Title: Closet Chronicles
Disclaimer: I own nothing. The character's of Buffy, Angel, and any other show unfortunate enough to be used here belong to other people.
Setting: Late season one and beyond.
Summary: After casting Moloch out of the computer Willow discovers something very strange with the library computer about a week later. It seems to be linked to the internet of a different reality where Buffy is a television show.
Pairings: B/S, Je/G, more to come later.
Feedback: Is always appreciated. Just try to keep it constructive.
Email: If you like it that much, sure. Just be sure to let me know where it's going, and give me the credit, good or bad, for my work.
Chapter One: Running Down A Dream
Willow covers her mouth with the back of her hand as she yawns tiredly while pushing her way past the library double doors. Last night she had been up until nearly two in the morning working on her science project, but like normal she was up with the sun.
Now, halfway through the school day, she was paying the price.
"Um, hello Willow," Giles somberly greets the normally buoyant redhead as he sees her.
"Uh-huh," she replies as she crosses around the counter to the computer.
Giles watches Willow with concern as he asks her, "are you all right? You seem a bit preoccupied."
Willow shakes her head slightly as she says, "I'm fine. Just a little tired since I didn't get a lot of sleep last night," she finishes as turns the computer on.
"Nothing wrong I hope," Giles inquires as he stands next to the counter.
Willow looks up at him as she waits for the computer to boot up. "Just schoolwork," she answers.
Giles nods, "if you need me for anything just give a shout," he tells the tiny redhead. Lifting his coffee mug he takes a slight drink before he disappears into his office leaving her alone in the main room.
Willow turns her attention back to the monitor as it flickers to life. Quickly clicking on the internet icon she then sits back to wait for the dial up modem to connect her to the world wide web. Several minutes later its up and running.
Willow quickly types in her first search, or thought she did. Only what comes up on the screen had nothing to do with what she wants. Looking down at the search bar she blinks at the word blinking at her.
That definitely wasn't what she meant to type, but that was what was there. She thought it might have been one of those incidents where her subconscious had wanted one word and managed to override her conscious mind, which hadn't been working all that hard. It used to happen a lot when she was younger and somebody would be talking and she wound up typing what they said instead of what she meant to type.
She was about to retype her search when something at the bottom of the screen caught her eye. As she scans down the screen she sees familiar works of fiction such as: Bram Stoker Dracula, Anne Rice's the Vampire Chronicles. Movie titles like: John Carpenter's Vampires, The Lost Boys, Interview With A Vampire. Television shows: Dark Shadows and Forever Knight. Mixed in with books like: The Buffy/Angel chronicles, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Script books. Movies such as: Queen of the Damn, Dracula 2000, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And a TV show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Willow clicks on that site link, sits back and waits for the connection to hook them up, only it comes in much quicker then it had previously. Suddenly she wonders if Moloch's presence in the computer had somehow altered the machine. Or maybe the ritual that had cast the demon out had done something to it.
It took her a moment to scan the first, of several hundred pages worth of other sites that she could link with. She blinks several times wondering over that. Finally she clicks on one site that links her with which claims to have the first four season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for sale on DVD, along with the movie, plus the first season of Angel.
She was surprise to see the sultry image of Buffy alone on one cover. An extremely sad Buffy and a dark Angel on the second cover. A determined Buffy, a supportive Angel, and dangerous looking brunette she had never seen before on the third. The fourth cover had another saddened Buffy and an image of herself with short red hair looking back at her. The display for season one of Angel had a picture of the dark brooding vampire, looking dark and brooding, and Cordelia standing in the background. While the movie cover had Kristy Swanson and a young Luke Perry kneeling on the floor.
Clicking on the cast listing for the movie she reads through it with wide eyes. Kristy Swanson... Buffy Summers. Donald Sutherland... Merrick Jamison-Smythe. Paul Reubens... Amilyn. Rutger Hauer... Lothos. Luke Perry... Oliver Pike. Michele Abrams... Jennifer Walkens. Hilary Swank... Kimberly Hannah.
