((I own nothing from How I Met Your Mother or from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I'm just writing in the worlds they generously provided.
This story contains SPOILERS for all television seasons of Buffy, and up to about the first few episodes of Season Five of How I Met Your Mother.))
Kids, there are many things in life that you can prepare for. You can work hard to get your dream job, listen well enough to know when you’ve found your soul mate, and you can look at people in the right way and know that you’ll be friends forever. It may not seem like it, but these are some of the many things you can prepare for. This story was not one of those things.
I was on my way to MacLaren’s with your Uncle Barney and your Uncle Marshall after they got off of work. We were going to meet up with Aunt Robin and Aunt Lily, or at least, that’s what we had planned. But that’s not how things started. Things started, as they often did back then, with your Uncle Barney and a woman.
“Check that out!” Barney said, one arm wrapped around Ted’s shoulders, the other pointing directly at an exotic-looking brunette standing at the top of the steps leading down to the bar. “Look at that face. I wonder… Lebanese, maybe?”
“Dude, you go find out,” Marshall said, inwardly surprised that Barney had commented on her face of all bodily features. “Ted and I’ll pick up the first round and wait for you.”
“Right with you, bro,” Ted said, making to follow Marshall.
“Oh, come on, Ted!” Barney protested. “You’re not going to be my wing-man on this one?”
Ted sighed, thinking of a way to get out of being the butt of one of Barney’s very strange attempts to pick up women. “It’s okay, Barney. I think you’re sufficiently awesome to pick up a girl all by yourself.”
“Huh. You’re right. Later, losers.”
So, Marshall and I left Barney to his latest conquest. Or so we thought. But more on that later.
As Ted waited for the beer, Marshall looked around for the others, not finding them at their usual booth. But there, sitting alone at a table for two, was Lily, nursing a hot cocoa. Smiling, Marshall walked over and sat down across from her.
“Hey, baby. How was your day?” he said, leaning in for a kiss.
Lily leaned back and looked quite nervous. “Uh, not to be rude, but I don’t think that’s any of your business, sir.”
“Baby,” Marshall said bemusedly, “you don’t have to call me ‘sir.’ And why isn’t it my business what kind of day my wife had?”
Lily looked at him as if he was crazy. “Are you okay, mister? Didja fall and hit your head or something?”
“Hey, Lily,” Ted said as he stood at the table holding the plastic tankard of beer. “Why aren’t we at our booth?”
This statement seemed to confuse Lily. “Who’s Lily?” she asked.
That statement seemed to confuse Ted and Marshall. “Uh, you are?” Ted said helpfully.
It didn’t help. “No, my name is not Lily. I think you’ve mistaken me for someone else.”
Ted and Marshall looked at each other with mouths wide-open. “You don’t think…” Marshall began.
“I do think,” Ted replied.
“The third doppelganger!” they said as one.
“Look, I am so sorry, miss,” Marshall said. “It’s just that you look exactly
like my wife. It’s not the first time we’ve seen someone who looked like one of our group of friends, but who was really someone else entirely.”
Not-Lily’s face dawned in comprehension. “I get it. So, your wife is ‘Jasmine,’ right?” she said with air-quotes around the name.
“No,” Marshall said patiently. “Her name is Lily. Do you, um, mind if we get your name? I’m Marshall, and this is my friend, Ted.”
“Hi,” Ted said with a friendly wave. Do you mind if we move this to the booth? We can all sit down and chat together until our friends arrive?”
“Sure thing! I’m Willow, by the way. Nice to meet ya.” All the confusion and tenseness seemed to be gone, and a friendly young Lily-lookalike was now joining them in their booth.
“So,” Ted said as he poured everyone a beer, “Who is Jasmine?”
“Uh, well…” Willow took out her cell phone and brought up some pictures. She passed the phone to Marshall.
“No way! Ted, are you seeing this?”
“I’m seeing it,” Ted said from Marshall’s side, “but I’m not believing it.”
“A second third doppelganger!”
“Huh.” Willow seemed amused. “So I have two more lookalikes out there. Go figure.”
“Wait, wait!” Ted said excitedly. “You mean there’s a fourth
one of you? Counting Lily, that is?”
