Chapter Two: Revelations
Disclaimer: See Prologue
AN: here's the next part sorry for the delay see bottom for more details, now on with the show.
---Night, St. Christopher Cemetery, Sunnydale, California March 15, 1999---
“aw Shit!” cried Willow as the dozen or so vamps closed in on her, Buffy and Amy. As the closest vampire looked ready to pounce on her it suddenly phased through her as if she were a ghost.
“What the-?” asked Buffy as all of the vampires passed through each one of them.
Amy turned and looked where the vampires were going, “uh I think I know what’s going on this is like “A Christmas Carol” we can see and hear things but we can’t change anything.”
“Okay, so we’re just watching but who are they attacking?” asked Willow.
Buffy pointed to a crypt about 20 yards away “Willow look.”
Willow turned to where Buffy pointed 20 yards ahead she saw Xander, Faith, and another person preparing to fight the oncoming vamps. The girls wanted to go and help and then realized what they were watching had already happened 10 years ago. Deciding to stay put and watch from the rear.
“Look sharp, Boytoy cover Jono, Jono stay in the background and see if the gadget you came up with works.” Said Faith as she pulled her stake and charged towards the oncoming Vamps.
Xander pulled two stakes, but instead of listening to Faith he charged at the vamps while the other member of their group who was fiddling with a strange looking device in his hands. Faith cursed and ran off towards Xander hoping Jonathon could protect himself. As the first vampire lunged at her Faith sidestepped bringing her first stake up and slamming it into the vamp’s chest. Before even waiting for it to turn to dust she spun around with a viscous back kick to the second vampire’s face following up with a stab to it’s heart.
Xander had to grin, Faith may be impulsive but there was a poetry in motion when she in Slay-mode. As one vampire made his way towards him Xander jumped and tackled it to the ground. Before he could hit with his stake Xander felt himself being thrown off by the impact of two vampires tackling him off of their compatriot. As he tried to get up he felt a powerful fist slam in his jaw knocking him down.
“Tackling, great idea boy, too bad he had friends helping him.” Spat a tall and beefy looking vampire. “not too aware of your surroundings are ya?”
Spitting blood from his mouth Xander got up and shook the cobwebs from his head grinned and replied, “You must be new, I’ve been hit harder by the slayer and she’s just a little girl.”
“Little Girl?!” an annoyed Faith cried from another area of the cemetery she quickly made dust piles of two more vamps, “nothing little on me!” she quipped and charged at two more of the undead.
Xander grinned and ducked a drunken hay-maker coming from the big vamp. Jumping up Xander kicked out with his foot connecting with the big hulk’s groin dropping the thing to it’s knees. Xander took advantage of the situation and slammed his first stake into the vamp’s chest watching with satisfaction as it turned into dust. The satisfaction was short-lived as a second smaller vamp grabbed him by the arm twisted, threw him to the ground, jumped on top of him and started raining punch after punch.
It was at this time that the third member of Xander and Faith’s group shouted, “I got it working guys get down and shut your eyes.” Being pinned by the vampire had Xander down pretty well Faith then dropped as bright yellow light enveloped the surrounding area. When the light cleared all that was left was Xander’s group and a huge cloud of dust left by the recently dispatched vampires.
“Holy shit, JonBoy sweet!” Faith grinned at a smiling Jonathon Levinson. “Gotta say that makes getting rid of the nasties much easier than beatin’em down.”
“Thanks Faith, but remember this was just a test, and we can only use it as a weapon of last resort.” John smiled at Faith. “I had to use just about every bit of liquid phosphorus and Essence of Sunlight that Mr. Giles gave me to make the “Sun Grenade” it worked though and none of us are hurt-wait where’s Xander.”
“Shit Boytoy!” Faith looked around and saw Xander still laying on the ground, as she ran to him she saw that he was unconscious and his face looked like it was ready for meat tenderizer. Gritting her teeth and picking him up in a fireman’s carry she turned to Jonathon and said, “Damn it X, c’mon JonBoy let’s get him back to Giles for patching up.” As the two conscious and one unconscious teammates headed for the watcher’s home no one noticed a middle aged man with dark read hair and a long beard in the background of the cemetery observing the retreating teenagers.
He looked at the departing children smiled and said, “Interesting.”
---Apartment of Rupert Giles March 16, 1999 early morning---
Xander was slowly waking up when heard arguing going on.
“I don’t want him with me on patrols anymore Giles, he’s gonna get himself killed the rate he’s going.” Faith screamed at her watcher.
Giles looked at the brunette slayer and responded, “I realize that Xander’s fighting abilities are not on the same par as yours, but he has shown to be a valuable member of our team in terms of strategy and ingenuity. Need I remind you that it was his idea to bring Mr. Levinson into the group after what happened to the other girls.”