Willow closes her eyes, squeezes them shut tight, keeps them that way for several minutes before reopening them. Everything was exactly as she had last seen it. The names went on and on. She stops at the bottom of the page when she sees Ben Affleck's name across from the basketball player #10. She shakes her head and clicks on his name.
It brings her up to a list of his movies. Her eyes going wider still if that was at all possible as she reads over a list that stretches some seven years into the future. Daredevil(2003), The Sum of All Fears(2002), Changing Lanes(2002), Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back(2001), Joseph, King of Dreams(2000), Bounce(2000), Reindeer Games(2000), Forces of Nature(1999), Armagedden(1998), Chasing Amy(1997), Good Will Hunting(1997). There were more movies but she stops at that point having finally finding one that she recognizes. She had to drag Xander to see it when it first came out in the theater.
Clicking on season one of the TV series she quickly finds the cast listings. The courser hovers over it as she debates going on or not. She wants to find out, but at the same time she doesn't. The tiny redhead would like nothing more then to crawl back into her dark little hole and forget she had stumbled upon any of this.
Only she can't.
It would have been like when she found out about vampires being real and not doing anything to help. And besides she was curious.
With a slight breath she clicks on the link and then holds her breath as the connection comes in. Sarah Michelle Gellar... Buffy Summers, Nicholas Brendon... Alexander 'Xander' Harris, Alyson Hannigan... Willow Rosenberg, Charisma Carpenter... Cordelia Chase (1997-1999), Anthony Head... Rupert Giles (1997-2001, 2002-2003), David Boreanaz... Angel/Angelus (1997-1999), Seth Green... Daniel 'Oz' Osbourne (1997-1999), James Marsters... Spike (1997-1998, 1999-2003), Eliza Dushku... Faith (1998-1999, 2003), Emma Caulfield... Anya Jenkins/Anyanka (1999-2003), Marc Blucas... Riley Finn (1999-2000), Michelle Trachtenberg... Dawn Summers (2000-2003), Amber Benson... Tara Maclay (1999-2002), Kristine Sutherland... Joyce Summers (1997-2001), Juliet Landau... Drusilla (1997-1998), Armin Shimerman... Principal R. Snyder (1997-1999), Robia La Morte... Jenny Calendar (1997-1998), Harry Groener... Mayor Richard Wilkins III (1998-1999), George Hertzberg... Adam (2000), Mark Metcalf... The Master (1997), Clare Kramer... Glory (2000-2001), Adam Busch... Warren Meers (2001-2002), Danny Strong... Jonathan Levinson (1997-1999, 2001-2002), Thomas Lenk... Andrew Wells (2001-2003), Lindsay Crouse... Professor Maggie Walsh (1999-2000), Alexis Denisof... Wesley Wyndam-Pryce (1999), D.B. Woodside... Principal Robin Wood (2002-2003), Nathan Fillion... Caleb (2003), Adam Kaufman... Parker Abrams (1999), Iyari Limon... Kennedy (2002-2003), Mercedes McNab... Harmony Kendall (1997-2001), Julie Benz... Darla (1997).
After several moments of staring at the names listed above she reads through the information on the page but aside from finding out what people thought about the product there wasn't anything of interest unless she wanted to order the DVDs, which she was debating at the moment. Her main concern being how would they get here since she suspect that she is somehow looking into a different reality.
Clicking back out of that site until she gets back to the original Buffy site she skips over another two dozen sites either selling the same thing or auctioning off memorably of the shows.
Finally she reads the synapsis of a sight that claims to have episode guides inside. She clicks on it, then clicks on the link for season one. Reading down a list of episodes she decides to start at the very beginning so she clicks on Welcome to the Hellmouth and The Harvest. It gives a brief summary of Buffy's arrival in Sunnydale, her first meeting with Cordelia, Willow, Xander, Giles, Angel. Her first encounter with the vampires of Sunnydale, saving her life, Jesse's death, and them stopping the Marster's harvest.
