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SUMMARY: What if the world didn’t revert back when Giles destroyed Anyanka’s amulet?

NOTES:  Set during S3 in “The Wish”-verse, written for LJ community still_grr prompt 217, alternate universes.

CHARACTERS: Giles, Anyanka, Buffy, The Master

DISCLAIMER: The characters are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Sandollar Productions, Kuzui Enterprises, 20th Century Fox Television, the WB Television Network, and whoever else may have a hold on them. I do not mean to infringe upon any copyrights.

DATE: 4/12/11

“Because it has to be!”  Giles picked up the paperweight and looked at Anyanka one last time.

It felt like life was going in slow-motion as Giles brought the paperweight down and struck the amulet.  The amulet shattered into countless pieces, yet Anyanka still stood before him.

“Why are you still here?” Giles stood confused, glancing between the destroyed amulet and the demon.  Anyanka seemed to be equally confused, frowning deeply.

“I’m not sure...” Anyanka suddenly lunged for the fragments of her amulet as Giles ran towards his front door, yanking it open. 

“The world...it’s the same...” The despair in his voice was thick.  Only Anyanka’s wicked laugh could cut through it.

“Sad for you, Watcher,” she mocked.  “Guess you’re stuck here.  Only problem is, I am too.  But, there are worse places to be trapped, I suppose.  It’s fun here.”

Giles shut the door, defeated.  He had only just found his slayer, and likely, now lost her.    Any former students that were still alive were too few to number, and he was probably one of the last holdouts.  Once the Master started his human factory, it was only a matter of time before Giles would be farmed as feed.

Still, was there hope with Anyanka still alive?  Why had the world not changed when he destroyed her power center?  The questions swirled in his head.  He rubbed his temple, trying to sort out the reality from the alternates.

He hadn’t realized Anyanka was staring at him, amused.  “Still trying to puzzle it out, Watcher?” 

“Why are you still here?” Giles sighed, then suddenly jerked his head up.  Of course, he thought.  “You’re powerless now, aren’t you?”

Anyanka rolled her eyes and crossed her arms.  “Technically, yes.  It seems that way,” she responded in nothing louder than a mutter.

Giles almost laughed out loud.  It was good fortune, but a short-lived victory.  Unless...

“Do you want out of here as badly as I do, or are you content to live among humans forever?”

Anyanka eyed him.  “I’d rather be back in Arash Ma’har...why?”

“With our combined knowledge of magicks, we could devise a way to get you home and fix the world.”

For a long moment, Anyanka said nothing.  She just stared at Giles, not sure what to make of him or whether or not to take him up on his offer.  She loved this crazy universe she created, but to be stuck as a human in it forever...that lost its appeal rather quickly.

“All right.  Let’s try it.  I don’t want to be stuck in this skin and mortal.”

  1. *  *   *   *   *   *

The first spell made Giles pass out, and they had to wait four hours before trying again.  The second created a portal into another world, which was not where they wanted to be, either.

The third spell created a time fold, taking them back three days.  The time change was random, as Giles could not be sure how far back they would go with the amount of Kalantar root he had on hand. 

“Three days?  This universe really hasn’t even been created yet, then,” Anyanka pointed out as they both recovered from the fold’s after effects.

Giles stretched, feeling as if he’d been asleep for days, and nodded.  “That’s true, yet here we are.”

He stood and surveyed his surroundings.  It was mid-morning, and the streets were quiet.  The world hadn’t changed back, but it seemed more harmless in the daytime. 

“If only...” Giles trailed off.  “Wait.  If Buffy were here, like she was supposed to, and she destroyed the Master, would that change events?”

Anyanka tilted her head.  “I suppose it’s possible.  Since it’s before the change, and all.”

“Right.  I’ll contact her now.”  With that, he busied himself at his desk and Anyanka sat, bored, and getting slightly hungry.

  1. * *   *   *   *   *

“Thank you, Ms. Summers, I look forward to meeting you.  Thank you again,” Giles hung up the phone, looking rather pleased with himself.

“She coming?” Anyanka called from the couch, chewing on something she had found in Giles’ cabinets.

“Yes, leaving now.  She should arrive by late evening.”

“Great.  Now what?” 

“We wait.”

  1. * *   *   *   *   *

Anyanka waited until Giles left for the airport while it was still daylight.  He said it was safer than driving over at night, and he was right.

She watched the car go, then plopped on Giles’ apartment front step in disgust.  Pairing up with a human, and a man, at that, was ludicrous!  There had to be another way to get her powers back and still keep this world.

Who better to help with those plans than the Master himself?  With that cheery thought, Anyanka left for the Bronze.

  1. * *   *   *   *   *

Buffy boarded the plane under the name Tiffany Louis.  The real Tiffany would never make it to Los Angeles, let alone Sunnydale, poor girl.  By the time Buffy would be changing planes, Tiffany would wake up, dazed, in the airport lobby bathroom.

Oh well.

Mr. Giles had sounded pretty urgent, and he promised there’d be a good fight.  Sounded fun.  So as soon as Buffy had gotten off the phone, she headed right to the airport. 

It was almost ten-thirty when the plane landed in Sunnydale.  Dangerous, according to Mr. Giles, but he was willing to take the risk, so she would too.  When she arrived in the one-room lobby, she scanned the area for harmless looking people.  What she saw was nothing.  Not a person or a vampire.  Whatever.

Buffy headed out to the parking lot, where she was to meet Mr. Giles.  As soon as she stepped outside, Buffy stopped short.  There was a man there, all right, but he wasn’t in any condition to drive her into town.  He was propped up against a lamppost, with a note pinned to his shirt.  Upon closer look, Buffy realized that the note was written in the man’s blood.  He was certainly dead. 

