Author's Notes: I do not in any way own the characters from the "Real" or "Extreme" Ghostbusters-universe; they are the sole property of Sony Studios and DiC and BKN Studios, respectively. I additionally do not own the characters from the TV series: "Charmed", "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" or "Angel" for they are the respective property of Aaron Spelling and Joss Whedon. The characters: Quentin Blud, Lamont Beavier, and Toby Baxter are all OC under the property of fellow fanfiction author and friend, Sparky Genocide, who had graciously lent me his characters and "Ghostbusters United" universe to play with and introduce in this Misfit-verse (thanks again, SG!). The characters of the anime and manga series, "Inuyasha", are of property of Rumiko Takahasi while Magneto and the Acolytes are property of Marvel Comics. To recap, to all those who are wondering where this all falls chronologically, it is: past Season Seven of Buffy after "Chosen", past the Season Seven episode "Scry Hard" of Charmed, and post Season Five of Angel immediately after "Not Fade Away". To those who are confused and wished to know the back-story, read my fic "Nexus Nevermore" which explains the circumstances of why the Charmed Ones, the Slayers, and Angel Investigations are joining the Ghostbusters. I am not here to make money but to tell a story, and I have fully credited everyone, so please for the love of God, don't sue me! Anyways, now that I have that settled, let's see how painful…er, wonderful it is to have the Charmed Ones adjusting to their new lives as Ghostbusters in a fanfic I title…
Insanity Is Part Of The Job Description
Deep in the heart of downtown New York City, an impressive corporate building of ten stories lay, pristine and shining white marble, certainly impressive looking to any onlooker or bystander and warm, efficient, and giving off a good aura of positive feeling. It was an impressionable monument and appeared to be similar to the law firm branch in New York called Wolfram and Hart, but with one big noticeable difference being that the white building had the logo of the Ghostbusters displayed proudly like a badge for all of New York to behold, the white ghost amongst the crossed out circle being a venerable icon.
In a respectable and rich commercial area in downtown, the sun shining down on the clean sidewalks and artistically planted tress and grass surrounding the edifice, and all the windows tinted black and sparkling clean, the new Ghostbusters headquarters was the prime example of a peaceful, serene organization and center of operations, professional, clean, and open to any in dire need…
…most of the time, of course, as one of the windows of the building just exploded and started to smoke heavily, raining bulletproof glass down the street followed by some general screaming from the Slayers, Dana and Shannon.
"My room!" shrieked Shannon.
"My bed!" roared Dana.
"Our stuff!" the two girls screamed collectively as one before Shannon snarled with promise, "Andrew, you are so dead!"
"The geek gets it tonight!" Dana hollered with rage as the Watcher-in-training, Andrew Wells, bolted for his life with surprising speed and with his glovatrix still smoking from the accidental discharge as the two Slayers pursued after him with a wooden baseball bat and a knife.
From the meeting room, Piper, Phoebe, and Paige looked on at the chase wordlessly as the three dashed past the doorway before Piper groaned and turned to the Ghostbuster named Winston and asked with a grimace.
"Will this happen often?"
"With the new recruits we'll be getting, it's safe to say it'll be a given, Mrs. Wyatt," Winston admitted.
"Ah, so there's a few explosions, big whoop! Nothing we can't fix! And besides, it's not like he blew up your Book of Shadows or anything, babe!" the loud-mouthed and pompous Ghostbuster, Garret, said in an overconfident tone from his wheelchair. Piper glared at him.
"Remind me to blame you for jinxing it when it happens," the Wiccan said in a very annoyed tone.
"Ah, you worry too much, sweet-cheeks," Garret grinned.
"Don't call me 'sweet-cheeks'!" Piper snapped.
"OK, how's about Honeybun? Sugar-momma? Va-va-voom? Hubba-hubba?" Garret tried over and over blithely, not noticing how red Piper and Leo's collective faces were turning with anger and annoyance. Kevin Rivera, Kylie and Eduardo's nephew, winced as he placed a hand on his friend's shoulder to make him cease.
"Garret, what have we told you about your running of the mouth?" he asked delicately.
Jenny Calendar and the members of the original and Extreme Ghostbusters along with the Charmed Ones, the Slayers, and the remaining Scoobies were watching this scene with a mixture of amusement and exasperation, interrupted from their meeting on further plans to gather and form the new teams for the Ghostbusters in their fight against Wolfram and Hart. Giles turned to Wood with a dry look of blame as Andrew dashed by the door again with Shannon and Dana cursing fiercely behind him.
"Robin, did I ever thank you for persuading me to allow Andrew to have a weapon that can fire explosives?" Giles asked his fellow Watcher with his usual stuffy, aloof mannerisms.
"Um…no?" the African-American man said with a wince as another explosion rang throughout the building.
"Good, because I simply wished to bloody make sure I didn't lapse in my ever disapproving silence," Giles returned, already beginning to feel incredibly annoyed. And it was for more than one reason.
Giles couldn't determine if it was because the Charmed Ones and the Slayers were now forced to reveal to the worldwide public about the existence of the supernatural and magical worlds, giving information to an already hysterical populace. And the remnants of the Watcher's Council were not readily pleased as well as the Immortal Council, but the Powers That Be defended them, and it quickly (and thankfully) settled the matter. Giles couldn't determine if it was because he was outvoted by the rest of his fellow allies and teammates to join the Ghostbusters, duly disregarding his judgment to not join them. And it didn't help matters that he and the Ghostbuster, Egon Spengler, would constantly bicker and argue about the most trivial facts and bits of knowledge about demonology and the supernatural. And to Giles' mind, the British man would like nothing better than for the American, smeg-headed bag of wind to admit that he was clearly always wrong while Giles was clearly always right. Or maybe it was because…
"Hey, what's going on?" Charles Gunn asked, the lanky yet strong demon-hunter from the streets of Angel Investigations, as he limped into the room, concerned despite the cast over his arm and the bandages wrapped around his torso. Giles glared at him before he rubbed the bridge of his nose tiredly.
"Ah yes, now I remember," Giles muttered. It was because they recently found out via a brief yet informative conference with Jenny and the Ghostbusters that Angel, Gunn, Spike, Lorne, and a friend named Illyria would also be recruited for the Ghostbusters to help fight against Wolfram and Hart. Needless to say, this announcement wasn't well received, and Giles and Wood were just about ready to storm out of the entire deal. But Willow and the other Slayers along with Andrew and the Charmed Ones waited until Jenny and Peter Venkman explained to them the entire situation: on how Angel joined the Black Thorn Circle only to destroy them from within, how he and his team joined the Los Angeles branch of the firm to try to change it to help innocents (and Giles had to restrain himself from snorting at the incredulity and illogic of that notion) and to help Angel's son, Conner, only to find that the firm was very resistant to the rules and laws of the Senior Partners, and how Angel and his friends reduced the entire L.A. building to rubble and how the Senior Partners tried to kill them for lessening and destroying their grip on the Earth.
Thanks to Angel and his team for destroying the Circle of the Black Thorn, the Senior Partners of Wolfram and Hart no longer could ever regain control over this planet through their servants.
Thanks to Angel and his team, the Slayers and their allies would no longer be doomed to a violent death by the First and his associates due to the weakening of the Senior Partners' influence.
And thanks to Angel and his team, the world had been spared for good from Wolfram and Hart's future apocalypse.
And because they would be a great help for the side of good, the Ghostbusters were able to storm into Los Angeles and help Angel and his friends defeat the dragon and the demon hordes that the Senior Partners had sent to kill them in retribution for killing the Black Thorn Circle, not to mention saving the city in the process. And Jenny informed them that the Senior Partners immediately backed off because Angel and his friends were now under protection of the Powers That Be.
Willow and Faith were touched as well as the other Slayers that joined the Ghostbusters, and Wood was even lessening in his harsh judgment a little bit. However, at first Giles thought he had a potential ally in the matter with Wood on this matter because of Spike's presence; working with a dhampir was one thing, but working with Angel and his team of traitors, people who had given him grief and pain for a good portion of their lives was another. However, then Andrew revealed that he knew Spike was back ever since he went to go get Dana, and that wasn't very well received either, even if Andrew explained Spike made him promise to not tell anyone. And it also didn't help Wood's cause for vengeance against his mother's murderer since Spike still had a soul and that the Powers That Be wanted him to join their organization.
