Disclaimer: I own nothing. All Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters and DC Comics characters are the property of their original owners.
It was a quiet morning among the Scooby Gang at the Sunnydale High library, several weeks after Halloween and that holiday’s rather strange events. Willow was doing an inventory check, making sure that the occult books were filed back in their proper order after today’s latest round of research on Hellmouth demons. Trailing along after the red-haired girl, Xander was patiently waiting for any request from his bestest bud to reach with his greater height for any tome resting upon the upper shelves. As for the other two people in the room, Buffy and Cordelia were seated together at the main library table, amiably squabbling over the differing merits of their latest fingernail polish. Giles was presently away from the library, taking a quick break from his duties in order to pick up an important package at the city post office from the Watchers’ Council in London.
Finishing off their engrossed debate involving Passion Pink and Coral Cinnamon, the seated girls glanced up, to then see Xander and Willow seemingly finished at their task and approaching the table. Xander was striding ahead, with Willow a few steps behind him while cradling in her arms a thick and weighty volume devoted to subterranean demons. Just as the teenage boy stopped by the table, Xander opened his mouth, about to cheerfully suggest they all head for the cafeteria early in the hope of beating the lunch rush.
In the next instant, a shimmer of white light formed over the entire body of the male high-school student, only to instantly disappear as fast as it had come to be in the first place. However, this totally unexpected event had left behind something in the library that was utterly changed from what had been by the main table just a moment before.
Instead of the normal, dark-haired young man having the full (and deeply resented) name of Alexander LaVelle Harris that had been wearing his normal outfit of a Hawaiian shirt, worn jeans and old sneakers, there now stood in the room a completely unknown blonde girl, perhaps a year or so older than Xander. This stranger was presently dressed in a really bizarre futuristic outfit having a sleek luster that covered all of the closely-fitting, one-piece costume in mainly deep red and pure white colors, with a short skirt in solid red. On the wide white stripe running vertically down her torso, the girl’s attire had a design there upon her chest of a golden ringed globe.
The look of sheer astonishment now upon the stranger’s face matched the expressions of the other three immobile girls, as they all gawked at the unfamiliar person among themselves, who’d seemingly appeared out of thin air while taking Xander’s place. Even Buffy, with her superhuman Slayer reflexes, sat frozen in her chair, since this was something really new for her, and maybe the standard ‘stake and hew’ reaction against the usual creatures of Hellmouth badness wouldn’t exactly be the right thing to do at this time.
So, as they remained in their petrified postures, Buffy, Cordelia, and Willow continued to disbelievingly watch the other girl in their midst. That stranger also continued to stand there in absolute shock, with her only motions being a panicky twisting of her head as she first wildly stared around the room, to then abruptly lower her gaze to look down the full length of her trim, feminine body.
For some reason, seeing this caused the girl to start stuttering, in a tone of growing hysteria, “What…what the hell--”
That was as far as things got, when something again took place for the other three girls, without any warning at all. Simultaneously, Willow, Cordelia, and Buffy felt what could only be described as insubstantial and yet icy-cold mental skewers sinking deeply into their brains. Yelping in shared fright and distress, the two young women having the nicknames of Queen C and the Slayer abruptly clutched at their heads in the vain hope of stopping whatever had just intruded into their consciousness.
As for Willow, that highly-intelligent Jewish girl had also whimpered in terror at what was inexplicably occurring inside her head, but she’d also immediately realized that this mysterious event just had
to have something to do with the strange girl newly in their vicinity…and she was standing right behind that outsider, with a good heavy book in her hands.WHAP!
Buffy and Cordelia slumped back in their chairs with sighs of total relief, as whatever had been stabbing into their minds now vanished, without leaving behind any trace of its existence. At the same time, the soft thud of something hitting the ground then drew the attention of the seated girls, with these young ladies looking over at where their uninvited guest was now sprawled face-down on the library floor. Her limbs were feebly moving as that stunned stranger remained in her present daze caused by a quick-thinking Willow.
