Disclaimer: I own neither Red Dwarf nor BtVS and make no money on this fic. R&D Ch1
Xander shook his head as Buffy walked off mid-sentence to coo over a medieval dress. “Well, so much for our touching reconciliation scene, but at least I know where I rate.”
“I'm sorry it’s just-” Buffy said, but Xander didn't hear her, having already turned away and walked into another section, trying not to think of how much life was going to suck or how many fights he was going to have to get into to avoid being labeled a coward and being picked on and isolated by his peers.
“Can I help you?” Ethan asked, startling Xander who had been lost in thought.
“Eeep!” Xander jumped. “Don't do that!”
“Sorry, is there something I can help you with?”
Xander realized he'd been staring at a small display for several minutes. “Yeah, what can you tell me about this outfit?” he asked, trying to cover for his loss of composure.
“That is David Lister; a bit of a slob but a good bloke, has all sorts of adventures while trying to get home to Earth. He's supposed to be an everyman, but when the chips are down he always comes through for his friends,” Ethan said with honest admiration. “It’s from a scifi comedy, British so you probably haven't seen it, called Red Dwarf.”
“Good show?” Xander asked curiously.
“One of the best!” Ethan enthused. “It’s funny, touching, exciting. I was supposed to get the whole set, but the only complete ones were Lister and his cat and some girl requested the cat outfit. See, two of the other characters were a cleaning android and his dead bunkmate's holographic recreation, but all they sent was Kryten's mask, Bob the scutter, and Rimmer's H.”
“Rimmer's H?” Xander asked, ignoring whatever a scutter was for the moment.
“Yeah, see they're on a ship in deep space and Lister's been frozen in time for 3 million years in a stasis pod while Holly, the ship's AI that's gone senile, waited for the radiation levels to die down after Rimmer caused an accident that wiped out the entire crew. To keep Lister from going insane with loneliness Holly made a holographic copy of Rimmer to keep Lister company. Holograms have to wear an H on their forehead to distinguish them from living crew. Since he's a hologram he can't touch anything; well at least until they run across a mad genius but that's later in the series. Think of it as a tech based ghost rather than a supernatural one.”
“I wonder if Giles has any tapes of it?” Xander mused.
“That's the puppy.”
“I went to school with him; tell you what I'll give you the whole thing if you promise to use it to annoy him at least once for old time’s sake.” Ethan offered.
“Deal!” Xander agreed, having no better idea for a costume and little money for one besides. “I annoy him on a daily basis anyway.”
Ethan laughed and quickly boxed it all up for him. “Just don't tell him I put you up to it until after Halloween, I'll be way too busy to visit until then.”
“No problem,” Xander said cheerfully, glad at least one thing had gone right for him today.0oOo0
“Xander?” Joyce asked, taking in the sloppily dressed figure with black dreads wearing a fur lined hat with flaps over his ears and carrying a strange looking head under his arm.
“Dave actually,” Xander said, trying for an English accent that was halfway between Giles and Spike. “Dave Lister, Technician 3rd Class of the mining ship Red Dwarf according to the costume label. It’s a British show, but apparently quite funny despite that.”
Joyce laughed, “Well come on in and I'll call the girls down.”
“Girls! Xander's here!” Joyce called out.
Dawn raced down the stairs and pounced at him, dressed as an orange tiger.
“Hey Dawn-patrol!” Xander said, dropping the head in order to catch her and swinging her around much to the young girl's enjoyment. “How's my favorite Summers girl?”
“I thought I was your favorite Summers girl?” Buffy asked, pausing in her princess outfit at the head of the stairs.
“You've been dethroned,” Xander replied, “felines are my secret weakness.”
Dawn managed a credible purr at that announcement from where she rested on his hip.
Buffy rolled her eyes. “Well wait until you get a load of your favorite redhead … Casper,” Buffy's voice trailed off with a sigh as she saw that once again Willow had let her insecurities get the better of her and put the ghost costume on over the revealing outfit that Buffy had talked her into wearing.
“Since an unnamed incident involving a Wonder Woman outfit when we were twelve, Willow has always gone with the ghost outfit,” Xander said as Willow came down the stairs.
