A/N- We've reached the final chapter! I'll be responding to all the reviews this time around, so have fun with that! I hope you all get a kick out of this!
Disclaimer: I do not own Darkwing Duck or Buffy the Vampire Slayer or any of their related characters. Darkwing Duck belongs to Disney, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer belongs to Joss Whedon. All is done for fun, not profit.
Chapter Twenty- Plan B
Something was wrong. All four of them, running on foot for lack of vehicles, could feel it right down to their bones. Morgana knew that the spell had worked, that NegaBuffy had her soul back now. But things were not resolving. Negaduck, with NegaBuffy either choosing to fight for the good guys or just bowing out, should have been an easy beat, seeing as the odds were two to one.
"Oh God," Dawn was breathing heavily, the jogging pace she was keeping along with the three ducks making her huff and puff. "Oh, God."
"It's fine, right? I mean, this should all be over. We can get back to cleaning up the city, right?" Gosalyn said, her question simply put out there, not directed to anyone.
"This place has been wrecked," Launchpad muttered, his eyes cast around to the broken buildings, cars, bodies, and other debris that littered the streets they traveled.
"Why aren't we just teleporting to them?" Dawn voiced, increasing her speed to match Morgana's.
The witch shook her head. "I don't want to take the chance of teleporting right into the middle of a fight."
Dawn nodded. She had a point, after all. If Darkwing and Buffy were in trouble, they were no good to them dead. That was, if…
Thankfully, that thought was cut short as Gosalyn's sneakers skid to a halt, and the little duckling pointed straight ahead.
"Look who it is!" she cried out.
Coming at them in a dead, panicked run was the NegaGang, fear plastered all over their faces. Without a word passing between them, Morgana, Gosalyn, Dawn, and Launchpad formed a wall, stopping them right in their tracks.
"We gotta get outta here!" the Negaverse version of Launchpad said, causing a fair amount of alarm in Launchpad.
The St. Canard of this universe, they were all sure, could not handle many more doubles.
"Wait," Morgana growled, holding out a hand. "What's happened? What are you running from?"
"Move out of the way!" NegaBinkie said, causing Gosalyn to plant her feet.
"Not likely. Not until you tell us what's going on!" the little duckling demanded.
"She's gone nuts! They both have!" NegaHerb cried, giving a worried glance behind.
The four do-gooders exchanged a glance. Finally, Dawn took a single step forward.
"NegaBuffy? What happened? Did anything strange happen?"
"It doesn't matter," NegaHonker gasped, shaking his little head. "You won't be able to stop her. She's going to kill us!"
"Yes, it does!" Dawn said, her words coming out harshly.
"Spill it!" Gosalyn demanded.
NegaLaunchpad shook his head. "Something weird happened. She stooped over, like she was in pain. But, when she rose back up—"
"She was different," NegaHonker finished.
Again, a look was exchanged, and they now shared the NegaGang's look of fear. Dawn was the first to voice it.
"Out of our way!" NegaHerb shouted, throwing his rotund body forward and knocking Dawn and Launchpad over.
The NegaGang followed after him as they continued their sprint up the street. Gosalyn shook her head, turning to make chase when Morgana placed a hand on her shoulder.
"We have more important things to worry about, Gos!"
Gosalyn looked like she wanted to argue, but only huffed as the group continued their run into downtown St. Canard. All four hearts pounded heart against their owners' chests; no one spoke as the damaged around them grew steadily worse. Finally, as one, they came to stop a few feet from a frightening sight.
Doppelganger versus doppelganger in an epic, bloody battle. Darkwing and Negaduck flew at one another, throwing blows and blocking them. Gosalyn shook her head as she watched her father throw a low, sweeping kick at Negaduck's legs, only to have the Mallard Menace jump vertically, throwing out a closed fist. Darkwing dodged to the right, the blow missing. Darkwing and Negaduck were both reaching into their capes, throwing whatever they had at their look alike.
