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Trading Up

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Summary: (Challenge 1681) Having opened an unsupervised dimensional rift, Pinky and the Brain bring a power switching amulet to Season Six Sunnydale. Cartoons and chaos follow in their wake.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Cartoons > Animaniacs(Current Donor)ShieldageFR13514,541095,76816 Aug 0627 Nov 06Yes

Two Shifts and an Ending

BtVS by Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Animaniacs & Pinky and the Brain & Tiny Toon Adventures & Gremlins by Spielberg and the WB. Thanks go to DonSample's BuffyBodyCount dot ca for episode reference.

Lyrics for 'A Place Called Home' by Kim Richey. Two songs by Four Star Mary are mentioned ('Bad Rain' and 'Believe'); they got their start by portraying Oz's band, 'Dingoes Ate My Baby', during Buffy's early Seasons.

Here's the original "Switch powers, not bodies" Challenge by CousinMary. I think I covered most of the points, other than keeping it to a single-cross... There are native Looney Tunes gremlins and Bugs and Daffy did sort-of-host Gremlins 2, but they didn't directly interact with the live action critters.

:I've seen a lot of body-switching stories and some of them are quite good. But what I'd really like to see is a fic where the Scoobies switch powers. Example: Buffy getting Willow's witchy-ness, Anya getting to be a slayer, Dawn getting Xander’s hyena.

:Must have: At least 2 Scoobies switching powers, feel free to do more - Xover with 1 other world only (multi's make me dizzy ;-) Must not have: Any Scooby being overly vilified. (No one is so awful for never realizing how important Xander is.) No character being overly martyred. (No one has been so put upon by the world that she/he can’t function) No ‘Willow’s so powerful nothing short of the planet exploding could stop her! (please put –some- limits on her)

:The xover can be with anything. I personally think this would work best with a world that didn’t have its own superheros running around, but if you can think of a way for this to work in the Anita Blake or Xmen world more power to you.




D'Hoffryn tightened his grip on Buffy's throat as he lifted the former-Slayer higher into the air. "Now, should I simply snap your neck... Slam you against the wall until your head caves in... Or should I consume you, body and soul? It is my right, you know. You are now drawing power through me. I sometimes slaughter those under my control who have displeased me and, Miss Summers... That is something you have done."

Xander decided he needed the strength of a Slayer to rescue Buffy so he dove toward Brain.

He fell short.

The large-headed mouse realized he couldn't keep ahead of his pursuers for much longer, so he made up his mind and threw the amulet.

With precise Slayer aim, the shiny hairclip shattered the bowl holding Mogwai-Pinky prisoner, then embedded itself in the far wall.

Anya pulled it free and raced towards D'Hoffryn just as Spike leaped on the back of the head Vengeance Demon and sank his teeth into the leathery skin.

D'Hoffryn flung him off, screaming bloody murder, which gave Buffy the opportunity to wrest free.

The instant her feet touched the ground, her shoes burst into flame.

The new power that had been forced into her was obeying its true master.

She was being destroyed, both body and soul.

A few moments before the cascade reaction became unstoppable, Anya punched D'Hoffryn with all her strength.

D'Hoffryn laughed at the blow, backed as it was by the strength of a human female, until blood began pouring down his face. He reached up to feel the cut, caused by the hard metal edge of the amulet...

The little damage that had been done to Buffy suddenly reversed itself.

Using one of his new powers, Mogwai-Pinky grabbed Brain and pulled him through, to another level of reality.



After struggling to his feet, Xander was completely floored when Anya pressed a piece of cool metal into his hand.

He looked down, saw the oval shape of the hairclip, then looked up into the eyes of his ex-fiance. He held her gaze only for a second before she was flung across the room, the enraged D'Hoffryn having charged forward, grabbing for the amulet.

A short game of toss-and-pass-and carry ensued among the Scoobies.

It eventually ended with Buffy facing down D'Hoffryn in front of the house's back door.

As D'Hoffryn made his final, frustrated advance, Buffy realized that Anya was making a small snapping motion with her hands.

