Xander and Buffy placed several, three foot wide and five foot tall, mirrors inside the club on the walls, ignoring the complaints of a couple of the wannabe vampires. Xander tapped the mirrors, sending a ripple through them and they suddenly reflected just the surroundings, as if everyone in the club were vampires.
"Cool effect," one girl said, running her eyes up and down Xander.
Willow quickly stepped next to Xander and took his hand.
Xander, thanks to the additional memories he'd picked up, actually realized what was going on with the two girls and released Willow's hand only to put his arm around her. "Thanks," he told the vamp girl with a slight nod and a smile, so she could make a graceful withdrawal.
"W-would you like to dance?" Willow asked, her heart in her throat.
"I'd love to dance with you," he told her. "But not here. After we finish up here we will find a place that is more us." Willow liking him may have come out of left field, but he wasn't about to just reject a friend without giving them a fair shake, especially in public!
"Ok," Willow said, snuggling into his side, her heart pounding like she'd just run a race.
"And here's the main event," Xander said, as they watched Buffy confront Ford, who admitted he was part of a plan to exchange her so he could be turned because he was dying of cancer. He only listened with half an ear, because he was comforting Willow who found the entire situation heartbreaking. "Sometimes bad things happen," he told her. "It's how we deal with them that makes us good or bad."
Angel showed up with Giles, they'd both been waiting until the sun had set so they could help spring the trap, just in case Ford had some demonic accomplices on hand. Buffy managed to convince most of the crowd to leave with Angel's help, as they explained what a vampire was and that all they were was food to them. Ford and a dozen or so teens were all that was left when Buffy locked them inside to wait for Spike's arrival.
Well… them, Xander and Willow.
"What are you two doing here?" Ford demanded.
"Decided to stick around and watch you idiots get killed," Xander replied easily.
"We aren't going to die," a Goth kid argued. "We're going to become elevated!"
"No, you are going to die," Xander disagreed. "Remember the part where Buffy pointed out that the deal was only for Ford and everyone else was going to be food? Notice he never denied that?"
"What does it matter?" Ford asked as he collapsed at a table, realizing everything he'd done was for nothing, he was as good as dead.
"See?" Xander asked. "And don't think that even if you got to still be you, and not just a demon thinking it was you, that everything would be wine and roses. Freshly raised vampires are called fledges and can spend up to twenty years as one. Fledges are treated even worse than you guys are. Imagine being surrounded by jocks who not only beat you, but are allowed to sexually assault you whenever they like, for five times as long as high school lasts."
"Oh god!" The assorted Goth Kids and Emo Punks tried desperately to pry open the door in vain.
"So, now you want to live?" Xander asked. "I haven't even told you what being a minion is like or how few vampires actually become masters. And really, for immortals I've seen a lot of vampires die, often at my hands for that matter."
"Let us out!" the group demanded, pounding on the steel door in vain.
"So none of you want to be vampires anymore?" Xander asked.
"I just didn't want to be picked on anymore!" one of the guys squealed.
"Or forced to put up with vicious backstabbing bitches," one of the girls added.
"Fine, follow me," Xander said stepping into a mirror much to their shock.
Willow followed showing them it could be done, happy that their plan to 'scare straight' the remaining teens worked. The teens eagerly poured into the mirror after them.
"We-we're in the mirror," a Goth said in awe, as he examined a coke can with a reversed label.
"But, aren't we stuck here with the door locked?" another one asked.
"I used duct tape on the latch," Xander said pointing to a couple of rolls of tape on the bar. "Just pull and it'll open."
The guy who'd wanted to be 'elevated' almost timidly pulled on the door and it opened, causing cheers and tears of joy from the crowd who rushed outside.
"I've got one more thing to do, grab them before they wander off please," Xander told Willow.
"Hurry," she said, moving outside. "Don't go anywhere, Xander's the only one who knows how to get us out of her."
She found the group hadn't gone far, as they were all standing just a few feet outside the door looking around themselves nervously.
"Xander had to do something, don't go anywhere," Willow ordered.
"Where exactly are we?" asked one girl quietly.
"We're in a mirror," Willow said. "I don't know all the details, so wait for Xander."
"Can I change in my car?" one of the girls asked. "I really don't feel into the vamp scene anymore. I'm parked like, right there."
"Just don't wander off," Willow said.
"Me too," the 'elevated' guy agreed. "I don't have much to change into though."
"I can help with that," one of the girls said.
Shortly Willow had her back to the parking lot, as the group of teens were changing and altering their clothes with absolutely no modesty or restraint, and many had loads of outfits and accessories in their cars.
Xander stepped out of the club, spotted the red faced Willow and heard the teens discussing style and clothing. "Do I want to know?" he asked.
"They didn't want to be dressed like vamps anymore," Willow said, "so I said they could change."
"It's open season on any vehicles in the lot!" Xander called out to the half-dressed group. "Grab anything you like, it won't affect the original."
"Whoo!" they cheered and expanded their search for articles of clothing.
A girl dressed as a punk version of a female Cheshire Catgirl was the first to rejoin them. "How are all the cars still here?" she asked. "I know a lot of the people who fled drove here."
"I captured this reflection before everyone left," Xander explained.
"How?" a young man dressed as The Mad Hatter with The Crow makeup asked as he joined them, a female Dormouse in gothic Lolita dress holding his hand.
