Tag Archive | fanfiction

The Isle of Time, a piece of Pratchett Fanfic

I was re-reading Thief of Time, and there is a line in there about “just dump the extra time in the ocean.” It was always wet and watery:

Oh, maybe fishermen would start to dredge up strange whiskery fish that they’d only ever seen before as fossils, but who cared what happened to a bunch of codfish.

So here is a bit about someone who might care.


There was an island in the middle of the ocean that the Monks of Time did not know of.

They didn’t know about it because it wasn’t supposed to exist for another five hundred thousand years, but it existed in a place that a particular set of Procrastinator-drivers in the halls of time particularly enjoyed, and as such, it had gotten more than its share of time manipulation.

Geography and geology are always a bit of a question when you live on a disc on the back of four elephants riding on the back of a turtle, but as far as anyone could tel, this was also a place where certain sea creatures had been going for millennia to die, and thus, between that and some activity it was best to call volcanic,  although Vulcan went by a different name here, had pointy ears, and had only once even looked at this place1, well, anyway, there was an island here.

And because shipwrecks happen everywhere and possibly more than everywhere when your ship is suddenly beset by a pre-historical2 creature or, worse yet, suddenly becomes a grove of trees and two confused elephants or a pile of mold and driftwood, this island had people, and had had people for quite some time (Probably.  Maybe.  Likely.)

Even evolution works strangely on the Disc, and so, after a while (or several whiles, depending), someone needed to do something about this aging a thousand years before one could manage to breed, or coming back before one’s grandparents had gotten around to it, and so on.

There were not a lot of people on this island, but it wasn’t on any charts, which only increased the shipwrecks (it’s a bit off putting when first your First Mate loses fifteen years of life and then there’s an island right in front of you while you’re still talking her out of a fight with the cook and the ship’s boy over Music With Rocks In It), and things continued strange around there.  Which meant that, in due (let’s be honest and say un-due) time, the people who survived there ended up being, ah, immune to time.

They could step through it, and sometimes did.  They could create elaborate looping paradoxes – and, indeed, it became an art form there: what is the most beautiful paradox that you can create?  None of this I’m-my-own-Grandpa sort of thing; on this island that was considered to go without saying, after all.  And if you wished to go and replay last Tuesday, well, go ahead.  Maybe alone, maybe with your previous self or several of them.

And while the Monks of Time did not know about this island, neither did those on the island know about the monks of time.

If they did, it is thought by those who pay attention (Mostly Sark’ck) that there were at least three consecrated mounds of dust and ash that might have some very strong words for those Monks.


1 Nobody was saying that Vulcan, or, as he was known here, Sark’ck, had anything to do with a particular green-blooded bastard in a another part of the multiverse, but he did have a habit of adopting stray myths and making them his own…

2 And in the Discworld, where someone or other had been writing down history since the time the fifth elephant landed in the Uberwald, that is saying something.

Cats Have Nine Lives

This is not fanfic for the anime Mahou Tsukai no Yome/the Ancient Magus‘ Bride, per se, but it is inspired by something in an episode, a reference to the nine lives of cats in a different angle than I’m used to seeing it. 

It’s also sort of Real People Fic.

It also involves pet death, be forewarnedAlso, I made myself cry.

🐈

Continue reading

Patreon Posts – Crossovers

This is a weird one.  Today’s Patreon Sum-up involves three stories I wrote, not to prompts, but because they appeared to me.  All crossovers of one sort or another. 

 

Okay, so I’m working on my outlines for Finish It nanowrimo coming up in, well, November.  And I got to the one for Facets of Dusk and I started thinking about – well, the doors they might open

🚪

“Get us someplace with medical care!” Simon shouted.

“Someplace with advanced technomagical medical care.”  Aerich’s aristocratic snarl sounded panicked.

“Someplace they’re not going to shoot at us.”  Cole’s voice was calm.  But Cole, who had Josie in his arms, also sounded serious.

Read On


I blame this on my current marathon re-read of the Sandman comics.  

📚

On Halloween, 2011, when the walls between worlds were thinner than they had ever been, the woman called The Cat Who Walks Through Walls (because her Mentor had been fond of Robert Heinlein, in his day and in her day) left her kids with her sister, as per their arrangement, and slipped out between those world-barriers.

Read On!


Okay, I guess the theme is really talking to me this month. 

Here’s another bonus, spurred on but not really related to a line from a Popular Mechanics article I read last night: (paraphrase) “AI is going to make the Industrial Revolution look small.”

🤖

Autumn knew better than to grab the strands of the world too much around Hallowe’en.

Everything was thinner at that time, more responsive, more willing to bend and twist and open.

Read On!

Fanfiction: Diagnostic Machine

Crossover: Dr. House, Faerie Apocalypse. I cannot write Dr. Cuddy, so the third person here is a vague unnamed person.


“Dr. House, I’d like to introduce our new diagnostic machine, Melody Redfern.  Melody, Dr. House.”

“Oh, come on,”House scoffed.  “You keep trying to replace me, and you know it’s futile.. Face it,”he sneered, you’re stuck with me.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go stick a needle in a teenager’s spine.”

“No, House, you misunderstood.  Melody isn’t here to replace you.  She’s here to replace the ridiculously overpriced tests you keep ordering.”

“What’s she going to do?”. His gaze raked over the young woman, taking in her floral skirt and silver bracelets.  “Read their tea leaves?”

