Future Imperfect


by Saber ShadowKitten





"'Cast these creatures to the depths from whence they came. As it was now, as it shall be!'" Willow and Giles chanted together loudly.

The entire area of the Country Club golf course the group of friends were fighting in was lit up with a bright, white flash, blinding everyone. When they could see again, the monsters were gone.

Buffy's shoulders slumped in relief. "Way to go Wills and Giles."

Angel walked over to Buffy, sword still in hand, and tilted her chin up. "That's a nasty cut, Buffy," he said softly.

"Kiss it and make it better?" Buffy asked with a smile. His eyes softened and he pressed a kiss to her forehead.

"I never thought golf could be such fun," Xander commented.

"Imagine what we could have done with carts," Oz said, putting his club back in the golf bag. Xander walked over and did the same.

"What did I miss?" Wesley asked, sitting up and running a hand through his hand.

"Just about everything, hero-guy," Xander told him. "Way to get knocked out."

"I'm glad these guys didn't play through last week while I had surround sound people-thoughts," Buffy commented to Angel. "Although what do monsters really think about?"

"Maiming, killing, violence," Angel replied. He gave her a wry smile. "Same as us."

The group began walking back towards the parking lot, chatting with each other in post-victory happiness. They left the two golfing victims for the police to find, but Xander took the golf clubs, in case he ever wanted to be the next Tiger Woods. Cordelia pointed out he would never be as good or good looking in a polo shirt.

"Um, guys," Oz said, bringing the party to a halt. He gestured to the empty parking lot. "We seem to be short a few rides."

They all stared at the empty lot a few moments. "Do you think maybe the cars got towed?" Willow asked.

"That would be the most logical assumption," Giles replied.

"Looks like we're hoofing it," Buffy sighed. They collectively groaned and began the trek back into town towards the school. Partway there, Wesley spoke up.

"I am expecting an important phone call from the Council," he said, looking at his watch. "In exactly twenty-two minutes. I really must get back."

Buffy exchanged a glance with Angel. "I'll walk Wesley, you stay with the others. I want to make a quick sweep anyway."

"Ok," Angel replied.

"I'm going home, too," Cordelia stated.

"I'll take you," Xander volunteered. "We're close by my house and I still have my Uncle's car."

Cordelia thought about it for a moment. "Fine. But only because my shoes have gone through enough damage tonight."

The two brunettes also broke off from the thinning group and headed up the street. Insults flew back and forth easily between the former couple during the five minute walk. As they approached Xander's house, the loud rumble of a motorcycle greeted their ears. Turning, both of them stared in astonishment as Angel pulled up along side of them.

"De, I'm glad I found you," Angel said over the humming engine. He glanced at Xander. "Harris, who let you out?"

"Angel?" Cordelia said. "Why are you riding a motorcycle?"

"I know, you hate riding in your skirt, but this is an emergency," Angel told her. He scooted back and patted the seat in front of him. "Hop on, sweetcheeks."

"Hey, who are you calling sweetcheeks?" Xander said angrily in Cordelia's defense.

"Not you, Harris. I don't swing that way anymore," Angel replied. He looked Xander over from head to toe. "Beside, you aren't my type."

"Angel, you're acting all weird," Cordelia said. "And I'm not getting on that thing."

"De, it's an emergency. You're the only one who can help," Angel said.

"I am?" Cordelia said, surprised.

"She is?" Xander said, equally surprised.

Cordelia scowled at Xander, then walked over to the bike and looked at it with trepidation. "How do I get on?"

Angel grinned at her, causing her eyes to widen in shock, and he scooped her up onto the bike sideways in front of him. She quickly put her arms around his neck so as not to fall off and he chuckled. "I love it when you're between my thighs."

"What?" Cordelia gasped.

"I'm going with you," Xander stated.

Angel looked over at him and arched a brow. "Are you going to run after us?"

"I want him to come," Cordelia said quickly.

