Steal a Story
Summary: Some readers are extremely unhappy with the twist a particular story took, so they bring in the Leverage crew to fix the author's mistake. Self-insert story.
Challenge: none really, just a tribble that popped up when reading the reviews for my latest update for BBWtD? and chatting with one of my betas.
Warning: Buffy-sue alert. And a tad cracky.
Timeline: AU version for chapter 46: New Team of 'Bunny, Buffy, What's the Difference?' that's loads happier. This includes the fake chapter part that I removed from the beginning of that chapter.
A/N: This is for ScorpioP, AshDawnSoulmates and others.
Thanks to my beta: AshDawnSoulmates insisted.
Disclaimer: Leverage characters belong to John Rogers, Chris Downey and TNT. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
4 days after Chapter 46 was posted…
"Our latest case doesn't involve money or death," Nate stared at Hardison before correcting himself, "The death of a real person, but Hardison insisted that we had to take it."
Parker looked confused and whispered to Eliot, "There are unreal people? Are they space aliens or something? Or is this like in math where there are real and imaginary numbers?"
Eliot glared at her and told her to be quiet as Hardison took over the briefing. He put up an avatar of Buffy Summers on the screen.
"This is mmooch, a fanfiction writer who specializes in Buffy-centered stories on a site called 'Twisting the Hellmouth' where fans write crossover stories between Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel the Series and other shows, movies or books. She has several stories that have caused a stir among readers, but the one that has forced a couple readers to seek our services is one titled 'Bunny, Buffy, What's the Difference?'"
"So Buffy is a rabbit that slays vampires?" Parker asked. She liked that idea, especially if her Bunny could be the leading character.
Hardison pinched his nose in frustration, then said, "No, it's a nod to the many times when characters mock Buffy's name by calling her Muffy, Fluffy…you know." He pointed to the screen and added, "That is Buffy; mmooch uses it as her author-avatar because Buffy is her favorite character on the show."
"So what's so bad about this story that it has people wanting the author destroyed by us?" Sophie asked, hoping to get the briefing back on track.
"They don't want her destroyed per se, but they do want her to reconsider the latest update she posted four days ago. Their frustration with her started with the fact she's been writing this story for almost five years now, not posting one update for practically a year, and killing off several of the main characters on the show – either in the story or before the story began. The final straw for these people was her having another main character who was pregnant get kidnapped just months after her husband died from injuries he sustained during his own kidnapping. Then she had the kidnapper – not the same one who snatched/killed the husband – kill the woman." As he mentioned the characters, he put pictures of them up on the TV screens.
"Did she kill the baby, too?" Sophie asked in a horrified tone.
"No, she wasn't quite that cruel, but at that point, the readers wouldn't have been surprised if she had."
Nate gave him another look, then commented, "You seem personally involved in this case. Something you want to tell us, Hardison?"
The team's hacker shifted uncomfortably, but answered honestly, "I enjoy the occasional fan story, and read this one from beginning to end when I got the requests. Overall, it has an upbeat tone and involves the reunion of a father and daughter lost to each other for almost two decades, but then it has these moments of heavy angst that destroy the light-heartedness of it."
"I don't get it, what exactly are we supposed to do?" Eliot demanded impatiently.
"We're supposed to track down the author and convince her to re-write the last chapter to end on a happier note. If she refuses, I'll hack her account and post my own happy ending," Hardison answered.
Sophie perked up at the idea of creative writing. "Oh, I'll help you write it!"
Nowheresville, The Midwest
A couple days later…
The team pulled up to a typical American dream house and saw a woman planting a garden off to the side of it. She looked to be in her late-30s to early-40s, not a beauty queen by any means, but not the picture of evil, either. She looked like a soccer mom (though not a Desperate Housewives soccer mom).
After all the bad guys they had taken down over the years, Eliot was stunned that they were going after somebody like this. "She's the person we're here for?"
"Looks can be deceiving?" Hardison tried to defend the case.
The team got out and walked up to the woman, startling her in the process. She swung to the side and jumped, but since she had a garden hose in her hand at the time, it meant that Eliot got soaked by the water coming out of it. The odd thing was that he was in the middle of the group and he was the only one who got wet…soaked, really. His clothes clung to his chiseled body and…anyway, the woman quickly apologized and ran into the house to get him a towel to dry off a little.
"Can I help you?" mmooch asked them.
"We've come on behalf of some of your readers to ask you to reconsider your latest chapter of 'Bunny, Buffy, What's the Difference?' They were heartbroken by Anya's death and wanted a happier ending for that story arc," Nate explained. With each word coming out of his mouth, the more ridiculous this seemed to him.
