Of things that would never be: such were the thoughts on the Slayer's mind as she absently twirled her wooden stake in her hand. Stifling a potential depression but not the accompanying boredom, Buffy slumped down on a rather large headstone. Too much quietness in the cemetery tonight, maybe I could have attended the 'We survived another Saturday fling' hosted by the ever popular Cordelia. Popularity and carefree parties: now there's something I miss and will never have, so much for having a life.

Privately, Buffy celebrated her own pity party. Save people, kill demons and what do I get in return: a boyfriend who well I don't know if he's REALLY my boyfriend? Well, once I lose my virginity to him maybe he'll stop being so evasive. How does a cheating psychopath like Drusilla get a hot monogamous doting caring boyfriend who sticks with her for like a century? Spike with that chiseled body, piercing blue eyes and cheekbones that should be illegal, not to mention sexy bad boy attitude…oh and dreamy accent. Wait a minute; Spike hot…no evil…EVIL. Bad Buffy! Too bad he died in that church. That's the reason you're thinking of him; you would have rather fought him to the end …of Mr. Pointy, a worthy fight for a worthy opponent.

Deciding not to dwell, Buffy circled the cemetery once more when she heard a deep British male voice. "Bollocks!" echoed through the air followed by thumps and cracks.

Excitedly she chased the noises, coming to a halt at an unusual scene. Before her, a man wearing a black leather Nauru styled jacket dusted a vampire with a stake. Not far away, two more vampires charged at him. Instinctively, Buffy intercepted but before she could take three steps, the man shot two balls of flame at them instantly dusting them. Momentarily, he turned to her and smiled as he shook vampire dust off himself. "Sodding vampires," he muttered, "Always getting dust everywhere." Upon closer inspection, Buffy could see that he had a medium but muscled physique with wavy light brown hair pulled into a short ponytail at the base of his neck, high cheekbones and an aristocratic nose. "Allo, M…ma'am," he greeted.

I am so NOT a ma'am. "Who are you and what are you?"

"I'm a warlock, can't tell you who I am, though."

A chill ran down Buffy's spine as she readied her stake. Not that it would do much good against a warlock. "What do you want?"

"Your happiness," he calmly answered. "Please lower your weapon. I don't fancy disintegrating it."

"Stop with the games," she stated tersely. "Warlocks are evil."

"Stereotype much," he mused. "While I wouldn't classify myself as good, I'm definitely not evil."

Buffy lowered her weapon but not her guard. "What do you want from me?"

"Unlike everyone else in your life, I want nothing from you. I want to offer you something instead." Sid took a seat on one of the larger headstones nearby. "You protect the innocents from the Hellmouth and you get nothing in return. I'm offering you what you wish for."

"Oh yeah," Buffy half snorted. "Like making a deal with the devil, I get that but actually I find that I like my life here better, people I love get killed because of what I want, some demon get released or gets more powerful. How close am I?"

"Not even close," he answered. "Nothing bad will happen. All I am offering you is a vacation that will last a year and a day. After that, you'll be back here tomorrow evening. I'll even patrol for you. Trust me you really need this break or your future looks pretty dismal."

For some reason Buffy felt a slight connection to this warlock that she couldn't explain and sensed that she could trust him. Must be a spell of some kind. "If I believe you and I'm not saying that I do, what do you mean by dismal and don't give me prophecy and riddles."

"I'm not one for prophecy and riddles like the Council of Wankers…err Watchers. However, I can't give you explicit details." When he saw, Buffy roll her eyes he continued. "It's not a good idea to know everything about your future. You need some surprises. Besides, the future is what you make of it."

Buffy threw her hands in the air. "Whatever," she exclaimed as she turned away from him.

"Do you really want to know about the future?"

"Duh, I wouldn't be asking if I didn't. Talking to you is so NOT a good idea." Buffy shook her head slowly. This guy spelled trouble.

"Some of the things you wish for you get, even though you still face many desperate situations but the trouble is you."

"What," she said incredulously. Turning, she saw he perched himself on a tall marble mausoleum, possibly to get out of the way of bodily harm or show off his levitation skills.

"You become bitter, dead inside." Sid looked down, averting his saddened eyes. "You want someone to love you and stand by your side. You get that and you love him very much and he loves you but you….never mind."

"I what….I lose Angel because of some stupid prophecy," she continued. Buffy paced the grounds angrily.

