*****I DON’T OWN ANYTHING SEEN IN THIS WORK OF FAN FICTION. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER IS OWNED BY JOSS WHEDON AND MUTANT ENEMY AND DC COMICS OWNS ITSELF*****
Zarina walked into the Bronze with a smile on her face. She ignored the looks from some of the people in the club but the looks were understandable even if some of them didn’t recognize who she was. Dressed in a black leather jacket, green blouse, blue denim jeans, and stylish black leather boots, the looks she was receiving from the people were understandable. It felt both strange and good to be back in Sunnydale. Some might have thought that she was living a lie but it really wasn’t true. It didn’t even feel like a lie when she had read that Xander’s parents weren’t the ones to file a missing person’s report on their own son but Giles. A month later, Xander had been declared dead and were it not for Giles, Xander wouldn’t even have had a tombstone for anyone to mourn him.
November 1st, 1997
Batman gazed over at Zatanna to see his childhood friend awash with different emotions. He had seen fear, remorse, anxiety, and sadness. It wasn’t comfortable seeing her like this. He turned his head as Doctor Fate began to explain the situation.
“Unlike the youth named Jonathon who dressed in a damaged Green Arrow costume as well as wearing a golden crucifix that had been stolen from Dinah when she was in college, Alexander’s case is quite a bit stranger.” Doctor Fate explained.
Jonathon had explained to them prior to this meeting that he had bought the crucifix from an antique shop in his hometown. It had been severely tarnished which was why the shopkeeper had sold it for such a low price. He had restored it to find the initials “D.L.L” inscribed on the back. Jonathon’s DNA had been rewritten by the spell that Ethan Rayne had cast causing the teenager’s DNA to appear as though he’d been born the son of Oliver Queen and Dinah Lance-Queen, otherwise known as Green Arrow and Black Canary. Even his mitochondrial DNA stated that he was the son of the Black Canary.
“As most of you know, Zatanna is homo magi
and due to the chaos magic, so is Xander now.” Doctor Fate continued explaining the situation. “Magic is not only within her DNA but also her soul which has been copied by the spell.”
“How could that be possible?” Diana asked. “Copying a soul shouldn’t even be possible no matter what the means.”
“Princess, Rayne’s spell accidentally invoked True Chaos instead of Janus.” Doctor Fate explained. “When True Chaos is invoked, all laws that we know of no longer exist and within that state anything that can happen will.”
“If what you say is true, what will happen to...” Zatanna said before trailing off with a hint of trepidation.
“The soul of Alexander Lavelle Harris and the cloned soul of Zatanna Zatara have already begun to fuse together.” Doctor Fate answered her question. “Fuse into what, I’m not sure.”
“Hey Zarina, I’m glad you could make it.” Willow said before leading the Mini-Mistress of Magic over to where Buffy, Oz, and Cordelia were. “So, how do you like the Bronze? Isn’t it a fun place to hang out?”
Zarina let her eyes gaze over the club. She didn’t really think it would have changed much and wasn’t surprised that it didn’t.
“It’s alright, I guess, but if you want to see a great club, I’ll have to see if I could get you and Buffy passes into Event Horizon.” Zarina said. “That place makes the Bronze look like the library at school.”
Cordelia let out a laugh. “Com’n, how come you think any club that requires invites to get into the place would want to give an invite to either one of these two.” Cordelia said with a sarcastic tone in her voice.
“The only way to get a pass into the Event Horizon is to be a metahuman.” Zarina informed Cordelia. She held her right hand over towards them where they saw a glowing symbol appear on her hand before it vanished. “Since Buffy is a Slayer and Willow is learning magic, they could get passes but I doubt you and Oz could.”
“What’s their policy on werewolves?” Oz asked raising a hand as if he was in class.
“I don’t know.” Zarina asked. “Why do you ask?”
“It’s a long story.” Buffy added.
“I got bit.” Oz explained.
“Apparently not that long.” Buffy said taken a bit back by Oz’s honesty. Okay, Willow is dating a werewolf.
Zarina said. That’s new.
“I guess you would count as a metahuman now.” Zarina said.
Cordelia decided to turn her attention towards the dancers. One in particular caught her eye.
