Tales from the Barman: An Ex-X-Man
Xander smiled, as he watched what was becoming a common Friday night sight.
The entire Scooby gang was scattered around the bar. Faith was flipping a coin with Buffy to see who would be Illyria’s next victim on the pool table. Dawn was arguing some subtle point of prophecy with Andrew, who had somehow managed to drag Doctor Strange in on his side, an impressive feat considering A: Doctor strange was just a comic book character in this reality and his home reality was more than a few points distant on the dimensional axis and B: Doctor Strange found Andrew annoying as hell.
Giles had already bet twenty on Strange, overcoming his oaths and zapping Andrew unconscious for the sake of his sanity. Normally the wards would prevent this, but as Doctor Strange had remarked, being a Sorcerer Supreme meant more than just getting a nifty cape. Willow and Megan had taken the bet, despite knowledge of how annoying Andrew was, because they knew something about the test for Sorcerer Supreme that Giles didn't, and it involved the words; kender, round room, and 48 hours, and nothing more will be said about that subject.
They even had an extradimensional version of Jenny and Oz there. Apparently in their world the Kalderash had created a series of amulets that prevented Angelus and his spawn from getting within 100 feet of the bearer, sort of a mystical restraining order, that had let their Scoobys deal with the Aurelius line a lot easier than in this dimension.
“A nice, quiet night at Knight's.” Xander muttered to himself with a grin, before the grin slid off his face as he realized he’d just jinxed himself.
The tingle from the wards, letting him know a vamp was coming through the broom closet, came as no surprise. The vampire himself however, shocked everyone speechless. Remove an eye and add a decade or so and he was a dead ringer for one Alexander L. Harris.
The vampire stumbled out of the closet, looking like he'd just gone three rounds with Illyria and Glorificus in a tag-team match. His shirt was a garish mixture of red, blue, green, and yellow, but the red wasn't part of the original pattern and seemed to be coming from several horrific looking gashes in his torso, including a spear that was sticking through his chest, right where his heart should be. The fact that his left pants leg looked like it had been burned off and he was missing his right shoe was a bit of a side note at that point, as was the bit of smoke that was rising from his collar.
Limping up to the bar, he tried to sit on the stool, but the spear got in the way.
“A little help here?” He asked in a voice that everyone recognized and responded to, despite knowing it wasn't Xander.
Faith held him steady, while Taylin pulled out the spear.
He bit back a groan until they finished.
“Thanks,” he mumbled, his eyes clearly not tracking as he collapsed onto a stool and slumped on the bar.
“I don't suppose you have any demon’s blood?” He asked, as he pushed himself upright and looked around blurrily.
“I have some Mothra blood on ice.” Xander offered tentatively.
The vamp shook his head ”I got no soul. The only thing worse than being a soulless vampire, would be being a soulless human. I'd suck at politics anyway. Got any Polgara?”
Xander nodded. ”Gimme a minute,” and tossed a bottle of blue glowing liquid and a glass to Faith, gesturing to the back room, where Clem was holding his weekly poker match.
Faith quickly vanished into the back, as Xander and everyone watched in silence while the vamp’s wounds slowly closed.
The vampire reached for his back pocket, only to fumble around back there and mutter, ”I thought I felt a draft.”
Wincing he looked blurrily at the bartender. ”I would say I left my wallet in my other pants, but truthfully, I think I left it in a hellhound’s stomach. I don't suppose you'd give me one on the house?” He asked hopefully.
“If you've got a good enough story and leave something for the wall, your drink’s free.” Xander did his level best at keeping his need to know what had happened to this version of himself out of his voice.
Faith reappeared with a glass of dark green fluid and slid it in front of the vampire.
Taking a long slug of the liquid the vampire seemed to get a little stronger. ”OK, let me tell you story about my ’father’. As you can tell I'm a vampire, so I don't mean biological father, but I'm not talking about my sire either. I am talking about the previous owner of the body I wear. Since he created me on purpose, he's the one who gets the blame.”
The vampire stood up and stretched, dislodging a few fangs and claws to clatter on the floor from various parts of his anatomy. ”I was created by an act of love and sacrifice, by someone who, when it was called for, was more cold-blooded then any demon I've ever met, but the really weird thing is that he was that way because he loved too deeply and saw too clearly, and he seems to have passed that curse onto me.”
