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The Best Of Intentions…

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This story is No. 5 in the series "Changes In Destiny". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Having the best of intentions doesn't always excuse the consequences of one's actions. Story #5 in my 'Changes In Destiny' series.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Buffy-CenteredGreywizardFR1812,621133,77512 Dec 1212 Dec 12Yes
Disclaimer: They all belong to Crack-Head Joss and ME, Gary Scott Thompson, or Tim Kring. Deal with it. I have.

Category: Multi-crossover with 'Las Vegas' and 'Heroes.'

Time Frame: Immediately follows Season Seven's conclusion, 'Chosen' for the Scoobies, and the 'Las Vegas' time frame has been massaged to better match up with my muse's whims. The ‘Heroes’ timeline likewise requires a bit of flexibility.

Spoilers: None intended, but if you don’t know what happened up to this point in time in the series, you need to read the other stories for this one to make any sense.

Character Bashing: Nope, none at all. But email me your requests, and I'll see what I can do for the future.

Feedback: Of course! Constructive criticism will be greatly appreciated, while flamers will be ignored and added to the lists of those to be painfully exterminated, once I am appointed to my rightful position as KING OF THE WORLD!!!! (Yeah, you just wait and see if I’m kidding.)

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 #12 in my own personal Christmas Fic-A-Day Challenge.

~/~/~

Outside the former municipal borders of Sunnydale, CA

May 20, 2003
Mid-afternoon


As she stared pensively across the massive chasm now occupying the area where the town of Sunnydale had stood just bare minutes earlier – and from which their bus had just barely managed to escape, thanks to Anya's hell-for-leather driving skills – Buffy briefly reflected on the multitude of changes she and the other Scoobies were now apparently responsible for unleashing on an unsuspecting world, as a direct consequence of their efforts to save it.

Based on what Willow, Dawn and Kennedy had all described to her and the other Scoobies (Giles, Xander, Faith, Anya, Robin and Andrew) on the bus while they were fleeing the Hellmouth's implosion, their plan to use Dawn's previously constrained power to Activate the Potential Slayers' still latent abilities had evidently unleashed a massive wave of arcane power. One which had swept across the entire world, activating whatever abilities might have been lying dormant in anyone and everyone living, instead of just making every Potential into a fully-fledged Slayer.

Exactly what those repercussions might entail, no one could precisely predict, but whether they would unquestionably have some sort of significant effect on the entire world wasn't something anyone doubted.

After all, the results of the Activation spell were quite evident among their own group.

Willow's channeling of the enormous quantities of energy involved had looked to have physically aged her by approximately half a decade, in addition to turning her hair a pure ivory-white color, giving her a slightly more mature and worldly appearance. Both Anya and Andrew, on the other hand, were now able to access and control a far greater amount of arcane power than they had previously; although neither of them had appeared to have experienced any sort of physical change like Willow had.

Both Giles and Robin had each gained a significant degree of physical enhancement, which looked to have made each of them the male equivalent of a Slayer; Dawn, on the other hand, had somehow managed to turn herself into a teenaged version of one of her favorite comic book characters.

And it hadn't been one of the more normal – although, how any such word could be used to describe any sort of comic book superhero was beyond her understanding, Buffy reflected to herself – heroines, like Batgirl or Catwoman or even Supergirl! No, her darling little sister had decided she wanted to become the Hellmouth's version of the Savage She-Hulk!

As if having to deal with a bratty, whiny teenager with kleptomaniacal tendencies wasn't enough of a hassle already, now Buffy had to deal with a younger sibling who could transform herself into a seven foot tall Amazon. Someone who, in addition to now resembling the Jolly Green Giantess, could potentially bench press a tractor trailer!

Not that Dawn's physical enhancement meant that Buffy was unable to match her baby sister when it came to a matter of raw physical power, though.

It now appeared that, since both she and Faith had been used as mystical foci for Willow's spell, each of them had benefited from the energies channeled through them. This had happened in a manner similar to, yet different from, that of Willow the White, as Andrew had immediately dubbed Willow, with Xander's enthusiastic and widely-smiling support.

The two eldest Slayers had each gained not only some inches in height, but a better general physique as well. Faith was three inches taller, as opposed to Buffy's own increase of two inches (not that this was any sort of contest, of course!), while their musculature now made them resemble Olympic athletes at the pinnacle of physical fitness. And each Slayer's level of strength and speed had also increased by a far greater proportion than had any of the Potentials, leaving them head and shoulders above any of their newly-Called compatriots.

