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Taking A Break From All Your Worries

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Summary: After being accidentally transported to the DC Universe, most people would react to this in various ways, perhaps including a full-blown panic attack. Xander Harris is not most people.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
DC Universe > Justice League(Recent Donor)ManchesterFR13613,6871110335,28911 Oct 137 Dec 13No

Chapter One

Disclaimer: I own nothing. All Buffy the Vampire Slayer and DC Comics characters are the property of their original owners.

Author's Note: This story was inspired by dogbertcarroll's own delightful tales set in the DC Universe. I hope for many more of these; meanwhile, here's my own take on a crossover with the Buffyverse and the DCverse.



As directed, the man in his mid-thirties carrying several securely-wrapped packages stepped into the mystic circle drawn on the floor of one of the Watchtower's least-used rooms. Making sure he was standing at the exact center of what would hopefully send him back to his home dimension in the next couple of minutes, Xander Harris then glanced around a room inside a space station created to protect and guard over humanity’s home planet. His arms were full, so he couldn't send to the several other people there a final goodbye wave.

Xander still happily grinned at the members of the Justice League who'd come to see him off, and nodded his farewell to them all, accompanied by a cheery, "Hey, guys, thanks for everything! You ever somehow drop by our main headquarters in Scotland, I can promise you the New Council will treat you right. These little presents will make sure of that!"

With those concluding words, Xander beamed down at the impressive parting gifts he was cradling in his arms, the result of his three-month stay. The very least of these was an autograph book filled with the signatures of as many DC superheroes as Xander had managed to talk into contributing to this keepsake during his time here. Of course, one particular black-clad grim avenger of the night hadn't even bothered saying "No!" to a truly polite request from the JL's latest guest from another reality.

Around then, the Batman had instead sent his most terrifying, blood-freezing glare towards that one-eyed man in his casual civilian clothes who'd suddenly appeared a week ago from out of thin air in the Watchtower cafeteria at lunchtime.



The same laid-back mien shown then by the intruder also carried over in an equally amiable attitude later on. The noon crowd composed of assorted JL members and the Watchtower support staff at first warily regarded this unknown person with possible belligerent intentions materializing among them without any advance notice. These quite reasonable suspicions quickly changed into much rarer bogglement felt by these onlookers, when rather than beginning a threatening monologue and then attacking them on the spot, that newcomer looked around the entire room with evident interest, matter-of-factly shrugged once, and then strolled over to collect a serving tray and take his place in the cafeteria line. Even more impressive was how that guy wearing an eyepatch next successfully argued with the station's security unit showing up ten seconds later into letting him finish his lunch before being hauled off for a thorough interrogation.

This extensive grilling done by the senior Justice League members resulted in surprising news for both these superheroes and someone who'd promptly identified himself as Xander No-Middle-Name-Whatever-Ya-Betcha Harris. Xander learned that a good deal of his knowledge gained from the comics, tv animated series, and movies about the DC Universe was mainly accurate, but some of it for this specific dimension was also either incorrect, hadn't taken place yet, or would never happen due to differences in the present reality's here-and-now.

What primarily concerned the JL was that their dimensional visitor still knew all too much about the group's secret identities, past histories, and vulnerabilities in their super-powers. Fortunately, there was an explicit protocol for this event, even if the mention of that very word caused the rest of the colorfully-garbed men and women to send in unison dirty looks at where an uncaring Batman was outlining Xander's options after reviewing a magical examination done upon this man by Doctor Fate and Zatanna. These two formidable spell-casters confirmed that while Mr. Harris could be sent back to his home dimension right away without any problems, it'd take the least amount of supernatural energy required from the pair over this if the transfer process was delayed until a certain date about ninety days from now.

Not wanting to potentially exhaust the strongest mystical members of the JL without good reason, Batman agreed to offer Xander a provisional haven with their organization for that mentioned period. During this time, Xander had three choices. First, he could spend his whole stay at the Watchtower, helping out full time in the process since there was always work available for those willing to lend a hand.

(At that point, the Flash good-naturedly muttered under his breath, "Monitor duty, anyone?" to then wink at where Xander was snickering back at this scarlet speedster.)

Bestowing his chilliest glower upon the exuberant pair who were clearly bonding together and having far too much fun over this, Batman then told Xander of his second choice. Wayne Industries owned numerous timeshares at resorts worldwide. If he liked, Xander could stay at one or more of these for a good, long vacation. Normally, these properties were used for holiday rentals, but WI employees of all levels had the opportunity to reside there for free as a result of work-related bonuses.