"No, it's not Angel. Angel is only puppy love. By the time you get to know this man, you have already changed. You ….abuse him. For his part, he's been love's bitch for so long that he feels he deserves it." Sid refused to look at her instead choosing to twiddle his thumbs. Using an enchanted crystal bowl filled with water from the Dead Sea, his visions showed him the relationship between Buffy and Spike, especially after her resurrection. "The abuse is verbal and physical." A disgusted look crossed his face. "Both of you are guilty at times," he muttered.

While her mind reeled over the thought of her becoming an abuser, Buffy's mind blocked out the last part of what he said. "I what," she replied in a shaky voice. If she landed a terrific guy, even a not so terrific one, Buffy doubted she could ever be the monster this warlock described. Plus what she felt for Angel wasn't puppy love, wasn't it?

"It's true. Later he dies saving you, saving the world. You tell him you love him but by then he doesn't believe you." Visions showed him the destruction of the Hellmouth with Spike burning in flames not believing Buffy's declaration of love.

"So I become a monster like the ones I slay," she deduced.

"No, you still fight the good fight but you die inside, bit by bit." Sid felt his heart sink as he remembered his visions. "Your lover is actually resurrected but he never returns to you because of ….the way things were. He believed you were better off without him and that you never truly loved him. You never find true love again."

As she watched her companion's reactions, Buffy saw pain etched in his faced. "Is he…was he you? Are you trying to change the past to make us work?"

"No, I'm not him. That's not possible." Sid's shoulders slumped. "Your lover is my ...friend…best friend sometimes. You both are in the future."

"By giving me what I want, I won't become the person you described. You're trying to save us, aren't you?"

"Yes, if you'll let me."


"You both mean a lot to me." Sid looked up hopeful this time. "Only you can change you and I can't just give you what you want on a silver platter. However, I can engineer the circumstances so you have the opportunity to know him before its too late, sort of a pre-emptive first chance."

"Like some sort of fairy godmother," she surmised.

Sid heartily laughed so much so that he nearly fell off the mausoleum roof. "Last I looked my bits wouldn't allow me to be any sort of mother but I can see your point."

"Why don't you just force me to do this?"

"Unlike everyone else in your life, I'm giving you a choice." Sensing no more hostility, he levitated to the ground.

Despite the nagging feeling in the back of her mind, Buffy didn't want to become the person he described and she felt she could trust this warlock but she knew better than t jump the gun. "Can I meet you here tomorrow night? I want to consult my watcher about this."

Sid lifted his sleeve to reveal a watch that looked more like a sun dial. "I don't have much time. It's now or never."

Buffy looked at the odd looking pointer that looked like it moved toward noon. "What happens when that thingy goes straight up and down?"

"I am no more."

"Is that why you're helping? You need to do some good deeds to get into heaven or something."

Sid shifted nervously from one foot to the other. "Something like that, if I'm lucky."

"Well then, let's do this."

"Right, time to work my mojo," he replied cheerfully. "First, I'm going to bind your slayer abilities so you don't accidently kill anyone." A bright purple light shot forth from his hand encircling her like a mummy encased in violet yarn.

Buffy gasped. "But what if something attacks me?"

"Your abilities will return temporarily if you are in danger." Then a small grey cloud shot forth from his hand and encircled her head. "Just breathe normally. This will put you into the correct mindset for your adventure."

In a bright flash of light, Buffy disappeared.

In a dilapidated warehouse, a lone vampire sat in an old fashioned wheel chair, hand resting against his chin while bright moon beams illuminated his pale nearly gaunt visage. His peroxide locks almost glowed in the moonlight. Staring forlornly and the old book on his lap, he flipped another page causing him to once more sneer in disgust, first at his chipped black nail polish, then to his battered legs and finally resting on the four day old corpse of some guv in the corner. The foul odor of the corpse assailed Spike's senses once more. When Dru brought him this meal, it had been after several days of famine and half drained already. Spike needed more blood, much more in order to heal. Once more, he resumed reading the old fashioned book of fairy tales, a gift to Dru from a Christmas years before.

Suddenly, he saw a flash of blue flames consume the corpse leaving it a pile of dust. Spike wheeled back instinctively since vampires and flames didn't mix well. Then some sprigs of sage slowly burned on top of the dust dissipating the horrid odor of before. As he backed up, his wheels bumped against something. A blue cooler had appeared behind him with a note affixed to the top. "Thought you could use this," signed "A Friend."

