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Balance Disrupted

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Summary: Xander did something stupid. He lost a bet with Cordelia and had to dress up as a female super hero for Halloween. To skirt the rules he dressed as Detective Sara Pezzini, wielder of the Witchblade. (Topcow) Now something else has awakened. Oops.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Comics > Image ComicsTaoTeChingFR181170,0881515541,43822 Mar 1118 Mar 12No

Balance Disrupted

Disclaimer: I own neither Witchblade (Topcow) nor Buffy: the Vampire Slayer (Mutant Enemy and Joss Whedon), so these characters do not belong to me.



Sara opened her eyes to a nightmare. Well, a pretty mild one from all that she had seen in her work since transferring to One Police Plaza and put in charge of Special Cases. She frowned as she reached for her gun as she heard a scream and the sound of breaking glass.

“At least this is right,” she murmured and pulled her gun, checking it quickly. She stomped her left foot, checking for weight, her heavy wasn’t there, damn. But then, that never really was her real Heavy. She looked at her right wrist. The metal bracelet with the large red gem twisted in the light from a street lamp and began to twist up along her arm and down her fingers, covering her hand in a spiked gauntlet. As the living metal worked up along her arm tendrils came out and shred off the arm of the coat and shirt, the Witchblade never did seem to like any covering that was not its own.

However Detective Sara Pezzini wasn’t paying attention to the loss, instead she was living up to her profession and reputation.

“License plates all say California, decorations say Halloween. Weather is too warm for north which meant this is south.” She started walking, the sounds of chaos are everywhere, but not immediately here, yet. She checked her pockets for her phone but it wasn’t there, well that seems par for the course.

She whipped around as she heard a scream, gun raised and ready. She didn’t even pause as she saw a woman fighting with what looked like a small red demon. A bit cliché, but she wasn’t going to argue at the moment. She fired two shots into the air as she ran over.

“ON THE GROUND! NYPD! Hands where I can see them!” She shouted, putting authority into her voice. There is a tone which rocks people down to their core, makes them obey someone in power. The gun usually didn’t hurt either to back up her authority.

The demon released the woman, turning on Sarah and raising its arms as it hissed horribly at her. However as its eyes met with the barrel of her gun the demeanor changed and it scurried off on all fours. She took a shot at it but the demon managed to dodge before disappearing between some houses.

She rushed over to check the blonde woman, the white dress torn and a voice from old movies that rattled Sara more than the small demon spoke up.

“Thank God you came,” the woman stood on shaky feet and looked around. “I was on set… getting ready for my lines and then I was here and being attacked…”

“You’re Marilyn Monroe,” things were starting to add up but it wasn’t coming to a good picture.

“The one and only,” the famous actress’ dazzling smile seemed to light up the dark night but it faltered under the sound of a not so distant scream. “What do I do?” She looked up at the tall brunette who had just saved her.

"Get inside a house, barricade the door, and don't let anyone in," she helped the blonde in the ripped dress up and guided her over to a house. She banged on the door a few times but it seemed no one was home. She grabbed the doorknob and the Witchblade surreptitiously twisted in her palm, turning into a key which inserts into the lock and with just a moment's fiddling the door opened. Marilyn stepped gratefully inside as a girl came running down the street yelling for someone, Xander by the sound of it. "Stay here. It looks like there are more people to round up." She pulled the door closed and rand out to catch the girl who was shouting.

"Hey, you're attracting too much," she reached out with her left hand to catch the girl but her hand instead passed right through her. "Attention," she finished, turning around and switched the gun to her off hand while extending her right arm, tendrils of living metal extended from her gauntlet. "Alright, are you someone I can get answers from?"

The ghost girl yelped at the extensions and jumped back in fright, causing Sara to pull them back, she didn't seem to be any sort of threat. She was dressed in reds and blacks with a serious punk look going on, but she acted more like a mouse than a rebel.

"Oh, Xander," she whimpered looking over Sara. Giving the detective the last bit of the puzzle.

