BtVS created by Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Star Trek:TNG springs from the mind of Gene Roddenberry and Paramount. Slight Season 7 Spoilers. Fills a Fic-For-All Prompt at Twisting the Hellmouth.

Earth, 2002

A young-seeming woman with medium-length brown hair walked into a bar and scanned the patrons, trying to spot a likely customer. Having chosen a half-drunk brunette in red, she traded her smug expression for a mask of friendly concern and edged closer.

"... and I can't even afford to drown my sorrows in better beer than this," said her target loudly, drawing a dirty look from the bartender.

"Hey, keep your voice a bit lower," the predatory woman in green calmly said as she pulled up a chair. "No sense yelling at the world when it'll get you thrown into the street. If you've got stuff on your mind, you could just talk it out with me."

"That's funny," the woman in red slurred, examining the newcomer with bleary eyes. "I didn't know anyone actually did that."

"Hey, if you don't need a bored stranger willing to act friendly-like just to help you through something, then I'll just go-"

"No, hold on... It's just... I just lost my job and I'm not taking it too well. Can't travel so well anymore. I made a mistake... Do you have any idea what it's like to make a mistake and have someone's else life's go up in flames?"

"Something like that," the woman in green nodded in reply, not mentioning that she'd burned a few people on purpose.

"If I'd just stayed away from my old position, if I hadn't tried to join up again, then I'd have spent the past few months doing productive things for me, rather than for him. Instead I'm back at square one and she's lost... A lot more than I have. It's just not right that he's allowed to screw employees over like that. It's just not right," the woman in red growled, slamming her glass hard against the counter.

"Too bad you're not in a position to do anything about it. Wouldn't it better if he was down here and you were up there?"

"He's just a big pointy-headed goon. He acts like he respects us, but when... Ages of work can just be swept aside... It's not right! I wish someone would take him down a notch," the woman in red mumbled around a mouthful of beer, not noticing that her companion had replaced the pleasant half-smile with a large toothy grin. "... Just stick him on some backwater world where he wouldn't be able find a half-decent thing to drink."

"GRANTED," the fearsome and suddenly veiny woman in green boomed, knowing just the place to stick the hopeless sap. She then tried to disappear... and found she couldn't. The shocked Vengeance Demon, now wearing her true face, stood up so fast that her chair fell over and clattered against the ground. Ignoring the stares she received from the people around the bar, she tried to disappear again, but nothing happened.

Half-drunk, ex-demon Anya Jenkins, looked up from her seat into the gnarled face of what she had once been and realized exactly what she'd been talking to. Then she realized that she had made a wish. Then, not knowing what else to do, she rested her elbows on the counter and began banging her head against the polished wood, until the barman asked her to stop.


Deep Space, 2364

"Captain, I have detected a ship."

"Odd... This is a bit off the usual trade routes."

"The main structure appears to be composed of silicates, but it appears as if several cultures, possibly several different worlds, have added their own touches to the exterior... It is hailing us."

"Onscreen," Jean-Luc Picard commanded. His eyes widened imperceptibly as the alien's image appeared. Two rows of horns and pointy ears did not phase the Captain of the Enterprise, but the pointed ears and the three-pronged style of the goatee was really a bit too much.

"Finally! Humans! It's been so long since I've seen your species... Tell me, is Earth still standing?"

"As of last word from Starfleet, yes. You seem to be approaching from the wrong end of the galaxy... Have you been to Earth yourself?"

"Up unto the early twenty-first century I was a regular patron of some of the finer establishments, but then I was stripped of my ability to take shortcuts between dimensions and trapped on a backwater planet... Well, needless to say things became very uncomfortable for awhile."

"I would assume so... I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch the name."

"D'Hoffryn, trader extraordinaire and ex-lord of Arashmahaar. Anyway, I've been preparing to encounter you humans again for some time now. I'm well-prepared to set up business in a more civilized part of the universe. Why don't I send over the entire database of my wares, complete with pictures?"

"Please do. Audio Mute," Picard ordered as he turned away from the screen. "Data, what is your opinion of his story?"

"I could search the reconstructed historical record for any passing mention of his name... Given the appropriate spelling... At this point I think we should accept it at face value. To put it bluntly, stranger things have happened," the android stated, then enlarged several pictures from the inventory. "Captain, I think you should take a look at this."

"Yes, I see... Audio on. It appears that you have bottled drinks from several dozen cultures that we've never had contact with and your take on engine design is... unique to say the least."

"Yes," D'Hoffryn nodded, frankly pleased at the recognition. "In fact, well over half my stock is in beverages, ranging from good to exquisite. It's amazing how refreshing everything is after having spent two centuries confined to a planet where the only thing to drink is molten silicon... and not even one of the tastier isotopes."