Disclaimer - Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all associated Characters are property of Joss Wedon and Mutant Enemy. All Marvel and DC Characters are property of their respective comic-book companies. I literally own nothing, not even this disclaimer.
Sunnydale High Library
Saturday November 1st 1997
Xander sat in the library, his eyes bloodshot and feeling numb to the world. Not only was his best friend since kindergarten now a ghost, but Buffy was found dead by Joyce. Spike had broken Lady Useless's neck just before being killed by Joyce who was dressed as Wonder Woman. Angel had died shortly after.
Dawn was leaning on Xander, crying not only over her dead sister but also do to the changes Halloween had brought. For some reason, some of the changes caused by the creepy costume-shop owner didn't revert. Xander was now eight inches taller and had a body anyone who played sports would envy. Dawn's skin was pink and her eyes a radiant green with pointed ears and purple hair. While the youngest summers had intended to be an elf, she had somehow dressed up as Blink from the Age of Apocalypse comics.
Joyce had screamed herself hoarse at Giles, and was apparently still a full-blooded Amazon, and her hair was now black as night. She'd also de-aged a decade. Had Xander not been so emotionally raw he would have had an even bigger crush on his friend's mom. He could see Willow's shade pacing the stacks, trying not to freak out as her body had died while she was a ghost. For that reason alone Xander swore Ethan Rayne was a dead man walking.
The Scoobies weren't the only casualties of the night. Cordelia Chase, the bane of Xander and Willow's existence had rented a costume of Kitana from Mortal Kombat from Party Town, and now had the ninja-princess's physique – only time would tell if she had the skills to go with it. The only part of Cordy's costume that had come from Ethan's was a makeup pen that she'd bought at the last minute.
Next to Cordelia was Jonathon Levinson. He'd dressed up as Cable from X-Men though thankfully he didn't have half of his body replaced with cybernetics. Given that he was sitting there telekinetically playing with a quarter it was obvious he had Cables mutation.
Finally there was Warren Meers. He had dressed as Dr. Doom and if what he was saying was true, then all of Doom's knowledge had stayed with him. He seemed to be taking it poorly as Doom had done some pretty terrible things – and that was just what was shown in the comics. Xander hated to think what manner of evil Doom had gotten up to that wasn't shown.
"So what happens now?" Xander asked. "Buffy dying means another Slayer has been called. Will she be sent here?"
Giles sighed. "Yes, and I will most likely be recalled though I will try to convince the council that it would be easier to maintain my cover than it would be to replace me."
"That's not going to work for me. Ethan Rayne obviously has it out for you, so he'll be back. When that happens, I'm going to kill him. I'm going to make him pay for taking my last two friends from me," Xander spoke slowly – fighting to keep his emotions contained. Dawn just hugged him tighter, and Xander gently rubbed his hand up and down the younger teen's back.
"I agree with the sentiment, but there has to be a way to punish him without killing him – even if he has cost me one daughter, and left Dawn permanently disfigured. What am I supposed to do? I can't let Hank see her like this! Isn't there a way to change her back? Magic did this, it should be able to undo it," Joyce was almost yelling.
"It's not that easy, Mrs. Summers," Warren spoke up – his voice emotionless but calm and commanding. "Doom never messed with Chaos Magic due to it's unpredictability. This was powerful Chaos Magic and was backed by a God. There's no fixing it. There's no undo-button."
Willow wandered over, sitting on a chair and falling through it. Scrambling to her feet she sighed. "Dawn can be home-schooled, and I can tutor her."
"Or I can bind a glamour to a bracelet or necklace. Doom knew how, but his arrogance and self-pity wouldn't allow him to use it. I can have it ready in time for her to go to school Monday – I'll just need a couple of things," Warren answered as he rubbed his hand over where Doom's facial scaring would have been. "Should probably do one for you as well – you look way younger than you did on Parent-Teacher night."
Warren took a deep breath and stared at the ceiling. "Actually, I think Doom's knowledge can be put to use for everyone here. I can make Xander a shield that while it won't be vibranium, will be pretty close – especially with the enchantments I'm going to stack on it. Plus I can put together a utility belt of things that should work alright against vampires."
"That sounds expensive," Xander said with a wince. "I have my road-trip fund, but I think that stuff would wipe me out."
"I can throw together some designs for stuff I can patent and sell. But it'll probably take at least six months to get the funds together to set up a workshop. I can have everyone fully equipped by next school year," Warren replied.
"I want a sword and armor," Joyce said adamantly. "I can't sit idly by while those... monsters... are out there preying on people. If you can make something for me, I can provide twenty thousand right now."
