It's come as you aren't night. The perfect chance for a girl to get sexy and wild with no repercussions.
"Actually," Xander interrupted, sliding between the girls and dropping his arms around their shoulders, "if you want to do it right, then…" he thought for a moment, "you would be book-guy, Willow would be tough-guy, and I would be science-guy. Oh!" Grinning, Xander spun to face his friends. "I have the best idea. But we'll need Angel to join us."
Buffy and Willow eyed him warily before exchanging worried glances. "Okay," Buffy drawled, "explain."
Colonel Jacqui (Call me Jacqueline, and die!) O'Neill stared around herself, and admitted she was gobsmacked. She might admit to be astounded, if only for the fact that Dani might suggest that she had been improving her vocabulary. And that just wasn't happening, no way, no how. She dropped her hand to her P90, and rested it on the comforting weight for a moment as she surveyed the chaotic surroundings, but then reached for her radio. She raised it up, and decided that now she really was astounded. "What piece of crap is this? Who gave me a civilian issue comm?" she demanded of no one. She flicked the switch, and started calling for her team.
"Carter? You there?"
Captain Sam Carter quickly grabbed his radio, and flicked the switch. "Here, Colonel," he muttered, looking around in amazement. "Do you have any idea where we are?"
"I was kind-of hoping you'd know, Carter," Jacqui bit back.
Sam rolled his eyes. His CO was an intelligent man – she had to be to get where she'd gotten – but she hid it really well. "Well, but the look of the houses and cars, I would have said it was Earth, but – Holy Hannah! What is that?"
"Talk to me, Carter," Jacqui ordered.
"Ma'am, I don't know what it's like where you are, but there are … things here that wouldn't look out of place in a horror film," Sam shook his head.
There was a brief silence. "Yeah, here too," Jacqui admitted. "Have you seen Dani or T?"
"No, Ma'am," Sam shook his head. "Wait, there's a girl… I'll get back to you, Ma'am," he added abruptly before putting the radio back in its holder.
A girl in a striped body-suit ran up to him. "Oh God, Xan, I never thought I'd ever be glad to see you. This is all your fault!"
Sam backed away from the girl. "Uh, can I help you, Miss?"
The girl went to slap him, but he dodged out of the way of the insane person. "God, you are such a doofus, Xan!" she complained. "And you call me 'Miss' again, and I'll spread a rumour that you're gay."
Sam pulled himself up straight. "I'm an officer in the United States Air Force, Miss, and I'll thank you not to slander me like that," he ordered sternly.
"Oh, please," she snorted, "you're Xander Harris, uber-dweeb. I've known you, unfortunately, since we both started school. And don't think I don't know about your 'We Hate Cordelia Chase' club you and your dweeb-ettes have had going since, like, primary school."
Sam sighed. "I am Captain Samuel Carter, USAF, service number 366349. I have a doctorate in astrophysics, and served in the Gulf War. You were saying?"
"Uh huh," the girl snorted, her arms folded, "and you're, what, eighteen?"
"I'm twenty-eight," Sam shot back, "though why you needed to know that, I have no idea."
"So you'll have no problem looking in a mirror?" she prompted.
Sam rolled his eyes and, spotting a car side-mirror, strode over to inspect his appearance. "Holy Hannah," he gasped, "I'm young!"
"Duh!" the girl snorted. "I've only been telling you that for, like, the last ten minutes."
Sam shook his head. "No, you've only been saying I'm young in the last minute or so; prior to that you were telling me I was … who was it?"
The girl sighed. "Xander Harris. And I'm Cordelia Chase, and we are not friends."
"So why are we talking?" Sam asked, confused.
"Because you are your Scooby Gang," Cordelia made air quote," are into the weird, and I'm pretty sure that Giles is going to be able to fix this."
"And Giles is…" Sam prompted.
"Oh, for the love of God," Cordelia huffed, "he's the librarian."
Sam looked at the girl for a minute. Of course he was the librarian. They had been sent into some truly insane version of Earth, and their saviour was going to be the librarian.
"Are you there, Ma'am?"
"Here, Carter," Jacqui responded quickly. "How are you?"
"Going insane, Ma'am," Sam sighed. "But that appears to be the status quo for this place."
"I've got Dani and T here with me; where are you?" Jacqui asked.
There was a pause, then a street intersection was nominated. "I, uh, have a local guide. Kind of," Sam added.
"Local guide is good," Jacqui nodded. She quickly listed her position, and asked, "Can your guide get you here?"
"Yeah, she says it's not far from where we are, and on our way to the school," Sam sent back.
Jacqui glanced at the radio. "Why do we need the school?" she asked.
"Apparently that's where the person in the know is. He's the librarian," Sam added, cringing.
"The librarian," Jacqui repeated drily. She sighed. "Fine. Get here, and we'll … go to the school." She turned to her friend. "Well, Dani, I guess you get to make friends."
Dr Daniella Jackson scowled back at her friend. "Considering we appear to be in California, I highly doubt this library we're going to will have anything more that Sweet Valley High novels and text books that were highly in need of correction even as they left the presses."
Teal'c frowned. "Is not a school an institute of learning?" he asked, curious.
"Yes, Teal'c," Dani sighed.
"Are not the teachers worthy of respect?" Teal'c went on.
"Well…" Dani began.
"If they're any good, yeah, sure," Jacqui nodded. "But this is California, T, and, well, they're not big on the learning. I mean, sure, they have some great colleges and all, but this is a local high school we're talking about. Most kids just want to get through and get out."
"Pretty much," Dani nodded.
The three of them waited at the street corner, watching the chaos around them. Every so often they would interfere if they saw someone truly in danger, but they didn't want to stray too far. Jacqui had already gotten as many children as possible into houses, leaving pretty much, well, monsters.