“Not one word!” Willow ordered. “That topic is verboten!”
“Verboten?” Dawn asked.
“It means forbidden in German,” Xander explained, “it sounds more menacing in German so we use verboten to let the other person know the topic is off limits.”
“Cool!” Dawn said, making no move to get off Xander.
“Ghost is traditional,” Willow defended herself.
“Well here,” Xander said, handing Willow the metal H that he'd gotten from Ethan's. “This marks you as David's, I mean my, bunkmate – a technological ghost known as a hologram.”
Willow stuck the H to her forehead the moment Xander finished saying bunkmate.
“Aww I wanted to be your bunkmate,” Dawn said causing Buffy and Willow's eyes to shoot open and Joyce to grin as the girls were clearly misreading what a bunkmate was.
“Sorry kiddo, two bunkmates to a room; I'd have to make Captain to get permission for more and sadly I'm a lowly third technician.”
“You can do it!” Dawn said encouragingly, “I believe in you!”
“Really?” Xander asked as Dawn's head bobbed up and down like a bobble-head doll. “Well, I guess I'll go for it then. But even if I start the climb now it’s going to be like six years before I make captain.”
“I'll wait!” Dawn replied, hugging him tightly.
“Well then I want you to get good grades and stay out of trouble,” Xander said teasing her.
“Pick one,” Dawn replied resolutely.
“I can either get good grades or stay out of trouble; not both. If I get good grades I'll get in trouble during my free time, and if I get a hobby to keep me out of trouble my grades will suffer because of all the time I put into my hobby.”
“Okay, good grades it is,” Xander replied.
“Woohoo!” Dawn cheered. “And you'll work on making Captain in six.”
“Aye aye sir!” Xander replied, making her giggle and giving her a silly salute as he set her down.
Dawn happily skipped upstairs to get her bag so her mom could take her Trick or Treating. 0oOo0
“But the Slayer will be weak love,” Spike tried to reason with Dru, “her blood can make you strong again.”
“You want to taste someone else’s whip,” Dru accused and pouted before retreating to her room, “fine! Then go!”
Spike sighed and signaled for his minions to stand down, he knew better than to go out when she was in this kind of mood.Ethan's spell powered by Janus engulfed the town …
David looked around and wondered where he was, he was sure he hadn't drunk enough to black out or hallucinate something like this because he seemed to be distressingly sober. Before he could figure out a way to rectify that a scantily clad redheaded hologram ran up to him.
“Xander, are you okay?” Willow asked worriedly.
“I seem to be, except the name's Dave, Dave Lister,” he corrected her.
“Oh god you became your costume too... Dave, listen to me – you aren't who you think you are! Your name is Xander Harris and you've been my best friend since forever! You dressed as David Lister from some British show for Halloween, look around you; this isn't normal.”
Lister took a deep breath and paused, the old familiar pains from all the damage and abuse he'd put his body through were gone. He could breathe deeply without coughing and he didn't feel that twinge he'd begun to feel in his right knee when he bent it.
There was a scream and Willow burst out, “Buffy! Please Xander, even if you don't remember who you are, help me save Buffy! She dressed like a 17th century noble woman so she'll be helpless right now.”
Give Dave an existential crisis and he'd probably tell you to smeg off and go get a lager, but give him a girl in distress and he was on the job!
Of course given the fact that he'd been stuck in deep space with no women for longer than the Simpson's entire 209 year run it may not have been entirely altruistic.
“Shoo! Shoo!” Willow called out, running through the imps that surrounded a screaming woman wearing enough dress for a dozen women, making them flee in fear.
“It’s okay ma'am we're here to rescue you!” Dave declared, amazed that he wasn't even slightly winded from the brief sprint.
“Really?” she asked hopefully, not willing to believe that a camp follower and her client would come to her aide.
“Never let it be said that David Lister was one to leave a lady in distress,” David replied, offering her his arm. 0oOo0
Cat looked around with a grin, ignoring the chaos and screams as his nose told him there were quite a few attractive females in the area, but as he stepped forward something on his chest bounced and he froze.
