"How the hell did I ever get talked into this?" whined Xander out loud to his image in the bathroom mirror.
Continuing to glower at the reflected person there also wearing an eyepatch and sending a definite steely gaze towards him, the New Council's headmaster in charge of the Joyce Summers Memorial School For Young Women ruefully went on to grouse, "Oh, yeah, fella, you just had to select the wrong people to win this year's The Amazing Race, and then dug yourself even deeper in the doo-doo by betting double or nothing! And now, exactly ten years after Ethan's damn fun-filled night of Chaos magic, we're having here another Halloween costume party!"
Really getting into the chance to finally vent, Xander pointed an indignant finger at the Cleveland apartment mirror where his actions were naturally being copied at the same time. He grumbled, "But that's not the worse of it, ain't that right? The girls here spent the last couple weeks arguing every day about what they'd be wearing, except it took only ten seconds, tops, for them to pick who I've got to show up as tonight!"
Dropping his hand in sudden despair, Xander then groaned, "Even my bestest bud let me down! Wils didn't have to laugh that hard when I called her up at Scotland right after and spilled the beans. I mean, okay, magically locking down the entire state for the whole night is nice of her so we don't have a repeat of our Sunnydale experience when our costumes took over. Still, she absolutely had no reason to come here and join in the festivities by putting on me her best glamour so that I look exactly like what my character was in the Disney Channel cartoons!"
In the bathroom, a short-haired woman with a supremely fit figure under a trim, skin-tight uniform and a beautiful face which was partly concealed by the oval piece of fabric covering her right eye glumly contemplated how the Red Witch's spell somehow made it possible for Xander to see out of that orb while presenting to the world a quite unharmed left eye. This made it the first time since the bastard Caleb had wounded him that Xander could-
From out of nowhere, another woman's very amused voice spoke, interrupting Xander's grouchy thoughts. Willow Rosenberg just barely managed to contain her giggles while saying, "Okay, Xan! Quit sulking and come join the party! Everyone's waiting for you so we can start things off!"
Xander's remaining eye (even if it was the wrong one this evening) rolled upwards to the ceiling in genuine irritation. Knowing Wils would hear him without any trouble via her mojo, Xander bared his teeth at the mirror in a mirthless grin and snarled, "I'm just guessing here… What, the girls all have their cellphones ready to send to their friends worldwide my latest humiliation in glorious, living color photos which'll break speed records appearing on the Internet?"
"Yup," answered Willow in her best deadpan. She then nonchalantly added, "Got my own phone with a fresh memory stick waiting and eager to be filled to the brim, buster. Kennedy back at the castle holding down the fort for tonight is totally looking forward to her new life-size poster in our bedroom. It'll almost make up for the show being cancelled last month. My honey was really down in the dumps about never seeing her favorite character again in the Kim Possible series when it went off the air, so now that I've got a real chance of cheering her up, I'm not gonna disappoint Kennedy. Or in other words, move your cute butt down here now, Xander!"
Dr. Director in her blue Global Justice Network uniform promptly stuck her tongue out at the mirror in a final hopeless gesture of defiance. After this little last bit of disobedience, Xander took a deep breath (in the mirror, cartoon breasts thrust up and forward), straightened to attention, and then stalked out of the bathroom. He at least managed a manly stride for the last, which still looked quite peculiar combined with feminine hips and the rest of the glamour's nubile form departing Xander's apartment.
In a throaty voice completely different from his normal speaking tones, Xander muttered under his breath as he slammed the front door behind him on his way to the party eagerly waiting for their illusioned leader, "This means war! See how they like it tomorrow and after, when I bust their-! Um, it doesn't kinda work with the girls, threatening to bust their ovaries… Never mind, I'll think of something as real payback for them!"
Sitting in her desk chair the next day while typing at the computer keyboard placed upon this piece of office furniture, the body of a striking blond woman clad in a pure white nurses' outfit and wearing an eyepatch of the same shade save for a centered red cross abruptly shimmered, and then she changed into a slightly older female in a fashionable blue silk dress matching her austere scrap of fabric covering this different mature woman's right eye.
Pausing in the middle of dealing with the daily paperwork after last night's Halloween party, Xander Harris wearily sighed under his breath. He next glared at the far corner of his office at where Willow Rosenberg in an armchair was happily humming to herself, "Oooo, don't know that one, let's find out!" The witch's fingers got busily working at her laptop while she ignored the supreme look of death being sent her way by the stranger at Xan's desk.