Thus, Wood and Giles lost the argument, and even Wood conceded that to protect the Earth against the Heartless and the Gathering of Twilight, he was willing to stay with the Ghostbusters. And Willow and Faith were incredibly saddened to hear of the recent deaths of Wesley and Fred. And Giles and Paige were "unluckily" chosen to accompany the Ghostbusters Kylie, Eduardo, Janine, and the Slayer Faith to inform Wesley's father of the death of his only son. Mr. Wyndham-Pryce was less than distressed (even causal and professional about his "worthless coward" as he termed Wesley), and Eduardo nearly lost his temper at the old man's stuffiness. Which was actually the better behavior compared to when Paige Halliwell herself boldly marched up to Mr. Wyndham-Pryce and slapped him in the face for his cheek and for calling her "a Charmed harlot who doomed the magical world's existence with her selfishness". Since the incident became rather distasteful and ugly after that (and there was no doubt that he'd hear of this at the next Watchers meeting), Giles added that as another reason why he had misgivings and hatred for Angel. He obviously blamed Wesley's death on the vampire; as much as he disliked Wesley, Giles never wanted him dead.
Jenny Calendar shook her head at Gunn as she explained, "It is nothing serious, Gunn. Continue recuperating from your injuries in the infirmary."
Quentin was still summarizing their agenda's for the day, ignoring the side spectacles and interruptions, "I'll take the youngest Halliwell and the Potential Slayers with me to feudal Japan using the relic the Powers gave us to see if we can recruit Inuyasha and his band. As much as I am against recruiting additional half-bred canine upstarts who could use a muzzle for their big mouths, apparently, the Powers That Be feel they would do us a world of good if they join the Ghostbusters."
"Take Andrew with you, Quentin. The experience shall be highly beneficial for his development as a future Watcher, and it would do him good to get out of headquarters once in a while," Jenny added automatically, and the dhampir and the other Slayers, not surprisingly, weren't very keen on this idea.
"What?" Caridad demanded angrily, "So we're supposed to drag him along with us? What on Earth for? The only reason Andrew coming with us would be that he'd spend less time annoying people and destroying here at headquarters with that glovatrix of his and more time annoying and destroying whatever we run into over at – oh…"
The Filipino Slayer trailed off when she saw the small smile on Jenny's face.
"You really need to learn to stop asking questions like that, Caridad," Rona groaned, feeling another headache coming on, "I already know this will be a disaster…I just know it."
Janine then said, "Egon and I will go to Bella Lugosi to see if we can recruit Daemona and the other kids who call themselves the Phantom Investigators. We might be able to convince their parents that the Ghostbusters would be the best option, especially since we have reports from our sources that Zaizen is planning an alliance with Stryker and Graydon Creed. There's no telling how much those kids and their families will be in danger if the Friends of Humanity or Purity get their hands on them, not to mention this new group formed by Solomon called the Purifiers."
"Bastards," muttered Eduardo Rivera darkly, his jaw grim and his mouth formed into a thin line. If anything had ever been a sore subject with the young Ghostbuster, it was endangering or assaulting an innocent child.
"Couldn't we just tell the parents that the kids are being recruited for a special school? It might give us more of a leeway to help the kids have an easier time with the leaving, and the parents may be less likely to give us grief if we just lie and say they were chosen for a full scholarship to some private school," Winston said, but Phoebe Halliwell shook her head.
"No, honesty would be the best policy with the parents, and it will help us in the longer run when the Gathering of Twilight appears. Please pardon my forwardness, but if we need to convince the parents that the children would be safer with us, we need to be up front with them and show that there are forces out there sent by the other branches of Wolfram and Hart that will kill the children if we don't help them first. And this way, the parents won't be too taken aback when the kids fight at the Gathering of Twilight. Um…but that's only my suggestion, you don't have to listen to it," Phoebe finished, blushing under the stern watches of Quentin and Jenny, but Jenny then nodded followed by a smile from Janine.
"I agree with Phoebe. We'll tell them the truth," Janine agreed. Quentin just raised an eyebrow as he glanced at Wood and Giles.
"As much as I am against women being Watchers, I'll concede it wasn't too much of an idiotic choice to choose her to be a future apprentice in training," he admitted, nodding at the middle sister. Phoebe decided to ignore the sexist comment and take it as a compliment.
Ray Stanz, one of the original Ghostbusters with an aged face and balding red hair, "And Winston and I will take Kyle, Roland, Garret, and Eduardo over to Illinois to see if we can recruit Danny Fenton and his friends. However, I can probably say right now that it's not going to be easy recruiting him, especially considering his father is a fanatic ghost-chaser…and Vlad Masters is also there by our dumb luck."
Kylie nodded as she reminded them, "And let's not also forget that Vlad would be low enough to try using Purifiers and Quarrymen to kill innocent children at the school and anyone else who gets in their way, especially since he and Takuma Zaizen are already finding ways to increase their supporters' influence."
"Wait…Quarrymen? In Illinois? I thought they only centered in New York with the Wyvern Gargoyles," Roland pointed out, confused, and Winston answered back for the teen.
"Not ever since the exposure of the magical world after the X-Men and the Misfits helped the Charmed Ones and the Slayers fight against Blackheart and the Heartless in San Francisco. Ever since then, more and more anti-magic and anti-paranormal terrorist groups have been sprouting all over the world, people banking on the mass hysteria of the magical and supernatural to try to take matters into their own hands, especially after seeing how the police and the agents from the Homeland Security were woefully inadequate in stopping vampires and warlocks. And because of this, the Powers informed us that the Quarrymen and the Purifiers have been rapidly gaining approval and been establishing base of operations in various countries. And since Vlad wants Danny dead should he choose to not join him, he wouldn't have much qualms against sending the Quarrymen to do their dirty work, especially since they've now increased their hate list against all sort of paranormal entities," Winston sighed wearily, a bit downcast.
The bespectacled Louis Tulley then recounted for his teammates, "And Jenny already gave me, Kevin, and Toby our assignments to recruit Tracy from Chicago. But really Ms. Calendar, witches and Slayers are one thing…but a gorilla? Isn't that a little too weird, even for us?"
"Honestly, Tulley, recruiting a gorilla is a lot more acceptable than whatever backwater riffraff your bosses have been recruiting so far as of late," spoke a deep, gruff voice from the background, and everyone turned to spot a very large, muscular, and brawny red demon wearing nothing more than black Speedos and a brown trench-coat and chewing on a lighted cigar-stub in one corner of his mouth. And next to him was the Whitelighter Elder, Sandra. Quentin narrowed his eyes at Sandra, but thankfully said nothing but Leo and the Charmed Ones were ecstatic at the sight of their Whitelighter friend and ally.
"Sandra!" Leo gasped with relived happiness as he went up and hugged his former fellow Whitelighter, "What on Earth are you doing here?"
"I am to be a liaison for the Immortal Council to collaborate with them about the Ghostbusters activities, not to mention inform and brief them about what the Powers That Be plan to do about the Gathering of Twilight with the Organization and the Heartless should it come to Earth," the short-haired woman explained with a smile.
"So the Immortal Council is all right with us joining the Ghostbusters and helping organize as much of a force to help fight in the Gathering?" Paige asked.
"Yes, and in addition to that, Elder Sandra will also be our resident healer when she is available at headquarters. Oh and speaking of which, your first charge named Charles Gunn is awaiting in the infirmary ward, Sandra. And thank you again for accepting the position as a liaison for the Ghostbusters' purposes," Roland provided.
"It is a great pleasure, Roland," Sandra replied before she turned to the dhampir named Quentin who was still frowning at her. Sandra still didn't falter in her polite and gracious composure.
"Nice to see you again, Quentin," the Elder Whitelighter said.
"I suppose better you than Gideon," grumbled the half-vampire, half-human hybrid, crossing his arms over his chest and sulking a bit to the floor, not establishing eye contact. The Halliwells were stunned.
"You…you know Quentin Blud?" Phoebe asked, blinking. This was certainly a series of surprises; never would they have imagined a Whitelighter Elder being on conservative and cordial terms with a vampire Halfling was unexpected to say the least.
"Yes, and so do a few other of the members of the Immortal Council, especially since Quentin has a…reputation for being the only person in the mortal world to openly punch Elder Gideon in the face during the debates over the Judgment of the Guilds and still managed to gain an Oath of Abraham from the Council," Sandra recounted dryly. Piper's jaw dropped.
