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Blue Belle

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Blue Belle Universe". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: He dressed up as his state's senior senator. Now he's a blue woman. How the hell does Xander keep landing himself in these situations?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Marvel Universe > X-Men > Xander-Centered
Marvel Universe > Avengers
(Moderator)JoeHundredaireFR1841161,48041588207,12920 May 097 Apr 13No

Chapter 30

Joe's Note: Everyone congratulate Nomma for being reviewer #400. He wants to see Moira MacTaggert or Rahne Sinclair. Considering we've got not one but two daughters of Wolverine popping up, one artificially created… I know exactly how to fit her in. We went from #397 to #421 in the last chapter. Same number of reviews means this chapter won't but the next one will. Or more reviews of this chapter means another winner gets picked this chapter too. And really, when you guys review, win, and give me inspirations for more fic… aren't we all winners? Oh, and props to the five or six people who have recommended me since I came back to this fic. You guys rock.



     Tapping the end of her pen against her collarbone, Laura Kinney stared down at the pad of paper in front of her as she double-checked the notes she'd made while watching the footage the Initiative had presented her with, wanting to make sure she'd gotten everything.

     Fact #1: The mutant vigilantes who called themselves the 'X-Men' were at least occasional visitors of Sunnydale but were not behind the overall rise in activity.

     Fact #2: The X-Men possessed training substantially inferior to her own, especially the members in her own age group.

     Fact #3: Emma Frost was in actuality a mutant, with transmorph powers and - based on her interactions with the others - telepathy.

     Fact #4: Emma had her own group of younger mutant students who were cowardly; their level of training was irrelevant since they seemed disinclined to involved themselves with a conflict.

     Fact #5: She needed to thank Kayla Silverfox for helping her develop a larger vocabulary. It made for better report writing. It also made for longer lists. Perhaps thanks were premature.

     Fact #6: Sunnydale was home to at least four mutants of its own: Michelle Flaherty, daughter of Raven Darkholme, Miriam Chase née Dane and Cordelia Chase, daughter and granddaughter respectively of Erik Lehnsherr, and Willow Rosenberg, daughter of James Howlett. Each possessed powers very similar to their known mutant parents' powers.

     Fact #7: She had a half-sister named Willow, who looked like a skinnier, butcher version of her with short black hair and bone claws. And blue eyes instead of green.

     Fact #8: Either her mother had done some tampering with her DNA or the Curves Fairy had been dropping off Willow's shipments at Alkali Lake too. Hopefully Willow wouldn't resent being the 'little' sister too much.

     Fact #9: Her uncle Victor was not only present in Sunnydale but in contact with Willow. Two-for-one deal, then; she'd always wanted to meet him but he'd left Weapon X's service by the time she was born.

     Fact #10: Emma Frost had an absolutely gorgeous daughter named Sophie who got off on watching feral mutants go berserk on their enemies. She should start looking into where Emma - and therefore her daughter - lived. She was a soldier of sorts; she got paid leave. If she did well in Sunnydale, Stryker would probably let her and Doctor Mom take a week or three off.

     Fact #11: Doctor Maggie Walsh was going to lose her experimental super soldier specimen if 'Adam' didn't start remembering where her face was soon when he talked to her.

     "Well, considering I should probably catch the mutants somewhere away from the general populace… your team saw the X-Men fighting the local mutants at night and then the local mutants and Sabretooth attacking vampires and demons last night… I'm going to go out a limb and say going out at night is a good way to find these girls." Tapping the end of her pen once to retract the tip, Laura spun it between two fingers and then tucked it between her breasts. "And if I don't run into them, I'm sure I'll run into someone else interesting." Her fingers curled into a fist, two adamantium blades emerging from between her knuckles. "Then run them through."

     Doctor Margaret Walsh let out a snort as Laura retracted her claws, the thin cuts in her flesh where they emerged healing almost instantly. "What a charming daughter you have, Sarah. I suppose I can send her out with one of my teams this evening. Although we'll have to find her suitable clothing first. I don't need one of my soldiers dying because they were too busy admiring the fall line from Hookers 'Я' Us."

