DISCLAIMER: Nonlinear uses the characters of Buffy and Who Framed Roger Rabbit (and Bugs Bunny) for non-profit entertainment purposes, thank ye. The fic is in fact fictional and in no way meant to disparage real persons or organizations. Give them all a big hand for giving us these characters.
"It's ba-ack..." ...again. I did some spring/summer cleaning and decided to take advantage of the series option, severing this unfinished sequel from it's prequel story the Blue Fairy, which has been finished for *months.* Sorry. I still hope to get the second part of this story out soonish...but I'm currently running the gauntlet with the French Consulate to get my visa, and I might as well be Arthur attempting to lay siege to the French castle in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. If I see one bunny, I'm so running away. Anyway, here's the sequel in it's new home:
The Green Fairy
"MOO & DIP"
Xander was crawling in the vents of city hall. Unlike Oz, who was shimmying like the runty madman in search of his Willow that he was, Xander was hard pressed to move in the tight space. Still, he felt oddly at home in the cramped tunnel. Not that he had ever had gotten a homey feeling in the bedroom down the hall from Tony and Jessica. The point remained. This was far too comfortable. Claustrophilia?
Willow screamed again. Okay. Comfy thoughts officially on standby until after damsel rescue. Below him there was screaming and mob sounds and…was that German? Ooh boy, lots of screaming.
And then he and Oz fell through the ceiling onto a singed and sopping pile of books. People had scattered. All the MOO signs were on the floor, a veritable warren of creepy, fake dead children’s faces. Buffy had a larger than usual stake rammed through the neck of a larger than usual demon.
“We’re here to rescue you,” Oz quipped helpfully.
Did that make him Han Solo? Or Chewbacca? …Better not think about it too hard.
Xander rolled away from the failed book burning. Being that he was Xander, he managed to roll onto a wet puddle of something. Something that smelled. “Ugh!” he said. He pulled his hands from the floor. “What is this?”
Cordelia—when had she gotten there?—shook her head. “You don’t want to know.” Then she blinked at him, remembering recent events of illegal smoochage, and turned away in disgust.
Giles returned his polished spectacles to his nose. “That is a potion for the spell that exposed the monster that lay behind the unassuming façade of Hansel and Gretel.”
Xander blinked at Giles’ explanation. “Huh?” He turned to Oz for the translation into idiot’s English. Oz obliged:
Ah. “…Hey, it’s not going to dissolve me or something, is it?”
They all ignored the muttered “If only” from Cordelia’s corner. Xander stumbled to his feet. He went to untie Willow, only to stop short because of the look Oz leveled at him. He turned to Buffy, who, with a jerk, sent the ropes binding her flying.
Was he the first person in history to notice that short blondes were scary?
As Giles approached Buffy and Oz took the moment to reconnect with Willow, Xander found he had nothing to do. So, with the monster slain and the damsels saved, neither in any way thanks to him, he took the opportunity to escape Cordelia’s gaze and go home. He had a date with a shower.
Unfortunately, Jessica Harris was conscious in the living room when he let himself in. That was unusual in and of itself. What followed next was just horrific. She sniffed the air and immediately bolted upright. There came a gasp from her lips that sounded oddly like, "Dip?"
Xander froze. “Eh…what’s up, Mom?” he tried, for levity, only to gulp when wrenched herself from the couch and stormed towards him like an oncoming bullet train.
“What is that smell?” she demanded. “What is That!” She was pointing at his stained shirt. A few unhelpful quips immediately formed in his head. Self-preservation made him bite his tongue.
“Um, illusion turpentine?” he offered up instead.
That, it appeared, was the exact wrong thing to say. Her eyes bulged to comical proportions. Grabbing Xander, she hauled him past his unconscious father, up the stairs, and into the bathroom. The whole situation was freaksome, and that was before she started stripping him from his clothes with an ease his brain swiftly repressed. First it was Mothers Opposed to the Occult, now Mothers who are Ex Hookers? Was this parent-child mortification week? Or was there a bad acronym contest floating around? Whatever the hell was going on, when Jessica pushed him into the shower naked, he was all too willing to duck and cower behind the flimsy curtain.
Unfortunately, before he could collect himself, her hand plunged through, turned on the water, and pressed a bottle of body wash against his chest. “Use it!” she demanded. “All of it! …And don’t forget to wash behind your ears or so help me, baby, I’ll come in there and do it for you.”
“Mom!” he said, shrieking...in a very manly…oh, fine. His voice went such a high-pitched falsetto that dogs could hear him for miles. But he complied. It was just too weird to do anything else. Give him brainwashed mobs and fairy tales being real any day. In fact, get him some magic beans so he could climb his way out of this surreal nightmare.
He paused. Why in the name of all that was holy could he not stop joking in the middle of dire situations? What was his malfunction?
“Scrub!” said his mother from the other side of the curtain.