Slowly looking down at his own chest he found that he had sprouted an impressive rack. He bounced on his heels and watched as they bounced in sync with him. He knew he should be upset, but the hypnotic way they moved held him spellbound.
The roar of a shaggy humanoid brought him out of his trance as a girl in a cat outfit ran past.
His nose wrinkled from the smell of the things breath as it roared in his face. “You need some breath mints,” he said, surprised at how feminine he sounded. Idly dodging the creature's clumsy swipes he tried to decide what to do.
He couldn't seduce any of the ladies he smelled because he was currently one of them, and that was confusing him to no end.
The shaggy beast's swings were coming slower and slower.
Cat nodded to himself as he came to a decision; he'd have Dave figure it out and decide what to do. He dodged a pathetic swing from the beast and raised an eyebrow. “You're still here?”
The beast collapsed to the ground and cursed whatever had pulled it from its snowy home as cat walked off sniffing the air for Dave's scent. 0oOo0
“Curry originated in India,” Dave explained to the princess as they sat in the Summers’ living room, trying to find common ground to talk about while Willow ran off to talk to Giles.
“The land of spices?” Elizabeth asked excitedly.
“The same,” Dave said proudly, “and it takes a lot of spices to make a decent curry.”
“Spices from there are dreadfully expensive; why the curry you speak of must be fit for a king!”
“It truly is,” Dave said solemnly, “and since I turned 14 I've eaten nothing else.”
Someone knocked at the door at that moment and Dave got up to answer it, unaware of the way Elizabeth was looking at him.
'A king' she thought to herself. Dave seemed to be a peasant but his knowledge was much greater than a peasant could ever dream of and he'd displayed nobility by coming to her rescue. His bravery was unquestionable as he displayed not a trace of fear when speaking to the shade of a camp follower. He had treated the poor wretch kindly and she had followed his commands; both marks of true nobility. Almost she could believe Dave was a king if not for his youth.
“Buddy you've got to help me!” Cat begged as Dave opened the door.
“Cat?” Dave asked incredulously since cat looked … female, very female in fact. Not to mention pale skinned and blonde.
“It’s me buddy, but something’s happened! I'm not me!” Cat cried out anxiously.
“Cat, haven't you noticed the chaos in the streets or the fact that I'm about half my normal age?”
“Of course I have,” Cat replied, sounding offended. “I'm a cat, my senses are far superior to anyone else’s but none of those things are important because they're not about me! Now focus, I need help!”
Elizabeth's eyes shot open as she heard the two talk. Dave was older than he appeared and the strangely dressed girl … was a cat?! She'd heard the tale of Puss in Boots but had assumed it was simply a fairy tale, but then after the wonders she'd seen tonight...
Elizabeth quickly unbuttoned the top two buttons of her bodice and adjusted herself. She couldn't dally with a commoner, but a king?! She could do so much more. Besides at 16 she was well past the age most were considered old maids and she had no husband or children to show for it.
“And what’s with the corpse?” Cat asked.
“What?” Dave asked confusedly.
“I smell a corpse in the kitchen and its getting closer!”
The door to the kitchen opened and Angel stepped into the room.
“It’s another walking corpse like that virus thing!” Cat ordered, “Kill it!” and found himself hiding behind Dave for some reason.
Dave pulled out a short metal rod and moved forward between the corpse and the girls. “That's far enough!”
“Xander?” Angel asked. “What's going on? It’s chaos outside and I came to make sure Buffy was okay.”
“Well for one thing I'm not Xander,” Dave said. “The name's Dave Lister and for another you're dead. I don't know why nor how you decided to get up and go for a pint, but you ain't harmin' anyone here.”
“I'm a vampire,” Angel began, rolling his eyes.
“Then I'm definitely not offering you a drink,” Dave interrupted, clicking a button a causing a whip made of light to form. “And you ain't getting one from anyone else here either, so I suggest you leave because I really don't want to use this on you, but I will if I have to.”
“You're really not Xander are you?”
“No I'm not, the redhead went to get someone to fix all this and told me to stay here and protect Lady Elizabeth with my life and that's what I plan to do.”
Angel nodded. “Alright, I'll go but I'll hold you to that. Make sure she's protected,” he said before leaving.