“Now that you mention it…” Melody’s voice matched her appearance: sweet and thin. Continue reading

Buffy: the Invitation (an Addergoole Crossover), Part 24

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
Part VII
Part VIII
Part IX
Part X
Part XI
Part XII
Part XIII
Part XIV
Part XV
Part XVI
Part XVII
Part 18
Part 19
Part 20
Part 21
Part 22

“Are you sure we should be leaving Buffy?” Willow turned to look behind them as they walked out of the gym. “She’s rarring for a fight, you know.”

“I believe that the most combat-ready members of our staff and students ought to, at the very least, be able to give her a workout,” Regine answered calmly. Far too calmly. “They will be fine. Willow, you’ve expressed an interest in Professor Valerian’s teaching, but I believe you’ll also be able to gain useful information from Professors Solomon and Pelletier.”

“Academics,” Willow squeaked. “Yes. Teachers. Yes.” When Xander glanced at her, she was blushing hotly.

“I will leave you in Laurel Valerian’s capable hands then.” The Director knocked sharply on a door; a moment later, the door swung open. “Laurel…”

“Ah, Willow. You came back. Do come on in.”

“She should talk with Reid and Shira as well. Others, as it suits you. Buffy is sparring with a selection of cy’Luca and with the cy’Doug. I imagine she will be quite a while.”

“I… nevermind.” Xander was surprised that Buffy hadn’t popped her head out of the gym yet, chirping “done!” Then again, this place had been surprising from start to finish.

“I’m sure we can find a way to pass the time. Do come in, Willow. We can discuss… academics.”
Even Xander could tell that Professor Valerian was flirting with Willow. Why wasn’t the Director saying anything? And Willow, Willow was blushing and trying not to smile.

Xander wanted to shout, “Hey. What about Oz?!” but he wasn’t feeling quite that hypocritical. He’d been ready to follow Magnolia anywhere – especially into that hot tub. He couldn’t complain if Will was feeling the same…

…even about another woman.

A woman.

A teacher. Well, he couldn’t say anything about that. Except. “Will? You’re sure she’s not a giant bug?”

“I’ll double-check, Xander.” She hugged him. “Go do what you’re doing, and try not to turn into a fish.”

Okay, he deserved that. He hugged her back a little longer than he needed to, then cleared his throat. It took effort to look the Director in the eye.

She looked – maybe – slightly interested. “It seems that things are more chaotic down in ‘Sunnydale’ than your Mentor suggested, and he suggested quite a bit of chaos.”

“Oh, yeah.” Xander shrugged. “Wacky stuff happens every week. Sometimes it’s wackier than others – see fish thing – and sometimes it’s dangerous and awful. But what are we going to do?” He shrugged. “I mean, we can’t very well just ignore it. Especially not with the Buffster being the Slayer and all. You’re taking the existence of vampires very calmly, I have to say. Is it because you have a vampire taking classes here?”

“The creatures that you call vampires are in a different category from Dysmas. Those things – I have encountered them before, in my past. They thrive near these ‘Hellmouths,’ but they can live anywhere. No.” She shook her head. “The Hellmouth itself is what concerns me. They should not be opening so soon. It is far too early.”

“Wait, what? You know about Hellmouths and your worry is that they’re early? Come on, you’re messing with me, right?”

“I assure you, young man.” Regine’s voice was firm but something about her expression looked amused. “When I ‘mess with’ you, you will most definitely notice it.”

“Right, right, don’t bother the scary lady, she can mess with me. So. Why early? Why not worry that they’re coming at all?”

She studied him. “Normally, I would say that I did not worry.” Her voice had dropped to something like a whisper. “I will do you the honor of being a little more honest with you. I have done my worrying about the gates opening. I have been worried about them for — shall we say, a very long time? — and I have prepared. But that there are mouths to other locations open in Sunnydale — that’s worrisome because it is new information, and because it is far earlier than expected.”

Xander cleared his throat, suddenly uncomfortable. “So there are more coming?”

“There are more coming. Your friend is going to find that there are warriors here with training that very nearly matches her own — because we are going to need far more than one dedicated Slayer-of-demons when the time comes.”

“No more Buffy dying!” It came out before he’d thought about it, like most of the things that came out of Xander’s mouth. He thought about slapping his hand over his mouth, but thought that probably wouldn’t go over well with this lady. “I’m serious. I don’t care how much we need more Slayers, Buffy isn’t dying again.”

“I—” She looked taken aback, oh, no. He’d taken the Director aback, and she’d realize what a bad idea it was to invite him here, and he’d have to leave Buffy and Will all to themselves in this place with the hot catgirls…

His brain was doing a Willow. Xander shook his head to clear it.

“That’s how you make a new Slayer. When one is dead, another is called. Giles didn’t tell you?”

“We are certainly not going to attempt to kill and revive your friend to see the results on ‘calling’ new ‘Slayers.’” She certainly looked tempted, though. “What I meant was simply that we needed hunters, other people who could fight. We are, ah, not run-of-the-mill, as I believe you might have already noticed.”

“Yeah, I noticed the vampire and the giant and the cat-girl and the little demon girl.”

“Little… ah. Ivette, I imagine. They were all told to keep their Masks up, but, of course, a directive like that is sometimes just seen as a challenge.”

“Masks? Wait, Professor Valerian said something like that to Magnolia. Something about ‘Mask up?”