     Blinking, Laura glanced down at herself. What was wrong with her outfit? Blame genetics - or the woman who had sculpted her genetics like an artist a lump of clay - but she had a very curvaceous figure. If there was an outfit out there that didn't make her look hot, she had yet to find it and all of her tops gave her cleavage. The only real question was how much cleavage she'd be presenting. Looking back up, she found the young man who'd introduced himself simply as 'Adam' staring at the same thing that she'd just been looking at. Again. Maybe Doctor Walsh was on to something. "Right. I'll go see the quartermaster, grab some BDUs, and hook up with the first team going out tonight. Doctor Mom, you need anything?"

     "Hmm?" Her mother looked away from the loaner laptop in front of her, where she'd been running a section of the video backwards and forwards. A clip of Victor, for some reason. "Oh. Um, I think I'll take copies of this information back to our room to study. And of course the colonel will want to see this when we get home. Can I have the thumb drive?"

     Laura nodded, fingers dipping into her cleavage before pausing. "Two gigs or four?"

     "Two… no, four. Or… give me both, just to be safe." Fingers sliding along between her left breast and the cup of her bra, Laura located both thumb drives and pulled them free, handing the warmed plastic cases over to her mother. That done, she turned back to Doctor Walsh, only to find the woman staring at her. Never one to back down, Laura just stared back, raising an eyebrow challengingly.

     The stare down continued until Walsh finally cracked, her eyes dipping down to where Laura's fingers were resting against the plunging neckline of her purple tank top. "Dare I ask what else you have in there, Miss Kinney?"

     Laura shrugged, tugging outwards on the tank top and the left cup of her bra before plunging her hand in. One by one, items began to appear on the table in front of her. "Two thumb drives. Pen. Colonel Stryker's Visa card. Small Canadian bills for when I sneak out of the base and run in to town…" Switching to the right side, Laura continued to rummage through her 'Victoria's Secret Compartment', as Kayla had nicknamed it. "Ontario class M2 driver's license. New York class M driver's license. More small bills, US dollars. Um…" Frowning, she ran her hand along the side of her right breast before letting out a satisfied noise as she found the blocky object pressing into her soft flesh. "Digital point 'n shoot. The briefing mentioned forty-three churches and twelve cemeteries. Call me sick, but I love taking pictures of gravestones. Sure, none of these are for people I've put in the ground, but I'm sure they'll still be interesting…"

     "…you're sick. But you're a useful sicko, so I suppose I'll have to tolerate your presence for the time being."



     "Well, this looks… cozy."

     Her words had Sheila looking away from Raven and over at the doorway as Michelle stepped through it with Willow right behind her, an unreadable expression flickering across the older woman's face before giving way to make room for a mix of relief and annoyance. "Michelle. Willow. In the future, if you're going to stay out overnight, perhaps you can call and let me know? The only reason the police aren't out looking for you is because they said I had to wait for twenty-four hours before reporting you missing and at twenty-two hours, Victor and Drusilla dropped by to say hello." Her expression grew decidedly more critical as she looked back and forth between the two of them. "A visit I would have been expecting if you had actually come home last night and warned me like he asked you to."

     Michelle shot a look back over her shoulder at Willow, the smaller girl grimacing and staring down at her feet. She'd told her pseudo-cousin to call her mother before crawling into Cordelia's bed but Willow had insisted that Sheila would not be at all amused by a pre-sunrise wakeup call. Evidently, she was even less amused by a total lack of contact. Come to think of it, she'd nudged Willow about calling home right before the Cordettes had arrived too, only to be brushed off because 'we're going home soon anyways'. "Sorry, Aunt Sheila. Um… did you order food for us or are we on our own while the adults talk?"

     "Mmm, yes, we purposefully left two empty seats sandwiched between pairs of adults because we were planning on eating with just the four of us." Right. That was a bit of a stupid question, now that she thought about it. Sheila used her fork to point back up the hallway they'd walked down, then over at the kitchen. "Why don't you go upstairs and slip into something a bit more appropriate for dinner with your mothers and two other adults? And Michelle, you can take your normal shape so your clothes fit, but I don't see why you have to change your actual appearance. It's hardly a secret with Raven here. Then when you two are decent, your food is in the kitchen. Willow, the sushi platter is yours. It's the biggest I could get without ordering twenty-four hours in advance. Victor said you'd appreciate it; you might want to share a piece or two with him. Michelle, I got you General Tso's Chicken."