“I thought a holowhip could only hurt holograms,” Cat said confused.
“Yeah which is why I'd hate to have to use it on him; then he'd have learned I was bluffing,” Dave said, putting the holowhip away.
Cat laughed and bumped fists with Dave. “Smooth move buddy, now can we get back to my emergency?”
“Take a bath and go to bed,” Dave suggested. “This will probably be over by morning and if not at least it won’t have disrupted your sleep schedule.”
Cat perked up. “Good idea!” he replied before disappearing up the stairs.
“It is a marvelous idea milord,” Elizabeth said, capturing his arm and placing it between her breasts. “It is getting late, might we not follow your sage advice?” 0oOo0
Willow headed back to Buffy's place as Giles set off for Ethan's. A shaggy Sasquatch looking creature came out of nowhere and roared in Willow's face. After jumping nearly a foot Willow yelled at the creature, “Don't do that! You almost gave me a heart attack!”
A swipe of its paw did nothing but annoy Willow further as it passed through her, but before she could say anything the creature burst into tears and ran off.
“Touchy!” Willow muttered and continued down the block and into the Summers’ residence.
“Buffy, Xander?” Willow called out as she looked around the living room. Finding no one downstairs she ventured upstairs and found Harmony in Buffy's room.
“This being a girl thing ain't so bad,” Cat told her cheerfully before returning to an activity that made Willow blush bright red and flee the room.
“I had no idea Harmony was so flexible!” Willow muttered.
The bathroom and Joyce's room proved to be empty, but she found the missing pair in Dawn's room and discovered why neither had answered her call; Xander couldn't hear with his ears covered, and well-bred ladies didn't talk with their mouth's full. 0oOo0
“Break the statue!” Ethan gasped out, surprised at how much Ripper was left beneath the tweed.
Giles growled, grabbed the bust and flung it at Ethan who dodged to the side; shattering it against the wall and emitting a bright flash of light as the spell broke.
By the time Giles had regained his sight Ethan had vanished and the back door was open.
Giles cursed loudly and stomped off.
A minute later Ethan peeked out from beneath the front counter and blessed Ripper's impatience. He wasn't in shape to be going anywhere until he got his ribs taped up. 0oOo0
The three physical residents of the Summers’ house were caught by the wave at the same instant, but at that precise moment they weren't coherent enough to notice. 0oOo0
Willow sat up and gasped for breath as she threw the sheet off her, the metallic H still firmly affixed to her forehead. “Next year I'm dressing as Super Girl.”
Picking herself up Willow worried about the scene she'd walked in on between Xander and Buffy or rather David and Elizabeth before forcing it out of her mind by helping round up the children who were scattered about and crying.
It was another hour until she made it to the library and found Buffy talking to a pouting Angel while Xander comforted a pale immaterial Willow.
“What'd I miss?” Willow asked.
“Willow?!” came the chorus.
“Then who am I?” the holographic Willow asked in shock.
“Hold on,” Xander said as he recalled something Dave had once done and reached inside Holo-Willow and grasped something, making her figure flicker for a moment before he released it and stepped back.
“That felt awful!” Holo-Willow said shimmering.
“You are a holographic version of Willow,” Xander explained, “I don't know how but instead of the ghost you were, you are now the proverbial ghost in the machine from Red Dwarf. I just grabbed your light bee for a moment.”
“I'm not real?!” Holo-Willow wailed.
“You're real, you're real, you're very real,” Xander quickly assured her, “you're just not organic.”
“What?!” was the unanimous reply from everyone.
“You're everything that Willow is up to the point the spell broke,” Xander reasoned, “it’s like someone took a tree and cut it down the center, you're both still Willow it’s just one of you is organic and the other is made of light.”
“I'm still me?” Holo-Willow asked desperately.
“Yes, you're still you,” Xander said. “But you'll grow and change differently than organic Willow, so a month from now you'll both be different Willow's than you are right now anyway, and yet you'll both still be Willow, okay?”
“Okay,” Holo-Willow said slowly beginning to smile.
“Dibs on being the evil twin,” Willow said, startling a laugh from her hologram.
“Well,” Giles said cleaning his glasses. “I suppose that solves our most pressing problem. Are there any other effects from the spell that anyone has noticed?”
