This badfic was written round-robin style. A round-robin story is a story written by a group of authors in collaboration. Typically, they take turns, each writing a segment of the story and then passing it on to the next. Now, don't get us wrong. Round robins *can* be decent stories. They work best when you have a small number of people and you're doing it for fun and friendship. If you're trying to write a serious story, though, it generally goes downhill. Let's face it, no matter how well you know someone, and how much you appear to agree with them about your interpretations of the characters and your plans for the story, inevitably there are going to be differences in how each author perceives the characters as well as the intent of the story. When round-robins go wrong, at best you wind up with a choppy story of dubious consistency; at worst you end up with multiple different stories masquerading as one entity. The following example falls somewhere in the middle.
In this story, there are four authors:
LOVE AND HELLMOUTHS
Willow and Tara carefully made their way through the blackened remains of Sunnydale High School. "Why are we here, Willow?" Tara asked. "Did Buffy sense something was wrong?"
"No, it's just that I think someone should make sure that earthquake we had today didn't open up the Hellmouth again," Willow said, waving her hands. "It's sort of like a champagne bottle with a big cork in it. We don't want it opening up and letting a big fizzy explosion of demons splash all over Sunnydale!"
Tara smiled, enjoying yet another Willow-ism. She loved Willow so much... if only Tara could tell Willow her deepest secret!
Willow grabbed Tara's hand, and pointed with her other hand. "That's it up ahead. The library. It's right on top of the Hellmouth."
"We better walk slower," Tara whispered nervously as they continued forward. "We don't know what could be hanging around here. There could be demons, or monsters, or even vampires, like Spike!"
At that very moment, across town, Spike himself was sitting in his crypt, thinking about how much he hated Buffy. "Damn, I bloody hate that Buffy," he was thinking. "I wish she was here right now so I could kick her ass." But then he remembered he had a chip in his head that made it impossible to hurt any living thing. Spike growled angrily, a scowl clouding his handsomely chiseled face.
Spike lit a cigarette and took a slow, sensuous drag on it as he thought about all the ways he would like to kill the Slayer. Oh, and her friends too. Except maybe Xander -- Spike thought he was kind of cute.
"Maybe I should go out and look for some mayhem," Spike decided, getting up. "And if I can't find any, I'll just cause some." He pulled on a shirt over his smooth, muscled chest and grinned his cocky grin. "Look out Sunnydale! Here comes the big bad!" he snarled evilly before striding dangerously out of the crypt.
Unfortunately, Spike forgot the doorstep of the crypt had risen slightly in the recent earthquake, and he smacked his head against the top of the doorframe. "Ow!" he cried, and slunk off into the darkness, muttering darkly.
Meanwhile, Willow and Tara had made a startling discovery.
"EW!" said Tara, holding her nose. "There's SEWER pipes down there! And I think they're BROKEN!"
"Oh, don't worry, Tara," said Willow, smiling crookedly. "It's all, like, natural and organic and earthy and stuff. I mean, as witches, we should be cool with that, right?"
"Well, yeah, I GUESS," said Tara sulkily, "but could we be cool with it from a little further off?"
"Yeah, I guess so," said Willow. "If the Hellmouth's opened back up they're gonna have to call Roto-Rooter anyway. Let's go to the Bronze. I've got plenty of money."
"Cool," said Tara, brightening up. "I've been meaning to ask how come you never run out of money, ya know? I mean, do you have one of those magic purses or something?"
As Willow and Tara headed for the Bronze, they failed to notice Spike hiding behind a bush smirking a very evil smirk. He returned to his crypt, a nefarious plan beginning to swirl nebulously in his platinum-blonde head. Sure, he couldn't hurt a living thing. But he could destroy property. And reputations. And relationships...
Suddenly, Oz showed up. "I'm feeling a lot better, Willow," he said, sweeping her into his arms. "Will you take me back?"
"Er, um, you see, I have a girlfriend," she said, looking sheepishly over at Tara. "This is kinda rude, don't you think?" But then he started nibbling on her earlobe and she started moaning and squirming, so Tara ran away crying.
Meanwhile, Spike was sulking around his crypt, trying to think of what to do next, when the whole thing collapsed on him. "Bloody hell," he mumbled from the depths as he realized he couldn't squirm free of the blocks of concrete. He was trapped!
Tara kept running until she got to the magic shop. "Oh Anya, I don't know what to do!" she cried. "Willow and Oz are back together again!"