     For the first time, Michelle heard her 'mother's' voice as Raven let out a chuckle before lifting a piece of beef with her chopsticks and examining it. "A Chinese restaurant with sushi platters. I do believe someone flunked geography. Or possibly an Asian Studies course." Oh Lord. Her mother was an older, more ass-kicking version of Cordelia. Not that Cordelia wasn't turning out to be surprisingly kick ass of late, but still. Just what she needed. As she turned to leave, Raven's voice stopped Michelle in her tracks. "Oh, and Michelle dear? May I see one of the guns you have tucked into the back of your pants?" The younger shapeshifter just stared at the back of Raven's head in disbelief, her 'mother' not even turning to face her as she continued to eat. "What? Victor told me you took them with you and where else would you try to hide them?"

     Michelle looked over at Victor, who shrugged as he continued to feed Drusilla. "What? Someone's gotta teach you how to use 'em. You had to stand with the barrel pressed against that guy's head to make the shot. That's pathetic."

     Eyes flicking from Victor to Sheila and back, Michelle narrowed her eyes at him even as she drew one of her liberated P226s from the waistband of her pants and walked over to the dinning room table, setting it down to Raven's left. "Ixnay on the ootingshay of eoplepay, 'Uncle Victor'."

     "I hope it was a vampire and not a real person, Michelle." Startled, Michelle turned to stare at Sheila in disbelief, the elder Rosenberg rolling her eyes before gesturing to Drusilla. "What? Victor told me what you two and that Chase girl got up to last night. Or are you surprised I'm not protesting that they're not real? Because I'm eating dinner with one, first of all. Secondly, I thought we'd established that my old life was a bit more interesting than you kids thought? I've known about vampires for years. I just didn't know the truth about Sunnydale. If we had, Ira and I never would have moved here."

     Humming softly, Raven picked up the gun and - after checking the safety - peered closely at the end. "It hasn't been cleaned recently enough to hide the evidence. There's a bit of grayish-white ash, but no blood. It was a vampire, Sheila." Hefting the gun, she flicked the safety off and pulled the trigger, Victor letting out a grunt as his right shoulder rocked backwards. "I actually have a few of these at home. You'd be surprised what piles up when you're killing members of the military. A few of the base model, took an interesting variant off a SEAL once, this heavy bastard made out of stainless steel… actually, I should send you a pair of the M11s I snatched up in the last op before Liberty Island. Why the military insists on renaming everything they buy, I'll never know. If you want to look them up online, the civilian model is called a P228. They're smaller, lighter, and easier to hide, but they still chamber Parabellums and can even take the full twenty round mags, although they stick out a bit." Victor let out a growl and she looked up from her inspection of the smoking gun. "Yes?"

     Victor scowled, poking a finger through the hole in his slightly bloody shirt, tapping it against his newly healed flesh. "I liked this shirt."

     "And I liked being able to remember a time when I hadn't had sex while looking like Christina Aguilera. Now we're both out of luck." A cough from Sheila had Raven looking her way next. "Yes?"

     Reaching across Raven, Sheila took the gun in her hand with two fingers and held it gingerly as she held it out for Michelle to take. "I don't want guns at my dinner table, and I certainly could do without people being shot. And we certainly don't need to be discussing who had sex with who while looking like who, thank you very much."

     Drusilla had evidently reached the end of her subscription to Sanity Fair, smiling serenely at Sheila as she reached over to run her fingers through the curls of a dark-haired doll poking out of the top of the purse hanging on the back of the chair next to her. "Miss Edith says we shan't need secrets here. After all, we've all spent our own times with my Kitten here. We're a bit like sisters, we are."

     Letting out a poorly muffled laugh, Raven picked up the glass of wine sitting in front of her and toasted the sole male at the table with it. "Oh, Victor, you really will stick it in anything with a pulse, won't you? Or in this case, something without?"

     Still in the process of inspecting his shirt, Victor paused and then looked up at her before raising one bushy eyebrow. "Funny, Raven. I've heard the same thing about you."