“A Mask is, ah. Some of us are unusual-looking, as you’ve noticed. Not everyone can see that — to some people, Magnolia would look like merely a pretty girl no matter what. But with a ‘Mask,’ up, she looks like that to everyone.”

“So, uh, there could be giant bug-demons here? And I wouldn’t be able to tell?” Xander gulped. “I could do without that.”

“We have no giant bug-demons here. There are… spells that allow one to reveal such things, and I know all of those spells.” Regine’s smile was actually reassuring. Xander wondered briefly about his life, that that was what reassured him.

“Well, that’s good. I mean, as far as ‘good’ goes here.” Xander looked at the woman uncomfortably. “You’re way too calm about this whole magic thing, you know. I don’t know anyone nearly as calm as you about this stuff.”

“Eventually,” came a voice from behind Xander — no, purred a voice, a deep alto that was probably male — “you will learn that Regine is far too calm about all ‘stuff.’ And that she is not, by far, the only one.”

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1250737.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

Buffy: the Invitation (an Addergoole Crossover), Part 23

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
Part VII
Part VIII
Part IX
Part X
Part XI

Part XII
Part XIII
Part XIV
Part XV
Part XVI
Part XVII
Part 18
Part 19
Part 20
Part 21
Part 22


Buffy looked around the room as she and Giles entered. It could be a trap, after all. Two other exits, one to the left and one to the right. Smooth wooden floors, smooth wooden walls — padding on one wall, a stack of pads in the corner, a weapons rack in the other corner, almost as good as her training set-up back home.

Luke was there, of course, and another man who looked a lot like him, only with light-brown hair instead of Luke’s black — and a couple inches taller, with a deeper scowl. To the left, with the taller man, were three girls — one blonde, one brunette, and one with black hair — dressed in loose pants and tight shirts, with tight ponytails and very sharp smiles. They were already sizing Buffy up.

Buffy turned towards Giles and grinned her most vapid smile. “Oh goody,” she chirped. “They brought some girls for me to fight with.” Giles responded with a dry smirk.

On the other side of the room were the guys. They’d been talking to Luke but had stopped when Buffy and Giles walked in and were staring.

One of them had hair like a lion’s mane and a square jaw. He looked worried. From the look of him, Buffy was pretty certain he was more concerned he might hurt her than that she might hurt him. He got a point for being considerate and lost two for underestimating her.

He was with two others, one who was so average that she almost overlooked him completely: average height, just-skinnier-than-average build, dark hair, pale skin, well-groomed. He wasn’t bad looking, Buffy supposed, but he seemed a little too bland for her tastes; the third one was red haired and tan-skinned, with a smile that seemed a bit awkward for his mouth, too big, too toothy. He’d stopped mid-sentence.

“They’re staring,” she chirped at Giles. “It’s not nice to stare at the new girl, is it?”

“Yes, you did, Finn,” interrupted the brunette girl, with a smile that looked too lazy for her all-business posture. “You wanted to see what she’s made of, didn’t you? Or maybe just what you could make of her…”

“Pay no mine to Allyse,” the dark-haired guy continued, although he was flushed a bit. “I’m Finn cy’Luca – someone said you knew the cy’s and wherefores?”

“Yep.” Buffy grinned at him. “I’m Buffy cy’Giles, and this is Giles. Say hello, Giles.”

“Ahem, ah. Hello.” Giles waved at the gathered students.

“Pleased to meet you. I’m Finn, like I said. This here is Smitty,” he gestured to the red-head, “Richard, and the Thorne Girls, Allyse,” he nodded to the brunette, “Acacia,” the blonde, “and Massima,” the black-haired girl. “They’re cy’Doug, and that’s Doug, and you met Luke.”

“Hi, everyone. So, you’re supposed to spar with me? Like, all at once or three on one or…?”

“Easy there, midget. You sure think a lot of yourself, don’t you?” The tall blonde woman strode forward. “Tell you what. You start with Smitty there, and then work your way up to the big leagues.”

“Hey.” Smitty looked mildly offended. “Easy there, Cay.”

“Easy.” Acacia smirked at him. “Exactly.”

“Okay.” Buffy strode up to Smitty. “So, weapons or bare hands, what, are we fighting to tap-out or unconsciousness?”

“Are your eyes closed?”

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me three or four or five times…”

“What are you talking about?” Smitty’s voice went high when he was confused, she noted.

“Starey eyes, I vannnt to suuuuck your blaaahd?”

“Oh, you ran in to Dysmas. Nah, we all have different tricks, and that’s not mine. Come on, open your eyes. Let’s make this a fair fight.”

“Big ol’ you against ol’ me?” Buffy smiled sweetly at him. “To knock-out or tap-out?’

“Oh, let’s go with tap-out. You’ve got all these other people to fight, too.”

“Okay!” She smiled brightly at him. Was he cocky or just actually good? She’d have to give him a good work out to see. “And are we going bare-handed?”

“How about escrima sticks? You ever fought with those before?”
“Es-what?”

“These.” He reached out a hand and Finn tossed him four rattan sticks. “You sure you don’t want padding?”
Oh, he was starting to get to her. “You sure you don’t?”

“If you want to be that way. All right.” He took up a ready position on the edge of the mat. “Come at me.”