Before Giles could continue he was interrupted by Faith. “I know that Giles, but other than you he’s the only friend I’ve got right now and look at him.”
Giles had to concede that Faith had a point. He looked over at the boy lying on his couch then across the room to the oversize cage that had taken up the space next to one of his many bookcases. In the space of three months all of their lives had turned upside down with the girls’ transformation into rats. Faith’s replacement watcher as well as Amy’s friend Michael had met an unfortunate end 2 days after Wesley had arrived in Sunnydale. Giles shuddered as he remembered discovering the bodies of the two. Wesley may have been incompetent but no one deserved to be torn to pieces like he had been. Three weeks later the council had sent a courier to Giles reinstating him as a watcher only because no other member of the council was willing to be assigned to the Hellmouth once the manor of Wesley’s death had become known. As far as the council was concerned he was a watcher again but in the dark parts of Giles head where Ripper still lurked he had many a fantasy involving Quentin Travers and some of the more destructive magic he had practiced back in the 70’s.
Rupert pinched the bridge of his nose and thought about the boy and girl who he had only recently began think of as a son and daughter. With Buffy no longer an active slayer he had begun to spend more time training and educating Faith and the young girl had blossomed not only as a slayer but as a person. Where Faith had been closed off and defensive once, she let down the walls she had built and started trusting him and Xander she began to open up to both of them.
Xander however, had been impacted the hardest with the loss of three of “his girls” as he would refer to them. The joking person had given way to a moody young man with a deep anger permeating him. The boy no longer would act with caution but would leap into the fight with reckless abandon and no thought to his health. On the one hand Xander’s fighting skills had developed faster, but the method he was using would only lead to a quick death. He of course knew that the boy would justify his injuries if it protected the remaining members of his “family”, but like Faith Giles agreed that Xander would end up dead. He knew the boy needed more training, but with Giles time training the Slayer, looking for a cure for the girls, and researching what Mayor Wilkins was up to he was already spread too thin.
Giles was startled from his thoughts when Xander sat up and, “Aw man this is gonna hurt in the morning.” Xander stumbled off the sofa and try to stand.
“Jesus Xander lay back down before you fall down.” Faith said in a concerned voice. She walked over to the injured man and tried to get him back on the couch only to be pushed away.
“Don’t touch me Faith, I heard what you and Giles were talking about and I don’t need someone protecting me!” he screamed as Faith backed away from him. “I can take care of myself I took out that one vamp just fine.”
“Yeah you took out the Mack truck with fangs, and you gave his little buddy enough time to turn your face into hamburger.” Countered Faith, “X, I don’t want to lose you like we lost Michael or Wesley.”
Giles considered how much Faith had grown as a person with the mention of the those two men. However much this may hurt one of his children he was prepared to side with Faith. He looked at Xander and said, “She’s right Xander, at this point and time I can not allow you to continue patrolling with Faith. You need time to recuperate and after you’ve healed more training before you will be allowed in the field.”
“Unless you plan on chaining me up I’d like to know how you’re gonna stop me Giles. Faith needs help and next to you I’m the only one who has enough field time.” Xander snarled.
“That was before you decided to adopt a kamikaze philosophy towards slaying. I remember the promise you made to the girls, how are you supposed to help them if you are dead?!” Giles yelled.
Xander looked away not meeting Giles eyes, hoping that he might actually be getting through to the boy he pressed on, “What about Joyce and Dawn, hmm? What about Faith? They’ve lost as much as you have what good would you being dead do for them?”
Xander looked up and snarled, “Fuck you Giles!” and stormed out of the watcher’s apartment slamming the door.
“Boytoy, Xander wait!” Faith called prepared to follow him.
“No Faith let him go. He needs some time alone and it’s already morning he should be okay.” Giles said.
Faith looked at Giles and said, “What are we gonna do now he’ll just start following me around while I’m patrolling.”
Giles looked at his slayer and the door and then Faith and replied, “I don’t know Faith I really don’t know.”
---The home of Joyce and Dawn Summers March 16, 1999 later that morning---
Xander was sitting in the bench on the porch of the Summers’ house staring off into space. Life had been getting worse since the girls were incapacitated. He thought on the screaming match he and Giles had had earlier and deep down he agreed with him and Faith. He knew he was getting more and more self destructive, but he didn’t know what he could do to fix it. He just wished he had someone he could talk to so he wouldn’t feel so alone.
