Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy, I don't profit from posting this, and I have no personal possessions that are worth taking me to court over.

Author's Note: I am a big Spike/Buffy fan and while I understand that some of the events during the fifth, sixth, and seventh season had to happen, I wasn't a big fan of them. I decided to rewrite them the way I would have liked them to have been. There have been many time-travel stories on here, most of them happen because a spell went wrong or through actions from outside sources. I wanted to write one where Buffy chose to go back in time to change things. This starts off after the events of "Time of Your Life" in the Season 8 comic book arc.

*BTVS*

Sitting on the floor of their shared room, Willow and Buffy stared at each other. If anyone had looked in on them, they would assume the two girls were meditating. They would have been wrong. They were having a deep discussion. Both were in agreement but each wanted assurance from the other.

'Are you sure about this, Will? Sending our consciousness back in time is a big undertaking. Maybe not scythe big but it still has a lot of variables.' Buffy mentally communicated.

'I know Buff, but think about it. Every step on our path would be laid out before us. There are so many things we could change. You not dying and coming back would rebalance the scales and stop The First from getting a toe-hold on this world. We wouldn't need to decimate the Slayer line to stop him. We could change the past to prevent the future you saw. I have the spell planned out as best as possible.' Willow replied.

'I know that we should do this but I just want to be absolutely certain. I wanted to make sure that you were fine with this too.'

'If it means that I get a little more time with Tara, then I'm all for this.'

"Then let's do it, Will. The sooner the better. I don't want to get a lecture from Giles about responsibility, the continuation of Slayer training, and everything else he likes to lecture me about."

"Have you picked a date for our return? You've got to have a clear date in your head when the spell activates. You're going to be leading; I'm just along for the ride." Willow asked.

"I was thinking about the night before we took off in the RV. We could end it there and never have to worry about Glory getting her hands on Dawn. When that General-knight person brings Ben to us, we can just kill him and get it over with. We'll stash a car or something out at that building so we can drive back to town so we can get Giles the medical attention he needs. We'll also need a way back, anyway."

"That sounds good. It's early enough that we shouldn't be able to damage too much of the timeline. We're damaging enough of it as it is."

"Is there anything you need me to get for the spell? Demon guts, vampire blood, or anything like that?" Buffy inquired.

"I have everything ready. We just need to meet back up here in the morning. It may be night time here but Sunnydale is eight hours behind us. We'll have to do it when the time is right for us to be asleep there."

"So, I guess it's sleep time. I'm going to go down to the gym and work out some of this excess energy before turning in." Buffy stood up, grabbed a change of clothes and headed for the door.

"Buffy? Have you thought about what you're going to do about Spike? I only bring it up because at the time when we go back, he's in love with you, Glory just whaled on him, and you're not the nicest person to him. None of us were in fact."

"I don't know Will. It's something else I'll have to think about before the morning. I do know that our – my – treatment of Spike is going to change once we get back there. I can't have him going through life thinking I don't love him. I knew it when he took that beating but I didn't tell him until I was leaving the cavern under the high school. He died thinking I didn't really love him. With the knowledge my younger self will have, things are going to be different. Not just with Glory but with everyone else too. Dawn, Giles, Xander and Anya, and even you and Tara. I may have to go through that whole day of being invisible again, though."

"Why is that, sweetie?" Willow asked.

"Invisible sex with Spike. That's all I'm gonna say." Buffy replied. Without anything else to say, Buffy headed out the door. She walked down the stairs, past the third and second floor. When she reached the ground floor, she walked past the library and was just about to go into the kitchen when she heard voices. She almost ignored them and kept going but then she heard her name. Thinking someone was calling her, she turned back towards the library.

"Buffy does not know, of that I'm sure. If she knew that Spike was alive, she would be on the first plane to Los Angeles that she could find. Right at the moment, she is upstairs meditating with Willow. Look Angel, no matter how much you may care for Buffy, you and I are not doing her any favors by keeping this information from her. She is a grown woman and can make her own decisions. If she wants to be with Spike then there is nothing we can say about it. If you don't get this resolved soon, then I'm going to be forced to tell her about him. You have a week to clear things up, Angel. Buffy can't go on thinking Spike is dead, when he is perfectly undead with you in LA."

Buffy couldn't take anymore of Giles' conversation. Armed with the knowledge that Spike was in LA and that Angel and Giles knew about it and were keeping it from her, Buffy angrily stormed through the kitchen, ignoring the Slayers who were enjoying a snack, and made her way to the basement of the house. Unlike other furnished basements, this one was furnished with tumbling mats, punching bags, practice dummies, and an assortment of targets were fixed to the back wall. Hanging on one wall was a collection of sharp weapons; swords, one and two handed axes, and knives. Across another wall hung an assortment of stakes; ranging in both length and diameter. The last wall had diagrams of vampires, various demons, and other big bads that had been fought over the years. It also held the rotating schedule of who was patrolling and what area they were assigned.

As Buffy reached the final step, she was relieved to find the gym empty. She just wasn't in the mood to talk with anyone. Finding out that Spike was back in this world was a blow to her morale. Buffy had found it very hard to function without Spike there to knock sense into her, be her rock, or just her sounding board. She toed off her shoes and stepped onto the mat. After a series of exercises loosened her up, Buffy walked over to the punching bag and started whaling on it. She let loose with a succession of jab, crosses, and hooks to the bag.

Throughout her extensive training session, Buffy pictured the faces of everyone who had tried to run her life. Her dad, Merrick, Giles, Angel; even her mom, Dawn, and the rest of the Scoobies; they were all pictured in her mind. The one conspicuously absent face was Spike's. It was a revelation to her that Spike had never tried to control her actions or thoughts. He was always in the background offering her his support; be it through money, a shoulder to cry on, or a bad joke.

With one last punch to the bag, Buffy went over to the longer heavy bag and began kicking. Focusing more on controlling the kicks instead of speed or impact helped slowly wear Buffy down. Eventually, control gave way to blinding speed as Buffy repeatedly kick the bag over and over again. Collapsing from exhaustion, Buffy sat heavily upon the mat catching her breath. Slowly getting to her feet, she went into the bathroom to shower and change into sleepwear.

Like her trip down to the basement, her trip up to her room was devoid of any contact. She entered her room and noticed Willow in bed already asleep. She pulled the covers back and sat down on her bed. With a heavy sigh, she laid her head on her pillow and quickly fell asleep. Her dreams were quickly filled with images of Spike; beaten and bloody from Glory's torture, trying to stop her from turning herself in, watching out for her mom and sister, and helping her patrol. The final image to pass through her dreams was Spike standing under the tree in her front yard.

When her alarm rang out that morning, Buffy's mind was clear. She had a date chosen and firm conviction about what she and Willow were about to attempt. She knew that no matter what happened, her relationship with her friends, her Watcher, and her soon-to-be boyfriend were going to change.