“Oh, only if you ask nicely.” Buffy got herself ready, felt the weight of the weapons, and attacked.
His style was very traditional. He waited when she dropped a stick (to see what he would do, after he’d tapped her knuckles), so she did the same when she knocked the sticks out of his hands.

And again.

And again.

Finally she stepped back and held up both sticks, not surrendering but not attacking. “You’re not bad. But I’ve got all these other people to fight, too.”

He rubbed his knuckles surreptitiously with his other hand. “You’re fast. I look forward to watching you fight the Thorne Girls.”

That, Buffy figured, had to be the three sharp-looking girls over there. She glanced at Giles, to see if he’d caught the reference.

Giles looked far too unworried. He was leaning against a wall, jacket off, so relaxed she nearly expected him to have a pack of cigarettes rolled up in his t-shirt sleeve, chatting with Doug.

Now that was interesting. Buffy would worry about that later.

“Oh, go ahead, boys,” Acacia drawled. Buffy thought it was Acacia, at least. “Tire her out.”

Buffy noted that. It was a good strategy — if you were fighting a non-BUffy sort of person. It took a lot more than some sticks to tire her out.

Richard the liony-looking one stepped forward. “How about bo staff?”

“Bo? Is that like… oh, here.” She strode over to the rack, replaced her escrima sticks, and tossed Richard the first of two bo staffs.

She checked the weight on the second on, swung it around a few times, and nodded at Richard.

He held back a lot less than Smitty had, but when she let him get a hit in, he still stepped back and didn’t pursue the opening.

“Gentlemen,” she complained, mostly to Giles. “If I were a real opponent that would get you killed in a heartbeat.”

“What,” purred the black-haired one, Massima, “are you saying you’re not a real opponent?

Buffy parried an annoyed swing from Richard and spared Massima a glance. “I’m not a — fooey, stop that,” she parried another strike, “– I mean, I’m not here to kill you and you’re not here to kill me. That’s a real opponent. This is sparring. And this is like Council sparring, all manners and—” she ducked around behind Richard to tap him on the ass with the end of her stick. “–bowing.”

“Council?” Richard just barely managed to get his stick up in time to parry her next blow. “Are they the ones that trained you? Where did you learn to hit like this?”

Buffy took a step back and jabbed her stick at his heart, stopped just before his chest and tapping very lightly. “Giles trained me. I learned to hit hitting monsters in the streets. Where did you learn to fight?”

“Here.” Luke stepped forward and took the stick from Richard. “They learned to fight here, in a controlled environment, where nobody was going to kill them. The Thornes there, that’s Massima, Acacia, and Allyse, they do monster hunting.”

“Oh, come on, Luke,” Massima complained. “Ruining the surprise.”

“I’ll pretend to be surprised if you will,” Buffy offered. She looked at Luke thoughtfully. She almost never fought someone as short as she was. “What’re we fighting with?”

He tossed her a wooden ax, balanced like a fire ax. She hefted it thoughtfully and nodded.

“I’m not going to fight like my students,” he warned her.

“I’d be disappointed if you did,” she countered. “Ready?”

“Ready. Go.”

This attack was like nothing Buffy had ever encountered. He was fast, he was strong, and he knew his shit. She’d fought elder vampires who were this fast, but they forgot what they were doing sometimes. Not since the Master…

She bounced back a step and stared at him. “Giles?” Her voice caught.

Giles voice was very calm. “He is not what you are thinking, Buffy. He is safe. He is here to test you. So, I’d suggest, pretend the Council sent him and show him what you’ve got.”

Buffy looked back to Luke. She raised her eyebrows at him. “A challenge. All right, let’s do this.”

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1247759.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

Buffy: the Invitation (an Addergoole Crossover), Part 22

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
Part VII
Part VIII
Part IX
Part X
🦇

Part XI
Part XII
Part XIII
Part XIV
Part XV
Part XVI
Part XVII
Part 18
Part 19
Part 20
Part 21

The Director leaned forward over her desk. “You were promised to Addergoole at your conception, Buffy. I will do what it takes to make certain all three of you can attend my school without undue concern for your lives or your avocations.”

“Avo-what?”

“Hobbies,” Willow offered, “or, well, things that we do really well but don’t get paid for and, let’s be honest, Buffy, Slaying vampires is something you do really well and definitely don’t get paid for, and the whole back-up thing…”

“You guys do that really well, yeah. And none of us get paid, except maybe Giles, and if they paid him enough, he could afford better suits.”

“I like my suits, thank you very much! And they suit my cover as a high-school librarian. Sunnydale High, I must say, does not pay its staff very well at all.”

“SunnyHell doesn’t pay for anything. I’m not surprised it doesn’t pay you well, G-man. They spent all their money on that…” Xander had a coughing fit. “Never mind.”

“I believe we will be detailing all of the ‘strangeness’ to Director Avonmorea in due time,” Giles assured him. “That is part of the arrangement we’ve made, which includes being certain the three of you can continue to monitor Sunnydale in a manner you find proper, and that, in turn, Director Avonmorea will ‘deal with’ the Council of Watchers who, I’m afraid, most definitely do need ‘dealing with.’” Giles looked far grimmer than Willow had seen him in a long time. “It’s going to be an interesting time, I will say that, but Buffy… as your Watcher and as your mentor, I think it would do you good to come here.” He looked at Willow for a long moment and then at Xander for even longer. “And as your librarian, Willow, Alexander, I cannot stress how good it would be for the two of you. The training you’ll receive here will surpass anything you could be offered out there in the world.”