After what had happened and the revelation that the girls couldn’t be changed back things just started going further down hill for him. His grades never too stellar to begin with had reached levels that would only be good if he was playing mini-golf. It just didn’t seem like there was a point anymore, his girls were rats, Cordelia wouldn’t acknowledge him except to make some bitchy comment towards him, Oz was doing research into curing the girls, and he was busy trying to protect the few people he had left.
It was then that the front door opened and Joyce Summers walked out onto the porch, she looked over at Xander smiled weakly and sat down next to him.
“So you want to talk about it Xander?” Mrs. Summers asked Xander.
Xander looked down and wondered again why he couldn’t have had her for a Mom. Unlike his parents Joyce actually cared about her daughters and her daughter’s friends. Closing his eyes he looked up at her.
“I kind of had a bad night.” He tried to smile but he just couldn’t do it. “I was on patrol with Faith and Jonathon and I got hurt. Faith and Giles think I’m gonna get hurt if I keep doing this and they don’t want me involved anymore.” Xander looked off in the distance and realized that he was completely alone now, no one wanted anymore.
Joyce looked at the young man as he stared off into space. True she still felt bad about what happened to Buffy and the others, but Xander had been helping both her and Dawn deal with everything and helped keep them going. He would come by early in the mornings taking Dawn to school and talking to her, being a shoulder for them to lean on. Joyce looked again at the boy and finally realized what was going on his head. She steeled herself and chose her next words carefully.
“Xander, I want ask you something and I want you to think before you answer. Do you feel like you failed Buffy and the others by not saving them and that you feel you have to do everything you can to protect everyone else because you’re afraid to lose anymore people you love?” When Joyce received no answer she continued, “I’m right aren’t I? Oh son you couldn’t have done anything to stop this happening and now that it has I know we’re going to find a way to fix this.”
Tears starting to stream down his face Xander asked in a very quiet voice, “How do you know, Giles and everyone else says it’s impossible.”
Holding up a small medal chained around her neck she smiled “Because I have faith, son.”
She reached over and hugged Xander to her as the boy started breaking down. Joyce held him and rocked him and after he had calmed down lead him inside and put him to bed in the spare guest room. After she had shut the door she went into the kitchen and picked up the phone and dialed the number to Rupert Giles apartment.
“Rupert Giles speaking.” Came a crisp British accent.
“Rupert this is Joyce Summers, I’m calling because I have Xander here and he was very upset, can you please tell me what’s going on?” Joyce asked.
“Thank goodness he made it over there, is he all right?” Giles asked.
“No, he broke down and he looks like someone beat the hell out of him, now what happened to him?” Joyce demanded.
Giles relayed everything that had been told to him by Faith regarding the patrol and the fight she, Xander and himself had at his apartment. Joyce listened carefully asked a few questions and then finally came to a decision about what was going on inside the young man’s head. Her theory regarding Xander’s mental state had proven correct and she decided the boy needed help.
“Rupert I want to know one thing, where does he go after he’s been patrolling with Faith?” Joyce asked.
“I don’t know Joyce most nights after patrol he usually falls asleep on my couch looking through my books for a cure.” Replied the watcher, “In the morning he’s gone and I assume he’s gone home.”
Joyce cut him off, “I don’t think he goes home, I think he comes straight over here helps me and Dawn, I think he’s exhausted, angry, and now feels like he’s been abandoned by the few people he has left.”
Giles was shocked at this revelation, “Faith and I never wanted him to feel that way we’re just concerned with how he’s conducting himself when he’s on patrol.”
“I know that Rupert and I’m not blaming either of you for your concerns and I agree with you he needs help, but I don’t think he’s going to listen to either of you for awhile. I think right now the best thing for him is to stay here with Dawn and I.” Joyce told Giles.
Giles paused for a moment before he responded, “That may be for the best Joyce, but I can not allow him out on patrol until he’s had some time heal and additional training.”
“I understand I just hope he will. I’ll call you later in the day Rupert.” Joyce hung up the phone and then started getting breakfast ready for her and Dawn.
While all this was going on Xander slept and as he slept he dreamed. He dreamed of a red-haired man and a beautiful dark haired woman who was carrying a crossbow and wearing a mask. As the dream progressed he saw others a man without a face, a person wearing a golden helmet, a blond haired woman with fishnet stockings, another woman with a top hat, a man surrounded by shadows, another of wings, a man with green skin, a woman wearing a rope on her hip. They were all sitting around a table and one of them the man with arrows motioned for him to join them. He felt like he belonged and was welcome.
