Disclaimer: I own no intellectual property belonging to Joss Whedon or DC comics.
Ethan sighed. It was so hard to get kids to dress as proper villains with the ridiculous costumes villains wore. Mirror Master for instance had a simple orange bodysuit with an oddly shaped green mask that covered everything but his eyes and mouth. Sure the mirror gun looked good, but if the mask was red you could mistake his head for a fire plug.
Seeing Xander eyeing the dollar bin, Ethan grinned. There was at least one sucker he could unload an unfashionable costume on as he was almost certainly colorblind considering the way he dressed.
Xander clutched his head in pain falling to his knees as several large egos, with associated identities, poured into his head and came into conflict with each other.
The being that rose to his feet a few moments later wasn't sure of many things, like what name he was born with, but he knew two things for sure, he was The Mirror Master and The Flash was going to pay! Because he felt inspired! In fact… there were quite a few ways to use what he knew that had never occurred to him before, like using a special coating on his fingernails so a simple tap could activate or deactivate a mirror without an obvious tools that could be taken from him. All he had to do was mix the right chemicals in with some nail polish and he'd be set.
Mirror master shot the side of a building with his side arm, the silvery beam forming a circular mirror on the second story above a large dumpster, before he continued on.
Scarce five minutes later the mirror ejected a wolfman who landed in the empty dumpster with a thud, and was quickly joined by a variety of characters as the night progressed, leaving a pile of unconscious figures when the spell ended.
Spike enjoyed a night in with Drusilla.
When your personal seer starts quoting Lewis Carrol it's best to remain behind stout doors.
Xander's head hurt, it felt like an overinflated balloon that was pounding in time with his pulse, which wasn't too far from the truth as he'd had the complete life history of several supervillains jammed into it. Lying on the huge pile of cash dressed in an orange outfit with a green hood, he wished he'd been smart enough to steal some asprin as well.
"Is everyone OK? Were there any aftereffects?" Giles asked, after explaining the cause of last night's events, which he'd learned about in a letter from Ethan slipped under the library door.
"I think I aced my French final," Buffy offered.
"I'm back to normal," Willow offered. "But I can't find Xander. He's not at school and calling his home is worthless."
"I'm here!" Xander called out, before Willow could really get going.
"Xander?" Willow spun around and scanned the area but couldn't find him.
"In the mirror, Wills," he replied.
"What are you-," Willow fell silent looking from the now full length mirror that was on the wall that showed the room and Xander but no one else and looked back to the table in confusion.
"And where did you get all the money?" Buffy asked in shock.
"I believe the villains known who took the name Mirror Master decided to rob a bank," Xander replied. "Anyone got any asprin?"
"Are you OK in there?" Giles asked as he peered into the mirror that showed Xander sprawled out on the table they were sitting around.
"My head is killing me, but I seem to be back to normal," Xander replied.
"You are lying on a huge pile of stolen money inside a mirror," Buffy said carefully.
"Mirror Master here," Xander replied standing up and rubbing his temples. "If I had been myself, I wouldn't have robbed a bank, which is pathetically easy with the powers I have now."
"Powers?" Giles asked before staring in shock as Xander stepped out of the mirror.
"And a headache you wouldn't believe," Xander agreed as Willow checked him for injuries.
"So what would you rob?" Buffy asked.
"Huh?" Xander asked confused.
"You said you wouldn't rob a bank because it's pathetically easy," Buffy reminded him.
"No, I said I wouldn't have robbed a bank and that it was pathetically easy," Xander said. "They are two different things."
"Oh," Buffy said.
"You have a bit of a Scottish accent," Giles noted.
"One of them was a Scottish mercenary with a really screwed up past," Xander said.
"How screwed up?" Willow asked.
"An orphan searching for his parents who becomes a hitman so he can afford to get the records. Naturally he gets to his mother's house just in time to witness her killing herself because her husband had died the week before," Xander explained.
"His father was the first man he killed?" Buffy guessed.
"Bingo!" Xander replied.
"That's horrible," Willow said.
"It certainly warped his sense of humor," Xander said shaking his head. "But then I think all comic book villains are nuts."
"So you're still you?" Willow asked.
"Yes, but with a lot more knowledge, most of which unfortunately involves attempts to kill The Flash. The entire group of them reminds me of Wile E. Coyote. Anyway, I could use some asprin."
"I'll get some," Giles said heading for his office.
Buffy poked the mirror, but couldn't find anything unusual about it besides what it showed.
"No urge to be a bad guy?" Willow asked just to be sure.
"I said I gained knowledge, not I lost wisdom," Xander said. "If I was in a world with Wally West I may have had a problem resisting the urge to screw with him, but lacking The Flash, I'm fine."
"So what can you do?" Buffy asked.
"Mirrors, holograms, lasers and some stuff involving cryogenics," Xander listed off.