Willow looked at Xander. Xander was, unsurprisingly, looking at Buffy. Buffy was glaring at the Director.

“Really. You can really ‘handle’ the Council?”

“Not alone, no, but, just as you have Willow and Alexander, I have Michael and Luke, and they will, ah, ‘back me up’ in such a move. We educate teenagers and young adults here. We do not send them untrained and unarmed into battle.”

“Hey! Giles trained me! And I have weapons.”

“Mr. Giles trained you after you had already been in battle, correct? I do not mean to disparage your Mentor; I believe he has done amazingly well with what he’s been given to work with. I could not have done as well. But I do think this Council has done you a disservice, and, yes, I plan to deal with them.”

“I’d like to be a fly on the wall for that conversation,” Willow muttered.

The Director smiled at her. “It is possible I could arrange something of the sort. So: do we have a deal?”

“I want to meet these fighters, first. I don’t agree to anything without knowing if they can handle their own.”

“I want to talk about the education system more,” Willow put in. “Um, maybe with Professor Valerian?”

“I’m certain Laurel would be pleased to tell you more about our academics.” Was the Director winking at her? No, couldn’t be.

“I wanna know more about the hot tubs… nah, I’ve got nothing,” Xander admitted, “except, uh, why me?”

“The answer to that is long and complex, but the short version for the moment is this: because you are worthy and appropriate for this school.” The Director stood up. “So, we will do this thus: We will walk with Buffy and Giles to the gymnasium, where Luke and Doug are waiting with some students to spare with her. Then we will walk with Willow to meet with Professor Valerian — Laurel — and perhaps with Professors Pelletier and Solomon as well. And then you, Alexander, and I will discuss your interests, and who you might meet with.” She walked out from her desk and strode towards the door, clearly expecting them to follow.

The four from Sunnydale shared a glance, a couple shrugs, and one urging-out-the-door gesture, the last from Giles, who was rolling his eyes at them, and then, with a few more shrugs, followed the Director.

“We built this facility in an old government compound, because we wished it to stay undetected and to remain safe, even in the event of a nuclear attack. We started this project in the seventies,” she explained.

She didn’t look past her mid-thirties, maybe, possibly, a well-preserved forty. “Are you a vampire?” Willow blurted the question out, then slapped both hands over her mouth. “I mrrr…”

The Director turned to her and smiled. “I am remarkably well-preserved for my age, but I do not drink blood and I do not turn to dust when one stakes me, although I’d appreciate it if you didn’t try. We could attempt a church in the middle of the day, if you would like?”

“How – oh, no. You can’t catch me in that trap. That one’s always a trap.” Xander slapped both hands over his mouth. The Director raised her eyebrows at him while Willow and Buffy sniggered.

“I wouldn’t mind that church at high noon idea.” Buffy took a step forward towards the Director. “You don’t smell like a vampire, you don’t feel like a vampire, but you’ve got at least one vamp down here I’ve been told I can’t stake.”

“We’d appreciate it if you didn’t. For one, I do not believe Dysmas would turn to dust, though he would be in a great deal of pain.”

“Most things,” Xander pointed out, in that far-too-casual voice that meant something was about to go wrong, “when you put a stake through them, you know, they just die, not sit there and hurt.”

The Director met his gaze and answered without a flinch. “Many things do. We are not ordinary creatures here, any more than the three of you are.”

“Me? I’m ordinary.”

“Mm. I do hope you will forgive me if I don’t believe you. Here is the gymnasium.” She pushed a swinging door open. “And through here are the training rooms.”

“This is a nice gym,” Willow looked around at the wide space. “No bleachers, though.”

“We are not in the habit of competing in team sports. It would be difficult to explain certain parts of our school sufficiently and I’m afraid it would not really be a fair competition.”

“Oh, we know all about unfair competition,” Xander laughed. “Burning up other cheerleaders, turning the swim team into fish-people…”

“You see my point. If we were to compete with other schools, it would be hard to keep all of that quiet.”

“No cheerleading.” It was hard to tell if Buffy’s expression was a real sulk or put-on, but Buffy was often
like that.

“No, but quite a bit of opportunity to spar with other students who are — if not up to your level — within sufficient reach of your level to offer some challenge.” Regine opened a door in the side of the gym, one of a row of four unevenly spaced. “In here, you can meet with Luke, Doug, and their students. Willow, Alexander, please come with me.”

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1239096.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

Buffy: the Invitation (an Addergoole Crossover), Part 21

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
Part VII
Part VIII
Part IX
Part X

Part XI
Part XII
Part XIII
Part XIV
Part XV
Part XVI
Part XVII
Part 18
Part 19
Part 20

The director looked taken aback.

She cleared her throat. “That was unclear of me, which is not my normal modus operandi. I apologize. Sunnydale is a problem in and of itself. There should not be such a portal open yet, and it should not be opening to – this unclear place. That will have to be looked into, and I consider it a vast oversight on the part of this ‘Watcher’s Council’ that it has not been in any depth.” She looked pointedly at Buffy. “You have done, from all reports, an amazing job in a situation where you were sent in under-equipped, under-trained, and far under-supported. Your friends have done an amazing job of backing you up when they had no training and, as far as I understand it, very little access to anything beyond the human. I consider your achievements in Sunnydale to be nothing short of amazing.