"HIM?" the eldest sister screeched while pointing at Quentin in outraged disbelief, "The Council gave him an Oath of Abraham? A sexist, overly-violent, temperamental dhampir-sociopath with a big mouth and who could use an attitude adjustment?"
"You first, Wyatt," Quentin shot back disdainfully, and Piper twitched as she contemplated on using her molecular combustion powers. Paige looked at Quentin.
"So you also were granted an Oath of Abraham? Just like General Hawk from G.I. Joe?" she asked.
"Yes. I have managed to find a few allies in the Council during my early days as a warrior. And no, I haven't used the Oath as of yet, unlike your general friend of the Misfits, so needless to say, should push come to shove, I can use the Oath if we ever need additional help for the Powers That Be when we fight in the Gathering. And my gut feeling tells me that we may actually need it, especially since I don't want any more of us dying."
"Isn't he so gallant?" whispered a giddy Chao-Ahn to Rona, speaking in English thanks to the translator Forge from the X-Men made for her.
Rona smirked from ear to ear, twittering, "Girl, I'm beginning to see the allure of falling for a vamp. Hey if Buffy and Angel could get it on, then there's no reason why none of us can date Quentin when we're a bit older!"
"What is it with Slayers falling in love with vampires again?" Louis asked at Kennedy and Willow, blinking.
"Don't ask, I'm still trying to figure out that one myself," Kennedy sighed, rolling her eyes, "And again, I'll repeat that I am incredibly glad to be a lesbian."
Meanwhile, at the same time, Xander was overjoyed for a different reason as he immediately recognized the red-skinned, devilish giant at once.
"HELLBOY?" gasped Xander in surprise and delight. The red, hulking behemoth looked at the one-eyed man with some scrutiny before (to everyone else's collective surprise), he smiled.
"Long time no see, Harris," the demon said with gruff warmth. Xander actually jumped from his chair and ran to him before embracing the demon in a fierce hug, and actually chuckling, Hellboy managed to grab a firm hold around Xander's waist with his right arm (which everyone could see was made entirely with a cylindrical, rock shell) before giving the Scooby a noogie with his left hand.
The Slayers and the other Scoobies were stunned.
"Oh my," Willow gasped.
"Xander, you know this guy?" Kennedy asked, stunned at the display of friendly banter.
"Duh, of course, I know Big Red!" Xander chortled with pride and enthusiasm, trying to squirm out of the headlock Hellboy had on him, "I ran into Hellboy in Africa when I was recruiting Slayers for the academy! Don't worry, Hellboy's a good demon! He actually fights against baddies when he used to work under some weirdo organization for the government called the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense, or the B.P.R.D! And we bonded after he helped save my butt against a werewolf in Africa! And he's a comic book geek, just like me! He's a butt-kicking demon and he supports the Justice League and he collects Captain Archer comics! He even has the first-ever, collector's item edition number one in mint condition!"
Hellboy snorted as he released his hold on Xander gracefully, saying, "Ah, I might be a comic nut, Harris, but you're forgetting it annoys the crap outta me that they never get the eyes right. Asshats couldn't draw those well enough to save their lives."
"You know, I should be surprised, and yet I'm not," Vi remarked, deadpanned, "I really don't know why, but it doesn't surprise me that Hellboy and Xander are comic book geeks…"
"We have seen things much stranger," admitted Caridad.
"So you're joining the Ghostbusters Incorporated too?" asked Leo, impressed, "Wow, witches, Slayers, dhampirs, ghosts, gorillas, and now demons? The Powers That Be must really be pulling out all strings for recruitment."
Hellboy shook his head as he replied, chewing on his cigar, "Nah, made it clear to the Powers that though I'll help out in the Gathering and will offer my assistance to fight any Heartless that are close to my proximity in Africa, I have to turn down the opportunity. Need my space right now."
"So, you're not joining us, Big Red?" Xander said with jest, but one could notice that his face fell with disappointment at this prospect. It was evident that Xander had some sort of a bond with the demon from the B.P.R.D.
Hellboy's yellow eyes had a spark of playful irritation as he returned, "Nah, I'm more content with living on my own for a while in Africa after the Conqueror Worm incident, and I really have no interest in joining the Ghostbusters, Harris. And coincidentally, call me by that nickname again, and I'll throw you through the wall…right after I spoil the ending of the latest issue of Captain Archer…in which I know you haven't read yet."
"Ow, you really know how to hurt a guy, Red," Xander moaned, wincing.
"Wait, so what will the rest of you guys be doing while we're off finding new recruits?" Kennedy asked as she looked at those not mentioned by Quentin and the other Ghostbusters. Faith answered.
"The G-Man is gonna bring me, Phoebe and Willow back at Slayer school in London to continue training with the other Slayers thanks to the Mass Device and to jump start Phoebe's training as a Watcher. Wood and Xander's gonna stay with Dr. Venkman to understand more about the Ghostbusters and the nitty-gritty stuff along with Ms. Calendar. And Piper and Leo are going ta' leave the kids in Lamont's care while they take a little private time for a little lovin' at some private beach at some island Louis, Quentin and Venkman have known about thanks to a previous ghost-hunting adventure they've had off the coast of the Caribbean."
"We are not going to be doing anything, Faith!" protested Piper, but everyone could see the blushing red hue forming around her cheeks. Toby blinked before he then spoke out rather carelessly and unthinkingly.
"Why go to an island? Can't they just use the janitor's closet like Egon and Janine or Eduardo and Kylie always do?" the bald teen remarked. Egon, Janine, Kylie, and Eduardo all jerked before their faces all turned ruby-red from embarrassment, and they gritted their teeth and glared at the protégée of Ray. Faith, upon hearing this, gave Wood a sly wink in which the African American Watcher returned whole-heartedly; he knew what she was getting at. Kevin winced again before he placed a warning hand on Toby's shoulder.
"Toby…" Kevin said hesitantly, trying his best not to choke with laughter, "What did we tell you about using your quiet voice during certain times?"
"Well, better off an island where Leo and I can get some peace and quiet after everything we've been through with the Heartless and Zankou. The last thing we'll be doing is more fighting!" Piper continued on.
"Trust me, Halliwell, after how badly you screwed up your fight in San Francisco with the Hellfire Club and the Thirteenth Order, you honestly think we'd be comfortable with you fighting and defending against Wolfram and Hart's lackeys for potential new recruits?" Quentin sniped harshly.
Piper glared at Quentin before she commented snidely and rhetorically, "Is a requirement to be a Ghostbuster that you need to be a completely idiotic lunatic and jerk?"
The dhampir shot back coolly, "Depends. Does a requirement to be a Charmed One include being a nagging bitch?"
It took the efforts of Hellboy, Leo, and Phoebe to prevent Piper from killing Quentin right there and then. Amid the screaming and cursing, Jenny had to wearily rub her temples and groan.
"I'm beginning to see why the Powers That Be didn't want to physically be present in order to organize the Ghostbusters Incorporated…" she sighed, "This is certainly going to take some work."
"I must admit, I'm rather nervous about learning to train Slayers for the first time, Mr. Giles," Phoebe admitted her fears to the aged man as she, Willow, and Faith walked, planning to retrieve whatever luggage and equipment they needed before teleporting with the watch Trinity gave to Giles that allowed them to travel via the Mass Device of the G.I. Joes. It was just right after the aforementioned meeting with the Ghostbusters, and the group of four were making their way to their quarters to get their equipment.
"Ah, you'll do fine, Phoebs," Faith said, using Phoebe's nickname with friendly affection, "After all the butt-whooping you and your sisters did in San Francisco with the Turok-Han and the Heartless, the girls will be begging you to be their Watcher and teach them Wiccan spells and all that jazz. Hell, you're gonna be beating them off with a stick if you're not careful."
Then the group came up to a very familiar soulful and moody vampire who didn't even realize that he was walking towards the quartet until it was too late. Angel popped his head up right into the gazes of the three women and one man.
"Angel!" Willow and Faith both exclaimed in unison, relieved. Angel just ignored them and concentrated his glare on the British Watcher who was returning the defiant stare wholeheartedly. Phoebe's eyes widened a bit; so this was the infamous Angel she had heard so much about. Suddenly, there was a commotion to the far end of the hall and they all turned to see what looked like Winifred Burkle, only much more drastically changed and altered in appearance and demeanor holding Spike, the blond vampire, in a headlock and pounding him on the head and face mercilessly.
