I own nothing
here! All materials and characters related to Buffy The Vampire Slayer
belong to Joss Whedon and his group. Stargate
the movie was created by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin; the T.V. series Stargate: SG-1
was brought to its grateful fans by Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner.
Oops! Forgot, Full Metal Alchemist
and Edward Eric belong to Hiromu Arakawa. And I still own nothing!
This story was supposed to be really, really short. A three to four paragraph long addendum to my story The Red, The Black And The White
--A Halloween story that had Buffy going as Edward Eric, from Full Metal Alchemist
. The darn thing decided to stretch a bit, and ended up jumping into the Stargate
'verse in a well known cliché way.
Why Buffy and Alchemy are unmixy things.
'Let Them Eat Cake'
A beautiful dawn; the deep dark colors gradually blending and lighting up to a full bright sun lit blue sky.
But then again, Buffy mused, most Californian dawns started out that way. Enjoying the sky show from her laid back position on a lounge chair settled on a roof of a tall building, emptied out since she had dusted the vamps nesting in it, Buffy considered life (specifically, her life) on planet Earth.
Fifteen. She was just fifteen when her life really ended. Never mind The Master, or drowning--Her life ended when Merrick rushed up to her, and told her the reason she was smashing alarm clocks and ripping doors off their hinges was because she was the Slayer. Big capital letter there. Not impressed, a bit scared, but not impressed. Up to then, she was just another clueless teenager enjoying her life; that weird little life of hers, standing precariously on the top rung of Hemery High shaky social ladder. Not that it was really perfect . . .Even then, Buffy knew her dad's favorite hobby was chasing whatever willing bimbo was in the area. Secretaries were his obvious favorites, but it was more the result of availability then preference--Any other times, sad to say, almost anything slutty, female and Human would do. And Buffy had some serious suspicions on the Human part. Turning over to the other side, Buffy was aware of her mom's ballooning dissatisfaction with her stagnant life, and her impatience and embarrassment over her husband's lack of self control and discretion: her mom's art degree was merely another point of argument for her parents--Like her dad's infidelities.
Not perfect . . .And honestly, dysfunctional. But it was her
life! Regardless of the problems, they were normal
problems. Problems that other people had and could relate and sympathize with.
She shifted her position and stared down at her extended leather clad legs, crossed at the ankles. The designer open toed sandals showed off her great pedicure; lilac nail polish, so light it could have been a shade of pink. No doubt Xander and Giles would have identified it as pink, completely
blind to the subtle differences between the two colors.
Buffy sighed, and continued her line of thought. Normal, literally overnight, became Freak Show. A lethal Freak Show, complete with tweed wearing Watcher guy throwing a real knife at her head, a wild cemetery initiation, a one arm vampire; a hot Bad Boy, and one Master vamp. Then Merrick heroically died, saving her, and she burned down her vampire infested school gym. The rest of the stuff sandwiched between those traumatic, Curl-Up-In-A-Fetal-Ball-And-Trigger-A-Catatonic-State, moments paid out their own big Wreck-Buffy's-Life dividends.
Well, there was her Reputation. Losing it was among the worse things that could have happened to her. Buffy was certain that if she had kept her reputation as a All American Cheerleader and Girl-Next-Door, her chances of being declared crazy and locked away in the local funny farm would have been diminished to a comfortable level of Not Gonna Happen! And what the heck was a confidential
police report doing in her school file? Those things where Sealed, right? Cause, hello, fifteen year old minor!
Buffy scowled at her lap. Never been arrested, never been charged with a crime, never been tried or convict. But even her mom was convinced her daughter, the girl she birthed, raised, and lived with (and regularly ransacked her bedroom for evidence of any Big Bad criminal activities), was capable of everything total strangers
told her Buffy was doing!
With just one sheet of paper, an anonymous, malicious someone had managed to utterly destroy her.
Sunnydale, with it's own bizarre rules and troubles slipped into the place of Normal without a squeak of friction.
With an audible sigh, Buffy allowed her head to drop back . . .She had a good view of the distant Californian desert; a tan and brown line beyond the Sunnydale rooftops and tree lines. With her Slayer sight, the line was a little more detailed--Buffy noted the movement of a rabbit, before the small creature disappeared beneath a sudden explosion of black tentacles and clouds of dust. After the dust settled, nothing remained--No rabbit, no tentacles. Buffy absently made a mental note to do some research, and pay the desert site a visit.
With a sudden start, Buffy realized how impossible that was going to be!