“And I would like to offer you both support and some time away from this ‘Hellmouth’ for training and education, for all three of you, and for your mentor as well.”

“Wait, what?” Buffy was staring at the director. Xander was staring at the director. Willow was pretty sure she was, too. “Could you back that up and replay it?”

“Especially the part where we’re doing an amazing job?” Xander put in. “I mean, really, nobody’s ever said anything like that.”

The director cleared her throat. “I would like to offer all three of you two things: support on this ‘Hellmouth,’ and time here, as was originally arranged by your parents some time ago, that is, I apologize, your birth parents, to train, to learn to use the furthest extent of your abilities, and to, ah, have something of a vacation.”

“Nobody can handle the Hellmouth. That’s my job. That’s what I was born for. Chosen for.” Buffy’s voice had gone flat again.

The director let the statement hang in the air for a moment before shaking her head. “I want to make something clear: I am in no way denigrating the skills that you have. From what I have seen and what I have been told, you are an extraordinary young woman. And I do believe that you were chosen, groomed, and trained for this position, and that your skills and innate talents are far above that of an ordinary human. However… I have others who you can train, who are also powerful, who are also strong, who are also durable. And they would enjoy the chance to fight real monsters in a situation where they do not have to hide, because, as it has been explained to me, the environment itself will hide them.”

Giles cleared his throat. “Ah, yes. The ‘Blindness of the Gods,’ as it is called, is particularly strong in Sunnydale. It’s as if there’s some sort of –” he hesitated, no, Willow realized, he paused dramatically, and aimed a look directly at Regine, “–complex Mind Working around the entire city, powered by the Hellmouth.”

“Fascinating.” The Director looked between Giles and the Scoobies. “This is my offer: we will send teams of students and some of my best employees – both Professors and staff – to Sunnydale in rotation, to give them solid real-world experience. While they are doing that, you three will come to Addergoole for our typical four-year program, which will be tailored to your unique needs and skills.”

“‘Real-world experience,'” Buffy interrupted. “You realize this real-life experience can get them killed, right?”

“Of course.” She leaned forward over the desk. Now, her lips curled upwards in something very nearly a smile. “Yes. As is common in the real world. They will be in teams, Buffy, and they will be paired with a skilled hunter. You may be the one girl in all the world called by this particular spell, but there are many, many demon-hunters in the world.”

“Faster, tougher, demon-hunters who can survive a attack by a monster?” Buffy shifted her weight back onto her heels. Willow moved closer, although she didn’t know what she could do to help. “Come on, they didn’t make me for no reason.”

“No. And I have quite a few ideas about why you – and all the others like you – might have been made. I will share them with you once I have more data accumulated, but in the meantime, let me see. No, no-one else that I have ever encountered has ever been as specialized, as naturally skilled, and as directed towards the fight of these particular monsters as you. You – and presumably your sisters-in-Slaying – are very well-designed for this particular task. However, if I send a team of people, say, one with the ability to See those things which are not normally seen, one who is preternaturally fast, and one who is preternaturally strong, along with someone very skilled in the magic of healing – especially healing ‘on the fly’, as it were, especially with the ability to consult with the three of you at the drop of a hat, I believe they can hold the line until you finish your education. In the meantime, you could train others to do the same.”

“I am not training people to send them to die!”

“I assure you, I would not allow you to send people to die, not my people. We put a great deal of effort into the education of our students, and a great deal of money, time, and effort into the recruitment of our staff and professors. But perhaps you would like to spar with a few select people before we formalize our agreement?”

“I hope they brought pads.” Buffy’s expression was dark.

“I’ll be sure to let them know. That aside — if our plan satisfies you, that means that Sunnydale will be protected for your time here and, if you so choose, you could work in rotation with several others while you, for instance, attended college.”

“You’re serious. You know the Council would flip out. They like me being right where they can handle me.”

“This ‘Council,’ well, I believe the phrase is ‘leave them to me.’

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Buffy: the Invitation (an Addergoole Crossover), Part 20

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
Part VII
Part VIII
Part IX
🦇

Part X
Part XI
Part XII
Part XIII
Part XIV
Part XV
Part XVI
Part XVII
Part 18
Part 19


Willow was staring at Ms. Valerian. Ms. Valerian… was not offended in the least, from the looks of things.

“You’re delicious.” Ms. Valerian grinned at her. Willow blushed and turned away, nearly missing what the professor said next. “Talk to me about that when you’re an adult, legally, all right, sweetheart.”

“Go…” Xander trailed off, as if he’d been about to tease her and changed his mind. Willow appreciated it, whatever the reasoning in his pointy head. She was poking at the feelings inside of her and didn’t know what to think at all.

“So, classes. Great. What about those of us not so, uh, study-like-ly inclined?” Buffy interjected. “I mean, this is me we’re talking about…”

“Well, there’s the combat lessons. You’re impressive, but I think even you could stand some teaching from one – or all – of our combat professors. There’s the social life. There’s the lack of demons and vampires in a more homicidal sense.”

“You have a rule saying ‘killing gets you expelled’,” Xander pointed out. “How non-homicidal can you be if you need a rule about it?”

“Less than someone who counts her kills in the ‘I don’t count that high,'” Ms. Valerian pointed out. Ms.? Miss? Mrs.? Her ring finger was bare, but a lot of women didn’t wear rings all the time.