"Ow, ow, ow!" hollered Spike in his trademark, cockney English accent, trying his best to squirm free, but it was futile considering that Illyria had a grip of superhuman strength, "Ow, bloody hell, woman! You broke my nose! Ow, ow, ow! Bullocks, I said I was sorry! What the hell more do you want, you crazy wench? Ow, ow, ow!"
Illyria snarled, each word building up in fury and infinite and murderous anger and wrath, "You dare violate my personal items, pitiful weakling? Let me tell you, you disgraceful vampire, I shall crush you like a mere bug for this atrocity! Now, I have lost the very dear friend I refer to as Wesley, and I have lost my home and kingdom and rule of my iron fist upon the lands I have so governed! And though I have not been on this measly, inadequate mud-ball of a planet for very long, I do know that this sustenance you call 'ice-cream' is one of the select few I can tolerate! And you, you inexcusable, whiny, underhanded, disgusting, deplorable vagrant ate all of it! And it had the seal of my name upon the strange box in the cold tomb you refer to as a 'freezer'! You do not eat the personal items of what I have inscribed the name of Illyria on, you disgusting, miserable cur!"
"Ow, bloody hell! I'll get you a new carton of Rocky-Road! Will you just quit punching me?" Spike roared in pain as the brawl continued. Willow, Phoebe, Faith and Giles just watched on, a bit disturbed.
"Wait…was that…Fred?" Faith blurted out at last in shock, and Angel felt his bitterness deepen as he continued glaring back at Giles.
"No, it's Fred, not anymore, Faith," the brown-haired vampire clarified, "Recently, one of the spirits of the Old Ones named Illyria possessed Fred's body when she opened the sarcophagus that contained her ashes, and as a result, after many hours of agony and pain, Fred died when the infection of the possession fully took over her body and Illyria was born. Then, it's Fred's body, but Illyria is inside it and Fred is…dead."
"My God," Giles said at last, not sure how to take this but consequently, since he never knew Fred, he really couldn't say he had much remorse for the girl. Angel immediately flared up, his temper reaching new levels of murderous rage.
"What's the matter, Giles?" Angel spat angrily, "Shocked at how your refusal to get Willow to help us save Fred resulted in Illyria?"
"WHAT?" Willow and Faith gasped. Phoebe remained quiet; she realized that she had no part in this discussion, and therefore, to intrude on it between these three was not something that would be welcomed. Angel then hissed, the subject still a little sore for him.
"When Fred was possessed, we tried to contact you, Willow, to help us, but Giles refused under the condition that we were working with Wolfram and Hart, even though I tried explaining to him that we were only running the L.A. branch in order to turn the firm around and change it so that it would no longer pose as a danger to the world. And I told him also that I accepted the position of C.E.O. in order to erase Connor's memories and give him a normal life. But Giles essentially told us that we were on our own and that he wouldn't help us."
"G…is this true?" Faith asked, her voice hoarse. Giles merely remained silent, and that spoke volumes, much more so than a simple "yes".
Willow was shaking with shock and disbelieving hurt as she turned back to Giles, protesting, "Why didn't you tell me? I would have helped!"
"Because you were in the middle of projecting in the astral plane, and I didn't want to bother you during your reconnaissance with the spirits of the Guardians," Giles said without remorse. It was apparent he really didn't have much qualms against not choosing to help save from Illryia inhabiting her body.
"That's not an excuse! I could have easily stopped the session to help Fred and Angel!" Willow gasped.
"And helping Wolfram and Hart firm was something that we couldn't risk, especially with all the Potentials we had under our charge and guidance, and as such, I felt it would have been best had we not involved ourselves with them or their superior at the firm."
"At the expense of Fred's life?" Faith demanded, finally finding her voice at last through her dry throat.
"She choose to work at Wolfram and Hart. We are not responsible for helping people escape the consequences of the decisions that they make, and this Fred was not worth the trouble of endangering the Slayers under our guidance."
"Giles, whatever issues you had with me, you had no right to take it out on Fred! She didn't even know you or did anything to deserve being brushed off like that! She could still be alive had you just simply put aside you goddamned pride and asked Willow to help us!" Angel raged.
Giles said in an aloof voice, his face showing no emotion, "And you expect me to apologize?"
Angel glared at him, long and hard, before he said with bitterness, "No…I know better than to hold my breath."
With that, the soulful vampire stomped off past the Watcher, ignoring the desire to punch the British librarian-warrior's lights out, but Giles didn't seem satisfied with leaving the argument without having the last word.
"And you wonder why she does not trust you anymore?" the Watcher said with malicious acrimony. Angel actually stopped in his walk and stiffened.
"Giles!" Willow and Faith exclaimed in outrage. Phoebe just wordlessly looked on, troubled. Angel didn't turn around as he murmured with resentful acceptance.
"No, I don't," Angel said, and with that, he continued walking away and left.
Willow, Faith, and Phoebe just looked on at the departing vampire before they all looked back at the British Watcher. Willow was shaking; she knew Fred and thought of her as a pure soul, one of the gentlest and kindest hearts and humans she could have ever met. Fred would never have agreed to work for Wolfram and Hart for evil intentions (thus, she did believe Angel's testimony of the reasons why they joined Wolfram and Hart). Faith, having loyalty and gratitude to Angel for all the times he helped reach out to her in the past, was simply simmering, frowning at Giles with her hands balled into fists. Phoebe (to Giles appreciation) was neither condemning nor judgmental; she reserved her emotions and opinions on this.
"Giles…that was…that was…that was mean!" Willow exploded at last. Apparently, thinking up of devastating insults really was not the witch's forte.
"Go easy on him, Red," Faith said, sardonic, but she had less on her mind about Willow and more on what she just learned and how thoroughly ticked off she was at Giles right now.
Willow then said heatedly, "Giles, think about it! Could it really be possible that Angel, Fred, Wesley, and Cordelia would all turn to the dark side and join Wolfram and Hart for evil intentions and to doom the world altogether at the same time? You know all of them better than that even if you didn't know Fred! And Fred was one of the purest and kindest people I could have ever met! She didn't deserve that, Giles!"
"Then blame Angel for bringing her into danger in the first place," Giles snapped back bitingly.
Willow and Faith looked absolutely insulted, taken aback, before they glared daggers at Giles.
"You know what, G?" Faith spat, "I think I'll just stay with Wood here at headquarters for the time. You can go on to London without me for now. Tell the girls I'll be back in a couple of days. And Phoebs, don't worry about your first day; you don't need me there. You'll be five by five once you get started."
"I'd rather be with better company…Ripper," Willow shot back, sniffing, before both the red-haired witch and the Slayer turned heel and marched off, leaving Giles alone with the hesitant and uncomfortable Phoebe.
It was safe to say that did not go very well (and coincidentally, Giles was still blaming Angel for opening his big mouth and making a big deal about this).
In the interim, Angel was grumpily and peevishly walking away when he stumbled into a breathless and bruised Andrew Wells, who was panting hard from dashing back from his room, holding his prized wooden fighting staff, the same staff that the Misfits, Xi and Toad, had given him as a testimony of their friendship to the Watcher-in-training. Andrew's face flushed before he held up his staff, explaining.
"Forgot my staff, and Quentin said I had three minutes to go get it before they leave to recruit Inuyasha without me," the blond science-fiction nut wheezed. Angel, despite his crossness, gave an encouraging half-smile; surprisingly, he didn't dislike the Watcher-in-training as much as Giles.
"You better go then, Andrew. And don't worry, you'll do fine," Angel said before he walked on. Andrew seemed to be wrestling with a decision inside himself before he called back.
"Uh…Angel?" Andrew spoke at last, hesitant.
"What?" the vampire asked as he focused his gaze on the blond Watcher-in-training. Andrew felt a bit ashamed and mortified, but he managed to force himself to speak anyway.
"About what I said…when I ran into you and Spike to get Dana and used the Slayers to back me up in order to take her away from you, about how we weren't on the same side and how Buffy didn't trust you anymore…"
Andrew paused before he spoke again.
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that," Andrew finished. Angel looked at him, taken aback for an instant, before he nodded, his face stony but touched nonetheless.
"Apology accepted," and with that, Angel continued his walk. Andrew looked up surprised.
"Just…just like that?"
"Just like that, Wells," Angel said.
"But…but it wasn't right! I thought you'd still be mad!" Andrew said as Angel continued to walk away. Angel turned as gave the teenager an unreadable look.