***

Willow was not having a good night. And it had barely started. That thought just made her whimper and shift a little. She had hoped to find her lifelong friend Xander, but she had found this woman instead, a police badge clipped to her belt, gun in hand, but the most eye catching item would most certainly be the gauntlet of shifting metal that had reached out to her like some of those nightmares from Giles' books. But thankfully it seemed under the woman's control.

"Xander?" The brunette questioned. "A guy?" When Willow nodded the woman let out a curse, which was followed by several others. "I don't belong here. This is as far from New York," she turned to Willow with an intensity that made her back up, even though she should be impervious to any harm, that hadn't really penetrated yet. "Alright, I've seen little demons and met Marilyn Monroe, so I'm going to guess it has something to do with costumes. And I don't really like what that says about why I might be here. But I want to hear someone tell me what is going on, and if you do then you're it. And if you try and get out of it don't think that your ghost body is going to save you."

Willow snapped up straighter at the voice of command but hesitated when she tried to speak. A raised brow from the intimidating Sara Pezzini was all it took for there to be an immediate gush of what the locals knew as Willow Babble, but nearly overloaded the NYPD officer.

"I don't know!" The ghost girl wailed. "I was taking the kids around trick-or-treating and then it all went wrong. Their masks got all real and scary and they tried strangling that poor old woman but when I tried to stop it I got tangled in my sheet, which is really stupid because it was meant to be a costume, I could make a better one on my own but I ran out of time and it was so easy to just buy it than make it myself, last time I do that." She stopped at a raised hand.

"What happened? And what is your name?"

"Right, right. I’m Willow, Xander’s best friend and, well I felt magic right before I started suffocating and then I fell over and when I got up I left my body behind, so I guess I am a ghost. I hope this isn't permanent. But then I heard the gun shots which I guess are from you. We just need to find BUFFY!” Willow rushed half past half through Sara giving her the most peculiar feeling. She turned and saw Willow talking with a confused girl in an old looking ball gown.

Sara kept an eye out as they talk and raised her gun as she spotted a monster coming around the corner, and it wasn't alone.

"This could be a problem," she said, drawing the attention of the two girls.

"Buffy, what do we do?" the ghostly girl cowered a bit behind the detective who doesn't look back as she kept an eye on the approaching monsters. There was a thump from behind them, a sound that Sara was quite familiar with, the sound of a falling body.

"She just fainted, didn't she?" The detective questioned without turning around. Willow made an affirmative sound and tried to check on her friend but her hand merely passed through the prone body. "Perfect," Sara growled and the Witchblade reacted, growing up over her body, shredding her coat entirely, though it did try and compress her shirt and pants against her rather voluptuous body. Black hard armor with an under working of golden scales allowing her full flexibility while covering her body entirely, save for slits for her eyes and a spot for her long hair to extend as a ponytail. The armor was constantly shifting still though, adapting moment by moment to her movements and emotions. And right now, she was annoyed. Pseudo-wings sprout from her back, flaring out ominously with clearly bladed edges as she faced the monsters.

The monsters paused as they saw one of the targets of their hunger suddenly becomes covered in ominous organic looking armor. The shots from her gun were the final straw and they booked it to find more appetizing targets.

"Buffy?" Willow knelt by her friend. "Are you alright?"

"Who are you?" The girl, looking like some sort of noble woman centuries out of place looked around fearfully.

"We need to get someplace safe. I've got Marilyn Monroe stashed in that house over there," the detective pointed, now fully armored though the helm pealed back from around her face in a disturbingly organic manner leaving tendrils of living metal clinging across her cheeks and creeping down her forehead. The pseudo-wings retracted as well, joining with the armor and disappearing completely.

Willow gave her a questioning look, a bit fearful of the armor's behavior but not really afraid. Sara Pezzini was one of the good guys, or Xander said so. Then she turned back to Buffy to see her friend watching Sara in terror and awe.

"Buffy?" She tried again. "Um... do you know what year it is?"

"T-t-the year of Our Lord 1775. I don't understand. What is going on? Who are you, Lady Knight?" The phrase seemed out of place to each of them and to the girl out of time even more so.

"I am Sara Pezzini, and we need to get someplace safe, now." She turned to Willow. "You're the only one who remembers being from around here. So you lead the way. Hold on a second though," she turned and walked over to the house where she had left the actress. She hadn't even gotten to the door when it opened and she stepped out with what looked like a baseball bat resting against her shoulder.

