Summary: The Mayan Apocalypse is averted and history changed.
Challenge: For the Foresight event as well as the Mayan Apocalypse.
Timeline: All over the place; 'starting' with several years post-comics.
Warning: my knowledge of the comics is limited, so I may have some things screwed up. It is what it is.
A/N: I am working on a couple updates that I hope to have ready for either Christmas or New Years.
Thanks to my betas: nope.
Disclaimer: BtVS/AtS characters belong to Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
New Council Headquarters
9 ½ years after the fall of Sunnydale…
Buffy Summers sat in the conference room with what remained of the Council – those who hadn't been driven away by her bizarre behavior the first couple of years after Sunnydale – and tried to suppress an evil grin as the clock ticked towards her victory. The others thought the Mayan Apocalypse was just a hoax like the other man-made 'end of the world predictions' over the centuries. Too bad for them, they were wrong. One hundred seconds to go…
When the clock struck 12:21:12 on the International Date Line, she could begin the final phase of her plan for world domination.
The first phase began in Sunnydale over a decade ago, and in a few minutes the only one who could stop her would lose the chance for good. Ninety seconds to go…
She glanced at the pitiful mortals who still believed in her – even after she destroyed magic and the Slayer line. Her 'sister' and the fake's husband, the one-eyed wonder, a couple of ex-Slayers and the shell of what used to be the most powerful witch on Earth. All the rest were either destroyed or walked away. If she was capable of trusting anyone, she might have clued these ones in…offered them positions as her minions once the world was hers. But they were just bugs to be squished to her. Seventy-five seconds to go…
Then she felt a shiver go down her spine; something was terribly wrong! No, no, no! This couldn't be happening! Not after all her careful planning!
A portal began to open just as the countdown hit sixty seconds, stopping the clock – and time – momentarily. She growled as a figure stepped through…the person she thought she got rid of back in the caves of Sunnydale. The person who could stop her.
"Uh, Buff? Why is there another you? Did somebody make a w-i-s-h?" Xander stuttered out, surprised that it would even be possible to do such a thing after all this time.
The figure quirked an eyebrow and said, "Still wearing my face after all this time? I get that I'm prettier than you, but it must be confusing for you sometimes. Do you find yourself with the urge to save people from time-to-time?"
Willow quickly picked up on the newcomer's comments and turned to the being she thought was Buffy Summers. "You're the First!" she exclaimed in horror. "But how?"
"You're ruining everything!" the faux-Buffy screeched, trying to attack the real one, but finding she couldn't move from her seat.
"We switched places in the Hellmouth," portal-Buffy explained. "The First was able to kick me out of my body when I almost died, which sent me to another dimension with no way to return…until now." She smirked at her doppelganger and said, "Bet you didn't realize that by making us switch places, you gave me your abilities, too. I've known all this time about your plans to destroy humanity. I just had to find the right person to send me back. Took a loooong time," she drawled.
Taking in the gobsmacked expressions of everyone else in the room who didn't have her face, Buffy asked, "You wanna tell them or should I?" The First just snarled at her, so she shrugged and went on, "The ubers were just her plan A; her plan B was to use us to destroy the Slayer line, and then humanity. Turning us into terrorists, making the public feel sorry for the poor, innocent vamps, manipulating Angel into becoming Twilight so they could temporarily destroy magic and the supernatural…all part of the plan."
"But why?" Dawn demanded, finally coming out of her shock enough to speak again.
"So nobody could expose her plans to rule the world come the Mayan Apocalypse," Buffy stated simplistically. "At 12 seconds into the 21st minute after the 12th hour on December 21st, 2012, magic would return, giving her the power to open all the remaining Hellmouths on Earth at once. Humanity wouldn't stand a chance. Fortunately, I saw there was a chink in her plans. She couldn't do it if I managed to get back in time. If I'm here, she can't access all her powers anymore. In fact, I can even stick her back in her bottle, so to speak," she finished, grinning triumphantly at her enemy.
There went that shiver again. The First tried to ignore it, though. She put on her most confident face and remarked, "Not possible. As long as the Slayer line is split, I have my foot in this realm. You can't change history," she declared with more assurance than she felt.