"Men," Anya scowled. "You know, us demon girls should stick together."
"How did you know?" Tara gasped, looking around nervously, worried that someone had heard.
"Demon-dar," Anya shrugged. "Come on, let's skip town and play Thelma and Louise. I haven't maimed a rapist in a while and I miss it." She pulled a shotgun out from under the counter, held her hand out to Tara, and the two of them jumped in a car and drove to Nevada.
Meanwhile, the sun was coming up, and Spike realized there was just big enough a hole in the rubble that he was gonna get fried if he wasn't rescued soon. "Bollocks," he muttered, and wished he could reach a cigarette. One last smoke before he went up in smoke would be nice.
[Hey, I thought we agreed to do a Willow/Tara story! What's with all this extra stuff?]
Without warning, an earthquake aftershock rumbled through Sunnydale. Spike, buried in the remains of his crypt, thought that he'd be crushed for sure, but to his relief the rubble merely settled closer in, blocking out the sunlight. He was still trapped -- completely and utterly unable to move -- but at least he was alive.
Anya and Tara had only been on the road to Nevada for about fifteen minutes when word of the aftershock came over the car radio. "Oh no!" Tara thought guiltily about the Hellmouth. What if the aftershock had caused it to open, and she and Willow weren't there to help? "We have to go back, Anya," she urged. "Willow and I were meant to be together so that we can help keep Sunnydale safe!"
Anya frowned, then put the car into a spinning U-turn. "You're right, but never mind about Willow. We have to go look for Xander! I don't care if I'm mad at him, what if his handsome muscular body is trapped under some building somewhere?"
At the same time, Willow was desperately trying to disentangle herself from Oz's grasp. "Didn't you feel that aftershock, Oz?" she asked. "We have to go check the Hellmouth!"
"Nah, that was just the earth moving for you and me, baby," Oz purred, tightening his grip. "You can't leave now. Not yet!"
Willow's witch instinct told her that something was wrong. "Why aren't you worried about the Hellmouth... you're NOT Oz!" As soon as she said it, Oz's face shifted, revealing that he was in fact a Smrthylpx Demon! "Let me go!" Willow demanded, writhing in his grip.
"No way, babe," the demon sneered. "You're not going anywhere near the Hellmouth until all my friends are done coming through it! We're taking over Sunnydale and you can't stop us!"
"Oh god," Willow thought anxiously as she continued trying to break out of the demon's grasp. "Please, let the earthquake have alerted Buffy. I'm sure she'll be here any minute." Suddenly she realized that she had thrown away what could have been the greatest love of her life, all for the sake of this horrible demon! "Oh, Tara!" she exclaimed in despair. Her tears dripped onto the demon's arm and burned the flesh, making him let go of her with a yell of pain.
"Human tears can hurt him," Willow thought distractedly as she scurried away to hide in the shadows. But she couldn't concentrate on anything other than the thought of Tara thinking Willow didn't love her any more. "What have I done?"
Meanwhile, back in the graveyard, Spike was making himself comfortable under the pile of rubble that had once been his crypt. It wasn't easy, but with the careful application of his considerable strength, he was able to hollow out a little cave in which he could sit up and get comfortable. Plaster dust powdered his silky white hair.
"Good thing I don't have to breathe," he observed to himself, flicking his lighter and watching the sparks fly aimlessly, as there wasn't enough oxygen for the flames to survive. He stretched out his long, lean legs, crossed his powerful arms over his well-developed chest, and settled himself in to rest until night fell. "Let's see, where was I, dismemberment?" he thought as he returned to his favorite game, which he called Slowest Way to Die. It was fun to fantasize about the most painful and lingering deaths he could possibly imagine inflicting on Buffy. "Maybe I would start by cutting off her toes one by one...."
Unfortunately, Spike wasn't able to fully concentrate on the game. His blood-lust was rising and he grew hungrier by the minute. If he didn't feed soon he was likely to turn into an even more vicious, fierce killer than he already was. "Just try to hold on," he told himself valiantly, "it's only a few more hours. You can do it!"
Tara and Willow searched downtown Sunnydale for each other. Anya looked frantically in every dark corner for Xander. In the rockpile that had been his crypt, Spike rolled his eyes and twiddled his thumbs. Who knows what Buffy was doing. Her hair? Her nails? Riley?