Finally, Willow declared with actual glee after finding what she'd been searching for on the Internet, "We're talking both obscure and famous here, Xander! Right now, you're channeling Catalina Creel, probably the best known villainess from the Mexican soap operas. She appeared in something called Cuna de lobos, which ran about twenty years ago. Probably the closest American equivalent is Joan Collin's Alexis Colby character from Dynasty-"
"Don't care, Wils," growled Xander with a definite Spanish accent, which didn't improve his mood any. He went on in this same irked attitude, "I just want this over with! It might be fun for you and everyone else, but I'm fed up with randomly changing every couple of hours into different ladies from tv, movies, comics, whatever, all of them with eyepatches! Can't you do something to make it stop?"
Willow huffed in annoyance, before reminding her cranky friend, "Like I said before, my spell will wear off tomorrow for sure without me doing anything! If I try to end it sooner, you might get stuck permanently looking like somebody else instead of your original guy face and body. You really want that? Besides, this is a pretty harmless way of reminding your Slayers and the rest of the Cleveland House how magic has a tendency to go wonky around you. It'll probably keep them from putting you in situations like this ever again, bets or no bets."
"Harmless, maybe," grumped Xander, who then snapped at a smirking Willow, "Embarrassing, yes! How am I going to get their respect back after this? No matter what, I totally need a sense of authority here to do my job of leading the Slayers and Watchers in the house against the Hellmouth so they'll follow me without question when things turn bad. That's not gonna be easy, when they remember me with actual tits and a great ass!"
Glancing thoughtfully up at the ceiling for a few moments, Willow then dropped her gaze at where the older woman in a bouffant hairstyle was glowering back at the witch. Keeping her face absolutely straight, Willow pointed out, "I saw lots of respect today at the morning briefing. Along with copious amounts of drool from Andrew and most of the other guys. Plus a couple of the girls there, too." With those last words, Willow finally lost it to go into an intense giggling fit.
"Not funny," gritted Xander, who then raised his voice over the delighted snickers still coming from Willow. "Well, it isn't! So far, none of my changes have repeated themselves! That means I can't ever count on looking again like Angelina Jolie as her Franky character from Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow!"
That only made Willow laugh even harder. Soon becoming tired of this, Xander returned to his paperwork. In due course, Willow quieted down and cheerfully watched her Sunnydale comrade at his usual duties. Eventually glancing over with a quite grouchy expression upon his new face, Xander muttered to her, "Wils, isn't there anything else you need to do, back in Scotland? I mean, Kennedy's probably waiting for you to come home. Don't let me keep you here, okay?"
"You're not getting rid of me that easy, Xan," smiled Willow. "Besides, Ken wouldn't ever forgive me if I left and missed you changing into another of her favorite cartoon characters. When I called her last night before bed and said what'd happened to you-"
Slumping back in his chair, Xander groaned deeply.
Paying no heed to her friend's sudden appalled realization that the news of his latest humiliation was now without a doubt spread all around to interested listeners at the New Council's castle headquarters, Willow merrily continued, "-and she made me promise to stay here until it was all over, just for the chance of getting a photo of you transforming into her."
"Her, who?" blankly said Xander. He then squinted with genuine bafflement at Willow across the room. "You already took plenty of pictures of me as Dr. Director at the party. Am I going to change back to that woman? I thought I was now switching into entirely different-"
Her eyes gleaming with real mischief, Willow confirmed in her interruption, "Oh, you are, but not that Disney Channel character from last night. No, Kennedy made me swear to stick around, just in case what she thinks as the best thing ever from the Adult Swim cartoon series The Venture Bros. actually shows up for me to get a snapshot before you either faint or hide from everyone in your bedroom."
After saying this, Willow took out her cellphone from her skirt pocket and held it up as an indication she was ready and waiting for anything. That meant she had more than enough time to take a picture of him at the exact moment when a frowning Xander finally understood what Willow was saying and screamed his betrayed shock to the entire world:
"I'M GONNA BE MOLOTOV COCKTEASE?!"
Shortly after breakfast two days past the Halloween holiday, an anime character wearing her eyepatch continued to brush her teeth while impatiently staring into the bathroom mirror. Xander opened wide the mouth of whomever (he'd stopped bothering to identify these women a dozen or so changes ago) this part of her body belonged to, and robustly scrubbed at a dainty incisor-
With a shimmer of supernatural energies suddenly coating her female body, the headmaster of a private academy filled with Slayers, Watchers and support staff found himself once again looking in the mirror at nobody other than Xander Harris, love god and all-around good guy from Sunnydale, California.