Taking another drink the vampire quickly warmed up to the subject. “He saw patterns where other people saw static and often his jokes, he was a compulsive jokester always trying to keep his friend spirits up, were influenced by half formed patterns, which would make other people jump to the correct conclusions with almost no data.”
He sighed, his eyes looking at nothing. ”Bear with me, there is a point to all this. He read through a lot of mystical texts and watcher's diaries and made some connections. Connections that wouldn't be important for a couple of years, but did give him a fairly horrific option for if he was ever captured by a vampire.”
“One day, he and a girl that was as important as oxygen to him, were kidnapped by a blonde idiot. Apparently the longer you bleach your hair, the more your IQ drops,” (a muffled hey from Buffy was smothered by Faith and Dawn) “And this ‘wanker’ had been bleaching his hair for centuries.” The vamp grinned at the memory of a long-running joke before taking another sip of his drink.
“The boy had taken a blow to the head, defending the girl and knew he had only one option left if he was to save her. He had to trick the vamp into turning him. He made love to the girl, told her how much he loved her and then, when she was asleep and the vampire had returned, he tricked bleach boy into turning him.”
The entire room was dead silent as the vamp finished his drink. ”All this talking is mighty thirsty work. Is the second-half worth another drink?” He had a familiar little grin on his face, like he had just zinged everyone and perhaps he had, because a number of people jumped up and ran into the back room returning quickly with glasses filled with different colored vital fluids, which they slid in front of him, before taking their seats once more.
Taking a deep drink of blue liquid, he visibly gained strength and sighed in satisfaction, before he started talking again. Someone had dimmed the lights and focused some track lights on the area in front of the bar, so he was sitting in an island of light.
“They had been quiet enough that the girl hadn't woken up and the vamp had arranged the boy's body so he just looked like he was sleeping. The vamp woke the girl up and gave her all the ingredients he'd gathered for the spell he wanted her to cast. For you see, boys and girls, the girl was a witch,” he switched to a fake Hagrid voice for a moment, “And a spankin’ good one too!”
There was a scattering of chuckles from the crowd.
Finishing off the blue liquid he faced his audience once more. With the exception of his heavily damaged wardrobe and the wisp of smoke that still rose from his shirt collar, he seemed to be fully healed and able to focus, but even if he could see through the bright lights focused on him, his eyes were lost in the past.
“The girl cast the spell as requested and explained that the vamp would have to find the crazy vampiress he was in love with, because it was a love spell and not a teleport spell. The vampire thanked her and then tried to kill her, not for an evil reason, amazingly enough, but because he didn't want her to feel the pain of finding out the boy she loved, even drunk he could smell what they'd been up to, was dead.“
He took a slug from one of the glasses filled with a yellow liquid. “Unfortunately for the blonde, that was the point at which I woke up. I knew I wasn't Dad, but I didn't really know, if you get what I mean. Any who, I immediately attacked bleach boy and convince the girl to run. I wasn't able to stake him, but I held my own far more easily then should have been possible. He hadn't given me enough blood to raise as a master, hell he hadn’t willingly given me any blood at all, I’d sank my teeth into him during the fight for it, anyway I was just newly risen. He should've wiped the floor with me.”
Finishing off the yellow drink he turned back to his audience. “You see, Dad made a couple of mistakes. He forgot to factor in all the possessions he'd been through and he completely missed an oddity of the Aurelius line.”
He stood up and began to pace back and forth, limping from the missing shoe rather than his wounds, which had vanished.
“The Aurelius line, for some strange reason, and I'm willing to bet that the Master did something that caused it, attracts the more powerful and paradoxically more humanish blood demons. So the vamp that rises is not only more likely to become a master, but more likely to act like the human it was created from would if they were given all the power and hunger of a vampire to deal with and a severely reduced conscious.”
