I do not own either Buffy the Vampire Slayer
or Once Upon a Time
One instance of major swearwords. References to death.Spoilers:
All of Buffy
is fair game. Spoilers for 1x20 'The Stranger' of Once Upon a Time
The second in the 'Family Matters' series - and as you see, the crossover is with the new series Once Upon a Time
, which is woefully under-represented in crossovers. The basic premise is that the Evil Queen (Regina) sets a curse to destroy everyone's happy endings, sending everyone to a place without magic. Snow White and Prince Charming send their daughter Emma through a magical wardrobe to protect her from the curse. Thus, when everyone ends up in a town called Storybrooke in the 'real' world and time stops for them, Emma Swan grows up, eventually being drawn back in by her son Henry (give up for adoption 10 years earlier) on her 28th birthday, in order to break the curse. Emma meets Henry's adoptive mother, Regina Mills, town mayor and the Evil Queen herself, and decides to stick around for her son's sake.
This series goes AU immediately after Emma's arrival in the 'real' world. However, just because her history is rewritten, doesn't mean that she can stop her destiny...
This story comes after 'A New Start' in my series. The only relevant thing to know from that is that at age 27, Buffy has been forced to go to a new dimension, without magic, because of the changes to the Slayer line and the Slayer abilities essentially meant that her abilities were killing her. Willow enabled her to pass through the dimensions so that she could have a new start, with a spell that would write her into that dimension.
Enjoy!A New History
Falling to her knees, Buffy retched even as she tried to breathe.Shouldn’t hurt my ass,
she thought as tears of pain streamed down her cheeks. But the retching stopped and the pain receded, and she realised she felt healthier than she had in months. The pain in her joints was gone, her muscles felt fine, her bones no longer ached. Apart from her sore throat and knees, she was fine. Better. Cured.
Her head was swimming with new backstory. Until she was fifteen, it was almost identical, even down to Dawn’s birth and general childhood peskiness. There was no expulsion, no stay in a psychiatric hospital, but there was a divorce, and Mom went to San Francisco to work for a high end art gallery there instead. There was something off about her memories of high school, but all Buffy could recall right now was how she had been unable to fit in as one of the popular girls, that somehow her parents’ divorce made it impossible. Instead, she developed real friendships, carving herself a position as the hot-and-artsy type, gaining her mother’s interest in art and history. She even remembered getting the college degree in said art and antiquities, to her mother’s pride and delight. There was a relationship with a soldier too, a handsome man named Booth, who had been killed overseas when she was twenty-one, a strange mix of Angel and Riley, whose death provided a source of grief and numbness, the barest touch of the emotional turmoil she had suffered over the past twelve or more years.
She found it amusing in a macabre way that her relationship with Dawn in this world had crumbled too. But it had never been as close as it had been back home. There was no secret, no tragedy binding this Buffy and Dawn together, and they were simply too different, too far apart in age, to stay well-connected. But this Dawn, along with her fire-fighting brother-in-law, were both dead, just like her mother (aneurysm when Dawn was nineteen, why change what was natural?) and her father (heatstroke of all things).
Even though she had known she would be utterly alone in this world, it still managed to hurt.
And then she heard a baby’s cry, and all thought disappeared as she got up and raced.
A minute away was a tearful little boy with red hair and a costume from a Renaissance fair trying his best to soothe what looked like the tiniest baby Buffy had ever seen. Slowly, she stepped forward.
The boy looked up, eyes wide and frightened as he clutched the baby harder. Buffy continued to step forward slowly, noticing him frown at her clothes, biting his lip as he looked down at the baby.
“Hey, honey, it’s okay,” she murmured. “I’m not gonna hurt you. My name’s Buffy. Is that your sister?”
He shook his head.
“Okay. She your cousin?”
“Sh-she’s the saviour.”
“The saviour?” Buffy repeated, hoping that wasn’t what it sounded like. “Saviour from what?”
“The Evil Queen’s curse.”
Okay, so it was pretty much exactly what it sounded like. Buffy’s eyes took in the child, the red-faced baby, and then the tree beyond them, half its trunk blown out with a suspiciously carved-looking hollow within.
“Honey,” she started, “where did you come from?”
“The – the Enchanted Forest,” he answered.
“Another world?” He nodded. “Okay then. I need you to listen, can you do that?” Another nod. “Firstly, can I take the baby? I’m bigger than you are, maybe I can help calm her.”
Reluctantly, the boy handed the baby over. A beautiful handmade blanket embroidered with the name Emma indicated her name.
“Well, hello there, Emma,” Buffy murmured, and she could feel the tingle of Willow’s magic dancing over her skin.
There was no choice in this. No thought of running away from it at all. They were kids, they needed protecting, and for the next fifty-five minutes, she had the ability to write them into this world as extensions of herself. She couldn’t let these children, refuges from another world, like her but without even the basic knowledge of this one, get lost in the foster system. Willow had promised the two worlds would be very much alike, and Buffy didn’t think their foster system would be any more comforting than hers.
Baby Emma’s wails became sobs, mouth puckering hungrily as Buffy rocked her in an attempt to soothe her.
“She’s hungry,” Buffy murmured as she stood. She glanced down at the boy. “C’mon, honey, I have some stuff back at the car.”
“The car?” the kid asked, following her.
“It’s a metal horseless carriage. It goes much faster,” Buffy explained. “So, uh, I came here from another world too.” The boy looked up at her with wide eyes. “Mine was a lot more like this world, but had magic. That magic was killing me. I was sent here because there’s no magic and that would save me. How about you?”