Angel sighed. "Fine." He scooted forward as much as possible with Cordelia in front of him. "Hop on, Harris."

Xander quickly climbed on behind Angel and gripped the back of the dark-haired vampire's shirt. Angel revved the engine, then took off down the street, almost knocking Xander off the bike. Ten windy minutes later, they pulled up in front of the mansion and parked the bike between several cars.

"What are we doing here?" Cordelia asked as she followed Angel towards the door, Xander beside her.

Angel opened the door and immediately winced. "That's why."

Loud, female screeching could be heard coming from inside. "I HAVE NOTHING! NOT ONE DAMN THING!" A crash echoed and suddenly an animal came barreling towards the door.

Cordelia squealed in fright and Xander jumped as the werewolf ran past them and out into the woods. Angel watched after him then shook his head. "I envy you, Oz."

"Oz?" Cordelia and Xander said simultaneously to the back of Angel, who had gone into the mansion. The two hurried after him.

"OZ!! WHERE IN THE GODDESS' NAME DID YOU GO?!"

Angel put a finger to his ear and rubbed it. "De, please fix her. And tell her to stop using her amplification spell. She's going to break my eardrums."

The dark-haired vampire flopped down on the couch and frowned at the two when he saw them still standing half-way into the room. "What is up with you two?" he asked. "I know Harris is a head-case, but you're acting awfully strange, woman of mine."

"What did you just call me?" Cordelia said, staring at Angel as if he'd grown two heads.

"ANGEL!!"

Cordelia and Xander jumped around at the shout from behind them, then gasped in fear as Spike came rushing past them. He went right over to Angel, tears streaming down his face.

"Angel, I saw her. I bloody saw her," Spike choked out.

Angel stood and pulled Spike into an embrace. "Spike, you know that's impossible..."

"But I did," Spike said, sniffing against the taller vampire's chest. "Just now, walking with some bloke."

"It was probably someone who looked like her," Angel said soothingly.

"AARGH! I HATE THIS!!"

Angel looked over at Cordelia and gestured with his head towards the hallway. Cordelia and Xander exchanged looks, then hurried in the direction he indicated.

"What the hell is going on here?" Xander asked Cordelia. "It's not a full moon. Angel is hugging Spike. He called you sweetcheeks and woman of mi-iipe!" He yelped as a shoe came flying out of a bedroom and clipped him in the head. He ducked just in time for a second shoe to hit the wall where his head had been.

Cordelia carefully peered around the doorway. "Willow?"

"De!" Willow exclaimed in normal tones. She rushed over and grabbed Cordelia's arm, dragging her into the bedroom. "You have to help me. I have this stupid reception to go to in an hour and Oz chewed up one of my shoes, although he swears I did it, which I did not. They cost $150.00! I would never chew up a pair that expensive!"

Cordelia stared at Willow much the same way she stared at Angel when he grinned. The redhead's hair was pinned up and she was wearing much more makeup than the cheerleader had ever seen the hacker wear. She was also wearing nothing but a teddy and stockings so sheer, she might have well been wearing nothing at all.

"De, please help. You're a whiz at pulling fashion out of a hat," Willow said quickly. She gestured to the open closet. "Fix me!"

Cordelia glanced back at Xander and saw he was standing in the doorway with his mouth hanging open like a fish. Willow looked over and laughed excitedly. "Xand! When did you get out?!"

Xander suddenly felt himself being embraced in a tight hug. He held his hands out to the sides, not knowing where to put them on the nearly-naked Willow. "Um, y-yeah," he stammered.

"Vampire Willow?" Cordelia mouthed to him.

Xander dared to touch Willows arm and was relieved to find it warm. He shook his head in response to Cordelia's question. "So, uh, Wills. That's quite an outfit you're not wearing."

Willow giggled and released him. "Well, if I would have known you'd been sprung, I would have worn something a little...less."