He went to take a sip from a glass of red liquid, but his nose wrinkled in distaste. ”Sorry, people I appreciate the thought, but I don't drink human.“
He pushed the glass aside and took a sip off a blue one instead. “The sire trains the fledgling and between that and the hunger, they usually act just like any other vampire to start with, but over time the difference is clear. The scourge of Europe is the best example. Darla ended her existence to give birth to her child, something no demon would ever do. Spike loved and protected Dru for centuries. He later fell in love with another girl after Dru left him and he stayed with her until he realized he was hurting her by being with her and left. He'd gotten his soul back by that point, but except for a clearer understanding of human emotions, it had little effect on him, because he had a brain. The soul knew it wasn't responsible for what the vampire had done and since the vampire had dedicated himself to fighting the good fight, the two worked as one. Both are prime examples of self-sacrificing behavior and not something you'll find in any other vampire line.”
There were murmurs from the crowd.
Someone from the audience spoke up. “What about Angelus and Dru?”
The vamp took another sip before replying. “Dru was driven completely insane by what had been done to her and Angelus was later driven insane by Angel. You can't factor in insane people and hope to get anything like a baseline for any group.“
“How did Angel drive Angelus insane?” Another voice from the crowd asked.
“Imagine being trapped in your own body with an almost suicidally depressed person in charge for over a century. It's no wonder Angelus kept coming up with lame ass plans to torment the slayer. It was a cry for help! He was begging to be killed and when the slayer refused, he decided ending everything was the only way out. If Angel had realized he wasn't responsible for what Angelus did, he wouldn't have spent a century wallowing in unearned guilt and driving Angelus insane. Hell, the two of them could probably have come to an understanding and spent the century hunting demons and serial killers, but I'm wandering off course again.“
Taking another sip he sighed and went back to his story. “The Aurelius line would've granted me more power and humanity, but not for a very long time. I wasn't as strong as Spike, but I was much stronger than I should've been and I was fighting like Dad did when he was possessed by a soldier spirit a couple of years before.”
The vamp's eyes swept the audience, but it was clear he really wasn't seeing them, but rather lost in memory. ”Dad had a habit of getting into sticky situations and like all sticky things, some of it stuck. As I am a possessing spirit, the law of similarity means I received more of the echoes of the possessions then he did. I got soldier boy's skills and thanks to a previous possession by a primal spirit I also received a boost in strength and speed.” He paused for a moment to take another sip of his drink.
A voice that carried tears asked. “How could getting turned have saved m… her?”
The vamp nodded. “Fair question. Getting turned into your average run-of-the-mill vamp or even into a master wouldn't have saved her, but although he was planning on getting turned, he was planning on getting turned into something a bit different. A couple of minutes ago, I mentioned he had a rather horrifying option available from something he'd figured out. The reason most demon Hunters are killed rather than turned is because since they know and understand what's happening they can fight it, and although they still die and become vampires, the nature of the vampire is different.”
He took a long swallow of his drink before continuing. “Dad had figured out that the term Blood Drinker didn’t mean vampire, but rather it refers to a vampire who preys on vampires. A Blood Drinker is created when someone fights turning strongly enough and dies with an absolute hatred of vampires and a determination to kill them that doesn’t die when they do. From what little info he had, he figured out a surprising amount. It wasn’t a half bad plan. The demon that took his place would protect Wil… the witch, because of the lust he felt for her. Yes he loved her dearly, but the demon would only be able to understand the lust, but wouldn’t try and act on it because of the loathing he felt for humans having sex with corpses, even demonically animated ones. The vampire he left behind would be a great protector. It’d feed off demons and kill anything that threatened her.”
The vampire sighed. “He was wrong on several points, but that was from a lack of intel and not something he missed or forgot. A newly risen blood drinker would be as weak as any fledgling. It’s only after they’ve fed on other demons that they grow in strength, of course they grow in strength very quickly, reaching and surpassing master status in a matter of months, but a fledgling blood drinker is as easy to kill as a fledgling vamp.”
He chuckled. “Fortunately he had the devil’s own luck. He managed to die hating vampires and wanting to slaughter them, but his thoughts on my... I mean his witch, was solely on how much he loved her. If he had become a normal blood drinker the demon would have ignored her, since she was neither a threat or prey.”
Muffled sobs came from several places in the crowd.
He took a drink and continued his story. “The primal spirit was the real wild card, not only did it boost my stats, but it also imported a set of instincts that made protecting the pack a priority and she was most definitely pack! Anyway, back to the story. I delayed Spike long enough for her to escape and was enough trouble that he finally split. I spent the next decade gaining strength and protecting those, Dad gave me to protect.”