Willow shook her head. She had other things to worry about right now. “So you’re saying it’s safer here? But what about the Hellmouth? How safe is that going to be if-“

“Will.”

“I’m serious. There’s a reason for Buffy, Mister.”

“Will.”

“No! Why are you trying to… Oh. Hi, Giles.”

“Director Regine and I have been talking, and we believe we have a solution to Buffy’s problem.”

“Oh, good, because I mean, no matter how many times I bleach, I keep getting roots.”

“No, not that problem, although I’m fairly certain they could solve that one, too.”

“Oh, really? First good news I’ve heard all day. Giles, you did not tell me there would be demons here. And Vampires. And bit… unpleasant people, although I could have guessed that.”

“Giles, you didn’t tell me about the curriculum here! And the independent studies!” Willow sulked. “And computer classes that I don’t have to teach myself.”

“Giles you didn’t tell me… I’ve got nothing,” Xander admitted. “I just wanted to join in.”

Giles cleared his throat. “I might point out that I knew nothing about this school but conjecture and rumor before we came here less than an hour ago. Buffy, you haven’t staked anyone, have you?”

“No. You told me not to.” Buffy was clearly sulking.

“Yes, yes I did. And for good reason. Now please, come on in to Director Avonmorea’s office and we can discuss the issues surrounding your attendance here before you give away all of your secrets to randomly passing students.”

“Hey, they’re not so random. One of them had a cat tail. And wings! The wings was someone else…”

“And then there really was a vampire,” Willow offered loyally. “And a giant. And some really nasty person, but that seems normal. I mean, not that the vampire didn’t seem normal, but I begin to worry that my sense of normality is entirely skewed. Do you think it’s skewed?” she asked Xander.

“Hey, this is me, fish-guy hyena-guy soldier-guy. I’m not sure I’m the one to be asking about normal.”

“Ahem, a-hem Let’s go into Director Avonmorea’s office now, shall we?”

“Oh! Right, the secrets and the things. Of course, sorry, right away.” Willow let herself be steered. “It’s like going to the principal’s office, only scarier. And nicer,” she added, as they were ushered into a fancy reception area, through that, and into the office.

The reception area had been all wood and old and books everywhere, like a lawyer’s office. This was smooth and glass and modern and computer screens, and the woman sitting behind the desk was just as smooth and glassine. Her hair was straight, blonde; her nose was straight, perfect; her expression was straight, unreadable. Willow felt immediately grubby and small, and wished she’d worn a suit.

“These are the students, Rupert?” She made an expression with her face that was probably meant to be a smile. It looked like it had seen a smile in a magazine once.

“Ahem. Yes. Th-this is,” Giles cleared his throat again and straightened, seeming to gain inches in height and lose a few years. “This is Buffy, Willow, and Xander. Buffy is the one I was discussing primarily, with the–“

“‘Vampire Slaying’, yes. The Council.” The Director’s voice dripped with disdain. “And the other two?”

“Willow is a brilliant student, of course; you’ve seen her records. And, due to the nature of the rift in Sunnydale, she has begun to manipulate magic without the use of Words.”

“I use words!” Willow wrinkled her nose. “I use spells and everything.”

“Yes.” Rupert nodded. “You use very impressive spells that are, themselves, bending the world, which is impressive, because you are doing them without the Words of power. And this is Xander, who is earnest, loyal, and strong, dedicated and devoted. Also, he appears to be a magnet to the otherworldly, the magical, and the strange.”

“Hey, how come he gets all that earnest, loyal stuff and I just get quote-unquote Vampire Slayer?”

“Because, Buffy, you already know what you are. Sometimes Xander needs to be reminded.”

“Indeed.” The director looked from one to the next of them. “So.” She steepled her fingers and looked at them over her hands. “You were dedicated to this school on your births, and, as such , we have the stronger commitment. However, the… ‘spell’ that the Council used to bind Buffy to the calling of her spiritual ancestors is a strong one, and it is not without validity. I have sent a firmly-worded message to the Council, but in the meantime, I understand that both Buffy’s calling and the nature of Sunnydale remain problems.”

“You think? Demons and vampires and occasionally monsters from hell, oh, don’t forget the curses.” Buffy glared at Regine. “Yes. They’re ‘problems.’ I’m a ‘problem’. Always have been always will be. Just let me go back to Sunnydale and continue being a ‘problem’ for everyone.”

“Buffy…” Giles sighed.

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Buffy: the Invitation (an Addergoole Crossover), Part 19

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
Part VII
Part VIII
Part IX

Part X
Part XI
Part XII
Part XIII
Part XIV
Part XV
Part XVI
Part XVII
Part 18

“Your name is Buffy?

“Yeah? So what. Yours is Agatha; I wouldn’t throw too many stones.”

“And I suppose you’re a cheerleader,” Agatha scoffed.

“Well, I was. But then the cheerleaders lit on fire, so now I’m just the girl who keeps the cheerleaders alive. And the football players. And… oh, yes, everyone else.”

“Oh, departed gods help us, it’s another cy’Doug.”

“I’m cy’Giles, I keep saying that…”

Agatha’s attention slid over Willow as if she didn’t exist and went straight to Xander. “And what about you? Do you fight off monsters?”

“Well, yeah. I mean, if Buffy’s busy or if it turns out I’m dating a demon again, which, you would not believe how many times it’s happened, but mostly I just run and hide.”