The Smrthylpx demon snarled to him/her/itself as he/she/it gazed at the teardrop-shaped burn marks on his/her/its arm. Damn Willow anyway. He/she/it could find him/her/itself better prey. Should he/she/it disguise him/her/itself as Drusilla and go after Spike? As Riley and try for Buffy? As Anya and seduce Xander? As Olivia and ...ew. Never mind. He/she/it was allergic to tweed. Suddenly the demon rounded a corner and came face-to-face with Tara!!
Quickly he/she/it tried to transform into Willow but Tara was too fast for him/her/it. She quickly mumbled a spell and the Smrthylpx demon dissolved into a tiny pile of purple salt crystals!
"Oh Willow," sobbed Tara. "Where are you?? I hope I haven't made a terrible mistake and killed you by accident!!"
Meanwhile, Ethan Rayne strode through town, a self-satisfied smile on his face. Ah, beautiful chaos! Janus would be proud. Wreaking havoc on Sunnydale was always so rewarding. Why didn't he do it more often?
Right, that's why. Ethan fell on his ass from the force of the punch and looked up, cradling his sore jaw. "Ripper," he purred, a wicked grin on his face. "Good to see you again."
Giles glared down at him and snapped, "Remove the spell."
Suddenly, the Smrthylpx demon vanished, the aftershocks went away, and the Hellmouth closed up nice and tight.
Giles got a cold grin on his face. "Now get up, put on your tu-tu, and prepare to be shagged rotten, you bastard."
"Over the garden gate?" Ethan asked eagerly. "Thought you'd never ask, Ripper."
Across town, Spike suddenly discovered that he was claustrophobic and began screaming like a little girl. A passing dog piddled into the collapsed crypt, leaving Spike sputtering and coughing.
Unfortunately, when Ethan's spell shut off, there was psychic kick-back, and Tara's old spell came back to life again, only mutated. Anya, Tara, and Willow each walked right past each other in the middle of Sunnydale. They couldn't see each other. But lurking in the shadows, Glory could.
However, none of them were Dawn or Buffy, so Glory didn't give a shit. She headed off to the warehouse district in search of something more interesting to do.
Although both Giles and Ethan were reasonably knowledgeable about magic, there were certain lapses in their education. For example, neither of them knew that the specific combination of one man shagging another man wearing a tu-tu and bent over a garden gate was in fact a very ancient and powerful mystic ritual for combining the magical energies of two wizards. When Ethan shouted "Ripper!" he inadvertently invoked Ri'pah, the ancient Sumerian concept of being in the right place at the right time.
In a sudden reshuffling of time and space, all of the extraneous events that were completely unrelated to the original problem of what to do about the Hellmouth unraveled themselves! Except for Spike being helplessly trapped in the remains of his crypt -- that still happened.
Willow and Tara found themselves back in the high school library. "We're together, in the right place, at the right time," Willow said as she took Tara's hand. "It's magic!"
Tara smiled at her love. "We've been brought back for a second chance to do this right. Let's not waste it!"
Quickly the two witches set up candles around the crack in the floor, underneath which sat the entrance to the Hellmouth. Willow spread the sacred powder in a circle, while Tara lit the incense. They then sat facing each other, hands holding hands, eyes looking deeply into eyes, feeling the energy and magic flow between them. In unison the lovers began their chant, "We bind the, we bind thee, we bind thee..."
Meanwhile, across town, Spike was still waiting inside his crypt. He was just glad that the reshuffling thing had erased the dog piss and the claustrophobia from his immediate past. Suddenly, with his finely-honed senses, he realized that the sun had set and it was evening! Eagerly he began to dig his way out from under the rubble. Fortunately, with his superhuman strength and speed, he was able to get himself free in no time at all. He sprang out of his crypt and dusted himself off.
"Right then!" he told himself. "Bloody well time to go find the Slayer and..." But he was unable to finish his sentence as just then Harmony came running up.
"Spike, where have you been?" she squeaked in her annoying shrill voice. "I've been looking all over for you!"
"Go away," Spike grumbled, wishing he had a real girlfriend, maybe one who wasn't a vampire, who had shoulder-length curly dark hair that she held back with a single barrette, and who had light brown eyes and wore glasses with square blue frames.
"Oh Spike, you're such a kidder," Harmony giggled. "Did you hear about Giles and Ethan and the tutu?"
"The what?" Spike exclaimed. In moments Harmony had explained the whole story. Spike was flabbergasted.
"Mature British men shagging in tutus over garden gates? I gotta get me some of that!" And he went running off, his virile legs pumping muscularly underneath him as his coat flowed dramatically out behind his shapely ass.
