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Accessories Can Make Or Break Your Image

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Summary: The Council's managed to gather a great many interesting things over the course of their existence. And now, the Scoobies have to figure out what they are, and what to do with them.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Miscellaneous > Myths & LegendsGreywizardFR1311,5430113,29711 Dec 1211 Dec 12Yes
Disclaimer: They all belong to Crack-Head Joss and ME. Deal with it. I have.

Category: Crossover with Greek mythology and a response to my own TTH challenge 5614.

Time Frame: Some indefinite time post 'Chosen.'

Spoilers: None intended, but if you don’t know what happened up to this point, why are you reading this story?

Character Bashing: No bashing, whatsoever. Not this time, anyway.

Feedback: Of course! Like Tenhawk says, it’s the coin of the realm.

Archiving: Talk to me first, please.

Author’s Note 1: Many thanks to Bill Haden and Theo (Starway_Man) for beta-ing this story.

Author’s Note 2: As usual, “word” indicates speech, :: word :: indicates mental communication and { word } indicates a character's thoughts.

Author’s Note 3: This is story #11 in my own personal Christmas Fic-A-Day Challenge.

~/~/~

666 Privet Street
Windlesham
Surrey, England

January, 2004


"God, but there are *so* many more important things that I could be doing right now, instead of this," Buffy Summers grumbled, quite loudly, as she wandered aimlessly through the somewhat labyrinthine aisles. The aforementioned aisles were formed by the seemingly endless rows of shelves inside the Grunnings, Inc. warehouse, a warehouse used by the old Watchers Council for storing *interesting* items, which Buffy and the other members of their self-designated Scooby Gang had been assigned to inventory.

"We've all tried using that excuse with Giles, already, Buff. And newsflash, but it didn't work for any of us, either," Xander Harris replied to the Eldest Slayer's complaint in what was definitely a less-than-sympathetic tone of voice.

"So, I really can't see it doing you any good, bringing it up again now," Harris told her bluntly, as he took another dust-covered storage box from its niche on the shelf in front of him and opened it up, careful not to disturb the accumulated layer of grime from atop it.

"Yeah, B, quit pissing and moaning about getting stuck with this job, and get your bony ass moving over here to help check this shit out, so we can get this crap over with, already," Faith Lehane interjected from her spot in the next aisle over from Xander.

"What they said, Buffy; less complaining, more working," Dawn chimed in. "The longer it takes us to get this stuff inventoried, the less time you'll have to do all that *important* stuff you say you've got to do," she added, the least bit sarcastically.

Seeing that Willow was looking quite occupied as she and Kennedy busied themselves with a section of shelving deeper inside the warehouse, Buffy unleashed a somewhat melodramatic sigh as she realized that her whining wasn't going to induce the others to tell her to just leave if she hated doing this so much.

In fact, it belatedly occurred to her that it might actually make them try to keep her here longer than the minimum amount of time needed to finish this job Giles had shoved off on them as retaliation for annoying him during their last Board meeting.

So, with that cheery thought in mind, the Senior-most Slayer reluctantly started checking out the various items the Council had, for whatever reasons pleased them, amassed over the course of its undoubtedly long existence. Buffy still thought this was something that should be passed off to the librarian/researcher types, but decided to keep that opinion to herself as she joined Faith in the next aisle.

Opening the first box on the section of shelving assigned to her by Dawn (because her bratty little sister had been designated the boss for this particular assignment, most likely because she had been the one to download and print out the catalog Giles had ordered them to document and verify), Buffy began checking out the carton's contents.

"Okay, check. One really hideous-looking mirror, made of bronze and some kind of wood," Buffy commented to herself, as she compared the description on the sheet given her against the contents of the box.

Marking off the little square box next to the description, to show that she'd confirmed the item's presence, Buffy grudgingly moved on to the next box on the shelf.

Disinterestedly repeating the same procedure for what seemed to be a period of time long enough that it should qualify her to be released on parole, Buffy finally perked up a bit upon seeing the contents of the current container she'd just opened.

"Oh, cool!" the blonde exclaimed gleefully, as she saw a wide, intricately woven, black leather belt nestled inside the antique, clearly hand-carved wooden box she was currently examining.

"This looks a lot like one of those belts in the Diane von Furstenberg collection I saw last week!" she declared enthusiastically to anyone who might be listening.

