Title: Blue BelleAuthor:
Right, I actually went and checked to be sure this time… Buffy the Vampire Slayer
, Angel: the Series
, and all associated characters belong to Fran and Kaz Kuzui. With a myriad of writers, artists, and editors, actual rights are a nightmare when you go near a comic book universe. Suffice it to say that Marvel Entertainment LLC owns all of the property printed in their comics, along with the television and movie adaptations of said same property. Not mine, don't sue, and so forth and so on.Dedications & Thanks:
for beta-reading help and advice. To Lexi Kimble
for her Marvel knowledge and some of the art. To Kate Logan
for some of the character designs and more of the art. "Chilly" Franco Égalité
, for even more art. And to… probably another artist or two by the time this story is done; I'll keep updating this section as things go.Summary:
He dressed up as his state's senior senator. Now he's a blue woman. How the hell does Xander keep landing himself in these situations?Joe's Note:
With the advent of the 'Unanswered Reviews' option, I've been going back to reply to reviews that had slipped through the cracks back in the day. In the process, I found a few reviews with very useful feedback on the story. No, not the ones by LanceAvalon; I still think "Despite the fact that I didn't read most of your story, I know my questions aren't addressed in your story and therefore I don't want to read it" is idiocy of the highest order. However, someone pointed out Michelle doesn't shift much in the story. Valid criticism, no? And someone else wondered why Michelle would need to hide her powers. After all, while there had recently been a major act of mutant terrorism… are a bunch of ditzy high school girls going to feel threatened by a shapeshifter? Or jealous? Willow's portrayal had more issues than a comic book shop. The timeline was alternately decompressed or cramped at alternating points. All sorts of mediocrity. So I fixed it. All of it. Enjoy.
November 1, 2011
He had breasts.
He didn't have moobs, which would have been worrying enough given that a mixture of skateboarding and regularly running for his life afforded him a decent level of physical fitness. Nope, these were definitely girl-like breasts.
He had girl-like breasts that were fairly large.
He had large blue girl-like breasts covered with scales.
Xander Harris bolted upright in his bed, letting out a rather unmanly scream. Staring down at the two new additions to his body in horror, he found himself unable to look away. Oh no. Hell no. This was all sorts of wrong. He was supposed to be a tall, gangly teenage boy who was a bit on the paler side of average because of his newfound tendency to hang out in the school's library too much. Or some variation on that basic concept, at any rate. What he was not supposed to be, however, was any sort of girl, much less a busty blue babe with patches of scales.
Hey. Busty blue babe. That was alliteration. Willow would so be proud of him.
Groaning, Xander forced himself to refocus on the problem at hand. Why was he blue? And female? What the hell had happened to his body? At least he had a probable explanation for why his body felt like it had been stuffed through a meat grinder… twice. Transforming his body from its original state into a… whatever he was now… had probably been traumatic as hell. Especially since he was pretty sure that he'd lost a handful of inches in the process, although he wouldn't be sure on that front until he found a measuring tape or managed to wobble over to the marks he'd made on his doorframe over the past few years. So, human boy to shorter demon girl… yeah, that sounded like a painful transformation if he'd ever heard of one.
Swinging his legs over the side of the bed, Xander forced himself to his feet and began a slow march towards his mirror. His mind whirled as he attempted to piece together his scrambled memories of the night - and day - before. Everything could, at least as best he could tell, be traced back to Herr Snyder and his interesting take on the 'volunteer' concept. Having not been planning to do anything for Halloween, Snyder's dictate had sent Xander scrambling for a costume to wear when he took the kids out trick-or-treating.
Of course, the good old Harris luck had reared its ugly head and he'd come up empty at every last costume store in town. He'd tagged along with the girls on their trip to Ethan's as a last resort, hoping against hope to find something suitable. Instead, he'd walked away still lacking a costume and further demoralized after witnessing Buffy's obsession with prettying herself up for her corpse.
Finally, he'd gotten desperate and begun tearing through the basement in search of something… anything… that could be salvaged for a costume, or at least the base of one. Xander wasn't sure who the actual owner of the suit he'd found was, given it was at least two sizes too small to be his father's, but it had been both clean and respectable-looking. Tolerable enough to wear after a thorough spritzing with Febreze, too. After doubling back to hit Ethan's again right before it closed up for the night, he'd found himself with a workable - albeit unconventional - Halloween costume. The kids dumped on him didn't get why he'd dressed up as Senator Robert Kelly of California but then again, he wasn't out to impress them or his peers. He just wanted to avoid the wrath of Snyder. Then everything had gone dark and now here he was at home, butt naked and blue. And a woman.
