“Will, are you sure this is a good idea? After your last disastrous spell, I don’t think you should be messing with this stuff again.”
Willow glared at her long time best friend. “That was a mistake; I know what I’m doing now. I have to make things right, and making Buffy forget the details of that spell would really do the trick. She was disgusted and said she would do anything to forget her time being engaged to Spike, I’m just fulfilling her wishes.”
Xander nodded. “Possibly, but that was weeks ago and she hasn’t said anything about it since. Buffy seems to be doing fine now, she’s even started dating that Riley guy.”
Willow rolled her eyes; men could be so dense sometimes. “I can tell she’s been holding back with Riley, and I bet it has to do with her still thinking about that spell. If I made her forget, she could finally be free with him. He’s a nice guy and that’s what she needs right now. No more vampires, you can’t tell me that you don’t want the same thing for her.”
“Of course I want what’s best for the Buffster, but it just feels wrong to do this behind her back. Don’t you think you should at least tell her first?”
“It’s better if she doesn’t know; she won’t even realize that anything has changed. She’ll just be happier,” Willow responded.
Xander decided that arguing with her was getting him nowhere; he just hoped she was right.
* * * * *
Buffy had to cut her date short because she started to feel lightheaded, letting herself inside her empty dorm room. The room was spinning as she lay down on her bed, suddenly hearing Angel’s voice as if he was right beside her, but that just wasn’t possible.
“The Oracles are giving us back the day, turning back time, so I can kill Mohra before his blood makes me mortal."
“When?” Buffy muttered, her heart breaking at his words.
Angel looked over at the clock. “Another minute.”
Buffy was crying now. “A minute? No. No, it's not enough time!”
“We don't have a choice. It's done.”
”How am I supposed to go on with my life knowing what we had? What we could have had?”
”You won't. No one will know but me.”
”Everything we did.”
”It never happened.”
Buffy shook her head. “It did. It did. I know it did!” She placed her hand over his heart. “I felt your heart beat.”
They kissed; Buffy glanced over at the clock. The minute was almost up. “No! Oh God. It's not enough time.”
Angel couldn’t hold his tears back at the anguish on her face. “Shh, please. Please.”
They held each other tightly, both sobbing.
”Please, please,” Angel continued to whisper.
”No. I'll never forget. I'll never forget. I'll never forget. I'll never forget,” Buffy said repeatedly, knowing that nothing would ever be the same again.
Her eyes shot open when the voices stopped, sitting up in bed with a start. Buffy wiped her eyes of the tears that she didn’t even realize she shed; thinking back to her dream, except it had felt so real. It was as if it really happened to her, but she didn’t remember anything until that moment. There was only one person who could have been responsible for that. “Willow.”
* * * * *
She barged into Giles’ apartment, knowing her friends would likely be there. Buffy saw Spike sitting on the couch, staring up at her in confusion, but she didn’t have time to deal with him.
Willow came out of the kitchen, gulping at the enraged look on the blonde’s face. “Hey, Buffy, what’s wrong?”
“What did you do to me? I was on a date with Riley, then I started to feel dizzy and lightheaded. The next thing I know, I’m dreaming of a time that Angel was human and decided to turn back the day just to protect me as he tends to have this annoying habit of doing. Except this was no dream, it’s something that happened to me when I visited Angel in LA those weeks ago. I was never supposed to remember our time together, but now I do in every detail. Why do you suppose that is?”
The red head backed away, not sure how to respond, but figuring the truth would probably be the best approach. “I’m sorry, Buffy, that wasn’t supposed to happen. I just wanted you to forget being engaged to Spike. I thought it would make you happy.”
She gave a humorless laugh. “Oh, I’m happy, I’m thrilled to know that Angel had his chance to be human and he threw it all away. We could have finally been together, but no, that apparently wasn’t enough for him. That’s all it comes down to, isn’t it? He left so I could have a normal life, but when he was the one who could have given it to me, he didn’t want it. I was never even given a choice, once again the men in my life decide to make all the decisions for me, and now you’re just as bad as them. You can’t keep using magic to fix everything, Willow; all it does is make things worse. You need to worry about fixing your own life right now and stop being concerned with mine.”
Buffy ran out of the apartment without waiting for a response, collapsing to the ground in tears as she thought back to everything she remembered. They made love, cuddled together, shared ice cream, but all he cared about was being the big hero and protecting her. What good would that have done when they didn’t even live in the same town anymore? Before Buffy could stand up, she felt a pair of strong arms wrap around her, which only made her sob harder, finally talking when she calmed down a bit. “Why didn’t he want me? Why was I not enough for him?”
“He’s a bloody fool, love. Any man would have to be to let you go, dead or alive.”
She wiped her eyes at Spike’s soothing voice, knowing how sincere he was, even though she was finding it hard to believe. “I never asked her to do that forgetting spell. I actually didn’t want to forget. I know it wasn’t real, but being with you was the happiest I could remember in a long time. I just felt like any young girl in love, planning her wedding, something I never thought I would get to experience. To find out it wasn’t real was more heartbreaking than realizing I was kissing you, which I really didn’t mind so much. I only pretended that I did.”
He chuckled, pressing his lips to the top of her head. “I was pretending, too, kissing you was the best bloody feeling in the world. I never wanted it to end.”
Buffy smiled now, turning to look at him. “I want it to be real, no spells this time, just us. I’ve tried to have a normal relationship with Riley and move on, but I’ll never be normal. It’s about time I accepted that. Riley’s really sweet, he’s just not the one I want.”
Spike sighed in relief; it pained him to see her go out with that bloke. He never thought she could feel the same way for him that he did for her. He’d always had deep feelings for Buffy, the spell just opened up his eyes to them. It was about time they stopped pretending. He stood up, holding his hand out to her.
Buffy took it without any hesitation, feeling a blush tint her cheeks at the look he was giving her.
“What do you say we go kill things? Normal is highly overrated,” he said with his trademark smirk.
She smiled in return, glad to do just that. This was all the normal she ever needed.