TITLE: Complex Inversion.
AUTHOR: Siege (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DISTRIBUTION: Anywhere just let me know ‘K
DISCLAIMER: All things BtVS related belong to Joss Whedon and M.E. All other belong to their rightful owners. Charmed belogs to the WB and Hellsing belongs to whoever the hell owns it; not me.
SUMMARY: Halloween story with a difference, I hope. A different costume, starts a whole new world.
FEEDBACK: The more I get, the faster I write, and the more often I'll post.
RELATIONSHIPS: X/P, X/J
SPECIAL NOTE: This FIC is going to be weird I think.
BEWARE: Spoilers for BtVS and Charmed and Hellsing.
DATE: Started: 02/11/2004 - Completed: xx/xx/xxx.
WORD COUNT: 40k+
BETA'D: Graham Hands and Yorath
Okay, several things I want to say here. First up, this story is inspired by DhampireX2's most excellent story Family Matters from the XanderZone. (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/XanderZone) Check it out and send him lots of good feedback. If not for him I wouldn't have watched Hellsing in the first place.
Secondly. This is basically a Halloween story, which stems from what must be the most successful challenge EVER!. However, the actual Halloween bit is not the main part of the story. As such I only glanced at the Transcripts. Also for the particularly observant amongst you, I took two paragraphs from The Hellmouth Never Dies. But they were Cannon rejigs and I really didn't want to do that twice. As I said, Halloween ain't that big a slice of this story.
Thirdly, The Charmed timeline is off, I've shifted it backwards to match this. In other words... Well you'll get it.
Finally, I'm going loopy on this one, so bear with me. No one's really done what could happen to the rest of the series like this. The character I've chosen as his new costume would make one hell of a change to what happens. So there are spoilers for what series two? of BtVS but I'm twisting the whole thing to my own devices. That X/J up there is for X/Janna-Jenny Calendar, but not in the way you may think ;-).
NEW AUTHOR’S NOTES!
Alright, I’m taking this over for CJ and am reposting these next ten parts as they were printed, warts and all. Still, it’s a damned sight better than my stuff is before I send it off to Beta, so it’s not that bad. Starting with Part 11, at least a few dozen words it, it’s all mine.
ON WITH THE FIC!
Gruesome ghouls and grisly ghosts, wretched souls and cursed hosts, vampires bite and villains creep, demons scream and shadows sleep. Blood runs cold in every man, fog rolls in and coffins slam. Mortals quake and full moon rise, creatures haunt and terrorize!
-Creature Features 1970
Pain suffused her entire being, shudders of it rolled through her soul. A bright fireball still blinding her vision as bricks broke at her back, her ribs breaking and shattering into a thousand pieces. Her lung's being pierced and shredded by her own bone. Darkness replacing the bright light and then, finally all sound seemed to fade out, light becoming black, loud becoming quiet.
Then, there was nothing but inky, cool blackness washing through her, soothing her soul and tired body.
She hung in that black pool of ultimate night for an eternity she was sure. Then, when she thought that she had been forgotten, that purgatory, heaven and hell were in fact mere myths suddenly where there was none, there was light. It blinded her at first, but her eyes strangely quickly got used to it.
It was a blinding whiteness that veiled everything, black to white like a negative image, something she was well versed in.
Then after what seemed like several years of waiting a blur formed in the blinding white light. At first it was only a dot far away, there was no such thing as a horizon in this white place, but if their had been, then it was where the dot would’ve been. After several eons of waiting the dot grew, first it was the size of a golf ball, then as it neared the ball became elongated into a cylinder the size of a tennis ball tube. Then it continued to grow, from a stand up bin, to a free standing pillar and once it reached that stage, other shapes were visible. A neck, arms and legs, the flash of white between the moving limbs now visible. Hair was next, not individual strands but the general outline of a classic de-mob style that seemed familiar to her weary eyes. Then as the form came ever closer, colors became apparent. First, a white robe, only visible because of the markings around its edges. Sandy colored hair and then twin pools of bright blue. Not as bright as her own perhaps, but still easily visible. Then a tan complexion and a flash of white teeth in a sad smile.
"Hello," the form said when it judged it was within earshot. The male voice echoing strangely in the white place.
"H. H. Hi," she said, her voice didn't crack despite the lack of saliva in her mouth.
"I'm sorry about this, for the wait. I've only just found out what happened. And what they want you to do now." The familiar form said in an equally recognizable voice.
"Leo?" she asked hesitantly.
"Yes; Prue, It's me."
"Where am I?" Prue asked looking around the featureless white expanse.
"This," Leo said holding his hands out and twisting around, "Is a staging area"
"Staging area. What happened Leo, are my sisters alright?"
Leo smiled sadly, "Yes, they're fine. You; died Prue."
If it were physically possible she would've blanched, "Died?"