"Andrew…I'm the last person around here who deserves the right to hold a grudge," and with that, he completely disappeared around the corner, leaving Andrew with his thoughts.
Meanwhile, as Phoebe walked to her room, she then decided to tell Giles one thing she felt was the most helpful and the least condemning.
"Phoebe, I do not wish to hear it," the Watcher said, cutting her off before she could speak. Phoebe decided not to take it personally.
"Just listen…please, Giles. Don't brush me off like how Faith and Willow just have."
Giles, despite his better judgment, attentively listened respectfully to the Charmed One.
Phoebe sighed as she looked at Giles and said with soft encouragement before she left to get her equipment from her room, "Giles…I'm not saying what you did was good or bad and this doesn't change the way I view you. But…remember, it's easy to brush off Angel now, but the time may come when you'll need to depend on him for your very life during battle. And despite what just happened, I don't think Willow and Faith want you dead."
With that, Phoebe went into her room to get her sword, equipment, and a few of the notes she gathered for potion brewing and demonology, leaving Giles alone with his thoughts.
Meanwhile, in the middle of a quaint countryside, in a field of grass so green one could scarcely believe it, it was a beautiful sunny day with a cool breeze before a purple portal opened in thin air, swirling and shimmering in the mystic planes of space and time before Paige Halliwell, Quentin, Andrew and the Slayers Kennedy, Chao-Ahn, Dana, Shannon, Rona, Caridad, and Vi walked out of the rip before it sealed behind them.
"Wow," blinked Shannon, looking around, "So we're back in the past? In feudal Japan?"
"Yes, specifically in the Sengoku period at sometime between the fifteenth and the seventeenth century, during a time of civil war within the country and a time when demons and ogres and all sorts of fiends ran amok and terrorized the innocents," Quentin stated in his usual deep and austere voice.
"I still can't believe we're actually in feudal Japan…in the past!" Chao-Ahn exclaimed as she nervously fingered the electronic translator necklace around her neck, "I heard that the Powers That Be are powerful, but I would have never dreamed it would be this powerful! Even the translator isn't affected by the magic so it still allows me to speak in English!"
"That is because of the Plant of Ishtar that they supplied to us, Chao-Ahn," Quentin explained as he held up a withered, thorny briar surprisingly studded with baby leaves of turquoise-green, "It allows us to travel back in time, and coincidentally, bring back as many people as we wish to."
"So the Powers That Be think that it could be a great help for us if we recruit this half-demon named Inuyasha and his friends? In which one of them happens to be a Japanese schoolgirl named Kagome who also is born in our world in the twenty-first century?" Kennedy asked.
"Yes, the Powers briefed me on these potential new recruits," the dhampir explained as they marched on the nearby dirt road, slowly sauntering off with Quentin's nose keeping track of any leading scents he could detect, "Though they are all young, they can help us in the battle against the Heartless. And Halliwell…try not to lose control and slap people for insulting you for once. It won't help us to convince potential recruits to join our cause if you act overly emotional."
"Hey, Mr. Wyndam-Pryce deserved it!" Paige said defensively, her back erect, "After how he couldn't care less about his son dying to stop the Black Thorn Circle and after he blatantly insulted me and my sisters, he deserved more than a slap!"
"Note that I wasn't disagreeing with you on that, Halliwell," Quentin said in a stern tone, "I said I simply ask you to hold your temper when you heard insults. Over-emotional tantrums, we do not need, especially when recruiting."
"Fine," muttered Paige with some resentment, crossing her arms, but it was clear that she did on some level agree with her new comrade about it so there wasn't going to be a quarrel over it.
"So who are the recruits we're looking for?" Kennedy asked as Andrew kept on wandering a bit apart from the main group and was taking in all the wondrous sights and sounds of the historic lands.
"Wow, a real samurai sword!" Andrew cheered as he rushed over a little bit off the dirt road and picked up a rusty, chipped blade from the long grass.
"Well, first the dog-boy named Inuyasha, born of a demonic father and a human mother. From what little I could deduce, he yearns to be a full-fledged demon, although how exactly I will tell you later when we meet them. And he is an incredible fighter with a magical and powerful sword formed from his father's fang he refers to as 'the Tetsuiga'…"
"Cool, a real demon skull with an arrow sticking out of it!" Andrew cheered as he picked up a thin skull with horns, shattered and cracked.
"And I remember you telling me about the girl named Kagome," Rona added as she walked along, idly twirling her mace on a stick while making sure all three of her wooden stakes were securely lashed to the belt around her waist, "Wow…I'm still amazed that after dealing with mutants and Leomon and the Heartless that a Japanese fifteen year-old has weird voodoo-priestess powers and junk that allows her to neutralize any magic and sense evil auras actually travels back in time to hang out with a bunch of demons and weirdoes. Seriously, us slayers meet the weirdest people in this business."
"Still, with those powers, she might be able to be an incredible asset in the Gathering of Twilight," Vi mused.
"Yay, I found a polearm!" Andrew cheered.
"She is also a skilled archer and a girl, so you Slayers may be able to have a much easier time bonding with her and establishing the reasons why it would be best if she and her band joined us in our cause," Quentin provided.
"What happens if they don't? What if they simply don't want to be Ghostbusters?" Vi asked.
"Then we just leave them be, like we have done with Hellboy and Spawn. Those that come into Ghostbusters must do so willingly or should be left alone to their own devices. And even if they do not wish to join our organization, they have said that they will join in the fight against the Thirteenth Order if the Gathering of Twilight comes," Quentin affirmed.
"Woo-hoo, I found a pretty crystal shard thingy!" Andrew cheered, holding up a fragment of a pink stone he miraculously found on the dirt road.
"You mean when the Gathering of Twilight comes," corrected Shannon with a shiver, fingering her crossbow, "Leomon and General Hawk both agreed that there was no way to stop it now ever since Blackheart gained the Nexus."
"But will we be able to understand them?" pointed out Caridad, "None of us are fluent in Japanese, and call me crazy, but I think it's going to be a wee bit difficult to try to invite them to join up with the Ghostbusters and fight the Gathering of Twilight if we can't communicate with them. And we don't have any more of those translator-things that Forge made for Chao-Ahn."
Paige then shook her head as she explained, "Not to worry. I just used a simple communication spell from the Book of Shadows to cast on all of the members of the Ghostbusters before we left for Japan. We'll be able to explain any sort of dialect, no matter how obscure or ancient the language turns out to be, and in turn, anything we say shall be fully comprehensible to whoever we're talking to. Thus, we'll be able to understand each others' lingo automatically."
"All right, I found a cool helmet! And it's just my size too!" Andrew cheered, now wearing a semi-dented, dirty soldier's cap.
"Still, recruiting people from the past? Won't this lead into repercussions and stuff because we altered the events in history in such a way that it causes untold and disastrous consequences in the future, thus leaving us a mess that could result in an anomaly in time and reality due to the fact that we reshaped the course of events?" Dana asked.
Everyone looked at the scarred Slayer, shocked and stunned at the sudden insightful yet uncharacteristic display of science-fiction knowledge. This really sounded like something only Xander or Andrew would say. Dana seemed slightly uncomfortable as she blushed and suddenly found interest in her feet.
"What?" she asked defensively, "You're forgetting that I'm forced to hang out with that blond twit, and he doesn't stop but go on and on every stupid science-fiction and fantasy theory and side-plot until my ears bleed! Of course a few of that dumb, useless crap stuck with me! How else would I know this junk? It's not like I read this stuff for fun like the nerd over there!"
Thankfully, no one said anything. Quentin then spoke.
"Don't worry, kid. The Powers informed me that they would protect this timeline as it has done so for Kagome each and every time she has gone back to this era. No matter what we do, the course of events will not be altered significantly enough for us to cause any sort of damage in our time in the present."
"Yes! I found a little bag of gold coins!" Andrew cheered as he danced up and down excitedly.
"I can't take much more of this," groaned Shannon as she aggravatingly rubbed her face with one hand, unable to stand listening to Andrew's outbursts for much longer.
"Can we please kill him? Really, no one will miss Andrew now that I think about it!" Vi groaned, feeling her headache starting to come back three-fold and knowing that each and every little outburst was pounding her skull and brain aggravatingly, spiking up her blood pressure and temper precariously bit by bit. Already, her face was starting to match the color of her hair. Dana then whirled around and snapped at the blond teenager.
