: Shifting HeartAUTHOR
: Twisting the Hellmouth, My Blog, Nowhere else please.DISCLAIMER
: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. World Of Warcraft Belongs to Blizzard. Any other crossovers belong to who they belong to as well. I make no claims on them, nor do I make any money from this.SUMMARY
: Halloween night has lasting repercussions the ripples of which spread across the multi-verse. CROSSOVERS
: World Of Warcraft (Main), various others especially later on.FEEDBACK
: Please do send me feedback, it helps me to direct the story and learn from any mistakes I may have made.CATEGORY
: Various. X/Differing.RATING
: FR18, for violence, horror and some sexual content.SPOILERS
: Various for all seasons of BtVS, and some for WoW up to and including what I know of Cataclysm.WARNINGS
: Nothing that I'm aware of.EDITOR
: The Cat LadyAUTHORS NOTES:
Just a quick note here. I'm taking liberties with Warcraft spells and abilities because I'm trying to make them more 'real world'. I may miss the mark in some cases and in others they may seem a little overpowered. I'm going to try to balance that but that's not always as easy as it sounds.
As for the WoW stuff, I'm hoping even people that don't play the game will enjoy the story on it's own merits and in reality the WoW stuff is more a way to empower the characters I wanted to empower. With luck this will only be the first story in a series and there will, I hope, be many more crossovers included. So there should be something for everyone in here.
The wind hit Xander Harris' face as he ran through the forest, branches trying to trip him and block his way. Yet he continued to run as fast as his legs would carry him. The entire race through the forest was not, for a change, because he was being chased. No, it was because he enjoyed the freedom he got from moving so fast . It was a month after Halloween and he had undergone many changes since that fateful night. At first he had been scared, more scared than he could ever remember being in fact. Even after his introduction to the nightlife of Sunnydale and its many terrors, nothing had prepared him for what had happened that night. In some ways, he wished he had stuck to his original choice of costume.
You see everyone in the town that had brought their costume from a certain shop, Ethan's, had been changed into the character they had dressed as. For some it had been fun, for others fatal. Buffy had gone as a noble woman and had turned into a useless 18th century ditz that had screamed at everything including passing cars. Willow had been a typical ghost costume and had obviously become one for the night. Xander though, his costume had been a little more adventurous. He had never thought when he had started to play the game round Jonathan Levinson's house that he would end up being quite so intimately aware of his character. Now he knew every aspect of the man's life, every battle, every lost love and of course every tiny bit of heartache that had passed in his characters *very* long life. Perhaps it would have been simpler if he had chosen a human character, but he had not. His character had been a Night Elf from the game World of Warcraft. This meant that Xander had 10,000 years of life crammed into his once again human brain.
At first Xander had not been too worried he had, overnight, put on several pounds of muscle and was much more agile than he had been. This seemed marvellous to Xander and not of concern at all. Then the dreams had started. They had of course been memories of Malufurian, his characters, life. Even that had not been too bad, though he could have done without the memories of some of the massive battles that Malufurian had taken part in with demons and the undead. Then other things had started to happen. Things that had made Xander scared for several reasons. Thanks to Jonno's help, Malufurian had been a top-level end game character. This meant he was *powerful* with full emphasis on death and destruction.
Xander bounded over a river, clearing the 15-foot gap as if it was not there, taking the fall the other side without pause and in fact managing to speed up slightly. His mind going back to the first stumbling attempts at controlling his new abilities, He had started slowly at first, and in top secret. He could not tell the gang what he was going through, especially since they seemed to have no after effects from that fateful night. They and other people he had spoken too seemed to be forgetting the night had even happened. He was worried at first that he was going to turn into an Elf as well. His already six-foot height had become just over 6'3" in a very short amount of time. Something he was not able to brush off as a growing spurt. Since elves could clock in at 7 foot tall, he was worried this was the first sign of a change. Luckily, the growth spurt had slowed down and furthermore he had not sprouted foot long ears or suddenly found his skin changing color to purple. Therefore, he had started to experiment. Malufurian had been a druid in the game and for one night during Halloween so Xander decided to check if he did indeed have any druidic abilities.
