Story Title: And All Things Changes
Crossover: Heroes/ BtVS
Summary: Peter knew he was going to die, as his radioactive power spiral out of control. But his powers would not allow such a death. As he exploded in a burst of pure radiation, Peter’s powers activated, bringing him to somewhere very far away.
Chapter Three – Future Rewrite
Vampires, slayers… finding out that the old nightmare creatures were real, the fight and everything that had happened… Xander was in a daze as he stumbled out of the crypt, behind a shell shocked Willow and Cordelia, both who were still shivering in fear. Buffy was beside him, glaring at Peter suspiciously as he led them across the cemetery. Peter had promised to tell them what was going on at his shop, saying that discussing such matters in a cemetery was not exactly wise.
They had met the new librarian mid-way across the cemetery and Peter had invited the man along. Mr Rupert had seemed confused at what had happened, though he had his guard up as Buffy began explaining what had taken place.
They came to a stop at the front of the cemetery, where two cars were parked along the pavement. Xander’s eyes widened as he saw Jesse within one of the car.
“Yo Xander!” Jesse said as he opened the door of the car. Another guy got out from the second car. Jesse’s eyes lighted on Willow and Cordelia and a look of concern crossed his face. “Hey Wills, Cordy, you two okay?”
“Don’t call me that!” Cordelia snapped, though her words lacked her normal bite. “What are you doing here?”
“I met Peter at The Bronze and he said Xander and Willow were in trouble.” Jesse said looking carefully at the group of them. “None of you were at the table and I couldn’t find you at the Bronze… So I hopped in the car. He didn’t say what was going on though, just called his assistant and tell me to wait in the car while he go after you guys. What happened?”
“That’s what I wanted to know. What is going on here?” Mr Rupert asked, a frown creasing his forehead.
“I’ll tell you guys once we’re away from this place.” Peter said simply. “We’ll go to my café. It will be safe there.” He pointed to the new guy that had stepped out of the second car. The dark haired man looked nervously at the group then back at the cemetery, clutching a cross in his right hand. “That’s Bryan, my assistant, he’ll help me drive you guys back.”
“Wait! We’re not going anywhere without an explanation!” Mr Rupert demanded sternly.
Peter hesitated, and then took out a small notepad from his pocket, handing it to Mr Rupert. The new librarian stared at the notepad before accepting it, flipping it open. He paused, as did Buffy who was standing beside him. Xander moved forward for a look and his eyes widened. The first page of the notepad was a comic style sketch of Buffy and Mr Rupert at the second floor of The Bronze, with Xander hovering in the background listening into their conversation. There were even speech bubbles, narrating their words.
Mr Rupert flipped the pages hurriedly. There were sketches of Cordelia and Willow being led into the cemetery by the vampires. There were sketches of Buffy, Xander and Mr Rupert chasing after them. The fight in the crypt which ended with… sketches of them being led away into the sewers back the vampires and fed to a thing… called The Master.
“What is this?” Mr Rupert asked, looking wild eyed. “Where did you get these sketches from?”
“I drew them a little over an hour ago, after which I rushed over here.” Peter held up a hand as Mr Rupert began to open his mouth. “Get in the car if you guys want an explanation. I am not going to stay here to wait for more vampires to come. I can probably deal with them easily, but I’ll rather avoid trouble right now.”
Mr Rupert snapped his mouth shut. Gripping the notepad tightly, he got into the second car, with Buffy and Cordelia following. Xander looked at Willow and then at Jesse who just shrugged and got into the first car. Peter opened the door to the driver’s seat and got in.
The next few minutes of the journey to the town central where Peter’s shop was, passed in tensed silence. Willow continued shuddering, holding tightly onto the hands of Xander and Jesse who were seated beside her. They arrived at the back of a row of shop houses, the car sliding into a small parking lot. They got out just as the second car arrived, sliding in beside them.
The group then followed Peter as he opened the back door of the shop they were parked behind, cutting through a storeroom to the shop front where the café was. Switching on the lights, Peter began to busy himself behind the counter as he waved the group towards the tables and chairs arranged in the café.