“Check out Slut-O-Rama dancing with some guy who’s outfit looks like it belonged to Casey and the Sunshine Band.” Cordelia remarked.
Zarina looked at the girl in question and thought she looked familiar but she couldn’t place from where. It was an odd feeling but she shook it off. A lot of people in Sunnydale seemed familiar but a lot she passed off as some of Xander’s memories. Buffy looked over to see the girl begin to walk out with the guy.
“I don’t think that guy thrives in sunshine.” She said. “Come on.”
They ran out of the club and Zarina manifested her top hat, pulling a stake out of it when it appeared. Hearing the sounds of a fight, they ran over to see the girl battling the vampire and that is when Zarina recognized the girl.
“Faith!” She exclaimed tossing the stake to the other Slayer. “Catch!”
Faith reacted instantly and stakes the vampire with the tossed stake. She smiled as she turned towards them.
“Hey, thanks for the help but who the hell knew my...” She said before her gaze fell on Zarina. “...name?”
The confident facade fell away and a scared and crying girl took her place as Faith ran into Zarina’s arms. Buffy, Cordelia, Willow, and Oz were a bit baffled at the situation. Oz raised an eyebrow.
“Do this often?” He asked.
Zarina ignored him and held onto Faith. “Faith, it’s okay.” She said. “What happened?”
“She’s dead.” Faith said with her voice trembling. “Some psycho with his head in a jar froze her.”
“What the hell would Mister Freeze want that he’d kill your Watcher?” Zarina asked recognizing the villain from her description.
“I don’t know but some British ghost was with him and—.” Faith said before she was interrupted by the magician.
“Fuck, Gentleman Ghost!” Zarina exclaimed. “If Gentleman Ghost is involved, they’re going to come here. Faith, forget where you’re staying at in town. You’re staying with me.”
“Hey, there’s no way this Freeze guy and British Ghost guy could’ve follow her here.” Buffy said.
“Buffy, I’ve tangled with Gentleman Ghost in the past alongside Blue Bowman. He’s extremely tenacious at what he does and I doubt that Faith coming to the Hellmouth will deter him from his goals.” Zarina explained. “If he somehow has pulled Mister Freeze into this, then this is going to be hard to take down. I’m going to need to call in backup.”
“Hey, this is my town and I’m suppose to be able to protect it.” Buffy informed Zarina.
Zarina cocked an eyebrow. “Really, then go ask Mr. Giles how to stop Gentleman Ghost and Mister Freeze. Ten bucks says to call Batman or another super hero.” She said to Buffy. “I’m taking Faith somewhere I know she’ll be safe.”
“You don’t have to take me to your place.” Faith said weakly.
“Forget it, Faith.” Zarina replied. “Gentleman Ghost and Mister Freeze are dangerous adversaries and I want you safe. My house is warded that the only way it will allow you in is if the spell knows you. The only person from Sunnydale who can enter is Willow because I teleported her in. The only uninvited guests that can come in would have to belong to either the Justice League Of America, the Teen Titans, or the Outsiders. Trust me, good people. Most of them anyway. It’s the safest place in town. So, stay with me, okay.”
Faith nodded her head. “Okay.” She answered. “I’ll crash at your place.”
Zarina looked over at the others. “I’m taking her back to my place.” She told them. “.emoh ym ot kcab I dna htiaF ekaT”
Zarina and Faith teleported into the living room of her home in Sunnydale to find someone else in the house with them. A giggle was what confirmed the presence. Zarina and Faith turned and the young magician’s face had a smile.
“Mom!” She exclaimed. “I didn’t think you were going to come here after the tour.”
Zarina hugged her mother who returned the embrace and Faith seemed to become uncomfortable. The younger magician noticed this.
“Mom, this is Faith.” Zarina said performing the introductions. “Faith, meet my mother, Zatanna Zatara.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Faith.” Zatanna said offering the girl a hand to shake which the Slayer accepted.
“Mom, Faith’s in serious trouble.” Zarina informed her mother. “Gentleman Ghost and Mister Freeze killed her Watcher and they might be coming after her.”