“Uh, that depends,” Willow said doubtfully. “Do alternate universe versions count?”
The nerds within Ted and Marshall grinned like idiots. “Definitely!”
“Oh. Well, then yes. There’s another one.”
“Oh, man!” Marshall said. “Lily is going to love this!”
Lily didn’t love it. But to get to that, first we need to get back to your Uncle Barney, chatting up the girl outside the bar.
“Hey, baby,” Barney greeted the young woman with his usual self-confidence. “Awfully cold to be out on your own. Want to go inside? I’ll buy you a drink,” he said with a wink.
The woman smiled at him, and Barney almost physically recoiled. He knew that smile. He’d written about it on his blog, and posted a photo which had been taken at great personal risk. It was the smile of a mature, self-confident, independent-minded woman who didn’t take any bull from anyone in the world. It was the smile of the nemesis of single men everywhere. ‘The Menesis.’
As soon as the word ‘Menesis’ popped into Barney’s head, he cocked his head to the side, and two more words soon followed. Challenge accepted!
“Sorry, hun,” the woman said, “but I’m waiting for someone,” she said with a calm that Barney knew was deceptive.
“I see,” he said carefully. “And, how long’ve you been waiting?”
The woman sighed. “Twenty minutes, now that you mention it. You happy?”
“Eagh! No! No, I’m sorry,” Barney said quickly, attempting to regain his composure. “No, I’m not happy. Someone so beautiful as you shouldn’t be kept waiting on a such a cold night.”
She sighed. “No, it’s fine. Will’s never stood me up. We saw each other earlier today, and she said to meet here. So, here is where we’ll meet.”
The wheels in Barney’s head were turning. He knew just the right play from The Playbook to use. Only it wasn’t at the top of the Empire State Building, so it might not work. But a chance to score with a Menesis… It was a long shot, but he had to try it!
“I’m sorry. He’s not coming.”
This produced a very unexpected laugh from the young woman, who sounded like she’d be a devil in the sack. “Will’s coming. I’m sure of it.” She tilted her head. “You haven’t told me your name.”
Taking her hand in his, Barney brought it to his lips. “Barney Stinson, at your service, Miss…?”
“Kennedy,” she said with a curious smile.
“Kennedy?!” Score! I’m gonna bang a Kennedy! That’s one more off the list!
But Kennedy laughed. “No, not like the famous family. That’s my first name.”
That’s how Barney tells the story, and I believed him up to that point. The rest of the story would have been less credible if your Aunt Lily and Aunt Robin hadn’t walked out of the apartment at just that moment.
Robin walked beside Lily out of the apartment building and were about to head down to the bar when a shrill voice pierced the air.
“And who the hell are you
supposed to be?” a brunette woman said. She was standing next to Barney of all people when she came up to Lily and wrapped an arm around her. “Baby, who’s this?”
Lily looked slightly taken aback. “Uh, wow. I feel flattered, I guess. But, that’s Robin. And we’re going inside now. I’m guessing from this that Barney’s not your kind of guy? Or well, guys aren’t your kind of guy?”
“What? I’ve been hitting on a lesbian all this time and didn’t even know it?”
“Shut up!” Kennedy barked at him before turning back to Lily. “Willow, how could you do this to me?!”
Robin looked from face to face, searching for an explanation. “Um, I’m sorry, miss, but that-“
“Shut up, whore!”
“Excuse me!” Robin said indignantly.
Lily got the next few words in. “I hate to break it to ya, honey, but whoever you think I am, I’m not. My name’s not Willow.”
“What do you… Oh. OH! You were at the club a few nights ago. Jasmine, right?”
Lily shot a look at Robin. “Don’t look at me! I have no idea what she’s talking about.”
“Ye-aah," Lily said to the brunette. "I don’t know how to break this to you, um, what’s your name?”
“Kennedy,” Barney offered.
“Quiet, you!” Kennedy shouted.
“Yes, ma’am,” Barney said meekly, beating a hasty retreat from the Menesis into the safety of the bar.
Robin started to clap. “Bravo! Really, handling Barney like that… That just made my day.”