A headache was slowly forming behind her eyes. Buffy drew in a few calming breaths. The Slayer, Hemery, Sunnyhell . . .All beyond her control, but . . .Yeah, but, Buffy had to reluctantly admit her current troubles were of her own creation; she
was the one who had screwed the pooch--Although, Buffy was fairly certain she could still have blamed Snyder!
No, she chided herself, let's be frank and honest . . .Halloween was an all
Ethan Rayne production; it was Snyder
who made her late enough to miss out on the better costumes with his damn detention, then rules
of what was an acceptable costume. Otherwise, she would have winged it, created her own costume with whatever was in her closet and makeup collection, like Xander did--Well, minus the makeup. Or, given how scant pickings were at the shop, shrugged off Ethan's entirely, taken a bite out of her clothing allowance, and gone to Party Town.
But noooooo! She had to do stupid, she had to do cheap; she
had to make do! And that brought up the question of who the hell did Buffy think she was, at that point? Xander?!
Ugh . . .In one of those brilliant flashes of belated genius, Buffy considered how she could have gone as Xander, without the consequences of an Ethan cursed costume.
After the Halloween Hoards had taken their pick of the best in shop, the only good fit for her small frame, had been a leftover doorman costume--Or as Buffy later came to know, Edward Eric, or A. K. A, Full Metal Alchemist!
A small man with a foul mouth, a violent temper, a hard-core cynic; soldier, prodigy, genius; cripple, loving brother, steadfast friend, and a mortal with the power of a god.
Oh, and not to forget anything, attach the whole 'Hero' part to the list, too.
Soooooo . . .for the price of having Ed possess her body for a few hours, Buffy gained his memories, his experiences, his skills and, most importantly, his Alchemy Power.
Pity his sense of discretion was missing. Buffy scoffed at herself, a short time ago she had been condemning her father for his mistakes, while surrounded by her own.
Admittedly, she went a little crazy with the alchemy--Ha! Even Buffy rolled her eyes at her own understatement . . .Sheepishly, Buffy could see how transmuting dozens of pairs of designer shoes from cheap Bargain Bin Specials could have been seen as abusive and suspicious--But the prezzies she gifted to Xander and Willow? How was that bad? Oh, right . . .Arriving at school, covered over with enough Bling, to cause a Rap star to blanch at the ostentatious display of loud and gaudy metal and large, twinkling gemstones. Yeah . . .That might have cemented rumors of gang activity, and other illegal profitable joys; but really, all Buffy wanted to do was allow her friends to share her new powers. So, what was so bad about sharing with her bestest buds?
And the Giant Twinkie incident . . .Buffy shuddered. Buying several tons of Twinkies, and stacking the cases together, then using her Alchemy to create one giant Twinkie seemed like a great idea. Yeah, well, she blushed, it was one of those 'At the time' great ones. Xander suggested it as a way of exercising her powers--And indulging his bottomless obsession with the yellow crème filled snack cake. Yeesh, how were they suppose to know a gas line was right underneath the Twinkie? And honestly, how could they have foreseen the floor collapsing under the weight of the giant Twinkie? For God's sake, they were in a warehouse! The floor should have been reinforced!
Memory replayed that particular incident back . . .
Her sensitive hearing had picked up the ominous groaning-creak first; the floor shifted slightly--Then the slight odor of gas wafted to Buffy's nose. Wasting no time, she grabbed Willow first; dragged off a howling protesting Xander, and proceeded to run for their lives. The big 'BOOM!' and the shock wave hit the shield Buffy had hid them behind seconds after they had exited the building; the ground buckling under their feet, knocking them down to their knees. Flaming debris and Twinkie bits rained down on them--Xander openly sobbed, while dropping heart-rending cries of "My Twinkie! My Twinkie!"
Willow was white faced and shaking violently. Buffy battled a vicious ringing in both ears. All those great Slayer senses--? Not so great when overloaded by a giant gas explosion. Pain, oh, the Pain!
After picking themselves up from the pavement, and hauling away Xander's Twinkie grieving form from the scene of the explosion, the silent and shocked Scoobies traveled back towards Buffy's house, along the way, passing globs and pieces of flaming and caramelized yellow snack cake and white crème filling.
At least they cleaned up before turning on the TV and getting the gosh darn news of Mayor Wilkins demise--While at an outdoor event, the Mayor and his entourage where suddenly inundated by white crème filling falling from the sky. The aids and others where hastily dug out, but it took the rescuers a while too long to locate the Mayor. And regardless of heroic attempts to resuscitate him, Mayor Wilkins was declared DOA. In short, the Mayor drowned in Twinkie guts.