It was the same for The Witch, and Teacher's Pet, Never Kill a Boy on the First Date, all the way down to The Puppet Show. It was like someone had summed up all the major points of their week, highlighted them into a few sentences, and posted them here.
She was finding it slightly disturbing. That someone might be watching her life, transcribing it... Maybe even filming it right now without her knowledge. It sends a chill down the young hackers spine.
It doesn't however stop her from continuing on with her search.
As Willow delves deeper into this bizarre and otherwise unheard of phenomenon the shy redhead loses all track of time. It isn't long before she's backtracked the entire thing to its source.
She shudders at the name.
Then hacks her way into their databases bypassing their security as if it didn't even exist. Within moments she was in the heart of the beast. So to speak.
Willow jumps out of her chair at Buffy suddenly saying her name at her shoulder. Miraculously she winds up landing on her feet and not her head.
"Where've you been?" Buffy asks concern for her friend making her sound slightly frantic. "You haven't been online the entire time? I thought we went over this whole boyfriend by internet thing."
"Look," Willow finally says pointing at the monitor.
Buffy does and gives a slight start as she sees Darla, and unless she was mistaken the boy she had found in the girl's locker room her first day at Sunnydale High. She wasn't positive since she didn't really pay attention to the guy's face at the time, more concerned with the bite marks on his neck. "What's going on?" She asks as the two of them walk down the hallway talking, only she couldn't hear what they were saying.
Willow alleviates that problem by turning the volume of the computer up.
"I, I, I, I don't wanna go up there," Darla sputters like a nervous teenager.
The boy laughs slightly as he replies, "aw, you can't wait, huh?"
"We're just gonna get in trouble," Darla murmurs.
"Yeah, you can count on it," the boy responds leaning in.
They almost kiss when Darla gives a start drawing a quick breath as she turns her head asking, "what was that?"
"What was what?" He questions her.
"I thought I heard a noise," Darla answers.
He shakes his head. "It's nothing."
"Uh, uh, maybe it's something," she responds sounding unsure.
He grins at her as he suggest, "or maybe it's something!"
Darla frowns at him as she says, "that's not funny."
Looking down the hall he draws out a loud, "Hello!" He looks back at Darla saying, "there's nobody here."
"Are you sure?" She questions looking away.
"Yeah, I'm sure," he answers.
"Okay," Darla growls as she looks back her true vampire face on. Lunging forward she grabs hold of him, he grunts in pain as she sinks her fangs into his neck bringing him to the floor as she drains him.
Then the opening theme begins to play a hard, fast, driving beat providing support for the opening credits. Buffy's face scrunches up as the name Sarah Michelle Gellar comes up while showing her fighting, flipping, cheering.
"Dang. I knew I should've taken the library if I wanted... Holy Toledo," he burst out as a series of short clips featuring him run past with the name Nicholas Brendon caption on the monitor.
His out burst causes Giles, who had been hiding in his office to step out. "You do of course realize this is considered a library for several reasons. One of which..."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Xander cuts the older man off impatiently. "You have got to see this," he adds motioning to the monitor.
With a very put upon sigh Giles steps around to the back side of the checkout counter where his eyes widen slightly as he watches a brief exchange between Buffy and her mother as she drops her daughter off in front of the school. He smirks lightly as Xander, so caught up in watching Buffy, skateboards right into the metal handrail. Then he begins thinking about the ramifications of what he's watching.
Giles takes his glasses off, wiping them down with a white handkerchief. "That was rather..."
"Freaky," Buffy supplies.
"I was going to say alarming, but I'll allow that freaky would suffice as well."
Willow glares angrily at Xander. "Did you really do that?" She demands of her best friend since childhood. She couldn't believe how he had treated Buffy outside the Bronze, what he had said to her. His words had been harsh, cruel, malicious. Sounding more like something Cordelia would have spit at someone. And after Buffy had done nothing but go out of her to be nice to them, never mind the fact that her life had been in jeopardy at the time. "Well?"
