Bit of a delay while I updated my girl!Draco epic, but I'm back and brought you all some new fic. Enjoy, boys and girls, and remember where the review button is. This is one of those odd little fics that's driven more by your interest than mine; I have a few places I can go with this and a rough outline, but it's a story I write because YOU like it, as opposed to other stories I write for me and just so happen to share anyways.
The tortured scream finally trailed off and Xander grinned widely as Buffy stared up at him, shock and betrayal etched across her features. Sweeping one arm under her knees, he lifted her up off the ground and carried her to one of the library tables, gently laying her on her side. Xander stared at the protruding handle of his knife for a moment before grabbing it and yanking it back out, drawing another loud scream from the prone blonde. Tucking it into his pocket, he held out his hand and waited until Willow took it, pulling the redhead up against his side. "I love it when a plan comes together. Can't beat the smell of severed spine in the morning."
Tipping his head back, Xander cackled madly.
Willow giggled at that one, resting her head against his shoulder as she stared at Buffy. "I hate to burst your bubble, Xander, but I don't think severed spine has a smell. That's just blood. Or…" She leaned in, sniffing experimentally. "Could be that nasty body wash she uses to feel 'pretty'. Makes you glad her boyfriend isn't an immortal creature of the night with a superior sense of sme… oh wait."
"So, you're the Joker, huh?" Already, Buffy was recovering… right about on schedule, Xander figured. Not that her legs were showing any sign of even the faintest twitch, but she wasn't flailing or screaming in pain or anything. Quite the opposite; as he watched, she twisted her entire body and rolled onto her back, wincing a bit before using her arms to force herself into a sitting position. "You're not going to get away with taking over one of my friends. A hyena spirit tried it once. We fixed him then, too."
Xander sighed and shook his head. "Buffy, Buffy, Buffy. It's really me. And really Willow. No Joker in… well, okay, he's still here but he's just giving me a bit of advice. And complaining when I get naughty with Amy. This… this is all me."
Paling a bit, Buffy shook her head. "No. You wouldn't do something like this." Xander just shrugged, toying with the knife still stained with her blood and tossing it into the air, letting it flip end over end before catching it on the descent. "Why, Xander? Why would you do this to me? I mean, what about everyone else in town? Who's going to protect them? I'm the Slayer! They need me! You need me!"
"Do I, Buffy? Do they?" Xander grinned as he hopped up on the table, leaning in to run his fingers over her cheek before cupping it. "You see, I have things I'm going to be doing… things that'll protect this town. It's MY town, after all. Nobody is going to get hurt without my say-so. That's part of the whole 'me taking over' plan. But I don't think the Council will approve. And so… well, this is for your own good, Buffster. This way you can't fight me, and I won't have to kill you for getting in my way. Don't you see? You're safer this way. I know it'll be hard to adjust at first, but in the end you'll realize it was for your own good…"
Buffy's eyes widened before narrowing as she glared at him. "You want me in a wheelchair just because you… what? Want to play comic book villain and take over Sunnydale? God, do you have any idea how clichéd you sound? Bit flattered that you picked me to be your Batman, but…" Drawing her fist back, she punched him hard in the jaw. Xander fell back, skidding across the floor until he hit one of the stacks with a grunt. "You really should know not to underestimate me by now."
"You know, sometimes I wish you hit like a girl." Xander reached up to rub his jaw; it was definitely bruised but thankfully not broken. Which, considering how hard Buffy had slugged him, was something of a miracle. Willow offered him a hand and he gave her a grateful smile as she helped pull him upright again. "Well, I think I'll be staying safely out of arm's reach in the future. Unless I have a really stubborn jar or something I need opened. And you're not my Batman, Buffy. He's still out there somewhere. You could be Batwoman, though." He leered at her. "Especially if you'll let me pick out a Renee to your Kathy Kane…"
A puzzled expression spread over Buffy's face as she tried and failed to decipher the meaning of what he'd just said, but before Xander could prod her with a bit more innuendo, there was a sharp and familiar twang. A blue bubble burst into existence, protecting him and Willow as a crossbow bolt hit the shield and flattened out. He looked over at the book cage, finding Giles staring at him in disbelief as he lowered a crossbow. Giles met his gaze and glared. "Stabbing girls in the back and hiding behind magic… bloody big man you are. How about you come out here and face me?"
Xander tapped his finger against his chin as he thought about that. "How about… no? Besides, is the guy who shot me with a crossbow while I was talking to someone REALLY one to be lecturing me about fair fighting?" Looking back over his shoulder, he gestured to the girl hiding in the shadows. "Might as well come out, Amy. They know there's someone there."
"Yeah, but WHO I am could have stayed a secret for a while longer if you hadn't just told them my name, boss." Amy emerged from between the stacks, a petulant look on her face. "I was hoping I could sneak in and pick off a few of the cheerleaders over the next few days…"
Holding his free arm out, Xander tugged Amy to his left side and gave her a quick peck on the cheek. "Oh, I'm sure you won't have any problems sneaking in, sweetie. After all… Buffy's got a record and the police trust her about as far as they can throw her, and Giles…" He chuckled darkly. "Giles, I hope you've been keeping your affairs in order. Amy?"
Amy carefully stepped toward Giles, being sure to keep herself out of arm's reach and then some of the paralyzed Slayer lying on the library table. Holding out her hand, her eyes closed before snapping back open, now endless pools of black. "Goddess Hecate, work thy will. Before thee let the unclean thing crawl!"
An aura of dark colors surrounded Giles, writhing and pulsing as it fought him for superiority. In the end, it was one middle-aged Englishman versus one goddess. The aura collapsed inward, enveloping Giles before shrinking further. In no time at all, it had shrunk down to the size of a baseball… then disappeared. All that was left behind was a brown rat with some silver streaks of fur. Buffy rolled over so she could peer down at the floor and let out a shriek. "Giles!"
"Ooooh, what have we here? A rodent infestation!" Xander crouched down, reaching into his jacket and pulling out a mousetrap. "Man, public schools are really slipping these days. Well, I guess I might as well do my civic duty and help them out…" Sliding the mousetrap across the floor, Xander chuckled quietly as Giles sniffed the air and then made a beeline for the cheese that baited the trap. Reaching it, the rat took a few more sniffs before lunging forward and biting the yellow morsel.
The mousetrap snapped shut so fast it was a blur, snapping the rat's neck.