"I was watching from the window," she said in the iconic breathy voice. "We're going someplace else?"

"Yea, the ghost, Willow, seems to know what is going on. She'll take us someplace she knows." The blonde nodded, though she was clearly still frightened. They made their way back to the other two where Willow was trying to explain things to an agitated looking Buffy. Introductions were made and Willow said they should head to Buffy's House, if there was anyone else they knew who remembered it was a good chance they would go there, that, or the Library of their school, which caused the detective to speculate anew about the mess she had found herself in.

As the group made its way down the street a monster leapt out from behind a tree. Sara barely paused to punch it in the face, knocking it sprawling a dozen feet away and clearly unconscious.

"Yea, definitely staying with you," Marilyn smiled and the two others nodded in agreement.

"Another demon!" Buffy shouted and leaping behind Sara as an SUV drove down the road, hopefully someone smart enough to try and get out of town.

"It's just a car," Sara motioned to Willow to keep leading them on.

"What does it want?" That got a laugh from Marilyn who turned somber as she watched the unfamiliar vehicle drive past.

"We don't belong here do we?" The actress looked at them as she kept walking.

"Sorry, no, some magical whammy turned everyone into their costumes for Halloween." Sara explained briefly, the woman seemed to accept it where as the Buffy girl was still neck deep in denial. "Congratulations though, you're an icon of your age."

"I knew that already, but it's nice to know the movies survive to… whenever this is." She looked around warily as Willow led them up to a pleasant looking house. Sara uses the Witchblade to unlock the door after the ghost checked inside that everything as clear.

"Joyce, Buffy's mom took Dawn with her to LA, oh Dawn's going to be pissed she missed this," Willow smiled a bit as Sara got them all inside and locked the door behind her, checking to see if there was anything in the kitchen to barricade the door with but found nothing.

She walked into the living room and saw Buffy dumbstruck looking at some pictures that showed a girl with blonde hair who looked exactly like her. Willow was trying to explain what is going on to her, but it seemed clear to the detective that the girl was from an era where women thinking was not among the desirable traits that they were aiming for.

"Couldn't she have dressed as Xena?" Willow complained as Buffy now seemed near tears.

There was a hammering on the front door which made everyone jump. Buffy clutched the picture to her chest, Willow leapt back through a wall, peeking out and Marilyn whirled from where she was looking at the classical movies that Joyce had collected. Sara's armor covered her face with an expressionless mask of golden armor. She went over to the door, yanked it open and a thrust kick sent the monster who had been hammering on the door rolling back across the lawn.

"No more Candy, Go away." Sara slammed the door and turned to the others. "I am really getting sick of this." Just then a scream which Willow recognized reached the house.

"Cordelia!" She turned to Sara with a pleading look and the detective barely hesitated before she is out the door and with armor enhanced strides was across the lawn and down the street in just a few moments. She shot into the air twice more but it doesn't affect this monster that looked like a massive shag rug with too many teeth, like Chewbacca gone wrong. It was chasing after a woman in a cat suit, who was shouting about how unfair it was.

***

"Why am I always the one the monsters come after?!" Cordelia Chase tried to hide for a moment but the Sasquatch doggedly followed after her with a hungry howl. "SOMEONE HELP ME!" Just then a blur of armor rushed past her and there is a muffled yelp and the sound of a falling heavy body. Cordelia turned and saw an armored figure, clearly female, standing over the fallen creature, the armor peeling away from her face.

"Stay down," she intoned with the voice of authority before turning to Cordelia. "Come on, there's a safe house over here." She walked past the stunned girl who followed, though with a stream of babble.

“Alright, I’ll admit that was pretty kick ass and I’ve seen Buffy do some impressive things, but taking down something like that with a single go? You’ve got some mojo, girl. So what are you? Some kind of ϋber Slayer?” Sara picked up on some of it but the rest was lost on her until she realized that the girl knew Buffy. Knew who she was, which meant she had her memories.

“So you weren’t turned into a cat woman or anything?” The detective asked as she got Cordelia into the relative safety of the home.