There was a knock at the door and all three looked over to see Giles standing there. Cordelia and Xander's mouths dropped open again. Giles was wearing leather.

"I say, Willow, you wouldn't happen to have my, er, ruby earring, would you?" Giles asked. He frowned at Xander. "Xander, when were you released?"

"Yeah, I got it," Willow replied. She went over to a dresser and opened a jewelry box. "Hot date?"

One corner of Giles' mouth turned up as the redhead walked over to him with the earring. "Smoking."

"Ok, it's official, I've entered the Twilight Zone," Xander declared.

"You've been there a long time, Harris," Angel said, coming up behind Giles. He glanced at the other man's attire. "Vixen?"

"Where else, eh?" Giles replied. He put the earring in his ear. "Goodnight, children."

"Bye Giles," Willow said. "Remember, safe sex."

"I'll keep it in mind," Giles said dryly.

"Did Willow just say sex?" Cordelia whispered to Xander.

"I didn't even know she knew what the word meant," Xander whispered back.

"Witch-girl," Angel said, looking Willow over. "Throw something on, I need you to talk to Spike."

"Why?" Willow asked, taking a robe from behind the door.

"He saw her again," Angel replied.

"Oh no," Willow said, sympathy in her voice. "I thought we were past that stage."

"Talk to him, please?" Angel said. "I'll help Delightful find you some clothes."

"K," Willow said. "Nothing too flashy. I'm suppose to be a conservative business woman, not my normal self."

Angel grinned at her as she left, then walked across the room and flopped down on the bed. He crossed his ankles and put his hands behind his head. "Alright, De, work your clothing magic."

"I'm only going to ask this once, so please try not to go schizoid on me," Cordelia said, looking at Angel. "Are you the evil soulless version of Angel?"

Angel frowned. "What are you talking about? Harris, did you screw with her mind already? Damn, the shouldn't have let you take a walk."

"Will someone please tell me what's going on?" Xander said. "What am I out of?"

"Jail."

"Oh."

Oz-wolf came loping into the room, stopped, sniffed and started to growl. Angel quickly rose and walked over to him. "What's wrong, boy?"

"Xander, we have to get out of here," Cordelia whispered. "This is too weird."

"I agree one hundred percent," Xander whispered back. "We just have to get by Angel and Oz-wol-" Xander stopped speaking when he witnessed Oz reverting to his human form before his eyes. Then he closed his eyes, because Oz was sans clothing.

"That's not Cordelia," Oz stated firmly, menace in his voice.

Angel glanced over his shoulder at Cordelia. "Are you sure? She sounds and feels like De."

"I'm sure," Oz said. "She smells young. Very young."

Angel turned around and crossed his arms over his chest. He stared at Cordelia intently for a moment, then growled, "Who are you?"

"Me?" Cordelia squeaked. She looked nervously at Xander. "I-I'm Cordelia Chase."

"ANGEL! COME OUT HERE!!" Willow yelled.

"Let's go," Angel ordered, then went out the door.

"Move," Oz growled.

Xander and Cordelia quickly went out the door and followed Angel down the hall. Xander dared to glance over his shoulder to see Oz behind them, sliding a robe on. Their chances for running did not look good.

Angel stopped suddenly, and Cordelia and Xander ran into the back of him. "Buffy?" he gasped.

"Angel, good, you're here," Buffy said, walking away from Willow, who kept staring at her. She saw Xander, Cordelia and Oz behind him. "And so is everyone else, which is also good, because something strange is going on."

"Slayer?"

Buffy turned around and was surprised to see Spike. "Don't you ever lear-eep!" She suddenly found herself in a bone-crushing hug.

"You're not dead," Spike whispered in a choked voice. "I knew you couldn't be dead. I knew it."

"Um, could use some help here, Angel," Buffy said.

"Oz or Willow, is she alive?" Angel asked in a unbelieving voice.