How the hell had he managed that one?
His movements gradually becoming surer as the exercise burned off some of the lingering ache and he adapted to his altered center of gravity and new dimensions, Xander eventually reached his destination… and then his jaw dropped as he caught sight of his reflection in the mirror. Somehow… God only knew how… he had managed to get himself into an entirely blue girl whose face and body were mottled with those odd scaly patches. The strangeness didn't end there, either: his eyes were an unholy, demonic yellow and his hair - while not much longer than it had been - was now red. Not Willow, red, either. Stop sign red. Not found naturally on humans red. "Oh, for fu… give me a break here! If I had to get turned into a woman, couldn't I have at least ended up a normal-looking one? Or, God forbid, a hot one even? Like Cordelia or something?"
Mmm. Cordelia. As it commonly did when that particular member of Sunnydale's Finest was involved, Xander's mind did an abrupt right turn and dove straight into the gutter as he pictured the subject of several of his dirtiest fantasies. Her tan skin, her long brown hair, her hazel eyes, her lips, and - of course - her large chest and equally impressive ass… only to be forcibly objected from his familiar and comfortable gutter as a strange crawling sensation raced over his body. As he stared at his reflection with wide yellow eyes that soon became hazel, his blue skin abruptly shifted to the same shade of tan he'd just been picturing, his short red hair lengthening significantly as it shifted to a familiar shade of brown, falling to frame an incredibly familiar face. The changes weren't strictly above the neck, either; as all that was happening, Xander's figure was gaining the additional curves necessary to make him Cordelia's equal. And then before he knew it, he was staring at a very naked Cordelia Chase in the mirror. "Get… out." How the hell had he done that? He had most definitely been some sort of blue-skinned freak only moments ago… and as Xander watched in horror, Cordelia's features melted away to reveal the inhuman blue façade he'd been wearing when he'd woke up. "No! Damn it! Go back!" His blue lips moved as he shouted at the mirror but apart from that, his reflection remained unchanged. "C'mon. Please? Give me a break here." God was either ignoring him or having a good laugh at the situation, probably the latter, and so Xander took a deep breath to calm himself.
Okay, while it generally wasn't his strong point, Xander had a feeling that the answer was there if he thought things through carefully enough. He'd been blue, then Cordelia, then blue. What, if anything, had he been doing before and during his transformations? Then it hit him: he'd been thinking about Cordelia. Quite intently. Just like he'd focused on the creepy blue form, triggering the shift back. Was that all there was to it? Willpower and familiarity? Well then crap, he knew a great way to trade in his blue girl form for a body he could wear out in public, at least until they could figure out a way to reverse this newest bout of Sunnydale weirdness permanently. After all, he'd spent most of his waking hours with someone for more than a decade and knew every inch of her - or at least the parts that anyone would be allowed to see in public - by heart. Calling memory after memory to the forefront of his mind, Xander watched as his flesh rippled and shifted into the oh-so familiar appearance of his best friend.
Wait a second. Xander stared at his - err, Willow's - reflection for a moment before realizing that he was an idiot of the highest order. He could shift into anyone he could picture as best he could tell, and based on the fact that some blue demon was imitating a male senator? It wasn't an ability that was limited by gender. So… he could picture himself, couldn't he? Why the hell was he turning into his best friend for camouflage when he could turn into himself?
Because he couldn't, it turned out.
There were a handful of familiar forms that he already had a near-perfect mastery of: Willow and Cordelia, obviously, along with Buffy, Harmony, and a cute blond Cordette named Gwen who was the assistant captain of the varsity cheerleading squad. The hot young twenty-something from down the street who liked to go jiggling… err, jogging past his house at exactly 7:26 AM every morning and no, knowing that didn't make him a stalker at all. On the other hand, while he could turn into Jesse and Giles - which proved his ability indeed wasn't limited to just the fairer sex - neither form was usable outside the house. His version of Giles looked a bit like a melted wax sculpture of the man, without a single perfectly clear feature on his face, while his Jesse… Xander shifted into his deceased friend's form again before wincing at the protruding brows and yellow eyes, looking away from the mirror as he forced himself back into what was apparently now his default appearance. No, he wouldn't be going to school like that.
