Title: Future Dimension(based on NA and the 'glowing" theory)

Author: Nimue

Rating: PG

Pairing: S/B. Includes most characters

Spoilers: S6. Anything up through Normal Again is fair game.

Summary: This is going under the assumption that in Normal Again, Buffy

wasjumping between dimensions. Two coexisting realities. Also, theory

that every decision we make creates a different path for us, and maybe a shadow of ourselves follows that path.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters. They belong to Joss

Whedon, Mutant Enemy, UPN etc. Just playing with them.

Feedback: Yes, please

Another life.

Buffy battled the waxy demon, but he was strong. Not to mention he had sort of a marzipan smell to him. Whatever he was, he was driving her crazy with all of his lurching and pawing. Why couldn't he be like a vamp: quick, strong, light on the feet, and easy to kill. She managed to corner him against a car in the alley when she heard what sounded like a tiny sword unsheathe and felt a sharp pain.

*****

"AHHHH!". Buffy was screaming a brutal, earth shattering scream. Pain was ripping through her. She felt as if she had been stabbed in the stomach. Willow was sitting on the bed behind her, chanting softly, her hands on Buffy's shoulders. Tara sat at the foot of the bed, rubbing Buffy's calf, soothingly trying to calm her.

"Tara, " Buffy moaned. " What happened? Where I am? What is going on? Is everything OK?"

"Everything is fine, Buffy," Tara answered quietly, still rubbing her calf.

" I feel like ... I have never felt pain like this before, " Buffy screamed as pain shook her again, tearing her insides out.

"You've never had a baby before, Buffy."

"WHAT??" Buffy answered, her eyes widening with shock.

*****

Buffy was stumbling back towards home, dizzy and confused. She knew that the graveyard was the quickest way, but she wasn't sure that she could grapple anything that she happened to run into in that place. Still, she thought, steeling her resolve, 'I need to get home'. Buffy felt the fever rising and the sweat on her skin. Slowly, she turned onto the path into the cemetery.

It wasn't long before she ran into trouble. It never was. As she passed the mausoleums, three younger vamps popped out from behind the stone walls. Did they actually think that surprised her, that this game of peek-a-boo with the slayer was scary? Slowly she straightened, focusing her mind on the vamps and began the dance.

Two of them she dusted easily, but the third. Either the third was much stronger or she was much weaker for the other two. Blow after blow and the stupid vamp kept coming at her. The veil between the worlds was thinning. She doubled over, falling back against the cold stone wall. Then he was there, fighting the vamp. Buffy clutched her stomach, falling to the ground, as Spike finished off her attacker, rushing back towards her.

*****

"She alright in there? " Spike called into the bedroom, pounding on the door with his fist, a mixture of concern and annoyance in his voice. He needed to be with her.

His question was answered with a primal scream from Buffy. The sound of her pain was making him lose his mind. "That's it, I'm coming in..." he said,reaching for the knob. Xander grabbed his hand and Dawn latched onto his arm to stop him.

"Spike, no" Xander said.

" And why not? I need to do something."

" I think you have done quite enough already," Xander retorted. Somewhere, Xander was still jealous that now it was real. Now it was Spike and Buffy that were connected always. Not him. Spike.

"And tell me again why in bloody hell I should listen to you?" Spike hissed, almost changing to his game face. He would do anything to get in there, anything to help her.

Buffy began screaming again. Spike could hear Willow chanting louder,

faster. He could not bare this. His hand began to turn the knob.

A tug on his sleeve brought him back. He turned to look at Dawn's worn and frightened little face. " You know Willow said that she has to protect her. That this... baby.. shouldn't... be... at all. And to bring it into the world might kill her. Willow said that she can make it so both of them live, but we cannot break the circle. If we do, one of them, or both, die."

Spike softened, leaning back against the door. Hearing Buffy screaming, Willow chanting, Tara cooing softly. He wanted to be with her. This was going to drive him mad.

"Why don't you take me downstairs and help me... rustle up some food." Dawn said, tears in her eyes. Her sister's screaming was killing her too. Spike knew Dawn wasn't hungry, but also knew one more minute of hearing Buffy in so much pain and not being able to help her, might do them both in.

