Chapter 10: August 29, 2013 – It Changes My Life

Chapter Summary: **The 'Betrayal' Part of the 2013 LiveJournal's Twisted Shorts FaD** series. Two former Sunnydalians(ites) find each other in Eureka.

Timeline: post-AU season 3 for BtVS; anytime post season 2 episode 'E=MC…?'

Challenge: for the livejournal 2013 August Fic-a-Day Challenge.

Warning: Joyce died during Buffy's birthday test. Anti-Giles mostly.

A/N: For the last entry in this collection, I decided to try a double betrayal fic, meaning two people being betrayed separately. Thanks for all the encouragement and ideas; sorry if I didn't get to your choices.

Disclaimer: BtVS/AtS characters belong to Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy. Eureka characters belong to Andrew Cosby, Jaime Paglia and SyFy Network. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.

First betrayal

Giles' apartment

"It is the order of the Watchers Council that for the murder of Allan Finch, you are to have your powers bound permanently and your memory of being a Slayer erased. Furthermore, you will be moved away from Sunnydale so you cannot corrupt the new Slayer with your ways," Quentin Travers pompously intoned.

Buffy snorted at that last part. The idea that she would be a corrupting influence on Faith was like saying rain would make the ocean wet.

She didn't think her opinion of the Council could sink any lower than it did after her birthday, when their little test cost her her mother, but they proved it could. She wasn't sure whether to be grateful or not that her mom didn't survive that test since who knows what they would do to her now. That made her wonder what they were going to tell her dad about her disappearance.

Her greatest disappointment – again – was Giles. Buffy thought for sure that he'd believe her over Faith. His reply when she asked why he didn't hit her like a punch in the gut: "Many of your decisions over the past year have eroded my trust in your ability to do the right thing. While Faith may be a tad…enthusiastic, at least she puts that energy into her slaying."

Buffy never got the chance to find out if her friends would have believed her or Faith. Wesley and Giles caught her off-guard with some leftover drugs from the Cruciamentum and kept her hidden until Travers arrived with his goons. He pronounced his sentence and carried it out on the same day.

Buffy Summers ceased to exist that day.

Months later…

The memory rewrite worked better than the Council or their American allies could have hoped for. Her 'life' before she arrived in Eureka was so detailed that when asked about it, she could recount numerous stories about growing up with her brothers and father.

The paperwork created to hide her true identity could withstand the deepest probes possible, and included false documents at the hospitals she was supposedly treated at over the years for various illnesses and injuries.

It was her appearance that provided them with their greatest challenge. It was a challenge that the scientists in Section 5 of Global Dynamics were excited to tackle. Gone was the 5'3" blonde-haired, hazel-eyed Cali girl, and in her place was a 5'7" brunette with dark eyes and Mediterranean skin.

The only major glitch came with her powers and personality.

Even though they had managed to bind most of her Slayer abilities, she maintained a superior aptitude for both fighting techniques and using weapons of any kind, including firearms. She also still had the deep drive to protect the innocent. To cover those things, they gave her a background as an Army Ranger and set her up in Eureka as the sheriff's deputy.

So with three months of alterations and recreations of her life, Buffy Summers became Jo Lupo.

Second betrayal (well, technically the first according to episode dates)

After he caught Willow making out with Xander, Oz couldn't stay in Sunnydale…literally. If he hadn't been distracted by Cordy falling and getting impaled by the rebar, he probably would have ripped the couple to shreds – despite it not being a full moon.

Then Willow refused to leave him alone so he could regain his normal cool and consider the possibility of forgiving her someday. Because she was being relentless, he figured his only option was to leave town. So he tested for 'his' GED and left.

Unfortunately, Willow kept tracking Daniel 'Oz' Osbourne down using her hacking skills, so he had to go back to his original identity…Zane Donovan. How freaked would his ex-girlfriend be if she knew he was only pretending to be a slightly above average intelligence teenager. That he really had been accepted to MIT when he was 13, and several other schools after he was expelled for being too rebellious.

That he grew tired of being the boy genius and created a false identity so he could try being a regular teenager with regular problems. Okay, that part didn't work out so well, considering that normal teenagers didn't become werewolves and help fight demons and vampires. But it was certainly different.

As the years passed, Zane became a different man than he was when he played the part of Oz in Sunnydale. Due to an unexpectedly late growth spurt, he doubted anyone in Sunnydale would even recognize him. His personality changed as well. He talked more, had a jealous streak – due to losing the first girl he loved to the first boy she loved, and was a bit more self-centered. The only good change that happened was finding a way to control his transformations around the full moon.

All in all, he was having a good time playing the bad boy who still loved his mother and wouldn't go too far in his mischief for fear of disappointing her.

Then Eureka happened.

When Sheriff Carter mentioned everyone wanting to be part of something greater than themselves, he remembered the good days as a Scooby. The rush he felt when he was able to help Buffy and the others protect innocents. Idly, he wondered if she was still alive or if Faith was the only Slayer now. Or if it was a new girl altogether.

They kept the Big Bang experiment from leveling Eureka and that old rush came back to him, and this time, he wasn't just a sidekick…he was the hero of the story. Was Buffy as excited by that feeling or did the weight of always having to be the hero take away the joy being successful gave her?

Apart from being part of something again, he had to find out if he could make things work with Jo. There was something so intriguing about her. She felt challenging, yet familiar all at the same time to him.

For her, he would risk falling in love again. Something told him she was worth it.

A/N: Huh, huh? Is that not a cool premise or what?! I think it's a perfect ending to the Betrayal collection.