The tear filled voice spoke again. “Couldn’t I... I mean the witch, have restored your soul like she had Angel’s?”
The vampire shuddered. “And condemn someone she loved to be trapped in a demon infested corpse? Willow isn’t that cruel, besides I hid all the spheres they had until she had a chance to calm down and listen to me. I extracted a promise from her that she would contact his soul first and get his permission before casting the spell.”
A certain bleached-blond slayer shrank down in her seat as she exchanged apologetic looks with a certain naturally red-headed witch.
“You would have willingly given up control to Xander?” Faith asked cautiously.
The vamp shrugged. “Sure. It’d probably have been more like a time share thing. Our goals are pretty much identical and despite having the same memories, he’s still much more creative and level headed. I have greater access to the fighting skills, so I really doubt he’d just lock me away. A win-win situation.”
Faith scratched her head. “So why didn’t he go for it?”
Vamp-Xander laughed. “He couldn’t. Some of the ‘higher ups’ got involved and reincarnated him. You see, usually when someone deliberately becomes a vamp, knowing about all the death and destruction they cause, they’re sentenced to hell, but Dad wasn’t getting turned into a vamp that would cause all that. Also Satan said he didn’t want the sneaky little bastard wandering around Hell with nothing to do but cause trouble. Heaven felt that although he was on the side of the angels, he caused far too much chaos to be allowed anywhere near their plans.”
Xander started laughing like it was the funniest thing he’d ever heard.
“Yo, X! Why ya laughing?” Faith called out.
“Huh?” The vamp looked confused for a second, before taking a good look around and at the laughing bartender.
“Alternate dimension?” He asked with a cocked eyebrow.
“Yep. Now why’s X about to wet himself?”
The vamp-Xander gave her a rueful grin. “Bumper sticker.”
Xander disappeared behind the bar giggling.
Vamp-Xander waved it off. “He’ll explain later. I go by X, by the way, so it’ll probably be simpler just to call him Xander till I’m gone.”
Since X now knew what was going on and didn’t seem inclined to hide any details, Giles decided to speak up. “So, Xander got reincarnated?”
X nodded. ”Yep. There was an argument over why he was such a disruptive influence to both sides’ plans, so they reincarnated him as Harry Potter.”
“You’ve got to be shittin’ me!” Faith exclaimed.
“Nope,” The vamp smirked. “They stuck him in Harry’s place and had him awaken during the swim test in the third book and fully integrated before he hit the maze.”
“How’d you find all this out?” Jenny asked curiously.
X shrugged. “Janus answered Willow’s call. He said he owed Xander a favor and in return for me agreeing to do something in Oxford, which I’m not going to speak about, we were given a crystal, that when touched to a mirror, showed Xander’s life, starting with his Hogwart’s letter. There were some interesting changes since the nature of the soul was different than the Harry in canon. I think me, Spike, and Dru are the only ones who still watch it.”
“No one checks to see how he’s doing?” Andrew asked incredulously.
X smirked. “Nah. Consider this, we have a young mage of considerable power and questionable sanity with the ability to make intuitive leaps between seemingly unrelated subjects to the correct answer.”
His grin showed more than a hint of fang. “He’d also read all of the books and was part of a newsgroup for discussions about the series. Dad had Voldy and his Death Eaters begging for death, long before he graduated.”
X drained his glass. “Of course, he has one huge blind spot.” The vampire winced as he realized what he’d said. “No offense.”
“None taken.” Came from the floor behind the bar where Xander lay snickering.
“His one major blind spot is the same one all us guys share.” He raised his glass for a toast and all the males in the room mirrored him.
“Women!” They all called out together.
After the women got done smacking the men around, X started speaking again. “It took three of them working together, but they managed to capture, dear old dad and drag him off in chains.”
He mock shuddered. “The screams and moans lasted for days and despite his struggles, he eventually surrendered to the inevitable.”
“What happened to him?” Asked Andrew fearfully, while everyone else rolled their eyes.
X sighed and smiled. “They married him of course. No one watches anymore because it’s like an extremely well plotted porno. If he hadn’t figured out how to use magic to substitute for sleep he’d probably have died of exhaustion within the first year. He gets about four hours work done a day at the Ministry and then his wives drags him off for their own nefarious purposes.”
Xander finally popped up from behind the bar. “Really?”