Hardly believing it, Cordelia and Buffy wonderingly lifted their gazes to witness beyond the library table the third member of their company swaying on her feet, as that redhead thankfully brought down the heavy book held at head level before herself, where she’d just clobbered from behind that person messing with their minds. Everyone then hastily looked back at the body of the prone girl, as yet another shimmer of white light flashed over her body and just as quickly disappeared, revealing the back of a young man mumbling into the floor linoleum, “--lunch? WHAT THE HELL’S GOING ON?!
Did I trip and fall flat on my face?”
In a blur of motion, Buffy shot out of her seat, heading right to where Xander was lying. Before the boy could even start getting up, he was effortlessly yanked off the floor, with the Slayer then snarled right into the shocked face of her friend that she was holding up in a vicious grip by his Hawaiian shirt collar, “Start talking, Xan! You better come up with something really good to explain how you turned into that girl just a second ago!”
His eyes opened as wide as saucers, as Xander hung in Buffy’s relentless clutch. Knowing it was utterly futile to struggle, the teenager still managed to protest, “I don’t know what you’re talking about! Nothing happened! I was right there at the table, and then I was on the floor! Hey, why do I feel like I just fielded a wicked baseball line-drive with the back of my head?”
Willow turned bright red and the blushing girl then hastily hid her book behind herself, while Cordelia contributed her own comment in a tone of absolute suspicion, “Don’t give us that, Harris! You better come clean about your latest bout of weirdness, changing without warning into someone with far better fashion sense than you!”
Gingerly touching the point at the rear of his skull where he could already feel a big lump forming there under his hair, Xander forgot himself enough to grit out, “How many times do I have to say it? I -- Don’t -- Remember -- Anything! Now, will you please let go and tell me what happened, Buffy?”
Reluctantly loosening her grip, Buffy went on to describe every detail of the odd events that had just occurred in the room a mere minute ago, helped along the way by Willow and Cordelia adding their own observations. After this, the three girls stared at the young man continuing to rub the back of his head as Xander frowned to himself in evident thought. Beginning to mumble to himself, the young man was then overhead by Buffy, Willow, and Cordelia, “…that costume sounds familiar and so does she-- Aw, no!”
Starting to get really worried now, the female trio watched in mild shock while Xander spun around after interrupting his musings with that pained groan. The girls then saw their friend dash across the library into the supply room at the back, leaving a last doleful comment trailing after him in the air, “Just why did G-man have to be right about this?!
Exchanging baffled glances with each other, Buffy, Willow, and Cordelia switched their attention back to a returning Xander heading towards their table while carrying something that the latter two girls soon recognized. Dumping upon the top of the library table a small wooden platform with numerous small statuettes attached to this, Xander pointed a shaking index finger at one specific figurine, while also anxiously asking, “Was that the girl who showed up?”
Following where Xander was indicating, the female trio saw the diminutive sculpture standing on the platform perfectly matched both in dress and features the person who’d changed places with their friend mere moments ago. Cordelia was the first to exclaim, “Yeah, but who the hell is she, and what’s going on? How come you’ve got that little doll of her and the rest of them, anyway? Do you have some completely disgusting secret of yours, Harris, that I don’t really want to know?”
Over the sudden giggles of Buffy and Willow, Xander sent Cordelia his dirtiest look, before resignedly sighing, and going on to explain about an certain investigation of a British mage’s costume shop after Halloween. Cordelia listened in astonishment about how Xander had become further affected by the accidental exposure to Ethan Rayne’s Chaos magic when he’d been carrying that discarded prop consisting of the entire membership of the Legion of Super-Heroes from the DC Comics line. In the middle of Xander’s boring recitation of the complete roster for that 30th-century group, an intent Cordelia then instead imperiously demanded something far more important, “Are you saying that you can change into all of those guys now?!”