"She smells like these two," Oz said. "Young."

"Wow, make that way young," Willow added after sniffing the air. "I should have noticed when she came in. That's not Buffy."

"Yes it is!" Spike exclaimed, shooting a glare over at Angel. He didn't release his hold on Buffy.

The doors to the mansion opened and voices drifted in before several people. They stopped as one and stared. Those already in the mansion stared back.

"Interesting," Oz in the bathrobe said. "There seems to be two of everyone."

"Huh," Oz on the other side of the room said. "Curious."

"What's going on here?" Buffy asked, trying to get out of Spike's embrace. "And will you let go of me, you bleached-moron."

Angel walked warily across the room to stand in front of himself. "I think we have a situation."

"Angel, you putz, get your undead ass out here and help me!"

Both Angel's winced and one of them rolled his eyes. "Will, plop everyone down somewhere while I go see to the Cordelia that has to be mine." He headed for the garden and paused. "Unless there's going to be three of everyone." Shaking his head, he went outside.

"Ok, you heard Ang," Willow in the robe announced. "Everyone find a seat and park it."

Once everyone was seated, minus Angel and Cordelia, who were still outside, Oz took a head count. "We're missing three doubles. Giles, Buffy and Harris."

"Well, since this isn't Xander," Willow said, gesturing. "He must still be upstate. And Giles went to the Vixen."

"And Buffy is...gone," Oz said. He looked over at Spike, who was hovering anxiously behind the couch where Buffy was sitting close to the other Angel. "Sorry, man, that's not her."

"Sod off," Spike growled. "It is, too."

"Spike, Buffy's dead," Willow said with great sympathy.

"No she isn't!" Spike shouted. "Are you blind?! She's sitting right there in front of you!"

"I'm...the other me is dead?" Buffy asked. She gave Angel a scared look.

"Now this is an interesting sight," Cordelia said, entering the mansion with Angel in tow. The dark-haired vampire was loaded down with boxes, which he put just inside the doors on the floor. "We've multiplied."

Cordelia seated on the couch stared at the Cordelia moving towards them. They looked identical. "Strange much?"

The standing Cordelia laughed. "I haven't used that phrase in...Angel knows how long."

"I do?" the seated Angel said.

"Not you, me," the other Angel corrected. He walked up behind Cordelia and pulled her back against him, his hands splayed over her hips. "And I'd say close to seventy years, give or take, De."

"SEVENTY YEARS!!" The doubles cried out as one.

"Oh dear heavens," Giles stated. "Y-Y-You mean to-to say that you three, er." He gestured to Cordelia and the robe clad Oz and Willow. "Are close to a-a-a century in age?"

"How old are you?" Cordelia asked.

"Bloody hell, I hate that woman," leather clad Giles swore as he came through the front doors. He paused when he saw everyone. "Oh...hello."

"Giles?!" Buffy and Willow on the couch gasped. Tweed-wearing Giles just stared at his other self.

"I see we have a problem," Giles stated. He spotted Buffy and gasped. "Dear Lord."

"It's not her," Angel said. Angel on the couch put his arm around Buffy.

"It is," Spike protested weakly. His shoulders slumped and tears glistened in his eyes. "It is."

Angel released Cordelia and walked over to Spike. Without hesitation, he pulled him into another embrace. "I'm sorry, Spike."

Buffy felt her heart break for the peroxide-blond vampire.

"Oh drat," Willow said. "I have to get ready. De, help. Oz chewed my shoe."

"I did not," Oz said.

"Did, too," Willow said. She flounced out of the room with Cordelia following behind.

"Did not," Oz said. He half-smiled at Angel, then headed for the garden door, shedding his robe on the way. Five seconds after he went outside, the occupants of the mansion heard a wolf howl.

"I'm going to go, too," Spike said hoarsely. He wiped his eyes with the back of his hand, gave Buffy a longing look, then quickly left the mansion.