     "I've only been with you, Emma, and Michelle's mother in the last twenty years." Raven set her glass down and counted off partners on her fingers before pointing at Victor. "You've had at least three women this month."

     "Have not."

     "Have too."

     "Have not."

     "I know what you did to my secretary on your way out this afternoon. And a few times before today, too."

     "…shit."

     Scowling, Drusilla turned to Victor and poked one finger into the hole in his shirt, drawing it downward slowly and making him hiss as she scratched deeply enough to make him bleed. "Did Kitten cheat on his Drusilla? When we get home, there shall be no tea and cakes for you. There shall, however, be spankings. Perhaps a whipping, just to be sure you learn your lesson."

     Raven took another long sip of wine before responding to that one. "Speaking as someone who's had the misfortune of sharing his bed? I'm pretty sure that's not really a threat in his case, Drusilla."

     "Wait, wait, hang on." Michelle waved her hand back and forth to get the adults' attention, before abruptly stopping and tucking her gun back into the waistband of her pants when she received a narrow-eyed look from Sheila. Still. As much fun as it was to watch them argue and be dysfunctional, there was one thing she desperately wanted clarified. "I don't care about the rest of the Melrose Place here. Live and let live, and all that happy crap. But… Aunt Sheila… you had sex with Uncle Victor? Didn't you have sex with his brother James? You know, the guy who's Willow's real father?"

     Everyone at the table turned to stare at Sheila, who suddenly found her plate incredibly interesting. "I may have had a single… counseling session… with Victor before referring him to a more capable coworker of mine, yes."

     Her confession elicited a snort from Victor. "Heh, yeah. I was too rough for her and so she wanted to free up more time for her 'sessions' with Jimmy. You know, like Goldilocks? 'This man is too gentle with me.' 'This man is too rough.' 'This man is juuust right!'"

     Sheila's head shot up as she glared down the length of the table. "Victor!"

     "What? It's not like she thinks that a stork delivered her or you picked her up at a cabbage patch or something. It's not going to kill her to know that mommy dearest likes to get tossed around in the sack. Even if she does say 'boink'." Willow let out a faint whimper, the first noise she'd made since announcing herself upon arrival, and collapsed to the floor next to Michelle in a dead faint. Slowly rising to his feet, Victor peered past the end of the table, shrugged, and sat back down. "Huh. I was wrong. First time that's happened in a while."

     As Sheila hung her head and mumbled about 'bad influences', 'studies', and something involving 'wish he was here as a cleaner' under her breath, Michelle just let out a groan and bent over, throwing Willow over her shoulder. She staggered a bit as she rose before her body compensated, and then turned away for the second time to make another attempt at going to get changed. "Well, at least now I know what to ask Emma to give me for Christmas: a nice mind wipe and some fake memories of a pleasant, normal family dinner."



     Staring at herself in the mirror, Michelle frowned before growing out her stop sign red hair so it tumbled down her back, the ends brushing against her ass. There. Willow had short hair, Raven had short hair, Drusilla and 'Aunt' Sheila had medium length hair… she enjoyed being different, dammit. After running a brush through it a few times to make sure she hadn't accidentally grown any tangles into it, she nodded in satisfaction and gave her outfit one last look over - a dark blue Devil Rays t-shirt and one of the jean skirts Cordelia had forced on her back during their first visit to American Eagle - before turning away from her reflection and leaving her room behind.

     Or at least she tried to. Standing in the doorway, blocking her passage, was her mother. Or whatever the hell Raven counted as. She'd hear Gwen refer to her absentee father as a 'sperm donor' once; did that make Raven, who had contributed nothing more than the genetic material behind her Halloween makeover, an egg donor? Shaking her head at the weird places her brain tended to wander to - although she no longer vocalized most of them, thanks to Cordelia's careful training - Michelle shot Raven a curious look. "I'm a big girl now, Mommy. I can dress myself."

     Raven let out a snort of laughter before schooling her features back to a neutral expression. "I figured I should come up here and let you know what's going on before you say the wrong thing to Sheila. Assuming you're actually curious about why she's referring to me as your mother and all. If not, I'm content to leave you to try and stumble your way through tonight's conversations in complete ignorance."

