"OK, for the first test," Merlin said, "we are going to try and transfer a spider's ability to cling to walls…"
"What?" Hit Girl asked as Merlin trailed off and tapped his chin.
"Geckos can cling to surfaces a spider would slide right off of," Merlin said, as he recalled an article he'd read.
"Geckos are cheap and there's a pet shop near enough I can get one and be back here in half an hour," Kick Ass said.
"We can just grab some ants for the strength power up," Hit Girl said. "Any insect will do, really."
"Super strength is just enhancing what you're already got," Merlin said, "we don't need an insect for that."
"That would probably apply to speed, reflexes, and flexibility then," Hit Girl said.
"Pretty much," Merlin agreed. "The only Spiderman power I can't just buff someone up to is precognition, clinging to walls, and making webs."
"Would transferring web making ability give you spinnerets?" Hit Girl asked.
"No clue, I've never transferred abilities like this," Merlin replied with a shrug. "Heck, last time I copied and then transferred an entire power set, and that was the first time I'd transferred anything and hadn't simply enhanced someone."
"What all have you done?" Kick Ass asked nervously, not wanting to end up as a mutant hybrid thing.
"I've enhanced already existing traits into straight up superpowers, altered already existing powers, copied powers, and transferred powers," Merlin listed off, reaching through Shadow for a breakfast pizza.
Hit Girl grabbed a slice, before he'd even set it down. "Thanks."
"How does enhancing traits into powers work?" Kick Ass asked.
"I can multiply your strength fivefold without too much effort, which also increases how tough you are," Merlin explained, "I call it a brute package. Of course I usually hit someone with a fitness package first, which simply does pure human like Captain America and prevents the post thirties metabolism meltdown everyone goes through."
"That sounds perfect," Hit Girl said. "How about we start with the small stuff you normally do and experiment on an animal, to see if the rest is safe or would turn us into a walking nightmare?"
"Alright," Merlin agreed, "fitness, brute, and regen coming right up."
"Wait!" Kick Ass said anxiously. "I have nerve damage and a lot of metal screws and plates in me. Having all that come popping out would hurt."
"Give me a second," Merlin said as he considered the matter.
"Give him acid for blood and it'd solve that problem," Hit Girl joked, thinking about the movie Alien: Resurrection.
"And cause half a dozen others," Kick Ass added.
"Or I could make it so your blood only dissolves metal," Merlin said. "I can give it a try anyway and it'll either work or it won't, before we try adding regen."
"It'd make it easier to deal with getting shot," Hit Girl said thoughtfully, "but how is that an enhancement?"
"You already have metal in your blood, I'm just increasing your body's ability to deal with it a bit," Merlin replied.
"OK, I can see that," she said slowly, "but where would the extra metal go?"
"Hair, nails, and teeth would cause some problems," Merlin thought aloud. "Pissing it out would be painful. I'm thinking you can just poop it out. It'll be torn to powder before you excrete it, so no major changes will be needed there."
"So, dissolve metals stuck in the body and drop toxins in our shit?" she asked.
"Yeah, that would be a solid setup," Merlin decided.
"Would I be a huge pussy if I asked for a higher pain tolerance?" Kick Ass requested. "Because my nerve damage gave me a boost there and it's come in real handy."
"Yes, but you've got a point there," Hit Girl admitted.
"Alright, let's start with fitness," Merlin said, looking at them both as he mentally fed them a small amount of power.
Hit Girl wiggled and frowned before feeling her chest. "Did you just enhance my breasts?"
Merlin opened his mouth, paused, and considered the question before answering, "Peak human would give you Olympic stats without eating up all your body fat, so… yes?"
"Cool," she said, pleased with the change, even if only she could tell the difference.
"I thought I'd have a six pack," Kick Ass said as he felt his abs.
"Having visible abs requires the loss of natural body fat and partial dehydration," Merlin explained. "I'm going for substance, not style here."
"So, we'll be Olympic level, but won't look it, because they are actually unhealthy?" Kick Ass asked.
"Bingo," Merlin agreed, "and you'll actually be far beyond Olympic." He felt a decent portion of his energy vanish as he increased their strength and toughness roughly six-fold.
"I felt that," Kick Ass said.
"Now for pain resistance, metal absorption, and toxin excretion," Merlin said, finding it took much less energy than he expected. He quickly enhanced their healing abilities into full regeneration before the dissolving metal could cause any problems in Kick Ass. "Regen," he said.