"It didn't work," Launchpad groaned, drawing all eyes to Buffy and NegaBuffy.
The two women's fight looked more like a really complicated, fierce dance than a fight. Both dodged left, right, kicked, dodged, punched, dodged, landed a blow, dodged the follow-up. The only difference in the two: Buffy the vampire slayer was looking tired.
"It did," Morgana huffed, shaking her head with her beak parted ever so slightly. "I know it did."
"But… but souls are good things… Right?" Gosalyn asked, throwing her eyes up at her companions.
"No," Dawn whispered… her eyes shifting away from her sister to Negaduck. "And we should have known that."
Darkwing managed to grab a hold of Negaduck's shoulders, throwing him down onto the cracked and dirty pavement, only to have the yellow-clad duck to spring back to his feet, landing a kick into the Mighty Mallard's gut. Gosalyn shoved a hand to her beak, taking a slow step forward. Dawn reached out, catching the duckling and pulling her back. Gosalyn glared upward.
"I'm a slayer now. I have to do something!"
"You're an untrained slayer," Dawn argued.
At that moment, Buffy cried out, as the group's eyes flew to her, like spectators at the world's most gruesome tennis match. Buffy was bruised, tired, and bleeding. And her counterpart was showing no signs of wearing out any time soon. Dawn moaned, taking in the scene around her. There were simply too many casualties, more than she had ever known her sister to allow. The bodies were just strewn about the road and sidewalks, some sprawled and others bending in ways that were simply not natural.
"This just has to stop," she said, pulling Gosalyn back to Morgana and Launchpad.
She lunged forward, several steps away before turning back to the duckling she had just kept from doing the exact same thing she was doing now.
"Dawn!" Gosalyn called, almost indignantly.
"Stay here! I've got field experience!" she shouted as she moved as close as she dared possible to her sister.
Buffy saw her sister as she ducked a punch from NegaBuffy, pushing back her leg as the vampire brought it up toward her side.
"Dawn!" she shouted, landing a rare roundhouse into her counterpart's chest. "What the hell do you think you're doing?"
"Buffy, you have to stop! Look around! This world can't take much more!"
The slayer rolled her eyes as an "oomph" sounded from her left. She glimpsed Darkwing taking a spill onto the left sidewalk, and Negaduck took that moment to laugh, his eyes locked upon the Key.
"That's kind of the point, kid," he chuckled.
Buffy shook her head, tossing NegaBuffy to her right. Darkwing sprang back to his feet, stealing back the evil duck's attention. Buffy huffed, feeling the sweat of her brow rolling down the bridge of her nose. From over her head, a bright flash of light shone, and NegaBuffy flipped nimbly out of its reach. With a guttural growl, she lifted the back end of a broken vehicle and hurled it over Dawn's head. With a squeal, the slayer's sister ducked, whirling around to see Morgana, her arms still raised from the cast spell, leap out of the way of the projectile. Launchpad made a grab for Gosalyn, yanking her to safety as well.
"Stay out of this!" NegaBuffy screeched. "Amateur hour doesn't start until Buffy and Darkwing are dead! Then comes slayer number two!"
Buffy's eyes widened as Darkwing managed to call his daughter's name in the midst of his fight, wanting to confirm her safety.
"I'm all right!" she yelled back, again making a move to go to him. It was Morgana that held her back that time.
"Not for long," Negaduck retorted.
Buffy shook her head, slamming her fist right into the blonde vampire's face. Dawn was right. This had to end, and it had to end now. St. Canard would be nothing but rubble if it did not. But she was tiring, and even Negaduck and Darkwing were slowing. Only NegaBuffy was still going strong. With a growl, she threw another kick out at her evil counterpart, only to have it caught and thrown back at her.
"Listen, dominatrix Barbie," she hissed at her red-leather clad look alike, "shots like that wouldn't happen on my turf. You're going to pay for that."