“Scha,” the rich girl waved a hand dismissively. “As if. Being Catty is fun, being a Cat? I think not. The running rug got my arm back there, tore my suit up, you think Partytown will give me my deposit back? Not on the likely.”

“So why didn’t you change? The rest of us did.” Willow walked towards them, having heard what was being said as they came through the door. “I mean only two of the kids I was guiding changed when I did, the rest ran off screaming. Not that I blame them.” Willow paced back and forth some, waving her hands in agitation. “Ooh! I know, maybe Giles can figure this out. He’s doing some cataloging in the library.” She turned to the others with her Determined Face. “You guys stay here, barricade the doors, I’ll be back in a bit.”

Sara nodded and began pulling a book case over against the front door. As she did she knocked down a picture. She knelt and picked it up, looking at the people in it, Willow, Buffy and some guy with a goofy grin. The Witchblade reached tendrils across the picture, then snapping back as Cordelia walks over to her.

“Oh, that’s Xander. He probably loves this. Or would be if he hadn’t lost that bet,” she smirked triumphantly. “He kept going on and on about those super babes in spandex. If he followed the deal he’s out there dressed up as one right now. Probably cowering to hide his shame.” She shivered a little as the armor became spiked and stepped back from Sara. “Careful with those, you could have hurt me.”

“Come on,” Marilyn put a hand on the young woman’s shoulder. “Let’s go check upstairs. I thought I saw some people wearing wings.”

“Oh, so right, and great dress.” The voices faded away as they left and Sara was left with the pacing Buffy.

“Oh good you guys are- Whoa,” a man in black stepped in through the kitchen and immediately backpedaled as he caught sight of the armored Sara, snagging a knife from a cutting board and pointed it at her as Sara raised her gun in kind. “Buffy, is it friendly?” He asked, glancing at Buffy for confirmation.

“She is most certainly not friendly. In fact she has been quite rude and mean. Dragging us in here like a bunch of hoodlums.” She crossed her arms, seeming to fall back into her default of pampered noble.

“I’m one of the good guys,” Sara lowered her gun first, the knife isn’t much of a threat, though the feeling from the Witchblade said to take him seriously. “I’m Sara.”

“Yea? I'm Angel,” he slowly put the knife down again and stepped into the room. “Well, any idea what is going on? It’s chaos out there.”

“Who are you?” Buffy looked at the, in her mind, handsome man as though he could save her all on his own.

“Do you live here?” The detective asked.

“No, this is Buffy’s house,” he turned to Buffy. “Care to fill me in? And what happened to your hair?”

“She doesn’t know who she is, everyone’s turned into a monster it’s a whole big thing.” Cordelia flounced into the room with Marilyn in toe. “How are you?” The bewildered Angel didn’t have time to answer as suddenly power was cut out and Buffy jumped to grab the nearest person who happened to be Cordelia. "Do you mind?" She shoved Buffy into Angel's arms and he caught her easily.

"Can you protect her?" Angel nodded at the armored woman's question and Buffy smiled gratefully. "Alright, then you barricade the back door. These two will come with me and help block off the front while I fight the monsters." There was a crash from the front of the house and Sarah spun, leaping into action, a short sword extending from her right arm as the Witchblade shifted and opened for her to put her gun away before closing around it. She frowned at the short sword and shakes her head. “Non lethal, these are just kids in costumes.” The sword changed, reluctantly, into a rather fierce looking club. She sighed and headed to the door as Angel and Buffy went to the kitchen.

Sara got to the front room where some monsters, one looking like the Sasquatch from before along with a swamp monster and a devil, were trying to climb in through a broken window. Swift jabs from her club and a hard swing against the Sasquatch’s skull repelled that momentary invasion and Cordelia and Marilyn moved to block the window with a book case and prop some chairs against it.

A scream from the kitchen and Sara was in motion again, she was just in time to see Angel wrestling with another monster, more human this time, but still not human enough apparently. Angel was reaching for a knife clearly intending harm despite his superior position. She didn’t have time to register the open door and the fleeing girl as she clubbed the monster and reached down to pull the knife from Angel’s hand roughly.