In a spray of toothpaste foam which splattered against the mirror surface, Xander joyfully bellowed "YEAH!" and did the most energetic Snoopy Dance of his entire life around the bathroom. Eventually coming to an exhausted stop, Xander tossed his toothbrush which he'd been vigorously waving as a conductor's baton expressing his full-blown relief onto the sink countertop. Breathing a little hard, Xander reached out and wiped clean the mirror to make another check that things were back to normal at last. Great, just as Wils promised before leaving last night, her glamour spell had finally worn off.
A very evil grin now developed upon Xander's scarred visage with his usual eyepatch shifting slightly upwards as his facial muscles moved this protective covering. It should start any second now, what he'd demanded from the Red Witch as fair compensation for her magic acting up in such a weird way over the last couple of days. Mind you, before it'd come to that, Wils and him had a rousing argument over exactly whose fault this was, but in the end they'd agreed to an acceptable enough arrangement. Helping the Red Witch make her decision had been a concession extracted from Xander that Kennedy was off limits to whatever retaliation her friend was planning.
Strolling out of the bathroom, Xander shrugged once in wry acceptance before starting to get dressed. Hey, you had to give some in order to get some, and Ken-doll wasn't his main target, anyway. He'd just chalk it up into the 'Eventually Later' column for that Slayer, and settle for pulling a prank of equal measure towards the entire Cleveland House bestowing upon them a matching amount of entertaining chagrin and annoyance this man had undergone for the last forty-eight hours.
Sitting on a handy chair while putting on his left boot, Xander abruptly froze there due to hearing at last what he'd been waiting for. All around him, from every part of the other rooms of the Cleveland House, horrified yells merged into a single scream of ultimate dismay after no more than a second or two when Willow's newest glamour spell automatically cast itself.
Among the noise of several dozen people completely freaking out, a maniacally smirking Xander stood up from his chair and walked over to the side table next to the front door of his apartment. Picking up the cellphone there, Xander tapped the proper keys to set this into its camera mode. Now that he had the means to take lots of pictures and share them with the rest of the New Council, Xander left the apartment with a happy song in his heart, on his way to find and take snapshots of all the other people currently here in the building.
Who, each and every one of them, now looked like they'd switched from their previous male or female appearance into the opposite gender.
This magical transformation would also last exactly the identical time as Xander had been forced to endure the same previous wonky spell. The odd fact was that this had been as far as he'd decided to push the gag while telling her what he wanted, but Willow had other ideas. After doing her best witchy cackle, Wils told Xander that some more punishment was necessary. It was entirely one thing for her to enjoy yet another uproarious Xan-special blooper having to do with a backfiring spell, but their long history of absolute friendship stretching from Sunnydale on meant that neither of them would hold it very much against the other.
Those other residents at the Joyce Summers Memorial School For Young Women, though, had been in Willow's words, "…a little too meanie around you then." With a vicious glint in her eye, this woman laid out her own contribution to Xander's prank, which resulted in him prudently agreeing to this additional settling of scores. Wils had at least pointed out Xander could blame her afterwards for that specific part, since she didn't mind sticking up for him. It'd also make it clear who was the boss in the house, just in case the memory of the recent embarrassing event of Xan as a multiplicity of eyepatch-wearing women made everyone else there forget this important detail.
Walking down the academy hallway, cellphone in hand ready for his first victim, Xander admitted to himself that Wils had a point. Plus, he was definitely going to enjoy this. None of the other inhabitants certainly would, however.
Not when the sum total of the formerly masculine-appearing guys here in their rooms were at present feeling to the agonizing maximum possible the consequences of possessing an imaginary uterus in between the years from menarche to menopause.
Or when surely one of the angry Slayers, when they figured out just who was responsible for them looking if they'd been blessed with the XY chromosome and was further close enough at hand to take a superhuman swing at Xander, got painfully interrupted in the latter by an enchanted smiting at their lower regions. Said smiting onto their equally imaginary testicles would range in results from 'moan-whimper' to 'kill me NOW!'
Yep, Xander thought to himself while hunting for gal-Andrew to start off his collection, every now and then you got to show 'em you're the king, baby.