Buffy winced at that memory, at her initial reaction . . .An innocent man . . .Dead because of them--Because of her! Except, the dead 'man' they were ready to fall on their own sword over, was well over a hundred years old and about as innocent as Spike on one of his better known bloody rampages! Scowling in remembrance over the written and photographic evidence they (Willow) uncovered of Wilkins long list of known
crimes, Buffy wondered why no one had picked up on the guy's activities--Fercryin'outloud! The creature built a feeding ground
for demons on a damn Hellmouth!
Ah, well . . .Should have ended there, what with proving the Mayor was a Big Bad, intent on some more badness. But nooooo . . .Willow and Xander ganged up on her and made her 'fess up about her Alchemy powers. Buffy mentally shook her head in outraged disbelief--One explosion, one lousy explosion, and they go begging for adult oversight!
The blond nervously giggled, and recrossed her ankles. Giles' reaction was as expect--There was that obligatory "Oh, dear Lord!"--Only . . .it was louder then anything she had ever heard come from his mouth. And it echoed, it honestly echoed through the normally quiet library. He broke his glasses, and she fixed them, giving an impromptu demonstration of her Alchemy powers. But then, a couple of minutes later, Giles broke them again.
Yeah, it was one of those
Later, feeling upset and drained, Buffy went directly home and only managed three steps into the house when her mother's voice ordered her into the living room. There, spread out on the couch, chairs, and table were some of the most damning evidence of her 'gang' activities.
Some of the expensive goodies she had either made with Alchemy or bought with Alchemy created gold had become background splats of color drained of details, while in the foreground, Joyce Summers had gained overwhelming clarity--Buffy marveled at the tiny pores on her mother's flushed and furious face. Buffy traced the throbbing veins and thinned lips--"Buffy Anne Summers!" and with three little words, Buffy's life in Sunnyhell was over.
Okay, so maybe a tentative "Yay!" was called for?
Sighing through her nose, Buffy leaned forward, shifted around and swung her legs and feet to the side of the lounge chair. It was time to go home, Buffy thought, home at least for a few hours more, she amended, stretching with her arms high above her head. Feeling looser, Buffy lowered her arms and stood up, she took a few steps to the roofs waist high parapet.
Her mom, Buffy recalled, had really lost her patience . . .She only spared a couple of minutes on a lecture before informing her wayward daughter of her forceful relocation: Fortunately not to another mental institution--Instead, an unheard of and unknown uncle was going to host her blighted little blond self. Joyce Summers reasoned Buffy needed a strong
fatherly presence in her out of control teen life--And that was why Hank Summers was never mentioned.
Before Ed, Buffy mused sadly, she would have disintegrated into a frantic, weepy puddle of goo, pleading or waiting for someone else to come up with a solution to her personal problems. Or swallowing them whole and silently suffer the internal burns from all that industrial strength stomach acid . . .Instead, she called up Giles and the Scoobies, had a late night meeting and within days a few things happened. A nice lawyer, armed with a nice cashiers check, hauling a large briefcase filled with some very nice blackmail material, persuaded the Harris' to allow their only son his premature freedom. Xander, the newly emancipated minor, packed and prepared to leave Sunnyhell behind--With any good
luck, for Xander, that meant forever!
Willow's parents were worse then the Harris', Buffy considered in disgust; first they had to hunt them down, and then
persuade them to allow Willow to relocate--Turns out the only persuasion they needed was the reassurance Willow was going to be surrounded by intellectuals and scientists in the new town. Maybe Willow's parents thought their daughter was going to absorb, by osmosis, those people's brilliance and ingenuity?
Hmmmm, regardless, they set their hard working secretary to house hunting. Receiving almost immediate results, Willow was going to be moving into a nice four-bedroom house. And, in all sad likelihood, was going to be the only family member ever to step foot in the new house. Meh, knowing Willow's parents, maybe it was for the good--A fresh start somewhere without the nasty memories nearly every inch of Sunnydale was soaked in.
Giles was a Watcher; tricky creatures, appearing where they were least expected. Kind of like cats, Buffy mind lifted and floated seriously comparing her past and present Watchers with felines--But not dogs, she thought . . .Or maybe, just Merrick and Giles? They had dog qualities. Not like other Watchers Buffy had read or heard about. So, yeah, Merrick and Giles were dog like and the rest of the tweed Watcher set were cat like. That settled to her satisfaction, Buffy returned to her original line of thought--Giles was going with! And in the end, that is really all that counted.
That left the other loose thread--Angel.