“Take a seat.” Peter said. Xander’s mouth dropped open as cupboards and fridge began opening on their own and beverages and food began floating out as if carried by invisible hands. A thick sketch book floated in from the store room and landed on the table in front of the group.
“You’re a magic user.” Mr Rupert said, his tensed face clearing as he seemed to understand what was going on at last. “A powerful one if you can do so much magic without tiring, and without spells or wands. Which one are you? Natural born or practitioner?”
“What exactly is a natural born?” Peter asked curiously. “I’ve been reading up on all the mystic books I can get my hands on, but my foray into the supernatural is still quite recent. A practitioner is someone who taps into external powers to fuel his… magic isn’t it? A channeler to be exact. I guess if you look at it in that way… I am a practitioner.”
“You mean you’re self-taught and only recently came into your powers?” Mr Rupert said in surprise. “Even those with great potential will take a while to be able to exert such fine control as you displayed with your telekinesis.”
“Wait! No one told me magic is real before.” Buffy cut in, a stunned look on her face. Mr Rupert blinked as he was side tracked.
“Apparently your education into the supernatural is severely lacking, perhaps I should pass you the Slayer Handbook to read up on.” Mr Rupert muttered darkly.
“There’s a Slayer Handbook?” Buffy asked in surprise.
“Look, I don’t care about magic or slayers or what not.” Cordelia burst out. “I just want to know what is going on this crazy night? And how do you make those things float around like that!”
The beverages and food floated onto the table, arranging themselves neatly before Peter moved forward. He opened the cover of the thick sketch book, revealing a sketch of the High School.
“I can draw the future. And the answers to all of your questions lie here.” Peter said as he gestured at the sketches. “Magic is real, demons are real, vampires are real. And if I have not arrived to change the future, the lot of you will be the sole demon hunters in Sunnydale…”
In a normal world, without the intervention of Peter, the strange café owner who was apparently a magic user and someone who could draw the future. He, Jesse McNally, would have been dead by tonight. His disappearance and death would go on to spur his best buddy into going down the dark road of slaying vampires and demons by the side of Buffy Summers, the new girl, who was also the boogey man of the vampires, carrying the title of the vampire slayer.
Into every generation, there is a chosen one. One girl in all the world. She alone will wield the strength and skill to stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness; To stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their numbers. She is the Slayer.
It was all unbelievable, but after hearing Xander and Willow’s accounts of what had happened tonight, seeing the grim faces of Mr Rupert and Buffy, and not to mention the magic of Peter, Jesse had no choice but to believe, as the group poured over the futures in the sketch book. After seeing their shared future, Jesse had come to think of Mr Rupert in the more familiar terms of Giles. The man was a vital part of the future demon slaying group Xander and Willow were in. He acted more as a mentor and father to them than anything.
Yet things had changed. For instance, the day at school would have begun by a dead body being found in the girl’s locker room. The dead body would apparently have been Bryan, Peter’s new assistant, whom Peter had rescued the night before. Since Bryan had not died and his body had not been found, Buffy would never had to go to the library a second time to look for Giles, and Xander would never had discovered Buffy’s secret that much earlier.
There was also a powerful vampire called the Master trapped in the underground of Sunnydale. He had many underlings and his aim was to be free of his mystical prison and open the Hellmouth, a portal to Hell which was located within good old Sunnydale. He would be the one that ordered Jesse to be turned into a vampire. The Master would also begin the Harvest, where he would send many of his vampire underlings to The Bronze to feed on the people there. Many people survived only through the actions of Buffy, Xander, Willow and Giles.
And it was not just vampires in Sunnydale. Amy Madison, the plump awkward girl who had recently slimmed down was apparently not Amy at all, but her crazy witch mother who had swapped bodies with her own daughter, to relive her teenager years. Then there was the death of Dr. Gregory, their biology teacher. He was apparently eaten alive by a praying mantis lady who had then masquerade as the new substitute teacher. She had attempted to seduce and eat Xander, only to be killed in the end by Buffy who had arrived in the nick of time.
In only a few short months after that, Xander and a group of students had been possessed by Hyena spirits after a visit to the zoo, which ended with their principal being eaten up. A vampire with a soul, named Angel, worked to help Buffy, with a romance budding between the two of them. Buffy apparently recognized the sketch of the vampire because she had given a loud gasp when they had come to that part of the sketched future.