Willow began to rise off the ground, eyes burning black from the emotions running through her...

The powerful witch yelled, furiously: "This ends now!"

"Yes, it does," Buffy announced. Then snapped the amulet in two.

D'Hoffryn stood still, in shock, long enough for a single punch from Buffy to send him flying.

He crashed through the back door and the fences and yards of several neighbors...



"Wow," the ex-Slayer breathed, staring at her clenched fist. "That punch had more power than I've... You know, being a Vengeance Demon might not be so bad, after all."

"Speak for yourself," Xander said, favoring the leg he'd hurt during the chase. "You're not the resident carpenter... Hey, why don't we have everybody try to fix the door, so we can figure out where my skills went."

"I'm trying to cast a spell right now," said Dawn. "But I'm getting nothing."

"Me either, niblet."

"Flora floreo," chanted Xander. A beautiful flower bloomed on the kitchen counter.

"Ooh," shouted Dawn. "You must have Tara's powers!"

"No," stated Oz, as he rose a foot off the ground. "That'd still be me."

Everybody turned to glare at Xander.

"What? I can do magic. You remember the books and the singing, right? I just refuse to train in it, 'cause can everybody say hyena, soldier and Dracula? Especially Dracula. I'm the one here most likely to be possessed and I don't want an evil version of me slaughtering you with magic powers."

"Xander, we take that risk everyday," Tara said, hanging onto Willow. "But, with training in magic comes a better ability to defend against it. If you decide the risk is worth it, we would be glad to help. Now, Anya, Oz may be holding my ability to see but... I have good instincts of my own... You have the real amulet, right?"

"Yes, I do," Anya said cheerfully as she pulled it out of her pocket, along with a small metal box. "For a while there I had the brain of a cartoon genius, so I made a back-up plan."

She set the box down and pushed a button. Lights flashed and a rough duplicate of the hairclip popped out one end.

"Ooooh," went the impressed members of the group.



"So all we need to do now is switch Oz and Tara back, find that big-headed mouse and turn Buffy back into the Slayer and we're-"

"I'm afraid it's not going to be that simple," interrupted the brunette figure of Halfrek as she walked into the room. "The new Gremlin Avatar has asked his faction for asylum and taken his friend with him. They're out of reach. Even trying to break that barrier would be a major diplomatic breach."

"Yeah." Spike shook his head, frowning. "Still can't believe you're a bloody demon."

"Darn right, I am," said Halfrek proudly. "With hands nearly as red as the new leader of our clan."

"Wait, you mean I'm-" Anya started.

"Yes, you're the channel through which our power flows." Halfrek grinned. "It might be nice after all these years to have a Dark Queen."

"About that, if Buffy's going to be my second-in-command, some things are going to have to change."

"I'm what?"

"She's what?"

Dawn grabbed a wooden spoon from a drawer and banged it on the counter until everyone turned to look at her.

"Discussion can wait, we need to track down Warren's gang fast, because they know we've found their hide-out. I mean it's pretty cool that my sister can grant wishes, but this argument doesn't have a time-limit. Chasing them, before someone gets hurt, has to be done now. Then we teleport to Hawaii."

"Dawn!"

"What?"


Tara walked across the room and grabbed hold of Oz's hands.

The man with the beast stared into the eyes of the young woman with his wolf.

"She's right," Tara said firmly. "We track them down and put them away, fast. Then, as long as Oz has my skills, he'll have time to do something I'm sure he's always wanted to do..."



The Next Day, what would have been "Seeing Red"

It was night again. The raid that morning on the abandoned hide-out of the Trio that had been causing trouble for months had been somewhat successful, but the scraps recovered had taken all day to piece together and decode.

Worse, according to Xander, they'd actually not started their crime spree until after they'd hit the Bronze. All the places the Scoobies had checked before needed to be rehit.