“I remember everything that Dave knew,” Xander volunteered.
“I got a load of memories from Elizabeth too,” Buffy offered, “but unless you need to stock a castle for siege or speak 300 year old French it’s not really useful.”
“Dave was in his mid-thirties and the lowest rank officer aboard the Red Dwarf,” Xander added, “he picked up some skills later, but most of them involve equipment that won’t exist for centuries if ever.”
“Well at least you've both gained a more mature outlook,” Giles said with forced cheer.
“Not really,” Buffy and Xander chorused.
Xander waved for Buffy to go first.
“She was about my age when 16 was considered an old maid,” Buffy explained, “all she was really concerned with was running a household, albeit one composed of over a hundred people, and social status. Outside of those two things she was really limited.”
“I always hated those types,” Angel said with a shudder.
“What?” Buffy asked.
“I come from landed gentry, but it was Irish landed gentry and the English, especially those with claims on any sort of title, always thought themselves better than us and would resort to any means fair or foul to try and steal our land from us.”
“Oh,” Buffy said wide eyed.
“The women were the worst; prissy nobles that were used to getting their own way and what passed for law at the time always sided with them, making it impossible to get a fair shake.”
“I really should have researched my costume more,” Buffy groaned.
“That's why I'm not more upset about you and Xander,” Angel said, “I expect that kind of behavior from the girl you were possessed by.”
“You and Xander?” Giles said questioningly. “I expect Elizabeth had no knowledge of birth control, might I hope that Dave had some form of birth control, being from a more responsible time?”
Xander winced. “Dave was so irresponsible he once knocked himself up; don't ask. But Elizabeth was responsible enough to make sure nothing we did could get anyone pregnant.”
“Our naughty parts never came into contact with one another,” Buffy translated.
“That's a load off my mind,” Giles said with a sigh. “I recall several prophecies concerning children of slayers that I'd rather not deal with.”
“Did any concern vampires?” Buffy asked curiously.
“They have no breath,” Xander said, shaking his head.
“A trifle poetic but essentially true; the dead can not bring forth new life.” Giles said.
“Oh,” Buffy said sadly.
“Wow, it’s a sudden change of subject!” Xander said brightly. “Willow and Willow, I'll walk you home.”
“I better go along to keep them safe,” Buffy said and went to give Angel a kiss.
Angel flinched back. “Uh, mouthwash...” he suggested before kissing her cheek.
Buffy's eyes widened. “Uh, yeah...” she replied blushing bright red.
The four left the library in silence as they walked toward Willow's.
Xander being Xander had to say something to break the silence, “Despite the fact that I seem to be over my crush on you now, I can at least take some pride in the fact that you can no longer think of me as one of the girls.”
“Xander!” the Willow's chorused.
“No, I still think of you that way,” Buffy said, “and what do you mean you're over your crush on me?!”
“You still think of me as one of the girls?” Xander blurted out in shock, ignoring her question for the moment.
Buffy cleared her throat, “Um, yeah...” she admitted, “you see there's a reason noble women had ladies in waiting. It was their job to keep the noble ladies from being tempted and make the waiting easier and well... Elizabeth had a few guys try and return the favor for her, if you get my drift, but compared to the ladies in waiting they sucked at it.”
“So I rate as a lady in waiting in your mind?” Xander asked, sounding thoroughly amused.
“Yep, one with boy parts.”
“I can live with that,” Xander replied.
“Okay, now tell me how you got over me so quick and it better not be because of sex. Because I don't think you're that shallow and I'd be disappointed if you were,” Buffy said honestly.
“Your teeth scrape,” Xander said, but was unable to keep a straight face at her expression and burst out laughing. “Sorry, couldn't resist. It’s the whole Angel thing, see Dave dated a few crazy girls before coming up with rules about dating; sex with a crazy girl is fine, but not a serious relationship.”
“What?!” the three girls exclaimed.
“See, a normal girl wants to be happy and will arrange her life so she is or at least has a good shot at it,” Xander explained.
“I wanna be happy,” Buffy argued.
