Title: The Last Big Hurrah

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Rating: T

Disclaimer: The words are mine; the worlds are not. I claim nothing but the plot.

Summary: B:tVS, X-Men. 900 words. Xander comes up with an unorthodox plan for defeating the First.

Spoilers: B:tVS mid-"Chosen" (7.22); general X-Men

Notes: Keep in mind, all I really wanted to do with this fic was explore one reasoning by whicha particular challenge ideamight be plausible; I'll probably eventually write a post-Chosen tag detailing the fallout, but this is it for now.


"Do something. If it doesn't work, do something else. No idea is too crazy."
-Jim Hightower


It had taken him awhile, since the Magic Shop was gone and he didn't dare go through Giles or Anya, but eventually he'd got his hands on the goods. After six years of walking on the wild side of Sunnydale, two of those while dating a capitalistic ex-demon, he'd learned more than he'd ever wanted to know about the buying and selling of magical items. Or the trading, as the case might be.

Buffy's arsenal had accumulated more than a few enchanted blades over the years, few of which she used on any kind of regular basis. She didn't like to be hampered by whatever clauses it took to activate, or to have to remember some kind of keyword every time she had to use it-- magic weapons were rarely as useful in the real world as they were in "Dungeons and Dragons", Buffy's new magic scythe aside. Still, they were worth something, and she'd never miss the ones he'd taken. The things he'd traded them for, however, could potentially make all the difference between victory and defeat this time around.

He'd been saving them for the last big hurrah, and from the way Buffy had been going on earlier that time had finally come. Except, of course, for the part where her plan made the kind of sense that really wasn't-- in what universe could it ever be a good idea to ask Willow to unleash that kind of power? She'd said it herself, ever since her little episode of trying to take over the world even itsy-bitsy locator spells made the roots of her hair go dark. And even if everything did go to plan-- which was a really big if-- and Xander didn't have to break out the yellow crayolas to stop her from going all Darth Willow again, wasn't this whole mess with the First going down because the Slayer line was out of balance in the first place? He knew he wasn't exactly a math genius, but if two of them gave The Dark Side of the Force a get-out-of-the-Hellmouth-Free card, then wouldn't a number much bigger than two just make things that much worse? He didn't even want to know what kind of nemesis they'd be facing afterward, even if they did manage to squish the First by activating all the Potentials.

He took the two-faced statue out of the trunk of his car, the duffel bag full of carefully chosen costumes, the mixture of powders that had to be used to enchant them, and the grimoire containing the Chaos spell that would activate it all when they were ready. Willow, and the Slayers' scythe, would be much more useful if they were under the seal with the others from the start than they would be up above in the principal's office, tied up for several very life-and-death minutes while the battle was going on. Giles, who already had plenty of experience with Janus from palling around with Ethan way back when, could be the one making with the casting; as soon as everyone was in their places he could say the words and the ├╝ber-vampires would never know what had hit them.

The lack of memory would be a problem, he remembered that from last time, but he was counting on the fact that all the costumes already knew each other, and that the imminent danger would be obvious, to keep that from ruining the plan. Okay, so maybe all of the costumes' originals didn't exactly get along, and some were from different alternities, but faced with a vast enemy army they would definitely close ranks and play together like good children.

That wasn't the only difficulty, of course. First there was the fact that he'd have to convince Buffy to go for it, which, given the recent difficulties between her and the Scoobies, might not be as easy as he hoped. (At least he had the excuse of being on heavy pain meds when he'd made that tasteless joke about not being able to see her point; not that he hadn't thought her plan a little on the iffy side, just like this one, but kicking her out of her own house had been taking things a little too far). Then there was the wording of the Chaos spell itself; if they were lucky, the aftermath of the battle would count as enough Chaos to make Janus happy, but if it wasn't, the "Be Careful What You Wish For" sub clause would freeze them half-way between their selves and the costumes.

Personally, Xander didn't think the latter was actually all that much of a punishment in this case. Buffy's reasoning for trying to send him away the day before was still fresh in his mind -- "You can't shoot a bow and arrow anymore, and every time you pick up a sword, I worry that you're gonna break one of our good lamps." So maybe she'd been joking, but it stung all the same. He couldn't see that being a problem after merging with his costume, even if his eye went AWOL again. Not to mention the other benefits that would come with being whom he'd chosen to become.

He caressed a black rubber costume with an X across its chest, smiling at the thought. Then he shook his head, picked up all the gear, and carried it toward Buffy's front door.

(fin)