The Other by JoeHundredaire
Length: 9 Chapters, Ongoing
Sources: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Ok, Xander gets a different costume at Ethan Rayne’s shop. That’s fairly cliché. Physical traits linger after the whole thing is done. Also common. Xander discovers that he’s now a girl because the costume was too androgynous for him to notice…? First time I’ve seen that. Admittedly, I don’t read much Buffy fanfiction, but I have it on good authority that this kind of combination is almost unheard of.
Anyway, in “The Other”, Xander accidentally picks up a Spider-Girl costume thinking that it’s a Spider-Man costume. When the spell is broken, he’s left with the body (more or less)… including both of the main differences from his original one. (spider-powers and femininity… wouldn’t want you to over-think that like I might) Let the fun ensue.
I also love the somewhat fresh twist on the resulting character interactions. For example:
“Are you doing stuff to yourself?” Xander looked into the mirror to glance back over his shoulder. Willow had cracked the door open while he was occupied and was poking her head through. “Because when I agreed to help you learn basic girl stuff, THAT wasn’t part of it.”
Using one arm to cover his chest, Xander turned to face Willow. “Don’t worry, we’re staying PG here. Guys who turn into girls and then get all nasty and naughty? That’s the kind of thing that only happens in those stories you have bookmarked on your computer.”
I also got quite a kick out of Xander ditching buffy during clothing shopping by pointing out a potential vampire in Hot Topic. I’m not going to spoil the surprise in chapter 7, but I will say that it’s interesting. I also like the new excuse for certain cases of Xander acting “girly”.
What was wrong with her? Was this a girl thing? Or just a repressed Xander thing that was coming out now because she actually had choices to make instead of being stuck with whatever scraps life handed her?
Unfortunately, while the originality merits a 4.5 in the context of the source series and, when it’s around, the humor gets a 4, the rest gets a 3.5 because, while the grammar is good, the writing feels monotonous. Sort of like writing an excellent script for a drama or love story, but then trying to compete with modern movies using a faded, sepia-tone film. I’m not entirely certain, but I think the problem is a variant of “show, don’t tell”.
Fanfiction – The Other by Stephan Sokolow is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.