Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Marvel Crossover AU (Self-Made Hero: The Infinity Mirror)
Summary: The last official member of their little team will take some work to retrieve.
Word Count: 1704
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Dr. Winifred Burkle had an amazing life. She was well-respected. Her work did brilliant things for the world. She had an attentive, loving fiancé.
Of course, the key word there was had.
The things you didn’t know could and definitely well did kill you. Such as her fiancée was actually involved in a cult. Such as she was sacrificed, screaming, begging, unable to believe the betrayal, her still beating heart cut out to draw darker things into the world.
Illyria had a cult. She was a Goddess, worshipped by so many followers. She had the respect and even fear from the other Hell Gods and Goddesses, including that windbag Glorificus.
The key word there was also had.
The things she hadn’t known had led to her being trapped, entombed for eternity. The things she hadn’t known had led to one presumptuous human assuming a life of accomplishment would do for a sacrifice in her name. The things she hadn’t known had led, through spells passed down the centuries, to the human named Wyndam-Pryce to assume that a summoned Hell Goddess could be tamed.
Fortunately, there were things that this Wyndam-Pryce also had not known, and she rose in the former body of his fiancée, teeth bared in a snarl and eyes glinting in the dark in a way that human’s eyes did not. His screams and his blood against her claws grown solely for the fact that she has no weapon and feels the need to tear are sweeter than the heart lying in the bowl.
When she finishes, she is uncertain of her path. In her diminished powers, she feels the loss of her cult, and many of the other greats have been locked away over the years by mere humans. Yet she cannot return to the life of this ‘Winifred’. She doesn’t know enough about being human to do so.
Curious, she touches the heart, and relives the savage rage, the retribution that this former Winifred had exacted through the blessing of her dark Goddess, and decides this is enough. In thanks for her release, she will obliterate this cult from the earth, these humans who dared to rival the demons in their evil. She uses some of her power to preserve the heart, a little more to make her clothes that of her liking, and leaves.
She’s nearly done when some of them manage to unearth a ritual to travel into different dimensions, and escape, and she’s blind with fury. She takes out her frustration on every vampire above a Hellmouth and feels a little better.
She nearly kills one of the ringleaders when he reappears, only he convinces her that he was not and never was one of the leaders when he shows her his power, and it’s chaotic but not evil as the other’s was. “The ones you seek have allied with an enemy of mine,” he explains. “If you join us, we will hunt them down.”
She soon meets the others—a witch, a wolf, a knight, an assassin—and agrees.
Apparently, they are to rescue one other. A Slayer. A human created specifically to hunt evil, and the more in this hunt, the merrier. She has never had comrades before, never fought with others other than her followers, but as the knight jokes even as he traps one of the runaway cultists in a cage of his own karma with woven words, she decides she likes the feeling.
( Follow the Path. )
Dru’s distressed, swaying around. “Promise you’ll be careful, Spike. Dorothy’s coming to town with all her little friends and they’re not as you remember them. For all the Tin Man’s brains he is the Heart. The little dog Toto’s got fangs. Oz is really the Cowardly Lion. Glinda and the Lion have history and the man behind the curtain puts on a puppet show. The Scarecrow’s blue and she stole an improved brain by sacrificing her heart.”
Spike kisses her forehead. “I’ll be careful, pet.”
Oz doesn’t realize there’s anything wrong with his world. Why would he? He doesn’t have anything to compare it to.
Fiction, the news, the internet, the government controls it all. If all copies of a book 1984 hadn’t been burned, he would’ve seen that this future had, at least partly, been predicted. But without the knowledge, he didn’t have anything to show what a normal life should be like.
He’d wondered, once, what awful thing he’d done in a former life to be born in this one as a mutant. He had to have been a serial killer, or something. Like every child, he had seen what out of control mutants did. Ones that didn’t follow the rules endangered the lives of everyone, so of course they had to be controlled. They’d all watched the tapes. Of the damage they’ve done. Of terrified men, women, children huddled up, begging for mercy from uncaring mutants. He didn’t feel particularly like a serial killer. In fact, he was often more quiet and kind than his human classmates, but if he didn’t watch his natural instincts it was only a matter of time. Maybe he’d worked out most of his aggression in his past life, but still had to be punished for it in this one.
He kept his head down, followed every instruction. Until one fateful day.
He sees the girl phase into existence. Sees the lack of the mutant tattoo marking them as being registered with the government under the Mutant Registration Act before the shouting policemen do.
They’re pointing guns at a terrified little girl. Guns. They’re screaming at her, about to shoot her. And something just snaps.
He’s never wolfed out in anger before. Always under order, always obedient. He’s not obedient now, as he changes and grabs the kid and runs.
He’s never told whether he killed the policemen. The newspapers say so, but the girl—Marcie Ross, as she introduces herself—says that the newspapers don’t always tell the truth. It’s a foreign concept for him, but she finally manages to convince him that people lie. He still doesn’t fully understand the reasoning behind it, but then, according to her, he doesn’t have to. He doesn’t have to attempt to lie—ever—because he can just be silent instead.
She explains that her parents were killed before they could register her. That because of the rules, she couldn’t register herself. An adult had to do that. That there were plenty of other orphans like her who faced firing squads just because their parents had died as peaceful protestors or pamphlet-writers or even for listening to the wrong music.
There’s a near call, but then he hears a voice in his head, and sees a red-head with a shy smile, and they’re led to what turns out to be a safe haven hidden in the world. The leader, a Miss Grey, is apparently not all there, but she seems coherent enough as she banishes the red-head and another, an older man. They’re not mutants, despite the fact that they can twist the world and hide two fugitives with one gesture of their hands.
Marcie will be safe, and he has the feeling these two might need him, and Miss Grey isn’t happy about him leading others here in the first place. So he offers to go with the two, and they say yes.
“I’m stealing your boyfriend,” he announces, dropping in on Oz and Willow as they’re hanging out in the front hall after class.
Willow blinks. “What?”
“Well, Buffy’s going shoe shopping, and that’s important stuff, not to be interrupted by any moral or immortal man on pain of death. Oz is my backup strongman.” He suddenly realizes that it might’ve been read as flirting and decides to just go with it. “I promise I’ll put him back, in as good or better condition. If you’re really not trusting, you can accompany us and watch while Oz works up a nice sexy sweat.”
“I don’t sweat,” Oz corrects with no expression, but there’s amusement in his tone. Not much, but it’s there.
Oz actually helps him move in all the furniture, not just the bed, and deals with his hyper happily caffeine buzzed self as he changes his mind about the positioning of pieces of furniture about fifteen times. Willow just looks bemused. And somewhat put out.