Disclaimer: Rainbow Brite was created by Hallmark greeting cards. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was created by Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy inc. Green Lantern was created by Bill Finger and Martin Nodell, The Emotional Spectrum storyline was created by Geoff Johns. The Justice League is owned by DC comics/Warner Brothers. This is a piece of fanfiction and not written for profit.
Whether it was the birds singing that caused it, or the events of the night before... Xander woke up angry.
Last night hadn't been like what anyone had been expecting. It wasn't just anther round of exploring each other's bodies. It was something else entirely.
For him it had been feral and nothing more than pure rutting. The things he'd done to Harmony could easily have gotten him arrested for sexual assault if she decided to press charges.
Even if she had been the one to initiate things.
Xander strode out of his shared bedroom and into the back yard. Even in the morning light, he had a very visible corona of red energy around him. Xander walked to the nearest tree and just started pouring energy into it. He dumped all of his anger, his rage and his power into the tree.
The tree blackened and withered as though it had been struck with a fast acting blight.
Anger spent, Xander let go of the tree and sighed. He felt better.
“Did you have to hurt the tree?” Buffy asked him as she came out of the house.
“It was the tree or me.” Xander said flatly. “Last night can't happen again. Not like that.”
“It went badly I'll admit.” Buffy said as she walked up to the dying tree. She concentrated as she touched the blackened bark and the tree slowly began to heal. “You and Harmony don't mix energies well.”
Buffy sighed. “She brings out the beast in you. We know that now. Come on, we have school today.”
“All right. Has Willow fixed Dawn's records?” Xander asked Buffy.
“Her and Oz are on it now.” Buffy told him. “Everyone else is getting ready. You slept in a bit.”
“Well... it happens.” Xander shrugged. “I'm going to go get ready for school.”
“Just remember to darken your hair as much as you can. We don't need Snyder going on about the dress code.” Buffy reminded him.
Xander nodded but grinned as they headed back into the house. “Come on, I'm sure I can get him angry enough to have a stroke.”
“Xander. You know better.” Buffy chided him.
“Fine fine.” Xander sighed. “Still. Today might be fun.”
“Or a nightmare.” Buffy told him. “No matter what outfit I've picked out, I always want to put on the rainbow belt.”
“It is the ultimate accessory.” Xander grinned. “I say go for it. You've still got the star mark on your cheek too.”
“That isn't coming off.” Buffy grinned. “I tried. Noxzema isn't cutting it.”
“It suits you.” Xander told her. “I've got a shower with my name on it. I still need to wash the stink off from last night.”
“You doing better?” Buffy asked him.
“Yeah. I guess. If I destroy any more foliage I'll let you know.” Xander told her.
“I'll hold you to that.” Buffy nodded as he headed towards the bathroom.
On the way to school....
“So... this is going to be different is isn't it?” Dawn said as she looked out from the rear window of Oz's van at the High School.
“You'll get the hang of it. You were in advanced programs at your school so we can get you up to speed here.” Buffy assured her sister. “As long as you don't freak out we'll be fine. Remember, you're Aunt Susan's daughter Dawn Summers.”
“Good thing she can't be reached due to her having become an Amish Mennonite.” Dawn grinned.
“Considering everything we've learned about the world since I became the Slayer? She probably made the right choice.” Buffy laughed. “Come on, we're going to be late.”
Later that day....
“Okay... I think the lunch-lady is trying to kill us.” Dawn said as she stabbed her food with her fork. It made a suspicious squeaking noise as she twisted her utensil.
“Maybe she took lessons from Grandma Frump.” Willow offered.
“So... how do you think you're doing?” Cordelia asked Dawn.
“Pretty good.” Dawn grinned. “Aside from the boys staring of course.”
“Well you are the new girl.” Buffy said. “That always garners attention. Though that short skirt of yours probably helps too.”
“It's a respectable length.” Dawn countered. “Guys can't even see my underwear unless I want them to.”
Xander choked on his milk as Cordelia, Harmony and Aura grinned at each other over that comment.
“So... what's next?” Dawn asked.
“P.E.” Xander said after he stopped gagging. “It's the Monday after Halloween so odds are we're running to burn the candy off. Our coach is a bit of a binge eater so he sublets his guilt onto us.”
“He sounds like a swell guy.” Dawn said as she gave up on eating her meal. “So... what will we be wearing?”
“Well we can wear school gym clothes or spandex and sports bras.” Harmony said. “Both are okay.”
“Well if we're running... spandex it is.” Dawn grinned. “Give them something to look at.”
“You're enjoying this way too much.” Buffy said with a hint of a glare at her sister.