Until Halloween, they had something special . . .Buffy was certain of it. Except . . .She sighed and laid her hand on top of the rough unfinished mortar of the parapet top. Buffy looked out at the town, with the sun higher in the sky, she could see details and colors missing during the night. Nothing skulked about in the few leftover shadows; the birds sang and flew, figures could be seen in the windows of houses and apartments, moving around, preparing for the day. People were walking their dogs, or allowing the mutts to roam free in their fenced yards. The noise and activity picked up.
Yes, they had the potential for something special--But, an Alchemist sees the Truth--The whole truth and nothing but the truth about reality. It goes with the ability to transmute things: to know a thing down to its most intimate basic level. Illusions or glamours fail to affect them. Buffy discovered the unpleasant fact with Angel.
He glided away from the shadows, as he always did. But instead of that dark, secretive lover a nightmare stepped into the light. His voice was the same, but his normally pale skin was pasty white, facial muscles slack and frozen. Those beautiful, expressive eyes of his . . .Broody and dark . . .but illuminated by his soul--They . . .were lies. What she could see of them, Buffy swallowed her mouth suddenly dried, were obscured by the filmy white cataracts of a corpse. Worse yet, the damages made by insects and rodents before his demonic parasite could preserve its dead host, stood stark and ugly on Angel's face.
She turned and ran, while his voice, pleading and alarmed, called out behind her.
Under a warming sun, Buffy shuddered, chilled. There were a lot of things about Angel she could ignore, like having a room temperature body, or the lack of breathing; even the stench of decaying blood escaping pass whatever chemical guards his personal grooming products generated. But those staring, blind, white orbs without a spark of life behind them . . .No! Just no! For the first time, Buffy found herself hating the Gypsies, and cursing their malicious stupidity.
Buffy avoided Angel, after that . . .encounter. Worse, she used the time to find a legitimate excuse for shunning him. She had never been Research Girl, leaving that tiresome chore to either Giles or Willow, but she immersed herself into it out of desperation and shame. Finding everything she could dig up about Angel, his life as Liam, and the Curse.
It happened late at night, finally finding the Something
Buffy needed so badly. Once again, Buffy had barely managed to avoid Angel by the Bronze. Taking one quick run across the rooftops and Buffy slipped into her new hiding place: The public library. No one, especially not Angel would think of looking for her there. Using their computers, Buffy searched for information sitting alone in the dark, quiet, deserted building--And, there on the computer screen, discovered the terrible clause in the Curse. One moment of pure happiness, and Angel loses his soul. Reverting back to Angelus.
Two emotions surged up in Buffy--Relief she finally had something to offer for her recent behavior, and shock that left Buffy gaping--Just one moment
of happiness?! That could have happen any number of times during the hundred years Angel was ensouled!
Momentarily pushing away the feelings that were causing her to become dizzy and lightheaded, Buffy settled her resolve around her and determined to find a way of automatically dusting that body, if Angel's soul ever did leave it. For a fleeting moment, the thought brushed up against her brain of finding a way of anchoring his soul to his body--Or if the worse happened, of recasting the ensoulment spell. But the sharp memory of milky white eyes chased away those ideas. A cutting pain entered her breast--No, Buffy thought bitterly, no way was she going to follow in those idiots footsteps. Let the dead rest.
After that, Buffy told everyone of the Clause--She told Giles, the Scoobies. Buffy then talked to Angel about the Clause, why they had to stay away from each other ("We could have made each other happy, Angel.") . . .and the safeguard she had added.
On the rooftop, Buffy stood leaning against the parapet, staring out at Sunnydale with unseeing eyes replaying that last memory of Angel. He was broken; he tried to deny what she told him. But after halting arguments, Angel stood statue still, closed his eyes, hung his head in defeat, and after a long silence, announced he was leaving for LA.
Tears pooled in Buffy's eyes and ran down her cheeks. Roughly she wiped them away with one hand, and sniffed. Gaining control over herself, Buffy considered her own cursed life, and attempted to console herself with the idea that Angel really was better off away from the Hellmouth.
Without hesitation, Buffy jumped up on the parapet and jumped off the roof, landing in the alley below in a partial crouch. Straightening up, Buffy took a breath and a firm determined step. She had to go home. Her mom was going to be waiting for her. She had to be ready--In a couple of hours she was going to be meeting a long lost relative, and had to make the best first impression she could.
And with a long trip ahead of her to Colorado, Springs, with Uncle Colonel Jack O' Neill (two L's, please), letting him know the Cheerful Buffy, instead of Pyro Buffy, somehow seemed like a very, very good thing.
Sorry about the darker ending, but with Angel in the mix how could it not
end in some kind of angst?
The idea of dressing up as Xander came from another story, hopefully still here on TtH. Maybe the Scoobies could have dressed up as Cordellia and the Cordettes?