The time traveller's wife belongs to Audrey Niffenegger (and I thought *my* last name was hard to spell lol).
BtVS belongs to Whedon.
Four year old Alba DeTamble is a very special little girl.
She has what is called Chrono-Displacement Disorder. Four year old Alba can jump through space and time just like her daddy. Except Alba, unlike daddy can sort of, kind of control where she goes. But she’s learning, because little four year old Alba DeTamble is a very smart, special girl.
When Alba is three, she begins getting visits from other Albas. Older versions of herself travel back and forth, sometimes stopping to speak to their three year old counterpart.
One day on the playground, Alba is approached by a big man, an adult who gives her a lollypop. An adult that promises her a kitten if she comes with him, right to that car over there. Near the woods. Her mommy doesn’t notice the big man crouching beside her little girl, a twisted smile on his lips and eyes that sparkle with an emotion that three year old Alba doesn’t understand. It is a blond girl that comes running from the other side of the playground, hair swinging and gaze angry that stops the man. She grabs Alba by the hand and hisses something about ‘cops’ to the big man, so very angry that she uses a couple of bad words that Alba’s not supposed to know. The big man quickly disappears into his car but not before touching little Alba’s cheek with longing. The blonde girl beside tugs Alba closer to her and watches the man drive away with wary eyes and ears that turn red from anger. This is the first time that Little Alba meets Big Alba. Big Alba is thirteen at this point in time she learns.
Two years pass with no visits,Little Alba grows, her daddy gets injured and her momma becomes sadder with every day. They don’t tell her what’s coming but their five year old daughter knows that it’s nothing good, parents don’t keep things from you without a good reason. Then one day, when she’s playing in the back garden, Alba gets the first visit from Big Alba she’s had in two years. Big Alba is fifteen, older and sadder, she sits her younger self down and tells her what’s about to happen. She tells her that her daddy’s about to die. Little Alba is so upset with these news, just like any girl would be, that she doesn’t notice the fact that Big Alba has a scar running from her ankle and up her skirt, end unseen to the five year old’s eyes.
From then on Little Alba is continuously visited by older versions of herself; ten, fifteen, seventeen, thirteen, fourteen years old. They all come and watch their younger carefree self play in her sandbox, they push her on the swings and listen to her laughter a sad, wistful smile on their faces. Little Alba notices that her older selves seem very adult, their eyes are like daddy’s- full of responsibility. A couple of times, her big ‘sisters’ come with freshly healing wounds and bruises, when Little Alba questions them- they all reply that it’s nothing, that it’s their job. Alba assumes that she grows up playing a lot of sports, that or she’s a ninja.
On Alba’s eighth birthday, seventeen year old Big Alba comes to see her. Their momma doesn’t blink an eye at the fact that she has two daughters celebrating their birthday instead of one. She just hugs Big Alba tightly, brings her some spare clothes from Little Alba’s room commenting on the fact that her teenage daughter is nothing but skin and bones. Seventeen year old Alba doesn’t say anything, just squeezes her mother as hard as she can and takes her outside. The younger birthday girl watches them through a window, she sees her mother’s hands fly to her mouth, head shaking in disbelief at the news that her child from the future has just delivered. Big Alba just speaks more urgently, gripping her mother’s shoulders as if to drive a point across. She disappears just as momma slips onto the grass, legs giving out from her, sobs wracking her body. Eight year old Alba is a very solemn little girl as she comes downstairs to comfort her mother.
When Alba turns ten, Big Alba begins telling her stories. Of a heroine, a girl that saves the world every night. She tells her fairytales of fate and destiny, she spins horrifying tales of death. When the younger girl asks her older ‘sibling’ why she’s telling her this, Big Alba just replies that she’s preparing her for the future. She tells her not to be afraid, to make sure that their mother knows that she loves them. Another big thing happens when Little Alba turns ten, she visits her daddy for the first time in five years. Daddy’s a lot younger than Alba remembers him, the grey gone from his hair, his eyes still sparkle as he laughs when he picks her up. For some reason, Alba decides to keep the fact that her older self keeps visiting her to herself. Daddy doesn’t need to worry. Alba’s momma is a lot sadder these days, her gazes at her daughter are full of concern and sad resignation.
When Alba turns twelve her momma throws her a birthday party at the skating rink. All of Alba’s classmates show up, including Sean Davies and his friends from the seventh grade. Alba’s so nervous that she has to go outside for some fresh air, she likes Sean a lot, he knows about her disorder and doesn’t call her a freak. Alba has what her daddy never did, acceptance.
As she stands outside, mentally psyching herself up to go back in and flirt with her crush, before Angela Morton can- there’s a sound. She whips around and it’s Big Alba, she’s so hurt. She’s bleeding all over, hands grasping her chest with something white sticking out from beneath her fingers. Little Alba wants to throw up, she still remembers her daddy dying in their living room like this. Except daddy got shot, and big Alba looks like she’s been run through with knives, cuts everywhere leaking valuable life fluid onto the dirty asphalt. She’s naked like usual, but it’s hard to see pale flesh through all the bruising and the cuts, the blood is soaked through so deep that Big Alba looks red tinged.
Little Alba is screaming for help, for momma, for anybody. Her older self is dying, she can see that- nobody can survive her level of injuries. Just as she is about to run back inside to get momma because at that moment her only parent is the one answer Little Alba can come up with, Big Alba grips her wrist to keep her from leaving. With a strength that hurts the little girl’s hand, the dying young woman drags her closer to her face. Breath bubbling up with a sickeningly wet sound, she strains out just loud enough for Little Alba to hear- “Tell mommy to call Willow.”
Then Big Alba is dead, breath expelled in one pain-filled whoosh that leaves her younger self scrambling back in panic. This isn’t supposed to happen, Big Alba doesn’t look old- she looks just a little older than the seventeen year old incarnation that visits her younger self the most often. The young girl starts sobbing, terror filled eyes glued to the naked, broken and bleeding body in front of her.