I am Woman
I don’t own Buffy or Charmed. If you recognize it, I don’t own it.Author’s note:
I don’t consider this to be m-preg. If you do, and that upsets you, I’m sorry. It is gender swapping. Girl!Xander FTW! I use the pronoun he and continually refer, at least in Xander's own mind, to Xander being male because while the body is female, the mind is male. So it's not necessary to point that out. This is in answer to Intermundia’s Challenge. Challenge #3380, to be exact. It is slash, for those of you who don’t like that kind of thing.AN 2:
The girls that went into the hellmouth a potential have a reputation in this world. They’re only a step or so down from Faith and Buffy, both power-wise and experience-wise. The other Slayers that were hit with Empowerment spell look at the twenty or so Sunnydale girls with a sort of awe and reverence. The Scoobies are looked at with that too with a little fear and confusion mixed in. What? They’re odd people.
Chapter One: I am Woman
“I’m sorry, Xander. There is nothing that can be done,” Giles said, avoiding the eyes of the pacing figure in front of him.
“Giles!” Xander fairly screeched. “I’m suffering from a distinct lack of penis here and there’s nothing
that can be done?”
Finally, Giles sighed and looked Xander in the eye. “Ethan was quite clear. There is nothing to be done. You are a woman for the next year. The Rights of Hera is a little known and seldom called upon ritual, but irreversible once begun. I’m sorry.”
Xander collapsed into a chair. “I’ve decided that I hate Ethan Rayne with the passion that burns like a thousand suns.”
Giles fought off a grin. “Well, to be fair, he wasn’t targeting you this time. He was targeting me.” At Xander’s raised eyebrows, Giles explained, “Normal teams are made up of Slayers. The vast majority of teams are fully female, including the Watcher. They would have brought the artifact to me and I would have become…a woman. It was a fluke that you were with the team that found the artifact.”
“Fabulous,” Xander snarled. “Just what I need, another fluke.”
Giles sighed. “Xander. Perhaps this will be good for you. You have a year to experience what the other half deal with. It’ll give you some insight into what the girls in your care have to live with every day.”
“I’m fine, Giles,” Xander said quietly.
“Oh, the bloody hell you are,” Giles snarled. “First, you go traipsing all over Africa, a one-eyed white man with no wilderness skills and a poor grasp of the local languages. But you wanted to go and the girls encouraged it. So off I sent you. And you weren’t there two weeks before you stumbled into a war zone. And I know,” Giles cut off his protests, “there was a Slayer there. But you very nearly got yourself killed. Then you refused to come home, despite all the begging the girls do. You spend almost an entire year, without vacations, traveling around finding Slayers. Then you come back here and immediately fling yourself into the most dangerous situations you can find. So I say again. This may be good for you.”
Xander frowned. “I’m just helping the only way I know how, Giles. And all the stuff I’ve done had to be done. I might as well be the one doing it.”
“That right there,” Giles pounced, pointing at him. “That attitude. Like you’re expendable. That’s what I’m talking about. I don’t think you realize what is going to happen the day you fling yourself into a situation and don’t walk out of it. Willow will have a meltdown, Buffy will likely be beset with a case of guilt that will cause her to do something excessively foolish, Dawn will close herself off, and Faith will go on a raging tear. The end result would likely be three dead women and one ravaged teenage girl.”
“That wouldn’t happen,” Xander instantly denied. His heart felt like it’d rolled over in his chest. “You wouldn’t let that happen.”
“I couldn’t stop it,” Giles countered, leaning back in his chair. “You are, more than any other person on the planet, vital to the well-being of those women. To say nothing of the Sunnydale girls or the girls you found in Africa. So, next month, you’re starting your new assignment. You and a team of five of my choosing will be traveling across the American west coast cleaning up the mess Angel and his lot started. You will also look for survivors. I refuse to believe that all of them died in the battle.”
“Next month!” Xander bounced from his seat. “I can be packed and ready to go in a couple of hours.”
Giles let his gaze drift over Xander’s new form. “You do realize that your entire wardrobe is borrowed at the moment? And that you’ve never had to fight with breasts before? And that, while nearly the same height, you don’t have even close to the same amount of mass as before?”
Xander looked down at his new self and blushed. “Giles,” he hissed, “don’t talk about my breasts.”