“Yep. He parleyed the hero role into becoming the first minister of magic too young to drink. He made quite a few changes that the public simply went wild over, which allowed him to pass some mildly unpopular bills without a hassle. He only served one term, but since he made taking a binding oath to serve the public good mandatory, they’ve managed to avoid corruption. He holds a seat in the Wizengott and is fairly active in politics, but tries to avoid the limelight.”
“I was referring to the multiple wives deal.”
X smirked. “Really. They won’t let him relax on the weekends, so he actually does get no sleep then. They argue over him more then you’d think, but it’s more of a game to them than anything else, of course with three wives they settle all arguments on whose turn it is by jello wrestling in front of him.”
“I have to admire their inventiveness.” Xander stated with a much too straight face, suppressing the urge to suggest it be instated as the new Scooby conflict resolution model, as it would likely get him killed.
“Harry seems to find it inspiring as well. Things aren’t perfect in the magic world, but they have improved tremendously and continue to do so. Luna and Hermione have put their heads together and are working on dimensional portals so Potter-X can visit home again, so don’t be surprised if they show up asking for directions one day.”
Xander nodded. “I’ll make a note of it. So what ya got for the wall and why is your collar still smoking?”
The off brand vamp smiled and took off his shirt, exposing a familiar, if a bit pale, figure coated with a lot of dried blood and a couple of necklaces. “You can have the shirt.”
He pulled a rawhide thong off his neck that held a glittering purple crystal, about the size and shape of a robin’s egg. “Touch it to a mirror and it shows his entire life from The Letter to the present. It’s the magical equivalent of a DVD player with surround sound. I’ll need it back, but you can program a mirror with what it’s got so far.”
Dr.Strange stepped forward and examined the necklace, before handing it back and producing a dozen magically created copies that he passed out, after pocketed one himself.
Xander’s eye was locked onto X’s chest for a moment with a look that can only be called pride. “I’m proud of you... Son.”
X spun around to face the rest of the bar and started doing a spastic celebration dance that completely killed the idea of vamps as cool creatures of the night. “Yes, Validation!” He quickly calmed down, “And I have spent far too much time talking to Wills about my mental state.”
Faith’s jaw dropped as she stared. “How the fuck are you wearing one of those Jewish star thingies?”
“Star of David.” Willow corrected absently, much recovered on hearing that ‘Harry’ was happy.
X proudly displayed the religious icon where it continually burned his chest, producing a small stream of smoke. “It was left to me by my father. It anchors me and reminds me of who and what I am and what my job is. Every year it burns a little less.”
Xander was practically dancing in place. “Did everything else work as planned?”
X nodded. “Everything but the Egyptian idea. I stole a page from Tales from the crypt and experimented on some vamps. Turns out that cutting the heart into four pieces and moving it around works well, but complete removal is a no go.”
Xander nodded. “And without a center staking is useless.”
“Ok,” Faith broke in, “that explains the spear through the chest and the smoke from the collar, but I have one more question.”
X nodded and leaned forward, waiting to hear what the brunette slayer found puzzling.
“Why are your toenails painted red?”
“The entire Aurelius line has a secret weakness.” He gravely informed her.
“I love my gay dead son!” Xander yelled from behind the bar, causing several people to choke, as they caught the movie reference.
X groaned. “That was bad, Dad, even for us. It turns out that Summer’s puppy dog eyes work on the entire line. Right at this moment Dru is probably getting her hair braided by the twins, Joyce and Jenny.”
“Twins?!” Buffy exclaimed, wondering who the parents were.
“Dru?!” Xander yelped, wondering how safe the children were.
X nodded. “Buffy and Dawn gave birth on the same day, so we refer to them as twins, besides the fathers are brothers so they really do look alike. The girls are nine now and Dru has been ‘killed’ multiple times protecting them, fortunately she learned that trick Dracula used for reforming from ash.”
Dawn spoke up. “Isn’t Dru a completely murderous nutjob in your world?”
X shook his head. “It turns out that as long as she gets,” he cleared his throat and faked a British accent, “A good ‘shagging’ a couple of times a week, she’s mostly sane and perfectly agreeable to directing all murderous impulses towards other demons.”
Giles frowned. “So why was she insane for so long with Angelus and Spike around then?”