"Magic is the simple answer, which just means something not understood," Xander explained. "I suppose the best way to describe it is…I found a crack in the rules of reality, which I have since defined for my personal use."
"Magic it is," said a Queen of Hearts, who looked to be descended from a line of vampire hunters.
"Are those plastic or wooden?" Xander asked, as he saw the bandolier of stakes she was wearing.
"Wooden," she replied. "One, I prefer authentic costume accessories and two, plastic stakes are way more expensive."
"Holy Water?" Willow asked.
"Stopped by a Catholic church," Hellsing Hearts replied. "The sword is cheap plastic though. I just can't afford a real katana, much less a silver edged one."
"You guys may be a danger to yourself and others, flirting with demons and death, but damn if you aren't impressive when it comes to style," Xander said.
"We didn't know it was real," a male Cheshire, who was at least half dressed to play in the musical Cats, groaned. "It was all supposed to be make-believe."
"I was waiting for the punch line because I didn't believe it at first and then… well Linda was staying, so I couldn't just ditch her," the female Cheshire Punk explained before another person chimed in with a similar agreement, as did most of the others.
Abraham Lincoln the vampire hunter sighed. "I just wanted it to be true so bad, I didn't listen. The vamp fantasy was a lot better than my reality. But hey, Alice in Wonderland works too!"
Xander laughed. "I'm no Alice and as far as I know, I'm the only person who can open these doorways."
"So this is like a snapshot of the world in a mirror with no people?" Hellsing Hearts asked.
"Exactly," Xander agreed.
"It's so peaceful here," Mad Hatter Crow said. "No bullies or parents."
"No doctors or emergency services," Xander added. "Plus all the food has left handed enzymes rather than right, so you could starve to death with a full stomach."
"And whilst in the land of the fey, eat or drink nothing," a gothic Tinkerbell said.
"You can eat and drink, it just won't have any calories you can process for energy," Xander explained.
"So a meal or a snack is fine, you just can't live on it," Hellsing Hearts said.
"And money from here wouldn't spend at home because of the reversed everything," Cheshire Punk agreed.
"Except for the soda machine," Punk Tinkerbell pointed out.
"Does everyone remember the Bandersnatch?" Xander asked. The entire group nodded. "Has anyone read or seen Stephen King's The Langoliers?"
"Shit!" Hellsing Hearts cursed. "We gotta get outta here!"
Buffy watched while over a dozen teens climbed out of a mirror in the parking lot, got into their vehicles and drove off. "Glad that worked out," she told Angel.
"Xander is good at motivating people when he needs to be," Angel said, thinking about the night Buffy died.
"Yeah," Buffy agreed recalling his threat to kill her if Willow was hurt, as she watched him help Willow out of the mirror.
"What now?" Willow asked, as the four met up and climbed in Giles' car, where he'd waited patiently, knowing he'd stick out too much to be useful.
"Bronze," Xander said. "I believe it is time to shake my groove thing."
"Happily- I mean sadly, I have other commitments so I'll simply drop you off," Giles said suppressing a grin.
"What a coincidence," Angel said. "I also have 'things' to do," he lied badly.
"I am not a stripper," Xander said with a haughty sniff. "Groove thing is not a euphemism."
"I've seen the way you teens dance these days," Giles disagreed. "The only way you aren't shaking it, is if you found a way to leave it at home."
The group burst out laughing and even Angel was forced to smile a little.
"Actually I could use a mirror to displace it…" Xander said with a frown. "I can't think of a reason I would but using a pair of matched mirrors as a portal it could be done."
"So with a full body mirror on both sides of the shower you could wash your own back and all the hard to reach areas easily," Willow said.
"Also makes it easy to escape if someone attacks while you're in the shower," Xander agreed.
"Can you see out of normal mirrors?" Buffy asked suddenly.
"If I want," Xander replied. "All mirrors are portals into my realm."
"What about the Langoliers?" Willow asked.
"Langoliers?" Giles asked curiously, having read all of Stephen King's works.
"I mentioned the Bandersnatch and made comparisons to the Langoliers to make sure none of the kids from the club tried to sneak off," Xander explained.
"So it was all a fib?' Willow asked.
"Reflections can fade away over time," Xander said thoughtfully. "I've never stuck around long enough to see what happens, there are some dangers that you'd have to be insane to court."
"How long a time?" Willow asked.
Xander shrugged. "A lot of factors come into play, but it only happens to empty reflections and takes years, possibly decades."
"Can you just step out of any mirror?" Willow asked.
"Yes I can, however everyone else has to exit the mirror they entered from or risk getting lost in endless reflections, which can get Lovecraftian quickly," he explained. "That or use a mirror I've prepared or some other method only I know of."
"Umm," Willow wasn't sure how to ask.
Xander pulled out a silver pin shaped like a willow tree. "Tap it on a mirror and it'll become a temporary portal, as if I made it myself."
Willow squealed and hugged him before pinning it on her collar.
"We're here," Giles announced letting the teens out in front of the Bronze.
Typing by: The Last Primarch!
AN: Yeah… there will be no traveling to occupied worlds or DC. I use the multiverse in a lot of fics, but this one ain't one of them. Wander off into the mirror dimension trying to reach another timeline and you'll be eaten by a Grue!