, Ireland?
"What!?" she finally shrieked.
"The demon that you faced was a Meallan demon and that is the reason why you're here in the 18th century Galway", Whistler said and prepared himself for the scream that didn't come. To his surprise Buffy started to laugh without humor. Maybe the slayer had finally lost her mind.
"What? Is this some new let's torture Buffy technique?" Her face was deadly serious and she looked at Whistler waiting for an answer.
"Buffy, I'm just a messenger, I can't do anything about this."
Her eyes narrowed and she took a menacing step forward. "You better tell me what is going on or this time I will rip off your ribcage and use it as a hat", she threatened.
"I see you haven't forgotten me. Okay, I tell you what I know but I'm on the need to know basis myself. You're gonna be stuck here, in the past, till you have done something that was supposed to happen", Whistler answered. Buffy sighed deeply, rubbing her forehead tiredly and raised her eyes back to the demon in front of her.
"Just where in the past am I?" she asked, again she wasn't sure if she really wanted to know.
"The 18th century."
Her eyes widened, she had been thrown back over two hundred years. Then her heart started pounding faster, Angel was still alive, human.
"I will take you to Wilson residence, you will pretend to be Siobhan Wilson's niece from the colonies, meaning America. The Wilsons will know who you are, they work for the Powers and they will help you with acting like you belong to this era", Whistler explained and Buffy frowned.
"Powers? What powers?"
"The Powers That Be. The big bosses", he answered pointing at the sky. He sighed. "And please try not to interfere too much with peoples lives here. And you can't slay, that is the rule straight from the Powers. Now is your chance of being a normal girl", he added.
"Let's say I believe you. But I can't even slay! What if I see someone in trouble, am I just supposed to walk away like I didn't see anything even if I could have helped?!" She sounded angry and that she was, just from the thought of doing something like that. Whistler gave her a small smile.
"There isn't that much demon activity here. What happens is supposed to happen, you can't do anything about it. You can't help here because your place isn't here", he explained in a calming tone. But it did nothing to stop the turmoil that was raging inside of her.
"Come on now, let's go meet the Wilsons. We need to get you settled", he said and started walking away from the small field. She looked after him and a while later followed him. She didn't seem to have a choice.
"What exactly am I supposed to do to get out of here?" she asked taking few running steps to catch up with him.
"Can't tell you, it will happen when it happens. We're on a need to know basis", Whistler answered. Buffy gave him a glare.
"I really don't like you", she stated.
In no time they reached their destination. The house really wasn't a house, it was more like a mansion. Even though it was much cheerful looking than the one Angel used to live in, she couldn't help but make the connection. Just the thought of Angel brought a lump on her throat. Why was it so hard to forget him, he had been gone for several months and she was with Riley now. That was when she remembered.
"Riley", she gasped, one step away from slapping her hand to the forehead. She had completely forgotten her boyfriend. Whistler stopped and turned to look at her.
"Don't worry about him and the others. I think you will be sent back to last night when you have finished here."
"You think?" she cried out, glaring at the man/demon. He just gave her a innocent shrug.
"Let's just go inside", he said trying to escape from answering. They went to the door and Whistler knocked, banging the large ring against the iron block. Soon a man opened the door and told Whistler the Wilsons were waiting in the lounge. Buffy followed him to the lounge where six people were sitting. As soon as she and Whistler stepped into view, they stood up.
"This is Buffy, the slayer that you were told about", Whistler announced. A gentle looking woman in her late forties looked at Buffy and smiled tenderly.
"Miss Buffy. I am Siobhan Wilson. It is a pleasure to meet you and may I welcome you to our family", she said with a soft voice and pulled Buffy into a warm hug. Buffy didn't know how to react. Siobhan pulled back, not loosing the welcoming smile.
"I assume Whistler told you what is happening. Let me introduce you to our family. This handsome devil is my husband Seamus Wilson and here are our handsome boys Cillian and Sean. I'm dreadfully sorry our eldest, Tiernan isn't here to welcome you but he lives in the town, he's a solicitor", Mrs Wilson introduced the men, giving a proud smile at the mention of her oldest son's occupation. The three men gave Buffy court bows. The man Mrs Wilson had introduced as her husband was in his fifty's but handsome in a Giles-like manner. Of course Buffy had never thought of Giles as handsome, only that he looked like a librarian. The two other men were older, Cillian looked like he was in college while Sean was a high schooler, maybe 17, both were good looking guys.