"Wow," Willow said impressed and a little worried he wouldn't need her and a tad jealous of his new knowledge.
"So the whole stepping into mirrors deal?" Buffy asked as Giles came out and handed Xander a glass of water and some asprin.
Xander took the asprin and returned the empty glass. "Thanks Giles. There are as many mirror universes as there are reflections, so the place I step into is one of my choosing. The reflection I was resting in for instance is a reversed duplicate of Sunnydale where I could watch the normal Sunnydale through any mirror I chose."
"What about people and vampires?" Willow asked. "Aren't they duplicated too?"
"Vampires don't cast reflections," Xander replied. "And I, or rather they, chose a Sunnydale devoid of people and animals."
An angry Cordelia Chase stormed into the library. "Which one of you freaks was responsible for last night!" she demanded.
"Just what I needed, a screeching whore," Xander said bluntly with a British accent.
"What?!" How dare you-" Cordelia began when Xander drew a futuristic gun with a rectangular mirror in place of a muzzle that he shot a beam of silvery energy into the floor at her feet, forming a mirror puddle underneath her that she vanished into just before it evaporated.
"What did you do?!" Buffy demanded.
"I'm rich!" came Cordelia's voice from inside the mirror, as she picked up handfuls of cash from the table. "I mean rich twice!"
Xander stuck his head in the mirror as if it were a window. "I'm rich, and get your hands off my money or I'm going to leave you in there." Pulling his head out he tapped the mirror and the surface rippled changing into a normal mirror view. "Sorry, but I am not willing to put up with her until my headache is gone."
"You can't just go zapping people into alternate dimensions," Buffy complained. "And what do you mean 'you're rich'? You're returning that money to the bank mister!"
"One, apparently I can zap people into alternate dimensions as you just saw me do it, although I would hardly consider Cordelia people, and two, I am not willing to run around robbing banks, but that doesn't mean I am willing to risk my freedom and future un-robbing one, nor am I willing to ignore a windfall of this nature and magnitude just because it clashes with your middle-class morals," Xander swore.
"Your Scottish accent became very strong as you got rolling," Giles noted.
"The Scottish guy grew up in an orphanage and had to take a job as a hitman to afford to find out who his parents were," Xander reminded him. "Money means not having to kill your own father. I can keep myself from running around in a costume robbing banks, in part because I have a huge pile of money to quiet those voices."
"It's still wrong!" Buffy said resolutely.
"And have you turned yourself in for killing Amy's mom in self-defense?" Xander asked. "I seem to recall you using a mirror to commit that particular crime and while it's probably justified, morally you should turn yourself in. I at least have the excuse of being possessed and forced against my will. Besides, my crime is covered by insurance, so don't pretend I'm hurting some little old lady by not letting myself be locked up with murderers and rapists for the next twenty years!" Xander vanished into the mirror leaving them staring at their own reflections.
"That could have gone better," Willow said.
"I was right, wasn't I?" Buffy said.
"Yes and no," Giles said. "We operate in a bit of a grey area, ignoring laws to save lives and while robbing banks is clearly wrong, asking him to risk his own freedom to save an insurance company a few pounds isn't exactly the right thing to do either. There is also the fact that having that pile seems to help Xander keep in control over himself after what he's been through. Multiple possessions are no laughing matter."
"What do you mean?" Willow asked, worried for Xander.
"The human mind is very resilient, especially when young, however it can also be quite fragile. This isn't the first time he's been possessed and while probably not as traumatizing as having an animal control him, he did say that there were multiple Mirror Masters, which is yet another thing to be concerned about. Frankly I'm shocked he's doing so well." Giles turned to them. "Really it all comes down to which is more important to you, the law and being right, or your friend."
"I love easy answers," Buffy said relieved. "Thanks, Giles."
"It's what I'm here for," he assured her.
"Is there any way to fix, Xander?" Willow asked. "I mean we exorcised the hyena, is there anything similar for what he went through last night?"
"Nothing springs to mind," Giles replied. "Chaos enhanced spells never have the same effect twice, so no one method works on cleaning up the aftermath."
"They don't have a spell to remove all the foreign stuff he was stuffed with?" Willow asked.
"Oh, yes that exists," Giles agreed, "but casting that on Xander would be foolish in the extreme. It'd be like sandblasting a window to remove the streaks left by glass cleaner. Traumatic doesn't even begin to cover it."
"Let's call that plan Z," Buffy said. "In the meantime, let's see if there are any books on window cleaning."
"Research?" Willow asked hopefully.
"Research," Buffy confirmed.
Xander sighed as he saw his rumpled former bedding and Cordelia trying to look innocent. "Do I have to check your purse?"
"Fine," Cordelia huffed opening her purse and tossing out stacks of hundreds.
"You've also stuffed your bra, your breasts aren't normally that size," Xander pointed out.