The short answer to that was yes, yes indeed he did. While he had the memories of Malufurian, he did not have the skill and experience harnessing the tremendous power he had available. The first spell he cast knocked him out for three days and blew a tree straight out of its roots.
After that, Xander had made sure to use a lower 'rank' of spell. Slowly making his body used to using the power, focusing it and channelling it through his body bit by bit and practising every spare moment he had.
Then eventually he decided he was ready to try out a spell on a vampire. That was a fond memory for sure. The vampire had not stood a chance. While the burning legion, demons in the game, and scourge, the undead were very tough vampires on earth were very weak to natural energies and there was nothing more natural than a druid's spell abilities. It was all about using the power of nature against your foes. Therefore, the vampire had died from a relatively simple spell and it only took one shot. Emboldened from the success Xander had decided to take it to the next level. Malufurian had not been a Balance Druid, in other words a pure spell caster designed to do the most damage possible with his magical abilities. He had been a feral druid, a specialised shape shifter.
Taking the same route as the game. Xander had tried to turn into a bear first. The change was scarily easy to do. What was significantly harder was changing back. Xander had spent three days in the wood dodging humanity until he figured out how to change back. Memories of hunting food in the river and chasing down deer as a bear, not easy at all, had dogged him for a while after that.
Not put off by that Xander had pushed on, in fact skipped a few steps. This is what brought him to be running through the forested area just outside of Sunnydale at closing on 30 miles per hour. Four feet propelled him along the floor, sharp claws digging in and giving him purchase. It was a wonderful feeling. The bear had been amazing, powerful in a way that he could not explain. The sense of potential brutality had been breathtaking. This though, was even more breathtaking. He was so agile, so fast and while the sense of underlying power was less, it was by no means less giddy.
He jumped, his claws catching a tree's trunk and scrambled upwards, coming to a rest some feet off the ground and laying on a thick branch. His tail twitched back and forwards and yellow eyes glowed with enthusiasm. Xander let out a sigh that in his current feline form sounded more like a deep rumbling purr and settled himself down to get some rest. He was way above the ground on the branch and safe so he decided to get some rest. He had found while experimenting with the bear that sleeping in his form helped him come to terms with it. Therefore, with that goal in mind he lay his head on a forepaw and let his eyes droop closed.
Buffy walked into the library of Sunnydale High with her normal perky step and wide smile that lit up the surrounding area. "Hey, watcher man!" she called out, looking around for her watcher. She sometimes thought he was a bit of a stick in the mud, but he been kind and treated her well. As well, if not better, than Merrick had in fact. Her smile dimmed slightly at the memory of her first watcher and then she shoved the heartache to one side with the ease of practice.
Rupert Giles walked out from behind the stacks with a book in one hand and a cup of tea in the other and flashed his charge a smile. "Hello Buffy, I trust all went well last night?"
"Yep, all good in the land of slay. Though I did overhear a couple of vampires talking about a new mage in the area that seems to like hunting vampires." She said with a thoughtful pout on her attractive visage.
"Really, a mage you say. That is interesting especially if he is on our side, as it were. Please keep your ear to the ground about him and let me know. It would behove us to make friendly contact with them if possible."
Buffy half frowned at him, "Make friends with the mage?" she half asked.
Giles rolled his eyes, "Indeed."
"Right gotcha" she said flashing him a smile, plopping down in a chair and pulling out her history assignment. Then she looked up with another thoughtful frown on her face, "Hey - have you heard from Xander lately?"
"No, I can't say I have actually," Giles said with a matching expression. Then he smiled, "I'm sure he's fine though." He added almost as an afterthought.
"Who's fine?" Willow said as she walked into the library, placed her bag down beside Buffy, and took a chair at the desk.
"Xander," Buffy filled in before Giles could.
"Have any of you seen him outside of class?" Willow asked, "Because I swear he's dodging me," she added with a hurt sounding in her voice. The thought that her oldest friend and crush was avoiding her was more than a little painful for the redhead.
"I doubt it," Buffy said, "He's probably just doing guy stuff or something. It must be difficult for him having no guys around to talk to."
Giles cleared his throat and Buffy added, "His age that is," she flashed her watcher an innocent smile.