     "I can survive the ignorance, to be honest." Michelle shrugged as Raven eyed her critically. "Just saying. I made it a month as a teenage girl and didn't blow my cover. Most of my friends still don't know the truth about me. I've had help from Cordelia and Willow, obviously, but I've managed. So threatening to leave me in the dark… not especially threatening. Just putting that out there."

     After a few tense moments, Raven nodded and looked away. "Sorry. I'm not used to dealing with… whatever you are. I have masters, I have minions, I take and give orders… this is the first time I've actually talked to one of my children as a parent and so… bear with me? I'll try not to talk to you like you're Toad if you try not to get too mad at me when I slip?"

     Michelle nodded; not that she knew who this 'Toad' was, but it sounded reasonable enough. "Okay, so… what's going on with Sheila thinking you're my mom? Did Emma do that for me? Err, us?"

     "Actually, technically Sheila's under the impression that I'm your father. She's just using the term 'mother' because it's easier for her to handle." Michelle's jaw dropped at that little bit of news and Raven shrugged. "Well, there are really two ways to explain you growing up with Emilie and Albert Flaherty even though you're my child. One: Al got me pregnant and I turned you over to the two of them and disappeared. Which would raise lots of really awkward questions about me and Al and Emilie, which would in turn lead to awkwardness because it's not like Sheila can press Al and Emilie for answers. What with them not existing and all. The other option? I had a one-night stand with Emilie while shifted into a man and she got pregnant, and I didn't know until now. Then you manifested your powers and your mother came clean and admitted she was bisexual, and that she'd slept with a blue woman who'd turned into various men and women for her over the course of a one-night stand. That led to fighting, Al admitting he'd cheated on her too, the two of them reconciling, counseling, and then the second honeymoon that brought you to where you are now: here in Sunnydale, living with Willow and Sheila."

     Mouth working soundlessly, Michelle tried to formulate a response to that but found herself coming up with… nothing. It was brilliant. It fit perfectly into the lie she'd told the cheerleaders about her parents and why she'd come to Sunnydale, explained why Sheila wouldn't be able to contact them, and protected her from now until at least the end of the school year. "Huh. I suppose Aunt Sheila can't really say anything about you and Emilie, either, considering what we just found out about Willow. Although… I know how she'd know all this stuff. How do you? Did Emma email you your cover story or something?"

     Raven shook her head before reaching up to tap one temple. "More like tmail. Victor was in the graveyard when Willow assaulted the X-Men and followed you all home to keep an eye on things. Emma sensed him lurking outside and found out from his mind that I had sent him to investigate things. So, figuring I'd be coming to town soon, she shoved a copy of the cover story into his head so he could brief me when I arrived. There's a more comprehensive copy in Robert Kelly's inbox, I'm sure, but Victor was a soldier through… I think three major wars and whatever Korea and Vietnam count as. Conflicts? Even if he doesn't seem like it, he does have a mind for tactics and knows how to cut stuff down to the 'need to know'."

     "Ah. Makes sense. Creepy as all get-out, but it makes sense." With Raven seemingly disinclined to move so she could leave the room, Michelle wandered over to sit on the edge of her bed. "It brings us to another question, though. Why are you even in Sunnydale? Not that it's not interesting to meet the woman who donated most of my new DNA and all, but I'm sure you're very busy pretending to be a senator and doing other important mutant things."

     Leaning against Michelle's dresser, Raven looked around curiously as she responded. "Well, Victor wasn't entirely wrong downstairs. About me needing to teach you a few things. Firearms use and safety, for one. He says he saw you using a few forms of martial arts he recognized from fighting with me; I'll need to evaluate your skills there too. If you're going to insist on running around killing vampires, I might want to teach you how to use something a bit more useful against the undead. After all, you're the only child I have that I can actually visit whenever I want to. I don't need you dying on me. Or getting turned. What a nightmare that'd be…"

     A mutant vampire. Michelle shuddered at the thought. "You know, that's the second time tonight you've mentioned other kids. Anyone I might know?"

     Raven thought about that for a moment. "Victor didn't smell her when Charles's people were in town… did you meet a girl your age? Brown hair, pale skin, deathly afraid of being touched?" Michelle shook her head. "So you haven't met Marie. And Kurt is still an acrobat in the Munich Circus, so I'm guessing you haven't met him either."