"Ah, that feels nice," Hit Girl said, closing her eyes as countless small aches and pains faded away.
"Feels like the cotton is being removed from my senses," Kick Ass said with a smile.
"Give it a day to bring you to full health and fix past damage," Merlin said. "Now I have about half my unspent energy left, so why don't we get some insects and animals to experiment on?"
"What kind of animals?" Kick Ass asked.
"Well, I hear a pig can orgasm for half an hour," Merlin said, managing to keep a straight face for all of three seconds until he burst out laughing at their expressions.
"Almost got me there," Hit Girl said with a laugh, "but seriously, what kind of animal we talking about?"
"Something small and friendly, because if this works, I'm going to be giving it super powers," Merlin said.
"I'm thinking puppy," Kick Ass said.
"Shouldn't we be accidentally crushing things?" Hit Girl asked as they climbed down the fire escape, everyone cleaned up and dressed in costume.
"Including the ability to control your strength is easy and cheap," Merlin replied. "I could make you learn to deal with it on your own for the amusement value, but there's really no reason to. I figured that bit out while I was half asleep and having breakfast."
"Thanks for that," Kick Ass said as they reached the floor of the alley.
The three turned at the sound of music coming from the ground floor.
"Please, I'm really hungry," a young boy's voice was heard to say.
Moving to an open back door near a dumpster, they saw a street urchin who couldn't have been more than five, begging for food from an animatronic bear wearing a top hat and bow tie.
"I suppose Chica might have some leftovers we have to throw out," the bear said slowly. "I'll simply set them outside with the trash… and that will follow company policy."
"I… I'll just go away then," the boy said with a smile, "and not be hiding in the alley."
"That would be for the best," the bear agreed, sounding slightly relieved despite his cheerful artificial voice.
The two costumed heroes exchanged glances as they left the alley.
"I don't know whether to be happy or horrified," Kick Ass said. "I mean, on the one hand, it's compassionate, and on the other hand…"
"It's smart enough to be compassionate," Hit Girl finished.
"Yeah, you are probably going to want to keep them supplied so they don't have to go shopping," Merlin suggested before taking out a silver knife and making a cut on his palm. Using his own blood, he drew several signs on the corner of the building as high as he could comfortably reach before crossing to the next corner and doing it again.
"Putting up the magic protections?" Kick Ass asked.
"Yeah, with multiple redundancies," Merlin replied as they slowly circled the building and he worked his magic. "OK, done," he announced several minutes later as they reached his first blood marking.
"Looks the same as always… if you ignore the pizza place that replaced the first floor," Hit Girl said.
"Neither of you are exactly sane and it's your building so the magic won't affect you," Merlin reminded them.
"Works for me," Hit Girl agreed. "Now, let's get to the pet shop and see how well this works out. If all goes well, I can see the Colonel asking for some upgrades for his dogs."
"I gave my goldfish psychic powers… Well, my dog's goldfish," Merlin corrected himself, "and really, I just enhanced them."
"You have a weird life and that's me saying this," Hit Girl said, amused.
"Flamare," Xander said, lighting a birthday candle and causing half of it to instantly melt, adding more wax to the top of the picnic table.
"You're getting better at that," Willow complimented him.
"It's taking a lot of practice," Xander said, feeling a warmth in his chest from what he knew was an honest compliment.
"How is he doing that?" Joyce asked as she sipped her coffee.
"Magic ring," Buffy replied, before taking a bite of her sandwich.
"Where?" she asked, looking at his bare hands.
"I think I left it in the bathroom," Xander admitted, as he looked at his hands in surprise.
"It's a trainer!" Willow said excitedly. "You use the spell enough and you can cast it without the ring. Dibs on next use!"
"OK, so a young genie granted two of your wishes, giving us all powers and you, your own world," Joyce questioned just to be sure, as they sat in their backyard and watched Xander practice lighting candles, "and the only one who didn't get any powers was Buffy because she already had powers?"
"No, Merlin said he was going to expand her Slayer ability to learn weapons to cover other stuff," Dawn said, recalling the conversation.
"Huh," Buffy said thoughtfully, "I thought my schoolwork seemed a bit easy."
"And you thought it would be a wise decision to drive him away?" Giles asked Dawn.
Dawn groaned. She just knew she was never going to live this down.
Typing By: Abyssal Angel
TN: I'm seeing a Spider Pig joke coming on here. Even better if it's one of those micro piglets. XD