Buffy figured that her hair, which had for some as-yet unexplained reason had morphed into a magnificent golden-bronze hue, and her eyes, which were now a piercing cobalt-blue, were puzzling but not yet majorly life-altering changes. Ditto with Faith, who now sported several additional, rather intricate, tattoos on her arms, legs and torso. The fact that her breast size had increased at least a full cup size wasn't something Buffy was complaining about, either.

When it came to the subject of physical changes, though, it was Xander who had (perhaps unsurprisingly) unquestionably taken first prize for the most drastic and extensive sort of alterations possible.

His transformation into a massive, clawed and serrated-toothed amphibious humanoid had occurred immediately following Willow's successful completion of the Activation spell. Said transformation had not only allowed the construction crew chief to hold his own against the attacking Turok-Han, but had also enabled him to fight the prehistoric bloodsuckers almost as effectively as any of the new Slayers Willow had activated, despite his lack of any significant combat skills.

And as if Xander’s abrupt shift in appearance to a grey-scaled amphibian-type guy able to fight primordial vampires hadn't been enough, her best friend's subsequent transformation into a slightly smaller, furry, werewolf-type person, and then into a very large, canine-like (or maybe, possibly hyena-like, since she wasn't all that familiar with wild animal species-type things) creature, once the first wave of Turok-Han had been destroyed, before then finally reverting back to his normal human form had made it exceedingly obvious that the Great God Murphy had decided to take a personal – and most likely, at least a mischievous, if not wholly malicious – interest in Harris' life.

She was at least grateful that the fact that Xander had later lamented that he was more disappointed that he hadn't changed into some sort of lion – so that he could call himself Aslan – was a fair indication that her best friend was handling things at least as well as, if not better than, most of the rest of them were.

The unexpected ringing of her cellphone distracted the Eldest Slayer from her musings, and Buffy subsequently frowned as she noted the 702 area code displayed on her Caller I.D., courtesy of Willow's technomagical creativity.

:: Who the heck would be calling me from Las Vegas? :: Buffy asked herself, even as she pressed the button and said, "Hello? Who is this?"

An elusively familiar voice, which for some unknown reason sent a reflexive shiver of fuzzily-remembered anticipation and lust down her spine, answered the Slayer's question with one of their own, saying, " Uhm, hi. This is Buffy Summers of Sunnydale, California, right?

"I'm, ah – this is Danny McCoy," the caller hesitated for the briefest of moments before identifying themselves. "I think you remember me, don’t you?

"We kinda used to be married."

~/~/~

Hyperion Hotel courtyard
Los Angeles, CA


May 20, 2003
Late evening


It had been a quick road trip arriving here at her ex-boyfriend’s hotel, and the yellow school bus had been about to break down and die when Anya had finally pulled up alongside the HQ of Angel Investigations.

Both the Slayers and the Scoobies had poured out of the vehicle, looking exhausted. Angel had taken everyone in, even though he’d had no idea what had just happened. Xander, of all people, had filled him in while everyone had dragged themselves inside the hotel to try to find something to eat and lie down and rest.

It was somewhat telling, but also a tale for another time, that as soon as he’d heard what had happened to Cordelia Chase, Xander had grabbed Willow and ordered Angel to take them to wherever the comatose seer was being held. Buffy didn’t know whether the White Witch would be able to wake up the former May Queen easily, or even at all, but she figured all that could wait as far as she was concerned. She was expecting a very special visitor, after all.

"I really appreciate your agreeing to meet with me on such short notice, Buffy,"

The speaker was a middlin' tall, muscular dark-haired guy, Buffy noticed as she turned her head to look over her shoulder at the approaching visitor. She was more than a little surprised that she hadn't heard his footsteps as he approached her, but she managed to conceal that fact as she returned her attention to the rather detailed visual examination she was being subjected to.

:: Yeah, he still looks as good as he did back in Vegas. Maybe, even a little better than he did, back then, :: Buffy thought approvingly to herself as she rose from the decorative bench located just outside the front gates to greet the man who'd just addressed her.

Danny McCoy.

Current Head of Security at the Montecito Resort & Casino.

Former Marine counter-intelligence and guerrilla warfare specialist.

And her former husband.

That last category was courtesy of a combination of several of the uber-delicious, and not-in-the-least alcoholic-tasting, Strawberry Margaritas in one of the Montecito's bars and a severe case of post-Slayage 'H & H' (as Faith usually referred to the 'hungry and horny' mood most Slayers experienced after taking down a demon). Buffy remembered (with a faint, fond smile) how, after she and Xander and Danny had helped some FBI agents rescue a kidnapped child from the demon looking to sacrifice him in one of the hotel's sub-basements, she and Danny had enjoyed several such margaritas. She also recalled how, after the drunken marriage ceremony, Danny had looked ready to up-chuck...