“The Evil Queen set a curse. It would take away all the happy endings. Emma will break it.”
“She’s a little small for curse-breaking, don’t you think?” Buffy joked, and to her relief the boy smiled.
“No, she’ll do it when she’s twenty-eight. I – I have to make sure she believes in her destiny,” he explained.
“That’s quite a weight for a little boy’s shoulders,” Buffy mused, and the boy’s face turned bleak.
“I – it should have been Snow White who came,” he said, “but Father sent me, he sent me to make sure I’d be safe, because I might turn back into wood. Snow White should have come through the wardrobe before Emma was born. The Blue Fairy said there was only space for one, so I might go, but then Snow gave birth early, and she should have come, not me! I told Father no, but he said that I had to. I – I didn’t mean to hurt Emma!”
Buffy was seized with a fierce anger towards the boy’s father as she realised what had happened. Evidently fearing for his son’s life under the curse, he had sent through his son, instilling in him a duty to ensure Emma was around to break the curse when she was twenty-eight, instead of letting Emma’s mother come through and raise her herself. Then the words ‘turn back into wood’ caught up with her.
He blinked at her. “How did you know?”
“I, uh, you’re in a storybook, here, back home. A little morality tale about wishes, being a good child and not telling lies.”
“This was a big lie!”
“And it was told by your father, not you. For all he wanted to keep you safe, it was cruel to burden you with this. Look, Pinocchio? This world isn’t like yours at all. There’s a lot of paperwork and science and proof needed. They won’t believe you when you tell them who you are. But my friend, she worked a little bit of magic that would make sure I settled in properly. I can extend that to you and to Emma, to keep you safe, if you’re happy to stay with me. Is that alright?”
“I – we’d stay with you?”
“Yes. Is that alright? It will involve a few little lies, but we can’t tell anyone that Emma is Snow White’s daughter or that you’re Pinocchio. What we can do is say Pinocchio is a nickname, and that your real name is, say, Nicholas, Nick for short. And your dad –” she winced as the memory of the dead soldier boyfriend named Booth rewrote itself, “we’ll tell them he was a soldier, Joseph Booth, my husband, who died when you were tiny. Emma,” her memory rewrote itself again, “Emma is my sister’s newborn daughter, so newborn that my sister has just died giving birth to her early up near the highway. We need to get there now, and I need you to do everything I say, understood?” Whether he was just a good boy or whether he was just frightened enough to obey, Buffy didn’t know, but he nodded and she smiled. “Good boy.”
“I – Miss Buffy?”
“Can I – can I call you Mother? I just, I’ve never had a mother before –”
“You certainly can. I encourage it even. Or you can call me Mom or Mommy or Momma or whatever you like,” she replied with a smile, and reached down one hand to caress his hair. “Now come on. We’d better get to the car and make it look like I’ve just delivered my baby sister’s baby.”
As it was, they were five minutes ahead of the ambulance, called by a highway emergency phone, which left Buffy just enough time to install the newly-christened ‘Nick’ in the front seat with strict instructions to stay there, while ‘Dawn’s body still rested on the backseat, spent and bloody. The leather jacket was cast off into the trunk, the shirt and jeans sacrificed to look like she’d delivered the baby and lost her sister to haemmhoraging, and an open bag of baby clothes sat on the ground.
Letting the magic cement the changes, to make her aunt and mother to these two other world-refugees, Buffy greeted the ambulance with all the stress of grief-stricken, angry sister.
“Where the fuck
have you been?”
Four days later, Dawn was buried beside her husband in a Boston graveyard, their house put on the market, and their will read. Predictably, everything went to their unborn daughter, to be christened ‘Emma Joyce Swan,’ with custody to go to Dawn’s sister, Elizabeth ‘Buffy’ Anne Booth née Summers. Buffy was not amused by Willow’s choice to make her name a nickname, but did acknowledge that introducing herself as Elizabeth would undoubtedly help her in the long run - and sounded a much more likely name for someone born in the 50s.
Initially, she hadn’t clocked all the differences in the timeline. Like the fact that where she had come out, it was 1983. The thought of being born in 1956 was, in a word, terrifying. That made her older than her mother had been – and her parents’ divorce a damn sight more scandalous, which perhaps explained why moving to San Francisco had seemed like a much better idea to the divorcée Buffy now remembered. And why high school had been, after that, a bit more difficult.
Still, on the bright side, it meant that she knew, more or less, what to expect from the next twenty-eight years, which would make her life a hell of a lot easier in terms of general life choices. Like investing in Apple and Microsoft and avoiding Enron and New York in September 2001.
And so Buffy lived, a young mother and aunt, in San Francisco, an art appraiser for a high-end auction house, with a nice apartment and a family that warmed her heart.
She married, she had children, but never lost the love she held for Emma and Nick, whom she still called Pinocchio even as a grown man, always in a playful tone that told everyone it was a mother’s affectionate nickname.
And so Emma Swan’s tragic history was rewritten.
Because history can be rewritten.
But nothing thwarts destiny.
I hope everyone enjoyed that. I intend to cover various things in either one-shots or short stories, including what happens when Emma is drawn to Storybrooke again. Main focuses will be on Buffy and Emma.
Pinocchio's name is now Nicholas Booth. The use of Booth is deliberate, and while it has nothing to do with David Boreanaz's character on Bones
, it is a lovely coincidence.
I will probably do some fanart for this story and post it up too.