"Where are you going to get the money, mom? I know the gallery pays well but that sounds expensive," Dawn worried.
"When we found out I was pregnant, Hank put aside a rather large trust fund for your schooling," Joyce half sobbed out.
"I think she'd like her tuition money being put to good use," Willow said sadly – putting her hand through Joyce as she tried to pat the woman on the back. Joyce flinched from the icy-cold contact.
"I think we all will need armor," Jonathon said tiredly. "And Mrs. Summers, your restlessness is probably a combination of being an Amazon as well as having Princess Diane's memories."
"I am not getting involved in the freak-show!" Cordelia declared adamantly as she stood and headed for the door. "So you can count me out!"
"Well I'm definitely in," Jonathon said with a nod, the coin he was struggling to levitate dropping to the table and starting to roll away before he managed to stop it.
"Your powers are going to be triggered by emotion until you can learn to control them," Willow reminded him. "At least that's how it worked in the comics."
"Does that mean I'll need training, too?" Dawn asked.
"All of us will," Xander said as he tiredly rubbed his face. "I need to get the hang of Cap's fighting style – especially if I'm going to be using a shield. Joyce will need to retrain with a sword and shield to make sure the skills stick. You'll need to learn how to use your portal powers. Jonathon needs to learn to use their mutant powers. I think Warren just needs to double-check that his science and magic skills match up."
"And I need to learn how to be a ghost," Willow said sadly. Xander's eyes were bloodshot as he smiled weakly at his best friend.
"I have some thoughts on that, I'll get with you after I get the glamour for the kid taken care of," Warren groaned as he stood up. "For now I feel like I need to sleep for a week and rethink my life."
"You okay?" Xander asked carefully. He never really liked Warren – the boy was too close to becoming a full-blown misogynist. Add Dr. Doom's knowledge and personality, and Xander was worried about him becoming a future Big Bad.
"Looking at Doom's life through my own experiences and my life through Doom's... I don't like the person I've become. Doom could have been greater than Richards – but his ego got in the way. I don't want to go that route, to be that kind of person. I'll get what I need for the glamour spell and then I'll get with you next weekend about outfitting everyone," Warren said sadly.
"Mind if I catch a ride? I think if I tried to walk home right now I'd pass out on the sidewalk," Jonathon asked.
Warren just nodded and the two teens headed out the door. Xander carried Dawn to Joyce's car since the younger teen had fallen asleep. Willow followed along, not wanting to be apart from Xander at that moment. Giles slumped in his seat, feeling heart-broken that the girl he'd come to see as a surrogate daughter was dead and worried at what the Council's reaction would be.
Sunday, November 2nd 1997
Warren sighed as he looked around his basement where he spent a lot of his free time tinkering with computers, robotics hobbyist kits, lego technic construction kits, and other engineering toys he had kept from his not-recently departed childhood. Warren had always been gifted when it came to being able to see solutions to mechanical and programming problems. Looking back on it all, he realized he was absolute crap when it came to interpersonal interactions.
Sighing again, he went over to his work table and found the plans for a robotic girlfriend he had been planning building laid out. "No. I will not go this way," he told himself. Packing the blueprints away in a tube, he tucked them into a corner with his other designs and spent some time cleaning up so he could work on drawing up plans and lists of materials for the armor and shield for Xander and Mrs. Summers.
Finding out that vampires and the like were real was a bit of a shock, but even more so was that magic was real. Thanks to popular science fiction, he could see how vampires and zombies could exist from a scientific point of view, and now thanks to Dr. Doom's knowledge of magic he could easily see how science and magic could be tied together.
It had taken Warren all of an hour to make the necklaces that would create glamours for the Summers ladies. All he had really needed was a photo and a bit of hair from before their changes. Not wanting to take the chance of something going wrong with the glamours, he'd layered on a spell that would cause people to ignore their presence as well as one that made so they couldn't be removed against the wearer's will. He'd dropped the necklaces off last night.
Shaking his head at his wandering thoughts, Warren finished up his designs so he could get a list of materials together – though really he needed more space and tools than he had room for. Thinking about Mrs. Summers little spiel about putting the dead girl's educational trust fund to good use, Warren wished his own parents had been so forward thinking. As it would have needed to take out student loans and vie for scholarships to fund his schooling. With Doom's knowledge Warren doubted he'd need to since Doom was knowledgeable in all fields.
"Well, many fields at least," he said to himself. "Wow Doom's ego is really leaking over."