But right now, Danny McCoy was a man who was – and not very successfully – trying to look like he wasn't quite concerned about something which was probably very important. Either to him, or a bunch of other people, Buffy speculated to herself.

"I'm just glad you caught me after we'd left Sunnydale, Danny," Buffy said in answer to his salutation, as she walked up to him to give him a quick hug in greeting.

"If you'd called even half an hour earlier, I wouldn't have been able to answer, because we were all trying not to get caught in the town's collapse," the no-longer-quite-as-petite blonde explained as she stepped back a pace so that she could look up at him and not strain her neck.

"I understand," Danny nodded solemnly. "Probably a lot more than you think I do.

"In any event, I'm glad I managed to get in touch with you," McCoy continued, a much grimmer expression replacing the more pleasant one he'd worn upon initially seeing her. "Because there’s a lot of things we need to talk about."

"And those things would be what?" Buffy asked, not having any real idea about exactly what he might mean, but feeling as though she was soon going to be regretting hearing that.

"Is your friend, Xander, around?" Danny asked, glancing around as though he were checking out what he could see of the small, enclosed courtyard behind the front gates while avoiding answering her question.

"Because he's involved in what we need to talk about," McCoy then continued in a semi-explanation of his question. "And if you know anyone named Willow or Faith or Giles, they need to hear this, too.

"Actually, you may as well invite anyone who was involved in what happened in Sunnydale to the meeting. It’s probably gonna save a lot of repetitive questions from all concerned."

Buffy unleashed a low groan as she shook her head in resignation, before turning and indicating that Danny should follow her into the hotel behind them.

:: Damn it, I had a bad feeling that this whole Activation thing was going to turn out to be a whole lot more of a problem than we thought it would, :: the Eldest Slayer reminded herself, even as she pulled out her cell phone and began texting a message to the rest of the Scooby Gang.

~/~/~

The Hyperion Hotel
Angel’s private office

A half-hour later


It had taken a bit longer than expected – especially for Willow and Xander, who had left a traumatized and weeping Cordelia in Angel’s care – but finally, the gang had gathered together, and everyone was waiting to hear what the man from Sin City had to say.

"Hi there," Danny began, giving a brief smile to the small audience gathered together around Angel’s desk. "My name is Danny McCoy.

"And approximately twelve hours ago, right after Willow Rosenberg," – here, Danny nodded towards the now ivory-haired witch, – "finished casting her spell to activate all of your abilities, I had a series of visions. Visions which were not the result of Strawberry Margaritas..." – Buffy blushed and turned away, as all those in the know turned to smirk at her suggestively – "...but rather bona fide visions of the future.

"The first vision involved my witnessing a small group of people battling a far larger group of creatures, which appeared to be composed of nightmares taken from humanity's collective unconscious.

"Those people were all of you," Danny noted by way of explanation. Pausing for a moment to assess the effect his statement had had on his listeners, Danny decided to continue.

"You all succeeded in preventing a virtually unlimited horde of monsters from being unleashed on an unsuspecting world," McCoy said gratefully, "and for that, you deserve the thanks of every human being on this planet.

"The downside, however," he went on, as Danny noted the morose and resigned expressions now beginning to appear on the various Scoobies' faces, "is that the spell Miss Rosenberg used to activate all of your latent abilities – well, it also activated the abilities other people possessed, which had, up until now, been lying dormant.

"And, unfortunately, not everyone has the same noble intentions you people have, as far as using their powers is concerned," Danny stated with a frown.

"What, exactly, do you mean by that, Mr. McCoy?" Giles interrupted, the frowns on his own and the other Scoobies' faces now matching Danny's expression.

"I mean that there are already a number of people existing who already possess superhuman abilities, and that they have a history of using their abilities to advance their own agendas, Mr. Giles," Danny immediately replied, looking the older man straight in the eye.

"And, given their established pattern of behavior, I don't think that they're going to have any compunctions about trying to locate and either kidnap and imprison, or try to control, any other empowered people they can find," the former Marine declared.

"Who, exactly, are these people you're talking about, Danny?" Buffy asked. "And why did you come and tell us about them?"

"Well, to answer your second question, first, Buffy, it's because I trust you guys to act in pretty much the exact opposite way the people I've told you about generally do," Danny told her, giving her a quick smile before continuing on with his briefing.

"And as far as who these people I'm talking about are," he went on, "they're actually a couple different groups, factions who don't always act together or for a common goal.

"The main group is generally referred to as 'The Company,' and at the present time, they're headed up by a guy named Daniel Linderman, who's also the head of the Linderman Group…"


FIN

The End

You have reached the end of "The Best Of Intentions…". This story is complete.

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