“Robin!” Lily said testily. “So, Kennedy… My name is Lily. I don’t know who this ‘Jasmine’ is that you’re talking about.”
Kennedy merely crossed her arms and nodded. “Sure you don’t. Because that’s just a stage name, right?”
“No! God, what is wrong with you? I teach kindergarten. What do you think I am? A stripper?”
This was not a smart thing to say to Lily. But more on that later.
Meanwhile, Ted and Marshall were having a nice and pleasant chat with Willow inside the warm walls of MacLaren’s. Willow had turned down the offer of free beer, merely saying that a friend had had bad experiences with the stuff in the past. She was currently regaling them with the most outlandish tales from her hometown, the name of which she refused to disclose.
“And this one time, back home, everyone in town burst into song, like in a Broadway musical number. Only, sometimes they danced too much and they spontaneously combusted.”
Ted and Marshall shared a look, but really, they were having a telepathic conversation.This stuff can’t possibly be true, can it?
Marshall said.Does it matter?
Ted countered. It’s still awesome.Thank you,
Willow said with a smile.
“You’re welcome,” Ted said aloud. He then replayed the scenario in his head.Ted,
Marshall said, How is it that she can listen in on our telepathic conversations?
Because I’m telepathic, dummy.
“Eaaagh!” Ted and Marshall both recoiled, grabbing each other in a protective embrace.
Willow laughed out loud at them. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to snoop. It just happens by accident sometimes.”
“You mean, you can really read people’s minds?” Ted asked.
“Dude,” Marshal said. “It’s pretty clear that Willow is a witch.” He turned to face the Lily-lookalike. “An awesome witch, I mean.”
“Oh. Why, thank you,” she said with a beaming smile.
Ted gave a nervous laugh. “Please forgive Marshall. He’s superstitious.”
“Ted,” Marshall said quietly. “Be nice to the witch.”
Willow merely smiled. “It’s okay. Really, you guys are fine.”
The sound of rushing footsteps from the doorway alerted Ted and Marshall to Barney’s presence. “Guys, we’re in trouble!”
“Chill out, Barney. What’s wrong?” Ted asked patiently before turning to Willow. “Sorry about Barney, he’s just a bit… Well, he’s Barney.”
“What’s wrong? What’s WRONG?! Ted, there is a lesbian Menesis outside, and she thinks Lily is her girlfriend. If they join forces…”
Willow chuckled, drawing Barney’s attention, eliciting a harsh gasp. “It’s her! Stay back, everyone! Her partner is a Menesis! There’s no telling the destructive power she could unleash upon us all.”
“You have no idea, mister,” Willow said with a dark chuckle.
“Yeah, dude, chill,” Marshall said. “She’s a witch. Don’t piss her off.
“Thank you, Marshall. I can see what my doppelganger sees in you.”
“Aw, you’re too kind.”
“So, Kennedy’s outside? I told her to meet me here. Why didn’t she come in?”
Remember when I told you about that conversation between Kennedy and your Aunt Lily? The one where Kennedy called Lily a stripper? Well, that back-and-forth happened at the same moment that Willow asked why her girlfriend was still outside.
The glass by the stairs shattered as a brunette body came flying through the window and landed on the table around which sat Ted, Marshall, and Willow.
“Oh, hey, sweetie,” Willow said. “What sort of demon did you piss off this time, Ken?”
"WHAT DID YOU CALL ME, BITCH?!”
Lily was standing by the broken glass, crawling inside looking angrier than I’ve ever seen her before, except perhaps for her ‘dead to me’ face.
“Will, baby,” Kennedy said, “I think she’s a Slayer.”
“Slayer-me?” Willow said. “Is it wrong that I’m turned on right now, Ken?”
“No, Will. So am I.”
What happened next was a long and bloody battle between Kennedy and your Aunt Lily. Tables were upended and thrown as if they weighed nothing. Kicks, punches, and leaps that I didn’t think were humanly possible were performed in a beautiful, almost hypnotizing sort of dance. Only it was a dance that left a lot of bruises and cuts the longer it went on. The rest of us tried to break them up, despite Willow warning us that we should wait it out. Your Uncle Barney was the only one smart enough to listen, and he got out of there. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity…
Ted, Marshall, and Robin looked at Willow, whose eyes had turned completely black. She reached out her hands, and an invisible force pushed Lily and Kennedy away from each other and held them in place on opposing walls.