The water was freezing by the time he was let out of the shower. Jessica pulled back the curtain and gave him a heavy-lidded, calculating look before handing him a bathrobe. Her arms were scrubbed raw, and the bathroom sink was a mess of soap. His clothes had been tossed into the far corner. She led Xander away from them quickly, before he even had both arms in the robe. He found himself sat on his bed and in the middle of an interrogation that would impress a Gestapo.
“Mom, it was just in my clothes,” he said, perhaps for the fourth time. “I barely touched the stuff!”
“Was there vapor?” she asked. The wild look in her eye had yet to leave. “Did you breathe it in? Any of it?”
“I don’t think so?”
She gave a soft, enraged scream and began to pace the small bedroom. “How could you be so stupid? How did you even come near it? Where were you, Alexander! Where!” She pounded a fist on his doorframe, took a steadying breath, and looked back at him. Her jaw dropped. Rushing forward, she touched the top of his head with shaking hands before snatching them back. “Oh my God, it’s softened.”
Xander reached to touch his hair. It felt as rough and curly as usual and…oh, shit. There was a lump on his head. Two lumps. He tensed, and the lumps twitched. He went still. Things slid violently into places things should never, ever go. Illusion turpentine. Adorable little kids hit with said turpentine turned back into one big ugly demon. He got the stuff on his clothes. His mom freaked at the smell from across the house. Apparently it had softened. And now he had prehensile growths on top of his head.
“Oh, Shit! We’re not human!”
Jessica winced but didn’t correct him. “Shh! Don’t shout!” she hissed instead.
“I’m not human!” he yelled, ignoring her. She probably was worried about waking Tony. Did he care at the moment? “And I’m not shouting! …Alright, I’m shouting! I’m shouting! I’m shouting! I’m shout—“ He went silent as he crumpled to the floor from the hit to his head by a candlestick.
Jessica, former Technicolor scarlet woman and current hung-over housewife, stood over her son, in the second bedroom, with a candlestick. It felt oddly satisfying. Then she remembered: she didn’t own a brass candlestick. She had pulled it from the thin air behind her back. Dread came rushing into her alcohol-fogged brain. She hadn’t been quick enough. She was being affected, too. Her shell had softened. What if it disintegrated completely? What if her son’s did! They would be toons in a dimension that couldn’t support drawn beings. They would be smears on the sidewalk—flat, two-dimensional smears. Jessica gulped. She had to fix things. Now. So she did the only thing she could think of:
She stuffed Xander into the trunk of her car and, with a screech of tires, headed for LA.
The back entrance to Toon Town that she remembered was, in this dimension, a low-key bar. She had no other place to start looking for a way to fix the mess her son had dragged home, though, so Jessica critically inspected herself in a compact in preparation of venturing inside. Her shell was…perhaps the word softened wasn’t quite right. Instead, it had thinned to a translucent veneer around her. Peeking behind the guise of human flesh was her femme fatale self. Her dress still more or less fit, but what had been languishing in the area called her gut was now pushed up and down into her bust and hips. In fact, the damned outfit probably looked better on her now than it ever had before.
Was it possible to be jealous of her own past life? Not willing to ponder it, she stepped from the car and, after assuring herself that Xander was safe and sound conked out locked in the trunk, strolled into Caritas.
It was…definitely the right sort of place to get the help she needed. Making her way to the bar, she sat herself down. The bartender’s eyes, all six of them, soon caught sight of her. There was a wolf whistle. Now there was something she hadn’t heard in years.
“Can I get you something, Doll?” That, either.
She looked down at the squat creature with a small pout. “Perhaps,” she said. “I’m looking for the Blue Fairy.”
He frowned. “Hhrm. Now, if you were looking for the Green Fairy, I could help you out—twice.”
“Green Fairy?” she asked. She was rewarded with a steaming glass of absinthe and a claw pointed in the direction of the stage where a green demon in a lemon yellow three-piece was sweet-talking the crowd in between karaoke numbers.
To Be Continued…
The Sequel: I decided to write a continuation of sorts to The Blue Fairy. What else to call it but The Green Fairy?
The Humor: You’ve noticed, I’m sure, that the tone of the second story is much different than the first. Blame Xander, but don’t blame him not too hard. He comes by the tendency to joke in the direst of situations honestly. *cough*Bugs’n’Roger*cough* It’s also an active story in the BtVS Season One tradition, and not a brooding retrospective, so it naturally has lighter, more vibrant writing. Blame early Joss Whedon, but don’t blame him too hard. We all love him for it.
The Challenge: The next chapter will feature Jessica singing. I usually hate songfics because they either ruin the storyline’s flow or make the characters OOC, but this is Lorne, an anagogic demon and karoke bar owner, and Jessica, a former Disney animated bombshell and lounge singer. If that character duo isn’t a recipe for a songfic, nothing is. And so I challenge you good readers to guess which song she’ll sing. Hint: it is a song from the film, but it’s not “Why Don’t Ya Do Right.”