"And here are our beautiful daughters Deirdre and Maire. Whistler told us that you are seventeen of age, that is the same as our Deirdre. You will be sleeping in her room for now until we have arrange sleeping quarters for you", Mrs Wilson continued, Deidre looked much like her mother, she had the same kind of pleasant air about her and Maire was still a little girl, ten years old at the most. "Welcome to the family, Buffy", she added. Buffy gave everybody a small smile. Buffy looked at the family she was going to be living with, they looked nice and she was sure she would like them. That made her miss her own family.
It had been two days since Buffy had woken up in Galway. She and Deirdre had become fast friends and Maire was like the little sister she never had, she reminded her of Celia. The boys treated her like a sister and she met the oldest son. Like Buffy had predicted, she liked the family, Siobhan was a sweet woman and it was evident that Seamus was a decent man who loved his family very much. She wished her own parents could have been like that. All the love that she felt around her made her miss her mother and friends.
Soon they had come to their first problem, Buffy didn't have anything to wear that she didn't attract attention to, the maroon top, well worn jeans and Angel's leather jacket didn't do. For two days she had been wearing Deirdre's old dress, they were about the same height but still the dress was too loose on her. They needed to go dress shopping, a fact that got Deirdre all excited and her enthusiasm was catching. But still Buffy didn't like the idea of wearing a corset.
Buffy and the Wilson women went to a dress boutique looking for proper clothes for her. No matter what century it was, shopping was still fun. "You have to get this dress for the ball", Deirdre said and showed a beautiful red evening dress.
"What ball?" Buffy asked while eying the dress.
"I apologize, I didn't remember to tell you, there is a ball at Mrs O'Shea's residence. She's a wealthy widow who knows everybody, she somehow learned about you. I mean that there is a cousin staying at our house, and she insisted that you have to come and meet everybody. It will be so much fun, there will be dancing and you get to meet nearly every eligible bachelor in town."
Deirdre was excited but Buffy looked at her like she had said something in a different language. "Deirdre, I can't dance ballroom dances and I'm not looking for a husband", she reminded her new friend. Deirdre smiled and let out a small giggle.
"I keep forgetting everything is so different in your time. But do not worry, Cillian and I will teach you how to dance before the ball. So now you do not have any reason not to come and you have to get this dress", she said with a wide smile. It was apparent she would not take no for an answer. Buffy laughed.
"Fine. I sacrifice myself for your amusement."
A bright smile irrupted on Deirdre's face and she was one step away from jumping up and down from excitement. "Mother, Buffy will come to the widow O'Shea's ball with us!" she announced. Siobhan turned, she had been talking to the shop owner and she gave Deirdre a chastising look, signing her to keep her voice lower.
There was a ring of a bell at the door and Seamus walked in. "Are you ladies ready?" he asked even though he already knew the answer.
"What do you think, darling?" Siobhan smiled at her husband who just shook his head. He leaned closer to Buffy and asked almost whispering:
"Are the women same with the shops in your time?"
Buffy smiled and whispered back: "Worse."
"A man can not have a break, can he", he smiled.
"Seamus Wilson, behave yourself", Siobhan chastised her husband with a smile and turned to Buffy. "We will purchase the ball dress for you, if I am not mistaken, it should be a fit but if it does not, Mrs O'Neil is an excellent seamstress." All Buffy could do was nod, just the thought of going to a place full of people made her nervous.
Cillian and Deirdre taught Buffy ballroom dancing and even though she learned quickly, she hoped she wouldn't have to dance with anybody. Later Deirdre helped her to squeeze into her dress, it looked great on her but she still had her doubts, she could remember clearly the Halloween few years before.
The whole way to the widow O'Shea's estate she was fidgeting, wringing her fingers and getting more nervous by the minute. What could she say to those people, she knew very little about the customs and surely they would notice she spoke differently than others. She hoped she was going to a battle instead to a party, at least with demons she knew her place and what to do.
It took a good time before they arrived and it was getting dark when they reached the large mansion. Cillian opened the wagon door and helped the women down. Cillian took Deirdre into his arm and offered the other to Buffy.
"Why thank you, kind sir", Buffy feigned with an accent and only seconds later realized that it might have been lost in Cillian. And it was, he smiled widely and took Buffy's arm into his. Sean smirked at his brother's behavior, it was obvious the older brother was starting to fancy their house guest. Siobhan and Seamus took the lead and the others followed them inside.
The minute the large oak doors opened, a gray haired woman in her late fifties rushed to Siobhan and Seamus. "O my darling, you made it! I am so glad you arrived this early. I can not wait to meet the daughter of your dear sister. Such a shame to loose her to the colonies, she always was such a sweet girl. I always wished she would have married my Patrick, I would have loved to have her as a daughter", the woman spoke with speed of a humming bird. Buffy started to suspect she was on drugs.
