Title: Sunnydale Heroes – Part 7 of 7
Author: Wicked Raygun
Summary: AU. Superpowers change everything in this reinterpretation of "Welcome to the Hellmouth" and "The Harvest". Mild B/A, B/X and W/X.
Disclaimer: Based on characters created by Joss Whedon. I am merely borrowing them to put on a puppet show. Watch them dance.
Notes: This is not a crossover with the show 'Heroes.' This is merely me borrowing a concept I find intriguing and adding it to characters I love.
Also I have very little desire to do a word-for-word rewrite of the first two episodes of BTVS. Those kinds of stories seem a little pointless to me. Anyways, any inaccuracies that come up between my story and the actual episodes have to do with either a deliberate choice on my part, or me just not caring that much. Part 1 will have the most in common with the script, since it's slightly inevitable. After that, the story really does become mine.
Also, thanks go out to my beta readers, Grey Wizard and Alun Lewis.
Distribution: Ask and you shall receive. Just email me and I'll get back to you quickly using new-fangled technology. See, I get email on my phone now. Surely jet packs and flying cars are just around the corner.
It was a beautiful Southern California morning. And the students of Sunnydale High went about their business, oblivious to the fact that the world was nearly swallowed by the mouth of hell – or, at least, one of them.
Xander stared at them all, fascinated by their refusal to comprehend what had happened at the Bronze the previous night.
Distantly, he heard Cordelia tell one of her subordinates that it had been rival gangs fighting over turf – a gang whose members all just so happened to have similar facial deformities and a tendency to explode into dust when staked through the heart.
A pang shot through Xander, but he squelched it quickly. There was time to deal with that later. For now, he just wanted to get through the week without mentally shutting down.
Then he saw her.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
With all the insanity of the past couple of days, he had forgotten just how achingly beautiful she was. Now, it hit him allover again. She walked over to him with a sway and bounce that was hypnotic.
"What exactly were you expecting?" she asked, obviously referring to the lack of freaking out being displayed.
"I don't know – something. The dead rose. Metahumans walk among us. We should at least have an assembly."
They walked along for a moment until they were joined by Willow and Giles.
"People have a tendency to rationalize what they can, and forget what they can't," Giles said.
"Believe me, I've seen it happen," Buffy added.
"Well, I'll never forget. None of it," Willow said. Xander nodded in agreement.
"Good!" said Giles. "Next time you'll be prepared."
When Willow and Xander responded with surprised exclamations of protest, Giles continued.
"We've prevented the Master from freeing himself and opening the mouth of hell," he noted. "That's not to say he's going to stop trying. Especially since he probably believes that there may well be others like you and Jesse."
The teenagers grew quiet again at the reminder.
"He was unreal," Buffy said somberly. "Do you really think there are more kids on the Hellmouth with powers? Because it's not like vampires were exactly lacking with the ways to kill you before this. And the idea of fighting more meta-vamps doesn't exactly fill me with warm fuzzies."
"Which is exactly why we must find them first. Protect them. If possible, recruit them."
"Sunnydale High – School for the Gifted," Xander quipped.
"You'll all have to be trained of course," Giles continued, ignoring Xander.
"You'll learn to better use your powers, the art of armed and unarmed combat, tactics, demon lore – I daresay we'll be very busy. After all, we won't just be fighting vampires or even meta-vampires. The next threat we face may be something quite different."
"I can hardly wait!" Buffy said, her words dripping with sarcasm.
"We're at the center of a mystical convergence here. We may, in fact, stand between the Earth and its total destruction."
"Well, I gotta look on the bright side," Buffy declared, her voice filled with snark. "Maybe I can still get kicked out of school."
"Oh, yeah, that's a plan. 'Cause lots of schools aren't on Hellmouths," Xander said.
"Maybe you could blow something up. They're really strict about that," Willow said.
"I was thinking of a more subtle approach, y'know, like excessive not studying."
"I think I'll just fly, as in away."