Meanwhile, back at the old high school, Willow and Tara had finished their spell and it worked, so they started kissing.
No amount of pizza and beer is worth this!!!
BITE ME! --DarkStarBard
That's *it*, I've HAD IT with this stupid Round Robin. This is a stupid fandom anyway. I'm gonna go write that Jim/Blair/Duncan/Methos/Obi/Maul crossover I've been putting on hold for this dumb story for way too long. I'm sick and tired of working with people who can't show the least bit of maturity and cooperation, and who the hell wants to write about OLD MEN IN TUTUS anyway?? You guys are all SICK. And W-T4Ever can't even spell "thee"!!!!!! As for you, DischordBabe, if you'd quit going to the movies all the time and read an actual BOOK once in a while you might learn how to follow a plot thread instead of being so damn "cinematic", excuse me!!! And we all know what's on SpikesChick's mind, as if that had anything to do with what we were SUPPOSED to be writing about.
No amount of pizza and beer is worth this!!!
BITE ME! --DarkStarBard
And then a house fell on DarkStarBard and everyone was happy.
Spike made it to the garden gate just in time for round two, where Giles was wearing a kilt and Ethan clung to the tattered remains of his tu-tu. "You're my daddy," Ethan was panting.
"And you're my bitch!" Giles retorted, grabbing a handful of Ethan's hair and craning his head back.
"Whatever you say, Ripper. Ah!"
The resulting squirt of Sumerian mojo shorted out the chip in Spike's head, so he dashed merrily for Buffy's house to kill her. When he got there, he found Glory already staking out the house. "Back off little man, she's mine," she said.
Spike knew he was no match for her, so he asked, "Aw, can I watch?"
"No, but there's some hot lesbo witch action going on at the hellmouth. Why don't you watch that?"
Spike trotted back past the garden gate, where Ethan was now dressed as Queen Amidala and Giles as Senator Palpatine. Ew, too kinky for his tastes, especially when there were lesbians to be watched. He trotted on. As he was bounding up the stairs of the old high school, he ran into Drusilla. "The air is full of curious whispers," she said spookily.
"No pet, that's just hot lesbo witch action by the hellmouth."
"Can I watch?"
Spike scooped her up and carried her into the high school, where Tara and Willow were so wrapped up in each other that they barely had time to squeak in terror as the two vampires started sucking them dry.
Meanwhile, across town, Glory left Buffy bleeding copiously all over Riley, grabbed Dawn, broke her in two, retrieved the key, and started to open her gateway.
You suck! All of you! I *hate* you! Why would you agree to join this
round robin if you didn't truly care about the beauty that is Willow and
Fuck with my storyline, will you? I'll show you!!!
Glory unlocked the gate with the key, and suddenly the Hellmouth opened up and every single demon spewed forth! The demons ran amok in Sunnydale, killing everyone in their path, starting with Giles and Ethan, who were superglued together in the most painful position possible and tossed helplessly to the bottom of the ocean!
The demons then staked Spike, and they sprinkled his ashes all over SpikesChick before pitching her headfirst off the top of the World Trade Center!
And then they went to the house that was sitting on the mangled, squashed remains of DarkStarBard and set it on fire! And just for good measure, they went up to Cascade, kidnapped Jim and Blair, and *roasted them alive in the flames*! Some demons went up to wherever the heck it is that Methos and Duncan are, and surrounded them and cut off their heads and *played soccer* with them! And other demons formed a committee to figure out how to get to Coruscant and take out Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon! So *there*! And... and... and what they did to DischordBabe is just too terrible to imagine, but it involved a big stick, a cabbage, a jar of mustard, and a box of quilting needles!!!!!
The carnage was awful, and Glory loved it. Then suddenly Willow and Tara, who, due to the strength of their love and magic, had protected themselves from the destruction and remained hidden, reappeared and killed Glory. All the demons immediately went back to hell forever. Willow and Tara then dedicated the rest of their lives to traveling the globe and trying to build a kinder, gentler civilization that valued its visionary writers and other artists greatly and would never dream of interfering with their creativity.
There! Happy now? :-P
Umm... this isn't going to get me kicked off the fanfic list, is it?
Jiiiiiiim!!! Blaaaaaair!! Meeethooos!! NOOOOOO!!!!
And they pitched Blair's burned body into the fountain at Rainier University where it belongs! Bwaaahahahaha!!!!!