The face that Angel turned on the detective was not the one he came in with, more primal, feral, with yellow eyes and long fangs. Sara twisted his arm hard in a classic disarm and shoved him against the wall as she registered the threat on an instinctual level.

“Ow! Quit it!” Angel struggled against the grip but it was futile, even with his enhanced strength the armored woman was easily overpowering him. “He’s a vampire. We’ve got to stake it!” His arm is twisted harder, any more and it might dislocate, not lethal but certainly painful.

“He’s a kid in a costume. Caught up in this mess like the rest of us. All we can do is toss him out or tie him up until this is sorted out and hopefully back to normal.” She shoved Angel hard against the wall, making a distinct point about who is in charge before releasing him.

“Oh my God!” Cordelia came back into the room and spotted Angel’s changed appearance. “They weren’t kidding, you are a vampire.” His visage changed back to his completely human look and he at least had the decency to appear sheepish.

“Met a few in Hollywood, but none like that,” Marilyn said from just behind the girl in the cat suit.

The guy on the floor groaned and started to rise but is immediately clubbed down by Sara again.

“So vampires are real here?” She received nods in response from Cordelia and Angel. “Figures, demons and angels?”

“Well, no angels yet, it’s just his name. Hey, where’s Buffy?”

“She was right behind me,” Angel turned and paled as he looked out the open door. “Oh god, she must have run out when I was fighting. We’ve got to get her.”

"We can't split up, not when we have to protect them," Sara motioned to Cordelia and Marilyn.

"You can leave us here," Cordelia said as she motioned towards the basement door. "It's super secure down there, Buffy said so once. You two go off and play hero, we'll stay here and talk about something." The actress paled a little at the thought of being left without protection but she had heard enough to recognize that Buffy was an important person to these people. She nodded in agreement with Cordelia and went to get her baseball bat before heading to the basement with the girl. When Sara was sure they were secure the turned to the anxious Angel.

Together they headed off into the chaos filled night. Things weren't as bad as they had initially been. Most of the people who had not changed were used to getting in out of the night and someplace safe. Because of that the chaos now was mostly monster vs. monster action. If they had a unifying factor, then it would be truly trouble on a scale that perhaps not even the Witchblade could deal with if she got in its way.

"Are you sure she came this way?" Sara asked the brooding vampire. She kept a little distance between them, seeing how easily he had been ready to kill a perfect stranger set her on edge. Oh, there had been mitigating circumstances, but it was the principle of the thing.

"No," his words made Sara halt and reach up to rub her head.

"Men are the same everywhere," she murmured. "Never asking for directions." She paused and looked around, scanning the houses. She spotted what she is looking for and walked up to one particular house after she saw a twitch of the shades. She knocked on the door. "Hey, I don't want to hurt you, I'm a cop," she pulls her badge out of her armor and shows it to them. "I'm just looking for someone. You've been watching. Did a girl with brown hair in an old style dress come running by here?"

There was another twitch of the shades and they are parted a little to look at her before a voice from inside speaks up. An older woman by the sound of it.

"Yea, I saw her, heading down towards town proper." A finger reached through the shades and points down the street. "A cop, huh? Well I hope you last longer than the regulars." The shades closed and Sara knew the conversation was over. And she doesn't have time to waste asking what that meant. Sara got back to Angel and nodded.

"Heading into town. You lead." Angel did so, setting off at a sprint before slowing down, checking to make sure he hadn't left the armored woman behind. He was surprised to find her right on his heels, easily keeping up despite the armor. It had shifted to a more streamlined appearance. He turned back and started running faster, shifting into his Game Face for every edge he could get, pouring on his vampiric speed and she still was matching him, the armor shifting to make small wings along her shoulders and back to assist her.

Sara questioned him as they ran, trying to get a better idea for the town beyond the immediate predicament. It quickly confirmed her suspicions that this was not her ‘world’ as she knew it and he had no idea of her nature. But that this world had its own issues to deal with, they mostly were focused around the ‘Slayer’ that Buffy would normally be if the spell hasn’t interfered.