"How was I suppose to know vampires were real?" He sputters quietly. It hadn't been one of his better moments and watching it now on the monitor put him in mind of how his father treats everyone. If possible, he felt even more loathing towards himself then Willow did. He had always promised himself he was never going to treat other people the way his father did. Only what he had just seen... He shudders slightly.
"Because you heard them talk about it in the library," she points out.
"Yeah well, I thought they were both crazy at the time. I mean sure, now I'd think that anybody that didn't believe in vampires is a little bit wacko, but I've been dealing with them for a little while, but back then," he rants almost elegantly before looking at Buffy and Giles. "And just for the record I don't think either of you are crazy."
"How... Providential," Giles remarks blandly.
"And I'm sorry," he finishes softly.
"Perhaps we should get back to the subject at hand," Giles comments.
Buffy smiles slightly at Xander's apology. At the time she had shoved his words out of her head, completely forgotten about them because there were more important things that needed her attention, such as saving Willow's life, then to dwell upon the abusive words of someone, she thought of at the time as nothing more then a colossal jerk. Watching them on the computer monitor had actually been worse then hearing them the first time around.
Watching Xander's reaction to watching himself verbally degrade someone, the horrified light that had settled in his eyes, told her that he was as dismayed as Willow by what he had done. Now all she had to do was figure a way out to get Xander back in Willow's good graces.
First though there was the fact that, "somebody out there is filming us," Buffy comments dryly keeping a tight reign on her anger for the moment.
"And we're not even getting paid for it," Xander quips lightly trying to lighten the mood that he had in part created.
Willow shakes her head as she says, "I don't think so." The comment has the effect of pulling everyone's eyes to her. Taking a deep breath she explains her remark, "I think this might be something left over from Moloch. Or maybe a side effect from the ritual that cast him out of cyberspace."
"What leads you to that conclusion?" Giles inquires.
"Wherever this computer is linked up to is more then seven years into the future." Suddenly her eyes light up. "Xander go to the computer lab, tell Ms. Calendar I need all the zip disks she has. Giles I might need you to take Xander down to the computer store."
"If it might not be too much trouble perhaps you could explain what you planning?" Buffy's watcher asks politely.
"Think about it," Willow enthuses. "We have seven years of future crisis at our fingertips right now. Who knows how long its going to last, so we need to get as much of it downloaded as quickly as possible. That means zip disk... Or better yet external hard drives, definitely going to have to take Xander to the store..." She looks up, suddenly aware that she's seemingly taken control. "I mean if you think that that's a good idea?"
"It's a great idea Wills," Buffy encourages her friend, glad to see her exerting herself.
"You sure? I mean I don't want you guys to think I'm being pushy or taking over or anything."
"You go ahead and take over," Xander says placing a hand on her shoulder reassuring her.
Willow manages to glare slightly at Xander while still smiling brightly as she bubbles, "great. I'll write out a list of what I'm going to need. You should just be able to give it to the clerk and they'll get everything for you."
"Smart and considerate," Xander remarks glad that he wasn't going to have to try find everything she wants himself.
A few minutes later Willow hands Giles a slip of paper with her neat, legible handwriting scrawled across it. The two men make their good-byes and the depart.
"So which episode should we watch next?" Buffy asks hoping up on the counter.
Willow shakes her head as she replies saying, "can't. I have to turn the computer off to work on it when Giles and Xander get back and since I don't know if this is a one time thing I want to at least get the transcripts downloaded."
Buffy's eyes gleam as she comments, "you said this was hooked into the future right?"
Willow nods her head a little afraid of the glint in her friends eyes. "Why?"
"Well this means I can get a jump on the styles for the next few years," Buffy answers greedily.
Willow groans slightly at Buffy's comment. She could easily imagine what the rest of the group is going to want. "Xander's going to want to know about upcoming movies. Giles is going to want stock tips." Then her own eyes brighten considerable as she adds, "and I might as well check out the advancements in computers and programming and technology."