X grinned evilly. “Because neither one could find the clit with a flashlight and a map. They came from a time when all that mattered was that the man had fun and women were supposed to feel flattered that the man showed up at all.”
Several people looked over at Buffy, who was sinking down in her chair, blushing.
X sighed sadly. “The only way anyone could find sex with them satisfying was if they’d never had sex with anyone who knew what they were doing or cared if they enjoyed it.”
“We get the picture, Next topic already!” Buffy yelled.
X chuckled. “Fine. Any other questions?”
“What happened to your world’s Tara?” Taylin asked, wondering if her sister had faired any better there then she had here.
X blinked and looked around. “Nothing, why?”
“She wasn’t shot by Warren?” Dawn jumped in.
“Hell no!” X snorted. “I did the human shield bit and after Giles gave me the nod, I buried him in a shallow grave next to Ben and Parker.”
“You killed Ben, Warren and Parker?” Buffy yelled.
“Well Duh!” X replied. “Ben was the mortal form of Glory, which meant he had to die to save Dawnie and after he helped Glory kidnap her to play human sacrifice...”
“I thought it was virgin sacrifice.” Andrew interrupted.
“Not since Willow managed to screw up a summoning spell and snag a teenage Xander from another world for a week.” X replied with a smirk.
“Xander!” Buffy yelled.
“I didn’t do it, no one saw me do it, you can’t prove anything!” Xander yelped and ducked behind the bar.
*AHEM* “I don’t believe the girl who decided to use her slayer gifts to drag him off before the other girls got a chance, gets to complain.” X smirked.
“I got him first?” Buffy asked, a smile lighting up her face.
“Buffy!” Multiple female voices scolded her.
Buffy looked unrepentant.
“Nope.” X said, wiping the smile off her face.
“Who got him first then?” Faith asked.
“Well, Buffy had drug him home, figuring they’d never expect her to be that bold and would check Xander’s old room and her dorm room first. Unfortunately for her, Joyce caught her and sent her back to the library alone. Leaving Joyce at home with Xander and Dawn.”
“Yes! Dawn takes the lead!” Dawn cheered.
“Shoot!” Buffy moped.
“Well, Dawn was still asleep at that point.” X snickered as Dawn started pouting. “So Joyce decided to make Xander some hot cocoa, to calm him down. You have to remember that this Xander knew nothing about magic and the supernatural, so he was a bit overwhelmed. Unfortunately, or fortunately, (depending on who you ask) Joyce used real chocolate in her cocoa and she’d forgotten to grind up some fresh bars that week, so she got low enough in the jar of ground chocolate to reach a batch she’d ground up and forgot to dump out, like she’d planned. Can anyone guess what chocolate it was she’d planned to throw out?”
“The Band Candy.” Several Scoobs groaned out, as they remembered the tainted chocolate bars.
“Yep. The Band Candy. So, Joyce ends up seducing a confused but compliant Xander with very little trouble.” X snickered while Dawn and Buffy berated Xander for falling victim to their mother’s charms and reminding him that he’d said Joyce was the mother he’d always wished he’d had.
“Well to be fair, he got that mother.” X interrupted the complaining girls.
“X!” Several people yelled, as he and Faith laughed.
“Remember that, that Xander didn’t know Joyce at the time. She was just an attractive older woman to him and Buffy had been working on seducing him, so his ability to resist (which already had major negative modifiers Vs Summer girls) was pretty low at the time. Now Joyce had fallen asleep after an hour or so and Xander had stumbled into the shower, which left him naked and vulnerable to the next girl that came along.” He explained.
Dawn began giggling evilly and rubbing her hands together.
“Which wasn’t Dawn.”
There was a lot of laughter, which X let quiet down before continuing.
“Buffy had returned home and after peeking in on her mother sleeping and hearing the shower running, decided that she was feeling really... dirty and needed a shower. With a very naked and wet Buffy facing him, Xander didn’t even put up a token protest.”
“Yes!” Buffy cheered and tried futilely to start a wave, while Dawn stuck her tongue out at her.
“And so Xander put all his new training to work and Buffy, unused to someone putting so much effort into pleasing her, passed out after a measly twenty minutes.”
Buffy sank lower in her seat.
”They’d reached her room by that point, so he just tucked her into bed and went to finish his shower, unfortunately the shower was occupied, by a certain brunette.”