NegaBuffy giggled. "Oh, boohoo. When I'm done breaking every bone in your pathetic little body, Slayer, I'm going to drain you dry. And then, I'm going to take sister dear over here and make her my personal little Key, hopping to every dimension and killing you again and again and again!"
"Not going to happen."
She laughed again. "Oh, that won't happen immediately, true. I'll have to kill Gosalyn and all your other little friends over there first. In fact, I'll probably wait until after I do that to drain you."
"Buffy, what do you want me to do?" Dawn cried out as a series of crashes sounded from behind her.
She yelped and both sisters glanced back to see Launchpad, Gosalyn, and Morgana now pre-occupied with their own little sets of vampires. Dawn shook her head.
"I'm going to contact Willow! There's got to be another spell!"
Spell. The proverbial lightbulb lit over the slayer's head just as Darkwing, crying out as he went, flew right into her arms, knocking them both to the ground.
"Are you all right?" she asked the masked vigilante.
A little cross-eyed, Darkwing nodded. Buffy set the duck back to his feet, grasping him firmly by his shoulders.
"Darkwing, I'm so sorry about all of this, but I just want to thank you. I want to thank you for wanting to help me… for trying to help me," she said, looking right into his eyes.
He blinked, frowning. "I don't like that sound of that.
Buffy grinned. "Just hold him off for a little longer."
With that, she all but shoved Darkwing back into his fight with Negaduck, ducking low as NegaBuffy rushed at her. She sprang up just as the vampire came over her, tossing her into a nearby wall as easily as tossing a pancake.
"Dawn, come back here!" she called.
Dawn, who was busy joining the fray with the others in her efforts to cut a path back to Morgana's manor, nodding, planting a makeshift stake into the heart of an approaching vampire. She tossed the stake to Gosalyn, running over to stand, shoulder to shoulder with her sister.
"When I say 'now,' Dawnie, I want you to grab onto me and hold on with all your might… no matter what," Buffy explained, her eyes glued to the already recuperating vampire.
Confusion colored her face, but Dawn nodded anyway. To the girls' right, Darkwing had just done a similar toss with Negaduck, which was causing the Mallard Menace a bit more time to get back up. Eyes narrowed and gas gun aimed towards his doppelganger, Darkwing shouted, "Buffy, what are you going to do?"
But she did not bother to answer. NegaBuffy rushed at her, and instead of trying to block her attacks, or launch one of her own, she simply shouted, "Now!" and grasped the vampire by both shoulders.
"When in the hell are you doing? Let go of me!" NegaBuffy hissed as Dawn latched on tightly to her sister's arm.
Coming to her as easily as if she had known it all her life, Buffy began to chant the spell the demon had bestowed upon her in return for defeating the trials. NegaBuffy howled and kicked out at her, but Buffy was not to be deterred. She dodged the attempt to head-butt her, and her chanting grew in speed and volume. Dawn, one hand tightening hard around her sister's arm, threatened to fall to her knees. Grimacing and biting down hard on her lip, so much so that she tasted iron, the Key wrapped her free arm around her stomach. Buffy was frowning deeply, but her chanting continued.
"What are you doing?" NegaBuffy howled again.
The sounds of scuffling was being drowned out by the chanting, and Buffy was almost certain that the fight between Darkwing and Negaduck had come to a complete standstill. From between Dawn's fingers spilled a bit of green light. And, hearing Negaduck cry out, "No," Buffy's chanted finished. A bright flash of green light filled her vision, and when it cleared again, the first thing she was immediately aware of was that Dawn and NegaBuffy were still with her.
The second was that Xander, Giles, Spike, and Willow were all standing around her in the sitting room of the Cleveland Slayer House. Buffy let go of her negative counterpart, letting her fall limply to the ground. The vampire's hair messed and sticking out in all directions, she threw her eyes about the room, her face morphed and fangs bared.