They stopped to ask a few more times if anyone had seen her, having to back track twice before they got a solid lead again. Angel perked up, his senses pricking at a sound or signal that Sara missed. But from then on there was no questioning, he ran unerringly into the town and headed for a shadier portion, what seemed to Sara to be an inordinate amount of ware houses, given the size of the town they were in.

Angel turned down an alley way and shouted for Buffy as they saw her, a foul looking pirate bent over her, forcing her down. Fearing what Angel might do if he got to the man first Sara leapt over him, reaching out with tendrils from the armor and using that to latch onto the walls and propel her at the pirate.

What a strange place,’ Sara contemplated as she came down, feet first, on the pirate, the mass of her armored body immediately throwing him to the ground and pinning him there before she punched him in the head, taking him out as she had the others that seemed vulnerable to such tactics. ‘Huh, that felt really good for some reason.’ She didn’t take time to think about that as there were more pressing concerns.

“Buffy,” Angel ran up to her, shifting back to his human mask as he checked on her, however she leapt away, cowering from him.

“You, you are a vampire!” clearly frightened she attempted to take cover behind a box in the disheveled alleyway.

“He’s one of the good guys around here,” Sara’s armor pealed back from her face and slowly became the more traditional armor rather than the speed variant that it had become.

“Really?” Buffy’s hopeful tone made the detective want to roll her eyes.

“He isn’t trying to suck your blood, has saved your life once already and helped me track you down here so we could get you home.” Sara listed off as she checked both ends of the alley. “That makes him a good guy in my book.”

“Guys!” the voice of Willow made them all turn. The ghost was running down the alley towards them, worry clearly evident on her features. “We’ve got to get inside! Someplace safe, ANYPLACE!”

“How did you find us?” Sara’s life up until now was not to trust too easily in coincidence it tended to lead to trouble.

“I followed them!” Willow turned and pointed down the alley towards the group that just came into view. A mixture of demons, monsters, and vampires made up the gang, with a blonde vampire wearing a grin that spoke of malice and delight at the situation.

“Right,” Sara immediately took a position between the mob and the others. “I can’t fight that many and keep nonlethal. Find an open warehouse, quick!” She started picking up the boxes and debris along the alley and hurling it at the oncoming mob, trying to slow them down to give the others time. But it wasn’t slowing them down much.

“Over here!” Angel shouted and yanked open a door. The others followed him inside, Sara last. Twisting the metal at the door in her hands, effectively locking the door.

“That won’t hold them for long,” she began immediately piling things in front of the door, wooden pallets and crates as the sound of heavy fists pounding on the other side filled the air and the entire wall started to rock with the force. A few moments later the door gave way and the makeshift barricade began to fall. Sara braced herself against it as the armor covered her head and parts of it wove through the weak structure, trying to strengthen it against the assault.

“Get out of here! I’ll hold them off!” she shouted and Angel nodded, grabbing Buffy and heading to the far side where there was another door.

A door that Spike, having spent a good amount of time in the warehouse district lately, was aware of. He kicked in that door before they were half way across the warehouse, having guessed correctly at what they would attempt. You didn’t get to kill two Slayers by being stupid after all. Three vampires followed him inside, one three flanking while the fourth closed and locked the door behind him, guarding it in case they should get past.

Sara was too busy trying to hold off the main hoard who she knew would overwhelm them if they got in. As it was now there was still a chance. Buffy cowered behind Angel, clearly frightened of the vamped out Spike and his henchmen. It was a brief fight, and Angel managed to get in a few good shots that would have put down humans, even managed to stake one of them before he was disarmed and pinned down. Spike grabbed Buffy by the hair and dragged her away from Angel.

“Look at you,” he gloated, twisting her hair to make her hurt and loving the pained expression on her face. “The mighty Buffy, shaking, terrified, alone.” He grinned, triumphantly. “I love it!”

“He knows her?” Sara called to Willow who was fretting, unable to do anything in her ghostly form.

“That’s Spike! He’s a really BAD vampire! You can kill him!” She turned hopefully to Sara. Sara leaned back against the failing barricade, lifting a gauntlet towards the vampire. Tendrils shot out at him as he leaned down to bite the vulnerable Slayer.