"What, you think this is easy?" griped Anya as they materialized in yet another parking lot. "Teleportation was intended to take us from a place of danger to a place of safety, not the other way around! I'm having to budget this energy flow and this excessive use my first day on the job is not going to look good on the balance sheet. If any of my underlings wishes for a two-ton anvil and gets a paperweight, it's going to be your fault! I don't even know why I'm on patrol when I could be having guilt-ridden orgasms with my wish-induced boyfriend."

"Anya," Buffy stated, as she pointed at the Trio of geeks tearing into the armored car. "We're here. Shut up."

"Hmph."


"You know," Buffy yelled as she advanced on the young men. "Normally I'd come at you with a brilliantly worded quip, but your booby trap ruined my jacket and I've had a really long day, so I think I'll just skip straight to mopping the floor with you."

Warren, their leader, sneered. "Somehow, I don't think so."

The fight was brutal and fierce, without either side gaining much ground. Warren was able to absorb the first volley of punches and kicks. He even gloated about it. But when it came time to dish out the pain, she took it as well as he had. She barely went back a couple steps and before recovering quickly.

"Impossible!" muttered Andrew to Jonathan. "My calculations clearly stated that the orbs would make Warren stronger than the Slayer. There's no way she could be taking that much damage."

"I don't think she's the Slayer," Jonathan replied. "I mean, watch her. Those moves are made by someone stronger, less coordinated and with a higher defense rating. No, I think that's the Buffybot."

"Well, that's good then. All Warren has to do is shout one of the commands hard-coded into its system and this fight will be over."

Warren quickly came to the same conclusion and shouted the proper phrase into Buffy's face.

She responded with a swift kick to the crotch.

The male onlookers winced.

Warren responded by tearing the door off the armored car and hitting Buffy across the parking lot, into a stone arch, which collapsed.


Despite the amount of rubble on top of her, she was able to dig her way out.

Jonathan made up his mind. Warren had treated him like a jerk, Warren was a murderer and Warren was clearly hounding the orbs of Nezzla. Worse, from the way Andrew had been eying him all day, Warren had probably made covert plans to ditch Jonathan at the first opportunity.

When Buffy had worked her way free and was brushing herself off, Jonathan jumped and clung like a monkey to her back, intending to tell her about the orbs.

Warren's words of appreciation at the sudden backbone shown by his side-kick at attacking the Slayer were cut short when Anya ran up, grabbed Jonathan by the collar and -somewhat gently- flung him into a wall.

Jonathan hadn't managed to tell her a word.


"Okay, Anya," Buffy said, catching her breath. "I made a mistake here by starting this battle alone. You've been around a lot longer than I have, what am I up against?"

"It's clearly not a shared enchantment, or that nerd would have put up a bigger fight. This sudden boost in strength apparently happened over one night while they were on the run, which rules out the bigger rituals. Therefore, we're going to have to strip him."

"What?"

"If we take off his clothes and he becomes weak, it's an enchanted piece of clothing or an item hidden on his person. If we see a giant tattoo that's glowing with magic, well, at least we know what we're up against. There's some stuff that could account for his strength, but the majority either leave a mark on his body or are still physical items."

"Gotcha."


Between punches and kicks, Warren was quickly stripped by a couple of professionals.

Professionals in the sense that Buffy was a young woman with a keen fashion sense who had often been splattered in demon goo mere hours before a date.

And Anya in the sense that she was, well, Anya.

The jacket came off first.

By the time the leather pouch containing the orbs was ripped from Warren's body, Andrew had caught on to what was happening and had put a hasty plan into action.

He activated the jet-pack that was hidden under his clothes and, instead of going straight up, zoomed straight forward, parallel with the ground, in hopes of crashing into the girls and saving his friend and mentor.

Unfortunately a similar thought had just occurred to Warren. He activated his own jet-pack at exactly the wrong second.

*CRASH*


The bruised and battered Jonathan skulking in a shadowy corner was understandably annoyed by the turn of events. His 'friends' had never told him about the jet-packs, let alone given him one.

Late as usual, sirens began to be heard in the distance.

Anya and Buffy barely had time to firmly bind Warren and Andrew before they had to flee themselves, or be placed in an awkward situation.