Leo just nodded.
A small half smile flickered on her face for a moment, "I guess that demon hit me harder than I thought," she said sardonically. The smile froze and gently slipped away, there was a loss in her eyes that made Leo's guts twist. A tear fell down her porcelain colored cheek and her shoulder's shook with silent sobs as the full meaning of Leo's words became clear. "Will they be okay?" She asked, her voice filled with sadness.
Leo nodded, "They will, eventually"
"They're strong," Prue said her shoulder's squaring, "They'll make me even prouder!" She declared.
Leo nodded, "I'm sure they will."
Prue looked at him for a few long moments before his others words caught up with her. "What who want me to do?"
"The elders, they have an offer for you."
"What is it?"
"They're offering you a chance to carry on helping people Prue."
"Be a white lighter?" She asked incredulously.
"In a manner of speaking," Leo said with a pained voice.
"A situation is developing even as we speak. One that could give us huge problems latter on."
"There's a chaos mage in a small town called Sunnydale. He's going to turn everyone into their costumes for Halloween."
"Halloween, how long have I been here?"
"Just under a year," Leo told her straight.
Leo smiled, "That mage will turn someone into his costume and in the process bring about possibly the end of days."
"Not quite, we're talking about the end of space and time as we know it. That mage doesn't even realize what he's doing."
"It’s the mage that does this then?" Prue asked, already figuring out how to stop him.
"Not directly." Leo said. "There are two other things you need to know about that town, hopefully this will help me get this cleared up. One, it's on a Hellmouth, a mystical convergence, a weak barrier between this dimension and the one known as Hell."
Prue winced, "That's bad!"
"That's the least of it. There's a slayer down there, protecting the Hellmouth. It's not due to be opened for several years yet, at which time, well they aren't sure what will happen. But because of the Hellmouth and the chaos mage's spell an independent entity is about to be created." Leo said, his tone grave.
"This... Entity how bad are we talking?"
Leo laughed and Prue frowned, "That bad hey?"
Leo just nodded, "Could be," he said, "However, that said, there is someone you should meet." he said and waived his hands in the air. In front of him, between Prue and himself appeared a viewing pool. "This is going to be your charge."
"Cute," Prue said, "A little young though."
"Right now he's just turned 18, though he thinks he's 17," Leo told her. Off of Prue's look he continued, "He's adopted, though he doesn't know it yet. As sometimes happens, another birth certificate was issued with the wrong date. In fact the fact he's adopted is what makes this so complicated."
"How?" Prue asked, looking down at the young man who was to be her charge, he was walking down a street at night, hands in his pockets and seemed to be whistling a tune.
"Because he is descended from one of the oldest Romany houses, one that hales all the way back to Transylvania," Leo said with a grimace, "He's a born witch, though there is a seal on his lines magical abilities."
"Why?" Prue said, a natural witch herself, the mere thought made her shudder. Then movement in the viewing pool caught her attention.
Leo followed her sudden distraction to its source and smiled grimly. "This is it," he said and with a wave of his hand sound appeared.
Xander heard the yell and reacted instantly. He took to his heels and ran towards the source of the noise down one of Sunnydale's many side alleys, his hand's came out of his pockets and they both came out with a stake.
"What's he doing?" Prue asked in confusion.
"Just watch," Leo told her, "This is where things get interesting."
Xander kept running, even as he saw the three vampires holding down a man in a sharp suit one was about to bite down. He jumped without a sound, hitting the group in its center, sending them all to the floor, including their prey. As the confusion of limbs tried to sort itself out Xander wasted no time at all in plunging his stake down with an almost animalistic rage. He was pissed off and he wasn't afraid to share his anger with the undead blood sucker's currently flailing around beneath him. Not every hit resulted in a dusting, but every hit did end up on a vampire. After a few seconds of frenzied work Xander was laying on top of the man he'd come to save, his stake raised in anger and his eyes blazing.
The man he'd just saved looked up at his young savior with a little fear in his eyes until the most harmless lopsided grin made itself known on the younger mans face.
Xander stood up and held out his hand for the man.
The business man, for that was how he was dressed hesitantly at first and then with growing confidence reached out for the offered hand. He was then pulled to his feet with surprising ease.
The two men looked at each other for a moment before the younger broke the silence, "It's not safe after dark sir," he said respectfully.
"So I guess" the elder replied with a smile, "Thank you."
"That's okay, all part of the service," Xander said snapping off a sloppy salute. He then turned to leave, coming to a halt at the older mans voice.
"What's up?" Xander asked looking back at the business man.
"Here," the guy said reaching out and taking Xander by the hand, he passed off a roll of notes.
"No, I can't accept..."
"... You will, I don't know what they were, but you saved my life. In my book, that's worthy of reward."
"I don't do it for any reward," Xander said.