She checked his neck: bite marks.  Poor Mr. Giles.

Swallowing the lump that suddenly, and unexpectedly rose in her throat, Buffy snatched the note from his chest and read quickly.

“So sorry to deprive you of a ride into town, Ms. Summers, but I wanted to make your purpose here clear.  It’s not to change the world or destroy me, but to be a delicacy.  Your blood will truly be the finest I will have ever tasted, better than the demon’s vintage and the watcher’s true grit.  Pity they couldn’t be here to welcome you to Sunnydale, but I cannot wait to meet you.  Don’t be long, dear.”

The note was signed “Your Master”, and Buffy quickly crumpled the note.  “Well, Master, we’ll just see about that,” she muttered, and began the walk into Sunnydale.

  1. * *   *   *   *   *

The main street through Sunnydale was quiet, except for the occasional scream of a human victim or the laugh of a vampire gang, usually setting fire to something.  Buffy walked quickly and with purpose.  She had to get over to the warehouse where the Master was soon, or there’d be no point for her to be in Sunnydale at all.  Except, maybe to die, if Mr. Giles’ thoughts on the future was to be believed.

The old warehouse had been transformed, it was brightly lit and clearly renovated, if the neighboring warehouses were any indication of its former decrepit state.  She heard power tools and hammering from inside the building.  At least they weren’t done yet, Buffy thought.

She ducked behind a large stack of pallets as a group of vampires walked by - about a half dozen vampires and the Master himself.  When they were a few feet past her, she stepped into the open.

“Ah.  The Slayer,” the Master sniffed, speaking to Buffy without turning around.

“Ah.  The Master,” Buffy mocked.

“Come for dinner?”

“For a funeral, actually.”

The Master smirked and turned towards Buffy.  “My dear, you have no idea where you’ve actually arrived.”

Buffy knew she was being surrounded.  She also knew that she was not coming out of this alive, but at least she wouldn’t go out alone.

  1. * *   *   *   *   *

The first part of the fight was practically choreographed, it was so predictable.  She was rushed by two vampires, which she played off each other while she dusted a third.  A fourth vampire attempted to hold her arms back, so she used her legs to bring him down, then staked him.  The two confused vampires were easily staked, both at once.  The fifth vampire had just circled Buffy the entire time, and was now just gone. 

Buffy shrugged.  One less was fine with her.  As she dusted herself off, the Master clapped.  “Well done.  Now, then.  Shall we dance?”

He bowed slightly and before Buffy could whip out her stake, the Master was inches away from her.  She could smell the blood from a fresh kill and her stomach churned.

“We don’t fight, you and I.  But I can offer you a choice,” the Master said as he pulled Buffy’s braid forward.

“What sort of a choice?” Her voice came out husky, and she cleared her throat to avoid sounding interested, or terrified.  “Die or die?”  Buffy tried to sound glib, but it came out shaky.

The Master chuckled and cocked his head to the side.  “That sounds about right.  The choice comes in if you want to join me or not.  Although, it might be hard for me to stop drinking you once I start...but I may be willing to in order to add a Slayer to my ranks.”

Buffy’s mind was racing.  He was less than an inch away from her neck.  This was probably her only opportunity to do anything if she wanted to kill the Master and fix this world - into whatever else it could be.  Whatever it was to be, had to be better than this.

With a quick head butt and a knee to the groin, Buffy pushed the Master back.  The sudden movement took him off guard and he stumbled for a second.  He quickly regained his composure, but Buffy had already picked up a new stake.  This one was decidedly more intimidating than the one in her pocket, as it was a discarded beam from the construction crew.  One end was broken and jagged, and without even punning, Buffy ran it through the Master.

With a grotesque scream and a thick cloud of dust, the Master vanished.  Buffy rubbed her forehead and looked up at the inky night sky.  Where’s the change, Mr. Giles? she thought.  I hope this works, for your sake.

As she turned to leave, Buffy gasped.  She fell to her knees, suddenly shaky on her feet.  Her body felt as if it was being pulled in all directions, then everything went black.

  1. * *   *   *   *   *

“Done.”  Anyanka looked around her, confused.  Hadn’t she just granted Cordelia’s wish?  Why was nothing different?

“That would be so cool!”  Cordelia gushed, feeling better by the second.  She continued to prattle off other gruesome wishes, and Anyanka trailed after her, attempting to grant them all.  What was going on with this amulet today?

  1. * *   *   *   *   *

“Hey, Giles,” Buffy called as she walked into the library.

“Buffy, hello,” he replied as he walked out from behind the main counter.  “How are you today?”

Buffy shrugged, hesitant to share.  “I had a weird dream, Giles--”

“Did you?  I dreamt strangely last night as well.”

“I hadn’t been in Sunnydale and I hadn’t killed the Master, but it was like now, and it was weird, because we were there, but we weren’t us, you know, and...” Buffy rambled on and Giles’ eyes stared blankly ahead.

“Oh dear...” Giles muttered and removed his glasses.  He rushed towards his office in search of a book.  Buffy appeared at his shoulder.

“Were you listening?  You were dead in my dream, Giles, it was terrible.  But, hey!  I killed the Master, and had this awesome fight with...”

“I’m listening, Buffy, please continue,” Giles pulled down the text he was looking for and shook his head.  He never thought it could actually happen.  As Buffy chattered on, Giles flipped the book to chapter twelve, Alternate Realities.  Time to start some research.