"Hmmm," Giles commented and walked into his office.
"Well, if you see him can you let him know I'm looking for him?" Willow asked.
Buffy smirked, "Going to ask him out?"
"Ask who out," a male voice said from the doorway. Buffy and Willow froze and turned slowly to face Xander, who was standing in the doorway. He looked different from his normal gear. The colours of his clothing were muted and most of it looked to be leather as well. Good quality leather at that, Which made Buffy wonder a little, because as far as she knew Xander was not the most well off guy in the world. He walked into the library and Buffy noticed that he was walking differently too. There was no slouch in his back and he moved fluidly like cat hunting.
"No one," Willow put in with a blush and a glare at Buffy who smirked back at her unrepentantly.
"Uh huh, well whoever it is better treat you right," Xander said with an almost feral smile.
"I'm sure he would," Buffy put in with a mysterious smile on her face. Xander did a slight double take at the look and, with his newfound maturity and a wealth of knowledge in his head, quickly put two and two together and blushed slightly.
"Right, well, urh - I just thought I'd drop in see if we are Bronzing tonight?"
"What else are we gunna do?" Buffy asked with a chuckle. Then looked a little more serious, "Done with your self enforced exile then?"
"We've not seen you outside of class for a month," Willow put in sounding hurt.
Yeah, sorry, had some stuff to sort out. Among other things I had a new job to start too."
"A job?" Buffy asked.
"Yeah, doing some mechanical work for my uncle Rory," Xander said with a smirk. The truth was that his uncle had walked in on him fiddling with some of the engineering work he was doing in his garage one night and hired him on the spot for some after school work. Malufurian had been a leatherworker, as in made clothing, and an engineer. These skills had been passed to Xander on Halloween and he was not going to let them fall fallow. Despite the fact that Jonno had told him not to do engineering on a druid, it was actually working out quite well for real world applications. In addition, it was a hell of a lot of fun. The materials of course did not exist in the real world as in the game, but Xander was finding that what he could not duplicate with simply metals etc, he was able to duplicate in other ways through experimentation.
"Didn't know you knew anything about that," Willow said almost accusingly.
Xander smiled slightly, "I have a passing knowledge." He deferred gently, "I picked up things here and there from my uncle of course, and I need the money, so I thought why not. It should not interrupt patrolling with you guy's or hitting the bronze. Not any more at least," He added the last as an afterthought.
"Is that how you afforded the new clothes? Because it's a good look for you, but aren't you hot in all that leather?" Buffy asked with a slight smile, eying Xander in a way that he was not used to coming from her.
"Something like that," Xander said. In truth he had actually made the clothes himself after finding that while he did not actually know how to skin in the game, it was easy to learn. He was not limited to two professions in real life after all, and ten thousand years of life educated you a great deal. Classes were a breeze now, though some of the knowledge he had simply was not applicable, he had the knowledge of how to work around any gaps. He was not sure, but due to the sheer amount of memories he had and the skills he had picked up over the years, he might even qualify as a genius level IQ now. Malufurian was no slouch when it came to thinking things through, and was damn good at strategy and tactics, as well having led a few raids. It was becoming clear to Xander that it was a good thing he had put so much thought into his character's background.
Buffy looked at him a little strangely, but shrugged it off as it just being Xander and moved on. "I figure I can get out of the house easily enough tonight. I've just got to finish this assignment before I head home, and then I'm done on my homework for the night anyway. No chores tonight and other than patrol I'm easy."
Xander smirked at the phrasing, but did not comment on that, "So what time?" he asked looking between the two, "I finish work at eight tonight." He added as a help.
"8:30 then?" Willow asked, "Cordelia's boyfriend is playing tonight, something about dingoes."
"Riiiight, well other than the thought that Cordelia has a boyfriend that isn't a footballer dogging me I have to go to work now. Catch you all later?"
The girls waved goodbye to him and he took his leave of them, walking towards the stairs rather than the exit of the school. He had another form he really wanted to try that evening and if it worked, he would get to work in no time at all. He passed through the school without causing a ripple, as was his usual way, and headed up to the roof. After looking around and making sure no one could see him or would be able to see him, he put his backpack over his shoulders properly. Then he spread his arms and concentrated.