"LISTEN, SUPER-NERD!" the Slayer screamed loudly enough for the whole countryside to hear her bellow, "YOU'VE GOT TWO SECONDS TO SHUT UP AND GET LOST OR ELSE I'M GOING TO BURN ALL YOUR COMIC BOOKS, SHRED ALL YOUR 'BATTLESTAR GALACTICA' DVDS, AND THEN KILL YOU THE MINUTE WE GET BACK HOME! GO BUG SOMEONE ELSE, YOU BLOCKHEAD!"
Andrew irked and then backed away timidly. Quentin sighed, realizing that having a hyperactive, incessant talker and enthusiast probably wasn't going to be the best option of having around, and the last thing they would need is Andrew accidentally putting his foot where his mouth was and angering someone. Paige then tried to lessen the blow.
"Andrew, why don't you scout the perimeter and see if you could spot anything potentially evil or dangerous for us in the countryside? It could give you more opportunities to find stuff and coincidentally, you can practice shooting off your new glovatrix since we're in a wide open plain and there's aren't any people you could potentially injure, so it'll be ideal for you. Just be sure to call my name if you need help, and I'll orb us right to your location, OK?" the Charmed One suggested, and Andrew immediately looked ecstatic and pleased that he could be useful for a given mission as he nodded and took off. With that, Quentin, Paige, and the Potentials continued on their trek.
"I'm worried," Shannon admitted, "I don't think it's safe for Andrew to go off on his own like that. What if he runs into something that could endanger his life?"
"We should only be so lucky," Dana muttered, "I will personally go down on my hands and knees and thank whatever deity allowed it if it gets rid of that blond, hyperactive, annoying wimp."
"So how are we going to find Inuyasha and his teammates? They could be anywhere, and Japan is a big country!" Chao-Ahn pointed out, but then Vi's eyes turned wide as she pointed to a little commotion in the distance ahead of them.
"Uh…maybe I'm wrong, but the fact that there's a little fight between a bunch of teenagers like us that are fighting some huge, purple scorpion thing could be a big hint," the Slayer said a bit hesitantly, as if she was hardly daring to believe what she was seeing herself. And to everyone's surprise, they all looked up to see the exact same thing. Fighting in the middle of a barren dirt field not too far off from the road was a gigantic, colossal scorpion with a shiny, impenetrable hide harder than most armor and with a colossal tail that was spewing out vile, caustic green slime at a group of six travelers. To everyone's shock, it was the strangest band of travelers one could ever see: a young teenager with dog-like ears and fangs and a shaggy mane of flowing, white hair, a young girl wearing a green and white schoolgirl uniform while firing arrows, a young Japanese male teenager wearing a purple and black monk's robe white carrying a staff, a teenage Japanese girl wearing appropriate metal armor while wielding a huge boomerang-like tool made of bone, a small, diminutive adolescent with a fox tail and fox-like ears, and a weird fox-like creature the size of a minivan with yellow and black fur, red eyes, and paws completely bathed in fire.
"Is that them?" Rona asked.
Quentin nodded as he took out a trap that he kept lashed to his back given to him by the Ghostbusters, the same electronic trap designed by Egon and the others in order to detain and capture any sort of ectoplasmic and ghostly and paranormal force, regardless of how big or small or evasive it was.
"I think they need our help," Shannon said as she prepared a shot with her crossbow, but Quentin just wordlessly activated the trap and pointed the mouth of it at the scorpion, taking care to not have it strike Inuyasha and his comrades. With a sudden flash and a noise of pure energy backlash, the trap opened and a ray of yellow light emerged from mouth before it struck the scorpion and sucked it into the metal contraption. Yet, thankfully to Kagome's relief, as the vile servant of Naraku collapsed upon itself with a roar of cheated fury, something smell and purple pooped out from the monster's tail. Kagome rushed over with relief; it was a Shikon shard.
"Wow, cool," murmured Kennedy as she looked at the trap Quentin carried, "So when do we get to carry some of the heavy-duty stuff?"
"When you're older," the dhampir brusquely replied as the white-haired Inuyasha then pointed his sword at the group of strangers (while Miroku's eyes lit up appreciatively at the eight females).
"Who the hell are you guys?" the half-demon growled, and to everyone's relief, he was speaking in perfect English. Apparently, Paige's charm worked quite well. Kennedy then spoke up, holding her hands out in a submissive and non-threatening manner.
"Hey, hold it, we're not your enemies. We're Slayers from the future, from the twenty-first century," the brown-haired girl said, and Kagome gasped as she then remembered all the news reports and media frenzy that gripped the world revolving around the battle in San Francisco a little more than a week ago.
"Slayers?" Kagome gasped, "Oh my! I recognize you guys from all the news and TV footage they keep showing every-day! You're the Slayers that fought against the Heartless and vampires in the city! And you're Paige Halliwell, one of the Charmed Ones and one of the most powerful Wiccans to ever walk the Earth!"
"Come again?" Sango asked, not sure if she could fully understand the implications and gravity of the situation as well as discovering that there were powerful warriors in Kagome's time as well. It took a while as Quentin and the Ghostbusters sat down with Inuyasha, Kagome, Shippo, and Sango and explained their situation and the offer from the Powers That Be. Miroku, predictably, was less interested in the recruitment for the organization and more in the very pretty girls that accompanied the dhampir.
"Ah, my fair girl of most untold loveliness and grace…" Miroku said with a smooth smile and a twinkle in his eyes as he went down on one knee and took Shannon's hand in his own, "Would you do me the honor of bearing my children?"
Shannon then got the most peculiar look on her face, as if she had ate something incredibly sour and disgusting while being asked to jump off the top of the Empire State building with no parachute . The Slayer nearly fell down with shock and indignation as she squealed with insult, "Excuse me?"
"I am just a humble servant, waiting for ages before one such as yourself to come into my life to bear me an heir. Please, fellow Slayer, will you do me the honor of bearing a child for me?" Miroku continued on with a serious expression on his face. There was no doubt about it; the Japanese priest wasn't joking.
"Hell no, and get away from me!" Shannon shouted, jerking her hand out of the monks. Miroku then unexpectedly turned and went to Vi.
"Ah, fair maiden whose hair radiates the beauty of the setting sun!" Miroku praised as he took Vi's hand into his own, "Will you do me the honor of bearing my children?"
Vi gave him a deadpanned glare as she gave the monk a very detached, cool, and curt reply, "No."
Miroku then turned to Chao-Ahn and took her hands in his own, asking again, "Wonderful Slayer and young lady of - !"
The Chinese Slayer growled, showing her teeth as she cut down Miroku, "Stop right there, and no. You never give up do you?"
Miroku turned to the Slayer Dana, but the scarred girl then held up her knife, the pointy, jagged end aimed directly at his heart, rumbling like a dangerous and lethally caged animal, her eyes glinting with absolute promise if Miroku even uttered one word. Miroku then gave a soft glum expression as he wailed for lugubrious, dramatic effect.
"Oh, will there be no way for one who is cursed such as myself to have an heir to ensure that my family bloodline and name lives on? I simply just wish for a child and to know the joys of being a father before the curse Naraku placed on my hand consumes my body and eliminate my life just as it has my father and my grandfather before me! I simply wish to enjoy my last remaining years with a doting wife and a loving child to bear my honor and legacy before I die prematurely!"
"Wow…" blinked Kennedy, not sure what to think after hearing this and feeling very sorry for the monk, "That's…kinda rough. Really, it is. I'm sorry it's like that for you."
"Sorry enough to be willing to do me the honor of bearing my children?" Miroku said, doing an about-face and losing the pseudo-angst torment shtick completely as he bowed before the seated Kennedy and took her hands in his. Kennedy felt a vein pop up in her forehead as she calmly did her best to suppress the annoyance bubbling inside her.
"I'm a lesbian, perv-boy," Kennedy growled, "I only sleep with girls!"
"Great! Then maybe you and your significant other can both try to bear my children at once!" Miroku exclaimed.
"Kid…" scolded Quentin, breaking out of his deep discussion with Inuyasha, Paige and the others as they saw a semi-woozy Miroku lying on his back on the grass and now sporting a beauty of a red shiner over his left eye.
"Hey, he wasn't taking 'no' for an answer, so I had to establish my point in a better way!" Kennedy snapped, hands on hips and obviously not sorry for her fit of violence. Miroku, surprisingly, just managed to shakily prop himself back up before he turned to the last remaining Slayer named Caridad who was already frowning as she stood with her hands on her hips.
