They never should have let Andrew read the spell. That was a given, and how any of them had forgotten, not even Anya could guess at.

Andrew was pretty good with Latin pronunciation, but the Flieder demon language, while similar – Vs were pronounced like Ws in Latin; Bs were pronounced like Vs in Flieder – was new to all of them, and Andrew kept getting the vowel sounds mixed up. (So did everyone except Giles, actually, only Giles had a terrible chest cold which, as a result, prevented him from performing the spell himself.)

Andrew was also a closet comic book junkie, which was why instead of reading Roebyn Suepearbooy Mpayls as, 'Row-vine Sue-pier-buoy Mmm-pales,' which was the appropriate way to pronounce it, he'd said, 'Robin Superboy Impulse.'

All of which was why, instead of summoning the antique scroll they (rather, Giles) so desperately needed to ward off the coming apocalypse, Buffy and Dawn currently had three fictional characters – three fictional superhero characters – in their living room.


Robin was holding a batarang – a red one; a birdarang? – in one hand, and twirling a wicked looking metal staff in the other, obviously ready for a fight. Superboy was blinking in confusion, but one look at Robin had him dropping into a fighting stance.

Impulse took one short – long for him – look around and grinned widely enough to light up Rockefeller Center's Christmas tree. "Are we in another dimension?" he asked. At Xander's shaky nod, his grin widened. "Cool!" he squealed, before zipping across the room to look at the pile of books Willow and Giles had been poring over. "Wow, they're using real magic!" he exclaimed, before starting to speed-read through the ancient texts and tomes.

Superboy eyed Impulse, rolled his eyes and sighed.

Robin tucked his batarang – birdarang? – back into his costume…somewhere…and did likewise. He then groaned and slapped himself on the forehead. "Imp…" he chastised.

Impulse paused in his speed-reading, blinking at his friends with wide-eyed – and completely real – innocent. "What?" he asked, then, not waiting for an answer, went back to the books.

Andrew had finally managed to find his tongue. "Dude, this is so cool," he breathed, drinking in the blurry sight of the speedster avidly.

Buffy, eyeing up Superboy – for a spar or something else, not even Dawn could tell – nodded in tentative agreement, a slow grin spreading across her face. Superboy smirked back, and leaned nonchalantly against the wall, sending a flirty look towards both of the Summers' sisters.

Impulse rushed over to a different pile of books, causing a cloud of dust to form in his wake, and consequently making Giles sneeze. He and Robin exchanged matching looks of weary forbearance.

No matter what the others seemed to think, something told both of the de facto leaders that this little mishap would turn out to be so very not cool.