"Even more reason to reward you then." The elder man said with a smile, "Thanks, and if you ever need anything" he paused and pulled out a business card and passed it to Xander, "Call that number. Erh ..."
"Xander, Xander Harris."
"Xander, tell them you're name and I'll get back to you straight away."
Xander glanced at the card, "You work in Arms?" He asked, recognizing the brand name.
"I certainly do." the elder man said, "I was just passing through on my way to LA. That's the last time I do that," he said with a laugh.
Xander nodded, "Well, thanks," he said.
The elder man smiled warmly, "No thank you. Wish there was more out there like you kid."
Xander smiled somewhat self consciously, "I gotta go. Thanks for the money. You really didn't have to."
Prue smiled, "Seems like a good kid."
Leo nodded, "He is, a little rough round the edges, but given time he could either be the biggest helper of mankind ever or the worst threat."
"What?" Prue said looking back down at the good looking young man, "He’s just a kid."
"After tonight he'll be well over 400 years old with a wealth of occult knowledge in his head." Leo told her.
"And this is the guy you want me to watch out for."
"No, this is the guy we want you to guide and work with." Leo said.
"I thought the idea was to remain secret."
"It is, but this is an unusual situation. After tonight he'll see straight through you, so there is little point in trying to hide."
"Damn," Prue said, "After tonight, can't I go down now and stop..." she trailed off as Leo was already shaking his head.
"No, as I said he could go either way, if he stays on the side of the angels, he could be a great help to the cause."
"You'll have to put him down," Leo said with a serious expression. "But we're hoping that doesn't happen."
"They don't know?!"
"No!" Leo told her honestly. "The entity he becomes is masked from us. The future from 8pm tonight is totally blind where he is concerned."
"This entity who is it?"
Leo smiled, "I'll answer that; later. Right now we have a lot to get through and very little time to do it."
Ethan's, Sunnydale Ca.
Xander glowered to himself as Willow and Buffy drooled over the dress the proprietor of the store was expertly selling to the blonde haired slayer. "Angel this angel that," he said with an angry tone, "Ohh Angel don't I look fluffy, just like the girls you used to drain."
He looked around the store with anger looming under his normally good natured outlook. "I'm starting to think Hyena boy was right," he murmured starting to look around the store for a costume. He'd tucked away some of the money he'd 'earned' the night before, but he'd saved some for tonight. Before the troll Snyder put pay to his plans he intended to wow Buffy with his costume choice.
His lips lifted in a smile as a thought occurred to him. "She wants dark and mysterious hey?"
A cleared throat disturbed him. He turned to find 'Ethan' sneering down at him. "Can I help you?"
Xander looked at him and then down at his casual attire, most of which had seen better days. He knew how he must look, but then his folks didn't exactly splash out for clothes that often. He had what he had and that was it. Except for tonight.
Xander smiled and pulled himself up to his full height some inches above the aging shop owner's own height, "Yeah, you can. I need a red dust jacket, black suit Gothic style. Red fedora, orange tinted John Lennon glasses and some big ass replica guns."
Ethan looked back down Xander's attire, "That would be an expensive order to fill."
Xander just smiled and pulled out a bundle of notes. He'd been 'VERY' well paid for his nights work. "Just juice me up, I'll worry about the money."
Ethan smiled obsequiously, "Of course sir!"
1630 Revello Drive
Joyce Summers started at the knock at her door. She'd been expecting the knock to come, but she had become concentrated on some paper work in the kitchen. Her daughter and her red haired friend, Willow, were upstairs getting ready for Halloween.
Moving stiffly for a moment before her natural grace caught up with her, she moved out from behind the kitchen top she'd been working on. She walked through the lounge and to the front door, she glanced through the spy hole and was slightly put off by what she saw, or rather didn't. All she could make out was a blood red hat.
She opened the door, "Yes?" she said politely.
The hat slowly tipped up, long hair showing and then the glow of twin orange lenses and a fanged and somewhat mad grin. "Hey Mrs S."
"Xander?!" Joyce asked in surprise, "Wow!"
The grin became more the one she was familiar with, lopsided and even though she would never admit it out loud, sexy as hell. She stood back from the door, and allowed the red clad man to set over the threshold with a swirl of his long dust jacket.
"Who are you tonight?" Joyce asked.
Xander gave that same insane little grin he'd worn before and pulled out the biggest gun she'd ever seen. "Under the name of God; To ones who have been turned into the living dead without a will. Eternal Night shall be granted; Amen!" He intoned with a deep and foreboding tone of voice, the huge hand cannon if it had been real would have been far too heavy for him to hold up.
Joyce looked at him for a moment then shook her head, "Nope, drawing a blank."
Xander smiled again, this time with warmth, "Not a surprise Mrs S it's a character from a Japanese Anime."
"Ohh, I've heard of those, but I've never watched one. So what's this character like."
