BtVS by Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Marvel U by parent company and its writers/artists. Prompted by Samus' Challenge 'Supermom' at TtH Fanfic dot org.

Much thanks to Robert Wicks' Unofficial Chronology Of The Marvel Universe, found through mirror sites like reocities dot com / Athens / Olympus / 7160 / wicksint dot html

Set immediately after Season Five's 'The Gift'. This is not the version of Buffy from Remy Maclay, as I have different plans for her. In theory, if I end this story in a way that will make the connection work, this is the Buffy from Wings and a Helmet Come to Dinner.


Buffy Anne Summers was...

She had died.

This was her second run through, but this time it felt a lot more final.

There was fog all around her.

Yes, came a thought not her own. A good metaphor. There is a chance that the sun will rise and the fog will thicken and all will be pure white bliss. There is a chance that night will fall and the clouds will clear, revealing a calm starry night.

"Who are you?" she called into the blankness.

We are us, came the answer. In a good way.

You have sacrificed yourself, for someone you loved and the world... You are being offered a choice.

Will you stay here and be at peace? Or will you live as a normal woman in another reality, making your own path?

"Is this one of those tests? You know, the thing where I'm given another shot at life, find the odds horribly stacked against me, wind up a prostitute and die bloodily in hell?"

You'll have a college scholarship which should more than cover room and board.

You'll have a necklace entitling you to one free save on your life. Be warned that using it will not move you to true safety. It will merely replace the certainty of death with problems of a different sort.

Also we don't find that sort of thing funny.

Well, we do. Just not in your case.

"That's reassuring," Buffy answered sarcastically. "I guess I'm in though. This reality have the same nightlife?"

There's a different Dracula. Vampires have souls. The hell dimensions are generally of a better living quality, so there's less of a push for them to invade Earth. Aliens land fairly frequently. People with powers, magic or otherwise, are reported on often, especially during wartime.

You're not needed as a Slayer. Just be yourself.

"Right, well, anything else I should know about?"

Yes.

Among other things, we'll need you to choose a new name and stick to it. Or, at least not use your old one. 'Buffy' will be a signal, meaning that someone knows of your other life.

"Just need to change my first one?"

Pretty much.

"Kat."

Really?

Done.

"Yeah. You're declawing me and sending me away on a flimsy excuse. My powers are at home and being used by someone else. I'm the Pink Ranger without a boyfriend and you probably can't hear me anymore because you just dropped me in a street. I so get this."

##

Kat Summers, formerly known as Buffy, leaned against a lamp post on the crowded sidewalk.

Her first thought on arriving in the new reality had been to people watch to figure out where she was.

It was giving her a headache.

##

Women in poodle skirts were walking next to women in jeans and fishnet stockings. People in bell-bottomed pants were rubbing shoulders with people in grey suits and fedoras. Ray-bans next to high heels, next to platform shoes.

"Great, what am I supposed to wear? Those things went out of fashion when my mom was in high school. Well, not everything. That's a cool retro look... Jeans have been in style forever... Oh, I get it. Everybody's wearing styles from the sixties, seventies and eighties at once. Unless there's a convention..."

She reached in the purse that came with the skirt and blouse the Powers that Be had dressed her in and pulled out her ID.

It listed her as Katherine Anne Summers, but there was something wrong with the birthdate. The day and month hadn't changed since she'd left Sunnydale, but the last two digits of the year were fuzzed out.

"Ugh. I can't tell how old I'm supposed to be. I can't even tell when the driver's license expires. Looks like it's the twentieth century, though, and I already lived through that..."

Her address was listed as a P.O. Box, she had a checkbook and some carrying cash. If the contents of her purse were anything to go by, she was in New York.

"Taxi," she yelled, flagging down a passing cab. "Could you take me to this address," she asked as she climbed in, reading the bank's location off the checkbook.

As they were pulling up to the bank's impressive structure and she was counting out the change, she asked the cabdriver what year it was.

"Seriously," he asked. When she insisted on an answer, he told her and waved her out of the cab quickly.

##

She stumbled onto the sidewalk, one hand clutching her purse to her chest, the other one holding her head in pain.

"Ouch, I can't," she muttered to herself. "I know he said something, but... It was like he was saying four things at once... Either these guys aren't speaking English and there's a bug in whatever sci-fi translation program the PTB have set up for me, or this new 'reality' I'm supposed to live in just... isn't as real as it looks."

Once inside the bank, Kat stood in line and waited for a teller. Shortly after she read off her account number, she was pulled aside to a comfy chair.

"Good to see a bright young thing like yourself with a brand new account here, especially one with such a large amount already," said the accounts manager seated across the desk from her. "Let me talk to to you about investment opportunities."

After letting him get to a comfortable transition point in his speech, Kat asked for clarification on exactly how much money she had control over.

He told her and the back of her mind was very glad this was a number that came across loud and clear.

Kat's eyebrows raised high as she considered the relatively impressive sum. "What do you think this will be worth in terms of two-thousand one's money?"

"Oh," he said, shrugging. "Given inflation over about-" His words blurred together, in a way that made Kat slightly nauseous. "Years, I'd say-"

"Wait," Kat said, clutching at her stomach. "Never mind. Forget I asked."

##

Later that day, Kat tried a cartwheel. She performed well enough, but something just didn't feel right to her. Frowning, she tried again and flubbed that one completely. "Right," she said from the carpet. "I know the theory, but my muscle memory is for someone superpowered. It's like that growth spurt in junior high all over again, only worse. I don't even want to guess at my fighting skills, until I get a decent trainer. Should take me a few weeks to catch up, but when I get past that first bit, thank you Giles, I'll be one awesome, ah, Kat."

After brushing herself off, she laid back on her hotel room's bed and stared at the ceiling. Folders of schedules and outlines from Empire State University lay scattered across the sheets. When classes started up she'd be moving into a dorm there thanks to her scholarship. She'd had a small frown off and on since visiting the campus. In a couple days, she'd have a flashback to Willow's acceptance letters and, cursing the lack of the entire internet, even the fluffy kitten videos, grab a phone book. She'd eventually decide that ESU was standing in for Columbia University as there wasn't one in the world around her.

Right then though, she was planning her life. "I definitely want to take fencing and a martial arts class, rebuild my skills with structure. Psych class was fun, beyond the near-death stuff. From being a second-hand teacher's aide through Riley, that thing didn't sound so bad. Kat, English teacher, Slayer of bad grammar. Heh. Definitely want to have a balanced background. Get my basic core classes out of the way. Imagine my grades in science with consistent sleep."

"Don't want to spend my entire college life on campus though. Once I'm back up to one of the higher belts, I'll use this money to invest in those around me. Maybe I'll take a page out of the Power Rangers and start up a teen shelter/dojo. Maybe even a homeless shelter/dojo. No need to make up my mind yet, though." She smiled. "I've got my whole life ahead of me."