"We are happy to be here, Mrs O'Shea. And this is my sweet niece, Buffy", Siobhan answered and pulled Buffy forward so their hostess could meet her. Mrs O'Shea looked at her from head to toe measuring her and seemed to approve judging by the smile on her face.
"You are lovely, my dear. I hear your parents are still in the new country. Do you have a chosen one waiting for your return?" Mrs O'Shea said taking a hold of her arm, pulling her closer. Buffy looked confused.
"Chosen one?" she asked.
"A husband, my dear. I see you are not married but you must have several callers. With your handsome face and good family I am sure you have no trouble at all finding a good husband", Mrs O'Shea answered, patting Buffy's hand.
"O, I do have a boy... a gentleman caller", Buffy answered remembering Riley and almost calling him her boyfriend which she was sure wasn't a word people used couple hundred years earlier. She felt a bang of guilt since it was the first time during the whole day she remembered Riley existed.
"Well despite that you are attached, I must introduce you to people. The Abernethys are waiting to meet the daughter of Siobhan Wilson's sister from the colonies. Dear Siobhan, I am sorry but I must steal her away from you but I will return her before the evening is over. Come with me, dear", Mrs O'Shea said and pulled Buffy with her across the hall to a great ballroom. She leaned closer to Buffy and whispered: "I know you are attached but it does not stop you from enjoying your time here, there are many eligible bachelors here and you must dance with them. I would like to keep you here with us."
"I'm not engaged, Mrs O'Shea", Buffy stated uncertainly and the woman's smile widened, Buffy was afraid she might pull a muscle.
"That is truly good news, my dear. Maybe if I find a right gentleman, we may keep you here with us for good", Mrs O'Shea said feeling very glad about herself, Buffy could see the wheels turning in her head. Mrs O'Shea started to pull her towards some people when she felt the familiar tingling in her belly but only it was slightly different. She looked around herself but didn't see anything that could have caused it. Mrs O'Shea stopped in front of a women about Buffy's mother's age and a older man.
"Mr and Mrs O'Roarke, this is miss Buffy Summers, Mrs Siobhan Wilson's niece from the colonies", Mrs O'Shea introduced Buffy to them.
"It's nice to meet you, Mr and Mrs O'Roarke", she said with a small smile, she had taken note that everyone were very formal while using names.
"As you too, miss Summers. Our son is here somewhere but in his usual manner, he has disappeared", Mrs O'Roarke said with warm voice that was similar to the smile on her face. Buffy could see from Mrs O'Shea's face when the son was mentioned that she didn't approve him.
"Well, I must introduce Buffy to the Abernethys, Mrs Abernethy would never forgive me if I would not do it at once. I will see you later, dear", Mrs O'Shea said and lead Buffy away from the O'Roarkes.
"Mr O'Roarke is a very wealthy man, it is a shame that he does not have a good son. Only a sweet daughter, Cathy, such a wonderful child. But the son, oh how I feel sorry for lovely Mrs O'Roarke, that boy has caused so much pain with his scandalous behavior. But enough of that scoundrel. That is a very pretty dress you are wearing, you do look very lovely. Let me introduce you to Mr Torin Reagan, I am certain he would take a fancy for you", Mrs O'Shea explained and started to drag Buffy towards the people standing in the other end of the dance hall.
Buffy had finally gotten rid of Mrs O'Shea, that woman was impossible to loose. Buffy walked slowly looking around her, just wanting some peace and quiet, she had been introduced to so many people that she just wanted to be alone. But then again she felt the familiar tingling in her belly, not as strong as usually but it was there. She looked around but didn't see anyone so she kept on taking steps forward. She shook her head, trying to clear her thoughts. But then she saw him.
She came to a sudden stop and all she could do was stare at him, absorb him in with her eyes. He looked so young and his face was without all the guilt and shame. He was dressed like every other man in the ball, maybe more casually and his dark hair was long and tied to the back but still he was as beautiful as always. The fact that he was leaning closer to a maid and whispering soft words into her ear was not lost on Buffy. She could feel the jealousy and hurt in her heart. It was like a fist wrapped around her heart, squeezing till it bled. She didn't have any claim on him, he didn't even know her yet, for couple hundred years.
With every strength she had, she turned around and walked away fighting against the tears that threatened to fall. She didn't want to cry for him, especially now that he didn't even know her. That thought only caused more pain. She ended up into a beautiful garden. She took deep calming breaths, trying to get a hold of herself. The cool night air did some good to her nerves but still, seeing him with that other woman brought memories of Faith into her mind. Some wounds would never be forgotten even if they could be forgiven.