Giles swallowed a grin, becoming serious. “Then there’s the fact that you are 23 years of age and have never gone through menstruation before.”
Xander quickly paled. “I’m gonna have a period?”
“Twelve of them, actually,” Giles answered primly.
“Oh. My. God,” Xander said faintly, collapsing back into his chair.
“Quite,” Giles winced sympathetically. “So you’ll spend a month here buying things you need to live comfortably, retraining your body to fight, and *ahem* experiencing your first blush of womanhood.”
“Oh. My. God
,” Xander squeaked. “Stop talking
“Ahem,” Giles cleared his throat again, cheeks blazing. “As for your team, Dawn, Buffy, and Faith have agreed. Willow has promised to get back to me on the choice of a magic user. Only the final position is open for discussion. Which Slayer would you like to spend the next six months to a year with?”
“Bu-Buffy? And Faith? And Dawn
?” Xander said, aghast. “Buffy’s retired
. And Faith’s training baby Slayers. And Dawn’s the Head Researcher. They can’t just take off to do whatever.”
“Ahh, but they can,” Giles grinned. “As you said, Buffy’s retired. She can do anything she wants to do and what she wants right now is to help you with this transition. Faith has become entirely too bored not to be a hazard to the girls she’s training. I promised her when she took the position that it would be short term. Violet and Caridad are trained enough to take the role. And Dawn can continue her work on the road. Technically, Ramsdell is the Head of Research and he’s convinced he doesn’t actually need her help. We’ll see if he can handle things while she’s away. Now. The final position. Who
do you want to fill it?”
Xander was still gaping when a voice behind him posited, “How about a combat trained half demon ascended seer?”
Xander and Giles both leapt to their feet. “You’re dead!” They both blurted before glancing at one another.
The slightly glowing woman’s eyes rolled. “I ascended, you goobers. There’s no heaven dimension that can contain my presence and I’m bored in the Upper Realms. So as long as I hang with the people of the Council, I’m free to wander the Earth,” Cordelia shrugged. “Congratulations. You guys are my anchors.”
“The Council itself or the people of the Council?” Giles asked, intrigued.
“Wait,” Xander interrupted. “Just how do we know you are who you say you are? The First was all about the dead, too.”
“Xander, the First is locked away. That can’t be the First,” Giles said.
“I know, Giles,” Xander said peevishly. “But other beings can take on the likeness of the dead.”
Giles raised an eyebrow at Cordelia who rolled her eyes. “Ask the PTB if you don’t believe me,” she said.
This time, Xander rolled his eyes. “Yes, because that’s
so easy to do.”
A quiet cough from the corner of the room cut off the rest of the sniping. “How ya doin’? I’m Whistler,” the man in the fedora said, grinning at them. Xander backed up a step, frowning. “I’m a messenger for the Powers That Be. Miss Chase is bound to the seven Council members she knows from the ‘Dale.”
Xander snorted. “We don’t know that you’re who you say you are, either.”
Giles sighed. “Excuse Xander. Paranoia has become a way of life. Buffy mentioned a messenger named Whistler once.”
“That’s him,” Buffy said as she entered scowling. She and Faith spread out to flank him. “I hope you’re not all that attached to your ribcage. I promised you some major damage and I do still need a hat.”
“Now, Slayer,” Whistler said nervously. “I’m just here to corroborate the Seer’s story.”
Just as Buffy’s hand would have closed around his throat, the demon disappeared. “Darn,” She muttered. “So close.”
“Hey, Cordelia,” Willow chirped as she came in with Dawn. “Death hasn’t done you any hardships, I see.”
“It is good for the skin,” Cordy nodded. “You can’t get more relaxed than dead.”
“Willow,” Giles said, “What are you doing here? I thought you were choosing a magic user.”
“I did. I am the magic user,” she smiled. “The Coven got kind of nervous about letting me teach new witches. They’ll use me as a cautionary tale but they don’t want me actually teaching anyone.”
“Hmm,” Giles said nodding. He cast a look over the six in front of him. They were lovely, even Xander in his borrowed sweat suit. And he feared for the world, just a little bit. They were hellions, any way you went about it.Quote: When women are depressed, they eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. It’s a whole different way of thinking.