Yeah, he could see getting a full-ride scholarship. While Sunnydale didn't really have much in the way of an engineering department – not like Dutton Tech College did. But Sunnydale was where he needed to be if he wanted to help keep the world spinning.
Leaning back in his chair Warren stared at the ceiling. He was confident he could max his ACT and SAT tests a year earlier than he was supposed to be taking them. A quick GED and he'd no longer be hampered by being a student in Snyder's demesne.
A smile slowly grew on his face. Doom would hate having his knowledge and skills put to use for something as simple-minded as playing super-hero. And having seen enough movies and read enough comics, Warren knew the life of a Hero-with-a-capital-H wasn't an easy one – but he really felt it would be one worth living. Besides, everyone knew that Heroes eventually got the girl.
With that in mind, Warren grabbed a fresh sheet of paper and started drawing up plans for a suit of armor for himself. The technology didn't exist yet to pull a Tony Stark, but no one said he couldn't use magic instead.
Sunnydale High Library
Monday, November 3rd 1997
Xander looked around as he entered the library thirty minutes before the first bell was due to ring. The past few days had been hard on the teen – not only due to the death of his friends but also at home. His dad had noticed his new physique and all but accused him of using steroids. Combined with his increased appetite laying waste to the family refrigerator and things were... tense.
It was only only after catching a whiskey bottle thrown at his head and immediately throwing it back at his old man and knocking the drunk out that things had quieted down as even Tony Harris was able to realize that his son was not someone to be messed with. As it was, he was reminded that as soon as he finished high-school he'd have to find somewhere else to live. It had taken all of Xander's willpower not to beat his own father into a coma.
Sighing, Xander headed behind the desk to look for Giles. "Hey G-man, you in?"
"Honestly Xander, must you refer to me by that despicable title?" the Watcher asked in an exasperated tone. Giles was fully aware of why Xander acted the way he did, he just wasn't in the mood.
"I wanted to check up on you. Has Willow stopped by yet?" Xander asked softly.
"She has not – and I will be fine. I have been permanently tasked with keeping an eye on the Hellmouth, as well as on those who were affected by Halloween. I get the feeling that the Council is worried about the personalities involved – so do be careful. Also, I have been informed that a colleague of mine will be coming here with his Slayer – though oddly enough it would seem she had been activated last spring when the Master escaped his imprisonment."
Xander frowned at that for more than one reason. "Buffy's heart had stopped when she had been drowned... I managed to get her going again through CPR so that's probably why the new girl was chosen... but why didn't the council let you know?"
"I don't know. As it is, I get the feeling I'm not trusted given how... how close I've grown to you all. Normally a Watcher is recalled and put through counseling sessions when his slayer is killed. As it is, Samuel Zabuto is a good man and I trust him to report fairly on what goes on. I expect he'll welcome the assistance offered by you and your friends," Giles said as he cleaned his glasses. "How are you holding up?"
"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hurting. Losing Jesse was bad enough, but at least I had Willow to lean on. Losing her on top of Buffy? I'm not in a happy place. If I ever see Ethan again, I'm going to make him hurt," Xander said coldly.
"And I'll be there right beside you. I've come to see you three as my children, and... I cannot begin to express how much I'm hurting," Giles offered as he put his hand on the teen's shoulder – giving him a squeeze.
"Thanks Giles, that means a lot to me," Xander said with a weak smile. Wanting to change the subject, Xander asked "So, when's the new girl getting here and what do we know about her?"
"Kendra and Samuel should be here by Friday. She's already taken down two master vampires as well as a necromancer that had raised a horde of zombies," Giles explained.
"All on her own? That's pretty impressive," Xander gave a nod of approval.
"Quite. She's not used to being part of a team, so you'll need to be patient and ease her into things. Hopefully she comes to see having help as being a good thing – especially given the sort of vampires and demons the hell-mouth attracts," Giles said calmly – happy to distract himself.
"Well, if she's not going to be here until Friday then that gives me plenty of time to get used to how strong I am. Anyway, I need to get to class, I'll catch you later Giles," Xander said, excusing himself.
Wow, as of me writing this X-Vengers has 2 favorites and 8 follows. Y'all are making me blush! As I stated in my profile, I'll post an update every other Saturday (though it will more realistically be late Friday Night). I have two other stories I've actually got more written on, though I'm not completely happy with them so I doubt they'll be added to the rota any time soon.
Chi Vayne: That's part of the reason I went with the idea is that I've never seen a fic where that happens. As for who else got to keep their costume abilities, I haven't planned on anyone other than those in this chapter though if my muse tells me otherwise that may change.
Author's Recommendation: Wind Shear by Chilord story ID 12511998