But no matter how hard he tried and what combination he tried - blue girl form to Xander form, blue girl form to Willow form to Xander form, or blue girl form to Jesse form to Xander form - Xander found himself unable to assume his original body. Which had left him with a major problem: he needed to get to Giles so he could discuss - and hopefully cure - the sudden new weirdness in his life. Even in a town as oblivious to the unnatural as Sunnydale, he couldn't do that while blue and scaly. With his own body out of the question, Jesse would have been the obvious choice; it wasn't like he'd run into the real Jesse while out and about and they were close enough in size that his clothes wouldn't look out of place on Jesse's form. But given that he had no particular desire to end up staked or beheaded, there would be no running around as a vampire. Moving on… Giles was utterly unusable, even if Xander had been inclined to take on the older man's appearance. That left Xander with… girls, girls, and additional girls for viable choices.
Quickly, he shifted through the forms he had a firm grasp on so he could compare their relative merits. The hot neighbor? Hmm. She was a definite possibility since nobody at school would know her, but things could potentially get very awkward if he ran into anyone who knew her on the way there, especially since he'd be wearing baggy Xander clothes and not proper women's clothes. Buffy? Probably as bad an idea as Giles, since she would probably hit first and ask questions never if she came face-to-face with herself in a hallway at school, to say nothing of the clothing issue. Cordelia? God, trying to navigate the hallways would be a nightmare. Oh, and there was still a clothing issue there. Gwen? He didn't even know her last name. There was no way he could pass himself off as her. And the damn clothing issue. Harmony? Both of the problems he had with Gwen, plus… eww. Which just left Willow.
Willow. Who he knew best of them all, both physically and mentally, and to whose house he had a spare key, meaning he could sneak in and get real Willow clothes to go with his new Willow body, instead of wearing his own clothes to school. Oh yeah, he had a winner. Looking into the mirror, he focused and transformed into Willow before dashing over to grab his spare key to the Rosenberg house. Now all he had to do was sneak out of his house, across town, and into her house without being seen once.
Piece of cake.
…although he should probably put something on before he tried any of those things…
November 1, 2011
Looking around nervously - all the while trying not to actually look too nervous, which would be suspicious and might prompt the neighbors to call the cops - Xander used one hand to keep his far-too-baggy-for-Willow's-slim-form boy pants from falling down as he slipped his spare key into the back door's lock. As much as he loved his best friend, she was horribly predictable and he knew her morning routine so well he could set his watch by it. Or in this case, plot her location with a high degree of accuracy based off the time. By now, she would be roughly a block from school and closing fast. Or maybe at the front doors already; he set his watch off the school's clocks to ensure he was never late for homeroom but that didn't mean she did.
Where she was not, however, was anywhere near her house. Which made his job easier; all he had to worry about during this little B&E session of his were Willow's parents being home and the neighbors. Since the former had become an increasingly infrequent occurrence with each passing year and the overgrown shrubs kept the latter from seeing him easily, though, he was pretty much home free at this point. Or so he hoped. Even then, it wasn't until he'd entered the house and called out for 'mom' and 'dad' in a passable imitation of Willow's voice - receiving no response as expected - that Xander truly relaxed. Despite logically knowing that he was past the point of needing to race a clock - there was no way 'Xander Harris' would be attending classes that day and the real Willow Rosenberg definitely would be - he didn't dawdle as he moved about his friends house, the layout almost as familiar to him as his own house's after so many years.
Ascending the stairs to Willow's room, he quickly stripped out of the Xander-sized jeans and t-shirt that fit his borrowed body so poorly, reverting to his scaly blue form as soon as that was done. Sure, he'd taken advantage of his new powers to have a bit of fun staring at a bunch of naked girls in the mirror that morning but running around naked while wearing his best friend's body just felt… weird… for some reason. Opening her hamper, he dumped his shirt and jeans in, hiding them under a layer of her own dirty clothes before turning to regard his next foes: her dresser and closet.
Xander decided to start with the dresser, since the closet made him think of dresses for temple and other things that needed to be put on hangers. Rummaging through it, he quickly found a pair of jeans and a sweater that would do for the day… the purple sweater was a bit girly but far, far better than having to wear a tank top or a skirt or something else distinctly feminine, like one of Willow's trademark corduroy overall… skirty… things. It was when he opened the top drawer to retrieve socks that he ran into a stumbling block. Well, not precisely a stumbling block. More of an extremely embarrassing obstacle.