“I like being... older.” Dawn said. “The onset of puberty is overrated anyways. I may not be done growing... but at least I won't have any growing pains.” She shrugged. “So we get to run on not very full stomachs. Should be a blast.”
“Whatever it is, it starts in five.” Willow cautioned. “Let's turn these in and get to it.”
“I'll see you guys there.” Oz said before heading off towards the gym.
“Where is he going?” Cordelia asked.
“Probably taking a deuce.” Xander ventured. “The Salisbury steak always tends to cause that reaction in me too.”
“Didn't need to know that.” Buffy said as she wrinkled her nose.
“Hey, everybody poops.” Xander shrugged. “Some people are just better at hiding that fact. Mainly women.”
“Only because you've never been inside a ladies room. Trust me, if it weren't for the strong plumbing here there would be some serious problems.” Aura told him “Whatever you think guys can do to destroy a toilet... it's only mirrored by women.”
“Seeing as I will continue to keep the mysteries of the ladies room just that... I'll take your word on it.” Xander said with a shudder.
“Okay. That's enough of the bathroom talk.” Cordelia said.
And it was.
“Has he been crying?” Dawn whispered to Xander.
“Maybe. He also has a Tootsie Roll wrapper stuck to the bottom of his shoe.” Xander whispered back.
“Harris! Rope now!” the coach called.
Xander sighed before heading over to the climbing rope by the bleachers.
“Up and down. Five times.” The coach called as he rubbed his eyes. “You're setting a bad example for the transfer.”
Xander nodded and climbed up the rope with little visible effort before scaling back down and then up again.
It took less than two minutes for him to scale the rope the required number of times.
“Okay then.” The Coach said as a small tic developed on the right side of his face. “Everybody, we're doing laps.”
There were a few groans but more than a few of the teens nodded as they knew this was coming.
The Coach blew into his whistle. “Today!” He shouted. “Move it, move it!”
The whole group started jogging out of the gym and towards the football field where the track was. They had another forty-five minutes of class and they knew they'd be running for all of it.
It was ten minutes into the run when people noticed the eight people that were in the front of the group that were starting to outpace the rest of them.
Buffy and the rest were just getting warmed up. Xander and Oz were in the front of the group and the shorter teen was easily keeping pace with the taller one.
“You're faster than I thought.” Xander said to Oz.
“Buddy Blue was the athletic one.” Oz told him. “I found myself doing a calisthenics routine right after waking up this morning. Push-ups are weird when you're naked.”
“Scraping the floor with the danglies?” Xander ventured.
“Yup.” Oz agreed. “Think we'll make the track team?”
“Think we'll pass the piss tests with our urine?” Xander countered. “Mine's bright red.”
“Point.” Oz agreed. It was something that went unsaid by the girls but he himself had also experienced the blue poo. “Let's freak them out a little more.”
“You're on.” Xander grinned as he started running faster.
“Boys.” Harmony snorted from behind the pair.
“It is so on!” Buffy said from behind the others before she tried to take the lead.
“So what happened?” Dawn asked Xander as he came out of the boy's locker room.
“He had me pee in a cup. Then he started crying when he saw it.” Xander told her. “I think he's heading for his candy stash.”
“Only Willow's is the 'normal' color.” Dawn sighed. “So... how'd I do for my first day?”
“Great.” Xander grinned. “Classes alright for you?”
“I'll manage.” Dawn assured him. “Somehow. Though I have to say, 'The Last of the Mohicans'? I thought 'Ethan Frome' was bad.”
“American Literature.” Xander nodded. “I agree. So... you want to go.... study?”
“I thought anatomy was a senior class?” Dawn smirked.
“Doesn't mean we can't take an accelerated course.” Xander countered.
Dawn rolled her eyes. “It's all about sex with you isn't it?”
“Yes. Yes it is.” Xander grinned.
“Fine.” Dawn said. “Girls showers?”
“Sounds good.” Xander agreed. “Think we'll be done in time for patrol?”
“Only if we hurry.” Dawn said as she dragged him towards the gym.
“See, we can see just fine out of the helmets.” Dawn said as they continued going through the cemetery.
“Still... Power Ranger outfits?” Harmony asked. “Really?”
“Tight spandex that is color coordinated and let's us use blasters and melee weapons with little fuss or confusion.” Buffy said as she listed the good points on her fingers. “What's not to love?”
“Well... the wedgies for one.” Willow said.
“You're wearing underwear?” Everyone else asked her.
“Um... yes?” Willow said as she shrank in on herself a little.
“Demon.” Xander called as he raised his 'toy' blaster. He let off a shot that penetrated the demon's head causing it to fall over and dissolve into a puddle of goo.