The demon Moloch had then been freed and had attempted to seduce Willow and later kill Buffy and Xander who had tried to save her. Luckily, the group had survived, though one student died during the time the demon was freed. Then there was the demon hunting puppet, the kid whose nightmares affected reality itself, the invisible girl Marcie, and the release of the Master from his prison, and the great battle that was waged by Buffy and the others to stop the Hellmouth from opening.
Half a year’s worth of future where he was already dead. Jesse was stunned into shocked silence.
Giles had then taken out the notepad with new sketches of what had happened tonight… or rather what would have happened if Peter had not intervened.
With the saving of Bryan and the death of the vampire Darla, Cordelia and Willow would instead be captured. It would end up with Buffy and Xander who had rushed off to save them to be captured as well. Instead of only Jesse being captured, this new changed future would have ended with the deaths of Buffy, Xander, Willow and Cordelia… The Master would be freed with Buffy’s blood and hell would have descended on Earth. It would have turned out to be a worse future, if Peter had not altered the future again.
“You are able to draw the future.” Giles said with a shaky voice as he turned to face Peter. “Have you noticed how the futures seemed to get worse after you have intervened? Prophecies… visions of futures are very touchy things. That you have such a powerful gift is remarkable. But you need to bear thought of the consequences with each of your meddling into fate itself.”
“Fate only happens if we do nothing to change it.” Peter said simply. “I am not going to let anyone die if I can help it. And the reason why the second future turned out to be worse was due to the unpredictable nature of the Master and his underlings. Darla’s death must have spurred him and the other vampires to do things differently. Hunting in closer packs. They would need to be dealt with.”
“After seeing the sketches, the Master might very well be the oldest vampire in the world. According to your drawings, even Buffy died before she managed to kill the Master after she had been revived, largely through the actions of the young man… of Xander.” Giles said glaring at Peter. “It took a lot of luck and happenstance in the first future you’ve drawn for him to be killed. These sketches of the future might help us prepare for him, but it would be sometime yet before we could bring the fight against the Master and his underlings.”
“I could end him and his underlings now, if I knew the location of where he is.” Peter said simply looking at Giles firmly. “I tried to follow this Angel fellow during the evening when he was stalking Buffy. I’ve intended to ask him about the Master’s location, but I lost him when… my ability to draw the second set of future activated. I was distracted, and by the time I was done, Angel was gone.”
“You want to find the Master’s location?” Giles asked before looking at Peter sternly. “I can tell you are magically powerful, with the way you throw magic around. But you yourself said that you came into your powers recently. We do not know how many underlings the Master controls, there’s no way you could deal with them all.”
“You’ll be surprised.” Peter said with a grin. “Let me worry about destroying the Master and his underlings. The question is, can you find out where the Master’s lair is?”
“You are certain you are able to deal with the Master and his underlings by yourself?” Giles asked, looking at Peter carefully. When Peter gave a nod, Giles sighed. “Very well, I will need to do some research, maybe search the Council’s records to see if there’s any information to pinpoint his location underground.”
“I… I can help out.” Willow spoke up. “I mean I did help out in the futures… in the sketches.”
“Yeah… So can I. This book contains half a year worth of futures which is already beginning to alter.” Jesse injected slowly. “The future might be different from what is drawn now, but not everything is going to change and we can prepare for them. Amy for instance, she’s already slimming down, which means…”
“Witch mommy has taken over her body.” Cordelia said with a shudder. “I had thought it strange why Amy had suddenly turned from a fat loser girl into actual competition. Apparently it takes a body switch to get her to climb the social ladder.”
Buffy gave Cordelia a scornfully look. “Is everything about being popular with you? We have a girl whose body was taken over!”
“And can I say yikes! Somebody please kill the She-mantis demon before she kills anyone? Especially me?” Xander said with a grimace.
“The most unpredictable and destructive elements in the futures are the Master and his underlings. If I have the position of his lair and take him out, the rest of the drawn futures should remain largely unaffected. And since we’ve knowledge of them before hand, we can deal with them in a preemptive manner.” Peter spoke up.