Should he steal some? After all, it wasn't like he hadn't gone commando once in a while when his own supply of clean boxers ran out. And Willow wasn't exactly Cordelia-grade busty, so he didn't really need a bra… or did he? He knew it was common for some girls to go without them, but he had no clue where the cut-off was as far as how big - or rather small - was considered socially acceptable for going braless. What if Willow was on the wrong side of that line? Then he'd look suspicious. Okay, he decided, bra for safety's sake. Although if he was stealing half the set, should he take the panties too?
Xander sighed in defeat. In for a penny, in for a pound and all that rot. If he was going to be a clothes and body stealing, cross-dressing boy for the day, he might as well do it properly. At least Willow didn't do anything with her hair or wear makeup. Shifting his blue body to match Willow's proportions but not her full appearance - a neat little trick he'd stumbled upon while experimenting with trying to regain his own form - Xander dug through her underwear in search of something that didn't seem too terribly embarrassing. Except all Willow seemed to own were the kind of really sexy bras and panties that he would have expected to find in Cordelia's dresser. Some runway-worthy stuff from Victoria's Secret, a handful from Frederick's of Hollywood, and some really naughty black and purple stuff made by a company called 'Hanky Panky' of all things. Wow. His little Willow was growing up, it appeared. Weird. Especially considering he and Jesse had viewed her as a younger sister of sorts.
In the end, Xander opted to grab the least intimidating options: a matching Hanky Panky bra and panty set. Starting with what he assumed would be the simple part, he tugged the panties up his legs and frowned. While strange and vaguely uncomfortable, they were similar enough to the briefs he'd worn when younger that it wasn't a totally alien sensation. He looked over at one of the thongs peeking out of the still open drawer and shuddered. He'd take this feeling over something like that, thank you very much. The bra, on the other hand, was a good deal more complicated for him to figure out. Not like he had much experience with those, either on himself or real girls. He managed after a minute or two of trial and error, though, putting it on backwards so he could see what he was doing before giving it a quick one-eighty and sliding his arms through the straps.
From there, he was on the home stretch. Girls put their pants on one leg at a time, just like boys did, and sweaters were an equally unisex garment… at least when it came putting them on. The sweater itself, on the other hand? He wouldn't have been caught dead wearing any shade of purple as boy, much less one that was a soft, almost pastel purple. Checking his reflection in the mirror, Xander sighed in relief. Except for the stop sign red hair and blue skin, he looked like a normal girl. Very Willowy.
Except for the actual Willow part, that was. Concentrating, Xander shifted his hair to a more natural shade of red and lengthened it until it reached mid-back or so. Next came Willow's blue eyes followed by her pale, smooth skin. Inspecting himself in the mirror once more, he smiled. As long as he avoided Buffy and the few people that Willow tutored - and of course the real Willow herself - he might actually be able to pull off his little masquerade.
Speaking of, the morning wasn't getting any younger. The longer he spent at Willow's house, the longer it'd be before he caught up with Giles and hopefully got turned back into his normal Xander-shaped self. After making sure Willow's room was still as freakishly neat as when he'd arrived, Xander grabbed a spare pair of her sneakers and some socks before returning to the ground floor. Breezing into the kitchen, he perched himself on the counter and tugged his borrowed socks and shoes on. Now fully dressed, he slipped the spare key into his pocket and did his best to look nonchalant as he slipped out the back door.
November 1, 2011
Sunnydale High School - Library
"So, are either of you experiencing any side effects from last night? Willow, I'm concerned about you in particular…"
Pausing in her mad effort to cleanse her iPhone of all incriminating media and texts, Willow Rosenberg looked up at Rupert Giles and did her best to look innocent. "I have no idea what you could possibly be talking about, Giles." When the Watcher-cum-librarian opened his mouth to elaborate, Willow's eyes narrowed. "I have absolutely no memories of last night and therefore no idea at all what you're talking about. No. Idea. At. All."
Buffy Summers looked back and forth between the two of them a few times before evidently deciding that discretion was indeed the better part of valor and throwing the switch on their conversation. "I definitely know more French than I did before last night. I'm probably still going to flunk the test on Friday, but I'll be slightly less flunky then I would have been otherwise. Oh. And I remember having servants. Interesting side note: my mom does not like having someone shout for their chamber maid, and then demand a bath be drawn and breakfast be sent up. Not that I found that out the hard way or anything. Nope."