"He's the ultimate badass. Ohh, sorry Mrs S."
Joyce smiled, "That's alright Xander, just don't do it again," she said tongue in cheek. She noticed that the line of his shoulders suddenly relaxed as if he'd been expecting a sharper, possibly more physical retort. Hiding her frown, she turned at the sound of Buffy's swishing dress and smiled. Her daughter looked like a million bucks and change, almost as good a costume as Xander in fact. In fact, now that she thought about it, the two costumes seemed to be almost the same time frame.
"Duchess Buffy, Wow and wow again. I totally renounce Spandex," Xander said with a tip of his hat.
Buffy looked Xander open, her jaw falling open slightly, "Wow yourself," she said, "That's some outfit. Red is so your color."
Xander chuckled slightly, "Thanks, I think. Hey is willow ready, we're running late."
"Yeah wait till you see... Casper!"
Ethan's, Sunnydale, Ca 8:00pm
Ethan Rayne, chaos mage and erstwhile friend of certain English watchers locked his front door with a large smile. Then with a manic chuckle he slapped his hands together and rubbed them together with glee, "Finally, it's time."
He walked quickly through his shop into a back room. Then he stepped up to a curtained off area and pulled back the heavy drape in a single movement. There was a table with a bust on it, a bust of Janus the multi headed Roman god.
Ethan knelt before his statue of Janus. He pressed his hands together and winces in pain. He pulled them apart his palms bled freely.
“The world that denies thee, thou inhabit.” Ethan dabbed the blood from his hand over his right eyelid. “The peace that ignores thee…” then he dabbed some over his left eyelid, “…thou corrupt.” Then he quickly made the sign of the cross on his forehead.
“Chaos. I remain, as ever, thy faithful, degenerate son.”
Willow walked her brood up to the door with resignation, so far the night hadn’t actually been too bad, the kids where fun and every house that they had knocked at had given them some candy. A kindly old lady opened the door and smiled down at the kids, “Oh what lovely costumes. Are you all little monsters?” she said with a smile at Willow who was nodding.
Suddenly Willow felt a little feint and grabbed onto the door frame. “Now what have we got for you,” the old lady said digging around in a large bucket full of candy. Suddenly she felt the bucket being tugged on.
“Now, Now, wait just a moment,” she said looking at the suddenly realistic costumes, “What…” she said as one of the mini demons jumped up and ripped off her glasses.
Willow started forward with a weak, “Hey,” but suddenly she felt too weak to go on and promptly dropped to the floor like a stone. The mini demons gave a collective snarl and pulled the old lady down.
Across the street looking bored Buffy Summers, the slayer of Sunnydale also feinted dead away folding up onto the floor with a little sign and the creaking of whalebone. Her band of pirates all cheered and took whatever valuables they could before running off flourishing what had been plastic cutlass’s but where now steel and deadly sharp.
Power flowed through the night spreading across the town, working chaos's will. The trouble with true chaos is that it's chaotic. No one, even Janus himself, knew what was going to happen. It was worse when you didn't do your planning properly. If he had, then Ethan Rayne would not have died. Power flowed through his body and then to the bust of Janus, the focal point of the spell. From there it flooded the streets of the supposedly sleepy town of Sunnydale. Everything was going to 'plan' right up until the moment the wave of magic hit a man wearing red and black.
Then, it all went to hell. More and more power was pulled from the source until Janus himself actually noticed what was happening. He'd empowered the spell, thinking that it would take very little juice to actually perform. Then, as power funneled straight into the dark haired man currently bowed down on the floor, the draw actually became noticeable.
Xander screamed in pain as his body changed; his hair grew at an accelerated rate, until it was at his shoulders. Blood filled his iris's and turned them red. His teeth moved in his mouth and pushed the fake fangs out, real ones coming out behind them. Then a dog like protuberance was pushed out of his body, it had eight eyes all the same blood red in color as his now were. Another formed from the other side, and another and another until there were several of the freakish limbs sticking out of his body. Then the faded away into mist, but the fade didn't stop there, it continued on, taking Xander's body with it. Once his body had totally faded into mist it then sprang back into solidity then it appeared to melt, becoming as blood red as his eyes until finally there was nothing left but a puddle on the floor. Suddenly the bloody puddle leapt back into the form of a man and exploded into a shower of bats. The bat milled around in a muddle for a few precious seconds before being sucked backwards into the shape of a man again.
Then the thing that had been Xander Harris looked out on the night with a smile. White gloves flashed inside of the long duster and pulled out two huge guns, one black which was the biggest and the second was nickel plated and only slightly smaller than the first. They barked twin death and blew out two massive holes from two unlucky demons that had been trying to blind side him.
Once they turned to dust red iris peeked over twin orange lenses and looked up at the moon. "It is a nice night," he declared with a hint of a European accent, but in perfect English.