Shrugging off the resounding lack of reaction the others offered in response to her observation, Buffy decided that allowing such a magnificent-looking piece of hand-crafted workmanship to remain in storage was an insult to its creator's genius. Thus, a bit of unofficial ‘requisitioning’ was definitely in order.

"I think it's just my size, too," Buffy determined after a second look at the item which was obviously intended to be worn by someone who could appreciate its beauty.

"Not to mention, it'll look just perfect with that new skirt I got last week," Buffy justified her decision to herself.

So saying, the Eldest Slayer reached in and carefully removed what was clearly a masterpiece of leatherwork from its container, then inspected it for any signs of imperfection and found none.

It was as she cinched the belt round her slim waist that Buffy suddenly felt as though she had just been hit by a bolt of lightning, and she dropped to the floor as blackness overwhelmed her.

~/~/~

Her entire body felt – strange – Buffy decided as she opened her eyes to see the bland off-ivory white ceiling of the hospital ward, back in the Council’s headquarters within the outskirts of London. There had been talk of moving out to somewhere like Cambridge or Oxford after the bombing last year, but it was just too inconvenient being away from the City and its major players whenever you wanted to get things done.

After all, it was rather hard to twist someone’s arm if they simply weren’t within reach, as the old saying went.

It was almost as though her muscles and her skeleton didn’t fit quite right, Buffy thought to herself, before her attention was distracted by Dawn's relieved voice saying, "Oh, good! You're finally awake!"

"Dawn? What happened to me?" Buffy demanded as she simultaneously frowned at the awkward way she was moving as she tried to sit up.

"You put on a magical belt called the 'Girdle of Tiresias'," Dawn answered her. The expression on her younger sister's face an extremely odd mixture of concern, worry and what looked like might be amusement, too, Buffy concluded after a quick glance.

"Honestly, Buffy, I can’t believe you actually did that! Didn't it occur to you that the belt might have been safely stored away in that warehouse by the old Council, for a very good reason?" Dawn demanded, shaking her head in disbelief.

{ No, I guess not. Not that I ever plan to admit that, though! } Buffy admitted to herself – not that she'd ever say as much to any of the others.

"What exactly was that thing, Dawn? And what did it do to me?" Buffy demanded as she glanced down, examining herself for any signs of change and frowning even more as she realized that the hospital gown she was wearing wasn't falling around her body the way it should. The curves that should have been there under the gown, weren't, and there were bulges where there shouldn't be, she noted.

"Tiresias was an oracle in ancient Greece, Buffy, and this belt was cursed and given to him by the Olympian goddess Hera, after he pissed her off with one of his prophecies," Dawn told her, not really answering the question asked.

"The exact reason Hera got angry at him varies, according to the different legends; but all of the stories agree about the result of her curse," the younger Summers sibling went on, still not giving her sibling a straight answer, Buffy noted.

"But don't worry; Willow's looking into how to reverse it, even as we speak."

"Reverse it? What did that belt do to me, Dawn?" Buffy asked again, feeling a somewhat curious sense of dread envelop her at Dawn's non-answer.

"Well, Hera reversed Tiresias' gender and turned him into a woman," Dawn said, a smirk appearing on her lips despite her best efforts to maintain a straight face. "And you putting on the belt did the same sort of thing to you.

"You're not exactly a Slayer anymore, Buffy," Dawn managed to not laugh at the expression on her sibling's face as the news seemed to finally sink in, and Buffy finally understood what that bulge down south around her groin really meant – much to her shock and horror.

"Nope, you're not a Slay-*her* – you're a Slay-*him*," Dawn managed to say before she finally lost it and broke down into a fit of giggles.

"DAWN!!" Buffy yelled, briefly reminded of that incident with the telepathic demon during the last two weeks of her senior year of high school, and how Willow had wondered whether she had been infected with an aspect of a *boy* demon. "This isn’t funny!"

"Yeah," Dawn simply could not stop chuckling, and hoped that she didn’t look completely ridiculous; she knew that Xander was personally recording all this on his video camera, in order to make a whole pile of money later on. "Not funny at all... ah, BWHA-HA-HA-HA!!"

"DAWWWWWWWN!!"

Doubtless, Xander would make a fortune in blackmail out of all this soon enough...

FIN

The End

You have reached the end of "Accessories Can Make Or Break Your Image". This story is complete.

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