"Promise not to frisk me and I'll ignore whatever disaster you losers caused last night," Cordelia promised leaning forward a little to tease him with her cleavage.
"Fine," he agreed, cursing his libido. "But seriously, I'd rather you took jewels rather than cash."
"You robbed a jewelry store?" Cordelia asked in surprise.
"No, but unstuff your bra and I'll show you what I mean," Xander said. "In fact, if you aren't satisfied I promise to personally stuff your bra until it can hold no more."
"Deal," she agreed and started pulling handfuls of cash out of her clothing.
Xander watched amazed at the amount of money she'd managed to hide on her person.
"OK, so show me what you think will satisfy me," she said with a smirk.
Xander slapped himself in the face so he could focus. "Fine, follow me."
"Where are we going?" she asked unmoving. "Come to think of it, where are we?"
"We are inside a reflection of Sunnydale," Xander told her as they stepped outside the library, revealing a world devoid of animal life.
"I-I-How?" she asked.
"Everyone turned into their costume during Halloween, no it wasn't our fault, and no we had no idea it was going to happened. Anyway, I dressed as a comic book supervillain whose abilities are mirror based, thus all of this."
Cordelia lead him to her car. "We can take my car or its reflection I guess, to wherever you're taking me."
"Your key won't work, everything's switched from left to right,' he told her. "We'll have to walk."
Cordelia put her keys back in her purse and pulled a hide a key magnetic box from under front fender. "This won't affect my car will it?"
"Nah," Xander waved it off. "It won't even move with the reflection."
"This feels so weird," Cordelia said sliding behind the wheel on the right hand side.
Xander buckled his seatbelt. "Just pretend it's the British version of your car."
"What side of the road do I drive on?" she asked as she started up her car.
"No traffic cops," Xander replied. Drive in the middle or on the sidewalks if you want."
"Really," Cordelia asked immediately.
"Yeah," Xander agreed. "The streets are clear."
Cordelia revved the engine and undid a couple of buttons on her shirt, a grin that reminded him of the hyena appearing on her face.
"Oh shit," Xander said as Cordelia Chase floored it and left a cloud of burned rubber in their wake. What followed was quite possibly the scariest car ride he'd ever been in, and that included when his father drove while drunk off his ass.
"Woo hoo!" Cordelia yelled as she took a turn on two wheels while unhooking her bra with one hand and removing it, tossing it into the back seat a few missed bills floating through the air.
"What the hell?" Xander demanded wide eyed as Cordelia did a 360o spin into a parking space right in front of the police station accidentally taking out a no parking sign.
"We have an entire Sunnydale we can play with and not worry about the consequences," Cordelia said excitedly, and Xander could tell she was excited because she wasn't wearing a bra.
"I-I can't believe I didn't think of that," Xander said, realizing the more mature, even if their sanity was debatable, villains he'd shared headspace with had affected him more than he thought.
"Did you know the police have an armored vehicle kinda like a tank crossed with an SUV?" Cordelia said with a grin.
"Where do you think they keep the key for it?" Xander asked with a matching grin.
"It's almost lunch, where do you think he is?" Buffy asked.
"I don't know," Willow admitted. "He was really mad, but I don't think the skating rink is open during school hours and the bowling alley would probably kick him out."
"I didn't know he liked bowling or skating," Buffy said.
"We used to go all the time," Willow said. "Xander they loved the nachos they served at both places and its fun."
"Cordelia hasn't been to class either," Buffy observed.
"Maybe we got lucky and the Hellmouth swallowed her," Willow said hopefully.
"Stand up straight Cordelia," she growled as she crushed Ferrari beneath the treads of the armored vehicle she was driving.
"Behave properly," Xander said with a grin as she reduced yet another expensive car to scrap metal.
"Don't yell, don't run, don't laugh," she quoted as she backed over a red sports car of some type.
"Don't have fun," Xander added.
"Be a good little girl," Cordelia said bitterly. "Chases don't have flaws, they have character traits."
"Xander laughed as Cordelia worked out some of her issues on her father's car collection.. "Don't kiss that Harris boy, he's beneath us," Xander said pompously, thinking he'd get a laugh from her.
Cordelia slammed on the breaks and pulled Xander to her. When she released him he blinked a couple of times and said, "Don't have sex with that Harris boy!"
Cordelia grinned and put a hand on the back of Xander's head. "Don't go down on that Chase girl!" she ordered, pushing his head down.
"She probably got upset and cut school to go shopping," Willow decided. "She's done it before."
"And Xander went to cool off," Buffy agreed. "Or simply fell asleep in the mirror on a huge pile of money."
"I wonder what that feels like," Willow said. "I mean, in all the stories dragons sleep on huge piles of gold, which is kinda similar."
"We'll arrange a sleepover after I've apologized," Buffy offered.
"It'll be nice to get everything back to normal," Willow said with a smile.
Typing by: The Last Primarch!