If not for her own circumstances, Willow would have allowed herself at least a small laugh at her friend's misfortune. As it stood, though? While she hadn't suffered any particularly embarrassing 'morning after' moments, Halloween itself had generated more than its fair share of humiliation and awkwardness. What made it all the worse was that - completely contrary to what she'd just asserted to Giles and Buffy - she remembered every last moment from the night before, and had technically been in complete control of her actions. After all, she'd remained Willow Rosenberg when the spell took affect… albeit one with wildly differeing memories of the last few years and the very different personality to match.
And while she wanted to blame Buffy for her woes, Willow really couldn't. Sure, her friend had been the one to suggest getting 'wild and crazy' for the night, but that was it. With Buffy wrapped up in her Angel-related plotting, it had fallen to Willow alone to conceptualize and execute a costume… and everything she'd worn last night had come from her own closet. Granted they were all from the 'webcam's eyes only' section of her wardrobe, but they were still hers. Which would have protected her from Ethan Rayne's shenanigans, if not for her last-second decision to add a pair of glasses to the 'naughty schoolgirl' look she'd decided to go with.
What had happened to those glasses, come to think of it? She'd definitely misplaced them by the time she got to the library the night before, but had it been at the first party she'd crashed or the second? Or maybe the third? There probably would have been a fourth or fifth - or at least a longer stay at the third - but hearing the cheerleader she'd pulled into a dark corner mumble about 'not expecting a nerd like you to be able to do that with your tongue' had caused a sharp enough moment of discontinuity to snap Willow back to her regular self. After all, while there were many things people might have called her other self, a nerd was definitely not one of them. Thankfully, she'd been able to reach Giles and convey what information she had before her control slipped and that personality reasserted itself, allowing him to end the spell before she could do too many more un-her things.
Switching to her Photo Stream, Willow's eyes bugged out as she found herself staring at a second copy of the very pictures she'd just deleted. None of the videos, though, thankfully. Muttering under her breath, she quickly purged everything from the last twelve hours or so from her iCloud account before breathing a sigh of relief. The last photo's removal left her staring at an image of her, Buffy, and Xander from the night before, when they'd met at Buffy's house before heading over to the school. Looking up from her phone, Willow frowned. Buffy. Her. But… "Has anyone seen Xander?"
November 1, 2011
Senator Robert Kelly's Office
Los Angeles, California
An hour and a half down the coast in a towering white building located at 11111 Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles, another blue-skinned woman sat with her feet up on her ornate wooden desk as she massaged her temples, trying to make sense of her disjointed memories from the night before. Raven Darkholme was coming up on a century and a half in age, and she'd seen a great many things in her time on Earth. Strange things. Amazing things. Bizarre things. Not one, but two men who'd come back to life after she shot them to death. A woman who could turn herself into living diamond. A man who could move metal with his mind. A crazy bastard who looked like a walking American flag, and never seemed to die no matter how hard the Nazis tried. And yet the night before, when she'd found herself inhabiting the body of an unknown girl who apparently possessed both her powers and a teenage version of her base form, was easily the strangest thing she'd ever experienced.
Well, since the Seventies at any rate…
All of a sudden Raven realized what had been nagging at her since she'd returned to her own body: the town she'd been in the night before had looked familiar. Then again, that didn't take much these days. When one got to be as old and well-traveled as her, a lot of things seemed familiar, both people and places alike. Still, something about the town nagged at her. Had she visited it recently while masquerading as Robert Kelly? Given that he, or rather she, had to worry about reelection during the upcoming 2012 cycle, her aides had decided she needed to get a jump on wooing voters due to some unpopular stances that the original Robert Kelly had made before she'd replaced him. Accordingly, her schedule had been packed full of events all up and down the Golden State, filling most of the two hundred and twenty-eight days Congress wasn't in session with all sorts of inane things. Raven shuddered; she'd shook more hands and kissed more babies in the past month alone than in the century and a half that preceded it.
Raven sighed; she knew from past experience that this was the kind of thing that would haunt her until she figured it out. Assuming a more dignified position, she shifted back into Kelly's form and turned on the monitor of her computer to make it look like she'd been doing something useful for the last hour or two. That done, she poked the speakerphone button and cleared her throat, slipping into the voice that matched her form. "Melissa? Could you be a dear and bring in my travel logs from the last few months?"