"Wait, what about the short and somewhat cute one?" Anya asked, peering into the darkness.

"Jonathan? He's not important," answered Buffy. "Besides, we if we stick around here, we could miss Tara and Oz's surprise."

Then they were gone.


As the sirens drew closer, Jonathan thought about racing forward, finding the pouch and breaking the metal bonds securing his 'friends' to what was left of the armored car, before the cops could arrive.

Instead he waited.

Warren and Andrew deserved whatever would happen to them.

When the flurry of activity around the crime scene had finally cleared and the cops had left with their prisoners in tow, Jonathan ducked under the yellow crime scene tape and began to sift through the torn fabric and assorted rubble.

Eventually, he was able to find what he was looking for.

After he had pulled on Warren's discarded jacket and secured the pouch containing the orbs of super-strength and near invulnerability to his waist, the sole free member of the Trio walked away, into the night.



Backup Site A

Jonathan went to his temporary hide-out and, with his new super-strength, began to put things in order. He was interrupted in his cleaning by someone entering the room.

He took in the general look of the taller demon, from his flowing robes to his goatee and decided that the guy's appearance was a bit over the top.

"You must be Jonathan," D'Hoffryn stated. "My name is D'Hoffryn and I used to be the head of a select group of Justice Demons, but thanks to the Slayer I have been depowered. All I have been left with is the immense brain power of an evil genius..."

"Huh," Jonathan stated, scratching his head. "You might be useful... But how did you find me?"

"I led him to you," said a lithe brunette as she stepped out from the shadows.

"Katrina?" he gasped, staring in shock at the appearance of Warren's murdered ex-girlfriend.

"Not quite," she laughed as she shimmered between the outward forms of many dead people. "I'm known by many names, but you can call me the First Evil."



In a place better known as 'Elsewhere'

In the fog and gear and cloud filled plane, which was just a bit too light and fluffy for Brain's taste, Mogwai-Pinky was trying to explain his new responsibilities as a Chaos Gremlin.

The newly mottled and fuzzy rodent slash anthropomorphic personification was droning on about how they went about the multiverse causing both mechanical systems and ephemeral works of thought to go out of whack in varying degrees. It might have made more sense if he didn't stop to say 'Poit' or 'Narf' or 'Zort' every few sentences.

By that point, Brain was fed up - veins bulging on his forehead - but he had finally figured out the metaphysical circuitry of a nearby cloud portal. After a few more seconds of making connections, Brain started spying on the other Brains in the contest. It seemed that most of the other ninety-nine were already present at the Training Grounds, although it seemed that others, like his son Romy, were filling in for him here and there.

After he'd spent some time studying the moves and acquired powers of the alternate versions of himself, he checked out several attractive female companions that some of him had brought with them.

Brain was having fun with the spying device, until Mogwai-Pinky decided to test out his new powers.

*KaPOW*

The cloud portal began to cycle randomly through different realities.

"Pinky! I was watching that! Why! No... Oh no!" He stared into the portal, watching in horror as realities that had been abandoned by their Brains in favor of the contest slowly but surely succumbed to an evil flood of alternate versions of the hamster Snowball, Brain's friend-now-turned-enemy.

"Egad, Pinky, do you know what this means?"

"Snowball's going to have his own flavor of ice cream?"

"Well, yes, probably... But more importantly, this entire stupid contest was probably set up so our home realities would be undefended! We've got to warn the other versions of myself and show them the truth!"

Without another word, Brain grabbed Mogwai-Pinky by the arm.

Together, they jumped through the portal and disappeared completely from the Buffyverse.

With them went Buffy's personal Slayer power, the power that had been altered by Willow's resurrection spell.

Things began to change...



Backup Site A

"Oh, pooh!" the First Evil yelled, stomping her foot. "The essence of the oldest Slayer has vanished from this reality. If she'd simply just died I could have kept on using her as a wedge, but no... So much for clawing my way to the surface this century."