"Looks like it's up to us to figure this out, Bookworm," Angel said to the leather clad Giles.

"I suppose so, maggot breath," Giles replied.

Everyone seated was stunned by Giles' rude name-calling.

*****



"...And who knew that everyone I screwed with my soul permanent would become immortal?" Angel ducked when Giles chucked a worry stone at him. "What?"

"You are about as mature as a pop tart," Giles told him. He looked at those seated. "Ignore the tosser. The only words you can trust that come out of his mouth are 'a,' 'an,' and 'the.'"

Willow giggled, then covered her mouth, as a blush stole over her cheeks. Giles smiled at her and Angel glared at her.

"The real story is a lot less...vile," Giles began, causing Angel to turn his glare on him. He smirked, then continued. "There is a race of beings known as the Immortals. They can only die when they are beheaded and, when they are, they release energy known as the Quickening."

"Normally this energy goes to the nearest Immortal," Angel picked up. "But the Seis Amigos were doing a spell when the Immortal lost his head, and the Quickening hit them instead."

"And somehow we became immortal," Giles went on. "Of course, we did not know this until Spike, Buffy and Willow fell down the mine shaft in South Dakota."

"Spike was freaked for hours." Angel chuckled. "He kept saying 'But they were dead. Dead, I tell you!'"

"Since then, all of us, save the brain-dead one beside me." Giles gestured to Angel, who glowered. "As well as Spike, have 'died' on numerous occasions whilst fighting."

"Wait, what about me?" Buffy asked. "If I was immortal, how come you say I'm dead?"

"As with the race of Immortals, we can die by beheading," Giles answered. "Buffy was fighting a demon version of the Black Knight of legends, and was beheaded."

"Spike went ape-shit, tore the demon to pieces with his bare hands, then alternated between crying and sleeping for six months straight," Angel said. He looked at Buffy. "Next time, duck."

"Well, I'm off," Willow said, coming out of the hallway, dressed to the nines. She was looking through a small purse while heading for the main doors. "When Oz comes back, tell him if he touches my shoes, I'll take away his kibble."

"Willow, I am afraid you were the one who chewed up your shoe," Giles said. The redhead stopped and glared at him. "My mistake. It was Oz."

"That's right," Willow agreed. She gave a smile to everyone. "Bye other us'. Good luck getting back to where ever with these Bozo's in charge." She waved and walked out the door.

"Are you sure we can't cut off her head because she's annoying?" Angel asked.

"I HEARD THAT DEAD-ASS!!"

Angel grinned. "So, now that we've spilled our collective beans, let's hear yours. What brings you to Sunnydale 2073?"

"W-Well," the seated Giles began. "The only possibility I've been able to ascertain is that, when we preformed the last spell, we were somehow, er, transported to-to here."

"What spell was it?" the immortal Giles asked.

"The Spell of Mescraldan," Willow answered.

"Hmm," Giles said. He glanced at Angel, who shrugged. "That doesn't sound familiar. It is too bad Spike has departed, he would have known."

"Spike?" the younger Angel said. "Why would he know?"

"He has practically every book in the library memorized," Giles replied. He smiled with fondness and a hint of sadness. "He wanted to make sure that he could assist Buffy better than the rest of us. He loved her so very much."

"Speak of the blond devil," Angel said, gesturing with his head towards the door.

"Angel," Spike said, coming into through the doors, dragging someone by the arm. "I found this bloody ponce wandering around like a lost puppy, begging to be eaten. Since I saw him with..." He trailed off and stared at Buffy for a moment, then looked away.

"Wesley," Cordelia said, rising from the couch to go over to the Watcher. "I'm so glad you're here."

"What is going on here?" Wesley asked. "Buffy, did you purposely lead me to the wrong motel?"

"No, Wes," Xander said. "We've wandered through the Stargate."

"We've what?" Wesley said. "And what in the Council's name are you wearing, Mr. Giles."