“But there’s no need for any of you to get into this, into all this.” Buffy said grimly. “It seemed no matter what, I can’t escape being a slayer… but now that we know the future, we can change some of it. There’s no need for you, for you guys to be involved in fighting vampires and demons. You can live normal lives…”
“And I intend to do that after living in Sunnydale doesn’t end up with someone dead every few weeks.” Cordelia cut in, causing Buffy and the others to look at her in surprise. “Come on Summers, you think any of us can walk away now that this chunk of futures is there right smack in front of us? Not to mention the fact that no one in your demon slaying group actually die, while the rest of the nameless Joes dropped like flies. Slaying demons beside you in this town is probably safer than sitting at the sidelines.”
“But Jesse died…” Buffy stammered.
“Is he dead right now? Cause he seems very alive standing behind me staring down my chest.” Cordelia snapped, causing Jesse to flush and quickly look away. “And aside from that slime ball, did anyone else in the first futures actually died while they were helping you?”
“Well no… but it could happen.” Buffy said as she stared at Cordelia.
“We, I mean I helped you in the future with the slaying, I am not backing out now.” Xander spoke up. “Though I can do without Cordelia being added into the group.”
“Just for the record, I am only helping you guys so I wouldn’t die young. Which seemed to be the fate of those not around Summers.” Cordelia said. “I am most certainly not part of your group.”
“Okay, so let’s think of Cordelia as a NPC while we’re the main characters of this whole slayage thing.” Xander said rolling his eyes.
“I’ve no idea what you youngsters are talking about. And since it seems you lot are going to be involved in the supernatural, I can certainly use help with the research if any of you are free tomorrow.” Giles said polishing his glasses. “The faster the threat of the Master and his underlings are over, the safer everyone will be.”
“We can do that… but that reminds me.” Jesse said, looking at Peter. “You knew who we are before we even met you. That means you arranged to bump into us this afternoon didn’t you?”
“Guilty as charged.” Peter said with a smile. “Since Xander and Willow are central to most of my drawn futures, I thought I should establish a connection with you guys first so I can help you directly should the situation calls for it. But since you’ve never met any vampires before then, I decided to wait until you have some knowledge of the supernatural before I revealed to you guys what I’ve drawn. I would have sounded like a crazy person otherwise… which I have sadly too much experience of.”
“So your job offer…” Xander begun but was interrupted by Peter.
“The job offers still stands. I really need help to run this café.” Peter said. Jesse looked around the café, it was certainly large enough that running it would take at least two man’s jobs.
“In the meantime, can someone direct me to the home of this Amy? I am afraid that I can’t find a Mrs Madison in the town’s directory. Most probably their home was registered under another name.” Peter said, a grim look in his eyes. “Hopefully I can resolve the problem with Amy and her mother before things gets worse.”
It’s been a month since her mother had taken over her body. The fear, the helplessness Amy felt had been abated with the resignment she felt at her fate. After all, who could help her? Who would believe that her mother was a witch who had swapped bodies with her own daughter for a second chance at youth?
She slouched on the coach, the fight having already gone out of her weeks ago. She stared at the TV blankly as tears pooled at her eyes. It was…
“The center is dark. Centrum est obscurus. The darkness breathes. Tenebrae respiratis. The listener hears. Hear me!” A firm male voice spoke in her mind, causing her to gasp and look around her in shock.
“Show me… Corsheth and Gilail! The gate is closed! Receive the dark! Release the unworthy! Take of mine energy and be sated!” The voice continued. There was only her in the house, but for a moment, Amy had a flash. In a short instance, she knew she was seeing out of the eye of her real body, under her mother’s control. She saw and heard the history teacher droning on in class, and could feel the fear of her mother as she stumbled out of the class, in search of the voice ringing in their heads.
“Be sated! Release the unworthy! Release! Release! Release!” The voice boomed. Amy cried out as her mind began spinning and she collapsed… Amy looked up as she felt cold hard floor underneath her. The voices of people were all around her.
Her eyes widened as she realized that she was now back in Sunnydale High School, surrounding her was Willow, Jesse, Xander and a new girl she did not know about. There was also an older man, and even more shockingly, Cordelia was looking down at her.