Giles stopped walking, allowing the teenagers to continue their conversation without him, which had degenerated into a discussion about the possible merits of wearing a cape into battle. He sighed.
"The Earth is doomed."
It should have been impossible. But it was all real. He could stop time. He could teleport.
He was a superhero.
Jonathan Levinson: The Time Master.
Okay, so he was still working on the name. And he'd need a good one if he was going out to fight crime, protect the innocent – maybe even save some grateful damsels in distress, he'd think with glee.
Of course, he was just learning about his new powers; he'd only discovered them the previous day. His control over them was, at best, limited and could only be activated when he was under duress or concentrated very hard – which tended to give him a bit of a headache.
His inexperience had already led to a couple of awkward situations. One time he teleported himself inside of a locker, and the other into the girl's bathroom – and both times he had been trying to avoid Larry, a football jock and part-time bully.
He was moderately more successful with stopping time – which was awesome, but would again leave him with a considerable headache afterwards. He was getting rather fond of Tylenol as a result, which was worrying. The last thing he wanted was to develop an addiction to painkillers. Sure it may work for Daredevil, but he didn't really fancy himself to be a brooding, bad boy hero type with a monkey on his back.
Of course, that night, at the Bronze, he hadn't been thinking about saving the day – or character defining flaws, for that matter, either – only saving his own life.
When he'd felt Jesse's hands squeeze around his throat, his only thought was on escape. He'd wanted to be gone, to be anywhere else, so long as he wasn't being choked to death by a maniac with a hideous facial deformity. So without any real destination in mind, his powers activated.
And he was gone.
The next thing Jonathan was aware of was a sudden release of pressure from around his neck. Then unbalanced, he fell to the ground in an awkward heap.
When he was able to catch his breath, he looked around. He was in the middle of a traffic-choked street. There were cars everywhere, lined up for as far as he could see. But they were empty, dust-covered metal husks left stranded in the middle of the road, as if abandoned all at once.
Some of the cars were wrecked spectacularly – and in a few cases, were even flipped over on top of each other. Many were merely blackened metal skeletons, while others were warped and melted hunks of glass, metal and plastic – remnants of car fires, he assumed.
Eventually, though, his eyes were drawn to the sky and he froze.
That's not natural. That's impossible.
A blood red haze filled the sky, from one horizon to the other, the sun filtering through as a mere dull white orb. He found he could stare at it with no apparent, immediate ill effects to his eyes. And Jonathan knew just enough about astronomy and human anatomy to be terrified by that realization.
His knees buckled and he collapsed gracelessly to the ground, landing on his rear. He stared for a long while at the sun, gradually becoming accustomed to the terror he felt.
The future, he thought. He had traveled into the future. That wasn't too hard to imagine, really. He had stopped time and teleported – those were amazing feats in and of themselves. So the idea that he had been able to teleport not only through space but also through time as well seemed plausible. Or at least as plausible as anything else he'd experienced in the past few days.
But how far into the future did he go?
Far, he answered himself. He had calmed a great deal while looking at the sky and was now beginning to analyze it more objectively. He slowly stood up and dusted himself off.
And then Jonathan spotted a bird – a very large bird. He frowned. The bird seemed to get larger and larger until Jonathan realized in horror that what was flying toward him was no bird.
A primal instinct swept over him, telling him to run. He did, but not fast enough.
It landed in front off him. A giant beast easily twenty feet high, from stocky legs to serpentine neck. And then it roared. Jonathan fell over from the shocking force of it. The ground itself seemed to shake.
Dumbstruck, Jonathan silently watched as it approached him, hissing and snarling all the while. Unable to comprehend his situation in a rational manner, and panic overloading his brain, for only the briefest of moments was he able to finally summon a name for the nightmare that seemed bent on his destruction.
He was unable to even form a final coherent thought before he lost consciousness, and was only vaguely aware that he was going to die.
The dragon towered over his unconscious body and lowered its head to feed.