"Bitch!" she hissed at Buffy, slowly rising to her feet. "What have you done, you dumb little whore?"
It went without saying that the newest spectators to this row were in a bit of a shell-shock. Dawn had falling into a sitting position on the ground, huffing away her pain. But, even then, she could not help but to grin up at the vampire.
"You're in our house now."
A scream that was more animalistic than one would have thought possible roared from the vampire's mouth as she tensed, ready to pounce. Xander, his single eye blinking, was the first to recover. He whirled to the drawer of the mahogany end table, withdrawing a single wooden stake.
"Buffy, here!" he said, tossing it.
Buffy caught it easily, landing a hard kick into her doppelganger's face. Vampire Buffy reeled back as the slayer whirled the weapon, nimbly, in her hand.
NegaBuffy hissed, glaring. "Who the hell do you think you are? Do you think that this place makes any difference?"
"Who am I? I am the terror that stakes in the night," she said, whirling to land another kick in her chest.
NegaBuffy stumbled back into Spike, who promptly threw her back to the lions.
Another whirl of the stake, followed by another successful blow to the vampire's head, and Buffy continued, "I'm who the boogeyman checks under his bed for."
NegaBuffy lunged, throwing her arm out with every ounce of strength that she had. Buffy whirled, a deadly ballet in motion…
… and planted the stake right into NegaBuffy's heart.
"I'm Buffy, the vampire slayer."
Without another sound, her negative crumbled to dust.
It was morning, but inside The Black Room, no one could tell. Willow, Buffy, and Dawn stood close to the "glass" wall that divided them from Darkwing's world.
The scene on the other side had changed, as Morgana, Darkwing, and Gosalyn were outside in Macawber Manor's backyard, standing at Mindy's newly erected tombstone. Buffy crossed her arms, sighing as she did.
"This is a lot easier than Ceiling Chat was," Dawn said soberly, eyeing Willow.
Willow smiled sheepishly. "That's totally true… but this requires a lot of concentration to maintain… and being worried as I was, that wasn't an option. Besides, it takes forever to zone into The Black Room."
Darkwing chuckled once, reaching up and removing his wide hat. "How about we chat after this? She's waited too long."
Everyone agreed. After a single beat of silence, Darkwing spoke again.
"We didn't know Mindy long," he said, his voice solemn as he began his eulogy, "but we were lucky to have had her in the short time that we did. She was a girl with a responsibility that exceeded her age, and with a life that no one should have to lead."
He paused there, daring a glance over at his own slayer-bound daughter and at Buffy, for approval. Buffy nodded once, and he continued.
"But, because she did lead this life, we are all the better for it. She was a noble girl, a strong girl, and she was taken before her time. Mindy, if you're listening… we'll miss you. And I hope… I hope that you can rest now."
The six attendees bowed their heads for a moment. When they lifted again, Darkwing sniffled, and Gosalyn wiped away a tear.
"This can't happen to you," the Masked Mallard said suddenly, firmly tugging his hat back into place.
He stared hard at his daughter as her eyes grew wide.
"But Dad! I have to!"
"You're just a kid!"
"They'll take you away," Dawn said from her side of the wall, causing Gosalyn to whirl. Buffy nodded.
"She's right. The watchers will try to take you. And your Dad's right too. I was young when I became the slayer… and so was Mindy. You need to live your life before you just can't," Buffy said.
"You said there was a way she could have her cake and eat it too," Darkwing said. "You never got to tell us."
"There's a weapon. And I'm certain that your world probably has something similar, just from the little similarities that I noticed. Mine was a scythe. It will be a weapon with enormous power that only you, alone, can feel. When you hold it, it will just feel like yours. It was created by the slayers, without the knowledge of the watchers. I found mine in a vineyard, so I recommend starting there."
"And the watchers?" Darkwing asked. "This will stop them from taking her."