     "Seriously? I have a… half-brother, I'm guessing?" Raven nodded and Michelle let out a snort of laughter. "I have a half-brother in the circus. Damn. There goes a perfectly good threat. I mean, why would I want to run off and join the circus if someone else in the family has already done it?"

     Chuckling at that, Raven nodded. "He has a career and a happy life already; I can't really see him getting anything out of meeting the woman who abandoned him as an infant so she could save her own skin. As for Marie…" Trailing off, Raven winced. "I may or may not have been part of a scheme of Erik's that almost got her killed. So trying to talk to her might be pretty difficult too."

     Michelle's brows rose at that. "May or may not?"

     "Okay, I was. Although in my defense, I didn't recognize her until after we'd already kidnapped her and Victor pointed out that we smelled similar." Raven let out a wistful sigh. "You know, it's a real pity that she's fallen in with Charles's group of do-gooders; I spoke with her a few times in disguise as part of the mission and she seemed like a nice girl." To quote the world's most awesome dog… ruh roh. Michelle had known about some sort of conflict between her 'mother' and the adults at Xavier's - Summers had made that abundantly clear - but she had hoped it was something easily solvable. Evidently not. That promised to be awkward when they went out for their Christmas visit… and if they ended up working with the school or Emma Frost again in the future. "I didn't see it until after Victor said something, but she reminds me a lot of her mother. Other parts of her are pure me, though."

     "Oh?"

     Nodding, Raven shifted her hand from blue to a normal human skin tone close to Cordy's tan and back again. "Well, Marie has the X-gene for one. She didn't get a copy of my powers, though; she's an… energy vampire, for lack of better term. Right now, any time she touches a person - whether she wants to or not - she absorbs their energy and memories. And if they're a mutant, she'll borrow their powers for a brief time too. That's why Erik wanted her. She got my figure as best I can tell, too, because I'm…" Raven paused there, gesturing to her slim blue body. "Her mother, on the other hand, was a bit more of a…" Without warning, Raven's body shifted into a form closer to Miriam Chase's.

     That wasn't what grabbed Michelle's attention, though. Well, it did for a second because she looked damn good but then two things pushed her mind off that train of thought: she was staring at her mother and Raven had just done something really incredible. "Your clothes. They just… you… and they stayed with you. Your clothes are part of your shapeshifting? They're not real?"

     Raven nodded. "No offense, but how do you think I'm Raven Darkholme and Robert Kelly and everyone else I need to be, all at the drop of a hat? Should I carry a giant bag of clothes with me so I'm always ready? And what if I need to make an emergency shift into a new form? Why? Are you… you're wearing real clothes still?" Michelle nodded slowly, still trying to wrap her mind around the idea of what Raven was saying, and the older shapeshifter frowned. "Hmm. That's strange. I could do this back when I was your age. I actually learned it before learning to shift my features, come to think of it."

     "Well, Willow has three claws like her father but they're not in the same places. Maybe I'm a shapeshifter like you but not exactly like you." The two pondered that for a moment before shrugging almost in synch, Michelle sliding off the edge of the bed. As useful as such a power would be - especially now that she was part of Cordelia's group - she was starving. "Can we discuss training and powers and stuff over dinner? Now that you're sure I can come down and join the group without screwing things up for you, that is?"

     Pushing off the dresser she was leaning against, Raven gestured to the door. "Of course. I'd like to get back to my food while it's still lukewarm too." Amusingly enough, as Michelle walked past her mother and tried to leave her room for the second time, a black-haired figure still clad in the clothes she'd been wearing when Michelle had dumped her into her own bed blocked the way. "Willow?"