“But crazy girls,” he continued as if she hadn't spoken, “feel their lives need drama, so they do things like date guys whose last girlfriend disappeared under mysterious circumstances and other crazy things.”
“How is dating Angel crazy?!” Buffy demanded.
“Because it can only end in misery and tears and you know that and decided to do it anyway,” Xander replied matter of factly.
“But it’s like Romeo and Juliet!” Willow exclaimed while Holo-Willow stayed silent.
“Yeah,” Xander said rolling his eyes, “and that ended well for the happy couple, didn't it?”
The girls fell silent.
“See, Buffy clearly wants children at some point, but that isn't possible with Angel; strike one. Angel is immortal while Buffy ages, and he is clearly attracted to underage Buffy not physically mature Buffy; strike two. Angel is a vampire and Buffy is the vampire slayer; strike three. Any one of these reasons says the relationship will probably end in tears, but all three?”
“I can adopt or do the test tube thing, no strike!” Buffy said indignantly. “Slayers don't live long enough to worry about aging, no strike two. Angel has his soul, he's not just some vamp, no strike three.”
Xander shook his head. “A curse holds his soul in place and we don't know how long he's cursed for or how easy it is for one of our enemies to hire a mojo flinger to break it. As for the whole I am doomed thing, I'm really beginning to doubt it.”
“Slayers don't live that long!” Buffy insisted.
“Slayers working on their own with just a single Watcher as backup don't live that long, as was demonstrated when you decided to rush off to your doom against the Master like an idiot.”
“The prophecy said I was going to die.”
“And Angel's love broke the prophecy,” Willow said with a smile.
“How do you figure that?” Xander asked curiously.
“Prophecy said I was going to die and he came for me anyway,” Buffy said with a proud smile, “thus he broke the prophecy.”
“And here I thought it was me and CPR,” Xander replied, shaking his head bemused.
“Well that helped,” Buffy admitted.
“You've never talked to him about it have you?”
“No, it’s all pretty obvious.”
“Really, tell me why I was there then.”
“To give me CPR!”
“And how did Angel know you'd need CPR?”
“I …” Buffy frowned and fell silent.
“I showed up at his place and threatened to dust him unless he led me to the Master's lair. You see, much like you and Giles, he thought because some loony wrote something hundreds of years ago that the future was written in stone. Thankfully I knew better and he was pretty easy to convince, since he was just waiting for the Master to rise and kill him anyway.”
“You had to threaten him?” Buffy asked quietly.
“Do you really think he took a threat from me seriously considering he was just waiting for the Master to come kill him?” Xander asked rhetorically. “No that just got his attention, convincing him it was better to die for you was easy.”
“So your love for Buffy broke the prophecy?” Willow asked.
“Let’s just say both of us love Buffy, but it wasn't love of Buffy that broke the prophecy.”
“You love me?!”
Xander sighed. “Buffy, I love my friends, even Giles, so don't make a big deal out of it.”
“So what broke the prophecy?” Holo-Willow asked.
“My love of comic books,” Xander said proudly, making jaws drop.
“You're insane!” Buffy said. “That's it! Your insanity broke the prophecy.”
Xander laughed. “Do you know how many comics have dealt with the whole prophecy vs. free will issue? Tons! If we truly have free will then nothing is written in stone.”
“You learned that by reading comics?” Buffy asked in shock.
“I owe you big for that, don't I?”
“Not really, between friends, saying thank you is enough. What you owe me big for is giving me blue balls with that lap dance! The giving of blue balls is a major sin.”
Buffy winced. “Can we call it even after tonight's events?”
“Yeah,” Xander mused thoughtfully, “tonight makes up for, it since you made sure it didn't happen again.”
“So the spell did break before you guys finished!” Holo-Willow exclaimed. “I thought that moment of dizziness was the spell breaking, but you two didn't even pause.”
“What?!” Willow exclaimed.
“I didn't even realize I was me until after I'd come down and I damn sure wasn't going to stop until Buffy was done after what she did for me!” Xander replied. “I'm not willing to leave a friend hanging like that, I ain't no sinner.”
Buffy nodded. “I was pretty much in the same situation; I was in the middle of a string of big ones and by the time I realized what was going on Xander was about to pop again, so of course we finished up; really no point in stopping after all that had happened.”