“Yes!” Dawn cheered.
“Who wasn’t Dawn.”
X waited for the laughter to die down again.
“Kendra had just gotten back from the Scooby meeting, she’d stayed after to talk about how I felt about having a living me running around. Since Xander had saved her life by linking her to the Hyena after she’d been drained by Dru, there’d been a connection between the two. We discovered that it was still there, even though Xander wasn’t, when she’d gotten back the week before. Even with the hyena helping it had been touch and go and a third slayer had been called when she’d died in the ambulance and been resuscitated. At any rate, the council had sent her to some specialists to help her get control over her new abilities and instincts. For some reason the council really loved Kendra, probably because she was council trained and lived only to save people. They’d been afraid that she’d been ‘contaminated’ by Buffy’s I-Want-A-Life and I’m-Not-A-Tool outlook, but other than demanding some very basic luxuries, she’d remained as dedicated as ever, if not more so as her pack instincts reinforced her belief that her job was a noble one. In fact, they said she’d improved so much that they decided to loosen the restrictions on how they treated slayers and potentials. Anyway, she still felt that she owed something to Xander and here she was naked and suddenly there was a naked Xander there. Instincts took over and Xander made her first time memorable. He tucked her into bed in the guest room and was ambushed by a certain brunette...”
“Who wasn’t Dawn.”
“Faith had come in with Kendra and seen Xander come out after tucking Buffy in and had seen him head off to the shower and then tuck in Kendra as well. She figured if he could take on two slayers and still be walking, then she certainly wasn’t going to pass him up.”
Faith grinned and X smirked at her before continuing. “And she had him naked and ready in short order when he suddenly vanished in a burst of light.”
“Damn!” Faith groaned, as Dawn snickered.
“Willow and Tara had summoned him to where they were, because they didn’t think it was right for Buffy to take advantage of him.”
“Cock blocker!” Faith mock glared at Willow.
“He was safe now, right?” Willow asked, grinning at Faith.
“Yes, he was perfectly safe, naked, tired, and very ready from Faith’s ministrations.”
“Good!” Willow gloated.
“Safe from all the slayers and Summer girls anyway.”
“Hold the phone!” Buffy jumped in. “Your Tara is gay, right?”
“Yes, my Tara is gay.” X answered with a grin that held a great deal of amusement. “And she was even gayer an hour or so later when she fell asleep sticky and sore.”
“But, But... Tara always said I was a sweetie.” Xander protested.
“Yep and she says that in my world too. Of course in my world she licks her lips after saying that and her and Willow giggle a lot.”
“How?” Willow blurted out.
“Well, it was a combination of several things. They had to perform the summoning ritual skyclad for one and even though both the slayers he’d been with had only lasted a short time, Joyce had been much more demanding, they had been fairly energetic so he looked like death warmed over with a case of rigor mortis of the penis.”
“And that made us want to jump him?”
“Nope, that made you want to cast an energy renewal spell on him.”
“Hold up! Even if we cast that spell it’d only cause some sharing of thoughts and emotions, not change Tara’s sexual orientation.”
“And it didn’t. What it did do was share Xander’s appreciation for both of you and his feelings of love and an increasing amount of lust as his flagging energies returned.”
“But that shouldn’t have affected us that much!” Willow protested.
“And it didn’t.” X confirmed. “What it did do was show Tara that there was a very willing man in front of her that thought she was very, very desirable. Tara’s family had always put her down and told her she was ugly, fat, and no man would ever want her. Despite Willow’s best efforts she still felt that way at times. Even though she wasn’t attracted to men in general she still felt like it was her failure as a woman because men didn’t desire her. It has nothing to do with her sexuality and everything to do with her self image.”
“But...But... Tara was gorgeous!” Xander exclaimed.
X nodded. “And you’re no slouch in the brains department, but thanks to your parents, you’ve always thought of yourself as a bit dim. Now let me ask you this, if you won a noble prize in biology, how much weight would you give your parents’ opinions?”
Xander shrugged. “I don’t see if happening any time soon, but it would probably silence a couple of annoying voices.”