"Dear heavens, it's the weenie," the immortal Giles said. Angel gave him a puzzled look. "The bloke who took over my position as Buffy's Watcher after I was fired from the Council."

"You remember that?" Angel said. "I can't even remember what I wore yesterday."

"That's because Delightful makes all your decisions for you," Giles replied.

"What do I do?" the immortal Cordelia asked, entering the room.

"You think I'm smart, don't you, honey?" Angel asked her.

"Ang, you couldn't find your brain if someone took it out of your head and handed it to you," Cordelia said.

"I'm going to, uh, go...again," Spike said, shifting uncomfortably on his feet, his eyes on the floor.

"Wait," Giles said. "Before you do, have you heard of the Spell of Mescraldan?"

"Spells of Dissolution, eighth chapter," Spike answered promptly. "Good for getting rid of many different types of opponents in one fell swoop. However, it's not bloody worth using, because if preformed the tiniest bit wrong, it creates a temporal time flux around the area cast."

Those from Sunnydale, 1999 stared at Spike in amazement.

"Is there a way to reverse it?" Giles asked.

"Rassmussin's Reversal Spell would probably work," Spike replied. "It's in the Adventarion, Volume Two."

"Thank you, Spike," Giles said. Spike nodded, bit his lower lip as his eyes met Buffy's, then hurried out of the mansion.

"Wow, he's, like, knowledge boy," the young Cordelia commented.

"I, myself, was thinking of Rassmussin's Spell," Wesley said.

Those still seated on the couch all scoffed derisively.

"Well, I suppose I'd best adjourn to the library and retrieve the book," Giles said, walking out of the room.

"So, is there anything you guys want to know that baboon butt here didn't tell you?" the older Cordelia asked, gesturing to the older Angel.

"Baboon butt?" Xander said. He grinned evilly at the Angel seated across from him.

"Don't even think about it, Xander," the younger Angel growled.

"I have something," Oz said. "This me here can change into a werewolf at will?"

"Thanks to Witch-girl," Angel answered him. "After you bit her one wild night," he waggled his brows, "she went into full research mode and found a way for Oz and her to control the change."

"And you have your soul permanently?" Buffy asked.

"Yes," Angel replied.

"It took me thirty-five years to get him to stop brooding," Cordelia said. She shook her head sadly. "I should have left him alone."

"Real cute, De," Angel said. "I don't know why I put up with you."

"Anything else?" Cordelia asked, ignoring Angel.

"Yeah, what about me?" Xander said.

"Jail," Cordelia and Angel replied simultaneously. They exchanged grins.

"Um, why?" Xander said.

"You have a way with picking girls, numb-nuts," Angel said. He raised his voice so he was speaking in falsetto. "'Just keep the motor running, honey. I have to run into the bank and make a withdrawal. Oh, and if you hear lots of gunfire, it's not me, k?.'" He giggled like an airhead and pretended to push long hair over his shoulder.

"You do that very well, Ang," Cordelia said. "Should I worry?"

"Like, no way," Angel replied in the same falsetto. He winked at her.

"Here we go," Giles said, returning to the room with a book. "Rassmussin's Reversal Spell. Seems simple enough. Willow would be able to do this herself, however, I think I shall require your assistance, Angel."

"Let's see," Angel said. He took the book from Giles and quickly scanned the spell. "No problem. We'll move out to the grotto and send these pilgrims home."

*****



Sunnydale, December 2071

Buffy sprinted forward, planning to leap onto the back of the horse the next time he went by. The black knight seated atop of the giant stallion laughed evilly at her, igniting her anger. She launched herself at him, but the horse was spurred forward quickly, and she fell to the ground hard.

Gritting her teeth, she pushed herself to her feet.

"Next time, duck."

The words came out of nowhere, but she did not stop to fathom that fact. She ducked and, less than a second later, the air from a sword being swung ruffled her hair.



End 1