She stepped back in alarm. "You tracked me down for a story?! You know that's really creepy, right?"
Nate nodded, "Yeah, that's becoming more and more apparent to me. At the very least, can you explain to us so we can explain to our clients why you did it?"
Although she was still bothered by their presence, she answered, "Not really in terms that you can quantify. The story arc – and the readers' response to it – had me so worked up that I couldn't get those chapters out for the longest time. I even went a whole year without updating because I couldn't get anything written on that story. I spent several months debating with myself, and sometimes with my betas, about whether I should let Anya live. Started to write the chapter with her surviving, too, but in the end it just felt too forced and unreal to me."
"So you won't re-write it?" Sophie asked.
"No," mmooch replied. "They may not be happy about it, and honestly, there's a part of me that isn't happy either, but that's the way it has to be. If you'd like, you can tell them there won't be any further non-canon deaths before I wrap the story up."
Another couple days later…
Hardison was showing ScorpioP the re-write he and Sophie did while Eliot was attempting to fend off AshDawnSoulmates over on the couch. One minute she was crying on his shoulder, the next she was pinching his ass. Both actions were making him very uncomfortable.
"I put in the last paragraph because I felt the story needed a love interest," Sophie explained.
Minutes later, mmooch's account was hacked and her previous chapter was replaced by this:
Chapter 46: New Love
When she caught up to Wes at the hospital, Buffy immediately demanded to know why he hadn't already done a locating spell to find Anya. He explained that he could only narrow it down to a fifty mile radius. Since it gave her a starting point, she told him to do it and she'd start a concentric search pattern, beginning with the town closest to the center of the circle he came up with.
She arrived in the town less than half an hour later. Starting at the town's center, she began her search, tapping into the abilities she received from Sineya. With her senses amped up to insane levels, she focused on Anya's scent. As soon as she caught a hint of it, she abandoned the pattern and followed the smell.
It wasn't until she arrived at the farmhouse several seconds later that she realized she never got back into her car. Somehow she made it from town to this place in far less time than should be possible for her. Strange, Sineya never mentioned the ability to move that fast before.
Oh well, she listened closely for Anya's voice, but could only make out muffled cries so she sped off in that direction, ripping doors off their hinges along the way. Once she got to the room in question, she found a male human – according to her heightened senses – about to cut into Anya's abdomen. She was too late!
But as she watched his hand descend, it was going in slow motion. She went over and put her hand in between the scalpel and Anya's stomach. When it hit her skin, the blade shattered. Without stopping to worry about the consequences, Buffy pushed the man away hard.
However, with her new strength, her shove – which normally would have knocked him into the wall, rendering him unconscious – pushed him through the wall…and the wall after that…and the wall after that. When they found him later, every bone in his body was broken; it was as if he fell from the top of a skyscraper.
As she was leaving with Anya in her arms, Buffy encountered the BAU agents arriving at the scene. It wasn't until that moment that she realized all of her senses were on overdrive…even the ones responsible for her libido. She stared unblinkingly at the men in front of her and barely suppressed a growl of appreciation.
The one named Rossi appealed to the tiny part of her that wanted security. Reid tempted the intellectual portion. But most of her was torn between the aura of leadership that Hotchner oozed and the sheer masculinity of Morgan. If it weren't for Anya, she'd take them both for a spin to find out which suited her better.
It was a close thing, but her sense of responsibility to her family demanded that she care for Anya first. Which was ironic since Anya would probably tell her to go for the orgasms first.
"He's out back," she told them neutrally. "Not sure if he's alive or not, but I have to get her to a doctor immediately."
"JJ and Morgan will take you," Hotch said.
'Too slow!' Buffy thought, but couldn't come up with a legitimate reason why she could get there faster on foot without spilling the beans about the supernatural so she reluctantly got into the SUV with them.
It was a tense ride back, but Buffy managed to keep her hormones under control as well as avoid too many questions from the agents.
Once they got the all clear from the ER doctor, Buffy had the agents drop her and Anya off at their house where they met the rest of the gang who were celebrating Tara's recovery and Anya's rescue.
Oz caught a whiff of Buffy's pheromones and dragged her off to the bedroom for several hours of sweaty sex. Anya would be so proud of them.
A/N: I noticed that I was only 652 words away from 100,000 words on TtH so I thought it would be amusing to post a final chapter of exactly that length.
A/N: Hopefully this is a more appropriate way to post my fake chapter instead of putting it with Anya's death.
Disclaimer for 'hacked' part of the story: I don't own BtVS, NCIS or Criminal Minds.