Zatanna’s face lit up with alarm and sympathy for the Slayer. “What happened?” She asked. “Don’t be afraid.”
“I’m not afraid of telling you.” Faith replied. “Diana and I were out on patrol back in Boston and we were jumped by this army of vamps. The last time I had seen a group of vampires this size was when Zarina and that blue guy saved my...life
from this ugly master vamp called Kakistos. Then, this ice beam hit all the vamps which also dusted them and Mister Freeze and Gentleman Ghost showed themselves.”
That was when Faith fell to her knees crying again. Zarina bent down to hold her but Zatanna was quicker. She held the girl in her arms as the Slayer cried. Soon, the sobbing ceased and Faith quieted down.
“Faith, Zarina will show you to a guest room where you’ll be staying.” Zatanna informed Faith. “We’ll get on the horn and see if we can get a couple of people to help.”
Faith nodded. “Okay.” She replied getting back to her feet.
Zarina led Faith to a guest room where the Slayer quickly went to sleep. The young magician left the Slayer to sleep and returned downstairs to see her mother with a smirk on her face.
“What?” Zarina asked wondering why her mother was smirking.
“Girlfriend?” Zatanna asked seeing her daughter blush a dark shade of red.
“Mom!” Zarina exclaimed embarrassed. “No, I met Faith in Boston when Jonathon called me for backup after the show in New York.”
“Honey, there’s no need to be embarrassed.” Zatanna told her daughter. “As long as you’re happy, I’m happy.”
“Thanks, Mom.” Zarina said smiling. “You want to call Mr. Wayne and I’ll call Jonathon.”
“What about Rose?” Zatanna asked. “She might be able to help especially if Gentleman Ghost recruits vampires to help him.”
“Yah and I could just see what would happen then.” Zarina replied. “Robin would wonder why in the hell I’d call her and pretty much every one of the Titans would show up except for Raven. Even with all the business with Trigon and the Church Of Blood, they wouldn’t believe me about vampires and they’d get jumped by them and I would just love
to try to slay a vampire version of Garfield.”
“You do know that Bruce will call Tim in to help him, don’t you?” Zatanna pointed out.
“Yah, we better get on the horn.” Zarina replied. “No telling when Mister Freeze and Gentleman Ghost will show up after Faith.
The door to the abandoned ice cream factory was pulled open and the vampires inside turned to see a man in a metal suit and a ghost walked into the building. They were about to attack when the man in the metal suit attacked first, freezing the vampires where they stood where the ghost then dispatched them. Despite the normal California weather, men in cold weather gear poured into the factory as the power was restored.
“We are here, Ghost.” Mister Freeze informed his partner.
“Yes, I don’t go to a Hellmouth often.” Gentleman Ghost answered. “Tends to give me a headache.”
“You don’t have a head.” Mister Freeze reminded him.
“Nevertheless, it will interfere with my ability to detect the Slayer.” Gentleman Ghost continued. “I think the Hellmouth might be giving me an echo.”
“What do you mean?” Mister Freeze asked.
“I’m detecting two Slayers when there should only be one.” Gentleman Ghost said.
“Go and check on things.” Mister Freeze suggested. “I need quality time.”
Gentleman Ghost left as a semi backed up and the henchmen opened the back of the trailer. Inside, a woman floated inside a tube.
“Soon, Nora, soon.” Mister Freeze said to the woman.
November 5, 1997
“I can’t go back.” Xander said lifting his/her hands. “Not like this, J’onn.” Xander’s head turned to look at the Martian. “How in the heck did I know your name? I mean, I should only know you as the Martian Manhunter. We haven’t even been introduced yet and...”
J’onn raised a hand in an effort to quiet the youth. “We believe that it’s an effect of the spell that had been cast.” J’onn explained. “You still possess several if not all of Zatanna’s memories.”
“Oh,” Xander replied. “So, did Doctor Fate find a spell that might be able to reverse my predicament?”
“No, he didn’t.” Zatanna said stepping into the room.
Xander looked up to see Zatanna. Her eyes seemed puffy as though she’d been crying heavily. Xander understood why she was crying. He...She knew that Zatanna felt responsible for letting her top hat get stolen.