However it was not to be. Before the tendrils were even half way to the vampire they started to crumble, starting at the tips and working back towards the main body, but all the armor was cracking. Time slowed down and Sara/Xander’s vision faded as the spell started to unravel.

***

“Just when it was getting to a good part!” Xander complained, waving his arms as he stood in a room of darkness and light. A window on the wall framed with living metal of the Witchblade, a red gem at the middle top, a blue at the bottom, showing the time slowed view of crumbling armor.

“It’s always like that,” Sara said as she stood next to him. “At least with the spell off she’s not going to be useless anymore.”

“Well, yea, and Spike’s going to get it.” Xander turned to her and looked around. “So what is going on?”

“The Witchblade is slowing down our perception, I think. We can’t do anything out there, but it gives us time to talk in here. And we do need to talk.” The older woman looked at the boy. “I can see your memories now, and that was a really stupid bet. And look where you landed us.”

“Yea well, I was trying to get out of wearing something like Wonder Woman, and you were the only comic book babe I like that wears real clothes, most of the time.” He amended as he remembered the early comics where the armor ripping her clothing to shreds and leaving her mostly bare were what had attracted him to the series. It was odd, because now he also had Sara’s memories and felt her embarrassment at being reminded of a time when she was not in control of the Witchblade so he quickly changed the subject. “Besides, how was I supposed to know this would happen?” He waved his hand at the ‘window’.

“I’ll take that as a compliment, and yes, this wasn’t a predictable night. But you’re smarter than that in the first place. And you aren’t going to get anywhere if you keep slacking off like this.” More windows appeared and gave views of his everyday life: slacking off while Buffy trained, slacking off in class, and reading comics instead of doing homework, hiding from his parents, from teachers, from responsibility. “You live on the Hellmouth, you know what is going on, and you help, sure. But you could be doing more, and in a place like this, every little bit helps.”

“Alright, alright,” Xander waved his arms, giving in. He looked at the ‘window’, the crumbling tendril had nearly reached the gauntlet and the room was starting to fade, grow darker, leaving just him and Sara Pezzini in the light. “I don’t know what I can do though.” He looked past Spike and at Buffy. “I’m not like her.”

“No, you’re not. But you aren’t useless either. You’ll find what you’re good at. How best to help. Give it some time.” She joined him in looking out the window as she began to fade as well. The crumbling armor revealed his bare arm and sensations were starting to come through to him, it seems the Witchblade hadn’t done such a good job of not shredding his clothes after all.

“Well, no matter what happens now. It was nice meeting you Xander.” Sara’s disembodied came from the darkness around him as he stood in his patch of light.

“Yea,” he smiled. “It was nice meeting you too.” He realized how drafty he was feeling and realized how bad the clothes shredding had gotten. “Uh oh,” he murmured and Sara’s laughter echoed in his mind as time returned and he found himself back in control of his body.

END Chapter 1

A continent away and a step beyond this dimension Sara Pezzini woke up, rubbing her head as she fumbled with the bedside light. “Weird dream…” she murmured, then checking her wrist where the Witchblade gleamed. “Or was it…” She smiled and yawned, rising from bed to start her day early. “Good luck, Xander, wherever you are.” She didn’t notice the gleam from the Witchblade’s gem as it wished its own luck, to another.

Next Chapter: It Awakens

Authors Note: This is my first Fic here and I've just got a few things to say.

This chapter has only been lightly gone over by my beta, and that was for content not grammar or other issues. Sorry dude, you know its true. Before anyone tries to check and rant at me about time I am aware that at the time of the original release of the episode this is based off there were only 17 Witchblade comics released. I am using the more modern Sara Pezzini, and the armor modeled after one seen in issue 135.

I haven't yet decided if I am going to update the setting by nearly a decade and a half. If I do so it will change some things in subtle ways, and other things more dramatically. (Cell phones with cameras and texting, enough said.) I'd appreciate reader input there.

Well, enough. I hope you enjoyed the fic and are looking forward to more.

EDIT: (04-07-11)
I think I fixed all the tense issues for the chapter. One of the main reasons I need a Beta. If anyone wishes to be my beta, I am still looking.
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