"Don't even think about asking me," the Filipino Slayer warned. Miroku bowed respectfully.
"As you wish, my dear maiden whose bronze-skin and ample figure is more precious than gold or silver," the priest remarked, and though the compliment was a bit disturbing, Caridad let it go as she relaxed. Unfortunately, Miroku then reached out and affectionately squeezed her right breast.
"Honk, honk…" he chuckled.
"…and so that was why we're here. We're hoping you would be willing to fight alongside us at the Gathering of Twilight and join Ghostbusters in the fight against Wolfram and Hart," Paige explained to Sango, Kagome, Shippo, and Inuyasha, ignoring the screams of fury from Caridad and the yelps and weak protests from Miroku as Caridad, her right eye twitching, was pinning a struggling Miroku to the ground and straddling him while wrapping her hands around the man's neck and strangling him.
"You – ack! – said that – ack! – you didn't want – urgh! – me to ask you! Gack! And I didn't! Ack!" Miroku rasped out weakly as he vainly tried to gasp for air.
"THAT WASN'T AN INVITATION FOR YOU TO GROPE ME, YOU SICKO!" Caridad shrieked with rage while continuing to strangle Miroku, her hands now having a death grip around the warrior's neck. Sango gave it some deep thought.
"It does sound bad," she admitted.
"And the Heartless threat is even worse," admitted Kagome, white in the face and holding a hand close to her chest, "Look, it's only fair that you don't involve yourselves in this because there's no reason to, but the Heartless will devour my world in my time…and that means my friends and family in Japan will be in danger and even die. I want to join the Ghostbusters if it means protecting my home and my family…but I don't want to leave the rest of you if you don't join."
"If your world and family are going to be in danger, then it's all the more reason for us to join as well, Kagome," Sango replied brusquely, "You've helped us enough times here in the past, so it should only be fitting that we return the favor to help fight against this Organization and the Heartless."
Inuyasha however shook his head while saying, "No way, not interested. Look, I'm sorry about your plight and everything, really I am, but we can't abandon our quest here to go into the future and stop an enemy we don't even know about while we let Naraku run amok here and without gathering all the shards we need from the Shikon jewel."
"The Shikon jewel?" Chao-Ahn repeated, not sure if she heard right. Shippo then started to explain in his usual hyperactive, enthusiastic excited jabber.
"It's a really powerful jewel called the Shikon no Tama or better called as the Shikon jewel, and it used to be a really beautiful sphere that was formed when a priestess and a demon fought to the bitter end! But then Kagome shattered it with one of her arrows when it was being carried off by one of Naraku's henchman, and ever since then, we've been trying to find all the crystal shards of the jewel before it could fall in the hands of demons! It's so much fun!" the fox-demon child piped up passionately and earnestly, but a whack at the back of his head via Inuyasha kept him silent.
"Can it, squirt!" he ordered, ignoring Shippo's trembling lip and tearful puppy-dog eyes at being slapped. Kagome then took out a small vial she wore on a chain around her neck and showed Quentin and Paige and the other Slayers (bar Caridad) the sliver of pink quartz inside, and thought faint, Paige and Quentin could tell that they were glowing though they really couldn't sense any kind of aura about them. Which wasn't surprising since only Kagome could sense their power (though any mortal or non-priestess could spot and hold them).
"We need the shards because it's the only way to turn Inuyasha into a full demon, not to mention curing Miroku of his ailment of the curse on his hand given by Naraku and to help avenge Sango's village. And we can't leave the shards lying around because any demon of supernatural entity who holds them will have his or her power boosted up dramatically, almost ten-fold. So you see, it's really dangerous to allow these shards to fall into the wrong hands or leave them unguarded," the Japanese schoolgirl explained.
Quentin said, "Not to worry, the shards also exist in our time in the future as well as Naraku since he in one of the Old Ones, a Demon Lord really. Additionally, even if you do join Ghostbusters, we won't deprive you of your duty to stop Naraku and making the Shikon no Tama whole again. Whenever you and your teammates will not be on missions, you are free to use the relic the Powers gave me to come back here to hunt down more of Naraku's minions and gather the shards. Don't worry. When you come back, it shall be as if you have never left and nothing shall be changed."
"Hmph, that is something," Inuyasha grumpily had to admit. Meanwhile, Paige then recognized something.
"Hey, that's weird. Andrew, one of our teammates who came with us, earlier found a jewel shard exactly like - "
Paige stopped as she and the others realized it at the same time.
Andrew had a shard of the Shikon jewel.
Quentin rubbed his face tiredly with one hand as he griped, "You kids will be the death of me one of these days…"
Inuyasha then popped up, alarmed as he reached for his sword, saying, "And you idiots let your friend go off like that? That is undoubtedly the most foolish thing anyone could ever do with the shard! Demons and monsters can sense the jewel's power, and if they see a human in possession of something that can bequeath them great power, they'll have no qualms of killing him or her to get it!"
"Watch who you're calling an idiot, dog-boy!" Quentin growled, his eyes flashing as he stood up.
"You want me to kick your ass, old man?" Inuyasha snapped.
"Sit, boy!" Kagome commanded, not wanting a fight, and upon the words, the rosary beads around the half-demon's neck glowed before they caused the white-haired warrior to fall face down on the ground and lay sprawled out flat on the dirt.
"Ka-go-me!" Inuyasha yelled murderously, muffled from the fact that his mouth was full of sod. Quentin looked at Kagome before he nodded his consent.
"Figures the one time we need that geek, and he's nowhere to be found," grumbled Dana.
"Still, what are the chances he's in any danger?" Shannon tried to offer optimistically.
"HELP ME! HELP ME! PAIGE, QUENTIN, ANYONE! HELP ME! IN DANGER, IN DANGER, IN DANGER! AUGH! HELP, HELP, HELP! BAD DAY, BAD, DAY, BAD DAY! DEMON ATTACK! DEMON ATTACK! YEOW! OH GOD, I'M GOING TO DIE A VIRGIN!" Andrew could be heard screaming shrilly throughout the entire countryside as an explosion or two rang out from some high-powered explosive (presumably from his glovatrix) amid a series of animalistic growls and screeches that couldn't possibly be human. Rona and Kennedy glared at a sheepish Shannon.
"You really need to stop tempting Fate to screw us over like this, Shannon," Kennedy said in a flat voice. Paige then motioned everyone to join her.
"Hurry, I can orb us over to Andrew's position! Just hang on to me!" the Wiccan commanded, and everyone gathered close to the Charmed One as she was about to orb, but then Paige felt one eye twitch.
Paige then stopped and growled murderously at the priest named Miroku.
"Miroku, kindly get your hand off my butt, or else I will personally orb your staff and stuff it very painfully into one of your body cavities in which you'll only be able to extract it out via medical assistance…" the Halliwell hissed, her vision clouding with ire. The Japanese monk weakly chuckled, embarrassed, as he withdrew his hand from the Wiccan's rear end.
"Uh…heh-heh, I thought Wiccans can't harm innocents?" the priest tried to point out.
"The Elders would never convict me…and they'd never term you as 'innocent'!" Paige snapped as she orbed everyone over to Andrew's whereabouts…and right into the middle of a battlefield where Andrew was surrounded by over two-hundred, green-faced ogres wearing medieval armor and carrying swords and axes. Andrew was panting with his staff and glovatrix ready, red and sweaty in the face, but still alive and (to Kagome's relief) still holding one of the Shikon shards in his pocket.
"You orbed us into the middle of a demon army?" Rona squealed with indignation as she got out her mace and a wooden stake.
Paige winced as she confessed, "Oops…I guess I really didn't think this one through."
"Just like a typical woman," muttered Quentin as he got out his proton-guns from his holsters on the sides of his uniform.
"We just screwed up, didn't we?" Vi asked her fellow teammates, deadpanned.
"Yes," came back the sarcastic and annoyed reply from everyone as they got ready to fight, drawing their weapons and bracing themselves for use of their powers.
"Guess I'm not the only one who messes up, huh, you guys?" Andrew pointed out meekly.
"OH, SHUT UP!" Paige, Inuyasha, and the Potential Slayers snapped as the demon horde began to charge.