“Hey, don’t be like that.” Xander pleaded with her. “I know how you feel and I know that is creeping me out but don’t cry because otherwise I’ll cry and then Marvin here is going to try to figure out what to do next.”
This caused Zatanna and Xander to start laughing while a perplexed look formed on the face of the Martian Manhunter.
“Marvin?” He asked himself causing the two humans in the room with him to laugh harder.
Faith woke up to the smell of bacon sizzling and let her nose guide her to the kitchen. She saw Zatanna sitting down at the counter while her daughter, dressed in a simple black t-shirt and blue jeans, cooking at the stove.
“Wow, you can pull a rabbit out of your hat and cook.” Faith said. “I’m impressed.”
“Well, I do try.” Zarina said with a smile. “I took a guess at your size and got you some clothes if you want to take a shower before breakfast. Bacon and eggs sound okay?”
“Yah, sure.” Faith replied heading in the direction of the bathroom.
Zatanna noticed her daughter was a little anxious about something. “Is there something wrong?” She asked.
“You know how J’onn explained that my personality is like an amalgamation of your personality and Xander’s personality.” Zarina explained. “Lately, being back in Sunnydale is causing Xander to kind of come to the surface. The day when the wards on the house bounced Willow out, I kind of slipped and called her Wills. Xander use to call her that.”
“And you’re afraid of what might happen if Xander’s old friends learn the truth?” Zatanna asked rhetorically. “It’s understandable but it might be better if you tell them yourself than if they find out on their own.”
“I know, Mom, but I can’t do that to them.” Zarina explained. “In a way, I killed their best friend when I was born.”
Willow gave Zarina and Faith a brief tour of the school highlighting on areas where the nighttime denizens of Sunnydale had been and what they had done. Zarina wasn’t paying that much attention to it as a more familiar face began to walk towards them. Her face lit up with a smile.
“Jonathon Lawrence Queen, what the hell are you doing in Sunnydale?” She asked walking over to him.
“Thought I might pay a visit to my favorite magician.” He replied. “Anything interesting?”
“Zombies showed up at this party I went to the other night.” Zarina answered. “So, any bad after effects from the Lazarus Pit?”
Jonathon’s eyes lit up with surprise. “How in the hell did you find that out?” He asked.
“I have my sources.” Zarina replied.
“Mia!” Jonathon muttered. “Well, at least the Pit made certain I wouldn’t be recognizable.”
That was the last thing either of them said about their own secrets before Willow and Faith walked over to them. Willow seemed a bit nervous but Faith had her confident facade up again.
“So Zarina, who’s your friend?” Willow asked.
“Jonathon Queen, meet Willow Rosenberg and Faith.” Zarina said introducing Jonathon to them.
“Zarina and I are old friends.” Jonathon explained. “I heard she was living here so I decided to visit.”
“So, old boyfriend?” Faith asked.
Zarina blushed. “Faith, Jonathon’s like an idiot brother to me.” She answered Faith. “No, he’s just a friend.”
“Chiseled physique, blonde hair, blue eyes, and gorgeous.” A voice said from the distance. The quartet turned to see Cordelia walking over to them. “I’m Cordelia Chase.”
“Jonathon Queen.” He replied introducing himself.
“As in the Star City Queens?” Cordelia asked.
“Precisely.” He answered.
Before Cordelia could respond, screams rang out in the hallway as men in cold-weather gear ran into the school armed with some kind of high-tech weaponry. A quick spell switched her more civilian clothes with her magician’s attire and Zarina kicked the nearest goon in the head sending him unconscious to the floor. Faith picked up the henchman’s fallen weapon and fired it at another goon for the unfortunate criminal to be frozen in a block of ice.
“Holy shit!” The Slayer exclaimed. “It’s some kind of freeze gun.”
“Jon, get Cordy out of here!” Zarina shouted an order to her friend. She knew she had just used Xander’s nickname for the self-proclaimed Queen of Sunnydale High School but right now she couldn’t focus on that right now.
Jonathon led Cordelia away as Zarina and Faith fought the henchmen. Faith used the freeze gun more like a club when the henchmen grew too close, aiming for their heads when she did swing it. Zarina blasted henchmen with stun spells and slammed some of the henchmen into lockers with telekinesis. When all of the henchmen that had entered the hall were knocked out, Faith looked over at the magician.