"And that is where you are wrong," Buffy shot back. "Among the different people I came across in my journeys to get back here, I found somebody who can send me to any point in my own history that I want."
"So you are going back to the tower where you died?" Xander guessed.
The First hoped that would be the case, but that hope was crushed when Buffy shook her head. "Nope. The line was first split when I died back in high school." She pulled out a device and spoke directly into it, saying, "I want to go back to the morning of the Spring Fling in 1997, before I faced the Master in the caves."
As time re-wove itself, Willow had a few seconds to make one last plea to the goddess, "I hope it's a better world."
15 ½ years earlier…
Even though she had the memories of the future, Buffy wasn't sure she had the physical strengths to go with them. Rather than risking a confrontation where she would die again, she decided to think of a different way to go after the Master.
First of all, she shouldn't go alone.
Giles was stunned when Buffy came by with detail plans for attacking the Master, and was more than a little unnerved when she didn't hesitate to kill the little boy vampire known as the Anointed One. She didn't explain why she wasn't rushing in like she normally would, but maybe the thought of dying was causing her to be a little more cautious. The hardest part was when she made him vow on his oath as a Watcher not to even try to revive her if she happened to die like the prophecy said she would.
She told him to remain out of sight while she walked in with the crossbow. He was her back up…assuming the Master didn't sense him in the shadows. After she shot the first bolt at the Master, that was Giles' cue to hit the ancient vampire with his weapon: a hose that was hooked up to a tanker filled with holy water. The distraction he caused was enough that Buffy was able to get in close and stake the monster before the holy water burned him away.
Then she took a sledge hammer and turned the bones – which somehow managed not to turn to ash like a normal vampire's – into a powder. Then she mixed the powder with holy water, scooped up the pasted and stuck it inside a hollowed-out steel cross. "All we have to do is weld this shut," she said when she was done.
All he could think was, 'Why was she being so paranoid about his remains?'
The New Mayan Apocalypse…
Buffy's odd behavior that day wasn't the end of her shift in attitude. Oh sure, she had moments of being a carefree Slayer, but then she'd follow it up with something so seemingly out of character for her…like her lack of concern when the Mayor was mysteriously killed in his office during her summer in LA. Or the fact that she didn't get overly angry with the Council when they stripped her powers on her 18th birthday, but asked for their assistance with the Initiative the following year.
She also refused to date or to allow anyone into making her feel like she should date.
When her mother died – despite Buffy's obsessive interest in Joyce's health – Buffy didn't fight Hank for custody of her sister, Dawn. All she would say was that having a normal adult as a parent was better for Dawn than a Slayer who couldn't always put her before her duty. The Scoobies' fear that there was a hellgoddess after Dawn went away when the Coven's seers said that the time frame when the Key was useful had past.
As for the Scoobies…
Buffy encouraged Willow to be all she could be in the computer world, saying it was more useful to her than any magic spells Willow could learn. Whether that was true or not, Willow Rosenberg was probably in the top 20 computer programmers in the world and had revolutionized the Watchers Council when she proved how useful coming into the 21st century could be for them.
And Xander…her push to get him interested in woodworking while they were in high school gave him a future he never anticipated. He was an apprentice for two years, completed tech school at his trainer's suggestion, then moved up the ranks to become one of the most sought after woodworkers in Southern California. But he always had time to do any woodworking that his best bud, Buffy, required for slaying. Between him and his wife of five years – they waited until Willow finished her Masters to have the wedding – Buffy's low-tech and high-tech needs were covered.
But they couldn't understand why she still refused any romantic entanglement until the Mayan Apocalypse was safely passed. So they did their countdown to 21:12:21 (International Date Line time) on 12/21/12. Buffy breathed a small sigh of relief when 12:21:12 went by without any problems, but she insisted on not relaxing entirely until later that night.
Just as the clock was about to strike 21:12:22, a portal opened and a man stepped through, holding out his arms for a hug. To everyone's shock, Buffy leapt at him in glee.
A/N: Cheesy, I know, but I'm just soooo happy the world didn't end yesterday that I don't mind being nice to the Scoobies today.