“I take back my previous statement.” Harmony said. “This was a good idea. Still... where are we going to get giant robots?”
“Well... I guess that's what practice is for.” Oz said.
“Dibs on MechaGodzilla!” Xander called.
“I'm green so I get the Dragon Zord.” Dawn countered. “You can get either the T-Rex or the Dragon.”
“Does this mean I'm the smart one?” Oz asked.
“Do you want to be?” Buffy asked. “Cause I'm the pretty one.”
“Hey!” All of the other girls and Xander said together before glaring at each other and then Buffy before they all turned to stare at Xander.
“Dawn tells me I'm pretty.” Xander muttered.
“I said you were pretty good at this.” Dawn said as she slapped her hand against her helmet.
“How was I supposed to hear all of that when your thighs were covering my ears?” Xander asked. “You know what, I'm just going to go kill something else. Maybe I'll feel better.” He said before storming off.
“I'd better follow him.” Oz said. “You five can sort out who's prettiest on your own. I know who I would vote for but it'd be a tie.”
“Do we really have to do this?” Aura asked.
“Wrestle for it?” Harmony offered.
“Nah. That could get really weird. Paper Rock Scissors?” Cordelia suggested.
“Too many of us.” Willow said. “High card wins when we get back to the house?”
“Guys, this is trivial. We could be doing better things than bicker about who's prettier. Cards wouldn't work and Cordelia has power over love and lust so anyone we'd get to judge wouldn't be impartial.” Buffy said as Cordelia buffed her gloved hand's nails on her spandex uniform.
“So... now what?” Aura asked.
“Let's kill and pillage.” Buffy said with a grin none could see. “I feel like liberating some shiny objects from the undead. Things that sparkle with rainbows when light goes through them would be nice.”
“Dibs on any emeralds.” Dawn said.
“So we're agreed to hold off the who is prettier debate?” Buffy asked.
“Fine.” Harmony huffed. “Dibs on any citrine or other orange stoned jewelry we find.”
“That goes without saying.” Buffy nodded. “Rangers, let's roll out.”
“Okay, now that was tacky.” Dawn said as they jogged after the boys.
“Finally.” Cordelia muttered. “Someone agrees with me.”
“I still say we should have dressed like Sailor Scouts.” Aura griped.
“Xander doesn't do formal-wear.” Dawn said. “I don't think Oz was too keen on the whole tuxedo idea either.”
“Spoilsports.” Aura muttered.
“They can be.” Dawn agreed. “Ready for some killing?”
“As I can be.” Aura admitted. “Not sure if I'm going to be any good at it.”
“You'll manage.” Dawn told her.
“That was... fun.” Oz said as they all relaxed around the house, favored beverages in everyone's hands.
“So shiny.” Harmony said as she played with some of the jewelry she'd acquired. “Shiny and mine.”
“Okay... as far as first outings go... we did a lot better than I thought we would.” Buffy said as she sipped her Diet Coke. “Way better than my first outing as the Slayer. No injuries and lots of pretties.”
“So... pawn shop later?” Xander asked as he fiddled with the gold he managed to steal from a mausoleum he'd unintentionally broken through while fighting a rather nasty demon. The golden cross he'd found was fairly unusual.
“After we let Giles look at these. Some of them might be cursed or worth more than the material they're made of.” Willow threw in as she sipped her coffee. “With eight of us here we need to make sure we have enough funds to feed and provide some of the other necessities.”
“Like cable.” Oz threw in.
“I was thinking of satellite but okay.” Willow said with a nod. “A good computer set up as well. None of that crap they have at the school.”
“Anything we buy will be outdated within six months.” Oz countered. “It's not like we're hacking into government files.”
“Umm...” Willow said nervously.
“Often.” Oz amended. “We'll buy some stuff but nothing too fancy. If we have to we can upgrade later.”
“Sounds like a plan.” Buffy said. “Everyone do all right at school today?”
“Mostly.” Harmony said. “Some of the stares from the staff were a bit much.”
“Your top was the tightest.” Cordelia smirked.
“Yes, yes it was.” Harmony grinned.
“The track thing was fun but we really need to see what all we can do that doesn't involve straight energy manipulation.” Aura said. “How strong are we now?”
“That may take some time to figure out.” Willow said. “All of us subconsciously use our powers to one extent or another. We may not be able to actually determine what is us and what's the power since we are our power.”
“So... hold off for further testing.” Xander said “Sounds about right. Tonight was fun. The suits are durable and keeps us from getting coated in blood.”
“Told you they were a good idea.” Dawn grinned. “Even kids shows have their uses.”
“Still be a while before we can create Zord constructs.” Oz said. “Not that we have a use for them right now anyways. As far as keeping our identities hidden... it's a start.”
