X’Hoffryn - YAHF
Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners…Joss/Mutant Enemy. No money is involved. None are mine.
D’Hoffryn faced D’Hoffryn; neither seemed different from the other at first, but next to one was the debris leading from a now-burning costume shop across town. The newly-arrived D’Hoffryn smiled.
“Finally, something different,” it mused.
“Indeed,” smiled the other. “Shall we stroll or teleport?”
“Stroll, I think. Rarely do we have a moment of holiday.”
“Too true,” the former Xander Harris responded. “And I seem to have an annoying but persistent niggling in the back of my consciousness.”
“No doubt from the energy of Janus I smell. It must have struck you.”
“Hmm, impetuous godling isn’t he? I thought he knew better than to challenge the Lord of Arashmahaar.”
“Well my twin, here we are. Shall we use the door to enter, or the large burning whole in the wall?”
“The door, we are civilized—unlike the lesser beings roaming around this dimension.”
“True, and it’s getting harder and harder to keep up with the insane number of variants that develop.”
“Too true, and the quality of recruit hasn’t been the same.”
“Also true,” the original Demon Lord sighed as they found an unconscious Ethan Rayne on the floor of his store. He waved his hand slightly, reviving the man completely. “Up, little worm. We have questions.”
“What, how, who?” the Chaos mage shakily responded as he stood and noticed twin demons. “You both look like a costume I sold earlier today.”
Twin raised eyebrows were his response.
“But…I only sold one, and the spell…” he looked where the bust used to be and saw the back room had suffered the loss of a wall in the direction the statue had been facing. “The spell shouldn’t have done that.”
The twin Lords of Vengeance exchanged a look, the true D’Hoffryn speaking to his new twin.
“Now that we’re this close, you seem to carry the sent of Chaos much more strongly on you, brother.”
“I agree,” it replied, and closing its eyes seemed to breathe deeply. It looked at Ethan. “Call on your god, little man.”
Ethan at once fell to the floor from the strength of power leaking all over the room. He chanted, but unlike earlier, could not begin to feel any connection to his god.
‘I cannot feel him!’
‘As I thought,’ the being grimaced, then vocally turned to his brother. “It seems the annoying voice that’s merged at last into me, was a mortal who helps a Slayer. I, I have a soul.”
“Well, I won’t hold it against you, brother,” the original Demon Lord jested. “But as powerful as you are, now that the magic settles, you seem to be limited to only this and a few connected dimensions of them all. But it won’t do for me to have a reputation as being souled.”
“You could give me these dimensions.”
“Happy birthday, brother. I’m taking my girls with me, so you’ll have to find your own.”
“Hmm, thank you, brother. But without followers, I’ll have to retake a form more closely linked to my followers.”
“How about Slayers as followers? You already know one. Simply displace the demonic energy with your own.”
“I don’t desire female form.”
A throat cleared from the floor, and they saw Ethan was still there, prostrating himself.
“My Lords, since I don’t seem to have a deity any more, would my changing allegiance allow you to keep male form?”
“You’ve just saved yourself,” both Demon Lords smiled. ‘Xander’ nodded.
“Do you accept me as liege and master?”
Xander resumed a very studly version of his mortal form.. D’Hoffryn cleared his throat and handed over what seemed to be a Lochaber axe. Xander smiled.
“Thank you, brother. I guess a do need a symbol with which to establish connection. A connection to the potential Slayers.”
“Well, I should be going,” the original said. “I don’t want to tax your power too much before you’ve settled in, but I’ll have the dimensions sealed in a few minutes.”
“Thank you, brother. Feel free to stop in for coffee some time.”
“I shall, brother. And good luck.”
They watched as the original Lord D’Hoffryn disappeared. Xander looked at Ethan.
“Well, Ethan. Off to the Hellmouth, I have Slayers to bind to me.”
“Shall we take my car?”
Xander waved his hand, and they appeared on the Hellmouth, in the Sunnydale High School Library. Buffy, Willow, and Giles leapt back in shock at the suddenness of the new arrivals. And a rental car Ethan had let.
‘Not what I expected,’ Ethan mused in regards to the car, ‘but quite funny.’
“Xander?!” Buffy asked, amazed at the muscled version of her friend, as Giles gasped at seeing his old friend, then spat in a very un-Giles manner.
“My Lord…” the mage began, moving to hide behind his new master.
“Giles,” Xander warned, and Giles found himself halting involuntarily. Buffy felt Power and looked around before realizing it was Xander. Xander with a big weapon that almost sang to her. She watched as her friend slammed the butt of the weapon on the floor, and collapsed as she felt something change inside of her and she lost consciousness.
“Oops,” Xander grimaced and seemed to briefly show exhaustion until energy seemed to flow into him from the Hellmouth. He wrinkled his nose, and holding out a hand, seemed to eject black dust onto the floor. “Yuck, that was gross. I didn’t realize filtering out the evil from the energy would feel like that.”
“You’re not evil?” Giles asked with some disbelief from where he was helping Buffy into a chair. “What did you do to her?”
“Huh? Oh, I replaced the demon essence in the Slayer line with my own…not-committed essence.”
“Not committed?” Willow asked fearfully from also helping a recovering Buffy. “What does that mean?”
“The energies and essence of Janus converted me into the Lord of a Demon Dimension. Since the energy is divine, and I’m not truly of a demon dimension, I’m me. Soul and Free Will with lots of power if I can remember how to use it.”
“What was the ‘oops’ then, My Lord,” Ethan asked.
“Oh, I just activated all of the Potential Slayers within a few thousand miles.”
“Good Lord! How many?”
Xander concentrated a moment.
“I feel one hundred and thirty-five over the age of thirteen.”
“Good Lord,” Giles muttered. “How many under thirteen?”
“None. Children are unaffected.”
“Thirteen seems young.”
“Not in the original Slayer time.” He concentrated again. “There.”
“What did you do, Xander?”
“I tuned them down so nothing will notice them, and they won’t break anything.”
Buffy stood, shaking her head in disbelief.
“I can’t sense you, Xander.”
“That’s because I echo the essence inside you now, Buff.”
“My Lord,” Ethan asked. “What shall I call you?”
“X’Hoffryn,” he told him. He looked to his friends. “But my friends can still call me Xander.”