“Hey Amy, are you okay?” Willow asked, looking at her cautiously.
“I…” Amy looked at her hands and body disbelievingly. She was back in her body. Her real physical body which her mother had stolen from her. Tears spilled from her eyes and Willow, as well as the unknown girl, stepped forward, holding her as she cried it out. Somehow, she had a feeling that her prayer has been answered, and she would be safe from her mother ever again.
Tapping into an unknown source in one of the dimensional planes, to power the spell that would return Amy to her body, was highly uncomfortable for Peter. He had been able to sense the dark shimmering presence that had lend its power, molding the dimensional energies Peter now holds to restore Amy back to its body. A talk with Giles had revealed that most practitioners were not sensitive enough to sense that they actually connect to, to cast their spells. That Peter was able to do so, spoke highly of his innate potential in magic, most probably because of how he had stacked all of his copied Trans-dimension Channeling and Manipulation abilities together.
From his stay in this reality, he had already collected fifteen Trans-dimension Channeling and Manipulation abilities since his journey to Sunnydale. The latest had been copied from Willow and Giles when he had first met them. The newly copied ability from Willow in particular, had startled him when he had first neared the girl and he detected it. Willow’s potential and power of her Trans-dimension Channeling and Manipulation ability far outstrip any of the similar abilities he had already copied. The girl however seemed unaware of her own potential at the moment, and Peter had no idea how to broach the subject.
Surprisingly or perhaps not so surprisingly, being in close proximity with Buffy the Vampire Slayer had not granted him any new abilities, which meant that her powers must be mystical in nature. The young girl had seemed extremely put off by her calling, and was still every part the teenage girl even though she was the boogeyman of the vampires.
As for Giles, the man was a fountain of supernatural knowledge about this world. The older man had gone on to caution Peter about misusing his magic. Most practitioners were unable to mold the dimensional energies into actual magic on their own. The purpose of spells and prayers was to contact other dimensional entities and let those entities mold those energies into actual spells for them. In return, the entities would feed on the excess power given to them through the exchange. But dealings with dimensional entities tend to have other consequences, leaving a mark on the person’s soul. There were a lot of dark aligned entities in the outer dimensions, and practitioners were known to be seduced and turn dark over time, if they did not have a strong will over their own minds and bodies.
Of course, Giles had phrased the explanation in terms of Gods, deities, elementals and actual magic instead of terming them as dimensional entities and energies. But Peter had sensed the sources of the so call magic behind a few of the spells he had cast, and he knew quite well that whatever those entities were, they most certainly did not fit his definition of the almighty.
Now that he had cast the Souls transfer/return spell, Peter knew how to manipulate similar dimensional energies on his own if he ever needed to reattempt the feat again, having sensed the entity he was tapping into, weaving the spell when he cast it.
He had been standing outside Amy’s house when he cast the spell, now he just strolled up towards it. A quick manipulation of dimensional energies, and a telekinetic push flung the door open. He stepped into the dark interiors, just as Amy’s mother, Catherine, enter the living room in her own body.
The woman’s eyes were blazing as she glared at him. “You!” She snarled. “You must be the one that switched my soul back. You’ll pay for this!” She raised her hand and began chanting.
A quick manipulation of energies and a telekinetic blast slammed the woman into a wall, breaking her concentration. Peter walked forward, his eyes impassive as his hand touched her face, and he reached out with his powers of mental manipulation. By the time he was through with her, the woman would not remember that she was a witch, a mother, or that she lived in Sunnydale…
Amy had been deeply horrified and affected by her ordeal. It had taken the group explaining everything about Peter, about the future comic sketches that was the catalyst for saving her, before the girl would even calm down. She had been relieved when Peter had arrived in the school library, explaining that he had settled things with her mother and that the witch no longer had her powers and would no longer bother her again.
But what happened to Amy was proof, in fact all the proof that Xander needed to treat the drawn sketches as valid prophecies of the future. To think all the supernatural creatures were real, that Jesse would have died without Peter’s intervention. It had all seemed surreal, in the light of the new morning.
