Summary: When Spike burns in the caves of the Hellmouth, he doesn’t go straight to Hell… but he doesn’t exactly end up in Heaven, either. Caught in the in-between, he’s offered a choice— one that will not only change the past for him and Buffy, but also give him the chance to experience the future. Will he take it? And, if he does— what lies within the year he’d fought so hard to forget?
Beta and Sensitivity Readers: None
Artists: None
Categories: Season 5, Season 6, Season 7, Time Travel
Characters: Buffy, Dawn, Ensemble, Joyce, Spike
Genres: Angst, Fix-It, HEA/HFN, Hurt/Comfort, Resurrection, Romance, Slow-Burn
Warnings: Adult Language, Attempted Rape, Mental Health Issues, Sexual Situations, Suicidal Ideation
Completed: No Chapters: 5
Word count: 11,612 Hit Count: 3,055 ePub Downloads: 21
Published: September 25, 2022 Updated: November 06, 2022


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Story Notes: Much of my inspiration (as well as the title of this fic) was taken from “Monster” by Imagine Dragons — which is my ultimate Spike song. If you haven’t seen the fan-made video with this song, I highly recommend it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MsGuH6LFvs
The warning of Attempted Rape for this fic pertains to discussions of, and character thoughts about, the canon events of Seeing Red.
R rating is subject to change; initial chapters are PG/PG-13.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

1. chapter one by trevino - Likes: 33 Comments: 14 Word Count: 1,058 Hit Count: 992 Published: September 25, 2022

hi everyone, i'm back! long time no see (or... read?), but i've missed y'all a lot. this is a fic idea that's been bouncing around in my head for quite a while, and i'm really excited to be posting it. my plan is to stay one chapter ahead at all times; so, since i'm posting chapter 1 today, it means that chapter 2 has already been written. (fingers crossed i stick to this goal!)

thank you, as always, to my lovely lex_hex for serving as emotional support, an ideas board, and the truly best fandom friend a person could ask for.

this is a bit of a short chapter, but it's designed to (hopefully) pique your interest, and get me back into the swing of writing + posting. 

2. chapter two by trevino - Likes: 28 Comments: 12 Word Count: 3,491 Hit Count: 581 Published: October 02, 2022

it's time to find out a bit more about this choice that spike's being offered...

thank you to my beloved lex_hex for being my first buffy fic friend, for reading my ramblings while balancing law school and adult life, and for always being here. i have faith in you, forever.

3. chapter three by trevino - Likes: 27 Comments: 13 Word Count: 3,446 Hit Count: 527 Published: October 09, 2022

NOTE 1: i’m anxiously awaiting y’all’s opinions on a somewhat-controversial plot point that is revealed in this chapter. it’s one that took a LOT of deliberating— thank you, of course, to my beta lex_hex for letting me ramble through every possibility over text— but i think i’ve made the best call for the situation at hand, and i’m eager to hear what you think! 

NOTE 2: there’s a cheeky but uncited reference to a famous Maya Angelou quote in here— “When you know better, do better”— which happens to also be one of my favorite recurring lines from “Pictures of You” by kats_meow— if you haven’t read it, you 100% should!

4. chapter four by trevino - Likes: 31 Comments: 16 Word Count: 2,240 Hit Count: 517 Published: October 23, 2022

hi friends— long time no update, huh?

(well, it's been about two weeks... and since i have some fics that haven't been updated in over 365 days, i'm considering it a bit of a win still)

happy reading, all— it's time to revisit some well-loved characters!

 

5. chapter five by trevino - Likes: 28 Comments: 11 Word Count: 1,377 Hit Count: 438 Published: November 06, 2022

back, back, back again! once again, i apologize for the inconsistencies in updating; my physical health has been very out-of-whack recently, and i'm trying to manage it to the best of my abilities but sometimes fic-writing can't be my #1 priority. thank you as always for reading, for adding likes, and for leaving comments when you feel drawn to do so! they help keep me going:) i've been struggling a LOT lately, but i'm always so grateful for the community here. so, thank you for being you, and for bearing with me while i'm being me.

if you want to keep up with my adventures off of ao3, you can find me on instagram @spoonie.bujo — lots of poetry, nonfiction, and queer reading notes, as well as art and planner content:)