I like Buffy. I like fanfic. Go ahead and laugh; I don’t care.
I originally discovered Buffy fanfic back in the mid 2000s — well before I had any familiarity with the show — because I was reading a very good Firefly fanfic in which Buffy somehow appears on the ship and ends up in a relationship with Mal. It ended after six or so chapters, unfinished.
Fast-forward to 2011. I’d finished Buffy, and decided to go looking for that story. What I found instead was a different Buffy/Firefly crossover, in which Xander is sent through a portal to the ‘verse. Then one where it’s Willow and Xander. Then a great one with Faith. And so on.
And I realized they were all from a single site, Twisting the Hellmouth, which is dedicated to Buffy crossover fiction.
Well all righty then.
I read for a while, enjoyed a lot, and eventually became part of the community, not only writing my own crossover fanfic but also some original stories in the Buffy universe.
I will not be including any of my stories on this list (even though I think they’re pretty darn good), but here are six of the best Buffy crossover fan fiction stories, as collected from Twisting the Hellmouth. (They’ll all be completed, by the way.) (And, spoilers for all seasons of Buffy and Angel.)
6. The League of Extraordinary Women, by DianeCastle — crossovers include DC Comics, The Secret World of Alex Mack, Harry Potter, Stargate — While this story isn’t perfect, I respected that DianeCastle took on a massive challenge, which was to bring together six characters from disparate fandoms and get them working as a cohesive unit. I’ve never watched the Stargate series or had anything to do with Alex Mack, but she managed to make me care about Alex, Samantha Carter, and Catwoman, and incorporate Buffy, Willow, and Hermione, into a huge, cohesive story with some awesome set-pieces in the final battle.
5. Martian Manhunter, by Mediancat — crossover is Veronica Mars — This is perhaps one of the longest pieces of fanfic I’ve read, with more than 90 chapters. The plot is a little “I could do this better” — Veronica makes a bet with Satan that, if she was on Buffy, she could improve things while also managing to survive her own days at a version of Sunnydale High School which also includes Wallace, Mac, Logan, Duncan, and the “who killed Lilly Kane” case. A great piece of plotting that covers pretty much the entire second season, although the denouement drags on quite a lot.
4. Dead Man Walking, by Alkeni — crossover is Highlander — I love the Highlander universe. Even The Raven wasn’t too terribly awful. But this story is set apart because it resides mostly in the Buffyverse, with only a few nods to the crossover source material. In Season Three of Angel, Wesley’s throat is cut. This story posits that he died and was resurrected as an Immortal. It includes the Wesley/Lilah relationship, which I enjoyed. The only weak point is when the gang goes to Sunnydale for the final battle with the First; I felt like it was done too quickly, with Wesley being too uber. Still, very enjoyable to read.
3. Equilibration, by CaptMurdock — crossover is with Star Trek: The Next Generation — I make no bones about the fact that I am all about Willara. And of course I adore Star Trek. This story puts our Buffyverse heroes into 23rd-century Trek, and then sends Willow through a time portal to the 24th century, where she is acclimated to her new starship by — you guessed it — a young Counselor named Tara Maclay. The writing is respectful of both sets of source material, as well as the building of the Willara relationship, and contains a lot of funny bits.
2. Let’s Hear It For The Monsters… NOT!, by Luna — crossover is with Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series — Speaking of funny bits, this story is packed full of them. Not traditional humor, though, but more like the skewering of all the utter tripe that has unfortunately turned the Anita Blake novels from good paranormal mystery/horror to hardcore porn with action sequences. Luna brings the Buffy team to St. Louis and says all the things we’ve been wanting to say. This verges on crackfic, but there is a cohesive plot and accurate characterization.
1. Legend, by ShayneT — crossover is with Star Trek: The Next Generation — This 100,000-word (exactly 100,000 words) story is possibly the finest piece of fanfic I’ve ever read. Starting with the TNG episode “The Most Toys”, it brings together Buffy, the Buffybot, the TNG crew, the Borg, and several surprise visitors in a massive three-part story that covers the naturalization of Buffy, her trial (just trust me), and then her redemption. Told powerfully and intelligently (except for a few misspelled names here and there), and with an emotional gut-punch near the end that you will not expect to make you cry, Legend is worth your time if you like Buffy, Star Trek, or just plain old good storytelling.
So. That ought to keep you busy for a while.
If you prefer your Buffy fanfic without crossovers, here are some non-cross pieces from TTH to tide you over.
- Baseball, by DonSample — contains extremely explicit descriptions of sex — Originally started as a story just about Dawn, it grows into something with a cohesive plot. Notable for being very honest and open about sexual exploration, safe sex, and love. It is absolutely NC-17, though, so be warned.
- Harbingers of Beatrice, by Holly — contains explicit sex and violence — Buffy comes to Los Angeles to stop Angelus, but he might just prove to be too much even for her. One of the best twist endings I’ve ever read in fanfic.
- I Am What I Am, by MMcGregor — Xander returns to Season 2 after living his entire life and makes a few… changes. Interesting to see how things might have gone, but suffers from the uber!Xander trope.
- Perfect World, by MedianCat — What would happen if our heroes (and villains) had lived normal lives? A spell cast by one of their enemies shows exactly that. A great tale, and one that inspired some of my own fiction.
- See Noir Evil, by MMcGregor — contains explicit violence — Xander is driven insane by prison and torture, but when he escapes he discovers that maybe he really wasn’t falsely imprisoned. Brilliant plotting and a ton of humor, but a little downfall near the end.
So, what do you think? Do you agree that these are great? Do you have a dissenting opinion? You tell me.
Got an idea for a future Six Of The Best? Send it to me on Twitter @Listener42 and if I like it I might actually use it. Eventually.
I have to say that, even though I agreed with most of your choices, I found one main exclusion: the Normal-verse, with the stories “Far Beyond Normal” and “Return to Normal”. They are also epic-length, and, like Legend contain an emotional roller-coaster and is a masterwork of storytelling as well. It’s listed as a Stargate crossover, but I understood it well despite not know that, and not knowing Stargate at all the first time I read it. It’s really more of a crossover with post-9/11 reality despite featuring some Stargate characters and elements. It’s a fantastic read regardless of what you think of BtVS, and provides interesting moral questions and problems that are left up to the readers to determine. I read Legend, and if Legend’s ending was an emotional gut-punch, then the story of “Far Beyond Normal” and “Return to Normal” are a gut-punch by a Slayer.
Oh, oops, all that and no link.
It’s also the winner of quite a number of awards.
And have you read “Echoes of the Fallen”? It’s an amazing story, a really interesting character study of the character of Magneto. Yes, as in the X-men villain.
Thanks for your suggestion. I’ll take a look at them if I can. I generally avoid Stargate fics because I don’t know the universe and I wasn’t interested by the show, but there are definitely gems in there.
Great list – I’ve read most of them, but a couple seemed to have slipped by me, so I’m looking forward to reading them. I’d add two more to your list that I consider on a par with your choices.
For crossover: the first two Father Goose stories by Litmouse (on TTH). The first crosses Buffy with SVU, the second with Alias. Both are first class. There’s also a hilariously funny short piece in the same universe crossed with Gilmore Girls.
For non crossover, the best Buffy fic I’ve ever read is Living History – not on TTH. It’s a long one – 200,000+ words, but the story gets off to a great start and leaps along. Well worth reading, and very original: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/1460890/1/Living-History