“So... now what?” Cordelia asked.
“We do our homework.” Buffy said.
Everyone looked at her for a moment before they started laughing.
“Or we could see what's on the local TV stations.” Buffy said with a shake of her head.
As the days went by the group slowly grew closer. While Willow and Harmony would never be actual friends, they were getting along.
Everything seemed to be going smoothly until a visitor dropped into town.
His name was Ford and as soon as Buffy saw her old friend, she knew something was wrong with him.
While she couldn't exactly see it, she could feel the despair in him. It was like a black shroud that enveloped not just his body, but his soul as well.
“Buffy.” Ford said with a false smile.
“Ford.” Buffy nodded. She didn't smile. She could barely look at him. “Why are you here?”
“I'm matriculating.” Ford said softly.
“No. You're not.” Buffy said. “You're sick. Let's go talk in the library.”
“All right.” Ford said with a small nod. “Let's do that.”
“How long have you been sick?” Buffy asked him as they walked towards the double doors leading into one of the quietest places in the school.
“A while. They didn't catch it in time. It's growing too fast.” Ford said. “How?”
“It's a thing.” Buffy said. “Let me get one of my friends in here. We might be able to help you.”
For a brief moment the black shroud faded a little before it came back and threatened to consume Ford.
“I've heard that before.” Ford almost growled.
“You haven't anything like us before.” Buffy promised her friend.
“It's a tumor.” Oz said as he poked Buffy's friend's head with glowing hands.
“Tell me something I don't know.” Ford said with a wince. He hadn't taken any medication since he'd gotten to the school and his head was killing him.
“Tumors are tricky. They're malfunctioning cells that think they aren't.” Oz said.
Buffy looked at her usually stoic friend.
“I've been reading.” Oz shrugged. “Give me a minute.” He said as he started glowing brighter.
Buffy stared at the two as Oz tried to remove the tumor.
“Ford, you have to want this to work.” Buffy told her friend. “You have to have hope or it's all for nothing.”
“She's not wrong. Hope is kind of my thing.” Oz said. “Stop moping. It's ruining my work.”
Ford sighed but tried to take his mind off of his terminal cancer. There was an intense flash of blue light and the pain in his head was gone.
“Woah.” Ford said with a sigh of relief as he felt more clearheaded than he had in months.
“To quote Ernest.... 'Eww....'” Oz said as he shook the glop off his hands.
“Is that?” Buffy asked.
“It was.” Oz nodded. “I'm gonna go pass out now.” He told her before wandering off to go do just that.
“That was different.” Ford said as he stared at the ugly mass of... stuff on the floor.
“So... what was your plan anyways?” Buffy asked him.
“Find a vampire and set you up to die so I could become one.” Ford told her before she smacked him hard on the arm.
“You jerk! Don't you know what happens to vampires I come across?” Buffy said. “Nevermind the fact that it wouldn't be you. It'd be a demon who thinks its you.”
“Wait... what?” Ford said as he stared at his friend. “Seriously?”
“Yeah.” Buffy said. “Your soul goes elsewhere and something else get's put in its place.” Buffy said. “No soul, no humanity.”
“Well.... shit.” Ford muttered. “That... actually makes a little more sense now.”
“Seriously, what the hell?” Buffy asked.
“I was doped up on a lot of pain medication and desperate.” Ford said. “And I was really angry about the unfairness of it all.”
“Oh don't get me started on anger.” Buffy said with a sigh. “You haven't seen rage until you've seen my friend Xander get stuck in line somewhere.”
“That bad?” Ford asked.
“Let's just say he's not welcome back at the DMV for at least a year.” Buffy said with a shudder. Granted all of the staff that had been killed were demons but it was still one hell of a mess. The entire ceiling of the DMV still looked like a Jackson Pollock painting.
“Okay. Sorry about you know... wanting to get you killed and all.” Ford said.
“Hey, just don't do it again mister.” Buffy told him. “Now go call your Dad. He's probably worried sick about you.”
“Yeah.” Ford said softly. “I'll do that.”
“Good.” Buffy smiled. “Family is the most important thing Ford. Never forget that.”
“I won't.” Ford said with a laugh. “I promise.”
Back at the house....
“Why is Oz asleep on the roof?” Xander asked as he came inside the house.
“Well, at least he made it home.” Buffy muttered. “He helped out an old friend of mine today. Kinda wore him out.”
“Oh. That's cool.” Xander said.
“Yes. Yes it was.” Buffy told him before pausing. “I saw something today. Something I didn't like at all.”
“What was it?” Xander asked her.
“I'm not sure yet. But it's bad.” Buffy said. “Really bad.”