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Facing the Music

Chapter Text

“New tunes?” asked Dawn.

“New player,” said Xander.  “Real bargain, too – lots of stuff preloaded.”

“Such as?”

Xander studied the device.  “Oldies, reggae, worlds music—”

“You mean world music, right?”

“No, worlds music, with an S.”  He tapped controls.  “Cool!  Sounds like—”  There
was a bang! of inrushing air as he disappeared, a gray business card floating floorward where he’d been.

“ER Technics,” Dawn read.

Buffy groaned.  “Ethan Rayne.  Not again!”


Xander blinked.  “Primary colors.  Two-D architecture.  “Holy Bat-disasters, I’ve been tooned!”

“Doc?  That’s not Princess.  Or the buffoon,” a sultry female voice said behind him.

“He’ll do.  Grab him!”

Chapter Text

“And so,” Dr. Drakken finished, some hours later, “soon I shall rule the world!”

Xander frowned.  “I’ll give the rant an eight, but the evil plan?  Three at best.”  

“Your words hurt, stand-in buffoon.”

A blond form hurtled from above, followed by its pants.  “Nobody stands in for Ron Stoppable!  Also, ow!”

Xander eyed Ron.  “Sidekick?”

“Partner.  And distraction.”

A voice near Xander’s ankle squeaked.  “Yours?”

He claimed his player from the naked mole rat.  “Thanks!  Later!”

The music started; Xander disappeared.


Manhattan by starlight:

“Still animated, check.  Sixty stories up, check.  Falling, check.  HELLLP!”

Help swooped.

Xander fainted.

Chapter Text

A Manhattan rooftop:

“You’re a gargoyle!”

“Aye,” said Hudson.

“But you saved me!”


“I thought gargoyles were...monsters.”

A deep sigh.  “Aye.  And now?”

“Not so much.”

“There ye are, then.”  Hudson spread his wings.



“I need directions.”  Xander indicated the player.  “It’s magic.  Or maybe cursed.”

Hudson sighed again.  “Come along.”



Lexington shrugged.  “I can’t fix it.  But maybe the Phoenix Gate can.”

“That sounds risky.”

“And your alternative is?”


Several Latin incantations later: “Here goes!”  Bang!



“Ow!”  A pause.  “Live-action universe!  And a castle!”

A guard appeared.  “Mr. Luthor won’t like this.”

“Luthor?  Uh-oh.”

Chapter Text

“The security footage shows you teleporting onto my front lawn.  How?”

Xander’s mind was elsewhere.  “Obviously a variant continuity.  If Lex is my age....”

“Answer me!”

“It isn’t the movies; the looks are totally wrong.  Maybe that Superboy series....”

“You’re not answering!”  Lex blinked.  “Who’s Superboy?”

“Okay, really variant continuity.  You’re still a billionaire genius, right?”

“Absolutely.  And you’re still trespassing.”

“Totally unintentional.  I’ll be going now.”

“Not before explaining—”  bang!  “—how you did that.”  Lex shrugged.  “Or not.”


Xander stared.  A small plush army stared back. The woman wearing bunny ears said, “Friend or foe?”


“Join the club.”

Chapter Text

Velveteen found them a café.  Explanations ensued.  “Random dimension-jumping?  Been there, done that.  Only, not totally random.”

A stuffed bear handed Xander the creamer.  “Neither’s mine.  The genre dial’s seriously stuck on superhero.”

“If the gadget’s being difficult...”

“Could be.”

“I can borrow a raygun.”

“What kind?”

“Reality shifter.  No guarantees, but it got its current owner where she needed to be.”  Vel didn’t mention the eighty-six intervening transits.

“Go for it.”

An hour later, behind the shop, Vel fired.  “Good luck!”


She was blonde, athletic, and well-armed, but:

“You’re not Buffy!”

“Verity Price.  And you?”

“Still not home, darnit.”

Chapter Text

Over more coffee, Verity listened.  “Let me see that playlist.”

Xander surrendered the player.  “Be careful.”

“Obviously.”  She pulled its headphones, studying.  “No sound, no poof.”

“You hope.”

Verity grinned.  “Some of these are TV themes.  And the others – of course you popped in halfway into orbit!”

“It’s the titles?”

“Looks like it.”

“So ‘Waltzing with Bears’ pointed me at you.”

“Totally.  Just don’t ask why.”

“If you say so.  What now?”

“We download a classic.”

Xander thwacked his forehead.  “I’m an idiot.”

“But cute,” said Verity, as he banged out.


“Where’ve you been?” Dawn demanded.

“You have no idea.”