"Right then, Nib, " he said, taking her hand. "Off we go."

*****

"Buffy," Spike said, crouching down on the ground next to her. "You

alright?'.

"Spike?" she said, her eyes watering, staring at him, terrified and

overjoyed to see him. "Spike, something is very wrong".

" I can see that," he said, brushing sweaty hairs from her forehead. "

You're burning up, girl, " he said as his fingers touched her hot forehead.

"What's going on?" It was that annoyance of a wanna be man. Xanders voice was like fingernails on a chalkboard to Spike. He turned only to see Xander and Willow standing behind him. "What did you do to her this time?"

"Buffy?" Willow said, rushing to her side. Spike stood to face Xander.

"Bugger off, " Spike hissed.

"Or what? Xander said, " You'll make spooky faces at me?"

"Guys," Willow's timid voice called up. Xander and Spike both turned.

Spike dropped back to Buffy's side. " We need to get her home. Something is really wrong".

Spike's hand was holding Buffy's without even knowing it. His crystal eyes were buried deep in hers and he felt her fear, her pain, her confusion. He leaned to pick her up. " Let's get you back to the crypt".

"We got it, " Xander interrupted, pushing Spike aside. He and Willow pulled Buffy to her feet and began to move towards the Summers house. "She's our friend, we'll take care of her".

"Put ice on the back of her neck," Spike said as they walked away, "She

likes it".

*****

Buffy clutched the bedsheets with white knuckles, screaming. The pain was almost constant now, tearing at her. She wanted him with her. But Willow said that it would put them all in danger. The magic was dancing around them. A white circle of little sparkling lights dancing around the bed. Supposed to keep them safe. Tara was speaking quietly to Buffy, but all she could feel was pain.

Suddenly, Buffy felt it all starting. Her eyes widened in fear. "Where's Spike?" she panted to Tara. She did not even know how she knew he was the father. This was a different place. What else had she done differently? But she knew. "Shouldn't he be here?" she said as a huge surge came over her and she felt the baby moving.

"I know, Buffy." Tara whispered, trying not to alarm her. She could see the baby now. Willow chanted loudly, lost in her protection spell. "But this baby, Buffy. This baby is a miracle. This.... Buffy, we have to protect her. We don't know.. no one has ever delivered a child like this. We have no idea what will happen. We are just trying to protect..."

Tara's words were interrupted by a scream and Buffy's entire body shuddering and sliding toward her. And then a scream of a different sort. Buffy fell back to the bed, and Willow collapsed behind her.

*****

"Buffy?" Willow said, sitting next to her on the bed. "You OK in there?" she said cheerfully.

Buffy looked around the room, confused. It was daytime. No sparkly lights swirling around her bed. No Tara. Just Willow looking fresh and motherly.

"Yeah, " Buffy said, sitting up against her pillows.

" You've been pretty sick, " Willow said, handing her some tea. "Still are. Got everyone in a little uproar. Dawn's all cry-y and Spike and Xander and fighting like expectant fathers."

Buffy went completely rigid, terror gripping her. "Expectant fathers?"

What world was this??

" You know, all pacing like and argumentative. Nothing to worry about. You have just been really sick. Most of the time, you are asleep. You just lay there and moan, curled on your side. I thought Spike was going to lose his mind listening to you. I think he was crying..."

" Will, I need to tell you something, " Buffy began, knowing that what she was about to say was going to take Willow completely off guard. And she began to recount the story of the other world, the other life. Every detail. Willow listened intently, the look on her face half horror, half sweetness. And something clicked in Willow. Something told her there was more to this than she knew.

Spike walked into the room, standing next to her chest of drawers, dodging sunbeams. Willow got up and left quietly. " See you are awake then, Slayer." he said, a look of relief on his face.

Buffy's fear welled into anger. " You shouldn't be here. You are not part of my life."

First it was hurt, then anger that crossed his face. She heard a tumble of words from him. About how she had a nasty case of martyrdom. About how she needed to make up her mind. How she needed to tell the rest of them about her or he would...

*****

"Spike?". He looked up from the magazine he had been toying with. Dawn was napping with her head on his lap. His arm was draped over her as he had been comforting her when she finally fell asleep.