Demon?”

“Do not get into that with them,” Magnolia advised. “It is weirder than you think it can be.”

“Well.” Professor Valerian coughed. “As I was saying, I believe we ought to get back to Director Avonmorea and these children’s… these potential students’ minder soon, before anyone else dies.”

Buffy brushed herself off and walked up to Dysmas, stepping up until her toes were touching his. He didn’t flinch or even move, although Willow did both and so did Xander.

Buffy put her fingers on Dysmas’ pale neck, unerringly reaching for his artery. Willow noticed the way Dysmas held a little bit stiller, which struck her as the first sensible thing he’d done all day.

“Hunh.” Buffy frowned. “Pulse. Bloodsucker with a pulse, that’s new. All right, fang-boy, I guess you get to live.” She turned to Anatoliy and bowed. It was a lazy bow, with poor form and loads of Buffy flair, but it looked like it got the point across. “You, you fight like woah. You should choose better friends… but you fight like woah. I wanna spar with you sometime. Without pads, of course.”

“I might need pads,” the giant joked. “You fight like you were born to it. Nobody here, not even the Thorne girls, moves like that.”

“I was born to it. One girl in all the world, yadda, yadda. Chosen, picked, that’s my thing. I fight monsters.”

“That’s… neat.” He grinned crookedly at her.

“No,” Agatha complained. “No, Tolly, it’s not neat. She was Attacking you. She was trying to kill Dysmas. It’s not neat, it’s not okay, and you shouldn’t spar with her and give away more of your combat tricks. She’s not your friend.”

“Well, hey now,” Willow spoke up. “He might want to be friends with us. And we might want to be friends with him. And who are you to tell him no? I mean, seriously. He’s a grown man.”

“Really, really grown,” Xander put in.

“Exactly. He’s big enough to pick his own friends.”

“I am his crew, and you are nothing. You don’t even go here yet.”

“Way to sell the whole school thing,” Buffy put in. “I’m real excited to attend your little school now.”

“And I care? Seriously, how excited you are has nothing to do with anything. You’ll come here, the same as the rest, and you’ll be teeny-tiny fish in a big pond, and I’ll get to watch the sharks gobble you up.”

“Did you miss the part where she could kick your friends’ asses?” Xander was glaring at Agatha now. Of course, so was Willow.

“Did you miss the part where she had to do it with her eyes closed because Dysmas nearly had her eating out of his hand? Oh, yes, you did. You weren’t here for that part. I don’t care how well you fight, the sharks are going to eat you all alive, and I’m going to sit back with my mojito and enjoy every minute of it.”

“You’re not a very pleasant person,” Willow informed her. “I look forward to being the chairperson of the I Hate Agatha club.”

“Oh, that’s so mature,” Agatha sneered.

“Well, and so what? Mature just means old, and, and I have no intention of being old any time soon!”

“You tell her, Will.” Xander grinned. “Besides, we’re already in charge of the I Hate Cordelia Chase Club. I’m sure we can join another club without any problem.”

“And this one would be better,” Willow added, with a little bit of cheerful malice she wasn’t ashamed to admit, “because Xander wouldn’t start dating the target.”

“…are you certain these children are old enough to attend Addergoole?” Agatha asked, eyebrows raised. “Perhaps they should wait two more years – and then I’ll be gone, and it won’t be my problem at all.”

“They’re old enough.” Professor Valerian looked more than a little amused. “Come, now. Magnolia, I’m going to relieve you of your duties as tour guide and take these three to Director Regine before they light the school on fire.”

“Hey, I only did that once… well, twice, but the second time was completely justified!” Buffy’s sulk was back in full force, although she kept shooting Dysmas strange glances. Willow didn’t worry too much. Buffy was good at looking at people funny.

“So, the three of you knew each other,” Ms. Valerian was saying, “and you all attend school in this Sunnydale…”

“Right on the Hellmouth,” Willow offered cheerfully.

“Ahem, indeed. And you’re all called to Addergoole at the same time. That’s very unusual.”

“I’m very unusual,” Buffy offered perkily, “and so are Willow and Xander.”

“Hey! I resemble that remark.”

They were walking much more casually through the same halls. Willow wondered if they’d ever see more of the school than just these hallways. “You know,” she mused, “we’ve seen demons and vampires so far but absolutely nothing about academics.”

“Oh, well,” Xander scoffed, “who expects those from a school? I mean learning? We’re lucky if the school projects aren’t trying to eat us.”

“If I’d known you were interested in academics,” Ms. Valerian put in, “I’d have made sure it wasn’t Magnolia giving you the tour. She’s a nice girl, but she’s not primarily interested in classwork. “

“Oh, well, around her, I’d be glad to indulge in her interests,” Xander offered.

“I’m telling Cordelia.” Willow stuck her tongue out at him. “Sorry, Ms. Valerian. Academics?”

“We have a strong course of study, designed to transition you into your third or fourth year of college when you leave here, or perhaps into graduate work. We focus heavily on traditional subjects – history, mathematics, literature, linguistics, and science – but there’s a lot of room for independent study or building your own curriculum, and if you’re interested in more modern subjects – like, say, computers – we do have a former NASA scientist on staff.”

Willow shut her mouth, only they realizing it had been open, and then opened it immediately afterwards. “Marry me?”

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