Can I Help It If I Keep Sneezing? This was inspired by a thread on the TTH forums.
A Buffy the Vampire Slayer/surprise crossover (or not such a surprise perhaps if you are following the particular TTH forum thread)
Spoilers for Buffyverse through end of both BTVS and ATS-except for the comics, which I still refuse to acknowledge exist except perhaps in the evil Star Trek mirror universe.
Disclaimer at End
Xander grimaced as Buffy and Willow looked over at him yet again with looks of sheer exasperation on their faces. “Sorry,” he said meekly, although his nose was so stuffy, that the oft repeated word could barely be made out.
Of course, that did not matter, as the others already knew what Xander had been trying to apologize. Again. The fact that both medicine and magic had failed to put a dent in the sneezing, and he simply had to wait for the cold to run its course, was of no comfort to him.
“It’s coming again!” Willow shouted as she and Dawn got ready to create yet another reverse portal, while Buffy took position to assist. Unfortunately, there was not really much Buffy could do against the current threat, even with all of her Slayer prowess. Even Glory at her most powerful would not have been a match for the danger they now faced.
They had been very lucky that Willow and Dawn had been in Cleveland for an extended visit during the holidays. While Xander and Buffy had intended to remain for a while so that Faith and her husband Robin Wood could take an extended break from Hellmouth duty, Willow and Dawn had planned to return back to England after New Year’s in order to attend to Council business. Xander’s post-Christmas cold however, had changed everything.
It was the day after Christmas when Xander had started coming down with the cold. During the late afternoon, although he had the sniffles, no one had expected that not only Xander’s health would take a turn for the worse, but that it would potentially threaten the existence of all life on Earth.
It was after a particularly loud sneeze from Xander while they were in the recreation room of the main Cleveland Slayer house that the frantic call from Antonia had come in. Antonia, was one of the newer Slayers in Cleveland and had been patrolling by the lakeshore that night. Willow, with a quick portal spell, brought herself, Buffy, Dawn and Xander, along with several of the minis who were not out on patrol, to Antonia’s location so they could help her against the threat.
As soon as they had arrived, Buffy had quickly sent out the local “red alert” signal for Cleveland that Willow had had programmed into all of the cell phones carried by the Slayers, Watchers and magic users. The phones were a brilliant combination of magic and technology, using both modern GPS location technology and a built in location spell, that enabled those receiving the alert signal to know exactly where help was needed so that they assistance could be provided. The priority alert signal was designed to allow quick assistance for those problems that required an ‘all hands on deck’ response, and each major location where the new Council operated had such phones. The massive portal in the midst of Lake Erie where the head of a massive, Japanese monster movie sized, winged creature with tentacles coming from its head certainly qualified.
“It’s, it’s…” Willow had stuttered, before remembering that under no circumstances should the name of the thing that was arising from the lake be spoken.
“Even Illyria acknowledged that she and her fellow ‘Old Ones’ had their own legends of ‘Old Ones’ which had existed for aeons before her own kindred.” Dawn had been so frightened that she had actually been able to calmly describe the now not so theoretical ‘Old One’ in Lake Erie.
Buffy had voiced the question that was obvious to all of them, even through their fright. “Okay, how did this Old One that I can’t name because I will piss it off even more show up just in time to ruin our holiday vacation?”
It had been just at that moment that Xander sneezed again, drawing the attention of the slowly rising Old One. It was also at that same moment that they had all realized how and why the Old One had decided to visit Cleveland. “Cutchoo,” Xander sneezed.
“Wait, the big angry Old One appears to punish the offender who dares to say its name, even when its name is mangled?” Buffy had exclaimed in surprise. If a mere sneeze “Cutchoo” could summon the great and mighty Cthulhu, for whom the entire group of Old Ones were named, Old Ones that were so old that they were aeons old to Illyria and her ilk of Old Ones, they were in real serious trouble.
While Dawn made a slow bleeding cut on her hand so that she and Willow could once again attempt to close the latest portal, Buffy just hoped that Xander would be over his cold real soon. She comforted herself in the fact that it could be worse, since only Xander’s sneezes seemed to be attracting the attention of Cthulhu.
As Willow and Dawn finally closed the latest portal that holiday week, they all grimaced as they heard Xander sneeze loudly yet again, “Cutchoo.” I own neither the Buffyverse, which is the creation of Joss Whedon and is owned by Joss and the production companies/studios/conglomerates who have rights to it, nor do I own anything related to the Cthulhu Mythos, which is the creation of H.P. Lovecraft and his many colleagues and followers, particularly August Derleth (who actually coined the term). Cthulhu itself was created by H.P. Lovecraft, and the rights to Cthulhu and the Mythos are owned by the Lovecraft estate, and whatever authors and publishing houses/conglomerates have rights to various parts thereof. I do not profit off of this story, and do not own the characters or verses. Only the twisted story idea is mine, albeit inspired by the TTH forums.