BtVS by Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Altered plot from Season 1's “The Witch” and some dialogue from Season 2's “I Only Have Eyes For You” through Buffy World dot com
Heh, the group here (probably) isn't the Stargate 'Trust'. Rather think I'm not the first to use the nicely ironic name in a straight-Buffyverse story either. If anyone has a link, I'll reference it.
Cordelia sat in the darkness, her foot tapping the ground. She wondered idly if she could get echolocation. There had to be an amulet or a spell for that, right?
She chuckled. “With my luck, it'd be an enchanted warhammer. Good luck coordinating clothes with that. Oh, God, when I get home, my entire closet's going to be indexed by Braille
. How am I going to learn that?”
“Hey,” said Jesse, returning from her locker. He waited a second, then pressed the cool wood of her spare cane to her fingers. “I hear 'a' is the first dot. I guess you work on from there. So you were saying that you Wished me alive?”
“Not exactly.” Cordelia shook her head and carefully rose to her feet. “I mainly wished that there were no vampires around here so they
wouldn't be able to kill people.”
“Good job.” Jesse laughed. “That definitely worked; I've seen the pictures.”
“I get that this version of me is used to being blind, but I
don't want to be. Can you please take me to Amy- No, wait, Giles. He's still all in the library with the Slayer, right? What about Xander and Willow?”
“He is, yeah. The rest, that's complicated.”
A year-and-a-half in the past, Buffy entered Sunnydale High, having stayed with the suddenly blind Cordelia until the ambulance had arrived. Her mind was whirling with the implications of a second attack on the cheerleader squad, Amber already in the hospital. Buffty had held hopes that manifested emotion had caused Amber to catch herself on fire, but this definitely pointed to a rogue magic user. In that case, with how weird one of her fellow alternates had been acting, she had a prime suspect...
Her train of thought was broken off by the sound of the glass doors shattering behind her. She threw herself to the side, rolling to catch a glimpse of a large hammer arcing past. Leaping to her feet, she faced down the blue, warty demon standing outside the school.
He was a member of the Trust, an organization of humans and demons with deep roots in Sunnydale that controlled most of the town's illegal activity. Because of the human portion, Buffy wasn't about to slaughter her way through it, much as she'd like to. Angel was tracking down rumors of a major backer in Los Angeles, but the Trust wasn't about to lose control of their
town without a fight.
The demon sneered. “Can the Slayer
come out and play?”
Buffy snarled and leaped into battle. She'd never had really high hopes for being 'secret identity girl', but this town definitely wasn't cut out for it.
Later on that day, Catherine Madison, a cheerleading-obsessed witch who had switched bodies with her daughter, Amy, was sitting in science class. The spell she'd cast last night to blind Cordelia, one of the few left standing between herself and the squad, had gone off without a hitch, and another was set to go off that period.
When a commotion arose next to her, she switched
her memories around so she'd be as genuinely shocked by her suddenly mouthless
neighbor as anyone else but, somewhere deep inside, Catherine was smiling.
A year or so in the past, Buffy was starting her Summer vacation when she began to have a series of dreams.
After the third one, she woke up with a ringing phone. Her mom had left early to prep for a large delivery, so she had no trouble answering it.
“I guess we're going to finally meet,” came Angel's voice. “You've been having the dreams, right?”
“I was going to spend the Summer with my dad.”
“We're headed to the Caribbean. I'm sorry, but he's going to have to wait.”
Less than a year in the past, Xander fell from the school's second story. He'd been shot by a blank that had turned into a real bullet in flight. Fortunately, his bullet-proof vest was immune to ghost-tampering.
Unfortunately, the ghost possessing him had lost consciousness in mid-air, so Xander's landing was completely uncontrolled.
There had been a series of murder-suicides caused by a pair of ghosts reenacting their mid-century deaths. Although the prop guns hadn't panned out, other preparations the gang had made had already saved Xander's life.
Willow was in a worse spot, as even blanks can kill when aimed at the head. They were both wearing padded helmets, but those offer only limited protection. So, they'd cheated, magically, and hoped for the best.
When Willow, her breath raspy and tortured, entered the second story doors facing the school's balcony, she exited from the ground floor doors. Staring in shock at the body the ghost inside her saw as that of his lover, she backed away, only to bounce off a magical barrier.
She beat her hands against the air, screaming in frustration and sorrow, before turning and taking tentative steps to the body in courtyard. “I never wanted to see you like this. When you fell... I wanted to remember as you were when you were alive, have my last thoughts be of you before the shot rang out. I guess this is my punishment, Grace. I have no choice.” Willow pressed the gun to her head and clenched her jaw.
“Wait!” Xander's eyes opened wide as his arms slowly reached toward Willow's feet. “I'm alive.” He coughed. “Sort of.”
Willow dropped the gun in shock. It went off, the bullet shattering a window before safely embedding in a wall. “How?”
Xander's hands tentatively pressed his chest, the ghost inside him unaware of the artificial padding, but definitely feeling the horrible bruising. “The gun must have somehow been loaded with blanks,” he said, coming to the wrong yet logical conclusion.
Willow knelt to his side and pressed his hand into hers. “I'm sorry. I know I was angry and I was stupid. How I felt... That single moment... That
was an accident.”
“It's my fault! How could I let this-”
“I'm the one who should be sorry, James. You thought I stopped loving you,” said the ghost in Xander. “But I never did. I loved you with my last breath.” As Willow took this in, tears pouring down her face, Xander comforted her. “No more tears.”
For a brief second, all color faded from the area, leaving a prone woman in fifties dress and her student to share one last kiss.
Light and life flowed back into that little patch of Sunnydale as the ghosts drifted away, leaving Xander in Willow's arms, mid-kiss.
Willow's expression froze as she pulled back.
Xander reached up and began to run his fingers through her hair. “Thanks for the kiss. If you don't mind,” he said. “I'm going to do this for a bit as it helps keep the pain away... I can't feel my legs.”
“Oh, God. Xander, I-”
“It's worse than that, remember? I'm going to the hospital. The stay-near-me
curse we used lasts a week.”
“We're almost to the library,” said Jesse as he guided Cordelia down the hallway. “I have to admit that I was paying more attention to you and then to Xander's feelings for Buffy, but I seem to remember it was a month before they managed to merge Catherine and Amy. By then it was too late to cure you. I guess they fixed things sooner in your reality, right?”
Cordelia was speechless as they entered the library. She heard Giles rise to his feet. “Cordelia, good to have you with us again. Ahem. You remember Amelia, yes?”
“Hello, Cordelia,” came the voice of 'Amy', which was deeper than Cordelia remembered...