"Ugh, that was some intense training," Phoebe muttered as she wearily walked back to her room at Ghostbusters headquarters, wondering if she could forsake studying the three tomes of demons Giles assigned her as part of her education as a future Watcher, her body stiff and sore from the numerous spars she had with Giles in sword-play. The middle sister of the Halliwells was contemplating a nice, hot bubble bath when she spotted Paige, bruised, covered with blood and grime, messily tussled, a few rips in her clothing, and limping towards Phoebe.
Paige was not exactly happy, and Phoebe was shocked.
"Whoa, what happened to you?" Phoebe asked.
Paige responded, doing her best to maintain her temper with great annoyance and restraint, "Long story short, fought a bunch of ogres in feudal Japan and gained a few new recruits, in which one of them is a complete and disgusting perverted letch named Miroku!"
"So…you got hurt fighting the army of ogres?" Phoebe asked.
"No, I got hurt from stubbing my toe when I kicked Miroku for groping me during battle!" Paige shouted, now turning very red in the face and nearly losing her composure. Phoebe raised an eyebrow.
"So, this Miroku is one of the new recruits for the Ghostbusters now? This…should be…interesting," Phoebe admitted.
"MIROKU, COME BACK HERE AND DIE!" Chao-Ahn could be heard screaming, and the two Halliwells turned to see a Japanese priest fleeing for his life in dire urgency and fear while the Slayers Dana, Rona, Vi, Caridad, Shannon, and Chao-Ahn hounded after him with an array of swords, axes, hammers, and knives pursued after him, the chase scene now taking place throughout the various mazes of the headquarters. Paige gave Phoebe a dry look.
"Interesting doesn't even begin to cover it, Phoebs," grumbled Paige, "And lucky Piper probably had a good time with Leo, spending the day at a…private…beach…"
The youngest Charmed One trailed off, and Phoebe turned around to see why as she looked over her shoulder. There was a less-than-pleased Jenny Calendar helping a very disheveled and sooty and injured Piper Halliwell, her face smudged with dirt and ash but displaying an absolutely priceless look of rage, annoyance, and wrathful demeanor that could only be termed "bitch-mode". If Paige looked bad, it was nowhere as horrible as Piper. Half of her hair was burned and charred black while she had numerous cuts and bruises showing throughout her skin, displaying through the rips in her clothing, and she too was limping with one of her shoes missing and her entire lower body covered with manure and foul-smelling slime as if she spent a good portion wading through a swamp.
Piper, of course, was not very happy.
"Whoa…" Paige murmured.
"Laugh, and I promise you a swift death," Piper growled, "Sisters or not, if either one of you laughs, I will kill you without a second thought!"
"What happened?" Paige asked at last.
Jenny explained with a tired sigh, "It turns out that one of the private islands Louis recommended for her and Leo to spend time alone on was really a secretive location for one of Magneto and his Acolytes' base of operations."
"Louis, get back here so I can brain you!" Leo roared as he chased the Ghostbuster, Louis Tulley, in the background with a huge wooden club, trying to pulverize the bespectacled man as he chased after him. And Leo looked just as bad as Piper did.
"Yeow! Leo, take it easy! I didn't know Magneto was staying on that island! You can't blame me for this!" Lois tried to defend himself as Piper's husband pursued after him.
"Wanna bet? Get back here!" Leo bellowed as he chased after Louis.
"Dare I ask how?" Phoebe asked, one eyebrow raised with a mixture of amusement and concern.
"Well, first, Magneto doesn't take very kindly to trespassers on his property, and he also recognized me as one of the Charmed Ones thanks to all the news footage he and the other Acolytes have seen from the media!" Piper raged.
"Oh boy…" Paige winced.
"Then after Magneto's telepaths suddenly got put out of commission thanks to the backlash of the anti-telepathy spell I placed on me from the High Lord Ascension…" Piper continued on.
"Ah…" Phoebe commented.
"It resulted in a chase scene with the mutant called Sabertooth that led in a rather unbearable run-like-hell search that led through two swamps, a beach, a canyon, and a bed of poison oak! And needless to say, Leo, the Acolyte named Cortez, and me are now infected for the next several months! And I've got a million bug bites on top of that!" Piper screamed, now becoming more and more hysterical at the memories.
"Oh dear…" Jenny sighed, rolling her eyes.
"And then I seemed to have forgotten that my combustive powers have a heated, explosive effect, and that from now on in the future, I better not blow up that lunatic named Pyro and those canisters lashed on his back unless I want to cause a huge explosion that knocks out Pyro so that he wouldn't be conscious to stop the destruction when the entire island goes up in flames!" Piper ranted and raved.
"Ouch…" Paige, Phoebe, and Jenny murmured in unison.
"…and ending it by needing to orb off the island before we got incinerated to death!" Piper finished with a high-pitched shriek that could have easily caused anyone within hearing distance to wince, "Oh, and to further complicate our lives more, the Charmed Ones and any Wiccan who gets in his way will be on Magneto's hate-list for a while!"
"Why? What else did you do to him?" Phoebe asked, incredulous.
"Well…" Piper sighed.
Back on the asteroid called Avalon, where Magneto and his Acolytes and his followers resided in outer space…
"I AM GOING TO KILL THE HALLIWELLS!" roared a feminine voice from Magneto's headquarters as a pale-skinned, attractive, middle aged woman with white, flowing hair and wearing Magneto's uniform and helmet looked at herself in the mirror. Pyro was laughing uncontrollably, giggling like a maniac as he rolled all over the floor while Sabertooth was doing his best not to snicker.
"Is there anything I can do for you, Miss Magneto?" Winters asked in his usual blasé, professional, no-nonsense tone.
"Find a way to get this spell off me and get me a painkiller for this unbearable pain in my insides!" Magneto screamed.
"That would be the monthly menstrual cycle of ovulation due to the female anatomy," Winters provided with a straight face, "In other words, sir, you are simply undergoing a woman's period."
Magneto was then heard screaming loudly enough for the entire asteroid to hear him (or her), "I HATE WITCHES!"
Meanwhile, back at the Ghostbusters headquarters…
"Let me get this straight…you turned Magneto, enemy of the X-Men…into a woman?" Phoebe asked with shock, her jaw dropped and her eyebrow twitching.
"Well, he sort of irritated me with the 'mutants are meant to rule the world' and calling me a magical bitch who had no place in his plans for the future. I swear, the next person to call me a bitch again will not live to see the next morning…" Piper griped.
Phoebe sighed as she asked, "Ms. Calendar, are you sure this recruitment stuff for the Ghostbusters will even work? With so many conflicts, it can easily fall apart and the Organization and Wolfram and Hart could win either way…"
Jenny's face was stony as she explained, "I think you'll find, Ms. Halliwell, that the conflicts now will result in the necessary trust and alliances we will need in the Gathering of Twilight. And the Powers That Be, though they are not always right and we cannot be everywhere at once and we have made mistakes, we are on the side of humanity and all that is good and we do not wish for innocents to perish under the Organization and the Heartless. If all else fails, the failure of the battle from the Gathering of Twilight will be far worse than anything recruitment could ever come up with."
"So, we're pretty much going to go through this kind of insanity before the Gathering and should we even survive it, then for the rest of our lives?" Phoebe asked, incredulous.
Jenny pondered a bit before she admitted, "It does seem highly likely."
There was a small pause before the Charmed Ones all looked at each other.
"Think it's too late to call Inspector Sheridan and ask if she has a nice, quiet jail cell available for us?" Piper asked, deadpanned.
"I'll go make the call…" Paige said as she limped off for the nearest phone.
Author's Notes: I highly apologize for updating this on Saturday instead of Friday! Hope the wait wasn't too unbearable! Anyway, people, mark your calendars! The game "Kingdom Hearts 2" comes out March 28th and I will finally update the first chapter of the Kingdom Hearts crossover with the Misfit-verse on April 7th! Yep, that's right folks! I'll be taking a month off to plan the next story and to go on a nice vacation to Disney World in Orlando during my month off from writing!
Piper: Gee, how ironic…going to the place for a vacation that also happens to be the same company that helped create "Kingdom Hearts".
Me: Meh, it's where I get my inspiration.
Professor Xavier: "Inspired" isn't the word I'd use…I prefer calling you "insane".
Quiet you! Anyway, I certainly hope you all enjoyed this one-shot and I promise you that the Ghostbusters will be kicking heartless butt soon in the next epic crossover at the Gathering of Twilight! Thank you so much for all my wonderful and treasured readers and reviewers! I will be back soon, God willing! Until then, read and review! Constructive criticism welcome!