---The apartment of Rupert Giles March 16, 1999 early evening---
Rupert Giles was busy collecting materials for this evenings patrol with Faith. The previous evenings test with the “Sun Grenade” as young Jonathon had termed it was a rousing success, however it would be several more weeks before they would have enough materials to make a new one. Joyce had called earlier in the afternoon to say that Xander was still sleeping and that she wanted to let him rest. Rupert agreed with her and after confirming that his injuries were healing he bid Joyce farewell and continued preparing for patrol. As he was collecting a set of stakes there was a knock at the door. As he made his way to the door Giles was shocked to see an old friend from his early world travels.
“Richard Dragon, good lord what are you doing in Sunnydale?” Giles stepped away from his doorway and silently invited the man to come in. He had not seen Richard since 1987 when he was completing an investigation for the council’s Tokyo office. Richard had been working the same case of an ancient demon cult that had kidnapped one of his dojo’s students and the two men had struck up a friendship after they had rescued the girl from the cult. He smiled to himself and wondered how little Cassandra was doing these days.
Dragon entered the apartment, turned to his old friend, “Good to see you again Rupert, how are things on the Hellmouth still with the council?”
Giles crossed his arms and smiled ruefully, “Don’t start asking a question you already know the answer to, I’ve known you too long. I’m assuming your here because either Dr. Fate told you what was going on here or one of your other students sent you word on what was going on.”
Richard sat down on the sofa looked at the rat cage and grinned back at Giles, “Actually I didn’t need to hear from Kent on this one. A former student of mine contacted me telling me he had seen a strange pattern or “thread” while meditating and that I had to come to the “Mouth of Hell” and an old friend would explain what was going on. I’m assuming that’s you.”
“Well you could say that, as you already know one of the Slayers has been incapacitated and the other is being trained by me.” Giles mentioned. “She’s headstrong and stubborn, but her training is progressing nicely.”
“I’ve seen her in action, she and her companions were dispatching a group of vampires last night. She is exceptionally skilled, however I’m not here to train her, I’m more interested in the young man who fights with her, tell me about him.” The martial artist asked.
Giles paused and thought before he spoke, “Xander is a loyal, brave, and one of the most committed individuals I’ve ever met. However since the loss of his friends,”
Giles motioned towards the cage, “he has become increasingly angry, self-destructive, and reckless. The slayer, Faith, and I have decided it best to keep him out of the nightly patrols so he can have a chance to calm down.”
“That’s good Rupert, but how do you intend to help him, I remember you saying training a slayer was a full time job, sounds like your plate is more than full.” Richard countered.
“I would be more than happy to teach him, however you’re very correct, Faith is my primary responsibility, besides I doubt I could get Xander to listen to me. Why do you ask are you offering to take this young man on as a student, I must say I’m a little surprised most of your students tend to follow a more active life in the costumed adventurers scene.” Giles stated.
Richard smiled, “I take it you’ve met Charlie recently, one of my better students and it sounds like he and Xander are cut from the same cloth, Charlie is trying to save his city and Xander is trying to save his friends and family. The two are fundamentally the same.”
“Can you really teach him, I think you’ll be biting off more than you can chew.” Said Giles.
Richard grew serious and said, “I’ve been teaching for over 25 years and from what I’ve seen the boy does need training. Normally I would take him to Nanda Parbat, but from what you told me he would feel like he was abandoning you all. No, in order for this to work I would train him here, but Rupert I would need to train him in secret, he can’t know that I know you.”
Giles looked at Richard and replied, “I’ll trust your judgment on this and allow you to train him as you see fit, but please be careful.” He gestured towards the cage again, “I’ve lost several of my children, I don’t want lose another one.”
The sensei smiled, “You have my word of honor.” He got up and headed for the door.
“When will you make contact with him?” asked Giles.
“Tomorrow, I walked past the Summers residence and earlier and it looks like he’s going to be staying in tonight resting, something I don’t think he’s had a sufficient amount of recently.” Dragon said without turning around.
Giles gave an exasperated sigh, “Someday you will have to tell me where you get your information from.” He shook hands with his old friend and then bowed, “It’s good to see you again Sensei.”
Turning and returning the bow, “Same to you as well Ripper.”
End Chapter 2
AN: Well hope you all enjoyed this chapter, next chapter will be starting of Xander’s training. I do apologize for the lateness in this next part, I promise that Chapter 3 will be up either early next week or if possible no later than Thursday. I’ve been dealing with a severe case of writers block that when I attempted to write this part would have lead to a very large deviation of the story. On the plus side though it’s given me a great idea for some additional fics (both Halloween ones but the idea behind them hasn’t been done to my knowledge). BTW Xander will become a costume eventually and it won’t be as an established DC character, he’s gonna become his own. Also I hope everyone enjoyed some of the dreaming Xander did, that’s going to play an important role in the development of his character .