     Willow's eyes flickered over Michelle's shoulder to where Raven was standing and widened, and then the girl grabbed Michelle's biceps in a surprisingly strong grip and started to shake the shapeshifter as she babbled. "Oh my gosh, Michelle, I had the strangest dream but if your mom is really here then I don't think it was a dream. Did my mom really sleep with my uncle and my father, which is really Jerry Springer-like and even worse because she was married to Ira at the time?" Michelle nodded slowly and Willow's eyes did the impossible, growing even wider as she began to shake the redhead harder and babble even faster. "Ohmigosh! My mom's a skanky ho! Does that mean I got skanky ho genes from her? I already wear leather and keep trying to get with you even though you tell me no and grope people in their sleep and I thought Julian and Remy were yummy even if there wasn't relationship-sparkage with either of them. And Sophie was kinda cute too, and so's Cordelia as long as she keeps her mouth shut because the bitchiness kinda ruins it for me. Ohmigosh! I am a skanky ho! I'm going to end up buying super short skirts and dying my hair blonde and chewing lots of bubblegum and talking like Harmony and waving pom-poms while wearing a tiny outfit and doing dirty stuff in the back of a bus on the way home from an away game and…"

     "You mean like this?" Michelle glanced back over her shoulder at that, only to find herself staring at a Willow with long, curly blonde hair. A blonde Willow in a familiar maroon, gold, and white cheerleading uniform, who was holding a pair of matching maroon and gold pom-poms for good measure. There was a squeak and Michelle brought her gaze back around just in time to see Willow collapse to the floor in a dead faint for the second time that night. As she let out a sigh of exasperation, Raven chuckled. "There's something to be said for cheap thrills. And at least this way, Victor and I don't have any competition for the sushi platter tonight. It's been calling my name since the delivery boy got here…"



     "So where are you going to stay while you're in Sunnydale? I mean, there's the Sunnydale Motor Lodge but it's really nasty. And the second guest room here is pretty junked up right now."

     With Willow down for the count again, Sheila had relented and allowed the others to attack the sushi platter she'd ordered for her daughter, reasoning that she could reheat Michelle's dinner when Willow woke up but the sushi wouldn't keep as well. And so Michelle's question found Raven pausing with a piece of sushi carefully grasped between her chopsticks as she replied. "Well, Victor went through and cleaned the minions out of where Dru was staying last night after the fight at the church. I'm sure I can find or remodel a room to my liking over there."

     Victor didn't seem too entirely thrilled with the idea of Raven moving herself in, but opted not to say anything. On that subject, at least. "Speaking of vampires and killing and all… you know the Watcher, right? Well, the local Slayer's Watcher?" Michelle nodded slowly, wondering about the relevance of the question. "Yeah, if anyone asks, you don't know what happened to that other Slayer."

     "Wait, what?" Or that was what Michelle had intended to say. With a mouth full of a piece of Boston Roll, though, what really came out was a good deal less coherent. Chewing and swallowing, she took a sip of water and then tried again. "What did you do, Victor?"

     Doing his best to look innocent, Victor pointed Drusilla's way with the tip of one chopstick. "Me? Nothing. But it turns out that Dru and I have a bunch of things in common. One of them turned out to be that we both enjoy eating dark meat."

     Michelle blinked a few times. "I'm not sure if that's both racist and horrifying because you're talking about a teenage girl's murder so casually, or just horrifying."

     "I warned you Victor was an animal with a bit of man in him." A slightly glazed-looking Sheila shot Victor an irritated look over the top of her wine glass, clearly still unhappy with his earlier conduct. "From now on, if you know he's in town, make sure you have an airtight alibi. That way when the bodies start stacking up, you're safe. Oh, and keep your pants up. Or the hem of your skirt down. Whichever applies on any given day."

     Her latest piece of sushi fell into her lap as Michelle's control over her chopsticks loosened and she stared at Sheila in disbelief. "But he… with Raven. And I'm her… yeah."

     All eyes went to Victor, who let out a little grunt and shrugged. "That redhead form you wear to school is pretty damn tasty looking. I wouldn't mind taking her for a ride. With or without Magnette there to keep you company. And maybe Emma's brat, too. Hear she has a thing for us rough types. And it'd be fun to test out three daughters. See how they compare to their mothers."

     While the implication there was pretty damn clear, Michelle decided to remove all doubt. "Wait wait wait. You've had sex with Miriam Chase?"

     "Well, she was still Lorna Dane back then, but yeah."

     "You had sex with my girlfriend's mother?"

     "Yup."

     "Oh my God, is there anyone you won't have sex with?"

     Victor actually had to think about that for more than a minute. "Dunno. Lemme get back to you on that."
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