Hearing from doofus there a glum “Nope, not the way you think,” Queen C looked around at the others, to see Buffy and Willow, who’d already known all this, solemnly nodding in agreement. Turning back to listen to the rest of Xander’s confession, Cordelia learned, “From what Giles came up with, I do
have a little bit of the Chaos magic in me now, and it’s somehow linked to those statuettes. But nothing’s happened so far ever since I changed the first time into Blok, there.” Xander once more pointed at a certain male figurine larger than the others and having a rocky exterior.
Going on, Xander disconsolately said, “I’ve never been able to change into him again, no matter how hard I tried. I couldn’t change into the others either, even though I really wanted to. I mean, do you know how easy it’d be to clean up Sunnydale if Superboy or Mon-El was around?”
Ignoring those unfamiliar names, Cordelia protested, “But you did
change into, uh, what did you call her?”
“Saturn Girl,” absently identified Xander, who then confessed to the boggled trio, “That’s the main point which Giles figured out over the last couple of weeks, which in turn just got demonstrated to you guys. In short, I don’t seem to have any control over it at all. It looks to be totally random, with no way of knowing who I could turn into, or when, or how long that’ll last. Even the specific powers that the Legion have might be kinda wonky, assuming they’ll work here in the first place.”
Carefully touching her fingertips against the skin of her forehead, a wincing Buffy remembered just what had unpleasantly happened to her brain a short while back…and that big jerk over there was totally to blame for it! Glaring at her sheepish friend, the Slayer snapped, “So, what were you -- her -- doing
to us anyway?”
“Ah, um,” gulped Xander, knowing this was going to be considered wholly his fault, no matter how unfair this was, given that he (or she) couldn’t even remember reflexively using their powers. From the evil looks now being sent his way by all three girls, he’d better ’fess up and hope they wouldn’t be too
furious at him. In a terrified squeak, the teenage male admitted, “Telepathy.”
Cordelia actually managed to match Buffy’s previous speed when the brunette girl burst from her chair to leap directly at Xander’s throat. Bending the young man’s body backwards over the library table with her hands locked around his windpipe, Cordelia shrieked into Xander’s purpling features, “YOU READ MY MIND WITHOUT MY PERMISSION????”
“Urgle…” was the first thing Xander managed to say after a testy Buffy had pried Cordelia’s fingers away from their death grip. Getting upright again and swaying on his feet, the young man blinked away a few tears of pain as he hackingly coughed a few times, before defending himself in a rasping voice, “Look, how many times do I have to tell you, I still don’t remember anything! And yes, that includes whatever I might have accidentally gotten from your thoughts! From what you told me, I was so freaked out at changing into a girl, I instinctively used Saturn Girl’s powers without even meaning to! If it helps any, I’m sorry, OKAY?! I’m sorry for doing it, I’m sorry for being dumb enough to get zapped by Chaos magic, I’m sorry for doing nothing wrong but being Xander Harris, I’m sorry for everything else in the whole universe that could possibly be described as my fault! Most of all, I’m sorry for acting like a total idiot towards the three most beautiful, charming, dignified girls in Sunnydale, whose mere presence brightens my life and makes my humble existence complete!”
As he stood there while rubbing the bruises developing around his throat, a desperate Xander watched how Buffy, Willow, and Cordelia silently traded glances in a shared sisterly communion. Finally, Cordelia then graciously informed the anxious teenage boy, “Fine, then. We accept your groveling apology. However, for the rest of the week, you’re still going to make up for your misdeeds by being our waiter, starting right now. Head for the cafeteria, and bring back a lunch for each of us!”
With a whooshing sound, Xander promptly disappeared from the library in a streak of pure speed, causing the front door to slam open. As he ran down the school corridor towards the lunchroom, the thankful young man rejoicing over the lightness of his punishment had no inkling of what else was talking place behind him inside the library. With one last glance exchanged among the three girls in this room, the XX female group mind which clandestinely ruled the world was once more satisfied that her secret was completely safe, even after one of those tiresome males who normally paid attention only to their testicles and stomachs had not just accidentally changed into the opposite sex, they’d also acquired the mental powers to discover who was really in charge of humanity’s affairs.