“Where the hell is Freeze?” She asked afraid.
“.nem eseht dniB” Zarina said as magical ropes formed and tied the henchmen up. “I intend to find out.”
They ran down the hall to see the library doors covered in a thick sheet of ice. Faith ran into it futilely trying to break through. She massaged her sore shoulder.
“Damn, that’s some thick ice.” Faith remarked.
“Stand back.” Zarina said with her hands glowing with energy. “.eci eht tleM”
Slowly at first, the ice began to melt away. When the ice cleared, they entered the library to see Oz helping Willow to her feet as Giles held an axe. The trio seemed relieved to see Zarina and Faith. Zarina also noticed who wasn’t in the library with them.
“Where’s Buffy?” Zarina asked.
“Freeze took her saying something about saving his Nora.” Giles explained. “Buffy tried to fight him but he was way too strong for us.”
“You’re all lucky to be alive.” Zarina informed them. “Freeze’s strength is said to be on par with Superman himself. He could have killed all of you quite easily.”
“But he has Buffy!” Willow exclaimed. “He’s going to kill her.”
Zarina shook her head. “He won’t harm a hair on her if I’m right.” She informed Willow.
Faith turned to look at the magician. “What the hell do you mean by that?” She asked.
“Because the pieces finally fit.” Zarina answered. “According to what I’ve read, one of the two things that have always motivated Mister Freeze in his criminal career was his pursuit to save his terminally ill wife, Nora Fries. He’s partnered with Gentleman Ghost because his plan is involving the supernatural. Buffy and Faith are mystically-enhanced warriors with the strength level of what I’d say would be a Themysciran infant and my guess is their plan is to transfer Nora’s soul into Buffy’s body and Buffy’s soul into Nora’s body.”
“If what you think is true, we might be able to try an exorcism to allow Gentleman Ghost to pass on to the next world. After that, we worry about Mister Freeze.” Giles replied.
“Craddock’s soul was cursed never to pass on until the two who executed him also pass on.” A voice said causing the group to turn towards the library’s doors.
“Batman, cool.” Oz said raising an eyebrow at the Dark Knight.
“Unfortunately for Craddock, the souls of those who executed him are reincarnated each time they die so they never pass on to the hereafter either.” Batman explained.
“So, how do we fight him?” Faith asked.
“You don’t.” Batman informed the Slayer. “The only people in this room that will are myself and Zarina.”
“But Buffy’s our friend. We have to help her.” Willow exclaimed.
Zarina looked over at Batman. “Has Oracle found the probable location of Freeze’s hideout in Sunnydale?” She asked.
“Not yet, Sunnydale seems to have more abandoned warehouses than Arkham Asylum has escapes per year.” Batman replied.
Oz looked up. “Ice cream.” He said.
“Oz!” Willow admonished her boyfriend. “Now isn’t the time for ice cream.”
“Actually, now is the perfect time for ice cream.” Oz explained himself. “Guy that big has to find someplace cold to stretch his legs. He can’t always stay in the suit.”
“You have a point.” Batman said praising him. “Is there an abandoned ice cream factory in town?”
“Only one, it’s the old Hun-Dread-Aire plant on Joseph Street.” Oz informed Batman.
Zarina lifted up her open communicator. “Bowman, did you hear that?” She asked.
“Yah, your mom and I will meet you guys there.”
Bowman said over the communicator.
“Take us there, Zarina.” Batman ordered.
“Hold on—.” Giles said before a glare from Batman silenced the Watcher.
“.tnalp eriA-daerD-nuH eht ot su ekaT” Zarina said teleporting Batman and herself away.
Willow sat down in one of the few intact chairs. “So she leaves us here while she and Batman go and rescue Buffy.” She said to them.
“My van is in the parking lot.” Oz replied.
“Let’s go.” Giles ordered.
Batman and Zarina teleported outside the factory where Zatanna and Blue Bowman were waiting for them. Zatanna smiled when she saw Batman.