Seeing how Xander was definitely mulling this over, Batman brought up the last choice. At any time, Xander could leave his vacation location to visit other parts of the world. A more than fair stipend would allow the man to travel and live elsewhere, as long as he regularly checked in with the Watchtower and did his best to stay out of trouble.

However...

If Xander chose anything other than the first option (basically a form of polite house arrest at the Watchtower) that involved him going out in public which risked this man being captured by their enemies for the valuable information he possessed, the JL would have no recourse but to mentally impose upon him a combination of telepathic and magical inhibitors around his memories. The Martian Manhunter, along with Doctor Fate and Zatanna would be as gentle as possible in doing this, but the end result meant that Xander couldn't communicate to any non-Justice League member about what he knew of this superhero group.

When it was all over with, the alternatives plainly laid out for him, the champions of Earth then heard Xander Harris nonchalantly say, "I'll take Doors One, Two, and Three for summer vacation, Bats. All of 'em, what you said, since I'm sure there's no dimension ever where the caped crusader enjoys game shows. Big green, the doc in the helmet, and Miss Mojo can do what they need to keep my lips zipped tight. As for me, I'll stick around this place for a week or so, then hit the beach somewhere and work on my tan for a while. Afterwards, traveling around and seeing the tourist spots down on the planet sounds good to me. Fair warning, though: I plan to pig out to the max at the honor bars, so don't faint at the hotel bills you're gonna get, Bruce my man."

The longer he talked, the more difficult it got for even the most serious JL heroes there to refrain from laughing out loud at how Xander Harris was treating the Batman with such jaunty disregard, as if Gotham City's protector was nothing more than an ordinary travel agent. When Xander finally finished and looked expectantly at a stock-still man in his black cowl, the rest of the room held their breaths in fascination, unsure if they were about to witness a truly unique event of Bruce Wayne losing his temper at being treated so disrespectfully.

Instead, with impassive features, the Batman smoothly arose from his chair in the conference room. In his normal unemotional voice, he spoke to the others, “Doctor Fate, J’onn, Zatanna, carry out your task regarding Mr. Harris. I’ll see to the remaining details. That’s all for now.”

Without sparing a further glance to their visitor in his own chair, the Batman then stalked out of the room, his cape swirling dramatically behind the departing hero.

Just after the conference room door closed after the Batman, there was a blur of red in the room. Coming to a stop from his quick dash with super-speed over to where Xander was still seated, the Flash asked with awed incredulity in his tone, “Dude, are you crazy or what? You just basically flipped off the most dangerous non-meta in the world!"

Xander merely scratched his cheek under his eyepatch several times in thought, to then put his hand back down while sending towards the Flash a very amused grin. The New Council's education administrator next stated, seemingly apropos of nothing, "Look, Wally-- Can I call you that?"

Wally West gave a puzzled nod of permission.

"Thanks. Now, like I was saying, Wally, you were one of the original founders of the Teen Titans, along with Robin, Aqualad, Speedy, and Wonder Girl, right?"

Glancing around the room and seeing there his friends and co-workers displaying identical expressions of mild bafflement which the Flash knew had to also be present on the portion of his lower face not hidden by his mask, Wally turned his attention back to where Xander was waiting and nodded again, this time more impatiently.

Xander then wryly continued to the room at large, "Okay, take someone like Donna Troy back then who's a few years older, not as strong but with even better innate hand-to-hand weapon skills, and a distinctly homicidal bent towards vampires and other hostile demons. Then multiply that by over a hundred of these fine young ladies at a time, put 'em all in one place where they're going to school to learn how to control their Slayerness, mix in the normal female teenage angsty drama dialed up to eleven, and top it all off every month with mass PMS symptoms. Guess who exactly is the head of that school, and you've got the merest glimpse of the insanity that's my life now."

The Flash and every other Justice League stared in mutual shock at where Xander was happily leaning back in his chair, fingers interlocked and cradling the back of the man's skull. In the daunted silence now present throughout the room, Xander mused out loud with great good humor, "I've had nearly a decade of keeping things running smoothly at the Joyce Summers Academy without those little darlings at home wrecking the place and probably the entire state, too. This is the only time in years for me to have any kind of vacation without being instantly dragged back into whatever latest stupid school weirdness happening there. For example, that's how I wound up here in the first place. Anyway, after that, do you actually think I'm going to be intimidated by just one guy, no matter who he is or how dangerous he might be?"

From his own position at the head of the table, an obviously intrigued Superman cleared his throat. With genuine curiosity, Kal-El asked their visitor, "Xander, what about your responsibilities to your family, friends, and, er, Slayers? I know it sounds like you absolutely deserve some time off. On the other hand, isn't there a chance you'll soon be needed back home?"