Buffy heard footsteps but even if she hadn't heard them, she would have known that he was there. "A pretty girl like you shouldn't be alone in a night like this, not all men are gentlemen", he said with a soft but seductive voice. She turned around to look at him with a wicked gleam in her eyes.
"Like you?" she asked teasingly and shocked Liam with her boldness even though he didn't let it show.
"Yes, lass. Haven't ya heard all the stories and warnings about me? I am certain Mrs O'Shea knows them by heart."
"Oh, I know all about your bad habits. Like a friend of my used to say, all men are beasts", Buffy said with a smile. She kept measuring Liam with her eyes, comparing him with her Angel and she noticed that he was also watching her very carefully.
"You don't seem scandalized or frightened of me", he stated not taking his eyes off of her.
"Why should I be?" she asked with a soft voice but it sounded husky without intention. Liam looked at her like he was thinking real hard, trying to place her somewhere.
"Who are you? You're not from around here, 'cause I know every pretty girl around here", Liam asked looking Buffy up and down.
"I bet you do", Buffy answered with humor in her eyes that she didn't feel inside. She looked into his dark eyes that seemed to grow darker by the minute, and she knew that look, she had seen it many time before things got heated between two of them. She knew she was playing with fire but she couldn't help it, this was Angel, when he was still human and before he had all the guilt of the world on his shoulders.
"What's your name, lass?" Liam asked with a low sexy voice that went straight to her knees.
But she didn't have time to answer when they heard Deirdre shout: "Buffy!"
They both turned around and saw Deirdre rush to the garden. "Buffy, there you are. Everyone have been asking for you", she said and then noticed Liam. "Mr O'Rourke", she said with cold politeness and Liam responded the same manner, only adding a small smirk, "Miss Wilson."
Deirdre turned to Buffy, dismissing Liam. "I have been looking for you. We should go back inside, there are still people who would like to meet you and then we must be returning home", she said. Buffy sighed and nodded, then her eyes drifted to Angel. No this wasn't Angel, this was Liam and oh so close. She swallowed, she needed to stay away from him, he was too tempting and she wasn't sure she could resist him. She never could. Mentally she shook herself and turned back to Deirdre.
"Then we better go inside", she said with fake enthusiasm but before she could go, Liam took a hold of her hand stopping her from leaving. She felt shivers run through her, it was like sparks of electricity coming from his touch. She needed to get away from him while she had some self-control left.
"I'll see you later. Buffy", he said, looking into her eyes and saying her name just the way Angel did. She swallowed harshly, this was not good. All she could do was stare into his beautiful, dark eyes and she felt her resolve wavering.
"Buffy?" Deidre's voice brought her back to reality. She broke the eye contact with Liam and took a step back, hiding her hand behind her back.
"Yeah, later", she said, her voice sounding breathless and started retreating quickly.
Deirdre wrapped her arm around hers and as soon as they were out of hearing range, she leaned closer to Buffy whispering to her ear, "That was Liam O'Roarke. I would advise you not to socialize with him, he has ruined several girl's reputation. And he is said to visit public houses."
Deirdre looked so scandalized that Buffy wanted to laugh but managed to suppress the urge. "There you are, dear!" came Mrs O'Shea's voice from behind them. Both women stopped dead on their tracks. Slowly they turned to face the older woman with false smiles formed to their lips.
"Mrs O'Shea", Deirdre greeted and Buffy could hear her new friend was as enthusiastic to talk to the hostess as she was.
Later in the evening Buffy and Deirdre had receded to their bedchamber and were preparing for bed. Deirdre let out a sigh and turned to look at Buffy.
"What?" Buffy asked raising a questioning eyebrow.
"I did not want to discuss of this at the ball in the danger of people overhearing, but what were you doing with Liam O'Rourke in the garden? He is not someone a respectable girl should be associated with", Deirdre finally answered, she was clearly worried.
Buffy sat to the edge of the bed with a sigh, Angel always was a hard topic, even now when he wasn't Angel yet. "I went to get some air and he was there", she explained but Deirdre could see there was more to it.
"That is not very wise. Liam O'Roarke is a scoundrel and a drunkard. I know he is beautiful to look at but looks can be deceiving. He has a face of an angel but there is a devil inside him."
"Not yet", Buffy muttered to herself, then raised her eyes to Deirdre's. "I know how to take care of myself. And I'm not planning to meet Liam again", she assured. She really needed to stay away from Liam no matter how much her blood was screaming to go see him right at that minute.
"Let's not talk about it, I'm tired", she added and turned away. She needed to get her mind off of Liam, of how sinfully sexy he looked, of how touchable he was and especially of how curse-free he was. She groaned out loud, this was going to be even harder than she expected and she didn't know when or how she could get back home.
To be continued...