The group had returned to class, having skipped a period, with Giles thankfully covering for them. They had returned to the library after school was over to help with the research. It was around this time that the teenagers had discovered that very few of the old tomes Giles asked them to look through, was actually written in English. Some of the books were written in Latin, French, Spanish… even Egyptian and Greek. Everyone had groaned in horror, while Willow had looked delighted at the challenge.
Two hours later, Giles had discovered that the Master’s resting place was in an old church that collapsed into Sunnydale a long time ago during an earthquake. Willow was doing her cyber magic and within half an hour, had pulled out a digital copy of an old surveyor’s plan of Sunnydale.
“The old church was near here.” Willow said pointing to the map, her eyes widening in horror. “If I compare it with the new maps… it’s probably underground, twenty kilometers away from the High School. We can probably reach it through the sewer system.”
“Good work Willow.” Peter said nodding appreciatively from beside the table. “But none of you will be going, I will be going alone.”
“Actually I have been thinking, it will be foolish for you to go alone.” Giles said as Xander and Jesse began protesting. “You might be powerful, but even an arrow or a gun from behind can kill you. At the very least, Buffy and I should go with you. I do have weapons training and know how to handle a sword.”
Peter looked at Giles stern visage and gave in with a sigh. “Very well, but the rest will stay behind.”
“But we can help!” Xander spoke up only to silence as Peter gave him a chiding look.
“Xander I appreciate you guys offering to help. But aside from Giles, none of you have any defense training. Buffy has her Slayer abilities, I have my magic, but the rest of you do not have any advantages against a group of vampires stronger and faster than the average human.” Peter said, looking at Xander’s conflicted expression. “Tell you what, I’ll send you guys for martial arts and weapons handling training. Once all of you can defend yourself, you can help out in the slaying.”
“But we can’t pay…” Xander began but was interrupted by Peter’s words.
“Consider it part of the employment package. I have the money. And the main reason I came to Sunnydale was to change the future I’ve drawn, so none of you would be unprepared in the fights ahead. Don’t worry about paying for the training.” Peter said looking at everyone. He took out his wallet and passed Xander a hundred dollar bill. “In the meantime, how about you guys order some pizzas and munchies while you wait for us to return. It will be a short trip… probably, and we’ll need food when we return. Buffy, Giles, if you are following, prepare yourself, get some extra clothes as well, if we’re going to explore the sewers system, we’re going to need to clean up when we come back.”
In his lair, the Master was getting frustrated. He had sensed the death of Luke, one of his oldest childe the night before, along with the rest of the underlings that had went hunting with him. Someone, a hunter, was powerful enough to kill Darla, and then now Luke and his vampire underlings. Someone in Sunnydale was powerful to kill centuries old vampires. The Master had to presume that whoever it was, would come to him eventually.
With the prophecy tied to him coming to fruition in a few weeks’ time. The Master was beginning to suspect that the Slayer of this generation had arrived in town. But if she managed to defeat Darla and Luke so easily, this new Slayer was not a woman to be taken lightly of.
The Master had sent out the call and recalled all of his underlings, gathering them in the large cavern that was his prison and home for the past hundreds of years. Everyone was on high alert, but the Master doubted that the Slayer would make her move anytime soon, not when the majority of the vampires in Sunnydale were bunked down here.
He had retired for the day, closing his eyes in deep rest. The first sign that something was wrong was when the horde of vampires at the front of the cavern vanished into dust, screaming as they began burning from the inside out.
He had woken in an instant as the rest of the vampires surged forward to meet the intruders head on. Those vampires seemingly burned to ashes as well, and this time round, the Master was able to see who those intruders were. Two men and a young girl, the elder man and the girl were armed, and the Master could sense with his horned vampire senses that the girl was a Slayer. The girl and the elder man were however staring at the younger man at the front of their group with stunned expressions of awe, fear and amazement. Deep down, the Master instinctively knew that the younger man was the real threat, the one who had somehow destroyed all of his underlings.
The Master did not hesitate as he lunged forward. There was no time for barter, whatever that young man was, he was able to destroy scores of vampires. He had to take him down now!
Pain radiated from his body. The Master screamed in horror and shock, feeling fear for the first time in a long while as a white hot heat began burning him from within his body.
“No!!!” The Master screamed as he vanished into dust.