Unlike the other forms where he tended to grow, this time he shrank down quickly. The speed of the transformation ripped a scream from his throat for a moment. Then eldritch energies swept up around him causing a small dust devil to whip into shape and hid him from view. When it died down there was a raven-like bird sitting in his place. With a single flap of its wings it took to the air and was away, sweeping quickly over the town at a rate that was almost abnormal for a bird.
Once again, Xander thanked Jonno in his head. The short person had done a lot for Xander's character over the year he had been playing, giving him ore, leather and money when he needed it. His help had made it so that Xander had learned this form in double quick time. It was known in the game as Swift Flight Form. Xander was going to rename it adrenaline junky heaven. The ground was almost a blur beneath him as he sped through the skies of Sunnydale. The rush was amazing, not just from the flying, which was intense, but from the sheer speed he was going.
Xander made a vow with himself to do something nice for Jonno later in the week and angled himself towards his uncle's garage.
Jonathan Levinson looked down at his hands, an unreadable expression on his face. When he had decided to copy Xander's costume idea he had thought it would be fun in a geeky way. This was not so much fun as awe-inspiring. Floating a few inches above his hand was a large fireball, spitting and crackling with pure magical power.
All his life most people had treated him as a loser. They picked on him because he was smarter than they were, because he was much smaller, or because he sucked at sports. It was only the few friends he had that had stopped him going postal by that point already. Friends like Xander, while they were not as close as Xander and Willow, and who was, they were good friends and had been for a long time.
Therefore, while he had known Xander had his own plans Halloween night, Jonno had decided it would be cool to dress as his favourite character too. Then everything had been a bit of a blur, and he had woken up surrounded by dust and a few dead things that looked like they belonged in Star Wars. His robes, rented for the night from a costume shop called Ethan's, that seemed to have quite a few class costumes from World of Warcraft, had been covered in goo and he felt like there was pure power flooding through his every vein and synaptic pathway.
It had taken him a few days to realise that he still had the power and the ability to use it. He had experimented for a while and that led him to be standing in his bedroom with a fireball resting in his hand.
He shook his head, dissipated the fireball with a negligent thought, walked to the mirror, and looked into it. He took a step back when he noticed that his eyes were actually glowing slightly with power and then a cautious step forward.
"This is fricken' cool."
Spike looked at his dark haired beauty of a paramour with worry. She had been making odd noises every so often since they had escaped the insane mage Halloween night. He had known he should not have gone out that night, but she had told him the Slayer would be weak. The trouble was he hadn't got anywhere near the girl before some bloke in a dress had started to wipe out his minions going on about The Lich Kings servants and the Scourge and a lot of other crap that Spike didn't care to hear about. Especially since the bastard had been virtually unstoppable. He had lost many good minions that night and had been using the time since to restock his numbers. In truth, he would like to turn that mage for his own use. The sheer brute force power he had been using was intoxicating to demon and, frankly, he had never in his long life seen a display like it. Fire and bolts of white energy had decimated his ranks in mere moments, and the sheer sizzling presence of the guy had been intoxicating.
"Oooh, the kitten has grown into a nasty cat with big claws. The little loser into a mage and the cheerleader has found her goddess. Others from the night are coming awake, all the time drawing together for a party."
Spike half frowned, "What luv? What was that?" he got the mage bit, because the guy had been on the short side, but the rest made no sense at all to him.
"Puff goes the dragon, and the world turns to fire."
Spike blinked, and decided that it was likely that Dru was off on one of her rants rather than an actual bit of seer work going on.
"The Slayer doubles and dances with darkness," Dru said causing Spike to refocus on her suddenly. Perhaps he was mistaken after all. "Daddy comes home, and goes to bed."
Spike frowned, wondering what she was talking about. She was his sire and he loved her as much as his undead heart was able, but there were times where he was tempted to off her himself.
"The world turns to the Kitten, mage and goddess girl to find allies in the world, ready for the coming of the source." Dru told him seriously, her large eyes glowing with seriousness before she fainted backwards onto her bed and into a deep sleep.
Spike looked at her for a long moment, then shook his head and went back to what he was doing.tbc