For a moment Spike studied the note while he debated whether or not to open the cooler. The scent of blood wafted from it causing his demon to beg for food. Inside, Spike found several bags of human blood, all slightly past their expiration dates with some freezer packs to keep them fresh. One last lucid thought crossed his mind before his demon couldn't be denied. Whoever gave me this probably set the corpse on fire which they could have easily done to me so the blood should be safe. Shifting into game face he devoured all but one of them leaving not one drop to waste. Now completely gorged, Spike relaxed against his chair snoozed as the sun crested in the horizon. For today, he healed.

After polishing off the last bit of blood, the next evening Spike stretched his legs before he carefully got up, using his arms to lift himself. Despite a wobbly start and throbbing to searing pains shooting through his spine, he stood. Dru had not returned but it didn't surprise him. Time to entertain myself. Knowing the slayer's soft heart, he knew he could watch her tonight and she wouldn't attack him, especially if he kept a safe distance.

Covered in slayer, Bollocks! Dru's words persistently echoed in Spike's head as the bleach blond vampire hobbled through the cemetery. Once I kill the slayer everything will be fine. I'll prove my dark princess wrong. While he wouldn't agree with Dru, pictures of the striking green eyed petite blond slayer continually plagued him. Maybe a shag first. Spike knew he could seduce the slayer. While most of his over one hundred years with Dru were monogamous, every time she cheated he retaliated with like. This time he was due. Cheating on him while he sat in that wheelchair definitely deserved reciprocation.

Spike thought of the slayer patrolling and fighting giving way to a constriction of his jeans. Yup, it still works. In a few days, he would challenge her to the fight of her life. Spike's musings ended abruptly when he saw a teenage whelp standing atop a mausoleum using his fingers to form an imaginary gun to shoot a fireball through a fledgling, instantaneously dusting her. Magic user who thinks he's John Wayne: I hate magic users. Strangely, the wavy haired whelp had no scent or rather masked it. Then the whelp turned and his green eyes scrutinized Spike but without malice.

"Allo Spike," he greeted.

"Have we met?"

"Not really, name's Sid," he replied.

While Spike didn't recognize him, he recognized his accent as being gentrified and British. "Where's the slayer?"

"On holiday for a bit," he replied. "I'm covering for her. No worries though, she wouldn't want me to harm you."

"S'pose she wants to keep me for herself," Spike muttered.

"More or less," he acknowledged.

Since the boy didn't wear tweed, a clear indication of a watcher, Spike's curiosity got the better of him. Maybe the council recruited their watchers a little younger these days. "Are you a watcher?"

"No I have nothing to do with those pompous lazy sods and before you ask I have nothing to do with the poof either."

Hearing Sid's opinion on the council and Angelus, Spike decided he was halfway to liking this bloke despite the magic. "So who are you in league with?"

"Not s'pose to tell," he replied. "Did you enjoy your gift last night?"

"Yes, why did you help me?"

"In the future, we're friends, best friends even." Sid pulled his collar back to reveal two fang marks that Spike recognized all too well. "You don't believe me do you?"

"No," Spike replied. Time traveler from the future: I'm dealing with a Doctor Who wannabe.

"Hmmm, how do I prove it to you without revealing too much?" Sid paced in front of Spike, oblivious to or too trusting of the master vampire. "I need something personal that no one else knows about." Suddenly, his face lit up. "On June 7, 1977, I know where you weren't but where you wanted to be. The Sex Pistols cruised the Thames in the most defining and famous moment of punk history singing God Save the Queen, mocking the processional that was to be two days later for her birthday."

Now, he was intrigued and slightly convinced. Spike never confided that to anyone even Drusilla. "What?"

"You will eventually see it. I bring us back to that time and to that event for your birthday." Sid dug through his wallet and produced a picture of them, a punked up Sid with flaming red hair and Spike with his platinum locks standing next to the band, both grinning. In a brotherly fashion, Spike's arm hung around the boy's shoulders. "Don't worry about changing the future. Once I leave, your memories of me and our conversations will become very blurry. It's an affect I have unless I'm in my own time."

Friends: something Spike lacked even in his mortal life and with Angelus as a friend who needed enemies. However, apparently he confided in this whelp and even claimed him in a this is my happy meal so sod off to other vampires way. Grimacing, Spike leaned against a tree and slid down until he sat.