She spent the next couple moments cursing her luck. She wasn't an individual, but actually the surface thoughts of a much greater entity. Now that its chance at freedom had been removed, there wasn't any reason left for the immense slumbering force to be even this much awake...

When she had finally faded from view, the two men in the room looked at each other, shrugged, and began to discuss their plans...



The Bronze, Sunnydale's premier nightclub

Most of the Scoobies gathered themselves in the audience, awaiting their surprise. Even though word had gone out on such short notice, the place was packed.

Backstage, Spike was still discussing song choices with Oz.

"Wolf, I still don't know about these lyrics, they just seem too bloody wordy for my tastes."

"If you want we can finish with a few pub songs, something the whole audience can join in and sing to... Anyway, we're up."


The audience was packed because Oz had called in a few favors. He'd asked his old band, Dingoes Ate My Baby, to come back to Sunnydale. They had moved away, changed their name and become famous, but they were glad to do a favor for an old friend. Especially when the request was as interesting as this one.

Spike was onstage, singing his British heart out.

Tara was filling in for Oz on the guitar, her arms empowered by unfamiliar technical skill.

Oz was otherwise occupied.

Thanks to the talent and stage presence he'd borrowed from the red-headed witch, the normally subdued man was onstage singing lead vocals along with Spike... Surprising the hell out of his former bandmates.

They were all gathered together that night, under the group name of 'Bloody Mary', and the audience was loving it.


After running through 'Believe' and 'Bad Rain' they launched into their cover of Kim Richey's 'A Place Called Home.'

Well, it's not hard to see
Anyone who looks at me
Knows I am just a rolling stone
Never landing anyplace to call my own
To call my own

Well, it seems like so long ago
But it really ain't you know
I started out a crazy kid
Miracle I made it through the things I did
The things I did

Someday I'll go where there ain't no rain or snow

‘Til then, I travel alone
And I make my bed with the stars above my head
And dream of a place called home


By the end of the piece, Xander had become completely disgusted by the soppingly romantic looks Spike was throwing Anya, especially because vampire kept singing directly to her like there was no-one else in the room...


Xander voiced his complaints to the Slayer, but he was grateful that Anya hadn't yet done anything more than make out with the handsome Brit.

"I mean, I'm sure if she'd gotten physical with him she'd have babbled about it right? You remember how she was always telling stuff about us when we were together? I mean, I'm sure that nothing's happened yet. I mean if you'd been with Spike you'd have come over immediately and told me, right?"

Sure, he was distracted by the show, especially as Spike started leading the group in a cover of an angry British song that quickly had half the audience singing along, but not enough that Xander didn't notice Buffy's blush.

As soon as he'd put two and two together, Xander raised his voice in anger. "I can't believe that you slept with a soulless vampire! Of all the disgusting things-"

He trailed off, impressed again by Spike's performance.


As the audience applauded, Xander asked, somewhat softly: "Hey, Buffy?"

"Hmm?"

"... Please tell me he at least sang to you first..."



When they'd finished having their fun, Tara and Oz switched their powers back.

The amulet was hidden away in a very safe place. A place they could retrieve it from if it was ever needed again.

Anya had other things to worry about.

When she'd become Head Vengeance Demon she'd developed an immunity to granted wishes, past and future.

After much deliberation, she removed the magical romantic compulsion from Spike.


They continued to date anyway.


They're still together.



The Duo's New Lair

"Man, it's nearly morning," Jonathan said, as he stared at all the scribbled plans and pieces of paper flung around the room. "We've been at this all night... So, what do you want to do today, D'Hoffryn?"

"I don't know about you," D'Hoffryn answered, as he turned to watch the first rays of the sun light up the sky. "But I would like to take over the world..."



The End.



....START....BrainAnya....BuffyOzBuffy....SpikeOz....
....SpozWillow....WozTara....SpillowOke....OwWillra....
....BranyaBuffy....AnyainD'Hoffryn....OzaraTaroz....END

Final Fallout: Brainfy, D'Hoffain, Anya'Ryn, Buffya.

The End

You have reached the end of "Trading Up". This story is complete.

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