Disclaimer: none of the characters are mine, but belong to Joss Whedon™.
Note: spoiler alert for the comic series.
“And so, that’s how I was able to work with Illyria and others and saved the world, again,” Buffy finished telling the remains of the old Watchers’ Council and the Scooby gang about her latest adventure. “I’m really sorry about bailing out on the initial Zompire fight scene.”
“That’s okay,” Xander said, clearly seeking the silver lining among all of those clouds. “It’s not your fault that Illyria decided to hang out with you because Willow is hanging out with Faith and Angel and the rest of their team.”
“I don’t know if there is a team left, or teams, for that matter,” Buffy shook her head, sadly. “When Angel was doing his Twilight thing, at least we still had each other. Now there are only you left, and Dawn, and I. Spike is hanging around somewhere, but he appears to be avoiding all of us, not that I can blame him. We did treat him quite crappily back in Sunnydale, you know?”
“You are sticking for the Fangboy the II, again?” Xander rolled his last eye. “What a surprise. Besides, Andrew is still hanging around... never mind. In this light Fangboy Jr. does seem to be the better deal.”
“Xander!” Buffy said indignantly. “Stop it! Everyone has his or her good sides. Kennedy, for example, helped me get my priorities straight in the past with that entire bodyguard gig, you know?”
“Yes, but it didn’t work out?” Dawn asked, while still wiping her nose: she had gotten better, but some sniffles still remained.
“Yes, but it was my fault too,” Buffy shook her head. “Kennedy and I, we’re even more different than I and Faith... did she write to us, lately?”
“No, we seem to have lost touch with her now that she has gone over to Team Angel,” Xander admitted wistfully. “Buffy, I hate to say it, but we’re dying.”
There was a pause as the Summers’ sisters looked at Xander. “Well, not just literally, as Giles has, but as a team or something like that,” the one-eyed carpenter clarified. “In Sunnydale, in the past, we were always there for each other, and now, well, not anymore. Fangboy Sr. stopped talking to us, Faith appears to have done the same, and Willow probably will never speak to us again now that you’ve killed all of the magic in the world.”
“So it’s my fault entirely?” Buffy bristled – this was an old argument by now, and it went sour a long time before now.
“Not entirely, but a large part, yes,” Xander did not budge. “No offense, Buffy, but what kind of a world do we live in that it constantly needs to be rescuing?”
“I heard that before,” Buffy said with clenched teeth, “from Kennedy. Maybe all of you are right, maybe I am some sort of an adrenaline junkie with a passive-aggressive superiority complex that constantly needs to be fed, but you know what? If I had agreed with Angel in regards to the Seed and all, you all would have been dead, so excuse me, for not being selfish enough-“
Before Buffy could finish, there was some frantic sounds at the door and Andrew rushed in, firmly closing it behind himself.
“Andrew, hi!” Dawn said brightly. “Thanks for breaking the tension here-“
“No time,” Andrew frantically said, as he turned around and saw Buffy for the first time since her return. “You’re not the robot, right?”
“Hello to you too, Andrew, but no, I’m not robot, or the robot, for that matter,” Buffy said, almost smiling. “What you have been up to?”
“Well, since you were gone, again, and Buffybot proved to be not as effective as it was initially thought, I decided to have you cloned,” Andrew confessed.
The others blinked. “Seriously? Like Dolly the sheep?” Buffy asked.
“More like the troopers from Star Wars™,” Andrew confessed.
“Oh? Where did you get the tissue?” Dawn inquired.
“From you, of course!”
There was a pause as the others digested this piece of news, and Xander, eventually, frowned. “You better be talking about all those Kleenex™ bits that Dawn left lying around-“
“Of course I mean them!”
There was another pause. “You tried to clone me using Dawn’s snot?” Buffy finally exhaled. “That’s wrong on so many fundamental levels!”
“Okay, first of all, Dawn is your clone, sort of,” Andrew exclaimed indignantly. “Those monks created her from your flesh and blood, remember? Thus, when I was cloning you, I was already using DNA from a source similar to yours. And I mainly used the skin cells left on the tissue, not snot.”
“It’s still gross, and honestly? I’m not as relieved as I thought I would be,” Xander confessed. “Andrew, Buffy’s Slayer mojo is magical, or spiritual, or something-“
“I’m not finished,” the younger man said in a far more curt tone than usual. “Contrary to what Xander is saying, I know that the Vampire Slayer powers are mystical, so I went in another, more scientific road: DNA.”
“DNA,” Buffy slowly said. “What sort of DNA?”
“Well,” Andrew said, flushing, “I’m not as smart or powerful as Willow is, but I’m a genius, so-“
“Right. Anaconda DNA,” Andrew said in a more matter-of-fact tone, “plus some computer conditioning to ensure that she got all of the zompire slaying facts straight, and-“
“How long did it take you to put this Frankenclone together?” Buffy snarled.
“I just finished with her today, earlier, and as soon as I was done, she broke free!” Andrew yelled back. “She, apparently, really hates me for some reason-“
The front door broke apart, and Buffy’s clone entered the room. From the waist down, she was a giant snake, possibly even an anaconda, covered in mottled dark olive scales. From the waist up, she was just like the original Vampire Slayer, except that she was black. Literally, utterly, glossy black, except for her hair, which was as white as the original’s.
“Andrew, what did you do?” Dawn wailed as the clone leaned forwards to stare Buffy right in the face.
“It’s not my fault,” Andrew misunderstood the question as he usually did. “It’s the spillover from the monks’ spell to make you actually different from Buffy – you know, the hair color and the like? When I tried to reverse it, it worked only too well, making the clone, well, looking like this.”
As Andrew finished speaking, he and the other realized that Buffy and her clone were not fighting at all, but just stared at each other. Considering that face-wise the similarities were obvious, this was worrying.
“Buffy?” Dawn softly asked. “What are you doing?”
As soon as she said it, Dawn regretted it, for both Buffy and her clone turned to face her as one, with identical expressions on identical faces. That was disturbing, to say the least.
“Um, yes?” Dawn said timidly as she hid behind Andrew and Xander. “You wanted to tell me something?”
Nothing, just silence, though not necessarily hostile as the clone and the original just stood there, not doing anything in particular.
All of a sudden some loud sounds came from the direction of the street: the clone’s approach was not exactly unnoticeable or subtle and someone must have called the police. Immediately, the clone whirled around, scattering furniture around her with her tail, and was gone.
Everyone slowly exhaled, and Buffy whirled and faced Andrew directly. “Andrew,” she said slowly. “I know that you’re very clever and that you used to be evil, though not as evil as Warren. That said, I really don’t want to talk to you until you figure out how to solve this mess, so get out.”
“No,” Andrew matched Buffy voice for voice and glare for glare. “I declare this place to be my political refuge until I figure out how to solve this problem and I’m not leaving of my own volition. Deal with it.”
“Fine. If you’re staying, I’m leaving,” Buffy replied and left.
Shortly afterwards, Xander and Dawn caught up with her. “If you’re not staying with Andrew, then we’re not staying either,” Xander told firmly the elder Summers’ sister.
“Thanks, you guys,” Buffy said brightly. “You do realize that you have left your own home to Andrew, right?”
There was a pause where it became obvious that no, they have not.
“Fine,” Buffy relented. “We're all kind of dumb sometimes. I have a coffee shop gift card. Want to use it?”
And the three friends left to have coffee, while overhead, rainstorm clouds gathered.