"You're not fully healed." Sid rolled up his sleeve and offered an elbow. "My blood doesn't have the healing properties like a slayer but its close."

"I could drain you dry." Spike shifted into game fame.

"You wouldn't do that to a friend."

In a euphoric haze, Spike sucked slowly. A mystical energy akin to a mild electric pulse went through him targeting his spine. Then he stopped, waited a moment and hopped up. "That did the trick, thanks mate. Your blood is different than other witches' or warlocks' I've drained…tasted."

Sid laughed at his slip up. "Most all of them call upon a demon or god so they can channel their power. I was born with some magic inside me, a little gift from the Powers That Be. However, I need to recharge unlike my brethren." Sid reached in his pocket and withdrew a ring. "I have something for you."

Spike could see the green gem embedded in the gaudy ring. "Is that the Gem of Amarra?"

"The one and only and it's yours. If you like I can bind it to you."

"Thank you," he said. Spike slid the ring around his finger. Why would a time travelling warlock give this to me? "I die in the future and this will save me. That's why you're giving this to me now, isn't it?"

"Can't tell you that," he replied. "Swallow it. Go on. If I bind it to your finger, everyone will know you have it. If they're industrious enough, they'll chop off your finger. You're not completely impervious to all magic."

What have I got to lose? After he swallowed the ring, Sid shot a thread of maroon light at him that danced around and through him almost like magical sutures. Spike noticed weariness in his newfound friend. "You need rest."

Sid nodded. "Before I forget, you need to go to the Knightsbridge branch of The Bank of England and check deposit box 818. There's something important there. Write it down or you'll forget once I leave. Seriously, your memory of me and the things I tell you will fade."

Despite being evil and the fantastic things Sid told him, Spike couldn't help but like this bloke; no matter how hard he tried not to. However, he could tell that the whelp hid things from him still. "There's more going on here isn't there."

"I forgot your insightfulness." Sid gave him a date almost eighteen years into the future. "Memorize it. I mean repeat it back to yourself continually so you can remember this exact spot. It's important. As a matter of fact, you really need to go to Willy's and get someone to transport you to London now and open that deposit box before you forget."

"Very well then," Spike conceded. "But first, tell me what's so bloody important about that date."

Sid paled. "That's the day I'm killed."

"You're a warlock. You could go back in time. You could." Spike didn't know the answer to this conundrum.

"I have my limits. Soon I will snap back to the time and place where I left. They bound my other powers but they never knew this one. Once I return, I'll be too weak to try again."

The whelp still held back information and Spike knew it was BIG. "There's more that you're not telling me."

Sid handed him the picture once more. "Look very closely at you and me. What do you see?"

As Spike looked at it, his insightfulness forced him to see what he chose to ignore earlier. For all of his evil and being a demon, the shred of William that remained allowed him to love, deeply. On that picture of a Spike and Sid having the time of their lives, he saw within his own eyes love, deep love. "You sodding warlock. You cast a love spell on me and turned me into a poof." Spike's demon emerged thirsting for revenge. "Sod the future." One clawed hand pulled the boy up by his collar while the other drew back to swipe the boy across the jugular.

"Father please," Sid squeaked out.

Spike stopped short and just stared at the young trembling warlock in his grasp. Wavy very light brown hair, full lips, high cheekbones and a slight but powerful built: all those features belonged to William of mortal years. William the Pathetic who had only one sexual encounter during his mortal years: an exclusive red headed lovely whore. The experience shamed him instead of giving him the confidence he desired. "You should be older but…you're a warlock…controlling time…controlling your own age." He withdrew his claws and sat his son down gently. All his life, Spike wanted to belong and be loved. William did, the pathetic ponce. "I'm sorry."

Sid sat with his knees to his chest, arms crossed and head buried, still trembling. "Just do as I asked please. Recite that date and get to London now."

Spike reeled at this revelation and the son who now feared him. "I would never hurt you. I didn't know."

"Please go now and recite the date before it's too late." Sid muffled words rang louder as he continued to tremble. "Go to London. She's waiting for you. You wanted the slayer. Go now. She can help you defeat Angelus on that date and save me." Sid felt his father's hand on his shoulder. "Please don't let me die at the hands of Angelus."

Immediately Spike left for Willy's fully intent on doing exactly what his son wanted. Parting was easy knowing they would meet in the future. There was no way Spike would let his son die at the hands of Angelus.

Minutes later, Sid raised his head with an impish grin. I must be the world's greatest liar.