Tara was standing at the foot of the stairs. He rose, walking towards her as Dawn slept quietly on the couch. "Is she?' he whispered, noticed that her screaming had stopped. He was terrified she had not made it. That neither of them had made it.

Tara reached out to him, touched his hand. He could feel the tears coming. They were dead. He knew they were. She smiled softly at him, starting up the steps. "It's a girl, " she said pulling him up towards the room.

Xander was still sitting outside, pressed against the wall. Tara had not thought it was right to let anyone else in before Spike. Xander was glaring at the two of them, but let Spike pass without incident.

"Tara, wait." Spike said just before they entered. She turned back toward him. " Does she even want... to see me?"

Tara smiled reassuringly, "She has been asking for you."

Spike stepped into the moonlit room. She was lying there, so tiny and weak. Willow was sitting on a chair next to the bed, stroking the top of the child's head as Buffy held her in her arms. It was surreal to Spike. This was never supposed to happen. And he should not be so moved by it. But for whatever reason, he thought he would break down into sobs. The part of him that was human had made this. And all of him would love and protect them.

Willow got up from the chair, and took Tara's hand. As they left, Spike turned to them. "Thank you, " he said, at an unusual loss for words. Both women smiled softly and left the room.

He sat next to her on the bed. She did not talk, but she looked at him

softly. No more anger, no more confusion. She had found her reason to

live. He rested his hand on her arm, stroking it gently, staring down at her child. Their child. The tiny blue eyed girl in her arms that fought everything to be here. Just like her parents. Fighters.

Buffy's eyes were exhausted and teary. He touched her face with his hand and she closed her eyes, drinking him in. She handed the baby to him and watched him take her so gently, so carefully. Spike stared at that child with the same love with which he looked at Buffy. He was no longer a monster. He had not been for a very long time.

"You did well, Pet", he said, staring at the perfect child. He could hardly fight back his own emotion. Buffy watched him closely. "What are you going to call her?"

She looked at him for a moment. "What was your mother's name, William?"

He looked at her, his head cocked, amazed at what she was thinking. His face was so soft and sweet that she thought her heart might burst. "Emma, " he said swallowing hard.

"Emma Joyce, " Buffy said, touching his arm. He broke down, a century of emotion escaping. He laid down next to her, the baby resting between them, and buried his face in her hair.

*******

"Buffy? Buffy?". She could hear him in her head. She opened her heavy eyes and stared up Spike was sitting next to her on the bed, his face wracked with concern.

"Spike?" she said, snapping too. She felt the fog lifting completely. But part of her wanted to go back to sleep. Back to the other place. He saw her drifting out again.

"Stay with me, love, " he said shaking her. "Willow gave you some medicine and you should be right as rain soon."

"Spike.. I had the weirdest dream..."

"That's just it, Pet. Willow has it all sussed out. You were not dreaming. The venom in that demon made you jump realities. Go from here to another plane. Blurred the lines in the whole cosmic continuum and all that buggery."

"Actually, " said Willow's voice from the doorway. "That is not quite right, " she said with a strained look on her face. Spike turned to face Willow. Buffy pushed herself upright in the bed. Willow looked at them both, stumbling over what to say.

"What now, Red?" Spike said, frustrated.

"Well, I do not think that the venom made you jump to a different *place* in the dimensions, " Willow continued, " I think it jumped you to a different *time*".

"Speak English, Willow. Having a hard day, " Buffy retorted, starting to get her fire back.

Willow's nose crinkled. She wasn't sure how to say this. If she had not done the tests herself, she would not have believed it. " I think, Buffy, it jumped you to the future."

Buffy's face was complete shock. Her eyes as wide as saucers. Her heart beating hard in her chest. "That is not right, Willow. That cannot be right. How did you figure that all out?"

Willow and Buffy exchanged looks. Confused, shocked, terrified looks.

Spike watched the two girls knowing that there was something unsaid.

Knowing there was something he was missing.

"Buffy," Willow started, staring at Spike.

" Will, say what you have to say, " Buffy said without thinking. She did not realize what she had said until it was too late.

"Buffy, you're pregnant.".

Spike stared at Buffy a moment in utter shock. Willow backed slowly out of the room.