“Exactly, so Tara found herself standing in front of one of the noble prize judges for female biology and he was doing a lot more than just casting his vote at her entry. She literally ‘Knew’ that he thought she was a beautiful and desirable woman and that Willow would follow her lead and they wouldn’t have to put up with any jealousy or awkwardness afterwards because he’d be returning to his own world. So she stepped forward and... accepted the award.”
“I love stories with a happy ending!” Willow exclaimed, sharing a smile with Xander.
“They always joked that they were going to invent a dimensional fisher spell so they could borrow unattached Xanders for a night.” X grinned at Willow, while a soundless flash of light behind the bar heralded Xander’s disappearance.
“Of course I always told them it wasn’t fair to grab a Xander without grabbing their Willow and Tara too.”
X turned towards the bar as Willow vanished in a silent burst of light behind him. “Dad?”
He spun back around. “Willow?”
Dawn leaned over and picked up a card from Willow’s vacant seat. “I don’t think they were joking.”
She read the card aloud. “Borrowed your Willow. Will return her in the morning or sooner, Love Tara and Willow.”
Faith hoped over the bar and picked up a matching card for Xander from the floor. “Yep. Looks like they snagged them both.”
She turned to X. “Next time suggest they snag the local Faith as well.”
Faith and X laughed as several people castigated Faith and/or suggested themselves as well.
“So, back to the story.” Dawn called out. “When do I get him?”
“Not quite yet. They dismissed the summons, but were so mellow that they forgot they had summoned him twice, so he reappeared in the Summer’s living room.”
“About time.” Faith interrupted, sipping on her Tab.
“But Faith had already taken matters into her own hands and fallen asleep.”
“Fuck!” Faith cursed, while Dawn chuckled.
“So I finally get him, right?” Dawn smirked.
“But Faith had been sleeping on the couch, since all the beds were full and woke up.”
Everyone laughed at the pissed off key, who couldn’t seem to catch a break.
“So after Faith got her licks in, pun intended, Xander finally made it upstairs. Fortunately the energy sharing spell was still at least a little active.”
“Yes!” Dawn shouted.
“And Xander was just passing Buffy’s door when she snagged him for round two!”
“Slayers have very good hearing and Buffy had heard Xander and Faith downstairs when she got up to get a glass of water. So she decided to wait her turn before grabbing him.”
“Thanks, B . That’s very considerate of you.”
“Anytime, Faith.” Buffy smirked at her younger sister, who was banging her head on the table and cursing in Sumerian.
“So after Buffy had fallen asleep once more, with a smile. Xander staggered into the hall...”
Everyone looked over at a pouting Dawn.
“What? I’m not falling for it this time.”
X grinned. “Smart girl. Buffy had tried to keep the noise down, but it was enough to wake up the slayer with the boosted senses in the next room, who claimed her second round.”
X drained another glass of brightly colored liquid. “And so Xander, who by this point was crawling down the hall to get his clothes, runs face first into Dawn’s crotch.”
“About damn time!” Dawn yelled.
X waited for the chuckles to die down. “Now nobody had told Dawn that there was a live Xander running... well crawling around anyway, so seeing a living breathing Xander who was just about her age, she assumed she was dreaming and drug him into her room, where upon she tied him to the bed and proceeded to do everything she’d ever dreamed about doing to him, several things she’d been curious about, and a couple of things she probably invented on the spot.”
“Yes!” Dawn cheered and started a wave in the bar that everyone else actually joined in, to be nice to the badly frustrated girl.
“So how’d you find out all the nitty gritty?” Faith asked.
X shrugged “Well, when dad died everyone had compared notes and talked about everything he’d ever done for them and how much they regretted not showing him how much they cared. So I knew this Xander was in for a very tiring night. I crept in and rescued him while everyone was asleep. We talked once he was rehydrated and had gotten some sleep. It took Willow and Tara about a week and a dozen ‘consults’ before they were able to return him to the proper dimension after the double summoning scrambled the coordinates for his home. I think he lost about five pounds from all the exercise in that time.”
X stood up and stretched. “It’s been nice meeting you all, but I better be getting back.”
With a wave he disappeared back into the closet and Faith folded up his shirt and put it on a shelf behind the bar.
It was nearly an hour later before Buffy realized that he hadn’t told them why he’d killed Parker. AN: No Beta. Send a private message for any corrections, thanks!
AN: I wrote this during the Tales from the Barman period, but I was too slow in getting it typed up and just finished today.