“Now, children, you’ve fought enough,” Willow said with a calmness that belied her power. “You’re going to let go of your anger, agree that neither of you can beat the other, and you’re going to apologize to each other.”
Marshall was smiling. “She sounds so much like Lily with her kids.”
“So I’m going to let you go now,” Willow said, “and you’re not going to fight anymore. Because you’re both too tired to fight anymore. Right?”
“Like hell! I am!” Lily shouted.
“Let me at that bitch!” Kennedy yelled.
Willow sighed. “Let me rephrase. “You’re both too tired to fight anymore. Right?
Lily looked ready to protest, but instead, she yawned. “I can go all night,” she said weakly. “Lemme at her. I’m still game,” she slurred.
“Damn you, Will,” Kennedy said slowly, equally tired all of a sudden. “I love you, baby, but come on.”
“Sorry, Ken. I’m gonna let you both down now, okay?”
Some general mumbles of what might have been agreement followed, and Lily and Kennedy sank to the floor as Willow lowered her hands. Her eyes slowly faded until the black was gone.
“Now, then. Slayer-me… Uh, I mean, Lily? I’m gonna need to talk with you about what your super-strength and such means for you.”
“Coming, Lily-pad!” Marshall said as he helped his wife to her feet. “So, you’re super strong now, huh?”
“I guess, honey. I wonder if I have any other superpowers.”
“Maybe. I wouldn’t use your ‘dead to me’ look anytime soon. It might become literal.”
“So, what’d I miss?”
Everyone turned to see Barney standing in the doorway.
“Aw, don’t tell me the girl fight is over already?”
“Yes, Barney,” Ted said consolingly. “The mass property destruction is over.”
“Oh! That reminds me,” Willow said as she raised her arms again. Her hair turned white as glass and wood began to move through the air and the bar repaired itself.
“Wow,” Robin said. “That was… That was pretty damn cool.”
“Thank you,” Willow said. “And might I add, yowza! Kennedy, look at her. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
“I think so, hun,” Kennedy mumbled.
“I think I'm thinking what you're thinking,” Barney said.
“I think I know what you’re all thinking,” Robin said,” and I think you ought to stop thinking so much.”
“Well, I think, ah ah ah! I think that I know just the way to unwind after all this.”
And so, half an hour later, the seven of us found ourselves sitting together in a certain ‘gentlemen’s club.’
“And now, may I introduce the lovely… Jasmine!”
Whistles and catcalls filled the air as a fishnet-wearing, scantily clad redhead walked down the catwalk as hundred-dollar bills rained down at her feet.
“Wow! I am HOT!” Lily said. “Kennedy, I’m so sorry I got mad about you calling me a stripper. If you were comparing me to her, I’ll take it as a compliment. Friends?”
“You bet!” Kennedy said with a smile. “But talk later. Show now.”
“I’m so glad you both made up,” Willow said. “Just think of it, Kennedy. Do you think we can afford to get Jasmine to do a private show later?”
“Probably. My dad’s pretty rich, and he doesn’t ask what I do with the money he gives me. Hell, his company recently bought out a huge bank. I mean, literally huge. It’s called ‘Goliath National Bank.’”
Barney gagged. “I’m sorry, but I never got your last name?” he asked in a terrified whisper.
The brunette Slayer smiled up at him. “The full name’s Kennedy Bilson.”
“Euuuuhhh! Y-y-y-you’re...” Barney could say no more before he fled the building, not wanting to be anywhere near his boss’s daughter.
Marshall, who also worked for Bilson, was content to remain where he was. “I’m so glad everything worked out, honey.”
“Mm. Me too, Marshmallow. And I’m thinking that I need to have a chat with Jasmine about getting one of those costumes. What do you think?”
Marshall just smiled and kissed his wife lovingly.
And that, kids, is the story of how I met your Aunt Lily’s two doppelgangers. Well, there was also that other one from an alternate universe. But that’s another story entirely.