Finally, Sam and a teenager jogged up. Jacqui ran impressed eyes over the girl; a costume like that was no one's friend, yet she filled it out admirably. She turned back to Sam, who was looking at her, iun/iimpressed. "Good to see you, Carter," she greeted. "And this is your 'local guide?'"
Sam nodded. "Colonel O'Neill, this is Cordelia Chase, and, well… Do you think maybe we're a little young?" he asked cautiously.
Jacqui rocked back on her heels, and looked around at her team. Now that she thought about it, Sam and Dani looked pretty much like teenagers, while at least Teal'c looked like he was in his twenties. But then, he'd never looked his ninety years. "Well, when you put it like that," she frowned. "What do you think is going on?"
"Absolutely no idea, Ma'am," Sam shook his head. "But, uh, Cordelia here says, well …"
"Oh, for crying out loud!" Cordelia growled. "You," she pointed at Jacqui, "are Willow Rosenberg, you are Buffy Summers," she added, pointing to Dani, "you are Angel, I don't know if you even have a last name, and idiot boy here is Xander Harris," she finished.
"But…" Dani began.
Cordelia scoffed. "Oh, God, let's just get to the library, and Giles will tell you exactly the same thing. And he'd better be able to fix this, because Partytown are not giving the deposit back on this," she grumbled. With that, she stalked off.
SG1 exchanged glances, then Jacqui shrugged, and waved the team to fall in behind the teen. Teal'c quickly made his way to Cordelia's side, watching for danger.
Cordelia strode into the library. "God, Giles, you would not believe the night I've had. Everything has just gone to hell, and no one knows who they are."
Giles stared at the teenager wide-eyed. "Good evening, Cordelia," he greeted. He then turned to her companions and smiled. "Buffy, Willow, Xander, good to see you. You, too, Angel, of course," he nodded genially. "Now can anyone explain what Cordelia was just talking about?"
Jacqui strode forward, hand resting on her gun. "You know us?" she asked warily.
Giles blinked. "Well, yes, Willow, I do. I have known the four of you for, uh, a year?" he suggested.
The team exchanged glances. Dani stepped forward, and adjusted her glasses. "So, uh, you've known us for a year," she nodded. "Are we students here?"
Giles looked at Cordelia, stunned.
Cordelia shrugged. "Did I not specify the weirdness that is tonight?"
"Yes, yes," Giles muttered, quickly cleaning his glasses. "Now, I know the four of you had organised to go as a team from some television show. Um, Buffy, I think you were going as an archaeologist?"
Dani nodded. "Doctor Daniella Jackson," she introduced. "I'm an Egyptologist."
"How interesting," Giles brightened. "I have always tended to study more European and Near Eastern history and languages -"
"Giles!" Cordelia barked. "Hellmouth-issues here."
"Oh, right," Giles nodded, chastened, while Jacqui ducked her head to hide a grin. "Er, so if Buffy and the others have become their costumes why haven't you?"
Cordelia snorted. "Probably because I went to Partytown, while these lame-o's went to that new place, uh … Ethan's?"
Giles stilled. "Ethan's" he asked carefully. His tone caught the team's attention, and Jacqui and Sam stiffened. "Er, could you tell me where it is, by any chance?"
Cordelia looked around at the various people in the room. "Okay, if you think you're leaving this lot behind, you're a lot dumber than I thought you were, and if you think I'm going to stay here alone then you're absolutely moronic. So I'll lead you there, and you lot will be my bodyguard as I do."
Giles looked at the group and sighed. "Very well," he agreed.
Two months later…
Giles looked over his children, and found it hard to be angry with Ethan. Certainly, his spell was cruel and childish, yet it had reaped many unusual benefits. All three of the children had changed drastically, and for the better. Buffy and Xander's school studies had improved out of sight, much to Snyder's vast dissatisfaction. The Principal had gone so far as to force both of them to sit unnecessary tests under strict supervision, and yet they had both still come out with excellent scores. Xander had his eye on joining up after high school – the Air Force, of course – and had changed his subjects to reflect his new interests.
Willow had changed, also. Gone were her meek and shy ways, and she was now a confident, even aggressive young woman. Both she and Xander now trained daily together, and with Buffy, and he had been impressed with their knowledge of martial arts. Their bodies were beginning to catch up with their memories, and they were improving daily. One of the few downsides he'd been able to discover were the nightmares that Willow had confessed to: it seemed that her character had undergone a great deal, and this came out in horrible dreams that had yet to fade. That said, she counted them as an acceptable cost for the benefits she had received. She appeared to be considering her options, post-high school, as well, and Giles rather hoped she left the Hellmouth also.
And Buffy, his Slayer: She was now interested in research, and had quickly picked up many of the languages her character had known. She could go just about anywhere with her current skills, and if they could just figure out how to guard the Hellmouth, then they were set. Her previous, flighty personality had faded under a new, more balanced maturity. She would occasionally reach for glasses, then remember who she was, and grin sheepishly. She still fought like the Slayer that she was, but she had quietly broken up with Angel, realising that the relationship wasn't what she had once thought it to be. Angel had agreed solemnly, if sadly.
The three of them had brainstormed about the consequences of Buffy's temporary death at the hands of the Master: it was possible that the Council was holding out on them, but Giles was unsure how to go about finding out what was going on. Willow and Xander would put their heads together every so often, and he was pretty sure he didn't want to know about whatever it was they were doing in private. He almost hoped they were letting their hormones rule them, but the one time he had mentioned it, both had gone to parade rest, and muttered about fraternisation rules. And then he would remember that Willow had always been into computers, and Xander's character had apparently been just as avidly entranced in those arcane arts.
Still… If there was a chance that there was another Slayer. It was certainly something to think about. And, who knew? Maybe his Slayer actually had a future. That was something to smile about.