“B-b-but!” Willow stuttered.
“And I was aware enough to notice where a certain someone's right hand was,” Buffy teased.
Both Willows turned bright red.
“Anyway, as glad as I am that we've cleared the air about that, back to what I was saying,” Xander announced to save his Willows the embarrassment that Buffy and Xander seemed to pick up an immunity to along with their costume's memories. “The Slayer seems to be doing quite well with me and Willow as backup so it’s not being the slayer that's a death sentence it’s fighting alone.”
“Maybe you're right,” Buffy admitted, “all the memories I have of slayers dying always had them dying alone.”
“Exactly, so you Buffy are too crazy for me to date because you have a self-destructive need for drama that led to you dating a vamp. I don't love you any less nor has my urge to plow you lessened, I just no longer have the desire to be your significant other.”
“Thanks,” Buffy said, shaking her head and trying not to laugh.
“Why are you still carrying that?” Buffy asked, gesturing toward Kryten's head.
“Dave's memories say he's a pretty good guy, so it'd be a bit rude to leave one of his spare heads lying around.”
“Well, this is our stop,” Willow said, pausing to give Xander a hug, thankful she still had her body.
“Yours you mean,” Holo-Willow said, “seeing two of us when our parents know we aren't twins would be pretty hard to explain, I think I'll just hang out with Xander.”
“True and if my parents give you any trouble you can just walk through something so they think they're hallucinating,” Xander offered, “besides when Rimmer lived with a duplicate hologram of himself they drove each other frothing mad in just a couple of days. I think it had something to do with feedback loops.”
“I didn't even think about that,” the two Willow's chorused.
“Yes, so good Willow comes with me,” Xander said, “while her evil twin keeps her parents in the dark.”
They all shared a chuckle before Willow disappeared into her place while they headed to Xander's.
“You really think I'd drive myself nuts?” Willow asked.
“Will, Rimmer had more issues and self-hatred than a dozen postal workers in therapy for anger management, but I think seeing a version of you that still had a body would get to you after a while if you were forced to live with her, so you'll have to stay my bunkmate until we can get you a body.”
“Do you really think it’s possible?” she asked quietly.
“Not today or possibly even this decade, but yes I think it’s possible just have patience. But in the meantime you'll live with me.”
“Y-you mean it?”
“Yep, come on roomie let’s go home and get ready for bed.”
Buffy watched wide eyed as they snuck into Xander's room before heading home herself.
“How do I change clothes, shower or sleep?” Holo-Willow asked suddenly.
Xander began taking off his Dave costume, setting Kryten's head on top of his dresser. “I don't know,” he admitted, “Rimmer always just asked for Holly to do something, so you may just want to do that.”
Holo-Willow nodded, trying not to be distracted by Xander stripping down to his boxers and t-shirt and heading into the bathroom.
Despite the way Xander's parents treated him they'd given him the master bedroom because drinking and stairs were a poor mix for them, so he had a connecting bath with private shower.
“Holly undress me for a shower,” Holo-Willow said hopefully, smiling when her clothes vanished.
Kryten's head on the dresser snapped its eyes shut.
“Uh, please give me a bikini wax,” she requested, her eyes shooting open a moment later as she gasped in pain. “Okay, note to self: be careful what you wish for.”
Examining herself in the mirror she frowned. “Holly give me one more cup size please.”
Willow grinned evilly at the results. “We can't touch each other, but we can touch ourselves while the other watches.”
As Willow vanished into the bathroom a voice came from the watch, Xander had been wearing that had the time replaced with a picture of a balding middle aged man, “You can open your eyes now Kryten, she's gone.”
“Thank you Holly, but I think I'm just going to keep them closed for now. I hate seeing a dirty room when I don't have a body to clean with,” Kryten's head replied.
“Well Bob's under the bed recharging, but he says he'll have this place picked up by tomorrow.”
“Excellent, well for now I think I'll put myself in sleep mode. See you in the morning.”
“Night Kryten,” Holly replied before falling silent once more leaving the sounds of teenage moans and a running shower to fill the room. AN: Typing by Godogma!