“Bruce, it’s nice to see you again but I wish it was under better circumstances.” Zatanna said greeting her childhood friend.
“Indeed, I was planning on coming out here anyway.” Batman replied. “Some of these smaller art dealers have more unique pieces than those in Gotham.”
Ignoring the two, Zarina took off her top hat and walked over Blue Bowman. She pulled out a quiver of arrows and handed them to the sapphire archer. Each arrow seemed to be translucent as if they were made of water. This caught the attention of the World’s Greatest Detective.
“What are those?” Batman asked Blue Bowman.
Blue Bowman smirked. “Holy water arrows, Batman.” He answered receiving a scowl from the Dark Knight. “I asked Zarina if she could try to create them after the incident in Boston.”
An alarm sounded and henchmen ran in their direction. Batman hurled batarangs, knocking their weapons out of their hands, and Blue Bowman fired bola arrows tying them up. The quartet of heroes ran into the now open doors of the abandoned factory to see Buffy chained to a wall and Mister Freeze and Gentleman Ghost glaring at them.
“Batman, you will not interfere with my plan to save Nora.” Mister Freeze informed before firing his Freeze gun.
The quartet of heroes dodged the blast and Zarina noticed that Gentleman Ghost was holding an old piece of parchment in one of his hands. She figured it was probably important and what prompted the little alliance between the two villains.
“!eriF” She yelled letting a ball of fire fly out and hit the parchment.
“NO!” Gentleman Ghost yelled enraged. “Now, I’ll never find the Gem of Amara and if I don’t have the map, I’m leaving the Hellmouth.”
“But our agreement...” Mister Freeze said trying to remind the villain of their accord.
“Went up in flames when she set fire to the map, Freeze.” Gentleman Ghost said leaving the factory.
“If I can’t have my Nora’s soul placed in this Slayer’s body, then I have no further use for this Slayer.” Freeze said pointing his Freeze gun at Buffy.
Suddenly, an ear piercing scream reverberated in the factory as Blue Bowman unleashed a Canary Scream directed at Mister Freeze’s helmet. Freeze’s face looked horrified as the glass of his helmet cracked and then shattered from the sonic assault. He fell to the ground gasping for air. Blue Bowman stopped the attack as Zarina freed Buffy.
“You okay, Buffy?” Zarina asked.
“Yah, I don’t usually play the damsel in distress though.” Buffy said smiling. “Thanks for rescuing me.”
“Part of the job description.” Zatanna replied.
“Why did you just leave us here and not let us go to rescue Buffy?” Willow asked.
“There are certain unwritten rules a lot of super heroes follow. One of these rules is that you listen to what Batman tells you. You may not like what he has to say but he knows what he’s doing.” Zarina explained. “We’re only lucky that it ended that quickly otherwise it could have been worse.”
“I’m glad you came.” Buffy said. “Maybe I might get some more time with my mom with you and Faith in town.”
“Maybe,” Zarina said noticing Faith walk into the Bronze. “Hold on a second.”
Zarina walked over to the other Slayer with a smile on her face. Faith returned the smile albeit timidly.
“Hey, Faith.” Zarina greeted the Slayer. “Rough day, huh. Batman had Mister Freeze transported back to Arkham. It’s the only place in the country that has the right facilities for him. How are you doing?”
Faith sighed. “Five by five, Zarina. Look, I’m going to get out of you and your mom’s hair and find someplace else to stay.” Faith informed her.
“Faith, neither my mom or I said you had to go find yourself somewhere else to stay.” Zarina said. “Besides, I’d like some company in the house when my mom goes back on tour.”
“Thanks, the only place I could think of to crash at night was a motel.” Faith replied smiling. “Your house is probably a lot more clean.”
“Com’n, let’s go back home.” Zarina said. “Mom is cooking dinner tonight.”
“She can cook?” Faith asked surprised.
“Cook, yes. Depending on her mood, how well she cooks varies.” Zarina replied.
The two left the club laughing leaving Buffy and Willow wondering what the joke was.
Author’s End Notes: WOW! I wrote this pretty quickly. I impressed myself. Before anyone asks, yes I made a reference to JoeHundredaire for the name of the abandoned ice cream factory.