Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or any of the characters in this story.

Setting: This story takes off in Chosen, but the final fight is greatly postponed. It starts when Buffy and Spike are just laying there and Buffy can't sleep. (There's no conversation between her and the First). Enjoy (This WILL be a multi-chapter story.)

Buffy paced the room. How she was going to win this fight, she had no idea. As much as she loved to think Spike's fancy new necklace would just, poof, fix everything, she needed a plan. She turned towards Spike's bed. Sometimes, just looking at him doing something as peaceful gave her a brief moment of clarity. Maybe she was done baking. Buffy shook her head clear of those thoughts. Now wasn't the time for personal thoughts. The pending battle grows closer and all she had was a group of Potentials and her friends. Spike stirred.

"I'm drownin' in footwear!" Spike sat up. "Weird dream…" Suddenly his eyes grew yellow and he fell to the floor in pain.

"Spike!" Buffy shouted and ran to his side. He convulsed and shouted out in pain. Buffy heard the footsteps of her friends running down to the basement as Buffy tried to hold Spike down.

"Spike, what's wrong?" She begged. Suddenly, Spike stopped shaking. He looked confused into Buffy's eyes, then a look of horror flew into them as he threw her off of him and she slammed into a wall. The group stared in amazement and the Potentials started whispering "Is this a lesson?"

"Spike!" Dawn shrieked and ran to her sister who got up and dusted herself off.

"What have you done to me, Slayer! Where's Dru!" Spike shouted to the top of his lungs.

"Spike, what's wrong with you?" Buffy shouted as she dusted off her black tank-top. Spike savagely looked around for a way out, but the group blocked the stairs, looking over the scene with awe and confusion. What had happened to Spike?

"Slayer, you look…. Older?" He said confused. Buffy looked him dead in the eye, searching for the man that would shake sense into himself and apologize to her, the man who would take her into his arms.

"Spike… you're acting like…" She glanced at Willow. They shared the same thoughts, this wasn't him. But this used to be.

"Spike, what year is it?" Willow asked.

"What does that have anything to do with it!" He glared at Buffy. "Where is Dru!"

"Spike!" Willow yelled. "WHAT YEAR IS IT?"

"1998!" He finally caved. Buffy's eyes widened.

"Xander, get the girls out of here. You too, Dawn. Giles, help me chain him up. Will, wanna help?" Willow casted a sleeping spell on the vampire.

"Buffy, what do you think happened?" The witch asked her best friend. Buffy shook her head as she moved his bed and any other things he could use as a weapon from his area of reach. Giles was chaining his former ally's wrists to the wall in silence. This was the last thing they needed. William the Bloody while all of this was going on.

"I don't know, Will." The slayer said quietly. When the basement was Spike-proofed, she dismissed Giles and asked Willow to undo the spell.

"Are you sure?"

"We need to find out what's going on, don't we?" Willow ended the spell and climbed the stairs, with one last worried look toward Buffy and she closed the door. Buffy sat in a chair pushed against the stairs, directly across from Spike, who was coming to. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and opened them again to the vampire standing.

"What do you want, Slayer?"

"What were you doing before you got here?"

"Knitting booties. What do you think?"

"Answer the question, Spike."

"Answer mine." He smirked.

"I just want to find out how you got here." Buffy said seriously. Spike chuckled.

"I was at the factory, with Dru."

"What were you doing there?" Buffy asked. She managed to keep a straight face. She wished he didn't have to look like this. In the same clothes he bared as he held her, not a half hour before this.

"Wouldn't you like to know?" He said, loving the weakness he saw in her eyes.

"We can do this the easy way-" She began.

"Or what you'll torture me? Somethin' tells me you haven't the strength to, Slayer." Buffy remembered her old torture methods to Spike.

"Oh, look at my poor neck? All bare… and tender… and exposed? All the blood just pumping away…"

Buffy found herself smiling at the memory and it sparked an idea. She stood, keeping an eye on Spike all the while, and found her way over to the other side of the basement. There, hanging on a chair, was the one thing in the world more important to him than her. His leather duster.

"Uhh, hey, what are you doin' with that?" Spike asked, his head perking up." Buffy smiled. This was the first sense of weakness she had seen. The first sense of her Spike she had seen. Buffy set it on her chair and stomped to Spike, slamming her hand on the wall not far from his head. She had learned this from him. She dug her hand into his pocket and pulled out his favorite Zippo lighter. He looked at her with confusion. She displayed it in front of his face and his eyes widened, "No, no!" He shouted.

"Just getting what I came here for, love." She said under her breath and trotted back to her chair and grabbed the coat.

"You stripped this off a Slayer in the 80's. Your second killing of a Chosen One," she said. Spike pulled on the chains.

"Watch it! That's like my-" He began.

"Second skin. You know, I never really got why this was so important to you…" Buffy murmured to no one in particular.

"Why are you acting like we know each other well?" He asked. She didn't respond. She only flicked open the lighter, dangling the duster above it.

"God, Slayer, when I get out of this-"

"You'll what? You'll torture me?" She asked. This was personal. This was the man that kept Spike from becoming the champion he is now. And this was the man that was doing it as they spoke. She wanted her Spike back, and she wanted it now.

"As a matter of fact, I will." Spike said with certainty. Buffy flicked the lighter closed, the duster in tact.

"He'll kill me when he gets back if I hurt that damned coat." She glanced at him. He was staring at her neck, not even listening.

"Want some blood?" She asked. He looked at her with confusion, then with determination.

"No." He said stubbornly.

"Fair enough." She said simply and started toward the stairs.

"Where are you going?" He asked, trying to keep his tone cold. It wasn't working. She tried to repress a smile.

"I'll be back."

She climbed the stairs and met Faith, Giles, Willow, Xander, and Dawn in the kitchen.

"He's definitely Spike from '98. He hasn't looked at me with that bloodlust in a while." She glanced the floor, then met Willow's eyes. "How do we send him back?"

"I don't even know how he could have gotten here, Buff, unless it was the First?"

"If it had this up its sleeve all this time, don't you think he would have used it by now?" Xander nodded in agreement.

"Well, Buffy, what do you presume we do?" Giles asked.

"Have Faith and Wood take over training the girls. Will, I need you to hold the fort on research mode." She looked to Xander. "You and Anya go on recon. See if you can figure out if the First is behind this. Dawn, I'm leaving you in charge on Andrew. Make sure he doesn't try anything funny, kay?" Dawn groaned.

"I'm always on Andrew duty…"

"What are you going to do, Buff?" Xander asked.

"I'm gonna get Spike back."

A/N: Review please I don't plan on doing any Angel crossing into this story, but let me know if you want to suggest it. Meanwhile, who's your favorite Potential? I'll add in more dialogue for the one with the most fans. I gotta go with Vi, for me personally.