"That's the trade off. As hard as this will be to hear, Darkwing… Gosalyn won't have a choice when it comes to fighting. But that doesn't mean that she has to fight the big fights now. Find the weapon. When the watchers come, do the spell that makes many slayers. They'll have their hands full, so you can use that to your advantage so that you can train her."
Gosalyn's eyes grew wide. "Dad, training me?"
Buffy grinned slyly. "Yeah, he's not that bad of a fighter."
The Mighty Masked Mallard rolled his eyes. "Gee, thanks. So… there's no way around just keeping Gosalyn out of this mess?"
Gosalyn took this opportunity to glare up at her father, and Buffy shook her head.
"Sorry. But this way will give you a bit more control. Trouble finds the slayers. That's one of the many downsides to super powers…. They can be a super pain in the butt. And speaking of pains in the butt, how did it go with Negaduck and the rest of the vampires?"
"I took care of the vampires, with the help of Gosalyn and Launchpad," Morgana put in. "One of those fiends tossed some pretty heavy objects on Launchpad, and he's laying in bed getting some forced bed rest. But he'll be all right."
"And Negaduck was a bit easier when I didn't have the threat of a super-powered vampire looming over my shoulder. He didn't go down without a fight, but I managed to get him locked up nice and tight again. Same with his gang and the other members of the prison break… you know, the ones who survived. In fact, the NegaGang was pretty much scared out of their minds, so that was easier still."
"Darkwing, I'm so sorry. All this mess was my fault. Negaduck wouldn't have even thought about a super-powered, super-bitc… uh, bad person if it hadn't been for me showing up," Buffy groaned.
"It's not like you did it all on purpose… All bad things aside, we're glad to have met you and everyone else."
"Yeah, and I can said with absolute certainty that you guys won't be forgotten," Dawn laughed.
"Um, I hate to cut it short, but this spell is getting rather draining," Willow moaned.
"That's our cue to go," Buffy said. "Tell Launchpad that I'm sorry, and that I'm glad he's okay. And… well, good-bye."
"Don't be a stranger," Morgana said, waving.
Darkwing and Gosalyn joined in the wave, with Gosalyn adding, "I'll be a great slayer, Buffy, and I'll use it to kick some serious vampire butt!"
Buffy laughed. "I know you will, Gos. Bye."
A few moments later, and the wall lost its transparency. The black slithered away from the room, and Buffy sighed, moving to plop down on Willow's jewel-toned bed.
"As crazy as it all was, I'm going to miss them," Buffy said.
"Well, at least we can still check in," Willow said, gesturing to the far wall of the room.
"I know one thing for certain though."
Dawn raised a brow at her sister. "What?"
"I'm never going to be able to look at poultry the same way again."
End Notes: And that's the end, folks! Not as much Negaduck as I would have liked, but… Well, that might get corrected. Let me explain by telling you a little story. Back before I started writing chapter eight, I was on the phone with my dear, dear friend, Slinky, talking about our NaNo project (which, for me, was this story, as you all know), and I was talking about some things that I liked that I felt like I couldn't come back to. However, Slinky, almost like an afterthought, mentioned a way to correct these things. I had a blow up. How dare she give me a sequel idea, knowing my love of them? So, alas, this story has a sequel planned. Now, it'll be quite some time before I come back to it—I have so many stories I must catch up on and work on—but it'll happen. I don't yet have a title for it, but I'm working on it. If anyone would like, if you want to read the sequel when I write it, you can tell me in the review and I'll PM you when it's out or you can just add me to author's alert. I won't judge you or be sad if you don't read the random stuff that I'll be updating in between now and then. In fact, I often do that myself with authors. Your choice, so just let me know! Well, I hope you all enjoyed the ride. See you next time!
P.S- Did anyone else notice that Negaduck got jipped all the way around in this deal? Also, for those who like timeline fun, did you notice that all these events took place in the course of single evening? Talk about your bad days.