Bringing down his arms and straightening up in his chair while sending back a respectful nod at someone he definitely admired, Xander told Superman and the others, "Yeah, but I've got that covered."

Under the mystified gazes of the JL members, Xander fumbled inside the front of his shirt before pulling out what looked like a small amulet held around his neck by a fine gold chain. The main portion of the amulet attached to the end of the chain was a flattened, colorless, circular gem the size and shape of a penny.

Displaying his amulet to everyone, Xander explained, "This is one of Willow's witchy gifts for the Scoobies-- Um, my best friend since kindergarten, who turned out to be one downright powerful magical lady, and gave these to me and my friends a few years back. From what she said, they allow her to basically know at any time if we're all right no matter where we are, even in another dimension. When that's not the case, Willow gets alerted we're in trouble and need help. She can also send a few particular messages with them, but they're not all that detailed, though. If this little doohickey ever glows bright red, for instance, I have to get home in a real big hurry. That won't be for anything less than an all-out emergency involving me personally, because Willow's been complaining to everybody for a long time now that I need to get away for some total rest and relaxation before I burn out completely. The only way she'll interrupt my vacation is for a worse than usual apocalypse and then it'll be all hands on deck, me included."

Looking at where Zatanna and Doctor Fate were seated together at the conference table, Xander earnestly appealed to them, "You can do that, right? I know you said it'd be quite a job to send me back anytime earlier than when you're planning--"

"If it is necessary, this shall be done at once, young Alexander, whatever the cost to us" came from behind the helmet of Nabu in a hollow yet reassuring tone. The latest embodiment of an immortal wizard went on, "Loyalty among those whom you love and trust is always to be treasured."

"Thank you, sir," answered a grateful Xander, who nevertheless couldn't resist adding, "Uh, please call me Xander. I'm not too fond of my full first name."

The golden helmet entirely covering Kent Nelson's head quizzically titled a fraction to one side before Doctor Fate dryly spoke again, "The original Protector of Man would have beyond any doubt had words with you over that, Mr. Harris. Nabu personally knew the actual inspiration of your given name, and this same military commander was quite proud of it."

Xander felt the upper parts of his ears abruptly turn warm at the sudden chuckles coming from the others. He gave an embarrassed shrug and said the first thing which came to mind, "Uh, if you don't mind, doc, I'd like to hear more about the guy, if you've got the time."

"Certainly," said an approving Doctor Fate. He next noted, "During then, I would like to further examine your amulet. Creating a magical construct which can reach across dimensions is no mean feat for any practioner of the mystical arts."

Seeing how Xander nodded in his prompt consent, the wizard then glanced around the conference room before declaring, "I think that the main purpose of our meeting is finished, people. Zatanna, J'onn and I will now perform the silencing spells and other essential mental short-term alterations upon Alexander. It's not compulsory for you to be here for this, so everyone else can freely return to their duties."

Reacting to Doctor Fate's unspoken hint for some privacy, the Flash, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern rose from the conference table and made their way out of the room, already preoccupied by the next potential crisis. Xander watched them depart with more than a wistful touch of comic book fan-boy regret in his heart, but he consoled himself that at least his upcoming stay at the Watchtower would allow him to hang around living legends for a while. Not to mention getting their autographs--

In the middle of planning something which would turn Andrew Wells green with envy, a fingertip possessing a hue of actual emerald tapped several times against the tabletop to get Xander's attention. In response, Xander looked across the table into the Martian Manhunter's craggy countenance, whose potentially forbidding features were leavened by an entertained twinkle within this alien's eyes. J'onn J'onzz then rumbled in his deep voice a slightly amused question regarding what he'd just discovered by his telepathic scan from Xander's memories, "A hyena? Really?"

Xander loudly heaved a mock sigh over all his most embarrassing moments from Sunnydale and later about to be known to someone else who was clearly going to find them hilarious. "Yeah, really. There's also a Halloween possession, the time I got turned into Dracula's thrall, a song-and-dance number, and a whole lot more. Can we please get on with it? I'd at least take it as a personal favor if you didn't giggle too much."

"No promises," warned a smirking J'onn, who glanced over at where the pair of magicians were waiting for their conversation to end. In a distinct change from his usual serious mood, he jovially told them, "This is definitely going to be interesting. Fate, Zatanna, keep in mind that Mr. Harris is in his home dimension an actual incarnation of Chaos. With any luck, we'll succeed in alleviating this a bit by our mental interventions and not fry his brain beyond repair."

"Now wait just a damn--! Urrrrrgggghhhh...."
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